Category Archives: Beauty & Hair

Video: Curly Girl Collective’s CURLFEST, The Ultimate Summer Picnic Re-Cap

The lovely coiled ladies of the Curly Girl Collective hosted their first annual Curlfest in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park a few weeks back. The event hosted ladies of all hair textures and the men that love them in a carefree environment, complete with a DJ, snacks, and major haircare swag.

They have unveiled the re-cap of the event in video form, which you can view below. Looking forward to next year’s event!

CURLFEST™: The Ultimate Summer Picnic from CurlyGirlCollective on Vimeo.


*Photo by Shawn A. Lawrence

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Nailed It: Bubblegum Sweet Nails in “Kirtridge” by ZOYA

Another week, another opportunity to share a new nail color review with you all. This time we have Kirtridge by ZOYA, part of the Summer 2014 “Tickled” collection. I received the color as part of ZOYA’s sampling program for bloggers. I would describe Kirtridge as a bubblegum pink with a fluorescent undertone. As I have gotten a bit of sun, the color really pops on my hands in a subtle way. I photographed my hands in natural light, but the color can appear lighter in incandescent lighting situations.

I applied three coats of the polish to achieve the coverage seen in the photos, even though two is fine. I like to put an extra coat as my hands can be a little shaky when I paint, so the extra coat covers any spots I have missed. I really dig Kirtridge because it gives me throwback ’80s vibes, color wise. I also like that it is extremely feminine without being juvenile. For those that are really into nail art, I believe this color would pair well with aquas, lavender, and lime green.

Kirtridge retails for $9, and can be purchased directly from the ZOYA website. Here’s to happy nails!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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Nailed It: “Caribbean Sea In Belize” Nails With FLOSS GLOSS “Wet” Starring Mama Cas <3

My mother was born in Belize, Central America, and is also a Pisces. She loves all colors that remind her of home, and lets this be known in the clothing that she wears, the way in which she decorates our home, and on rare occasions, the way she paints her nails. Prior to our recent trip to the local nail salon, she asked me for a greenish blue, and I presented her with “Wet” by FLOSS GLOSS. Here is Mom’s review in her own words.

I like this color because it reminds me of the sea in Belize. The color shows up like this with two coats.

I personally like this color a lot because it’s the ideal Caribbean blue, matching the calm waters, and mentally putting me on island time. It has the perfect blend of blue and green with the right amount of brightness to evoke feelings of happiness, and the urge to go on a vacation. I suppose I will use this color for my trip to Belize next month. What say you?

You can purchase this color directly from FLOSS GLOSS. I think you’ll dig it!

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Nailed It: Patriotic Flair w/ FLOSS GLOSS “Gangsta Boo”

As the United States of America gears up to celebrate its 238th birthday tomorrow, I felt it was time for a new, rather patriotic manicure. I love all shades of red, being a July baby and having the ruby as my birthstone, but for some odd reason, I’ve never really painted my nails red. Red is an incredibly sensual color, evoking warm energy that can be exciting and carnal.

For my manicure I chose “Gangsta Boo” by FLOSS GLOSS, a true, classic red that would be appropriate on sirens of yesteryear and present. The color is a special edition between FLOSS GLOSS and the southern rapstress of the same name, Gangsta Boo, most known for her unapologetic attitude, and lyrics that even make the manliest of men blush. The polish stands out on my hands, similarly to how the perfect red lipstick stands out on my lips. For this reason, I decided to let the color flourish on its own, not pairing it with another “color pop”, this demands its own attention. I used three coats to achieve the look you see in the photos above, but two works just as well.

If manicures can be sexy and patriotic at the same time, I believe I have achieved both with this color. Enjoy your 4th, and jam on to some gangsta tunes below.

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Nailed It: “Key Lime Pie” Inspired Nails w/ FLOSS GLOSS “Con Limon” & “Biscuits”

After a very unfortunate back and forth with the United States Postal Service (Kensington Branch, I’m talking about you!), I was finally blessed with some nail color goodies from the ladies of FLOSS GLOSS. I most recently introduced you all to their Spring/Summer 2014 collection named All The Fixinsa four color range with tasty names. When I sifted through my new collection of polishes I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cute to create a mani combo inspired by something tasty?’. And thus, my “Key Lime Pie” manicure was born.

The lime I used was their color “Con Limon” (“with lime” in Spanish). It is a fluorescent yellow green, that I’m pretty sure would glow under black light. I used two coats to achieve the color you see in the photo. For fuller coverage, use three coats to really pack a punch.

The custard color I used was “Biscuits” from the All The Fixins collection. It’s a super buttery, white cream, most comparable to the inside of a biscuit with a tad bit of melted butter. I used two coats to achieve the look you see in the photo. Again, a third coat would not hurt, but since I got my mani done in a salon, they never apply more than two coats, even if you bring your own polish.

I like the simplicity of this color combo, and realized after the fact, that these are the same colors of the paint in my bedroom. Not too adventurous, huh? Are you digging it? I am considering adding some nail art to it, depends how I feel.

Look out for more FLOSS GLOSS reviews! Next review stars the hands of my Mom, woop! :)

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Summer Beauty Essentials, Featuring Caudalie, Carmex, Shea Moisture & More!

Summer is here, and it is time to up your beauty game! With exposure to heat, sun, and other elements, it is necessary that we say hydrated internally and externally. I have rounded up a few beauty essentials for the summertime, most that I have personally road-tested, that will help you look and feel your best!


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Caudalie Grape Water, $18

French beauty line Caudalie is known for their line of high-quality, natural beauty products, specifically their grape line. Their Grape Water is a great way to prep skin, pre-moisturizer and makeup.


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Klorane Floral Gel Eye Make-Up Remover, $16

For those that like to wear a little make-up to the beach, or other water-filled activities, waterproof eyeliner and mascara is a must. Klorane’s gel eye make-up remover with soothing cornflower will be your new BFF, tough enough to remove waterproof make-up, with a cool, soothing finish.


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Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm w/ SPF 15

Great summer lips come with a dose of high moisturizing capability, and sun protection. Carmex has combined these two major elements with new fun packaging of the warmer months. Their Moisture Plus Lip balm is packed with moisturizing goodies in stick form, with a light vanilla scent, and SPF 15.


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Coola SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray, $32

To keep skin glowing and safe, it is necessary to have the right sunscreen. COOLA offers up many options, but one of my favorites is their SPF 30 sunscreen spray. Comprised mostly of organic ingredients, the spray is light, water resistant, and offered in fun scents like Piña Colada and Citrus Mimosa.



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Neutrogena Professional Triple Repair Fortifying Leave-In Treatment, $6.99

Sun, chlorine, and salt water exposure can severely damage your tresses in the summer, so it is necessary to deep condition your hair in your off-time. Neutrogena’s Triple Repair line is suitable for all hair types, offering an affordable leave-in treatment for damaged hair. Work through hair and style as usual.


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Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist, $10.99

 Curly girls always need to give their hair a little more TLC in the summer. Shea Moisture’s Hold & Shine Moisture Mist is a dual-duty product. It can be used on damp hair to moisturize before styling, or as a refresher for curls that have previously been washed. Personally, this product is on me at all times to refresh curls throughout the day.

We hope our picks have been helpful for maintaing moisture in your beauty routine throughout these long summer days and nights. :)


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Nailed It: A Tropical Pairing In ZOYA’s “Wendy” & “Alma”

With the warm weather looking like it is here to stay in New York City, I felt it was fitting to share a tropical-inspired manicure with you all! In this edition of “Nailed It”, we feature two colors from ZOYA’s “Tickled & Bubbly” collection for summer 2014. I received colors from both collections as part of their sampling program for bloggers, and other members of the online media-sphere.

I chose “Wendy” as my base, a fluorescent watermelon-hued cream polish with a slightly orange undertone, paired with “Alma”, a translucent, slightly holographic orange polish with large gold flecks of glitter. I like the combo of these two colors because it reminds me of the Caribbean, specifically the color of a mixed cocktail you may receive at the resort pool. As I wanted to remain a bit understated with this manicure, I decided to paint only my ring fingers with “Alma” on top of “Wendy”. You can view a close up of the colors in the bottles below, taken in natural light without flash.

I really like the formula of ZOYA’s cream (non-glitter) polishes as it has good coverage, and hides the ridges that are currently in my nails from having acrylic. All of their polishes are non-toxic, and healthy for natural nails. However, I do wish the glitter polish was more opaque than translucent.

ZOYA’s “Wendy” and “Alma” polishes retail for $9, and are available for purchase on Be on the lookout for more ZOYA reviews!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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Event: Curly Girl Collective Presents Curl Fest, “The Ultimate Summer Picnic” 6/22/14 @ Prospect Park

The impeccably coiled ladies of Curly Girl Collective have an event full of summer fun that is not to be missed! Curl Fest, dubbed “the ultimate summer picnic” hits Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sunday, June 22, 2014. It’s a time for the curly gals, and the men that love them, to chillax picnic-style in the park, with jams and games provided by the sponsors.

All info on the flyer above. The best part about the event, aside from the obvious, is that it is free of charge! RSVP here, and bring all your “curlfriends”! :)

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Nails: Floss Gloss Serves Up “All The Fixins” With Their Spring/Summer 2014 Color Collection

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San Francisco founded and now Brooklyn-based nail color company Floss Gloss, serves up “All The Fixins” with their Spring/Summer 2014 color collection. The colors as you would have guessed, are inspired by food; think a family barbecue with a Slip N Slide, or a picnic with your boo-thang at your favorite park.

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The four color collection includes:

  • Biscuits: a buttery ivory creme
  • Picnic: a deep cranberry creme
  • Honey: a holographic bronze
  • Wet: an electric turquoise creme

All of Floss Gloss’ nail colors are cruelty free, and made with love in Los Angeles, California. All lacquers retail for $8, and are available for purchase here. Get into it!


*Photos via Floss Gloss Ltd.

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Blo Blow Dry Bar Opens #BloChelsea With Sips, Sweets, & Discounted Blows!

The entryway of Blo Chelsea

The entryway of Blo Chelsea

Blo Blow Dry Bar is the original blow dry salon, founded in 2007 with a menu of seven blow-out styles. The chain, based in Toronto,  has expanded over the years, opening its latest output in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, blocks away from F.I.T. #BloChelsea held their grand opening festivities from May 8th (for media) through May 11th. Clients were offered discounted blow-outs for $25, as opposed to the $40 retail price, and were treated to champagne and mini-cupcakes during their appointment.

Blo emblazoned mini-cupcakes

Blo emblazoned mini-cupcakes

As I was unable to attend the media preview on the 8th, I stopped by the location on Saturday the 10th to take in the Blo experience. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Hilary Chan-Kent, the company’s Chief Brand Officer, and was introduced to staff and the salon’s menu. It was nice to know that the chain offers seven blow-out styles, including a high pony, bun, and fishtail braid.

Hair menu of services.

Hair menu of services.

After receiving my complimentary glass of prosecco, I decided to go with the “Red Carpet”, a classic blow-out with lots of body and “gentle arcs toward the neckline”. I was given a stylist who specialized in curly hair (my hair was in an enormous messy bun at this point), and we walked over to the wash station to get things going.

Wash station.

Wash station.

The salon was beautifully designed and decorated with a grey, white, and fuchsia palette, I was able to relax and look at the glass tile-covered walls as my hair was washed. Blo uses Unite products, a line that was not familiar with prior, that has amazing scents and moisturizing capabilities.

I was quickly taken to my chair, and received a great blow-out with body and smoothness; just what I was looking for. Check out the photos below for the final look.

The team at #BloChelsea was super friendly and accommodating. I really appreciated their attention to detail, and was pleasantly surprised to receive a bag of goodies from the media preview that I had missed! Be on the lookout for more reviews. I highly recommend #BloChelsea for the woman on the go that needs a quality blow-out.

blo chelsea

800 6th Avenue
New York, New York 10001
212 725 4500

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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Event: BUST Craftacular’s “Primped” at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, Sun. May 4th



Hey ladies! Want to spend your Sunday afternoon at a beauty-filled event in Brooklyn? Well mark your calendars for May 4th, as BUST magazine presents their “Primped” Craftacular in the borough’s Greenpoint neighborhood. Attendees can expect the following with their $3 admission:

  • Over 90 vendors of handmade and vintage clothing and accessories, indie beauty and body products, and more!

  • Braid styling and bang trims at the Fringe Salon Braid ‘n Bang Bar!

  • Rave-ready hair chalk streaks at the DIY Dye booth!

  • Super-cute make-and-take crafts with Alison Caporimo, author of InstaCraft!

  • DIY nail art at the Homemade Nail Polish table!

  • Ten-minute tarot readings!

  • Complimentary hand massages!

  • Portrait photobooth with celebrity photog Michael Lavine!

  • Free swag bags and complimentary bottles of Red Jacket Orchards juice for the first 300 guests!

For more info, head on over to BUST.

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Re-Cap: ‘Spring Fling’ With AJ Crimson and Friends


Cake pops by Lollicakes NYC

On Wednesday, April 23rd, the ladies of Bella PR in conjunction with celebrity make-up artist AJ Crimson, hosted an evening of beauty in NYC. AJ was on hand to deliver glamorous make-up touch-ups to guests, using his signature line of complexion products for the face.

AJ applying make-up to a guest

AJ applying make-up to a guest

Guests sipped on wine and nibbled on sweet treats, provided by Lollicakes NYC. I’ve had a few cake pops in my day, but Lollicakes were exceptional, super moist and tasty! Between sips and nibbles, guests were able to sign up to receive manicures, using Pure Ice or Kryolan polishes. I loved the bright assortment of Kryolan as I have a penchant for color.

Kryolan colors at the manicure station

Kryolan colors at the manicure station

Check out more photos of the event below. Another lovely evening with the Bella Girls.

If you are in NYC, be sure to stop by Kenig + Alcone tomorrow for a special beauty and shopping event with AJ!


*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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ZOYA Presents Summer 2014 Collections: “Tickled & Bubbly” and “Magical Pixie”

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As spring break is over and summer is on the radar, the folks at ZOYA have unveiled their lovely Summer 2014 nail color collections. First up is “Tickled & Bubbly”, a tropical-themed collection consisting of the creme colors of “Tickled” and holographic glitter colors of “Bubbly”. I’m loving “Rocha” in the “Tickled” collection, and “Harper” in the “Bubbly” collection. See swatches below.

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In addition to this, ZOYA will also be releasing the “Magical Pixie” collection for summer. It consists of three no-fuss shades in “Arlo”, “Ginni”, and “Bar”, which take your glitter quotient to the next level. Definitely made for the lady who wants a little more sparkle in their life! See swatches and info below.

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Both collections are available for pre-order now, and ships May 14th. Be on the lookout for swatches and reviews soon!

*Photos courtesy of ZOYA

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Join Celebrity Make-Up Artist AJ Crimson This Saturday, 4/26, For An Afternoon Of Beauty In NYC!

ajcrimsoneventsatOne of our favorite make-up artists, AJ Crimson, will be launching his eponymous beauty line in NYC’s Kenig + Alcone, and is inviting YOU to a special event this weekend! AJ will be offering beauty tips, cocktails, and a special 25% off discount to all attendees! A limited amount of gifts will be available on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to get there early!


Nailed It: An Intergalactic Look With Floss Gloss “Dimepiece”

The look of intergalactic nails.

The look of intergalactic nails.

Nail stories are always fun, so here is my latest. If you have been keeping up with my Nailed It series, you would have noticed that I have been wearing acrylic wraps for the past few months. I liked the look of my longer nails, and the strength provided in wraps, but I caved. I took off my wraps at home (not the best idea) the other day, because my long nails were hindering my work, which of course, involves a lot of typing.

With newly short, natural nails, I wanted my first mani to make a statement, so I decided to go forward with a glitter polish called Dimepiece by Floss Gloss.

With bottle in hand of "Dimepiece" by Floss Gloss

With bottle in hand of “Dimepiece” by Floss Gloss

I originally received the polish from NYLON magazine, being a part of their It Girl program, but I must say, the amount of glitter scared me at first. I kept the bottle in a safe place, and thought now was the perfect time to break it out. I’m all for quirky polish names, so when I read that the name was Dimepiece, I was all for it.

I did the manicure myself, starting with a hardener and a base, as my nails became thin from the acrylic. I applied three coats of Dimepiece to achieve the look in the photo above. The polish is a holographic silver glitter which has hints of pink, blue, and green when it hits the light. The coverage is wonderful for a glitter polish. You don’t need three coats, I just decided to use this many to give the appearance of a nail color/glitter polish in one, although it is all glitter.

Dimepiece is available for sale on the Floss Gloss website for $8, which is a wonderful price for the quality and coverage.

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