A Hundred Hands : Bangalore Edition

The 8th edition of the Annual Handmade Collective, A Hundred Hands is here in Bangalore. It is a colourful and fun bazaar, where you get to see and buy handmade products from artisans across India.

A Hundred Hands is a nonprofit trust whose mission is to help those directly involved in the creation of handmade art, crafts, and homemade foods, earn a fair and sustainable livelihood from their work.

Sisters Dr Sonia Dhawan and Mala Dhawan started this initiative from their home around 2008, to encourage local artisans and to provide a platform to sell their products directly to customers. Now this has grown to be so popular that it happens in different cities across India every year, showcasing the work of currently a hundred member artisans and NGOs.

Where in Bangalore : At the United Theological College in Miller’s Road.
When : 29th-3rd Dec
Next stops : 7th to 10th Dec in Fort Cochin, 15th to 17th Dec in Coimbatore.
Entry Fee : Rs 50/person

What to carry : Carry a cloth or paper bag to carry home all the goodies you buy from here. No need to carry cash as most of the stalls accepts card. Parking is available if you are an early bird.

A glimpse of the expo :

Incase you have been to Sunday Soul Sante, let me tell you this is a much bigger and pocket friendly bazaar, where you get to see amazing art. Also you get to interact with these artists and know first hand on the process and effort it takes to make these unique art works.

For example, this piece of art took 3 years to get completed.

These small sparrows perching on the branch, is made from banyan tree leaf.

Kantha work meets modern cuts, in this smart jacket.

Bought a fruit basket with lid from this stall. They also have air tight casseroles that keeps the food warm.

Thangka paintings.

A stall from Varnam Craft Collective, showcasing the Channapatna toy craft

Colourful and cute patch worked quilts and cushion covers.

Rajasthani juttis

Clay pottery

Yards and yards of beautiful Pochampalli, Ikkat and Ajrakh prints on silk, is heaven for designers and cloth lovers. Also there are crop tops, pallazoes and dresses for modern woman made from cotton and khadi with natural dyed block prints from brands like Funky Fusion

This beautiful stole is from the Gurunanak Phulkari House, all the way from Punjab.

So hope you all take home some great memories and beautiful handmade pieces by these artisans.

July favorites : Afghani earrings, sari, juttis and many more

My last favorites post was in Feb (link) and it was mostly about skincare products. But here is an exclusive post on everything but skincare. Take a look at my favorite purchases for the month.

My favorite glass bottle from Home Centre

Home centre is running awesome offers this month and since I decided not to use plastic bottles anymore for storing water, I picked up this beauty for just Rs 200. Love the mechanism of the cap and Iam surprised at how much I look forward to drinking water these days. I add few mint leaves and a dash of lime to the water and it keeps you hydrated with a feeling of freshness.

This gorgeous cotton sari

I am not a sari lover but I fell in love with this one. I plan to make a dress out of it after I wear it once as sari. Margazhi designs, an insta store is one of my recent finds and I love their collection. Don’t you think this one is gorgeous?

Super comfy floral juttis

These look very classy and goes with all attires. Akaayra an insta store has a great collection of these comfy beauties.

Healthy snacks anyone?

Snackible is a healthy snacks company bidding to revolutionize the snacking industry by delivering unique, healthy, and tasty snacks, anywhere in India.I bought Oats & Chia Chocolate Bites,Oatmeal waaffle, Chilli Garlic Pita Chips, Herb & Cheese Makhana and Kale chips with bajra puffs. To give you a mini review, I loved everything except the waffles and Kale chips. Basically the waffles were not crisp and Kale chips was more of bajra puffs with kale leaf bits. I loved the cheese Makhan and oats chocolate bites.

Afghani gunghroo earrings

You all loved the afghani chandbaalis I got last time, featured in the Feb Favorites post. I bought this one from The Trinket Shop (another insta store). As you know, I share more tips and pics in Instagram and answer all your skincare queries there. And since I spend more time in Insta, I explore and find out these amazing insta stores. This one has awesome and affordable jewelry collection and the best part is you can block your favorites over a period and get them all together and thereby save shipping charge.

Rose and Shea Butter soap from Soap works

You would already read about this in my recent insta post but if not, hear hear. I got this sample in my December reverie box but I never used it so far. I actually kept it in my cupboard for the amazing fragrance. It has a divine rose smell, lathers lightly and looks so pretty with scattered rose petals in the transparent block.

Nykaa nailpaints

Lastly let me tell you about these beautiful and unique colors from the Nykaa nailpaints range. I bought 2 matte, (chia pudding & royal amethyst) and 1 normal nailpaint(marsala chai). The colors are amazingly pigmented and gives full coverage in a single swipe. Love the texture of the matte nailpaint. The only drawback is, incase you love doing nail art like me and paint design using one matte nail paint on top of another, it is likely to chip off fast.

As for skin care products there are many amazing ones I tried recently and I feel feature them one by one in my coming posts. Hope you liked this one and let me know if you have any questions. Also don’t forget to subscribe and leave your comments. See you.

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.

All about hair cleansers

Hi you all 🙂

Hair care products play a very important role in the quality and health of hair, along with other controllable factors like protein rich food, keeping hydrated and having stress free life. I had thick long straight silky hair as a kid but once I moved to a different city to do my college, my bad hair days started. Because of the change in water (chlorine rich water), my hair started falling off a lot and became thin and dandruff prone in no time. I used to use commercial shampoos then and it made my hair dry and thin day by day.

Once I converted to natural skincare 🙂 , I concentrated more on getting back my hair quality. Even though my hair is now back to it’s former silky texture and has grown thicker, the hair fall still has not reduced much owing to the hard water from pipes. When I am back in my home town, my skin and hair problems vanishes as the quality of water is much better their.

Many of you have written to me asking about hair care products and shampoos for different hair types. I thought rather than reviewing each hair cleanser separately, I will combine it all in one, so that you can choose what suits best for you.

Before going to the reviews, let me tell you how I wash my hair. Hehee yeah with water, but I always wash my hair post oiling. So I oil my hair atleast 30min prior wash, then gather the hair forward and wet it well. Take a coin size amount of shampoo and mix it with water well. If I use shampoo bar, I lather it well with water. Apply the lather on scalp and massage gently towards hair tips. Rinse hair and repeat the shampooing incase you have oily hair like mine. Apply the conditioner only to hair and not on scalp and leave it for few minute before washing the hair thoroughly.

The products I am writing about here are:

1.Hair cleanser from Gia bath and body works

2.Lavender,chamomile shampoo bar from Juicy Chemistry

3. 8 in 1 root nourishing amla-neem shampoo from Just Herbs

4. Onion cream shampoo from Aroma essentials

5. Beer coconut milk shampoo bar from Soaps by Sangi

6. Dhathri herbal shampoo

Some of this has already been reviewed in detail before, so I will add the links to those.

  1. The Argan oil and silk protein enriched hair cleanser from Gia is my favorite of the lot. The reasons being:

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Price : Rs 290 for 200ml

  • It has same consistency as that of commercial shampoos but with none of its cons.
  • Thick consistency and creamy and silky texture.
  • A little quantity goes a long way and the bottle lasted me many many months.
  • Most economical comparing quality, quantity and cost out of the lot.
  • Lathers well
  • Makes my hair soft, silky, oil free and clean in a single wash.
  • Convenient sleek packaging that is travel friendly.

Cons :

  • Only that this came with a screw on cap and I need to shake it to get the product out.
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

Read detailed review here : My favorite hair cleanser from Gia

Buy it here.

2. The lavender and chamomile shampoo bar is a product I tried recently and it really impressed me. Reasons are:

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Price : I got it as a gift for a contest. But actual price is around 800Rs if I am not wrong.

  • Very impressive ingredients list
  • Heavenly fragrance
  • Removes oil and cleanses well in 2 washes
  • It doesn’t dry out the hair and makes hair soft and manageable.
  • No preservatives or chemicals.
  • Awesome packaging. The product came in this handmade pack that is so pretty and re-usable.
  • img_20160706_185606-01

Cons:

  • Very expensive.
  • Since it is a soap I don’t find it travel friendly unless packed well and kept dry.
  • Gets used up faster than liquid shampoo.
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

The product seems to be out of stock now. The brand has launched some new shampoo bars instead. You can write to them to know about availability.

Buy it here

3. 8 in 1 root nourishing shampoo from Just Herbs

I used it for a while and then stopped as I was not as impressed by this product as the other hair cleansers I was using.

Price: Rs 525 for 200ml

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Pros:

  • Like all Just Herbs products, this one has a pleasant and nice fragrance
  • It is quite mild and lathers decently on wet hair
  • Doesn’t dry the hair
  • Impressive ingredients. Contains certified organic Gooseberry (Amla), Neem, Hibiscus and Henna
  • Can be bought from their website and shipping is free

Cons :

  • The consistency is very thin and I need to use a lot of product to wash away all the oiliness (my hair is short and straight). So the product, even though 200ml, gets used up very fast.
  • Expensive
  • The bottle did not come with a dispenser, even though they show one in site. So I have to just pour it on hand directly which is not convenient.

Buy it here

My only issue with this one is the texture. It is not exactly in cream form and the onion smell can be strong for sensitive nose. Also I need to wash hair multiple times with this one to completely remove oiliness.

BeFunkyCollage

Buy it here

5. Beer coconut milk shampoo bar from Soaps by Sangi  : This was my first shampoo bar buy and I got it about one and half years back. This was just a solid bar of soap with no frills. Not pretty looking and no added fragrance, but it was a good buy.

soapsbysangi

PC : Soaps by Sangi

Price : Rs 220-240 for 80-90gm bar

  • The product has excellent hair nourishing ingredients like beer and coconut milk and it cleansed the scalp extremely well leaving it soft and nourished.
  • Did not dry out my hair.
  • No strong fragrance
  • Mild on hair and can be used for all hair types

Cons :

  • Not travel friendly as it might melt.
  • My hair remained a bit oily even after 2 washes
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

I bought almost 2000Rs worth items from them but this, a clay based soap and a detergent bar were the only ones that I liked. The body butters, gels and lotion bars didnot suit my skin at all and I did not like their consistency.

Buy here

6. Dhathri Herbal Shampoo : The most widely available herbal shampoo that you can find in any super market. This was my go to shampoo during my childhood and throughout college years. I have done a detailed review of this here, Dhathri Herbal Shampoos.

Pros: Easy availability, pocket friendly, chemical free.

Cons : Strong fragrance, Lime variant can be drying.

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I hope this post was helpful. Do let me know your feedback and also let me know names of any other hair cleanser that is worth mentioning.

 

 

 

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.

flavoursofbeauty-1471615640504

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.

flavoursofbeauty-1471615493267

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.

 

 

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

haul

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.

lipbalm

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 :

mint

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 :

undereye

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:

choco

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.

Daily morning skin care routine for glowing skin

Hello All, if you are my instagram follower, you will know that this is my 100th post there. Apart from skin care, I talk to you about my recipes, awesome eateries I have been to and I make sure I answer all your queries. I just wanted to make this post a special treat to you all.

In this post I will tell you everything you need to know about a skin care routine and products that are affordable as well as effective.

Why do you need to have a skin care routine??

The word routine might make it sound tedious, but it is not. All you need to do is keep your skin clean and moisturized, but not whenever you feel like it. Following the routine in the morning and before bed is important, as it keeps your skin healthy and helps to rejuvenate it and helps in cell turnover. A good skin care routine, however simple, will bring a drastic improvement in skin health, tone and texture.

Morning skin care routine:

Many of us have full time jobs and keeping aside time for a routine in the morning may not be possible. But the steps I am going to give you is simple and this will not take much of your time.

  1. Cleansing

Use a good quality natural/organic cleanser. Cleansing is the first and most important step in skin care and the effectiveness of later steps depends on the quality of your cleansing. YOU CANNOT SKIP THIS. Do this once in the morning and once in the evening after work.

Besan (chick pea flour)/Green gram powder are the best natural cleansers for all skin types.

Cleansers I suggest:

Khadi Cucumber and Aloe cleansing milk with Shea butter: The cheapest and the mildest cleanser of all, this one feels like cucumber puree on face and it comes for Rs 150 for 210g. You can massage face with a coin size amount of this cleansing milk and wipe it off with cotton.

Gia bath and body works :If you want to go soap free, and also nourish your skin with a cleanser that has oodles of goodness, go for oats/coffee/orange peel powder based face cleansers, depending on your skin type. Check out the review here .This is very affordable and will last you for several months (8 for me) as you need only a very small quantity to cleanse the skin.

Best thing about soap free, powdery or crumbly cleansers is that, you don’t need a separate face scrub.These provide gently scrub action and hence helps you rid of dead skin.

Just Herbs Silksplash Neem-Orange Rehydrant Face Wash& vit E face wash from Gia : If you like liquid face cleansers, these are good choices as they do not strip your natural oils but still cleans the face well. Gia vit E one is really thick and you need only a pea size amount to wash entire face and neck. Just herbs one is bit more diluted.

Eventhough it is not a dedicated face cleanser, I loved using the Teas Please assorted tea soap from cape of good soap (Review). this helped a lot in keeping oil at bay and making my skin soft and smooth.

Almost all natural skin care brands offer wide range of cleansers, but I have listed just the ones I have tried and liked.

Dry skinned people do not wash your face with warm water, as it can strip your skin of natural oils and make it more dry. Also make sure not to miss the neck area while cleansing.

Also do not rub your skin with towel, to dry it. Pat dry your face with a soft tissue or face towel.

2. Moisturizing:

You must be wondering why I skipped toning and exfoliating. As I said, incase you are gripped for time you can add those to your night time skin care routine. Also if you are too lazy to use a sun screen after, choose moisturizers with sun screen.

The best natural moisturizer is aloe vera gel/milk cream for oily/dry skins respectively.

Choose a gel based moisturizer if you have oily skin and a cream based one if you are prone to dry skin.Dot the moisturizer on the forehead, chin, cheeks, nose and neck and gently press and spread the product through out the skin. Don’t massage face rigorously or use harsh strokes.

For my combination skin type, the below moisturizers have worked well.

Initially I was using the Fab India vit E cream for oily skin, before I realized that it had parabens.

Bio Organics and Natural aloe vera gel with papaya and saffron is a pocket friendly option for oily skinned beauties. Read the review here . The brand offers many versions of aloe gel.

Gia daily moisturizer with SPF : This white moisturizer is quite light and fluffy. A tiny amount of this can moisturize the face and neck well. Comes with the added benefit of sun protection. Suits all skin types.

Just herbs FAGEL instant glow beauty gel : My favorite gel based moisturizer that has a very pleasant fragrance. best for combination to oily skin types as it keeps the face oil free for long.

These two below have prices around 450-480 Rs but this is a great investment for the skin, considering the awesome ingredients and its quality.

Also if you love using serums, try the Juicy Chemistry Argan and Rose day serum with sun protection.

I have recently started using the Kama Ayurveda Eladi Hydrating cream, as it feels heavenly on skin. But it is quite expensive and I found out that Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala has one that is much cheaper. Will right a comparison review after I get hold of it.

Make sure you moisturize and sun protect your hands and feet as well with a good hand and foot cream. Also use a lip balm to moisturize and protect your lips. My one and only favourite out of the many many ones I tried, is the Burt’s bees lip balm (Review). Also lip balm from Aroma Essentials with spf, is really awesome. (Read review here)

USE A GOOD SUNSCREEN BEFORE YOU STEP OUT OF THE HOUSE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE CLIMATE.

I have used Biotic, Lotus  and lacto calamine sunscreens, but these make my skin oily after a while. The one that suited my combination skin best is the Just herbs No Sun Jojoba gel.

For all those of you, who has that extra few minutes to pamper yourselves in the morning, use a scrub twice a week and a toner daily.

3. Toning and Exfoliating:

Cleanser should be followed by scrub and toner before moisturizer, if you are going for the full routine.

Toner:

You don’t need to buy a toner, as it can be made easily at home. Rose water, green tea water, cucumber juice, aloe-vera gel etc are all great toners. You can easily make these at home and store it in fridge or make ice cubes with them.

Apply the toner with a cotton or spray it on face for even application.

If you are particular about buying one, get one free of alcohol or any harmful chemicals.

I started using the Kama vetiver toner, few weeks back and I have really enjoyed the refreshing spritz of earthy goodness on my face. I got the 250Rs bottle and I feel it will last me long. Before this I was using the rose water from K-Organics which is only Rs 130 for 100ml. Read the review here

Rose water and lavender toners etc suits normal to dry skin the best. Vetiver and aloe based toners are great for oily to combination skin types.

Many brands like Aroma essentials, Oil craft naturals, Juicy chemistry and Organic mills sells chemical free toners, but I have not tried any of those.

Scrubs :

Rice flour, coffee/tea powder, almond powder, oats powder, green gram powder, sandal wood powder etc are great natural scrubs.

I always prefer soap free powdery cleansers as it has added advantage of scrub action as well. If not, I go for face masks, that ex-foliates the dead skin, on massaging it before washing it off. Also use a scrub at most twice in a week. Be gently when you scrub your face, as it is the particles in the scrub that should do the action and not your force. Avoid area around the eyes.

The simplest of all and the best scrub I have used so far is the K-Organics, Honey Rose scrub. As the name suggests, it just has these two ingredients and it is affordable, gentle and very pure. Read the review here

Juicy Chemistry Black head buster and Just herbs honey exfoliating face cleansing gel are all great scrubs.

Face masks, like toners gives you all the extra benefits but need not be a part of daily skin care routine. So not adding it here.

This post has been really long. So I will keep the bath time skin care routine (where I will talk about awesome body scrubs and body oils) and night time skin care routine for another post.  Also I will be updating the review links for all the products in this post, I have not yet written about.

Hope you all enjoyed the post. Do add your favourite skin care products in the comment.

 

 

Happy Feet, Peppermint & Tea Tree Hand & Foot Cream

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would know that I have a good collection of juicy chemistry products, some of which are my favorite and others, not so.

This post is a review about the peppermint foot cream by juicy chemistry and I have a love hate relationship with the product.

Most of us suffer from cracked heels. The skin gets dry and tough there and sometimes it cracks. For me, I just face extra dryness there and chapped skin but no major issues. In my previous post, I had mentioned how we hoard products based on our preference even though it might not be effective for our skin. This one for sure will help to arrest feet dryness but since I am not a fan of anything minty, I sometimes hope, the fragrance was something else.

So let’s move to the detailed review.

Foot

Price : 350Rs for 35gm. I got the 75gm pack long back.

Ingredients :

foot1

Packing : Best packing out of all the brands I have tried so far. The products came in a black plastic sealed cover that looked great. The product comes in a plastic sturdy jar and there won’t be any spillage owing to the thick and viscous texture of the product.

Texture : It is more of a balm owing to the presence of tea tree and peppermint oils. In cold climate, the oils tend to condense and form white granules but melts on rubbing.

Fragrance : Smells strongly of peppermint. reminds you of those vaporubs.

Quantity : A quarter spoon full is enough to cover both feet. It spreads well and one tub lasts quite long. As you can see mine is almost over and it has been a year since I bought this.

My experience :

First you need to have a home pedi or one at parlour before you expect full results from this. Because the benefits of all ingredients can penetrate the skin only if all the dead skin is removed. So first soak your feet in warm water along with vinegar or bath salt or essential oil of your choice. Scrub of the callus with a scrubber or pumice stone. Apply the cream and massage the heals for few seconds.

This is best applied before bed and you will wake up with soft heels in the morning. Since it is like a balm, and strongly has the peppermint smell, I don’t like using it regularly. I use it after pedis and just before going to bed when I feel like giving that extra nourishment to the heels. The peppermint, shea, beeswax, tea tree oil, vit e nourishes the skin, provides anti fungal benefits and helps the heels relax and heal.

Verdict:

A great product with impressive ingredients.

 

 

 

Right products with right ingredients for your skin type

What are we doing wrong???

It is quite easy to understand what product to buy. Say you need a cleanser, or a shampoo, all you need to do is go to store and get one. But how do we choose the product?

Mostly based on the ingredients you like, say you like the fragrance of rose or lavender. Your preference will always be to buy such products, those that appeal to you in fragrance, texture or those products that worked for your friends or your favorite blogger.

Even if we are in an outlet of  a particular brand, we don’t generally ask the staff on what might be right for our skin type. Or if we have any particular concern, we need to choose products accordingly.

How I realized this?

For example, I love pleasant natural fragrances like that of rose and lavender. So if I am buying a lip balm and there are three options, say mint, rose and vanilla ; I go for the rose variant. But after using it for sometime, I realize that it doesn’t make my chapped lips any better. But that might not be because the product is not good or the ingredient list is not impressive. It is simply that I did not choose the right product from the choices I had.

Whenever I see products with mint/peppermint, coffee, tea, pepper etc I instantly make up my mind that I wouldn’t like them. I don’t stop to think if my skin would disagree though. As one of my instagram followers rightly said, ‘It is like you really like certain kind of food, but your body might be allergic or wouldn’t respond well to it’.

Finally when I decided to try the Burt’s bees lip balm, which has peppermint as major ingredient, I did not expect a miracle. From childhood my major skin problem was my chapped lips. It was always dry and chapped and the skin gets so dry that even lip scrubs can’t remove the dead skin. I tried lip balms from many different brands and even those home made natural ones, but none of those worked for me. The major mistake I amde was, I always chose what I thought was best for my skin, lip balms with rose, vanilla, citrus and chocolate flavours or oils. None with mint.But when I finally did, that was the best thing I ever tried on my lips. It made my lips smooth, supple and matt without any dryness throughout the day.

This doesn’t mean all those lip balms I tried were bad, it wasn’t right for my skin condition. But for someone who just needed a mild daily moisturizer, all of them would have worked well.

Sometimes on my Instagram page I encounter questions like ‘How can you say that this product doesn’t work? It worked well for me and I loved it’. I correct them saying, see I never said that this product doesn’t work. I said this doesn’t work for me. Why? Because my skin condition, need and the climatic condition of where I live can be very different from yours. So something that works for you, may not work for me even if we are both oily skinned. There are many factors affecting the efficiency of a product and the best judge is you =, given you know your skin well.

How to choose the right products?

When I visited Kama ayurveda outlet recently, I decided to buy a face mist. As usual I went for the rose/lavender ones. Because so far on all blogs and reviews, I see the rose or lavender variants reviewed the most. Everybody praises these and not the earthy vetiver mist I came across there. The staff there suggested the vetiver mist instead saying, this is best for combination/oily skin types, as the other two might be a bit heavy for such skin.

Eventhough reluctant, I decided to try it. To my surprise, I loved the earthy natural fragrance of the mist. It was light on skin, kept me fresh and took away the oiliness from skin.

So first point is :

  1. Be clear on what your skin needs (not what you want).
    You need to understand your skin type first. Just because your face is oily doesn’t mean your body skin needs to be oily too. Most of us might be of combination skin types, that is oily in T zone and dry around mouth. So understanding the skin type is very essential in choosing the right skin care product.

Advice is mostly free.

      2. Always ask expert opinion, before you invest on skincare.

       3. Rather than spending your money on products to try, read multiple reviews on the same. Ping the blogger and get to know if this might work for your skin. Also when you are in any brand outlet, ask for testers before buying the full product, if you are not sure.

       4. When buying from artisans who make handmade skin care products, don’t blindly follow the reviews posted in the page. Chat with the brand person and get as much info about the product. Ask questions regarding your concern and skin requirement and choose wisely.

5. You don’t always need to have different kinds of products to take care of your skin. Keep it simple.

My beauty kit includes mostly of a good cleanser that provides mild scrub action as well (soap free mostly oats based), so I don’t need a separate scrub. I use homemade face masks mostly or if not I use face pack that has ingredients to address multiple skin problems at once, rather than buying different products for all needs. My body skin is dry, so I always need a good moisturizer and I have not come across the best one so far. Still searching.

6. Don’t go crazy on natural skin care products either. Basically all ingredients are chemicals if you think about it, natural or artificial. Just like how all artificial chemicals are not harmful for us, all natural products might not be safe for all skin types either. So be careful and keep a watch on changes happening on skin while using the product.

7. There is only so much these products we apply externally can do. Eat healthy, keep hydrated, rest well and have good thoughts. Healthy skin is a reflection of healthy life.

So even though I hate mint in food, my skin loves mint. Here are the current minty products I am using. mint.jpg

I have reviewed few of the products in this, and you will see more reviews in the coming days. Also I am enjoying the fresh feel of the vetiver face mist from kama ayurveda.

Let me know of your thoughts or queries on this post.