Valentia: Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask #Review #ValentiaBeauty

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When it comes to masks, I always have a plethora of what one would call dehydrating masks. Mud masks, clay masks, peeling masks, exfoliating masks, and so forth. I tend to rely on on what I apply after as my hydration and I must admit that does not always cut it. The sensitive areas around my face, like the outer edges of my forehead and around my nose, they sometimes will exhibit the stress from over cleaning my pores. Stressed skin I can recover from in a few days, but I dislike babying it while doing it, so I have been searching for a in-between system to add to me beauty regimen.

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In comes Valentia, I am familiar with the line as I tried one of their products in the past. Valentia has expanded their beauty line and added other items like the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask and the True Glow Eye Cream, which I will be reviewing after. The Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask is what I call a “feeder mask”, it feeds your skin versus just drawing out impurities and many times that includes oils that nourish our skin. The Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask has the following key ingredients in it’s formula:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Algae Extract
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract
  • Sea Buckthorn Oil
  • Rosehip Seed Oil
  • CoQ10
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Acai Berry (used as a fragrance, so no odd perfumes to irritate the skin)
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Vitamin B5
  • Silk Amino Acid Blend
  • Frakincense Oil (active and not used for fragrance)
  • Vitamin E
  • Gotu Kola
  • and other emulsifiers and thickeners that are friendly to your skin

You read the key ingredients and they sound more like an overnight cream versus just a mask and this is where this Valentia product differs from the common OTC masks you find with mass merchandisers. This mask provides within 15 to 30 minutes a power punch of moisture, along with anti-aging properties but because the intense hydration is limited in time, people like myself that are prone to acne blemishes (aka: skin that rebels against moisture even when it needs it) need not to worry. I know, I know, you probably heard that before and then used a moisturizer that made your skin feel and look good but by day three, the bumps and blemishes win out any positive outcome you received from the moisturizing effect. This is different. Remember this is a beauty treatment, so you have to see it as a “power nap” where the exposure is limited in time but just those few minutes make a world of difference and allows your skin to get what it has been missing. I like the idea, so I was eager to see what Valentia’s new Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask could do for me.

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Verdict:
I tried the mask and because I have been using a microdermabrasion system at home once a week, I need a good amount of feed afterwards to give my “new skin” a huge welcome. I started by using the mask once a week after my treatments and figured if it made my new skin have a fit, my older skin was going to have a tantrum like no other. Nothing happened when it came to pimples, red bumps, blemishes, clogged pores, black heads, or let us just call them bumps from hell that sometimes do not even surface all the way to just be more difficult. My new skin acted like everything has always been hunky dory. Okay, so my new skin is literally a new beginning! I up my treatment to two times a week by week 3. I notice that my skin gets what I describe as a tickle when I first apply the mask but nothing like my pores are being pulled from their core like a mud or clay mask can do. I see softer skin and my pores are looking smaller, which I like because as much as I like clean pores, empty ones can look more pronounced because even the good oils have been pulled out.  My skin just seems more relaxed after I use the Ultra Plumping Hydration mask from Valemtia. The Green Tea’s anti-inflammation properties really calm my skin while the hydrating key ingredients feed my skin, producing a smoother and younger appearance. I don’t go to bed with a sticky face that ends up feeding my pillow more than anything and because I can control how long I do the treatment, I can limit or prolong my hydration to fit my needs. Not something you can do with many ant-aging creams out there and I literally put on the mask, watch a show and then wash my face. Painless, and my skin looks better while I do nothing extravagant. By week 4, the biggest difference and improvement has been around my eye and cheek area. Fine lines are diminished and you know how you look fresh and smooth in the morning after washing your face (i.e. less wrinkly)? Well, that effect lasts longer thru-out the day. I look less spent and so will your pocket book because this mask just costs $25 for a 4 ounce jar! It’s a win-win for a girl that wants moisturized skin without suffering the pumps later on!

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Connect with Valentia at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Valentia. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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Shower Bouquet: Extra Large Mesh and Lace Shower Pouf (4-Pack) #Review #ShowerBouquet

There are two things I can never have enough of, slipper socks and shower poufs.  I’m such an addict that I have boxes filled with both.  My reasoning behind my hoarding….I mean insanity…..let’s call it stocking up, is because neither has a long life span.  My slipper socks end up with thinning material at heels or even holes, and my shower poufs are one of those things that I want them to last in one piece but would like to be able to change to a new one within a reasonable amount of time for hygiene/sanitary purposes.  Soaps and body washes leave residues, so I always want to get rid of a pouf before any shows and you never want to be washing with a dirty pouf.  My problem these last few years, has been poufs that come apart.  I’ve spent from $1 to $8 per pouf in the past and price tag has never equated with quality.  Most I try to get on clearance and especially the specialty kind that have fabric textures that exfoliate and so forth.  The worst that can happen is a pouf…..well, un-poufing!  You are one week in and happy as can be and then you go to grab it, and the pouf comes apart!  Leaving you trying to try to reassemble it when it is wet and making a knot in those conditions can be frustrating, so I now want to only invest on poufs that are headache free.

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In comes Shower Bouquet with a colorful 4-pack of shower poufs.  They are extra large in size and feature a combination of fabrics, lace and mesh.  The lace helps exfoliate and rid the skin of any surface dead skin cells, and the mesh makes sure you get the desirable lather when showering so you can feel clean.  The poufs from Shower Bouquet also have a long ribbon to hang the pouf from for hanging and to allow the pouf to properly dry.

 
 

Retail Price Point: $15.95 via Amazon for a 4-pack

 
 

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Verdict:
I always try to find poufs in various sizes because I tend to sometimes use a body wash and other times a soap bar, so it depends what I use what pouf I select.  I look for shower poufs that are full when it comes to material because I want it to be able to hold and maintain a lather, plus I don’t want to scratch my skin if there is not enough material when using.  I also don’t want a mesh that sheds pieces with use and of course it has to hold together in one piece until I dispose of it.  Shower Bouquet’s 4-pack is perfect for me because it gives me 4 poufs that should last me about 6-8 months because you just don’t want a pouf that harbors bacteria and who knows what.  I sanitize mine with alcohol (if delicate) or in the dishwasher (top rack only) but that will only safeguard you for so long and with the price point of Shower Bouquet’s poufs, I don’t feel bad about tossing it way within a timely manner.  The poufs are not the largest I have used before because I have used some larger than these and would state they are more a fluffy size large.  The poufs are soft against the skin and makes lathering a cinch, plus you use less product when using a pouf.  I have used exfoliating type poufs in the past and this one is softer on the skin, so it’s not a feeling of a deep scrub you will get but perfect for everyday use.  Plus, the colors are bright and happy and don’t bleed dyes when you first start using them.  Yes, I have looked like a smurf when I once bought a pretty blue shower pouf that made me and the shower look a beautiful sky blue!  Shower Bouquet’s poufs don’t do that and they also remain in one piece, so chasing mesh and trying to gather it up so you can finish showering.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Shower Bouquet.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Eu Natural: Caffeine with L-Theanine, Energy Support & Mental Focus; 60 capsules Review #Caffeine

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Sometimes a cup of coffee or tea is the last thing I want in the morning and energy drinks are usually full of sugars, so I opt in taking Caffeine pills. A half pill to start the day is what I usually need and the other half I take in the afternoon to get that “umph” to finish the day with completed tasks. I thought all Caffeine pills were the same and most times, I just looked at contents and where the caffeine was derived from, and then at pill count. I later realized that even though caffeine is a simple drug, it’s a supplement, so let the games begin! Some brands gave me no energy, while others had me buzzing around like a Humming Bird even if both bottles stated the same milligrams. It made no sense other than what I was taking was not always what was really what I was getting and disclosed. I now even pick my manufactures carefully to simply purchase caffeine pills, and so should you.

Eu Natural provides the consumer with a product that not only provides you caffeine, but also has L-Theanine.

What is L-Theanine-
The ingredient is usually added to caffeine to aid with jitters, shakes, and more so to curb the not so great effects we sometimes experience. It helps give caffeine a boost, where you also feel more alert and perform faster. L-Theanine, does not effect the potency by diminishing it’s effectiveness either, it just makes sure you get the benefits faster.  It’s just a add-on ingredient that I don’t see on many caffeine bottles and I have only taken the supplement in conjunction in the past. Theanine is a natural ingredient found in many foods, drinks, and teas. Think of Green Tea when it comes to this ingredient, and small clinical studies have shown that it helps by reducing anxiety and so forth, so you can see why it’s beneficial to have this with caffeine intake.

Retail Price Point: $19.95 for a bottle that has a 60-Capsule count.

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Directions: You can take one capsule up to 4 times a day, and it’s suggested each capsule be ingested with 8-ounces of water.

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Ingredients (as listed on the site): Caffeine (Pharmaceutical-grade), L-Theanine (Pharmaceutical-grade)

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Verdict:
I took one capsule in the day and one in the afternoon, as I usually buy tablets and this being a capsule, it meant I could not cut the pill in half. I did get energy and the claims of staying alert and focused, minus the nervous twitch is true. The Humming Bird in me was not flying off the walls and I was able to think and function clearly. I got through my tasks quickly and never had a moment where I felt a drop in dosage and was just hit with tiredness. I was awake when I needed to be and the capsules from Eu Natural did not interfere when it came to sleep and/or downtime. I could control the dosage and not as finely as with a tablet, but enough that I did not feel I was taking more caffeine than needed. My only negative is the price point. It’s high and really up there for the simple ingredients. I like simple supplements and especially when I just want caffeine, however if you take 2 pills a day, this bottle lasts you a month. Take more or the maximum of four pills, and you are looking at spending $20 for a two-week to three-week supply. Ouch! I can see adding Eu Natural into my supplement routine for days the jitters matter but not for everyday consumption. I don’t want to spend that much on what really breaks down to one simple supplement and I myself prefer purchasing L-Theanine separately because I don’t mind taking two pills, versus one when it comes to saving some funds.   If you want an all-in-one, then Eu Naturals is for you!

Connect with Eu Naturals at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Eu Naturals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Joyal Beauty: Super Brightening Vitamin C Serum #Review #JoyalBeautyVitaminCSerum

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I have reviewed many Vitamin C serums, creams, lotions, potions, and you would think I would have one that mimics another, but I have yet to find one that is identical in formulation. Each has it’s own unique ingredients and the three I have reviewed that sort of were close in formulation, they all behaved differently once applied. I think in the end the source of the product matters and being able to take that leap of faith and trust that what you are buying, is what you are getting.

Joyal Beauty is a company, which satisfies the serum junkie in me. Seriously, look at their product line and it’s serum heaven. I always start any beauty regimen with a serum because the skin quickly absorbs it and they rarely leave any residues that interfere with other products. What’s not to love?

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As with other vitamin C serums, the claims remain the same:

  • Free Radical Protection caused from oxidation to sunburns
  • Antioxidant protection and nourishment
  • Brightening of skin and with long term use smoothness in texture
  • Helps reduce age spots, dark spots and such from aging, acne to sun damage
  • Wrinkle reduction because the product aids with hydration absorption, causing a more “plump” appearance
  • Improvement in skin texture where you may achieve better elasticity and Vitamin C serums with the ingredients listed, have also been proven to help moisturizers perform better by increasing the time the skin stays hydrated.
  • Your skin’s complexion will not only have a better appearance but also be more stable (better skin’s health)

The big difference is what ingredients were used with Joyal Beauty, is the use of STA.Y-C® 50 The manufacture states this is a more stable and superior form of Vitamin C and the proprietary blend will actually hydrate up to 72 hours. That is a huge difference!

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Ingredients (as listed on their website): 72% of the ingredients are ORGANIC!- FULL INGREDIENTS(and major functions): Organic Herbal Infusion( Excellent base to provide natural herbal protein and minerals); Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe) (Moisturizer,Wound healing and anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant); Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C) (STAY-C 50. The most stabilized vitamin c as effective as L-ascorbic acid; Brightening, Anti-wrinkle, Anti-spots, Anti-aging) ; Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) (Nutrient in superfood. Softening, Deeply hydrating and smoothing; Anti-inflammatory and skin-repairing effect, useful for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis); Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid),(Reduces dryness, itching and burning of the skin;Hydrating ability plumps the skin; Softening; Anti-wrinkles); Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) (Control acne by reducing inflammation and decreasing oil; Tighten skin; Help de-puff or reduce under eye baggage; Tighten pores; Eliminate water loss; Treats sunburns; Helps ease symptoms of eczema and psoriasis); d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) ( strong antioxidant that prevents premature aging, anti-wrinkle,lubricating); Carbomer (Safe formulation stabilizer and thickener); (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid ( Anti-aging and healing damaged skin); Ferulic Acid (Potent antioxidant; Improved stability of the vitamins C+E and doubled photoprotection); Kosher Vegetable Glycerin (Natural skin softener); Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil) ( Natural moisturizer); Phenoxyethanol (Safe preservative ); Ethylhexylglycerin (Skin-conditioning agent).

Indications:
You simply apply the product to a clean surface and because it’s a serum, you apply Joyal Beauty’s Super Brightening Vitamin C first and allow the skin to absorb the product. This process only takes a few minutes and you then follow up with a moisturizer, and don’t forget SPF for daytime use. I used the product twice a day to achieve better results and the serum was gentle enough to be used around my eyes and great for plumping and nourishing lips.

Retail Price Point: $24.95 via Amazon for a 1 fluid ounce bottle.

Verdict:
I had zero issues with interactions and found the serum helped control my “T-Zone” and I experienced less issues with a shiny forehead, nose, and chin come mid-afternoon.  The product also absorbed very quickly and started to plump my skin up instantaneously.  I am hesitant when it comes to proprietary blends because a company may hide behind what they really are, but I could not state the same when it came to Joyal Beauty.  Even their ingredient list is forthcoming when it comes to what makes their ingredients and even down to what purpose they serve.  Very open in a world of beauty where products are treated like secret potion recipes, that are never to be shared!  I am not use to that, so I still even approached the use and performance with greater judgement.  Yes, they made me wary being honest! 🙂 About day 7, my judgmental thinking was turned when I started seeing positive results and because I use Vitamin C serums daily, followed after with retinol, I am again just jumping from one Vitamin C serum to another.  Okay, I must admit that whatever makes up that STA.Y-C® 50, the potion works! I wanted to tell you it was just like any other Vitamin C serum I have used and if you changed the labels I would not be the wiser but my fine lines did not only diminish……they went poof!  I like poof when it comes to wrinkles!  I got serious hydration and in just 7 days noticed smoother skin that remained with the same texture after washing.  That means a face that is clean and residue free still remained hydrated and plumped because the benefits were kept (mine all mine!).  I like to call that looking still good with a naked face is always a positive.

Look good and find your serum at Joyal Beauty here:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Joyal Beauty.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Oz Naturals: 2.5% Retinol Serum with Astaxanthin and Vitamin E #Review #OzNaturals

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The market is filled with ant-aging products and even though we have many too choose from, some rarely work. Like I have mentioned in past reviews, no oversight like in the supplement world, so most products just have to not hurt you and they are really overlooked and still being sold. I spent the last few weeks testing out serums to devices that help with aging skin. It’s so hard knowing I invested a few weeks and a product just did not deliver what was stated.

Thankfully, Oz Naturals was not one of them!

I love retinol and especially one that did not cost an office visit. Yes, the prescriptions are not as costly as one would think but the office visits cost money and refills require another office visit. It gets up there and I honestly do not feel I am need of the prescription strength, yet. I prefer to not over medicate my face because if I up the potency, I also up the side effects and with Summer around, I also up my chances of getting a red and peely face. I’m all for anti-aging but shedding skin like a lizard is not sexy no matter the bikini you wear!

Oz Naturals has a 2.5% retinol serum, which contains Astaxanthin and Vitamin E. The formula is a strong orange hue in color that always makes me think the retinol oxidized, as yellow is the first tinge you see when it does, followed by the orange color that comes after. Thankfully, this is just a coloring from the ingredients versus a serum going wonky and I prefer getting pass the color versus a dye being added to just calm my fears. That is what Oz Naturals does, it offers a natural approach to your skincare’s needs.

Ingredients (as listed on website): Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), HamamelisVirginiana (Witch Hazel), Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Organic SimmondsiaChinensis (Jojoba Oil), TriticumVulgare (Wheat Germ Oil), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), WildcraftedResinaPropoli (Propolis), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

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Astaxanthin: This was an ingredient that I had heard of but was not familiar with, as not any of my beauty products contain it. It’s a carotenoid and an antioxidant. It’s what they feed salmon when people for some reason want to see a pinker/orange hue in their fish. It does not convert to retionol (Vitamin A), however research which is still limited, has reflected it may aid with inflammation, oxidation and even UV damage. I like that it’s simple and as long as it’s derived naturally and not in it’s synthetic form, it has the potential to help and protect against oxidative (free-radical) aging skin.

Price Point: $24.99 for a 1 ounce bottle with a pump top, versus a dropper.  This bottle helps keep the air out and because it’s tinted, the glass keeps the light out too.

Verdict:
I love serums because my skin loves them. They absorb quickly and that means less residue and you don’t feel that heaviness that some creams tend to leave behind. Most serums play well with cosmetics and because I have increased my retinol use to both day and night use, just making sure I use sunscreen in the day to avoid redness or hyper-pigmentation issues. The latter part would kind of go against what I am trying to do (save my skin), so please don’t skip on your SPF. I used the serum for a total of 3 weeks and like always, I am going from one 2.5% retinol brand to another. I will notice if a product works if it does or does not maintain the progress I have previously achieved, and I can then measure if the new serum brings anything new to the party. Even though Oz Naturals is orange in color, it did not leave a orange colored goop that was hard to hide. My skin absorbed the serum with no problems! I did notice that my skin at week two had a nicer and more pleasant texture. My skin had a glow that the previous retinol serum did not add. It was not an oily glow but just a healthy one and because I suffer from horrible seasonal allergies, this is something that unfortunately always reflects on my face and sadly my skin. The glow I got sort of helped make me look healthier and less tired, so it took attention away from the signs of having bad allergies gives you. I’ll take it! Any serum that can do more than just deliver retinol is what I seek. I’m always looking to simplify my routine and I literally went from Oz Naturals 2.5% retinol serum to then moisturizer at night, and done! Just switch to an SPF moisturizer in the day and it’s the easiest and most effective duo I have found, so no excuses that you have no time for your skin. With Oz Naturals, you will only need 3 minutes to get what I consider a good anti-aging beauty regimen, so you can even do it while brushing your teeth 🙂

Oz Naturals offers a large assortment of Beauty products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Oz Naturals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Francois et Mimi Stainless Steel Breadbox #Review #StainlessSteelBreadBox

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I already got the opportunity to try out some bedsheets from Francois et Mimi, and they were generous enough to also send a stainless steel bread box. And while I genuinely appreciate their efforts and generosity, I can’t recommend this breadbox, and I’ll tell you exactly why.

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To start, it arrived damaged. Lest you think the Postal Service is to blame (and they frequently are), this time the shipping box was pristine. So it was boxed and shipped with scratches, a dent, and a cattywampus lid that doesn’t close properly. Another problem? The very thin steel means it’s easily bent back into something resembling straight. The spot welds holding the lid to the sides actually have dimples and discoloration. Oh, and rust. Three drop marks on the top I had to buff out with Barkeeper’s Friend. Nice quality control there.

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The problems don’t end there, sadly. The capacity, as shown, barely holds a bag of small bagels. A loaf of bread would probably not fit. The rubber feet on the bottom are glued and fell off almost immediately. Which, coupled with the aforementioned thin gauge steel, would lead to copious scratches all over your counters.

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I hate being less than positive with products provided to me for free for reviews, but I have to consider the people that may buy these products based on my recommendation. I have to ask myself would I have been happy spending $19.99 on this, and the answer is “no”. The company also took forever to respond and then a long time to ship. I can’t, by any stretch of the imagination, recommend this product. Assuming you get an undamaged one, I can imagine it would look nice on the counter.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Francois et Mimi.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Aria Starr Beauty: Super Retinol Advanced Anti-Aging Serum; 2.5% Retinol #Review #AriaStarrBeauty

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Read the fashion magazines to the beauty newsletters,, and everyone is always pushing a retinol product with a very huge price tag. Not all vitamin A products are created equal but that does not mean that retinol product is not going to cost an arm and a leg. One thing I learned, is that Vitamin A should not be as costly and it’s effectiveness will come from what the formulation yields. You then get into the source and potency of the product and that is where I come to see if the bottle has what it says it does. The skin does not lie! 🙂

Aria Starr Beauty is a young company, which originates in Corona, California and with only a few products currently on the market. They offer Argan oil, a Vitamin C serum and the Super Retinol serum they kindly sent me to try out. The company name’s is the same as the founder, and they provide their beauty aids currently only via the Amazon’s Marketplace and other sites. Getting noticed is hard in the beauty world, so I don’t always discount if a company has little social media traffic or even a limited selection. Everything starts somewhere and some start small but as long as you do it right, I prefer to know I can count on a brand for this product versus just having a large selection of beauty items that do not work…..we all have sort of been there at one time or another!

I’m always on a retinol product as it is, and currently the OTC brands are only allowed to distribute a maximum of 2.5% without a prescription. This also means you get a softer potency that is sometimes better because delicate areas like your eyes can’t tolerate higher doses. You would need a script for retinol, which contains Tretinoin and comes in both topical and even pill form (i.e. Accutane). I don’t feel I’m there yet when it comes to my skin’s needs both in appearance and let’s admit it, in cost. I stick to 2.5% retinol for now until the time the fine lines start fighting back harder.

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Aria Starr Super Retinol is labeled as a advanced anti-aging serum. You get a combination of main ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E and Organic Aloe. I like that the product comes in a glass colored bottle to avoid oxidation caused by light, plus it’s a gorgeous cobalt blue in color. Aria Starr took one step further and opted for a pump action top versus the glass droppers you see with some products, so again protecting the potency of the retinol by limiting oxygen/air from diluting it’s contents. I also like pump tops because I think they are more sanitary. You don’t have to worry if you need to rest a dropper’s top on the counter and picking up whatever to not only affect your skin, but the contents of the product, and it’s future applications. I’m just not into spreading germs with my beauty routine!

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Ingredients (as listed on Amazon): Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Organic Jojoba Oil, Triticum Vulgare, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Organic Green Tea, Wildcrafted Resina Propoli, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin

Retail Price Point: $16.95 for a 2.0 fluid ounce bottle. The label has a printed on expiration date, which I like. It makes the consumer aware of manufacture date (11/17/2014) and expiration date (11/16/2016). Aria Starr’s products are manufactured in the USA and lot/batch numbers are also recorded on the label.  Covered by a 1-year Satisfaction Guarantee.

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Results:
As I stated I use retinol, so I am passed the “sensitive period” where peeling and/or redness may occur. Aria Starr’s serum is the same potency as the brand I was currently using, so I simply just jumped from one brand to another. I used the product for 3.5 weeks to see if the serum continued with my skin’s upkeep and if I saw any improvements or worse, any fine lines coming back. I used the product twice a day but in the A.M., I tend to go lighter with application and always follow-up with a SPF moisturizer. The serum does have retinol present, as my past achievements of ditching fine lines continued. I did not have any adverse reactions and this serum seems to leave a little more of a moisture barrier and this may be because of the additional beneficial properties added (i.e. vitamin oils and enriching oils).

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Verdict:
You can’t beat the price point for a product where 1 to 2 pumps is needed. I still have more than 1/2 left because I needed 1 pump at night and a 1/2 a pump in the day.  A little goes a long way with serums and especially retinol infused ones.  I did not see any diminished gains that I had previously achieved and the product does work well with my skin.  No break-outs, blemishes, or anything negative I could attribute to the serum.  The product also absorbs quickly and gave me zero issues when used under make-up.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Aria Starr Beauty.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Petunia Skincare: Derma Roller, 540 needles 1.5mm #Review #PetuniaSkincare

 

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I have come to the conclusion that not everything for skincare today comes out of a jar. Yes, you get results but not the maximum you can achieve from an at-home beauty regimen. Something is always missing and because I’m a D-I-Y gal, I try to find options that fit with my schedule and no appointments required.  So, if I have time at midnight to take care of my skin……so be it!

Petunia Skincare provides several beauty products that fit anyone’s needs from cosmetic brushes, serums, to the Derma roller they sent me. I have used at-home laser treatments that really helped to facial skin simulators, which helped me clear up my nasal passages from the vibrations more than it ever did anything for my skin, so it was great for my seasonal allergies! I never actually have used needles (except to annihilate a pimple that declared war and that is a needle) on my face. Petunia’s Skincare Derma roller is 540 needles that are ultra thin at just 1.5 mm!

 

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What do Derma Rollers Deliver:

The idea is to stimulate the skin with multiple micro-sized needles. The stimulation is deeper than a product you would just apply to the surface, so you wake-up (i.e. amp up) your production of collagen. Collagen is what we lose with time when it comes to the amount we produce, so the effect of aging accelerates. No one wants that! You won’t get rid of deep wrinkles but you can soften their appearance with time and start working at producing a skin surface that is smoother and softer. Works wonders on fine lines that are not so deep!  The stimulation also aids with circulation, which again aids with the rejuvenation process. It’s about making that clock for once speed up on how we shed old skin to produce new skin that is better looking than what we had. I’m game!

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How you Use it Matters:

It’s needles and common sense applies. You don’t roll it around like it’s a pie crust here! Think more of pasta dough and you need to follow a pattern, so you are not over rolling in certain areas and neglecting others. The Derma roller can be used on your face and body, however you avoid sensitive skin like under your eyes, lids, and so forth. After using the Derma roller, it is recommended to “feed your skin”, so this is when you use serums, creams and anything that provides a good dose of nourishment to the areas you treated. It’s easy when it comes to the regimen aspect because you only use the roller once every 3 to 4 weeks for the face and 2 to 3 weeks on the body. Petunia Skincare provides a nice illustration and detailed directions when it comes to patterns and use, so you are not going into it blind when you purchase a Derma Roller from them. If you have open skin from acne or other causes, avoid treating that area or if you develop a negative reaction. Redness will occur and I compare the redness I got to what I get from retinol, so it fades away overnight.

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Retail Price Point: $18.77 via Petunia Skincare’s website or via Amazon.  The product also comes with a Satisfaction Guarantee.

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Cleaning keeps the skin Healthy:

Like our skin, the Derma roller should be kept clean and sterile to avoid any issues. Petunia Skincare recommends a hot water rinse before every use and an alcohol/bleach disinfection after 3 to 4 sessions of use. I opted to keep things ultra-clean by using alcohol every time. Takes so little time and my skin is worth it! I did use the (diluted) bleach method after using the roller twice and when you look at the schedule for treatments, it broke down to once every 2 months for the bleach method and that was already ahead of the 3 to 4 sessions recommended by the manufacture. Be careful to not damage the needles by bending or pressing on them when cleaning the Derma roller.

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Results:

I’m 2 sessions in when using the roller and have noticed a quicker turnaround. The product’s box states the roller aids with cellulite reduction, however I have just used the product on my face and can’t report if it helps with this skin problem. I figure I start using it on my problem areas (on my body) this month. Being able to accelerate the “turn-over process” has drastically reduced my punishment regarding acne scarring, which has always gone away with me but what took maybe 2 months to diminish, now takes 3 to 4 weeks and the last week is really just a shadow (pigment color difference) that you can barely notice. So far 2015 has been kind to me when it comes to my breakouts, so unsure if that is due to the roller or my skin just decided to be nice (nah, it’s out of character) to me. You will notice firmer texture after 2 sessions if this was not a huge issue. Start early when it comes to beauty treatments has always been my motto and this is coming from a girl that never has seen a dermatologist for anti-aging anything. It pays off because I don’t mind needles but I am sort of wary of filled needles because of the adverse effects fillers and botox may have. Plus, I save money and my wallet and myself sort of prefer walking around looking a little younger minus less money!

Connect with Petunia Skincare and their beauty products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from .  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Pura D’ or: Premium Organic Argan Oil, Shampoo and Conditioner in Lavender/Vanilla Review

 

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Towards the middle of 2014, I started researching oils for skin, hair, to nails to see what they were all about because so many oils were being touted as the solution to all our beauty needs. As a kid, we all opened the Vitamin E capsules and they were always great with sunburns and so forth, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I then got into Coconut anything in my teens and moved on to Jojoba and Cocoa butters. The market is flooded with bringing back oils, which not too long ago was seen as a major no-no and especially for suffers of oily skin. I suffer from combination skin and this includes my scalp’s skin where I fluctuate with what the weather and seasons bring. One Winter I could have a normal scalp and the next Winter it could be dry, so it’s also skin with a temper and if you ask me, sort of moody. To squash the moodiness, I learned that simple is better when it comes to what I put on my skin and this includes my hair and scalp.

Following the above motto, I was eager to try Pura D’ or’s products. Their choice of oil is Argan and so far this oil has been one of my favorites. My drawer looks like a science lab with different colored bottles, which all have droppers as dispensers, to even a roller ball one for my Maracuja oil. Argan has been the oil for me that super moisturizers but remains light on the skin to the point as the hours pass, more absorbs until it disappears. I like this type of nourishment/moisture and especially for overnight beauty treatments. The Moroccan oil has become more prevalent and now used in more mainstream product lines, like Josie Maran. It’s popularity is welcoming and scary because that also means price points go up for this beneficial oil and quality becomes suspect as it gets diluted with other oils, and not so good ingredients. Pura D’ or is a company that has embraced this one oil and infused all their products with 100% cold-pressed Argan oil. That is a great beginning, so I was lucky to able to try three of their products.

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Pura D’ or Premium Organic Shampoo in Hair Loss Prevention (Retail Price Point: $24.99 via the website or $20.99 via Amazon)-
The shampoo comes in large bottle with a top, which features a pump dispenser. I have very long hair (waist length) and found that 1/2 a pump was all I needed to get a satisfying amount of lather and even distribution. The scent of the product can be described sort of like a blend of herbs, and I enjoyed how my hair felt when I rinsed. My hair was not left over stripped of oils and dry. I only washed once every time I showered because for me two washes was not necessary and I find this is a major culprit to drying out one’s scalp. I just leave the shampoo on for 3 minutes and focus on softly lathering (don’t get crazy with your nails against your scalp) and I’m done. I used the product for 2 weeks to get an idea on performance and if I saw differences in my hair’s health. I did not experience build-up but did regain some lost luster and shine that started to suffer from all this bouncing weather we have been experiencing in California. I also found that I was less prone to static and I did not experience any dryness on both my hair or scalp.  The shampoo states it prevents hair-loss and since I am not experiencing any, I can’t comment in it’s performance in that area.

 

Ingredients (as listed on the site):
Deionized Purified Water, Decyl Glucoside (Derived from natural sugar), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (Derived from coconut), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sufonate (Derived from coconut), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (Derived from coconut), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Derived from coconut), Polyquaternium 71 (Derived from plant), Cocamide MIPA (Derived from natural sugar), Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (Derived from coconut), Polyquaternium 80 (Derived from plant), Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate (Derived from coconut), Melaleuca Alternifolia* (Tea Tree), Argania Spinosa kernel* (Argan oil), Biotin (Vitamin H), Nigella Sativa Oil (Black seed), Phyllanthus emblica (Indian Gooseberry), Urtica dioica extract (Nettles extract), Serenoa Serrulata extract (Saw Palmetto extract), Cedrus atlantica oil (Cedarwood oil), Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary oil), Salvia Sclarea oil (Sage oil), Polygonum Multiflorum Root (He Shou Wu), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon oil), Hibiscus (Rosa-sinensis) Extract, Nicotinic acid (Niacin), Zinc Pyrithione, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Soy Isoflavone (Non-GMO), Beta Sitosterol, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea), Sorbitan Oleate Decyglucoside Crosspolymer (Derived  from natural cane sugar, non-GMO corn and olive oil), Phenoxyethanol (Mild Preservative), Caprylyl Alcohol

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Pura D’ or Premium Organic Conditioner in Lavender & Vanilla (Retail Price Point: $24.99 via their website and $19.99 via Amazon)-
The conditioner smells a little stronger (aromatic) in scent from it’s shampoo counterpart, but nonetheless still very pleasant and it’s a nice clean but light scent. The vanilla and lavender combo almost works like aromatherapy because of the calming nature of both fragrances. The conditioner I focused more on application to my strands, versus the roots of my hair. I left the product on for 2 to 3 minutes, depending what styling products I had used that day. This method allows me to customize my hair’s needs because even though I try to use the most kindest of products, hair spray and even a touch of it is not so nice when comes to build-up. That is one thing this conditioner did not have, was any build up effect and especially after continuous use. You are left with soft locks that tend to need less leave-in oils/styling treatments when you get to the drying stage of your hair. Again, you will love the scent and feel your hair gets from this conditioner and if you have to choose to try just 1 product from the duo, try this conditioner!

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Ingredients (as listed on the site):
Deionized Purified water, organic coconut protein (cocos nucifera), ceteareth 20 (derived from coconut), stearyl amidopropyl dimethylamine (derived from coconut), plant protein (naturally derived vegetable proteins), glycerin (100% vegetable base), Argania spinosa (argan oil), lavender extract (Lavandula Angustifolia), Vanilla Planifolia (vanilla extract), PF-64 (Paraben-free milk preservative), Retinol (VitaminA), Panthenol(Vitamin D), Tocopheryl(Vitamin E) & citric acid (naturally derived to balance pH).

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Pura D’ or Pure and Organic Argan oil (Retail Price Point: $24.99 via their website or $19.99 via Amazon)-
On the website, I noticed this bottle now comes with a pump action top but mine came with a dropper, so you have already an improvement. I love droppers because you can control the amount you need but exposing the contents to air and light on a daily basis in not so great, plus you have the risk of spilling. It finally happened to me where I spilled my Retinol bottle but that means one oops in one year’s time…..not too bad. The Argan oil is unrefined and you get 100% pure cold-pressed oil. Fine and light in texture and my eyes love this stuff. I get zero issues when it comes to eye make-up application the following day. Primers are great for staying and longevity power with eye shadows and the like, but can be drying and stressful to the skin on your eye’s lid and surrounding parts. So little can be applied to this sensitive area but I have found that Argan is kind enough to never irritate, leaves zero residue the following morning that may cause make-up to crease, and offers a perfect barrier of protection. It’s one of the few oils I have witnessed that actually dissipates and fully absorbs into the skin in that area. Vitamin E oil floats and I think I do more damage trying to remove it and Coconut oil loves my lashes but because of it’s temperament towards temperatures, its want to solidify can cause some areas to be almost mealy and again heavier than desired in residue. So, in short, Argan on the eye lids and pat around nicely (plus softly) and Coconut oil on the lashes! Simple ingredients with a multitude of uses and Argan oil beats any nail/cuticle oil on the market. Nothing beats a real nude look like toe nails that are healthy and beautiful for Spring and Summer shoes!

 

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Ingredients:
Pure Organic Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil.

 

Connect with Pura D’ or and they have more to offer at:

Promos:

  • START20 coupon code gives all first-time customers a 20% discount
  • Receive a FREE Cold Pressed Argan Oil with any purchase
  • Free Shipping on all orders within the Continental U.S.

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Pura D’ or.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Poppy Austin: Green Tea & Vitamin C Bright Eye Moisturizer #Review

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Poppy Austin, is a beauty company, which carries products derived from natural and organic sources. The sources may not be your everyday common lingo, like Barbary Fig seed oil, but that does not mean it’s not something that should be overlooked. The old ways are becoming the new ways, so look at it like you would your skin, new ways to find rejuvenation.

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I was sent an eye cream from Poppy Austin to test-drive. The eye cream has green tea, vitamin C and 72% of the ingredients are organic. The base of the solution is mostly an herbal infusion and Aloe Vera, so the product feels light when applied. The skin quickly absorbs the product and the eye moisturizer targets these major issues:

  • Puffiness
  • Dark Circles
  • Increases Elasticity
  • Fine Lines and Wrinkles
  • Protects against signs of Aging
  • and also Moisturizes

 

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Directions: Being that this is an eye cream, a little goes a long way and I use a dabbing technique to disperse the product and then gently applied it to create an even layer. I waited for the eye cream to fully absorb, which ranged between 1 to 2 minutes time lapse, before applying any make-up. I did not experience issues during application of cosmetics to the area or hours later, when some eye creams can cause a “bubbling up” film that tends to make your foundation look like you forgot to blend. This eye cream gave me none of that, so I continued use for 3 weeks.

 

Retail Price Point: $22.49 via Amazon for a 30 ml fluid ounce bottle, which has a top with a pump dispenser.

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Ingredients (as listed on the bottle): Herbal Infusion, Jojoba Esters, Glycolic Acid, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Grapeseed oil, Green Tea, Licorice, Methylsulfonylmethane, Evening Primrose oil, Sodium Ascorbyl.Phosphate (Vitamin C), Wildcrafted Euphrasia Officinails, Tamanu oil, Oregon Grape, Helichrysum essential oil, Jojoba oil, Rosehip seed oil, Palm oil, Hydrogenated Castor oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Coenzyme Q10, Phytic Acid, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl, Lecithin, Apple, Lemon, Sugar Cane, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Lemongrass, Vitamin C Palmate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Sclerotium Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, and Alcohol.

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Verdict: On the first week of use, I noticed that the skin surrounding my eyes was moisturized and because I suffer from allergies, I continued use to see if I could get rid of some of the puffiness. I do not suffer from dark circles thankfully, so I could not test the cream against that. My skin remained the same but nourished with continued use. On week two, I still use my eye drops to get rid of my red eyes but also the puffiness and swelling I wake up with. I am happy with the way the product disappears after being absorbed. Zero residue and it does not haunt me later in the day by creating an oily film. The manufacture desires two applications per day for maximum results and I continue use into week 3. As I’m in California, the Winter we have has been mild but I did notice that when the nights are cold, my skin looks firm and feels like so, however not as moisturized. I have been needing to add a small droplet of oil (argan) on those evenings. I attribute it to my own needs due to my seasonal allergies that tend to be serious as we get closer to Spring. I will say for firming and protecting the skin around your eyes, this cream does the job as long as you keep in mind that puffiness will only go so much down without the use of eye drops but compared to the over-the-counter eye creams I have tried, this one fought the battle of the “Puffy Eyes” with great valor!

Connect with Poppy Austin and check-out their line of products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Poppy Austin.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

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