Sweeter Than a Box of Chocolates, I’m Already In Love 💙

It’s been a while since my last post. My life has been a whirlwind since my last trip to NYC. I feel blessed and grateful to announce that I am expecting a baby boy due this summer! I am only now just coming to the realization of this amazing gift and I couldn’t be more excited.

Lots of changes are taking place in my life, from changes in my body to changes in my life. It’s a welcome journey and can’t wait until he gets here. So yes, I will still be reviewing beauty products and attending events here in Vegas and hopefully NYC, but now I have an added a new category to my blog – mommy hood. It’s an entirely new playing field for me so I’ve been reading books, scouring the Internet and tapping into my mommy gal pals and bloggers for insight and tips.

The first book I purchased as soon as I found out I was pregnant was Yeah Baby! By Jillian Michaels. I’m about halfway through and I must say it is truly eye-opening in its perspective about becoming a modern mama, mastering pregnancy, having a healthy baby and bouncing back better than ever. I can easily get overwhelmed with the abundance of pregnancy information out there so starting with this book has helped me stay calm and cool. In addition to this, I’ve substituted my boot camp classes with prenatal yoga classes to help me stay active and flexible.

I’ve been trying to eat organic and healthy and just being aware of what I’m consuming. No junk food or caffeine. I must say, I feel fabulous! I do need a little help with maternity fashion but I’m getting better at it, or at least I’d like to this so.

So I’m still here and I plan to get back into blogging whether its about beauty or baby stuff. Oh and we are still thinking of names, we don’t even have runner-ups at the point but I have faith we will find the perfect one for him. My heart is full. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Product Review: V-MODA XS On-Ear Headphones

We all know that music and fashion go hand in hand. There’s the red carpet at the Grammy Awards to music legends that have impacted the fashion world like Madonna and Lady Gaga. I never considered myself a headphones kind of person but when a V-MODA rep told me the story behind the Milan based headphone designer, I became intrigued with concept.

V-MODA sent me a pair of their newest headphones, XS, the first product to come out of the new Milano design studio. Let’s first talk about the packaging. I was so impressed of the design of the packaging itself, leather and stud accents in a compact orange, white and silver box – it was almost too pretty to open!

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But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised at how small, slim, lightweight and gorgeous these headphones are. One of the reasons I don’t like standard headphones is that they are so big and bulky for my small five foot frame. These were designed to eliminate the gap between the headphones and your head. I could actually wear these and they would add to my wardrobe. In fact, the day I reviewed these I was wearing black skinny ripped Joe’s jeans, grey James Perse top and black Sam Edelman boots and these white headphones with metallic accents matched my outfit perfectly.

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Ok now let’s talk about quality of sound. V-MODA spent more than five years of research and development to come up with this fashionable form-fitting design to elevate the listening experience. They dare tested beyond military-level MIL-STD-810G quality and durability standards. The sound is crisp and amazing. The bass is epic but clear. In regards to features, these come fully loaded with a hard shell carrying case and two Kevlar-reinforced microphone cables for smartphone compatibility which means I can take phone calls while wearing these!

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Now I know why these are a favorite among resident Vegas DJs like Avicii. Overall, for fashionistas like myself, these V-MODA headphones get an A+ for form, function and fashion. These can also be customized with engraved plates!

The V-MODA XS headphones are available on Amazon for an SRP of $212. Follow V-MODA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.

An Introduction to Japan’s Leading Integrated Makeup Brand, Koh Gen Do

I was introduced to Koh Gen Do cosmetics last year when they launched in Sephora here in Las Vegas. Koh Gen Do began as a makeup solution for makeup artists working with TV and film actresses in Japan. Today, it stands as a brand that integrates skincare and high-definition makeup.

I recently tried the Body Milk which is luxuriously infused with one of my favorite organic essences, Lavender and Coriander.

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This luxurious moisturizer rehydrates, improves firmness and elasticity, repairs and rejuvenates skin from environmental damage, features anti-aging vitamins A and B (Biotin) and antioxidants to prevent puffiness/sagging due to metabolic aging and fatigue. It also absorbs quickly, which I love.

Because it’s integrated skin care, all of the products are multi-benefit. I also tried the Maifanshi Lip Gloss. The product is lip gloss and lip treatment in one. No artificial colors, fragrance, petroleum-based mineral oil or parabens.

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I’m looking forward to trying out more Koh Gen Do products. If you’ve tried any, please let me know your thoughts!

Beauty with Heart: The Body Shop Refocuses Select Stores Around Activism, Beauty & Community

It is said that the coastal cities of NY and LA are the trendsetting cities of America.  These influential cultural hubs are usually the first to create, discover or experience the latest in music, food, fashion, beauty, art, etc.  But sometimes, Vegas gets to lead the pack.

My case in point? Celebrating their 25th anniversary,The Body Shop is unveiling their new PULSE boutiques at three Las Vegas locations, the Miracle Mile Shops, Fashion Show Mall and Meadows Mall. I was invited to experience the new look and feel at the Miracle Mile Shops.  As soon as I stepped foot inside the store, I noticed several changes.

First, I noticed an “Ask for Your Free Makeover” table at the center of the store which looked more like a makeup playground. At these “Story Telling Tables” you can go beyond just playing by learning about the products’ quality ingredients and the Community Fair Trade partnerships.

A second difference I noticed was a beautiful portrait of Lily Cole, The Body Shop’s first ever Global Brand Advocate.  Cole believes “beauty with heart” means trying to achieve beauty in a way that is harmonious with your inner values, LOVE THAT! Together Lily and The Body Shop will be launching a new cruelty-free make-up line, never tested on animals.  This limited edition line will be available in stores and online on June 11th.

L: Global Brand Advocate, Lily Cole
R: Pearl Radiance Primer, $22, Liquid Eyeline in Violet, $13.50, Shimmer Cubes, $22, Lip & Cheek Domes, $15

Lastly, the Communities and Values Wall which visually communicate the stores global campaign work through pictures and words.  The PULSE stores have also decreased energy use by 25% compared to the regular stores. In addition, FSC wood is utilized throughout the PULSE stores and they have gone Wood Positive with their paper and cardboard‐based packaging which means they plant more trees than they use to create packages.

The entire experience was inspiring! Beauty with a purpose does exist.  If you’d like to learn more or get involved, just as one of their Values ambassador next time you visit a PULSE store.

iBlowdry, A New Blowout Salon Opens its Doors in Las Vegas Today!

Now this is my idea of a girls’ night out!  The who’s who of Las Vegas’ beauty and fashion industry, media and socialites were in attendance at the media preview event of the iBlowdry Salon, the latest blowout salon to open its doors offering fabulous blowouts for only $35.

We sipped on bubbly and indulged in delicious appetizers while the iBlowdry team debuted the many different types of blowouts from their signature style blowout, “Dandelion” to the super straight “Tulip” blowout.  I especially loved their technique of using pin curls for that extra oomph of volume!

(BEFORE blowouts from L to R: Debbie Hall, Christa Emmer, Krista Darnold, Miss Nevada Alana Lee, Maira Barba Castellanos, Patty Barba)

(AFTER blowouts from L to R: Krista Darnold, co-owner Tasha Jordan, Jenna Doughton with co-owner Melissa Bordinhao, Debbie Hall, Miss Nevada Alana Lee with Arlene Bordinhao, Christa Emmer, Maira Barba Castellanos with Patty Barba)

A special shout out to the other bevy of beauties also in attendance (not pictured): Xazmin Garza, Alicia Jacobs, Laura Coronado, Dayna Roselli, Ruth Furman, Jessica Janner, Lindsay Metter, Dao Vu and Melissa Duran.

iBlowdry opens to the public today! So if you’re in need of some “me” time, this is definitely a great and affordable beauty treat.  The salon is located right off the Strip and is the only blowout salon open until midnight. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

French Tip Dip Review: A Real Mani “Cure”

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a nail buff, no pun intended. I’ve sported all sorts of manicure trends, from the long claws to acrylic fill ins.  And much like how fashion trends go in and out of style, so do manicure trends.  Sometimes, I look back at old pictures and question myself why or question my mother and wonder why she let me out of the house with those nails!

In recent years, I’ve favored the short, square-edged all natural nails polished in black, blue or a metallic shade. I’m currently loving the appliqués. But in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I was a French manicure fanatic, with and without the help of acrylic.  I haven’t donned the clean Parisian look since then until I received French Tip Dip from a local rep who sent me a kit to try.

I let my nails grow a bit before I tried this out this weekend. Upon first impression, I was a bit overwhelmed by the kit and all its components, it all looked a little complicated.  But to my surprise, it was easier than it looked. The tool works amazingly well.  I’m not ambidextrous so I must admit, my left hand was much easier to do than my right.  But nevertheless, my French mani looks great and flawless! In fact, the girls at the office asked me where I had them done!

The instructions that come with the packaging are long and wordy in my opinion, so here are quick steps to a salon quality French manicure at home using French Tip Dip:

  1. Start with clean, freshly buffed nails
  2. Pour the white nail polish into one of the glass pots
  3. Take the dipping tool and choose one of the tips that best fits your nail beds
  4. Make sure to dip the tool with the back side facing you so you can measure the dipping, don’t dip too deep as that is width of the white tip on your nail
  5. Gently press the tool onto your tips, do all of the tips at once
  6. Apply nude color
  7. Apply fast drying top coat

I just wish I had this little handy dandy tool back in the day, it could’ve saved me hundreds of dollars. I guess it’s never too late. If you’re a French manicure devotee, you must try this! Check them out on FacebookTwitter and YouTube for more information.

New Year, Whiter Smile!

Is whiter teeth on your list of New Year resolutions? If so, keep on reading!  Some of you may know that I’m quite obsessed with white teeth – a lifelong resolution of sorts.  But lately I’ve had no whitening will power, drinking coffee and tea more than ever.  I will be forever a fan of Crest Whitestrips but have been waiting for them to go on sale. Then last week, a new whitening product caught my eye, it’s called the Smileactives Teeth Whitening Pen. I decided to purchase it because of three main reasons:

1. Clinically tested to whiten up to 10 shades with one pen (there are 2 pens per package)

2. Convenience (pen applicator means no trays or strips)

3. Cost ($24.98 plus shipping & handling)

Today is my first time trying it out!  I am going to use this pen for one week, 3-4 times a day and then I’ll post my BEFORE/AFTER photos so fingers crossed for great results!  Comment and share your fave tooth whitening product below!