Travel in Style : Urby

I recently received a cutomised product that I was very much in need of, an elegant passport holder, from the brand called Urby.

Why you should check out this brand:

Incase you are someone who struggles to think of useful gifts for friends or family (especially for men), this site will spoil you for choices.

Check out the site : Urby

Urby is a direct-to-consumer, lifestyle and travel accessories brand. They design and manufacture essentials for an urban lifestyle using the most premium materials and finest craftsmanship.

About the brand:

I read about the brand and their story is quite interesting. We all know that premium brands always sells their products for atleast double the original price in India, as compared to USA or other foreign countries. Exactly why we all ask our aunts and uncles abroad to bring us laptops and other products. Sometimes even when we are ready to pay, we might have to compromise on the quality here. Urby was born to eliminate this gap, by selling directly to the customer, without any middlemen who just contributes to the price and nothing to the product.

What does the brand offer:

Premium quality products that are affordable. The products include travel accessories, wallets, pouches, passport holders, phone & watch cases, jewelry organizers etc. All their products come with a one-year, material and craftsmanship guarantee.

My take on the product :

The starting range of passport holders in the site is Rs 795, which I feel is quite reasonable for a premium quality product that can be used for a life time. The brand offers a wide range of colours and textures for their products. You can also get couples passport holders and kids variant with cute labels. There is also an option to customise with any text you want to get debossed in the product.

I received a white passport holder, customised with my name in gold letters. Here is the unboxing video.

The product comes in a drawstring cloth pouch, inside a black box with the brand name. There are 3 slots for cards, and another bigger one that can be used for currency or coins. There is a long side pocket on one side and one on the outer cover that will be useful to keep boarding pass or currency. The inside of the sleeves are lined with a velvet material. The passport slot is on the right side, and my passport fits snuggly in it.

Even with the cards and passport inside, the product is quite sleek and doesn’t bulge up. Also the sleeves are quite flexible and doesn’t create lines when bent. But I will have to use it for a while to give an honest opinion on its durability.

Incase you are someone who would leave this in your handbag with a million other things like pens without cap; I would strongly recommend you to go for darker colours. White for sure looks very nice, but might not stay white for long with me (:P). I made a tiny mark on it with a pen to find out if it can be wiped off with a wet tissue and I couldn’t.

What I liked the best about this brand is that, they have a wide range of lifestyle products that looks very high fashioned and classy, but are still affordable. And more importantly, these will make good gifts for your loved ones.

Also they offer free shipping and free returns.

Discount code just for my readers:

Urby is a direct to consumer brand with products at an amazing value. They don’t have a discount code box on the website. But for FOB readers, they have given this special offer.

Use the coupon code FLBEUTY17 to get 10% off on your Urby purchase.

You need to email this code to support@urby.in along with the names/links of products you would like to purchase. The support team will help you with the discount.

All natural and vegan deodorant : Burst of Happyness Lavender & Grapefruit Deodorant cream

Sweating is the cooling mechanism of the body. It is a way of eliminating toxins. Think of the saunas and steam baths, in most variants of natural medicine or as a method for relaxation and improving health.Sweating improves circulation and kills harmful bacteria and virus. Taking steam from a small brass pot, followed by a medicinal coffee made by my grandma is till date, my most effective remedy for fever. Sweating cleanses pores, which is why taking a steam before applying face masks, improves its efficacy. Sweating is the way of excretion from the body’s largest glad, the skin.

Our skin has sweat glands all over the skin. So what happens if you put stoppers in all the pores, through which the body can release toxins? This is exactly what you do when you use anti antiperspirant sprays or deodorants. We use it because we think not sweating is the best solution for odourless underarms. Sweat doesn’t have odour,but the body odour comes from skin bacteria breaking down the sweat secretions. Also using chemical laden deodorants has many harmful effects on our health which includes darkening of skin and hormonal imbalance.

So the solution is not to clog the sweat glands, but to find a solution for the odour, while letting the body do its detoxification. So here is one product, that is all natural, vegan and can be used by all skin types.

Lavender & Grapefruit Natural Deodorant Cream

Brand: Burst Of Happyness

Product claims : A one of its kind natural deodorant cream which helps to eliminate body odour and inhibit bacterial growth.

Baking Soda has natural deodorizing qualities. Arrow Root Flour helps to absorb moisture. Jojoba oil has a non greasy texture which resembles human sebum and helps to soften the skin. Cocoa Butter is rich in vit E and offers great moisturizing benefits. Coconut Oil has anti bacterial properties. Sunflower oil is a light oil which is easily absorbed and it offers anti inflammatory properties. Essential oils make sure that your pits smell good all day long!

This deodorant cream contains no water, therefore doesn’t need ANY chemicals to preserve, emulsify, thicken, etc. . It is all natural and free from aggressive chemicals like parabens, aluminium compounds, which are linked to various health issues.

Ingredients:

Price: Rs 620

Packing: The deo cream comes in a small glass tub with a plastic lid. Can be easily carried in a small hand bag.

Texture: The product is not a fluffy cream, but has a dense formula. In hot regions, this might slightly melt as it is made of oils and butters. So it has to be refrigerated or stored in a cool place. My product has not changed its form as it is a pleasant climate here, and I usually scoop it out with a wooden spoon or using my fingers.Once it comes in contact with the skin, the product melts. On massaging, it turns slightly grainy because of the fine particles and gets easily absorbed into the skin.

Fragrance: It is a unisex fragrance and is the highlight of the product.

Buy from : BOH Site or from Amazon

My take on the product:

I don’t find any inconvenience to take out the product as it can be easily scooped out. The cream is not very smooth but on touch with the body, it melts and spreads easily on skin. It doesn’t feel sticky or oily on skin and gets easily absorbed in a few minutes.

The product has a pleasant fragrance. If you don’t like strong scents, this one is for you. The fragrance is imparted by essential oils and not by chemical perfumes. The notes of grapefruit mixed with lavender is a very calming scent that reminds me of bergamot fragrance. But because it is all natural, the fragrance fades after around 3-4 hours but the unpleasant odour is still kept at bay all day long. Incase you sweat profusely for long hours, I would suggest reapplying the product. I think I would love the fragrance of the rose variant more.

I also apply this cream on my pulse points for its fragrance, eventhough I wish it stayed longer. The cream is very moisturizing, thanks to the butters, oils and glycerin. So it will not dry out or stretch your skin, like the normal deodorants. Also it has not caused any irritation or discoloration on my skin. But it is always advisable to do a patch test before using it directly.

The arrow root powder and kaolin clay helps to absorb moisture from the skin and I think these ingredients are the culprits for giving the slightly grainy texture of the product when in the tub. The best part is that even though the quantity seems less, a very tiny amount is all you need for one time use. So I am sure that this small tub is going to last me long.


This is more than what you would need for one application.

Also this product can be doubled up as a body butter, as it effectively moisturizes dry patches on skin.

Overall this is a great alternative to toxic deodorants and can be used daily without disrupting the natural body processes. I would surely buy this again but mostly the another variant as I would like to try all the fragrances.

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Easy and effective daily skincare regime for busy bees

This is a skincare routine for women/men on the go. This will suit all skin types and is a basic regime to keep your skin healthy. The products mentioned here are multitasking ones that shows result from the very first use. Some of these may be on the higher end in terms of price but it’s always better to use good quality products that are effective, rather than using a lot of average ones.

Let me suggest that one product you can use daily as a cleanser, scrub and mask. This was listed as one of the multi tasking products in my previous post (link).

Forest essentials Narangi and Nagkesar ubtan

This is the one product from FE that I would highly recommend for all skin types. I spent few hours literally sniffing around in FE store because trust me you wouldn’t like the fragrance of most of the products. It is important to understand the varieties available and your specific need before investing in a high end brand. So I narrowed it down to this ubtan and I should say this is worth the hype. Also as mentioned in the previous post I bought it for a less price online.

Fragrance : Very sweet, refreshing citrusy fragrance of oranges
Ingredients :Pistachio seeds, cashew nuts, sweet almond seeds, narangi peel, licorice, fenugreek, vetiver etc

Cleanser:
Mix a very small quantity(less than a tea spoon) of the product with rose water/water/any natural face mists and apply to wet face. Lightly massage the product on the skin and wash it off.Repeat it at night after you are back from work or just before sleep.

Scrub(Maximum twice a week) :
After using it as a cleanser, instead of washing it off, let it sit on the face till it gets slightly dry. Then massage in upward motion and wash it off.You can also add rose petal powder to the mix for that extra grit.

Mask:
Wash your face with warm water.Mix the product with curd and few drops of any essential oil of your choice (optional) and apply it evenly on skin. The efficacy is better when mixed with curd, as the product becomes very smooth unlike the crumbly mix on using water. Also it helps to keep the product moist for long and there by work better on the skin. Keep it for 15-20 min and wash it off.

Another effective mask is to mix the ubtan with tomato juice and aloevera gel. This helps in pigmentation as well.

And if your DIY mode is not ON, you can just mix it with honey and use.

What it does to your skin when used consistently:
Evens out the complexion.
Brightens the skin.
Cleanses and tones the skin.
Rubbing the ubtan upwards when it dries, helps in removing facial hair over a period of time.
Keeps skin fresh and supple. This one doesn’t dry out the skin.
Gives a mini facial effect when used as a mask as mentioned above.

Now incase you want to know my skin care regime, here is a sneak peek :

1. Cleanser : Vanavidhi thai coconut face wash (Very mild) > daily
2. Scrub : Fuschia green tea face scrub (Just trying to finish the left over). Read the review here ? Whenever my skin feels dull.
3. Mask : The FE narangi ubtan mask > once a week for that glow.

You can find more multitasking products in my previous post. Also make sure you keep your skincare simple. It’s not about using a lot of products (I don’t understand the korean skincare hype), it is about using the right products consistently.

Also a lot of you are asking me about hair care regime in the insta page. So the next post will be about that. Do send your queries so that I can address it all in the coming post. Also follow us on fb and insta for more skin care tips.

Natural daily wear lipstick below Rs 150

Enough of skincare you say? For a change why don’t I introduce you to some safe makeup products. I know I know we should take care of our skin and hair and go out confidently flaunting the glowing skin and soft mane but well don’t we all love that additional glam the streak of lipstick gives. Some of us use it daily and some of us just for functions. Whichever it is, researchers say lipsticks and lip glosses may pose specific risks for consumers, because they are swallowed and absorbed little by little by those wearing them.

So what are the toxins that are commonly present in lipsticks and kohl?
Lead, Parabens, Phthalates, dyes, Parfum, Heavy metals, Harmful pigments,Mineral oils, Animal fats, Fragrance etc. These dangerous metals accumulate in the body over time, as they are absorbed through the skin.These can cause skin drying, allergies, and some of these are linked to cancer, may disrupt the endocrine system, or be toxic in other ways.

Why do we still keep using them?
Because we love our matte and glossy lipsticks and fade proof kajals and we don’t know of any alternatives. Even if we find alternatives they are usually from luxurious brands that are super costly. But I found a very affordable lipstick that is free from these harmful toxins.

1. ORGANISTICK LIPSTICKS

Company claim:

Organistick is one of its kind comprising of all natural and organic components that make it long-lasting. Even excess usage of Organistick won’t cause any harm because of the organic as well as natural ingredients.

Ingredients: Shea butter, Jojoba Oil, FD&C Colors, Beeswax, Castor Oil, Carnauba Wax, Natural iron oxides and Titanium dioxides.

Price: For a lipstick of this nature you might expect a minimum of 500 Rs right. Well get ready to be shocked. This one costs just Rs 149

Buy from: Amazon.in, Nykaa.com

Key Features:
-Goodness of shea butter and jojoba oil
-Moisturizes and smoothens your lips
-Natural and organic ingredients
-No animal fat

    My review

In total there are around 36 shades including pinks, reds, nudes and purple shades. I picked up two nude shades from the range called Nectarine and Confused brown. Actually both are similar shades, which I didn’t know and looks almost same on lips.

Nectarine is a nude shade with light pink undertones whereas Confused brown is just nude. The best part is that,their official site (link) provides hand and lip swatches which helps to determine colors in different skin tones. There are many more nude shades in the range.

The packaging is sturdy and travel friendly but could have been colour coded as well. The label at the bottom has the lipstick name. The pigmentation is excellent and gives full coverage even for pigmented lips like mine.The pigment sits comfortably on lips and doesn’t dry out the lips(Obviously with all these skin conditioning ingredients..duh!). It’s neither matte nor extremely creamy and has a shine free satin finish. It does transfer. I wore it overnight to test if dries out the lips (mine being extremely dry lips), but it didn’t. The staying power is like 3-4 hours but it leaves a nice tint on lips without completely fading away. They have some pretty mauves and pinks in the range which I would like to try next time. Love the fact that they have no added fragrance and it has no smell at all . the formula doesn’t enhance limes or dry patches on lips. Also these are affordable and easily available.

What I didn’t like:

I expected the shades I chose to be different nude shades eventhough both shades are just the same in swatches and on lips .Here is another swatch of both on a white tissue.

These are slightly pastel and if you have deeper skin tone this might wash you out. So choose darker shades instead of choosing lighter and peachier shades.

Also don’t expect it be extremely nourishing like a lip balm.

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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JivaVrksa : Earthy goodness for summer skincare

Summer is already here and Bangalore is getting really hot. Summer skin care products should be simple, light and refreshing. I have combination skin and summers brings that extra oiliness to skin. But using grain based products will balance out your skin keeping the greasiness at bay and making the skin look nourished and lively.

So let me introduce the Chennai based brand, JivaVrksa that has an all-natural personal care product line. I was very excited to try these handmade traditional skincare recipes, which are free from artificial fragrance, colors and preservatives.

As you can see the products came in a cardboard box with the brand label. I loved the fact that, eventhough a new brand, they really have put great efforts in the packaging.It is well organized with clear labels in eco-friendly handmade paper sachets.The product details and ingredient list is given in detail in a paper pamphlet. Kudos to the design team.

The brand has in market just 4 products : face, hair and body wash powders and a facepack.

All the products are in powder form with a light earthy fragrance, a mixed smell of all its ingredients. I am not new to powdered cleansers. None of the products have any strong herbal smell(which I sometimes dislike). Inside each brown sachet, is a translucent paper cover carrying the product, with the product label. All the products have somewhat earthy colors. So I keep them all in the same package and dry use wooden spatula to take the products out.

Face wash

Price : Rs100 for 75g which makes it one of the most affordable natural skincare product
Ingredients : Chickpea , Multani Mitti , Sandalwood , Rose Petals , Licorice , Aloe Vera , Avaram Senna Flower , Neem , Orange Peel and Basil.
Brand claims : Cleanses, moisturizes and protects skin. Improves smoothness and glow. Prevents wrinkles and acne

This product can be used by all skin types, even sensitive ones. It is a very mild powder which can be mixed with water to form a paste.Only about half a teaspoon of product (sometimes I just take a pinch) is enough to cleanse the face and so Iam sure this is going to last me a while. The paste spreads easily on wet skin. I have observed that when kept for longer time, it tingles lightly on the skin, which I feel is the ingredients working it’s magic.

It’s easy to wash off compared to gel or liquid face washes and takes less water for sure.Post wash the skin feels clean, soft and refreshed without making it dry or stretchy. It takes away the oiliness, dirt and grime and it surely brightens up my skin a bit. This will be well suited for acne prone and dry skin equally, as it balances the skin.It keeps oiliness away from my t-zone through out the day,when used twice daily.I don’t feel the need to use moisturizer after. Neem and basil are effective to fight and prevent acne.

Cannot comment on the ‘prevents wrinkle’ claim as I am not sure if a face wash is capable of doing it, but the ingredients might have those properties.

Body Wash:

Price :
Rs80 for 75g
Ingredients : Green G
Brand claims : Moisturizes and protects skin, Improves smoothness and glow, Gives natural fragrance and refreshes your body, Prevents skin diseases, Cleanses your skin.

As you know from my winter skincare post in Instagram (Read here), Abhyanga should be followed by cleansing with a grain based cleanser. I make a thick paste of the powder in a bowl and massage it well on the body. I have dry arms and legs and this body cleanser is gentle, it removes pre-bath oil effectively without making the skin dry or stretchy. Even when used without oiling the skin, it is non drying. I love the fragrance of vetiver but the earthy fragrance doesn’t stay on skin for long. It surely makes bath, a refreshing experience in this hot summer.

Buy from : Amazon
FB : JivaVrksa

Why i liked the products:

Simple and effective ingredients.
100% Natural, cruelty free and eco-friendly
Doesn’t have strong herbal smell
Gentle but effective
Affordable and easily available
Unlike soaps this doesn’t dry out the skin.Also the slight grittiness sloughs away all the dirt and not just the oil
Balances skin
Removes tan

Since the products are free from preservatives, I advice you to keep it in an airtight container if kept in bathroom. Also use dry spoon to scoop out the products.
The hairwash and face mask review will be up soon.

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Decadent body scrubs for all skin types

Using a body scrub (or even a dry brushing technique where you use soft body brush to brush the body) is beneficial in many ways.
1. It sloughs away the dirt, grime and dead skin.
2. Buffs the skin and makes it smooth and soft.
3. Massaging the scrub on the body boosts circulation and helps in draining the lymph nodes.
4. It aids in the cell turnover that gets slowed down with age
5. Using a natural body scrub at the end of the day, is very relaxing and can even uplift your mood.

DIY body scrub

You can easily make a body scrub at home. You need to mix a scrubby/gritty ingredient like cane sugar/rock salt powder/oats/flax seed/coffee powder with a moisturizing base like olive oil,almond oil or honey. Add a few drops of essential oil like lavender,orange,rose for relaxing fragrance.

But if you are a lazy bum, you can just buy any of these amazing body scrubs listed below, based on your skin type. Make sure you don’t use much pressure while massaging the scrub as this can cause redness. Do a patch test to make sure the ingredients doesn’t cause irritation.

1. Oily skin : Vedic Line Choco Deli sugar scrub with Jamaican sugar

Price : Rs180 for 65g
Ingredients : Water, Cocoa Butter, Caramel, Cocoa Powder, Sesame Oil, Natural Granules and vitamin E.
This scrub is thick and creamy with a strong cocoa fragrance. It is brown in color with a golden shine to it. The particles are gritty and a small spatula full of product is enough for entire body. You might need to follow it up with a moisturizer as this scrub can be a bit drying. Fragrance is a bit heady.It spreads well on moist skin and is a good scrub at affordable price. Unlike other sugar scrubs, the scrubby particle doesn’t get dissolved easily on wet skin which is a plus.
Buy @ Nykaa


2.Normal skin : Junaili Apricot scrub and Juicy Chemistry Orange Cinnamon scrub


This is an amazing affordable scrub with just 1 ingredient and it ticks all the boxes for me. Read the detailed review here

Another option is the orange, cinnamon and honey sugar scrub from Juicy Chemistry. As rightly said, it smells like Christmas in a jar.It has a warm citrusy cinnamon fragrance and dry crumbly texture.Massage it directly on wet skin. The sugar gets dissolved on wet skin on massaging and hence don’t mix it with water before applying. It doesn’t dry out the skin. Read this post to know how to use it effectively for smooth skin.

Price: Rs 250 for 35g
Ingredients : Organic Demerara Sugar, Organic Cane Sugar, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter,Natural Vitamin-,Extra Virgin Olive Oil,Jojoba Oil,Sweet Almond Oil, Wild Forest Honey, Cinnamon Essential Oil,Sweet Orange Essential Oil

3. Dry/ Sensitive skin : Juicy Chemistry Rose Almond and Shea body scrub

This is the most moisturizing body scrub I have ever used. The nourishing butters and essential oils in this one makes skin moisturized and you don’t need to follow it up with a moisturizer. Hence it is suitable for dry to normal skin types. I can’t stop raving about the amazing fragrance of this product which is a blend of almond meal and rose and geranium essential oils.

As you can see, the scrub is like a dense almond meal paste, but it still does the job well along with nourishing the skin. This gentle scrub is suited for sensitive skin as well. It is priced on the higher side though.
Price : Rs 300 for 35g
Buy here or from Nykaa.com

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Junaili apricot body scrub : Simple and pure

This is the review of the simplest and purest body scrub I have ever used.For those of you, who are new to this brand, here is a small brief.

Junaili makes cold pressed apricot oil with the finest apricot grown in Himalayas, maintaining high quality. They make pure cold pressed apricot face and body oil apart from the scrub. It is a family owned brand and the products are made in small batches.

Coming to the review, I am quite impressed at how a scrub from an Indian brand, made of one pure ingredient can be so effective, when compared to a whole bunch of other scrubs in the market boasting exotic ingredients from all over the world. For starters I am not a big fan of sugar scrubs. Mainly because the sugar tend to dissolve away in a jiffy when rubbed on wet skin.I like to massage the scrub for a while for maximum benefit and nut shell scrubs like walnut kernal ones tend to be harsh at times. If not any of these, the scrub can be a bit drying for my already dry skin.

But the junaili scrub doesn’t belong to any of the above category. Read the specifics below:

I received it in the December reverie box. You can also buy it individually from their site.

Buy from : here
Price : Rs 275 for 125g
Ingredient: Cold-Pressed Apricot Kernel Scrub
Texture and fragrance : This product reminds me of the classic malt horlicks. The smell is slightly similar as well, pure and ‘apricoty’. The scrub is a gritty powder.
Packing : The scrub comes in a travel friendly plastic jar with a metal screw cap. There is foil seal on the mouth of the jar for protection from spillage. I have just made a small hole in the foil, and all I got to do is shake the jar to get the powder. This ensures that the product doesn’t get contaminated with water when kept in bathroom.

How to use this scrub to suit your skin type


the scrub in its dry form and when mixed with Gia ginger lilly body oil

1. For oily/sensitive skin : Combine the scrub with water to make a paste.Massage it all over the body or on those dry areas. Water makes the scrub smooth and mushy like oats and hence doesn’t irritate sensitive skin.
2.For dry/flaky skin : Mix the scrub with body oil (any light body oil like almond, apricot,olive oils),it stays gritty and helps slough away all the dead skin without having to use more product (as oil doesn’t make the scrub mushy). Using a body oil also gives that extra boost of moisturisation. I generally mix it with Gia body oil (read the review here), which is a very light oil with mild floral fragrance. I wash the scrub off and without cleansing with soap, as this oil moisturises skin without making the skin oily.

Inshort why I recommend the Junaili scrub:

1. It is as pure and natural as it gets
2. So easy on the pocket and affordable for everyone
3. Is versatile and can be used as mentioned above to suit your skin type
4. Light weight, travel friendly
5. Very effective as a body scrub

Qtrove, the curated market place

Qtrove is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country. These products are natural, sustainable, not easily available elsewhere, enhance the well-being and social currency of today’s discerning consumer.

You would have already seen my Qtrove haul pic in Instagram. As you know, I love encouraging local artisans and vendors, and Qtrove offers over 3000 products from local sellers across the world. I just place my second order yesterday, and that’s when I realized I did not introduce #Qtrove to you.

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From L-R : French caramel sauce, desi cow’s ghee, oats pancake mix, apple dates and orange jam.

What I liked about Qtrove:

Super fast delivery. Only very few online purchases, like that from Nykaa, has impressed me with their fast delivery. But Qtrove provides even better service by bringing the products within a day or two mostly. I really liked the thank you notes with the bunch.

I also bought this incense set. This has rose incense sticks and an incense stick holder. Love it.

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Among all the food items, my favorite is the desi ghee. So different from the products available in market. This one doesn’t look all yellow but smells very pure. Also let me tell you, ghee is a must in winters to combat dry skin. One spoonful inclued in daily diet will do wonders.

The caramel sauce is really delicious and is a versatile product. You can have it as such, or with bread and rotis, or even make a caramel pudding or cheese cake with it.img_20161025_184532-01Now to be fair, I did not like the apple jam at all. Yes it is all natural and has only vinegar as preservative. But well, it is not sweet and has this strong flavour, which I am not a fan of.

Also by mistake I had ordered 2 of these. Now one thing to be noted is, if you are not careful with the order you will end up with products that you cannot return. Since these are preservatives free, eventhough I didnot open the jar, they were not ready to accept the return. So well I ended up with 2 of the least favourite product from the lot.

Now last day, I placed my second Qtrove order, as there is a sale happening in the site. I bought another jar of ghee and some new products like completely natural dishwash soap, chocolate almond butter and gulkand.

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Eventhough it is just 100g and costs almost the same as its weight, I can’t keep my hands off it. It tastes exactly like the cold betel leaf filling. It is a mix of rose petals, nuts and dry fruits and tastes yum.

I will do a detailed review of other products after I use them for a while. The site offers skincare products, house hold and petcare products as well. Incase you want to buy curated hand picked products that are sustainable and awesome, take a look at their site.

Check it out here : Qtrove

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.