Take time to smell the roses

It has been a while since I reviewed products, so here is one that features the ingredient  ‘Rose’.

I was never a fan of the floral fragrances one often finds in perfumes or skincare products. But when you choose natural products, you will find that the fragrances are mild and natural. This is because the essential oils, flower hydrosols or distilled waters used in these products, carries only the natural fragrance of the actual flower, which is very mild. That is exactly why these natural scents fades away sooner than the chemical fragrances.

  • Rose and Wine Body polish from Cape of Good Soap

This product has a heavenly fragrance. It is sweet, divine and the product looks delicious (reminds me of Rooh Afza, but no you shouldn’t try  it).  I wish the brand made a body butter in this fragrance.

Ingredients: Organic rose, red wine, organic cane sugar, organic sea salt, organic honey, English rose essential oil.

The product comes in an interesting plastic pouch with nozzle. This makes it very convenient to use just the right amount of product and also travel friendly.

The body polish is mild and can be used by even sensitive skin types. It is very moisturizing and leaves the skin soft. The texture and fragrance combined makes the bath with this polish a very luxurious, spa like experience.

The only negative I can think of is that, the sugar and salt melts easily on skin. So this is not really a body scrub incase you are expecting one, but a buff thTat gently polishes the skin.

This is a great addition to winter skincare regime as it effectively helps in removing the dead skin without stripping the moisture off.

  • Ayca Rose and Bergamot Night Cream

This is a light night gel and not really a night cream. It would suit mostly normal to oily skin types and can be used as a day time moisturizer as well.

Key Ingredients: Essential Oil of Rose & Bergamot in an aqueous Extracts of Bay & Neem Leaf, Cinnamon & Cupressus Bark & GlobeThistle Flowers, Wheatgerm, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Almond & Lemon Oils in a plant derived base with Beeswax.

The cream keeps the skin dewy and soft. The fragrance has stronger notes of Bergamot than rose, but it is very pleasant. It will not brake out even oily skin and also, a little goes a long way

Negatives would include the steep price and the misleading name (I was expecting a cream and not a gel based formulation).The product comes in a small glass amber tub, which makes it not so travel friendly.

  • Tickled Pink Hand cream from Naturma

The product claims to be 100% natural and 77% organic. I find the name of the product really cute and it has impressive ingredients.

Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Rice Bran Oil, Organic Sesame Oil, Organic Grape Seed Oil, Organic Mango Butter, Vitamin E, Essential Oils: Organic Rose, Organic Gardenia, Organic Lemon Extract & Natural Preservative Salinatural

I have tried many natural hand creams most of which leaves the skin slightly oily. This one is light, non greasy and gets absorbed very fast.

Just like the Ayca cream, this also has more of a gel like formula and hence has to be reapplied after few hours, incase you have extremely dry skin.

  • Organic Rose petal powder from Blend it Raw Apothecary

Eventhough you will find numerous benefits of rose essential oil and distilled rose water online, here are the reasons why I like rose petal powder the most.

  • It is a very versatile ingredient.
  • A tea from the powder, can be used as a toner, for mixing face mask powders or as a hair rinse.
  • The powder along with sugar/salt and honey makes an excellent body scrub.
  • The powder mixed with aloe gel makes an excellent mask.

Read this post for rose petal powder based recipes.

Incase you are looking for affordable & good quality rose water face mist, check out this post .

Moisturizers and face masks curated for summers : Introducing The Skin Pantry and Amara Organix

Skincare products should suit your skin type as well as the current climate. In summers it is best to you light skincare products with simple and all natural ingredients. Hope you enjoyed the last two posts on summer skincare and haircare. Here is anther one featuring the best chemical free products from Indian brands that you must try this summer for a happy smiling skin.

    The Skin Pantry

Whipped up in the pantry of Mumbai based graphic designer Collette, this brand has a lip smacking range of skin food made of certified organic, natural and pure ingredients. Skin smoothies, creme brulee, honey dew melon and citrus mousse is sure to give you dessert cravings, but these are just some of the skin care goodies from The Skin Pantry. The price range, quality of ingredients and packaging makes it a luxe skincare brand.

Almond and Aloe Whisper

I really love the names of the products and they are apt as well. This one the simplest, mildest and purest of moisturizers and can be used even by the most sensitive skin.
Ingredients : 100% organic cold pressed sweet almond oil, 100% organic apricot seed oil, pure aloe vera gel, pure vitamin E oil.
Price : Rs 1250 for 50ml

My take on the product :
This is everything I imagine a ‘whisper’ would be in the physical sense. Light, fluffy and white this one smells of pure apricot oil. Reminds me of Junaili apricot scrub. A little goes a long way and spreads easily on skin. It makes my skin look a bit dull immediately after application but keeps them moisturized for long without being oily. Apt for summers and suits all skin types.

Rhassoul clay face mask

Ingredients : Jojoba oil, apricot oil, vit E oil, organic rose hydrosol, organic rose otto essential oil and the star, Moroccan Rhassoul clay.
Price : Rs 850 for 50ml

My Take on the product : Suits normal to oily skin types. Smells like a rose garden. Comes with a cute test tube of solution that can be mixed with the clay when it dries up. The face mask comes in a cute little jar with screw cap. It has a mousse like texture and can be easily spread on face. The product can be taken out using the spatula provided or with clean fingers. It is directed not to bring the product in contact with metals as this can strip the clay off its mineral ions and hence its goodness. It dries in a jiffy after application and makes skin smooth, tight and controls oiliness.

Buy : The Skin Pantry

Amara Organix

    This Chennai based brand is the brain child of the lovely lady, Mehar. You name it and they have it, a wide range of skin care, bath and body products and exotic soaps that caters to all kinds of skin care needs.

    Brightening Face mask

    Ingredients: French green clay, french pink caly, moroccan rhassoul clay, sandalwood powder, turmeric powder, licorice powder, spirulina and lavender essential oil

    Price : Rs 250 for 25g

    My take on the product: Suits all skin types. It is in a powder form and has an earthy natural smell. Less than a tea spoon is surprisingly enough for the face and the product works best when mixed with rose water. I tried the mask by making the paste with water, curd and rose water and I could see the brightening effect of the mask only by using with rose water. Otherwise the mask just made my skin soft, smooth and supple. Unlike other clay based masks this doesn’t make the skin dry and on mixing with water you can see the green and pink streaks of spirulina and pink clay.If you have different textures in your skin, this mask will effectively even out the skin making it smooth and soft.

    Buy from : AmaraOrganix

    I used the zofla rose water to make this powder into a paste and this one is by far the most affordable organic rose water I have come across.

    JivaVrksa pure herbal face pack powder

      I love this simple and effective face pack from the brand Jiva Vrksa. I have reviewed the other products from the brand in my previous posts here and here. This is one is by far my favorite product of all.

      Ingredients :
      Multani mitti, sandalwood, rosepetals, orange peel
      Price: Rs150 for 75g

      My take on the product : Made with simple natural ingredients, this face pack smells predominantly of sandalwood. Apply a thick paste of the face pack powder by mixing with water. On washing off, the skin feels cleansed, toned and soft. It balances the oiliness and can be used by all skin types. This one doesn’t dry out the skin and is apt for summers for a refreshed and rejuvenated skin.


      Kama Eladi Moisturizer for combination to dry skin

    This is one of my favorite moisturizers and by far the only one that suits my combination skin well. This is thick but gets absorbed easily on skin without making the skin greasy. Read the detailed review here.

    In addition to this, make sure keep yourselves hydrated and do apply sunscreen before stepping out. Happy summer peeps.

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My favorites and not so favorites from Juicy Chemistry

Happy New year peeps!!!! Hope you all had a wonderful start of 2017. I am looking forward to introducing many more natural skincare products to you this year. Since I did not want to limit the post to a product review, I am listing out all my favorites from the brand Juicy Chemistry.

While reading reviews on natural skin care brands, I feel that rather than a constructive criticism and comparison, the posts usually just contain praises. Say you read the posts on body scrubs from these chemical free skin care brands, and every post says they are all good. So how do you choose. If all are good, how do you know which one suits your skin best? That is why you should know your skin well and know the skin type of the person who has written the post. Ask questions to bloggers and reviewers before getting a product.

Juicy Chemistry is a familiar name for my readers as well as natural skincare lovers. Based on Coimbatore,t he pure and totally chemical free products of this brand, provides effective skincare, in addition to making you smell so wonderful. Ohhh yeah, the fragrance of aroma oil blends in their products are so exotic.

I am not listing all the products I have used from them (yes there is a lot), but just a mini review of my favorites and not so favorites.

Moisturizers: Yay

I totally recommend body butters from JC, for normal to dry skin. They smell so decadent and pure. I even use it as a body pomade, for the fragrance is really wonderful. The ones I love are the Choco mint, Rose and Jasmine variants. The fragrance is not heady and the body butters melt to form oily films when applied on skin. Massage it well and the skin stays nourished throughout the day.

This one was my first buy, but they don’t make this variant anymore.Read detailed review Juicy Chemistry : Choco-Vanila Body Butter

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These are not for face or for people with acne prone/oily body skin.

Eye cream: Nay

The coffee and green tea eye cream from the brand is made of very impressive ingredients like green tea and coffee infused almond oil, mango butter, lavender essential oil etc. But this one failed to impress me. Can’t call it a cream, as it is in a condensed oil form.

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Take a bit and apply it under and around the eye area, and it makes the whole area very oily. So cannot use it if you are going to step out. Also if it goes in the eye (which is very likely as the oil spreads on massaging the eye area), it really stings. I used it regularly over a period, but it did not do anything for the fine lines under my eyes. I don’t have dark circles, so can’t comment on that.It can be very nourishing for the skin I feel, but somehow did not work for me.

Face masks: Yay

The two face masks I tried from the brand, Rose-sandalwood and Tea tree-Charcoal masks helps control the oiliness of oily-combination skin types. These masks are in powder form. The rose face masks feels warm on skin whereas the tea tree variant has cooling effect. These are made of essential oils and clays and doesn’t dry out the skin.

 

Read detailed review of the Rose- sandalwood mask here

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Eventhough it did not draw out any black heads from my nose, this really works in clearing out acne and scrubbing out dead skin. On making a paste of the powder, with water, the texture resembles that of paper pulp. It is soft and non gritty when wet. But on drying, this gets gritty and acts as a scrub. The cooling effect of the peppermint oil helps in calming the skin after a long tiring day in the sun.

Lavender Myrrh and wild forest honey Night Cream : Nay

Well this thick yellow cream for dry skin, obviously did not suit my combination skin. But  I wanted to try out a night cream and this is one of my early purchases from JC.This is very oily and it did break out my skin. I am not a fan of the fragrance of this one and also this is something that suits dry to very dry skin types.

Hair care products : Yay

The lavender shampoo bar and argan mango butter hair masque suits all hair types. These are very nourishing and conditions the hair well. These are 2 products I have used up pretty fast as I really liked them. Read about hair care in my post All about hair cleansers

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Lip Balms: Yay and Nay

Love the orange candy lip balm but not the rosy rose one. The lip balms came in tubs (now they have them in tubes as well) and I really liked the consistency of the balms. The orange candy one really worked for me as it was moisturizing and the taste was not bad either.

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The lip balms melts on applying on lips and forms a thin oily layer that really helps moisturize dry skin. But the rose variant disappointed me, as it stings and I did not like its taste either.

Soaps : Yay

The brand has in stock, a wide range of cold pressed soaps, each for specific skin types or addressing specific skin problems. Eventhough these are really expensive (yes you will get a  hole in your pocket), these are made up of high quality ingredients and are very decadent.

Read detailed reviews of my favorite soaps here :

Skin Rehab Soap

Juicy Chemistry Hazelnut & Vanilla Latte Soap

Spicy Apple Pie anyone???

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Foot care : Yay yay yay

Love the citrus blast of the foot scrub and pepperminty cooling effect of the foot cream.

Read more:

Juicy Chemistry citrus and sage foot scrub

Happy Feet, Peppermint & Tea Tree Hand & Foot Cream

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Day serum: Well…

The Argan and Rose day serum is made with oils of raspberry seed and carrot seed, containing natural SPF. It has saffron, rose oil and other effective skin care oil blends as well. Well I neither love nor hate this one. I didnot see any visible effects of the serum on skin, though i like to believe that it protects my skin from pollutants and UV rays.

Buy JC products from here

I hope you liked this post. Let me know your JC favourites and the products that really worked for you.

Just Herbs 6 step skin care regime mini kit review

Hi all, I am back after a vacation and boy, did I really need the time off. Any way I have a lot of products to talk about, but I don’t want to do individual product reviews anymore. I am planning to compare multiple products in a single post or probably write about different skin care regimes. If you are my Instagram follower, you know about all the new products that came in my mail recently. Let me know what you want me to write about regarding skin care and I will for sure include that in my posts.

Today I am reviewing the 6-step skin care regime kit for combination skin by #JustHerbs. It has been almost 6 months since I made this purchase and I think it is high time I tell you about it.

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The brand has one set of curated products for normal/dry skin and another for combination/oily skin types.

What’s in the box??

A six step organic skincare regime tailor-made for oily/combination skin, this kit uses no creams and relies solely on cooling gels and light textured products instead to maintain an overall glow and nourishment for oily and combination skin types.

It includes the following products, none of which contain harsh cosmetic ingredients such as parabens, sulphates and mineral oil:

Step 1: Silksplash Neem Orange Rehydrant face wash (use daily)

Step 2: Livelyclean honey exfoliating face cleansing gel (use twice a week)

Step3:  Fagel Instant Glow All Purpose Beauty Gel  (use daily)

Step 4 : Fairever Milky White Protective Fairness Pack (twice a week)

Step 5: No Sun Jojoba Wheatgerm Sun Protection Gel (daily)

Step 6: Fair’e Mulethi Khus Skin Lightening Gel (daily at bed time)

*Jar quantity 15 g/ Bottle size 30 ml

I also bought the Petal soft face pack (Review) and a shampoo along with it.

Price : Rs 845. The full sized kit is available, that costs Rs2750. Also when I bought it, the miniature products came in a plain white box, where as now they have a much prettier box.

Ingredients : Please click on links of individual products listed above to read about ingredients. Not including as it would make this post really big.

Fragrance : All products has somewhat similar fragrance, which is quite pleasant and mild. It is not the ayurvedic smell or fruity/floral smells but quite refreshing and nice.

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My experience with the products:

Even though I already had a skin care regime, it was not products from the same brand. So I stopped using all those products and completely used Just Herb products from the kit daily.  As you know, my skin is mostly not a trouble maker and behaves well with most of the products. All the products from the kit suited my combination skin and was quite mild on skin. Because of the oil and cream free formula, the products are quite light and non-greasy.

  1. Silksplash face wash is probably the mildest liquid face ash I have tried so far. It doesn’t dry out or pull the skin and can be used by all skin types in my opinion. It is a gel based face wash that effectively removes dirt and oil (not makeup, it’s just a face wash) and keeps skin smooth and soft for long.Read about it here as well Daily morning skin care routine for glowing skin .
  2. Lively clean honey exfoliating gel : I already wrote about this product separately. Please read it here .

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3.Fagel glow day gel : This is a light green colored gel that can be used as a moisturizer. Again, light on skin, non-tacky and gets absorbed easily. I did not get any “instant glow’ as the name suggests but I find it a good all purpose gel for oily skinned beauties.

4.Fairever face mask : Well, I am not a fan of ‘fair’ on product names, still the products did not disappoint me. I did not use it much initially, as I was keen on getting my tan removed using the Petal soft face pack. But one day when I tried this pack, I found that it brightened up my skin after use. Also I like the facet that this is a wet pack, that can be directly applied on face (eventhough that means there are preservatives. Yes IAM LAZY).

Also I liked this face pack, better than the Petal soft one, as the latter caused a  bit of stinging sensation on my sensitive skin.

5. No Sun Jojoba Sun protection gel : Now this is the best non-greasy sun screen for all skin types. It is light, doesn’t form a white cast on skin, smells nice, gets absorbed in a jiffy and really moisturizes the skin without making it oily. But this one needs to be reapplied from time to time, if you are prone to sun exposure for long hours.

6.Fair’e night gel : Again, another one that says ‘fair’. Seriously brands!!! it’s great to be dusky as well. Anyway, this one has similar consistency as that of the day gel but is in a light saffron colour. The product claims to make skin fairer and brighter,fight sun damage, clear spot and dark patches and so on. I don’t think, the quantity was enough to test these claims, but I found it a good night moisturizer, that prevented dry patches from showing up in the morning, without making the skin oily.

Verdict

Overall I am very happy with this skin kit. If you are of oily/combination skin type and doesn’t want to experiment with different brand products, just get this kit and follow the regime religiously. It will definitely improve the quality of your skin over a period of use.

One suggestion to the brand,do add a lip balm as well in the kit as lip care is as important as tasking care of the rest of the face.

Also if you have tried out their normal/dry skin regime kit, do let me know how it was.

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite buys from Kama Ayurveda

As you know from my Kama store visit and haul post (here), I had bought quite a number of items and got a couple of samples from the store. I have not started regularly using all of them except the face mist and the moisturizer, and I am loving its effects on my skin. Kama Ayurveda is a high end luxury brand, that offers some amazing skin and body care products. If chosen wisely, you actually can make some awesome purchases without burning a hole in the pocket, considering efficacy and quantity needed.

Kama  Eladi Hydrating Ayurvedic Face cream

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If you are my Instagram follower (Inst), you already know by now how much I am liking this one. I have combination skin type with oily t-zone. This one was not an instant pick as I was concerned if this would make my face all oily. I mean Ayurvedic formulations are usually on the oily side, so I didn’t want to spend so much on something without trying it out first. So I got a sample tube of the cream from the store and tried it out for about 2 weeks. Even though the sample tube was tiny, it lasted me 2 weeks (application once a day).

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Price : 895 for 50g. But trust me, if 5gm can last me 2 weeks, do the math. This is worth it.

Ingredients : Along with many other ingredients, this has the goodness of coconut milk, cardamom, rose and jasmine essential oils, sesame oil, aloevera etc. This is 97.45% natural and free of parabens and nasties.

Packing: A bit bulky but looks very pretty. The product comes in a dark glass tub that is heavy. No spillage from the tub as their is an inner lid. Got a tiny wooden spatula with this to take the product out, without contaminating it with hand, which is very thoughtful.

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This is very light and creamy in texture and gets absorbed easily on skin, without leaving any oily residue. I apply it sparingly and spread it well on face and neck after cleansing and toning. Did not cause any breakouts on my skin.

Love the pleasant natural fragrance, texture and how it just nourishes my skin from within.Loved it so much that once the sample pack got over, I went ahead and got it.

Yes it is costly but it does last a long time. And I feel that rather than spending on many skin care product, a good moisturizer can multitask and keep my skin soft and supple.

Nay points : Costly, Might not suit very oily skin type.

Kama Pure Vetiver water

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I have not used face mists mists or toners before and this was my first buy from Kama (well mostly because this was affordable). I tried the rose, lavender and mogra mists from the store but this one caught me by surprise. This earthy water just refreshed my face and kept it oil free for long, on application. The other ones felt a bit heavy and this is best suited for combination to oily skin type.It is 100% natural and steam distilled from the roots of vetiver grass.

Price : 250Rs for 50ml. I have been using it daily for nearly a month now and more than half the bottle is still left.

The spray just spritzes the water like a mist and ensures a little quantity is sprayed well over an area. No product wastage as the spray comes out like a mist.

The fragrance is very earthy but very refreshing. Spray this on face and it just energizes the skin and wakes it up. I store this in refrigerator. The packing is travel friendly and sleek.

I am sure, I will be stocking up a bigger bottle once this gets over.

Nay Points : None. Totally loving it.

 

Aroma essentials multiple product review- part 1

Almost everyone who is crazy about chemical free skin care products will have heard about Aroma essentials. I have previously reviewed their onion cream shampoo. Check out that review, to know more about the brand.

This post is a review of the other products I got from them. Some are my favorites and some did not work out for me. This post has those that i really liked. So let us start with the best of the lot.

My haul mostly had hair care products

haul

Orange Vanilla Lip Balm:

Of all the Indian lip balms I have tried so far (trust me there is a long list), this is the only one that does so much with so little ingredients. You all know I love Burt’s bes peppermint lip balm and that works the best for my dry, chapped lips. Also I have not tried any Indian peppermint lip balms. But even without peppermint, this one with its very small list of ingredients, gives a burst of hydration to the lips. BEST INDIAN LIP BALM I HAVE TRIED SO FAR.

lipbalm

Price : 175Rs

Ingredients : mango butter, vanilla and orange oils,  vit e. No cocoa or shea butter like normal lip balms. Still the best.

Packing : Comes in a transparent tube unlike other natural lip balms. They have tub versions as well but most handmade lip balms comes in tub which is very unhygienic. I love the fact that even though this one is really soft and smooth, it holds its shape in the tube.

Yay points: Gives instant hydration to lips. Soft and smooth. Not oily or heavy on lips. I am sure it will suit almost all lip conditions. Comes with the added benefits of spf.

Nay point : For extremely dry, cracked lips like mine, this wouldn’t be sufficient. This doesn’t sink in fast and therefore doesn’t have that matte feeling, Burt’s bees gives.

But c’mon give it a break, this comes from a homemade, handmade, all natural brand for such a pocket friendly price, considering its efficacy. I can only say AWESOME. Also the brand offers lip balms in other flavours.

Madhurima (band owner), please make a mint based lip balm that would heal my chapped lips along with hydrating it.

Mint Mask :

mint

This came as complimentary gift from the brand.

Price : Rs 350

Ingredients :aloe gel, mint , vitamin b3

Packing: Product comes in a small white tub.

Texture : This is a gel with bright blue color. Something like basil seeds are scattered across the gel.

Yay points : Best cooling mask for summers. This is light and gets absorbed by the skin. Can be mixed with other powder masks, replacing rose water. Great for all ksin types as this doesn’t stretch the skin.

Nay points : Nothing much as there are no big claims by the product. This is not a necessary product in your kit but would really refresh your skin after a long day.

Eye corrector gel :

undereye

PC: Aroma essentials

Price : Rs 175 for about 15ml

Ingredients : curd water , saffron , German chamomile and English lavender

Texture : A yellow colored gel with saffron strands in it.

Yay points : The under eye cream or rather oil from Juicy chemistry I used before used to sting my eyes if it goes in while massaging the eye area. Also I was not a  big fan of oily texture. This one comes in gel form and I refrigerate it. Hence it is very cooling and relaxes the eye area instantly. It sinks in fast and takes away all oiliness from the applied area. Also you get a warm feeling when the gel is absorbed. This will be a good base for eye shadows or kajal, if you have oily lids.

Nay Points : Did not help with the under eye darkness. I don’t have any distinct darkness under the eyes, It’s more of few veins popping when I don’t sleep well or spend too much time infront of computer.

Can make the skin feel a bit tacky.

Chocolate Massage candle:

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PC : Aroma essentials

Price : Rs 450

Ingredients : cocoa butter , bees wax , sheabutter

Packing : Comes in a plastic cup. I am not a fan of the packing side of the brand, as I feel for the price, they can do a better job.

How to apply: I wanted to try this as I was intrigued by the idea of a candle as moisturizer. The candle wax is not hard as it is all natural. I got the chocolate variant and it smells like cocoa. I light the candle and let it melt the wax for a few minutes. I then put out the wick and apply the molten wax on dry areas like knees and elbows.

Yay points : Smells really good and it moisturizes the dry areas for a while.

Nay points : I feel this is quite expensive for the quantity and efficacy. I need to reapply this after few hours as this doesn’t moisturize my skin for long. Considering that, I would rather go for a body butter to minimize the efforts.

Buy the products from here

Let me know your yay and nay products from the brand.

 

 

 

 

 

Kama Ayurveda store visit and haul post

Kama Ayurveda, started in 2002 in India, is a luxury skincare brans that sells authentic ayurveda based skin care products. According to the brand,

 Our treatments are 100% natural and use plant-based ingredients, prepared from organically – grown plants and herbs or collected by India’s tribal communities from natural habitats. This means – No artificial colours. No artificial fragrance. No animal ingredients. No petrochemicals, parabens, urea, propylene glycol or sulphates. All our organic products are internationally certified.

I had always wanted to try their products but felt they are too expensive. But recently, I came across many product reviews of the brand and wanted to check out if it was worth the hype.

They have two outlets in Bangalore, one at the V.R Mall and another at 1 M.G mall. I got a chance to visit both the branches and I bought few of their products.

First of all, I loved their store decor. The tranquil Indian instrumental music and pure fragrance from the incense, transports you to a peaceful state of mind. There is an ‘Indianness’ in the store that is so refreshing fro a change. I had done my research on the brand before visiting the stores. They partner with Arya Vaidya Pharmacy to ensure the quality of products. As per the store staff (who was very helpful), their labs are in Kerala but unfortunately, no stores there. From the reviews of many bloggers, I already had an idea of their best sellers (the kumkumadi face serum, scrub and hair oils)

V.R Mall store

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The small store offers products ranging from face care, body care products to authentic ayurvedic oils and incense sticks. I walked around smelling and trying out all the products and even my husband, who is not into the skin care madness like me, enjoyed the music and decor of the store.

I had already read rave reviews on the kumkumadi oil and face mists. I, being not a fan of face oils, did not feel like getting that. Even though I was not planning to buy anything, the store staff spent a good amount of time, explaining the usage of products I showed interest in and I ended up getting the vetiver face mist, as suggested by the staff (for combination skin). He said rose and lavender mists can be a bit heavy for oily/combination skin types.

Also the range of soaps were amazing, most of them smelled really good, especially the rose and red sandalwood ones. So I got the rose, cinnamon,orange soap that had a heavenly fragrance.

Loved the packaging of products and the paper bag I got. I don’t know where the French connection is from, as all the products have details mentioned in French as well.

1 MG store visit

Mohnish and Reema, from the brand arranged my second store visit. The 1 MG outlet of the brand, has an ayurvedic doctor for clients to consult. But to my disappointment, the doctor was not available on the day I visited. Nevertheless, I spent quite some time, checking out the products and finally bought eladi hydrating day cream. This branch actually lacked the music and space of the first outlet and the staff did not look that interested about the customers either(probably because it was quite late in the evening).

I got sample tubes from both the stores and i started using few of them. Samples included hand and foot cream, night cream, face masks, face scrub, bringadi hair oil and tiny bottles of body oils. Also I got a book let with all their product images, % of natural ingredients and a small description.

First impressions:

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All the products, smells so pure and are quite light on skin. Even the creams ,inspite of being thick, gets easily absorbed and doesn’t leave oily cast or residue. The face mist is very earthy and refreshing. The ingredient list and quality are really impressive.

The ingredients are very pure and formulated in the best of quality, that only a small amount of product is required for each use. Hence it lasts longer and I feel that the price is justified. Even the 5g tube of face cream, lasted me a week and more, with daily use.

Also I feel a huge difference in the quality and efficacy of the product, even within 2 weeks of use, compared to other pocket friendly alternatives I have tried so far. Wait a second, I don’t think the price difference is much (for the products I bought), as most of the natural brands available, sells products at a comparative cost these days. The face toner for eg, cost only 175Rs when many other handmade natural brands I know, sells it for more.

Also I did not buy the very costly products, that I felt I did not really need in my skin care regime.

The brand also offers pure essential oils, lip balms, body lotions, scrubs, plant based masks and ubtans.

I will be reviewing the products after using it for a while.

Do check out their store when you get a chance and let me know your thoughts.

Daily morning skin care routine for glowing skin

Hello All, if you are my instagram follower, you will know that this is my 100th post there. Apart from skin care, I talk to you about my recipes, awesome eateries I have been to and I make sure I answer all your queries. I just wanted to make this post a special treat to you all.

In this post I will tell you everything you need to know about a skin care routine and products that are affordable as well as effective.

Why do you need to have a skin care routine??

The word routine might make it sound tedious, but it is not. All you need to do is keep your skin clean and moisturized, but not whenever you feel like it. Following the routine in the morning and before bed is important, as it keeps your skin healthy and helps to rejuvenate it and helps in cell turnover. A good skin care routine, however simple, will bring a drastic improvement in skin health, tone and texture.

Morning skin care routine:

Many of us have full time jobs and keeping aside time for a routine in the morning may not be possible. But the steps I am going to give you is simple and this will not take much of your time.

  1. Cleansing

Use a good quality natural/organic cleanser. Cleansing is the first and most important step in skin care and the effectiveness of later steps depends on the quality of your cleansing. YOU CANNOT SKIP THIS. Do this once in the morning and once in the evening after work.

Besan (chick pea flour)/Green gram powder are the best natural cleansers for all skin types.

Cleansers I suggest:

Khadi Cucumber and Aloe cleansing milk with Shea butter: The cheapest and the mildest cleanser of all, this one feels like cucumber puree on face and it comes for Rs 150 for 210g. You can massage face with a coin size amount of this cleansing milk and wipe it off with cotton.

Gia bath and body works :If you want to go soap free, and also nourish your skin with a cleanser that has oodles of goodness, go for oats/coffee/orange peel powder based face cleansers, depending on your skin type. Check out the review here .This is very affordable and will last you for several months (8 for me) as you need only a very small quantity to cleanse the skin.

Best thing about soap free, powdery or crumbly cleansers is that, you don’t need a separate face scrub.These provide gently scrub action and hence helps you rid of dead skin.

Just Herbs Silksplash Neem-Orange Rehydrant Face Wash& vit E face wash from Gia : If you like liquid face cleansers, these are good choices as they do not strip your natural oils but still cleans the face well. Gia vit E one is really thick and you need only a pea size amount to wash entire face and neck. Just herbs one is bit more diluted.

Eventhough it is not a dedicated face cleanser, I loved using the Teas Please assorted tea soap from cape of good soap (Review). this helped a lot in keeping oil at bay and making my skin soft and smooth.

Almost all natural skin care brands offer wide range of cleansers, but I have listed just the ones I have tried and liked.

Dry skinned people do not wash your face with warm water, as it can strip your skin of natural oils and make it more dry. Also make sure not to miss the neck area while cleansing.

Also do not rub your skin with towel, to dry it. Pat dry your face with a soft tissue or face towel.

2. Moisturizing:

You must be wondering why I skipped toning and exfoliating. As I said, incase you are gripped for time you can add those to your night time skin care routine. Also if you are too lazy to use a sun screen after, choose moisturizers with sun screen.

The best natural moisturizer is aloe vera gel/milk cream for oily/dry skins respectively.

Choose a gel based moisturizer if you have oily skin and a cream based one if you are prone to dry skin.Dot the moisturizer on the forehead, chin, cheeks, nose and neck and gently press and spread the product through out the skin. Don’t massage face rigorously or use harsh strokes.

For my combination skin type, the below moisturizers have worked well.

Initially I was using the Fab India vit E cream for oily skin, before I realized that it had parabens.

Bio Organics and Natural aloe vera gel with papaya and saffron is a pocket friendly option for oily skinned beauties. Read the review here . The brand offers many versions of aloe gel.

Gia daily moisturizer with SPF : This white moisturizer is quite light and fluffy. A tiny amount of this can moisturize the face and neck well. Comes with the added benefit of sun protection. Suits all skin types.

Just herbs FAGEL instant glow beauty gel : My favorite gel based moisturizer that has a very pleasant fragrance. best for combination to oily skin types as it keeps the face oil free for long.

These two below have prices around 450-480 Rs but this is a great investment for the skin, considering the awesome ingredients and its quality.

Also if you love using serums, try the Juicy Chemistry Argan and Rose day serum with sun protection.

I have recently started using the Kama Ayurveda Eladi Hydrating cream, as it feels heavenly on skin. But it is quite expensive and I found out that Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala has one that is much cheaper. Will right a comparison review after I get hold of it.

Make sure you moisturize and sun protect your hands and feet as well with a good hand and foot cream. Also use a lip balm to moisturize and protect your lips. My one and only favourite out of the many many ones I tried, is the Burt’s bees lip balm (Review). Also lip balm from Aroma Essentials with spf, is really awesome. (Read review here)

USE A GOOD SUNSCREEN BEFORE YOU STEP OUT OF THE HOUSE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE CLIMATE.

I have used Biotic, Lotus  and lacto calamine sunscreens, but these make my skin oily after a while. The one that suited my combination skin best is the Just herbs No Sun Jojoba gel.

For all those of you, who has that extra few minutes to pamper yourselves in the morning, use a scrub twice a week and a toner daily.

3. Toning and Exfoliating:

Cleanser should be followed by scrub and toner before moisturizer, if you are going for the full routine.

Toner:

You don’t need to buy a toner, as it can be made easily at home. Rose water, green tea water, cucumber juice, aloe-vera gel etc are all great toners. You can easily make these at home and store it in fridge or make ice cubes with them.

Apply the toner with a cotton or spray it on face for even application.

If you are particular about buying one, get one free of alcohol or any harmful chemicals.

I started using the Kama vetiver toner, few weeks back and I have really enjoyed the refreshing spritz of earthy goodness on my face. I got the 250Rs bottle and I feel it will last me long. Before this I was using the rose water from K-Organics which is only Rs 130 for 100ml. Read the review here

Rose water and lavender toners etc suits normal to dry skin the best. Vetiver and aloe based toners are great for oily to combination skin types.

Many brands like Aroma essentials, Oil craft naturals, Juicy chemistry and Organic mills sells chemical free toners, but I have not tried any of those.

Scrubs :

Rice flour, coffee/tea powder, almond powder, oats powder, green gram powder, sandal wood powder etc are great natural scrubs.

I always prefer soap free powdery cleansers as it has added advantage of scrub action as well. If not, I go for face masks, that ex-foliates the dead skin, on massaging it before washing it off. Also use a scrub at most twice in a week. Be gently when you scrub your face, as it is the particles in the scrub that should do the action and not your force. Avoid area around the eyes.

The simplest of all and the best scrub I have used so far is the K-Organics, Honey Rose scrub. As the name suggests, it just has these two ingredients and it is affordable, gentle and very pure. Read the review here

Juicy Chemistry Black head buster and Just herbs honey exfoliating face cleansing gel are all great scrubs.

Face masks, like toners gives you all the extra benefits but need not be a part of daily skin care routine. So not adding it here.

This post has been really long. So I will keep the bath time skin care routine (where I will talk about awesome body scrubs and body oils) and night time skin care routine for another post.  Also I will be updating the review links for all the products in this post, I have not yet written about.

Hope you all enjoyed the post. Do add your favourite skin care products in the comment.

 

 

Happy Feet, Peppermint & Tea Tree Hand & Foot Cream

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would know that I have a good collection of juicy chemistry products, some of which are my favorite and others, not so.

This post is a review about the peppermint foot cream by juicy chemistry and I have a love hate relationship with the product.

Most of us suffer from cracked heels. The skin gets dry and tough there and sometimes it cracks. For me, I just face extra dryness there and chapped skin but no major issues. In my previous post, I had mentioned how we hoard products based on our preference even though it might not be effective for our skin. This one for sure will help to arrest feet dryness but since I am not a fan of anything minty, I sometimes hope, the fragrance was something else.

So let’s move to the detailed review.

Foot

Price : 350Rs for 35gm. I got the 75gm pack long back.

Ingredients :

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Packing : Best packing out of all the brands I have tried so far. The products came in a black plastic sealed cover that looked great. The product comes in a plastic sturdy jar and there won’t be any spillage owing to the thick and viscous texture of the product.

Texture : It is more of a balm owing to the presence of tea tree and peppermint oils. In cold climate, the oils tend to condense and form white granules but melts on rubbing.

Fragrance : Smells strongly of peppermint. reminds you of those vaporubs.

Quantity : A quarter spoon full is enough to cover both feet. It spreads well and one tub lasts quite long. As you can see mine is almost over and it has been a year since I bought this.

My experience :

First you need to have a home pedi or one at parlour before you expect full results from this. Because the benefits of all ingredients can penetrate the skin only if all the dead skin is removed. So first soak your feet in warm water along with vinegar or bath salt or essential oil of your choice. Scrub of the callus with a scrubber or pumice stone. Apply the cream and massage the heals for few seconds.

This is best applied before bed and you will wake up with soft heels in the morning. Since it is like a balm, and strongly has the peppermint smell, I don’t like using it regularly. I use it after pedis and just before going to bed when I feel like giving that extra nourishment to the heels. The peppermint, shea, beeswax, tea tree oil, vit e nourishes the skin, provides anti fungal benefits and helps the heels relax and heal.

Verdict:

A great product with impressive ingredients.

 

 

 

Burt's bees beeswax lip balm

The only thing I look for and hoard whenever I come across a new chemical free skin care brand, is the perfect lip balm for my dry, parched and chapped lips.

I have tried it all I should say. They are either waxy, oily or heavy on lips. If not any of these, it just doesn’t help my chapped lips beyond an hour or as long as my lips are coated by the balm.

This one had caught my attention last year when I had been to USA but well, I did not think it would be worth a try. Recently I read a few more positive reviews and finally decided to give it a try.

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Price : 4.8$ for .15oz tube in USA or 599Rs for 4.25gm in India.

Buy from : here

Ingredients: beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, peppermint oil, lanolin, tocopherol, rosemary leaf extract, soybean oil, canola oil, limonene.

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My experience with the product :

I FINALLY FOUND THE PERFECT LIPBALM FOR MY LIPS.

The experience has been nothing but surprisingly incredible. I did not have high hopes on this one either. This being 100% natural, I thought it would be similar to other natural lip balms I have tried before.

The first time I applied it on my dry lips, I was surprised by the burst of freshness from peppermint. I did not quite like it as it felt like the menthol or to be exact Polo candy feel on the lips. It gave a cooling sensation to the lips without being tingly. But that subsided in few seconds and I couldn’t even feel anything on my lips. It did not feel like I have applied lip balm as my lips had a matte kind of feel to it but it felt really hydrated. No more dryness, no more chapped feeling or bleeding because of the chapped dead skin.

The lip balm is refreshing.

Hydrated my lips without being waxy or greasy on application.

Extremely light on lips and made a perfect base for lipstick.

Also I don’t have to peel away my Kip’s skin when it gets too dry and flaky even for lip scrub. This lip balm is potent enough to moisturize dry skin.

Kept the lips moisturized for almost 2 hours and I couldn’t try it for longer as I would either drink water frequently in between or wash my face.

It doesn’t melt in tube even though completely natural.

Vit E and beeswax conditions the skin and leaves the lips smooth and supple.

Other variants and flavours of the lip balm are available as well.

 Inshort I am a firm believer now and will not switch to another brand for lip care until it proves to be better than this.

LOVE BURT’S BEES 😍😘😍