Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bold As Love


Vintage silk blouse from Salvation Army in Birmingham, Alabama
Love Shack Fancy mini skirt // SHOP HERE

Since I haven't lived in California in over 4 years, it's not often that I find myself in a place where there is nothing but miles and miles of open land surrounding me on all sides. So when I come across places like this, I take hold for as long as I can. I run in all directions with my eyes closed because I know there is nothing to knock me down, and that there is nothing that I will run into or trip over (unless it's just my own two feet, which actually happens quite often). I love the melodic sound of cars and trucks zipping by on the freeway. It's like everything keeps going on and moving forward while you get to stay in a moment of peace that is separate from everything else. Anxieties and stress is in the cars passing by as opposed to in your mind for those minutes your feet are digging deep into the earth beneath you. Go out and try it next time you find the chance to jump into a field on the side of the freeway. Stand in the middle, close your eyes and lean your head back. Listen to all that is around you, yet at the same time drown the sounds out with your thoughts of how good it feels to be where you are standing. Even just for a little bit. 

And here are some lyrics to one of my favorite Jimi Hendrix songs, because the blouse I'm wearing was purchased purely because of the fact that I felt like Jimi would have worn it to perform onstage. This is the reason behind many of my vintage purchases. And there you go. 

Anger, he smiles,
towering in shiny metallic purple armour
Queen Jealousy, envy waits behind him
Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground

Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted,
They quietly understand
Once happy turquoise armies lay opposite ready,
But wonder why the fight is on
But they're all bold as love, yeah, they're all bold as love
Yeah, they're all bold as love
Just ask the axis

My red is so confident that he flashes trophies of war,
and ribbons of euphoria
Orange is young, full of daring,
But very unsteady for the first go round
My yellow in this case is not so mellow
In fact I'm trying to say it's frigthened like me
And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from, eh,
Giving my life to a rainbow like you
But, I'm eh , yeah, I'm bold as love

- Jimi Hendrix, Bold As Love

Monday, June 29, 2015

The City of New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisana was one of the most visually stimulating places I've ever had the pleasure to visit so far, apart from Puerto Rico. The classic French architecture told stories  of mystery, intrigue, romance and triumph with very curved iron arch and every rectangular window. And I found the city to be one of the most musically infused. I found myself dancing to some sort of beat around every corner I took a turn at. Live music pouring out of the open bars. Full on jazz bands playing in the middle of the streets, or on a sidewalk at a busy intersection. No matter what, you had to stop to watch. And you can't help but feel apart of it as the heat rises from the ground and the sweat gather on your back and your hair starts to stick to the sides of your face. A city where it is very obvious that it's charm lies where the old meets the new, and nothing is lost in-between the story telling. The colors, the people, the smells and the tastes all mixed up together and rolling in and out of its French-influenced streets of The French Quarter. There's nothing not to love about New Orleans, and I have a lot more to share soon from our one day tour of the city that I hope to be visiting soon again :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Beauty | My Summer Skin Savers


O'Neill bikini // SHOP HERE AND HERE
Cleobella fringe dress // SHOP HERE

Hey ya'll! So summer is officially here! I've already gotten plenty of sun these past few months with my hot weather escapes to Puerto Rico, Indio and Key West, during which I made sure to slather on tons of SPF. But even so, all that sun exposure can make one feel a bit rough around the edges in the weeks afterwards. I made the huge mistake of using an oil-based tan extender in Puerto Rico, and my sensitive skin had some sort of breakout reaction that was not cute. So I've made a point to give my skin some extra tender love and care to reverse any of the effects from my sunny travels. Not to mention, living in a city full of traffic and subway care rides isn't the best thing for one's skin neither. All the more reason to treat the skin you are in just like a baby.

So here is what I've been using recently at the start of my day and at the end of my day. I juggle around lots of products throughout the year, trying to find my favorites. It's fun to experiment, but when you find a routine that works, the best advice is to stick with it. Let me know if you have used any of these products and what you think of them if you do!

Mario Badescu Fruit and Vitamin A & D Hand Cream SPF 10 // SHOP SIMILAR
No one should ever overlook the power of a good hand cream! Our hands are usually the last things we think about slathering sunscreen on. We use them all day long, so really they need the most love and protection. This one smells so good, it's hard to not want to use it in the first place. 

Mario Badescu Summer Shine Body Lotion
I love the dewy look, which is why I love this lotion! You'll look like you just came from a tropical beach shower 24/7 with this lotion.

Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap // SHOP SIMILAR
The botanical fruit extracts in this body soap work like an acne wash, just in a more natural, less-abrasive way. My skin feels like heaven afterwards and I never feel irritated. 

Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum // SHOP HERE
The name says it all. This heavier serum literally heals dry skin and locks in moisture, with special ingredients that go beyond just a quick fix. This is my go-to body moisturizer for long-term protection.

Alba Botanica Acne Dote Deep Pore Wash
This product has been my LIFE-SAVER since I started using it a few months ago. I haven't had to worry about any sort of major breakout session since. And if I get a small case, it fixes it up quick! Plus it feels gentle to the skin because it's made of natural and organic ingredients. 

Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oil Deep Nourish 5-Action Hair Elixir // SHOP HERE
My hair has gone through a few bleach jobs during its lifetime, and I recently just went back to a darker, more natural color. But the abuse still shows through. That's when this hair oil comes in. Made with a mix of rainforest oils and butters, this elixir is the real deal. Just a pump or two worked into the ends of my damp hair instantly adds luster, shine and softness. 

L'Oreal Invisible Protect Sheer Sunscreen Spray // SHOP HERE
This spray sunscreen is just so easy and fun to apply! It makes getting your dose of sun protection a total breeze. Just spray and go!

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream // SHOP HERE
This eye cream is made to work on all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. It's not greasy either and is easily absorbed. 

Aerie Sugar Rush Raw Sugar & Coffee Scrub // SHOP HERE
The perfect scrub for the end of the week, or to start off your mornings on the weekends! It softens as it tones. Your legs will be summer ready in a hot second with this scrub.

Mario Badescu Flower & Tonic Mask // SHOP HERE
This purifying and calming mask is the dream! Just a light layer left on for 15-20 minutes gets rid of congestion, bumps and oiliness. You'll look and feel fresh-faced instantly. I love this after a long, stressful week. 

Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover // SHOP HERE
Because this makeup remover has never disappointed me. It lifts away everything so I can sleep at night knowing I have nothing leftover from the day.

Chantecaille Fruit and Flowers Acid Mask // SHOP HERE
This mask is really luxury in a bottle. It's super gentle in the way it works to re-texturize the surface of your skin. The AHA in this comes from sugar cane and dissolves dead skin cells. You'll look pretty as a flower afterwards.

Kiehl's Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit Skin-Softening Body Cleanser
This cleanser smells so aromatic and exotic, you might mistake it for your next favorite fragrance. It's soothing infusions will leave you feeling super soft for 24 hours. You'll be amazed. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Love New York City

I really can't remember when my love affair with New York City truly began. Just the name of it has always sounded like magic to me. It had a melody to it that was so catchy. It rolled off my tongue like my favorite song. Ever since I first watched When Harry Met Sally, I dreamed of taking strolls down a golden tree lined street with a man who I would later call a lover. So much going on around us. So much to discuss and contemplate. So much around us to distract us and spread ourselves thin with. But despite all the noise, we are still so absorbed in the world created just between the two of us. A love that takes digging through the exterior canopy to find it lying untouched and ready to grow. That was the dream. 

I grew up in the suburbs outside of Los Angeles. A safe and quiet town of community pools, lines of the same stucco homes one after another, and one mall which is sadly where the most action ever occurred and where the majority of the skater kids smoked weed behind of. That and the movie theaters. Everyone had their first kiss behind the movie theater I'm pretty sure. My parents moved us away from the beach because they wanted us in better schools, in a bigger house and to be able to play around our front yard without worrying about us getting snatched up by some creeper in a VW van. High school in the Santa Clarita Valley was quite typical and clique-y. Just like you would see in the movies. Growing up in a place like this, you have to find ways to keep yourself occupied to keep from getting too bored. Let's just say there was a time that I listened to emo music for hours on end to cope. Like most kids, I wanted to fit in, but deep down inside, typical never made sense to me. It wasn't what I strived for. I didn't get why kids cared so much to be popular like it was life vs. death. I didn't get why the cheerleaders didn't get in trouble when they bared some belly on the school yard, but I did (I wasn't a cheerleader). I didn't get why I had to be a master at math to be considered borderline smart to my teacher. And I didn't get why the monotonous lives everyone seemed to be living was the end goal (for most people I grew up with at least). The circles drove me nuts. And the thought of of a life of these circles a day, an hour, a second past my high school graduation was horrifying to me. All I could think about was New York City. And that golden tree lined street. And the potential to find love, not just in a romantic partner, but love in everything around me. Love in the sticker and graffiti ridden crosswalk poles. Love in the taxi honks. Love in the feeling when you catch a subway right at the last second. Love  in the footsteps on every sort of mission and heading in so many different directions at once. Love in the art of interaction and collaboration and brain storming. Just love in the possibility of everything and anything. That is what New York City felt like to me in my head. And that is what I felt was missing from my boring town outside of Los Angeles. 

And now I am here in New York CIty, and it's been a little over two years which is crazy to think about. The thing about this city is that it doesn't hit you until way past the day you actually find your groove . . . that you have finally found your groove. It sweeps you up and twirls you around, and before you know it you are what they might call "a real New Yorker" and you can't really imagine yourself being anyplace else. Before I moved here, I heard from many people that NYC can be a really lonely place, despite the amount of bodies it contains. I understand this completely, and it can be totally true, but only if you let it be. New York City is one of those cities that is left to be molded in your own hands. Worlds within worlds within worlds. A collision of it all. The time it takes to find your place varies from person to person, but like I always like to say, there is a time for everyone in NYC. As long as you are patient.

The city is full of distractions because if you are open to it, you are introduced to so many things from all sides. You never know what's going to flip the switch within you in this place. But if you think about it, that is the beauty of it all. It's normal to find yourself on many paths, a lot of times at the exact same time. And it can be confusing and exhausting and mind-boggling and question-inducing. But isn't that the reason why we came here for in the first place? To explore our options and to be challenged and to put ourselves in situations that aren't exactly comfortable or easy. Despite the glitz and glam of the stories we have heard of this NYC in the past, we find the greatest pleasure in the strides we take to get to the places we want to be at. No struggle, no gain. I've gone through many phases of myself in my two years in this amazing city. Some not so good. Some phenomenally amazing. It wears me out sometimes, but when I bounce back, I come back to something so sparkly and progressive and alluring and exciting and malleable. I wake up absolutely happy and ready to conquer the little New York City that is all mine within the big New York City. I feel safe and sound here for some reason. Even with all the noise. There's something for everyone here if you look closely. In every nook and in every cranny. In every borough. Each waiting to find it's match. Let's just say for right now, New York City is my Harry to my Sally. 

Photos taken by me.