Friday, February 3, 2017

Tata Harper Boosted Contouring Eye Mask

If you follow me on social media, you'll know I am completely obsessed with the Tata Harper line. This is one of those rare occasions where literally everything I've tried from the brand has worked for my skin. The textures, the aromas, the performance, the packaging, everything is trรจs chic

Even though I own most of the line, the Boosted Contouring Eye Mask was a product I had tried in-store and immediately fell in love with the texture and scent, however the packaging turned me off. The product was hard to squeeze out, as it is a balm, and it didn't feel convenient, so I didn't purchase it even though I really wanted it. 

Thankfully Tata listened to her customers and changed the packaging and it now comes in a jar! The size/price have been reduced from 30ml/$158 to 15ml/$120. Yes, that is less product, but honestly you need such a small amount of this balm that this little jar will last you a while. I've been using mine for a month and a half almost every night and you can see how much product there is still left.

Tata Harper PR Sample*

What It Is
An eye-mask that can be used as often as needed on its own or as recommended by Tata herself, over her Restorative Eye Cream. I personally like to use a thick layer at night. I find it too heavy to wear under makeup. 

What It Does
This balm has thirty high performance ingredients. Tata claims that in two hours, it relaxes muscles, in twenty-eight days, it boosts firming, and in 30 days, it smooths wrinkles. The packaging also says that the product promotes a dramatically firmer, more contoured appearance around the entire eye area delivering a lifted look and it reduces signs of fatigue. 

Now here's what I think. I do think that this eye-mask does an excellent job at hydrating the eye area. It's thick, luscious and smells divine. I love how Tata doesn't use fragrance - all her products' scents come from flowers. There is something very calming about the aroma and it does not irritate my sensitive eyes (note: I wear contacts too). I even massage a bit on my eyebrows to keep them hydrated and I have noticed they're growing fast too. 

Does it get rid of bags? No. Dark circles? No. No eye cream will do that, genes are genes, but I can say that it makes my under-eye less puffy when I wake up, especially when I'm on little sleep. I do look less tired when I'm wearing this mask because the finish is dewy, being a balm-to-oil. I have noticed a reduction in my expression lines. Honestly, I love it so much I went ahead and purchased the old version even though the packaging isn't convenient because that's how much I am obsessed with this eye mask. It often replaces my eye cream at night. 

The only thing I must say about the jar is that you must be careful when taking out product, and I recommend using a sanitized spatula to not contaminate the product. I made the mistake of using too little product at first because I was just rubbing my ring finger on the product and dabbing it under my eyes. I felt like I was tugging the area, but that's because I wasn't using enough. I contacted the Tata Harper Team and one of the reps suggested using more, so the next time, using a spatula, I grabbed a pea-size. That made a huge difference, and I've been doing that ever since. 

If you care about what you put on your skin, if your eyes are tired from over-working, stress, lack of sleep, jet-lag, this product is for you and just because it was sent to me, it doesn't mean I'm trying to sell it to you. I promise you I love this so much and it is hands down the yummiest eye mask I've ever tried. 

If you're interested in purchasing it, leave your e-mail down below so I can send you a link that will give you $25 off on, plus you also get three free samples!

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Shorea Robusta Resin, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit extract, Cucumus Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Oil, Candelilla Cera/Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Cire de candelilla, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Diheptyl Succinate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Seed) Butter, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil*, Tocopherol, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) seed oil*, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil*, Sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil*, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Borago officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Arnica montana (Arnica) Extract*, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Polygonum fagopyrum (Buckwheat) Seed Extract, Algae extract, Pheonix dactylifera (Date) Seed Extract, Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) Extract, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Filipendula Ulnaria (Meadowsweet) Extract*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*,  Aroma**, Citral, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Eugenol
*Ingredients from Organic farming
** Clinical grade essential oils blend 

*Product sent by company to review, not paid/sponsored. This does not change my opinion of a product. If a product doesn't work for me or I think is overhyped/overpriced/not worth it, I will state so. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer Review

*Disclaimer: this product was sent to me to review but I always give my honest opinions. Just because I get sent something for free does not mean it'll get an A grade from me. I'm a customer just like yourself, and if I think something is not worth the money, I will state so. 

A Little Background
My love affair for Tata began a couple of months ago. I had several samples and decided to give them a try even though I was dubious about its claims and even more so about "green beauty." I started noticing something other skincare products were not doing - these products weren't full of chemicals but rather natural ingredients and my skin was showing a different kind of glow - a healthy glow. The kind of glow that made me go to Sephora and Space NK to buy most of the products from her line. Usually I like a few products from a brand but rarely enough to ever like its entire line. 

I have normal skin in the colder months and combination in the hotter warmer months. I live in southern Florida and this year has been brutal. We've gotten the kind of heat that doesn't make you want to wear makeup because it's going to melt or feel heavy. This leads me to what I love about this moisturizer.

Changes In Packaging
The first thing I noticed when I received this item on the mail was the change in packaging in both the box and the bottle. I contacted Tata Harper's customer service and I was told that their new packaging will be more "minimalistic." 

New vs. Old packaging

New vs. Old packaging

Who Is It For and What Does It Do?
The new Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer was designed for blemish-prone skin. In my opinion, whether you have acne, the "occasional spot" or if your skin is freaking out due to hormones or climate change, this moisturizer will suit you. If where you live is warm and you sweat a lot to the point where you're noticing clogged pores, this moisturizer is for you. 

Containing 40 high-performance ingredients, this moisturizer claims:
  • Help unclog pore congestion and blemishes on the surface of the skin.
  • Help soothe and calm the appearance of redness on the skin.
  • Provide a lightweight moisture with a matte finish. 

How have I used it?
I've tested this moisturizer in several ways after cleansing but always using the Tata Harper Floral Essence because I like my skin to be damp before applying skincare:
  • On its own: My skin isn't tight. It moves comfortably and feels soft to the touch. I like that it gives me a matte finish that doesn't make my skin look flat. Instead it looks healthy. As a true skincare junkie, I feel pleasure and comfort knowing that what I'm applying on my skin is literally working every second to decongest and treat existing blemishes. 
  • With a serum underneath: Because this moisturizer "sets" and doesn't ball up if you put anything underneath or on top, it sits beautifully on the skin. I personally like to use the Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum at night under the moisturizer. My skin can't handle too much layering during the day because I feel like I end up sweating it off. 
  • With an oil on top: Of course, using the Replenishing Nutrient Complex. This is something I am OK with during the day because the oil is extremely lightweight, absorbs quickly and it's designed to protect your skin from external aggressors. 
  • Under makeup: Because of its matte finish and oil control, my makeup wore just fine. 

Should You Try It? 
This depends on many factors of course. It does retail for $105 which is a hefty price. But considering you get more amount than the average moisturizer (50ml vs. 30ml) and the fact that these ingredients are high quality and all natural, I think it's worth the price. 

It's not a pimple miracle worker. I tested this during my period week when my forehead was becoming a little out of control and the results were a bit gradual. What I mean is, don't expect to put this moisturizer on and see your blemishes disappear overnight, but you will notice changes. I've noticed my blemishes dry faster without any peeling and at the same time my skin never feels tight. This gel-consistency moisturizer is actually very soothing, absorbs instantly (especially if you use it on its own) and at the end of the day my skin doesn't feel dehydrated. 

I have also noticed redness around my spots and cheeks go down. To be completely honest, I absolutely love this moisturizer. I also love how Tata uses natural ingredients that serve as aromatherapy - in this case, blue cypress' scent helps you feel relaxed and calm. At first I thought those claims were BS, but my mood changes at night when I sit and do my ritual with Tata Harper - in fact, I always look forward to it. 

Final Verdict 
This is another Tata Harper product I genuinely love. I wouldn't be here sitting down with my laptop writing this if I didn't think it was worth it. My goal is not to sell you something. My goal is to help you find a product that you love if the products' descriptions meet your needs. Skincare is something I take seriously and invest my money in. I don't care about designer shoes, clothes or bags (and this is not an offensive statement, we are all different and are passionate about different things and that is OK). What I'm trying to say is I try to find not good, but great skincare that makes me feel more confident in my own skin, and Tata Harper has just done that. So is this product worth it? Absolutely. In my opinion, I give this product a solid A+. 

You can shop the new Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer here

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Current Skincare Backups

It's not news I'm a huge skincare lover. I believe it's much better to invest in good skincare in order to feel more confident under your own skin, and believe me, you'll be less inclined to splurge on high coverage foundations because you'll find yourself needing less makeup to cover up. Not that there's anything wrong with them, for instance I'm still a huge a huge fan of the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer which is the most full-coverage foundation I own.

If I have backups of something it means I truly love the product. Today I'll be showing you my current backups and give you a brief explanation of why I love them so much.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Medi-Spa Peel 

Dr. Dennis Gross' is one of my favorite lines. Skincare is very subjective; aside from things that may work for some may not work for others, sometimes it can take months for a product to show results. Not with Dr. Dennis Gross. His products are, in my opinion, one of the quickest to show results. I cannot live without the Medi-Spa Peels. They're part of my Sunday ritual. Richly soaked in 15 acids, these peels exfoliate the skin revealing firming, plumper, luminous and a more even even-toned. The Peptide Milk that comes with it is delicious and packed with excellent ingredients. 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting 

Serums have become more popular in the skincare world and I've always been a fan of them.  You'll find them to be pricier than moisturizers, but most serums have a higher number of ingredients that will penetrate the skin at a deeper level. This one by Caudalie is one I've been using for years. It has a milky texture, smells divine, feels lightweight, it's oil free and at the same time fights hyperpigmentation. 

Caudalie Makeup-Removing Cleansing Oil 

Yes, this does a great job at removing makeup, but I prefer to use it as a "skin" cleanser usually in the morning or as a first cleanse at night to breakdown makeup or SPF. It's low in ingredients, has a thick texture that smells like almonds and feels extremely soft on the skin. It doesn't emulsify much, but I feel like it does a great job at cleansing. Most importantly, it's one I often reach for when my skin is congested. With consistent use, it makes my skin clearer. You can shop it here

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse 

This was a splurge while I was at NYC. My friend Rita named this one of her favorite cleansers and I genuinely trust her recommendations, so it's something I needed. I love this because it's a balm but it comes in a pump form, so the ingredients are preserved. One pump of the Ultimate Cleanse is sufficient for my face and neck. Yes, it's pricey, but the ingredients are absolutely delicious. This is like aromatherapy for the skin. I never use this to break down makeup because it is far too luxurious. If you want to give yourself a long facial massage, this is something you should consider investing in. Some of the ingredients include sweet almond oil, beeswax, jojoba, camphor oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, chamomile, neroli, jasmine and rose. It is LUSH. 

Omorovicza Cleansing Foam 

Also a pricey one and I usually don't gravitate towards foam cleansers, but this one is sulphate free, feels creamy, doesn't dry out my skin and a tiny bit goes a very long way. My last tube lasted a year. If you're considering getting this, I advise you to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday because their website offers 30% off. I absolutely love the smell and love including it in my cleansing ritual. 

Arcona Cranberry Toner 

This replaced my beloved Caudalie Moisturizing Toner. The Arcona Cranberry Toner is more than just a toner. The cranberry extract helps protect and clarify the skin, contains vitamins, phyto-nutrients and essential fatty acids. It also contains Vitamin E as an antioxidant, as well as omegas 3,6,9 and rice milk. Even after double cleansing, this toner is able to pull more dirt. My skin is left so soft and ready for my next skincare steps. If you get it, remember to shake it before using it. PS: it has a sweet, delicious cranberry scent, so if you don't like the smell of cranberry or sweet scents, you might not like this. 

Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster

Skin doesn't have to feel heavy to achieve radiance. I am obsessed with this booster by Dr. Dennis Gross. You can use it alone before your serum, mix it with your serum or moisturizer or even makeup. The ingredient list is superb and I always notice and immediate difference after applying this. My skin looks uber healthy and naturally glowy. This is for men and women who notice their skin is looking lackluster or dull. Absolutely worth it.  

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula 

I really cannot live without these. If I stop using them, I notice it in my skin - not in a good way. It's not that I break out like crazy, but these peels keep blemishes at bay. It's very important to exfoliate your skin to get rid of dead cells that are laying on the surface of the skin. Think about it - if you have tons of dead skin cells sitting on your skin, they won't allow the rest of your skincare to penetrate properly. My skin has been more even toned, radiant and these peels have literally helped my self-esteem because I feel more comfortable in my own skin. 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir 

I know this contains alcohol, but I have used this product for so many years and I've never had a negative experience with it. If you have really dry skin, I wouldn't recommend it. But it's super refreshing, minty and perfect for these hot months. I also like spraying it when I'm feeling tired, when I'm breaking out (because it seems to help fight my blemishes) or prior to a mask. You can shop it here, and earn MyCaudalie points! 

Dr. Dennis Gross Firming Peptide Milk 

This milk used to only be available if you purchased the Medi-Spa Peels, but luckily Dr. Gross made it available on its own, phew! This milk's texture is exactly like the name suggests - milky. I love using it after using my regular Alpha Beta Peels. The ingredients are amazing - tripeptide-21, collagen amino acids, ceramides, arnica, retinol, coconut water and juice - and the list goes on. This is beautiful to use on its own. It leaves skin feeling so soft and taken care of. You can shop it here

Thanks for reading! I hope you found some good recommendations. Are there any backups you currently have? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Visual Representation on Living with Depression and Anxiety

I don't know hardly anything about cameras, but I've always been a visual person and have enjoyed taking pictures of things, people, and pictures for other people. 

I have battled with depression since I was 14. I'm turning 27 in July. I have lost many people because of it and had many failed attempts at ending my life. Is it something I am proud to speak about? No. Am I ashamed of some of the things I've done and said? Yes. Do I think I or you (if you have depression or anxiety) should be ashamed of your condition? No. Society makes us feel like it is "inappropriate" or even "weak" to speak about emotions, and the truth is, many people feel trapped or as if they are living two separate lives because speaking of your condition is simply not an alternative. 

I don't know exactly how to deal with myself, but I do know that if I speak about it, I might encourage others to speak about it. I know that if I try to show visual representations of what I feel on a daily basis, it might help those around me who do not understand what I'm going through.

The truth is, many people think mental illness is a lie. Many people think depression is a choice or a way to manipulate others or an excuse to shut down. It is NOT. 

Please feel free to share this post with your friends and loved ones, or anyone who you know is going through their own battle. This issue deserves more attention and awareness. It is real and it is a frightening condition. 

Break the stigma: there is such thing as psychosomatization.
Some people pull their hair, others pick to bleed. Your anxiety is translated into your body one way or another. 

Pills: A friendly reminder to stay "sane."
The first thing when I think when I wake up is "I need to take my anti-depressant", and I usually carry Xanax in my purse for any out-of-the-blue panic attack. To be honest, I still feel like shit and still to this day I wish there were a pill that could simply numb the pain. 

Sleeping more to not "be" in the real world.
This is a concept a lot of people around me have a hard time understanding. When I'm awake, I am able to think and I have a sense of awareness. When I'm asleep, I can (sometimes) rest from my own negative thoughts. Sadly though, I've been having a lot of nightmares, so I feel stress and pain even in my own dreams. 

To be completely honest, sometimes I feel like just sleeping all day. Wake up, and go back to sleep. 

Release is good.
Let it out. Cry. I usually like to cry by myself because I do not want to transmit my "negativity" or my "sadness" to others. I know I must deal with this alone. 

It is, however, draining. Very draining. 

Religion can help.
I am Catholic, so I do pray every night and every morning and every time I feel anxious or sad. I like to carry "objects" with me because they make me feel protected. 

You tend to feel broken and dull. Dry. 

Sometimes I panic during the day and feel like where I'm entering is somewhere I don't belong. 

I think I've always envied birds for their ability to fly and migrate. 
I wish I could fly and escape. 

You feel like life is being sucked out of you.
Just like when you're standing on shore and your feet get soaked but then the current takes the salty water and sand back to the ocean.

There are always external factors to depression.
I'm a proud Venezuelan. Venezuela is suffering. The media doesn't even show what is really going on, but trust me, it's sinking, and that sinks a part of me, too. 

As I was walking on the beach, I saw this cute little girl with the Venezuelan flag around her. Her parents let her pose for my project. Thank you, if you ever get to read this. 

You feel like a rubber band about to snap. 
That is when it usually gets scary for me. I can usually feel it coming.

(Thanks to the cool guy who posed for me and making this picture happen)

Depression comes in waves.
You may feel fantastic, capable and strong, and them boom. We fall. We do not choose to get relapses, they just come in waves. 

Dual Nature is a real thing. 

Think Fight Club or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I am my own worst enemy. You have no idea when Mr. Hyde is going to make an appearance. 

The thought of having kids can be scary.
This might be hard for some to understand, but basically I do not want to pass along this illness. 

No one can save you, and we are aware of that.
Of course we know that unless we don't have the willpower to get better, we won't. This is a personal battle, and I am very well aware that there are many changes I need to make to my life and still many battles to go through. Without the dark, we cannot recognize the light.

Truth be told, sometimes I feel exactly like this. 

But I have hope. I have hope I will get up again the same way I've gotten up since I was 14.

I do wish people understood that sometimes we want to be alone. It is unpleasant for others to see our "dark side." 

I am a 26-year old female still in the process of blooming. 

And from the bottom of my heart, I am choosing to fight my demons to hopefully bloom into the best version of myself.