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Holiday Party Outfit Idea

One of the many advices that my mom gave me while I was in my teenage years, and that I keep to this day, is that confidence is the best accessory to any outfit. I often think of this and it’s so true. Feeling good about yourself, feeling confident, is something that shows. It’s kind of when you see models walking down the runway wearing something that may not be of your taste or likes, but you see her walking confidently and you can’t help think maybe it’s not that bad, it looks great on her, I should give it a try. Then, you get to the store and see it on the mannequin and realize that it isn’t the clothing, but the girl’s attitude that made it look special. 

Since we are mid-December, I’ve been starting to think of this new year. Each year I set some goals, new year resolutions, that I try to work on. For 2018 I want to be more confident. I want to be less afraid and take risks. Yet, as the saying goes, why not start today something you can do tomorrow. Today, inspired by Dia&Co’s Try-Day Friday, an fun idea to challenge ourselves into stepping out of our comfort zone, I came up with a holiday party outfit with some clothes I’ve been wanting to use for some time now, but have been kind of iffy about being able to pull them off. Dia&Co is a clothing company that specializes on a personalized shopping experience for plus size women. Costumers are able to share their likes and dislikes fashion-wise, and stylists at Dia&Co custom make and deliver a subscription box with clothing items for them. One thing that stood out the most to me about this company, and motivated me to do this post, is their interest in encouraging self love and confidence by aiding women to seek and find their individual style.

The outfit I came up with is very simple. It consists of a top and a long skirt, paired with high heels. The top I decided to use is this pretty lace crop top from Zara that I got a few months ago. For quit some time I’ve noticed that lace is trending, the same as crop tops. I love that lace clothing can be very sultry, but worn the right way, it can be elegant too. I’ve wanted to try it out, but felt like it wasn’t something I would normally wear, maybe too sexy for me. On the other hand, I love how crop tops look with high waisted jeans or skirts. Yet, I was never too sure of the idea of showing a little bit of tummy. Finally, I decided to forget about my concerns and just try something out of my comfort zone. Why not be a tad more daring? Once I got home with the top, I just kept avoiding having to wear the top in fear of looking too exposed, if that makes sense. 

For this party look, I wanted to match the lace top with a mid length skirt I had gotten from Stradivarious a year ago. I really liked the combination of lace with this sort of plated black and gold shimmery skirt. Moreover, recently I’ve seen a lot of shimmery metallic, silver or gold, skirts and pants in many stores at the mall. To top everything off, I went for chunky black high heels. 

I felt great wearing this outfit. Sometimes, we can be the ones holding back ourselves out of fear of stepping out of the box. Wearing this outfit felt a bit liberating. I was able to be something I wasn’t sure I could be, daring. I think the top looked nice. I felt feminine and elegant. It wasn’t too out there, not as big of a deal to wear it as I felt it was going to be. It was a good experience because it allowed me to express myself differently.

What trends or clothing styles would you like to try but aren’t too sure to do so?

Spectrum Collections Makeup Brushes Review!

I think that I have said this in almost all my blogposts, but time flies by so fast! I can’t believe it’s December already. Because in a couple of weeks it’s Christmas, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on Spectrum Collections’ Mermaid Dreams: The Glam Clam Brush Set. I think this can be such a great gift for any makeup lover like myself.

Spectrum Collections is a British makeup brand that specializes on makeup brushes. Their creative sets and collections stood out the most to me, ranging from Mean Girls inspired, to mermaids, unicorns, zodiac signs, and more. I think that the unusual packaging and attractive brush designs make putting on makeup fun and exciting. My boyfriend, who is very kind and always supports me with this blog, gave me as part of my graduation gift the Mermaid Dreams: The Glam Clam Brush Set. 

This brush set comes in a pretty package shaped like a lilac clam shell. It has a golden zipper that secures the brushes inside. Once opened, you can observed the brushes held in place by a pink elastic, which makes it easy to store them. I believe the package itself is faux leather and it’s interior is faux suede. To the touch, it feels like quality material, which is why at first I thought it was real leather. After investigating, Spectrum Collection is a cruelty free and vegan company, thus I started doubting if it was real leather. They are registered with PETA and the Vegan Society, something I believe is worth mentioning.

This set contains 10 brushes. The handle is made with wood painted turquoise and golden clasps. The brush is synthetic. It’s made with a type of synthetic hair called talkon hair. It’s a high quality synthetic fiber that has hypoallergenic properties. Since I haven’t had the chance to try natural hair brushes, I did a small research on the pros and cons of synthetic brushes. My findings are listed below:

  1. Synthetic brushes are less absorbent. When applying foundation or any liquid-based product, it won’t absorbe all your makeup.
  2. They are more hygienic. Their more regular shape makes it harder for bacteria to get enclosed and makes it easier to clean them.
  3. They are more affordable.
  4. Since they are man-made, the fibers can be modified to apply powder lightly or heavily.

I think this set is the perfect base for a makeup collection. It has all the basics you’ll need when doing your makeup: face, eyes, brows, and lip brushes. Here is the list of brushes in this set and their function:

  • B01: Flat Top Buffer used for applying foundation 
  • B03: Buffing Concealer used for applying concealer
  • A01: Large Domed Powder used for applying powder and/or bronzer
  • A05: Precision Blush used for applying blush and/or bronzer

  • A17: Angle Brow

  • B06: Tall Tapered Blender used for blending eyeshadow. Works great in the crease.
  • B04: Small Angled Blender used for applying eyeshadow. It’s smaller shape is perfect for the inner  and outer corners.
  • A06: Large Fluffy Shader used for applying eyeshadow to the entire lid
  • A09: Angled Eyeliner used for doing a cat eye 

  • A15: Lip Liner

Overall, I was very pleased with this product. Not only I was excited to try a brand that I hadn’t tried before, but it fulfilled my expectations. The brushes are very soft, which is good for sensitive skin. Some eyeshadow brushes tend to be harsh or irritative on my lids, but these weren’t. I was looking forward to trying out the Flat Top Buffer, which is a kabuki style brush for applying foundation, because I hadn’t used a brush like this before. It blended well my foundation without leaving streaks. It absorbed a small amount of product, but I didn’t have to use more foundation than the amount I usually use with my other brushes. 

The B03 brush, of similar flat top shape like the Bo1, was good for concealer. Although I’m used to a flat brush for the undereye, this one worked well too and buffed everything to a natural finish.

I loved using the A01 brush for powder. Its big size was perfect for that function. I preferred using the A05 brush for applying bronzer and blush. It’s slight angle is more suitable for the apples of the cheeks and cheekbones. 

I was amazed by all the eyeshadow brushes, the A06, B06, and B04. Out of the 3, the A06 was the best. It  helped me blend really well my crease. I felt I was able to create looks that the eyeshadow colors merged, without harsh lines. I thought the 3 brushes applied very well the eyeshadows, without having a lot of product trapped in the brush. I had somewhat of a hard time using the Angled Eyeliner brush with my gel eyeliner. I’m not a professional when it comes to drawing a wing and I’ve had my fair share of times when I’ve ruined my whole eye makeup due to a cat eye gone wrong. Thus, I find using a flat angled brush more comfortable and easier. I think using a gel eyeliner could have affected the result. Maybe a liquid formula would have been a better match for this brush.

The Lip Liner brush worked great. I mainly used it with dark lipsticks to outline my lips. It glided softly without leaving streaks or patches.

I’m happy to share with you this brush set. I think it’s worth the try if you are looking for quality makeup brushes. There are many different sets at different prices. The Glam Clam Brush Set is perfect as a starters kit at an affordable price for their good quality. I can’t wait to see more fun collections from this up and coming brand.

Let me know what you think!

Have you tried this brand? 

Model’s Own: First Impression

A few month’s ago, while I was walking around the mall, I noticed that a new makeup kiosk was going to open. I was very curious and my attention was completely drawn to the interesting store’s design and bottle- like structure. I didn’t know about the brand before, thus I couldn’t wait to try it. Once it opened, I found myself focused on other issues and couldn’t save up to buy some products. Finally, about 3 weeks ago I was able pop in the store and take a look.

Model’s Own is a new British makeup line that describe themselves as trendy and fashionable, interested in allowing their costumers to experience a makeup world without any rules or limits, letting their creativity free. They have a wide range of products, from the basics such as eyeshadows, foundation, concealer, lipsticks, to nail polishes, brushes, highlighters, brow kits, glitter, primers, etc.

As I set foot on the store, I dove right into the makeup section, ignoring all the pretty nail polishes, brushes, and other accessories. Makeup always wights more than nail products on my balance haha. Everything looked very appealing and interesting. The first thing I did was to swatch a couple of eyeshadows. These are sold as single products or in a palette. Their formula reminded me of ColourPop’s Super Shock Shadows, very creamy to the touch but powdery once applied onto the lids. These are definitely the next to buy on my list, however I wanted to get a lipstick rather than an eyeshadow since I tend to use it more often. 

There are different types of lipsticks sold at this store, form velvets, to mattes, to just shines. I decided to go for a matte finish and, since I was in an autumnal spirt, I chose a burgundy red color (shade: My Secret). The Luxestick Matte Lipstick comes, as all products from this brand, in a colorful bright package, but the actual lipstick is packed in a metallic container. Once opened, it has a nice and noticeable vanilla scent. It’s very creamy when applied onto the lips, yet it does achieve a non drying matte finish. So far, I’ve used this lipstick about 5 times. I’ve tested it against obstacles such as drinking and eating and found that it can be quit long-lasting. Even while fading, it leaves a nice reddish tint on the lips. Moreover, this product is very pigmented. With one or two coats it can easily achieved an intense look. 

The next product I decided to try out was their I-Definer Liquid Eyeliner in the color Black. I don’t often use a liquid liner because I feel more comfortable working with a gel one. However, my mom loves liquid eyeliners and at that time she had run out of her usual one, so I got her this one as a gift. According to the packaging, this product can define and contour the eye. It has a thin felt tip brush, which allows for a more precise drawing. Depending on the amount of weight or force you place when applying the eyeliner, you can draw a faint/intense thick/thin line. Additionally, this eyeliner has a matte finish rather than most liquid liners which have a velvet shine. One issue that my mom struggles with most eye products is that they tend to fade or fall onto the lower eyelid after awhile because of her skin type. With this eyeliner she didn’t experience that at all. According to her it was long lasting and it didn’t fade or crease. I’ve used this product/stole it from my mom a couple of times. I felt comfortable drawing my winged line and didn’t face as much difficulties as I was afraid I would do so.

To kind of show you how these products look like, I came up with a this makeup look:

Other product that caught my eye in the store was their bronzing powder. I did a quick swatch in my arm and really liked it. It has a nice creamy feel when placing it onto the skin. I think it would look great at nighttime or at the beach because of it’s shimmery finish. Moreover, I loved the different colors.

Overall, in all honesty I liked Model’s Own. It’s an affordable makeup line that has a wide variety of products. The quality of the products I tried was great in general, not just for their price. All in all, it made me want to try out more of what they offer. Finally, I think it’s suitable for any makeup lover who wants to play with makeup without making their wallet suffer so much. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know what you think!

If you live in Costa Rica, you can find the store in Multiplaza del Oeste y City Mall de Alajuela.

How To Wear A Dark Lipstick: Two Different Styles

These are all the products I used for my face

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons. I love been able to wear warm and cozy clothes. Also, the weather is cold but not as cold as in winter, which means you are free to go outside without freezing. Moreover, I love autumn makeup. It’s the time of the year when you get to use as much warm browns and neutrals, even greens and berry colors. The best is dusting off your darkest lipsticks and using them again. Today wanted to share two different ways to style a dark lip, whether it’s for an evening occasion or for a day-to-day look. 

Eye and lip products used in the first look

Berry Lips

This first look is very simple. I love simple makeup looks because sometimes simple is better (and it saves you a lot of time). I think it can suit any occasion, nighttime or daytime. The key is knowing how to work your face makeup: foundation, contouring, highlighting and all that jazz.

First, I went for a dewy foundation to kind of achieve a hydrated and healthy looking skin. I used Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation in the shade 125 (which is a bit darker than my current tan-less skin). After taking my time to blend it all over my face with a foundation brush, I decided to contour. I used L.A Girl Pro Concealer in the shade Toffee. If I could choose another shade I would, because that one has an orange undertone that I’m not too keen about, but otherwise this product is pretty good. I used the same foundation brush to blend the contouring. I like to use the same brush because it helps achieve a natural look by mixing what’s left of the foundation in the brush with the other product. I worked it on my nose, cheek bones, edges of my forehead, and jaw to add definition to my face.

Next, I applied Essences Cosmetics Stay Natural Concealer in the shade Soft Honey under my eyes, center of my forehead, bridge of my nose, and cupids bow. Also, on a pesky little (not so little, to be honest) pimple on my forehead. This shade is much lighter than my skin tone, which works to cover up dark circles or break outs and to highlight areas of my face that would naturally be highlight. 

To set everything in place, I used Essence Cosmetics Mosaic Compact Powder in Sunkissed Beauty on all the areas that I applied my highlighter. This powder I usually use all over my face because it’s almost the same tone as my skin. Also, it has a bit of sparkles going on that give a healthy glow. It looks great at night when the light reflects on it.

To even accentuate the contouring a little more, I applied MAC Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden all over where I had placed the L.A Girl Concealer. This bronzing powder is one of my favorites. I love it’s color, a beautiful warm brown with golden sparkles. It’s pigmented but very easy to blend.

For the final touches, before moving on to the eyes, I used L.A Girl Velvet Hi-Lite Contour Stick in Radiance, a pale shimmery baby pink cream highlighter. Not only was this product affordable, but also works great. It’s pigmented and very shimmery. It doesn’t fade away easily. I would say it's great for those who don’t want such overpowering highlight, but still want something going on. I placed it over the sides of my cheeks and over my temples.

Moving onto the eyes, I tried to keep them as natural as possible. First, I used MAC Prep + Prime in the shade Light. I set it with the compact powder I had previously used on my face. It’s important to set the primer so that it’s much easier placing the eyeshadows and blending them. 

While I gave time for the primer to set, I used Essence Cosmetics Eyebrow Stylist Set in Brunette Style.  I chose the darkest shade because I think the brows have to contrast and balance the dark lips. This product comes with a tiny angled brush that is perfect for giving shape to the brows by drawing small stroke motions. 

To add depth to the eyes, as natural looking as possible, I applied the bronzing powder I had used over de crease and outer “v” of the eye. Then, I applied the cream highlighter onto the inner corner of my eyes for a pop effect. I drew a very thin line, very close to the eyelashes, with Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black. Finally, I applied two coats of Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Mascara in the color black. The first coat dyes my eyelashes black and the second coat helps make them look thicker.

Last, but not least, I pair everything with a dark lipstick. This look actually works with any shade, whether it’s a berry colored lipstick, blue, or even purple/black. I went for Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick, the Bold variety, in Midnight Merlot. I love this color! It’s such a beautiful creamy matte dark berry, with a reddish undertone. This product is super pigmented and long-lasting. The only issue with dark lipsticks is the moment of applying it onto the lips. One false movement and your face makeup might be ruined, as it is hard to clean a stain.

Eye and lip products used in the second look

Blue Lips

This second look, I thought would be best for an evening event, although the eyeshadow combination that I used wasn’t very dramatic. Since I was going to dedicate a post on dark lips, I wanted to go for something out of the ordinary, at least out of my comfort zone. Maybe I’m a bit “conservative” when it comes to makeup, but I’ve never gone out of my house wearing a very dark lipstick. I’ve always found myself safely within the berry color range. However, for this look I chose blue lips paired with a soft orange/coral eyeshadow look, something I think I could wear when going out . 

I kept the face makeup the same as in the previous look, mainly because I thought it would look great with this style as well. Thus, going straight into the eyes, I started off with the same bronzing powder I used in my face and applied it onto my crease as a transition color, sweeping the brush from side to side. Next, I used The Face Shop Trio Frads A Paupieres (Trio Eyeshadow) in Orange Nuance. I placed the coral eyeshadow (the one on the far right) all over the crease, slightly beneath the bronzer. This color is very pretty. It’s a velvet eyeshadow that blends smoothly. Afterwards, I used one of The Face Shop Single Eyeshadow. I don’t know which shade it is, but I think it’s number RD02, a matte reddish brick-like color. I applied it onto the crease, but only on the outer half, and the outer “v” to create depth. With my finger tip, I applied the middle shade of the trio eyeshadows, the soft velvet orange color, onto my eyelid. For the final touches, I used the left eyeshadow, a shimmery cream color, on the inner corner of my eyes and brow bone. I used the same cream eyeliner to draw a small cat eye, but looking at the photos I took, a dramatic wing could have been a better option. I applied the same mascara I used in the previous look to achieve full and thick eyelashes.

Finally, for my lips I used Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Echo, a navy blue matte lipstick. This lipsticks have been a game changer for me in the department of liquid lipsticks. Their formula is quit creamy and easy to apply. It dries fast, but without actually drying your lips so much. I applied two coats to get a darker look.

Forgot to add these products onto the other photos haha

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost!

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!