Monday, 11 January 2016

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa

The Brand: Vichy Laboratoires is the number 1 skincare brand in European pharmacies. All Vichy products are hypoallergenic, formulated & tested on sensitive skin & combine soothing Vichy Thermal Spa Water with the latest innovations stemming from dermatological research. Vichy Thermal Spa Water from the hot springs of the town of Vichy, France, soothes sensitive skin & reinforces the skin's natural protection.

What Vichy Claims: Inspired by the Vichy Thermal Spa, this ultra-comfortable, velvety sleep mask infuses the skin with hydration overnight, when skin is most receptive to treatments. Skin is soft, smooth and supple by morning.

The Low Down on Sleep Masks: Overnight sleeping masks aren't a new trend. They're prevalent in Korean skincare and have been adopted internationally since (like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask). As the name suggests, you slather on the mask and let it work its charm while you get a good night's sleep without bothering about getting the mask on your pillow, because these are formulated to stick to your skin and renew it.

Packaging: It comes in a blue glass jar (which is kinda heavy by the way) with a white plastic screw on lid and looks pretty sophisticated.
Scent & Texture: Personally I love the smell of Vichy products and this was no exception. It has a mild floral smell which is not too overpowering. The cream itself is bluish in colour and has a dense gel like consistency but goes on transparent on the skin.

How to Use: Now this can be used as a night cream, an intensive treatment or as a sleeping mask.
When using as a night cream, take a tiny amount of the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa, rub onto your neck and skin.
If you're using it as a sleeping mask, then apply a thin layer and let it get absorbed for a few minutes before you sleep.
For an intensive treatment, apply a thick layer of the cream onto the face and neck, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and wipe off the excess. Or what I like to do instead of wiping the stuff off is to get a detoxifying face massage with the leftover cream till it's absorbed.

Ingredients List: Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Carpric Triglyceride, Squalene, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol among others.

My Experience: If I find a brand that works for my sensitive combination skin, i stick to it. Here in comes my love for Vichy. Their formulations are aimed specifically at sensitive skin, are mild concoctions and do not break me out, yet always give me desired results. The Aqualia Thermal Night Spa was no exception. I use it as a night cream and as a sleeping mask when I need that excess dose of hydration. It has been a boon specially during these dry winter months.


  • It is Paraben-free. 
  • Formulated with Hyaluronic acid known to replenish the hydration levels of skin.
  • It gets easily absorbed into skin.
  • Scent is mild and does not irritate the nose.
  • Did not cause breakouts on sensitive skin.
  • Replenishes, smoothens and re-plumps skin overall (based on 4 weeks of usage), gives visibly hydrated smooth skin the next morning.

Cons: Tub packaging. Nothing else I can think of!

Price: INR 1690/- only

Availability: Available in India on and

Final Verdict: I would rate it a solid 5/5. If you have dry skin and craving hydration, go buy this baby, you won't regret it! :)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Za Skincare Total Hydration Range

About the company: The Za skincare range is all the rage in Japan and was introduced in India by Shiseido a couple of years ago.

Here's what the company's website had to say:

 Za is a total beauty brand supporting Next Asian Generation by offering various beauty solutions - skincare, makeup and Men’s grooming product. It is currently launched in 14 countries in Asia, such as Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. Za products are developed to realise the fast and reliable product performances despite its simple step.
P.S. However due to lower sales apparently they will discontinue the skincare line by the end of 2015. :(
Za has introduced three ranges in India - Za Perfect Solution for mature skin, Za True White for healthy skin whitening and Za Total Hydration for its younger audience. 

Za Total Hydration Range
is aimed for people in their 20s. It is enriched with Hyaluronic acid as one of the main ingredients which helps maintain supple and youthful skin.

What the Range Promises: Resolves dryness and stickiness. For resilient skin with less visible pores. Full of the moisture and ingredients that the skin needs. Results in smooth skin that glows from within.

Packaging: The cute pink bottles with ergonomic design are a wonder to behold. And I am not exaggerating. When it comes to cute packaging, Japanese skincare brands can do no wrong. The bottles are sleek and easy to carry, the caps fit snugly and they are travel friendly if you don't mind lugging over 100ml of products.

I got my hands on 3 products from their Total Hydration Range:

  1. Fresh Lucent Toner
  2. Milky Moisturizer
  3. Hydration Mist

Read on to find out how they fared for my sensitive combination skin type.

  • Za Total Hydration Fresh Lucent Toner: Instantly hydrates skin to impart a look of healthy radiance and a vibrant glow.

How to Use: Smooth an appropriate amount (1.5ml) over the entire face with hand after cleansing. When using a cotton pad, smooth over gently from the center of the face outwards. (I personally use the cotton pad method)

Ingredients List:

My Experience: It is a clear, watery liquid with very mild fragrance which does not persist on the face. The back lists alcohol as one of the ingredients, but there is no stinging (this is coming from a person with very sensitive skin) sensation or smell of alcohol. It is quite soothing and does live up to its claim of giving you supple, hydrated and clean skin.

Price: Rs. 549 for 175ml

  • Za Total Hydration Milky Moisturizer: Minimises greasiness and gives the skin a smooth-textured vibrant glow.

How to Use: Smooth an appropriate amount (1.0ml) over face with hand after toner or lotion from the center of the face outwards.

Ingredients List:

My Experience: It is of a lightweight, runny and milky consistency that gets absorbed into the skin easily and keeps it supple and hydrated while imparting a dewy glow. However, I found it to be inadequate in winters on its own. It is a wonderful moisturizer for those sultry Indian summers. A little goes a long way with this moisturier. It spreads easily but if you go overboard with it the skin tends to feel sticky. It works as a good skin primer prior to application of BB or CC creams. Due to its light, watery consistency it would suit a lot of different skin types.

Price: Rs. 599 for 150ml

  • Za Total Hydration Energy Mist: Instantly restores dryness and other daytime hazards and makes skin smooth and radiant.

How to Use: Hold 15cm away from the face and spray a few times to apply an appropriate amount over the entire face, and smooth it out with the palm of the hand. It can also be used over makeup.

Ingredients List:

My Experience: Ideal for summers, this is a light weight water based spray that comes with a built in nozzle to disperse the liquid evenly on the face. Do not expect it to work wonders. The energy mist hydrates the skin and makes it glow instantly. I feel like it's a fine suspension of water and moisturizer, since it does feel a little oily when you massage it into the skin but it leaves no oily residue, just soft dewy skin. However, it makes light coverage liquid foundation run streaky when used over makeup, so I would not recommend using it to set make up.

Price: Rs. 549 for 80ml

Overview of the Za Total Hydration Range:
  • None of these products have broken me out. Most skincare lines either break me out or leave my skin red and inflamed.
  • They have a mild florally smell which does not irritate the nose.
  • The range lives up to its claim of imparting dewy, radiant skin with regular use.
  • It provides adequate hydration to the skin during summer months.
  • All three products are refreshing on the skin and will suit different skin types as they are formulated for 'all skin types'

  • Does contain parabens.
  • Pricey.
Final Verdict: Go for the Za Total Hydration range if you need hydrating care during mild asian climes. They work amazingly well for sensitive skinned beauties and can be used by different skin types.
Buy Za products online from at

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

REVIEW: MSM Box - A Lot in a Little

Launched on October, 2014, MSM Box is a fairly new competitor in the beauty subscription box market. began as a beauty and fashion blog and have now ventured into the beauty box market with their two curated boxes: MSM Express and MSM Select box. 

Here's the blurb from their website:
"Simply put, is a discovery e-commerce platform that offers consumers the opportunity to buy, try and enjoy beauty brands in the market.For a nominal subscription of either Rs 495/- for the MSM Express Box or Rs 995/- for the MSM Select Box, every month, you get a surprise goodie box containing beauty, grooming and lifestyle products from new and established beauty brands, and then some!For starters, the box contains full size products along with carefully curated samples. Besides that, to really delight the consumer, we don’t just take care of your beauty and grooming needs. We go the extra mile and offer something more through our collaborations and associations with leading salons/spas, cafe’s and shopping."

Pocket Pinch: Rs.495/- for the MSM Express Box or Rs.995/- for the MSM Select Box, every month.Get your box HERE.

Review: I had ordered the MSM Express Box and received it this week. Here are the contents that I received in my box.
The box itself is a cardboard one and came securely inside another brown cardboard box.

The card specifying the items contained/instructions:

Organica Tea:

Maybelline Color Show Mint Mojito Nail Polish:

Soultree Viola & Kokum Butter Lip Balm:

Soultree Turmeric & Indian Rose with Forest Honey Face Wash:

Soultree Apricot oil & Honey with Kokum Butter Moisturiser:

Innisfree Capsule Recipe Face Pack: This is about the only thing that I'm looking forward to using. 

Pros: Competitive pricing.
         Six full size and sample products (which is more than most beauty boxes offer).
         The box can be used for storage purposes.

Cons: Not in league with global subscription boxes.
          No mail with tracking links after shipping.

Overall, I didn't find the MSM Box very alluring compared to others in it's category. Most of the brands are available locally and doesn't wholly justify the price. I feel like the whole point of beauty subscription boxes is to try new brands that you wouldn't generally have gotten your hands on. Although the products contained in the box can be used daily and I find the concept of putting green tea (or food items in general) in a goodie box wonderful! Given the fact that MSM hasn't been in business a long time, I'm willing to give it another shot. :)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Beauty Box Subscriptions - Indian Edition

With the Beauty Box trend finally catching up here in India, as a beauty blogger I felt obliged to do a post on it so that beauty aficionados can discover (or get updated on) the variety of boxes and get on board the beauty box phenomenon. :)
To start with, here are some of the common queries people have,

So what is a beauty box?

A beauty box (or bag) is a subscription box full of sample sized/full sized deluxe beauty, skincare and lifestyle products delivered monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually to your doorstep in exchange for a minimal price.

Why should I subscribe to one(or all) of these boxes?

If you've always wanted to try out a sample of a deluxe beauty product or perfume with a heavy price tag before investing in it then beauty boxes are for you! Periodically you get to experience a variety of brands (both local and global, but mostly global) that you've always wanted to try (or have never heard of, but fall in love with them after you've tried samples) for a minimal price.

Can I choose the products I get in my box?

Different companies have different policies on this matter. But most beauty box companies based in India don't offer you to choose the samples. However, they do provide you with a beauty profile form and have Experts analyse it. So you're sure to get products customised to your needs and beauty profile. Plus it's more fun to be surprised by the products in your box, ain't it?! ;)

  • The low-down on Beauty Boxes in India :

The beauty box trend started with and a glossybox india promising deluxe samples in their beauty subscription boxes. The Indian edition of the globally acclaimed GlossyBox never saw the light of day while blisscovered discontinued their boxes after a single run! It was the indigenous Vellvette team who successfully introduced the indian masses to beauty boxes and continue fulfilling our subscription box dreams under a different name - The Fab Bag!

  • List of Beauty Box Subscriptions in India :

Now-a-days we have Fabbag, My Envy Box, BeautyWish box and MSM box- a new addition, to choose from with countless others following suit. It's enough to boggle anyone's mind!
Here's a definitive list of the various beauty subscription boxes in the Indian market to help you choose the one to your liking and needs:

  1. The Fabbag (formerly known as Vellvette box): is the longest running beauty box subscription and offers monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual subscription schemes. They provide three or more sample and full-sized products from both local and renowned global brands in a nifty bag. Personally I love the bags in which the products come, they are spacious and can be re-used for a number of purposes (make up bags being one of them). Pocket Pinch: as low as Rs.399!Personal Experience: haven't had a bad one yet!
    Find your Fabbag

  2. My Envy Box: also comes with a monthly, 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year subscription scheme and a price tag of Rs.850 for their 1 month subscription box and is the closest one can get to an international beauty box. Envy Box usually supplies 5 trial sized deluxe samples from global brands like Clarins, Avene, L'occitane, Eminence Organics, H2O, etc. They even give you perfume samples and vouchers- ranging from makeover to discounts. It all comes in a beautiful box with magnetic closure. What's more is that they donate 1% of the subscription revenue to the Elle Breast Cancer Campaign and now you can join in and do your bit.Pocket Pinch: Rs. 850 for 1-month subscription!
    Personal Experience: I loved my pastel orange box.
    Get your EnvyBox HERE.
  3. BeautyWish Box: is a subscription box from The Nature's Co. and comes with 5 deluxe sized and 1 retail pack size beauty samples and delightful freebies at a price of Rs.595 per box. They have 1-month, 3-months, half-yearly and annual subscription schemes and you get all of The Nature's Co.'s products to try out before buying along with discount vouchers and store event invites. The Nature's Co. is a PETA certified Vegan and cruelty-free Indian brand who come out with wonderful bath and skincare products with all natural ingredients.Pocket Pinch: Rs.595 per month.Get your fix of vegan beauty HERE.

  4. MSM Box: launched on October, 2014 is a fairly new competitor in the beauty subscription box market. I've subscribed to their January'15 Express box and am waiting for it, I'll be sure to review it for you guys as soon as I get my hands on it! began as a beauty and fashion blog and have now ventured into the beauty box market with their two curated boxes: MSM Express and MSM Select box. Here's what their website had to say about the MSM Box."Simply put, is a discovery e-commerce platform that offers consumers the opportunity to buy, try and enjoy beauty brands in the market.For a nominal subscription of either Rs 495/- for the MSM Express Box or Rs 995/- for the MSM Select Box, every month, you get a surprise goodie box containing beauty, grooming and lifestyle products from new and established beauty brands, and then some!For starters, the box contains full size products along with carefully curated samples. Besides that, to really delight the consumer, we don’t just take care of your beauty and grooming needs. We go the extra mile and offer something more through our collaborations and associations with leading salons/spas, cafe’s and shopping."Pocket PinchRs.495/- for the MSM Express Box or Rs.995/- for the MSM Select Box, every month.Get your box HERE.
This post will be updated as newer and authentic beauty subscription boxes crop up in the market. Keep an eye out! 

Till then,
Subscribe and Stay Beautiful :)

Thursday, 8 January 2015

A Rant and a Review : Nail Polishes from Revlon and Rimmel

The rant: 

A few days back I received a parcel from a reputed Indian beauty site (read with a trio of nail polishes. While two of those polishes were intact, the bottle of the third one(and by far my favourite) was broken and the contents were oozing out of it. I contacted their customer care and they offered replacement or money back, I opted for the latter. Two mails later I still haven't heard a word from them!
Has anybody else come across such unfortunate circumstances while shopping at Nykaa? I'd like to know what my next steps should be and whether they worked for you!
Just to clarify, I have shopped before at Nykaa, and this is the first time I'm facing such a problem from their end. :(

Anyway I ended up buying the Rimmel Lycra Pro Professional Finish Nail Polish again from a local drugstore! The things I do for pretty nails! *sigh*
Now to the review part. I got the Rimmel Lycra Pro Professional Finish Nail Polish in shade Beige Style(365) and Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in the shade Fall Mood. (pictures below)

  • Rimmel Lycra Pro Professional Finish Nail polish lives up to its name, in the sense that it truly gives a professional clean cuticle finish. That's right no clean up is required afterwords (and I, my friends, am a clumsy, clumsy person when it comes to nail polishes!). It has something to do with the brush I believe. It's a maxi brush and thicker and stubbier than the Sally Hansen ones. It coats the nail in one stroke and is an amazing life-saving little equipment! I am so keeping this brush, it paints like a dream. The drying time is also less compared to the Maybelline Color Show polishes.

The Colour & Formula: Beige style is a classic nude colour and goes with every outfit you can think of. It looks more posh and expensive than it costs. It gives a sheer colour in one coat and goes opaque in two coats.
(picture taken at the 9th day mark)

The Staying Power: Rimmel claims that it stays for upto 10 days. While I like to switch up my nail polish every few days (or keep my nails unpolished to let them breathe, it's important ladies!), I kept this one on for 10 whole days for testing purposes. Now it does stay on for 10 days with minor chipping at the top edges of the nail. But since every polish does that on my nails, I can't exactly tell you whether it's the polish or simply my wayward nails. The shine does go away within a couple of days though.

The Verdict: Priced decently at Rs. 255, it is worth every penny. The colour payoff, the staying power and the brush, especially the brush make it an amazing buy! I wholeheartedly recommend it.

The Rating: 4.7 out of 5 (for the dullness of nails after day 2)

  • Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in the shade Fall Mood is a beautiful holiday shade. It is a part of the new and revamped Colorstay Longwear nail polishes from the house of Revlon. And yet again, the brush, is the hero in this one as well! The handle of the brush is long and it helps to grasp the brush securely while painting the nails.
The Colour & Formula: It is a slightly holographic-y copper/rose-gold/bronze-y foil polish which looks different depending on the lights and the angle it is viewed in. It is a very beautiful shade and apt for the fall. With the holidays lined up, I can see why this particular shade is a hit among the masses. The formula of this polish is to die for. The tapering wide brush provides fluid motions, and the polish itself is a one coater. Whereas two coats definitely adds a subtle depth to the colour.
I did notice a bit of grittiness on my nails after about 2 days though, but it was nothing too concerning.

The Staying Power: According to Revlon website, the nail polish lasts for upto 11 days and provides gel-like shine. While I can vouch for the shine, however, unfortunately the staying power isn't that amazing. I should probably mention here that I tested out both the nail polishes without a top and a base coat, so I'm hoping that it'd last a tad longer with the base coat. The polish started chipping from the top and bottom edge after 6 days, one might argue that it is still pretty decent staying time.

The Verdict: The pocket pinch is Rs.350 in case you were wondering. I'd say the colour payoff and the colour itself is pretty darn good. However 350 bucks for a nail polish seems a bit too extravagant (for a student at least!). Do go for it during a Revlon sale, you wouldn't want to miss out on this colour. 

Buy Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel, Fall Mood 20, from

The Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (only if it stayed a little longer without chipping)

Till next time, Stay Beautiful :)