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5 Must-Have Indian Beauty Products

By Mehak Sagar, 24, India, Global Contributor

Mehak is 24-years old and a number-crunching economist from India. When she’s not analyzing data, she’s analyzing beauty, which is where her real passion lies. She loves blush and the color peach, and together, the two give her unparalleled happiness (hence her blog, Peaches and Blush). Aside from beauty, she loves food, shoes, traveling, dancing, and painting. She has an unhealthy obsession with chocolate cookies, lip balms, her three-year-old niece, and planning her upcoming wedding. Mehak lives with a joint family, which means 13 people in a single house, but she says it just means there is more makeup to go around!

Colorbar Nail Lacquers

5 Must-Have Indian Beauty Products

Being an Indian beauty-holic has never been so much fun! While we still fret over the lack of international brands here and how MAC expects us to ‘Surf, Baby’ in the middle of fall, our local Indian beauty brands are stepping up their game to feed our never-ending appetite for the latest and greatest in makeup!  These are five products from local Indian beauty brands that you should try if you can!

Colorbar Nail Lacquers | Until two years ago, nail polish for Indian brands meant varying shades of either pink or red and all in pearl finishes. Colorbar was the first brand to step out of the comfort zone and give us emerald greens, oranges, duochromes, neons, and sparkly, metallic finishes. The best part is that each bottle costs less than $3, does not chip, and goes on super smoothly! I have my fingers crossed that–soon–we will be getting our first real glitter polish from this brand, too!

Lakme Earth Rose Trio Blush | Dusty pink, sandy beige, and warm caramel all swirl together to make Lakme Earth Rose Trio Blush the perfect handbag accessory. The colors give a warm and earthy natural-looking flush, and you can go deeper or lighter depending on where you dip your brush in. It is also one of those products that looks great on almost all skin tones.

Colorbar I-Glide Eye Pencils | Colorbar is a spanking new entrant into the Indian beauty sScene. Their I-Glide Eye Pencils have the dramatic finish of liquid eyeliner with the convenience of a pencil. These are super soft and creamy, very pigmented, last the entire day, and can give any high end brand a run for their money. Prunella (deep purple), Truffle (shimmery brown), and Jaded (emerald green) are three must-haves for me from this range.

Lakme Black Satin Eye Kohl | If Jack Sparrow were to come to India, I would definitely recommend the Lakme Black Satin Eye Kohl to him. It is intensely black, soft, slightly smudgy with a long wear time, and whether or not you are a pirate, it looks great lined on the lower rim for that soft, smokey look.

Forest Essentials Cold Pressed Oils | Rubbing oil all over your face might sound like a crazy thing to do, but the only thing crazy about Forest Essentials Cold Pressed Sesame Oil is how insanely good it feels on skin. Not only is it the most effective makeup remover I have used so far, but it can be used instead of your night cream, because it moisturizes the skin without leaving it feeling oily and greasy.

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Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner
Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner ($24.00 for 0.02 oz.) is described as a “dark brown” and “golden chocolate.” Why a brand comes out with a limited edition eyeliner formula will never make sense to me, but Bobbi Brown’s done it this season with a dual-ended eyeliner that’s long-wearing, pigmented, and silky smooth. One shade is designed to brighten while the other to define.

  • Chocolate is a dark chocolate brown with warm, red undertones. It’s fairly opaque in a single go, but it delivers full color coverage with two passes. It’s similar to MAC Brown Border and Chanel Brun-Teak.
  • Bronze is a medium-dark coppery brown with flecks of bronze and copper shimmer. It’s nearly opaque in one pass. It’s similar to Urban Decay Bourbon, but this has a redder base. Chanel Brun-Cuivre seems similar.

I’m totally peeved these are limited edition, because the formula on these is excellent! These are easily some of the softest eyeliners I’ve ever come across, but here’s where they excel: they’re actually long-wearing. Typically, the creamier the eyeliner, the less likely it is to actually remain on the lash line by the end of the day. Bobbi Brown’s new and limited edition dual-ended eyeliners stay put extraordinarily well but still have that ultra creamy, oh-so-soft texture that makes application dreamy. These glide on like butter, feel like silk on, and don’t budge, smudge, or migrate.

Besides the limited edition nature of the eyeliner, these are half the size of your average pencil eyeliner. Most pencil eyeliners are 0.04 oz., while this one is only 0.02 oz. Plus, Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Eyeliner (which is 0.04 oz.) is only $20. Up the size (or lower the price) and make these permanent, please!

Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner


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theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette

theBalm Nude 'tude Eyeshadow Palette
theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette

theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette

theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00 for 0.382 oz.) contains twelve eyeshadows inside a slim palette with a dual-ended eyeshadow/liner brush. There are two variations, though both have the same eyeshadows inside–one is “Feeling Naughty” (which is the one pictured in this post) which features nude women with eyeshadows covering various parts, while the other is “Feeling Nice” that has no nude women at all. Each eyeshadow is about 0.032 oz.

  • Sassy is a frosted white with good color payoff and a buttery, smooth texture. It reminded me of MAC Forgery but with a much, much better texture. theBalm Lab Coat is also similar but has a more metallic finish.
  • Stubborn is a light-medium peach with a soft frost finish. It looks lighter swatched than in the pan because of the frosted finish. It’s a frosted version of MAC Nubile. Urban Decay Scratch is pinker.
  • Snobby is a gold shimmered medium-dark yellow. This shade was a bit sheer and dry, yet powdery; it didn’t bind as well as I’ve come to expect from theBalm. It’s a lighter version of Chanel Blazing Gold. It is similar to Urban Decay Eldorado.
  • Stand-offish is a light-medium bronze-shimmered brown with warm, red undertones and a frost-metallic finish. It was smooth and had good color payoff. Urban Decay Spotlight is similar in lightness but is much cooler-toned–way less golden.
  • Selfish is a frosted taupe–it’s brown and gray; very mushroom-like. It was very smooth and easy to work with, plus it had good pigmentation. It’s much warmer and browner compared to Urban Decay Mushroom. It’s more like a frostier version of Bare Escentuals Wanderlust. NARS Grand Palais is a bit warmer. MAC Satin Taupe is redder and darker.
  • Sophisticated is a dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a bronze shimmer. It had nice pigmentation and applied smoothly. It is a bit cooler-toned compared to Urban Decay Darkhorse with less of a gold shimmer/sheen, but they are similar.
  • Sultry is a warmed-up, medium brown with a satiny finish. It has a very soft texture, which makes it easy to blend, but it is just on the edge of being too soft so it can sheer out if you are heavy-handed. It is a little lighter than Urban Decay Buck. Bare Escentuals Namaste is darker and redder. MAC Moleskin is more red-toned. MAC Wedge is a touch darker.
  • Schitzo is a warm, golden bronze-brown with a soft, pearly finish. It’s less than a frost, more than a satin. The texture is very, very smooth with good color payoff. MAC Amber Lights is a shade that gives me a similar vibe in terms of color, but the finish makes them so distinct (plus, Amber Lights has much more copper). MAC Tempting has a darker overall color but similar golden bronze sheen. The brown shade from Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar, actually.
  • Sexy is rich burgundy with hints of red and brown and a matte finish. It has good color payoff (especially for a matte); the texture is a good balance between soft and matte–not too dry that it’s stiff, but not so soft that it’s powdery. MAC Festive Delight is much redder and lighter. Make Up For Ever #131 is less brown.
  • Serious is a medium-dark black with a matte finish. It had surprisingly good pigmentation for a matte black, though it could be more intense–it looks much blacker in the pan than it does swatched out. MAC Carbon is less pigmented/intense. Make Up For Ever #4 is much darker.
  • Silly is a red-tinted brown with flecks of copper sparkle. This shade was the most disappointing in the palette–the payoff was very soft and sheer; it seemed more like a layering shade than something that could stand on its own. This was the only shade I had concerns with fall out. Bobbi Brown Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Palette has a slightly similar shade, though it’s glittery and more ruby-shimmered.
  • Sleek is a dark black-brown with a matte finish. It is more intense than Serious, actually! It had good color payoff and was soft enough to blend but not powdery. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this–I had a lot of darker browns but nothing as dark as this.

It’s packaged in theBalm’s usual cardboard outfit, which makes it lightweight and droppable (I dropped it from four feet over tile and everything was pristine). It has an outer sleeve of thick cardstock that has the exact same design as the actual palette, which can be kept or recycled; it’s kind of like a protector–think the jacket of a hardcover book. Inside, there’s a full-length mirror that spans the inside of the lid, and then below are the twelve eyeshadows and dual-ended brush. The palette has a strong enough magnet that the palette seemed to have no problem staying closed.

Overall, the quality is high and consistent with theBalm’s eyeshadow formula (which is one of my favorites). I only had major issues with Silly, which was much sheerer and drier than any of the other eleven shades, and then very minor issues with the softness (which led to slight sheerness) of Sultry. When applied, the concerns I had about Sultry disappeared, though, while Silly just never quite worked out. The other ten eyeshadows, though, were excellent–soft, smooth, buttery, and pigmented.

This palette is similar in size to Urban Decay’s Naked Eyeshadow Palette, and the theme of nudes/neutrals is similar, but there isn’t much overlap in the shades themselves. This palette is $12 less but each shadow is also less (0.032 oz. vs. 0.05 oz. in the Naked palette), and while you do get a brush in this palette like Naked, you don’t get a miniature-sized primer. Let’s just assume that you really care most about the eyeshadow portion and anything else is a bonus; Naked is $80/oz. while Nude ‘tude is $94/oz. They’re both great deals either way, but Naked is still more bang for your buck; note, of course, if you’re more concerned about total cost (for those who are unlikely to finish an eyeshadow pan), then Nude ‘tude is 25% less at $36.

I think a comparison between the two is valid, but the colors are not the same, so they are still two different palettes more than they are the same. Those who wished there was more color variation, less warm-toned shades, or more matte finishes in the Naked palette might find this one more to their liking.

theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette


Benefit, Clarins, Folica Friends & Family Sales

Benefit is having their Friends & Family sale now through 11/14. Use code LOVEYALL to save 20% off any online order (excludes holiday products).

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Clarins is having their Friends & Family sale now through 11/15. Use code CLARINSFF to save 20% off every order.

Folica is having their Friends & Family sale now through 11/11. Use code FRIENDS25 to save 25% off orders over $50+, plus free shipping. There is also 10% off (no minimum) with code HOLIDAYHAIR, which is good through 11/30.

You can also get cash back through Ebates! 🙂 Beauty.com (6%), Clarins (7%), Folica (5%)

Wow, it’s F&F bonanza, LOL!

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