Green tea mask, desi sandals and best matte lipstick

This month I did a bit of quirky shopping and well everything turned out to be amazing (usually I return most of the stuff I buy online). So here is a sneak peak.

Skincare:

I found out about this brand called #skinyoga recently and I got a sample sized green tea face mask to try via the app Smytten.

Skin Yoga is a luxury skin care brand that provides 100% plant based products. The green tea face mask came in this cute little wooden box. The mask was enclosed within a tiny glass bottle with a cork stopper. Head over to my instagram feed (Here), to see the cute video I made unpacking the product.

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The product is simple but very effective treatment for oily and acne prone skin. I will be doing a detailed review of the product soon.

Blue sandals :

I came across this fb page 22.2accessories few weeks back, and I loved their funky and quirky handcrafted products. Richa, the brand owner was a doll and helped me choose these awesome pair of handcrafted leather sandals. Really comfortable to wear and best for daily use. I love all those colors that adds life to otherwise unnoticed feet.

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Peachy little liars :

I am not a big fan of makeup and I don’t generally use anything but kohl. But it has been a while since I wanted a perfect natural lip shade that can make my otherwise dry and lifeless lips, look a bit healthy on occasions. My search has now ended successfully, after my purchase of Peachylittleliars from Sugar cosmetics. #sugarcosmetics

FDA approved, this lipstick is free of mineral oil and parabens. Love!!!

PC : Sugar Cosmetics

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This dusky pink shade is exactly same as my natural lip color, and hence evens out the color of my lips. It brings that subtle glam to my otherwise dried and washed out lips. Quite happy with the shade even though this being matte, does dry out my lips after a while.

So that’s it, these are my favorites for this month. Let me know if there is a brand or product, you think I should know of. I will surely try it out and review it here.

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.

 

Juicy Chemistry citrus and sage foot scrub

I won a couple of products from JC for a photo contest. I chose the products and this one was one of them. I have never used a scrub dedicated to feet as such. I usually use a pumice stone or a body scrub to exfoliate my feet.

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Exfoliation is an important step in skin care and very important for feet. Eventhough our feet does so much everyday, most of us doesn’t give the care it needs. Simply slathering foot creams won’t help, unless the dead skin is scrubbed away first. Regular exfoliation also helps in controlling skin tan and prevents cracks.

Now let’s see if this product met my expectations.

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Price : Rs 200 for 35 gm

Ingredients : Himalayan Rock Salt, Epsom Salt, Organic Demerara Sugar, Organic White Sugar, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin-E), Olea europea (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Cocos nucifera (Virgin Coconut Oil), Mentha spicata (Spearmint Essential Oil), Citrus bergamia (Bergamot Essential Oil), Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit Essential Oil), Citrus limon (Lemon Essential Oil), Citrus sinensis (Orange Essential Oil), Salvia officinalia (Sage)

My take on the product:

Oh my God, the burst of citrusy, lemony fragrance of this one!!! Trust me, not the artificial floor cleaner fragrance but the natural lime leaf fragrance. Earlier JC had floored me with the fragrance of choco-vanilla and rose-coconut body butters. After that i was disappointed with the fragrances of rose lip balm, rose sandal face pack and soaps from them. This one just got me wishing they incorporate this fragrance in other products as well.

The first time I used this product, I felt that the particles are not scrubby enough for the hard skin of feet. Especially because, the sugar and salt particles used up fast on massaging, unlike other natural exfoliants like shell powders. I did not mix this with water as the particles might get dissolved fast. just wet your feet and massage it with a wee spoon full of the scrub.

So for the next use, I soaked my feet in warm water with the Gia peppermint bath salts for a while. Then I took my pumice stone, spread this scrub on it and scrubbed of the dead skin from the feet effectively with the combined action of both.

This scrub is really refreshing and loaded with awesome ingredients. It can alone bufff away dry skin, in case the callus is not very hard.

If not you will need to file away all the dead skin with a pumice stone or metallic scrubber before buffing the extras with this powder.

NOTE TO JC : Please make more and more products with such awesome fragrances.

 

 

How I got rid of forehead acne in 3 days

My skin hasn’t been behaving well this monsoon. Big painful acne pops up one after the other on forehead and cheeks mostly and I who always had clear, spot free skin, was really concerned about the sudden outbreak.

Similar issue happened last year, when I was in US. I had dressed up for Halloween and had used face paints from my nieces. I had a very bad allergic reaction later and rashes and acne started spreading on my face. I had to really take good care of my skin for few months before I could get rid of them.

Anyway this time, I was well equipped to fight acne as I had researched a bit about the reasons for acne and ways to control it.

DO NOT SQUEEZE THE PIMPLE. Popping a pimple can cause scarring and make your acne spread further.

  1. Understand the reason for acne

Now you would have always had acne growing up or you might have had a sudden acne outbreak on skin. The first one might be hereditary, hormonal or may be because of your lifestyle or environmental problems. If it is the latter, you need to figure out what changed in your lifestyle or eating habits in the immediate past. Probably you started using new skin care products or eating lots of oily food, exposed to sun for most part of day, excessive sweating or eating lot of chocolates. May be it is time to change the pillow covers, face towels, you tried a new makeup product or you are exposed to pollution more. The reasons could be many, but try to understand what might have been the cause.

For me I realized that my hair is getting too oily recently and the fringes are falling a lot to forehead. Also I started having dandruff as well. No wonder acne was just on the forehead.

2. How I fought the acne

When the first pimple was up, I did not think much about it and left it to heal by itself. But as soon as the first one disappeared (leaving a mark behind), the second one popped up. That is when I took it seriously and started with the new skin care regime.

  1. I started combing my hair back without letting it fall to my forehead.
  2. Every other day, when I felt my hair was getting oily, I washed it well with my favourite Gia shampoo  (Review)that took away all the oiliness from my hair without leaving it dry and frizzy.IMG_20160503_204359
  3. I made sure I washed my face well thrice a day, in the morning, evening (after office) and before bed, using tea cleanser from Cape of good soap (read review here). I gave special attention to my T-zone, keeping the product there for a while, before washing it off. This particular soap, is great for combination to oily skin, as it keeps oil at bay for a long time. Also I was careful not to touch my face, without washing the hands thoroughly with soap. (Remember bacteria is one of the leading causes of acne, along with excessive oil and dead skin cells.)1468589403856
  4. I used clay based face masks every day for 3 days after office, applying a thick coat on the problem areas. I did not use a face scrub on these days, as this can irritate the skin and cause further break outs. The masks I used were the Gia french green clay mask (read review here) and Juicy chemistry black head buster mask.

Clay based masks helps in absorbing the oiliness and detoxifies the skin by pulling out dirt and clearing the pores. These two masks are excellent and did a great job in clearing my skin off all impurities.

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5. I used Kama vetiver toner  (Kama Ayurveda haul post) pray after the mask, which helped tighten the skin and provide just enough splash of moisture. I did not apply moisturizer to my acne areas and left them alone for most part of the day.

6. At night after cleansing the skin well, I took Listerine (yes the mouth wash) in a cotton swab and rubbed the acne area with it. I had read some where that mouth wash has ingredients that can kill acne causing bacteria and can dry up the pimple.

listerine

A word of caution, this can also make the area irritated, dry or scaly for some people who are has sensitive skin. So do a patch test and try this only if you are sure, your skin won’t respond badly to this.

Anyway this worked well for me and it really shrinked the pimples overnight. Please do patch tests before trying something new as all skin types won’t respond in a similar way.

7. If you do not want to try the Listerine step you can use dilute apple cider vinegar after patch test. Also, try getting facial steam with few drops of tea tree essential oil or basil essential oil in water.

Three days of these steps, and the acne was gone. But yeah it left a spot that is getting lighter with my daily skincare routine. (read about daily skin care regime here)

Let me know if this helped and your effective skincare methods to fight acne.

 

 

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

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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.

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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 :

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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 :

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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.