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Best & Worst Cruelty-Free Products of January 2017

BeautyMaría Elena RodríguezComment
january 2017 beauty favorites

The Brush | The Eyeshadow | The Highlighter The Mascara The Blush | The Cleanser | The Nailpolish | The Rosewater Spray The CC Cream | The Perfume

Yup! January is almost over, guys. How are those new years resolutions going? I had to do it. lol. #SorryNotSorry

Now, on a more serious note, I decided to mix it up for you guys with my favorite and least favorite beauty products from January 2017. Because you will see by the end of this post that I was really not happy with some purchases and I really wanted you guys to know so you don't waste your precious money. 

You could say that I discovered this by accident. I was going through my makeup looking for a clean foundation brush since my go-to was too dirty. This is a brush I used to use as contouring, but I figured it could be just as good, and boy was I right! If you are looking for a full coverage makeup look, use this brush. It will give your complexion the most flawless finish. I am actually enjoying it more than my Beauty Blender and THAT is a lot to say. 

Grab it here

Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio

smashbox photo op eyeshadow trio swatches

I am trying to stay away from my comfort zone and use darker tones in my eyes instead of my basic rose gold eyeshadow. Started wearing this when I got it as a sample in a 500 Points Perk at Sephora and I'm loving it. You can easily go from day to night with these colors, which are very long lasting!

BUT: Sadly, I was having a little bit of a confusion with Smashbox Cosmetics being cruelty-free.  Even though Peta says they actually don't test on animals, my go-to resource, Cruelty-Free Kitty says they do.  Smashbox even intercepted a Twitter conversation with this tweet. What do you guys think?

This is one of the many reasons why I am going to be writing a blog post on my struggles being cruelty-free soon, so make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter! 

Why didn't I try this earlier in my life?! This is one of those products you just have to try. This is the perfect highlighter for my yellow undertones skintone. It doesn't look shimmery, just perfect and glowy. In other words, #JloGlow. Yas

Grab yours here

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara

You know those sample mascaras you have laying around in your drawer and that you hardly ever use? This used to be one of them (I guess the faded packaging gave that away already, lol). I was ignoring it until, you guessed it, I Konmari'd my room and decided to use everything that I hadn't yet. And just like that BOOM! Found my favorite everyday mascara. 

I know it's high-end, but I've talked about tartecosmetics.com's awesome deals here. ;) But if you don't want to wait for one of those, you can buy it here

Nars Blush in Goulue (Sephora VIB Rouge Exclusive)

The perfect blush if Nars' Orgasm is too light for you. I already did a mini review in my September 2016 Favorites. If you are a VIB Rouge, grab yours here

I have been using this for the past month instead of my Glossier Milky Jelly since I ran out and I must say it is just as good, but with a fragrance. 

Sadly, this is another product that I just found out via Cruelty-Free Kitty that is not cruelty-free. I need to rely more on my girl Suzi instead of Peta, guys! 

The perfect every day nail polish: Not too pink, not too white. I've been wearing this almost for the entire month of January. And you know I'm a sucker for packaging so I am loving that logo! 😍

Grab yours here

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Did you really think I would go through a favorites post without mentioning a rosewater spray? But now seriously, I've been trying a lot of them these past months and let me tell you that all facial sprays are basically the same.

I am recommending this one because it is just $7! Grab it here

It Cosmetics CC Cream with SPF 50

I honestly debated putting this on my favorites because, look at it! It looks disgusting and I hate when my makeup's packaging fades. But, it is an amazing CC cream with great SPF coverage and I do believe it is worth your money. Will I be buying it again? Probably in a near future but I won't be adding it to my everyday makeup bag because ugh 😡.

Grab yours here

I used to be a super sweet perfume kind of girl until I started trying out more masculine and mosky scents at Sephora. There's just something so sexy about wearing this type of perfume...

So this Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon has officially become my signature going out scent. Because I feel sexy AF every time I wear this. I am sharing this with you guys but I am so self centered that I really don't want this to become a popular at Sephora. Hey, I can't be the only one who hates smelling different like everyone else?!

Grab it here

The Worst:

worst makeup of january 2017

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

I really had high hopes for this one, but it's so average. I mean, it's good, but after 2-3 coats of mascara and for me, that is a huge waste of money. Just don't. 

Bye Bye Under Eye Anti Aging Concealer

I thought this was a OK concealer until I recently took my passport photo and I had reverse raccoon eyes.

Needless to say, this does not work well with flash photography. You've been warned.

Tarteist Creamy Matte & Glossy Lip Paint

Ok so this is really embarrassing and I feel horrible, because my sister actually gave me this for my birthday. I actually asked her for permission to post this because I really didn't want to hurt her feelings. Sorry Pao! 😣 

I was so excited to use and love these, but what a DISASTER. I am talking about having clown makeup through the entire day because these wouldn't stick to my lips. 'Nough said? 

That's it! Hope you liked this month's best and worst. Let me know in the comments bellow which products you would like me to review next so I can start testing them asap. 

Until next time, 

María Elena

Please don't forget to share this post with your friends if you liked it and subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss a blog post. 

Products Mentioned:

These Sephora Deals are Perfect for Advanced Christmas Shopping + Tips

Beauty, ShoppingMaría Elena RodríguezComment

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Bet you read the title of this post and thought I was cray cray! But please stay with me and you'll thank me later:

I don't know if it's the fact that my entire career experience has revolved around jobs in which I have to be extra organized, but I love playing with Google Docs. I use them to keep track of my travel schedules, create shopping lists and even keep track of my budget. I know, it's a little insane, but it makes me feel so good about myself! Like I have my s**t together. 

So when it comes to Christmas shopping, this is no exception. I already have my Google Docs ready with each person I need to buy a gift for divided into groups: family, friends and co-workers. And yes, I know it is only mid-September, but look at it as a way to budget yourself in peace and buy everything without the Shopping frenzy of Christmas season. Woot, woot! 

That's why I decided to share with you guys the first sales I've found that could really help you start making your Christmas Shopping, just in time for Sephora's Extra Points Event, which will run until this Saturday, September 17, 2016. You probably already clicked around my top pics at the beginning of this blog post, but if you haven't, check them out! I already have most of these in my shopping cart. And the best part? They're all cruelty-free! 

Shop My Top Cruelty-Free Picks:

Ambinity's Sephora Insider Tip: 

In my experience as a VIB, I've found that Sephora's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are basically the same deals they have on their Sales section all year long. The only difference is that they over-hype them in order to boost sales.

I’ve found that Sephora’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are basically the same deals they have on their Sales section all year long.


If I were you, I would start making that Christmas Shopping list and take care of your loved ones first so you can splurge on yourself for Black Friday. ;) 

Until next next time!

María Elena


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! :)