February 14th – to some this is just another day but for others this day is all about LOVE & spoiling your significant other. Since Valentine’s Day is just a few short days away, I wanted to give you some great gift ideas for the special lady in your life.

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Let’s start off with the basics…. Roses & Chocolate. This is your traditional go-to gift when it comes to woo’ing your lady. Roses will never be out of style and who can say no to chocolate? Go with a bouquet of roses in her favorite color or change it up with a mixed bouquet that includes Lilys (my fav), Tulips or Orchids. As for chocolate, anything goes – boxed chocolate, truffles or any dipped fruit is sure to get her smiling.

Beauty Gifts: This is a personal favorite of mine. I have always had the mind frame that a floral arrangement will eventually dry up but a floral scented perfume is the gift that keeps giving. Here are a few beauty items you cannot go wrong with this Valentine’s Day.

Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance – With notes of pink peony, black vanilla and raspberry; this scent is deep & rich while being very sophisticated. The floral tone makes it ultra romantic and its lasting ability is an absolute plus.

Clinique Hello Cheekbones Collection – Us women LOVE to contour. Clinique has some amazing products that makes this beauty technique super easy. My two favorites are the Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour & Highlight. Creamy contouring stick creates the illusion of depth; makes areas appear to recede while the luminous cream highlighting stick with light-reflecting optics brings your best features forward. They also have some amazing Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palettes that have natural-looking shades that blend and build beautifully. Use each separately to colour, contour, highlight. Or swirl them together for a quick easy glow. Use mid-toned shade as a blush, deep-toned shade to contour, lightest shade to highlight. For a quick, easy glow swirl brush over entire palette and dust over apples of cheeks.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor – As a beauty junkie, these types of gifts basically make me have butterflies. I can never have too many lipsticks. I really love this one because of its pigmentation and because it is long-lasting. It also moisturizes. Pick up the shade: Red Infallible and she will be leaving you rose colored kisses!

For the gentleman in you that really wants to step out of the box this Valentine’s Day, how about the gift of a LBD? Women can never have too many ‘Little Black Dresses‘ and I think this type of gift really stands out and is not only unique but thoughtful. If you have dinner plans, hand her the box in the morning and let her know you want her to wear it out that night. DO make sure that you purchase a dress for her body type and one that is her style. I promise, this is a gift she will not forget!

I hope these gift ideas helped out & I hope you have a fabulous Valentine’s Day filled with love!

I’ve been wanting to launch the Travel Series of my blog for quite a while now. Between purchasing my home, to getting engaged & married, to balancing 2 jobs while blogging – it’s been a struggle to keep everything in order. Creating deadlines and sticking to them hasn’t been my strong point in the last 12 months or so. I decided that in 2015 I would get more organized and make a big push to launch this feature.

If you know me personally or just follow along with Pearls & Paris, you already know that traveling is a passion of mine. As a kid growing up, my father brought me to Puerto Rico numerous times. We would stay with my aunt in Salinas and every trip we would explore the island from 1 end to the other. From visiting my mothers (now late) Grandfather and watching him climb his Guenepa tree in Aguada all the way to El Moro in Old San Juan and every beautiful spot in between. We even got to experience El Dia De Reyes (Three Kings Day) there. I left the camels a box of grass under my bed & I woke up to a present…Sally Secret! (Don’t act like you 80/90’s babies don’t remember that doll lol) It has now been 11 years since I lost my dad but that thrill to want to explore and the thirst for knowledge and love of culture runs through me, just like it did him.

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 Later on in my teens, I got to go on a few cruises with some of my family thanks to my mother. On those cruises I got to visit multiple Caribbean Islands. Some of my favorites would have to be St. Thomas, Aruba & Grand Cayman. We were beach bums, swam with stingrays and parasailed. After those experiences I realized that there was so much more to see than good ol’ NJ.

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From a girls only Spring Break Trip to Acapulco, to beautiful Curaçao to now traveling to many parts of the US &  Europe with the love of my life – traveling is a permanent staple in my life.

When someone finds out I have booked my next trip, I always get the same few responses. Some people tell me how amazing it is that we travel so much and say they can’t wait to see the pictures but then I get some of the responses that rub me the wrong way like “How do YOU afford to travel so much” or “I WISH I could travel.”

Traveling: If I can do it, so can you.

I will be sharing my secrets for traveling on a budget and getting the most for your money when away from home. I will also be highlighting some of my own personal trips and giving you tips on where to sleep, eat & explore while there.

Stay tuned & if there are any specific questions you have or a particular location you would like me to post about – email me at: pearlsandparis@yahoo.com

“They say in life we all swim with sharks. But that’s not enough for Rihanna. On the 40th anniversary of Jaws, she faces off with three eight-foot predators for Bazaar’s March 2015 Issue.”

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Can you imagine being asked to swim with sharks for a photoshoot? I can’t… but that’s just another day in the life of the fabulous & fearless Rihanna. The shoot took place this past December at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. In this tank, 3 sand tiger shark live. They are all over 3 feet. The end result was nothing less than spectacular.

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LAURA BROWN: Swimming with sharks is not only scary, it’s a big metaphor. How did you learn to swim with the sharks of life?

RIHANNA: I try my best to avoid the sharks of life, but I have had my share of experiences with them, and in those cases I just have to handle them accordingly. But I do not swim with sharks … sharks swim with sharks.

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LB: Being famous for a decade now, you would have had to develop a thick skin. In what ways are you tough, and in what ways are you sensitive?

R: This skin has been developing since my first day at school. It didn’t happen after fame; I couldn’t survive fame if I didn’t already have it. So sometimes the toughest thing in life is to be vulnerable. I’m not generally a sensitive person, but I tend to be more sensitive toward others and what they’re going through. I don’t know if that’s the healthiest thing, but it’s the truth.

LB: What is a perfect day for you?

R: The day I wake up without cellulite? Now that would be the perfect day.

To read the whole interview, click HERE.

PC: Norman Jean Roy

The Screen Actors Guild Award  is an accolade given by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to recognize outstanding performances in film and primetime television.

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While this isn’t my favorite Award Show, I always make sure to catch the red carpet!

Here are my picks for BEST DRESSED:

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Lupita Nyong’0 in Ellie Saab

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Camila Alves in Donna Karen Atelier

Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum in Giorgio Armani

Emma Stone

Emma Stone in Dior Haute Couture

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Sarah Hylan in Vera Wang

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Maisie Williams

I love adding curls to my hair, so when I was chosen to test & review the KISS InstaWave I was super excited.

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My first impression was what a super cool & easy to use product BUT there is noooo way this will work… boy, was I wrong!

So… what is the KISS InstaWave?

The revolutionary KISS InstaWave is a fully automatic tangle-free curler that instantly creates beautiful, long-lasting curls with ease (No Need to be a Pro). The KISS InstaWave uses Ceramic Ionic Technology to help protect your hair while giving you tight curls and shiny hair. It features two heat setting (low and high) with the hottest setting reaching a maximum temperature of 420° F. It also has a 90 minute auto shut-off safety feature in case it’s left on by accident.

To use it is super easy as well… only 4 steps!

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Hold InstaWave up-right and place 1 to 2 inches of hair onto curler.

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Press button to instantly catch hair and rotate curl barrel. Hold button until hair is fully around barrel, then release.

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Allow barrel to heat hair for 3 to 10 seconds

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Pull InstaWave gently downward to release a beautiful curl.

Seems easy enough right? I have to say, it took me a few times to get the hang of having my hair catch on but eventually I got it. I think this is one of those products where practice makes perfect.

Here are my results with the KISS InstaWave:

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I absolutely loved the curls it created. Long, bouncy with volume & best of all… natural looking. It also cut the amount of time it takes to curl my hair in half. I can’t wait to recreate more looks with the InstaWave as well as different types of curls.

It really is such a cool product and only $59.99! To purchase the Kiss InstaWave, please visit their site: KISSinstawave.com.

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