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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Olay Total Effects 7 in One with SPF 15, fragrance free Moisturizer

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I am always very enthusiastic to try new brands, new products, and love sharing them with you.  I tend to get a little more happier when I receive an Olay product because who doesn’t want more of the good stuff?  Olay is the good stuff!

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After I shared one of my many reviews, Olay kindly sent me a little gift as a show of appreciation.  I was floored!  I seriously thought it would be a coupon and this girl never shrugs saving money and especially on brands I buy.  I waited and soon after a parcel arrives.  I open the parcel to find a beautiful black box with the Olay logo (you bet I kept it), a beautifully written card thanking me (kept it too), the Olay Total Effects 7-in-One item, and a manicure/pedicure kit.  I just have to EeeeeK……all over again.  I could not hold back my enthusiasm and was floating on cloud 9 for a bit there.  Now, that I have come down, I can do this review.
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I have seen the commercials of the young bride that starts her life with marriage, work, then the kids and still looks like the day she got married after “X” amount of bottles.  Okay, the advertisement infected my mind and I wanted the bottle she uses.  I even told my husband that I bet I could make my bottle stretch longer than she did!  I know, I know, I have no shame and Hubby called me cheap!  I then started to see the same model in advertisements in the magazines I read and yup, I took that as I taunt :)!!  Taunt me no more and Olay must have read my brain, or maybe before I start assigning them mind reading capabilities…….just maybe they picked one of their most popular products to send now that Summer is nearing.  Nonetheless, I must know if I can turn back and slow down time so let’s attack the aging clock of doom again!!  I bet you did not know I have magical powers 🙂
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The Olay Total Effects 7-in-One very clearly states it’s an anti-aging, fragrance free moisturizer with sunscreen.  These are the three things that any dermatologist states is needed to really take some power back against the hands of time.  You need a Broad Spectrum SPF and this one has it at a nice SPF 15.  You need to prevent future damage and the sunscreen is the first key to that, plus protecting against free radicals that are out there waiting to get us and sometimes associated with fragrances too.  This is a fragrance-free formula, and last but not least, you need properties that fight anti-aging.  I will get into that right now:
Total Effects Fights 7 Signs of Aging
1. Fine Lines and wrinkles: reduces the appearance of both!
2. Age Spots: reduces brown spots!
3. Uneven Texture: smoothes and evens out skin’s texture!
4. Dryness: we always hear, “moisturize…moisturize”, and this moisturizer does that plus nourishes with vitamins and antioxidants!
5. Free Radical Damage: Remember what I stated above?  This product helps defend you against those pesky Aging Demons!
6. Dullness: everyone wants that healthy glow and this product delivers, giving your skin a healthy radiance!
7. Pores: my husband says having pores is part of having skin, but he also snacks on cheese and crackers and does not gain a pound!  I snack on them……well let’s not go there and just say minimization can be had with this moisturizer!
Let’s do the math and that is seven exclamation marks and that looks like this !!!!!!!……so does it work?
I use my magic skills again and I speed up time to 2 weeks and I can say that “!!!!!!!” should really be times 8,9,10…..!  Not only did the moisturizer deliver on it’s claims but I experienced zero issues with acne, blemishes, clogged pores, whatever makes my skin bump. The only bumps I want on my skin are goose bumps because they last a few seconds and I usually get rosy cheeks right after (sort of a healthy glow).  I purchase sunscreen but my application is poor.  I always use a quarter size, rub it into my hands and then lightly pat up and down my face for what I call even coverage.  So, it’s my way of saying, “yeah, I use sunscreen everyday”, but won’t admit that I dislike what it does to my face so I pretend to sort of apply it.  Then comes that whole argument about being indoors most of the time anyways but you know in the end my skin loses.  I can finally cut back on all the layers of “stuff” because it is not proper to state what my husband calls my beauty regimen.  I have to wait while everything dries and then top it off with make-up.  With Summer approaching, I never look forward to it.
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My new beauty regimen is now Olay Total Effects 7-in-One moisturizer with sunscreen (only 1 pump needed), eye cream……ummmm make-up.  Yeah, I just shocked myself.  No more fanning myself with my hands or standing under the ceiling fan with my face tilted up.  I wonder what the dog thinks of that one!  Now, to simplify my night regimen.
Oh, in case you think I forgot, now when the Total Effects commercial comes on…..yeah, I tell her I have my own bottle too 😛
 The Olay Total Effects 7-in-One product comes in 1.7 FL. OZ for about $18.99.  Please do not forget to look for coupons when purchasing and don’t forget about the Procter & Gamble rebate programs!
I received this product free of charge from Olay, as a gift.  I had no obligation in reviewing it but after having such positive results, I wanted to share.  My review is based on my experience and usage,  which may differ from yours.

Vocalpoint and Olay bring you Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum duo

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They always say that age can be told by your eyes, so of course I carpet-bomb them in an attempt to fool everyone.  Being on the not so glamorous part in my 30’s, I see those fine lines come and go and wanting to set in.  I am a huge believer after losing some bank, that what you spend on a product does not equate results.  I love Olay!  I need to get that out there because they taught me from use and experience, that I can keep some dough in my wallet and still fight the signs of celebrating birthdays.  Hey, worrying about spending too much on anti-aging products can be counterproductive!

What does the duo bring to the table:
Eye Cream- Let’s start on ingredients because just like a cake, it all is about what went into it whether it will work for you or not.  I use products from the Regenerist line because they always have the right balance of peptide-B3, provitamin B5 and Hyaluronic acid.  This means you get moisture to the skin and also aid in renewing your skin cells.  You have vitamin E and this is an oldie but goodie in beauty products, so I do believe if you can keep it simple, why not?  Vitamin E helps keep your skin soft and supple, plus you get antioxidants from the Green Tea extracts too.  Not a bad cream and I have noticed from using this cream before and also in this product, that my skin is softer and more supple.  I do not have any sagging but I have seen back into my gene pool, and unfortunately my family can be jowly 🙂 .  I have not seen mine change so I give Olay credit for that.  The product helps with tone and texture too!  I also like seeing aloe make the list because this is another great and simple ingredient that does not irritate but again soothes your skin.  To make it short, the Niacinamide along with the antioxidants are the ingredients that make this product have W-O-W power!
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Lash Serum-  I tried finding what the serum contains chemical wise that would improve, change, or even alter the lashes.  I don’t wear contacts but my eyes are always showing the signs of allergies, so they tend to be more sensitive.  I watch closely what I put in them to around them because eye health is important for me too.  I also want to make sure my fine lines and wrinkles are leaving, not just that my eye sight is and that is why I think I look younger!  I found glycerin as an ingredient and they paired it with alcohol, which I assume is to keep things sterile.  Not bad, I like clean!  Other than these two ingredients, I did not find anything more that was positive or negative about the serum portion.
Directions: Very easy!  You just apply once in the day and once at night to see results.  The eye cream you just dab on and I was able to use small dots, so this tube will yield many applications.  Make sure to target the problem areas like crows-feet and wait for the product to fully absorb before proceeding with your beauty regimen.  Many eye creams do not want application on the lids and this is not one of them.  You can treat your eye lids, so this is a real eye cream in my opinion!  The lash serum has a nice soft brush and you apply a light coat onto lashes.  I tend to use two “swapping” motions to get the inside of my lashes and also the end ones.
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Results:
I found after 3.5 weeks of use, the eye cream to be easy to apply and supporting the claims made.  My eye area improved and that means every fine line and wrinkle I have been fighting has not shown their face!  It’s a war and so far I consider this battle won!  I experienced no irritation and because the product is fragrance free, no free radicals darting towards me.  My skin does feel silky and because the formula dries matte or pretty much the same shine as my skin, no oily slick left behind that not only feels like it weighs you down through out the day but tends to accentuate what you are trying to cover up or get rid of.  I am very happy with this eye cream because it is really a formula that Olay has had in the past but it works and much better now with no fragrances.  Improving….improving and keeping this luxury affordable.  Thank you Olay!
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Now, the lash serum I noticed not much happening to my lashes.  Nothing positive to note or negative.  I can say the product separates my lashes and dries quickly but that was pretty much it.  I even at times had to apply mascara over the serum and it did not interfere with it but it was easier when my lashes were sort of “set” and “separated” by the applicator.  Now, the applicator is rubbery and very easy to use.  It actually applies the perfect amount of serum and no odd gummy or sticky feeling.  If the lash serum was sold separately, I would not seek it out exclusively but because it is there, I used it kind of thing.  Now, my eye lash health was normal before but maybe the serum would nourish lashes that may need the extra moisture.  Washing agents in face washes can dehydrate your lashes because they over strip but I must share that once in a while I sleep with Olive Oil on my lashes.  That so makes up for what my face scrubs/washes, to water-proof mascara can do to them.  Sodium peg-7 olive oil carboxylate, is an ingredient found in this duo so maybe I am on to something :).  Nonetheless, if I did not do my Olive Oil treatment, then this may have shown results for me.
This product retails for $22.59 at Target and $19.41 on Amazon.  Look for coupons before you purchase and don’t forget that Procter & Gamble also has rebates if you spend a certain amount on selective brands.
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I received this product free of charge from VocalPoint.  I am not obligated to provide a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience and usage, which may differ from yours.

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