Getting my beauty fix at Bluemercury and Macy’s

We’re already in February and how I sense 2016 is flying by.

My birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and I’m feeling the effect of the number (getting up there!) and the image in the mirror au naturel. “OY!!! WHAT THE…???” seems to be my go to reaction, usually after doing a double-take in the morning. ¿Pues qué me pasó?! Is this the new reality?

Needless to say, I’m going through an evolving/complicated relationship with beauty and beauty products.

Love them, use them for a bit, discard them, and then I’ll want to try the next new thing. You say wrinkle eliminators, crease fillers, skin savers, dark spot erasers…I’ll bite. But there’s also a skeptic inside, telling me: you know this is too good to be true, it’ll never work, it won’t deliver. And yet! I want the dream and the promise. I want skin that glows, that represents youth or at least gives me the illusion of my younger self. (But that’s another issue altogether.)

So I was intrigued when I recently got an invite to the opening of Bluemercury, a new concept at Macy’s of a beauty spa within the store featuring high end luxury brands, products and treatments.  I like the idea. It seems like a chance to up the ante on my beauty game and try new things. These are products you don’t normally see at their counters and brands I’ve been meaning to try forever. Why hello, Creme de la Mer! Look, there’s Darphin, a French brand I only read about in magazines…

There are 2 Bluemercury shops that just opened in the L.A. Area, one in Macy’s Santa Anita and one in Macy’s Rancho Cucamonga. I’m looking forward to more openings on the west side (we love these things over here too!) and hopefully go get a facial soon.

My lovely friends at Macy’s were kind enough to send me a goodie bag with a sample of the Bluemercury M-61 line, a proprietary brand that seems to do all the things I need for my beauty regimen, doesn’t do animal testing (a big deal in my book) and doesn’t use undesirable ingredients (me dan miedo todos los “sulfates” y esas cosas).

Bluemercury m61

Bluemercury beauty bag courtesy of Macy’s.

I’ll give you an update on the products after I use them for a few weeks and hopefully get a chance to visit Bluemercury soon. In the meantime, here are some pictures courtesy of Macy’s* from their recent launch.

Happy February everyone, let’s make it happy and healthy and beauty-full.

(*Full disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was invited by Macy’s to their event and received the beauty samples to try out. The opinions expressed here are my own.)

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The complete M-61 line is available only at Bluemercury.

Nars

All the colors of the rainbow at the Nars display. So pretty!

Darphin

I’m curious to try out the Darphin line, French women really know their beauty products.

 

 

Virtual Re-visit to the art of Rufino Tamayo

A few years ago, 5 to be exact, I was visiting Mexico D.F. on a whim and made a short stop to one of my favorite museums, el Museo Rufino Tamayo. It is a place I love, because of the architecture and space, as well as the location by the Bosque de Chapultepec and Polanco, which is a really nice area for an afternoon visit.

I blogged about my visit to the Museo Rufino Tamayo back then, and about how moved I was by an exhibit about the photographer Tina Modotti and her letters to fellow photographer Edward Weston in 1930. I think I must have been short on time, because I don’t recall seeing any works by the master Rufino Tamayo himself. That is a pity, because I do love his paintings. ¿Qué pasó que no tengo ninguna foto del arte de Rufino Tamayo en esa visita? A lo mejor estuve muy busy tomando fotos de la arquitectura y se me fue el tiempo.

Lucky for me, I have a newfound love for an online gallery service called Artsy. I am thrilled with their site, and would encourage you to take a look if you’re into art and news about the art world.

Artsy’s mission is to strive to make all of the world’s art accessible to anyone online. They have a Rufino Tamayo page, where you can find his bio, images with some of his works and most importantly, a link to shows where you can see his art on display, which is a really valuable resource. So check it out.

In the meantime, since it’s Flashback Thursday, here are a few pix of that short visit to the Museo, and to the minimalist architecture by the Mexican architects Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon and Abraham Zabludovsky.

Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City.

Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City.

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Moda para el Back to School 2015 de Macy’s

It’s back to school time, ¡qué rápido se fue el verano!

I know of a few Moms and Dads who are both happy and stressed with the start of the new school year.  And I imagine my sobrinitos y sobrinitas are probably wishing they had a few extra vacation days as well.

Pero ni modo, best to think of the positive things, like new school supplies and new outfits!

One of my most favorite people en el mundo mundial, Ms. Martha Gil de Montes, from Macy’s, has some suggestions for kids who want to look really cool cuando regresen a la escuela. She is an expert at the newest trends and has a great video to show kids what’s up for the season.

Me gustaron tanto los outfits that I think I may replicate an adult version of them for fall.

Click on the link to view this really cute segment en español.

Martha Gil de Montes from Macy's nos enseña las tendencias para el back to school.

Martha Gil de Montes from Macy’s nos enseña las tendencias para el back to school.

*This is not a sponsored post but I did collaborate behind the scenes in the making of this video.

Remodeling la cocina and rediscovering the wonders of parsley-perejil

Spring is upon us thank God, with the ritual of daylight savings time already having it’s effect on my irregular sleeping schedule. Are you kidding me? One less hour of sleep. And where does the time go? It’s March 9th and to quote my Mama Lilia: Vamos rápido.

These past few weeks we have embarked on a remodeling effort at the house. Originally we thought it was going to take 2 weeks, pero cumpliendo con la 3era. Ley de Murphy (“Todo toma mas tiempo de lo que crees”) our little project is already at the 4 week mark, and we are ALMOST finished. I mean, they always say it takes 2 weeks para todo, verdad? But little did we know that a few surprises were going to pop up all over the place. We are redoing the kitchen, the most important room in the house, and it takes a BIG effort to maintain a happy household cuando la casa esta toda patas pa’arriba as you go through this process.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re pleased with the progress and the work by our paisano contractors, todo un team super eficiente, profesional y buena onda. Tan buena onda que hasta me trajeron un pastelito de cumpleaños last month. If you need some work done at your house, I’ll be happy to recommend.

But it takes some planning and “making do” to go through this project, especially for meals. The lesson I’ve learned is that eating take out can get old pretty quick, not to mention expensive and with limited healthy choices. Gracias a Dios que se nos ocurrió comprar un little portable griddle stove where we cook simple stuff. Every day I pretend que estoy jugando a la “cocinita” con mis “trastecitos” just to make it fun and not go bananas.

I also have a newfound love for sandwiches and have become quite creative. It’s been the easiest thing to make without a full service kitchen. Y me inspiré en la familia para hacerlosCuando visitan mi hermana la Romy y mi cuñado JoseLuis del DF hacen sus sandwiches para irse a dar la vuelta y llevar de snack. Si nomas le ponen mayo, ham and cheese entonces es un sandwich equis… sandwich sin amor. Pero si le ponen colorcito, con verduritas, quesito derretido, dressing y varios layers, it turns into an act of love y dicen, “Este es un Sandwich con Amor.”

With that in mind, I improvised some turkey burgers on oat nut bread last week, and on a split moment added an ingredient I am now obsessed with: Italian Parsley. The smell, the taste, the color! It must be in season because they have the most beautiful bunches at my local supermarket.

Besides being delicious, el perejil tiene medicinal qualities as well. You can eat a few leaves to help with indigestion and also add a leaves to boiling water for a few minutes to drink as a hot tea. (You can strain the leaves out to drink easily.) It helps detox the kidneys, they say, so go ahead and treat your body right. Maybe it’s the not the tastiest tea out there, but it’s good for you. So from now on it will always be present in our finally-soon to be ready-fabulous kitchen.

Here are a few pix of one of my new sandwich creations, which will be called “Sandwichito con Amor de Pavito con Perejil”.

Ya sé. Ya sé, it’s nothing new but thought I’d share in case you’re looking to add some variety to your herb collection. The recipe is there is no recipe, just tear up some fresh Italian Parsley leaves and mix into the ground turkey with salt (or salt substitute), pepper, oregano and garlic. And I mean tear up because nobody chops leaves, más que la Gwyneth P, and who has time to be perfect? Mi abue has been cooking all her life and  never once have I seen her chop any cilantro, ni perejil, ni orégano. Todo con las manos.

Anyway, have a great week everybody. Eat good food and take care.

I love Italian Parsley, my new favorite herb.

My new favorite herb is Italian Parsley. Just look at those big leaves full of flavor.

A few savory ingredients to add to your ground turkey. Liquid Aminos is a wonderful alternative to salt, tastes just like soy sauce, without all the sodium.

A few savory ingredients to add to your ground turkey. Liquid Aminos is a wonderful alternative to salt, tastes just like soy sauce.

Las tortitas de pavo cooking. I added parsley effusively then sparingly.

Cooking las tortitas de pavo, I added the parsley effusively, then sparingly.

Mis opened faced

Mis opened faced “Sandwich con Amor” before I joined both sides together, I added avocado, red onion, lettuce, tomato and mustard on OatNut bread. Quedaron ricos.

Italian Parsley bunch: add it to your grocery list.

Italian Parsley bunch: add it to your grocery list.

Getting heart healthy by guest posting for Go Red For Women

Before February is gone, and considering that this month is American Heart Month, I’d like to take a moment to share some nice news.

I was recently invited by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Heart Association (AHA) and Macy’s to do some guests posts on AHA-LA’s social media pages as part of their “Go Red For Women” Campaign. It was a week-long project that made me realize how important heart health is for women and how much we can do to prevent heart disease. Macy’s is a founding sponsor of the Go Red For Women campaign, having donated more than 50 million to the cause since 2004. This helps create awareness and ultimately save lives.

It also happened to be my birthday last week, so it coincided with the fact that I am on this health awareness kick. I realize I am no longer a “spring chicken” and I’m not getting younger but it finally clicked that it’s not just about fighting wrinkles with beauty creams, it’s about healthy habits to maintain a healthy body from the inside out. (Me llegó tarde el mensaje, pero me llegó!)

So in writing these guest posts and in trying to make them interesting, I realized, como cantan la Whitney Houston y la Chaka-Khan, that “I am every woman, it’s all in meeee.” A healthy habit usually starts with motivation, an idea that you want to be better, feel better, look better, stay better. And I found some great info on the AHA website to stay motivated, including recipes, tips, and  stats that make you want to go and ask every woman you know to please monitor their blood pressure and their sodium intake, to get active, to watch their weight, to take care of themselves first.

Yes, heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US. One of every 3 women die of heart illness every year, of every age. In my case, there is a history of heart disease in my family, on both sides, so even though I am healthy now, this is something I need to monitor from now on. I take care of my grandmother, mi Mama Lilia, who is 95 and has a few conditions including high blood pressure, and it really is something you need to control every day, with your diet and your physical activity. It’s a lifestyle that you have to commit to, if you want to stay healthy.

So with all this in mind, I decided to “Go Red” and try to support this cause by taking care of me, by doing a little shopping at Macy’s, and by making my newfound mission a bit more entertaining. Follow the links below to take you to the sites and hopefully you’ll be inspired to learn more about your heart. There is a wealth of useful information, trust me. There’s also still time to support the AHA and Go Red Campaign by purchasing a few key items at Macy’s, and with your purchase a donation is made to this cause.

American Heart Association website: Click here: www.heart.org

American Heart Association LA Instagram: https://instagram.com/americanheart_la/

American Heart Association LA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ahagreaterla

American Heart Association LA Twitter: https://twitter.com/amheartla

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Un regalito de belleza con el Latina Beauty Box de Macy’s

¿Cómo van sus New Year’s Resolutions?

Uno de mis propósitos este año fue to take care of myself.

Lets just say that my wellness/beauty/maintenance rituals are not up to par. Yes, I have neglected myself in this aspect and yes, it’s a concern to do something about it.

Así que tuve un “habla” conmigo misma y decidí a ponerme al tiro. Time to step up my game because I’m not getting younger and because, como dice Salma Hayek, “you have to take care of your beauty, because if you don’t, your beauty may get offended and may leave you.” (Well I’m paraphrasing, but I heard she said it somewhere. Maybe if you read it with an accent it sounds more like la Hayek-Pinault.)

Entonces, me puse muy contenta cuando mis amiguitas de Macy’s sent me their Latina Beauty Box to start the year off right. Yay Macy’s!!

Tiene un montón de samples de todo tipo, desde cremitas para mejorar el cutis con efectos “anti-aging”, mascara for mile high lashes, cosmetics, fragrances and other goodies.

All the goodies from the Latina Beauty Box I received from Macy's. Thank you!

All the goodies from the Latina Beauty Box I received from Macy’s. Thank you!

I have tried a few of their things and I’m especially liking the Shiseido Power Infusing Concentrate. It’s made for smoothing out wrinkles and feels really light. I think it makes me glow a little bit, quien sabe, maybe it’s wishful thinking but I’m enjoying it so far.

Another fabulous item was Lancome Grandiose Wide Angle Fan Effect Mascara. I am loving the brush, never seen anything like it. It’s a little twisted so it reaches all the lashes, every little corner, so they look quite bigger than they are.

The brush from Lancome Grandiose Wide Angle Fan Effect Mascara is amazing. never seen anything like this.

The brush from Lancome Grandiose Wide Angle Fan Effect Mascara is pretty cool. Never seen anything like this.

A before pic without mascara.

A before pic without mascara.

After!

After!

And I was really happy with the Clinique Box, which had a hand dark spot corrector, a CC cream, which I had been curious to try, a fabulous gloss in Black Honey, which is a flattering color even though it looks dark in the tube, and the repairwear firming cream. Todo muy padre!

Enjoying all my Clinique items very much.

Enjoying all my Clinique items very much.

A big thank you to Macy’s for hooking me up. I am enjoying everything and it’s making it easier to maintain one of my resolutions this year.