As a skincare junkie, L.A.’s Little Tokyo is one of my favorite spots to go on a *wild* shopping spree! In the heart of DTLA lies Little Tokyo’s Japanese Village, a super authentic shopping and dining space closed to traffic.

I absolutely love Little Tokyo. Not only is it fun and unique, it has quite a few Asian beauty stores stocked with products I’ve never seen anywhere else. So, every time I’m in L.A., I make a point to stop there, enjoy some sushi or boba and browse all the beauty it has to offer.

When packing for L.A., I always make sure to leave a little extra room in my bags for *just a few* beauty products from my two fav Little Tokyo stores, TONYMOLY and Make Asobi. Asian skincare is seriously the best; it’s affordable and effective. And I can’t get enough of it.

Although TONYMOLY’s range is available online, there is something about shopping it IRL that is so much more exciting. Last time I was in L.A., I picked up one of TONYMOLY’s Get It Tint Water Bars in a gorgeous bright orange shade. I love it so much that this time, I picked up the original Get It Tint lip tint in Oops Orange, which has a stronger color payoff than the Water Bar.

An orange lip looks so youthful and fun day or night, and I found that Asia beauty brands do this hue the best of all.

At Make Asobi I stocked up on a ton of sheet masks (seriously, I have enough to last me months on end). I grabbed a few of my go-to’s from Pure Smile’s Essence line, including Snail and Gold, as well as a pearl and a collagen essence from Naisture.

Nakamura’s Foot Detox Pads are another one of my must-buys in Little Tokyo. When applied to the bottom of the foot and worn overnight, these guys remove waste from the body, drawing out toxins and restoring balance. The coolest part is that there’s a few different variations, so I chose four to try this time around.

I also wanted to try a few new products, so I picked up two sheet masks from Sanrio Narikiri, as well as a multipack of Quality 1st’s All In One sheet mask.

From another brand whose label I cannot read, I also picked up a multipack of deep cleansing sheet masks. I am really excited for these because most sheet masks tend to focus on brightening, hydrating and anti-aging, and while I love all those things, I’m definitely eager to see how a cleansing sheet mask works.

Lastly, I was so happy to see that Make Asobi had Bioderma’s Sensibo H20 Wipes in store. I love micellar water, and this cult-favorite beauty brand’s wipes are always (*eye roll*) sold out online.

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Joshua Tree National Park has been on my bucket list for years! So, I finally booked a last minute flight and Airbnb a few weeks ago to celebrate the bulk of my thesis research being done (after conducting a few interviews while on the road).

Between work and friends, I am in L.A. multiple times a year; it’s quickly becoming my second home. Still, the city has so much to offer, and there is always something new to check out while I’m there.

This time I explored Chinatown, Little Tokyo, The Broad, Koreatown, DTLA, Hollywood and, of course, the Laurel Canyon/Studio City area where I stayed.

Chinatown and Little Tokyo have great shopping; I’d 100 percent rather shop at off-beat, local stores than the big-name stores in town. That being said, I did check out Reformation’s first-of-its-kind vintage shop, which was ah-mazing.

Although Ref is a popular label (especially among the L.A. crowd), its vintage shop, which is exclusive to L.A.’s famed Melrose Avenue, offers specially curated pieces from tons of different brands. And because it’s Ref-curated, everything was gorgeous!

Koreatown, on the other hand, is one of my top places in L.A. for food–I am such a sucker for all the authentic Korean (and Thai!) restaurants in the area. Dim Sung Sa is about as authentic as it gets (not only the food, but the atmosphere, too)!

The Broad museum, which is near Little Tokyo, is hands-down the coolest modern art museum I’ve ever visited. In addition to big names like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, The Broad has quite a few other spectacular pop art and cartoon-y pieces lining its walls. And all of it truly reflects L.A.’s unique vibes.

I also stopped by DTLA for the first time ever to visit Are You Am I’s showroom, or LOFT, as its called. The space is absolutely gorgeous, and I am so happy I was able to see the label’s designs IRL #apartmentgoals.

After that I took a short walk to a cafe called Verve for some L.A.-style juice while I caught up on emails and other work- and school-related business.

Then, I headed down the street to The Last Bookstore, a huge bookstore famous for its second-floor Labyrinth. Home to more than 100,000 books organized by color for a rainbow-like effect, or by genre on shelves arranged to create a maze-like feeing, the Labyrinth is complete with hidden book rooms and plenty of spaces to sit down and read (as well as a larger-than-life, photo-worthy tunnel of books).

A night out (or two!) in Hollywood is a necessity when visiting L.A. because there are so many cool spots within walking distance. After takeout from Sugarfish (an L.A. staple), we started at State Social House and ended up at The Argyle–quite possibly my new favorite spot in town.

On another night we hit up a new spot called Girl At The White Horse, which had great vibes and the *cutest* hot pink decor, after eating dinner at Dave’s Hot Chicken, the best comfort food in L.A.

I also enjoyed a night out in Studio City at a chill bar called Laurel Tavern, the perfect place to grab a couple drinks after a long day.

We spent Saturday and Sunday night in Joshua Tree before leaving mid-morning on Monday. Like I said, that place has been on my bucket list for years, and I am *so* happy to be able to cross it off. Although I managed to get some beautiful pictures, they don’t really do Joshua Tree justice; it is an insanely beautiful place in person with the coolest vibes to match.

During the daytime we hiked to 49 Palms Canyon Oasis, which is a stunning trail from start to finish. Then, we toured downtown in the afternoon and evening. The main road 29 Palms Highway (CA 62) is full of neat art, shops and restaurants.

We checked out a gift shop, as well as the Joshua Tree Saloon–where we had a killer Mexican meal, complete with jalapeño margs–before heading to the Sun Alley Shops and the World Famous Crochet Museum. I picked up a couple stickers to add to my collection, and some local prickly pear cactus jelly and Joshua Tree seeds to bring home to my parents.

Monday morning we brunched at Crossroads Cafe, where I had the best burger and fries of. my. life. Not exaggerating. This little place has a ton of options, and everything on the menu looked delish; it’s definitely a must-do brunch spot if you are in the Joshua Tree area.

I was so sad to leave JT but I know for a fact I’ll be returning some day; our Airbnb was clean, spacious and, best of all, private–I’d return again in a heartbeat. It had a killer outdoor shower, and it was perched on top its own hill, making it the ideal spot to checkout the views day or night.

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For me, fall fashion in New York City is all about looking professional and polished. Thankfully, it has been a relatively mild fall season, so I have really been able to rock my favorite pieces, both old and new.

On this particular Monday I chose a pair of flare pants from Reformation, which has quickly become one of my go-to places to shop–everything fits so amazing and you really cannot beat the quality. (I also think I have a mild addiction to statement pants.)

I have been having so much fun styling these bad boys throughout the summer and now into fall. And while I love pairing them with more casual pieces like vintage band tees and lacy lingerie, I decided to dress them up for work.

Wearing heels makes me feel really empowered, so I started styling this outfit from the bottom up with my must-have black booties. Then, I added a solid pullover sweater so the striped pants could remain the focus of the look.

Camel is definitely my favorite color to wear during the colder months. (Actually, who am I kidding? It’s my favorite color to wear year-round.)

I didn’t want it to be too casual, which is why I layered the pink corduroy blazer. This piece of outerwear brings a little more structure to the look, and it also helped keep me warm, of course.

Today, I added it to this look for a little dimension; mixing different colors and textures is the best way to transform a dull outfit into something stylish. And sporting this scarf, a crucial layering piece, does just that. It will definitely be a major part of my wardrobe for the rest of this season and well into the next.

I polished off the look with clean, minimal jewelry and a sheer brown lip by Glossier (one of my go-to daytime lipsticks).

All in all, I am so happy with how this look turned out. These pants really could not be more flattering; the high-rise fit and extreme flare work together to elongate the legs. The sweater and scarf combo keep me warm while finishing touches like shoes, jewelry and makeup keep things fashionable.

Shop my look:

Blazer, thrifted

Sweater, thrifted

Pants, Reformation, $178

Boots, Free People, Boots, Free People, no longer available (similar here)

Bag, Pop & Suki, $195

Lipstick, Generation G in Leo, Glossier, $18

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My cousin (who’s more like my brother!) got married this past weekend. He and Chelsea met in 2013 and were engaged two years ago (in Australia–how cool?!). I’m not even exaggerating when I say that they are the perfect match.

Their wedding was held at Triumph Brewing in Princeton, New Jersey. Triumph is a super cool local brewery with an amazing atmosphere, as well as seasonal beer and food (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually like beer). It’s a super unique–and adorable!–spot for a fall wedding.

While the couple is off to Tulum and I’ll be living vicariously through their honeymoon photos, I decided to put together a little GRWM for Haute Mess followers.

For the occasion I wore a black velvet maxi dress, nude pumps and statement-making hot pink eyeshadow. I am so happy with the way my entire look came out–especially because I was a little nervous to work with such a bright eyeshadow for the first time 😉

Keep scrolling for the deets on my fall wedding hair, makeup and wardrobe.

Car lighting is the best. #UberEverywhere

Products I used:

Step 1: Prep the skin by applying Mattifying Gel Moisturizer evenly to the t-zone, working towards the outer perimeter of the face. Apply Balm Dotcom to the lips.

Step 2: Using the same technique used to apply Mattifying Gel Moisturizer, apply a light layer of BB Cream. If necessary, apply an additional layer where more coverage is needed.

Step 3: Conceal the under eyes, blemishes and redness with Shape Tape. Blend with the fingers.

Step 4: Set the entire face with Wowder, focusing on the t-zone and under-eye areas. Finish with a generous amount of setting spray and allow to dry.

Step 5: Carve out the cheekbones with Mocha by applying it directly to the skin. Begin application from the upper corner of the ear, working downwards diagonally. Tap with the fingers to blend.

Step 6: Continue to apply Mocha to the temples and under the center of the lip for a subtle plumping effect. Again, tap with fingers to blend.

Step 7: Using a gentle tapping motion, apply Cloud Paint to the apples of the cheeks to brighten up the look.

Step 8: In a “C” shape along the orbital eye bone to the cheekbone, apply Hot Sand with a setting brush. Tap along the edges with the fingers to blend. Add a little more Hot Sand to the cupid’s bow.

Step 9: Add setting spray to the newly highlighted areas and allow to dry.

Step 10: Apply a little Primer Potion to the eye area. Using a fluffy blending brush, set the primer with a neutral eyeshadow.

Step 11: With a crease brush, apply Wild Thoughts to the crease. Blend the color upward and outward.

Step 12: Take Slave2Pink on a flat shader brush and apply it to the eyelid. Then, blend upward and inward with the fluffy blending brush.

Step 13: Smudge Wild Thoughts on the outer corner of the lower lash line using a pencil brush.

Step 14: Use the same pencil brush to blend Salve2Pink along the lower lash line; blend towards the inner corner of the eye.

Step 15: To highlight the brow bone, as well as the inner corner of the eye, apply Valley Girl with the pinky finger. Blend if necessary.

Step 16: Beginning in the center of each brow and working towards the inner and outer corners, apply Boy Brow in an upward motion. Add a second coat for a more dramatic look.

Step 17: Finish with more setting spray.

Step 18: After combing and curling the lashes, apply two coats of mascara to both the top and bottom lashes.

Step 19: Apply 1-2 coats of Tres Leches to the lips. Be sure to angle to doe-foot applicator so that you can line your lips neatly with the product.

I finished the look with a pair of (faux) turquoise earrings and loose, straightened hair. The dress is super strap-y, so it gave the appearance of a series of black chokers #So90s.

With the gorgeous bride!

My cousin Allyson–aka my idol since ’93!

Allyson’s daughter Calla and Sadie were my dance partners all night long 😉

More cousins!

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I’ve got my fair share of vices; I can’t resist shoestring licorice or a glass of red wine. But, my biggest vice of all is definitely the sun. It’s *basically* my therapy.

Being a stone’s throw from Manhattan and experiencing all four seasons are two major perks of where I live, but during the cooler months I really miss bikini weather–and the tan that comes along with it!

So, self-tanner is a necessity for me. I have no shame in admitting I love having a glowing, bronze complexion from head to toe all year long. Plus, self-tanner is *waaay* better for you than tanning beds are (plus, I take pride in saying I’ve never, ever stepped foot in one).

That being said, I’ve gotten pretty good at creating a flawless, long-lasting faux tan over the years. To show Haute Mess readers that artificial tans don’t have to be orange and unsightly, I decided to share my go-to self-tanner routine so that all of us can glow into winter and beyond.

Step 1–Cleanse: You should never, even apply self-tanner to dirty skin–that’s just asking for a breakout. Even if you don’t think your skin is *that* dirty, it is definitely in your best interest to remove any excess oil and grime before you bronze. In the case of self-tanner, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Milky Jelly Cleanser, Glossier & Daily Cleansing Oil, Glossier

Step 2–Exfoliate: It’s no secret that self-tanner applies much more smoothly and evenly on freshly exfoliated skin. But, it can be too easy to skip this step because a full-body exfoliation is so time consuming.

Trust me, though–you’ll feel much more confident in your newly bronzed skin when you exfoliate beforehand; it is one of the best ways to avoid streaks and patchiness. I

love Cup ‘o Coffee from Lush because it’s safe for face *and* body (and it smells ahh-mazing). Cup ‘o Coffee, Lush Cosmetics

Step 3–Moisturize: Self-tanner’s pigmentation has a tendency to break up when exposed to oil-based moisturizer, so I make sure to moisturize my skin a few hours before going in with a self-tanner. Priming Moisturizer, Glossier & Daily Perfection Lotion, Glossier

Step 4–Tan: Like I just mentioned, it is super important to wait a little while in between moisturizing and the actually apply the self-tanner. So that your tan lasts as long as possible and looks flawless, you don’t want it mixing with any oils in your moisturizer.

Having a trustworthy mitt is also crucial; St. Tropez’s has never steered me wrong (and it’s only $6!). Applying bronze-hued foam to your skin may seem like a daunting task, so it is definitely important to take things slow.

Start with a quarter-sized dollop of St. Tropez’s Dark Bronzing Mousse. I love this formula because, not only is it ultra-lightweight, it has a greenish tinge to it, so it never appears orange on the skin. Instead, it leaves you with an olive glow (like one you’d get on vacation in Saint-Tropez).

Begin applying from the bottom up; from your ankles to your bum, making sure to cover yourself front to back (it helps to use a hand mirror in tandem with your wall mirror).

Once all the mousse is applied, run the mitt over the application site several times before going back for more product. This ensures that the tan is spread as evenly and streak-free as possible. Work your way up the upper body using the same technique until you reach the neck.

As it states on the packaging, it’s best to gently glide the mitt, with any remaining product on it, over the tops of the feet and hands for a seamless tan. Self-tanner, no matter how good the quality is, has a tendency to look blotchy on the hands and feet if not applied correctly (or if too much is applied).

Using your fingers, apply St. Tropez’s Bronzing Face Lotion; work from the center of the face in an upward and outward motion. Then, drag some product down the jawline and onto the neck.

Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse, St. TropezSelf Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion, St. TropezTan Applicator Mitt, St. Tropez

I don’t like to touch my tan–or expose it to water!–for at least 6 hours. This means no crossing my legs, no lying face down or on the side of my face and, of course, no sweating or showering.

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