LANEIGE: Lip Sleeping Mask, Water Sleeping Mask and SoltreeBundle Natural Hemp Paper Trio #Laneige #SoltreeBundle

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Laneige, may be new to some of us in the U.S., however the brand has been providing skin care products in Asia since 1994.  In 2007, being a well recognized and respected brand, Laneige later expanded their line into beauty and cosmetic lines.  Still dominating the “Beauty of Asia” market.  In 2013, Laneige expanded further and began distributing skin care products in the U.S. market, and especially their moisturizing “water masks”.  You can find many of their products now at major retailers and I have even received Laneige products in beauty boxes, which is how I became familiar with the brand.

 

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I am a fan!  Let’s start there and if a Laneige anything is even part of a well price beauty box, I grab it.  The water mask lines have never caused me any irritation and nothing plumps my skin like their masks.  No clogged pores and just positive benefits.  When I saw the bundle at Amazon being offered to bloggers, I jumped on it because who doesn’t like to share reviews of products they already use and have become favorites.

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Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: This one was a new one for me because I had not tried this one yet.  The Lip Sleeping Mask is really a game changer from the lip balms, overnight concoctions, to sticks and glosses that state they will change your lips’s skin but seem to fail time and time again.  Resurfacing the skin on our lips is part one but many products provide ingredients that do this but the problem is their “all-in-one” solutions.  The formulas aggressively exfoliate to the point the dryness becomes excessive and/or repetitive.  Yes, many OTC products are combined with moisturizers but when you have ingredients that are suppose to accelerate skin cell rejuvenation, you sort of leave your lips confused.  What Laneige did was create a product specialized for the lips.  A mask!  Just like eye creams address the sensitive skin around our eyes that differs from that around our face, this Lip Sleeping Mask is formulated to deeply nourish and re-hydrate your skin….but on your lips.  Treating your lips overnight is something I love because who doesn’t want to solve problems while sleeping and wake up with better looking anything?  I sure do and I see it as multi-tasking.  The product even comes with an applicator brush, which is soft and the Laneige mask has no odd odor or taste.  It’s just one swipe to both your top and bottom lip, then set the alarm to wake-up the next morning with soft and supple lips.  Love it!

Ingredients (as listed on the website): Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin), Polybutene, Microcrystalline Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Synthetic Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Methicone, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Water, Potassium Alginate, Glycerin, Propanediol, Alcohol, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Chiloensis (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Fragrance+/-CI 15850, CI 15850:1, CI 45410:1, CI 45380:2, CI 45380, CI 45410, CI 17200, CI 12085, CI 19140, CI 15985, CI 47005, CI 42090, Titanium Dioxide, CI 77499, CI 77491, Mica

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Laneige Water Sleeping Mask: This is one I have used before.  My skin and especially when seasons are a little harsher like Winter and Summer tend to be, just loves it.  I don’t dry out and my skin quickly absorbs it.  I have used this mask even in the day when it has been extra hot or even windy, no problems with my foundation peeling up because my skin literally drinks it up.  Many products and serums dry fast, making us think they have been absorbed when really it’s just the alcohols in them evaporating away.  You then get that glossy/oily affect hours later and can’t understand why the oil production has been amp-ed up.  You kick your pores into over drive but because the residue remains, then any moisturizers/oils the product had to even parabens start rearing their ugly face and make a disaster of your skin.  With Laneige, I experience zero of that.  I was afraid a mask would equate to a heavy feeling, sort of like when you add an oil mask to your hair.  The word mask is more of play in words where it addresses your skin overnight and you wake up with a replenished surface.  Yes, it works that well.  I have even been able to use the mask over acne treated spots and no more peeling from the spot treatments.  My acne medication still works overnight but I don’t wake up with lizard like skin the following day.

Ingredients (as listed on the website): Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Beta-Glucan, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Alginate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Stearyl Behenate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, HYDROXYPROPYL BISPALMITAMIDE MEA, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Alcohol, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, CI 42090

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This trio package also includes a SoltreeBundle 50 count pack of Hemp blotting papers.  It’s a nice little add-on because I had not used blotting papers derived from hemp before.  The less chemicals I can use the better because my last set of blotting papers had peppermint, which made the product smell nice and especially around the holidays.  What was not nice was finding out that peppermint oil irritated my skin and I was out shopping and running errands!  These hemp based papers are simple, safe and work.  No irritations or oils to fear.

Retail Price Point: On Amazon, the bundle above is $39.98 for the trio.  If you factor in that one of the items usually retails for $24 and the other for $25, you already are saving a fair amount. With the blotting papers added, it just makes the deal even sweeter!
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I received the above product(s) free of charge from SoltreeBundle. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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New York Biology: UltraLASH Eyelash Growth Serum #Review #NewYorkBiology #LashesForDays

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I have tried many lash serums in the past and it was mostly for enhancement purposes, since thankfully my lashes are still kicking! Before I was a coconut oil user but a few times coconut oil ended up in my eye and especially at night when you are trying to wind down to go to bed, a burning eye is not exactly pleasant. I was then seeing a TV screen or computer one blurry until the next day, so I have opted for serums that condition and nourish my lashes. The great part about these serums, is their dual job duties. You can also use it on your eyebrows in case you over plucked or just have thinning eyebrows. I found myself using them to fix my boo-boos, when I left myself a spot or shortened them a little too much on the edge. These serums came to the rescue but I quickly found out they are not all made equally.

 

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Retail Price Point: On Amazon, the serum retails for $21.50 and shipping is free for Prime members.

 

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Ingredients (as listed on website): 
Aqua (Water), Glycerine, Hydrolyed Starch Phosphate, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Pentapeptide-17, Pterocarpus Marsupium Bark Extract, Malus Domestica (Apple) Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Mannitol, Panthenol (D), Glutamic Acid (L), Xanthan Gum, Lecithin 1, 2- Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Chloride Disodium Succinate, Tropolone, Phenoxyethanol, Phytic Acid.

 

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Verdict:

New York Biology was kind enough to send me a bottle of their UltraLASH growth serum to try. The serum has a nice brush applicator that is easy to control and holds just enough of the solution to apply as needed. A couple strokes is all that I needed to get full coverage. It’s easy to get in areas from the corners to where the eyebrows may be thicker, like the center area of where my brow arches. I tested the product for about two weeks and while the serum conditioned my eye brows nicely, I did find it darkened them a little so I think this came from the hairs getting a little more conditioning. My brows did not over grow but they definitely improved in condition, sort of like when you use a new conditioner on your hair and your hair appears healthier and improving both in texture and looks. That is pretty much the effect I accomplished here. I was happy with the results and because application is a once a day requirement, I just applied the product at night and it never interfered with my make-up, or did it irritate my skin. I know this serum is geared first towards lashes, but I am satisfied so far how my lashes are doing on their own, so I opted to just focus on my eyebrows. That is what is great about the New York Biology UltraLash serum, you can use is both on your upper lashes and/or brows!

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from New York Biology. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Mediderm Laboratories: MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream #Review #MD12AntiAging #MEDIDERM

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Mediderm Laboratories is one of those brands I have heard of but never tried. The company carries an extensive line of skin care regimens, treatments, serums….pretty much anything that addresses skin and the problems that may come about from aging, acne, to just wanting to look your best. I was really amazed at the company’s portfolio and Mediderm’s motto comes down to using the latest and most innovative ingredients, so clients can see and feel results. This is why the company kept growing the line as we all experience different issues and even want to address our skin concern’s differently.

The company shared three different products with me from their line and this is the first one I will be reviewing, with the following the next week and so forth. I was interested in the MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream from the get go because it seems to cover many basis. By this I mean that the cream addresses:

  • Skin aging caused from time to even that, which was accelerated from sun damage and the environment.
  • MD-12 works on lifting your skin by decreasing sagging. Firms and tightens your skin’s texture.
  • The slowing down of collagen production comes with age but MD-12 helps in stimulating and increasing the production.
  • Works as also an anti-aging treatment, so think prevention versus just addressing the current problems you may be experiencing.
  • Works on firm lines to wrinkles by creating a moisture barrier that is nutrient rich.
  • Strengthens the lipid barrier and creates protection that comes from within, along with increasing protein production.

Okay, that is a lot from one jar of cream, so I started to see what was in it. There are some proprietary blends, like “MAXTRIXYL 3000 & DERMAXYL PEPTIDES“. This is common in the beauty industry, so I tend not to frown upon it as long as the product performs as described. You have other good properties, like ALPHA LIPOIC ACID and HYALURONIC ACID, plus CERAMIDES. Vitamin C is also listed and more.  Alright, the rest are recognizable and useful, so far so good.

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Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (and) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (Matrixyl 3000), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (Dermaxyl), Ceramide 2, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Vitamin E, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Thioctic Acid (Q10), Saccharomyces Copper Fennel – Paraben free.

Retail Price Point: $19.95 via Mediderm Laboratories’ site and also via Amazon.

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Verdict:
I open up the jar and begin treating my face and neck area. The neck and decollete area tends to get overlooked. We focus so much on the lines around our eyes and lips, we forget that stress from the environment to the sun also affects the rest of our body, and especially if you wear any tops that exposes this area. The cream is not sticky or oily. That is always my biggest fear when using a new product. Yes, you can use less of a heavy cream but it will always feel like a thick film no matter how light you apply. Mediderm’s MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream did not feel like I was covering up my pores and suffocating them. My skin felt protected but it also absorbed most of the product. I then applied make-up. Zero issues when applying as long as I let 10 minutes pass. The cream dries to a semi-matte finish, so you get a moisturized look on the neck and chest, but again not oily. I began treatment with Mediderm’s MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream and by day 4, I noticed my skin remained soft and I did not miss my night cream that tends to be a little more heavier than this one. I used the product as instructed, twice a day, so once in the morning and again before going to bed. By week two, I found that the product does at the very least cover 3 of the products I was using before. I was using a Hyaluronic acid that came in a light serum consistency. Did not miss it. There was enough of the acid in the MD-12 cream that performed better and gave my face a brighter and more healthy appearance. My fine lines did not get deeper and remained plumped up through out the day. No adverse effects and because Mediderm’s MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream is performing so well and is not causing any breakouts or clogged pores, I do see myself continuing to use it.  It’s a simple cream to use but filled with benefits and the price is unbeatable.

Connect with Mediderm here:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Mediderm Laboratories. 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.

Valentia: New Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask #Review #ValentiaBeauty

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Valentia skin care is a brand I have shared before and one of the aspects that I appreciate about the brand, is they innovate. The skin care line has zero opportunity of growing stale, boring, or not offer the user the latest and newest. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want good skin care formulas changed if they work, but I also want a company like Valentia to keep searching and offering us ingredients that perform better. This keeps my skin looking better and better every year!

Valentia, has introduced a new clay based mask. I love clay and mud based masks but some tend to dehydrate my skin a little too much. This mask differs from the usual 15 minute packets you pick up at the drug store. You have properties that detoxify congested pores but do not over dry them, which tends to make the pores then over produce sebum….the yuck stuff you started to want to get rid of in the first place. Valentia then took it another step further by adding ant-aging ingredients like CoQ10 and even Spirulina (that green stuff I eat), which helps not only with hydration but with regeneration. Talk about feeding your face (but in a good way)!

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Ingredients:
Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Kaolin clay, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), GlobulariaCordifolia Callus Culture Extract (plant stem cells), PalmitoylOligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetapeptide-7, UndariaPinnatifida Cell Culture Extract, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Hibiscus Fibers, Cranberry Fibers, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cellulose Gum, Purified Smectite Clay, Cranberry Fragrance, HaematococcusPluvialis extract (Astaxanthin), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehip Seed Oil), WildcraftedPanax Ginseng, Wildcrafted Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), ArctostaphylosUvaUrsi (Bearberry), Organic VacciniumMacrocarpon (Cranberry extract), Organic Viola Tricolor (Violet), WildcraftedPrunusVirginiana (Wild Cherry), PunicaGranatum (Pomegranate), VacciniumAngustifolium (Blueberry), Citrus Limon (Lemon Essential Oil), Organic Rheum Palmatum (Rhubarb), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, Spirulina Maxima (Spirulina), MacrocystisPyrifera (Kelp), VitisVinifera (Grape Seed Oil), Organic CentellaAsiatica (Gotu Kola), Wildcrafted Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), WildcraftedTaraxacumOfficinale (Dandelion), Wildcrafted Geranium Maculatum (Wild Geranium), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Sucrose Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Lecithin, Tocopherol.

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Retail Price Point: $25.00 via Amazon or on Valentia’s site.  On Valentia’s site, the product would be 35% cheaper if you use the promo code provided below.

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Verdict:
I expected another clay mask that just would help keep my skin clear and bright. I used the mask twice a week and found it not only gentler to my face than like kind masks on the market, I explored further and started treating other areas, like my chest and back. Not only is Summer here even though it’s been cloudy in Southern California. I see this as an opportunity to get “beach ready” (well, more like pool ready) skin a little sooner than needed. My chest tends get over dry from the chlorine water and the sunscreen does not hydrate my skin, more like suffocates it. There is a huge difference with something smothering your skin with oils and protection needed to not burn, but this does not equate moisture. I need something to get me back to square one…..sort of a reboot for my skin. I have doing outside projects and two places have been getting the brunt of the sun, my back and my waist, you know that area where your shirt lifts a little and I get my yearly tanned colored stripe that tends to be darker than the rest of me! My back began to have little clogged pores by day two of applying sunscreen and doing “the good girl” thing of reapplying every 2 hours. My back had it, so when I put the Valentia detoxifying clay mask on my face, I went ahead and put what was left on my hands, on my shoulders. Waited 20 minutes and rinsed. The first thing I noticed, no itch. My skin gets itchy when I take clay masks off, heck it gets itchy some times before and I the only way of fighting that annoyance, is by rinsing early. It’s a reaction to over dryness. Yes, I then quickly try to nourish my face but the next day my t-zone, which is on the oilier side tends to look dryer and even peel at times. I experienced none of those side effects with Valentia. My skin and especially the problem areas, matched the rest of the “normal skin”. The red bumps on my shoulders also never bloomed to fully clogged pores from the sunscreen. The mask does what it says, it detoxifies and replenishes! Also, Valentia was kind enough to provide a tub of the mask versus fighting with those 1 to 2 time use packets from the drug store that no matter how small I cut the opening, I always get a crazy squiggle I can never catch in time and lands straight into the sink! No waste, it works, and no funny packages. Thank you Valentia!

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Promo Alert:
From May 16th until June 1st, visit Valentia’s site (valentia.com) you can save 35% off on their products by using Reader’s Coupon Code: REFRESH35.  Code not valid on Amazon.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Valentia 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.

Exfolimate: Exfoliating 2 piece Face and Body System #Review #FaceBodyTool

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I admit it, I am addicted to exfoliating and even use a machine once a week that delivers at-home Microdermabrasion results. I still do a mild exfoliating treatment every couple of days to keep everything smooth and dead skin cells at bay. Being that I prefer no chemicals like using an acid based peel, I am always hunting for devices that may deliver the same or better results.

In comes Exfolimate with a simple scraper system. It gently removes dead skin cells in a more gentle manner, not requiring any acid based peels or rotating discs. The simplicity continues when it comes to use. You have a larger size remover that is for the body and the smaller is for the face. The handle is made out of a plastic, while the part that makes contact with your skin is made from metal. The idea is to run the Exfolimate over your skin to aid with the removal of dead skin cells and any debris (i.e. clogged pores), leaving you with a smoother looking and feeling surface.

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Retail Price Point: $29.99 via Amazon and with Amazon Prime membership, the Exfolimate ships for free.

  • Each Kit includes (1) Face Exfolimate and (1) Body Exfolimate

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Verdict:

The Exfolimate system is easy to use and will always be a better option that using your nails or a wash cloth as an exfoliating method. I found the handle and size to be ergonomic and easy to hold in use.  No discs to worry about changing, chemicals that may cause irritation and/or redness. The Exfolimate can also be sanitized by using alcohol after each use to avoid any bacteria from building up. I used the system in between my Microdermabrasion treatments (usually 3 days after) to keep my skin feeling smooth, so think of it as a “touching-up” method. Th Exfolimate glided easily and was painless both in use and how it performed. I still prefer a scrub over the Exfolimate and this is because a scrub can be purchased with anti-aging or acne treating properties. I still have to wash my face, so I see using a scrub as a multi-tasker versus the Exfolimate being a one use only tool. The other stickler was the price point. I just do not see paying $30 for what pretty much breaks down to being a scraper for your skin. I get the functionality but again, this is a piece of plastic and a thin metal strip. Now, I did find the body tool more useful as I find it a waste to use a scrub intended for my face on my body. I usually purchase sugar based scrubs for body exfoliating, but I can see using the tool more on my legs and especially when some shaving creams/gels tend to leave an undesired residue behind. I can see wanting a Exfolimate for the body but again, I just can’t see the price versus results here. It was one of those things where the item did not hurt me but also did not help me (kind of thing).

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Exfolimate. 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.

NeoStrata: EXUVIANCE® Gentle Cleansing Creme #Review #Exuviance #NeoStrata

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When it comes to washes, scrubs and cleaners, the last thing that comes to mind in using a creme. It brings back memories of the old Pond’s tub my Mother used to remove her make-up, which left an oily residue after using it. You knew don’t touch Mom after she removes her make-up! When I received the Cleansing Creme from Exuviance, I must admit that was the first thought that came to mind. I also have to be frank that as much as enjoy “gentle” to my skin products, I stay away from them because they are sometimes too gentle yielding them ineffective. Okay, I have not opened the box and here I am bringing up childhood nightmares, but I always give products a chance and especially those from the NeoStrata family.

The Gentle Cleansing Creme from Exuviance, is advertised as a soap-free formula. It allows the user to gently remove everything from make-up, build-up, to the everyday impurities our face may collect during the day. At the same time it serves not only as a cleanser but a moisturizer. If you thought that was already impressive, the Gentle Cleansing Creme from Exuviance also contains anti-aging ingredients like Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA), and other botanical ingredients that help sooth and condition your skin. The product is gentle enough for sensitive skin suffers but can be used by people with combination skin too. It’s a friendly cleanser!

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): Water (Aqua), Isododecane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/ Dicaprate, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, PEG-100 Stearate, Triundecanoin, Cetyl Alcohol, Octyldodecanol, Stearyl Alcohol, Gluconolactone, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Chamomile Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Propylene Glycol, Laureth-7, Polyacrylamide, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Benzoate.

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Retail Price Point: $32.00 via NeoStrata’s site. Ulta carries the same price point but has a current promo of a free deluxe sample of the Triple Microdermabrasion and Bionic Oxygen Facial with any Exuviance purchase (offer valid 3/13/16-4/2/16 or while supplies last). Amazon carries the product at a current price point of $26.49 and Amazon Prime members receive free shipping. See what deal suits you best!

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Verdict:
Okay, I clear my head and start using the cleanser creme twice a day as recommended. The first day the product arrived, I washed my face in middle of the day to get an idea how it worked and how it would make my skin feel. You simply moisten your face and hands, pump out a small dollop, and begin to massage your face and neck. Always with an upward circular motion. The Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Creme gives you the option in using a facial tissue for removal, or you may simply just rinse your face off with warm water. The first difference I noticed and this is just after my first use, is a silky feeling. My face was super smooth and get this, not greasy. Even my hands were left feeling soft! I opted for the rinsing with warm water method for removal and mostly because it is what I am most comfortable with but I like the idea of being able to use a tissue if needed. This means no excuses when it comes to make-up removal no matter how late I get home! The next week I began to use the wash when I had make-up and for those days I did not wear any too. If you use a waterproof eyeliner or mascara, I did find I was left with raccoon-ish eyes if I just depended on the cleansing creme, but this also goes for when I just used a common cleanser/scrub before. I always have to address waterproof anything by using a facial wet wipe to insure full removal. Other than this, the cleansing creme is gentle on the skin but it still does it’s job very well at cleaning your face! I want a clean face and washing my face is almost therapeutic for me and this is why I have a unusual collection of face washes. Being able to enjoy make-up means I have to take care of my skin and the first thing I learned about skincare, is how you begin makes a difference. A clean slate is what you want but not a depleted one. Meaning you don’t want to to do what I did in my teen years and treat my skin like if you were stripping wall paper of a wall. I use to think in my teens the cleaner, the better. No oils, no natural sheen just take it all off because I feared blemishes. I did not suffer from them in my teen years, but this is probably why when I hit 25, my face had had it with me and I began to experience break-outs. With Exuviance’s’ Gentle Cleansing Creme, you avoid the over stripping but you do actually end up with a clean surface and super soft skin. As I used the cleansing creme, by week 2, my face was soft 24/7. I did not have to depend on serums for a natural glow and the texture of my skin improved naturally, I was left with a smoother looking surface that allowed my pores and imperfections to appear…..well, smoothed out. I can’t tell you (I know I’m harping on it) how soft my skin feels and appears now. I love it. I don’t have a kid but I assume this is why people state soft as a baby’s bum! I get it now and no breakouts or anything. Right now, the weather in Southern California is mixed. Gloomy days, windy days, to sunny days and my skin is in transition again like these undefined seasons. The calendar says Spring and my nose and allergies agree, but my skin thinks it’s Fall with the way the days change so drastically from one day to another. With Exuviance’s Gentle Cleansing Creme, my skin is moisturized the minute the cleanser finishes washing off the grime of the day and the best part, it comes in a tube versus the jar that I fear! Try it and see for yourself how much the Gentle Cleansing Creme from Exuviance will change your mind and how you can do more for your skin by just using this face wash.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from NeoStrata/Exuviance. 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.

 

Valentia : True Glow Eye Cream #Review #ValentiaBeauty

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Next on the Valentia beauty line, comes the True Glow Eye Cream for review. I use eye creams and serums on a daily basis and twice a day because I find this area tends to reflect signs of aging sooner than the rest of my face. My goal is to always keep this area hydrated and moisturized at all times because of this!

Valentia’s True Glow Eye Cream comes in a glass bottle with a pump action top. The product advertises as being an Intense Corrective Eye treatment, which not only works as a preventing regimen but also aids with current issues. The eye cream helps with:

  • Reducing Fine lines and Wrinkles
  • Restoring Radiance by helping repair and nourish the delicate skin around our eyes
  • Hydration from oils to Anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce puffiness that may further diminish the appearance of aging skin.
  • Tightening the area around the eye by aiding with elasticity and targeting dark circles. which can make a person look tired and cause an irregular skin tone/color effect to the area.

Ingredients (as listed on the package):

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Retail Price Point: $25.00 via Amazon for a 1.18 ounce glass bottle with a pump action top.

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Verdict:
I always give myself about 3 to 4 weeks when it comes to trying any beauty creams and serums. I need to know if the effects I experience belong to the product I am testing or they are just the remaining benefits from the one prior. I can then also get an idea how well a product performs! The first week of trying the eye cream from Valentia, I noticed the product tends to linger longer on the skin than my former eye cream. As much as I love quick absorbing products, my prior eye cream left no residue but also no hydrating protective layer. It would just vanish within four hours and if the day was even breezy in nature, I could feel that tight feeling your skin gets when it’s drying out too much. The True Glow Eye Cream from Valentia left a protective layer that kept my skin looking smoother longer through out the day. I used the product twice a day and experienced zero irritations from use. The thin layer allowed for make-up application after and no odd little rolled up residue balls formed hours later, or worse, when your make-up separates making it look like you forgot to blend. None of that happened! I did not notice fine line repair by week three, but I can state that the product is phenomenal went it comes to working as a prevention aid. I looked more awake because the skin in that area was smooth and naturally plump, not swollen from my seasonal allergies! My eyes water at night and when I sleep, creating what I call “teary eyes”. I get red streaks from the irritation if I forget to apply eye cream or applied a poorly formulated one. I can state the Valentia’s True Glow Eye cream prevented any red marks from setting in, so I woke up looking fresh and not like I have been weeping! This is an eye cream I would continue to use but also along with the Ultra Plumping Hydrating Mask from Valentia. These two products help each other out and I get a balanced appearance that is noticeable with this duo.

 

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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.

EXUVIANCE®: Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel #Review #Exuviance #NeoStrata #SleepOnIt

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My worst holiday horror story usually involves a cosmetic treatment failure. We all try to look our best when cameras will be shining upon us, so I try to make my skin look as beautiful as possible and because I’m adventurous when it comes to trying new beauty routines, this has bit me back…….and sometimes a little too hard.

Rudolph, having a glowing red nose is cute, I on the other hand, not so cute. I decided in 2010 to get rid of every clogged pore on my nose and face that year, thinking a dinner event in 3 days is more than enough time and a safe buffer to have. Well, at least the scabs stopped bleeding in 3 days! I looked like a hummingbird came at me and I lost the fight (hey, I’m sure there is a wild pecking Hummingbird in some Amazonian jungle or in Australia) 🙂  . I had pore sized scabs that looked like little dots, I almost added a glitter speck to each one of them hoping I looked festive but thank goodness for concealer that covered evidence of that horrid adventure.

I have learned my lesson and that is for a drastic positive change, don’t take drastic measures anywhere close to an event, holiday or where evidence like picture taking can result. I still want my skin and face to glow from beauty and not from a treatment failure because stress is an all year around occurrence but for me, it goes into overdrive come November. I’m trying to juggle a bird to then be thrown into Santa’s arms in early December to then forget everything jolly, and a week before December is over…….then comes New Year Eve! I’m baking, blogging, trying new make-up and looks, cleaning, decorating, sending cards that by this time I can’t stand anything with glitter on it. Thankfully, the Exuviance Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel is glitter free!

Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel, is a peel that is friendly to your face and takes the nerves and stress out of getting a peel that may peel more than intended. Exuviance, came up with NeoGlucosamine, a sugar molecule known as amino-sugars. This is a natural occurring molecule that is already abundantly found on our skin and N-Acetyl-d-glucosamine is the one that is found in greater numbers. I was already familiar with sugar based peels and masks, and I’ll take anything sugar that does not equate to the bathroom scale telling me to stop munching on cookies!

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Retail Price Point: $51.00 via Exuviance /Neostrata for a 1.7 ounce jar, and you can also find the product at Ulta for $68.00, currently with a gift with purchase offer. Dermstore has the same $68.00 retail price point but I saw no perks added as a free gift or anything with purchase, just that it is free on the 5th purchase.

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): Aqua (Water), Acetyl Glucosamine, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Acetyl Tyrosinamide, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 14700 (Red 4).

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Directions (as listed on the website): Remove cap. Depress top with even pressure on both sides of opening. Smooth one to two pumps of Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel on clean skin in an even layer without rubbing. Lightly tap any excess into skin. Wait 5-10 minutes while the product penetrates. Once product feels absorbed, follow with an Exuviance moisturizer such as Evening Restorative Complex.  Does it have to be washed off? No, this is a leave-on peel for all skin types.  How often is it used? It can be used daily after cleansing, before applying a cream (rub gently and let the product absorb for 5-10 minutes first).

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Verdict:
I become less afraid the more I read about how this peel works. The main thing that draws me in, is that the peel is irritant free. No redness or adverse effects that increase the chances of a reaction with an acid based peel. This sugar is kind but still powerful. The non-acid peel provides cell rejuvenation by quickening the turn-over process, so your skin looks better quicker! You are left with skin that is glowing and radiant due to gentle exfoliation. This aids with diminishing any recent acne scars to fine lines and wrinkles. With continued use, the benefits increase and you will look better, which for me that always makes me feel better too!

I tried the peel and it is hard to train your brain to the idea that the Exuviance Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel can be used daily. Yes, it is that nice and I feel like Christmas came early for me. I had to also remind myself that this is the only peel I can do this with, don’t go applying that idea onto other peels (remember that brain!)! The peel is gentle and no need to wash it off. Yup, you read that right, this is a no-rinse needed peel. I applied the peel, let a few minutes lapse and then applied a gentle moisturizer to my skin. I like that this beauty treatment does not interrupt anything I have planned.  I don’t need to make excuses because it takes very little time to reap the benefits. The first indication this peel is working, was seeing smoother skin that felt soft to the touch. By day 3, I’m loving it because my skin appears clear both from clogged pores and any evidence that a pimple/blemish is trying to join in on the holiday festivities. By week 1, my skin is glowing but this a healthy glow, no redness or any adverse effects. Just healthy skin and I find no need to enhance my beauty routine with any highlighters or shimmering bronzers, or even blush. I just let my skin shine and do the talking on it’s own! Okay, I’m happy and the price is more than I would want to spend but then the skin care nightmares come back, and those are not pretty flash backs to remember. It took money and more experimenting to get my skin to bounce back and look less pecked at, so the price now becomes easier to spend on. New products that work, well they are rare these days and this peel costs as much as my foundation does, but I use less of it because of this peel. December has been the month that I have only used a concealer stick to cover areas around my eyebrow where I tried tweeze-ing out a hair that in the end won by staying, and I added a few red marks as evidence of the battle I had with it. That means Z-E-R-O concealer anywhere else! In December. The month that likes to munch at me with everything stress related and my face looks like I can handle it. Clear and smooth skin that glows radiant because of good care by Exuviance’s Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel, is a great way to welcome 2016!

 

End 2015 and Start 2016 with Gorgeous Skin at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Exuviance/Neostrata.  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.

 

AStorePlus®: 8 Pcs Nail Art Design/Detailing Painting Brushes with Dotting Pen Set #Review #NailArtBrush

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As a nail polish enthusiast……okay, I have dozens of bottles and sometimes even accidentally buy the same color because I forget what I own! I have also been down the nail art alley of products, to now have a sense what works and what does not. Price wise, I have also paid well for brushes that their art was leaving bristles behind when used. I called it “surprise brushes” because you never knew when they would come apart and/or how many bristles they would surprise you with. This taught me when one brush shows any sign of failure, just trash the thing!

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In comes AStorePlus with an assortment of 7 brushes and 1 dotting tool. I have a set that came in a zipper pouch and love that set. Never a surprise bristle attack and because the brush sticks are made of plastic that can be wiped to clean, acetone is not a something to fear when cleaning up my supplies. The AStorePlus collection features:

  • Smooth Wooden handles painted in a White color with a black design
  • A Dotting tool made of metal tip
  • The 7 brushes come in different sizes with an assortment of thickness and angles
  • A long metal shaft/sleeve, which holds the bristles tightly and allows the user to get a nice angle for easy use and cleaning

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Retail Price Point: A collection of nail art 7 brushes and 1 dotting tool for $5.25 with free shipping on Amazon.

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Verdict:
When I received these, I noticed they feature painted wood handles, but what these brushes feature that others of like kind don’t, is that long metal shaft/sleeve to allow cleaning without seeping onto the painted wood area. Cleaning is a major concern both for hygiene purposes but also to keep the tools clean enough for longevity and re-usability. Other brushes feature a short metal shaft that can cause the consumer to accidentally come in contact with the wooden painted handle, making the manufacture’s paint bleed and disintegrate. Thankfully, the AStorePlus brushes avoid this from occurring and had the forethought of having long metal shafts to avoid this from happening. I use acetone because I don’t want residue on my nails from glycerin or additives that may not allow polishes or nail art to last, causing a short lived manicure. This means a brush has to be able to soak (short-term) in a cap of acetone, which I save the older caps from used bottles to do this with. The AStorePlus brushes sat in acetone and not once did the liquid wick up towards the top to meet with painted handle. I found the handles to be a comfortable length and ergonomic enough to allow my left hand to work on my right hand’s nails with ease. I have used the brushes 4 times and every time they clean and return to their natural shape and point when dried. I saved the plastic sleeves for each brush, so this allows me to keep the points in shape when stored in the same pouch I keep all my nail art brushes in. I have paid more for 3 brushes than what the 8 tools here cost on Amazon. The price point makes this an affordable hobby and also makes a perfect beginner’s set to own. Like with make-up brushes, I don’t use everything in a collection but I learned with time what heads I used more and later purchased duplicates of the sizes and angles I wanted. The same applies here and so far this set has the finer points I seek, so that means I use more of the brushes than I thought I would. I was able to let go of any cuticle wooden sticks, as now I use 2 of the brushes in this set to clean around my cuticle with acetone for a clean edge look. It goes beyond art and also a may to get the best looking manicure you can get without issues and this set from AStorePlus was problem-free for me. I did my Halloween nails using just the brushes and they cleaned up black and dark red garnet polishes with ease, as they did at making fine white roses on a black background. With the holidays approaching, these are the perfect stocking stuffer to add and a welcoming site for any nail art beginner!

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from AStorePlus.  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.

 

Elba Naturals: N.2 Anti-Acne/Blemish Gel Treatment #Review #ElbaNaturals

When I was in High School, I rarely had any breakouts, so I thought if I got through this stage acne free, I would be safe for life. Wrong! Around my mid 20’s, I started to get breakouts and some pretty bad ones. I changed my diet, drank more water and nothing seemed to do the trick. I then changed my make-up, washed my face more often and even changed my skin care routine and the pimples were just laughing at me. I noticed my acne breakouts fluctuated with stress and some were even connected to medications I was taking. I seized taking certain prescriptions and that help alleviate some of the worse almost cystic-like acne, but I still got breakouts here and there, so I started looking for acne treatments that could help. That ended up being a trip down the longest rabbit hole I have ever encountered! Some spot treatments actually caused more pore blockage while others were so harsh, that I would peel around any healthy skin and the pimple itself would sometimes bleed, so I graduated from having a bump to now having a bump with a scab. Scabby face is not my idea of winning especially when you get one that likes to ooze. Here I was in my mid 20s and had a face of a 13 year old. Not my idea of fun, so I started really reading ingredients and found that 25% of the OTC products work, while 75% my pimples got the last laugh.

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Remarkably, the natural route was the one I never planned on taking but when you are desperate, you will try not only homemade concoctions in addition to anything that resembles them. I found that many of the more natural products that depend on tree oils to extracts derived from plants, tended to work as a prevention measure. I could apply the product and nip most breakouts before they happened.

Elba Naturals is a company that offers a small array of skin care products that is focused on targeting problem areas from aging skin, acne treatment, to eye creams and micro-abrasion. Elba Naturals main goal is finding natural and organic ingredients that are kinder and more gentle to the skin but remain effective. Like the N.2 Anti-acne and blemish solution, which is made up of just 13 ingredients!

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Ingredients (as listed on the website):
(98% Naturally Derived/72% Organic) Ingredients: Deionized Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Carbomer, Arginine, Wildcrafted Salix Lucida (Salicylic Acid/Willow Bark), Colloidal Silver, Eugenia Caryophyllata (Clove Essential Oil), Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Organic Aloe Barbardensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Extract), Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant Extract), Organic Pelagonium Gravoleons (Geranium Extract), Organic Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract).

Retail Price Point: Currently sold-out on Amazon, but when in stock one 1 ounce bottle retails for $35.00.

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Verdict:

The directions state to apply the product twice a day for best results, so I substituted the Elba Naturals N.2 Acne product as my spot and prevention treatment. I used nothing else to fight my acne, like no washes with salicylic acid or anything else that would sway the results. When I used the product in the day time, I also tested to see how it works under make-up because this is where I usually find I am more vulnerable when it comes to breaking out. Sunscreens tend to be that friend that comes with a temperament because as much as it is needed to protect my skin, it tends to be the offender when it comes to causing my skin to get clogged pores. I won’t go out without sunscreen, so I have to deal with the results. I applied my skin care products and the Elba Naturals Acne gel treatment to areas I am prone to breakouts, the chin, side of my face and above my eyebrows. I then applied all my skin care products and cosmetics like usual. No issues with application were experienced and my foundation applied without any beading up problems or anything. Through out the day, everything stayed as it did and I was happy that the Elba Natural N.2 acne product was easy to incorporate into my beauty routine. I experienced zero breakouts in my problem areas days after and I continued to use it. I found the Elba Naturals Acne gel treatment to work as well (and even nicer) than my chemical filled counterparts. What I found to be a welcoming sight, was zero peeling of the skin, both from any pimple to the healthy skin around it. It just did not dehydrate my skin like some of the spot treatments on the market tend to do so. The product may be higher in price, as mine is around $10 for a spot treatment but the gel applies smoothly and a very thin film is all that is needed, meaning this product will last longer than a tube of equal size. The gel comes in a brown tinted bottle to help keep the key ingredients effective and because it’s a gel that dries clear, I am not highlighting my acne blemishes with a white cream that even though says dries transparent on the tube…..it never really does. So, Elba Naturals not only was kinder and effective, but it actually works really well at preventing and I prefer avoiding a pimple than trying to just find a solution at treating every bump. I’m all about having the bumps not happen in the first place!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Elba 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.

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