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Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting back in shape! Adios sugar & fat, hellloooo MyFitnessPal!

For about 7 years I've struggled with my weight.  Last December I finally buckled down and started to change my eating habits since I would be getting married that April.  I lost 30 pounds in 4 months from JUST cutting down my sugar intake to 26 grams a day and keeping my sodium under 1500 mg per day, I know it sounds cheesy but the weight literally melted off.  My husband and I went on our honeymoon that April for 2 weeks, then 3 weeks later went on a week long cruise with my whole family. Yikes.  My body got used to NOT having so much sugar during my 4 months of eating right.  The trips really did me in.  I was getting back into my old eating habits. Things seemed to always be happening that I couldn't get back into my "eating right routine." Before I knew it, the holidays were here (we alllll know what that means! LOL) Now it's April, I'm 10 pounds heavier than I was last year and 20 pounds away from my goal weight.  Enough is enough! I'm ready to feel good about myself again and not be embarrassed to wear shorts or show my arms! 

I used MyFitnessPal (they also have an app for you Android or iPhone) constantly and that really helped me monitor my sugar, sodium & fat intake.  I absolutely love it.  You can input recipes that you are making & it will give you all the nutritional information. I usually always find the food I'm eating in their database.  I especially love the forums, there's one where people post their favorite recipes. I usually spend Sunday going through the forum for recipes then planning my weekly shopping trip off of that! It's like a weight-loss social media site! I am getting back into using that again, if you are a member, please feel free to add me! My user name is: marinamoreno 

I always struggle with breakfast because I despise breakfast foods...I don't care for bacon, eggs, sausage, hash browns...nada! My mornings consist of protein shakes which I get tired of quickly.  I love cooking dinner and lunches for my husband and I so that's usually simple for me (Breakfast ideas...anyone???)

My biggest fear right now is getting over the "hump" as I like to call it.  That time where my body literally goes into withdraws for sugar and icky foods.  Headaches, mood swings, it's not cute. BUT I know once I get past that, my body doesn't even miss the junk anymore.  

So here it goes...today, April 30th, I weigh 171.5 pounds.  My goal is to feel better, look better & eat better, as well as losing 20 pounds. Hopefully putting this out there for the world to see will motivate me even more!

I'd love to hear from you all! Favorite recipes, tips, tricks, words of motivation! Anyone else out there trying to get into a healthier lifestyle? 

Until next time,
Marina - mCubedMakeup

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Want longer, fuller thicker lashes & brows?? Keep reading!

For about 2 years, I've been using a prescription product called Latisse to help my lashes grow longer and thicker.  It worked amazing for the first year...then I've started to notice horrible dark circles under my eyes (never had that before) itchyness on my lash line as well as very dry eyes.  I live in the desert and wear contacts, my eyes are already dry enough, I don't need anything to add to it.  I kept telling myself that it was okay to experience these side effects because I had amazing lashes. I was obviously in denial :-P
On top of the horrible side effects, the price is what KILLS me...$120! It depends on your usage, some people have to purchase every month, some every other...I've personally been able to spread it out every 2 1/2 months.

I was sent a bag of goodies from a brand I had never heard of, Talika. I did some research and was impressed! In 1948, a doctor Danielle Roches was working at a hospital in Paris treating war casualties.  She worked up an anti-bacterial salve to patients and when used on their face, she started to notice how long the patients lashes were becoming! Alas, Lipocils was born!
I couldn't believe all the amazing reviews for these products.  Where have they been all of my life?! 
The website and products claim that within 28 days you will notice a difference.  I have some BEFORE pictures (quality sucks, it was before I got my new camera) and some AFTER pictures, along with pictures with mascara!  
I was surprised with the size! It's huge! Kind of a drawback because it would be difficult to travel with.  This says it removes even waterproof mascara..depending on my makeup for the day it sometimes didn't remove all traces of makeup.  Sometimes I needed to use another remover before or after BUT this left my lashes feeling super soft. Soft = hydrated. Hydrated = healthier lashes. Healthier lashes = less lash loss. Whoo hoo! I must warn, I got some right into my eye and it STUNG! BAAAAD! I don't see myself repurchasing this item.
I used this morning and night for 30+ days.  Within the first few days I noticed that my lashes were sooo much softer.  I don't think my lashes will ever be as thick as they were with Latisse, but I haven't had any side effects with this product. It's so simple to use, I just put it on like mascara 2x a day. So easy.  No burning, no stinging, no dry eyes.  I think this is more for length than volume.  I'm okay with that, beggars can't be choosers, right?  This bottle still feels like it's full! That's awesome because that means more money in my pocket each month of using this!  When I run out, I will DEFINITELY be purchasing another!
Eyebrow Lipocils
I shaved off my brows when I was in 7th grade...here's a picture to prove it
ACK! What was I THINKING?!
Anyways, they've never really grown back and I've always been very self conscious of it.  I draw them on every day! Within 4 days of using this I was able to see a difference as did my husband and my mom!  So 28 days goes by and I'm AMAZED at my left eyebrow, it has so much more shape and the hairs are so much longer! My right eyebrow is exactly the same *womp womp* What the heck?! I finally figured out that when I put it on my brows each night and go to bed, I was rubbing off the right side onto my pillow! Doh! Be sure to let this dry completely before bed or one eye will look awesome and the other, weeeeeell, not so awesome. This is very simple to use, it looks like a doe-footed lipgloss wand & you just apply it onto your brows 2x a day.  I love this product and just like the Eyelash Lipocils, it feels full! I will DEFINITELY purchase when I run out!

Eyelash Conditioning Cream
Conditioning Cream next to an EOS balm to show how small it is!
I didn't use this religiously...I actually plan on using this and only this on my lashes for the next 30 days to see how this is.  It's not as easy to apply as the Lipocils, but my lashes and lash line feel super soft after applying this.  I didn't experience any burning either!
Eyebrow Extender
See the little fibers?
I swiped it across my hand
to show how it looks.
This product  is supposed to be extensions for your brows.  The color I was sent was black, my brows aren't black so this looked a little unnatural on me.  I just clicked the bottom (like a lip gloss) and then applied it across my brows.  They looked very wet but not much more thicker. I was hoping this would make them look a lot darker!  Since I have to fill in my brows, this made it look really unnatural.  I think for a person who has more brows to begin with this may work pretty well!
Eyelash Extender
If you look in the picture, you can see how the little fibersare EVERYWHERE!
Wah! I really wanted this to work for me.  I saw so many awesome reviews about this product!
When I first saw this I was so confused, "Why did they send me a tube of black carpet fuzz??" Well, the so called "carpet fuzz" are little black fibers that attach to your lashes and create longer looking lashes without having to wear falsies.  I tried applying this sooo many ways but each time I was left with a million little black fuzzies on my face. They are like magnetic fuzzy guys :(
I put one coat of a mascara on, then I lightly tapped the fiber filled wand onto the tips of my lashes and then went in with another coat of mascara to seal it.  The little fibers went every-which way.  It made me look like I had spider lashes.  Not a cute look.  If anyone has tips on maybe how it worked for them please let me know! I had such high hopes for this but as of now, I'd have to say I will not be repurchasing this product.

Look at how red my lash line had become from using Latisse. Yikes!
AFTER PHOTOS (28 days after first application)
They have much more shape!!
Brows are very lightly penciled in.  Lashes are much darker.
Brows filled in & mascara applied 

I DEFINITELY recommend the Eyebrow & Eyelash Lipocils. I am loving the results and can't wait to see my brows even out!

These products, plus much more can be purchased from the Talika website (I've also seen it on the DermStore website!)

I'd love to hear your feedback or questions! Are you currently using an eyelash/brow growth stimulator? Would you ever try one?

Until next time,
Marina - mCubed Makeup

Monday, April 23, 2012

BarkBox Video Review...my fur kiddos debut!

Click on the video to be directed to YouTube where you can be linked to BarkBox & the items listed! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012


A little over a month ago I did a review on some AWESOME products I was sent from the Dolce Mia line (can be found here) and I was recently contacted to host a giveaway for you guys! I absolutely love all of the products I've tried from this line & I'm HOOKED!  Everything smells soooo good and does exactly what it says it should do.  
1 winner will receive a 12 oz pump bottle of the Hula Couple Tropical Citrus Shea Butter Lotion! Now, I chose this because Hawaii has such a special place in my heart...it's where my husband and I went on our honeymoon 1 year ago! Plus, how stinking cute is the bottle?!?! Everyone needs something tropical scented in their life :)
Seriously, isn't this sooo cute?!
To enter, use the Rafflecopter Form below! Good luck! This is open to US & Canadian residents.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

DreamWater Sleep Shot Video Review!

This product has been a LIFE SAVER lately with all the caffeine I have been having to consume!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Essence Cosmetics Review

First post since getting back to reality...ahem...I mean, back from vacation :) I was sent 3 items that are new to Essence Cosmetics to try out about a week before my trip.  I decided to save them and take them with me to use during our vacation! I hadn't heard of this brand before and did some research, I was LOVING their prices and especially loving the fact that they DO NOT test on animals!!!!!!! I just wish my small little town had a place that sold them! You can purchase Essence Cosmetics products from Ulta, HEB & Fred Meyer! 

First item is their new Get Big Lashes Volume Boost Mascara ($3.49)...I was skeptical. I don't usually wear waterproof mascara because it's so difficult to get off AND the formula never seems to be as great.  
 Look at the size of the tube compared to the NYC tube! Wow!
 This brush reminds me soo much of Benefit's Bad Gal Lash, it's a very full THICK brush.  
 I was really surprised with this because I'm so picky with mascaras.  First thing I did was get it on my eyelid (DOH) the brush is massive...I usually place the brush at my lash line and wiggle it up, I can't really do that with this brush because it will get on your lid.  You have to be very careful with it! This makes my lashes look very dark & thick.  I didn't notice much lengthening but that's okay with me since I've got the length, not volume.  I used this all week and not once did I notice any flakes (YAY!) I wear glasses 50% of the time so my lashes are constantly touching the lenses causing mascara to flake off.  Removal was just as simple as any other mascara, I used my Indie Lee The Cleanser and it came right off! Another thing that I wasn't used to is that this formula is considered a "wet" formula.  I usually like "drier" mascara formulas, I feel like it helps give me more volume so I was excited that I was able to try a new formula and actually like it!
Essence Cosmetics also has 2 other new Get Big mascaras: Volume Boost $2.99 (non waterproof) & Volume Curl $2.99 (non waterproof) 
I plan on purchasing the Volume Curl to try out when I need a new mascara! Best of both worlds :)

Second item that was sent is their Colour & Shine Eyeshadow in Trip To Venus. This was right up my alley! I love me some shimmer & shine! This leans more on the silvery, frosty side which was perfect because it made an absolutely gorgeous highlighting color! I used it on cheekbones, brow bone & on the inner corners of my eyes. The formula is super smooth with very little (if any) fall out. These remind me of little mini MAC Mineralize Skin Finishes! The pricing makes this easy to obtain all 8 shades! These are at Ulta for $2.99!!!!
 Look at that gorgeous veining! 
Here's a swatch directly on my finger, you can see it does have pink in it, but it's very frosty...almost silver!
 This is swatched onto my hand. When the light hits it right you can see the bit of pink in it! Gorgeous!

The last item is their new Colour & Go Quick Drying Polish.  I was sent the color A Lovely Secret...perfect for spring! It's a really fun creme lavender with hints of dark purple/pink sparkles! I needed two coats for this to completely cover and it did exactly as the name says; dries fast!  These are only $0.99!!! Crazy right! They have some really great colors to add to your collection.

Such a flattering color!

All in all, I am very impressed with this line, the price points make it that much more enticing to me.  It's not often you can find a line that has such affordable prices with amazing quality! I even placed an order online at Ulta so I can try out some more from this brand! 

Until next time,
Marina - mCubed Makeup
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