Must Be Mo

Arizona Lifestyle Blog

I Used To Be A Blogger

Mo CalderonComment

I have a lot of thoughts right now.

I feel like a broken record. But maybe that’s because I’ve been going back and forth on this for a long time and talking about it on social media for months now.

I don’t want to be a blogger anymore.

There. I said it.

At least, not in the traditional sense. Clearly I’m here aren’t I? I’m writing, you’re reading—this is blogging. But even now looking at the first few posts I’ve done on this blog it just feels so fake and so not me. That’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while. I needed to step back.

My life lately has been revolving around work, and when I come home, I do nothing. It’s absolutely wonderful. I’ve been spending less time on social media (albeit, the same amount of time taking selfies. Sue me.) and at work the other day I told one of my coworkers “I used to be a blogger.”

Somehow, pitting it all in past-tense like that was so liberating.

My friends from Phoenix, Thania and Jose, came to visit this past weekend for the Gem Show and we spent a lot of time talking about being a content creator. We talked a lot about finding that balance between keeping it real and authentic while also “playing the game” because otherwise your shit just does not get seen.

I’m still trying to figure out where I stand with all of it.

I know, it’s been freaking months of me “trying to figure it out.”

I’m just not who I used to be anymore. Or maybe I’m not who I used to pretend to be. I feel like the older I get, the less and the more I know about myself at the same time. All I know is I’m much happier not sharing as much of myself online anymore, and I’m happier (at the moment) not making videos for my channel, and only writing blog posts when I want to.

This blog post feels really good. I don’t think I’ll be writing like my other posts for a while. Maybe I’ll stick to this style.



Honest Tulo Mattress Review (2 Weeks) | Bed in a Box

Home, LifestyleMo CalderonComment
Tulo Mattress Review


4.0 out of 5 stars
Price: $850 for a King (We paid $599 at Mattress Firm during a sale)
Type: Medium Firmness
Best for: Multi-position sleepers on a budget

Ever since Brandon and I moved into our townhouse, I’ve been looking for a new bed. The bed we were sleeping on a previously belongs to my in-laws and being that this is our first home as a married couple I figured it was time to get our own bed. Plus, I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a king-sized bed from a queen. Brandon takes up a lot of space and the little space I end up with I end up sharing with Solo.

So, we finally got a King-sized bed!

Firmness & Comfort

It’s not perfect, but so far I love it!

We bought the medium firmness Tulo mattress. Obviously, what you like in firmness may differ from what I like in firmness.

Brandon and I are side sleepers but I also sleep on my back a fair amount of time and he sleeps on his stomach a fair of time. Softer beds are better for side sleepers to prevent shoulder and hip pain but firm beds are better for back and stomach sleepers to keep their spine aligned. So we opted for the medium so we could still sleep how we wanted.

We’ve been sleeping on this bed now for two weeks and neither of us have any complaints about pain. It’s still perfectly firm enough for me when I sleep on my back. On days that my back is hurting, I get into bed and it’s firm enough that I can feel everything realigning.

When I sleep on my side, I would probably prefer something a tiny bit softer, but as I said before I haven’t had any pain with it yet.

Tulo Mattress Specs

Is it weird sleeping on an all-foam mattress?

No! Not at all!

Tulo is a foam mattress but it isn’t really a memory foam mattress, I wouldn’t say. There is technically a memory foam layer, according to their website but I don’t feel it very much. It doesn’t have that sinking, stuck-in-the-mud feeling.

I have only ever slept on a traditional mattress and when I tested out memory foam mattresses in-stores I hated the feeling. If you’re nervous about having a foam mattress I wouldn’t be with this one.

What I don’t enjoy about memory foam mattresses is how stuck you feel once you’re in bed. There’s no bounce to the bed at all in a memory foam bed.

While I wouldn’t say it’s got the same bounce as a traditional bed, it does have some bounce to it (at least the medium does. I can’t speak to the firm or soft mattress).

Mattress Temperature?

The first couple nights I felt like I was burning up on this mattress, BUT my parents were also in town and we were keeping the house at 73 degrees because they were so freezing cold (they’re from Hawaii and not used to anything below 80). So it was warm in our house in general.

Other than the first two nights I can only think of one other night that I felt too hot while sleeping. I haven’t gotten any complaints from Brandon about being too hot, and he is an extremely hot sleeper so perhaps it isn’t too bad. That or he hasn’t thought about it being the bed’s fault.

I’ll keep you guys updated on if it sleeps hot in the summer time. That’ll be the true test — if it can keep cool in the Arizona summer heat.

I’m hoping to check-in regularly on how this mattress holds up so if you have any questions you’d like answered leave me a comment! I’ll try to address any questions or issues in future posts!



Becca Be A Light Palette Honest Review

BeautyMo CalderonComment
BECCA Be A Light Palette Open

Disclaimer: I received this palette for free in a PR box. While I received this product for free, I was not paid any money to write this review. This post is NOT sponsored, and I was not required to post anything in exchange for this palette. In fact, I received it 4 months ago and this is the first time I’m talking about it.

I find the photos on BECCA’s website showing the models wearing this palette a little misleading


2.0 out of 5 stars
Price: Originally $49 (I received it for free)
Shade: Medium-Deep
Best for lighter-skin tones or those who like very subtle makeup
Pros: Big mirror, great packaging, easily blend-able
Cons: Lacking in color variety for skin tones, difficult to build up color

On the date this was published, this palette was on sale at various retailers including the BECCA website for $29

BECCA is a well-known brand in the beauty community famous for their glowing highlighters. They are generally higher priced with their best-selling pressed highlighter retailing for $38 a compact.

When I received this palette, I was ecstatic. After using it numerous times, I’m underwhelmed.

1st Impressions & Packaging

The chrome rose-gold packaging with embossed lettering is absolutely gorgeous. This palette’s aesthetics are 100% Instagram-worthy. It looks luxurious, feels luxurious, and has a large mirror to boot.

This thing is solid, and doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart on me. I’ve even dropped it a few times on my desk, counter etc. and it has not endured any damages.

When I first swatched this palette however, I was underwhelmed.

Formula, blendability

The formula is good, smooth, but nothing too impressive. The larger powders on opposite ends of the palette aren’t meant to be very pigmented and give very minimal product if you’re trying to be heavy-handed with it.

When swatching the brightening and blur powders (the two outside shades) I got barely any powder on my fingers with one normal swatch. To get the consistency seen on my arm in the photo, it took me about 5 regular swatches to build it up. Again. I KNOW that this powder is meant to be transparent.

Picking up minimal product means that these powders are good for people who tend to be heavy-handed, or prefer a very subtle look. It also means it’s great for those who aren’t great at blending.

As someone who enjoys heavy make-up this was more of a frustration for me.

Swatches of the BECCA Be A Light Palette in Medium-Deep

Color Choice & Color Payoff

As a woman of color who falls right in the awkward in-between shade of “darker than most people but still not as dark as makeup creators think I am” this palette gets an A for effort, but otherwise pretty much fails.

The contour color is not nearly dark enough to cover the broader range of people of color. If you refer to the swatches you can see that the bronzer (3rd color from the left) is pretty light. My arm inner arm is much lighter the rest of me, meaning on my face the bronzer is nearly invisible.

For reference I am an NC43 or NC44 in MAC, a W6 in L’Oreal True Match, and somewhere between shade 8 and 9 of the Milani Conceal and Perfect foundation.

Anyone darker than me will have a difficult time using anything but the blush in this palette, which, realistically is the only part of this palette I use.

The blur powder is a decent color match on my skin. It matches my inner arm so well, you can’t even see it really on the swatch. On my face however, it’s a tad light and gives me a pink-cast that isn’t great for my warm undertones.

The blush is the only pigmented thing in this palette, but if you’re looking for Instagram-worthy highlight shine this is not for you.

You’ll get a subtle (see how I’m using that word again) glow but nothing too intense.

I find the photos on BECCA’s website showing the models wearing this palette a little misleading. Maybe they’re using a glow-y primer or some other product because the palette alone does not yield the same results.

Left: Me attempting to do my usual face makeup with the Be A Light palette. Right: I wasn’t happy with the result of the palette so I used my usual bronzer and highlighter to fix my contour. Both look great, but I prefer a more chiseled look over the subtle look.

In conclusion…

Would I recommend this palette — Not necessarily.

If I’m imagining one of my good friends asking me how I feel about it I can hear myself saying, “Idk, I didn’t really like it because it wasn’t pigmented enough for me and the colors were too light for me. BUT you know I like to wear heavy makeup, so you might like it if you don’t want something too crazy. It’s not that it wasn’t good quality because it was — I just want something heavier.”

I’m glad I didn’t spend my money on this. If I had, I would have returned it. The only reason I don’t give this palette away to someone is because I love using it as a huge mirror.


My Relationship With Blogging

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I’ve been on the internet for years. I know the content creation world like an old friend who I’m constantly losing touch with then catching up and getting close with again.

I had my first “blog” in middle school and it’s been a long journey getting to where I am now. I feel like in order to understand my story and relationship with content creation, you really have to go back to the start of it all and follow the timeline.

Must Be Mo taking a break from exploring Portland to read in the park.


2004 — Middle School Mo starts here first blog on Xanga (anyone remember that?!) It was a diary-style blog documenting my angsty pre-teen life.

2009 — Freshman year of college. After not blogging all of high school, I start a new beauty blog on Blogger after being inspired by my sister’s beauty blog and all the free products she gets sent.

2010 (January) — After spending my entire freshman year of college watching endless YouTube videos and discovering the wizard rock and nerdfighter fandom on YT, I decide to start the new year off by starting YouTube channel. I switch focus completely to YouTube and share a channel with my best friend, AJ.

2010 (September) — Months later, I start missing my beauty blog. I start a second channel, focused entirely on beauty. This is right around the initial rise of huge YouTube influencers.

2010 (December) — AJ and I have pretty much stopped posting to our joint-channel. While she’s not super interested in YouTube anymore, I decide to start my own lifestyle channel and continue on. This is during what I call YouTube’s “ukulele era.”

2011 (August) — I started another YouTube channel after going through a “rebrand.” This is the YouTube channel I still use now to this day (although it’s gone through multiple rebrands since)

2013 (April) — I start a new blog on Weebly after being inspired by countless travel blogs and food blogs I’ve been reading. I start posting about recipes, my life, beauty, and books. I slowly begin switching my focus back to blogging

2014 (March) — I decide to take all my content from my Weebly blog and move to Blogspot so that I can take blogging more seriously. I switch my focus almost entirely to blogging and begin posting multiple times a week.

2015-2017 — I go back and forth between blogging and YouTube. I see a huge jump in growth for the first time and start really trying to push growing my channel, blog, and Instagram but I can never stay consistent enough.

2018 — Around August of this year, I kind of stopped doing YouTube and blogging. I felt really burnt out and all-around disgusted by the fake, superficial world it’s become. I decided to quit blogging and YouTube. I shut down my old blogspot blog and stop posting to my channel.

PRESENT DAY — It’s now November and I’ve “quit” content creation for a whole 3 months before I came crawling back. I’m back, but ready for a change.

Reflecting on my journey

I know that there are parts of the blogging, vlogging, and content creation world that is fake and superficial. I know that there are influencers out there who are entitled and think that their status as a blogger makes them better than. But, I also know that there are good bloggers out there. Bloggers who genuinely love sharing content that helps others.

I feel like recently blogging has become all about landing sponsorships and gaining revenue and fame for people. I quit blogging for a while because I saw myself falling into that same trap and I was so disgusted with myself.

During my hiatus, I was listening to a Podcast that featured a Beauty Blogger that I used to watch on YouTube in my college days. Emily Noel is a YouTuber who now has over a million subscribers. She’s best known for NEVER having done a brand deal in her entire YouTube career. She has never done a sponsored video and featured a sponsored product because she wants to ensure that all of her views know her content is authentic and 100% truthful. She’s also a former journalist and as I J-school kid I love that!

I hope that on my newest blogging journey I can stay down to Earth like her.

I’ve been fiddling around with the idea of taking that same stance from here on out. I haven’t made any formal decisions but I feel like money is what changes people in this game. This time around, I want to blog for me. Not for fame. Not for money. Not for status or for anyone else. I want it to be only because I feel like sharing and I want to help others. And I think making the decision to refuse any sponsorships or brand deals might help.

I’m still playing around with the idea, but I’m very highly interested in it.

I want to just make content, and assume that I’m never going to “make it big.” I don’t want to strive towards that goal anymore. I’ve been there, done that and it ruins people. I want to blog and be happy doing it even if nothing big ever happens for me. That way, if it does, it’ll just be a cherry on top.


Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Review

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Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner set.


2.5 out of 5.0 stars
$3.99 each at Target
Best for dry hair types
Pleasant, typical “Dove” smell
Pros: Smells great, inexpensive, pretty packaging
Cons: Isn’t “weightless” like it claims, weighs hair down,

What initially made me check out the Dove Oxygen Moisture line was the packaging. I absolutely LOVE anything blue. It’s my favorite color (pretty obvi if you know me). I was at Target looking for a new shampoo because I didn’t like the one that I was using.

My old shampoo was a heavy moisturizing shampoo that was just weighing down my hair and making it feel really greasy now that I had cut of 8 inches of hair.

Dove’s product description says that it’s formulated with “Oxyfushion” technology that’s supposed to add volume to your hair. It’s also obviously a moisturizing shampoo that’s weightless.

Best suited for DRY hair (aka not me).

It’s moisturizing, for sure but I didn’t think it would be as moisturizing a sit is I guess. It’s a little too much for my hair and leaves my scalp really greasy and stringy looking at the top. I think regardless of if I still had my long hair with tons of split ends, it still would have been too much moisture on my scalp — At leasts as a set.

I would recommend the set for those with dry hair. It’s not working out too well for me.

if I were using the conditioner on its own and had chosen a different shampoo, I feel like it would work much better. The conditioner leaves my ends moisturized without making it feel like it’s covering my strands in a film. If we’re talking about what it’s doing for my hair from the ears down, it’s a definite love!

The shampoo doesn’t leave my hair feeling clean. almost immediately after my hair is dried, I feel like my scalp is greasy. By day two I’m drenching my scalp in dry shampoo. As someone who doesn’t wash her her often, I typically can reach day 3 before needing minimal dry shampoo. I wash my har usually about once or twice a week and this shampoo has drastically changed my hair routine.

Below is a photo fo my scalp the morning after washing my hair. I don’t know if you can tell in the picture, but it’s greasy. It’s not terrible but when you wash your hair at night, dry it, go to bed and wake up at 6 am to a greasy scalp, it’s clearly not working out well.

The Dove Oxygen Moisture shampoo left my scalp extra greasy the morning after washing my hair.

Where’s the volume?

I typically get a volumizing or clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner. I find that whenever I get a set it’s not giving me what I need. I always feel like I don’t have enough volume up top and not enough moisture down bottom. I think I’ll probably go back to doing that.

This line claimed to be moisturizing AND volumizing so I thought I was getting everything I needed. But it wasn’t what I was hoping for. I’ll probably keep the conditioner but get rid of the shampoo. Or, more likely, I’ll keep both in my guest bathroom for anyone who stays over (sorry future guests).

I really love Dove products though, so I’m hoping to find a shampoo by them that works for me! If you’ve tried this shampoo and had a different experience, let me know! I’d love to know how it worked out for someone with different type of hair!

Well. I need a new shampoo. Leave your shampoo recs below!