What’s New in E.L.F Skin Care?

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I used to purchase Elf cosmetics religiously when I was younger, mostly because it was affordable and easy to use. Later in life I was able to afford high end name brand cosmetics like TooFaced Cosmetics and Dior. Since times have changed, I have decided to seek out Elf Cosmetics yet again for their affordable yet effective products.

One of my most memorable items purchased was Elf’s loose shimmery eye shadow. I think I added close to 15 shadows in my cosmetic case and I still wanted more! From jet black to shimmery white, I could never have enough!

Lately, I have been keeping my face bare due to the pandemic and closely following the states mandatory face mask requirements. I still have the occasional breakouts and minor acne around the chin (probably because of the mask, I do launder my mask often!). Which lead me back to Elf cosmetics for their affordable skin care products. Most of their products are vegan and cruelty free which I support and enjoy purchasing. I love how their products ranges from $1-$20 and under. Recently, I have decided to venture back to their products (scroll below for a detailed list).

  1. e.l.f. Superclarify Cleanser Foaming Gel Face Wash, 3.4 Fl Oz: Claims to clean oil, dirt, makeup, and offers a gentle cleansing gel feature. This item only requires a small amount to remove impurities. It provides a hydrating boost and leaves your skin feeling smooth and fresh. It is one of the top-rated cleansers on Amazon ranking at 4.7/5 stars! It is a close dupe to Clean and Clear’s morning burst, which also leaves your face feeling fresh and clean but at a fraction of the price!
  2. e.l.f. Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Fragrance Free Face Cream, 1.7 Ounce, 1.76 Ounce: This cream helps those folks who’s skin is extra dry and thirsty! I live in the desert, so this product is by far my go-to product when preparing for a good night’s rest. The holy hydration helps with combating aging skin as well, noting that it contains hyaluronic acid, which is useful for locking in moisture and preventing water loss. It also has peptides to help with collagen and nicotinamide a vitamin B to help brighten skin and reduce uneven skin tone. 
  3. Elf Eye Makeup Remover Balm: one of the most innovative products on the market is the eye makeup remover balm. The balm dissolves eye makeup upon contact, even heavy makeup like mascara. It is rated at a 4.6/5 with reviews stating, “It does what it says!” Pretty cool if you ask me!
  4. e.l.f. Nourishing Facial Oil, Radiant Moisturizing Formula, 0.507 Fl Oz: If you want to radiate a natural glow, add the nourishing facial oil to your skincare routine. This product contains rose, avocado, and grape seed oil to help moisturize the skin. 
  5. e.l.f., Prep & Hydrate Balm, Water-Based, Versatile, Lightweight, Hydrates Instantly, Helps Improve Skin Texture, Primes, Infused With Shea Butter, Cocoa, Aloe and Grape, 0.51 Oz: Some parts of the face we have what’s known as “Large Pores,” I hate them. They look like craters and produce a significant amount of oil. My problem area is on my cheeks, near my nose. By applying a little bit of Elf’s pore toner balm, it helps reduce the size of the pores and fights against oil from overproducing. I like how you can target a small area with this product. 
  6. e.l.f. Beauty Shield Magnetic Mask Kit, 3-Piece Set, 1.76 oz.: If you have a larger problem area for enlarged pores, the beauty shield magnetic mask is ideal for you! It helps extract impurities, minimize pores, and helps brighten the skin. I could say this is your one-stop-shop for all your skin issues. However, the ratings are not as good as the pore toner balm. The review rating is at a 3.8/5 with customers stating that it is one of the more expensive products at 24 dollars, and it was difficult to remove. 
  7. Elf Charcoal Hydrogel Under Eye Masks! 3 Sets of Single-Use Eye Masks! De-puff & Detoxifying! For a bright and Re-energized Under Eye Area! (Charcoal): This mask is supposed to be applied before makeup application and offers to plump, soothe, and detox the undereye area. It contains soybean seed, green tea, and lavender. I know green tea can awaken the skin, and lavender is an excellent relaxing component. I am still uncertain what the soybean seed can do for under the eye, but overall the rating is a 4.3/5. With mixed customer reviews, some saying it worked for them and others stating it did nothing for them. 

I hope you enjoyed some of the products I enjoyed trying out recently and hope that you may find some of these products useful. Always remember to test a sample of the product on your skin for a short period of time before applying it all over. Some skin are sensitive to the components mixed into the product.

I know I will be a re-occurring customer because their products always seem to be effective, reliable, and affordable. I also enjoy how Elf stays on top of their game by producing new innovative products. Their line of merchandize never seems to stay the same and is one of the leading competitors in the cosmetic world.

*To my readers a disclosure of my writing enclosed: I am an advocate for Amazon Associates, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Willingness to purchase suggested products is solely consumer based and by no means an obligation. Any issues regarding Amazon products must be consulted through Amazon for a resolution.

DIY Poly Gel Nails

DIY Poly Gel Nails

Let’s talk nails

Over the years, I can recall stepping into a nail salon to be pampered and treated with care. However, the cost has always left me feeling a little unsettled, and the money could have gone towards gas, a bill, or food. The cost of acrylic manicure ranges from $50-$70 dollars in my area. I have spoken to some women who have claimed they have spent more than $70 to cover the cost of the tip for the nail technician. Soon my feelings of disappointment and distress overcame my initial impressions of feeling pampered. My feelings of frustration only increased after realizing the lifespan of the nails last for approximately one-two weeks. Then it is back at the nail salon to pay for a fill or to replace the set altogether. Let’s say I was not too eager to return to the nail salon.

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Recently, I have sought alternative ways to achieve salon-quality nails at home for a reasonable price. After a few weeks of using regular nail polish on my nails and having to repaint them every other day. I gave up on nail polishes and eventually turned to the internet to find a better solution.

While doing some online searching, I came across a new product known as Poly Gel. The gel lasts around one-two weeks as long as you have all the right products. I have found some brands offer an entire “do it yourself kit at home.” I was then inspired to watch a few youtube videos to learn the process of Poly Gel application. After watching a few videos online, I figured this should be easy enough for me to do at home.

What I learned

After watching a few youtube videos, I became a little confident that I could achieve an at-home manicure and placed an order through Amazon for a Poly Gel kit. The kit I started with was Makartt Poly Nail Extension, and I have had it for a year now. It has lasted a long time for me, but that could be because I take a break from nail extensions every month or two. I enjoy how it doesn’t solidify in the tube, and you can get multiple uses out of a single container as long as you seal the cap back on tight. However, I shortly learned that I needed a few more items to get started.

Poly Gel requires a UV LED nail lamp to solidify the nails. I have found the SUNUV 38W UV LED Light lamp nail dryer( See link below) has served the best of its kind on the market. It is nice to have the lights embedded into the lamp rather than having large blubs stick out. I owned an old UV Lamp that would have the light bulbs fall out, it was intended for easy bulb removal, but the bulbs became annoying when they fell on your nails and left an imprint. Having the newer model has served long term use over the years without having to replace the bulbs. I highly recommend drying your fresh Poly Gel nails under this lamp!

SUNUV 48W UV LED Light Lamp Nail Dryer for Gel Polish with Auto Sensor Professional Nail Art Tools (Black)

Another recommendation is purchasing a nail drill. I have found that buying a good quality nail drill will last you several uses without the motor burning out. You will have to use arm muscle if you purchase a cheaper model. Therefore I recommend quality versus quantity when it comes to buying a nail drill. Nail drills are used to take off old nails that have been broken, or to shape the edges, or to shorten the nail a bit. The one I own is:

Nail Drills for Acrylic Nail Professional – Electric Nail Drill Ejiubas 30000rpm Portable Electric Efile Drill for Shaping, Buffing, Removing Acrylic Nails, Gel Nails

You will also need a no lift nail primer. Trust me on this one, before I had known about this primer, I used to spend countless hours making my nails perfect, to only be frustrated and confused as to why they were not staying on longer than three days. Lifting of the nail happens when water or air reaches under the poly gel – what a waste of time and energy, I used to think. After purchasing the no lift nail primer, it works wonders on keeping the longevity of your nails for both nail polish and poly gel. The one I use stinks to high heavens, but it works! So I continue to use it. If you would like to use the same one I use, get it here:

No Lift Nails Primer .75 oz

Lastly, the cheapest product I recommend that you might already have around your house is isopropyl rubbing alcohol at least 70%. This solution will keep the gel from sticking to the brush when applying it to your nail forms. It helps shape the gel and it also removes poly gel built up around the cuticle. A little bit goes a long way! I recommend looking for it around your local drug stores for the best price.

My final results lead me to a lovely muted pink color with no bumps on the nail bed. What I like about this new innovative product is no longer having to purchase nail tips. I remembered back in 2015 I was buying everything separately to do my nails at home, it was a massive headache. This new method alleviates all the mess and saves you time plus money! I no longer have to wait in long lines to get my nails done. I can do them in the convenience of my own home while watching TV or listening to music. I enjoy the application process, and I hope you will too!

How to Make Your Very Own Thai Tea Boba

How to Make Your Very Own Thai Tea Boba

Something that I miss most while being stuck in quarantine is not being able to visit my favorite Thai restaurants. One of the most gratifying drinks I tend to combine with my Thai cuisine is Thai Tea Boba. It is a dark black tea color on the bottom that gradually changes to orange once you mix all the ingredients in. Also known as “Bubble Tea”, or “Thai Milk Pearl Tea”, it was invented by the Taiwanese in the 1980s and has since grown in popularity reaching United States soil. At the bottom of the tea you will see dark colored tapioca balls or “bubbles”. Upon first glance it could scare away the average person but once you take a sip it tastes like sweet milk. That is because one of the main ingredients includes evaporated milk. The Tapioca balls are also fun to chew, which makes this drink my new favorite drink to pair with almost any dish. What is awsome is you can now make your own Thai tea right at home to enjoy over and over again~ all thanks to Amazon! See down below on how to get started, and enjoy this traditional drink!


  1. 4 bags of Thai Black Tea
  2. 1 Cup of brown boba pearls
  3. 10 Teaspoons of sugar
  4. 4 Cups of water
  5. 1 Cup of evaporated milk
  6. Crushed Ice

Grab pre-made Tapioca Pearls here- https://amzn.to/2WBZv2m

Select Thai Tea here- https://amzn.to/3dnoKME

Order your cans of evaporated milk here- https://amzn.to/3dr7oi9

Save the planet order your reusable Thick Boba Straws here- https://amzn.to/2YHIqH0


Before you get started you will need a few kitchen items: Strainer, measuring cup, Pot, Pitcher, Spoon to mix, Cups to pour your boba in!

  1. Bring your 4 cups of water to a boil
  2. Add Thai tea, sugar, and let it saturate
  3. Strain the tea with a strainer over a pitcher
  4. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes, until cool
  5. Cook the boba pearls in a pot with water until it comes to a boil, let it cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Strain the boba pearls
  7. Place the boba pearls into a cup
  8. Pour the stored tea from the fridge into the cup midway
  9. Pour the evaporated milk into the cup until it reaches the top
  10. Add ice chips and mix if desired
  11. Drink with a large straw

All Set, thank you for visiting!

*To my readers a disclosure of my writing enclosed: I am an advocate for Amazon Associates, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Willingness to purchase suggested products is solely consumer based and by no means an obligation. Any issues regarding Amazon products must be consulted through Amazon for a resolution.

Celebrating Easter in Quarantine

Please stay safe during COVID-19 and read the latest news.

Understanding Easter

Easter is a time of celebration for most Christians and Non-Christians alike. For Christians, it is a day to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection as a traditional remembrance of what Jesus proclaimed. Jesus proclaimed he would rise after three days for the forgiveness of sins and be resurrected into Heaven.

Luke 24:6

“He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”

(The New American Bible, Luke 24:6)

The term Easter in (Greek, Latin) means “Resurrection Sunday”, Easter falls after Lent, a forty day sacrificial practice to give up or refrain from worldly desires and temptations (Easter). I gave up cheese, chocolate, and offered to pray every other day. The sacrifice is minor compared to what Jesus had to bare under the scrutiny of sinners and nonbelievers.

For Non-Christians many do not understand the purpose or significance of this event. I had to do a bit of reading and understanding of it myself. From what I gathered in Jesus time, the Jews honored God by sacrificing (killing) animals, lambs, sheep, goats, and doves for the forgiveness of sins. The blood of an innocent animal, pure, harmless, and sinless was used in place of the sinner, to absolve all sins and be freed of one’s misery.

Why would they do this? Well it dates back even further in the Old Testament, right after the original sin of Adam and Eve, the story of Cain and Abel. Cain killed his brother Abel, after becoming jealous of his brother. Cain offered to the Lord fruit from his harvest, but Abel killed the fattest first born sheep from his flock to offer to God, and the Lord favored Abel’s offering over Cain’s offering (The New American Bible, Genesis 4:4-5).

As time went on leading up to the New Testament of Jesus, God fearing people would continue to sacrifice animals to absolve their sins. It was Jesus who changed this tradition by stating he was the new lamb, the new offering for the forgiveness of sins.

Celebrating at Home In Quarantine

Now that the educational portion of Easter is covered, how do we come together to contribute our acknowledgement of the resurrection of Jesus Christ while in quarantine? In other words celebrate Easter together? I for one have no other means than to celebrate by the use of modern technology. So I will share some of my celebration suggestions below:

  1. Live Stream Mass Online: Most churches will offer mass online for you to tune into. My church has a dedicated Facebook page to watch mass take place. There is always YouTube, offering mass streamed live for free at no cost to you. Subscribing to YouTube channels are also free of cost other than your typical monthly internet bill. You can also do this on your phone if you don’t have a computer. If you have an Apple TV unit, you can live stream from Facebook to your Apple TV. On Xbox you can download Microsoft edge app and type in your church name on Facebook page and it should populate.
  2. Video Chat with Family Members Online: I had to guide my in-laws on how to do FaceTime on their ipad the other night. Believe it or not, my husband didn’t even know how to do this until I showed him his mom’s email could also be used to FaceTime. Since Easter is often celebrated with family, FaceTime could be beneficial at a time like this. If you are not an apple fan, other sources such as Skype, Amazon Chime could be used to view and chat with family online.
  3. Cook an Amazing Dinner at Home: Since being stuck in quarantine my dinners have been short from amazing. I do have a chicken roast that I can make for tonight with fresh mixed vegetables and a side of wild rice. Unfortunately, we have no other option right now other than to cook from home.
  4. Send a Gift: It is always a nice gesture and a great surprise to receive flowers from a loved one. I was shocked to find out that Amazon sends home delivery flowers to your loved ones door! You can also send Easter gifts to children using Amazon prime for second day shipping. It might be too late to send a gift today, but it is still better than never sending anything at all! (Send an Easter gift to a child here, Easter Gifts). There are many options to choose from, books, bunnies, easter eggs, coloring kits. I also encourage you to donate to a nearby church or charity on this special day, for those who have no other means to support themselves during this difficult time. I typically donate to my local church online. You can find online donations for a church who will give back to the homeless, offer children’s teachings, and provide food for the priests or pastors who preach to the people.
  5. Color Easter Eggs at Home: I remember coloring eggs at home when I was just a kid. My family used to save up all the egg shells we used for breakfast and color them on Easter. It was a fun tradition that can still be done in quarantine
  6. Have an Easter Egg Hunt: Children can still have their fun filled Easter egg hunt in the backyard during quarantine. Seeing their happy laughing faces run across the lawn is a joy I personally won’t get to see today, but I am sure my sisters with children will take in all the joy and laughter of the days festivities.
  7. Watch a Movie: The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection movie by Mel Gibson can be watched on Amazon Prime Video for free if you have a membership for the entire year. Even though this movie is hard to watch, it really puts into perspective the persecution of Jesus Christ and the love he has for each and everyone of us. If you have children, there are several Christian children’s videos and cartoons of found on Amazon prime video. If you don’t have Amazon Prime Video membership, you can start your thirty day free trial down below by clicking on the blue banner.

Happy Celebrating!

So whether you are Christian or not, I wish you a Happy Easter and Alms giving to everyone of you! Stay strong and hopeful during this time and remember love prevails overall. Blessings to you and your family.

*To my readers a disclosure of my writing enclosed: I am an advocate for Amazon Associates, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Willingness to purchase suggested products is solely consumer based and by no means an obligation. Any issues regarding Amazon products must be consulted through Amazon for a resolution.


“Easter.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Apr. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter.

The New American Bible: Translated from the Original Languages with Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources: Including the Revised New Testament and the Revised Psalms. Catholic Book Pub. Co., 1992.

Rating: 1 out of 5.


For accurate information on the Corona Virus COVID-19, and to stay current please click the Center for Disease Control CDC link. Please follow all government and state guidelines and stay at home unless it is for essential items or work related.

How to Plant a Rose Garden in the High Desert

How to Plant a Rose Garden in the High Desert

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.


Most recently the weather in the high desert has been overcast with light showers. Some folks despise working during inclement weather, postponing outdoor activities until a brighter more radiant day. However, I have found that working in shower conditions has proven beneficial!

The High Desert has a lot of thick red clay for soil. Working with this type of soil in the heat and attempting to dig holes for plants is extremely difficult. The soil is compacted, with rocks, and it is often hard to remove. Working shortly after or during a light drizzle, loosens up the soil offering easy soil removal. I managed to remove the soil in my backyard with ease, as though it was loose organic matter from the East Coast.

The first part of preparation was already halfway prepared by my dog who likes to dig holes in the backyard. My pre-arranged hole was about three inches deep. I needed to dig out a hole at least 10-12 inches depending on your rose bush root ball.

I added Miracle Grow Garden Soil, specifically for “roses”, which holds moisture, to protect from overwatering or underwatering, and offers free earthworms in each bag! I was actually ecstatic when I found out there were worms in the bag. Earthworms offers oxidation to the soil and nutrients, never kill or get rid of earthworms they are always beneficial for plants. Miracle Grow Garden Soil for Roses also includes bone meal to help your plant grow big beautiful blooms. I went ahead and also added three additional items to the soil to help with cell proliferation.

The first item I added was Vigoro Bold Blooms Flowering Plant Food, which helps promote lush foliage and maximizes the number of blooms. My mother always told me that I needed to feed my plants food. This bag offers time released nitrogen for extended feeding periods. I then added another time release plant food known as Osmocote, this product offers 11 fortified essential nutrients for all types of flowers. Lastly, I sprinkle a bit of Miracle Grow powder feeder to get optimum results. The next time I water my roses the plant will have a blend of nutritious food to thrive off of. Lastly, I want to add that I blend all products in the soil as well as place a little bit on top.

If you live in an area that offers rich nutritious soil you might not have to work as hard to get your flowers to thrive and bloom. I have found working with the Mojave Desert soil needs a little extra help to get roses to flourish and thrive.

The roses I planted were purchased from Home Depot (I am not affiliated with Home Depot). I purchased two Hybrid Iceberg Roses (White blooms), these flowers are found all over Southern California and they tend to enjoy the winter as well as the Sun. I planted them in an area that would get around 6 hours of sunlight before my retaining wall will start to cast over a shadow, protecting the flowers from direct sunlight. I also purchased one Peace Everblooming Hybrid Tea Rose bush (Golden yellow blooms with rose pink edges), these flowers survive the high desert winters and overcome most mold and viruses. Lastly I purchased one Sun Flare Rose bush (Yellow blooms). I figured the Peace Hybrid Tea Roses paired with the yellow Sun Flare Roses would make a good combination once displayed in a vase indoors. The Sun Flare roses thrive during early to late summer and fully enjoy direct sunlight. I planted the Sun Flares directly in the center of my garden where most of the sun rays will be beaming down on them.

That completes the full process of properly planting roses in the high desert. It mostly consists of properly caring and prepping your soil prior to planting them. If you have a similar climate, or would like to share some of your suggestions, please let me know in the comments down below. Please remember to subscribe to my blog to continue to receive email notifications of new postings!

Until next time!