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.

 

Influenster: Slim Fast Bar, Crisps, and Shake VoxBox Review #ItsYourThing #Influenster

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Being part of the Influenster network, allows members to qualify for VoxBoxes. My latest one arrived in late December, which featured an array of Slim Fast branded products. Being the new year we all want to lose weight or at the very least get rid of that holiday poundage brought on by cookies and treats. I gained 6 pounds in the last week of December because I behaved from Thanksgiving to Christmas but once Santa came, he brought treats, candy, chocolates (I’m surprised I did not consume the stocking) and it seems I ate them all between Christmas and New Year’s Eve!

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I’m pretty good at restricting myself and believe with all the advancements in food today, that leaving food as it is, meaning less to zero processing allows us to eat pretty much anything (with portion control) and not suffer the consequences. I eat my weight in salads and I’m not even a fan of most dressings, as I think they tend to drown the freshness out of the produce as it is. I love avocados and find them to be nature’s dressing. They are creamy and never ruin a salad like a fake creamy dressing can. I have those days though where I am in a snacking mood or just running short on time, so I pick the brands I trust carefully. I look for meal replacement or snack products that are not full of fake sweeteners or loaded with sodium. Finding real ingredients is “my thing”, so let’s see how the Slim Fast VoxBox did.

The Slim Fast VoxBox included:

  • SlimFast® Advanced Ready to Drink Shake in Vanilla flavor
  • SlimFast® Advanced Nutrition 100 Calorie Snacks in Sour Cream & Onion Baked Crisps flavor
  • SlimFast® Advanced Nutrition Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Meal Replacement Bars
  • SlimFast® Advanced Nutrition 100 Calorie Snacks Drizzled Crisps in Cinnamon Bun Swirl flavor

 

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First, I tried the items that were easy to munch on and that was the Sour Cream and Onion Baked Crisps to satisfy the salty urges and for the sweet cravings, I tried the Drizzled Crisps in Cinnamon Bun Swirl. First thing I noticed with both bagged products, was the large amount of “dustings” in the bag. I call that the powdery and broken up bits in a bag that barely resemble the whole product you see pictured in the front of the bag. Like the posters for drive-thru burgers, my product did not resemble the picture on the bag. The Sour Cream and Onion crisps had the higher amount of “dustings” that I wondered if I should just use the contents as a batter coating! I taste a pinch-full of what these crisps use to be and the flavor and texture resemble closely to those chips that come in a canister….but more broken up. The odd part was when you ate the product, it tasted good enough to satisfy a chip craving but when you drank water, you had an odd aftertaste that lingered. The taste was not like potato or the sour cream and onion coating, think more milk solids or dry milk and it was what it tasted closely too. Each bag is 100 calories and states it comes with 18 to 20 crisps. I am not kidding when if I say I got 4 whole ones and that is counting the ones that were 3/4 whole. The breakage takes away from the enjoyment and if you get past that, the aftertaste did me in. I did not finish the bag but I figured that means I consumed less calories!

 

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Next, came the Cinnamon Bun Swirl crisps. These were a little more in one piece but the drizzle on top was mostly on the bottom of the bag. The sweetness is not overwhelming and the cinnamon had a nice balance to it. Again, the odd aftertaste was present but you could overlook this one more. The crisps had a pleasant crunch and like some products on the market, these did not leave you with a cotton mouth after you ate them. I could actually see myself picking up a bag if a sweet craving hits me that is overwhelming because a bag is just 100 calories for 20 to 22 crisps. These were also 30% whole in the bag!

 

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SlimFast’s Ready to drink shake that comes in an easy to go bottle. The bottle idea I like because sometimes messing with powder and a scoop can be a pain, but I usually take a bottle water (or almond milk) and just scoop into a shaker bottle when I am on the go. I then combine the ingredients (wet/dry) when I am ready to consume them, so this way I don’t end up with chocolate powder that found it’s way out of a plastic baggy and went poof in my purse! I made sure to try the drink cold from the fridge and upon opening the bottle, the Vanilla scent is not very Vanilla like. I take a sip and the drink is about 4 out of ten when it comes to overall taste and flavor. I have had much better and this drink had an odd thickness to it. I made sure to shake it just in case and the thickness left a film in my mouth that was not very vanilla or real milk tasting, or even a nut milk flavor! It took away from the enjoyment and even with time, I could not get use to it. Being able to get 20 grams of protein on the go is a plus, but when I priced it out, weighed in the flavor/texture and the ingredients, I would still opt for a premium powder mix that is usually higher in protein. I did fix the flavor by adding part of a scoop of powdered Peanut Butter and Chocolate, and that is when I noticed that my PB and Chocolate powder had a better quality of chocolate and real flavor than what the Slim Fast drink.  I then felt I wasted a scoop of the “good stuff” on trying to make the not so good stuff better! I also noticed there is natural and artificial flavors but no where but the title of the drink says Vanilla.  It’s called Vanilla Creme but nowhere is Vanilla listed! I then stopped looking at the ingredients because they made my tummy rumble more.  😦

 

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Last but not least, the bar in Dark Chocolate and Sea salt. This is a meal replacement bar and has 10 grams of protein and 200 calories.  Ninety of those calories come from fat and the protein derives from Soy, not Whey. I look at the list and there are so many other bars on the market with better core ingredients and even protein impact, and with less fat! This bar is super sweet and off in taste, plus costs more than the better bars. The Dark Chocolate has a waxy texture and is of poor quality. I did not go past the one bite because my calories and fat matters. The bar is filled with syrups derived from everything from brown rice, tapioca and simple cane. They added Inulin as a source of fiber, plus Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil to hold it all together. Let me add the above comes before the Cocoa itself and Oats was still listed before the chocolate! They might as well called the flavored Sweet Oats-y. The only positive is that it has Almonds as a first ingredients but I felt they were ruined by the rest!

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Final Verdict:

I love the VoxBoxes and Influenster!  I am not so in love with Slim Fast.  I think back and they are a company that his been around a long time but I feel they are always playing catch up and still stuck in the motto of “portion control baggies”.  Most people that are serious about losing weight and/or managing their weight, can portion out an individual serving.  They sell containers to baggies to help you out that serve as a carrying vessel and probably keep the products in more decent shape.  You can use a scale or like I do, I still use a scale but I test myself first to see if I can visually guess-estimate on my own and then verify with the scale.  I notice I usually serve myself a little under the 1 serving a packaging lists.  I can do math, so I don’t need someone doing it for me.  Next, the ingredients used are “old school” but not in a good way.  Cheap sugars, bad oils, artificial flavors and dyes, and poor protein sources is not what I call healthy eating.  Yes, you get less calories but that is barely the entire picture when eating well.  You need good fats, a good source of protein and more to stay energized.  Yes, the Slim Fast products come with vitamins and minerals but again a multi-vitamin can do that for you if that is what you desire!  I looked at the products as a whole and asked myself is this a balanced diet?  Slim Fast does not state just eat our food solely but the 1 meal or 2 real meals you add in a day should not make-up for everything you did not get.  I want energy and I’m not even asking for a boost of it from products, just keep me going in the day.  If I started with a shake, ate a bar for lunch (maybe 1 or 2 crisp snacks) and then ate dinner…..well, when my body is suppose to be winding down is when my body got the better fuel.  Yeah, that did not sit well with me!  Then I saw the price points because convenience comes at a price and Slim Fast was more expensive than the “golden dietary products” on the market.  Um, I’m paying more to eat less better is what entered my head.  Yeah, I prefer paying the bills Santa brought and managing my weight with other products than paying for products that are sub-par both in how they were made and how they came out of a bag!

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Slim Fast and Influenster.  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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