Earlier this month I visited Los Angeles for the second time and spent an afternoon exploring Little Tokyo. In between various boba and sushi spots were quite a few Asian beauty stores that stocked their shelves with tons of different products.

As a beauty junkie this was super exciting for me, so I went a little crazy while I was there–I’d never seen so many lip stains or sheet masks in one place in my life!

First, I stopped in TONYMOLY to find the Get It Tint Water Bar, a moisturizing lip stain, in a fun blood orange color–I’d been eyeing it ever since fellow Glossier Rep Amy Serrano raved about it in a YouTube video.

This stain has some serious staying power; plus, its instant cooling effect makes it the perfect option for summertime. With a little of Glossier‘s Balm Dotcom, it stays looking fresh–not flakey!–throughout the day or night.

[source: YesStyle]

I also picked up a Natural Green Hand Cream with avocado. All my life I’ve had such a hard time finding a hand cream that does its job without making my skin feel sticky or dirty, and this one definitely does the trick! Avocado is known for its anti-aging properties, so I’m hoping over time this cream keeps my hands looking and feeling baby-soft.

[source: TONYMOLY]

At a store called Make Asobi, I bought my first bottle of the cult favorite micellar water from Bioderma. I opted for the one designed for combination and oily skin, called Sébium, as my skin tends to be on the oily side.

The first time I used this product, I instantly felt a difference! I’ve been using Pacifica’s micellar water since I discovered it in November, and although I love it, nothing can compare to Bioderma’s.

Both brands offer an instant, rinse-free and mess-free cleanse that is gentle on skin. But, Bioderma’s micellar water works its magic much deeper into the pores in my opinion, leaving my face feeling much freer of impurities while using less product.

[source: Escentual]

(Side note: While in LA, I also used one of my friend’s Sensibio H2O wipes to remove my makeup one night before bed, and it left my skin feeling cleaner and softer than ever before. Unlike Simple’s micellar wipes, Bioderma’s are saturated with product. I will definitely be ordering them online soon; I’ll need to re-up on the micellar water, anyway.)

It’s no secret that traveling wreaks havoc on the skin, so I stocked up on some sheet masks while I was there, too–this store had so many different options! I chose five from a brand called Pure Smile (including one with snail essence!), and they definitely delivered.

Soaked with collagen and hyaluronic acid, these masks restore moisture and elasticity stripped from the skin during travel, after a day in the sun or the morning after a night out. And for about $2 a pop, they’re something every gal should keep on-hand at all times. (Plus, the colorful Art Masks are just so fun; it’s like wearing a Snapchat filter IRL.)

[source: 0035mm.com]


In 2015 I was fortunate enough to visit Los Angeles for the first time with Katie, one of my closest friends in the world! Flash forward two years, and Katie is now living there; I couldn’t be happier for her or more proud of her. And, of course, I couldn’t have been more eager to visit her as soon as she made the cross-country move out there. What can I say? I’ve been in love with the place ever since we landed at LAX the first time.

A couple weeks ago I booked myself a redeye flight and told Katie I’d see her on the 2nd! She’s a total city girl, and I’ve been a beach girl since day one–thankfully, LA has the best of both worlds (plus, the mountains, which neither of us can get enough of), so we didn’t miss out on anything.


I spent a couple warm, sunny days enjoying the Santa Monica/Venice Beach area–two neighborhoods in which we spent a ton of time our last trip. At the risk of sounding like a total tourist, I just cannot get enough of Venice’s world-famous boardwalk–there is always something new to see there. And the beachside views really can’t be beat.

Because we’ve only had a handful of good beach days so far on the East Coast, I was able to take a couple of this season’s swimsuits for a test run–including a pair of high-cut bottoms for my first time ever. I enjoyed fresh fruit on the beach, and later picked up a multicolor knit halter top in Venice–which worked perfectly for a night out with my black vinyl pants.

Silver Lake, Melrose Trading Post + Little Tokyo

These are three LA must-dos I missed out on last time I visited. Thankfully, I had time for all three during my second trip.

Katie took me out to her favorite (and super authentic!) Thai restaurant in Silver Lake called Night + Market Song. I ordered Kuay Tiew Khua Gai, a rice noodle dish with octopus served over romaine lettuce, and we shared a side of coconut sticky rice.

That morning I woke up bright on early so I could get to Melrose Trading Post when it opened. As I mentioned on Instagram, Melrose Trading Post is a vintage-lover’s dream; it was full of topnotch handmade and secondhand goodies.

I luckily found the perfect pair of light-wash Levi’s at one of the first vendors. As a size 25, it is really difficult to find a pair of booty-hugging vintage jeans–most are catered to women size 27 and up. Because these jeans are secondhand, they’re already broken-in and super comfortable! I seriously don’t want to take them off.

At Melrose Trading Post I was also able to enjoy local food trucks. For lunch I decided on an ahi poke bowl full of fresh, local ingredients. It was so flavorful that I’m still thinking about it…

Later on I made my way to Little Tokyo in the Downtown Arts District. I tried frozen boba for the first time, and stocked up on some Asian beauty products at Tony Moly and Make Asobi (haul + review coming soon). The Japanese Village Plaza was super cute and a fun place to visit! It made me forget I was in the middle of LA; I didn’t want to leave.


Kaite lives in Hollywood, so I spent the week with her in the Hills. It is a young, lively area where bars are busy every night of the week! My favorite spot by far was Good Times at Davey Wayne’s–a 1970s-themed bar with a major house party vibe. 

Instead of the beach, I decided to spend an afternoon at W Hollywood’s rooftop pool–and I am so glad I did! It was clean and quiet, but still a ton of fun. Plus, the view from the word-famous rooftop is incredible, even with a little construction happening in the area.

Earlier that day I met up with Katie for lunch at a small place on Melrose Avenue called Antequera de Oaxaca, where we had quiet possibly the best tacos and guacamole ever.

On my last full day in town, it was pretty chilly by LA standards, but we still managed to make our way to Griffith Park for a hike–and were definitely able to break a sweat! Hiking in LA is the best, and it is always a great way to end a West Coast trip.


I booked a spur-of-the-moment flight to visit one of my closest friends in Los Angeles this week, and I am so excited to be back on the West Coast! For this trip I decided to pack light–meaning no checked bags, only a carry-on.

Thankfully, I have a ton of Glossier‘s TSA-approved pink pouches on hand; they’re resealable and waterproof, so they’re perfect for holding toiletries and makeup in a carry-on bag. One of these convenient quart-sized beauties comes free with every Glossier purchase.

To show readers just how much can fit in Glossier’s signature pouches, I decided to spill the contents of mine for a week-long trip one of my favorite cities.

Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF 35: The sun in LA is strong–even when you’re not on the beach–so sunscreen is a must all day, every day. Glossier’s Invisible Shield has SPF 35. It doesn’t clog pores, and it also protects the skin from pollution and free radicals (which are abundant all over LA). The best part? As the names states, it sinks into skin without a trace; it’s non-greasy, and it doesn’t disturb makeup. A must-have. $34, Glossier

Bali Body tanning oil: I love the beach, and you really can’t beat LA’s–views of the mountains are amazing, and shoreside spots like Venice and Santa Monica offer great local vendors and cuisine within walking distance (hard to come by in an Uber-obsessed city like this one). So, you can bet I will be spending a ton of time in the sand and surf this trip.

No matter which coast I’m on, I just cannot hit the beach without some of Bali Body’s all-natural tanning oil. Unlike other tanning oils I’ve tried, Bali Body’s never feels goopy or sticky. Instead, it leaves skin soft and glowing from head to toe. For the deepest tan, my fav is the watermelon scent, which also helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. $23.95, Bali Body

Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer: A trustworthy pore refining primer is key during the sultry summer months to keep makeup looking fresh. By blurring pores and fine lines, smoothing texture and minimizing shine, this primer creates the perfect base for makeup.

Much like Glossier’s Invisible Shield, Dr. Brandt’s Pore Refiner Primer is undetectable on the skin. And like any good primer, it creates a hidden barrier that prevents makeup from clogging pores. Prices vary, Sephora

Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser: A quick and easy cleanser is the best friend any girl-on-the-go could have. Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser is in stick form, making it super convenient for throwing in a carry-on bag. Just rub it onto damp skin for the detoxifying and purifying power of antioxidant-rich matcha green tea.

This skin savior also gently exfoliates and soothes, while added algae extract boosts skin’s natural defenses and provides instant hydration, according to MILK. $26, Sephora

Micellar Water: There’s nothing better for removing dirt and makeup (even stubborn mascara!) from the skin than micellar water. Not only is it powerful and effective, micellar water doesn’t require any rinsing. And it gets the job done without any alcohol or oil, so skin never feels stripped or greasy. For me (and anyone with sensitive skin), Simple’s micellar water is necessary both on the road and at home. $1.99, Target

Makeup Essentials: Leave it to Glossier to have nearly all the products I need for a cross-country trip! This time around, I decided to pack Boy Brow in Brown, Stretch Concealer in Medium, Haloscope in Moonstone, Cloud Paint in Haze and Balm Dotcom.

I also picked up my favorite high-end mascara in a travel size, which is considerably less expensive than the full-size version. Benefit’s Roller Lash works like a push-up bra for lashes; it gives them an instant curl, a West Coast-worthy lift and dramatic length! Plus, the tiny bristles are perfect for targeting lower lashes.

Last but certainly not least, no night-out look is complete without a fun lipstick–especially on vacation! I packed MAC’s Candy Yum-Yum, a universally flattering neon pink, as well as an orange tinted balm from Missha for that just-ate-a-popsicle pout. For good measure I also brought along Glossier’s Lip Gloss 😉


Bella Hadid looks absolutely gorgeous on the cover of the newest Porter! I instantly fell in love with her bright pink blush; on an otherwise bare face, this statement-making flush gives her that fresh-from-vacation glow we are all after this time of year.

While I am all for natural beauty looks, this weekend I felt super inspired to recreate a more glam version of this one in particular. With a little more oomph, I transformed this casual beach-y look into something more suitable for a night out. And, I am so happy with how it came out!

The warm brown, red, copper and golden tones give off sultry, summer vibes. But, the hues I used are super earthy, so the look is neutral–not overwhelming.

Products I used:

  • First Aid Beauty Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer, $30
  • Bali Body BB Cream in Natural, $29.95
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer in Medium, $18
  • Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk, $18 (or 2 for $30 with the code “2BLUSH”)
  • Benefit GALifornia Blush, $29
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original), $20
  • Buxom eyeshadow in Gimme Gorgeous, $12
  • MAC Cosmetics eyeshadow in Saddle, $16
  • Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Wattles, $5
  • Glossier Boy Brow in Brown, $16
  • Glossier Haloscope in Topaz, $22
  • L’Oréal Paris Miss Manga mascara, prices vary
  • Glossier Lip Gloss, $14

Shop Glossier through my link–you’ll receive 20 percent off your first purchase + free shipping every time you spend $30!

Step 1: Prime the face with FAB’s Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer and allow it to dry before moving onto step 2.

Step 2: Apply an even coat of BB Cream all over the face.

Step 3: Use Stretch Concealer to cover an redness, blemishes and under-eye circles.

Step 4: Create a little definition by applying Cloud Paint in Dusk to the hollows of the cheeks. For a more dramatic look build up the pigment with a second coat.

Step 5: Apply GALifornia blush to the cheekbones, sweeping the brush upwards.

Step 6: Prime eyelids with Primer Potion, and allow to dry before moving onto step 7.

Step 7: With a standard eyeshadow brush, apply two thin layers of Gimme Gorgeous (or any similar shade) onto the entire eyelid. From the outer corner of the eye, work this pigment downwards, onto the lower lash line.

Step 8: Use a blending brush to darken the crease of the eye with Saddle (or any similar shade) for a smoky effect. Then, dust the pigment leftover on the brush onto the lower lash line.

Step 9: Using the same blending brush, dust Wattles (or any similar shade) onto the inner eyelid. Then, blend outwards, into the crease.

Step 10: After combing and curling lashes, apply 2 coats of Miss Manga to the upper lashes and 1 coat to the lower lashes.

Step 11: With Haloscope, highlight the brow bones, orbital eye bones and the cupid’s bow.

Step 12: Apply Boy Brow to each eyebrow beginning in the center and working towards the inner and outer sprouts.

Step 13: Finish with 1-2 coats of Lip Gloss.


As I make the leap from college grad student to young professional, I am making a few key changes to my wardrobe in terms of curation and styling. I am striving for a career in the creative realm, so thankfully, my personal style is still allowed to shine through and I won’t have to make any major changes to the way I dress.

That being said, on a day-to-day basis, I tend to go for laid-back styles and neutral hues. I definitely gravitate towards denim, knitwear, practical shoes and the color white when it comes to putting together an everyday ensemble. In terms of trends, I never go over-the-top; if I’m loving a bold look, I always do my best to make it more “me” (for lack of a better term) and less mainstream.

In a nutshell, I’d rather appear effortless and relaxed than as if I am trying too hard. But, that doesn’t mean looking put-together is a difficult task. In fact, I find that trying too hard to appear polished often comes across as overdone and messy; there is definitely a fine line and we should all be wary of it!

So, that brings me to wardrobe essentials I wear all year long! Earlier this year, I discussed the benefits of creating a capsule wardrobe; it makes life so much simpler and easier. To encourage every Haute Mess reader to build a capsule wardrobe of her own, I decided to share the foundation of mine.

For my current capsule wardrobe I chose 13 pieces must-have pieces I can always count on to take me from morning to night on any given day. Because these pieces are my absolute essentials, I stuck to neutral colors when selecting them. Like I said earlier, I am a huge fan of white, but I also love beiges and browns, all types of gray, faded denim and, of course, black.

Layering is my favorite way to spice up an outfit; mixing different textures has the power to bring tired, old clothes to life again. All 13 of my staples can be worn in a number of different combinations for any given occasion without appearing outdated. When putting together a capsule wardrobe, you realize how far so few pieces can truly go.

A boyfriend cardigan: Like I said, layering is important.

Low Tide Cardi, $128, Free People

A pullover sweater: See above.

Bonfire Sweater, $108, Free People

A moto jacket: See above. (Plus, this piece brings structure to an otherwise frumpy outfit!)

As-You-Wish Jacket, $168, Blank NYC

A sleek blazer: One that fits a little longer and looser appears more fashionable and less corporate.

Aleida Blazer, $230, ALLSAINTS

A relaxed dress: You can never go wrong with maxi dress–especially a solid color one, or one with a muted, never-goes-out-of-style pattern.

Get Twisted Maxi Dress, $150, REVOLVE

A killer one-piece: Overalls and utility-inspired suits are both perfect pieces for those days when you have no idea what to wear.

Sierra Nevada Utility Suit, $200, One Teaspoon

A crisp button-down: A classic button-down blouse looks great with anything from boyfriend jeans and denim cutoffs to tailored trousers.

Stripe Off-The-Shoulder Top, $95, Free People

A silk camisole: Another must-have layering piece!

Up All Night Silk Cami, $68, Free People

Flattering mid- or high-rise jeans: Search long and hard for a comfortable pair that makes you feel confident, and, as with all pieces in your capsule wardrobe, don’t be afraid to invest in quality.

High-Waist Jean, $90, American Apparel

Cigarette trousers: Wear them to work during the week, or on the weekends with a band tee.

High Waisted Cigarette Trousers, $48, Topshop

Quality athletic pants: Thanks to Yeezy, performance leggings are now appropriate outside the gym. Capitalize on the comfort and wear yours with a crop top or a pullover sweater for a casual daytime look.

Nike Pro Women’s Training Tights, $48, Nike

Comfy and supportive sneakers: See above.

Nike Free RN 2017, $100, Nike

Sensible (yet stylish) booties: I have a brown snake print pair that look amazing with literally everything. Enough said.

Hunt The Plains Boot, $198, Free People