A Peek Inside Beauty Blogger Anubha Charan’s Shopping Basket
There was a time when we travelled to shop, when family or friends heading to more glittering shores were handed long lists of perfumes and palettes. So, when a shopping destination started to bring the universe’s top beauty brands right to my doorstep in Mumbai, the world seemed like a more fragrant place.
I am reminded of this when I walk into Palladium, to stock up on my beauty staples before heading off to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Today, there’s nothing in the beauty universe that you can’t buy here. From Sephora and Smashbox to Clinique and Clarins, it’s all one tempting smorgasbord of goodies.
Like Kiehl’s, which is perfectly evocative of the brand’s 165-year-old apothecary heritage. I have been using the Midnight Recovery Concentrate for almost a decade now and the luxurious, lavender-spiked oil never fails to disappoint. It absorbs really quickly, without rubbing off onto the sheets (a prerequisite for my nighttime products) and is perfect for skin that needs some extra nourishment.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that Kiehl’s has great haircare as well. My hair is begging for the Amino Acid shampoo and conditioner, which are silicone-free (so no hair dulling build-up) and contain jojoba and coconut oils, with phyto-peptides for super-shiny tresses.
Kiehl’s is also the place to stock up for the men in my life, so in the basket go three tubes of the Brushless Shave Cream for my father, brother and husband; the Facial Fuel Energising Moisturiser for my father; and the Blue Herbal moisturiser for my brother, who needs its clarifying action for his blackheads and breakouts.
Next up, is the new Clarins flagship store, its chic red-and-white interiors, combined with the lure of Clarins’ makeup’s re-entry into India, providing a siren call too hard to resist.
I bought my first bottle of Clarins Eau Dynamisante at the age of 16 — after convincing my mother that the blend of essential oils and plant extracts made it a skin soothing treatment (which it also does — really!) and not just a really gorgeous fragrance. Ever since, I have always had a bottle on hand for a quick pick-me-up. Late night deadline? Mind-numbingly boring family dinner? Partying till five in the morning? A spritz of this invigorating aroma has come to my rescue in all these situations and more.
Also, in the bag goes the Huile Anti Eau, a detox oil that’s so much easier to use than most body treatments. You splash some onto your body after a bath and then do a quick, cold rinse. No having to rub in the oil or spend time waiting for it to absorb.
Then there are the heavenly Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils. Ultra-hydrating, luxurious and remarkably non-gloopy, these are all I seem to be wearing during the day-lately. They have just the perfect amount of tint: Cheerful but not heavy or over-the-top. I buy ‘Candy’, which adjusts to your individual lip colour for the perfect shade of pink, and is hence the best neutral to wear with just about everything.
I am a sucker for unusual fragrances, which takes me straight to Jo Malone for the Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne, which is basically a bottled version of the English seaside. The crisp wrapping paper, the splash of perfume in your shopping bag, the cream-and-black parcel, all tied up with the most perfect bow…the shopping experience here is itself worth every penny.
Another place that does great packaging? Forest Essentials. Today, I am lured by the new sheet masks. The brand has always been the global pioneer for Ayurvedic formulations, and the sheet masks make it even more on-trend.
There is never going to be a time when I shall be able to leave Forest Essentials without stocking up on some of their Handmade Clear Sugar Soaps, which make the best gifts when travelling overseas.
Back down to L’Occitane, sunshine coloured and softly drenched with lavender, this store is an instant journey back to my summers in Provence. I always have a small tin of the Organic Shea Butter in my purse, to take care of any dry or itchy patches.
It’s now time to play with some make-up! And at Palladium, this means Inglot. This Polish brand is like a makeup funhouse: A sales associate tells me they have 1,500 colours. Whew…I am going to be here awhile!
What I love most about Inglot is the Freedom System, which gives you the flexibility of mixing and matching colours to build your own palettes. I love putting together a compact Freedom System lipstick set, which works brilliantly while on-the-go. I am also lured by the nail polishes, picking out a gorgeous navy blue (#942) and a unicorn-hued glitter (#232). Add in the kohl pencil, and the Freedom System Brow Powder + Wax, and we are done.
How can one leave Palladium without a trip to Sephora, that mecca of temptation? In the basket: Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara, POREfessional primer, and They’re Real Gel Eyeliner Pen; and Burt’s Bees Lipstick in Juniper, whose creamy, all-natural formula makes it feel like a lusciously comfortable lip balm, while the concentrated pigments build up all the way from natural to full-on opaque. And then I quickly rush out again, because such places are a danger to my wallet!
Finally on the way out, I make a quick stop at Chanel for a new lipstick — Rouge Allure in Pirate — just for old times’ sake!