Your guide to today's beauty buzzwords

  • Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2015 14:16 IST
Brave new terms, strange new products, edgy techniques and all you need to get gorgeous today.

Brave new terms, strange new products, edgy techniques and all you need to get gorgeous today.

Activated Charcoal
Don’t look alarmed! Charcoal is gritty and sooty on your body, but oxygen-treated charcoal is said to be a fantastic filter, it’s even prescribed for poisoned patients. It pulls out dirt, impurities and toxins, and can hold several times its own weight, making it a new star ingredient in shampoo, toothpaste, soaps and face masks.
As seen in: L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Charcoal Foam

Box (and bag) subscriptions
The stuff of Indian beauty bloggers’ dreams. Subscribe to get home-delivered monthly packages of sample-sized beauty goodies. Great if you want to try before you splurge and if you get bored halfway through a lipstick or lotion. Available for beauty goods, accessories, and even for men.
As packed by:,,,


The secret of a drag queen’s (and Kim Kardashian’s) glow! Cooking or baking is when you finish applying foundation and concealer and let a heavy dusting of translucent powder sit around the centre of your face for 15 minutes. Your body heat "cooks" the, creating a lit-from-within glow… after you’ve dusted off the powder, of course!

Cushion Compacts
Korea’s answer to foundation that doesn’t cake, blends well, packs coverage and sunscreen and is still thin and lightweight. The compact holds a sponge soaked in the product. You dip your powder puff and pat it on. Cushion blushes and lipsticks are on their way too.
As made by: Laneige, Lancôme, Mirenesse

Dry shampoo
The shortcut to a clean scalp between washes. Comb your locks. Spray or powder the shampoo directly and evenly to the roots. Wait 10 minutes for it to absorb the oil. Bend head forward and brush it all out!
As made by: Batiste, BBlunt and L’Oréal Professionnel

Send your threading lady on vacation. Big, strong, filled-in brows are in. See them on Jacqueline Fernandez in Brothers, or on Cara Delevingne (who made them famous) in Paper Towns.


What Instagram dreams are made of – artful top-shots of your look for the day: clothes, cosmetics, accessories, shoes, even an object that echoes the style. Inspired from food photography, now inspiring Zara clones across the Web!


In your hair… so 1980s! In your makeup… so right now! Gel blushes and foundations blend easier; gel lipsticks are slicker; gel liners last longer; tinted brow gels are hot sellers.

As seen in: Lakmé Absolute Face Stylist foundation and Gel Addict eyeliner, YSL Voile de Blush, Inglot Slim Gel lipstick, Za Total Hydration Amino Mineral gel

The big season for colour, because beauty bloggers and YouTube channels go ape (often literally) with creative looks. MAC released a collection inspired by The Rocky Horror Picture Show last year. Several brands offer limited-edition wild colours (Dolce & Gabbana released green, blue and yellow lipsticks in 2013).

Intense pulsed light
The stuff of salons (and Star Trek) comes home. IPL devices use a frequency of light (different from lasers), to permanently reduce body hair. Best on fair skin and dark hair. Cheer for the IPL!
As seen in: Remington’s i-LIGHT Pro, Gillette’s Venus Naked Skin nails

Aka bubble nails or hump nails. Because why get a dull mani when you can have colourful acrylic claws?

Try them using: Lotus Herbals Colour Dew nail enamels

Konjac sponges
For your face, not for your bartan! Made from the root of the East Asian konjac (CON-yak) plant, these sponges have a bouncy texture, need less product to create lather, and are fine enough for a daily face scrub. Many come with added cleansing clay or charcoal. Soak in warm water to soften and discard after a month.
As made by: The Konjac Sponge Company

Liquid lipstick
It’s creamier, longer lasting, easier to apply, more pigmented and makes matte lips a breeze. What’s not to love about 2014’s biggest lip obsession? Rekha would be proud.
As made by: NYX, Sephora, Rimmel, Shiseido, Laura Geller and Too Faced


Like IPL, chromotherapy and Low Frequency Current Stimulation products are now available for home use. So you can use red-light devices to address wrinkles and brown spots, or blue-light gizmos for acne and redness. Or just to improve your skin’s ability to absorb creams.

As seen in: Pulsaderm’s LED devices and Skin Inc’s Optimiser Voyage


The drumstick plant is the super ingredient of the moment. Its leaves, pod, fruits, sap, seeds, oil, flowers, roots and bark are said to help with everything from acne and hairloss to cholesterol and diabetes.

Find it in: Teas and oils, and a line of products at The Body Shop.

Micellar water

Looks like water and feels like water, but cleanses better than water, soap or even some make-up removers. The 100-year-old French invention is basically tiny molecules of oil suspended in soft water that attract grease, impurities and makeup. No need to rinse use, even!

As made by: Bioderma, La Roche-Posay, Vichy, Biotherm and Avène

It seems like the West has just discovered coconut oil. Celebs are guzzling coconut water, extra-virgin cold-pressed oil is turning up in creams, cleansers and body scrubs. Celebrate the big nut!

Oil pulling
Adding to the West’s oil obsession (dry oils for face, body, hair; cleansing oils, oil serums and masks) is the ayurvedic oral hygiene practice of oil-pulling. Roughly: swill oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, let it pull toxins from teeth and gums, spit it all out, brush. Users have reported headaches, nausea among side effects. Consult your dentist. cleanser

Not quite the stuff you add to laundry. Powder soap formulas require fewer preservatives, alcohol or detergents to make, so they’re easy on even sensitive skin. Mix with water in your palm before use.

As made by: RMK, Kosè, Kama Ayurveda and Bliss

Your wrinkle fighter. The coenzyme Q10 is said to reduce the effects of UV damage, which means fewer wrinkles, more collagen (to plump skin) and there is less cell damage.
Find it in: Creams from Sebamed and Nivea.

Radio frequency
More tech in your beauty routine. Radiowaves are said to help with hair removal, slimming and a host of other beauty concerns.
As seen in: Iluminage Touch, Talika Light X-Slim

Sheet masks
No time to mix up a face pack? The Koreans sympathised! They invented one-time-use sheets soaked in skincare treatments, with holes for eyes, nostrils and mouth. Much less mess! And such fun to Instagram!
As made by: SK-II, Guerlain, The Face Shop, MaskerAide, 3W Clinic

Those who struggled with contouring and highlighting can now breathe easy. Strobing uses just face highlighters and illuminating products on parts of your face that would catch the light of a… strobe (cheekbones, browbones, centre of nose, chin). The look is lighter, soft, radiant and is less likely to go wrong.

Sonic cleansing

Using devices with soundwaves (and your cleanser) to clean your skin deeper so there are fewer breakouts and smoother results. No, you can’t hear them! made by: Clarisonic and Clinique

Tangle teezer
YouTube beauty gurus have been squealing over how this has cut their hair-brushing time in half. The short, flexible bristles clear wet or dry tangles fast, without tugging, pain and hairloss. The writer is a fan too.

Underarm botox
What Hollywood celebs do (in addition to so much else) to survive the red carpet. Botox freezes the muscles so there is no sagging or sweating at awards season.

Brazilian candle therapy for hair that involves passing a lit candle through twisted locks of hair. The twisting makes damaged ends stick out, so they’re easier to burn away, and the heat makes the hair more receptive to conditioning. Models love it, apparently.

The lies we tell on social media, when, in actuality, it takes us (and even the prettiest celebrities) several minutes to look so artfully dishevelled and naturally pretty.

2x, 3x, 4x, 5x
Backlit magnifying mirrors are no longer just for hotel rooms. People are using them to get ready every morning, lest a high-definition camera shows stubble, an un-tweezed chin hair or a foundation streak.
As made by: Tweezerman

Germany’s new beauty brand has had bloggers raving about their brush quality, on-trend colours and low price. (left)

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From HT Brunch, September 6
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