Lets Keep in Touch!

Thank you!  To everyone who follows and reads this blog!

Be sure to follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well! Because as much as I would love for this to be a full time job, it isn’t. I am a pretty busy person, a full time job, I just got married, and I’m constantly making food that sets me back on my diet plans…So I may forget to get recipes or outfit information up on the blog regularly.

Follow me and if you see something you need to know more about, let me know! Your comments can be the push I need to update more often!

  • Instagram: @VeryVictoriaKaye
  • Twitter: @VeryToriKaye
  • Facebook: Very Victoria Kaye

See something that looks tasty and you want the recipe! Just ask! Wonder where I got the pieces for my outfit of the day? Let me know!

Thank you again! And I hope you all pester me for recipes and outfits and more!

Serrano Pepper Margarita

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DRY Soda is amazing. It’s my guilty pleasure for soda. Made with just 4 ingredients, in incredible flavors, I never feel too guilty about choosing DRY over a glass of water.

This summer, they have brought out 2 new seasonal flavors:  Malala Watermelon and Serrano Pepper. Both are so great, but the Serrano Pepper flavor was perfect for taco night at my house, as a margarita!

DRY describes the Serrano flavor as “spicy, bright and savory.” While you won’t get a spicy, burning, tingle on your tongue, it has all the flavor of the pepper and it is most definitely savory. So, how to make it a grown up drink? Add tequila of course!

You will need:

  • 1 bottle (12 oz) DRY Soda Serrano Pepper -you will only need about 4-6 oz, so you can make more than one margarita with one bottle!
  • 3/4-1 oz lime juice
  • 3/4-1 oz triple sec
  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • Ice

Combine the lime juice, tequila and triple sec in a glass over ice. Shake well.

Fill the rest of the glass with the DRY Soda, top with a slice of lime and ta-da! A bright, spicy and savory margarita perfect for taco Tuesday, Thursday, any day!

But honestly, it’s also perfectly good straight out of the ice. cold. bottle.

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Stages of Getting a Significant Hair Cut…

I recently cut my hair.  A lot. A lot by my standards at least. I had long curly hair. It was fabulous. I got comments on it out in public. I have friends who would tell me that they loved it and were jealous. I loved my hair. But then…I cut it short.

My ends were so dry, I needed to refresh my style and my hair. I asked my hair dresser what she thought and she talked me into a LOB, a long bob. I say “talked me into it” because I originally asked for “just a little shorter, like a few inches.” I trust my girl, she is the best thing that ever happened to my hair. So I let her do her thing. She took 6 inches of the front, and 8 inches off the back. Everyone I saw after the cut told me they loved it…but I still had to go through a few emotional stages to fully embrace it. In fact, I’m still trying to fully embrace it, I don’t hate it…but it is still new enough to be an adjustment.

Stage 1: Excitement 

It’s something new! It’s so different! I’m a new lady, I got a new perk in my step!

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It looks so great when it’s got a brand new cut and a blow out from a professional!

Stage 2: Uneasiness…and learning to use less product

Ok, so after I washed my hair and it’s natural texture is back…uh-oh? Is it cute? I don’t know! Also, cutting off so much hair means I need to learn to use less stuff in my hair.

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You have to give it time…

Stage 3: Panic

OMG WHAT DID I DO?!  Where did my hair go. I look so weird. It’s not curling the same, WHY!!!!!!!!

No picture because I was so appalled at myself for cutting it so short.

*cue husband* “Honey, you look good! I love the shorter hair. It’s not ‘SHORT’ it is just short-er.”

Stage 4: Denial & Bargaining

Well, it looked good when it was straight…lets get a blowout and see if I can finally get on board. Maybe I can just straighten it every day, I used to in high school! Ugh, no, that was horrible on my hair and self confidence. I finally accepted the curls in college, I can’t go back!

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Stage 5: First “Good Hair Day” 

So the curliness is back! Its fun, it’s sassy! Lets see how long this lasts…it almost feels to good to be true.

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Stage 6: Acknowledgment that some things just aren’t possible anymore

One huge issue I have, I can’t put my hair into a pony tail! It’s too short! And I can’t do fishtail braids anymore, french braids barely reach the nape of my neck.

Good bye pretty bow hair….not that this was an every day hair style for me, but still, now it’s not a possibility at all!

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Stage 7: Embrace, but not entirely accept, the short-er-ness

Ok, so I’m feeling the short-ness. It’s sassy, not the classic look I used to aim for, it is different, but not bad. I’m “OK” with it.

 

 

 


 

I’m not exactly sure what Stage 8 will be. I’m not sure I’m there yet. It could be complete acceptance, it could be something else entirely. I’m not even sure if there is a Stage 8 and this is as far as I can go. Since my plan at this time is to grow my hair back out, this may just be a short lived issue. I don’t regret it…but I still look in the mirror somedays and think  “that isn’t how I want to look.”

What I do know is that this new cut needs time to mellow out after it dries and once I’ve styled it. It looks better at the end of day one and on day two after being slept on. I know that I may like it more now simply because it’s grown out in the month and a half since I’ve had it cut. I don’t hate it, but I’m also not in love with it.

The worst is over though! It’s growing out, so I can get back to my long locks or find a shorter one on the way that works with my curls. I got rid of so much dry, icky ends, so hopefully my hair can grow back healthier in time. So here is to trying something new and impulsive and fun and different!

 

 

 

Good Gluten Free Bread? Franz Gluten Free Bread Review

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Since going gluten free, I’ve been on a mission to replace what I once loved as a gluten loving human. I was a carb-a-holic, and I still am! I can still eat rice, corn, and potatoes, and finding gluten free pasta was easy. But bread, good bread, was a struggle.

I tired making my own, but the chemistry is so different when you remove gluten that I failed countless times. I was overwhelmed when I looked at the recipes where you had to mix 18 different types of flour for a loaf of bread. So I gave up. I gave in to the hard, dry, nasty gluten free bread that is most common. I pretty much stopped eating bread.

Whenever I would find a new brand of bread that was gluten free, I would give it a shot though. It was 2015 after all, gluten free things had to be getting better…and then I found Franz!

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I knew the Franz name, I’ve seen the trucks and the gluten full bread for years. Seeing a big name bakery go gluten free, that was exciting! I got a loaf and took it home to try out. Like most gluten free breads, it was sealed to preserve freshness inside the bag. So I sliced that sucker open and to my surprise, this was not like any other gluten free bread I had ever seen.

It was moist, it was soft, it was squishy! Not dry, not hard and brittle or crumbly. The pieces themselves are smaller than standard loaf sizes, and they are still fairly dense, but the taste and the texture is right on! After that day, Franz Gluten Free is my go-to loaf! So many options too! There is a white loaf, 7 grain, cinnamon raisin, even hamburger buns, and more! It works for sandwiches, toast, french toast and my husband even uses it to make crab cakes and polpetti (a kind of Italian meatloaf his Nona and family makes), anything that needs bread, this stuff handles. I even made my famous stuffing with it the last 2 years for Thanksgiving and no one could tell the difference between it and the gluten full bread from the times before!

The one down side is that breads do tend to mold pretty quickly. I’m not sure if it is the moisture factor, or what, but if you don’t put the loaf in the freezer or fridge within a few days, it will start to mold. I’ve lost many a loaf to this problem. I’ve tired different ways of storing it in the kitchen and no luck. Since I went so long without bread, I just don’t go through it like I used to, so keep that in mind if you aren’t going through a loaf a week, it may go bad before you finish it.

If you are new to the gluten free life, or just gave up like I did on good bread, give Franz a try!

Sheet Masks

Years ago, when I was working retail for L’Occitane, we had a customer come in looking for a “honey face mask”. When we showed her the jar of the honey mask, she shook her head and said “No, no, no, like a mask!” and explained that on the plane flight to and from Japan, she was given a mask of ours that had cut outs for the eyes, nose and mouth. She explained that you put it on your face and it had the ingredients soaked in the fabric to hydrate your skin without actually massaging it in and rinsing off the product.

According to her it was the most luxurious and amazing thing ever. L’Occitane was, and still is, a hugely popular multi-country business with exclusive products for each country and market. American’s just hadn’t been exposed too or embraced the sheet mask phenomenon that Asian countries had had for years. We had never had the product before, so we were unaware it was an offering in another country. Our customer made us promise to call her if we ever got the masks in and that we had to try them for ourselves. After that first encounter with that customer, I didn’t hear about these sorts of masks for a long while. A few years ago though, America caught the buzz…

Sheet masks are incredible. They are perfect for the lazy girl in all of us. I personally love them because traditional face masks can get obnoxious. If I do them after I take out my contacts, I have to worry about my glasses getting the gunk on them, I have to bend over the sink and rinse my face, water gets everywhere when you are trying to scrub your face, your back hurts from bending over, ugh. They are super helpful and important in good skin care, but they are messy and a pain. Have you ever done a “peel-off” face mask? You feel like an alien, ripping off your first layer of skin. But sheet masks take a lot of those issues and just eliminates them.

There are a few different types of sheet masks. They can be made out of cotton, hydrogel, bio-cellulose, and more. Each type has it’s pros and cons and what it is best for. When speaking with my dermatologist and even my skin trainer from Skoah, I’ve learned that they are mainly best for hydrating your skin. The serums and products that they use on them can help brighten, treat acne and pimples, pump fine lines, etc. But the main benefit is to hydrate your skin.

You just have to un-fold the mask, they typically come folded in a little sealed pouch, align the holes with your eyes, mouth, nose, and press onto your face. I’ve found the Sephora cotton sheet masks work great and stay put. They don’t slid around too much and I’ve been able to walk around and do chores with it on. Other masks, like the hydrogel ones like to slip more. So those I save for when I can lay down and relax for the 20 minutes.

After you have let it sit for the required time, all you have to do it take off the mask and press or massage the leftover serum/product into your skin. No need to rinse! I always follow with moisturizer to lock in the goodness and really give my skin a dose of happiness. To really get the most bang for you buck, I recommend putting on a serum BEFORE you do a sheet mask to push the serum in deeper and make it work harder for you.

Sheet masks can get expensive, even the Sephora branded ones are still $6.00 a pop. So I save them for my weekly skin care extravaganza night. So pick out a couple and give yourself a night to relax and treat your skin! I’ve been perusing the Sephora website for new ones to try, it’s a little bit addicting! These are so easy to use!

Give them a try! If you find any great ones, be sure to share!

Splender-Online Shopping with Benefits

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Splender is the best thing the to happen to online shopping since free shipping. Getting paid to buy what you need (or want)!

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I went to a college that in the middle of nowhere. Literally, when school wasn’t in session, the town lost almost half of its population. Now that may be exaggerating a little, but you get the point. I spent my college years perfecting my online shopping ability, and Splender just made it even better! How? How can online shopping get any better than picking out the cutest pair of shoes while in your P.Js drinking wine or being able to order a new bottle of foundation to arrive just when the old one runs out all without having to drive and find parking in the crazy-ness that is shopping malls? Splender makes it better by giving you a percentage back on all the money you spend when you shop through them at one of their partner stores. It is the same online shopping you love, with a paycheck…*praise hand emoji*

I can’t quite remember how I came across this website, but once I did, I decided it was worth a shot. They promised to A) Get me discounts that I wouldn’t usually be able to access and B) Give me a percentage back of what I spent when I shopped through them. I’ve been shopping through them for a few of my regular online purchases (mostly Sephora, lets be honest) for a few months now and I have no complaints! I’ve gotten discounts, been paid and I love it!

Shopping with Splender is so easy. Once you sign up, you can decide how you want to be paid, PayPal or by Check. I chose PayPal because its fast, safe and I can turn around and use that money when online shopping right away.

They have so many stores that they work with! Big, name brand stores like Sephora, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, etc… so many, you’ll have to check out their HUGE list of partners *HERE*. You will be hard pressed to NOT find a store that you love. Or even a store you’ve never shopped at before but you’ll discover you love it when you can get money back on that cute outfit…

Each store gets a few coupon deals and lets you know how much cash back you will earn on your purchase. There is a wide range, from 2% to 50% or more!  You have to visit the Splender website, and click through to the store you wish to shop at to get the credit when you buy something. Once you do, it will register on your account, usually within a few days. Then, after the required waiting period, (because in case you return something) you get paid! You can see all the answers to your most burning questions *HERE* 

They even have an app for your smart phone so you can shop from anywhere. And I can’t forget to mention their great search tool. At the top of their webpage, you can search for exactly what you are looking for, say a plaid midi skirt. Type that in and it will pull up every instance of “Plaid Midi Skirt” from their partnering stores. And if none of the stores have  it, they will show you on Amazon. You can’t get paid by shopping at Amazon, but they are just so amazing that they will help you find exactly what you are looking for.

With the search function, it will also tell you the prices at all the stores where the item is in stock. For instance, if I search for “Gultino”, one of my favorite gluten free brands, if an item is offered at 4 stores, they tell me which stores, what the price it, how much I will save, the % of cash back and a button to shop for that product immediately.

Splender is my favorite way to shop online now! It makes me feel better for being a VIB Rouge at Sephora, because I get money back every time I shop now! If I know I will need to buy more than 1 thing, I will order online through Splender so I can get cash back. My husband has even started using it for his own shopping habits like Barnes & Noble and computer accessories.

I highly recommend using Splender for shopping online! This is not a paid post either. I legitimately love this website and think you all should check it out! Use this code below and get $5 on top of the cash back you will earn on your first order of $50 or more.

http://fbuy.me/c8k0h

Winter Sunday Night Skincare

You know how on the first day of school, you would spend days trying to decide what to wear? As an adult, that worry of how I look, am I presenting myself properly, is still present. Now, it’s more like an every week sort of struggle. Monday comes around and no matter what I did (or didn’t) do over the weekend, I still want to look good. Skin care is my favorite thing to pamper myself with; so here is my “Winter Season Sunday Night Skincare Extravaganza-Bonanza” routine. I have dry, sensitive skin that likes to break out, know your own skin and make adjustments as necessary.

I’m really loving the Skoah line of skincare right now, so a lot of my preferred products in this are from Skoah, but you can substitute your favorite product!

  1. Remove makeup with Kleansing Lotion from Skoah
  2. Using my Clarisonic, wash skin with your favorite deep cleaning facial wash. I was given a sample of the *NEW* Charcoal Kleanser from Skoah and loved it!
  3. Spritz face with your favorite toner (I alternate between the Turbo Tonik and the Glow Tonik. Glow is an exfoliator, so if my skin is feeling sensitive or if I just exfoliated within a few days, I used the Turbo)
  4. Exfoliator Scrub or Mask: NOTE! If you are having a breakout, be extra careful with your exfoliator and scrubbing your face. You can move the oil around your face and create more pimples. So if you have active pimples, don’t use a scrubbing exfoliator and be very gentle when washing your face. If you usually use a Clarisonic to wash your face, maybe skip that. Use a wash cloth or your *clean* hands instead.
    1. I love the Aha mask from Skoah. Leave on for the recommended time, or if you have sensitive skin, shorter. This will help prep your skin for the serums and the moisturizer on the way! I use this when I have active pimples on my face.
    2. For a scrub, I have been using L’Occitane’s Immortelle Brightening Instant Exfoliator for years. It is like getting a microdermabrasion at home!
  5. Skin Boost Serum or your favorite treatment serum. If I am having a break out, I will use the Murad Acne Clearing Solution to help clear up my skin.
    1. Applying a serum before a face mask is key. The serum will get pushed in deeper and will have better results if you do them first and then a mask.
  6. Sheet mask of your choice! I LOVE sheet masks. They are the ultimate in lazy girl skin care. They can be super hydrating and so easy to use. I use the Sephora brand once regularly and they stay on great. I can walk around the house, do chores (blog…) almost anything. Or, to make it a super duper relaxing night, just chill out with Netflix, a book, or relax in bed. Leave on for the instructed time, then just remove the mask, massage the leftover product into your face and you’re done! No need to rinse! Because after all that washing off your makeup, washing your face, and the other non-sheet masks you have to rinse off, it’s nice not to have to bend over the sink….again.
  7. Follow with your favorite moisturizer. I will switch between the Skoah Hydradew mask (just put a smaller amount on your face than you would if you were using it as a mask) or the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief.
  8. Top it all off with your favorite eye cream and you are done!

Your skin will be all plumped, moisturized and ready for the week ahead of you!

List & links of my preferred products:

Heart Shaped Swedish Pancakes

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#LaterPost…is that a thing? Like #Latergram? Moving on to the food part of our rambling:

It is well past Valentine’s Day, but I thought I would share my husbands and my’s Valentine’s Day breakfast.

Since we’ve recently mastered Swedish Pancakes, I decided to experiment (again) in the kitchen with their shape and what we could do with them.

I got an adorable 3 piece pancake set from Kate Spade for the wedding (my sorority sisters know me so well) and it came with a heart shaped pancake form. I made a batch of the Gluten Free Swedish Pancake batter and decided to try and make heart shaped ones!

Once you make the batter, and heat up your pan (on medium), spritz the heart form and the pan with non-stick spray.

2-3 tablespoons of batter is just about perfect for the size of the form. Spoon the batter into the form, I found there was really no need to tilt the pan, but you can if you need.

Cook for 2-3 min. Carefully remove the form. You may need to use a knife to separate the batter from the metal, but it comes off super easily.

Carefully flip, cook a few more minutes and transfer to a plate. No need to roll these because then you would just ruin the heart shape. And no one wants a broken heart…

We layered these with jam made a lovely little “short stack” of heart shaped Swedish Pancakes! If you want to see the little video of how we did the stack, check that out here!IMG_6938

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Gluten Free Swedish Pancakes

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Alrighty, so I’m going to mention a Seattle restaurant, that if you have been to, CONGRATS! If you haven’t, make the trip, it’s worth it.

Portage Bay Cafe is one of those places that people love to talk about. It’s a great breakfast-brunch-lunch place with a few different locations around Seattle and it has a killer menu that is always in flux do to local ingredients and the seasons. One of the newer locations is within walking distance from my apartment, so Alex and I have become huge fans.

The last time we went, I was hooked by the Lingonberry Swedish Pancakes. I love Lingonberry anything (thank you IKEA for introducing us). When I saw the “Gluten Free” note on the menu beside it, I was sold! Of course they didn’t disappoint. The order comes with a trip to the fresh fruit, whipped cream and syrup bar, but I never left my chair. The light and fluffy pancakes had lingonberry sauce and a butter with even more lingonberries mixed in. It was the perfect sweet & tart combination a brunch lover needs! Since I can’t eat at Portage Bay everyday, I decided to try and replicate the perfect gluten free Swedish pancakes at home. I do believe (since my husband requests them every weekend now) I have succeeded! These are gluten & dairy free!

You will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Almond-Coconut Blend)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbs gluten free flour (Not all flours work! I’ve used both Better Batter and Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour with great results. But my Namaste flour was too heavy and makes a horrible batter for these)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs melted butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (optional, if you want your batter to be a bit more sweet)

*I make my batter in my Kitchen Aid Blender, it’s easier to get all the lumps out of the batter (gluten free flour is so clumpy…rude). But you can make this in a bowl with a whisk as well, just be sure to really get all the lumps out!

Whisk (or mix on the blender) the eggs and milk together

Add in the flour, salt & butter (and vanilla if you so desire), and mix well. The batter will be very runny, which is good!

You can also mix everything together in a bowl first and then put it in the blender for the final touch, but whatever works for you, do that. As long as you get tasty pancakes, who cares?!

I have a crepe pan, so that is my pan of choice, but any small, non-stick frying pan will work.

Heat pan over medium heat until hot. Spritz with a little bit of non-stick cooking spray (or butter…)

Carefully pour 1/3 cup of batter on the pan, tilting and rolling the batter around to fully coat the bottom.

Cook 2-3 minutes until the bubbles stop and the batter is easily lifted off the pan. Gently flip. You may have to practice this move. These will be very delicate and you (like me and my husband) may have to get a couple ugly ones before you have a perfect flip.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Now, you can either fill with goodies while it is cooking, or you can transfer to a plate, cook up a bunch more and then fill later. Either way works. Again, these can be delicate, so take your time when handing them.

You’ll have to practice your perfect technique for rolling up the pancakes, I tend to flip one side up and over the filling, then roll it over again onto the other half.

Have fun with it! Savory or sweet, these are bound to be a family favorite! If you come up with a great combination, be sure to share!

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Swedish pancakes filled (and topped) with jam and a dusting of powdered sugar

I used the incredible White Church Co.’s Pinot Noir Jam for these, I highly recommend! They even re-grammed my image on Instagram, check that out (here)!

 

Skoah: Kleansing Lotion

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As a girl who loves makeup and skin care, I know how important it is to get all the makeup off and give your skin a good cleaning every night.

I am a fan of a double cleanse in the evening, one to take off all my makeup, and one to actually cleanse my skin and get rid of dirt and gunk in my pores. I had been using makeup removing wipes because they were quick and easy, but I noticed my skin was getting dry and irritated. I’d also been told by every skin trainer I’d seen at Skoah that my skin was “looking a little dry…” it just wasn’t happy with my current routine. I’m not a teenager with oily skin anymore, apparently my “adult” skin is dry! Who knew?! Skin changes over time, so pay attention to it!

At one of my facials with Skoah, I asked what they recommended to help remove makeup and not dry out my skin. I saw they had Kold Cream (my mother and grandmother always used a cold cream to remove makeup, #oldschool!) , but my skin trainer recommended the Kleansing Lotion. They describe it as “a soothing, lotion to gently lift dirt and oil. Highly refined olive oil hydrates and soothes skin.” It sure sounded great to me!

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My skin trainer said to put it on when my skin was dry to really break up the makeup and rinse well. I could then follow up with another round of the Kleansing Lotion or whatever face wash I wanted to use.

No more dry, red, irritated skin for me! After I washed my face with the Kleansing Lotion (it even helped remove my mascara!) I noticed my skin wasn’t feeling as tight and dry like it used too. I used to think that feeling meant my skin was all nice and clean and oil free, but now I know that just meant my skin was pissed off at me. Now I can remove my makeup and know that my skin is getting a dose of moisture at the same time. Which is a total win, because I’m still not used to having “dry” skin…welcome to adulthood I guess!

So go get a facial! I love the Power Facial (AMAZING massage included), and ask your skin trainer ALL the crazy questions about your skin you can think of, I’m sure they will be able to get you to your best skin ever.

Skoah: Skin Boost Serum

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I am a huge fan of skin care, and Skoah facials and products have been an amazing addition to my routine. I started going to Skoah for facials, and have slowly started to incorporate the products into my daily skincare routine. My latest love is the Skin Boost Serum. 

I have pretty pale and fair skin, so every time I got a pimple, no matter how big, I would get a scar, a lovely little red dot. I am always on the look out for products that would help my skin get rid of those. At one of my facials with Skoah, they used the Skin Boost Serum on me with the explanation that it would help my skin turn over cells faster and get rid of those acne scars as well as just evening out my skin tone in general. I loved how my skin felt after the facial, so I got a bottle!

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This is one of those times where I wish I would have taken a before picture so you could see how much better my skin looks now that I’ve been using this product. I was told that I would need to use it for a least a month to see any real results, and I have to say, I’m glad I stuck with it!

I use 2 pumps into the palm of my hand then press all over into my skin. I lightly tap or press the product into my face to help it absorb. I follow with my moisturizer and I do this twice a day, morning and night. After a month I really did see a difference! My skin was perkier, my scars have faded, my skin tone is smoother in general. I’ve been using twice daily for a few months now, and it’s only getting better. Granted, I still get pimples, so while the scars are fading, my skin likes to make new ones, but the serum is really helping fade those as soon as they start. I’ve even been using less foundation and concealer.

The price tag can be a little scary at first, it is $88 for a 1.7 fl oz bottle. It really is worth it! It works and it lasts! I’ve been using the same bottle for a little over 4 months now, and that is with me using 2 pumps twice a day and making my husband use it sometimes. So you really are getting your money worth.

So if your skin is in need of a boost…try out Skoah’s Skin Boost Serum. It is now a must have in my skin care regimen.