World Beauty: Makeup Products Inspired by India

The exotic flavour of India influences collections by Chanel, Clarins and Radiant Cosmetics this summer

Chanel’s Métiers d’Art fashion show, Paris-Bombay, was unveiled last December to rave reviews for its elaborate coats, suits and dresses, all inspired by the decadent life of the Maharaja. Now, two gorgeous limited edition makeup pieces, created in tandem with the line, have reached counters: Route des Indes de Chanel, $70, an illuminating golden powder with a Chanel brocade motif from the 1960s, and Chanel Le Vernis in Diwali, $27, a gold nail polish with hints of silver. The collection is available at Holt Renfrew in Toronto and Vancouver.

Chanel is not the only brand to find inspiration in the culture and history of the South Asian country. The influence of India has touched the zeitgeist of fashion and beauty, as several fall 2012 collections — by Rag & Bone, Altuzarra and Naeem Khan — were influenced by Indian fabrics, bindis and body art. Clarins summer makeup line, Enchanted, also tells the story of a “journey to India,” and offers such products as creamy Kohl Kajal eyeliners, $28, vibrant lip balms in Pink Jaipur and Nude Delhi, $27, and a collectable eye palette imprinted with sari patterns, $42.

Radiant Cosmetics, a newly-founded makeup company that donates at least 20 percent of profits to fight human trafficking, has an India Collection this summer as well. The two jewel-toned makeup bags, $14 each, were made for a fair wage by at-risk women in India. An eyeshadow palette is also available for purchase.