Boxycharm

May BoxyCharm Reveal – Boxy Bash

So, I am going to start off this post, by saying that this Boxycharm was not one of my favorites. I must admit that considering this box was commemorating their Birthday Month, I was kind of expecting a little more bells and whistles, however, it was not bad, just didn’t exactly live up to the hype.

Winners

Cover FX Blurring Primer. OMG, where has this been all my life? I tend to skip primer often. It’s just one extra step that I sometimes can’t seem to fit in my schedule. However, I would definitely make time for this one. When you squeeze the product out of the tube, it comes out like a whipped cream, which easily sinks in to your pores and fine lines and fills them in. I applied this under my makeup for a meeting and a few hours later, I went to the gym. After sweating it out on the elliptical, I went to towel off and took a look at my face in the fluorescent lights of the bathroom and was SO FREAKING IMPRESSED to NOT see my little 11 lines between by eyebrows. I love this stuff!

Somewhere in Between Winners and Meh!

Pretty Vulgar The Ink Gel Eyeliner. Technically, there is nothing wrong with the gel eyeliner. The packaging is to die for cute and the product itself is pigmented and long lasting from the swatch I had on my hand. However, I’m just not a gel eyeliner kind of girl. I’ve never been able to master the winged eyeliner look and I feel like when I do wear a wing, it looks weird on me. So I will be passing this one on to Sofia who uses it for cheer.

PUR Sculpter Highlight and Contour Palette. Another one that there is nothing wrong with the product itself, it’s just that I’m not much of a contour kind of girl and the two shades are just a bit to dark for me to use as bronzer. The highlighters are BEAUTIFUL though, but I have so many highlighters, that this one I will also be passing on to Sofia.

Meh!

Aesthetica Face and Pro Brush Series. The brushes are actually really soft, but that is where I think the problem lies the most, especially for the angled and liner brush. They are just a little too floppy too create a nice and neat line. I applied blush with the Face Brush and it worked well, but I had quite a bit of shedding, which kind of sucked. The best was the spoolie. It was sturdy, the handle was just the right size and you always need spoolies. I use them for eyebrows, to spray back those errant baby hairs around the forehead and temples and to separate clumpy eyelashes.

Beauty Creations Long Wear Matte Lip Gloss in Kiss Me. When I first read that this was a Matte Lip Gloss, I was like “Huh?”. That’s kind of a contradiction and didn’t make sense to me, which is why this product made the bottom of the list. The berry color is absolutely gorgeous and it kind of smells like a strawberry Laffy Taffy, however, I didn’t see anything glossy about this lipstick. In fact, it applied, looked and dried up like a typical matte and it made my lips look like they belonged on a 90 year old woman after a few hours wearing it. Yeah, No.

What did the rest of you BoxyCharmers think of this month’s box? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

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Deco Miami Lacquer

Deco Miami Lacquer – Review Time!

When I received my box of Deco Miami nail polishes and saw the return label was in Miami Beach, I was like “YAASSS QUEEN!”. I mean, I kind of figured they would be in Miami, but you never know, and you all know I like to support my hometown peeps, so it just validated my excitement.

Whatever, I just really love my city, ok?

Anyways, you all know my resolutions to treat myself better this year and part of that deal was treating my nails better. I seriously don’t take care of them and they actually treat me really nice. They are strong and grow super fast, so I figured I might as well return the love. The problem with manicures for me is that since they grow so fast, a gel manicure is wasted on me and since I am constantly typing on a keyboard or washing something the kids messed up, the paint usually ends up chipping off if I opt for a regular polish manicure.

So I decided that I needed to make an effort to take care of my own nails and save some money. I did an inventory of my current nail polish collection and was seriously ashamed. Almost every bottle that I owned was goopy or crusty and I basically had to throw everything away, even if there was more than half a bottle left. A friend of mine, recommended Deco Miami because they carry mini sized bottles of polish.

Now you are probably like, why would I buy a mini when I could get a regular sized bottle?

Well. Duh! You never end up using your entire bottle before it goes bad, so you basically are getting your money’s worth with a mini sized one.

I decided that instead of going crazy picking out a bunch of shades that I was going to opt for a few shades that I tend to gravitate to and keep things simple. Deco Miami nail polishes run you about $8 for 6ML (mini size) and $12 for 14.8 ML (Resort size). I realized as a newbie, that the best bang for my buck would be their Customizable Trio Set, which allowed you to pick any 3 of the 6ML bottles for $20. You also get to pick the gift box design, which I thought was a nice touch.

Looking at all the colors, I decided that I always tend to gravitate towards lighter pinky peaches, so I immediately zoned in on Rose All Day. I knew this would be perfect for an everyday look.

However, I do like an accent nail from time to time, so I thought I would also pick up a fun color with maybe a little texture to amp it up when I am feeling saucy. It didn’t take me long to land on Champagne Miami. A metallic rose gold that shimmers in any lighting.

I was about to pick up another shade to mix it up a bit, when I saw that I could add oils to this set. I am an avid cuticle picker (I know, so gross!) and so compulsive about it that I can literally make myself bleed. I knew at that moment, that I needed to add the Lavender Oil to the set to see if it will heal my cuticles and therefore not give me anything to chew on.

This by far was the best decision I made. Don’t get me wrong, Rose All Day and Champagne Miami are beautiful colors, but the Lavender Oil is worth every penny. First off, it smells great. I find myself sniffing my cuticles like a weirdo these days, but that’s better than picking them, right?

Secondly, the effect was almost instantaneous. In less than a week, my nails looked healthy, less dry and there were far less hang nails than before. The best thing is that I can throw this oil in my purse and whenever I see the cuticles looking a bit grungy, I just apply it and go. It takes minutes to dry and it’s clear, so it won’t affect your clothing.

If you subscribe to Deco Miami’s mailing list, you automatically get 15% on a future purchase. However, they also run specials from time to time, so it’s worth waiting for one of those to add to your collection or to maybe make some seasonal changes.

Let me know your favorite nail shades and brands in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Ittse

Ittse Fell Street Collection – Review Time!

Before I had kids and became, you know an adult, I loved to travel. Not that I don’t do that now, but it’s different when you have kids. With little ones, it’s hard to get them to appreciate the history of a city, when all they care about is if there is  gift shop somewhere. However, even though I don’t travel as much as I used to, I love it when a designer or brand curates something around a location, even if I haven’t ever been there, because it makes me wonder why they chose that style or color story.

So is the case with Ittse’s Fell Street collection, which is a sensuous and warm collection filled with earthy browns, reds and dark mauves. I imagine that there must be something special about this street or district for it to deserve a full collection because by taking a quick peek at their website, they seem to have dedicated mostly eyeshadow quads to other famous San Francisco sites. So of course, I began googling Fell Street to see what the hubbub was all about and was rewarded with beautiful pictures of colorful Victorian houses, brick buildings and view of Panhandle Park.

I have to admit, I don’t see the correlation between the rich fiery colors of the collection and any pictures I pulled up on Google, but some things should be left to interpretation. Maybe it’s one of those you have to be there to experience it kind of thing.

Conceptualization aside, the Fell Street collection does not disappoint. These colors are literally me in a nutshell. I love the combinations of smoky browns and rich burgundy colors because neither shade overpowers each other. They seem to work perfectly together no matter how light or deep you go. Consisting of 3 mattes and 3 shimmer eye shadows, 1 cheek color, 1 illuminator and 2 lip cremes, the colors are:

  • Grace – a pinky bone color.
  • Istanbul – a coppery/rose gold shimmer.
  • French Pressed –  muted cool toned brown
  • Russian Hill – a STUNNING shimmery gold toned red.
  • Para – a shimmery burgundy
  • Caviar – matte black
  • Paris Pink – warm matte pink cheek color
  • Riviera – GORGEOUS shimmery pink highlighter
  • Birthday Suit – creamy cool toned mauve lip color
  • Cassis – creamy berry lip color

Performance wise all the colors stood the test of a full day of work. I did have to reapply the lip colors, but I don’t think that is unusual for a cream lipstick. I do have to admit that carrying around a lip brush was a pain in the butt, but I would just swab with my finger and dab for a blotted look. I liked it.

I do have to warn you all that Caviar has to be the blackest black eye shadow I have EVER seen. You all know how much dark colors intimidate me because any look can easily go wrong with just one too many dips in the color. However, I used a flat liner brush and used this to lightly smoke out my undereye and line the lid and it worked just as well.

Another two-for-one is Riviera. Although I initially thought it would be too dark as a highlighter, it seemed to work out fine for my pale skin. It also works beautifully as a shimmery eyeshadow and helps to introduce some lighter looks when using this collection.

If I had one complaint about this collection is that it runs you $99. However, Ittse does offer a payment plan to help with the initial sticker shock of 4 payments of $24.75 each. Also,  I am affiliated with Ittse AND if you use my code, BEAUTYSWATCHER, at checkout you will get 20% off your entire purchase. Keep in mind that I do make a slight commission if you use my code.

Anyone from San Francisco want to help me figure out the correlation between the color story and Fell Street? I think it will keep me up at night if someone doesn’t explain it to me.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

***products above were gifted to me, but all thoughts are my own***

Besame Cosmetics

Besame Cosmetics Agent Carter Passport Shadow Palette and Invisible Dusting Powder – Review Time!

Besame Cosmetics recently debuted the second part of their Marvel Agent Carter line, or as I like to call it, their EVIL plot to take all my money. They have somehow figured out my weakness for eye shadow palettes and SUPER cute packaging and are basically holding my credit card hostage by releasing the Passport Shadow Palette and Invisible Dusting Powder at the same time.

I mean seriously, Besame, you might as well just charge my VISA as you go along because it looks like I am going to buy it all.

I have to say that Besame gets an A++ on this collection. Their previously released Field Agent Lip Kit was genius, so was hoping for some of the same with this one and sure enough from marketing to packaging to quality, I think they batted this out of the park as well.

The eyeshadow palette has to be my favorite out of the two I picked up during this release. Consisting of 3 mattes and 3 shimmers, they are STUNNING:

  • Dugan – shimmery copper
  • Zero Matter – shimmery vanilla
  • English – matte/slightly satin light pink
  • Allies – shimmery olive green
  • Leviathan – matte brick red
  • Midnight Oil – matte chocolate brown

All the colors are creamy to the touch and blend beautifully. Zero Matter performs nicer with a little setting spray, but Dugan and Allies (my favorite) work beautifully by simply patting it on your lid with your finger. The two dark mattes, Leviathan and Midnight Oil, are quite pigmented so I found building the color little by little worked best for me otherwise it’s going to be harder to temper if you go in heavy handed.

Let’s not gloss over the packaging of this palette because it is so fabulously thought out, that I squealed when I opened it. Resembling a British Passport, when you open it up, it has Ms. Carters demographic information, in what I am assuming is her handwriting, and her signature. It even comes complete with a small passport picture sized mirror, which although does not provide much assistance in creating a look, is really meant to help you get into the role. If you hold it just right, you suddenly become Agent Carter.

SWOON!

The Invisible Dusting Powder is another packaging winner. Complete with Shield logo on the front and a decoder running along the edge of the mirror, it’s really a collectors piece. If I had one complaint though was that the packaging is plastic and next to the leather bound palette and the ribbed gold of the lipsticks, it does feel, if not look a bit cheap. The powder itself is fine as well. It’s translucent, but I recommend to dab lightly as it will leave a white cast if you go in heavy.

I am affiliated with Besame Cosmetics, so if you are interested in picking up anything from the Agent Carter line, feel free to use my link by clicking here. Keep in mind that if you purchase anything, I will make a slight commission.

Have any of you picked anything up? What are you thoughts so far? Leave in the comments below and let’s chat!

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Uncategorized

Makeup Collection – SUPER REALISTIC!

Well….Kind of Realistic.

I love seeing other people makeup collections. You would think by doing that it would make me want to buy more, but actually, all it does is make me want to catalog what I have. Also, whenever I see someone mention something that I have, it’s like a trigger and I automatically pull it out of my stash and use it.

Now, I don’t have a beauty room or vanity or probably as large a makeup collection as some of you guys and gals, but this suits me just fine. In fact, all my makeup is currently housed in a 3 tiered cart that I got at IKEA. For those of us who don’t have a big bathroom counter or enough space to on our dressers to keep all our stuff, this cart is a lifesaver! Also, since it rolls around, I usually wheel it to my favorite spot in the house where I get the best natural light and apply my makeup in the morning while sipping on my coffee.

It’s super therapeutic!

I don’t want this post to sound like I’m bragging in any way. If you hate makeup collections, then feel free to scroll down to my last post. It’s also super interesting as well. However, if you want to see what I currently have in stock, then keep on reading.

Lips

  • Colourpop – Aquarius Satin, Aquarius 2, Aquarius Gloss, Rever, Dream, Ipsy VIP, Lumiere Matte
  • Too Faced – Melted Matte in Candy Cane, Cream Gloss in Papa Don’t Peach
  • Besame Cosmetics – Victory Red, 102 Sweet Dreams, 103 Forget Me Not, 104 Always Be True
  • Real Her Makeup – I Am Perfect, I Am Gorgeous, I Am Awesome, I Am a Rockstar
  • Milani Cosmetics – Matte Kiss, Rose Femme
  • AuNaturale – Ultra Lip Gloss, Kauai Lip Stain
  • Miscellaneous Lipsticks – Nars Cruella, Bite Beauty Aubergine, Becca Champagne Dream x Bellini, Nyx Strawberry Jam, Almay Butter Kiss Light Medium Berry, Adessa New York (No Name), Lipstick Queen Frog Prince
  • Lip Liners – Mak Up For Ever Aqua Lip 8C, Ofra Silk, Milani Most Natural.

Face

  • Foundation – Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir in Classic Ivory, Besame Cashmere Foundation Stick in Natural Beige, Burts Bees Goodness Glows in Buff, Antonym Baked Foundation in Light
  • Concealer – Tarte Shape Tape in Light Neutral, Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Concealer (No Shade, but it looks fair), Urban Decay Naked Skin in Light Neutral
  • Color Correcting – Hard Candy Cushion Wonder in Peach and Green
  • Powder – Covergirl Vitalist Pressed Powder in Classic Ivory, Marcelle Face Powder in Translucent, Besame Pressed Powder (Agent Carter Line) in Translucent

Cheeks (Not Palettes)

  • Blush – Nars Liquid Blush in Torrid, Pretty Vulgar Blush in Prim Vixen, Antonym Baked Blush in Peach, Burberry Dark Earthy Blush in Light Glow, Jordana Triple Play Cream Blush in Petal Pink, Real Her Be Fearless, Be Limitless
  • Highlighters – The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Sunlight, Tarte Pro Glow in Stunner

Eyes (Not Palettes)

  • Mascara – Burts Bees Mascara in Black, Maybelline Total Temptation in Black
  • Eyebrows – Almay Brow Pencil in Dark Blonde, It Cosmetics Brow Power in Universal Taupe, Maybelline Tattoo Studio in Soft Brown, The BrowGal Tinted Brow Gel in Light Hair
  • Eyeliner – Nudestix Rock n’ Roller Eyeliner in Golden Rose, Marc Jacobs Gel Highliner in Blacquer, Maybelline Lasting Drama in Moonlight Purple, Colourpop Creme Gel Liner in Mr. Bing, Modster Smooth Ride Eyeliner in Black, Vintage by Jessica Liebskind in Jet Black
  • Creme/Liquid Shimmer Shadows – Stila Magnificent Metals in Kitten Karma, Cover FX Shimmer Veil in Amethyst, AuNaturale Powder Shadow in Guava, AuNaturale Creme Shadow in Kiki, LOC One and Done Shadow in Impress Me
  • Colourpop Super Shock Shadows – Weenie, Frog, Super Hard Core, Sprinkle Me, Cheap Date, Liberty, Don’t Leave, Amaze, Coconut, Paradox, Fade In

Palettes

  • Eyeshadow Trios and Quads – Almay Quads in Never Settle, Making a Statement and Unapologetic, Burts Bees Trio in Shimmering Nudes, Antonym Quattro in To The Moon and Black.
  • Eyeshadow Singles (not part of a collection) – Ittse Peridot, Farrokh, Golden Gate, Azuline
  • Eyeshadow Singles (part of a collection) – Devinah Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Ittse, Marcel Starter Kit, Fell Street and Glambition Collection
  • Cheek and Face Palettes – Becca Apres Ski Glow Face, ABH Aurora Glow Kit, Tartiest Pro Glow, Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette
  • Eyeshadow – Huda Beauty Desert Dusk, Colourpop My Little Pony, Dream Street, ABH Modern Renaissance, Too Faced Sweet Peach and Natural Love, BH Cosmetics Supernova, Besame Agent Carter Passport Shadow Collection, Pur x Boxycharm Palette, Crown Glam Metals

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

VII CODE

VII Code O2M Oxygen Eye Masks – Review Time!

I was never one to have bags or dark circles under my eyes, that is until I hit that magical age I like to refer to as 35+. In my experience, your 30’s are filled with highs and lows. I had my children during that decade. My family was settling into our first home. I was building a career and making more money than I ever had before. I have no complaints or regrets.

However, it was also around that time, that I started noticing things about my appearance that were not present in my 20’s and -35’s, such as an increase in fine lines around my eyes, and also the arrival of dark circles. I know that having small children contributes to dark circles, but even when my kids got older and their sleep schedules settled, those pesky circles never left. They are like stretch marks, except gloomier and harder to hide.

I’m 40 now and I think that in this day and age when there are so many beauty products at our disposal, more so than there were 5 years ago, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no need to take on a defeatist attitude and just accept the fine lines and dark circles. I’m going to actually do something about them. So when VII Code reached out to me and sent me a pack of their O2M Oxygen Eye Masks for Dark Circles to try out, I was like “YES!!!”

VII Code O2M eye mask is an 8-hour overnight treatment, which is different from other  masks because it’s designed to:

  • Provide relief for tired eyes (more on that later)
  • Increase blood flow and lymphatic circulation
  • Boost oxygen intake to help with wrinkles and pigmentation
  • Leave your under eye area looking plump and smooth

Consisting of 6 masks in a box, each set comes in it’s own sealed envelope and, unlike, other eye masks that I have tried in the past, there is NO drippy formula spilling out from anywhere. That’s because VII Code uses a gel like material to assist with distributing the ingredients under your eyes while you sleep.

It’s also this gel like material that helps keeps the mask in place, which was my first worry, because all other eye masks I have used in the past usually began sliding down practically the minute you put them on and I was like “How are these little pads going to stay in place while I move all night?”. However, once you put them in place, they stayed there all night.

img_1707
Don’t mind the weird bathroom light.

Which got me thinking, “Are they going to be difficult to take off?” Nope. They peeled off with minimal tugging and didn’t leave any noticeable markings or residue.

Ok, so logistics out of the way, do these masks work?

I used them 3 times a week for 2 weeks and I honestly see an improvement with the dark circles, but also with the overall appearance.

BEFORE

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No Filter Selfie and fresh after finishing the Halo Beauty Supplements

When you first put them on, there is a cooling sensation that helps relieve any puffiness from the day. I’m pretty sure that as you drift to sleep the effect wears off and what happens while you snore, will probably remain a mystery, but when you wake up, your eyes look all nice and hydrated.

AFTER

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2 weeks later fresh after washing my face. No Filter Selfie in front of window.

I think that sleeping with the eye masks on took a little getting used to and it’s important not to place the masks to close to the lash line, otherwise it will be rubbing up against your lashes and feel a bit awkward. However, once you get the hang of placing them just right, which for me was beginning under the tear duct, with some space so its not hitting my lashes, and sweeping all the way to the side where your laugh lines begin, you won’t feel a thing. Just sit back and let that cooling sensation lull you to sleep.

I have to admit, that cool down was the best part of this whole experience. I looked forward to it each night.

If you want to purchase a set of the O2M Oxygen Eye Masks, head on over to VII Codes website. A set of 6 masks costs $58, but if you sign up for their mailing list, you will be notified when they have any special offers or discounts.

Have any of you tried VII Code? Any other products to recommend? If you so, you know where to leave them.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

***Products listed above were gifted, but all thoughts are my own.***

Need, Want, Skip · Uncategorized

Need It, Want It, Skip – New Beauty Releases Vol. 2

Whenever I’m feeling down or stressed, nothing gets me in a better mood that surfing the IG page of Trendmood and getting all excited over new makeup releases.

As Elle from Legally Blonde would say, “Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.”

Anyways, let’s see what I will and won’t be be buying anytime soon.

Need It

Walmart is stepping up their game ya’ll!! They are releasing 4 curated boxes with samples and full size products for $9.88. At that price, I’m definitely getting one.

You all know I support my Cuban peeps, so this release from Alamar Cosmetics has my credit card primer and ready. With a shade paying homage to the great Celia Cruz, how can I not get it?

Why, Besame? Why must you play to my inner geek and release a collection around Marvel Avengers Infinity War. Now I must get it and my credit card is getting ANGRY!

Want It

I love Urban Decays All Nighter Spray so this All Nighter Powder has got me intrigued. Want to check out some reviews before I commit though as I think my $10 Covergirl powder works just fine.

I just ordered Maybelline’s Lemonade Craze and now they come out with Soda Pop. What next? Strawberry Milkshake? Ohh… that’s not a bad idea, but let me see if Lemonade Craze lives up to the hype before I commit to another palette.

I think this MAC collection is a little weird, which is why it has me thinking about it so much. In one pic you see macaroons and sprinkles and in the others pic sleek dark designs. I’m really not much of a MAC fan girl, but it has me curious.

This subscription box from Storybook Cosmetics has me checking Trendmood regularly for updates. I love specially curated collections and usually Storybook creates products around popular books and movies, so I’m curious to see if the subscription will be the same.

Skip It

Not feeling this 90’s throwback palette. It’s not that I don’t like color and it definitely seems like it has a nice mix of shimmers and mattes, but it seems a little too candy colored for me.

Everyone and their mother is going bananas over this Limited Edition Physicians Formula Butter Collection and I know the price is freaking fantastic at $12, but I think I’m the only person in the beauty community who doesn’t care for the scent or the colors. For that reason, it’s a no for me.

This Model Co. and Karl Lagerfd collab is cute, but I just can’t seem to imagine myself applying lipstick with a mini sized bust of this late, great designer. However, it definitely seems like a collectors piece.

Omg, these Natasha Denona mini palettes are a joke. Now I know that travel sized products are convenient and even better values than the full size at times, but these look like they were created for American Girl Dolls. I just can’t deal with how silly they look.

Anyone else excited or left scratching their heads over upcoming new releases? If so, leave them in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Beauty Favorites

April Monthly Favorites

When I was going through my beauty cart earlier today to pick out my April favorites, I came to the stunning realization that I bought a lot of makeup last month. Between the Ulta and Sephora sales and some launches that I was waiting for, a lot of packages arrived at my doorstep. Now that’s great because in the coming months, I’m hoping that my monthly faves post is chock full of great stuff. The downside is that this month, with so much stuff for me to try, I never really got down and dirty on many products. I was just moving from one thing to the next.

That’s ok. My list may be short for April, but these products were definitely some that I reached for multiple times.

Face

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer. Now this stuff is DAMN EXPENSIVE and I realize that I was using it very sparingly for that reason. However, I committed to use it last month because what’s the point in buying something if you never actually use it, right? Now, admittedly, I only use one or two pumps, but that’s all you need! The product is so smooth that a few pumps is all it takes to cover your entire face. I primarily use it on my T-zone, but whatever is left on my fingers, I apply everywhere else. This sinks into all my pores and fine lines and just creates this illusion of smoothness. It basically guarantees me a good makeup day.

Eyes

It Cosmetics Brow Power in Universal Taupe. I got this product in one of my Boxycharms and I actually gave it to Sofia one day. However, having run out of my Almay Brow Pencil, I was desperate and requested it back (temporarily) until my Amazon order came in. Even though I got my Almay Brow Pencil in, I still haven’t given the Brow Power back. I know, I’m horrible. The formula is not too creamy, but not too stiff and the point is the perfect shape to fill in my brows. Also, don’t be too afraid of the color. It looked a bit dark for my light brown hair at first, but if you use a light hand and not too much pressure, it miraculously matches perfectly.

The BrowGal Tinted Brow Gel with Microfibers. Another Boxycharm item that made it to the fave list. I really don’t tend to fuss too much with my brows. I just like to fill them in to add color and shape and that’s it. Brow gel is one of those things that I just kind of forget to use, mostly because I’m in a rush. However, having received this item in my last box, I was intrigued by the fact that it was tinted and as a blonde browed girl, anything to help give color or dimension immediately gets my attention. This stuff not only keeps your brows in place and reigns in your stray hairs, but it also helps the brow pencil along and fills in those gaps that you may have missed. It’s definitely on the top shelf of my cart.

Lips

Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Balm in Berry Light Medium. I picked this little beauty up in Walgreens one day when I was on my way to the movies with the kids and it’s never left my purse ever since. This is what I like to call a pinch hitter product. On those days when you are rushing out the door and forget your lipstick or have not been drinking as much water as you should and your lips are dry, then dig this one from the bottom of the purse and apply. The color is supposed to work with your skin tone to give you the perfect shade in that color (i.e. berry) and the balm nourishes your chapped lips. It also has the loveliest sheen to it. I’ve applied this right before a client meeting and also on those days when you are running errands and realize that you have not a lick of color on your face. In either scenario, it was a life saver.

What were your go to beauty products this month? Any suggestions for May? If so, leave them in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

AuNaturale

AuNaturale Spring Collection – Review Time!

Welcome to a Special Saturday Morning Edition of Review Time!

Ok, it’s not so special if I missed Friday, but sometimes that happens. You get it, right?

Let’s talk about AuNaturale Cosmetics. I first heard about this brand through Birchbox and fell in love with their makeup and their mission statement. If you don’t know anything about AuNaturale, let me catch you up:

  • Founder, Ashley Prange, was a NUCLEAR ANALYST (can we say AWESOME?) working in DC when she decided that she didn’t want to sacrifice wearing makeup, just because certain ingredients were irritating her skin.
  • She basically created her own makeup line in her kitchen, mixing minerals in her coffee grinder.
  • After so many of her friends and colleagues took notice of her glowing skin and asking her to grind some makeup for them, she decided to create AuNaturale to fulfill the growing demand of the people for a Clean Beauty Revolution.

That’s a pretty awesome story, right?

AuNaturale’s line has got you covered from eyebrows to lips and everywhere in between and the prices are in line with brands like Becca and Hourglass. They do have quite a few sales, so I would definitely wait for a 20% to try any of their products.

It was during their Earth Day sale that I snagged their Spring Collection, a lovely lavender/purple curated set that immediately had me thinking about fields of flowers which prompted me hit PURCHASE. Consisting of 2 lip products, 2 eye products and a makeup bag for a price of $75, it’s a little on the steep side, but I did manage to get 20% off, which was nice.

If you have never purchased anything from AuNaturale, you will be pleasantly surprised when you received your box and find a REAL handwritten note thanking you for your purchase. It’s the little touches like that, that always get me.

The makeup bag is nice, sturdy and BLACK, which I think is the perfect color to offset any spills and stains that occur from open lipsticks and powders. The products themselves are also lovely, although, some perform better than others.

Right from the get go, my favorite was the Crème Shadow in Kiki, a lovely shimmery cream shadow that is perfect for an all over lid color. Applying it straight from the tube is a little rough because the products rolls from the tube in a block form, but I just use my finger to dab it onto the eyelid and I think that would be the best method regardless. For a cream shadow, I found it to be long lasting and very easy to blend, however, I did notice that it creased a bit after a few hours. However, the beauty of this product is that you can throw it your purse and touch up when needed as long as you are not going for a complicated look.

Another favorite was the High Lustre Lip Gloss in Ultra. What I liked the most about this gloss was the shade. I don’t have anything like it in my collection. It’s a bright, cool toned purple, with just a hit of pink and it’s a semi- opaque gloss, which I like, because it can easily be worn alone, or on top of another color to punch of up the shine. I don’t particularly think it’s long wearing and you will have to reapply, but that seems typical for glosses.

I often paired the gloss with their lip stain in Kauai, which I think is a perfect match if you are looking for a shiny berry lip. The color, a very deep purple shade is beautiful, but I have to admit that I personally use darker shades in the fall and winter, so I’m not gravitating to much to it right now. Also, for a stain, it’s a little thick right out of the tube and it tugs at the lip a bit when you apply. It does have longevity, which is nice, but as the color sinks in and fades, if you don’t initially apply it evenly, it is a bit patchy.

The last piece of the collection is a bit of a head scratcher for me. A super fine powder shadow in a lovely rose gold called Guava, is really up my alley, but it’s the roller ball dispenser that has me all baffled. Typically, shimmer shadows are in pots, which granted, can be a bit messy, but they allow you dip your brush or finger in and apply it right to the lid. The rollerball prohibits me from getting the exact amount I need to highlight anything because let’s face it, sometimes you want a bucketful of shine and other times you want a subtle sheen, but this applicator is not allowing you to make that decision from the get go. That’s kind of a downer, I must admit, but I appreciate the thought process behind the rollerball.

I am affiliated with AuNaturale, so if you want to purchase their Spring Collection or any products, feel free to use my affiliate link. Keep in mind, that I will make a small commission if you decide to purchase any product.

Anyone else try any AuNatural products? If so, you know where to leave your thoughts?

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Halo Beauty

Halo Beauty Hair, Skin, Nails Booster – Review Time!

When I first heard that Tati Westbrook was coming out with beauty vitamins in her Halo Beauty debut, I was like many of you, slightly dumbstruck.

I mean, talk about a major let down.

But, whatever! I know she got a lot of flack from the beauty community and her followers, but in the end, she’s the CEO of her company and she can pretty much do whatever she wants. If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it.

And that was pretty much what I was planning to do. Investing $40 on supplements really wasn’t high on my priority list. However, a few rough nights that had me waking up with tired skin and bags under my eyes sent me into of fit that only a fairly recent 40 year old will have.

I don’t know about other 40 somethings, but I can jump from “Damn! I look good!” to “I resemble a dusty ass Mayan mummy!” in like 2.5 seconds.

Clearly, it was during a moment resembling the second scenario that I quickly decided that I NEEDED to get a bottle of Tati’s magic beans before I crumbled into a pile of dust on my bathroom floor.

Now I know there has also been a lot of discussion around what these vitamins are composed of, however, I’m not here to talk about ingredients, so if you want to get schooled on that head on over to her website and read on up. The point of this post is to give you an honest review of the products after taking it for 1 month.

I will briefly give Tati both a thumbs up on the overall design of the bottle, which is indeed heavenly, but a HUGE thumbs down on the size of these pills. They are T-Rex sized! I literally hesitated before swallowing these suckers the first time I took them.

Size aside, do these supplements work? Yes and Maybe.

Ok, I know that some of you might be scratching your heads on my decision, but let me break it down for you.

Yes, I did see a definitive improvement in the overall texture of my skin about 1.5 weeks into taking these vitamins. I distinctly remember rubbing my upper arms one day and noticing that the small bumps that have always peppered that area had diminished. This prompted me to take notice of the skin on my face, legs and chest and I came to the same conclusion that they all felt much smoother than usual.

However, I didn’t really see any reduction of wrinkles, but to be fair, I only took them for 1 month.

CAUTION: NO FILTER SELFIE AHEAD!!!!!

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April 2018

So my skin was reaping the benefits, but what about my hair and nails? This is where the MAYBE part comes in. You see, I have always had freakishly fast growing hair and nails. In order to keep my nails nice and cropped like I like them, I have to clip them about once every 1 – 1.5 weeks.

Same goes for my hair. I can go from a bob to hair past my shoulders like in 6 months and other than a few gray hairs around the forehead, I don’t really have any other markers for me to determine if the supposed anti-gray hair claims hold true. For that reason, I feel like I can’t make a judgement call on the hair and nails part. I really didn’t see any difference.

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January 2018 – Hair at Boob Level
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April 2018 – Hair Past Boob Level

Sorry, folks! I feel like I failed you all. I’m hard pressed to give you a thumbs up on this because I feel like I’m not the most suitable candidate to test all this product.

With that being said, did any of you also buy Halo Beauty? What are your thoughts on them. Any improvements to your hair and nails? If so, please let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza