Top 10 Products of 2011: Forest Essentials Tejasvi Milk Facial Ubtan

Yes, I know I'm late getting the top 10 products up but right now, my goal is to have them by the end of this week. It's a more noble goal than having them up by the end of this year. I was unsuspectingly preparing for an interview when I got majorly sick and then my baby started teething. After having a breakdown as he's growing up way too fast, I had to put everything on the back burner as I went into the uncharted territory of discouraging biting while nursing. All in all, I feel like Xena, warrior blogger princess, who will finally get her tired butt to posting another product rave.

My aunt kept telling me about Forest Essentials and I kept doing the 'mmmhmmm' very politely. You know, where the other person thinks they've been heard but you know you're making the sound so you don't have to fully response. After all, how could a plebeian in terms of make-up possibly know of something that would make someone who's been there and tried it all interested. But it seems the universe conspired to teach me humility that fateful day last year (yes, 2011, which is where this post actually should be).

Forest Essentials' Tejasvi Milk Facial Ubtan comes in a big plastic jar, and the quantity that you get is very generous. However, I wish they had added a plastic stopper or something because when you open the jar, so much falls out if you're not careful. After the initial annoyance, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It is divine and reminded me of the face mask my grandmother would have made. To those who are sensitive to smells, be warned, it is strong and it lasts throughout the application.

The company website says the product contains "red sandalwood, wild turmeric, saffron and skin whitening herbs to make the skin tone several shades lighter naturally." I did voice my disdain to my aunt upon reading the "skin whitening" bit. She told me use it or loose it. So I used it. The company recommends making a paste by adding some milk to the powder, which is what I did. The powder is beautifully milled and becomes a thin, very easy to spread paste. The way the mask spreads feels much more luxurious than the other powdered masks you can get. I kept the mask on until it dried and was not prepared for the results.

I was blown away with the way my skin looked when I washed the mask off. It glowed. I stood there, in front of the mirror, still covered in baby food. But I glowed, despite the post partum hormones and lack of sleep. On top of that my skin was incredibly soft and didn't feel dry like it usually does after I try any herbal face masks. The glow and calm skin lasted a good day or two. It also did not make me break out at all. After multiples uses, I have decided to keep this as my go-to face mask.

All in all this face mask is excellent, pampered my skin, didn't break me out, balanced the moisture levels in my skin, and gave me one hell of a glow.  I now want to try out more things from this line.

On a side note, the Tejasvi Milk Facial Ubtan retails for INR 650 and you can buy it online as the company ships worldwide.

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Top 10 Products of 2011: Lakme Nine to Five Forever Silk Eyeliner in... Well ALL of the Shades

I have a soft corner for Lakme. It does a desi girl's make-up loving soul good to see desi make-up brands. And even if I rant until I am foaming at the mouth because of their abysmal selection of foundation shades (the whole population of India seems to be categorized in all of four shades), I always check out their make-up when I'm in India. I had Lakme's  Nine to Five Forever Silk Eyeliner in Gypsy Green in my make-up travel tote and never looked at it until, well late in December last year. And it instantly made its way to my Top 10 Products posts.

Don't think less of me for typing this but "Oh My GAWD. LIKE, OHMIGOD!" This stuff blows Make-up Forever and Urban Decay out of the water, and Lakme is desi. The pencil eyeliner comes in one of those self-sharpening plastic pens, pretty standard. The application is so smooth, and buttery. After I put it on, I thought there was no way it would last, not with a formula this smooth and non-tugging. But then life is full of little surprises. Lakme's Forever Silk Eyeliner needs about 20-30 seconds to set, but once it does it stays on. Rubbing it repeatedly doesn't even make it budge. It literally comes off only when you take it off with make-up remover or face wash. It lasts really long on my waterline as well, much longer than Make-up Forever or Urban Decay. With the latter two, I find that their pencil eyeliners put up a valiant fight but do not come close in application, smoothness, and wear.

The colour I got, Gypsy Green, is a muted, very dark olive with slight gold  shimmer. It is very sophisticated and is in the same family as Clinique's Eqyptian creamshaper. I believe there are five or six shades available in this range (Lakme doesn't list the shades on their web site). I'm also not sure about pricing as I got this a while back (lakme doesn't also list it on their web site).

If you're like me and love to make pilgrimages to make-up counters in every country you set foot in, do check out Lakme's eyeliners. I'm actually going to get some more as they can't be beat.