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.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Project Pan Update: Volume I

I have not discarded a single empty container since November 2016. I was knee-deep in work. My vanity is cluttered, so much so that it irks me to a point where I want to throw away everything I no longer find useful. I am determined to discard or giveaway non-cruelty free products. To top it all, I went ahead and selected few products to finish by 30th June.

Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel SPF 50

I purchased this believing this could be used as a gel-based primer. I'm mistaken. This gel would just consume my moisturiser and within an hour, I would end up with a stretchy feeling. My powder foundation would turn blotchy with this underneath. It would peel and flake and come off easily on with sweat.
The only good thing, it does not cause sweating.

Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel SPF 50 Price: INR 395

The Body Shop Drops Of Light Brightening Cleansing Foam

I loved using this in the mornings mostly. But I don't think so it is worth 1500! There are so many affordable alternatives. And how long does a cleanser stay on, a minute? Read my thoughts here

Bath and Body Works Cherry Blossom Fine Fragrance Mist

Too sweet for my liking. On me, it bloomed sweet than floral. On my mom, it would bloom sweet floral. Does not remind me of spring at all. The staying power can be prolonged by using a fragrance-free moisturizer underneath.

Bath and Body Works Cherry Blossom Fine Fragrance Mist Price is $14.00 for 8 fl oz / 236 mL.

Colorbar Single Eyeshadow in 10 Black Tie

This is from the year I acknowledged makeup as my interest. This is one of the few eyeshadows I bought while building my makeup collection. I could not use this much, black eyeshadow with silver glitter flecks; god! What was I thinking?!
Oh! Another good reason, to toss this out, I am kissing goodbye to all my non-cruelty-free makeup products.

This eyeshadow, by the way, is discontinued.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Audacious Asphalt and Painted Purple

The fixation of buying newly launched products didn't quite develop in me or so I think. I didn't find any much use for these colourful shadows for my everyday makeup. I barely wore full-faced makeup anyway. I used them only in Spring. You can check out my spring makeup tutorial to see Painted Purple looks on brown eyes.
I wish they'd launched matte, neutral dark brown colour which could also be used as eyebrow pomade and eyeliner and eyeshadow, of course.

Maybelline Color Tattoo is discontinued in India.

Suncote Gel SPF 30

This one is prescribed by my dermatologist for hyperpigmentation. In 2014, I noticed shadowy darkness on the outer parts of my face. On consultation, it was darkening due to the sun. I was using Lotus Herbals Safe Sun 3-in-1 Matte Look Daily Sunblock SPF 40. It was my holy grail only until I discovered that it lacks the sun protection I need.
Suncote Gel is a bit sticky but works great as a makeup primer. Sadly, it does not sit well with my powder foundations and mineral foundations. It does not flake or peel and is sweat proof, if wore without makeup. I conclude this is the best sunscreen for oily skin.
I'd repurchase if I could get high SPF, so I don't have to reapply every hour.

Suncote Gel SPF 30 Price INR 355 for 100 grams

VLCC Sun Defense Matte Look Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 | PA+++*

I was quite excited to try this since it has a slight tint to it. It smells like pineapples dipped in cherry-flavoured expectorant. Can you imagine? I cannot tolerate the fragrance to be honest. When I tested this for the first time, I slathered it all on exposed parts. As soon as I stepped out in sun, I started sweating profusely. To my horror, it melted down in sun. That was one embarrassing situation for me until I cleaned all of it and ended up with sunburn (I was out in the afternoon).
I don't recommend this bummer in a bottle.

Victoria's Secret Lost in Fantasy Body Mist

I loved it even though it was quite fruity on me. For once, I enjoyed the sweet notes of passionfruit.
But boy! I was a failure in panning this, it took me two years to finish this off. I'd use this on and off.
I love the refreshing fragrance, reminds me of beaches and pineapples. The colour blue reminds me of Andamans. This could be weird, but this blooms with sweat that makes it perfect for the humid climate.

NYX Retractable Eyeliner in White

I purchased this to create neon wing eyeliner using my Sleek Acid palette. I could not find this on any of Indian e-commerce websites. NYX is cruelty-free. This is unusable and has passed its PAO date.

Dermalogica Total Eyecare SPF 15

This was a part of the kit. I did not review this then was because I wanted to give it some time to consider if I like it. It fails to sink in and moves my concealer. I tried incorporating it in my evening skincare routine, and it did nothing. No noticeable difference in hydration. I hope there is a better eye cream from Dermalogica.
Dermalogica is cruelty-free!

NYX Eyeshadow Base in White

I don't remember where I bought this from, but there is barely any dent on the surface. I also have NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk which performs much better as an eyeshadow base. NYX Eyeshadow Base in White blends easily but goes on extremely sheer, and the white pigment settles in the fine lines on my eyelids. It did not at all enhance my eyeshadow. I never prefered it except few times when I couldn't find my other eyshadow bases. Concealer works much better as a matter of fact.

NYX Eyshadow Base in White is available on Nykaa and Amazon for INR 725.

Large Stippling Brush from Coastal Scents 22 Piece Brush Kit

Coastal Scents brush kits are probably good for starting out. Some of them are unusable, but face brushes are better in my honest opinion. This was one of my favourite brushes, and I used it almost daily to buff my foundation. Using this as a stippling brush was my way to achieve sheerest coverage ever: just the way I like it. I am looking for a better option, a cruelty-free one; I think I found one but I need to dig deep for the brand's cruelty-free stance.

Lip balms: Maybelline Baby Lips and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Moisturizer SPF 15

Baby lips is 50% used, and Neutrogena is all scraped out. I quite like the Norwegian formula!
The best sun protection for lips ever. I seem to repurchase it in spite of the ban, thats how much I like it. I used this up in merely three months! And I did not repurchase, instead, I purchased Sebamed Lip Defense, but that is not cruelty-free either. I am lost here; I need a lip balm that is cruelty-free, has SPF 30 and is not tinted! 

*Sent by brand for consideration

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Cruelty-free Skincare | The Body Shop Drops of Light Brightening Serum Review

How I discovered the magical results of this serum has a back-story. You can read at the beginning of this post here. I never was a fan of The Body Shop skincare; I tried the Vitamin E range and Aloevera Range and bought myself some breakouts. Until now...
The Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask is my H-o-l-y-g-r-a-i-l! You can read my brainwork here.

I never gave much thought to including serums into my daily skincare routine. I’m a minimalist and do away with a moisturizer, 9 of 10 times. Still, I am not a fan of layering skincare, anymore.  I do battle dry patches and dehydrated flaky skin occasionally and adding serum into my skincare routine before makeup has helped. Here is an in-depth experience of using DOL Pure Healthy Brightening serum with Clarifying Foam wash and Brightening Day cream.

What are Brightening Serums?

Brightening Serums usually focus on evening out the skintone as well as lightening hyperpigmentation. These are formulated with Light Reflectors which adds instant radiance on application. Kojic Acid, Vitamin C or Arbutin tops the ingredient lists which reduces spots and mildly exfoliates.

Texture and Efficacy

The Body Shop Drops of Light Brightening Serum is light and runny. It is almost a colourless fluid that absorbs within a few minutes on application. My skin was instantly transformed into soft velvety hydrated skin. The amount of serum you’d need is 2-3 drops, this serum has a tendency to go on sticky if used more than required. (I sense a high amount of glycerine?)

Cruelty-free Skincare | The Body Shop Drops of Light Brightening Serum Review

Drops of Light Serum with and without makeup

This serum gels well with Silicone based foundations as well as tinted moisturizers. But this serum (with primer on top) works best with powder foundations on my normal-combination skin. This or some ingredient in this does not let the mineral foundation cling to the dry patches or accentuate flakiness.

I tried mixing this serum with Chanel Vita Lumeire and it did not mix at all. I wanted to turn my foundation in serum foundation. Utter FAIL!
This serum works best upon layering rather than mixing. Is it just me? Or I thought I could create serum foundation on my own?

I use this serum exclusively during daytime and avoid using it in my evening/night time routine. It adds a subtle radiant glow to my face when used alone. And it is said already, I cannot afford to skip this under makeup.

Cruelty-free Skincare in India, Malaysia, UK, Phillipines, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia,MalaysiaThe Body Shop Drops of Light Brightening Serum Review

Products that complement DOL Pure Healthy Brightening Serum

I am starting to include all the products I use along with the Skincare products to lay down a brief idea of what goes well with the focused product.

I did not like using the Brightening Day cream from the same range with Face cleanser and Serum. The day cream with the serum is too heavy for my liking. So I either layered Clean and Clear oil balancing moisturizer or The Body Shop Vitamin C moisturizer, both of these moisturizers worked well.
Clean and Clear mattified my skin while Vitamin C added a million watts glow, good enough to go bare face.
The other products that complemented this serum are Bioderma Matte fluid and Nivea Aftershave both which I used as a primers.

Brightening Effects on Blemishes & Scars

When I bought this, all I was anticipating was-clear and even skin. And that is what it delivers. This does exfoliates, extremely mild because when I use this I feel less need to exfoliate.
Apart from adding a radiant subtle glow on application, evening out skin tone and complementing well with my base makeup, this additionally boosts the skin's hydration levels. Major love for that!
So did it work on my blemishes and scarring? No.
But on the brighter side, if wearing alone under moisturizer, the scars and blemishes do appear diffused, due to light reflectors maybe?

Crueltyfree Indian Beauty Blog, UK Crueltyfree blog

Is The Body Shop Cruelty-free? Yes

Is DOL Serum Vegan? Yes

Price In India and UK: INR 2,450 and £ 26.00

Will I repurchase? YES. Perhaps,my only restraint is Alcohol Denat, though it did initially broke me out. But I do see DOL with a potential to be my holygrail serum.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cruelty-free Skincare | The Body Shop Drops of Light Pure Clarifying Foam Wash Review

The Body Shop Drops of Light Skincare Range Review, Price, Buy online and Details

A quick background on how I discovered  The Body Shop Brightening Serum and bought it, I picked up  The Body Shop British Rose Shower Gel - sometime in June-July and the SA slipped in a sample of this in the bag. I was testing the Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi serum as night oil at the time. I tested this serum the next morning and my skin was instantly clarified and radiant. And I could not understand why. And I was taken by the hydration level of my skin and hence I decided to purchase the range. But I did not achieve the same clarified result with the full sized product. Fishy!
My skin at the time was not really in a preferred condition. Inflammatory acne due to the weather change and my rosacea had poked its head up and my skin was drier than usual. I have used the range for a few weeks- two to be precise and stopped using the Pure Healthy Brightening Day Cream due to acne breakouts. 

Texture & Efficacy

I find it unnecessary to spend on some clarifying cleanser that is nothing more than an ordinary foaming face wash. I had to put this range to test and hence I bought it without much thought. The clarifying Foam wash has a pearl sheen to it and foams more than an average cleanser. I find this works well with my Michael Todd Sonic Brush as well as working with hands; I tend to use a lot with the brush in compared to using it with my hands. It has extremely micro-particles, the kind you’ll only feel when you’re sensitive. I assume the creamy yet soft gritty texture is due to clay in it. I am sure the exfoliation is as micro as possible, great for sensitive skin.
Indeed clarified and non-drying results are achieved after rinsing off. At first, I disliked the overall working of the product including the texture and results. I am used to liking squeaky clean skin but I am noticing a radical change in my preference; Squeaky clean = Stripping of beneficial natural oils.
This does leave a slight veil of creaminess except for the areas around my mouth. I find it a balance of clay and creaminess that should work for both oily and dry skin.

Brightening Products The Body Shop


Clarifying Foam Wash with and without Drops of Light Serum and Brightening Day cream

The Body Shop Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening Day Cream broke me out so it was wiser to eliminate it from my daily routine. I did continue using the Serum and Face wash together and my review is entirely based on this combination.
I did notice radiance after using the Foam Wash but that did not last any long. With the continued usage of the Foam Wash and serum daily, I did notice a difference in my skin tone alone. It did fail to work on my hyperpigmentation, texture and old scars. But I did skip exfoliation or restricted only once a week.

Skin Brghtening Products by The Body Shop


I find it unnecessary to use the Clarifying cleanser on its own. It does not strip natural oils from the skin and leaves a healthy satin veil of moisture on the skin. I am assuming that it boost the radiance when used with the products from the same range. At times, I did keep the lather on for few minutes to notice if it works on removing suntan, sadly it didn’t but instead left my sensitive skin feeling raw after rinsing. MicroExfoliation, as I noticed. To put down in one sentence, it is insignificant on its own, unless If you’re planning to include the DOL Range in your routine. On its own, it is just another cleanser. I’d rather invest in a cleanser that doubles as makeup remover and cleanser at once.

Is The Body Shop Cruelty-free? Yes

Price In India and UK: INR 1,525 & £ 12.00

Will I repurchase? No

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, September 15, 2016

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron and Neem Review

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Review

I struggle to consistently prioritize my mental effort on what's truly essential because the line between tasks can sometimes blur, and subjectivity is at play. No quintessential would be here unless noteworthy (read skincare). Lately, I've been focusing on Forest Essentials' Delicate Facial Cleanser Mashobra Honey, Lemon, and Rosewater. Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Mashobra Honey, Lemon, and Rosewater here.

I started using this in January (the first week or so). And it lasted me around 50 days, considering it was new, and I took a week to get accustomed to the right amount. I switched to this variant after emptying the other variant. And I have been using it ever since: more than 6 months straight!
Usually, I get bored with cleansers and often switch them, and different seasons require different cleansers.

Cruelty-Free Skin Cleansers in India

Price: 1075 INR for 200ml
Is Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron and Neem cruelty-free? Yes

Evening: I used this post-oil cleansing method when I wore makeup. And on days when I wore powder foundations, I massaged a pump on a damp face and wiped it off using a washcloth.

Morning: I usually use a pump simply to remove the layer of grime, not stripping out the natural moisture. Some mornings I use two full pumps (for lather) for a squeaky clean feeling.

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Review
LR tarteist Lash Paint Mascara, Sleek Pout Paint, Urban Decay 24/7 Perversion
When I buy a cleanser, I don't think of anything else except cleansing without drying. I careless of all the magic ingredients that would aid anything but cleansing. So the ingredients honey, lemon, saffron and rosewater didn't matter to me. But somehow my skin looked brighter with its use (rosewater I assume).
This doubles up as an eye makeup remover since it does not sting. I used this to effortlessly remove long-wearing eye makeup without dragging the eye area (except for the Inglot Gel Eyeliner.)

See for yourself

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Review

You'll love this...
* If you are looking for the gentlest cleanser, that foams and cleans without drying.
* If you want a double-duty cleanser + makeup remover.
* If you're looking for a Cruelty-free and Vegan alternative.

I have but one constraint: the ingredients list, or the base used as a foaming agent. But I have no issues with this so far. Closing this with the price tag, I don't personally spend so much on a cleanser but looking at how little you need and it will last for months. I think I would make a life-changing decision of adhering to this.

Repurchase: Almost yes. Since I prefer using this for makeup removal than Bioderma Micellar Water (Non-Cruelty-free)
I have an unopened Kama Ayurveda Rose & Jasmine Cleanser & The Body Shop DOL cleanser; I need to try La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet (Non-cruelty-free) maybe.

Update: This is a staple now. 😼

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask Review & Ingredients Analysis

The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask Review & Ingredients Analysis

I wanted to get hold of The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask when it was
first launched. But it was out of stock always and I assumed it was a Limited Edition.  When The Body Shop updated their packaging, I was glad I could find it.

Ever since cutting down dairy from my diet, my skin turned anhydrous and extremely dry.
Almond oil failed to provide nourishment to my dry skin. I needed a turnabout and this was it.
I started using it from the day I bought it and I made sure of noting down my usage and surveillance of first Five days.

I applied this using distinctive techniques. Because I was puzzled.

Night One: Used the Bouncy Sleeping Mask as a Night Cream. Massaged a dollop onto my face and neck till it was turned viscous to touch.

Night Two
: I practiced the same method above with Two dollops of this Sleeping Mask.

Night Three
: I practiced the same method above with Three dollops. And then layered a generous amount. (The layering was inclusive of the Three dollops)

Night Four
: Skipped because I was too tired to follow my night time routine.

Night Five: Used just One dollop of this Mask for both massaging and layering.

The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask Review India

My Five Day Experience:

I was anticipating quick results and glowing skin the very next morning. On the morning after my first usage, my skin was the same: Dry and dehydrated. When I used it on the second night, certain areas like my nose, eyebrows and sides of my nose were tingling, a bit much. And the tingling continued for rest of the night, all nights. The morning after my third night, my skin was plump, hydrated and my complexion clarified with a lasting dewiness on my nose. My paper-thin sensitive skin did not break out at all. I did not sleep a bit the third night but my skin still looked well slept but my eyes were drowsy with the lack of sleep. I skipped the fourth night because my sleep cycle was disturbed.

How I continued using the product:

I pretty much use the same amount: One dollop and massage half of it onto my skin and then layer the rest on the dry-dehydrated areas
I am using it since mid-June and I skipped the third week since I was a bit occupied. So after using this for Two weeks straight. My skin wasn't as dry as it was during the skipped period and I resumed my routine again on 1st July. I followed the same technique mentioned above.
This does not stain my pillow since I let it absorb but I make sure I change them every alternate day.
There is one bizarre thing I did from day one, I hydrate myself with a glass full of water before and after applying this.
Considering the Humidity level is 89% these days, I have stopped using this. I did wake up with congested nose and cheeks the other day. I have switched to Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Miracle Serum and it has been a week. I would resume again in Cold months or whenever my skin feels dehydrated. I don't think this would complement acne-prone Oily skin.

Hyaluronic acid Sleeping Masks and Sleeping Creams in India. The Body Shop Reviews India. Sleeping Masks In India

Price: 2495 INR
Quantity: 90ml
Is The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask Cruelty-Free and Vegan? Yes (though I couldn't find packaging mentioning the same)

Ingredients list and Analysis:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propandiol, Dimethicone, Glycerin (humectant), Diheptyl Succinate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Caffeine,Helianthus Annuus Hybrid Oil, Capylhydroxamic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Adenosine, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Linalool, Polysorbate 20,  Leontopodium Alpinum Meristem CellCulture, Limonene, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Xanthum Gum

A combination of   
Water, Humectants (Glycerin, Propanediol)
Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer (derived from Castor Oil)
Emollients ( Helianthus Annuus Hybrid Oil- Sunflower seed oil, Dimethicone, Diheptyl Succinate )
Preservatives (Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol)
Plants/Seed Extracts (Babassu Seed Oil, Edelweiss)
The Mask has an extremely pleasant & soothing floral fragrance which reminds me of Jasmine. The fragrance used in the mask is Citronellol, a natural fragrance derived from rose, geranium, and lemongrass. Caffeine is rich in antioxidants and instantly perks up the skin.
And the Wizard of this magic potion:
Sodium Hyaluronate, the salt of Hyaluronic Acid. 

Recommendation: This is life or death. I can skip moisturizing throughout the day and still expect my skin to be hydrated. I don't mind the gluey feeling or don't find it messy either for the results. I tend to skip sleep and some days I have disrupted schedules and this had been showing its signs on my skin. To put in in one line: I can cheat my sleep with The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask & Caffeine!
I do recommend if your abrupt lifestyle affects your skin ;-)

Repurchase: YES though I would love to try a few other sleeping masks.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Indian Rose & Marigold Review and Ingredients Analysis

Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Indian Rose & Marigold Review and Ingredient Analysis

Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Indian Rose & Marigold has accustomed itself on my tabletop. The only moisturizer I have loved during summer and I am eking out. You should know why!

I got hold of this in December but it did nothing, absolutely nothing for my dry skin. So I resumed using this in spring/summer. You can check my Forest Essential Haul here.
It has been more than three months, I have been using this exclusively after cleansing my face in the morning and just one pump. And I am still left with moisturizer that would last me for another month.

Forest Essential claims this to be an authentic Ayurvedic formulation and Ayurvedic name mentioned on the packaging is Taruni.
Taruni is native botanical name for Rose but Taruni also means New, perhaps renewal with reference to the product.
The factual reason I chose this variant is because of the Pitta dosha being dominant. My facial skin turns red especially my nose and cheeks with excess Pitta.

There's whole earnestness with Ayurveda, You can check or read Basic Principles Of Ayurveda by Bhagwan Dash if you will.

Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Indian Rose & Marigold Review and Ingredient Analysis

I am using this exclusively as a Day-time moisturizer and at times, I layer my regular sunblock for maximum protection. The texture is a cross between thick cream and a lotion, spreads and absorbs effortlessly. The pump is in compliance with the texture of the lotion and dispenses the right amount without any mayhem around the pump.
The lotions does not leave any oil residue, just a subtle glow on the oily areas of my face.
As per the claims, I did not notice any skin lightening, brightening or renewal with 3 months of usage. But it did gradually countered my redness and kept my skin hydrated during the day.
To condense down in one sentence, This is just regular lotion that hydrates and balances the eruptions/redness with imbalance in Pitta dosha.

Ingredients Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Indian Rose & Marigold Review and Ingredient Analysis

Ingredients Analysis:

The main ingredients of Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Indian Rose & Marigold are Almond Oil & Wheatgerm oil. I was delighted to read Sweet Almond oil listed as main ingredient with Wheatgerm Oil. Almond Oil repairs the damaged collagen layers due to oxidative stress and is one of the most potent anti-oxidant. Wheatgerm oil increases collagen production and repair the DNA.
Mulberry Extract contains Arbutin ( a form of Hydroquinone ) used in skin lightening. Jojoba Oil  is a natural emollient which prevents irritations, rough skin, it also hydrates and repairs the epidermis.
Rice Bran Oil is rich in Phytic acid which stimulates circulation and cell growth while revealing brighter skin. Ashwagandha Root Extract stimulates collagen production while increasing elasticity in the skin. Gokharu Seed Extract is known to improve skin texture.
Kokum Butter, a natural emollient moisturizes and rejuvenates. Beeswax is an emollient and skin softener that helps maintain a smooth skin texture. Vitamin E is a potent anti-aging moisturizer and damaging free radicals neutralizer. Rose Oil is known for its calming and anti-bacterial properties which soothes redness and irritation. Marigold Flower Extract is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant which heals and slows down aging, known as an effective treatment for acne.

Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Indian Rose & Marigold Review and Ingredient Analysis

Price: 1750 INR for 40ml
Cruelty-Free Status: Cruelty-Free but not Vegan (contains Beeswax)

Recommendation: This is not really an essential in my daily routine. This works fine with hydrating and makes a fine base for my powder foundation. But it does not really work for all the claims of brightening, lightening or even healing. It definitely is way too pricey for just a regular moisturizer. I won't repurchase though I love how it reduces my redness.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Summer Beauty | Makeup | Hair Hacks: Hot & Humid Weather Beauty Hacks

My Summer Beauty | Makeup | Hair Hacks: Hot & Humid Weather Beauty Hacks

I am sharing my SIX Summer Hacks ideal for Hot Humid Climate. Though some of these do take a little effort but were life changing for me.

How to Prevent Sweat Stains

Sweat Stains
For light to moderate sweating, these are ideal. These absorb underarm sweat and prevent Sweat stains.
I use Panty liners underneath almost anything with sleeves to avoid those sweat marks. Works great, make sure you find the soft ones. OR You can find Sweat pads online.

Oily, Sweaty Scalp
I shampoo every alternate day, though my hair turns dull and flat in just about a day. I spray Dry Shampoo or Baby powder before going to bed. I make sure, I keep them untied. So when I wake up next morning, I massage the powder/dry shampoo in circular motion and voila! VOLUME.
For Extra-Voluminous mane, I mix in Batiste XXXL with Baby powder and dust evenly on scalp.
I avoid blow drying since blow drying invites more sweat.

How to naturally eliminate body odour
Body/Sweat Odour
How do I keep off body odour/sweat odour without using an Antiperspirant Deodorant?
This is exclusively for masking the unpleasant sweat smell. This does not prevent sweating or clog pores, but instead mildly exfoliates when you wash off in shower.
I grind Alum powder to the finest I can and store into a jar. After shower I take a pinch of the powder and rub on the areas I tend to sweat more. [Credits to a blogger friend]
If you cannot find Alum powder or are lazy enough, Baking Soda works just the same. I am testing a DIY Deodorant as well check back soon!

Taming Fly aways and Baby Hair
I don't have much of baby hair, a few here and there extremely close to the hairline.
I don't like using hair wax to tame them. I simply use a clean mascara wand, spray on some Hair holding spray and brush them in the direction I want. And sometimes, I just tame them with Clear Brow gel. Works just fine for me.

Staying Fresh all day
When I did not use EDTs or EDPs, I did follow this. And I still do. Essential oils are vital part of my Hair care. I use Hair rinses with Peppermint, Rosemary & Lavender to keep my scalp feeling fresh till next wash. And the best part, the more heat your hair accumulates, the more fragrance these oils release.
These rinses promote hair growth as well.
For Face mist: I prefer Peppermint, Tea tree and Sandalwood in 1:3:3 ratio in 100ml spray bottle.
Either Distilled/Mineral or Rose water with a drop of Vit. E oil. Great alternative to store bought Face Mists.
As Fragrance: I apply Rose Essential oil Or Jasmine on pulse points over Vaseline. These are multitasking, for balancing your mind, increasing memory. I use Vetiver Essential oil for boosting memory.
I think I cannot picture my shelves without these.

Do it yourself Blotting Sheets. Cheap DIYs

Blotting Sweat and Sebum
I have used and  despised The Body Shop Tea Tree Blotting Sheets (trashed it before I could use them all). I never repurchased Blotting sheets ever, instead I discovered an inexpensive alternative to them.
I always carry Facial Tissues (two whole packs) in my bag and pat sweat especially on hair line and under eyes. I dust the same tissues with Translucent Powder and when I pat, it absorbs oil and sweat exclusively. I cut them into squares so these Translucent Powder dusted Tissues are easier to carry around in an empty case.

I am compiling a post of Makeup Hacks since November 2014, lying around in my drafts. Its about time...

Friday, February 26, 2016

My Simple Skincare Routine for Hyperpigmention & Acne marks

It was not too long ago, I discovered a miracle product on my shelf. Sweet Almond Oil. I never used any eye creams until I got them as samples. I have always used Almond oil/Castor Oil for my under eye area, with or without dark circles. In the journey of discovering oils in skincare, I switched using oils for everything. From cleansing, to moisturizing to pampering.
That's when I discovered how my skin loves Sweet Almond Oil.

How I wake up to supple radiant skin.

Night Time Routine
You can read how I remove my Makeup here.

After Oil Cleansing Method, I massage my face with Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser and Rinse off.
Post cleansing, while my skin is damp, I massage a coin sized amount of Sweet Almond oil onto my face and neck including the under eye, lips and eyelashes. Just about every inch and every contour of my face. I have been using the same brand for years now.
If my eye area feels dry, I layer Dermalogica Eye cream.
For days when I feel, my skin is producing more oil. I use Philosophy no reason to hid on the old acne scars and around my mouth. And then smear oil on the lips, eyelashes and under eye area.
I like layering the Forest Essential Rose Petal lip balm upon almond oil since the lip balm has a strong artificial rosy fragrance. I am sure, they use the essential oil. The Almond Oil sweetness just takes it all away.

Daytime Routine

Daytime is all about Makeup for me, so skincare except the Moisturizer & sunblock is a low-key affair. For healing, my night time routine just works fine. I use the same cleanser for day & night routine. But Instead I spray my face post cleansing with Rosewater & Tea tree Essential oil both tone and soothe my skin, especially open blemishes. Tea tree Essential Oil is antiseptic and my acne dries out within a day or two. Holy Grail!
Follow up with Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion with Indian Rose & Marigold. Marigold is used for Acne but this lotion is extremely light for my normal/combination skin.
I layer Sunblock over this and proceed with my makeup.
For under eyes, I pat Neutrogena Fine Fairness Eye cream and after 5 minutes or so, I wipe it off with a damp cotton pad. My concealer smudges and smears with it underneath. Fresh Soothing Rose Eye Gel worked great with my concealer.
I am running out of most of these things. I have switched to this routine since 1st January 2016  with a resolution of making skincare pivotal in my life. I am about to switch to a new routine from 1st March 2016.

How often do you switch routines? *.^

Monday, February 01, 2016

How I remove my Makeup: Oil Cleansing Method

I have been wearing makeup every day. And it has been one and a half year heretofore. But there is one thing I would like to mention, I either wear  Concealer under Powder Foundation or Liquid Foundation alone, never both. I loathe the layers, I like a glimpse of my real skin even through my bad skin phase.

How I remove my Makeup: Oil Cleansing Method

Initially, I used the Maybelline Biphased Makeup Remover which caused a lot of breakouts. After desolate stages of acne due to Biphased Makeup Removers, I used them exclusively for eyes and lips. My sister was fond Ponds Cold Cream and every Sunday she would pamper her skin by massaging a good amount onto her facial skin and then steaming and cleansing off with a hot towel. [She is a genius, though. :) and while growing up I learnt more from her than on my own.]
So I tried the same method with Ponds Cold Cream and it did work, except I could not withstand the scent. Back then, I had bought a bottle of Olive oil for hair and I tried it to remove my makeup. All that I did was massage the oil onto my face and neck and wipe off with damp cotton. It did work pretty well with zero breakouts. Thereupon I concluded to follow the same method.
After few days, I decided to steam and then wash off using Himalaya Neem Facewash.( I used back in the day.) My makeup removing methods did oscillate with variations until I settled for using blends of Oils followed with a hot washcloth. I was relieved to find something that suited my combination/normal skin.
The blend of Oils included: Olive oil and Grapeseed Oil in 4:1 ratio.
Or Coconut Oil either mixed with Olive Oil & Grapeseed Oil.
I still use the aforementioned method to remove my makeup except that I switch between Oils. Cold Processed Oils have been an integral part of my skincare. I don't purchase fancy concoctions/blends of Oils readily available rather I favour my customised blends. Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil (Sephora Deluxe 5ml sample) converted me to switch to Oil for the night time moisturiser over my Cetaphil Lotion. I don't prefer mixing them for now since Olive oil is slightly acidic while Coconut Oil is Alkaline in nature. I am covering the pH balance in my future post.

My Oil Cleansing Method:
I generously spread Oil blend and massage onto my skin. After all the makeup breaks down, I spray my face with rosewater and the emulsification of Oil and water helps break down the rest.
Next, I just wipe off my face in the downward direction with a baby washcloth dipped and wriggled out.
Post cooling, I hydrate my face with Rosewater and follow up with my night time moisturiser.

For weary days:
I saturate a cotton pad with Bioderma Sensibio h2O and clean away all the makeup.

The Benefit: Retaining the Hydration, Moisture and Oil to maintain skin's elasticity to slow down ageing.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub Review.

I bought Forest Essentials since it was on my "To Try: Cruelty-Free Brands in India" List. You can read what I purchased to try.
I do not use granular scrubs or had a scrub free 2015 until I switched to using Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub and I have been using this one for 2-3 weeks twice a week. But what compelled me to write a review is my sneaky suspicion that this contains alcohol (in great amount.)

Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub Review

Why I stay away from Alcohol:
Terribly dries out my skin
Causes itching on spots and acne

Price: 1095 INR. ( I reviewed the 25 grams deluxe size jar in a gift box.)
Quantity: 50 grams

[ Backstory: The last time I went to my Dermatologist was when my face infuriated with ugliest possible rash & Acne due to Sebamed Deep Cleansing Toner in August/September 2015. ] 

Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub Review, Swatches, Price, Buy online India

The patch test behind my ear turned out just fine so I decided to finish it off this January. The first time I used this scrub, I was startled with the brightened skin and removal of slight Tan. I jumped at the conclusion of purchasing the full sized jar. I used twice that week and since I had few acne that next week, I abstained from scrubbing.
And while my acne healed and the stage commenced where I actually need a good facial scrub. I let this Walnut Gel Scrub sneak into my simple skincare routine. [You will see my January Project Pan.]
It was that horrendous night of 23rd January when I cleansed my skin with Forest Essentials Cleanser and I scooped out scrub with my fingers, I weirdly smelt of Alcohol. I followed with my Almond Oil and retired for the day.
The morning that followed I woke up with four Bean sized rashes two on the left cheeks, one on the right and one hiding under the chin. See the Picture below. And they were itching and so were my acne, by the mid morning I had got red bumps and blotchiness. I continuously sprayed my face with Rosewater and skipped anything except my night time almond oil. Next day, I woke up just fine, my rashes were gone but not the redness.
Right at this moment, My skin is still dry and inflamed and I have used up the Forest Essential Walnut Gel Scrub for my feet last night!
Alcohol in Skincare, Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub Review, Inflamed cheek
My Inflamed Left Cheek
What made me conclude Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub contains Alcohol:

~ I stay away from Toners. Toners infuriate my facial skin, no matter how gentle or 'Alcohol-free'
~ I can smell Alcohol. Reminds me of Isopropyl Alcohol I use for sanitising my makeup & stuff.
~ If this contains Aloe vera Gel, it should either pill or stay moist holding the granules. BUT instead, it dries completely in few minutes and leaves the walnut shell powder behind. ( Check the image below.)
~ The first time when I used it, I had a weird feeling that it numbed my skin a little. Since the scrub granules are harsh. And I made sure, I don't  over scrub.
~ Key Ingredients? We know the Key ingredients from the very Long products names too.
It's not like you are using Mashobara, Lemon Honey face wash WITH Coconut, Pineapple & Lavender on the Key ingredients list. -_-
Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub Review India, Price, Swatches, Buy online India
No Pill or moisture just evaporated gel & dry walnut shell granules
This loathsomeness is limited to Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub. Other Products I am currently using are working fine for me (no rashes at least.)
Moreover, I began my fact finding with the Ingredients which should be concluded soon.

And here is why I am so no fandangle with respect to the Ingredients List.