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(Giveaway) Dove, Rent the Runway and a fear of flying


This post is in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. The whole story shared here is all my own.
Here’s one of my most symbolic pictures to date taken in 2010. Standing on a runway with a vibrant red wool coat, it represents the time I finally conquered my fear of flying. OK, wait. Before I continue, let’s define the word fear. I conquered my “I am never flying. Heck no. Post 9/11 phobia. Did not fly for 10 years” type of fear, which is not to be confused with the anxiety I feel when we hit turbulence. Long story short, in 2008, after much contemplation, I finally got on a plane to Texas (my mother lives there). In 2010, I took another leap and went back to Texas. That day marked the beginning of many journeys I would take. Since then, I’ve been back to NYC (four times) and visited Chicago, Louisiana, Florida (three times), Michigan, Texas (two times more), Washington DC (twice), San Fransisco, Georgia and Tennessee. Those trips were huge for me. Every time I get on a flight, I feel stronger. Every flight I take is my spotlight moment, and when I land I feel proud of myself for not letting this fear stop me from seeing new places and experiencing new things. Now, make no mistake as I mentioned before, I do not like turbulence. Once the plane shakes, I break into a sweat. But so worth it, as you can see by these pictures.
travel theartmuse
Now what does a fear of flying and Dove have in common? Anxiety makes me sweat. When I sweat, I need deodorant. When I’m flying, I always carry one with me. Dove sent me their Clear Tone Skin Renew Deodorant right before my recent trip to Georgia. I was a bit nervous because I was flying a very bare bones plane from an airline I had never heard of before. I also made the mistake of reading Astrology Zone two hours prior, which warned about October being a disastrous month. What was I thinking?

Before this collaboration even happened, I was already going to share the goods with you all if Clear Tone could actually make its way through the challenge of a long flight to the east coast. Well, it did. I also like that it was very gentle and didn’t irritate my skin. It’s perfect for traveling, especially of you’re going to an event or have a presentation. I was actually flying to Georgia to a conference but I was also speaking on a panel so it was important for me to arrive looking and feeling fresh. Clear Tone worked really well, and I’m so glad it came in the mail when it did. I would love for you to try it. Better yet, how about a year’s worth of Dove products? And while we’re at it, how about a gift card to Rent the Runway for an upcoming special occasion?

Three winners will receive a one year supply of Dove Clear Tone Pink Rosa, a Dove Hair Daily Moisturize Shampoo, a Dove Hair Daily Moisturize Conditioner, a Dove Style + Care Frizz-Free Shine Cream-Serum, a Dove Style + Care Nourishing Amplifier Mousse and a $100 gift certificate to Rent the Runway. If this sounds good to you, all you need to do is tell me your tips for luminous skin (even under pressure) in the entry box below. Giveaway ends November 15th. Winners will notified no later than November 18th. Good luck!

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Taking it easy with Dove


This post is in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. Everything expressed is all me.
I work long hours. Sometimes it can be really stressful and the only thing that soothes me a cup of tea and a bubble bath. It forces me to sit, relax and reflect on all of the blessings that come from all of my hard work.
At night, after taking a long (loooong) bath, my beau and I sit down together and drink tea. It’s one of the many rituals we share as a couple that I love. Dove sent me this adorable teapot and delicious tea along with their new Clear Tone Anti-Perspirant, which is perfect for my night time bath and tea routine. It’s a very coveted product that seems to sell out quickly. It’s designed to reduce red and dark marks and even out skin tone caused by shaving irritation. I go to bed relaxed, comfortable and smelling fresh.

I was also selected to be one of the twenty #LatinaBloggers for their #MujerDove campaign, which includes participating in tomorrow’s Twitter Party along with the other 19 bloggers chosen, Vive Mejor and fashion and beauty expert Kika Rocha. I’ll be doing double duty at my Twitter account @theArtMuse and @LBConnect. Join me for an evening of beauty tips and more!
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The Dominican Blowout Way


dominican blow out theartmuse
I get asked a lot questions, but the big one has to be about my hair. I’m typically asked about my routine as well tips for hair care, growth and shine – From both men and women.

Many are usually surprised by my very uneventful treatment for it, as I don’t have a magical one-stop-shop answer. It’s a combination of life-long grooming habits that I’ve picked up along the way, and genes passed down from my parents. My answer is usually vague because, really, who wants to hear a whole cultural and biological explanation to hair care?

If you do, you’re in luck. I share all of that here along with a few links and several products that I love to help you get started on your hair care journey.

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Love Your Curls


loveyourcurls dove
Curly hair, red lips, cat eye and black shirts pretty much defined my teen years. To this day people remember this as my signature look. But when it comes to my hair, my memories were very different than most. I went to a predominantly Irish elementary school during the 80s, so having big teased hair was the thing. I didn’t have to do much to obtain that look. The bigger, the better. Hello, Bon Jovi anyone? Never Say Goodbye was our 8th grade prom song. There was a lot of giant hair at that party and I fit right in with my equally flamboyant taffeta pink dress. Luscious curls were also all over the pages of my of 17 magazines so it was something I celebrated with confidence and style (well, as much as one could have at 13). Oddly enough, when I got into high school (I chose a school with a heavier Latino influence to be more involved in my cultura), I was teased for having “big” hair. What?! Turned out, big curly was not as celebrated. It was all about cutting it short, blowing it out or slicking it back into the tightest pony tail anyone’s scalp could take. The girls called me “wiggy”. Ya, wiggy. Talk about creative, eh? The response to my hair was a huge surprise to me. My mother, who has pin straight, always loved my locks so I had no idea what the deal was and why some of the Latinas in my school were hiding their beautiful hair. It wasn’t until years later that I started to see/understand the complexities of hair talk in the Latino culture. It was all about looking polished or “fino.” Getting dressed for the holidays or an event meant that your hair got the sleek look too. And if your hair was curly, it was kept really tamed. No shape, no movement.

It’s only recently that I’ve experienced the beauty (thank you internet) of Latinas celebrating their gorgeous hair the way it is by setting it free (For ex., Risas Rizos, Daily Curlz, Sunkiss Alba). Now these women have some seriously flawless curls. Their hair game is tight. Where were they when I was in HS? Well, I think they were toddlers at the time (if that) but they too have had their share of processing stories, and have written about it on their blogs or talked about it on their Youtube channels. Carolina of Miss Rizos touched me so much with her video about beauty, identity and empowerment … and speaks of exactly what I experienced in high school.
dove #loveyourcurls
I blow dry my hair a lot. But it’s not because I have anything against my curls. I feel just as beautiful with my hair wild and free, and I think it’s pretty darn cool that I can try different looks. The key is finding the right products. I want the curl without the sticky feel. I want my curls to last and not go flat. Because if I’m going curly, it needs to be full on curls with no apologies. I usually use coconut and avocado oils in my hair but I gave Dove’s Quench Absolute line a try (thank you Dove!) and I must admit they got it right. In fact, their products are so good, it comes with an entire campaign focused on loving you hair.
dove #loveyourcurls
The #LoveYourCurls campaign also comes with a poetry book by best-selling author, Taiye Selasi and illustrated by award-winning illustrator, Annick Poirier. You can download this lovely #LoveYourCurls book and dedicate it to that special curly hair girl (or boy!) in your life.

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