Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Worth It: Foundations

Today I thought I'd share with you guys my top five foundations. I say top five because I actually own a couple of more foundations that I'm not so fond of. See, the reason I have various foundations is because each one offers different consistencies, application, coverage, and longevity. That being said I'll divide them into three categories: full coverage, medium coverage, & light coverage.

Also, I should tell you before that I have oily skin with mild hyper-pigmentation. Living in Puerto Rico means that I constantly battle with humidity. Oily skin with humidity is not an ideal combination, so I always try to keep my skin as matte as possible.

Now, lets jump in!

Full Coverage:

Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation: I'll start with my most recent purchase. To be honest I have only used this foundation twice but, I already know I love it. Just like the name suggests it gives an airbrushed look to the skin. And it is particularly good at concealing the redness in my skin. I also like that it doesn't have a completely matte finish; it has just enough dewy-ness to look natural. It dries very fast, so you have to make sure to blend quickly. My preferred application method is to spray the product to the back of my hand and then apply it to my face with a brush. I find that directly spraying it on the face causes a huge mess (you get it everywhere), which consequently causes you to waste product (and you paid good money for it!). I see myself getting a lot of use out of this foundation.

Estée Lauder Double Wear: Now, this product is a well known cult classic, and for good reason. It is an amazing reliable foundation that you will find yourself reaching for over and over again. It really is full coverage and has a completely matte finish. However, because of the humidity I always make sure to apply a bit a setting powder before I head out the door. But, be sure not to apply too much powder or it will look cakey. Also, have in mind that a little goes a long way, or else you will get that same undesired cakey effect. I like to apply this product with my Beauty Blender because it distributes and blends the foundation evenly. This is my go-to foundation for events and special occasions because I know it will last all night/day & look great in pictures.

Medium Coverage:

Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation: I previously talked about this foundation in my Worth It: Makeup Products post (if you haven't checked it out click here). Like I mentioned before, this is a great drugstore foundation and just an amazing foundation all around. It's definitely my everyday foundation of choice. It lasts all day and blends effortlessly into the skin. I just love how natural it looks. Like with my Double Wear, I apply it with my Beauty Blender. I'm currently on my second bottle of this foundation. I just can't live without it!

Light Coverage:

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua: I must confess that this foundation is not the most ideal for my skin type. It does not keep my skin matte and it doesn't offer much coverage. So why is this my third bottle of this product? Well... It feels wonderful on my skin! This foundation is water-based, so it's almost refreshing to put on. And, it is so light that it literally feels like you're not wearing any makeup at all! Once again, it's water-based, which means that applying it with a sponge is not advisable. I like to use my paddle foundation brush (Sigma F60) to apply and blend this foundation. Chanel recently came out with the Perfection Lumière Velvet, which is suppose to be similar to the Vitalumiere Aqua but, with a matter finish. I can't wait to try it for myself. (UPDATE: check out my review on the Perfection Lumière Velvet here)

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint: Ok, so I cheated... This product isn't a foundation; it's technically a tinted moisturizer. But, I felt the need to include it because it offers just enough coverage that it can be worn on its own as a light coverage foundation. It does a very good job at evening out my skin-tone. Even though it does have a matte finish, this product is not formulated to be long-lasting, so just remember to finish it off with some setting powder.

What are your favorite foundations? I hope that this has been helpful in any way, shape, or form. Also, I have included links to the items that are available online (just click on the item's name).

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Must Listen: YouTubers (Songwriters)

I will shamelessly admit that I spend a lot of time on YouTube…  I can't help it, there's just so much to watch!!! Throughout the years this site has led me to discover many talented people. Some are gifted with comedy, others create amazing looks with makeup, and some are just plain entertaining (so entertaining that we wonder what they are up to every day… those vlogs can be so addictive!) And then there are those who use Youtube as a platform to showcase they're gift of song.

I wanted to share with you guys today some of my favorite original songs by various YouTube artists.
(Listed in no particular order.)

Once in a Lifetime - Landon Austin: …This song… boy does it tug at the heartstrings! It's such a beautiful love song. And then of course there's Landon Austin… what a dreamy voice! I made this discovery thanks to Fleur DeForce's wedding video (very suiting). What I love most about this song is that it's very cinematic… it literally plays like a movie in my head. I just know it will always be one of my favorite love songs. Also check-out Stop Time, another great song from Landon.

Dear No One - Tori Kelly: I have officially claimed Dear No One as the theme song to my life. That being said, what drew me (and many others) to this song was its relate-ability. I found Tori through her cover of Suit & Tie (Justin Timberlake). And from that point on it was evident to me that this girl can sing!!! She really deserves to make it big, and hopefully her new manager Scooter Braun (Justin Beiber, Ariana Grande, Cody Simpson) can make that happen. Another amazing song from Tori is Treasure.

Dear River - Kina Grannis: I have followed Kina ever since she came out with In Your Arms (you have to watch this music video; it was make entirely with Jelly Beans!) And ever since then she has grown so much as an artist. Dear River is evidence of this! It's an absolutely beautiful song with fun tribal elements. So well done!!! I can't wait until her album comes out on May 6th.

If I Ever Lost You - Tom Law: Another song I found thanks to Fleur. This song is fun and catchy. I dare you to listen to it only once! Not only is Tom very talented, but he's also a cutie! Another great song by Tom is Never Met You. He also does an awesome cover of Pharrell's Happy.

Candles - Natalie Lungley: Now, the only way I can describe this song is beautifully haunting. I have no idea why this girl isn't a superstar yet!!! She is amazing! I literally love every song cover she has done. But, what really blew my mind was her cover of Lana Del Rey's Born to Die. Just go to her channel and see for yourself. I promise you won't regret it!

Rooftops - Sara Niemietz: This song is amazingt but, Sara's voice is out of this world. So talented! And, it doesn't hurt that she has teamed up W. G. Snuffy Walden (Emmy Award Winning musician). She reminds me so much of Norah Jones. I can listen to this girl sing forever. My favorite cover that Sara's done is the Etta James's At Last. It's so lovely it cannot be put into words.

I've included link to the song's corresponding videos on YouTube (just click on the songs' names). Make sure that while you're there you subscribe to the artists' channels. You can also show your support by downloading the songs on iTunes.

Who are your favorite YouTube artists? Let me know in the comments down below.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OOTD: Rocking The Boho

I would like to start this post with an apology… Unfortunately, most of the items featured are not available online anymore (I really did my best to find them but, couldn't). So, for this I am very sorry. However, I decided to put it up because I wanted to talk a bit about Free People, which is where my dress is from. But, first here is the outfit!

Also featuring: Lenna Rodriguez (www.instagram.com/lenna_natalia)
Photography & Editing by Edward Iglesias (www.instagram.com/phoenixoptics)

Dress: Free People

Jacket: Forever21

Boots: Forever21

Necklace: Francesca's

Watch: Michael Kors 

Sunglasses: Tumi 

Handbag: Louis Vuitton 

Like I mentioned before, I wanted to talk a bit about Free People. This is truly one of my favorite clothing brands. For one, they have managed to find a beautiful balance between bohemian & edgy. A style that I have always found appealing, especially since I live in Puerto Rico. And second, the clothes fit & flatter my plus size figure! See, bohemian style clothing tend to be more "spacious" and not so "body conscious", so I'm glad to say it's a style I can rock!!! Also, even though Free People's sizes range from XS to L, they run a bit bigger (maximizing comfort). So, I encourage you to stop by Free People during your next shopping trip (here in PR there's a section in Macy's second floor). You might just find a new favorite brand…! Happy shopping!!!

I have included links to the items that are still available online (just click on the item's brand name). 

Also, if you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it on your favorite social media network! I am sincerely grateful for all of the support and feedback I've been receiving so far! You're all awesome!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Worth It: Makeup Brushes (Eyes)

As promised, today I wanted to share with you which are my favorite eye makeup brushes. These are my five "go to" bushes whenever I apply eyeshadow, eyeliner, concealer, and eyebrow powder. (If you haven't checked out my post on "worth it" face makeup brushes then click here!)

Like I mentioned in my previous post, there are three main factors I look for in good quality brushes:

  • Soft synthetic bristles 
  • No shedding 
  • Keep their shape
Clockwise: Sigma E40, MAC 195, Anastasia 12, MAC 239 / Center: Sigma E05

Here are my "top five" eye makeup brushes:

MAC Eye Shader Brush - 239: This is probably the first "real" makeup brush I ever purchased. That being said, it's been with me for about eight years. This brush is dense, yet soft. So, not only is it great at building up color but, it also allows you to go back and blend out any harsh lines left behind. I can always rely on this shader brush to get the job done.

Sigma Tapered Blending - E40: I mostly use this brush to blend out my crease. Actually, sometimes I even use it to apply the color before I blend it. Its big & fluffy but, at the same time dense & precise. I truly love how it does its job effortlessly.

MAC Concealer Brush - 195: This is actually the only concealer brush that has worked for me. And it's the only one that I use for my under-eyes. All others just don't distribute the product as evenly as this MAC brush does. I tend to blend any concealer on the rest of my face with the Beauty Blender.  On a side note, I also use this brush to "clean-up" the edges of my lips with a bit of concealer whenever I use red lipstick.

Sigma Eyeliner - E05: This eyeliner brush is amazing! I use this brush along with my Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. What makes this brush so great is that it keeps its shape. This is important for all makeup brushes but, even more so for an eyeliner brush. The E05 is precise & tapered and, it stays that way no matter how many times you wash it. It delivers a nice smooth line every time.

Anastasia Large Synthetic Duo Brush - #12: They say that "eyebrows frame the face"... So, consequently you need the proper tool to define them correctly. This brush is great at just that, offering precision. For me it's not just about filling-in the brow; it's about creating nice & clean edges. The best part about this brush is that it's a "two in one" tool.  When you're finished filling in your brows just flip the brush over and blend with the spooley to ensure that they stay looking natural.

Do you have any favorite eye makeup brushes? Let me know in a comment down below! I hope this has been helpful in any way, shape or form. Also, I've included links to the items that are still available online.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

OOTD: Out Of My Element

Lately, I've been making a "conscious" effort to add color into my wardrobe. You see, I "subconsciously" gravitate toward dark colors… Black to be more specific. I think it has to do with the fact that from a young age I was always told that wearing black makes you appear slimmer. True or not… I gave up on trying to appear slimmer. I just want to be confident & happy!!!

Photography & Editing by Edward Iglesias (www.instagram/phoenixoptics.com)

Dress: Forever21

Shoes: Lucky Brand

Earrings: Forever21

I really stepped out of my comfort zone with this dress (silly as it may sound)! One, it's bright green and two, it has a (small) cut-out. At the same time, I must admit that this dress makes me feel modern and very confident

I have included links to the items that are still available online (just click on the item's brand name).

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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