Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fun & Fabulous Face Masks: Review of Montagne Jeunesse

The triple “F” of skincare! Fun, fabulous, and for the face! I recently had the pleasure of trying two Montagne Jeunesse face masks; technically, one “cream” type of mask and one, literal, face mask… Halloween-like! Before I dive into the review of each individual mask, I want to review the company itself. I’ve personally seen these masks at department stores and thought they were cheap, foreign, and probably worthless. I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately, that is what I perceived at first glance; especially, since I could not even pronounce the name of the product!

I received my first Montagne Jeunesse face mask (Glacial Clay Spa) via Beauty Box 5; a monthly beauty box subscription service in which I paid $12 per month to receive a handful of surprise beauty-related products.

I was actually lucky enough to score the second mask (Strawberry Soufflé) FREE by being a member of PINCHme. PINCHme is fun site that promotes brands by offering their members free samples every other Tuesday. All you have to do to receive the samples is: sign up and be hawk-like on sample day… literally, be at your computer precisely at 9am PST to claim any available samples. Shipping and handling is free and all they ask that you to do is review the product after you try it out; great deal!

Side Note: Although I refer to the masks as “samples”, they were actually full size, one-time use masks.

Before writing this review, I decided to investigate the Montagne Jeunesse company more; staring with their unusual name. I had a feeling it was “Frenchy,” so I turned to Google Translate; the French translation is: youth mountain. When digging deeper into this company, the name actually made sense! I won’t bore you with all of the details, but if you’re extremely interested, click here.

Essentially, the company was established in the mid-80’s by a vegetarian. They make wholesome, eco-friendly, veggie friendly, and animal cruelty free cosmetic products. I was actually blown away by their story and all that they’ve done for the environment. My only criticism is to possibly review their packaging; perhaps, make it appear more up-scale and appeal to a larger non-foreign educated (like myself) market. I also wish that their masks (the cream versions) came in larger bottles instead of the one-time use packages… but maybe that’s not eco-friendly?

Okay, enough banter… onto the review!

Glacial Clay Spa

Give your skin the ride of its life and feel the natural rush of cooling Glacial Clay cleanse your pores to the core. Anti-oxidant rich Red Grape and Arctic Cloudberry juices from the glacial heights of Scandinavia work their magic to help maintain skins natural barrier. – Taken directly from their website.

This “mask,” was literally that! Prior to opening the package, I was expecting a cream-like substance to rub onto my face; that was not the case! It was a cloth-like mask that you were to apply to a wet / cleansed face…. Such a weird experience! I know that most face masks make women look frightening, but can you imagine this beautimous face coming up to your door at night?!

 
So scary!

After getting over the shock of my appearance, the mask was actually quite relaxing. It provided a nice cooling sensation and was perfect to use while in the tub. After waiting the required 10-15 minutes for the mask to work its magic, it actually began to semi-harden onto my face (but only slightly). Once the time was up, I gently removed the mask, rinsed my face, and patted dry. These were the results!


 
I was SHOCKED at how effective the mask was. My face felt remarkably smooth, my pores were visibly smaller, and I felt extremely clean. I didn’t particularly enjoy the application process, but the results were phenomenal and I would most definitely repurchase this mask in the future. It would not be a regular cosmetic purchase as it is only a one-time use product, and I don’t particularly care for one-time use only products, but for a nice relaxing night-in, or a ladies night, this is a definite must have! The retail price of this mask is $2.49.


Strawberry Soufflé

Cleanse your skin with [the] Strawberry Soufflé face masque as part of your regime for a purified, toned smooth complexion. Loaded with natural goodness which leaves skin hydrated and refreshed allow your skin to breathe with soothing Aloe Vera and calming Vanilla. Experience the sensation of sheer Strawberry delight and enjoy deep cleansed, healthier skin.  – Taken directly from their website.


This mask was exactly what I thought it was going to be, a creamy-like substance that you apply to your neck and face. I ensured that my face was cleansed prior to using the mask; as the instructions stated. If used sparingly, you may be able to get two uses out of one packet, but I lathered this puppy on my entire neck and face area.

As soon as I opened the package, I could smell the delicious scent of strawberries and cream. The scent was so intense (but a good intense) that my man-friend could smell it from the hallway. It smelled as if I scooped strawberry ice cream all over my face. Needless to say, the aroma during my mask session was impeccably delicious!


After the 10-15 minute magic session, I rinsed my face and patted dry. I felt hydrated, toned, and extremely smooth. Check out the results!

 
If you want a luxurious pampering session that is sure to leave your face feeling fresh and your mind relaxed from the overwhelmingly fresh scent of strawberries, then you must try this mask! It retails for $1.99, so it’s actually not that pricey, but again, I’m not a fan of one-time use products. I wish that they sold this in a jar or tube so I could get multiple uses out of my purchase, but I will be buying this again in the future.

Last, but not least, I was able to find a pretty schweet bundle deal on MontagneJeunesse face products! For only $15, you can score 10 of their most popular “fruity facial products”. 

Have you tried any Montagne Jeunesse products? What did you think? Am I the only one who thinks their packaging could be improved upon?
 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Love With Food: October 2013 Tasting Box


This is LONG overdue, but here is the follow-up review of my October 2013 Tasting Box from Love with Food. If you’d like to take a peek at my unboxing video, sure to stir up a few laughs, then watch the video below.

 

dang: toasted coconut chips

 

 
OMGosh! This was absolutely delicious!!! I could not stop snacking on these crunchy, sweet, with a pinch of salt, treats. I’m glad the bag only had two servings and that I was able to share this delicious concoction with my coworkers; because I would have devoured whatever size bag was sat in front of me. However, with that said, it is also very decadent and rich tasting, so I only recommend having 1-2 servings (otherwise, your tummy might regret it). To me, it wasn’t overpowering with coconut, but it did leave a nice coconut-y taste in my mouth. It was very buttery and sumptuous and I enjoyed the crunchy, yet smooth chip-like texture.

The bag promotes that it is: “all natural, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, no cholesterol, and a good source of fiber”. Normally when something indicates that it is that healthy, I’m expecting very little to no flavor and/or a very unusual taste; however, that was NOT the case with this snack. If you’re looking for a unique and “Hawaiian-like” treat that’s most likely better for you than candy or chips, then give this a try!

WARNING: They are addicting and slightly high in calories (115 calories for ½ of the depicted bag). If you purchase this product you will probably fall in love with them (as I did) but portion out your serving BEFORE munching! :)

 

happy squeeze: Fruit & Veggie Twist (Blueberry, Apple, and Purple Carrot)

 
First of all, I LOVE the packaging! I am a complete sucker for cute / unique packages; not to mention, being able to squeeze your fruits and veggies on the go is quite clever. When I first saw this pouch, I figured that the product would be like a puree (almost an applesauce-like texture), but after feeling the pouch, it seemed much more fluid and I assumed it would be more like a juice. After actually opening the product and giving it a squeeze, my first assumption was right; it was a very liquid-y puree (thinner than applesauce, but not quite a juice).  

The taste was actually quite delicious. I could definitely taste the blueberry and apple flavors and I felt a little more energetic after consuming the pouch (maybe it was in my imagination?). I prefer to eat my fruits / veggies whole or in a homemade smoothie, but for kids or those who are anti-fruits and veggies, this is a great solution! Easy, super portable, and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated until opened (but you WILL finish this in one sitting/serving, so a refrigerator is probably not needed).

I could easily see this as something you would pack in a kid’s lunch, bring camping, bike riding, hiking, etc. It’s quite low on calories (only 60 in the depicted pouch), but high on carbs and sugars (13g of carbs and 10g of sugar); but maybe that’s comparable to real fruit? The pouch promotes that it is: “always organic, doctor recommended, optimally formulated (whatever that means), minimal processing, and easy BPA FREE portable package”.

 

GLEE Gum (Triple Berry)

 
Another adorable package! I’m not sure if their gum normally comes in such teeny-weeny boxes, but these sample-sized boxes sure are cute! The flavor was quite enjoyable, but unfortunately it did not last very long and I needed several pieces to fulfill my chewing needs. I was honestly expecting a funky texture and for the gumminess to seize up, but that was not the case. It was a tasty treat and the elasticity of the gum lasted on and on and on; which is what I prefer.

The brand boasts that it is: “made with Chicle for rainforest conversation, natural, GMO-free, aspartame-free, uses brown rice and cane sugar as a coating, and (here’s my favorite part) the gum is sweetened with cane sugar traded in compliance with Fairtrade Standards”. Insert happy face here!

Although this was a fun gum to try and for all those health-nut / nature-lovers out there, this would be an awesome addition into a gift basket, I most likely will not be repurchasing this product. I actually prefer sugar-free gum (yes, aspartame filled!) as it is ZERO calories (usually) and my teeth prefer that as well.

 

Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candy

 
Let me first say… I am NOT a hard candy fan, I’m more of a chocolate / gummy lover. But holy heck! These were “da bomb!” I was soooo interested in these little candies that I went to Torie & Howards website to find out a little bit more information on these delectable delights.

I was gifted with the “D’anjou Pear & Cinnamon” flavor; and these sucky-candy are packed full of “the sweet flavor of ripe d’anjou pears with the luxuriousness of Ceylon cinnamon”… Yummy! These are not your typical sucky-candies. These put your average hard candies to shame and come in amazing “adult-like” / gourmet flavors.  The company states that their candies contain: “organic sugar, organic rice syrup, non-GMO citric acid, and natural flavors. It does NOT have: artificial dyes, nuts, GMOs, corn syrup, gluten, wheat, casein, soy, or dairy” (Phew! Long list….).

I would not buy these as an everyday treat (as I am not normally a fan of hard candy) but these would be fun during the fall / winter (cold season) and as an addition to gift baskets or stocking stuffers! In case you’re not a fan of pear or cinnamon, they have three other tantalizing flavors: (1) pomegranate & nectarine, (2) blood orange & honey, (3) pink grapefruit & tupelo honey. These all sound amazing and I may end up purchasing some for future holidays.

 

PIXO Pearls Original with Gingras XO Apple Cider Vinegar from Vinaigerie Gingras

 
Okay, I had NO IDEA what the heck these little balls were, but I am always willing to try something once. Before I popped open this puppy, I turned to the All-Mighty Google! According to the company’s website: “PIXO Pearls Original are pearls of Gingras XO Apple Cider Vinegar (a fancy-shmancy apple cider vinegar) encapsulated in an alginate (seaweed) film”… interesting. Apparently, they are made using molecular gastronomy… as soon as I read that, I became instantly excited. I LOVE cooking and am addicted to almost every Food Network TV show. Most of the new up-and-coming chefs, who are into making food modern, dabble in molecular gastronomy and I’ve always wondered if that type of food tasted different. NOW I GET TO TRY SOME!!!

Each “pearl” is supposed to explode with an abundance of flavor. Because of their cuteness, the pearls also allow you to make gourmet-looking food at home. The website suggests: “sprinkling them on a salad, using them the spruce up a canapé (not sure what this is) or even to add a bite to a cocktail. I decided to check out their recommended EASY recipes. (I ain’t got no time to fuss around with these balls).

The fastest recipe I found, that still looked tasty, was “Pixo, Crackers, and Cheese;” easy enough!

Ingredients
  • 1 pack of your favorite crackers
  • Your favorite cheese
  • 1 sachet of Pixo Pearls – original

Directions

Cover your cracker in cheese, add 3-5 pearls to each cracker. BOOM! You’re done!

These were absolutely DIVINE! I am a huge fan of cheese and crackers, the more gourmet / funky tasting the cheese, the better! I could completely see myself hosting a nice meat / cheese night with my ladies and adding these fancy balls onto each cracker/cheese combo. I didn’t try adding them into anything else, but I plan on buying additional balls in the future. Oh the ball-sibilities!

If you’re into trying something fun, new, and exciting, give these pearls a try! You can check them out here! (They also have Raspberry Pearls!)



Chocolate Pizzelle Crisps
 
 
My first bite of these was not pleasant. These crisps were very bitter and lacked any flavor whatsoever…. At first. After I ate a few, I started to taste a hint of chocolate / sweetness. The crispness of the pizzelle was on-point and all of the crisps were a nice full-size. I could easily see this as being a great topping to frozen yogurt or ice cream or even a quick treat by themselves. However, they’re not for me. I prefer my sweet snack to be a little more sweet. I would buy this as an addition to a health-nut’s gift basket, as the crisp did taste good, but I wouldn’t personally purchase this for myself in the future.



New World Caveman Cookies
 
I’m sorry… but this “cookie” was disgusting! Kudos for it being all natural and healthy, but it had the weirdest flavor and left my mouth full of a nasty after-taste. The texture was exceptionally moist, so points for that, but I was not at all impressed. I will NOT be buying this in the future or putting anything “caveman-like” in my mouth again.
 
 
Kind Snacks Mini Bar

I failed miserably with this item… I didn’t take a picture, but you can check out what the bar looks like by viewing the October Tasting Box picture, courtesy of the Love With Food website below:

 
This bar didn’t rock my world. It tasted like any other healthy granola / snack bar on the market. Don’t get me wrong, it did taste good, but it did not wow me. I had no problem eating the bar, but I do not foresee myself repurchasing this again in the future.

Have you tried any of the products reviewed in this post? Do you currently subscribe to or want to subscribe to Love With Food? I'm dying to know!

 

 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fan-tabulous Fiber One Protein Cereal! Let the Munching Begin!


 
Some of you who also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook know that I’m a BzzAgent. What does this mean? I am able to test out new products on the market for free (or by receiving a discount) and in return I provide honest feedback and naturally discuss the products with my family and friends.

Recently I was lucky enough to be selected to join the Fiber One Protein Cereal campaign and via General Mills and the BzzAgent organization, I was able to receive two FREE boxes of the NEW Fiber One Protein Cereal; Cranberry Almond and Maple Brown Sugar.

As I just received my BzzKit last night, I have only had the pleasure of tasting the Maple Brown Sugar flavor (thus far). I normally prefer “sugary” cereals and therefore, I was skeptical about the taste and texture. But I forged ahead, took my first spoonful, and I did not look back! My man-friend and I each ate... more like DEVOURED one bowl each. LOL!

The Maple Brown Sugar is absolutely scrumptious! It is full of granola, pecans and has a delicious taste of maple brown sugar running throughout the entire cereal (hence the name). It was extremely crunchy, but not to the point of that gravel cereal (Grape Nuts), and the taste was amazing! I literally could not believe that what I was eating contained 10g of protein (including the milk) and 20% of my daily fiber!

I cannot WAIT to try the Cranberry Almond flavor, but I want to finish the Maple Brown Sugar box first; which shouldn’t take very long. My man-friend LOVES oatmeal (he could literally eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and he plans on taking some of the cereal and adding it to his oatmeal for a little bit of texture. I’ll be sure to let ya’ll know what he thinks, but I think this cereal would be good on just about anything! Trail mix add-in, ice cream topper… oh, the possibilities are endless!
 
Please comment down below if you've ever tried this cereal and/or any other Fiber One products. The first person to leave a comment will score a sweet $1.00 off ONE box of Fiber One Protein cereal; courtesy of General Mills.
 
Just be sure to message me your mailing address! Feel free to contact me on one of my other social media sites or directly via email (a.eyler06@gmail.com).
 
PS: If you didn't make it in time to score the coupon, follow me on my other social media sites (listed in the "About Me" section on my blog) as I will be giving out more in the upcoming weeks.
 
Thank you, lovelies!