Beauty

True Life: I want to be a YouTube Star

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Okay. So maybe I don’t exactly aspire to be a YouTube star, but I wouldn’t be mad if was either! I know that I haven’t been blogging as much as I want to or like to. There’s no excuse for it really. I’ve been using my blogging time to binge watch makeup tutorials and product reviews on YouTube. After spending countless hours doing that, I knew that I wanted to be the one other people were watching.

Now, let’s make one thing clear: I don’t like to be the center of attention. I don’t like thousands of eyes staring at me at the same time. I get nervous speaking in public and starting a conversation with a random person terrifies me. But for some reason I feel comfortable when it’s just me and the camera. (Being an only child and talking to myself in the mirror makes for good practice).

That being said, I started my own YouTube Channel! I will be focusing on makeup tutorials, keeping up with makeup trends and posting reviews on newly released products. I hope that those of you who follow my blog and follow me on social media will support me on YouTube. I’m looking forward to creating relationships with my subscribers and creating fun and exciting content for me and everyone watching. I’ll be posting a link to my video below. Let me know your thoughts and of course – don’t forget to subscribe!

Watch my YouTube Video Here!

xo,

Chandra

Lighten Up Your Holiday

Holiday time is a time for family, friends and travel. During this season, people all over the world are trying to make it home to their loved ones as easy as possible. But with that comes your luggage. For some – like myself – it’s hard to pack light, especially for a makeup junkie. This post is specifically for the girl that wants to do her makeup during the holidays while carrying as little as possible in her luggage.

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My very first tip is to pack ONLY your must have items. The items you absolutely cannot live without. Trust me. By doing this you can avoid overpacking times ten. The following is my holiday travel must haves for whether I’m going for a nighttime or daytime look. My second tip is for those who subscribe to Ipsy, something similar to Ipsy. Most of the items that are sent are sample sizes and take up very little space. Plus, you get to test out new product on your spare time.

Starting with the face, my current must-have/go-to foundation is CoverGirl’s Vitalist Healthy Elixr Foundation. I never thought that I would have a drug store foundation that I love so much until I tried this one. It has a buildable coverage, makes my skin look absolutely flawless and gives me no flashback, which is perfect for taking pictures with flash. This foundation also doesn’t crease on my face and lasts over 12 hours. I can really depend on this foundation from morning all the way till the night time.

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Now to set my face, I use nothing other than Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder. With this powder and my CoverGirl foundation, I know everything is going to stay in place. Just like the foundation, there is no flashback and even with a light dusting, this powder is going to lock your makeup into place for sure!

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I usually don’t like to spend a lot of time on my eyes when I’m away but I do like to pack a small eyeshadow palette with me just in case I get the sudden urge to be creative. A perfect sized palette to bring on any trip would be any City Mini eyeshadow palette by Maybelline. My favorite one that has shadows for daytime and nighttime looks is the MakeupShayla x Maybelline City Mini Palette. There a perfect balance of warm and dark tones which makes for an easy transition if you’re going to be out all day. The best part? It fits in the palm of your hand! (Here’s a picture of the palette with and without flash.)

Speaking of the eyes, one thing that I cannot go without is mascara. Even if I’m not wearing a full face of makeup, I’ll never leave my house without mascara. With just a coat, you look awake and refreshed. Currently, I have a favorite mascara which is Lights, Camera, Lashes by tarte, but on my trip I always bring back ups. Usually every month in my Ipsy bag I’ll get a mascara sample, which is why I decided to pack two more with me for the holidays. Coming along with me are Excessive Lash by Makeup Forever and They’re Real by benefit cosmetics.

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For highlight, a go-to of mine is Maybeline’s Master Chrome in the shade Molten Gold. The Maybelline highlight is one of my favorites because the more you apply, the more intense it gets. It’s easy to go from daytime to nighttime with this one single highlight. Even with this one shade, this is one that I’ve seen looks great on all skin tones. My favorite way to apply this highlight is to first brush it over my cheekbones with a rounded blush brush, then blend it in with a thick fan brush. Every time I’ve applied this particular highlight this way, it comes or looking more natural.

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Last, but definitely not least, are the lips. Lately, I’ve been loving lip glosses because they don’t make my lips look super dry in the cold weather. My fave at the moment is the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer by Fenty Beauty. I had no idea that I would love this gloss so much and now I pretty much don’t go anywhere without it. It leaves my lips glossy for hours, doesn’t have a sticky consistency and goes great with any makeup look that I do. Oh. And did I mention it smells (and tastes) fantastic? Yum.

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With just under 10 makeup products, I feel pretty confident that I’ll look my best over the holidays – cause you know there’ll be plenty of picture taking. Not only that. I don’t have to care a luggage full of makeup I probably won’t use and I’ve saved a ton of space in my luggage for all the presents I’m bringing home! 😉

Happy Holidays!

What’s your must have items you travel with? Leave them in the comments below!

You’ll have a Sweet Christmas…

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So right about now I bet you’re all just about ready for the holidays. Many of you probably have holiday parties to attend and/or potlucks to participate in. The last thing you want to do is be the one to bring either something nasty or store bought to share with your colleagues and friends. I mean, come on, you want to show that you at least put some effort into your dish of choice.

My favorite part of the holidays are the holiday treats and what kind of holiday party is it if there’s nothing to satisfy my sweet tooth? Cookies are always a safe dessert to bring to any holiday function. They’re small, delicious and even when one is enough, you go back for two more. The even better part? Cookies take less than 10 minutes to bake! So if you’re a last minute person, like me, and like things to be done quickly, I have the perfect holiday cookie recipe below!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pack of Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Holiday sprinkles
  • A rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters of your choice
  • Parchment paper

 

Okay so I cheated by buying the cookie mix, but no one will notice the difference, trust me. I bought all of the edible items at Target for less than $8 and the cookie cutters and parchment paper at Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $10.

First, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and follow the directions on the cookie mix packet for cut out cookies. I also added about 2-3 tablespoons to the batter so it can be more dry and so the cookies will hold their shape while they are baking in the oven. Once you have your cookie dough, designate an area on your kitchen counter to spread the cookie dough. Spread out some flour and rub flour onto your rolling pin. Flatten the cookie dough until it’s about less than a quarter inch thick. Next, take the cookie cutters and simply cut out the shapes you would like. Carefully lift apart the shape from the dough and lay it on a baking tray with parchment paper. Once your cookies are in the oven, bake them for 7 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Lay your cookie tray on a cooling rack and let them sit until they are completely at room temperature.

 

**Remember that cookies are still baking on the tray while they are cooling down.**

Once all of your cookies are cool, melt a half stick of butter or beat an egg. You will use this to stick your sprinkles on to the cookie. You may also use a super thin layer of frosting. I decided to just melt some butter and with a brush, lightly coat the cookie and lay it on top of your sprinkles of choice (butter side face down) and keep it on a presentable platter.

 

To think these cookies took less than an hour to bake is amazing! I couldn’t wait to share them with my friends and co-workers, which they all enjoyed. With this quick and easy recipe, I’m sure you’ll be the talk of your office!

Everything Tastes Better in New Orleans

To whoever I spoke to before my trip to New Orleans and said to eat everything out there- YOU WAS RIGHT! I kept hearing nothing but good things about the food in NOLA so I made sure to prepare for my trip. I stayed in the gym and ate healthy so I can binge on beignets and red beans and rice for my entire trip. This post is going to highlight some of the restaurants I’ve visited and the delicious food I got to try on my trip.

 

Luke

On our very first night, we ate at Luke, located in the Hilton Hotel towards the Central Business District. It is a French & German Creole restaurant and walking into the restaurant it had a simple, yet elegant Southern feel to it. The menu is small, but there is still a variety of things to choose from. I ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and the Crab and Corn Bisque. The bisque (pictured below) is a cream based soup, which filled me up pretty quickly. I had the 6 oz size and thought it was just the perfect portion. Once I was done with my soup, the shrimp cocktail came out and I noticed the shells were still on them. I didn’t mind that it was served that way, but I wish my waiter would have told me in advanced so I can mentally prepare myself to get my hands dirty. Besides that, the shrimp had a cajun seasoning that had a spicy kick to it and even though my order only came to 6, it turned out to be more than enough for me.

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Brunch at Broussard’s 

As native New Yorkers, it was only right that we brunch on a Sunday… even in NOLA! From the outside, Broussard’s looks like your typical fancy-schmancy, pinkies up, pay-ninety-dollars-for-a-teeny-tiny-plate-of-nothing restaurant. Boy. I couldn’t be any more wrong. Okay, so the place is still “fancy-schmancy” in the indoor dining area. But they have a courtyard that’s pretty open so you’re not sitting on top of everyone, with a nice little fountain, cobblestone floor and a live jazz band playing any song you’d like. Brunch was $12 bottomless mimosa or rosé with a purchase of any entrée. SOLD. For $12, they sure didn’t hesitate to fill our glasses to the top with liquor. Okay, now the food, was totally worth it! My boyfriend had the steak and eggs with potatoes, which was all cooked perfectly. The steak cut like soft butter, yum! I ordered the chicken and waffles and with my first bite, I never thought something so simple could send my taste buds into a frenzy. It was honestly the best chicken and waffle, topped with pecans, I’ve ever had. I would definitely say this place is a MUST for anyone wanting to brunch in NOLA. The ambiance, the service, the food, the liquor… Perfect tens across the board.

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Beignets at Café DuMonde

Now, what kind of tourist would I be if I didn’t stop by the world famous Café Du Monde? Obviously, one thing that NOLA is known for are the beignets and when you think of beignets, you think of Café Du Monde. This probably isn’t a place where you would find locals, but it is always packed! Once you sit down, a waiter will come over and take your order of beignets. It’s usually 3 per order and is perfect with a cup of coffee. The beignets are big square pieces of freshly fried dough covered with powdered sugar. They are warm when they are served to you and just melts in your mouth. There are also beignet mixes that you can make at home. For 2 orders of beignets, a coffee and 3 boxes of beignet mix, it all came to about $15.

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The Ruby Slipper Café

If you’re looking for a quick, hearty breakfast, the Ruby Slipper Café is the place to go. We constantly passed this place on Canal Street, (it was just 2 blocks away from our AirBnb) and it was always packed. On the morning before our swamp tour, we decided to have breakfast here. We were seated at a family-style table, where our waitress was completely honest about what she disliked on the menu. Both of our breakfast dishes were similar – I had the Chicken St. Charles, while he enjoyed the Eggs Cochon. The Chicken St. Charles was 2 buttermilk biscuits, topped with a fried chicken breast, 2 poached eggs and a cream sauce. The Eggs Cochon was also 2 buttermilk biscuits, topped with slow-cooked pork, 2 poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Both dishes were cooked to perfection and was definitely the breakfast I needed to start our adventure day.

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Chicken St. Charles
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Eggs Cochon

 

Wow. Writing this post really made me miss all this food! Even though I ate at more restaurants, these were my top picks from NOLA. I would definitely visit again and tell anyone that wants to go to eat EVERYTHING!

NOLA Lookbook

Out in NOLA, I’ve decided to keep it simple and wear outfits that I knew I would be comfortable wearing all day and all at affordable prices! Here’s a couple looks that I wore while out in NOLA:

Bourbon Street

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  • Top: Necessary Clothing, $10
  • Pants: Baby Blue, $20

 

Garden District

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  • Dress: Fashion Nova, $20
  • Jacket: Love Culture, $25
  • Mini Crossbody Bag: H&M, $12
  • Choker: H&M, $15/7 chokers

 

The Bayou

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  • Romper: Fashion Nova, $25
  • Sunglasses: SunglassUp, $5
  • Choker: H&M, $15/7 chokers

 

Canal and Bourbon Street

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  • Romper: Fashion Nova, $34
  • Sandals: Michael Kors, $60

 

 

A Day at the Orchard

In the spirit of fall and my strong desire to escape the city for a couple of hours, I decided to go apple picking this past weekend. Granted, in the end I never even touched an apple, I still enjoyed my day out in the orchard.

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Apple Ridge Orchard in Warwick, NY was where we spent our day. Here, they have acres upon acres of apple trees, a pumpkin patch, some farm animals and a hayride that goes through the entire orchard. There is a small barn area where they sell delicious apple cinnamon donuts, apple cider, fruit preserves and honey, with a bee farm right next to display, so you know it’s real. Everything is reasonably priced ($1-$8) and for an apple picking bag, $29. In my personal opinion, it’s pretty pricey. But the apples are grown organically and if you have a big family, it may be worth it. Price definitely factored into the reason why we didn’t pick any apples. However, many families, mostly of 3 or more, definitely got their twenty-nine dollars worth, as they should!

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To the side of the orchard, surrounded by beautiful views, there is a small area filled with goats, sheep, cows and rabbits. The orchard sells a bag of hay for just a dollar so that kids can feed the animals. While many were terrified of the farm animals, plenty were more than happy to feed the hay to them. And the animals really enjoyed it.

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At the pumpkin patch, there were too many pumpkins to choose from! Perfect for this time of year, kids were very quick to claim their pumpkin of choice. The pumpkins are a great size to carve, just slightly bigger than a basketball. Also at the pumpkin patch are scarecrows, miniature houses and plenty of photo opportunities.

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My favorite part about the entire orchard was the fact that there were plenty of young kids working there. One at the entrance/exit, marking bags of apples and checking pumpkin tickets. Two young girls collecting tickets for hay rides, two young boys watching the animals (making sure no kids feed them anything funky) and a couple of older kids selling apple bags and tickets.

Traveling to Apple Ridge Orchard on a Sunday afternoon was a complete mission to say the least. If you have a car or have access to one, I 100% recommend you drive up there. From the city, it’s about an hour and ten minutes drive. But by transportation, expect at least a two hour commute. Spending multiple hours on a bus on a beautiful Sunday wasn’t ideal, but it made for great quality time and there is a lot of beautiful scenery along the way.

Would I do this all over again? Absolutely. But next time, I’ll drive!

A different kind of L.O.C Method

If you’re a curly girl like myself, you’re probably associating the L.O.C method with Leave-In, Oil, Cream. But my new version is a little different. L.O.C = Latina Owned Cosmetics. I was inspired by watching MakeupShayla’s B.O.M.B|Black Owned Makeup Brands Tutorial on Youtube. She explained in the video how something like this was long overdue and it made me think… I know there has to be Latina Owned Cosmetics out there, but where? And on top of that, I thought this would be a great post to end Hispanic Heritage Month! So during my month long celebration, I have been researching and trying out Latina Owned Cosmetics. Here are my faves so far:

Kat Von D Beauty

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The first Latina Owned Cosmetics brand I thought of was Kat Von D Beauty. You probably know this face and name from her TLC TV show, LA Ink. But what most people don’t know is that she is a Latina. Born in Mexico to Argentine parents, Kat von D was approached by Sephora in 2008 to create a makeup line. She originally had her heart set on creating four of the most perfect shades of red lipsticks. Little did she know her line would be such a success. On top of her accomplishments, Kat von D cosmetics are cruelty free and is something she is (and should be) extremely proud of!

 

beautyblender

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Okay, so I was SUPER surprised/ecstatic/hyped when I found out that the beautyblender was created by a Latina! In 2002, Ree Ann Silva made it 10x easier for us to blend out our makeup. The idea came to her while she was head of the makeup department for CBS’s Girlfriends and needed a small, light tool for makeup touchups for the cast. She invented and sold the beautyblender right out of her garage and used the funds help pay for her daughter’s college tuition! Today, seventeen beautyblenders are sold per minute and can be seen in tutorials all over YouTube.

 

Reina Rebelde

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Inspired by the telenovela Rosa Salvaje, Regina Merson created a cosmetic line for women that celebrates both the beauty of her Reina (Queen) and fierceness of her Rebelde (Rebel). Regina started this line to celebrate her Mexican roots and to pay homage for her love of the beauty routines of telenovela stars. She describes her brand to be reflect her “complicated identity as a Mexican woman embracing an amazing American existence.”

 

Besame Cosmetics

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With roots from Argentina, Gabriela Hernandez immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve and once she graduated college, developed a beauty brand rich in historic details and romance. Her main goal was to help women feel passionate about their beauty routines again. Gabriela’s beauty brand is full with timeless shade and is inspired by Los Angeles’ golden age of cinema, which is why all shades of her products are named of years between 1920-1970.

 

Tata Harper

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Last, but not least, skin care is the most important part of beauty. Straight from Baranquilla, Colombia, Tata Harper developed a 100% natural, non-toxic skin care line. Her motive comes from her father who was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2005. Tata takes the time to build her line of all natural formulas from scratch while practicing environmentally sustainable practices at her farm and facilities in Vermont.

Of course there are plenty more Latina Owned Cosmetic brands out there that deserves more recognition! There are also many Latina Beauty Influencers that have brought these products to the light for me. In the end, I just hope to see more L.O.C Brands that I can add to my makeup collection and represented all across the board!!

Until then, PA’LANTE! And Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!