What with all the new products, store launches and international brands landing in the country, India has had an extremely beauty-filled 2018. We put together the brightest, best and most beautiful moments that we fell in love with this year.
Huda Beauty comes to India, brought to you by Nykaa
Image: Adam Browninghill
When Nykaa came in a few years ago, it shook up the beauty landscape in the country. By not only making online beauty shopping possible, but also bringing cool, new international brands to India, Nykaa made millions of women incredibly happy—including us, especially when they brought Huda Beauty. Kattan’s makeup is as colourful as her personality and as hardworking as she is. Her 3D highlighter palette, Desert Dusk eyeshadow palette and those iconic faux lashesare some of the highlights that made 2018 memorable.
Niche perfumery boutiques, Scentido and Maison des Parfums, open up
Two niche scent spaces threw their doors open this year, further adding to our dilemmas of choosing the perfect perfume. But we can’t really complain, considering all the exciting brands they offer and because they elevated the experience of scent shopping in India. Located around the picturesque Flora Fountain in South Mumbai, Scentido features the most gorgeous art deco interiors and houses brands like Roja Dove, Escentric Molecules Berdoues and Gabriella Chieffo. Maison des Parfums, on the other hand, has a swanky space at the Palladium Mall, and sources artisanal perfumes from around the globe. On the menu are brands like Bond No 9, Annick Goutal and Jean Patou, amongst many more.
All the beauty product launches that won in 2018
Forest Essentials sheet masks
The India-proud brand took our obsession with sheet masks a few notches higher with their gorgeous take on the K beauty staple. The three variants, Tejasvi, Ojas and Sundari, are made from organic biodegradable organic cotton and infused with time honoured Ayurvedicingredients to target uneven skin texture, pigmentation and dehydration. My favourite, Tejasvi, is an extension of the brand’s iconic Tejasvi emulsion, and comes soaked with turmeric, saffron, mulethi, arnica, olive and Nagkesar to drench your skin in intense moisture. The scent is incredibly gorgeous and spa-like. 20 minutes is all you need to put your dry, flaky, lacklustre skin to bed.
Dame Essentials’ silk scrunchies
Were hair ties in need of a desperate update? Yes, as demonstrated by Dame Essentials. The brand reinvented the good ol’ scrunchie and gave it a well-deserved face lift this year by wrapping them in pure, scrumptious mulberry silk. The scrunchie does its job of holding hairup, but what’s amazing is that it does so without leaving any annoying dents. The silk feels incredibly gentle on the mane, and I like that it doesn’t snag and take a few of my strands away when I take it off. The colour palette—from a light champagne and a deep navy to a jet black—is super chic and goes with everything you wear. With one in stashed in every corner—I have one in my bag and two at my bedside—I’m calling this an essential to a good hair day.
O.P.I Gel Nail colours
Raise your hand if you’ve ever told your manicurist, “I want Russian Navy”, when what you really meant was a deep, dark blue. We’ve always loved OPI, whether it’s for their eye-catching iterations of every colour family or for their cute, quirky monikers, but this love changed into a full-blown obsession this year with their latest launch—the gel colours. From brights to pastels to glitters, the shade choice is staggering—I took 32 minutes to arrive at the nude I wanted. The finish is slick and shiny and the polish stayed chip-free for over three weeks, which is when I had to get them removed with a heavy heart. What did we do before this launch?
The Italian fashion house’s new floral scent hits all the right notes. The heady voluptuous floral combines Jasmine Sambac, Bulgarian Rose, lily of the valley, musk and tuberose, and opens on a delicate note on skin. A few seconds later, Gucci Bloom bursts into a full-bodied, flower explosion and envelops your senses into a warm embrace, courtesy musk and sandalwood. The dry down is demure and powdery, and the scent lightly lingers all day. It is a scent hug you deserve!
Olaplex No 4 & 5
Two new family members joined the Olaplex family this year. No 4 is a luxuriously lathering shampoo and No 5 is a velvety conditioner—together they make hair stronger from within and softer from the outside, thanks to ingredients like acetic acid, acai berry, banana extracts, and biotin. I love that the shampoo is creamy but doesn’t leave the hair tacky or greasy. The conditioner is rich, almost feels like a mask, and makes you feel like you’ve just slapped on tons of moisturiser on your strands.
Benefit Bad Gal Mascara
This one was a real eye opener. Made of aero particles, one of the lightest materials in the world, the Bad Gal Lash formula separates and lengthens your lashes until they are almost touching the sky. For someone who already has good lashes (touchwood!), two coats of this had people wondering if I had faux ones on. I love that this mascara fattens up my lashes and gives them a real-looking sheen. What’s more, the lashes didn’t lose their curl even after 8+ hours, and not once did I notice a clump or a smudge. You’ll get all the #fringebenefits with this one!
This looks like a tiny Roomba-like device at first glance, but take it for a ride or two and your skin will thank you for it. Foreo UFO (short for Ur Future Obsession) Smart Mask Treatment elevates the basic ritual of masking and techs it up a few notches by packing in LED light, cryo and thermo therapy, and T-Sonic pulsations. All you have to do is snap a circular sheet mask onto the device and give it 90 seconds. The LED light works like magic, and combined with the nourishing ingredients in the masks, the gadget brightens, tightens and recharges tired muscles. It all felt very high-tech and futuristic, straight out of a Spielberg movie. I came out looking all fresh-faced and glowy, hot off a facial—only this one was in the comfort of my own bathroom.
Twilly d’ Hermes Le Bain
Who would have thought that a combination of ginger, tuberose and sandalwood made for a breathtaking fragrance. Perfumer Christine Nagel did, and promptly bottled these in the cutest bottle she could find, complete with a glossy black hat and a colourful Hermes scarf around the neck. This year, she distilled the addictive scent into a bath collection and made our bath ritual something to look forward to. There’s a shower cream, body balm, soap, lotion and shower cream to choose from—go ahead and spoil yourself silly.