Late last year I discovered Los Angeles-based brand Joyrich. A fun streetwear label with plenty of unisex pieces (and a prime location on Melrose Avenue), Joyrich has caught the attention of model Luna Sobrino, YouTuber stars Ethan and Grayson Dolan and robot/influencer @lilmiquela.

What drew me to Joyrich first and foremost was the label’s ongoing collection with Playboy. I’m always quick to admit I love the art and the creative work that goes into the “gentlemen’s” magazine. (Over the past several years, it’s blown American Vogue out of the park. Plus, the articles are usually entertaining and sometimes full of useful information.)

While I love German designer Philipp Plein’s collaboration with Playboy as well, it is very pricey. That’s why I was so thrilled to find an affordable Playboy collection via Joyrich! On my last trip to LA in December, I popped in the Joyrich boutique while perusing Melrose and snagged a hot pink Playboy sweater on sale. There were a lot of great options, but I knew I’d get the most use out of this piece–I am always in some sort of crewneck knit this time of year. The hot pink color is a nice change of pace from my go-to neutrals (as well as a prime juxtaposition against cold, gray New York City, my home base).

During the somewhat mild January weather we had recently (45°f feels pretty warm when it was less than 5°f only a couple days prior), I paired the sweater with another LA-based favorite.

Are You Am I, the namesake label by blogger-turned-designer Rumi Neely, doesn’t have a single bad piece. Sure, certain designs may not be the most flattering on me, but everything I do own from AYAI is beautiful! For this look I decided to contrast the heavy, knit sweater with a smooth silk skirt in a natural champagne color called Fawn.

To polish off the entire outfit I chose my Fila Distuptor II sneakers in white. They tie in nicely to the sweater’s white details.

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I am forever inspired by celeb makeup artist Hung Vanngo! In my opinion his work is the perfect mix of classic glam and modern effortlessness. The way he pairs dramatic eye or lip looks with glowy, natural-looking skin just can’t be beat!

His work can be seen on the likes of Gisele Bündchen, Bella Hadid and Barbara Palvin. But some of my most favorite Hung Vanngo looks are those he’s done for model and actress Emily Ratajkowski.

Last April Hung Vanngo created the perfect cool-toned, 90s-inspired glam for EmRata at the premiere of her movie I Feel Pretty. This type of look is timeless (and beautiful for almost any occasion), so I decided to recreate it this weekend. The gray-brown color palette is a gorgeous option for the cold, winter months; I’m not too inspired to play with brighter shades this time of year, but it is still a nice change of pace from my usual warm red-browns.

Products I used:

  • Glamglow Glowstarter in Nude Glow
  • Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi
  • Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Medium
  • Tarte Shape Tape concealer in Light Neutral
  • Fenty Beauty Matte Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha
  • BECCA Be A Light Face Palette in Light/Medium
  • Benefit Rockateur Powder Blush
  • Benefit Watt’s Up! Cream-To-Powder Highlighter
  • ColourPop Cosmetics pressed powder eyeshadows in Take The Lead (crease, lower lash line), Cloud Nine (outer crease, lower lash line), Treat Yourself/Save It For Later (eyelids)
  • Glossier Boy Brow in Brown
  • Benefit BADgal BANG! mascara
  • Lilly Lashes in Dallas (vegan)
  • MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+ Shimmer in Goldlite
  • MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Stone
  • Dose Of Colors Velvet Lipstick in My Main
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I got the genius idea of sharing my “bottom shelf” (aka my not-so-glam products) from Into The Gloss a few weeks back. They may not be as photogenic as some of my other must-haves, but I still can’t do my thing without them.

Castor oil: Much thicker (and a lot less silky) than coconut oil, castor oil is nonetheless essential for healthy skin and hair. While it took some trial and error to get used to this product, I am wowed by the results! I put it on my lashes and brows before bed 3 to 4 nights per week, and on my roots/scalp about once a month. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is in my lashes–they have never looked fuller or healthier!

Freedom Natural Deodorant: My life is super busy and I am a relatively active person in general. I’m on my feet *a lot* during the week (including a 2.5-mile walk to and from work every day). So, a hardworking deodorant is a must.

Last year I discovered Freedom and I haven’t looked back! After trying other natural deodorants (including Schmidt’s), I was less-than-impressed. I saw Freedom on social media and decided to give it a try even though it is a little pricey.

Freedom works just as well as mainstream deodorants–without any of the harmful ingredients, such as aluminum. My personal fav is the peach scent, but Freedom also has lavender, mint, amber and unscented, which are great, too. I love keeping a travel-size Freedom in my purse, as well as one in my toiletries bag for traveling.

To combat the high prices, I stock-up whenever Freedom’s website has a sale.

Tarte Maracuja Oil: I’ve barely mentioned this product here on the blog or on social media, which is weird considering how much I love it.

Although at first I was a bit hesitant to use an oil on my face, Maracuja Oil’s benefits really drew me in, so I tried it anyway–and I am *so* happy I did!

It is intended to protect the skin from environmental aggressors and add an extra dose of moisture while increasing skin’s elasticity. But the first time I applied it, I couldn’t help but notice how clean my skin felt! And when I woke up the next morning, that clean feeling was still there–and perhaps even stronger than the night before.

After one use my skin also felt more firm and overall much healthier. I use it on my neck and chest, too.

Thayer’s Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner (unscented): Decidedly less glamorous than any of my other top-self mainstays, Witch Hazel is nonetheless a staple in my medicine cabinet. I prefer Thayer’s because it is affordable and full of trustworthy ingredients.

This multitasking formula gently removes any makeup or dirt cleanser leaves behind, while balancing and moisturizing the skin. One standard-size bottle lasts me what feels like forever.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Wipes: My absolute favorite makeup wipes! This Parisian drugstore staple is just as good as Koh Gen Do’s Cleansing Spa Water at nearly half the cost.

Each wipe is saturated with enough Bioderma micellar solution to remove makeup, as well as dirt and grime, which builds-up throughout the day. I don’t trust many micellar solutions (or cleansers in general) on the market, and Bioderma’s line definitely passes the test.

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Happy New Year! Pantone dubbed Living Coral 2019’s color, and I have been into pastels lately (especially lavender), so I combined the two for this fresh look.

I paired a chenille sweater with the amazing Givenchy flares I scored while thrifting in California. Wasteland’s three SoCal locations are always full of gems, but these pants are hands-down my best find. While I’m not sure what season they are from, Farfetch had them listed for over $2,000 at the time I purchased them from Wasteland (in Studio City) for under $200. What a steal!

The mix of thick and cozy textures keeps me warm during the cold Northeast winter, while the color palette screams spring. And this combination of cold-weather fabrics and mild-weather hues makes for the perfect winter-to-spring transition. Overall, the entire look has a really fresh feel that I love wearing this time of year.

When temperatures remain low for weeks on end, getting in a style rut is all too easy. So, I try my best to stay polished. Pulling on a pair of tailored trousers like these is one of the quickest tricks I use to instantly boost my style. Because I don’t love looking super structured, I almost always balance tailored bottoms with slouchy tops. During the spring and summertime I love wearing vintage t-shirts with menswear-inspired pants, but when weather is cold I definitely gravitate toward knit sweaters.

Flared pants like these really help elongate my petite frame. To accentuate the illusion, I chose to wear my go-to black booties that have a chunky block heel. But in the near future, I will undoubtedly be dressing my Givenchy flares down with Doc Martens or even Fila Disruptor II’s.

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What a year! The last few months of 2018 were rough, but I made it through and things are looking up. I ended a year with a much-needed trip to Los Angeles/Joshua Tree; now I’m back in New York City focusing on my day job, as well as freelance work and (of course) blogging!

Over the past 12 months I’ve been lucky enough to try a bunch of really great beauty products (and only a few not-so-great ones)–many of which quickly became staples in my lineup! It was hard, but I narrowed it down to my absolute favorites of the year and I am ready to share my newfound loves with my Haute Mess family.

I did my best to keep this list full of products that made their debut in 2018, but there are a few older skincare and makeup favs I just discovered this year. What products did you fall in love with in 2018?

Face

  • Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask
  • Summer Friday’s Overtime Mask
  • Glossier Solution
  • Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
  • Dr. Jart Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30
  • ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter in Fire
  • Glossier Cloud Paint in Dawn

Eyes

  • ColourPop The Zodiac palette
  • Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette
  • Glossier Lidstar in Cub and Lily
  • Glossier Lash Slick

Lips

  • Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
  • Glossier Generation G (reformulated) in Like and Jam
  • ColourPop Matte Lux Lipstick in Third Eye
  • MAC Cosmetics Powder Kiss Lipstick (can’t choose a fav shade–they’re all great!)
  • Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Unbotton
  • Pat McGrath Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Contour

Body & fragrance

  • Fur Oil
  • Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous Eau De Parfum
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