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.

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

These days you see alot of brands coming up with masks with rare and exotic clays and ingredients from all over the world. It really makes you think at times that only those expensive ones can satisfy your mask cravings. But let me tell you that, with simple ingredients from your kitchen, you can make amazing masks that brightens, tightens, lightens and clarifies the skin and can even provide anti aging benefits.

You can also muti-mask with these 2 DIY recipes. Use the first mask all over the face and the second one as a black head removing strip on nose and cheek area.

So without further adieu let us see my the recipe of two of my favorite masks. Also remember, these masks are made of pure natural ingredients.So make it fresh and do a patch test before applying on face. Even natural ingredients can cause irritations and redness if it doesn’t suit your skin.

Anti aging & anti pimple mask

Ingredients : Cinnamon powder, honey and lime extract (I use organic products to be safe)

Mix half a tsp of cinnamon powder with 2 tsp honey and 1 tsp lime extract. Vary the quantity accordingly to make a paste of slightly runny consistency. Adding more cinnamon may cause redness, irritation and burning sensation, so be careful and do a patch test.
Apply this mix evenly on your face and neck avoiding eye and lip area. This gives best results when used as an overnight mask.

Benefits of honey-cinnamon mask :
1. Cinnamon plumps the skin by stimulating blood vessels and thereby reduces fine lines over time
2. Honey hydrates the skin without making it oily
3. This mix helps to dry out acne and it fades away blemishes fast
4. Studies shows that Cinnamon seems to increase collage expression on the skin through cinnamaldehyde, its main chemical component.
5. It unclogs open pores and removes dead skin and excess oil.

Peel off mask for removing black heads, skin brightening and removing tiny facial hair

Ingredients : Gelatin powder, milk, turmeric(not the one used for cooking, you need to get kasturi manjal(Wild Turmeric)

This is a very versatile mask and you can try this with different ingredients like lime juice, activated charcoal powder, honey, cinnamon etc.Turmeric brightens the skin and behaves as an antiseptc so I like using it. Now you need to use your intuition and adjust the quantity of ingredients here to get the right consistency. I use about 1 tbsp of gelatin (for just the face), 2 tbsp of milk and half tsp of turmeric.

> Apply this mask on a clean face with no makeup
> Keep a straight face and do not talk while this mask is on, for it to give the desired benefits.

Mix the milk(room temp or warm) and turmeric and add it to unflavored gelatin powder. You can either microwave this mix for 10sec or dip the small bowl with the mix to another bowl of boiling water and mix it continuously until it is a lump free mix. Do a patch test before applying it on face. If the mix cools down you can warm it up again. The mix should be warm and not hot. Now apply it on your face avoiding eye, eyebrows and lip area. This step should be fast and the mix tends to cool down and harden fast. Apply it in the same direction as hair growth. Wait until the mask cools down completely (10-15min). Now grab an edge of the dried mask and slowly pull it in upward direction. Be gentle and careful.

Benefits :
1. Removes blackheads, whiteheads and tiny facial hair
2. Unclogs pores and makes skin squeaky clean
3. Instantly brightens up your face
4. Gives the effect of a facial with visibly smooth skin
5. An inexpensive and effective alternative to commercial pore strips
6. Tightens skin and smoothen out fine lines

If you have sensitive skin please try this out on a small patch on face before using it. Do not use soap or any chemical products after using this and if stepping out, use a sunscreen.

* Agar-agar is the vegan alternative for Gelatin. You can also apply this mask just on the nose area as a black head removing strip.

I hope you liked this DIY post. Do subscribe and follow us on Instagram and FB for more tips and tricks on skincare.

February favourites

Hi All, I am so happy to welcome you all to my ‘own’ blog, ‘flavoursofbeauty.com’. This is going to be a post on february favourites. I know that many of you who follow me on Instagram are looking forward to this post, because you all have been incessantly asking me about the details of those gorgeous afghani chandbalis. Yes I have included it here.So here are my feb favourites.

1.Bamboo tooth brush from happy healthy me

Happy healthy me, is an organic store located at Indiranagar and you would have seen my haul picture in Instagram. I bought a couple of organic food products and this cute little bamboo brush. The bristles are not so soft if you think that’s how natural brush bristles feel like. But the head is quite small. So it reaches all those nooks and corners in the mouth and just does a good job in cleaning your teeth.


Image of the bamboo brush and krya hair cleanser

2.Juicy Chemistry favourites
Yes I have written many many posts reviewing JC products and if you didn’t know, Juicy chemistry is now available at #myNykaa (here). There will be 15% off on JC products in Nykaa most of the time. So keep an eye for that. The tea tree essential oil and lemon-spearmint lip balm really worked for me. The oil is versatile and I am coming up with few DIYs for you, on how you can use this oil with your skin care products to reduce acne, dandruff etc. The lip balm is rich in essential oils and is more on oily side than creamy. It melts on contact with lips and moisturizes it well.



3.Krya anti-dandruff hair cleanser

I have oily scalp that tends to get itchy on the third day of shampooing. Eventhough I use natural shampoo bars, it didnot help me reduce the dandruff. But this grain based cleanser surely did. I bought body oil, body cleanser,laundry powder, face cleanser and hair cleanser from Krya. Purely ayurvedic and organic certified, I trust and love Krya products. The oil secretion of my scalp has balanced with just couple of uses and it doesn’t get itchy anymore. Detailed review coming soon.Buy krya products here

4.The Skin Pantry Rhassoul Clay mask
This clay based face mask is the latest buy and I have only used it 3 times so far. Love the skin tightening and toning effect of this one. It is on the expensive side, but I am loving it.This mask has a whipped mousse like consistency and has moroccan rhassoul clay, organic apricot oil, vit e oil and organic rose hydrosol as ingredients. Check them out here

5. Now for the most awaited product : The gorgeous pink afghan chandbalis
I bought this and another set from an insta store called #dropdeadg (dropdeadgorgeous) and let me tell you, I have been on the look out for these in many insta stores and dropdeadg sells it at the most economic rate. Do check out their insta page. I also bought this green ones from them which are equally lovely.The packing is cute and pretty, the delivery was fast and the products look exactly like the pictures they showed me. Very impressed with this store. Since I bought two products, they gave me a discount on the total.

I hope you liked this post. Let me know if you would like a monthly favourites post.Comment below for more info on any of these. Also like and subscribe to my blog for updates.

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

screenshot-from-2017-01-03-11-17-12

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.

jc2

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.

Screenshot from 2017-01-03 14-09-22.png

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???

1465566582016

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

flavoursofbeauty-1471615493267

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.

My two favorite non-greasy, deep conditioning hair oils

Hair issues for me, is not season dependent. Hair fall issues started during my college days, when I moved to a different city and started washing my hair with water having high chlorine content. It hasn’t come down at all, unless I go back to my hometown. Somehow my hair only likes the humid atmosphere and water with salt content.

Anyways I have since experimented with a lot of hair oils, both home made ones and store bought ones. The ones that I really liked recently and has continued using are the Bringadi hair oil from Kama Ayurveda and Javakusum from Just herbs. One thing in common with both of these is that, they are non-greasy, serum like and highly conditioning.

Growing up in Kerala where Ayurveda is quite popular, I have heard a lot about Nilibhrigadi hair oil. This is the popular hair oil from famous Ayurvedic brands like Kottackal Arya Vaidya Pharmacy. Since Kama Ayurveda products like hair oil are manufactured at the arya vaidya sala factory, I believe the formula must be the same, eventhough Kama ones costs alot.

bringad

Coming to the efficacy, both of these are very light oils, non-sticky and spreads easily.

javakusum

Cost : Bringadi – 545Rs for 100ml, Javakusum – 445Rs for 100ml

Fragrance: Bringadi smells more ayurvedic and Javakusum has a pleasant fragrance typical of all Just Herbs products.

Ingredients : Indigo, Bringaraj and Amla are the main ingredients in Bringadi and this one claims to treat for hair loss, premature graying and dandruff.

Hibiscus, gooseberry, henna and other oils form the ingredients of Javakusum and claims the same as Bringadi.

Why I liked them?

The home made oils I use are generally very sticky and makes my face oily as well, on application to scalp. Also it takes a lot of hair cleansing product to wash this off.

These oils on the other hand are of the consistency of serums and spreads easily on hair. My hair feels conditioned, tangle free and  soft, on application of these oils pre-wash.

It takes very little quantity of hair cleanser to wash these off and I don’t feel the need to use conditioners after. As for the claims like hairfall, dandruff and premature greying preventions, I cannot vouch. I feel since the water at my place is hard water, I cannot control hair fall with just hair oils. I don’t have dandruff or premature greying, so no comments on that.

But if you are looking for conditioning hair oils that are free of all nasties, these are what you should buy.

My winter skin care regime

Winter is on our door steps. Eventhough winter reminds me of all things ‘Christmasy’, it also comes with skin issues like dry flaky skin. Especially for people like me with a combination skin type, choosing the right product is of utmost importance. With oily t-zone and dryness in hands and legs, an overall lifestyle change is also required to address these climate related issues.

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The key is to use products that nourishes the skin well without stripping the skin of its moisture and natural oils.

1.Cleanse with mild soap free cleansers

Cleansing is of utmost importance and this is the major factor that determines the longevity of a healthy and youthful skin. Use mild cleansers that are soap free to clean your face so that it doesn’t strip your skin of all moisture.

I use body oil from Gia, as a first cleansing step to remove the dirt, sebum and pollutants accumulated over the day (read review here ). After this I gently massage my skin with Khadi cucumber and aloe cleansing milk. 

Pros:

This cleanser is soap, sulphate and paraben free. This white thick cleanser is like a puree of aloe and cucumber and has the goodness of shea butter for that extra kick of moisture. It is very mild and gentle and will suit all skin types. It refreshes the skin well and makes it soft. At just 100Rs for 210ml, this is quite inexpensive.

Cons: Doesn’t remove makeup or grime.

Other suggestions: Oats based cleansers from Gia here , Silksplash from justherbs here , mix of chickpea flour(besan) and honey.

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2. Exfoliate once a week

Kama Aurveda Kumkumadi brightening scrub and Greentea face and body scrub by Fuschia are my favourites this winter. Both are soap free and creamy. The Kama one has more gritty particles than fuschia one. Leave the scrub for a couple of minutes before washing it off, so that the awesome ingredients gets enough time to work on the skin.

3.Moisturize

If your skin gets dry, stretchy or flaky, with white patches especially on your knees and elbows, using just a body butter or lotion will not help in the long run. It would just keep the area moisturized for few hours. If you want soft and supple skin for winter, oil massage is a must.

I have been using the oils Sugandhadi (Buy here) and Jwalini (Buy here) from Kama ayurveda as massage oils, and let me tell you, I just love them. These have the goodness of sesame oil,coconut oil, ashwagandha, cardamom etc and have very calming and relaxing ayurvedic fragrance. I sometimes feel that it has a hint of warm peppery smell. These are not viscous or very oily and gets easily absorbed by skin. Priced at just Rs 350 for 100ml, these are affordable as well. Wash it off with ubtans or green gram powder for best results.

You can also use warm coconut or sesame oil instead. This process of ‘Abhyanga’ ensures that the skin is taken cared of during winters, relaxes the muscles and even gives a good sleep at night.

I also add a few drops of Lavender essential oil from Soulflower, to the bath water and the fragrance is so relaxing.

For face I use Kama Eladi Hydrating Ayurvedic Face cream (Read review here). This nourishes my combination skin, without making it oily.

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Swatches L-R : Gia body oil (transparent light one on the extreme left), Just herbs Silksplash(transparent thick liquid), Khadi cleanser, Fuscia scrub, Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi scrub, Kama Ayurvedea oils Sugandhadi and Jwalini

Lip Balm :

Take extra care of your lips, as they tend to chap easily during winters. My favourite lip balms are The Burt’s bees peppermint lipbalm (reviewed here ) and the Aroma Essential’s  Orange vanilla lip balm (reviewed here).

In addition to using suitable skin care products make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and keep away from beverages like coffee and tea if possible.

Let me know what your winter skin care problems are, and I will include the tips and tricks in the next post for sure. Have a happy winter you all 🙂

CGH Pepper soap review and a little surprise

This post has a surprise. So keep reading till the end.

You must be familiar with the brand Cape of Good Soap, if you are a regular reader of my blog. I had previously reviewed products from this brand,Teas Please from Cape of Good soap , Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap , Look what came in my mail today!

They offer wide variety of soaps, that not only smells heavenly and looks like a painting in itself, but has very unique combination of ingredients to suit specific skin types.
When we think about ingredients in skin care we usually look forward to those with soothing aromas like floral, herbal fragrances or refreshing ones like citrusy, minty ones. But Manisha’s mind works in a different way. She makes products with ingredients that surprises us for it’s efficacy and unique aromas.So I was fairly surprised when she sent me the Black pepper & Bergamot soap to review.
peppersoap
PC : COGP
What the product claims:

 Black pepper works to detoxify your skin back to its natural state with all its nutrients. This soap will work as a mood uplifter after a long day relieving you of stress and anxiety.

Ingredients:
Crushed black peppercorn, bergamot extract powder, Black pepper & Bergamot essential oil, white soap base

Price: 275/- for 120g.

My take on the product:
As you know, the really liked the Tea’s please soap as it really helped in controlling acne. But this one I saved for the last, as I was not quite sure whether I would like a peppery smelling soap. But to my surprise, this one has a very mild, warm and soothing fragrance which has prominent notes of Bergamot than pepper.
You can see crushed pepper spread across the soap and this really sloughs away dead patches. Also this one, in my opinion, will suit all skin types as this is not drying and is quite mild on skin.
I couldn’t find any con as such, because this one does its job as a soap well :P.
But if I dig deep, maybe I prefer this for the body and not face as it doesn’t control oiliness as well as the green tea variant. But well different products does differ jobs, so no complaints.
Buy it here

So here’s the surprise. We are all familiar with the brands and products, but not always with the brains behind the brands. So here’s is a small interview with the brand owner (or rather artist, as her soaps looks amazing) of Cape of Good Soap, Manisha Dutta.

1. How did you get inspired to start soap making and how did you learn to make skin care products?

I owe a lot of my handcraft to the craft lessons that we used to detest in school.  There are things for which we just rush to the aisles of the mart and pick them up without pondering that these two can be made at home. Like soaps, cosmetics or even Clothes. Most of us never think about it or resist the effort. I did too, but then seeing my own creation shaping up in different shapes, colors, fragrances and concepts is too big a thrill to be stashed away.  While I had learned about soap making way back in school, I got more comfortable experimenting it when i decided to make homemade bath products myself. Being a chemistry graduate, it came naturally to mix and experiment with different ingredients. I did a course to polish my skills before talking them to the clients.
 

2. Which is your favorite ingredient in skincare product(if any particular fragrance , oil or flavour you prefer)?

 I usually like all the ingredients that make the soap different from other handmade soaps that you get, now that there are many players in the market. My addition of choicest of herbs, dried flowers, spices etc. I actually like the natural aroma that come out of these. EO for their properties and fragrance are added, but these natural fragrance of spices and herbs that attract me to my soap.
 
 

3. Do you make the soaps from scratch(in relation to the soaps you sent). Are they cold processed?

I follow all the three processes- hot, cold and M&P made either by me or my trusted vendor, however, this depends on the order and the time available in hand to deliver it.  The soaps that were sent to you were M&P from the bars made by me as that allowed me to customize it for you at the shortest possible time, ensuring that i retain the quality and the ingredients. 
 

4. Where do you seek inspiration for designs?

All my designs are original and I would attribute them to the creative streak in me that has egged me always to  churn out something new and different every single time
 

5. How do you ensure the quality of products you use?

I purchase almost all the ingredients myself. They are handpicked from my travels in India and abroad or I ask my sister to ship them if I run out of some exotic ingredient that we don’t get here in India easily.
 
 

7. What are your future aspirations in this field?

There is a big project in the pipeline. i would love to tell you about it but allow me sometime before i can talk about it. 
 
I hope you all loved this post. Let me know what you would like me to write about next. Happy weekend 🙂