Some Like It Rough…

when it comes to exfoliators! 

I happen to fall into this category. When I use an exfoliator, I want to feel it exfoliating and I want immediate softness results.

Not all high-end skincare is created equal. I spoke of Kate Somerville’s exfolikate in a previous post. That product is more of a chemical-type peel, it’s not abrasive, but it is very effective and the results are immediately visible and palpable. 

This post however is about the Chanel exfoliator and the Lancer Method Exfoliator (blemish control). 

I am disappointed in the Chanel because it’s not as “rough”. It has some beads but not enough so that I feel like I’m buffing away dead skin. I do love the smell and packaging, but in terms of results, the drugstore St. Ives Apricot scrub is better and a lot less expensive!

The past 4 weeks, I’ve been working on-stop, I had court every day except one day, a lot of work, plus my 10 month old and life. Before going to shower, sometimes I watch beauty reviews on YouTube. Well, it just so happened that one of the videos had to do with the Louboutin mascara. As these things sometimes do, I got suckered in- it felt like in those old cartoons where there’s an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Well, one side of me was saying- even if it’s that good, you’re not insane to pay $70 for a mascara; the other side of me was saying- if you work so hard all the time and you want ridiculously priced but allegedly good mascara, why wouldn’t you get it? What’s the point of working ?

All this to justify to myself getting that mascara which I will review some other time. However, there is another point to the story. I ordered the mascara online from Neiman Marcus and you can select some samples with your order. Since my two favorite things are fragrance and skin care, I picked fragrance and skin care samples. I received Lancer’s method samples and I instantly fell in love with the exfoliator. It’s really grainy so it feels exfoliating, smells great and has a warming effect on the skin. Once you rinse it off, it’s like baby skin! 

So in the battle of Chanel vs. Lancer for skincare, specifically an exfoliator, Lancer wins by a landslide. 

However, Chanel takes the cake with this beautiful, flattering blush from their 2017 Cruise collection.  No need to review this, it’s blush-if you like that peachy-pink healthy glow, this is for you!

 

I’m Back!! Estoy de regreso!!

Hey! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I just feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day! I had also been feeling super tired, with the baby, work and daily tasks, well I neglected something I love to do which is create content for this blog.

I tell you I am so excited to post more content, more often.

____________________________________

Hace bastante tiempo no paso por aquí y es que pues siento como que no me rinden las horas del día. Además, me estaba sintiendo superagobiada y es que con bebé, trabajo y los deberes de diario, pues me descuide con algo que me apasiona que es este blog.

Os cuento que estoy ansiosa por crear más contenido para ustedes y por supuesto más a menudo.

 

XOXO,

Miss Cunqui

Happiness Project

So I finished The Happiness Project on December 31, 2016.  I recommend the book wholeheartedly, I find the happiness project inspiring and more than that, do-able, customizable- I can do this and I can do it my way.

Of course, I’ve had 2 back to back colds, with about a 3 day break in between and so I’ve been slow to actually get going.  We’re still in January and so I figured, better late than never.  Not to mention, I am a rebel, haven’t yet started on Better Than Before (Gretchen Rubin’s other highly recommended book), but I did the assessment test.  Not to mention, I also started my business in December and so, a cold, an infant and a business.  Enough excuses though.  If all I’ve just written seems too foreign to you, it’s because, I realize, it’s heavily written in Gretchen Rubin-speak.  You may be wondering what is a happiness project anyway and what assessment do you speak of? While I won’t go into much detail, The Happiness Project is a book and I highly recommend you read it or at least read the synopsis on Amazon.  If I had to summarize it, I’d say it’s a book about exploring the act of increasing and experiencing happiness in quotidian ways, in a personal way-what are things you can work on or that would make you personally happy.  Rubin tells her experiences, but it’s more of a sample, guide for those looking to experience and increase happiness in their daily lives.

The book is broken up into chapters, each starting with Rubin’s goal for the month, which she calls resolutions. She goes into the difference between a goal and a resolution in the book, but for our purposes of establishing a reference point, I’ll call them goals.

Personally, for January I have 2 resolutions, one is a conscious choice and the other one, though now a conscience choice, sort of emerged and when I realized I was doing it, I thought to myself- hmm, that’s a fine resolution to have Katie!

I do plan on sticking to one resolution per month, but I’m embarking on this journey with some planning but the full intention of letting it grow organically.  I still have to sit down and write at least my intended resolutions for each month, but let’s roll with just January for right now.

So, my intention for January is having, acquiring, cultivating more energy in my life.  I want to start seriously working out again, be better about my eating habits, continue to organize even more, etc.  I find that I am failing at these things because I’m taking the easy way out- get takeout, stayed up with the baby all night- I can skip my morning workout, I worked too much, etc.  Rubin is big about acting the way you want to feel and I try and have been mostly successful, but honestly this flu/cold whatever I have has just put me out of commission, except for taking care of my daughter, I have to muster energy no matter what.  See, I want to have that level of committment with myself, no matter what- workout, plan meals, because no matter what I take care of my daughter, of my clients.  For example, on the weekend of the latest snowstorm, I had a client meeting and I went, despite having been feverish early in the day and being more congested than I’ve been in life.  But, I got up, showered, dressed nicely, put on my makeup, some nice shoes and I was on my way. I was dying, but I didn’t look it- at least not until you heard me speak or I went into a coughing hack. I need to be as dedicated to working out, I need to cultivate energy.  I really don’t have an excuse because, for the most part, I get a full night’s sleep and my husband is a very hands-on dad, so we really take care of the baby together for the most part.

Anyway, I do love working out-the results, how I feel afterwards, I’ve just been in this lazy funk.  So I thought, energy is a fine resolution to have- be more energetic, and all these things would fall under that umbrella: get enough sleep, drink enough water, exercise.

However, I don’t know if it’s reading these type of books, and also we just went through the Christmas season, but I’ve been thinking that I could totally be kinder and do kind things for others, small things.  Again, in my lazy funk or sometimes I legitimately just don’t have time, I cheap out on people in the sense that there’s little things I can do where I let them know that I love and appreciate them, that I care. So I have, without having made it an official resolution, been doing little things here and there-reaching out to friends, making myself available to an elderly neighbor; calling and listening to a friend who is going through some stuff, even at the end of a long day; reaching out to a good friend I haven’t spoken to in a few months; texting my husband, just because I probably don’t say it enough, just what a great dad and husband he is, because it’s true.  I am not listing the examples to show off, more like to demonstrate how little my acts of kindness have been, they really required minimal effort and they’ve brought me immense joy because they have been sincere and well received.  Since I gave birth, I have sort of retreated into myself, not really on purpose, there’s a lot of factors, but mostly my lack of effort or maybe even self-centerdness has been isolating and that’s just not who I am.  Also, I want the people who I love and appreciate to know so, though I do consider myself an affectionate person, I may not express it as much as I’d like.

So there are my January resolutions, cultivate more energy in my life and do more acts of kindness for others, however small.

Hope you guys are having a wonderful 2017 and that it just keeps getting better!

 

XOXO

 

 

Las Fragancias de Jo Malone

 

La semana pasada estuve de compras por Neiman Marcus.  Fui por cosas totalmente ajenas al perfume pero ya conocen mi debilidad! Además, recordé que hacia poco probé la ultima fragancia de Jo Malone, Basil & Neroli y que me había encantado.  Así que, finalice mis compras y me di una vuelta por el mostrador de Jo Malone.  Iba con toda la intención de volver a probar a Basil & Neroli, pero al hacerlo, me di cuenta de que no me gustaba para nada! No se si quizás me equivoque la vez pasada y en realidad no probé a Basil & Neroli, pero esta vez, me repugnaba. Huele como a Agua de Violetas, la colonia de bebe, que me rechina un poco, como colonia de bebe mezclada con Mistolín.

Le contaba esto a la asociada de ventas y también le comente el estilo de perfume que si me gusta.  Ella me recomendó Wood Sage & Sea Salt y Dark Amber & Ginger Lily. Estas dos fragancias si que me encantaron y las llevé conmigo.

La marca trata de crear una experiencia lujosa para el consumidor, las fragancias vienen empacadas en su caja y una elegante cinta negra hecha laso.  La presentación es bastante distinguida y estas fragancias hacen un lindo y diferente regalo ya que los aromas son inusuales.

Las fragancias de Jo Malone son ligeras y están diseñadas para usarlas en capa en conjunto con otras colonias, pero a mi me gusta usarlas individualmente.

Me perdonan que no tome mas fotos, pero por muy linda bolsa y lazos, saque mis colonias y el resto lo tire a la basura. Antes, solía guardar este tipo de bolsas y el embalaje bonito, pero después de KonMari, no- en realidad no me trae alegría el embalaje (excepto en el momento que recibo el producto u obsequio) y jamás reutilizo las bolsas, en fin…

I got Botox!

Not so fast, I didn’t really get botox, at least not on my face. I got hair botox done. The procedure is less intense than a keratin treatment, there’s no rewashing in 24 hours nor is there the tedious application, drying and then wash and dry again. The botox treatment is applied as you would a deep conditioner, except your hair is left soft and unfrizzable. Yeah, unfrizzable, as in you can sweat, get your hair wet in the rain, walk around on a humid day, be on the beach in the carribean and your hair will look freshly done and no curl or poof to be seen. For us the curly-haired- want-to-be-straight-haired, it’s really a God-send. The treatment lasts about 3 months, provided you use sulfate-free, sodium-free hair products.

Speaking of sulfate/sodium free products, upon intense research, I came to the conclusion that the best shampoos, at least the ones with everything I was looking for and with the best reviews, are those by Oribe.

I’ve only tried the Oribe one time (I mixed both shampoos) and so far so good. Can’t really do a fair review of something when I’ve only used it once, so maybe I’ll review it later.

The botox, however, I can tell you is life changing. I got a keratin treatment once and didn’t again, despite loving the results, due to the enormous amount of time it took, plus I had to go again to the hair salon in 3 days. Botox, again, keratin results, application like a deep conditioner.

Have you tried hair botox or keratin treatments?

Decoración Navideña

No es secreto que la navidad es uno de mis tiempos favoritos.  Me encantan las luces, las decoraciones, las reuniones familiares y claro, el motivo de la celebración que es el nacimiento del niño Jesús, nuestro rey y salvador.

Tendremos un sorteo donde se anunciara el ganador el día de los reyes, manténganse atentos para mas instrucción sobre el premio y las reglas.

Y ahora, pasemos a la decoración. Me encanta fomentar un ambiente festivo y calmado a la vez, por eso me gusta encender las luces de mi arbolito, velas y música clásica navideña de fondo.  Claro que lo de calmado va por la ventana cuando tienes amistades y familiares de visita, pero en el día a día durante las navidades, no hay nada mejor que una casa limpia y bien decorada!

Los tonos metálicos siempre están de moda y este año, incorpore metales con el color blanco, esta esquema de colores constituyen la mayor parte de mis decoraciones.  Como también tengo una niña este año, pues tengo un rinconcito con un poco de decoraciones en colores mas vivos, como el rojo.

Les voy a compartir unas fotos de mis decoraciones este año y también les presento la idea que tengo para poner la mesa esta noche buena.

Espero que disfruten estas navidades a lo máximo junto a los suyos y que el gozo y la alegría del nacimiento de Jesús llene sus vidas durante todo el año.

Gracias por todo su apoyo! 

XOXO

 (idea mesa para Noche Buena)

Súbele el volumen a tu cabello!

A veces, existen cosas tan sencillas pero tan efectivas que cuando las descubrimos, nos preguntamos como no se nos había ocurrido antes y como sería que vivíamos antes de su descubrimiento.

Saben que yo lo intento todo por la belleza. Aunque me gusta andar con el cabello liso más que en su naturalidad rizo, si me gusta tener un poco de volumen, ya que lucir el cabello muy plano no va muy bien con la forma de mi rostro (redondo).

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Por tener tanto cabello, antes no usaba nada que dijera ser volumizante. Ya con el pasar del tiempo fui aprendiendo que en realidad si me gusta el volumen, aun llevando el pelo lacio.

Recientemente, compre unas bolsas de sal de Epsom para hacer unos exfoliantes caseros con aceites esenciales. Como compre la sal en BJs, un lugar de estos que, con membresía, le vende productos al por mayor al público, tenía mucha más sal de lo que fuera a utilizar en un año mismo. Entonces, quise buscar que más usos tiene la sal de Epsom.

photogrid_1481031415314 (Uff con pelo corto!)

Uno de sus tantos usos es el de dar volumen al cabello cuando se mezcla con un acondicionador. Hay personas que calientan esta mezcla, pero yo sólo mezclo la sal con mi acondicionador y unas 10 góticas de aceite de cedro. Pasa que, aunque ya hace un tiempo, cuando termine mis exámenes estatales para mis licencias de derecho, me corté el pelo súper corto entonces también me interesa que me crezca el cabello. De ahí la mezcla con el aceite esencial de cedro, aceite con propiedades que promueven el crecimiento del cabello.

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¿Se animan a tratar esta mezcla? A mí me parece fenomenal, me ha ido muy bien y la recomiendo 100%.

Beauty Profile: Hair

 

hair

From a very young age, I remember wanting to have straight hair and going through great lengths (no pun intended) to achieve it.  I also recall how other girls, the ones with straight hair, just as fastidiously wanted to have curls, more volume, etc.  Hair frames our face and we can dramatically change our appearance simply by the way we style our hair.   As with all things, however, the most important factor is health-if our hair is dehydrated, mistreated, no hair style will mask that save a hat or scarf!

In my beauty research, I came across a fun tidbit that I have been loving recently.  You see, I like my hair straight, but with volume and bounce (have I become a Jersey girl?!).  The thing is, when I straighten my hair, I lose volume due to the blow drying and I used to stay away from any volumizing product because I never felt like those products were for me- my hair is not fine nor thinning.

One day, though, for a body scrub, I purchased two gigantic bags of epsom salt.  I did not need that much salt, however, I bought it at BJs Wholesale Club and it came in a 2 pack.  Since I had so much, I ventured out to see what other uses there are for Epsom Salt.  Well, I found one that I tried immediately.  For volume, mix epsom salt with conditioner and leave on for a few minutes, as you would a deep conditioning mask, between 10-20 minutes, if in a rush at least 5! Some people heat the conditioner and epsom salt, I think that dissolves the granules, I have not yet tried it the way.  Instead, I mix a fistful of epsom salt with about as much conditioner.  I am not sure what it is, but this leaves your hair with bounce, shiny and just enough volume.

One of my very good friends, we are as family, is very into hair care.  I like to learn about other people’s beauty routines, what works for them, etc. and so I invited her to do this beauty profile, below is our Q&A.

img_2952img_2940img_2950 Jennifer’s gorgeous locks!

 

   1. What is your daily beauty routine?

In the morning, I always wash my face with Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser.  I follow that with Neutrogena Oil Free Combination Skin Moisturizer or Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid Lotion.  Then, I go on to my usual makeup routine: foundation, bronzer, mascara and my eyebrows with the Anastasia Brow Kit.  At the end of the day, I remove my makeup with my Aveeno cleanser or an Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Remover wipe. Then I use Pond’s Nourishing Moisturizer Cream.

2.  What is one hair product you couldn’t live without?

Conditioner.

3.  What is your weekday hair routine, like mornings before work?

When my hair is straight, I sleep with my hair loose or loosely tied.  I bundle it in a towel wrap for the shower, after I shower, I let it loose, run my fingers through it and it’s ready to go out the door! When my hair is curly, I have to style it every day-pony tail or bun or fixing it with gel or leave in conditioner.  

4. Do you deep condition or do other treatments? If so, how often?

I straighten my hair usually every 2 weeks, when I straighten it, yes I do a deep conditioner or treatment.  When my hair is curly, I was it about every 3 days.  Conditioners I use (not all at the same time, I use these in rotation):

  • Super Conditioner 10 in 1,
  • Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Strengthening Mask,
  • Aussie 3 Minute Mask,
  • Crece Pelo (a Dominican conditioner).  

About every 2 weeks, I do the following oil treatment: Mix 1 or 2 ounces of each of these oils and then apply to hair, leave in 20 minutes:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Vitamin E Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Argan Oil 
  • Lavender Oil

I used to apply this treatment all over, but now I only apply it at the roots and sometimes a little on the ends.

5. Do you take any vitamins or eat special foods specifically for the health of your hair?

I take Vitamin C gummies; Hair, Nail & Skin gummies, and I incorporate the following into my diet: salmon, almonds, walnuts, avocado, eggs, sweet potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas and strawberries.

6. What is the wackiest hair treatment you’ve tried and how did it work out (or not)?

I don’t remember which conditioner it was, but I once tried a conditioner that left my hair feeling rough and tangled!

Well, that last one was not very wacky! I for one tried black strap molasses, supposed to do wonders for your hair. I can’t tell you whether it works or not because I only tried it once, it was so messy and sticky that I never ventured to try it again! Some people swear by it though…

What are some of your hair routines/secrets? Wacky treatments you’ve tried?

Thanks and cheers to long, healthy, luscious locks!

Beauty Dos, Shoulds and No Mores

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As I believe I’ve mentioned before, I’m totally a guinea pig and try almost everything beauty related. Sometimes it doesn’t work out so well, as the time I read garlic could zap a pimple and ended up with a big burn on my face. Other times, like when I discovered rose hip oil, I’m so glad to have tried a “new” product that turns out to be amazing.

When I first got the urge to downsize my life, I started with the massive amount of makeup I owned. I pretty much held on to most of the skincare products because I like to change up cleansers, try new masks, etc. At one point, I was fanatical about masks and did one almost every other day. I try to do a mask at least once per week, although recently it’s been more like once every 2 weeks. My skin is in pretty good condition except where I’ve marks due to plucking due to unexplained hirsutism (I’ve done all the tests, hormones, thyroid and everything is normal, which baffles me every day).

Do:

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Anyhow, I think masks are definitely a do, and there’s such great variety out there, both store bought and DIY, that you can find one that’ll suit you. I for one like to feel things “working” so any pulsing sensation (like the Aztec clay mask) or minty sensation, or immediate texture changes are what I look for-as in Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate. I prefer the clay based masks for their purifying effects, they can be a little drying if you don’t have combination skin like me, or oily.

Speaking of oily/combination skin, despite thinking it contrary to reason, you must always moisturize, even if you’ve oily skin.

Another thing which is a do, is drinking plenty of water for overall health. This is something I struggle with on most days, but I am going to make a concerted effort to be better about my water intake. This, right now, is more of a should, I guess.

Should:

As much as I am adamant about moisturizing my face and wearing sunscreen (who wants to age prematurely?), I am so very, extremely lazy when it comes to applying body lotion. Only the great fear of forever stretch marks kept me motivated to apply lotion and bio oil to my stomach, sides and upper thighs when I was pregnant. I continued this practice for about a month after giving birth, and then seeing my success, I’ve not one stretch mark, I stopped. Even while pregnant though, I maybe applied lotion to my legs maybe 2 times. Along with the water intake, I really need to snap out of my laziness and start using body lotion on the regular. I’ve at least 5 bottles/tubs so I don’t even have the excuse of having to go buy one.

No more:

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For this category, right now I really only have one thing: sheet masks.

So, although I am a fan of masks, I’m not too thrilled about sheet masks. Believe me, I tried to to love them, I tried a gazillion of them. They’re just not for me. As Gretchen Rubin would say, you can change what you do, but you can’t change what you like to do. In my case, I let YouTubers get to me and thought I had to try sheet masks. After not liking the first few, I don’t think they do much for me, I was sure that it must be the type/brand that wasn’t working, so I continued to buy different ones. One sheet mask that does stand out, however, is one by Wei, illuminating something or the other, but not for the mask, but because each mask (they come in a tube and bring tweezers so you can pull the mask out. Fancy, I know) brings so much serum, you’ve a lot left over. I used the extra serum and mixed it with my moisturizer, I could totally see a glow when using the serum. I think because the sheet sort of absorbs the serum more than the skin, the mask itself does not have the same effect.

I am thinking of making Dos, Shoulds and No Mores a periodic series as well as Beauty Routines, featuring guests, as in my next post which is all about gorgeous locks!

Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend, may this week be productive and joyful!

XOXO 😘

Beauty all around…

If you read my last post, you now know how I operate in terms of interests.  A few weeks ago, when we had company over, I decided to set the table as nicely as I could, it was after all a dinner party.  Well, friends, that was the start of a new obsession.  You see, I love beauty, in all its permutations and I am constantly looking to see how I can beautify our home with minimal changes.  One thing I like to always have is fresh flowers.  Flowers have a way to elevate any space, bringing elegance into your home without much effort.  Of course, cleanliness and order play a large part in beauty, flowers in the midst of a dusty, disorganized home are not going to magically transform a space.

At any rate, after our last gathering, I discovered #tablescapes on Instagram.  As we were going over to my in-laws for Thanksgiving, I asked my mother in law if I could set the table, just a little upgrade to the every day I said.  She readily agreed and I commenced my planning.  Since I don’t cook, this would be my contribution to our Thanksgiving dinner.

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I first decided on a color theme- metallics I decided, then I narrowed it to just silver as I plan to use gold for Christmas Eve.  I then set out to one of my favorite places in the universe, HomeGoods, and bought some accessories for the table.  Then I went to see my mother in law’s inventory to see what I would use- which wine glasses, cups, silverware.  On Thanksgiving day, I bought the flowers at a local farmer’s market for the finishing touches.

In addition to the flowers, candles and a sparkly picture frame, in my opinion, were what gave a touch of elegance to the table.  I got the idea to use a picture frame from the table numbers at weddings.  Instead of a number or picture, I found a Psalm appropriate for the occasion, typed it up, printed it and displayed it prominently in the frame.

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Everyone really loved the table setup and we had an elegant evening at home.  Of course, what matters most is the company you’re with and what’s being celebrated- in this case, something we should celebrate on a daily basis, gratitude.  Whenever you can, however, it’s nice to dress up-both yourself and your home.

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