Category: Everything Else

A Little Dominican Bakery in the Bronx

For the past week I have been stopping in this little bakery on my way home for a piece of their coco-piña, which is a coconut-pineapple flavored loaf cake…and it is ah-amazing!

But that’s not all the goods they have so I thought to give you guys a little peek into what kind of sweets you can get at a Dominican bakery.

Dominican Bakery in the bronx

Below is the picture of the coco-piña…yep it’s only $1! and next to it is a quesillo de fresa  {strawberry cheese cake}.

coco - pina - coco piña - cake - bizcocho - loaf cake

Below is typical birthday cake and every Dominican person gets a one of these on their birthday regardless of their age…

typical Dominican cake - yellow  cake - birthday cake  - nyc - bakery - bronx

The cake texture is very ‘airy’ and somewhat moist but not saggy or wet and it melts in your mouth. If you get it from a bad place it can sometimes be too dry or too sweet.  Visually it looks like a tacky looking wedding cake with white suspiro {frosting} and flowers and ribbons decorations but if you ever get a chance to try it is probably the best cake you’ll ever have.   It almost always has a guava, pineapple or dulce de leche filling in the middle which makes it even more decadent and delicious.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite desserts pudín de pan {bread pudding}.  The texture is harder than usual and the flavor is different. I personally prefer the more moist kind but this one is very good.

pudin de pan dominicano - reposteria dominicana - bread pudding

The pineapple upside down cake is not Dominican but it is staple in every  bakery.

pineapple upside down - pina

Here are other things you can get…

tornillo de vainilla - reposteria dominicana - dominican bakery

chocolate cake - dominican bakery

 

coquito dominicano

 

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And of course there is different kinds of bread…

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This bakery sells pastelitos de queso {cheese empandas, we call empanadas pastelitos} and tostada Dominicana {cheese and butter on toasted pan de agua}.  

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They also have different tropical juices including tamarind, passion fruit, guava and others which is similar but a sweeter version of the Mexican agua fresca.

So there you have it, now  whenever you see this sign feel free to walk in…

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Xo, Leslie


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Morrocco Method Week 4: Pine Shale Shampoo + Floating Lotus Conditioner (w/ Promo Code)

Hey lovies,  I can’t believe I’m on my fourth week of my 5-week review of the Morrocco Method (MM) rotation for natural (relaxer-free) hair and all I can say is that I’m truly in love with this product.  From the ingredients to the performance it is perfection in a bottle.  I feel so good and confident recommending it and showing my results.

This week I used the Pine Shale Shampoo*, with pine shale oil which calms irritation and it’s good for dandruff/flakes, itchiness and dryness + I used the Floating Lotus Conditioner* which is my absolute favorite conditioner ever made.  I received my conditioner travel set last week and I loved the sapphire volumizer conditioner* which I used as a leave in conditioner and then followed steps 4-7 from week one.  Please be sure to read my previous posts for proper use of the product.

Don’t forget new customers can get 15% total order until 3/4.  Use promo code: LUCKY710.

Please remember that these products will not foam but  you don’t have to worry that your hair will not be clean.  If you see my hair it doesn’t look dirty or clogged up (because it isn’t).  My scalp looks incredibly healthy and my hair has this beautiful natural sheen which I enhanced with a few drops of the Euro Natural Oil Conditioner and Moisturizer*.

morrocco method - healthy hair - all natural hair products - vegan hair products -

I also noticed my hair is growing a little, unevenly but non the less it is growing a little faster than usual.  My hair has been growing so slowly since I went natural and I feel so impatient about it.

Morrocco method review - how to grow hair - natural hair - promo code

Clearly I need a trim but I’m waiting for a full moon and/or the spring equinox as recommended by the MM  lunar calendar for maximum growth.  Let’s see if that works.

What do you guys think? Are you ready to toss hair products with toxic ingredients and exchange it for all natural, raw food for your hair?

If you started using Morrocco Method products after reading my review I would love to hear about your experience with it, please a comment below.

Xo, Leslie

P.S.  Morrocco Method has kindly provided me with a promo code  for my readers.  You can use promo code: LUCKY710 for 15% OFF your entire order. Only one use per customer. Expires 3/4/15.

*Please note that I was not compensated for this review and did not receive a free product.  As an MM  affiliate, I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase products using my affiliate links throughout this post.  Purchasing through my links is highly appreciated if you found this review useful. My reviews are ALWAYS truthful and I will never misrepresent, mislead or provide deceptive information about any product or service. I choose my affiliate programs based on my own personal use or interest in the product.  Be mindful that my results may be different than yours.


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Morrocco Method Week 3: Heavenly Essence Shampoo + Floating Lotus Conditioner (W/ PROMO CODE)

It’s not a secret that I am beyond thrilled with Morrocco Method hair products for the awesome results I’m getting on my natural (non-relaxed) hair.  I mean, what is not to love when there isn’t a single toxic ingredient in any of their products.  It is raw, natural, wild-crafted vegan food goodness to feed your hair.

For the third week I used the Heavenly Shampoo and Floating Lotus Conditioner  combination from the sample packs which delivered shiny, full and healthy hair.  You can use promo code LUCKY710 for 15% off your order. 

This was the teaser last Sunday and it looks like you guys liked it too:

My Week 3 MM Routine

  1. Started with a homemade aloe vera mask – removed the gel straight from the leaf and put it on a blender until it became a foamy liquid.  I then applied the mask on my hair and left it on 15-20 minutes. I do this every time but it is not a necessary step.  Most the MM shampoo and conditioners already have aloe vera in it.
  2. Used the Heavenly Essence Shampoo diluted with equal parts water as recommended.  It’s hard to describe the scent beyond just earthy but it smells very good and a little different than the other shampoos.  The texture is the same as the others, a thick brown texture.  After the wash my hair wasn’t soft but softer than my normal texture.  Although these shampoos do not foam my hair felt clean.
  3. Used the Floating Lotus Moisturizer,  and as I mentioned on week one, I loved this one. My hair looked moisturized and shiny instantly.
  4. Followed steps 4-7 from week one.

These were my results: Morrocco Method Review - Promo Code - Lucky710 - healthy hair - natural hair - vegan hair - paleo hair - dominican hair

 

One thing you might notice right away is that I need to clip those ends (like, yesterday).  My hair is finally growing and you can see that it looks very uneven.  So why haven’t I cut it?  MM has lunar calendar with the best dates to get a haircut for lengthening. The next one is from March 17th -19th during the Spring Equinox so I will be waiting almost A MONTH so that I can give this a try, sigh.  The good thing is that you will be able to see if it actually works by coming back to check my blog.

So what do you think?  If you want to see what happens during this 5-week try out, you can check my instagram on Sundays for a sneak peak and then come back to the blog on Thursday  a week later for the full details.  Each week I will be rotating shampoos and posting results of my shampoo/conditioner combination.  I have 2 more weeks to go.

Xo, Leslie

P.S.  Morrocco Method has kindly provided me with a promo code  for my readers.  You can use promo code: LUCKY710 for 15% OFF your entire order. Only one use per customer. Expires 3/4/15.

*Please note that I was not compensated for this review and did not receive a free product.  As an MM  affiliate, I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase products using my affiliate links throughout this post.  Purchasing through my links is highly appreciated if you found this review useful. My reviews are ALWAYS truthful and I will never misrepresent, mislead or provide deceptive information about any product or service. I choose my affiliate programs based on my own personal use or interest in the product.  Be mindful that my results may be different than yours.


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Paula Dorf’s 3-in-1 Perfect Color Ecstasy- for eyes, lips and cheeks

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I received a complimentary stick of Paula Dorf’s Perfect Color in the Ecstasy shade through BrandBacker to review.

First, let me start by saying that I have made the move to a completely natural/organic skincare regime, as well as hair care but I’m still looking to find natural makeup that performs well.  In the meantime, I have no problem trying out different things and most of my makeup at the moment is not natural.  I appreciate recommendations for natural make in the comments.

I joined this campaign for two reasons, the first was Paula’s amazing bio on the website and second because I love makeup products that are quick and on the go.  This 3 in 1 concept is perfect for my style.   You can use the stick on your cheeks, lips and eye lids and voilà.

paula dorf perfect color - ecstacy

This is what the color Ecstasy looks likes (sorry for the poor lighting)

paula dorf - perfect color ecstacy - latina beauty blogger

paula dorf - perfect color ecstacy - latina beauty blogger

To show you the color I used it as all three in one look : an eye shadow, a blush and a lipstick and actually got a nice and simple romantic look.  The cream didn’t blend very well into my lips so I used lip balm to smooth it out but once I did it was fine. I use a bit of brown eyeshadow on my creases, a black eye liner and a little bit of bronzer to finish the look.  The pictures below have no filters, I just play a bit with the lighting.

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And some “artistic” close-ups with a filter:

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The packaging design was very nice, a slick black tube with the words “Become your own makeup artist” engraved in script with Paula’s name and logo on it.  But be very careful with it,  the quality is not very good.  This one rolled off my bed and broke.  I was surprised to see how fragile it is since it looks like is good quality on the outside.

paula dorf - perfect color ecstacy - latina beauty blogger

There are four other colors available on her website.  For a limited time you will receive a free gift with any purchase with promo code: ECSTASY.

Hope you enjoyed this review.   Please let me know your thoughts in the comment.

Xo, Leslie


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Morrocco Method Week 2: Sea Essence Shampoo + Pearl Essence Conditioner (w/ promo code)

Hi there, so this my second week of my 5-week review of the Morrocco Method (MM)* rotation for natural (relaxer-free) hair and I am so excited to share this one for so many reasons which you will find out below.

My Morroco Method routine this week

I started with a homemade aloe vera mask for 20 minutes, then washed and conditioned at home.  I then walked over to my local Dominican hair salon for magnetic rollers (rolos) and 40 minutes under a professional hard hat bonnet hair dryer (this is not necessary step, I’ll explain on the results below) and since my hair lady was out sick I blow dried it myself, for the first time in a long time.  Here was my instagram teaser:

Shampoo used: Sea Essence Shampoo*

This shampoo has a mild earthy/herbal scent.  It has a thick toothpaste texture and must be mixed with equal parts water.  It will not foam, and if need that to feel that your hair is clean MM shampoos will take some getting used to. MM Recommends two washes, the first wash gets rid of dirt and the second wash is to stimulate the scalp and nourish the hair follicle.  I can tell you that my hair felt cleaner on the second wash and I thought it was a necessary step.

My hair was not super soft after I washed it but it was not coarse either. Most of the drugstore/salon shampoos I used in the past would make my hair feel hard/coarse, with MM it was softer. I noticed hair strands looked moisturized and my curls were defined.

Conditioner used: Pearl Essence Conditioner*

This conditioner is a white toothpaste texture cream with a mild coconut scent.  My hair looked moisturized and it was very manageable. Again, not super soft while wet because my natural hair is not soft, none the less not hard either. I would say it was softer than my natural texture. This one seems to have stretch out the curls that I got from the shampoo.

morrocco method - pearl essence conditioner

At the salon they used a wide teeth comb to detangle, grabbing small strands of hair at a time and it was very easy to get the job done. No knots or hair pulling.

The Results

I LOVE the results although the pictures unfairly tell a different story because it’s not a perfect blow dry.  But let me explain why  I’m so happy, I never-ever-ever blow dry my own hair anymore because the few times that I have tried it took me a very long time to finish and my hair would end up looking dry and bumpy and just not nice at all.  Unimpressed with the awful results I gave up on doing it myself.  On the picture below, it took my 15 miraculous minutes to get rid of the curls from the rollers, it was so easy to do and my hair was not dry at all – that’s groundbreaking for me.  That means that I can potentially do my own hair and skip the salon every other week.

Side note: New York is full of Dominican salons where you can get a blow out for $20-$40 + tip depending on the length of your hair. Most people fall between the $20-$30 price-range. So I opt to do my own nails, skip the spas and other beauty services and I go to the hair salon weekly (I also get my brows threaded/waxed bi-weekly).

morrocco method - diy blow dry - products for an easier diy blow dry

I drew a white line the picture above so that you can see what it would look like if I had more than 15 minutes to actually finish the job but unfortunately I had a date with a friend and I was running a little late. I spent most of my time on the bangs.

Here is the full view:

morrocco method - natural hair - organic hair - vegan hair

A couple of side notes my hair journey

  • I have very thin, cottony and dry hair. It tangles very easily when wet, it is very manageable when blow dried.
  • I want a full head of healthy, nourished, manageable long hair that I can wear straight or curly/wavy.
  • I’m open minded and ok with non-conventional ways to care for my hair.
  • I’ve been playing with homemade products for almost 3 years.
  • I’m looking for all natural hair care routine that delivers performance.
  • I want Morrocco Method’s natural, raw, organic way of treating my hair to work because everything is great about it.

Do you find it difficult or spend too much time blow drying your own hair?   Do you have any questions about my use/experience with this product?  Drop me a note in the comments below.

Xo, Leslie

P.S.  Morrocco Method has kindly provided me with a promo code  for my readers.  You can use promo code: LUCKY710 for 15% OFF your entire order. Only one use per customer. Expires 3/4/15.***

 

*Please note that I was not compensated for this review and did not receive a free product.  As an MM  and Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase products using my affiliate links throughout this post.  Purchasing through my links is highly appreciated if you found this review useful. My reviews are ALWAYS truthful and I will never misrepresent, mislead or provide deceptive information about any product or service. I choose my affiliate programs based on my own personal use or interest in the product.  Be mindful that my results may be different than yours.


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5-WEEK REVIEW: Morrocco Method – Apple Cider Shampoo and Lotus Conditioner Combination for Natural (relaxer-free) Hair

On my last post I announced that I started a 5-week all-natural, raw, vegan, organic, wild-crafted hair care routine using Morrocco Method* (MM) which of course does not have sulfates, parabens, or chemicals.

For the routine I purchased the Five Shampoo Sample Pack*, which came with .05OZ bottles of all five shampoos and the Condition & Style Sample Pack* which has two .05OZ bottles of conditioners, one styling gel and a hair detox/scalp therapy.  The small bottles are big enough for just one use.

Today I am reviewing the Morocco Method Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo + Floating Lotus Conditioner combination and this was my result:

morrocco method soft curls - natural hair - apple cider vinegar shampoo and  floating lotus conditioner - dominican salonmorrocco method soft curls - natural hair - apple cider vinegar shampoo and  floating lotus conditioner

(scroll to the bottom for step by step routine)

Morrocco Method has kindly provided me with a promo code  for my readers.  You can use promo code: LUCKY710 for 15% OFF your entire order. Only one use per customer. Expires 3/4/15.

Morocco Method Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Review

I learned from the literature included in the package and on their website that the MM shampoos are based on the 5 elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether and each one targets a different scalp concern.

The Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo (made with raw apple cider) is MM’s most clarifying shampoo and great for removing build-up.  It represents the fire element and works to stimulate the scalp, increase blood flow, and restore the hair and scalp to a healthy pH.

I have dry hair and scalp and this shampoo was extremely moisturizing from the moment I put it on and it actually smells amazing! It is made with succulent dessert plants such as aloe vera, cactus and blood of the dragon which store water in their fleshy leaves, stems or root making them amazing humectants.  This shampoo is low foaming (don’t expect bubbles) but my hair didn’t feel dirty.   It has a great earthy/cinnamony scent which was a pleasant surprise since anytime I use apple cider to cleanse my hair it smells terrible.

Shampoo Conclusion: My hair felt clean without being stripped of its natural oils and looked moisturized. I love this shampoo and it will be in my bathroom for years to come.

Tip: you can also use the MM Apple Cider Shampoo as a facial, especially if you have acne.  It removes impurities without stripping the skin natural oils.  You can also use it as body wash.

Morocco Method Floating Lotus Conditioner Review

According to the literature, this rinse-out conditioner is great for all hair types and a great curl definer. It is made with olive oil, cactus, apple vinegar, essential oils, green tea, herbs, spices and other ingredients to stimulate, rejuvenate, revitalize and add instant moisture to the hair and scalp.  I was surprised see some of the same ingredients found on the Apple Cider Shampoo in this conditioner, such as algae and kelp (sea plants), Cactus and blood of dragon (dessert plant), and apple cider vinegar.  The texture was the same for both, a brown muddy paste.

Morrocco Method - Floating Lotus Conditioner - Natural Hair  - raw - organic - vegan - all natural conditioner

Conditioner Conclusion: Hair wasn’t super soft, like when I have coated it with chemical-filled products but it also wasn’t hard. It was definitely very shiny, manageable and easy to detangle and lived up to its claim.  My hair was hydrated and shiny and this one is definitely a keeper.

Step By Step Routine Using Morocco Method Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo + Floating Lotus Conditioner – Soft Curls

Step 1: I did a homemade Aloe Vera mask by removing the gel straight from the leaf and putting it on a blender until it became a foamy liquid.  I then applied the mask on my hair and left it on 15-20 minutes.

aloe vera - best humectant for natural hair

Step 2:
Washed my hair two times with the MM Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo.  The shampoo is highly concentrated and I mixed the content of the .05 oz bottle content with equal parts water, then applied it to my hair.  This shampoo doesn’t have sulfates so it does not foam (as I mentioned above).  I was concerned my hair would not feel clean but after the second wash it definitely did. This shampoo has beautiful earthy cinnamon smell, nothing like when I make my own apple vinegar wash at home.

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Step 3:
I rub the MM Floating Lotus Conditioner all over my hair, which I also mixed with equal parts water before applying. I left it on for approximately 20 minutes, which is how long it took me to get dressed and walk to the hair salon where I had them wash it out.

Step 4:
They rinsed the conditioner with a lot of water and then got magnetic rollers* (rolos) done, a smaller size than usual to get more volume.  I normally put a leave-in conditioner on my wet hair before the rollers, however I skipped this step since the MM kit didn’t include one and I want to make sure the results are accurate.

magnetic rollers, rolos, salon dominicano, dominican hair salon, nyc

Step 5:
Went under a professional hard hat bonnet hair dryer* for 40 minutes until my hair was completely dry. I have one similar to this one* at home.

Step 6:
My stylist removed a just few rollers at a time, blow dried just the root to straighten it and then wrapped it up in “achoitas” secured with a bobby pin as pictured below.  She repeated this step until my whole head was done.

dominican hair style - anchoitas

Step 7:
Loosen them up and below is the result.  I then did a head shake and by the time I got home the curls loosened up.

dominican hair salon

MM Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo + Floating Lotus Conditioner Conclusion:
I AM SOLD! This combination was amazing and I feel so good feeding my hair good stuff instead of all those harsh chemicals.  I feel like my hair is happy and so well behaved and I’ve noticed have manageable it has become ever since I started using natural hair products in general.  This week it is the prettiest I’ve seen it since I went natural.

So what do you think?  If you want to see what happens during this 5-week try out, you can check my instagram on Sundays for a sneak peak and then come back to the blog on Thursday for the full details.  Each week I will be rotating shampoos and posting results of my shampoo/conditioner combination.

I am so looking forward to the next one tomorrow! (I was a bit delayed on this post).

Xo, Leslie

P.S. In case you missed it up top Morrocco Method has kindly provided me with a promo code  for my readers.  You can use promo code: LUCKY710 for 15% OFF your entire order. Only one use per customer. Expires 3/4/15.***

 

*Please note that I was not compensated for this review and did not receive a free product.  As an MM  and Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase products using my affiliate links throughout this post.  Purchasing through my links is highly appreciated if you found this review useful. My reviews are ALWAYS truthful and I will never misrepresent, mislead or provide deceptive information about any product or service. I choose my affiliate programs based on my own personal use or interest in the product.  Be mindful that my results may be different than yours.


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5-Week Review: Morrocco Method Rotation for Natural Hair + Promo Code

Hey guys,  for the past 3 years I have been natural (relaxer-free) and I am loving it. I had been relaxing my hair since I was NINE years old and taking this step was a big deal.  I have no idea what curl hair type I fall under but you can see how it looks in the picture below, which was taken 1 years and 7 months after I stopped relaxing it.

natural hair - Dominican hair - relaxer free

Going natural journey (short-version)

When I set out on this journey, I became obsessed with finding  natural hair products to either make or buy because I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the products sold at drugstores or salons. Most of them have so many harmful chemicals in it, that are proven to cause cancer and other health problems (terrifying!).  And to top it off,  they simply didn’t do anything outstanding for my texture.  My hair was – as my mom used to call it-  rebelde (a rebel), difficult to deal with and with a mind of it’s own.   At times it looked great on the outside while coated with regular non-natural hair products but I noticed there was no long-term nourishing effects or improvement over time. Once the product was washed out my hair was a big mess.

I’ve pretty much tried every natural homemade recipe found online, from deep conditioners with essential, to hot oils, to naturally dying my hair with tea and molasses (Crunchy Betty is a great resource for natural hair recipes).  It has been trial and error but I’ve succeeded at never going back to the bad stuff.

I have found some great store-bought products along the way but my most treasured find has been the Aloe Vera gel straight from the leaf  (thanks to my love for letting me know about this one, he is in this with me).  I use a blender to turn the gel into a frothy liquid and then use it as a hair mask for 15 minutes.  I follow that with my shampoo-conditioner- leave-in routine. I’ve been doing this for the past 3 months and the results have been amazing, my hair loves it and it’s not quite the rebel it used to be.  I also noticed that Aloe Vera is accelerating my growth.

Started a hair new routine on Sunday

This past weekend I took my hair routine to another level. I started using an organic, raw, vegan, wild-crafted, all-natural shampoo and conditioner called Morrocco Method*, which has no sulfates, parabens, or chemicals… do I hear heaven bells?  ’cause I’m in hair heaven!  I’m honestly really excited about this one because I believe that whatever my hair needs will come right from nature.  To be honest not all natural products have been a hit so I am even more excited because my first week using MM was a complete success.

This was my Week 1 teaser:

To start my new routine I bought:

MM has provided me with a promo code  for my readers.  You can use promo code: LUCKY710 for 15% OFF your entire order. Only one use per customer. Expires 3/4/15.

morrocco method  sampler

I absolutely love that I can buy these sample packs to pre-test and find the ones that work on my hair, instead of buying full size bottles and run the risk of not liking it. The package came with detailed, easy to follow instructions for proper use.  The first thing I noticed is that these products smell amazing!  I put the sealed bags in my medicine cabinet and when in opened it the next day there was this delicious earthy aroma coming from it.

The shampoos are based on the 5 elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether and each target a different scalp concern.  MM recommends rotating shampoos with every wash regardless of how often you wash your hair, and so for the next 4 weeks I will be rotating the them, reviewing  and sharing pictures my results!

I will post preview pictures (before the blog) on my instagram every Sunday and the full blog review the following Thursday.

Here we go…

Week 1 –  Morrocco Method – Apple Cider Shampoo and Lotus Conditioner Combination for Natural (relaxer-free) Hair 

Week 2 –  Morrocco Method Week 2: Sea Essence Shampoo + Pearl Essence Conditioner

Week 3 – Morrocco Method Week 3: Heavenly Essence Shampoo + Floating Lotus Conditioner

Week 4 –  Morrocco Method Week 4: Pine Shale Shampoo + Floating Lotus Conditioner 

Week 5 – will be posted on 3/5

Xo, Leslie

 

*Please note that I was not compensated for this review and did not receive a free product.  As an MM affiliate, I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase the product using my affiliate links throughout this post and coupon code, which I highly appreciate if you found this review useful and think that it may help your hair concerns.  My reviews are ALWAYS truthful and I will never misrepresent, mislead or provide deceptive information about a product/service.  Be mindful that my results may be different than yours.


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