How to get glowing skin for Diwali : Rose quartz roller and 108x washed ghee review

Hi readers, it has been a while since I posted something. Since it is Diwali and festivities are starting, here is a detailed post on how to get glowing  skin this Diwali.

If you are an avid skincare lover, you will know that gemstone face rollers are in the lime lights now, eventhough these skincare tools have been around for centuries (supposed to have originated in the Chinese skincare routine). The popular tools include the Rose quartz and Jade face rollers and Gua sha.

What is the use of face roller:

Face rollers are skincare tools that helps in massaging the skin. This inturn helps in draining the lymph nodes, de-puffing, improving circulation and toning the skin.

  • Boosts circulation and oxygenates the skin
  • Brightens the complexion
  • Tightens pores
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Plumps up the skin
  • Promotes Product penetration

How to choose the right roller:

The options I know of are Jade, Rose Quartz and Black obsidian rollers. All three serve the same purpose but what makes them different is the properties of the crystal with which they are made. I will just put down basic properties of each:

Rose Quartz face roller : Calming the skin. Best used in the evening/night. Oily skin.

Jade Roller : Energizing and rejuvenating. Best used in the morning. Dry skin.

Black Onyx: Healing and energy balancing. All skin types.

Moolit 108x Washed Ghee:

Before I review the roller, I want to introduce you to a new multi purpose product, the 108x Washed Ghee. This is from the the brand Moolit Beauty by Utkarshini and I had reviewed her Seabuckthorn Cleanser before. Do check it out, as I have added updates of recent batch of cleanser as well.

I am not a fan of face serums and I prefer thick creams for night time skincare.

A roller can be used with serums and creams for massaging and also it helps the product to penetrate better into the skin. So I got the 108x washed ghee infused with rose absolute.

According to Ayurveda, washing cow ghee makes it so light that it can penetrate all 7 layers of the skin. I tried washing organic cow ghee ofter watching Utkarshini’s youtube video and got a creamy end product which was not  oily. It is a tedious and time consuming process though. Also to get the right consistency one has to use copper vessels. I didn’t have one and so I tried in ceramic bowl.

The product comes in an amber glass jar and smells pleasantly of roses. There is also a rose quartz crystal stone inside the jar. The cream is thick and can be used as a cleanser and a moisturizer. Unlike serums and oil based butters, this cream makes the skin feel damp(for lack of better word) and not oily when you first apply it and gets absorbed easily on massaging. Hence it is the perfect consistency to use with the roller.

If you use it in double cleansing, massage the face well with a pea sized quantity before washing it off with another cleanser.

My experience using the roller:

I got my Rose Quartz roller from the insta handle happiness_unlimited_. Dr Poonam who runs the handle is a crystal healer and regression therapist. I decided on the Rose quartz roller because I don’t have time for elaborate skincare routine in the morning and a calming and relaxing face massage at night is something I can try. I bought it when there was a launch offer.

The tool has two roller heads. The bigger one can be used for face, forehead and neck and the smaller one for the eye and nose area.

The stones are cool by nature. So when you roll it on your skin, it really calms and cools the skin. But to enhance the experience I place the roller in the refrigerator for few minutes. I apply some washed ghee dots on my face and massage it in using the roller.

You can find many Youtube videos explaining how to use the nose as a focal point and move the roller outwards. Each area needs to be concentrated for a while before moving further. Also don’t apply much pressure on the tool.

Also as per Poonam, the crystal needs to be cleansed regularly. There are many methods for this like holding it in the sage leaf bundle smoke, or in running water or under a full moon covered in salt. You can read about this further in her insta handle or in general from google. I haven’t done all that but I simply hold it under tap water after the use.

Also another great way to use the roller is on top of sheet masks. This helps the essence to penetrate better and also makes the experience better.

I don’t use the roller everyday but I try to include it often in my regime. My skin feels toned and gets a subtle glow after. With regular use you will find a considerable improvement in the quality of your skin. For m it is more or less like meditation, where I  spend some ‘me’ time before bed and it gives a very good vibe.

NOTE : I think Utkarshini has stopped making washed ghee. If interested, you can try one from happiness_unlimited_ itself.

Follow my insta handle for further tips and updates.

 

Vilvah Rose & Vanilla Natural Deodorant

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

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

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

Price & Quantity : 590 Rs for 60g

Benefits:

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

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

My take on the product:

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

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

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

Natural makeup remover : Moolit Beauty Seabuckthorn Cleanser Review

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

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

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

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

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

Moolit Beauty

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

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

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

Here are the details of the product :

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

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

Ingredients :

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

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

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

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

A little about the major ingredient sea buckthorn:

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

My review : I will make it short and simple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: The second batch of the cleanser I got is runnier than the reviewed version and also it irritates my eyes. The brand confirmed that the ingredients have not changed and it could be the glycerin used in it that is causing the problem. The main purpose of this cleanser for me was to remove the kajal easily. But looks like I can’t use it in my eye area anymore. Waiting for a better version of the product.

Let’s discuss face mists : Juicy Chemistry and Blend It Raw Apothecary face mist review

I wouldn’t say face mist/toner is an integral part of skincare. But they surely helps in refreshing the skin. Rather than the added benefits of face mists mentioned below, I enjoy using it first thing in the morning to wake up my sleepy self.

I have reviewed the  Kama Ayurveda Vetiver face mist which I like for its earthy natural fragrance and the Zofla rose water which the most affordable quality rose water I have come across . Here are some more great options for you, from Juicy Chemistry and Blend It Raw Apothecary.

We are all familiar with the  Dabur Gulabari Rose Water. The description of this product in Amazon is :

  • 100% pure & natural rose water skin toner
  • No added preservatives
  • Cleanses, refreshes & cools the skin

Ironically the Ingredients include : Propylene Glycol, Propyl and Methyl Parabens, Fragrance, Rose oil and Aqua.In short it is not 100% pure and natural rose water but a mix of everything you shouldn’t be applying on your body. So make sure you read the ingredient list (which should ideally be just 1 ingredient) before purchasing these waters.

WHAT IS A HYDROSOL?

Hydrosols are made by steam distillation of fresh flowers, leaves, fruits etc. This process gives two products: the essential oil, which contains the oil-soluble constituents of the plant, and any condensate water, which contains the water-soluble constituents as well as microscopic droplets of the essential oil. This condensate water is what we call, the plant hydrosol.

Hydrosols are much less concentrated than essential oils. Their scents are much softer and subtler when compared to those of their essential oil counterparts. Due to their high water content, they’re also very gentle and can be applied directly to the skin without any sort of dilution.

Here are the benefits of using a pure and natural hydrosol :

  • Soothes, refreshes, hydrates, refines and rejuvenates the skin
  • Great for all skin types
  • Helps clear pores and tones the skin
  • Helps maintain the skin’s natural pH balance
  • Has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Here are the ways to use a face mist:

  • If you are in a humid region, instead of using heavy moisturizers, you can carry a small bottle of face mist in the bag and spray it often throughout the day. This will help in keeping the skin moisturized, cool and will keep you refreshed throughout.
  • These can be used in face and hair masks for added benefits and can even be used to soothe minor burns, cuts and flaky skin.
  • In case you like using face oils/oily serums and wants the oil to get absorbed easily on skin, spritz face mist before application.
  • You can also cleanse your face with a cotton swab spritzed with the toner.

Juicy Chemistry Organic Lavender and Rose Water

JC offers a wide range of face mists for specific skin type and conditions. I have tried the lavender and rose one. It comes in an amber bottle

Lavender face mists are great for dry and sensitive skin. It works well as an after sun mist. The Lavender water can be applied to the scalp to soothe flakiness.

I personally am not a big fan of lavender fragrance in general as I find it a bit heady. But it is fine and mild in face mists and I feel this one provides the best moisture boost out of all the mists.

I use the rose variant more often, as I like the pure mild rose fragrance. Rose water suits all skin types and helps in controlling excess oil produced by skin. It is a humectant and helps in Rose water is supposed to help with hyper pigmentation also over time.

***Juicy Chemistry Sale is going on and you can get both of this for 360 Rs each instead of the original 450 Rs price.***

Blend it Raw Apothecary Orange Blossom Water

This is no longer available in the website of the brand. But they do have many other unique hydrosols like Basil, Eucalyptus, Rosemary to name a few. Unlike JC face mists, this hydrosol is packed in a transparent bottle. But the latest products are all sold in amber bottles by the brand.

Orange blossom water barely have any fragrance and it smells not at all like orange peel if that is what you expect. It is a skin clarifier and contributes to clear skin as per the brand.

The sprayer of this face mist is better than the JC bottles.

Let me tell you how. (Not sure if the new packaging also has similar sprayer for Blend it Raw Apothecary)

Keep the bottle at a small distance away from the face, almost at the centre.

Now spritz once.

The orange water covers the entire face in just one spritz. The water particles are very fine and hence it just wets the face without excess water dripping down.

You need multiple spritz, in the case of JC bottles as the coverage is lesser and also more product comes out of the nozzle.

NOTE : I store all my face mists in the refrigerator. The added coolness is beneficial for skin and also it keeps these natural waters to stay fresh longer.

Hope you liked the post. Do leave your comments and subscribe to the blog.

 

Take time to smell the roses

It has been a while since I reviewed products, so here is one that features the ingredient  ‘Rose’.

I was never a fan of the floral fragrances one often finds in perfumes or skincare products. But when you choose natural products, you will find that the fragrances are mild and natural. This is because the essential oils, flower hydrosols or distilled waters used in these products, carries only the natural fragrance of the actual flower, which is very mild. That is exactly why these natural scents fades away sooner than the chemical fragrances.

  • Rose and Wine Body polish from Cape of Good Soap

This product has a heavenly fragrance. It is sweet, divine and the product looks delicious (reminds me of Rooh Afza, but no you shouldn’t try  it).  I wish the brand made a body butter in this fragrance.

Ingredients: Organic rose, red wine, organic cane sugar, organic sea salt, organic honey, English rose essential oil.

The product comes in an interesting plastic pouch with nozzle. This makes it very convenient to use just the right amount of product and also travel friendly.

The body polish is mild and can be used by even sensitive skin types. It is very moisturizing and leaves the skin soft. The texture and fragrance combined makes the bath with this polish a very luxurious, spa like experience.

The only negative I can think of is that, the sugar and salt melts easily on skin. So this is not really a body scrub incase you are expecting one, but a buff thTat gently polishes the skin.

This is a great addition to winter skincare regime as it effectively helps in removing the dead skin without stripping the moisture off.

  • Ayca Rose and Bergamot Night Cream

This is a light night gel and not really a night cream. It would suit mostly normal to oily skin types and can be used as a day time moisturizer as well.

Key Ingredients: Essential Oil of Rose & Bergamot in an aqueous Extracts of Bay & Neem Leaf, Cinnamon & Cupressus Bark & GlobeThistle Flowers, Wheatgerm, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Almond & Lemon Oils in a plant derived base with Beeswax.

The cream keeps the skin dewy and soft. The fragrance has stronger notes of Bergamot than rose, but it is very pleasant. It will not brake out even oily skin and also, a little goes a long way

Negatives would include the steep price and the misleading name (I was expecting a cream and not a gel based formulation).The product comes in a small glass amber tub, which makes it not so travel friendly.

  • Tickled Pink Hand cream from Naturma

The product claims to be 100% natural and 77% organic. I find the name of the product really cute and it has impressive ingredients.

Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Rice Bran Oil, Organic Sesame Oil, Organic Grape Seed Oil, Organic Mango Butter, Vitamin E, Essential Oils: Organic Rose, Organic Gardenia, Organic Lemon Extract & Natural Preservative Salinatural

I have tried many natural hand creams most of which leaves the skin slightly oily. This one is light, non greasy and gets absorbed very fast.

Just like the Ayca cream, this also has more of a gel like formula and hence has to be reapplied after few hours, incase you have extremely dry skin.

  • Organic Rose petal powder from Blend it Raw Apothecary

Eventhough you will find numerous benefits of rose essential oil and distilled rose water online, here are the reasons why I like rose petal powder the most.

  • It is a very versatile ingredient.
  • A tea from the powder, can be used as a toner, for mixing face mask powders or as a hair rinse.
  • The powder along with sugar/salt and honey makes an excellent body scrub.
  • The powder mixed with aloe gel makes an excellent mask.

Read this post for rose petal powder based recipes.

Incase you are looking for affordable & good quality rose water face mist, check out this post .

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

From Jaipur, I took you to Agra and now I am taking you to Udaipur . We had stopped at the Pushkar fest for a day, but that story is for another day. I found the atmosphere of Udaipur very relaxing and slow paced, like in Hampi. Udaipur’s culture is strongly connected to the beautiful ghats and water bodies of the place .  We stayed for 3 and a half days here and rather than hustling around to visit all tourist attractions, we spent these last days of our 1 week trip, relaxing in the serene atmosphere.

We reached Udaipur early in the morning via train, after attending the Pushkar fest the previous night. The train was mostly occupied by locals who wore traditional Rajasthani attires.  It was great to see this cultural shift from Jaipur.  We were really tired and had missed a good night’s sleep. So we directly headed to Thamla Haveli, where we had booked our stay for the next 3 days. The haveli is an old but well maintained 3 storied building on the banks of Lake Pichola. But we were really disappointed when we saw the room. It was very small and cold,  with no ventilation and no opening for sunlight.  But we being too tired from the continuous travel,  just crashed in the bed and had a good sleep for the next 2 hours. Later we talked to the manager and luckily there was this one room available, with a lake view.  It was love at first sight.

It was spacious and beautiful with an ornate window, opening directly to the lake giving a great view of the Gangaur Ghat. The window area had a cozy cushion seating and an awesome view of the lake. The ambiance was accentuated by the tunes of traditional folk music from the opposite ghat. While tourists came from far and wide, to visit the ghat and enjoy boat rides, we could enjoy the beauty of the lake 24*7 for free.
This turned out to be my favourite spot for the days to come.

We had skipped breakfast, so we decided to have lunch in the open rooftop dining area of the building. Almost all the eateries around the ghat are rooftop ones, to take maximum advantage of the lake view. The food was delicious and filling.

The best thing about this hotel was every major attraction is at a walkable distance and we didn’t spend anything on transportation.

The most beautiful aspect of Udaipur (through my eyes), is that it is beaming with art and music in every nook and corner.

Apart from the streets with every shop displaying miniature art and colorful embroidered fabrics, every common house has beautiful doors and windows of the bygones and the street walls are decorated with detailed paintings.

Now let me list down some places we visited over the course of our stay. On many days, we spent most of the evenings in the Ghat or just at the hotel, relaxing and taking in the beautiful view of boats in lake Pichola.

Bagore ki haveli:

This is a must visit place. It is located on the banks lake Pichola in Gangaur Ghat, which is just at a 10min walk from our hotel.

This restored haveli museum holds rooms that displays settings of the rooms of royalties. One room is full of puppets in colorful silk traditional clothes, in a courtroom setting.

Another one displays the entertainment room of kids with the real board games made of wood and ivory. The doors are adorned by stunning colored glass work.

Dharohar Dance Show:

Apart from the museum, what I enjoyed most is the cultural show at Bagore ki haveli, late in the evening. It was amazing, better than any performance we saw at Chokhi Dhani(read here) . The show is from 7pm to 8pm everyday and the ticket is just a nominal 60Rs for Indians.

You should reach the place early to get the ticket, as there is going to be a long queue. We were directed to a courtyard of the haveli, known as the Neem Chowk. There is a big Neem tree in the center of the courtyard and hence the name. This small open terrace was lit with terracotta diyas and had benches and cushion seating on the floor  on all three sides, so that the audience gets a very close view of the performance. You need to take a separate pass for filming or taking photos.

The show started with an introduction given by a beautiful lady, in both Hindi and English. This was followed by drum beats and instrumental folk music. Then one dance followed the next with puppet shows and a folk drama in between. The dancers were clad in very festive traditional ghagras ornate with embroidery and mirror work. The reflection of the diya lights against the golden laces and ornaments added to the ambiance. The traditional folk dances included:

> Gavri Dance, which was more of a dance drama. It depicted a fight between Goddess Amba and Demon Bhiamwal

> Terah Taal Dance, where dancers played a musical instrument tied to their feet and hands.

> Ghumar Dance, where dancers performed in circles.

And the highlight of the show and the show stopper was the Bhavai Dance. The dancer was over 70 years of age and she came in gracefully, carrying a clay pot on her head. On regular intervals, she would move towards a corner where a member of their team would add consequently smaller clay pots on top of the existing one. And as the dance progressed, the number of clay pots reached around 10 and the lady danced beautifully, while balancing all these pots effortlessly and handsfree. Towards the climax, she started dancing on the edge of a metal plate and later on a bed of sharp glass pieces. The audience sat breathlessly and applauded wildly once the performance was over.

This show under a moonlit sky, is the perfect way to imbibe the colorful culture of Rajasthan.

We didnot take the camera pass here, so I don’t have any pics of the performance.

City Palace:

We walked to the palace around 10 in the morning, before it started getting too crowded. It was just 10min walk from the haveli. We hired a guide here and he explained the history of Udaipur and the stories of various royals of the place.

The palace displays all the precious artifacts of the royal family and the palace grounds are great for a walk, after.


Ravanahatha player of Gangaur Ghat :

The lake front opposite to Thamla Haveli, is called Gangaur Ghat. In the evenings, the Ghat is a popular spot for tourists as well as the young crowd, as it provides a picturesque view of the lake, colored by orange waves. We sat on the steps leading to the lake, feeding pigeons and listening to the alluring folk music from the Ravanahatha.

Ravanahatha is an ancient stringed instrument and you can find men in traditional Rajasthani attire, playing this in popular tourist spots. He was playing the same tune over and over again, and it blended in with the whole serene setting. The man was also selling CDs of his songs. You will also find locals selling handmade beaded jewelry and other curios here.

Sunset point at Karni Mata Temple:

Another great spot for getting a panoramic view of the city, is to visit the Karni Mata Temple at Machla Hills. There is a rope way leading to the hill and since the temple is at its highest point, we could enjoy the beauty of lake Pichola and the city soaked in the evening light.

The construction work was going on in the temple. So we didn’t go in. We just spent the evening there till the moon came up and changed shades of the city.

Shopping:

All the lanes near Gangaur Ghat has rows of small shops selling miniature paintings, hand painted jewelry, colorful clothes and home decor items. But two major shopping places nearby are ‘Hathi Pol’ and ‘Bada Bazaar’. These are located at a walkable distance from our stay and you will find traditional rajasthani clothes, leheriya and bandhini fabrics, Juttis, bags etc.

One of the wholesale shops here, Leheriya Bandhej, sells lehengas, traditional bandhani dupattas, and chanderi kurti materials at steal away prices.  Another store next to this is Apsara (if I remember correctly) which has much more options.They only sell these in sets of three and hence makes great gifting option.

On our way back from hathipol, I came across an old shop called Ashok Delights, displaying a variety of colorful window hangings. I just walked in to take a look at them and found them very old and dusty. But to my surprise, the shop turned out to be a treasure trove of wooden curios, some even antique. The owner of the shop was very friendly and interactive.

From small tricky puzzle boxes to intricately painted miniature hanging gods to even cute wooden carved earrings and wooden flats called methiyadi; this shop reminded me of the wizard shops in diagon alley from Harry potter. You could spend a whole day exploring the items that are loosely stacked till the roof of this old family owned shop.

The next great find was a small shop displaying handpainted meenakari earrings and miniature paintings. The owner of the shop is a famous miniature artist and he takes painting classes to interested tourists. He will give you a sketch of the miniature painting of your choice, on a silk cloth and will teach you how to do the painting using natural plant based colors and tiny handmade brushes.

We also bought camel leather bound diaries made of handmade paper. These comes in many colors and embossed patterns.

Cafes and eateries:

Unlike Jaipur, every lane in Udaipur has atleast one cafe or eatery. It’s all mostly small family run businesses and mostly serves pizzas, sandwiches and beverages.

We opted Cafe Satori for dinner. This is a small cozy cafe run by a lady and her son. We ordered coffee and pizza. The food took quite a while to be served, and we spent the time reading books available here. The cafes around the ghat are not cheap but the food tastes homemade. The owner lady was interactive and friendly. After dinner we all sat together and chit-chatted for sometime.

I had my eyes on Cafe Edelweiss right from the time I read rave reviews on this German eatery, in Zomato. So the next day’s breakfast had to be here. This is also a bakery and had some chocolate brownies and pastries on display. We tried tea and pancakes from here. The crowd is mostly foreigners and the food was alright.

For a light dinner we opted for  smoothies from Cafe Greenwood.  Owned by a young couple, the place is small but nice.

Our best and most affordable find was Lotus cafe. Hidden in a quaint corner, this is an eatery with no frills. The service is great and the food is very tasty. And the best part is that this is the most pocket friendly restaurant, we came across here.

We left Udaipur with colorful memories and I hope I could share some of them with you. Do comment below if you liked the post and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more content.

You might also be interested in:

Day 1 : The grandeur of The Pink City
Day2 : A walk through the art, architecture and history
Day3 : The Majestic Taj

Simple Steps towards sustainable living

Read time: 5min

This is not a modern concept. For eg, our grandmas would have hardly gone to buy skin care things from store, but still they know all the tips and tricks using just kitchen ingredients.For eg. an oil massage before a bath (abhyanga) when followed religiously, will give you a healthy,resilient and glowing skin and can even cure the muscle pains and fatigue.This is the only anti ageing practice you need.Also they used to use wood ash and tamarind for cleaning utensils. They had no peeling skin or harmful chemical residue left on utensils.
But we prefer easy, less time consuming methods or preferably ready to use products that comes packaged.

One thing as consumers, we neglect to do is read the ingredient list of any product, be it your skincare product, food you buy from stores, washing powders, baby products, pet products…anything. We trust the advertisements, and our judging factors are the smell, flavour, cost, packaging of the product and if we are getting any free products when we buy them. In most cases, these factors hold a higher rank than whether we actually need the product?, whether it, in anyway harms us? or rather whether it is sustainable and aids to a healthy lifestyle?

Why should we use these natural products, when what we already use serves the purpose?

Right from the tooth paste we use, to the cosmetics and home care products, everything is just a mix of colours, fragrances, pertoleum by products, chemicals and preservatives. Our skin absorbs upto 60% of what we apply on it and these non-biodegradable chemicals, enters our blood stream or build up on our skin and can cause cancer,infections, fatigue, dizziness, irritate eyes, hormonal imbalance, respiratory problems and in the extreme cases even DNA damage.The fragrance you love the most about these products, are for masking the smell of concoction of chemicals that constitute the product.

Why is it that we have not heard about these ingredients or brands?

Because in our consumerist society advertisements, are the deciding factors for us and we don’t keep our eyes open. In India there are no strict rules or laws to maintain quality or to test toxicity of everyday products and we still rebound to instant noodles, brick powder mixed chili powder and cancerous baby powders eventhough some brands are caught red handed often. Fair and lovely still lures teenagers and there are barely any informed moms who could teach children to make better choices. We don’t have time to research on whether the products we consume are really the only things we consume with it. And later we wonder how that uncle, aunty or colleague who never drinks, smokes or eat outside, still fell sick.

Here are some image from web, that might help you understand how bad it is.


What is the difference between organic and natural?

Organic products have ingredients produced by organic methods defined by certifying bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Organic Food Products Act. But for a natural product there are no regulations on how the ingredients are grown. It is a more generic tag where the product is devoid of artificial color, flavour, preservatives, hormones etc. All organic products are natural, but not vice versa. So be careful when buying products tagged as natural, unless they are from trusted brands. There are many known brands in market that boasts of natural ingredients but have preservatives and chemicals in them. The parabens and synthetic preservatives used in these products increases the shelf life of the product. But it can disrupt the endocrine system of your body. Natural preservatives used in organic products have shorter shelf life, but these freshly made products are like food for your skin. Your skin and body will thank you for it.

Where to start : Right at home. Ditch all your non-natural products at home for a week and see what you can make use of, from kitchen or your garden to replace them. See the difference it makes to your skin and environment. Let me give you some examples.

1. Use few drops of essential oils like lemon grass, tea tree oil mixed in water for repelling insects and bugs.
2. Other fruity or floral essential oils in water for cleaning floors.
3. Aloevera gel or almond oil as moisturizer
4. Green gram powder or crushed hibiscus mix as shampoo
5. Chick pea flour as cleanser
6. Soap berry powder as detergent
7. Use charcoal powder and salt mixed with coconut oil for cleansing the teeth

But are these always practical in our busy lives or do they always seem appealing?

That’s why we have these natural and organic brands that sell pre-made packaged products made of pure ingredients, handmade in small batches and hence has a shorter shelf life compared to products with preservatives..These are available everywhere as these brands sell via websites, local organic stores, social media like Instagram and FB and via online platforms like Amazon and Nykaa.
If you go through my posts,you will see that I always include the link to shop or mention where you can buy the products from.

What lifestyle changes can help your quality of living and the environment?
Do you ever wonder where, all the used plastic tooth brushes and sanitary pads go. In landfills. They don’t degrade and they stay there for ever. So does, the chemical laden water that seeps into the ground from our kitchens and bathrooms, thereby polluting ground water.

Just know that for every product you use there are alternative natural ones. Including your home care products, baby care products, cosmetics like lipsticks (Read the review here)or for men may be things like shaving cream, hair gels, natural deodorants etc.

The water from using the natural detergents, shampoo and cleaners can be reused for watering the plants as these are totally safe and biodegradable. The natural detergents are very mild on skin and cleanses the utensils without leaving any grease or dirt and uses much less water than the heavy duty chemical gels.

Also using sustainable cotton clothes with natural dyes makes huge difference to your lifestyle as well as the environment.

Organic food helps to flush out toxins from your body over a period of time and promotes overall well being.

Using menstrual cups can bring a huge change in women’s well being as well as help the environment .(Read more here)

Busting myths:
1. Natural products are not appealing :Many of you might think natural products means ones that smells very herbal, like ayurvedic medicines or something that is of good quality and zero appeal. Let me just bust that bubble now. The concoction of essential oils used in many of the products I have used smells out of the world and even freshens up the room with natural fragrance. Take a look at the soaps below if you don’t believe me. Unlike hot processed industrial soaps, these are cold processed, which means there is no loss of nutrients or quality of natural ingredients. Also these are rich in natural butters, oils, clays,fruit and flower extracts.


PC:Giabathandbodyworks


PC:Juicychemistry

2. Organic products are super costly : This is another myth. When you buy a mass produced product from store, you don’t realize that the product itself costs only one fourth of it’s MRP and that you are actually paying for all the marketing and fancy packaging.But for an organic product to be made it involves steps like ethically sourcing quality ingredients, an artisan making fresh batch of products by hand and send with love.

Also you just need a pea size of the product compared to the normal variants. The products are very concentrated and pure that a little goes a long way.There are affordable natural skin care brands as well as high end ones.It depends on the ingredients in the products and the process of making them. But every customer makes a difference for these people unlike the mass producing, cosmetic tycoons.Almost everytime I buy a product, I get hand written notes on how much they appreciate us buying from them. You can consult the makers to have products curated for your needs. They even customize products for your liking.

This is not an overnight change you can bring about in life. Start by reading more on this and make informed choices in life.
Going forward,read the ingredients in all the products you buy and make a conscious choice.Many of these chemicals that are listed might be alien to you. But in this age of technology,the answers are just one click away. Search the ingredient name in web and read about it. Infact you just take your tooth paste/ shampoo or detergent at home and just read about all the ingredients in them. I am pretty sure, you will think twice about using them again.

If you feel this is a tedious process, the alternative is to read my blog posts :)Hope this post was informative.

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.

JivaVrksa : Earthy goodness for summer skincare

Summer is already here and Bangalore is getting really hot. Summer skin care products should be simple, light and refreshing. I have combination skin and summers brings that extra oiliness to skin. But using grain based products will balance out your skin keeping the greasiness at bay and making the skin look nourished and lively.

So let me introduce the Chennai based brand, JivaVrksa that has an all-natural personal care product line. I was very excited to try these handmade traditional skincare recipes, which are free from artificial fragrance, colors and preservatives.

As you can see the products came in a cardboard box with the brand label. I loved the fact that, eventhough a new brand, they really have put great efforts in the packaging.It is well organized with clear labels in eco-friendly handmade paper sachets.The product details and ingredient list is given in detail in a paper pamphlet. Kudos to the design team.

The brand has in market just 4 products : face, hair and body wash powders and a facepack.

All the products are in powder form with a light earthy fragrance, a mixed smell of all its ingredients. I am not new to powdered cleansers. None of the products have any strong herbal smell(which I sometimes dislike). Inside each brown sachet, is a translucent paper cover carrying the product, with the product label. All the products have somewhat earthy colors. So I keep them all in the same package and dry use wooden spatula to take the products out.

Face wash

Price : Rs100 for 75g which makes it one of the most affordable natural skincare product
Ingredients : Chickpea , Multani Mitti , Sandalwood , Rose Petals , Licorice , Aloe Vera , Avaram Senna Flower , Neem , Orange Peel and Basil.
Brand claims : Cleanses, moisturizes and protects skin. Improves smoothness and glow. Prevents wrinkles and acne

This product can be used by all skin types, even sensitive ones. It is a very mild powder which can be mixed with water to form a paste.Only about half a teaspoon of product (sometimes I just take a pinch) is enough to cleanse the face and so Iam sure this is going to last me a while. The paste spreads easily on wet skin. I have observed that when kept for longer time, it tingles lightly on the skin, which I feel is the ingredients working it’s magic.

It’s easy to wash off compared to gel or liquid face washes and takes less water for sure.Post wash the skin feels clean, soft and refreshed without making it dry or stretchy. It takes away the oiliness, dirt and grime and it surely brightens up my skin a bit. This will be well suited for acne prone and dry skin equally, as it balances the skin.It keeps oiliness away from my t-zone through out the day,when used twice daily.I don’t feel the need to use moisturizer after. Neem and basil are effective to fight and prevent acne.

Cannot comment on the ‘prevents wrinkle’ claim as I am not sure if a face wash is capable of doing it, but the ingredients might have those properties.

Body Wash:

Price :
Rs80 for 75g
Ingredients : Green G
Brand claims : Moisturizes and protects skin, Improves smoothness and glow, Gives natural fragrance and refreshes your body, Prevents skin diseases, Cleanses your skin.

As you know from my winter skincare post in Instagram (Read here), Abhyanga should be followed by cleansing with a grain based cleanser. I make a thick paste of the powder in a bowl and massage it well on the body. I have dry arms and legs and this body cleanser is gentle, it removes pre-bath oil effectively without making the skin dry or stretchy. Even when used without oiling the skin, it is non drying. I love the fragrance of vetiver but the earthy fragrance doesn’t stay on skin for long. It surely makes bath, a refreshing experience in this hot summer.

Buy from : Amazon
FB : JivaVrksa

Why i liked the products:

Simple and effective ingredients.
100% Natural, cruelty free and eco-friendly
Doesn’t have strong herbal smell
Gentle but effective
Affordable and easily available
Unlike soaps this doesn’t dry out the skin.Also the slight grittiness sloughs away all the dirt and not just the oil
Balances skin
Removes tan

Since the products are free from preservatives, I advice you to keep it in an airtight container if kept in bathroom. Also use dry spoon to scoop out the products.
The hairwash and face mask review will be up soon.

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Cost effective natural lip tint with kitchen ingredients

All of you who follow my instagram page might be curious about the ‘guess what’ picture I posted yesterday. So here is what it is. It is a homemade skin balm for soft, supple and glowing skin. This can also be used as a lip and cheek tint for that natural subtle tint. This is easy to make, costs almost nothing and is very beneficial to the skin.


Ingredients needed :

1. Half of a small organic beetroot
2. Virgin coconut oil/Olive oil/ Ghee
3. Hot water in a bowl

This is a very versatile balm and you can add lemon juice, carrot juice, castor oil, honey etc in it for extra benefits.
My preparation has beetroot extract, virgin coconut oil (home made) and castor oil. I made the coconut oil at home, from left over coconut milk. Let me know if you would like the recipe.

Method to prepare the balm:

1. Grate the beetroot with a grater. You can also grind the beetroot in a foodprocessor, till there is a visible watery residue.

2. Strain the juice of grated beetroot by pressing it with a spoon.Make sure there are no bits and pieces of beetroot. Don’t add water to it. We only need the quantity we get from half a beetroot as we have to use this within 2 weeks and not let it go stale.

3. Now is the time to add virgin coconut oil/olive oil/ghee to the beet extract. Depending on your skin type and preference you can add any of these. You should add quarter to half tsp of the oil. It would be easier to add less at first and then increase the quantity depending on the consistency. Too much oil will make the tint sheer.

I transferred the beetroot juice to a small steel bowl, added quarter tsp of coconut oil (which was refrigerated and had hence solidified) and a few drops of organic castor oil from Juicy Chemistry. Castor oil is a thick oil which helps in moisturizing the dry lips. You can skip coconut oil and add olive oil or ghee instead. You can skip castor oil as well and add honey at the last step instead.

4. The balm is still a liquid. If you keep this mix in refrigerator at this point, the oil will separate and form a solid layer on top of liquid beet juice.

Inorder to make it thick and ‘balmy’, dip the smaller bowl with the mix, to a larger bowl of boiling hot water. You can boil the water and just take it out of stove for this step.It just need to be really hot. With a spoon or a whisk(makes the job easier), beat or whisk the liquid mix very fast. Now the continuous fast whisking on a hot water bath will make the mix to thicken and become the consistency we need. If liquidy you can add more coconut oil to it and repeat the process. You have to fast whisk it for atleast 15-20min for it to reach the right consistency.

Now since Iam quite lazy, I whisked it for around 10min. I got a slightly thicker consistency.

5. Once the mix cools down you can add few drops of lime juice or honey for that extra benefit. I transferred it to an empty lipbalm case. Now refrigerate the mix for it to set and solidify. Since there are no preservatives in this balm you need to refrigerate it to make it last longer.



How to use:

1. As a lipbalm : Just dab a little bit of the mix on your lips. It will give you that just smitten tint initially which oxidizes in a while to give a deeper tint.
When used regularly, this balm helps to reduce the pigmentation on lips. It also moisturizes the lips and makes it soft and supple.

2. As a face massage balm : Please do a patch test if you have sensitive skin. Take a small quantity of the balm and massage it well on cleansed face. Use circular upward motion to massage. Do this until the balm is absorbed on skin. Wipe off the excess with a warm face towel. Your skin will feel baby soft with a subtle glow. Do this regularly for lightening blemishes and dark spots.This is suitable for all skin types. I have combination skin and it did not cause any break outs. Just use a small quantity.

3. As a cheek tint : Dab a small quantity on your cheeks for that natural rosy cheeks.

4. As a lip scrub : Mix the balm with cane sugar/salt to form all natural lipscrub. Massage it gently on flaky lips to make it smooth and plump.

I used all organic ingredients as it is a face product.

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