5 Things Worth Investing in This Summer

5 things worth investing in this summer

1. Healthy Sunscreen

With brands ranging from John Masters Organics (shown) to Lavanilla and beyond, there is no reasonable excuse for not making this switch. Not only will you be foregoing chemically smells, but these lotions will make your skin feel glorious, not greasy.

2. Makeup Setting Mist

We are already experiencing makeup-melting-temps and it’s only June! I am a firm believer in the one by Make Up For Ever (shown) but Urban Decay makes a decent one as well. Just apply your makeup (I advise waiting to apply mascara until after you mist), spray 3-4 pumps around your face, let dry, apply mascara and your makeup won’t budge for hours!

3. Pasties that will LAST

Go beyond the flower-shaped disposables for a pair that will last you eons longer (I’ve owned mine for over 2 years!). Let me introduce you to Nippies — the different kind of pasty. Crafted in an ultra-thin silicone to ensure no show-through, these are money well spent: simply peel off at the end of the night, gently wash with soap and water, and they’re ready for their next use!

4. Good Flat Sandals

Because those cute ones from Target will only last you one season. Trendy sandals are just that: sandals that cater to the trends of the season. To ensure that you’ll get more use out of sandals than just one season, opt for a fashionably simple pair to pair with more outfits. The more use you can get out of them, the more reasonable a higher price tag becomes. Better materials used, better craftsmanship in production, the longer you’ll have them in your closet.

5. Time Well Spent

Unplug, log off, sign out, and ENJOY LIFE this summer.

Transitioning Your Wardrobe—Undergrad to Working Gal

One year ago today. I can’t believe I graduated from college one year ago today. Since then A LOT has changed, but my biggest concern back then was how my wardrobe was going to change from going-to-class outfits to interview-ready get-ups that would land me a job. My bit of advice to this year’s graduating class:

Invest in 5 Multi-Use Basics

5 basics to invest in postgrad

 

1. Perfect-fitting white blouse
Opt for one in silk or cotton. Elie Tahari, BOSS by Hugo Boss, even Banana Republic and J.Crew have good options. Have a larger bust, and struggle with gaping? Try The Shirt — this brand was featured on Oprah and I got to meet the founder + try on a blouse or two while interning in DC. It has a patented hidden button placket that ensures no gaping (check it out here).

2. Ankle grazing black skinny pants
These transition well from work to weekend, and you can pair them with a blazer for a more tailored/fashion forward suit at the office. You can never go wrong with black ankle grazing tapered pants.

3. Black shift dress
This one is amazing for interviews and for on-the-job. Can be paired with flats or pumps, jazzed up with a cardigan (embellishment optional), or can be worn out after work with the proper accessory additions. The one I scored was high neck, sleeveless and hit just below the knee, but there are so many varieties, pick one that suits you! Above I chose one with a crew neck and short sleeves or a mock-neck one with a slightly more fitted shape.

4. 1-Button Blazer
The perfect topper for those black pants (item 2) or can be worn over a simple tee to jazz up jeans. The purpose of a 1-button is for it to cinch in at your waist (smallest part), but if you have a fuller figure or not as defined waist as an hourglass shape, I would recommend trying a two-button variety as this will graze your curves more and not compete with a fuller bust. Want more personality than just plain black? Seek out blazers with fun linings—you’ll still look professional, but it will have a bit more personality that only you will get joy out of :)

5. Classic, non-trendy tote
I can’t even tell you how much use you will get out of an understated tote. Knowing your wardrobe, choose a color that will pair easily for many outfits. I nabbed two totes before graduation: one minimalist all-white tote with no metallic hardware and one all black tote with minimal silver hardware—one for S/S and one for F/W. There is no need to drop bills on this item; both of mine were purchased at discount retailers! I scored my Spring/Summer all-white tote at TJ Maxx for under $200 and I scored my black croc Furla at Nordstrom Rack for under $300. Chic, minimalist, and timeless. Choosing a non-trendy tote will allow this investment to last through your 20s.


Though those above mentioned additions to your wardrobe will serve you well, it will be peace of mind to do a closet audit—especially if you’ll be downsizing into a shoebox-size apartment in NYC like I did. Buh-bye walk in closet! What I’ve listed below were things that I deemed as “never wearing again past undergrad” and was happy to give away/sell/donate. Everybody’s tastes are different—audit your closet and see what you can part with :)

Subtracted: boho mini dresses, excessively boho blouses, Minnetonka fringe boots (Halloween stash), anything I thought “I’ll wear this if I ever ______”, excessive amount of jeans and any pairs that were too trend oriented (colored denim, paint splattered, ultra ripped, etc.), 2/3 of my t-shirt drawer (namely graphic tees), shoes that I knew wouldn’t withstand a typical NYC night (aka walking 5+ city blocks), sheer blouses, anything that was very trend focused

Added: tops that could transition from day-to-night, more practical shoes (lower heels, flats that are cute and breezy), multi-use dresses, starting to save up for designer pieces (more European thinking)

BB Exclusive: Interview with the Creator of SIN-MIN

Remember last week’s post on SIN-MIN lipspread (read here)? After my obsession for the product simmered down, I got to talking with the founder of the yummy lipspread, and was surprised to hear about the brands’ origins. Read on for a dose of inspiration in our exclusive interview with Tyler Critelli, founder and co-creator of SIN-MIN.
SIN-MIN creators: Tyler + Jesse


When did you decide you wanted to start a lip balm company? Were there any outside influences?
Oddly enough, SIN-MIN began as a clothing idea that I went to my friend and now partner, Jesse, to collaborate on with.  The project development was taking longer than expected and we wanted to start building brand awareness and find something different to pass around to get the name out in a way that made a bigger impact than a business card.  At the exact same time we were coming up with ideas, one of my tap students brought me a lemon flavored lip balm she had made while on a field trip.  That night and for months ahead I went R&D* all things lip balm; from its ingredients, to its creation, to its packaging.  Being a MASSIVE cinnamon lover (if you couldn’t tell already by our name), I knew there could only be one flavor: horchata.  And so I began cooking and shortly thereafter we were passing them around to friends and shops to spread the word about the release of our apparel.  It couldn’t have been more than 3 weeks into passing it around low-key that we began getting calls from boutiques requesting orders.  “I’m sorry, but we’re not selling them,” I’d tell them.  “I can send you some for free! We’re just getting the name out right now for our clothing.” And they’d say, “Well, that’s great but we want to sell them in our shop,” which gave Jesse and I that light-bulb switch moment and we shifted gears completely.  Our lipspread quickly became popular and ironically fit our branding better than anything else.  We realized we had to take this seriously, and fast, so  began focusing on making the best and most unique natural and organic chapstick available.

When did SIN-MIN officially start?
All of this began about 5 months ago.

I noticed that you started using Malibu Honey back in August. Was that partnership to keep in line with your minimal impact philosophy?
Our relationship with Malibu Honey actually only began two weeks ago.  I was re-stocking one of our favorite Venice shops, The Golden State Store, and I had noticed Malibu Honey.  Their packaging was similar, it was a small and local company, and I knew it would just come down to the taste because the quality was inherent.  It blew me away and I sent the owner some samples using their honey, and we’ve been using it ever since.  We try our best to make sure that our ingredients are more than just ingredients, but represent something.  Whether its our shea butter that we get from Africa which directly supports the empowerment of local communities in their advancements in health, education, and employment, or Malibu Honey which is devoted to accumulating the purest honey from our local mountains where you can actually adopt a bee.  Our partnerships with different ingredient manufacturers aren’t for a minimal impact but quite the contrary! We choose to support those that are making an impact that represents something greater than the product they are putting out.

I love your brown printed label and lighter plastic packaging — do these make it easier for the product to biodegrade once tossed?
Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 12.47.50 PMOur recycled tubes and labels, on the other hand, are selected to ensure a minimal impact. The shape of the tube is very important to us and it’s proven daily and in weird circumstances.  Just the other night one of our guys was out partying with some friends who’ve been been really stoked on the lipspread.  He ask a girl next to him to borrow her lip balm which was in a circular tube and he immediately threw it on the ground and we watched it roll away.  He then took out SIN-MIN dropped it on the ground and shouted, “IT DOESN’T ROLL AWAY!!!!”  There are some incredible lip balms out there that cut out half of an existing market, that being guys.  We wanted something that was unisex, pocket friendly, and of course something that wouldn’t roll away.

Why horchata? Is it a favorite drink of yours?
Horchata is definitely one of my all-time favorite beverages and I’m sad to say I didn’t even try it until going to college.  My favorite horchata can be found in LA at Guisados.

Where are your balms produced?
SIN-MIN is happily manufactured in the South Bay of Los Angeles.

Do you plan to expand into other horchata product offerings? & the standard: Where do you want SIN-MIN to go in 5 years?
We will be releasing products in the future and though they will not be horchata, everything will be cinnamon-inspired.  That is what we are.  Characterizing all the different flavors of cinnamon.  The sweat and creamy.  The fire and spice.  SIN-MIN, say it like it is.  In 5 years hopefully we’ll have built a brand that supports the lifestyles that inspired it and have found greater ways to make an impact on our communities and beyond.

I’m so sorry to bombard you with all of these, and not ask about you! Tell me a bit about yourself.
Both my partner and I are originally from Manhattan Beach, CA.  We both surf as much as we possibly can.  Jesse is a highly skilled photographer, graphic designer, and mens fashion guru.  I choreograph tap and hip hop dancing and teach around LA and compose and produce music of all styles when I get time off.  But there’s not much of that.  Right now we’re both doing as much as we can with as little as possible.  Hustling hard and keeping the digital grassroots movement going.  Before SIN-MIN I was dancing full time around LA, working at a bar on the weekends and trying to write as much music as possible while taking the occasional trip abroad to get lost in the sea somewhere.

Tyler, I absolutely love your story, it’s truly inspirational! I wish nothing but the best for both you boys. You’ve got a returning customer right here—I’ll be doling these out as gifts whenever I can, keeping #SpreadWell alive on the east coast and beyond. I can’t wait to see what you boys have up your sleeves next!

SIN-MIN product banner

All photos courtesy of SIN-MIN

Mucho Margarita

Though alcohol does no one any favors, how can you resist a tequila based concoction at this time of year? With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching (ahem, 4 days and counting…) what better way to get in the spirit than with a citrus-y treat? I always tend to veer towards the tart and sour, hot and spicy…you’ve been warned ;) Enjoy 3 takes on the original classic. (NOTE: these are not my original recipes, links to credits included for each)

Classic Margarita (at 144 calories, I think I can classify this as “Skinny” too):

Ingredients

  • ∞  Ice
    ∞  1 1/2 ounces 100-percent agave blanco tequila (I used Espolón or Herradura)
    ∞  1 ounce fresh lime juice
    ∞  1/2 ounce Cointreau

Directions

  • Fill cocktail shaker with ice; add tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau. Shake ingredients together until chilled, strain into rocks glass filled with ice, and enjoy! via

Mango Margarita:

Ingredients

  • ∞  1 cup ice
    ∞  1 lime wedge
    ∞  3 ounces silver tequila
    ∞  1 small mango—peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
    ∞  1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
    ∞  1 tablespoon chile powder
    ∞  2 ounces orange liqueur
    ∞  1 1/2 ounces agave nectar
    ∞  3 ounces grapefruit soda

Directions

  • Spread the chile powder in a dish. Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with the lime wedge; dip the rim in the chile powder to coat. In a blender, puree the mango. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into the glass and serve. via

Blood Orange Margarita:

Ingredients

  • ∞  1 1/2 ounces Tequila Avión
    ∞  3/4 ounce Cointreau Orange Liqueur
    ∞  1 ounce blood orange juice
    ∞  1/2 part fresh sour mix
    ∞  1 orange twist, for garnish

Directions

  • In a cocktail shaker, add first four ingredients with ice. Shake and strain (best served over fresh ice). Garnish with orange twist. via

Shoutout to FITSUGAR, Food & Wine, and SHAPE for the awesome calorie-conscious recipes. Bottoms up!