un aguacate a la vez

elizabeth and james

2017 in Review | The Best and the Worst

Beauty, Lifestyle, HealthMaría Elena RodríguezComment
best buys of 2017

This year was far from normal to say the least. From traveling to Europe for the first time, posting consistently once a week and surviving a devastating natural disaster. 2017 was intense, but it was all that I needed to check my priorities. 

I made some big lifestyle changes and some huge decisions along the way. It was transformative to say the least, but I couldn't be happier for the outcome. So here are the highs and lows that helped me get there:

Beauty

Bite Beauty Everyday Agave Lip Collection

As many of the products I discover, I discovered this one out of a whim. I always like using a nourishing lip balm after my nighttime skincare routine and before I fall asleep and this one has been perfect. It's a little expensive, but it's worth the splurge since a little bit goes a long way. 

You can read my initial review here.

Grab Bite Beauty Everyday Agave Lip collection here

 

OLEHENRIKSEN Transforming Walnut Scrub

ole henriksen walnut scrub

You all know my love for Ole Henriksen, but first thing first: This scrub STINKS! But boy does it work. If you can pass through the smell and are diligent about using this product at least once a week you will see the amazing results. 

You can read my initial review here.

Grab the Ole Henriksen Transforming Walnut Scrub here

 

tarte Tarteist™ Lash Paint Mascara

I have the most stubborn eyelashes. They are the hardest to curl and give some volume. But this mascara is doing her part on my lashes. Plus, it's buildable and perfect for those days when you want to give your makeup look that extra sultriness. 

You can read my initial review here.

Grab the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara here. 

 

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask

herbivore blue tansy

This is an effective but expensive mask. It smells great and it feels really luxurious. Plus, you will see the results right away. I've been using this mask before special occasions or if my skin is looking a little dull.

I talk more about this product here

You can buy the Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask here

 

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Just as I suspected, this concealer quickly gained holy grail status. The hype is real guys! If you suffer of dark circles like I do, this concealer will change your life. Just keep in mind that it's super full coverage, which is why I only use it for special occasions. For my every day I've been using the Wet N' Wild Photo Focus Concealer

You can read my initial review here.

Grab the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer here. 

 

Glossier Serums

glossier serums

I started using these serums after my sister raved about them so much. You all know my love for the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, but since I've been leaning more towards more natural and less ingredients skincare I thought it was time to give these a try. 

These are definetely lighter than I thought and from my experience, you will start to see results after a week or so. The only downside is that it's 0.5 oz and for the price and for the price and daily usage, I don't think it's appropriate. Wishing they come out with a full 1oz and more cost effective packaging! 

Grab Glossier's The Supper Pack Serums here

 

Hello, World!

glossier perfume

If you follow me on Instagram you know I went to the Glossier Showroom in Chelsey, NYC this past November. I had no idea I would love this perfume, but once I smelled it, I knew it had to be mine. Some of you know that I've been really into warm and spicy scents this year and that is exactly what this smells like. But it's not basic at all. Am I explaining myself? Describing scents is so hard!

Anyways... you can grab the Glossier You Perfume here

 

All of the Nirvana Perfumes

Speaking about warm and spicy perfumes, Nirvana by Elizabeth and James stole my heart this year. From their deliciously sexy Nirvana Bourbon perfume to their new Nirvana Amethyst perfect for the holidays. If you want to captivate someone, try one of these perfumes. 

Grab a trio of Nirvana by Elizabeth and James Perfumes here

 

Rose Water Sprays

Notice that I wrote "sprays" not "spray"? That's because I don't care about the brand. I just love spraying rose water spray in my face. Does it make my skin any different? No. Does it make me feel like a queen? Absolutely! It feels like an added luxury to my skincare regimen.

Grab Mario Badescu's Rose Water Spray here

 

Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette

too faced sweet peach palette

This is the only palette I've been using. I am not big on using eyeshadow, but when I do, I like some high quality, super blendable and long wearing shadows. The shades I love the most from this palette are Summer Yum and Luscious. Peaches 'N Cream is perfect for blending out at the end. 

Grab a Too Faced Peach Palette here

Lifestyle

Filofax

I come and go with planners and I have used dozens of them over the years. Even two at once. But I've come to realize that the best system for me is one where I can keep all my to-do's, calendar and notes in one place. Hence, the Filofax system. Again, I don't mind paying a little extra for effectiveness and this system lets me customize my pages and add or edit whatever I want throughout the year. This helped me stay on track with this extra crazy year! 

Running

It all started with a 5K race and it ended up being the biggest lifestyle change I've done in my life. I was never a runner, in fact, I hated running. But something inside me shifted once I raced that 5K. I even credit running for my mental health after surviving Hurricane Maria, but you can read more about that in my article at Merodea

Yoga

Where do I even begin with this? I believe I got hooked on yoga by accident. It was just a way of stretching after running, but once I noticed that I had no sore legs after doing yoga and that boost in endorphins, I knew I wouldn't go back! 

Going Plant-Based

I have been going back and forth with this topic for a while. But just in time when I began running and doing yoga I decided to give this a try one more time. It has been a challenge, specially after María, but I have never felt better in my life. Let me know if you would like to read more about my transition to veganism! 

Traveling

These past two years have been huge in traveling for me. But now, I'm in the middle of a huge life transition which is why I will probably be putting some of my vacation time on hold. But all these experiences were amazing and necessary for me. You can read more about this here

Fails

Louis Vuitton Neverfull 

This was in my bucket list since forever. After I purchased my pre-loved Speedy 30, I wanted the Nerverfull to complete my collection. Then Europe happened and I was able to purchase it for a much better price. But after I got it for a few months it didn't feel right. I didn't feel like I deserved it and after Hurricane María almost washed us off the map, I knew I had to give her up. 

It's not that I'm against luxury products now. I'm just more consciously aware of everything and I just wish to have things in my life that add value to my life and I definetely didn't feel that way with the Neverfull. 


We have been posting our favorite posts of the year on Facebook and Twitter so make sure you check that out.

Until next time, 

María Elena

September Favorites | 2016

Beauty, Lifestyle, BooksMaría Elena RodríguezComment

As you may have seen on one of my recent Instagram posts, I have been going cra-zy over not being able to blog this past week. My job and my graduate school classes decided to get hectic at the same time. #MurphysLaw

Gladly, while I was procrastinating my midterms, I started rounding up my September 2016 Favorites (better late than never), which have been, surprisingly, a lot this past month. As you may have noticed, I don't like to make favorite posts every month, since I find that many times these don't change a lot for me. But this month, let's just say I've been feeling a little spendy. Maybe I have a case of emotional shopping? Who cares! Let's get to the good part: 

 

Makeup Favorites:

NYX Tame & Frame Brow

My friends from NYX Puerto Rico sent me this as a gift and I must say I am hooked with it. I have never used a brow pomade in my life and now I know why people love it so much. If you want a natural look, I would recommend going for a brow wand, but if you are going out, this gives you the perfect #eyebrowsonfleek and polished look. 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

I purchased this Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector a while back and I was kind of ignoring for a while. But after I ran out of my Nars Creamy Concealer, I was needing something a little bit illuminating under my eyes. So I've been mixing this in with my Tarte Maracuja Creasless Concealer and gives me the perfect light reflecting glow I need under my eyes.

Nars Blush in Goulue (VIB Rouge Exclusive) 

Yes, I fi-na-lly became a VIB Rouge after years and years of controlling myself at Sephora. And along with becoming one of the store's favorite customers (the impulsive buyers), came a fabulous Nars blush in the color Goulue. If you have tanned skin with yellow undertones, like I do, this would look beautiful on you. Now I know what's the rave over Nars blushes and I can't wait to keep trying more shades. 

By the way, on my research online I saw that it is basically a darker version of Orgasm. So if you think Orgasm shade is too light for you, I would really recommend trying Goulue.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+

I always have a full coverage foundation for going out at night and a light foundation for everyday. So after I ran out of my Tarte Rainforest of the Sea, I was ready for a new daily foundation. I was looking for a more lightweight one, that had a higher SPF and skincare benefits, which after my research, ended up being this It Cosmetics CC Cream. This has absolutely changed my foundation routine for the better. It feels like skincare and just as the name says, it looks like your skin, but better. It works on no-makeup-makeup days and makeup days as well. 

*But, I must make the disclaimer that if you have sensitive skin, I don't think this would be good for you since it has a very strong scent. 

Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder

After watching one too many bloggers talking about baking, I knew I was ready to finally give it a try and get myself a good translucent powder. I found this one while searching them on the Sephora website, and decided to give it a try. Not only have I been loving to bake with it under my eyes, it's the first time I've seen my pores look so small. Must try! 

After years swearing on my trusty Tarte Maracuja Oil + Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, I was very skeptical on Sunday Riley's over hyped and over priced facial oils and serums. But now that I've bought this kit and I am on week #3, I am loving it. And if you want an entire review, I will be creating an entire blog post on it soon. So stay tuned!

Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask

This brand makes me so curious, not only is it aesthetically gorgeous, it is natural and cruelty-free, which is right up my alley! I have had them on Instagram for a while now and was dying to try one of their products. I finally took the plunge on it when I saw the amazing reviews it had! 

It has a texture that I have never seen before and it makes your skin feel so soft afterwards. I have to say that this combined with my new Sunday Riley routine has my skin very happy. 

Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser

I must say this is another one of those products that I was kind of skeptical on its rave. I thought it was all good packaging, nothing else. But this ended up being my favorite makeup remover ever! I have even been ignoring my makeup removing wipes because when you use this dry, it removes every single bit of dirt and makeup in your skin. I highly recommend it. 

Since I love almost all of the products I've tried from this brand so far, here's 20% off your first Glossier order. You're welcome :)

 

Perfume Favorite:

Elizabeth & James Perfume in Nirvana Bourbon

I am the most difficult person when it comes to choosing perfume. I think it is so personal, since people can either compliment you or hate you when it comes to how you smell. So lately I've been really into masculine perfumes and I have been trying many samples that where either too masculine or just not me. 

But with this Nirvana perfume something happened that has never happened before: I read their description before smelling it and I knew I was going to love it. I ran to Sephora and, ding ding, I was right! Purchased it right away. 

It makes me feel sexy and confident. Like it's the "new me". So if you're looking for a new nighttime and/or winter perfume, I would definitely recommend this one. Plus, my boyfriend loves it!

 

Book Favorite:

Emily Giffin's First Comes Love

I am not a huge fiction reader. I would much rather read memoirs, business books and even though I hate to say it, self-help books. I find these make me grow much more.

But when it comes to Emily Giffin, I make an exception. This author makes me feel like she's in my brain and the way she explains her characters make it feel more like a memoir than a fiction novel. This novel is all about how the things that you take for granted or don't appreciate are, most times, what you most need. 


Now I want to know, what were your September favorites? Let me know in the comments bellow. :)

Until next time, 
María Elena

Shop this post: