MSC Seaside Review: Something for Everyone, but Especially for Spa Lovers

You can do everything - or nothing at all - on the #MSCSeaside #cruise with @MSCCruisesUSA. #ThePlaceToBe #vacation #relaxation #travel Click To Tweet

My husband and I used to be avid cruisers – we love the value, the nonstop dining options, and the luxury of unplugging with the excuse of “my cell gets no service on the ocean.”  It had been a couple of years since we indulged in the cruise lifestyle, so by the time we were lucky enough to win an 8-day Caribbean cruise for two on MSC Seaside ship by MSC Cruises, we were ready to go!

On board the MSC Seaside cruise ship

On board the MSC Seaside cruise ship, on the balcony of our room

According to the company, “MSC Seaside rewrites the rule book of cruise ship design, blending indoor and outdoor areas to connect you with the sea like never before.” I was particularly enthusiastic about this ship, as it is brand-new and had been receiving so much attention from the press. It’s also described as “the ship that follows the sun,” and it’s the company’s first purpose-built ship for the North American market. Watching the MSC Cruises’ YouTube video about the MSC Seaside had whet my appetite, because the ship’s amenities looked spectacular. I can personally testify they’re even more appealing in person!

MSC Seaside cruise ship

MSC Seaside cruise ship

We enjoyed so many aspects of this spectacular ship, from the astounding high-caliber entertainment to the friendly staff members. I do want to comment on how SMOOTH and FAST the embarkation process was. Other cruise lines felt like a huge headache just to get on the ship, but with this cruise, it felt like no time at all passed between parking our car and being in our balcony room.

Our MSC Seaside balcony room

Our MSC Seaside balcony room

It’s always overwhelming to board a ship and see numerous activities. We were impressed by a full-replica Formula One race car simulator, the longest zip line at sea, multiple water slides and a two-lane bowling alley. So many fun things to do!

Click here to watch a passenger enjoying the MSC Seaside Formula One racing car simulator

Click here to watch passengers enjoying the MSC Seaside Aqua Park – the most interactive water park at sea

Don’t get me started on the Venchi Chocolate Bar! I sniffed the air every time I walked through that part of the ship. I finally caved in and bought some chocolate indulgences (all delicious and rich).

Venchi Chocolate Bar goodies on the MSC Seaside

Venchi Chocolate Bar goodies

This retro car is actually a DJ booth

This retro car is actually a DJ booth

The blogger in me also loved the Swarovski crystal staircases in the atrium! So many posing options, but I’m simply going to post my photo of one of the staircases. It was so beautiful, all my pitiful attempts at posing on it probably would just ruin the aesthetic, LOL!

One of four Swarovski staircases in the atrium

Multi-story atrium

Multi-story atrium

I tremendously enjoyed the MSC Aurea Spa. It’s the largest Balinese spa at sea, and the staff members were so friendly and welcoming. The decor was chic, described as “exotic designer interiors combining natural stone, wood and rich mosaics with superb sea views.”

MSC Aurea Spa lobby - outside the doors, there is a private area with hot tubs and relaxation lounge chairs

MSC Aurea Spa lobby – outside the doors, there is a private area with hot tubs and relaxation lounge chairs

We particularly enjoyed the Thermal Spa! That was actually my favorite thing from our entire indulgent spa experience.

MSC Aurea Spa jacuzzi tub

MSC Aurea Spa jacuzzi tub

If you’re a spa-lover like I am, you can splurge on the week-long Thermal Spa access pass, which is $190 per person. At the very least, I highly recommend planning to do at least one day of it! The day pass is $60 per person, and I believe it’s well worth the price for the unique experience.

You’re given a bracelet, which has icons that are actually a suggested series of steps to take. Some of the individual rooms were familiar, such as a sauna, but others were entirely new – for example, there’s a SNOW ROOM! I started laughing when my husband and I were shivering together in it, and he started singing a hymn to himself for comfort. We only remained in that room for a couple of minutes.

Thermal Spa salt room filled with Himalayan salt

Thermal Spa salt room filled with Himalayan salt

The suggested series of steps takes you through a sequence, reminding me of the Asian-style hot-and-cold therapies. We both felt so invigorated afterwards! My favorite room was truly the Himalayan salt room. So relaxing and good for respiratory therapy!

Couples massage room in the MSC Aurea Spa

Couples massage room in the MSC Aurea Spa

Nathan and I enjoyed a Couples Massage, which is a full body massage for 50 minutes in one room with two beds. The rooms were attractive — note the swan-styled towel art — and the atmosphere was relaxing. If you are going to indulge in a treatment, my recommendation would be to do it during a “Sea Day” (a day on the cruise itinerary in which you remain at sea and do not stop at a port). It gives you something to look forward to! That’s what we did.

Overall, we absolutely LOVED our time on MSC Seaside. I hope you get to experience it for yourself some day! Comment below and let me know what you think of this magnificent ship.

Thanks for reading!

XO,

~Angela~

MSC Cruises provided this complimentary cruise as a result of our winning a contest. As always, opinions are my own.

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3 Foods to Avoid After a Tummy Tuck

Guest blog post is by Dr. Robert Tornambe. Dr. Tornambe is considered one of the top plastic surgeons in New York. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Learn more about Dr. Tornambe.

After a tummy tuck, what do you do?

Are There Foods I Should Avoid After a Tummy Tuck?

If you have recently lost weight or had a baby, you may have excess saggy skin hanging around your middle. While in some ways this is a badge of honor, speaking to what you and your body have been through together, it can also be a sore spot.

For those wanting to get back to feeling and looking like their true selves, getting a tummy tuck is an appealing option to remove the excess sag and reveal the true form beneath.

But if you are like many considering this operation, you may also be worried about the recovery process and ensuring that you do whatever it takes to heal faster and keep your new look. Many wonder if there are foods that should be avoided (or consumed) to help post-op.

In fact, there are quite a few foods that you should avoid after your tummy tuck operation. Keep reading to see what these foods are, as well as what foods you can add to your diet to help the healing process.

What Is the Typical Tummy Tuck Recovery Time?

After a tummy tuck, individuals should expect at least 1-2 weeks of very strict rest. Afterwards, most physicians agree that a patient may return to their typical work.

Exercise, strenuous activity, and really any activity that would put extra strain on the abdominal muscles should be avoided anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months.

3 Foods to Avoid

There are some foods that may slow the healing process or even cause added discomfort post-op. Since it is only for a short time in the long run, it is worth avoiding the following foods to help your body heal and prevent adding additional post-surgery discomfort:

  1. Alcohol: Alcohol is well-known for its effects of slowing the body’s healing process as well as for thinning the blood. Especially after a surgery, you need your body’s amazing healing capabilities to help you recover as fast as possible. You don’t want to slow that down!Additionally, alcohol and pain medications are also a dangerous mix, and it is likely that you’ll either be prescribed or recommended some form of over the counter pain medication after the surgery. It is always advised that you not combine the alcohol with pain medications. In the end, it is easier just to avoid alcohol during your recovery time, rather than trying to figure out when is a good time to sneak a drink in.
  2. Salt: Salty foods, especially when consumed in larger portions, can actually cause your body to bloat. This would put a lot of undo and very uncomfortable pressure on your surgery site and stomach. As such, it is a good idea to avoid salt as much as possible.
  3. Soda: Sodas, or carbonated beverages, are another substance that can lead to gas and bloating. As we discussed above, this is definitely not a desirable condition right after a tummy tuck, so it is best to avoid these as well.

Essentially, you want to avoid foods that are going to make your body work hard just to process them without doing much to feed your system the nutrients it needs. Avoid foods that may cause gas and bloating or food/drink that will rob your body of what it needs to heal quickly.

What Foods Can Help?

Just as there are foods and substances that hinder healing, there are definitely those that can help your body heal and recover more quickly.

If you want to help your body along and also get a jump start on a new, healthier lifestyle of eating, then make sure you consume plenty of the following:

  1. Water: On a good day, dehydration can lead to all sorts of health problems. Especially after the physical stress of a tummy tuck surgery, not drinking enough water could cause serious complications including nausea and further hospitalization.Drinking water is a simple task, will help you recover faster, and is a healthy habit to get into.
  2. Lean Protein: Protein that you can get from beans, eggs, meats, and yogurt will all contribute to your recovery process and will also help you establish healthy eating choices for maintaining your new look.
  3. Infection Fighting Vitamins: Food truly can be our medicine because of all the vitamins and nutrients they carry. This is particularly true of whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.Foods that contain lots of Vitamins A and C are fantastic at fueling your body with infection fighting power. You can get Vitamin A in your system by eating dairy, eggs and cod liver oil. You can get Vitamin C by consuming strawberries, tomatoes, citrus fruit, and leafy greens.
  4. Bruise Reducing Vitamins: Your surgery site is very likely to have bruising. To help your body naturally recover, you can consume foods that contain Bromelain and Arnica, which decrease inflammation and will help reduce bruising around your incision.

Disclaimer: this guest blog post has been compensated.

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Why I messed up using the Glam Glow #GlitterMask – #InstaFail

While at a Sephora with a couple of fellow beauty junkie friends, I fell under the spell of the legendary #GlitterMask by GlamGlow. One friend with me, a makeup artist named Melissa, wanted to buy it – and she asked for a sample. The Sephora sales rep said, “Well, we only have enough left for one sample.” Melissa generously let me have that sample, saying, “Since Angela’s a beauty YouTuber.” 😉

Once I finally got around to trying it, I was excited at the social media opportunities it presented. A black facial mask with flecks of glitter and tiny silver stars, this treatment was bound to be #InstaBait and get me tons of likes and engagement. One friend messaged me that she would be worried about glitter in her eyes, but I had no such qualms. I fearlessly smeared the stuff all over my clean, damp face.

Check out this blog post - Why I messed up using the @GlamGlow #GlitterMask Click To Tweet

Melissa’s mom had seen some photos of bloggers trying the mask, and she commented publicly, something to the effect of, “How can people go around wearing this?” Her mom had misunderstood that it was a mask – she thought it was a new makeup trend, like black blush! To be funny, I decided that’s how I would put it on my face for my first Instagram post, like a football player’s stripes.

Once I let the product sit all over my face, I felt like it was an “out of this world” experience…

#GlitterMask is definitely eye-catching

The next part is where I MESSED UP. See, y’all, I try to stay abreast of beauty news and trends. I am constantly reading beauty articles, watching beauty YouTube videos, following beauty influencers to see what’s hot… but sometimes I don’t do my homework thoroughly. CLEARLY this was the case in this instance, when I tried to remove the mask.

It just WOULD NOT COME OFF. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed… finally resorting to using a washcloth to scrub off what was left on my skin. I thought to myself, “Of course you will have exfoliation and extra-soft skin – you’re scrubbing off the top layer of your facial epidermis just to get this mask off!”

My skin after the mask did feel softer

Then, as I was about to write this beauty blog, I decided I had better do some more homework about this particular mask. That’s when I realized I USED IT INCORRECTLY! You don’t splash or scrub it off – you PEEL IT OFF! My bad, y’all. That was completely my bad.

So even though it was “user error,” I still overall thought it was a fun (and social-media worthy) experience. I am a fan of GlamGlow, as I think the brand has made a solid name for itself in the skincare/mask world.

Would you give the #GlitterMask a try? Let me know if you would, or if you already have tried it! Thank you for reading my GlamGlow #GlitterMask review.

XO,

~Angela~

 

 

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3 Reasons Why Dysport is Better Than Botox

“How do my wrinkles look?” I asked a good friend, not sure what type of response I would get. Little did I expect her to candidly say, “Your forehead has a big line.” I mean, I KNEW about the line, but I didn’t THINK about it, ya know what I mean? So I decided then and there it was time to do a little research into the field of “preventative facial maintenance.”

I wanted to try low-commitment procedure, and I was fortunate that V Boutique Aesthetics had answers for me. After a quick consultation with “Dr. V” (Neda Vanden Bosch) — who, incidentally, is a walking testimonial for looking great at any age — I was ready to try Dysport.  BYE, unsightly forehead wrinkles!

V Boutique Aesthetics

Dr. V and me

My first question was, honestly, “Is it gonna hurt?” Dr. V patiently explained that it is a teeny-tiny needle and it’s a super-fast procedure. She then injected 32 units of Dysport into my forehead and between my brows. The entire thing took about 90 seconds! She was precise, and although I can’t say it was completely painless, it was just a little pinch. It didn’t bother me at all. Here are my before and after photos:

Dysport injectable

Before on the left, After on the right

Angry face, LOL! Before on the left, after on the right. At least I can’t look too mad now! 🙂

Here are 3 reasons why Dysport is a superior option over Botox, according to dermanetwork.org:

  1. Faster results. Allegedly Botox takes 5-7 days to see results. I personally saw results in about 48 hours. Literally, that fast!
  2. Longer lasting effects. Botox is supposed to last about 3-4 months. Dysport can last up to 6 months.
  3. Competive price. Galderma has priced Dysport slightly lower than Botox – and if it lasts longer for you, then you don’t have to go as frequently, thereby saving you costs long-term.

Personally, I was blown away with my results almost immediately. My forehead no longer has a wrinkle! I look back on some of my YouTube videos, and I’m like, whoa, the wrinkled forehead is definitely noticeable. I’m glad it’s gone now!

Would you ever try Dysport or any other injectible? Comment below with your thoughts! I recommend V Boutique in Atlantis, Florida, if you ever decide to make the plunge.

Thanks for reading, as always!

XO

~Angela~

Many thanks to V Boutique Aesthetics for providing the complimentary procedure. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

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Get Unicorn Hair with oVertone!

Have you heard of oVertone? Maybe you haven’t, but I’m sure you’ve heard of the unicorn hair trend! oVertone is a pigmented conditioner that deposits color into your hair every time you use it — so you can get unicorn hair (or galaxy hair or mermaid hair or whatever your heart desires) without the commitment! The brand carries eight colors (all vivid) that each come in three levels: Pastel, Vibrant and Extreme. This is a game-changing discovery for a lot of people who are looking to create and maintain these looks!

@chrisfairhead shows off gorgeous shades of vibrant blue, vibrant silver, vibrant pink and vibrant purple from oVertone

These are conditioners, not dyes, but their staying power is equivalent to a semi-permanent. If you stop washing with oVertone, the color will gradually fade out. And some colors fade easier than others. The conditioners are also vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, ammonia-free and paraben-free. While the conditioner rinses out, the pigment is meant to deposit and stay in hair longer.
oVertoneMy friend Brittany tried the Vibrant Pink Deep Treatment. I am so obsessed with her results! Check them out below.

Peek-a-boo pink subtle shades in my friend Brittany's hair

Peek-a-boo pink subtle shades in my friend Brittany’s hair

Would you try oVertone to get unicorn hair? Comment below with what shades you would like to try!

Thanks for reading!

XO

~Angela~

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3 Must-Have Gadgets you Need in your Kitchen

It’s no secret that I don’t love cooking — but that I LOVE to eat. I’m not one of those people who is happy to spend hours in the kitchen, but I AM one of those folks who will slap a meal together if it’s convenient… and I’ve discovered 3 items that I believe you NEED if you want to elevate your kitchen game!

Spoon Buddy

1. The Spoon Buddy. This is one of those things you didn’t realize you needed until you saw it, and thought, “GENIUS!” It prevents your stirring spoon from falling into your pot. Do you know how many napkins I’ve wasted by putting them on my stove so my stirring spoon would not dirty up my stove top? This is a great invention! It even has suction on the bottom, so it won’t slip off.

2. The Instant Pot. I purchased this pressure cooker after reading tons of Facebook comments about how much people loved theirs. I caved in and got one, but it sat on my counter for a few weeks before I finally mustered the courage to try it. Now that I’ve figured it out, it has saved me tons of time! I most recently made my mom’s Filipino “arroz caldo” with it, after she did a YouTube live video with me teaching me how to make it. I will confess that my Instant Pot version did not taste as good as my mom’s does. It must be the love she puts in it. 😉 Seriously, though, do yourself a favor and get an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot3. Debbie Meyer’s Green Boxes. They will save your produce and make the fresh items last SO much longer, at least twice as long! I let my neighbor Michelle have one of the boxes to try it for herself, and she came back to my house raving about how much longer her cilantro lasted. It’s saved me probably hundreds of dollars over the years by helping fresh fruits and veggies stay good for significantly longer.

Do you have any must-have kitchen items to recommend? Comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading,

XO

~Angela~

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Function + Fashion: Aerosoles Review

The busier I become, the less I want to wear uncomfortable footwear. Yet I still want to look stylish, so what’s a beauty blogger to do? Turn to Aerosoles! I’ve rediscovered this brand of footwear, since I am always seeking shoes that will help me go from dawn ’til dusk.

Flower Girl flats by Aerosoles

Flower Girl flats by Aerosoles
Photos by Mackenzie Morrell

As a plus size would-be fashionista, I look for supportive soles that are hidden beneath an attractive exterior. I tend to get tired feet easily, but these really help alleviate that issue. Back in the day, you’d worry that you would have to wear shoes that might feel good, but look not-so-cute. Nowadays, you can find different styles that would look appropriate as footwear for even the most forward-thinking fashion blogger!

Flower Girl flats by Aerosoles

Obsessed with these shoes!

I already have several pairs of Aerosoles that I adore, and the company sent me to a new fall style to review. It’s the Flower Girl, and they are SO versatile. Love me some metallics!

Aerosoles

Perfect for fall

It’s an embossed snake leather ballerina flat with scalloped edges. Mine are in gun metal, but you can also get them in pink metallic, or black snake embossed leather. I need footwear that can run errands with me but go from day-to-night from my office job to a night out on the town, and these flats truly go with everything.

Form plus function? Yes, please!

According to the company, each Aerosoles shoe is packed with comfort technologies and features to enable you to do more with every step:

**Heel Rest Technology – Custom design distributes weight toward your heel and away from the ball of your foot.

**Stitch N’ Turn – Soles so flexible they twist and flex. No break-in required.

**Diamond Pattern Sole – Impact absorbing with every step. Feels like walking on “aer.”

**Memory Foam Foodbed – Cushy memory foam footbeds provide incomparable softness and comfort.

Work the shoes, work the shoes…

I have found these comforts to be crucial, so much as that I am unwilling to wear any other shoes that are not as supportive. Would you give Aerosoles a try? Comment below with the styles you think you would like the best!

Focus on the feet!

Thanks for reading!

XO

~Angela~

Aerosoles provided complimentary products for review. Opinions are 100% my own.

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THE SLEEP STYLER: Hot or Not?

If you have been following my Instagram stories, you probably already know how much I have been using The Sleep Styler. It took sooo long for it to come in, because the demand was high and production was slow. So while I was waiting, I created this DUPE video where I achieved the look I wanted from The Sleep Styler with kitchen dish sponges.

Meantime, I finally got both the Original and Mini Sleep Styler products in, and I have been sleeping in them nightly with no problems. I love the way they curl my hair, and I use both of them – the Original on the lower half of my hair, and the Mini on the top half with bobby pins pushed underneath so they don’t flop over.

If you use them, I do recommend putting some form of hairstyling product in your hair and blow-drying the roots. You don’t have to fully dry your hair, I leave dampness in it, but I noticed that when I didn’t use product or a blowdryer, that my hair was limp and tended to get greasy at the root.

I recommend the Saints and Sinners Diving Styling Potion – it made my strands really smooth, and the curls are lasting longer.

Check out my YouTube video review of the product to show the before and after!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY YOUTUBE VIDEO

Let me know in the comments below if this is a product you would like to try. Do you love heatless curls? I know I sure do!

CLICK TO TWEET: http://ctt.ec/84Kce

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5 reasons why you should protect your skin from sun damage: Coppertone Whipped

I’m pretty religious about applying some form of SPF to my face on a daily basis. I believe that’s why I don’t have very many wrinkles – despite the fact that I’m in my 30’s (bonus points for you if you thought I was younger). It always troubles me when people I know and love don’t protect their skin, because it’s more than just for cosmetic reasons: you want to avoid cancer!

According to Dr. Wendy Roberts, here are the top 5 reasons why everyone should wear sunscreen:

1. The ozone layer is depleting and your body needs shielding from harmful rays.

2. Skin cancer rates are on the rise, and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer.

3. It helps to prevent facial brown spots and skin discolorations.

4. It also helps to reduce the appearance of facial red veins and blotchiness.

5. It slows down the development of wrinkled, premature aging skin.

I was excited to attend the Simply Stylist x Coppertone pop-up event in Miami, because the theme was all about protecting your skin. South Florida is the perfect place to promote the new Coppertone products, as we see sunshine ALL YEAR! I loved seeing all the beautiful bloggers/vloggers milling around, enjoying the sunshine — and highlighting sun protection.

Best of all, two lovely bloggers that I adore, Becky Boricua and Annie A to Z, unexpectedly popped up in the pop-up event! Stay tuned to my YouTube channel, because I plan to do a vlog of the good times.

Becky is so good at selfies! She took this pic 🙂

I’m really passionate about convincing you to take protecting your skin seriously! I enjoyed trying on the new Coppertone CLEARLY Sheer Whipped Sunscreen (SPF 30) because it wasn’t greasy, and it absorbed immediately into my skin. My favorite thing about it was that it has a citrus scent.

Let me know your thoughts about the importance of sun protection by commenting below!

Many thanks to Coppertone for the complimentary samples of these products. All opinions are my own.

XO,

~Angela~

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DIY tutorial: MAGNETIC LASHES! How to make your perfect magnetic eyelashes

In my latest YouTube tutorial on my channel Beauty News with Angela Cruz, I teach you how to make your own perfect set of false magnetic lashes that you will want to wear every day!

This video shows you how to make your most PERFECT magnetic eyelashes on your own, based upon the One Two Cosmetics magnetic false eyelashes.

Learn how to make your most PERFECT #MagneticEyelashes on your own! Click To Tweet

I have a couple of complaints about the One Two Cosmetics magnetic lashes: 1. They are too straight, with no curve. 2. They are only half lashes. This video solves these problems, and I have been loving wearing the ones I made!

Click here to watch my in-depth review and how I put on the One Two Cosmetics “original” magnetic lashes.

Click here to read my blog post about these magnetic lashes.

Comment below with whether you would be interested to try these lashes!

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