Almay

Almay Instant Glow Highlighting Duo – A Hidden Gem

Oh Almay….I've always had a love/hate relationship with you.  I love your commercials with Carrie Underwood because she is so cool, talented and All-American, but every time I try one of your products, I have been monumentally disappointed.

Also, I feel really bad saying this, but your brand is so forgettable. Every time I go into the drugstore, you are tucked away into the farthest corner of the makeup aisle, somewhere between Neutrogena and Sally Hansen, with only the smallest sliver of space, and an excessive amount of foundation and concealer bottles which makes your display always looks so…. beige.

Beige. Very beige.

So imagine my surprise, when I walk into my local CVS and right in the very front of the makeup aisle I see a rather large display of shimmery pink and golds (the Park Ave rich cousin of beige – she's cool) calling my attention. There is nothing that makes me stop in my tracks faster than the promise of a good highlighter and the Instant Glow Highlighting Duo certainly did that. It is a sleek, dual ended strobing stick, with a cream highlighter on one end and liquid on the other. The cream twists up for easy application directly on the skin and the liquid end has a small doe foot applicator.

You want to know something funny? This is probably the most interesting product Almay currently has in their line up and I cannot for the life of me find it on their website to link to this post. Almay…you are killing me!!!

Anyways, my eye is immediately drawn to the pink one, Soft Glow, and I decide to give it a try. Did I mention, this puppy costs $14.99? I don't know whether that is actually steep or my predisposed beliefs on Almay automatically make me think I am about to throw away some money. Well, either way, here goes nothing.

I want to give this highlighter a fair shot, so I prep the skin with my go to moisturizer, Hey Honey Boost It Up, and foundation, Covergirl Vitalist. I dot some of the liquid highlighter on the high point of my cheeks and blend it in with my beauty sponge. The liquid highlighter has a very pearlescent quality, which I am totally digging at this point, and sunk into the skin quickly and nicely. I finish up the rest of my face with bronzer and blush and then dab some of the cream highlighter with my finger on top of the liquid for an added punch, as well as on the bridge of nose and cupids bow.

Ok, Almay. I think you are on to something here.

The end look is not a mega high watt shine, but a glow from within type. It looked natural and healthy and while I was running errands around town with the hubs and kids, I kept on looking in the rearview mirror (you know we all do that!) and thought the look was keeping up just fine with me.

So, has Almay been redeemed in my eyes? Somewhat. I really like this product and know I will continue to use it. I'm just hoping that this will be the start of something new for them because even these highlighters can easily get drowned out by their sea of beige bottles.

What do you think? Am I being slightly unfair to Almay? Anything else that I should give a try to make me a convert? If so, leave your ideas in the comments below.

Have a great Sunday, my friends!

Maritza

 

 

 

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Lipstick

Happy National Lipstick Day!

Judging by the number of lipsticks I own, it looks like I have been celebrating National Lipstick Day for quite some time. But that's ok, everyone has a hobby, right? Mine happens to be collecting the same nude shade (it's never the same!) over and over again across multiple cosmetic lines.

Well, in honor of the best holiday EVER, I'm sharing with you my two favorite lipsticks. I would have only chosen one, but I couldn't. It would be like choosing which one of my children I love the most.

Milani Color Statement Moisture in Matte Naked. If I had to pick one lipstick to take with me to a deserted island, it would be this one. Not because it's my #1, but because, quite frankly, I think it would go well with the island decor. But seriously, I love the warm toned nude color. I think it would go well with multiple skin colors and also totally gives me 90's vibes.   It's matte, but not drying and long lasting. I can put this on in the morning and not have to touch up till lunch.

Hard Candy Velvet Mousse Lipstick in Cherry Blossom. Every time I go to Walmart, I pick up one of their Liquid Lippies in the tin box. The formula's are long wearing, extremely pigmented and do not dry your lips out. Their Velvet Mousse line is  probably my favorite of them all. They are not necessarily matte, but certainly not glossy and they smell like buttercream frosting. All their colors are great, but if I had to choose one, it would be Cherry Blossom. It's the perfect rose color and can got from a day to night look in a heartbeat.

Both lipsticks mentioned above can be picked up at Walmart or your local drugstore (Milani only), however, if you are planning to go to the mall today, make sure you stop by your local MAC counter, as it was announced that MAC will be giving out a FULL SIZED lipstick to all their customers on July 29. Not a sample, not a mini or deluxe size…FULL SIZE!!!  Deep Breaths, Maritza. Deep Breaths.

I think National Lipstick Day is officially better than Christmas.

Tell me what are your favorite lipsticks in the comments below. I know I need to add another nude to my collection (they are not the same!).

Love,

Maritza

 

 

e.l.f.

e.l.f. $20 Full Face Challenge

Full disclaimer: No one really challenged me to this. It’s more of a self challenge. I don’t know if that says anything about my general lack of friends, but I like to think that it’s more about having initiative. The desire to overcome obstacles and prove to someone that this can be done.

Once again, not sure who that someone is right now, but hey..maybe that someone can be you.

The Rules

Rules are simple: $20 for a full face of makeup using e.l.f. products. Since this is my challenge, I am not categorizing moisturizer or primer as makeup. I mean, let’s face it. I use moisturizer even on days that I don’t wear makeup and I am going to admit to the fact, that 50% of the time I forget to apply primer before putting on foundation.

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Anyways, I chose e.l.f. because it’s easy to buy (got all my products at Target), economical and their products are actually really good. It was a no brainer to me.

The Players:

Perfect Face Palette in Nude ($10) – this is the anchor holding this challenge together. This palette has it all: eyeshadow, blush, highlighter AND lipstick. Also, the brown eyeshadow is ashy enough that it can double as contour. SCORE!

Flawless Finish Foundation ($6) in Natural – I have freckles, discoloration and acne scars to cover up so foundation is a must. I didn’t want to spend this much, but I saw no way around it.

Brightening Eyeliner ($1) in Brown – I am actually planning to use this as an eyebrow pencil. The formula seems creamy enough that if I use a light hand it won’t look too dark on me.

$3 left and this is the part where I run into a bit of a quandary. I have to decide between concealer or mascara. I am totaling Sophie’s Choicing right now.  I mean, these are not really products I typically leave out of my routine.

I’m standing in the makeup aisle at Target, pacing with the concealer in one hand and mascara on the other mentally weighing the pros and cons so heavily that people started staring. I may have also been talking to myself, which I’m sure contributed to said stares.

I decide on the mascara. My eyelashes, as my friends Karla once told me, are practically clear, so if I plan to create a sexy smoky eye, then it’s going to look just plain weird without it.

So rounding out the ensemble is….

3-in-1 Mascara ($3) in Black –  I like my wands to have a curved brush to curl my lashes, but I couldn’t find one, so I half heartedly settled on this one.

$20 on the nose. I am the Queen!

The Execution

I am planning to go out to lunch with the kids and hubs, so I have to make this look work. I look at all my players and the first thing that comes to my mind is “This is it?” I typically use more than 4 products to create a full face of makeup. But remember it’s not quantity, but quality and creativity, which I got loads of. I think. I pin a lot.

I apply the foundation with my beauty sponge and like the finish, but it was a tad light for my skin and not exactly full coverage. However, for $6 this isn’t too bad. I do go in after I am done and apply a bit more under the eyes, forehead and more freckly bits.

Then it’s onto the palette. Using a flat eye brush, I pick up some of the lighter brown shade and begin to contour my face by drawing lines under the cheekbones, chin and on my forehead and blend the bejeezus out of it with a fluffy angled brush. I’m not going to lie, I had to dip into the shade a few more times to achieve the level of contour I was looking for. The pigmentation was a little on the weak side when you are covering so much surface.

img_4157
Fish face is the best face for contour

 

The blush was a lovely peachy shade and it went on without a problem. The “highlighter” was basically just white powder with probably some intention of shimmer, but I ended up layering the champagne shimmer shadow over it to create the type of highlight I like. The good news is that I was able to use the white “highlighter” under the eyes to brighten it up a bit and the effect was nice.

It’s now time for the brows and this is the part that I am most nervous to tackle. I know that there are no rules to makeup and that you can use lip liner as eyeliner and vice versa, so why not eye liner for the brows. The only problem is that it’s quite a dark brown and I am afraid I am going to look like I took a Sharpie to my brows. Using the lightest hand possible I begin to carve out my brows and fill them in. The pencil is creamy enough to allow me to create the effect I am used to, but I did have to dip into the light brown eyeshadow a bit to soften the look up.

The last steps were the easiest. I created a perfectly acceptable smoky eye using the eyeshadow trio and the peachy blush. I rounded it out by once again using the white “highlighter” under the brow bone and the champagne color in the inner corner. Mascara on the lashes and, last, but not least, I took the rosy pink shade from the lip stick selection and dabbed it on my lips with my finger.

Voila! The look is completed.

img_4167
I’m going to say it….I look GOOD!

The Verdict

I asked my husband what he thought of my makeup and he said I looked very pretty. I asked him if he thought something looked different and he then asked me if this was a trick question, so I left him alone.

Sofia also thought I looked nice. She did mention that the tail end of my eyebrows are lighter than normal, but I think that was more me hesitating on using the dark brown eyeliner too heavily and not the eyeliners fault.

Maritza for the WIN!

What do you guys think? Did I pass the challenge? Let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

 

 

 

 

 

Hard Candy

Color Correcting for Dummies with Hard Candy

I realized that I am constantly correcting things. If a picture frame is tilted, I straighten it. If my children are picking their noses, I tell them to use a tissue (gross, I know). My husband goes to Starbucks and doesn’t bring me back an Iced Cinnamon Almond Macchiato? He dies.

Ok, I won’t kill him. But he will endure intense passive aggressiveness for at least a week.

Interestingly enough, the only thing I am not correcting is my face. As in color correcting, that is. I have always been intimidated by the whole process. Adding green, yellow or orange to my face seemed really counterintuitive, not to mention intimidating. I mean, isn’t the whole purpose of makeup to make the skin look more like your skin, only better? So how does adding non-skin like colors, make it more natural? And what if you add too much or don’t blend it out? You are basically going to be walking around like a clown college reject.

Stuff like this keeps me up at night.

Well, to ease my concerns and help with my sleep routine, the nice folks at Hard Candy sent me a trio of Sheer Envy Color Correct Cushion Wonders. These beauties come in a squeeze tube with a cushion tip that you twist to open and close. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure to get the product to come through, so my suggestion is to just squeeze a bit. A little goes a long way.

HC Color Correct

You can find these products at Walmart and they cost $6 each. Now that seems like a deal if you ask me, but, let’s test these babies out first, shall we?

Not coincidently, today I woke up with the usual dark circles under my eyes (see what keeps me up at night above), redness and discoloration on my cheeks, nose and forehead and, of course, a zit right on the bridge of my nose.

First I tackle the under eyes and use the peach to soften the darkness a bit. The formula seemed lightweight and went on smooth. When I rubbed it between my fingers, it felt a bit mousse like. It also had a very faint sweet floral scent, which I really liked. I moved on to yellow and apply a bit on my eyelids to cover the bluish veins and on my forehead and chin to add a little brightness. Since it is a squeezy tube, why not freehand a cute little design? No one said you can’t have fun neutralizing redness.

To conquer the zit, I hit up the green one. Out of all the colors, this is the one that freaks me out the most. I can deal with peach and yellow, but GREEN? The Hulk is green. Kermit is green. Me? I’m pasty white with freckles. But it’s ok, this will work. I apply a small (size of sun) dot on the zit and on the side of my nose and begin blending the products with my beauty sponge.

I start off with the peach and yellow and find that they blend out surprisingly easy. Then I tackle the Hulk colored areas. Once again, I find that the color sinks into the skin really well and immediately, the zit looks less red. By George.. I think we found something!

But before we get all excited, we haven’t passed the final stage. Blending your foundation and concealer on top of the Impressionist painting currently hanging on your face. So I grab by trusty Covergirl Vitalist and my Tarte Shape Tape and finish prepping my face. When I look in the mirror and check out my handy work, I am totally impressed. My under eyes look brighter. Same for my forehead and chin. However, what I am most impressed by is the zit on the nose. Right off the bat, you could barely tell it was there if not for the bump. Yet, that’s not all, my friends. Three hours later when I do a quick check in, it still looks good. This is literally one of the oiliest parts of my face. Products usually breaks up first around my nose area and I still could not pick up on any redness.

Color correct Pic
See the bump????

Boom! Mind is blown.

I have no idea why I was so worried. I guess, as with everything, the product you are using is key, so if you are like I once was and are a bit hesitant to venture into the scary world of color correcting, stop by your local Walmart and pick up one of these Hard Candy beauties.  I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed as they have made it practically goof proof.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

 

Stila

Bring Back The Stila Girl

Back in the 00’s, when I was in my early 20’s ….

Me: Geez why do I suddenly feel so old?

 

Inner Me: Umm…cause it’s 2017 and that was over a decade ago, you old geezer.

 

Me: Thanks, Inner Me. I appreciate your daily reality check. (Goes to cry in the shower)

Anyways, as I was saying. Back in my early 20’s, Stila used have a series of palettes, which contained an eyeshadow and blush combo, that was built around a theme. Like, Summer in the Hamptons or Striking in South Beach. All these palettes also had a cute, model type cartoon girl in the midst of some activity (i.e. rollerblading down Ocean Drive), dressed super trendy and looking like everything I wanted to be at that time: thin and beautiful with perfect hair.

Stilla-The-Color-of-innovation-fall-2010-Pretty-in-Paris-palette.jpg

She had many looks and came from different parts of the world, but she was known simply as the Stila Girl. I used to go to Sephora and swatch the palettes every time a new one would debut and drool over how cool I would look taking out this thin wallet type palette for a touch up when I went out with girlfriends.

To be honest, I don’t remember if the pigmentation was any good or if the colors lasted all day, but the Stila Girl was the only persuasion I needed to shell out my hard earned money. She was like the Instagram Model of the day. If she looked like she was having the time of her life on that cover, then I wanted buy it, because she obviously knew better than I did.

I mean, don’t we all roller skate on South Beach in a blue romper in 90 degree weather? Forget the humidity and chafed thighs. You won’t be bothered with that looking like you do in your smoky blue eye.

Stila Girl South Beach

I think it was sometime around 2011 that Stila dropped the Stila Girl. Not surprising, that’s when I stopped buying Stila. I’m not saying that their quality declined , but the Stila Girl reminded me of my youth. Of the good ole days, when I was young and had the metabolism of an Olympian. I know if she was real, Stila Girl is probably married now, with a few kids. Probably blogging and doing the school drop off looking super chic in skinny jeans and cool v neck. Her hair, perfectly balayaged and in beachy waves. I still  want to be her.

So Stila, if you are reading this, consider bringing back the Stila Girl. I know that there others like me that would spend money for the opportunity to relive their past a bit.

Sincerely,

Maritza

 

 

Besame Cosmetics

Besame Cosmetics – Agent Carter

Last Saturday night I was surfing the web and doing some window shopping. I stopped by Besame Cosmetics to check out their latest endeavor, the Snow White Collection, and also research some of their lipsticks. They have a range of lipsticks that are inspired by the colors used in that particular decade. As an avid watcher of the History Channel, I thought that was totally cool and was deciding which one to throw to the cart, when something caught my eye.

I see the name Agent Carter in the drop down menu. Like the imaginary spy I envision myself to be, I covertly click on the link and immediately begin to nerd out to much of the confusion of my husband and children. Besame is coming out with a line of Marvel Agent Carter inspired make up!!!

Besame Agent Carter Promo

For those of you who do not know who Agent Peggy Carter is, she is seriously one of the coolest ladies of Marvel. In the comics and movie, she is Captain America’s first love interest during WWII who fought along with him throughout the course of the war against Hydra. After the war, she joined Shield as one of the first female agents. There was a TV show, also called Agent Carter, which chronicled her adventures and challenges being female spy in the predominantly male oriented profession. Unfortunately, it got cancelled, but if you have a chance to catch it online, please do so. It was BAD ASS!

The line looks like it will be launching this fall and when it does, you better believe I will buying it.

Any other Marvel Agent Carter fans out there? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, Avengers….I mean Friends!

Maritza

 

BH Cosmetics

Galaxy Chic – BH Cosmetics

Galaxy Chic is one of those palettes that you first buy for the novelty. Let’s face it, the whole concept is a gimmick, down to the packaging. Each deliciously swirled color is baked into small circular pans that shimmer like far away stars. The name is catchy and cute and my first thought was that this would make a great Instagram pic.


I cannot believe how shallow that sounds. I mean, I literally admitted I bought something for the amount of likes it would get me on Instagram. I think I need to get some help or the very least a lot of perspective.

Anyhow….

The surprising thing is that when I actually began to play around with the colors and started creating eye looks, I realized how versatile and rich this palette actually is. Unlike the recent releases of red toned palettes flooding the market this summer, this has it all. Warm reds, yellows, oranges and browns that can compliment your Urban Decay Heat or Colour Pop’s Yes Please palette, as well as cool blues, greens and purples that allow you to create those unique individual look.


The only downside is that they are all shimmers, which does not make this palette a stand alone, in my opinion. I typically incorporate some matte shades in order to create the depth I like in my eyelooks. The colors also apply better with when dabbed with the finger, than with a blush, but that is not a problem for me as I usually apply my shimmers in that manner.

Did I mention that this palette is $15.99? If the colors and packaging aren’t convincing, then the price is. I spent more on lip balm and it’s not even half as entertaining as looking at this palette.

Let me know in the comments below any other palettes that I should try out from BH Cosmetics. I currently own the Solar Flare palette, which is another highly recommended one, and want some more recommendations.

Have a great Sunday!

Maritza

Lipstick Battle

Lipstick Battle – Lip Gloss Edition

About a week ago, I stopped by Sephora and saw the new Becca Liquid Crystal Glow Gloss. I swear the display was haloed because it was calling to me. I glided over to the case and swatched this golden peachy perfection called Champagne Dream x Bellini and even under the fluorescent Sephora lights was mesmerized by their glittery goodness. I was sold!

I managed to snag the last one in that color (a sign that it was destined to be mine) and went to the register and happily shelled out my hard-earned $22. I even got some samples from the nice Sephora lady. This was the perfect day.

You would think the story ends there, but, my friends, you are wrong. Little did I know that a Lipstick Battle was brewing, because not even two days later, I received my order of  BH Cosmetics goodies, which contained a possible Contender for the title of Lip Gloss Champion 2017.

Lipstick Battle pic 1

Entering the ring at an impressively light $5.99 is the Nude Rose Lip Gloss in Marilyn. A gorgeous rose toned lip gloss with flecks of gold that shimmer in the sunlight like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Ohh…the Battle is on!!!

Both lip glosses work well as a topper or alone as a gloss and they both smell divine. Becca smells like vanilla cupcakes and BH like an orange creamsicle. Becca does have a little more staying power on the lips, but BH is almost a 1/4 of the cost.

Lipstick Battle pic 2

It’s almost a tie and I’m beginning to sweat here trying to make a decision. It seems that after each round neither has a real advantage over the other. However, after much deliberation, the winner, by the tiniest of margins, is Becca. Overall, the shimmer payoff is just slightly better than BH.

But there are no losers in this battle, my friends. Both lip glosses are winners and both deserve a spot in the top shelf of your vanities this summer.

Who will be battling it out next time in the ring? Stay tuned and find out!

Maritza

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Honey

Hey Honey…Check this Out

One of my favorite brands, Hey Honey, is having an awesome sale on their Boost It Up Daily Moisturizing Cream. Today and tomorrow only, Boost It Up, will be 50% off. That means you get this moisturizer made with,  Honey (DUH!), Vitamin E and Coconut Oil for $19!!!! The best part is that 100% of the profits made between July 14 -15 will be donated to Anti Defamation League (ADL) to combat hate and build inclusive communities!

Use code: NoPlaceForHate

noplce__46189.1499973958.1280.1280

 

If you so choose, you can also use my affiliate personal link and type in HeyHoneyMaritza10 at checkout for 10% off your next order. This discount will not double with the NoPlaceForHate code, but if you like the Boost It Up Daily Moisturizing Cream, stop on by again use my code for your next purchase and save a little money while you are at it.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Maritza

 

Fashion Inspiration

Summer Lovin

 

Summer Lovin

 

We are moving out of our apartment in August and so for the next few weeks, we will be decluttering, donating, boxing up and sending to storage most of our stuff. We are downsizing for various reasons, and it’s quite cathartic going through all your stuff and putting aside the things you truly love and giving away those items that are just not your style anymore.

And before you ask… yes, that also includes make up.

That still doesn’t mean that I don’t want new things, but it’s a give a take at this point. If I really want something, I made a promise, that I have to get rid of something I don’t use any longer. Once, we move into our permanent place, I am hoping that it will have the space for a big vanity and closet to house all my beauty things.

So, what do you when you can’t justify making a purchase, but really, really, really want it?
I like to make little vision boards of all the stuff that tickle my fancy and imagine me wearing it or using it on a particular occasion. Sometimes, this makes me want it even more, but other times, it removes that need after it’s been sitting in my folder for a while, particularly, the $1500 YSL purse and $13,000 Chanel watch. You know, got to feed my children and all, but it’s a Vision Board, so you put on there what you want!

 

The inspiration behind this particular board is poolside cocktails at The Delano Hotel in South Beach. I wanted something easy and effortless, but not pretentious.
Do you create vision boards? If so, leave your comments below and share some of your wants.
Have a wonderful Sunday, my friends.

Maritza