Modern life in towns and cities has changed drastically due to lifestyle shifts — with rising disposable incomes among the middle and upper-middle class, millennials’ choices are increasingly influenced by a heightened sense of individuality and western culture. Rural lifestyles have also started mirroring urban aspirations, with the focus shifting from homemade remedies to branded products.
The objective of this project was to understand the concept of self in relation to the various aspects of grooming. The research methodology employed a systems-level approach to understanding the relationship between beauty and personal care in the Indian context, the lifestyles of urban Indian women and the crafts of India. Both primary and secondary research methods — through literature review, an online survey, and personal interviews — were used to understand the micro and macro aspects of grooming in relation to the individual, the wider environment and material culture.
The outcomes of this holistic approach, combined with trend analysis, pointed towards a focus on hygiene, natural ingredients, and the emotional connection to Indian grooming rituals. The findings helped shape the design brief: developing grooming kits and accessories for the Indian woman, inspired by the crafts of India.
The design process culminated in the creation of the ‘Ayna’ brand, with its offering of handcrafted products focused on enhancing the experience of shringar. The design concepts —drawing inspiration from Ayurveda and the concept of dincharya — came together as a personal grooming kit. Mysore Rosewood Inlay and Aranmula Kannadi were two of the crafts explored. Select product concepts were prototyped in 1:1 scale through a combination of rapid prototyping technologies and in collaboration with artisans.
Ayurveda, Grooming, Handicrafts, Personal Care, Shringar