Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Indian brides inspired social media's 'Asoka makeup' trend

Inspired by the 2001 Bollywood film "Asoka," starring Kareena Kapoor, the Asoka makeup trend involves makeup artists, content creators and influencers dancing to the tune of one of the film's songs, "San Sanana," while recreating beauty looks inspired by traditional Indian weddings

Published: May 2, 2024 11:32:42 AM IST
Updated: May 2, 2024 11:54:29 AM IST

Indian brides inspired social media's 'Asoka makeup' trendThe #Asoka hashtag has more than 100,000 posts on TikTok. Image credit: Photography jharnabhagwani / TikTok

If you're a TikTok regular, you've no doubt noticed the rising trend for "Asoka" makeup. Originating in India, it draws its inspiration directly from the traditional look adopted by Indian brides on their wedding day, whether in the choice of clothing or makeup.

Inspired by the 2001 Bollywood film "Asoka," starring Kareena Kapoor, the Asoka makeup trend involves makeup artists, content creators and influencers dancing to the tune of one of the film's songs, "San Sanana," while recreating beauty looks inspired by traditional Indian weddings.

Asoka makeup is a very dramatic makeup look, featuring warm, vibrant tones. The eyes are surrounded by thick black lines, done with kohl or eyeliner, enhanced with thick mascara and warm, vibrant tones (often gold and bronze) on the lids. Eyebrows are thick and showy, while lips are luscious, lined with pencil and finished with gloss or lipstick.

The face is finished with a very light foundation, sometimes even taking a white tinge, accompanied by pink blush and dark contouring lines under the cheekbones, on the forehead and under the jawline.

Behind this trend is Sita Suwarnadwipa, who has over 200,000 followers, and whose video has exceeded 70,000 views on TikTok. However, some videos made later by creators from diverse backgrounds have now surpassed 100 million views, accompanied by tens of millions of likes. The hashtag #Asoka counts over 100,000 posts.

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Creators synchronize their movements with the music to gradually reveal each stage of their makeover, skillfully using their arms and head movements to mark the transitions between the various steps. At the end of the song, influencers unveil their traditional attire, the Sari, a colorful garment that wraps around the bride's waist and up over her shoulder. Adorned with dozens of dangling gold embellishments, this colorful outfit is completed by a matching veil that wraps around the hair and a sparkling jewel that hangs down onto the forehead. Gold jewelry, echoing the garment's details, add a graceful touch to the ensemble, with large necklaces around the neck and multiple bracelets jangling with every movement. Some creators have embraced the trend further, recreating not only the modern bride look, but also the traditional look seen throughout the 2001 film.

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The song "San Sanana," heard on every video, is benefiting from the buzz, racking up 52 million views on YouTube. This figure has been rising steadily since the emergence of the trend on social networks.

A number of influencers have put their own spin on this trend, adapting it to their own cultures. Creators from Thailand, Vietnam and Brazil have incorporated distinctive details reminiscent of their origins into their looks. For example, content creator Chang Nguyen, also known as "Inlil," showcases her take on the look from her native Vietnam. Her viral video has amassed 134.9 million views and 12.2 million likes.