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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

February 2016 Lifestyle Favorites [Makeup, Skincare, Book]

Books, Lifestyle, BeautyMaría Elena RodríguezComment

I don't do monthly favorites every month because I feel like it kind of gets repetitive after a while. But this month I've been testing out a lot of products and surprisingly, most of them have turned out to be really awesome! I'm talking about holy grail status awesome. 

I've been very into skincare lately because even though I always stick to my Tarte Maracuja Oil, last year I wasn't as good sticking to an every day routine. So without further ado, here are my February Favorites:

- Glossier's Priming Moisturizer - Oh my dear lord why didn't I try this before?! I never believed in primers until I found this. But now, I can't imagine a day without wearing this before my foundation. Because it is so lightweight and has absolutely no scent, it feels great on my oily/ prone to acne skin. Also, I've been struggling to find the perfect daytime moisturizer so now I found the perfect primer AND moisturizer. Can't you tell I'm obsessed?

DSC_1010.jpg

- Josie Maran Argan Milk Serum - I purchased this literally on a whim and honestly, I didn't really thought it would work on my skin. I thought, why would I wear an oil based serum before my facial oil?! But I just loved that it's made out of two ingredients: water and argan oil. The thing is I've been using this before my well loved Tarte Maracuja Oil and I think I've been calling this routine my skincare power couple ever since! 

- Tarte's Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder - This is another, "why hadn't I try this before?" product. The powder is so finelly milled that it makes your skin look flawless and hydrated without looking cakey. This finishing powder, Glossier's Priming Moisturizer and I are unstoppable. I never imagined looking at my makeup at 5:30PM and it being looking as flawless as when I first put it on. 

- NYX's Micro Brow Pencil - People! We've found a dupe for Anastasia's Brow Wiz!!! I saw this at Walgreens on Valentine's Day and I had no clue NYX had a mechanical brow pencil. Honestly, I don't know much about this brand besides the fact that every youtuber used their eyeshadow sticks as eyeshadow primer back in the day, but now I need to know more. I see no reason to spend almost $20 on a high end brow pencil when this one works just as well (or better) than any of the higher end brands. Go try it and let me know what you think! :)

- Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II - Am I the only one who looks for a "signature lip color" when going out on vacations? Well I do, lol. I bought this because I wanted to try a new liquid lipstick in a Kylie Jenner-ish shade for my upcoming trip since my Stila in Patina is missing! It turns out I found the perfect formulation for my lips. If you don't like super brown lips, this has a beautiful rosy undertone that I believe is flattering in almost any skin shade. Yes, liquid lipsticks are drying, but this one is not annoying at all. It has lasted me 5 entire hours without having to put on a balm!

- Tarte's Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess - I discovered this about 4 years ago in a Sephora 500 points perk and I remember being completely in love with it. Every time I wore it people complemented me on my glowing skin. That's when I bought it full size, used it for few months and then kind of used it only on special occasions. Now I've fallen back in love with it and I've been loving using it every day as contour because of the subtle bronzy/ not shimmery glow it gives my skin.

PS: If my bronzer contouring hater/ hairdresser Lio reads this, he's going to kill me! lol. 

The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Fustenberg - Last but not least, I wanted to talk about this beautiful book that I wasn't able to put down for long periods of time during February. I really didn't know much about this designer besides the fact she invented the wrap dress and Whitney Port worked with her on The Hills. Turns out this woman had a beautiful life full of partying with royalty, travel and most importantly, love. The book is based on all the things she had to go through to become the woman she always wanted to be. Many critics say this book is not relatable at all since she has lived in pure luxury almost all her life, but I think that somehow you can relate to her stories. She translates her feelings and vulnerability through the pages in a way you can't help but understand what she went through and compare it to some moment in your life. 

Let me know if you would like a full review on this! I would gladly dedicate an entire post about this. 

So February was definitely full of lovely things for me, even though I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. What are the odds?

Hope you have a wonderful March. 

Until next time, 

Elena

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