Saris, elephants and Holi

Saris, elephants and Holi
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First Published: Sat, Jun 28 2008. 12 05 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Jun 28 2008. 12 05 AM IST
You don’t have to wait till spring for India’s most colourful festival. Kenzo Amour’s Indian Holi perfume is a tribute to the festival of colours. You’ll get hints of frankincense, rice steam, rose, frangipani, sandalwood and vanilla. It is festively packaged as well — the red and pink of the bottle bring to mind clouds of gulal (natural coloured powder), and the words “Holi Hai” are traced out in gold.
At select department stores, Rs3,250 for 50ml
Lancôme has put aside its classically glamorous image for this season and opted for the exotic. An India-inspired collection, Onyx Splendour, which will be out in fall, uses traditional Indian motifs such as the lotus and the elephant. Head make-up artist for India, Stafford Braganza, who helped the Parisian team research the collection, gave us a sneak peek.
The star product is a golden lotus bud which opens to reveal two shades for eyes and lips. Indian skins will love the warm hues. Braganza advises women on the go to use their fingers as tools. “Use the inner edge of your ring finger to just dab the lip colour on your mouth. Don’t use a heavy coat,” he says. We loved the bronzer which had an elephant motif etched into the compact. “Use it as a bronzer or blush. Swirl the brush around the entire compact to get a bit of all the shades,” says Braganza, whose biggest contribution was in formulating the kohl pencils. “I told the team about the history of kajal and surma in Indian culture, and how Indian women wear it,” he says. The result is an organic black kohl pencil, as well as one in brown with a slight metallic gleam, christened Gold Rupali.
Indian women most often zoom in on the lip shades — earth tones, burgundy and wine. But if you are going to get just one, it should be Orange Sari. The vivid orange-pink can be overwhelming at first, but try it out. If you think you can’t carry off red, this is a good option for looking dressed up for a night out.
Onyx Splendour will be in leading malls in September
Every time Mickey Contractor, make-up artist to Bollywood stars and director of artistry, MAC India, made up an Indian woman’s face, he had to mix two or more foundations for the perfect shade. It wasn’t a bother for him, but he sensed it might be for busy women. “When I worked directly with customers, I realized the need to suggest to MAC a few shades of concealers and foundations for Indian skin,” he says.
Every woman Contractor met was trying to find a quick fix. He also learnt that most women didn’t want their foundation to show. “If the base is close to your natural skin colour, it looks like almost nothing,” he says. He pitched to MAC the need for foundations and concealers with golden undertones. The result is four shades each of the brand’s Studio Fix Liquid and Powder formulations, and Select Cover Concealer.
Contractor explains that most Indians have less pink and more ochre in their skin colour, so shades with golden undertones are more suitable. Use his tips to find your match: “The ideal way to find a concealer is to try it on areas you need to conceal on your face, and not on the back of your wrist. If your problem is dark circles, then go with clean moisturized skin and try out various shades of concealers. The criteria should be to cover as much as possible without caking it up, and getting as close as possible to your own skin colour. Foundation should match your neck so that you don’t have to wear body make-up.”
At MAC stores in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi. Prices range from Rs920 to Rs1,580
This year, Hermès is celebrating all things Indian. The smell of the earth after the rain is one of nature’s most distinctive and potent scents, and has inspired the French luxury house to try and recreate and bottle this fragrance. Un Jardin Aprés La Mousson, or a garden after the monsoon, is perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena’s interpretation of the backwaters of Kerala in the rains. Hints of spices, ginger lemonade, vetiver, moist greenery and grassy sap make the perfume vegetal, floral and spicy all at once. Go on, breathe in.
At the Hermès boutique in The Oberoi, Dr Zakir Hussain Marg, New Delhi, Rs5,550 for 100ml
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First Published: Sat, Jun 28 2008. 12 05 AM IST