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Of Soot & Sap: Forest Essentials Makes Makeup a Healthy Skin Food

Ayurveda, once a developing niche across the world, is a popular integrated beauty solution now. Expanding beyond its skincare and fragrance ranges, Forest Essentials has reintroduced some ancient beauty rituals by launching a natural makeup collection. And take our word, this new line has set out to replace every product in your vanity

LF Says: ★★★★

Forest Essentials Kajal

The world of cosmetics is getting jolted as ever-demanding consumers claim their rights to define beauty on their terms. Makeup has become an extension of our everyday routine where products for practically every application we can think of are available. Now, we want healthy and clean cosmetics that entertain our concept of ‘makeup infused with skincare’. Providing answers to modern demands, the well-known Indian pioneer of luxury Ayurveda, Forest Essentials, has expanded their horizons with an ‘Artisanal Beauty Collection’.

“We wanted to transform the way women use makeup and create makeup that blurs the line between skincare and makeup with pared-down multitaskers that makes skin feel as good as it does when you’re not wearing makeup at all,” says Neha Rawla, Head of Brand Communications. Loved for its highly effective and luxurious ayurvedic formulations for holistic beauty, the brand reintroduces some of ancient beauty practices and natural ingredients. 

Those who have used Forest Essentials before are already fans of its silky serums and lotions. And the fragrances…oh my…will take you back to an Indian forest lush with roses and jasmines! 

Forest Essentials makeup

The new makeup collection by Forest Essentials, which stays true to the brand’s character, includes kajals and lip serums, inspired by ancient beauty where soot from earthen diyas and beetroot was used to enhance beauty. Elated to experience Ayurvedic beauty, I tried the Madhu Rasa Gulaab Jal and Misri Cardamom from their Tinted Lip Serum collection; and Ash Gray and Charcoal Black from their Gulaab Khaas Kajal collection. 

The Eye Magic

The entire collection is crafted with traditional Ayurvedic processes, free of chemicals and sustainably sourced organic seasonal ingredients. The grey colour of the kajal is obtained from a mix of herb ash, mulethi, and iron oxide whereas the brown colour is from a paste of nutmeg, Neem bark, and iron oxide. The formulations are one of a kind containing castor oil, pure cow’s ghee, fresh rose petals, camphor that gives a paste-like consistency, nourishing and emollient in nature. 

“Kajal is one of the oldest natural beauty products and has been used by generations of Indian women. Mothers apply Kajal to their baby’s eyes with the belief that it will improve their eyesight and ward off evil, as a sign of protection. In India, Kajal is not considered makeup but is a part of a woman’s identity. We wanted to allow people to understand that a Kajal is not just a cosmetic product but offers therapeutic benefits too,” expresses Ms. Rawla. 

Forest Essentials Kajals

Both the kajals are really light to put on, comfortable for when you’re on your constant Zoom calls. Added to that, these naturally selected ingredients are said to have a soothing effect, keep eyes cool and moisturised. What I loved the most was the fact that they deliver rich intense colours, easy to glide and apply. It doesn’t add extra pressure to the eyes after wearing and can really make them bright and stand out. They stay intact for long durations, do not make the eyes dry and best, suits all Indian skin tones. 

Lush Lip Serums

Lip tints and serums are surely going to be the next big thing. What initially catches your eye is the gold sleek packaging. The lip serums come in a lustrous, super luxe tubular boxes. They were inspired by ancient rituals of using natural juices and infusions to add colour to the lips. These tints contain a miraculous serum containing pure cow’s ghee, softening butter of shea and cocoa with potent herb infusions. They also contain hand-pressed oils of virgin coconut, sweet almond and moringa along with natural extracts of the variant chosen.

The ‘Gulaab Jal’ gives a rose coloured tint and is scented delicately of fresh rose – it just makes you happy and warm. They are good to use as a nice, natural cheek flush too! 

Forest Essentials lip serums

The Cardamom Misri (my favourite) reminds you of a sweet, homely essence. It delivers a rich, compelling caramel tint, and its a perfect shade that goes with every Indian skin tone! 

These lip conditioners have an excellent colour pigmentation, keep the lips moist and hydrated. Although the colour might fade in about 2 hours and you may need to reapply for more colour, the conditioning effect of the serum stays throughout. The lip serums also come in Coconut Kesar and Anar Rasa shades. 

Explaining their philosophy, Ms. Rawla says, “With our new Artisanal Beauty Collection, we wanted to re-introduce these age-old rituals to our discerning customers with diverse complexions, features, and skin types. If you cannot eat it, do not use it on your skin. That is the Ayurvedic standard for pure and natural. Whilst our skincare formulations are food for the skin, we have retained the same idea in our Artisanal Beauty Collection.”

Forest Essentials lip serums all shades

Discovering Ayurvedic Beauty

Given the situation we find ourselves in, wellness in all its avatars has taken centre stage. The Ayurvedic beauty industry has gained momentum in a big way. It saw an increased number of people switching from chemical to natural ingredients. “Although we get most of our nutrition orally, the skin ingests nutrients as well. In fact, unlike the food we chew and swallow before it is absorbed, creams, lotions, and oils, bypass the digestive process and go full strength into the bloodstream. Think of your beauty products, not as cosmetics, but as food,” states Ms. Rawla.

Natural makeup has come a long way in the last five years. Where it was once difficult—if not impossible—to find natural products with vivid colours, a wide range of skin tone options and long-lasting staying power, this is no longer the case. The global health crisis has led customers to seek out safer, natural alternatives. One of the biggest breakthroughs for the Indian beauty industry is the shift towards conscious beauty, referring to the growth of more responsible consumers, aware and mindful of the origin of the products they use.

Our Verdict

Being light-weight, nourishing and all healthy, we loved how casually we could apply Forest Essentials makeup products and feel at home. The simple yet elegant packaging is pleasing. And that an ayurvedic cosmetic product can give such high-performance is just the tip of the iceberg! The collection is packed with organic goodness, delivers rich colours with delicous aromas and leave a nourishing effect. Well, what’s not to love?

Forest Essentials natural makeup collection

Forest Essentials has been home to some wonderful wellness products and now, they have become a one-stop destination for natural beauty products.

LF Says: ★★★★