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!

 

GreenSmart Offers Stylish Tech Accessories With An Eco-Friendly Twist + Enter To Win A Laptop Sleeve!

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On Earth Day, we are encouraged to be kinder to our planet in any way we can. This can include decreasing our carbon footprint by being mindful of our energy usage in the home, recycling containers, and many more. As eco-conscious fashion is on the rise, it makes perfect sense that eco-friendly accessories are on the rise as well.

GreenSmart is one such brand. Their product selection consists of everyday bags that can be used for work, along with a full line of tech accessories. What is most important about GreenSmart products is the fibers used in all products are made from 100% recycled bottles. Pretty cool huh?

GreenSmart - Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, GreenSmart wants to share the eco-love with YOU! You can enter to win the laptop sleeve of your choice by following these steps. Winners will be chosen at random on GreenSmart’s site.

  1. Choose the sleeve of your choice at GreenSmart
  2. Instagram the image with the hashtag #EarthDay
  3. Tag @GoGreenSmart and @alifeinthedayof on Instagram

After these three simple steps, you’re entered to win! Happy Earth Day to you!

 

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3 Years of A Life In The Day of Andrea, A Reflection.

I started this blog, A Life in the Day of Andrea, on April 18, 2011, not knowing what would become of it. I knew I had a unique voice, but I was unaware of how it would connect with people. In celebrating year three, I have realized that my experience and reporting of the things I love, do connect with many people, not only in my neighborhood, but worldwide.

Yuna and I.

Yuna and I.

Not only has this blog connected me with readers, but it has afforded my opportunities in the realm of freelance writing and entertainment. In May of 2013, I took on a contributor position at Concrete Loop, the first blog I ever read, and it was mostly on the back of the writing I have done right here on this site. I thank Angel Laws for the opportunity to connect with a much wider audience, and interview some of my favorite musicians.

AJ cleaning up a models eyes, NY Fashion Week

AJ cleaning up a models eyes, NY Fashion Week

In addition to writing and interviewing, I have been afforded the opportunity to build my portfolio of photography in different realms. I continue to take 99% of all photos for my site, but in this time I have contributed to my work to Concrete Loop and XXL, along with being allowed backstage access at one of New York City’s largest events, Fashion Week.

Running the musical show at Aqua Art Miami.

Running the musical show at Aqua Art Miami.

2013 was full of so many wonderful opportunities, but one that closed out the year that was the icing on the cake was Aqua Art Miami. As one of the premier art fairs during Miami Art Week in December (that hosts the largest fair, Art Basel), I was a part of a team called Audiophile Plus, that programmed all the music and live entertainment for the fair. Along with these duties, I served as event host to our live entertainment in the evening, and interviewed all the musicians for our channels as well as that of our media partner, VIBE.

There are countless happenings in the past year that have helped me grow as a person, and as a woman in business, and I am eternally grateful for them all. I look forward to the year ahead! I will leave you with an exclusive video that our team produced whilst in Miami, with our friend, MeLo-X.

 

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Saturday Sounds: The Venetian Presents “Bruk Wave”

brukrve-thevenetian

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet, and it is time to let loose and dance the day (and night) away! Our good friend in music, The Venetian, has a mix that seamlessly blends the worlds of electro-house and dancehall reggae.

Satisfy that urge you’ve always had to Pump a Fist AND Bust a Whine — Check out this Electro/EDM/Rave and Dancehall MashMix.

Get into it below, and be sure to follow The Venetian on Instagram and Twitter for more!

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Charitable Child’s Play: Easter in New York City With The Big Egg Hunt!

Fabergé brings The Big Egg Hunt to the Big Apple.

As I was flipping through AM:NY a few weeks ago in search of the daily crossword to pass the time on the subway, I came across an interesting article tucked into the CHEAP$KATE section of the paper that caught my eye: The Worlds’ Biggest Easter Egg Hunt brought to NYC. I thought to myself; “Seriously?” Initially, a few questions arose in my mind to try and sort out this fantastic idea—who or whom is hosting this? When and in what borough is this taking place? [And most importantly,] How is #NYC hosting the “World’s Largest”? As I read on, I became more and more intrigued with the concept, and did some digging.

A colorful design with a slight "Keith Haring" inspiration found in Madison Square Park.

A colorful design with a slight “Keith Haring” inspiration found in Madison Square Park.

To my surprise, this Egg Hunt is not the first of its’ kind. Since 2012, Fabergé- “the world’s most iconic art jeweler”-has been sponsoring an annual egg hunt as a charitable initiative. With the first hunt originating in London, Fabergé jeweler “views The Big Egg Hunt as a perfect medium with which to celebrate artistry and creativity”, while raising awareness and funds to much needed charities through auction. 300 [that's right, three HUNDRED] two-and-a-half foot tall egg sculptures were designed by world-famous artists like Shaheen Soni [of Soni Art Studio] and strategically strewn across all five boroughs for the city [and world via social media] to see. This year, the charities benefiting from the playfully famous event are The Elephant Family and Agnes Gund’s ‘Studio in a School’.

Reminiscing over the Grand Canyon with a burst of color-- another gem found at MSQ.

Reminiscing over the Grand Canyon with a burst of color– another gem found at MSQ.

Knowledgeable of the cheat sheet – a map of all of the eggs’ locations- I made the hunt more of a playful search than a task to complete before Easter. Eager to see an egg the size of a small child, I kept my eyes peeled for large and/or slightly obtrusive artistic egg-shaped sculptures anywhere and everywhere I traveled throughout the city– and managed to find Soni Art Studio’s beautifully sprung display atop the terrace at David Burke Kitchen inside The James Hotel in SoHo. This hunt was not just an artistic twist of Where’s Waldo– you could win some pretty exclusive gifts for your scavenger efforts: participants who actually enter the hunt [via the online app] have the opportunity to win one of three Zenya Pendants designed by Fabergé,which retail at over $30,000 per pendant.

Crabapples have blossomed atop the James Hotel at David Burke Kitchen in SoHo.

Crabapples have blossomed atop the James Hotel at David Burke Kitchen in SoHo.

Luckily for us New Yorkers, we have the chance to see all the sculptures [hunt or no hunt] on display in one place– THIS WEEKEND ONLY at Rockefeller Centre. Since I got on late to the hunt, I’ll challenge myself to get a picture of all three hundred before the sun goes down. What a Good Friday.

Happy Easter, everybody.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for up to date pictures of eggs we find and the collection of sculptures in Rockefeller Centre!

 

- Kortnee Leigh

 

All pictures were submitted were taken by Annabelle Lutz (@crookbelle).

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Getting Jiggy At The Brooklyn Museum: The 4th Annual Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party, Feat. Brenmar & LE1F

The Destination!

The Destination!

Being an evangelist of my hometown, that is Brooklyn, New York, I always make sure to support the various outings, events, and companies that it boasts. As a member of the Brooklyn Museum, I have been attuned to the Brooklyn Artists Ball, an annual event held in the museum’s Beaux Arts Court that honors local artists. This year’s festivities took place on Wednesday, April 16th. As one of the highlights of the year for the Brooklyn arts community, the event’s dance party after the dinner has been increasingly popular with the younger crowd.

This year I was privileged to attend the Dance Party on behalf of this little blog, to document the experience through the eyes of a Brooklyn born and based blogger.

The ambience

The ambience

I arrived to the museum at about 10:30 PM to see the museum’s lobby transformed into a cocktail event, with full bar in tow, along with tables for guests to set their drinks as they schmoozed. There were dedicated areas for event sponsors Artsy, an online art destination that held auctions simultaneously of works of honored artists, and Pioneer Works, a “center for art and innovation” that holds various arts classes in a dedicated space in Red Hook.

The dance party was held in The Great Hall on the main floor, coinciding with the Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn exhibition.

DJ Brenmar playing the jamssss

Brenmar playing the jamssss

Brenmar got the party started, playing a mix of tunes that spanned everything from 90′s dance music to southern trap. This was particularly fun for me because I was able to shimmy and jam to rap music in one of my favorite institutions! The crowd was spirited and danced along to the eclectic jams.

LE1F. GITTIN It!

LE1F. GITTIN It!

Fierce NY-based producer and rapper LE1F took the stage at 11 PM, with a set that proved to be memorable. I was not familiar with his music prior, but became a fan whilst watching him perform. Not only did he deliver sassy lyrics above sexy beats, but his dance moves were AMAZING. The voguing, bouncing, and overall energy was undeniable, and the crowd ate it up. He made every last person in that room dance, which was great to see.

The happiest slice of cake you will ever see in your life!

The happiest slice of cake you will ever see in your life!

Sweet treats were provided by Flour Shop, a Brooklyn-based bakery founded by Amirah Kasseem. Guests got a slice of rainbow cake heaven, a 6-layer multi-colored creation with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles. This was by far, the happiest slice of cake I had ever seen in my life, and eating it made me just as happy.

Hello Luke James!

Hello Luke James!

The crowd was chock full of creative, beautiful people. I was happy to bump into my former interviewee, R&B singer Luke James, who has new music on the way! Check out the gallery below for more photos. Continue reading

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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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Take A Bite: Bocca Di Bacco Opens on 7th Avenue in Chelsea

The street view of Bocca di Bacco

The street view of Bocca di Bacco

There are certain things that are undeniably New York City; hot dog stands, angry cabbies, iconic skyscrapers, and amazing street style. In the realm of food, Italian is a staple, spanning the realm of your local pizzeria to fine dining in the Theatre District. Its undeniable popularity has worked for Bocca di Bacco, an NYC-based Italian restaurant chain that has opened its latest outpost in Manhattan’s hot neighborhood of Chelsea, in the former space of another Italian restaurant, IL Bastardo. This is the chain’s second Chelsea location, the first being on 9th Avenue.

The main dining room at Bocca Di Bacco

The main dining room at Bocca Di Bacco

Opening festivities for Bocca di Bacco were held at the restaurant on April 8 – 9 for media and special guests. I stopped by to see what it was all about, and was quite impressed. The space is massive, comprised of four rooms for public and private dining, decorated beautiful. The shot above is of the main dining room, filled with natural light in the day, and transformed into a sexier setting in the evening.

Wine selection

Wine selection

Along with its fine menu, Bocca di Bacco is known for their incredible wine selection and practice, being one of the few restaurants that serves many wines by both the bottle and glass. Guests were treated to these wines during the opening, along with specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the likeness of wild mushroom crostini, rice balls, shrimp cocktail, and mini crab cakes.

Wild mushroom crostini

Wild mushroom crostini

The restaurant’s Executive Chef Kristin Sollenne, who was present at the event,  is passionate about creating modern Italian dishes infused with seasonality.

“I focus on rich, bold flavors using fresh herbs and seasonal produce, meat, poultry & seafood,” says Sollenne. “Simplicity makes an impact. More than anything, we want diners to come away feeling satisfied, full and content after a good, authentic Italian meal in the heart of New York City.”

 

Having this been my first experience at a Bocca Di Bacco, I can agree with Kristin in the fact that the food was fresh and flavorful, and the hospitality was on par. Check out more photos below from the opening.

Bocca Di Bacco in Chelsea is located on 7th Avenue between 21st & 22nd Streets. For more info, please visit their website.

*Photos courtesy of Bocca di Bacco/Pace Public Relations

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ZOYA Nail Polish: Summer 2014 Preview!

As warmer weather becomes a constant and festival season is in full-swing, the folks at Zoya Nail Polish give a preview of what is to come for Summer 2014! Check out the video above for a teaser for the “Tickled & Bubbly” line, and stay-tuned here for collection previews and reviews!

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Jane Carter Solution Ulta Stores Launch Event + App Debut

A spread of Jane Carter Solution products

A spread of Jane Carter Solution products

“Home Grown Hair Care” line Jane Carter Solution celebrated a momentous occasion with the Bella PR team on Wednesday April 9th. The company has recently launched their natural hair care collection into Ulta Stores, one of the largest beauty supply chains in the country! In celebration of such, a launch event was held for bloggers and editors at Bella PR’s offices in NYC.

Jane Carter speaking to attendees

Jane Carter speaking to attendees

The woman behind the brand, Jane Carter herself, was present along with her styling team and models with various hair textures. Her products are healthy and homespun, specifically designed for all hair types that want to achieve a “healthy non-greasy look”. We were taken through a slideshow of the company’s history and product line, including the launch of a 2 oz travel size of their most popular product “Nourish & Shine”, a balm that can used to alleviate both dry hair and skin.

Attendees listening to Jane's speech.

Attendees listening to Jane’s speech.

In addition to all of this, the company has also launched a new mobile app for iOS and Android platforms. The app is a one-stop destination for all things Jane Carter Solution, from hair styling tips for all textures, product recommendations, event announcements, and one-click shopping! Check out some more photos from the event below.

I had a lovely time meeting and chatting with Jane Carter, as well as learning more about her company and products. Look out for products reviews soon on the blog!

 

*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo

 

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Saturday Sounds: Etta Bond “Come Over”

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I recently became acquainted with the music of UK songbird Etta Bond, and I’m so happy that I did. Her seductive vocals paired with raw songwriting and stellar production is a sure hit. I listened to all suggested songs on SoundCloud and stopped in my musical tracks when I heard “Come Over”.

The tune is bittersweet, painting the picture of the other woman, who happens to be staying with her lover and his girl. The song is a bit twisted, but draws you in. The melancholy production by Raf Riley pulls you into the tale, accented with cowbells to keep the spirits up. Check the tune out below.

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Beauty: Birchbox Launches The Limited-Edition “Free For All” Box, Featuring All Natural Products

The products inside Birchbox's "Free For All" box

The products inside Birchbox’s “Free For All” box

In the ever-changing beauty and cosmetic industry, the trend as of late is marketing more ethical and natural products. Many consumers with certain allergies or moral standards, seek these products out as they are both good for them, and for the earth. Birchbox, realizing how important this is, decided to  launch a limited-edition box called “Free For All”.

All items in the box are free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals and GMOs.

The box, which is not a part of the subscription and retails for $44 includes

This box is the premier product from the brand’s newest category, “Ingredient-Conscious Selections”. Check out the video above to get more information on the products inside the “Free For All” box. Happy shopping!

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New York African Restaurant Week Hits The City April 27th + Info On The Edible Bazaar

NYARW 2014 Flyer-1

Foodie friends in NYC, I have a delightful announcement to share with you! New York African Restaurant Week is just around the corner, beginning on April 27th, and ending on May 4th. The event, in its second year, has partnered with over a dozen pan-African restaurants throughout the New York metropolitan area. Participating restaurants will feature prixe fixe menus, priced at $16.95 for lunch and $24.95 for dinner. Diners will receive 10% off regular menu items with the mention of “New York African Restaurant Week”.Vouchers are available for purchase online at BeUEvents.com.

In addition to this, New York African Restaurant Week will be holding a kick-off event entitled, The Edible Bazaar on April 29th, which will feature food from a selection of participating restaurants, a variety of African wines, and tons of opportunities for networking! Individual tickets begin at $50, upwards of $200 for groups.

NYARW 2014 Edible Bazaar Kickoff event Flyer-2

Interested in attending The Edible Bazaar? Get an extra 25 percent off when you use discount code #NYARW to purchase tickets – offer valid until Thursday, April 10th. Happy eating!

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Take A Picturesque & History-Filled Stroll Through the Big Apple With Walks of New York

As a native of New York City, we often are put into one of two boxes.

  1. The know it all, that has a story about everything from delis to fancy night-life spots
  2. The avoider, AKA, the one that avoids crowds. This is the person that you will never find at any major tourist destination.
Street art on Gansevoort

Street art on Gansevoort

I myself, am somewhere in between. I have a vast knowledge of hidden gems and hot spots in the city, but at the age of 27, I can’t say that I have visited the Statue of Liberty (sad life, I know). Because of this, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to learn more about the city in which I live, and Walks of New York fills that void.

In celebration of National Walking Day on April 2nd, the team at Walks Of New York held a series of free, themed walking tours around the city for media. The company is an extension of Walks of Italy, a successful walking tour company of European destinations that began in 2009. For New York, the company is starting out with five tours:

  • Highlights of New York Tour: Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central
  • Meet the Met: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Lower East Side Stories: Traditional New York Culture & Food
  • B&H New York Photography Tour: High Line, Meatpacking, Chelsea Market
  • Express Access – Empire State Building Tour and Skyscraper Walk
Depth of field.

Depth of field.

Being the photography nerd that I am, I chose the B & H Photo Tour. We started out in front of the Gansevoort Hotel on 9th Ave and 13th St. Our walk headed westward, and in this time we were introduced to some of the area’s history by freelance photographer, Kirsten Alana. Along with educational bits on the neighborhood, Kirsten gave us insight on perfect locations to snap beautiful photos.

New blossoms along the Highline

New blossoms along the Highline

Our westward walk took us to one of my favorite places, The Highline. Once an elevated train track, The Highline has since been remodeled to be a mini park and path of sorts, for us to experience nature at a higher level. The sunlight was splendid on the afternoon, so I was very pleased to capture great shots on the street, as well as close ups of foliage, as seen in the photo above. Continue reading

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Video: Nitty Scott MC Previews “The Art of Chill” x #CHILLUMINATI Tuesdays

Nitty Scott Live at S.O.B.'s

Nitty Scott Live at S.O.B.’s

I first became familiar with Nitty Scott MC by accident. In 2011 my homegirl Kortnee had invited me to a CMJ event in Williamsburg at Public Assembly that Nitty happened to be performing at. I had not heard any of her music prior, and was completely blown away when she hit the stage. “She can really spit!”, I said, and from that moment forward, I kept my ears to the street to all things Nitty.

Fast forward to 2014, and the good folks at XXL ask me to shoot her show at the iconic S.O.B.’s as part of Hot 97′s Whose Next Live series. I obliged, and captured her enthusiastic performance in a colorful way, in which you can see up top and here.

Now on the heels of her LP release, The Art of Chill, Nitty and her team have released a visual which serves as a teaser of the album, as well as introducing us all to  #CHILLUMINATI Tuesdays, a weekly series of behind-the-scenes footage of Nitty and The Boombox Family, leading up to the album release. Watch the video below.

The Art of Chill will be released on May 23rd.

 

*Photo by Andrea K. Castillo

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