Monday, March 30, 2015

Top 3 Spring Essentials




I’m back and I’m fresh from my mini spring break. Although the weather is in the low 80’s you’d never know it was spring. When I think of spring I think of pastels and floral colors. For me there are three things that scream spring and that’s lipstick, blush and nail polish.

For lips I am loving Almay’s new Smart Shade Butter Lipstick in Red- Medium. I’ve never tried an Almay product until I bought this lipstick. This lipstick is very moisturizing. I’ve had Benefit’s Coralista for years but only now have I really tried it. I love it! It’s the perfect warm coral pink for my skin tone (medium). The blush looks intimidating, I use a small amount and tap the excess off and it gives me a stubble color.  

Nails pull the look together and nothing screams spring like a pink or purple such as lavender. I’ve probably mentioned this before but Butter London’s Primrose Hill Picnic is my favorite summer color. Yes, I said summer but it also works for spring. It’s that strawberry with a hue of red. Essie’s Chinchilly is that lavender that has grey in it. It’s that darker spring color but just works.


-Melissa

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I’m back from Vacation!







Honestly I could use another one. I went to New York a couple of weeks ago with my mom, who can’t really walk. That was pretty difficult since New York relies on a subway system more than anything. I did take my first New York taxi and the driver was super nice. He chatted with my mom when were on our way to the tapping of ABC’s the Chew. If you’ve never seen the Chew, see it! My mom’s a big fan of the show and I’ve seen a couple of episodes and it’s pretty neat.

I didn’t get to shop at all just around Time Square because she would get tired. We were always back at the hotel by 5 because at her age (66), she’s having a hard time walking. She always wanted to see the Empire State Building and that was why I took her, it also gave my dad a break (joking). We were able to see the Stuate of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial and Rockefeller Central. Her favorite part of the trip was not only the Chew but also St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Let’s not forget Macy’s! She (rather we) spent three hours looking around.

The downside was when we headed to the airport to find out our flight was cancelled. Supposedly everyone was notified but me. They didn’t have another flight out till a day later and my mom was ready to get back to my dad. My dad has diabetes’s and my brother stayed with him as a precaution but he’s in good health… as expected. So $1200 later I was on a United Flight that day headed back home in the snow. Odd how one airliner fly’s during snow and the other doesn’t, we assumed it had to do with the plane. Other than that step back it was an okay trip. I think next time I’ll find a city where I have to drive when I travel with her. It’s pretty funny…now.

Enjoy a few of my un-edited pictures. J










The reason why our flight cancelled.


-Melissa

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag




     By the time you read this I will be in New York. Normally I don’t wear makeup on vacation but I recently just had a breakout on the very tip of my noise; now there seems to be a scar on that spot. **cringes** So to hide what’s left of my mini volcano and to keep from looking dead, this is what I’m brining.

Makeup

For my face I’m brining Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Honey. For cheeks Bobbi Brown’s blush in Tawny and Benefit’s Coralista. To cover up my breakout Make Up For Ever’s full cover concealer in #7. I am also bringing Stila’s Perfecting concealer in shade d. For primer I’m taking a sample of Becca Ever-matte Poreless Priming Perfector that I have been loving. In case my face gets a bit red I brought Smashbox Photo Finish on the Color Correcting Adjust. To set everything I am brining a sample of Tarte’s Smooth Operator in Medium which is a bit dark but works. For a bit of bronzer I’m taking my Too Faced Chocolate Soleil in Chocolate which stinks to me (I don’t like chocolate) but it works.

For my eyes I am brining a palette. I’ve decided to take the Sonia Kashuk palette because it’s not only compact but has a lot of options. To keep it in place I am bringing my Too Faced Shadow Insurance. For a bit of high-light I love Chella stick that I received in an Ipsy bag. My tow eyeliners of choice are NARS Larger than Life in Via Veneto and Clinique’s Quickliner for Eye’s in Dark Chocolate. To keep those lashes up Maybelline the Colossal Volum’ Express in the waterproof formula. Under my eyes I need a little brightness and I use Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Eye Brightener. For lips I decided to take Jack Blacks Lip Balm in Natural Mint. For some color I’m brining Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Intense in 29 and Almay’s new Butter Kiss in Red-Medium. At the last moment I decided not to take my other lipstick from Make Up For Ever. I can’t forget my Vaseline Lip!











 Brushes

For application on the eyes I am taking a mix of Sigma, Real Techniques and any small brush that works. 

Bobbi Brown, Full Coverage Face
Beauty Blender 
Sigma, Larger Powder F30
Sigma, Large Angled Contour F40
Real Techniques, Setting Powder
IT Cosmetics, #105
Sigma, Taped Blending E40
Sigma, Blending E25
Sephora, Angles Shadow #20
Real Techniques, Shading Brush
Sigma, Eye Shading E55
Kat Von D, Eye Smudger (it came from a set)





-Melissa

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ulta’s 21 Day’s of Beauty!






     You know spring is upon us when you receive Ulta’s circular for their 21 Days of Beauty. It’s not only a good time to maybe stock on some items on sale but also a good time to try new things because they’re at discount. I thought I’d share with you in case you didn’t know what the 'deals and steals' were.


March 15
Bareminerals, All Over Face Color & Blush 50% off Now $10
Philosophy, Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash 8oz  (Reg $27) Now$15

March 16
Stila, Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner, Buy One Get One (Reg $20)

March 17
Tarte, Light Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara (Reg $20) Now $10
Tarte, MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Primer (Reg $22) Now $10

March 18
Exuviance, Performance Peel AP25 50% Off Now $37.50

March 19
Butter London, Nail Lacquer & Treatments (Reg $15 - $19 ea) Now$9

March 20
IT Cosmetics, Your Brows But Better Brow Powder Skinny Pencil 50% Now $12
Clarisonic, Mia (Reg 99) Now $79

March 21
Urban Decay, Eyeshadow Primer Potions 50% Now $10 - $12
Philosophy, Foundations (Reg $38 - $40) Now $25
Benefit Free Brow Wax with $50 Benefit product and/or service purchase

March 22
Too Faced, Primed & Poreless Face Primer (Reg $30) Now $15
Pür Minerals, 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder (Reg $27) Now $17

March 23
Sanmedica, SeroVital-hgh Dietary Supplement 60ct 30% off Now $69.03

March 24
Mally, Prefect Prep Under Eye Brightener (Reg $35) Now $22

March 25
CK One, Shine Lipstick (Reg $16) Now $9 ea

March 26
Stila, Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss 50% off Now $12 ea

March 27
Smashbox, 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer (Reg $20) Now $10
Strivectin, Age-Fighting Discovery Kit (Reg $35) Now $20

March 28
Bareminerals, Mascara 50% off Now $9
Mario Badescu, 25% off

March 29
Lorac, Champagne Dreams Eye Shadow Palette (Value $133) $15
Phlosophy, Miracle Worker Travel Kit (Reg $45) $30

March 30
Anastasia Beverly Hills, Clear Brow Gel (Reg $22) Now $11

March 31
Laura Geller Beauty, Baked Highlighter with Brush (Reg $44) $15

April 1
Too Faced, Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush 50% off Now $15

April 2
Tarte, Maracuja Oil (Reg $46) Now $26

April 3
It Cosmetics, Bye Bye Redness Correcting Crème 50% off Now $16
Bliss, Fat Girl Six Pack 50% off Now $19

April 4
Smashbox, Original Photo Finish Foundation Primer (Reg $36) Now $18

Benefit Free Brow Wax with $50 Benefit product and/or service purchase



Melissa

10 Things You Should Do Before You Leave (Part 3)






     When it comes to packing there are a few essentials I need to make sure my trip runs smoothly. For whatever reason I always end up sick on vacation or with severe back pain due to carrying my backpack all day. It can be a nuisance looking for a CVS or Walgreens while on vacation, so I like to plan and buy ahead of time. I also like to make sure I have what I need like printed material. I’ve encountered times when I needed print documents and failed to do so, not a great experience on vacation when they tell you an email won’t work. Here are my top 10 things I do for any trip.

1. Printing documents; make double sure you’ve printed everything you need such as hotel and flight information. If you’re renting from a car make sure you bring everything you need, like proof of insurance. If you’re taking Super Shuttle…print, print, print! I have had the pleasure of forgetting to print the vouchers and while the hotel tried to help me, it was a no go. We had to end up paying full price because they wouldn’t accept an email. I don’t know if the policy has changed but in any event print and put them in your carry on. If you choose to print out tickets like I have done for the Euro rail do so; I’ve also pre-printed tickets to attractions, don’t forget those! I always carry a clear folder that has a snap, so nothing will fall out and I can see everything with having to shovel around for flight information (which I keep on top). Oh and I did I mention when we went to Paris for a day, upon returning Britain they needed proof we were leaving the UK when we said we were, thankfully my friend had service and saved the email. Print!

2. Medicine; I always have mine with me in case. Advil, Tums, Claritin, mini heat pads are just a few things I carry. I’ve experienced earaches, headaches and I feel everything in between while on vacation. It’s my small first aid kit.

3. Electronics; before I head out I make sure I make a play list with soft music. I just love to listen to soft music when you’re in flight. It helps me realize and makes my sleep a bit easier. If you rather watch TV remember to download your favorite shows. I always make sure I have all my electronics charged up and ready to go. I bought a plug that had a slot for a USB and a regular plug so that I can charge two things at one time. This really helped when I was in Europe. To make sure I had everything together I bought some twist ties and a small pouch from the Container Store.

4. Book; a good book is always good. Right now I’m reading the Hunger Games Catching Fire. I’ve seen the movie but we all know sometimes the book is better.

5. Snacks; food can be expensive, especially on a plane. If your flight doesn’t offer a meal bring some granola bars. I’ve gone through security with granola bars. If you’re looking to save on water bring an empty water bottle. My aunt has done this and after she has passed through security she fills it up.

6. Exit-flight essentials; I mean that little quart bag that has all your essentials to make sure that cabin air doesn’t break you out.

7. Plastic Bags; hear me out. I don’t know about you but I don’t like to mix my clean clothes I didn’t wear with my dirty clothes (even though I may clean them). I always carry extra plastic bags in case. I use them to separate my socks, undies, t-shirts etc…

8. Bank; this is so important especially when you fly international is to call your bank before you leave and informing them of your trip. When we were in Niagara Falls we’d go back and forth from the US to Canada, my brother didn’t call his bank and they put a hold on it while we were on our back from Toronto.

9. Copies; pick-picketers is real, it happens. My aunt who has been overseas gave me this piece of advice before I traveled international (because she knew someone who this happened to); make a copy of your credit cards, passport and ID and keep the originals in the safe of the hotel (if they have one). I realize not carrying a credit card is unrealistic but in the event that it’s stolen you have a copy of the card to reference to when making a claim.

10.  Good Night’s Sleep; the last thing you want is to be late for a flight. I have a flight Monday that leaves at 8:40 AM. I make it appoint to be there two hours before when traveling domestic, three for International. Honestly, TSA aren’t the fastest group and maybe rightfully so (though I think they can open more lines) but you’re not the only one trying to catch a flight. I have to not only wake up early but also pick up my sister on the way who’s dropping us off. Houston has an insane amount of traffic, that’s just something to factor in. What time of day are you leaving? Is there usually traffic at that time? You’re not the only one on vacation and for that matter everyone else has to work, expect traffic.


I really hope these three posts helped you or at the least reminded you of what you need to do. These are just things that helped me and I’ve learned along the way, some not so easy but at least I learned for the future. Happy Traveling!


Melissa

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Planning the Trip (Part 2)





Planning the Trip (Part 2)

If there is one thing I know is planning a trip. I’ve experience going to a city and not knowing what to do. Who does that? Well I have however it was part of a planned trip. (See what I did there).  If you’re traveling in a group ask everyone what they want to see. Once everyone has talked about what they want to see and do, it is a bit easier. I relied on Google Maps and a good old fashion map to get me to my destinations when I didn’t have Internet. Somehow I am always appointed as the map-reader (it’s really not that hard) but somehow I’m the one figuring the subway systems and routes (sometimes alternate routes) to get to point A to B.

Passes/Discounts

When you think of travel, you think ‘how much is all this going to cost me?’ Although it will cost you, you can still save some. Passes like City Pass and the Go Pass can help you save some money. I have used both these in different cities and some I re-visited and it works great. Take in consideration where you want to go, one pass may work out better than then the other. If you’re not sure they will really benefit you, visit each website of the attractions you want to see and write down the cost of entry. Check the venue to see if they offer discounts or days where the attractions (mostly museums) are free after a certain time on certain days. This could save you money and/or give you more time somewhere else.

Food/Souvenirs

Sometimes there is no way getting around paying for an expensive souvenir. I have never seen a souvenir shop in Houston, other than the museum and the Texas Store at the mall. In instances like this, take in account who you are buying for and what they collect. Set a budget otherwise you’ll buy everything you see, for me that’s my niece.

My aunt gave me a clever idea about water, which was buying water bottles and kept it at the hotel. This helped on our cost of water. Throughout the day we’d fill it up the water bottle at a fountain.  It can be expensive eating out, so we’d bring snacks and granola bars in out suitcase.

Transportation

      I remember arriving in Los Angeles and booking a car only to find out I couldn’t get it. I had to take a taxi from LAX to Anaheim and it cost me nearly $100! When traveling domestic I usually use Supper Shuttle, although I’d make a back up plan in case. I only say this because I was once waiting for a shuttle while in was in Seattle and they were late. The hotel was able to get my friend and I a town car to the airport, had I waited I would have missed my flight. I was able to get my money back but it was a little difficult.

When it comes to foreign travel I use Trip Advisor, blogs and forums to see what people think of certain businesses. Some times it’s best to use public transportation whether foreign or domestic, it maybe easier and save you a lot of headache. I was able to order a car in London to drive me round-trip to the hotel and airport because Super Shuttle didn’t drop off in that part of London. Thank you forums!

Hope this helped!


-Melissa