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Monday, October 30, 2017

Breaking the Rules with AVEDA



Seems like everyone's going back to their roots for Fall, right? It's typical to bid farewell to lightened locks and embrace the cooler weather with darker tones. But not me. I decided to break the rules this time around. 

When Atelier Aveda Salon & Barber Shop in Willow Glen approached me about working together, I was thrilled to jump at the chance of a great partnership. I mean, we all know how much I adore being an Aveda ambassador because their products are the tops. So, when we discussed a hair transformation of some type, I said let's go big or go home!

I wanted to have fun with this. Step outa the proverbial box. And toss aside the idea that I should darken my hair for Fall/Winter. Besides, there's nothing I love more than crisp Winter whites. So, light, bright and super blonde was the way to go! And Lindsay Castillo (@hairbylindsay_) was totally on board to volunteer her services for a long day of transformation. And long it was. 7 hours long, to be exact.

If you're having a total WTF moment, let me explain why it took 7 hours. To get my strands to practically platinum blonde status, it took not 1 but 2 Balayage treatments. So, she foiled my hair. Let it sit for about an hour. Washed. Dried. Then, went back and foiled my strands a second time. Plus Olaplex! She also applied a toner which sat for a hot minute. And then she washed and dried and styled to finish off. It's a process. 

But take note: she would not have foiled my hair twice if she knew my hair wouldn't have been able to handle so much processing in one day. Luckily, I have strong hair because I always take the utmost care of it. And I could handle a full day of processing.



As you can see, if you watched the video above, I managed to squeeze 7 hours into a sped-up 5-minute video. This was a lot of fun. Atelier Aveda Willow Glen also decided to have Sherry Furr (@hairbySherFurr) do a quick makeup application, using all Aveda products, naturally, to complete the transformation. How perfectly convenient to get your hair done AND your makeup done all in one place. I walked into the salon with boring hair and devoid of makeup but left looking like a whole new woman! Yassssss


MAKEUP APPLICATION C/O SHERRY FURR - LIP COLOR IS AVEDA "MULLED PLUM"


HAIR TRANSFORMATION C/O LINDSAY CASTILLO

Now, let's discuss the details, the price tag for a full day of transformation. Because I know you're wondering what exactly something of this caliber entails.

HAIR w/ LINDSAY CASTILLO:

Balayage x 2 = $500
Olaplex x 2 = $70 (Olaplex is a must to protect hair!)
Shadow root + Toner = $130
Blow dry + styling + scalp massage + hand massage is complimentary w/ services.

MAKEUP w/ SHERRY FURR:

Application = $75



So, was it pricey? Yes. But professionalism comes at a price. And when you're dealing with your hair, you can't afford to screw around. You want the best? You go to the best. And the best are at Aveda. You can never go wrong using Aveda products and going to Aveda stylists. They know their shit. Always on top of the latest trends and procedures and Atelier Aveda in Willow Glen is no exception. Their facility and expertise is nothing short of the best AND since they are amazing.....we've got SPECIAL DEALS JUST FOR MY LOCAL BAY AREA READERS!!

----> MENTION "SHOP SAVE SEQUIN" WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR FIRST COLOR SERVICE AND RECEIVE A FREE BOTANICAL TREATMENT ($35 VALUE).

----> MENTION "SHOP SAVE SEQUIN" WHEN YOU BOOK A COLOR + CUT COMBO AND RECEIVE A FREE HAIR MISTER! ($35 VALUE) - Hair misters are basically perfume specifically for your hair and you have a few different scents to choose from! They're fabulous.
_______________________________

Let's GO SHOPPING!



- Purchase my lip gloss as seen above (Aveda "Mulled Plum" $19) HERE! Because who doesn't love a dark lippy for Fall!

- Purchase the Aveda Blue Malva conditioner $22 HERE! Because BLUE shamps and condish are a MUST for platinum blondes.

_______________________________


AVEDA ATELIER SALON & BARBER SHOP
WILLOW GLEN

1047 LINCOLN AVE. SUITE 101 & 202
SAN JOSE, CA
95125

(408) 293-3494

*Be sure to check out other fun transformations via their Instagram page HERE!









THIS POST HAS BEEN SPONSORED BY
ATELIER SALONS

 ALL THOUGHTS/OPINIONS/PHOTOS ARE MINE.




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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

PALM SPRINGS BIRTHDAY GETAWAY



"We turn not older with years, but newer every day."
-Emily Dickinson



August 29th I turned 34. 
So I ran away for a week to hide in the desert....

Hiding out for my birthday sounded like an excellent plan. And so I dragged my husband and my bestie out to the hottest place on Earth. I mean, I knew it was going to be effing hot in Palm Springs. I knew it was August. My husband was shocked and it took him about 2 days to get acclimated to the 115-degree weather. I couldn't wait to soak in the heat.



I had seen a lot of pictures on the gram and thought the Korakia Pensione would be the lovliest place to hang out for a week. We got lucky enough to be upgraded to an amazing suite so I can tell you which rooms we got to stay in - Each room in the resort is different. Totally unique. And each goes by its own name.  

We spent a night in a romantical, tiny bungalow also known as The Sahara Room. It's literally just French doors that open up to a queen bed with a nook for a closet, a tiny bathroom and a mini-fridge. We loved the cozy setup and I would highly recommend if you're staying 1 maybe 2 nights with your luva. Since we were staying a week, we were excited to get the upgrade...

THE SAHARA ROOM - KORAKIA PENSIONE

The rest of the week we were upgraded to The Nomad Suite. It was a spectacular setup. A large sitting room with a wood-burning fireplace (which we didn't use cuz it was August but nice to have either way). A spacious full-sized kitchen. Romantic master bedroom. This is a one-bedroom suite so it was luxurious to have so much room to ourselves. The bathroom has a stone vanity and shower. The bed sits atop a stone base...totally dug the aesthetics.


THE NOMAD SUITE - KORAKIA PENSIONE

BREAKFAST NOOK IN THE NOMAD SUITE

LOOKING INTO THE SITTING ROOM OF THE NOMAD SUITE

MAGICAL NIGHTS AT THE KORAKIA


ROSES & A CANDLE-LIT BIRTHDAY NIGHT


MISSGUIDED SEQUIN STAR DRESS

The Korakia is a magical property. Especially at night when the property lights up with lanterns and twinkling lights everywhere. Both rooms that Chris and I stayed in were villas on the property's Moroccan-inspired side. My friend Kim stayed in a fabulous villa on the Mediterranean side which is conveniently right across the road. Both sides have swimming pools.

Little details about the Korakia (Core-aw-kia) in case you want to know how to pronounce it. It's Greek for "crow".

Adults only. Specifically no kids under the age of 13. The hotel does not allow children. For this I am grateful. We don't have kids and it was nice to have the pool area a serene spot without little ones screaming and running around. So, if you don't have kids or are looking to get away from the ones you've got for the weekend, the Korakia is perfect. 





Breakfast is complimentary daily. I opted for the vanilla yogurt & granola option each morning. It was delicious. Topped off with fresh fruit and orange juice...it was perfect. And don't worry. If you gotta have your daily Starbucks injection, there is a Starbucks down the road, on the main strip, in the village. 

Chris and I got a couple's massage in an outdoor hut on the Mediterranean side, one of the last mornings we were there. It was super relaxing and so needed. If you're looking for a hotel with a super nice, luxurious spa facility, this isn't it. The whole vibe here is laid-back, simplicity, rustic-charm, a throwback to another time. It's quiet and peaceful and a lovely, romantic hideout. We chose to have our massages in their designated spa-hut, but if you want you can request in-room service. 

There are no televisions and there are no in-room telephones. But they do have record players. And we listened to Billie Holiday on repeat. It was wonderful.




TRINA TURK SWIMSUIT - ZARA SKIRT - DESIGNS BI K HAT

Besides, lounging by the pool and relishing our lovely hideaway, we managed to go back to a few fave spots we discovered on our previous trip to Palm Springs. We decided to do something super touristy and experience the tram that everyone in Palm Desert knows about. It's the only aerial rotating tram-car in the world that ascends from the desert floor up to the top of the San Jacinto mountains in just 10 minutes. You climb almost 6,000 feet! It's quite the experience. To go from 115 degrees to a comfy cool 75 in under 10 minutes was insane. You can actually feel the air change as you travel up the mountain. Once at the top, you get off the tram and hang out. There's a bar! There's a gift shop! Yessss....and of course there's hiking and exploring the park. Trams descend the mountain back to the desert floor every 30-45 minutes. Tickets are about $25/person.


PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY


MOUNT SAN JACINTO STATE PARK

So, that was fun! But after this cool trip up the mountain it was time for food and shopping. But of course. Eating in the Village in downtown Palm Springs is great (shout out to LuLu's where we ate practically every night) but we took off to nearby Palm Desert for our favorite spot for Mexican.

Armando's in Palm Desert is located on the main strip is the El Paseo shopping district. LOVE shopping and just strolling El Paseo. But hands down, Armando's has like the best Mexican food we've ever had. COLD beers make me happy. And so does their chicken-tortilla soup. Chris ordered the biggest burrito I've ever seen and took in down in less than 10 minutes. We love this place.


CHRIS AND HIS BURRITO - ARMANDO'S - PALM DESERT

SHOPPING AT TRINA TURK - SHOPS ON EL PASEO - PALM DESERT

The El Paseo shopping/eating district is also where I sought out an Aveda salon for an impromptu hair-chopping. I got lucky to get an appointment at the Alankara Aveda salon with Isaiah. And he did an amazing job. You know you can never go wrong at an Aveda salon. Going home with a fresh chop made me feel better about turning 34. Fresh & Fabulous! Thank you Isaiah. 

Scroll down to watch a video compilation of the entire trip.


SHORT HAIR DON'T CARE! DRESS IS BY RAGA


NO TRIP TO PALM SPRINGS IS COMPLETE W/OUT A VISIT TO THE MIRAGE HOUSE - DESERT X





CALPAK LUGGAGE - LOVE THE HATBOX - AVAILABLE AT NORDSTROM


IN SHORT.
PALM SPRINGS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA.


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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Day Drama - SHOP the Look



You guys have been all about my makeup look from last weekend. It's actually been a while since I've done a dramatic eye but as we ease into Fall, I'll probably be rolling out with darker and more prominent makeup. During Summer months, my makeup typically get's put on the back-burner. A nice tan and hot weather means mascara and lip gloss and I call it a day! 

Plus, I almost always try to get away without having to use foundation. I'm rarely a fan. I take pretty good care of my skin and I'm lucky to not have much that needs covering up, so my makeup routines hardly ever encompass foundation. And my latest look was no exception.

In this post I'll briefly list and describe all the products I used + links to SHOP it all!


1. I may skip the foundation but definitely not on moisturizer! First things first and I always start off w/ Dior's Hydra Life Pro-Youth Silk Creme. This has been my go-to moisturizer for about 3 years now.

2. New to my routine and a new favorite is this amazing, smoothing under eye gel by Volition. I've talked a lot about this stuff lately and I highly recommend. The Volition Helix AM/PM Eye Gel may not erase my circles but its won me over by diminishing fine lines, wrinkles and just smoothing out my under-eye area. I use this eye gel religiously now, every morning and every night.

3. To give my eyebrows a more filled-in, bold look I use Smashbox Brow Tech Shaping Powder in Taupe. I try not to over-do-it with this super fine powder because the idea is to fill-in my brows without looking like I drew them in with a marker! I'll usually tap the pen-tip brush to get rid of excess powder before applying to my brows.

4. To line my lower lids for added drama, I used Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eye Liner in Arabian Nights (navy blue). I used this both as liner below the eye lid and the lower inner lid.

5. For the PURRRFECT cat-eye, I'm obsessed with the following product. I used to have the worst time drawing on the perfect cat-eye on my upper lids until I was sent the Master Precise Curvy Liquid Liner by Maybelline. It has the perfect curved tip (almost like a calligraphy pen!) which facilitates this whole cat-eye thang immensely. Honestly, I'd about given up on the trend till I got a hold of this specific liner. You need this in your life if you suck at cat-eye's, like me! Haaahaaa

6. For slightly smokey eye, I use Bobbi Brown's Smokey Eye Mascara in black...but only on my bottom lashes. Note: Since I did this bold look during the day I stayed away from eye-shadows which would have definitely amped-up the smokey-eye look. I just stuck to liners and mascaras.

7. For my top eye-lashes, I used recent newbie Givenchy Noir Interdit Mascara in Deep Black. This is the first mascara to have a wand that bends to a 90-degree angle. But more importantly it makes my lashes long and plentiful. Done & Done!

8. After moisturizer, instead of foundation, I like to use Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer. This gel primer has subtle hints of sparkling gold specks in it. So, I add this smoothing primer over my cheeks and nose before I blush.

9. After I use the YSL Primer, I use Marc Jacobs Spotlight Glow Stick Illuminator on my cheek bones for a nice irridescent highlight on the upper cheek bones.

10. After the YSL Primer and after the MJ Illuminator, I use good 'ol Benetint (the original rose color) from Benefit. Rub a couple droplets onto my cheeks for that natural flushed look.

11. Then, to seal the deal on the cheek makeup, I gave them a quick brush of Tarte's Paaarty Amazonian-Clay 12-hour Blush. The Paaarty color is like a light rose/nude hue.

12. Last but not least, on my lips I used Aveda's edible lipstick. Yes, it's freakin edible. I don't recommend it as a mid-day snack, but it's good to know that it is edible when you take into consideration how much lipstick you actually ingest without realizing it....food for thought! The nude/rosy lipstick I used here is Aveda #951 Sheer Primrose. [Check your local Aveda salon's makeup counter for this particular color]

13. To top off the lipstick I used Aveda Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in #952 Pink Lupine. [Check your local Aveda salon's makeup counter for this particular color]

14. When all is said and done, I'm now addicted to slathering my chest, arms and legs with Kopari's Coconut Body Glow. The shimmer is insane but the scent is what will have you coming back for more. 






DRESS: Free People from Marshalls - BAG: Zac Posen - HAT: Etsy Shop DesignsBiK

DISCLAIMER

*Some products have been received for testing/advertising purposes.
ALL thoughts & opinions are definitely mine.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Endless Summer Giveaway


Some of us are ready for Fall. Some of us feel like saying goodbye to Summer today is bittersweet! But it doesn't have to be....

So, I've decided to do an Endless Summer Giveaway.

For me, this past Summer was filled with fun collaborations, amazing sponsors and great products. And there's nothing I love more about my blog than to share the products I receive with my readers. And there are some things I'm tossing in from my own collection - like a set of my favorite rose-colored, satin pajamas by Missguided!

 A whole caboodle of fun stuff. 

Whoever wins this box-full of goodies is going to feel like Summer never ended! There's everything from a fabulous hat, trendy sunglasses, and a good book to slogan tees, makeup, and MORE.

MISSGUIDED SATIN PAJAMAS

You first got a glimpse of my lovely satin jammies this past Spring when I was getting ready to elope. Loved them so much, I got multiple colors and now I'm giving away a brand new set! Yasssss

"ALWAYS ON VACAY" HAT

A special shout-out to my main giveaway sponsor, 

She's the fab creative behind ALL the hats you've seen me wearing this year. I originally sought her out on Etsy to make my "Mrs. Gehrels" hat that you saw me wearing during my honeymoon. And after that we decided to collaborate on a few choice hats during my birthday trip back to Palm Springs...

"MRS. GEHRELS" CUSTOM HAT

"OUT OF OFFICE" HAT

"LEAVE A MESSAGE" HAT


So, besides the fun "Always on vacay" hat that Designs Bi K and I are giving away, here's a quick rundown of what else some lucky girl is going to take home:

- Missguided satin pajamas as I mentioned above
- 3 fun slogan tees
- Enjoy & L'anza hair styling products



ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





THIS GIVEAWAY IS SPONSORED MAINLY BY
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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Beauty Product Musts from this Summer


Jumping right into it here, I'm starting off with the 'Blur' liquid foundations that were sent to me to test out courtesy of Milk Makeup and Influenster. 

If you follow me, you know I hardly ever wear makeup, little less foundation. However, I do use it on occasion for certain photo shoots and whenever I feel like sprucing myself up for bae.

So, I was glad to receive these new Milk foundations to try out. I've never tried out Milk makeup but I've seen it everywhere. And anytime I've popped into Urban Outfitters I always drool a little over their smart packaging. Always a sucker for packaging...

I like that I was sent two shades - one lighter and one darker - which is perfect because I have one for my slightly tanner Summer skin tone and now one for the lighter tone I'll have this Fall/Winter.

No complaints about the foundation. It made my face picture-perfect. And I can say that in complete honesty because the day I shot some photos using it, I was feeling like shit. 

I will say ONE thing though. I'm not planning on using the cute little Milk gel applicator that accompanied the foundation. It's fun. It's aesthetically pleasing. I even like the iridescent bag it comes in. But that's as far as it goes for me. I didn't like using it. I don't have anything more educated to say other than that. The applicator just didn't suit me, personally, and I'm much more comfortable sticking to the foundation brushes I already have. The gold brush in the photo above is what I prefer to use for my foundation coverage.

So, Milk Makeup is awesome. The 'Blur' foundation is a yes, but I'll pass on their gel applicator...

MILK MAKEUP BLUR LIQUID MATTE FOUNDATION ($40) - CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!




I had been wanting to try out this brand for a while! I've seen Kopari products all over instagram. Blogger life! My birthday shopping always takes me into Sephora and I finally got a hold of this delicious coconut shimmer oil from Kopari.

Oh EM G. Obsessed. It should be named Gardenia EXPLOSION. Besides giving my skin a hint of bronzer and a good dose of shimmer, I smell insanely good. I can't say enough about it. Even if it didn't give me a lovely Summer glow, I'd still buy it because the scent alone is beyond intoxicating. If you haven't tried out Kopari yet, give it a go! I'm definitely a new fan. CANNOT get enough of this.

KOPARI COCONUT BODY GLOW ($42) - CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!




And speaking of my birthday trip to Sephora, I couldn't resist scooping the newest scent by miu miu. Last year I bought their debut one (red cap) and so it only felt right to bring home a bestie for her! The yellow-capped bottle is the newest release and it's lovely.

While the first miu miu scent has more pungent, deeper tones, the latest one is similar but different in that it's a much lighter take. If you don't like floral scents, neither miu miu scents are for you. I LOVE them both and have been switching daily, from one to the other. It doesn't hurt that I love the bottles too. Personally, I have the larger (3.4oz) bottles. Go big or go home as they say!

MIU MIU L'EAU BLEUE ($94-$122) - CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!




I've walked by the Sinfulicious store a handful of times in Palm Springs. Never popped in. Until this past trip. The smell literally lured me in this time around. If you haven't been into to one of their stores before, I'd recommend. Everything is customized. Their array of scents is astounding. They literally take whatever scent or scents you want, mix them up, and create your own personal scrubs, lotions and oils. AND they can make the scrubs and lotions whatever color you want too. It took less than 10 minutes to make my products and the process was fun to watch too...

I went into the process thinking I wanted a gardenia scent...I find it hard to stray from my signature favorite. But the Sinfulicious chick got me totally hooked on her favorite combo of Plumeria and Pikaki. Holy shit. Even Chris can't believe how much he loves this combo. When I come out of the shower, the bathroom, the house and me smell like Hawaii! No joke. It's THAT intoxicating. 

The product performance themselves are fabulous. I use the scrub in the shower and then follow it with either the lotion or the oil. The oil does not leave you oily. Dries fast. Leaves you soft AF and smelling so good you cannot stop sniffing yourself.

I'm glad I finally stopped in to Sinfulicious. Favorite shower time products of all time. For real. And thank goodness they have a website so when I run-out I can easily order more of my favorite Plumeria + Pikaki combo.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN MINERAL BODY SCRUB ($37.50) - CLICK HERE!

CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN SUNFLOWER & SHEA BODY OIL ($23) - CLICK HERE!

CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN SHEA BODY LOTION ($22) - CLICK HERE!





Last but not least, Volition. Volition is NEW. A new concept. A new approach to beauty. And new to Sephora stores everywhere. What Volition does is they have you, the consumer, vote. You vote on what products you want to see go into production. Volition sees you and they hear you. They aren't about telling YOU what you need. They're about YOU telling THEM what you need. Cool stuff. 

I was thrilled to partner with this new brand. I really wanted to see how well these products would actually work out for me. I have to say I'm impressed. Rose-gold packaging aside, the products are fab. My favorite being the 'Helix' am/pm eye gel.

I always have issues sticking to a product if I feel like it's not doing anything. And let's be serious. Beauty products are plentiful in giving us false hopes. Lot's of (especially in our 30s) are starting to notice those pesky fine lines and wrinkles creeping in under and around our eyes...fml...and the struggle to find a product that helps seems never-ending.

So, why am I touting this eye gel? Not because Volition sent it to me to advertise. I'm honest about what does and doesn't work for me. And I really like this eye gel for a couple reasons. When I slather it on, I sometimes feel the tiniest tingle as it soaks into my under-eye area. The tingle makes me think, "It's actually DOING something!" But then, after a month of consistent use (I put in on every morning and evening) I can actually see and feel the difference it has been making.

My under-eye area feels super, super smooth and I can tell that smoothness is helping to diminish those "happy lines"...I call them happy lines cuz when you're happy, you smile. You laugh. And happiness while wonderful causes HAPPY LINES! lol...and so does stress. 

I like this product because it's the first to encourage me to actually be consistent. And consistency is key. The results. for me, have encouraged me to keep using it. What else can I say? It's worth a shot.

If you're wondering about the Turmeric scrub, it's a definite yes. I've got some acne scars so a brightening formula is always a good idea. Plus, this scrub leaves my face so damn soft afterward. I keep mine in the shower. Even though it's a full-body product, I use it solely on my face and that's how I like it. 

VOLITION HELIX AM/PM EYE GEL ($52) - CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

VOLITION TURMERIC BRIGHTENING POLISH ($38) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!





THIS POST HAS BEEN SPONSORED IN PART BY
MILK MAKEUP, INFLUENSTER & VOLITION BEAUTY.

ALL THOUGHTS & OPINIONS ARE DEFINITELY MINE.
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