April 25, 2017

Visiting North Carolina with Burt's Bees

I've been a long time fan of the Burt's Bees brand. Even though not everything in my beauty arsenal is natural, I do try to use as many natural products as possible - and have a trust in Burt's Bees commitment to products that are both nourishing for your skin and ethically produced. Because I also have so many allergies and sensitivities to different topical products, relying on Burt's Bees to always be free of petrolatum and parabens is a big weight off my shoulders as I navigate the beauty aisle, (if you want the nitty gritty on stats - their products are made with an average of 99% natural and the packaging is often recyclable and made with post-consumer recycled content, while over half of the products are 100% natural). When the brand launched their line of lipsticks last year, I jumped on the opportunity to add the 18 colors to my makeup bag, 4 shades of which are new to the lineup this year. They're so smooth, wear beautifully throughout the day, are super hydrating, and surprisingly versatile (I shared here how I also use the lip colors as blush and contour - hello, major life hack!)

So a few weeks ago, when Burt's Bees invited me down to North Carolina to get a closer look at how everything gets made, formulated, packaged, and distributed around the globe - I wanted to know more! I want to note here that because their headquarters is in North Carolina, home of the infamous bathroom bills, it was crucial for me to first get an understanding of the culture within their home offices. Burt's Bees has in the past done initiatives around Pride (how cute is this pride pack of lip balms?), supported GLSEN, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ youth, and I wanted to know their position as a company on the issue. I was relieved to learn that alongside all their other social consciousness initiatives in the brand, that they have a specific gender affirming policy within the company, standing behind diversity and inclusion and against any act or institutionalization of discrimination, public or private. This was something that honestly made me even more proud of working with the company and being a fan of their products for so many years. So with that, I set out to pack my bags and get to know their teams more intimately.  One of my biggest curiosities in the whole fashion and beauty world is knowing the ins-and-outs of How Things Get Made. Getting the chance to speak to a chemist about the ways they formulate products, or understanding the thought process behind packaging design, speaks to the nerdiest of my sensibilities.

Because Burt's Bees products are almost entirely natural and lack the conventional chemicals typically used in most commercial beauty products, their lab is completely open. New products are created, tested, and formulated right in the middle of their office - and most of the ingredients are things you might also find in your kitchen pantry. Because the recipes are so safe, we got a chance to mix our own batches of lip balms using their signature blend of ingredients and mixing our own colors together! I, of course, went for a pretty soft pink. 

Their HQ is right in downtown Durham, and we landed in Fearrington Village for the trip, where we tested out newer additions to the product lines (my latest obsession is their Tinted Lip Oils, a sheer pigmented, nourishing oil with a hint of nonsticky glossiness. It's perfect for the 90s influence all around lately and for keeping lips hydrated throughout the day). We also had mini-facials (I need to use this as an opportunity to plug their Complete Nourishing Facial Oil, a blend of rosehip, jojoba, and primrose oils that promote healing), had an aura color reading, and enjoyed the nature around Fearrington Village with leisurely bike rides, hikes, and farm to table meals.

I had so much fun getting to meet the people behind the products, getting more familiar with the new additions to the lineup, and of course - learning all about the honeybees that help produce so many of the things we rely on in our daily lives (including a third of our natural food supply!) 

Wearing: Fame & Partners Dress, WhoWhatWear x Target Denim Jacket, Cult of Gaia Ark Bag, Poppy Lissiman Sunglasses, Kate Spade Heels  

My trip and this post is sponsored by Burt's Bees.
All content and opinions are my own. 

March 6, 2017

{STYLE} Platinum Blonde Self Expression with John Frieda Hair Care

While I felt like the world was falling apart around me, I set a very low-key "resolution" for my year: be blonder. Of course, I set my intentions around broader career goals and commitments to activism, as well, but when it came to something I could do for myself with relative immediacy and without the threat of failure, it was go blonde or go home. So, my gradual progression to lighter locks over the last few years evolved into full-blown platinum blonde ambition. It's no secret, though, that the stress of going blonde is pretty serious on your tresses - and breakage, fallout, and maintaining color is a process in and of itself. Knowing I was heading to New York for NYFW - and that the air would be cold and dry, and that I'd be doing my hair daily for shows and events, I tried to prep and plan out my haircare in a way that insured my new locks would be their least vulnerable.

Enter John Frieda Hair Care. I've been a long time fan of the "Frizz Ease" line - stocking tiny tubes of the serum in my purses to smooth out my ends and flyaways throughout the day (and this is something I've been doing for years!) But this years new line of product innovations came at a perfect time for me and my newly platinum hair. After all, as my mother says, "hair care is self care," and devoting a little time to creating the image and look that I want has been a pretty radical step in taking care of myself in an area where I can assert some control.

On top of this, John Frieda Hair Care experts have just launched their new Hair Talks Make Your Statement campaign to speak to the power of hair as a tool for self expression. The campaign was also kicked off with the most fun surprise concert in TriBeCa at the start of NYFW with Tinashe - who is the face of Hair Talks Make Your StatementThere's nothing that better conveys my own relationship with my hair -- it has always been a place where I've experimented, evolved, played with style, and channeled energy into creating parts of my identity. I've been coloring and restyling my hair since I was 13, been through an entire rainbow of colors (though it should be no surprise that my first color choice, all the way back in middle school, was pink), and my thankfully strong & resilient hair continues to be part of how I speak.

I planned out a series of styles that I could leverage out of a single wash - retouching, styling, and revitalizing throughout the week of running around to exciting events. Confession time: I was inspired by an old Into The Gloss piece where Kim Kardashian shared that she washes her hair every 5-days to get the most out of styling, and applied a similar approach in planning out my NYFW calendar. 

I started with priming my hair with the John Frieda Frizz Ease 10-Day Tamer Pre-Shower Treatment (it's an amazing, intensive treatment that you apply to dry hair before washing that extends the lifecycle of that wash) and following up with their Sheer Blonde Brilliantly Brighter Ultra Illuminating ShampooConditioner, (fellow blondes looking for a color correcting team: this stuff is great at keeping brassiness at bay and it's budget friendly). After washing and towel drying, I sprayed in some John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioner to my damp hair before I got ready to blow dry. For my day 1 style, I decided to stick with a smooth and sleek blow out that I could easily build from. Starting with a great blow-dry (without having to add additional heat just yet), was the perfect foundation - and styling with a deep side part helped create a bit of extra volume and movement without having to over style. Best of all, because this style is pretty easy to maintain, I managed to get two days out of it with a few sectioned-off sprays of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo.

For my second hairstyle, I knew I wanted to have some of my signature loose waves. Even though I've recently been playing with a lot of different styles, messy, undone waves are one of the looks where I feel most myself. They're playful, sexy but not too serious, and I love having additional texture in my hair. It might seem a little counter intuitive, but I applied a bit of mousse to my dry hair before adding waves in with an iron. The John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse not only helps set and cold the curl, but also adds extra heat protection. To finish, I rubbed John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir throughout my ends (I'm addicted to this product!) and smoothed out my fly-aways using John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch Up Crème (this is magic, especially if you have short & stubborn baby hairs like I do.)

For my next style, I worked on a simple transition with my waved ends on a half-up bun. I've been rocking the "tiny topknot" or "baby bun" for a while - and sorry not sorry, it's one of my favorite styles for in-between days! I secured the bun with pins and added in more volume to the sectioned off hair with a spritz of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo. Once I set the bun, I secured the style with John Frieda Sheer Blonde Crystal Clear Hairspray. Fellow blondes might know (or not, in which case, lesson time) that a lot of styling products are what can contribute to brassiness, build up, and fading color. What's so magical about this hairspray is that it leaves no residue or stickiness behind - while leaving a flexible hold that is perfect for styles that demand a little more movement and bounce. 

Photos by Lydia Hudgens,
Hair Direction by Adam MacClay

I love to mix up my wardrobe, obviously, but my favorite accessory lately has really been my hair - it speaks, it evolves, it definitely talks. It's part of my armor - a way for me to constantly switch up my look and redefine my persona. It's been a ton of fun to play with my new platinum looks and leverage as much as I can out of my arsenal of John Frieda Hair Care styling products - all while managing the stress on my hair. 

This post was sponsored by John Frieda Hair Care.
All content and opinions are my own. 

January 23, 2017

{STYLE} In The Desert

I feel like I am always writing about how quickly time passes, how the days quickly turn into weeks and soon a month, and how each relatively small unit of time feels expansive because so much has happened. And yet, somehow, as I try to implement some kind of a more rigorous schedule in my life, the first few weeks of the year have flown by. Last year, after the new year, I headed out to Palm Springs with Brad, Christian, and Ali, and this year we decided to repeat the tradition and added Joshua Tree and our friend Anna to the mix, as well. After all that happened in 2016, it felt especially important to put a little bit of a pause on life to reflect, set intentions, and be together in a calm, relaxing, and familiar environment.

Being with friends who have also felt so sensitive to everything happening in the world was important and therapeutic, and being with creative friends helped inspire me in this next chapter in our lives where art, expression, consciousness, and resistance are all the more important. It helped ground me in finding my purpose right now - and wanting more than ever to be unapologetically and unabashedly myself. I've made it no secret that this last year felt like an enormous transitional period, with monumental changes in my personal and professional life, and finally settling into living in Los Angeles, and having reminders of my capacity to create, inform, inspire, and use my energy for positive change couldn't have come at a better time.