Review – Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer

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Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer is packed with brightening power, that lightens dark spots and enhances the complexion. With energizing antioxidants like Ginseng and Kojic Acid to control melanin production, dark spots fade and collagen production is enhanced, revealing a firmer more even skin tone. Skin moisture is replenished and protected with Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Safflower and Shea Butter. Tired and dull looking skin is restored to unveil a healthier, more vibrant glow. The natural and organic ingredients are formulated to provide all-day weightless hydration without leaving any greasy residue. The Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer retails for $25 (4.0 oz bottle) on Amazon.com or Valentia.com.

Overall Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer will:
* Lightens dark spots
* Restores skin radiance
* Evens skin tone
* Diminishes fine lines
* Provides all-day hydration
* Nourishes skin

Key Ingredients:
Botanical Hyaluronic Acid: Floods skin with moisture, supports skin elasticity, and plumps skin from within.
Kojic Acid: Controls melanin production and prevents dark spots.
Ginseng: Boosts skin firming collagen, fights wrinkles, and gives the skin a brighter and more energized look.
Safflower Oil: Repairs skin’s natural moisture barrier and provide superior skin protection.
Shea Butter: Infuses skin with a myriad of vitamins and nutrients for superior skin hydration and nourishment.

Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer can be used both morning and night, and makes an excellent starting base for your makeup application. It is suitable for all skin types and provides superior hydration for both; dry to normal and oily/combo skin types.

How To Use:
Apply on face, neck and decollete. Suitable for use in the AM and PM, after cleansing, toning and essence/serum application.

My Thoughts: This is a very thick, white moisturizer that is easily absorbed into the skin. The bottle comes with a pump that is very helpful. It does not have any specific scent which is a big plus as I am not really a fan of strong scented especially citrus face creams/moisturizers/serums. It is very hydrating which does last all day and my skin is noticeably more radiant.l think I will need to use it for a significant period of time in order to see the other effects such as the reduction in wrinkles and lightening of dark spots.
I love that it is chock full of natural ingredients. In addition to the ones noted above lemon extract, vitamin B5, green tea, aloe, licorice, salicylic acid among others. I am a fan of the Valentia line of products.

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Disclaimer: These products received from Valentia and their representatives through BrandBacker for review considerations. This does not  influence my opinion and this review is based on my experience with the product. The overall description of the product, some images, the benefits, and ingredients were adapted from information provided by Valentia.  My Amazon review name is BEATS.

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RegenFX Skin Care System – Review

RegenFX Skincare is created for all ethnicities and skin types and incorporates the highest possible standards for quality, product performance and skin adaptability. RegenFX Skincare (RFS) offering innovation and luxury to every element of our conscious, well-edited, multi-functional regimen. Free of harsh chemicals and fillers, RegenFX Skincare products deliver unprecedented performance to visibly restore, nourish and reverse signs of aging while working at the cellular level to detoxify, balance energies and protect the skin from the damaging effects of the environment, stress, fatigue and travel. The RFS System includes three products:

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Ultimate Hyaluronic Complex Serum: This complex serum is enriched with Vitamins A, C, D & E and is considered to be the highest quality serum on the market. This hyaluronic acid serum for your face is an effective anti-aging, anti-wrinkle treatment. It restores and replenishes moisture giving the skin a dewy, youthful glow. The serum is proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles; reduces dry, dull and sagging skin, while increasing elasticity, revealing fresh and radiant skin. It is fast acting as it is quickly absorbed (not sticky), typically in 5-10 minutes and stimulates the natural production of collagen. This serum retails on Amazon for $39.95 – $49.99 for 50ml or 1.7 oz.

Age Defying Moisturizer Cream: This complex formula contains a unique proprietary blend (Super 7 Peptide Complex) of Collagen Boosting Peptides, Vitamin C, E, Green Tea Extracts, and Matrixyl 3000. In addition to the benefits of the serum, this moisturizer boosts oxygenation and metabolic performances of the skin. This serum retails on Amazon for $42.00 – $59.99 for 30 ml or 1.0 oz.

Total Regeneration Eye Gel: This eye gel is  encapsulated  with key amino acids that are naturally found in skin cells (all cells in the body) that maximize collagen levels to improve the hollow look around the eye area. It helps restore and replenish moisture while reducing puffy eyes and fading dark circles under eye. In addition to these benefits this  formula diminishes the appearance of lines and wrinkles as it recharges tired eyes. This is achieved by the formulating the gel with time-released compounds that increase cellular turnover rate and micronized ruby crystals to instantly illuminate & restore eyes’ youthful glow. The eye gel also has preventative properties that diminishes the current appearance of lines and wrinkles while improving collagen stimulation in the area thus preventing and reducing future dermal degeneration around the eye area. This serum retails on Amazon for $39.95  – $49.99 for 15 ml or 0.5 oz.

KEY BENEFITS of the ingredients that permanently diminish deep lines and wrinkles while firming, toning, balancing and brightening the skin for a healthy luminous glow.
– Provides structural lift and reduction of wrinkles (immediate and long term peptides, vitamin C)
– Increases skin tone and elasticity (blue and green copper)
– Boosts oxygenation and metabolic performance (O2 complex, potassium, B vitamins)
– Anti-inflammatory and reduces puffiness (zinc, grapefruit seed extract, pomegranate)
– Absorbs quickly with deep level hydration (hyaluronic acid, carrot seed, Brazilian algae)
– Peptides coupled with a de-lining complex deliver structural lift, metabolic boost and instant hydration.

KEY INGREDIENTS [ADVANCED SKINCARE BACKED BY SCIENCE]: My fav word ‘SCIENCE’. Yay for Organic Chemistry!! R E G E N | F X Anti-Aging effectiveness is in the formulation of mixing the right concentration of naturally-derived ingredients. I think one complex is missing. I could find only 6 of the 7.

 Elastin Peptide Complex – Patented combination of two highly active peptides, which simultaneously stimulate the production of proteins: Laminin V, Collagens IV, VII. By increasing the amount of these proteins, it improves the structural integrity and nutrient exchange increasing skin tonicity, firmness, and suppleness after two months.
 
 
 Reconstructive Fibronectin Complex – Proven to reduce the depth of wrinkles and redensification of skin and to stimulate the parameters for skin reconstruction: fibronectin synthesis, cellular migration, and multiplication.
 

 

TRUE Rejuva Complex™ – A powerful anti-oxidant complex, which is a preventative as well as deep cellular detoxifier, helps to maintain cell integrity. It’s proven to stimulate the formation of collagen by 40%, thus treating and helping to prevent the advanced signs of ageing.
 

 

Reconstructive Fibronectin Complex – Proven to reduce the depth of wrinkles and redensification of skin and to stimulate the parameters for skin reconstruction: fibronectin synthesis, cellular migration, and multiplication.
 

 

Long Term Peptide Complex – Our peptide complex works on a cellular level to activate the genes responsible for cell renewal and proliferation while supporting the activation of the cutaneous repair process. This complex has been proven to reduce wrinkles by 45% and increases tone and elasticity by 19.5% in 8 weeks.
Oil Soluble Vitamin C Complex – Proven to reduce melanin synthesis by 80% (providing a brightening effect, skin radiance, reducing age spots). Increases collagen by 50% while protecting skin cells from UVA/UVB damage (DNA protection).
MY THOUGHTS:
I have used the RFS for 3 straight weeks in the AM and PM. I am quite pleased with the overall appearance of my skin and have noticed that my skin glows more and is balanced. I have very oily skin and the RFS did not make it any worse. In fact throughout the 3 weeks I noticed that my T-zone did not get oily as quickly as it previously did. The fine lines on my forehead do appear to be less intense and obvious.
“This scientifically engineered formula features a cutting edge complex of antioxidant also known as epidermal growth factors polypeptides that work to rectify, slow and over-time improve the skin aging process to create a visibly lifted effect that helps you look years younger.”  It can actually say there is some truth to this claim. I am happy that I had the opportunity to use this system and add it to my skincare regime. I love, love products that have some serious SCIENCE behind them. I would love to visit their facility one day. 
Would I actually purchase this system? Yes, but only if sold as a bundle and maybe with a coupon/discount. The price tag may be a deterrent for most people. I would be willing to make this investment. I would however like to see them add a cleanser and toner to this system and maybe an ultra-moisturizing hand cream. 
 ABOUT THE BRAND:
“At R E G E N | F X Skincare we apply science, technology and our unparalleled global network of resources to the pursit of creating the best anti-aging products possible. R E G E N | F X Skincare represents the fusion of science with active botanicals. We subject our active ingredients and final formulations to rigorous clinical studies in order to obtain scientifically validated proof that they deliver on their claims —reinforcing our commitment to provide advanced skincare backed by science. Our products are formulated under dermatologic control for maximum safety and efficacy, offering the highest performance available without a doctor’s prescription. We do not test our products on animals, use any artificial fragrances and all packaging is made of recyclable materials. Every product is a dedication to beautiful, younger looking skin and an opportunity for all of our loyal customers and clients worldwide.” All products are Professional Grade, made in a FDA registered facility in the United States.
 
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 Disclaimer: These products received from R E G E N | F X and their representatives through BrandBacker for review considerations. This does not  influence my opinion and this review is based on my experience with the product. The overall description of the brand, product(s), images, benefits and ingredients were adapted or taken from information provided by R E G E N | F X.

Trilane® Retinol + Vitamin C Anti-Aging Moisturizer + Discount Code


Trilane® Retinol + Vitamin C Moisturizer gives you  age-fighting and skin-renewing antioxidants to leave your skin smoother, more even, for a more radiant, youthful glow”.
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Benefits:
=>  Smooths and evens out skin texture
=>  Speeds turnover of skin cells
=>  Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
=>  Protects your skin from environmental damage
=>  Diminishes brown spots
=>  Minimizes and unclogs pores
=>  Gentle enough for everyday use

Trilane® Retinol + Vitamin C contains a proprietary blend of gentle, yet effective, 100% natural anti-aging ingredients to speed cell turnover and leave your skin radiant skin with NO irritation. This moisturizer retails between $42.73 – $49.99

Ingredients: Squalane, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Esters, Olea europaea (Olive) Oil, Aloe Extract, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Retinol (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C).

Active Ingredients:  Squalane intensely hydrates the skin giving a softer, smoother feel and more luminous look. It is also a powerful free-radical fighter as it protects the skin from premature aging. Jojoba ‘liquid wax’ esters have been found to have unusual and powerful anti-aging properties that visibly lift the skin without tightening keeping it plump but firm. Jojoba esters also significantly improves dryness, roughness, and flakiness.

My thoughts: I love and enjoy using this moisturizer. It is one of the few that contains Vitamin C that does not irritate my eyes. Whenever I can’t decide on a nighttime moisturizer to use I reach for this. It is gentle and doesnot irritate the skin. I like that it has a pump and not a dropper, although I think vitamin C and retinol based products should be kept in darker bottles to prevent the breakdown of the active ingredients by light. 

Discount code: Save 20% off your first purchase of Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C sold by Healthy Directions on Amazon.com by using the code SAVERETC. Promotion code expires 12/31/15

Learn About the Brand: In 1985, Phillips Publishing International (PPI) began expanding its newsletter offerings to include natural health–related titles that featured advice from alternative medicine doctors. The health advice was well-received, and readers began calling to find out where they could buy the nutritional products recommended by our physician editors. We helped point them to safe, appropriate sources, and then began working with the doctors to formulate their own supplements. In 2004, the business was sold and officially rebranded as Healthy Directions. Today we are proud to be a leading health publisher and direct-to-consumer retailer of doctor-formulated nutritional supplements and skincare products, dedicated to helping people lead healthier, happier lives. Healthy Directions provides expert guidance and advanced nutritional supplements from America’s most knowledgeable and highly respected integrative and alternative health doctors.

BrandBacker-150x150Disclaimer: These products received from Healthy Directions and their representatives through BrandBacker for review considerations. This does not  influence my opinion and this review is based on my experience with the product. The overall description of the product, image, benefits and ingredients were adapted or taken from information provided by Healthy Directions.

Review – evian® Facial Spray

The Evian Facial Spray  is considered to be the perfect addition to any skincare and makeup routine. It  contains pure, soft, natural mineral water with a unique mineral balance, and a neutral 7.2pH and is suitable for all skin types. It is dermatologically tested and hypo-allergenic.

The spray is packaged with the consumer and the environment in mind in a leak-proof canister (great for travel). Evian is powered by pure nitrogen into millions of tiny micro-droplets. These micro-droplets  enable the water spray to be absorbed by the skin. The water penetrates and rehydrates the upper layers of the skin leaving it looking healthy and feeling refreshed.

Evian Facial Spray is easily incorporate into any skincare and makeup regime and actually helps improve the performance of any skin care or cosmetic products used with it. Morning and evening, This leaves skin looking healthy and feeling refreshed.

 Evian’s recommended uses: Skincare RoutineWith each misting, evian® Brumisateur® (Brew-meez-ah-tour) Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray helps hydrate, tone, and soothe all skin types including sensitive skin leaving the skin looking healthy. French women, famous for their beauty savvy, have long depended on the special benefits of evian® Brumisateur® as part of their daily skin care regime.
Makeup Routine: In addition to skin care, Evian Facial Spray is also an asset to any makeup routine. After applying makeup, hold the canister 9-12 inches from the face, and lightly mist in a circular motion right over makeup. This helps makeup blend with the skin to give it a more natural look while bringing out more color. This can be done several times during the day to refresh makeup and hydrate the skin without messing up makeup. A favorite trick among makeup artists, our product can be used to lightly moisten makeup brushes for more precise application and blending. It can also be used to dilute makeup.

 My thoughts: This is great product to have handed all year long. This winter I use it as a part of my winter nighttime skin care routine and when I am at home and my skin dries out from the heat. In Summer it would be perfect to take along hiking, camping, a day out in the sun, the beach etc. The concept is concept and product that can be useful. Although for most it would be easier to put water in a spray bottle from the dollar store. Evian Facial Spray is available in various sizes (1.7 oz,  5 oz, 10 oz, from evian® or Sephora and retails from $7-$21.

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Disclaimer: These products received from evian® and their representatives through BrandBacker for review considerations. This does not  influence my opinion and this review is based on my experience with the product. The overall description of the product, benefits and ingredients were adapted from information provided by evian® Brumisateur®.  All of these prices will be slightly raised on February 1, 2015.

Exuviance Illumination Duo – Review

The Exuviance Illumination Duo combines the Evening Restorative Complex (the nighttime transformer) and Vitamin C+ Anti-aging Booster  which creates a potent anti-aging cocktail at combats the visible signs of aging. I have been using this nighttime cocktail for a couple of months now to get its full impact and benefits. 

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The 100% pure active formulation of Vitamin C+ Anti-aging Booster contains Vitamin C, an essential co-factor in collagen synthesis.  Vitamin C is a very popular ingredient in many of today’s talked about beauty products. It is known to strengthen skin’s extracellular matrix by improving its firmness which in turn smooths wrinkles. The creators of Exuviance have added a super antioxidant, Aceta-C™ (a patented compound) that enhances the natural antiaging effects of Vitamin C, amplifying the skin-protecting and pigment-evening effects. As a result dark spots fade, and the skin’s defenses against future discoloration and signs of aging is increased.
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Key Ingredients in the duo are:
Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) Gluconolactone – decreases lines and wrinkles, evens skin tone and improves roughness and texture.
Lactobionic Acid – serves as a potent antioxidant that inhibits wrinkle formation , plumps and firms the skin, and enhances clarity.
Vitamins A, C and E – delivers full-strength anti-aging benefits without drying or irritation, even on the most sensitive skin types.
Directions: Each night, pump a small amount of Evening Restorative Complex into the palm of your hand and mix in a few shakes, or up to 1/2 scoop of Vitamin C+ Anti-aging Booster, just before application. Once mixed, gently smooth the mixture over a cleansed face and neck. Use less powder if skin feels sensitive. Do not exceed 5 shakes or 1/2 scoop per use. Tap bottle to loosen powder when needed.
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My thoughts and experience: I really like these products. The complex can be used by itself but the full effect is to be achieved with the Vitamin C powder. The complex is very fragrant although it is pleasant, those sensitive to scented products may not be able to tolerate it. I used the powder as directed starting with 5 shakes the first week but found that it was too harsh for me and I don’t have sensitive skin. I reduced the number of shakes to 3 then 1 and only ended up doing this once a week. At this stage I still think the Vitamin C will still be effective but maybe not with the same potency as if I was doing 5 shakes more often than once a week. The Vitamin C booster is similar to Philosophy’s Turbo Booster C Powder. The Exuviance booster I think can be added to your favorite moisturizer or serum. I have noticed brightness to my skin over the past 8 weeks that I have been trying this duo.  Overall, I do like these products and the technology behind them especially the powder which will be a staple
Exuviance Illumination Duo is available at Exuviance.com for $77 however, is sold seperately at Ulta: the Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster $72 and Evening Restorative Complex $48.

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Disclaimer: These products received from Exuviance and their representatives through BrandBacker for review considerations. This does not  influence my opinion and this review is based on my experience with the product. The overall description of benefits and ingredients were adapted from  http://www.neostrata.com/product/exuviance+illumination+duo.do

Winter Skincare Regime

The horrors of harsh, dry cold winter weather on the skin can be seen and felt. When I was younger I did not pay attention to my skin as much as I should. My skin is still pretty good as I hit my mid-thirties. I get a blemish once in a while but have been blessed not to suffer from severe. I have a few dark spots from these and age spots. Having a darker skin tone I often suffer from hyper-pigmentation especially around my mouth area.

Nighttime20140215_224956During these cold months I have been focusing on super hydration. I keep my heat very high (being from a tropical island I do not do very well in the cold). I rotate Trader Joe’s Vitamin E Oil (under $5 and amazing); Medpeel Natural Squalene Oil, Hyaluronic Replenish Serum, Retinal Collagen Serum & Moisturizer (got these on HauteLook); First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (a recent discovery); Ole Henriksen Visual Truth Eye Cream and Truth Serum Collagen Booster and Tarte Maracuja Oil ( I also use the Tarte Maracuja C-brighter Eye treatment but could not find it for the pic). In addition to these I use on occasion extra moisture boosters (see my review here of Lioele Sleeping Moisture Pack and Avon Solutions Plus +Maximum Moisture Gel).

Daytime20140215_225127I usually use oil-free, oil controlling moisturizers/lotions for my combination oily skin, but find that these are too drying during the winter months. Instead I use more thicker and moisturizing creams (not always with SPF- I am very sensitive to it) in addition to mattifying primers under my makeup.

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Also at night I use Avon’s Night Winter Solutions Moisturizing cream on my neck and the god send that is Bag Balm (this all purpose balm was made for farm animals but works wonders on humans – review to come).

Winter Nighttime Moisture Boosters

During the winter months I try to incorporate extra moisture in my nighttime routine – since I like to turn up my heat and that dries out my skin significantly.
Lioele Waterdrop Sleeping Pack
I purchased this from Pretty&Cute and this Sleeping Pack includes Swiss Alpine extract, that absorbs quickly without leaving skin feeling sticky . But it does leaves a soft moisturizing film that provides moisture throughout the night. It is suitable for all skin types but is more geared to those with dry skin. I’ve found that products normally marketed to those with dry skin are perfect for anyone during winter when the skin looses moisture the most. Typically retails for $9.99
L to R: Lioele Sleeping Pack and Avon Moisture Gel
Avon Solutions Plus +Maximum Moisture Gel
This gel was described on the Avon site as a heavenly hydrating overnight booster serum with hyaluronic acid enhances the benefits of your night cream. Formulated to improve skin’s ability to lock in moisture. Smooth on before your night cream.  Unfortunately this amazing product has been discontinued and I am not sure if they have a replacement product. It can be found on ebay from particularly past Avon reps or people who bought huge quantities before it was discontinued. One  thing I didn’t like was that it slightly irritates the skin if it is sensitive, for me after I use a face scrub.

Review: Korres Pomergrante Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturiser

This pore-minimizing and mattifying moisturizer delivers immediate and lasting hydration while simultaneously balancing oily to combination complexions. The unique lightweight cream-gel texture is formulated with a blend of 15% pomegranate water, pomegranate extract, alpine willowherb, and contains tannins and polyphenols. These ingredients help reduce the appearance of pores and rejuvenate the look of skin while providing a matte finish. Hyaluronic and salicylic acids combine to offer an immediate moisture boost while conditioning skin for an overall smooth appearance. A lightweight moisturizer that provides a matte finish and pore-minimizing properties while leaving skin soft, hydrated, and balanced. (Description courtesy of Sephora.com)
I like this product as a SPF-free moisturizer (I am a bit sensitive to SPF). It has a very pleasant smell and absorbs quickly. As a product that provides a matte finish, for me not really because I am extremely oily but it provides some added benefit when used in conjunction with my primers.
Would I repurchase? maybe (just to have a nice moisturizer in my regime).

Images are my own.

Small Jamaican Beauty Haul

A couple months ago my dad went back home to Jamaica (JA) and I asked him to pick up a few things from a store ‘Earth Elements’ in Kingston that specializes in ‘natural’ beauty/skincare products. I decided on these items after watching a couple YouTube videos by beauty vloggers who live in JA and love these products.
I got the Gentle Face Wash, Citrus Twist Toning Mist, Madina Mud Mask and the Madina Black Seed Cream.

Final Birch Box: January 2012

This was my final BirchBox. I tried it for a year and earned enough points to redeem a full size bottle of Kate Spade’s Twirl which I’ve wanted for an entire year. I’ve gotten some great boxes and some really disappointing ones. I must say they have good customer service, I may resume again but I’m trying other subscriptions Beauty TestTube and My Glam for awhile.
So here is my final Birch Box 🙁

 Best item: a full size Stila eyeliner in Moray that retails for $20, metallic army green with glitter.