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Posts tagged ‘photography’

On Finding That Perfect Lip Balm

November 19, 2013

Lips

It’s that time of year again! That time when our lips crack, burn, peel, and bleed no matter how many humidifiers we use and how much water we consume. I first realized it was Chapped Lip Season when I ducked into Duane Reade to quench the thirst of my lower, now cracking, lip just the other day. I cruised over to the health aisle (why it’s there and not in the beauty aisle is still a curious choice to me), admittedly excited to pick out a new chapstick since I lose mine on a far too frequent basis. But once I got there, the choices, which I had imagined to be endless, were plucked over like the candy section before Halloween. Given my lips’ current state of dehydration, I was in no place to dawdle, so I grabbed a mini tub of medicated Carmex and made my way to check out. One application later and my lips were tingling with the same sensation one gets when jumping from a cold pool into a hot tub, aka uncomfortable at first and then gratifying. Though my lips were temporarily quenched, the satisfaction I was looking for was not there — this was not my lip balm.

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Whenever I’m out with friends — girls and/or guys — someone inevitably asks, “Does anyone have any lip balm?” Guys usually fish into their pockets and pull out a standard stick of Chapstick™, whereas girls dive into their bags and resurface with a lip balm of which the brands are endless. One friend seems to always carry Khiel’s, while another swears by Nivea’s Milk & Honey stick. I have sampled both and can understand why they’ve become such staples in each of their handbags — they’re refreshing! But still, these are not my lip balms.

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When it comes to a lip balm, I’m looking for something that’s going to coat and smother my lips. I want it to be thick and nourishing, last for hours, and not make my mouth look as though I’ve covered it in the glaze off a glazed donut. So far, my quest for the perfect lip balm has been satisfied twice. The first balm to make my lips feel as smooth as Silly Puddy was Aquaphor. This versatile ointment (god I hate that word) has been a longtime companion, keeping my lips hydrated through the harshest of winters and deadliest of sunburns. But carrying around a tube of the stuff never feels that glamorous. I know, it’s chapstick, who cares? But for some reason, I do. Unless in dire need of lip balm, no one gets excited when you bust out a tube of Aquaphor. It’s like the person who brings mixers to the party; it’s great it’s there, but it ain’t the booze! This brings me to the second, more glamorous lip balm (there is such a thing) which I am slightly embarrassed to admit I spent close to $30 on. Dior’s Crème de Rose Lip Balm feels like you’re applying rose-flavored butter to your lips. It’s thick, luscious, lasts for hours, and has everyone’s hands grabbing for it when you pull it from your bag, but it’s $27. Is it worth the dinero? Yes, absolutely, it’s probably more effective than Aquaphor. But, if you’re anything like me when it comes to chapstick, you risk the possibility of losing it. I have already done this…twice…and let me just say, it’s not easy to justify spending another $30 knowing full well that I’ll likely lose the tub of crème all over again. So, for now, I’m stuck with Aquaphor — a similarly satisfying, less exciting, but far more economical option.

However, even after finding these two “perfect” lip balms, I still test out every type that comes my way, convinced that there will be one, almighty chapstick that dominates the rest. So now I ask you, what lip balm do you use?

What New Black?

November 4, 2013

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Last week I bought a coat. It was on sale at Zara, which should have made it a no brainer, but I doddled on the “add to cart” button because I couldn’t decide between navy blue or black. Though I’ve been wanting a navy blue coat for awhile, I hovered over the black option, knowing fully well that it would get a lot more use. But my conscience kept telling me that black was a cop out. And isn’t it though? When I’m in my most uninspired of moods, I habitually reach for an all black ensemble because it’s consistently flattering, sophisticated, and easy to put together. So actually, shouldn’t that make it one of the most necessary “colors” in our wardrobes? We all need a go to that makes us look put together even when our minds are not.

This is where I come in in defense of black and tell you, and my conscience (who needs her anyway?), that black is anything but a cop out. As much as I love color and exploding patterns, there are few outfits that make me feel as sleek and powerful as one made up of black from head-to-toe. And if my defense isn’t convincing you, then allow me to present my offense of all black looks that I’ve scouted and collected from the world wide web-o-sphere. Be prepared to be tackled while you scroll…

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As people continue to search for “the new black,” I’m going to go ahead and say that there is no such thing. Black will always win. Orange can have its moment. We all know how oxblood dominated last year. But when it comes down to it, black will never go out of style. And thus, it should come as no surprise when I tell you that I opted against my crazy conscience and selected the black coat over the blue, and I don’t consider it to be a cop out.

The Ultimate Last Minute Halloween Costume

October 31, 2013

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It’s Halloween and you’re still without a costume. We’ve heard it all before — heck, some of us have even been you! But fret not my procrastinating sweets! I have the easiest, most budget-friendly last minute costume for you and guess what, it doesn’t involve animal ears or horns!  All you need is a plain white t-shirt, a sharpie, and a bag of lemons because you are now officially going as Life. And what does Life do? It gives you lemons.

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Your costume may not be the most elaborate. It may not be the most thematic. It may not win you best costume of the evening. But these are prices we pay for procrastination. What it will give you, and those around you, is a plentiful supply of lemons which, let’s face it, is a pretty clutch accessory (see what I did there?) when you need a little accoutrement in your drinky drink.

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And on top of all that, you get to distribute a gift from life, leaving your recipients with the ultimate question: what will you do when life gives you lemons?

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// photos by Emily Malan

Coordinating Pink

October 30, 2013

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I was back at home in San Francisco a few weeks ago doing what I always do when I find myself sitting indian style in my childhood domain: reminiscing. I skimmed through old, embarrassingly honest diaries (shout out to my 4th grade crush, Jonah!), dug through boxes of saved memories (see: my first bra), and flipped through yearbooks of my awkward youth. While looking through class photos, I noticed how considered and coordinated each of my classmate’s outfits were. Plaid bows matched plaid smocked dresses, ruffled socks matched ruffled blouses, dimpled chins matched runny noses, and then there was me, the girl standing front row clashing in floral leggings and a striped t-shirt, an overly excited grin spread across her face. Of course I thought I looked awesome, and given the return of 90s fashion in today’s trend-o-sphere, I suppose you could say that I looked awesome by today’s standards, too; but in the eyes of parents, mine included, I’m confident that I looked more like a colorblind and confused kid who ate boogers for breakfast. However, where once I rejected even the thought of coordinating my days of the week underwear with their coinciding day, I now find myself drawn to matching pieces together as if they came in a set.

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Another fashion element that I once rejected but now embrace is the color pink. Until recently, the girly stigma-ridden hue was only faintly represented in my wardrobe. Sure I had the occasional pink sweater or pink pants for days when I felt particularly…”girly”…but those days were about as common as a dog walking on its hind legs. This infrequency was largely due to the fact that I just couldn’t figure out how to wear the color. A pink blazer paired with my go-to black pants felt a little too, “Prima Donna Punk.” A pink shirt styled with a pencil skirt looked too “Mildred Goes to High Tea.” And pink pants worn with just about anything screamed, “Hello, Valentine’s Day!” So, though I found myself accumulating pink pieces against my better judgment, I was more or less unable to wear said pieces because I was never satisfied with how I styled them. That’s where the coordinating came in.

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It was a typical morning for me as I reached yet again for a pink blazer hoping that today might be the day that I break through my style block (similar to writers block). Seemingly endless frustrations of testing out clashing looks and overly simplified outfits amped up with the pink blazer resulted in piles of clothes strewn about my floor as beads of sweat consolidated on my forehead and upper lip. But just as I was about to give up, I noticed a pop of pink poking out from the back of my closet — a pair of pants trimmed with a hue undeniably identical to the blazer I was currently battling! I instantly knew that pairing the unexpectedly matching pieces together would not only yield a look that implied I purchased them together, but would also finally give me the opportunity to wear pink. You see, the pink on it’s own was too loud, too in yo’ face, but with the hint of the same hue poking out around my waistline (or hipline? I really can’t tell these days, too much cheese), the bright fuchsia color adopted a more subtle tone.

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Oh, and the fact that the bows of the shoes matched didn’t hurt the coordinated pink situation either.

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Maje blazer | Splendid shirt | Mikkat Market pants | Sophia Webster heels | Zara clutch

 

// photos by Emily Malan

 

Black and White Impact

October 22, 2013

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Apparently black and white is having a moment, to which I ask, was it ever not? Honestly though, when you’re in a fashion bind or want a put together outfit that requires little to no thought, isn’t black and white always the way to go?

I’m currently having one of those moments with my closet where I stand in front of it naked on almost a daily basis and complain to myself, “I have nothing to wear.” Of course I have plenty to wear but the problem, which I’m sure you’re all familiar with, is that I don’t want to wear any of it. Pieces that were once a go-to feel obsolete and new additions get worn so frequently that they’re either always in the laundry pile or unwearable because they should be added to the laundry pile. This is where the black and white comes in.

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As drawn as I am to color, I can say with confidence that black and white pieces take up the majority of my closet. I’m practically a broken record in telling you that black pants are my second skin, white t-shirts and button downs may as well be my BFF (until they get those pit stains because I’ve worn them too much), and now that fall is finally here, black blazers and jackets are in as frequent a rotation as socks. Since I seem to have an affinity for such colorless pieces, I’ve consequently turned to color-stripped outfits in my sartorially frustrated state that, much to my delight, exude the same amount of impact and depth as say, a bright and colorful outfit resembling a Murakami painting. If you’re not convinced, then need I remind you of the general awesomeness of Beetlejuice’s suit? No one ever called him boring for wearing black and white. Therefore, if you’re ready to pull your hair out because you too find yourself with “nothing to wear,” take a cue from me, Beetlejuice, and fine, even Robin Thicke, and go for a look that’s totally hueless.

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Asos coat | Helmut Lang shirt | Paige Denim leather leggings | Gianvito Rossi heels (still on sale!)

 

// photos by Emily Malan