Thursday, September 03, 2020

Beauty Recycling Programmes in India

beauty recycling programmes in India

I haven't worn or have bought makeup since March 2020; it has been six months—not once—although I had planned to experiment during the lockdown. However, I've been actively exploring ways to recycle waste. I've been trying to do my bit, sometimes even going out of my way, and I believe all of us do. I only knew MAC's recycling programme, but I am delighted to state that there are many brands introducing recycling programs.

This—recycling criterion—is worth considering before purchasing any product, for me personally. This doesn't leave me with many choices, rather...I like to think...its only fair! You get some, you lose some...

I am listing down all the brands, both cruelty free and non-cruelty free, available in India that offer recycling programmes. I am not categorising them as green, clean, ethically sourced or anything else, but I am solely looking at them as brands that encourage recycling by offering rewards in exchange.

Back to MAC**

You get a free full-size lipstick from MAC's permanent collection in exchange of six primary packaging (except wooden pencils). This also includes empty pack of face wipes and empty pigment tubes. Primary packaging here refers to the component without the product, i.e., MAC eyeshadow/blush component with its pan intact; components with missing pan are not acceptable under this programme. You can avail the offered product, depending on your location, at any MAC counters. This programme is available online in Canada.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for MAC's Back to MAC programme in India here.


Kiehl's has a recycling programmed named as "Recycle and Be Rewarded". Under this programme, consumers are rewarded with a "stamp" in exchange of one empty container. With certain number of stamps, one can avail deluxe samples, #1 lip balm and a full-size product (up to INR1200).

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for Kiehl's Recycle and Be Rewarded programme in India here.

The Body Shop*

The Body Shop has two different programmes for rewards and recycling. For recycling, The Body Shop accepts empty containers under "In Store Recycling Scheme". Basically, The Body Shop accepts empty containers and passes them onto (a third party) their recycling partner. No reward system or point system is followed under this scheme. This scheme is limited only in select stores (all stand-alone stores) across India. You can draw "X" on the containers with a permanent marker and return them at select stores. I have returned two empty containers so far. Honestly, it feels nice to know that my empty containers won't end up being marine debris.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions and select stores for The Body Shop's In Store Recycling Scheme in India here.


Innisfree offers points as rewards on valid product purchases under "My Innisfree Rewards" programme and points in exchange of empty containers under their "Empty Bottle Recycling campaign". They offer membership "Welcome" on their first purchase which can be upgraded to "Premium" and "VIP" with purchase of Innisfree products worth INR 5000 and 10000, respectively. One can give back up to five empty containers per month in exchange of 1250 points per container.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for Innisfrees's "My Innisfree Rewards" programme in India here.


Plum accepts empty containers under their "Empties4Good" programme. Their packaging is made using recyclable materials. One can either send empties (only Plum containers) on their address or request a pick up by filling a form given on their website. For every empty container, Plum credits INR 50 in the sender's account.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for Plum's "Empties4Good" programme in India here.

The Nature's Co.*

The Nature's Co. accepts empty containers under their "#PlasticFreeWorld" programme. Empty bottles and containers, completely rinsed and packed in a cardboard box, are to be sent to their Plastic Collection Centre. An e-coupon card will be sent to the sender for their next purchase.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for The Nature's Co.'s"#PlasticFreeWorld" programme in India here.

Needless to say but its really important to rinse your empty containers to avoid contamination during the recycling process. Rejected containers end up at landfill sites. Apart from these brands, various brands such as L'Occitane, Garnier and Love Beauty and Planet have begun contributing to reduce their carbon footprint by using containers made from post-consumer recycled waste. This post is limited to the availability of brands in India. There are many brands across globe contributing in various ways; some brands may take inspiration. *wink*

*cruelty-free brand

**non-cruelty-free brand

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Love of my life

My beauty resolution for 2020 is to pan makeup; I'm not on a makeup ban, but this girl's beauty space is expanding.... and I forgot to swatch the lipstick.

lisa eldridge lipstick

lisa eldridge lipstick

I wanted this post to go live in 2019 but I didn't feel like blogging even though I wanted 2020.

Makeup Artist Lisa Eldridge launched her first True Velvet Collection with Velvet RibbonVelvet Jazz and Velvet Morning back in November 2018. I added Velvet Ribbon to cart and procrastinated for about sometime, and bam! I lost interest thinking I don't wear red everyday. I wanted it because it is similar to Ruby Woo–a blue-based red.

Then I forgot about it, about everything. I was too busy to even look at the swatches of her next launch, but I had a glimpse of Go Lightly. How I overcame my impulsiveness, I do not know. Rainbow spill was my choice but I could hardly make use of it everyday. Then...

I chose Love of My Life because I wanted a colour I could wear everyday and finish it off within few months. I knew it I'd love the texture, and I want to experience what hitting a pan or finishing off a lipstick feels like. I still want Velvet Beauty and Velvet Muse and maybe even Velvet Fawn. I thought these would turn out pale on me but looking at the swatches on medium-olive skin tones, I regret! I don't know if Lisa will restock them.

This shade is truly universal. I am sure this will look good even on all skin tones. A soft rose pink with a neutral undertone in lucent finish. Love of My Life is cruelty-free and 100% vegan. To put down in one line: This formula is quite unique. I know of lipsticks that form tides because of their balmy textures; this does not and that makes me reach out for this even more, even though I have worn this only twice because I was waiting for the moment. :D

Here is how Love of My Life looks on medium-olive skin tone:

lipstick swatches

The finish, Luxuriously Lucent, in Lisa's words, indeed feels luxurious and lasts for about 4 hours and leaves a soft rosy tint. I love love love the pale gold and magnetic lipstick case. I have not yet gone lip liner hunting for this one, but I want to find a cruelty-free lip liner to go with this colour. Lisa's suggestions are Lancôme - Le Lip Liner - Pourquoi Pas 317 and Barry M - Lip Liner - Dark Pink 2.

What is the best thing I like about this lipstick? The colour.
The camera fails do justice to the colour and lip swatches here. So I tried clicking under both lighting conditions with all sort of settings. The colour looks deeper in the pictures. In person, this colour is more soft and not as deep and vibrant as in the pictures. Probably a kind of pink that'll flatter all looks from soft to smokey.

To conclude, I love Lisa Eldridge's Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour in Love of My Life, and I also want the aforementioned shades. I am resisting to get the True Velvet Collection because I cannot wear reds everyday. I am really hoping to finish this one off soon, so I am wearing it everyday, even though I don't wear face makeup everyday and it still flatters my bare face. This alone got me excited enough to spend a fortune to get hold of this.
No affiliate; you can check her lipsticks here:

I paid the shipping, and I had to pay custom duty, and I wasn't happy about it.

But Love of My Life sounds so cheesy! 😏

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Current night-time skincare routine

After drafting four blogposts since December 2018, I am hitting publish for this one. There is only one reason—I am pretty serious about it. No matter how tired I am, or even sick, I have to go to bed with a clean face or it's the end of the world.

Step one

I still use the good old extra virgin olive oil, but for light makeup or sunscreen, I'm quite liking Josie Maran's Argan cleansing oil. It is vegan and cruelty-free, but repurchase? Probably not.

Step two

The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. I cannot see any other toner, if my shelves hold this. For first few uses, I woke up with breakouts and stopped using it, but if I dab this onto wet skin, it doesn't irritate my skin. This one's a keeper!

Step three

Either Kiko Milano Smart Glow Drops or The Ordinary's Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. If I am using spot treatment, I skip this step and move onto moisturising. Occassionally, I make my own Vitamin C serum.

Step four

This is the most crucial step, and the one that is unpredictable—I have so many options to choose from—moisturisers, facial oils or sleeping masks. Coming to sleeping masks, I'm trying to love the Freeman Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask for neck and décolletage, but I'm going back to my absolute favourite. For my current skin conditions, BrownBoi's Saffron oil has been working just fine.

Step five

This one is optional—exclusively for weeknights, when I want to reflect upon things or even watch a movie. I treat my skin to a mask or five-minute massage. The Ordinary's AHA and BHA Peeling Solution for under-the-skin bumps, Himalaya Neem pack for detoxification and massage for the nights when my tiredness is visible through my skin. sigh.

This post is restricted to the current weather. I am also trying to incorporate new products and few additional steps, which are not necessary for the current weather. For nights when I want to sleep as soon as I get home—step one, two and four, it is. I think I've filtered so many in-between steps that make a world of difference. I think I'll post an in-depth routine before 2019 ends.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

2018 Makeup Favourites

Makeup wasn't on my mind for these eleven months. More or so, it has been a combination of "stuck in a rut" and "whatever" situation. A pretty colourless year for someone who loves the bling. I've discovered some gems; somethings worth repurchasing.

2018 Makeup Favourites, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Diffused, The ordinary serum foundation, Kryolan lip n cheek tint in dahlia


The Ordinary Serum Foundation

I was way too sceptical to get these (I am using the demonstrative pronoun "these" because I bought three shades). Most of them said it separates on them and does not provide much coverage. But boy! there is nothing I dislike about the formulation. When I added these to my cart, I shrugged assuming £18 won't hurt. One pump and it evens out the skin without looking like I'm wearing any makeup. It does not separate on me, irrespective of using primer or setting it with powder. What makes me consider this a great foundation? It does not settle in my laugh lines.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

At first, I didn't like it with all that dusty, fine powder particles on the mirror and rim. I believe that is the peculiar thing about baked powders. Considering it is so expensive, a little goes a long way. I barely touch the surface of the pan with a large fluffy brush and buff and sweep all over the face. I use this as finishing powder and swoon inside every time. And yes, I have been asked why I'm glowing. This is basically Instagram filter in a compact. There were days when I used this over the tinted sunscreen and that's that. I have used this almost every single day of 2018 and the dome has barely any dent on it. I am going to repurchase this all my life would be an understatement.

Bioderma Sebium Global

I have used this as a primer for redness. Though it soothed the redness, I could not figure out its texture. I have used this exclusively through summer and on most days on the cheeks and nose. Somedays it would work great but some it would make the skin dry leading to more sebum secretion. And the worst possible it did was draw an appearance of texture as if layers of foundation lived on the surface of my skin. Not flattering.

This controlled sebum but also dehydrated those areas.

LA Girl Pro conceal Green Corrector

Red pesky acne and the ever-deepening redness on my nose and cheeks are more troublesome than ever in winter. The redness is an unwanted side effect of adding acids to my skin care. This has been my rescue agent in all those red distress signal situations.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Golden 

My go-to mineral foundation for 2018. I like this even more than I like Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation. The formulation is light, buildable and meshes with the skin. It does not transfer unless you use too much, and the best part is skin looks like skin. This has a sheen to it, which accentuates the natural high-points. Though it evens out the skin, it cannot conceal nor it accentuates the dry flaky areas. I prefer using tea tree oil-based skincare under mineral foundations.
This is the kind of foundation you wear to the gym. *wink*

Wet n Wild Photofocus Pressed Powder in Neutral Beige

This one is almost invisible on the skin. It sets and does not leave a cast. It works great for flash photography! Though it does not have any coverage, it looks and turns out exactly like Mac Mineralize Skinfinish. If only it had coverage! But I think this is the best cruelty-free dupe for MAC Mineralize Skinfinish.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Concealer in Light/Medium Beige

The best undereye concealer ever! I bought the most loved Mac Prolongwear Concealer, and I did not like it, even a bit. For gloopy thick texture it had, it was impossible to spend time blending every day. And the texture thickened with time. MAC is a better choice to hide acne scars, but I prefer something light for under eyes, so this does the job. I like this better than Maybelline Fit Me.

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight swatches review is Kevyn Aucoin cruelty free?

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight

If I believed in love at first sight, this would ascend the list. I love everything about it: the colour, texture and longevity. This is a no-nonsense highlighter. It has warm reflect that is subtle and not sparkly or blinding. For lit from within look, this is so far the best highlighter. I like this even better than the Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer.

Natio Loose Crystals in Beige

Another mineral foundation. This is drier than the other ones I have tried and takes a lot of buffing and blending to look natural. The undertone is a lot more beige for neutral undertone, but the difference is not noticeable. And this one at times does oxidise after a while, especially on the T-zone.
Funnily, it looks patchy at times. I mix a drop of jojoba oil and tea tree oil in the moisturiser. I am not sure, if this is worth a repurchase.

Kryolan Lip n cheek tint in Petunia swatches, The body shop cheek and lip tint hibiscus


The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus

My love for cheek tint dates back to 2008. I prefer tint and creme finish to powder finish. The formula could have been better, I think. Three dots give the same blushed cheeks with 3 km run. Bad math, you got my point. I see this is going into "will always repurchase" list until I find something better.

Kryolan Cheek Tint in Petunia

This is already a repurchase. I called the store to check if they had the shade Rose in stock, it was. Two days later, I visited the store to pick it up; It was gone. Someone just took away my dream blush. Rose, a subtle mauve pink, flattering for Indian skin tones. I love how natural this looks with dewy no makeup makeup. I always end up purchasing orange coloured stuff from Kryolan. I don't know why.
Probably, I will repurchase this again in a different shade?


Benefit Gimme Brow Tint (sample sized) and NYX Micro Brow Pencil: these two products sorted my life. I have almost finished the NYX brow pencil. Is it Anastasia Beverly Hill's dupe?
Not exactly, the texture is quite dry compared to Anastasia's. Even in terms of pigmentation, NYX is nowhere near. I have been going low on the brows. Nothing too striking. Most days, it is just setting them in place with a brow gel.


Essence I love Extreme Volume Mascara, Maybelline Falsies Push up Drama Mascara

Essence I love Extreme has to be my favourite. I used the combination of volumising and lengthening mascaras.and lots of curling! Other mascaras that I used were Essence Multi-action and Tarte Tarteist Mascara. Tarte is better and I have one more tube to really form an opinion.


NYX Soft matte lip cream in Cannes swatches, Tarte Tarteist Lip paint in TBT, NYX Suede Matte lip liner in whipped caviar review, The body shop lip and cheek tint in pink hibiscus, forest essential rose lip balm
The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Dahlia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes
Natural light
From L <-> R: The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Petunia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes
The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Dahlia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes swatches
With Flash
From L <->R: The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Petunia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes

Neutral Pink-Brown/Mauve dominated my 2018. These are the ones that I have used throughout with a little variation, of course. A little mixing, experimenting and creating new colours. In the first half of 2018, rose pinks dominated, and the rest half, a subdued brown with a hint of pink. I have fallen in love with TBT's colour, texture and finish. I like Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt better than NYX Lip cream. I love that mint kick too!
These appear exactly the same with a slight undertone difference. Tarte's TBT has cool undertone while NYX's Cannes is warm.

NYX suede liner in whipped caviar is definitely a MLLB. Everything that goes on it looks good.
Forest essential sugared rose petals lip balm is a repurchase. I have been kind of missing it lately; I thought it was not worth repurchasing, but I changed my mind. Shelling out money for a lip balm that costs as an average lipstick was something I didnot reconsider. I loved it and will repurchase, because I cannot have too many lip balms, can I? 😏

I have a makeup/skincare hate hitlist that my contemplative state of mind would not approve.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Making Green Choices

Making Green lifestyle choices for zero waste lifestyle, Eco-spirituality

It all began on that September morning of 2013, when we (T and I) visited a beach polluted with plastic bags. We could not wait there for more than five minutes, so to speak. That was not alarming enough.

On a lighter note, I found a movie ticket from 2011 in my old bag, the one I saved with a purpose. All the printed letters have disappeared, it is blank. Trash.

I cannot exactly put my finger on the date it had begun, initially, it was a phase, or so I believed.
I had to sort out my academic stuff, after I finished college. My life needed spring cleaning in the midst of fall. The first step in action was to give up everything I was holding onto. Half-filled journals, pretty boxes saved to store things, newspaper-magazine cutouts and things that are nothing more than a graveyard of pleasant-unpleasant memories. In a way, clutter-free, minimalistic living was what I wanted. As I sat in front of all these things, it just hit me hard with a thought that I am not the only one, who gathers things. In that brief moment, my imagination multiplied it to 10, 1000, million times. It was like growing up in a second. But I see that all my struggles, efforts have failed. I shredded all of it from an analytical perspective before I could even sum up my courage to put this in writing. I wanted this to go live on the Earth's Day, which coincidentally happens to be my birthday but honestly what I was trying to put up? failure?

My initial action towards a minimal and ecological lifestyle included all these measures:


1) I gave up face scrubs way back, I almost forgot how they must feel against my skin. The beads can block gills and kill fishes.

2) Recycling jars and containers to store DIY stuff.

3) I stopped using cotton pads, and I bought few microfiber cloths for makeup removal to replace them. For toners, I am thinking of getting the reusable cotton pads. But for now, I am following the serum technique—pat, pat, pat.

4) I gave up Shampoo. I did the math: shampoo and body washes' empty bottles, 6 each for 12 months on an average. I imagined my disturbing lifetime bottle trash. Hence, I switched to shampoo bars, and I am even considering making them on my own. I havenot yet figured out the body washes' alternatives yet. I cannot imagine me and bar soap together. eek!

5) Am I the only one who hates paperboard and full plastic sealed packaging?

6) I do not like sheet face masks. I tried them twice. But logically, it is a serum infused sheet. Just spray-soak your face with a serum/ampoule, you'll save a sheet!

7) I wish every brand start out recycling programs. I would very much prefer glass packaging for everything. Let us just forget the glass packaging as a con for once.

8) No skincare wipes; no blotting papers. I had to be strict with myself for these two things. No sanitising wipes, either, which makes me feel incomplete (or germ-ridden) at times. I think I have one of each for extreme emergencies. I had given up using facial tissues back in 2011; I switched to using cotton kerchiefs.

9) As insignificant as it may sound, but I have started opting for bulkier versions of bottles. So that I do not end up cluttering and adding to the landfill with 3 bottles for 3 months, when I can minimise it to one.


I hoard stationery. If I see anything fancy, I pick it up. I collect pens, needless to say I have as many as I can store. Notebooks, journals and diaries too. Currently, I have six blank, sealed ones that I do not know what I would use them for. Hoarding can get crazy at times, my life is a living proof? *sigh*

1) I reflected on the past, only to see how I have misused the mighty pen. I would go through one Pilot Hi-tech for approximately 6 essay answers. For the amount that we had to write, it is disturbing, because I disliked refilling them, as they would leak. I refill them now, and I don't care even if they leak and colour my fingers. I have started liking them, ink-stained fingers! I like to assume that it makes me feel like an artist, writer, to be precise.

2) I stopped scribbling or writing ideas on paper. I stopped journaling or making daily diary entries. I use private blogging, Evernote and Microsoft Word now.

3) I cannot decide between wooden pencils and mechanical pencils. FAIL!   

4) I do not opt for ATM receipts.

5) I have stopped using post-its for trivial things. I use reminders on the phone instead.

6) For all things related to writing, I cannot find easy alternatives. I simply write using pencil and erase and reuse the paper.

7) Ebook is such a heavy-heart choice for printed word lovers. I try my best, to  avoid "that" fancy  limited cover page edition.


1) Sanitary napkins, No, thank you! There are eco-friendly alternatives to suit every woman.

2) Water bottles. FAIL. Glass bottles/metal bottles turn out too heavy to carry (I only use glass bottles now).

3) I have killed my desire to get those PVC neon bags for the monsoon. No PVC anything.

4) For all that is perishable, compost for the plants.

5) I plant my own herbs.

6) Vegan ways for ecological balance.

7) No more food-coffee takeaways. Major FAIL!

Why did I fail?

1) I cannot stop my lazy self from buying things online to save time and effort, which has its own ecological disadvantages: packaging, airbags and plastic packaging.

2) Some days, I consciously contribute to non-ecofriendly ways like an old habit.

3) Some days minimalistic approaches do not seem to work. And there is so much more than I think I should be doing.

On the brightest side, I have turned into this secretly unapologetic eco-spiritual woman on a mission.
There are days, I drift away and seriously fail to adhere to any one mentioned thing. Takeaway coffee. I think I should give it up.