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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Must Have Brush!! Sigma's F80 Flat Kabuki Brush

Must Have Brush!! Sigma's F80 Flat Kabuki Brush

Hello darlings!! Hope everyone had a nice long weekend. It was such a struggle to get back into the office today. I absolutely love being on vacation. Hahahaha.

I made an super awesome discovery recently and I really can't get enough of it. I really think if I just had one brush to use for the rest of my life…this brush would be it. I was reading posts from two of my fave fashion bloggers (here and here) and they mentioned this brush and since it was reasonably priced, I said why not?

Sigma's F80 Flat Kabuki Brush is absolutely the best foundation brush I've ever used. This is also my first Sigma brush purchase and even though I have heard nothing but amazing things, I still didn't know what to expect. Was it all hype? I am so pleased to say this brush was worth every penny of the $24. I actually think it's reasonably priced. I have spent way more on Sephora, MAC, and Hourglass brushes and I didn't love them as much as this brush.

This Kabuki brush is amazing quality and I was surprised with the excellent quality of the handle. It's medium thickness but well assembled and you feel like you can get a good grip and really get into it without worrying about the brush falling apart on you. Not that I am super rough but I have tried crappy and cheap brushes that once you put it in your hand, you fee like it's going to fall apart on you!! This handle is absolutely perfect.

The bristles are flat, dense, and super soft. They just create the most perfect airbrush finish. I have used this brush to apply my Tarte Amazonian foundation, Estee Lauder's Double Wear foundation, Make Up Forever HD foundation, and Baremineral's Complexion Rescue, and I have gotten perfect result with every single foundation every single time. (Yes, I wear a lot of different foundations!!) This brush definitely doesn't "eat" my foundation and is will also make you use less of the product. I still haven't used it yet for powder foundation but I will be trying it out soon once my Estee Lauder Double Wear Powder Foundation arrives. This brush blends everything out so easily and smooth that it helps you build your foundation. It's very easy to use to get a more sheer and light coverage or you can be heavier and get a full coverage look. (You know I love my full coverage!) The bristle size is also amazing. It's perfectly sized so you can bend the bristles a bit to get into hard to reach places as well as use the entire brush to cover a good deal of your face.

After each application, I clean my brush with my Avon makeup removing wipes and every Sunday I use my Sigma brush cleaning glove to really do a deep clean! After 3 months, my brush still looks brand new. I am 100% on the Sigma brush bandwagon and I can't wait to make more purchases.

Have you tried Sigma's F80 Flat Kabuki brush? How do you apply your foundation?


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Essie's Gel Setter Top Coat

Essie's Gel Setter Top Coat

Hello darlings!! Hope everyone's having a great weekend! For all my American readers...Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

A friend of mine told me about this new gel top coat she was loving and told me to give it a try. So of course I did and now I'm sharing the secrets with you all as well. 

I love getting my weekly manicures. Over the years I've changed the type of nail treatments I do at the salon. At least I used to get acrylic and then I switched to gel manicures and now I just get regular manicures. I personally feel like acrylic and gel manicures do too much damage to my nails and if I didn't continue with treatment, my nails were totally broken, thin, and weak. So after 12 years of damaging my nails, I decided to go natural. (Eeeekkkk!) It wasn't easy and it took a long time for my damage nails to grow out and be replaced with "strong" nails but they did and I'm so happy I'm nicer to my nails. I still go back to the salon for weekly manicures but there's no damage and if I skip a week at the salon, my nails still look good instead of damaged and broken. 

So when Marisa told me to try Essie's Gel Setter Top Coat, I was intrigued. She told me that I should bring this top coat to the salon with me and ask them to use it as my top coat instead of their regular nail polish. Also, about three days into my manicure, I should reapply one top coat and my manicure will definitely last an entire week or a bit longer. No lamps needed and use just like a regular nail polish. Well she was right!!!! I picked up a bottle at Target for $10 and it was money well spent. 

The first time I applied the top coat, it made my nail shine, strong, and super chic. My nails look super smooth and they dried fast. I think it's also important to be realistic about this top coat. I wash my hands a few times a day but I work mostly on my computer and my nails aren't softened by staying in water for long periods of time. So if your hands are in water for long periods of time or if your day job is extremely hard on your hands, I am not sure if you'll get the same results as me. Just be realistic about your expectations. Also, make sure to apply the top coat correctly. By this I mean...

1. Wash your hands thoroughly and make sure your nails are dry before you start your manicure.

2. Apply Essie's base coat and make sure it dries completely before you start applying color.

3. Apply two coats of your fave Essie nail polish but also make sure you take time to dry before you apply each coat.

4. Wait 10 minutes and apply the Gel Setter top coat.

5. Wait 3 to 4 days and then apply another thin layer of top coat.

6. You should have a manicure that lasts 7 days!

So this may be up for debate but my salon said that it's important to use the same brand for your base coat, nail polish, and top coat. They said that each brand use chemicals that work for their own products so they can last the longest. Honestly, I'm not sure if I really believe this and I just use whatever nail polish I like and use the Essie base and top coat. I personally can't purchase multiple top coats to match brands. So far my manicures are still lasting even though I am "mixing brands".

Have you tried Essie's Gel Setter Top Coat? What's your favorite products to use for a manicure?


Monday, May 23, 2016

Burt's Bees Red Dahlia Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Red Dahlia Tinted Lip Balm

I have a new love and must have beauty staple....Burt's Bees Red Dahlia Tinted Lip Balm. Not only is this product but it's also $4.50 at Walmart. Wanna hear more? Yea me too. 

One of my buddies really loves Burt's Bees lip balm and truly swears by it. So I decided to give their regular lip balm a go and I must admit...I wasn't super impressed. It was just ok but I was still going to stick with my Kiehl's lip balm #1 that I have been using for over 10 years. I didn't find it helpful for my extremely dry lips from the NYC Winter cold. So when I received the tinted lip balm in my April's Birchbox, I didn't know what to expect. I decided to give the tinted lip balm a try because what did I really have to lose. I had absolutely no expectation and turns out I was wowed! (I love it when that happens!!) 

Burt's Bees Red Dahlia Tinted Lip Balm Swatch

Let's chat about the color....the color is super subtle and sheer but perfect for daily wear. It leaves my lips with a hint of dark pink. Also, when I apply lipstick, sometimes I don't always have a mirror available for touch ups so I like grabbing this tinted lip balm because I can apply it without a mirror and it also brings out more of the color from my lipstick. So even though this is a tinted lip balm, with the leftover residue from my lipstick, it creates the perfect lip. 

This tinted lip balm is moisturizing, lightweight, odorless, long-lasting, and creates the perfect shade for all us beauty fans on the run. It's made of shea butter, botanical waxes, and is 100% natural. It claims to leave your lips moist for 8 hours. I wouldn't say it leaves my lips moist for that long so I think for the price, it's definitely worth giving it a try. For some weird reason, where I felt the regular lip balm made my lips dry, this tinted version hydrates my lips. Don't ask me how that's happened! If you wear Chapstick on a daily basis but want to add a little color to your lips, I think this is a great alternative. It comes in 6 lovely shades so you have some options!

Have you tried this gem?


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Recent Estee Lauder Purchases

Estee Lauder Cosmetics

Happy Sunday darlings!! Hope you're all having a beautiful weekend. This weekend has been a whirlwind for me. My brother's birthday was on Friday so we had family over which is always a blast. Then yesterday was my 4 year old niece's ballet recital and it was just too cute for words. My niece Sofia was brilliant and such a natural star. So while I was running around, of course I picked up a few makeup goodies since I had to go to the mall for my niece.

As I was running through Lord and Taylor, they were offering an amazing free gift with any $45 purchase. So you know gift? I'm in! So I picked up....

Double Wear Stay-In -Place Makeup Foundation in 3W1 Tawny. This foundation has been on every fashion bloggers makeup must have list and I think everyone in the world has raved about it. It claims to stay put for 15 hours and is a medium coverage foundation. It's also buildable so I can layer up to get the full coverage look I love. The main reason why I bought this is because it's lightweight and claims to be weather-proof. It won't smudge in the warmer months. With Summer approaching, this is exactly what I need!

Double Wear Stay-In-Place Powder Makeup in 3W1 Tawny. This is the powder version of the liquid foundation. It is lightweight, oil free, and lasts for up to 8 hours. I only bought this baby because I do love touching up my forehead, nose, and chin around 3pm. I also sometimes need to touch up under my eyes. This compact will probably last me forever because I'll only be using about 3 to 4 pats a day. lol.

Then I got loads of free goodies!! I love me free stuff! It came in a nice vintage Harper's Bazaar Iconic Cover- Print bag but I was just more concerned about the products. Here's what I got...

Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant SPF Moisturizer

DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant SPF Moisturizer: I always try to wear SPF and a moisturizer under my makeup and sunscreen is extremely important when the sun is out in full force during summer. I used it this morning and my skin is feel super soft! I love it.

NightWear Plus 3-Minute Detox Mask: I used this last night for the first time and it's good! I definitely need to detox my skin because I wear loads of makeup 7 days per week. I am also in a habit of testing out next beauty products so this mask is my way of being nice to my skin.

Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II: Ugh I am pushing 32 in 2 months and I am really obsessed with everything anti-aging. I want to forever look 23! This serum helps reduce lines and wrinkles, keeps skin hydrated and your skin will feel more moisturized. They say you need to use it for 4 weeks to see a difference. Well I am officially on it!

Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Black: I use mascara everyday but honestly it's hard for me to stay loyal to just one. For some reason, I just grab any mascara and as long as it doesn't leave me with raccoon eyes...I'm cool. Let's see how this one lasts.

Estee Lauder Color Long-Lasting Lipsticks in Pinkberry and Rubellite

2 Full-Size Color Long-Lasting Lipsticks in Pinkberry and Rubellite. These shades are super pretty! I used Rubellite last night and it was a nice subtle red that wasn't too overpowering. I definitely think I can use either of these shades everyday.

I'll be giving these beauties a go over the next few weeks and I'll be writing a full review on some of them! What do you wanna hear most about?

What beauty purchases have you made recently?


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

Sooooo my obsession with IT Cosmetics continues!! I truly just can't get enough of this brand!! It's my absolute favorite brand at the moment and I have a feeling that I'll be loving it for a long time.

I declare my love for this makeup remover for all the World to hear! Bye Bye Makeup is super moisturizing and literally melts everything off your face! From my waterproof mascara to my Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation to my Chanel bronzer to all the layers in between. This balm literally gets every last trace of makeup off my face.

From the box: Developed with plastic surgeons and dermatologists. It's clinically tested and it's paraben free, cruelty free, and sulfate free. You gently massage onto dry skin and rinse off with warm water and a wash cloth. I promise your skin will not look irritated and it'll be left soft and looking moist. For extra hydration and cleansing, leave the balm on your skin for 60 seconds before you rinse off. The balm is very creamy so you can tell right off the bat that it's going to provide a great deal of hydration. This balm has 3 essentials: hydrating, purifying, and includes anti-aging skin softening serum.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

When I first used this product, I was truly amazed on how my makeup really started to "melt off my face" as soon as I applied the balm. I have never used a product like this before. You really do feel like you're doing something good for your face. It barely takes any time at all before you are makeup free. For a girl like me who's always tired and in a rush, this is perfect!

I purchase this goodie as part of a set from QVC and I will be a loyal support from this day forward. Even with my acne prone skin, I have had no reaction or breakouts. This balm is a winner.

Have you any IT Cosmetics products? Have you tried this balm? How do you remove your makeup?


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lush's Intergalactic Bath Bomb

Lush's Intergalactic Bath Bomb

I have a crush. A very serious crush. Lush's Intergalactic Bath Bomb has completely changed my life! I am a total bathtub girl. I love spending some time soaking in a nice hot tub after a long day at the office followed by a gym session. Nothing in the world feel better than lighting some candles, pouring some wine, and doing absolutely nothing except leaning back, closing my eyes, and letting the water relax me. I also enjoy taking things to the next level and that's where Lush's Intergalactic Bath Bomb comes in!

There's a Lush store on my way to the subway. So after work and after an even longer gym session, I debated with myself whether I should just go right to the subway and make a small detour. Well you should know the answer by a beauty lover...I had to make the detour. I chose this bath bomb because I thought it was the prettiest! And I totally made the right choice!

Lush's Intergalactic Bath Bomb is made of 17 ingredients, including many essential oils. With the bright neon colors, can you not be in a good mood when putting that in your bath water? The scent is a mix of peppermint, grapefruit, lemon, and some other yummy goodies. It truly smells amazing.

Lush's Intergalactic Bath Bomb

Here's what I did...Filled up my tub with warm water, dropped the bath bomb in, and relaxed. I used the entire bomb but I assume you can take out after a bit so you can use again. It's $7.50 for this bob so it is a bit pricey to use just once. The bomb is also 6.3oz so it's definitely a good size to use for a second time. As I said, I used the entire bomb and it made my bath water look soooo pretty. It also made the water extremely moisturizing. I didn't even have to use shaving cream when shaving my legs! The water was multiple colors but it was mostly dark blue and the glitter was everywhere. I literally took a bath in glitter! I loved every second of it. The entire combination of colors, scents, and glitter totally created the perfect back set for ending a crazy work day.

Have you used bath bombs? Which are your favorites?

PS- there was glitter left in my tub after I drained the water but it was no biggie for me. All the color went as well so there were no stains!


Monday, May 16, 2016

My Office Desk & Wall

My Office Desk & Wall

Hi loves!!!!

Hope you all had a great start to the week. I just wanted to share a quick post with you all and hopefully spread some inspiration. It's my office desk and wall! So my desk is nothing fancy but it's a space I love. I spend hours at my desk replying back to emails and blogging for you all and it's kinda my comfort zone. Since I live in a NYC apartment, everything has to be super small, used for multiple purposes, and practical. Pretty much, you can't have something in your New York City apartment just because....everything has to be useful! (I miss living in a house Upstate! Way more space!)

My desk is actually over 50 years old. When I first moved out on my own, I was a 25-year-old law school student and I didn't have money for anything! On top of that, I chose to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world! So my Mom's best friend helped me out and gave me her childhood desk. She's 57 years old now and I still have the desk! I still can't believe its lasted all these years! My Mom and I just just stripped it down, sanded it down, and repainted. We also changed all the drawer knobs. Now it's good as new!

I found my chair outside on the street. It was originally black and someone threw it away. I brought it back to my apartment, cleaned it, and repainted. My Mom and I bought new fabric from Joann's Fabric and made a new seat cushion. It's officially brand new! My desk is actually a vanity so I can lift up the middle part and it was a huge drawer inside of it and mirror. I never use the mirror part but I do use the extra drawer for storage space.

I love mirrors and crosses. I know it's a weird obsession to have but I love them. I think my obsession of crosses comes from my Puerto Rican/Catholic background. My Mom and I are always going to flea markets so we pick up crosses and mirrors for a very cheap price and just spray paint them so they look uniformed. I love having mismatched items that blend well together. I just wish there was a way to hide all the wires below my desk. I will find a way to make them disappear!

I think it's super important to have a pretty work space that you love. You'll feel more inspired and in turn you'll be more productive. Please let me know what you think!

How does your work space look?

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