India covers many regions and each one is unique in terms of its climate, ethnic groups and culture. The north, which stretches from the Kashmir to Rajasthan, has the highest consumption of colour cosmetics. Women there have Aryan features and light complexions.
The women from the hot and humid east, with soft, Asian features, take extra special care of their skin even if this region is the poorest from an economic standpoint.
In the south where complexions are darker, the tradition of natural products is highly regarded and hair is given particular attention.
And lastly, a melting pot of different faces characterises the west, where the big cities like Mumbai are located.
The influence of Bollywood stereotypes and westernisation is very evident there.
Did you know ?
1/ Three Indian stars belong to the very private circle of L’Oréal faces: actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai; Freida Pinto who was discovered in the film Slumdog Millionnaire (2008) and more recently, the actress Sonam Kapoor who stars in Bollywood is the new L’Oréal Paris face in India.
These three icons perfectly incarnate ideal Indian beauty: fair complexion, long dark silky hair and big expressive eyes.
2/ The Bindi – or kumkum – is the dot that Indians draw between their eyes.
It is a religious symbol but it can also be used as a mere cosmetic ornament. Coming from the Sanskrit word “bindu” which means “a drop”, the bindi represents a person’s mystical third eye and symbolises good luck.
Traditionally applied with red kum-kum powder, today it is sometimes replaced by stickers of different shapes, sizes and colours.
3/ Each beauty attribute has its importance in India but its order of priority is not the same between men and women, although complexion is still key.
For women: 1. a fair complexion, 2. a blemish-free complexion, 3. an attractive figure, 4. beautiful eyes, 5. long silky hair
For men: 1. an athletic build, 2. a fair complexion, 3. a blemish-free complexion, 4. expressive eyes, 5. strong hair
Source : L’Oreal consumer insight study, 2011