What I Learned From A NYC Studio Space

Every woman goes through it – gazing at magazine covers, wondering what new exercise plan, diet, or magic cosmetic she can find to look like the women they see. We are bombarded with perfection at every corner and crevice, with a constant message that tells us what beauty is and how we have not yet achieved it.

Living in NYC, I feel this pressure more than ever. Everyone is talking about the new thing that you need to get ahead, or this new scene that you must try even though it’s already gone and the best thing ever.

A lot of this pressure is admittedly self-inflicted, so I decided this week to go see how the other half lives (or more like the beautiful 1%), and dropped in on a few photo shoots at Modern Vice Studios. This is a fairly new studio space at this point that is used for photo shoots as well as rented out to other photographers and fashion companies.

The space was invigorating, a truly eclectic mix of artistic people dressing, designing, arranging, and photographing for the entire day. A number of different brands shuffled through, bringing an entirely fresh perspective to the white backdrop every few hours. This was a long way from home, and to be a bug on the wall watching the controlled chaos was a really fascinating experience.

Within each scene was of course, great beauty. But when I saw the depth of commitment to each shot, to how many people it took to get every detail right, I knew that I couldn’t be jealous of the women I saw in magazines. Yes, they were stunning, perfectly dressed, and are perhaps the next step in fashion. But I don’t have a team to prep me before work every morning, and I wouldn’t want one. For now I’ll be content for watching from afar, with an interested but not jealous eye.

Check out the studio if you’re ever in the garment district, they accept drop-ins! https://foursquare.com/v/modern-vice-studios/5113d33cd86cbc2eabccb9fe

get rid of chapped lips

How To Get Rid of Chapped Lips

Your lips keep getting dry and it’s driving you crazy – you are not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer the same problem and they want to learn how to get rid of chapped lips.

Lips tend to dry out and leave us feeling uncomfortable. There are many reasons why it happens. The two top culprits are sun and wind. The sun simply takes moisture from the lips faster than other parts of your skin because the skin that covers them is so thin. The wind, like in the winter months, will cause your lips to dry out because it whips away the moisture. Other reasons for dry lips include some medication and allergies that force you to breath through your mouth. Even not drinking enough water will cause your lips to dry up and crack.

There are things that you can do to ensure that your lips are always moist and luscious. The first thing you should know is that licking your lips when they are dry will only make the problem worse. Saliva dries very fast and this leaves your lips even dryer than they were before.

You should also give your lips a treat every once in a while. Cleanse them with a mild cleanser and then exfoliate them either using a soft toothbrush or with a soft exfoliator. You can make your own at home – just look up recipes for lip exfoliators online. The idea is to get rid of all the dead skin so that your lips look fresh. Once you have exfoliated you can then seal them with a thin layer of Vaseline and then follow that with your usual lip balm or lip stick.

If you notice that your lips are chapping more than usual you may want to give your lipstick a break for a while. While we all love to wear some color on the lips we have to admit that lipstick contains chemicals that may cause cracks on your lips to worsen. Take a few days off, pamper your lips back to health and then consider buying a different brand of lipstick.

There are some ingredients that are known to work wonders on the lips. First among them is shea butter. This is a special kind of butter that comes from West Africa. Buy the natural kind – you will know because it smells a little awful but when you apply it on the skin the smell immediately disappears. You should also try coconut oil, aloe vera based products and those that contain jojoba oil.

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My Favorite Dry Skin Care Tips

Scrolling through my Pinterest feed, I stumbled upon an interesting article by one of my favorite skin care companies, Yon-Ka Paris. It listed some of the tops ways to treat dry skin. While the list touched on some great ones, I wanted to create my own.

As some of you might know, I suffer from some pretty horrendous dry skin. Since winter is coming up, I need to take care of my skin twice as much or I can get dry patches.

Below are my absolute favorite dry skin care tips….

Avocado Mask

All of my friends are obsessed with avocado masks and for good reason – they work. Not only are they an amazing way to keep your skin nice and moist, the avocado nutrients nourish your skin to keep it flexible. It’s funny, I actually feel better after I have an avocado mask. Is it a placebo effect? Maybe… Maybe not though.

Buy Better Soap

I used to buy store brand soap when I would go grocery shopping. It was cheap and available. That was until I looked at all of the cheap chemicals they use that was drying out my skin – yuck! Today I like to use a much softer, gentler cleansing lotion on my face. I recommend any of the Yon-Ka cleansing products (I’ve tried almost all of them so far).

Fish Oil

My secret to moist, luscious skin is fish oil. Yes, beauty can come in a pill (sometimes). I have no clue how it works but it does. Be sure the brand you buy doesn’t smell because some of them are a little smelly (like fish… obviously).

Sometimes I like to split open a fish oil capsule and rub it on my face where I’m most prone to dry skin.

Stop Wearing Perfume

My dermatologist recommended this one for me because I was getting odd dry patches on my neck and face where I spray perfume. I thought it was odd but as soon as I stopped spraying perfume on my skin for a few weeks, they disappeared. It turns out that perfume has a lot of skin irritating chemicals and alcohol that can dry out your skin in an instant!

What tips do you have to stop dry skin?

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Finally a Cure For Hiccups?

Above is my little guy with his Auntie Maria.

My little bubby has begun to get the hiccups after eating, almost all the time now. At first I barely noticed it but now it is starting to become a problem. What is strange is that when I had my heart surgery a few years back, I would get hiccups for hours at a time. The doctors said it was a side effect of the surgery and that it would go away in due time. Of course, it did but now I am left wondering if this is genetic.

When I was younger, I would always get hiccups after eating a large meal. It was strange but, at the time, I thought it was normal for everyone to get them after eating. Usually it would happen after dinner. My mother, trying to help, made me try every single special hiccup “cure” she would hear or read of…

Some of these remedies were a bit peculiar – eating an unripe pear, laying on your back and drinking a glass of water (harder than it sounds), and even running backwards smoking a pipe (okay, I made that one up).

The only one that really helped, oddly enough, was eating a teaspoon of sugar and some apple cider vinegar. It turns out there is something in both ingredients that actually trick your mind to stop hiccuping (I think).

I stayed up late last night trying to research ways to stop hiccups in adults and babies. While most of the remedies were ones I am familiar with, I stumbled onto something quite interesting… Hiccupops. It is a lollipop that claims it gets rid of hiccups. How brilliant is that? A bit more digging and I found out that a 13 year-old girl invented them because of her own situation, trying to get rid of her hiccups.

Not only was it a great idea, but their little mascot is so cute!

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I’ve already ordered a few to try them out and will report back with my findings. If they work, I will definitely be doing a giveaway for my readers, so stay tuned!

xoxo
Julia

calm lake

Paris in Two Days

Indonesia was beyond amazing.

It was a spiritual awakening that I had previously never felt. The food, the people, the environment – I feel much more grounded. Prior to this vacation, I had begun to lose touch with myself, my family, and especially my work. I was not able to get joy from the simple things in life any more. Everything felt bland. Some close friends told me that I might be overworked and burnt out, taking a trip could help. It wasn’t more than 24 hours later that I decided to book a flight to Bali. At first I regret having to cancel a few jobs but to be honest, it was very worth it.

I was stressed and it was taking its toll on my work.

Now that I feel relaxed and rejuvenated, I am off to Paris. I have a few jobs with some wonderful people that I am very excited to be working with, also I will have my family and some friends along for the trip.

Although I am going for work, I have a confession to make… What I’m most excited for is to visit the Yon-Ka spa with my girls.

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There is something about the ingredients they use that not only make my skin glow but invigorate my entire body. I could be feeling horrible the entire day and get a Yon-Ka facial and be feel reborn. It is an incredible experience. Expensive – but worth every cent.

Until next time…

xoxo

julia

ker-hair

Review: Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrate

Let me be honest with you…

When I find an amazing hair treatment, the first thing that pops into my head is “I cannot wait to tell everyone I know about this”. That is kinda the reason I started this blog. I love sharing my little finds and tips with all my girlfriends, and of course, you!

Today I’m writing about Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrate.

The packaging claims that it reduces breakage and promotes growth. I used it for three weeks, and let me tell you… It works wonders.

When you first open the package, the container it comes in looks small but it packs a punch. It has a unique smell, not bad though, “unique” is the only word I can use to describe it.

After peering inside and pouring a bit out I noticed it had a liquid consistency, not like the oil I was expecting. I like this though, many other similar products are very oily – no bueno. Girls with fine or thinner hair, you’re going to love this product.

After applying the liquid to my head, really concentrating on working it in, I washed. Then repeated this process four times.

Once I began blow-drying my hair, I noticed that it stayed straight! A-MA-ZING.

It’s been three weeks and I love it. My hair is so soft and luxurious – cannot stop touching it!

Have you ever used Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrate? If so, leave a comment below if you liked it.

xoxo

julia

julia

Indonesia – Day 3

Can you believe I took that photo?

It’s been an amazing experience here so far. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be here doing what I love.

Indonesia (Bali) is an absolutely beautiful place. When I visited Fiji, I thought I was in heaven… No, I’ve found heaven now.

Today we traveled to the many Temples here – there are thousands. I never knew that Bali was so rich in culture. Many of the Temples date back hundred and hundred of years.

Yesterday was a frightening experience. Being terrified of elephants, I decided it would be a good idea to ride one with my family (sarcasm). Of course, I ended up almost having a panic attack mid-ride – to the point where the guide had to keep me from jumping off.

After a few deep breaths and convincing myself that the giant beast I was riding wasn’t going to eat me, I actually (slightly) started to enjoy it. Everyone else had a blast.

Tomorrow we start working!

xoxo

julia

On Location – Indonesia

It’s another beautiful day in Indonesia. We decided to make a stop at the Hot Springs…

Our tour guide was telling us of the healing powers of mineral hot springs on the way there – very interesting. Did you know that soaking in a natural spring is actually used to cure specific ailments? I didn’t but after a nice soak, I believe it.

I had been extremely stressed out ever since boarding the plane (don’t do plane rides well) and dislike taking any medications to sleep. That meant a stress-filled thirteen hour flight. After soaking in the spring for thirty minutes, all of my stress went away. I usually carry it in my shoulders, which were very tense, now they’re like jello.

Tomorrow we hike to an elephant range to ride around the forest. If you didn’t know, I am extremely afraid of elephants. But my hubby really wants to go – he’s like a little kid on Christmas Eve right now – so I decided to suck it up for him.

Off to bed now. Goodbye my sweets!

xoxo

julia