So, how long do you think I can be in a new country before exploring what unique cosmetics they have to offer? Yes, if you guessed barely one day, you are correct. I can’t help it – I’m a makeup junkie.
Thus far, I’ve only gotten as far as checking out the skincare – makeup will be next! I’m always searching for the “miracle product” to cure my acne-prone yet extremely dry skin, and with 10,000 years worth of knowledge of herbs, I figured the Indian lines may know a thing or two about what they are doing.
Chant Hydrating and Balancing Gel – I picked this up at The Rebirth Store, a franchise specializing in organic, natural bodycare products. Free of parabens, sodium laurel sulphate, and other harmful chemicals, the active ingredients in this unique clear gel moisturizer are Aloe Vera Juice, paprika, tumeric, and a host of essential oils – frankincense, lavendar, juniper berry, and cedar wood. For approximately $2, it is quite the steal! It is the ideal morning moisturizer, keeping oilies at bay while hydrating my skin. It would also be an ideal after-sun moisturizer. I can’t wait to put this in my makeup kit – it’s perfect to mix with foundation to create a tinted moisturizer.
Himalaya Herbals Purifying Neem Face Wash – Himalaya Herbals is the holistic Neutrogena of India – you can buy it almost anywhere, and their products are widely known to be non-irritating and highly effective. I saw that this product contained “Neem” and I was sold, as the best nail product I have ever used is Dr. Haushka’s Neem Nail Oil Pen, so I assumed the antibacterial tree leaf ingredient would cure it all. When combined with the anti-inflamatory Turmeric, it packs a major pimple-fighting punch. It sells for about $1, and it works better than other face washes that I’ve paid an arm and a leg for, removing all traces of makeup, including mascara, without stinging. The added bonus, of course, is that it has helped clear my skin dramatically, and it has only been about a week and a half.
Khadi Natural Rose Water - I’ve heard for quite some time that Rose Water makes the best toner, but never had the chance to try it. I wish I had started sooner! I picked up this Khadi product at a natural foods store near where I live, drawn to the fact that the ingredients were only rose petals, and, obviously, water. After washing my makeup off, I applied it all over my face and neck with a cotton pad. The intoxicating scent would be enough to keep me hooked, but I think it has tightened my pores and added a bit of moisture to my skin. I also soaked cotton balls and used them as compresses on my eyes for about ten minutes, which was supremely relaxing. For $2.50 (in India), this is a must-buy.
Kama Ayurveda Les Jardins D’Inde Sunscreen Lotion SPF 15 – I never thought I would be able to love another sunscreen as much as Josie Maran’s, which I stocked up on before coming to India. I despise the typical “Banana Boat” coconut-chemical scent, and many mineral sunscreens leave a strange white cast and weird texture, and Josie’s Argan Oil sunblocks were the only ones I have been able to find that are void of these properties. Well, I think I just found a much cheaper, and even more wonderfully-scented alternative. Besides the lime, ginger, and nutmeg scent that is reminiscent of my favorite Jo Malone cologne, this lotion doesn’t break out my sensitive skin or lose effectiveness when applied under makeup. So far, I’ve only tested it walking around during the day in Mumbai, I can’t truly prove it’s effectiveness until I head to Goa for a holiday in the sun.
Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid – I saved the best for last. I’m fairly certain that this is a gift from the Hindu gods to give women perfect skin. When applied after toning with Rose Water, to the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, this blend of oils and herbs makes skin glow, without an oily texture. In ayurveda, saffron oil is used to help illuminate skin color, while sandalwood, vetiver and lotus clear blemishes. This is an incredible product that is supposed to work on all ages, and I am certainly hooked. Unfortunately, it costs about 3 times as much in the United States as it does here in India, but I think it’s worth it.