Monday, June 27, 2016

Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask & Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum

I've been super lucky to work with natural skincare brand, Valentia, on a lot of product reviews in the past couple of years.  This is a brand I know I can trust, and I've never been disappointed by any of their products.  

Most recently I've been trying out their incredible Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask and their Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum.  I've been using their Royal Rose Serum for a few months, but took a break from that about a month ago to switch to the Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum.  Just like every Valentia product I've used I've had such a great experience from both of these products, and I can't wait to continue to explore this natural brand.

The Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask is now my once a week face mask, the main ingredient of Kaolin clay draws out skin impurities and exfoliates your skin, while hibiscus & cranberry fibers work to produce collagen and fight free radicals.  This Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask definitely packs a punch, I typically apply this during my favorite time of the week, Spa Sunday.  I leave it on for about 20 minutes, until the clay is completely dry.  It's super tingly and honestly, I feel like depending on how much work it's doing, it can get a tad uncomfortable.  BUT, not uncomfortable in a "bad" way, you just truly feel the mask doing its job.

Valentia's Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask is my #1 favorite mask at the moment, my skin looks fantastic after each use, and I can feel I'm getting that deep cleanse I need.  I wouldn't suggest using it more than once a week as it is more of a heavy duty mask, and it's effects will last you until the next week.

So, what does one do after finishing up with this Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask?  Well, for about the past month I've taken a break from Valentia's Royal Rose Serum and I've been following up with Valentia's Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum  which has been a great brightening product for me.

As summer makes it's grand entrance for 2016 I try to minimize my makeup routine, and I need great skincare products to help me to do that.  In reading about the Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum I was excited to see it's brightening effects on my skin.  The Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum also has a seaweed ingredient, Wakeme Bioferment, that helps with increasing oxygen to the skin.  Overall this serum has been a nice new addition to my skincare routine, although I must say I enjoy Valentia's Royal Rose Serum just a bit more because it helps manage my rosacea.

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post powered through Brandbacker.  I received this product to review.  All opinions are my own.]

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Recipe Wednesday: Baked Chicken & Wild Rice

This Recipe Wednesday is a remake of RecipeTin Eats', One Pot Greek Chicken & Lemon Rice.  This was so incredibly easy to whip up on a Saturday night, and it caused my apartment to smell amazingggggg! 

The original recipe calls for skin on chicken thighs, and that probably would have been the better option, but I went with boneless chicken breasts because that's always my go to.  

I started by preheating my oven to 350 degrees and seasoning the chicken with sea salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, and garlic powder.  I then cooked the chicken on a high heat in a little bit of olive oil for about 2 minutes on each side until they were nice and golden, since the breasts were thick I wasn't worried about them cooking too much.

I then removed them from the heat and let them rest on a plate while I prepped the rice.  First, I chopped & sautéed a yellow onion in some garlic and olive oil.

Next, I always use Near East rice and I had a Wild Rice box, so I used that.  In the same deep skillet I had had the chicken in I poured 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth, the rice, and the seasoning packet.  I let it some to a nice simmer, then I removed it from the heat, added in that chicken, squeezed the rest of the lemon over it, covered & placed it into the oven for 35 minutes.  Within 10 minutes my apartment smelled delish.

After regularly basting the chicken, 35 minutes later I took off the top and noticed just a tiny bit of liquid left for the rice to absorb.  I left the lid off and cooked for just about 5 more minutes.  When I took it out it looked, and obviously smelled, delicious.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Current Evening Skincare Routine

Last week I featured my Current Morning Skincare Routine, so now I'm sharing my current PM skincare routine.  Just like with my AM routine, I sometimes switch out some products when I get something new or just want to try something else out, but for the most part these are the products I'm using 5x a week at least.

Current PM Skincare Routine

First, I need to remove all of my makeup so I use my Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil to do so.  I had been regularly using the Burts Bees Cleansing Oil, you can check out my review here, but I ran out of that a couple of weeks ago, so I subbed back in my Boscia.  Honestly, this is the best cleansing oil ever in life, I'll be posting a full review soon, but just know, it's awesome.

After I wash all of that makeup off I typically follow up with the Murad Clarifying Cleanser which helps to combat breakouts or sometimes I'll use the REN CleanCalm3 Clarifying Cleanser that was featured in my Current Morning Skincare Routine.  The Murad Clarifying Cleanser has a great tingly feeling to it that I love at night, it really makes me feel like my face is free of makeup and any dirt & grime I may have come into contact with throughout the day.

After my cleanser I use the Korres Pomegranate Toner, which has 15% pomegranate water in it.  It's great at mattifying and tightening pores.  This is another recent purchase and so far I've been loving it as a new addition to my routine.

My next two steps of serum & moisturizer go hand in hand, I've been using Stemology's Cell Revive Serum Complete with StemCore-3 and Stemology's Cell Renew Hydro-Plus Overnight Moisturizer.  Now, both of these products are expensive, I can't even try to say "kind of" expensive, the serum is $189 and the moisturizer is $75, but there is a reason they cost more than your average skincare product.  Stemology's Cell Revive Serum has been featured in a variety of magazines and TV shows, it contains daisy extract and lemon peel bioferment which work to lighten spots and reduces the appearance of brown spots.  This is an excellent product for anyone looking to brighten and firm their skin.  Following up with the Hydro-Plus Overnight Moisturizer adds my personal favorite, hyaluronic acid, which will hydrate and plump skin.  It also contains sesame seed extract which helps control wrinkle depth- while it seems like I might be too young to need to worry about this, I try to be as proactive as possible with an anti-aging routine.

Lastly, I religiously use the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado to finish off my routine.  I could go on and on about why I love this product so much, the chances of me switching to a different eye cream at night are slim.  This eye cream is a little on the thick side, but it absorbs so well into the under eye area.  It keeps my under eyes hydrated and smooth.

Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil | $30
REN CleanCalm3 Clarifying Cleanser | $32
Murad Clarifying Cleanser | $28
Korres Pomegranate Toner | $22
Cell Revive Serum Complete | $189 (save 20% with promo code DOCTORS20)
Stemology's Cell Renew Hydro-Plus Overnight Moisturizer | $75 (save 20% with promo code DOCTORS20)
Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado | $23.50

[Disclaimer:  Both Stemology products were sent to me for review.  All opinions are my own.]

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sundress Fever

The weather in D.C. has been anything but nice lately, it's been cloudy, rainy, windy, and cold.  I'm starting to feel as though springtime rooftop happy hours are extinct!

While laying on my couch listening to the rain the other day I found myself perusing my favorite stores looking for some awesome sundresses to add to my collection.  I love wearing dresses to work, I can easily wear a cardigan to keep it appropriate, and then I can slide that cardigan right off if I'm going out after a long day of teaching!  For the rest of the week & Memorial Day weekend D.C. is supposed be hot like, high 80s hot, so I clearly need to run out right now and pick up a few of these super functional dresses!