Beach Armor: My Influenster Beach Bag Must Haves

As a Colorado resident, there are no “real” beaches, we have reservoirs and so-so sushi. The first real beach I ever saw was when a guy I had a long distance relationship with whisked me to his home in a posh area in New Jersey. I don’t remember where, but I remember that his dad made all the woodwork in the house — the doors, dressers, floors, stairs, railings, the works — there was a lot of gorgeous carpentry in that house.

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He took me to Manhattan where we ate at the Russian Samovar, took a romantic walk around, and saw Cats. On the way back to his house, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Atlantic City, my first experience with casinos and a beach. There was a lot of firsts experienced during that visit, and it was a fantastic rendezvous.  I wasn’t that impressed with the Atlantic City beach because it was so littered, but my Bahamas honeymoon was a different story; clean clear water that was so many shades of blue and gorgeous white sand.  By the time I left, my feet were absolutely gorgeous from walking around the beach. Thinking about that made me compile a list of things I would have in my beach bag on Influenster. Good times… 

Here is my Influenster list of the essentials I would pack for my next beach trip.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm ~ $3.29 - Beach Armor List Influenster

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm ~ $3.29

 

Burt’s Bees is my go to lip balm. I always put it on when I am preparing for makeup application as a foundation for my lip cosmetics, much in the way one would apply a moisturizer and/or primer. It’s so worth the money.

Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream - Beach Armor List Influenster

Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream ~ $10.99

 

I use this all of the time especially since I am not bothering with a relaxer this summer, just letting the natural curls fly. It is so moisturizing and keeps hair soft and curls intact with great definition. It has a slight scent so it doesn’t clash with other products.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto - Waterproof Ultimate Length Mascara - Beach Armor List Influenster

Maybelline Lash Stiletto – Waterproof Ultimate Length Mascara ~ 6.97

 

This is the best mascara ever no matter what formula you use. In situations where I might cry or am near water, Lash Stiletto is perfect. It is not coming off and it makes lashes incredibly long without clumping. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

M.A.C. Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation - Beach Armor List Influenster

M.A.C. Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation ~ $33

 

M.A.C. Pro Longwear Waterproof Foundation is the one you want because of the color options, high pigmentation, and staying power. It’s a bit more than a drugstore brand ($33) but it is worth it. Use along with a primer for extra armor against humidity.

M.A.C Prep & Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 - Beach Armor List Influenster

M.A.C Prep & Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 ~ $31

 

To ensure your makeup doesn’t slide off at the beach a good primer underneath your waterproof foundation will give your makeup extra longevity. M.A.C.’s Beauty Balm is a BB cream so it blurs imperfections and controls oil plus it has SPF 35 just in case you forgot to apply a sunscreen to your face.

L'Oreal® Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray - Beach Armor List Influenster

L’Oreal® Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray ~ $13.66

 

I’ve used a few makeup setting sprays and L’Oreal is consistent and easy to find as well as being under $15. It sprays on evenly (something I’ve had a problem with other setters), dries quickly, and keeps makeup in place which is a necessity in humid, hot weather.

Maybelline Great Wear Waterproof Eyeliner - Beach Armor List Influenster

Maybelline Great Wear Waterproof Eyeliner ~ $4.79

 

This eyeliner works great with the Lash Stiletto mascara. It won’t budge and the pigment is good. It goes on easily, so there is no tugging.

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths - Beach Armor List Influenster

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths ~ $2.99

 

This stuff is so good and it’s so cheap! I tend to use Neutrogena but I went on an e.l.f. binge one day and bought it and it is fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, Neutrogena is great but is a bit oily, which is fine with me because I can skip a moisturizer and it does disappear into the skin, e.l.f. has a non-greasy finish that still feels hydrated. Great for getting off that waterproof makeup

Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 30 Spray - Beach Armor List Influenster

Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 30 Spray ~ $9.49

 

I love this stuff. It has a fine mist that offers good coverage and smells good but the scent isn’t overwhelming.

 

As I am writing I am still compiling a list in my head which would probably fit in a suitcase instead of a beach bag.

Source: Beach Armor by StylEnigma | Influenster

Must Haves: Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask

It’s time for another product review from the Valentia skin care. I was sent a jar of the Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask through Brandbacker and the first thing I noticed was the smell. It was unlike any clay mask I have ever used which is typically St. Ives Timeless Skin Mineral Clay Firming Mask or Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask. Typically, clay masks smell like clay;  earthy, fresh and clean and the texture is cool and smooth.

Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask
Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask

The Valentia Skin Detoxifying Mask has a stronger scent, although not overwhelming and the closest I can come to describing the smell would be fruity and flowery blossoms, but you can still smell the clay.  It has a slightly gritty texture, due to the Hibiscus and Cranberry Fibers in the mixture that exfoliates the skin in addition to lending their anti-aging properties. Kaolin Clay is naturally detoxifying and draws out impurities allowing the pores to shrink. Stem cells are increasingly being used in beauty and health products and this mask contains Plant Stem Cells which reduces the level of pro-aging toxins in the skin while soothing the skin and evening skin tone.

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Up close view of the Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask.

I used it twice in a five-day period and I liked it not just because it smelled nice, but because I could tell the pores were smaller after both uses. The second time I used a facial sauna to open the pores even more (I don’t know why I didn’t think of that when I used the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask) to really allow the product to get in there and draw out the dirt, oil, and makeup. I am incredibly happy with the results.

Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask
Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask

I came away impressed with it primarily because of the reduced pore size and firmness. It is also a product that makes sense because it doesn’t claim to take out impurities while containing ingredients that are not pure. Valentia products are organic, alcohol and paraben free, and cruelty-free. After each use of the Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask, I used the Valentia Clear Lift Serum or the Royal Rose Hydrating Serum, and Valentia True Glow Eye Cream and the combination of products made my face feel deeply cleansed and dewy.

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Must Haves: Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum

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Jessie’s Girl Satin Finish Nail Color in Sea Glass

I’m back with another sponsored review of a Valentia product. This time, I was given a bottle of the Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum, which is supposed to increase elasticity by increasing the circulation in your skin. The Valentia line of beauty products are fascinating to me because while each product has an individual role, all of the ones I’ve tried so far also moisturize,  minimizes fine lines, and brightens skin tone.

Unlike the Royal Rose Hydrating Serum, a product that has a few perks that take time to present themselves (although the ability to give moisturizer staying power was immediate), the Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum’s benefits showed up almost immediately. This is another night time serum and what I noticed was a difference in tone by the second day. I noticed a difference in the appearance, a glow or a freshness – like I had given it a good scrub by the fourth day. One of the ingredients in the serum is Lactic Acid which is an exfoliant that speeds up skin cell turnover.

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The other ingredients are: Seaweed which helps skin’s absorption of oxygen, Licorice to even out skin tone, Gotu Kola for skin firmness, and Argan oil which reduces water loss and helps with skin elasticity. When  I noticed that the Clearlift Revitalizing Serum contains Argan oil — something I use often with my moisturizer and hair care products for additional moisture — I stopped using the Royal Rose Hydrating Serum and my Argan oil In order to properly review the Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum. My skin still felt hydrated without the extra Argan oil and hydrating serum, and the Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum appears to give it a buffed smoothness.

My thoughts — I like the Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum. I’m anxious to see if consistent use will produce firmer, plumper skin, but it provided me with buffed skin and enough hydration to bypass an additional source of moisture.

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Must Haves: Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum

 

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Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum

Today, I am reviewing another product from Valentia; the Royal Rose Hydrating Serum. I was so impressed with the True Glow Eye Cream, and the Ultra Plumping Hydrating Mask that I jumped all over the opportunity to write another sponsored post. After applying the serum for a couple of nights,  I decided to approach evaluating it differently than instructed because applying it at night and then waking up to perform my morning beauty regime left very little time to determine its effectiveness. Instead, I implemented the Valentia serum into my morning regimen; washing my face with Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover, applying the serum on my face, neck, and ears, (let’s not neglect the ears) and applying Neutrogena Naturals  Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer, and finally Valentia True Glow Eye Cream. This method allowed me to evaluate the serum while I was awake and I could judge the effectiveness throughout the day.

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Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum and ILNP Fall Semester on my nails.

My impression of the Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum is that it is a great moisturizer booster. My skin was more hydrated at the end of the day with the serum than with my moisturizer alone. Typically, if I feel I need a bit more moisture I will add a drop or two of 100 percent Argan oil, but that wasn’t necessary during the testing phase. The serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly, my moisturizer glided on and the slight rose scent disappeared quickly, unfortunately for me.

The company claims that the ingredients in the serum; Rose Damascena, Rosehip seed, Lavender, Vitamin B, Bearberry, and Evening Primrose oil:

  • Calms and soothes skin,
  • Deeply moisturizes and nourishes skin
  • Smoothes skin tone and texture
  • Provides antioxidant protection
  • Fades away sun spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation

Many of the benefits the serum claims to offer (heals the skin, skin lightening ) couldn’t be determined within the time allotted for the campaign, but what I did notice was that in addition to being a great moisturizer booster, it had a “calming effect” on my sensitive skin when I  applied it after using my exfoliating cleansing brush.  My skin didn’t feel as “inflamed” once I applied the serum. This product has become a permanent part of my daily skin care ritual.

As a thank you for reading my review, I am offering a 20% off of the purchase of Valentia’s Royal Rose Hydrating Serum. Use Promo Code  8MLVQYLC at checkout and hurry, the coupon is only good until 4/11/2016, and let me know how the serum worked out for you.

 

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Must Haves: Valentia True Glow Eye Cream and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask

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I’m one of those skeptics when it comes to anti-aging products primarily because most of the products I have tried have been more hype than anything else or they don’t mesh well with makeup. Not this one. I received two products from Valentia, the True Glow Eye Cream, and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask to try in exchange for an honest review. I am honestly impressed.

 

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Valentia True Glow Eye Cream
Valentia True Glow Eye Cream:

The eye cream has a slight scent, nothing overwhelming and it is extremely  hydrating. The consistency is smooth and creamy and it instantly absorbs into the skin. I can still feel the effects of the morning application when I go to do the evening application. A little goes a long way and it doesn’t cake up or leave a residue when I apply foundation or eyeshadow. I have also found that it also does double duty as a primer because my eyeshadow had more staying power.  I used it every day for two weeks and I really like it. It’s not overly expensive and it is well worth the money. This won’t be sitting around unused in my cabinet.

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Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask:

I was skeptical about the pumping aspect but what I will say is that my skin did look more radiant after the first use of the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. As proof, this picture of me putting on the eye cream shows dry flaky skin. Three days later, I used the mask and there was a noticeable difference immediately, I mean immediately, without a moisturizer and my skin was glowing.

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Before: This image of me applying the Valentia eye cream shows dry, flaky skin.
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After: Image of my skin after using the Valentia mask.

I’m wasn’t sure about the plumping aspect initially, but I did notice that my forehead friends were less prominent. To be sure, I used it again six days later, and once again, my skin did have a radiance, I didn’t imagine it. I loved it so much I didn’t want it covered up with makeup. The tingling concerned me initially because I always associate that sensation with an allergic reaction, but the tingling is expected according to the instructions and frankly, if a little tingling is going to make me look more alive, I’m fine with it. For me, this worked better for me than my glycolic peel. 

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Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Cream

Valentia claims that the combination of a Silk Protein Amino Acid blend, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, and Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil in their mask boosts collagen production, increases skin radiance, reduces fine lines, and secures skin moisture and it absolutely does. I can’t say enough about the eye cream, I love it. It definitely hydrates and tightens and brightens the eye area. It has a powerful antioxidant, Astanxanthin, Vitamin C, and Organic Rose Hip making it an intense and effective anti-aging tool. If you are looking for better results from your skin regimen, try the Valentia True Glow Eye Cream, and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask.

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