Giving Back This Holiday Season

Hi Guys! Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone had a GREAT and long Thanksgiving weekend, whether you spent it with family, friends, significant others, etc.

As we all know, Thanksgiving is a time for us to all be thankful/grateful for everything we have in our lives at the moment. It’s a time to really step back and realize how many blessings we truly have compared to those that may not be as fortunate.

That being said, in today’s post I’m going to be speaking about an event that Diego and I put together this past Wednesday in order to be able to give back a little during this holiday season to those that are less fortunate.

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The Process to Gather Supplies & Put Everything Together:

This event was something that Diego and I had spoken about doing together for a few years now since we had gotten together. We always knew we wanted to be able to help out the homeless around New York, but it was just a matter of actually planning it out and right timing. Last year we got pretty close to doing something, but for one reason or another, it never ended up happening.

So, this year, we knew for a fact that we wanted/needed to make it happen. Just amongst ourselves, we had played around with the idea for a few weeks leading up to November, but it wasn’t until November 1st that we actually made it known to people through our social media accounts what we were actually trying to do (which was to create care kits for those that were homeless and then pass them out around the streets of New York). We asked our friends/followers to contribute and/or donate any supplies and money that they could, while also (if they could) donate their time to help us put everything together and come out with us to distribute everything.

Time went by super fast which was a bit nerve-racking because we weren’t sure if we were actually going to have everything in time to make our event happen, but thankfully, everything happened the way that it was supposed to, and before we knew it, it was Tuesday, November 20th and the day that we were putting all of our little care kits together.

Each care kit came with: 1 sandwich, 1 water bottle, 2 snack bars, 1 pair of socks, 1 hat, 1 pack of tissue, 1 small bottle of hand sanitizer, a sweater or jacket and a cup of hot coffee if they wanted it.

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We didn’t actually have a set number of care kits that we were going to make, we just knew we wanted to make as many as we possibly could with the amount of supplies that we had.

After putting everything together, we ended up seeing that we were able to make a total of 47 care kits for people.

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Wednesday, November 21st: The Day We Passed Out The Care Kits:

Diego and I knew that we wanted to be able to go out and distribute everything that we had the day before Thanksgiving in hopes that it would be/feel slightly more significant and memorable to these people (not to say it wouldn’t have been significant regardless, but nonetheless). Unfortunately for us though, we realized a little too late that we were going out for this on one of the COLDEST nights of this Fall/Winter season thus far.

There was about 8 of us that night going to pass out all of the care kits and although it was freezing outside, and we had ended up starting slightly later then what we originally intended, we continued to try to stay optimistic….

Like any major event that you end up putting together in your life (especially when it’s a first-timer), there was a lot of nerves and excitement building up around the entire thing.  Excitement, because we knew we were doing a good thing (or trying to) for these people that we didn’t know, but knew needed it. And nerves, because none of us had ever done anything like it before, so we didn’t necessarily know how to go about doing it.

There were also a ton of other things going through our minds about it like how to go about approaching these people and how to truly even decipher if they were homeless or not (without trying to accidentally offend anyone), etc. But, before we knew it we were in the city and it was officially time to pass out the care kits.

We went all over the major parts of the city like Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, passed Times Square and Bryant Park, Grand Central and even up to 51st street (which actually ended up being our last stop), which I am proud to announce that we gave out every single one of our care kits to people that we saw that night!! 😀 (scroll down to see pictures from throughout the night).

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Our General Experience From The Event:

Thankfully, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that although we were all super nervous in the beginning, we were all pleasantly surprised by the end of the night at how smoothly the entire thing went, and also at how unbelievably grateful everybody we encountered was.

I don’t exactly know what I expected, but I definitely don’t think it was to get as positive a reaction as we did from pretty much everyone we gave a care kit to that night. I’m not really sure why, but I just didn’t. The reactions from most people were stunning, in the best way possible. Although there were SO many different ones, 2 examples in particular stood out to me the most…

The first woman we saw and gave a care kit to, Charmigne, was probably the sweetest woman I had ever met, especially for someone in her situation. I went up to her with Diego’s nephew Aden, simply asking if it was okay with her that we gave her one of our care kits. She answered, “of course,”  which then followed by her asking us our names. We introduced ourselves, she introduced herself, and then she continued by commending us on the work we were doing. She said it was amazing to see us, such young people, walking around attempting to help people like them, especially since it was more than she had seen people of higher power (our government) do for people like them (her words).

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She then proceeded to ask Aden if he prayed, he said yes. She asked him if he would mind saying a prayer with her, which he got a little nervous and said that he didn’t pray out loud around other people. But she saw the rest of our group standing at a distance behind us, and asked him if he would feel more comfortable doing it if everyone from our group did it with us, to which he said yes. So, I called them all over, we all held hands, said a few things we were grateful for, said a few of our hopes for her and the people that we were going to encounter that night, and before we knew it, we were on our way. But not before she was nice enough to let us know certain areas in particular to head to, to be sure we saw others in her situation to be able to give our care kits to.

The second example was actually one of the last experiences we had of the night, and it was these 2 guys Eric and Shan who were just as grateful as Charmigne was, but they also just kept questioning why we were out there, in the freezing cold doing what we were. We responded by saying that we wanted to do what we could to give back a little this holiday season, and they were just in awe. They couldn’t believe we had actually willingly wanted to be out there, and expressed to us that it was people/kids like us who were actually slowly but surely saving the world…

Who would’ve thought? Our small gesture of wanting to put together these little care kits for people, would really be enough to have them completely look at the world differently, at least for a little while. I don’t know about anyone else that was involved, but for me, those 2 examples alone were enough to make the entire 5 hours that we were walking around, 100% worth it. Obviously there were a ton of others, but these were the ones that stood out the most for me.

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Overall, we were all so unbelievably happy at the positive responses we had continuously received throughout the night, not only from the people that we had given the actual care kits too, but also from our families and friends that had known about us doing this.

And I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it was definitely a humbling, eye-opening experience for us all, because although sometimes we may say we are thankful for everything in our life, we do also sometimes tend to take for granted the “little” things like having food, shelter and clothes. Things that we sometimes don’t even think twice about, because we never really had to. An experience like this definitely puts all of that into perspective.

Personally, I wish that we could’ve done more, but you know what? Looking back at it, considering we managed to be able to give out every single care kit we had, I don’t think we did bad at all. Plus, this was our first time ever putting something together like this so it was definitely a learning experience, and there’s always next time to be able to try doing something more, bigger and/or better.

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I really want to just take a second to thank every single person that was involved in helping put all of this together….whether you had donated money, or actual materials/food, or even just donated your time to be able to come out with us and pass everything out….thank you SO much; because without you guys, we wouldn’t have been able to make it happen. Irene, Jailene, Victoria, Tabatha, Chris, Mom, Tyler, Genaro, Pablo, Leslie, Alfred, Miyenia…thank you to all of you. You guys really did not have to help us in the individual ways that you did, but we are both so unbelievably grateful that you did. Thank you for helping us put our first little event like this together and making it as much a success as it was, and hopefully next year, or sometime soon we can put together an even bigger and better event.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post. Please like, share, follow and comment, and I’ll see you guys in the next one!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Confidence Is Key

You guys, if there’s any 2 things that I can take away from 2018 thus far, it’s that 1. if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will and 2. confidence is EVERYTHING.

2 majorly important things, that which are not at all easy to achieve for some. In fact, for some (many…..most?), these 2 things are things that take YEARS to master.

You need to believe in yourself in order for other people to, and not in a “you have to please and/or prove anything” to them type of way, but more of in a “oh he/she is not only serious about what it is they’re doing, but they’re also owning the heck out of it,” sort of way. There’s a major difference.

I’ve learned that doing that (along with your actual work obviously) is going to end up not only attracting more people to you as a person, but also whatever work it is that you’re trying to put out there to the world.

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As I said, I’m fully aware that confidence like this doesn’t happen overnight, in fact, it’s something that may take YEARS for you or anyone to perfect, but that’s okay.

People are going to talk regardless if you’re succeeding or failing at whatever it is that you want to do with your life. There are ALWAYS going to be haters, critics, and people who just generally don’t care about the work you’re putting out into the world. Which, for a long time it’s going to suck to see, but as long as YOU know that you’re working hard and being the best version of you and your work possible, that is ALL that should truly matter.

Although most times it’s easier said than done, you need to do your best to ignore any and all negativity that may be blocking you from doing your best work. Being insecure about putting yourself out there and receiving negative or no feedback at all can be REALLY discouraging, that’s normal, but you can’t just let those feelings take over and win.

Take those feelings and use them as motivation to add fuel to your fire to want to do TEN TIMES better than you were before, because if you keep trying your hardest to put that all aside and putting your best work out there, I promise that slowly but surely you will begin to see results.

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I’m not an expert, and I’m obviously still learning with each day that passes, but I’ve dealt with this SO many times, so speaking from experience, take it from me. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a little over a year now, and similar to doing YouTube, sometimes it gets REALLY hard, harder than people may think. That’s because there are so many bloggers out here trying to make it and trying to do what I’m doing that it gets discouraging to see sometimes when I don’t get likes, views, comments or followers on my post.

I used to take it SO hard, to the point where it would stop me from wanting to write altogether, and don’t get me wrong, every once in a while it still happens, but after reading various bloggers’ advice/tips on how to see results and get better with your blog, PLUS this book I read (which I’ll speak more about later on) and other things on the internet, I gained my confidence back and learned a few things…

  1. How do I ever expect to achieve a fraction of the dreams/goals I have for myself if I get discouraged and just stop altogether? I told myself that although it may be a little difficult right now, that I knew what I was capable of with my writing and reminded myself about what exactly I wanted to do and get out of this one day.

And 2. Although there may be a lot of people with similar blog themes, topic ideas, etc., no one will EVER have the exact same way of thinking, writing and/or expressing their thoughts as me. Everyone, including myself, is different in how they do things believe it or not. We may all have similar ideas, but we express them in unique ways. NO TWO PEOPLE ARE THE SAME!!

Obviously I specified these examples for my specific case with writing and my blog, but it’s equally the same with any other field as well. It’s all about finding what you’re good at, making yourself stand out from the rest somehow, and just perfecting it from there. It IS do-able!

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I mentioned earlier that there was a book I read that actually REALLY helped me gain some of my confidence back. The name of the book is “YOU ARE A BADASS; HOW TO STOP DOUBTING YOUR GREATNESS AND START LIVING AN AWESOME LIFE,” by: Jen Sincero. It’s actually a pretty popular book, so many of you may already have seen/heard of it before and I’ve actually spoken about it before in my ‘Top 5 Favorite Motivational Books’ post (which I’ll leave linked here if you guys wanted to check it out), but if you haven’t, I HIGHLY recommend that you pick it up.

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Just based off of the title alone, I think it’s self-explanatory, but it really is a great and super-relatable book. Anyone that’s read it before I’m sure can vouch for that. It’s also not a complicated book at all, in fact, it’s full of quotes, examples and personal stories from the author that really help to break it down for anyone that may be lacking the confidence in themselves to succeed and conquer their dream(s).

I’m attaching the link for you guys here to be able to purchase it. I also am posting a snippet of it for you guys to determine for sure if you’d be interested and want to actually buy it.

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Rome wasn’t built in a day and hard-work never goes unnoticed (believe it or not). Believe in yourself, keep working hard no matter what and own the shit out of whatever it is that you’re most passionate about and want to do and watch the positive outcome for it happen sooner rather than later.

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I hope this was helpful to someone out there to some extent, if not I hope you at least thought it was an interesting read. Thank you guys so much for taking the time out to actually read my stuff. Please follow, like, share and comment, and I’ll see you guys in my next post!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Sephora BeautyInsider Appreciation Event & Other Things Haul!

*Can you guys tell I’m the WORSE at titles/headings?!* 😂

If you’re a dedicated makeup lover and follower of Sephora, you know that very rarely do they do any type of sales like this. In fact, they only really do it once a year around the holidays. So when word got out that they were doing this BeautyInsider appreciation sale, you know everyone (including myself) went nuts.

I typically don’t tend to participate in these things even though I am part of the rewards program, and have been at the VIB status for a while, because I almost always forget that it’s going on, and then by the time I actually remember, the sale is over 🤦🏻‍♀️, since they usually only hold them for a short amount of time.

This year, however, I was fully aware of it and took full advantage of my 15% off everything discount (*which, fun fact, everything I ended up purchasing in the sale upgraded me to VIB Rouge status, which means that instead of having 15% off in the next event like this that happens, I’ll now have 20% off, among other cool benefits*).

With all of that being said, I thought it would be cool to share with you guys all of the products I picked up during the sale, as well as other general makeup products that I’ve bought recently outside of Sephora. I’m going to start off with the Sephora stuff, then move on to the other things.

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*Note: When I started going through everything I bought, and writing this post, I didn’t realize how many ‘mini’ versions of products I got. So this is a half full-sized products, and half mini/sample size kind of post!! 😂*

In no particular order:

  1. Marc Jacobs Beauty. I got 2 different lipglosses from this brand; 1 Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick in the shade P(r)each (the top one) and 1 Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer Lipgloss in the shade 318 Pretty Thing (the bottom one).

I have heard SO many amazing things about these lipglosses from girls I know, beauty influencers, etc. so I figure it’s about time that I pick a few up to try them out myself. Both lipglosses are $28.

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2. Jouer Cosmetics. I got one of their Long-Wear Lip Creme Liquid Lipsticks in the shade Dulce de Leche. I’m a huge lipstick girl (liquid and otherwise), so I obviously had to make sure I picked up a few during this sale, and I had a ton of these sitting in my cart for the longest so I figure why not? Similar to the Marc Jacobs lipglosses, I’ve heard so many good things about this brand’s lipsticks; their formula, the way they wear, etc. so I’m definitely excited to try these out finally. These liquid lipsticks retail for $18.

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3. Kat Von D. I picked up a mini version of the Lock-It Setting Powder from her brand because I’ve heard so many people rave about it, but most setting powders tend to be a miss for me. So, I figure I pick-up the mini version, see how I like it and if I do I’ll just buy the full-size version. This miniature version comes with 0.19 oz of product and retails for $15 (the full-size one is $30 in case anyone was wondering).

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4. Boscia. I picked up one of the Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizers. One of my absolute favorite things to check out on the Sephora website is always the Skincare section, especially the ‘just arrived’ part of it. I’m always on the hunt for new and good products that are going to help, hydrate, and brighten my sensitive skin, so when I saw this and read the amazing reviews, I knew I HAD to get it.

The majority of the recent reviews I read on this were all super positive, especially for people with dry skin (which I tend to struggle with), so I’m really excited to try this and see what it does for me! This retails for $38.

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills. Of COURSE I had to run and pick-up the Norvina palette and I think it’s pretty self-explanatory why…I mean just look at it..take a second, I’ll wait……

Done? Okay, let’s talk about it. Just LOOK at this color range and how gorgeous it is. I feel like so many beautiful soft or smokey pinky, purply looks can be done with this palette. UGH it is beautiful. I’ll be honest, I only really watched two reviews on this palette from KathleenLights and Manny MUA, but regardless, they were both good and gave me the extra push to run out and buy it. I mean c’mon especially with the sale going on, I had to. The palette retails for $42.

6. Too Faced. I picked up one of the Too Faced Born This Way concealers in the shade Light Beige. I’ve literally been obsessed with finding the perfect concealer for my crazy, puffy, dark circles lately and have heard a lot of great things about these in particular so I’ve been itching to try it. These retail for $29.

7. Hourglass. Similar to the Kat Von D one, I picked up a mini-size of the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder. I won’t really repeat why I got the mini because it’s pretty much the same reason I got the Lock-It setting powder (see number 3 for why).

I will say though that I’ve read and seen so many great reviews about this powder all over the internet, so I’m really hoping that it’ll work the same for me that it seems to be working for everyone else. It comes with 0.07 oz of product. This miniature version retails for $18 (and the full-size goes for $46).

8. Laura Mercier. I picked up one of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Mini, in the shade Sand. I think the idea of being able to have a moisturizer like this and have it give people the impression that you have some type of makeup on when you really don’t, is so cool. And I’ve read that this is one of the best tinted moisturizers in Sephora, so I decided to give it a try and see how I end up feeling about it. This comes with 1 oz of product and retails for $24.

9. Tarte. I also picked up one of the Tarte Creaseless Under Eye Concealers in the shade Light Sand. Again, like the powders, I pretty much already explained my intention(s) for wanting to pick up another concealer (*see number 6*), so I won’t repeat the same thing again.

However, I will say that I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on this, but one consistent comment and/or positive thing said about this is that it is AMAZING coverage for those with dry, dark circles, so that’s what really reeled me in and made me excited for it. So we’ll see how that goes!! This concealer retails for $26.

10. Smashbox. I picked up the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Mini. This is something that I had in my cart and had been wanting to try for SUCH a long time, and now with this sale I was kind of just like “screw it, I’m getting it!” This comes with 1 oz of product and retails for $15.

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11. Sephora Favorites. I got one of the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip gift sets. I always see these and think that they are so cute, especially with the products they carry. I had gotten one for my best friend last Christmas and had been wanting to try one for myself ever since, so I got this one because I LOVE my nudes…lol 😏

It comes with 3 sample sized lipsticks (a Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick in Beach Babe, a Make Up Forever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick in 105, and a Buxom Lip Polish in Dolly) and 2 full-sized ones (a Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Carmello and a Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Trendsetter). This set retails for $28, but has a $72 value.

12. Saturday Skin. I got this Saturday Skin No Bad Days skincare set. I’ve literally never heard of this brand before, but when I was skimming through the skincare gift sets section I saw this, read the reviews (which the majority for the most part were really good), and decided to try it out.

It comes with a Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel, a Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist, a Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream, and a Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream. This retails for $39, but is of a $69 value.

13. Free Birthday Gift!! This is technically the last thing I got from Sephora, although I didn’t actually buy it, it’s free. If you’re apart of the BeautyInsider rewards program, I believe regardless of what status you’re at, every year you always get a little gift from Sephora for your birthday.

Every year they give people the option of 2 gifts to choose from and this year if I remember correctly, the options were either this Bite Beauty gift set (which has a Mini Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Chai, a Mini Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glacé, an Agave Lip Balm, and an Agave Sugar Lip Scrub), OR a little GlamGlow duo set (which has a SuperMud Clearing Treatment & a GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer). I figure I pick the one who’s brand I had never really tried products from before, so that’s what I did.

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Well that’s all of the products that I had bought from the BeautyInsider Appreciation Event at Sephora, but I also wanted to show you guys 4 makeup products that I got from a completely new and separate makeup company recently.

The brand I’m referring to is called Beauty Bakerie. I was actually first introduced to this brand when I was watching KathleenLights YouTube video (can you tell she’s one of my fav YouTubers?) all about her testing out their products to do a full-face of makeup with them. After seeing that video, I did my own research on the brand, and honestly guys if you haven’t checked them and their story out, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. I’ll leave their site linked here so that you can check them out.

ALL of their makeup products are cruelty free and based completely off baking and everything that entails that; all of their packaging, the names of their products, etc. and it is SO FREAKIN CUTE!!

So for right now, I only got 4 of their products which was a concealer, 2 lipsticks and a setting powder. I really wanted to try one of their foundations, but there’s always next time.

How CUTE is the packaging for all of these products btw?!

  1. The first thing I got was one of their Flour Setting Powders in Translucent, which retails for $24.

2. The next thing I got was 2 of their Matte Lip Whips, one in the shade Gingersnap, and the other in the shade Syruptitious, which retail for $20 each.

3. And the last thing I got was one of their Cake Face Concealers in the shade Love You Latte, even though it looks a little dark so I MIGHT have to return it and get a lighter shade, which retails for $24.

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Well guys that’s it for this post, that is all the makeup products that I’ve purchased recently. Let me know either in the comments or through social media whether or not you guys participated in the sale, and if you DID, what stuff did you guys pick up?! Similar products to mine? Completely different ones? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you guys about it.

Sorry that this post is SO long, but I really hope that you enjoyed it and I’ll see you guys in my next one! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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