March 26, 2015

{STYLE} Cactus Flower

I know I keep going on and on about my newly bicoastal life, but... it's just been giving me so much inspiration lately! I'm falling in love with LA all over again with a fresh set of eyes (living in a city as an independent adult is very different than inheriting your parents' likes and dislikes as a child), and just as soon as I've discovered something amazing I'm back in NYC falling in love with everything there, again, too. It's been completely spiritually invigorating even though it has also been exhausting, (no, really; I was in NY last week and it was one of the most brutal weeks of my life)! I've found a sort of balanced chaos that completely suits this stage in my life - one that is full of transition, excitement, and newness, and I can't imagine two better cities to act as the backdrop for all of these experiences.

I'm still figuring out what my "LA style" is, exactly. Fashion in LA is remarkably different than it is in NY. It's more relaxed and casual (unless you're rolling down a few particular blocks in Beverly Hills), and the always-close-to-perfect weather means there's definitely less emphasis on practicality. That's something that lends itself nicely to the approach to shoes, too! Not only are sandals perfect about 80% of the year, but more driving and less walking* means I can get away with heels that are just a little bit higher. And damn, do I like it. 

This dress (from the Zelie for She's True Love collection) was a no-brainer for me and my newly minted west coast life. It's simple and casual, but the wrap-around-the-waist detail gives the dress a little extra shape and intrigue. I've swooned about Zelie for She before, and if you haven't already checked out this woman-owned, based-in-LA brand -- run, don't walk. All of her collections are made in a limited batch and always sell out. Wearing it with my new favorite heeled sandals (yes, I confess to buying them in a second colorway, too...), bucket bag, and a killer cactus flower necklace from my favorite costume jewelry brand Lulu Frost made it the perfect look to get around town on a sunny afternoon.

*I'm actually still walking a lot. One of my dealbreakers was being in a neighborhood that was too residential; I've spent way too long in NYC to go from the convenience of leaving my apartment and having everything within a 7-block radius to relying on a car to accomplish anything. All the essentials are still steps away from our new home - restaurants, grocery stores, great bars, coffee shops, shopping (yikes)...

My style has, in part, always been influenced by my surroundings... I wonder where it will take me next! 

March 10, 2015

{INTERIORS} Hollywood Home Inspiration

Image Sources, Clockwise from Top Left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

I've always been pretty obsessed with interiors (did I tell you about the time I thought I'd pursue architecture?), but ever since I knew I'd be going bicoastal and needing to find a new place in LA, my obsession has gone next level - and reached nearly full-time job status (except, you know, without getting paid for it). Even though my sister is an interior designer and both my parents work in adjacent fields, I've been going at my new venture in designing my LA home virtually solo - (with Ali's stamp of approval and an occasional thumbs up/down from the fam, of course). Being in an environment that visually inspires me is so vital to my mental wellbeing and my creativity that doing this right is a major priority! 

Because I feel like I'm approaching a new chapter in my life right now, with our wedding around the corner, and my work life and after-hours lifestyle changing rapidly, I'm also approaching my new home with a really different perspective. When I moved into my place in Brooklyn, I was still pretty fresh out of college, and in the beginning stages of my career and my first full-time, post-grad job as a design strategist. I cared about the look of the furniture I bought, but I was still using pieces I bought as a sophomore in college and filled in the gaps with inexpensive (and often disposable) furniture that I knew had a shorter lifespan. Now, I'm more interested in investing in some quality, classic styles that have stood the test of time  - literally. Classic chesterfield sofas (I fell in love with the custom options available at COCOCO), classic light fixtures, wingback bedframes, and silhouettes that harken the Hollywood Regency era - which feels especially apropos as we're now in Hollywood. I first thought we would jump at bright colors and patterns for our large furniture items, but instead we're now planning on injecting color, patterns, and trends in more easily changeable ways -- a great coat of paint, a splashy removable wallpaper, interchangeable artwork, and all of the great home accessories. After all, it's a lot easier to add a new coat of paint or replace a set of throw-pillows than it is to refurnish an entire room. 

Image Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

As much as I'm tempted to rush to furnish our home so that it feels "done" sooner than later, I know taking a slow, thoughtful approach in order to invest in and curate my home with the right items will create much greater longterm satisfaction. And, honestly, (temporarily) living in a home completely devoid of clutter is giving me some much needed clarity... though it would be nice to have some additional places to sit! 

I'm finding design inspiration from some of my favorite hotels - like the Beverly Hills Hotelx and The Parker Palm Springs, as well as great interiors sites and magazines like Domaine and Domino. Sites like One Kings Lane and Joss & Main have also become daily destinations, and I'm just waiting to load one of their flash sales to find the perfect dining table. It has yet to happen but I'll know it when I see it! 

Where do you look to for home and interiors inspiration? 

March 9, 2015

{STYLE} High & Low

Everything I know about fashion and shopping, I first learned from my mom. Of course, my skills and knowledge were refined by my own personal experience, education, and career - but all of my first ideas about clothing were inherited from my mother - a woman who pursued a career in engineering but probably should have been a fashion designer from the get-go. My mom taught me to shop across all markets - mixing high and low from big box stores, discount chains, and coveted designers. By the time I could shop for myself with my own money, I espoused the same attitude towards mixing high and low - often choosing to invest in a great bag (because for the longest time, "investing" in a cute piece of clothing was not even an option!) 

I decided to invest in this Tadashi Shoji dress a few months ago because I knew it would immediately become a staple of my west coast wardrobe (and true to form, I've worn it a couple dozen times already). The navy color and great (but subtle) details make it a great foundation to mix and match off of - and I thought it would perfectly complement my AVA & VIV anorak for a casual afternoon around town. The jacket is lightweight and versatile, and the drawstrings at the waist allow you to style it in a few different ways - either cinched in for a more form-fitting look or worn loose for the oversized, minimalist effect. The price points are a world apart (the jacket comes in at under $40 and the dress at - er, a lot more), but they balance each other economically and stylistically. 


This post part of my ongoing partnership with Target.
All content and opinions are my own. 

March 6, 2015

{STYLE} Bright White

Dress, Bag, Shoes, Sunglasses, Watch, Belt, Midi Rings 
PS: Get up to 25% off the bag, shoes, and sunglasses here with the code BIGEVENT15!

I know that taking pictures at high noon in direct sunlight is way, way less than optimal - but I can't get enough of this sunshine! Ali and I took a break from our work around lunchtime to head out and shop for her shoes for our wedding and found the perfect pair at Paul Smith... Now I need to find mine, (any suggestions?!) Since we were already there, obviously photos against their pink exterior wall were a must. 

It got up to 75-degrees today - and tomorrow will be in the 80s, so I'm allllll about this breezy white cascade dress made by my friends at Mimumaxi - a design duo of two orthodox sisters-in-law who make cool, modern pieces for the modest set. I fell in love with them both when I read about their decision to continue sharing modest fashion from women of other faiths in spite of criticism from their own community. Their message of sharing more in common than we do in difference and wanting to celebrate those similarities resonated with me, to such an extent that I emailed them just to say hello and thank them for taking such an important stand against their critics. A few emails later, and I eventually got to hang out with these Brooklyn-based babes in their neck-of-the-woods. All this to say - their line of easy, minimalist pieces are great year round, but especially perfect as we approach spring and summer! I'm so excited to remix it a million ways as the temps creep up on both coasts! 


March 5, 2015

{BEAUTY} Currently Obsessed: 5 New(ish) Beauty Products

I'm a bonafide product junkie... I'm not exactly an expert at makeup application, but I know the ins-and-outs and pros-and-cons of pretty much everything out there because I'm obsessed with the process of trying and testing new innovations from the beauty industry. Prepping for my wedding (I use the term prepping lightly), even lead me to write a new beauty column for Refinery29 that I am so excited about. Weddings and "bridal beauty" aside, Q1 has been a really fun time in the beauty world - with new brands, products, and addictions cropping up and taking up major real estate on my bathroom vanity.

I've been a longtime reader of Into the Gloss, so when the media-powerhouse launched Glossier, a small, focused line of skincare and beauty products, I was inspired and impressed by the amazing branding, social-media savvy marketing plan, and simple and straight forward line of products. So far, Glossier is a testament to doing few things and doing them really, really well. While I love my Phase 1 Kit, the masks are by far my favorite releases thus far! The Mega Greens Galaxy Pack is like a juice cleanse for your face -- detoxifying and deep-cleaning all the nooks and crannies while leaving skin looking clean and matte. Following with the Moisturizing Moon Mask plumps the skin back up with a soft glow and even softer touch.
Buy it here.


I was born with naturally amazing, full, thick eyebrows thanks to my middle eastern roots... until I hit 13-years-old, starting hanging out at the mall, and bought myself some tweezers and plucked away at my eyebrows until they were just two little thin lines across my forehead. They've never fully recovered and I regret those bad decisions I made as a tween constantly, but fortunately there are tons of great products out there to help fake flawlessly full arches. A new recent favorite is Stila's, which comes in a gloss-like tube and a double-ended brush (one with an angled tip and the other with a comb for blending). The gel adds depth, color, and real long-day wear. Also -- the dark brown has no red tint, a serious pet-peeve of mine in lots of brow products. I'm in love!
Buy it here.


I often get comments on Instagram and my blog about my "perfect" hair but... if only you knew how damaged it actually is after years of intense, high-maintenance coloring. My last visit to my colorist (who, FYI, I trust implicitly and would recommend to anyone) ended with a surprise chemical reaction that was, honestly, like a science experiment gone wrong. The toning shampoo I had been using (and didn't disclose - big mistake), reacted to my hair color, and - poof. Big poof. I've been doing major recon on my hair since and would be pretty lost (and sad) without an intervention from Oribe.... and by intervention I mean I went to Barney's and got my hands on all the moisturizing products I could to help heal my damaged locks, (honorable mentions for this slot also go to the Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil and Royal Blowout). Of all of them, the most (truly) transformative is the Gold Lust Transformative Masque - which employes collagen, shea butter, and jasmine extract to restore keratin and luster in your hair. It works. My hair almost looks great again. 
Buy it here.


I sort of drank the kool-aid with Charlotte Tilbury, the famed British makeup artist whose award-winning beauty line just launched stateside this past year. It could be all the hype, or the drool-worthy rose gold packaging, or the old-hollywood mystique of the brand - but truth be told, I've been buying and rebuying "The Retoucher," an illuminating concealer with healing properties (it's formulated with elastomer pearls to rejuvenate your skin), ever since I first tried it... And there's a literal stockpile of it on my vanity because I'm terrified of running out. I like it a lot more than other similar products (ahem, Touche Eclat) because it provides real, buildable coverage while still feeling incredibly light. It also doesn't crease, which is great because my almost-30, sleep-deprived face is starting to form little fine lines around my eyes. The Retoucher comes in 10 different shades, and I use two of them: number 1 under my eyes, and number 2 as a concealer everywhere else. I apply under my eyes using the Lauren Conrad method - drawing inverted triangles with the pen and blending with a beauty blender
Buy it here


If you have dry & damaged hair like I do (see above), a good brush is essential. I thoroughly debated investing in a Mason-Pearson brush, but my stylist noted that given the state of my hair right now, the Mason-Pearson would actually pull more and cause unnecessary breakage. Instead, a good wet-brush would be a smarter buy - and at under $30, a far more economical choice! I've been using Tangle Teezers for a while (another UK import I can't resist!), but this new edition made in collaboration with Lulu Guinness, bearing her (and my!) signature lip prints was a must have.
Buy it here.