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May 2017 Favorites

Beauty, LifestyleMaría Elena RodríguezComment
may beauty favorites

If I could sum up May in one word, I would say "hectic". Between mother's day, my sister's birthday, two career profiles in the making and my very first event, #OfflineSaturdays, on top of my weekly posts and day job, this has been a crazy month. But don't worry, I have been able to stay on track of all my beauty and favorites, and most importantly, back into my healthy habits that I will share with you guys bellow. 

Ole Henriksen Transforming Walnut Scrub

I talked about this during last month's haul and it is so worth it! It literally cleans my pores like a charm. I would even say better than Biore strips! 

The only down side is that I really don't enjoy the smell, which to me is nothing like walnuts. But the good part is that even though this is a high end product, just little bit goes a long way!

Grab it here.

Wet N' Wild Photo Focus Concealer Wand

Wet N' Wild should be my favorite as a brand because I keep finding so many amazing products by them lately! This is not a super full coverage concealer, but it is just perfect for daily use. Highly recommended. Grab it here

As I said in last month's favorite, and such as the concealer, this is such a perfect every day highlighter. It's subtle but dewy!

Grab it here.

Josie Maran SPF Protect and Perfect

I really really thought I wasn't going to like the tinted version of my favorite SPF. But it turns out I like it even more. Since the coverage is slim to none, it's perfect for those no-makeup day, where having a little bit of coverage gives you a little bit of extra confidence.

Grab it here.

Crossfit & Apple Watch

After almost three months hardly working out, I bounced back to my fitness routine with none other than Crossfit! I started Crossfit a few years ago, but decided to quit because it's so expensive, but mostly because of pure laziness. I wish I had never left because I wouldn't be so sore now! Plus, it is such a great workout and every time I start my day with this type of workout I've notice that I'm so much more productive! 

But in order to get pumped into starting my fitness routine again, I decided to purchase an Apple Watch. But if you've been following me for a while, you will know that I have a love hate relationship with fitness trackers. But hear me out: I'm an Apple freak and I cannot lie. I knew I was going to end up purchasing it, and to be really honest, it has helped me stay motivated in a very low key way. 

Remember when I talked about May being such a hectic month? Yeah, it was mostly because of this event. It felt like a marathon from the moment I randomly decided to create it. From looking for a venue, a host, sponsors and even buying utensils! It was all crazy while having a full time job and running a blog at the same time, but it was so worth it! By far, one of the most rewarding experience so far! I still can't believe I had the guts to do this. 

My plan is to host an Offline Saturdays every last Saturday of eachmonth, but since I will be out of town most of June, our next Offline Saturday will take place this next July, 29. Mark your calendars! Don't forget to join the Facebook group so you stay on track of everything that will be going on! 

That's it for May! What were your May favorites?

Until next time, 
María Elena

March Favorites | 2017

Lifestyle, BeautyMaría Elena RodríguezComment
march favorites 2017

Shop the Picture:

Casemate iPhone Cover | Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette | Wet N' Wild Photo Focus Foundation | Meaningful Growth Planner | The Code of the Extraordinary Mind | Kindle | La Línea Boutique Maxi Dress | Triangle Trio Necklace

Surprisingly, I haven't experimented that much with makeup this month. I have been letting my skin breath quite a bit, since it has been looking kind of dull lately. Nevertheless, I've been wearing two makeup products whenever I go out and you will see bellow why I'm loving them so much!

March has been a lot more about reconnecting with myself and getting back into my reading routine instead of just browsing around my phone until I fall asleep, which has been causing me the most horrible migraines. But 'nough rambling! Here are my March favorites. Enjoy!

Wet n' Wild Foundation

I decided to try this Wet N' Wild Photofocus Foundation once [Queen] Tati Westbrook recommended it on Youtube. I gave you a little sneak peek about my new found love on this Instagram post and here is the end result: It is by far, one of the best foundations I have ever tried. I've been wearing it everyday and can't stop recommending it to everyone, even though it is a shade or two darker than my skin tone. If that doesn't tell you how much I love it, I don't know what will. 

Gotta say Wet N' Wild is ki-lling it these days! It would've never crossed my mind just how good a $5.99 foundation could be. 

Meaningful Growth Planner

meaningful growth planner
meaningful growth planner
meaningful growth planner

Back when I interviewed Zahira Domenech for one of my first career profiles, she gave me a little hint about this planner that she was designing. So it felt a little surreal once I finally had it in my hands. From the packaging to the covers and paper quality, everything is so well-thought and designed, that I remembered exactly why I admire Zahira Domenech so much. This woman is fearless and she doesn't stop until she gets what she wants!

The Meaningful Growth Planner is all about getting to know yourself, being a little more mindful with your everyday life and scheduling your weeks according to your life's plan and purpose. I really enjoyed filling out what I'm thankful for, my goals, strengths and weaknesses. It has really helped me be more conscious (in a totally good way!) about my purpose in life, since it's the perfect combination of an agenda and a guided journal. 

The planners are currently sold out, but follow them on Instagram (here) so you're the first to know once they're available for the second batch of the year. 

If you're interested in knowing more about Zahira and her work, you can check out her career profile here and her 23 tips to have a more organized life here

If you're somehow scared of red eye shadow like I am, this is the perfect palette for you. It is a true blend of warm toned neutrals that you can use to be as sophisticated or as edgy as you'd like. Some people really don't like the peachy smell, but I personally don't mind. Also, the mirror in this palette is ideal for doing your makeup on the go. 

I'm not a huge Too Faced buyer (apart from the Better Than Sex Mascara, which is A-MAZING), but after trying this beautiful and super blendable eye shadows, I know I will be checking out more products. 

Grab the Too Faced Peach Palette here

Casemate iPhone 7 Plus Cover

Have you ever decided for a cellphone cover before you purchased your actual phone? I have! 🙋🏻. I knew I wanted a silver iPhone because it would go perfectly with this Casemate iPhone cover I saw online. I mean, look at it! Can you judge me?

Grab a similar one here. It's on sale! 

I've been having some massive headaches this month and I'm 99.9% positive it has to do with the blue light in my phone. I'm too used to sleeping with my phone in my hand and it's been backfiring me. So I've been trying to get back into my reading habits and giving some much needed love to my Kindle

I downloaded The Code of the Extraordinary Mind back in November and I finally got back to it these past few weeks, not because it was boring, but because the last months of 2016 were one of my busiest ever. If you know someone who is pretty negative or that is going through a difficult time, this would be a perfect gift! The book is all about how there are some "models of reality" that are put in our lives by society and family members, that don't necessarily have to be our truths. It's all about how you can create your own reality by bending the rules. The rebel inside me is having a field day with this book. 

Grab The Code of the Extraordinary Mind here

Grab a Kindle here -- I have the classic Kindle, but I can't wait to purchase the Kindle Paperwhite

La Línea Boutique

la linea boutique maxi dress

When Alexandra Ruiz, one of my co-workers told me about her new online store, La Linea Boutique, I knew I was going to love it. She has always had amazing style and a great attitude towards everything. No wonder she's an advertising account executive! 

I wore this beautiful red maxi (almost sold out!) last Saturday for a STEM Events brunch and the Saks Fifth Avenue Anniversary in the Mall of San Juan and many people stopped me to talk about my dress. It is definetely a statement piece, specially if you wear it with a big chunky necklace like this one

La Línea Boutique also carries beautiful dainty jewelry (my jam!) and I have been wearing non-stop this beautiful triangle trio

The word is spreading fast so I would suggest you grab your favorite pieces ASAP! I already have my eye on this sundress

diy Flower Arrangements

Picture provided by  STEM Events

Picture provided by STEM Events

Picture provided by  STEM Events

Picture provided by STEM Events

When Osvaldo Martir invited me to this flower arrangement workshop in La Social in Condado hosted by STEM Events I knew I was in! If you know me personally or have been following for a while now, you know how much I love fresh flowers. 

From left to right: Perla Sofía Curbelo from  Agrochic , Anabelle Barranco,  STEM Events  co-owner, Sandra Lobos from  The Decor Hunter  and yours truly wearing a  La Línea Boutique dress .   Picture provided by  STEM Events

From left to right: Perla Sofía Curbelo from Agrochic, Anabelle Barranco, STEM Events co-owner, Sandra Lobos from The Decor Hunter and yours truly wearing a La Línea Boutique dress

Picture provided by STEM Events

Anabelle Barranco, Co-Owner and Creative Director at STEM Events hosted a flower arrangements workshop to a group of bride to be's, editors and fellow bloggers. I really enjoyed learning how to create the perfect composition of flowers and how to correctly cut a flower stem. 

My plan for April is to buy more fresh flowers and start arranging them as new creative outlet. It's so much fun and as I told you in my Instagram post, this was not as easy as I thought! 



What did you love about March? Let me know in the comments bellow. 

Until next time, 

María Elena

Top 5 Cruelty-Free Brands at the Drugstore

BeautyMaría Elena RodríguezComment
best cruelty free products

I've been postponing this blog post for a while now because this cruelty-free journey hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be in the first place. I've had to cut off ties with several beauty and makeup brands because even though they may claim to be cruelty-free, resources like Peta, Cruelty-Free Kitty and The Leaping Bunny disagrees and I won't compromise my credibility for a pretty shade of lipstick. I'll just patiently wait until these brands update their policies to 100% cruelty-free, which they will. And I'm writing this right after I found out Stila Cosmetics just gained back their cruelty-free status, which makes me so, so happy! 

My point is that it has been frustrating at times, which is why I talked a little bit about it on my January Favorites. But one of the toughest things about going cruelty-free is that most of the main drugstore brands do test on animals, so I've had a hard time researching and getting to know these new brands that I would've otherwise ignored. Luckily, Cruelty-Free Kitty has an awesome list of the cruelty-free brands that you can find at the drugstore, which has helped me a lot during this one and a half year of being a more ethical beauty buyer. 

That's why I decided to make your life a little easier and give you my top 5 cruelty-free drugstore brands so you can have a much budget friendly beauty hauls. Enjoy! 

NYX Cosmetics 

I've talked about my obsession with their brow pencil here. I am also obsessed with their lip products, because they are simply amazing! I also can't wait to try their Pore Filler which people claim it can be a Benefit's Porefessional dupe as well as their new Total Control Foundation which could be a nice drugstore dupe for Cover FX's Cover Drops. Their Concealer Wand is apparently a good dupe for the Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer as well. Sadly, I can't find any of these last two in Puerto Rico, so please help me out if you know of a place! 

best nyx cosmetics beauty products


To be really honest, I used to ignore this brand until I became cruelty-free and saw Tati talking about it on her Youtube Channel. I've heard amazing things about their blushes and highlighters. But the one I can't wait to get my hands on is their Conceal and Perfect Foundation! Apparently it is the best drugstore foundation but sadly, I also can't find it anywhere in Puerto Rico! I guess I'll have to order it online... 

best milani cosmetics products


Even though I didn't pay as much attention to this brand before going cruelty-free, their prices never failed to amaze me! I remember seeing all that cheap makeup in Kmart and asking myself: "Could it be any good?"  And it is! I still have like three of their $0.99 brushes, which have lasted me more than two Sephora branded ones I purchased a few years ago. This brand is highly underrated and I will continue to purchase their products to give you better reviews coming soon. 

best elf cosmetics products

Wet N' Wild 

Another brand I used to take for granted, and you know what? Now it's one of my favorites! Their nail polishes and matte lipsticks are ridiculously long lasting! And to be super honest, yesterday I saw this video of Tati recommending their new Photo Focus Foundation and I went to Walgreens right after work and purchased it. Because #priorities. 

best wet n wild beauty products

Eco Tools 

I've wanted MAC makeup brushes for a long time, but I never end up buying them because the quality of my EcoTools is just as good! I can honestly say that I have thrown away only one of my brushes and it was just because it became moldy from washing them the wrong way. I can't recommend these enough, so I've put a list bellow of my favorites and the ones on my wish list:

best ecotools products

Please notice that these are not all the cruelty-free brands at the drugstore, these are just the ones that I reach for the most. Hope it gave you a clear guide into your cruelty-free journey!

As always, don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter and answer these few questions if you haven't yet. 

Until next time, 
María Elena