My Current Winter Skincare Routine

I have switched up my skincare quite a bit recently to adapt to the cold weather. An updated skincare routine post was therefore overdue! So here is how I am pampering my skin on winter mornings and nights to keep it soft and glowy until the summer sun shines again!

My Current Winter Skincare Routine

AM Skincare Routine –
My AM routine starts with washing my face with The Face Shop Dr. Belmeur’s Daily Repair Foam Cleanser. This face wash gently cleanses the skin without stripping it dry and is perfect for the cold and dry weather. I am usually in a massive rush in the mornings, so I skip toner (guilty!) and directly go in with my Magic Dust Vitamin E Face Serum which makes the skin super soft and hydrated without feeling heavy at all. I then go in with a generous layer of the Tvakh Triple Protection Sunscreen, a lightweight and hydrating sunscreen that is a staple for me throughout the year because it doubles up as a moisturizer too. For my under eye area, I use the Mama Earth Eye Cream because it is super hydrating and affordable. I slap on my Organic Harvest Happy Lips Lip Balm and I am done with my skincare! While applying my makeup, I am currently enjoying mixing some rosehip oil with my foundation because it prevents my makeup from clinging to the dry patches and provides a beautiful sheen to the face. Rosehip oil is a great facial oil for me because it somehow reduces my acne and hydrates the skin without making it greasy, therefore being a perfect final touch to my AM skincare.

My Current Winter Skincare Routine

PM Skincare Routine –
Evenings are when I tend to pamper my skin a little bit more because I have a little more time and because skincare helps get rid of the fatigue of the day. I remove my makeup with the Garnier Micellar Bi-Phase Water and then cleanse my face with the Dr. Belmeur Face Wash. I then use the Tvakh Vitamin C toner and apply my Magic Dust Serum. I then apply a very generous layer of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel and my Mama Earth Eye Cream and Organic Harvest lip balm and am ready for some much-needed sleep! On alternate days, I use the Vya Naturals Rose Water as toner and add the Dr. Sheths Daily Peel to my PM skincare regimen. On the days when my skin is suffering from breakouts, I add the Skin Salad Charcoal Mask to my PM regimen, and if my skin is feeling dehydrated then I use a Dear Packer Home Remedy Sheet Mask after my serum.

Overall, this skincare routine has been working fairly well for my skin at this point of time and these products are the ones that I can recommend without batting an eyelid. If you have acne-prone, combination but dehydrated skin like mine then you can try out this skincare routine and let me know how it works for you! I would love to hear your take on these products and your go-to skincare routine at the moment 🙂

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How To Get Rid of Dark Circles: Long and Short Term Solutions

Guest post by Trysh Sutton.

Dark circles under the eyes can really stand out when we’re sleep deprived or have particularly thin skin around the periorbital area. They’re also more likely to show up with age but there also exists a hand-full of other situations that can cause this unsightly discoloration.

Apart from the obvious concealer, there are several other long and short-term approaches to ridding yourself of dark circles so you save some money on concealing or save your concealer for a rainy day instead of having to constantly use it.

Short Term Solutions

Sleep

A lack of adequate sleep is a well-known trigger for dark circles in many individuals because blood vessels in the area dilate and become more visible when we’re tired. In some cases, fluid can also collect in the area and form undereye bags, especially when sleeping face down.

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Tea Bags

Tea bags are a beauty industry secret famous for reducing dark circles and under eye bags, especially in the mornings.

The combination of tannins and caffeine help to constrict blood vessels in the area, thereby making them less visible.

To use tea bags for your dark circles, steep the tea bags in hot water as you normally would, put them in the fridge/freezer to cool and then place one over each eye.

Hydrate

When the body becomes dehydrated, fluid retention can occur and one of the places that the retention will present itself is under the eyes. Therefore, like many health and beauty problems, drinking adequate water could possibly be the answer for your under eye bags.

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Be Gentle

The skin and blood vessels around the eyes are very sensitive. Whether you’re constantly rubbing the area or tend to be particularly rough when removing your makeup, damage can occur quite easily so it is important to be very gentle when touching with that part of your face.

Long Term Solutions

Blood Testing

Lack of certain nutrients, particularly iron and vitamin B12, can manifest as dark circles around the eyes. There are other symptoms you can look out for, however, the only way to be entirely sure is to get a blood test done by your doctor.

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Derma Roller

A derma roller is a small, handheld device that has hundreds of tiny needles that create micro-injuries in the skin to jump-start collagen production in the area.

This collagen production increases the thickness of the skin which will reduce or clear your dark circles if thin skin is the culprit.

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Retinol Creams

A retinoid is a vitamin A derivative that is hailed for its long list of benefits for the skin, one of which is boosting collagen production.

Like a derma roller, the increase in collagen production can lead to a thickening of the skin around the eye which can reduce the appearance of dark circles, if caused by thin skin.

Prescription retinoids usually give the best and fastest results but otc retinol creams are still pretty effective.

Cosmetic Procedures

There are several cosmetic procedures that you can take as a last resort for your dark circles. One of these is a fractional CO2 laser which is a procedure where the top layer of the skin is heated, boosting collagen production to create make it thicker and better able to hide the blood vessels underneath.

These tips and tricks will keep your under eye area looking bright and young. Do try these out to keep the concealer away!

Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream | Review

While drinking coffee can make you lose your sleep, applying it under your eyes has the exact opposite effect and it makes them look well rested and puffiness-free. The Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream utilizes the efficacy of this ingredient to fight dark circles, puffiness and other under-eye issues. The brand was kind enough to send me this product to review and here is how it worked for me.

Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream | Review

About the Brand: “Vya Naturals products are formulated using natural ingredients that are not only safe and non-toxic but also effective. All formulations are original, created by the brand, and tested on people, not animals. Vya Naturals uses therapeutic- grade essential oils, natural plant-based butters, natural clays and plant-based waxes. And
they definitely DO NOT use parabens, sulfates, artificial colors, artificial dyes, mineral oils, formaldehyde, animal ingredients, artificial scents, phthalates, chemicals, fillers, mineral oils, or petroleum.
The brand name stands for
Vimal (pure)
Yajus (reverence)
Ayush (healthy life)

Vya is reverence for a pure and healthy life.”

Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream | Review

About the Product: “Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream reduces puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles in the delicate skin around the eye area.
It is formulated with caffeine-rich green tea and green coffee extracts that de-puff and reduce swelling while increasing circulation to alleviate and brighten dark circles.
Other key ingredients include oils of rosemary, avocado, and rosehip which help in moisturizing the under eye area and delaying the formation of fine lines.
To apply, take a small amount using your ring finger and apply under the eye area by gently patting from inside to outside.”

Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream | Review

My Experience with the Product: The Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream comes in a beautiful blue bottle with a pump and is extremely travel-friendly. The formula is in the form of a light-weight cream that literally melts into the skin of the under eye area. A little goes a really long way with the product and you need the tiniest drop for both the eyes. The cream does not sting the eyes and does not have a noticeable scent, making it perfect for those with sensitive eyes. Right from the first use, this cream left my skin feeling extremely hydrated and removed that uncomfortable stretchy feeling that comes from getting insufficient sleep. While it is too early to comment on whether it will completely eliminate my dark circles, my under eye area has definitely become brighter than before and the fine lines have also reduced in just a few weeks. I have a strong feeling that with regular usage for a couple of months (twice a day), I will have a very smooth under eye area with hardly any fine lines.

Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream | Review

While I am not wise enough to comment on all the ingredients, I do know that caffeine, avocado, and rosehip oil are some of my skin’s favourite ingredients, which is why this product works beautifully for me and I am sure it will work well for you too if you are diligent about using it daily. This product is perfect for those who want some intense hydration for the under eye area without that heavy/sticky feeling that some eye creams leave behind. It works really well under makeup and concealer applies really smoothly on top of it and creases less than usual. This eye cream is priced at INR 750 for a 30ml bottle but Vya Naturals is currently running an offer on Amazon where you can buy it for only INR 599! I think this is a great deal and this would be a great investment for anybody. Your under eye skin is one of the most delicate parts of the body so do try out this product to take care of it.

Click here to buy the Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream from Amazon at a discounted price.

St. Botanica Under Eye Gel | Review

If you are an old follower of my blog then you might be aware of my struggle with dark circles and fine lines and my hunt for the perfect eye cream.  As I am slowly but steadily approaching 30, the fine lines around my eyes have become more prominent, and my search for an affordable but effective eye cream has reached new heights. One day I noticed that the St. Botanica Under Eye Gel has some rave reviews on Nykaa, so I decided to give it a shot because it was affordable compared to some of the most raved about eye creams. I usually don’t review an eye cream until I have used it for approximately 2 months, but in this case, I am making an exception because the reviews on the internet claimed that this eye cream makes a difference within a week or two. I have been using this eye gel two times a day for three weeks now and here are my honest thoughts on the product.

St. Botanica Under Eye Gel | Review

The St. Botanica Under Eye Gel contains Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera, Cucumber, Argan Oil and Vitamin B3 as its star ingredients. Hyaluronic Acid attracts and seals a lot of moisture on the skin, which is why I expected that this product will plump out the fine lines and make them gradually disappear. The other ingredients sounded promising to provide a cooling effect to tired eyes and to hydrate the skin while lightening dark circles. After using the gel for three weeks, both day and night as recommended by the brand, I can definitely confirm that this gel has a lovely cooling effect that instantly provides relief to my tired under eye area. It is hydrating too, but not as hydrating as I had hoped for, and sometimes gives a stretchy feeling to my skin. I sometimes mix the gel with my Mama Earth Eye Cream to reduce the stretchy feeling and the combination works quite well.

St. Botanica Under Eye Gel | Review

Coming to the miraculous effect of this eye gel as claimed by the reviews, I do see a positive difference in my under eye skin, but nothing as drastic as the reviews suggested. My fine lines have reduced slightly and the under eye skin feels more supple, but the dark circles are still there and have not lightened to a noticeable extent. I am sure, that the benefits of this eye gel will become more evident after another month of use, but what I want to emphasize is the fact that despite what the internet might say, hardly any product, especially an eye cream, provides overnight results, so you have to be patient and regular in using the product to actually reap any of its benefits.

St. Botanica Under Eye Gel | Review

Overall, I feel that the St. Botanica Eye Gel is a good buy at INR 699 for a 30ml travel-friendly bottle that comes with a pump. I love the fact that this gel does not sting the eyes and is, therefore, suitable for those with sensitive eyes. I also enjoy the light hydration and cooling it provides to the under eye area. If you buy this product with the right expectations, i.e. mild hydration and cooling and slight reduction in fine lines then I am sure you will like this eye gel. Just remember to take what you read on the internet with a grain of salt 🙂

Click here to buy the St. Botanica Under Eye Gel.

My Eye Cream Wish List

Can someone, anyone, please explain to me why eye creams are some of the most expensive skincare products out there, and why are so many excellent eye creams not available in India? I have been using the Mama Earth Eye Cream for several months, it is very nourishing and soothing but I feel that my under eye region is craving for a little bit more. The fine lines are irking me and the dark circles never go away, thanks to the lack of sufficient sleep. However, every eye cream that seems like something that would help with the situation can either not be shipped to India or is insanely expensive 😦 Anyway, here are the eye creams that I have been eyeing, and hope to buy one day when I have all the money in the world to spare.

1. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye Treatment 

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Kathleen Lights says that the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye treatment helps a lot with dark circles, and when Kathleen Lights says something, I trust her blindly. This cream is available in India on Nykaa.com BUT it costs a whopping INR 3200! I guess I will have to save up for this one.

2. Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream

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Kaushal Beauty swears by the Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream and the ingredients do seem promising. This one claims to brighten the under eye area and depuff the much-hated bags, and I wish that this was available in India. The websites that do ship it to India have crazy shipping charges and you will have to shell out anywhere between INR 3000-4000 including shipping. Wish someone got it for me for my birthday!

3.  Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream 

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The Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream has been featured in various “top eye cream” lists over the years and this one claims to work on both fine lines and dark circles. It is priced at INR 2,200 on Amazon for a tiny 14ml tube, but I am not sure whether the product is the original one because the reviews on Amazon India are not that great.

So these are the eye creams I have been lusting over at the moment. If you know of a relatively inexpensive eye cream available in India that works on fine lines and dark circles then please let me know in the comments below. In the meantime, I will start saving up for at least one of these!

 

 

MamaEarth Under Eye Creme, Argan Hair Mask, and C3 Face Mask | Review

New mothers suffer from sleepless nights and hormonal imbalances that lead to hair fall, tired skin, and dark circles, among various other issues that are common post-pregnancy. Unfortunately, today’s hectic lifestyle and pollution have made these problems prevalent among women in general, regardless of whether they are mothers or not. Mama Earth is a toxin free and dermatologist approved brand that creates gentle products not just for the little ones but also for the mamas who take care of them. The brand kindly sent me a few of the products from their Mama range, because like it or not, even though I am not a mother, my skin and hair always needs some TLC. After carefully testing out these products here is my detailed review about them.

MamaEarth Review Packaging

The products that were sent to me by the brand were the Under Eye Creme for Mama, the Argan Hair Mask for Mama, and the Charcoal, Coffee, and Clay (C3) Face Mask for Mama. Even before I started using the products, I was extremely impressed by the packaging. Each of the items came individually enclosed in cardboard boxes that had some beautiful quotes regarding mothers printed on them. What is more, these cardboard boxes are specially designed to be reused as pencil holders. The attention paid by the brand to the tiny details is extremely commendable. As for the actual packaging of the products, the jars are sturdy, completely leakproof and have an attractive pink and green print on them. The fact that the brand has spent effort in creating hassle free packaging shows that it truly understands the needs of new mothers. It is rare for a brand to win my heart even before I test the products but MamaEarth managed to do just that.

MamaEarth Eye Creme for Mama Review

Coming to the actual performance of the products, I will start with the Under Eye Creme for Mama. This eye cream contains a lot of nourishing oils as well as the extracts of papaya, green tea, and cucumber, to name a few ingredients. Just like all the products from MamaEarth, the cream is Paraben Free, Mineral Oil Free, Phthalates Free, and SLS Free. It has a soft, creamy consistency that feels like a gel between the fingers. My first thoughts when I smelt the product was that it smells exactly like my favorite Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment that I always rave about. Lo and behold, this eye cream not just has the same fragrance but the same gentle, moisturizing effect on my eyes as the variant from Kiehl’s that costs a whopping 2500 bucks! This eye cream glides like a dream on the skin and does not irritate my super sensitive eyes at all. It is extremely hydrating and also tightens the under eye area, removing any sagginess. It has a mild cooling effect that is perfect for tired eyes and the formula is extremely nourishing. I will even go ahead and say that the tightening effect makes it better than the Kiehl’s eye cream, even though 50ml of this wonderful product is priced at INR 500 only. I haven’t used this product long enough to notice a visible reduction in my dark circles, but it definitely helps with puffiness and brightens the under eye area with regular usage. I guess this review makes it clear that this eye cream has become a holy grail product for me already!

MamaEarth Argan Hair Mask for Mama Review

Moving on to the Argan Hair Mask, this product is a mask that is designed to reduce hair fall and contains argan oil, avocado oil, milk protein, and curd extracts as some of its key ingredients. It can be used as a leave in conditioner or can be rinsed off like a regular mask. What makes this product unique is the fact that not only does it detangle the hair, it is also supposed to nourish the scalp and help with the growth of new hair. This is why you are not just supposed to apply it to the ends of your hair but to the scalp as well. I haven’t tried this product as a leave in conditioner yet because I have fairly oily hair but it has worked pretty well as a regular conditioner. I applied it to the entire lengths of my hair and even massaged it into my scalp. Post-rinsing, my hair was very soft and smooth and even seemed healthier than before. Since I have started using this product, I have noticed that my hair is not breaking as easily while brushing and is not getting as entangled and rough as before. This hair mask definitely provides the intense nourishment that damaged hair needs. One word of caution though, if you have extremely oily roots then you will need to rinse off the product really well after massaging it on the scalp, else it may leave behind an oily residue. This hair mask is priced at INR 599 for a 200ml tub, which is very affordable considering that it performs as well as some of the salon brands.

MamaEarth C3 Mask for Mama Review

Last but not the least is the C3 Face Mask that contains Charcoal, Coffee, Clay and Fruit Extracts. This is a fairly thick, black colored mask that glides quite easily on the skin and claims to exfoliate and lighten dark spots. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting any miracles from this product but it surprised me beyond measure. After only a few days of using it, the patches of pigmentation on my face left behind by acne had lightened drastically! Just like the rest of the products from the range, this mask is also extremely gentle and does not even tingle while application. You are supposed to leave a thick layer of the product on the face for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it off with water after rubbing it in circular motions for the scrub particles to exfoliate the skin. The scrubbing action is not too harsh yet effective enough to remove dead skin. Like I have already mentioned, within the first week of using this product, I began to notice that my skin was more radiant and my spots had visibly reduced. Very few products have ever managed to lighten the spots on my face, which is why this face mask has left me super impressed. Priced at INR 599 for a 100ml tub, this face mask is a boon for all those who suffer from blemishes and an uneven complexion.

I am extremely grateful to MamaEarth for sending me these products and introducing me to such a brilliant line of skincare. My personal favorites are the eye cream and the face mask although the hair mask works really well too. If you haven’t checked out the products from this brand yet then I will encourage you to do so asap. You can buy these amazing products on Amazon or from the brand’s website http://mamaearth.in/. Trust me, I have never been so confident while recommending a product to my readers. I can state with 100% certainty that whether you are a mother or not, your skin and hair will thank you once you pamper them with the goodness of MamaEarth.

Biotique Bio Almond Soothing and Nourishing Eye Cream | Review

I am a huge fan of the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment but it is so expensive that I am constantly on the lookout for an affordable alternative. Bear in mind that I have super sensitive eyes that tend to start stinging very easily. So when I decided to try out the Biotique Bio Almond Soothing and Nourishing Eye Cream, I did not have very high expectations but was praying for a miracle nevertheless.

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This eye cream claims to be an all in one product that works on puffiness, dark circles, wrinkles, and what not. The formula is enriched with some natural ingredients such as almond oil and sunflower oil. The product comes in the form of a thick cream that melts upon application and releases a nourishing oil on the skin.

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This eye cream is quite hydrating and provides some much-needed relief to tired eyes. However, there is one major issue with the product, apply it anywhere close to your eyes and they will burn! That is a bit ironic because it is an eye cream, how can you not apply it near your eyes. Although the moisturizing power of this eye cream is pretty intense, the stinging action makes it a big no-no for me. I feel that the nourishment gets negated by the fact that my eyes tear up and turn red if even a tiny bit of the product goes near the waterline.

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This eye cream might work for you if you have super strong eyes that do not react to products or if you can apply it extremely cautiously. It does reduce dryness and puffiness but I haven’t been able to use it enough to comment on its effectiveness against dark circles. A 15 gm jar of this product is priced at INR 199 but is available at INR 150 on online stores. You can give this a shot if you do not have terribly sensitive eyes like me. I wonder when I will find a drugstore eye cream that works for sensitive eyes 😦

I hope that this review was useful. You can buy the Biotique Bio Almond Eye Cream here.

 

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment: An eye cream worth the buck

I suffer from extremely dry skin under my eyes, and of course the inevitable dark circles. On top of everything else, I have very sensitive eyes that tear up at the faintest hint of any chemical whatsoever.

I have tried several eye creams in the past but they either irritated my eyes or did not make any difference at all to my skin. I had heard rave reviews of the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado for a while but had hesitated in making the purchase due to the steep price.  One fine day, however, I decided that the under eye situation was going completely out of control and desperate measures needed to be taken, that’s when I took the plunge and purchased this eye cream and I am so glad that I did!

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From the very first application of this cream I could feel a difference and my under eye skin seemed well moisturised and not stretchy and itchy as it normally does. Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment contains Avocado oil which works wonders with dry skin and does not irritate my eyes at all. I have been diligently using it every night for a few months now and I can see a faint reduction in my dark circles as well. My under eye area doesn’t feel parched anymore, even on days when I don’t get enough sleep, this cream acts like a drink for my skin and leaves it looking hydrated and healthy.

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The cream has a very smooth and rich consistency and is extremely creamy. It has a pleasant mild scent (is it just me or does this actually smell like avocados on toast?) that does not linger post application. It seamlessly blends into the skin leaving behind a slightly glossy cast but no color. I usually apply it at night but have used it sparingly in the day time as well and makeup can be applied easily on top of the cream.

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The packaging follows the classic Kiehl’s apothecary style- a white jar with a green print that gives the bottle a luxurious feel yet promises to hold something gentle and pure. Although scooping into the jar might seem a little unhygienic but I like the old school jar concept and would suggest washing your hands before every use.

The only downside of this eye cream is the price, a 10gm jar is available for a whopping price of INR 2,450 in India and for $48 in the United States. A little, however, really goes a long way with this product and it took me more than 2 months to finish half a jar. I purchased my jar for around INR 2,000 during a sale on Nykaa.com and would recommend to look out for some discount when buying this cream. Although, even for the full price I would say that this cream is worth the splurge and I would rather invest in good skincare and sacrifice on a high-end lipstick instead!

Of course, time cannot be rewound and we shouldn’t just rely on such products to resolve our skin issues, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep is essential to achieve perfect glowing skin.

Buy this product here.