Weekly Favorites: VIII (The Mask Edit)

Happy March everyone! This week, I am focusing on my favorite skincare step: MASKS! I love to mask. It’s a great way to treat yourself (and your skin) and turn an average skincare routine into a spa-like experience. As I previously mentioned in my Products to Avoid for Acne Prone Skin, I am constantly on the hunt for products that will keep my skin clear, reduce my pore size and keep the sebum at bay. As a result, I have put so many masks to the test and these babies are my TRIED AND TRUE! If you want to know what other products I use in my skincare rotation click here. . . OK, let’s get to the good stuff:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – No, this is not a mask. It is a beautiful collection of poems. It is split into four different sections and depending on your vibe, you can choose to skip around or read it front to back and let the story unfold.When I’m masking I like to disconnect, and I’ve been dedicating this time to poetry. (For those of you that don’t know, poetry was my first love and it’s a part of me that I have neglected for too long. This book is bringing it back!)

Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask by CLINIQUE – THIS mask. If you purchase any of these products, may it be this mask! This is hands down the best charcoal mask on the market. Yes, better than GlamGlow and better than Boscia. This mask actually does what it’s supposed to. Mattify? Check. Unclog pores? Check. Refine pores? Double check. If you’re oily, acne prone or just in need of a detoxifying mask, look no further. I will typically use this once a week and I am always so happy with how my skin looks and feels afterward.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay – This is a hefty one and has a cult following for good reason. Not only is it insanely affordable, you get 1lb of product for $6 dollars, this mask is intense. Because of the bentonite clay, this is a deep, deep cleansing mask and you don’t want to use it too often. Typically, I will use this about once a month, or when I really need a skin detox like after I’ve been traveling etc. The only annoying part (lazy girls raise your hands) is that it’s a powder, so you have to mix it into a paste yourself. I like to mix mine with apple cider vinegar and let it do it’s magic!

Botanical Mask Pack by Bonvivant – Because I do rotate between clay masks, I like to balance out with a moisturizing/healing/repairing sheet mask once or twice a week. I love Bonvivant’s sheet masks! They are so affordable ($1!) and they have a wide range to suit your skincare needs. The sheet itself is really thin and sturdy, so it adheres to the skin really well! I also appreciate that they don’t have a strong scent. Another sheet mask that I love, but isn’t pictured because I used it last week, is the Donkey Milk Healing Gel Mask. It’s a great mask for when your skin is irritated or if you have an active breakout.

Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask by Milky Piggy – I feel like when Korean skincare became popular in here the states, this was the mask that everyone gravitated towards and wouldn’t stop talking about. This innovative mask will start to bubble and foam (ie carbonation) as it oxidizes with the air, making this one of the most entertaining masks you can purchase. While it might seem gimmicky, it’s actually packed with really great ingredients such as charcoal, pomegranate extracts, green tea, and collagen. Not only do I enjoy the experience of this mask, I also really love the glow this mask gives me. I recommend applying this mask when you’ve had a particularly trying day, as it’s guaranteed to lift your spirits!

Original Skin™ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay by Origins – When I am looking for a luxurious experience, I reach for this product. With ingredients like Canadian willowherb, Persian silk tree, Mediterranean rose clay and exfoliating jojoba beads – how can you go wrong?! Not to mention it has the most pleasant and soothing scent. This mask leaves my skin so soft and radiant! It isn’t as powerful as the aforementioned clay masks, so I will use this about twice a week. I absolutely love this mask. Love. Love. Love

So tell me, what are some of your favorite masks?!


“Guessed Blog Post”

colgada bw narrow spacedBueno. Sorry for yet another late addition of “Real Talk Sunday” – I may as well start calling it “Real Talk Monday” but then I would have to push it to Tuesdays 😉 – I am not exactly known for being punctual. But, I was in Montevideo, Uruguay ayer (yesterday) and had no way of getting a post up – more on that later.

OK, on with it, I am happy to announce that this “Real Talk” session is brought to you by one of my Favorite people that I’ve met here in Buenos – that’s right folks we have another GUEST BLOG POST! Gracias Yael – I LOVE THIS.

“Guessed blog”

It’s a little intimidating to use someone else’s space for expression, be it virtual or physical. When Sonja asked me to guest blog I started to wonder what was the appropriate content for such a space. A cutesy memoir of one of our many nights with our new foreign family, wine stained teeth and Frank Ocean sing a longs? Or an ode to the American experience in a city of catcalls and slow customer service? Nah…

Trying to dig deeper into the experience of sharing this life abroad with my fellow “Yankis/Gringos”, I find I can expand for hours about cultural boundaries and gaps we find as we extranjeros wind our way through the cities physical and social structures. But within our house of 10 international guests we have daily moments of cultural clashing, where in half a sentence so much gets lost in translation. As a bilingual Spanish and English speaker and bicultural Uruguayan/American I get to witness many of these moments of confusion from an exterior viewpoint and pull from them hints to the larger questions that float above me this trip: What is there to gain from travel? How do I carry what I gain with me?

Yes, we travel for the big – the monuments, the natural wonders, the crazy 6 AM nights but we change with the small discoveries. The exchange of words with those who pose a challenge to the way we once saw things.

In living in this house, in this experience, I have taken with me an appreciation for the weight of each word. Whether its clothed in another language, sarcasm or a cultural humor we might just not understand, the words come to us in heavy kilos. When stripped to their naked state we find the poetry, when we find that what they really tell us is that we are all starting with the same base. Shared along with the endless coffee and cigarettes is the feeling of a long road ahead, defined by the people we meet and the words we exchange with them.

And in the end when our words our picked, and weighed, and hang in the air between us…it is not necessary to reiterate how different we all are at times, but rather how similar; beautifully lost.

Zooming into what I chose to share in this space, I chose poetry (my version of the naked word) to express this specific shared experience of sometimes losing grasp of the powerful tools that are our words.

hung up black and white

Yael Hendel (c)2013

Yael is a Uruguayan/American graphic designer/writer raised in San Francisco who is came searching for artistic success in Buenos Aires and stayed for the alfajores. Check out her work here : &

Lalalalalalala – Liebsterrrr…award! (Think Batman theme song)


I may not be a belieber (sorry Rashanne) buttt someone thought I was good enough for a Liebster! Thank you Kat from ( for honoring me with this. She is a fellow sister in expatria giving it a go in Australia. Her postings are honest, thoughtful, wonderfully written, and from what I can tell, the girl has great style! Gracias linda!

So here’s the deal…

Answer the 11 questions, give 11 random facts about yourself, and then nominate 2 other bloggers to do the same.

11 Facts about myself:

1) I was really antisocial as a toddler. If you weren’t a member of my family I wanted nothing to do with you. I would throw dirty looks like confetti and the story goes if you tried to talk to me I would growl at you. I promise that I am much friendlier now.

2) Once upon a time I was a slam poet. I competed/performed for five years and have had the honor of a few publications :).

3) I LOVE butter. I mean I only eat bread to eat butter.

4) I whole heartedly believe in the power of manifestation. I was a skeptic at first, of course, but during one of the first conversations I had about it someone said to me – “Sonja if you believe it’s BS then it is and nothing will change.” That changed everything for me.

5) I am obsessed with pugs. I grew up with 2 of them and they are my favorites! I also happen to be incredibly allergic to them. Tragic, no?

6) The worst thing I have ever eaten was a goat eyeball…shudder.

7) I prefer to refer to my cultural and ethnic background as being either Mexican, Chicana and or Mestiza. The latter would be the most accurate.

8) I am known for talking with my hands and using large gestures. I was once recognized in a dimly lit bar solely on my hand movements lol.

9) I got in my first fight when I was 9 years old with a boy. I still have a huge scar on the inside of my left elbow – thanks Juvi.

10) I am a huge book worm. I was that child that would rather stay inside and read then explore the great outdoors.

11) Sorry mom and dad, but I have a dirty mind. One of my all time favorite quotes comes from the classic movie Steele Magnolias (I love this movie – I can literally quote the entire thing) – the character known as Ouiser Boudreaux states “A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste” and I couldn’t agree more.

Answer 11 Questions:

1. What is the quality that you feel most proud of?

I have worked/work really hard to be a positive individual – I used to be so pessimistic (thus where my cynical side stems from) and I realized that I was making myself miserable and decided to change.

2. If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

This is a tough one – the power to be invisible. I would never pay for a plane, concert, or movie ticket again!

3. If the story of “Indecent Proposal” ever happens to you, what would you do?

I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m familiar with the storyline. I have to say I would tell the guy where he could go; and I would probably either leave my husband for agreeing to go along with the proposal or maybe have some intense couples therapy. But, let’s be real, I’d probably still leave him in the end.

4. What is your most embarrassing moment?

As a result of being a major klutz there are so many situations to choose from lol. I think that the majority of them happened while I was waiting tables. Once I was carrying a full hand-tray of lychee bellini’s during an insanely busy brunch – there I was trying to wiggle through the packed, tiny restaurant, try in hand, feeling pretty proud of myself – when for no real reason I tripped on my own two feet, lost my grip and down went the tray. One loud “SHIT” came out of my mouth followed by the sound of breaking glass – the entire restaurant broke out into applause as I stood there drenched. The only thing to do was curtsy (and blush deeply).

5. Is there anything you can’t do anymore but you wish you could? What is it?

Fall deep into my own imagination with ease and live in that moment. Sure, I can read a great book, do some writing, but it takes so much effort now.

6. What is the title of the last book you read?

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin – This is the 4th installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series aka Game of Thrones. I am obsessed with the world he has created! I took my time with this one as I don’t have the 5th book and I had a feeling it would be hard finding it here. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend picking up the books. Do it, do it!

7. What is the first adjective you would think of when anyone asks you about China?

Sweet and Sour – OK, that’s two, but they go hand in hand, no?

8. What is your favourite sport?

I am not very athletic nor am I much of a sports spectator, however, if you take me to a live game I love to watch basketball, football and hockey. I really don’t like watching sports on tv – that’s a great way to get me to get up and clean something.

9. What do you want to ask if you ever meet a great fortune-teller?

If, in the end, I am happy.

10. What is your biggest superstition?

Ladders, I can’t bring myself to walk under them.

11. What do you do when you have some “ME time”?

Do girly things like paint my nails and watch Pretty Little Liars (I know, I know, but it’s addicting) or a similar guilty pleasure tv show.


Paying it forward with the Liebster

He may not like that I am doing this but I want to nominate Damien Flores at ( ) this guy is an incredible poet – and if you are curious about the world I grew up in – he paints a damn good picture.

I also want to nominate – this is a wonderful blog about a Cali transplant in NYC. This guy is witty, funny, and often leaves me feeling warm and buttery (yes buttery) on the inside after I read his posts.



Somethings Will Never Change

Real Talk? Poetry was and always will be the lamb that made a lion out of me. It was my first love, and then one day, I decided it was time to move on. But, thanks to my iPod being stolen (and because I can’t use my phone) I have taken to reading on my commute to work. After I finished the 4th installment of Game of Thrones (!!!!) I picked up one of the poetry books I brought with me and have been reminded of just how in love I am with poetry.

So in honor of this I want to share with you one of my all time favorites, by one of my absolute favorite poets/writers… Enjoy

Buenos Aires

One Last Poem for Richard

by Sandra Cisneros

December 24th and we’re through again.
This time for good I know because I didn’t
throw you out — and anyway we waved.
No shoes. No angry doors.
We folded clothes and went
our separate ways.

You left behind that flannel shirt
of yours I liked but remembered to take
your toothbrush. Where are you tonight?

Richard, it’s Christmas Eve again
and old ghosts come back home.
I’m sitting by the Christmas tree
wondering where did we go wrong.

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours. There ought to be awards
and plenty of champagne for the survivors.

After all the years of degradations,
the several holidays of failure,
there should be something
to commemorate the pain.

Someday we’ll forget that great Brazil disaster.
Till then, Richard, I wish you well.
I wish you love affairs and plenty of hot water,
and women kinder than I treated you.
I forget the reason, but I loved you once,

Maybe in this season, drunk
and sentimental, I’m willing to admit
a part of me, crazed and kamikaze,
ripe for anarchy, loves still.

Mirrored Images

I haven’t shared a poem of  mine in a loonnnng time… But seeing as it’s Sunday.. Here is some “Real Talk”… and to quote Mrs. Badu “keep in that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit” 😉

Mirrored Images-

I wanted to caress your face,
etching memories in the rings of my prints.

For those quiet moments.
To feel you,
when the night is so dark, the stars have gone hiding
and there are no sounds.

– just this feeling –

Of wanting closeness.
Laughter to fill the air,
to catch your breath in the back of my throat,
and your hip in the cave of my palm.

But all that’s here are my fingertips,
pressed against my belly,
attempting to trace the weight of you.

(c) Sonja Chacon 2013