Bogavia: All Luxury and All Natural

If you have been looking to purge yourself of chemical and preservative filled hair and skin care, then keep reading... Bogavia is a skin and hair care brand free of: parabens, mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, artificial fragrance, and chemical preservatives! Oh yeah, and cruelty-free!! Everything in their ingredient list is easily pronounceable and all natural with a lot of organic plant and fruit extracts. They have a line for adults and babies -- so exciting!

I contacted Bogavia after learning that they crafted a baby-friendly skincare line. My sons have grown a little fascination with creams and lotions after watching my AM & PM skincare routines. So, I had been looking for a baby-friendly lotion for them. I absolutely love Bogavia's Extra Gentle Healing Butter for my two angels' soft skin. The Healing Butter, infused with Calendula, is a thick unscented cream with a denseness like Desitin, but feels like a lotion. It can be used and applied all over the face, body, and bottom for diaper rashses. This is a great option for babies with super dry skin or eczema.

On top of having a great all-purpose baby healing butter, vanilla bean baby lotion (it's so yum), and a gentle baby hair and body wash, Bogavia has an expansive line for mommy and daddy, too. It will truly make you think you are staying at a luxury resort even when you are just at home. From the quality of the packaging, to the classic and rich Valencia Vanilla scent, everything feels luxe.

I am obsessed with Bogavia's signature Valencia Vanilla scent. The sweet yet citrusy scent has definitely been something I look forward to. It smells so amazing I want to swim in it. Good thing that Bogavia makes an entire line with the scent: Shampoo, Conditioner, Toning Body Wash, Hydrating Body Butter, and my ultimate favorite, the Lip Balm!!!! Ugh the Valencia Vanilla lip balm is super addicting. It is made out of coconut oil and reminds me of orange cream soda....I just looooooove it! The best part is knowing that I am not putting any toxins in my body.

Not all of Bogavia's products are scented, and so if scents are not your thing, the Exfoliating Facial Scrub is super hydrating (strangely) and has very fine particles that will gently get rid of your dead skin cells. 

Bogavia definitely needs to be in all 5-star resorts and hotels immediately, and Valencia Vanilla definitely needs to be all over your body.

Acupressure Points for Pimples and Acne -- Guest Blog by Yasko

Here's a great post by Yasko of Bliss Squared Massage on how to prevent pimples and acne through Acupressure.

First, locate your acupressure points:
  • ST 2 – The first ones are under the eyes. When you look straight in front of you they are under the pupils of your eyes right on the cheek bone. About a finger width from the eye socket. These are called Stomach 2. Gently press these points perpendicular to the cheek bone.
  • ST 3 – The next set of point are about an inch below those points. These are called Stomach 3. It’s on the edge of the cheek bone. Press them gently slightly upward into the cheek bone. They are still under the pupils of your eyes. These are good for improving the circulation and metabolism on your face and clearing the blemishes and acnes.
  • GB 12 – The third set of points are behind the ears. Behind the earlobe there is a bone. This is called mastoid process. There’s a depression behind it. This is called Gall Bladder 12. This point is good for regulating the excess oil production which can be the cause of the pimples and acnes. I like to press this point by resting the elbow on the armrest and just lean into it one side at a time.
Then, press these points as you breathe deeply for one minute as you watch other YouTube videos. Also good for pimples are the acupressure points for constipation because they help eliminate the waste out of your system. You can learn those points here: Acupressure Points for Constipation.

Watch the video of Yasko below for more instructions.


Holy Grail: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in "Trooper" is THE ultimate black eyeliner!!! It is my latest holy grail, and I am never looking back. It is applies blacker than black, and with serious precision. I have shaky hands, so I prefer eyeliner pens with felt tips. I have tried almost all the drugstore eyeliner pens -- NYX's Super Fat Eye Marker is nice at first, but doesn't deliver opaque black ink, and the pen itself dries up quickly.

Rimmel's ScandalEyes Micro Eye Liner comes super close as a drugstore dupe because it has a thin and precise felt tip,  but it falls short in delivering an opaque and fluid on the first run. I have to go over my line a few times to get a suitable opaque line -- not a big deal by any means, but the KVD conquers a dark opaque line in one stroke.  I must admit, though, that ScandalEyes is a great beginner's eyeliner not only because it is waterproof and so affordable, but the tip is a little more stiff and allows for more control. I think my ScandalEyes trained me properly, and now I can use my Tattoo Liner with ease and skill. So, if you want to practice a bit before splurging on KVD, which retails for $19, definitely pick up ScandalEyes Micro Eye LIner for $5.99.

I am so in love with KVD's Tattoo Liner's extremely pointy, yet flexible felt tip. It delivers a dark black ink in a steady fluid line. With a flick of the wrist, I got my cateye on, and once it's on, it's not moving, hence, the name -- TATTOO liner! With other eyeliners, I can usually do a quick wipe with my finger to remove any unwanted flicks, but with my Tattoo Liner I can't clean up without a brush dipped in micellar water or concealer. This is great news for me though because now I don't need to worry when I accidentally blink or sneeze mid-application.

You NEED this eyeliner in your life. Also, come in brown, if you want a more natural look!

Thank me later :)

Drugstore Contour: Covergirl TruBlend's FIXSTICK in D-5-7 vs. Maybelline FIT ME Foundation Stick in 'Coconut'

Don't you love finding treasures in the drugstore! I mean why pay $$$ when you can pay $? My latest drugstore discoveries have been contouring tools – Covergirl's TruBlend Concealer Stick in D-5-7, the darkest shade; and Maybelline's FITME Foundation Stick in Coconut, also the darkest shade. Before I go on to compare and contrast the two, I wanted to let you all know that my complexion would be considered light-medium to medium with yellow undertones.

Covergirl's FixStick Concealer Stick in D-5-7

I picked up this CoverGirl's TruBlend FIXSTICK Concealer Stick after deciding that it was a tad darker, and thus, probably better for contouring, than the L'Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer in Medium-Deep Neutral.

Neutral Contour Shade. The FIXSTICK turns out to be a great contouring tool. It truly is a neutral brown compared to the Maybelline FITME. It blends easily with my ELF Small Stipple Brush. I love how natural it applies, all the while being super effective at making my face look more sculpted.

Easy Placement. FIXSTICK's crayon shape makes it super easy to place the contour lines where you need to – it is practically fail proof.

The FIXSTICK in D-5-7 works great for my light-medium complexion, but it may not work so well for extremely fair or deeper complexions. FIXSTICK only offers 3 deeper shades, and so, if you can not find a good contour shade, two or three shades darker than your foundation shade, then check out Maybelline's FITME Foundation stick...

Maybelline's FIT ME Shine-free Foundation Stick in Coconut

Large Shade Range: Those with extremely fair complexion might have an easier time finding an appropriate contouring shade in the Maybelline FIT ME range.

Creamy & Super-blendable. Although, Maybelline's FITME Foundation stick in 'Coconut' is slightly warm compared to FIXSTICK in D-5-7, but its formula is super creamy and easier to blend out than FIXSTICK, so this might be a better option for beginners.

Both of these are great drugstore contour tools for my light-medium skintone. It is difficult to decide which one is better, but I have been reaching more for the Covergirl TruBlend FIXSTICK because it is a tad darker and more neutral than Maybelline's FIT ME, although only ever so slightly. I may reach more for the Maybelline once Winter comes.

Do you use any drugstore contouring products? What's your favorite?

Holy Grail -- Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

If you follow me on Instagram, then you will know how obsessed I have been with Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in St. Mortiz. It has been on my face 95% of the time since I purchased it online from Sephora a month ago.

What I Love.

No Side Affects. When I was experiencing weekly breakouts on my chin, I avoided layering my face with anything unnecessary, and so that meant no foundation, bb cream, etc.,  unless it was an extremely special occasion (2-4 times a month max). Recently, when I started experiencing less breakouts, I wanted to venture into the something that would quickly and easily provide an even base all the while maintaining my no make-up makeup look.

Super Pigmented Radiance! Most of the time, tinted moisturizers provide light coverage, but this Nars Tinted Moisturizer provides great buildable light to medium dewy coverage, which is so perfect for summer. It evens out my complexion without making it look like I have anything on. I love how it minimizes the redness around my nose and chin where I have a great deal of acne scars. It has been my go-to summer base, after I apply a moisturizing serum (my favorite right now is Tula Probioitic Technology - review to come). After I apply, my skin is left looking evened-out, dewy, but still natural.

Feather-weight! The Nars Tinted Moisturizer formula feels super light weight -- almost undetectable. I have been using it in place of my regular daytime SPF moisturizer, 3LAB SPF 50 (but still use for my neck). It feels even lighten than a sunblock. I like how it dries somewhat and can be worn without a powder when I am in a rush. If I have time, I like to set my T-zone, and my undereyes, especially, if I highlight with concealer.

Travel-size. I do not have many opportunities to shop in-store, so I was very grateful that Nars sells a travel-size in their St. Mortiz shade, which just so happened to be my shade (medium with a yellow undertone). I am not sure if the Nars storefronts sell other shades in travel size, but they are super convenient! I hypothesize that come winter, I will have to switch to a lighter shade, but at least I know I will use up all of this St. Moritz shade that matches my summer complexion.

Reasonable Price. I bought the .58oz travel size for $16, and the 1.9 oz retails for $43. I think once Fall hits, I will spring for the larger size in a lighter shade.

This was my first Nars purchase ever, and I am definitely a fan. I can't wait to try more like their new Luminous foundation.

What's your favorite tinted moisturizer?

Beautiful Heels Without the Pain

Before I had kids, I was wearing 5 inch heels everyday. Now that I am a mom, I care more about the comfort factor because I am running around all day long. I first learned of Julie Lopez shoes through Instagram. I was flipping through my feed, when I came across those beautiful snake print pumps pictured above. The caption read "Beautiful Heels Without the Pain".  I commented on how pretty the snake print was, and then Julie Lopez reached out and offered to let me test out their beautiful made-in-Italy leather shoes.

Unfortunately, my feet are too small, and at this time, Julie Lopez does not offer my 4.5 wide shoe size. Luckily, my best mom friend/cousin, Nicole, wears a size that Julie Lopez offers. Nicole was the first person to come to mind when I needed a shoe model because she has worked with high-end shoe labels in the past, and so she knows what to look for when judging shoe quality. 

My muse, Nicole, is a young mom like me with two little boys -- a toddler and new infant. As a mom, she spends a lot of time on her feet, both chasing the boys, and also at work. She decided on the Josie flats pictured above. Here's some screenshots of us talking about how much she liked her 'Josie' Flats:

The Julie Lopez F-I-T:
Julie Lopez shoes are made from "premium Italian leathers that are hand-selected for all components of the footwear to provide the best combination of flexibility and support". The shoes are designed with a wider toe box, and "a combination of side vents and elastane-backed leather to enable the foot to breathe and the vamp to stretch in problem areas" aka where women often develop bunions. The heel styles also have extra padding in the forefoot area. All the shoes have non-slip pads on the soles, too!

All in all, Nicole thought the shoes were "like buttah" and liked Julie Lopez' styles compared to other comfort-based shoe brands like Taryn Rose. She thinks they run a little small - so, I suggest ordering half a size up.

We both agree, that working women would appreciate that Julie Lopez offers comfortable, office appropriate footwear. A good pair of work flats and pumps are staples in every woman's closet. I am obsessed with the snake prints -- super cute and super versatile! I hope Julie Lopez will expand to smaller sizes, too, because I definitely need a pair of their pumps, and boots, too!