Fashion Maven... Mommy

Tula At ULTA!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

TULA  is one of those skincare brands that so many people raved about!  This past June, I finally had a chance to see for myself what all the hype was about.  I began incorporating Tula products into my daily skincare routine and quickly became obsessed!  In fact, these are the products i brought along on my vacation to Mexico in July!

One of the things that stood out to me in Tula products is that they use probiotics as a base to all of their skincare. The idea is that you rethink healthy skin from inside out!  Probiotics are natural, good-for-you bacteria that helps improve your digestive health.  The same bacteria best known to help balance and calm your stomach are also clinically proven to help balance your skin by locking in moisture and leaving your complexion more hydrated and with the appearance of  less inflammation.  Such an interesting concept and one that makes total sense! I have yet to try a Tula product that my skin didn't love!  A few of their products, however, truly stood out to me and have become permanent fixtures in my skincare routine. 

First, the Purifying Face Cleanser is officially THE BEST one I've used EVER!  I don't know what it is about it but i love that it gently cleanses my skin without that squeaky clean  rubbery feel you get from most cleansers.  It doesn't hurt that it smells amazing too!  Not overly perfume(y) but just clean!  This for me is a must-have!

Another amazing product is the Aqua Infusion Power LiquidThis super lightweight serum delivers a ton of hydration and calms skin.  It has micro-encapsulated tiny bubbles containing probiotics and active ingredients that are released upon activation to deliver long-lasting hydration. It's truly wonderful for my sensitive skin.

I'm a HUGE fan of the Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewing Cream! The applicator provides a nice, cooling massage in the under-eye area which is SO soothing.  I truly enjoy this part of my daily skincare routine. It's kind of like a cup of coffee for your eyes!  Once you apply it, you feel that instant depuffing, awakening of the eyes.  It's so wonderful!  It works well for tired, puffy eyes which i have no doubt you can all relate to!

I love a good lightweight moisturizer. TULA's Hydrating Day and Night Cream is just that and more! It revives dull, tired skin while packing on the moisture fully derived from probiotics and superfoods.  It's light enough to wear under makeup yet deeply hydrating.  This moisturizer is also wonderful on aging skin as it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and improves the overall suppleness of skin.

I also LOVE this travel size kit for a multitude of reasons.  First, it's sized perfectly for travel duh! Second, it's a wonderful way for you to try these products without the investment in the full size.  I have recently tried this mask and LOVED it as well.  I'm definitely excited to introduce my skin to a few more TULA products in the future.  Most importantly, i really want to add their probiotic pills to my daily routine because I've heard from multiple sources that they are truly amazing!

The exciting news is that TULA is now available at ULTA stores and online!  I couldn't be more excited about this because I'm an ULTA shopper!  If you are too, then you'll definitely want to check these out!  I promise your skin will love them too!

Thank you so much for reading!  Xo, Carla - FMM 

*press samples - all opinions are my own based on my experience with these products.


Paul & Joe Beaute

Sunday, August 12, 2018

You may know Paul & Joe as the Parisian Fashion House known for their effortless ready-to-wear clothing.  But did you know they have a makeup line too?  They did not miss a beat with this one focusing on impeccably packaged, quality products to make every girl swoon! Seriously, this collection is every vanity's dream!

Paul & Joe Beaute infuses the whimsical prints from the runways focusing their concept on Joie de vivre (the joy of life).  It's truly evident in their gorgeous, playful prints, as well as attention to detail by incorporating delicate prints on their blushes and lipsticks.  Really, their products are fun to display because they're so aesthetically unique and beautiful yet they don't skimp on quality.  You will never find such a pigmented, creamy lipstick that looks as beautiful as Paul & Joe's!  When i swatched a few on my arm, i nearly gasped for air with so much excitement!  Often times, when brands attempt to create these quirky lines, the product tends to lack substance in my opinion.  Not here!

Let's feast our eyes on these GORGEOUS lippies!  I couldn't stop photographing them because they are so easy on the eye.  However, bringing myself to swatch them was perhaps one of my most difficult tasks ever as a beauty blogger! Uhhhh, ruining that pretty flower print was not easy but oh so worth it when i began to swatch.  The color is pigmented, rich, creamy and wears beautifully.  If you wanna try one thing from the entire line, i highly recommend the lipsticks!  The colors swatched here have all earned prime real estate in my everyday makeup pouch! Every. last. one! Making these even more fun is the fact that you can choose the lipstick case you love most from their amazing choice of prints and customize it to fit your style.  For instance, select the lipstick shade you want to buy and then select the case/print your want it in, making this an even more personal and exciting experience!

While for me personally, the lipsticks are the true MVP's of this line, there are other products not to be missed! The nail polishes come in a wonderful array of colors to suit every taste palette and in true Paul & Joe fashion, they come housed in the prettiest of ways!  I promise that it will be difficult to pick just one!  My daughter Mimi spotted these on my vanity and immediately requested to wear them for the Taylor Swift Concert.  Per her request, she wore these two shades alternating.  Naturally, i followed suit!

It poured if you couldn't tell by the yellow rain jackets, but we still had fun!  We loved matching our nails too! (Blue in shade #12 and Coral in shade #10)

You can also purchase sweet little eyeshadow trios as well as blush/bronzer combos that you can pair with your package of choice!  The product is interchangeable which  makes playing with these so much more fun!  I'm loving the blush/bronzer palette.  The colors are wearable, blend well and look great against my complexion.

I definitely look forward to trying more from Paul & Joe!  I believe the Fall collection may have a little something for all you kitty cat enthusiasts wink wink!  Makeup can be so fun and it's even more exciting when it's also GOOD!  You can purchase these beauties herehere and here!  Thank you so much for reading!  Xo, Carla

*press samples - All opinions are my own based on my experience with these products.


Microblading - Sharing My Experience! (Part 1)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I remember it clear as day... the first time i tweezed my brows! I recall reading in a magazine how shaping your brows a bit can make a world of difference in your overall appearance. After all, the brows truly do frame the face.  I began by tweezing just enough to create a sharper arch and thought, wow... what a difference this little adjustment made!  Then i went HAM!  Seriously wishing someone slapped the tweezers out of my hands and sent me straight to ' Over Tweezers  Anonymous' but sadly, no such luck!  Fast forward to a few years ago when i felt this immense determination to grow back my brows! I equipped myself with all the necessary (so i thought) ingredients!  Castor oil, brow serums... you name it, i tried it.  Sadly, operation 'grow your lashes back' failed miserably and i found myself having to engage in the arduous daily task of filling in my non-existent brows!  I tried a ton of brow products but was truly married to just a small few.  One in particular i simply could not live without.  This product alone set me back $34 per month!  I've been using this product and more for years and truth be told, it adds up.  Last year, i began hearing more and more about microblading but the thought of a semi-permanent tattoo-like situation on my forehead scared the heck out of me!  My assistant had hers done and i thought she was quite brave for doing it.  She has dark hair so initially, it was a bit difficult to grasp how dark they were.  She kept assuring me that the pigment would fade to a perfect match.  Then she began scabbing and i immediately decided... nope, not doing it!  Still, a part of me was curious.  As time went on, more and more friends and followers shared their experiences with me (mostly all positive) and i began feeling a bit more convinced.  This new year's, i decided there were a few things i just need to get out of my system.  Sometimes, you just have to book an appointment and not give it too much thought! So i did... for lash extensions! I'd been dying to try them and i thought that was a great way to begin this year's 'bucket list' journey.  As soon as i did my lash extensions i decided that i was going to bite the bullet and get microblading done as well!  

My 'barely there' brows before Microblading

This is one of those things where you have to do a little research!  I asked my instagram followers for help and boy did they come through with amazing recommendations.  After carefully researching all the recommendations sent my way, i narrowed it down to two places.  I began following both on instagram and watched their work come to fruition via every single picture/video post.  I decided that once i returned from vacation, i was going to book an appointment and just do it! Well, interestingly enough, i follow Lauren Manzo of the Real Housewives of NJ on Instagram and she posted herself getting microblading done by one of my top two places of choice.  Her brows look amazing and so i felt that i was being guided in the direction of Jennifer at Dr. Jeffrey Wise's office in Wayne, NJ. Coincidentally, while i was away on vacation, Jennifer DM'd me and offered to have me come in for a session.  It's so funny how life works sometimes!  Obviously the universe is guiding me to this person because that's the right person for me.  

I was definitely scared, but Jennifer gently set me at ease!

I felt so many emotions going into this but Jennifer was so kind and reassuring.  Truthfully, her work speaks for itself and i knew i was in the best of hands.  Besides, i gave birth to TWINS, i can certainly handle this right?!  My appointment was August 1st.  I walked into Dr. Wise's office and instantly felt at ease.  The office environment is serene, the staff was incredibly lovely and courteous, and the space was impeccable to say the least.  After filling out some initial paperwork, Jennifer came to greet me with a welcoming smile and honestly, we just vibed!  The space where she performs microblading is very comfortable.  There was a large flat screen TV showing Fixer Upper (love me some Chip and Joanna Gaines) which immediately set me at ease. Jennifer began to place numbing cream on my brows and told me i needed to sit and wait for about 20 minutes.  This was the perfect time for a little Q&A!  To those who left questions on my insta-stories, i asked every single one!  

Q & A with Jennifer

Q: Does it hurt?
A: It shouldn't because we are not going deep into the tissue. Microblading is superficial and this is a medical office so we use medical grade numbing which is nice!  I numb you throughout the entire process. Actually, the second passing that i do becomes more numb than the first. 

Q: How long does it last?
A: Depending on the person!  People maintain microblading differently.  So if you have oily skin it doesn't last as long.  Also, people who get a lot of sun, it doesn't last as long.  Lighter colors will fade faster.  Patients are getting touch-ups anywhere from 6-18 months. In terms of longer, by the two year mark it's pretty much softened to the point where you won't have much left. 

Q: How long does the actual procedure last?
A:  So your first appointment is two hours because we are really fine tuning the shape that is going to be aesthetically pleasing for your brow and your structure.  The second appointment is about an hour and a half because I'm not as worried about creating a shape but more filling/shading in the brow where it needs to be touched up. 

Q:  Who can we trust to do this:
A:   There are different laws in different states.  In NJ you have to have a licence.  A lot of people have the misconception that if someone is certified, they can get microbladed which is not the case.  They have to be licensed. I think pictures speak volumes so licensing and pictures are the way to go. 

Q:  What is microblading exactly?
A:  Microblading is a technique where we use a tool that looks like a blade but it's not.  It's made up of little pins and I'm drawing in the strokes which makes it a very artistic treatment also!  We draw in these strokes in the superficial layer of skin with pigments not inks.

Q:  Does it work on all skin tones? 
A:   It does but thicker more oily skin types, microblading might not be the best option for them. 

Q:  Oh is there an alternative?
A:  It would be the old permanent makeup that we do... powder brows we call them now.  So it gives more of a penciled/powdered in effect.  It's softer so you don't see the definition of the hair strokes and I'm using a permanent makeup device to shade them in.

Q:  What is the range of cost for microblading?
A:  I think for someone who is really skilled and licensed, the going rate in the New York, New Jersey area can be anywhere from $800 to $1,500 depending on your technician. 

Q:  Is the one month follow up included in the initial price?
A:  Mine is though I'm not sure about others.

Q:  What is the cost of maintenance?
A:  So typically it's about half the price of the initial cost.  Your brow shape should still be somewhat there but the idea is that you have one appointment to redefine and boost the color. 

Q:  How many visits overall?
A:  The initial visit and one touch up.  After that, you can schedule a maintenance visit according to your needs.  You will know when your brows begin fading and you're due for a touch up (as mentioned above, anywhere from 6-18 months).

Q:  Since you have to get them touched up yearly, will there be any scar tissue build up?
A:  Because we are only in the superficial layer (the epidermis) there should absolutely be no scar.  If there is, someone is absolutely going too deep!

Q:  Should you pencil in your brow shape prior to the appointment?
A:  I think nice to see how comfortable someone is with their brows look.  I think it's a good idea to see what they're comfortable with, how they like their arch, what color they're using to get a general idea.  It doesn't mean that you have to necessarily follow that but it's a good guide. 

Q:  In the long road, is it financial worth it?
A:  That is entirely up to you!  Is it worth it to pencil in your brows every day?  I've never met a person who said 'i miss filling in my brows'!  Besides, brow products get expensive too!  It is life-changing for a lot of people!

Q: Do you get microblading?  You seem to have a lot of eyebrow hair!
A:  Yes!  While i have a lot of hair, i don't necessarily have the shape i long for.  Microblading gives me the perfect arch!  I actually have a hybrid brow!

Q:  A hybrid brow?  Please share what that is!
A:  So different techniques... Microblading is a technique where you're drawing in strokes.  Microshading is a technique where i can tap in the pigment and create this powder effect to give the brow more density.  Stroking alone can sometimes look very flat, especially if you don't have a lot of hair so it just creates a 3D effect.  I would say that 90% of the people that i do are a combination of microblading and microshading!

Q:  Are you able to get waxed microblading?
A:  Absolutely but i don't know many people that would want to considering you have this beautiful shape.  You can simply take a tweezer to clean up the area. 

Jennifer applying the numbing cream on my brows! 

Once Jennifer answered all of my questions, she proceeded with the next step which was to measure and sketch in the brows.  She really takes her time with this process.  Most brows are somewhat asymmetrical (remember they're sisters, not twins!).  Once she sketched in the brows based on my shape request, she sat me up to take a look.  This was important because i could essentially decide if they're the perfect arch, thickness etc. I loved the shape she created so thankfully, there wasn't a need for any further changes.  

Getting my brows sketched in

At this point, Jennifer began her work.  A few seconds in and i asked her if she had already started?  She assured me that she had so i quickly exhaled a sigh of relief because all i felt at that moment was a slight tapping on my brow.  Kind of like a q-tip tapping, so no pain whatsoever.  That isn't to say that i didn't feel anything, i did!  In fact, when she began to sketch in the strokes, i felt them.  The pain was dull and tolerable.  She numbed my brows multiple times during the entire process which as so helpful.  She created a hybrid brow (see above) by shading in a portion of the brow and leaving a portion with sole strokes to give the brow some depth.  The entire process took about two hours.  When she finished, she sat me up to take a look.  My first reaction was WOW, i was so happy with the shade/color.  It wasn't too dark, the arches looked great and overall it was just a world of difference from what i walked in with.  I asked her to add a few strokes to the inner parts of the brow, but other than that, her work was perfection.  I was SO PLEASED!  

Jennifer gave me a sheet containing instructions on how to care for my brows over the course of the next month.  Mostly, I'm suppose to keep them dry (especially the first 7-10 days).  It also lists what to expect in terms of stages.  She disclosed that you don't really get the full effect of what the brows will look like until about two months in.  This is because after your touch-up, you'll need to go through the healing process again!  I will be documenting the healing process along with the touch up session which I've already scheduled for the end of August.  I will write an updated post so that you could get a better visualization of what the entire process entails. 

For now, I'm so grateful to Jennifer and Dr. Wise's office for inviting me on this journey.  It's amazing to wake up with BROWS!!!  I highly recommend them... from professionalism, gorgeous facility and courteous staff, they are truly commendable!   You can check out their website for microblading and much more

Thank you so much for reading and i share another update in a few weeks! 
 Xo, Carla - FMM

*This service was complimentary however all opinions are my own based on my own experience.

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Haul

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Every year i look forward to the famous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  Why you ask?  Well, this isn't like any other sale where you'll find a few bargains on end of season stuff. This is new Fall merchandise that is currently marked down but prices will be marked up once the sale ends on August 5th! That's essentially what makes this sale so special!  I love to stock up on basics... you know, pieces that you know you'll live in during Fall and Winter.  Such items for me personally include basic long sleeve tees, cozy cardigans, sweaters leggings and boots.  I think i scored almost everything i wanted this year with a little patience.  Yes, things sell out fast but that's because people buy multiple sizes or make impulsive purchases and end up making returns. If there's an item you've had your eye on, keep the page open on your device and refresh it whenever you remember to.  This is how i scored two sweaters i'd been dying for!  Haha i was determined!  I still have my eye on a super cute bucket bag but haven't had luck just yet... but i still have a few days left so i'm still holding out hope!

Anyhoo, with the #nsale coming to an end at the end of this week, i though i'd share my fitting room try ons and let you know what i purchased and what i kept!  I also ordered a few more items online so all that is in the dressing room is not my complete haul!

The cardigan in the upper left hand corner is super soft and soooo cozy. It has a hood and is perfect for those breeze fall evenings when you just need a little warmth!  I brought it to the register with the rest of my haul but then spotted this cardi and opted to switch.  I still question my decision because it was really nice... uh i want it now! I bought the 'Good Vibes' tee and love it because it's soft and so fun!  Besides, it was such a steal! Yellow is one of my favorite colors.  I think this top is going to be one of those tops i'll love to pair with a pair of jeans or joggers.  It was only $20! The coral sweater was the perfect color.  The only reason i didn't get it is because i wish it was a little longer.  My friend who's shorter than me bought it and it looks killer on her.  I'm 5ft8in for size reference.

Okay so i couldn't resist the detail on this cream cardi!  Its absolutely beautiful and different from anything i currently own so naturally i bought it! I'm obsessed with the emerald sweater. Love the ruffle detail on the neck and bubble sleeves! The picture on the lower right is actually a cardigan i purchased last year.  I fell in love with the bell sleeve detail and they brought it back this year!  So soft and so worth it!

The yellow sweater was super cute though i decided to leave it behind for no reason other than i just didn't really need it.  I have a similar one.  The green top with the ruffle detail was super cool. The sleeves are actually removable!!!!  I loved the idea.  The only reason i did not purchase it is because it's a bit heavy.  The bottom off the shoulder sweater is awesome!  I actually purchased this bralette to wear with it. I love the idea of the straps peeking through! 

The black tee is the perfect example of a closet staple. I live in these throughout the year so i always try and stock up on a few colors.  It's soft and comfy and super affordable!   The grey cardi is by far the coziest purchase of the sale.  This is the cardi you WILL reach for every single time you need one!  In fact, i had lunch at the Nordstrom Cafe after a morning of shopping and it was quite cold so i pulled this baby out and wore it.  I did not want to take it off ever... in fact, when i got home i went online and purchased it in black!  These are a must!  Last year i purchased the adidas workout top in black, so when i spotted it in white on sale i quickly grabbed it.  I wear these to the gym all the time!

Obsessed with my new booties!  So comfy and cute for Fall!  I also bought these three sweaters online.  The two stripe ones (here and here) were not easy to find.  They sold out but every so often came back in stock.  I finally secured them in my size!  The yellow front tie sweat shirt is so cozy and fun. It pairs nicely with a good pair of leggings.  These are the leggings to stock up on during the sale!

Lastly, these earrings are on major sale and you know how much i love mine!  I wore them often and continue to wear them every chance i get!  They're so fun!

I I hope you enjoyed my Nordstrom Anniversary Haul!  The sale ends August 5th so be sure to get everything on your wishlist before prices go back up!  Thank you so much for reading! Xo, Carla 


bareMinerals Original Foundation

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

I'm always on the lookout for a great foundation.  For me personally, i need something that will even out my skin tone without heaviness.  In fact, i detest the feeling of product caked on my face!  bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is exactly what i need for everyday purposes!  I simply dip my flat foundation brush (i strongly recommend this one) onto the product and swirl it on my skin (after applying primer of course) and that's it!  It's incredibly light but magically buffs away any redness or discoloration and makes pores look nearly invisible.  It leaves my complexion with a healthy, radiant finish.  This foundation works for all skin types and has an extensive shade range so you are sure to find your perfect match!

I strongly recommend this foundation for anyone looking for medium coverage, that feels great on the skin while offering sun protection.  Thank you so much for reading! Xo, Carla - FMM

*Press sample - all opinions are my own based on my experience with this product. 


National Lipstick Day + The BalmJour Lippie Review and Giveaway!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Happy National Lipstick Day beauties! I'm so excited that you're here today to celebrate with me!  My gorgeous friends at The Balm Cosmetics sent over the most uhhhhmazing package filled with their brand new The BalmJour Creamy Lip Stains and I've been quite busy testing the wear and formula for some time.  All i can say is WOW!  These beauties are basically a four-in-one situation!  When i think 'stain', i basically just think of a light flush of color on my lips.  These lippies are WAY more than that!  They are essentially a gloss with the pigment of a lipstick, have a soft creamy texture with the lasting power of a stain!  Heck yeah... gimme all the BalmJour Sil Vous Plait!

There are eight shades and i honestly love them all.  It's funny because whenever i get a full range lipstick collection, i immediately pick out the ones that best suit me to test out.  In this case, i simply couldn't decide.  The shares are beautiful and SO wearable. 

Aren't the swatches absolutely STUNNING?  It's gonna be hard to pick just one people... trust!  You can purchase them here!   OK now to the fun part! My friends at the Balm Cosmetics are truly sweet and included an entire set to giveaway to one of my followers!  Thank you theBalm for sharing the BalmJour love!  So this giveaway will be simple and easy to enter! Head to this instagram post and follow the giveaway rules! Good luck beauties!  I can't wait for one of you lucky babes to try these gorgeous lippies!

Thank you so much for reading! xoxo, Carla - FMM

*press sample - all opinions are my own based on my experience with this product.

CC+ Your Most Beautiful Skin! IT Cosmetics July TSV

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

To say the launch of IT Cosmetics' new CC+ Oil-Free Matte Cream has been much anticipated is an understatement!  I've loved and used the CC+ Cream for years and always wished they released a matte version for days when i just want that kind of coverage.  Well, our dreams have finally come to fruition because not only did the masterminds at IT Cosmetics release this beauty, but they decided to share the IT love via a QVC TSV!  You guys, this is one not to be missed!  For under $50, you will get a full size CC+Oil-Free Matte Cream, a new Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder with SPF 50 and a gorgeous Skin Perfecting Brush no. 702!  This perfect little trio will keep your skin looking its best.  IT Cosmetics always infuses the best skin-loving ingredients into every product so you can rest assured that you are not only perfecting but treating and preventing when wearing their products.

Head to QVC now for this ONE DAY ONLY deal!  It's live for 24 hours on July 27th but you can pre-order now!! Be sure to take advantage of this incredible price offer.  Your skin will thank you for it! Thank you so much for reading and enjoy your new IT Cosmetics goodies!  Xo, Carla #ITsYourTSV