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

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

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

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

Anti aging & anti pimple mask

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Daily cleansing method for soft and glowing skin

Cleansing is the most important part of skin care. Our skin is always exposed to dust, dirt and pollution and thorough cleansing twice a day helps to refresh the skin and remove all the unwanted build up on the skin.

I like trying out different products and home made ingredients as cleansers. I usually use face wipes or my recent purchase, Khadi cleanser to remove kajal (even though it doesn’t do that well) and cleanse face in the evening. But this time, I tried this body oil on my face and I was really surprised by its efficacy as a cleanser. It made my skin extremely soft and made it glow in just one use.

Many of us have combination to oily skin and doesn’t prefer to use oils on face. But let me tell you, you will be amazed at how some oils nourishes your skin without making it oily. There are serums and oils that are suited for oily skin, which even helps in reducing skin troubles like acne.

Let me tell you how to effectively cleanse your face to get that soft dewy skin.

Gia Bath and Body works Ginger Lilly Body Oil

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Price : Rs 390 for 200ml

Ingredients :  Evening prim rose oil, Walnut oil, Argan oil, Extra virgin olive oil, sweet almond oil, Rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil, wheatgerm oil, vit E, essential oil blend

Texture : Light and non-greasy. If your skin is not too dry, you can use replace body lotions/butters with this oil. Gets absorbed easily on skin and doesn’t leave shine on skin.

Fragrance : I bought this oil to use as a pre-wash body oil as my body has dry skin. But this one is actually a post-wash moisturizing oil, as it is very light and has amazing fragrance (I think it has artificial fragrance as well).

How to Cleanse your face with oil :

I washed my face with warm water as this softens up the skin helps loosen all dirt and grime on skin. After pat drying my face, I took few drops of this oil and massaged it well on my face. This one stings if it goes in your eye, so be careful. Leave it for a minute.

Wipe off all traces of the oil with a soft tissue or a wet face cloth.

I used the Tea cleanser from Cape of Good Soap,  after this, to make sure my face is squeaky clean. You can skip this step in case your face feels quite clean already.

I went on to make dinner and did not give it a  second thought. After a while, I was surprised to see that my face had that dewy glow and did not feel oily at all. I am definitely making this a part of my skin care regime.

So why I love this oil :

  • Affordable
  • Excellent and highly effective ingredients
  • Non-greasy and light
  • Smells so good
  • Effectively cleanses face and doubles up as makeup remover as well.
  • Gives my skin dewy glow and makes it super soft.

You can try out other light oils like Jojoba oil and sweet almond oil  based on your skin type and let me know if it works as effectively as this.

 

 

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:

IMG_20160503_204359

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

img_20160628_193919-01

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.

 

 

 

My favorite buys from Kama Ayurveda

As you know from my Kama store visit and haul post (here), I had bought quite a number of items and got a couple of samples from the store. I have not started regularly using all of them except the face mist and the moisturizer, and I am loving its effects on my skin. Kama Ayurveda is a high end luxury brand, that offers some amazing skin and body care products. If chosen wisely, you actually can make some awesome purchases without burning a hole in the pocket, considering efficacy and quantity needed.

Kama  Eladi Hydrating Ayurvedic Face cream

flavoursofbeauty-1471615573718

If you are my Instagram follower (Inst), you already know by now how much I am liking this one. I have combination skin type with oily t-zone. This one was not an instant pick as I was concerned if this would make my face all oily. I mean Ayurvedic formulations are usually on the oily side, so I didn’t want to spend so much on something without trying it out first. So I got a sample tube of the cream from the store and tried it out for about 2 weeks. Even though the sample tube was tiny, it lasted me 2 weeks (application once a day).

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Price : 895 for 50g. But trust me, if 5gm can last me 2 weeks, do the math. This is worth it.

Ingredients : Along with many other ingredients, this has the goodness of coconut milk, cardamom, rose and jasmine essential oils, sesame oil, aloevera etc. This is 97.45% natural and free of parabens and nasties.

Packing: A bit bulky but looks very pretty. The product comes in a dark glass tub that is heavy. No spillage from the tub as their is an inner lid. Got a tiny wooden spatula with this to take the product out, without contaminating it with hand, which is very thoughtful.

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This is very light and creamy in texture and gets absorbed easily on skin, without leaving any oily residue. I apply it sparingly and spread it well on face and neck after cleansing and toning. Did not cause any breakouts on my skin.

Love the pleasant natural fragrance, texture and how it just nourishes my skin from within.Loved it so much that once the sample pack got over, I went ahead and got it.

Yes it is costly but it does last a long time. And I feel that rather than spending on many skin care product, a good moisturizer can multitask and keep my skin soft and supple.

Nay points : Costly, Might not suit very oily skin type.

Kama Pure Vetiver water

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I have not used face mists or toners before and this was my first buy from Kama (well mostly because this was affordable). I tried the rose, lavender and mogra mists from the store but this one caught me by surprise. This earthy water just refreshed my face and kept it oil free for long, on application. The other ones felt a bit heavy and this is best suited for combination to oily skin type.It is 100% natural and steam distilled from the roots of vetiver grass.

Price : 250Rs for 50ml. I have been using it daily for nearly a month now and more than half the bottle is still left.

The spray just spritzes the water like a mist and ensures a little quantity is sprayed well over an area. No product wastage as the spray comes out like a mist.

The fragrance is very earthy but very refreshing. Spray this on face and it just energizes the skin and wakes it up. I store this in refrigerator. The packing is travel friendly and sleek.

I am sure, I will be stocking up a bigger bottle once this gets over.

Nay Points : None. Totally loving it.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

How I got rid of forehead acne in 3 days

My skin hasn’t been behaving well this monsoon.Big painful acne pops up one after the other on forehead and cheeks mostly and I who always had clear, spot free skin, was really concerned about the sudden outbreak.

Similar issue happened last year, when I was in US. I had dressed up for Halloween and had used face paints from my nieces. I had a very bad allergic reaction later and rashes and acne started spreading on my face. I had to really take good care of my skin for few months before I could get rid of them.

Anyway this time, I was well equipped to fight acne as I had researched a bit about the reasons for acne and ways to control it.

DO NOT SQUEEZE THE PIMPLE. Popping a pimple can cause scarring and make your acne spread further.

  1. Understand the reason for acne

Now you would have always had acne growing up or you might have had a sudden acne outbreak on skin. The first one might be hereditary, hormonal or may be because of your lifestyle or environmental problems. If it is the latter, you need to figure out what changed in your lifestyle or eating habits in the immediate past. Probably you started using new skin care products or eating lots of oily food, exposed to sun for most part of day, excessive sweating or eating lot of chocolates. May be it is time to change the pillow covers, face towels, you tried a new makeup product or you are exposed to pollution more. The reasons could be many, but try to understand what might have been the cause.

For me I realized that my hair is getting too oily recently and the fringes are falling a lot to forehead. Also I started having dandruff as well. No wonder acne was just on the forehead.

2. How I fought the acne

When the first pimple was up, I did not think much about it and left it to heal by itself. But as soon as the first one disappeared (leaving a mark behind), the second one popped up. That is when I took it seriously and started with the new skin care regime.

  1. I started combing my hair back without letting it fall to my forehead.
  2. Every other day, when I felt my hair was getting oily, I washed it well with my favourite Gia shampoo  (Review)that took away all the oiliness from my hair without leaving it dry and frizzy.IMG_20160503_204359
  3. I made sure I washed my face well thrice a day, in the morning, evening (after office) and before bed, using tea cleanser from Cape of good soap (read review here). I gave special attention to my T-zone, keeping the product there for a while, before washing it off. This particular soap, is great for combination to oily skin, as it keeps oil at bay for a long time. Also I was careful not to touch my face, without washing the hands thoroughly with soap. (Remember bacteria is one of the leading causes of acne, along with excessive oil and dead skin cells.)1468589403856
  4. I used clay based face masks every day for 3 days after office, applying a thick coat on the problem areas. I did not use a face scrub on these days, as this can irritate the skin and cause further break outs. The masks I used were the Gia french green clay mask (read review here) and Juicy chemistry black head buster mask.

Clay based masks helps in absorbing the oiliness and detoxifies the skin by pulling out dirt and clearing the pores. These two masks are excellent and did a great job in clearing my skin off all impurities.

acnemask

5. I used Kama vetiver toner  (Kama Ayurveda haul post) pray after the mask, which helped tighten the skin and provide just enough splash of moisture. I did not apply moisturizer to my acne areas and left them alone for most part of the day.

6. At night after cleansing the skin well, I took Listerine (yes the mouth wash) in a cotton swab and rubbed the acne area with it. I had read some where that mouth wash has ingredients that can kill acne causing bacteria and can dry up the pimple.

listerine

A word of caution, this can also make the area irritated, dry or scaly for some people who are has sensitive skin. So do a patch test and try this only if you are sure, your skin won’t respond badly to this.

Anyway this worked well for me and it really shrinked the pimples overnight. Please do patch tests before trying something new as all skin types won’t respond in a similar way.

7. If you do not want to try the Listerine step you can use dilute apple cider vinegar after patch test. Also, try getting facial steam with few drops of tea tree essential oil or basil essential oil in water.

Three days of these steps, and the acne was gone. But yeah it left a spot that is getting lighter with my daily skincare routine. (read about daily skin care regime here)

Let me know if this helped and your effective skincare methods to fight acne.

 

 

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.