Valentia Hydration Mask and Eye Cream

Valentia Hydration Mask and Eye CreamI love skincare. It’s not as popular as new makeup or clothes because there isn’t that instant gratification but I love knowing that I’m taking care of my skin. I really like the ritual at the end of the night of washing my face and applying serums, moisturizers, and masks. It’s calming and a great way to start to relax before bed. I recently got the chance to try the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask and True Glow Eye Cream from Valentia, a brand that focuses on using natural ingredients like berries, herbs, and barks to create effective products. I love masks of any kind but hydrating masks are one of my favorites and I’ve yet to find an eye cream I love so I was excited to try these products.

Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration MaskThe Valentia Hydration Mask contains a blend of silk protein amino acids and botanical hyaluronic acid along with Japanese green tea, aloe vera, and rosehip seed oil. This mask is designed to provide intense hydration and nourishment to create a more luminous complexion with softer skin. It boosts collagen production to increase skin radiance and reduce fine lines. This is a little different than the usual leave-on hydration masks that I use. The Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask is applied and then washed off after 15-30 minutes.

Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask TextureI was surprised by the bright mustard shade of this mask. It’s so fun compared to normal white masks, I really liked it. The thick texture is kind of a combination of pudding and jello. It reminded me a lot of my Esthetic House Collagen Jelly Mask Pack, although they are quite different once applied. The Valentia Hydration Mask went on light and had a slight tingling feel to it. As I wore it, it got drier and tighter feeling, almost like a mud mask. But when I rinsed this off, my skin felt so soft and hydrated. My skin looked bright and refreshed immediately after only one use. I hated the medicinal smell of this mask but I really liked how it made my skin look.

Valentia True Glow Eye CreamThe Valentia True Glow Eye Cream contains powerful antioxidants to lock in moisture and repair and tighten skin for a youthful glow. Antioxidants, plant stem cells, vitamin C, and rosehip oil work together to reduce wrinkles, brighten dark circles, and restore radiance. It’s hard for me to find eye creams that I like because most of them are too thick and leave me with milia so I usually end up using my normal facial moisturizer on my eyes. The True Glow Eye Cream is supposed to absorb quickly instead of leaving your skin greasy so I was looking forward to using it.

Valentia True Glow Eye Cream TextureThe eye cream is also a fun color but this is more of a peach shade. I like how the eye cream bottle looks but it’s difficult to get just a tiny amount out without squirting it all over the place. This eye cream feels so nice and light on but it’s still hydrating and I don’t feel that I need any additional moisturizer. I haven’t used it enough to notice any of the bigger effects like a reduction of wrinkles or a brightening of dark circles but I really like how this eye cream feels. It doesn’t irritate my eyes at all and I really like the natural ingredients.

I’m really happy with the Valentia Hydration Mask and Eye Cream. The product colors are fun and the packaging looks and feels super luxe. The Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask leaves my skin looking bright and radiant and feeling soft and hydrated. I hate the smell but I can get past it for how good this make my skin look. The True Glow Eye Cream is light but moisturizing and I’m looking forward to seeing how it makes my eyes look over time. I love the natural ingredients and how effective they are. I definitely recommend checking these products out (especially the Valentia Hydration Mask, it’s perfect for winter)!

-Molly

I received these products from Valentia in exchange for my honest review.

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Try the World Thailand Box

Try the World Thailand BoxI’ve been getting Try the World boxes for a few months (see my Paris Box and my Holiday Box) and I have to say, the boxes keep getting better and better. I’m still not sure if they’re worth the $39 price tag but they’re a lot of fun to get and I’m enjoying trying the different foods. The premise behind Try the World is really fun- every other month you get a box full of foods and drinks. Each box has a theme of a different city or country and the idea is that you get to “try the world” by sampling foods from different places. It’s a great concept and although I’m a pretty picky eater, I love trying new foods. The latest is the Try the World Thailand Box, packed full of eight Thai snacks.

Try the World Thailand Box 6The first item in my box was a box of Chaidim Herbal Tea, which includes three different flavors made with lemongrass. I’m a fan of tea in general and I love Thai iced tea so I’m excited to try this. If it’s as good as the tea from my previous boxes, I won’t be disappointed.

Try the World Thailand Box 9Next I got a small jar of Chiwadi Coconut Flower Syrup. This syrup is made from coconut blossom nectar. It is designed to be used as a sweetener and Try the World recommends using it in Thai tea or as a substitute for honey. This sounds really good and I can’t wait to try it.

Try the World Thailand Box 3My Try the World Thailand Box also contained a box of Virgin Coco Coconut Crispy Rolls, which are traditionally given as gifts to wish people wealth. These have an unusual taste but they are addicting, it would be easy for me to eat the entire box in one sitting! These cookies have a slightly sweet taste but they aren’t sugary sweet. The coconut flavor is light and pleasant at first and then I get more of a strong sesame seed flavor. I’m not a huge sesame seed fan but I can’t stop eating these. They have the perfect crunch to them, almost like denser pirouette cookies and they are great with Thai tea.

Try the World Thailand Box 4Next was a slightly healthier snack- Soft Dried Jackfruit from Eros. I like dried fruit so I was happy to get this. It’s not super sweet and it’s a little tougher than dried apricots or mangoes but this is good and it’s a nice change from cookies.

Try the World Thailand Box 7My Try the World Thailand Box included a package of Jasberry Rice, as well as a recipe for Jasberry Rice Pudding. Jasberry Rice is unique in that it is a great source of antioxidants and it has a rich purpley-black color. I’m really interested in trying this and I wonder how it would taste with stir fry.

Try the World Thailand Box 2Next was a package of Siammit’s Rice Crackers Thai Spicy Flavor. I’m one of those weird people who actually likes rice cakes but I don’t love super spicy foods. These crackers are really interesting. The pieces of rice that make up the crackers aren’t very puffed- they’re still about the size of normal rice and they have a great texture. These crackers are super addicting like the Coconut Crispy Rolls. There are a few different flavors in the bag, some of which are pretty spicy and some of which are a bit on the sweet side. This is a great snack but I have to be careful, I want to eat the whole bag at once!

Try the World Thailand Box 5In addition to snacks, my Try the World Thailand Box included a Tom Yum Soup Set from Lumlum. This is a sour and spicy soup that is known for its medicinal properties. I’ve had Tom Yum soup before. It wasn’t my favorite but I wouldn’t mind eating it again. I am looking forward to trying this though, the included spices and ingredients look pretty good.

Try the World Thailand Box 8I also got a container of Green Curry Paste from Nittaya Thai Curry. I like curry and I’ve never tried green curry before so this will be interesting. Try the World included a recipe for Green Curry Chicken that looks pretty good but they also say this would be good in soup.

Try the World Thailand Box 1I’m really happy with my Try the World Thailand Box. These flavors are all new to me and I wouldn’t have picked any of these out to buy on my own but I really like everything I’ve tried so far. The Coconut Crispy Rolls and Rice Crackers are so addicting and the Soft Dried Jackfruit is pretty tasty. I can’t wait to try the Herbal Tea with the Coconut Flower Syrup. The Jasberry Rice, Tom Yum Soup, and Green Curry Paste will pair well together for a Thai dinner. I have to say, Try the World promoted their Paris Box everywhere but in my opinion their Holiday Box and Thailand Box have been so much better. I’m going to continue my subscription for now, I think it’s really fun to get a box of new foods from different countries every other month and I love the snacks I’ve been getting! If you would like to check out Try the World, you can use my referral link here to get $15 off your first box!

-Molly

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Neon Pink Sweater

Neon Pink Sweater fashion lookI like a little predictability with my fashion brands. There’s nothing worse than finding a new favorite brand because you love their entire collection only to have the next one be a complete bust. Or finding the best basics only to have a brand stop making them. I like being able to count on finding certain items whenever I want them. One of my favorite releases that happens every year is J. Crew’s neon sweaters. They always have an entire collection of bright knits and I’m always drawn to the neon pink sweaters and cardigans. Luckily they’re in slightly different hues than the year before so I have an excuse to buy more!

Neon Pink Sweater ootdI’m up to three neon pink sweaters so far: a super bright pink cardigan, a fuchsia shrunken sweater, and the latest, this three-quarter sleeve neon pink sweater. I love how the marled fabric makes it a very bright but still soft pink.

J. Crew Neon Pink SweaterUsually I wear these nice sweaters with my work clothes but earlier this week I paired my new one with jeans for a casual look. I really like the look of lighter pinks with gold so I added lots of gold jewelry and my gold glitter Keds to finish this outfit. If you’ve never worn glitter shoes before, get some immediately, they’re so much fun! I was worried these would be too dressy when I first got them but they actually work really well for all sorts of looks.

J. Crew marled azalea Tippi SweaterI really like how this look turned out, and just thinking about this sweater makes me want to pick up more styles in the same color (especially since they’re on sale). It actually ended up being really cold outside on the day we took these pictures so the bright color of this neon pink sweater was a nice way to make the day seem less dreary. It even began raining on us right after we started shooting so we had to make a mad dash for cover! Ahh, the life of a fashion blogger.

J. Crew Neon Pink Tippi Sweater

Neon Pink Sweater Fashion PostNeon Pink Sweater: J. Crew Tippi Sweater (on sale!), same color in V-Neck, Jackie Cardigan, V-Neck Cardigan // Tank: Target // Jeans: Forever 21, similar here and here // Sneakers: Keds for Kate Spade // Sunglasses: The Row // Necklaces: Macy’s, Forever 21, Gorjana, similar here // Watch: Betsey Johnson, similar here // Bracelets: Kate Spade Heart of Gold Bangle, Forever 21, Italian souvenir // Rings: Stylemint, Tiffany, Colby June, Etsy, Blue Ridge Notions, Catbird // Lipstick: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Crush (from the Full Frontal Lipstick Stash) // Nail Polish: Julep Avery and Julep Barbara (similar to this mani)

Are there certain clothing releases you look forward to each year?

-Molly

This post contains some affiliate links.

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Alchemic Muse Review

Alchemic Muse ProductsI’ve recently gotten into indie bath and body products. I wrote about my first experiences trying them as part of my January Beauty Favorites post and I was so impressed that I wanted to try more. I bought quite a few Alchemic Muse products as Christmas gifts and they all looked so nice that I had to buy some for myself. Alchemic Muse is a good indie brand to start with because she keeps a lot of stock (so there’s no mad rush to buy things before someone else does) and her turn around time is so fast (I placed a few orders and they all shipped either the same day or first thing the next day). The prices are reasonable and so is her shipping- she ships in flat rate boxes so you can get a lot of items before it kicks you into the next shipping tier. I stocked up on a bunch of products that seemed too good to live without- the Cream Soap, Body Whip, and Foaming Body Scrub, and I received a few Perfume Oil samples to try. Here is my full Alchemic Muse review.

Alchemic Muse Cream SoapI was really excited to try the Alchemic Muse Cream Soap. I’ve been really intrigued by the idea of whipped and cream soaps and they seemed like a low-risk way to try a new brand. I started with three different cream soaps: Figgy Pudding, Nevermore, and Marzipan. All of the products I got come in two different sizes: a 2 oz mini size and a 6 oz full size. I mostly bought minis as they are a great way to try the products and the different scents but I did end up with a full size of the Nevermore Cream Soap.

The Figgy Pudding Cream Soap is part of Alchemic Muse’s Winter Collection. This scent is described as, “sugary dried figs simmered in brandy with shavings of nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cinnamon leaf spooned over creamy tapioca and drizzled with a honeyed vanilla glaze.” To me this smells very strongly of cinnamon and not much else but I love it. It’s a great scent for winter and it smells very warm and cozy, but skip it if you don’t like cinnamon or very strong scents.

The Nevermore Cream Soap is from the Autumn Collection. Nevermore is described as, “dark and beguiling… dusty casks of warm blackberry wine laden with wild herbs and acrid tea leaves amid whispers of warm skin musk, crackling firewood, and a somber touch of freshly dug earth.” I really like fruity scents and this one has a unique fragrance. I can smell a mix of blackberries, wine, and tea, and it’s really nice. It’s a darker fruit-based scent that still smells light and clean. I really like Nevermore and I’m glad I ordered the bigger size.

The Marzipan Cream Soap is part of Alchemic Muse’s Permanent Collection. This sounded like a sweet scent that would be right up my alley- “a truly delicious confection of sweet almonds creamed in raw sugar with delectable notes of buttery vanilla,” but I don’t love it. I think Marzipan smells like almonds and maraschino cherries, very sweet but not as vanilla-y as I would like. I will use this up but next time I’ll try a different scent instead.

Alchemic Muse Cream Soap TextureThe Cream Soap is a rich whipped soap that has a slight graininess to it. Alchemic Muse’s version is thicker than other brands but it still has that light, whipped feel to it. It lathers really well and leaves my skin feeling pretty soft. I definitely feel clean after using this and the whipped texture is so much fun to use. The scent doesn’t seem to linger after I rinse this off. I only need to use a small amount each time but since the jars are pretty small I don’t think it will take very long to go through them (which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how much of a hurry you’re in to try more scents!).

Alchemic Muse Body WhipI also decided to try the Alchemic Muse Body Whip. I don’t use much lotion but body whips always sound so luxurious so I wanted to try a couple out. I love pumpkin-anything so I picked up Pumpkin Caramel and Pumpkin Honey from Alchemic Muse’s Pumpkinfest Collection.

The Pumpkin Caramel Body Whip is supposed to smell like, “roasted pumpkin flesh drenched in buttery, creamy caramel and topped with freshly ground nutmeg.” It smells absolutely amazing. This smells very warm and autumn-y. It has a wonderful golden caramel scent and I can also smell traces of nutmeg and pumpkin. I really like this heavy sweet scent and I can wait until this year’s Pumpkinfest release to pick up more products with this fragrance.

The Pumpkin Honey Body Whip smells so much different than Pumpkin Caramel. I thought the pumpkin scents would be very similar but they are all quite different. Pumpkin Honey is described as, “clover honey and warm beeswax drizzled over pumpkin pulp, sweet cream, and blackstrap molasses over a thick layer of harvest spice.” It smells a lot lighter than Pumpkin Caramel. This has a strong honey scent mixed with spices and molasses. I really like this scent as well.

Alchemic Muse Body Whip TextureThe Alchemic Muse Body Whips contain shea butter and nutrient-rich emollients to nourish skin. These are really interesting- they have a thicker, dense texture but the whip is very light on the skin. These absorb quickly but still leave my skin feeling moisturized. The scent lasts a long time (I could actually still smell Pumpkin Caramel on my hands 24 hours later) so only use these if you like the fragrance.

Alchemic Muse Foaming Body ScrubI also tried the Alchemic Muse Foaming Body Scrub in Pumpkin Mallow, Tiki Moon, and Pumpkin Cocoa. I like body scrubs but I just don’t use them very often as it’s hard for me to find scrubs that I really like. I took a chance and decided to get three of these.

The Pumpkin Mallow Foaming Body Scrub is also from the Pumpkinfest Collection. This is the first product I got from Alchemic Muse (it was actually a gift in my Advent Calendar) and it smelled so good that I had to order more things to try. Pumpkin Mallow is made with, “sweet pumpkin crème brûlée dripping in melted marshmallow and topped with a darkened vanilla bean pod.” This is sold out and I can see why! This is a wonderful dark sweet scent. I smell a lot of marshmallow and vanilla and it’s balanced by the heavier pumpkin crème brûlée scent. I just love smelling this, it’s so good!

The Tiki Moon Foaming Body Scrub is from the Summer Collection and it’s currently unavailable. Tiki Moon smells like, “freshly cracked coconut floating on a faint undercurrent of island fruits.” This is a sweet, fruity coconut scent that makes me think of piña coladas and the beach. I really like this scent and can’t wait to use it when it gets warmer.

The Pumpkin Cocoa Foaming Body Scrub is also (surprisingly) from the Pumpkinfest Collection. Pumpkin Cocoa is made with, “freshly carved pumpkin drizzled with rich Belgian chocolate and cocoa absolute lightly dusted with warm spice.” This smells like chocolate with some spiciness mixed in. It almost smells a little cinnamon-y to me. This is a sweet gourmand scent but I prefer Pumpkin Mallow and Pumpkin Caramel. Still, I would buy this again.

Alchemic Muse Foaming Body Scrub TextureThe Foaming Body Scrub is a thick sugar scrub without much oil in it. It’s a lot drier than other scrubs that I have used. The granules are pretty big but this isn’t too intense of a scrub, you can easily use it a few times a week. I like to put a little in my hands and mash it together with a little water before I use it. This scrub is mixed with cleansers so you can actually use it instead of soap but I like to use the whipped soap first and then scrub with this. I like this scrub a lot and I’m already picking out new scents to try!

Alchemic Muse Perfume OilAlchemic Muse is also known for their Perfume Oil. I’ve gotten a couple of samples with my orders and I also received a full size bottle as a gift. So far I’ve tried: Ambrosia, Nevermore, and Panettone. They all seem to last a while on me. I love how you can buy samples of the oils before you commit to a full size.

The Ambrosia Perfume Oil is part of Alchemic Muse’s Spring Collection. It’s not currently available but it should be released again soon. Ambrosia is described as, “luscious nectars of apricot and white peach amidst intoxicating mimosa and plum blossoms accented with a splash of ruby red grapefruit and a faint breath of spring air.” I think this sounds really nice but with my body chemistry all I smell is spring air. It’s nice, just a little too clean and floral for my taste.

The Nevermore Perfume Oil is the perfume counterpart to the Nevermore Cream Soap. I really like this scent, it’s dark and fruity and it’s a great cold weather perfume.

The Panettone Perfume Oil is from the Winter Collection. The Panettone scent is based on a traditional holiday cake called Panettone and contains, “tart cranberries, apples, ripe figs, and crunchy walnuts in sumptuous batter of rich golden cake.” I recently tried Panettone and this smells exactly like the real thing. This is a very fruity scent and I can smell a lot of the golden cake, cranberries, apples, and figs. It’s definitely a true representation of the actual cake but I’m not sure it’s what I want to go around smelling like. I think I would like this better as a Cream Soap.

I’m really happy with all the Alchemic Muse products I’ve tried so far. I think the scents are all layered and interesting and even though I got some that I wouldn’t buy again, I can still appreciate how well-designed the fragrances are. The Cream Soap is fun to use and I love the soft texture. The Body Whips feel really nice on and they absorb quickly so they don’t leave me feeling greasy, plus the scent lasts forever. The Foaming Body Scrubs are a nice mix of cleanser and scrub and I can see myself using them a lot. The Perfume Oils are also really nice and I’m interested in trying more scents. Alchemic Muse recently released their Valentine Collection and I’m already trying to decide what to get next!

Have you tried Alchemic Muse before? What’s your favorite indie company?

-Molly

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January Beauty Favorites

January Beauty FavoritesMy January beauty favorites included a couple of brands that were new to me as well as one that I love. I’ve heard so many great things about indie bath and body products but I only got around to trying some recently. I was gifted a couple of indie products to try and I’ve fallen in love. I can see why indie products are an addiction, I already want so many more things! Two of my gifts have made this list in addition to an older lipstick that I’ve been getting a lot of use out of lately. My January beauty favorites were pretty easy to pick, they’re all products I can’t live without this month: Altitude Soap’s Sleepy Peppermint Whipped Soap, Cocoa Pink’s Ginger Crème Brûlée Perfume Oil, and NARS’ Schiap Lipstick.

Altitude Soap Sleepy Peppermint Whipped SoapAltitude Soap’s Sleepy Peppermint Whipped Soap is all I’ve been using this month. I’m usually not crazy about peppermint scents but this one smells so nice and sweet, almost like vanilla or another sweet scent with just a little peppermint mixed in. It’s super calming and the texture makes it really fun to use. I’ve been intrigued by whipped soaps so I was so happy to receive this as a gift! The texture is wonderful, it’s so light and creamy and this soap moisturizes my skin really well. I only need a little for a really good lather but I love it so much that I keep using more than I need to! Altitude Soap is currently revamping their website and turn-around time and I can’t wait until they’re done, I want to order more of their whipped soap!

Cocoa Pink Ginger Creme Brulee Perfume OilCocoa Pink’s Ginger Crème Brûlée Perfume Oil is another indie product that I recently received as a gift. I’m a huge perfume fan but I’m extremely picky so it can be hard for me to find new scents. This Ginger Crème Brûlée Perfume Oil smells amazing! It’s a delicious foodie scent that is addicting. Cocoa Pink describes it as a mix of sweet vanilla bean and ginger crème brûlée with a burnt sugar crust and topped with a slice of candied ginger. This is a heavy, warm gourmand fragrance. The candied ginger adds just enough of a twist to a very sweet, vanilla-based scent. I have a small sample of this but a little goes a long way. I love the texture of the perfume oil and it lasts several hours on me, during which all I want to do is keep smelling myself! Ginger Crème Brûlée is a limited-edition scent but it’s still available (for now!).

NARS Schiap LipstickI’ve had NARS’ Schiap Lipstick for a while now but I’ve recently been wearing it a lot. This shocking pink lipstick with it’s semi-matte finish is the perfect bright pink for winter. It’s bright enough to stand out among dark clothes and dreary days but it’s not a summer-neon lip color. I think the semi-matte finish looks a little more appropriate for winter but it’s still bright enough to cheer me up when I apply it. Schiap is comfortable to wear and it doesn’t dry out my lips or flake off as the day goes by. Schiap has quickly become my go-to lipstick, I just love how it looks right now!

January Beauty FavoritesThese three products really stood out as my January beauty favorites. I love the texture and scent of Altitude Soap’s Sleepy Peppermint Whipped Soap and I can’t wait until they reopen their shop so I can try more of their products. Cocoa Pink’s Ginger Crème Brûlée Perfume Oil smells good enough to eat and I can’t stop wearing it! NARS’ Schiap Lipstick has become my favorite pink lipstick for winter. The semi-matte finish and bright-but-not-too-bright shade looks so good with my winter outfits and really cheers me up on gray days. I wonder what next month’s beauty favorites will be, I don’t see myself using anything other than these anytime soon!

What were your January beauty favorites?

-Molly

This post contains some affiliate links.

 

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