• Meet Nudesticks: Beauty with a Conscience

    While I can wax poetic about the best beauty products on the market and give you the exact locations of all Sephoras in Manhattan with skilled ease, it’s only been a year since my grand foray into the beauty world. Truth be told, my introduction was a slow one filled with an overwhelming amount of time spent watching YouTube beauty gurus, texting my beauty-obsessed friends, and experimenting with different masks, exfoliators, and BB creams. That being said, if you were to take a peek at my medicine cabinet right now, you’d find four different types of face masks, two cleansers with a third on the way from Australia, three eyelash curlers, and two lip scrubs among a sea of unlabeled bottles and containers. I have come a long way.

    But, believe it or not, despite my medicine cabinet suggesting otherwise, I put minimal to nearly no effort into my morning beauty routine. When it comes down to it, I’d much rather spend those five extra minutes sleeping than contouring. Even though I admire the girls who wake up early and dedicate hours to getting ready, I’ve never been one of them and probably never will be. So, imagine my surprise when Taylor and Ally Frankel, co-founders of Nudestix, told me they created a company with customers like me in mind.

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    At only fifteen and seventeen respectively, Taylor and Ally launched their beauty brand with help from their mom and former MAC Cosmetics engineer, Jenny Frankel. Together, they had a vision to help girls and women get ready as quickly and efficiently as possible with dual-functioning products. In fact, they wanted to help people accentuate their best features with easy-to-apply cosmetic crayons that created a “natural-but-heightened” look. With two years and a multitude of easy-to-use multi-functional products under their belt, it’s fair to say that they’ve successfully achieved their goal.

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    The recently released Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencils are, without question, true to the Nudestix form. The super creamy formula that comes in eight different shades simply glides on to your lips when applied—perfect for achieving the Instagram-trending matte lip look. After testing out the shade “Kiss,” I can confidently say that it did its job staying put even after two cups of coffee and a croissant. Best of all, my lips aren’t dry or flaky—adjectives I often find synonymous with matte lipsticks.

    Below, Taylor shares more about Nudestix’s philosophy and the brand’s latest collaboration with the Love Is Louder movement, proving that beyond being a playful beauty brand, Nudestix is also a brand with a conscience.

    What inspired Nudestix? 

    My mom noticed that on our social platforms, my sister Ally and I weren’t following any beauty brands. We were following lifestyle brands like Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, and other lifestyle retailers. They’d post head-to-toe looks and incorporate beauty in a way that wasn’t necessarily about looking perfect or flawless. It was about real life—looking like yourself but a little bit better. At the same time, we noticed that the beauty industry wasn’t connecting with the way we saw beauty. Most companies talk about the “perfect” look. There was nothing saying: “It’s okay to wear less-is-more make-up—that it’s okay to look like you.” That’s where we saw a white space for Nudestix.

    So, who is the Nudestix girl?

    Nudestix is all about effortless, fuss-free beauty. Yes, make-up artists use Nudestix, but we’re really for the girl-on-the go—the modern day woman who wants it all, and the girl who would rather sleep in than spend the extra time doing her make-up. These girls are the inspirations behind the company.

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    It seems that authenticity is often lacking in the beauty industry. Do you think changes are being made to remediate the situation and fill the gap?

     A lot of brands talk about achieving a “flawless” look. We’re at a time where more-is-more make-up is in (author’s note: think KimK’s 50-step contouring routine). Nobody is talking about the girl who doesn’t have time in the morning to spend more than 20 minutes on her makeup or the girl who just wants to smudge and draw and get out the door. For my sister and me, make-up is just a tool to help us feel more comfortable in our own skins—to still look more like ourselves. Before starting Nudestix, there was nothing that we could really relate to. Our company is about being authentic and helping people embrace their uniqueness.

    Your article for Seventeen detailing your experience with being bullied is extremely brave. Can you tell us more about that experience? 

    My sister and I have both experienced bullying. As a social brand, we tend to get negative comments on Instagram. I think everyone experiences bullying on social media. It’s almost inevitable. Our goal with Nudestix was to create an empowered movement to combat bullying. Beauty, for us, is all about embracing your imperfections. Everyone’s beautiful. Everyone’s unique. You don’t need to wear a mask to feel or look beautiful. We’re really about empowering those who might not feel so great about themselves.

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    Did your experiences with bullying inspire the collaboration with Love Is Louder? 

    Since launching, we’ve always wanted to create our own philanthropic mission within the brand itself. On a past trip to New York, we came across a pop-up shop for Love is Louder—a suicide prevention initiative co-founded by Brittany Snow. The ultimate goal of the movement is to prevent suicide by spreading awareness about mental illness, abuse, and eating disorders through a safe social community. Love is Louder is focused on building a strong social medial presence because guess who’s always online? Millennials.

    At the time, they were exclusive with another beauty company, but when they ended that contract, we approached them again. We began our collaboration in February, and now, $5 from two of our lip pencils—“Kiss” and “Love”—go towards Love is Louder.

    Photography by Chris Klemens

    This interview has been edited and condensed.

  • How To Be a Bo$$, As Told by Two Eggs’ Lisa Pastor

    It’s all about the money, money, money… Or, to be more accurate, it’s all about Lisa Pastor’s “Money Bags.” Since we spotted the designer at Full Moon Fest wearing her “Money” clutch from her accessories line Two Eggs, we’ve been head-over-heels both for Lisa herself and all things Two Eggs. Luckily for us, we had the chance to spend several hours hanging out in the designer’s Williamsburg studio as she gave us a look into her workspace last week.

    Decorated with pieces from Two Eggs’ “Girl Gang” collection (think: silk-screened denim jackets, chokers, tutu skirts, and clutches), designs for the upcoming collection, and perfectly-curated keepsakes, the studio was nothing less than inspiring. And how could it not be? As a designer who champions the successes and passions of other women and devoted an entire collection to the concept of a “Girl Gang,” your studio is bound to be the ultimate space to get real about everything and anything.

    In the span of three hours, we traversed Williamsburg’s coolest digs as we discussed everything from our own girl gangs, the perfect NYC day, Lower East Side bros, and how to start your own business.

    ON TWO EGGS & GIRL GANGS

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    I want to start with the name “Two Eggs”—what inspired it? You know when you make a cake from a box, and you have to add two eggs to the mix to make it come to life? That’s where Two Eggs comes from. It’s all about adding your own special “something” to your life. Your “Two Eggs” are what make you unique. It’s also what catapulted cake mix to success in the 1950s thanks to Betty Crocker!

    Your first collection centers on the idea of a “Girl Gang.” Can you tell us more about the pieces in the collection? When I was designing, I thought, “What would a girl gang wear?” They would need matching jackets. At first, I thought about pink lady jackets. That would’ve been really cute because I was already doing embroidery on the CUPCAKE$ skirt. It would be very hard to do pink jackets well cause all the ones I’ve seen in the past have been kinda cheesy. So I thought it would be really dope to silkscreen on some denim jackets—even cooler—so I taught myself how to silk screen. The Money Bag is called a “Money” Bag because it’s supposed to look like a stack of bills you get from the bank with the white band around it with the dollar sign. I made it more cartoon. The necklaces were kind of a happy accident. My first idea was to do a triple chain, and I did that one and I really liked it. I was going to a birthday party, and I actually didn’t have a present so I thought, “Let me see how it would look with a metal circle,” and I loved it. I feel like it’s a power stand for feminism. Your neck is pretty sexy! The tutu skirt was the first idea that I ever had. It’s embroidered with dollar signs.

    You mentioned that all the “boss ladies running the world” are your main inspiration. Can you tell us about some boss ladies in your girl gang? My girl gang is huge and spread out all over the world. I have so many random friends. I spent so much time networking. When I first moved here, I went out to networking events every night, and that’s how I met so many incredible women in the city. I would go up to the person I thought looked the most badass in the room, and I would say, “Hi! My name is Lisa. What do you do?” I would strike up conversation, and now some of those women are my best friends. It’s always the ones that are a little intimidating—they’re so easy! It’s the best. I’m really proud of the women I’ve met here. They’re my friends, and I really do feel like we support each other in everything.

    Three’s a crowd, five’s a squad. Who’s in your dream girl gang? I’m one of them so I only have to name four! Lena DunhamHannah BronfmanAGG (Annie Georgina Greenberg), and Mindy Kaling.

    ON BEAUTY, MUSIC & STYLE

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    Lisa wears Reformation, Sandro & Two Eggs in front of a Williamsburg mural

    If you were on a deserted island, what three beauty items would you bring with you? Uh, am I being too practical? Sunscreen, moisturizer & anti-aging serum. I’ve actually been VERY into taking care of my skin lately so that would be my #1 concern if stranded on an island.

    Give us a quick playlist. What are some songs that you listen to while you work? “Back Up” by Dej Loaf, “Want to Want Me” by Jason DeRulo, “Time of the Season” by The Zombies, and “Dessert” by Dawin.

    Can you describe your style in three adjectives? Who is a style icon? Since this is an impossible question to answer myself, I just texted my friend asking for help. Her boyfriend chimed in with “Chunky, funky, spunky,” which is actually pretty great, so we’re going with that—thanks, JD!. Style icon? Iris Apfel. Any woman who is committed to expressing herself through her style is my number one. I can only pray that I still am excited to get dressed every day when I’m in my 90s.

    ON NEW YORK CITY

    Lisa at the Brooklyn Bike Park

    Lisa at the Brooklyn Bike Park

    Here at TheLoDown, we champion all things NYC from the weirdest to the craziest (and New Yorkers know crazy…). What do New York City and Brooklyn mean to you? New York City and Brooklyn have been my home base for the last four years, and I still feel like I’m just getting acquainted. If I were to choose one word for each place… New York is HUSTLE… Brooklyn is SPACE… Word association at its finest.

    As someone whose lived in both the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, can you describe the vibes of each neighborhood? Does one rule the other? Every single neighborhood has its pros and its cons. I lived in the LES first, right on Orchard and Grand, which is, in my opinion, the cutest block in all of lower Manhattan. The LES is steeped in artsy history and has some of the best restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping in the city. I loved wandering around during the day, making friends with shop owners. It’s nestled in such an awesome location because in less than 5 minutes you can be transported to another country or find yourself in the heart of SoHo. The only downside to the neighborhood? Bros. And lots of them—mostly at night and mostly North of Delancey. Oh, and the rent is too damn high. Williamsburg has a similar vibe to the LES to me, which makes sense since the two neighborhoods are only separated by the Williamsburg Bridge. There are too many incredible bars, cafes, and restaurants. I still haven’t tried all of them! Williamsburg to me is home – it’s the place where I can hardly walk three blocks without running into a friend. Basically, the whole neighborhood is my own personal “Cheers.” As long as you can deal with the much-hated L train, Williamsburg is a great place to be. Oh, and the rent is still too damn high.

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    What’s your perfect city day? This is basically what my best friend and I did one day last week when she came to visit. It may seem like a lot to do in one day, but that’s what’s so freaking exceptional about this town. All of these things are within arms reach, so why not go for it? I love to start the day being productive in some way, being mentally or physically active. If I’m feeling physical, I’ll take spin class at Sync studios with Ashley. She plays the best music and is the only person who can make me actually smile while I’m bouncing up and down on a bike. For a mental jump-start, I’ll grab my sketchbook and laptop and head to Devocion. From there, I’ll meet up with friends for brunch or lunch depending on the day. I’m really into Diner lately. They make even vegetables taste incredible. After brunch, we’ll wander around the neighborhood stopping in all my favorite shops: Concrete + WaterSpace 98SandroMociunAmarcord, and Narnia. At this point, we definitely need to take a breather, so we head to Maison Premiere for cocktails and oysters in the garden. After a few bevs, we want a real meal deal, so we decide to venture to Mission Chinese in the LES. The wait is long per usual so we chill at 169 Bar next door for a while. At Mission, we order one of everything and lots of drinks. After dinner, we grab ice cream at Morgenstern’s and walk over to Attaboy for even more cocktails. Feeling a fine buzz after Attaboy, we head back to Williamsburg and hit up Output to see some music and hang with friends on the roof. After Output, we chug some water and eat some carbs before settling into bed for a good night’s sleep. That is my perfect day.

    ON BEING A LADY BO$$

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    What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business, especially when that means leaving a secure job? I feel like when most people answer this question they always say, “Don’t quit your day job!” That is damn good advice, but I didn’t do that so I can’t really co-sign. My number one tip would be to network. Start building your community now so when you are ready to launch your business, you’ve got a solid support structure in place. Seriously, talk to everyone and treat everyone with respect. You literally NEVER know who you’re talking to. Even if they can’t “do anything” for you now, they may turn out to be one of your best friends (it’s happened to me), introduce you to your boyfriend (it’s happened to me), or hire you in a few years (it’s happened to me). You can do all the prep work while you build your network. You’d be surprised how willing people are to help. Don’t be scared to ask questions and get feedback even if your idea is still just an idea.

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    What has been the most challenging part about building a business? The easiest? I’ll start with the good first. The easiest part has been coming up with ideas! As a creative person, my head is always swirling with 5,000 ideas. For instance, for the new collection coming out, I came up with about 30 different items I wanted to create in a matter of a few hours! The most challenging part has been basically everything else. I don’t mean to scare people away from starting a business, but it is hard work. It’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. To be able to see something through from concept to real-life tangible thing is incredible! Having a great product that people love is one tiny part of the greater whole. The most challenging part might just be having patience and being nice to yourself. In our fast-paced internet-crazed world, it’s easy to think that all these other people out there have had “overnight success”. That’s what the articles say so it must be true, right? But it never is. If you start digging deeper into each one of these stories, you’ll see that the founder of the company had probably been working for years and years to get to where they are now. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others and get discouraged. Be patient and keep working. Good things will happen.

    Keep up with all things Two Eggs: Website | Instagram | YouTube

    Photography by Josh Romero

  • Street x Street: Elizabeth St.

    You know the drill: we dissect the city block by block.

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    Elizabeth Street

    We’re not just talking about the East Village when we say that the Lower Eat Side is THE place to be at the moment. With such a close proximity to Williamsburg and DUMBO, the neighborhood is steeped in arts culture. It’s no surprise then that it’s home to some of the best restaurants, boutiques, and galleries in the entire city. And the street style? Well, it’s pretty damn amazing, too. After our stroll down Crosby Street last week, we’re excited to show you our go-to’s on Elizabeth Street. Count the number of places you’ve been (or plan on visiting!), and let us know in the comments below…

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    Tacombi at Fonda Nolita @ 267 Elizabeth Street

    Tacombi has several locations around the city, but its Elizabeth Street location is our favorite by far. Not only are its tacos and cocktails some of the best in the city, but its decor? If you’re an Insta fiend, you’ll want to head over ASAP. With a converted VW bus parked inside and a fully stocked bar serving up spiked horchatas, you’ll feel like you’re on a Mexican beach in no time. Plus, if you’ve followed our obsession with Bradley Theodore and are a fan yourself, you’ll have the opportunity to see the artist’s rendition of Vogue creative director Grace Coddington.

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    Babel Fair @ 260 Elizabeth Street

    There’s certainly no shortage of boutiques carrying contemporary labels in NYC. But how many can you name off the top of your head that carry international labels? Does Babel Fair come to mind? It should. With a wide range of options including Korean denim and Aussie street style brands, its dedication to showcasing world talent is unmatched.

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    A.B. Biagi Cafe, Gelato & Sorbet @ 235 Elizabeth Street

    I scream, you scream, we all scream for….gelato. Okay, that was lame. The point is that Biagi’s is well worth a shout. Combining Italian recipes with Brazlian flavors, you’ll find both typical flavors like cafe, cinnamon, and hazelnut in addition to flavors like acai, white chocolate & bergamotto, and goat cheese, orange peel & anis.

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    Le Labo @ 233 Elizabeth Street

    The Nolita/Bowery area has become somewhat of a hotspot for fragrance shops. One of the more popular destinations includes Elizabeth Street’s Le Labo. Here, you can find everything from fine fragrances, candles, and body products (lotions, shower gels, oils & bar soaps). It’s the perfect spot to treat yourself and your loved ones—the holidays are coming up if you’re catching my drift…

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    PUBLIC Restaurant @ 210 Elizabeth Street

    Besides a small flag outside of the restaurant, there isn’t much that indicates the existence of PUBLIC on Elizabeth Street. It’s not to be missed though. Heirloom tomato panzanella, quinoa pancakes, kimchi waffles, venison burgers… It’s not your typical menu, but it’s definitely a feast in all senses of the word. A major plus? It’s a favorite of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and for eight years in a row, it’s been awarded a Michelin Star.

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    Valley Nails @ 198 Elizabeth Street

    We included Valley Nails in our best nail salon round-up several months ago, and we’re very happy to reintroduce them. A go-to destination for music festival ready nails, reservations at Valley go fast. Our advice? Plan out your manicures, and secure a spot early on.

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    Erica Weiner @ 173 Elizabeth Street

    A fan of antique jewelry? Erica Weiner is your girl. You’ll find vintage-inspired pieces alongside jewelry that she and her business partner Lindsay have collected throughout their travels. Right now, we’re loving Erica’s serpent drops, synergy earrings, and two-headed snake rings.

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    Black Seed @ 170 Elizabeth Street

    Ah, the illustrious New York City bagel. Ask any New Yorker about their favorite shop in the city, and you’re sure to get a passionate explanation telling you why their favorite shop is THE bagel shop to visit. If you ask us, Black Seeds trumps them all. Hand-rolled and wood fired? Yas.

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    The Butcher’s Daughter @ 19 Kenmare Street

    This is definitely not the first time that we’ve mentioned the Butcher’s Daughter. In fact, we included it in our NYFW restaurant round-up last year. Now, with fashion week quickly coming up on September 10th, it’s the perfect time to get acquainted with the Butcher’s Daughter vegan menu. While the restaurant is technically on Kenmare Street, its market is actually on Elizabeth Street and is home to some of the most delicious natural juices and smoothies.

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    Egg Shop @ 151 Elizabeth Street

    Another NYFW favorite, the Egg Shop has been serving up delicious egg sandwiches and other egg-cellent (I had to use this…) creations for over two years. Be a part of this LES must-visit. It’s the one thing you’ll do this week that you definitely won’t regret.

    And that’s Elizabeth Street… what street should we focus on next? Let us know below…

    Featured image: Rag & Bone at the intersection of Houston St and Elizabeth Street—the shop’s Elizabeth Street wall is an ever-changing mural. It was home to a mural by Hisham Akira Bharoocha at the time we photographed Elizabeth Street. When we went back several days later, BuffMonster had taken over with Green Villain. That’s New York City for you: ever-changing and ever-surprising.

    Photography by Chris Klemens

  • Street Style: Elizabeth St.

    As a New Yorker, you learn a thing or two about living here. First: this city is the definition of rough and tough. Second: the only way to come out alive is with a friend guiding you and helping you live it up. This is where we come in. We’ve given you an inside look at the places that are essential to treatin’ yo self in our guide The City. Now, with our new series Street x Street, we’re kicking it up a notch and dissecting the city—you guessed it—street by street. Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Upper East Side, FiDi, East Village, SoHo… we’re hitting up all the neighbourhoods to give you a New Yorker’s view on the city we call home.

    Inevitably, and in true city fashion, we’ve run into some of the coolest New Yorkers with A+ style while shooting out in the streets. We saw flatforms, denim dresses, colorblocking, and mules when we walked down Crosby Street last week. This time around, we ran into winged backpacks, leather leggings, tie-dye, and rose-colored glasses. If you aren’t inspired already, this is what you should get out of this week’s round-up: this is a call to action. Nothing is too crazy or too loud so why not embrace it? Break out your crazy, because in this city, you have to stand out to fit in.

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    Rainbow hair, winged backpacks, spunky headphones, suede platforms, and black slip dresses. What’s not to love?

    Adding a pop of color to the NYC uniform, and literally looking at life through rose-colored glasses. Here for this.

    Adding a pop of color to the NYC uniform, and literally looking at life through rose-colored glasses. Here for this.

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    Taking festival style to the streets. This is the epitome of west coast vibes meeting East Coast cool.

    When you're dancing with leather leggings, we have nothing but respect. Keep on keeping on.

    When you’re dancing with leather leggings, we have nothing but respect. Keep on keeping on, Jodie Fox.

    Are you loving it? Share your thoughts with us below, and look out for the full Elizabeth St guide later this week. We’ll be sharing our go-to’s including an oh-so-cool restaurant with the best tacos and spiked horchata. Know what it is? Tune in on Friday… ✌️

    Photography by Chris Klemens

  • 40+ Street Style Shots From Full Moon Fest

    Another year, another festival season has come and gone, but not without a lavish party in Bushwick’s Mirage to top it off. On Saturday, we traded in our flower crowns (this ain’t Coachella, kids) for outfits worthy of Full Moon Fest’s fifth anniversary. This was our first time at the house-heavy music festival, and we were expecting nothing but the best street style from Brooklyn and Manhattan’s cool kids. And they did not disappoint.

    With our photographer in tow, we scouted the most eclectic and covetable outfits as we danced the day and night away on the sandy dance floor. We saw gold plated face masks, clear backpacks, and custom purses thrown in with Prada, Chanel, and Céline for good measure. It was a mix of the high and the low that made the festival a memorable night, one that ended overlooking the Manhattan skyline at sunrise while Yelle, Wolf + Lamb, RÜFÜS DU SOL, and MOTHXR set the soundtrack for the night. 

    See what everyone wore in the gallery above, and prepare for some major style inspiration for next year’s festival rounds. You’ll be glad we had our photographer (who ran in every possible direction capturing the perfect moments) documenting the night. Take this from one of our writers who candidly said, “I need to step my s*&t up,” as we wandered through the tropical oasis that was the Mirage this weekend.

    Photography: Chase Gaewski // Assistant: Summer Lin

  • Summer Essentials

    We’re deep in the throes of summer. Here’s what that means in NYC: temperatures have risen higher than should be allowed (95 degrees at night? no, thanks), we’re still struggling with the humidity (the subways feel like saunas), and yup, the mobs of people walking at glacial speed are larger than ever (positive: I haven’t lost it yet).

    Maybe I’m being too dramatic, but over these difficult times, I’ve turned to a select number of products to keep me sane and happy. Some are completely practical (kind of), but others just make me feel like I could survive an afternoon in the most humid places.

    And just a note, this is excluding all of the iced mochas I’ve had and the number of times I’ve ignored my kitchen because it’s too h-o-t… I could write you a book on those adventures alone.

    Without further ado, if you’re struggling to survive another summer in the city, consider these five lifesavers:

    Native Union: CLIC Marble iPhone Case

    Okay, so here’s the deal: I only recently bought an iPhone. It’s a travesty, I know. I was one of “those Android people” as my friend used to say until late May. Naturally, I’m obsessed with it and treat it like my child. I like to dress it up in the latest garbs (phone cases), and the latest one to grab my attention comes from Native Union. Made entirely of marble (you didn’t think this trend was exclusive to kitchen countertops, did you?), it’s the coolest case and makes me feel sophisticated af. It’s my latest summer accessory, and you can bet I’m showing it off.

     

     

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    NATU Volumizing Solution For Fine Hair

    I wasn’t kidding when I said the humidity is unbearable. It was so humid this weekend that I felt as though I was walking through water, but that would have been 100 times better than the NYC weather. This humidity condition (calling it a condition because it feels like something that we need to cure) was made worse by my hair. It’s extremely fine and likes to misbehave. Cue NATU. I was recently introduced to this brand of all-natural hair products, and I am in love. Not only did it tame my big, frizzy hair, it did so without weighing down my hair. Can you say #blessed?

    Glossier Summer Fridays

    Everyone and their mother surely knows about the Glossier showroom by now. But just in case you don’t… let me rock your world. The beauty brand we’ve all come to know and love is opening its doors every Friday through September 11th from 11am to 6pm. Shoppers can head over to the Glossier penthouse at 123 Lafayette Street (between Howard and Canal) to try products like the Coconut Balm Dotcom and the Moisturizing Moon Face Mask. While you’re there, make sure to check out the escape room created by artist Grace Villamil especially for Glossier. It’s like chilling inside of a diamond, and I can’t think of a better space to spend my time in this heat.

     

     

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    Reformation’s “Out of Office” Hat

    Nothing tells people “don’t bother me” better than a hat that literally says “out of office.” While I’d like to be wearing this on an island when I am actually out of office (St. Barths on anyone’s mind?), I feel slightly better with this hat on my head. Then again, this hat might just be me hoping that it sends off a single to everyone a.k.a. “let’s not talk until the temperatures have dropped below 80 degrees.”

    Ice & Vice Ice Cream

    It takes zero convincing to get me to go out for ice cream (you hear that, boys?). In fact, I’ve had ice cream every night over the last four days, and that’s a fact I am proud to share with you. I’ve made up my own rules for survival, and Ice and Vice over on 221 East Broadway (near Clinton St) is at the top of my list. The “experimental” ice cream shop is churning out flavors like “Basic B” (Mexican vanilla & black lava sea salt) and “Movie Night” (buttered popcorn, toasted raising & dark chocolate flakes). Amazing names, even better ice cream. My favorite? The “9AM” (french roast coffee, chicory, saigon cinnamon, condensed milk & donut truffle). I may hate mornings, but if it has coffee, you can bet I’m going to love it.

     

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    How are you getting through the rest of the summer? Any tips? In this exact moment, you can find me roaming through the city wishing I lived in Antarctica. So please, let me know how you’re surviving this treacherous heat below!

  • You Have to Try Broadway Bites Before It Closes

    We’ve often heard that a bad day in NYC is better than a good day anywhere else, and we’re here to tell you… this couldn’t be more true. Even on the worst of days (think: humidity & crowded subways), we couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. With this in mind, meet our new series, The City, in which we’ll introduce you to the best of the concrete jungle. From restaurants, museums, and everything in between, these are the places you need to know whether you’re a New Yorker yourself or simply visiting. 

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    It’s no secret that we love New York City. It’s a crazy, obsessive and passionate love, but you already knew that. I mean, considering the number times we’ve said we love New York, it’s truly a wonder that we haven’t been promoted to New York City ambassadors (We’d like to join your club please, TSwift!). That being said, even though we’re crazy obsessed and passionately in-love, even we have to admit that some parts of the city are simply untouchable. Every New Yorker will tell you that the magic of Times Square wore off after the first few times. It’s beautiful from a distance, but up close? We couldn’t name the last time we went there out of our own will. Every once in a while though, amazing people come around to make you appreciate the classic spots that make New York City well… classic.

    Take Greeley Square Park, for example. Lately, we’ve been finding ourselves there more and more thanks to Urban Space’s mouth-watering local market Broadway Bites, which brings together the best food NYC has to offer in one easily-accessible location. Craving a lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound for dinner and a cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar as dessert? You can find them both at the market.

    Below, we’ve scouted the vendors that you have to try before Broadway Bites leaves Greeley Square Park for the year on July 26th. Expect: lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound, rice balls from Arancini Bros and arepas from Palenque Colombian Food among the lot.

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    Oh, and if you really can’t make it to Broadway Bites before its closing date, first of all: what are you doing with your life? And second, not to fear… Urban Space has you covered with other local pop-up markets. Hit up Penn Plates at Penn Plaza (running now through November 5th) or Madison Square Eats (running from September 4th through October 1st). And please, make sure to run not walk there.

    Find Broadway Bites at Greeley Square (33rd Street and Broadway) from 11am to 9pm daily through July 26th. We’ll see you there!

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    Brooklyn Wok Shop

    Red Hook Lobster Pound

    Red Hook Lobster Pound

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    Zha Pan Asian

    Doughnuttery

    Doughnuttery

    Momofuku Milk Bar

    Momofuku Milk Bar

    Gelato Ti Amo

    Gelato Ti Amo

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    Mexicue

    Taco Bono

    Taco Bono

    Photography by Chris Klemens

  • WHIT Resort 2016

    We’re still reeling in amazement after seeing WHIT’s Resort 2016 presentation last week. Covering both old an new territory, the classically feminine brand presented its usual fare — shift dresses, pant suits, and structured skirts — with an unexpected twist inspired by the American Museum of Natural History. Inspired by the museum’s dioramas in particular, antelope prints, leopard spots and embroidered ferns made appearances as designer Whitney Pozgay sought to celebrate North America’s indigneous flora and fauna. The brand’s traditional polka dots and stripes were still present in the collection. Only this time, they helped provide a stark contrast against the nature-inspired prints.

    Just like the collection, the presentation held at the Gramercy Hotel was a scene not to be missed. The rooftop overflowed with plants as the designer herself guided guests through the collection. As for us? We were taking in the clothes, the rooftop views, and a couple of mimosas.

    the model crew

    the model crew

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    antelope, leopard and fern prints

    [caption id="attachment_2684" align="aligncenter" width="3500"]wool knits wool knits

     

    the scene at the presentation

    the scene at the presentation

    the antelope print strikes again

    the antelope print strikes again

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    Pozgay's classic polka dots

    Pozgay’s classic polka dots

    the designer herself

    the designer herself

    inspired by nature

    amongst the flora & fauna

    Photography by Chris Klemens[/caption]

  • Fourth of July Cocktails

    On the Fourth of July, the living is easy. Barbecues run a dime a dozen, and firework displays galore call your name. But if you’re throwing a party yourself to celebrate the occasion, you know how stressful it is to put it all together… Luckily, when it comes to parties, and especially when it comes to drinks, we’ve got you covered.

    Below, we’ve gathered two of our favorite no-fuss drinks. After all, who wants to spend a party worrying about a cocktail? The only thing you should be doing with them is knocking them back.

    The Brasilia Blueberry Mojito and the Waikiki Coconut Strawberry Soda have a Bai5 base for a fruity and refreshing taste. All you need to do is add the alcohol and a bit of flavor — take your pick between mint leaves and lime in the mojito or strawberries in the strawberry soda.

    Brasilia Blueberry Mojito

    [ingredients title=”Ingredients”] [/ingredients] [directions title=”Directions”]
    1. Squeeze both limes over the mint sprigs and muddle in a cocktail shaker.
    2. Add the ice, rum and Brasillia Blueberry.
    3. Stir, and then pour into cold highball glasses.
    4. Garnish with a sprig of mint and slice of lime.
    [/directions]

    Waikiki Coconut Strawberry Soda

    [ingredients title=”Ingredients”] [/ingredients] [directions title=”Directions”]
    1. Place 2 cups of fresh sliced strawberries, and place into a large pitcher of ice.
    2. Pour Waikiki Coconut and whipped cream vodka into pitcher. Stir gently.
    3. Serve in your favorite glass, and garnish with extra strawberries.
    [/directions]

     

  • Smith and Cult’s Lip Lacquers

    When it comes to beauty products, function is and always will be the most important factor. That being said, we’re big fans of products that look both work exceptionally well and look just as good. Take Smith and Cult, for example. The cult brand, which launched under the watchful eye of 90’s beauty star Dineh Mohajer, creates products that deliver killer results but simultaneously tell stories. Just look at the nail lacquer names… Bitter Buddhist? Gay Ponies Dancing In the Snow? We want them all just on their names alone, and thankfully, the shades live up to their names.

    Now adding on to their nail lacquers, Smith and Cult has come through with “The Shining,” a collection of eight lip glosses that both reminds us and gives us the opportunity to revisit the beauty product that first caught our attention as youngins. I’m talking about you, Lip Smackers. With names like “The Queen is Dead,” “Fresh Riot,” and “The Warning,” these grown up gloss shades border on the line between sheer and shimmery, delivering totally covetable lips.

    At some point in a girl’s life, lip gloss becomes lipstick, we’re glad Smith and Cult is throwing it back to keep us young at heart.

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  • New Power Fruit

    Why We Love Pitaya

    Forget Açaí

    It’s not news that the açaí berry caused a superfood craze. Seeing colorful photographs of açaí smoothies and bowls delicately sprinkled with granola, dried fruit and nuts on our Insta feed was a daily occurrence. And while the berry is both delicious and nutritious, we’ve recently noticed a slight change in the realm of healthy living.

    Bearing from subtropical regions, the pitaya, better known as the dragon fruit, is slowly but surely edging out the acai berry as the latest power fruit. Among many of its health benefits, the fruit is rich in antioxidants and vitamins, helps digestion and boosts energy and immunity levels.

    Currently, the funny-looking, magenta fruit is only exported to the United States by one company, Pitaya Plus, but with health benefits for days, it’s a no brainer that pitaya will become a major staple in smoothies and breakfast bowls. We can even bet you’ll be seeing it all over restaurant menus and your social media feeds in no time.

    Below, we’ve partnered with Pitaya Plus to bring you a recipe that packs a fun twist on a classic summer drink — the margarita. You didn’t expect us to brave the humidity without a cocktail, did you? We’re just going to go ahead and say that since we’re incorporating this super fruit in the drink, we’ll be having two (or three)…

    Pitaya-Rita

    [ingredients title=”Ingredients”]
    • 3 oz silver tequila
    • 2 oz Pitaya Cubes OR 1/3 Smoothie Pack
    • Splash of orange juice
    • Lime wedge & crushed ice
    [/ingredients] [directions title=”Directions”]
    1. In a shaker, combine tequila, pitaya, orange juice and crushed ice.
    2. Shake well for 10-15 seconds, and pour into margarita glass.
    3. Garnish with lime wedge.
    4. Enjoy!
    [/directions]

     

    [twocol_one]

    pitaya plus

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    Shop the Post

    Purchase Pitaya Plus here to try the dragon fruit, and explore more recipes here.

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  • Bright Makeup

    Bold Ideas

    Mermaid Festival Inspo

    Coney Island is not an ordinary place. Home to dime museums, burlesque, vaudeville and circus sideshows, it’s a place where celebrations occur on the daily. And this coming Saturday, June 20th, the annual Mermaid Parade is back to prove that fun isn’t limited only to the realities of life in America’s Playground.

    Whether you’re taking part in the celebration of all things King Neptune and Queen Mermaid or not, a festival celebrating mermaids merits beauty looks worthy of these ethereal creatures. Cue intense eyeliners, bright blush, popping nail colors, and metal shadows — products that often get pushed aside on our vanities for fear of misuse.

    Below, view ten of our favorite products essential to creating bright makeup looks, and keep in mind that the only rule to using these products is that there are no rules. Use a little, use a lot. The point is to have fun!

    Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes

    Cynthia Rowley Pencil Eyeliner

     

    Butter London Nail Lacquer

    Ciaté London Mini Paint Pot Nail Polish

     

    Marc Jacobs Beauty Kiss Pop Lip Color Stick

    Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick

     

    Urban Decay Eyeshadow

    Yves Saint Laurent Full Metal Shadow

     

    Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips and Cheeks

    Christopher Kane for NARS Blush

    Featured image: Christian Dior S/S 2014 during PFW photographed by Schohaja for T magazine

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  • NYC Murals

    Now You See Them, Now You Don’t

    The City Guide: Murals

    We’ve often heard that a bad day in NYC is better than a good day anywhere else, and we’re here to tell you… this couldn’t be more true. Even on the worst of days (think: humidity & crowded subways), we couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. With this in mind, meet our new series, The City, in which we’ll introduce you to the best of the concrete jungle. From restaurants, museums, and everything in between, these are the places you need to know whether you’re a New Yorker yourself or simply visiting. 

    When you have a background like New York City at your steps, it’s especially easy to stop five (or fifty) times while walking down the street to capture everything from the buildings to the walls. Yup, the walls. Can you blame us though? In a city of millions, eight million to be exact, artists left and right have made their mark on NYC walls with murals. Some are political statements, some celebrate amazing figures, and others… well, they just look damn good on our social media feeds.

    From SoHo, Nolita, Chelsea, and every neighborhood in the city, we’ve scouted some of the murals that we LOVE to photograph (and take selfies with). Watch this space over the next several months — we’ll be updating it as we find more murals worthy of a snap. Just be warned… New York City moves quickly so you should too. Meaning? You should photograph them before they’re gone.

    Audrey Hepburn at 395 Broome

    Audrey Hepburn at 395 Broome Street

    Bleeding Hearts at 192 Mott Street at L'Asso Pizza

    Bleeding Hearts at 192 Mott Street (L’Asso Pizza)

    Murals 5

    6th Avenue and 17th Street

    Cara and Kate across the street from Bleeding Hearts at 192 Mott Street

    Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss across the street from Bleeding Hearts at 192 Mott Street

    Murals 11

    Kenmare Street between Mulberry Street and Mott Street

    VJ Day at Times Square at 25th Street and 10th Ave

    Times Square VJ Day at 25th Street and 10th Ave

    Harry's Corner Shop at 64 Macdougal Street

    Harry’s Corner Shop at 64 Macdougal Street

    All American Temper Tot at the Houston Bowery Wall (Corner of East Houston and Bowery Street)

    All American Temper Tot at the Houston Bowery Wall (Corner of East Houston and Bowery Street)

    Murals 2

    Hotel Chantelle at 92 Ludlow Street

    Murlas 7

    Albert Einstein at 15th Street and Washington St (Seen from the High Line)

    Murals 1

    Hotel Chantelle at 92 Ludlow Street

    Murals 9

    Intersection of Bleecker St and Thompson St

    Nick Wooster

    Nick Wooster mural at Hotel Chantelle at 92 Ludlow Street

    What’s your favorite mural around New York City? Leave the address below, and we’ll make sure to add it to the list!

    Photography by Chris Klemens

  • Kendall and Kylie For Topshop

    Try To Keep Up

    The Best From the Jenner's Topshop Collection

    By now, you’ve definitely heard of Kendall and Kylie’s capsule collection for Topshop. Otherwise, we’re going to assume you’re living under a rock… If you’re not keeping up (get it?) with the Jenner sisters’ latest design move, we’ve got you covered.

    Inspired by California and all ~West Coast vibes~ in general, it’s just what you’d imagine — floral prints, distressed denim and billowy tops. But somehow, and maybe it’s just because Kendall and Kylie injected a sense of effortless cool into the collection, it’s so so good. Leave it to Topshop to recognize their designing power (and massive public appeal).

    Browse five must-haves from the collection below, and while you’re at it, stop by Blo Bar’s pop-up shop at Topshop’s Fifth Ave location in New York City for a new summer ‘do. Curious? Check out the full event deets below!

    #1: When In Doubt, Vacation Sweater — Because who could argue with that logic?

    #2: Floral Print Cut-Out Jumpsuit — For those with #LegsForDays.

    #3: Ripped Denim Shorts — It’s basically a requirement that all California girls have to own a pair of ripped denim shorts, right?

    #4: Golden State of Mind Tee — California Vibes all the way.

    #5: Floral Print Shorts — Can’t commit to a romper? This is where shorts come in clutch.

    EVENT ALERT: Blo Blow Dry bar X Topshop — Topshop is parterning with Blo Blow Dry, Brooklyn-based nail salon Lady Fancy Nails and Melt Bakery to host a Summer Concession Pop-Up at their 5th Avenue shop. If you’re looking for a new summer ‘do, try out one of four hairstyles (or bring a picture of a style you’re looking for) from Blo in just 20 minutes. Dry styles are $30 so whether you’re feeling a summery braid or a bun fit for a garden party, you’ll be glam in no time. Lady Fancy Nails ($40) and ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery ($5) will also be available to create the perfect summer evening. The event runs Thursday, June 11th through Sunday, 14th. (12-7pm both days). Just book your appointment at blomedry.com, and you’re set to go.

    Featured photograph by Paula Ho

  • Perfumes for the Summer

    Smells Like Summer

    6 Fragrances for the Season

    The sun is out, temperatures have finally climbed above sixty degrees (something we thought we’d never see after that brutal winter we had), sandals have made a gradual comeback into our closets, and we’re ready to hit the beach or lay out poolside with some friends and a few cocktails. Our wardrobes, however, are not the only things that change with the seasons. Like winter itself (you will not be missed,) we’re finally ready to leave behind heavier and woody scents in favor of something more floral and crisp. Summer fragrances should be all about keeping things light and fresh, and making a long-lasting impression. We’ve come up with some of our favorite picks—ranging from floral to flirty—to keep you smelling great as the temperatures start to heat up.

    Carven 

    With notes of mandarin, jasmine blossom, sweet pea, and white sandalwood, Le Parfum by Carven evokes a simple, yet sophisticated floral scent.

    Dolce & Gabbana 

    For a muskier and fruiter scent, try Dolce & Gabbana’s L’Imperatrice with top notes of rhubarb, red current, and juicy kiwi and lingering touches of sandalwood, grapefruit, and watermelon.

    Juicy Couture

    Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.57.19 PM

    Set to drop this coming July at Macy’s, we’re anticipating the release of Juicy Couture’s latest fragrance, I Am Juicy Couture, with wide-eye excitement (think excitement along the lines of a child waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve).  I Am Juicy Couture will be nothing short of fabulous if it matches Juicy Couture’s last fragrance, Viva La Juicy. Plus, With It Girl Behati Prinsloo under their belt, we can’t imagine it’d be anything but incredible.

    Marc Jacobs

    For a fun, yet flirty twist on Marc Jacobs’ iconic fragrance, try out Daisy Eau So Fresh with a light and woody base and crisp notes of raspberry, grapefruit, wild rose, apple blossom, and cedarwood.

    See by Chloe

    For visions of a beach-side escape, See by Chloe evokes a floral and feminine vibe with luxurious touches of jasmine, ylang ylang, vanilla, and a hint of musk.

    Christian Dior

    Smell as fresh as a bouquet of roses this summer with Miss Dior’s Blooming Bouquet, with a blend of Sicilian orange essence, pink peony, damascus rose, and white musk.

    Which fragrance will you be trying out this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

    Additional reporting: Summer Lin

    Featured image: Behati Prinsloo photographed by Sølve Sundsbø for I Am Juicy Couture

  • TheLoDown