Just in time with America’s newest obsession with India, thanks Slumdog Millionaire, there is Givenchy’s Maharani Spring 2009 collection. It is inspired by the “sensual and refined beauty of Indian women”. Wow, that isn’t generalizing. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that Indian women deserved to be in the spotlight, Indians do in general. Especially Indian Americans who make up a large population in the U.S. and who are rarely seen in the media. India is a very “exotic” place to most Americans. They mainly think of spicy food and hot Bollywood babes. But, generalizing groups is always a very dangerous practice. Creating looks on a “culture’s ornate clothing and makeup” is a bit generalizing. But, at least it is a bit positive. I mean what country doesn’t want to be known for its beautiful women? I’m sure most want to be known for their great values and minds, but hey this is a makeup/fashion company we are talking about here! We’re selling an image only. Lancome did the India thing this past fall. I liked Lancome’s ad because it had a lovely lady of color. Plus the bronzes and oranges together were lovely. I guess some almost positive press is better than none.

FACE: There are two Sari Glow Iridescent Blushes. There is Maharani Orange which is a golden peach glow and Maharani Pink which is a pink glow. Both retail for $42. There are two Prismissime Eye and Face Compacts. There is one in Maharani Apricots. It is filled with nine bronzy browns, warm tans, and perfect peaches. There is Maharani Pinks filled with nine summer tans, pinks, and taupes. Both retail for $53. I do like both of these because they are multi-functional and the possibilities are endless.

EYES: There is a Magic Kahal Eye Pencil in Black. This is a super dark and thick black pencil. It retails for $21.50. There are two Precious Sari Glittering Eyeshadow. These are gel/cream shadows that pair nicely with bold lips. There is Maharani Silver and Maharani Gold. These retail for $26.

LIPS: There are two Rouge Interdit Satin Lipsticks. There is Maharani Rose which is a deep but bright pink and Maharani Henna which is a deep brick red. These go for $27 and have lovely packaging.

Overall the collection is a “hot” and “spicy” with magentas and corals. It is pretty enough. I like light, sheer metallic eyes with bold lips. That is a look I usually go for in the summer. However, I think the looks could of had a better ad campaign. There is something for both warm and cool skins. Everything is housed in ultra luxury Givenchy packaging. It’s pretty but expensive. And it kills me that the company is idolizing Indian women and I am sure that they don’t even offer a foundation, concealer, or powder in a shade that will suit most Indian ladies.

I am obsessed with this stuff! It is a steal and it is amazing. Dabur’s Jasmine Hair Oil retails for about $4.95 for 200ml of fragrant jasmine oil. This stuff makes me smile like the babe on the packaging.

The oil is jammed packed with jasmine flower essence. It is like buying a pure single note perfume oil. It is very “tangy” and powerful like a good jasmine. This oil is meant to be used on the hair. You apply it and leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour and rinse out with shampoo. I have done this. Your hair will smell amazing. Forget all of that expensive crap (I’m talking about you Blandi) that smells like jasmine, honeysuckle or whatever. This is the real deal. It leaves my hair so smooth and soft. I have long hair and it needs that extra care. However, what I normally do with this stuff is use it as a body oil after the shower. It leaves my entire body fragrant and well moisturized. I used to use Africa’s Hot Six Oil (don’t say it wrong, it sounds really bad..) but I love the fragrance of this Dabur so much. It leaves my body delicately scented with jasmine, one of my all time favorite scents. A little of this product goes a long way and the price can’t be beat. It can be purchased at most International Markets or Indian spice shops or on smallflower.com.

Jasmine worn in the hair.

I can’t get my hands on enough of this stuff. This is the best soap in the world. I am a huge fan of Mysore Sandal Soap. It is heavily scented with sandal oil. I have no idea how they can put so much fragrance oil in this soap for this price. It leaves your skin scented all day with the heavenly scent of sandal. It leaves your whole house smelling wonderful. It is like a sandalwood bomb went off. It blends so well with the other fragrances that I wear. In fact I wish I could get this in an EDP. It has Prada beat.

This soap is a combo of glycerin and 100% sandalwood oil. It leaves the skin feeling smooth and moisturized. Plus, have I mentioned the amazing scent? It is known to relieve rashes and dryness. I use it after shaving my legs and I have no icky rash.

The packaging is adorable and you can smell the box a mile away. It is the highest quality product out there for the money. No joke. I flirt with lots of other products but I keep coming back to this. It can’t be beat. Oh, and dudes love it. It is intoxicating. Plus, I think it smells wonderful on dudes. It mixes well with manliness.

It retails for $2.25 to $3.00 depending on the size. It is a “soft” soap so it will “melt” fairly quickly in the shower. Maybe keep it somewhere else. I’ve thought about buying a bar to put in my lingerie drawer. I want everything I own to smell this good. It is available at most International Markets and Indian spice markets or smallflower.com. Beware, I am going to buy all of this up, relabel it and sell it for $15 a bar. Suckers.