Category Archives: Beauty & Hair

#NYFW Tales: #techSTYLE Lounge Takes Over House Of Bumble For A Fashionista Retreat

The view from above at techSTYLE Lounge

On Monday, September 8th, the folks at Janine Just Inc. & Bloggerini joined forces to host the #techSTYLE Lounge. The lounge has become a must for fashionistas over the past few seasons, and this time around House of Bumble (headquarters of Bumble + Bumble salon) was host to the festivities.

My look the afternoon: Ralph Lauren blazer, Gap tank, Forever 21 pants, Pour La Victoire sandals

I hopped over to the lounge in the early afternoon after completing a photoshoot, dressed in garb that I’ve called “comfy chic”. This was the beginning of a busy evening, so I opted for cotton pieces that would look smart all night long. Upon entering the massive space, my list of priorities went as follows:  nails, beverage, food. So let us begin with some of my faves of the afternoon!

Guest getting a mani from Diosa Nails

Upon looking straight back to my right in the space, I spotted the manicure station, sponsored by Diosa Nails & PolishThe NYC-based brand is somewhat of a “social nail brand”, holding various nail meet-ups and special events, in addition to selling vibrant polishes. I decided to go for a mani in Oro Solido, a pale metallic gold color, to match with my accessories.

Checking out Happy Tree Water with Lorie

After my mani, I stepped on over to the Happy Tree Water station. They are a maple water that has some of the same benefits of coconut water (electrolytes, vitamins), with a mild maple flavor, sourced right from New York State in the Catskill mountains. The consistency was light, and above all, refreshing.

Heather from FashionistaNYGirl (and fellow NY Blogger Collective member) checking out PINCHme

As a lover of product samples (what can I say?!), my next stop was the PINCHme table. They are a subscription-box service that offers various consumer goods/personal care items for FREE each month. Users sign up to receive, and are asked to give feedback on their experience from time-to-time, which is then reported right back to the brands. I received a box at the event, and can’t wait to try out the goodies.

Instagram photo printing station. Perfect!

Instagram was popping throughout the event (of course). All guests who used the event hashtag were able to print out their photos from IG within minutes. So meta, right?

Outerwear from Snowman

After picking up my photo, I swung back to Snowman Outerwear. The NYC-based brand makes stylish ladies jackets for all seasons. They had their Fall collection on view, with some sneak peeks of Spring ’15. I dig the simplicity of the lines used throughout the collection, as well as the color palette.

Malaysian street-food bites made possible by Mamak

After the jackets, it was time to refuel. I whipped back near the entrance, where Mamak was located. They serve delectable Malaysian street food, in compact sizes for eating on the go. The robust flavors made my tummy happy.

Taking a work break to catch up on e-mails and social media

Since I was now sitting and re-charged, it was time to catch up on my social media, and blog of course! I used the time to send out time-sensitive e-mails, and publish a post before I was off to the next event. As a blogger, and woman-on-the-move, events like this are so crucial to me. Kudos to Janine Just Inc. & Bloggerini for another great event. I will be looking forward to next season!

*Photos courtesy of Janine Just Inc. 

Tagged , , , , , ,

#NYFW Tales: Colorsplashes at Alax W. Diamond SS15 Womens, w/ Make-Up By Kryolan

The looks at Alax W. Diamond

Spring/Summer 2015 mens and women’s collections are in full swing here in New York City, so let the coverage begin! My fashion week has been full with various events, including attending shows, shooting backstage, and hosting, so I wanted to start from the beginning.

On Thursday, September 4th, I had the opportunity of attending the women’s presentation for emerging designer, Alax W. Diamond. The Thailand-born, New York-based designer is now in his fourth season, conceptualizing his line in Spring 2013. His aesthetic melds the simplicity of menswear in a feminine silhouette, accented by clean color.

Full line-up of models

The Spring/Summer 2015 collection was based in neutral black and white, with color pops in canary yellow, magenta, and fuchsia, showcasing seven strong, yet wearable looks. The color pops continued on the face, with orange eyeshadow on lids paired with a pale lash line, and nude lips. Make-up and nails were done by Kryolan.

A close-up of the make-up look

I really digged the wearability factor of Diamond’s collection. I love beautiful garments, but wearability is key, and I can definitely see myself rocking a few of these pieces. See some of my favorite looks below.

I love the peeking midriff and folds in the fabric

Super-wearable sheath in canary? Sign me up!

FAVORITE: How can I say know to an easy top and skirt combo that is “Delicious?”

This is just the beginning of my Spring/Summer 2015 #NYFW coverage. I hope you enjoy the photos, and be sure to keep a look out for more!


*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

Tagged , , , ,

Travel Essentials: Escape to Belize Feat. Cosabella, Eva NYC, Velvet Eyewear, Coola & More!

It has been a busy time over here in the realm of Andrea, and I am so grateful for all the adventures, meeting new folks, and collaborations in the works. In a few days, I return to the motherland of Belize for a much needed retreat for the rest of the month. I call it a vacation, but I will be snapping away, and taking note of some of my favorite spots to share with you through this blog, as well as partnering with the great folks at TripleSpot in featuring my spots in Belize.

As I get to packing, I’ve decided to showcase some of my travel essentials for my trip. We can start with the personal care and accessory items in the photo above. From center:

  • Hematite & Jadeite Necklace- purchased during one of my last trips to Belize from a local artisan, I love this necklace because of its clean look and versatility. Both stones are also known to have healing properties.
  • Smith’s Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm-  aside from being super-moisturizing, the balm has a nice rosy tint, and fresh mandarin scent. Great for both day, and to moisturize lips overnight.
  • Velvet Eyewear Joie Sunglasses- I love the shape of these shades, which give a nod to the 1960’s. I also love the subtle blue to camel fade on the frames. Sea and sand anyone?
  • Model’s Own Coral Glaze HyperGel Nail Polish- as they don’t yet sell in the US, my cousin brought me back this polish from London. I love the shade, and can’t wait to try it out!
  • FLOSS GLOSS Wet & Con Limon Polishes- because it’s the color of the Caribbean Sea, and the slice of lime in my Rum Punch, obvi.
  • Eva NYC Get Up And Go! Hair Care Travel Kit-  all of the products from this line are infused with Argan Oil, which is great for combatting frizz.
  • COOLA Sport SPF 30 Piña Colada Sunscreen Spray- because I want to tan the safe way while smelling like a tropical adult beverage.

Clockwise from top center, then looping back to the middle:

  • Theodora & Callum Greek Keys Printed Scarf (similar)- one of my favorite prints in my collection, this cotton/linen blend scarf is incredibly versatile and can be used as a cover-up, head-wrap, or as a shawl when it gets breezy.
  • JBL Synchros E10 in-ear headphones- super lightweight and great for the beach. Also has a microphone and is phone compatible, but I won’t be taking any calls ;)
  • Element Blythe Dress-  the nautical vibe dress is perfect for my sea-filled vacation. It is also cotton with a bit of stretch, so I will stay cool during the hot temperatures.
  • Ester-C Immune Support Tablets-  you can never have to much Vitamin C, and I will make sure my immune system is up to par with all the traveling, and varying temperatures.
  • Element Trini Short-  these fleece, drawstring shorts are perfect for lamping around the beach, not the town, because they are extremely short (but I kinda like it that way).
  • Cosabella Sol Lowrider String Bikini-  when it’s time to tan, I like maximum exposure, therefore I always opt for tiny bikinis. This string bottom is tiny, whilst remaining tasteful. I love the teal color as well.
  • Old Navy Palm Tree Print Beach Towel- the colors and print are perfect, and the towel is a nice large size to lay out on.
  • Cosabella Sol Push-Up Triangle Top-  as a proud member of the ittie bitties, I love this top because it adds a little lift, without looking like a padded mess. Also I appreciate how slim the strings are, to facilitate in less tan lines, woop!

Here’s a close-up of my beach essentials (above). I can’t wait to jump into the water in my new bikini! Hopefully I will get some photos in it. I can’t wait to set off to Belize for some much needed R&R. Be sure to keep an eye out for my spots, and of course, an #AlifeinthedayinBelize feature!


Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

Tagged , , , , , ,

Travel Essentials: Caribana Weekend in Toronto Feat. JBL, Private Party, Ouidad, EOS & More

Later on this week, I hop on a flight to Toronto to experience Caribana weekend, and a wonderful opportunity to connect with the local creative community. I will be exploring the city and all it has to offer in the realm of food & drink, entertainment, retail, and culture. I will be staying for five days, and have decided to share some of the essentials I will be packing!

Clockwise from top, then making a little loop at the bottom:

Side of some of my travel wares for Toronto. Isn’t the Selena tee the best?

Close-up of everything. At this point in life I probably have more toiletries and beauty items than anything, but it’s fine, because I write about them! I’m super pumped for my trip, and will be documenting for a special A Life in the Day in Toronto series when I return right here on the blog! Keep an eye out. :)

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

Tagged , , , ,

Nailed It: A Regal Affair with FLOSS GLOSS “Picnic” & “Honey”

As we welcome Leo Season today, I felt it was fitting to show off a mani that best exemplified the boldness, and fiery disposition of the ruler of the Zodiac. July’s birthstone is ruby, and Leo is ruled by gold, so I figured a combination of these two elements would work together for a seamless, regal look.

I paired two shades from FLOSS GLOSS’s Spring/Summer ’14 “All The Fixins” collection. On my thumb and ring finger I used Honey, a holographic bronzy/gold glitter that is a homage to pop icon, Mariah Carey [remember the smash-hit "Honey", and the not-so-critically acclaimed film, "Glitter"? Clever, huh?]. The glitter polish is quite concentrated, but I used three coats to achieve the look in the photo above.

On the remaining nails, I used Picnic, a weathered cranberry creme that evokes feelings of glamour, lust, and…hunger? Maybe I’m just hungry, but this shade reminds me more of the holidays, specifically of wines and cranberry paired with a feast. The polish went on smoothly, and I used three coats to achieve the opacity seen in the photo above.

What do you think of the pairing? Does it scream “something regal”? I really hope so! Honey and Picnic both retail for $8, and can be purchased directly from FLOSS GLOSS. Happy painting!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

Tagged , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , ,

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! :)

Tagged , , , , , ,

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!


 photo caudaliegrapewater_zps3a6f7cfe.jpg

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.


 photo image005_zps3550781a.jpg

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.


 photo moisture-plus-chic-large-1_zps77de7241.jpg

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.


 photo PintildeaColada30_Spray_800x800-800x800_zpsaa046ad9.jpg

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.



 photo neutrogenatriplerepair_zpsd116c986.jpg

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.


 photo sheamoistureholdandshine_zps6f98553e.jpg

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. :)


Tagged , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , ,

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”! :)

Tagged , , , ,

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

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 2.11.56 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 2.12.55 PM

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.

Tagged , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , ,

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 394 other followers