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! 

September 25, 2014

{STYLE} Minimalist Ambitions

If there's one thing my style is most certainly not - it's minimalist. I often wish I was a minimalist (at home, in my personal style, and in virtually every facet of my life), but my magpie tendencies always get the best of me. It's hard to resist the temptation of glitter, sequins, bursts of color, and special embellishments; I feel like part of "growing up" is meant to include getting over those things, but old habits die hard. Still, when the opportunity presents itself to opt for a more pared down, sleek silhouette, I jump at the chance to try it on for size - and adding in the little bits and baubles that make me, me (like, say, a faux fur clutch and the temporary addition of lilac hair) help make the idea of minimalism a lot more approachable. This skirt from MYNT 1792 proved to be a major gateway for me - and basically became my uniform while I was traveling through San Francisco and Los Angeles. There's certainly something to be said for aspiring to minimalism, and maybe I'll get there in my next life, but for now, this feels good.

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

September 18, 2014

{GETTING HITCHED} Runway Looks & Bridal Inspiration

I swear I have not spent my whole life dreaming about weddings (nevermind the number of hours I spend each week pining over the BHLDN site), but ever since our engagement, I'm finding bridal and wedding inspiration everywhere - and this seasons runways have been filled with nuptially-appropriate looks. Since my tastes err on the side of the non-traditional, looking to ready-to-wear runways for a dose of bridal fancy is exactly my speed. 

Christian Siriano
Some of you may know this from following my Instagram already, but Christian Siriano is actually designing my wedding dress, (every time I think about this, my brain goes something like: "!!!!!!!"). I've been a long time obsessive over Christian's gowns, and his spring collection had several that were beyond stunning. I've even taken a little note from Olivia Palermo on the idea of pairing a more understated top (or cashmere sweater, in her case) with a formal skirt. On the note of color, I also love the idea of an icy blue (or any blue, for that matter) as a departure from traditional white. It feels so fresh and crisp! By the way, not many people know this fact, but Christian makes his collections made-to-order in all sizes. 

Tadashi Shoji
Ahh, Tadashi is always a designer I make sure to pay extra special attention to each NYFW because plus-sizes are consistently part of his collection, (including his gorgeous mermaid-themed resort collection which I am literally dying to get my hands on). This season, his runway show was inspired by Venice and the reflection of light against the canals, making for perfect sheer panels, reflective pleats, and gilded edges embroidered onto gauzy fabrics. 

With exception to the shipwrecked-and-washed ashore feeling of the styling styling, Nicky Zimmermann's voluminous, sculptural ready-to-wear feels utterly romantic to me - and even ethereal, layering delicate lace in asymmetry and covering the sheerest peach tones with tiny, glimmering beads. While a trademark of her design approach is balancing masculine and feminine, these looks all speak to the girlish whimsy that is a trademark of my style.  


I never miss an opportunity to wax poetic about Honor, do I? Honor is made for the pages of Lula and my inner fantasies. The collections may not be real-life, everyday makings of a wardrobe, but they're certainly apt for my daydreams and a woman's wedding, because why wouldn't you want to get married (if you were into the idea of getting married), in a dress accented with scallops or candy buttons (a little subversive hint of rainbow for the LGBT bride, perhaps), or adorned with a giant bow as if you're a literal gift to your spouse-to-be? I mean, logically, I know this isn't for everyone - but I know myself and, at the very least, Briony, would be thrilled to see these walk down the aisle.

September 4, 2014

{STYLE} Summer Forever

Labor day weekend has long symbolized the end of summer, with the start of school immediately after - and as a grown up the feeling has stayed pretty much the same but shifted from back-to-school to back-to-NYFW. Of course, the summer season lingers long into October, now - so while I'm lusting after All The Leather and layers-upon-layers, I'm erring on the side of seasonally appropriate practicality, instead. I wish I was one of those creatures who could magically wear leather pants, sweaters, and wool coats while traipsing between fashion shows and simultaneously not breaking out into a sweat, but it's 86-degrees and I'm somewhat of a realist.

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

After all, the convention of ditching white after labor day started long before the onset of global warming was fully realized. Light colors, whites, and pastels are definitely sticking around in my wardrobe, right now!