Monday, August 15, 2011


The August Vogue India Issue celebrates the VOGUE Beauty Awards which were judged by some of the stalwarts in the beauty industry, fashion industry and so called PAGE 3 alike. Some of them not having expertise in any of the beauty fields also had graced the judge's chair with their connections and keenly examined the products giving a thought to the overall appeal of the product.

Since some of the products that won the awards were not launches of 2011, this beauty awards were overall a mish mash of old and new, heard and unheard, mass and class brands and I am not totally convinced with verdict of the judges.


  • Some of the old industry staples were honored in right manner.
  • Products were given priority in all the sections of the society i.e from mass to class.


  • Most of the judges were repeat judges of last year with a conical vision towards understanding of the products and formulas.
  • I wish a cosmeceutical chemist would also have been in the panel to judge the formula and what science went behind it.
  • Most categories were ignored with less emphasis on formula categories like liquid blush Vs Cream blush Vs Powder blush.
  • Some of products won awards when others would have deserved better. For eg. Dior Extase Mascara and YSL Singulier mascara along with MAC Opulash which wasn't even mentioned.

There are many more things to talk from the reader point of view which wont be recognized by Vogue India, unfortunately as they are keen enough to get inspirations from their foreign siblings but forget the verdicts given by their targeted consumers (we readers). Glamour in beauty world of India may have wider horizons but is run by handful of beauty experts who are narrow minded and do not encourage newer talents. Vogue India has never conducted any awards for upcoming makeup brands and makeup artists (most of the retail brands here dont even hire qualified and technically advanced makeup artists) to celebrate beauty talent and the consumers are into supermarket skin care brands with minimal awareness of whats new in the industry.

I know the words are harsh, but this is reality. I have no problems with ongoing beauty scene in India as I keep myself and my blog updated to whatever happens in the international beauty world and even if I don't discuss it openly I am aware of newer lines and updates which sets my vision for makeup and skin care apart from others. So anyone feeling agitated about all this written in my articles should choose to ignore it as they ignore their skin care regimen and beauty rituals. Those who honor will know what I am talking about.

My vision for India's beauty circle is mix of modernist and extremist so I am responsible for my reviews and I love to keep myself updated and the trust that my friends have on me and my suggestions.

Here is a list of the much coveted Vogue Beauty Awards with my inputs in colors and suggestion wherever I felt like giving.

Vogue Beauty Awards 2011- Makeup

Best Concealer- 
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Concealer. Wonderful concealer. I totally agree on this one.

Best Eyeshadow Palette-
 Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette- Surreal Violet & Givenchy 9 Colors Eyeshadw , Tempting Chocolate I totally disagree as these palettes are super expensive, absolutely mediocre textures and color payoff and they look really bad overall. I would have loved to see Lancome, MAC, Chanel, Dior and YSL as major contenders of eyeshadows with my verdict towards the Dior palette.

Best Mascara-
 Loreal Paris Volume Million Lashes I am in a fix over this one as I own one and love it a lot. But what about Bourjois Volumizer, Dior Extase, Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara, MAC Opulash, Shiseido Perfect Mascara and Estee Lauder Double Wear mascara or Sumptous Volume Extreme mascara. they are truly winners in their own ways and I dont believe in the fact that a petty award would not recognize them.

Best Kohl Pencil- 

Lakme 9 to 5 Kohl Ultimate I absolutely disagree as the formula is average and bit scary seeing relation of Lakme and our precious eyes. My contenders would be Chambor, MAC, Inglot, 
Bourjois, Revlon and Clarins.

Best Eyeliner- 
MAC Siahi Fluidline and L'oreal Gel liner They deserve though I never liked Siahi myself. I prefer they should have given awards to what is the Permanent Line of MAC than limited edition. Loreal Carbon black would have been better.

Best Blush- 
Deborah Milano Hi Tech Blush Rose Pesca Never heard of and Deborah is rocking in Delhi with no exposure in Mumbai. Where is MAC gone?? Chanel, Dior, Clinique??

Best Lipstick-
 MAC Mehr Good one but again I support the permanent line.

Best Foundation-
MAC STudio Fix Powder plus foundation NC 43 Better formulas in the market.

Best Lipgloss-
 Bourjois Paris Effet 3D Lip Gloss Brun Rose Academic Beautiful color.

Best Nail Polish- 
Dior  Vernis Gris Montaigne, Chanel Le Vernix Black Pearl I wonder if this award was of any significance owing to limited availability of these colors.

Vogue Beauty Awards 2011-Haircare

Not my expertise so I reserve my comments.

Best Conditioner(Colored or damaged hair) :
 L'oreal Total Repair 5 , Kiehls Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery Pack

Best Conditioner (Normal Hair) : 
Kerastase Chronologiste Essential Restorative Concentrate

Best Shampoo(Colored or Damaged Hair) : 
Loreal Professional Vitamino Color , The Bodyhop Rainforest Radiance Shampoo

Best Shampoo (Normal Hair) :
Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo with Pure Coconut Oil, Garnier Fructis 2 in 1 Shampoo with Nutritive Fuit Oils 

Vogue Beauty Awards 2011-  SKINCARE  

Best make-up remover 
Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel
Estée Lauder  Take It Away Total Makeup Remover
I like my staples, Clinique Take the day off for lids,lashed and lips and Neutrogena Oil free eye makeup remover.

Best moisturiser (day) 
L’Oréal Paris  Hydra Fresh All Day Hydration Aqua- Essence
Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Protective Creme SPF 15
There are really good. But there are better ones to try.

Best moisturiser (night) 
Forest Essentials Night Treatment Cream Sandalwood & Saffron
Neutrogena Light Night Cream
Clinique Youth Surge is an amazing night time moisturizer and so is Givenchy No Surgetics. Since Elizabeth Arden had already won last year I would not feel bad that it didn't get this year.

Best sunscreen 
Lancôme UV Expert High Potency Active Protection SPF 50
Where are my favorites from Clinique. The award winner wouldn't even be my last purchase.

Best serum
La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold
Its tad expensive but I have seen so many actresses and rich ladies using it. Pure Gold is funny as the Gold molecules impart surface radiance without any proven anti-ageing action. I feel funny that even the judges fell for luxury ignoring practicality.

Best eye cream 
REN Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel
Clinique All About Eyes 
The latter is my favorite and I am happy Clinique won an award on this.

Best hyper pigmentation cream/serum 
Elizabeth Arden Prevage White Concentrated Brightening Serum
Kèraskin Esthetics Blanc Harmoniste Whitening Cellular Serum
My contenders would be Clinique Even Better, Estee Lauder Cyberwhite and Lancome Blanc Expert. Elizabeth Arden did not crack the lightening code fairly. Also I wonder how the award winning products were judged, formula? Texture? Result?

Best Moisturiser (Day)
La Prairie Anti-Aging Day Cream SPF 30
Its pathetically expensive anti ageing product with lot of product hype and super luxury texture.

Best moisturiser (Night) 
La Prairie Anti-Aging Night Cream
Chanel Sublimage La Crème
Anti ageing regimen in India aka highly expensive creams. So not true.

Best sunscreen 
Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 50
Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock SPF 30
Good ones.

Best serum
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle and UV Damage Corrector
I am impressed. The result was unbiased.

Best eye cream - Anti ageing
Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Eye Creme
La Prairie Cellular Radiance Eye Cream

Best cellulite buster 
Comfort Zone Body Strategist + Remodeller
Cellulite Visible Remodelling Double Action Cream
Dior Svelte Reversal Body Contouring and Firming Concentrate

Hope you enjoyed this. Lets have our own Blogger's choice awards.

Till then,



  1. hi..great to see a doctor with such expertise in impressed

  2. I don't know who judges these things. They seem to have a limited product knowledge. Also they should have two categories for these things. Budget and high end.

  3. Haaaa...let's have our own blogger choice awards :D Loved the article (absolutely agree with your opinion) and your inputs on the products. MAC seems to revive their limited edition products quite often, so that could be one reason why they included Siahi. I am no skincare expert, but my favorite sunscreen would be from the Clinique Dermawhite and moisturizers would be from Lush and Shiseido. I do want to try the Shiseido Urban Environment some time :)

  4. Hi,

    I am so happy you guys liked the article.We are in an industry that has created a solid cocoon around itself and are not bothered to come out and let others come out too....Its funny that the same people are seen all the time with no experimentation happening...people dont want to take risks and then they complaint "India has lot of talent but we cannot reach for it."

    Bloggers should have their own choice awards....Lets all create a standard format and put the products we like the best.

    Totally agree with Shivani and Rads.........


  5. what an awesome write up Neeraj .... I loved the way you have put your expert opinion on this and am so glad you did this for us :D :D
    def. need blogger choice award

  6. I believe we consumers are the victims of such awards as we follow them blindly.But as bloggers we can make the difference as we are unbiased and we write only what we love.
    People get paid to do such things and we dont.Thats the reason our voices need to be heard too!!

    What say?

  7. yeah I agree with you but there are certain bloggers who dont buy stuff and survive their blogs on free stuff ... what would be their perspective . have you ever thought ??
    I completely agree with you Neeraj as I know how PR runs behind Beauty Editors and sends them free stuff just to make sure their product features in mag. I am totally lost what to say and hope you agree with me as you have seen this so closely.

  8. Rashmi,

    We write becoz we care...for the people who run behind PR.....let them go to hell! there are many of them who dont, so at last majority wins!!

  9. Hi Neeraj,

    I loved your insights on the vogue awards. It's so sad to see people are so biased towards luxury brands. I've tried a ton of those & can't say for sure I've seen a huge improvement in whatever they do!!! Btw, this is something that puzzled me last year too, what is with awarding certain shades like NC43 etc. The formulas are the same right? How does that work? Do you have an idea? I've never been a big fan of studio fix, I agree there are better formulas out there :)


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