Inspired by India’s magical hues and rich natural bounty, several international beauty brands are launching locally inspired collections, highlights Faye Remedios
vibrancy, energy, sensuality—together all these make
up the magic that is India. Even as we are finally letting go of our
colonial hangovers, we are also conquering Western mindsets. It’s India
in a brand new avatar. Hermès and Gaultier are churning out India-inspired
ensembles, Indian art is making a splash in the foreign markets and
even beauty companies are taking a cue from our vibrant colours. Some
are creating shades especially for the Indian market while others are
launching India-inspired collections. Verve frontlines the best:
OPI: Nail Drama
Of the belief that colour has the energy to excite as well as soothe, OPI’s India Collection Spring/Summer 2o08 urges you to immerse yourself in colour with a high-energy palette for nails. “The idea behind this range is to bring to the world, the vibrant hues of India,” says Chunmun Khurana, general manager, Nail Bar. Shades include Black Cherry Chutney inspired by the deep brown of chutneys; Moon Over Mumbai gets its name from the dusty moon seen over Mumbai; Curry Up Don’t Be Late! is a rich, spicy gold yellow; Royal Rajah Ruby recalls the brilliant rubies worn by the maharajas of yore; and Charmed By A Snake is a sparkling brown resembling a shiny snakeskin. “The colours are all part of Indian day-to-day life — what you see around and what India is known for. Inspiration comes from diverse places across the country. The range is intelligent and spiced with humour and getting a huge response everywhere,” Khurana says.
Inspired by the colours and culture blends of India, renowned make-up guru, Gucci Westman decided to recreate the magic with his limited-edition Fall 2008 collection called Ônyx Splendor that will be launched in India next month. “Created in the image of Lakshmi, the goddess of femininity, the collection’s shades and textures conjure up visions of Indian opulence: deep black onyx, gold shimmers and radiant browns come together as if woven into the most sumptuous silks, and a blazing orange skyline at dusk or scorched red earth,” says Stafford Braganza, head make-up artist, Lancôme India. Celebrating modern Indian femininity in all its sophistication and imprinted with Indian beauty rituals, some of the products include Lotus Splendor, an eye and lip duo shaped like a lotus that opens up to reveal subtle reds and browns to embellish the eyes and lips. The Sunny Manorama Powder is a compact illustrated with mythical scenes and works to illuminate complexion with an Indian summer glow. The Khôl Kajal imparts a velvety texture to the eyes while the Juicy Tubes in Ginger, Cherry Almond and Black Currant add shine and volume to your lips besides promoting environmentally ethical beauty.
M.A.C: Customised Perfection
Want perfectly sultry, smouldering eyes? Pick up Nehru, a black eye shadow from M.A.C, a highly pigmented powder that glides on easily. Combine it with a subtle lip gloss like M.A.C’s Chai Lipglass that complements the eye drama. Besides these India-inspired shades, M.A.C has also introduced four new shades of foundation to suit Indian skin tones developed in collaboration with Mickey Contractor, director of artistry for India and senior artist for Middle East and India, Vimi Joshi. Indian women have golden or peachy undertones making it hard to get a shade that matches their skin tone perfectly. This is only achievable by mixing shades. The M.A.C team mixed and tested shades until they found four that managed to even out discolouration and provide a consistent finish. “The shades have been tested for over a year and the response was positive and encouraging – models and actors couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. Now they’re very happy it’s finally available,” says Contractor.
Molten Brown: Exotic Elixirs
Recently launched luxe beauty company Molten Brown offers three ranges with products inspired by India. Comprising a body crème, shower gel and bath oil, the Davana Blossom range uses lotus, scented jasmines and Davana, a rare south Indian plant prized for its precious essential oil. “Davana is used in Indian temples as a sacred offering. It’s the ultimate indulgence. The blend of davana with lotus creates an intoxicating blend and is a perfect tribute to our exotic country,” says Nikhila Palat, senior manager sales and marketing, Wellness Corporation of India. For those who need a quick pick-me-up, the Wild Indigo range is designed to elevate the mind with soft, warm notes of pink pepper, sage and bergamot essential oils. “The Himalayas are known for peace and serenity and the Wild Indigo extract is the perfect ingredient to create a range which helps create a positive outlook on life,” says Palat. Lastly the Volumising Brahmi Hair Straight and Curl styling mist contains Indian Brahmi, a traditional herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for maintaining a healthy scalp and hair.
Lauder: Precious Beauty
When Estée Lauder finally set up shop in India last month, they launched Jewels Of Summer, a collection created by Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director. “The rich heritage, majesty and craftsmanship of Indian culture were driving forces in the creation of this collection. The idea was to draw inspiration from precious metals and gem stones often used for special occasions in Indian traditions which create an opulent and sophisticated feeling. The purple hues featured in the collection are great for bringing out Indian women’s darker eyes, and the copper/bronze softly lit ones bring warmth to Indian skin. Women with discerning taste and an appreciation for the preciousness of jewels will absolutely love this collection,” vouches Tara Cohen, executive director and senior color stylist, global product development & innovation, Estée Lauder Inc.