The Friday Five

The Friday 5 – The Flu

I don’t know about you guys, but 2018 so far is proving to be a bit stressful. Between work and family, it’s been a rough two weeks for me, so I am once again going to make todays post, not only brief, but a free for all.

#1 -5 – The Fucking Flu

I don’t know if my WHOLE family has the flu or just a really bad cold, but everyone is sick in my house. Yeah, not just “cough, cough. sniffle, sniffle” sick. Like 101 degree fever (with medication), sore throat, headache, chills…the WHOLE SHEBANG!

Wow…I don’t think I have ever spelled “shebang” before. Literally, it’s She Bang, but together. Like the Ricky Martin song. Weird.

Anyways, it’s been particularly bad today, but I hope I get to see the light soon. I have to travel next week for work and there is nothing worse than traveling and being away from your family when you are sick, but especially when you have to leave them still sick. So crossing fingers that we all get better soon.

If you happen to read this post, send some good vibes our way. Any little bit, helps!

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

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Holly the Housecat · The Friday Five

The Friday 5 – Unwind With Me

What a day, what a day!

Actually, it’s more like what a week, but I like to focus on the present and I feel like the theme of today’s Friday 5 is something along the likes of “It’s 5pm somewhere at this exact moment, so time for a drink.”

(Pours a nice, tall glass of red wine.)

I should probably call this post Un-Wine with me.

(I crack myself up!)

Anyways, with that being said, I thought today I would make this post a free for all and just take the opportunity to chat with you. I know this is primarily a beauty blog, but….

#5 – I haven’t worn makeup all week!!!

Seriously, this is so unlike me. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a bare, clean face with just a little moisturizer on those days when you are just planning to Netflix and Chill (like the real Netflix and Chill, not the “wink, wink” Netflix and Chill). However, I miss those peeks in the mirror when I have a really nice eye look and think to myself, “Damn, I look good!”. It’s just been so crazy at work, that I have not had 15 minutes to myself to eat, much less play with makeup. The good news though is that I’ll be doing a slew of moisturizer and face mask reviews in the coming weeks because that’s what I have been focusing on during my forced makeup hiatus.

Can I get “Yeah” for soft, supple skin?

#4 – I won a Giveaway!

This was the highlight of my week. I like to use an app called Promota to do my signboards for my blog and they were hosting a giveaway during the holidays and I WON an Amazon Echo. I feel so super cool and trendy now that  all I have to do is scream from across the room “Alexa, what’s the weather looking like today?” instead of reaching out my hand, pressing the home button and asking Siri to tell me how hot it’s going to be. #siriisso2017 #firstworldproblems

#3 – The Ice Cream Museum

I succumbed to Instagram pressure and bought tickets to go to the Ice Cream Museum that just opened in Miami last month. I’m about $160 broker than I was last week and I’m still not sure how I feel about that, but it really does seem quirky and cool and I’m taking my kids and my MOM, so you know it’s going to be HILARIOUS! Seriously though, this museum better be freaking awesome and I better be picking rainbow sprinkles out of my butt crack for a week after basically paying that much money for photo opportunities. Once again, #firstworldproblems

#2 – Vision Boards

My friend, Yudy and I, have this tradition where we each create a vision board at the beginning of each year so that we can manifest our goals and dreams into reality. Well, we did it for the first time last year, so since this is our second go around, I’m calling it a tradition. We have plans to get together this weekend and just chat, drink wine and do a little crafting. If ever I wonder the exact moment I hit middle age, I think this is it.

#1 – Holly the Housecat (AKA: the Ca-terrorist)

Let me introduce you to my cat, Holly. On the outside she looks like the sweetest, gentlest, blue eyed cat. However, don’t be fooled, my friends. She is a Terrorist. She takes great pleasure in:

  • scratching you for no reason at all
  • tipping glasses of water on your electronic devices – to cut you off from the outside world and make you her slave.
  • Attacking my 12 year old dog, Rita, for being petted 3 more times than she was in one sitting
  • Sneakily stealing one sock from each coordinating pair right after you take them off. Forcing you to wear mismatched socks for a month. Then, when you finally decide to give in and use the mismatched socks as cleaning rags, she magically procures one from her hidden sock den and dumps it on your person during the night. It’s like the scene from The Godfather, except that instead of waking up to a bloody, decapitated horses head, you wake up to a dirty, stinky sock full of cat saliva.

I need to keep my on eye her at ALL times. #hollythehousecat #sockstealer

I hope you enjoyed this little chit chat with me. Feel free to chat right back with me in the comments below. Let’s keep the dialogue going!

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

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

The Friday Five

The Friday Five – Best of Beauty 2017

When I sat down to go through all my makeup to pick my Top 5 of 2017, I thought it would take hours. I pictured I would go all Apprentice on my makeup and be like “You’re Fired, Becca Rose Quartz Highlighter!”, but it was surprisingly easy and even slightly cathartic. I spent so much money on makeup and I was worried that I was going to agonize over all the money I wasted, which trust me some money was truly wasted on junkie makeup, but when picking my Top 5, all I could think of was how much I got my money’s worth from these products.

So without further ado, I present you my 2017 Top 5 Best of Beauty:

#5 – Benefit Galifornia Blush

I remember roaming Sephora sometime earlier this year and looking at the Benefit display and thinking, “Damn, Benefit. You have got to step up your game!” Nothing called my attention and for the most part, nothing still does, EXCEPT, for their Galifornia blush. I wore the hell out of this blush during the summer and up until around October-ish, when my tan started fading a bit. It is the prettiest pinky, coral color that goes great with a full on glam date night look or a “running out the door to take the kids to baseball practice, so I need to look semi-presentable” type of look. Did I mention it smells like coconut scented tanning lotion?

#4 Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Weenie

If you read my post on how I accidently destroyed my beloved Weenie, then you know how I feel about this shadow. It’s coppery, with a hint of peachiness and it’s perfect for my blue eyes. I never make a fuss when I apply this eyeshadow. It’s simply, pat on the eyelid and blend a bit up to the crease. Apply mascara and I am out the door. I wear this to any event, from client meetings to kids school events and I always get compliments about how pretty my eyes look. Seriously, Colourpop should pay me commission based on how many times I have recommended this shadow to the PTSA moms at my kids school.

#3 Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Sunlight

I think based on the list I have going so far, 2017 was the year of No Fuss makeup. I had so much going on between work, school and family that I had no time to spend on complicated, time consuming looks. I wanted makeup that would literally get me out the door in less than 10 minutes. Some people might say to skip highlighter if you are rushed for time and to those people I say “Are you smoking something?”. I get it though, when you are crunched for time, you do the brows, some mascara and a bit of foundation or concealer. However, the Cover FX drops don’t really take up much more of my time and add that extra glow that take your look up a notch in an instant. I just take the same beauty sponge I used to blend in my foundation, and pat in some Sunlight highlighter across the tops of my cheekbones. Done! You have a gorgeous, natural, dewy golden glow about you. If you want to kick it up a notch, top it with a powder highlighter and you have an instant day to night look.

# 2 Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer in Tan-Tastic

Ok, I know I being slightly bitchy by adding a limited edition item to this list that is no longer available, but I would be untrue to myself if I omitted this bronzer because I literally use it almost everyday. The bronzer is just the most perfect warm shade of tan and blends beautifully. It’s also the perfect multitasker. When I am in a rush, I sweep this on my cheekbones, hairline, jaw and neck and then grab a fluffy crease brush and blend it on my the crease of my eyes. One and Done! What more could I ask for?

#1 Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation

I need my foundation to make my skin look like skin. I don’t care if it let’s my freckles peek through or that it’s not full coverage, I just want my skin to look natural. I also don’t want to spend a fortune on foundation because it’s probably the beauty product I go through the most, so even though I LOVE tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation, I couldn’t spend $39 every 2 months on it. I’ve got kids and bills to pay, y’all! However, Covergirl saved the day. Their Healthy Elixir foundation is lightweight, easily blendable and can definitely be a full coverage foundation if you build it up, but I find that one layer creates a beautiful canvas for your makeup. It’s not a matte foundation, which I love, and gives your skin that lit from within look that, at 40 years old, is what I crave. Good job, Covergirl!

What are your top beauty products of 2017? Did any of you agree with my picks? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Holidays · The Friday Five

The Friday Five – Best Beauty Gift Ideas under $50

How can Christmas be only 17 days away? You know I’m freaking out a bit. I mean, how can I possibly fit in all the shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, school holiday shows, Christmas parties and drinking in just 17 days?

Ha! Who am I kidding? I’m drinking a glass of wine as I type, so totally do-able under duress.

But no worries, my friends. I am here to help you cross a few items off your Christmas list for that beauty addict friend and I PROMISE I will have a little something for everyone’s budget. Did I mention that all of these are under $50?

I got you, girl!

#5 – Soap and Glory Get a Smooth on Set ($7.99)

Now this one is a multi-tasker. I can envision this one as a stocking stuffer or possibly for that co-worker who likes to show some leg and wears skirts or dresses. Let’s not forget the teacher who is on her feet all day long and uses hand sanitizer like 500 times a day. She needs some moisturizer and, trust me, this Soap and Glory Set delivers. Flake Away will practically peel any layer of dead skin from your body (in a good way) and the Righteous Butter will add much needed moisture back. Did I also mention that you will smell like peach butter cream with this combo and how can that be wrong?

#4 – Maybelline Merry Minis Eyeshadow and Mascara Set (8.99)

Ok, I know we have all been there. You totally forgot about the Secret Santa gift exchange and your already on your way to work and don’t have time to go to the mall to pick up a present for your blue eyed co-worker. No worries. Just pull into the nearest Walmart or Walgreens and make a bee-line to the Maybelline display and grab a Merry Minis Eyeshadow and Mascara set. Not only do you get one of the cute little City Mini palettes with gorgeous warm shades of peach, pink and browns, but you also get a mini Colossal Volume Mascara. Perfect to keep in your purse to touch up your eye look before heading out to happy hour after work.

#3 – L’Oréal Infallible Metallic Eyeshadow Kit ($12.99)

Let’s say you have a lot of friends, but a small budget. That’s ok. I’m a firm believer that it’s quality, not quantity and not only will you be saving money by buying this set, but you will be giving the gift of a metallic eye look for the holidays. BONUS: Split the pack apart and pick up a bag of Peppermint Hershey Kisses and make goody bags to hand out to your besties while celebrating the holidays around some drinks and appetizers at your favorite local bar. Just tie a cute bow and you are done.

#2 – Estee Lauder 3 Piece After Hours The Nude Lip Gift Set ($32)

Yes, I know Kylie Cosmetics revolutionized the world with her lip kits and now everyone is jumping on the band wagon. GOOD FOR US because Estee Lauder has a gorgeous lip gift set that includes a full size lipstick and gloss and mini lip liner. This would be just perfect for that mom friend who is still using the same stubby little Nyx lip liner she bought before she had her first kid 5 years ago. Girlfriend, it’s time to move on and it’s your duty as her friend to help her take the first steps into investing in herself once again. I know first hand how quickly those little rugrats take over your life. The set comes in nude and red, but baby steps. Go for the nude and then transition to red.

#1 – Smashbox Drawn In Decked Out Shadow and Highlight 3 Piece Set ($39)

Much like Scenario #3, where you have loads of friends and a limited budget, yet you have a rep to protect because your friends are picky. Not that I’m poo-pooing L’Oréal in any way, but maybe these friends are all like “Eww…drugstore makeup” and even though you have told them how AWESOME Milani Matte lipsticks are, they are hardcore Sephora fans and only go to Walgreens to pick up cough medicine. That’s ok. We all have friends like that. I’m sure you like them for other reasons, right? Anyways, here comes Smashbox to save the day. They have come out with a holiday set that includes 1 buttery soft highlighter trio (the gold one in the middle is divine), 1 mini warm palette and 1 mini cool tone palette all with GORGEOUS packaging that will make your snobby selective friends shriek with delight. Just break the set apart, gently toss them in a cute gift bag and hand them out to your girlfriends over brunch.

BONUS: Macy’s is offering 15% of the above mentioned set from Estee Lauder and Smashbox. Just use code FRIEND at checkout.

Any other holiday sets that are worthy of a shout out? If so, leave them in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

The Friday Five

The Friday Five – How to De-Puff after Traveling

Does anyone else blow up like a puffer fish after flying?

I went on a trip to the grand city of Indianapolis this week for work and came back feeling and looking all puffy and mummy-like dry. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but apparently very common as changes in air pressure can apparently wreak havoc on your digestive system and the lack of humidity on a plane can suck a lot of fluid from your body, thus adding to the bloating. However, just because it’s temporary doesn’t mean I have to live with it for long, so today I am going to share with you,  my beloved readers, the Top 5 way I de-puff and hydrate after a long trip.

Please keep in mind, that I am not a doctor and what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

#5 – Drink lots of water.

This is a given, but between all the flying and walking you do in an airport and all the things that might keep you away from your daily routine while traveling, I often forget to drink water. In fact, I find that I am more likely to indulge in coffee, soda or cocktails (vodka tonic, anyone? Yeah…me!)  when traveling. That’s all fine and dandy, till you get home and look in the mirror and your face looks like you had an allergic reaction to shellfish. So I make sure to drink plenty of water upon arrival.

#4 – Cleansing Mask

My face also usually feels so grimy after flying that one of the first things I do is shower and then apply a nice cleansing mask. My favorite is the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. It’s an old tried and true and sure enough, my face thanks me when I wash off the mask and it feels all squeaky clean. It does not necessarily help with the puffy face or the dryness, but it’s a necessary step.

#3 – Moisturizing Mask

Ahhh….now this is exactly what I am talking about. Nothing feels more soothing that a lovely hydrating mask. I usually use either the Boscia Sake Brightening Hydrogel Mask or the Glam Glow Gravitymud Firming Treatment. Both leave your skin feeling plump and smooth.

#2 – Plain Ole Moisturizer

Now that we have cleansed, hydrated and firmed, it’s time to keep the party going, so after I have done the above, I apply some leave in moisturizer for my face. I use a lot of different moisturizers, but lately I’ve been kicking it Old School and have been using Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with SPF 15. I used this all throughout my 20’s and early 30’s and never had any complaints and when my mom recently gave me a bottle I was partying like it was 2005. The smell takes me back and I find that it does a great job in keeping me hydrated all day. I love rediscovering beauty products!

Also, don’t forget the rest of your body. After I shower, I make sure to generously apply moisturizer on my arms and legs to relieve the itchy dryness I get from flying. I’ve been using Soap and Glory’s Righteous Body Butter and have to stop myself from bathing in this stuff. It literally smells like heaven and leaves my skin feeling like a baby’s behind.

#1 – Sleep It Off

‘Nuff said. You need to sleep it off, girlfriend! Thank me when you wake up and look like a million bucks.

Any other travel tip to fight the bloat? If so, leave it in the comments.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

The Friday Five

The Friday Five – Black Friday Edition

When I first started my Instagram under TheBeautySwatcher, I used to have a weekly post called The Friday Five where I did a 5 minute mini review on a beauty product. Ok, to be honest, I only did that for like four weeks, but whose counting? Anyways, I decided to revive The Friday Five, but instead of doing a beauty review, I thought do a fun list of 5 things that tickled my fancy that day.

Since this is our inaugural edition, which happens to fall on, arguably, the most famous Friday of the year, I decided to kick it off by highlighting the Top 5 Things I LOVE about Black Friday.

black-friday.jpg

#5 Shopping – like DUH!

I am going to be honest here. Shopping on Black Friday has become more of a holiday on its own, but I am not one of those people that shops on Thanksgiving day or wakes up at 4am to buy a TV for $100. It’s not really about the sales for me, but more about the experience. I have this tradition where I wake up like around 7am, grab a latte at Starbucks and head on over to the mall and just wing it. I don’t have a plan of attack on which sales to hit first or mapped out the best route to all my favorite stores and I don’t really do my Christmas shopping on that day. I kind of just walk around with my kids and if I see something I like that is a good deal, I buy it. Then we grab a nice lunch at a restaurant and go to the movies, where we always catch the latest….

Coco

#4 Disney Movies (and or Disney Pixar)

Disney always releases a movie right before the long Thanksgiving weekend and ever since I had kids, I have taken them to watch a movie on Black Friday after a day of shopping. We have seen  Tangled, Frozen, The Good Dinosaur, Moana and this Friday we will be adding Coco to the list. I seriously cannot wait to see this movie. Just the music alone has me all worked up and, as a Latina, I love that it has a Latino cast (Gael Garcia Marquez, Benjamin Bratt and Edward James Olmos). Let’s not even talk about the animation and the colors! All I know is that Disney better do a collab with a beauty brand and release a Coco palette.

#3 Four Day Weekend (Woot, Woot!)

Do I really need to go into detail on this subject? I live in the US. We have like 56 LESS national paid holidays than any other industrialized country. Knowing that I have a day off on the biggest shopping day of the year is what practically makes the other 364 bearable.

#2 Christmas Tree

It seems that this day is full of traditions, but while the morning is spent at the store and the afternoon at the movies, the evening has always been dedicated to putting up the Christmas tree with the family. I don’t like to do it before Thanksgiving, so the Friday after Turkey Day, we take the tree out of storage, grab the containers with all the lights and ornaments and decorate. The Hubs will set up the lights and complain that the cat chewed the cords last year and some bulbs don’t work. The kids will start strong and help, but after about 30 minutes, drift toward their iPhones and iPads and that leaves me to finish the job. It doesn’t bother me. I kind of like it.

Ugly Christmas Sweater
The Rodriguez Clan Knows How to Party!

#1 Kick starting the Christmas Season

Aside from the shopping and mayhem, the day after Thanksgiving is officially the start of the Christmas Season. Some people say it starts on Thanksgiving day (Errrr…WRONG!) and others say December 1 (Wrong again). It officially starts on Black Friday because that still gives you a few extra precious days of candy canes, gingerbread cookies, Christmas lights, snowmen (Sandmen if you live in Florida like me), Christmas carols, parties, cocktails (lot’s of cocktails!), ugly Christmas sweaters, holiday movies,  and especially days off (remember I live in the US).

Happy Friday, my friends!

Maritza