EM Cosmetics True Gloss Review

Before I begin, I want to just put it out there again, that I am not a make up guru. However, I am a fan of makeup. I love the way makeup just makes me feel more put together and, not to be vain, but it does make me feel better about myself when my makeup is on point during the day. I also want to point out that I don’t like lip glosses. But I do love me some Michelle Phan. So when I heard that EM cosmetics True Gloss lip glosses were coming out, I had to give them a try!

Another disclaimer is that this review is not sponsored in any way, nor am I affiliated with any of the products I mention. I bought these with my own mula so there you go. =)

What is EM Cosmetics True Gloss?

Their website states that EM Cosmetics True Gloss are lip glosses that are comfortable to wear, have vivid shades, and have brilliant shine. It also states that these glosses “subtly plumps the lips, has a luminous finish and stays vibrant throughout the day.”

The formula has a gel base that maintains the shine and adds moisture to your lips. It also has a peptide complex that stimulate collagen production and repairs damage, so your lips can look smoother and fuller. Lastly, it has vitamins E and C, “and emollients to keep lips feeling soft, conditioned, and comfortable.”

Lastly, their website states that you can expect their glosses to have long lasting shine, with vibrant colors, without stickiness and/or discomfort.

So naturally, I try them! That and because I’m just a fan of Michelle Phan. I mean yeah, her line before was not the best, but since she’s revamped EM Cosmetics, I have yet to be disappointed!

EM Cosmetics True Gloss Packaging

Ok, so packaging seems to be real important when it comes to beauty gurus. For me, I don’t really care as long as the product works. But for those interested, it comes in EM Cosmetics signature black and white box. As you open the box, you see Michelle’s saying at the end of all of her youtube videos – a simple “Good luck.” The makeup is always wrapped in the classic black tissue paper.

 

Once you unwrap it, EM Cosmetics True Gloss is packaged in a simple white cardboard box. The color and the name of the glosses are on a sticker that runs from the top of the cardboard box to the side.  The stickers are actually really easy to peel off and none of the gunk gets on the box if people care about that stuff.

 

Then the glosses. White lids with a golden top and see through cylindrical container. That’s the best I can describe it. Gimme a break! English is my second language okaaayyy?? Here are pictures of the 4 that I bought.

 

Time to Try Them On!

I bought 4 out of the 12 shades. I sort of knew what colors go well with my skin so I picked the 4 that I thought would be good for me. Aurora Pink, Lotus Blossom, Red Jasper, and Ruby Wine. I tried to take pictures of the same shade in different lighting so you can truly see the colors and how they look.

Aurora Pink

This is the first one I bought. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, so I initially just bought 1. After that, I decided to buy 3 more shades! The website describes Aurora Pink as a “sheer cool pink.” Since it said “sheer” I decided to go for it because I wanted something that wouldn’t be too obvious. I basically wanted a “my lips but better” look. It delivered.

 

Lotus Blossom

The website describes this one as a “warm pink.” Since Aurora Pink did so well for me, I decided to try another pink.  This wasn’t as shiny, but not necessarily a bad thing. I liked that it was a little muted down.

 

Red Jasper

EM Cosmetics describes this color as a “muted terracotta.” What’s a terracotta? Yeah, I had to look it up. It’s supposedly a brownish red or brownish orange earthenware. Ok… so here’s what it looked like on me. Definitely a little more brownish orange than a brownish red. Though it could be my lighting. I still liked it.

 

Ruby Wine

A “bright burgundy” is how this lip gloss is described in their website. I wanted something a little va-va-voom for mama’s night out. Like that ever happens, but hey, at least when I wear it, I’ll feel like I went out somewhere fancy schmancy. That’s all that matters! Definitely more high shine than the other ones I tried. I like!

 

The Review

So I basically love it and would buy the whole collection if I had the money. This is why someone needs to adopt me already or make me some kind of beauty guru so I can get free stuff. I mean I don’t even have to get tons of free stuff, just EM Cosmetics will suffice. But again, I digress… I do that in my blogs you see… I’m going to go into what EM Cosmetics True Gloss promises and let you know if they delivered.

“Comfortable… Adds Moisture To Lips”

The comfort. You guys, I literally hate lip glosses. For me they are sticky and uncomfortable and the ones I’ve tried have always made my lips feel icky. Grant it, I haven’t tried many because I don’t like them… BUT… I can tell you that I really do like these. They are very comfortable to wear. It’s true that it’s not sticky like other glosses. I mean real talk, when you smack your lips together, you know there’s something on your lips. But throughout the day, my lips just feel hydrated which feels nice since I usually have chapped lips.

“Vivid Shades, Brilliant Shine”

I mean I only have 4, but the 4 that I have are great colors. They are all shiny to an extent, but not too shiny so it’s very wearable and makes your lips look nice and classy.

“Long Lasting… stays vibrant throughout the day”

After eating my breakfast, I find that it’s actually still on my lips. My breakfast is typically overnight oats if that matters to anyone. And when I eat it,  I don’t try to save the lip gloss. I just go for it. So it’s nice that it stayed one even after I ate. It doesn’t last the whole day. It does leave a nice “tint” on my lips after it wear off though so that’s a plus. I would say it lasted several hours before losing it’s luster.

So yeah, it doesn’t really stay vibrant throughout the day. Maybe if you eat without touching your lips??

“Subtly Plumps”

I’m not sure about this. I don’t think it does. But I’m really ok with that. See  below. The first picture is my lips without the True Gloss.

 

Other factors

The application. Ok, so since I don’t wear lip gloss, I usually have a hard time putting them on. But for some reason, I found it easy to put these on. The applicator is almost like a doe-foot applicator, but with a pointy end (is there a name for this type of applicator??? see? not a make up guru). This helped me sharpen the edges after I’ve applied the lippie.

 

Transfer. They don’t claim to be transfer-proof and good thing they didn’t. These babies TUH-RANS-FER. Big time. So I mean try not to get it on your shirt or whatever. On the upside, it does seem to leave a nice hint of color after some of it has come off your lips. I still like =P.

Bottom Line

I would definitely recommend EM Cosmetics True Gloss. I just liked the way it made my lips feel hydrated and the colors I happened to pick compliments my skin tone nicely. No, they are not cheap, but I think that $17 per gloss is not bad compared to others out there.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!!

(For my review of the EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds, click here).

(For my review of the EM Cosmetics Fine Liner Brow Pencil, click here).

(all gifs from giphy.com)

To Air Fry or Not to Air Fry: An Air Fryer Review

That’s the question these days. I’ve seen so many advertisements on these things that I just had to try one for myself! A healthier way to fry? Yes please! Less grease equals less mess? Yes please! A new kitchen gadget? YES PLEASE. I am a sucker for new kitchen gadgets. Do I use all of them? I mean, I don’t have to tell you everything right? Right now, we talkin’ about the air fryer! So back to the title: to air fry or not to air fry?

What is it?

It’s basically another way you can get the crispiness of fried foods without all the grease that comes with fried foods. There is supposedly something called “rapid air technology” that will cook your food evenly and get it crispy without all the grease that you soak fried foods in. Air Fryer is the new thing I guess.

What we got

Affiliate Link: Yes, there will be affiliate links below from which I can make money off of. Mama gotta pay the bills. Whether you click on it or not is totally up to you though! No pressure!

After much research, Andrew decided to buy the GoWise USA Air Fryer. It got 4 stars on Amazon and it was not as expensive as other ones that we saw.

This particular air fyer has 8 presets from which you can choose from depending on what you want to cook – fries, chicken, steak, etc. But you can also just set this manually if you don’t trust the presets.  This one is 5.8 quartz so fairly large, however, it’s not too heavy which is always a good thing for a shrimp like me. And it comes with a recipe book that will get you started right away!

What We’ve Cooked So Far

We’ve made fish tacos and compared it to frying on the stove.  The picture on the left is from frying the fix on a stove top, and the one on the right is from the air fryer. The fish from the air fryer was definitely less greasy and more evenly cooked. The fish on the stove top lost some of it’s form (crumbled), and is visibly greasier (note transparency of the paper towel).

We’ve also made fried dumplings. The picture on the left is from the stove top. The one on the middle is from the air fryer. We found that the dumplings from the air fryer had a more even, crispier texture on the outside than the ones from fried on the stove top. It was also, unsurprisingly, less greasy. As for what’s on the inside – see third picture below. The cross section of the dumpling from the air fryer is on the left. As you can see, it’s not much different from the stove top one.

Chicken wings! We made the Honey Lime Chicken Wings from the recipe book that it came with. They turned out pretty well. Skin was crispy and the meat was juicy.

We’ve also made sweet potato fries, and regular fries, as well as reheated baked chicken from the night before. I didn’t take pictures of those because we ate them too fast. Oops. But putting them in the air fryer definitely made the outer part of the foods crispier.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
– Foods are crispier, and has a more even texture
– No need for preheating in most dishes. You just turn it on and it’s ready
– Easy to clean. No grease splatters to wipe outside of the fryer (unlike the stove top)
– Less oil needed, so depending on what you cook, it may be healthier for you than using a deep fryer, or even stove top frying
– Great for reheating if you don’t like to use the microwave. It’s quicker than using the oven.

Cons:
– Size of the basket. You can’t cook much at one time because of the size of the basket. Fries are ok but once you get to the bigger surface areas, you have to cook it at even layer on the basket. For the chicken wings, we could only cook 7-8 wings at a time.
– Size of the air fyer. It’s pretty cumbersome to just keep on your counter if you’re only going to use it once in a while. You will have no room for anything else.
– Sometimes, foods are just tastier with grease! Am I right?

Conclusion

OK, so the answer to the question is it depends. Nothing can replace the awesome greasy goodness of fried foods. That’s just the way it is. However, if you do want a healthier option that can still give you some of the crispy-ness of fried foods, the air fryer is the way to go. I have yet to bake in it though so I can’t say much on baked goods. It claims that it’s pretty awesome at baking but who knows. Maybe I will update this review if ever I get around to baking with it =).

Thanks for reading and have an awesome rest of the day!

6 Ways To Help Parents Wind Down

I don’t know about you, but by the time the day ends, I need a way to wind down.  Most of the time, I sit on the couch and watch TV.  After a couple of shows, it’s time to get ready for bed. However, I don’t really feel relaxed. I feel anxious for the next day and I feel like I didn’t really do anything for myself. Does that sound familiar to you?

Why do I feel anxious? Because when I watch TV, it’s like time flies by so fast and it’s time to sleep and then start the day over again! Where did the time go?!

Daily Routine

This is an example of our daily routine.  You wake up, get ready for work, kids wake up before you finish getting ready, you rush to finish, then you get the kids ready. After you dress them and brush their teeths, you make them breakfast. One kid is screaming because he is hangry and wants food now, the other kid is whining because she doesn’t want pancakes for breakfast – she wants bread. You feed them, if you’re lucky, you stuff your face with whatever they may be eating while packing up their lunches.

You finish packing up their lunches and then it’s time to get them into the car. Need I say more on that?

You go to work. If you’re lucky, work goes well. You may even get a breather if you don’t have a busy day! In our case, that’s highly unlikely for the hubs who is always busy. I’m a little luckier at work because there are times when work isn’t as busy and I can breathe! Then work is over and it’s time to pick up the kids! We pick them up, make dinner or heat up leftovers. Eat dinner. Play with the kids. Start their bedtime routine. Put them to bed by 7:30pm. Then wash the dishes, clean the kitchen and then if there’s time, wind down right? Right??

Ways to Help Parents Wind Down

Disclaimer: All of the stuff I mention here, I bought with my own money, or were gifted to me by friends. I am not affiliated with any of these items nor am I getting any kind of compensation for mentioning the products.

OK! So you’ve had a long day!  It’s time to relax! Watching TV just seems to make the time go by faster and by the time you need to go to bed, you may still be wound up. Here are some simple ways to help wind down your body, mind, and soul in the comforts of your own home.

Body

 
1) Warm bath: Ok, so I’m not a bath type of person. I like showers because I feel like bath time takes too much time. But I’ve found that baths are actually pretty relaxing because it forces you to just stop everything (it could actually be good for your mind, body, and soul). The warm bath can relax your muscles and help relax your whole body. To make it more fancy,  add a bath bomb and it’s like you’re in some wonderful vacation!
I used a Bhe Refined bathbomb made by a friend of mine. The base scent for all her handmade/homemade bathbombs is a mix of eucalyptus and lavender! And it smells awesome y’all! The fancy ones have different types of flowers/plants that will float around in the bath if you’d like – rose, marigold, lavender and chamomile. I have pretty sensitive skin/eczema and I’m happy to report that these bathbombs didn’t irritate my skin =) woot!! (A friend and I are gonna do a giveaway which includes these awesome bathbombs! Like this post and head over to my instagram for a chance to win!) [now closed. Winner selected]
2) Facial Masks: Listen, I know some guys don’t do face stuff, but real talk. They’re awesome. What body parts are the most exposed during the day? Hands and Face. Take care of your face people! Facial masks also feel real good and it relaxes your facial muscles in case you were frowning all day or fake smiling at your coworkers 😉 jk jk.
I tried Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet. As I said, I have sensitive skin. So I’m always scared to put things on my face for fear that I will breakout. But this one was great! It felt refreshing while it was on and my face felt moisturized but not greasy afterwards. The next morning, no breakouts! So I think these are pretty safe to use (at least so far ;-)).

 Mind

 
1) Podcasts: If you turn off the TV and your eyes aren’t focused on anything and you’re just listening to something, it actually feels kind of relaxing. While you’re chillin’ in your awesome warm bath, listen to something fun or relaxing. I recently just got into Jonathan Van Ness’s “Getting Curious.” The man is a genius and is hilarious. I don’t know, it felt nice to relax my eyes and just listen. It felt like my mind was more focused and still relaxed – maybe because it was taking away the sight stimulus? I don’t know man, I am not a psychologist.
2) Reading: I’m thinking something that doesn’t make you too anxious. My favorite is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I’ve read those books at least 3 times through. Find a book you like or something that will help your mind to just wind down. Something that won’t make you think too much. Give your mind some time to relax.

Soul

 
1) Meditation: There’s apparently tons of things you can do in a warm bath. Put on some relaxing classical music or turn on some nature sounds and close your eyes and meditate! Clearing my thoughts and just enjoying my time in the warm bath helped to refresh my soul.
I also found out that there are meditation apps you can use! I just read HelpMamaMeditate‘s blog about her top 5 meditation apps for 2018 and found the article interesting! Check it out!
 
2) Reading: Ok, so, I’m talking about a different type of book here. Something that will feed your soul and make you feel “new” again. There’s tons of “Chicken Soup for the ____ Soul” books out there. For me, as a parent, I’m currently reading “The Power of a Praying Parent.” This book talks about giving the worries that you have for your children to God. For me, this gives me peace in my soul that my children are in good hands and that a higher power is helping us to raise them. Whatever book you choose, find something that will give you peace and that will feed your soul.
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So there it is folks! These are just 6 ways to wind down after a long day of being a parent. I hope that you find any of these tips helpful and that you are able to have some time for yourself because “me time” is so important! Hopefully, you’ll feel well rested and be ready for the next day!
What do you do to wind down at the end of the day?
Thanks for reading and hope you have a great rest of the day!
(all gifs are from giphy.com)

Mac & Mia Review

Shopping for kids clothing can be a bit overwhelming for me. It’s hard to bring Ella and Isaac to the store and have them try on stuff because by the time we pick out their clothes, they don’t necessarily want to try them on. When we do make the trek to the store to find them outfits, I want to buy everything and they don’t want to try on anything! Does that happen to you guys? No? Just us? Enter Mac & Mia – children’s boutique clothing right at your door!

About Mac & Mia

Ok, so I figure I should tell you a little bit about what this service is before I go into my experience. Mac & Mia is basically a clothing service to find awesome outfits for your child without you having to go to the store. Once you get to the site, you will be asked a couple of questions about your child’s size, preferred style, etc. so that your stylist (that’s right people, you get your own stylist ;-)), will have something to go on when they pick out pieces for your order. This is like the kid’s version of Stitch Fix.

How much is it? Every time you request a box,  you pay a $20 styling fee. If you buy 2 or more items from the box, the $20 fee will be applied to your total order every time you order! AND get this, for your FIRST order, they give you a $20 credit… so if you buy 2 or more items, you’re essentially going to get $40 off! I’m just saying, that’s worth it if you think about it ;-).

Why I Like Mac & Mia (Pros)

The Deal: Y’all! I’m from the Philippines and Filipina Mamas LOVE great deals! When I heard about the $20 sign up credit and the $20 styling fee being waived (if you buy 2 or more items), I was like “I’m rich! I got $40! I quit everything!!” 😉 Just kidding on the quitting. Don’t lie, you know you got a little excited after reading that too ;-).

Your Own Stylist: Ok, so I may not have the best sense of fashion. We are lucky that we have friends and family who will steer us the right way when it comes to the kids clothing. So having their own stylist is a good thing for me ok!? It also sounds cool like, “oh Ella’s stylist thought this dress would look great on her.” Ha! What’s also nice about it is that you can try on different styles that you may not have thought of trying in the first place.

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High Quality Materials: All the pieces that I received in my first box felt very well made. Ella is rough on her clothing. She may be a girly girl because she loves dresses, and bows and stuff, but girl is not afraid to get down and dirty (and we love that about her!). So this is nice because we know that it will hold up when she’s being cray ok?

No shopping: Yes, sometimes I like picking their outfits. But at other times, it’s so nice to just have someone else do it for you! When I opened the box, it was kind of nice to be surprised at what our stylist (see? that sounds nice doesn’t it? haha) picked for us. We didn’t have to go anywhere and Ella was only too happy to oblige in trying on the clothes because she didn’t have to wait too long or get distracted by other things in a store. Look at her work it in the following photos! Ha!

Free shipping: Yassss, free shipping! If you don’t like some of the items, they give you a shipping bag and you just drop it off the nearest UPS and you’re good to go!

It’s not a subscription: You can get 1 box and 1 box only. It’s not a subscription where you have to do it monthly or else you have to cancel. You order a box when you feel the need for inspiration in clothing, and then when you don’t feel like it, you don’t have to! That’s pretty cool.

Are There Cons?

The only con I can really think of is that the $20 styling fee cannot be waived if you don’t purchase 2 or more items. So if you don’t like anything in the box at all, that’s $20 down the drain. But that’s the service you pay for. And honestly, I feel like there’s such a good variety in the box that you won’t have trouble picking 2 that you like.

My Verdict

This is definitely worth a shot. I mean, like I said, with the sign up bonus credit of $20, and the $20 styling fee getting waived (if you pick more than 2 items), it’s a great deal! You can also earn more credit if you get you refer a friend! So really, the first box is such a great deal, who wouldn’t want to try it?

If you do decide to try Mac & Mia, click here to get that first $20 credit! Yes, with that link, I get credit too. But even if I didn’t, I’d still tell you to try at least the first box because of the great deal! You’re stylist will be Lisa and she’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself! She’s very responsive to questions and believe me, I asked many questions! Gimme a break! I’m new at this!

If you do give it a try, let me know how you liked your first box!

And as always, thanks for reading and have an awesome rest of the day!

 

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

One Toy to Rule Them All

Like, legit. I mean I guess all kids are different. But in our household, this toy has been played with more than any other toys in the house. The Magnetic Tiles. It’s like magic. It can keep a 4 year old busy for more then 30 minutes! Come on… if I can eat breakfast in peace AND wash my dish without any interruptions? That is magic!

It’s these different shaped tiles with magnets on the sides. You can build castles, or houses, or as my 4 year old daughter calls some of her creations, “milk factories.” I think it’s because she went to a farm and recently learned about cows and milk and how it gets distributed to everyone. Yay for school field trips!! But I digress.

These are really great! They even have directions and pictures of some structures that you can make if you don’t know where to start. The tiles are in different colors and and shaped evenly so that the pieces attach to each other optimally. The main difference about these and legos (or maybe other building blocks) is that it makes her problem solve a little more to try to figure out a way for her structure to stand/not collapse. Since the pieces are only being held by magnets, the side of a building can simply topple over without adding supporting structures inside the building. Another benefit is that you can teach your children different shapes and may even be able to show them resulting shapes when you combine more than two pieces. For example, 6 equilateral triangles makes a structure that my daughter calls a “pizza!” Or how 4 triangles and a square base can make a pyramid.

These are definitely worth looking into. There are many different kinds on amazon. If your toddler seems to like to build things, this is a great option for them. Not gonna lie, after the kids go to bed, I sometimes play with these tiles to see if I can make anything cool.

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Thanks for reading and have a great day!