Beauty Queen on a Budget | Monsoon '15

The monsoons have finally made their appearance and while the sun is still playing peek-a-boo leading to some pretty erratic weather, it is about time we discover and stock up on some products that are specifically for the humid, moisture laden season ahead. While I've previously spoken about beauty essentials for the rains, this post includes more recent beauty launches and since it is also part of the 'Beauty Queen on a Budget' or BQOAB series *which you've seen last in the winter* all the individual products listed are within an affordable budget of Rs.260!
Even while sticking to a few of my summer staples, the summer months tend to be difficult for my hair and skin which means I'm mending any outbreaks and frizz well into the monsoons. Hence, in this edition of BQOAB, I'm focussing on the basics of skin and hair which are priorities in this climate.

Livon Morrocan Silk serum

The Livon Morrocan silk serum that is a clear, runny liquid in a transparent pink plastic bottle is great for monsoon hair care to defrizz and smoothen the hair

Price/Quantity: Rs. 259 for 59 ml
Availability: Easy. At all chemists and departmental stores.

Even though the Morrocan Silk serum by Livon is a just few months old, it has definitely left its mark. Encased in a transparent pink plastic bottle with a press down pump and cover, the quality of the serum is pretty darn good. It has the consistency of a clear, runny liquid and is highly fragranced. Just 2 pumps of this is enough for my short hair when damp and I can definitely see the reduction of frizziness and a smooth finish once my hair has dried. So it's no wonder it's featured in my short hair maintenance routine too!

Dove Beauty Bar

The dove beauty bar which is a soap for the face and body is great for monsoon skin care as it smells fresh, feels creamy and lets your skin feel gently nourished and hydrated

Price/Quantity: Rs 45 for 75 gms
Availability: Easy. At all chemists and departmental stores.

You're forgiven if you've mistaken this for just another white bar of soap. Since it comes in a generic cardboard box and may appear to be the same, in actuality, it is Dove's beauty bar. The difference lies in the fact that while most bars are used only on the body, Dove's beauty bar is made for your face as well. It lathers up well and has the distinctive fresh scent that all dove products have, which I love. While I haven't tried it on my facial region owing to my sensitive skin, the bar slides on the body with an almost buttery feel, giving a creamy, nourished feel after your bath.

Maybelline Clearglow B.B Stick in 'Fawn'

The Maybelline clearglow bb stick which is the first of its kind bb cream in a stick form offers great coverage which can be built up, feels natural on the face, has SPF 21 for sun protection without any white cast and is an affordable daily cosmetic

Price/Quantity: Rs 250 for 10 gms
Availability: Easy. At all Maybelline kiosks and beauty counters.

I discovered this product a few years ago, around the time that BB creams started popping up at every corner. I was in a conundrum of taking a break from makeup while still needing coverage and came across the very first B.B stick from Maybelline, which comes in a teal twist-up plastic tube with a transparent cover. When directly applied to the face, it feels buttery smooth and settles in to my skin once I've buffed it in with a brush. The coverage is surprisingly good - it is around medium on a single application and can be built up with multiple layers. While I cannot promise you the shine-free claim on oily skin *I need to finish it with powder layer to mattify my skin*, it blends in seamlessly, has no white cast even with SPF 21 and lasts for a good chunk of the day. The fact that I've been consistently repurchasing this product for the past few years speaks even more of how much I like it.

Nivea Frangipani & Oil shower gel

The frangipani & oil shower gel by nivea is is great skin care essential for the monsoon as it prevents your skin from feeling sticky while making it feel more fresh and rejuvinated

Price/Quantity: Rs 180 for 250 ml
Availability: Average. At most chemists and departmental stores.

Whether you've got caught in a sudden shower or you're feeling sticky and humid, every monsoon day needs a refreshing wash to renew you and the Frangipani & Oil shower gel by Nivea is just what the doctor ordered. The shower gel is of a clear, slightly thick consistency with miniscule beads and comes in a transparent plastic bottle with a flip open cap. It is packaged prettily and although plastic, is sturdy enough to travel with. A few squirts of it on my loofah suffices for a complete body wash and the fresh floral scent lingers for a while after as well.

Clean & Clear pimple clearing face wash

The clean & clear pimple clearing face wash by johnson & johnson is a great skin care product for the monsoons as it removes the oiliness from the skin and makes the face feel fresher and firmer

Price/Quantity: Rs 55 for 40 ml
Availability: Easy. At most chemists and departmental stores.

When your skin gets clogged and breakouts start appearing, which is a general phenomenon that the monsoon bestows on us, all you crave for is clear, healthy skin. Which is why this face wash is ideal for this period, which its very name suggests! The consistency is that of a thickish gel in a clear green shade and it comes in a plastic tube with a flip-open cap. While I didn't have active acne while testing it, from the very first wash itself, I could feel a difference in the way it unclogged my skin and removed any traces of oiliness. The fragrance of the product is herbal with a citrus tinge, probably from the neem and lemon ingredients and the product is easily portable. With the way my skin felt fresher and firmer without any dryness after just a couple of washes, I'm definitely turning to this on acne prone days.

Photography: Raynor Pereira / Style File

I hope my picks in this edition of BQOAB helps you out in the skin and hair department for the rainy months ahead !


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