L’occitane Shea Comforting Cream light

I have been a big fan of L’occitane bath and body products for close to 10 years now..it was one of the  little luxuries I enjoyed when I was in college on a student budget 🙂 I love the scent that hits you when you enter their stores and have bought gifts for loved ones often from the brand.

Although I have enjoyed their products over the years, I noticed that I have never really tried any of their facial skincare stuff till date. So when my trusted moisturizer from Caudalie ran out I took the plunge. I picked out a foaming cleanser and the light version of the  Shea Comforting cream. I’ll review the foaming cleanser soon but today lets talk about the Shea Comforting cream.

L’occitane Shea Comforting Cream in Light

This moisturizer states that it has 5% Shea Butter where as the Ultra rich version has 25% Shea butter. I typically have very dry skin but at the time I picked this up my skin was leaning more towards normal than dry. They suggest the Ultra rich version for very dry skin types.

I found the moisturizer to be light and it spreads easily on the face. It does instantly make your skin feel moisturized. Despite all of this I was a bit underwhelmed..not sure why exactly but I was hoping for my skin to look healthy, moisturized from within and have that healthy glow (all the things my Caudalie moisturizer does (REVIEW HERE)). Somehow it failed to wow me as a night moisturizer.

L’occitane Shea Comforting Cream

On the up side I found this to work really well under makeup. It does not cause foundation to ball up or oxidize or look patchy. It does not have SPF so you might have to use an additional SPF when used during the day.

The ingredients on this moisturizer look really good on paper. I got the ingredient list from the Nordstrom Website since I no longer have the outer box where it is listed. Take a look:

Aqua/Water**, Dicaprylyl Ether**, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter**, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Glycerin**, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate**, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil**, Cetearyl Alcohol**, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate**, Xanthan Gum**, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides**, Corn Starch Modified**, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Tocopherol**, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, Citronellol, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Geraniol.

Dicaprylyl Ether which is the second ingredient is a silicone free plant derived chemical which gives that silky feel on the skin we usually associate with silicones. This probably explains why it works well under makeup..you get a nice smooth base 🙂 It is also an emollient.

Then we have the star ingredient Shea butter listed second. It is well known for its moisturizing properties. Octyldodecyl Myristate and  Glycerin are also moisturizing ingredients.

The biggest deal breaker for me was the scent :|. This cream smells like baby powder/ baby diapers. It linger for a bit after application too.

Overall, I think it is a decent moisturizer if you have normal skin and want a no frills moisturizer. If you are on a budget and want to pamper your skin with Shea butter I highly recommend the L’oreal Hydra Renewal Continuous moisture Cream (REVIEW HERE).

What are your thoughts on L’occitane skincare products? Any suggestions?

Until next time, Ciao!!!




Ingredient Wise: Dr. Brandt Skincare Magnetight Age Definer

Hello folks! I think the ingredient wise category on my blog is neglected a bit too much by yours truly so I’ve decided to give it some love today 🙂 In this series on the blog, we take a look at some hyped up beauty products and see if the ingredient list actually supports the claims they make in their marketing material. I have done a few of these over the past 2 years so if you would like to read up on those, click on the category titled Ingredient Wise on the left 🙂

A few months back everyone was talking about the coolest new face mask in town…a magnetic mask which sounded like a lot of fun to try out to be honest. Today I thought I would take a closer look at this hyped up mask from Dr. Brandt Skincare.

(Image Source: Sephora website )

Claims (From the Sephora website)

What it is:
An antiaging, iron-infused mask and magnet removal tool that work together to refine, purify, and brighten the look of skin.

Solutions for:
– Fine lines and wrinkles
– Pores
– Dullness and uneven skin tone
The MAGNETIGHT Age-Defier™ is a powerful mask that combats signs of aging and dramatically transforms the look of skin. Harnessing the power of attraction, the magnetic properties of the iron-based formula visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles and lift away impurities as they calm and illuminte dull, stressed skin. The face appears magnetically youthful, bright, and energized.

Ingredient List ( From the Sephora website)

Iron Powder, Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Nylon-12, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Silica, Tribehenin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Polysorbate 40, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Ceramide Ng, PEG-10 Phytosterol, Tourmaline, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Isohexadecane, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol

Do the claims work?

The very first ingredient in this face mask is iron powder which is what makes this the fun face mask to try. The magnet that comes along with the tub is used to ‘pull’ the mask from your face once you have let it sit on the skin for the stipulated amount of time. Now, besides the obvious fun factor that iron brings to this mask, does it really do anything for the skin?

The claims state that magnetic properties of this face mask can reduce fine lines and wrinkles…I am not so sure about that.  What gives this mask its magnetic properties is the iron but studies have shown that after a woman reaches menopause iron starts to accumulate in her skin. This accumulation leads to skin ageing and photo ageing. Women who are in their pre menopause years lose Iron from their bodies through menstruation and faster skin cell turnover since they are younger. Once you hit menopause ( when you start taking anti ageing skincare more seriously ) the accumulation of Iron in the body increases and reduces the antioxidative capacity of the skin. Oxidative damage in turn causes wrinkles. So in a way the number one ingredient in this anti ageing face mask is not something you should be putting on your face to combat ageing!! I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this mask does the reverse of what it claims, after all that iron sits on your skin for maybe 10 minutes. All the Iron does in this face mask in my opinion is the theatrics!! 😀

So if you have used this mask and found that it does reduce your fine lines and wrinkles, you can thank the next 2 ingredients listed in this mask. Both dimethicone and polysilicone -11 give a smooth appearance to the skin by filling in fine lines and pores. The rest of the ingredients consist of more silicones and also skin conditioning agents which make this a good moisturizing mask. So where is the anti ageing stuff in this mask? I’m not sure!

Tourmaline is a semi precious stone used in some cosmetic preparations. What does it do exactly? I am not sure! I was not able to find any independent studies confirming what cosmetic companies say about this ingredient. It is generally considered to impart a glow to the skin and also help stimulate the production of collagen but there is no evidence for any of those claims.

So overall this might work as a nice moisturizing mask which you can then take off with a magnet as a fun bonus! Once the novelty of this wears off I doubt I’ll be happy about the 75$ I would have spent on this face mask.

Have you tried this mask? What are your thoughts?


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23752032
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4091310/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23866012/
  4. http://www.paulaschoice.com.au/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/definition/tourmaline

Marula Oil: Argan oil’s wonderful sister perhaps :)

Hello folks!

I have been MIA since I have been enjoying some wonderful downtime with family 🙂 Lets kick off September with a post on Marula oil which is one of the current darlings of the cosmetic industry. General curiosity had made me dig up scientific info on this oil and now I can’t wait to try it out on my skin 🙂



Sclerocarya birrea or better known as Marula tree (Source: Wikimedia)

The Marula tree plays an important role in traditional African medicine and diet. The tree grows throughout Africa. It can be found in South Africa and all the way up north in Ethiopia and Sudan. The tree is also found in the western African nations like Gambia, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The fruit of the Marula tree is eaten fresh or fermented to make beer 😀 (Would love to try that out if I ever visit any African nation). Marula oil is obtained from the soft white edible kernels found inside the fruit and is considered a good source source of dietary protein and oil.


Marula Fruit (Source: Wikimedia)

Traditional Uses
Local populations in southern Africa, have been using marula oil for years to protect against dry and cracking skin, as a base oil for soap and as a shampoo for dry, damaged and fragile hair. The oil is also used to massage babies and as body lotion massaged onto the skin of their face, feet and hands.

Properties of Marula Oil

Marula oil is a clear, pale, yellowish-brown colour and has a pleasant nutty aroma. The oil is classified as medium rich and is silky to the touch with an excellent ‘slip factor’ making it ideal as massage oil. The presence of high amounts of Oleic acid and Linolic acid both of which are beneficial for skin moisturization makes this a great skincare ingredient.

File:Marula Oil.jpg

Marula Oil (Source: Wikimedia)

Proven Benefits

Scientific evidence supporting some of the traditional uses of Marula oil exist. It has been shown that Marula oil can improve skin hydration and combat skin redness. The presence of large amounts of fatty acids , especially Oleic acid enables easy absorption into the skin. Marula oil has also demonstrated anti inflammatory properties which explains its ability to calm skin redness.  A study on the  irritancy potential of Marula oil not only concluded that it was non irritating, but also that the oil has moisture retention properties and has a moisturizing effect on the skin.

A lot of the Marula oil based products in the market claim to be anti ageing. However, I could not find any studies supporting those claims. Overall, I think Marula oil sounds fabulous to combat dry skin issues. Have you tried Marula oil in your skincare routine?

Until next time…ciao!!


  1. African seed oils of commercial importance —Cosmetic applications
  2. Sclerocarya birrea (Marula), An African Tree of Nutritional and Medicinal Uses: A Review
  3. Safety and efficacy of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst (Marula) oil: A clinical perspective

Ingredient Wise: Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask Pure Luxury Lift and Firm

Hello everyone! I think it has been a year since I last posted something under the Ingredient Wise category on my blog. I got so caught up in regular product reviews, that this section kind of disappeared off my radar for a bit. I will try to post more of these in the coming months! 🙂

Now in case your wondering what this category is all about here is a quick description: We take a hyped up product, review the claims and see if the ingredients in it actually support the claims and promises. Today, I am going to dissect the ingredient list of the Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask which comes at a price tag of 80 US $. This mask is quite popular among beauty enthusiasts and generally I feel everyone is after firming products with gold particles in it these days! 80$ is a hefty price tag for a face mask (and I thought the Glam glow face mask price tags were atrocious)

(Image Source: Sephora website)

Claims ( From Sephora’s website)

This lavish, pampering treatment helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a youthful-looking complexion. Caffeine helps tighten and firm the look of skin while peridot—an exquisite gemstone rich in magnesium—re-energizes and helps reduce the aging effects of stress. The 24K gold imparts an opulent, radiant glow and locks in moisture for ultra-hydrated skin.

Ingredients (From Sephora’s website)

-24K Gold: Imparts an opulent, radiant glow; locks in moisture and keeps skin firm.
-Colloidal Gold: Helps lift, firm, and restore lost elasticity.
-Peridot: An ancient green gemstone rich in magnesium to help re-energize and minimize the aging effects of stress.

Glycerin, Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caffeine, Olivine Extract, Colloidal Gold, Pentylene Glycol, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Mica, Phenoxyethanol, Gold (Ci 77480), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

Do the claims work?

Yup I agree with them on the pampering part …after all putting on a face mask with 24K gold particles is luxe pampering! I did search quite a bit on the internet for some independent research on if gold helps lock in moisture when applied on the skin, and unfortunately found none. If you look at the ingredient list, you will see that the glycerin is the very first ingredient. Glycerin has been used for decades as a very good moisturizing ingredient and can be found in cheaper face masks and moisturizers as well. The mask also contains high amounts of Sodium Hyaluronate which is an excellent humectant. Humectants attract water and hence when applied on the skin, they keep the skin moist and supple with no greasiness. This mask will definitely be moisturizing just that it will be because of these 2 ingredients instead of the gold particles.

Caffeine at one point was a hot ingredient for cosmetic products probably because of its anti inflammatory properties. However, there is not much scientific evidence to prove that it can help with anti ageing or skin tightening. Paula’s Choice has a good write up on caffeine in skincare (HERE) complete with scientific references.

The ingredient in this face mask that intrigues me the most is the peridot gemstone! In the ingredient list it is listed as Olivine Extract which is essentially a bio available (can be absorbed by the body) magnesium complex sourced from Peridot. I could not find any independent scientific data on olivine extract- it is a cosmetic ingredient marketed by a company called Gattefosse. So again, no idea if this really helps with minimizing ageing from stress :/

Now lets take a look at the ingredient that is the main focus of this face mask..the gold! Now I could not find any independent scientific study that shows gold can help in firming the skin and restore lost elasticity. However, there are a lot of people who claim to see the benefits so the verdict is still out there on if gold really works in  firming the skin.Do let me know if you have come across any independent studies which support these claims.

The radiant skin promised by the mask is probably due to the temporary and brief deposit of the gold particles on skin which reflect light. Additionally the mica present in the mask might also contribute to this illusion.

Overall, I am not convinced about the benefits of this mask. I do believe that it will be a nice moisturizing mask but not sure if it can provide actual firming and anti ageing benefits.

Have you tried this mask? Has it worked for you? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…ciao!!

The Jason Glowing Apricot Hand and Body Lotion

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to share with you all, my thoughts on a body lotion I picked up a few months back from the brand Jason. I was filling up my basket online at feelunique and in order to qualify for a free gift/sample I added this body lotion 😀 to my cart. I think I paid somewhere between 8-10$ for this.

Jason Glowing Apricot Hand and Body Lotion
Jason Glowing Apricot Hand and Body Lotion

As you can see from the picture of the tube, they do not use parabens, Petrolatum, artificial colors or phthalates in their products. They also have the leaping bunny certification so it is cruelty free too! The picture of the apricot (I love apricots and anything that smells like apricots) and the promise of intense moisture for extremely dry skin sucked me right in. Unfortunately, the lotion was kinda meh 😦

The smell of the lotion was not exactly what I had in mind. It did not smell fresh and light, rather it smelt like shampoo/ conditioner to me. Yes, it was an apricot scent but too chemical/synthetic for my taste. The intense moisture for extremely dry skin claim did not pan out so well either in my case. I used this in the dead of winter and it did not provide moisture that lasted more than 3 hours. The big plus about this lotion is that it is non greasy and light on the skin and I think maybe that is the reason it did not work for me in the winter.

Now that my skin is less dry and more normal, it does seem moisturizing. So I think, this works well for those with normal skin as opposed to extremely dry skin as they claim on the tube.

Ingredient List
Ingredient List

The tube also claims to brighten skin due to the addition of apricot and almond oils which again I didn’t really notice. If you take a look at the ingredients list the main moisturizing ingredients in the lotion is glycerin and glycerin derivatives. The apricot and almond oil are buried somewhere in the middle of list, which is probably why their brightening effects are not so evident when using this lotion.

Overall, to me this is an average body lotion which did not wow me. I like the non greasy feel and therefore will use it up in the coming warmer months.

Have you tried anything from the brand? Do let me know if I am missing out on anything awesome from them 🙂

Until next time…ciao!!

Essence Blush up! Powder Blush in Heat Wave

Hello folks!

I am back! Well its been a crazy fun first half of the month with travel and family ….and now I am all excited to blog :). Today lets talk about a blush that caught my eye in a drugstore in Turkey. I couldn’t resist picking up the ombre blush from Essence in the shade Heat Wave. It kind of reminded me of a MAC limited edition ombre blush that was released sometime last year.

Essence Blush up! in Heat wave
Essence Blush up! in Heat wave

Isn’t it a beauty to look at! 😉 If your familiar with the brand Essence then you’ll know that they are well known for making fantastic products for really great prices and this guy is no exception! This blush cost me no more than 5$ if I remember correctly.

The blush is essentially 3 different matte shades in one. One end of the pan is orange and the other end is a warm hot pink. The middle section where the 2 shades merge is a beautiful orange pink shade that would look great on many skin tones.

Heat wave close up!
Heat wave close up!

I love how intensely pigmented this blush is! That could be a problem if your not careful though. All it takes to get some color is to gently touch the surface of the blush with your brush. I doubt I will hit pan on this blush even if I wore this every single day! Unlike many intensely pigmented blushes, this one is awesome in the blending department. As for wear time, it gets a gold star in that department too! I did not notice any fading for 9 hours straight 🙂

Swatches from left to right; orange side, pink side and the middle of the pan
Swatches from left to right; orange side, pink side and the middle of the pan

As you can see from the swatches above, the shades are so pretty and they are not as scary intense as they look in the pan. With some blending all the 3 shades impart a lovely healthy vibe to the cheeks.

Another positive about this blush is its packaging.It is sturdy and great to throw into your purse unlike many similarly priced drugstore blushes.

Overall I am really impressed with this blush and I am tempted to label it as a hidden gem from the drugstore! However, if you are allergic or sensitive to talc this sadly may not be for you. The very first ingredient is Talc (as with many powder blushes in the market).

Hope you all are having a great week!

Until next time..ciao!!

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

Hola folks!!

I have been using the Origins checks and balances face wash for over 6 months and I am now finally ready to give my thoughts on this face wash 🙂

Origins is an Estee Lauder company which makes natural skincare products with many of their products formulated with plant oils. They are also notable for formulating their products without parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin and synthetic colors, fragrances and animal ingredients..Phew! That was a long sentence!! I am not sure if Origins is a cruelty free brand..they do mention on the face wash tube that they test their products on volunteer panels but don’t out right say they don’t test on animals.

The Origins Checks and Balances frothy face wash
The Origins Checks and Balances frothy face wash

This face wash claims to be able to cleanse both the dry and oily parts of your face without cancelling each other out…I’m not so sure about that. I have pretty dry skin and in the summers I have an oily T zone but for the most part my skin is dry. Although, they claim that your skin won’t feel stripped or tight after using it, my skin does feel slightly tight after using it. I have to immediately moisturize my skin after using this cleanser which is what I do always anyway so this wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

A single tube can last a really long time!The tube above is pretty full looking considering I’ve used this everyday for 6 months. All you need is a really tiny pea size for your whole face and it froths up well too (as the product name implies!). Unfortunately, all that frothiness does not remove makeup..you will definitely need to use a separate makeup remover for that purpose.

The cleanser has a minty smell which although mild, I am not a fan of! It smells a bit like my toothpaste 😐 This is due to the presence of spearmint oil among the ingredients in this product.

Ingredient List
Ingredient List

The ingredients in this cleanser look good..till you get to all the essential oils listed. If you have extremely sensitive skin, you might know already that these are potential skin irritants. I have seen reviews from people with really sensitive skin on makeup alley talking about how the product caused breakouts , rashes and redness. Although my skin is pretty sensitive in general, I did not experience any skin irritation but if you know for sure that your skin doesn’t take kindly to stuff like spearmint and bergamot oil this cleanser is best avoided!

I like the idea of using a face wash with ingredients like lavender water, glycerin and Behenic acid (major component of Moringa oil) but I did not see any effect of these ingredients on my skin. For me, this was a very basic face wash which didn’t do anything exciting to my skin and so I might not be repurchasing it once I am done with the current tube.

Have you tried the Origins Checks and Balances frothy face wash? What are your thoughts?

Have a great week!!

Until next time…ciao!!