Lola's Summer Beauty Picks - Smile Brilliant

Each summer, I look for the best health and beauty products to maintain the perfect summer looks. This summer, I’ve decided to start my journey for my upcoming wedding and am giving my teeth the care they need. For the perfect smile without the hassle, Smile Brilliant’s at-home teeth whitening kit is top on my summer beauty list.

Read More

Smile Bright With Smile Brilliant + Giveaway

There are a million reasons as to why we (people) should venture into teeth whitening. I recently partnered with Smile Brilliant, a company founded by a dental professional, to bring high-quality teeth whitening to your own home for a fraction of the price. After years of trying every product on the market, I opted to give Smile Brilliant a chance to help rid of my fabulous coffee stains.

The Smile Brilliant system is very simple from what I've read and I've just begun. I received my impression molds on Monday and immediately brushed and flossed once it was opened. As pictured to the right, the kit comes with 6 Teeth Whitening Gel syringes, 6 Desentizing Gel syringes, 3 Base Pastes, 3 Catalyst Pastes, and 2 plastic trays for your dental impressions, as well as a consent form and pre-paid envelope. Now for the fun stuff.

Essentially, you should only need two sets of paste for your molds, but a third is given if you make a mistake (like me 😫). You mix one Base Paste and 1 Catalyst Paste until the product is completely blue. I learned if you roll the paste right before molding it into the trays that it's easier to work with. Once the paste is in the mold (do one at a time), you simply press the tray into your mouth (I strongly recommend having paper towels close by). Hold the mold in the mouth with your fingers for about 2.5 minutes or until firm. If you're like me and have TMJ, it may be uncomfortable, but my friend had no issues with it. Once the paste feels firm, take it out, wipe your drool, and repeat with the bottom tray. When you take it out, you should be able to see your entire dental map. If not, try again with the remaining paste and repeat.

Teeth molds after creating impressions. 

Teeth molds after creating impressions. 

Once that was done, I let them dry and rinsed with cold water, and dried again. As of this morning, my dental imprints are in route to Missouri and I'll receive my whitening molds in about a week or so. Of course, this is just the first installment of Lola's Brilliant Journey and will be updated accordingly. In the mean time, I have some great things to talk about!

Smile Brilliant and I are giving away a teeth-whitening kit to a few lucky followers! I've included the link here for you to enter to win your own kit.

But wait!

Use my code: Luxelikelola, for 5% OFF a Smile Brilliant system.

Keep an eye out because I'll be posting on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter my whitening journey.

Happy whitening!

Amuse Bouche Lipstick Challenge

Happy Spring!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve started cleaning out your makeup collection to make room for a few new staples. This past month, I’ve been testing out the Bite Beauty's Amuse Bouche Lipsticks I received through my partner, Influenster. Let’s get down to business.

What I Love

·      The texture is super creamy and has a fab taste (no, it’s not edible)

·      The formula features 12 edible oils, vitamins, and omega oils

·      Bold in color (even the nudes!)

·      May not be 12-hr wear (for me), but it’s long lasting

What I Don’t Love

·      Tends to bleed (even with a liner)

·      Has an after-taste

·      Totally not coffee-proof

I actually really like this formula, a bit more than my MAC lipsticks, but it’s more for an every-day look. My MAC products tend to be more on the ‘going-out’ side, but I’ve now got colors and a formula that I can swap out with, without having chalky lips. I think that’s what really drove me to keep using the Bite Beauty lipsticks, especially since my lips absorb moisture like a sponge and dry out easily. If you want to try Bite Beauty's Amuse Bouche Lipstick, check out Sephora.com or visit your local Sephora. For $26, a little goes a LONG way (trust me). 

Highly recommend!

Also, if you don’t follow me on Instagram (@laprincesalola), I’ve been posting from time to time, featuring the colors I’ve tested. Lately, I’ve been sporting:

·      Gazpacho (an orange-red)

·      Pepper (a mauve nude)

·      Beetroot (deep burgundy with blue undertones). 

 

Ciao! 

 

After a long day at the 2016 International Beauty Show in NYC. I'm wearing Gazpacho.

After a long day at the 2016 International Beauty Show in NYC. I'm wearing Gazpacho.

Lola's Beauty Fix - My Go-To Hair & Nail Salons

It’s not every day that I treat myself to the spa or a beauty session. However, the last two months have been quite special for many reasons (newsflash, my birthday is next weekend). Between the hard work I’ve been putting in and trying to lead my career in a path to call my own, I felt it was only necessary to venture back into the salons for a few necessities.

Read More

Lola's Daily Beauty Routine

Beauty products change more often than I change my go-to foundation. This summer, I've sat down to review my skin, hair, and makeup routines to find what suits me best. Below, I've listed my favorites (keep in mind, everyone has different preferences!).

Skin Cleanse 

  • Daily- Clearasil Facial Cleanser (generic formula works too) w/ my Clarisonic Mia2 or wash cloth (I use microfiber)
  • Weekly-  Mario Badescu Foaming Cleanser w/ my Clarisonic Mia2
  • Makeup Removal - Target's Shea Butter baby wipes (these literally take EVERYTHING off my face) 

Hair

Typically, I was my hair every 3-4 days (if I straighten it, I can go a little longer by putting it in a bun #curlyproblems).

Cleansing Products

  • Suave Rosemary &  Mint Shampoo and Conditioner (every day brand)
  • 1x Weekly - Design Essentials Quinoa &  Bamboo treatment  

Hair Products  

  • Lush R&B (used when straightening, about a nickel size; quarter size for curls)
  • Eco-styler gel  

Makeup  

So, on the daily, you will find me either in Garnier Frutis' Miracle Skin Protector (Light/Medium) or L'Oreal True Match Mineral Foundation in Buff Beige (or Natural Buff, depending on my mood). I usually start with either of these and add my ELF Studio 50 Palette (I really only use the bronzer and blush in this one).

For the eyes, I run to my NYC pencil liner or Maybelline Master Drama, both in black, topped off with either Too Faced's 'Better Than Sex' or Maybelline's Illegal Lengths mascara. Lips, eh, I figure that out as my day goes along, but I typically stick to a classic nude or pink shade by MAC (or whatever I find in my purse, because the makeup fairy knows there is ALWAYS something in there).

For my daily routine, I try to keep it the same, with small alterations in between. But for the most part, you'll find me totally casual unless I have an event - that's when the good stuff comes out!

Beauty by Latina Magazine - New Products!

After attending Latina Magazine's first Beaty, Hair, and Wellness Expo, I have to say, I didn't expect to walk away with fabulous products. Below, I've listed some of the brands I chatted, consulted, and did business with. I must say, I shocked myself!

*Note: I am NOT sponsored by any of these brands. I purchased all items with my own money.*

Some of the goodies I snagged! 

Some of the goodies I snagged! 

  • Milani Cosmetics
  • Shea Moisture
  • Carol's Daughter
  • Design Essentials
  • Monat
  • Taliah Waajid
My best friend and I preparing to search for the next best thing!  My Makeup  Face: MAC Stuido Sculpt (NC20), MAC Golden Bronzer, MAC Peaches blush  Eyes: Maybelline Master Drama in Midnight Master (liner); TOO Faced Better Than Sex (mascara)  Lips: ELF Plump & Prime; MAC Heronine Lip Pencil & Lipstick

My best friend and I preparing to search for the next best thing!

My Makeup

Face: MAC Stuido Sculpt (NC20), MAC Golden Bronzer, MAC Peaches blush

Eyes: Maybelline Master Drama in Midnight Master (liner); TOO Faced Better Than Sex (mascara)

Lips: ELF Plump & Prime; MAC Heronine Lip Pencil & Lipstick

Trying the Coconut Monoi Masque after I finish the Quinoa & Bamboo treatment!

Trying the Coconut Monoi Masque after I finish the Quinoa & Bamboo treatment!

When I saw their booth at the expo, I was a little skeptical. I had, in all honesty, never come into contact with this brand in the past. Not an article. Not a review. Not even on my local Target's shelves. But after a little chat with a representative and nudge by a friend, I opted to give DE a chance. 

If you've followed me over social media, you've probably noticed my hair goes through phases. After years, and I mean ages 10 to 22 (present), I've dyed, ironed, bleached, you name it, I've probably done it, to my hair. I regret all of these things, so any product or system that would help me is greatly appreciated. Well, the Quinoa Bamboo Strengthening & Repair collection has done the trick - and it's only week 2!

I purchased the Quinoa Bamboo system and have already seen a difference. It's recommended to do it once (1x) a week because of the amount of protein. Typically, I shed like a dog, but I've seen minimal shedding, my curls are holding, and my hair simply feels 10x better. 

Carol's Daughter

This brand has been a staple in my household for years. Being Latina, my hair likes to change and not play nice from time to time, but this product has allowed me to live my life and keep somewhat of a normal hair care routine. Below, I've outlined some of my favorite products and a new item I picked up at the expo. 

 

image.jpg

Monoi

The Monoi collection has been and probably always will be, a necessity in my bathroom. I've been using the Monoi Repairing shampoo and conditioner, which were top products at the expo. Each time I use this product, my hair is soft, smooth, and is just simply perfect (it's something you have to feel to understand).

 

 

Taliah Waajid

So, this product I was very iffy  about. The gentleman on the sales floor was very knowledgeable and really eased my nerves. I've been around beauty for quite a while, but I was willing to try something new for MY hair type. Thus, I splurged just a little on Taliah Waajid's kit. 

  • Curl Sealer - Just a small amount of this product WILL hold your curls in place all day. I didn't have to add any extra gel or sprays to my hair and I went a good 3-4 days without having to wash and restyle. Simply use a spray bottle with some water to reactivate the product. Oh, and there's no flakes or stickiness like traditional gel.
  • The Great Detangler - A quarter size of this conditioner is perfect for any hair type. It left my hair shiny, soft, and easy to finger-comb (yes, if you have curly hair or have ethnic hair, this is a method the reduces breakage). 
  • Clean N Curly - If you have curly hair, you more than likely have dry hair. For me, I have oily hair, but this product worked perfectly fine for me. The protein promotes growth and strength, but the other ingredients also cleanse the hair without harsh chemicals. 
  • Hairline Help - Okay, if you are Latina and it's the summer (or just feeling lazy like me), you reach for the pinchos and hair tie for a quick bun. But with this go-to style, there's a lot of pulling of the edges that create the classic look. Just a small marble-like amount (warm up by rubbing your fingers), should be applied from the hairline. HOWEVER, it will melt, so I advise keeping it in the fridge. 


video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more

Mario Basescu Meets Lola's Skin

I recently tried a new facial cleanser by Mario Badescu. Because of my ever-changing skin, I opted for the Glycolic Foaming Cleanser (found at Ulta - $16) and this is what I found.

I've been using the cleanser with my Clarisonic Mia 2, which has been absolutely fantastic. However, I have noticed that I do get dry patches at times. This could very well be due to my over-use (it's recommended 1-2x per week), but hey, it leaves my skin feeling fabulous! I particularly enjoy this product after a day of heavy make-up usage. Not only does it get the leftover particles my makeup remover wipes left, but it feels like I didn't have anything on my skin all day! Very fresh, fun, and clean.

Overall, I have to give this product 4 of 5 stars.

Curly Whirly to Smooth and Silky

According to the back of my new Mizani Thermasmooth hair care system, I have Type III or Type IV curly hair. As someone who avidly straightened her hair as a child, the damage has become quite significant. But a colleague of mine gave me the system because she ovbiously had no use for it (her Mongolian hair has a little wave, but she said it was better suited for me). That being said, I've begun to use it and here are my thoughts. 

Using several "smoothing" products, I've never found one that was truly 'The One.' I washed my hair earlier with the Thermasmooth shampoo and conditioner and then applied their Smoothing Serum to it while damp. I don't feel a difference in my hair (it feels slightly smooth, but nothing crazy), but the curls look pretty tamed. But there's only one true test of the product and that is through straightening. 

After about three (3) hours of air drying, I finally got around to using my Paul Mitchell straightener (ceramic plates!) Because of how my hair is, it takes about half an hour to straighten (nothing in comparison to the previous two hours of straightening when I was in secondary school). I must say, the heat protectant the Thermasmooth system came with isn't so bad, but we shall see it's durability over the next 48 hours. 

 

My Transition to M.A.C.

Just like the seasons, I change my foundation routine based on my skin. I recently switched to a MAC foundation after my boyfriend surprised me with a gift card. Holidays + gifts + MAC... What's a girl to do?

After trying on various foundation formulas, the makeup artist notices my skin wouldn't grab their Pro-longwear foundation, nor their others. I guess my skin is hard-headed, but that's not my fault (I blame genetics). Finally, MAC's Studio Sculpt glided across my face with no problems. Since making my purchase, I've used the foundation twice and I LOVE IT! The scent is amazing and so is the coverage (perfect if you have yellow undertones).

By using this foundation, I have enabled myself to create a thinner facial frame. What does this mean? Since the formula is absorbs right into my pores, I am able to set it lightly with a translucent powder (I use ELF's High Definition Powder in Yellow). Not only does it lock in the foundation, but it makes contouring and applying blush a breeze!

So far, this has to be one of my favorite foundations thus far, but as time progresses, I will keep my reviews up to date. I've used several other liquid foundations, but they all seem to be 'cakey' and although I enjoy a full-face, they have been too much for me. I think I'll stick this one out and see what $32 gets me over the next month or so.

Strut Your Stuff With Confidence In Europe

Over the last three years, I've asked myself what I see as my strengths. Are my eyes captivating? Does my shape compliment my personality? Why am I walking into a salon? Well, beauty is what you make of it and as someone who is in-between sizes and personalities, I have a story just for you.

While traveling to Prague, Czech Republic, I kept in mind the various aspects of European culture. It had been some time since I had traveled and was unsure of what stores I'd come across and how the people would judge me. But to my surprise, I learned many things about the Czech people and this is what I want you to take away. And even though there's not a lot of shopping for those of us who are a tad bigger, the respect was something I valued much higher than here in the States.

I've never been one to wear a bikini. No, just a simple tankini or a fitted one-piece. But when I traveled to The Czech Republic and Croatia, I learned something new -- there's a 'no judgment' zone. Yes, I was not criticized for wearing a bikini to the beautiful waterpark in Prague nor while walking the rocky beaches of Split, Croatia. And to my surprise, I took that and owned it. Never did I think I would feel comfortable in a bikini, but I took a look around and saw some...questionable....attire, which made me feel better about myself. And with that, I listened for comments and there weren't any (at least, not that I could understand), but none from my college group with Bus2Alps. And here's what 20+ college students and local European students taught me.

 

- Some areas of Europe tend to cater to women with curves  (helloooooo The New Yorker)

- Busy Czech moms want to feel free too (I never want to see a thong-bikini again) 

- The Croats actually admired the confidence of their guests  

- Not all college-aged women are close minded  

- Bring your own swimwear (apparently large sizes sell out and there are no returns/exchanges) 

- The Czech eat like Americans (except for fast food, but the locals love big appetites)

- I had a supportive friend from Slovakia picked out my Croatia wardrobe (complete with shorts, dresses, flirty tops, and so much more!) 

- Europe is like America, except, to my knowledge and experience, don't 'fat-shame.'

- Though there's not a ton of attractive men, the ones in the area appreciate someone with an appetite.