Thursday, June 30, 2011

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturizer {Product Review}

The moisturizer is supposed to be followed after the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth and Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic. Before starting on with the review, I would like to say that my skin reacts very differently to the moisturizers as opposed to other skin care products. They either make me sweat or leave me dry. I don't know why my skin behaves so errant in case of moisturizers. You must have seen a conspicuous absence of reviews on moisturizers except Dabur Gulabari which I liked more as a hand cream and Auravedic Facial Skin Repair Moisturizing Lotion which suited me quite well but only after quite a few hit and trials as I have mentioned in my review.

And, to write this review, I have taken almost a month because I was confused whether I liked the product or not. Many hit and trials were again in the order because I simply didn't feel like writing it off and I sincerely believe that moisturizers are something you can't give an instant opinion on. Kindly check for the prices and other product information on the Liz Earle website. And, I am also very grateful to Andrea for being so patient with me and allowing me so much of time to post my opinion on the product.

I have the smaller sample version of 15ml so the ingredients are not listed. So, I shall just mention the ones which are key ingredients: Borage and Avocado Oil, Echinacea, Beta-Carotene and Natural Vitamin E.

My Experience
I have the moisturizer suitable for combination/oily skin. Since I have told that the skin tonic was too heavy and felt sticky on my skin, so when I followed the moisturizer, my skin had become sticky and oily. And, to top it, I had taken out a very huge quantity of the product so overall, my first time was a disaster. Then, in the consequent uses, I understood that only a half pea size amount of the product is actually necessary for the entire face and neck. But, I could still not continue using the moisturizer on the skin tonic. So, I started using it with simple green tea. I sprayed green tea on my face and followed up with the moisturizer.

It felt very light on the skin and not at all sticky. It made my skin soft and supple and kept it that way till the next wash whether applied in the morning or at night. I am not sure of the repair it had done on my skin coz my skin is just as it was. But, probably it did preserve my skin coz lately I haven't been eating and sleeping properly at all (which is a very bad thing!!!) and still my skin feels soft and chubby like it was. But, the fine lines under my eyes are just like they were and not sleeping properly is not really helping them so I am not going to blame the moisturizer for that. Though, I had the oily skin variant of the moisturizer but I felt it was a little heavy for my skin otherwise nothing wrong with it. May be I am using a bit more than what I should.

My Recommendation
Yes, it is a nice moisturizer but price is a downfall!! And, you would love it once you come to know the amount of moisturizer you need for your face and neck. A bit more and it will become heavy otherwise you wouldn't feel like you have applied anything on your skin which is something very few products can do.

PS: Product sent by brand for consideration.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic {Product Review}

So, this is the second step of the skin care routine to be followed after using the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. This tonic is just a toner for the skin. Kindly refer to the Liz Earle website for product information and the prices.

Since I received a 50ml sample size of the product, the ingredients are not listed on it. So, I'll just mention the key ingredients here: Organic Aloe Vera, Calendula, Rose-scented Geranium, Cucumber and Natural Vitamin E.

My Experience
Well, I have never used any commercial toners from the market except rose water So, I have no idea how they actually work. But, I really prefer them to be watery and hydrating instead of sticky. So, when I was going to use this, I was pretty excited. But, when I started using it, I found out that it was too heavy for my skin. I tried using the moisturizer right away, I let it dry completely before using it, but whatever I do, it made my skin really sticky so I didn't understand what to do. Then, I decided it wasn't for me. Then, finally one day, I used a lesser amount of toner than I usually used and the product got easily absorbed into my skin without any stickiness. But, still, I felt as if there was something on my skin. And, it made the moisturizer also sticky, unfortunately :( And, I also noticed that my skin was getting oilier much sooner after using this toner. 

On the good side, it smells awesome and I guess it will suit dry skin very well. But, I wish it had been more watery and light on the skin. But, (its my personal opinion) a product shouldn't become too heavy for the skin just coz you have applied a little more quantity. And, there was a little problem with the fact that the bottle has a very small mouth so if I have to soak a cotton, every time excess amount of toner used to come so it was just impossible to use a less amount. A spray would be a better way to market this product. And, Liz Earle does have it in the spray form also. So, I think that the spray packaging would make sure only enough quantity is distributed on the face and not more making it easy to use.

My Recommendation
I give this product a benefit of doubt. But, make sure you read other reviews which are quite positive about the product here and here. It might just be the case that the product didn't suit my skin. 

PS: Product send by brand for consideration.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser {Product Review}

This is a small bottle which you get free on the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sun block.

Price: 80 INR for 50ml

Only 3 ingredients which is quiet a change from the long list we generally see and it does have SLS
My Experience
They have tried to make it smell a little citrous.So, first concern which may arise for everyone is the presence of SLS. After all, it is on the top of the list and with only 3 ingredients, I would say its quiet a unique product. I have been using this product since probably a month and only half of it is finished as you can in the first pic. Now, one thing I would mention is that even though it has SLS, it doesn't lather as much as the shampoos and other face washes. It lathers quiet less and cleans rather thoroughly. I have one complain with this face wash that I always feel it leaves a film on my face which I hate completely but it has never made my skin dry or stretchy. Instead, the face does look a little brightened and fresher. And, now the best part of this face wash, since it claims to do deep cleansing of the pores, it actually stands true on the claims. I would say that my blackheads have reduced quiet a lot and recurred less since I have started using this face wash regularly which is more than I can say for nay other face wash. It is for normal to oily skin so yes it suit my combination skin well. And, it is quiet affordable and lasts long.

My Recommendation
It is a good cleanser for oily skin with a lot blackheads trouble. Not for dry skin at all.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to treat Sunburns? {Skin Care}

Well, I know that summer is long past in Hyderabad but apparently Delhi is still very hot. Now, this is an impromptu post which I am putting up coz my dad just faced a sunburn yesterday after being exposed to the sun for a long time. So, what should be done to avoid and cure sunburns.

Avoid Sunburn
  • Always apply a sunscreen of spf 30 or higher when you know that you would be in the sun for a very long time. Don't forget your sunscreen even if you are going ot the hills. You can get easily burnt in the hills as compared to plains (except beaches where there is a lot of sun rays reflection which are equally bad) simply because the rays of sun are much more damaging on the hills because of the distance from sea level.
  • Wear proper clothes and try to keep all the areas covered specially the sensitive regions like the neck and back.
  • Always carry an umbrella not matter how many layers of clothing you have put on yourself. 
  • Try to be in shade whenever you can.
Now, I would also mention that sunscreens are meant to prevent skin cancer but you skin can still burn or get tanned so do not rely completely on the sunscreens.

Treat Sunburn
  • Apply cool things like ice packs. If ice pack is not there, apply cold water. Just pour it over the body. Don't use a wash cloth or a sponge. Leave the sunburnt area to maximum air and make sure the air is cool. 
  • Wash the sunburnt area immediately with cold water and do not rub the area at all. In fact don't touch the area. Avoid using soap on the affected area and do not apply any moisturizer or astringent or toner too even if they claim to have cooling properties. 
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid irritation and aid proper air circulation.
  • Take a soft cloth and soak it in cold milk and cover the sunburnt area with the cloth for 30 minutes or so. This provides relief.
  • Aloevera gel is extremely cooling so always carry aloevera gel in your toilet kit no matter where you go - on the beach or on the hills. It is useful for cuts and nicks too. 
  • Sandalwood paste can be applied to the area but be careful to just tap the paste ont he area. Don't rub to spread it.
  • Slices of cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelon can be used.
  • A paste of mint leaves also helps in cooling the skin. 
  • A paste of apricots is also helpful.
  • Spraying green tea or taking a green tea bath (mix green tea in bath water) is also helpful as tannins in the tea helps control inflammation of the skin.
  • Do not scrub the sunburnt areas even if you feel they have healed. Give it two weeks at least to heal properly and a week more to ensure there is no sensitivity. Stay out of sun in the mean time.
Food for Sunburns
Not only the remedies but diet is also very important to speed up the recovery.
  • Eating a proper balanced diet is very important.
  • Drink lots of milk and fluids.
  • Increase the intake of Vitamin C and E, betacarotenes (found in carrots and all orange and yellow colored vegetables and fruits) and Zinc (peanuts, dairy products, beans, brown rice and bread, potato, yogurt and pumpkin seeds).

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Vote for Miss Philippines in Miss Hooters International 2011!

    Camille Balthazar
    Hooters of Manila Bay

    This Manila Bay beauty will charm you with her voice and gorgeous eyes. Nice guys finish last with Camille, as her turn on is a tough and mean looking guy. But baby faces, don't fray, her favorite celebrity is Freddie Prince Junior. So you do have a shot.

    Vote for Miss Philippines Here:

    Lush Gorilla Perfumes - Short Description {Product Review}

    I went to Lush today and was very curious about the perfumes launched recently. So, I asked for the Tuca Tuca and Imogen Rose sticks to try them out. So, the sales girl applied one on one hand and the other on other hand. 

    Price: 600 INR for Tuca Tuca and 1200 INR for Imogen Rose (approx)

    My Experience
    Well, you might end up hating these perfumes if you take a sudden whiff because it has a unique raw wild smell which completely assaults your nostrils. That happened with both the products though Imogen Rose was less strong in notes as compared to Tuca Tuca. And, so, consequently, I rushed out of the shop as soon as I could coz I hated it and thought who makes perfumes like this. I am not much of a perfume fan and don't really like strong fragrances and Lush has really strong fragrance. So, now, I am sitting in front of my laptop writing this post after around 2-3 hours of my visit to Lush. So, what's my final verdict?

    Well, I have been constantly inhaling the perfume and in the start, it was really a pain to inhale because of the wildness of the smell. But, after an hour or two, the notes of raw and wild fragrance fades and the perfume smells just like itself. 

    So, Tuca Tuca is really strong but a happy fragrance. I can't describe it but I really liked it. Ok, this fragrance is so strong that your nose would be impaired to smell anything else. It stays for really a very long time so no worries on that point. It is violet in color.

    Imogen Rose is pretty gentle and is not strong at all. It leaves a faint fragrance of Damascus Rose. I feel that this probably might not stay for so long as Tuca Tuca or the fragrance which comes from you would be really subtle.  This one is a light pink in color.

    I washed both my hands with water and Imogen Rose got washed off leaving a very faint fragrance but Tuca Tuca still has very strong notes. 

    My Recommendation
    Give yourself sometime to like it. It will definitely not be an instant love but it will probably be a permanent one. I loved the Tuca Tuca so do try it out and don't forget to wait for an hour or two before you decide and I think I would definitely try out the Imogen Rose again and also would give a try to other two I left out. I tried the sticks but next time I'll probably go for the sprays. They might be a little different in their notes. 

    PS: This post was written day before yesterday at around 2:00 P.M. 

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Himalaya Protein Conditioner Softness and Shine {Product Review}

    I had reviewed the protein shampoo almost a week back. I was not much impressed by the shampoo but I had pointed out that the conditioner removed all the roughness of my hair. 

    Price: 70-80 INR for 100ml (approx.)

    Key Ingredients: China Rose and Lotus (hair conditioners), Chickpea and Oats (proteins) 

    My Experience
    I am not one to believe that the shampoos and conditioners must belong to the same product range. I do use conditioners which I like and the shampoos often turn out to be ones which I don't like. So, if anyone can suggest me a good shampoo which is SLS free, I would be very grateful. So, returning back to the review, I used this conditioner both with its own product range and Pantene shampoo. And, both times, the result was good. My hair felt soft and shiny and it was all tangle-free. But, I have a feeling that this conditioner is only for normal to dry hair. Oily hair would become limp because the conditioner is a little heavy. 

    There is only one problem with the conditioner. Actually, this is a problem with all the Himalaya conditioners. They are really sticky and need loads of water to wash off. And, this is a very big problem, not only from the environmental point of view, but also from time and patience point of view. But, I would also mention that this conditioner gets washed off easily when compared to the earlier conditioners of Himalaya so I think they are trying to make better products. Ok, one very big problem with the conditioner is that you have to struggle a lot to get it out of the bottle. It is a thick conditioner and doesn't come out even when I am madly pressing the entire bottle so I often have to take out the upper cap and then thump the bottle on my palm and squeeze it and all sorts of stuff to take it out.

    Now, something which I noticed just now is that the conditioner does make the hair a bit oily on the second day. I have dry hair but sometimes it is hydrated and quite soft. It became especially healthy after using the last piece of Lush Caca Noir because of the cocoa butter treatment to my hair. So, avoid this shampoo if you have healthy and fine hair. It will make it limp but it will really suit the dry and frizzy hair well. It also helps in taming the curls so very helpful for curly haired gals.

    My Recommendation
    Yes, it is a good conditioner which softens the hair well and gives shine to it.

    PS: Product provided by brand for consideration.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Franc Essential Exfoliate and Serum {Product Review}

    Why did I club these two and those two in the earlier post. Simple reason, I loved these samples. The problem with earlier samples was that they are products which you need to use consistently to judge them where as in the case of Exfoliate, it is a scrub which I have used twice on face and loved it (still left for 1-2 more uses) and in case of Serum, I have been using it since a week and some more is left (might last for another week). So, I have used enough of both of these products to say that they are really worth it. 

    Franc Essential Exfoliate
    My Experience
    This scrub is a creamy scrub which has fine bamboo as scrub granules. Well, to think of it, it does sound very harsh coz bamboo is wood, right. And, frankly, when you use it, it does give a feel like that. But, the scrub is really gentle and can be used on the face without any worries. I have combination skin but I could use it without any breakouts or anything. And, the result is a really soft skin which was never a result of other normal scrubs available in the market. And, the face doesn't feel dry or stretchy and there is no product left on the face. And, while using this scrub, it gives more of a massage to the face. Overall, my experience with this small sample was amazing and I fell in love with it so much that I did not feel like wasting it by using on my hands coz you need more of the quantity na :D
    Franc Essential Serum
    My Experience
    This is almost like an oil but only gets absorbed into the skin very easily and very quickly. The ingredients as you can see are all oils. The color of this serum is red with a slight orange and it smells really weird but has a sweet hint in it. You can make out very easily that it is an amalgamation of so many things and its amazing. I have been using it since a week every night. Now, my first impression was that the serum would be some what gel-like in texture so when I opened the sample, a lot of serum came into my hand. Of course, I could not pour it back into the sample coz it would have simply spilled so I used all the serum on my face and neck. Obviously, my face became a lot oily coz I could use that much quantity of serum (which fell in my hand) for probably a week to 10 days but my face did not becomes overburdened with the serum or the moisturizer I followed with. You need only 3-5 drops per application and I apply the serum only at night as a revitalizing treatment before applying the moisturizer (Serum is applied before the moisturizer as it is a hydrating treatment generally and also has anti-aging effects). So, my face was so soft and tightened (not that I have a loose face but you can see when the face is toned up nicely) and supple and really hydrated the next morning. I was cautious since the next time while taking out the serum and I have found that the application of this serum improves the performance of the moisturizer too. And, the face doesn't become sticky or heavy or anything like that. I would say this is just amazing!!!

    My Recommendation
    Of course, you would have guessed by now that I love both of these products so I would obviously recommend them to you. Kindly go to the Franc Essential website and check out the prices and their product range.

    PS: Samples provided by the brand for consideration.

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Franc Essential Cleanse and Body Melt {Product Review}

    I will be talking of two products today and I will be writing about the remaining two in the next post. I received a sample each of all the four (above pic) so this won't exactly be a review. Instead, I would describe my limited experience with the samples. Lets start with the Cleanse and wrap up with Body Melt. Do visit their online store to check out their other products. They do have an interesting range of products and their ingredient lists are worth a look (almost natural).
    Franc Essential Cleanse
    My Experience
    I have used this cleanser only two times. The first time I used I felt it to be a little drying for my skin but the feeling did not recur after the second use. It takes away all the impurities and cleanses well and I found that it need not be followed with a face wash like some cleansers do. But, I felt a very faint feeling that probably it leaves behind a film which I never like in my product so I always use a face wash to get rid of the effect. Otherwise, it left my skin supple and soft both the times and also did a little brightening job. It doesn't feel heavy and it did suit my combination skin.   

    Franc Essential Body Melt
    Full of Cocoa and Shea Butters
    My Experience
    I have used the body melt mainly for my hands and legs. I found it to be a bit hard to take out from the sample first of all. It is a thick cream and requires a lot of rubbing in the skin to get absorbed as opposed to its name. It didn't definitely melt on my body but the amount was less so I can't give a judgement on the product. It moisturized my skin well but it took a lot of time to get absorbed and later (around after half hour) my skin felt soft but till then the cream felt a little heavy for me on my hands but it was great for the legs. This product is mainly for dry skin as it is extremely creamy and moisturizing.

    PS: Product provided by the brand for consideration.

    Face pack for Blemished Skin {DIY}

    • Tomato juice
    • Sandalwood Powder
    Mix them both in a bowl and apply on face and neck. Regular usage would help in the brightening of the skin, removes the tan and also the blemishes and dark spots on the skin. This face pack can be used everyday too. Tomato juice is mild enough and doesn't cause photo-sensitivity like citrus fruits. Sandal wood helps with acne and pimples too and controls the oil production in the skin.
    A smooth fresh skin is revealed. It makes the skin supple and brightens the complexion. A good face pack to use before an outing.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Himalaya Refreshing Fruit Pack {Product Review}

    Ok, so this one has papaya and apple. 

    Price: 60 INR for 50gms


    My Experience
    It smells the same but a little toned down just like the Walnut scrub. You can definitely feel something has changed in the product. It is creamy and spreads easily. No problems in that. The color resembles the inner core of papaya :) It dries off easily in 15-20 minutes and removing it with a sponge is not difficult as it is not like a clay mask which hardens. 

    The first thing you will notice is a fresher skin immediately. It does remove the dullness of the skin. It is moisturizing I guess because my skin doesn't feel stretchy or dry after removing it (some clay masks do that). It does have mineral clay but not more in quantity I guess coz the hardened mask doesn't feel tight or anything. Sometimes, you really need to check if the complete mask has dried. Using the clay based masks make you do that. It doesn't give any toned look to the skin but just makes it fresher. Though it is for normal to dry skin, it worked well for my combination skin too. Oil production is controlled enough for the time being so it is a good mask to use if you are going somewhere.

    My Recommendation
    A good and economical face pack.

    PS: Product sent by the brand for consideration.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Himalaya Protein Shampoo {Product Review}

    Well, I have never been much fan of Himalaya hair care products as they seem to do nothing for my hair. So, I thought to be unbiased, I should let my friend review it but I did use this shampoo a couple of times. So, lets see what we have to say about this shampoo. 

    Price: 70 INR for 100ml (I am not sure though)


    sorry for the bad pic quality but the main ingredients are: amla, bean sprout, sunflower, lotus and yarrow
    Our Experience
    Well, to start off with my experience, I told you that after coloring my hair with Wella, my hair has been feeling rough lately. Using this shampoo made it feel straw-like :( I used this shampoo once without any conditioner and afterward followed with the Himalaya protein conditioner. The shampoo really strips off the hair I felt. But, remember, my hair is dry, has always been dry. So, consequently, I wasn't very pleased with the shampoo.

    Moving on to my friends experience, she does use Himalaya shampoos but she finds them to be little drying for her hair too. She has, I would say, a normal to dry hair depending on the days and climate. So, we concluded that the shampoo is not good for dry hair at all. 

    Btw, when I followed the shampoo with the conditioner, the conditioner made my hair super soft but there will be another review for the conditioner. 

    Our Recommendation
    We think this is a really great shampoo for oily hair as it does control oil but dry hair people should really stay away from this even though the shampoo says it is for all hair types.

    PS: Product sent by the brand for consideration.

    Miss USA 2011 Final Question

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Himalaya Gentle Exfoliating Walnut Scrub {Product Review}

    I had used this scrub earlier around a year and half back and at that time I was just satisfied with it. But, since then, there have been a lot of changes in the product. The exfoliating beads have become smaller and gentle and they do not rip the skin like they used to and the cream of the scrub is not so heavy now. So, lets go on to the review.

    Price: 65 INR for 50gms


    It earlier had crab apple (I don't know what it is) and now it has only apple!!! Btw, it smells almost same like it used but the fragrance is a little toned down.

    My Experience
    Since I had used the original scrub launched Himalaya long back, I can spot the difference easily and I can confidently say that this product is good one. But, even then, the granules are less in density and are bit more harsher than the Neem scrub. So, it can definitely irritate the sensitive skin. I have a combination skin and it did not dry me out. Earlier the cream in the scrub used to so heavy that it used to leave residue behind after being washed off which I completely hated and I stopped using that product. But, now there are no as such problems with the scrub.

    The scrub leaves the skin fresh and a bit brighter too. No fairness claims though and I don't really believe in them. Skin feels soft and supple afterward but it didn't really do anything for my blackheads.

    My Recommendation
    A good scrub which delivers what it says and is very much affordable. But, sensitive skin people should remain away from it. And, I am not sure how it will affect the oily skin. Neem face scrub is more suitable for oily skin.

    PS: Product provided by the brand for consideration.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Neutrogena French Milled Soap {Product Review}

    Another of the hotel goodies :) I love to collect stuff from the hotels. It is like a therapy for me when I see my closet full of the hotel stuff!!! Do you ever collect your hotel goodies???? Ok. so I searched for this soap in Neutrogena's website too but couldn't find it. I am not sure if you would get this product. Anyways, I am still going ahead with the review. Of course, no idea about the price again.

    One of the few soaps which doesn't have SLS or SLES in it (sorry for the bad pic!!!)
    My Experience
    I have this soap in 15gms size and it is lasting me for about 8-10 baths so the soap is not one which melts away. It is definitely moisturizing and doesn't let the skin dry out. Since it summers and I don't like to put body lotions as the humidity is also increasing, I leave my skin after my bath to breathe as much as it can and my skin has never felt dry or dehydrated after using this soap. And, it doesn't even leave a film on my skin as some soaps do. I am not a big fan of soaps coz most of the soaps dry me out. The only soaps I like are Camay Classic and Yardley and this is one new added to the list.

    My Recommendation
    Do get one of it if you find it anywhere on the counters. It is really a good product.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    How much are you stressing your hair? {Hair Care}

    Though Hair is a dead part of the body made up of proteins, it is extremely delicate and should be handled very carefully. So, whatever you do on your hair can stress it out. That is why it is said that you should handle your hair like a 'delicate lace'. The various actions include shampooing, conditioning, styling, coloring, combing, brushing and other chemical treatments on the hair. So, among all of these, shampooing, conditioning and combing are somewhat unavoidable and are done by everyone. So, there are a certain points which must be taken care of. 
    • First is to shampoo your hair in the right way. Always partition your hair while washing. That will decrease the tangles and cleans the scalp nicely.
    • Now, coming on to conditioning, condition your hair ears down and apply enough of conditioner to cover the hair strands but don't apply too much or try to lather with the conditioner. A partitioned hair makes it easy for you to condition your bangs. 
    • So, no stress while your hair is wet. Do not flip your head or crunch your hair in the towel to squeeze out the water. Gently press the hair to remove excess water or put a towel round your shoulder to catch the dripping water. Doing anything more than that can result in hair breakage as wet hair is really delicate. 
    • Let your hair air dry whenever you can. Well, if you are in a hurry, gently press an old t-shirt and remove excess water. Use a hair dryer on warm setting till your hair becomes just damp and then finish with a cold blast and then comb it out gently. Do not use the highest setting of your hair dryer ever on your naked hair. It is also easy to style damp hair and by the time you get ready, your hair would be completely dry. 
    • No brushing till your hair is completely dry. And, actually, curly hair gals should use a hair brush very sparingly. Always choose a natural bristle brush and the base of the brush should be wooden. 
    • Be gentle on your hair while combing and brushing it. Maximum of the damage happens during combing and brushing only if you are not using irons and straighteners and curlers and all. 
    • Hair Coloring is again a big no-no. If you really want to get it colored, go to a good salon and get a good service from an experienced hair stylist and use quality products to take care of your hair afterward. 
    Now, apart from all the above-mentioned points, I wanted to focus on tying your hair. In our country, especially, in the South, you will always find girls with oiled and tightly tied braids. That is one of the worst things which can happen to the hair. Leaving your hair open doesn't mean you are exceptionally fashionable. Yes, there are people who still believe in it.

    Actually keeping your hair tied all the time has a very opposite effect on the hair. It stresses the hair a lot. Hair is supposed to be tied very gently and loosely so that none of your strands are tensed. If your hair is tied so tight, it can damage the hair follicles itself. I remember once when I was very young one my sis-in-law braided my hair so tight that it hurt right from the roots. Oh my god!!! I can remember it til today though it had happened sometime in 90's. 

    Actually, it is advised to leave your hair open for as long as you can. There is no point in tying your hair when you can leave it open. Especially when you are at home or sitting in the office or inside a car or in any enclosed environment where you know your hair won't get dirty or damaged. That way there will be proper air circulation to the the roots of your hair and the scalp too. Otherwise, if there is no proper air circulation, the sweat and the natural oils produced can clog the hair follicles and inhibit hair growth and this if continued on a longer period would cause hair loss and hair breakage. So, it is always advised to keep your hair open whenever you can. Ans, another very healthy exercise for your hair is to stay in mild sunlight -  the morning or the evening sunlight for sometime to let the air and sunlight circulate through your hair and the scalp. This keeps your hair and scalp healthy.

    Now, I would also want to add here that even the people facing lots of hair fall can keep their hair open. There is simply nothing to be afraid of. But, I would say use your own judgement coz it would be very foolish to leave your hair open in a completely windy and dusty area. It would have negative effects. So, if you are using public transport or an open-air transport or you know that you will be in the sun, always protect your hair with a scarf. Always tie your scarf comfortably otherwise it will hinder the circulation in the head and scalp resulting in unwanted headaches and tie your hair loosely inside the scarf. 

    One more point I would mention is to never sleep with your hair open. It always causes tangles in the hair. Comb and brush your hair neatly, tie it in a loose side-swept braid and sleep on a satin or silk pillow cover to reduce the friction and dehydration caused by rubbing of hair on the pillow covers and in the morning, as soon as you get up, open your braid and comb out your hair gently. You will not find any tangles. And, I don't know if there is a myth 'if you sleep with your hair open, it will grow fast'. That is entirely untrue and nothing as such happens. Only relation which hair growth has with sleep is that hair grows more during your sleep which means your beauty sleep is essential for hair growth but tied or untied hair has nothing to do with that.

    Also, read Routine Hair Care post to get more tips on hair care. 

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Update on Wella Kolestint Hair Color {Product Review}

    Well, I had colored my hair using Wella Kolestint around 3 weeks back and I had promised to do an after review of the hair color to share about the results, color and everything else. So, let me just do that in points:
    • First thing which I noticed was that my hair has become rougher since I have colored my hair. This is the saddest part of the coloring job :(
    • The color is visible only in sunlight. And, I made the wrong choice of color. I am not in love with this color but that is my fault not the brand's.
    • Medium Mahogany Brown in sunlight
    • I used the conditioner provided with the hair coloring kit again after two weeks and it did add a lot of shine and gloss to my hair and the color is looking nice since then and even my hair is feeling softer since then. 
      My Recommendation
      It is a good hair color. I can't compare it with others so I don't know how long it will last and how does it fare better as compared to any other brand but the color does look nice in sunlight. The at-home hair colors are more for having fun rather than getting the serious job done. So, you can try out some shades if you want!!! Whatever the result be, I did enjoy coloring my hair :) and if I look at the pic long enough, I do definitely like the color though I would have preferred a darker richer color.

      PS: Product sent by brand for consideration.

      Wednesday, June 15, 2011

      Makari Clarifying Cream (Hand, Foot and Elbow) {Product Review}

      I used these sample also during my small vacation. The review is a little late in coming though coz it completely slipped from my mind.

      Price: 1600 INR


      My Experience
      I mainly used the cream only on my hands. Now, the cream is really thick and really creamy. So, the problem with the cream is that it becomes too sticky for the hands but it definitely is a good cream for feet coz of its thickness. I didn't even feel like using it coz of its thickness. 

      My Recommendation
      It is a good cream for feet but very heavy for normal skin. If you have extra dry hands and feet, then this product is for you.

      You can read my reviews on the Makari Exfoliating Antisceptic Soap and the Makari Acnyl Cream too and do have a look at their website for information on their complete range of products. Their whitening product range is pretty famous.

      PS: Samples sent by the brand for consideration. 

      Tuesday, June 14, 2011

      Makari Creme Clear ACNYL Cream {Product Review}

      I could not review this because I do not suffer from breakouts regularly but recently a few days back, I felt a painful bump on my neck so I thought of giving this cream a try.

      Price: 3000 INR (though I am not very sure)

      Has Parabens but which product doesn't have them??
      My Experience
      I used only one sample (5 ml) and it lasted me for around 5 days and that too I used in excess. It is a very thick cream and very little is required to cover the face and neck. And, the best part is that the bump disappeared within two nights of application.And, I had stopped using the cream after the bump disappeared but the bump did not come back. So, yup, it is definitely an amazing product for people who suffer from acne. It doesn't make the face sticky though the cream is little creamy in texture but applying the right amount of cream doesn't make the face oily.

      My Recommendation
      It really helps the problem skin so if you can afford it, you should definitely try this out!!! And, you can also look in their site for information on entire range of products they have.

      PS: Samples sent by brand for consideration. 

      Monday, June 13, 2011

      Neutrogena Rainbath Refreshing Shower and Bath Gel {Product Review}

      Another of the Neutrogena products from the hotel accessories. No idea of the price and availability again.

      It does have SLS and parabens and whole lot of other chemicals.

      My Experience
      It has an exhilarating fragrance which really wakes you up. The fragrance is not natural but it has a citrus scent which is not very strong to irritate but enough to stay for the entire time you take bath and a little afterward. The gel foams a lot and cleanses well but can be a little drying sometimes so not a good gel for winters. It can be drying for dry skin in summers too but will suit the oily skin well. It doesn't leave any film on the body. Also, very little of the shower gel is required for the entire body. I need only 5 drops for my entire body.  

      My Recommendation
      A good shower gel if you don't mind SLS and parabens.

      Sunday, June 12, 2011

      How to apply onion juice on hair {Hair Care}

      Very long back I had done a post on onion for hair growth. So, I had mentioned that I had been facing hair fall in the months of November to January and gradually my hair fall did reduce after using the Biotique Musk Root hair pack. But, my hair had thinned to quite and extent so I recalled that I could use onion juice remedy. So, I used it every time I used to oil my hair and my hair thickened visibly within 15 days.

      How to use onion for hair?
      An easier way to use onion juice for hair is to mix it with the hair oil. I grated onion and squeezed the grated onion to extract the juice. Yes, the whole process is a little difficult coz it stings the eyes badly and onion does stink badly too :( So, mix onion juice with hair oil. You can mix in the proportion of 50-50 or 75-25 for onion juice-hair oil. Both would not mix properly coz juice is watery and water and oil don't mix well so shake the whole mixture well while applying. Start by applying the mixture on the scalp first properly and then apply to the complete hair. It will stink a lot definitely but trust me results are definitely worth it. Using essential oils may be useful in reducing the stink of onion so you can try that. Another advice I can give is to use rosemary essential oil too (5 drops per application) coz Rosemary is amazing for hair growth.

      You can also do a hot oil treatment using this mixture every time you are about to wash your hair. You can keep this mixture overnight or for at least an hour before shampooing off. Another thing I would mention is that do not worry about the onion stink remaining in the hair coz it gets washed off while shampooing and conditioning the hair. So, don't worry about that. You can also mix onion juice in the hair packs you use weekly. It also helps with controlling hair loss.

      Saturday, June 11, 2011

      Himalaya Purifying Neem Scrub and Purifying Neem Face Pack {Product Review}

      I used both the products in conjunction to maximize their potential. So, lets get to reviewing them separately.

      Purifying Neem Scrub

      Price: 65 INR for 50gms


      Neem and Apricot: Key Ingredients
      My Experience
      This scrub is for all skin types. It is a creamy scrub but not so creamy that it will break you out.The granules are gentle and not sharp that they scratch the skin but the density of granules is comparatively less. That is one disadvantage but the exfoliation is gentle and doesn't irritate the skin at all. The scrub would suit all the skin types except the one with acne problems. It will suit sensitive skin too. A drawback is that it doesn't help with the blackheads :( The scrub makes the skin looking brighter and fresh. The scrub also doesn't leave any kind of residue after getting washed off and leaves the skin supple. It doesn't dry the skin out and make it feel stretchy. A good scrub if you want an emergency fixing up of your skin.

      My Recommendation
      Yes!! It is a good scrub at a very nominal price.

      Purifying Neem Face Pack

      Price: 65 INR for 50gms


      Multani Mitti, Neem and Turmeric: Key Ingredients
      My Experience
      It is muddy green in color and really smells weird. I can't classify the smell but it is somewhat between herbal and chemical.The face pack is specially for normal to oily skin. I have combination skin and I have used this pack on alternate days after using the Neem face scrub. The result is a supple skin but I did not feel the pack did something really extraordinary to my face. The scrub gives better results. When applied, the face pack does feel cool and soothing on the skin but it doesn't really help with breakouts. 

      Applying the face pack is easy enough but the face pack is more granular than clay which makes an uneven application sometimes. The face pack also doesn't dry out consistently. It takes around 20 minutes to dry out completely and really gets hardened while it dries which gives a nice toned result. Removing the face pack is not so difficult but not so easy also and while removing you can feel the granular texture of the face pack. I wish the face pack was more creamy instead of granular. Overall. I found it to be an ok product. The result is again a fresh looking skin. It doesn't leave the skin stretchy or dry instead makes the skin hydrated and supple.

      My Recommendation
      A good face pack which can be given a try and it is very much affordable. You might like it or might not like it but it will suit you definitely.

      PS: Product sent by brand for consideration.

      Friday, June 10, 2011

      Hydrating and Cooling Face Pack {DIY}

      Watermelon is an amazing fruit known for hydration and cooling properties.

      • Milk powder
      • Watermelon juice
      Method: Mix them both and apply on the face. Wash off with cold water.

      Results: Soft, supple and well-hydrated skin. The results are more visible next day so apply this at night and follow with toning and moisturizing.

      Thursday, June 9, 2011

      Grape Juice Face Pack {DIY}

      So, I had used this amazing face pack and the results were as good as it tastes :) Ok, so first let me share with you all how I like my fruit juices. First thing is a thumb of rule which I follow and have been regularly advising you all on. Reduce your sugar intake. I do not like sugar in my fruit juices and I abhor ice cubes too because they dilute the juice and you get less of the quantity for your money :D So, I can easily use these fruit juices as face packs too. 

      Now, grapes are amazing for skin because they are rich in tartaric acid. Tartaric Acid is one of the Alpha-Hydroxy Acids which are natural exfoliators and provide antioxidants to the skin in abundance. Thus, grapes are amazing for wrinkles and skin softening.

      • Grape Juice
      • Multani Mitti
      Method: Mix both the ingredients and apply on the face avoiding the eyes and lips. Now, apply only grape juice on the eye area and the lips. Relax and let the face pack dry. It will take around 20-30 minutes. Wash off with warm water flowed by a cold water splash. 

      Results: Immediate brightened, soft, supple and well-hydrated fresh skin is revealed. Grape juice also controls the oil production in the skin so it is an amazing mask for oily and combination skin. If you have dry skin, use cocoa powder or besan or some other flour instead of using multani mitti coz grape juice and multani mitti combined can be drying for the skin. This mask is amazing to get rid of problem or troubled skin. But, if you have sensitive skin, do a patch test to check if it suits you or not. It might be irritating for sensitive skin because of the tartaric acid in it. Firms and tones the skin. Regular usage would help with wrinkles.

      Wednesday, June 8, 2011

      Neutrogena Body Lotion Light Sesame Formula {Product Review}

      I got this small bottle as a part of hotel accessories just like the Neutrogena shampoo. So, I am not sure of the price and its availability.

      The best part of this lotion is that it has sesame oil. The ingredients are all chemical so I am not stating all of them but I would like to point out two things - the top most two ingredients listed - Aqua and Sesame seed oil.

      My Experience
      This is probably one of the best body lotions I have used. It is a very light and moisturizing lotion. And, I guess the whole thing is attributed to sesame seed oil. Though the lotion is very light and spreads really easily on the skin, it doesn't let your skin go dry and dehydrated even after 3-4 hours. Another application may be necessary depending on the weather. This is a perfect body lotion for summers and oily skin. This might be a little light for dry skin in winters but otherwise its a perfect year-round body lotion for every weather. And, it keeps the skin looking glowing and well-hydrated and supple and is not at all sticky and gets absorbed really fast into the skin. And, yes, it is an amazing hand lotion also.

      My Recommendation
      Oh, yes, definitely!!! I guess Neutrogena is becoming my favorite brand very soon even though it is not herbal.

      Tuesday, June 7, 2011

      Bilberry Extract {Ingredient}

      Bilberry Fruit (Source: Wikipedia)
      Recently, my eye doc prescribed me supplements of anti-oxidants. I checked the composition of the supplements and the tablets contain Bilberry Extract.

      What is a Bilberry Extract??
      Bilberry extract is an extremely potent anti-oxidant extracted from the Bilberry fruit. 
      "Bilberries are a rich source of anthocyanosides, a class of flavanoids recognized for their importance  in eye health. Bilberry anthocyanosides are potent antioxidants in the visual cells of the retina, and help in maintaining normal blood flow in the fine capillary blood vessels that nourish the eyes and other tissues, preventing disorders like macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma while improving vision in general". - Form the information leaflet provided with the tablets.
      Benefits of Bilberry
      • The major use for which I was prescribed this supplement was that Bilberry extract helps protect from 'Macular Degeneration' (loss of vision due to damage to retina) 
      • It improves the night vision
      • It is supposed to help with gastrointestinal disorders too
      • As with every anti-oxidant, it helps protect from skin disorders and diseases

        Monday, June 6, 2011

        Apply oil right to the scalp {Hair Care}

        I have spoken a lot about the Hot Oil Treatment for strong and beautiful hair. So, I was once watching a video on youtube and the lady in it had said that it helps to use a bottle with a tapering opening for applying the oil right to the scalp. Since then, I have been searching for a bottle like that. And, since you all know I had colored my hair with Wella which had a similar shaped developer bottle. So, I decided that instead of throwing away that bottle, I could use it in my biweekly routine of applying oil to my scalp.

        So, I washed the bottle nicely and dried it and then poured oil in it. I kept the bottle for sometime in really hot water to heat the oil. After around 15 minutes, I took out the bottle and poured the oil right on the scalp by partitioning the hair. And, massaged the scalp nicely. This was a useful tool which allows a better application of oil to the scalp instead of using simple fingers.

        The best part of following this procedure is that (I don't know if it is my misconception) but the procedure feels very relaxing and soothing as compared to applying oil with fingers. If you have heard of Shirodara ayurvedic technique, it involves pouring of oil on the forehead in a particular rhythm and pattern. It is supposed to be extremely relaxing and has healing benefits for the body too. Similarly, using the applicator for pouring oil on the scalp has a similar relaxing effect. Also, this is an easier way to apply oil for people extremely dense and thick hair. 

        So. what do you think? Pin It

        Sunday, June 5, 2011

        Rosemary - Black Pepper Toner {DIY}

        A simple but effective toner for skin which is prone to acne and pimples as black pepper is great agent to fight pimples and acne. Rosemary tones the skin and removes blemishes. 

        • Rosemary Herb (1 table spoon)
        • Black Pepper seeds (1 table spoon)
        • Apple Cider Vinegar (2 table spoons)
        Method: Take 200ml of water in a pan. Put rosemary and black pepper and boil till half of the quantity (100ml roughly) is left. Let it cool. Pour in a bottle. Add Apple Cider Vinegar and your toner is ready :) This stays for a week or two. Mine always gets finished within a week without refrigeration. 

        • Not for dry skin people as it might be drying for the skin. Only for oily and combination skin.
        • Do not use a spray bottle to spray this toner on the face. Always apply with a cotton pad. The reason is that there is black pepper in it which stings badly if it gets in the eye (yeah, learnt the hard way!!).

        Saturday, June 4, 2011

        Auravedic Facial Skin Repair Moisturizing Lotion {Product Review}

        Though I am very happy with the Auravedic cleanser and scrub but I am not sure whether I like the moisturizer or not. No idea about its price and it is available only in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa. 

        Kokum Butter, Mango Butter, Beeswax, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Grapeseed Extract, Olivem 1000, Oilwax, Neroli Oil, Purified Water, Phenoxyethanol
        Amazing ingredients and almost same as the scrub except the granules.

        My Experience
        Ok, so it is full of butters and oils. So, yes, it seems to be the best bet for dry skin. Oily skin people will run away from it and I can't vouch for that. But, I can say that it does suit combination skin. Ok, it was not love at first use but I gradually learned how to use it properly. When I used it for the first two-three times, it made me sweat horribly so I decided it wasn't suiting my skin. Later on, I had a stroke of luck when I used my toner to hydrate the skin properly and then apply this moisturizer and massage the face and neck. It takes 2 minutes to get absorbed properly into the skin and it keeps the skin well-hydrated and supple for a long time. It does stand up to its claims of toning and firming the skin but I did not really see any difference in the fine lines so can't comment on that. May be it will take more time to show that effect. But, otherwise, it did not break me out at all even though it has so many oils just like the scrub. I used it after using the scrub and my skin feels soft and toned. So, overall, my experience was good with the moisturizer but still I think it is more suited for dry skin people.

        My Recommendation
        Dry Skin beauties would love it. Oil skin people would not like it but normal skin and combination skin people can give it a try!!! It is definitely a good product but not for all skin types.

        Friday, June 3, 2011

        Some Experiments {Makeup}

        The white strip is the luminescent base, box 1 from top is Glitter, box 2 is Shiny and box 3 is Metallic
        So, guys, as I shared a few days back that I received my giveaway goodies, I couldn't resist experimenting with the eye shadow. I have never put on makeup before so I don't have any tools or brushes so just bear with me and excuse my untidiness. I did it all with fingers and the little applicator provided with the eyeshadow. Do comment :)
        I smudged the kajal first and then applied the luminescent base
        followed by box 2 application
        luminescent base followed by glitter (box 1) and kajal as eyeliner

        Auravedic Pure Brightening Skin Polish Amla Tamarind {Product Review}

        An amazing scrub from Auravedic!!! I don't know the price but you can get the price list and the availability here on Bhumika's blog.

        Ingredients as listed: Kokum Butter, Mango Butter, Beeswax, Sunflower oil, amla extract, mulberry extract, lemon oil, polymer granules, jojoba beads, tamarind extract, olivem 1000, oliwax, purified water, phenoxyethanol
        All natural and amazing ingredients. Special mention about Kokum Butter: substitute of cocoa butter and is high in essential fatty acids for skin. Read more about Kokum butter here.

        My Experience
        It is more of a butter than a scrub
        Amazing scrub. When you open the lid, you are greeted with a faint smell which is herbal and doesn't irritate. There is a vacuum lid which prevents spilling of the scrub outside so no problem of the scrub getting on to the lid or the sides of the bottle. The scrub is really gentle. Ok, here is a con of the product. It is supposed to be a body polish but it is so gentle that I simply used it only on the face. There are very less scrubby granules and more of butters so ultimately it proved to be a moisturizing scrub. I did not even try it on my body so can't really say how it will work there. But, thing is that I like something more granular on the body. But, it is great for face and neck. The granules are enough to scrub the skin and they are not harsh at all and very sparse but they do scrub well. It does remove the blackheads too. Though, I do not use scrubs daily and do not even recommend but I have been using the scrub daily at night and I faced no problems with using it everyday. No breakouts on my combination skin even though it is full of the butters and oils in the product. It brightens and makes the skin glow immediately and makes it really soft and the best part is that it keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated. I follow this with the Auravedic Facial Repair Moisturizer.

        My Recommendation
        Yes, definitely!!! Amazing product but you can get the products only in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Goa and Bangalore :(

        Thursday, June 2, 2011

        Milk Powder Face Pack {DIY}

        An amazingly hydrating face pack for all types of skin except acne prone skin.

        • Milk Powder (2 small pouches or 2-3 table spoons)
        • Rose Water
        Method: Mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour very little of rose water and make a smooth paste. The consistency would be very watery and thin. Apply a thick layer on the face and leave it on til it dries. After 15-20 minutes, the mask starts to harden gradually (it takes a little time) into a white layer on the face. After the complete mask hardens, remove the mask by taking a little water and gently scrubbing it off. Wash off and moisturize. 

        The result is a supple and brighter skin which feels extremely soft. The mask is so gentle that it can be applied daily. 

        • You can use any liquid in place of rose water. I used my Rosemary - Black Pepper toner. 

        Wednesday, June 1, 2011

        Dry Skin and Cracked lips in Summers {Reader's Query}

        Dry Skin and Cracked Lips in Summers are a very unusual occurrence and can be due to the nutritional deficiencies in the body, especially of B-complex Vitamins. So, my first advise would be bring a change in your diet. Eat a lot of Vitamin E (almonds and other dry fruits, take care while eating cashew nuts coz they are high in cholesterol too). If you are a non-vegetarian, then eating fish in huge quantities would be good because it is high in B-complex vitamins. Replace your chicken with fish and other seafood. And, for egg-eatarians, eggs are extremely healthy and rich in B-complex vitamins. Now, coming to vegetarians, don't despair. You too have a lot of choices - cereals, milk and other dairy products, pulses and vegetables.

        Now, the most important part of the diet which is often over-looked. Salads. Make a colorful salad everyday and add seeds (lots and lots of them) - flax seeds (which probably are not available in India), sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, papaya seeds and all the other seeds which are available. Seeds have all kinds of minerals and vitamins and you can use them in almost everything from salads to curries and desserts. Seeds and Nuts have essential fatty acids which make the skin soft and supple from inside. So, gorge on them.

        Now, let us talk a little about skin care routine. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize is something you have heard a lot about. So, use skin care products which are suitable to your skin type.
        Or, otherwise, you might want to go for besan + milk for a cleanser as an alternative (definitely use it at night). Another alternative is Episoft cleanser. Ask for it in the pharmacy. It is a little difficult to get but the Apollo people generally get it for you. If you are unable to get it, the next best option is Cetaphil cleanser which is available very easily. These cleansers are extremely gentle on the skin and clean it without drying it.
        Now, let us talk about a toner. Stay away from alcohol toners in case you are using them. Read the ingredients of your skin products and chuck out all those which have anything saying ethyl alcohol or denat alcohol. But, do not chuck out product having cetyl alcohol. Only ethyl and denat alcohol dry the skin. All others are useful for cleansing process. Or, you can simply use rose water.
        Moisturizer is a little tricky coz not all moisturizers suit us so I can recommend Cetaphil moisturizer. I haven't tried it but have heard rave reviews about it so you can give it a try or use something which already suits you.

        Apart from the CTM routine, one thing which should not be neglected is exfoliation. Yes, you should exfoliate regularly even if your skin is dry. Twice a week with a gentle exfoliator is good idea. Natural apricot scrubs are a good option or using besan is also another good option. They are gentle and would not harm the skin. And, moisturize repeatedly. Buy a good body lotion which is thick enough like probably Nivea classic might suit you or some other intensive body lotion. Do not have a bath in extremely hot water.

        Another good option is oil massage for the body using almond oil or coconut oil or sesame oil once or twice a week. That will moisturize the body very well and also simultaneously exfoliate your skin. Oil is a very good option for removing the flaky skin which is generally a reason for dry skin. Also, while massaging your body, be sure to apply oil in the belly button as it is somehow magically linked to soft lips.

        Coming to cracked lips, exfoliate twice a week using the tooth brush or this lip scrub. And, always use a lip balm. Well, I would say don't go for vaseline but go for shea butter or cocoa butter based lip balms. If you are able to find them, well and good. Otherwise, a simple nightly treatment for your lips is to apply a tablet of Evion (Vitamin E) daily on your lips and massage them. Also, include your face in this treatment.

        Coming to health reasons, now, you might have naturally a very dry skin for which you can actually visit a dermatologist. The doc will get a few blood tests done and probably would be able to tell you even without the blood tests what is wrong with your skin. So, in case, all the above treatments don't work, go to a dermatologist in 2-3 weeks time. Don't ignore.

        And, don't forget, hot temperatures and extreme humidity can also cause dryness of the skin so always keep your skin hydrated from the inside.  
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