Disclaimer: Some of the products mentioned here might not be as organic as these non-sponsored reviews.
Being an absolute noob when it comes to skincare, it took me days, nay, months to zero in on the perfect products after scouting products from 20+ brands. After drying up my eyeballs reading reviews and skipping through dramatic beauty vlogs which promised ‘miraculous’, life-changing results, I figured that I must be on mother’s nature’s waitlist. Meanwhile the vloggers transformed into beauty goddesses upon each application.
I can’t really complain about all the hours of painstaking research because its kinda therapeutic to be honest. But if you want to skip that part and get down to business, here’s the ultimate beauty round-up to level up your skincare routine. Customised exclusively for beginners like us who are scrambling to hold their lives in place.
Our editors have tried and tested 40+ products from all the beauty brands we could lay our hands on, and some more. We rummaged through targeted ads, reviews, blogs/vlogs so you don’t have to look further than this.
Please note that if you are facing skin problems, we highly recommend that you consult a dermatologist.
Dr Sheth’s Haldi & Hyaluronic acid sleeping mask
If you are going to bed with dry skin and lots of stress, this blissful mix of Kumkumandi and Hyaluronic acid will take good care of your face. This is a sleeping mask so most of the mix will be wiped off on your pillow if you sleep ugly like me but thankfully, you will still see visible results next morning. It’s transparent, smooth and super light so you might forget to wash the leftover from your face next morning. Don’t.
If you are tired of applying anti-ageing creams to bed every night, this can be a nice change as haldi+Hyaluronic acid are loaded with anti-ageing properties.
Pilgrim‘s Vitamin C night serum & Red vine face cream
I have often wondered about the actual ‘secrets of Jeju island’ because Korean skincare brands around the world are making millions cashing in on the stuff that grows on the island.
Must be one trippy island.
So the night serum smells absolutely divine and the fabulous mix of White Lily, vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid makes it an absolute must-have for nightly skincare routines. It is not sticky and works well to make even the most dehydrated skin look super supple. Obviously, we can’t vouch for the age-reversal formula of any product because I still woke up looking the same. Sigh.
The Red vine face cream hails from the vines of Bordeaux and helps you get through sunny days with SPF 30, smooth texture and delightful aroma. However, the texture is a bit too light and you might sweat if off within a few hours on a hot/humid day.
Dot & Key Hydro peel glow potion & Skin plumping sleeping mask
Dot and Key is acing the packaging game with fun boxes with magnetic flaps and bottles with drop caps. The glow potion is a great way to step up your exfoliation game with its gel-like texture which is extremely light-weight and has a refreshing and citrusy aroma. This potion boasts of an exotic mix of green apple, glycolic acid, pineapple, willow bark extract, lactic acid and salicylic acid which works up a nice glow. If your skin is a tad bit sensitive and you last exfoliated during your brother’s wedding 5 years back, you may battle a few breakouts. Gotta ‘glow’ out of it, we guess.
The Skin plumping sleeping mask has an incredible gel-like texture that gives your skin a much-needed hydration boost. Formulated with cucumber, Bulgarian rose, Hyaluronic acid and Chamomile, this mask truly helps you sleep peacefully and wake up with supple, brighter skin. After recovering from COVID-19, our editor found this sleeping mask quite helpful in restoring the health of her skin which looked dull.
Ilana Brightening skin serum & Beet tint
If you are still beating yourself up about finding the one thing which is missing from your morning skincare routine which that hot college senior swears by, must be a face oil. While Ilana’s brightening serum wakes you up in the most pleasant way with this super aromatic oil, the serum soaks well into your skin. Moisturising every pore like a pro. Bidding adieu to lines and dullness by plumping your skin instantly. If your skin is too oily, beware of breakouts and super shiny cheeks. This serum keeps your skin hydrated longer than any face cream but if your daily routine makes you sweat through the day, you can give this a miss because the oily texture makes it harder for your skin to breathe.
Pair this awesome serum up with Ilana’s all-natural Beetroot tint for those days when you want to look like you made an actual effort for that Zoom meeting or feel like a princess even when you didn’t bother to wash your face. Yup, works every time. While makeup blush powders are laden with chemicals, this all-natural quick fix is kind on your skin and can be applied on your cheeks, eyelids and lips.
A bit heavy on the pocket but hey, this is all you need in your pocket to look fine as hell.
Minimalist’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc and Salicylic Acid 2%
If blemish and acne has made life difficult for you, Minimalist is here to save the day.
Our editor Sakhi Saxena struggled with stress acne since she was a teenager and recently experienced a Deja-vu of her acne days. Minimalist’s Niacinamide 10%+ Zinc is formulated to remove excess oil and acne marks and within a few days of application, Sakhi started seeing visible results. She applies 2-3 drops as a part of her nightcare routine and her skin feels much softer after she washes it off next morning. While its effects have been slow, this serum has proved to be way better than regular anti-blemish creams as its super lightweight, absorbs easily and doesn’t irritate your skin at all.
Salicylic Acid 2% soaks up all that oil from those oil fields that have been thriving rent-free on your face.
The dropper makes it easy to apply directly to the T-zone without getting most of the product soaked up in your fingers. Sakhi uses it after washing her face in the morning and after a week of daily application, she can vouch for the ‘oil control’ bit as her skin is visibly a lot less sticky and sebum-free during the first half of the day. As for blackhead reduction, she has noticed lesser of them on her face and is hoping to see more improvements.
Ras Radiance beauty boosting face elixir & Gua sha
This luxury face oil brand will burn a hole in your pocket but every drop is worth the money.
The 24K gold face elixir has bits of what looks like gold and smells like a dense eucalyptus forest. It’s non-sticky, super smooth texture makes the oil glide across your face and blends in effortlessly. Works great like a makeup primer and leaves your skin looking brighter. Unlike other face serums that makes your skin shine like a beamer, your skin will quickly absorb this beauty elixir and leave behind a natural looking glow.
Pair this serum up with their face tool Gua Sha and treat yourself to some fine face massage. The jade Gua Sha is relatively affordable and comes with a set of instructions so you rub off all the stress from that face of yours. Pro tip? keep it handy when you are on the phone or stuck in a Zoom meeting. It’s smooth edges gets blood flowing through your face and calms your nerves.
Juicy Chemistry‘s Blood orange lip balm & Kakadu plum face mask
For Juicy Chemistry, Rosehip and Blood orange are a Matcha made in heaven. Both the face mask and lip balm which have got us fan-girling, has similar ingredients which your skin will thank you for using.
I for one, was getting sick of using the same strawberry flavoured chapstick and struggling with chapped lips since high school, until Juicy Chemistry‘s Blood Orange and Rosehip flavoured lip balm came into my life and changed it for the better. It tastes absolutely delish (thoughyou should not be eating it) and I my struggle with cracked lips has officially come to an end. I couldn’t believe it, honestly. Even while writing this I couldn’t resist pouting again to check and couldn’t be more satisfied.
Our 2nd top pick for Juicy Chemistry will definitely be the Kakadu plum matcha face mask which you will absolutely love if you love all things Matcha like we do. This unclogs the dirt and oil from your pores and leaves your skin softer and healthier. Follow this up with a face serum if you got dry skin to avoid breakouts.
Soultree’s Indian rose face wash with turmeric & honey
True to its name, this aromatic facewash touches your soul with the most divine aroma.
When you open the bottle, the powerful fragrance of Indian roses takes over and wakes you up in the most pleasant way. It’s gel-like texture spreads evenly and takes you back to those spa appointments from the pre-pandemic era. The honey works its magic and makes your face appear a tad brighter and if we daresay, rosier. Follow this up with a light moisturiser to get rid of the dry feeling post application.
Bella Vita‘s Superscrub, eyelift & Feet Love
When we came across Bella Vita organics‘ targeted ads, the founder said that they don’t know how to market their products so she simply asked the viewer to use the product and figure it out for themselves. We would like to thank her from the bottom of our hearts.
All of the products we ordered were absolutely delightful. Three of the lot stood out because of their absolutely delish formulations and amazing results. Made us want to make a beauty vlog but sadly, Bella Vita organics isn’t up for promoting their products and if you ask us, they really don’t need to.
The Superscrub is infused with walnuts, radish and aloe vera which actually makes you look forward to bath time. It smells so yum that you will find it really hard to not eat it. The aroma and creamy texture is a true blessing for your skin and works really well to clear off dirt, blackheads and oil from the skin. We promise you won’t want to leave the shower when you get your hands on this.
Our next favourite pick will be the under eye cream- Eyelift, which has this refreshing cucumber aroma and feels super soothing when you apply it around your eyes. Righty so, it lifts your spirits instantly and gives your eyes a healthy glow. We highly recommend this eye cream if you are done with the goth look you have been sporting since middle school.
If your heels look like the worst end of the Sahara desert and can do with some attention, Feet Love has got your back. It’s super creamy and buttery texture infuses life into those feet and makes them , well, look like feet again.
Best part? All of their products are reasonable priced so you don’t have to think twice before adding ’em to your cart.
Daughter earth‘s Lip & Cheek tint
100% vegan, Daughter earth‘s lip and cheek tints are enriched with antioxidants, vitamin E and shea butter so you don’t have to feel guilty every time you eat. If you are as anxious as we are about ingesting chemicals from lipsticks, this is the perfect replacement. It might not stand the test of time like 12-hour matte lipsticks but if you can stay away from food and avoid biting your lip through the Zoom meeting, you won’t be disappointed.
Choose from a wide variety of shades ranging from nude to fiery reds.
Nat habit‘s Crushed pumice foot ubtan
If you have neglected your feet as long enough as I have, chances are that they are 3 shades darker than your original skin colour. Nat Habit’s all-natural foot ubtans are an absolute blessing for your feet if you have a date coming up, planning to sport those sexy sandals and need a quick-fix. Our favourites would be the Tamarind Oats and 3-P Fruit AHA mixes with crushed pumice stones successfully sheds off that stubborn layer of tan and restores your original skin colour. No kidding.
Forest Essential‘s Nayantara clear lash & brow serum
While Forest Essential continues to be the oldest kid in the block with products that are way out of our price range, their latest blue-eyed boy has brought us back to the block.
‘Nayantara‘ which sounds like the magical elixir that guarantees long lashes, sadly, is just a product name.
It’s key ingredients are cold-pressed castor oil, vitamin E and organic beeswax, amla, almond oil, liquorice and fenugreek seeds. Unlike other brow/eyelash gels which often feels sticky and leaves a residue, Nayantara feels very soothing and lifts up your lashes a bit. We don’t know if it actually improves hair growth on your lashes or brows as we didn’t spot any visible change but we will definitely recommend this as a close substitute to mascaras which unleashes hell on your lashes while this can be worn all day, every day.
While we have tried almost every emerging beauty brand ever, we would love to hear about your favourites or any brand you love which we might have missed. Drop ’em on the comments below so we can help our readers better 🙂
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Image credits: Team Socio Martini