Category: The Closet

CRAVE: Second Edition

Crave, a verb:

1. To long for; want greatly, desire eagerly

2. To require; need

A few months ago I debuted the first edition of CRAVE with a compilation of my virtual hoardings. You know all those pictures, articles, and posts you Like on social media? What happens to them? How many articles have you Liked and actually read? Did you ever buy that great new product you Liked? Most times, the answer is no. So, I began periodically reviewing my likes and bookmarking the information in a folder called Cravings.

In this edition of CRAVE, I’m sharing some of my latest cravings from a Saturday of shopping around New York City. A couple weekends ago, I was hosting some out-of-town company. We walked through the park, hopped onto the subway, and ventured out onto the streets of Soho with one destination in mind: The Reformation. Coincidentally, we’d both been eying dresses from the sustainable LA-based boutique. Next, I suggested we shop for accessories at Erica Weiner, a Brooklyn-based antique and vintage-inspired jewelry brand with a shop on the edge of Little Italy. After that, we let or instincts guide us and roamed based on the flow of the crosswalks. This landed us at our final destination: a below-ground shop with an interesting window display and a name we couldn’t resist: Fair Folks and a Goat. As we explored the wares, I was reminded of that spark you get when a store window catches your eye, you wander inside, and touch, feel, or taste things as opposed to just reading reviews or looking at images on a screen. It was then I realized how much I’d been craving a shopping experience offline.

Not in NYC, don’t worry! All of these retailers are all available online as well.


THE REFORMATION

Image c/o The Reformation

Image c/o The Reformation

Pining for… the perfect LBD to take from day to night? Head to The Reformation and check out their collection of ribbed stretch jersey shift dresses. I opted for the Arly Dress in black. No matter which style you choose, it can easily be dressed down for daytime with flats and a crossbody or dressed up for nighttime with wedges and a clutch.


ERICA WEINER

Image c/o Erica Weiner

Image c/o Erica Weiner

Yearning for… a unique conversation piece to wear to your next event? You need a Heartbeats necklace by Erica Weiner. I wore my Heartbeats necklace featuring the Talking Heads lyric “This must be the place” to a garden party a week after purchasing it, and nearly every person I chatted with that night remarked on the necklace and the quote.


FAIR FOLKS AND A GOAT

Image c/o Herschel

Image c/o Herschel

Longing for… the most functional bag to carry in the city or on your next trip? Let’s start a movement to revive the fanny pack, which has now been rebranded by Herschel as the hip pack. If you’ve ever lived or traveled in an urban environment like NYC, you know it’s essential to have a great bag that is functional and fashionable. I typically turn to my crossbody or occasionally a backpack, but I have to admit, the hip pack is the most aptly designed for pedestrian, city life.

Still craving more? Check out CRAVE: First Edition!

NYC Life: Street Shopping

One of the unique qualities of New York City is the prevalence of street vendors. To New Yorkers, it’s completely commonplace to see people selling anything and everything, from food and drink to apparel and accessories on nearly every sidewalk and street corner. Some people outside NYC may associate these sellers with counterfeit bags and knockoff sunglasses (yes, these do exist), but there are countless vendors who make honest income from street sales.

Although I’m unphased by street vendors, I don’t regularly buy goods off the street. Sure, I’ve picked up a bag of onions from a produce stand in a pinch, browsed interesting art outside Central Park, or been unable to resist the scent of those sweet, crunchy candied street nuts. But the other day, I made my first official impulse street purchase of something most people might consider quite strange: makeup.

In preparation for writing this post, I did my due diligence on the makeup brand I purchased, Makeover Essentials, and I was stunned by the negative reviews regarding the selling approach. Maybe I’ve become desensitized to individuals selling product on the street in NYC, but I wasn’t misled about this product in any way, and I wasn’t pressured or conned into purchasing it. In terms quality, the Makeover Essentials products are not on par with high-end department store makeup brands (Bobbi Brown, Lancome, Trish McEvoy, and the like). However, if you’re looking for an alternative to premium beauty brands but want a step up from drugstore products, I would recommend Makeover Essentials. Read my detailed reviews below, and check out the brand for yourself!


24/7 Makeover Portfolio

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Retails for $59.99, Compare to Bobbi Brown Nude Basics for $80.00

The 24/7 Makeup Portfolio includes mascara, eyeliner duo, and two palettes, Sunrise and Sunset. Each palette contains pressed powder, cheek color, shadow trio, and lip duo. I was really impressed with the mascara. I’m a stanch user of Lancome’s Definicils mascara and usually scoff at other formulas and brush shapes. The eye pencil was a bit dry and harsh as-is, but this was easily remedied using the handy lighter hack. Not all of the eye and lip colors were right for my skin tone, but overall, the hues were fairly neutral and flattering, went on smoothly, and paired well with each other. The brushes that come with the palettes are low quality, but I apply most of my makeup with my fingers, so this was a non-issue for me. The vegan leather portfolio holds everything nicely and feels and looks great.


Shimmer Powder Brush Bronze

Retails for $29.99, Compare to Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for $46.00

Retails for $29.99, Compare to Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for $46.00

I was really excited about the design of the self-dispensing bronzing brush, however this bronzer was too shimmery for my taste. I would liken it to Bobbi Brown’s shimmer brick and would recommend using it as a blush as opposed to an overall face bronzer.


Lunar Lip Color Kit

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Retails for $29.99, Compare to Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Palette for $39.00

I’m typically not a fan of “pot rouge” style lip color, but the colors in this kit were ultra-creamy and went on smoothly and seamlessly. The hues are fairly sheer but are ideal for everyday or paired over a bold lip for a touch of sheen. I would also easily use these for a dewy, balmy cheek tint.

5 Fashionable Places You’ll Find Me in the Summer

As kids we eagerly anticipated the moment that signified summer. School was out. Vacations were planned. Summer meant freedom. For three warm months, we got to relish in being young and carefree. Then we grow up, reality sets in, and summer isn’t what it used to be.

As adults, summer can be torture. While we’re confined to our desks, we long for those youthful days spent by the pool. Trips must be carefully coordinated with corporate calendars. We seize and treasure any time spent outdoors enjoying the warm weather and working on our tans, even if it’s just on our lunch hour.

Summer will never be quite the same as it was in our youth, but it’s still possible to savor this amazing season in adulthood. I try to soak up the sun and all this season has to offer right from my own neighborhood. No elaborate trips or lofty expenses required at these 5 fashionable places you’ll find me this summer.


1. THE PATIO

Photo by Evan Bodine

Photo by Evan Bodine

On warm summer nights, you’ll find me on the patio, getting lost in conversation and watching the sunset from a table filled with food, drinks, and friends.


2. THE FARMER’S MARKET

Photos by Angie Webb

Photos by Angie Webb

On Saturday mornings, you’ll find me at the farmer’s market, relishing in produce at its peak and carrying out my family’s weekend ritual.


3. THE PARK

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Photo by Angie Webb

At the end of the work day, you’ll find me in the park, escaping the concrete jungle and observing life outside the city.


4. THE KITCHEN

Photo by Sonali Prabhu

Photo by Sonali Prabhu

In the evening, you’ll find me in the kitchen, indulging in seasonal fare and forsaking my bikini-season diet.


5. THE SALON

Photos by Sonali Prabhu

Photos by Sonali Prabhu

At the height of heat and humidity, you’ll find me at the salon, abandoning my dedication to long locks and embracing a fresh summer cut.


It may be nearing the end of July, but it’s never too late to recapture that youthful freedom summer has to offer. This season is one of the best times to rest and reboot before the crunch of fourth quarter and the holiday season, even if only for a staycation. The patio, the farmer’s market, the park, the kitchen, and the salon are all places right in the comfort of your own neighborhood that can allow you to escape the everyday hustle and bustle and bask in the warmth and wonder of summer.

3 Hairstyles for Summer

My mom grew up with short hair and knew little to nothing about styling long hair. So, for my tenth birthday I asked for a lesson on braiding. At the time I still went to my original hairstylist Tracy, who had given me my very first haircut. She was more than happy to grant my birthday wish.

Mastering basic braids – French braid, Dutch braid, fishtail braid – served me well at numerous slumber parties and school dances throughout my youth. I enjoyed the big, chunky braids of my friends with full, thick hair. I was even more fascinated with the braids of my friends whose moms had let them get blonde highlights. But my hair is fine, brown, and somewhat boring. I never loved braids on me.

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My hair doesn’t look like this anymore! Watch the video below to see my hair transformation + learn 3 hairstyles for summer!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago… I partnered with Salon Dm3 in Athens, GA and my friend and stylist of six years, Catie McWhirter, to undergo a summer hair transformation. I lost some length and bulk and got some fun, warm-weather highlights. Lastly, I learned three of the easiest hairstyles for summer – no braiding required!

During Collage

Wish you could achieve those effortless beach waves?

Beach Waves Collage

Simply want a style to get your hair off your face on those hot summer days?

Half Up Collage

Need an amazing up-do to rock at summer weddings, parties, events, and festivals?

Updo Collage

Looking for an alternative to the ever-popular braid trend?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, then you need to watch my latest YouTube video!

Photography and Videography by Sonali Prabhu of So Narly

Vintage Gold Bangle

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My grandparents moved into the house on East 33rd Street in February of 1968. My mom was about to turn six, and her younger sister was only a month away from being born. My mom always says she remembers it vividly: my grandmother eight months pregnant, sitting under the shade of the awning on the front porch, directing the movers.

Forty-three years later, my grandmother decided it was time to leave this home and its original avocado-green fridge. I spent every Christmas in that house, even my first Christmas at one-month old. So for the Christmas of 2010, my family and I went there one final time.

My mom and I slowly made our way through the house, identifying the things we wanted. One night we were going through the mid-century modern highboy in the guest bedroom, her room growing up. In the bottom drawer, we came upon a treasure trove of costume jewelry my aunts had somehow missed. Among the baubles was a gold bangle.


In the summer of 2011, I was at my parent’s house, packing to move from Georgia for the first time, across the country to Madison, WI. In the background, I was re-watching Mad Men. I looked up from the pile of clothes I was folding and placing in boxes, dropped what I was doing, and darted toward the T.V.  I paused the episode and immediately called my grandmother. Joan was wearing the gold bangle.

As silly as it sounds, I’ve come to treasure the bangle even more ever since I discovered Joan wearing it. I always knew the bangle was genuinely vintage, but for some reason, knowing costume designer Janie Bryant deemed it worthy for Mad Men makes it all the more authentic.


Note: I attempted to remember and locate the original episode in which Joan wears the gold bangle, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so before publishing this post. Now I have a good excuse to re-watch the entire series and report back! However, Joan wears the bangle again in the final season, episode 12.

Joan Bangle Mad Men Season 7 Episode 12 Circled