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Beauty
January 22, 2016

#TheHybridLife: 2 Beauty Bestsellers, 1 Bottle

Text by Aparrna Gupta

Be it a foundation-cum-compact or eye pencils that double up as eyeshadows, multitasking products are the toast of the season!

It took us a year after its international launch to introduce Bobbi Brown’s Intensive Serum Foundation in India, simply because we ran out of stock. It has been a smashing success. This is our star product, which literally blends two of our bestsellers — Intensive Skin Serum and our foundation — in one bottle. Being a mother and a working woman herself, Bobbi appreciates products which multitask as they save time and effort and avoid clutter,” states Eliano Bou Assi, director of artistry and education in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. He was surprised to see Indian patrons queuing up for this serum foundation the very day it was first available in stores. “It seemed as if we were launching the latest Harry Potter book,” he jokes. But how often do you get a foundation with sun protection factor made up of natural ingredients which makes the complexion brighter at the same time? “We have raised the bar. Here is a product that not only protects but treats the skin as well,” says he.

Earlier in the year Lancôme’s innovative Miracle Cushion, an all-in-one liquid compact, was an instant hit, too. With one product performing the task of two or more, women get to declutter their dresser, and save time and money. Aline Belda, marketing director of Lancôme International Asia, tries to decode what women desire. “Portability is a crucial criterion for a make-up product. Thus, the compact foundation is the woman’s carry-anywhere make-up ally but the format makes it difficult to achieve the second criterion: a perfect finish after touch-up. Each time they touch up their make-up they expect the same morning freshness as well as the glow fluid textures offer. UV protection is the third important criterion. Though women demand a sufficient sun protection factor, they also look for a thin, light film which does not feel sticky on the skin. They also expect several skincare benefits.” Bou Assi points out that the maximum time a woman wants to spend on her face in the morning is five minutes. This goes down to two minutes in France. “They want to look beautiful but don’t want to spend hours preening in front of the mirror. They want to reduce conventional make-up steps yet acquire the same result. That’s why brands are coming up with products which make application easier, minimise the dependence on techniques, and advocates textures that blend to save time and effort.”

The boundary between skincare and colour cosmetics is rapidly blurring: cosmetics now promise hydration, anti-ageing benefits and skin tone improvement, while skincare products offer instant coverage. “In the past, we have had lip colours with emollients, tinted moisturisers, and BB and CC creams. The hybrid category isn’t completely new, it has been evolving for some time now before becoming the mega trend it is today,” states Hiroko Watanabe, head of the skincare development and communication team at the Shiseido Research Centre. Phenomenal advances in science and technology have allowed the brands to develop these products successfully.

“Why should a woman choose between a gloss and a balm, creme or matte, an eyeshadow or a liner, foundation or compact: why can’t she have it all?” ponders Lynda Abbas, education director at Estée Lauder. Taking us through the fall line, this Dubai-based trainer explains how each product has multifarious functions. The new Double Wear Makeup discreetly packs liquid foundation which comes up at the push of a button in a compact case. “It’s a ‘lifestyle foundation’. Slide it into your evening clutch or office handbag to touch up or make the easy transition from your office to evening look. It’s my travel companion,” says Abbas, who is constantly on the move, training teams in Europe, Middle East and Africa. She introduces Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion as a ‘liquid lipstick’ (not gloss) infused with jojoba, sunflower and avocado oils. “It glides smoothly on the lips, leaving a delicious creamy sensation. It doesn’t give the sticky feeling of a gloss and the colour you see is the colour you get.” The Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte lipstick saturates lips with long-lasting non-glossy finish, but boasts of a comfortable creamy texture. The eyeshadow monos and trios bring out the best of cream, powder and gel in just one product. “Apply it with a brush for a softer, more translucent finish or with a wet sponge for more depth. It looks like molten metal on the lids.”

“Today a beauty product is not considered luxurious just based on how expensive or exclusive it is. If customers get all they want in one product, then that’s luxury,” states Bou Assi. According to Watanabe, the movement which marries categories or combines formats is a mainstay, considering the high market demand and the ability of the brands to move in this direction. After BB and CC creams, insiders hint towards the entry of DD (Daily Defence) creams. Our take: Any multitasker that makes life simpler is a sure winner!

At the beginning
Although the origin of BB cream is sometimes traced back to Germany in the 1950s, when it was developed to soothe skin that was recovering from surgery, Korea is the source of the current trend. The Korean beauty market is both dynamic and reactive, just like its consumers who are among the world’s most demanding and experimental customers when it comes to cosmetics, not hesitating to try out new products in search of a perfect make-up result imbued with benefits.

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