Handmade with Love – ft Happy Flowers


Hey,

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you would know that I am on a continuous quest for natural and handmade products. People spend much more time curating them for you, and they are filed with so much love! Products that are natural are the best for your skin and hair – they might not show immediate results – but they help heal your skin. In the long run, your skin will be healthy and you will glow inside out.

I recently stumbled upon a brand called happy flowers on instagram, and I am thankful for the same! Their page looked very promising. It is owned by 2 sisters Dr Aanal and Dr Anjali Kangad who brew these skin and hair solutions. I got the Hair mask and the Charcoal Blackhead peel off mask from them.

IMG_20170818_003324

Just how cute is this?

Charcoal mask :

I was always in search of a good blackhead mask, but it seriously is a pain! Getting a steam facial in the parlor twice a month is not the solution for this. I have tried a number of face masks/sheet masks and none of them really seemed to treat this problem, which is why I was looking forward to this mask, by Happy flowers. This can be used for the entire face, but for me, my blackheads were the target.

IMG_20170816_224841

The charcoal mask!

How to apply?

Wash your face with a mild cleanser, and then apply a thin layer of this mask on the areas with blackheads/whiteheads. Some people might prefer to use this on the entire face, but honestly I would just apply it to the specific areas to avoid pain as well as to see if this gives you the desired results. Let it stay till it hardens (about 25-30 minutes) and then gently peel it off. Check this quick video on their page about how to use it!

How did it fare?

So I cleansed my face and then applied this on my nose. Left it for around 30 minutes. I was apprehensive that it would pain, but to my surprise, it did not.

PROS:

  • I did see some blackheads come out with the first use.
  • Easy to use.
  • One tub would last for quite some time.

CONS :

  • The fragrance was a little weird.
  • The blackheads deep within, still seemed to be there.

Hair mask :

From the past few months, I have tried to maintain a natural hair care routine, without dumping chemicals on my hair. I have used pure oils, natural shampoo’s, skipped conditioners most of the time (none of them really suit me) and then apply pure argan oil as a leave on serum. Dry hair has been one of my concerns, since I don’t apply any of the high end chemical laden conditioners that add instant shine to the hair. My go to hair mask was to whip together curd and lemon or curd and honey and leave it on for an hour before washing my hair. So again a natural hair mask was a great option for me to explore on.

IMG_20170816_224811

The hair mask. Half the tub is already done! 😀

How to apply?

After washing your hair with a shampoo, squeeze all the excess water from your hair and then apply this mask on your  hair. I usually avoid using any of the store bought masks to my scalp, since it is extremely sensitive! Let it stay for a good 5-7 minutes and then rinse off.

How did it fare?

This did moisturize my hair, and more to it, is that it the no chemicals part. The smell was mild.

Pros :

  • Hair mask without having to spend a lot of time
  • Chemical free
  • Visible results!

Cons :

  • A suggestion is that the fragrance could be better

IMG_20170715_154825

Here’s the instagram link to their page, do DM them for their product list, go ahead and find the products that you would need and show them some love! 🙂

Till the next one,
~The Crank!

Natural skin care ft Aaranyaa


To take care of your skin naturally and nourish it with goodness is an art. I have been in the quest of discovering such brands and products that really deliver what you need. I recently stumbled across the brand called Aaranyaa, and I would put forth my honest reviews on their products today. Their products are all paraben, sulphate and cruelty free, which is the first check before using any product.

Neem and Tulsi Face Wash :

We all know how beneficial neem and tusli (basil) are for the skin. Neem has anto bacterial qualities, which helps prevent acne and pimples. This face wash has a faint fragrance, which is slightly herbal. It lathers really well, which means a little would go a long way. I use this as part of my night routine. I complete the routine with my toner and moisturizer. You can check this product here.

Cost : Rs 195 for a 110 mL tube
Verdict : 4.5/5

IMG_20170731_223006

Tea Tree Face Wash :

The first thing about this one is how awesome it smells. I use this as part of my morning routine. Again this one lathers great, so it makes the face completely dirt free. Tea tree is great for your acne as well as is effective in curing dry and dead skin. It is very gentle on the skin, and does not cause break outs or make the skin dry. You can check this product here.

Cost : Rs 195 for a 110 mL tube
Verdict : 5/5

Pros :

  • Paraben and sulphate free – what more do you need? (At least you are not causing more damage to your skin everyday! )
  • Has the best of ingredients and a wide range depending on your need.
  • Very pocket friendly.
  • Does not have chemicals in the products.
  • Is available online
  • Smells great!

Do check out other products of this brand and show them some love! You can also follow them on instagram for quick updates and some great products!

Till the next one,
~ The Crank

Oils.. essential?


I still remember as a kid, the struggle my mom had in oiling my hair. I used to scream and she still went ahead with it. Now, I wish I hadn’t done that! Today, the whole world seems to have understood the benefits of oils. Oils have two kinds – carrier oils and essential oils. Essential oils – are highly concentrated oils that serve some specific purposes. (Eucalyptus oil, Lavender oil) The carrier oils are like coconut oil, and olive oil. Today I am here to pen my experience on the three oils that were less known to me in the past, the ones that got everyone’s attention in a small span of time! All these three are from a brand called Ryaal, and are cold pressed virgin oils (no added preservatives).

IMG_20170618_093439

I ordered them from amazon, where they have a huge collection of essential and cold pressed oils. I received the order within 3 days of placing it, and the packaging was pretty secure. Each of the bottles came on a separate box, and had a dropper also, for easy application.

  • Avocado oil : It has extremely many uses, to list a few – it hydrates your skin, helps in acne and blackhead removal, softens the skin, so on and so forth. Since avocado is not easily available in India, this is a good alternative. The oil seemed extremely pure, and I have been using this as a night serum.
  • Jojoba oil : Acne, sunburns, chapped skin are all just a few things that this oil can help with! I use this for my chapped lips in the night.
  • Argan Oil : Keeping the best for the end, this one is a holy grail! I have been wanting to get argan oil for quite some time now. This oil contains vitamin E and hence is a great skin toner. I also use it as a hair oil for the extra moisture and shine.

IMG_20170618_093645

The best part of getting these oils in the purest form, is that you can go about making your own skin care regime – toners, moisturizers, hair oil, etc! I have also created a leave on serum for my hair using the 3 oils!

I had only one problem – which was the fragrance. Having used products with fragrance, this was difficult, but considering it to be all natural and no artificial fragrance added, I think it makes sense!

This is a sure 9/10 and I will be getting more oils (this time essential oils) from them! Check them out here and go on choosing the best products for yourself! Check out their insta page here and show them some love! 🙂

Until the next one,
~The Crank

Summers? Sheet masks to the rescue!


Aaaaand Summer is here to stay! It’s burning almost 40 degrees here. So what happens to your skin? Well, damaged is an under statement. So you definitely want to give your skin a boost, apart from your daily skin routine. Going to the parlor may be a choice, but that’s not my favorite. Some how it doesn’t give me great results, and sometimes I get breakouts too. So I just pamper my skin at the comforts of my home. We have a lot of face masks out there to help us relax, remove all the tan and moisturize the face. I have been using sheet masks for quite some time now, and I find them useful in more than one way.

I have been getting them from Skin18, which offers a wide variety of Korean natural and beauty products. (and I recently bought some during my visit to Hong Kong too). Today I have 3 masks to review.

I recently bought the Mediheal Dress Code range, for which the first thing you would notice, is how beautiful and attractive it looks!

IMG_20170611_175429

How cute does it look?! 😀

Jumping into the application. Cleanse your face, apply your toner as usual, and then apply the mask. Have it on for a good 30 to 45 minutes, and then remove it. Do not reuse the mask.

img_20170611_175402.jpg

Dress Code – BLUE (4/5)

  • Has an anti-aging and ant wrinkle effect
  • Improves skin texture and evenness.

img_20170611_175356.jpg

Dress Code – VIOLET (4/5)

  • Makes the skin soft and supple.
  • Keeps your face moisturized (toning effect).

img_20170611_175347.jpg

Dress Code – BLACK (4.5/5)

  • Extremely moisturizing.
  • My favorite among the three!
  • Has some brightening effect too!

Thumbs up for these masks :

  • Extremely affordable (You have great offers on this site!)
  • Almost a spa like treatment before an occasion, without an expensive parlor visits.
  • Do it at the comfort of your house!
  • Looks great! 😉
  • Extremely easy to use. (No complicated steps!)
  • Spoilt with choices, for what your skin needs!

Thumbs down?!

  • They have all their instructions/information behind the mask only in Korean and not English.
  • If you have sensitive skin, you may want to try a little, and wait for some time to make sure, your skin doesn’t react negatively to it.

Do you use sheet masks? What’s your skin care routine like? Let me know! 🙂

Till the next one,
~The Crank!

Hong Kong – day 1


Finallyy, we were at Hong Kong. (How did we plan the trip? Read it here) It was almost 12 by the time we reached the airport. In 15 minutes, we had a guide waiting for us in the arrival hall. It took us like half an hour to reach the hotel. We got adjacent rooms for us (one room for parents and one for my sister and me). So problem number 1. We are pure vegetarian. And no one in the hotel understood what that meant. Like, Really? My mom was extremely skeptical about eating anything there. Thankfully we had packed a few packs of cup noodles and ready to eat stuff. So though we were extremely hungry, that’s all we had to eat. Anyways if you are vegan, at least carry some packed products like that. Also, get some seasonal fruits in the market.

We took a nap for 20 minutes, and by 4, we had to start for the evening city tour. Problem number 2 : The predicted weather was warm (32 degrees max), but it started raining, by the time we started for the tour. We did not have an umbrella. Thankfully, the rain stopped after a while. We reached Victoria Harbor, and had a cruise ride for 45 minutes. This was HEAVEN. Do not miss this one. The view from the cruise screams Vacation. The traces of rain added to the beauty of the scene. Sit back, sip a drink, and you are sure to be mesmerized. Check my insta page for pictures.

Next we went on the Tram to the PEAK, and visited Madame Tussades, which is a wax museum with famous personalities from all over the world. We had missed this in Singapore, and didn’t want to miss it here. This was too good as well. Finally, we visited the Sky terrace which gave a view into the whole on HK. This one was okay, in the sense, it was crowded with too many people, and they could have organised this better by regulated the crowd and forming a queue. We were extremely tired and hungry at this point, but again, the veg options were less there. So we took a taxi from there and went to Saravana Bhavan (an Indian pure veg restaurant). The Taxi was pretty expensive, but considering that was our first proper meal for the day, we were happy that we went there. Finally, we just prep’d the clothes and accessories for the next day and had a good sleep.

So where did we go the next day? Keep guessing, till the next one! 😀

Planning a holiday!


I had always been the kid who was extremely lazy to do anything. But when it came to travelling, I would be the first one to get ready and pack my essentials. Travelling excites me. Come March, my family and I start jolting down different places and check the feasibility of visiting it, keeping in mind factors like weather, places, cost and so on. And then, we would have a week or two of short listing that to one. This was always the most difficult part. We would google away experiences, ask people we know, check the places of interest and we finally come up with the name of one place. This year, it came down to Hong Kong.

The next task in hand is to google the different travel agencies and find the package that is most suitable. Now a days most of them offer customized packages, but some how I find their standard ones the best, because they know where best to take their customers.

So we choose the 5 nights, 6 days package with 3 days in Hong Kong and 2 days in Macau – which is an island nearby, and is known as the Vegas of Asia (famous for it’s casino’s.) Since gambling is prohibited at HK, Macau attracts a lot of people from inside and outside the country. We had options of the air+land or just the land package (you’ll have to book your air tickets yourself), but we choose the air+land, as the prices didn’t seem to vary much, from what it would’ve been, had we booked. The package took care of everything – our flight tickets, hotels, entry tickets to places of visit and pickup-drop. It was extremely comforting.

So having all this ready by April, we planned the trip from the 13th of May. Again, being a travel-crazy person, I jolted down separate lists with the things to carry, things to buy (there), apps to download (for easy navigation there) and did some of my own research about the places.

IMG_20170513_102031

At the airport! 😀

So there we were all set to fly. How was it there? Was it as seamless as it seemed in the package? Or did we have glitches. Well, wait for the next part of this series (Well, told ya, I am lazy!) Mean while, check some of my clicks in my insta page.

Oh, and do you guys have any suggestions for the next trip? Maybe 2017 could have one more international fly! 😀

Till the next one,
~The Crank ^_^

When snacking turned healthy!


Don’t we all love to munch quick bites? Wouldn’t a weekend with the TV series/anime that you are watching be perfect with a lot of crisps and chocolates? We probably would have no clue what we are eating! 😛 As part of my ‘turn healthy’ year resolution, I have found another brand, that encourages me to have their perfect range of quick bites – for they are filled with proteins and taste incredibly good.

RiteBite Max is a brand with a range of products that give you instant proteins. If you are a work out person, this would be bliss for you. For a person like me, having this in my handbag, and munching it whenever I am hungry, especially when I can’t get food, has become a thing. Their packaging is travel friendly too.

IMG_20170330_093145

My travel buddy!

You can find their complete list of products here. Quick review of the products that I’ve tried :

  • Honey Lemon protein bar : Doesn’t the name scream it all? What is not to like in a honey lemon combination? I love the way the ingredients were blended and it tasted like heaven.
  • Workout bar : Filled with nuts, proteins, fibre and chocolate, this is my partner during travel.
  • Sugarless Choco Lite : I was really skeptical about trying this, but turns out, the dark cocoa in this kept me hooked.
  • Choco Fudge : Need I say more? The best of all the flavors they have! 😀
  • Merry Berry Nutrition Bar : With the goodness of berries, this one is a low fat bar, which is again at a travel friendly packaging.
IMG_20170402_190226

Which flavor do you choose?!

  • Spanish Tomato Snack : Tangy in taste , this one is non fried and non bakes (hot air puffed), yet tastes as good as any tomato flavored crisps. And it is filled with proteins. Win-win is it?
IMG_20170402_190255

My favorite quick bite.

  • Cheese and Jalapeno Snack : Well, I was not too fond of this flavor, as somehow I felt it too cheesy. But if you are cheese lover, then this one is for you.
IMG_20170402_190243

Snack time.

Overall, it is a brand worth trying, especially if you are calorie conscious, as this would reduce the fat content in your favorite snack and turn it all protein. Or if you are a vegan like me, then you could just use up some extra proteins! 😛

Till the next one
~The Crank ^_^