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.

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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.

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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. 

 

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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. 


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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. 

 

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.

 

 

Tisk or That - Contouring

In a style and looks-obsessed society, we all want to look our best, right? What if I told you that you could look your best without spending tons of money on cosmetics and products?

Society has us believing that we have to spend so much on the latest YSL or TooFaced products (guilty as charged!). Fortunately, you don't have to. But because of how our minds work, we have become fascinated with the latest contouring trends or even how to do our hair to make our face  appear slimmer. Why is this so? And what do we really get from it?

As a chronic contour individual, I've spoken with a friend of mine who has strong opinions on the art. My best friend, Shianti, has been doing makeup for about five (5) years and has been yelling at me for mine for the last three. She says contouring isn't necessary, but there are some who feel the need to contour each day. Shianti recommends that if you find it necessary to contour, to do so with a darker foundation, not bronzer (oops!). But because of how she views the technique, she encourages women not to contour; she believes it adds to the "thin face" desire, which she doesn't promote. Me? I love the look of it and the depth it adds to the look. However, that's besides the point.

What's the verdict?

Based on preference, go ahead and contour girl! Use what I call the '3' method, starting at the upper temple, bring down to the hollows of the cheek and then to the jaw. It works for me and I feel warm and fuzzy all day!

Happy, Healthy ORGANIX Hair

For the past few years, my hair regimen has been moved around and changed so much that I couldn't tell you when I last purchased a particular product. Within the last year, I have been using Organix hair products and have seen a dramatic difference. Organix is a company that prides itself on being sulfate, paraben, and gluten free. Not only are their products healthy for your hair, but they give you a whole new look!

         Okay, so why am I writing this post? Because I want my readers to make educated decisions to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am currently using the Macadamia Oil shampoo and conditioner and I absolutely love it. My hair is soft, my curls are in tact, and I have an everlasting clean and fresh feeling in my hair.  In the past I have used the Brazilian Keratin Therapy line, as well as Biotin & Collagen, and pieces from the Tea Tree Mint and Awapuhi Ginger collection. With all of their products, I have never had anything negative to say about them.

      Do I think Organix is a good investment? Yes I do. Would I continue to purchase their products? Of course! I am honestly tired of companies advertising that their products are non-drying and are healthy for your hair when not only me, but friends and family have used the same products and had the same outcome. There is no turning back once you begin to use Organix and right now, I am torn between Organix and DevaCurl (which is also amazing). My advice: Purchase the trial kits of the Organix line you'd like to purchase and go from there. One line may not work for everyone, but it's sure worth a try.

       Happy hair hunting and live healthy and happy!

XOXO

Check out their website!

Image was taken from Google Images.

Rimmel London - Stay Matte Foundation Review

The recent Influenster #VoxBox contains some pretty cool basics for the average college student or young adult. Personally, my favorite is the Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. Yes, it's probably because I'm a girl who loves makeup, but the coverage of this product in my opinion is FAB!

   In a rush to class the other day, I hadn't put any makeup on and my face was breaking out on my cheek. So, because I couldn't find my BB cream, I went to my VoxBox and took the bottle out. Now, I will say that it was a little dark (probably because my profile isn't updated), but it did justice. After blending it with a stippling brush for about 2 minutes, I got it where I wanted it and was on my way. Since it is lightweight, I didn't feel heavy and it wasn't shiny (hence matte). I will continue to use this product when I get a little tanner (because it's like three or four shades too dark), but I have a great feeling about the product.

  Over all love or leave: Love (minus the shade being off in my box). It has great coverage and lasts for hours. I didn't need a setting powder and it's easy to build on top of. Totally recommend.

Oil Pullling: Does is Really Work?

Lately I've been hearing about this craze of "oil pulling." Now, it sounds odd, but that's because it is. It's considered alternative medicine and apparently can increase your health. But, as someone who has a medical history, I've tried everything to get my body back to normal after having a stroke in 2010. So today I decided that since my feeds are full of this 'trend,' that I would give it a try.

    Using 1-2 teaspoons of oil (I used Olive Oil, but Coconut is recommended), swish it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Yes, it is a tad time consuming. Now, considering I wish I had Coconut Oil in my presence, the taste of olive oil was not exactly pleasant (bare with me, the taste goes away after a while). After swishing it around, it should start to become milky and white, which means it's full of bacteria. When the time is up, spit it out into the trash (not the sink). Rinse for 1-2 minutes with warm water, preferably salt water.

   My results: I didn't feel different afterwards, but it was also the first time I had tried it. When I was swishing around, I did notice the liquid getting thicker, so I did get rid of some bacteria. I will be trying it again in a few days to see how it goes a second time.

  IF you give this a try, let me know how your results were! They can be tweeted at @laprincesalola and I will certainly read them.

          Happy pulling!

Sleek & Smooth? More Like Rough & Straw

When you wash your hair, it's supposed to be a cleansing and loving relationship for the minute you shampoo and the three you leave the conditioner in. Well, I recently used the Matrix 24HR Smooth Repair and I can safely say I am not pleased.

   I received the set as a gift over the winter break and decided that I would break away from sulfate-free shampoo this week to give it a try. BIG MISTAKE.

   I'm unsure if it did not fit my standards because I have gotten used to using organic or safer products, but I know I did not like it. The shampoo was very drying to my hair and I feel like it absorbed it all; it was very stringy and felt like straw. So after I rinsed it out, I immediently applied the pairing conditioner, which made it better, but still. Shampoo is meant to be cleansing and clarifying, not drying and creating straw.

   Anyways, I threw in some Carol's Daughter Hair Milk and coconut oil and it's feeling back to normal. But for now on, choose your hair care products wisely!

Holidays Are Near! (And So Is Avon)

If you've been keeping up with me via YouTube, you know I am now an Avon represenative. We offers tons of amazing products, including beauty, health, gifts for him/her, the home, and so much more. But what about a stellar fragrance that will have you as fragrant as the last perfume you purchased for the holidays?

   PASSION by AVON is probably one of my favorites this season. I have two sets left, on hand, that are for sale. It's probably the best gift you could give, even if it's not for the holidays. The blend is not overpowering at all, which is great if you're in the workplace or just don't like a strong fragrance.

   If you're interested in purchasing PASSION or any of Avon's fragrances, click here. For those who are interested in contacting me directly, I can be reached at laprincesalola87@yahoo.com. **Serious inquiries only**

Photo Credit: Avon, Google Images

The BEE Effect

    We've all heard of Burt's Bees, right? Well, I've never actually bought the product, but my friends and family members have. While in North Carolina, I really needed to use a cleanser that would benefit my skin (especially since I'm sick). Opening my cousin's bathroom drawer, I found a nice, full bottle of Burt's Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. It's super thick, light, white, and has a tingling sensation!
       How do I use it? I wet my face with warm water (take all of your make-up off if used at night), squeeze a quarter size amount and spread it from my T-Zone and out to my cheeks. Let it sit for at least a minute (yes, it will tingle!), and then rinse off with warm water. It feels absolutely amazing and I don't know why I didn't start using it before. Oh, and it cleansed my sinus' for a little while (at least in my opinion).

       Let's face it; summer is coming up and everyone wants glowing skin. I know this is really short , but I highly recommend purchasing Burt's Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. Of course results may vary based on YOUR skin type, but it's work a try. Get clean, get calm, and get to the bee hive!

Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Cleaser $8