Holidays

What I Got for Christmas!

They say when you reach a certain age, Christmas is all about the kids and I do enjoy seeing my little ones get excited over their gifts, but I don’t care how old I get, I love opening presents.

So even though there may be less presents under the tree for me the older I get, the ones that I do receive mean so much more.

For example, I have been dying to get one of those DNA ancestry kits because I need to know where all the pale skin and freckles come from. I’m what people in the family would literally refer to as the red headed stepchild. Not that I’m a step child or adopted, but I’m that relative that if you squint your eyes really hard and look at me from far away you can see the family resemblance.

Sure made for some fun times at family reunions. Said everyone, except me.

Anyways, my husband bought me the 23andMe Ancestry and Health Kit. Now I can try to pinpoint where the heck the red hair comes from.

See the red in the hair??? I’m the only one with it in the family.

I also got a beautiful Alex and Ani bracelet from my friend Yudi. She remembered that I complimented her bracelets and gifted me one for Christmas. I love getting gifts like that because it shows that someone actually listened to you.

Since I have been in a recent skin care kick, I am loving this mini set from Origins that my friend, Janet, gave me. I think I have actually tried all these before and loved them, so it’s nice to add them again to my repertoire. I also love that I can throw them in my bag when I have to travel for work.

Now a days everyone takes the easy way out buys gift cards and I for one LOVE it. My daughters friend actually gave me this Starbucks gift card because she was so appreciative that I always give her a ride home when she needs one. Whoever said today’s youth is lost hasn’t met Mia yet. She is a doll!

Last, but certainly it least are my penguin pajama pants from my Mom. I work from home and spend like 99% of my time in loungewear, so this gift is not only practical, but fun. I also got another pair with dogs wearing funny hats in them, but currently wore them today, so I didn’t take a pic, but I will leave that your imagination.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and, remember, even if you didn’t exactly get what you wanted, someone out there thought of you and that’s a lot more than some other people can say.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

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Holidays · Subscription Boxes

Last Minute Holiday Gifts – Subscription Boxes

So you waited till the last minute, huh?

It’s ok. We’ve all been there, but don’t worry, there is always a solution out there and in 2018 it’s called the Subscription Box.

The nice thing about a subscription service is that it’s literally the gift that keeps on giving. Seriously, all you have to do whip out your credit card, choose how many boxes you want to give and then print out the confirmation and stick it in a card or envelope.

How easy is that?

Now there are a million services out there willing to send you just about anything, however, below are my absolute favorite.

I either currently subscribe or have gifted these boxes to friends and family and they have been received wonderfully. Maybe not when they open that envelope and just see a receipt, but just wait till they get their first box. You will be getting a text from your love one and most definitely get tagged in a Facebook or Instagram post.

Rocksbox ($21/monthly). My all time favorite box. I love accessories and I love that I can just rent them or opt to buy them. Rocksbox has the option of gifting that special someone either a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription and even add a little something extra if they want to buy something.

Stitch Fix (up to $1000). Give your fashion challenged friend the gift of style. Unlike Rocksbox, you are not gifting them a monthly service, but rather the gift of a stylist. I do Stitch Fix on a quarterly basis and love almost everything I have ever received. I get 5 items, which can include clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry and keep what I like and return what I don’t. It super easy!

VineOh! ($59.99/quarterly). Another great device for that wine lover in your life. But wait! There more! Not only do you get 2 full size bottles of wine, but also 5-6 handpicked goodies to go along with it. I’ve gotten beauty products, treats, candles and lots of other neat things. It’s all curated based on the season, so it’s a nice little box to come home to after a long day at work.

Candy Club ($29.99/month). I love giving this to kid. Yeah, I may get a little stink eye from the parents, but the fact is that when that first box arrives, everyone eats something. Each box contains 6 jars of candy, selected off the candy profile you created when you redeemed your gift subscription. It’s a great treat box and the nice thing is that it can be for the whole family.

What are you favorite subscription services? Leave them in the comments below.

Happy shopping, my friends!

Maritza

Holidays

Best Holiday Gifts at The Drugstore – 6 Days Left

I get it. We are all busy and some of us are just not shop ahead kind of people.

I mean I know people who begin asking me what my kids want in October. For real? I can’t commit to buying food in bulk because it freaks me out that I have to eat the same shit for months in advance, so thinking about what to buy someone so far out is like putting unnecessary stress on me.

To be honest, I work best under pressure and some of my best gifts have been purchased on my way to the party. Yes, I’m that disheveled woman you see running through the store buying a gift, wrapping and a card and then see putting it all together in the parking lot.

Don’t judge.

Anyways, we have 6 more days till Christmas and I know we are right smack in the middle of holiday work parties and brunches and, if you are like me, you totally left buying your secret Santa or you coworker that gift to the last minute

Don’t stress, I’m here to help you pick out the perfect gift for that makeup junkie right from your local Walgreens or CVS.

Just don’t forget to stop by the card aisle for the gift bag on your way to the register. 😉

Wet n Wild Mini Catsuit Set ($10). I love the WnW Catsuit formula and this set has 5 mini lipsticks to give as one gift or break them up and give them as a small stocking stuffer for your friends or coworkers. Just pick up a bad of Hershey Kisses from the candy aisle and drop them in a little gift bag.

Sleek Makeup Totally Lit Gift ($15). I love Sleek and for $15 this is a steal. I would give this to a girlfriend over brunch and mimosas

Elf Studio Blush Palette ($6). I know that this isn’t a holiday set or anything, but this is a GREAT face palette and I totally recommend it as a gift for any occasion. Give it as part of a larger set of gifts or maybe a small gift for that coworker who always compliments your makeup or that mom at your kids school who always sends you pictures of your kids together at school functions you never attend.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge Ornament ($5). Another small gift perfect for any teenager who is getting into makeup. I bought some of these for my daughter to give as gifts for her friends.

Soap & Glory Original Pink Righteous Body Butter ($13). The perfect teacher gift and once again it just not for the holidays, but for anytime of the year.

Soap & Glory Make Your Smooth Gift ($8). Another great gift for anyone who basically showers daily. 😀

No 7 Hi Shine Lip Duo ($8). I saw this set at Walgreens and actually bought it for myself. They are minis, but the colors are so nice and universal. Another great gift idea for the teen in your life.

Hope you all are having a great holiday so far.

Happy shopping, my friends!

Holidays

Holiday Gift Ideas from Macy’s – 1 week till Christmas

Anyone else a last minutes shopper?

Do you work best under pressure?

Are the you the kind of person that likes to go to one store to do all your shopping?

Then welcome, friend! I have got that beauty loving friend all covered.

I love shopping, but I am so much more of an online shopper lately. It’s just so much easier and sometimes you get even better deals, but I get it. You are at the mercy of the UPS and with only 1 week left, you can’t take the risk of any shipping delays. Therefore, when I am cutting it this close, I usually head to my local Target or Macy’s, where I can usually cross everyone off my list at one time.

Such is the case, I found my self at Macy’s this weekend and while perusing the beauty department, I was so pleasantly surprised to see so many beautiful gift sets ripe and ready for the picking and I spent so much time looking at them, comparing prices and swatching the displays that a few shoppers were asking me for help in picking out gifts.

I never felt such happiness in my life before.

Anyways, below are a few sets that I really thought were priced well and contained either deluxe or full size products.

Happy shopping!

Too Faced Sex, Gold & Chocolate ($52). This is an awesome set both in quality and price. You get The Chocolate Gold Palette, full size Better than Sex Mascara and a Shadow Insurance.

Buxom Black Tie Tease ($25.20). These are all minis, but you get 6 in the kit and, personally, I never go through a lipstick, so mini are the way to go. Also, Buxom lip glosses are the BOMB!

Another great set, which I think is great to open and separate to give out to coworkers, friends or as stocking stuffers is the Buxom 12 Piece Party All Night Set ($34.30). You can knock out a bunch of people with one kit.

For that practical friend, I love the BeautyBlenders 5pc Blenders Delight ($40). It had 2 full size sponges, 2 mini cleansers and a sponge holder. You can never have too many beauty blenders, right?

I’m not a huge fan of MAC, but I have friends who are hard core addicts, and I think this set is GORGEOUS! Containing a full size Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick, Lip Scrub and Prep and Prime Lip, the MAC Shiny Pretty Things Sweet Scrub Set is a steal ($19.75)!

If you have a friend that loves shower gel, skip the lines and Bath and Body Works and get them the Philosophy The Sweet Life set ($25). Containing one 6oz bottle of Hot Cocoa, Fresh Cream and Cinnamon Buns, you are set through March with bath products.

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping? If so, what deals did you score? Let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Deck of Scarlet · Subscription Boxes

Deck of Scarlet – No. 11 – Review Time

I have a burning question that I can’t seem to find the answer to (at least not within the first page of hits — lazy bones!) on Google.

Why is it called Deck of Scarlet?

I get that that some people call palettes a deck, but Scarlet??

Is it a weird play of words on some card game that I don’t know about? Are they making a reference to Gone with the Wind? Is it like a reverse Scarlet letter, in which you wear the makeup proudly instead of in shame?

Am I overthinking this?

Inner Maritza: Yes…to the last question. Now move along.

Ok. If anyone has the answer, just drop it in the comments. That way I can sleep at night.

Anyways, Deck if Scarlet is a bimonthly subscription that sends you a complete palette, with the ability to create multiple looks all for $29.95. Each “deck” has 3 eyeshadows, 2 Cheek, 2 lipsticks and 1 freestanding item, like a mascara or liner.

Each palette is curated by a YouTuber and you can collect them all or if one doesn’t seem to be to your liking or you can opt to skip that month.

I actually like that. Unlike Boxycharm or Ipsy, if you don’t like it or want it, you can just say “Next!”.

Palette #11, which is the latest palette and my first ever deck, was curated by KristinaxMakeup. Not very familiar with her, but she is very pretty and seems to know how to do makeup very well. I like that she tends to use her fingers a lot when creating a look, which I do as well.

At first when I got my palette, I was little thrown off by it though. It has a sort of bumblebee vibe with the bright yellow (Limoncello), golden shimmer (Tan Lines) and black matte (Onyx) eyeshadows. However, I can see how you can create three very easy looks by just quickly tapping any one of the shimmers on your lid and then using the matte to deepen up the crease.

You can also for a much more strategic look, and easily create a halo or cut crease and use all three.

The shadows all perform beautifully and are extremely pigmented. Limoncello is probably the hardest for me to incorporate in a look, but it’s such a unique shimmery neon yellow, that I’m happy to have it as part of my eyeshadow collection.

Let’s not forget the larger pans, which are supposed to be the highlighter (Bad Behavior) and blush (Moonstone). These can be used as eyeshadows in addition to cheek products and provide you with even more options.

Actually, I love Moonstone. This kind of peachy brown shade is my JAM! Its such a beautiful color and it goes on so nice and smooth. Same for the highlighter. I thought it was going to be a bit too dark for my complexion, but I use a light hand and it compliments the blush so nicely.

Also, they look beautiful on the eyes as well. Just blend Moonstone on the crease with a fluffy brush and tap Bad Behavior on the lid and you are done. If you like a little shadow, then lightly tap the fluffy brush on Onyx and apply that to the outer V and the lower lash and your done.

Another favorite shade of mine in this palette is the lipstick Metal Rose. Oh my Lord! It’s like a peachy red shade that sounds strange, but looks so pretty. I just dab it with my finger and it gives such a nice blotted look. If you layer it on top of Coy, it brings out the peach tones even more. The lipsticks are not particularly long lasting and are a bit thin in consistency, but the shades are both nice.

I do hate that that the lipstick is part of the palette. It just makes reapplying so hard unless you want to lug your palette around with you, but the heck wants to do that? If only they could detach that part and send it as a small side item, I would even forgive them that I have to carry around a lip brush or use my finger to apply all the time.

Speaking of side item. This set also comes with a glitter eyeliner in gold that you can definitely use to line your eyes or even apply it on top of the shadows for a fun nighttime look. It looks really nice, but the color does flake off after a while, so I don’t tend to use it.

Overall, I really like this palette. Yeah, it’s not structured conveniently and I don’t think you can get 20 looks from just this palette, but you can get a fair range of looks and for $29.95, it’s a good price. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Anyone else try out Deck of Scarlet? What do you think?

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Rocksbox

Rocksbox Reveal – Vol. 6

Nothing gets me more excited than getting my Rocksbox each month. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I get 10x more compliments on my jewelry, than I do on anything else.

This is really making me question my current selection of clothes and makeup, but that’s for another day.

Anyways, this months Rocksbox was really good. Once again, all the pieces were on my Wishlist, so the stylist this month was ME. I’m getting really good at this, I think.

I specifically wanted a chunky necklace to go with this jumpsuit that I was taking on my cruise, so I was happy they sent me the Ava Rose Aurora Necklace. However, I was a little bummed that it came in after I returned from my trip, but that’s ok, I still wore it with a couple of outfits and it is GORGEOUS.

The stones are lightweight and I am guessing not real, unless there is some stone made of glitter that I am unaware of. It also drapes beautifully down the neckline. I wish it didn’t cost $125 because if it was just half the price, I would have kept it.

I also received these really lovely Kendra Scott Elora earrings. A nice twist to a traditional hoop earring, they dangle and shimmy as you move, but are not heavy or make any noise. I really like that.

I wore it with my hair up in a pony tail, white tshirt and jeans when leaving for a business trip and got two compliments at the airport. I felt like such a jet setter!

The last piece I got were these Starshine Ear Climbers from Dusk. These were cute, but tiny! I felt like they were a little overshadowed by the other two pieces, but I wore them few times to give them a chance.

As always, if you are interested in checking out Rocksbox for yourself, feel free to use my referral code MaritzaBFF39 at checkout and you get your first month free. Keep in mind, that I also get a $25 credit for a future purchase, so if you decide to go for it, I thank you in advance.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

what’s in my bag

What’s in my Bag? Disney Edition

I have a small secret to confess. I’m not much of a Disney fan.

Ok, so let me rephrase that. I LOVE Disney movies and all the Disney characters because they remind me of my childhood, which was great, BUT, I hate the crowds, heat, lines, matching family shirts and others people’s children in general. Let’s not even talk about the amount of money you spend there. Is it really worth forking over a months salary to wait in line for 120 minutes to see Elsa?

No. The answer is always NO.

However, my kids and husband are big fans of the Mouse, so sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

With that being said, as a Floridian, I’ve been to Disney more times than I can count and even though I complain, I always end up having a somewhat good time. It truly can be “magical” when all is said and done.

The key is not to stress and that includes your outfits and makeup. We’ll be there for 7 days and all my outfits consist of comfy T-shirts, shorts, jeans and a hoodie if it gets chilly (Yes, from time to time it gets cold in Florida).

Makeup is all about the basics. You want to get up early and go to the parks to beat the lines, and therefore it might be smart to skip the wing liner. Below is a small (ish) list of items in my Disney makeup bag:

Face

Physicians Formula Healthy Foundation. Always over the sun screen, but just a light layer because chances are you will be sweating. Just enough for me to cover some of the freckles.

Besame Vanilla Brightening Powder. Not only will you be waking up early, but also staying up late to catch the fireworks, so a little brightening powder under the eyes will help.

Antonym Baked Highlighting Blush in Lily. This is beautiful pinky peach blush with just a tiny bit of shimmer. Honestly, you could take any blush, I just happen to really, really like this one.

Eyes

Besame Snow White I’m Wishing Palette. No way am I going to Disney without taking something from my collection and this palette is perfect for two reasons: the mirror is nice and big and will help with getting ready and the colors are neutral, so you can easily tap a bit of color on your lids and go.

Besame Agent Carter Palette. I love this palette because it’s small and you can go from a simple easy look to a deeper look if you want. Also, Marvel is owned by Disney now, so I feel it’s totally appropriate.

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Heigh Ho from the Snow White Collection. Adding this one for a little shine if I want to for dinner. A girl needs options!

Butter London Double Decker Mascara. My go to mascara. It makes my lashes thick and full. I would also consider packing a waterproof mascara as there are few water rides in the parks, but I’m good I’m with just this one.

Lips

Almay Butter Kiss Lipsticks in Berry Light. Honestly, between all the walking and sweating, you will be reaching more for your chapstick than a liquid lip. The Butter Kiss formula is moisturizing with a light wash of color and shine.

Real Her I Am Awesome Lipgloss. Another moisturizing option, but for those days you want more shine and color. Just throw this one in the bag for when you need a bit of oomph for your selfies with Minnie.

Colourpop Creme Lux Lipstick in Candy Apple Red from the Snow White Collection. Ok, if I’m going to be honest, I probably will never even wear this lipstick, but you always need a nice red just in case. Lipstick emergencies happen and you must be prepared!

I might take a few other items, but these are the “for sures”. Like I said, the goal when spending time with your family at Disney is to enjoy the moment, but a little makeup Magic never hurts.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Karity

Karity – Blush Bomb in Burgandy Blast – Review Time

I am such a sucker for small brands. It’s not that I’m a hater for a Too Faced or Colourpop, but there is something about a good David and Goliath story that gets me going. Therefore, I’m following up my less than stellar opinion of the new Karity Picante Palette, with a bouncy review of their Blush Bomb kit in Burgandy Blast.

I mean, if you check out their story, you can’t help but root for them. Their vision to bring you quality products without handing over half your paycheck really resonates with me. Mostly because I’m just your typical working class mom who has bills to pay, but also because it’s nice to see a small brand succeed.

While I didn’t particularly hate the Picante Palette, it really didn’t impress me much. Just the same warm toned colors regurgitated over with hit and miss success in pigmentation. Their Blush Bomb in the other hand, is a top shelf product in my makeup cart.

Yes, they came out with your usual pink, coral and peach palette, but it’s the fact that they also produced a dark berry Burgundy palette that really got me all excited.

Immediately, when I saw the matte shade “yas”, I thought of Kat Von D’s Lolita blush/eyeshadow pan that she came out with a few years back. However, unlike KVD’s berry blush that was patchy and hard to blend, the red in this palette is pigmented and blends beautifully.

In fact, I would really just lightly dip your brush and apply the tiniest bit, because it can quickly eacalate. Fair warning!

When we move one shade to the right with “sumptuous”, we land on my favorite. At first glance, you are like, that’s too shimmery to be a blush and, yes, it’s probably more of a blush topper, but I use it all on its own. Honestly, it’s not that shimmery and gives you a beautiful healthy glow. Once again, a little goes a long way, so need to go ham on this shade either.

The last shade is a golden highlighter called “lush” that I thought I would never be able to use because it would be too dark for me, but somehow it works. I find that it translates much lighter than it looks, which may disappoint darker complexions. Also, it’s not a particularly blinding highlight, but rather a more lit from within type of glow.

I also want to add that all three shades can do double duty as eyeshadows in a blink of an eye.

No pun intended.

One last thing, the Blush Bomb kits will run you $14.99, which I think is freaking awesome!!! For the quality and pigmentation, I think that is a winner.

Anyone else, pick one of these puppies up yet? If so, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Karity

Karity Picante Palette – Review Time

Raise your hand if you never heard of Karity until around October when they sent a bunch of influencers PR packages and then your Instagram feed was diluted with pictures of their Picante and Rose All Day palettes.

(Raises Hand)

I may have been living under a hole, but I was like “Karity-who?” Well, their marketing campaign worked because not only did I pre-order the darn Picante palette, but apparently so did a crap load of other people, which created a bunch of shipping delays.

If you followed their Instagram, they sent out an apology email, blamed it on a shipping “glitch”, and now everyone loves them again.

Blah, blah, blah… just send me my damn palette, please.

Anyways, I got my palette like 2 weeks after the release, and I was begrudgingly impressed….somewhat. It’s quite a large palette, with 21 pans (11 shimmers, 10 mattes) and goes from light yellow all the way to dark purple. The colors are all warm, which keeps with the theme of the Picante or “Hot” theme and it’s actually beautiful for fall.

The mattes are fine. They are not super pigmented at application, but certainly buildable, which I actually prefer. I like blown out eye looks, so I find mattes that can be built and blended to my preferred strength are ideal for me. Flamenco, a bright coral, and Harvest, a deep pumpkin shade are the ones that I am naturally drawn too and I find perform really well.

Eyes: Delia, Aish, Bittersweet, Sass and Flora

The shimmers are equally nice. I wouldn’t say they are the blinding in any way, but if you go in with your finger or a wet brush you will get a nice pay off. A dry brush will definitely leave you disappointed. Flora, a spirited purple and Fuego, a peachy pink, are my standouts.

I will also mention that I didn’t feel that they had a lot of staying power unless I used an eye primer and used a setting spray like the Urban Decay All Nighter.

First Row Left to Right: Delia, Fearless, Dune, Embers, Pimento, Bronzed, Mornin
Second Row Left to Right: Sunrise, Bobble, Fuego, Harvest, Hayley, Flamenco, Fahrenheit
Third Row Left to Right: Spicy, Passion, Epice, Sass, Flora, Aish, Bitterness

If I sound a little blasé with my review, its because after I took inventory of my palettes, I realized that I already have these colors in my arsenal. I don’t find this palette to be very revolutionary in its color story or formula and as a makeup junkie, I felt a little let down.

For example, if you own the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk, ABH Modern Renaissance or even Colourpop’s The Zodiac palettes, then you have all these shades in one way or another.

Yes, for $29.99 you probably get way more for your bang, so if you are just starting to get into makeup or aren’t very much into warm colors and want one palette to cover all your bases, then this is a good investment. However, if you are like me and have palettes coming out of your wazoo, then you might want to skip.

This is not a knock on Karity, as I ordered a Blush Bomb kit and was really impressed by it, but this palette was just ok.

What do you think? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Vacation Mode

Vacation Mode – Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

Last week, I was able to take a break from the hum-drum and go on a 2 day cruise on the new Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas.

Yeah, it was a blink and it was gone kind of vacation, but sometimes that’s all you need to recharge your batteries.

Needless to say, the ship is gorgeous! We snagged a balcony on the interior facing their “Central Park”, which is a small promenade with shops and restaurants and loved how nice and quiet it was.

We also had a view of one of their pool slides from our balcony, which was really fun seeing people go down. You would be surprised how much flailing of arms there was, but in their defense, it was a pretty tall slide.

So Jose is not much of a picture taker. He always likes to make goofy faces, so getting a picture of us will will always resemble something like below.

The ship has main dining, but also specialty restaurants. They had one called Wonderland, that is themed around, you guessed it, Alice in Wonderland, and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! We were able to sample some of their food and drinks and it was delicious!

Another view of the interior of the ship from the pool deck. You see that leaf shaped glass roof in the bottom? That’s called the High Rise bar and it’s a floating bar that takes you from the 5th floor to about the 10th. We capped off the last night at the bar and it was great!

There is a mini golf course.

And a slide that takes you from the 16th floor to the 5th floor. It was a blast! We rode it twice!

The first night we had dinner at the Main Dining Room and I forgot my phone , but you are going to have to believe me that it was beautiful!

Most people were very causal the first day, so I opted for jeans and a cute top.

We also were treated to a fireworks display when we left the Port of Miami.

The second day we were in Nassau, but we have been there before, so we decided to just chill in the pool on the ship with a few margaritas and pina coladas.

Are you really on vacation if you don’t take “I’m on a Caribbean vacation” legs pic? I don’t think so.

Dinner the second night was a bit fancier as we met us with some friends for dinner and a show.

Love my black jumpsuit, but I need to perfect my mirror selfie technique.

We saw the show Flight, which was wonderful! It had singing, dancing, aerial acts. It was a top notch production!

Afterwards, we went for some drinks with friends at the Bionic Bar. Not going to lie, I prefer my bartenders human. It was not the best cocktail I’ve had, but it was neat to watch!

And of course, we had to take a few pictures by the artwork. Which is all over the ship, but this one really made us look super cute!

Thanks for tagging along!

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza