Sammy Makes Six

Feb 5, 2016

Empowering Their College Dreams

This is part of a sponsored campaign with DiMe Media and Coca-Cola. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

There's been a lot of college talk in our family lately. If there is one thing in this life that I regret it would be not going to college. When I was young, my mom instilled in us the need to work hard and take care of your family. But she didn't push the issue of education and because I started working when I was only 14, I continued in that route when I finished high school. Later in life I would realize that because I hadn't continued my education, I would always have to work harder, longer and for less money than those that did go to college.


With my girls the college issue has been tricky, two of them have already decided that for the moment at least, college is not for them. While they decide what they will be doing with their lives, at least one of my other girls, Jackie is going back very soon. Jackie had taken a break earlier with plans to go back "one day". I'm happy to report that after recently adopting three kids, she's decided to go back immediately. Funny that it took her adopting the kids to realize that she wants more in life for herself and for them. Now she wants to be a good role model for her kids and will be able to provide a better life for all of them as well. I am so happy that she will be finishing her education sooner rather than later.


We all know how expensive college is and how so many Hispanos can't go simply because of the cost. That's why I am excited to share the partnership between Coca-Cola and the Hispanic Heritage Fund. Coca-Cola is coming together again with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to help Hispanic families achieve their college dreams and aspirations, as part of the #ForTheDream National Scholarship Program. Coca-Cola is donating $150,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to be awarded in college scholarships to qualifying students. Applications are being accepted until March 30, 2016.  



Although college enrollment has increased tremendously during the past two decades, the Hispanic population lags behind other groups when it comes degrees earned. This might be fueled by financial pressure for some students to support their families before graduation, which is what happened with me. As part of its commitment to the Hispanic community, Coca-Cola HSF #ForTheDream National Scholarship Program aims to empower Hispanic families to put their teens in the fast track to higher education.

Coca-Cola knows the importance Hispanic families place upon education and they are helping our teens to reach their dreams. Do you know a teen who is going to college soon? Parents and students can find valuable information about the #ForTheDream scholarship at coke.com/forthedream. Get more info and apply before the March 30th deadline!

Feb 4, 2016

January Beauty Favorites 2016

Welcome to my January favorites where you get a look at all my favorite items from the month of January with mini reviews. If you are a beauty lover, I do invite you to check out my beauty blog RedLipstickDiaries.com, where it's all beauty, all the time. And now without further ado, let's get into my January Beauty Favorites!


My Instagram (@smashbravo) is giving me a lot of happiness. I've been on IG three years now and I am only at 5,000 followers, which is very little but I am proud because it's all organic followers. In the IG game it's so easy to want to do the follow for follow, or share game, like many girls do, or have some giveaways. But that's how I manage all of my other social media accounts and it's not the way that I want to ever manage Insta. It's my favorite SM account and I only want to be followed by people who genuinely like what I post. It's finally gotten to the point where there is a lot of interaction and I almost have too many comments to reply to. It's just exciting for me to have found so many likeminded people.


For the month of January I have two nude lippies which is extremely different from my normal reds. Getting comfortable enough to branch out of my norm when it comes to lipsticks is something that's come from the beauty community on IG. And that's why I really like being part of that group of women, and men.

The first lipstick I loved in January is the L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss in Bare Attraction. I have 4 of these (I did end up returning two shades that didn't work for my skin tone) and I love them! I am not a big L'Oreal gal because it's a brand that I find too pricey but these are a great lipstick that feels like a gloss and delivers great color. They are super comfortable to wear and the shade selection is superb. 


Bare Attraction is a pinky nude with the perfect amount of brown. This is one of the most wearable nudes I have ever found, plus the formula is such a treat. These lippies have a matte finish but they are creamy and soft so they are not a "matte lippie" in the traditional sense and they do transfer and wear off. But the formula and shades are excellent.


The NUDESTIX Lip + Cheek Pencil on Whisper has to be the next stand out for me. These pencils are $24 and therefore I probably would never have bought one but I've been super curious about them. After getting this in a set from Sephora I got to see how great they are and I can't wait to try one of the shadow sticks. But I will wait for a sale or some sort of deal before getting one.


As for Whisper, this is more nudey shade but it's beautiful and the formula is so creamy and comfy. In person it's a little browner than you see here and it's almost too nude for my tastes but I just add a darker pencil on the outside, blend and it's perfection. I can't wait to try more NUDESTIX!


For January I have two palettes that stood out to me. I tried about 10 palettes in the month of January, most are palettes I've owned for a while and just not used. But that's why I came up with the #ShopMyStash2016 Challenge, which is so that us beauty hoarders can take all our makeup and actually use it up. From the many palettes I use, these are the two that I used more than once because I really, really enjoyed them.

First let's talk about the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette. Almost 9 months in my stash and I had never used it. Now I know why it's a holy grail and favorite of so many! These shadows are not only gorgeous, they are super blendable, they stay on forever and you can get so many looks out of this one palette. Plus it smells like chocolate! I look forward to using the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette many more times. 


The next palette is the Too Faced La Petit Maison. I am sorry to say this was a Holiday 2015 Limited Edition Palette but you can still get it on Ebay. Too Faced had so many palettes for the holiday but this was the only I wanted and it's nice that it was actually the most affordable. I loved this palette so much I got one for Munkey for Xmas too. But I hadn't actually used it till this month. 

Wow, this little palette is a wonder. I wore it three times and was able to get not just three looks but three very different looks and that's only scratching the surface of its potential. The more I use shadows the more I am sure to get comfortable with coming up with looks and I just love the versatility of this little palette. I'm so glad I got it for myself in December!


I just became a concealer wearer and still don't use it daily. Things like concealer, primer, highlight,  false lashes....lol, all those are things that I just don't have time for nor really the need. But lately with all the lack of sleep I have noticed that on some of my photos I will look tired, or my bags will really show up, so I decided to grab one and start adding it to the routine. The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer was really cheap, I think under $6 and I kept hearing and hearing about it on YT so I finally got it. 

What a great product! It doesn't give me that white under eye that seems to be the rage on Insta, I am so not a fan of that. Instead it covers up the darkness from lack of sleep, it gets that dark area in the corner of each eye and it cleans up any mess my shadows might have made. When I use it I look more awake and my overall makeup look is just cleaner and more crisp. The formula blends so easy and just sinks into my skin. I love it!


Now we are moving on to two tools which have been indispensable for me the month of January. The first is a brush I hauled the very first week of the month, it is officially the first Real Techniques Brush I own. Ulta had a BOGO FREE sale on Real Techniques and like a dork I only grabbed one. This is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and I used it every time I wore makeup since getting it. Truly I could have switched it out because I love my foundation brushes but I wanted to really get a feel for it with my many different foundations. So far it's worked wonderfully for every type of foundation I own: from the thin Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua to the really thick Revlon Whipped. This brush is $9.99 and I totally recommend it.

The next brush that made a real impact in January for me is the Morphe M176 which I got on my #MorpheMe January bag. This is the brush that I use with the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, it's the perfect shape for under the eye and buffs that concealer perfectly. I have also used the Beauty Blender for this step but I love the control that I have with this brush more. I can get into the tight spaces better and I can really clean up the angle by my eyeshadow perfectly. 


My last favorite of the month is a fragrance that I have had for years and years. Lancome's Poeme for me is like a dream, it is my #1 favorite perfume of life. My second favorite perfume is Lancome's La Vie Est Belle which is very close second but Poeme just beats it by a little. This perfume to me smells like a beautiful, confident, sexy woman. I've had this particular bottle for a long time now so in January I made an effort to use it a lot, even though I usually switch out daily. But really I love this scent so much that if you took all my other perfumes away, I wouldn't mind! So because this bottle is old I need to finish it, but I will always have it in my collection and in January I have loved wearing it so much!

Very longwinded I know, but I hope that you have enjoyed finding out more about my January 2016 beauty favorites! Let me know in the comments what beauty products were your fave in the past month.

Plan a Romantic Valentine's Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KYALittleTouch #CollectiveBias

This Valentine's Day, K-Y® is inspiring couples to connect more deeply via the power of touch by using new K-Y® TOUCH®, a new touch activated gel crème for massage and intimacy that gently warms and intensifies sensation with every touch. The warm sensation builds with every caress and encourages couples to slow down and explore more of each other for a more profound intimate connection. Pick up K-Y® TOUCH® at a Walmart near you!


Also, click here or the below image to receive $2 off any one K-Y® product and see K-Y.com for more information on the new K-Y® TOUCH® and intimacy tips that can help you deepen your couples' connection.

Jan 21, 2016

New Year w/ Clean Linen & Fresh Blooms

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SienteGlade #CollectiveBias

Once the new year arrives in my home, it's time to get rid of the busy, over-decorated feeling of the holidays and time to let some freshness in. I like to get rid of most of the holiday decor as soon as Christmas passes and we get rid of the tree the day after Dia de los Reyes on January 6th. Three Kings Day is the end of the holiday season for my family and it officially marks the beginning of the new year for us.

It's a new year and for me it's about out with the old and in with the new, it's time to bring some freshness to my entire living space. As usual, I leave it up to Glade® to help me bring the right scents home. Glade® Clean Linen® Wax Melts have that fresh, clean scent that I am looking for. Glade® Wax Melts are easy to use, you simply drop a little cube into a Glade® warmer and soon your entire home smells amazing. Each wax melt provides up to 16 hours of fragrance.


Clean Linen® has always been one of my favorite Glade® scents and it definitely makes my home smell fresh and new. Something else that always makes my home look fresh and ready for a new year is fresh flowers. I love fresh blooms but they can get so expensive, unlike Glade® products, fresh flowers for every room in my apartment are not in my budget. I can only afford to buy a bouquet or two a month, but I have learned how to make one bouquet of flowers stretch out so it’s more worth the money.

Inspired by Glade® Fresh Linen Wax Melts fresh scent, I want to share how you can break up a bouquet of flowers to decorate different spaces in your living room or home, making that one bouquet go a much longer way in bringing freshness to your space.


The first step  is to find different vases or containers to hold the smaller blooms. Think different sizes and colors to make things really interesting. I am a hoarder of all things cute so there is never a shortage of vases for my flowers.


Now we are going to cut down the flowers to fit into the vases. Unless you are seasoned at this part, go one at a time, you don't want to cut too much. Always cut your flowers at the sink under running water at an angle.  


Test each flower out to make sure you have the right length and play around with it until you feel you have the right amount of blooms in each vase. This part is all you: you can fill up each vase or use singles, it's up to you which look you want to achieve.


This part is a lot of fun for me because I get to create my own little masterpieces.



The more varied your vases, the more fun choices you will have to decorate with.


I love this bud vase so much! It's one of my favorite from today's set.



I do like to leave the larger vase with at least a few flowers for the table, so at this point I take the remaining flowers and clean them up. You want to cut them down shorter and cut off any excess leaves.


Much better! Now they look perfect in the vase even if it's only four roses. 


Now we have a larger bouquet of roses for the table and three little bud vases for decorating different spaces. So many ways to go- let me show you a few that I can do in my living space.


On top of our "fireplace". 


Another looks perfect on the remote control tray. What an easy way to bring some color into the room right?


I also love setting two of the smaller vases into a silver tray for another look. And now Julius will have some fresh flowers at the table during his meals.


The neat part about the smaller vases is that they are super portable. Whatever room I happen to be in, I can bring one with me: next to my desk while I work, on my bedside table or simply next to me as I peruse my Instagram feed. The point is to enjoy the fresh flowers as much as possible, so the expense can be worth it.


While fresh flowers might not always be in the budget, I hope you can take my tips to make a bouquet go a longer way for you when you do have them. Don't forget that Glade® Clean Linen® Wax Melts are super friendly on the budget, so you can freshen up your home without spending a lot. Find a coupon here to save on your next purchase. There's no better way to start a new year than with the freshness of Glade® Clean Linen® and fresh flowers. How do you get a clean start to the new year?

Valentine's Day w/ K-Y®

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KYALittleTouch #CollectiveBias
This Valentine's Day, K-Y® is inspiring couples to connect more deeply via the power of touch by using new K-Y® TOUCH®, a new touch activated gel crème for massage and intimacy that gently warms and intensifies sensation with every touch. The warm sensation builds with every caress and encourages couples to slow down and explore more of each other for a more profound intimate connection. Pick up K-Y® TOUCH® at a Walmart near you!


Also, click here or the below image to receive $2 off any one K-Y® product and see K-Y.com for more information on the new K-Y® TOUCH® and intimacy tips that can help you deepen your couples' connection.