TO LASH OR NOT TO LASH

I'm probably the least makeup consistent person you will ever meet. 

I can go days without using blush or making my eyebrows on "Fleek," and please don't ask me where my concealer disappeared to after lunch because I couldn't tell you if I actually put it on this morning. I definitely try and fit that "natural beauty" stereotype, not because I don't like makeup, but because its soooooo much easier. Forget the foundation and packing on the powder; let that skin breath is my motto. With that said, there’s one feature that I consistently try to play up, and those are my eyes.

And I have pretty big eyes.

Now don't ask me to do a winged liner or a cut crease (I'll leave that to my beauty professional friends). To dramatize my eyes, I go for the first item of makeup I ever bought when I was 16, Mascara. If there's one thing that I don't leave the house without, it's at the very least that. But, it's always good to try something new. I've tried doing lash strips, but that time I almost glued my eye shut, I knew that wasn't going to be for my everyday. So, after talking to some of my more glamorous co-workers, I decided to try lash extensions. 

My natural lashes just with mascara

My natural lashes just with mascara

Before I decided to go through with this, I did my research. Being in New York, there's literally HUNDREDS of places that claim to do the best lashes, And I've bought bad Groupons before (never ever do a Brazilian Groupon that looks too good to be true--trust me). My biggest concern with getting my lashes done is the fear of having them all fall off and I end up looking like a naked mole rat (SOOOOOO NOT CUTE). So making sure I'm going to a well reviewed place with excellent service is way more important to me than getting a great price. 

I decided on LashWonderland located in midtown Manhattan. 3 of my coworkers have been going to them religiously and I loved how their extensions looked. I made my appointment last minute, but thankfully they were able to fit me in that same day (which is amazing since they are full pretty much all day long). 

Being that this was my first time, I wanted to go a little more subtle. I chose a more natural cat-eye look as my eyelashes are already pretty long and I was looking for more fullness than dramatics. I chose length 13 with a J curl. Surprisingly, I originally just wanted to do a 12 length but my lashes were longer and the 13 gave just enough fullness. My lash-ist, recommended for my next visit to try a mix of 13 and 15 to give a little more length and fullness to really mimic bombshell mascara.

2 hours and 80 lashes per eye later, i was done!

Day 2 of Lashes with my best friend

Day 2 of Lashes with my best friend

And I have to say the result, although subtle are AMAZING! At first, I felt that my eyes were a little heavy, but I think it was more of my subconscious than the actual lashes. The first week, I maybe had 3-4 extensions in total fall out, which was my biggest concern. I’m now on week 3 week and they are just now falling out in larger quantities. 

My lashes after 2.5 weeks. 

My lashes after 2.5 weeks. 

My only concern with the upkeep of getting my lashes down on a regular basis is the price. While I can wear a pair of $35 lashes about 30 times, these individually placed lashes will need to be replaced every 2 to 3 weeks, meaning dishing our $50 to $75 per application. That’s more expensive than my gym membership, bi-weekly eyebrow threading and monthly Starbucks allowance combined! 

So yes, I love the look and feel that these give me with little maintenance required on my end, but I’m not too sure its worth the price. Luckily, I just received a gift certificate that I can use towards 2 additional sessions. This will give me the chance to at least continue trying them out through February. After that, I'll probably just go this route for really special occasions.

A MARCH THAT BECAME A MOVEMENT

HERE'S TO STRONG WOMEN.

MAY WE KNOW THEM. MAY WE BE THEM. MAY WE RAISE THEM.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Women's March on Washington, and I have to say it will be something that I will cherish for a lifetime. It's not everyday that you get to see the beauty, grace and strength of women recognized and fought for on such a large scale. It was the first time in a long time that I've felt an overwhelming feeling of hope and success. This march wasn't just about showing up and showing out, it was about making a statement and creating a movement.

Our voices will not be muted, for I am a Woman, so hear me Roar.

GRL PWR

WHO RUNS THE WORLD? 

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You may have just yelled out the word 'GIRLS' and thought oh, I said that because the Queen Bey rammed it into my brain for the last 6 years (yes, "GIRLS" came out 6 years ago). But in all reality, you said it because it's true. Girls really do run the world. I mean, the ratio between women and men in the US is 100 to 96.7 if you really want to get technical, but who's actually counting... (probably my mother every time she thinks about how old I'm getting without finding a husband yet).

With all this estrogen in the room, how can you not feel the greatness of being female!?!

This is why I'm so obsessed with these new logo tees and sweatshirts by blogger Josefin Ekstrom for Na-KD.com (aka my new online shopping addiction). Not only are these tops a great fit, I love the simple yet powerful message they represent. 

A while ago, I saw a viral video where a 8-year-old girl explained why it wasn't fair that girls clothing featured messages promoting beauty while boys tops featured empowerment messages about heroism and taking on the world. 

It really got me thinking about how important it is to promote confidence beyond the physical when it comes to females. And when I found these tops, I automatically felt a connection to their message.

Short and to the point, women are 'Fearless' and you should recognize 'Girl Power'.

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What I love most about Na-KD's selection of statement apparel is the luxurious quality and chic style. These are definitely not like the statement tee's we clambered for at Rue21 or Wet Seal back in the day. They give off an air of sophistication with their clean aesthetic and casual fit. Both the sweaters and the tees have a relaxed box fit that are perfect to wear with high waisted jeans, which is my go to look for 2017.

Check out Na-KD's collection here and get your 'GRL PWR' on for 2017!

Why I March...

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.-Martin Luther King Jr.

This year's Presidential election has been the ultimate example of an overqualified female competing for a job with a man who's not up to par. If I must be honest, I'm a bit embarrased to know that we've actually gotten this far in the electoral process with such a visible circus, but what would America be without some good Reality "realness".

Besides the shit-show that is our reality right now, I've gained a new found appreciation for what makes me a young, successful and may I say brilliant woman. Since I was young, I've had strong female role models around me. From my mother being the first female to graduate college in her immediate family to my great-grandmother being a Latina civil rights activist, I've always had a strong sense of female empowerment. And with that view I've also seen how all of that greatness can be overshadowed by categories like gender, race, and age.

I myself have experienced some of those brick walls that leave me thinking, 'Oh my gosh--how am I going to get them to see me beyond the labels?'

But then I realize I'm Fabulous, Fearless, and Freakin' Powerful.

The first time I heard about the Women's March on Washington, my cousin Julia sent an email to my mother, sister and me saying "No questions asked, WE HAVE TO GO."

You see, when I think about why I plan to march, I think about all the things that I have pushed to achieve and focus on. I think about all of the women I've idolized as self-aware risk takers who don't take no for an answer. I think about how lucky I have been in this life and what I'm contributing to in order to preserve the same rights I've been granted for future generations to follow.  So, why wouldn't I march?

We represent a new era of women. An era that has taken blood, sweat, tears and years to reach, but is ready to be heard. Unlike movements in the past, this March signifies an intersection and new identity of True Womanhood. This is not just a social justice movement; it's beyond being progressive. It's claiming our position at the table that this political shift has seemed to dismiss. For far too long, we've pushed for equality and equity, and yes there has been progress, but deep down in the soil of this country there is an underlining and distinct form of misogyny that happily showed its ugly face last year--mocking what we've believed to be change and growth. This march is not just speaking for the rights of just one type of woman, it's speaking, effecting and touching every community.

So just as Martin Luther King Jr' once said, "The time is always right to do what's right." 

I'm not just going to be marching for myself, I'm going to be marching for what's fundamentally right.

I Matter. You Matter. Women Matter. We all Matter.

For more information on the march:

WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON

10AM, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2017

STARTING LOCATION: Independence Avenue and Third Street SW

 

JOIN THE WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

SEVEN FOR '17

It's officially 2017 and most people can only think about thank goodness 2016 is over. I don't really blame them...it was a pretty shitty year on so many levels. But lets forget about all the negativity and think about the positives; it's Freakin' 20-17! 

This year I have a lot of wants and goals that I want to accomplish. It's not just about shedding the pounds and saving for the future, it's more about building towards my future and making sure that I'm as successful as I possibly can be. I've come up with 7 of my biggest motivations for 2017 that I will push to accomplish this year. 

1: LOOSE THE FUPA!

image via pinterest.com

Yes I am starting with the cliche, but honey you gotta start somewhere. Over the last 2 years I've gained 25lbs... and over the last 4 almost 40lbs! Now I'm not saying I don't love how my body looks now compared to when I first moved to New York (Cause I LOVE actually ADORE my curves), but I know that I can look and feel better than I currently do. So what does this mean for me...No potatoes? No pork? No alcohol? Well lets not go that far! I work in fashion remember, so every once in a while I'm gonna need a glass or two of a nice Cabernet or whiskey to get me through my day...and who really can say no to bottomless mimosas at brunch? 

Loosing weight is 1 part gym and 1 part diet. So, I've started out the year making a conscious effort to eat balanced meals and watch my intake. Instead of going out for lunch and grabbing 2 chili dogs or better yet getting a heaping scoop of mashed potatoes with my chicken and veggies, I'm MEAL Prepping! So far, I'm sticking with less carbs and more protein and vegetable heavy meals. I do salmon, shrimp, or even spicy Italian sausage pared with peppers, broccoli and carrots. The good thing about these veggies, is they are naturally delicious with just a little bit of pepper and a very small amount of salt (Less salt means less bloating--keep that in mind).

 Work Out OR Pay Out: I'm taking my gym membership seriously. And that's saying a lot for someone whose been paying for one for the last 2 years but hasn't necessarily used it to my full potential. One way to keep me on track with the gym is a rewards system (yes, I'm saying I bribe myself). For everyday that I miss the gym I have to put $5 into savings. So on top of having to pay my monthly subscription, I'll be "loosing" out on more money that I can work with throughout the month. Say I miss a full 30 days in the gym, that's $150 I'm missing out on fun in the city. Yes, it's not necessarily a bad thing but having almost $200 out of my account each month just because I didn't work out is not acceptable.

2:TRAVEL MORE

2016, I definitely lit my travel bug fire. From Dubai to Paris to Greece and Amsterdam, I got to experience the world with my girlfriends. And I plan to continue my great adventures even more in 2017. The countries on my bucket list include South Africa, Morocco, Thailand, Portugal, Croatia, Canada, and Cuba. Let see which one's I get to this year!

3: WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER

I absolutely love my job but, 2016 I would have to say was the most challenging year of my career. I was given the opportunity to handle more responsibility and have a stronger voice within the company, but what I didn't realize is that with more responsibility and power comes more stress and time. One thing that I took from 2016 work wise is that I may be able to handle everything, but that doesn't mean that I should. This year as a leader, I want to take the opportunity to delegate more and stress less. I have an awesome team that is smart and growing, so I should take advantage of it. I'm not a one-woman show and the only way that I will continue to grow and achieve great things is to understand my weaknesses and develop a team that best supports the goals that we plan on achieving. 

4: GET THOSE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING

I can honestly say that my creative light was a little dim last year. And this year, I want to rekindle my love for all things creative. From DIY crafts to starting my own business, it's really important that I move forward with my ideas and not let laziness and fear distract me. I absolutely love writing and I now I haven't been 100% dedicated to my craft. I have so much new content coming up this month for my blog I can't wait! I'm also redeveloping my portfolio site to reflect my new ventures and experiences.

5: BOSS-IN UP

 Yep I'm gonna be a boss this year! It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. Since high school, I've had ideas of designing and creating my own brand and it's now time to make those childhood dreams a reality. My goal is to have something tangible and up and running by the start of the summer and I know I can make that a reality this year.

6: FINIANCING RESPONSIBLY

image via finovera.com

Yes I'm a shop-a-holic. My mother likes to remind me of this every single day of my life. So this year, I'm focused on my savings and establishing a financial goal that's bigger than what I've done in the past. I'm slowing down on unnecessary spending like buying a $20 salad for lunch or shopping on nakedwardrobe.com every time they post a weekend discount (they unfortunately get me all the time), and working towards the bigger and better. Because the less I spend on the things I definitely don't need, the more money I'll have for projects I'd really love to focus on for my future. 

7: ME, MYSELF, & FE

Last, but certainly not least, I plan on focusing more on me. I've always been an extremely selfless person, but that has not always been the best thing for me in a lot of areas in my life. I want to grow within my self not only to be happier but to truly know what I want and need to live an awesome life. The more I focus on me, the closer I'll be to reaching my goals!

So lets take 2017 by the reigns and make this year A-MAZ-BALLS!!! Just remember...

Breaking The Rules: White After Labor Day

Some rules are just meant to be broken... Especially if it's your first night out back in NYC after about 2 months of nonstop working and a little bit of play!

If you knew how long this outfit has actually been in my closet, you'd probably think I had some big extravagant plan for this set. But, there's always a time and a place for everything! I actually bought the tube top and wide-leg trousers over a year ago (YES I SAID A YEAR), but wanted to have the look altered to perfection. Right before my trip to Greece, I did just that.

I decided to wear this gorgeous set during my office end of NY Fashion Week party and I must say it was well worth the wait!

The awesome thing about this outfit is that the pieces although all the same shade of white, are all different textures. By mixing and matching different textures while still keeping a monochrome palette, I'm staying right on trend this season. I especially love this satin vest I bought from Naked Wardrobe.

Check out some similar options to get this look yourself.

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