Friday, September 4, 2015

Current Beauty Favorites (September 2015)

It's been awhile since I talked about anything beauty related on the blog, and you know I love ANYTHING and EVERYTHING beauty related, so I'm not really sure how I went so long without raving about whatever I was loving at the moment. So, I come to you today ready to rave about everything I am loving now.

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

It's been a while since I wore a strong fragrance. I used to wear them all the time in college (in fact, I only wore strong fragrances then) but in more recent years I have gravitated towards lighter scents. I had heard people raving about this cologne and last year I smelt it at Bloomingdales and loved it. I wasn't in need of perfume at the time as I was trying to use up what I had (and not to toot my own horn, but I did a pretty good job withholding from purchasing fragrance for quite a while and really worked on using what I already had in my collection).  I took a whiff of this cologne once again, about a year later but had different feelings. Did I love it, did I hate it, was it too strong? I sprayed it on my wrist at Blue Mercury on a Saturday afternoon. Throughout the day the scent changes a bit which is quite interesting (I know perfumes always claim to have several different scent notes that are revealed at different times during wear, but I honestly never experienced that before. I feel like most perfumes smell the same on me from when I put them on to when the scent wears off.) What really sold me was when I woke up on Sunday morning when I realized I could still smell the perfume on my wrist and it smelled dreamy than ever! For someone that usually has to reapply perfume about 3 times a day, I could not believe that this last me almost 24 hours! It's rather incredible, isn't it?  My parents agreed to "celebrate" my birthday early as we won't be together on my actual birthday and this was one of my lovely gifts!

How I would describe this scent: A bit beachy, but at the same time sophisticated and slightly masculine.

Deep Steep Sugar Scrub in Grapefuit-Bergamot

Here we go again, another product I am extremely passionate about it. I wasn't kidding when I said I was going to be raving today. Every time I use this body scrub in the shower I am sent straight to heaven. The scent is super luxurious, super relaxing and leaves your skin with a balmy-like coating. That may sound weird to some, but I personally love it and it lets me skip the applying lotion part of my routine which I usually enjoy, but not in winter time. But beware, this scrub will leave your tub pretty slippery! Another reason I appreciate this scrub so much is that body scrubs in Buenos Aires are few and far between. Basically you've got your St. Ives Apricot Scrub, and maybe a few others from some "bath" stores. I put bath in quotes because one day I went to one of those "bath" stores looking for a body scrub and they only had one in stock. ONE.  And it wasn't even the scent I wanted. Actually they might not even have had may have been a tester. I can't remember. What I do remember is that I left empty-handed and pissed off (a bit dramatic? maybe so.)

Back to Deep Steep.... I went on the website to see what other scents they make, and they have a plethora of heavenly scented scrubs, so if you are not into the Grapefuit-Bergamot vibe, I suggest taking a look at the other scents because this product is so nice and I think everyone should use it. And no, this is not sponsored, but it should be. I feel like a Deep Steep cheerleader...actually I feel like a cheerleader for every brand I am talking about today.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Velvet Body Oil 

You know how they say scents can remind you of different times or experiences in your life? This product is nothing new, but had been left untouched on my vanity for quite a while. This scent reminds me of my senior year in college (aka the glory days). One of my good friends and, at the time, housemate, used to where the Coco Mademoiselle perfume. That was her scent. I've always wanted to be the girl with a signature scent, but I've finally come to terms with the fact that I will never be. Anyway, my friend always wore this perfume, which is not something I would normally choose for myself, but since I smelled it so much I began to really like it, so I ended up buying the scent body oil (I think I probably chose the oil because it was cheaper and I wasn't sure if I was ready to commit 100%). As it turned out, I was not ready to fully commit at the time.  Now, a few years later, I'm currently experiencing a scent preference transformation, and have been using this oil quite frequently in place of regular lotion. My favorite time to use this is right before bed, so I can feel like a fancy French girl tucked away in my cozy bed.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

This product is a sample size that I received in a Birchbox (I subscribed to Birchbox for two months when I knew I was going to be in the States. It was good while it lasted!). The fact that they label this product a mask is a bit confusing because it is nothing like what you expect a mask to me. When dispensed, it looks like a serum or cream-soap in texture. When it is applied to the face it starts to foam up, which is the reason why I think this is so cool. You leave it on for 5 minutes (which is probably the fastest acting face mask I have ever used). While the product is foaming on your face, it tingles a bit and feels like it is deep cleaning. I've been thoroughly enjoying this product, but I'm still unsure whether it really works wonders for my skin which is why I haven't decided if I would buy the full-size product yet. What I do know is that it's really fun to use and leaves my skin feeling squeaky-clean in the good, non-natural-oil-stripping way!

Juara Radiance Enzyme Mask

Another sample from Birchbox, and another "mask" that I'm not really sure is a mask. I tried this sample after the Bliss product and if I have to choose between the two "masks", this one wins. While these are both called masks, they are two completely different products. This product is a sandy facial scrub that is meant to be left on the face for 1-3 minutes after massaging into the skin. I've actually never used this the "proper" way. The way I use this is that I basically massage the product into my skin in circular motion for about 1 minute, and then I rinse off. This product claims to brighten & exfoliate while also minimizing pores. My face feel super soft after using this and I think it does seem to accomplish what it claims. I'm currently saving up my Birchbox points so I can buy the full-size of this product and get $5 off!

Korres Black Pine Firming, Lifting, & Antiwrinkle Eye Cream

I swear the skin around my eyes is aging faster than the rest of my body, and I am always on the hunt for the latest and greatest eye cream. I went into Sephora open-minded and let the sales associate guide me to what she thought was the best thing out now. At this point, I don't think any cream will really make my fine lines disappear, but if I can find a product that will make them less noticeable and delay the arrival of more wrinkles, I'm happy. That day I went home with the Korres Black Pine eye cream. This is considered to be a powerful & intensive eye cream that contains black pine extract as well as Hexapeptide 11 which is known to support collagen and elastin production. It is a bit on the pricey side, as most good eye creams are, but you only need the tiniest amount and the sales associate told me that one bottle would last six months. I have been using this eye cream for about 2 months, and I've noticed that the fine lines on the corners of my eyes are less noticeable, but I still have some darkness underneath my eyes.

In conclusion,  I am enjoying the product and have faith that at the end of six months the skin around my eyes will continue to improve.

On to makeup...

I thought I was over neons, but this neon is all kinds of special. Described as a "bright pink jelly creme", I would say Passion Fruit is closer to a neon pink with warm orange undertones. Incredibly glossy, eye-catching and somehow make my hands look healthier. You can see glimpses of this polish in our photos from the beach here and here, but to see this color in all it's glory, check it out here.

From the Summer 2015 Hawaii Collection, This Color's Making Waves is described as a "shimmery lagoon blue". This color is mesmerizing and takes on a different shade depending on the light you are in. While this shade was released as part of a summer collection, I think this color is appropriate for anytime of year due to the deepness of color and metallic aspect. I loved this color so much that I took SEVERAL photos on my phone. Of course, only one made it to Instagram. 

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadows in Glitter Rock & Ether

Hi! My name is Chrystin, and I love glitter. The fact that Urban Decay came out with Moondust eyeshadows has affirmed (for me) that adults can wear glitter and that adults who do wear glitter are pretty damn cool. Is that your take on the Moondust eyeshadows, too?  I've actually just swatched them on the back of my hand so I can properly describe the colors to you guys and I just can't stop looking at my hand, shifting it back and forth so I can see the different colored glitters shimmer in all their glimmering glory. These shadows are totally eye-catching and you are sure to get compliments when you wear them. Glitter Rock is a pink/light mauve with silver, champagne and pink micro-glitter. You can blend this one out and it will give your eyelids a subtle glow, or you can pack it on for ultra-metallic madness. I went for the latter and concentrated the shadow just on the center of my eyelid. (I actually really want to apply these shadows now, but I'm wearing yoga pants and a fleece jacket...might just do it anyway.)
Ether is a a deeper, cool-toned purple (I detect grey undertones) with blue and pink micro-glitter. There's not much else to say...these are literally so pretty that they have left me speechless. I was hoping to add more Moondust shadows to my collection, but when I went to Ulta, the colors that I was interested in were sold out.  Instead, I ended up buying a regular, equally beautiful Urban Decay eyeshadow...

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Riff

In the Spring, Urban Decay added 8 new colors to their single eyeshadow collection. I remember seeing them swatched and reviewed online, liking them, but then completely forgetting about them.
When I was at Ulta searching for some more Moondust shadows and had no luck, I decided to swatch some of the regular UD shadows. There are some goodies in the new bunch, but the two that really caught my attention when I swatched them on my hand were Fireball and Riff. I knew there was going to be only one way to settle which shadow would go home with me that day...I had to apply them on my eyes. Just so you guys can get a mental picture, I had been mowing the lawn all morning and was wearing DIY cut-off jeans, a tank top and was probably covered in grass clippings and dirt. Applying two different colored eyeshadows to my eyes (a different color on each eye) only added to my incredibly chic look.

I applied Riff to the lid and immediately my blue eyes shone brighter and bluer than ever. SOLD.
Riff is described as a brown nude, but it is important to note that it is a WARM brown which makes it all that much more pretty. I would describe it as a caramel color with a tiny bit of very fine, subtle shimmer. Just GAWGEOUS!

Sephora Outrageous Curl Mascara

When I purchased the Lash Stash from Sephora, I didn't give this little guy much consideration. The wand was small, the bristles were super could this possibly work? Well, I finally got around to trying it and it works. In fact, it works wonders. I don't know how, I don't know why, but it's giving my previous favorite from the Stash, Perversion by Urban Decay, a run for it's money!

Wet n' Wild Thrift Store Chic Palette (from the Silver Lake Collection, Limited Edition)

I had my mom, my aunt and my brother's girlfriend all on the lookout for the eyeshadow palettes from the limited edition Silverlake Collection from Wet n' Wild and Carolyn had the best luck of them all picking up not one, but three of the palettes from that collection! I put the Thrift Store Chic palette to the test they day I went to take my Brazilian visa photo. It wasn't exactly good timing for a photo since it was raining that day. Well, my eyeshadow survived through the rain and looked good until nighttime when I went to remove my makeup. There was a bit of fallout from the more glittery shades, but I think that is to be expected when you are using eyeshadow with glitter in it. Nothing that wasn't unattractively noticeable probably because the glittery shades I used were different shades of light pink. These shadows are the kind of shadows you put on your eyes and can't stop looking at them all day long. I'm not sure how complimentary pink shadows are for every different eye color, but I know that these colors flattered my blue eyes.

Too Faced Love Flush Blush in I Will Always Love You

There's not a time I don't go to Ulta or Sephora where I don't leave with my hands full of swatches. It's really the only way to know how a product will look on your skin and to see if the color payoff is worth the money you are contemplating spending. I swatched several different blushes at Ulta one day, and the only ones that really blew me away were the new Love Flush blushes from Too Faced. Gorgeous colors with great pigmentation and beautiful sheen. In addition to "I will Always Love You", I also own "Justify My Love", but this glowy peach one is my current favorite.

Benefit Benetint

I'm more of a powder blush girl, but on those days when you don't want to put on a full face of makeup but still want to look alive, Benetint is your gal. It's easy to apply & blend and gives the perfect rosy flush to your cheeks. I wore this the entire weekend Tomas and I were at the beach and he told me I looked like a doll. Keeper.

Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue Lip Balm in Coral Crave

I don't think this gives any tint to my lips, but I love mint and/or medicated lip balms. This lip balm in particular makes my lips look super shiny and feel super smooth.

Wet n' Wild Megalast Lip Color in Mauve Outta Here

More of a medium cool-toned pink than a true mauve, one swipe of this instantly brightened my complexion and made my teeth look whiter! Pretty impressive lasting power and you cannot beat that Wet n' Wild price!

Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Sandwash Pink

Paired this with the Too Faced Love Flush Blush in "I Will Always Love You" and loved the result. Perfect lipstick to complete a soft and feminine makeup look.

NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Butter

On the hunt for a grey-ish brown lipstick and knowing that I did not want to spend the money on MAC Stone or order Ghoulish online from LA Splash (I prefer to shop for makeup products in-store, rather that online, but LA Splash is still on my radar), I found NYX Matte Lipstick in Butter. I couldn't swatch it in Ulta (ughhh) so I took my chances and also picked up NYX Lip Liner in Nude Truffle at the same time. Turns out Butter was JUST what I was looking for, and it looks amazing paired with Nude Truffle.


Well, I'm winded. I realize that was an incredibly long post and those who are not obsessed with beauty products will probably not find it interesting. You know what else I realized? Every time I sit down to put together a beauty-related post, I can't stop my fingers from typing! I think I can safely say that beauty is one of my passions. Now I just have to figure out how to make the most of this passion!

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Are you sick of all the beach photos yet? Hope not! 

While the first set of photos were taken on the more secluded part of the Miramar beach, these photos were taken at the beach in downtown Miramar. All of those metal frames you see are actually little beach cabanas; the covers have been put away for winter. It's pretty interesting to see the contrast on this beach: packed with people in the summer and quite deserted in the winter, save for a few stray dogs. That would have to be one of the cons about Miramar...there are so many stray dogs. Fortunately, the residents seem to feed the stray dogs and we've never come across a dog that's looked sick or malnourished. In fact, most of the stray dogs are enormous and look pretty well fed. On this day, we crossed paths with this one dog on the beach who decided to keep us company for the afternoon, and later went on his merry way. While he did seem to be content with his beach life, if we could have taken him with us we would have, but unfortunately we are not able to adopt another animal at this time. I do dream of having my own animal shelter one day though.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dreamland (La Playa)

Here's the second installment of photos from our weekend escape to Miramar... How dreamy are these photos?!

Do you ever visit the beach during the winter?

Are you a beach or a mountain person? One of the reasons I love Miramar so much is that you get the best of many get a little bit of city, a little bit of forest, some hills and, of course, the beach!