You will find some of your favorite British or American beauty products in India, but some will be missing or only available at duty-free in the airport at a much higher rate. I’ve had to learn to swap out brands and products I loved for a similar one available in India.
In reality, it’s not swapping American brands for Indian ones, it’s swapping high-end brands Sephora carries for drug store brands I can probably get at home, but never really tried out.
Some are brands you’ll recognize like Garnier or Herbal Essence. If you’re planning to move to India, my hope is that this will help you know what’s available based off my experiences.
I have another post on this topic (what beauty supplies to pack if you’re moving to India) so check that out as well.
long hair source / braid source
Where to Find International Beauty Products in India
Well, the first great news is that on Flipkart there is an “international beauty section” so this is a great place to start. You can also shop online at amazon.in but I prefer Flipkart. Don’t bother shopping from anywhere international; taxes, customs, and shipping can be expensive and problematic. With Flipkart, you can pay on arrival. Of course in the big cities you can shop in the malls: Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and more have beauty shops carrying all kinds of drugstore brands and shops by Body Shop. For High End, usually you’ll find it at the duty-free in the airports.
Steer clear of the $17 dollar bottles of Bath & Body Works lotion. It’s not worth it! Also, avoid products that say “fairness” or “whitening” they will really lighten your skin. Even deodorants have this.
Good Beauty Products You’ll Find in India
I love Clinique Moisture Surge lotion and try to stock up, but if I run out I replace it with Loreal Paris Hydrafresh Anti Shine Icy Gel which isn’t as good, but it’s the closest consistency lotion I’ve found here. The Olay Moisturizing Lotion isn’t that bad, but I find it a little oily. If you have dry skin, it’s okay.
At home for face wash I use Biore, which you can’t get in India. I stock up on some but do run out eventually. Instead, now I use Neutrogena Deep Clean Foaming Cleanser and Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Face Wash. It isn’t “icey” like the Biore, but works okay.
For a scrub, I also used Biore blackhead remover, and had to swap for Neutrogena Deep Clean Blackhead Scrub. They work just as well but don’t have that “warming” effect.
For a toner, I’ve found one I like here by L’oreal called Hydrafresh. They don’t always have it on Flipkart and they are out at the moment. It’s in a clear blue bottle and you might be able to find it in some shops in big cities.
source / source
For shampoo, I’ve switched from Paul Mitchell to Biolage when it’s in stock on Flipkart or Loreal Paris Professionnel Expert Series or even just Herbal Essences or TRESemme from the supermarket. The water, sea, sun, and such in Goa is bad on the hair! I try not to wash as much and shampoo less often. More and more Biolage are showing up online and ones I love are Matrix Biolage Deep Smoothening, Biolage Color Care Shampoo, and Biolage Conditioner.
I also use Toni & Guy sometimes. At home I love Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, but in India the replacement is UK brand Toni & Guy Salt Spray. It’s all really bad for your hair and dries it out, so I try to use it sparingly on special occasions.
For body lotion, you can get both Bath & Body Works (online only) and Body Shop (online and in malls) but they are pretty over priced. I bring some from home but use Jergens Moisturizer daily.
Deodorant is often spray on here, which I hate. I stock up on dove solid and bring it over with me.
Let’s talk nail polish. At home, I love OPI and Essie. I’ve brought a lot here but when I need a new color I go for Colorbar.
For makeup, I buy it at Sephora in the US and don’t really buy any in India unless I run out. Lakme is good, but you get all the basic brands here. Some I have tried are:
source / source
Instead of the Clinique Chubby Stick, Loreal Paris Glam Shine.
This lipstick partnered with Blake Lively: Loreal Paris Collection Star
Instead of Urban Decay Naked Palete, try Maybelline Diamond Glow Eye Shadow
Instead of MAC liner, I do like the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eye Liner
If you’re moving to India, I hope you’re pleasantly surprised by how many great brands you can get at a decent rate here. I know I was! I still stock up on some items (ok, many…) that I love. I go home once a year, but if you can’t them I hope this list helped you. Enjoy!
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