Light It Up!

There are three makeup essentials that I carry in my purse, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen, Marc Jacobs Lip Laquer and Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon.

I initially purchased the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen several years ago. I realized the potential of this pen when I was traveling and had a 24 hour layover, sans suitcase. After a meager 3 hours sleep in the airport hotel, I gasped when I looked into the mirror.

Touche Eclat

I resembled a sick, sleepy raccoon. Definitely not a raccoon you would coo over, but the one you run away from because you are fearful it has some rare, contagious disease. I frantically looked around and remembered the Touche Eclat pen.  A couple swipes with the pen and no more sick raccoon.

Hm, next I tried a couple dabs on my face. The sallow look I was sporting, instantly disappeared. Okay, I was getting the hang of this. I tried a dab under my brows and I was suddenly more alert without the caffeine high I normally crave.

After a few more swipes, I resembled a human being again. Yay!

Since then, I learned never to leave home without this pen. If I need an afternoon pick me up, a couple of swipes and I appear refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day.

This pen is also great because you can achieve a luminous glow without the use of shimmer or glimmer. That morning in the hotel, I used the pen as concealer, highlighter and eyeshadow. This multi use pen can save the day.

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We Don’t Talk Anymore…

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The image of a deserted island can be appealing. With the digital age, I wonder if we are creating our own deserted island where the art of conversation is non existent. Human interaction is diminishing as technology handles everything from ordering, to paying, to communicating with friends and family.

I would love to see a class offered in Elementary schools that fosters communication both written and orally. How many times have you seen celebrities make awkward/unforgiving statements? There are ways to express yourself without demeaning others. This doesn’t mean that these comments will be eradicated, however, they might be greatly diminished.

My mom’s side of the family excels at communication. They encourage each family member to communicate even if they have “nothing” to say. Sometimes, everyone is communicating so loudly that it is difficult to ascertain what others are saying. The fact that they are communicating face-to-face is commendable.

Human beings are social creatures. We are meant to socialize, although some people might disagree with this statement.

I am guilty of communicating via technology, as well. I resolved, a while back, to keep tech messages short. Anything important, I call or talk to the person face-to-face.

The next time you have something to say, try picking up the phone (I know, it’s so old fashioned) or better yet, try talking to the other person one-on-one.

Captivating Capri

 

Capri is an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples. It is known for its rugged landscape, high end fashion boutiques and upscale hotels. I first visited this island when I was 19 and I was also fortunate enough to visit the Blue Grotto. The Blue Grotto is a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue.

My last visit to this enchanting island included my husband and son. When we arrived, via ferry, with a group of locals and the usual group of tourists, instead of opting for the funicular (tram) to ferry us up the mountain, we decided to walk. Not one of my stellar ideas since the day was quite warm and we neglected to bring enough water. That being said, we determined to reach the La Piazzetta. La Piazzetta is a great place to people watch. Everyone from North European royalty, to Italian actors, to the fellow tourist who fell asleep next to you on the ferry, might be spied at a neighboring table. It took us approximately one hour to make the climb. If you’re not that ambitious, you can take the funicular or bus

Once we reached the top, we admired the view from the top. Even my husband, who is not easily impressed, fell in love with the charm of this quaint island. As we walked along the streets, noting the exclusive boutiques and quaint outdoor restaurants, we found a little cafe off the beaten path. We enjoyed some delicious pasta, pizza and unobstructed views of the marina below. We even ate our pizza like the locals with fork and knife.

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After a relaxing lunch, we explored the Chiesa San Michele. The church was built during the 17th century and is known for its statue of San Michele and splendid antique ceramic floor.

After an aperitif to fortify ourselves for the trek back to the marina, I was determined to find a boat that would take us into the Blue Grotto, Grotta Azurra. Imagine my distress when I discovered that no boat would be entering the Blue Grotto that day due to high winds. I attempted to convey the beauty of this sight to my husband and son. The cavern is considered the most famous site on the island. Pictures alone, do not do it justice.

Weather permitting, to enter the Blue Grotto, first you climb into a wooden rowboat. The rowboat typically holds four individuals. To pass through the opening, the skipper has everyone lay back in the boat because the stone portal opening is typically only a meter high. As he pulls the boat through the opening by a metal chain attached to the cave walls, you feel as if you are entering another world.

Sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the sea water creates a blue reflection that illuminates the entire cavern. As I mentioned, the water appears to be electric blue in color. Objects placed in the water appear silver. The time I visited the cavern, the skippers of the boats started singing. I longed to jump into the magical warm water and never leave.

Since we weren’t able to explore the cavern, I decided we would take a boat tour around the island. Traveling around the island gives you a better appreciation of the beauty of this location that the locals love to visit on the weekend. As we passed yacht after yacht, I mentioned to my husband the proximity of a small cruise ship. He informed me that it wasn’t a cruise ship, but a yacht. The night before, the pilot of the boat gleefully informed us that Dolce & Gabbana rented out the two most expensive hotels on the island for an exclusive party. After that, I kept a sharp lookout for celebrities on the water.

 

I wish we had more than a few hours to spend on the island. Better yet, I would love to have one of the floating palaces I saw, I would even settle for one of the small yachts. I would love to return and explore more of the island, I especially wanted to visit the Villa San Michele which is considered the pearl of Capri. It was built around the turn of the 19th century. Some people have described it as paradise on earth with its beautiful garden.

If you have the opportunity, explore this beautiful island. Ciao.

Beauty Elixir

Beauty Elixir

Coffee and Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir are my breakfast staples. I discovered this product years ago and the love affair is still going strong. I’ve tried other facial mists, however, the combined scents of mint, rosemary and rose instantly perks up my skin and my psyche.

Before I apply any makeup, I close my eyes and spritz my face 3-4 times. You can apply before, during and after makeup application. Sometimes, if I’m dragging in the afternoon, or just want to refresh my makeup, I’ll spray some of the mist onto my face. I instantly feel refreshed and ready to go.

What I also love about this product is that it comes in two different sizes. The mini size at 1 fluid ounce is perfect for travelling. This has saved my face on many flights.

Last, this product, according to Caudalie’s website, contains 100% natural ingredients. My husband even uses it. Sephora and Caudalie.com are two places where you can find this product.

Loving Yourself

It seems that everywhere you turn today, people are preaching about respecting others. My parents taught me, by example, to treat others with friendship and respect. I never witnessed any discrimination or bigotry on their part. I am thankful that I had such  exemplary role models.

Likewise, my parents were consistent in their praise for me. My mom, in particular, constantly told me how smart, talented and beautiful I was. She also knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I could do anything I wanted to do.

As a teenager battling acne and weight issues, I questioned my mother’s sanity. My peers were quick to point out flaws that my mom perceived as perfection. Thankfully, I didn’t have the internet to contend with as well.

As I transitioned into adult hood, I found it easier to love others than to love myself. I was hyper critical of my looks, my speech and my thoughts. I wanted to be the popular girl in school. My self discriminatory nature made me hate myself. I was blessed with friends, family and health, yet I was miserable.

It wasn’t until I started loving myself that I was able to truly love others. This was not a process that happened overnight. It was a slow, step by step process. The first step was to start concentrating on the positive and quick obsessing over the negative. The second step was to stop trying to look and be someone else.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today, social media allows us to instantly connect with friends and family all over the world. This same social media allows us to be hyper critical of others. Many people are afraid to voice their opinions for fear of repercussions. Photos are enhanced to portray a more perfect image. There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve oneself, however, we shouldn’t hate the person we are.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. I’ve seen the results of suicide on the friends and family that are left behind. There are a lot of unhappy people in the world, please don’t be one of them.

 

Contour To Go

A couple of months ago, I went in search of a compact contour palette. The contour palette I had, which I loved, was impractical for travelling. There are so many contour palettes to choose from, I wasn’t sure which one to choose. My daughter grabbed this small palette by the checkout line and shoved it into my hand.

It is approximately 3 x 4 inches and around 1/2 in thickness. My other palette requires a tote bag just to carry it.

The test was when I went to use it. The contour color blends well. With my fair complexion, a little is all I need. It was the two highlighter colors, though, that sold this palette for me. As I mentioned before, I love highlighter. This palette has a warmer and a cooler highlighter shade.

I noticed that this compact is on sale right now at Sephora.

Travel Essentials

When I was in college, I wrote a paper about the most streamlined way to pack for a trip. Needless to say, I never followed any of the recommendations in my paper. My husband will be the first to tell you that when I travel, if I could bring the house with us, I would. My oldest daughter consistently garners the award for the heaviest suitcase. You’d be amazed how much shoes can weigh.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to see a great deal of the world. In all my travels, whether by plane, train, boat or car, there are some essential rules I follow for traveling.

Shoes! In the past, I packed a pair of shoes for every conceivable situation, except for comfort. Doesn’t everyone pack 8 pairs of shoes for a 3 day trip? I was notorious for purchasing the “perfect pair” of shoes, only to discover that my feet were in agonizing pain after a day spent traipsing over cobblestone streets.

Travel Shoes

Nowadays, I read numerous reviews before selecting a potential pair of “travel” shoes. I go to the store and try them on. Once I get home, I wear the shoes, and I’m not talking about a few steps. If possible, I try to wear them on surfaces that will mimic the area/area will I be traveling. I wear them over a period of days. The last trip we went on, everything might have been tired, but my feet were happy.

Medicine! If you have prescription meds you need to take, don’t wait until the last minute to get them filled. When you’re preparing for a trip, there are other things that should occupy your time and efforts. Do not cause additional stress by trying to fill last minute prescriptions.

Regardless where I’m traveling, whether it be a big city, the mountains, beaches, etc., I make sure that I have basic medications. It seemed, especially when my kids were little, that I needed Children’s Tylenol at 1:00 in the morning. To avoid late night medication runs, take basic medications with you.

A trip, a couple of years ago to Europe wiped me of Immodium AD. I know many doctors are not a fan of anti-diarrhea type medicines, however, I was trying to travel from Italy to Greece. The last thing I wanted to do was camp out in the bathroom at the train station.

Last, unless you have to have a new outfit everyday which I’m definitely guilty of doing, some basic essentials can cut down on packing. Black is always a good basic color to have. I also like tan hues, which don’t show wear and tear like their white counterparts.

Last, I refuse to take clothes that wrinkle easily, unless there is a function where a certain outfit is required. I hate ironing. Plus, the last thing I want to do on a lack-of-time trip is ironing. Following these few essentials tips have made traveling more enjoyable for me.