Mud

img_1464As you guys may have read on my recent post, it wasn’t long ago when I started experimenting with silicone beauty blenders. Some I hated more than others for a multitude of reasons. My number one problem was that these blenders seemed to rub all the makeup around, instead of doing a nice and smooth application; this was a disaster as my makeup ended up looking cakey. After these annoying results, I decided to use silicone beauty blenders only for contouring.

Soon enough, I came across a silicone beauty blender by Sillisponge, and since I had nothing to lose, I started using it on my makeup routine. Something that I did notice differently about this blender was that it was super soft (all previous beauty blenders were hard as rock). I was afraid that a softer texture would defy the purpose (be flimsy and useless), but it turns out that it has worked great for the product application. Apart from this, the plastic-like material around it is completely different from I have used before (it actually feels like silicone, instead of plastic). To my surprise, the application turned out to be super flawless. My concealer (for example) covered my fine lines instead of blending into it. Apart from this, the sponge does a good enough application to cover everything instead of making my makeup look cakey.

Final verdict: I’m in love with it! I can’t stress enough the importance of choosing the right silicone blender (as many stores are selling fake plastic material instead of real silicone).

Sillisponge as a limited time offer that I think you shouldn’t miss you!

https://sillisponge.com/?afmc=23

Beauty Tornado

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Out of all the makeup application accessories in my bag, without doubt, my favorite piece is a beauty blender. I own a ton of these, and recently got a hold of a new set by Fairyland.

It may sound odd, but there are a bunch of things I like about a beauty blender. I love the feel and how squishy it is. I love how it eases the application of my makeup (especially concealer and contour) and I love the smoothness of my finish. I spent most of my life applying my concealer, eye shadows, and blending techniques with my fingers (terrible I know). So the incorporation of beauty blenders was like the discovery of a pot of gold.

After trying the simple life (A.K.A. fingers) and a multitude of beauty blender brands, I have come to appreciate what makes an effective beauty blender.

One of the things I love about this brand is the actual feel (or hardness of the blender). It has a stiff consistency, which allows fair retention of product, without getting too messy or absorbing much of it. I’ve owned blenders that were too soft for a consistent smoothness, or too hard to even absorb the right amount of product, which is just annoying to deal with.

I also like that the “pores” of the blender are of medium consistency. By this, I mean the tiny little holes that it supposed to absorb the product (whether it is concealer or foundation). This is important for me because I like a blender that can retain enough product without having to reapply, but at the same time not so much that you feel that you’re wasting product. A sponge of this texture is what allows the “smooth finish” on the makeup application as the product already inside the tiny “pores” serve as a base for the reapplication.

Along with these three fantastic beauty blenders, the set brought the popularly acclaimed silicone beauty blenders. I heard the buzz so many times, and even though I wasn’t caught, I really wanted to try it and judge it for myself. So yes, this is my first time trying the silicone beauty blender.

I love how smooth it feels, it is so squishy that I literary take the time to play with it. I have exerted to pressure into it, and it held it so well that it still looks as new. I love the concept of an easy application without absorbing the product. I think this works great when trying to apply minimal product. I also love that it is easy to use, and that I don’t have to apply any soaps to clean it up (actually, a makeup remover wipe works just great!).

When it comes to my own personal routine, I like the sponge beauty blenders for my concealer and the silicone blender for my contour. I rather use the sponge blender for concealer because I think that adsorption of some makeup aids for a smooth finish. I like the silicone blender for contouring because it actually blends and spreads the makeup, without absorbing it, which is crucial for a natural contour.

My final verdict: both types of sponges are crucial for an effective makeup routine. In the end, I think that both shapes and textures aid some processes better than other.

Don’t forget to check them out and get them all at once!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06WVKBZF8

I Freak Out

 

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I have spent most of my life hearing that you must start taking take of your skin at a young age. I thought this was some sort of “beauty industry gimmick” as I believed that I was young for a reason, and therefore, didn’t need to bother with my skin.

As I reached my mid twenties, I started noticing sudden changes on the health of my skin. My face is now more sensitive and drier than it has ever been. The sides of my forehead, my nose, and my chin are peeling off, and I have noticed some fine lines underneath my eyes and on the side of my lips.

As normal this is, it is also very shocking. Although we know that some day we will going to age, it is still shocking to see the process becoming a reality, especially on our own faces!

As I just have mentioned, I have very dry and sensitive skin. I tried the most natural ingredients/masks (ex. Aloe Vera) and some of the most expensive treatments at Sephora; but no matter what I do, I end up with an extra sensitive and itchy face. As a result, I simply stopped using all sorts of products, as I was tired of spending money on products provoking nothing but an itchy face; but even after leaving my face alone, I still noticed that it wasn’t getting any better.

After some research, I came across Geneva Naturals Advanced Vitamin C+E Serum, and after reading its promises, I couldn’t hesitate to try it.

This vitamin C+E serum has many ingredients and antioxidants to promote a smoother and youthful skin (without being abrasive), such as hyaluronic acid, moringa oil, coconut oil, edelweiss extract, and even UV protection! One of the things I love the most about this formula is the fact that it is paraben-free, sulfate-free, and phthalate-free, which I thought would be a great addition to my painful peeling skin.

Upon opening the vial, the first thing I did was to smell the formula. I’m very picky about the smells I apply on my skin (especially my face) as anything that smells too strong or overwhelming makes me feel sick (I can’t sleep or can’t stop sneezing). To my surprise, this formula has an amazingly rich orange smell, without being overwhelming. I don’t tend to like any citrus or tropical smells, but this formula smells so natural that it was actually pleasing to my senses.

When I touched the product, I noticed that it had a gel-like hydrating texture, without being oily on my hands. Then, when I applied this to my face, I noticed that my face adsorbed the product right away, without leaving any nasty or oily coat residue. At the moment of application, my face felt “jelly-like” – it was bouncy, smooth, and the best of all: IT DIDN’T BURN!!

I think that was the most important factor for me – the fact that it didn’t burn my dry and sensitive skin. After less than a week of using this (about 4 days) I noticed that my chin and the side of my forehead were peeling less. I still struggle with the peeling of my nose, but since it hasn’t even been a week of use, I’m still hopeful that it will go away. I also noticed that my skin is actually very smooth and hydrated (I still apply moisturizer throughout the day, but Geneva is an amazing option to apply prior to sleep). And the best of all, the expression lines underneath my eyes are much smoother (it feels like a face lift).

I love that I have found a solution for my sensitive face that isn’t greasy of abrasive – I simply think it is fantastic!

Don’t forget to check it out! Enter the code TOM5 at checkout to get an additional $5 off on your purchase (LINK BELOW).

Advanced Vitamin C+E Serum

 

My Mantra


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I’m the queen of nail filers. Square shaped nails are my go-to style, and due to my fragile nails and overactive lifestyle, I find myself with broken edges almost every day. As a result, I carry a nail filer everywhere; I have one in every room at my home, my purse, and even at work – you name it. Nail filers are certainly a life saver, but I also find myself with some struggles, including peeling nails (it damages the layers of my nails), rough edges, constant broken filers, and low durability.

Recently, I came across the most amazing nail filer concept: GERmanikure double sided Mantra Crystal Nail Filer. And I must say that I simply love how durable and fun these are!

These filers are not your conventional ones, these are actually made in the Czech Republic from thick Bohemian glass. This glass is manageable (not rough), yet designed against any breakage. Not only does this filer not break, but it is actually designed with 3mm glass that never wears off! This means that you have unlimited nail filing!

When I first learned this, I wondered how is it possible for the nail filer to last long without any uneven sides?

It turns out that the filer is made out of some sort of “chemical etching,” allowing the filer to retain its shape all along (you can also use it with wet or dry nails – you choose!!) GERmanikure nail filers are also ANTIBACTERIAL, meaning that you don’t have to worry about any random nail infections or fungus.

Apart from these amazing features, these nail filers come with inspirational quotes- all suitable for your particular personality. Mine says, “Take a Chance, Make a Chance.” And as cliche I might sound, I’m moved by the meaning behind this quote, as it is a reflection of so much struggle and hard work in my life.; it is a reminder of courage even when filing my nails!

They have a multitude of amazing quotes to choose from. Some of my favorites include, “Collect Moments, Not Things, “Seize The Wine,” and “Wake Up And Be Awesome.”

I love how these provide quality nail filing, while keeping it fun and positive. I also think these would make an amazing gift for your BFF or those loved ones in your life.

Don’t forget to check them out!

http://www.zamberg.com/zb/crystal-glass-nail-files-2392l.ashx

Please Find Her


img_1286Today I will get a little personal by sharing some experiences on safety. I have three younger siblings and elderly grandparents; therefore, I have have experienced all sorts of safety scares.

Children can very hyper and sometimes uncontrollable (there’s no doubt about that). When one of my younger sisters was 3 years old, we decided to spend a Sunday afternoon at the mall. My sister kept jumping around and wanting to see everything, so I remember our efforts to keep her in the safe-zone. Few minutes after that, (and literary in the middle of nowhere) my sister was gone, and she was nowhere to be found. Our family and friends separated into groups and we went on a search for her. Few minutes passed and there was no sign of her. Soon enough, my parents got a hold of management, and after joining efforts,  we (thankfully) found her in a children’s clothing store. Although I was 13 years old, I remember this episode vividly; I can’t help but recalling how hopeless I felt imagining that I would never see my little sister again.

Five years after that, the same scenario occurred, but with my elderly grandmother and my second younger sister. I don’t feel the greatest speaking about my grandmother’s condition, as it is complicated, but I can share that she was been struggling with dementia for the past 18 years. The symptoms are many, but I recall that during her early stages, she was very irritable and aggressive. She constantly got into arguments with people, and even tried getting physical with others. One day, I was home alone with her and my other younger sister (she was about 5). My grandmother got very aggressive and told me she wanted to checkout the new store down the street. When I insisted to go with her, she claimed that she didn’t need me and that she was young enough to care for herself (note, she was about 82 years old at the time). She took my sister with her as she claimed that no one could stop her from going out with her granddaughter. She also promised that she would be back soon enough. After she left, few minutes passed, so I decided to go after her. But when I did, she was nowhere to be found. At that moment, I had all sorts of thoughts go through my mind: I felt frightened, I was scared, and I was deeply hurt for my sister and her safety. Soon enough, everyone was in the lookout for her, and thankfully, they were found safe.

These are very frightening instances, yet I’m thankful to say that the end results were positive. Sadly, this can’t be said in all cases, as many people live with the burden of a lost family member. These experiences impacted me in many ways, especially as I felt the vulnerability of not having control over these situations. Today, my sisters are teenagers,  and I still worry for their safety. I started doing some research, and came across Circo’s Smart Tracking Device, so I didn’t hesitate to request it.

I love how complete this device is. It is actually small and very lightweight, meaning that you can place it nearly anywhere. The device needs data to work, so I was able to easily find a compatible sim card for less than $2; as long you have an Apple or Google Android devices, you should be able to make it work!

I like that the device keeps track of the most visited places, so it marks them as safe zones. Once your family member leaves these zones, you get an immediate notification. Circo works in combination of multiple systems, including GPS, AGPS, WiFi, and Cell ID to allow you to keep track of both indoor and outdoor locations. The device also has an emergency button, which enables your loved one to notify you of any emergencies.

I simply wish that our family owned this device back during those instances. I can genuinely say that there’s nothing like the peace of mind when it comes to the safety of loved ones.

Take the time to check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MAUR2Q2

A Desert Within Me

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Today I want to address a topic very dear to my heart:chronic dry eyes.

I’ve been struggling with this condition for the past 8 years, and my ophthalmologist (who I have been seeing since I was a child) claimed that he couldn’t do anything to help me as there was no “magical way to cure it.”

After trying so many brands of eye drops, ointments, and gels to relieve dryness, discomfort, and redness, I found Sytane Ultra, which has been a life saver. When I first started using these drops, I felt as if I dived into a fountain of hydration, which was greater than anything I have tried.

But after a couple of years of using Sytane, I noticed that these were growing ineffective, compared to the first time I started using these. After a few years, my eye dryness grew worse, so I was using Systane on an hourly basis, and waking up at least 4-6 times every night to instill the eye drops, with little to no relief.

After a while, I started getting all sorts of eye infections and conditions as a result of my dryness (and contact lenses and eyelids rubbing against my very dry cornea). After seeing my ophthalmologist, once again, I begged for a solution, or prescription eye drops such as Xiidra or Restasis. He claimed that he couldn’t do anything for me, as these prescription medications only work on people with redness and pimples on their skin (I will never understand what the heck he meant by that). In the end, he told me that the only solution was to keep using warm compresses on my eyes, which to this point, wasn’t helping.

After seeing my ophthalmologist’s unwillingness to help, I knew that I had to take matters into my own hands. So for the first time, I decided to switch to another ophthalmologist. But this time, to an individual who was an expert on chronic dry eyes.

I finally met with my new doctor, and I must confess that I don’t plan on staying with her for long, as she’s too focused on selling me products and services. For example, on each visit, she tries to talk me into Lasik surgery, although it is widely known that Lasik is not greatly recommended with people with my condition, as this procedure dries the eye even more.

Anyhow, regardless of her enthusiasm on selling products, on my first visit, she addressed my condition like my previous ophthalmologist never did throughout all these years. From the moment she looked into my eyes, she noticed that I didn’t have any tears. She proceeded to do a tear test consisting of putting some substance on a thread and then inserting it underneath my eyelids for few seconds. This substance is supposed to change color after coming in contact with tears. After a few seconds, the substance didn’t change color, so she stated that I had no tears in my eyes.

After some observations, it seems like my tears evaporate my eyes too quickly. On top of everything, my tears don’t have the natural oils/ointments necessary to stay in my eyes for longer time, without evaporating.

After this, she recommended inserting punctal plugs. These plugs are inserted into your tear duct to prevent tears from draining, which hydrates the eye for longer. You can have these inserted for 3 months, 6 months, or permanently. The ones that are not permanent, are made mainly out of collagen, allowing it to dissolve through time. When inserting these, she applied a local anesthetic (in drops form) and proceeded to insert these with a tweezer-looking object; I was also advised to purchase Refresh PM, to aid my dryness at night.

Few hours after that, I had minor pain in the area, and on the coming days, I experienced burning in my tear ducts, especially when blinking, instilling any eye drops, or other ointment substance in my eyes. I was afraid of getting an infection, so I went back to see her. She didn’t notice any infection, but prescribed an antibiotic. It has been a little over two weeks since my last visit, and the pain and itchiness have been down to minimal.

One thing that I noticed from the moment she applied these plugs is that my eyes finally had tears! I was used to seeing my eyeballs without tears, but didn’t think much of it as part of my condition as this seemed so normal! Now, my eyes are wet, which is simply fantastic!

When it comes to medication such as Xiidra and Restasis, these cost a little over $400 on a monthly basis. My insurance won’t cover it, and it is stated that you must use these medications for a lifetime. If you ever stop taking these, the eyes will go through some sort of withdrawal phase where they become drier than they were prior to taking the medication.

Today, I feel a lot of relief, but I still deal with some dryness throughout the day and the middle of the night, some discomfort when seeing light, and indefinite blurry vision. I haven’t given up on a potential solution for my dryness. But in the meanwhile, I’ll share some tips that have been a life saver as I battle this condition.

  • Systane Ultra is definitely my #1 choice to relief the dryness.
  • Punctal plugs were somewhat painful, but definitely worth the try.
  • After getting the punctal plugs, the warm compresses work better (I actually feel relieve and see increased tear retention).
  • I placed a humidifier right by my bed. It is somewhat cold and I’m getting a lot of frizz, but the moisture in my room does help.
  • Refresh PM has also been a life saver. I only have to reapply twice per night, compared to 4-6 times per night with Systane Ultra.
  • Omega 3 fish oil has also aided the process. I haven’t noticed magnificent differences yet, but it is supposed to decrease dry eye inflammation and aid healthier tear production.

If you are a chronic dry eye sufferer like myself, I feel your pain. If you have any tips or ideas to better the pain and inflammation associated with this condition, don’t be afraid to reach out!

Glam It Up


img_1181Jewelry… Who doesn’t love a fine piece?

When it comes to jewelry, I buy it all. Even so, I still have a particular interest for specific pieces, including rings and earrings. When buying these, I focus on delicate pieces with a minimalistic design, as it allows me to mix and match without looking unfashionably tacky.

Considering that I have one than a single piercing on each ear, and that I work in a very corporate environment, I like keeping my jewelry to a minimum, while at the same time looking elegant, which is why I always chase after small and medium sized studs.

Recently, while on my hunt,  I got a hold of a beautiful pair of Luvami earrings, and I’m genuinely obsessed. I love how simple and delicate these are, yet there is a noted elegance and shine to them. because of its design, I’m able to wear it with additional piercings, chunky jewelry, and statement necklaces, without looking out of place.

The earrings are very light in weight, and have been surprisingly sensitive to my ears, considering that my ears get infected throughout a single day of wearing earrings (whether the material is gold, silver, hypoallergenic, or sterling silver).

Don’t miss out, and check out this fantastic piece!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZ2GLLK

 

File Those Edges 


As you guys may have noticed, I’m all about finding effective beauty solutions at home. One of my favorite things to do at home is own my nails, as I believe that you don’t have to pay a ton of money for a manicure as long you invest on the right tools! I recently got a hold of Aulexy nail grooming kit and I simply love it! This set is so complete that it brought tools that I had no idea what they were used for. The set includes nail clippers of various shapes (normal, diagonal, and toe nail), a nail filer, side puller, cuticle trimmer, multipurpose scissors, even an eyebrow tweezer, and much more! I love the feasibility to work with my nails (before this, I was only working with a nail filer and a nail clipper) which can certainly be limiting when you have painful and uneven edges! I think this set is fantastic, study, super easy to use, and makes the whole process pain free! Don’t forget to check it out!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6KKMSH