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’ve been meaning to comment on this for a while. When I first exposed to Lancome’s 2008 Fall Color Story I was so excited. It was so warm and was a great transition of summer into fall. The colors are rich and shimmery and the Poudre Elephant Teint Bronzer is so freak’n cute. I am very happy to see a woman of color as the model and that the actual color story relaunches and displays rich level IV and V skin products in Sable and Seude. So at first impression I was happy and wanted it all. I let a week or two set in and then when I looked at the story again, it seemed boring and like the same ole crap. At the time of looking back, I was sick of golds. I remembered that I am pale and I want to wear sickly dark berry lipstick for fall and I want pewter.  Now, while writing this and looking back I like the collection again and feel it is very mainstream which isn’t so bad. Remember last years gothic inspired one with the toadstool and double liners and witchcrafty compact. I loved that one!

FACE: It features the new Poudre Elephant Teint Bronzer Powder Sun of India in Sunny Manorama. And yes that is its full name. It’s very cute and super shimmery. The India theme is a bit of a rip off of Guerlain’s summer bronzers of this year. But, these look nothing like each other. Frankly, this is too pretty to use and will look nasty after a while because everything is so topical. This is why I have not purchased this.There is a Blush Subtil in Bombay Glow which is a nude shimmer and Shimmer Violet Sunrise which is a shimmery cool violet pink. They’ve introduced Le Base Pro which is an overpriced oil free makeup primer. It’s $42. It’s nice but there are better ones on the market for a better price. Plus, shouldn’t a good foundation not need a primer?

EYES: There’s two new eyeshadow quads in Lotus Splendor which features the warm shimmery golds, berry, white highlighter and smoky black. There’s the cool Secrets of Benghal which is berry inspired. Both are in a shiny gold compact that will surely flake and look gross after awhile in the makeup bag.There are Le Crayon Khol Kajal in Amber Night- a rich shimmery amber, India Ink- a deep blue-ish black, and Smoky Henna – a smoky forest green. These are very nice in my opinion and should be permanent.

LIPS: There are the Colour Fever Lipsticks in Jaipur Spice – a creamy gold, Brickhouse – a rich pure brick red, and Star of India – a mucky wearable berry.  The Juicy Tubes Maharani Jewels are pretty but the new packaging resembles that of Global Goddess which is now sold at Victoria’s Secret. And I hate Victoria’s Secret. There’s Autumn Jasmine – a sweet rose, Bengali Gaze- a beautiful burgundy that is more my speed, Guava Enchantment – a delicious coral, Ginger Palace – the mandatory nude, and Mango Mystere – a rich warm red. They’ve relaunched Le Lipstique in Bronzelle, the best shade in the universe, and launched Star of India which is a little more reddish than the lipstick.

NAILS: They’ve introduced two new Vernis Magnetic which I am sure that each counter only got like two of each shade. There’s Cinnamon Plum – a perfect brown-ish red plum for fall and Saffron Rose – a sweet rose.

Overall, I approve. It’s kind of Jungle Booky and I try to ignore that. I’m just happy it isn’t Euro-centric like everything else in the media is.