Love With Food Deluxe April 2015 RANT

Love With Food Deluxe April 2015 RANT

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I normally try to “space out” my subscription boxes a little bit, but I just got my Love With Food box. This is a brand new subscription for me and I thought this would be a fun change of pace  from my beauty boxes. Unfortunately, this one is a bit of a rant. If you’re not familiar with Love With Food, this is a monthly box that is $10 a month + $2 shipping for their “tasting box” (which is 8-10 snacks) or $19.95 per month for their Deluxe box. Shipping is included and is suppose to be 16-20 snacks. There are discounts available when you purchase more than one month at a time and those options are a 6 month plan and a year plan. They have a very small point system, you get 10 points per month with a tasting box and 20 points with the Deluxe box. As I learned today, you can’t use any of your points until you have enough to cover an item completely or $10….each point equals 1 cent. So, basically, this is useless. It looks like you can also earn 10 points for a review, that would be an extra 100 points for this box. Still nowhere near the 1000 points needed to begin spending. At that rate, it would take 10 months. Forever.

Correction: LoveWithFood confirmed that you must have enough points to cover the ENTIRE amount. Most of their products are in “bulk” and have a price tag over $20.

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This month’s theme was Starry Nights. Not sure how everything fits into this theme, but it’s still a pretty picture and a sweet gesture.

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Inside the paper, there is more information on the items in the box. There are clear markers for items that are Non GMO, Gluten free and Vegan. I love this. There is also more information on the product and how to connect via social media with the brands. This is well thought out and laid out in a way that is easy to navigate.

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First on the list was this Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread cookie pack. There are 2 in this one pack. I’ve had products by this brand before and they’re okay. Not too excited about these but I’m sure someone in the house will scoop them up. This is a sample value of $.92

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Inside the box, I also got 2 of these Pasta Chips bags in “Garlic Olive Oil”. I cannot even describe how amazing these are. I’m addicted. I’ve already made sure I can purchase these in stores in my area and I can’t wait to get my hands on more! I ate one bag already and nicely told my husband the other is his. (Secretly hoping he shares it with me, of course.) This is a sample value of $1.80

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Next on the list was two of these Green Tea Tropical tea bags by Mighty Leaf tea. Out of all the tea companies that work with subscription boxes that I’ve tried, Mighty Leaf is definitely my favorite. This has hints of pineapple and smells amazing. I’ve got this steeping right now. This is one of their best sellers. The two tea bags is a sample value of $1.33

Update: Newest tea OBSESSION right here. Perfect for summer and does not need a drop of additional sugar (this coming from a sweet tea addict.)

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I was excited to see a mix of sweet and savory snacks. We’re big fans of Yum Earth. These are sour and covered in sugar. Perfect for a sweet treat! This is  a sample value of $1.58

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I have a weakness for lemon flavored baked goods and a weakness for Luna Bars PLUS Luna Bars recently went Gluten Free so I’m happy with this treat! I couldn’t find minis for sale anywhere but these two make almost a full size bar making this a sample value of $1.25

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These Back to Nature chocolate chip cookies were good. Nothing mind blowing. I do have a brand of gluten free cookies I already know and love so I’m okay with not falling in love with these. This was a sample value of $1.03

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My husband is going to absolutely love this. It’s a snack pack with hummus and quinoa chips. I’m not big on hummus but I’m the only one in the house that isn’t so this will go fast! This pack is worth $2.50

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We got two different flavors of Popcorners. One of these is gluten free. I haven’t tried these yet, but they sound pretty darn good! I like salty snacks so I’m sure I’ll like these! This is a sample value of $1.58

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Lastly, I got this Liz Lovely Chocolate Moose Dragon cookie. This sounds absolutely sinful. I can’t wait to try this and I’ve promised half to the hubby. The three key words here are Chocolate, Fudge and Cookie. I’ll take it. These are big cookies and a dozen will set you back $30 making this a sample value of $2.50

 

So, if you’ve made it this far, you probably noticed I was really happy with the selection and really liked the flavors of the products I already tore into. You might be wondering why this is a rant post. As I mentioned in the start of this post, the Deluxe size box is promised to have 16-20 SNACKS. If you’ve been keeping track, I’ve received 12 snacks plus two teas. I emailed LoveWithFood and got an impersonal, automated response that my feedback would be passed along and that the hummus and chips pack counted as two items this month (I can see that and accept that) and 500 points for the shop was thrown my way. If I could the teas and the “two pack” of hummus and chips, I still only received 15 items. I’m not alone in this. My box was exactly the same size and number of items as every subscriber this month. People who got the tasting size box also only received 7 items (that is the total if you factor in the hummus and chips being TWO items). Overall, I feel shorted and a bit lied to. Since this was my first box, I’m less than impressed. I really just want what I paid for. Period.

The value of my snacks was $14.49. This is less than the $19.95 price tag, but if you factor in shipping and discovering new foods, I’m happy with this value. I also received some coupons and 3 months free to SaltedTV.com (which is worth $30 on it’s own).

 UPDATE: As you can see below, Love With Food did a great job of reaching out to me and trying to make me happy. They even offered me a full refund. I replied to them on Facebook and instead of a refund. I got some more points for their shop so I can get my hands on some more tea or pasta chips. I’m signed on for at least 3 months with LWF so let’s hope I get a few more items next month!

 

Ipsy April 2015

Ipsy April 2015

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It’s Ipsy time! Ipsy is a monthly subscription that is just $10 per month. I’ve been with Ipsy since their second month (circa 2012) and I adore this subscription. For the price, you’ll receive a cute makeup bag and 4-5 beauty items. They range from makeup and tools to skincare and hair care. Typically, there is a little bit of everything. Mostly, you’ll receive deluxe sizes but every once in a while, there is a full size product sprinkled in! No matter, the value is always more than the $10. Shipping is also free in the US and there is no tax. Just $10 a month, period.

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I didn’t take a group shot of my bags this month (oops) but I did get three items that were “repeated” in both my bags. Womp Womp. This happens to me from time to time and I’ll admit, it’s a little bit of a bummer. First up is this eyeshadow by The Balm. This is one full size shade from their new Nude Dude palette. I own quite a few palettes by The Balm, but not this one. I noticed that this palette has a lot more shimmer than the Nude’tude palette.

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I received the shade “Flirty” in both of my bags. There are 10 shades in the palette, making this a sample value of $3.60

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I also got this eye primer by Mic Beauty Cosmetics. I found this primer to be nice, it’s nothing mind blowing, but I like having it around. Then, I looked them up online and am SO incredibly confused. Two years ago, we received a full size eye shimmer by this company and it was a value of $14.95…flash forward to 2015 and this primer retails for $44.95, but if you sign up for their email, you can get 45% off your first order. The whole thing just seems a little weird to me. $24 and some change (the price of this after the 45% off) seems a whole lot more reasonable to me!

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The Last product I got two of is this nail polish by Julie. This color is called Damsel and it’s parked “NOT FOR RESALE” on the back. It comes with a $1 off coupon for these products at Rite Aid.  This polish is super opeque and I’m looking forward to trying it out. This retails for $3.99.

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Moving on to the products I only got one of! My favorite item in either of my box is this HUGE blusher by Hikari. I don’t own anything from this brand but I can’t wait to try our some more of their goodies! I got this in the shade Tango and it’s a great, vibrant pint. This blush retails for $15

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Last in my first bag was this Klorane dry shampoo with oat milk. This is for all hair types. They also make one with nettle for oily hair that I’ll have to try some time! This is a travel size, worth $9

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In my 2nd bag (well, I dunno which came first!) I received two lip products.

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The first is this lip balm by Olive Natural Beauty in Oats & Honey. Honestly, I will likely not even try this lip balm. It smells horrible. The smell reminds be of bitter sweet baking chocolate, which is a small I do not want all over my lips. I think this is one of the few times I’ve gotten a product in a box that I totally hated. These retail for $5.95….which just makes me sad. I do wonder if any other scents would be better but I’m super turned off so far.

Also, I tried rubbing this on my hand and this is by far the hardest lip balm I’ve ever swatched in my life…

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I also received a full size lipstick by KCO Colors…unfortunately mine came broken. I’ll email Ipsy and they’re probably send out a replacement. In the past getting a replacement has meant getting a totally different color, but we shall see. This shade is wonderful and I do like the texture. The packaging is, obviously, super cheaply made and it feels like it. These retail for $8

This month’s bag’s were pretty high in value at $76.54 for my first bag and $66.49. If you took away the insane $44.95 for the eye primer, the values are a little more like the previous months at 31.95 and $21.54, respectively. I’m not normally a negative Nancy and I like getting my subscription boxes, but I just wasn’t feeling this month. I enjoyed my BB5 and what I got in Birchbox quite a bit better than these. Not to say I’ll unsub or anything, but sometimes, boxes just don’t rock my world. What did you get this month?

 

 

 

 

Manic Panic’s New Lipstick Shades!

Manic Panic’s New Lipstick Shades!

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You probably know Manic Panic for their brightly hued, peroxide free hair dyes. I admit that as a mom, it’s been a few years since I’ve purchased dyes from this companies. It’s certainly not because I don’t believe they make the best dyes around, but I tend to add color in other places. Like my nails and my clothes, I also love adding bold shades to my lips! It’s an addiction of mine! They recently sent me an email about the new shades to their lipstick lines and let me pick 3 to try out! I picked a good mix of finishes and colors!

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I chose these three: Naked Under Leather, Atomic Turquoise and Love Kitten.

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These all swatched super creamy and more importantly, SUPER pigmented! As you can tell from the picture, Love Kitten is more of a matte shade and the other two are a creamy texture.

 

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Aside from the great shades, I also fell hard for the packaging! This light weight metal tube is well made and has fun silver holographic circles all over one half of the tube. Each tube (no matter the finish) looks the same so if you’re one that has a large lipstick collection, you’d probably want to store these upside down :)

Each lipstick is really reasonably priced at just $15.50. It’s hard to find some of these out-there shades so I’m happy to see a high end lippie with a good price point!

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So, how were they? They were perfect! They go on amazingly smooth and even the matte shade was balanced and not too dry. I got at least 6 hours of wear with one coat and they stained ever so slightly. This is perfect to avoid down right awkward fading throughout the day. The photo above shows “Naked Under Leather” which is my current favorite nude! If you follow me on Instagram, you can see more swatches there!

For more shades, be sure and check out ManicPanic.com!

 

 

We LOVE Zoku!

We LOVE Zoku!

My boys are always down to help Mommy with a little bit of product testing. Kids are honest and I can always count of them to tell it likes it is. Needless to say when I heard about a product that makes frozen treats, we were interested, when they told me Zoku could freeze our treats in a mere 7-9 minutes, my mind was blown!

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Our Zoku arrived just at the start of what is sure to be a HOT Texas Spring & Summer and we tore into this beauty like a kit at Christmas. While the entire process is quick and easy, there is one step of prep to get ready for the fun- place your Zoku base in your freezer for a minmum of 24 hours. With the Zoku Quick Pop Maker there is no electricity and no mechanical moving parts. This makes is essentially dummy proof and so easy to use!

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Aside from the base itself, the our Zoku Quick Pop Makes came with 4 sticks (with built in handles). There are made extra fun by the prints on them! My boys love getting to the middle to see which they got, but I know this texture also keeps the frozen goodness attached the the stick and makes removal easier but insuring you won’t just pull out the stick and leave the treat behind! They made this product when more kid friendly be including drip guards for each stick! The goofy looking green thing is called a “Super Tool” and it effortlessly removes pops from the mold! With just a bit of turning, you’ll need virtually no elbow grease!

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Once the base is frozen solid (this took about 36 hours in my freezer), the next step is deciding your flavors. You can use nearly anything to make your pops. Juice, fruit, chocolate, yogurt, the list goes on & on. The only things to avoid would be water and sugar free items. Sugar helps the pop release from the frozen base.

We pureed some raspberries, strawberries and blueberries for this batch. I opted to strain out the seeds and lumps for a smoother texture but there are nearly NO rules for your pops! I also tried a yogurt and Nutella mix that was delicious. So, once you’ve got your mixture, you’ll want to place a stick in place and then pour your mix it. There is a visible fill line, try not to go beyond this or your pops will be a touch harder to remove and possibly messy.

The base can make 3 batches before it needs to be refrozen so we played around with a few flavors. You can even add in pieces for fruit or do half one flavor and half another.

10985429_10203388289137589_6408128472925886255_nSo, overall, how did this turn out? AMAZING. We’re pretty much obsessed with our new Zoku Quick Pop Maker and our of any kitchen gadgets I’ve reviewed here on this lovely blog, I’d recommend this one the most for my mommy friends. This product works great, is a fun alternative to sugary pop and the kids love it!

 

 

 

 

GardenClogs.com

GardenClogs.com

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It’s that time of year and we just planted everything under the sun! We love keeping a garden and had great success with herbs last year so this year we branched out to fruits and veggies as well! I even planted new flower bulbs in a new bed in the front yard! We spent the better part of 2 Saturdays slaving away. I don’t know about you, but after a long afternoon of yard work, my body is tired! I recently reached out to GardenClogs.com and they sent me two items to help make that work easier and less stress on my body!

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From their name sake, I received these great Garden Clogs!  I typically wear a size 8 or 8.5 and decided to go up to a 9 for these thinking I’d rather have some a little big than a little snug, they fit perfect and are BEYOND comfortable! These come with a great molded insole that supports my feet in the best way! I had absolutely ZERO foot fatigue and these were perfect to use to bear down onto a shovel! These are in the print “Abstract”.

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For getting down and dirty, I tried this Gardening Kneepad. Before I had this product, I never considered how much time I spent gardening on my knees. It was just something I did and never thought about. Well, having this product is a true knee saver! The cushion has the perfect amount of give but is also made to last. I used this on 3 different days so far and not a tear or bit of wear on it.

Overall, Garden Clogs by Jolly’s make quality, well thought out products that really added to the joy of gardening for us! Be sure and check them out for your needs this Spring!

 

Beauty Box 5 April 2015

Beauty Box 5 April 2015

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It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since I got March’s Beauty Box 5, but I’m so excited to see this little turquoise box again! If you’re not familiar with BB5, you’re totally missing out! I’m happy to fill you in! Beauty Box 5 is $12 a month for a month-to-month subscription, $10 a month with a 3 month subscription ($30 up front) or just $8.25 if you commit to a year with a $99 subscription! As you may have guessed from the name, you get 5 items (sometimes more) and BB5 loves to send a good mix of affordable products with a sprinkle of indulgences.  The value is always over the price here!

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This month, BB5 partnered with Lasting Smiles. Not only did they send us a product, but the collaboration is helping to provide 20 kids with life changing surgeries. These surgeries help children born with cleft lips and palettes, which occurs in 1 our of every 600-700 births. This is a great cause and I’m truly honored that BB5 would share this great brand and news with us!!

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I received the Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm in Passionfruit Mango. Basically, this lip balm spells like my favorite fruit smoothie and I instantly had the urge to try it. Like their cause, these balms are doing your lips some good by being free of gluten, parabens, alcohol and more. They’re also vegetarian, not tested on animals and contain no artificial colors. This is a full size and retails for $4.99. You can find these at retailers like Walgreens and Wholefoods :)

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Next, I pulled out this hand & body lotion by Dancin’ Goats in the scent “Hula Bliss.” I am almost 100% certain I’ve heard of this brand, but I can’t put my finger of where I saw it. This scent is strong on the eucalyptus and lavender and smells divine. I’m a big fan of goat’s milk products because they absorb into the skin and are super gentle. This product is one I’ll be toting around and enjoying to the last drop (at which point, I’m sure I’ll have the invest in a bigger bottle!) This is a big 2oz sample worth $4.50

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It’s not a secret that I LOVE my nail polish and you may have noticed my nails are naked at the moment. I’ve never had the chance to try this brand’s appliques, but These by Incoco are made with real nail polish. A lot of the brands on the market are made to be so much like stickers that they look fake and feel awkward on the nail. I’m thrilled to be able to try these and I love the pink and black lace design! These are full size and retail for $8.99!

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We also got this Twin Lipgloss by Style Essentials. I really love the concept! There are two colors in each tube and they both come out in fairly even amounts to make a fun, custom color on the tips. This  color has a hint of iridescence to it and adds a beautiful shine that is perfect for Spring. This gloss has an amazing vanilla scent, too! I hope to see these in the BB5 shop as they’re only $2.50 a pop!

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Lastly, I got three packet samples of this First Aid Beauty (FAB) Face Cleanser. I’m already a big fan of this brand and I’ve not tried their wash! BB5 does a great job of taking care of their subscribers. Most people might not get too excited about packet samples, but how about 3? They way you can get plenty of uses!  This is a sample value of $.74

This month’s box had a sample value of $21.70. I really loved seeing a great cause and a good for my skin bath and body brand in this box! I was also excited to see a pop of color with this Twin Gloss. Overall, balanced and fun as always!

Dropps

Dropps

IMG_0649Let’s face it, life get’s busy when you’re a mom. I’ve got a job, my blog, my boys, my husband, my house, meal planning, etc that takes up a lot of my time! I first had the opportunity to try Dropps last year and I fell in love.

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Dropps was best known for their laundry products, but I recently received these dishwasher detergent pacs in lemon. We’ve been using differed packs and pods for our dishes for a while. I’ve probably tried a dozen brands or so and I always end up paring them with an additive to keep my classes from getting spots. These were the first ones I didn’t need to add anything to! The fresh lemon scent is refreshing and these help my dishes dry absolutely spot free! Even my wine glasses. For a brand that was made in the US and never tested on animals, these are super affordable at only $17.99 for 50 loads.

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We also tried the Dropps Laundry pacs again. They have a great variety in scents like their scent + dye free, their baby pacs, fresh scents and even some newer enhancers with laundry softener. Overall, I love how convenient these are and they work great!

Online, Dropps ship free everyday, on any order! So head over to their website to check out these products and the rest of their fabulous collections!

 

Kameleonz

Kameleonz

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I am two things, a big fan of shades and super indecisive. When I heard about Kameleonz Shades, where you’re able to change the colors and mix and match your shades, I knew I had to try them out! I received the Rio Solo.

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So, how does this work? With a simple click, it’s easy to change out the arm of your sunnies! Kameleonz currently come in 16 different frames with 17 different colored arms. Doing the math, that is like….a zillion different combinations. You could even mix and match different arms for even more possibilities. I found removing and replacing the arms super easy, too!

I’ll be honest, my husband stole these from me within just a few minutes! So, while I was browsing the site, I ordered a pink pair!  The “Create Your Own” in Aloha are on sale for $24 and you get to pick 3 sets of arms! I stole that deal up and can’t wait for them to come in the mail!

 

Tula Skin Care, First look

Tula Skin Care, First look

After trying the Tula Purifying Face Cleanser on a recent trip, I knew I had to learn more about this company. I reached out to Tula and they let me pick any one product I wanted to try! With my skin, I’m lucky enough to rarely experience acne but I have hyperpigmentation and an overall pink complexion. I’m constantly trying new products to combat my splotchy, dull skin. Taking all that into account, I chose the Tula Illuminating Face Serum

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After just a few days, a package arrived in my mail box! My first impression was the packaging. I love the calming blue hues and overall, the packaging seems to belong in an upscale spa.

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The heavy, frosted glass bottle is probably one of my favorite bottles in my collection. It feels expensive, looks expensive ad certainly draws me into what’s inside!

This creamy serum has a wonderful, fresh scent. Overall, there is absolutely no oily or sticky feeling, just a soft clean finish. The first few times I applied, I felt a slight tightening. It wasn’t uncomfortable in any way, just a slight sign that something must be working. Once absorbed, the serum felt weightless on my skin.

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I’m on day 5 of using this great serum and so far, I’m loving it. So, what makes this face serum different from the others on the market? Let’s talk science. Dr. Raj packed this serum full of what she calls her “Probiotic Technology”. This includes “a unique blend of healthy skin essentials, like Probiotic Technology, Nutripeptides, Vitamins A, C, E, Fruit and Vegetable extracts, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and more”

If you’re familiar with Probiotics, you might be a little confused. Probiotics are essentially healthy bacterica and yeast used to promote a healthy body. Typically, probiotics are great for your digestive system. More recently, probiotics are being used to treat skin issues caused or made worse by bacteria like acne or rosacea. As a rosacea sufferer, I’m especially excited about the research I’ve read on using probiotics to not only help reduce redness but to also help with the stinging and overall tenderness that comes with rosacea.

Another exciting technology in this serum is nutripeptides. Peptides are chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins in the skin. Essentially, peptides equal protein, more protein in your skin means better collagen products and elasticity. In the long run, this means more youthful skin and less wrinkles! Peptides are big. Neuropeptides are even better! Neuropeptides have the ability to slightly relax the face and almost instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

I know this is a lot to take in & I’ll be honest, I’m pretty much just geeking out about the exciting combination of technologies tucked into this one little tube. I’ll be using this serum to the last drop, but I wanted to update you all as I go along! Keep up below and you can expect some pictures at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 6 weeks!

5 days- While I’ve not yet noticed a reduction in redness, I’ve noticed a huge change in my skin’s texture. My skin feels supply, hydrated (without being too oily) and overall softened. I’m still loving the scent and the feel of this serum!

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