Sunday, January 31, 2016

TOMOSON TIMES: Valentia Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub & Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask

Here's the last couple of products that were sent to me from Valentia for free through Tomoson for review! I received Valentia's Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub and the Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask this time around.  
Valentia describes their scrub as a "refreshing scrub with green and white teas partnered with a trio of tropical butters." It is meant to brighten the skin, improve your skin tone's clarity, soften your skin and aids in preventing breakouts. 

Here's a rundown of some of the ingredients and some of the benefits (found on the outside of the box).
Green and White Tea: provides anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant and anti-aging effects.
Aloe Vera: moisturizes the skin and fights signs of aging by improving your skin's natural firmness.
Jojoba Beads: work to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells without scratching the skin.
Olive Butter: nourishes, hydrates and soothes the skin.
Avocado Butter: contains high amounts of Vitamin A, B1, b2, D, and E to help nourish and gently repair the skin.
Kukui Butter: This is a treasured oil from Hawaii that is known for its antioxidant properties that help protect your skin and combat pro-aging free radicals.
This is probably my favorite product of the two that I'm reviewing today! This scrub is just so gentle on the skin, which is something that I've been trying to experiment with more and more. I've come to realize that over-exfoliation, especially with harsh scrubs, was not doing my acne-prone skin any favors. This scrub has a pleasant almost minty kind of scent. My uncle likens the fragrance similar to the classic Noxzeema scent. I would say the scent leans a little more "natural." When using the product, less is more! You don't need too much to start up that exfoliating action! The beads are so gentle, and because they are submerged in this gel like base, they do not make too much direct contact on the skin. The base of the product also helps to keep the skin pleasantly moisturized. This is definitely a huge win for me!
Valentia describes their Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask "a natural kaolin clay and botanical based mask that gently removes excess, dirt and oil while deeply cleansing and exfoliating the skin to reveal softer, smoother skin." The mask is also meant to help reduce pore size, as well as strengthen and firm the skin.
Here's a rundown of some of the ingredients and some of the benefits (found on the outside of the box).
 Kaolin Clay:  clay minerals draw out impurities, improve skin tone, and tighten pores for smoother firmer skin.
Plant Stem Cells: naturally decreases the level of pro-aging toxins, working to soothe the skin, reduce redness, and improve evenness.
Spirulina: a botanical stimulant full of vitamins and minerals, that hydrates the skin's surface and contributes to tissue regeneration of the skin.
CoQ10: lessens the appearance of wrinkles by reducing free radical damage and stimulating healthy collagen production.
Hibiscus and Cranberry Fibers: help to firm and reinforce the skin and reduce the creation of new wrinkles.
Astaxanthin: repairs collagen production, combats free radical damage, and restores skin to elastic, bright and wrinkle free tones and textures. 
While this is not my favorite of Valentia's skincare line, it is still a wonderful product. This does have a strong fruity scent (my sister says it smells just like cranberries). Since the mask contains hibiscus and cranberry fibers, when you remove the mask in circular motions, the fibers help slough off dead skin and exfoliates your face. This mask is thick, so you should definitely use a cloth to ensure that all the product is being removed. It was cooling on the skin for me, and did not dry down to the point where I felt like I could not move my face. It also does not dry out the skin, and did not break me out!
Both of these products, like all all of Valentia's skincare, are cruelty free, alcohol free and paraben free. They are also 98% organic. My top recommendations from this line are definitely the Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub, and the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. These two products are my favorite because I actually immediately begin seeing a difference in my skin after I use the products! Both the hydrating mask, and the scrub give my skin this sort of "radiance" and clarity to my face, that I feel I've been lacking for a long time! However, the Valentia products I have tried are all top quality skincare that are worth purchasing.

*I received these products for free in exchange for an honest review. I am not being paid for this review nor will I receive any monetary compensation if anyone should purchase the product through the link used in this review.*

Friday, January 22, 2016

TOMOSON TIMES: Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask

As I mentioned before, Valentia Skin Care was kind enough to send me their Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask for free through Tomoson to review (as well as two other exciting products)!
Valentia describes their Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask as a powerful 3 in 1 rejuvenation treatment that is meant to aid in erasing the signs of aging. This mask floods your skin cells with moisture, detoxes everyday cellular wear and tear, as well as increases collagen production, for nourished, clear, and firm skin.
Here's a rundown of the some of the ingredients and their benefits (found on the side of the box):
Japanese Green Tea: Contains catechins, which are potent anti-oxidants that provides anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant effects
Aloe Vera: Moisturizes the skin and fights aging by improving skin's natural firmness
Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend: Increase moisture content and aid in the production of collagen and elastin to decrease the appearance of visible lines
Organic Rosehip oil: Locks in moisture, hydrates the skin and keeps it soft and supple through the use of essential fatty acids
Botanical Hyaluronic Acid: penetrates deep into the skin to secure moisture, support skin elasticity and structure and plump the skin from within 
Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil: aids in reducing lines, diminishes sunspots, and evens out and firms skin
This product is also cruelty free, alcohol free and paraben free. It is also 98% organic.
As you can see in the photo above, the mask is a bright orange color which somehow makes it more appealing and fun to use. There is a definite scent to this product. It's a nice cross between citrus/fruity and mint? Personally it is not an offensive fragrance. The consistency of this cream is like a gel. When I put it on my face, I feel as though I'm smoothing a protective lacquer over it. The mask is really cooling, and actually might have a normal tingly effect. I did not experience this tingling, but my mother did. After 15-30 minutes, the mask dries down tacky but not uncomfortably. Definitely use a nice washcloth to help remove the product like the box suggests. (I must admit, I am sometimes lazy and will just use my hands.) With this mask a cloth will easily remove the mask without having to rub at your face excessively. While I cannot comment on how effective this product is for anti-aging, I have noticed that my skin has definitely felt a bit softer and more hydrated since I started using this product. I do think this will be a wonderful product for my mother, who has dryer skin, as well as sunspots on her face. Overall, I really enjoy using this product and am looking forward to trying more products in the Valentia Skincare line! 
*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. I am not being paid for this review nor will I receive any monetary compensation if anyone should purchase the product through the link used in this review.*

Sunday, January 17, 2016

TOMOSON TIMES: Killer Pursuit (An Allison McNeil Thriller) by Jeff Gunhus

Killer Pursuit is an excellent read! It is packed with action and I had no trouble following the story, despite not having read the first in the series. You can tell that Jeff Gunhus definitely did his research for this novel. It felt very realistic to me, but it was not dry as other novels I have read in this genre.
Killer Pursuit has the twists that we all crave in a thriller without going over the top. The point of view bounces between characters during each chapter, which is great because it allows us to help piece the mystery together. At the beginning, I felt a little disjointed by this only because I was not used to that style of narration. But for this genre, it really works!
Allison McNeil is a wonderful and strong female character. She's no pushover, and is incredibly intelligent. Allison is naturally the most well-developed character in this book, which I don't mind, because she is the heroine and the one we root for. The story itself is steadily paced with some nice surprising plot twists thrown in. I was very intrigued by the mystery, as well as impressed by the descriptive details and imagery of the crimes.

Overall, this was a great read and I recommend it if you enjoy thrillers!

*I received an advanced arc for free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Saturday, January 9, 2016

BRANDBACKER ADVENTURES: OZ Naturals Matrix 6 Mega Bright Eye Gel

I have another OZ Naturals product (provided for free through Brandbacker) to share with you! This is the OZ Naturals Matrix 6 Mega Bright Eye Gel. Take a look at the photo below for the main components of this product!

Here's a snippet of the official claims that OZ Naturals lists for this eye gel's main ingredients,

  • "Matrixyl Synthe'6 helps reduce the appearance of crow's feet and forehead lines. 
  • Haloxyl is an anti-inflammatory that helps diminish and fade the appearance of dark circles with repeated use. 
  •  Caffeine reduces puffiness 
  • Hyaluronic Acid attracts moisture,
  • Apple Stem Cells protect skin and help preserve a more youthful look."
OZ Naturals lists this eye gel as 84.2% natural. It is made in the USA and is also cruelty free. This product can be dabbed around the eyes, cheek and forehead area. (Interestingly, OZ Naturals recommends that you use this product before their Eye Créme.) It can also be used as an all over face treatment. This product has a slight scent but it is VERY faint and fades away as it is rubbed into the skin.

This eye gel feels a bit like a serum. It leaves my skin very smooth and absorbs quickly. I had no issues or side effects from the product which was refreshing for a change. (My skin is very frustrating. I'm struggling to clear up persistent acne that always appears on the left side of my face near my mouth. If you have any product suggestions please let me know! I definitely need them.)
Overall, I enjoyed using this product. Of course, because it takes a while to actually see results, I cannot accurately comment on that aspect of this product. However, I enjoyed the way this gel made my skin feel, as well as how cooling it was near my eyes. I am eager to see with continued use how this product aids my dark circles.