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Worth The Splurge? | Sunday Riley's Luna Sleeping Night Oil + Good Genes Treatment

BeautyMaría Elena RodríguezComment

Since I've been using pretty much the same skin regimen for more than three years now (you can read about it here and here), I was putting aside all the hype I was reading about the new brand, Sunday Riley. I mean, come on! Can a $100+ oil and $100+ serum really be better than my trusty Tarte Maracuja Oil and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum?! I was obviously very skeptical and thought: "If it ain't broke, why fix it?!"

But everything went down the hill when Sephora had their Extra Points Event and I was only a few bucks away (much more than a few bucks, actually) from becoming a VIB Rouge and making all my beauty obsession dreams come true.

I went ahead and added Sunday Riley's
Power Couple Duo: Total Transformation Kit
to my cart so I could test both of these super hyped products for you guys. Because you know, #BloggerDuties. The things I tell myself... 

Bellow are the results. Just remember, I have Oily/ sometimes combination/ acne prone skin: 

September 20, 2016 | First Impressions

Nice sizes!

My first impression when I first got this package was that it wasn't a bad amount of product at all. I thought both of these products would come in really tiny packages based on their full size price, but it was actually pretty impressive. 

Note to self: Read the instructions first. 

I opened the package and was about to slab on the Good Genes Treatment until my gut told me to read the instructions first. Good thought, because I was about to make a huge mistake: You have to put on the Luna Oil first, wait for 5 minutes and then add the treatment.

I bet most of us don't want to misuse a skincare product that costs more than $100. 

The Luna Oil smells weird...

I have to say that I am not a huge fan of strong smelling skincare and this oil smells very strong. It has a similar scent to Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which I tried using before going cruelty free, but I ended up giving it to my mom. I couldn't stand it! 

Fun color! 

The blue color is a little weird on your face at first, but I enjoyed the texture and how it forces you to massage it into your skin until it is completely translucent. It's a little extra TLC for your skin. 

Good Genes Treatment smells amazing!

Afterwards, and following the instructions, of course, I put on the Good Genes Treatment. Now this really smells nice! And the texture feels fabulous. My first impression with this product is that I really enjoyed how the oil and treatment mixed together. 

September 26, 2016 | This might be working. 

The moment I entered my office, the first thing one of my co-workers said was: "You are using a new foundation! You look flawless". But I wasn't. In fact, I was using the same exact foundation I use everyday, that I put on in my car while driving to work. Not exactly my flawless technique.

So after wondering for various seconds what did I do different, I remembered I had just started using my new Sunday Riley skincare. I ran to the bathroom and checked my makeup on the big mirror (instead of my car's rear view mirror) and it was true! I looked flawless and glowy.

Still, there's a little bit of skepticism in me. Maybe I drank more and ate better that week? 

September 27, 2016 | I like it. 

It was 9:30PM and while taking off my makeup all I could think about was that my skin was looking glowy and even though I could still see some hyper-pigmentation, I can see a little bit of difference. Yes! 

October 1, 2016 | My skin is softer! 

I started to feel like my skin had developed the same texture as when I use my Clarisonic, but I haven't touched my Clarisonic in months! I can even tell my pores are starting to look smaller, which is a strange case for me. 

October 6, 2016 | Boyfriend starts noticing my skin. 

My boyfriend is always making fun of my makeup and skincare routine, he never notices any difference. Until now. He completely saw that my skin was smooth and glowy without me telling him anything. 

He's also very happy to know that my $89 skincare splurge is working.

October 15, 2016 | The treatment might sting a little.

My #1 bad skincare habit is picking my skin. I can't help myself if I see a black head or white head showing up through my skin. And even though I was being a good girl all these days for the sake of this experiment, I failed. I touched a black head until it became red and noticed that even though the Luna Oil didn't sting a bit, the Good Genes Treatment stung for about 5 seconds. 

I also have to say that this never happens with my good old Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

Final Verdict: 

I have been using this Power Couple Duo every night since I bought it, almost 30 days ago and I still have some left. This stuff is no joke! It is really good, makes your skin feel as smooth as a baby's butt and a little bit goes a long way. Just one drop of the Luna Oil and one pump of the Good Genes Treatment does the trick.

Would I buy it again? Probably.

Would it be right after I run out? No. I still want to see how my skin reacts once I switch back to my Truth Serum + Maracuja Oil combo. I also want to try Glossier's new serums line. 

Would I recommend Sunday Riley to you? First of all, remember I have oily and acne prone skin, so I can only review from my experience with it. So if you have oily skin and the money, totally! It really is a great skincare line and you will start to see the difference soon. I really do think is good value for your money, specially if you have a big event coming up. 

If you don't have the money, I will go on forever about my trusty Truth Serum + Maracuja Oil combo. :) 

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Now I want to know your thoughts! Have you tried any of these products? Would you be giving them a try? Let me know in the comments bellow. 

Until next time, 

María Elena

My Fitness Tracker Experience

Lifestyle, Health, wellnessMaría Elena RodríguezComment

A few months ago I posted a lovely photo on Instagram featuring my Fitbit Charge HR where many of you asked me to do a review on it, because I was loving it at first. Good thing I decided to test it out for a few months before writing this post or the outcome would've been very different. 

Let's head back a bit first, shall we? My fitness journey started when I was 14 years old as I discovered an old Jenny Craig workout cassette series my mom had in the living room. Yes, a VHS, back when Jenny20 was the coolest diet ever. Boy have things changed! Well, the thing is this was my first experience with exercise and I loved how strong I felt even though I had many, MANY body image issues. 

I've never done any kind of sports, but I've managed to stay in the habit of exercising and I haven't gone more than three months without doing any type of exercise. I may flake from time to time, but I always come back because that's how I feel best about myself. So when all this fitness tracker hype started emerging out of nowhere, I knew I had to try one. 

I started like most people, with My Fitness Pal. I logged in every single piece of food I put in my mouth all day, errday so I obviously got tired of it. Then I decided to start tracking my steps with the iPhone's Health App, but apparently it was too boring for me. That's when I decided I was going to invest on a beautiful fitness tracker that would make me look sporty and chic in all athleisure glory. 

I purchased the Jawbone Up 24 with a great discount back when Radio Shack was closing its stores. I was so excited to start using it and find all my friends who had wore one too so I could add them on the Jawbone App. So I came home and was really excited to start tracking my steps when all of the sudden the bracelet wouldn't turn on. I googled every single tutorial there is on how to reboot/ restart/ re-whatever a Jawbone Up and nothing happened. So I emailed, called and twitted Jawbone and all I got were generic responses from their Customer Service Team. I kept communicating with them, but I was left unanswered and without a way to do anything about my non-working Jawbone. Needless to say, I would never recommend a Jawbone to you guys. I threw my Jawbone away without hesitation when I Konmari'd my life. Ha! 

After that horrible experience, I decided I was never going to buy another fitness tracker in my life. What if they were all as bad as my previews one? So I really don't know how it happened... (or maybe it was that I was super into Crossfit at the end of 2015) but I purchased the Fitbit Charge HR in a lovely purple color. 

I was hooked. I loved how it monitored my heart rate during WODs, how it congratulated me when I reached 10,000 steps and how I could track how many times I had woken up during my sleep. I even enjoyed logging my food and water intake on the app! The excitement actually lasted about 2 months which is quite a lot for gimmicky technology. 

First I stopped using it during my sleep because it felt too tight for my comfort. Then just as My Fitness Pal, I grew tired of logging every single aspect of my health life into the app. That's when I got really frustrated when I realized that I actually spent $145 on a pedometer that can be found on my phone. And I mean, it's cool to have a heart rate monitor, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary unless you're a sports athlete or a gym rat/ marathoner. Obviously I'm none of the above, so say it with me: Ain't nobody got time for that!

So what am I doing now? I've found that the best way to keep track of my fitness is to not have goals. Yup! You read that right. Since I no longer have "fitness goals" I started forgiving myself for not wanting to workout sometimes. I mean, I'm human and after a long day at work, Netflix and Chill most of the time sounds way better than sweating my ass off! Heck I even stopped working out in the early morning, something that I've been doing for more than 4 years and I used to swear by, because waking up before the sun comes out no longer fits into my lifestyle. And that's ok. My lifestyle right now requires more sleeping in in the mornings and to be honest, going for a run right after work can actually be very stress relieving. 

Basically I've found the only things I need to stay active are headphones, an armband, a smartphone and tennis shoes. The app I'm using right now is Run Keeper because I love how it pushes me to train for a 5K while going at my own pace. I've never been a runner, but I feel this app keeps the pressure away and makes running time feel like me time. Am I finally getting the runners rush?!

My advice to you guys and the reason I created this post is to let you know that the important thing is to stay active. You don't need fitness trackers or gym memberships, unless you really want them of course. Exercise shouldn't be a chore, so find a way to make it fun. There's a LOT of free apps that can do that for you. But if you can't stand having your phone with you, I would say, just go for a basic pedometer. Don't spend too much money on this. Trust me, odds are, you'll get tired of it. 

What do you do to stay active?

Until next time, 

Elena

Tarte's Maracuja Oil VS Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

BeautyMaría ElenaComment

Guys sorry for the two day delay on this post! To be honest, as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I gotta change my routine to give you guys good content. Does this happen to any of you guys?  Anyhow, I wanted to start this new thing called "Beauty Battle", a new series in which I will be putting two products to the test and let you know which one I recommend and why.

This time, I wanted to write about my experience with facial oils, which has been quite interesting. When all this rave about facial oils started I was the first one saying it was crazy. I mean, why would you use oil on a greasy face?! Later I found out this actually helps your skin produce less oil since these products send the message to your skin that all the oil is provided already. Awesome right? My first try was Tarte's Maracuja Oil, a brand that I truly trust to experiment with any beauty trend. Then I wanted to test my luck with another beauty oil that had a great following and obsession among the beauty community: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. So without further due, here's my face to face (pun intended) review with these two:

Tarte's Maracuja Oil

First of all, did you know this is parcha oil?! I have a funny story here. When I purchased this, I was telling my mom I just ordered maracuja oil as this rare and natural thing that I was going to start putting on my skin to make it more beautiful. Then she looked at me with surprise and told me: "You're going to put parcha in your face?!". All my exotic feeling went away with her comment since here in Puerto Rico you can find this fruit everywhere, lol. But, as you guys know, putting parcha on my face has been a great experience, and I believe it's due to all the vitamin C it contains. 

As a disclaimer, it feels oily the minute you put it on, but after that, it just settles on your skin and you wake up with the most radiant looking skin. I'm not kidding. Just beware: it doesn't smell good... You can tell it's a natural product, but to be honest I think this is a good thing and you'll know why with my next review. 

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

As I told you before, I bought this with great enthusiasm because the beauty community is obsessed with this oil and I had never tried a Kiehl's product before (I know, I'm super late on the hype!). First impression: OMG this smells great! It has a great strong smell that just makes you feel relaxed before going to sleep. Since I already used two bottles of Tarte's Maracuja Oil and loved it, I had great expectations for this super hyped product. But the end result? There was none. I didn't see any significant changes in my skin and I felt like it was a bit too oily for my taste when I woke up. Plus, even though I loved the smell, I ended up feeling like it shouldn't be good for my skin. My mom is using it for a week now and so far she has no complains, so I think this will be best if you have more mature skin. 

Final Verdict: Tarte's Maracuja Oil is a clear winner for me here and I can't wait to repurchase a jumbo size. I can even use it during the day, even though I have quite oily skin, which I still think is crazy! As for Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, I would not recommend it for anyone with oily skin. If you have super dehydrated and/ or mature skin I would say go for it! You will love the smell and is definitely super moisturizing. 

So there you go guys! Ambinity's very first Beauty Battle. What did you guys think? Would you like to see more of these? Let me know in the comments bellow. 

Ole Henriksen Skincare Haul

BeautyMaría ElenaComment

It's no secret that one of my favorite skin care products is Olen Henriksen's Truth Serum® Vitamin C Collagen since I already raved all about it here. So when they contacted me to be part of their #RealUsersRealResults campaign, I was totally in. I've been meaning to try many of their products and I feel so lucky to have been sent this package in order to share my honest opinion with you guys. 

Please keep in mind that all of these products were customized and sent to me as someone with normal to oily skin. So without further ado, here's my awesome Ole Henriksen haul: 

1) Aloe Vera Deep Cleanser - First impression: LOVE the color! Let's see if the product lives up to my expectations fot this brand. "This cleanser proves that you can have ultra-clean skin without stripping and dehydrating", reads the label. Which is exactly what I need in this moment of my life.

2) Grease Relief Face Tonic - Toners! So easy to skip this step right? I've been slacking on it lately and I can't wait to see the results for this one. I love that its active ingredients such as Lactic Acid and Golden Seal help to disinfect, and renew, while calming and balancing. Calming is clearly the magic word here. Hah!

3) Lemon Strip Flash Peel - Have you ever used a peel before?! As a rookie, I feel like "Incorporates 20% AHA complex to dissolve dead skin cells and resurface skin" sounds a little intimidating. But again, I have high hopes for this brand and I feel that the fact that it is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and cruelty-free, makes it far less intimidating. I'm ready guys!

4) Truth Serum Collagen Booster - I've already tested it and it is one of my holy grail products. So glad I got another bottle because I recently finished my last one. Check out my review here.

5) Sheer Transformation - Let's be real here: I pick my skin and I'm not proud of it. Its a bad vice that is specially hard on me since it leaves marks and dark spots on my skin. Why do I still do it? I don't know. But I'm excited about this cream since it says that it will diminish my dark spots.

6) Total Truth Eye Crème - I love that this product is like the sister to the Truth Serum. So again, really high expectations for this light cream. Plus, I LOVE that it has SPF 15. I've been meaning to try an eye cream with sunscreen for a while.

7) Invigorating Night Treatment - Since I love my Truth Serum so much, I usually save it for nighttime only. So I'm really excited that I get to use that one for day and this Invigorating one for night. Reading the Amazon and Sephora reviews makes me even more excited to try it!

I will start using all of these products starting tomorrow Monday, July 20th in order to give you guys my honest opinion. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews! Have you tried any of these products? What do you think?

XO, Elena

Disclousure: These items were gifted to me by the OleHenriksen team for my honest reviews. I also wanted to add that I wouldn't be able to review these products if it weren't for you guys. Your comments and your continuous readership encourages me to keep creating content that we both love. 

 As cheesy as it sounds, it has been a dream come true and for that I truly thank you. 

Ole Henriksen

Walgreens Look Boutique and Sephora Haul

BeautyMaría Elena2 Comments

It's been a while since I've done a beauty haul, right? Let's get back to basics! I decided to gather everything that I've been buying these past months so I can show you what's being added to my beauty routine lately. Some of them I've tried, some of them I haven't, but I still wanted to show you what I got.

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga - It was 2 for $9 and I couldn't resist. You know the story. But being serious now, have you tried it? I've read that it actually makes your lashes look cartoon-ish. Don't know how I feel about that... 

NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm - I already started using this every night to replace my beloved Carmex. I feel like this is way gentler on my lips, but I still don't want to give it a full review until I've been using it for an entire month.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base - Bought this after watching one too many recommendations by Ingrid Nielsen on her Youtube channel. I still don't know if I love it more than Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion, but I'll get back to you soon. 

theBalm Liquid timeBalm Spot Concealer - A lady at Walgreens' Look Boutique got me into buying this because she said it was the most amazing thing for acne spots. It was on sale since it's supposedly being discontinued by the brand so I got two of them, of course. One for me and one for my sister (who has stress breakouts) and she loves it! I still haven't used it, but I should. Soon. 

 - Sephora 500 Points Perk - No Sephora purchase is complete without some extra goodies! You guys know I don't usually use these many points unless I LOVE it, so you must know how I feel about this one. I mean, look at all these Laura Mercier stuff! Who could've resist? The lipgloss is a lovely everyday color and the blush gives me a beautiful sun-kissed glow. I gave my sister the Tinted Moisturizer since I thought it was too greasy on my skin and I'm saving the primer for a special occasion since I've read so many good things about it.

What do you guys think? Have you gotten any of these products lately? Let me know your recommendations! :)

XO,

Elena

Stila, Anastasia & First Aid Beauty Haul

BeautyMaría ElenaComment

It is no secret how much I love to splurge on makeup, so the combination of me being sick at home and being bored with complete access to online shopping, is dangerous. Here's the end result:

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina - I have to say this was an impulse buy after browsing around Instagram and finding a picture of this amazing Kiley Jenner-ish lipstick. I immediately started stalking all pictures of this mauve color that I still didn't own with #StilaPatina... so catchy! But before we get into details, please note that I am not a fan of Kiley's ridiculously overdrawn lips, but I do have to admit I am a fan of her lip color choices. #NotSorry

  • Formulation: I'm not gonna lie, I was expecting a stain but it turns out this formulation is exactly what it says it is: a liquid lipstick. Although I cannot say it lives to its claim of "stay all day" I must say it stays on the lips for a good 3-4 hours top. 
  • First Impression: When you first put it on your lips, it feels like a more liquid version of a lipgloss, but then it slowly starts setting into a matte formulation without making your lips feel dry. 
  • Verdict: Love the formulation of this lipstick and Patina is the perfect shade to transition from winter to spring. Recommended!

Anastasia Brow Whiz - Like seriously, what real beauty blogger doesn't own this gem?! Of course I needed to get my hands on it! This is one of those things that I used to say "why would I need that when I have Mac's Espresso eye shadow and a good brow brush?". Boy was I wrong! I don't even know where to start... This is definitely not a gimmick, and once you start using it you will understand what all the buzz is about.

  • Formulation: The shade "Soft Brown" is perfect for my highlighted brunette hair, since it's noticeable yet subtle.
  • First Impression: This gives you the perfect natural brows without feeling overdrawn, something that usually happens with powders. Looking in the mirror, I could seriously tell the difference and how perfect they looked. And that little brush at the other end is a blessing from the skies! 
  • Verdict: We've officially reached "obsessed" status. This is a must have for everyone who OCD's over their eyebrows.

First Aid Beauty - After falling in love with their Facial Radiance Pads, I went ahead and purchased their Fab Faves To Go Kit and their lip balm to try some new products from them and get more toner pads! Here's what I think of each product: 

Face Cleanser

  • Formulation: I can agree with the website's description of its whipped formulation: "A mild face cleanser that feels luxurious". 
  • First Impression: I liked the creamy consistency, but I am not loving how it works with my Clarisonic Mia. I would love to see more foam. 
  • Verdict: Maybe this kind of cream cleansers doesn't work as well if you have oily skin... I still don't know if its giving me acne! Have any of you had this type of problem? 

Ultra Repair Cream

  • Formulation: This product is gentle enough so you can use it in your face. The website claims this product "delivers exceptional hydration and protection with no greasy petroleum". 
  • First Impression: It is very thick! It does what it claims, but I don't think I need this much hydration. 
  • Verdict: I like the consistency, but I don't suffer from dry skin so I gave it to my mom. I would definitely recommend it for someone with super dry skin. 

Ultra Repair Lip Therapy

  • Formulation: It is very thick and apparently has the same healing power as their Ultra Repair Cream. 
  • First Impression: Love the minty smell!! 
  • Verdict: Even though I don't dislike it, I'd rather stick to my trusty Carmex balm for my nighttime routine. 

Facial Radience Pads - If you would like to read what I think of the Facial Radiance Pads, visit this link

What do you think of this type of reviews? Let me know so I can keep doing them if you dig them. :)

Elena

Urban Decay Setting Spray and Naked Skin Foundation

BeautyMaría ElenaComment

I have a wedding tomorrow so... what does that mean? New makeup! This is the perfect excuse to go to my local Sephora and buy some quality long lasting makeup.

After reading so many good reviews, I decided to go for Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup to see if the hype was worth it. I also ended up buying their All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.

I decided to test these out on a normal work day and let me tell you, this combination is perfect! My makeup lasted flawlessly for a whole day. The only con that I could say about it is that my skin got a little shiny at the end of the day, but I controlled it using my Chanel Powder and boom! I looked like I had just done my makeup.

I'll let you know how it goes after the wedding tomorrow. ;)