Vilvah Rose & Vanilla Natural Deodorant

Let me introduce you to a new brand in this post, Vilvah which is a natural skincare brand based in Coimbatore. I bought a couple of products from them a few months back and my favorite out of them is this Rose & Vanila Deodorant.

I have introduced to you the vegan lavender deo cream from Burst Of Happyness.     Many of you prefers the deo in twist up applicator and guess what, the Vilvah one comes in one. Let’s take a look at the details of the product. 

Product description:Sweating is a natural process and not something that we should stop our bodies from doing. Many mainstream deodorants use aluminium chloral hydrate and aluminium zirconium to block this process and work as an ‘antiperspirant’ to stop sweating. Most of the deodorant contain aluminium which is absorbed directly into the bloodstream when applied on your armpits. It is particularly not safe for women which lead to breast cancer and can cause hormonal imbalance.

Price & Quantity : 590 Rs for 60g

Benefits:

Make your armpits happy with our natural deodorant range. The deodorant we make are not designed to block the sweat glands. Instead, we use a combination of natural ingredients to help absorb wetness, neutralise odour and making you smell fresh with our essential oil combination.

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Arrow Root Powder, Natural Vit E,  Rose Essential Oil, and Vanilla Essential Oil.

My take on the product:

I like the packaging and I find it much more convenient to carry and use. The deodorant has a heavy rose fragrance that lasts long.  If you are not a fan of rose scent try other fragrances from the range, as the scent is strong, kind of like talcom powder fragrance. But there is no artificial fragrance added and you know how much I like the rose fragrance of natural skincare products (check out here).

The product is very creamy and easy to apply on skin. Make sure you rub the product very lightly on skin. A little quantity will suffice and rubbing it more than once will just cause wastage of product. So to make it last long, apply minimally and you are good to go.

Eventhough it is preferable to store the deo in a cool, dry place; I did not see it melt or leak when I traveled with this in a hot and humid area. So this is quite travel friendly.

Juicy Chemistry Neem Butter, Pumpkin & Vitamin E Scalp Repair Hair Mask

This post is a review of one of the new launches from Juicy Chemistry kitchen, the Neem Butter, Pumpkin & Vitamin E Scalp Repair Hair Mask.

Ingredients:

Coconut Butter, Neem Butter, Olive Oil, Baobab Oil, Natural Vitamin-E, Castor Oil, Argan Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Beeswax, Lavender, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Rosemary, Lemon, Tea-Tree Essential Oil and Ginger.

Price: Rs 850 for 75g

Fragrance and texture : This is a runny oil with a slight green tinge. It is not sticky like heavy oils. The fragrance is strong, with mostly tea tree and rosemary notes; but not overpowering.

Packaging : It comes in an amber glass bottle with a pump and cap.

My take on the product:

Usually a mix of tea tree oil, coconut oil, vit e from capsule, castor oil and ginger juice is my go to hair potion for dry and flaky scalp. This hair product (I wouldn’t call it a mask since this is like a hair oil/tonic) has many more beneficial ingredients for the hair. I either mix it with my normal hair oil and use or most times I replace hair oil with just this.

I like this product a lot. My hair is not chemically treated and I only use natural products to cleanse. Eventhough I have hair fall because of the hard water, my hair is not damaged in any way. But I do get flaky scalp and excessive oiliness at times. This oil has really helped in controlling that.

A little quantity is enough to massage the scalp, and then it has to be left for 30 min before cleansing it off with a mild cleanser.  I use it only twice a week.

JC keeps having sale on the website often, and that would be a good time to get this product if you wan tot try it out. I would recommend this if you have dandruff/flaky and oily scalp or if your hair is thin, straight and has less volume.

NOTE : Incase you have dry, frizzy and brittle hair which is chemically damaged and is in need of deep conditioning, you should try the Argan and Mango butter mask instead.  especially if you have curly hair.T he mask is very thick (more like a body butter) and has to be applied from root to hair tip as a pre-wash mask. This will weigh your hair down incase you have straight, thin hair.

These products are for improving the overall quality of the scalp and hair and not a treatment for hair fall. Incase you have hairfall problems, you should also take care of your diet and water intake in addition to using natural hair care products.

Hope you liked this post.  Do subscribe using email id, for timely updates of latest blog posts.

 

Skin Yoga

I am reviewing two of my favorite products from this 100 % natural brand,Skin Yoga. I had reviewed the green tea face mask from Skin yoga before. I repurchased the full size green tea mask and also tried out the saffron,sandalwood face mask this time.

Skin Yoga Green Tea Face Mask

Check out the previous blog post for detailed review. I will just be adding new observations here.

Skinyoga green tea mask

Ingredients : So this one has an additional ingredient in the formula which is the Neem leaf powder, in addition to the oat meal, green tea and rice powder.

Suitable for : All skin types, especially oily/acne prone skin.

Review:

If you would ask me what is the one product that can clear out acne, I would suggest this mask. The ingredients are simple and highly effective.  On mixing with water to form a paste, this will increase in quantity. So take just a little first and see if that would suffice. I use it as a spot treatment on acne.

Because of the presence of neem leaf powder, this makes my eyes water if I apply a thick layer on my cheeks. So I use very little quantity and apply directly over any acne or marks.

Skin Yoga Sandalwood Saffron face mask : Anti ageing skin brightening blend

Ingredients : Sandalwood powder, Saffron, walnut powder

Suitable for:  Normal to very dry skin types.

Review:

This is a powder version of moisturizer. This mask deeply moisturizes the skin and is great addition to your routine, if you have dry skin.

Unlike green tea face mask, the texture of this is crumbly. But once a little of this is mixed with water the color lightens and it becomes soft in texture.

I wouldn’t suggest this mask for oily/acne prone skin types. After washing the mask off, there will be a bit of oiliness on the skin and in a few minutes these oils will skin in completely leaving the skin glowing.

More on the brand:

This is a high end brand, based on the price and packaging. But it is also highly effective and a little goes a long way. One doesn’t need to slather a thick layer of the products to get the most out of it. I usually use just a pinch or two of both masks like spot treatment. Since I have a combination skin, I use the green tea mask mostly on my t-zone or just over pimple prone area and the sandalwood mask on dry patches on the cheeks. I am sure both the products will last me long.

One thing that makes these products efficient is that all the ingredients are actives and works beautifully on the specific skin types, which makes these products worth buying. You can get them from the Skinyoga website or from Nykaa.

The sourcing of the best quality ingredients must be what makes the difference. Because these ingredients are easily available in market and we can as well make a home made mask with it. But I have found that it doesn’t give the same result as the Skin yoga ones.

Both the products comes in a glass jar with glass lid, packed inside a wooden box.  So these are not exactly travel friendly. But since these are in dry powder form, you can easily transfer it into travel friendly tins.

Hope you liked the review. Do leave your comments.

Natural makeup remover : Moolit Beauty Seabuckthron Cleanser Review

Incase you are looking for an affordable and completely natural makeup remover cream, read the post below for more info.

I am not a makeup lover and I use mostly kajal everyday and lipcolors at times. But  most of the good ones in the market are water proof/smudge proof, and need a lot of rubbing while oil cleansing, to remove it completely. Also most of the time, the oil seeps into my eyes and causes irritation. It gets much difficult when I travel, because oils are not travel friendly and also I would need to carry tissues or wet wipes to wipe it all off.

I was looking for something that is non-oily and completely natural that would cleanse away the kajal easily.

Many of you would be using mostly micellar waters or cleansing oils to remove makeup. Also there is this trend of cleansing balms, that breaks down makeup and emulsifies with water while washing it off. But these products are too costly and definitely not completely natural.

Here is a homemade product from an upcoming Indian brand called Moolit Beauty by Utkarshini Khanna, that doubles up as a cleanser and a makeup remover, while being non-comodogenic.

Moolit Beauty

I have been following Utkarshini’s Insta for quite some time. She makes 100x washed ghee for skin and hair care and also makes Youtube videos on skincare. Her brand Moolit Beauty is newly conceived and she makes fresh and limited batches of skincare products.

I did not really feel like trying out this cleanser initially, mainly because I was looking for a solid cleanser than a creamy one. But then I discussed this with her and she told me that, to make dense cleansers butters like shea and cocoa have to be added, which can clog the pores. So I decided to give this a try.

As soon as I placed the order, I saw a review from someone which said this smells like Amrutanjan and I again I got skeptical. I am not a fan of strong fragrances whether natural or not. So read on to find out if I liked this product.

Here are the details of the product :

Price : 500 Rs including shipping.  Price and qty are not mentioned in the tub

Packing: Comes in a sturdy amber jar with labels explaining ingredients and instructions, in detail.

Ingredients :

Actives : Seabuckthorn juice,oil and berries, plant glycerin and tocopherol (vit e).

Inactives:  There is a whole list of inactives which are all either ecocert certified/plant based/food grade.

Texture : It’s a slurry of cream, oil and solid bits of sea buckthorn berries.

Fragrance : Unique smell that is not a sweet/floral/fruity. Maybe similar to Ayurvedic product smell. I wouldn’t say it is very strong.

A little about the major ingredient sea buckthorn:

It is a bushy shrub with orange berries. The berries and oil taken from them is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids.  It is known to be great for the skin.

My review : I will make it short and simple.

  1. Needs only tiny amount of product to cleanse entire face and neck.
  2. Non sticky, non oily and completely light on skin.
  3. Removes any kind of makeup with little effort .
  4. Completely cleanses the skin with no oily residue.
  5. Suitable for all skin types.
  6. The oils had seeped out a bit on transit. So this might not be travel friendly. I would transfer a little to a smaller airtight container for travelling.
  7. Doesn’t foam and doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.

Now here is a small experiment to see if this product can actually remove stubborn makeup.

In case the makeup is stubborn, you can double cleanse to remove it completely. A little goes a long way, so use appropriately.

I also read some reviews that said this brightens up the skin, but it didn’t for me (I don’t expect a cleanser to do that ). Maybe this is because it cleanses thoroughly and gives that refreshed look.

Eventhough there are tiny pieces of the Seabuckthorn berries in the cleanser, I don’t prefer rubbing it on skin for exfoliation because what is left is very solid particles (maybe seeds) and rubbing it on skin is not a pleasant experience.

Anyway I like this product and I hope you liked this post. Do comment below incase you have any queries.

Summer coolers : Recipes of hibiscus juice and cooked mango juice

Hibiscus Juice

Hibiscus has immense health benefits and is known as the botox plant, for its  skin improving properties. Usually I make face mask and shampoo out of the flowers and leaves. But here is a different way to consume the benefits of this plant.

This super refreshing summer drink is very refreshing and rich in antioxidants.

Recipe:

Depetal 7or 8 flowers and clean them thoroughly in fresh water.

Boil these petals in 4 glasses of water. Add sugar to taste. Once the water turns blue and petals loses its color, sieve the petals out and cool the water.

Next add lemon juice to the water which is at room temperature, and then it will turn red.

Add crushed ginger/mint if you like the taste of it or you can skip it.

 

 

Cooked Mango Juice

Now you might ask what is the need to cook the mango. Well according to my grandma, it improves the taste, kills all the germs and can be stored for longer.

We use a mango variety called ‘Moovandan‘ to make this juice. We have a tree in our backyard and the ripe mangoes keeps falling when there is wind. Eventhough the fallen ones are good, they are too bruised to be cut into pieces. So the best way to make use of these, is to make a pulpy juice.

No added sugar or color 😛

Recipe:

Cut the mangoes into pieces (doesn’t matter what size). Add some water and pressure cook it for about 3 whistles. Once it cools, blend in a mixer. I don’t add sugar as the mangoes are naturally very sweet. If not, add honey or cane sugar instead of white sugar. Sieve the juice to remove the fibre. Keep it refrigerated in a bottle.

 

Insta shopping : 6 desi brands redefining Indian fashion

Indian textiles is rich in beautiful printing and weaving techniques like block/screen prints, ajrakh, kalamkari, tie and die, ikkat and many more. Many of these has influence from other cultures and geographies. But mostly when we think about these, we tend to lean towards ethnic wear like salwars and saris. But here is a list of popular Insta desi brands, that has redefined Indian fashion while staying strong to the roots.

Some tips to keep in mind before you ‘insta shop’:

  1. Make sure the brand is authentic : Check out the reviews in google or see if they have a website. Look out for customer ratings or comments under the product. Many instagram sellers just posts the pics from other sellers and sells bad quality products. So be careful.
  2. Chat with the brand people : All these brands are run by women entepreneurs themselves and they are always happy to reply to your doubts and needs. So if you want customizations done or if you are not sure of what to get, or need to know about the return policy, you can always reach out to them.
  3. Look out for a sale : Especially for clothing and jewelry, I eye my favorites and wait till a sale comes around the corner, to purchase them. You save a lot (really alot) and wouldn’t even have to pay the shipping charge most of the time.
  4. Buy from ethical brands: I am always looking out for brands that not only claims to be ethical in production but that sources their raw materials ethically as well. Many brands works in empowering women in rural areas. And it feels good to know that when you buy from them, you are also encouraging their efforts.
  5. Be respectful: Many of these brands are owned woman entepreneurs, passionate about their art and work. These clothes are not like the mass produced ones you buy from big brands, but are lovingly handcrafted. Many of them even made from natural fibres and dyes, handprinted painstakingly to achieve the precision.
  6. Payment: Almost all the brands I have bought from accepts only bank transfer, with a few exceptions who accepts paytm as well. So netbanking is the best mode of payment and make sure you correctly add the bank details of the seller, to avoid any issues with payment.

Iam not a fashion blogger, and these are mostly mobile clicks from my travel. Some of you might be familiar with these pics, as I have posted all these pics in my Insta handle.

What makes these labels special is that, these are all founded by strong passionate women, who thinks out of the box and paves their own path.

The Khadi cult

Oh this is my favourite of the lot.  This label is owned by Priyanshi Jariwala, aka theroundwoman, who is super cute and friendly.

 The Khadi Cult endorses the idea of being a ” KHADI- VADI” but in a voguish way.

You can also purchase from their website. I love the latest prints in their summer collection. Incase you like a print, you can get it customized in any design you want as well.

Udaipur shopping : In the wonderland of wooden curios

Who knew that prints in Khadi could be so cool and quirky.

Vipoojitha

Do you spot the mini white elephants?

This is a home based clothing brand by, Pooja based in Kerala. The clothes are simple, beautiful and very comfortable. Also super affordable. I usually ask her for fabrics in stock and get them customized.

Matching matching

Rivaaj Clothing

A Jaipur based brand that sells beautiful block printed dresses.

They are rightly priced, compared to many of the mediocre but highly expensive brands out there in the market today, especially for handblock prints. But customizations are not available.

 

 Okhai.org

Okhai is an initiative by Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) for empoweing rural and semi-urban women and rural artisans across India.

Mix and match

 Okhai’s mission is to encourage women from less privileged backgrounds to acquire new skills; to give them the self-confidence and self-esteem required to earn by their own industry and initiative; and to enable them to carry this newly discovered skill and confidence into the wider world.

Their website has a huge collection of apparels for men, women and also homedecor items and accesories. All their attires are made for the modern women, with strong roots in tradition. Their kurtas are smart, flared, elegant and perfect with pockets.

Mogra Designs

I never thought I could afford one of their pieces but then again, they had a huge sale before they took a break last year.

The fabric is soft and the dress is very light, flared and comfortable. The the best things is it has pockets.

Margazhi Designs

I am not a sari lover and I don’t think I will ever get the draping right, but I couldn’t resist buying this piece from Margazhi designs.

The beautiful owner Madhulika, wears them with such elegance and poise. It’s a madurai cotton sari and Iam planning to turn it into a dress later.

If you love saris, especially traditional woven ones, this is the handle to follow.

© Copyright 2018 flavoursofbeauty.com. All rights reserved.

This has been the most requested post and many of you has been asking about my attires posted in Insta. Do subscribe and comment below and let me know if this post was interesting. Depending on that I will make a post on more brands.

Juicy Chemistry Coffee, Chocolate and Macaroot hydrating mask review

If you are my insta follower, you would have already seen a video review of the product in my insta live. Also I had posted about the, ongoing 25%  off sale in Juicy Chemistry website. So this is the best time to hoard your favourites from the brand. Do check out all my JC product reviews before you choose the products.

Juicy Chemistry Coffee, Chocolate and Maca root hydrating mask

Quick review :

This is more of a scrub than a mask and is suitable for all skin types. As a scrubby face mask this will be apt for normal-dry skin types. The coarse, grainy texture of the coffee and sugar mix makes it unsuitable for sensitive skin types, as a face mask.

The ingredient list is impressive and has many skin loving butters and oils. The fragrance is prominently of coffee and orange essential oil and this smells delicious. The fragrance adds to the spa experience one gets, while using the product.

The organic cane sugar and coffee particles sloughs away the dry and dead skin and the shea, cocoa butters and almond, olive, coconut, jojoba and vit E oils helps in moisturizing the skin. Coffee also helps in reducing tan and cellulite.

The product should be applied to wet skin and massaged well. Since the product has a lot of moisture rich ingredients, it doesn’t flake off from body on applying to wet skin. Leaving it on as a mask for extra time, improves the effect fn the ingredients on skin.

I have used it as a face mask as well and it didn’t cause any break outs. But the experience with scrubby particles on face is not that great. So I will stick with using it as a scrub.

Will I repurchase this:

No. Eventhough it is a good product, Iam not a coffee fan and JC offers some other variants that I like better. I prefer the fragrance of the Orange,Cinnamon Sugar scrub as I find it very relaxing. Also for dry skin types I would recommend the Rose, Almond Shea body scrub, which is mild and very fragrant.

You might also be interested in:

My favorites and not so favorites from Juicy Chemistry

Juicy Chemistry Rose Sandalwood Mask

Juicy Chemistry citrus and sage foot scrub

Juicy Chemistry Hazelnut & Vanilla Latte Soap

Spicy Apple Pie anyone???

 

Cool tips for the summer

Summer is my favourite season. Nature is bright and colorful and it brings delicious seasonal fruits like mangoes, jackfruit and the clothes come out crisp and warm after drying. On the downside, it is extremely humid and our skin is prone to damage easily during summers.

You know the usual drill of keeping hydrated and applying sunscreen. So here are some other tips to come out of this summer all refreshed :

1. Make the regular water interesting

Noone has to force us to keep hydrated in summer because we feel thirsty all the time. But you can make it much tastier and refreshing by adding a spring of mint, basil seeds or a dash of lime to a bottle of water. This will make it interesting for kids as well.

Refreshing hydration

Easy Fruit Punch:

Cut some seasonal fruits like watermelon and pineapple into thin tiny pieces. Soak some poppy/basil seeds in water and let it puff up. You can add this to your regular lime juice or to a mix of lime and pineapple juice and it will taste sooo good.

A great welcome drink for guests

2. Face mist to hydrate and protect your skin

A spritz of cool face mist helps in calming irritated and sensitive skin and protects it from sun damage.

Steam distilled rose, lavender, aloe, vetiver, orange blossom waters can be refrigerated and sprayed on skin frequently throughout the day to wake up and cool tired/hot skin.

3. Use natural deodorant instead of anti perspirants

We tend to sweat a lot during summers and everyone usually opts for anti perspirants. The ingredients in it like aluminium compounds, clogs the pores of sweat glands and prevents sweating. This is quite harmful, as sweating is a natural cooling mechanism and it is a way of eliminating toxins from the body.

A little goes a long way

4. Multi purpose natural skincare

It is better to keep skincare simple and basic on summers. Aloevera gel is a versatile skincare product that can be used as a moisturizer, face mask, hair conditioner and after sun gel to prevent sunburn.

Click on image for the post

Avoid claybased masks that dehydrate and heat up the skin.

5. Eat your water and drink your food

Include more seasonal fruits in your diet, especially the ones with high water content. Also have light and easy to digest home made smoothies, salads and soups including more vegetables in the diet.

Eat the greens

6. Wear clothes made of natural fibres

Clothes made of cotton, linen, jute etc are apt for summer and will let your skin breathe underneath.

Hope you liked the post. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more lifestyle feeds.

A complete guide to India’s truly natural skincare brands – 1

Many of you must be interested in switching to natural/organic skincare and beauty products, but could be hesitant. One reason is that, the popular ones we all know of are mostly luxury brands (like Forest Essentials & Kama Ayurveda), which are obviously very expensive. Also sometimes people blindly buys products from brands claiming to be natural/organic, when in reality they might just have a very small percentage of natural ingredients and thereby end up having a bad experience. Sometimes even the most popular brands we know hides majority of their ingredients under the name ‘base’, eg: Biotique.

Handmade natural skincare products are safe and are multitasking ones. For eg: a handmade soap made with natural ingredients can be used as a hair, body and face cleanser.  Would you dare to use your shampoo as a face cleanser otherwise?

There are many Indian natural skincare brands that sells quality products at affordable prices. These brands are transparent about the ingredients used and gives all the ingredient info in the label. Here is the list of few such natural Indian skincare brands, that I have already introduced you through the different posts.

1. Juicy Chemistry

The first time I tried JC products was three years back when they had just the fb handle and some amazing products. Now they have grown to be a very popular organic certified brand with a store in Coimbatore and products extensively available through online sites.

The brand is started by a husband wife duo, Pritesh and Megha Asher. The products are pure and made of high quality ingredients and has 0% chemicals/preservatives. All their products smell amazing because of the exquisite combination of essential oils. So eventhough you might feel this is not very pocket friendly, let me tell you, it is worth the price.

Products I recommend:  Body scrubs, body butters, soaps, face mists.

Read my reviews :

Juicy Chemistry citrus and sage foot scrub

Decadent body scrubs for all skin types

Juicy Chemistry Rose Sandalwood Mask

Juicy Chemistry Hazelnut & Vanilla Latte Soap

My favorites and not so favorites from Juicy Chemistry

Spicy Apple Pie anyone???

Juicy Chemistry : Choco-Vanila Body Butter – Now discontinued

2. Gia bath and body works

This is the first natural skincare brand I tried. I wouldn’t call all products completely natural as some of them contains fragrances and safe food colors. The brand is run by Gayatri based on Mumbai. She takes into account customer suggestions and even customizes perfumes. Her soaps are a work of art and looks edible. The fragrances are so good that your bathroom will smell amazing.

Products I recommend: Chocolate creme silk soap, cup cake soaps, oats based face cleansers in various flavours.

Read my reviews :

Pomegranate facial cleanser from Gia 

Daily cleansing method for soft and glowing skin

A divine chocolate soap you will fall in love with

Butter Cream Whipped Soaps

My favorite hair cleanser from Gia

Mintensity Foot soak
3. Zofla

This is one of my recent finds. I have used just one product from this brand, which is the rose water face mist. Unlike many commonly available brands like Dabur that sells chemical solution in the name of rose water (check out the ingredient list next time you feel like buying this : Aqua, Fragrance, Rose Oil, Propylene Glycol, Propyl Paraben, Methyl Paraben, Bronopol.), this rose water is made by steam distillation of organic Kannauj rose petals.

The product comes in a plastic spray bottle and can be just sprayed on to your skin for a boost of hydration, freshness and can be also used to mix your face packs or to calm skin inflammations. I bought this from amazon and it costs only 160Rs for 100ml.
4. Greenberry Organics

Started by a Mom-son duo, this brand is the first ECOCERT certified brand in India. I have used their most popular product, MUDASH 3 In 1 Face Mask, Scrub and Cleanser. The particles are a bit too gritty and hence suitable best as a body scrub. The brand also offers many more skin, body and hair care products.

Read myreview : Best Skincare Finds : Multitasking products for all skin types

5. Blend It Raw Apothecary

Incase you wish to whip up your own skincare recipes or if you are an essential oil junkie, this is the best brand to buy all the flower powders, clays, oils, face mists and what not. I would always recommend getting the ingredients and making products like face mask, scrub, lipbalms, body butters on your own; because then you really know what goes into the product and also these are much cost effective but equally good. The brand is the brain child of my fellow blogger and skincare enthusiast Aarushi, based in Delhi.

Read my review : Dandruff free silky hair and soft supple skin with simple DIY skincare recipes
6. Krya

With roots strongly based on Ayurveda, Krya adhers strictly to the age old textual methods of product preparation. This is a lifestyle brand and apart from skin and hair care products, this brand has baby care and home care products as well that are 100% herbal, vegan & cruelty-free.

Preethi Sukumaran, one of the founders, always finds time to respond to customer queries. She prescribes a holistic approach where she suggests changes to lifestyle and food habits. She also posts videos in the Krya blog addressing the lifestyle issues of urban life and ayurvedic way of living.

Products I recommend: Hair oil and hair wash powder, hair color, detergent.

Read my review: 

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

All natural and safe home care products
7. Burst of Happyness

Baed on Pune and run by Shreya Sharan Pawar, this brand was started as a result of her quest to find remedy to the allergies brought about by chemical based skincare products. The brand offers vegan soaps, shampoo bars, serums and many more body care products.

Product I recommend: Natural deodorants in lavender and rose scents.

Read my review: All natural and vegan deodorant
8. Cape Of Good Hope

Manisha creates beautiful art in soaps. Her soaps looks so pretty and smells amazing as well. The last product she sent me was a geode soap customized with ingredients that are harmonious with my zodiac. She also customizes products based on customer needs.

Products I recommend: Let Manisha know your skin concerns and leave the rest to her. My favorites are the Rose wine scrub and Green tea soap.

Read my reviews:

CGH Pepper soap review and a little surprise

Take time to smell the roses

Teas Please from Cape of Good soap

Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap

9. Junaili

Can a product so simple and pure that it is a raw material in itself, be as effective as the skin care concoctions with many exotic ingredients?

Junaili carries the purity of the Uttarakhand mountains and mist. This himalayan apothecary run by a family, uses just one raw material : Apricot.

The cold pressed apricot oil is customized into hair, face and body oils and the kernals are processed into scrubs.

Read my review: http://flavoursofbeauty.com/junaili-apricot-body-scrub-simple-and-pure/
10. Ancient Ayurveda

This Kerala based brand works with Prajwala, the world’s largest anti-human-trafficking shelter based in India, to empower women. Wood ash soaps are their specialty and these soaps oozes of ayurvedic tailas. The soaps are so soft and melts easily.

Read my review: Ancient Ayurveda Woodash Soaps

11. Amara Organix

This Chennai based brand is by 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.

Recommended: Handmade soaps,  Brightening Face mask

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

Hope you liked this post. I have not included any luxury brands in this feature. I will be consolidating more products and introduce you to more authentic brands in the upcoming posts.

Comment below about your favorite natural skincare brands and the recommended products.

An evening at the Pushkar festival

Pushkar fest is one of the largest livestock fares in the world and we couldn’t complete our Rajasthan trip without visiting this colorful cultural mela.

This was our last day at Jaipur and we were planning to explore Amrapali showroom at MI road, before heading to Pushkar via Ajmer. While bidding adieu, the owner of the Vimal heritage, a very sweet and beautiful lady, asked us to check out Chameli bazar instead. According to her, while Amrapali is exhorbitant in pricing, this one on the other hand has many affordable alternatives.

by the beautiful indoor pool area

Chameliwala market

An arch saying ‘Chameliwala market’ and a small lane leading inside, is the entrance to the silver abode. This can be easily missed eventhough it is on the roadside. Since it was early, most of the shops were closed. here mostly wholesale sales takes place and so window shoppers are ignored, unlike at the Johari bazar. An array of tiny shops, displaying gorgeous handcrafted silver jewelry peeped at us through the glass windows. I went inside one of the shops called Rathi Silvers. This one had all kinds of silver pieces from tribal to enamel works, contemporary pieces to traditional jhumkas. I bought a pair of beautiful studs with blue enamel work.

Blue enamel silver studs

The people in Jaipur are ery helpful and homely. An old man, one of the staff at the shop phoned his friend in Kerala and had us talk to him, when he came to know that we are Keralites.

On the way back, we stopped at the lassiwala shop at MI road, but found it no match for the thick creamy gulab flavoured lassi we had at Johari bazaar.

We had arranged for a cab to take us to Ajmer, followed by Pushkar and finally drop us back at Ajmer railway station, from where we would travel to Udaipur.

Ajmer

Since we were passing Ajmer, we decided to stop at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, which is a shrine of the sufi saint  Moinuddin Chisti. It was listed as one of the top must visit places around. The lane leading to the shrine was packed with locals and tourists. No vehicles were allowed there so we had to park at the beginning of the road. Providing parking lot itself is a big business here and every other house has a paid garage for public parking. We need to bargain with the owners or else they will just quote 300-500 Rs for parking.

The Ajmer dargah

We started to the dargah by walk and we were followed by many auto drivers offering to take us till the shrine at “just” Rs 200. The shrine is just around 5min walk and you don’t need to hire a vehicle. I was wearing a dress that didn’t cover my ankle. I was offered a shawl for free at the entrance of the dargah, to cover my legs till the ankle. Also you will be expected to cover your head in certain areas inside.

Unlike the dargah in Bhuland Darwaza, this one was over crowded, noisy and buzzing with street vendors, guides and the homeless. It didnot have the peaceful and serene atmosphere I expected, which was disappointing. It might have been a holy place once, but now it’s more or less a bait to attract tourists. We didn’t spend much time inside at all and left in around 10min.

Pushkar

Pushkar fest : The fest happens every year in November, for a week around the full moon day. People from all parts of Rajasthan gather here to trade livestock as well as to take part in competitions which includes moustache competition, camel race and the voice of Pushkar (Pushkar’s version of American Idol) to name a few. Also this is considered as a very holy time and people come to visit the famous Brahma temple (the only one in the world) and to take a dip in the Pushkar lake to wash away all sins.

Waiting for the next safari

We reached Pushkar by around 4 pm and we left the cab and driver at the public parking ground. As we walked towards the mela ground, we could see the men, women and children clad in traditional Rajasthani attire getting down from buses and carts, heading to the mela. The evening sun was warm and we could see small tents scattered throughout the desert. On either side of the road, temporary stables were erected for horses and camels. From pure white albino horses to black stallions, the variety of breeds brought here are remarkable.

These beauties…

There were huge bulls and different breeds of cows brought for competitions as well as for sale from different parts of north India.

Mr Stubborn

There are many shops around that displays metal accessories with colorful pompoms and threads. But once you approach these, you will realize that these are the fineries for camels.

The camel jewery store

One can also shop for ornate daggers and swords here as well.

Dagger shop

There were two major mela grounds : one, Carnivalesque with many rides like the giant wheel, hot air balloons, giant swings, and the other ground is where the competitions and camel safari takes place.

Loud and colorful

Maha Aarti

We headed towards the ghat ofthe holy lake which is surrounded by temples on almost all sides.

Mandap

Devotees were climbing down the many stairs towards the river bank, where the evening aarthi was taking place.

devotees gathered for the maha aarti

The loud beaming voice of the pandit chating mantras in tune, hundreds of diyas lighted along the steps leading to the water, sweet fragrance of dhoop and agarbattis and the golden rays of setting sun gave us the most picturisque welcome.

The serene Pushkar

There are many shops selling decor items, agarbattis and funky attires along the roads leading to the ghat. We spotted a buepottery store here as well. Since my brother had asked for a blue bottery coffee mug (after we left the blue pottery store in Jaipur), we decided to buy it from here. To our surprise we found many new designs at cheaper rate.

Spotted this naughty one dressed up as Lord Shiva

Back in the ground, the voice of Pushkar had already started. A stage was set on one end of the ground. The competitors sang peppy Bollywood movie songs and the crowd cheered and applauded for the best ones.

My man was very interested in camel ride and felt that the single ride around the ground was too short. While we were enjoying the music, we could see the hot air balloon getting inflated at the other end of the ground. It would go up a few inches and will get pulled down and this would go on every few minutes. Initially we thought they were struggling to get it to rise, but later found out that this is all the hot air balloon fun one can experience for a few ten bucks.

There are quite a number of temporary shacks, setup as eateries, selling local delicacies.

Never say no to Jalebis

We tried the dal batti churma in one eatery close to the mela ground. After dinner we headed back to Ajmer railway station and spent the most boring 3 hours of the entire trip, in the  waiting room of the station. But the next day held the promise of a new city, the city of lakes.

NOTE: We missed all the competitions, as they happen in the mornings mostly.

The festivities are at its peak on the full moon day. So incase you are planning to spend just one day at the fest, plan it for then.

For safaris, camel rides or even shopping, the locals will quote double or triple the actual cost most of the time, as they can easily identify a tourist. So polish your bargaining skills and keep them handy.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Do let me know in the comments below.

Also check out:

Day 1 : The grandeur of The Pink City

Day2 : A walk through the art, architecture and history

Day3 : The Majestic Taj

Relax, shop and enjoy the colors of the city of lake