Sk-II Facial Essence and Mask Review

I had heard of this brand before, specifically from ThatsHeart who has been raving about it for a long time. So I was very excited when I found out that I was getting a chance to try it out myself. I received the facial essence and the mask. This is a luxury brand, so I expected the results to be very noticeable, considering the price.

The first time I used the facial essence, I was impressed with how quickly the oil absorbed into my skin. It didn’t sit on my face or feel greasy. And immediately I saw a difference in my skin. It was much more bright and glowing. My skin felt tight as well. I used this product over a week to see if there was a change on my face. Unfortunately, my face has been breaking out like crazy lately! I’m not sure if it is from the oil or if it is stress related, which is very possible. The site says it’s supposed to help clear skin and make spots less noticeable. I didn’t see this with my own skin, but every skin type is different this may have been caused by outside sources. I did feel like it made my skin more bright and youthful looking though. The first few days of using it, I actually didn’t feel like I needed foundation, because my skin looked so nice.

My skin after 1st application


Overall for the facial essence I rate it:

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I waited a few weeks to try to the facial mask because, honestly I only had one and I wanted to save it for a special occasion. However, no such occasion happened but I did have a day where I was really stressed out so I decided to use it then. The mask has a gel like treatment on it so it was cooling and very relaxing. However, you do look terrifying while using it.

Scary mask face


Immediately after using the mask my skin looked brighter and more glowing. It felt firm and toned. I really enjoyed this mask and thought there was a difference in my skin. I feel like it I used this one weekly basis my skin would look amazing!

Skin after the mask


I rate the treatment mask:

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I took off a star for the price, I know this is a luxury product but I think it should be more affordable.

Do I think these products are worth purchasing? To be honest I’m not sure, while they were nice, I’m not that the results were dramatic enough for me to want to throw down $100. If you’re very into skincare and prefer luxury products, then I think you would really enjoy these products. However, for those on a budget I would recommend really doing your research before deciding to purchase these.

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*Thanks to influenster and SK-II for allowing me to try these in return for a honest review.

 

Hask Charcoal with Citrus Oil Hair Products Review

By now you have probably seen charcoal being used in face products. It’s been a popular beauty ingredient, especially in the Korean beauty industry, which creates a lot of cult beauty favorites. Here in the U.S it can be found mainly in face masks and nose strips, since it’s been known to be good at clearing blackheads. I have personally used these products, and didn’t notice a difference, but maybe that’s just me😉


I had never seen it used in hair products before, so I was intrigued when I came across the Hask Charcoal with Citrus Oil line. I was curious to see if it would have any effect on my hair, so I gave it a try.

Here’s a little background on Hask and their products: Hask is a collection of hair care products that feature a range of oils from around the world. They make shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, shine oils, and styling products. All of their products are made with ingredients that are good for you and wont include ingredients bad for your hair such as sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol, and artificial colors.BONUS: They are also cruelty free and don’t test on animals, and they are made in the U.S:)

They have many lines based around a specific oil such as Monoi Cococut Oil, Argan Oil, Kalahari Melon Oil, Macadamia Oil, and many more. Each collection is geared toward different needs. For example the Charcoal with Citrus Oil is meant for those looking for products that will cleanse and remove impurities. While the Monoi Coconut Oil moisturizes and revitalizes hair. And if you have color treated hair, have no fear! Their products are safe on dyed hair too!

Both the shampoo and conditioner have a citrus smell, which smells delicious! It was really strange the first time I used this since it had the thick, kind of gritty charcoal consistency, but it lathered up like a normal shampoo. After using the shampoo I use the conditioner, and I noticed a huge difference with my hair. It’s much smoother and more sleek. I have thick, damaged hair and I could tell my hair was less poofy and felt softer after using these two products for a week. Plus, my hair smelled amazing all day. Even my husband likes using it:)

The deep conditioner was something that I really wanted to try because my hair has been so dry and crispy, it really needed the extra help. I applied a good amount to the middle and ends of my hair and waited for 10 minutes.

Awkward waiting pic

At first I wasn’t sure if there was difference, but as my hair dried I could tell my hair felt more smooth and less crispy. However, I don’t think the change was very dramatic. The directions do say to use it 2x a week so I’m sure the more I use it the better my hair will feel.

Overall, I’m very happy that I have these and I’m so impressed I’ll probably buy more when I run out. The deep conditioner is a nice product, but I don’t think it’s a must have. So if you’re looking to try out this brand but not sure what to get, I recommend trying the shampoo and conditioner first, then if you like it and want more, buy the deep conditioner.

My Rating:

starstarstarstarstar

 

If you’re as excited and curious about this brand as me, go check them out HERE! Their site is super fun and you see all of the different ranges and find the one the best fits you. You can also find the brand at your favorite stores such as Ulta, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, Kroger, and just about any other store in the U.S where you can buy beauty products. And if you don’t live in the U.S don’t worry, they sell internationally as well.

Overall I’m extremely happy with the results I’ve seen with my hair after using these for a week and I think I’ll by Macadamia Oil collection when I run out these since those are specially for dry hair. Let me if you’ve heard of or tried this brand before in the comments. And also let me know your hair favorites:)

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Hask’s Social Media:

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You can find my social media in tab at the top of this page.
*I received these products in return for an honest review. All the opinions expressed in this post are mine alone and were not influenced by any person or brand.

 

April Favorites

Wonderland by Amily Shen

This is came out recently and I’ve been seeing everywhere from my local independent book store to Target. So expect to see this around, and yes it’s completely worth the hype. I’m in love with this coloring book! It’s beautiful and whimsical, it’s been a fun way to wind down after a crazy day.

Local Art

I bought this while visiting family in Mississippi. I was missing home and wanted to buy some local art work to bring back to Michigan. I loved this little canvas and it’s now proudly sitting in my living room.

SK II

I am obsessed with this my SK II Facial Treatment Essence, it feels so good every time I put it on. And I feel like it make my skin glow. It’s an oil, but it sinks in really quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.

Learn German Momente in Munich

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So I took three semesters of German back in college and have tried to keep using using so that I don’t lose my ability to speak it. But it’s been hard and I’ve hadn’t been practicing it for about a year and noticed that I couldn’t remember a lot of what I used to know. So I decided to was going to take the time to brush up on it and try to read stories instead of taking classes or using learning apps. And I loved reading this! I was amazed at how much I was able to recall and understand and I had fun doing so. For anyone trying to learn a foreign language or maintain it, I totally recommend reading as way to do so. And this in particular is great! I can’t wait to pick up the others in this series and plus it’s really affordable as well.

Fitbit Flex


My husband and I have been on a health kick lately and are making an honest effort at making a lifestyle change. We are using Nerd Fitness, which is a fun way to get into shape. Basically, you make yourself into a character, like you would in a video game, and you go on quests to level up. And to make small changes we bough these to keep as aware of how much we are moving, sleeping, eating, etc. These are older, cheaper models but I love it and think it’s the perfect fit for us.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

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This is Mindy Kaling’s 2nd book and it was a funny insight into her life. She has a whole section showing her typical work day, which was my favorite part. Mostly, this book is more of advice based on her experiences, but it’s funny as well. I didn’t like as much as her 1st one, I felt like it was a bit all over the place, but still fun to read.

Valentina Detoxifying Clay Mask

I love using masks, I don’t get to go spas very often(never!) so putting on a face mask is my way to pamper myself. This one is a detoxifying mask, and it feels nice and cool to put on. You put it on for 15-20 and it drys up over the time. When I washed it off I couldn’t believe how soft and firm my skin felt. This will definitely be my go to mask when I need a bit of a pick me up.

YSL Lipstick in Rose Stiletto

YSL rouge pur couture

Usually I go for bright and vibrant colors around this time of year, but  have been loving the more natural, toned down look this year. And this color is the perfect everyday color. It’s neutral, but really makes your lips pop and stand out.

Creme Brulee Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks had a similar flavor over Christmas time and I probably bought a cup everyday, no shame! But it was only over the holidays, which made me so sad when I couldn’t get it anymore. So when I saw that they had just brought out a K-cup version, you I grabbed that box straight off the shelf. It’s the exact same, but it’s still yummy and the smell is AMAZING! Seriously, I think the smell is my favorite part, I’m so strange.

L’Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation


I’ve been talking about this for a couple of month now, and it’s still my favorite. I’ve tried to experiment with other foundations but keep coming back to this one. It’s so natural and make me look glowy and nice, without looking over done. I’m actually running out of product and will have to repurchase soon!

NYX Concealer Sticks

I use these every time I put on makeup and they truly make me look flawless. I put the green on any red area, the purple I use as a highlighter and put on my cheeks, nose, cupids bow, chin, and forehead…so basically everywhere. And then the tan is my under eye and usual concealer.

Valentia Clay Mask: My Thoughts*

I’m always looking for a new way to make my pamper nights a little bit better. I love to grab a glass of wine, light some candles and take and nice bath to relax. And my favorite thing to do while taking a bath is to put on a face mask. It always makes me feel like I’m at a spa. Today was just a bad day, on top of getting a bad sleep, getting lost around town, and having to speed through some work before dinner it turns out the gift I bought my mother got lost in transit!!! It’s been worked out now, and there’s a very slim chance she may get it in time(but probably not) but I need a nice way to relax and spoil myself tonight.

And I choose to do so by trying out my new Valentia Skin Detoxifying Mask. The first thing I noticed was the strong smell that most masks have. It’s not a bad smell, not great either but it’s strong. However, that’s pretty normal. It felt nice and smooth going on. You keep it on for 15-20 minutes and simply relax while it does its magic. 

Me rocking my mask while relaxing


I waited about 18 minutes and then  washed it off. I was honestly amazing at how soft and full my skin felt. Usually my sling just feels cleaner after using a clay mask, but I genuinely was impressed with how smooth my skin is(I still can’t stop touching my face!) 

I would totally recommend this to a friend or anyone looking for a new clay mask. The great about this brand is that they are cruelty free and use natural ingredients. It’s also alcohol and paraben free. 

My review:

5 stars 

If you enjoyed this please like, share, and follow to see future posts❤

Coupon Code:MZCK2QN3 if you purchase on Amazon.com until June 1st

And my readers get more! Use the code: REFRESH35 on Valentia.com may 16th-June 1st for 35% off and anything on the site! 

Want more? Here’s Valentia’s Twitter and Instagram handles. 

You can find my social media on a tab on the top of this page. 

*I received this product in return for a honest review. All the opinions are mine and mine alone. 

Finding Fraser-An Outlander Inspired Adventure*

This book has everything going for it: travel, adventure, Outlander references, humor, and romance. However, while I enjoyed this book, something seemed to miss the mark. Don’t panic yet, I’m not saying it isn’t worth a read, even Diana Gabaldon gave her stamp of approval, but I did have some big issues with it.

And a fair warning that I did not receive: this book contains slight spoilers for the whole Outlander series, not just the 1st book. I did not know this going in and as I had just started reading the 2nd book I did unfortunately see some future spoilers. But they were small and I was able to skip over most of them.

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Click for Goodreads

I wanted to love this book so bad, I really did. I kept reading and reading, but in the end it just didn’t grab me. The story follows a woman as she turns 29 and has just been broken up with. Since she has just been fired from her job, she decides to sell everything and head off to Scotland to find her favorite fictional character, Jamie faster from Outlander. The minute I read the description I thought there was no way I wouldn’t like it. And while it was fun, it was also underdeveloped. I felt like the characters were cartoon-ish and unrealistic.

I love Outlander, but what I was really excited about with this story is that she travels through out Scotland. I love travel and adventure books and was excited to visit Scotland vicariously through Emma, the main character. But after finishing the book, I still feel as if I don’t have a good picture of the country. She visits cool places, but the reader never gets a good idea of them and the visits don’t last long. It’s the same with the characters she meets. They’re there for a couple pages then gone. Or their names show up for a sentence or so once in a while.

My last complaint is with Emma herself, I just couldn’t relate to her. Although she is nearly 30, she comes of as a teenager. She felt naive to a fault and I almost couldn’t feel bad for her when something happened, because I could see it coming a mile away, but she couldn’t.

In the end, while it was predictable in some parts and Emma was hard for to relate to personally, It’s still a fun story. It was funny, made me want to travel, and was a light, quick read perfect for the reading on the beach or by the pool this summer. Outlander fans will still want to give this a try, it was written for us after all:)

My Rating:

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Want more? Links to my social media are linked in the menu above!

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions stated above are my own.

Hints of Pink for Spring

Spring is in the air! Spring is a magical season when the grey, dark days begin to give way to the bright colors of flowers and trees blooming, and the sun begins to shine more everyday. What comes to mind when you think of spring? For me it is a color, and it’s the color pink. Pink feels light and airy, just like Spring. Another place you can find the color pink is Glossier, a skin care and cosmetics line that offer a variety of beauty products. They puts skincare first and does so in a very cool girl way. I chose to showcase my own inspiration for the color and show you my pink favorites

Items Shown:

Ulta nail Polish in Freshwater Pearl

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Eos Lip Balm

Covergirl Lipstick in Pearly Pink

Tokidoki Eyeliner in Donutella

YSL Touche Eclat Blur Protector

High beam Highlighter by Benefit

Posie Tint by Benefit

Rose Ring from Charlotte Russe

Below are Swatches of the Products:

My question to all of you is: what does the color pink mean to you? What do you think of when you think of Spring? Let me know in comments, I would love to see!

This post was not sponsored by any person or company.

Winter to Spring Favorites Part 1

It’s been a few months since I posted a favorites, so I have a huge back of things I would love to share with you. And even though it is officially spring, here in Michigan it is still cold and is actually snowing! Yes, it’s April and it’s snowing, this southerner is very unhappy. So I thought it would be fun to do a 3 part series of my favorites that I accumulated over the winter and share them with you now and give you some ideas for keeping cozy and entertained on these still cool spring days. I hope you enjoy it!

(Note: this next bit was actually written in January and I kept it because I thought it was hilarious. Can you tell I had a hard time adjusting to my home? LOL!)

A quick disclaimer: There’s going to be a lot of entertainment things listed here instead of beauty and fashion. It’s freezing here in Michigan and very very snowy out here by the lake. So as a result, I haven’t left the house much in the last month. And yeah I’m so slowly descending into madness here, with only Netflix as an attempt to delay it. Can y’all relate? Or are you lucky enough to live somewhere warm and sunny right now?

2016 Planner

 
I’m obsessed with lists and writing things down. I also use planners are journals and write little daily notes in them. I bought this from Target and it’s by BLANK. It was so cute, and is organized just the way I like it. This can always be found right next to me and on my bed stand.

Outlander Coloring Book

I finally finished this book earlier this month (and I’m writing up a review I promise!) And I bought this with some Christmas money, because come on, who could resist this? I absolutely love it! I’ve always using coloring as a calming tool, even before it came cool. But, I find myself getting bored with them very quickly. This one has kept my attention though, and is so fun. I think it’s the fact that there are excerpts from the book by each page and it follows the book so well. This is a must have for any Outlander lovers out there!

Work Out Shirt

I have to decided to try to get into shape this year and to help me along I bought this tank to work out in. I bought it off amazon and it was very cheap, which worried me at first. However, the quality is great, it has been washed several time and the design has not started to rub off yet.

30 Day Waist Trainer Challenge

I love Cassie and have been following PopPilates for a couple of years now. I haven’t complete one of the challenges yet, so I thought it would be fun to do this and kick off my health goals for the new year. It’s been difficult, but it’s the last week and I can already see a difference! I’m more toned, and feel like I have more stamina than before starting it. Although this isn’t going on anymore she has lots of fun things on her channel right now as well!

Chelsea Does

To Watch: Chelsea Does:

Via LovePeaceandWhiskey

I’m a huge fan of Chelsea Handler, I love how blunt her comedy is and was sad to see her late show end. I was really excited for this to come out on Netflix and was disappointed that there are only 4 episodes; I was hoping for more. I manages to binge them all in one day and I have to say she did an amazing job on this show. It’s funny, educational and well done. I hope she makes more in the future!

Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful, new horror on showtime, about who knows?:

Via CinChronicle

I loved Season 1 of this show, so I was concerned that the 2nd season might not live up to it. I will say that i felt it was different from season 1, but it was still fantastic. I love these charters so much and the Gothic style of the show. I’m so happy there will be a season 3 in May.

Phone Case

 
So the night I actually got out of the house and went partying, I broke my phone case. It was driving me insane and immediately started looking for a new one. but, I’m very picky and wasn’t happy with anything I found. It’s hard finding cute cases for the iPhone 5s now. I found this one at Target, and I’m not gonna lie I was totally settling on this, because i couldn’t find anything else cute and sturdy as well. However, once I put on my phone I fell in love. I actually love the print and the colors, and it’s a nice slim fit. Plus, it feels sturdy, so I’m not afraid of dropping my phone.

Elephant Pants

My mom and I are obsessed with elephants. And so it was a really cute surprise when an elephant pants surprise box arrived at my house. I love comfy these are and they are cute! I’ll do a review of the surprise box here soon. Plus, the donate a part of the fund to help save elephants, which is the best part!

Agent Carter

'Agent Carter' first look: Peggy lands in Hollywood in Comic-Con poster | EW.com. Jarvis is a regular for season 2!:

Via EW

The first season was amazing! And if you haven’t checked it out, you really should. This season is pretty good as well, and I love that the wit and humor is still there. I hope that this show gets a 3rd season it deserves it!

Teen Mom OG

"Teen Mom" Maci Bookout on the Return of Farrah Abraham: I Don't Want My Son Getting Teased Because of Her  - Cosmopolitan.com:

Via Cosmopolitan

The original 16 and Pregnant came out when I was 16/17 and I feel like the girls on the show and I grew up together. I have always loved the original cast and I was excited to see they were back for another season.

Reign

I started this show last night and let me tell you it is BITCHIN!!!!! Perfect for binge watching!!! ugh I wish i had been born during this era!!:

Via TVLine

I love historical dramas and Tudor-like shows and movies. When I saw this on Netflix I knew I had to watch it. I will admit that the quality is slightly lacking with it being a CW show, but it’s easy to look over. Another thing that bothers me is that I feel like that clothes are not historically accurate, but hey are cute, so I look over that too. Overall, though, this is a fun and entertaining show. And I really like it.

Shelter Dogs in a Photobooth

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Via Goodreads

This is a super cute book featuring a bunch of shelter dogs in pictures. It gives a little description of each dog and when they were adopted. I love the idea of this book and that it is bring awareness to adoption and dog shelters. It ‘s a wonderful way to pass a grey day, and it will make you smile. Plus, some of the proceeds from each book purchased will go to the Utah Human Society.

Lair of Dreams

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Via Goodreads

This is the sequel to The Diviners, and I have to say this took me much longer to get through than the 1st book. I think it has something to do with having to read it second to my book club reads. It’s long, but I really enjoyed it. You get to meet some new characters, and find out more about our main character’s past. My only peeve with this book and that will the man in the stove pipe hat was mentioned quite a bit, we still no nothing about him. It like it’s being dragged out a bit, but I’m really looking forward to next one. Plus, it’s set in the 1920s and it so fun to read.

Drinking in America: Our Secret History

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Via Goodreads

This was my January read for my book club. A first was skeptical, I don’t usually read a lot of non fiction and I was afraid it was going to read like a text book. But the author is actually very funny, and this was an enlightening look at our early history. Who knew how much alcohol had an affect on our country? It’s relatively short and I recommend it to anyone who like history or is interested in the history of alcohol.

 

So here are the things that helped make the grey, depressing Michigan winter days a little bit more bearable for me. What were your January favorites? Let me know in the comments! Also, what do you think about this series? Do you think it’s a good idea?

And don’t forget to like, share, and follow:)