Posted in beauty, confessions of a makeup junkie, lifestyle

confessions of a makeup junkie (#1): forest essentials edition

I’m not going to boast about my grandmother who starred in Vogue’s Beauty Secrets for her phenomenal skin-care regimen that changed the course of history because that never happened. Forest Essentials has been one of my favourite Ayurvedic brands ever since my auntie gifted me a skin-care kit for Rakhi. It’s an overpriced, ahem, a luxurious Ayurveda brand that has 100% natural products!

According to Wikipedia, “Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Globalised and modernised practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of alternative medicine.” Most of the products contain infusions and extracts of herbs and flowers as their active ingredients—therefore, they’re absolutely vegan, pure and cruelty-free!

The products are differentiated on the basis of the three doshas or three faces of beauty that are essentially energies which dictate our physiological activities and generate various physical and emotional patterns. The concentration of these energies varies individually and provides the person with their inclination. The three doshas are: a) Vata, b) Pitta and c) Kapha. Vata represents hair-care, Pitta epitomises fragrance and Kapha illustrates skin-care.

Not all of these products are available on Amazon (UK) so I’ll be providing links for their Indian site ( that ships internationally as well for fairly cheaper rates.

Disclaimer: The ratings are absolutely based on my own personal experiences and this is a completely unbiased and honest review. I don’t intend on spreading negativity in any form! The pictures are mine!

Forest Essentials by Mira Kulkarni

1. Packaging, Pricing and Naming

(L-R) Delicate Facial Cleanser, Activating Serum (Rasa), Balancing Water (Tejal) and Sun Fluid
Top row: (L-R) Night Treatment Cream, Lip Balm, Deeply Nourishing Facial Cleansing Paste
Bottom Row: (L-R) Delicate Facial Cleanser, Facial Toner, Sunscreen

• The packaging is sleek and really gives a modern look to Indian aesthetic! The gilded accent and the miniature floral patterns gives it a royal and imperial Jaipuri appearance that I really dig.

I adore the packaging! It deserves a: 🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺 (out of five flowers)

• The pricing is justifiable—to say the least. The products follow the principles of the ancient Vedic studies conducted by Indian scholars; most of the ingredients are grown organically in farms and let’s not forget that no chemicals (that are produced in bulk) are used! Hence, they’re quite ritzy and cost a pretty penny. Other than that, the target customer is mainly the well-off since it’s a prestigious brand.

It is justified but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved: 🌺🌺🌺 + 1/2 🌺

• The names are so innovative though. I don’t really know the meanings but the ubtans (face mask) and the moisturisers/night creams have really cute names! They’re titled as tejasvi (facial ubtan), nargis (night cream), soundarya (facial ubtan) and Raat Ki Rani (solid perfume). It gives off a divine or godly vibe and I’m 100% here for it.

I feel like they should incorporate this into the other products as well: 🌺🌺🌺🌺

2. [CLEANSER] Delicate Facial Cleanser with Mashobra Honey, Lemon & Rosewater (1,250INR for 200ml)

(L-R) Delicate Facial Cleanser with Kashmiri Saffron and Neem, Delicate Facial Cleanser with Mashobra Honey, Lemon and Rosewater

Rosewater reduces the consistency and the formulation is watery but that’s something I really appreciate because it hydrates dry skin with stripping off the natural moisture.

I feel like it has brightening properties because it has lightened my complexion and added radiance. It isn’t much helpful for acne breakouts but it has cleared the few bumps on my forehead! The lemon essential oil is rejuvenating and wakes up the skin, especially when you’re groggy-eyed, drowsy and sleep-deprived. The key ingredients also include Mashobra honey which provides glow and gets rid of all the nasty stuff clogging your pores.

Pushing aside the ingredients in the spotlight, there’s Nagkesara in the blend as well! It’s Hindi for Cobra Saffron (Mesua ferrea) which is anti-inflammatory! Also, it has bee pollen! It took me a good minute or two to register the surprise, to be honest—it helps to treat pimples (Bumps, in my case, I guess?) as far as I know.

I’m… astonished? By the composition? I genuinely love the product but I wish it also helped me with my acne: 🌺🌺🌺 + 1/2 🌺

3. [CLEANSER] Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem (1,250INR for 200ml)

Yes. I have two cleansers. I’m guilty of it. I feel like this one’s a better option than the former because it has Neem (Indian lilac/Azadirachta indica) in it which has proven to be so beneficial for the skin! It is full of EFA (fatty acids), triglycerides, calcium, vitamin E and etcetera! It boosts collagen production, reduces blemishes and scars and treats—cue drumroll—acne! My number one arch nemesis!

Kashmiri Saffron is mainly known for its ability to offer good riddance from dark circles and brown spots or any sort of pigmentation. It helps in providing glowing skin, removing suntan and evening the skin-tone. The blend is composed of Marigold extract which encourages growth of new tissue, increases blood circulation and stimulates collagen production! Additionally, white waterlily extract is used to exile toxins and purification of the skin.

This is the one you should go for when you’re facing breakouts. It reduced swelling when I was going through hormonal acne and can be handy while removing heavy makeup. Including this in your nighttime routine is a really good idea because you wake up with hydrated, non-greasy and supple skin!

The blend is the real star, effective acne treatment and recommended addition to your skincare routine: 🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

4. [TONER] Facial Tonic Mist Panchpushp (1,275INR for 200ml)

(L-R) Facial Toner (Panchpushpa), Balancing Water (Tejal)

It smells like a rainforest with mist and petrichor, it has the scent of hope, the beginning of a fragile friendship between strangers, the incense of a temple shattered into ruins and relics that has sheltered cicadas at dusk and summertime pollen that has grown into flowers unblemished by a human’s invading touch. Call me a drama queen or the future star of an Indian soap opera but yes—I have strong feelings about the fragrance of a damned toner.

I used to have enlarged pores on the apple of my cheeks and the corners of my nose but after applying this toner for a week, I observed a significant amount of difference. It has Jasmine in it which improves facial elasticity and balances out oil secretion. Saffron and Marigold are also part of this non-comedogenic, botanical blend that I absolutely adore.

Spritz some of it after doing your makeup to make it look dewy and to keep your skin hydrated and refreshed!

Love, love, love it for bringing out the inner Nasim Pedrad in me and for minimising my pores: 🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

5. [TONER] Tejal Balancing Water (1,975INR for 200ml)

This one has a thicker consistency unlike the previous toner and is a cocktail of Hyaluronic acid (HA) and Liquorice roots which has glabridin that serves a mild sunscreen. This toner is not only hydrating but also moisturising and acts as a barrier from premature ageing!

The interesting thing is that HA isn’t present directly in its chemical form, it’s the main component in the sweet potato extract that’s a natural source of Vitamins A, C and E too!

It looks quite viscous at first but is easily applicable; I think it’s meant for combination skin type. The only con is that it smells like sanitiser or alcohol so I’ll be docking points for that!

Eh, I don’t wanna be harsh but: 🌺🌺🌺 + 1/2 🌺

6. [SERUM] Rasa Activating Serum (2,875INR for 30ml)

Activating Serum (Rasa)

My advise is to use this with Tejal but the issue is preferred pair is that Rasa gets over before the toner does. 2,875INR is about £31 which is a bit upscale for a meagre amount of 30ml. Anyhoo, the serum is glorified, to say the least, since it isn’t that effective. The key ingredients are astringent, thrusted with immense cell renewal properties and are active cooling agencies but I just feel that by the time the skin gets accustomed to such diluted amount of glycolic acid present in the botanical blend, it’s over.

I often end up using 5-6 drops of it for full application because it isn’t spread that easily and the areas I cover are my face and neck!

The amount is disappointing and isn’t proportional to the price in any way, efficiency isn’t there as well: 🌺🌺 + 1/2 🌺

7. [SPF] Sun Fluid Tender Coconut Water with Turmeric & Basil Leaf SPF 50|PA + + (975INR for 50ml)

(L-R) Sun Fluid with Tender Coconut water and Turmeric and Basil leaf SPF 50, Sunscreen Lotion with Aloe Vera and Sandalwood

First off, the name makes me feel like I’m Apollo holding the jewelled goblet filled with Sun Fluid. That’s gross because no one willingly wants to gulp down sunscreen.

My hot take on this is that it’s the best sunscreen I’ve used in a while. Most of the sunscreens tend to be thick and oily, at least the ones I’ve used till now, since coconut water constitutes this formula, it’s a tad bit watery but it just spreads evenly throughout the face. The bottle comes with a little pump that ejects a small, pea-sized amount of the solution which covers my entire face. It smells like basil as mentioned in the ingredients, is hydrating and allows the skin to breathe.

(SPF 50 is preferable for people with darker skin as well. I always choose sunscreens with SPF more than 30.)

Love it, recommended for daily use, good value for money: 🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

8. [SPF] Ultra-Rich Dazzling Body Lotion Madurai Jasmine & Mogra (1,350INR for 200ml)

Moisture sealing is probably the best quality of this moisturiser. It doesn’t feel sloppy or like a film of cream hanging off my skin on a hot, balmy afternoon. It has jasmine strains in it which offers a sweet scent! However, I feel that Sun Fluid is a better option for sunscreen on the face, this one’s more like a emollient better suited for the bodily skin since it is gooey and clammier than Sun Fluid.

Also, I have no means of knowing the SPF this product offers. Therefore I shudder to apply it on my face.

A little too swanky for my taste since it’s just another moisturiser, no information about the SPF, slimy texture, to be very honest: 🌺🌺🌺

9. [EXFOLIATOR] Deeply Nourishing Facial Cleansing Paste with Almond, Pistachios and Honey (1,950INR for 30gms)

The syrupy, saccharine scent is just so… piquant. That’s odd, I know. I feel like just dipping my spoon into the bottle and eating the paste right from it. I really need to make a visit to Dr Phil because this entire ordeal of eating skincare is nothing short of awful.

Ignoring whatever I just said, I actually dote a lot on the concept of a facial paste. It borders a scrub but isn’t doesn’t possesses similar fluidity, instead, it’s a lot viscid. I’m a bit debated on purchasing this again because I don’t use physical exfoliants (reasons are stated in my first post) a lot and in this case, I think it’s Black Sesame. On the other hand, it claims to be a ‘gentle exfoliator’ and forms a light, milky foam that’s soothing and delicate on the skin.

Ah, my internal monologue is that duck meme: 🌺🌺🌺🌺

10. [NIGHT CREAM] Cream Jasmine & Patchouli (1,950INR for 200gms)

It really helped me out with hyperpigmentation and acne and I honestly use this in the morning as well. I love the smell of jasmine essential oil! It can be saviour if you want external hydration and promote even skin-tone.

I stan the composition and the fragrance, sis: 🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

11. [LIP TREATMENT] Luscious Lip Balm Narangi Glaze (695INR for 4gms)

You can read the price again. 695INR is £7.5 for 4 grams. Which is pricey but the lip balm… It’s so fruity! I’m amazed at how it’s not sticky! You can even try Jackie Aina’s hair strand test! It’s buttery and lasts for about 3-4 hours which is pretty good.

It has a citric scent and I applied it the entire summer and I love it! I would’ve given extra points if it came in a tube instead of the flat box.

Price or amount can be adjusted, packaging as well: 🌺🌺🌺 + 1/2 🌺

In the first episode of Confession Of A Makeup Junkie, we discussed how Florence by Mills costs an arm and leg and it’s not a different scenario for Forest Essentials. The prices are way too handsome an amount for the smaller quantities (such as lip balm, cleansing paste and serum).

The line promotes clean skincare, Ayurveda and cruelty-free testing which deserves plus points! The essential products are designed with precision but serums can be improvised in terms of both—quality and quantity. I am yet to try the parfumerie but from what I’ve read on the site, it’s excellent. For anyone who isn’t into chemicals at all then this brand is a good choice—these are free from parabens, sulphates and synthetic/artificial fragrances. It’s also a great way to support Indian farmers who grow organic ingredients in the sweltering summers!

Calculating my generosity: 🌺🌺🌺🌺

Thank you so much for sparing your precious time for this post! You all have extremely nice and supportive on all of my posts! Thanks to my sister for helping me click pictures! I’m honestly not going to try my hand at photography again because hoo boy, this took a lotta effort! Stay tuned for more updates! 🙂


By the day, I’m an avid reader, writer and a bio-chemistry student and by the night, I’m a makeup addict and a full-time procrastinator. Mostly the latter.

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