Name: Hi friends, I am Maria!!

How old are you? My birthday is August 8th, and this year (2014) I will be 30!

What Camera Do I use?  Most all my photos in post prior to Jan. 2014 were taken with my Canon Rebel XS. I have since gotten the Canon Rebel T3i to make videos, and now also use it for photos as well.

Who takes your photos? 
When it comes to my makeup photos, I take all of my own. I stand in front of a big window, hold up my Canon Camera and take them "selfie" style. You can usually see the reflection of the camera in my eye if you look close enough!

When it comes to my Outfit photos my "photographer" is usually my 11 year old daughter! She's pretty good. :) And on occasion The Hubs takes them too. He is really good, but sometimes too busy.

What do you use to Edit your photos? I mostly use a free program called Paint.Net. You can google it and download it for free. Its basically an enhanced version of Microsoft Paint. But it works sort of like Paint Shop Pro or other more expensive programs. I like it because it allows you to work in layers, edit and create all sorts of things. I have used it for YEARS and it works just as good (in my opinion) as other expensive programs, only I find its actually easier to use!

When it comes to making collages and such, I also use Fotor or PicMonkey, just because its quick and easy.

What do you use to edit your videos? Wondershare Video Editor. Its not an amazing program, but it was cheaper than most video editors and gets the job done.


Favorite Drug Store Brands: Maybelline, Loreal Paris, Milani, NYX, Physicians Formula

Favorite Indie Brands: My Beauty Addiction, of course!

Favorite High End Brands: Lorac, Smashbox, The Balm, Urban Decay, Too Faced

What Mascara do you use? My "Holy Grail" mascara is the Define-A-Lash Mascara by Maybelline! In just about every makeup post that is the mascara I am using! 

More recently (May 2014) I have been getting into high end mascara's and by far my faves are from Too Faced, their LashGasm, and Better than Sex Mascara's are amazing. (Still I prefer to use them combined with my Holy Grail mascara! Also the They're Real Mascara from Benefit is also amazing!

Do you wear false eye lashes? Ok, this is a question I get a LOT because my lashes are so long naturally (and grew even longer when I used XLash) and for the most part NO I typically do not wear false lashes. Most all of my makeup posts (prior to Feb 2014) are all my own natural lashes - I'm only using mascara. There is a little "trick" I use to make my lashes look even longer with just mascara, and you can find the tutorial for that here.

All that being said, if I AM wearing false lashes in a makeup look, I will have it listed in the blog post and what lashes I am wearing. I have some gorgeous mink lashes from Esqido  that I love (the Voila Lashes are my faves!) but more recently I have been loving KISS Lashes #3 & #11, because they look a lot more natural.

Do you use an eyelash curler? NOPE. I personally do not see a need for an eyelash curler. I know some people swear by them, but I never notice a difference, and think they are a waste of time. BUT to be fair, my lashes are always curled upwards. I believe have "trained" them to stay curled upwards. It may sound silly but the same way you have to "train" your hair to stay parted a certain way, I believe you can also train your lashes! I believe this because I use to alway use a mascara with a curved wand, and after years of applying mascara the way that I do (previously with a curved mascara wand) my lashes just started staying curved upwards. Maybe I need to do a video on this... Yes? Let me know!

What Brushes are your favorite? For those curious about what eye shadow brushes I have/use, I do have an eye shadow brush guide here. It will probably need to be updated soon, because I have since ordered some new brushes (from Crown Brush) so we shall see how much I like them. 

As for face brushes I totally recommend Real Techniques, their brushes are amazing quality and very affordable! I also LOVE their beauty sponge, its amazing and SO much less $$ than the Beauty Blender. Also I do have 1 sigma Brush,  its a nice brush and I use it often, but gosh I dont like their high Prices! I have a set of brushes from the Style Masters Brand, and they are a VERY close dupe for Sigma Brushes! And at a fraction of the price.


How did you lose weight? You can find the full (yet condensed) version of my weight loss story here. Long story short, though, is that I completely changed the way I ate (healthy food, smaller portions) and exercised on the daily! It was hard work and I know thats not what everyone wants to hear - they want to heard how I "magically" shed the pounds, but the fact is only healthy eating habits and being active will make you lose weight (and keep it off). Oh and time... It takes time, my friends!

You can keep up on my weight loss updates here, and find fitness posts here.

What are your favorite ways to work out? ZUMBA for sure! Its so much fun! I also love the Elliptical Machine, and lifting weights. I have also recently gotten into jump roping, which I love cause its cheap and you can do it anywhere!

How Tall are you? I am 5'4

What size are you? This is an interesting question... It really depends.

For the most part in shirts and dresses I am a medium all the way around. But because my chest is bigger, there are times I do need to size up to a large to fit them. And if I am shopping from an online boutique I usually ALWAYS have to size up to a large, because most boutique sizes run very small.

For bottoms it also depends on brand and such, but I am anywhere from a 6-10. I am still a curvy girl with big hips... So it just depends. Still its a long way from the size 18-20 I used to wear!

Starting Weight/Current Weight: Starting weight was 240 lbs! My current weight is 170. I got down to 163, and am actually still working on getting down to my goal weight of 140 lbs, but since gaining some muscle and slowing down at the gym in the summer, I have put back on a little weight.

Whats your favorite UN-Healthy Food? Bread and Cheese. Its it has bread and/or cheese on it I want it in my mouth asap. So bad! Oh and anything salty.

What are your favorite Healthy foods/snacks? Almonds, Greek Yogurt, Fresh Fruit (green apples, watermelon, grapes, strawberries, nectarines), Grape Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Avacado.

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