Archive for the ‘experience’ Category

Review: Valentia Even Glow Serum Vitamin C 20%

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Review: Valentia Even Glow Serum Vitamin C 20%
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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try Valentia’s 20% Vitamin C serum(find on Amazon HERE)! I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now and definitely think I’m seeing some improvement in the evenness of my skin. My skin definitely has pink-red undertones to the point that my cheeks (natively) look flushed with my fairly pale skin tone. I have no complaints about my light skin that lost its ability to tan when I started high school as tanning at all is unhealthy skin wise. While having no complaints about the paleness of my skin, I do not care for how red my skin can be. My cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead are very often quite pink-red even if my skin isn’t irritated or broken out. I rarely break out as I have chronically dry skin.
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I’ve heard for a couple years now that Vitamin C serums are supposed to be good as part of an anti-aging regime especially in addition to hyaluronic acid which in and of itself is supposed to be a very good moisturizer. While I am told quite frequently that my chronological age doesn’t match up well with my appearance. My dad also has been told something similar more and more often over the last 15+ years. While I don’t think I have a lot of wrinkles currently, I’d very much like to keep it that way as much as possible.

I’m also very interested in trying anything that promotes an evening of skin tone with the reduction of redness. This was one the is the
of such serums that I’ve tried and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the light scent of oranges! Even though I haven’t tasted an orange in over 10 years (ingesting oranges is a no go with my digestive problems), I still enjoy the scent of them. In fact the mental image I first had when I heard of a Vitamin C serum was oranges! In addition to the pleasant orangey scent, the serum is ever so slightly tinged orange. But no color translates onto my skin once applied and the scent disappears quickly too.
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I do find this serum to be just a touch sticky, but it isn’t so much to be a bother or any reason why I wouldn’t continue to use this product. I just thought I’d mention it. Each bottle is topped with a dropper in order to be able to most easily be able to dispense just the little amount needed per application. I find I use about 6 drops per application. At this rate I should have at least a couple more months supply. As per the directions, I apply this one daily and once dry I follow with a moisturizer.

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Here I'm showing what two drops looks like on my hand. It starts just slightly orange,but the tint goes away be quickly!


Since I started using this I’ve found my skin to be even softer in texture than before, much less red which has let me be able to use a much more sheer foundation which in this extremely HOT Southern Ca weather is not only more comfortable but looks more natural than medium or full coverage foundations do (or can). I’m not expecting miracles in wrinkle or aging reversal from any skin care product, but I am looking for smaller changes such as less redness, softer texture, and preventing new wrinkles (I saw the first two for sure and the third, well time will tell).
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If you are interested in trying Valentia’s Even Glow 20% Vitamin C Serum you can purchase your own from Amazon by clicking HERE. If you do decide to try this please let me know what you think after you have a chance to try it.
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Have you tried using a Vitamin C serum before? What did you think? Or do you use any sort of skin care regime? anti-aging products? Please let me know in the comments. I’m also including a little animation of a me diripping dropsback into the bottle with the included the included dropper so you can get an ideaof the color and consistency.

Are you looking forward to summer? Or do you live in an area where summer apparently arrived pretty early in the year? I love reading your comments!

~Jaclyn~

**Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are mine. Please see my disclaimer policy for more information.

P.S. Only 1.5 weeks of term left until I complete my first (full) year back in college!! In fact I was the first one of my voice class to finish singing each of the 4 required pieces twice! And this Thursday is my last lab for my biology course, then its truly downhill (or is tht uphill) until the fourth (and final) exam.

Please NOTE: All photos in this post that are not watermarked with my blog’s URL were provided by Valentia.

Product Review: Instant Lash Extensions by Measureable Difference

Product Review: Instant Lash Extensions by Measureable Difference

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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A few weeks ago I was approached by a PR representative asking me if I’d be interested in trying and reviewing products from Chrislie Formulations new Measureable Difference line. I’ve been very interested in trying products that support lash (and brow) growth and so I jumped at the chance! This first product is dual ended mascara and primer meant to immediately add volume and lengthen lashes. The second product I’ll review is a lash and brow amplifying serum that needs to be applied daily. More on that coming soon!

I’m still on the hunt for my HG or Holy Grail mascara. In the beauty blogging world, bloggers use this to refer to a product that is the best ever product for that particular person. A HG product is one that they couldn’t or wouldn’t want to live without. I’m still unsure if I truly have any complete HG product. I happen to love trying and experimenting with new products.

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I have very sparse lashes. Over the last 10 years since I was first diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), I’ve lost a lot of my hair more than once. About three months after I’ve had bouts of serious illness, I’d notice my hair coming out in my hair brush, so much would come out that I’d have to clean a fistful of hair out of my brush after one pass through my hair. As I lost the hair on top of my head, I also noticed that I lost my lashes and brows too. While my hair has finally just about returned to its pre-illness thickness, my lashes have stayed very thin. And my bottom lashes are just about non-existent. I literally have a dozen lashes on the bottom on each side. So I’m always trying to find mascara products to give me the illusion of having more lashes, especially since, I’m not fond of applying, wearing, or removing false lashes.

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Enter Measurable Difference’s Instant Lash Extensions. The back of the package says, “Measureable Difference offers healthy, drug free, clinically proven products that provide the ultimate in plumper, longer, more luscious lashes and brows, creating the effect of bigger, bolder eyes. Infused with RegenaLash, each item is formulated with nature’s most beneficial ingredients and science’s most advanced technology. In addition, they are free of any harsh ingredients or chemicals to revitalize your lashes and brows without irritation or redness” I’ve seen many commercials advertising a prescription medication to increase lashes, but there are many serious including possible permanent side effects. As much as I’d love more lashes, the risk of complications is too great. But, a cosmetic option sounds very intriguing.

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I’ve used several mascara primers, but this is the first time the directions have ever said to start by applying a layer of mascara. The second step is to use the primer which contains thin white web-like fibers that stick to the initial coating of mascara attaching themselves to lengthen and add volume to thin and sparse lashes. The third step is to seal the primer layer in by adding a coat of mascara which serves to fuse all three layers together. I do have to say that this does work. And it does work fairly well. I’ve even added a second round of primer and mascara on top of the first ‘set’.

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The positives are that it does add length and volume. It is also fairly easy to use. And I had no problem with the mascara smearing, fading, or flaking. But, this mascara does take me significantly longer to apply with all the steps than my daily routine which includes a light coating of mascara. Another negative is that this mascara leaves my lashes very stiff and a bit heavy, not surprised for all the layers added. And even with sporadic usage over the last month, the mascara end is beginning to dry out although the primer fiber end is very moist still. Since the positives strongly outweighed the negatives, I decided to give this mascara a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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While I think this is a great mascara choice for someone who is looking to add significant volume, moderate length, doesn’t mind stiffer, heavier lashes, nor minds the time it takes to apply, this will for me remain special occasion mascara. If it didn’t add so much weight and stiffness to my lashes, I’d use this every day! Even with it taking more time to apply, I’d make the time in my morning (and now, twice a week, before class) routine.

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That said, I’m definitely pleased with the ease of use and the results. I was also impressed that an eyelash comb and brush was included! This definitely made it easier to comb out any lashes that began to stick to one another! And I LOVE that this is made in the U.S.A! I’d much prefer to support a company that makes all their own products domestically. This Instant Lash Extensions definitely lives up to its name! I very much look forward to trying out more products from the Measureable Difference line! To find out more about this awesome line, just click HERE!

Do you have a HG product? I’d love to hear, in the comments, what beauty (or other) product that you can’t or wouldn’t want to live without! Have you found your HG or favorite mascara? I’d love to hear all about it!

~Jaclyn~
Disclaimer: I received one or more items from the manufacturer or PR representative for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are mine. Please see my disclaimer policyfor more information.

Vegas Trip Part 1

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My first of several posts detailing my amazing trip to Vegas at the end of April!

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The Main Hotel Lobby

I mentioned in my last post how I just happened to be in the studio audience at The Talk in February and was given a two night stay at The Mirage along with two tickets to the Beatle’s LOVE Cirque du Soliel show! So my best friend since 3rd grade and I decided that since we were going to fly out that we might as well make a vacation of it and stay another two nights. The first two nights we spent at The Golden Nugget. In many ways I liked The Golden Nugget better than The Mirage! Our room (and view) was much nicer. The air conditioner worked better there as well. Also the staff we encountered overall was friendlier there too.

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The fabulous view from our room!

We flew bright and early Monday morning so that we’d have the entire day ahead of us (or half a day by the time we got to the hotel). Our flight on Jet Blue was very nice with us even arriving 20 minutes sooner than expected. After we grabbed a shuttle to our hotel and proceeded to check in, I got to chatting with a manager as we had been rudely directed by the desk attendant to the computer system to register. We were directed by the computer back to the desk to finish checking in as the computer was out of room keys. The manager was very nice and I told him that not only was it my first time to Vegas as an adult (I had been when I was 10 with my family), but that it was my first trip since I had learned how to walk all over again. He ended up upgrading our room to a Gold Tower accessible room! It was after noon by the time we got us (and our luggage) up to our room.

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The pool and shark tank at night.

We decided to have lunch in the 24 hours cafe after which we made a beeline for the pool! It was my first time swimming in more than 5 years although I used to spend much of the summer in the pool as a child/teen. The huge waterslide was definitely a positive in the decision to stay at The Golden Nugget as I knew that The Mirage didn’t have a waterslide or attraction like that at their pool. And to make their waterslide even more unique, just before the slide exits into the pool it goes through the shark tank that sits in the center of the main pool.

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The water slide at night.

We probably went on the slide a half a dozen or so times (each) before we decided that we were done. After resting and freshing up we headed down to the Grotto restaurant in the hotel for a late dinner before heading outside to walk along Fremont Street. The major attraction along Fremont Street is not much to look at during the day, but at night when the sun goes down and they turn the lights on it is quite a sight. Over head for a couple city blocks is a lattice work “ceiling” that has millions of lights. It works like an enormas movie screen. Every time a new song or video started most people (including us) stopped walking and stood still staring up watching the pictures move over head.

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Nighttime on Fremont Street

Outside at night is brighter at night than it is during the day! Much brighter, which makes it very difficult to tell just how late it is! Yes, I realize they do that on purpose. Our second day was a lot like our first, although we slept in. We decided to try the buffet at The Golden Nugget for a later lunch. It was okay. We both mainly took one or two bites of a LOT of different things and I had fun taking photos of it with her iphone. We then spent a few hours hanging out at the pool, in the pool, on the slide, and in the hot tub before returning to our room to rest. Like the first night we went to Grotto for dinner.

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Our pizza dinner Tuesday night although we had the same Monday night as well. We had a lovely view of the pool area!

Afterwards we spend a couple hours in the casino….Want to know how we did? Well, you’ll just have to wait for my bext post to find out how much we actually spent and how much we won!

And I’m not done with my travels just yet, my best friend who went on this trip with me is graduating from medical school in a couple weeks so I’m heading to San Francisco! Since I have family there I’ll also have the chance to spend some time with my aunt, uncles, and cousins. For someone who hasn’t been able to travel in WAY too long, I’m certainly getting the opportunity to do a few things in a short period of time!

Have you been to Vegas? I’d love to hear about what you did while there!

~Jaclyn~

My Life Monday: Big Scare

I know it has been a couple weeks since I posted a My Life Monday article as I am recovering emotionally from an infection scare. Several weeks ago when I unwrapped my leg from the full leg length brace, I noticed a spot on top of my knee that had opened up along the incision. I was so terrified that another infection was brewing.

My worst fear was that I would need yet another surgery and possible lose my graft. I have gone through so much to get to where I am I just couldn’t bear the thought that I might have to start over. The PA (physician assistant) at my surgeon’s office said that I should continue on antibiotics preventatively, have lab work done, and that I had to come in weekly until it was healed. He also wasn’t sure it there was another infection starting or what was going on.

On my next visit the following week, the opening was definitely smaller and my lab results were fine. So he didn’t think it was an infection, but time would tell. Amazingly the very next day when I looked at my knee the wound had shrunk by almost half. And so by the time I saw my ID (infectious disease) doctor it was scabbed over.

Thankfully on my next visit to the surgeon’s office the wound had completely closed and he said that he’d start letting me bend my knee. Although the first increase on the brace is only 20 degrees which is really not a whole lot, but a start. I return again this week and should have my brace adjusted again, this time to 45 degrees. I’ll then continue to have visits every two weeks until after my brace is set at 90 degrees for two weeks and then should be able to finally ditch this brace.

If things continue to progress on schedule from now on I should be out of this necessary, but obnoxious brace right around Thanksgiving. While I feel quite relieved that this scare wasn’t an infection, I can’t help but feel a little bit anxious about my knee still. Even though there isn’t a rejection risk with this graft as there is with most other types of donor grafts, there is still an infection risk.

Eventually though if a biopsy of my kneecap or tendon were done it would show only my cells it’ll take about 5 years for that to be complete. But the longer I go with no problems, the lower the chance for any complications. So while I definitely feel I dodged a bullet this time I have a feeling I will still feel at least a little bit of unease still until a few more months have passed with no complications.

~Jaclyn~

Still Swollen

It’s been two weeks now and my left ankle/foot is still swollen and painful! Luckily, x-rays showed that I didn’t break anything but this has really slowed me down.

While I will do some walking and stair climbing when I’m at PT (physical therapy), I won’t do much walking otherwise right now as it is hurts too much. L I’m very grateful that my slip and fall didn’t do any damage to my knee or serious injury to my foot/ankle. I know it could have been a LOT worse. And the PA (physician assistant) did still progress my brace to be able to bend to a max of 75° at my visit just before Thanksgiving.
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