#Review – Carmex, The Ironman of Lip Balms Comes in a Bright Yellow Tube

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#HaikuAttempt – Hottie by the bar | Drink in hand looking at me | Give me your lip balm

About a year ago, my best friend – Shreya, introduced me to a magic balm, that could do fabulous things to my lips (dear husband, no offense to you at all, with love).  We were stealing glances at a guy next to the bar, one evening at a stereotypical Delhi house party, when amidst incessant bantering, I found my lips to be furiously chapped, and out came the bright, yellow and red color tube, from the depths of Shreya’s golden clutch. While the night didn’t make way with the bar guy, the yellow tube made a lot of headway with my chapped lip condition.

Two years hence, and I, till date, have struggled to identify a suitable replacement to the Carmex Lip Balm, that seems to have beaten down the more popular choices of chap sticks available (sorry Body Shop, your INR 299/- worth of balm just went to the back bench), hands down. For a product that was first developed over a stove, in the hinterlands of Wisconsin, US, back in the 1930s (by its founder Alfred Woelbing), Carmex has since then, established itself as one among the top choices for the dried lips.

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Therefore, a great personal usage experience with the balm prompts me to pen down my experience in detail.

Carmex Original Lip Balm | 10 grams | INR 495/-

What I Loved About the Product?

  • Powerful healing capabilities
  • Most effective moisturizer for the lips, and does not need reapplication for 3-4 hours

Why do I need a lip balm, firstly? Obviously to protect my lips from excessive dryness. And frankly, I couldn’t care less whether a strawberry flavored chapstick looked better, over a plain white vaseline tube, as long as vaseline kept my lips moisturized. And while the ever popular, podgy vaseline tub meets customer expectations, Carmex provides sheer customer delight.

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What are its Ingredients?

When you first apply the product over your lips, there is a tingling sensation that erupts, similar to the experience of applying a pain relief spray, to an injured area of the body, or a muscle relaxant. Combined with a similar pop of coolness, experienced while consuming menthol.

The reason for this is because the lip balm contains Menthol, Camphor, Salicylic Acid and Phenol. Salicylic acid is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with similar properties to aspirin. The ingredient helps in prevention of clogging of pores, and encourages new cell growth.

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What I Didn’t Like So Much?

  • The Carmex tube is not readily available in the beauty stores, or chemist stores (But can be bought online)
  • When you first read, “External Analgesic”, it may throw you off at first (but the explanation has been given above), for regular use

The struggle of finding the tube had been real, till recently – thanks to amazon.in, (even though the price is still a sore issue).

What were the Results Like?

I applied the lip balm, at about 10.00 AM, and did not feel the need to reapply till about 2.30 PM, great, considering most chap sticks, start wearing off in about 1-2 hours. 3 days of regular use, had taken care of tiny bits of dry skin, that form the inner line of the lip (if you don’t know what I am talking about, try applying a line of lipstick, and observe the inner part of the your lip carefully, you could potentially see a line of dry skin, crumbling in between).

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Was it Value for Money?

INR 495/- for a 10 grams tube. Definitely, Ouch.

But then again, chapped lips are expensive as hell.

We would love to hear from you on your experiences, best picks, favorite products. Drop us a line in the comments section below.

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#Review – 2 Face Creams that will make you visit the Supermarket

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#Haikuattempt

Face cream on table.

Already sparkling away.

Still searching for smiles.

One of my fondest memories of childhood, involved the blue color Nivea face cream tub. Back in the ‘80s, when India was still opening up to the luxury product offerings from the West, the little blue tin container was iconic in its presence, on the sun mica clad dressing table. My personal face cream memories (cold creams to be precise because I didn’t know if there were creams of any other kind) started from just here. At 6.30 AM on cold, Delhi winter school days, my mother would apply copious amounts to my face, comb my hair (ensuring a sleek, flat head parting that drew covetous looks on the school bus, mind you) and plant a really wet kiss on my forehead, before walking me to the bus stop – for a day full of long division and fun flips.

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Pic Courtesy by Pinterest/Nivea

Armed with just about 2.5 choices of face creams, and fierce recommendations from my mother, selecting the top choice for my face was literally a piece of cake, or for that matter, a sumptuous bite of Jalebi. Fast forward to 2017, when the entry to the nearby Health’n’Glow outlet, warrants half a dozen female helpers/beauty experts (armed to belt out inaccurate makeup advice), luring you to pick up one face cream, from about 20 brands, in all shapes and sizes. To make matter worse, my personal favourite Nivea, now appears on the shelves in a supremely ugly, white colored plastic container, in complete contradiction to the memories it stood for. If anyone has had the courage to defile relationships with the original blue tin can, and actually, use the cream, I would love to hear about how good or bad, the cream turned out eventually.

So, under the burden of my individual quirks, and struggles, I have picked out two, highly recommended choices of face creams, that are available easily in regular supermarkets and chemists as well. I use these typically, for regular use during the day. Some people may want the pick up other choices for the night (because of extra moisturizing requirements, etc), however the day creams have been working fine for my night time application as well.

Olay Face Cream  – Moisturizing Cream | INR 235 | 50 grams

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What I Love About the Product

  • Light Texture, which works for both the extreme winter & summer days
  • Soft (almost floral), very pleasing fragrance
  • Great for daily use, to moisturize the face

The first things that really drew me to the cream, was its meringue-ish light texture, in soft pink. It is tough to identify a cream that works during both the extreme seasons in Delhi, and somehow, this one seems to have cracked that formula. The cream has a soft, floral fragrance, which stays on for pretty much the entire day. The face cream, is successful in locking in moisture, something that I especially need, as I would wear 1-2 layers of makeup (foundation/BB cream/powder, the like) over it.

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What I Didn’t Like so Much

  • Can’t think of any drawbacks(!)

Nothing, really! No complaints on the product, on the contrary, the Olay cream is on its way to become my preferred choice of the regular use, day cream.

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How were the Results?

I used the cream for 2 days, and on both days, I applied it post shower, about 8.30 AM, and topped it with regular makeup application that included BB Cream + compact powder on top the face cream. My skin remained perfectly moisturized during the entire day, and at no point did I feel the skin becoming dry. Overall, great ability to lock in moisture (perhaps the most important thing, that I look for in a face cream).

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Was it Value for Money?

The Olay container is priced at INR 235/- and contains about 50 grams. For, the tub lasts for about 45 – 60 days, depending upon the frequency of usage. But, if used once a day, the tub should easily last you for 1.5 months, which essentially means just under INR 2,000/- a year for face care. Sounds like a deal!

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Pond’s Age Miracle – Cell ReGEN Day Cream, SPF 15PA++ | INR 110 | 10 grams

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What I Love About the Product

  • The cream has SPF 15+, you can skip the sunblock once a while
  • Refreshing fragrance

One of the great things about this cream, is the inclusion of sunscreen effects. The cream has an SPF 15+, that can help you avoid application sunscreen spray, on days, when you aren’t completely out in the sun. I personally find it a huge pain, to apply sunscreen over all the other layers, and typically find my skin becoming oily with the application (thank god for sunscreen sprays).

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What I Didn’t Like So Much

  • Texture was too thick for my liking

I found the texture to be too thick, and therefore, it made my skin slightly oily, post application. Now, for people with very dry skin, this could be great. But for someone with normal skin or combination skin, this might be a point of concern.

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What were the Result Like?

  • Locked the moisture in the skin very well
  • Little too oily, post application

Similar to the Olay cream, this one also was great in locking in the moisture, but proved a tad oily post application. So I compensated by applying some extra powder, to soak in the oils.

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Was it Value for Money?

Not very happy with the quantity versus price aspect here. In INR 110/- you only get 10 grams, which seems to me, quite unfair.

We would love to hear from you on your experiences, best picks, favorite products. Drop us a line in the comments section below.

#Review – 3 Face Wash Tubes that Love Your Skin for Under INR 100

#HaikuAttempt

Face Wash in your bag.

Clean out heartaches and despair.

With the morning scrub.

 

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Have you noticed how in the world of beautifully designed makeup palettes, and Luxury Ayurveda products, our most faithful companions waiting loyally atop our bathroom shelves, receive the least of our attention? Most of our bottles of face wash typically get about 30 – 70 seconds of decision-making time, immensely influenced by the shape of the tube/bottle, and accessibility at the department store. Ironic, considering this is the first beauty regime, undertaken by most people at the start of their day (sometimes, it could be the only product one would use over their skin, before rushing out to meet work deadlines over the next 12-14 hours). And while popular opinion may persuade one to pay greater attention to the more expensive options, I find that there are plenty of choices that can ensure healthy, effective cleaning of the face, without the unnecessary, price pressures.

Your neighborhood department store, or preferred grocery mobile application will throw at least 10-15 face wash options, that are economic and possess colorful packaging, promising magnificent results in just a single wash. But it is best to avoid randomizing your preferred choices, focussing instead of the top 3-4 options, that get the basic properties in the right fashion, and avoid unnecessary harshness, that is thought to accompany most low priced face products. In an attempt to save some of your time, I have drawn out my experience with 3 such face wash tubes, counted among the most popular choices of face wash products, that are competitive, both effect and price wise.

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  1. Himalaya Purifying Neem Wash | INR 60/- for 50 ml
  2. Lakme Blush & Glow Face Wash Gel with Peach Extracts | INR 99/- for 50 grams
  3. Clean & Clear Foaming Face Wash | INR 110/- for 100 ml

Himalaya Purifying Neem Wash

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What I Loved About the Product

  • Contains Neem tree extracts, known for remedial, cleaning properties
  • Doesn’t need to be used in large quantities to create the required lather
  • Extremely gentle on the skin, making it especially great for people with sensitive skin

Himalaya products are known for their affiliation to bring out the best of natural remedial recipes, that are great for the skin, and extremely gentle. The gel doesn’t lather too much, during the wash, and maintains medium texture even when mixed with water. It’s somewhat firm texture, enables one to spend more time massaging the face, and isn’t too runny during the application. The wash ultimately leaves you with this refreshing, natural feeling, almost making it necessary to moisturize thereafter (I strongly advice applying a face cream of your choice nonetheless).

What I Didn’t Like So Much

  • (As expected), the fragrance isn’t too welcoming, and just about okay

I personally have a huge affinity for individual fragrances (something I am certain is critical to many others as well), hence the fragrance of the face wash may be slightly disappointing to some. But apart from that, really, there isn’t too much to complain about. One thing that users should keep in consideration, is that the face wash doesn’t lather too much (obvious, owing to its natural ingredients), but important to remember, especially if you are one of those that enjoys greater foam during the wash.

What were the Results Like?

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  • Extremely Refreshing
  • Soft on the Skin, Not Harsh
  • Adequately moisturized, uncommon with the use of standard face wash

The face wash is great for daily usage, as it refreshed without being too harsh on the skin. The tube, however, does not include any extracts (that otherwise can act as an exfoliant, mild scrub).

Lakme Blush & Glow

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What I Loved About the Product

  • Fantastic fragrance, refreshing 
  • Gel based texture, with the tiny beads, great for exfoliation

The Lakme face wash is simply put, fun! Smells great, and is infused with tiny (peach extract) beads that have antioxidant properties, giving you a mild exfoliation during the wash itself (works really well for someone like me, who frankly finds it a pain to scrub, exfoliate and wash, all separately). When compared to the Himalaya wash, the Lakme wash is bright, full of life, and appears a whole lot younger (thank you – the highly paid marketing teams at HUL).

What I Didn’t Like So Much

  • The Face Wash dries the skin out a bit more post wash, when compared to the Himalaya counterpart

While the Blush & Glow variant is fun, and does clean very well, it appears a bit dry when compared the other two choices. I immediately felt the need to reach out for a face cream, moments after washing my face, which hadn’t been the case, while using Himalaya.

What were the Results Like?

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  • Refreshing sensation over the skin
  • The tiny beads enable a smooth (mild) exfoliation
  • My skin smelled great!
  • Skin felt dry post the wash

The face wash cleans very well and ensures a simultaneous exfoliation, which saves a lot of time. I only wish the product was slightly more moisture-friendly so that you wouldn’t have to run to apply a face cream, immediately after use.

Clean&Clear Foaming Face Wash

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What I Loved About the Product?

  • Lathers very well during the wash
  • Extremely light in texture

Truth be told, I prefer the newer variant of the face wash, that includes tiny (fruit-like) extracts, that help exfoliate (similar to the Lakme face wash), but this one works just as well, from a cleaning perspective. It has a light (almost runny) texture, and hence, foams really fast when mixed with water.

What I didn’t Like So Much

  • The texture was a bit too runny for my liking
  • Doesn’t have any beads/extracts to enable exfoliation

While many would gleam over the quick lathering, my mental understanding of non-lathering products ensure a more natural ingredients base, and consequently, both Lakme & Himalaya score over Clean&Clear in that department.

What were the Results Like?

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The face wash cleans effectively, but is more or less similar to Lakme, in its moisturizing capabilities. 

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With so many products lining the department store shelves, cleansing has today attained paramount importance in the skin care regime. Surprisingly though, most experts agree that a simple, gentle rub with some soap and water (or sometimes just water) is more than sufficient to clean your face, and the obsession with the perfect face wash is frankly, quite unwarranted. The only reason why it is suggested to keep a face wash handy, for regular use, is because it is definitely more gentle (more so, in case of sensitive skin, where users may feel that their skin reacts to almost everything around), and helps remove external matter such as left over makeup in an easier way, taking out any excess oil as well.

Seems like a good idea, after all, to stick to your regular, drugstore products, for your face cleaning rituals. Can’t complain, given some of the great choices available.  

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We would love to hear about your experience with any of the mentioned products, and if you have other suggestions that could be added to our list.

#Review – BB Cream Choices That Won’t Leave You Broke & Disappointed

#HaikuAttempt 

BB Cream in hand.

Ready to conquer the world.

With her loud giggle.

 

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I find something oddly satisfactory about squeezing out a tiny dollop of product from one of those sleek looking, shiny BB Cream tubes. Much like bursting bubbles on a sheet of bubble wrapping paper. Unfortunately though, the economics of quenching such off-beat passions, don’t work out very well. Simply because, the size of these BB cream tubes are inversely proportional to their respective price points.

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Over the past few years, BB Creams have invaded the Indian makeup bag, with powerful promises of combining foundation, powder, primer, into a single, slender tube. Originally introduced by Korean companies (yes, the product was first developed for use in the Asian markets only and only in the year 2012, was the concept promoted in the West), the tubes have found their places on our dressers, in various shapes and sizes. BB happens to stand for Beauty Balm / Blemish Balm while CC (creams) stands for color corrector, the major difference between both creams is that CC creams are specialized in addressing skin discoloration as well. While I have enjoyed experimenting with a plethora of BB (and CC) cream choices, I have increasingly found most of them to be priced exorbitantly high. I have sought suggestions from friends, parlor aunties, and even tried the ultimate God of all search – Google.  I discovered some great recommendations among the higher price range choices (that include BB Cream choices from Skeyndor, MAC, and The Body Shop). But it was challenging to discover recommendations on the more economic choices of BB Creams.

And therefore, in complete empathy towards the searing impact on our wallets, with the upper-end choices, I bring my top 3 suggestions on BB cream choices that are affordable, and effective.

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  1. Maybelline, Clear Glow All in One, BB Cream | 3 Shades – Nude, Radiance & Natural | 18 ml | INR 250/-
  2. Lakme 9 to 5, CC Complexion Care Cream | 2 Shades – Bronze, Beige | 30 gms | INR 290/-
  3. L’Oreal True Match, Skin Idealizing BB Cream | 3 Shades – Gold, Ivory & Honey | 30 ml | INR 590/-

What I Loved About the Product

Maybelline, All in One BB Cream

Asides from its bright, matte blue packaging, the cream itself has a great soft fragrance, and firm texture. I am personally biased towards creams that are firm, and those that do not run, when squeezed out and the Maybelline cream is just that. The cream blends well, (although being thicker, takes an additional few rubs to perfectly smoothen), and gives a great overall finish to the skin.

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Lakme 9 to 5, CC Complexion Care Cream

What I truly enjoy about the Lakme CC Cream tube, is the honest feeling of immense satisfaction, on buying a product, that promises value for the money spent. More so, because, the product itself is fabulous for daily use. It has a medium texture, (definitely more runny than the Maybelline cream), and therefore, blends into the skin, in just a few strokes. The results ensure an even finish, although the quantity may have to be increased, in areas that need a bit more attention (for example, under the eyes, and around the nose).

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L’Oreal True Match, BB Cream

While this may not fall into the budget bucket in the traditional sense (as it is priced higher than the other two choices), the cream wins hands down for its moisturizing effect. While the product resembles a lotion more than a cream in texture, it is absorbed fast into the skin, producing a supremely soft finish, and hydrates the skin exceedingly well. The overall finish (leaves the skin well evened out) is comparable to the other two choices, but scores higher in the soft well.

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What are the Ingredients?

Maybelline, All in One BB Cream

Honest Confession – The ingredients are absolutely illegible, and I couldn’t peer sufficiently close on the back writing of the tube (for the fear of blinding myself), to decipher the ingredients, in an appropriate manner. The tube doesn’t have external packaging either, leaving us pretty much to ourselves towards hunting down cryptically ingrained words. I strongly urge the company to improve on this.

Lakme 9 to 5, CC Complexion Care Cream

It is interesting to know that the Lakme BB Cream contains Ginger Root Extracts, known to have antioxidant properties, encouraging skin protection and healing (in case of wounds, lesions). The slight citrus-like effect is due to the presence of the Citronellol and Limonene ingredients.

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L’Oreal True Match, BB Cream

Interestingly (although in alignment of my personal experience w.r.t the cream’s moisturizing capabilities), the ingredients include a significantly high percentage of a variety of oils such as Apricot Kernel Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Macademia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Coriander Fruit Oil and Jojoba Seed Oil. These oils contain high levels of Vitamin A & E, that help greatly in preventing skin irritation and inflammation.

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 What I Didn’t Like So Much

Maybelline, All in One BB Cream

The cream does not seem moisturize, or hydrate the skin as effectively when compared to the L’Oreal and Lakme choices. Also, buying just 18 ml of product for the price point seems a tad bit unfair. 

Lakme 9 to 5, CC Complexion Care Cream

There isn’t too much to dislike about this cream, except for its pungent, slightly stronger fragrance. That being said, as with most face products, the fragrance can always be diluted, post usage of the other cosmetic products.

L’Oreal True Match, BB Cream

Too runny. My tube left a trail of cream all over my dresser, during the application, leading to wastage.

What were the results like?

All the 3 products are comparable when it comes to overall finish, and each of them give a well blended look to the skin. The impact remains slightly longer during the day for L’Oreal and Lakme (about 5 hours) in comparison to the Maybelline tube (the finish started diminishing in about 3 hours). The hydrating and moisturizing impact was definitely highest in the L’Oreal product, and the least for the Maybelline cream.

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Value for Money?

In order of preference, Lakme 9 to 5 undoubtedly emerges as the top choice with respect to return on the investment made. 

We would love to hear your thoughts, experiences on any of the above products. Drop us a line in the comments section below. In case there any specific products that you would like us to review for you, give us a shout, and we will come back to you with our thoughts.

#HaikuAttempt – Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.

#Review – The Body Shop Hand Cream, British Rose & Moringa

#HaikuAttempt

Oh! The soft hand cream.

Gentle in its fragrant feel.

Like a lover’s touch.

 

As a freshly turned 30-year-old, I have been spending most of the new year in the shoes of a hassled, hardworking co-founder of a fledgling beauty-via-tech startup, furiously going over website content and layout settings, reviewing social media campaigns to usher in a brand new SKIA look, constantly interacting with friends, family, and old colleagues that have graciously consented to provide their valuable feedback. It was during one such conversation with a close friend, who had kindly agreed to discuss her comments and suggestions, I realized that the Body Shop outlets had opened their gates to customers, announcing a tempting end-of-season sale. Making a mental note right then, to go over to the nearest store, at the first opportunity, I had the privilege to swing by (finally) on the last day of the sale, one among the several girls that whiffed around the various categories, inside the (very) compact Body Shop store, situated in the Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV, Galleria.

The sale directives (to my extreme misfortune) were particularly misleading, as the extent of discount received was only proportional, to the number of the products purchased (For instance, the shop offered a 15% discount on 3 products, and upped it by another 5% in cased you purchased a 4th product). Therefore, despite the persistence of the sales staff (quick to point our absolute discounts, but conveniently forgetting to mention the significant differential bill amounts), I only picked up two of my most favorite Body Shop products, albeit from a less popular category – Hand & Nail Creams, the British Rose & Moringa variants.

While both the bottles have emerged as undisputed leaders in the category of top hand creams, I am compelled to kickstart our reviews section (on SKIA), with these super companions to the practical girl, who cannot find the luxury (or the patience) to avoid quick kitchen chores or on-the-spot monkey bar climbing contests. I have divided the review between the two individual products, as they both have distinct flavors, ingredients and may appeal to different tastes (even though, I personally use them interchangeably).

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BRITISH ROSE, PETAL-SOFT HAND CREAM 

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Name (Variant, if applicable): British Rose Hand Cream, Not applicable 
Category: Hand & Nail Cream 
Price: INR 375 /- 
Size: 30 Ml 
Brand: The Body Shop

What I Loved About the Product

As signaled by its name, the British Rose hand cream carries a distinct, yet subtle Rose fragrance, in alignment with the traditional British temperament. It smells great post application, and isn’t too strong, to clash with your usual perfume fragrances. In addition to the fragrance, the cream’s texture is extremely light, perfect for the Indian weather (it may appear a tad weak during the Delhi winters requiring frequent reapplication, but the texture is a welcome respite during the spring, summer seasons).

What are the main ingredients?

The product has some great ingredients such as Brazil Nut Oil (officially known as the Bertholettia Excelsa Seed Oil) and Shea Butter, both rich, creamy products to repair dry skin. (Brazil Nut Oil has the highest Selenium content among almonds, a substance good for maintaining a healthy immune system). The cream also contains Citronellol, found typically in aftershaves, body lotions as a fragrance ingredient (smells a little citrus, grasslike).

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What I Didn’t Like So Much

While the product serves most of my requirements successfully, I did have to apply the cream a few times extra, as it seems to dry up quicker during cold weather. I first applied during the cream post shower at 8.30 AM, and had to reapply again at around 10.00 AM, and consequently post washing my hands after lunch (which was roughly at about 1.30 PM).

What were the Results Like?

As with most hand creams, the results were the best within the first hour of application, where the hands smelled great, felt very soft and sufficiently moisturized. The fragrance easily lasts for the next 2-3 hours (a little less, if you wash your hands in between), but the moisturizing impact does leave a little earlier.

Value for Money?

As with most Body Shop products, the little bottle is a bit expensive, especially if you do not benefit at all from the (disguised) sale, which prompted you to visit the store in the first place. The product is available online at slightly discounted rates on Amazon (INR 750 for 100 ml). Overall, however, the product still emerges as value for money, given its effective, fragrant effect.

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MORINGA (WITH SEED OIL FROM HANDPICKED MORINGA) HAND CREAM 

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Name (Variant, if applicable): Moringa Hand Cream, Not applicable 
Category: Hand & Nail Cream 
Price: INR 375 /- 
Size: 30 Ml 
Brand: The Body Shop

What I Loved About the Product

Unlike British Rose, the Moringa tube is definitely more flamboyant, in its strong fragrance of Moringa Oliefera flowers, combined, with a creamier texture, consequently great for dry skin usage. The cream has a strong fragrance and is thicker, thereby more preferable for use during the extreme winter days. I personally, preferred the Moringa tube during the winter days than the British Rose, as my hands (and feet) tend to dry up more during the dry seasons. (Note: In case you are among, who have moist hands or sweat more, then you could find the product a bit oily even for winters, and therefore, the use of the British Rose cream is recommended).

What are the main ingredients?

The Moringa Oliefera flowers (they are cream colored flowers with yellow stamens) are among the key ingredients of the cream and possess many medicinal and nutritional benefits. The Moringa plant itself has been historically used (and continues to be used) in Ayurveda, as it contains amino acids, vitamins and minerals, that support a healthy diet significantly. (The consumption of Moringa flowers interestingly, help towards strengthening of the liver, and also protect tissue damage from allopathic medication). The flowers have strong antibiotic agents, that help tissue recovery, when taken topically (for instance, applied as hand cream over the body) or consumed. Along with containing the seed oil from the Moringa Olifeira flowers, this tube also contains Sweet Almond Oil and Soybean Oil, both high in mineral contents, great for the skin, and antioxidant properties owing to high levels of Vitamin E.

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What I Didn’t Like So Much

While its great to have some extra moisture (such as the various oils) during winter, the Moringa cream can potentially make hands too moist during the hot summer days. (which essentially means, restricting usage during winters, not a great solution in case you are looking at something to last you through the year).

What were the Results Like?

As the cream is heavy on moisture, its takes a 1-2 additional minutes to be fully absorbed by the skin, and at times, you may get the irresistible urge to simply wipe the additional oil away from your hands. But if you manage to resist, the moisturize doesn’t really take too long to get absorbed. The moisturizing effect lasts definitely longer than British Rose, which means the product doesn’t really need frequent application.

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Value for Money?

Once again, definitely expensive if you have to buy full price. Unfortunately, the cream seemed to have been out of stock over most websites, including Amazon, Flipkart, and Nykaa, as this review was being written.

While individual preferences over fragrance and lightness of the creams, may divide opinions between the two products, I strongly recommend the use of either British Rose or Moringa, to keep your hands healthy, and moisturized, on a regular basis.

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We would love to hear about products that you want us to review, thoughts, and if the above review helped you in any way. Please drop your comments below.

#HaikuAttempt – Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.

#Video – Jen Atkin’s OUAI “Magic Eraser” Hair Foam Just Took Over All Other Dry Shampoo Cans

Kim Kardashian’s celebrated hairstylist and good friend is back with a fresh addition to her OUAI Hair Care Range. And it seems that this time, she is set on improving the traditional dry shampoo, trading in powder ingredients with some super smooth foam.

 

The OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam, is supposedly the “Magic Eraser” for hair, that enables styling without shampoo, or use of traditional hair products. Initial users of the product claim that the foam is great smelling, and becomes more effective with increased massaging into the hairs, absorbing the natural oils present, and impurities as well. The big difference from your regular hair products is essentially the lack of powder residue, a huge win from earlier offerings.

The product is winning supreme accolades for maintaining volume in unwashed hair, for upto 3 days, and putting out some terrific fragrance.

Watch Atkin demonstrate the use of the OUAI Foam in the video below –

 

While the product remains a tad difficult to get a hold off in India (we even tried amazon.com for a delivery to India, without much success, but the product is available for online purchase over the Sephora website, priced at USD 28.00 + shipping + taxes). In case you are among the lucky ones to have been able to grab a bottle, drop in a line about your experience.

#Salon – Hair Cut Review at Looks Salon, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon

Salon: Looks Salon, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon

Service: Hair Cut by Senior Stylist Sachin Kumar 

Price: INR 1,150

Duration:  45 Minutes (including hair wash)

Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5 Stars

Overall Experience at the Salon

Starting up on your own is no small thing, and the usual responsibilities of timely haircuts, take a back seat when you are trying to experiement with ideas, and built content websites till wee hours of the morning. I had been getting a lot of flak from friends about how monstrous my hair looked, and that I really needed to do something about the existing hair style (if you could call it that, considering hair had grown out and resembled unkempt hedges at the ends). With a close friend visiting over the weekend, and the onset of my birthday, I pulled myself out of the overall laptop environment and decided to visit one of the salons at Ambience Mall, to attempt re-carousel of my hair, that was long overdue.

I hadn’t bothered to make an appointment earlier, not just because I felt it was uneccessary (we were visiting the mall on a Friday afternoon, and expected the salons to be comparatively free), but also because I was still undecided among the 5-6 brands of salons that were housed in the Mall.  Someone had casually mentioned Looks, as a good choice and thoughts were further compounded when my friend vaguely recollected a good hair cut experience few years back. Not thinking too much, we entered the salon, and requested for a chat with one of the senior stylists available.

What ultimately transpired was a fantastic result, that not just won approving nods from friends and family (even from the husband who is typically averse to short hair conversations).

whatsapp-image-2017-01-24-at-11-41-25-am-1BEFORE – I had hair length that fell between the shoulder and elbow and had styled it earlier in layers. 

Stylist Expertise: 5 out of 5 stars

Sachin (senior stylist with Looks for over 8 years now), was soft spoken, but extremely confident nonentheless. He patiently listened to suggestions from both of us, and validated the requirements by showing us pictures on his phone of a variety of short hair looks. What was great about him, was that he asserted his intention of little exploration from the pictures given, in order to suit the overall face structure and customise the look. He was extremely deft, and maneovered his scissors with precision around my hair. He started off with an A Line Lob for me (check Nina Dobrev’s look this season), and added uneven ends to the back layers, to make it look more quirky (and presentable on days when you don’t have time to do much before rushing to work).

Ambience & Overall Hygiene : 4.5 Stars out of 5

Well kept, good music (I would have preferred a side chair to accomodate my friend, who had to wait at the reception area, but the friendly staff would have made arrangements had I insisted). The shampoo station was extremely comfortable (not those which hurt your neck and make it stiff during the wash), and was attached with a electronic leg rester, which was conveniently pulled up for me during the hair wash.

Speed of Service : 4 Stars out of 5

Something that probably could not be helped, but I wish the cut was a bit faster. Word of Advice : Take at least 1.5 hours with you, in case you are going for a haircut and wash.

Products Used : 4 Stars out of 5

The shampoo guy (also extremely sweet) did not mention the product he used on my hair, although I presume the shampoo and conditioner to be from the L’oreal professional series (as the salons only stocks L’oreal Hair Products). Special Mention – The head that accompanied the wash was excellent. 

Did the result match your expectations : 4.5 Stars out of 5

Totally. The end result was refreshing and just gave a whole new appearance to me! 

whatsapp-image-2017-01-20-at-3-16-10-pm-1

AFTER – All the length gone! It was basically super short (almost boy like) at the back, and came upto a little below my ears at the front. 

Any Advice?

For a change in your overall look, be prepared to go a little shorter than you had originally planned. It is hair afterall, and grows back in time. Your openess to short hair will allow the hair stylist to really alter the existing look, and give him / her more room to experiment more. 

Find Your Foundation: But Do Not Match It To The Color of Your Skin

The Indian girl’s saga of the perfect foundation hunt is a tale truer than we would actually like. I spent perhaps all my growing years, just hunting for that one foundation bottle that would transform my skin tone into a godlike glow. Many times, I thought I had discovered the perfect brand, or product only to realize a few days later that it was just too good to be true. The thing that I realized was that I was going about this whole foundation thing the completely wrong way. And after years of gathering strips of knowledge, hit and trial, I was finally able to pin down the problem.

Foundation should not be matched to your skin tone.

It should actually be matched to something known as your skin undertone – which is almost like the color beneath your skin, the shadow. What is important to know is that the undertone never changes, unlike the color of your skin (say for instance when you acquire a tan). If you recollect all your discussions with the girls at your department stores, they would have probably insisted for you to pick a color which is a shade lighter than your skin tone. What they probably couldn’t (or didn’t bother) to explain to you is that the correct match between foundation color and your undertone is what brings out the best in your skin.

There are essentially 3 variants of skin undertones – warm, cool and neutral. We have some very easy hacks to identify which one would be yours. One super easy way to actually check the undertone, is by observing your veins, visible on the inside part of your wrist.

Warm Undertone – Hold you wrists against some sunlight and observe the color of your veins. If you can observe a greenish color to them, you probably have a warm undertone. Foundations with a yellow, bronze base will work the best for you (the shade classifications for these will typically be like bronze, honey, beige, golden, etc)

Cool Undertone –  If you are able to see a bluish tint on the veins, it means you have a cool undertone. So try identifying a foundation with a blue base – typically labeled with a C (shade classifications typically include fawn, tan and looks a bit pinkish when bottled)

Neutral Undertone – If you are unable to decide between green or blue, then you are probably a neutral undertone and also can experiment a bit more with tone combinations.

If you are in need for some suggestions, try a few of these products to start your evaluation with, that work particularly well for the Indian conditions, and aim at skin tone correction, instead of creating a new one.

Studio Fix by MAC – What is great about this powder alternate to a liquid base is that it is extremely light on the, is the even finish.

Bobbi Brown – If you are looking to pick up a foundation stick that is terribly easy to use, and offer medium to full coverage then this is your pick.

Forever Diorskin by Dior – If you must chose a liquid base, then this is your pick. It is light, and works magic in case you break a sweat (adds a whole new sparkle that you are not even aware of!).

Teint Miracle Foundation by Lancome – This one gives the perfect blend, and creates a natural glow base.

Intense White Skin Foundation by Lakme – some great shades offered by product and it is readily available and easy on the pocket as well!