My trip to India has been filled with surprises – Mr Lubz and I have been surprising family members by showing up out of the blue. We haven’t spent much time doing anything other than driving to people’s houses to surprise them.
One of the places we visited was my dad, who lives in Kochi. Kochi is the urban city where you see the old and the new side by side – sometimes, they clash (especially when it comes to cultural values) but increasingly, the locals are generally accepting of the modern ways of doing things. It’s probably because a lot of people in Kochi are expats or run a business and have experienced life outside of Kerala.
From a shopping perspective, one of the big changes I’ve seen (apart from the metro that’s currently under construction) is the Lulu mall in Kochi. It’s been built by the Lulu group (a retail giant in the Middle East) and houses a combination of Indian as well as International brands – from Peter England and Fabindia to Nautica and The Body Shop. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of malls in Kochi, but this particular one is one of its kind especially in Kerala.
Of course, wandering into a shopping mall, my spidey senses were tingling. I definitely wanted to check out the makeup section. It would be a crime not to!
And I found a gem! A tiny little store tucked away in between two giant retail shops. It was so unassuming that I would have literally walked past it without noticing if I weren’t on the lookout for the store. I walked in and was greeted with a large selection of lipsticks and nail polishes at the front. The decor was minimalistic and functional yet inviting and artsy.
The first thing that caught my eye was the watercolour blush and I was immediately drawn into swatching everything in sight! There was something for everyone – Kohl liners, mascaras, lipsticks galore, nail polishes, cream blushes, cream shadows – you name it!
The liners had me especially impressed as they were insanely pigmented and creamy yet long lasting – the swatches on the back of my hand didn’t rub off without a cotton round soaked in micellar water. Some of the shades actually reminded me of the Urban Decay Perversion liners.
And of course, I couldn’t just walk out of the store empty handed – it would be considered rude to do so (#fomo). Here’s what I grabbed:
- Just Smoky Kajal in Just Blue (a black blue shade that has a cobalt undertone to it) – INR 650 / AUD 12.80
- Just Smoky Kajal in Just Teal – INR 650 / AUD 12.80
- I-glide pencil in Golden Glam – INR 499 / AUD 9.80
- Luminous Rouge Blush in Luminous Rose (how pretty does it look?!? The lightest shade has a fine shimmer to it) – INR 1200 / AUD 23.75
- Kiss proof lipstain in Haute Latte – INR 900 / AUD 17.80
Colorbar had a promo going on at the time – spend a certain amount and get a choice between a lipstick and a makeup bag free. So I chose lipstick – a Matte Formula in Oh My Magenta.
Swatches above. I was thoroughly surprised and impressed by the quality and pigmentation of the products. The liners are made in Germany, while the liquid lipstick is made in Italy. Even the blush is formulated in Italy. The only thing that was missing from this store were powder eyeshadows and palettes. But with my purchases and a free lipstick at just under AUD 80 all up, I’m not complaining.
For a list of products, prices and store locations, visit the Colorbar website.