5 things you will love about Maxus Nails! Review and giveaway

Have you heard of Maxus Nails? It’s a nail care brand that’s beloved by celebrities for the nail strengthening, long-lasting power of its products. The company sent me products to review for myself, and also to give away to you — so I am excited to share the love! Click here to watch my giveaway video to see how to enter — the total value is more than $100!

Here are the three things I believe you will love about Maxus Nails products:

  1. The length of time that the polish stays on your nails without chipping. I am really hard on my nails, because I am a pianist, plus I wash my hands frequently throughout the day. Typical polishes really frustrate me, because I put in all the effort to give myself a nice home manicure — and then within 2-3 days, my nails look all chipped and raggedy. These polishes definitely give me extended wear time, so my mani looks fab longer! If you pick just one polish to get, make the TOP COAT the one — other beauty YouTubers have raved about it, for good reason. I feel like this is the magic product that doubles the length of your manicure — and it dries quickly! That is so important to me. It has ceramic powder and nylon, which helps form that hard layer to protect your nails.
  2. The color selections of the Empowered collection. Very CHIC! I especially love the nude color, called Adored. That’s my jam, y’all — it’s the perfect mix of classic and modern for your hands. I tend to favor the bright red color, Inspired, on my toes.
  3. The products are “5 Free formulation” –  they do not contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dbp (dibutyl phthlate), or camphor.
  4. The final manicure looks like you had a gel manicure. I love the way my nails look when I finish the process — I do either the Strengthener as a base, or the actual Base Coat as a base coat. Then I do one or two coats of a color, finished off with a top coat. It looks so professional — but I did it on my own at home!
  5. I saved the best for last — they IMPROVE THE CONDITION OF YOUR NAILS. That’s right, these polishes all are meant to strengthen your nails! I have definitely seen an improvement — I wish I had taken a before photo of my nails, because they were constantly peeling. I figured I was doomed to peeling nails for the rest of my life, but I can testify that using these polishes over a few months has stopped the peeling completely. The Empowered Collection polishes tout themselves as a “strengthening color hybrid.”

So there you have it! If you’re looking to improve your nails and look polished and pretty along the way, Maxus Nails can be the choice for you.

Maxus Nails Empowered Collection


Disclaimer: although these products were sent to me for review, the company did not compensate me in any way for sharing my opinion. They didn’t even ask me to blog about it — I just wanted to share how much I have appreciated my nails improving with you readers! XO ~Angela

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Free holiday activity: Hoffman’s Chocolates Winter Wonderland

Do you love holiday light displays? Do you love chocolate? Do you love free things to do? Then Hoffman’s Chocolates Winter Wonderland in Greenacres, Florida in The Palm Beaches is the perfect spot for you. It’s open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. now through December 30, 2016. It’s a child-friendly activity, because I saw several families and strollers.

My husband and I went through the light display first, and enjoyed the dazzling show of more than 75,000 LED lights. You can also cast your vote in a wreath competition which benefits a local charity – the wreath with the most votes wins $1,000 for a non-profit. We voted for the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, since I used to work there and I 💗 it.

After the light display, we went inside the chocolate factory. So many delicious-looking chocolate indulgences! You could do all of your holiday shopping there, since everyone enjoys chocolate. It’s like a no-brainer, right?!

Hoffman’s Chocolates Winter Wonderland

I voted for the Palm Beach Zoo’s wreath

Nathan and me pretending we’re royal

A chocolate football!

Comment below with what looks like the most fun to you! 🙂

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7 Holiday Gift Ideas for Beauty Lovers

Confession: when I’m shopping for beauty gifts for Christmas, I’ve been known to pick up a little something (or two or three) for myself. It’s hard to resist the holiday glitz and glam of festive packaging! To help you in your quest for the perfect present for your loved ones, I’ve narrowed down my top beauty gift suggestions – so spoil them with a gift you know they’ll enjoy.

Affordable Stocking Stuffers

Moroccanoil® Treatment Ornament and Flutterby Mascara Shields

Moroccanoil® Treatment Ornament and Flutterby Mascara Shields

The limited-edition Moroccanoil® Treatment Ornament is a beauty bauble that will add a sparkle to your tree and shine to your hair. You can even hang the little box on your Christmas tree, since it actually is an ornament! The special 25 ml bottle of treatment nourishes and conditions hair for silky, smooth tresses for just $15.

Does mascara get all over your eyelids after you curl your lashes? Use Flutterby Mascara Shields between your lids and lashes to prevent smudging. I even use mine to apply a cut-crease eyeshadow. At only $14.99, this gift is practical, and it won’t break the bank.

Love your Lips

Kissy Missy Lip Set and Tiny Temptations

Kissy Missy Lip Set and Tiny Temptations

Looking to pucker up this holiday season? Two value-priced gift sets, both packaged in attractive metal tins, will see you through any mistletoe-induced challenges. Benefit Cosmetics’ Kissy Missy Lip Set includes the new they’re real double the lip products, plus the company’s famous tints. All of them promise you a fuller-looking pout and lip color that will last eight hours, and the entire set is $26.

Clinique’s Tiny Temptations is a pretty pink smorgasbord of super-nourishing minis of the popular Chubby Stick for lips. The $49.50 set features 20 shades, and the lip balms are beautifully sheer.

Treat Yo’ Self

Since this is the time of year to splurge on luxury items, you won’t feel any guilt over the price tags. Normally I’m an advocate for affordable beauty… but these products are so high quality, I just had to share them as gift ideas.

For runway-worthy hair, just look at the Victoria Secret models who showed off their tresses in the recent Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – their hair was styled with The Beachwaver Co. Limited Edition BEACHWAVER Pro 1.25, which is a limited edition that is adorned with Swarovski crystals.

BEACHWAVER Pro 1.25 with Swavorski Crystals (limited edition)

BEACHWAVER Pro 1.25 with Swavorski Crystals (limited edition)

I love shiny things! This professional curling iron does the work for you, with a heat range of 290° – 490°, a lighter 5.5” ceramic barrel length, 1.25 barrel width, arrow button for rotation control, 8 foot swivel cord, ergonomic handle, beveled no-kink clamp, fast/slow speed switch and a home button.

If you ask me what is my top makeup tip, I would tell you without hesitation that you need to invest in good quality makeup brushes. Sure, I’ve been known to do videos on affordable makeup brushes, but if I had to pick, I would tell you not to go cheap. Artis is a company that’s been called the “Rolls Royce of makeup brushes,” and after trying their products, I’m inclined to agree.


Gold Palm brush

The revolutionary CosmeFibers were engineered to glide over your skin, and they blend like a dream. Try the limited edition $75 Gold Palm brush, which is a powerful multi-tasker that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand (and it looks holiday-worthy, too).

For the ultimate indulgence, ask for the Digit Collection 10 Set brushes, which are ergonomically shaped like fingers so you can be your own makeup artist when you’re applying cosmetics on yourself. Brilliant! This ultra-luxury set will run Santa $375 – just make sure you’re on the NICE list!

10 Digit Collection brush set

10 Digit Collection brush set


10 Digit Collection brush set

What’s on your beauty wish list this year? Comment below with what you’re hoping to get—or what you plan to purchase for your loved ones.

XO ~Angela~

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Think you’re too busy for beauty? Think again!

Now that school is back in session, you may think they’re too busy to do a full face of makeup. It’s one thing to get your kids ready by the time the school day starts at 8 a.m., but what about yourself?

With a smart beauty routine, you can look like you spent an hour on your appearance—after less than ten minutes. The trick is to use products that cut down on the time it takes you to get ready.

These products help you look polished in a flash

The right products help you look polished in a flash


For your face, you can create a full face makeup look in just a few minutes. Check out my YouTube video that shows how I do a four-minute makeup routine.

If you have six minutes, you can use even more products, like how I showed NBC 6 In The Mix’s Roxanne Vargas.

fullsizerender-1 fullsizerender-2

Photo by @mediamavenandmore

Photos by @mediamavenandmore

For hair, try using a humidity-defying styling spritzer that helps lock in your style, like White Sands’ Liquid Texture Firm Hold. This product is all you need, because it helps your style last longer. It creates shine, and also gives you hold like a hairspray.

Stash a cordless hair tool in your car, like CHI’s Escape 1″ Professional Cordless Styling Iron, for quick touch-ups. I keep mine in my glovebox in its heat-protective casing. It’s the most convenient way to straighten and curl your hair, with professional-looking results.

Prime with an oil-control product with SPF, like the Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer, which features SPF 15. A primer will help your makeup last, and protect your skin from sun damage. Follow the primer with the Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick for quick coverage that’s both a foundation and concealer in one.

Eyes are important to define, and it’s simple to make them look flawless in a flash. Be sure to fill in your eyebrows, since they frame your face. I recommend Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil, which lives up to its name and is waterproof for up to twelve hours.

A shadow stick is the easiest way to apply eyeshadow. The new Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Stick Extra is a primer and shadow all in one, and is smudge-proof, transfer-proof and crease-proof. Apply the shadow stick to your lids, then gently blend with your clean fingertips. When in a rush, use the darker shade on your lower lash line, and smudge it out for a smoky eyeliner effect.

Skip the eyelash curler, and use a curling mascara to save time. The Rimmel 24HR SuperCurler Mascara is buildable, and creates instant curl.

A one-stop-shop for the rest of your face is the NYX Cosmetics Whipped Cheek & Lip Souffle, which can double as both a lipstick and a blush. You can throw this product in your purse for on-the-go touchups on your cheeks and lips throughout the day.

For more beauty tips as well as product reviews, be sure you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel, “Beauty News with Angela Cruz,” at http://www.youtube.com/AngelaCruzTube.

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So-called “modesty” at the Miss America 2017 pageant

My focus should have been on the dozens of intelligent, talented women who had the courage to walk across the stage in swimsuits and the spirit to contribute a year of their lives to community service. Instead, I found my attention captured by an oxymoron: a top 15 Miss America contestant proclaimed modesty, while she simultaneously walked across stage in a plunging, not-so-modest evening gown.

Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt, moments after she proclaimed modesty is lacking these days

During the evening gown competition, Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt’s pre-recorded sound bite said this as she walked across the stage: “Something we’ve lost sight of as a culture is how important it is to be modest, and I think Miss America is a role model for so many young girls, and they need to know that you don’t have to wear revealing clothing or be sexy to be beautiful. You just need to be you.” All this, as she modeled a daring, albeit stunning, evening gown that was recklessly revealing of her *ahem* assets.

I 100% agree with her message, but I couldn’t believe she chose to wear that dress. If she knew she was going to talk about being demure (and I assume she meant modesty in clothing), didn’t she realize it could backfire?

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who noticed this inconsistency, because the Twitterverse had a lot to say about it:

Twitter Miss South Carolina 1  Twitter Miss South Carolina 2  Twitter Miss South Carolina 3

Who am I to judge, you ask? Well, I’m actually a bona fide Miss America preliminary pageant judge. Not only did I compete in a pageant or two (or forty) back in the day — I judged for several years in the Miss America local circuits in Louisiana and Arkansas. I blogged previously about how much I learned from competition, and why I think it’s valuable to compete. I was the first Asian-American to compete in Miss Louisiana, and I was proud to see this year’s Miss Louisiana Justine Ker make the top 15 in the Miss America 2017 pageant. I can claim a teeny, tiny bit of credit in her success — I coached her in interview once! But just once. 😉


I competed in Miss Louisiana with a couple of different titles. I was also my high school’s beauty queen! #pageantdays

Even though I never took home the Miss Louisiana crown, I’m still to this day grateful for the life skills I gained from competition — and how two full years of undergrad and one year of grad school college tuition were completely funded because of beauty pageants.

I also use my title of “former beauty queen” to gain extra credibility on my “Beauty News with Angela Cruz” YouTube channel, in which I focus upon the beauty industry. I truly believe the public speaking skills I gained through pageant competition gave me a boost to eventually become a news anchor, and then ultimately to launch this channel. Inadvertently, the channel helped me achieve a dream-come-true, when I won the Today Show’s Social Star contest for YouTube! Just think — none of that would have happened if I didn’t have the confidence that came from competing in beauty pageants.

Speaking of public speaking, South Carolina as a pageant state had already risen to national attention when Miss Teen USA South Carolina fumbled her on-stage question, bless her heart. Thankfully, there was nothing like that in this year’s Miss America 2017 pageant — and there were moments in the competition when I was very impressed with what I saw (Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis can SING, y’all!). If you’re a former Miss America local competitor like I am, the Miss America pageant is your Super Bowl. Each year, I watch it with great interest. But I was shocked, and more than a little distracted, by the walking contradiction that was Rachel Wyatt’s evening gown choice. I was reminded that it’s not what you SAY– it’s what you DO that counts.

However, Wyatt’s gamble paid off. She can laugh all the way to the bank, since she won first runner-up. All I can say to that is: you go, girl!

Wyatt after she is named first runner-up to Miss America 2017 -- cleavage is still there, but maybe the flowers will help to conceal any potential wardrobe malfunctions

Wyatt after she is named first runner-up to Miss America 2017 — cleavage is still there, but maybe the flowers will help to conceal any potential wardrobe malfunctions

I have to wrap this up with a congratulations to the newly-crowned Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields, who represented the state of Arkansas.


“There she is… Miss Americaaaaaa!”

What are your thoughts? Comment below on whether or not you agree with the judges’ decision to reward Rachel’s risky reveal by voting her first runner-up!

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90’s beauty products are making a comeback

Were the 90’s as good to you as they were to me? That’s when I went through junior high and high school, and I was defining my style. Honestly, looking back, I really didn’t have much of a style at all, haha! My makeup was pretty slap-dash!

But there were some products that really stood out to me, and I was honored to be quoted talking about them in this Styleblazer article. Check it out! CLICK HERE to read the Styleblazer article.

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Open giveaways for August 2016!

If you’re reading this blog post, you may be a future winner! Here are all the giveaways that are currently running for the month of August 2016:

CLICK HERE to see: $400 value GIVEAWAY: Makeup, skin care & hair care! Laura Geller, Nerd Skincare, ColorProof

$400 value GIVEAWAY

$400 value GIVEAWAY

CLICK HERE TO SEE: HUGE GIVEAWAY – Color Me Happy! $300 value celebrating 3,000 subscribers!

Color Me Happy Giveaway in Celebration of 3,000 Subscribers

Color Me Happy Giveaway in Celebration of 3,000 Subscribers

CLICK HERE TO SEE: Win Kylie’s Birthday Collection: Mini Matte Liquid Lipstick Kit, Gloss, Creme Gel Shadows

Kylie's Birthday Collection Giveaway

Kylie’s Birthday Collection Giveaway

Click HERE to watch my giveaway video explaining how you can win a KyShadows palette and 3 Kylie Lip Kits in Maliboo, Ginger & Kristen

GIVEAWAY: KyShadows palette & 3 Kylie Lip Kits in Maliboo, Kristen & Ginger

GIVEAWAY: KyShadows palette & 3 Kylie Lip Kits in Maliboo, Kristen & Ginger

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Get Heatless Curls for the Summer Using BALLOONS!

As summer temperatures rise, you might cringe to think of breaking out the hot styling tools. What’s a gal to do when she needs easy-breezy curls—ones that don’t involve sweating with a flat iron?

Click HERE to watch a tutorial on how to use BALLOONS to achieve heatless summer curls!

Balloons aren't just for parties-- you can use them to achieve party-worthy heatless curls!

Balloons aren’t just for parties– you can use them to achieve party-worthy heatless curls!

“You can completely skip hot tools when styling your hair, and use alternative curling methods,” said Kevin Mai, a Georgia-based hair stylist at High Maintenance Salon Suites. “Many of my clients prefer easier looks during the summer when it’s so hot outside.

Stylists say going without heat can also give your hair a break, since hot tools zap hair moisture and leads to dryness and damage. You can have gorgeous, runway curls without any damage, that you can even achieve while you sleep!

“Remember when women used to sleep in those pink sponge rollers?” Mai said. “Hitting the hay with balloons or a tank top on your head is the same premise.”

Mai recommends the following styling tips when attempting to achieve heatless curls:

  1. Start with damp hair, not soaking wet, then apply an appropriate styling product.

“Whether it’s firm-hold mousse or a frizz cream, you’ll want something to give the curls staying power,” he said. “If you try curling hair that is too wet, it will still be damp eight hours later—and your curls won’t be set.”

  1. Take your time when wrapping hair around a curling object.

“This is the most important part, because it’s harder to fix a bad bend in your hair if you don’t pay attention to the direction the hair is wrapping,” Mai warned. “Heatless curls tend to set harder than curls created with a hot tool.”

  1. Finish with hairspray.

“Immediately after you remove the curlers, spritz all over your hair with a firm-hold hairspray,” said Mai. “As the hairspray sets, you can manipulate the style into the look you prefer.”

What’s your favorite way to achieve heatless curls? Comment below!

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Best mascara EVER?! Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Mascara – Review and demo

It’s a hot, much-hyped product– Charlotte Tilbury’s new Legendary Lashes Mascara. I wanted to give it a go, after I saw Wayne Goss post this video about how it’s the best mascara he’s ever used.

The mascara plumped up my natural lashes - it's a great volumizing product!

The mascara plumped up my natural lashes – it’s a great volumizing product!

So… is this really the best mascara ever? I’ll let you be the judge for yourself, but I am definitely loving it. It gives my lashes more thickness and volume! The price isn’t the cheapest, but it’s worth it.

Click HERE to watch my review/demo of the product!

Charlotte Tilbury's new Legendary Lashes Mascara

Charlotte Tilbury’s new Legendary Lashes Mascara

Info about the mascara from the website: Inspired by starlets and supermodels, born on the red carpet, this revolutionary new lash-enhancing elastic formula extends out the lashes like a piece of elastic and holds them there for the longest, most luscious lashes of your life with 13x more volume in just three coats! It doesn’t clump, doesn’t crack and doesn’t drop! Whenever I do red carpet work I will choose to dial up either the eyes or lips, but one thing that is always FULL VOLUME are the lashes. A thick, lush Hollywood false lash effect will enhance the shape of your eye, bring out the eye colour and frame the entire face. This is really important as the longer the lashes, the more flattering the look – whether you are creating a wing, doll, or false-lash look, it is ALL about the lashes!

The unique mix of waxes and genius ingredients include:

Marine Glycogen: a new, exciting hair tonic that is known to stimulate the growth of the hair follicle and the proliferation of keratin cells.
Tamanu Oil has regenerating properties in order to protect, nourish and strengthen the lashes.
A special blend of waxes gives the mascara its elastic texture..
Carbon Black for extreme stand-out lashes & a deep colour intensity.
The innovative, multi-bristle flutter brush has a collection of bristles of differing sizes, ensuring that every lash is caught and coated.





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Empties March 2016 ★ Products I’ve used up! Urban Decay, Tarte, bareMinerals, Makeup Forever, Jason

This video is a requested one from a subbie who paid me the nicest compliment about my channel. April, thank you for being so sweet! Hope all of you enjoy this video.

Click HERE to watch the video!

Empty products I have used up

Empty products I have used up

Buy each product:

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray – http://bit.ly/1Ht4jaZ

Jason Smoothing Coconut Foaming Shower Oil – http://bit.ly/1nXmJwh

bareMinerals concealer (summer bisque shade) – http://bit.ly/1I3Y0KX

Makeup Forever Professional Ultra HD Foundation — http://bit.ly/1LGri5M

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush (celebrated shade) — http://bit.ly/1eTpJnX

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