Bra Straps A Go-Go

 
 

It felt, quite possibly, like the hottest day of the summer. I say this, however, about every day that the temperatures dare rise about 87ºF. I was sitting in my apartment with my friend/photographer, getting ready to shoot a couple looks, when in my peripheral view I saw a slinky silk slip dress of semi-familiarity. It was purchased last summer on a random whim induced by boredom from Beacon's Closet. I let a friend borrow it for Fourth of July and it subsequently was damaged by contact with rooftop fireworks (it's a long storty). 

Little to infer, I hadn't worn the dress since.

When it revealed itself again, through a pile of discarded clothes on my floor, I took a chance. Surprisingly it fit through the pasta, bread, and wine weight of the winter. The dress actually fit better than the day it was purchased. It embraced the right places while still allowing a breeze to lovingly blow in my direction. The only issue was that it was completely transparent. Now, I've never been one to shy away from a nipple or see-through top. I'm usually the one to embrace and encourage it as an accessory of sorts but complete public nudity is still on my to-do list. The thought of people, albeit strangers, seeing my business was just not the attention I sought that day. Thus, I layered a simple bralette and a black panty underneath. I let the straps of my bralette fall around my arms and created a look that remained as nonchalant as I.

She Wore an Itsy, Bitsy...

 

...you know the rest.

I spent the day at a community pool in Brooklyn, yesterday. These photos represent (the vast range of) my emotions at the time.

Bathing suit: American Apparel
 

I Find Myself with Some Issues...

 

I spent the day amongst the gloss. The magazine covers of coveted publications stacked, wall-to-wall. The magazine shops in New York may be like none other in the world. These gold mines are like nothing I experienced in my second home of Boston. Usually, neatly tucked away in random corners of SoHo and midtown, they act dually as a place of convenience and wonder. Magazine shops are inspired. It's amazing how inspired I get just looking at the covers. With circulars provided in various languages and subjects, I can view the latest Vuitton campaign in French or learn the hottest new food phenomena in Tokyo.

 

Out of the Box: MY Fave Picks From The Essence Beauty Box (July)

 

I think I'm becoming a beauty junkie. Lately, since turning 24, I feel the overwhelming panic to preserve the skin I currently have. Face masks, toners, and face creams have become a daily routine. However, I hate being spending big bucks on products that are the the result of folklore or simply do not agree with my sensitive skin. Luckily, I've become privy to the service of Essence Beauty Box. 

This box doesn't just feel thrown together. EBB is curated and verified by the editors of the Essence magazine and mixes the faves of the beauty industry with the secrets of medicine cabinets . I was even able to add a few of the selections to my own respective medicine cabinet. They are as follows:

Dickinson's Original with Witch Hazel: I love the way it takes my makeup off with ease after a long day and doesn't leave me feeling sticky. It's also great if you need to freshen up while on the go.

Pop Beauty Kajal Pen: I never though it was possible to created a smoky eye with a purple eye pencil. Now that the technique has been proven, I'm obsessed! I'm even looking to branch out to other colors. It's smooth, the color is concetrated, and it retains its point. It even comes with a foam smudge point to correct mistakes and/or fan out the color.

Pur–lisse Skincare Brightening Serum: This moisturizer may just be everything I've been looking for. I has SPF 30, which has been a Top 5 requirement for all of my moisturizers. However, with SPF comes a filmy and tacky feeling. Pur–lisse completely eliminates that. It's smooth and leaves my skin feeling equally the same. 

 

Makeup A Look

 

Is makeup actually a summer necessity? My first answer to this question was no. I actually found the act of wearing anything beyond my daily moisturizer, lip gloss, or eye cream utterly exhausting. I would delude myself into believing that I could feel a breakout coming on every time I applied a product. I actually went so far as to file the act of contouring during these torturously searing months a symptom of superficial vanity. 

Lately, though, I've been looking at the technique and purpose of makeup through a new lens. With every shoot, I find myself asking makeup artists their personal favorite products and maquillages. I've been seeing the application of makeup in the summer not as a symbol of vapidness but really as a means to remain uncomplicated. With the sun high and the days long, women want one thing in their dressing: simplicity. No one has time, or energy, to over-accessorize a look. Makeup provides that simple and undetected out. Women seem to wear it any other time of the year. Why not now? 

I just had to bring myself, unjudgmentally, to do it. 

I already had the goods. I'm practically a NARS junkie. I have the lips pencils (matte being my fave), concealers, the lips sticks, The Multiples, and the blushes ( Matahari, hello?!). I just had to get these products on my face. I began how most do, with a normal cleansing routine: Rhassoul soap, toner, and moisturizing oil. Once finished, I picked my preferences. Scouring through my array of lipsticks and stains, I kept in mind that I  wanted to begin this restorative process uncomplicated. I chose three products: Cruella (NARS), Haloscope (Glossier), and a brow gel (Anastacia Beverly Hills). I wanted to keep in simple and not feel as though I was hiding my face from the sun I'll eventually be praying for in four months. I smeared my predilections across my face; accentuating all my beloved features.  I could feel the boldness of my red lip bringing strength and allure to my usual undramatic summer stylings: a see-through t-shirt and equally transparent pinstripe pants. 

*shrug*

I mean, with Cruella by NARS smeared across my lips, who has the audacity to reprimand my lazy summer dressing choices?

 *smirk*

Lip Pencil: Nars (Cruella), Eyebrows: Anastasia Beverly Hills (Brow Gel), Bralette: Urban Outfitters, Pant: Beacon's Closet
 

Baby, It's (Too) Hot Outside!

 

I write to you all from the eye of #HeatWave2K16. It began this past Friday and it has been rearing its ugly, hot head since. My only salvation has been my constant weaving in and out air-conditioned edifices on the Upper East Side's Museum Mile. Today, however, I decided I need a break. I don't think I can do another day of putting on shoes and hoisting myself out into the heat. The foreseeable end is estimated for Thursday and, coincidentally, that may be the next time I shall allow my fellow New Yorkers to see me out and about on the streets of our fair city.

*Insert dramatic violins* 

According to my plan,  I will be sartorially "glimmerous" sans the sun. By "glimmerous" I mean I will substitute the warmth of direct and natural sunlight with the light of my computer screen bouncing off of my (glimmering) metallic tank top while I sit in front of a fan, ordering UberEATS, looking for ways to entertain myself.

Ok, while my Anti-D method of heat relief may seem extreme and flawed, my clothes are not. They are mindless, carefree even. A pinstripe here, a spaghetti strap there. Rose pink and forest green seemed the only appropriate color apropos to the nostalgia of balmy spring and the state in which I long to be. The time of year in which one could be lax in their dressing until sundown. I rarely have those moments now. Every quantum of a day must be calculated: the subway heat, the outside heat, the subway air-conditioning, and/or a subway car with no air-conditioning. Nonetheless, my saving grace appeared in the form of a loose green pant and a slinky pink tank top. Thus, giving me the freedom to come and go as I please; should I decide to leave for, oh, I don't know, groceries, ice cream, or the UberEATS delivery guy, at least my vestiary needs will be one less thing I need to muddle through. Trust me,  this heat is enough.

Top: Zara, Pants: Stella Dallas, Magazines: The Gentlewoman
 

Leatha, Leatha, Leatha Time!

 

Leather, 75+ degree weather, and a date... Can it work?

Picture it: NYC, summer 2016.

The streets are long, the sun is high, the subway is sticky, no water is nigh.

(Peep ABCB rhyme scheme before continuing, please, thanks).

In your closet you find this slinky little leather number that you forgot you purchased, tags still on (true story) and think it to be the perfect date night piece. Not necessarily because it's your first choice; you're trying to convince yourself that you don't have a shopping addiction. You do. Anyway, you throw on the sexy, black, low cut diddly with a pair of summer socks add a mid heel, and run out the door. The dilemma? It's summer. The resolution: YDGAF!  The eyes of various polyester-blend clad spectators follow you to the subway but you pay them no mind because upon meeting bae, at your favorite dive bar in the Bowery, he bestows the utmost compliments (not that you deliberately seek them). Nonetheless, it's great that he knows you don't live in culottes and Adidas.

Viola, leather, summer, and dates do, in fact, mix.

 

 

#BTS: Essence Beauty Box 💅🏾

 

Yesterday, I found myself making my way through the Financial District (after an hour on a ghost riding 5 train -the trains were a travesty yesterday), passing the gargantuan monuments of One World Trade and the like, the destination: Time Inc. The more specific destination: Essence Magazine. I had been contacted by their amazing team to help them with some video content for their July (birthday month much?!) box of beauty pickings. I immediately jumped on board because I love their monthly elects of maquillage, ranging from face wipes (my new obsession) to nail appliqués.

I had the privilege of sampling the POP Kajal Eyeliner in Inky Purple to create 3 day-to-night looks. As one who considers filling in eyebrows a serious makeup endeavor, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a mulberry smoky eye looked amazing on me! It's most definitely a look I'll bring with me through summer in to fall -I can't promise winter. I'm lazy. 

 

The First 24🎈

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind. I was in a state of anxious reflection about what it means to turn 24. Everyday, I would ask myself the same questions: How do I feel? What are your expectations? What do I want to accomplish? The questions literally trailed on forever...

My answer is as follows: (*Disclaimer: This myriad of revelation came only after a nail technician reprimanded me for not paying attention to her direction during my birthday pedicure). 

I expect to further commit to my career in creative media and make it full time. I need to make more time for my friends and remember their birthdays. I want to see more money in my savings account than my checking account. I plan on creating a tribe of dope, inspiring, creative girls that call on each other when sourcing and/or creating work. I plan to travel more (However, I need a passport first). I want you all reading this to not judge me because I'm 24 and find myself without a passport. I want to continue to be open to love and all it has to offer. I plan to get over my fear of roaches. I want to be responsible and wash my face every night before bed. I plan to cut my weekly trips to Magnolia bakery in half. I plan to constantly operate in gratitude.

I want to go to sleep. 

The Carefree Black...Dress.

"It's July!" they say. "Aren't you hot"? "How the hell are you wearing a turtleneck in July"?! One: it's very comfortable. Two: Mock necks till the death of me.

Now. Back to the topic at hand.

The Carefree Black Dress. Often mistaken for the LBD, the Carefree Black Dress weaves its way in and out of one's wardrobe (regardless of season) constantly making its presence known. It is the envy of all other dresses due to the owner's unending love and care. The CBD is necessary because whether one is running for the train, looking to do power lunges, or welcome a cool breeze the little diddly is ready and willing to provide every need. It abides by the New York maxim of the busy: No fuss, no muss, get up, get out.

This dress in particular is a exemplary example because of the fabrication, texture, and design elements. The slits up the sides emphasize movement and lend a hand of sexiness. It preserves energy, reduces the frustration of summer dressing, and allows one to move chicly and seamlessly throughout various social and professional spaces.

Orange is the New Black...and Drop Waist is the New Sporty

Ahhh summer,  't'is season of increased physical activity and exertion.  It's also the season in which most of us gleefully welcome tans, settle for sunburns, and spend a majority of our time outside fantasizing about edifices with air conditioning inside. What I'm basically saying is, "We sweat bih". It is inevitable. However, it can be endured. Summer survival simply requires adequate fabric weight and silhouette. (Enter the drop waist mini dress). An article of clothing so perfect, so finely engineered, I wonder how the the gals of the 1920's Harlem moved on so quickly to, oversimplified, silk maxi skirts and bell sleeves. How did this "modern" phenomena ever go out of style?  From errands, to work through dinner and drinks, the pseudo tennis dress (in my mind) allows fabrication, silhouette, and body to remain the focal point. Thus, distracting the masses from the sweat that one may/may not be completely drowning in five minutes after arriving to the local subway...

A Picnic for Three... Location: BK Promenade

3 friends, a 750 mL of cabernet, a fifth of Jamaican rum, Shake Shack, and a weather forecast of 80º...

#CC26 Pool Party Realness

Gucci loafers, architectural sunglasses, glasses floating in the pool, piña coladas, and NYC skyline views. Those are the only words I shall use to describe the "Kyrie alternitive" pool party I attended Friday. Ok, gotta go meal prep! Byeeeeeee!

Happy Birthday Cherie!

Look: French, Lackadaisical Tomboy Location: Trader Joe's

This past week, I've been battling a summer bug. Everyone who knows anything about me knows that when I get sick I turn into the biggest drama queen -"Oscar worthiness for 500 Alex"! Since I took the day off, I thought it necessary to venture to the market (in my favorite sock/shoe combo) to procure accoutrements that would make my recovery easier. 

...as you can tell by the contents of my basket, my priorities fell a bit off. My cold? Still very much here.

On The Set: Refinery29 / Colgate / Popsicle Lip

I recently did a shoot with Refinery29 and Colgate that emphasized summer smiles. 'T'was dope. The staff was really great, the food was amazing and it was really inspiring to see predominately women running the show. My favorite part of the experience, however, was makeup. My eyebrows were looking better than the presidential nominees and I was designated a "popsicle lip". The look required the pigment to be concentrated in the center with extra gloss all over. It looked amazing! Needless to say, I may just be rocking that sweet look all summer; taking breaks, obviously, to indulge in the real thing.

Sundays are for chicken lovers...

What started off as a restful Sunday turned into: friends visiting from out of town, a walk down Memory Lane via music videos of the early aughts, and a meet up of more friends in Williamsburg for the Sweet Chick block party. We rounded off the night with chicken biscuits and watermelon salad a few blocks away at Pies N' Thighs. I love Sundays. 

*Disclaimer: Some would say that leaving one chicken spot for another is a little on the treacherous side but so was the wait for a table following the day's festivities.

A Girl Goes to Williamsburg for Jeans...

...and manages to buy everything, except jeans. Denim blankets are a necessity though right?! Ikat blankets and Victorian era boots are more important. Correct? I needed a straw hat for my summer amongst the skyscrapers of New York City so...whatever.