When multifaceted star, Deepika Padukone, launched her self-care brand, our complexions have been quivering in anticipation ever since. Could we feel her essence as we massaged the products into our skin?
By: Tejashee Kashyap
Posted on: April 17, 2023
Celebrities have been associated with beauty for as long as we can remember. They were the original influencers (before the advent of Instagram and social media stars). But now, we are living in the age of celebrity beauty brands. In particular, the last few years have seen an unprecedented rise in makeup, skin-care, and hair-care brands founded by famous folks who couldn't resist the lure of beauty entrepreneurship.
Haus Laboratories by Lady Gaga, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez and closer home, there’s KayBeauty by Katrina Kaif, Anomaly by Priyanka Chopra and now, 82°E by Deepika Padukone. Expectations skyrocketed when news broke that Ms. Padukone was launching a skincare range.
When it comes to Ms. Padukone in India, her following and fan worship knows no bounds, which means a lot for 82°E. From afar, however, one may think that the perfect formula for building a beauty product equals fame plus social media (of course, money!). But given how savvy consumers are nowadays, and the increasingly overcrowded state of the beauty market, it just doesn’t stop there.
Typically, I don't buy into a product based on its star power or aesthetic packaging, but I think that 82°E products are making a splash because Ms. Padukone is trying to provide an authentic, intelligent narrative. But is this the only criterion that makes 82°E click? Or does it, even?
First Impression: 82°E
Having a famous name on the label isn't a solid reason to try a product. But the research, science, and thoughtfulness that goes into them make for it. The idea behind the product curation is to eventually launch products that might become part of your daily self-care rituals.
It was truly a bold step to introduce 82°E with only two products, Ashwagandha Bounce and Patchouli Glow, instead of an all-guns-blazing roster collection. The later launch of products included a face oil, Bakuchiol Slip; a facewash, Lotus Splash; a toner-serum, Gotu Kola Dew; and a sunscreen, Turmeric Shield.
A quick glance into the products first draws your attention to the interesting choice of words used for the product names, giving a reflection into the product curation - combining Indian ingredients with global standards of skincare. The products are marketed as clean formulations minus parabens, phthalates and sulphates, and are also made in India, making a good case for homegrown beauty products.
A quick glance into the products first draws your attention to the interesting choice of words used for the product names, giving a reflection into the product curation - combining Indian ingredients with global standards of skincare.
Even, the packaging of the products stands out in clean glass cases, giving off a luxurious and minimal vibe - clearly booking a berth in the premium space. There is no mention of ingredients on the packaging of the first two initially launched products. One can look up the website with each ingredient explained in great detail - what they are and why they are used. Since consumers are adopting an almost analytical, research-led approach to their beauty routine - educating themselves at every stage, it becomes inevitable to even mention them on the products for an easy look-up. The packaging is aesthetically pleasing, but significantly heavy, making them difficult to travel with.
While the products have a good feel, this is how they fared when used.
1. Lotus Splash (Cleanser)
Coming off in a tall pink glass bottle, the formula comes in a pump-like dispenser - that easily dispenses the ideal amount of product. A foaming cleanser, it is packed with lotus extract and bioflavonoids. The latter is known to be rich in antioxidants and promote collagen production.
When used, it gives off a gentle foaming action that whisks excess sebum from the face yet doesn’t make it too dry. In spite of this, I did find my skin stretched at times, so it might not be the best buy for those with dry skin. However, I noticed an improvement in the brightness of my complexion after using it for a week.
It hits just the right balance between being mild and gentle, yet with a nice foaming action that makes it feel effective when your skin does start to feel a little oilier (think on a hot summer day).
LF Says: ★★★.5
2. Gotu Kola Dew (Toner-Serum)
Skincare can be a confusing game. With the many steps involved, sometimes the best thing you can do is to keep things simple. That could be why an increasing number of beauty brands are consolidating skincare products into two-in-one hybrids - like toner serums, a category that is growing in popularity and shaping up to be the next ‘it’ product in skincare.
The basic function of a toner is to prep skin for the serums and creams applied after. However, I have found toners to be an unnecessary step of a long routine. And for anyone like me, toner serums are the solutions to go for. And hence, I was definitely looking forward to this latest launch.
The formula glides onto the skin easily and absorbs so quickly that you’ll likely forget you’re wearing anything. But the product takes time to build in, say a week or more. Once you look in the mirror and see plumped-up skin with a healthy glow, you’ll be easily reminded. This all-star serum promises to deliver hydration without leaving a greasy or sticky residue, which makes it suitable for all skin types. The formula is gentle and effective, locking in moisture for hours on end. It has a jelly-like texture that keeps the skin hydrated without stripping it of its natural oils. Besides ample hydration, you can expect a softer, noticeably supple, brilliantly dewy complexion. Moreover, it goes on so smoothly that you can use it as a makeup primer.
With callout ingredients like hydrating niacinamide and gotu kola, this one works to calm and moisturise the skin. It effectively does the work of a toner and serum and really comes in handy when you don't want to spend too much time on your routine. It’s been more than a week that it has been part of my AM-PM routine; just a few drops twice a day is all you need for a plumper, smoother complexion.
LF Says: ★★★★
3. Ashwagandha Bounce (Moisturiser)
Ashwagandha Bounce is quite the star debutant that really stemmed the quality of the entire brand. This clever potion is based on the formulation of ashwagandha and sodium hyaluronate. Ashwagandha, the adaptogen, has been a buzzword in the global wellness industry for years. It also comes with plant-derived squalane and niacinamide. If you’re already a skincare enthusiast, you know their importance in improving several skin conditions related to hydration and retaining moisture.
I have used it as part of my AM and PM routine and it’s that one product from their portfolio that I would really recommend buying. Firstly, it has a non-greasy and lightweight texture - perfect for oily and combination skin. Applying it feels like a refreshing splash of water on your face - and effective, and I love how it left my skin looking dewy but not greasy. It absorbs quickly and doesn't pill or flake, so there is no disruption if you apply makeup over it. I continued to enjoy how it felt on my skin during the day and at night. Topped over the toner-serum, it was soothing to apply to my combination skin.
Ashwagandha Bounce might not be the most budget-friendly moisturiser - but considering that a little of the product goes a long way, it's a great value. The hype for this product is real - coming with long-time hydration and a glow.
LF Says: ★★★★
4. Patchouli Glow (Sunscreen)
The Patchouli Glow sunscreen comes with SPF 40 broad spectrum PA+++ and provides protection from the harmful radiation of the sun in addition to protecting the skin’s barrier by combining Patchouli leaf extract with ceramides. Being an oil-based one, it’s more suitable for dry and cracked skin. The sunscreen is also reef-safe with no oxybenzone and octinoxate.
I had a fairly better experience with this product, despite receiving a lot of flake on the Internet. Having a combination skin type, the oil-based formula left a moisturising effect. It did not leave my skin looking and feeling greasier after application. However, it does take some time to absorb, giving in a dewy, nourished shine a good face oil generally gives you. Comfort-wise, I prefer wearing this indoors owing to its warmth. But, I am yet to see how this product fares in soaring high summer temperatures. Despite that, it didn't feel like expectations were met for a sunscreen priced at Rs. 1,800.
Fragrances, which are usually irritants to sensitive skin, are a big no. But these sunscreen drops are highly fragranced. Also, given the fact that sunscreens must be applied multiple times throughout the day, this formula only sits on one another, creating a cake of oily layers.
LF Says: ★★★
No one wants to feel like they’ve overspent on a product that doesn’t deliver what it promises. The biggest point of contention across this collection is that most products have an added scent. I don't really mind as my skin isn't very reactive, but I completely understand why it bothers other people.
Despite some products requiring further note-taking, some have managed to match the brand's high buzz. The newly-launched products certainly seem to meet up the expectations and will they continue to do so? Only time will tell!