Lifestyle Featured

Hello Sunshine’s Zoe Fairbourn Shares 5 Ways to Manifest Your Dream Career

May 5, 2020
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Creating and manifesting your ideal career takes practice, perseverance and, most importantly, dedication.

Many of us feel restless and want to take concrete steps toward our dreams, but the current health situation requires us to have much more patience than usual. Luckily, in the meantime, The XX Project’s Thriving During Crisis series has been helping us cope by providing weekly webinars that are both engaging and valuable.

This week’s speaker, Zoe Fairbourn, head of partnerships for Hello Sunshine (founded by Reese Witherspoon), spoke about what you can do to create your ideal position and future, even in uncertain times. Scroll below for her tips.

(via Unsplash)

Look For a Niche

One of the most important things you can do for your professional growth is ask where you can truly make an impact. Finding the right position for you can be tough, but start by asking yourself what strong qualities you posses and how you can make a difference with them. Once you narrow that down, it will guide you in calibrating to the right field and niche for those skills.

Ask For What You Want

This piece of advice applies if you’re currently looking for work or unhappy in your current job and seeking a greater challenge. Asking for what you want seems like such a simple task, but many people forget that it’s most often what will illuminate the path forward for you. Reaching out to your network, cold emailing or asking for advice on LinkedIn can get you much further than you ever imagined.

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Find joy in the little things today. ?

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Know What You Don’t Want

The key to discovering your dream career comes from knowing what you don’t want to manifest most of all. It may seem counterproductive, but this actually opens the door to more inspiration on what you are looking to build. What don’t you like about your current team, boss or position? Knowing your own personal dealbreakers can cause major light bulb moments on where you’re looking to put your energy, passion and efforts.

Find an Industry, Role or Company You’re Passionate About

If you’ve been laid off or are using this time to contemplate a completely new direction in your career, start by writing down your personal passions. This is a perfect jumping-off point to then research industries, roles or companies you’d love to be a part of, using your skillset to pursue a new avenue.

You Can Learn Something From Everyone on the Job

Challenging coworkers and bosses can test your patience like no other, but remember that there’s something to be learned from everyone on the job. Your most valuable position isn’t always your dream one, but the one with more difficult energy surrounding it. Learning to deal with unpleasant people and situations is an important lesson to overcome before stepping into your dream career. Keep the perspective by remembering that you’re only growing better, stronger and sharper from these experiences.

Music

3 Rising International Pop Artists to Have on Your Radar

May 14, 2022

Olivia Rodrigo just snagged the Best New Artist honor at the 2022 Grammy Awards, but if budding hip-hop artist Slicktor Victor (born Victor Robinson) has his say, there are a few international rising pop artists of 2022 who could be next!

Although Robinson is from the east coast, it wasn’t until a move to Australia in 2017 that he connected with music professionally. In addition to making music of his own, he discovered and befriended several international artists. That said, he has a strong sense of what people are vibing with away from the States.

For three international rising pop artists of 2022 to have on your radar, keep reading for Robinson’s picks—and what he tells skyelyfe about their sound.

girl wearing scarf listens to headphones in cold weather on her iphone
(via Unsplash)

Kayla Fenech: “Kayla is an Australian singer amongst other things. She’s also a good friend of mine who I first met through another friend from Aussie, and she asked me to do a feature on her record, ‘Without You.’ She has an amazing voice and is very talented. Sky’s the limit, Kay.”

Listen to: “Right Now”

Elise Eriksen: “She’s my favorite pop singer from Norway. Her sound gives me ’80s rock and pop vibes. We met in NYC and swapped contacts and I checked her out on Spotify, and her new single ‘Golden Boy”‘was immediately added to my favorites. Hold tight, she’s coming for the crown.”

Listen to: “Golden Boy”

Geko: “He’s a Manchester UK artist who I have to say inspires a lot of my new sounds today. I first heard his music while living in Australia, and have been a huge fan ever since. His music provides several different sounds including Afrobeat, Dancehall and UK Drill. You’ll never be upset putting on one of his tracks.”

Listen to: “Mind Up”

In the mood for more new music? HERE‘s a hand-picked playlist from summer 2021 of songs you probably haven’t heard!

Beauty

I Was Invited for a Facial at Flora Mirabilis, West Hollywood’s New Ultra Private Studio

May 9, 2022
detail shot of flora mirabilis facial studio in los angeles

I’m all for a good, high-end facial, but I do feel like many are a transactional experience. You walk into a dim-lit room, get your relaxing, hour-long service and walk out. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great—but there’s something special about a private experience that leads you to an array of lush greenery in a historic home, that you and its resident have all to yourself.

That’s what happened when I received an invite to Flora Mirabilis. The invite said the address would be provided upon confirmation of appointment. All I received was a description of the location (a very enticing “charming oasis in LA, built by Charlie Chaplin in 1923″), and an invite to one of founder and longtime aesthetician, Jordan LaFragola’s “magical facials”—which I learned upon research, start at a cool $300.

On the day of my April appointment, I parked on a residential West Hollywood street, where it took me a while to find this tucked-away gem. Upon further inspection, I saw a small sign attached to a gate that said “Flora Mirabilis” (the sign was later removed once I came inside). Aha, I thought! I then dialed the gate code I was given, and out walked a beautiful soft-spoken young woman, who I learned was indeed LaFragola, the co-owner of this hidden establishment she shares with her partner, Christopher Cuseo.

detail shot of flora mirabilis facial studio in los angeles

She took me through a plant-filled walkway that housed two bungalows. We entered the one on the right, and it was filled with pure lush greenery. It was a genuine escape from the hustle and bustle that lies just outside her gate.

“The property’s history is so special, with so much creative, artistic energy embedded in the walls, that it’s palpable upon entering the space,” LaFragola—who previously offered her services at The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa—tells skyelyfe. “One day, we went on a run to hike Runyon Canyon, but when we got there, it was crowded, and we decided to run through the neighborhood instead. We happened to run past the property, which we had never noticed before. It had a small ‘for rent’ sign on the front, we called the number, and two days later we moved in!”

LaFragola—who says the home’s owner was “very particular about who he rented to”—led me straight to the home’s charming, plant-filled bathroom as soon she walked me in. I was greeted with a robe and slippers, and headed to the facial bed once I got into my comfy apparel. The bed faced a window on the right side, while I faced a direct view of beautiful plants hanging from the ceiling and adorning the walls. I was instantly transported to a state of ease. Aside from the beautiful scenery, there was a sense of intimacy and obvious exclusivity; like you were the only one who would ever be privy to this experience.

detail shot of flora mirabilis facial studio in los angeles
detail shot of flora mirabilis facial studio in los angeles

“We see clients one at a time, so the service is very personal and individualized,” LaFragola explains. “I focus a ton on the healing power of physical touch, and I’m massaging and working the skin throughout the entirety of the facial. No applying products and just leaving them to sit. I get a feel for where people hold tension and stress in their faces, and pay extra attention to those areas. Working those areas not only improves the appearance of the skin, it also gives people a bit of an emotional release. When clients leave, they leave with an intense feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation.” 

She was right. I did leave feeling more relaxed after my experience. The final step was the application of her signature, 10-ingredient Flora Mirabilis Face Oil. The luxe, micro-batched, plant-based formulation is a blend of omega fatty acids and non-comedogenic oils that won’t clog pores. Her secret, handmade potion is one she won’t reveal too many specifics about, but she does share that the unique wood-resin-floral scent was purposeful in smelling “a bit ancient and haunting.”

She further explains, “Because these ingredients are so embedded in human history, there’s something familiar about them, which most people remark on. They feel like they know the scent somehow, but can’t quite place it. The scent is also a complete byproduct of the active ingredients—none of the ingredients are used for the purpose of providing scent. Each ingredient has been proven through research studies to truly benefit the skin without causing irritation or sensitivity. These ingredients have been used in skincare for thousands of years, so there’s a history of anecdotal efficacy.”

detail shot of flora mirabilis facial studio in los angeles

The famous Face Oil is what initially put the brand on the map in 2016, years before the recent expansion into a service studio with the development of additional skincare products.

“We had the formula tested by a third-party laboratory to make sure it was genuinely skin-safe and effective,” LaFragola says. “In the study, which took place over a month, not one person had a negative reaction to the oil. We can officially claim that our oil is dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic. We then took it a step further and had the oil reviewed by the Environmental Working Group, so the oil is also EWG Verified, meaning it meets their strict standards for healthy products.”

All of her products, she says, are “like having a green juice for your skin.”

As my relaxation hour comes to a close, I head to the bathroom to slip out of my cozy robe and back into reality. I step out to find two glasses of water to stay hydrated. And, as a final parting gift and perfect touch, I’m sent away with the acclaimed Flora Mirabilis face oil, in its detailed wooden box and its sleek, artistic glass bottle.

“Once people have the experience, they can’t help but tell everyone they know,” LaFragola says, as I scurry home to flaunt my fresh photos on Instagram. And apparently I’m in good company. Jimmy Fallon, Sally Hershberger and Mae Whitman are among fans of the brand.

detail shot of flora mirabilis facial studio in los angeles

For more on facial experiences, HERE‘s everything to know about an at-home Dragon’s Breath facial I tried last year.

Lifestyle

How to Sustainably Celebrate Earth Day (and Every Day) in L.A. Using All Five Senses

April 21, 2022
beautiful view of nature and trees and a swing in topanga canyon. if you're wondering how to celebrate earth day in la this photo sums it up

Earth Day is today—and over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly more connected to the special holiday. For so many of us, with limited activities at our fingertips during lockdown, we utilized Mother Nature in ways we never expected. In the past two years alone, I did a hotel-on-wheels glamping trip to the wilderness, I discovered hidden LA hiking gems, did the obligatory Angeleno visit to the poppy fields, went on several solo 24-hour nature trips (including my favorite, last year’s Earth Day trip to Ojai!) and found any and every additional way to immerse myself in nature.

Additionally, the pandemic really put a focus on clean, sustainable beauty and defining what that even means (it’s so subjective—will we ever really know?). Either way, recent times have shifted Angelenos’ views on the importance of the planet. It’s become about so much more than recycling or conserving water. We can honor the earth in so many ways, down to each of our senses. If you need guidance on how to celebrate Earth Day in LA, look no further than skyelyfe’s suggestions below! And don’t use Earth Day as your only excuse to embrace these options. They’re set up for year-’round greatness.

SEE: Wondering how to celebrate Earth Day in LA, but don’t know where to start? The simplest and most obvious way is by taking in its majestic beauty. Thankfully, L.A. has so much nature (both hidden and populated) at its fingertips. As I mentioned above, last year I had the most cleansing, peaceful visit to Ojai on Earth Day. I booked an overnight stay at Ojai Retreat & Inn, where I disconnected from electronics and took advantage of all the serene beauty that surrounded my destination. There was no TV or room service. And there were on-site Earth Day celebrations all day long. Idyllwild and Topanga Canyon are also wonderful staycation spots just outside of town that are easy to get to and provide a scenic wonderland.

If you plan to stay local-local, there’s nothing like a hidden hike. LA’s trails are mostly an overpopulated scene, but if you look hard enough (or know the right people *wink*), you’re sure to find some gems. During the pandemic I was lucky enough to stumble upon Altadena’s Rubio Canyon Trail (a short, gorgeous, unpopulated hike that starts on the side of a person’s driveway!). There’s also Elysian Park Trail in Echo Park, which you’d think would be super trendy, but it’s actually relatively unknown (in comparison to places like Runyon and Griffith Park, for example).

HEAR: We use fake sounds of crashing waves and waterfalls to help us meditate for a reason! One of nature’s greatest gifts are the most beautiful, calming sounds. I’m personally big on wind and rain, but unfortunately I can’t request them on command. I can, however, visit the ocean or a beautiful waterfall.

Remember what I wrote earlier about the hidden gems of Altadena? Well they exist in the form of waterfalls, too. Eaton Canyon Falls is one of the best tucked away (yet still relatively local) places to spot a beautiful waterfall. Get wet with a pet, or take in the beauty from a distance—the choice is yours!

SMELL: Nature offers so many incredible aromas to connect with deeply—we all have our things. There’s the smell of pavement after a blissfully rainy day; there’s a freshly mowed lawn; there’s burning wood on a cold winter’s eve; there’s a lush green forest. Whatever you fancy, there are natural aromas to capture your scent of choice.

Whether you take a little drive or you’re stuck at home, there’s no excuse not to embrace nature’s endless aromatherapy offerings. From creating a spa-like bathing experience with earthy essential oils (ie. lavender, eucalyptus, clary sage, frankincense, patchouli, bergamot), to sageing (or using palo santo) for comfort and energy-cleansing, there’s no limit to what you can do with nature’s aromatic gifts.

In fact, white sage, in particular, “is powerful and smells divine when burning,” The Art of Sacred Smoke author Neelou Malekpour told Forbes‘ Amanda Lauren. “It’s native to Southern California. For centuries, this plant ally has been used ceremonially by many Native Tribes in North America to encourage psychic detox, to raise one’s energy level, and for purification on many levels. I use it to cleanse stale energies in preparation for fresh intentions.”

Another option is to embrace a nature-inspired perfume or body spray. Brazil’s Natura, for example, just launched men and women’s KAIAK Oceano scents. Each of the alluring oceanic aromas feature pataqueira as its hero ingredient—an aromatic herbaceous species native to the Amazon forest. While the two scents do differ a bit, both are packaged with plastic that has washed ashore along the Brazilian coast.

TASTE: By no means should we ever take Mother Earth for granted, but we can certainly benefit from her offerings. Whether you’re vegan or not (I’m not!), LA is blessed with some of the most incredible plant-based options. While indeed I do eat chicken and beef on occasion, I also appreciate a plant-powered meal made with whole ingredients. I believe food to the body is like fuel to a car—you perform best with the best.

If you’re wondering how to celebrate Earth Day in LA at night, I personally love Studio City’s longstanding SunCafe and West Hollywood’s Crossroads for higher-end sit-down meals. Both spots create out-of-this-world innovative dishes that you can’t find just anywhere. For delicious and versatile plant-based smoothies and bowls, I highly recommend Weho’s Body Energy Club.

Now is also the time to shine for plant-based, sustainable meal delivery services. I recently tried Provenance Meals, and while not solely vegan (if that’s what you’re after), they do offer an array of plant-based options, and everything that comes out of their kitchen is gluten-free and dairy-free, with no refined sugars. They source sustainable animal proteins (wild or zero-waste aquaculture seafood, pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed meats), and only use organic or beyond-organic ingredients. Praised by everyone from Goop to Vogue, this service offers three and six-day cleanses, along with individual meal orders (starting at $12).

If indeed you are seeking a solely plant-based delivery service, I’ve also tried L.A.’s deliciously clean Herb + Seed. Expect plenty of veggies and nut-based cheeses. And rest assured you’ll still get your fair share of pastas!

TOUCH: Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty! A beach cleanup is the quintessential plan for how to celebrate Earth Day in LA. It’s the perfect excuse to do your part while meeting new people. A perk of being in L.A. is there are tons of brands that organize special cleanups for anyone willing to partake. Sometimes there’s swag involved, other times camaraderie. Either way, you leave feeling good! Seyhart wellness is organizing a cleanup on Saturday (4/23) in Santa Monica. RSVP HERE. Score a free tee and join in on the fun! And if you’re sporty in South Bay, you’ll want to jump on Beach Bound Sports’ beach clean-up and party in Hermosa. The day starts with a contest (prizes for who fills their trash bag up highest) and ends with a beachside bash of volleyball, corn hole and of course new friends. BYOB(ags)!

If you’re looking for more ways to appreciate natural surroundings, HERE‘s everything to know about sound healing, and how it can assist with your sleep.

Angelenos

West Hollywood Finally Debuts New Hotel in Prime Sunset Blvd. Location

April 11, 2022
hotel ziggy celebrated its launch with a grand opening bash on sunset blvd. in west hollywood

(Photo credit: Jesse Richmond)

It’s been virtually impossible for a new hotel to open with a proper launch any time within the last two years. And with events finally running rampant again with people itching to get out, April 2022 seemed like the perfect opportunity for West Hollywood’s hotel strip on Sunset Blvd. to welcome its newest neighbor. With the longstanding (yet uneventful) Grafton closing its doors, it welcomed fresh energy to the space, with Hotel Ziggy, a boutique Hard Rock Hotel-esque establishment.

Springboard Hospitality‘s Hotel Ziggy kicked off its stay with a tastemaker-filled fête that went into the early hours of the morning, featuring its own B-side Pizza stand, airbrush tattoos, neon painted body dancers, live performances, plenty of photo opps and enough alcohol to keep a crowd of hundreds satisfied. The massive pool area featured floating bubble dancers, a taco stand and Instagrammable decor galore. As the name suggests, the new spot highlights rock ‘n’ roll’s finest—which was evident by the heavy sounds played throughout the event’s entirety.

Of course, what would a typical L.A. extravaganza be without a slew of notable names? The event proved to be a reunion for much of the city’s event-goers, encompassing various media, influencers, bloggers, models and reality stars (including Vanderpump Rules‘ James Kennedy and The Hills‘ Audrina Patridge). Plenty of rockers themselves were on hand to honor the opening—and even many celebs’ alcohol brands were featured at the affair, including Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s Dos Hombres Mezcal, Ciara’s Ten To One Rum and Bon Jovi’s Hampton Water Rosé.

Depending on the day, starting rates for rooms range from $239 – $399, which is pretty on par with its Mondrian neighbor, but less than The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills or The Edition, which are a little further West down Sunset.

hotel ziggy celebrated its launch with a grand opening bash on sunset blvd. in west hollywood
Photo credit: Jesse Richmond
the hills' audrina patridge was on hand at hotel ziggy to celebrate its launch with a grand opening bash on sunset blvd. in west hollywood
Photo credit: Jesse Richmond
hotel ziggy celebrated its launch with a grand opening bash on sunset blvd. in west hollywood
Photo credit: Jesse Richmond
vanderpump rules' james kennedy was on hand at hotel ziggy to celebrate its launch with a grand opening bash on sunset blvd. in west hollywood
Photo credit: Jesse Richmond

Speaking of music and hotels, HERE‘s the ultimate Palm Springs hotel playlist!

Lifestyle

How to Break-Up With Your Therapist, According to an Expert in the Field

March 1, 2022
two women talk at a table

(via Unsplash)

“I’m not looking forward to sending that breakup text later,” I said to a friend last year as we strolled the sidewalks of Sunset. “Breakup text?” she replied, seemingly forgetting the lengthy chat we had just 10 minutes prior, about how I didn’t feel like I was clicking with my therapist. And then it dawned on her: “Oh yeah! The breakup text.”

Deciding how to break-up with your therapist feels like a similar journey to ending things with someone you’ve gone on five dates with—it’s not the end of the world, but you do owe them a thoughtful explanation. I’d only been (virtually) meeting with my therapist for six weeks, but when you’re shelling out money and opening up about innermost thoughts and experiences, you develop some kind of rapport. My therapist wasn’t a mean woman—we just didn’t click in the way that I needed to for this professional relationship to work out. I actually did let her convince me into sticking around for a couple additional sessions, but ultimately it just didn’t work out.

It’s not uncommon for people to disconnect with their therapist. If you don’t feel 100% about your situation, there’s no point in wasting anyone’s time. To help understand just how to cut ties the right way, I reached out to Alison LaSov, Licensed MFT and CEO of Advekit, a service that helps people find therapy at an affordable price.

a man and woman sit across from each other talking at a table
(via Unsplash)

Approaching How to Break-Up With Your Therapist

Just like any other breakup, if you’ve been seeing your therapist for more than a couple sessions, LaSov suggests having the conversation in person. Obviously if your sessions have been done virtually, then a virtual discussion is fine. While texting isn’t encouraged, it’s better than ghosting, which gives no one closure.

“Just like any relationship, you owe it to yourself to follow your intuition,” LaSov tells skyelyfe. “But it’s respectful to the other person to let them know how you’re feeling. Simply sharing that you don’t think it’s a fit is okay to say, and even more helpful if you can provide them with feedback.”

That said, “While it’s important to be open and honest with your therapist,” LaSav never encourages “anyone to be hurtful or aggressive in any type of correspondence.”

Even if you’ve decided to write your therapist off for good, it’s important to hear out their response.

“Perhaps your intuition is correct and either your treatment should be coming to an end or you haven’t found the right fit in a therapist and should switch,” LaSov says. “However, in many cases, people leave therapy thinking that the therapist is not helping when in fact it takes time to see the helpful impact of therapy.” 

How Therapists Typically React to a Client Breakup

While a patient breakup may seem like a blow to the ego, therapists are professionals who can typically disconnect from the feeling of rejection based on a number of factors.

“They understand that therapy can be an emotional and intimate experience and people sometimes need to take a break, or they worry they’re not making enough progress,” LaSov explains. “There are also times when the patient doesn’t feel a connection with the therapist and that’s okay, too. The relationship between a therapist and patient is nuanced, and both parties need to feel comfortable in order for the treatment to be effective.”

If a therapist lashes out, that isn’t considered normal, but rather a red flag.

“If a therapist gets defensive or aggressive, this is an indicator that they take your feelings personally and allow their emotions to interfere with your treatment,” LaSov says.

woman with brown hair sits on couch with book
(via Unsplash)

Do Therapists Typically Try Convincing Patients to Stick Around?

There are many instances when a therapist-patient relationship has simply run its course. And to that point, LaSov says “a therapist should not try to convince someone to stay in therapy longer than is needed.”

But in the case of simply being over your therapist, LaSov says, “humans tend to avoid difficult conversations or emotional turmoil, so it’s common for people to want to stop therapy when their self-exploration makes them feel vulnerable. It’s the therapist’s job to help the patient navigate whether they’re ready to end their relationship, or if the patient is reacting with avoidance, which could mean that they’re actually making progress in their sessions.” 

How Does a Patient Determine Whether to Give Their Therapist Another Try?

Ultimately, the patient knows what’s best for them and has to act based on their own needs.

“I always encourage people to listen to their feelings and to follow their intuition in these types of scenarios,” LaSov says. “It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your therapist about how you feel, even if you think it might hurt their feelings. Their job is to help you determine the best course of action for you.”

Ultimately, when determining how to break-up with your therapist, “taking note of how you feel is key,” LaSov explains. “Feeling comfortable enough to be vulnerable with your therapist is where you’ll start to see progress, but remember therapy doesn’t produce change after one session. It takes time.” 

Speaking of therapy, HERE are six ways I clear my head when my mental health is in a bad place.

Beauty Featured

8 New Body Care Products for Every Skin Necessity

February 17, 2022
brunette girl with brown hair lies down and shows off her legs in a white dress

(via Unsplash)

There’s no question that scalp care dominated the beauty space in 2021. And much like what’s expected to take over in 2022, experts have been left wondering, what took so long? Case in point: full-body care! Much like the face, the rest of our body’s skin can be prone to acne, aging, flakiness and dry patches. Last year did see a rise in booty care (thanks to the likes of Truly Beauty and BodyBlendz, to name a couple), but overall body care (with similar properties of general skincare products) has only very recently seen its time in the spotlight. But it’s looking like this year will put some of the best new body care products on full display.

OSEA, for example, kicked off 2022 with the launch of their Undaria Algae Body Butter. Its fusion of Undaria seaweed, whipped shea butter and ceramides does more for the skin than provide typical added moisture. Its anti-aging properties are only newly coming to the forefront of full-body care.

Looking for some of the best new body care products on the market? Keep scrolling to find the right product for the right situation!

For Full-Body TLC

Uni. 24-Hour Serum: $43

This hot-off-the-press body serum was launched with the planet in mind. Named after sea urchin, each of the brand’s five products are designed with sleek, reusable aluminum, with a plastic-free delivery system. The body serum in particular is considered “face grade serum for the entire body.” Formulated with Uni Marine Complex and Australian Kakadu Plum, you can expect 24-hour hydration and antioxidant defense. And who can say no to the captivating aroma of cedar leaf, juniper and smoked sandalwood? The bottle also comes with a high concentration of product, so no need to worry about running out quickly.

For a Pool Day

Coco & Eve Bounce Body Masque: $19.90

The skincare industry has finally acknowledged the reality of body blemishes—and Coco & Eve was quick to take note with their Bounce Body Masque. In addition to helping smooth and soothe skin texture, their deliciously scented dragonfruit and lychee masque helps reduce cellulite, absorb excess oils, increase circulation and plump and firm skin. Thanks to a formulation of volcanic clay and green coffee extract, you can expect to see a difference on the booty, belly, under-boob and thighs. So for those body-baring days by the pool or in the sand, this product is calling your name.

And for a more effective outcome, you can apply their Bali Buffing Sugar beforehand for a strong exfoliation. This preps the skin for deeper product penetration and also allows for a more even tan. Top off the overall process with their body moisture whip, and your next splash in the sea should get all the likes on IG!

For a Good Shave

Thrive Shaving Oil: $18.95

Olive oil and various seed and fruit oils comprise Thrive shaving oil. This is a far cry from your traditional creams and lathers. These oils assist with a smooth shave, while oils from unique superplants juanilama and fierrillo help guard against post-shave skin irritation.

For Date Night or an Event

NativaSPA Quinoa Firming Body Oil: $23

It’s truly rare to find a product that makes your skin silky smooth while simultaneously making you smell like a goddess. This miracle Brazilian oil does it all. Formulated with 100% pure quinoa oil, this product is packed with Vitamin E and Omegas 3, 6, and 9. Made for wet application fresh from the bath or shower, you can apply it generously on its own or mixed with lotion. On top of dewy skin, the oil has a powerfully alluring aroma that will easily elevate your everyday fragrance. In addition to oils, the new brand also makes a selection of decadent lotions that are perfect for work and play.

For Targeted Dry Spots

Reed + Gwen Supercharged Reishi Body Melt: $40

You know that super luxe bedding brand, Avocado? Well, did you know they also have a spinoff clean body care brand called Reed + Gwen? The line of products includes body oil, bath soaks and a scrub, but the personal favorite has to be the balm-to-oil body melt. It’s the perfect on-the-go formula for when you’re out the door and totally forgot to moisturize. It’s easy to scoop out a speck and dab it on your toes, cuticles, hands or anywhere else that needs an instant hydration refresh. The product combines adaptogenic reishi mushrooms, hyaluronic acid and vegan ceramides to create its silky consistency.

For ‘Chicken Skin’

KP Away Keratosis Pilaris Lipid Repair Emollient: $38.99

While this gentle emollient is suitable for all skin types, it was designed with keratosis pilaris, aka KP, aka “chicken skin” in mind. It’s in fact the only acid-free cream on the market that’s specifically designed for this purpose. It’s formulated with ultra-hydrating ingredients, including organic coconut oil, which is packed with fatty acids and antioxidants. The fragrance-free formula includes additional plant-based fatty acids to help restore the skin’s natural lipid barrier and repair dry, irritated skin.

“As someone who has had KP my entire life, I formulated KP Away’s Lipid Repair Emollient to nourish the skin with plant-based oils and waxes that have properties similar to the sebum, lipids and oils our skin naturally produces,” the product’s founder Dr. Anar Mikailov, MD, FAAD, tells skyelyfe. “It’s also fragrance-free and formulated with minimal ingredients so that it won’t irritate dry, sensitive, even eczema-prone skin—whether it has KP or not.” 

For DIY Spa Day

Hand-in-Hand Sea Salt Body Lotion: $9.99

A list of the best new body care products wouldn’t be complete without a lotion. In addition to sleek, sustainable packaging and an array of light, joyful scent offerings, Hand-in-Hand has also donated over 13 million bars of soap and helped build new clean water wells in over 23 countries. While they truly do have a handful of picks, their Sea Salt Body Lotion, infused with sweet mint and eucalyptus, is the item of choice. Perfect for slathering over your skin after a candlelit bath right before bed, this aroma has spa written all over it. The product also comes in a set with a matching sugar scrub and body wash for added effect. The scent sends you into immediate relaxation and can be paired perfectly with calming music and a cooling face mask.

Close second? Opt for their Cactus Blossom Body Lotion. It’s a unique, everyday aroma that reminds me of vacationing at a desert resort.

For a Spiritual Cleanse

Moon Bath Every Body Grounding Body Oil: $48

As a brand centered around the moon and its many moods, this formula is the perfect pick for an energy detox or a monumental date on the astrological calendar. It combines high antioxidant healing oils with the light, gender-neutral scent of sandalwood and cypress. The oil is meant to be applied just before or after a bath. After you’re fully covered in oil leading up to the bath, massage your body and allow the oil to seep into your skin. After your bath, you can reapply for hydration, by way of the combined sunflower, jojoba, marula and moringa oils.

And don’t forget to kick off the healing process with a crystal-infused body scrub. Highly recommended? House of Intuition‘s Amethyst Crystal Body Polish aims to exfoliate negative energy away and invite self-love in. It’s infused with sage, peppermint and lavender for an earthy, dreamy bathing experience.

Now that your body care collection is complete, HERE are the affordable bathroom essentials you need ASAP!

Music

Hot Songs, Cold Weather—Here’s Your Winter ’22 Playlist

January 25, 2022
candles sit in front of a windowsill on a rainy day likely during winter or fall. calm and mellow

(via Unsplash)

Whether you’re happy or sad, the winter vibe is just plain chill. Added to the fact that many of us are basically in lockdown again, we’re definitely not in club mode. That’s why when it comes to a playlist of winter 2022’s best new songs, we’ve got to keep things mellow.

Mellow, however, doesn’t mean boring! What’s better than cuddling up to a hot cup of coffee/cocoa/whatever you fancy in front of a fireplace with dark, alluring and mysterious melodies filling up the energy of a room? While the weather is still chilly, enjoy some fresh tracks by Kaskade, Generationals, Nina Young, Flight Facilities and more. Before we know it, it’ll be sunny again and we’ll miss these moments of calm. After all, we didn’t really get much of a fall this year. So I, personally, am all for these overcast days and windy nights.

Take this time to grab a blanket, a comfy place to lay and a hot sip. Scroll through the playlist below of winter 2022’s best new songs and embrace the chill (literally and figuratively). If you’re into this vibe, there’s also a playlist from the previous season that you’ll probably like equally. You can find that HERE.

Craving more of the most awesome tunes? HERE‘s skyelyfe’s playlist of the 21 best songs of ’21!

Lifestyle

Best Instagram Captions for Pics of You Embracing Quarantine

January 19, 2022
girl with a bun lays in bed with white blanket over her body

(via Unsplash)

I don’t know about you, but I definitely thought we left the “Q word” in April 2021. Ah, yes, it was about a year ago when we were all getting vaccinated, seemingly (sort of) back to living our best lives. Regardless of whether or not you jumped at the chance to dine indoors or host home gatherings of more than six people, the bottom line is we were all mostly done quarantining (or so we thought!).

Welp, enter Winter 2022, when almost two years after our initial induction into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re somewhat back to square one. While the vaccinated are less prone to hospital visits, a rise in the Omicron variant (which gives me Power Rangers villain vibes, btw) is requiring all of the exposed and infected to isolate for at least five days. With so many people stuck at home (including those who simply don’t want to risk leaving!), quarantine Instagram captions are bound to come in handy.

While this mandated safety protocol (that myself and everyone close to me has diligently followed without hesitation) is inconvenient at best, what better way to make the most of the situation than by documenting it on Instagram? Need a little inspo to spice-up your unplanned breakfast in bed? Keep reading for the best quarantine Instagram captions for pics of you embracing your isolated fate.

For the Pic of You Leaning on Your Besties for Moral Support:

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.

-Josh Billings

antigen test results with puppy love
(via @sydnesummer)

For the Shot of You in Your Seat of Choice—in Front of the TV:

The only multitasking I’m good at is watching TV while eating.

-Unknown

For the Pic of You Enjoying a Leisurely Morning in Bed With Nowhere to Be:

Love is in the air, and it smells like coffee

-Unknown

breakfast in bed
(via Unsplash)

For the Sick Pic That Shows Off What You Do Best—Sleep:

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

—A.A. Milne

For the Pic of You Sick (But Cute in the Process):

I hate to waste sick days actually being sick!

girl in white bedding holds up sleep mask and coffee mug
(via Unsplash)

For the Shot of You Trying to Stay Hydrated:

Don’t forget to drink water and get some sun. You’re basically a houseplant with more complicated emotions.

-Unknown

For the Pic of You in Your Happy Place—the Bath:

Wash away your troubles with some bubbles.

-Unknown

woman in bubble bath and painted pedicured toes relaxes in water
(via Unsplash)

For the girl who just can’t stray from her selfies:

All dressed-up with nowhere to go.

-Unknown

Once you’re done quarantining, you’ll want to celebrate with one of THESE Instagram captions for pics of you drinking a margarita!

Beauty Featured

These Are the Skincare Trends You’ll See Everywhere in 2022, According to Industry Experts

January 12, 2022
a dropper, serum package and cream or moisturizer sit on a white table

(via Unsplash)

Bakuchiol, ashwagandha and turmeric dominated 2021’s skincare industry. And while these plant-based ingredients aren’t going anywhere any time soon, a new year brings a fresh glossary of radar-worthy terms. Skyelyfe gained some insight into 2022’s skincare forecast, thanks to Paula’s Choice experts and clean cosmetics chemist (and founder of KKT Consultants), Krupa Koestline.

From powerful brightening agents to a fresh crop of cannabinoids, you can expect another 12 months of buzzy ingredients and key terms. Keep reading to get the scoop on projected 2022 skincare trends and science-backed developments.

Fermented Ingredients

Beer and kombucha are examples of fermented products that have gained moderate momentum in the beauty space in recent years. In 2022, however, the increase in fermented ingredients found in skincare will be something of note.

“Fermented rose, millet, fig, barley and soy are on the rise,” Koestline tells skyelyfe. Fermentation is a very natural process that allows bacteria or yeast to break down an ingredient and produce a slew of beneficial molecules. It includes everything from metabolites, acids, proteins, polysaccharides, to sugars.”

Koestline suggests partial reason for increased interest is “scientists are looking for ways to up-cycle materials, and that includes these common products. The process helps eliminate waste and is an innovative way to source common skincare ingredients like antioxidants. This is especially as disruption in the supply chain stemming from the pandemic affects the beauty industry now and for years to come.”

Postbiotics

Probiotics and prebiotics have been relevant in beauty for a few years now, but 2022 will see the rise of postbiotics, made from bio-fermented mircobes.

“Postbiotics are fermentation byproducts produced by probiotic strains of microbes, which include bacteria, yeast, and algae,” Koestline explains. “Because probiotics are actually difficult to keep alive in a product with preservatives—which work by killing off all microbes—many probiotic products have probiotic ferments, which are in fact postbiotic.”

Cannabinoids CBG and CMB

CBD has no doubt been the buzziest ingredient over the last five years in the beauty and lifestyle space. But in 2022, you’re about to see two new cannabinoids take centerstage.

“Formulators and brands are exploring how other cannabinoids can benefit the skin in order to use more parts of the plant,” Koestline says. “CBG (Cannabigerol) has shown promising results in post-workout recovery, muscle relief and mood uplifting; while CBN (Cannabinoil) is great at sleep improvement and relaxation.” 

Tranexamic Acid

Initially meant to treat blood clots and heavy menstrual bleeding, this powerful oral medicine has recently been reformulated for skincare use. The synthetic ingredient, made from amino acid lysene, is aimed at correcting hyperpigmentation.

Experts on a recent Paula’s Choice panel that skyelyfe attended virtually, called the acid “the newcomer that was waiting in the wings to replace hydroquinone.” The brand itself launched a Discoloration Repair Serum, which features the acid as its hero ingredient. But in terms of 2022 skincare trends, these experts say they refuse to use the ‘T’ word, and only go by what’s been proven by science.

Either way, they’re not alone in their praise for the buzzy ingredient. Topicals, SkinCeuticals, Naturium and The Inkey List have also released products featuring the acid. In fact, The A Method kicked off the new year with the launch of their Skin Perfecting Serum, featuring a 10% Tranexamic Acid Complex. Its press release announcement hailed it as “The ‘It’ ingredient of 2022.”

Cysteamine Hydrochloride

When it comes to “the best single ingredient for dealing with hyperpigmentation,” the Paula’s Choice experts say cysteamine hydrochloride (which inhibits melanin-stimulating enzyme) is what you’ll hear about in 2022. That said, you won’t see it everywhere, as it’s very pricey and mostly found by way of a physician. The experts recommend trying the Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector, which you can luckily buy online.

Skin Barrier

Skin barrier protection definitely picked up steam last year (namely on TikTok), but when it comes to skincare buzz in 2022, the term (and products made to keep it in tact) will be everywhere.

“The skin barrier works to keep all the good things in and bad things out,” experts on the Paula’s Choice panel explained. “Barrier damage can result from skincare products that are drying or irritating, alkaline bar soaps, water that’s too hot, environmental exposure, sun damage and experimental skincare—DIY TikTok trends and mask chafing.”

Redness, flakiness, dehydration and new sensitivities are all signs your barrier is compromised. If such is the case, avoid potent actives (1% retinol and high-concentration Vitamin C, for example). For repair and maintenance, omega fatty acids, ceramides and lipids from cholesterol are key. You can layer them in with toners, serums and essences. Skyelyfe discussed the matter at length last year.

For more on buzzy skincare ingredients, HERE‘s everything to know about Vitamin C-rich kakadu plum.

Beauty

PHOTOS: Go Inside Glossier’s Giant New Flagship Store in the Heart of West Hollywood

December 1, 2021
glossier's la store on melrose ave is filled with palm trees and open space

Beauty junkies came out in droves to check out Glossier when it was no more than a mere master bedroom-sized establishment tucked away on quiet Melrose Place. But the boutique shut its doors during summer 2020, along with its NYC flagship location. Now, just a few blocks away, Glossier’s LA store has reemerged, but on a whole other level.

Located on a huge Melrose Ave. corner (just slightly west of La Cienega), the boutique size is long-gone, but the sleek, modern, Instagrammable concept remains. The pretty-in-pink, museum-like mainstay made its mark in the trendy section of West Hollywood on Nov. 18. The store is divided into two parts: makeup and skincare. Walls are adorned with product fixtures and glass-protected merch for purchase. The open space is filled with palm trees, while a photo opp sits in the back of the skincare side. Chockfull of employees eager to help you find your ideal Cloud Paint shade, the store is bustling but not overpacked.

Likely due to the combination of its size and permanent footing, you won’t find customers clustered outside, waiting to snap a coveted mirror selfie in the space. “I can’t think of a bigger beauty store in LA besides Sephora that isn’t a pop-up,” an employee said, when asked about Glossier’s square footage in comparison to other beauty brick-and-mortars in the city.

This couldn’t be a better setup for the brand. Following the opening of its Seattle location in August, Glossier’s LA store has been named its flagship. It’s located in the hub of an upscale part of the city, surrounded by trendy fitness studios, celebrity-filled restaurants and other high-end shopping establishments.

But that’s not all. As of Dec. 2, what was once considered ALFRED2GO—an extension of Alfred—is being reimagined as Alfred on Glossier Alley. Located in the same hidden spot as its predecessor, the famed overpriced coffee and matcha haunt will still keep to its original concept, but with a millennial pink entry gate and slight name change.

The location is also dog-friendly, so bring your pup. Ask nicely, and your furry friend might be fed a branded treat!

**All images owned by skyelyfe

For more skincare content, click HERE to find out why slugging is one of the best techniques for glowy skin!

Music

Fresh Fally Tunes for Your Turkey Day and Beyond

November 25, 2021
girl wearing scarf listens to headphones in cold weather on her iphone

(via Unsplash)

Depending on where you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, *cough* if you’re in L.A.—melancholy melodies may be the only thing about November that actually feels like fall. With the exception of an overcast day or two (and a drive down Carmelita Ave. in Beverly Hills), a fall 2021 playlist is unfortunately the only thing that can really get us Angelenos into the changing-of-the-leaves spirit. That said, I think I speak for everyone when I say we’re always grateful for new music—so weather aside, fresh sounds are always a reason to give thanks.

With still one day before holiday season takes over our ears (and bank accounts), we can stuff our faces to the sounds of some recently released relaxing music. Whether you’re lounging around with the fam, or hosting a group of pals for Friendsgiving, there’s no wrong time for fresh fally tunes!

Included on the playlist are some new personal favorites from Fleet Foxes (the ultimate band for fally vibes), Satin Jackets (consistent year-’round fav), Transviolet and more. Enjoy this fall 2021 playlist full of some of what I consider the best new songs. Here’s to happy listening on Turkey Day and far beyond!

On the hunt for more melancholy melodies? Look no further than last year’s Winter 2020 playlist HERE!

Lifestyle

The Holiday Gift Guide Full of Goods You Haven’t Thought of Yet

November 24, 2021
red and festive presents are ready to be given to friends and family for christmas

(via Unsplash)

Any editor or blogger can tell you they’re absolutely inundated with gift guide pitches. There’s been a greater mass of gift sets this year than any time I can recall. 2021 in particular is a stark contrast from last year when we were back in COVID lockdown and many of us were unemployed. But with people out and about again, and more beauty and lifestyle brands emerging than ever before, there’s no shortage of places to spend your money on the people you care about. That said, unique holiday gifts are on my mind this year.

So many gift guides will be chockfull of the same stuff, so why not step out of the box and suggest the unexpected? From some things that I’ve been gifted this year, to various gadgets I uncovered on the web, I’ve come up with a fun list of goodies for every type of recipient. Keep reading for the holiday gift guide full of goods you haven’t thought of yet!

For the One Who’s Stuck on 2010s Nostalgia (??‍♀️)

Casetify BB Talk Customizer: $50- $70

As much as I hate to admit it, I am in fact not a member of Gen Z, and therefore I remember the iconic BBM days incredibly crystal clear. While yes, there’s so much more we can do with an iPhone, the days of the Blackberry were truly legendary (here’s my pin!). Help your recipient relive their 2010 heyday by way of this novelty phone case. You can even customize an outgoing email as the cover! Dare you dig deep into their dark, early-aughts past?

(via Casetify)

For the One Who’s Always Schlepping

Hulken Bag: $64.99 – $84.99

Whether you know a celeb stylist constantly lugging around designer duds, or a mom of four who makes daily trips to the dumpster, this is truly the gift they never knew they needed! I received this as a gift myself, and it’s helped my weekly “spring cleaning” efforts immensely. The tote bag on wheels comes in four vibrant color options (black, gold, rose gold and silver) and three sizes. Pro tip: Based on the large I received, if you’re planning to use the bag for travel, definitely opt for medium or small. Large has been great for disposing of empty delivery boxes and storing laundry, but it’s way too big for on-the-go.

*Black Friday: BLACKFRIDAY at checkout for 20% off storewide

For the Coffee Addict

Whipped Drinks Whip Kit: $49

Anyone who drinks coffee on the reg can tell you the same sips get tedious after a while. Up your giftee’s caffeine game in a major way with a kit that easily allows them to make whipped, frothy (and flavorful!) coffee in seconds. The user-friendly set includes a high-speed frother (batteries included), gilded frothing jug, carton whip sticks (contains 10 packets), a recipe book and a beautifully wrapped box. To get a more in-depth overview of the products, check out my full review HERE.

whipped drinks frothy coffee kit review

For the Vegan Who’s Always Hungry

Plant-Based Snack Bundle

Jack & Friends Jerky Variety Pack: $26.50

When it comes to unique holiday gifts, vegan snacks can at times be the most out-of-the-box. Jackfruit has proven itself to be a breakout in the plant-based eating community. From “pulled pork” to “carnitas” and more, the tropical powerhouse product has become quite the popular meat replacement—jerky included. Jack & Friends launched legitimately nutritious jerky substitutes in three flavors: Tomato + Poblano Pepper, Sweet Barbecue and Ginger Teriyaki. Their bites pack a flavorful punch and resemble a similar toughness in texture to traditional jerky.

*Black Friday: BLACKFRIDAY2021 at checkout for 20% off storewide

Pasta Snacks Marinara Penne Straws: $23.94 (six-pack)

Pasta—but hold the parm! Meet your lentil and white bean alternative to chips, offering crunch, flavor and low-calorie contents. A perfect choice for your vegan pal, penne straws are gluten-free, in the shape of actual penne noodles, and seasoned with tomato, garlic and onion powders, along with various spices. Added bonus? A portion of all the brand’s proceeds will be donated to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation through the end of Jan. 2022.

Gut Happy Cookies: $24.99 (six-pack)

These salted peanut butter, chocolate and coconut cookies claim to be good for your gut—and the ingredients don’t lie! Packed with a proprietary blend of 1B CFU probiotics and four diverse prebiotics, these light bites support digestive health and strong eating habits. The cookies are 100% plant-based, keto-friendly, and free of preservatives, refined grains and refined sugar. In fact, they can be eaten in the AM in place of breakfast. For the gift recipient who has a sweet tooth while still remaining healthy, these should do the trick! Other flavors available, too!

For the Sustainable Shower Junkie

YouBodyCare Pod + Packs: $10 + $8

If your gift recipient is all about conserving water and smelling good, this is the gift for them! YouBody created an assortment of mix-and-match powders for a customizable scent you fancy in the shower. At the beginning of each week, you add your scents and a small amount of water for an aromatic, environmentally friendly cleansing experience! No bulky bottles and toxic fragrance need apply!

For the One Who Loves Spicing Up Their Space

Tropical Leaves Removable Wallpaper: $39

Tropical leaves are so on-trend right now—but guess what? Even if they go out of style, this removable wallpaper will make sure your special someone isn’t stuck living in the past. For the friend who lives in a dorm, an apartment or other wall space they can’t (or don’t want to) customize permanently, this gift will elevate their area with no guaranteed commitment!

(via Dormify)

For the Selling Sunset Obsessee

Christine Quinn x Ciaté London Ultimate Collection: $86.10

Your gift recipient may have seen every episode of Selling Sunset, but is she wearing Christine Quinn’s matching red lipstick? Probably not! Give the gift of living a day in Queen Christine’s shoes by presenting your pal with the reality star’s five-piece Ciaté makeup collection. Complete with an eyeshadow palette, highlighter, two lip creams—and yes, the signature red lip gloss—your friend will feel fierce in no time!

For the Hip Artsy One

Jungalow Face Bookend Vase by Justina Blakeney: $99

Much like fragrances, home decor is an incredibly personal preference. That said, when it comes to unique holiday gifts, it’s hard to imagine anyone not digging this bookend art that doubles as a vase. Purchased as a single or a set, this gift is a thoughtful (and eye-catching) gesture that’s sure to get people talking!

(via Jungalow)

For the Upscale Beauty Junkie

Opulus Beauty Labs The Retinol + Starter System: $395

This system is next-level skincare for the retinol user (whichever level they may be). With three levels to choose from, a beginning, middle or advanced retinol user can benefit from these freshly activated Opoules. I call them dessert for the face—because that’s literally what they are. The Opoules (which go back and forth between yellow for treatment nights and blue for restoring nights) not only look like fancy white chocolate bites (do not eat them!), but they also (accidentally) smell like white chocolate, too. The activation technology churns these Opoules into a rich cream that you apply to your face before bed.

The result? After 28 days, the user should see clearer pores, and less breakouts, scarring and fine lines—thanks to faster cell turnover and collagen production. Each Opoule™ Treatment has two layers. Outside are vitamins, ceramides and botanicals. Inside, the most beneficial ingredients are suspended, waiting to be activated. Time listed the product as one of the best inventions of 2021, so clearly it’s doing something right!

For the Jewish One Who’s Still Single

Nice Jewish Guys Wall Calendar: $7.84

Do you have that friend whose mom is constantly kvetching about how they need to settle down with a nice Jewish boy? Give your pal the gift of inspo in the form of a Nice Jewish Guys wall calendar. Unfortunately, it appears the brand didn’t make one for 2022, but since this is likely a gag gift anyway, so be it if you’re a couple years behind! This definitely beats a bag of dreidels. And if these nice Jewish boys don’t make the cut, tell your pal to turn to the Hot Guys Wall Calendar 2022 instead!

For the Plant-Based Pal Who Loves to Entertain

Pulp Panty DIY Plant-Based Charcuterie Kit: $45 (additional cheeses are $18 each)

Pulp Pantry makes arguably some of the tastiest chips on the planet, so I have great faith in their cheese. Their chips are vegan, grain-free and paleo-friendly, made from fresh vegetable juice pulp. And as for their cheeses (there are four to choose from: Herb Dill, Mozzarella, Truffle and Smokehouse), they teamed up with The Vreamery, an award-winning California plant-based cheese maker, to make this magic happen. Each kit comes with four chip packs and the formula to easily make the cheese of your choice. Additionally, the brand provides a video to make your board stand out. Each kit is aimed to serve five people!

For the Lover of Layering

Necklet Triple Layering Clasp: $42

Layering jewelry is all the rage right now, and understandably so. Don’t we all feel naked without chains hanging from our neck and rings stacked on our fingers? Accessorizing completes even the simplest of outfits, but sometimes it’s frustrating to layer necklaces because they get so easily tangled. If you know someone who’s an accessorizing queen, they’ll surely appreciate Necklet’s innovative triple layering clasp that easily spaces apart three different pieces. With silver, gold and rose gold to choose from, the necklet will match your recipient’s metal of choice.

*Black Friday: PREBF at checkout for 15% off

For the Lover of Fragrance

Marianella Create Your Own Essential Oil Blend: $48

Fragrances are one of the most personal things you can buy for someone—but if you have a sense of scents your gift recipient is into, a custom-made essential oil could be really special. Once you do some digging (or simply go with universally loved notes like lavender and citrus), let Marianella do the rest. The great thing about leaving the process in their hands is they’ll know just how much of each note to use to create the ideal aroma. Their scented options also come with extremely detailed descriptions, so even if you know nothing about this stuff, you won’t be lost.

*Black Friday: up to 40% off storewide

For the Candle Collector

Otherland Alpine Crystal Candle: $36

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but since last year, I’ve gravitated more toward winter scents than fall. Fall scents used to complete me, but the crispness of winter scents truly eases my soul. If you know someone who shares those sentiments, opt for swooping up Otherland’s brand new Alpine Crystal candle—part of their six-part Adorned seasonal collection. This fresh-scented candle smells like walking outside on a brisk winter day. Made with juniper sprig, icy tonic and lemon fizz aromas, there’s a feeling of lightness your recipient will embrace with one swift smell!

Need more gift-giving inspo? Click HERE for 10 fun bathroom buys that make the best stocking stuffers!

Lifestyle Featured

An Angeleno’s Guide to the DOs and DON’Ts of Styling Your Fitness ‘Fit

November 9, 2021
girl in purple sports bra and leggings gets ready for a workout

(Photo courtesy of Taylor Jean Stephan)

If there’s one L.A. fashion trend that’s completely taken off in recent months across all age groups, it’s expertly styling your fitness ‘fit. And we’re not talking the standard “athleisure” looks of days past. 

Today’s looks go from head to toe—encompassing everything from scrunchies to socks. And not just any scrunchies or socks. LA’s styled athletic looks of the moment have every on-trend detail down from specific brands and accessories, to materials, colors and more. It’s no longer about throwing on a pair of Lululemon’s Wunder Train High-Rise leggings and calling it a day. Athleisure trends in LA are centered around going from pilates, straight to the rest of your day (and maybe even night) plans.

With the emergence of TikTok and a boom in Gen Z influence since pre-pandemic, a lot has changed. To break down the DOs and DON’Ts of properly styling your fitness ‘fit, we reached out to certified pilates instructor and L.A. beauty editor/girl-about-town, Taylor Jean Stephan. Consider the below your expert manual! 

DO: Grab a set from FPM (Free People Movement). They make colorful, interesting top cuts. They’re a hidden gem that make great onesies, too. Alo is overpriced but also great. Beach Riot is another great brand to try, but again, overpriced. That said, they do feel a little more high-end, making their sets easier to wear out after your workout. La Piel is another to try; SET Active; Spiritual Gangster (love their tops); Bandier (soft and fits well).

DO: Look to Amazon for seamless YEOREO sets, LA Active grip socks or BRONAX slides.

girl in grey onesie and black socks gets ready for a workout
(Photo courtesy of Taylor Jean Stephan)

DO: Wear pastel pinks, lavenders, blues and light greens. You also can’t go wrong with neutrals: black, tan, nude. Solid colors period are always a plus.

DO: Wear ribbed or heathered material on the thighs. They help with blurring a bit.

DO: Wear seamless pieces with nylon or spandex material. They’re very soft.

DON’T: Wear polyester (unless there’s a very minimal amount). It looks cheap.

DO: Wear high-waisted pants with a slightly lengthier sports bra. It should feel more like a shirt and less like a sports bra. It should be crop top-feely. 

DON’T: Wear athletic styles; Athleisure trends in LA are not about running leggings with zippers, mesh or lines. Any additional accents or bulk is a no. You want to feel like you’re in a second skin.

DON’T: Wear logos; Brands that are logo-heavy are a no. Tiny little logos are in. Spiritual Gangster and FPM are examples of brands with cute and subtle logos. The logo has to be aesthetically pleasing and not in your face. If you’re itching for a logo moment, make it happen with the shoe (ie. Nike).  

DON’T: Wear loud, bold patterns—they’re out. Geometric shapes and plaid or color-contrasting animal prints are no longer in. The look of the moment is muted and calming.

DON’T: Wear serious activewear. Your look should be less functional and more loungey. People are sticking in their clothes all day.

DO: Snag some puffy slides from Amazon. Even fuzzy slides are in for walking over to your workout. Dad sneakers are on everyone’s feet, as are crew length socks. The clunkier, the more ’80s, the better; no mesh; no sleek and slender. Take a bold risk with a statement shoe when you’re wearing a monochromatic outfit. Add to your personality with shoes. Make them pop!

DO: Follow the same accessory trends you would at a regular outing; lots of layered gold. Bring everyday jewelry into your workout ensemble; this includes earrings. However, take off clunky rings and bracelets. Personalize your look so you can work out and take it to the street.

DON’T: Wear faux leather; anything shiny; anything embossed

DON’T: Overdo it with makeup. Less is more. You want to enhance your glow. Use what will work with you as you sweat. Try a CC cream that serves as a skincare-foundation hybrid. Filled-in brows are a must. You’ll also want a lip oil or something hydrating that will stay on lips during the workout. 

DO: Mix and match brands as long as one or both of the pieces is ambiguous/unbranded. 

DO: Always come and go with a stylized sweatshirt. 

DO: Embrace the biker short look, especially when it comes in a set. You can always throw a tee over it or simply wear with a sports bra. To and from the workout, be sure to tie a sweatshirt around the waist for an elevated aesthetic.

DON’T: Wear two very apparently different brands. You goal is for your look to appear seamless, whether that’s through the branding or color story. 

DON’T: Wear studio merch in general. And even more importantly, don’t wear another studio’s merch to a studio. It feels kinda tacky.

DO: Wear an oversized graphic tee if you’re not into the tight-fitting look. Old concert tees; nostalgia graphics; no slogan tees. You can also opt for a flowy, slim-fitting tank. Make sure whatever top you’re wearing is color-coordinated to the shade of your leggings. Always keep it cohesive. The only exception is when one or both of the pieces is ambiguous/unbranded. In that case, you can mix and match.

DON’T: Wear capri-length leggings. Capris that cut at the calf are out. They’re also unflattering. Leggings have to be long, ankle length or biker shorts. No in-between.

DO: Snag a YETI water bottle. I have the white one, and it’s super chic. Yes, water bottles still complete the ‘fit. 

Now that you know how to rock athleisure trends in LA, HERE are the DOs and DON’Ts of smelling on-point at your workout!

Lifestyle

Clear Your Energy This Fall by Getting Rid of THESE 3 Unexpected Things

October 30, 2021
a girl wearing a sweater throws fall leaves up in the air while laughing and smiling

(via Unsplash)

I feel like I’m on a perpetual spring cleaning mission, regardless of the season. But during all other times of year, it’s usually centered around getting rid of clothes, expired skincare and junk under the sink. Because fall is simply a much deeper season to me, that’s when I really get to the thick of disposing that which no longer serves me.

I get rid of what I usually doesn’t come to mind. These are the most minor things that will in turn elevate me on a spiritual level. This pertains to what will lessen not only my literal load, but also my energetic. Whether you’re into that sort of thing or not, there’s no question that disposing of a few unexpected things are crucial to clearing energy during fall.

I strongly suggest following this up with a general tidying of your living space (hang your clothes, do your dishes, make your bed, sweep the floors and dump your trash) and cracking open a few windows. Once you’ve done all this, you can then break into a smudging ritual, which will complete the energy-clearing process.

Ready to lighten your load? Keep reading for three unexpected things to get rid of this season.

a sage stick burns to smudge a house or apartment
(via Unsplash)

1. Songs You Always Skip from Your Spotify Starred List

If you’re not into music, keep scrolling. But I’m going to guess you probably are, with an equally great hunch you have a nicely stocked Starred list to prove it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been accumulating my Starred list for ages—and before finally combing through each song individually, I had more than 2,500 songs saved. It only makes sense that there were many I skipped through every time they came on via my shuffle. Hearing certain songs that maybe I liked seven years ago started sounding like nails on a chalkboard in present day. One shuffled song could change the entire dynamic of my environment. Finally, once I did a deep dive through the tracks, I was still left with a hefty selection, but at least an appealing one. It was really interesting how much of an energetic impact the mass deletion of songs had on me.

2. Rarely Used Fall Candles and Throwaway Festive Decor

If clearing energy during fall is your goal, this is a prime place to start. We all have a box (or huge bucket, depending on your devotion to the season) full of fall decor. Whether it be chock-full of candles, DIY paper cutout displays, string lights, Dollar Store finds or other festive knick-knacks you’ve accumulated over time, it’s not necessary to hold on to all of them. Some fall decor items can look dated over time, or they’re intended to be tossed after the season.

Of course, don’t get rid of your $150 Pottery Barn pumpkin wreath—but do get rid of those lingering candles you put off lighting each season, or the decor you never use. Unlike clothing pushed to the far end of your closet, decor isn’t something that may fit you a year from now. You’ll be surprised how much space and energy you free up when you do a deep decor dive and toss the crap you don’t need!

cutout black paper bats pasted on sticks for fall decor
(via Unsplash)

3. Undergarments and Athleisure

We’re always quick to get rid of clothes hanging in our closet, but how often do we dispose of undergarments and athleisure? They’re easy items to hold on to because they don’t typically take up much space and we think about them a lot less. But I got to the point where I’d keep a certain item “in case of emergency,” but when the so-called emergency came around, I totally dreaded wearing what was left in that stash. So, finally, when I embarked on my “fall cleaning,” I knew the time had come to dispose of undergarments that were either too small or destroyed by the washing machine; and athleisure that was dated, frumpy or simply didn’t make me want to work out.

Once I got rid of those aforementioned belongings, I no longer felt like I had lingering junk to sort through every time I want to work out or get ready in the morning. Naturally, your energy changes when you feel confident about your intimates or in tight-fitting looks.

Now that your energy is cleared, celebrate with some seasonal sips! HERE are the best Instagram captions for all your fall cocktail pics.

Angelenos

How to Instantly Elevate a First Date in L.A.

October 27, 2021
a man and woman clink wine glasses on a date at a restaurant

(via Unsplash)

Thanks to a sea of broke yet cocky jerks and Chris Evans wannabes flooding Raya and Bumble, single Angelenos don’t have it easy in the dating department. It’s no secret that L.A. has long been considered one of the worst cities to find a partner. First dates rarely turn into more, and it’s something we’ve all kind of begrudgingly accepted.

That said, every now and then, you’ll end up with a decent person sitting across from you, but with some external factors playing into your potential romance gone wrong. Because L.A. is pure chaos around the clock, it’s important to consider what’s actually in your control before moving ahead with your meetup. There’s never any guaranteeing your next date will be a match. But even if there’s no spark, at least there are ways around how to make a first date in LA better. It starts with ensuring there are no external factors preventing you from success.

Keep reading for four ways to instantly elevate a first date in LA. 

Plan to Uber—and Book It in Advance

It’s easy to write off the idea of ordering a rideshare option when you don’t plan to drink much (or at all) on your date. But unless the ride will be exorbitantly expensive (or you live just a few blocks down the road), Uber or Lyft is really the wisest option. Letting someone else take the wheel gives you a chance to decompress from your day, catch up on any last minute emails or texts before going silent and mentally prepare yourself for the person you’re about to meet. It also saves you the agony of finding non-permit parking (which has only worsened since the pandemic). Scheduling the ride in advance ensures someone will get to you in time (and it actually knocks a few bucks off your fee—try it!)

Our nerves are naturally running higher when we’re on the verge of an important meeting (whether it be a first date or otherwise), so it’s easy for our driving to become naturally impaired. Fun fact: I recently got pulled over completely sober on my way to a first date. I think I was just naturally flustered, and this played into my driving that night. I thankfully got out of the potential ticket, but that’s another story! Definitely going the rideshare route next time.

A man drives in his car using rideshare app for lyft or uber. How to make a first date in la better starts with this step!
(via Unsplash)

Arrive at Least 20 Minutes Early (Hear Me Out on This)

Ok, this isn’t a job interview. You’re not going to impress your date by being the eager beaver who zoomed over to the date quick as you can say margarita. That’s not where I’m going with this. 

I’m a big proponent of the early arrival so that it gives you time to make a quick bathroom stop to check for lipstick on the teeth, pee one last time, fluff up your hair, etc. Check your phone one last time for important texts and emails, get yourself mentally prepared. And then, 5-10 minutes early, you can send the “I wasn’t sure how traffic would be, so I ended up here a little early” text. If they’re not there, you can already be relaxed and ready to go by the time they arrive. 

Pick a Place With a Vibe…

How to make a first date in LA better starts with a vibey location. File under: duh—but not so fast! A place can be well-designed with incredible food and drinks, but lacks a vibe. Whereas, a place can be less upscale but has great music and a lively crowd to make the experience feel like home. Even if you opt for something incredibly simple like a quick coffee meet-up, why not make it cozy?

I recently went on a date at the restaurant of a hotel I’ve never been a fan of. The date and I live on opposite sides of town, so this meeting point made sense logistically (in fact, it was probably closer to me than him, so how could I complain?). The food, service and drinks were great. And heck, the company—although not a romantic match at all—was also great. But it was freezing with no heat lamps; there was literally no one at the restaurant or even inside at the bar; and this particular hotel has never been particularly much of a scene. The experience felt isolating and the energy of the location was depressing, honestly. Even though the guy and I didn’t have a fiery spark, we did indeed have an enjoyable time. And I kept thinking how much better this would have been if we’d gone somewhere different. 

two people sip coffee together at a shop or restaurant
(via Unsplash)

But Don’t Pick a Place With Too Much of a Vibe

On the flipside of picking somewhere that lacks any energy, a first date isn’t the place for too much of it. Shouting “huh?” and “what did you say?” across the table all night isn’t exactly the best way to build a connection. L.A. obviously has a lot of places that impress, but not all of them are conducive to solid conversation if you’re trying to do more than just drink with someone. 

I personally think LA rooftops are the way to go. Being outdoors is not only accommodating for COVID concerns, but also, even when rooftops are bustling with guests, the noise level isn’t constrained to an indoor room. Additionally, L.A. has some incredible rooftops (Harriet’s, The Edition, Élephante, E.P. & L.P., Sant’olina, to name a few) that provide not only just the right vibe, but also plenty opportunity to sit close and get acquainted!

For more on dating experiences, let’s take it back to quarantine and relive my very first FaceTime date HERE!

Lifestyle Featured

OffCourt Cofounder Bani Bahari on the DOs and DON’Ts of Smelling on-Point at Your Workout

October 18, 2021
photo of the new offcourt x dogpound body spray collab - interview with bani bahari

(via OffCourt)

Incorporating fragrance into your fitness routine is complicated. You don’t want to douse yourself in perfume, but you don’t want to go so light that your scent isn’t noticeable. You also have to keep in mind particular notes and formulas that may not agree with sweat. I wanted to know how to smell good at a workout, so I asked none other than OffCourt cofounder, Bani Bahari.

Bahari creates luxury body sprays alongside her husband, Jonathan Lawrence. The sprays are made with workouts in mind, and they’re generally aimed at men (though she says there’s nothing “inherently gendered” about the products). But just this month, OffCourt teamed-up with trendy West Hollywood (and NY) boutique gym, DOGPOUND, to launch a unisex Performance Body Spray ($18). After trying the product multiple times myself, it was made clear the team knows what they’re doing.

“When we launched our brand in March 2021, we sent a trio pack of our Performance Body Spray to DOGPOUND founder Kirk Myers, and wrote that it would be a dream to one day do a collab,” Bahari tells skyelyfe. “A few months later, we received an email from Kirk saying he really loved the products and thought they would be perfect for his clientele!”

While OffCourt’s inventory is traditionally aimed at men, Bahari found it a “fun challenge” to create just the right product—”really luxurious and gender neutral”—for a DOGPOUND member.

“Very early in the process, the master perfumer proposed suede as the backbone,” Bahari explains. “We loved it because it smelled rich, elegant, and deep—but also very clean, and in a new way that we didn’t have in our core collection … Overall, we feel it’s the perfect balance of fresh, clean and luxurious. It also has really good longevity, which is important when being used as a deodorant.” 

To add, Bahari says of her products in general: “We use three deodorizing agents that help neutralize odors. We also use prebiotics, which make the good bacteria flourish. This in turn crowds out the odor-causing bacteria, so your body more naturally regulates odor.”

With a successful new launch under her belt, below, Bahari breaks down the DOs and DON’Ts of how to smell good at a workout.

group is outside jogging and doing a cardio workout
(via Unsplash)

DO: Be considerate. Exercise will cause your body to create heat, which, in turn, will increase the fragrance’s sillage, aka projection. Also, you’re probably working out in close confines with a lot of other people and some people have sensitivities to strong fragrances. So, it’s important to be thoughtful of the strength of the fragrance and the amount of fragrance used.

DON’T: Wear santal. You have to be very careful with something like that. It can be both strong and polarizing. In general, I don’t think there are any hard “rules,” but it’s best to use lighter notes.

DO: Stick to fresh, energizing and clean-smelling fragrances. OffCourt uses scents like citrus, vetiver, green fig leaves and white musk—which, by the way, is a very clean smell, like fresh laundry—not to be confused with the more animalistic musks! 

girl is on her fitness mat at yoga or pilates workout
(via Unsplash)

DON’T: Put a fragrance on before a workout, or immediately post-workout if you need to run errands before you get home to shower. I think that the sweat and odor and fragrance get mixed.

DO: Avoid fragrances that you may have sensitivities to. The heat and sweat of exercise could aggravate this sensitivity.

DO: Avoid traditional perfume. It doesn’t provide any odor management [and it’s not good to] mix the fragrance and sweat. If you were to use just a perfume, lean towards lighter fragrances and lower concentrations, such as an Eau Fraiche, which has a lower concentration of essential oils.

DO: Apply some fragrance to your shirt, where it’s less likely to get washed away when the sweat starts to flow.

For more on scents, HERE are three things to know before purchasing your next body fragrance.

Lifestyle

Out With the Old, in With These Stylish, Pumpkin-Free Pieces I’m Wearing All Through Fall

September 27, 2021

Spring cleaning, who? For me, fall is the true embodiment of change and fresh starts—wardrobe included. But if I see one more ridiculous pumpkin pun plastered on a hoodie, I may never leave the house again. Anyone who knows me is well-aware fall is my favorite season, but I absolutely cannot with the gimmicky fashion. Thankfully, fall trends in LA extend much out of silly marketing ploys.

I love dressing for fall and always have. I don’t know if it’s due to the pandemic or what, but now I cringe at the thought of wearing short dresses. They don’t look good on me anymore, and I never feel comfortable in them. That used to not be the case, but yeah, times have changed. Give me a pair of leggings and an oversized sweater or hoodie and I’m set for life. The moment we get to retire our shorts and minis to the back of our closets has been my favorite day. Bring on the bundled-up wear!

I’ve already started easing into my fall clothing and accessories, and I have a pretty strong sense of what will be my standout items this season. If you’re interested in my personal picks, keep scrolling!

PUDUS Faux Cashmere Valentini Cardigan, Grey: $125

Dusters (or open, knee-length cardigans) never go out of style—and when you find one that’s equal parts functional, fashionable and insanely soft, it’s a no-brainer. PUDUS makes a long loungewear piece with deep pockets, sleeves that slouch, not sag, and a material that mimics cashmere. Keeping up with fall trends in LA each year can’t be done without a piece like this in your wardrobe—and I’ve been lucky enough to swoop up mine. Heck, even Oprah stands by this brand!

Lonely Ghost Text Me Tee: $35

I said I couldn’t deal with pumpkin overkill. Ghosts, however, are a different story. How can you not rock a casual streetwear brand that sports a little ghost as its logo? The brand is known for its quippy back-of-tee one-liners and their colorful, comfy loungewear and beanies. I’ve been wearing the peach, oversized Text Me When You Get Home tee on the reg. Paired with bike shorts, it’s the easiest on-the-go fall fit!

Made by Mary Braided Stacking Ring: $24

‘Tis the season for all gold everything, and Made by Mary is right on track! The celeb-loved jewelry brand—which recently served as gifts for Jennifer Lopez’ daughter Emme and Ben Affleck’s daughters Violet and Serafina—creates a slew of delicate and dainty pieces, and right now I’m wearing the gold Braided Stacking Ring. The mass appeal of Made by Mary’s jewels is they’re of highest quality but at a remarkably low price. Aka, best gift ideas year-’round!

Free People Easy Street Tunic, Acid Lime: $128

When I think of cozy fall trends in LA, this is pretty much the exact piece that comes to mind! Oversized, soft and with a distinct pop of color, I immediately pressed “Add to Cart” upon view. Pro tip: Definitely order the small. They’re not kidding when they say oversized. You’ll likely swim in this, which is the point. But if that’s not your vibe, this top probably isn’t for you. I plan to wear this over my new hot pink leggings (see below) for a look that’s sure to turn a few heads.

(via Free People)

dgi. los angeles Light Pink Logo Hoodie: $58

dgi. los angeles is a merch line launched by yours truly in Dec. 2020. The brand, with a cheeky acronym that stands for “doesn’t get it,” is presently on pause as far as promotion goes, but the tees and hoodies that were previously on sale are still very much available on the website. I promise I’m not being biased—the hoodies are next-level comfy, and the pink one totally pops! I will be living in these all season long. I’m very excited about the brand’s relaunch, which is expected at the end of this year.

Ten Wilde Mini Curb Chain: $32

Layering isn’t going anywhere, and Ten Wilde creates the perfect on-trend chain pieces for a fraction of the average retailer’s price. I’ve been wearing the Mini Curb Chain as a choker and layering it with two gold, dangly necklaces to follow. And hey, Addison Rae wore the brand’s Large Orb Hoops in one of her latest ITEM Beauty campaigns, so clearly I’m onto something here!

Colorful Natalie Babe Alert Necklace: $30

I’m all for a Gen Z jewelry moment, and colorful beaded smileys are totally up my alley. While TikTok is a flurry with independent retailers left and right, Colorful Natalie’s Babe Alert necklace is hands-down the most stylish piece I’ve seen in this realm. Made with a combo of pearls and high-quality gold links, this piece looks next-level chic without losing the purpose of the fun.

(via Colorful Natalie)

Honey Minx Women’s Radiant Signet Bracelet, Gold Sapphire: $74.99

Honey Minx is Nicole Richie’s line of boho chic loungewear and accessories, so naturally, it’s stylish. And much like her famed House of Harlow 1960 brand, the price point on these pieces isn’t astronomically high. And straight-up, the quality is legit, too. I stack two of these Gold Sapphire bracelets, and pair them with two other blue bracelets I own. The combo creates easy arm candy that totally pops. Honey Minx is featured on RivalWorld, a site that showcases a handful of celebrity lifestyle brands.

(via Amazon)

Leovici Women’s Classic Logo Hoodie: $85

When it comes to fall trends in LA, we all need our collection of hoodies. And not just any hoodies—the thick, robustly made fabric that keeps us warm while also extremely stylish. This off-white drawstring selection from newly launched luxury menswear brand Leovici checks all the boxes.

Child of Wild Feathers of Peace Necklace: $104

Perfect for layering or wearing solo, this beauty, made of 14K and 18K gold, has been Child of Wild’s best-selling necklace for the last three years. And it makes sense—the pendant is intricately designed, well-made and represents a future world where peace is granted for all. I was lucky enough to receive this keeper in a gift bag from Maya Apothecary, and I haven’t taken it off since!

Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airlift Legging, Hot Pink ($118) + Airlift Intrigue Bra, Hot Pink ($58)

Thick, over-the-belly-button waistbands are my jam, so that was an initial draw to these leggings. That, combined with the second-skin Airlift fabric, made me feel supported in my problem area (my stomach – surprise, surprise) as soon as I tried them on. And while I do naturally feel more comfortable in the leg and buttocks area, the four-way-stretch fit really enhances those assets. There’s also a front-smoothing panel for commando comfort, which was also a huge enticement. And, of course, the vibrant hot pink hue basically had a sign that read “BUY ME.” Paired with the brand’s Airlift Intrigue Bra of the same color, I found myself in a bold set that sucks you in, in all the right places, while not shying away from a little cleavage moment.

Brunette the Label ‘Best Friend’ Hoodie, Mint Gelato: $105

This hoodie’s faint green hue is everything. Not only is the item comfy and easy to utilize on-the-go, but it’s a unique shade that I really haven’t seen much. The fit is relaxed and slightly slouchy, sitting at the high hip. The large middle pocket is perfect for when I’m making a dash to a workout and don’t want to schlep around a huge backpack. Keys and wallet fit perfectly!

Now that you’re set with seasonal style picks, HERE are some new beauty buys to get your hands on, too!

Music

10 Introspective Albums to Listen to While You Light Your Pumpkin Spice Candles

September 20, 2021

(via Unsplash)

Isn’t it funny how we can go from blasting Megan Thee Stallion and Migos on Labor Day weekend to suddenly going solemn three weeks later? Yeah, Culture III isn’t exactly up there with albums that feel like fall.

But anyway, when the leaves are turning and the sun’s no longer burning, music just feels different. While pool parties and backyard BBQs full of bass are surely a good time, nothing compares to cozying up with hot coffee in sweats to the sounds of moody music and the scents of pumpkin spice.

If you’re on the hunt for songs that will elicit your emotions during this time of year, keep reading for 10 introspective albums that feel like fall.

1. Strange Tales – Lord Huron

Strange Tales is here for all your dreamy folk desires. On the 14-song album, dark topics, including death, are intertwined with breathtaking melodies, making this melancholy collection slightly easier to digest.

2. Thank You for Today – Death Cab for Cutie

Everything about Death Cab epitomizes fall vibes, but since Plans’ iconic 2005 release, none of the band’s albums spoke to the magic of the season until 2018’s Thank You for Today. It most closely resembles the aforementioned—after all, there’s even a song called Autumn Love. Need we say more?

3. Strange Pleasures – Still Corners

If you’re going for a dreamy, ethereal vibe, this album will speak to you. Light and luminous, it’s the perfect background music for your next pumpkin carving picnic or fall-themed dinner party.

4. Nocturne – Wild Nothing

This is without question one of the best indie albums of all time. Each song is filled with beautiful, serene melodies without tearing us apart. It’s hopeful, light and timeless—and while we most classify it with fall, it’s truly suitable year-round.

5. Goddess (Deluxe) – Banks

We’re not quite sure what happened to Banks after releasing her insanely promising debut—but either way, Goddess disrupted what we considered pop norms. Her music began to define the new “alternative,” and the melodies from this album are dark as a crisp fall night.

6. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

If you want to transport your mind to an enchanted forest in the middle of nowhere, one listen to anything on this 10-track album will do just the trick. The cohesive selection of songs flow effortlessly, taking you on a spiritual journey from start to finish. And once you’re done, you can step back a few years and listen to 2008’s For Emma, Forever Ago, which, thankfully sounds every bit the same as the aforementioned.

7. Cruel Intentions Original Soundtrack – Various Artists

Much like the provocative, dark ’90s film, its alluring soundtrack still holds up today, and each track evokes curiosity and mystique. To this day, not a film or accompanying soundtrack has done what Cruel Intentions has. Both beautiful and melancholy, every song from start to finish will make you feel something.

8. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy – Sarah McLachlan

If you’re a child of the ’90s you know the massive impact Sarah McLachlan had on music. The Lilith Fair cofounder was a pioneer of making thoughtful albums that feel like fall. Her 1997 release, Surfacing, garnered huge mainstream success, but 1993’s lesser known Fumbling Towards Ecstasy resonates with us in a deeper way.

9. Shore – Fleet Foxes

Don’t let the title of Fleet Foxes’ new album fool you—there are no beachy vibes to found on this 15-song selection of folk-rock melodies. But that doesn’t mean they’re not uplifting. If you’re looking for a serene album with a light tone, this is your best bet.

10. Badlands (Deluxe) – Halsey

Halsey has always maintained her disposition as an angsty, brooding artist. But just on the brink of mainstream fame, she released Badlands, a raw, organic look into past relationships and mental health struggles. With no collaborations or buzzy production credits, this melancholic selection of thought-provoking tracks is not only the singer at her finest, but the closest thing to fall-sounding pop out there.

 

Now that you have plenty of albums that feel like fall, mix things up with THIS playlist of best songs from artists at Coachella 2017!

Beauty

Everything to Know About the New S.O.S. Gummy That’s Here to Rescue Your Dry Skin

September 8, 2021
girl with pimples and skin issues has eye looking at camera

(via Unsplash)

Gummy supplements have come a long way since the famous Sugar Bear Hair bites that put these ingestibles on the map. While many believe these products are gimmicky, Embody gummies have shed new light on this particular industry.

The brand released The Retinol Gummy at the end of 2020 and the ACV Gummy at the beginning of 2021. And in July, they released an S.O.S. gummy, formerly known as the eczema gummy. I was invited to the product’s virtual launch, and sent samples just ahead of its release. I was hesitant at first because I don’t suffer from eczema, and I wanted to know if I’d still benefit from the gummies (which are kid-safe, btw!). Well, apparently I’m not alone. Many other event attendees had the same question, which led the brand to restructure its name and advertised purposes.

Embody’s SVP Alexis Starling chatted with skyelyfe and broke down what to know about the supplements, how eczema is developed and why anyone with generally dry skin can benefit from these gummies. Keep reading for what she had to say!

Purposes of the S.O.S. Gummy

“The S.O.S. Gummy is a great addition to the skincare routine of anyone with dry, irritated, itchy skin,” Starling said. “Dryness and itchiness can be caused by any number of factors—cold weather, hard water, dehydration, environmental sensitivities and more. What the S.O.S. Gummy brings to the table is maintaining a healthy, happy skin barrier to keep moisture in and environmental stressors out.”

S.O.S. Gummies Ingredients and Their Universal Benefits 

Because Vitamin D deficiency is a prime contributor to eczema and dry skin, the gummies are packed with the essential nutrient, along with MSM, evening primrose oil and zinc.

“Did you know that up to 25% of Americans are vitamin D deficient?” Starling points out. “Vitamin D serves a multitude of important functions in your body, including helping enhance mood, supporting immune function and providing nutrients necessary for a strong skin barrier. The vitamin D in the S.O.S. Gummy helps support your immune system and helps keep skin cells healthy, which contributes to smoother, clearer, and soothed skin. MSM is a natural sulfur derivative that helps support proper cell structures, the body’s ability to repair itself and collagen production. Evening primrose oil is packed full of fatty acids to help boost skin barrier function and help lock in moisture. Finally, zinc is a vital nutrient that contributes to healthy skin healing.”

Important Points to Note About All Gummies

First and foremost, if any particular gummy claims to cure or completely fix an issue or ailment, that is a marketing ploy. Gummies should not be intended for that purpose, and rather, serve as aids. Additionally, gummies aren’t one-size-fits all.

“Everyone’s body is different,” Starling said, regarding Embody Gummies efficiency. “What may work for one person may not work for another. We always recommend giving your body time to adjust to any new supplement or skincare product.”

Speaking of dry skin, HERE‘s my sworn-by secret to making your skin look shiny (even if you’re faking it!).

Beauty

If You’re Overwhelmed by the Saturated World of Skincare, These Experts Explain What to Look for (and Avoid) When Product Shopping

September 7, 2021

Whether you’ve maintained a skincare routine for years, or you’re freshly diving into this wellness practice, figuring out how to know which skincare products work is complex.

From the fact that everyone’s skin is different, to the plethora of formulations and brands on the market, skincare is an overwhelming space—even for the most well-acquainted.

The only way to break down what to universally look for (and avoid) when embarking on a skincare spree is to speak to the experts. Below is everything you need to know.

(via Unsplash)

What Everyone Should Keep in Mind When Starting a Fresh Skincare Routine

While everyone’s skin and needs are indeed different, there are some universal rules that apply across the board.

“Keep it simple—three to four products maximum—especially if you’re new to skincare,” Emily Wollenman, Vice President of Education and Specialty Accounts at newly 100% recyclable Higher Education Skincare, tells skyelyfe. “You want to set yourself up for success with a skincare routine that’s easy for you to incorporate into your schedule and that you look forward to applying in the morning and in the evening. It takes an average of 21 days of conscious effort to create a new habit. After that amount of time, you can begin adding additional products into your skincare routine if you’d like, such as serums, masks, eye treatments and other targeted solutions. By using this approach, you’ll be more likely to stay consistent and dedicated to taking care of your skin.”

If you already have a routine in place, but feel like branching out, Kat Bryce, Co-Founder of LOUM Beauty, tells skyelyfe, “We always recommend integrating new products slowly into your routine versus changing everything at once. So if you’re trying a new serum, aim to keep the rest of your regimen the same, the same for moisturizers, at least in the short term. That way you can make sure the products work with your skin and you have a good base to see the difference of any new additions.” 

Red Flags Consumers Should Look Out for on Skincare Packaging

Part of the appeal of so many products is obviously marketing. And if you’re uninformed, it’s easy to fall into traps.

“When a single product makes too many claims or it sounds just too good to be true, it probably is,” Wollenman explains. “There’s no product out there that could possibly cleanse, tone, exfoliate, brighten and moisturize effectively all in one step. I’d also tell consumers to look out for claims or statements that make a product appear cleaner, greener, or more natural than it really is. A lot of information is strategically placed on the packaging to gain your attention, but in reality you don’t really know what’s in your product until you turn the box around and read the ingredients.”  

Red Flags Consumers Should Look Out for When It Comes to Ingredients

“We all know that the clean beauty movement is here to stay, and I believe that in time, clean beauty will become the industry standard,” Wollenman explains. “Some people prefer 100% natural products, some people prefer products that combine the best of science and nature, some people prefer products that are sulfate and paraben-free, and some people prefer products that are vegan and fragrance-free. Many beauty retailers now provide lists of ingredients that are considered toxic or potentially harmful, and you can use these lists as a starting point when considering your personal skincare choices.”

Echoes Bryce, “Definitions of ‘clean’ vary wildly so it’s good to research brands’ clean standards. For example, with LOUM, we formulated to the highest clean standards, including Credo, Follain and Goop. You want to make sure you’re comfortable with the ingredients you’re putting on your skin.”

When it comes to fragrance as an ingredient, Bryce explains it’s a slippery slope.

“There’s no requirement to disclose what goes into a fragrance,” she says. “For LOUM, we worked with a limited palette of ingredients to ensure our fragrance was not only clean but also hypo-allergenic—which is incredibly rare in skincare—but if you have sensitive or easily inflamed skin, it’s good to be cautious and research fragrances.”

Universally Beneficial Skincare Ingredients

While it’s true everyone’s skin is different, there are some all-star ingredients that are characteristically useful for everyone. If you’re learning how to know which skincare products work, you’ll want to take the following into consideration.

“Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and retinol are amazing ingredients that any skin type and any age can benefit from and see visible results with,” Wollenman says. 

Hyaluronic acid is key because it can hold up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. 

“HA, which is naturally occurring in the body, penetrates the skin and binds water to skin cells,” Wollenman explains. “It infuses all layers of the skin with moisture, leaving the skin feeling immediately more hydrated, plump and smooth. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant, meaning that once it’s applied to the skin, it will continue to draw moisture in from the surrounding environment, providing long-lasting hydration.”

As for niacinamide, it’s a form of vitamin B-3 that can help build keratin proteins in the skin and lock in moisture to prevent environmental damage. 

“Think firmer, more hydrated and protected skin,” Wollenman says. “However, the benefits don’t stop there with this powerhouse ingredient.  For those who suffer from acne and occasional breakouts, niacinamide can assist in treating these conditions by regulating the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce, thus resulting in less breakouts and smaller, more refined pores. Niacinamide also reduces inflammation, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.”

Lastly, retinol is a form of vitamin A that’s used to treat acne and reduce wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. 

“Retinol has an exfoliating effect on the skin’s surface that improves texture and tone and drastically increases cellular turnover,” Wollenman says. “Due to this exfoliating effect, retinol is very effective in treating mild to severe acne, as well as acne scarring (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). A great product to try when incorporating retinol into your skincare routine is MBA® by Higher Education Skincare. This powerful yet gentle product contains 0.5% retinol and also includes sodium hyaluronate (a more stable version of HA) and oat kernel extract, which helps the skin retain moisture. It also reduces redness or sensitivity sometimes caused by retinol when first incorporating it into a skincare routine.”

Bryce says not to forget about Vitamin C, collagen-boosters and tri-peptides.

​”They’re amazing, powerful anti-aging ingredients to deliver lifting, firming and brightening of the skin,” she says, adding that each of those are included in LOUM’s Pure Serenity Golden C Serum.

To Wollenman’s point, Bryce echoes: “Hyaluronic acid is the ultimate go-to for hydration, helping skin hold up to 1000xs its weight in water.”

Ingredients to Avoid When Newly Adapting to a Skincare Routine

When it comes to steering clear from particular ingredients off the bat, this really isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation.

“It’s more about being ingredient-savvy and understanding your skin type,” Wollenman says. “Some ingredients like alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids, which are great for surface exfoliation, could potentially cause redness or irritation for those with overly sensitive skin. Those with acne-prone or oily skin, would want to make sure that their products are oil-free, noncomedogenic and designed to control oil production. If you have dry skin, you obviously want to avoid products that contain ingredients that could potentially have a drying effect on the skin like salicylic acid, alcohol or sulfates. Know your skin type and look for products with ingredients designed specifically for your skin type. It sounds simple enough, but I see consumers make this mistake all the time.”

Bryce agrees with Wollenman about acids, explaining, “They can easily inflame sensitive skin types.” She also advises caution with Vitamin C, which can also be “irritating to some skin types.”

But these aren’t ingredients to avoid at all costs, “as they can do wonders for skin,” she says. “But definitely experiment with caution and ease your skin in gently to avoid any reactions.”

How to Know If a Higher-Priced Skincare Item Is Actually Worth It for More Than Just the Packaging or Name Behind It 

When figuring out how to know if a skincare product works, the dollar sign may not reveal much. While yes, an expensive product is such for a reason, that reason may not be the actual formulation itself.

“Many desire products that use the highest quality and cleanest ingredients available that are ethically sourced, and of course cruelty-free, but these types of ingredients cost more,” Wollenman says. “Many consumers look for more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging, which also costs more to produce. When you begin adding up these customer requirements, the costs of the products go up. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, the importance here is to thoroughly read the ingredients and identify the product’s points of difference (vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, etc.) on the packaging so you know exactly where your dollar is going.”

For Bryce’s part, she says, “​It all comes down to whether the formula contains effective ingredients, and if they’re at the right levels to make a difference.”

She says LOUM doubled-up on active ingredients.

“Each of our products contains our TriSerene complex, which combines marine-micro algae, wild indigo extract, broad spectrum CBD and three active ingredients clinically tested to dial down and reverse the effects of stress on skin. In addition, we included supplementary active ingredients to mitigate specific skin concerns. For example, our firming cream also contains plant-derived collagen and bakuchiol. By combining powerful ingredients at active levels you know you’re going to have a product that will be effective and deliver the results you’re looking for on your skin.”

Types of Products Recommended for Someone Diving Into Skincare for the First Time

“At Higher Education Skincare we believe in the Power of 3® as the foundation of a good skincare routine,” Wollenman says. “The Power of 3® regimen includes a cleanser, exfoliator and moisturizer specifically designed for oily/acne-prone skin, combination skin, or dry/sensitive skin. These products, used once in the morning and once at night, will promote healthy, clear and radiant skin. Of course, it’s equally important to protect the skin every day with a sunscreen, ideally in an oil-free and noncomedogenic formula that has at least an SPF 30.”   

Bryce emphasizes the importance of targeting specific needs right away.

“If you have sensitive or dry skin, our Be Calm Cleansing Balm is such a savior,” she says. “With borage, sea buckthorn, moringa oils and hyaluronic acid, it cleanses gently and nourishes skin deeply to leave it plump and glowing.”

She adds, “Or if you have oily or breakout-prone skin, try our Stress Detox Enzymatic Cleanser. With papaya and pumpkin fruit enzymes and mandelic acid, it gently unclogs pores while working deep within skin to purify and help regulate oil production. It works wonders to prevent oily skin and breakouts, while leaving skin hydrated.”

(via Higher Education)
(via Higher Education)

Ultimately, Research Is Key!

Curious how to know which skincare products work for you? Grab your computer and get to work!

“The skincare space is filled with thousands of products, each promising to solve all of your skin concerns,” Wollenman says. “It can be overwhelming to say the least. Take a little time to conduct some research before you buy. Get to know the brand and their products by visiting their website and social media accounts. Read the customer reviews, as they can provide a ton of insight. It never hurts to ask your friends what they use and know that you can always consult with skincare experts at your favorite beauty retailer for expert advice. Once you’ve identified a line that resonates with you and your preferences, look deeper into the products that they offer and make sure they’re formulated with your needs in mind.”

It’s also especially important to do your homework when it comes to celebrities or unconventional brands launching skincare lines.

“A celebrity line doesn’t mean the products are worse quality,” Bryce says. “But just like anything else, it’s worth doing your research before you invest, especially since celebrity lines often come with higher price tags. Look for clinical evidence, check the ingredient lists for known nasties (the Credo website is a great reference point) and don’t compromise on the quality of ingredients you put on your skin for anyone.”

Looking to give your skin an extra upgrade of TLC? Click HERE to learn about Nourishe’s Dragon Breath facial!

Beauty Featured

8 Innovative New Beauty Products You’ll Want to Get Your Hands on ASAP

September 2, 2021
girl stands in front of mirror in a robe spraying on part of her skincare routine

(via Unsplash)

If I rounded up a list each month of every new hair and skincare launch that hit shelves, I don’t think I’d get a moment of sleep. There are endless beauty releases each day, let alone each week and so forth. That’s why I decided to create a fresh list of the best new beauty products that are truly innovative.

So many products on the market essentially mimic each other with perhaps a swapped ingredient, chicer packaging or a different price point. Many of the launches sent my way recently, however, are made with rare formulas or unique intentions.

Again, I can’t speak for everything on the market, but from what I’ve tried recently, below are the best new beauty products that think outside the box.

Maya Apothecary Daily Ritual Kit: $229.50

Before I get into your new luxury self-care obsession, let’s start with pointing out that Maya Apothecary is the world’s first frequency-infused skincare line. What does this mean, exactly? Intended benefits of each frequency range from reducing anxiety and calming the nervous system, to activating the pineal gland and supporting visualization and manifestation practices. Essential oils are added specifically to match the intention of the frequency.

The brand’s Daily Ritual Kit comes with two expertly packaged full-body formulas (Illuminate for AM, Wild Femme for PM). The frequencies of these rich, concentrated balms are infused when the product is in a liquid state, at higher temperatures, using sound. The vibrational attunement of water and oil molecules to sound is a long-studied phenomenon and scientifically proven practice. It’s used in healing and meditation, and even in some medical treatments. This may potentially sound a little too new age for some, but if this is your type of thing, it could be useful to get started on a full moon, during a reiki healing session, a meditation or some other occasion that explores your higher self.

Due to COVID restrictions, the brand held its exclusive launch via Zoom—and lucky attendees (myself included) received a gift box backed by brands that also support the mission of self-love and wellness: Child of WildSlipMagic of IArt of TeaThe Moon Deck and more.

The Route Triple Cleanse: $48

Known most prominently for their Party Peel gold illuminating face mask, The Route Beauty has taken the standard cleanse routine to the next level, consolidating three steps into one. Applied to dry skin, this cream-to oil-to milk consistency (infused with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, passion fruit seed oil and shea butter) melts makeup, eliminates bacteria and provides some much-needed moisture.

Personal tip: After cleanser application, leave the formula on the face for a few extra minutes to seep in added moisture.

Skin Proud Frozen Over Gel-to-Ice Hydrator: $15.97

Skin Proud is no stranger to London, but it’s brand new to the U.S., making this one-of-a-kind product fresh to most of the people reading this. As part of Walmart’s reinvented skincare overhaul, this popular overseas brand will stock the aisles with skincare essentials. Geared toward Gen Z in particular, this gel-to-ice hydrator is a universal must, regardless of age or skin type. The hyaluronic acid-packed product serves as your standard, everyday moisturizer when used at room temperature—but quickly transitions into a hydrating de-puffer after a couple hours in the freezer. Late nights? Don’t know ’em!

Barefoot Scientist Dream State Spray: $20

As the first scientifically backed footcare line, Barefoot Scientist has done it all when it comes to keeping the feet in tip-top condition. But the brand’s latest launch is truly innovative, in that it combines premium ashwagandha and the world’s purest form of magnesium to deliver fast-acting relaxation and a sleep-inducing state of mind. Applied to the soles of the feet for best absorption, this spray requires minimal effort (and zero liquid-before-bed ingestion) to hit the pillow peacefully.

Personal tip: Upon application, throw on a pair of cozy socks. Not only does wearing socks to bed provide more restful sleep by regulating your body’s temperature, but the relaxing material will be a welcome contrast to the texture and feeling of magnesium.

BodyBlendz Booty Mask: $37.99

It’s about time that masks are expanding outside of hair and face. Body masks have grown in popularity over just the last year alone, and Australia’s BodyBlendz is hopping on the trend with the launch of their cooling Booty Mask. Made to lift and moisturize the derriere, this unique mask comes in a clay formula, is suitable for all skin types, contains slimming properties, prevents buttne and unclogs pores. Where traditional clay masks across the board tend to try out skin, this product does the opposite. The brand also simultaneously launched a booby clay mask, formulated slightly different, but with similar benefits.

Personal tip No. 1: What blew me away about the booty mask most is that I applied it to a freshly shaved bikini area (just to see what would happen), and it immediately removed the redness. How’s that for a multifaceted product?

Personal tip No. 2: If you want to take your booty smoothness to the next level, you can top off the masking process with a clearing butt polish, like Truly Beauty’s Berry Cheeky, for example. Apply with water after rinsing the clay mask, and leave on for 10 minutes to help slough away blemishes and impurities. Added bonus? It smells fruity and feminine!

Good Faith Women’s Wellness + Probiotics Supplements: $25

Sick of popping seemingly endless pills each morning? Same! Brand new skincare and wellness brand, Good Faith, launched a 2-in-1 capsule made specifically for women. These probiotic, chaste tree, ginger root and cramp bark-packed supplements deliver digestive health benefits. They also promote a balanced vaginal pH and microbiome, and support a healthy urinary tract and bladder, helping reduce risk of UTI and optimizing female hormonal balance. Yes, this is a mouthful of info to digest, but a good one—trust.

Fable & Mane SahaScalp Amla Soothing Serum: $45

Fable & Mane quickly climbed the ranks of buzzy haircare brands with the launch of their HoliRoots pre-wash hair treatment. Following the product’s success, the brand, based on Ayurvedic practices, launched an additional scalp formula. Their new Soothing Serum combines a unique blend of amla and bakuchi oils, along with aloe, to create a soothing, weightless elixir that nourishes hair, while clearing product build-up from the scalp and reducing itchiness. Suitable for all scalp types, this new launch has a captivating, calming aroma, much like its popular predecessor.

AURA Personalized Haircare System: $67 (complete trio)

Personalized haircare isn’t entirely unheard of up to this point—but AURA takes it to the next level by incorporating temporary pigment options and neutralizing hues into the mix. So, on top of selecting your specific hair type, desired hair goals and even which aroma tickles your fancy, you also get to add a vibrant “Fantasy Shade” or “Classic Shade” into the mix. If you want to stick to your current shade, you also have the opportunity to select a neutralizing hue to help offset unwanted warm tones (aka say goodbye to brassy blonde highlights!). And, of course, you can select no additional pigment at all. Products can be purchased individually, but the trio (shampoo, conditioner and masque) will get you the best bang for your buck!

Need another roundup of the best new beauty products? Look no further than THESE incredible splurge-worthy buys that kicked off our Hot Girl Summer!

Lifestyle

Jordin Sparks Launched a Fine Jewelry Collection, and the Pieces Are Next-Level Chic

August 24, 2021

TBH, when I think of Jordin Sparks, her breakout 2008 hit “No Air” still comes to mind. And that’s after, of course, American Idol. While dripping in jewels isn’t my first association, when I saw the unexpected collection she launched with Twila True jewelry, I’ve got to say, I was impressed.

This five-piece selection—which consists of four totally different rings and one bracelet—is sleek and chic. While not cheap by any means, the delicate, detailed pieces are a tasteful splurge for that special someone (yourself included!).

The collection (among others from Twila True jewelry) was on full display last week at the brand’s Tropical Summer Soirée. The fete took place at TT’s flagship Newport Beach store, where Sparks was decked in her dainty diamonds.

(Photo credit: Steven Jay Photo)
(Photo credit: Steven Jay Photo)

At the Orange County extravaganza, guests swooped up hand-rolled cigars, sipped cocktails and noshed on hors d’oeuvres. Oh, and of course they shopped. Ten percent of the night’s proceeds went to the CASA Foundation of Orange County, which provides assistance and funding for fostered youth programs.

(Photo credit: Steven Jay Photo)
(Photo credit: Steven Jay Photo)

For more on unique jewelry pieces, get to know the founder of THIS energy stone jewelry line!