Top 5 Summer Beauty Products

bblogger, beauty, beauty routine, Makeup, Makeup Review, Uncategorized

Hello my friends! I’ve missed you. As you can see by my latest posts, I’ve been pursuing my art/graphic design goals intensely. I’m still a hardcore makeup lover, and buy just as much makeup as ever, so I thought I’d chat with you about my favorite products for the summer. It’s hard to find products that withstand the summer heat in LA. Here are some that can do no wrong:

Stila Colour Balm Lipstick

I absolutely adore this lipstick. It’s extemeley creamy and pigmented. It is way more pigmented than a typical balm. It also has a nice minty feel and smell. The color is perfect for summer and I always get compliments on it. Although it needs to be reapplied throughout the day, I don’t mind because I can’t do super matte during the summer.

Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation

This foundation is always a win for me. Although I have oily skin, it stands the test of time, especially under a mattifying or pore blurring primer. It never makes me look greasy or cakey. I love it through and through. It gives the skin a natural, fresh, healthy glow, yet the coverage is amazing. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a pound of makeup in the summer and this gives me a comfortable feeling. 10 out of 10 for me.

Catrice Prime & Fine Mattifying Waterproof Powder

I’ve never tested the waterproof aspects of this powder but I can guarantee that the blurring and mattifying effects are absolutely there. The powder gives you a gorgeous airbrushed look and makes your entire look blurred out and velvety. I love wearing it over the Light Illusion foundation. For the summer in LA, this is just what I need.

Wet and Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Sunset Striptease

You already knew I was going to throw some Wet and Wild in there right? How can I not? They just keep killing it and what can I say? I’m a loyal beech. I absolutely am obsessed with this bronzer. It’s so easy to use. You can contour and bronze with it and it gives the face such a nice summery glow without looking too orange or muddy. I am no bronzer or contouring expert by any means so if I can do it, so can you. Love it.

Your Good Skin Antioxidant Day Cream with SPF 30

With the scorching rays in LA, you NEED an SPF and sun protection. Don’t leave your house without a cute hat if you’re going to be out and about. I’m serious. (Unless you want to look aged) This moisturizer is exactly what I’m looking for in terms of hydration and sun protection. It is a nice two in one and jam packed with good for skin ingredients. I already need a new one.

By the way, all of these products have stellar reviews so yay you can trust them. Love you all! ❤⚡

What are your must have summer products? Leave them in the comments.

Hope you’re having an amazing day

Fall Glam with Dollar Store Eyeshadow Palette

beauty, beauty routine, Makeup, Makeup Review, Tutorial, Uncategorized

Going to the dollar store and trying to buy makeup for a look is like going on a treasure hunt, except is like a corn maze through a dump of random forgotten or overstocked cosmetics. To me, this is a fun proposition, though I can understand why many would think otherwise.


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I’ve been wanting to try the brand Profusion from Target after hearing many beauty lovers and gurus rave about certain products. I have also seen Profusion products at TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, and Marshalls, but have always decided to skip it, not being very impressed by the packaging or look of the products. When I saw a whole display of Profusion at my local 99 Cents store recently, I thought why not?

Somehow, they had their entire holiday 2017 collection of eyeshadow palettes. If you feel iffy about using old makeup, I don’t blame you. I took a chance and haven’t seen any weird reaction from my skin to the product. Apparently they didn’t sell very well in my area. I’m totally not mad about the look I created with the palette I picked up, as I loved most of the shades. Unfortunately, these palettes aren’t in stock anywhere else, so if you want to try it, I highly suggest Profusion’s other paletts, like their popular Siennas palette.

Interestingly, some shades were amazing while others were disappointing. I’ve quickly become addicted to the first shade in the palette, a neutral toned champagne shimmer. I thought the palette and the shades looked pretty boring at first, and only got it because I wanted to see what look I could come up with using dollar store makeup. I actually loved the look I am wearing in this post and used only dollar store and drugstore makeup!

On my lids is the Glitter Goals Liquid Eyeshadow by NYX in Multiverse, which in my opinion is practically a dupe for the Stila Glitter and Glow eyeshadows. The shade I got is a smoky brown taupe and how cool is the name by the way? I’m a sucker for anything space related.

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The other shades are: Polished Pin Up (a gold beige), Imaginarium (a charcoal), and Poppy Fields (reddish cranberry). (From top to bottom)

I can’t wait to try the other shades as I found Multiverse to be extremely creamy, pigmented, and opaque and only needed two coats to reach a desired level of glitter on the lids.

First Boxycharm + Alamar Cosmetics Reina del Caribe Palette Review and Tutorial

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I gave in to my Boxycharm yearnings finally!

I’ve swooned over the Alamar Cosmetics Reina del Caribe palette since I laid eyes on it. My favorite beauty guru, Kathleen Light’s, close friend created it and I’m all for it. It’s an homage to her Cuban heritage and all around a sick palette.

I’m pretty sure a lot of makeup lovers were thinking the same thing I did if they signed up for Boxycharm this June for the first time like me; the box pays for itself as the palette alone is $28. Boxycharm is $21 a month for four full sized products so yes, I was totally in.

Reina del Caribe Palette by Alamar Cosmetics

Alamar Cosmetics’ Reina del Caribe palette. $28.

The colors are absolutely drop dead gorgeous, totally up my alley, and perform beautifully. They are hyper pigmented and super creamy and blendable.

Swatches on deep skin from

These alluring summery shades would definitely work on every skin tone. It is clear it was made to do so and a lot of care and thought was behind the making of this product. I love it and can’t say enough good things about it from the packaging, to the shade names, to the quality.

Swatches on fair skin from

The other products I received were not shabby at all though the palette was my fave for sure. My second favorite was a set of three Luxie brushes, which I’m sure you’ve seen in Boxycharm unboxings. I’ll give you my thoughts anyway.

Three Piece Luxie Face Brush Set: Precision Foundation 660, Tapered Highlighting Face Brush 522, and Duo Fiber Powder Brush 516

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Luxie brushes are some of my favorite ever, so I was ecstatic to see them in my box. I’m in dire need of some face brushes so I’m living my best life with these. Though two of them do basically the same thing, they are supposed to be used as a foundation brush, a highlighting brush, and a powder brush. I use them both for contouring and blush at the moment, but I’ll have to try them for foundation and powder. I’m very happy overall with them.

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream by Sol de Janeiro

This cult favorite smells absolutely delicious and is extremely creamy and moisturizing. As noted on the Sol de Janeiro website,

Infused with all-powerful caffeine-rich Guaraná extract and a cocktail of Cupuaçu Butter, Açaí Oil, and Coconut Oil, this fast-absorbing cream with our addictive Pistachio and Salted Caramel fragrance“.

I probably would never pay $40 for the full sized product, as you can find similar products for way less, but if it. really tightens the skin as the company claims, it may just be worth it. I’ll have to put this to the test. As addictive as the smell is, it may be worth it just for this.

Jonteblu Eyeliner Pencil

Jonteblu Eyeliner pencil in Charcoal. $5.00

This is the product I was least excited about or interested in. To be honest, I don’t really wear eyeliner anymore. The rare times I do, I prefer a creamy formula and I am not fond of pencils as I find that they’re rough on the eyes. I may just give this to a friend, as overall it’s a pass for me.

Ofra Cosmetics’ Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Verona

Ofra Cosmetics’ Liquid Lipstick in Verona. $20.

As a self professed makeup addict, I can’t really call myself one without owning some Ofra, but up until now I hadn’t tried their products but wanted to after hearing so many people rave about them. I couldn’t be more happy, as I think I’ve finally found the only liquid lipstick that doesn’t dry out my lips! This is pretty awesome. The shade is totally me and I need to try out many more by Ofra.

Battington Beauty’s Monroe Eyelashes

Battington Beauty’s Monroe Eyelashes. $28.

Much like with eyeliner, I don’t really wear eyelashes, unlike most beauty addicts. I feel like I’m happy most of the time with my lashes as they’re one thing I was blessed with. (Thank God). Nonetheless, sometimes I want a bit more drama, and though these are on the tame side for most lash wearers, they’ll probably be just right for me.

I am completely happy with my first Boxycharm, and loved every product except for one, which is totally not bad for the value you’re getting. If you’re a makeup lover, there’s no way you’ll be disappointed getting four full sized products for $21 every month. I suggest if you do, you cut back on your regular makeup purchases.

Galaxy Halo Eye Tutorial and Review of Sahi Cosmetics’ Cream Metallic Foil Eyeshadow

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I was inspired to do a halo eye because I received a gorgeous shimmery metallic shade in my Ipsy bag a few weeks ago, Sahi Cosmetics’ Cream Metallic Foil Eyeshadow in Doha. I had never heard of this brand or product prior to this but as with many Ipsy products, I’m so happy I did.

Sahi Cosmetics’ Cream Metallic Foil Eyeshadow with Jojoba Oil in Doha. $22.

The shadow is so unique. The formula is similar to Colourpop’s Super Shock Shadows and is certainly a cream. The color is gorgeous and flecked with large and a small reflects but it doesn’t appear the least bit chunky on the eyes. It’s very reflective when it catches the light and glam.

The description on Ipsy’s website says it all:

“Doha is a coppery gold shade with crushed pearls that’s inspired by the city of Qatar’s skyline at sunset (and we can totally see why).”

Seeing it on my vanity and not being able to use it for my day to day work looks made me feel like I wanted to go all out with my makeup this weekend. I wish I could convey how cool this look looked in person.

I definitely need to research what cameras are best for beauty photography.

I have never thought to do a halo eye with so many shades but I visualized this look and thought, “Why not?” I was inspired by space and cool illustration I’ve seen on Instagram. I began by priming my eyes with concealer.

I used the matte ivory shade in Colourpop’s Yes Please palette to set the lids. I then used the peachy shades in both the Yes Please and Dream Street palettes as transition colors.

The peachy shade remains my favorite transiton shade ever. I always feel like I get the steps in a halo eye wrong but the more I do them the easier it’s been getting.

I then used the matte deep teal shade in Kathleen Lights X Colourpop’s Dream Street palette to start building the halo eye effect on the inner and outer portions of the eye. I used Lisa Frank’s single eyeshadow in Heartthrob to further intensify the whole crease and outer corner.

I cut my halo eye shape with Wet N Wild’s Photo Focus Concealer. I used a trick I learned from Nicole Guerriero’s Youtube channel to do this. She places concealer on the middle of her lid then looks up. She blends the concealer up to wherever it lands.

I placed the purple shade from Makeup Shayla X Maybelline’s City Mini Palette on the outer corners of the cut crease and blended into the teal.

I love the combination of the purple against the teal. It reminds me of the milky way. I then added more teal and extended and smoked out the outer v of the eye look. I then patted Doha in the center of the lid where I applied concealer with a brush and then with my finger.

I used the ivory color in the City Mini Palette to highlight my browbone and went over it with the shimmery champagne shade Moony in the Dream St. Palette. I highlighted my inner corner with it as well and went over it with the gold shade in the City Mini Palette.

I smoked out my lower lashline with the purple shade.

For lipstick I used Fifty Kisses Locking Lip Color in Beige Bite by Laura Geller. I went over it with the plumping gloss by Smoke and Mirrors.

I definitely give the Cream Metallic Shadow by Sahi Cosmetics an A+ and I can’t wait to try out more shadows by the brand.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial

Does At Home Teeth Whitening Work? Review; I Whitened My Teeth with Smile Brilliant + Giveaway

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If you ingest as much coffee, wine, and chocolate as I do, you probably will want to begin whitening your teeth sooner or later. 

After recently noticing how stained my teeth have become from my aforementioned vices, I was thrilled when I was contacted by Smile Brilliant to try their teeth whitening system

As noted on the company’s website:

“Our teeth absorb the colors of our food through microscopic pores every day. Removing years of staining results in dramatically whiter teeth and improved confidence. A beautifully whitened smile is a symbol of health and youthfulness. The challenge is getting the professional results you want without wasting time or money on over-the-counter gimmicks.” 

I couldn’t agree more with how much an improved smile boosts your confidence. Here is an image that shows the extent of the staining on my teeth before starting the process:

Here’s some background info/side note on my teeth: I have been drinking coffee since childhood occasionally. (Hispanic families approve of coffee for kids in small quantities; at least my mom did, especially with tamales). 

I began drinking coffee heavily when I began college and what began as a survival method turned into a love affair. 

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I have been drinking 2-3 cups if mostly black coffee per day for about eight years. I don’t feel like I’m capable of a life without coffee, as I truly love it, so I’m happy to have begun the teeth whitening process!

The type of lollipop that I chipped my tooth on. (The vanilla one on the far left, not that it matters).

I also have a chip in my front tooth that you can’t really see unless you look really closely. It’s from biting into a See’s Candies lollipop. Don’t do it.
Here are the results after four months of whitening them:

Before beginning the process, I created my own molds with the tools provided by Smile Brilliant. I thought this was awesome, fun, and so different from any other teeth whitening product I had ever tried or heard of. 

One main reason Smile Brilliant is an effective way to whiten your teeth is because it so personalized. Since your trays are molded to your mouth and teeth, positive results are practically guaranteed. I also loved that there are tons of great reviews and photos on the product on their website and elsewhere.

Though I was initially worried I would mess up the process, my first few applications were easy due to the detailed step by step instructions provided with the kit. I did apply a bit too much of the whitening gel however onto the trays, which caused some irritation on my gums. I made sure to apply a thin line, as suggested in the instructions after that, as noted in the instructions.

The Smile Brilliant website and the instructions clearly note that whitening your teeth can likely lead to sensitivity in teeth and gums. I did experience this to some extent. To counteract this, they highly suggest using the desensitizing gel after whitening. 

I notice this honestly helped a lot so I recommend not skipping this step ever if you can help it. As you can see, the product did whiten my teeth a great deal and I truly loved it. Since I have a crazy schedule, the only obstacle was keeping up with the regimen since all I want to do when I get home is watch Netflix and hide in my bed until someone comes and finds me with a rescue team.

Image from

Other than that, I highly recommend this product if you’re looking to get into teeth whitening! Here are my teeth before and after whitening:

How do you guys feel about at home teeth whitening? 

Thanks so much for reading my review! 

Do you want me to try Smile Brilliant? The people at Smile Brilliant were kind enough to create a giveaway just for my readers so go ahead and enter! 


<a id=”smilebrilliant_widget_article”  ishidden=”1″  title=”How Much Is Teeth Whitening”>How Much Is Teeth Whitening</a>

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Good luck! Love you all! 

Everyday Skin Care & Make up Routine to Make Oily, Scarred, & Acne Prone Skin Look Flawless

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I have plenty of years of experience dealing with and concealing acne-prone skin. I had serious cystic acne as a teenager and beyond.

I still get hormonal breakouts every month. 😣 Though I am not at all thrilled at how scarred my face is due to acne, I’ve learned a lot due to this experience that I can pass on to you if you’re dealing with the same same or similar issues. 

You’re not alone!
Here is my daily skin care routine for keeping acne, excess oil, and clogged pores at bay. I’m no expert or esthetician, but what I’ve learned is through personal experience and I’ve sure a accumulated enough of it to know what does and doesn’t work.

1. Cleansing

Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar. $3.94 at Target.

Here’s the thing, no matter what companies tell you and would like to have you believe, products alone will not solve your acne problems. Many times, they are caused by hormones. Like my doctor told me when I started breaking out, you cannot wash acne away, which actually sucks.

I’m sorry, but that’s a fact. You may need to try birth control or other methods to get rid of acne for good, especially if it’s cystic in nature. Nonetheless, keeping oil and sebum to a minimum is a necessary part of your routine as there’s no point in inviting more acne to the party. You don’t have to spend a lot; Simple cleansers like Neutrogena’s original facial cleansing bar are good enough. This one has no harsh ingredients and cuts through pore clogging residue. 

Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap. 3.97 at Target. 5.99 at Ulta.

Another great one is Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Acne Prone Face & Body Bar, above. Its natural ingredients both cut through oil an acne causing bacteria and moisturize the skin, which believe it or not, you need, despite acneic skin. It is possible to wash your face too much and dry it out beyond what is necessary. Be careful! Only wash your skin two times a day, max.

2. Toning

Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner. $18 on Amazon.

If you’re dealing with extreme excess sebum, I’d say definitely use a toner. If not, you can skip it and just cleansing should be enough. The one by Mario Badescu, above, is very well loved and performs amazingly to reduce signs of acne scarring and discoloration due to grapefruit extract and glycolic acid.

3. Moisturizing & SPF

As I mentioned, you DO need to moisturize despite acne and oily skin. Concentrate it on your under eyes and avoid pimples, of course. The one above, by St. Ives is great for your under eyes and any dry patches or fine lines like smile lines because it contains collagen. You can also use a BB cream, with SPF, preferably, if you’re not wearing foundation, or a serum if your skin is extremely oily.

If you don’t feel like wearing foundation, you can just use this BB Cream by Elf. $5.99 at Target.

The BB Cream above by ELF, is a great moisturizer and replacement for foundation if you’re having a low key type of day. It’s infused with cucumber, aloe, jojoba, and Vitamin E which are all awesome for the skin.

Clinique’s Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate Mini. $13.50.

The serum above delivers intense moisture and prevents the cycle of aging without aggravating pimples an problem areas. It’s water-gel based so it won’t clog pores either.

Don’t forget to slather on a non Comodogenic sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above, like the one above. Aside from protecting you from the damaging rays of the sun, it contains healing ingredients like jojoba seed oil and aloe.

3. Primer

Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless Face Primer. The hype is for good reason. $30 at Ulta.

 A good blurring and pore filling primer, like Too Faced’s Primed & Poreles Face Primer, above, is absolutely necessary if you want your foundation to look flawless and last all day and cover scars and texture as much as possible. Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless contains a slew of ingredients like retinol and mulberry extract to prevent aging, soothe inflamed skin, blur and minimize pores and imperfections, fight free radicals, and more. All in all almost a magic potion and well worth the price.

You don’t have to spend a ton, but in terms of longevity, you do get what you pay for. You can get away with Elf’s Poreless Primer though, for only 6.00, below. It does a great job of masking pores and texture and it’s infused with tea tree so it provides a cooling and soothing effect.

ELF’s Poreless Primer. $4.99 at

4. Foundation

Kat Von D’s Lock-it Foundation. $35. Sephora.

Before applying a matte foundation like Kat Von D’s Lock-it Foundation, make sure you have a good tool on hand. The original Beauty Blender is hyped for good reason, but there are so many dupes available for less than $20, that you really don’t have to spend that much.

The original Beauty Blender. $20.

Nonetheless, if you do, you probably won’t be sorry. For deeply pitted skin, and any kind of scars, sponges are best in my opinion as you almost want to pounce foundation into those imperfections to even skin texture.

EcoTools’ EcoFoam Facial Sponge Duo Set. $9.99 at Target

The sponges by EcoTools, above, and Real Techniques, below, are both excellent dupes. More on the best dupes in this article.

Real Techniques’ Miracle Complexion Sponge. $5.99 at Target.

Right now I’m very into the Real Techniques sponge. Make sure to wet your sponge, squeeze water out, smooth foundation of your choice over skin, and pound it gently. (That’s why it’s called ‘beating’ your face) Concentrate product on pitted areas and hyper pigmentation.

Matte and high coverage foundations like Kat Von D’s are best to give the appearance of clear and even skin. 

Urban Decay’s All Nighter Liquid Foundation. $40 at 


Other great options are Urban Decay’s All Nighter Liquid Foundation, above, and L’Oreal’s Infallible 24 Hour Pro Matte Foundation, below.

L’Oreal’s 24 Hour Pro Matte. $13. 


Another utterly awesome drugstore matte foundation is Wet n Wild’s Photofocus Foundation, below. It’s my current favorite, and for the price, the flawless matte finish and high coverage is unreal.

My favorite at the moment, Wet n Wild’s Photofocus Foundation. $4.69 at Target.

 5. Concealer

Tarte’s Shape Tape. $27. Ulta.

Just about everyone’s holy grail concealer product, Tarte’s Shape Tape is that good. For long wearing, creaseless, intense coverage, Shape Tape never fails. It’s particularly great for under eye area and highlighting the face. You don’t need to spend this much however to cover zits seamlessly. 

Neutrogena’s Skin Clearing Concealer. $6.89.


Neutrogena has amazing products to deal with serious acne breakouts. If you’re breaking out and need major help covering problem areas, yet don’t want to aggravate them, go for Neutrogena’s Skin Clearing Concealer. Their foundation and powder with acne fighting ingredients are great too. You can use your beauty blender for understand eye areas and larger textured spots, as well as anywhere else you highlight with concealer, but for zits I’d stick to your fingertips for more control.

6. Powder

Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte and Poreless Powder. $5.99. Target.

To set all of your hard work, go for something that will keep you matte and help it last all day. Maybelline’s Matte and Poreless Powder does a superb job of doing so. 

It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti Aging Micro-Powder. $24. Ulta.

It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder is probably my favorite for blurring texture. Since it’s so finely milled, it truly blurs pores. It’s anti-aging properties are such a cool bonus.

7. Express Yourself

Whether you like a full beat, the natural look, or both, depending on the day, express yourself with your eye makeup, lipstick, etc. Though I would stay away from intense highlighters if you have intense texture, it’s entirely up to you. If you liked this post, I will totally do a daily routine for dry skin, eczema, whatever, I’ll do it for your benefit! 
Love you all and just know that you are beautiful no matter what kind of skin you have!

I have been battling cystic acne for years and will happily do a post on that as well! (By the way, I have taken accutane, birth contol, and just about everything else for acne) 

Talk soon!

Comment on your routine below!