Skincare, fashion, home decor and more

Christmas is over and I am all set to welcome 2018. But before we bid adieu to 2017, let me list out some of my favorite finds of this year.

Favorite color of the year:

Every year there will be one particular color I get obsessed about, and this time it was Cerulean blue for the first half of the year and Indigo for the second half of the year.

The Blue Guitar Project is something I took up this year(eventhough I didn’t completely finish it). So I turned this old guitar into a cerulean blue decor piece, and it now adorns this cozy corner.

The book shelf is upcycled from a wooden protective frame that came with an an online order of furniture.

Favorite Skin Care Finds:

I came across many new organic and natural skin care products and brands this year. Some of them are Gravitale, Junaili, JivaVrksa, Organistick and Burst of Happyness.

But this year I found out that whipping up skincare products myself is much more effective, fun and affordable. You can check out : Skin care recipes

So my favourite skincare finds are aloevera gel and tea tree oil. Make sure you buy pure aloe vera gel and not the one with added colour, fragrance and preservatives available in local stores. These are the two ingredients that can be used for almost all skin problems including dandruff, acne and dryness of skin and hair. These are the basic ingredients you need for silky soft hair and clear face.

You can buy them from Blenditrawapothecary or from Juicy Chemistry

Favorite Organic Food Store:

It is without doubt Happy Healthy Me Organics.

Check out my skin care and food recipes using ingredients from HHM store:
Super tasty breakfast recipes

Multi-mask with easy DIY anti-ageing and black head removing masks

Favorite Fashion Finds:

This has been the year when casual dresses made a come back to my wardrobe and also I have made an effort to buy only from Indian brands that sells sustainable fashion. You might have come across some of the dresses in my travel posts and many more on my Instagram handle. The block prints, Kalamkari, Ajrakh, Ikkat prints and natural dyes like Indigo and Madder has been on trend this year and I hope more and more Indian brands move to sustainable and ethical fashion.

My favorite fashion find of the year is The Khadi Cult. I love them for their quirky and original Indian prints on Khadi. But the most comfortable attire I caught hold of, is this Indigo block printed dress from Mogra designs.

It is so light weight and comfortable and has pockets which is super cool. So here are my attires from Khadi cult and Mogra designs.

Favorite Food Finds:

If you are my Insta follower, you will already know that I love exploring new cuisines and eateries.

The favorite food find of this year has to be malai lassi, specifically from Johari Bazaar of Jaipur. You can read more about it here.

I am not a fan of cold desserts but surprisingly the Italian Gelato store here in Bangalore Milano, converted me. The flavors are all natural and authentic. Eventhough the flavors keeps changing based on seasonal products, my favourite remains Pista. I despise the green colored pista flavors in ice creams and pastries but this one here tastes like roasted pista nuts.

Favorite Home Decor Find:

These handpainted wooden plates from Trove India and the hand made blue pottery magnets from Jaipur holds this position. Aren’t they really beautiful?

Favorite Jewelry Finds:

I am not a fan of anything bling and only prefer to wear small earrings. But this changed after I came across some stunning Afghani glass jewelry pieces. Here is one of my favorites, which was featured in July favorites post.

You can see tow other stunning pieces in this blog post: February Favorites

Favorite shopping site:

You are in for a surprise here. All the above favorites of this year has been bought from different Insta pages I came across over the year. So my favorite online shopping place currently is Instagram and incase you are interested to know the pages to follow, I can write a separate post on that. Let me know in the comments below.

Now let me add one more category, which is the Life changing product of the year:

This is something that I hope, all you ladies out there will give a try. It is the menstrual cup. This product will change your life for good, trust me. And this is the best thing you can do for the environment as well. So do read this post on Menstrual Cups and let this be what changes your life in 2018.

Hope you all liked this post. Do subscribe for timely updates and follow us on Instagram for a variety of content.

How you can save your hair from years of chemical torture

I think it’s time for another hair care post, as many of you have been asking me solutions for hair fall issues and the like. Let us get straight into the problem. Choose the methods/ingredients from this post, as per your hair type and need. You can ask your doubts by posting comments here.

The most common hair related problems are dandruff, hairfall, frizziness or oiliness.

Reasons:

The above problems can be inter related. And the reasons can be many. Incase you have moved to a different city, most probably you will face a high rate of hair fall. This can be due to chlorinated or hard water, pollution, or even different climatic conditions.
Otherwise it could be because of your diet. You might not be drinking enough water, eating your greens or you might be taking too much caffeine or alcohol.
It can also be due to hormonal changes, illness, reaction of any product, stress or even because of your favourite chemical laden shampoo.

So how can you fix it?

There is no overnight fix for anything when it comes to natural skin and haircare. You have to be consistent and ready to invest time in yourself. Our goal is to get a healthy and balanced scalp and that + a healthy diet will give you solution for your hair problems.

The first step for a healthy scalp is getting rid of all your sulphate laden hair care products. DON’T EVER TOUCH THEM AGAIN.This includes products from The Body Shop and few SLS laden cleansers from Kama Ayurveda as well. The brand name doesn’t matter. Check the ingredients. Google will provide you more than enough resources on what to avoid.

Dandruff:

Tea tree oil is what you need. You can buy it from brands like soulflower, juicy chemistry, blend it raw beauty,Nykaa etc. I am talking about the essential oil and not any blend.Other alternatives are Frankincense and Peppermint essential oil. You can add few drops of one of these or all in your coconut hair oil or which ever hair oil you use and warm it up a little before applying on the scalp. You don’t have to keep it overnight. Just half and hour to an hour is more than enough.Do this regularly, atleast thrice every week in the beginning.You can also add a piece of camphor in the mix while warming the oil.

Please don’t soak your hair in oil. Applying more oil not only won’t give any added benefits but might cause break outs, incase you have oily skin. Use just enough to condition the hair and scalp.


If you need a hair oil suggestion, I would recommend the Krya Anti dandruff hair oil. for no sticky hair oils, try Kama Ayurveda Bringadi oil and Just herbs Japakusum oil.

Cleansing: You will get all the info you need from this post (6 types of hair cleansers are reviewed here). Natural hair cleansers are mild and will not dry out the hair and scalp. So no need of conditioners. But incase you feel you need something for your unruly hair, a few drops of pure almond oil (Not the bajaj variant which is just a mix)will do the magic. Just 2-3 drops at the ends while hair is still damp.

You can get pure food grade almond oil from mitti.se.

Home made hibiscus cleanser:
For those days, you don’t oil your hair you can make this hibiscus hair cleanser. Best prepared with red small hibiscus.
1.Pluck few hibiscus leaves and flowers
2.Clean it well in water
3.Crush it with your hand in water until it turns thick and sticky/ you can also use a mixer but using hands gives best results.
4.Sieve it so that you get the sticky pulp with no leaves or flower matter.
5. Use it on wet hair and gently massage for a light lather.
6. Wash it off with water.

Hair Drying :
Please towel dry the hair and do avoid electric dryers as much as possible. Also don’t rub your hair vigorously with towel. Just tie it up and leave for sometime and then leave it open to dry.

Hair mask for strong, smooth and shiny hair:

Let your imagination fly high. It is always best to buy pure ingredients and whip up a fresh mask. You can buy clays like kaolin, bentonite, pure aloe vera gel and essential oils and prepare your own masks.

1.Curd, egg white, lemon juice,honey, clay, aloe gel, tea tree oil, mashed ripe banana > You can mix aany of these ingredients to get very nourishing hair mask.
2. Another very interesting hair mask is using flax seed gel. You can buy flax seeds from any provisional store. Add 1 and half to 2 cups of water to a spoon of flaxseed in a bowl and keep it in low flame. Keep stirring untill you get a slight gel like sticky consistency. Let it cool and then strain the gel using a muslin cloth or strainer.
This gel is rich in omega 3 and can be stored in fridge. You can also use it as a styling gel. It gives shine and softness to hair and also promotes hair growth. It can be used as an alternative to aloevera gel in masks.

Now incase you want to just use a premade hair mask, you can try the ones from Krya and Juicy Chemistry.But why spend alot, when you can use a aloevera gel and tea tree oil mix.

Rinse:

Now if your hair loss is because of the bad quality of tap water, you can use a hair rinse at the end. This will help in washing off the residue from the scalp. Some options are :

1.Tea water(you can boil left over tea leaves from making tea in water and use it)
2.Rose water mixed with purified water(drinking water)/ you can boil rose petals in water and use
3.1 spoon apple cider vinegar in a cup of water
4.Neem water(Boil few neem leaves in water)

Water and Diet:

No one drinks enough water daily. Most of you just forget and might utmost drink just 1 litre or so in a day. There is no point in doing anything topically, unless you are well hydrated and eat a protein rich diet. So keep away from very oily and spicy food. Eat less salt and sugar. Eat sprouts and green leaves. Drink buttermilk instead of using curd. Eat curry leaves and amla. All this will help in hair growth.

Health issues:

Consult a doctor or dermatologist incase your hair fall is due to health conditions, skin issues like alopecia or reaction to any medicine. Don’t keep experimenting until it is too late.

Tips:

The transition to natural cleansers might weigh your hair down in the beginning. That is because it takes a while for also the chemical residues to get washed off and for your hair to get accustomed to the product. So don’t stop using the product in between and switch back. Use it for a while, and your hair will thank you.

Cover your hair when spending alot of time in sun or dust.
Use a wooden comb instead of plastic one to avoid air breakage due to static.
Avoid brushing your hair when wet. Use a comb with wide teeth if necessary.
Pleat your hair before going to bed.

Throw away your chemical bottles and let nature take its course in giving life back to your hair.Finally, be happy and don’t let stress and pollution take away your beautiful tresses.

Other hair care posts that might interest you:

Dandruff free silky hair and soft supple skin with simple DIY skincare recipes

Summer hair care with natural hair wash powders : Featuring Krya and JivaVrksa

My two favorite non-greasy, deep conditioning hair oils

My favorite hair cleanser from Gia

Fuschia Green tea face and body scrub review

In today’s post I am going to introduce you to the brand Fuschia by Vkare

Fuschia was born out of its parent company Vkare Bio Sciences in 2013. Since its inception, Fuschia has come up as a natural, handmade Skincare products brand.” The products they make are free from SLS and paraben.

If you are my Instagram follower, you would have already seen the box of Fuschia goodies that the brand had sent me a couple of weeks back. I was very excited to try them out and has been using them for a while now. I feel the products came at the right time, as winter is already here and I needed to change products to suit the dry climate.

I tried the green tea face and body scrub first and I should say it is very different from the scrubs I have been using so far. Did I like this one?? Read along to find out.

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Product claims:

Enriched with catechins, this Green Tea scrub controls acne breakouts. This scrub not only tones and soothes your skin but also delays fine signs of ageing.

Free of SLS, parabens, phthalates, artificial tints &  synthetic  perfumes.

Ingredients : Aloe Vera, Olive Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Green Tea (only these are mentioned in the pack).

Price : 200Rs for 50g, 450Rs for 100g.

Buy it on offer here : http://fkrt.it/Jbh9MuuuuN

Packing: It comes in a very handy, travel friendly, cute plastic square tub. The product is very thick and dense. The screw in metal cap closes the tub tightly and is hence spill and leak proof.

Fragrance : Very pleasant and mild. I feel it must be mix of fragrance oils as it doesn’t smell herbal.

My experience using the product:

Green Tea is rich in antioxidants,which helps in fighting against free radicals responsible for causing ageing. I recently found out (after using green tea soap from Cape of Good Hope) that products with green tea really suits my combination skin.

This scrub has a very dense creamy texture with very mild green tea leaf particles for exfoliation. You can see the scattered green tea leaves throughout. With the goodness of potent natural ingredients, this scrub will suit all skin types. It is soap free and hence doesn’t lather. This makes it apt for winter, as soap often strips the skin of its natural oils.

A very small quantity is enough for the face, as it can be spread well on wet face.  Mixing a little water will help if this is too dense. Massage in circular motion as suggested by the brand and wash it off. The skin feels refreshed and moisturized, after.

On my combination skin, this did not leave any oily film after washing. So I believe this must suit oily and dry skin equally.

This light greyish green scrub can be used as a face pack as well. Leave it on for about 5min before scrubbing it off, to get that extra suppleness and softness of skin. It is very gentle and doesn’t irritate or stretch the skin at all.

Also this tub will last me really long, as the quantity required for each use is very less.

Cons ( if you really have to find some):

Complete ingredient list is not mentioned in the pack.

Even though the product claims to be a body scrub as well, I find the particles too gentle for dry body skin. This is best as a face scrub.

Ideal for winters but in summers, this can make skin a bit oily for oily skinned people, as it is soap free.

This definitely soothes the skin and makes it supple, but I am yet to experience acne controlling ability of the product.

Final verdict:

Even though this was sent as a review sample, I am fairly impressed by the efficacy and gentleness of this scrub. It took me a while to actually get used to the non-harsh particles of this one and thick texture. But I really loved it after. It is suitable for the dry and chilly winters and I sometimes even skip the moisturizer after using this.

BoN: Bio Organic & Natural

BoN is a journey that started out in Auroville and has grown to a successful organic skincare brand that strongly believes in woman empowerment.

The brand ensures, ‘All  products are Natural, non-toxic and organic ingredients. None are tested on animals.’

I came across few variants of aloe gel from the brand and chose the saffron one. The brand provides a wide range of skincare and bath goodies.

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Ingredients:Aloe Vera gel, Organic papaya extract, Natural Glycerine, and Organic Lemon oil.

Aloe gel is an all purpose gel which is an excellent toner and moisturiser for oily & combination skin types.

Price: Rs 168 for 100gm

Product Claims : This unique preparation of saffron, aloe vera gel and natural papaya extract gives positive results on regular use. A glow upon the face & skin and a protective & restorative effect may be the results upon regular use of this gel that restores & promotes healthy skin while helping to calm, tone and rejuvenate the skin from within.

Experience :
The usual ones you find in stores are green in colour, so I found the different ingredients here interesting. I use this as toner after cleansing my face, if rose water is not available. Also as a moisturiser during summers, as this gel perfectly mattifies my combination skin.

I cannot vouch for the product claims, as I was not a regular user of the product. I used it as a toner and it calms the skin instantly.

How I apply : I take a small quantity of the gel and pats it gently on my face rather than rubbing it all over. This is the better method to apply moisturisers as it gets absorbed to skin effectively this way.
Also you can make a nice refreshing face pack by mixing aloe gel, honey and lime juice. This tones the skin and gives a subtle glow to the skin if uses regularly.

Buy the products from>
https://www.facebook.com/Bonsoaps/?fref=nf
https://bonorganics.com/