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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

What's In My Bag | February 2016

Fashion, Lifestyle, BeautyMaría Elena RodríguezComment
louis vuitton speedy 30 whats in my bag

This what's inside my bag will undoubtedly be a little update on how the KonMari Method is definitely life changing (hence, the title of the book). Honestly, when I was reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and read that part in which the author says that she actually takes all of the stuff in her handbag out and puts them in a box all lined up in vertical position, my initial thought was: Ain't nobody got time for that! So the fact that I've been doing this (and loving it) for the past month and a half is very surprising to me.

First of all, I threw all the stuff that I didn't need off my bag. And trust me, there was a LOT of junk in there. My mother swears that is the main reason I have scoliosis.  So after that, I categorized everything I actually needed in my life in different little bags that fit perfectly inside my Speedy 30. So here's an overview of how it's organized:

  • The "Wallet" - I decided to go for a simple pouch. One thing the KonMari Method taught me is to simplify/ minimize my belongings. I have found that having a traditional wallet may not be the best for me because I tend to overstuff them. Not with money, sadly. So I was thinking about purchasing a cute credit card holder like this one maybe, since I most definitely never carry cash with me (which I know it's a huge mistake). So when my mother in law gave me this Coach pouch for Christmas I thought this was perfect for me. I can take it alone if I'm going to the grocery store and just wear it on my wrist which is very convenient and stylish, don't you think?
  • The Eyeglasses & The Sunglasses - I like to switch these around during the day depending if there is sunlight or not... duh! I recently purchased these from EyeBuyDirect.com and I'm loving them! Not exactly the fastest shipping compared to other online eyewear stores I've heard about, but the quality is amazing. I am specially loving the sunglasses, which I believe are a perfect dupe for a pair of Prada sunglasses that I've been eyeing for a while. Compared to what I would've paid for those Prada ones, I invested less than $150 on a pair of sunglasses and eyeglasses with my prescription.

 

  • The Emergencies Bag - This is the bag with a mini size deodorant, hand cream, makeup removing wipes, hand sanitizer and Advil (the only over-the-counter pain reliever that actually works on my menstrual cramps). Need I say more?

 

  • The Tech Cables Bag - I got this little gray bag with some earbuds I bought from a recent JetBlue flight. Since I paid $5 and the bag it's actually kind of cute and has an interesting shape, I decided to use it as a charging cables pouch. I carry this with me everywhere since it contains a life saver portable charger, an iPhone cable, the actual earbuds I purchased from JetBlue and my Fitbit charger. 

 

  • The Makeup Essentials Bag - Meaning face powder, a basic eye shadow, a mid-day life saver concealer, Glossier's the Balm Dotcom and a versatile lip color. 

 

  • The Bag for Those Days of the Month - This is the bag with the "Oh what fun!" quote on it. You see what I did there? ;) I only take this bag with me when mother nature calls, so I don't carry all that weight with me all the time. It contains pads, tampons, panty liners, Summer's Eve wipes... you know the drill. 

 

  • The Bag Holder - Because lets face it, who would put a precious Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Damier Ebene in the floor?! Certainly not me, who saved up for her dream bag for quite a few years. I finally got this bag pre-loved (for a really good price) and I couldn't be more in love with her. This is my trophy bag and every time I wear it I know I earned it with really hard work, which is exactly why I always wanted to buy it. So this baby is not going to be touching the floor (or anybody else) any time soon.

 

  • The Keys - I know everybody takes their keys with them, but here's a little fun fact: If I don't have a cute keychain (like the little gold one I got from Boveda in Old San Juan a few years ago), I like to use a hand sanitizer keychain with my car keys. That way all my germaphobes needs are satisfied al day, errday

 

That's it! That's what I carry with me almost every day. I think it pretty much covers my everyday essentials. Now I want to hear about you. What do you carry in your purse? :)

XO, 

Elena