Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OOTD: Wearing Confidence

All of my life I've been overweight... And for the longest time I used to think that there was something severely wrong with me. I hated what I saw in the mirror, and more than anything in the world I wanted to be "skinny" (yes, "skinny" not "healthy"). Being overweight kept me from so many things: talking to people, going out with family, hanging out with friends, & even raising my hand in class. I dreaded the thought of people looking at me and judging me. Over the years I started to come out of my shell but, it never fixed the real problem: the way I viewed and valued myself as a person. The problem wasn't that I was overweight... it was that I hated myself for being that way!

All those years I focused on what other people thought about me, and not on what I thought about myself. It never dawned on me that people will only perceive what you allow them to see! If you put out the "vibe" that you're ashamed of the way you look, people will notice and assume that there is something wrong with the way you look... because you know what...? You gave them that power!

Confidence begins with acceptance. It's you accepting who you are, the way you are! Its gaining self worth and not allowing anybody else to tell you you're worth any less!!!

It took me 22 years to be able to wear a two-piece swimsuit on a public beach but, I DID IT! And, it felt so good!!!

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

Bikini Top: Forever21

High-waisted Bikini Bottom: Forever21

Kimono: Forever21

Hat: Charlotte Russe 

I encourage everyone to start dressing in confidence!!! Believe me, it makes all the difference. 

If you're in need of some inspiration check out these hashtags on Instagram: #celebratemysize #honormycurves #bodypositive #effyourbeautystandards 

A huge "thank you" to Lenna for being the best bestie ever! If you wouldn't have encouraged me to buy this swimsuit this post wouldn't exist! Love you!!! <3

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

Also, if you've enjoyed this post feel free to share it on your favorite social media network!

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Worth It: Mani & Pedi Products

Going out to get a mani/pedi once in a while is fun, but it can also be expensive. I think it's safe to say that most of us appreciate the look of nice, clean and well kept nails. And the best way to do that without breaking bank is to do it yourself! This means that you need the proper "tools" to get the job done.

Today I'd like to share with you guys some of my "must have" products for a DYI mani/pedi.

That being said here is a small list of tools everyone should already have:

Note: I'm not particularly committed to any brand when it comes to these items.
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Cuticle nipper
  • Cuticle oil
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Callus remover
  • Foot file

Now, the following are my tried-and-true favorite products for an awesome mani/pedi:

Studio 35 Beauty Buffing Block: Possibly, what I love most about this buffer is that it is so inexpensive. Buffing blocks wear-out over time and need to be replaced; so why splurge when you can save? This four-sided block from Walgreens evens, smoothes, buffs, and shines. You can use it before applying nail polish or skip the polish and go for the natural, clean look!

LaVaque Go Green Crystal Nail File: Did you know that crystal nail files are a green alternative to emery boards? LaVaque's files are made from recycled material and are non-pouros (meaning that they can be sanitized and disinfected). Plus, it was designed to last for years! I've found that this file is much gentler on my nails that an emery board. It leaves my nails feeling nice and smooth. I got mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Essie All in One 3-Way Glaze: This product works as a base, strengthener, and top coat. Truthfully, I only use it as a base. It does a great job at priming my nails before I apply color. My manicures last longer because of this base coat!

Revlon Colorstay Gel-Shine Top Coat: To be totally honest, this product is so hard to find and I may fear that it was discontinued. But, I have been able to get at Walgreen. Still, this is one of the best top coats I've ever used. Just like the name suggests, it leaves your nails super shinny! It actually does look like you just got a gel manicure, except that you saved a couple of bucks!

Essie Quick-E Drying Drops: If you are anything like me, you need this amazing product. I seriously cannot stay still... and always manage to ruin my manicures! Needless to say, these drop have completely solved that problem. All you need to do is apply 2-3 drops over your top coat and you are good to go. They dry almost instantly! I am so thankful for this neat invention!

Be Natural Callus Eliminator: You won't believe how much time and effort you'll save with this product. It literally does the work for you! All you have to do is soak your feet, apply the product, wait 3-5 minutes, and file the rest away. It'll leave the soles of your feet so soft. Even though it's a tough/professional product, it's totally safe to use at home. I picked up mine at Sally Beauty Supply.

A huge "Thank you" Valeria for requesting this post!!! <3

I've included links to the items that are still available online (just click on the item's names). If you enjoyed this post and/or found it helpful feel free to share it on you favorite social media network!

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Must See: Les Misérables

As most of you might already know... I love Broadway musicals! And, on May 31st I was fortunate enough to see Les Misérables on stage in NYC. As you can imagine, I was so excited that I would be watching this (oh so) classic musical live.

In March, Les Mis was finally brought back to Broadway. This revival was produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who also produced the musical back in the 80s. Actually, in 1987 it won the Tony for Best Musical (to much of his credit). This year it has been nominated for three Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Ramin Karimloo), and Best Sound Design of a Musical (Mick Potter).

Les Mis is a sung-through musical, has little to no spoken dialogue, based on Victor Hugo's novel (of the same name). The story takes place in 19th century France during the course of about 17 years (1815 - 1832). It centers around Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption. The main antagonist is Javert, a relentless inspector who vows to find prisoner 24601 and "not rest until he is safe behind bars". Throughout the years Valjean meets many other characters; including: Fantine, Cosett, the Thénardiers, Marius, and Éponine; who change and shape his life in different ways. The musical brings to light the themes of mercy, forgiveness, love, loss, God, morale, corruption, rebellion, and many more.

My experience:
I have to say that no other musical has affected me the way that Les Mis does... constant goosebumps!!! The musical numbers are out of this world amazing & very moving! And hearing & seeing it live really does make all the difference. The scenery, props, and projections are just outstanding. I wouldn't have expected less from such a "big name" production. However, as much as I hate to say it, there was one thing that was off... The musical numbers during Act II seemed to be a bit rushed. It was as if the orchestra was playing too fast and the actors where trying to catch up with them. This was incredibly evident during the number, "Stars" and "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" (which are two of my favorites). Nonetheless, this incident did not in any way ruin my experience. Like I said before, this musical affects me in a special way. And if you are like me... you will cry! So make sure to take a few tissues! I absolutely love this musical & I love the fact that I got to see it on Broadway. I sincerely could not recommend it enough!!!

Have you seen Les Misérables on Broadway yet?

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Until next time!

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