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! 



{SHOP THE POST}

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.

1. GLOSSIER MEGA GREENS GALAXY PACK AND MOISTURIZING MOON MASKS
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.

2. STILA ALL DAY BROW GEL 

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.

3. ORIBE GOLD LUST TRANSFORMATIVE MASQUE

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.

4. CHARLOTTE TILBURY "THE RETOUCHER" 

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

5. LULU GUINNESS TANGLE TEEZER

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.


{SHOP THE POST}

March 4, 2015

{WANDERLUST} Heaven is a Hammock in Palm Springs


Dress (also available in black!), Sandals, Sunglasses, Handbag (currently 40% off)

With everything going on in my life right now, finding a moment for relaxation or escapism has become something of an ambition, though there have been a couple minutes in my day where I start fantasizing about going back to Palm Springs (April is looking good). Palm Springs is easily one of my favorite places in the country - alongside my hometowns of LA and New York, and my southern belle, Savannah. It's hard to believe that this little time-capsule town was only a couple of hours away from me for 17-years of my life, and I've only just been taking advantage of the close proximity. Recently a lot of people have been asking about things to do in Palm Springs, so I thought I'd recap some of my favorites, (I also have some more suggestions here and here).





SLEEP
The Parker | By far my favorite destination in Palm Springs, The Parker, part of the Starwood group, is not just a great hotel but an incredible property - with gorgeous, lush grounds and flawless mid-century modern and Hollywood Regency decor by Jonathan Adler throughout. It has the unique ability to hold onto an old-Hollywood vibe and personality while still being incredibly modern. I want to live there - but since I can't, it's definitely inspiring the style of my new house in LA.

The Viceroy | While I haven't stayed at The Viceroy, it's another boutique hotel with a Hollywood Regency vibe designed by Kelly Wearstler with a super refined black-white-yellow color palette. It's high up on my list of places to stay!




The Saguaro | There's almost no way you haven't scrolled by a picture of The Saguaro Palm Springs (there's one in Scottsdale, AZ, too) on Instagram. The hotel is fun and cheerful, and more Sgt. Pepper's-era-1960's than hollywood regency, (a nice contrast to The Parker and The Viceroy). The rooms are... eh, nothing to write home about; the linens are rough and the beds aren't very comfortable, but they serve the purpose and the poolside is fantastic - with a great bar adjacent and a beautiful setting - with views of the mountains peaking over the hotel.

The Ace | Everyone knows the Ace for their brand of hipster-approved cool, but the most remarkable thing (at least in my opinion), is that the people at the Ace managed to convert a former Howard Johnson's motel into a major destination for the Coachella-set. Street cred aside, while the rooms at The Ace are pretty minimal (and a little bit unimpressive), what the Ace does have is a really awesome pool scene with a rotation of DJ's who bring a serious party.




EAT
Norma's | At the Parker Hotel, Norma's is by far my favorite place to grab a bite (or indulge in a leisurely 3-hour lunch) in Palm Springs. I may or may not have even joked to Ali that we head down to Palm Springs this weekend just to have brunch at Norma's... I quickly realized that was both crazy and excessive, but if time and money were no object, I'd do it. I dream about their fish tacos and fresh donuts (they're not gluten free, but to me they're totally worth the latent pain), and their smoothies (changed daily) are a perfect refreshment to the dry desert heat. Okay, maybe going for brunch isn't so crazy, after all...

Cheeky's | Located in the heart of Palm Springs' downtown area (and walking distance to lots of chic houseware stores and boutiques), Cheeky's is a bright and cheerful brunch destination (true to form, it closes daily at 2 PM). I can tell you what to order because the menu changes weekly, but the bacon flight and seriously legit Spicy Blood Mary's are mainstays that are worth the indulgence. Get there early and expect a wait - but it'll probably be worth it!


Citron | Located at The Viceroy, Citron is a nice finer-dining spot that still allows you to keep your attire desert casual. We went just before Valentine's Day and I admittedly felt a bit overdressed - but thought the sophisticated menu and price point warranted an upgraded look. We shared a few dishes and all were delicious, and the outdoor seating area with tiki-torched lighting overlooking the pool made for a fantastic romantic night out.


Kings Highway  | Located at The Ace Hotel, the space used to be a Denny's (appropriate, since The Ace was a HoJo's), but has since been upgraded with gorgeous stained glass windows and fiberglass Eames chairs. I've only been for brunch, but let me tell you: this makes for some really good hungover people watching. Also, the food is good, with some mainstays from the other Ace locations - like moroccan eggs, avocado toast, and the five leaves burger, and locally inspired additions like date shakes.


Hadley's | So you can get one version of a date shake at Kings Highway, but what you should really do is go to Hadley's in Cabazon, just north of Palm Springs, for the original date shake. There's a reason why it has Anthony Bourdain's stamp of approval, and part of it is that while the date shake is often imitated (and I've tried, too), nothing comes close to Hadley's. On top of the date shakes, Hadley's sells an enormous assortment of dried fruit, nuts, and have a diner counter with grease-spoon favorites (though, actually, I've never tried any of those because daaaate shaaaakes....)



EXPLORE
Though I love to spend most of my time in Palm Springs lounging pool side, there are plenty of things to do in the valley aside from catching-up on vitamin-D and imbibing. 

Palm Springs Sky Tram | One of the most incredible experiences in Palm Springs is to take a ride on the Palm Springs Sky Tram all the way up to the top of the San Jacinto mountains. My favorite thing about it is that in a short tram ride, you experience so many different geological zones - from dry and arid desert to lush forests with evergreen trees. It's stunning, and the air is so fresh and clean!

Palm Springs Art Museum | It's not the MoMA or LACMA, but for a relatively small town, the Palm Springs Art Museum has an impressive collection of contemporary arts across mediums - from sculpture to painting and photography. Currently on exhibition is a series of photos by Jennifer Karady, with environmental portraits of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The permanent collection also features Native American and Mesoamerican works. 

Mid-Century House Tours | There are loads of guided house tours of Palm Springs (and I very much intend to go on one), but one of my favorite things is to drive through the valleys many residential neighborhoods (Indian Canyon, Palm Canyon, Twin Palms). I can't get enough of the colorful doorways and cactus-filled landscapes! One of my secret longterm goals is to actually have a little bungalow in the desert.... Someday! A girl can dream.


Shopping | I confess that, shopaholic that I am, I haven't fully explored the surplus of vintage and thrift opportunities in Palm Springs. Locals and visitors alike swear by Route 66 West (for an overflowing supply of costume jewelry), Secret Service (for a more curated take on vintage), and 20 First for mid-century modern home decor and furniture. There are also great new boutiques like Wil Stiles, and desert outlets from renowned designers like Trina Turk and Jonathan Adler (who are perfectly at home in the valley). If time permits (and trust me... you think you can get in-and-out of there in an hour, but you won't), the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon are uh-may-zing; it has everything from Saint Laurent and Prada to Kate Spade and Calypso St. Barth, (check out the full store listing). 

March 3, 2015

{STYLE} Spring Renewal


Over the past couple of weeks, I decided I need to take a little hiatus from my blog; between NYFW, a cross country move, some medical potential-unknowns (that have all since been cleared - and we're good!), and a mountain of non-blog related work, it was important for me to shift my focus for a moment so I could come back to my blog with a refreshed perspective. I made it to California and in my new home with my beau and our pup (and our cat on the way), and a clearer mind of all the things I want to accomplish personally and professionally for the long and short term. I feel like my batteries have been reset and I have this enormous supply of new energy to create, write, and share.

And what better time to renew and refresh than on the heels of spring? In Persian culture (where I inherited half my DNA and all of my traditions), spring marks the new year - called now'ruz - and is celebrated on the spring equinox. The symbolism and rituals associated with now'ruz are all derived from nature - the sky, the earth, fire, animals, fertility, water, plants; it's a "new year" that has always made a lot more sense to me than the calendar year we celebrate on January 1st - and I love that the mark of the new year is mimicked by real change in the world around us. I'm sure that being a spring baby, with my birthday trailing just a few weeks behind the spring equinox, also has a little bit to do with my personal biases! 

Being in LA where it's already starting to feel like spring (my apologies to the east coasters staring at the snowflakes in the forecast right now), I'm already allowing myself to tip-toe around spring trends and indulge in one of my favorite themes of the season (pastels). I first spotted this pink skirt in Addition Elle's Spring lookbook a few months ago and honestly felt like it was made with me in mind (but truth be told, I probably think that far too often about anything pink!) Confession: I actually emailed my friend who works at Addition Elle, Jen, asking how they had gotten so many of my personal must-haves that have yet eluded the plus-size market out of my mind and into their lookbook. It sort of felt like style kismet... 

It has been way too cold to think about wearing this perfect pink midi on the frozen, sludge-filled streets of NYC, but in Southern California? It's a no-brainer. The sheer polka dot top I paired it with was just another perfect-10 for me, (PS - it also comes in white and it's going in my shopping cart riiiiight now). It feels like a quintessentially me outfit to wrap my head around all the personal victories I have on my to-do list. 

Spring, we're on. Let's do this. 

 

Thank you to Addition Elle  for including me in their new influencer series.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

February 14, 2015

{GIVEAWAY} Celebrating Self Love with Curvy Couture

This text is longer than many on my blog, but trust me, once you get through it- there's something big in it for you!

In the midst of fashion week, I'm reminded how much self-love is a journey and that not every day has the same circumstances that allow you to feel as confident as you did the day before. It's a process that begins internally and has to be renegotiated constantly as you face changes in your life, your body, and your environment. Every fashion week, despite knowing that I do belong at shows as a contributing editor at Marie Claire and as a person who maintains great relationships with publicists and designers, and am validated by invitations and front row seat assignments (not to every show, of course, but it happens enough now that I no longer automatically assume it's a mistake like I used to), I still question whether or not I deserve to be in that environment. Of course, the logical, thinking side of my brain knows that's not true, but it's hard not to question things when PR interns snub you because they don't know who you are or what relationship you have with their boss, and while recognizing that there are so few people who look like you in these spaces. (The latter, rightfully, is a testament to why I need to keep going and being visible, as well as why I'm always so grateful for the opportunity to be there.)

So, with all the craziness (and also lots of fun, and reunion-happening with my friends across publications, and the immense privilege of getting to go to shows and celebrate the hard work of my friends and scope out next seasons collections) that is fashion week, and on the heels of Valentine's Day, which I cannot believe is today, I'm recommitting myself to prioritizing me and my sense of self above all. I'm reminding myself to do the things that make me feel good each day, from being active and walking through the city instead of cabbing it, to eating all the fresh veggies and sipping on green tea, and taking breaks to catch up with my friends, and of course, reveling in coming home to my beautiful soon-to-be-wife and our fur babies.



In celebration of this recommitment and renewal of mine (and everyone's, because we could all use a recharge), journey towards self-love, I've partnered with lingerie brand Curvy Couture to celebrate you with an incredible giveaway! I was first introduced to Dora Lau, Curvy Couture's founder and designer, just about two years ago after she launched her collection following a long term, 20+ year career as an innovator in the full-figured lingerie market and an award-winning designer. Dora is the real deal - with a resume that boasts everyone from the late Oscar de la Renta to Agent Provocateur. At the time, I was immediately captivated by her bubbly personality, enthusiasm, and commitment to making beautiful pieces that fit perfectly. When Curvy Couture launched, however, my bust size (an overwhelming-to-me 38H) was not part of the initial collection, but as their business has grown the size range has, as well, now offering 36C-44H.



Lingerie has been a huge passion of mine for the last few years, after a lifetime of struggling to find pieces that looked AND felt good, and finally finding that you don't have to sacrifice one for the other. It feels like a huge coup to be able to add another brand and designer to my list of people who satisfy my needs for fit and aesthetic, and Curvy Couture is certainly that - with fantastic colors, luxe embroideries, a great price point, and all-day comfort. And, I want to pass along the experience to one of my readers! Curvy Couture and I are hosting a giveaway for two full sets from their collection (and there are lots of great pieces to choose from!)



a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Thank you to Curvy Couture for sponsoring this contest. 

All opinions and content are my own.