African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil

Hi guys! I can't believe a whole month's passed since I last posted! I hope you haven't forgotten about me ;) 

I've been doing so much traveling in June and July and today's review on Marula Oil is definitely one of the best travel essentials you can ever have.

I purchased this from Urban Outfitters sometime in May for the purpose of trying marula oil. In the past I have used Vitamin E, Jojoba, Coconut, and Argan, all of which are wonderful. But the skincare junkie in me could not resist... !

To start, i had to do some research, like WHAT THE HECK IS THIS OIL??! ;) My findings concluded that marula oil is extracted from the nuts of the Marula tree. This Marula tree is indigenous to South Africa and the South Africans have been pressing the kernals (nuts) for the oil and using it as moisturizers, healing, and even in their cooking.

Some of the benefits of marula oil is that this oil contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants like vitaminc C + E, both of  which contribute to cell regeneration, healing and shielding against free radicals from our environment. Another benefit that I learned from their website is that marula oil contains very high levels of omega 9 and 6, both of which are essential fatty acids that help penetrate the skin to deeply nourish it. This product is also infused with Neroli oil which is a type of white flower that grows from the orange tree. Neroli oil has its own benefits as well - to smooth out wrinkles and to promote a clear complexion. 

My first application of this oil was after cleansing my face. The oil is actually quite light and not as greasy as I thought it would be. It has a very unique smell of citrus and musk, a bit woodsy. It's beautiful though. A bit intoxicating at first but I am okay with. Those who are sensitive to smell should be cautious about this. I patted it all over my face and by morning my skin had absorbed it all. After 2 months of using this daily I have to say my skin has gotten softer. 

I mentioned I did a lot of traveling in the months of June and July and I have brought it with me everywhere! In NY, where weather and pollution are bad, i felt like my skin has reaped its benefits on a nightly basis. I only use this in the evenings when I sleep because that's when our skin and body does the most healing. Honestly, it works really well, and my skin's been agreeing with it. My skin looks refreshed, awake and definitely more hydrated. The weather in CA is quite dry in the summer so this definitely helps lock in moisture in the evenings!

It's really such a beautiful oil to use and I couldn't think of another luxury in such a pretty glass bottle! 

Overall, I'd definitely recommend people to try it. I think this is definitely a luxury type of oil to splurge on but it's effective and also very therapeutic. It is a multipurpose oil for skin, hair and body but I primarily use it on my face because it seems to work perfectly for it. And a little does go on a long way. This is a 2 oz bottle that'll last for at least 6 months, if not more. Recently, i started using a glycolic cream and I pat this oil over it because the glycolic does sting a bit. I'll let you guys know how that goes soon! 

I can't wait to catch up with you on the blog. Please connect with me on Instagram! I know I'm starting to get really into it and would love to have more friends!!! ;) Talk to you guys soon!


Urban Outfitters mini-haul!

I haven't shopped at Urban Outfitters for the longest time! But I found some goodies and I can't wait to get them!

Of course...a beauty item first. I'm anxious to try this marula oil now. I've never actually heard of it but it seems quite nice. Like a different version of argan oil? I don't know but can't wait to find out! ^_^

$29.99, originally $85.00

One of these awesome bags for my mom for her birthday. 
$19.99, originally $59 or something

Can't wait to see these items when they arrive ;) 


May in Photos

Up in the air again. I really love flying in the morning because the scenery is just. Amazing.

Capturing Bacon ;) My sweet cat.

The sun's out :)

My new librarian cardigan

My May purchases: for hair and skin

Phil'z coffee at work. Best place ever!

I finally found Lady & the Vamp. It's pretty, but the shade doesn't stay that color.

Delicious capp from Four Barrel Coffee. What a treat :)

Last weekend I had the pleasure of using Airbnb to book a gorgeous cottage home to stay for a few days. It was definitely an awesome getaway! The house was like a fairy tale, complete with a secret garden, and vintage touches.

Cute vanity area

Quaint little area that's perfect to enjoy a coffee and a book

Figs from the garden. Beautiful!

Delicious Japanese food! So fresh tasting and what a variety!

One more shot of the garden.

In the kitchen with the morning light seeping through

Enjoying this fantastic merlot at Vino Locale for a friend's birthday. Sorry for the blurred photo! 

Happy Birthday to my beautiful friend and colleague! 

Birthday cake from Paris Baguette! YUM. It was an almond cake decorated with macaroons and mousse cups.


Hair creams, hair serums hair oils ... mini reviews.

I am a self proclaimed hair junkie. I'm always looking for new hair treatments, oils and potions for my dry, parched hair. I can't help it... hair products are my weakness! Here are some of my thoughts. I hope you find this helpful ;)

Chi products are really hit or miss. I've tried some of their shampoos and conditioners and hated them. However, the Silk Infusion remains one of their best sellers. Their hair treatments, i think, are great. In fact, the hairspray is really good! I don't often use hairspray but it has a very light hold, makes my hair feel soft and flexible and has a great scent. Their silk infusion hair treatment is also amazing!!! I love it. I love the scent, and I love the soft silky texture. It makes my hair feel really silky and the frizz is kept to a minimum. I recommend both of these products. Silk Infusion retails for $25.00 for a 12 oz bottle. 

Kerastase is a professional line of luxury hair products from Loreal. These two are my favorites:
Oleo-complex: Kerastase's crown jewel hair oil. It has a very silky texture and a heavy finish. Beautifully scented like amber and wood, its musky scent lingers gorgeously for hours. It is effective and works really well to soften and condition my hair but I don't think you'd need to have this AND the Chi Silk Infusion. They essentially feel the same and I get the same results, the only difference is the scent. It's around $30.00 for a 4.2 oz bottle. 

Serum Nutri-Sculpt: This product has been discontinued already but I like the way it feels on my hair. It's definitely not as good as the Oleo-Complex but it's still nice. I think this is more beneficial for people with fine or short hair because It's VERY light.

This is one of my more recent acquisitions. I like it but I'm not crazy about it. The scent is actually really overwhelming. I'm not sure if it's to hide the strong odor of the keratin? I read that online somewhere. This product claims to have the perfect infusion of keratin proteins and argon oil, making it a hair treatment that works well for people with damaged hair. When I use this on the ends of my hair, it definitely feels softer but I'm not sure if it's reversing any actual damage. My hair has a healthier bounce to it but it's nowhere worth the $40 price tag! Another thing I like the gorgeous glass bottle and the dropper. It's really awesome! This one can be skipped. It's a hoarder's product (haha). 

The Ojon Damage Reverse serum claims to repair and restore dry, damaged hair. I remembered seeing this at Sephora and I was like...MUST. HAVE!!!! :) So I ended up buying the full sized bottle sometime last year. I use this about once a week with towel dried hair. It's quite rich and oily so I use it pretty sparingly. It's perfect for people with coarse thick hair. Definitely would not recommend it to anyone with fine hair because it really weighs hair down. Scent is really nice. Something of lavenders. Very herbal-ish. I like. Serum is worth the $25.00 price tag :)

Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum: One of my first hair serums ever! This is a recurring purchase. I love how simple it is and how natural it makes my hair feel. Perfect for blow drying and styling. Very lightweight, absorbs really quickly and leaves absolutely no residue! Scent is also fresh and fruity. Non lingering. Affordable at $20 for a 5.1 oz bottle.

Biosilk Silk Therapy: This one is much like the Chi Silk Infusion. Very much alike! I'd say the Biosilk one is a tad thicker but gives essentially the same results. I think it's also a good product to use for styling because the silky formula absorbs quickly and softens hair considerably. This is a must-have!
 It's a bit pricey at $25.00 for a 5.6 oz bottle. 

Fekkai Essential Shea Pot de Creme: Sadly, this is probably the worst product of the bunch :( I had so much hope for it because leave-in conditioners are really good for damaged hair. But this product just made my hair feel really sticky, and extra dry. I didn't really like it despite its gorgeous scent and beautiful pot! $25.00 for a 5.2 oz pot.

Viva Labs Organic Coconut Oil: Alternatively, coconut oil is such an amazing hair treatment. I actually use it a lot on my hair. It is really oily but it absorbs SO quickly in my hair!!! The fatty acids in the oil really hydrate and soften my hair. I'm hoping that over time the coconut oil will actually make my hair healthier instead of it just "appearing" healthier. This coconut oil is a great value at $12.95 for a 16 oz pot. 

Eden Pure Moroccan Argan Oil: I'm done with this oil already. It's a nice, simple oil that isn't fancy nor commercialized. This oil is really light - too light. My hair didn't benefit from it too much. It was too light of a product that it didn't do anything. It must have something to do with the concentrations of the actual Argan oil. It retails for $30.00 for a 2.2 oz bottle.

Moroccan Oil: The ever famous bottle is....really amazing. I mean honestly it is really good! I'm not sure if it's the way they process the oil but it makes my hair really nice. No other argan oils I have tried are actually this potent. It was recommended to me to use it on wet hair but it can be used for both. My hair's thanked me for using this! I'm having much more good hair days than bad. This retails for $43.00 for a 3.4 oz bottle. 

Lucido-L Treatment Oil: This still remains one of my favorite hair oils! It's really light but it makes my hair feel very bouncy and soft. It also smells amazing! It's just beautiful. Really high quality drugstore product! It's like a lighter version of the Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum! It's around $16 for a  1.69 oz bottle. Best if you can get this in Asia!!! 

Herbal Esseences Tousling Mousse: Nothing special about this but it styles really well on dry hair. I don't like the tackiness it makes my hair feel when wet but it keeps the frizzies away and smells really floral and fresh. It's also around $3.00 for a huge 6.8 oz bottle. 

By comparison, prices vary widely between brands but broken down, a lot of luxury hair products seem to be more affordable per ounce. For example, Silk Infusion from Chi is only $2.08 per ounce versus Biosilk's $4.46 per ounce price tag. Both are comparable (in my opinion) so it's really up to you how much you think it's worth. My least favorite hair serum is the KeratinPerfect one which costs a whopping $23.52 per ounce! Yikes! Whereas Moroccan Oil is nearly half the price per ounce. A much better value :) 

Chi Silk Infusion: $2.08 per oz
Kerastase Oleo-Complex: $7.14 per oz
KeratinPerfect: $23.52 per oz
Ojon Reverse Damage Serum: $14.70 per oz
Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum: $3.92 per oz
Biosilk: $4.46 per oz
Fekkai Pot de Creme: $4.80 per oz 
Eden Pure Moroccan Argan Oil: $13.63 per oz
Moroccan Oil: $12.64 per oz

What are YOUR favorite hair treatments? Styling products? :)


Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment and Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment


I am just absolutely in love with these lip treatments. These were from the Sephora birthday gift I got last year and I didn't open it until now! o_o

These two are the most popular selling lip treatments from Fresh. It includes the Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15, and a tinted rose lip treatment that also has SPF 15 in it. First off, the packaging is so pretty. To open these lippies, you have to twist the screw top which is so functional and smart so lids won't go flying off in your handbag. Brilliant.

The texture of these treatments are both identical. They glide on very smoothly and has a very hydrating formula. It's formulated with lots of natural oils (blackcurrent being one of them), fatty acids and real sugar. The oils really provide a lot of nourishment and my lips feel incredible with it on. 
They claim to be free of petroleum, mineral oil and lanolin which are the main ingredients in most commercial lip balms. Because it's formulated without those ingredients, both treatments are actually very soft. If you're in warm weather, these can melt very easily. 

Scent-wise, it has a really bright lemon-y scent that isn't overwhelming. It's quite refreshing and reminds me of lemon bars. 

Here are the swatches. The sugar lip treatment is really glossy and pretty. The tinted rose one has a really pretty, very subtle color. So pretty!

Between the two, if I were to choose one, I would choose the tinted one. Essentially they feel identical on my lips and one isn't more hydrating than the other so I'd definitely go with color ;)

The only con I have with these is the melt factor. Because it's so natural, you also have to be aware that these can melt in warm weather. I ran them across my lips and I can feel it melting from the tube! 

These lip treatments are on the pricier side and run about $22.50 each for the full size. It's definitely a splurge but they are just irresistible!

Do you like these lip treatments? :)


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