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Best of ‘Beauty’: Our top 10 stories from 2020

As Lifestyle Asia India turns two, we look back at our top-performing and best-loved ‘Beauty’ stories from the past year. The Best of ‘Beauty’: Our top 10 stories from 2020 essential list is here.

Why is it expensive: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

What makes a serum so popular that 10 bottles of it are sold every minute despite its super-heavy price tagSkin-changing serums and moisturisers are dimes a dozen in the beauty sphere and each advertised as the next big thing, thanks to influencers, Instagram, and celebrities. But even with ample beauty reviews around, one can see that the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex is a step above every other serum bottle. Read on to know why it hits all the right spots for us. 

Vocal for Local: 12 homegrown Ayurvedic brands you must bookmark today

Beauty is now moving towards sustainability, and with ‘vocal for local’ as our motto of the year, it’s no surprise that Ayurvedic brands are now the centre of attention. India is the land of Ayurveda and our expertise in plant-based. Local ingredients have not just won accolades from the region but also globally. This 5000-year-old science is getting a makeover and adapting itself to modern needs by adding in sunscreen and a balm-to-oil makeup remover to the Ayurvedic kitty. We picked out 12 impressive labels that have made Ayurveda more convenient for new-age millennials. 

Hyperpigmentation is a big skin-care concern in India. Here’s how to tackle it

Patchy skin and darks spots are hardly the kind of skincare concerns that go away with a weekly face mask. And when left untreated for a long time, they simply get worse. Hyperpigmentation is today one of the biggest skincare concerns of Indian women, and often those who have it, don’t fully understand what its treatment should be so that it disappears for good. Delhi-based dermatologist Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder and medical director at ISAAC Luxe, gives us the complete 101 the right treatment for hyperpigmentation for Indian skin.

8 niche perfume labels every fragrance snob must check out

The most discerning perfume lovers will tell you that a scent is an emotion that holds the key to your memories. With such a strong relevance, would you want the fragrance that you pick to be common or distinct? It is this quest for a one-of-a-kind soul scent that is leading to a visible spike in the popularity of niche fragrances that have exclusive price points, artisanal approach (small batches, superior quality and unusual natural ingredients, and higher concentration of perfume extracts), and limited points of sale. We’ve rounded up eight of the best niche perfumes and brands to initiate you into finding your special scent.

New skincare ingredient: Have you tried Niacinamide, the power vitamin? 

It’s hard to pinpoint your skin’s prime years. With younger skin, acne is often your biggest concern and as you get older, loss of elasticity, fine lines, dryness, and wrinkles start to sprout up. This makes using the right skincare even more important. No, that moisturiser you’ve been using since you turned 18 won’t cut it anymore. You’ve matured and so has your skin, and now it needs the goodness of power-packed vitamins and ingredients that can target the signs of ageing. Meet Niacinamide—the skin vitamin that can tackle multiple concerns and give you great skin days.

Interview: We got Paula’s Choice’s Paula Begoun to bust a few beauty myths

Meeting ‘Cosmetics Cop’ Paula Begoun of Paula’s Choice is not a smooth-sailing affair as one would imagine. She makes you a tad uncomfortable for the right reasons. No wonder she was called ‘Cosmetics cop’ by Oprah. Her knowledge about skincare, ingredients, and regimes with a side of common sense can jolt even the most experienced interviewers because this very knowledge can shatter preconceived notions. This is tough love because the industry is in desperate need of common sense that goes beyond marketing gimmicks and overdone spiels, and I had many beauty assumptions shattered to smithereens in 30 minutes of meeting her.

Interview: Celebrity MUA Daniel Martin of Tatcha on mindful skincare

New York-based makeup artist Daniel Martin’s two decades worth of experience speaks of his excellence in the best way possible. He’s worked with makeup legend Pat McGrath, countless A-list celebrities, and was the man behind Meghan Markle’s wedding makeup. He used to be Dior Beauty‘s brand ambassador and has now officially joined the Tatcha family as the brand’s first global director of Artistry and Education. We got the award-winning glow pro to share the skincare tips he’s mastered over the years and values the most.

What to know: Bakuchiol, the all-natural retinoid

There’s nothing this vitamin A derivative cannot do — apart from its anti-ageing benefits, it resolves acne issues and dark spots, helps reduce skin texture issues and boosts hydration. The one caveat to retinol’s domination is that it can be quite a harsh ingredient so those with very sensitive skin tend to react poorly to it. That persistent problem is now a thing of the past with the entry of Bakuchiol, an all-natural alternative to retinol that is steadily revolutionising the skincare mainstream.

Gua Sha, the new self-care tool 

I have to admit there have been more crests than troughs in the world of skincare. While a part of me embraces new technology that promises high results in no time, there is something so appealing about going back to ancient traditions. When it comes to beauty tools, there’s a square-shaped crystal tool doing the rounds: Gua Sha. Not as easy as running a blade on your skin, this ancient Chinese technique is all about chi known as prana in Ayurveda. We spoke to two experts, Dr. Nirupama Parwanda, a cosmetic dermatologist and Dr. Taruna Yadav, Senior Ayurveda Doctor at Forest Essentials, to figure out the true essence of Gua Sha.

Video: What does minimal beauty mean to these stunning ladies in 2020

Minimal beauty is the biggest buzzword in 2020 for many reasons. There is a growing need to curb the excess,  a move towards sustainability, and enough reasons to recreate a more tighter, pared-down routine. We spoke to five women, who in 2020 are defining beauty simplistically. From beauty YouTuber Debasree Banerjee, who wants to go au naturel to stay on the right side of beauty, to one of India’s top models Erika Packard, who is embracing her “flaws” and choosing her makeup accordingly, minimalism is big. Jewellery designer Mrinalini Chandra is looking to stick to basics, celebrity stylist Aastha Sharma wants her regime to be effortless, and singer-songwriter Lisa Mishra is adopting sustainable, mindful, cruelty-free products.


Latha Sunadh
Deputy Editor
When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.