Thursday, April 23rd
Me on a hike in Los Angeles, CA April 2015
No, I did not marry into a custard empire as my English friends have suggested!
You may have noticed that I changed the name on the blog as well as all of my social media channels from ‘cheapchicobsession’ to ‘Natalia Ambrosia.’ It’s still me, I just wanted a more personal name that would keep the essence of the blog and my personality but would be more directly tied to me. I chose the name to include my first name but also to give me a more distinctive second name as my surname ‘Ramirez’ seems to be the ‘Smith’ of Latin American last names.
Originally, I wanted to go for ‘Ambrosio’ as a surname because it was my grandfather’s name as well as an Italian surname (see Alessandra Ambrosio). However, when I went to search the instagram handles I still found quite a few ‘Natalia Ambrosio’ so I changed the ending to an ‘a’ and decided on ‘Ambrosia’ because it could also be seen as a middle name as well as being the fruit of the gods in Greek mythology. I’m actually quite happy with my selection because it still maintains a part of my name but is just a bit more unique.
What do you think? Do you have a digital name?
Thursday, August 28th
Portugal is underrated. Of course whenever talk of travelling to Portugal comes up in conversation people always say ‘I love Portugal it’s my favorite,’ which is why I’m surprised that it isn’t on people’s bucket list when travelling to Europe. Usually people opt for going to France, Italy, Spain, UK, before they even consider Portugal. While I’ve only been to the central Algarve region in Portugal I am now booking my next holiday to other parts of Portugal!
Tips for the Algarve
When I go on holiday I usually know what I feel like doing and I know what I don’t like. For example last month I went to Rimini which I didn’t like at all (sorry nice people of Rimini) there was endless stretches of umbrellas along the beaches and hotels and the city was too big. So, for the UK bank holiday weekend I wanted a beautiful warm beach vacation at a decent cost. I also didn’t want to be surrounded by tourists and tourist traps. We decided to go for the Algarve region in Portugal since I had never been. Though I didn’t know where to stay because there seemed to be rows and rows of hotels along the beaches which I dislike because it feels unauthentic but I was not sure how easy it was to get around if I stayed in the countryside. After a few hours of research this is what we decided to do:
1. Fly to Faro Airport For the Algarve region the two airports to fly into are either Faro in the central Algarve or Lagos in the West. We decided to fly to Faro so my guide below is for the central Algarve area.
2. Rent A Car A car This is a must if you are more than one person and want to get around the Algarve. We rented one because we were only there for two full days (arrived in the evening on a Friday and left on the Monday morning). I also didn’t want to stay in the big hotel areas (did I already say that?). So renting a car allowed us to stay in the countryside while being able to drive into town and the beaches. You can rent a car from about $60 per day including taxes and insurance. The roads are great and super easy to navigate.
3. Stay in the countryside When you think ‘countryside’ you usually think its far from the beach but in the Algarve the countryside is as close as 10km/6miles from the beach. I loved this option because you get more space for a lot less money and the area is tranquil and beautiful with very minimal tourists. You can find plenty of places on booking.com which will have great ratings that you can review. We ended up renting this house, Quinta da Borboleta, managed by an English couple who were super nice and helpful. I felt like I could stay here for a week and even just hang around the house which usually has a pool. When you rent these places you can also cook your own food and have drinks which adds for a more personal experience especially if you are in larger grouops. We paid about $300 for 3 nights in the middle of high summer for a 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen and outdoor space.
4. Visit the Rock Beaches When you think of the Algarve, the rock formation beaches like below come to mind, so of course I needed to see these. Although initially I was quite hesitant booking a place near Faro because it seemed like all of the rock beaches were in Portimao (which looked far from Faro on the map), I’m so happy I did because it was only a one hour drive to the beach in Portimao where we spent all day. Look for signs from where you stay and drive to Portimao you will find plenty of rock beaches, do not be alarmed by the rows of hotels because its really magical when you get down to the rocks, you will love it!
5. Eat fresh seafood Pretty much anywhere you go along the coast will have good seafood as they cannot afford not to buy local! I really recommend Canico Restaurant in Portimao as it’s built into the rocks, has great food, decor and a killer view.
6. Visit Farol (tiny island off the coast of Faro) This place is my hidden gem, you know that special thing you can only discover when you get there and get advice on where to go from the locals. It’s a small island with amazing beaches and flat one story houses that serve as holiday homes for the local Portuguese. There are a few chill beach bars and only two restaurants. I could stay there all summer. To get there you need to drive to Olhao and take a ferry to Farol Island which leaves every hour. The ferry is about $6 round trip and takes about 30 minutes or you can hire a private boat taxi starting at about $45 which gets you there much quicker.
I hope you enjoyed my little guide!
Friday, May 2nd
Back when I was 13, my idea of wearing makeup was wearing clear gel mascara and glittery shimmery lip gloss. This was mainly due to the fact that my parents didn’t let me wear makeup so I felt that I was somehow able to trick them by wearing clear mascara and then I guess they didn’t care very much about the clear lipgloss. Until I was 17, those were my only makeup staples (Mac Lip Glass was like liquid gold) then I discovered eyeliner that I rebelliously wore on the inner lower rim of my lashes. Basically from the age of 13 until 19, I religiously wore lip gloss, okay maybe that’s an overstatement, but I wore it so often that I got tired of it. I was so tired of it infact that even until recently when I would receive press samples or gifts that included lipgloss I would try to get rid of them as soon as possible give them away not trash them. I still appreciated that they made your lips look nice but the image of a 2000s teenager didn’t really escape my thoughts. It wasn’t until last week when I went out to a pub and wanted something less than a lipstick but more than bare lips that I went for the lipgloss and I liked it.
What’s new about lip gloss?
shabby shiny! The new lip glosses I’ve tried are not too shiny or sticky even when your hair accidently brushes on your lips. I like it because it still looks natural but gives your lips a little glow that’s more like a balm. The reds and pinks however are glossy as well but still not too shiny and they look super glam especially in the YSL Adverts with Cara Delavingne ( picture above).
Esthelle and Thild Lip Balm- Yummy smelling and good for you with natural and organic ingredients like olive oil, jojoba oil and shea butter.
YSL Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain- rich long lasting glossy lips that are not too sticky.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar- again opaque glossy lip color that you can layer. It’s vegan and cruelty free, so I guess its a combination of the two above.
Wednesday, April 30th
So, you take care of your skin, wash your face morning and night use the proper day and night cream but you are still using pore clogging foundation like Mac Studio Fix (don’t get me wrong, I like the coverage too). You are careful with what you eat and what you put on your face but you still use this foundation. Standard foundation can clog your pores if its ‘non comedogenic’ and cause breakouts but even more than that all of the ingredients in foundation don’t let your skin breathe properly and as a result its natural processes don’t happen correctly.There is no use to take care of your face, get expensive treatments, buy expensive face creams if you are going to slather on foundation for half the day that doesn’t let your skin breathe especially if you are going to be extra healthy wear sunscreen as well.
For the past few months I have been obsessed with finding the perfect mineral foundation that also has SPF in it because otherwise I end up slathering myself with toner, moisturizer, SPF and foundation and end up looking cakey. I prefer liquid foundation but some of the following ones I tried were still good.
Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation- this is my favorite! The coverage is similar to my current foundation YSL touche elcat, I also love the color ‘almond’ because it gives me a bit of a tan and also my lighter skinned friends as well! It has the equivelant SPF 25. I love that the base of this foundation is Aloe Vera it’s meant to actually help with scarring as well. Its easy to put on and makes your face look really radiant.
Lycogel Foundation- This one is similar to Oxygenetix as it was created by the same guy but it is a thicker coverage because its supposed to be ‘camouflage’ makeup. My friend wears it and it looks great on her but for some reason I couldn’t quite put it on properly so it ended up looking cakey. You need very little and that very little has a mechanism that creates a web on your face. I do like the fact that you can put it on right after any facials or treatments.
Bare Minerals Ready SPF Foundation- Bare Minerals loose powder foundation was the first one I ever used growing up and always liked the natural look that it gave me. I eventually stopped using it because I wanted more coverage. This new Ready foundation has a medium to thick coverage which you can layer. Its silky but not too matte which I like and had a long wearing time. I only wish I had a slightly darker color as this was a press sample and I tried to guess my color from the pictures. UPDATE: After wearing for a few days I was actually complimented on how good my skin looks by several different people. I don’t know what it is about it but people love it! Next I want to try their new liquid mineral foundation (unfortunately only available in the states at the moment)
Bella Pierre Compact Foundation- No it is not your eyes. I got this sample from a bag for a CEW event and unfortunately it was in a color much darker than my skin color but I decided to use it as my mineral bronzer. I like that it is very highly pigmented and that it has SPF but I would need to try it in my color to properly analyze the coverage.