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Odds and Ends

1. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access is on! See all my picks here.

2. Serena Williams is fierce and gorgeous and all of the things.

3. “Can I pick your brain?” 5 words of DOOM. Maybe try this instead?

4. You guys, when did pop culture become homework!? Ha. #cantkeepup

5. How to cope with a friendship breakup.

6. Have you heard about the sonic devices that only teenagers can hear? Can you hear it?

7. My favorite waist-defining dresses. I get compliments on this one all the time.

8. Trying this new naturally-derived retinol serum. Will it make the grade? We shall soon see.

9. Speaking of retinol serums, will anything ever beat out my very favorite one? Not sure. Right now, you can get it (and anything from African Botanics) for 20% off with the code WHOORL until July 13th.

10. Very cool illustrations that take a deeper look at the everyday products we consume.

11. Always love a good beach read!

12. Parenting screen time coaches are apparently a thing.

13. We need more critics of color. YES TO THIS.

14. Tired of being the one who remembers ALL of the things? You are not alone.

Happy Friday to you and you and you.

image credit: aljahorvat 

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African Botanics Has Stolen My Heart

Many of you know that my #1 favorite treatment serum that I use day in and day out is the Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum by African Botanics. This miracle retinol treatment has changed my skin completely and I won’t bore you with the details today because they are already all here. (Cliff Notes – IT IS THE BEST THING EVER.)

Well, once I saw the incredible results using the Cell Recovery Serum, I wanted to know more about this brand and the products in the line.

African Botanics is an eco-luxury skincare collection driven by ancient African phytochemistry and rich botanical pharmacology – the brand honors and respects thousands of years of traditional African medicinal knowledge which was created from the need to survive and protect the skin from the harsh African environment. Incorporating molecular science, capturing antioxidants, omegas, intelligent nutrients and far beyond, African Botanics’ selection of ultra-powerful actives starts with in-depth research and analysis via close collaborations with university labs and research teams in South Africa, France, Austria, and Switzerland. They then select highly effective phyto-actives and South African plant species for their heightened antioxidant concentration, molecular structure, natural peptides, and omega content.

The products’ ingredients come from every part of Southern Africa: the desert, the sea, and the land. The majority are wild-harvested from very unique hot spots called eco-zones where they grow in their natural, bio-dynamic environment free from farming, pollution, pesticides, and human interference. Plus, they make sure that the plants they use are sustainable and are harvested with the utmost respect to nature and future generations.

Okay, okay. What does this all mean? Well, they are effective, potent, clinically-proven, and clean. I’m super impressed.

I want to mention a few more products from the line that I’ve been using and loving.

FLEURS D’AFRIQUE INTENSIVE RECOVERY OIL

This is actually the first product from African Botanics that I ever used. I received the oil in a Boxwalla box and was taken aback by the scent and potency of this oil almost immediately. Described as a “restorative oil with retinol and powerful anti-aging actives,” Fleurs D’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil is super concentrated and super active.

Harnessing the healing potency of Africa’s night-blooming Baobab flowers, alongside ‘The Queen of the Night’ – Jasmine Grandiflorum – hand-picked at dusk, this oil-serum is ideal for hormonal, mature or confused complexions; neutralizing the harmful effects of everyday exposure to pollutants and UV, while fortifying the skin barrier to boost resilience.

The distinct African oil complex forms a powerful essential fatty acid matrix to prevent and ‘undo’ existing signs of stress – from fine lines and wrinkles to blemishes, dark spots, redness, and loss of firmness. Skin is left luminous, with improved clarity, vitality, and strength. Extracts of Damask Rose, African Immortelle flower and Rosehip seed oil possess cell regenerating properties while rejuvenating the skin.

Personally, this oil is next-level when used in conjunction with the Cell Recovery Serum. (Cell Recovery Serum first followed by the Recovery Oil.) The scent is very unique – very earthy with hints of Jasmine and it absorbs very well while still leaving the skin very supple. If I had to pick one, I’d go with my beloved Cell Recovery Serum, but if you can pony up for both products, you will not be disappointed. Worth every penny!

PURE MARULA OIL

If you are looking for a powerful Antioxidant oil (and/or the Fleurs D’Afrique is too high of a price point), the Pure Marula Oil is divine. Now, I’ve used several Marula oils in the past (Drunk Elephant Marula Oil comes to mind immediately), but there is a reason this one is award-winning. It feels and smells so luxurious on the skin.

Ultra lightweight yet very plumping and smoothing, it’s incredibly potent, antioxidant-rich, and neutralizes free radicals. Love that it’s super stable as well with the lightest molecular weight and the richest plant source of Oleic Acid (Omega 9).

So so good for reactive and/or sensitive skin. I don’t know any skin type that wouldn’t benefit from this oil. And the scent…don’t even get me started. It smells so good, I’m begging African Botanics to make a fragrance with the same notes. I may or may not use this as a hair oil as well. #multitasking

BAOBAB CLAY OXYGENATING CLEANSER

Hello, new obsession of mine! This cleanser is EVERYTHING in the morning. My go-to products for morning cleansing have been Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser and the Suki Exfoliating Cleanser (although I ultimately stopped using this one because the product repeatedly would dry out), but the Baobab Cleanser has stolen first place.

First off, what I’m personally looking for in a morning cleanser is to balance and perk up my skin. Obviously, I’m not concerned with removing makeup in the morning so it’s more about looking and feeling fresh.

This skin balancing, water-soluble cleanser eliminates impurities and unclogs pores without over-drying or irritating. (That’s key!) It regulates sebum production leaving skin with a soft matte finish while calming the epidermis and reducing redness. This one is ideal for people exposed to urban stress, pollution, harsh, dry climates or for frequent travelers and is recommended for dull, mature, unbalanced, seborrheic and sensitive skin.

And if that wasn’t enough, The scent is ridiculously fantastic. Essential oils of Sandalwood and Cedarwood are on point and I feel totally rebalanced and rejuvenated after using.

BUCHU BOTANICAL ENZYME POLISH

A few mornings out of the week, I prefer to exfoliate instead of wash. The Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish is a clarifying facial exfoliant that deeply exfoliates, lifts off dead skin cells and purifies the epidermis to leave skin clean, soft, and radiant without causing irritation.

A unique combination of sun dried aromatic Buchu plant and crushed Baobab fruit sourced from the southern tip of Africa are merged with healing Micro-Algae and fine granules of ancient volcanic minerals to visibly refine texture and soften the look of fine lines and dark spots by buffing away dull skin.

My skin always feels supple, smooth, and refreshed after using this exfoliant. Smells fruity which is great for a morning perk-up.

ROSE TREATMENT ESSENCE

This essence is a unique multi-functional treatment gel that fits into the toner category. Designed for all skin complexions, this concentrated formula helps detoxify cells, tighten pores and restore moisture levels while brightening, refining, hydrating and rebalancing skin’s pH levels.

I love the Rose Treatment Essence as a toner, but it’s actually a gel that pumps out of the bottle and for some reason, I prefer to spritz toners on my face so I usually reach for my MUN toner as my toning step. However, I love that it’s infused with pure Rose Flower Water and a refreshingly light CO2 extract of Rosa Centifolia to help retain moisture, brighten and even out skin tone while reducing redness and inflammation.

Also wanted to mention that this essence is the only product of the six mentioned today that contains Phenoxyethanol. It’s a personal decision whether or not you choose to use Phenoxyethanol in your skincare, but I wanted to mention it here.

FIRMING BOTANICAL BODY OIL

Are you a body oil aficionado? This intensive rejuvenating skin treatment is completely delightful. Did you know that Marula oil is also incredible at firming the skin? Yep, the wild-harvested African Marula and Pinotage Grape Seed Oils in the Firming Botanical Body Oil are alllllll about firming and toning.

Light in texture, this cold-pressed oil provides corrective and preventative action against the main causes of loss of firmness: lack of elasticity, dryness and sun damage. (Hello, I just described my legs.)

This oil is simply beautiful, absorbs quickly, and makes my gams look pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. And I realize scent is definitely a theme today, but once again, this smells amazing. Herbal, fresh, and a little sexy. *wink wink*

FANTASTIC DISCOUNT FOR YOU

Okay, friends. I am so thrilled that African Botanics is offering my readers 20% off your entire purchase with the code WHOORL from July 10th through midnight on July 13th. This brand rarely offers discounts (especially 20%!), so now is the time to pull the trigger if you are interested in any of the products. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know in the comments! This line is really the créme de la créme of green beauty, and I know you will adore it as much as I do!

YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE POSTS TOO:

Green Beauty Retinol and my #1 Pick

My Evening Skincare Routine

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Odds and Ends

1. Are you the ugliest person alive OR are you about to start your period? LOL

2. My currently using page was in need of some serious updating. It’s good to go now!

3. Your guide to voting for a woman based on why you like a man. Heh.

4. I’m beginning to think the term “rigged” actually means when a man loses to a woman and his ego can’t deal.

5. This lippie in First Date has been my go-to this summer. Wearing it here.

6. I am a fully-converted, 100%-on-board packing cube enthusiast now. These ones are the best!

7. Why can’t the internet do perimenopause better?

8. Why older women have replaced young men as the art world’s darlings.

9. My new favorite clothing line. Obsessed.

10. The “best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.” Have any of you tried this one?

11. Adore these shoes. Want them in ginger and blonde thankyouverymuch.

Happy Friday! We are leaving for our annual Colorado summer trip tomorrow. So looking forward to it!

image credit: slocation