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.

Skincare, fashion, home decor and more

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

Favorite color of the year:

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

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

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

Favorite Skin Care Finds:

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

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

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

You can buy them from Blenditrawapothecary or from Juicy Chemistry

Favorite Organic Food Store:

It is without doubt Happy Healthy Me Organics.

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

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

Favorite Fashion Finds:

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

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

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

Favorite Food Finds:

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

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

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

Favorite Home Decor Find:

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

Favorite Jewelry Finds:

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

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

Favorite shopping site:

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

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

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

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

Decadent body scrubs for all skin types

Using a body scrub (or even a dry brushing technique where you use soft body brush to brush the body) is beneficial in many ways.
1. It sloughs away the dirt, grime and dead skin.
2. Buffs the skin and makes it smooth and soft.
3. Massaging the scrub on the body boosts circulation and helps in draining the lymph nodes.
4. It aids in the cell turnover that gets slowed down with age
5. Using a natural body scrub at the end of the day, is very relaxing and can even uplift your mood.

DIY body scrub

You can easily make a body scrub at home. You need to mix a scrubby/gritty ingredient like cane sugar/rock salt powder/oats/flax seed/coffee powder with a moisturizing base like olive oil,almond oil or honey. Add a few drops of essential oil like lavender,orange,rose for relaxing fragrance.

But if you are a lazy bum, you can just buy any of these amazing body scrubs listed below, based on your skin type. Make sure you don’t use much pressure while massaging the scrub as this can cause redness. Do a patch test to make sure the ingredients doesn’t cause irritation.

1. Oily skin : Vedic Line Choco Deli sugar scrub with Jamaican sugar

Price : Rs180 for 65g
Ingredients : Water, Cocoa Butter, Caramel, Cocoa Powder, Sesame Oil, Natural Granules and vitamin E.
This scrub is thick and creamy with a strong cocoa fragrance. It is brown in color with a golden shine to it. The particles are gritty and a small spatula full of product is enough for entire body. You might need to follow it up with a moisturizer as this scrub can be a bit drying. Fragrance is a bit heady.It spreads well on moist skin and is a good scrub at affordable price. Unlike other sugar scrubs, the scrubby particle doesn’t get dissolved easily on wet skin which is a plus.
Buy @ Nykaa


2.Normal skin : Junaili Apricot scrub and Juicy Chemistry Orange Cinnamon scrub


This is an amazing affordable scrub with just 1 ingredient and it ticks all the boxes for me. Read the detailed review here

Another option is the orange, cinnamon and honey sugar scrub from Juicy Chemistry. As rightly said, it smells like Christmas in a jar.It has a warm citrusy cinnamon fragrance and dry crumbly texture.Massage it directly on wet skin. The sugar gets dissolved on wet skin on massaging and hence don’t mix it with water before applying. It doesn’t dry out the skin. Read this post to know how to use it effectively for smooth skin.

Price: Rs 250 for 35g
Ingredients : Organic Demerara Sugar, Organic Cane Sugar, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter,Natural Vitamin-,Extra Virgin Olive Oil,Jojoba Oil,Sweet Almond Oil, Wild Forest Honey, Cinnamon Essential Oil,Sweet Orange Essential Oil

3. Dry/ Sensitive skin : Juicy Chemistry Rose Almond and Shea body scrub

This is the most moisturizing body scrub I have ever used. The nourishing butters and essential oils in this one makes skin moisturized and you don’t need to follow it up with a moisturizer. Hence it is suitable for dry to normal skin types. I can’t stop raving about the amazing fragrance of this product which is a blend of almond meal and rose and geranium essential oils.

As you can see, the scrub is like a dense almond meal paste, but it still does the job well along with nourishing the skin. This gentle scrub is suited for sensitive skin as well. It is priced on the higher side though.
Price : Rs 300 for 35g
Buy here or from Nykaa.com

Hope you all loved the post. Do subscribe for updates.

Junaili apricot body scrub : Simple and pure

This is the review of the simplest and purest body scrub I have ever used.For those of you, who are new to this brand, here is a small brief.

Junaili makes cold pressed apricot oil with the finest apricot grown in Himalayas, maintaining high quality. They make pure cold pressed apricot face and body oil apart from the scrub. It is a family owned brand and the products are made in small batches.

Coming to the review, I am quite impressed at how a scrub from an Indian brand, made of one pure ingredient can be so effective, when compared to a whole bunch of other scrubs in the market boasting exotic ingredients from all over the world. For starters I am not a big fan of sugar scrubs. Mainly because the sugar tend to dissolve away in a jiffy when rubbed on wet skin.I like to massage the scrub for a while for maximum benefit and nut shell scrubs like walnut kernal ones tend to be harsh at times. If not any of these, the scrub can be a bit drying for my already dry skin.

But the junaili scrub doesn’t belong to any of the above category. Read the specifics below:

I received it in the December reverie box. You can also buy it individually from their site.

Buy from : here
Price : Rs 275 for 125g
Ingredient: Cold-Pressed Apricot Kernel Scrub
Texture and fragrance : This product reminds me of the classic malt horlicks. The smell is slightly similar as well, pure and ‘apricoty’. The scrub is a gritty powder.
Packing : The scrub comes in a travel friendly plastic jar with a metal screw cap. There is foil seal on the mouth of the jar for protection from spillage. I have just made a small hole in the foil, and all I got to do is shake the jar to get the powder. This ensures that the product doesn’t get contaminated with water when kept in bathroom.

How to use this scrub to suit your skin type


the scrub in its dry form and when mixed with Gia ginger lilly body oil

1. For oily/sensitive skin : Combine the scrub with water to make a paste.Massage it all over the body or on those dry areas. Water makes the scrub smooth and mushy like oats and hence doesn’t irritate sensitive skin.
2.For dry/flaky skin : Mix the scrub with body oil (any light body oil like almond, apricot,olive oils),it stays gritty and helps slough away all the dead skin without having to use more product (as oil doesn’t make the scrub mushy). Using a body oil also gives that extra boost of moisturisation. I generally mix it with Gia body oil (read the review here), which is a very light oil with mild floral fragrance. I wash the scrub off and without cleansing with soap, as this oil moisturises skin without making the skin oily.

Inshort why I recommend the Junaili scrub:

1. It is as pure and natural as it gets
2. So easy on the pocket and affordable for everyone
3. Is versatile and can be used as mentioned above to suit your skin type
4. Light weight, travel friendly
5. Very effective as a body scrub

Reverie December beauty box unboxing

Christmas is almost here and we are all in the festive mood. The winter has not been any forgiving this year either, for those of us who gets those dry patches and flaky skin during cold climate. Inspite of all that, I really like Christmas time. I have already set up and decorated my Christmas tree and I am very much looking forward to enjoy the holidays.

Many of you who follow me on Instagram, would have already had a sneak peek of this wonderful beauty subscription box. For those of you who is new to the blog,

Reverie box is a natural skin care subscription box in India, that just started on October. They provide full size products that are not animal tested and free of parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, sulfates and other nasties. They specially curate products for each customer based on their skin issues and requirements.

They have tie up and include products from green skin care brands like Ayca , Junaili , Vana Vidhi , Bon Organics , Saint Pure , Soap Square , Burst of Happyness , Neev , Ma Earth Botanicals and Roots Magique.

I have been following the brand for last 2 months and when I got to know that December box is a winter skin care box, I couldn’t stop myself from getting one of these.

flavoursofbeauty-1481797263551

So the people from the brand contacted me and asked for my skin concerns. Once we discussed about skin and body care products, I was sent the box at the beginning of December.

Price: 1499Rs on prebooking. The total cost of all the products int he box will easily come to 3000Rs.

img_20161205_182715-01

Packing: The outer package is secured with yarn strings and has your name tag. The inner one, is a good quality, sturdy box that can be used to store products. Their was a complimentary candle in a glass case in the box that broke in transit 🙁 The reverie team contacted me regarding this and warned me to be careful while unpacking.

What I got in the box:

instabox_2016126201839125-01

There are 4-5 full sized products in each box and few complimentary products in sample size. I got a card with all product names and prices, another one with product details of Roots Magique and a discount voucher from Vanavidhi.

Products:

Vana Body oil, Roots face oil, Odiva gel nail paint, Neev cream, Aroma candle and soaps from Soap square and Junaili scrub.

I had asked for a non-drying body scrub and I was looking forward to trying out products from Junaili. I am so happy that I got it in the box.

The first thing that strikes you when you open the box, is the amazing rose aroma from the soap square soap pieces.

I am not a big fan of face oils, but Anchal, my skin care advisor from the reverie team assured me that the one from Roots Magique will help in combating blemishes and dryness.

img_20161205_183504-01

Another interesting product I got, is the Vanavidhi breast massage oil. It claims to increase the size of breasts on regular massage. Well, I am not so keen to try that but I feel this works well as a moisturizer for winters. It has a faint sweet natural, floral aroma and is very light and non-sticky. I have started using it as a body oil and I use it especially on those dry patches on knees and elbows.Vanavidhi is a luxury beauty brand and eventhough I wanted to check out their products, the cost just kept my interest at bay 😛 Happy that I got once of them in the box.

I have started using Roots Magique face oil at night. I really love the bottle with the nozzle and plastic cap. But I am a bit concerned if this is causing me to break out.

There were minor glitches in the December box apart from the broken glass case of the candle. The team informed me that the Neev cream might be contaminated because of moisture and when I checked I found it to have black molds on top. The team assured me that it will be replaced and they were really apologetic and helpful. Also the Odiva nail color was supposed to come in the color of our choice. But the one I got had a different colour. But it was okay as this is a really pretty colour as well.

Verdict:

I am really impressed by the customer service of the brand. The person who contacts you via whatsapp, is available 24*7 to answer your queries. The products are from cruelty free brands and are free from chemicals and are not just samples but full sized products. I am really happy with the dedication and love the team puts to curate each box.

If you are looking for a bunch of skin and body care products curated just for you, that are all natural, I would definitely recommend this one over any other subscription boxes in India.

I wish the reverie team all the very best. Also follow me on Instagram here to see the christmasy nail art I created,using Odiva gel nail paints with mirror shine.

Buy the reverie box from their site : link