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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Solvaderm: Eyevage an Age Defying Eye Rejuvenation Treatment #Review #Solvaderm #Eyevage

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The second product I was sent from Solvaderm targets the sensitive skin around the eyes. Eyevage, is intended for use on “mature skin” and also for people that are experiencing problems in this area.

Eye skin can be tricky and some of us may have drooping of the eyelids, while most tend to want to target the area underneath the eye. This area is where people tend to experience issues from under-bags, puffiness, dryness, fine lines to the ever disliked crow’s feet. In other words, the skin there tends to show the most stress because of it being more sensitive than skin in other areas of your face. This also means a product needs to be strong enough to address the above issues but kind enough to not cause irritations.

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Eyevage by Solvaderm, combats the aging we experience around the eye area and also helps keep the less stressed areas from rapidly showing the signs of aging. You end up with a fresher look that is associated with younger skin.

Ingredients (as listed on the website): Purified Water (Aqua), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Phytonadione, Arnica Montana Extract, Oxido Reductases, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Eriobotrya Japonica Extract.

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In the list of ingredients, the first few are identifiable so for the sake of not breaking down the obvious, I will address the ones that are usually not listed in eye creams and why Eyevage stands out from other products that are of like kind. Squalane, is usually derived from olive oil and in the list you find it comes after a few other oils/emollients listed. After that you find Phytonadione listed. Phytonadione, is Vitamin K and this vitamin is associated to be beneficial to the blood and circulation. Dark circles is a result of how veins and capillaries appear under the skin. Think of when a sheet of thin fabric is draped over a dark wooden table. The dark wood and it’s pattern is not distinctive through the sheer material but you still get a dark shadow that shows through and more in the areas where the grain is darker and deeper in the wood. This is what the thin skin under our eyes reflects towards the outside. The Phytonadione combined with other powerful ingredients like the antioxidants found in Apricot oil, and this can help diminish that dark appearance.

Retail Price Point: $74.99 for a 0.5 ounce bottle of Eyevage, which comes with a pump action top that allows the product to remain free from exposure to air, bacteria and even light.

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Verdict:

I used Eyevage for a period of 3 weeks to see how well it would perform with the problems I experience. My skin issues in this area are puffiness due to allergies and even though I’m fair when it comes to skin color, my veins in this area do not reflect through to give my eyes a dark circle appearance. It’s the one of the things I have been lucky in and even though my allergies are bad, I never rub my eyes because that can cause the capillaries to become damaged and even break. I just was addressing moisture retention and attempting to avoid fine lines and lessen the one I have under my left eye (yeah, I don’t even wrinkle evenly). The formula is light from Eyevage and again applies easily. My skin absorbed it quickly and eagerly. Week one passes and I am happy with the moisture effect and how it keeps my skin plump and supple in this area. Week two arrives, and I still remain content with the results and I notice improvement towards the end of the second week on texture. My skin looks smoother. I get to week three and I remain satisfied with how Eyevage is performing because the product has kept the skin around my eyes nourished and problem free. The only short coming I can find is the lack of a retinol. I know the eyes are sensitive but in my case I can tolerate a small percentage in this area but I do know others can not no matter how much they attempt to “desensitize” that area. Some people can even apply every other day and experience more negative effects than any positive ones from the retinol because their skin just can’t tolerate it. Mine can, so I will be adding a very low amount of retinol here just to increase the benefit of reducing small fine lines and making sure (an insurance policy) I don’t develop any new ones. This is just a personal choice in my part, I am however happy the Eyevage treatment is a good enough of base product that I find it worthy enough to deliver that little bit of retinol to this area because it’s not something I waste just on any product. The base product has to be good enough on it’s own and Eyevage is!

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Connect with Solvaderm and their skincare solutions at:

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