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My Birthday!

I’ve finally passed the first quarter of life: this year I turned 26 years old! It feels kind of odd and somehow exciting. Odd because I could swear it was just yesterday that I had reached 25 years of age and somehow another year has snuck by. On the other hand, it’s a bit exciting to see what the future lays ahead. It makes me happy just thinking about the things I want to accomplish and do while being 26.

My birthday started off on the right foot. I was woken up by one of my best friends, my beautiful chocolate lab. I might sound crazy here, but I think she knew it was a special day because she spent most of it trying to be close to me, either wanting to sit or lay next to me at all times. Then, I was greeted by my family who  wished me a happy day. 

I got ready for my birthday and then headed for breakfast with another of my best friends, my mom. It's always fun to spend quality time together. We can talk for hours and laugh, all while sipping coffee, which is why it’s one of my favorite activities. The food was nice and the coffee even better. With our stomachs full, we headed back home where I spent more time with my family and dogs. 

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting old or I was just lazy that day, but I decided to go for a minimal and natural makeup look. 

  • I used L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream Anti Redness for my face. This product is great for uniforming your skin color. Mixed within a green cream, you can find little beads that when rubbed against the skin turn into foundation and add some light coverage. It's great for reducing redness and skin pigmentations. It’s light weight formula gives this natural bare skin sensation. 

  • To set the BB cream and to achieve a matte finish, all while protecting my skin from any sun lesions, I used Colore Science Loose Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 50

  • Next, I applied Lancome Hypnose Mascara in Noir Hypnotic. If I may add, that mascara is one of the best ones I have ever tried. I really, really, really love it. Not only does it add a nice black tint to my eyelashes, but with a couple of coats it also adds volume and thickness without getting them clumpy. 

  • For the finally touches, I decided to go for a lipgloss instead of my normal pick, a lipstick. I used L’Oreal Xtreme Resist Lip Gloss in All Night Long, which is a sheer pink gloss with some gold shimmer. I think it’s really pretty and feminine. This product isn’t too overpowering, but it does add some color to the lips. It's perfect for a daytime look. Moreover, it’s incredibly creamy and soft for a gloss, not sticky at all. It’s easy to apply, as it glides softly through the lips. 

I borrowed this pretty necklace from my mom :) she made it herself!

This was the final look!

My boyfriend and I went for a coffee in the afternoon, a couple of hours before dinner with my family. We went to this restaurant called Saul that makes one of my favorite coffee drinks, a cappuccino with Nutella. I of course ordered one, which came with a nice marshmallow on top. My boyfriend order a coffee with chocolate and mint that, considering the ingredients, one would expect it to be too sweet, but actually was a perfect balance between the bitterness of coffee and the sweetness of the chocolate and mint. 

I think this photo doesn't do justice to the gorgeous bracelet that my boyfriend kindly gave me as a birthday present :)

To end the day with a bright note, my boyfriend and I went to dinner with my family. I had a great time with them and couldn’t be happier to have spent the evening together. Although I try not to make a big deal out of my birthday, but they made me feel special. The best part of the meal was the dessert. I was surprised with a Panna Cotta as my family sang happy birthday to me. It’s kind of awkward when people are sing happy birthday to you, don’t you think? I just sit there in silence, smiling, not knowing if whether to sing along as well or what haha. It’s that I'm used to singing to others, but not to be sang to, I don't know why haha.

The days prior to my birthday, I was doing some thinking about my life so far. I think sometimes you get caught up in the “what if?” and stop living in the present and start wasting energy and time in somethings that can’t be changed. There are moments when I imagine if I had made different choices, where would I be now? Would I have been happier? Would I had achieved more? Would I had been more successful? The truth is that you end up idealizing the other paths you could have taken, when nothing and no one can guarantee that it would have been better than life right now. 

Over the years I’ve learnt that one cannot sit and wait for life to grant you opportunities. You have to choose a more active role and become a seeker and a fighter. You have to place a goal in mind and do your best to fulfill it: create you path and pave your road towards that goal. So, 26 has a new meaning: a new year filled with opportunities to grow as a person and be the best version of myself. 

Last, but not least, I wanted to share with you a couple of my birthday gifts. I’m not trying to brag or anything like that, but I really liked them and thought you would be interested. The best gift I’ve received is having amazing people in my life that I get to call my family and friends. They have not only supported me with my studies, projects, and goals, but have shown thoughtfulness and kindness that I’ll forever be grateful. 

The first present I wanted to share is Bath and Body Works Love & Sunshine Foam Sugar Scrub. The truth is that I’m not a big body scrub girl. I have only once before bought a body scrub, which I still haven’t finish the bottle. When I opened this product, I was immediately intrigued and excited to try out. It smells very sweet and it kind of reminds me of candy. I’ve used it a couple of times after opening it and so far, so good! With just rubbing this product onto the skin, kind of massaging it a few seconds, the sugar dissolves. The scrub isn’t too harsh or irritative and my skin feels very soft afterwards.

I don’t think I have talked much about accessories in the blog before, thus I was excited to share with you the jewelry I got for my birthday. The first item is a set of bracelets from Alex and Ani. It’s made with beautiful light blue and white Swarovski crystals. This company makes each jewelry with a meaning. Some are symbolic of and represent encouragement, positive energy, love, amongst other values. It’s supposed to provide the new owner with good energy and vibes. Moreover, Alex and Ani is a company eco friendly that gives back to society. The second item is a pair of dark gold earrings with a green faux stone. They are from Tantrend, a Spanish brand that makes unique and different styles of jewelry and accessories. In the packaging it was stated that the earrings are hypoallergenic, which called my attention. If I wear bijouterie for long periods of time (hours), my ears get itchy and red. I wore these earrings for about 6 hours without showing any signs of an allergic reaction. 

The last present I wanted to share with you is Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume. I had never tried this brand before, so I was very excited when I opened this gift. It comes in a very cute and fancy glass bottle shaped as a grenade. The perfume’s scent is amazing! As it’s name states, it smells very flowery and sweet. I really liked it! It’s long-lasting and does not wear off easily. The scent isn’t too strong or concentrated and it’s very well balanced.

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost!

Let me know what you think!

Bedtime Beauty Routine (2017)

When it comes to “beauty routines”  I prefer to keep everything simple, as I tend  to forget to spare time for pampering and taking care of myself.  To be honest, at night all I want to do is put my pajamas and get in bed. If you ask my family, they’ll tell you my favorite activity is sleeping (I sound like so much fun haha). Therefore, I prefer to follow a couple of steps, fast and easy, so they don’t keep me away from bed for too long. 

Nighttime Skin Hydration 

The first thing I like to do at the end of the day is to remove all my makeup. Even though my day to day makeup involves only mascara and either a tinted lip balm or a lipstick, I feel that sleeping with it doesn’t allow the skin to “breath”. Once my skin is fresh and clean, the next step is to hydrate it. Usually I prefer light weight facial creams, but for nighttime I rather use one with a richer and creamier consistency. This because I won’t be out of the house doing errands or work and won’t be under the sun, thus I’ll be safe from feel sticky or greasy afterwards. I'm currently using Clarins Multi-Active Nuit facial cream. It comes in a pretty blue and gold plastic bottle, which the color scheme reminds me of the night sky (or maybe I’m just too tired and sleepy that that’s all I can think of haha). This product has a refreshing smell, like a herbal scent which isn’t too overpowering. It’s consistency falls in the medium category on the creaminess scale. As you rub it onto your skin, it feels soothing. It's been very helpful in keeping my skin hydrated and with a healthy glow.

Face Masks 

Once in a while, I like to go the extra mile when it comes to skincare and wear a facial mask. Usually, I do this step every one or two weeks, right after cleaning my face and before applying any cream. I’ve been loving the Kiehl’s Tumeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Kiehl’s is one of my favorite brands for anything skin related. This product is evidence of how great the brand is. It comes in a nice cylindric orange glass container and, I don't know why, but it kind of gives me this homemade/organic vibe. Once opened, you'll notice the minty scent that, when in contact with your skin, makes it feel refreshing. This mask has a thick and creamy consistency. It’s an appealing yellow paste mixed with small purple cranberry seeds. I apply a little bit and wait for 10-15 minutes and then just rinse it off. The product is easy to remove, with only water, and it doesn’t dry into a hard consistency. The seeds are not rough to the skin. I like to massage in circular motion as I’m removing the product, kind of to allow the seeds to scrub off any dead skin. My skin feels nice afterwards, very soft to the touch.

Body Moisturizer 

Although I would like to say that every morning I get ready in peace and with enough time in my hands,  but the truth is that sometimes I find myself running and hurrying to avoid been late. With that in mind, I don’t always find the time to moisturize my body, which is a problem since I have dry skin. Consequently, I’ve been giving it a try and apply body cream at night. I’ve been using L’Occitane Hand Cream for dry skin. I really like this brand as well. I love the quality of their products, but also their packaging. When I go to their store and look at the products, I always think that that’s how old beauty boutiques/parfumeries must have looked like. This cream comes in an big aluminum tube, which can be bent and pressed to get the product out. This moisturizer is creamy and easy to apply without having to rub it too much for the skin to absorbe. It dries soft and not greasy, leaving your skin smooth and soft. It’s main ingredients are shea butter, honey, almond, and coconut oil which are great for keeping a healthy skin with a nice glow. 

Sleeping Habits and A Good Mattress

My final step for a goodnight sleep is following good sleeping habits. Been able to sleep soundly and comfortably reflects not only on your appearance, but health as well. A bad night may cause puffy eyes, under eye bags, dark circles, and tired looking skin. However, the worst part for me is the lack of energy as a consequence. Feeling sleepy or tired just doesn’t allow you to give your 100% the next day. Thus, I’ve been trying to follow these simple habits: 

  • Go to bed at 10 pm (or any hour that works for you, but that’s not too late)
  • Avoid social media (yes, I’m talking about you, Instagram and Facebook) and Netflix (so long, Quantico and Young and Hungry)
  • Avoid falling asleep while listening to music. 
Once I incorporated these habits into my nighttime routine, I became more concentrated in sleeping and woke up less tired and more energetic. 

Moreover, besides good sleeping habits, a good bed that suits you can result in a better night. Being a girl with scoliosis, I’ve found that not all types of mattresses are comfortable for me. It can cause me back pain and overall a bad night sleep. In collaboration with Leesa, a company focused on helping their costumers get a good night sleep by creating mattresses that adapt to each person, it’s important to find a mattress that matches your likings and will aid your sleep. 

I wanted to mention something that I felt worth letting you know. Besides developing products to ease your sleep and have better mornings, Leesa also has come up with different social awareness projects such as donating mattresses to people in need, planting trees for every mattress sold, and supporting their local communities. Giving back is an important quality not only companies should have, but ourselves as individuals as well.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Let me know what you think!

Preparing Your Dog For Summer

If you’ve had the pleasure of growing up with pets around you, you’ll know that they quickly become part of the family. And, like with any family member, it’s important to take care of them. Both my puppies (and by puppies I mean grown up dogs haha) live inside the house, yet they spend most of the day outside. Therefore, whenever there’s a season change coming up, I like to be prepared. In conjunction with PuppySpot, here are a few tips for getting you dog ready for the summer!

Brushes come in handy

As seasons change, a dog’s fur does as well. You’ll start noticing that your dog starts shedding more and more. Usually, as a normal mechanism to lose the thick coat that was formed to cope with colder times. This becomes a big issue if your pet lives in the house, as you’ll find pieces of fur all over the floor, carpets, clothes, you name it. If not well taken care of, you’ll find yourself in a furry mess, specially if you suffer from allergies like me. What has worked in my case is daily brushing. This comes in handy when dealing with my Labrador more than with my American Stafford because of my Lab’s longer fur. I make sure I brush them really well every morning to get rid of the majority of loose fur. Plus, on the bright side, your dog will have a healthier and shiny looking coat.

Water is never enough

Once wintertime is over, specially after rainy season in Costa Rica, I find that my dogs tend to became much more active. They enjoy spending more time outside playing and running wild. Moreover, during summer people prefer going for walks with their pets or trips to the beach with the whole family, dogs included. Thus, it’s important to remember that as your dog’s energy and exercise increases, so does their water intake. I make sure that there’s always a fresh bowl of water available for my dogs. If we go for a walk, I usually pack two bottles of water, one for me and the other one for them. Additionally, if the day is too hot, I like to add ice cubes to their water bowl. My Labrador love submerging her face in the bowl to fish the ice cubes.

Health is important

During summertime many dog owners love taking their pets out to parks where they might encounter other dogs. As your pets spend time outside, they are in close contact with nature and certain bugs. Usually it’s nothing to worry about, but I ensure that my dogs are up to date with their vaccines to maintain them healthy.  Also, I like to do a quick check up and make sure they don’t have any fleas or ticks.

If you'd like to know more, PuppySpot has a lot of handy tips and tricks for preparing your dog for the summer that might interest you.

If you have a Lab like me, or want one, here is some useful information about this wonderful breed:

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Let me know your tips for preparing your dogs for summer!

Late Christmas Makeup Haul

I understand you may feel a bit confused over the title of this post haha. I know it’s April and not December, but last year I didn’t have the time to share with you plenty of makeup and beauty products that I was able to get my hands on. Thus, I plan on spending more time writing this year, and what better time to start than right now.

Every Christmas, makeup and beauty companies release limited edition products specially made for that time of the year. I personally like it because it builds up the holiday spirit, not that Christmas is all about spending money haha. Anyway, knowing that I enjoy makeup and have this blog, my boyfriend was kind enough to give me as a Christmas present a few bits and pieces that I’ll be talking about later on in this blogpost. More than been very happy with my gift, to be honest it warms my heart and I’m far more grateful for his continuous love and support. The best gift of all is to be able to have such wonderful people with me. 

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the following limited edition holiday eyeshadow palettes:

Bare Minerals- The Wish List

The name of the palette is very Christmasy in itself. It reminded me of my childhood. In some places it’s a holiday tradition for children to write a list of gifts to Santa Clause that they would like, a “wish list” or Christmas list. The packaging is simple and elegant. The brand chose a black background with the name written and fireworks (or maybe snowflakes?) drawn in golden. 

This palette contains twelve eyeshadows: five matte and seven shimmery. What I love the most is the color scheme: warm neutral/brown shades. Not only I tend to use such colors very often when doing my makeup, but these are what most girls use during the holiday season. There is not one shade in this palette that I wouldn’t use and, I even dare say, that wouldn’t look nice on anyone. All eyeshadows work well with each other when matching for creating an eye look. Daydream, Come True, and Granted can be used in the crease as transitional colors, whereas Good Spirits and Boardroom are handy for creating depth. Merry, Chance, and Bubbles can work as highlights. Bling, Gold Leaf, Yes Please, and Stiletto would look great in the lid area.

This was the first palette I used and instantly fell in love. The eyeshadows are very pigmented and easy to blend. According to Bare Minerals, they can last up to twelve hours. I used this product for an evening event and, although the event didn’t last twelve hours, my makeup was on its place throughout the whole time.

Plus points: it has a great mirror.

Favorite eyeshadow: Stilleto, a warm shimmery burgundy color

Tarte- Color Vibes Amazonian Clay Palette

This palette’s package is kind of artsy with a psychedelic edge, which is very nice. It’s made with different tones of purple and a golden strip that cuts everything into different shapes. Once opened, two aspects stand out the most. The first is the huge mirror that is perfect when doing your makeup. The second aspect is that it contains twenty, I repeat twenty, eyeshadows. 

The color scheme for this palette is within the neutral range: from different beige/sand tones, to peach, browns, gold, and copper. Additionally, you get a pop of blue, purple, and turquoise to add a bit more color into your eye look. When I come to think about it, the color scheme in this product reminds me of the beach haha, I don’t know why.

The good thing about this product is that it mixes matte and shimmery eyeshadows, as the previous palette I mentioned. As for the quality, I haven’t really tried all the eyeshadows, but a few. My first impression was that they were nicely pigmented, buildable, easy to blend and true to the product’s color. However, after a couple of hours, I did find some smudging and fallout.

Favorite eyeshadow: on the Monet, which is a shimmery copper shade, and pop art princess, shimmery rose peach color.

Too Faced- Christmas in New York: Grande Hotel Cafe 

Last, but not least, I present you the most Christmasy palette of the three. In 2015 Too Faced launched a Christmas theme collection of different makeup products. Out of the different options they had, I got the eyeshadow palette, Le Grand Chateau. Last year, Too Faced continued with the same tradition and launched Christmas in New York: Grande Hotel Cafe, similar to the previous one, but with a twist. 

The first aspect to mention is the packaging. You can really tell an effort was made when working on this collection, from the house shaped package, to the drawings and details of the hotel cafe decorations. After opening the hotel “doors” you find packed inside three mini palettes and a small size of one of their most popular mascaras, the Better Than Sex mascara. Different from 2015’s collection, each mini palette has a sweet Christmas scent to fill your room’s air with the holiday’s spirit haha. Moreover, each mini palette is designed to be either kept together as part of a collection, or to be shared individually with your friends as gifts. 

Altogether, there are 18 eyeshadows within this product, matte and shimmery types. Also, as part of the collection, you get 2 blushes and one bronzer. Last year’s color scheme was more based upon earthy and warm colors, which I tend to use more. I love that it included different and vibrant options to add to the holiday look such as raspberry, dark green, blue, and orange copper shades. The 2 blushes are both matte. One of them is a very pretty peach color, which I think I’ll be using more often, and the other one is a bright and very feminine pink. 

I have yet to try these eyeshadows, but from a quick inspection they are very pigmented and easy to blend. I can’t tell yet if they are long-lasting or if there’s fallout or fading after applying them. However, 2015’s palette was of a great quality and I enjoyed using it.

Plus points: you get other makeup products besides the eyeshadows

Favorite eyeshadow: Coffee Chip, similar to Urban Decay’s Naked 1 Horseshoe eyeshadow, is a burnt dark brown shade. 

Favorite mini palette: Eggnog Late

Thanks for joining me today!

Let me know what you think!

Traveling On My Own: Miami

This photo was taken at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The gardens and outside area were my favorite part. Been able to be so close to the ocean made was amazing and the view was breathtaking. All I wanted to do was to jump into the sea and swim haha.

2017 arrived rather in a blink of an eye. I couldn’t really take my time to acknowledge that another year had yet passed by and I didn’t really have time to sit down and think about what 2016 had meant for me. Overall, the whole ’16 to ’17 transition happened in a haste. December 30 was my last day of classes and in January 1st I was at the airport holding my carryon bag with one hand and waving goodbye to my mom and boyfriend with the other. 

                                 The places where I walked! (Note to self: next time pack more shoes haha)

I have never traveled on my own before and everything was so rushed that I didn’t have time to actually be scared or anxious. As I sat at the gate waiting for the call to aboard the plane, I was messaging with my mom and talking on the phone with my boyfriend. It hadn’t sunk in that I was leaving for two months and I know two months for some people is not a long time, but this was the first time I was away from my family. Four hours later I was in Miami.

       What I loved the most about the whole trip was been able to walk everywhere. I felt free and alive, if that makes sense.

Going to Miami symbolized the end of a chapter in my life. After many ups and downs, after 6 years of some things going my way and others the other way around, I finally accomplished one of my goals career and personal wise. Ever since I graduated from high school, I’ve wanted to travel and study abroad. For various reasons, I chose to stay in Costa Rica, but part of my mind always wondered what it would have been like if I had moved out of my house into a new country and what kind of person would I had become if I had the chance to live in a different place. Not the same as if this had happened 5 years ago, but I got the chance to find out the answer to those and many other questions.

From my experience in Miami, I loved been able to walk outside, to wear anything, any type of clothing or makeup, and other people wouldn’t even notice or care. It was very refreshing and fulfilling to have that anonymity. I had no label, no nothing, because no one knew who I was. I had the chance to be myself without sort of feeling judged. There was no “you can't be this way because you already are that way”, do you know what I mean? There were no boundaries and no limits, so I took advantage of this situation to get to know myself better. 

                                     This is at Wynwood, which is this amazing and artistic place in Miami.

Because I was alone most of the time, I had to work my way through everything, from speaking English on a daily basis (which I hadn't done since high school), cooking, avoiding getting lost, to talking to people and making new friends. I had to battle with my shyness and some old fears that I have, to learn and/or be reminded of that I can do things if I set my mind to do so. It felt great because on so many aspects I had kind of lost faith and was set to this idea that I was destined to fail. It had gotten to the point where it felt like I had no say and couldn’t do anything about it because things kept not going my way. However, this experience turned out the other way and to my surprise I actually received positive and encouraging feedback about my personality and my performance as a student. Every time I think about it, I’m still in shock haha, I just never expected this.

I guess what I want to say is that it’s all about your set of mind. I learnt that it’s all about you at the end of the day, about the way you feel about yourself, if you trust yourself, and if you believe that you are capable of achieving anything. When I talk to my parents about this topic, they always encourage me by saying: “the world is yours”, meaning that there is no limit to who I want to become and what I want to achieve. By sharing my experience and thoughts with you, I want you to know that the world is yours and that you can do it. You just have to have a vision, set a goal, and not let your fears or other people’s labels or thoughts about you let you down. 

                                                                 This is where I belong: at the beach.