November 30, 2015

Sephora Collection Purifying & Mattifying Mud Mask

November 30, 2015
Sephora Collection Purifying & Mattifying Mud Mask

A couple of months ago I popped into my nearest Sephora to browse for any new products. I've been needing a face mask that will help me battle oil and shine. I asked one of Sephora's employees for any suggestions and she recommended their Purifying and Mattifying Mud Mask. She was quick to mention that this Sephora product was new and had a 5 star customer rating. So of course I had to give it a try!

The mud mask comes in this super luxe jar and inside the mask itself is a dirty gray color. I was hesitant to apply it for fear of an allergic irritation but the Sephora employee assured me that it will be gentle on sensitive skin. The zinc and copper in the mask is used to remove impurities and unclog pores, while white clay gently softens skin.

Sephora Collection Purifying & Mattifying Mud Mask

The directions don't specify whether to put on the mask on a dry or wet face so I went with a dry face, although I don't think either way really matters. I carefully applied it all over my face and noticed the herbal-y smell of it. It smells like something I've definitely smelled before but can't figure out what it is. Ugh. But I promise is not a bad smell. Once you apply the mud mask it is suppose to turn a a lighter white color meaning the mask is now dry. The directions don't specify for how long to leave it on but I decided twenty minutes was good enough. When my twenty minutes were up I removed the mask, which was actually pretty easy to remove (yay!), and my skin felt so clean.

It definitely does what is says by leaving your skin matte. My face felt smooth, and just how I wanted it, with no oil in sight. I definitely recommend this mask to anyone who has oily skin and needs a way to get rid of any oil buildup. You can absolutely notice a change the first time you use it. This mask is gentle and won't irritate your skin. But of course you should test try a patch just to make sure. This mud mask is also a dupe for one of GlamGlow's masks (I can't remember which one the employee mentioned) without the obvious hefty price tag.

Sephora Collection Purifying & Mattifying Mud Mask

What is your favorite mask? Let me know in the comments!

November 21, 2015

Bare Bottles: Products I've Finished No. 3

November 21, 2015
OGX, Victoria's Secret Beauty, Target

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts but to be honest I really hadn't finished any products until now. My last Bare Bottles post was back in April and since then I've gathered several empty bottles that I will absolutely write about soon. To get this post series back and running again I will review three products for you. Read about them below:

OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil
This hair oil is a must for me whenever I get a blowout. My crazy curly hair responds well with this oil. This is how I use it: I take it with me to the salon (I can't blowout my own hair to save my life) and then the oil is added to my hair after being washed. I always do a roller set on my hair and get under the dryer for 45 mins. When time is up and the rollers are removed my hair is left silky, making it much easier and faster to blowdry.I highly recommend this! (FYI the current packaging of this product is different from the one pictured above. It's the same product just a different look).

VS Beauty Baked Mineral Bronzing Powder in Goddess
This bronzer worked really well. It definitely gave me a subtle glow without it being too much. Unfortunately Victoria's Secret has completely downsized their beauty section so a lot of their products that I really liked including this bronzer are not available anymore. Sadness! I'm currently trying to find another bronzer to substitute this one. Any suggestions?

Target Up & Up Nourishing Nail Polish Remover
I personally like generic brand products and Target's Up & Up range is no exception. When it comes to nail polish remover I honestly do not care about added benefits or anything like that, if it removes my nail polish then that's all I care about. With this nail polish remover it simply did just that. Plus the price on this is crazy good.

Have you tried any of these products? What products have you finished recently?

November 16, 2015

My Dominican Republic Flight Essentials

November 16, 2015

If you follow my blog or my Instagram then you know I went on a mini-vacay to the Dominican Republic. I personally love to travel and find it so exciting especially when I am going to a place I've never been to before. I have a love and hate relationship with flying and planes. I love how interesting planes are. I mean being in the clouds (literally) can be so cool. But flying can also make my skin dry which I hate. Plus I can get a little fuzzy and bored when flying. I can be so impatient sometimes!

In my travel tote I usually carry key products that I know I'll be using during my flight. These products can really be lifesavers for me. I also rotate products whenever I travel. So depending on my destination or how I'm feeling at the moment I'll change up my flight essentials. Below are the products I carried with me during this recent flight followed by a small review.

Coach Wristlet
I have a few of these Coach wristlets and they come in handy when traveling. I sometimes hate it when my lip balms fall to the bottom of my bag. So I just placed them inside this wristlet and can access them easier. Plus this wristlet was so convenient while in the hotel to carry my phone, lipstick, and room key.

Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizer in Ripe Raspberry Vine
Hand sanitizer is so essential when flying! From touching kiosks, food trays, and using the restroom in planes and airports, I must carry this with me. I love the ones from Bath & Body Works because they have so many fragrance options plus they're super cheap. This fragrance smells just like berries!

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil
Now you all know I love Josie Maran and her original argan oil. But this stuff is awesome because it is infused with her argan oil but the consistency is like a cream that melts into your skin. This is so good for dehydrated skin on planes and it really moisturizes. Plus I love the citrus-y smell of it.

VS Pink Body Mist in Sun Kissed
Who doesn't love to smell good? This body mist is perfect for travel because of its size and the smell is not overpowering. I like to spritz myself with this to quickly freshen up. This smells just like coconut and vanilla — the epitome of a tropical vacation.

Emergen-C Immune + in Super Orange
I somehow always manage to get sick when traveling. Ugh. I've tried the original Emergen-C before and I didn't really like it. But this version really works for me. I was having cold symptoms a few days before leaving and kept adding this vitamin infused powder to my water. I brought them with me on my flight and drank a few while flying (just ask a flight attendant for a cup of water) and the next day I was feeling so much better. So now I always carry some of these packets with me on a plane.

Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes
Sometimes I like to travel with makeup on but other times I just skip it altogether. These cleansing wipes are great to remove makeup and buildup and to refresh the skin. Using these make my face feel cool, fresh, and awake. They are the perfect pick-me-up.

What are your flight essentials? What's the one thing you can't travel without?

November 9, 2015

5 Rules to Follow to Get Better Skin

November 9, 2015

Nothing feels better than having a great skin day - that and a good shopping spree. Having glowing blemish-free skin is easier to have than you might think. I know we all have those days when we are just not feeling our best. We are humans nonetheless. But if you're suffering from breakouts or feel that your skin needs a boost then count on the easy simple rules below. I follow these rules religiously and I know you probably heard them again and again but there's a reason for that: they truly work. Try one or two or all of them and notice the difference.

Rules to follow:

1. Drink More Water: Do you think you drink enough water throughout the day? Think again. Water is incredibly important for our bodies. We need to stay hydrated constantly. Start your morning with a glass of water and continue to drink water throughout the day. Skip soft drinks and juices which can be loaded with way too much sugar. Upping your water intake guarantees more hydrated skin. This rule is beneficial for those who suffer from dry skin. 

2. Wear Sunscreen: As much as some of us dislike applying sunscreen it is crucial to do so. Always wear sunscreen before stepping outside. Look for a moisturizer/BB cream that already has SPF. Remember that you must still protect your skin even when it is a cloudy day. You're supposed to wear sunscreen year-round to prevent sun/dark spots, wrinkles and ultimately skin cancer.
What I Use: My current moisturizer is Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer Sensitive Skin SPF 15.

3. Cleanse Before Sleeping: Nothing hurts skin the most than the sun and falling asleep without washing your face. Use a face wash or cleansing oil along with a cotton round to remove all of your makeup from the day. It just sounds completely icky to not clean your face before hitting your sheets. I'm super crazy about this one! Plus you don't want makeup to transfer to your pillow or to wake up looking like a hot mess with makeup residue smeared all over your face. Trust me your skin will thank you for it.
What I Use: To remove makeup and cleanse my face I rely on L'occitane Shea Cleansing Oil.

4. Indulge in a Face Mask: Once a week treat yourself to a face mask targeted towards your skin type or a skin problem you might have. For example I have oily skin so I use a face mask every Sunday (Sundays are my "me" days) that helps combat oil and leaves my face with a matte finish. So whether you have oily, dry, or sensitive skin or you are looking to minimize pores, or add more moisture, search for a mask that will help you with your specific need.
What I Use: Once a week I apply Sephora Collection Purifying and Mattifying Mud Mask and leave it on for 20 minutes.

5. Get Enough Sleep: Okay this rule is so hard for me to follow especially when I'm binge watching a new show. Try your best to get about 7 to 9 hours of sleep everyday. My schedule, like a lot of other people's schedule, might vary day to day so I can be waking up super early one day and a little later another day. However I try to get enough sleep as much as I can. Sleeping not only relaxes your body and gets it ready to conquer the next day but it also prevents unflattering dark puffy circles underneath your eyes and renews your skin.

I really hope you follow these rules and notice a positive change in your skin. Let's not forget that a healthy diet and regular exercise are also incredibly beneficial to your skin. But applying the above rules to your lifestyle can absolutely make a difference in how your skin looks.

Do you follow any of these rules? What rules do you swear by to achieve glowing skin? Let me know in the comments!

November 4, 2015

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Photo Diary

November 4, 2015

After checking airfare for the Dominican Republic and seeing how cheap the flights were, my family spontaneously decided to book a trip. My sister and I stayed for one week while my parents stayed for two. I've been to DR many times before, the first time being when I was 5 years old. In case you didn't know, I am Dominican. I was born and raised in New York but my parents were born in DR. DR is awesome for a getaway tropical vacation. There are so many great locations to visit including the city of Puerto Plata.

We stayed in Playa Dorada, a large area in Puerto Plata that has several hotel resorts that are right near the beach. We stayed at the Grand Paradise hotel. Every time we go to Puerto Plata we always stay in this hotel. With everything all-inclusive let's just say we couldn't stop enjoying the unlimited food and drinks. We arrived to Puerto Plata in the late afternoon. Twenty minutes after checking into our hotel the craziest thunderstorm happened. I'm talking very very loud thunder. So what did me and my sister do? We put on our bikinis and we hopped in the jacuzzi under the rain. And no we didn't get pneumonia! It was actually so much fun.

The next day we woke up to the brightest sun and decided to go to the beach. We wanted to get as much beach time just in case it started raining again. However when we got to the beach it was filled with seaweed. We've been here before and were surprised to see the beach in this condition. But after speaking to some locals we then found out why the beach was like this: It had not rained in Puerto Plata in almost a year so the recent storms kept washing the dirt and seaweed to the shore. Hence why we spent most of our time at the pool. But it was all good: pina coladas by the pool? Fine by me!

The rest of the trip was filled with food, drinks, and dancing. At night the hotel hosts entertainment for the guests where they have contests and karaoke. It was fun to socialize with the other guests and to learn where they were from. My sister, who was celebrating her 27th birthday during this vacay, even participated in one of the contests. Let's just say it was hilarious! I definitely enjoyed my mini-vacay and I know I'll be back in DR sometime again soon. Take a look at some of the photos from my trip below:

Fresa (strawberry) ice-cream. Yum!

On our way to Puerto Plata.

Wearing Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Lady Flower. One of my absolute favorites!

With the birthday girl: my sister!

Glossier Cocounut Balm Dotcom. Perfect for the beach!

Wearing Smith & Cult in Fauntleroy. Can't get enough of this color!

Have you been to the Dominican Republic? What's your favorite place to visit for a tropical vacation? Make sure to keep up with me on my Instagram!

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