In the last four or five days, I’ve experienced two electricity blackouts; two mornings of frozen pipes in the apartment (equals no water); and the internet being down many times. Not to mention, the other night, I was walking across a square in Thimphu (Bhutan) and nearly fell into a giant hole. There are no street lights in Thimphu, hence the square was not lit up. There were no barricades around the giant hole to warn hapless foreigners that it would take just one second to disappear.

Tonight, I have a few buckets of water ready and have been advised to let a cold water tap drip all night. This is a standard trick in the South Island of NZ – to minimize the possibility of you waking up to no water after a freezing cold night.

But, dear reader, no water, no internet or disappearing down giant holes can get in the way of makeup shopping! Well, to tell you the truth, I’ve seen no makeup in any shops in Thimphu. What I have discovered though is fabulous Indian oils, lotions and potions. I plan to buy up big next week as things are pretty cheap.

So below, you’ll see six items. From L-R:

  • Parachute Advansed Jasmine Coconut Hair Oil. Really don’t like the name of this product and can’t they spell Advanced properly? Guess it’s a fancy marketing gimmick. Whatever. It’s a non-sticky, delicately-scented oil and the great news is – no leakage. It comes with a handy little flip-top cap and the oil is quickly absorbed. Made in India and I swear it makes my hair look shinier. I bought a 100ml bottle just to try it out and will get a 300ml bottle to take back to NZ. This cost around NZ$2.50.
  • Yogiraaj Ayurvedic Herbal Relief oil. This supposedly has 16 rare herbs that help ease headache, stress and promote sound sleep. I was intrigued enough to buy this gorgeous smelling Indian oil and man, does it work! Knocked me out within 10 minutes of hitting the pillow, which is rare for me. The night before washing my hair, I slap this stuff into the scalp and hair. Another product I’ll be buying up to take back home. The scent is so delightful, I’m thinking of wearing it as a body lotion. It cost around NZ$4.00.
  • Lotus Herbals Cherry Bliss Body Lotion. The cold air here is drying up my skin so off I went in search of a good body lotion. I didn’t bring one with me as I’m travelling light. Lotus Herbals is an Indian brand and this lotion is enriched with strawberry and cherry extracts. It has a really delightful soft cherry scent and absorbs super-fast. Easy-to-use pump and the lotion is a lovely consistency. I’ve spotted this in vanilla as well as almond, so I plan to purchase one of each. This cost around NZ$4.00.
  • Himalaya Herbals Anti-Wrinkle Cream. This brand is very popular here in Bhutan and I can see why. I’ve gone a bit la-la over the products frankly, starting with this cream. It contains aloe vera, grape, red poppy, lemon and sandalwood tree extracts. Lovely smooth consistency; absorbs easily and I swear the next morning my skin looked less red. I bought the small 25g tub but am sold on it and will buy the larger 50ml tub. This cost about NZ$5.00.
  • Himalaya Herbals Protein Conditioner. I didn’t bring a conditioner with me – the travelling light thing again – but the water here has turned my hair into a bird’s nest. This conditioner is rich without weighing my hair down and is specifically for softness and shine. It contains sunflower oil, yarrow, lotus and Indian gooseberry. Am considering lugging another bottle back to NZ. Cost was around NZ$3.00.
  • Himalaya Herbals Gentle Hydrating Face Wash. OMG. What a stand-out product this is. It has the most gorgeous scent – presumably from its key ingredients of aloe and cucumber. It’s a soap-free, cream-based cleanser that is light pink in colour. I only need a tiny bit, which I massage into the skin before adding some water. Takes off every bit of makeup and leaves no tight feeling. It’s so moisturizing, I reckon I could skip the night-time treatment oil (but I don’t). I’ll defs be taking back more tubes of this beauty and it’s pretty cheap at around NZ$2.50.

IMG_2227I’ve also bought a couple of organic soaps make in Bhutan and a Lotus brand rosewater spray. I’ll show you these in future posts.