Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Organic Harvest Green Apple Lipbalm Review: Is it EOS Lip Balm Dupe?

The Product has been provided by the brand for consideration.

I was invited to the Organic Harvest Juhu Store launch. A gift hamper was provided for consideration. I also bought their Daily Shampoo which is SLS/SLES and Paraben free, I am left with few washes and my review is due.

[Please take note that I have already finished the lipbalm (both Organic Harvest & EOS smooth sphere) and this is an incomplete draft I am determined to complete and publish, hence the tense]

 Organic Harvest Green Apple Lipbalm Review: Is it EOS Lip Balm Dupe?

Organic Harvest Green Apple Lipbalm
was the first thing I tested which of course could be assumed as EOS dupe. But wait till you hear out my conclusion.
I am left with a flattened dome, good enough to last me for a couple of weeks.

I have an anxiety-induced habit of biting my lip and the only way I can keep myself biting off my lip is by layering them with balm. And it takes reminding, to constantly reapplying the balm, out of anxiety again!

EOS Smooth Spehere Lip balm Crueltyfree option. Organic Harvest Lipbalm


A slight waxy formula. It does instantly soften the dryness and flakiness. And to my disenchantment, it disappeared into nothingness. Who am I kidding?
The waxy formula dissipates into an invisible waxy veil with more or less shine-free finish, unlike the conventional lip balms.
I hope that I put that across decently. And if you layer, it does have a slight tendency to look whitish with visibility of the wax.
In comparison with the EOS lip balm:
EOS lip balm does not dissipate but brings out rather a healthy flush due to peppermint in it. EOS is comforting on the lips.

Crueltyfree matte lipbalm in India


I find Organic Harvest Lipbalm needs less frequent application in comparison to EOS lip balm. Perhaps, due to the waxy formula. EOS lip balms do not survive meals.
To put it straight, both of these need reapplication but I prefer Organic Harvest lip balm underneath my mattes and EOS lip balm on its own, mostly indoors or when I give lip colours a miss.

Price & Availability:

Organic Harvest lip balm is available across leading e-commerce website and their standalone stores. EOS lip balm is available only on selected e-commerce website with price variations. There is a colossal difference in the price points. Organic Harvest lip balm retails for 199 INR while EOS lip balm retails for anywhere between 500 INR to 600 INR depending on the re-sellers.
Other variants available for Organic Harvest lip balms are Pomegranate, Strawberry, and Shea.
EOS lip balms are available in so many other variants. Sweet mint is my favourite, though.

Crueltyfree vegan lipbalms in India

Is Organic Harvest lip balm a dupe for EOS lip balm?

No, except for the packaging there is no likeness in the texture of these two. Organic Harvest, in my opinion, has a unique texture which on application goes lustrous on application but settles into a shine-free veil. This uniqueness I find quite flattering underneath a matte lipstick due to its waxy formula which tends to go opaque if layered. Especially underneath the Colourpop Matte Lipcolours, the OH lip balm works for me.
I dislike wearing OH lip balm on its own, which is probably my only dislike with the product.

Cruelty-free status: Organic Harvest is Cruelty-free. EOS is not Cruelty-free.
Is Organic Harvest Lip Care Balm Vegan? 
Sadly, It is not Vegan. Even though the ingredient list is missing. One of the key ingredients is "ECO certified Lanolin" which makes it unsuitable for vegans.
Price: 199 INR
Repurchase: Probably not.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

I love a good, gentle and non-drying cleanser; and a search for one is unceasing. I have loved Neutrogena Foaming Cleanser for the longest time. I was searching for a cruelty-free alternative; I narrowed down on a few brands. I was adamant to buy CeraVe from Amazon US since I read it is cruelty free and hence I dropped them an enquiry email. The challenging part of finding a cleanser is it being SLS/SLES free, Paraben free and cruelty-free. And then there is no middle ground.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser had it all that I was anticipating, even though I did read that CeraVe is cruelty-free. I was unsure of it being unquestionable. So I dropped an email to enquire about their cruelty-free stance. I received two emails regarding my query.
The first did mention that CeraVe products are not tested on animals. Here is an insert of the email.

Thank you for contacting Valeant Customer Service.CeraVe products are not tested on animals.  Additionally, we have forwarded the latter portion of your inquiry over to our Medical Information Department.  This department has access to CeraVe ingredient information and will be getting back to you with additional information.



Consumer Affairs

So it was clear then that the finished CeraVe products are not tested on animals.

And a few days later, I received an email from one of the members of Medical Information Department stating that either their products are tested on animals on some instances. I am inserting an excerpt from the email below.

Dear Pranali:Thank you for your request on product information from Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America. Please refer to the respective product package insert(s) for complete prescribing information.

Enclosed is the following information you requested:

    Animal Testing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other worldwide health regulatory agencies currently require all pharmaceutical manufacturers to protect patients and consumers by establishing product quality, safety and effectiveness through approved and validated testing methods, which include animal testing in some instance.

Please feel free to contact the Valeant Medical Information Department at 1-877-361-2719 if we can be of further assistance.



Even though I knew pharmaceutical skincare is tested on animals, I was hoping that it might just turn out to be cruelty-free like I read on some blog.

Conclusion: CeraVe is not cruelty-free.

Friday, January 20, 2017

elf cosmetics now ships worldwide: International Shipping, Customs duties & taxes

elf cosmetics (Eyes Lips Face), a cosmetic brand based in New York now ships worldwide. I happened to be making my birthday list, sorting through brands I want to own. Accidentally I landed on their website only to discover they've initiated Free Worldwide Shipping on the orders above $50.

So I contacted their customer support to confirm free shipping on $50, Duties and taxes. And I hurriedly added few primers into the cart. And the Customs duties and taxes were included in the total order. The option of paying the customs duties and taxes upon the arrival of the package is available as well.

I am attaching a snapshot of my order summary below.

Here is what you could pick up from their bestsellers list.

e.l.f High Definition Powder
e.l.f Lip Exfoliator
e.l.f  Baked Highlighter & Blush (e.l.f Blush gems is close dupe for MAC Soft & Gentle)
e.l.f Poreless Face Primer (a close dupe for Smashbox photo finish primer)
e.l.f blush (available in 7 shades which are close dupes of the Nars blushes.)

I personally think the international prices of the elf products defeats their ideology of premium affordable makeup. The e.l.f essential lipstick that retail for $1 is priced INR 147, a little more than converted currency. And to top that, we have customs duties and taxes.
I hastily added correcting primers and serum foundation, flabbergasted to see it exceeds the price point of a mediocre Indian drugstore foundation. After calculating the increased pricing and customs duties and taxes, I think I’ll pass.
elf is cruelty-free and PETA approved, was the only plus point that compelled me to place an order. Perhaps I’ll splurge on my birthday, better!
You can check out the link below to check the list of countries elf cosmetics currently ships. They are currently offering free worldwide shipping on the order above $50 excluding France, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden and Mexico.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Vegan Chips: Terra Real Vegetable chips in Original, Blues and Mediterranean

Chips make fine snacks, especially with dips. I am not really fond of plain potato chips with excess salt and oil. I did try Bittergourd & Sweet potato chips, but the taste was below par, forget the nutrition. Terrachips is the creation of Alex Dzieduszycki and Dana Sinkler. The determination was to present flavourful appetizers to accompany drinks at bars. According to Terrachips, every vegetable is selected and prepared in small batches and then packed into bags to retain flavours and crispness.

Terrachips Original, Mediterranean, Blues Root Vegetable chips

Terrachips make great appetizers to be served with dips and salsa and flavourful even on their own. The flavours sent to me are Original, Blues and Mediterranean; out of these the Original and Blues are vegan-friendly and Mediterranean is vegetarian-friendly.

 Terrachips Original Root Vegetable Chips

Terrachips Original is a celebration of colours and flavours.
Exotic Vegetables in Original Terrachips are:
Batata, a Cuban sweet potato also known as Boniato.
Parsnip, a member of carrot family
Sweet Potato, often called as Yam
Taro, a root vegetable with purple lines & Yuca, a pale white-yellow root vegetable.
The ingredients list includes Root Vegetable, Safflower or Sunflower or Canola Oil & Seasalt.

Terrachips Blues Root Vegetable Chips

Terra Blues as mentioned before has a melt in the mouth crunch. These are produced from selected naturally blue potatoes which a bluish-purple in colour and have a distinct nutty flavour.
The ingredients list includes Naturally Blue Potatoes, Safflower/Sunflower/Canola Oil & Seasalt.

 Healthy snacks, Root vegetable chips

Terra Mediterranean leaves quite a zest of herbs, as an aftertaste. The aroma of the herbs is strong and fresh. A tangy kick just reminds of the lemon as mentioned on the bag.
The root vegetable that are included in Terra Mediterranean are Batata, Parsnip, Yuca, Taro, Ruby dipped Vegetables and Sweet Potato.
The Ingredients list is precise: A seasonal mix of root vegetables including sweet potato, batata, parsnip, taro, yuca, seasoning (whey {milk}, spices, garlic powder, safflower or canola or sunflower oil, sea salt, vinegar powder [maltodextrin, distilled vinegar solids], onion powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, oil of safflower, evaporated cane juice, lemon oil, toasted sesame oil), beet extract concentrate (for color), natural olive flavor.

 Vegetable chips in India, Vegan Chips in India

Terra Mediterranean contains Whey from milk which makes it suitable for only vegetarians. These are Gluten-free, Non Gmo and MSG free vegetable chips available in India. Terrachips are definitely an exotic and healthy snacking option available for Vegans and Vegetarians.
Out of these, Terrachips Original is crunchiest and crispiest of the chips I’ve ever tried. While the Blues is melt in the mouth crunch. These chips retain their natural sweet flavours, and have a slight caramelized crunch on the surface; resembles sweet & salty crackers.

Terrachips has indeed revolutionized snacking with these exotic vegetable chips.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Is Lakme Cruelty-free?

Is Lakme Crueltyfree?

My first ever Lipstick and Polish were from Lakme, both true red and I was only ten. Lakme was my favourite brand while I was in school mostly because of easy availability and perhaps, naiveness?
Then there was Elle 18, Revlon, Tips and Toes. Revlon had quite a cult following, I remember the round black packaging with gold ring around that did look as good as an Estee Lauder lipstick!
When I started discovering new brands, I never looked back. Lakme Lip and Cheek tint from their 2012 limited edition bridal collection was my last product ever, I'll hold on to it ever.
And now they've launched their Lakme 9 to 5 Weightless Mousse Lip & Cheek Color and honestly they look irresistible.
The products are affordable and tailor-made for brown/olive skin tones. But a question always echoed in my head: Is Lakme Cruelty-free? or even Vegan? Any products!
And I was never answered upon asking. Infinite unanswered emails later, I decided to dig deep since the search queries have overwrought my blog search. So I finally sat down to research the brand's stance on animal testing.

So my conclusion: Lakme conducts animal testing either on the finished products or on the raw materials.


  • Never have I heard Lakme promoting their products as cruelty-free or being against animal testing.
  • Hindustan Unilever is the parent company, one of the miscreants (if I could put across ever so politely) of the animal-testings.
  • Lakme is an Indian brand and is largely exported to Malaysia apart from Nepal and UAE,  Though I could not trace China.

    I have already filtered the brand from my essentials or lust list, no matter how alluring the new launches seem to me.