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After a tough 2020, most businesses saw a revival, some movement, and an upswing in the first quarter of 2021. To gain an insight into how the beauty business has fared over the past six months, IANSlife caught up with Mrunmay Mehta, Head, Beauty and Luxury Beauty at Amazon India.
As most cities begin curfews and lockdowns once again, will there be a slump or rise in demand for beauty products? What are the beauty trends we can try at home and which grooming tools are a must-have? To get more details., read on:
Q: What has the sale of beauty products on Amazon Beauty been like in the last 6 months? Which products have seen the highest demand?
A: We have observed that customers are looking for ways to stay engaged at home through self-pampering, spending time on grooming, and experimenting with makeup. The eye category has seen maximum acceleration followed by the lips category. The premium beauty business is recovering at a faster pace and continues to accelerate online. The perfume category is also witnessing an increase in demand among customers.
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These categories will continue to accelerate online, given increased customer adoption of online as a buying channel in the new normal we live in. In the last six months, we have witnessed a surge in demand for beauty products such as eye-makeup, matte and transfer-proof lipsticks, skincare, and beauty tools and accessories on our platform.
Q: Bollywood and beauty — what’s the impact and why isn’t Amazon Beauty part of the trajectory?
A: Customers today are inspired by not just Bollywood but in fact a lot more by so many digital platforms, influencers, and social media. Fashion and beauty trends have been influenced by films for the longest time. Even today, this is largely evident in customers across markets including tier-2 and tier-3 cities. In early 2020, we collaborated with Filmfare as the title sponsor of the 65th edition of Filmfare Awards to bring alive the connection between entertainment, fashion, and beauty. Besides, we also created a storefront to leverage the make-up looks of the characters from the ‘Bandish Bandits’ web series on Prime Video.
At Amazon, we also have a large affiliates program, where influencers can host their page on Amazon and direct traffic to it through their channels. Lastly, Amazon overall has multiple channels of customer engagement and acquisition across customer touchpoints such as FoundIt and Fashion Influencer Program, from which we continue to see a rapid increase in our customer base for beauty as well.
Q: What are the biggest beauty trends for 2021?
A: As the world lives with the pandemic, customers are looking to stay engaged at home through self-pampering, spending time on grooming, and experimenting with make-up. The make-up and premium beauty business had taken a momentary pause in March 2020 but has slowly recovered to its pre-Covid performance with the advent of video conference calls. Highlighting some broad trends, we’re witnessing on Amazon Beauty over the past six months:
* Revival of Makeup: With eyes becoming the new lips, within make-up, the eye category has seen maximum acceleration. Brands have quickly aligned themselves to innovate in the lips category by moving from gloss and shine lipsticks to promoting matte (transfer-proof and smudge-proof) lipsticks, tinted lip balms and tint this season, only to stay in line with the new norms– they can be worn with face masks.
* See the Rainbow: There is an emergence of joyful colors, be it on the lips, eyes, or the cheek. While minimalism as a trend continues, products will be used to add a dash of color to the eyes (yellow, blue, pink, etc.)
* Natural Effortless Glam: A naturally glamorous and glowing face has made a comeback. Customers are now doubling down on highlighters and bronzers that offer a glowing face coupled with dramatic lashes and blushed cheeks.
* Clean Beauty: Today, customers are mindful of product ingredients and formulations. With people spending more time and research on their beauty routines, there has been a distinct rise in the adoption of natural, organic, and plant-based skincare and haircare as well as natural makeup products.
* Salon at Home: With customers facing limitations in visiting salons, the focus on professional skincare and haircare products has multiplied. We are seeing a surge in demand for professional brands on Amazon Beauty which were only popular with salons earlier.
Q: How has Amazon Beauty integrated technology on its platform, how has the customer’s approach been towards using it?
A: Amazon Beauty has rolled out a feature called ‘Virtual Try-On (VTO)’, which allows customers to try on color cosmetics virtually. Customers can either use a photograph stored in their phones or one of the pre-loaded model faces or even a live camera (android only at present) to use this feature. The visual nature of this feature allows the user to test color cosmetics and see how it will look on their skin virtually, bridging the gap between the offline and online buying experience and making shopping effortless on Amazon Beauty. Lakhs of customers have tried VTO and we see a higher purchase intent from customers who interact with it.
Q: Skincare being the new make-up, what are the highest selling products currently?
A: During the pandemic, we have observed the epicenter of beauty shift from make-up to skincare. With the limited choice of stepping out and the consequent rise of work from home culture, people began to pay attention to their cleansing, toning, and moisturizing (CTM) regimen more religiously, leading to a double-digit spike on our platform especially within the product range of night creams, sunscreen, face oils and face serums.
Customer’s consumption habits slowly drifted towards products that offer several benefits and uses. They also opted for double duty make-up products like a lip tint, which can be used both on lips and cheeks as a blush, or tinted sunscreens and moisturizers for both SPF protection and light coverage. Beauty tools and accessories too saw a double-digit spike as the demand for products such as makeup tools, facial massager, gua sha stone, and jade roller surged.
Q: 5 must-have beauty products available on Amazon Beauty
A: Amazon Beauty offers India’s widest selection of beauty trends products and brands, ranging from luxury beauty to everyday essentials, attracting new customers every day. We house 30,000 plus brands and 12 lakh plus products for customers to choose from across categories such as skincare, haircare, make-up, fragrance, natural remedies, men’s grooming, among others. Here are 5 must-have beauty essentials for everyday use available on Amazon Beauty:
*Lightweight moisturizers, Mattifying sunscreens, Transfer proof lipsticks, Long-lasting perfumes (IANS/SP)
Prior to the brutal second wave of the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned civil services probationers against developing the despised "babu mindset". He gave the invaluable piece of advice while addressing civil services probies at the well-known Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie via video-conferencing. He also outlined the keystone mantra of "minimum government and maximum governance".
With the recent collapse of the under-construction flyover in Bandra Kurla Complex which injured 14 labourers, it seems like the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got the PM's keystone mantra all wrong. The recent flyover collapse isn't an isolated incident, in fact, a month ago a similarly bemusing incident took place in the eastern part of the suburbs.
On 1st August 2021, the honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri. Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated a flyover in the eastern part of the suburbs. In his inaugural speech, he quipped the BMC to smoothen the rough road surface. The BMC swing into action and the surface of the flyover was swiftly re-worked upon. But, instead of smoothening the pre-existing rough surface, the shoddy repair work added to the problem. To top it all off, the BMC added a barrage of speed breakers and rumbler strips on the bridge.
The shoddy repair work combined with a plethora of speed breakers caused long congestions on the Mankhurd-Ghatkopher stretch, ultimately killing the purpose of building the bridge. Moreover, after numerous accidents of motorbikes skidding on the bridge during the rain and the subsequent death of a rider the bridge was closed for traffic.
The construction of the flyover commenced in February 2016 at an approved cost of ₹500 crores. The project was slated to be delivered in January 2019 but was delayed multiple times. The BMC had also made a design change in the flyover by adding a connector to the Deonar dumping ground due to which the construction cost of the flyover was increased to over ₹700 crore. The flyover was expected to bring relief to the traffic on Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road but instead, it added to the existing traffic woes. On a concluding note, the maximum city of Mumbai runs on barely minimum governance, literally.
Keywords: Mumbai, Narendra Modi, Civil Services, Governance.
Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.
The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:
#1: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. In addition to three high-altitude passes and five river valley crossings, this is the only trip in the Himalayas that includes seven alpine lakes, each of which is a stunning shade of green, blue, or turquoise. The extravagance is limitless and breathtakingly stunning every day: infinite blue sky, a larger-than-life backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, colourful meadows overflowing with wildflowers, river crossings are just a few examples of what you will encounter during the trek.
You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. | Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash
#2: Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora Trek: The Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora trek is a one-of-a-kind experience that provides a glimpse into Kashmir's undiscovered regions. Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey that is the perfect experience for anyone looking to get away from the frantic tourist rush. This trek is a fascinating journey that allows nature enthusiasts to bask in the splendour of nature's grandeur. The trek goes over many high mountain passes, some as high as 4000 metres in elevation. The hiking route, in addition to providing breathtaking views of the magnificent Vishansar Lake, provides visitors with the chance to see more than 50 alpine lakes.
Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey. | Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Top 10 Beautiful Sights To VIsit In Kashmir
#3: Tral-Narastan-Marsar Trek: The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. The hiking trail passes past a waving saffron field, beautiful meadows, and several streams. The path also crosses the Dachigam National Park, where there is an opportunity to see various animal species. Trekkers may take in spectacular views of the high mountains running parallel to them as they cut and pass through Narastan, a Hindu pilgrimage place.
The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. | Wikimedia Commons
#4: Chhatargul-Mahlish-Gangabal: The journey, which passes through beautiful locations such as Chattargul, Mahlish, Kolsar, and Trunkul, provides a peek into an utterly uninhabited wilderness of Kashmir. There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one trek into the alpine wilderness. Trekkers can also enjoy fishing in the crystal clear lakes, camping, or just seeing towering snow-capped mountains while on their journey.
There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one treks into the alpine wilderness. | Wikimedia Commons
#5: Kolahoi Base Camp Trek: The Kolahoi Base Camp trek in Kashmir has been famous since the early 1900s and has been a goal for many seasoned hikers from across the world. While Srinagar serves as the beginning point for the trip, it is in Aru Valley that the actual hiking begins. The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. The breathtaking sight of the peaks rising into the sky on the horizon of the Pirpanjal and Karakoram ranges is certainly worth capturing. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley.
The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. | Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere. Trekking through various valleys and peaks while taking in the scenic beauty is something that always calms the heart and provides us with memories that we will remember for a lifetime.
Keywords: Kashmir, Lakes, Alpine, Hiking, Trekking, Treks, Sonamarg, Gangabal, Kolahoi, Chhatargul, Mahlish, Tral, Narastan, Marsar
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.