Review: Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask (plus an awesome discount!)

Oh, Valentia – how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Disclaimer: I was sent these products from Valentia with no compensation other than the product to test and review. The following post consists of my honest thoughts & opinions about the product!

Is that a Shakespeare quote? I think so. Okay, back on topic. Valentia reached out to me last week to see if I’d like to review their new Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask, and while my skin isn’t really that bad – usually just a pimple or two right before/during my period (thanks, hormones) – I have noticed that it’s getting less and less ‘perfect’ as I get older. Probably due to too much sugar and not enough H2O, but still. I’m always up for a new mask. Plus healthy looking skin was especially important leading up to this weekend – I had a gala to attend! (I promise it wasn’t as fancy-schmancy as it sounds, but I still wanted my skin to look as flawless as possible, because of course!)

Photo from Valentia
Photo from Valentia

I’ve used the mask 5 times so far, quickly learning not to use it two days in a row (it stung quite a bit as it started to dry and left a bit of a rash..which thankfully was gone by the morning.) The mask also has a very strong cranberry scent, so if that’s not an aroma you enjoy (or can at least tolerate,) the mask probably isn’t for you (unless you can hold your breath for 30 minutes straight.) The smell is thanks to all sorts of little cranberry fibers in the mask, which help to gently exfoliate your face as you take the mask off. I love anything exfoliating, so that’s definitely a plus in my book.

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Usually I don’t really see/notice a difference in my skin after using masks other than just feeling more moisturized or refreshed, but I’m pretty certain this detox mask helped eliminate the two pimples that appeared on my face during the week leading up to the Gala – it doesn’t get better than that! (Or does it? My skin has also been feeling smoother and brighter, and I’m hoping that in the long term it helps with the irritated skin around my nose. Fingers crossed.)

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I love that the ingredients in Valentia’s products are (mostly) things that the general population will recognize; it makes their products feel that much more accessible, while still presenting itself as a premium skincare brand. And hey, even if it’s a word/ingredient you don’t recognize, Valentia always includes a brief description to explain the benefits of each key ingredient on the side of the box:

Kaolin Clay: Clay minerals draw impurities, improve skin tone, and tighten pores for smoother firmer skin.

Plant Stem Cells: Naturally decreases the level of pro-aging toxins and works to soother the skin, reduce redness, and improve evenness.

Spirulina: A botanical stimulant full of vitamins that hydrates the skins surface and contributes to tissue regeneration of the skin.

CoQ10: Lessens the appearance of wrinkles by reducing free radical damage and stimulating health collagen production.

Hibiscus & Cranberry Fibers: Both lend their anti-aging properties to firm and reinforce the skin, helping to reduce the creation of new wrinkles.

See? Not intimidating at all. 98% natural ingredients, vegan friendly and cruelty free? I don’t think many beauty companies can even claim one of those things, much less all 3. You go, Valentia.

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My only qualm with the mask after a little over a week of use is that my skin does feel a bit dry after taking it off. Luckily I have a fantastic nighttime moisturizer that I just slather on before climbing into bed, and all is well by morning.

If you’ve made it this far, I probably know what you’re thinking: Claire, you mentioned a discount….?

You can purchase this mask right now from Amazon (with Prime/free shipping) or directly from Valentia’s website; both for $25. BUT if you wait a week, Valentia is launching an all new website – Valentia 2.0, and to celebrate they’re offering an awesome discount to all readers of my blog! From May 16th to June 1st, enter REFRESH35 during checkout and you’ll save 35% on your entire purchase through valentia.com. Check it out – it’s absolutely worth a look.

Oh, and I just Googled it – that was Shakespeare at the beginning! Sonnet 43 in case you were wondering 😉

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Review: When Masks


Alright, so full disclosure: I totally wasn’t 100% sober when I tried this mask. Apparently the two 4% abv grapefruit IPAs I had at trivia were enough to do me in on a Thursday night…which is all the more reason to use a mask, right?! I’m relatively new to the mask game – first using one the morning of our first day in Paris last may, after just finishing my senior year of art school. Art school finals + graduation + a 7 hour (?) flight to Paris followed by a full day in Disneyland Paris = a very tired Claire waking up the next day. Luckily I had a revitalizing mask to help my face look a bit more photogenic for photos by Notre Dame and shopping on the Champs Elysees. Since then, I’ve been sure to keep a couple masks on hand at all times…just in case.

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Despite the sunglasses, I promise I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for a fun-filled day in Paris!

SoOoOo, when When Masks offered me a sample of 2 masks in exchange for a review on my blog, I couldn’t say yes fast enough! They have 5 different kinds of masks, all with a soft, jelly like mask sheet made from coconut juice and infused with their respective serums.

Travelmate (When you’re on the road, and your skin has had a bit too much sun, wind, or dry air)

10PM (When you’ve pulled an all-nighter and need your skin to look rested and restored) 

Snow Magic (When you want clear, brighter, and more radiant looking skin) 

Glamour Base (When you want your makeup to look great and last longer)

The Last Choice (When your skin needs that extra glass of water)

We were allowed to pick the two that we wanted to try most, and I requested Travelmate and 10pm. I’m holding onto Travelmate til I feel like I REALLY need it…maybe after a long summer day by the lake…or I might hold on to it until Morocco if I can! (Let’s be real though, it’ll probably get used WAY before December/January.)

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Real talk: I really need Joe (or someone) to invent/design a mask warmer. The absolute worst part about putting a mask on is how COLD it is. No matter what benefits the mask on, putting the slimy, gooey, cold sheet on is the absolute worst. Ugh. I’ve contemplated just getting a baby wipe warmer to solve all of my problems. It’s srs biznss.

Even after the recommended 30 minutes of application, there was still some extra goo on the mask, so rather than letting it go to waste, I decided to share the goodness with my hubby. Every couple has their weird ‘thing’ – right? Welp, I give Joe my leftover masks. He doesn’t even have to deal with the gross coldness of the mask that I do…lucky him 😛 I’m so thoughtful! Heh.

On a more serious note – the mask really did work wonders, and my face looked completely refreshed in the morning, despite my body feeling otherwise. (No, I was not hungover; I’m just not a morning person, ever. In fact, I’ve perfected the ‘get out of bed, showered, and out the door in 20 minutes’ strategy. It is implemented most mornings.) If I could use one of these masks every night, I totally would. Unfortunately my bank account would have to disagree.

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BFF status?

Is it bad that I’m already obsessing over these masks and I’ve only used one? Merp. I might have a problem.

Alternatively, the masks might just be that good. You can find the masks in store and online at Sephora and Ulta, online at Birchbox, Anthropologie, or of course, on When’s website. Woop woop!

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Review: MAKE Lipstick and Eyeshadow


Disclaimer: I was sent these products from MAKE with no compensation other than the product to test and review. The following post consists of my honest thoughts & opinions about the product!

LBirchbox has introduced me to SO many new brands and products, it’s hard to keep them all straight in my head, but sometimes there’s a brand that is more memorable than others. Some hair products (a detangler and dry shampoo if you’d like specifics,) an eye cream, and an itty bitty, teeny tiny lipstick from MAKE to name a few.

That lipstick was memorable for more reasons than just it’s absurdly small size though, so when the opportunity arose to review a couple more products from MAKE, I jumped at the chance! I received their Silk Cream Lipstick in Taffy, and a Matte Finish Eyeshadow in Alabaster – and yes, they arrived and were just as comically small as the sample I received from Birchbox. But hey, whatever works!

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As an aside, I also love their branding. Simple, memorable..yassss. So good.

Okay, back to my review. I’ve somehow managed to not lose the lipstick I received from Birchbox, so I decided to compare the two (along with the eyeshadow….which I’m pretty convinced I’m too pale for.) Pretty, right? The lipsticks actually do double duty and are moisturizing too – wooo! I’m all about multi-functional makeup, and hate when my lips feel like they’re drying out. Not a problem with MAKE’s lipstick. It also stays on prettttty long. Definitely needs reapplication throughout the day, but it stays on better than some lip products I’ve tried in the past 🙂

Onto the eyeshadow. Hmm. Well, I’m very curious to see how it looks on other people that aren’t quite as….translucent as I am. I put it on rather heavily and could hardly tell I had eyeshadow on at all. Sad day. It could probably work well layered over (or under) something else, but I’ve been using it in the corners of my eyes to brighten them up a bit! That’s been working out pretty well 🙂 MAKE’s eyeshadows are crease-resistant and oil-free, with Vitamins C and E help to provide antioxidant protection for the eye area.

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After using the samples fairly consistently for about a week now, I think I’ve realized why the samples are so small – by the time they’re running out, you have already fallen in love with the products, so you’re tempted to hop on their website and buy the full size products! So sneaky, MAKE marketing team – I’m on to you 😉 (But it’s totally working, and you can get 20% off your order through 4/15 from www.makebeauty.com using the code MAKEYOURSELF)

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Finally! My Everyday Makeup.

Okay, I’m pretty sure I’ve been saying I’ll write a post about my “every day” makeup for a solid 4+ months now, but today’s the day – it’s actually happening! Now, I know I’ve given this disclaimer before, but I’m not a makeup pro by anyyyy stretch of the imagination… but thanks to a bit of pre-wedding coaching, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I’m doing, and I think it looks alright most days.

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There are plenty of days where all I do is fill in my eyebrows and maybe put on a bit of blush, but this is what my face looks like whenever I want to look presentable in public (work or going out with Joe/friends, primarily.) Nothing crazy, nothing sparkly, and pretty dang natural, but it works for me, and maybe if you get just as overwhelmed walking into a Sephora as I do, this will work for you too! 

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It’s really not a particularly complicated process, and that’s a lot coming from me.

  1. Caffeinated Eye Cream. I can thank Birchbox for this one. It smells like that fake popcorn smell. I have sleepy eyes in the morning, and this definitely helps.
  2. Garnier SkinActive Moisturizer. I got this recently from Crowdtap, and am loving it so far. Hooray for SPF! I skip this step sometimes if my face is feeling particularly oily, or if I know I’m getting photographed – SPF makes your face shiny in photos 🙂 
  3. NARS Foundation – [color] I know I’m supposed to use some fancy application tool to put this on, but I just pour a small dab onto my fingertips and put it on that way. I tried a (knockoff) beauty blender once and felt like I was wasting a lot of my foundation as it got sucked into the sponge. 
  4. Urban Decay Naked Concealer – The circles under my eyes are, and always have been out of control. This helps. It also helps with the reddish areas around the sides of my nose, and sometimes my chin if I’m feeling particularly ‘red’.
  5. NYX Eyebrow Pomade in Blonde. I could probably be making much better use of this stuff, but I do what feels right, and it seems to work out okay. I need to clean this brush/spoolie (?) more often than I do. 
  6. Mascara. I’m not picky about mascara at all, so when I recently ran out, Joe suggested I get the Star Wars branded kind from Covergirl…so I did! 
  7. Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soliel bronzer in Milk Chocolate. This stuff actually smells like chocolate and it’s amazing. I just put this on lightly down my temples, and a little below my cheek bones…and along my jawline if I’m feeling fancy. It kind of makes a 3 (I read that somewhere once. It works – I think!)
  8. Too Faced Love Flush blush in Baby Love. I just put this on my cheekbones and call it a day.
  9. Lips? This step varies. Lately I’ve been forgetting to put anything on my lips at all (like in the selfie I posted up there ^) but when I remember, I’m either wearing the lip color I got for my wedding: Tarte LipSurgence in Energy (not pictured) or any random lip color I can find that I’ve gotten from Birchbox. 

Hah. Me saying 9 steps isn’t complicated. Who am I? Really though I can shower, dry my hair, get dressed, and put makeup on in 20 minutes or less (probably/definitely less now that my hair is shorter, I haven’t had to test it yet) in the AM assuming nothing goes tragically wrong, like accidentally brushing my cheek with my mascara brush. It’s pretty great, and allows me stay low maintenance which I greatly appreciate! 🙂  

Do you have any go-to beauty products you wear daily? What about makeup remover? I’ve been using wipes from Trader Joe’s lately that Santa so kindly left in my stocking 😉

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