Beach Beauty Tips

1. Use water proof mascara just on upper lashes: This will enhance your eyes slightly and won’t look like over kill.

2. Use concealer only if you have to:Ok, so nobody has perfect skin and as luck would have it you’re probably PMS’ing on your vacation anyhow and will break out in whopper of a pimple. With that being said, go ahead and cover up any red nasty bumps. Additionally, if you have dark circles under your eyes from staying up too partaking in the booze fest at the tiki bar, then please feel free to dab a bit of concealer under those peepers!

3. Stay away from lip gloss: Unless you like the taste of sand in your mouth steer clear of anything glossy. Opt, instead, for a lip balm, preferably one with an SPF of 15 or higher. Some lip balms have a hint of color in them and should suffice your urge to pile on actual lipstick.

4. Groom your brows: Make sure you have well groomed brows (tweezed or waxed). Use a mascara spooly to brush them into place nicely.

5. Use cream blush: If you must indulge in any cheek color opt for a cream or mousse style blush. I always recommend apricot and honey colors for summer. Cream or mousse style cheek color lasts longer than powder, especially when you’re sweating your butt off in the sun.

6. Use a cream/liquid highlighter on brow bones: Swipe just a bit of liquid highlighter on your brow bones for a bit of shimmer, if you’re feeling really diva-ish blend some onto the tops of your cheekbones as well.

7. If earrings are a must opt for small stud type earrings in gold or silver. Keep it small and simple.

8. If wearing a necklace is something you can’t do without, then go with a simple chain (no charm) anything with a big charm will give you an unusual tan line and will inevitably get caught up in your wet hair. Short chains are best and concha beads are very relevant to the beach scene as well.

9. If hair is short, slick it back with product (very sleek) you can also use a heat/sun protectant product on it as well.

10. If hair is long wearing it pulled back is best. Think simple updo or a side swept low pony tail or braid.

A beach babe NEVER forgets her sunscreen! Throw an SPF of at least 30 and some bottled water with some sliced cantaloupe and cucumbers in the cooler to stay extra hydrated and you’re ready to enjoy a day at the beach looking naturally beautiful!



Sand Castle Days-South Padre Island

The Texas valley is starting to feel like my second home; Harlingen mainly. With the bestie & her family living there, their beautiful home 20131005_114209that feels like a bed and breakfast, and the nice down to earth people that reside there, how can it not?  The bestie happens to be the owner of Massage by Roni inside Montage Salon located in Harlingen , so if youre in the area, be sure to schedule a massage for some relaxation or to  get those stress knots  out!  A couple of weekends ago I had the privilege of staying in a very quaint beach house in South Padre Island for a whole weekend with my bestie & my nephews. That weekend we were able to enjoy some local spots, go on an adventure at the end of the island, & enjoy some local cuisine. Our main reason for spending the weekend there was Sand Castle Days. Though the fest was smaller than expected, it not only drew in a big crowd, it was really cool to attend. 20131005_111325

 Sand Castle Days

Held at this really cool restaurant (that carries my favorite beer Landshark, has live music, & fireworks), bar, family20131006_095008 (1) place, beach view all rolled up in one called Clayton’s, Sand Castle Days featured artists 20131005_125318from all over the world and locally. Being an esthetician and working on many beautiful faces let me start off with my favorite sand art piece. This one was called “Bleeding”. Artist Guy-Olivier Deveau is a professional sand and ice sculptor from Quebec, Canada. I was so mesmorized by this piece I could not walk away from it…talk about flawless!

20131006_095034Another favorite titled “Lady in a Dream” was by artist JooHeng Tan all the way from Singapore! It was so amazing to see this piece up close and personal.

I couldn’t help but take a picture of this one; I know how much my nephews love sharks! And being the wife of a Marine & the artist being self taught…yes, this was another favorite! Greg J. Grady is from New Hampshire; he works with sand, now, ice, wood, and pumpkins. Being a huge Halloween junkie, I’d love to pick his brain on pumpkin carving! 20131006_094942

20131006_095056 (2)20131006_100350 (1)Now this local artist was as cool as his sculptor; Amazin’ Walter McDonald is from South Padre Island. He has been a part of Sand Castle Days for all of its 25 years! He’s won several awards for his work. We actually got a chance to meet him and take a few pictures with him as well.

Here are some other awesome sand sculptors that were at the fest.





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 Good Grubbin

20131006_085646If you are ever visiting South Padre Island you need to visit these local restaurants. Talk about great food, good 20131006_084142service, and a really cool atmosphere! For breakfast we went to Grapevine Café Coffeehouse; I love to try new things so I ordered the crab meat omelet stuffed with real Crab Meat and Tomato, then lightly glazed with hollandaise and topped with sliced Avocados, talk about heavenly! As my beverage of choice, I had a café mocha that tasted even better than big coffeehouse chains. Coming from a big coffee drinker…that should tell you something! For dessert we couldn’t pass up having pumpkin pancakes! 20131006_082537

Lunch time rolled in…and how can you NOT eat seafood on an island!? We hit up Dirty Al’s; it was highly recommended by my social media buddies on Google+. We started off with fried calamari and ended it with a fried shrimp basket. “Dirty Al” is owned by Alfonso Salazar, better known as “Dirty Al” who originally started shrimping as a young man with his father and 6 brothers. Being a fisherman’s daughter, I was beyond pleased!

20131007_12504920131007_124234Now for dinner! One of my favorite cuisines is Cajun; having recently returned from New Orleans I was having withdrawals for that Creole spice! So we had dinner at Daddy’s Seafood & Cajun Kitchen. As soon as I walked in I thought of my little brother who happens to love Cajun cuisine as well. They even have their own pet alligator! For my appetizer I had the lobster bisque; it was creamy with big chunks of fresh lobster, the best I have ever had. As my main entrée I had the Fried Crawfish & Crawfish Etoufee…I wish I could have brought a to go plate home; the crawfish were huge!


20131007_133116To walk off all of the great food we had we drove to the end of the island…I had never seen sand dunes that big 20131006_120559 (1)and with the rainy windy weather, the seashore was full of thick surf and huge waves, it was beautiful. We walked along the beach and searched for seashells, they were much bigger than the shells in Port Aransas. We had a chance to see locals getting ready to kite surf and take lots of pictures of the beach. We also stopped by the South Padre Island Bird and Nature Center; the views and wildlife we encountered made the visit totally worth it. We visited the beach to 20131006_113149enjoy sunsets and cloudiness on the bay…Texas nature is breathtaking. If you haven’t visited our Texas coast in South Padre Island…I highly recommend it…just don’t come back with a souvenir like I did from climbing the sand dunes! Till next vacation…safe travels everyone!


Blood Isn’t Always Thicker Than Water

They say blood is thicker than water…that’s not always true. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely close to my immediate family, but outside20131006_123713 that, I’m not. In fact, my close friends are more like my blood than my own extended family. This weekend I spent time in the Texas valley with my best friend and her two boys that I consider my family; nothing like being in a small coastal town where everyone is friendly. Hearing my nephew’s little voices filled with excitement that I was visiting made me think of when I was their age. We didn’t grow up very close to aunts, uncles, or cousins, but we were fortunate our parents did many things with us. As a kid, you’d love to have that aunt or uncle that spoiled you rotten, unfortunately it doesn’t always turn out that way. Blood or not.

We are all put in other people’s lives for a reason…a blessing or a lesson. Being in these boys lives, I know I’m a blessing. I may not be blood, but I know what it feels like to not have your aunts and uncles do fun things with you or a part of your life at all. With me in the picture, I know the boys will never feel like they’re missing extended family from their lives. They know what it’s like to have an auntie spoil them, act a little silly when their mom or dad isn’t watching, go on unplanned adventures, and of course eat ice cream at any hour of the night…with good behavior of course!

20131006_195454If you have nieces and nephews make an effort to be in their lives, there’s no excuse not to be. This weekend we walked the beach, searched for seashells, climbed big sand dunes, and got to see some really cool sand castles.

I have 4 nephews…5 if you count a dog. I love them all and even though I don’t see them everyday, I make sure to make up for it when I do. Lots of memories were made this weekend…definitely one for the books! Stay tuned for my blog about Sand Castle Days in South Padre Island, Texas! 20131006_113905



aprilmaemonterrosaApril M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, & Owner of The Lil Spa Room,  PCA Skin Chemical Peel certified, a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor, & freelance beauty writer. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, & travel adventures. Don’t forget to subscribe!

No Tears This Time

Sitting at the airport I’m reminiscing about the last time I was here…just a few months ago actually. Newly separated, no sleep, feeling empty, I walked into the airport and felt like I was the only one there. As crowded and noisy as an airport could be, it was so quiet to me, I swear I could hear my heartbeat. I literally cried from walking into the airport till I reached my destination. Did people turn their heads and look at me? Of course they did, I was crying so badly you would’ve thought I was just at a funeral. When you’re that wounded, you could careless what people think.


That was the first time I was traveling without my husband by my side. I’ll admit, I felt guilty and like there was something missing. How could I not…we went everywhere together.
My getaway at that time was suppose to be nothing but fun in the sun, to get my mind off things, to aid in my healing process. But…how are you suppose to enjoy yourself with a broken heart? Well…you don’t, plain and simple. As much as I tried not to, I literally cried everyday, never got out of pajamas, and wasted all the breathtaking scenery around me because of my sadness. Talk about a waste, I just didn’t have it in me to enjoy myself, I really did try.
This time around months have past, things have changed, and though I’m not as strong as I’d like to be I’m in a better place. Being separated has taught me so much about what I need to do for me, all I have in my life, which people matter the most, & if someone has to choose between you and something or someone else it’s better to let them go. If a person really loves you…there would NOT be any choices to make, YOU would be it. As much as you’d like to shake someone to wake up and realize what they’ll lose, it’s impossible to make someone realize they’re on the verge of losing every single thing they’ve always wanted. You can’t fix damaged people even if you love them with all your might.


I’m sitting in the airport right now, with butterflies of excitement in my tummy and a smile so big it looks painted on face. I can not wait to smell that coastal breeze, feel the sand between my toes, drink margaritas made with homegrown limes, wake up to golden sunrises, go to bed after fiery sunsets, and most of all be with my bestie who’s like a sister to me and her boys that are my nephews. I know good karma is on my side because I gave with all my heart and soul and without expecting ANYTHING in return.


My family is my never ending strength that loves me unconditionally no matter what decisions I make, my close friends keep my grounded and help me see different views on things, and the new acquaintances that have entered into my life have been a breath of nothing but laughs and positive fresh air. Life isn’t perfect, but the people that are in mine make it pretty close and that in itself makes ME shine beautifully.

aprilmaemonterrosaApril M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, & Owner of The Lil Spa Room,  PCA Skin Chemical Peel certified, a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor, & freelance beauty writer. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, & travel adventures. Don’t forget to subscribe!