1. L'Oreal's Tecni Art Spiral Splendour control cream, ₹529.
"I never know how to handle my hair or what my hair type is. It's dry, curly and not exactly voluminous. All of this with an oily scalp ensures that my hair is generally confused. I was always told to tie my hair up because of how frizzy it tends to get. I have never liked straightening my hair either because I am very proud of my curls.
A hairdresser suggested that I get a hair cream that I can use just after a shower, but none have been able to cater to my specific hair type till this one. Not only does it settle my hair down, it also defines my curls a lot more than usual and gives my hair some amount of bounce. I didn't even need too much of it even as my hair grew out because just a small blob manages to spread pretty well on the hair."
– Sonia Thomas, Social News Reporter.
2. Diana Of London Absolute Stay Compact Powder in Golden Fawn, ₹536.
"I've always had a round, chubby face and no matter what I do, my face never changes. Which is why I was soooo excited when contouring came along. But then I remembered that I'm really bad at makeup and hate putting foundation and concealer on my face so that was that. Also it's craaaazy how difficult it is to get a reasonably priced contouring palette in Mumbai.
So I bought the darkest compact I could find. And it was super tough. I went to several drugstores and none of the usual brands (looking at you Maybelline, Street Wear, ColorBar) had even one shade darker than my skin tone. I guess darker skinned people just HAVE to have enough money for MAC if they happen to want some makeup.
Anyway, I apply it where you'd generally contour (under cheekbones, sides of the nose, under the lower lip and under the chin) and quickly blend with the compact applicator. It's not too noticeable, but in my head it makes me look less like a baby and more like a chiseled badass."
– Nirali Shah, Senior Editor.
3. Street Wear Color Rich Ultra Moist Lip Color in Riveting Rouge, ₹220.
"Just like a fabulous pair of shoes, there's nothing a great lipstick can't fix. Out of all the beauty products out there, lipstick is my favourite. It's the only thing I wear on my face. There are days when I don't wear any and people ask me if I am ill.
My favourite lipstick is Street Wear's Riveting Rouge. The texture of lipstick is a combination of matte and moisturiser so you don't need to apply lip balm. It's an intense shade of red which goes nicely with my skin tone. It is smooth with a good amount of shine making it a total pleasure to apply. Apart from that it smells like vanilla and that makes it a real winner. It's affordable, lasts for a long time and smells really nice."
– Akshita Bhatkar, Video Intern.
4. Lakme Eyeconic Kajal, ₹210.
"This really attractive friend of mine used to wear kajal religiously. And as an innocuous stupid child, laden with the desire to look pretty like the other attractive girls, I started aping her. At first it was quite a disaster because I would always go overboard and look like a sleep-deprived panda. But over the years I have figured out how good kajal looks on me.
I am not too big on using makeup or cosmetics but whenever I feel like dressing up, I definitely put kajal. I think my eyes look more defined when I wear it. And I feel pretty when I wear kajal. One thing I cannot deal with though is smudging. That's why Lakme Eyeconic is my fav because it lasts for super long. Unlike other kajals, this one genuinely doesn't smudge all day."
– Srishti Dixit, Bollywood/Celebrity Writer.
5. The Body Shop All In One Blusher, ₹795.
"I moved from Chandigarh to Mumbai recently and the change has wreaked havoc on my skin. I can feel the pollution and humidity and heat slowly melting my skin into a mess. The heat makes it impossible to put foundation so I'm stuck in a bad skin cycle.
This blush is the only beauty product that I can use daily. It highlights my cheek bones in a very subtle way and gives them a natural glow. It recreates the little bit of colour that my hometown naturally gave me. The colour goes well with my light-medium skin tone (also it makes me look wayyy cuter than I already am haha)."
– Arundhati Dahiya, Editorial Assistant.
6. MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC 42, ₹2,290.
"When I lived in New York, I used to put on a full face of makeup. Concealer, liquid foundation, the works. But all that went out the window when I moved to Mumbai. My current makeup looks include "The Sweaty UpperLip", "Underboob Sweat" and "I Didn't Even Know This Body Part Could Sweat."
Now, I just use this MAC compact powder to deal with the oiliness. It instantly mattifies my skin and somehow makes me feel less hot. A quick swipe three times a day is all I need to get ready for work, meeting or parties.
I would say that the price is pretty steep but as someone with my skin tone it's suuuuper tough to find a cheaper, good quality alternative. Before, I could walk into a CVS and get something for $5 that would last me two years. I thought it would be even easier to get something for my colour in India but boy, was I wrong."
– Rega Jha, Editor-In-Chief, BuzzFeed India.