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India Embraces the Fabulous Life

November 2012

By Anoushka Sharma, Delhi

When Sunburn--the electronic music festival that originated on the beaches of Goa six years ago--was slated to take place in Noida, the less glam sister city of Delhi, eyebrows wrinkled. Cynics and critics wrote it off, yet a girlfriend and I packed a rucksack and headed to that day-long party in the far off wilderness of Noida. And Sunburn didn’t disappoint. Headlining DJ Afrojack, Israeli group Astral Projection and local talent Arjun Wagale sent electricity right through the air. We were happily surprised by the beautiful people, the groovy crowd and the incredible lineup. And, apart from Red Bull cans in most hands, there was a free flow of Absolut and Kingfisher-- the three stalls for drinks that were totally packed.

In the last three-four years, international DJs stars who pull in huge money-making crowds-- like Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buren, and David Guetta--made trips to India and played to packed open concerts and night clubs. While rock music has been the common staple in India for decades, electronic music has, until the past few years, been reserved for the underground.

And so much for those saying the crowds would be a bore. Parties and nightclubs are places to see people dressed at their fashion best. And it’s not just dressing slick in a bar-- women of urban India are more glamorous than ever before. No wonder international brands, like Lancome, Mac, Estee Lauder, Chambor and Makeup Forever, all have a presence here. It’s a matter of time before India gets its first Sephora now.

Gone are the days of the small handful of humble, Indian cosmetic brands, like Lakme and Colorbar. In fact, they’ve had to beef up their product lines to keep up with the new Indian woman’s appetite for beauty. It’s not just a one-off safe pink lipstick and kohl pencil. Indian women have new needs now, like volume mascara, plumping lipsticks and bold eye shadows. Women of all ages and socio-economic background are spending big in the beauty industry.

And who may have brought all these trends together? Online shopping, of course. Two years ago, no Indian woman could have imagined she would buy a tailor-made corset, or a favorite perfume online, much less having a professional stylist curate a new wardrobe for her. It’s a time of beautiful, glam people in India, days filled with couch shopping and partying like never before.

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