The ancient Indian custom of applying Bindi is very much in vogue even in present times. For, married Hindu women, a bindi on forehead is extremely auspicious as it reflects their suhagin or married status.
Conservative Indian woman still makes use of ages old kumkum or sindoor for making a bindi. In olden days, to get a perfect round shaped bindi, womenfolk made use of a small circular disc or a hollow pie coin. For best results, first a sticky wax paste or Vaseline was applied on the empty space in the disc. This was then covered with kumkum and then the disc was removed. This small technique resulted in perfect round bindis.
Though Kumkum bindis looked extremely beautiful, most women, especially those living in hot coastal areas found it extremely inconvenient and cumbersome. This is because the rivulets of sweat caused the kumkum to run down the bridge of the nose making it look quite odd and un-decorative. Liquid bindis too were found to be problematic as they also either runs down due to sweat or cakes up unbecomingly. These practical issues lead to the development of 'sticker bindis'. The sticker bindis are made of velvet with glue on one side. Ladies found these extremely convenient and user-friendly and today sticker bindis do a roaring business. These are available in all shapes and designs and are the most preferred choice of women.
The traditional and most commonly used bindi is red or maroon in color and round in shape. Married Hindu women use different sizes of this bindi depending on their face structure and personal preference. Drop shaped bindi is another very popular bindi design. Some women also go in for diamond shaped bindi. In present times, though bindis have undergone a major transformation and are available in intricate designs and patterns, traditional bindi designs have still managed to retain their magical charm.