October 17, 2014

Ready, Set... Shop!

Turns out right now is a really good time to get a head-start on your holiday shopping. Why? Every site I click on seems to have an amazing friends-and-family sale going on that applies to all current, full-price merchandise! I selfishly want to keep these all to myself so I don't have to compete for stock, but some things are too good to keep to oneself. So, check out some of my favorite picks that are perfect to give or to receive... (After all, I'm a full supporter of #treatyoself)

40% off full-price and 30% off sale with SAVE40

30% off site-wide with the code F14FFUS

Loeffler Randall
20% off site-wide with code IMAFRIEND

30% off with code TAKE30

A booming sale section! New pieces added every Sunday.

October 14, 2014

{STYLE} Classic Comfort with NYDJ Originals

Jeans are not exactly the easiest piece of clothing to shop for, especially when you have a little extra junk-in-the-trunk, as I most certainly do. I’ve had a lifetime of wiggling in-and-out of too-tight jeans, or finding a pair that “fits,” only for it to be frumpy and uninspired in the fashion department. At best, I could find an inexpensive pair that looked great for the first couple of hours of wear - but soon stretched out into a baggy mess, only to fall apart at the seams after a handful of wears. But that combination of great fit, quality, and a fashion forward approach? It has seldom occurred in my life - and I’m a girl who isn’t willing to settle for anything less!

That is, of course, until I tried on my first pair of NYDJ denim a few years ago. I remember the moment almost precisely: I was in a department store fitting room, florescent lights flickering, when I pulled up a pair of black, coated skinny jeans over my hips and buttoned the waist. I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see that I looked great, a feeling jeans have never given me for as long as I can remember. I twirled around, looking at myself in the mirror with a sense of admiration that has historically not been part of my dressing-room experiences.

Beyond finding a pair that look and feel great, for a compulsive over-dresser like myself, it has actually taken a serious investment in developing my confidence to the point that I feel comfortable and chic in a pair of jeans - whether I pair them with a tee and flats, or a leather jacket and heels for a night on the town. But to find a pair that I can wear from my morning walks with Frankie, to showroom appointments and styling sessions at the Marie Claire office, to a cocktail party at the end of the day (with a little heel switcheroo)? That is the holy grail - and one I’m relieved to have finally found.

This post was sponsored by NYDJ, as part of their NYDJ Originals Series.
All opinions and content are my own.

October 8, 2014

{STYLE} The Birdcage

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

While "uniform dressing" isn't quite for me, yet, and my outfits are often radically different based on my mood or the weather (from pink princess to summer goth to bohemian to prim-and-proper), I am a major repeat offender when I find an outfit that's comfortable, easy, and makes me feel confident. And when said outfit includes a major conversation-starting statement bag? It's pretty hard to resist slipping it all on again from one day to the next. I first wore this outfit (from head-to-toe) the day of Christian Siriano's runway show, and it worked flawlessly from my backstage coverage, to a post-show dinner, to his star-studded after party. I like to refer to outfits like these as my "power outfits," and when I'm not feeling particularly awesome about life (we all have those days), I default to something that I know makes me feel at ease. 

It's worth noting, since I get a lot of questions about how I manage to wear heels, that the Kate Spade "Licorice" style is particularly comfortable. I've spent entire days wearing these (and the patent black version, which I've featured before, as well)! On the day of Christian's show, knowing I would be on my feet much of the day, I even packed away a pair of emergency flats - but didn't end up using them. That's pretty remarkable for me! If I could  have them in every color, I would - particularly this pink glitter pair... swoon.

And, we need to talk about this bag. I know it's not particularly practical, but practicality has never fully appealed to me. I first laid eyes on it at the Kate Spade FW14 show last February, and had been anxiously awaiting its arrival ever since. It's gorgeous, the fabrication is awesome, and fits a surprisingly enormous amount of stuff: makeup, cellphone, wallet, house-keys, and could comfortably fit more. It's rather impressive, if I do say so myself!  


October 6, 2014

{STYLE} Nicolette Mason for ModCloth is HERE!!!

Girl gang, my first collection is finally here! I'm going to go ahead and apologize now for the overzealous use of exclamation marks that may appear in this post, but I am so excited to finally make what I've been working hard on for the last 8-months, in collaboration with an amazing team at ModCloth, available to shop! (P.S., get 15% off your entire order with the code YAY15)

{on NICOLETTE} The Nicolette Dress

Photos by Danielle Bouchette | Hair by Pavy Olivarez | Makeup by Shanna Cistuli 
Modeled by Christina, Dannielle, Gabi, and myself 

These babes and I spent a day in the (very, very hot) Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, my hometown, shooting some of our favorite pieces from the Nicolette Mason x ModCloth collection. It felt important to show my "girl gang" concept with a real-life group of my girlfriends. Gabi has become one of my partners-in-crime ever since we first met through blogging nearly 6-years ago, and she continues to be a warrior when it comes to body-positive activism (and have you seen her swimsuit line?!). Dannielle, who I have crossed paths with many times throughout our adult-lives-so-far, have only become closer as we work on each of our careers: she's just co-authored and published a book, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, and runs the site Everyone Is Gay, a hub for LGBT &questioning youth.  Christina is an all-around badass, blogging, consulting for mega-brands on social media strategy, and organizing the hugely-successful BeautyCon. Each of us have grown up in uniquely different circumstances and in different communities, but we've all developed real-life friendships and bonds, have laughed-til-we-cried together, helped each other with cross-country moves and supported one another through heart-break, new love, work frustrations, and all the ups-and-downs that come with life, (we also share a pretty epic, emoji-ridden group text). To say I felt honored to have them support me and this venture, and be part of this shoot, would be an enormous understatement. I feel so privileged for this opportunity and to have each of them present in my life. This is what the "girl gang" concept is really all about - coming together despite whatever superficial differences we may have and empowering one another to be the best version of ourselves. 

I hope you're all as excited about this collection and what it means as I am! It makes me so happy to be able to partner with a brand that believes in me and my message, and agrees with the basic understanding that all people deserve to have fun with fashion. To that point, the collection is available in sizes XS-4X - something that I know would not have been possible without the support of ModCloth, especially Susan, Rena, Liza, and Aire!

If you happen to introduce any of the pieces into your own wardrobe, I'd love you to share pictures with me! Tag your photos & tweets with #NMxModCloth. I'll be sharing my favorites! 

September 30, 2014

{STYLE} Return of the Plaid

Can you believe it's nearly October? The older I get, the faster the time seems to disappear. I feel like it was only yesterday that we were celebrating the new year, cursing the frozen streets of New York, and planning escapes for summer - and somehow tomorrow is October 1st and the leaves are already changing colors. While spring is certainly my favorite season, fall is my favorite time to play dress-up with my wardrobe and have fun with layering and rich textures. Plaid, leather, cozy knits - it makes me so happy.

Addition Elle's fall collection is filled with perfectly autumnal pieces, from this warm and comfy coat from the Love & Legend line to this totally lust-worthy hot pink cocoon coat, (because #AllPinkEverything is a real ambition of mine, no matter the season). Bring it, fall: the layers are on and I'm ready. Just try to stick around for a while, please. I'm not ready for winter.

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

 This post was sponsored by Addition Elle

All opinions and content are my own.

September 29, 2014

{BEAUTY} Travel Beauty Essentials

I feel extremely lucky to get to travel so much as part of my job; having the opportunity to experience different cities, cultures, and the people that inhabit them is honestly one of the greatest gifts my career has given me thus far. Of course, traveling isn't without its challenges... For one, the jetlag and inconsistent sleeping schedule is among the biggest pains, and two, while it's mildly embarrassing, one of the hardest parts of packing my bags and jetting off somewhere near or far is paring down my toiletries and cosmetics to just the essentials.

Because I have to keep my makeup bag fairly slimmed down and light, I devote space to those tried-and-true products that last all day from morning-to-night. Long-wear makeup is an absolute necessity in my life: even when I'm home in NYC, I'm only doing my makeup once in the morning before a day of running around the city to meetings, photo-shoots, fashion showrooms, and cocktails or dinner in the evening with friends, and rarely want to carry my makeup with me for touch-ups... except of course for lipstick, that's essential.

Benefit's They're Real! Mascara has been a longtime favorite of mine, so I was eager to try They're Real! Push-Up Liner, after months of hearing about it through other bloggers and beauty editors. First things first: true to it's promise, the waterproof gel liner does not budge. At all. Not a single centimeter. The liner comes with an accu-flex tip (a very different feeling than the felt tips I'm used to using), that allows for an ultra-close, lash-hugging line, and now that I've finally got the hang of it, I'm thrilled that it's the only eyeliner I packed in my bags for my trip to London.  I'll be honest, I really, really struggled with this product at first. Though it clearly met my criteria for being long wear, it took a long time for me to get the hang of application. I've heard others had similar experiences when first testing it out, but don't get discouraged! It gets easier in time and the initial learning curve is well worth the effort. (Psst, if you buy it now from Macy's, you'll also receive a free deluxe sample of They're Real! Remover). 

Some practical tips for actually using They're Real! Push Up Liner, so you don't have to make the same mistakes I did:

1.) Since it's a click-pen, it will take about a dozen clicks when you first open the package.
2.) You'll only need 1-click worth of gel liner to fully line each eye. When you click, the gel will push up to the top of the accu-flex tip. At this point, i like to give the tip a little pinch (at the silicone end) to bring the liner to the top.
3.) Start lining from the inside corner of your eye and work your way out. For a cat-eye or winged liner, line the eyelid first then work the opposite direction (outer point of the line towards the eye) to create the wing. 
4.) If there are any missing spots, rather than going back over the line (this will get messy), use the tip to stamp in the gaps. 

A lucky winner will win some Benefit They're Real! Push Up-Liner of their own! Just Instagram this photo to be entered! Don't forget to include @nicolettemason @macys @benefitcosmetics and #NMBenefit in the caption to be considered for entry. I'll announce the winner on October 3! 

This post was sponsored by Macy's
All content and opinions are my own. 

September 26, 2014

{VIDEO} Meet My Love

When Addition Elle reached out to me about their fall campaign, and how they wanted to highlight love and relationships in celebration of their Love & Legend collection, I was thrilled to be cast with Ali alongside a diverse group of women and their partners. I've written about this before, but I think it's so important to be vocal and visible about love and relationships, if only because my own history and experiences proved that I didn't always believe I was deserving of love - especially as a fat, gay, just-generally-not-the-norm individual.  Watching the final video made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes - the sincerity between each of the couples featured is so refreshing. 

While we were filming, I actually started crying talking about how long it took me to come to the realization that I do deserve love; that I felt like I was unlovable until I got to some unrealistic goal of what a woman is meant to be in a relationship. I viewed myself as a "work in progress," and until I reached that goal, I wasn't someone that could or should be in a relationship, have admirers, or know my worth in a relationship. Settling for less was basically my M.O. when it came to dating and relationships until relatively recently, (apologies to my exes, if you happen to be reading this, but let's admit that we were absolutely not a good fit or did not meet at the right time and place in our lives).

My relationship now is one where I find strength, support, validation, and am constantly reminded of my worth. We balance each other out. We share the same goal about our future, about the lives we want to live, and about the success we envision for ourselves as individuals and as a unit. To be able to experience that for myself, and share it as an example of what love women like me can experience feels like an enormous privilege. I'm so grateful for the love I experience and to share our story with you!  

You can see a couple other teasers from the campaign here, and here! I also loved what I wore for the shoot, the waterfall vest and printed skirt are both available at Addition Elle.

Special thanks to Addition Elle for inviting Ali & I to Montreal to be part of this beautiful campaign!