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Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

St. Lucia: Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa - Serenity Suite Review

Let me start by saying this is not a sponsored post. These are all 100% my thoughts and opinions. So we booked the Serenity Suite for the week of our wedding in June of 2018. The Serenity Suite is another part of Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa within walking distance for adults only. When booking a Serenity Suite, you get 3 personal butlers for the length of your stay and they provide you with a butler cell phone for you to call them from anywhere you are on the resort for your needs - to pick you up, drop you off, bring you food/towels, etc.  

We were picked up from the airport by our wedding coordinator and taken to the resort which is about a 5 minute drive - very, very close! Upon arrival, we were greeted with champagne and the butlers took care of our luggage. We were then given a tour of the room which is stunning. They had the entrance and tub decorated with rose petals, balloons in the plunge pool, bottles of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Our wedding planner was with us during the tour to make sure everything was exactly what we expected - which it actually exceeded our expectations.

We stayed in the Jasmine which is 1,900 square feet with it's own plunge pool, deck, hammock, gazebo with seating, and outside bar. From what we were told, this part of the resort was just built about a year ago so everything is pretty new. 

At the bottom of the bed there is a flat screen TV that comes up. It was literally a dream to stay here. I kept asking my husband "Is this real life?!" Every day we would come back to the room and it would have different shaped towels with decorated with different flowers with cute notes from room service or our butlers. They even had our names on the TV "Mr. & Mrs. Reyes". So cute!

The first photo is the door you walk into to get into your room. When you walk in, to the left is the gazebo and straight ahead is the hammock, outdoor shower, bar and one entrance to the room. To the right is the plunge pool (which is actually a lot deeper than I expected - it went up to my chest, almost my neck if I was standing flat foot to the bottom) and there is another entrance to the room in front of the plunge pool. When you walk in from the pool, you enter the living room area, you walk up the steps to get to the bed and there is a garden tub and stand up shower with dual sinks and mirrors. I didn't get a photo of it, but behind the bed is a hallway that has a sit down vanity mirror.

*Some of these photos were taken with our go-pro so they have a fish eye effect

Pools, Bars & Restaurants
The Serenity Suite has it's own private pool inside of each room, but they also have their own community pool on the Serenity side of the resort which is stunning. It has these pool lounge chairs, the big round chairs in the back and on each side they have first-come-first-serve cabanas (they got cut out of the photo) and surrounded by palm trees. Coconut Bay also has quite a few pools I don't remember how many exactly but I believe around 4 plus they have water slides too! Anyone from Serenity is also welcome to use Coconut Bay's attractions, but not the other way around. 


There are so many things to do there, I'll make a completely different post about that. 

Serenity has it's own community bar and a restaurant on it's property called the Greyhouse I believe? Coconut Bay had a bunch of places to eat like the Jerk House and a pizza spot. A lot of the other restaurants required reservations which was one downfall because every reservation we made we ended up not going either due to being tired or having other plans or the places we wanted to eat at were booked. 

By the way, I judge the bars based on how good their pina coladas are and theirs was BOMB. The 2nd pina coladas I actually like (the other being in FL)

Everyone was so friendly and treated us like royalty. They knew us by name - everytime we would walk by they would smile and say "Hi Mr. & Mrs Reyes!". We were there for our wedding so we had a few wedding coordinators which were all amazing help as well. From the time we landed, I didn't have to lift a finger; they literally handled everything and made sure it was as stress free as possible. The photographer and videographer were also great. They were super interactive and did an excellent job. 

We even met with the manager and had a few conversations with him while we were there and he was so accommodating and personable. The bartenders were entertaining and had such good people skills - also really helpful on places to go and things to see on and off of the resort. We had booked a tour and the tour guide we had went above and beyond. He would stop randomly just to pick fruit off of a tree and tell us about it and stopped in town to get swimsuits for some of the guests that didn't have them. There were also workers who were cutting down fresh coconuts off of the tree and stopped my husband and I to ask if we wanted one. They asked what room we were in and came to our room while we were in the pool and cut the coconuts for us and gave us straws. It was overall such a pleasant experience. 

                                    *one of our butlers, Mervin!

Overall, I would rate our experience a 15 out of 10. Seriously just an amazing time. Everyone that went is still talking about how they had such a good time and it was almost 3 months ago! I would 100% recommend this resort and suite to anyone looking to travel.

**all photos taken by me

Monday, August 27, 2018

Stila Liquid Eyeshadow Review: Glitter On The Go Set

Sephora has a Stila gift set on their website called Glitter On The Go Set for ($25) and Sephora claims it is a $36 value. It comes with 3 Stila Liquid Eyeshadows in the following shades:

  • Rose Gold Retro
  • Smoldering Satin
  • Kitten Karma
L - R (Rose Gold Retro, Smoldering Satin, Kitten Karma)

Shades in the Set
Rose Gold Retro - This shade to me has like a burnt reddish undertone with rose gold
Smoldering Satin - This shade is so hard to describe, it reminds me of metal but has like reflects of different almost purple shades. It reminds me of an edgy smoky eye.
Kitten Karma - This one is my favorite. It's like a light gold, champagne shade. Their original kitten eye shadow was very popular when I first started - for obvious reasons - it's stunning, so I'm glad they made this shade into one of their liquid eyeshadows.

Packaging & Product Review
These are all less than 1 oz each, (0.07 oz) to be exact. The packaging is very modern with a rectangular clear plastic tube and a matte gold twist off cap. When you twist off the cap, it is connected to a wand with a dual sided doe-foot applicator. There is very little fall out, but it definitely has some fall out. So I can't state that it has no fallout what-so-ever. But the colors are so pigmented and stunning. As the name states, they are Glitter Liquid Eyeshadows, so of course there is glitter.

The set is a great way to try them out and test out the colors to see which ones are your favorite but 0.07 oz isn't really much. I've used the Kitten Karma twice, maybe, three times and I can already see the product emptying. Overall on a scale of 5 stars, I would give this set a 4. I'd deduct half a point for the minor fallout and half a point for the amount of product.

How to Apply & When to Wear
After twisting off the cap and pulling out the wand with the applicator, you want to set it on the location you want the product to apply to using swiping motions inward to outward. For example, if you want it on your lid - start at the inner corner and swipe towards your outer corner. This is definitely a product where once you place it, it's not coming off so you'll need to be careful and really only place the product where you want it. I've learned the hard way it's not really something you can blend away without getting glitter all over the rest of your lid. But once it's on where you want it, it's STUNNING.

These are perfect for a night out or a special occasion to make your eyes really stand out. Or heck - even if you want to rock it on a regular day for no reason at all. When I wear these I've gotten multiple compliments on my eyes. Personally, I would only wear these if I were going out or on a special occasion because they're very pigmented. On my normal day-to-day I like to keep a minimal makeup look. But more power to you if you like to rock the bold on a daily.

Other Products Like This
If you're wanting to try other colors, they also have 2 other sets similar to this that had different shades in the sets: Oh My Stars and All That Shimmers & Glows

Monday, August 13, 2018

UD Naked Skin Concealer vs. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Review

Urban Decay Naked Concealer ($29): This concealer has an okay shade range with 14 shades. The shade I have is Fair Neutral which is my winter shade.

On Sephora's website it claims it is: "An innovative, high-coverage concealer that provides buildable, weightless coverage and leaves an invisible, Naked Skin finish". It also claims it is a "luminous, demi-matte finish" which to me, those are totally contradictory adjectives, lol how is it luminous and matte? 

Personally I think it has more of a luminous finish, but it is a little tacky so I always set it with a setting powder. This concealer has a solid 4 stars on Sephora's wesbite. It is full coverage and is extremely blendable, a little goes a long way with this product. I don't notice it interrupting my foundation underneath when applying it and no tugging at the skin.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30): This concealer has a little more shade range with 22 shades. I have 2 shades - one in Vanilla and one in Custard.  

On Sephora's website it claims it is: "An award-winning concealer that provides medium-to-full, buildable coverage and corrects, contours, highlights, and perfects." 

This concealer in the shade Custard was theeeee concealer to have a few years ago. Every Youtuber I watched used this concealer which has now been replaced by the new hottest concealers on the market Tarte Shape Tape and more recently Too Faced Born This Way. But nonetheless it is still a very popular concealer with a little over 4 star rating on Sephora's website.  I'd agree that it's a medium to buildable coverage. For me, I feel that it dries quickly a little dry for my liking, but I have dry skin so I think it would be a good pick for someone that has oily skin or an oily T-zone.

Out of the two concealers, I would reach for UD over NARS which is crazy because I'm over the moon about their Radiant foundation, although I haven't tried the NARS concealer with the foundation yet! I'll try that next and give you guys an update on what I think. 

Below from L to R is UD Fair Neutral, NARS Vanilla, and NARS Custard

Have you tried either of these concealers? What are your thoughts?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Casey Holmes' Hairstylist Did My Hair! - Twice!

Let me start by saying I love watching Casey Holmes' videos - anyone else with me? She seems like such a genuine person, definitely someone I can see myself being great friends with. With that said, I stalked down her hairstylist after I saw what an amazing job she did when Casey first got her hair like the balayage blonde. Needless to say, I found her hairstylist! For those of you that don't know, her name is Jess Gold and she's the owner of J.Gold Salon in Atlanta, GA. I live in North Carolina, so for me the drive to Atlanta is about 4 hours with a flight time of around and hour to an hour and a half. I'm the type of person when I find something I like, I don't care how far I have to travel to get it - clearly. 

The first time I got my hair done by Jess was last May (2017) I believe for our,my now husband and I's, engagement photos. She was in her old salon, which by the way was super hard to find lol, luckily she stayed on the phone with me to direct me. I kid you not I was walking around the parking lot aimlessly because there were so many other shops there. I looked so helpless!. Anyway, it was my first time meeting her, obviously, but she was super sweet and kept good conversation and was complimenting me and just so, so genuinely nice! She had another stylist there too, Johanna which was equally as sweet. I asked Jess about Casey Holmes but didn't want to be super weird about it so I pretty much just asked how she was in person because she seemed so nice and she agreed and said she totally is and I left it at that.

I came to her with darrrrrkk roots with a faded out blonde that was pretty much to my ends as you can see in the before picture below on the left. I told her what I wanted and showed her some inspo pics. I was going for an ashy ombre and really wanted close to white blonde ends. From the photo, you can see she achieved that - with EASE. I'm talking, this girl knew her formulas, mixtures, developers, toners, etc. I don't know anything about hair coloring but she was asking her assistant for all types of "I need an a20 to go with the e35" (obviously made up terms lol) and she really outdid herself. Blown away, turned out amazing.

Naturally after such a good experience, I had to go back the following year (this year, 2018) before my wedding. I went about a week before our flights to St. Lucia and this time she was in a brand new salon that she pretty much demoed and started from scratch by picking out all of the decor which turned out beautiful! I wish I had a picture to insert. But pretty much she got a bigger space and more stylists with the aesthetic being like gold and marble, which and really chic and clean. This location, if you're not from the area, is also a little difficult to find but the receptionist helped guide me. When I walked in they were all so pleasant and had Duck Donuts (my favorite!) sitting on the table, although I didn't indulge because I still wanted to fit my wedding dress! 

I asked her about Casey again this time and asked if she had seen her lately since I knew she moved from Atlanta to NY and she said yes that she had seen her just a few days before and went into a story that happened while she was there. I don't want to divulge any information because that's their privacy, but I'm sure you may have seen some of it on Casey's vlogs. The rest of the time there was just chill and just an all around good vibe. Staff asking me if I wanted anything to drink, I met Jess's dad who is also extremely nice. 

The before picture below on the left is the result of the faded out coloring from last year (which honestly doesn't even look that bad - it just looks like a brunette ombre if you ask me). This time around I wanted to go with pretty much all over color with slightly more gold tones versus the ashy white blonde. Again, Jess did not disappoint. Jess, if you're reading this, thank you so much for giving me hair goals for my wedding!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

My Wedding Makeup

As you can tell from the title and my last post, I recently got married! I wanted to share with you the products I used on my wedding day to achieve my makeup look. I decided to do my makeup myself because 1. I was in a different country, 2. didn't have time for a trial, 3. didn't trust anyone else with my makeup or hair. For my hair I went super simple of just curling it and pinning up one side. The curls fell out super quick due to how hot it was!

I really wanted something very soft and glowy for the skin so I went with what is now my holy grail foundation - NARS Natural Radiant Longwear. I bought this foundation specifically for the wedding the day before we left and ending up falling in love with it. I wanted something that is exactly how the name describes it - natural, radiant, and long wearing. The finish on this is stunning; it truly is a "my skin but better" foundation. I would highly recommend it if you have normal to dry skin. To highlight my under eyes, I went with a shade lighter because I didn't want it to be too bright so I actually used the L'Oreal Pro-Glow foundation in the shade 203 Nude Beige and then set it with Laura Mercier setting powder

For the brows, I used my normal Anastasia Brow Wiz in Taupe (I suck at doing my brows) Always room for improvement. I wanted the eyes to be the center of attention so I did gold glitter on the lid with Stila's liquid eyeshadow in Kitten to match our color scheme of blush pink and gold. I swept some light brown shades in the crease to blend it and a cream color for the brow bone. And to top off the eyes, for mascara I went with Tarte Lights Camera Splashes because I knew I needed something waterproof for the happy tears! I wanted to put on lashes initially but didn't have time (yes I was running late on my wedding day - are you surprised?) so I skipped the lashes and just stuck with the mascara.
I paired the eye look with a nude lip from YSL in the shade 10 Beige Tribute. I really wanted a different color but I was running short on time and the photographer and videographer were there so I literally just grabbed whichever lipstick was in front of me. I didn't even have time to use a lip liner!
For bronzing I used the Kat Von D Shade and Light palette. This is my go to palette for traveling. I didn't want to go super heavy handed on the bronzer because I wanted it to still look natural although I wish I would've went slightly heavier because you can barely tell I have bronzer on at all. The highlighter I used was Becca's Champagne Pop which I swear I put on like 4 layers, I wanted to GLOW.

What products did you use on your wedding day? Or which ones would you use for your future wedding?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Life Update Pt 2: Our Wedding

So by now, I'm sure you're all probably thinking I fell off the face of the earth, some may even hoping that happened lol - kidding. But I'm baaaaacccckkk! And I've missed you all!

An update for all of you while I've been gone - we bought a house and got married! Yayyyy! I'll include wedding photos below. And honestly we've just been super busy working and relaxing when we get the chance. But I'm starting to get my love back for makeup and beauty and I think I may even add some travel and lifestyle into this blog so I want to make the time for what I love. Let me know what you guys think about the travel and lifestyle part? So hopefully you'll all forgive me for my 2 year absence and climb back on board! Can't wait to interact with everyone again. Let's see what the future holds :)

Here are some photos from the wedding, I really tried to put a lot of thought into the details so almost everything was personalized from napkins to water bottle and wine bottle labels. It was June 8th, 2018 in St Lucia, a West Indie island. We were there for a week and had such a beautiful time. We spent our time in a 1,900 sq ft suite with it's own pool (as you can see in some of the photos) and when we weren't relaxing - we were four wheeling on a black sand beach, in the pool and at the ocean front spa, taking tours of a volcano and mud baths, and on a cruise. Here are a bunch of photos to hopefully make up for my absence. Enjoy :)

P.S. I'm planning the next post to be about my wedding makeup!