current beauty favorites june 2016

Hello beauties!

Every month, I will be sharing with you my favorite beauty products. I personally love reading blog posts that other bloggers share about their favorite beauty products. So, I got inspired and decided to do a monthly “Current Beauty Favorites” post of my own. Reviews are always so helpful and I like to learn about the product first before buying it. So, let me not waste any more time and share with you the beauty products I loved the most this month.

beauty favorites June 2016

my beauty favorites june 2016

1. Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit | $45
This is my first purchase of a contour kit. I always wanted to learn how to contour and watched so many great tutorials on how to do it, so it was time to buy one. This is an amazing contour kit, that teaches you how to sculpt, shape, and define your features with three shades for defining, bronzing, and highlighting any complexion. It’s great for those who are beginners to contouring (like me). One of the things that I really appreciate about this palette is the equal amount of product distribution between the contour, bronzer and highlighter. The palette also comes with a contour brush which is a plus, and instructions which are so helpful and easy to follow. All the shades in the palette are well-pigmented, blend easily, and have good lasting power. The Contour shade is a cool greyed brown that works really well to add dimension to the face. Bronze is a matte, warm brown shade that may lean slightly orange, depending on your skintone. The Highlight is a warm yellow highlight that is also matte. The shade is very similar to the Banana shade in the Contour Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hill.
You can purchase it at Sephora here

2. CoTZ Face Silky Soft Lightly Tinted Sheer Matte Finish Sunscreen SPF 40 | $19.99
I was given a lot of samples of CoTZ sunscreen by my dermatologist. I didn’t know what to expect, but got so addicted to it instantly. This product is slightly tinted but blends translucent. The slight tint covers a bit of redness and evens out my skin tone. The siliconey feel of the product keeps skin matte, and fills pores for a perfected look to the skin. With skin perfecting qualities and SPF 40, this is kind of a miracle product. I like to use this product when I don’t want to wear any foundation. I have oily skin, so in the summertime I like to stay away from putting a lot of makeup on my face. By the way, CoTZ products use physical protectors for SPF instead of chemical, so they are a healthier choice for skincare.
You can purchase it at Ulta here

3. Shea Moisture 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil | $14.99
It is no secret that coconut oil is a staple in most women’s hair regimen but the big questions is what makes the SheaMoisture coconut oil so special compared to the coconut oil available at your local grocery store? The difference between virgin coconut oil and ordinary coconut oil is in the extraction process. Refined coconut oil is produced from dried coconuts whereas virgin coconut oil is extracted from the fresh meat of the coconut. Processes like quick drying allows the fresh coconut meat to be dried promptly and then mechanically pressed. High heat is also used with refined coconut oil to remove the distinct smell and flavor and sometimes sodium hydroxide is added to prolong shelf life. If you prefer the nutty flavor and smell than virgin, unrefined coconut oil is your best choice. I use the coconut oil for my hair and skin. I apply a generous amount on my scalp and hair, and leave it to hydrate my hair for about an hour. After I wash it off, my hair is smooth, has a nice shine to it, and I have noticed I don’t have split ends any more. I also use the coconut oil on my skin. A little bit goes a long way. The oil is gentle with my skin. It keeps it nice and hydrated. I apply it at night. This product is truly amazing.
You can purchase it at Ulta here

4. Modern Muse Le Rouge By Estee Lauder | $65

I recieved Modern Muse Le Rouge few months back from Estee Lauder as a free gift for purchasing over $45 worth of skincare and makeup products. Some of you may know that Kendall Jenner is now the face of Estee Lauder cosmetics. Her first fragrance campaign for the brand is Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum. If you enjoy the original Estee Lauder Modern Muse Eau de Parfum but want something a little warmer, spicier and edgier then this is one is for you. The scent is fruity floral oriental — feminine, full and daring, but still approachable. It’s light and delightful. It’s fun and youthful but somehow timeless and subtly seductive. As always with Estee Lauder, the perfume has great sillage and longevity.
You can purchase it at Estee Lauder here

5. Coola Classic Sport SPF 50 – Mango | $32
I love Coola sunscreen products and this one was no different. The mango smell of this sunscreen is divine. It is very light and refreshing. It blends and penetrates very well and doesn’t leave a white residue on my skin. It has a SPF 50, which is welcomed compared to many of the other high end sunscreens that have only SPF 30 or 35. I was at the beach at the peak of the sun’s exposure for a few hours and I didn’t get sunburn. Instead, I got a nice color and glow (note, I did not reapply my sunscreen). I definitely love the added benefit that product is mostly organic.
You can purchase it at Birchbox here

6. Double Wear Stay-In-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35 | $27
I have been looking for a creamy with great coverage concealer like this FOREVER! I love the fact that it’s not a tube, because concealer in a tube almost always smears when I try to take out even the smallest amount. It blends easily and seamlessly into make-up free skin, and crucially, it stays put. I love the fact that it includes SPF 35. You can never have too much sun protection!
You can purchase it at Estee Lauder here

7. Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer | $36
I have been using this product non-stop for the past 2years…it’s the only primer I use and I have come to rely on it’s matte perfecting effect to my makeup. I am someone who has oily skin and this product makes my makeup last all day without creasing or smudging and I still have that airbrushed look without looking caked on. Additionally, as my skin is particularly sensitive, this product is a plus as it does not cause me to breakout, it is non-comedogenic (does not clog my pores).I love this product so much that every-time I’m half way through it, I make sure to purchase another one. I don’t know about other primers, but I can say for sure that this product works excellently well, giving perfect mattifying results even if your using it as a primer for non-estee lauder makeup.
You can purchase it at Estee Lauder here

Have you ever used any of the products I mentioned above? What do you think about it? Share in the comments section below!

Follow:

my summer 2016 goals

Hello beauties!

I hope all of you having a great summer so far! I’m enjoying mine. Temperatures definitely heating up here in Sarasota, but it’s not stopping me from spending more time outdoors and less time inside the house. Summertime to me is all about beach weather, watermelons, fruit-flavored sorbets, sand-between-your-toes, fireworks, barbecues, flip flops and bathing suits. I love exploring and trying new things in the summer, while making memories in the process of it.

In my opinion, goal setting and summertime don’t necessarily go together, but goals don’t have to be about career achievement, home organization or improving your diet – how about a summer bucket list that includes ice cream, roller coasters and street fairs? I love this idea a lot better!

Here are my summer goals for 2016!

1. Go on the picnic

2. Visit 7 different beaches

3. Spend a whole day in pajamas

4. Stuff my face on 4th of July

5. Go to Comedy Club

6. Have a night out with my girlfriends

7. Visit a new town in Florida

8. Go to the movies

9. Make homemade sushi

10. Ride a Ferris Wheel

11. Collect seashells at the beach

12. Watch a sunset at the beach

13. Watch the fireworks

14. Go to the Zoo

15. Go to the Botanical Gardens

16. Go to the local Farmers Market

17. Bake a cake

18. Go to the water park

19. Go outside my comfort zone and try new dish

20. Take a trip on the boat

21. Go to the concert

22. Run 5K Marathon

23. Spend the night at the hotel by the beach

24. Go to the Museum

25. Read a book

26. Paint kids room

27. Try a new ice cream flavor

28. Go to a local music event

29. Meet someone new

30. Walk 20000 steps in one day

Well my fiends, I’m very excited to start accomplishing my goals this summer. I’m wishing you an amazing summer. Enjoy it to the fullest and do as many fun things as you can.

What are your summer goals? I would love to hear from you, so please share them in the comments section below!

Follow:

things that made me happy #4

Hello beauties!

I hope all of you having a great weekend so far. “Weekly Recap | Things That Made Me Happy” is another series where I will be sharing all the things that made me happy. My goal is to spread some happiness and gratitude of little or big things that are happening in my life, and encourage others to share their happy/grateful things of the week.

Sometimes all it takes is gentle reminders of things that make us grateful or appreciative. I mean, we live in a world full of senseless violence, poverty, famine, and tragedy – reflecting on the positive, I find, makes me open my eyes a bit more to appreciate the little things…Don’t you agree?

Feel free to share things that made you happy this week. Here are mine ♡

Getting A Pedicure
It’s not often that I get a chance to treat myself to a pedicure. But when I do, I try to enjoy every minute of it. I typically go to a local spa here in town, called The Little Day Spa. They offer many great services. I have been a client of theirs for about 3 years now. They take a very good care of me and have a very knowledgeable and pleasant staff. I’m definitely a happy woman every time I leave this place.

Celebrating Father’s Day With My Husband
Even though Father’s Day was on Sunday we had to celebrate it on Saturday, since my husband typically works every Sunday. We had a family day together. We all went out for lunch to Hungry Howie’s, one of my husband’s favorite spots to eat. They have all you can eat pizza buffet and you just can’t resist trying all different ones. The rest of the day it was all about resting at home, playing board games and watching movies together. He said that he enjoyed his Father’s Day and that he is very proud to be a dad.

Spending A Day At The Beach
Summer is here and I promised myself that I’ll be spending more time at the beach with my family this season. I love the beach, it’s definitely one of the reasons we moved here to Sarasota. We have quite a few to choose from, but we usually go to the one closer to home Lido Beach. This time it was only me and my youngest daughter who went. We had an amazing time, as always.

New Fitbit
I received my new Fitbit in the mail last week. Since my last one broke 6 months ago, I was very heartbroken and just couldn’t get to buying a new one. So my hubby surprised me with one. I was jumping for joy! Fitbit is the only thing that motivates me to exercise. I lost 35lbs. last year by just walking and eating healthy. And I love competing with other Fitbit users. By the way, if you don’t know what Fitbit is, you can read about it here. If you a Fitbit user, I would love to add you to my circles. Just let me know in the comments section below or Tweet me.

Taking A Day Off On Monday
You know when you have those days when you wake up on Monday morning and don’t feel like going to work. Well, this week was one of those Mondays. It was nice to take an extra day off and not feeling guilty about it that your called out. Most of our doctors were on vacation anyway, so my manager didn’t mind. It’s nice to be able to enjoy the little things in life.

What things made you happy this week? Share in the comments section below!

Follow:

top 10 blog posts

Hello beauties!

Happy Friday! I hope all of you had a great week. “Weekly Reads | Favorite Blog Posts” is a series where I will be sharing my top 10 favorite blog posts I’ve read through out the week. I love to read different variety of posts, so expect a little bit of everything. So, with that said, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, maybe something to snack on, relax and let’s unwind together.

Happy reading!

1. Mornings are not easy. We wake up and, immediately, the grind begins. We have somewhere to be, whether it’s school or work. We have things to do — sleep until the last possible minute, make ourselves presentable, try to swallow coffee — and not enough time to do them. This is bad, not least of which because it impacts the rest of our day. Here are some morning rituals that will change your life, a post written by Paula, called “7 Life-Changing Morning Rituals”. This post definitely inspired me. There are so many great reasons to become a morning person!

2. All of us bloggers are looking for different ways to get more blog traffic. More visitors means more pageviews. A great way to get targeted, free traffic is to optimize your content for the search engines like Google. Today I’m sharing a post written by Vicky, a woman behind a blog “It’s Vicky” called “10 Tips to Help Rank Your Content in Google and Other Search Engines”.

3. I’m always on a search for a good inspirational book. I usually find good ones to read either by the word of mouth, blog post or Pinterest. I came across Jemma’s post where she shares 3 books for well-being. Her post called “Books For My Well-Being”. Can’t wait to get my hands on at least one of them.

4. I really enjoy reading and sharing posts written by other bloggers about their regrets throughout their blogging journey. I think it’s smart to learn from other bloggers mistakes, so we won’t make the same ones. Fee is a woman behind a blog “Makeup Savvy” which I have been a fan of since I started blogging a year and a half ago. She wrote a post called “My Regrets In 6 Years Of Blogging”, where she shares some of her blogging regrets. She says that even though it hasn’t affected her blogging as a whole but along the way some of her choices hindered things, she definitely thinks it can help newbie bloggers.

5. All of us women want to keep our skin healthy and youthful. So what can we do to achieve a flawless complexion? Here are “15 Things Women With Great Skin Always Do” an article featured on Cosmopolitan, written by Nicole Catanese.

6. Social media is a great way to promote your brand, expand your reach, and increase followers who will hopefully become customers. However, it can also create trouble when not used correctly. One mistake on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+, and your brand is suddenly dealing with a serious reputation issue. So here are “5 Things You Should Stop Doing On Social Media”. Great tips!

7. We’re all guilty. Every day from the moment we wake up, we live our lives caring what other people think of us. I recently came across a great post written by Jasmine, called “How to Not Give a Crap What People Think”. I learned that we need to start living life the way we want, be fearless like we once were as children, and always, always stand up for the truth. Someone has to. You should definitely check out Jasmine’s blog “Color U Bold”. I’ve been following her blog for awhile now and she is definitely another one of my favorite bloggers.

8. Sometimes staying motivated is hard. There are, of course, tasks which you may not like at all, yet you find motivation to complete even them because you recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal. That’s why today, I’m sharing an article with you called “How To Get Shit Done Even When You’re Totally Unmotivated”. You’ll find this post very helpful to help you to stay productive.

9. I’m on the rampage right now trying to find more Facebook groups to join. The ones that I have already joined are a lot of fun. I’m able to make lifelong connections with bloggers and share with them not only my continent, but also to help each other to grow our blogs. Here is a blog post written Jenny, called “5 Facebook Groups To Help Grow Your Blog”. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

10. If you are a fan of Essie nail polishes as much as I am then you should definitely check out their “Summer 2016 Collection”. They are introducing a very colourful collection this season with amazing new shades that are perfect for the summer.

Which posts you enjoyed reading the most? Please share some of your thoughts with me in the comments section below!

Follow:

birchbox may 2016 edition

Hello beauties!

Several months back, I heard of the beauty sample subscription company, Birchbox. I’m not sure why I didn’t immediately sign up – knowing that I love makeup, skincare and hair products, and enjoy receiving beauty products in the mail. But for some odd reason, I decided to pass, until a month ago, when I stumbled on back to back days of some fellow bloggers remarking on how much they love theirs. So I finally signed up and I’m so happy I did!

What Is Birchbox?

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription box that sends a curated box of 5 beauty, grooming, and/or lifestyle samples. All you have to do is sign up, then make sure you fill out your beauty profile, so your first box will be tailored to your preferences (i.e., hair type, skin tone, etc). You can shop your box on your profile page, get free shipping on that month’s sampled brands, and review your products for points—you’ll earn 10 Birchbox Points for each submitted feedback form.

The May 2016 Birchbox theme is “Let’s Take This Party Outside, Shall We?”. The box had colorful paint patches on it.

birchbox review may 2016

The information card described the products in my box and the price for the full sized options in their online shop. Remember to go to to Birchbox.com/MyBox to review your samples for points!

MY MAY 2016 BIRCHBOX INCLUDED

♡ Dr. Brant PoreDermabrasion
♡ Burt’s Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm
♡ Coola Classic Sport SPF 50 – Mango
♡ Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
♡ Coastal Scents Style Eyes Eyeshadow
♡ Pixi By Petra Eyeshadow Palette Copper Peach

Now, it’s time to take a peek inside my May 2016 Birchbox Sample Box!

birchbox may 2016 review

Dr. Brant PoreDermabrasion | Full Size, $58 / Sample Value, $7.25

I have always struggled with maintaining my pores on my nose and a few spots on my cheeks. I was excited to get this product because I am always looking for a good solution to my problem. I applied a small amount to damp skin and gently massage it in a circular motion for about a minute. I move it around my face without overdoing. Once I have finished this step, I leave it on my face for a couple of minutes to allow the chemical exfoliants to deeply cleanse my pores. Then I rinse my skin very well to remove every trace of this potent exfoliant. The first thing that I notice is that my skin feels soft, smooth and supple, but not in the least bit stripped. I immediately noticed, even after my first use, was that my congested pores were visibly cleared, and that my skin looked radiant and was silky smooth to the touch. And my pores were less noticeable. I’m going to be using this product once a week until my sample size is empty. Then will make my final decision if it’s worth buying a full size tube.

birchbox may 2016 edition review

Burt’s Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm | Full Size, $7

I don’t wear much makeup when I go to work, so I like to keep my lips fairly natural. It’s a struggle to find a lip product that gives a hint of color without being overpowering, but Burt’s Bees hibiscus tinted lip balm nails it. It’s very creamy, lightweight and moisturizing. I usually don’t like the “sticky” feel of many lipsticks and balms, and this product definitely delivered it. It’s fragrance-free. It’s pretty long lasting with moderate use – I apply it a few times a day. Definitely recommend trying this balm out if you’re a fan of natural, lightweight lip colors!

review birchbox may 2016 edition

Coola Classic Sport SPF 50 – Mango | Full Size, $32 / Sample Value, $2.18

I love Coola sunscreen products and this one was no different. The mango smell of this sunscreen is divine. It is very light and refreshing. It blends and penetrates very well and doesn’t leave a white residue on my skin. It has a SPF 50, which is welcomed compared to many of the other high end sunscreens that have only SPF 30 or 35. I was at the beach at the peak of the sun’s exposure for a few hours and I didn’t get sunburn. Instead, I got a nice color and glow (note, I did not reapply my sunscreen). I definitely love the added benefit that product is mostly organic. The sample was very small, so I only was able to use it once. With that said, I will be purchasing a full size.

birchbox may 2016

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle | Full Size, $23.50 / Sample Value, $6

I will start first by telling you how AMAZING this product smells. The scent of vanilla cupcakes is incredible. I used Beauty Protector right after the shower on my damp hair. It did a great job of detangling and conditioning my hair and it didn’t leave a greasy feeling. It felt super moisturized and kept my frizz under control. The sample size will last me for awhile, since I only use four spritzes. I will definitely recommend this product to anyone who loves styling their hair or uses heat on their hair a lot!

birchbox may edition 2016 review

Coastal Scents Style Eyes Eyeshadow | Full Size, $12 / Sample Value, $3

I received two shades in a sampler, from the socialEyes palette. My two colors were smoky gray & black. I really liked the color combination that was picked for me since I’m obsessed with smoky eye look. The shadows in general are very smooth and silky and feel nice to apply. I did not notice any creasing so far.

review birchbox may 2016

FREE BONUS ITEM FOR MAY 2016 BOX 

Pixi By Petra Eyeshadow Palette Copper Peach | Retail Value, $12

These colors are fantastic! Not only are they highly pigmented but they blend beautifully and they wear fabulously too. The combination of nude/brown/peach colors look perfect on my olive skin. I’m still playing with colors, creating different looks.

Overall, I’m really happy with May’s Edition Birchbox and all the beauty products that were picked for me. My May 2016 Box had a value of $37.43! The value of all the products was well worth the $10 cost of the box. My favorite product was Coola Classic Sport SPF 50 – Mango! I also loved that they included a couple natural, organic, and ingredient-conscience beauty products like Burt’s Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm & Coola Classic Sport SPF 50 – Mango.

I also want to bring up Birchbox’s changes to their points system, which I know many of us have enjoyed over the past couple of years.  Here’s the update from Birchbox that came in today via email:

Screenshot_2016-06-22-07-34-45-1

Are you subscribed to Birchbox? If you are, have you gotten your Birchbox yet this month? What’d you think? Share some of your favorite beauty products with me in the comments section below! And if you have any questions for me about a certain product or products mentioned above, I’ll be happy to answer.

Follow: