Beauty Diary

249144_265003270311550_560818037_nFrom Covergirl and Revlon to MAC and Clinique, we are surrounded by advertisements and the pressure to be pretty with the help of cosmetic products. Some girls love makeup while others can’t stand to wear so much as tinted moisturizer. Thus, wearing makeup really means something different to each individual.

Beauty Is Truly In The Eye of The Beholder

The significance of makeup often varies with age. As a young girl, swiping that coveted wand of mascara across your lashes might seem like the ultimate ticket to teendom- and then as one gets older and busier with school, a job, etc., makeup is just a regular part of your day, if you even wore it to begin with. The purpose of makeup can be controversial, especially when it comes to figuring out how to use it and understand the meaning behind putting something on your face that is not naturally there. Having a healthy idea of one’s image without makeup helps with having a healthy relationship with cosmetic products.

The Purpose of Makeup

Rising junior at Trinity University and Biology major, Celina Provencio, says: “Makeup should be used to enhance natural beauty, [so] I don’t like to wear a lot. Just to enhance the features I have. I am more likely to wear makeup when I go out.” For Celina, an average day of makeup application means some blush, concealer and mascara for a natural everyday look that glows. As a girl who started wearing a basic and minimal powder, mascara and blush combo in middle school, she considers the beauty industry to be more helpful than harmful.

When asked about what the makeup and the beauty industry means for women, she stated, “It is helpful in giving a confidence boost when enhancing your features, but it [creates obstacles] when you rely on it to make you feel beautiful.”  A confidence boost can come from anything like covering up some blemishes to having some sparkly eyeliner for prom. The important thing to remember is that makeup does not make someone beautiful, but rather the belief that they are beautiful shines, no matter what product you do or don’t wear. And, as long as you wear makeup, knowing this and that it is ok to indulge in dolling yourself up if you like to do that- you are three steps ahead of anyone telling you differently.

Makeup is essentially about owning your beauty. Wear your makeup proudly if it helps you feel pretty, just don’t let your makeup wear you.  Remember that a bare face is perfect just the way it is, and while a touch of blush and a stroke of mascara won’t change your life, it can be fun to play up your already gorgeous looks.

The 411 on Quince Traditions

quince crownSo you’re having a Quinceañera. First off, congratulations! You’ve reached a very important part of your life and it is fitting that you go all out for your 15th birthday, chica! You’ve probably already heard from friends and family just how important a Latina’s 15th birthday is. But what exactly does a Quinceañera mean for us Latinas? And what about all those traditions that go with it? It can sound overwhelming, but don’t worry: here we’ve broken down exactly what means what and why it’s important. Read on and start getting excited for your quince!

The Quince 

A quinceañera celebrates the Latina’s transition from childhood to young womanhood. In other words, it means Latinas leave the carefree days of childhood behind to take on the responsibilities of young adulthood.

The Dress

You know those dresses you’ve seen at other quinces? They’re not just any dresses; they represent the first “adult” dress a young Latina wears. Traditionally, quince dresses are white or pink to represent purity.


Traditionally, the quince celebration was the first time a Latina would be allowed to wear makeup! Nowadays though, it has become more and more common for us girls to wear makeup at a younger age before we turn 15.

The Religious Ceremony

The ceremony is a big part of the quinceañera and involves certain important items, so we’re going to break it down for you, starting with the mass itself:

The Ceremony is a mass during which the girl gives thanks for the first fourteen years of her life and renews her baptismal vows. It is customary for a rosary or other religious item to be given to the girl by her godparents or parents. Not all quinceañera religious ceremonies are necessarily Catholic. Non-catholic girls may choose to have their own ceremony or invocation led by a pastor, family member or friend.

The Tiara is a gift which is sometimes given to girls is a symbolic reminder to her family and loved ones that she will always be a princess. In the religious sense, it means the girl is also a princess before God and the world. Quinceañeras may also be given a scepter to symbolize adult responsibility. Sometimes  a birthstone ring and a bracelet are given as additional gifts to represent the girl’s coming of age and femininity.

Flowers aren’t just for decoration at a quince mass. During the mass, the quinceañera presents flowers to the Virgin Mary. Fifteen roses may be used to symbolize the girl’s age. The flowers themselves are very symbolic during this ceremony: the stems represent strength and the petals signify sweetness.

The Reception

On to the fun part, the reception! Receptions are held after the religious ceremony or invocation. The guests get together and enjoy a meal before the dancing begins, which consists of five parts:

The formal entry is the grand entrance made by the Quinceañera at the reception after most of the guests have been seated.

The first dance is the first dance of the evening, starting with the quinceañera dancing (usually to  a waltz) with her father.

The family dance follows the first dance and is usually also a waltz. It involves the immediate family, chambelanes, godparents and closest friends of the girl.

The preferred song is typically a modern one chosen by the Quinceañera that everyone dances to!

The formal toast follows after everyone dances for a while. It is an optional but usual part of the reception that is generally started by the girl’s godparents or parents.

FUN FACT: Did you know that traditionally, Mexican girls couldn’t dance in public until they turned fifteen? The only exception was at school dances or at family events. Therefore, the quinceañera’s waltz with the chambelanes was a girl’s first public dance.

Want to know about more quince traditions? Read on to find out about some fun optional ones you can include in your big day!

Changing of the Shoes
In this ritual, the quinceañera will have her shoes changed from flats or sneakers to a pair of high heels, symbolizing her transition from childhood to young adulthood.

Last Doll Ceremony
The quinceañera presents a doll (it may or may not be dressed in a gown similar to the one the birthday girl is wearing) to a younger sibling, relative or friend. This ceremony is based on a Maya tradition and it relates to the girl’s reception and renouncement of the doll as she grows into womanhood.

Ceremony of the 15 Candles
The birthday girl gives fifteen candles to people she considers to have been the most influential in her development during the first fifteen years of her life. It is often accompanied by a speech directed to the people who receive the candles. The ceremony is also referred to as the Tree of Life. The fifteen candles symbolize the fifteen years the girl has “left behind”. Each individual candle represents a special memory shared with people who are invited to be a part of the ceremony.

Leading Chicas of YouTube

imagesSometimes surfing the internet can either be very fun or very boring. Maybe you have a day where there aren’t any updates from your favorite tweeters, or maybe you’ve spent just too much of your time scrolling through Tumblr. For days like these, Andrea Acevedo, 13, likes to head over to YouTube. “I check out YouTube when I’m bored to see if there are any new funny videos,” she says, “and a lot of times, there are.”

Of course, you might be asking yourself, ‘But where do I start?’ YouTube is a HUGE website with a variety of videos. From the weird to the funny, there are so many different v-loggers (video bloggers) out there and each v-logger has either a little or a huge fan base. Here are five female YouTube stars whose videos you should check out:

Dulce- dulcecandy

Dulce is a Latina from California with 1.5 million followers. She also happens to be the official beauty blogger of Cosmo for Latinas! Her videos focus on makeup, hair, DIY videos, and nail tutorials. Fun fact: She even has a La Llorona costume tutorial.


Kathy Cano-Murillo- craftychica

Kathy is a Latina whose channel is all about crafting! If you’re into crafting, or want to do a little DIY with your friends or family, check her out. She has videos on jewelry, art, and clothes, all ranging from easy to hard depending on your level. She has over 11,000 followers, so make sure to subscribe if you like her videos!

Bethany Mota- bethanymota

From sunny California, Bethany has 5 million followers! She has A LOT of DIY videos for those of you who want to fill your summer days with projects. The girl is so popular that she even has her own clothing line with Aeropostle!

Kat Lazo- TheeKatsMeoww

With over 1,000 followers, Kat is a Latina who vlogs about her life as a woman and her experiences in this day and age. She’s open and honest in all of her videos, so if you want to know more about feminism  and women in the media then you should definitely check out her video feed.

Bunny Meyer- grav3yardgirl

From the Houston area, Bunny has almost 2.6 million followers, or as she likes to call them, Swamp Family Members. Bunny’s channel has videos ranging from fashion and thrift hauls to her popular Does This Thing Really Work? In this segment she tests makeup and “As Seen on TV” products. Bunny is very open about her life experiences and has a habit of making everyone feel comfortable and loved during her videos.

Whether you end up liking these particular YouTuber or you click through the different recommended videos and find someone who you really love, YouTube is a great place to check out and connect with those who have similar interests as you. “I’ve learned so much from YouTube, and I love how I’m able to find new and different ways to connect with people,” says Martha Garcia, 17. “It’s even better when they’re Latina because I really like seeing others like me being represented on YouTube.”

Advice: Fixing BFF Troubles

Have you ever been in a sticky situation with your friend and you don’t know what to do or how to face it? Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s an extra hand to show you that you’re not alone. Fighting with your bff can be stressful, so what should you do when you and your friend(s) are not seeing eye-to-eye?


I am fighting with my friend because she tells me what to do. Is it wrong of her to do that?

You shouldn’t let your friends tell you to do something you don’t want to; talk to her in a respectful manner and tell her you don’t like the way she treats you. Once you talk to her and if she doesn’t understand, she is not a real friend. Don’t let other people push you around. If she is really your friend, then she will understand that you are hurt and will need to stop treating you poorly.

I have a friend that does not hang out with our other friend. What can I do to fix it?

First, you should ask your friend why she doesn’t like hanging out with your other friend. If it’s a serious reason, for example: they had problems in the past, or because your other friend treated her with disrespect, then respect her decision and don’t force her to hang out if something happened between them. But if your friend doesn’t hang out with the other person only because they don’t know each other, then just tell your friend to give your other friend a chance to get to know one another instead of judging before hanging out. Hang out all together so that your friend can see what a good friend your other friend is, try talking about things they might have in common, make jokes, basically something to avoid awkward moments; sooner or later, they will end up talking to one another and becoming friends.

My best friend has been hanging out lately with another girl that I don’t like so much. Although I have never spoken to this girl, I don’t know if I should get mad or not. What should I do?

If the other girl is being a bad influence and is causing your bff to start acting negatively, talk to your best friend about your concerns. If this is not the case, talk to your best friend about possibly hanging out together so you can meet her. Even though your bff is hanging out with someone else, you’re still her best friend. Perhaps your best friend is hanging out with her because she’s a cool person. Give the girl a chance so that it doesn’t cause problems with your best friend in the future. You might end up liking the other girl.

 My friend and I were supposed to do a big project together. It was really important to me because it counts towards my grade, but for her it was voluntary for her class.  We had to work on it, but every time we tried to work together she didn’t feel like working. This frustrated me so much! My teacher says I have to think about what’s best for me. I am thinking of kicking her out of the group. What should I do? 

Try talking to her first to see if there is a reason why she’s not putting in the same effort. Explain to her that even though she’s not getting a grade the project is really important for you. Avoid yelling or accusing her of being lazy. Instead, talk to her nicely about her behavior and that if she doesn’t want to help out then you will have to take her name off of the project because it isn’t fair that you do all the work and she gets credit for it too.

Have an advice question you want answered by one of our teen writers? Send questions to

Rocking Out with Latina Musicians

Music2Being Latina is something to be proud of. What better way to express your inner self than through music! Take a look at some albums by Latinas who are not afraid to express their culture and themselves.

Shakira – Shakira

Being a Latina, Shakira is an amazing and inspiring artist to listen to! Her new and tenth album, Shakira, has a variety of rhythms that are sure to satisfy a variety of music tastes. Shakira and multilingual abilities draws a variety of listeners and other feature singers into her new album so check it out for some upbeat tunes!

Christina Aguilera- Lotus 

Although this album was released in November of 2012, the meaning and message behind each song remains the same. The songs reach out to its listeners as empowering songs and they promote an inner strength that Aguilera was feeling at the time she wrote and sang these songs.

Mariah Carey- Me. I Am Mariah 

From the sounds of the singles released from this album so far seem to be confident songs and of being independent. Even from the title of the album, “Me. I Am Mariah”, lets the listener know that her songs as a Latina are going to be ones pertaining to being your own person.

Paulina Rubio- Pau Factor 

Paulina Rubio is an empowering Latina singer that many younger girls look up to. This is because, as can be seen in this album, her songs are upbeat and meaningful. The lyrics can easily fit your mood and and the beat is so catchy and entertaining. It is definitely worth taking some time to listen to her latest album!

Jennifer Lopez- A.K.A. 

JLo’s latest album features collaborations with Iggy Azalea and Sia. Her variety in this album will be sure to reach the music tastes of music lovers everywhere. Her songs are also known for their upbeat tunes which is another reason to anxiously await her new album!

All these great Latina singers should make you want to listen to their albums when you feel like listening to upbeat and enthusiastic music. Get your headphones and speakers ready to rock these great tunes!

Passport: Lost Maples

p-LMSNA_EntranceInteresting Fact: 

This tourist attraction is called Lost Maples because  of the trees found in this  location in Texas. These kinds of trees are generally only found in the east coast, but this special location in Texas has a lot of them. This state park has most of its visitors during the Fall time since this is when the trees turn into the gorgeous red, orange, and yellow colors.

3 things I was able to do at this travel destination that I could not do in my hometown:

Food I tried: Before arriving to the park, my family and I stopped at a small town that was on the way to our destination. We were not sure if there would be any food at the park or if there would be any other nearby towns on the way to stop at. We decided to stop at a little town called Leakey, Texas. This dine in restaurant is called The Friends Grill. Such a fitting name! The waitresses were very hospitable and the food was delicious even though I am on a strict gluten/lactose free diet due to my health. (Gluten intolerance is when the stomach is unable to digest foods such as wheat, barley, and rye). Although this small town is more or less an isolated town, the mainstream gluten-free diet was not new to them. They knew how to accommodate my needs and I ended up eating one of the most delicious salads I have ever eaten.

Favorite Memory:

Every moment of this trip was unique and special in its own way. There is always something new coming up in this park. After all, it was all nature so anything was bound to happen in those trails. I took this trip with my family so we took so many pictures but did not feel rushed in any way from upcoming hikers. The views were beautiful and the experience was priceless.

If you visit this travel destination, you absolutely have to…

Walk all the way to the top of the hill. It will be worth it! From here, you will be able to see a whole bunch of maple trees. The amount of trees you can see all at once is priceless and the colors are so beautiful! Hiking all the up the top of the hill is challenging, but it will definitely be worth your time and energy.

When traveling to this place, don’t forget to pack your…

Water! Water is such a vital thing to pack on this adventure, no matter how cold it may be! Also, you WILL get hungry from hiking up all those windy trails so make sure to pack some snacks.

Review: Rio 2

rio_two_ver6_xlgAs a sequel to the first “Rio” movie, this movie takes place three years later when Blu and his three kids with Jewel, another macaw, returns. Their “humans,” or owners, Tulio and Linda discover the flock from which Jewel comes from. They thought that their macaws were the only ones left in the world. As they investigate this circumstance, they encounter many obstacles such as Nigel, who wants to knock down the rain forest and build stuff which would result in killing wildlife. The new characters in the sequel to “Rio,” which screened in 2011, create a different plot from the first movie.

The message behind the movie is great for both adults and younger ones. Its message is about love and acceptance. This family friendly movie is entertaining for everyone because of the animation, the comedy, the message, and the enjoyment parents will find in seeing their kids take pleasure in the catchy tunes and colorful scenes. The amount of musical numbers adds to the attraction of the film because of its comical animation and entertaining motions and phrases. The 3D animation adds to the adventure and becomes a different take on the well-known family-friendly movie. The film does, however, contain the typical villainous plot which makes it, in a way, predictable. But this type of plot is still enjoyable because the story told in this movie is one that most families and children will enjoy. We all love happy endings so the overall plot of this sequel will be sure to please the audience.

This colorful and vibrant movie is a must-see for children and adults alike! The animation is very appealing to the eyes and keeps your attention throughout the movie. The colors and animation itself is reason to watch this movie, along with the humor that appeals to all tastes. Make sure to grab some popcorn or other favorite snack to enjoy with this movie with family and friends. Even if you think that this movie may be only for smaller children, give it a chance and let your inner child come to life with this adventurous and exotic film!

DIY: Father’s Day Gifts

It is always hard to buy a gift for a guy friend, brother, uncle, or a boy. Your uncle would probably not like a bouquet of roses as much as your aunt. And even though we are all kids at heart, you can’t really buy your grandfather a doll. Now is the time to really think of some gifts you can buy your fatherly figure, or you can even make something yourself if you are a last minute gift-shopper or maker.  If you have nothing in mind, don’t worry! There are plenty of gifts you can make and things you can do to give your dad as a surprise gift for a Father’s Day that he will never forget. Here are some last minute go-to gifts you might want to give on Father’s Day:

Sticky Note Car (Warning: This is very time consuming)

Are you working on a budget? Well this is a surprise that would surely make a bigger impression on anyone and everyone who sees it. Here’s what you need:

A. A pack of permanent markers

B. 100+ 4×4 sticky notes

Start by writing some sweet messages to your father. It is going to take some time but write messages, one by one, on each of the sticky notes. Then, start posting the notes on your dad’s car. Depending on the size of his car, you might need a lot of sticky notes. But try to cover it up the most you can. That is the point of the surprise! If you find yourself stuck on what to write, a simple “I <3 YOU” is enough. Here is what the final product should look like:


Coupon/Activity Book

A. Construction Paper

B. Scissors

C. Ribbon

D. Markers/Crayons

Do you feel as if you’re not as close as to your father than you wish you would be? Here’s an idea! Why not give your father a coupon book where he can “cash” in on activities he can do with his favorite daughter? Give your father a coupon for “TV TIME” or “Father/Daughter Gardening.” Make him know he has quality time with you and get ready to have a lot of fun! Use markers and crayons to write out different messages on the construction paper, hole punch each one (like a mini-book), and use the ribbon to tie them together. Don’t be afraid to be creative!


The Video Message

A. 1 Smart Phone

B. Creativity

C. Computer/laptop

This idea is fun and super easy! Just make a fun plan and tape a nice video message for your father. You don’t have to have video skills to make this gift – all you need is a smartphone. Search through YOUTUBE to get some ideas!



A. 1 Blank CD

B. A computer/laptop

C. I-tunes*

Is your dad a music fan? Is that a passion you both share in common? Well, it can be! Make a mix cd for your dad with songs you like and songs he likes as well.Or make the CD with songs that remind you about him. Whatever it may be, the CD will definitely be something your dad loves! Decorate the CD case or write a nice message for him on the CD. Guaranteed smile every time he listens to it.

*You will need to purchase the music.

Giving your dad a Father’s Day he will never forget will not be difficult at all. What a dad wants the most though is just to really spend time with the family. So on June 15th leave your cellphone at home,  and don’t worry about Twitter, Instagram, or even Facebook! Give your father all your attention.  Make sure to really engage with him in whatever way your family chooses to spend Father’s Day. If you don’t have any ideas yet, you can always plan to do his favorite activity. Does he like to fish? Does he like to play board games? Whatever it may be, do it with him! All that really matters on this day is to show your father that he is loved.

Mi Barrio: Rio Grande Valley

rio-grande-riverWhen you hear someone say “I’m from the Valley,” do you ever wonder what they mean? Do they mean Nappa Valley? Do they mean Silicon Valley? What exactly is the Valley?

“The Valley” is actually located at the Southern tip of Texas where it is most often referred to as the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) or the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It is made up of four counties, and as most recent as 2012, has an estimated population of 1,300,000 people. This makes the Rio Grande Valley more populated than states such as Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

It really is a big place with a culture that changes the more south you go. Somewhere along the cities of Edinburg and McAllen, the culture slowly begins to change – an effect from the close proximity to the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas and the country of Mexico. As stated by the website, “this part of the country is a crossroads between American and Mexican cultures.”

Food, for instance, is one of the things the Valley is most known, like Mr. Taco. Mr. Taco is one of the restaurants where people can go for a quick lunch or a late night snack. While the menu is just tacos, they never get old! The Valley also has chain restaurants like Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Italian Restuarant and Five Guys. However, just as any Valley native will tell you, any taqueria, or taco place, is delicious. You will never get tired of them as even the local gas stations have “breakfast tacos”, a trend that is native and most popular in the Rio Grande Valley area.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Its location adds to the major cultural influence. While New Orleans, Louisiana has their Mardi Gra celebration, the valley has Charros Day.  As stated on the website, the very first Charros Day took place during the Great Depression in 1937. Brownsville was home to a couple of the small battles (Fort Brown is a military post popular in the city of Brownsville). Because of this history, Charro Days celebrates and honors Brownsville’s neighborly location to Matamoros, Tamaulipas with the Sombrero Festival and local parades and festivities.

South Padre Island is the most popular tourist site you will find in the Valley. You have probably been introduced to the island by The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, and MTV2. Whether you’re in the mood for a road trip or a fun weekend activity, South Padre Island is always the place to go.

That does not mean there are not any other attractions. If you are interested in history,the Resaca de Palma State Park and the Palo Alto Battlefield and Park are two of the most historical landmarks you can visit in the Valley. If you are interested in checking colleges, the city of Brownsville has the University of Texas – Brownsville while the city of Edinburg is home to the University of Texas – Pan American.  If shopping is what you enjoy, the city of Mcallen and the city of Mercedes have the two most populated malls in the valley – La Plaza Mall and the Rio Grande Valley Outlet Mall.

While the Rio Grande Valley has faced its controversy in the past due to the rise of drug trade along the US-Mexico border, the Rio Grande Valley continues to be one of the most unique places to live in and travel to in the United States.

Poem: If We Were All the Same

Polet Espinoza

Polet Espinoza

Have you ever wondered?

What life would be like,

If we were all the same.

What would be exciting about life

If we were all the same?

Never learning new things,

Never seeing new things,

Never doing new things,

That would be a waste of a lifetime.

If we were all the same,

How could you know the difference among us?

No one would be special

No one would stand out.

Why would you like to be the same,

When you have the chance

To be different.

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