Clarins · Influenster · Skincare

Clarins Extra Firming Day and Night Cream – Review Time!

About a month ago, I was lamenting over the fact that I needed to get a new moisturizer. My skin was just not feeling the ones I was using, which, admittedly, where a bunch of subscription box samples that weren’t working for me. My skin is moistly oily, but I had been getting these dry patches on my forehead and around the mouth area and nothing that I was using was making that better. I must have thrown some sort wish out there, because a few days later, I was sent a nice little box from Influenster with two deluxe size samples of the Clarins Day and Night Extra Firming Moisturizer.

Thanks, Universe!

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If you want to read product details, head on over to their website here  and read up on all the good stuff. I don’t think you come here for an ingredient list, but rather to get a real user opinion and review.

The samples lasted for exactly two weeks, which is just the time frame Clarins states you will begin to see your skin become firmer, tighter and rejuvenated and I’m going to start off by saying that it’s true! My favorite out of the two is the Night Cream.  I could tell that my skin was in desperate need of a change and some intense moisture, because after using it one time, it felt like my skin blossomed overnight. The first thing I noticed was how soft my it felt to the touch. It didn’t exactly feel silky, but soft. Like as if you were running your finger back and forth on stick of butter. That’s a really weird comparison, but just go with it.

Both creams are thick and smell like you walked into a expensive department store. However, the scent does not linger, but even if it did, I wouldn’t mind. It’s pleasant, like a soft, floral perfume. While, I appreciated the thickness of the Night Cream, I feel like that is the one thing about the Day Cream that I fault. It takes FOREVER to sink into the skin and wasn’t very compatible with some of my foundations, especially the dewy ones. It made my skin a little shinier than I liked, no matter which primer I used, and had me reaching for the setting powder a little more than usual. However, on make up free days, I just lather some of this and go about my day, mindlessly touching my face to feel how soft it felt.

After about 2 weeks, I can honestly admit that I see a visible difference about my skin. This includes my neck and decolletage area. Are my wrinkles gone? Absolutely not. However, there is a definitive blurriness about them, particularly the really fine ones around my eyes, and even some of the smaller forehead wrinkles. Along with blurred wrinkles, my face just looks plain nicer, brighter and plump. Kind of like you came back from a nice jog and all your blood is pumping and making everything look healthy and pink.

So the big question is, would I buy this duo again? SURE! If I had $180 ($93 for Night & $87 for Day) laying around, I would jump on that like no tomorrow. However, I don’t and even though I LOVE what this does for my skin, that is a A LOT of dough to drop. You do get a decent amount of product, 1.7 oz per jar, so that does offset the cost a bit and trust me that a little goes a long way. You don’t need a lot a day to make this product work. However, broke mortals like me might need to head on over to the drugstore for a cheaper dupe if that’s not a manageable monetary commitment for skincare.

Any recommendations for a good cheap dupe? If so, leave them in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

****The product above was provided to me complimentary for testing.****

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The Friday Five

The Friday Five – 2018 Beauty Resolutions

Happy Friday!

We officially made it through probably the longest week of the year and survived. Is not the first week after the holidays the worst? I don’t know about you, but I practically crawled into the office on Tuesday, took one look at all the emails in my inbox from my 10 day vacation and immediately starting counting down the days till Friday.

Loverboy was indeed correct. Everybody is working for the weekend.

Anywho, back-to-work doldrums aside, January is a wonderful month. Symbolically, the clock to your life has reset and you are provided the opportunity to improve upon yourself. Now some of us may use this forward momentum to redesign your entire life. Me, I just want to tweak a few things here and there and  I want to share them with you, so that you all can keep me honest.

Since this is a beauty blog, I thought it appropriate to share with you my 5 Beauty Resolutions for 2018.

#5 – Get My Nails Done!

Truth be told, I’m not into nails all that much. No particular reason other than I like the look of clean, cropped nails and have a tendency to pick off my nail polish when ever I do happen to paint them. However, I’m an avid cuticle picker (gross, I know) and on more than one occasion have actually drawn blood. However, I work in an industry where from time to time, I have to shake hands with other people and there’s nothing worse that extending your hand and just before you make contact with them, you see that lone little hangnail sticking out from the side of your nailbed. You start thinking, can they feel the little jab of the hangnail? Did they see that one nail is slightly longer than the others? Why is the guys hand softer than mine? OMG, I have MAN HANDS!

You see how easily it is for me to spiral? So, to avoid that, I’m just going to get a manicure twice a month. No crazy colors though. A simple French manicure will do.

#4 – Get my Brows Done

Like professionally. I only do it about twice a year and when I have them done, I go all out. Waxing, shaping and coloring. I feel like a new person and every time, I promise myself that I will maintain the new me with the fabulous eyebrows. However, life gets it the way and my Saturday afternoon eyebrow appointment gets cancelled because that kid pitch baseball game that got rained out last Wednesday, suddenly turned into a double-header and GOODBYE perfectly arched brows. No more. My brows will no longer suffer the abuse of my over plucking and get the care and attention they deserve from a professional.

#3 – Do a Hair Treatment Once a Week

My hair is naturally frizzy and living in Miami, with all the humidity and rain, doesn’t help. I also happen to use a straightening iron or brush A LOT and when I don’t, I have it twisted up in a bun. My hair takes a lot of abuse, which is sad, because I personally think it’s real pretty AND my hair happens to treat me well, despite how abusive I am to it. For example, I have only a miniscule strip of grays right where I part my hair to the side, which happens to blend into my natural golden highlights. How many 40 year olds out there can say the same? So, I’ve decided to return the favor and give my hair the nourishment that it needs to continue growing and maybe frizz a whole lot less. I picked up a few of the Nexxus Vital 8-1 Rejuvinating Masks to see how it they work. Let me know any other masks I should look into in the comments below.

#2 – Get a Facial

I can’t even remember the last time I got a facial. I mean, I remember that I bought a Groupon for a facial in August and never redeemed it, but actually walk into a spa and have someone expertly clean my pores? Yeah…it’s been years. I know exactly why. There was a period in my 20’s where I got a really bad case of acne and I didn’t want to go on medication, so I thought if I got a facial, my skin might improve. Well, not only did the esthetician poke and prod my zits in a most painful manner, leaving my face red and puffy for days, but she also kept on exclaiming on how bad my face was and provided running commentary on how much gunk she was squeezing out of my whiteheads.

But that was the past and I’m an adult (like a real adult) and I think that my face might benefit from the care of a person who actually knows what she is doing and who could possibly make me look 35 again. Wishful thinking?

#1 – Take Vitamins

So I know there are those people out there that think vitamins are a bunch of hooey. And to those, I say you do you. However, I’m a firm believer that we all need an assistant every now and then and I see vitamins, not as the main source of your nutritional needs, but as little helpers that help you close in those gaps a bit. So let’s say you are increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, but aren’t really at the 5 – 7  servings a day mark yet. Vitamins can help you a bit here and there. Also, they taste way better than they used to and some of them are GUMMIES!!!  It’s like Halloween candy, but for your health and you only take 2 a day. Remember to always read labels, my friends!

I personally love the Olly Undeniable Beauty Vitamins. They are squishy, pink and taste like candied grapefruit. They also contain Vitamins B7, C and Borage Oil, which are all great for healthy skin, nails and hair, which pretty much encompasses all my beauty resolutions in one swoop. Work your magic, little helpers!

What are you Beauty Resolutions for 2018? Leave them in the comments below and I will check in on you from time to time to keep you honest as well. Also feel free like this post to let me know you dig my Friday Fives.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Beauty Review · Burt's Bees Beauty

Burt’s Bees Beauty – Review Time

A few weeks back, I was watching my favorite beauty guru, Tati Westbrook, review the Burt’s Bees Beauty line and if I could describe the vibe she gave off in that video it would be “uninterested”. Like right from the get go, you could tell that she almost seemed forced in doing that review because as a self described Glam Junkie, a natural makeup look wasn’t her thing. In fact, she must have said the word “Natural” like 177 times in the video and none of the times was it like “Natural! Yeah!”, but more like “Natural. Sigh.”

That’s ok. She’s the Glam Life Guru. Not Natural Life Know-it-all.

Now typically I live and breath Tati’s recommendations, (Coty Airspun Powder, anyone?) but in some weird Reverse Psychology way, it made me want to go out and purchase some of these products and test it out for myself. I don’t know, maybe because I’m digging a No Fuss look these days and glitter and contouring aren’t my thing at the moment, but the simplicity of the packaging and the really clean colors of the line were calling me. I happen to also have two $25 Amazon Gift Cards from Christmas burning a hole in my pocket and I do agree with Tati that these products are quite pricey for drugstore, so it was nice to have those to offset the cost.

I bought the Goodness Glows Foundation in Buff ($16.99) and also happen to cross paths with a gift set in Natural Beauty that included the following for $34.99:

  • Facial Cleansing Towlettes for Sensitive Skin
  • Eye Shadow Trio in Shimmering Nudes (shimmery beige, pink and brown)
  • Nourishing Mascara in Classic Black
  • Lipstick in Blush Basin (pinky peach nude)

When all was said and done, I ended up paying about $1.56 out of pocket, so I think I did good and once I put it on my face and gave it a couple of days wear test, I could honestly say that I like it. However, don’t get all excited. I definitely think that there is room for improvement with some products.

For example, the foundation. It’s definitely not full coverage as it claims. I would say it’s more medium, but buildable, which works for me. It’s definitely dewy though. Like really dewy. I’m a dewy glow look kind of girl and even I found myself reaching for the powder a little more than usual to set everything. Also, you might want to go a shade or more darker than what you typically wear because it is much lighter than expected. I chose the 3rd lightest color, which has a yellow undertone on the website, thinking it might be a shade too dark for me, and it ended up being like 2 shades too light. However, once I applied some (a lot) of bronzer, it looked really nice and it didn’t break apart as the day wore on or settle into any fine lines. I will say that it’s the type of foundation that you “feel” on your skin. So if that bugs you, I suggest you skip.

The eyeshadow trio was probably my most favorite out of the bunch I bought. At first swatch, the colors feel dry and a little dull. But don’t be fooled, these are really nice and applied great with a brush on your lids. They are all shimmers, so you might want to dip into a matte from your existing collection to use as a transition shade or do what I did and use your bronzer. I then applied the darkest color on the outer V and a bit into the crease. Added the shimmery taupe-y pink (my favorite of the trio) to the lid and then topped it off with the light beige in the center and inner corner for a soft, contoured smoky eye. It was GORGEOUS and definitely a look that I will recreate again.

Also, I am going to begrudgingly admit that it was refreshing to have just 3 colors to choose from. Palettes are nice, but sometimes I get slightly overwhelmed by all the colors and possibilities and it’s hard for me to settle on which direction I want to take. It was nice having a look already spelled out for you.

I topped the eye look with the mascara, which had the dreaded rubber spikes, and at first I was like “Nope”, but then was like “Ok. I see you”. I mean, it’s not going to replace my beloved Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl mascara, but I would use it again. It claims to be lengthening, and it certainly is, but it also does a good job at making your lashes look full as well and I didn’t see any flaking or transfer as the day wore on. I would, however, refrain from looking up right after applying, as it did leave a little black dots on my lids while it dried.

The lipstick is a really pretty peach toned nude that is slightly sheerer than I prefer on one swipe, but when you added a second layer, definitely picked up steam in color. It’s a cream lipstick, which also means that it’s not going to stick around for long and you need to be prepared to reapply, but that’s ok. I’m really so over the liquid lipstick, that I’ll take a minute out of my day every now and then to put on some lipstick. I think I will pick up some of the darker berry toned shades I see online as the formula was really nice and when I rubbed my lips together had a slightly balmy feel to them.

I’ve haven’t used the makeup wipes as I much prefer to use a cleansing balm to take off my makeup, but I’m sure they will come in handy from time to time. I’ll let you guys tell me in the comments below if they are any good or not.

So anybody else have any opinions on Burt’s Bees Beauty? Did anyone get the same impression as me from Tati’s review? If so, let me know below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

PS- check some swatches below and let me know what you think.

***Links in this post are affiliated and I do receive a small commission if you decide to purchase products directly from Amazon.***

Holidays

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful New Years Eve and that the first day of 2018 has been SPECTACULAR! I personally had a wonderful past 2 days enjoying time with my family and friends, but I wanted to pop in before the end of the day and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Like I did on Christmas Day,  I thought it would be fun to list some highlights from the past 2 days.

  • Went to go see The Greatest Showman with my kids, mom, aunt and some family friends. All I have to say is that Hugh Jackman is PHENOMENAL! Don’t wait to see this movie when it comes out on video. It’s one of those that you have to experience on a big screen.
  • Chinese food with above mentioned ladies after the movie. They say that it’s good luck to eat Chinese food on New Years, but that may be made up. Who cares! I love me some noodles.
  • Doing tequila shots like a college girl with my friends and dancing regaetton and salsa till the ball dropped. Needless to say that our dancing definitely got looser the more shots we took, but it was so much fun. If you want to see what our husbands did while we danced, check out my Instagram Highlights Story appropriately titled New Years Eve. 🙂
  • Before doing above mentioned tequila shots, playing Heads Up with all the couples and laughing our heads off. Mostly because we were also drinking cocktails while playing. I promise I am not a lush, but it’s New Years Eve!! You got let loose sometimes.
  • Smooching my husband and kids at midnight. I love them so much!
  • Waking up surprisingly NOT hungover. Must be all the Chinese food and carbs I loaded up on during lunch the day before.
  • Going to lunch at one of our favorite local restaurants, Flanigans, with my husband and kids to celebrate the New Year. It’s kind of a tradition.
  • Getting out with Sofia and walking the track by our house to neutralize all the food we ate the last 2 days and also to kick start our New Years resolution to be fit and healthy.
  • Capping the day off BBQ-ing some burgers in the new grill my mom received as a gift. I know that most of the US is under snow, but we have had the most beautiful weather in Miami the past couple of days. Not hot, but not cold. PERFECT!

Feel free to let me know what you guys did because one of my goals is to get to know you much better. I feel like we are all virtual neighbors here and it’s nice to get personal and find out how you are doing or what you did on any given day, so drop a comment and keep me up to date.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza