With Love to All IMBB Readers and Our Writers

imbb indian makeup and beauty blogHey all, I’m writing after a long time on IMBB. I don’t like to write unless I have something to share because I’m unable to write otherwise. This time, I have many small small things to share with our readers and our writers so please forgive me if this post feels a bit disconnected.

When we started IMBB we were a young couple, newly married, naive and doing things without a plan. Whatever small things Rati would buy, she would write a review about it. She loved Colorbar and Revlon; Chanel and Estee Lauder were too expensive for her. Lakme and Revlon were the kings. We were two small town people just getting to know the world of makeup. Above all, we had no objective in mind. Rati just wanted to start a blog about makeup.

I had seen Rati struggle on totalgadha everyday to generate new content. In order to ease her pain this time around I offered to put in money to have other writers on the blog, people who also loved makeup. And we got a lot of people who were willing to share their experiences on IMBB. Above all, we got Jomol (I really miss reading her articles by the way). Things really took off. Our visitors started building up, a lot of women started coming on the blog. Women searching for makeup stuff on Google started landing on IMBB. We started having a great bunch of people here.

We had a fair share of haters also. Women who would call Rati fat or ugly or wasting money on makeup. If nothing else, they would pick on me. It was shocking. Since we had come from totalgadha background where our students loved and worshipped us for making their lives and careers this was something bizarre to us. Anyhow, we removed all the negative influences from IMBB. Haters, we learnt, was a big part of having an online presence, and growing your blog. We focussed on our work and ignored all the negative voices.

We were by no means perfect. Our photos were very crude compared to foreign blogs. Our pictures were taken on bedsheets, towels, bathroom tiles, anything. We had not much sense of photography or lighting. Nobody amongst Rati or writers had any any idea about photoshop. We would put up pics with facial hair, upper lips hair, bad lips, unkempt hair, bad eyebrows, everything. But we were having so much fun sharing that we never realized or cared. Not only that, our reviews were written in Indian English (if you know what I mean), with loads of breaks and dots, with a lot of mix of Hindi, loads of long sentences, wrong grammar, the whole works. Our writers even shared the pics of their babies, families, their lives. It was fun!

The PR people of some of the high end brands used to send Rati products. We did not buy those products then and they were a dream for us. And if you read comments on those reviews they were full of “this is too expensive,” “I cannot afford this” and we agreed. Where foreign blogs were full of MACs and Tom Fords of the world, we wanted to do more of Lakme. Which was fine actually.

Slowly and slowly competition started emerging. A lot of beauty blogs came up, some good some bad. All of them handling beauty and makeup in their own way. We started to feel the pressure of improving IMBB further. We took on a bigger editing team, pushed our writers to improve the quality of reviews in terms of content and photos, started going through every review thoroughly. Amongst all this IMBB continue to grow. One thing that has surprised me through all these years is growth of IMBB. I have never been able to explain it except the blessing of God. Maybe someone up above there really likes us.

We also started to take bold steps such as buying all products of a particular range, high end or drugstore, and reviewing them. We wanted to review everything for our readers. Literally, everything. I remember so many shopping trips in store where I would be pushing Rati “Biwi ye bhi khareed lo” “Biwi ye bhi khareed lo, ye reviewed nahin hai” and Rati would be so angry and annoyed “tumhein to review karna nahin hai. You are killing all my love for makeup.” Talk about husband pushing her wife to buy makeup and she is unwilling! πŸ˜›

Because of growth of IMBB and other businesses Rati and I started having a better lifestyle. We started travelling, dressing better. More brands were within our reach. We stopped taking products from brands and started sponsoring products for our writers. Talk about how your Karma comes back to you. The hard work of Rati and our writers came back to them only. As IMBB grew and we had more money to dispense with, our sponsorship schemes became better. We had more brands. Our writers were exploring makeup all over the world now, trying to order online, finding foreign brands coming to India, going abroad and shopping. We had writers from abroad also sharing their makeup love. The community grew bigger and bigger. The brands exploded.

Two years ago, we received a mail from some Venture capitalists, who wanted to explore about putting in money in IMBB. This was something new for us. Till now, we were a couple of people writing on a blog. And suddenly we found we were in the big leagues. So I went and met a few of these VCs. Since many of my IIT batchmates are anyhow in big positions in these firms, it was easy to setup meetings. Big numbers started floating in; 5 million dollars, 10 million dollars, etc. Ideas started floating in about monetizing IMBB; listing salons, setting up beauty ecommerce etc. Big money. While going through all these talks Rati and I realized that we would have to set up offices, ask our editors to either shift to delhi and work full time or leave, ask our writers to leave and hire full-time writers. In short, all of IMBB would be gone, replaced by a revenue churning machine. Also, we were not in favour of putting foreign money in IMBB. We were fiercely proud of IMBB being an Indian blog and having Indian voices. We were not comfortable with money coming from abroad to be invested in IMBB. Who knows what it would result in future? Also, we were not in need of money also at that time. With god’s grace we were doing good. And we loved IMBB as IMBB was. Our team worked from their homes. Our writers wrote whatever they felt about a product. If they want to share pics of their babies, it was their IMBB. If they wanted to thrash a product, it was their IMBB. After thinking for a week, I wrote a polite mail to all the VCs saying that at this time we would like to continue IMBB on our own and maybe raise funds at a later stage. It was very unprofessional of me to cut short but why waste their time.

And IMBB still continued to grow. More than 75 lakh (7.5 million) people visit IMBB every month. We do more than 1.2 crore (12 million) pageviews every month. Even our haters (who regularly tell us they hate Rati or IMBB) visit us regularly to make their presence felt. And it’s a blog run by the common Indian women of India. But more than that, we love IMBB. I cannot explain it. I can find several faults with IMBB; theme acchhi nahin hai, high end jyada review hota hai, mail ka koi reply nahin karta, so many things! But I still love IMBB. We’re so bloody imperfect ki tum koi bhi saabun de do, complete safai to kabhi nahin hogi πŸ˜› Aise hi hain ham.

Going a little back in time, Rati and I started traveling 3-4 years ago, mostly because I wanted to. Once Rati got the taste of travel she also wanted to travel. And we travelled and travelled. We could afford the best of hotels and travel to the best of places and we did just that. There was such a hunger to see the world, such an itch to see everything. We would see a travel photo and we would be like “ye dekhna hai” In 2- 3 years, we travelled to 22- 25 countries. However, even during our travels, we never forgot IMBB. No matter in which city we were, we would automatically end up in a makeup store. “Biwi ye bhi khareed lo,” “Biwi ye bhi review nahin hua hai.”

Slowly and slowly, a feeling started building up inside us. Gathered through our travels, our experiences, minor feelings etc. And the feeling was that we Indians are not respected. Yes we are a third-world country, made poor by foreign powers that looted us. But all Indians are not the same. And unlike others, Indians live simply and do not show off wealth. But the image of India is all poverty and hunger. Rati and I were so angry and furious that a big foreign street fashion photographer/blogger came to India and all he photographed was beggars, drivers, conductors. A foreign blogger came to India, stayed at a five star hotel and then went ahead to photograph the poverty of India for her readers. Big Instagrammers who feature makeup looks of everyone except Indians. Nobody features Indians. Even Indian magazines suck up to foreign blogs. We are not political at all and we have loads of friend abroad but these kinds of things pinch us a little. There have been instances that we would walk into big makeup stores and SAs would be uninterested until we started buying. And boy, when we start buying makeup they would stand in attention. I remember once at Sephora Champs Elysees, Paris, there were two SAs, each holding basket full of makeup products, moving behind Rati. One of them even asked “are you from Dubai?” and Rati said “no, we’re from India.” Talk about images and impressions of a country.

So somewhere along these experiences, we decided to make IMBB global. We decided to make IMBB a place Indians are proud of. We would do everything, from a drugstore product to an expensive high end one. Not only that, we would do good in makeup also. And we would be a Desi blog, operated by women in towns and cities of India, with a global presence.

We recently spent a long three-and-a-half month period abroad, learning everything we could to make IMBB grow. We learnt about products, about makeup, brands, everything. We wanted to bring a lot of things on IMBB for our readers. It was an exhausting trip. We started missing India so bad, that we even loved our Delhi pollution this time the moment we landed. To everyone who dreams about settling abroad, you’d not know how beautiful India is till you start missing it. πŸ™‚

And this just what I wanted to share with all our IMBB readers and writers. I really love you all. I have never felt so much gratitude for anything in life as I feel for IMBB and the people we have with us. There’s so much love on IMBB that it is hard to express. We have so many good people with us that even naming them would take time.

And no matter how we are, unprofessional, unsophisticated, clumsy, poor, whatever, we are going to show everyone what a bunch of committed people can do. We’ll do it our way. We are going to make IMBB a bigger and a much more comprehensive blog. If you think that we do too much, we’re going to do three-much. We’ll get all brands, all products, all ranges, everything on IMBB. If people think that everything big can happen in US or Europe only, we’ll prove them wrong. Maybe we are not born with a camera in our hand and our pics are not so polished. Maybe our English is not so good and that we dress in simple clothes. But if we decide to do something, we’ll move mountains. And this time we’re going to stamp IMBB on world map.

As the first step in the process, we ask all our readers to let us know the makeup range, Indian or foreign, you want us to review/swatch on IMBB. As I write this post, biwi has already gone shopping for Indian drugstore brands as many of our readers were feeling we don’t do them enough. And biwi has now agreed (finally!) that she would buy all. πŸ˜› So everyone, just tell us the brand/range you want reviewed and we would get it on IMBB for you.

May the sun never stop shining on you IMBB…
That thing which nearly killed my life…
Life Before IMBB
Lust For Life
O Happiness, How Do I Chase Thee?

IMBB RECOMMENDS

147 thoughts on “With Love to All IMBB Readers and Our Writers

  1. Awww….this post has made my day – thank you so much for mentioning me Sanjeevji πŸ™‚ I think IMBB has become the sole place about everything makeup and beauty – from Patanjali to Tom Ford – from how to remove facial hair to how to get dimples on your cheeks, we have the solution for just about everything. When I look at IMBB, I feel proud to be associated with such a blog where there is complete honesty. I am extremely proud of our writers, thankful to our readers, and lots of love for Rati/Sanjeevji – absolutely thankful for you two for IMBB :* <3

  2. Beautiful post! And, I’m so happy to be a part of this super amazing team πŸ™‚ As jomol said, IMBB was, is and will be a one-stop solution in terms of makeup and beauty! <3

  3. I may have started this blog but this is not my blog any more. It is your blog and it is everyone’s blog. It is even my mom’s , buas, uncles, cousins, friends and relatives blog also now. πŸ˜€ It was so difficult to make people understand what I was trying to do. But I just so badly believed in it. There are days when i am tired but I work for you guys. It’s a job that I would not exchange for anything. And I cannot even thank enough from the bottom of my heart to all the writers who make IMBB and to the readers who shower so much love all the time and I do have the best team. A lot of people come and go in our team but each one stays as a special part and leaves as someone special only.

    And Sanj, I would not have been able to do anything without you. you are my liphe and I am your wiphe. πŸ˜€ i love you. thank you for this post. :-*

  4. Wow that’s truly makes us Indian proud. IMBB is my makeup Google. And I felt so proud when you explained the scene in Sephora and when Rati mam said she is from India Awesome. Love IMBB?

  5. “We’re so bloody imperfect ki tum koi bhi saabun de do, complete safai to kabhi nahin hogi ? Aise hi hain ham. ” Sach much. πŸ˜›

  6. Such a lovely post…I rarely comment on the articles of IMBB, but I am a regular reader. At least I try to open it once and have quick read of some articles. I wish best of luck to IMBB team with whom I feel connected some how, even without meeting them.

  7. This is really amazingly written πŸ™‚ I can understand each and everything that you wrote down in this post.. IMBB has been the best women’s blog ever and every woman would love to be a part of it.. πŸ™‚ It is like our second home where we have different women from different countries with different makeup liking.. I feel really happy to be a part of the team, to have such amazing writers who contribute their reviews and life stories too and amazing readers who motivate every now and then πŸ™‚ we all love IMBB for what it is and we will always do the same πŸ™‚

  8. Hi, frankly speaking I am here after a long time when this thumbnail popped up on my FB feed. I used to go to your Insta pages , heart it and move on. Im at that stage where i have a decent amount of makeup and the frequency to buy more is waning as makeup doesn’t finish easily. But after coming here I realised how much I missed this space. Im here for the long haul now. Great going guys . Wish you the very best. Not that you need too much of it since you guys are the very best anyway .

  9. Hey Sanjeev, You poured your heart out man. I love the way you guys are so transparent with your expressions. Your story is an inspiration for many (I am sure). What I learn from your writings is that patience is the key to success or the way you want your life to be. The focus and ethics you hold for this business is commendable. Also, I love your writing skills. It was flawless and seamless. More power to you two.

  10. I have always been a silent follower of IMBB since its inception, I guess. I loved how I would get all the reviews under one roof. And it is because of you guys – from Rati’s early makeup videos to be precise – that I can hold on to a brush and play with makeup now. πŸ™‚

    It was such a warm read, Sanjeev. All the best wishes to you, Rati and IMBB.

  11. Wow.. such a nicw post. We are proud to be an Indian and proud of Rati too .No matter how much we like high end foreign brands,travelling outside of India. We love our India even more,we all love our country.
    We love IMBB So much that I cant wish to buy a single product without checking its review on IMBB.
    IMBB me sunscreen, prevention of early sign of ageing and products which really works well and youe current skin and hair care routine needed πŸ˜›

  12. Felt so good reading this and I am replying here after a while… IMBB and MG has always been and will always be an integral part in my life .. my little ray of sunshine.. May IMBB reach greater heights. Stay blessed always both of you Sanjeevji/Rati and team IMBB πŸ™‚

  13. Rati and Sanjeevji,
    You all have come a long way and brought so many of us along too. I remember when I had submitted my first review for IMBB, you gave me a dream and confidence to believe in myself. I don’t write anymore as I can’t deliver the quality pictures you require but this is surely the first place I check when there is a product I want to purchase and recommend my friends too.

    And your posts whenever they come up Sanjeevji are very special… They brighten up the mood, whether its humour or emotion… Or your specail pictures.

    IMBB will always be special.
    ????

    1. Nidhi, err what quality of pictures? All we ask is white background and sufficient light for taking photos πŸ˜€ You can certainly do this and send in reviews. πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  14. Love reading the article sir. πŸ™‚ Your words always inspire me and I am sure others too. I love IMBB and everything it does to help us all beauty crazy people. πŸ˜€

  15. Visiting other blogs is like visiting some relatives’ place. But IMBB made me feel at home from day one. This is all that I can say ???

  16. Dear Rati and Sanjeevji,

    You truly are an inspiration. I love reading all your posts Sanjeevji. You have unique insights. And above all, I am in complete awe that you turned down the foreign investment offer. It shows how much you really care about everyone who writes for IMBB and is a part of IMBB. I have always wanted to write here, but all the products I have are already reviewed here, so never got a chance. But your post has inspired me to really put my heart into it and come up with articles. Like I said before, You truly are an inspiration Sir.

    1. Thank you Swathi πŸ™‚

      Turning down the offer was not such a big deal. First, one rarely spends investment money in big chunks, and for small spends we could put money from our own side also. Second, many of our friend and batchmates could put in big money from their pockets only if we needed it desperately. What was hard was the ongoing debate in our minds if we were not making a mistake with respect to IMBB, i.e. what if IMBB needed the money to expand fast and withstand competition, what if VCs bring in useful connections for IMBB. But in the end, one cannot win the race by killing the horse. And VCs were surely not healthy for IMBB structure, so we let it go.

      Please do write reviews on IMBB, help the others as others are helping you decide. πŸ™‚

  17. Dear Rati and Sanjeevji,

    You truly are an inspiration. I love reading all your posts Sanjeevji. You have unique insights. And above all, I am in complete awe that you turned down the foreign investment offer. It shows how much you really care about everyone who writes for IMBB and is a part of IMBB. I have always wanted to write here, but all the products I have are already reviewed here, so never got a chance. But your post has inspired me to really put my heart into it and come up with articles. Like I said before, You truly are an inspiration Sir.

  18. This is such a wonderful post Mr.Sanjeev. I discovered IMBB 4 years back, when all the imperfections in face started showing up and I seriously need to camouflage them. This is such a blessing. I could learn basics of makeup and always write to you guys to get my queries sorted out.

    I just have one suggestion. Most of the posts here especially for the skin care range are written by youngsters and women less than thirty. I would like to see more age specific posts for us who are on the wrong side of 30 with more concerns and matured skin. Would be really helpful if people with real skin concerns : fine lines, sagging, adult acne etc. Do reviews on anti aging products. Instead of women with out such concerns reviewing them and adding disclaimers such as “I don’t know about the anti aging claims as I don’t have any”. It will be quite helpful for people like me with a genuine need to take a decision on their purchase.

    I don’t mean to be rude or hurt anyone but just expressing my view.

    1. Thanks Swathi πŸ™‚

      Regarding your suggestion we shall take it into account πŸ™‚ I have also discussed this with Jomolji a lot of times and I have realized now what she explained to me- women do not accept that they have a ‘wrinkle’ problem. πŸ˜› Who ever spends money on anti ageing unless she actually needs it? But no woman will publicly accept that she has wrinkles or fine line showing. So there πŸ˜› The reviews are actually honest πŸ™‚

  19. Each day when I think of makeup, I think of IMBB. I am so fortunate to be a part of this blog as in Reader. Thanks for stepping up Rati and Sanjeev for continuous improvement and pride.. Love IMBB

  20. I am not makeup person. I have very less knowledge about makeup but I love imbb.i learnt a lot about make up from rati . Ur journey is inspiration for us . I love all ur travel pics …Thanx for sharing with us .Love u both . IMbb will rock .

  21. I always open IMBB to read a quick review before i buy any product.It is the most reliable blog for me.For me it has always been “open-read-buy or open-read-skip buying” but today after reading this post i have realized the amount of effort,hardwork and patience that you guys have actually put in to nurture this. Running a blog ain’t easy at all but this dedication is something else! What makes me proud is that IMBB is crossing international borders,creating a niche for itself, a blog created and run by Indians! I agree with sanjeev ji on getting less attention from SAs,no emphasis given on indian makeup artists or fashion bloggers in this wide world of foreign dominance! I also believe that we are reaching there one step at a time making our presence felt! IMBB has opened gates of hope,confidence and more importantly love for all of us.
    We are proud of this blog,it’s creators and also it’s supporters! Keep shining you guys ?

  22. Hi Sanjeev & Rati,

    I have just reviewed one product here but I am a regular visitor and before buying any makeup I just google here on your page infact I have brought so many products just because Rati has reviewed it.
    I am an Indian staying in Germany and I can totally understand your below statement, I am in that phase right now and you feel it specially when you are in any european country where it is hard to find even an english speaking people πŸ™‚

    To everyone who dreams about settling abroad, you’d not know how beautiful India is till you start missing it. ?
    Bang on..
    Keep up the great work..all the best and GBU

    1. Hi Sheetal,

      I hope you make some Indian friends there. Are you not missing golgappas and samosas? πŸ˜› First thing I did after coming back this time was to stuff myself with golgappas. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Deutschland ist groß, aber Indien ist besser πŸ˜€

      1. Ohhh whenever we visit India, we just hop on Indian junk food and chats..I have even started liking Mumbai ka Traffic now πŸ™‚

        I agree with your point that western people always underestimate India or they don’t treat us the way they treat other customers but they don’t know the fact that someday their future generations are going to work under us.

        Ja! Indien ist besten.. πŸ™‚

  23. I have always enjoyed reading reviews in IMBB and totally loved the way it is. In fact got inspired from the travel post & tips to plan the trip, and planned my honeymoon trip all alone(My then would be husband cum BF was too lazy to do that too).
    In future, I would like to see more on the quick links to buy reviewed products specially for kinds of stuff which are not easily available in India.
    I wish all the best to IMBB.

  24. Proud of IMBB team. Way to go!
    Through IMBB I have learnt a lot about personal care and makeup. It has helped me significantly and I can’t thank you enough for it.
    Lots of love and best wishes!

  25. I am an imbb reader… From Saudi Arabia… And Indian by heart β™₯… Whenever I want to buy a skincare or a makeup product I check imbb for reviews and it has helped me in helping me buy a right product always. Alhamdollilah. This post has touched my heart… I came to know how you people as bloggers help us in making our life better and fill it with happiness because you all help us choosing the right products that make us look good and feel good. We love you…. Especially Rati Ma’am… I am her die hard fan and always will be. I wish to see more workout posts.. For beginners.. How to start exercise at home. And what exercises are effective for weight loss. FYI I am not fat ? but want a great body like Rati ma’am. All love ? and respect for you guys.

  26. This is such an inspiring article and your story made my day. I feel proud to be a part of this family. If I look three years back, I had not idea about proper makeup. I was in college and searching a good lipstick for me, then I used to feel shy to put bright colors just because I had no idea. Finally then I came across this website & found my own world. Now I love use all shades with full of confident. IMBB helped to learn me a lot about makeup. Rati mam is an inspiration in my life. Now, people are sending message to me that ‘Hey I just have read your review on IMBB & love it’..That moment I feel so happy & proud. This happiness is a gift from IMBB which is very precious in my life. Thank you to make this new world.. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  27. Very emotional, impressive and motivational post sir. I was a silent reader on IMBB from past few years. Whatever products i want to buy, i first check their review on imbb. 2 months back i decided to write for imbb as well. Now i first check which product is not reviewed yet and than went to buy it.. Although i dnt write too much.. Also most of the brands are too expensive for me to be reviewed. . But today after reading your post, i m glad that i am a little part of ‘our IMBB’
    ??

  28. IMBB is not only a blog for makeup..reviews..or things related to beauty. Its a lifestyle..I am a small town girl and not much into make…but love make…i love reading the reviews of some brands which I know I can never afford to own…few brand choices I made after the reviews..shamelessly I can say I have tried to copy Rati styles…I learnt about skin tones and what suits best..IMBB made me love myself..made me see myself from a different perspective whi ch I never knew hidden inside me…IMBB made me confident…Both Rati/Sajneev ji/Jomol…there and millions of life you all have touched…the humility, honesty and the passion is so transparent through this virtual medium. God bless you for the noble work….

  29. Thanks Sanjeev Sir ? One more suggestion… That you guys can start a group on Facebook… Of imbb.. That would be of great help to all of us.. To read ? and get to know about new places and products. ?. One more thing… As you have rightly said… I also felt that… No matter where we travel.. To all the beautiful places in the world ? like turkey, Switzerland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, UK, middle east… Our hearts ? will always remain in India… I love my India…. Proud to be a hyderabadi… Moreover proud to be an Indian. No place like India…

  30. I have been following IMBB ever since I was a naive, wide eyed teenager and was in awe of Rati and all that she does. Initially, I only saw the exterior and thought Rati had such a picture perfect life. But only with time did I realize that she too has her own set of struggles. To go where no one has gone before, the hardwork she puts in every minute of everyday to create something that is not only hers, but ours. I am sure she has been an inspiration to many and will continue to be so.
    I will not wish for IMBB to grow, for I know it will nonetheless and reach newer heights with every passing day. What I wish is that you two continue being the amazing, humble and loving people you are, and the rest will naturally follow.

  31. And how you poured your heart out.. πŸ™‚
    I read this entire post to my husband with a big smile and twinkling eyes. He does not understand what I was trying for him to feel because I was feeling it. It feels special to be a part of this community. I literally have 3 lipsticks and 4 eye pencils. No foundation, no other makeup. I myself cannot tell anyone why I visit this page every 2 hours. Or may be I know, It is one place in the whole internet space where you have positivity only. No chance of anything else. Tons of writers have started their own blogs, but what you hold here is certain values and principles which are difficult to find in the world, forget about finding it on a blog.
    Your hard work has paid off and you two deserve each and every penny of what you reap today, the monetary gains and the happy feelings. You earned it. We all love you two and IMBB. Hope that it grows and grows into the biggest happy space on the internet. πŸ™‚

    1. Hehehe you were trying to explain hubby feelings related to a beauty blog? πŸ˜›

      I know what you mean though. It’s really hard to explain about IMBB. It’s like maybe living in a hostel or like travelling. You love it but you can’t explain it. πŸ™‚

      Thank you πŸ™‚ And say my hello to hubby πŸ™‚

      1. Exactly the travel wali feeling. πŸ™‚ And hubby says Hi to you too!

        We can see that IMBB has some big things in store in recent future. All the best for everything that you do. Need any help, reach out to us readers. We all will be here to give you our honest two cents. We are here with you together in IMBB journey and yes, it is high time now for an event now for all of us to meet you and each other. πŸ™‚

  32. Just speechless… ?. it’s just inspiring that Rati did what he dreamed for ?. By grace of God she found you as a piller Sanjeev Ji…it says couples md in heaven..u guys r true partners ☺ ?. Done a gr8 efforts fr your self and for many. Congrats to you and all who is part of this family for such beautiful journey of IMBB.
    I m always silent but continue reader on IMBB. Not so good in writing nd putting my words in written but seriously IMBB is true inspiration for girls like me…Who can even get inspire from the writers here to write. And for makeup…Rati is always inspiration. Never liked putting on makeup bcz never hd confidence how to do in right way, and now things r like my hubby is thankful to u bcz I stopped spending money for party Makeups in parlour nd I do by my own nd feel so confident by self makeup ☺…and get compliments from girls fr good makeup ☺. Thanks to u Rati nd all the writers here Jomol, Chayanti, Saloni Nd many more for reviews and to introduce new products that helped me nd many achieve that skin nd makeup looks tht always want to carry. Thanks to u all for all sort of discussions and solutions from pimples to wrinkles… family to meals everything. I just enjoy being part of it by reading and sharing. Everyone of you inspires many ☺. Congrats for such big success Mr Sanjeev nd Mrs Ratti ☺. Keep going ? ? bring true indians hehe ☺ “bloody imperfect ki tum koi bhi saabun de do, complete safai to kabhi nahin hogi ? Aise hi hain ham”. Either no one is perfect. Being true to r self is the truest perfection…It’s being true indian☺

    1. Thank you Suchika πŸ™‚

      What is truly an amazing experience is that you start building something for yourself, for your love of that thing, and slowly you discover that it has become something more than you, it has become something that belongs to many. In everyday discussion these days our readers and writers also figure all the time. Unko kya achha lagega, kya nahin achha lagega. IMBB carries the soul of many of us now. πŸ™‚

  33. Awwww…. it’s been more than 6 years I think that I’ve started reading reviews about lakme , maybelline and Elle 18 too on this blog… I would read reviews about every cosmetic I wanted to purchase, on this blog… and u guys have prospered soo much ❀❀❀ I love rati’s outfits (especially her winter coats in Europe trip)and I keep showing your blogs to my hubby… I have always admired Rati… and yes I miss reading reviews about our drugstore brands??…. wow what a journey huh… ???

  34. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post! I’ve always been proud to work with IMBB and contribute to this world of makeup. But today, I’m just so thankful that on a certain 31st December when the world was partying, I landed on this blog and decided to write for IMBB. It changed my world certainly in multiple ways! From being a girl who only used to apply lotion in winters to being a girl that knows the price of most of the makeup products was definitely a great change! Girls ask me, why apply so much makeup when its just a brightly coloured liner and I think God, inki thinking kab badlegi! It’s fun actually how applying a lotion and powder becomes ‘Too much makeup’, but it’s changing, slowly but it’s there! I loved you post Sanjeev Ji! I loved it a lot! IMBB is an example that if you work hard and if you stay true to your roots, you can go places! IMBB ki Jai ho! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Long live IMBB! <3

  35. Sanjeev Ji, please get more Indian brands because there aren’t quality reviews for brands like Miss Claire, Vov, Gala of London.. So many brands get neglected and some of these products are reeeealy good! πŸ™‚

  36. This is truly an inspiration. I really appreciate the way you express your thoughts and feelings. I feel so happy and blessed to be a part of IMBB. It is a platform through which I had learnt a lot. Since childhood I was so keen to do makeup, when I saw my mom doing it on herself. But when I grew older, I was afraid of doing makeup due to the fear of looking over the top but IMBB gave me this much courage to do what I really like to do. I agree Jomol di that IMBB is the one stop solution to every problem. I have been following IMBB since 2011 and I always used to check the reviews first before buying a new launch. I agree that IMBB is a beauty google for us. Thank you Rati di and Sanjeev Sir for introducing IMBB to us. May you guys get all the success and happiness & may IMBB grow as the world’s biggest beauty and makeup community.

  37. Indians may or may not be rich but they are anything but poor. The English may not be perfect but it is written from the heart. How many foreigners do you know who can speak Hindi? Kamse kam hum tuti-futi English toh bol lete hai which is more than what can be said about them. πŸ˜€ This is not to say they aren’t good people; most of them are kind, helpful, polite, and friendly par jo apnapan India aur Indians se milta hai woh duniya mein kahin nahin hai. The richness of relationships can only be seen in India. Indians dil se bahut ameer hai aur yeh ameeri hum se koi nahin cheen sakta.

  38. How sweet!! waking up to such motivating inspiring write up yet again from our IMBB.. πŸ™‚ In these years of my own improvement with IMBB I feel I can vouch for so many things you guys mentioned other then “connection” with my own homecountry. I can imagine the feeling of being judged for being nothing as well as everything even though am not into big venture but what IMBB gave us is beyond any success. My mom use to say that success is evaluated by others which may or may not lead to your happiness but satisfaction comes from within you and I feel this is what IMBB means for me & certainly for everyone connected!! It played such crucial role in gearing up my morals, improving for better and whenever I look back I think leaving few regrets I have a satisfaction, gratitude and inner peace that thanks god I discovered IMBB in nick of time to lead life positively apart from endless things I discovered explored inthese years together. And I so feel connected with your lines “Maybe we are not born with a camera in our hand and our pics are not so polished. Maybe our English is not so good and that we dress in simple clothes. But if we decide to do something, we’ll move mountains” πŸ™‚ I was never ever a writer before, naive about makeup forget the brands but 2012 came as a blessing to explore & realize exactly that no matter what if you can dream it you can certainly do it, no doubt!! I recall how I use to look for suggestions, instructions on mail to improve my photoghraphy and those appreciations on some fine piccys πŸ™‚ I gained a lot while writing, studying reading about gud bad photographs, about brands, increasing english vocabulary what not! Those shady dark swatches refined improved with your constant guidance suggestions, sharing everything through writing never knew those stories those blatant rants those homesick notes or babies endless blabbering wud ever lead to this πŸ™‚ We do came long way from 5$ articles to grand sponsorships; even today I proudly flaunt my makeup assets as I owned them with IMBB-mine joint efforts unlike fools thinking its burden on family or husband. It sure felt like a privilege having vip memberships at every branded store shop online; thanks to you guys for making us part of this wonderful opportunity to let other part of world know about “bloody immigrants desis” and their expensive hobbies lol πŸ™‚ There will always be haters and admirers and as always am glad that IMBB & you guys stand still amongst negativity which itself speaks about the determination impossible you have achieved. There are many things many lines I wanna rephrase and co-relate with but not today πŸ™‚ Its lot more than being said or mentioned but as words fail to express how I feel or everyone feels about IMBB you guys :heart All I wish is great success prosperity happiness to Rati-you sir along with IMBB. This sure gives motivation inspiration to millions directly indirectly, you have touched places hearts fulfilled not only your wishes-dreams but lot others around πŸ™‚ Leaving the minor disppointments, the gud faith well wishes ppl put up in this community will always lead to ultimate positivity and happiness and I can imagine my lil gal checking reviews, posts on IMBB before getting her stuffs in future πŸ™‚ It was always a warm feeling and will always be a privilege to be an IMBBian regardless of what we do in future!!
    Best wishes and luck always!!

    1. And how you improved through your hard work Neetu, from amazing product photographs to walking the ramp in fashion shows. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      It is IMBB’s good luck that we got people such as you with us. πŸ™‚

      1. Indeed sir πŸ™‚ there is so much to share and say. Whenever I feel down or low I just open up my archieved imbb posts and your inspiring writeups it reminds me sumwhere that may be today am weak, not in shape/gud mental state or helpless but its temporary & will pass. As world knows stronger me confident me credits to you IMBB πŸ™‚ on a funny note when someone deliberately compares me with my husband (to satisfay their ego or hatred) I tell them, you google about hubby you got nothing, search me on IMBB you will know who I am πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ hehe

  39. I love your and Ratiji’s passion. How can anyone not love you guys? You are such a wonderful couple …. aur yehi baat apke blog aur kaam mein nazar aati tabhi toh yeh ghar jaisa lagta hai.

  40. Dear Sanjeev ji & Rati mam,

    Thank you for such a wonderful article πŸ™‚ It made me feel so emotional and grateful to be part of such a blog which is so true to it’s roots.
    I have been an avid reader of IMBB Blog since 2011. Now in my late 20’s I have started contributing to this site in my own small way.
    My husband recently asked about the blog history. I recited the whole story and said you guys had also founder totalgadha. He was so excited after knowing this piece of information. He told me that totalgadha site had helped him a lot during his MBA prep πŸ™‚ He really idolizes you and Rati mam and is proud that I am contributing to the site πŸ™‚
    We both are very thank and grateful to you Sanjeev sir and Rati mam. Please keep up the good work πŸ™‚
    As for a suggestion from my part – I would love to see you launch a cosmetic brand of your own. I personally feel that Rati mam as such vast knowledge of makeup that she will create an awesome brand that will cater to the needs of Indian woman. We need more cosmetic companies in India which are completely owned by Indians and are on par of international standards.

    1. Wow! Your hubby read totalgadha? So cool! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you πŸ™‚ As for cosmetics brand, abhi to plan pahle IMBB par makeup and makeup laana hai. Launching a cosmetics brand would make sense if we can do something better than other brands. Let’s see what the future unfolds. IMBB ki silver jubilee tak pakka πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  41. Hello Sanjeevji,

    I am a silent reader of IMBB from last 3 years and I love it!!!!!!
    This post made my day. Very well written!! I can feel each and every line of this.
    I live in Germany, visit IMBB, Madam Gupshup and Ratiji’s instagram everyday. Checking new updates in these is my first job as soon as I start from office to home.
    It’s evening here now and today like any other day I first opened Ratiji’s instagram ans saw that there was a new post written by you, I was very excited to read it and The post is full of life. I recently read your post in Madam Gupshup too.

    After your trip to Paris this time, I see lot of good changes, new concepts in IMBB, Madam Gupshup, looks like you are gonna rock it.. I am looking forward to it eagerly.

    have a lot to share with you, probably can write a post!!! For now I will end this comment.

    I wish you a good luck and success!!

    1. Hi Sumitra, a very good evening from India. Hope it’s warmer now in Germany. πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚ Do share whatever you want, either here or on Madam Gupshup. πŸ™‚

      1. Hello Sanjeevji,

        I am on cloud9 after seeing you replied.
        Thanks a lot for your reply.
        Yeah now weather is lil better and will be warmer from 2nd week of May.
        You and Ratiji are always an inspiration to me. Your personal life, how much you struggled to marry Rati mam and your blogs.

        Mine is also love marriage. I always tell my husband about you and Rati, how you guys fell in love, Totalgadha, IMBB and everything in detail.. yesterday I had sent to my husband a link of your post which you had written a day before your marriage.

        Today again I sent him this post link, it feels so good to see you guys growing.

        You both are an inspiration to many of us in many ways.. and thank you for that !!

  42. Aaaaaah! I just had to comment, Sanjeev! I have been reading imbb for a long long time, possibly since it first started. And I remember I used to write articles kinda regularly, around 5 years ago! And then life got too busy, lots of things changed, and so I stopped writing, but then, I dunno, I keep passing by just to read the articles though I rarely comment any more.
    To me, imbb is like a good friend. What matters isn’t how often you stay in touch, but how you feel when you do get in touch! And it is the same with me and imbb. I never feel like an outsider or like I don’t belong, just because I may not be writing here anymore or I don’t leave as many comments as I used to. And sometimes I think of penning down an article but then I think, oh it’s been so long, I dunno if I still have it in me to write.. and there are newer people with newer styles of writing, so I don’t even know if I should be entertaining thoughts of writing again.
    I don’t mean to go all emotional on you guys, but what is your stand on renewing one’s ‘writer-ship’?

    1. Hi Sam, My God, you really disappeared! πŸ˜€

      Hehehe, there is no expiration date of an IMBB writer πŸ˜› Just send in your articles πŸ™‚ I am sure you have accumulated a lot of things to say inside you πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Pen it down! πŸ™‚

  43. I might be the last one to read the post for the day but I felt so overwhelmed reading this that I forgot to eat the dinner served right in front of me? Being a part of IMBB is the most amazing thing that happened to me and to all of us

  44. You guys amaze me. Whenever I think of pampering myself with a face pack, buy a makeup /skincare item, IMBB is my first choice. I’ll look for it here first. I’ve been a silent but constant follower of this blog since 2010. In fact I didn’t even know what is blogging. I was not aware of any foreign makeup brands. IMBB introduced me to all these things. Whenever we travel, we read all the posts on this blog and then plan our trip. Rati di is my fashion icon and Sanjeev ji is my inspiration to indulge in all the traveling and photography I’ve always wanted to do. I update myself with IMBB posts as soon as I wake up. My day starts and ends with reading IMBB. I love the way you guys have handled success. I’ve never seen genuine, humble and sweet people like you both. Salute you both. May imbb become the biggest and the best blog in the world(it already is for me).

  45. I’m a silent reader of Imbb for past 4 years. I really don’t know why i didn’t reply or post in Imbb before. But today I really thought I should, to show my support for you guys. You people are really doing a great job.
    Being an Indian & currently residing in UK, I can relate myself to so many incidents how Indians are treated. Especially, I had the same experience at Sephora Champs Elysees, Paris. Wish the world would change to be a better place where Indians are respected.
    It would help me if you can do more reviews on brands like NYX, The Benefits, Stila, Rimmel, Milani..
    I would love if Rati can show create videos on how she does her makeup looks.

  46. Dear Sanjeev Sir,

    I loved reading your post. It was very touching. I really miss you guys. Unfortunately, I am unable to contribute articles to IMBB at present even though I want to. Will keep trying though. One day I will be successful πŸ™‚ The one thing that makes me want to come back to IMBB is the wonderful team. You guys are so down to earth and supportive. I would also like to thank Jomol Chechi for helping me out as a writer.

    IMBB has helped me learn a lot of things about makeup. I will always be grateful to you guys for giving me an opportunity to write and for motivating me to keep writing.

    Keep up the good work guys πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ East or West, IMBB is the best πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  47. IMBB is an emotion for beauty lovers.
    If it was not ISBN, I wouldnt know blogging.
    I wont shy away from accepting the fact that IMBB and Rati is an inspiration.
    No matter how many competitors come, IMBB is irreplaceable.
    This post made me so proud to be associated and be an Indian
    Wish u all the luck team IMBB to make it bigger and better always.

    Love
    Khushi

  48. 5yrs back when I was doing masters in Nift.. I was preparing for a project on fashion & makeup. I was clueless.. so started googling about it and that’s how I came across IMBB. Since then we never parted ?
    Before buying a simple kajal pencil.. I look for reviews in IMBB.I love your travel posts. I love Rati’s makeup.. the way she dresses.. her every makeup experiments. I am in Love with every thing about IMBB.
    Thanks Rati & Sanjeev. Keep up the good job. All the Best?

  49. Sanjeevji, you and Rati are the most inspiring people. I was blown by Your recent post on MG regarding why you uninstalled instagram. Now here comes a touchy write up from you. IMBB is already my google for makeup. I learnt skincare and makeup from here. I have my favorite reviewers here, whose words I blindly follow and they never failed me so far. But I feel few of the reviewers are not giving enough time for the skincare product before reviewing it. And especially if it is on expensive side, I will be in 2 minds to consider the reco. I think reviewers should take care of it. This is just my opinion. No offense to any reviewer

  50. The sad part is that we are treated as third class citizens in our own country, be it at makeup counters or anywhere else.

    Anyhoo, I wish you abundance of success in the coming years. One can only dream of being where you are today, not even remotely close. I wonder if Rati has any idea as to how helpful her reviews for high-end products are. The reason being she’s not influenced by any third party on how to pen down her reviews. Genuine reviews are getting lesser day by day. Thanks for keeping it real! Also, it’s so satisfying to see the world outside India through your eyes. I so wish you guys visit Greece one day.

    These are my suggestions:

    I would love to see the high-end products Rati has reviewed (especially base products) by someone who has a super oily and textured skin. Decision-making process will be easier this way for those who have a similar skin type.

    A post on makeup/dressing styles in different countries. This can be helpful for women who are clueless on what kind of makeup is worn in a particular region, so that they can pack accordingly.

    How was the experience after walking out of makeup counters with almost the entire collection in your hands (3-4 years back)

    Tips for people going for shopping to high-end stores in other countries or even in India. Example: Getting too conscious after asking the MUA’s to try 3-4 shades of foundation and getting a disgruntled look.

    A comparison between expensive, mid-priced and low-priced makeup brushes.

    A post on drugstore foundations

    A question: Do you plan on doing the IMBB bloggers course anytime soon?

    1. The makeup counters in India, they have a different kind of snobbery, and most of the time the SAs themselves don’t know what are they snobbish about πŸ™‚

      Our reviews are not influenced because all the usual temptations brands throw at bloggers are already preempted by us. We don’t want free products, we don’t attend any events, and we don’t want any mention even. So all is good. πŸ™‚

      By the way, we HAVE travelled to Greece http://fashion.makeupandbeauty.com/tag/greece/

      Will keep your suggestions in mind. Thank you so much πŸ™‚

      Honestly, more than the Blogging course I think I should provide a Blogging consultancy on how to explode your blog. People take the course, go back, and more or less forget what they learnt. A continuous guidance and problem-solving would be more effective. But now I rarely find time from IMBB, TathaGat and Trigya. πŸ™ πŸ™ Maybe I’ll do one this year. πŸ™‚

      1. Agree but the integrity you guys have reflects on your channels.

        Oh my! Yes! I totally forgot! I think it’s coz I was thinking about Insta stories.

        That would be awesome!I sincerely hope you start with blogging consultancy super soon.. in dire need of it..

        Thank you πŸ™‚

  51. Hi
    I am a reader of this blog. The way you have written this post I felt as if I was sitting in front of you n talking with you in person. You really have great writing skills. I applaud your honesty n wish you all the best for all your dreams. You guys are doing good. I always check this blog before buying anything. Thanks

    1. Thank you Priyanka πŸ™‚

      You know, I suck at writing when I think of a story or a plot and sit down to write. I fail at planned writing. But someday when I’m overwhelmed with feeling about something in my life, words just come out. So now I’ve learnt to just wait till the compulsion to write something strikes me. And that way honest emotions also come out because I have no time to think about my words. Everything just flows. So in a way, you are right about ‘sitting in front of you’ thing. πŸ™‚

  52. Hello Sanjeev ji,
    I miss your writing and it was great to see your post. Congratulations on everything and hope there are big things on the way.

    I have something to say that i would like you to consider. Majority of the reviews are done by people who belong to fair or medium skin tones and rarely i see swatches on dark skin tones (especially lipsticks) and it would be great if you can include a swatch on all skin tones when a lipstick review is being done. Mostly people do say that when it is a dark shade of lipstick or brown, we automatically get in to the dialogue that this would suit everyone especially deeper ones; but that is not true. I am not sure how it could be done but when it comes to lipstick i would really love if there is a swatch on different skin tones (especially deeper) and it would be helpful as well. Thanks.

    1. Hehe, I just told Rati ki you should apply tanning cream on you and do swatches again. And she is saying that she would apply lipsticks on me instead to show on dark skin tone πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

      This is a bit of a problem actually, let me see if we can find dark skin tone writers. It would actually be very helpful.

  53. Dear Sanjeev and Rati,
    You guys are really honest and care for the writers that is what I like about IMBB.
    My makeup products have exploded from a pouch to a big cupboard. I tend to try different brands and price range because of IMBB. Learnt a lot here and love contributing to IMBB. I feel so very happy whenever I pick makeup products. The kick is really enjoyable.
    Few suggestions (since u asked πŸ˜‰ ):
    – Would love to see outfit/fashion posts (more from Rati and others too).
    – would be nice if products are sorted as per brands and types within – for product reviews.
    – Local brands (Germay) like Douglas Collection,Isana, IsaDora (This would help Indians/English readers in Germany and also tourists to pick German products )
    – Organic brands like Lavera, Kneipp, Alverde

    Always thankful for IMMB and wish you guys never change your mind about IMBB.
    Love you guys!!!

  54. That’s a lovely post Sanjeevji. You both are multi-talented! I have been following your blog since past 5 years and I am hooked. Right from my wedding makeup to any skincare product I buy now, I ensure I check out the review on IMBB (and it has never let me down; there is always a review ready). And it almost seems as if the writers have read my mind, because every time I look for some skin-related issue, ta-da! there is post detailing exactly what I wanted to lookup. Congratulations on all that you both (and the team) have achieved so far and here’s wishing you continued success.
    Just a small suggestion: can we have more reviews of budget buys that one can find in India?
    Also how does Ratiji manage to look so well put together even when travelling?! Any budget recos there?
    Cheers.

    1. Thank you Has πŸ™‚

      Already started with the budget swatches πŸ™‚

      How does Rati manage to look good- It is all photography of the loving husband πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› Lol, I’ll ask her to reply πŸ˜€

  55. I read and reread this post until I was sure I had the right words. Thank you will be too short to explain my gratitude to IMBB. I remember the first time Shikha di called me to talk about my first review which got published the next day. And still today, we chat every now and then. The IMBB community has grown and been nurtured with love and fondness in the hearts of everyone. Right from Jomol mam to Chayanti, I made new relations here. Thank you Sanjeev Sir and Rati mam, you both didn’t just let your dreams fly, you gave us a canvas to paint our lives. Transformation happened through IMBB and I can’t ever stop feeling overwhelmed.

  56. Hi Sanjeev,

    Can I telling you an interesting story which happened today? I was as usual reading IMBB and was reading this post.He was like “A guy has written a post on a beauty blog?” I was like yes..He is Rati’s husband and his name is Sanjeev. He was like from where is he? Can you show his picture?
    He literally jumped in joy on seeing you. Then I came to know that he has played bridge with you about 10 years back. He was like the whole bridge world is searching for him and where the hell is he. My husband is Vijay from Chennai..plays under the name coolvijay in BBO..IMBB has helped my husband track his old friend πŸ™‚

    P.S : He wants to play with you again. How can he contact you?

    1. OMG Aparna! Vijay is your husband? Yes I do remember him ?

      Tell him I play on BBO with the name ‘zamboodri.’ I recently joined during our trip, after 10 years ?

  57. Dear Sanjeev sir and Rati ma’am,

    This brought tears to my eyes. This is such an honest post and exactly what I needed to read. I started my YouTube channel 6 months back and since then I have been looking for inspiration everywhere. I have been an ardent follower of IMBB for more 4years now and I can say that it grows on you. I have always gone back to your previous posts the earliest ones where you talk about totalgadha, how you searched whole day for a tiny office in Delhi and how you worked in a place where you worked with your laptop on in the floor. Each time I feel dejected or lack inspiration about my YouTube channel,I always come back to IMBB. It teaches me to be patient to hustle harder and to be never afraid of dreaming big. Thank you for your inspiration thank you for your honesty and thank you for IMBB.

  58. Inspiring, witty and articulate as always! “koi bhi sabun…” was hilarious πŸ˜€ Sanjeevji I genuinely enjoy reading your posts. You are so good with words πŸ™‚

  59. Wow, Sanjeev Sir! I am speechless. Reading this article was an emotional experience, you are so good at putting things across, I felt I was being narrated the whole thing. Hats off to you Sanjeev Sir & Rati Mam, for coming such a long way and yet being so down to earth and turning down such an lucrative offer; just for keeping IMBB as it is. It means a lot to ALL of US and especially to me! IMBB has really given me a new life, a new hobby. I would like to thank JOMOL & SHIKHA for their kind support and guidance in this journey with IMBB. Thanks for retaining the originality of IMBB – OUR IMBB!!

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