Month: June 2016

J.One Jelly Pack

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ja jiwonYet another ingenious Korean Beauty creation by Ha Jiwon, popular Korean actress and K-beauty trendsetter.

Claims to be a multi-tasker that firms skin, hydrates, and ‘grips’ makeup all in one for a flawless, plump complexion.
Spoiler: YES I agree with every single claim! It performs as promises.

Glow Recipe explains how it works:
The unique jelly texture melts into the skin with gentle patting, creating an ultra smooth canvas for flawless makeup application. Fragmented hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates while fullerene acts as an “oxygen magnet” to brighten complexion. The makeup gripping properties also helps the silky smooth application of any foundation or sunscreen used afterwards. The Jelly Pack is also nicknamed the ‘corset mask’ for its instantly tensing and firming effect. For their video click here.

At first, I was immensely skeptical of this product, its claims and ingredients. Then I played with it on back of my hand and I thought I’m definitely going to hate it. But I knew Christine from Glow Recipe loves this product and truly recommends it.

The packaging is a solid opaque plastic bottle with a pump. Disadvantage I cannot see when the product will come to an end and at what stage I need to stock up. Yes it’s become a staple for my makeup routines especially in summer.

With an open mind I gave it a go the following morning on my face. I dispensed 2 pumps of the schmicky clear odourless gel on index finger. Then spread evenly on face, it felt like spreading sticky honey on face. Unlike regular water or oil based serum it didn’t absorb or melt in skin.

Once schmeared all over, instructions said pat pat pat. Once the patting motion started, it felt sticky. Not in a disgusting way but not in a pleasing way either. My skin felt like that sticky schmicky tape ready to trap whatever I slap on next. In a matter of few seconds, the skin was dry, smooth and firmed from a sagging ol prune to nice juicy grape.

I used my L’oreal Cushion foundation with Real techniques sponge and it felt like the product clung onto the skin so well. Finished makeup, applied my Soap and Glory Kick Ass Powder and set off for the day. I did blot my face at lunch and everything appeared to be in place.

P1040494Fast Forward to 6pm: makeup was intact, product hasn’t moved at all. I’ve tried this with all my bases (see my morning routines) below. It was worked really well with all bases. In terms of application tools I used RT sponge, brushes and good ol’ fingers. I found sponge and fingers worked best with lots of patting motions. Much to my surprise this product photographs really well.


Ingredient Speak:

The formula is Free of:  Parabens, Synthetic Dyes & Fragrances, Mineral Oils.

Not only has my skin appreciated a decent primer but also loving how firm, taut and hydrated my skin feels. From an ingredient speak perspective the fourth inci is Niacinamide, you know how much that tickles my soul. Addition of Rose water, Rosemary water, Chamomile water, Fermented Black tea (works as humectant), Cogon Grass root extract, Water Lily Flower extract, Sea Daffodil Flower Extract, Glycerin, Adenosine, Hylauronic Acid with a blend of some preservatives and thickeners.

Suitable for all skin types, although dry skins might need a little bit more. In fact, I don’t know how it will perform in winter given my skin is a bit more demanding.

All in all, thumbs up from me unless winter skin makes me change my mind.

HHW.com

xx

AnnMarie Skincare Anti Aging Facial Oil

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AnnMarie Skincare, a brand that wasn’t on my radar at all. Then one fine day, along comes this brand’s rep offering me to try this brand. Quick glance at inci list of their products and I agreed. I chose the Anti Aging Facial Oil…am I’m sooo glad I picked this. I’ve fallen in love with this oil. So the brand claims:

Our facial oil for dry and mature skin was designed to be super moisturizing, and is pure “skin care nutrition.”  – I know the brand recommends for dry and mature skin, but with such powerful antioxidants and wonderful blend of oils I believe it would suit absolutely any skin type.

The result is a combination of healing herbs, antioxidants and moisturizing oils that will diminish fine lines and ensure your complexion is supple and soft. – Without a shadow of doubt, the blend of ingredients speaks volumes about the product. 

This formula is made with a special blend of red raspberry, acai, broccoli, and pomegranate give your skin a powerful antioxidant boost. It also features plantain, a herb that stimulates collagen, and has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. – I cannot speak to collagen boost to my skin but it has surely soothed my angry skin and moisturized really well.

The Ingredients listing is where its all at:

*Sunflower seed oil, herb infused oil (*jojoba oil, sesame seed oil, *calendula flowers, *comfrey leaves, *comfrey root, *echinacea purpurea, *gingko leaves, *goji berries, *gotu kola leaves, *hibiscus flowers, *lavender flowers, *lemon balm, *licorice root, *life everlasting flowers, *lotus stamen, *plantago leaves, *rhodiola, *rooibos, *rose petals, *rosemary leaves, *green tea leaves, *shavegrass (horsetail herb), *violet leaves, *acai fruit, *amla, *ashwagandha, *frankincense, *milk thistle seed), *hemp seed oil, *rosehip seed oil, *pumpkin seed oil, red raspberry seed oil, *chia seed oil, *carrot seed oil, *broccoli seed oil, *pomegranate seed oil, cranberry seed oil, *black cumin seed oil, *acai berry oil, *buriti fruit oil, sea buckthorn berry extract, non-GMO vitamin E tocopherols, sandalwood oil, vetiver oil, *Moroccan rose absolute, sweet fennel oil, *jasmine sambac absolute, frankincense oil.

*Organic or wildcrafted

It appears like a lot of ingredients but the concoction has resulted in something divine. It smells Incredible (frankincense, sandalwood, vetiver, morroccan rose, sweet fennel and jasmine). It is really soothing and pleasing to my senses. The colour of oil is deep mustardish oil, but consistency is light and easily absorbed by my skin. Noteworthy mention to the absence of pipette in packaging. It’s a Pump!!! These days a Pump makes me Jump. I guess I’m sooo over pipette <rolls eyes>.

Whilst this juice doesn’t come cheap at $3.34 per ml ($49.95 for 15ml), little goes a long way. I use only a pump and half for entire face and neck. Occasionally even mix with MV Skincare Jojoba Oil. The results following morning are nothing short of spectacular.

I did receive a small trial set for normal to combination skin which included:

Aloe Herb Facial Cleanser – beautiful lemoney zingy cleanser with slightest bit of foaming action. Wonderful summer cleanser

Neroli Toning Mist – Winner…after the oil obvs. Light, refreshing and smells amazing.

Repair Serum – now this is tricky one, due to its sample packaging the product barely dispensed and its still sitting on my shelf staring at me hoping for some love. I still think the oil is bomb.com

Have you tried anything from this line? Your thoughts?

HHW.com

xx

 

Insight – Mahogany Naturals

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Many of you may have noticed on my Instagram account my new found love for Mahogany Naturals products. Mahogany Naturals is created by hair stylist Tope Beesley in 2012 to specifically address the needs of curly, textured and afro hair. Tope is also a certified Aromatherapist & Beauty Therapist so she understands how ingredients and essential oils affect different skins, hair and scalp conditions.

Tope believes everything has a purpose but most importantly, the products are meant to de-stress and relieve anxiety. As with any artisanal skincare, Mahogany Naturals is also hand made in small batches to retain its freshness in the historical town of Bletchley Milton Keynes, UK. They are PETA CERTIFIED as a cruelty free company and all  ingredients are 100% natural, organic, not tested on animals and are vegetarian friendly.

SNEAK PEEK: Keep an eye out on my Instagram, a giveaway of products will be announced to win some of the products mentioned below.

Meet Tope, below is my lil chat with this gorgeous talented woman

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1. Why Mahogany Naturals (why the name and why create this brand)?
The name Mahogany has always been a part of me. I remember using it since I was a teenager. It means strength, luxury and the best from mother nature.
2. The new trend of ‘Green Beauty’ is falsely misleading some customers as they’re not all completely natural or green….your thoughts? How is Mahogany Naturals truly natural? 
Everything we use is completely natural. I started out mixing formulations in my kitchen from my fridge to my food cabinet.  Even our preservative is naturally derived. I do roll my eyes when I see well known brands slap “natural” on the front label but then you look at the ingredients list and silicons and harsh chemicals are in the first 5 ingredients. I urge everyone to go straight to the ingredients list and familiarize themselves with it.
(You see why I love Tope so much, she insists on same thing, check the ingredient listing, get the past the claims of the product)
3. What motivates you to create new products? How are you inspired with different ingredients?
First of all my family is number one, my children and husband inspire me to start formulation my own recipes. I am also a qualified Hairstylist and Aromatherapist so I have the knowledge of the effects of essential oils and how to blend them. I also see a problem when a client comes to me and if I don’t have a product that solves their issue I work on formulating something.
4. Skincare market is saturated and everyday new brands are coming up. How does Mahogany Naturals distinguish itself from other brands in market?
I stay true to the essentials. I keep it simple with my ingredients and use only the best and highest quality ingredients. I don’t make any wild claims. I let the products speak for themselves and work their magic.
5. What skincare advise did you receive as a little girl and what advise do you give your children?
I don’t think I specifically got any skincare advice as a kid. I just grew a passion for it as I got older. My kids use everything I use from head to toe. My girls are always very moisturised. I explain to them that if you look after yourself from a young age you grow old gracefully and stay looking youthful for longer.

You can follow Tope and the brand on Instagram (click here)

EXPRESS REVIEWS

IMG_9266This is where my love affair with Mahogany Naturals began. Hair Mask with Rhassoul Cocoa, Honey Deep Hair Treatment. Its rich, delicious, intoxicating, intriguing texture had me all over it. Admittedly slightly heavy for my hair type (fine, thin and flat), but I can see this would be deeply adored with very dry and brittle hair. I carefully glanced at ingredient listing and decided to use as face mask! Fabulous deeply moisturizing for skin. Have a closer look at this decadent pot of lushness.
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Rhassoul, Raw honey, (Theobroma Cacao) Organic cocoa powder, Theobroma cacao Unrefined cocoa butter, (Aloe Barbadensis) Organic aloe vera, (Olea Europa) Extra virgin olive oil, (ulmus rub) Slippery elm, Guar, emulsifier, essential oils.

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Next hair treatment I tried was the Coconut Water Restorative Hair Mask, this suited my hair perfectly. I’ve used it as pre shampoo and post shampoo and my hair loves this mask. Also it smells beautiful (as with all Mahogany Naturals product). Scent wise I’ve yet to come across any product from this brand that I don’t like. This hair mask is not as dense as Rhassoul Clay and glides effortlessly through the hair strands.

Packaging wise all products come in plastic containers (not flimsy at all) with all information on labels. They are environmentally friendly and recognize the fact that we throw boxes!!!

(Aloe Barbadensis) Aloe vera, Coconut water, Organic castor oil, (Ricinus communis) Shea butter, Organic coconut oil (Cocos nucifera). Organic honey (Prunus Dulcis), Sweet almond oil, (Tocopherol) vitamin E, Vegatable glycerine, (Olea Europaea) Extra Virgin olive oil, silk amino acids, cetearyl alcohol, optiphen

P1040247My personal favorite skincare range from this brand is truly de-stressing component of my skincare regime. It really uplifts my mood from the shittiest day in the history of my existence. If asked to choose one product from this line up, I would walk away from all three because I cannot choose. Its all or nothing.

Cleansing Oil – perfect as morning or second cleanse, I dont prefer using this lush oil for makeup removal because I want direct contact to feed and nourish my skin and not deal with my war paint issues. Doesn’t emulsify with water but comes off effortlessly with hot cloth. I don’t need to specifically talk about the scent, just glance at inci list below.

(vitis vinifera) Grape Seed Oil, (olea europaea) olive oil, (citus sinensis) sweet Orange Oil, (melaleuca alternifolia) tea tree oil , Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Oil, lavender, camomile,  Eucalyptus radiata oil.

Next up, Face Hydrating Repair Oil. Yes we all know I have a major weakness for oils. But oils like this, where the Man of house calls it his own, means we have a clear winner. We need a moment here, to appreciate my Man uses face oil, this in the past has always been a forced measure. Now he is willingly doing it himself. Reasons behind this you may ask: well the uplifting scent, with instantly absorbing formulation, leaving the skin with a hydrated plump feel. What more could I ask for?!

(Oenothera fiennis) Evening primrose, (Sclerocarya birrea) macula, (Adansonia Digitata) baobab, (tocopherol) vitamin e, camellia, (Rosa canina) rosehip, (Persea americana) avocado, teatree, (Anthemis Nobilis) camomile, (Rosmarinus officinalis) rosemary.

Now the one that took me by surprise, Manuka Face Cream. I’ll be honest I don’t like or appreciate creams as much as face oils (in case you didn’t already know that!). However if you ask why that is the case, please click here as I have detailed post on this.

The first point of difference with this cream, the first ingredient is Aloe Vera. Second the addition of Manuka Honey 20+ factor as third ingredient. Tope is not mucking about with rubbish ingredients, she knows the true value of good quality ingredients. Much to my surprise the addition of Shea Butter did not congest or break me out. The preservative and emulsifier is also from natural source. Another reason why this won my heart, it’s in a bottle with a pump, no filthy fingering business.

Instantly absorbs, in same scent profile as other skincare products, immediate softness and plumpness in skin. Fabulous as makeup base or for basic Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize routine.

Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf extract, Light Coconut Oil, Manuka Honey 20+, Avocado oil, Butyrosperum Parkii (Organic Shea Butter), Rosemary oil, Glyceryl stearate, Stearic acid, Glycerin, Collagen (Marine), Cetyl Alcohol, Hippohae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn seed oil), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)

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Lastly the body care category, my favourite from this range is the body oil. The best combination is soak in bath salts and then slap on the body oil. I smell and feel bloody amazing.

Body Oil: (Vitis vinifera) Grapeseed oil, (Olea europaea) Virgin Olive Oil, Eucalyptus radiate, Lavandula officinalis oil, (Citrus Grandis) Grapefruit oil.

Bath Salts: Sodium Chloride Rock Crystal, Geranium Oil, Vegetable Glycerine, rose oil, eucalyptus oil, Allura Red

The deodorant is used more as body mist for me, I’m a woman who needs clinical protection deodorant for my kinda activities.

Have you tried anything from this brand? Alsooooo keep your eyes peeled for the giveaway on my Instagram.

HHW.com

xx

Array of Cleansing Oils

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Cleansing Oils….. we’ve all tried, tested, used, liked, loved, adopted, gifted, repurchased, reviewed, raved and done everything in between. These are my current cleansing oils on rotation for cleansing skin and removing makeup. The array of selection is from various geographical regions and price points. Due to the very nature of oils, all skin types can use cleansing oils. In terms of removal methods, some prefer emulsifying I prefer hot cloth steam.

Bravura London First Cleanse Oil 

£14.50/USD$21 150ml=$0.14 per ml

I’ve said it before and I will say it again in exact same words: Simple, Basic, Fuss free, Effective & Efficient at dissolving and removing makeup, Emulsifying, Non Sticky, One pump job, Inexpensive.

Wonderful certified organic carrier oils are used such as Safflower, Avocado and Vitamin which perform an excellent job whilst essential oils such as Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary give it an extra edge from a pleasing scent perspective.

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride(From Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate (emulsifier), Tocopherol (Vit.E), Anthemis Nobilis Oil* (Roman Chamomile Essential Oil), Lavandula Officinalis Oil* (Lavender Essential Oil), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*. 

*Certified Organic

Mahogany Naturals Soothing Cleansing Oil 

£35/USD$50 120ml =$0.41 per ml

A new entrant on my cleansing oil scene, but one I instantly love for cleansing my skin or morning cleanse. Its a rather simple formulation with a soothing blend of grape seed oil, olive and lovely essential oils (sweet orange, tea tree, jasmine, lavender, camomile, eucalyptus). With tea tree and eucalyptus it has a beautiful uplifting scent. This oil doesn’t emulsify with water but cleanses effortlessly with hot cloth.

Grape Seed Oil (vitis vinifera), olive oil (Olea europaea), Sweet Orange Oil (citus sinensis), Tea Tree oil (melaleuca alternifolia), Jasmine Flower Oil (Jasminum Officinale), Lavender, Camomile,  Eucalyptus radiata oil.

Aesop Parsley Cleansing Oil

$57 6.8fl.oz/200ml=$0.28 per ml

A gentle cleanser that activates with water and converts to beautiful milky emulsion. I’ve used it to remove makeup and cleanse skin as well. Possibly my fave Aesop cleanser with gorgeous earthy scent in a whopping 200ml glass bottle.

Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, C12-13 Pareth-3, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Bisabolol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Beta-Carotene, Linalool.

MV Organic 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic

AUD$99/USD$98 65ml =$1.50 per ml

This be the Rolls Royce of cleansing oils denting the pocket by $1.50 per ml but leaves distressed, angry, irritated skin, as calm, soothed and nourished as possible. Definitely not for makeup removal, just wrong. However as morning or second cleanse it is perfect. Ideally removed with hot cloth, no emulsifying milky action here either. I’ve used this as a nourishing oil after a serum and it has worked wonderfully for my skin. Adding a drop or two to intense clay or mud masks like May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver mask makes it a lush detoxifying yet hydrating treatment.

Camellia (Camellia Oleifera) Oil *, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil *, Infused Centella (Centella Asiatica Extract) Oil, Vitamin E – non GM (Tocopherol), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract *, With essential Oils of: Bitter Orange, Lavender, Geranium, Sandalwood, Rosewood and Carrot Seed (*Organically Grown)

Badger Argan Face Cleansing Oil

$19.99 2fl.oz/60ml =$0.34 per ml

Badger claim Castor oil lifts impurities while Argan, Sunflower, and Jojoba replenish essential vitamins, fatty acids, and lipids. Yet another cleanser I love as skin cleanse and not as makeup remover. The addition of menthol crystals leaves the skin with slightest tingly refreshing feel, very unusual in cleansing oil category. The smell is divine, bitter lemon peel. This oil is an absolute treasure and quite frankly extremely underrated.

*Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, *Menthol (Menthol Crystals), Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), *Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil (*= Certified Organic)

Nutrir Nourishing Cleansing Oil

AUD$24.95 100ml =AUD$0.25 per ml

Whilst not a typical traditional formulation of a cleansing oil, it is an antioxidant rich oil based cleanser, that foams (very slight) in contact with water. Considering it foams, it eliminates the need for a hot cloth. This is by far the most unusual consistency and performance. Similar to Badger, it does leave a refreshing tingly feel on skin which makes it perfect morning cleanse. The scent is wonderful to elevate mood levels. The sale of this line is limited to Australia only.

Water, Glycerin, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Hrdrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Rosa Canina Fruit (Rosehip) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) oil, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sachi Inchi) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Myrciaria Dubia (Camu camu) Fruit Extract, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Xanthan Gum, Citric acid, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Eucalyptus Dives Leaf/Twig Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf (Lemon Myrtle) Oil, Parfum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool

Forest Essentials Makeup Removal Oil 

Rs 675 /USD$11 for 100ml =$0.11 per ml

Possibly the most underrated cleanser from Forest Essentials line. They claim this makeup remover is 100% natural with fresh organic oils infused with flowers and herbs. It smells like a beautiful flower garden. No escaping hot cloth with this oil, the steam mixing with gorgeous florals of this oil is a heavenly experience. Effective and efficient at makeup removal but even better as skin cleanse. The consistency is slightly more runnier oil than others.
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Which cleansing oils are you using? What would you recommend using?
HHW.com
xx

LOLI Beauty

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The domain of Subscriptions Boxes is so excruciatingly mundane and boring, same old thing with a bunch of ‘deluxe sized samples’. Of which more than half the times I don’t like the products, I don’t like the brand, I don’t need the product and before I realize another month passes by and my $10-$15 down the deluxe sample sized drain!

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Few weeks ago, I was contacted with an interesting concept, which kinda tickled my DIY  soul! LOLI Beauty is a sub box service which packages natural products with high quality, ethically sourced organic ingredients, including blending recipes.

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Week later, my first package arrived with a Ghee cleanser (with mix of other oils), Matcha Latte Peel, Fruit Smoothie Peel, More Mojo and Peace Out Essential Oils, stirring spoon & bowl, pipette to dispense oils.

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Of course needless to mention, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in to. It also had a recipe card, which I did not refer to (honest confession). I started mixing my own thing, I had no idea what I was doing, but it was sooo much fun.

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Mixed it all, slathered and sat back. The peel powder was slightly gritty giving right level of exfoliation, the ghee cleanser moisturized skin so well and essential oils made it a relaxing experience. Days later my experiments continued till my inner wild creative beast wasn’t fulfilled.

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Month passed and then I received another box, with brand new ingredients. Of course it tickled my fancy and decided to refer to all cards this time (for sake of an informed blog post).

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Immediately as I glanced at the cards, I LOVED it. Not only full break down of ingredients but also details on its source and level of purity. In natural skincare world, these things are sooo crucial because poor quality ingredients basically equates to poor products with possible skin reactions.

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It also includes Tips on how to use each product in isolation or combinations with each other. However, I’ve also been mixing and matching ingredients from previous box, and the creations are endless.

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The possibilities and concoctions seem endless and your creative blending juices can flow and flow away! Have you tried this box? or tried any other box with a similar concept?

HHW.com

xx