Monday 27 February 2017

Why to use Natural Oils for Your Hair ft. Svayam Natural

For most stylish women, oiling their hair has become an outdated ritual these days. Yes! We wash our hair, colour them, blow dry them, straighten or curl them to look glam; but regular oiling is rarely practiced by many of women. I'm not an exception and I've also committed this mistake of not giving my hair a proper head massage continuously for months in the past. And obviously, my tresses also showed signs of damage from split ends to uncontrollable frizz and thinning out :( So the point is to try reversing the damage atleast to the extent that is under our control.

To bring your dull hair back to life, the oiling is something very basic step that one can take. I've used Coconut Oil all my life, but I'm fallen in love with natural oils now. All thanks to beauty blogging that acquainted me to the best food for my hair.

The oils that I've been massaging onto my scalp and hair regularly since past one month are from Svayam Natural that is a brand which impressed me immensely with its best-seller body and face oils (read the review here). This post focuses on two variants of hair oils i.e. Olive Oil and Panchtatva Oil.
Olive Oil:
Let me start by admiring the infusion of Cinnamon in the oil in the form of cinnamon dried bark. I might have mentioned in some of my earlier posts as well, that I prefer to leave my hair oiled overnight. I simply part my hair, apply the oil liberally on the scalp and massage it for a few minutes for better effects. Massaging this light textured olive oil on my hair is always a real relief from dry scalp. My hair absorbs the oil really well, so it doesn't look greasy on the top. The fatty acids present in olive oil coat your hair shaft to provide softness by retaining moisture to optimum level. The addition of cinnamon bark in the olive oil has made it perfect herbal remedy that  prevents fungal and bacterial infections of the scalp due to cinnamon's anti-fungal and antibacterial characteristics. The oil visibly reduces dandruff caused by pollutants etc.
I liked its soothing fragrance too which is completely rejuvenating and is no way bothersome. The oil is not hard to take out from scalp and can be rinsed with any mild shampoo and plain water. For my moderately thick hair, I didn't face the issue of weighing down of hair. Here it's important to mention that the oil didn't caused any skin allergies to me. Overall, the Olive Oil with Cinnamon Stick has an abundance of benefits for good health of hair.
Buying Guide: Rs 415 for 100 ml available at Flipkart, Amazon etc.
Panchtatva Oil:
As the name suggests, Panchtatva Oil is an effective assortment of five oils namely Almond Oil, Neem Oil, Arandi Oil, Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil. 
This oil, when received, was in semi-solid state; which I believe is due to Coconut oil that tends to freeze in cold weather. Generally my head massage session happens in the night, but I had to keep this oil in the sunlight for some time before using it. And this is the reason I had to apply it on holidays when I'm home during daytime ;)

Anyways, this oil is just a magical treatment for our hair. Almond Oil is rich in Vitamin E content locks in moisture and boosts shine of otherwise dull hair. Neem oil is an ideal remedy against environmental toxins. It stimulates blood circulation, treat n heal itchy scalp and remove head lice too. Sesame Oil penetrates deeply into scalp and supplies required nourishment to hair and follicles. Arandi Oil or Castor is well known for reducing split ends and controlling hair breakage that in turn improves health of the oil. If you've started noticing the first signs of hair graying then applying this Panchtatva oil can prevent your hair from turning gray.
This oil has some coarsely grained herbs mixed into it which settles down at the bottom of bottle and doesn't bother while applying the oil on hair. The fragrance of the oil is absolutely refreshing and calming for my senses.
Buying Guide: Rs 525 for 100 ml available at Flipkart, Amazon etc.
The oils might sound expensive at first, but you need little quantity in each application, so they last longer than expected. The only thing which I would suggest the brand is to improvise the packaging by adding a stopper disc on the neck of bottle to avoid fear of spilling.
I really feel that these herbal oils from Svayam Natural can make life simpler for busy bees like me who have limited time to self-pampering. You need not to run to departmental stores to find herbs and then prepare concoction that suit you. Simply order it from any online stores at the comfort of your home and luxuriate with healthy, shiny and bouncy hair. The oils really fulfilled its claims and gave better result on my hair than expected.
I'm keen to try and review some more herbal products from Svayam's range soon ;) If you want to place an order or wanna know more about the Svayam product range, get in touch with Ms. Kavita at 9891039795. 

'Holi Hai' Facebook Contest - Win Ecotique Goodies (Closed)

Hi Friends

I recently used and reviewed some handmade body care products from Ecotique. If you missed reading that post, find the link here. I'd been so satisfied by the result given by the products that I couldn't resist discussing with the brand owner to associate with Alive n Kicking and offer some goodies to blog readers.

And guess what, the lady behind the brand offered to gift the newly launched products to two of the blog subscribers.
So, let me make the Festival of Colours more special for you all with an interesting contest.
Compulsory Steps:
  • Subscribe to my blog via email by clicking here and verify your subscription by clicking on the link which you will get in your email. 
  • Follow Alive n Kicking and Ecotique on Facebook. 
  • Share the giveaway on your Facebook timeline, tag both pages and your friends with #HoliWithEcotique (the more you invite your friends, more are the chances to be lucky winner).
  • Answer in comment section of this facebook post "Which essential oil instantly soothes and lifts up your mood and why/how?"
Optional Steps for extra entries:
The contest will close on 5th March, 2017 and it's open ONLY to Indian residents.
Two best answers (with complete steps) will receive a set of two full sized Ecotique soaps each.
p.s. It's a sponsored contest and the brand will be sending you the gift. I won't be held responsible for any delay or damage in transit.

So rush in your entries and sit back for results :)
All the best!!

Winners Update (8 March, 2017)
Congratulations to Hiral Shah and Usha Jain for winning the contest. Look for our email to claim your gift/prize.

Monday 20 February 2017

Caress Your Skin With All Natural Aroma Essentials Products

Natural and Organic products have finally made a place in our lives. While some are still trying to give chemicals a miss and make a transition to non-toxic skin care essentials, I've already soaked myself into the sea of all natural products inspired from nature.
After bearing the cold winter winds, its the time to welcome summer soon. The changing weather brings a different set of challenges for our skin. As the skin issues are some times unavoidable, we can make it possible to reduce the damage by choosing the good quality products for enhanced benefit.
In today's post, I'm featuring some of the iconic products from Aroma Essentials, a well-known name for purest, handmade skin care and body care range. The products are AHA Scrub, AHA Mask and Orange Cinnamon Body Butter.
I've been using Aha body polishing scrub since a few months and the product gave real results. After every use, I was fallen in love with its fragrance more and more. So decided to stock an extra pack as soon as I finished the previous one. The AHA scrub is infused with Tamarind Powder, Brown Sugar and Olive Oil. The thick textured, chocolaty coloured scrub is easy to apply on damp skin without need of diluting it. I bet you will fall in love with its tempting fragrance. When I used the scrub in previous batch, I suggested the brand owner Madhurima to make it more moisturizing and woah! the new pack came with needful of improvement by adding to its skin hydrating capability. The scrub successfully sloughs off the dead skin even from the roughest parts of body without being harsh. The best part is that it suits all skin types and is appropriate to use in any season.

To double up the benefits of Aha scrub, there is Aha Mask that helps to bring out natural glow on skin while making baby soft. The mask is somewhat on drier texture, so it needs to be diluted so that a thin layer can be evenly spread on the skin. The mask can be applied on any type of skin by adjusting the medium in which you mix it up. For dry skin like mine, milk can be added to the mask to make a smooth paste and for oily/combination skin, rose water or yogurt are best to mix the mask with. I didn't feel any irritation on skin when the mask is on. Keep the mask on skin for 10 minutes or so, and wash the skin with plain water. The powerful ingredients of the mask namely Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Citric Acid and Tartaric Acid are obtained from food products, hence are pure and harmless. The application of mask on a regular basis promises rejuvenated and purified skin while minimizing the effect of environmental stressors.

Before I share my experience with other products, let us be clearly informed that this scrub and mask are AHA based. AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids basically are the acids that originate from milk and fruit sugars. They penetrate the skin very well and help skin look younger with continuous use of months. It's the reason that they are often used in skin care products.

Another product that I loved using on my skin is the Orange and Cinnamon Body Butter that restores moisture on skin. There is no specific usage instructions or frequency to use the body butter. One can enjoy a massage with this delectable, deep hydration body butter as and when needed. It's a boon for dry skin to gain instant nourishment and relaxation from itchy skin in a jiffy.  The body butter is quite thick in consistency, but easily melts at body temperature when rubbed on skin. The skin absorbs it really quick and it didn't feel extremely greasy as I had expected it to be. The Cinnamon is said to be a good antiseptic, so works as a remedy for minor skin issues too.

I recommend everyone to stay away from chemical laden skin care products with questionable ingredients and give AE products a try for surprising qualities and benefits for problem-free skin.

Friday 17 February 2017

Natural Skincare Indulgence From Ecotique - Review

Hi everyone

I take pleasure introducing a new name on my blog that has given me an opportunity to explore their selection of natural bath and body products...

Brand Preamble: 
Ecotique is a personal care brand that combines the ancient Indian tradition of Ayurveda with its holistic approach to daily life and Aromatherapy with its mood enhancing benefits derived from the use of essential oils. The brand has brought together the best natural actives to make truly effective products and take great care to maximize the “naturalness” of the product such that the entire formulation is largely made of Ecocert certified ingredients. Ecotique aims to demystify the healing philosophies to create products that simplify personal care for today’s modern world. Our products are easy to use and are efficacious, and show desired results in a minimal amount of time.

I didn't choose the products myself, but was sent a few of the products by the brand on the basis of my skin type as I trusted they have best of knowledge to decide what ingredients would be beneficial for different skin types. And here is what I got -
Ylang Ylang & Patchouli Indulgence Soap
People have been talking these days on preferring body washes over bathing bars. I may be an exception, but I still love using traditional soaps for a satisfying shower experience. I'm a sucker of natural soaps and have used various handmade soaps from numerous brands. Every time I come across a new one, my love for these soaps only gets inflated.
So the first product that I'm raving about in this post is Ecotique Ylang Ylang & Patchouli Indulgence Soap.
This dual-coloured soap is a mild formula to cleanse dry/sensitive skin without aggravating skin issues. The soap lathers moderately, but assures your body to be actually 'clean' off dirt, and every type of residue with its soft, creamy lather.
My normally dry skin doesn't feel stretchy or stripped after bath. The exotic Patchouli fragrance of the soap has amazing calming effect on mind and offers a wholesome bathing experience, while Ylang Ylang promotes mental well being.
Price: Rs 349 for 100 gm.
Coconut and Green Tea Scrub is the most gentle scrub I've ever used. The scrub aims at rejuvenating and energizing the tired, dull skin. Coconut is said to have youth enhancing and glow encouraging properties for skin which is mixed with Green Tea that helps fight free radicals. Jaggery and Honey help to increase collagen so that your skin replenish its lost moisture in no time!
The scrub is packed in a tiny glass tub which is housed in a cardboard box with detailed information printed on it. The scrub itself has green colored granules that do not completely dissolve on rubbing over skin. As you continue massaging the scrub, it releases oil to render intense hydration to skin and gives relieve from itchy dryness instantly.
The texture of the scrub is similar to that of shredded coconut which is velvety soft during massage and devoid of any harsh feeling. I feel, it would be suitable for sensitive skin as well, but might not be a good choice for Oily skin type. Generally, I need to moisturize my skin generously after using any scrub because the skin feels stretchy; but the rich coconut oil in this scrub not only makes the product smell delicious but also serves the dual purpose of an exfoliator plus moisturizer for me.
This scrub has most amazing list of natural ingredients that won't cause you any allergic reaction and cleanse your skin off all kind of dirt, dust and dead skin cells on the skin's top surface. This scrub is so mild to be used on alternate day, though the best practice that I follow is to use it once a week.
Price: ₹ 599 for 30 gm
Saffron Body Oil
I'm fondly devoted to oils, be it for body massage or head massage. The body oils are extremely important for good health of my dry skin. I received one of the best-seller oil from Ecotique i.e. Saffron Oil.
This oil is not a heavy concoction that may be hard to sink in the skin. It absorbs quickly and hydrates my dry, flaky skin instantly without staining my clothes or leaving my skin greasy. I loved its soft and fresh scent that doesn't bother my sensitive nose and is very pleasant to senses. The oil does more than moisturizing the skin, it tones the skin and imparts a desired glow with prolong use.
The oil enriched with pure Himalayan Saffron has active antioxidants to fight signs of ageing and reduce blemish. The oil is a blissful remedy to cure skin issues arising due to weather change. The aroma of the oil is so relaxing that I apply few drops of oil on my temples when I need to loosen up myself in tranquility after a tiring day.
Overall, I totally like to enjoy that feeling of suppleness on skin all the day long after a gentle body massage of Saffron oil post shower.
Price: ₹ 349 for 30 gm

Made of richest ingredients obtained from nature.
Vegan and cruelty free products.
Mood uplifting products. 
Perfect blend of Aromatherapy essential oils.
No use of sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, phthalates, silicone, glycol and harmful preservatives. 

Bit expensive.

All the products that I used from the house of Ecotique left me infatuated with the brand, specially the Coconut & Green Tea Scrub ;) I'm incredibly satisfied with the quality of products and would recommend you all to give these products a try for sure. 

Which of these Ecotique products you are excited to try? Do let us know.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Oriflame Pure Colour Nail Polish Mini - Review, Swatches, NOTD

"Glossy, high-shine nail polish in a huge range of exciting shades. Gorgeous finish, fantastic colours – and what’s more it’s unbelievable value! Why not try them all?"

When I read above lines about in the Oriflame catalogue, I ordered the entire range in the Pure Colour Nail Polish Mini. Since the shades genuinely tempted me a lot and priced reasonable i.e. just Rs 189 for 6 ml. (buy here)

And then arrived my boxful of nail paints... you ask "how many??" 15 shades :) 
Yes! Yes! the Oriflame Pure Colour Nail Polish Mini range offers 15 beautiful shades namely  Trendy Nude, Pink Crush, Hot Fuschia, Classic Red, Coral Red, Bronze Brown, Mauve Mirage, Midnight Blue, Burgundy Wine, Marine Blue, Serene Green, Intense Pink, Ruby Pink, Peach Pink, Coral Orange.
All the nail paints are contained in tiny glass bottles with black cap. The applicator brush is broad enough to apply nail color in two straight swipes easily. The shade name and number is printed on the label underneath the bottle. The texture of nail paint is not very thick and makes it easy to spread comfortably on nails. I always like the intensity of colour after two coats that gives the perfect opacity. The best part is that it takes bare minimum time to dry up on nails and settle to a pretty glossy finish on nails. Absolutely a relief to restless girls like me :P

Talking about staying power, this range of nail paints are much reliable as they brighten up your hands without losing its shine for good 4-5 days without chipping off. And yes, I'm not using any top coat to lengthen its longevity. Also its pretty easy to rub out the nail color with any liquid nail-paint remover or wipes. 

The Pure Color Mini range comprises of shades which are a mix of bright as well as sober ones. There is one for every mood and for every occasion i.e. Red, Green, Blue and everything in between. One can choose to apply contrasting or matching shades to their outfit or can just choose to be one-of-its kind trendy by creating a quirky nail art with mix-n-match of shades. 

While trying out this range of nail paints in past few weeks, I developed an inclination towards nude, natural shades and I'm loving those more than deep/dark shades ;)  The nail paints have beautiful glossy shine minus any extra dose of glittery shimmer.

Let's have a look at the swatches now... 
Bronze Brown

Midnight Blue

Pink Crush
Marine Blue

Trendy Nude
Ruby Pink
Serene Green
Coral Red

Hot Fuschia

Intense Pink

Classic Red

Peach Pink

Coral Orange
Burgundy Wine
Of all the shades, I loved Bronze Brown, Marine Blue, Serene Green and Peach Pink the most :)
Do you like Oriflame Pure Colour Nail Polish Mini? What’s your favourite shade? Let me know in a comments below :)

Friday 10 February 2017

Beauty Benefits of Oiling n Massaging ft. Svayam Natural

Oils have been highly prized amongst the best sources of healing due to their multitude of benefits since ages. Our body responds to oil massage extremely well and if you may lay your hands on pure oils extracted from natural ingredients, you're sure to take the power of massage to a whole new level. One may prefer taking help from professional therapists or indulge in a sensual massage by the partner. I personally am a true believer in the magic of a relaxing massage.

Recently, I discovered a conscious wellness brand Svayam Natural specializing in 100% natural, premium handcrafted products while I was looking for therapeutic oils for myself. On contacting the lady behind the brand, she promptly agreed to send me the products I wanted. Since I had a concept in my mind to cover Oil Massage, I chose a few oils having elite combination of high quality ingredients.
I've been using these oils for few weeks now, and I'm ready to opine what I felt.

For Face:
Usually we see people using good facial skin care products available at different cosmetic counters. I mostly prefer thick moisturizers on my face as my skin remains persistently dry and flaky plus gets dehydrated easily. So this time I ditched the lotions and creams, and added Apricot Face Serum with Almond Oil & Patchouli to my face care routine. 
Despite its name, this serum is basically a face oil that prominently smells of almonds and I like it. Most face oils can be used on their own or mixed with other oils in a blend that best suits ones skin needs. But Svayam Natural has taken a step forward to prepare a facial oil with beneficial blend of Apricot Oil, Almond Oil and Patchouli that I use directly to massage on my face. 
The base Apricot oil is a light textured by default, so doesn't feel heavy or sticky on skin. My skin drinks it up in no time without showing a greasy coat on face. The ingredients of this oil make it a rich source of replenishing emollients, so it keeps my skin's hydration locked-in for many hours. The oil possesses great skin-smoothing properties that soothes and tones the facial skin gently. In past weeks, I can see a beautiful difference on my skin. Without a doubt, Apricot Face Serum with Almond Oil & Patchouli is an integral part of my skincare routine now.

Price: Rs. 525 for 100 ml (can be ordered from Amazon, Flipkart, ShopClues, Snapdeal etc)

For Body:
Bath oils made with nourishing ingredients have been one of my prime bath and body products since long. So trying one more from Svayam Naturals was simply unavoidable for me. I chose to use Sesame Oil with Jasmine & Rosemary. 
I like the fact that the bath oils can be used in different ways. Some prefer using it for a pre-shower massage and other like to massage during bath. Even a few drops of the oil can be added to the bathing water for a gentle soak to get rid of skin dryness. But the optimal way is to give your 'wet' skin a soothing massage. This oil has deliciously energizing fragrance that calms my stressed mind. 
The bath oil enhanced with Almond Oil, Jasmine & Rosemary along with Sesame Oil has properties to help fight blemishes and keep your skin clear. 
The oil is slightly thicker in texture than face serum, and proves idea to deal with skin conditions. I loved how the brand has packed the oil with aromatic dried rosemary herb strands for a punch of deliciousness. 
A warm water bath after the massage leaves my skin supple and nourished. Incorporating the bath oils in your everyday routine enables our body become more immune to fight various bacterial and viral infections as well. Most bath oils are warm by nature, so they improve blood circulation. I truly enjoy a massage with lukewarm oil to fight fatigue and stiffness of joints after a long work day during my night time bath that instantly uplifts my mood plus aids in sound sleep. To me, bath oils go beyond just a massage but are a therapy that practically works on my body and mind.
Price: Rs. 415 for 100 ml. (can be ordered from Amazon, Flipkart, ShopClues, Snapdeal etc)
Overall, I believe that oiling is something that lets you experience a higher quality of life and improves our emotional and physical well-being. For today's fast paced life, it's a natural and blissful way that one can effectively avail healthy skin.

Do let me know your views if you find the post informative. I'm planning to compile some facts on hair oils in my next posts.