November 30, 2016

Irresistible Me Jade ceramic brush

irresistible-me-jade-brush-reviewIRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWIRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWIRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWLucas loooves to hang around while I glam up!!

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What is it about pretty hair that makes women feel like they could take on the world? I, for one, am the type that as long as my hair is feeling fresh, sleek and healthy am able to keep everything else pretty simple and low key because I know my hair will do all the talking. That just stepped out of the salon feeling is something that always makes me feel like a million bucks and I absolutely love it.

A while back, I was asked to try out Irresistible Me’s Ceramic straightening brush and was pretty excited to receive it because I had seen similar ones in retail and department stores but was skeptical to buy one for myself. Normally, I like to wear my hair straight (I usually blow dry and use a straightening iron afterwards) but my hair is super thick and has a bit of wave so it takes me a looong time to get my hair just the way I like it. I honestly thought a brush like this could would not be able to tame my hair or the amount of thickness I have going on but boy was I wrong.

I set out to let my hair air dry after I showered in the morning. Since I get keratin treatment done on my hair the volume and waviness has reduced quite a bit so this made using the brush even better. If you’re wondering if you chemically process your hair and/or dye it and can use the brush the answer is YES!! The brush has a digital control panel on the left side and you can heat it up to 45o°F which I love because – and don’t judge – my hair needs a lot of heat to get it the way I want it. The brush has the ceramic bristles which are the ones responsible for delivering the smoothing to the hair strands but it also has protective, longer bristles which guard you from getting burnt while you are maneuvering the brush all over your hair. Another thing I love is the swivel cord which makes moving around while doing your hair such a breeze. Overall, I would say I spent a half hour less styling my hair with the brush than what I would normally spend with the blow dryer AND straightening iron

The end result? Super soft sleek hair with just the right amount of volume and tons of shine, just the way I like it. And the best part is I can use it as often as I want whenever I need to tame my hair a bit but am in a hurry and I know I will get great results.

I definitely loved integrating this product to my hair routine and I know you guys will love it, too.

‘Til next time,

Raquel

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September 7, 2016

HOW I BRIGHTEN MY TEETH FT. SMILE BRILLIANT


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Pretty, pearly white teeth. So many of us wish to attain that perfect, pearly perfection but fail by trying products that are just promises. Me, for instance, I’ve tried almost everything. The strips, the toothpaste, the little glow machine thingy, you name it. The problem with a lot of these products is the excruciating discomfort they leaves behind which literally makes me cringe. If you have sensitive teeth, you know what I’m talking about.

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Well, how lucky was I that a couple of weeks ago I found this amazing product from Smile Brilliant which has literally changed my teeth’s appearance dramatically. It is a personalized way of whitening your teeth where you are sent a kit with steps and products to create your very own dental impressions, which you can use as many times as you like, all from the comfort of your home. This is something that is truly great, specifically for someone like myself, who is a mom, works full time and has no time to be scheduling appointments for someone else to do this for me.

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After you create the base for your dental impressions, you send them in the mail (the blue paste hardens and this is what they use to make your impressions). You get them back around a week later and you can start using the whitening and desensitizing gel as soon as you receive them.SMILE BRILLIANT TEETH WHITENING (6)SMILE BRILLIANT TEETH WHITENING (5)

I was honestly a bit scared at first when I applied the thin line of whitening gel to the impressions, thinking “Oh my God I hope this doesn’t make my teeth cringe” but it was so not what I expected and I only had mild discomfort after having the product on for about 25 minutes (you can leave it on for as long as 3 hours but it is advised to start with shorter time frames if discomfort ensues). After you whiten, it is very important to use the desensitizing gel, preferably before going to bed, as you cannot consume any drinks or food for 30 minutes after applying this gel. Over the course of two days, I whitened my teeth around 3 times and the results were impressive. I honestly believed I would never find a product that I could trust my teeth to without visiting a specialist which would not cause discomfort but I am so glad I found this product because it truly delivers on what it promises. Here’s a short video explaining the process if you’d like more info on the product. Also, check out these testimonials from others who have used and loved the product.

BEFORE AND AFTER SMILE BRILLIANT (2)

 


Professional Teeth Whitening

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July 1, 2016

Schwarzkopf



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So many of you know about my hair struggles (thinning hair, bald spots due to breastfeeding, hair loss) but so many other issues arise in the hair department after giving birth that I have already lost count.

I was sent a couple of products a few days back by the Schwarzkopf team and they literally could not have come at a better time. I have had a long battle with frizz and unruly hair for the past two years and it had been driving me crazy. I usually get keratin shots done but after a while hair gets a bit fried from the procedure and the products you use to maintain the procedure are of utmost importance. Schwarzkopf 11-in1 Omega repair is a Godsend! I have used it twice since getting it and my hair feels like silk. The product smells like heaven and it penetrates the hair so quickly that it was a breeze to brush for untangling damp hair. I always blowout my hair after washing it and lately it was a struggle to get the brush through my hair. After applying it to my damp hair, the brush literally glided through and the feel of my hair was just on another level. I am absolutely in LOVE with this product and can’t do without it. I usually use a hot iron after I blow dry my hair to control frizz but this time there was no need because the product controlled it immediately. And the shine is unbelievable. This product is a must.

The other product I used was the Biotin Volume. Now, normally I would not use volume building products since my hair is very thick and builds up very easily but lately it has been the other way around, looking very limp and dull and I thought maybe giving it a little “oomph” wouldn’t hurt. Boy, was I right with this product. The powder is lightly dusted, after sectioning hair, at the roots. After, I just tossed my hair and flipped it up and down a couple of times and the volume was amazing. My hair wasn’t left feeling powdery or clumpy, simply the right amount of volume. I love that it also acts as a sort of dry shampoo and kind of sucks up the oiliness in the scalp – which I loathe, having very oily hair- and hair is left feeling clean, fresh and smelling amazing.

If your looking to shake up your hair routine, give these products a try and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Xoxo,

Raquel

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June 16, 2016

Namaste collective

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After the henna has dried and peeled from skin, you get the most gorgeous stain leftover!

 

I have been a fan of henna tattooing for the longest time – i remember having it done by a high school friend when Madonna’s “Ray of light” (ironic much?) video came out and henna was all the rage. Throughout my college years, I got it done a couple of times and I loved the way it looked on my skin. Henna is temporary body tattooing, consisting of dyes which are primarily plant based. Many cultures – mainly pakistani, muslim and hindi – incorporate this tradition for ceremonial purposes like weddings and engagements, for instance. It is a natural and beautiful way to temporarily decorate your skin.

How excited was I when I was recently contacted by the company Namaste Collective to review their at-home henna kits. It’s so funny because I had told my husband weeks before that I wanted to do a post featuring henna and this came at the perfect time. I love what the whole vibe of the company is about, and the fact that these kits are so accessible and are completely safe for new moms to use on their skin is an added bonus (pregnant/expecting, and breastfeeding mothers should consult with their doctors before using the product).

The process of creating the henna is very simple, where you mix water first to create a paste that is left untouched for 24 hours so the dye can come through well. Afterwards, a bit more water is mixed in along with the essential oil of your choice (this is not included in the kit, you must purchase it separately). I chose a sweet orange essential oil and was loving the scent I had on my skin after I applied the henna, so yummy. The kit comes with a bag to transfer the henna mixture from the zip bag provided to mix everything in but for me this was a bit of a struggle. I ended up using a medicine syringe to transfer the mixture to the application bottle because I was just making a mess. After this, I kept the mixture nearby in a bowl in case I needed to refill the bottle while I applied it mixture. Once you’re done, any leftover product you may have can be frozen to use later, which is awesome that none of the product goes to waste.

The best part was drawing on my skin. I had so many ideas on my head but I am by no means an artist- I couldn’t draw even if my life depended on it ha! The kit comes with a little booklet with a couple of design ideas and a pencil to trace the design on your skin, so I kind of took little bits and pieces of ideas to create my design. The process is super fun because you can let your creativity flow. But, be aware, the mixture stains very quickly so I suggest having a damp cloth nearby so that if you have any “oopsies” or wanna change the design, you can just wipe it off quickly before it starts staining your skin. It such a cool outlet for creativity and meditation  and I will definitely be using it every now and then when my boho side wants to come out and play ha!

So if you’re curious and want a cool accessory for your skin without the long term commitment, give it a try! I’m certain you’ll love it and have as much fun as I have.

‘Til next time,

Raquel

 

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November 20, 2015

Guest blogger Breanna of “MombeyondMom” shares her DIY recipe for homemade deep conditioner

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I’v been blogging for a while, as some of you may know and throughout this journey I’ve been lucky enough to connect with some amazing women who are seriously rocking this whole blogging thing.

One of them is Breanna from @MombeyondMom and if you haven’t seen her blog you must do so ASAP. To me, blogging is more than just pretty images and writing content. It takes creativity and savvy to put yourself out there and I honestly love how she provides so many creative ideas for the everyday woman, mom (two beautiful girls, like herself!) and entrepreneur. She’s hands-on in everything she does and truly shows passion for what she provides for her readers.

I am sharing this post on how to make your own deep conditioner because I cannot wait to try it on my frizz-ball hair and the fact that I can do it at home and save a couple of bucks with well…enough said. Enjoy, peeps!

In general I have always been big on deep conditioner. For as long as I can remember I have used one. I typically use it once a week when I wash my hair because I put my hair through so much damage. (Yes, I only was my hair once a week.. that’s a whole other topic). When I was a teenager and in my early twenties I used to chemically straighten my hair, so I needed to put back as much moisture as possible. The older I got the more I started to fall in love with my curly hair so I no longer straightened my hair but I sure have no problem coloring my hair. So one way or another I am stripping my hair of its natural nutrients so I have to put it back in somehow.I also try to amp up my conditioning in the fall and winter because as winter starts to come around my hair typically gets dryer. The cold winter air typically dries out your hair. Then when you get inside you are usually blasting the heater and that only dries out your hair more. Because of all this you’ve got to stay on top of your conditioning in the winter. Otherwise you’re going to go into spring with dry brittle hair and nobody wants that!

For about 3 years I have used Ojan Damage Reverse Conditioner and absolutely love it. But I will admit it has a really funky smell. So last week I went to get out my deep conditioner and little did I know I was out and it never made it to my shopping list. Sigh. I was planning to blow out my hair and that just can not happen if I do not deep condition my hair before hand. So, I got to thinking and I  remembered seeing multiple Pinterest posts on deep conditioner. I didn’t bother actually looking one up. I thought I could make one up from memory. That’s funny considering I walk into the pantry and can’t remember why I am in there half of the time. Haha

I knew for sure I had seen mayonnaise in a post before, so I threw that in a bowl. I couldn’t remember what else technically went in these recipes so from here on I got creative. I thought I had remembered seeing avocado used somewhere in a recipe. I use avocado oil for my daily cooking. Double win, right? Put some of that in the bowl. Then I opened my essential oil drawer… I stood there for awhile. I went back in fourth on smell and or function. I landed somewhere in between and put in a few drops of Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil. Mixed it all together and threw it in my hair and carried on about my daily activities. When my little one was napping I hopped in the shower and washed my hair and then blowed it out straight. Let me just say this: I will no longer be buying a deep conditioner! Ever! My hair was so silky and smooth. I was so pumped.

I am pretty knowledgable about my essential oils so I knew that Melaleuca was good for the scalp for many reasons. It can fight off dandruff because it kills the bacteria that causes skin cells to over grow which causes dandruff. It also has moisturizing properties in it, that help it soothe the scalp. And it can also remove excess moisture and other impurities that keep your hair from shinning.

The rest of the ingredients I had to do a little research on and found that my intuition was pretty spot on. The mayonnaise is great for moisturizing. But the most important thing that it does is protect your hair. It forms a protective layer around the hair strands that protects it from sun and heat styling!! As I continued to research I found out that avocado oil does pretty much the same. I think I need to bottle this up and sell it! Ha!

INGREDIENTS:

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1.5 tbsp avocado oil

3-5 drops Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil

**this recipe can be cut in half for shorter hair, or doubled for longer hair

METHOD:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl

Allow mayonnaise to come to room temperature

Apply from scalp to ends and comb through

Leave on as long as you possibly can

Wash and style hair like normal

Cheers to pretty hair!

♥B

 

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September 11, 2015

BB creams and face primers

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*Please, please, please!! Excuse my ratchet nails!!! It’s been a busy week!!!

 

 

 

Hi guys!

 

I had been waiting to share with you guys my slight BB cream obsession because, quite frankly, it is literally the best thing that has happened to the beauty product industry since contouring. I honestly wish this stuff had been in my life 10 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I love my pressed powder but I buy a pretty expensive brand and even though it lasts me forever, I always try to use less (or sometimes none at all) for when I am just running around town doing errands with the little kiddo because I don’t want to feel too “made up” but don’t want to look like a total hazard. If you want a relaxed, easy breezy, put-together look, BB creams are the way to go.

Another makeup tool that’s generating a lot of buzz are primers. Basically, they are “skin preppers”, setting skin up for makeup or, in this case bb creams so they can perform optimally. They enhance how these products will ultimately look on your skin. Instead of using moisturizer before applying makeup, you can use primers to help even out the look of your makeup and even extend your makeup throughout the day, helping it look a lot fresher.

I have four tried and true favorites that won’t break the bank, are accessible and offer different types of coverage as well as other skin beautifying benefits.

L’oreal Skin Beautifier BB cream : Think of this as the perfect mattifying tool when you want light coverage. This is seriously the holy grail of BB creams. I began using this product a couple of months before becoming pregnant. The first time I applied it I could not believe how amazing my skin looked. Literally flawless. It gives a matte finish and really helps control shine (I have combination skin). The best part: I can sweat like a pig and this stuff keeps my oily skin in check like it’s nobody’s business. Run, don’t walk to get this one. Thank me later.

E.L.F. BB Cream SPF 20 : A little more makeup-y but amazing coverage and feels very luxurious. I like to set it with loose powder because it can make the oily zones in my face a bit more oily but I love the coverage so much I am willing to overlook that. Nothing a little loose powder can’t handle. I love that even though it’s more makeup-y, my skin doesn’t look cake-y or overdone. You just look very put together. I always add in a little bronzer for contouring and it makes my face just glow.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream : This is the lightest of the three. It’s really great for when you just wanna step out for a minute but don’t want to go out of the house looking like a total train-wreck. I usually use this one without applying moisturizer prior to because it is a bit more oily than the other two but I like it for colder months when I want to look put together, still have coverage and feel a little more moisture in my skin. It has SPF 30 integrated so that is a definite plus and brighteners that make skin “pop” really nicely.

E.L.F. Hydrating face primer : I had tried other primers prior to this one but I really love this particular one for my drier areas because it sort of calms the dryness out and makes the bb creams perform that much better, especially the L’oreal and E.L.F brands. My skin feels super silky after I apply it and I prefer it over moisturizer because I don’t have to wait for the product to sink in or dry in order for me to apply makeup. And the best part: It’s only $6.00!!! I mean come on! Who doesn’t love that?

Well you guys, hope this review has been helpful. As always thanks for stopping by and hope you guys find your dream bb cream just like I have (three times over, ha!)

 

Xoxo,

 

Raquel

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July 31, 2015

Talking body…


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Hi there peeps!!

This week’s post is all about ze body. I haven’t done a beauty post in a while so I figured it was time.

Well, today I’m sharing a review on some tried and true products I have purchased before but always come back to because they are just that good. I believe that well, taken care of skin is a must. I have put my skin through a lot over the years (over-exposure to the sun, salt water, chlorine-pool water) and it’s always good to pamper, even if it’s not at a spa – let’s face it, not all of us have the luxury of doing that on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be an excuse not to pamper ourselves a bit when there are really good products out there that can help us keep our skin in top shape.

For me, the best at-home pampering products are from Bliss. First off, anything you do regarding moisturizing, tanning, etc. requires the removal of dead skin cells so that any product you apply is better absorbed and distributed throughout your skin (this applies to your face as well). For my body, I have found that the Fat Girl Scrub  is just thebomb.com. It’s super grainy, smells fantastic and a little goes a long way. This stuff lasts forever (unlike other scrubs I’ve tried). I use a little bit on both legs and then a bit more for upper body and it really distributes so well. When you rinse off the product, you have the nicest scent and really feel like you’ve lifted an entire month of dead skin off. And, afterwards, you are left with tingly, fresh skin ready to be pampered with any product your little heart desires. In this case, I will be following with Fat Girl Slim  skin firming cream. All I can say is: YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE. After a pregnancy, a woman’s body changes like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve always suffered from cellulite and after my pregnancy it seriously worsened. I’ve been using this cream for about a month now and can really see a difference. But, it’s very important for me to note that I have been on a very strict diet (no sugar, high protein) and lots of weight training. I’ve always believed there are no magic potions, it’s all about making the products work for you but it’s important for you to put in the work as well. And you will see results, I promise. I would say, be consistent with using the product, on a daily basis and the results will soon be visible.

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this review and thanks so much for stopping by.  I’ve linked some other Bliss products I can’t wait to try and if you decide to try them please share your experience below!!

 

Xoxo,

 

Raquel

 

 

 

 

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June 10, 2015

Wish list: Summer must haves edition

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It’s been a while since my last post and it’s been a crazy week. It’s so hectic with work and a little baby boy I hardly have time for myself. So I do apologize for the lack of posting.

That being said, my summer has hardly started. I will be traveling for work/play in early july so  there are a couple of items I have my eye on for this summer. I’ll be going back home to Puerto Rico and the climate there is just unbearable. So I’m looking into pieces that are easy, breezy but pretty and presentable as well. We don’t want to be looking haggish, now do we?

What are your top picks for looking stylish in the summer? Do share!

Here are some pieces I have my eye on for the summer:

1. Loft Round keyhole sunglasses: just ordered these, can’t wait to get ’em in the mail before I leave!!

2. Ann Taylor striped classic trouser belt: I am a belt junkie. They can completely transform an outfit and since I am pretty curvy I love how they accentuate my waist when I wear them with skirts, particularly. This one has summer chic written all over it.

3. White house/Back market straw clutch: I mean come on…does this bag not say “summer” to you? And in the season’s color. literally goes with everything.

4. H & M patterned kimono: I am soooo happy that the whole “boho chic/ gypsy girl” look is back for this summer. To be honest, when I dress in pieces like this it’s when I feel most comfortable. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt the need and pressure to look more “cleaned” up, more professional. I’m going back to my roots with this one. It’s too cute not to.

5. Tria hair removal laser 4x: Nothing’s more unflattering than a “hairy summer” ewwww!! I have had my eye on this little gadget for a while but the hefty price has held me back. Buuuut maybe this summer will be “the” summer I pull the credit card trigger and get this little gem. I’ve heard it’s worth it. We’ll see….

6. Citrus Verbena summer fragrance: If the name alone doesn’t incite you to purchase I dunno what will. This is summer in a bottle. Never overpowering, always fresh and alluring. Always have gotten compliments on this one. And it lasts forever.

 

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May 8, 2015

Skincare parte Uno

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Well, it’s about that time to talk skincare. Such an important topic, dontcha think? I have been obsessed with skincare my whole life. I suffered from acne during my teens and yes, I was one of those teens who would try everything and anything to get my skin to clear out. On a certain day, my mom decided “let’s get professional help, I know how much this is affecting you” and took me to see a dermatologist. Best thing ever. I started using Differin gel and my skin was on another level. Cleared up real fast. I was in heaven. Regular visits to my derm helped me become more conscious not only of my skincare routine but my health as well. She stressed that it wasn’t just about taking good care of my skin but what I consumed as well. I started eating right and everything really changed. Lost weight and my skin was looking runway ready (bahahaha!!) All jokes aside, I am sharing some products I’ve used for some time and some new ones I’ve found to be pretty kick-ass, especially now that acne is no longer a problem..I’ve got bigger fish to fry: WRINKLES AND SAGGY SKIN..BLEHHH!!

So here goes:

Creams

Olay Anti wrinkle day cream and serum: This is truly everything. I would NEVER change this cream for another. I’ve been using Olay for as long as I can remember and what it has done for my skin is nothing short of a miracle. This lotion has refined my pores, softened my skin and when I apply my makeup it just glides on. And the smell. Heaven.

Vichy Liftactiv Nuit: Thick and creamy. This one’s for nighttime cell renewal. A little goes a long way and your skin will thank you in the morning when you wake up looking like Salma Hayek (isn’t her skin everything?!!!!)

Cleansers:

Vichy Purete Thermale One step cleanser: I am not even going to lie: sometimes, just sometimes, I am too damn tired to do the whole “wash face, take makeup off with makeup remover and put cream on”. What’s my go to product for this unwanted laziness? This one step cleanser: It does everything. I’m not kidding when I tell you you don’t even need to put lotion afterwards (I do anyway but just so you know if you forget to, you’re covered). Really takes off everything and skin is left feeling fresh.

Neutrogena Fresh foaming cleanser: A classic. Been using it since my bachelor’s; long time ago (guess how old I am ha?!!) But seriously, another one I would never change. I’v tried even the priciest cleansers and they DO NOT come close to how this stuff leaves my skin: so clean and soft and not dry AT ALL. I will forever love thee.

Exfoliator:

Boots Botanics Age defense microdermabrasion polish: Damn you wrinkles, damn you!! Found this little miracle one day at Target and I haven’t looked back. It polishes skin like it’s nobody’s business. I do this microdermabrasion once a week and follow up with my night cream. Try it. You will look and feel like a million bucks. I guarantee it.

 

That’s it for now, loves. Stay classy and beautiful!

Raquel

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