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.

 

Smiley360: Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating Cream, Eye cream, and Night Serum #Review

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I have been a Philosophy brand fan for some time now. I have sensitive skin sometimes when it comes to fragrances but for some reason the scents used in their body products play nice with me. I had seen the New Multi-Rejuvenating line but had never tried it, so when Smiley360 offered, you bet I said yes!

So, you look at the line and see SPF and think this is just another sunscreen laced product with some moisturizers. Hey, I thought the same until the products arrived and again, let’s not judge a jar by it’s cover. The Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker is an entire new way to see sun defense. Philosophy, has been able to capture protection from UVA, UVB, Infrared and visible light. It’s like a ninja in a bottle that protects you from one of the number causes of aging, sun exposure! It’s better than wearing the actual ninja outfit outdoors because that may just draw more attention than we would desire. Philosophy, then went another step further by adding bi-retinol and active plant cells, plus you will notice ingredients like coffee arabica (caffeine) for skin tightening and pongamia pinnata seed extract, another anti-inflammatory agent. You will not only be addressing the issues caused by aging and with continuous use, you will see better results (i.e. improvment), but the tighteners start working the moment you apply them.  Think of the tighteners as a booster for the moment while the rest of your skin starts catching up and looking it’s best. Okay, so Philosophy has again changed the anti-aging game plan and I like this new plan of attack because you bet I am attacking my wrinkles with everything I got and it was time to change the way I battle!

My Philosophy arsenal kit included:

Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating “Day” Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating Eye Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Ultimate Miracle Worker Nighttime Multi-Rejuvenating Serum-in-Cream

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): avobenzone (2.7%), octinoxate (6.99%), octocrylene (2%) Inactive ingredients- water, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oleosomes, glycerin, cyclopentasiloxane, butylene glycol, methyl gluceth-20, gluconolactone, polyacrylamide, hydrogenated lecithin, cyclohexasiloxane, cetyl alcohol, bifida ferment lysate, phenoxyethanol, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, c13-14 isoparaffin, polysorbate 80, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, laureth-7, glycine soja (soybean) oil, fragrance, iris pallida root extract, ruby powder, disodium edta, gluconic acid, alcohol, mica, lecithin, adenosine, cellulose gum, retinol, peg-8, polysorbate 20, bht, chitosan, ethylhexylglycerin, glycolic acid, sorbitan oleate, calcium gluconate, tocopherol, behentrimonium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, ascorbyl palmitate, beta-glucan, potassium phosphate, caprylyl glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, camellia sinensis leaf extract, coffea arabica (coffee) seed extract, pongamia pinnata seed extract, isopropyl alcohol, acetic acid, angelica archangelica root extract, benzoic acid, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) peel extract, maltodextrin, citric acid, magnesium aluminum silicate, xanthan gum, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, sclerotium gum, bha, sorbic acid, titanium dioxide (ci 77891).

Verdict:

I am not adverse to using creams because I can control the barrier I want to create. This means lighter application for a thinner film and because this Day cream applies smoothly, application was a cinch. My skin absorbed the product and for an SPF 30 rating, the product feels lighter than my SPF 30 sunscreen alone. I used the product for 2 weeks but noticed a moisturizing difference by day 3. First, when I washed my face it remained moisturized and extra smooth. I exfoliate every 3 days and by day 3, when I need to again, my skin’s texture has changed a little. That glide I get when I apply foundations is not as smooth but with the Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating Cream, my skin felt as soft as day 1 after exfoliation. That I really liked. I stopped any retinol use from my daily regimen and depended solely on Philosophy to keep it up. It did! Now, we have been getting 100 degrees weather in Southern California and that means it is really testing out every beauty product out there. With weather this hot, cosmetics stay on or melt……there is no in-between here. I can say because my primer contained SPF and I stopped using it, this Multi-tasker again played “foundation primer” almost like it was meant to be one. No creasing or sliding off and my make-up remained in place, plus my pores were only being suffocated by the weather, not the product. Okay, I get why you call this a Miracle Worker and for once the name fits how the product performs. My fine lines did not get deeper and because my skin remained smoother longer, it tended to give me a nice healthy even look to the surface of my skin, which means I look better and that thing I aiming for…..a little not my age!

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): avobenzone (2.7%), homosalate (2%), octinoxate (5%), octocrylene (2.16%) Inactive ingredients- water, glycerin, dicaprylyl carbonate, isononyl isononanoate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, tribehenin peg-20 esters, cetyl alcohol, isostearyl isostearate, trisiloxane, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, cetyl stearate, stearic acid, bifida ferment lysate, potassium cetyl phosphate, phenoxyethanol, dimethicone crosspolymer, caffeine, chlorphenesin, propylene glycol, carbomer, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, glycine soja (soybean) oil, sodium hydroxide, squalane, hippophae rhamnoides oil, iris pallida root extract, ruby powder, disodium edta, alcohol, algae extract, mica, lecithin, ascorbyl glucoside, adenosine, cellulose gum, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, retinol, peg-8, polysorbate 20, polysorbate 60, calcium sodium phosphosilicate, bht, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, chitosan, ethylhexylglycerin, glycolic acid, sorbitan oleate, tocopherol, aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) seed extract, glucose, lactic acid, behentrimonium chloride, glycyrrhiza uralensis (licorice) root extract, sodium benzoate, ascorbyl palmitate, potassium phosphate, potassium sorbate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, coffea arabica (coffee) seed extract, pongamia pinnata seed extract, isopropyl alcohol, acetic acid, angelica archangelica root extract, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) peel extract, maltodextrin, citric acid, magnesium aluminum silicate, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) rhizome/root extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, caprylyl glycol, sclerotium gum, bha, sorbic acid, titanium dioxide (ci 77891).

I looked at all my eye creams, so that means this beauty hoarder….I mean fan started checking all her eye creams and not one had SPF in it. How odd when the skin there is so delicate and I already add SPF to that area but you would think most would have had some. Nope! Things you notice when a company starts doing what others don’t.

Verdict:

I saw the price point and thought this better work. It started working and I fell in love with this eye cream, that I tried convincing myself it’s not that great. Yes, I tried lying to myself because it worked so well. I then added all the eye creams I have that have disappointed both my checking account and my face, and 3 bottles in…….I had already exceeded the retail price. I have to honest and I dislike the price point but this eye cream delivered in every way anything from a jar will ever be able to. I suffer from severe seasonal allergies and that means as long as mother nature has seasons, I shall sneeze, have watery eyes, puffy eyes, look sad when I am not and so forth. This eye cream changed that! I look healthy and alive. Like I sleep like I should and most importantly, happy. The first thing I noticed in the 2 weeks of trying this product was the firmness. My skin’s texture is now smooth under the eye and firm. Not a sag from allergies and zero puff. I also noticed I would get a little tint of yellow when the skin around my eyes was being kept constantly wet by my eyes watering, but this eye cream created a moisture barrier that kept my skin protected, plus improved it. I was aiming for just simple protection and being able achieve that and looking better. Well, I will have a pout when I check out to purchase the eye cream but I just can’t see skipping on it.

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): aqua/water/eau, sodium citrate, isononyl isononanoate, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, alcohol denat., steareth-21, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, polyglyceryl-2 diisostearate, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, cetearyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, bifida ferment lysate, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, steareth-2, citric acid, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, iris pallida root extract, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, xanthan gum, glycine soja (soybean) oil, alcohol, t-butyl alcohol, lecithin, parfum/fragrance, adenosine, cellulose gum, retinol, peg-8, polysorbate 20, bht, chitosan, ethylhexylglycerin, glycolic acid, sorbitan oleate, tocopherol, behentrimonium chloride, limonene, ascorbyl palmitate, potassium phosphate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, coffea arabica (coffee) seed extract, pongamia pinnata seed extract, sodium benzoate, isopropyl alcohol, acetic acid, angelica archangelica root extract, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) peel extract, maltodextrin, magnesium aluminum silicate, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, caprylyl glycol, sclerotium gum, bha, sorbic acid.
The Pearls – aqua/water/eau, glycerin, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, propanediol, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, alumina, iris pallida root extract, hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid, silica, xanthan gum, algin, synthetic fluorphlogopite, bht, sodium hydroxide, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium hyaluronate, tocopherol, beta-sitosterol, squalene, titanium dioxide (ci 77891), iron oxide (ci 77491).

First, it felt like I was making a magic potion when I opened this jar. You pour the pink colored pearls that contain the serum and incorporate it with the cream. Wait 5 minutes until it “bakes” (no oven needed), mix again and your beauty potion is complete. The pearls do not remain visible in the cream and dissolve to become one mighty anti-aging concoction.

Verdict:

I am always up for a concoction and this is why I still make my own face masks at home, so this was a welcoming site when I got to play mad scientist for 5 minutes. The jar is large and the serum-in-cream once mixed applies well. My skin felt breathable and I experienced zero problems when it came to clogged pores, blemishes or break-outs. Any small and light scars I have from a recent acne breakout are gone! Yes, that is how quick the turnover process worked for me. I first noticed lightening in week one and I attribute this to the combo work from the kit. The night cream remains on and moisturizes so well, that the next day I would wake up and a thin layer of skin on my marks would peel to reveal a less marked new layer. The darkness went away and I can only see shadows now of the break-out I got last month. My skin on my face is good at healing but it has never pressed on the gas pedal this hard to hurry up the process. I also have a nice glow after I wash my face in the morning to apply make-up. It remains on the days I don’t apply cosmetics, and corrected my T-zone from getting too oily. The pores around my nose are less visible and only depending on Philosophy to control my fine lines, well they came through and again turned back the clock a bit to make them look less visible.

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Final Verdict- Very few kits work in conjunction like this one does. I depended on 3 products solely for 2 weeks and only changed because I am reviewing another brand but will be returning back to Philosophy when I am not testing other manufactures. I don’t say this much because let’s be frank, not everything works as promised. Philosophy exceeded my expectations and I was already positive about the brand! My must buys are the eye and night cream but you have better pick-up an SPF for the day time!

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***Coupon Alert***
Use Promo Code: Welcome15 to receive a philosophy welcome gift (includes 1oz purity made simple facial cleanser, 1oz amazing grace shower gel, and 0.4oz hope in a jar moisturizer) with any $25 purchase

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Connect with Philosophy and try their New Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating line at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Philosophy and Smiley360.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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

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

Thankfully, Oz Naturals was not one of them!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oz Naturals offers a large assortment of Beauty products at:

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

Body Merry: Retinol Surge Moisturizer #Review #BodyMerry

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Body Merry has been a guest over here in the past and always welcomed! Like you don’t need to call before you arrive type of guest 🙂 and it’s because I really enjoy using their products. They work and who doesn’t like using stuff that shows results because my beauty regimen is not just for fun……I’m sort of on the run from the tick-tock clock of time. I enjoy the memories with people and experiences, just don’t wrinkle me!

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I was sent Body Merry’s Retinol Surge Moisturizer. It’s an all-in-one product that can be used by itself as a last layer application or you can amp your routine by using a serum and then a thin layer of Body Merry’s Surge Moisturizer. The product offers:

  • 2.5% Retinol in a cream form
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B5
  • Green Tea

Ingredients (as listed on website): Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Sunflower Oil, Palm Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Jojoba Oil, Wildcrafted Green Tea, Wildcrafted Propolis, Shea Butter, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.

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The moisturizer really covers everything from giving you an instant boost from the green tea, uses Aloe Vera versus water as it’s base and you have nourishing agents like Shea Butter, Jojoba oil and Vitamin E. Body Merry goes one step further by making sure their Hyaluronic acid is derived from plants and let us not forget the major player here, the 2.5% percentage of retinol. The product is all packed in a pump action bottle, so no air, light or even bacteria can easily come in contact. That to me is insurance on your purchase!

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Application:
A one pump serving was enough for me to cover the areas I wanted to treat on my face because I have combination skin and that means some areas get more moisturizer than others. I then had enough to treat my neck and chest area because people tend to over focus on the face when the rest of your body can also show aging. I applied the product under make-up and never had issues of my foundation not looking right hours later or even problems with blending. The acids in the moisturizer keep everything in check. Make sure to use SPF (even though you should already be) because retinol products may make skin sensitive to the sun, plus why damage the skin you are trying to take care of.

Retail Price Point: $23.49 via Amazon or $24.99 via their website for a generous 3.4 fluid ounce bottle.

Verdict:
Like with all of Body Merry’s products so far, I am happy with the results and the price point. I got tired of OTC products not declaring the percentage of retinol in their products and just taking their word that there was even a significant amount to make a difference. I might as well squeeze a bottle down the sink if it’s not going to work! With Body Merry products, everything is forthcoming and no proprietary blends to hide behind. Body Merry tells you what you are getting, how it’s going to work and what to expect, plus goes beyond and adds a satisfaction guarantee. No hassles and I like exchanges like that because the beauty world should not be complicated. We all want to look our best, we all can’t afford and/or don’t want to undergo surgery, so we just want stuff that works. Body Merry’s stuff works and that is something I (and my skin) truly appreciates.

Connect with Body Merry at:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Body Merry: Hyaluronic Acid Serum #Review #BodyMerry

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Last week, I reviewed the Retinol serum by Body Merry and this week I will be reviewing their Hyaluronic Acid. This is a combination serum that is boosted with other ingredients like:

  • Vitamin C
  • Green Tea
  • Aloe Vera
  • Jojoba Oil
  • And Vitamin E

All ingredients are Natural or Organic. Free from harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates. Also, no fragrances or alcohol are ever used and the product is produced in the USA.

Ingredients (as listed on their site):

  • The Hard Hitters: Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C + Wildcrafted Green Tea
  • The Organic Ones: Aloe + Jojoba Oil
  • Just Some of the Others: Witch Hazel + MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) + Geranium Essential Oil + Vitamin E

Price Point: $14.99 for a 1 fluid ounce bottle that comes with a dropper top. Backed by a 100% Money Back Guarantee too!

Hyaluronic Acids help boost the amount of moisture your skin cells can hold. You get a plump and smoother look on the surface, so while you are quenching the skin, why not add other nutritional ingredients to improve its health? Body Merry does just that and even if you are prone to clogged pores, blemishes, acne, blackheads, this is a non-clogging formula. My T-Zone should be called my pimple zone because I can be prone to breakouts.  I admit I sometimes just dab and pretend to moisturize these areas but always lightly. I was able to apply a thin layer of the Body Merry’s Hyaluronic Acid serum and woke up the next day without any skin issues. You will notice as the weeks go by and with continued use, the serum has lasting results. Due to its plumping nature and how well it drives moisture to the areas applied, I went for it and I applied it on my lips. I usually use whatever is left on my finger tips after applying to my face and neck area, which is usually more than enough. Chapped lips/Winter lips are now not an issue and I follow up with a nourishing balm enriched with Coconut oil. Another great product by Body Merry that is affordable, performs well and with regular use, rewards you with better looking skin. I figure I will start my 2015 looking better than years before!

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

Foxbrim: Vitamin A + Antioxidants, Advanced 1% Retinol Complex #Foxbrim #Review

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Foxbrim is a company I was not too familiar with in the beauty world, however they offer a small line of products that range from moisturizers to some with anti-again properties. Their focus is about keeping it simple but using potent ingredients that are organic and all-natural. Combining premium products that work and if they don’t, they stand behind them with a 90-Day Money Back Guarantee!

I was sent a bottle of their Vitamin A + Antioxidants, Advanced Retinol Complex. The product comes with a declared 1% Retinol potency, which is something I now look for in ant-aging products of this kind. I already like the bottle with a pump because this is the best way to preserve and slow down the oxidation of the vitamin. The product’s claims are simple:

  • Restore
  • Renew
  • Refresh

Ingredients (as listed on their site):

Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil), Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), CassiaAngustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Glyceryl Stearate,Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Wildcrafted Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), Wildcrafted Resina Propoli (Propolis), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.

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Price Point: $17.95 for a generous 1 fluid ounce bottle

Directions:
Apply all over face, neck and decolette. Can be used morning and/or night. Apply after washing, toning and then a serum. Can be used under cosmetics.

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Results:
I tried the formula for a period of 3 weeks, since I am already a retinol user, I did not experience the redness and/or flaking associated with first-time users. My goal was to focus on what I call the “triple R” results. The product did help restore moisture and I did not experience a decline in the results I had achieved from previous retinol based products. What my skin achieved remained and that is what you want to see when it comes to formulas of this kind, so the 1% potency is present. Foxbrim’s complex also kept my problem areas at bay by renewing the skin’s surface and speeding up the “turnover” process. I continued to exfoliate to insure the retinol was able to always have a new surface of skin to work on. My fine lines did not disappear but remained with a diminished appearance. My skin did feel moisturized and protected, plus refreshed. I never appeared tired or experienced any skin problems from the product. The moisturizer is simple but that is sometimes what we need after everything we tend to put on our faces. I do feel Foxbrim nourishes your skin and I hope in the future they release a moisturizer with an increase in retinol because I would jump on using it like I did this one.

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

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Body Merry: Pro-A Serum 2.5% Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid and Green Tea #Review #BodyMerry

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I ran out of my OTC retinol and quite frankly, I don’t think my former brand had the retinol kick it had before. I first thought maybe I needed to move up and use a higher strength, so I buy for deep wrinkles versus fine lines. I try to use more product because maybe I’m just being too cheap! I I come to my senses and just need to drop the brand like a RoC-K because it just was not cutting it.

I’m on my last week where my retinol tube is spurting out a yellow colored and nicely oxidized solution, Body Merry then offers to send me a bottle of their product! Don’t you love it when things just come together like that?

It get’s here and I try the Pro-A Serum for 3 weeks :

  • Week One- On day one, I expected to feel that tingle that in my head means it’s working. I get a slight pink color but that is mostly from me tapping on my skin (lightly). The solution is a perfect gel that has a slight tint and is easily portioned out by the dropper. Three drops covers the “problem areas” where I have 5 fine lines in total and also covers what I somehow know will be “future problem areas”. Hey, I like to eat Turkey…..not look like one. I continue use and by day #3, I’m thinking this is just gelatin-ized water Yes, my skin absorbs it, feels nice but no voodoo is happening. I continue use because I’m going to ride this pony out or maybe just rubbing my fine lines in a routine basis will just erase them (don’t I wish).

 

  • Week Two- Still on the pony and I notice on day #8, my skin overall looks better. Like the type of skin you think looks nice and wish you could obtain. I look less…..well, flustered because my frown line between my brows is un-frowning (finally got the memo that me no likey it). I think it’s just a good day and continue my ride. Yee-haw!

 

  • Week Three- I have consecutive “good days”, so I shine off the results and just think it was a good week now. Continue on the this horsey and I notice things like my chin has 2 mini white heads and I have to get like super close to the mirror….you know when your nose fogs it up to even see them. The acne areas are just not getting angry anymore, so the Body Merry Pro-A Serum is sort of like a happy pill for my face. I realize what you don’t want to jinx because somehow if you acknowledge it, my face will revolt and avenge this goodness. Overall I get one pimple over my eyebrow and one bug bite on the neck. The latter obviously only a fly swatter could have saved me! I don’t hate saying it but my face looks good….feels good….and I sort of am starting to like it (don’t let it go to your head).

 

Ingredients (as listed on their website):

The wildness of Retinol is tamed by Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid, which locks in moisture to effectively minimize dryness or irritation. Because of their high antioxidant content, Green Tea and Vitamin E work beautifully together to prevent and diminish the signs of aging.

The formula does not contain any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, fragrances or alcohol. The KEY ingredients are:
The Hard Hitters: 2.5% Retinol + Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid
The Organic Ones: Green Tea + Aloe + Jojoba Oil
Just Some of the Others: Vitamin E + Witch Hazel + Wheat Germ Oil + Wildcrafted Propolis

I can easily state that I was paying more for a product that did a whole lot less. I don’t like when that happens because I spend my time researching and when a product changes it’s formulation and you find out after the fact, well they not only slapped my pocket book but also me.

Price Point: $27.99 on Amazon with 90-Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on all products. Hassle free money back, with no need to return the bottle! Made in the USA and Cruelty Free too.

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Body Merry’s Pro-A serum gave me everything it advertised. It minimized my fine lines to the point I don’t focus on them and just made my skin happier. My acne prone areas diminished and just got off that cycle of two great weeks followed by “you thought I was gone” pimples that just makes you wonder why you bother washing off make-up like it’s the plague when you get home. Yes, my pimples were small and just clogged pores but nonetheless, in my world they were not allowed to be there with all the care I take, the 8 glasses of water, not touching my face, and so forth. My pimples broke the rules but Body Merry’s Pro-A Serum let them know who’s the boss!

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I will continue using Body Merry’s Pro-A Serum and have started using their Hyaluronic Dew Serum . I’m doing the Hyaluronic Dew Serum in the morning and at PM, the Pro-A serum because now I’m aiming super high when it comes to results. I see now what my face can really do 🙂

Get a Happier Face and visit Body Merry and their products at:

 

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

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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