Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica

Photos taken in Arenal and at the Manuel Antonio National Park

Costa Rica was in all aspects a great adventure from the beginning as our taxi driver curved around mountains on the slick road in extremely dense fog. My dresses barely came out of my suitcase because we were always either hiking, swimming, sunbathing, or exploring.  During our week stay my boyfriend and I stayed in three places while we were there: Arenal, Manuel Antonio, and San Jose.  We chose to stay in Arenal and Manuel Antonio because they both offered unique experiences.  Arenal is located in the north-west part of Costa Rica, and features the massive Arenal volcano and hot springs.  We stayed in a hotel with different hot springs, which was beyond relaxing. We went white water rafting in Arenal, and it was a blast, but not for the faint of heart (I have permanent scars on my knees to remember this day).  Manuel Antonio, on the other hand,  is in the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and offers a national park full of beaches and animals.  Most of the animals we saw were in the national park, though we did discover three different types of monkey groups behind our hotel, and bats flew around at night by the pool area.  We also did what everyone says you must do if you are ever in Costa Rica, and that is zip-line!  We zipped on a thin cable through the forest of the national park, and it was a thrill, without the weary feeling of vertigo thanks to the dense trees .

The whole country is packed with wildlife and if you stay there for long enough you will see enough animals to feel as if you were living in a zoo.  The people were kind, and the food, such as their typical dish the casado (meaning married man), was delicious and very filling.  For anyone who is scared to go during their rainy season, which is from May to mid-November, don't be! We went towards the end of July, and though it rained on most days we were there, it was mostly in the night with some sporadic showers in the day.  It didn't rain on any of the days we did our excursions, and when we went to the Manuel Antonio National Park.  It was foggy in Arenal, and I thought we weren't going to be able to see the tip of the volcano in the three days we were there, but on our last morning, while having breakfast the fog cleared and the majestic volcano revealed itself with enough time for everyone to snap some photos. 

This trip is definitely on the top of my list of best vacations, and I would go back in a heartbeat.


Review: Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub

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Face scrubs are not usually something that I look for while shopping for skincare products because I find them to be an extra step that I usually forget about.  In the past I've tried face scrubs that are similar to the St. Ives Apricot Scrub (who hasn't tried that?), but I always found them to be quite rough and gritty on my face, since I suffered from acne through my teenage years. And not to mention immediately grabbing the moisturizer to ease the tight feeling after washing it off.  From my experience using harsh scrubs on acne prone skin will only make it worse because you can scrub your skin raw without even trying, and lead to irritation, and a red stinging face.  My body can take a rough scrub, but for my face I stick to soft exfoliators, such as the Caudalie Gentle Buffing Cream.  I like the Caudalie Gentle Buffing Cream because it feels like a fancy spa scrub, but the $35 price tag can be a lot to splurge on a 2 Oz. tube. So, there I was thinking that scrubs were just not going to be part of my beauty routine, but all of that changed when I discovered the Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub.

I received the facial scrub in my August Ipsy Glam Bag.   I was still hesitant about whether I would love it, even though lately I've been hearing a lot about Michael Todd products online, especially the Charcoal Detox Mask (next purchase, maybe?).  All of their products claim to be Organic, which is always a good thing to keep in mind when purchasing skincare products. 

The scrub itself is 70% organic, and has big beads, which are not gritty.  Rubbing it felt soft on my skin, and it had the consistency of a gel.  On the Michael Todd True Organics' website it says the scrub uses jojoba wax beads, and charcoal to provide a gentle exfoliation, and together penetrate pores, and draw out any impurities, and toxins. The scrub felt so nice on my skin that I even let it sit on my face for a little bit, while I brushed my teeth. Once I washed it off, my face was soft to the touch, and had no tightness.

I've only had this scrub for a few days, so I can't say that I've seen miracles, but I can say that each time it has removed any dry patches on my face, and left my skin feeling like I had done some good to it.  I got a pretty big 1 Oz sample to try out, but for $18 you can buy their regular 3.4 Oz tube.  I think that is a pretty good deal for what you are getting.  If you are in the market for a light scrub that will make your skin soft, and help towards hyper-pigmentation, acne, and skin dullness, then I would definitely give this a try.

Will I purchase it once I'm done with the sample?
Yes because I loved how it made my skin feel, and I can always use it when my skin needs a boost.

Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut RBD) Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Wax Beads, Emulsifying Wax, Palm Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Fruit) Pulp Powder, Charcoal, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Carbomer 980, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui Nut) Oil, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Glucolactone, Citric Acid.