#NYFW Tales: Mathieu Mirano SS16 Brings Wearable Glamour in Living Color

The full collection. Photo: Jennifer Daniels

Although still fairly new to the fashion scene, launching his eponymous line in 2011, Mathieu Mirano brings a certain sophistication to womenswear that is wise beyond his years. I had the pleasure of attending his Spring/Summer 2016 collection presentation with my friend/former model/supermodel-in the-making Jen.

The backdrop of Pier 59 Studios offered a blank slate where Mirano’s evening wear could shine. The collection was filled with an array of saturated hues in intricate fabrications and trims.

A peek through the crowd. Photo: Jennifer Daniels

Ombre panne velvet. Specially treated sequins. Extensive hand embroidery done by local New York artisans; this was all on display. I was particularly captivated by the textiles used because in all of my years as a designer and fashion writer/editor I had never seen such textiles, and that was quite exciting to me. I found it quite interesting that materials so delicate translated to very chic evening wear that did not come off as garish or matronly.

Sequins meets chiffon. Photo: Andrea K. Castillo

Upon first glance all of the looks appeared to be gowns, but I was told soon after that there were also separates on display. What a brilliant idea! Mirano aims to create garments for multifaceted women, so in regards to separates, you can wear them as a “dress” or pair with a t-shirt or jeans. Versatility is key here, and it is done so beautifully.

Many thanks to Umindi & Glenny at UFCG for having me! <3

That Time I Got My Hair Cut At ARROJO Williamsburg With Celebrity Hairstylist Paul Merritt

ARROJO Williamsburg. Photo courtesy of ARROJO

The summer can really do a ton of damage to your hair. Whether it be excessive exposure to UV rays, or chlorine or salt water, our tresses need a bit of revamp at the end of the season. This summer my mane was in full splendor after my cut & color from ARROJO Williamsburg in late-May had grown out a bit. I was starting to notice that my ends were looking a bit sad, and told myself I was due for another cut.

Hair whilst in Cali. Long but needing a cut.

I really noticed this while I was out in California for my birthday, and was determined to get another trim or cut by end of August. On my last day out West, I received an email from Andrew Arrojo to come in for cut the following day (my first day back in NYC), but not just any cut; this would be a cut with celebrity hairstylist Paul Merritt. His work has been featured in various international fashion magazines, so I was super pumped.

When I arrived at ARROJO Williamsburg that afternoon and was greeted by Paul, I immediately thought, “This man is cool”, and that he was. I told him about my hair and how I wasn’t afraid to cut some length off as I knew I had a lot of dead ends at the time. I also stressed that I wanted a style that had the versatility of being styled curly or straight effortlessly. He knew just what to do, and gave me a freehand dry cut, which is great for curls as you can see the shape properly throughout.

Paul Merritt and I, post hair-cut

We chatted a lot about music and the UK garage scene (he’s from London), as well as hair color. My highlights have been growing out, and I had experimented with an aqua semi-permanent dye, which made my tresses look green at the time. “You should do the green!” he said, and I totally agreed. “I want highlights to match my eyes”, I said, so look out for that sometime soon. I wasn’t afraid that more length came off than I expected, as my hair grows back relatively fast. The following evening I had a birthday party to attend where I would debut my look.

New haircut, kind of blurry selfie

To say I was not feeling myself would be the opposite of the truth. The shorter length that barely grazed my shoulders made me feel super sexy, in a “I’m the boss” kind of way. It was so awesome to receive this cut from Paul. Are you digging the look? Let me know in the comments!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo’s iPhone

Call Your CurlFriends! #CURLFEST In Brooklyn Shows Us The Beauty In Sisterhood

Ladies dancing to the music

Living in a world where Black bodies are constantly under attack, respite is always welcomed. Whether it be social groups in schools or within your community, it is important to have those moments where you feel safe, and where your individuality is celebrated. In my life, I seek out these types of experiences, and one that I can now add to my list is Curl Fest.

Curls and Italian ices

Now in its second year, Curl Fest is the brain child of the Curly Girl Collective, an experiential marketing group that specializes in multicultural beauty. I first became familiar with the collective a few years back through mutual friends, and received notice of the inaugural Curl Fest last spring. I was bummed that I did not make it out that time, so when I received the invite for this year, my eyes lit up.

Held this year on August 29th at the Neathermead in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the event was the ultimate celebration of natural beauty.

Two of a kind

On the sun-filled afternoon, natural-haired beauties beamed in the park and had the opportunity to mingle with their curl friends, and enjoy unique hair-themed activations. Sounds were provided by my girl, and one of my favorite DJs, Tiff McFierce. Styling stations were set up to primp all textures of locs, haircare lines were in tow for demos, and natural hair influencers were available to chat with attendees about their experience.

A hint of violet

Adding to the excitement was a full marketplace with fashion, accessory, and literary vendors. Beverages were also on hand to cool everyone off in the 90 degree weather. I was in the house serving double duty; covering for my blog as well as interviewing various attendees for a larger team project (that I will reveal at a later date). One thing that I noticed from the jump that did not change; everyone was in good spirits, and everyone felt like family.

Typical me

In my chats with my fellow attendees, never did I feel like someone was judging me. I did not feel any negative energy in regards to my appearance or the way I spoke, everyone seemed very warm and open to chat with me. I hugged and joked around with women whom I had met for the first time that day. I danced in a circle with the women behind Curly Girl Collective, and everyone present. I connected with people, majority Black women, in a completely organic way.

Do you understand how important that is?

Mother & daughter

To be in a public park in the inner-city on one of the hottest days in the summer without being harassed because of the length of my shorts? To be surrounded by fellow Black women and receive hugs instead of side eyes (*Note: this doesn’t happen to me much, but that’s what mass media & reality TV try to shove down our throats)? To feel completely free for that moment of my life? That’s a huge deal.


To say Curl Fest was a gathering of “carefree Black girls” is an understatement. I would say this is true, but I would add that it truly felt like the grounds for building a sisterhood. Men were present in smaller numbers, but women were at the forefront here, and that is what made it so beautiful.

Squad photo to end off a lovely day

My afternoon ended with the above squad photo, of friends new and old. Can you tell which ones I’ve known for years and which I met that day? Maybe that was a rhetorical question, but I hope it is not so easy to tell as we truly welcomed everyone with open arms, and that alone is where the beauty beyond the physical lies.

*All photos by Jason Chandler

#ALifeInTheDayInLA: Carnival Rides & Japadog at the Santa Monica Pier

View of the beach from the Santa Monica Pier

On a bright summer day in late-July, what better way to pass time is there than to take a trip to the beach? During my time in L.A. I had one beach day, albeit dry as I hadn’t prepped my swimwear in advance. With camera in hand, I took a long stroll along Venice and Santa Monica beaches with the family. I was covered in sunscreen as the weather report called for temperatures in the 90s, although it began quite grey and overcast.

The famous Japadog truck

My main goal for the afternoon on the Santa Monica Pier was quite simple; take awesome photos, eat good food, and get on a ride or two at Pacific Park. Within minutes of arriving on the boardwalk, I spotted the Japadog truck. I had first discovered the Montreal-based, Japanese-style hot dog truck while watching A Brit And A Broad on Tastemade TV. I enjoyed the idea of Japanese fusion hot dogs, so I HAD to try one out.

My aunt’s order

The set-up is pretty simple. You can order one of the nine (up to fifteen depending on the location) specialty dogs listed on the menu for ease of mind, or you can create your own. There is something for everyone here as the dogs are offered in All Beef, Bratwurst, Turkey Smoky, Three Cheese Smoky, Arabiki, Kurobuta Pork, and Veggie flavors!

Celeb fans of the food

My aunt ordered the Kurogoma Kimuchi option with a Beef dog, and I got the Okonomi with a Kurobuta Pork dog. It took a little less than ten minutes to get our orders which was awesome considering how crowded the pier was that afternoon. Upon biting into my Japadog, I was immediately taken to FLAVORTOWN; word to Guy Fieri. The combination of the sweet pork dog, mayo and fish flakes was quite divine! Needless to say, I finished my food in maybe seven minutes, and my tastebuds were satisfied.

Looking up on the ferris wheel

We took a left from FLAVORTOWN into Pacific Park to check out the carnival games and rides. As I was with my aunt and 6-year old cousin, I knew there would be a few things to check out here, but I was set on the ferris wheel. I don’t know why I have such a love for ferris wheels, but I make sure to ride them wherever I go.

Overhead views!

Camera still in hand, my goal was to enjoy and capture the views of the beautiful blue Pacific waters on my ride, and boy did I! The Pacific Wheel is 85 feet tall and while in motion, reaches heights of over 130 feet that overlook the Southern California coastline. I was able to get awesome shots as the wheel moves at 2.5 revolutions per minute, ensuring that all patrons are able to soak up the gorgeous views.

A view of the pier from above

Being so high up in the sky made up for not taking a dip in the ocean that afternoon. I was really able to relax and really appreciate the beauty of Southern California one revolution at a time.

If you are in the Santa Monica area, I would definitely recommend heading to the pier. Aside from Japadog and other mobile vendors, there are a variety of sit-down restaurants for adults and family, as well as entertainment.

*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo

FILM SERIES: “Set It Off: LA Hip-Hop on Film”, @ BAMcinématek Sep 4—8

F. Gary Gray’s Friday

With director F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton in movie theaters nationwide tomorrow, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is paying homage to the left coast in film. Debuting September 4th, BAMcinématek’s “Set It Off: LA Hip-Hop on Film” will feature seven films in tribute to LA’s hip-hop glory days of the early 1990’s.

Full schedule below. For ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org.

Fri, Sep 4

2, 4:30, 7, 9:30pm: Friday

Ice Cube in Boyz N The Hood

Sat, Sep 5

2, 4:30, 7, 9:30pm: Boyz n the Hood

Still from Set It Off

Sun, Sep 6

2, 6:50pm: Set It Off

4:40, 9:40pm: Menace II Society

Janet Jackson & Tupac Shakur in Poetic Justice

Mon, Sep 7

2, 6:45pm: Poetic Justice

4:30, 9:15pm: South Central

Still from Glass Shield

Tue, Sep 8

4:30, 7, 9:30pm: The Glass Shield

Will you be in attendance? We definitely will be sliding through. And if you can’t make the screenings, get into the groove by checking out my West Coast Hip Hop Of My Younger Years playlist on Spotify. :D

#ALifeInTheDayinLA: Respite in Nature at The Arboretum in Arcadia


For the week of my birthday back in the end of July, I took a trip to the Los Angeles area to spend time with family, recharge, and basically get a taste of new scenery. For the majority of my twenty-eight prior years, I have always spent my birthday at home in Brooklyn, and felt this was a good time to hit up the West Coast. It was one of the few times in life where my trip was completely unplanned. I did plan in accordance with one of my aunts so we could be each other’s company for the week, but otherwise, I told myself “I just want to relax and not over-plan this time away”.

Cactus species and sculpture

As I was staying in Diamond Bar with my aunt and uncle, I did not really get a taste for the creative L.A. lifestyle, but I was exposed to something better; nature. My uncle, being pretty in tune with my love of photography and nature, offered to take the family The Arboretum during the week. Located in Arcadia approximately thirty minutes from where I was staying, the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a gem for nature lovers and those that just need a time out. The Arboretum is a 127-acre botanical garden and historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Picture in picture at Queen Anne Cottage

With camera in hand like the tourist I was, I walked slowly and snapped photos of the luscious flora and fauna before my eyes. The grounds are divided up by native region with free roaming wildlife; for example there are sections that feature collections of plants from Africa and Australia, as well as themed sections like the “Prehistoric Forest” and “Historic Circle”. Every plant on the grounds was clearly marked with a description tag for those that wanted a little more back story.

Color variations in an aloe species

As someone who is incredibly passionate about color, I was truly amazed by the color variations of some of the plants and flowers I saw during my walk. The greenest of green leaves, the most potent orange flower petals, and things I had never seen before, like a Eucalyptus tree that had a multi-color bark. I snapped away, adjusting my settings numerous times during my trip as the sun was beaming that day. It made me realize how therapeutic a walk outside can be, and how beautiful nature untouched is.

View from the cafe

We took a break to eat at the Peacock Cafe, and took seats at a table under a shady tree on the deck. I had a surprisingly tasty cheese burger & fries with an apple juice because, #stayhungry. When we looked up and around, we were surrounded by peacocks. I made it my job to collect as many feathers that fell off the birds as they moved around, and snapped photos quick and quietly, as to not disturb them.

Someone is posing for the camera

I was waiting for one of the birds to spread their feathers for a photo opp, and was extremely lucky to capture the photo above upon walking to the exit. Such a serendipitous ending to a lovely afternoon.

If you are ever in the L.A. county area and want to take a break from the hustle and bustle, definitely take a trip to The Arboretum. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for Seniors & Students, $4 for Children, and Free for children 4 and under. For more information, please visit their website. You won’t regret it!

*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo

A Lovely Summer Evening At Brooklyn Museum Of Games, Sneaks & Eats. Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Happy to be outside

On a beautiful Thursday evening in Mid-July, I attended Brooklyn Museum’s “Art Off The Wall” series for their much anticipated, The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibition. I had previously seen the exhibition on the day of the press preview (more to come on that), but was present for a discussion including an esteemed panel of female sneaker heads.

Once inside the museum’s lobby bursting at the seams with attendees for the Thursday evening adult programming, I bumped into my girl Gyasi. With camera in hand, she told me she was waiting for a friend, to which I replied, “Chill. I’m on the press list. You can be my photographer.”

And so, the evening began.

In the shadows

We walked around the ground floor and took some shots outside of the dining area as the sun was still beaming. I was feeling cool in my new super-fitted American Apparel skirt, and the natural light really caught the color combo well up top. We head back inside to view the panel, then went off to play in the FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds exhibit. FAILE, the brainchild of Brooklyn-based artist duo Patrick McNeil and Patrick McNeil, showcased various elements in their exhibit, including mixed media canvases, sculpture, neon wall art, and custom arcade games.

Readjusting my specs

Walking into the arcade portion of the exhibit was sensory overload. The walls and floors were covered in various new-school interpretations of old school movie posters, lit completely in black light, with sprinkles of neon light sculptures sprinkled throughout the space. I really enjoy the elements of lights captured in these photos.

Look at these arms!

After taking tons of photos in the black light, we shimmied over to The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit, which includes some of the most iconic pairs of kicks over the years, and their origin.

This picture was me being silly prior to making a proper pose, but I enjoyed this better. Note how long my arms are.

Grade A tings!

The exhibit does take some time to walk through as there are so many pairs of sneakers on view with intricate backstories, and so many opportunities for photo ops. Gyasi got some great photos there, but once we were done, I had to eat.

We walked over to Dutch Boy Burger on Franklin Ave so I could get something to eat. In dire times, I feel burgers are the only thing that could save me, because red meat = protein + iron. I ordered their signature burger and fries (which was probably a terrible idea at 10 PM) and sipped on a glass of water.

Gyasi couldn’t stay, but snapped this photo of me looking like a creep in the window. The evening was truly lovely and unexpected, as I had no idea it would end with such beautiful photos. Keep capturing your summer folks!

*Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Ovation TV Presents “On The Record With Mick Rock”, Sundays at 8 PM EST In August + West Coast Hip Hop Spotify Playlist!

As a lover of all things related to musicians and photographers, I was tickled to hear about the premiere of new series On The Record With Mick Rock. The Ovation TV program follows famed British rock & roll photographer Mick Rock, who is best known for shooting musical greats in the 1970’s, including the likes of David Bowie, Blondie, and the Sex Pistols.

In each episode, he follows a different musician in their hometown for a candid interview amongst the sites, people, and things that inspire them. The series premiere on Sunday, August 4th at 8 PM ET kicked off with Josh Groban in his native Los Angeles. The show runs through August 23rd, with remaining guests including Kings of Leon, Flaming Lips, and Patti LaBelle.

Mick Rock Speaking on his love for Snoop Dogg

Rock is still a quite sought-after musical photographer, Snoop Dogg being one of the artists he works with currently. Upon watching the video above, I was inspired to create a Spotify playlist of West Coast Hip Hop songs that I grew up listening to, including Snoop and his contemporaries. Check out my Spotify playlist below, featuring 90 minutes of gritty jams.

*Editor’s note: the playlist is completely uncensored, please play at your own discretion.*


*This is a sponsored post

#CURLFEST NEW DATE ANNOUNCEMENT: Sat. August 29. 1-6 PM @ Prospect Park in Brooklyn!

After being postponed back in June due to inclement weather, #CURLFEST is back with a new date! On Saturday, August 29th, bring out all of your girls with curls to Prospect Park to bask in an afternoon of fun with the curly hair community. Expect tunes, dancing, curl demonstrations, and eats from some of your favorite food trucks.

Previous RSVP holders will be able to register on August 10th, and new attendees will be able to register on August 11th. The event is totally FREE! For more details and FAQs, head over to the Curly Girl Collective blog.

Lookbook: Let’s Get Active! Summer Fitness Looks For Yoga, Running, & More

I call this the, “Who dat?” look, Sunglasses by CRAP Eyewear

We are in the midst of summer, and you know what that means? Time to show some skin! You’ve probably been in the gym all winter and spring working on your summer body, but it’s not time to stop now. You’ve got to keep up that sexy body with summertime fitness in the best apparel that is both functional yet funky enough to wear post workout.

I teamed up with my buddy Kermit Mercado to collaborate on a fitness-inspired photo spread, highlighting looks for dance-inspired workouts, running, yoga, and more. Get into it.

Meet me on the dance floor!

If you love to dance like me, it is imperative to seek out dance classes and dance inspired workouts from time to time. This mesh back sports bra by Wear It To Heart in the cool Desert Magic print has great coverage with inner-shelf bra with pads to remain shape and modesty.

Mesh detail with matching leggings

Paired with leggings, this look can go from the studio to the street with ease. The higher neckline of the bra with mesh detail on the back is a stunner.

Keep that hair back!

To keep my curls out of my face while I dance up a storm, I enjoy invisibobble traceless hair ties. They don’t mark my curls, and can be used for countless hairstyles.

Downward Dog vibes

This sports bra and shorts pairing from Wear It To Heart is perfect for beach yoga or hot yoga. The fabrication wicks sweat and has a soft feel, whilst maintaining its shape, and staying in place while you move.

It is super important to remain hydrated, more so when working out in the hot summer months. I’m loving 1907 Alkaline water from New Zealand. It’s super light and fresh taste is perfect for my workouts, in a 1 liter size that gives me all the hydration I need.

Crow Pose in action

I really dig YogaSmoga apparel for my indoor yoga workouts as they are made of top notch fabrics with slight compression that keep everything in place. The Imagine Tank has an inner-shelf bra that is perfect for me as I have a smaller bust, and the Momentum Crop legging is super chic, and keeps the booty in place in more demanding poses.

Next level Chair Pose

For example, in this elevated Chair Pose, my leggings did not slide or sag, maintaining proper coverage. This image is actually the first time I was able to do a Chair Pose of this variation, and the prior photo is the first time I was able to do a Crow Pose. I’m getting there!

Knee hugs to prep for a run

Another thing that I really dig about YogaSmoga is that their apparel works seamlessly from my yoga workouts to a run. Wearing the same leggings, I ditch the tank for the Sneak n Peek sports bra with amazing compression to get in my miles.

Warrior III pose, great post run stretch

I usually end my runs with a bunch of stretches borrowed from yoga. My boobies stay in place in this look while I balance on one foot for this Warrior III pose, also called the “Superman Pose”.

Would you wear any of these looks for your next workout? Let a playa know! All links are throughout the story, so happy shopping to you!

*All photos by Kermit Mercado

Take A Sip & Bite: Up On 20 at the Hyatt Herald Sq. Offers Food & Drinks With A View

View of Up On 20. Photo: Real Hospitality Group

Let me paint a picture for you. You’re in the middle of Herald Square in Manhattan on a late weekday afternoon. You may be in the area for work, or visiting for a few days. You are in desperate need of food and drink that doesn’t completely break the bank, and isn’t an Applebee’s either. You are coaxed with huge signs from chain restaurants in the area, but how about if you wanted to be slightly off the main street, and able to catch spectacular views while you are it? Let me introduce you to Up On 20.

Located on the roof deck of the Hyatt Herald Square, Up On 20 is the hotel’s rooftop lounge. I visited on a grey Thursday to check out the location’s food and drink offerings, along with its views. As the weather wasn’t the best, the space was not packed, which made me feel better about having a meal solo. I was greeted by a lovely waiter/bartender and told him I was there for a review. He wasted no time to get me seated and really give me the lowdown on the space.

View from my seat of the Empire State Building. Photo: Andrea K. Castillo

The hotel itself opened back in the fall of 2014 and Up On 20 is newly opened for the summer season. I found a cocktail table near the perimeter of the space, to better gaze at the city’s architecture below me, including the Empire State Building.

I snapped a few touristy photos of my surroundings, then got to the menu. The waiter gave me a few suggestions which I trusted as he seemed to be quite the foodie himself. I started with a rum cocktail called “The Old Virgin” which had a base of dark rum and prosecco, with lime and simple syrup. The drink definitely had a kick, but if made with a tad less lime, the finish would have been a little smoother.

All the food. Photo: Andrea K. Castillo

My food platter consisted of white fish sliders with avocado, NYC-style fresh pretzels with fresh sesame mustard, meatballs with hoisin sauce, and shrimp ceviche paired with kettle chips. I would call the cuisine style “New American Fusion” as it melded flavors from both the Americas and Asia alike. So what did I think of the food? Let’s go one by one.

  • White fish sliders with avocado on whole grain bun: fresh flavors and overall great ingredients for a slider. As the fish is quite plain, a smokey or spicy element would have made this top notch.
  • Pretzels with fresh sesame mustard: pretzel consistency and mustard was very good. A bit too much salt on the pretzel.
  • Meatballs with hoisin sauce: great meatball consistency with sauce pairing. No complaints, but had to bring the rest home because of the portion size.
  • Shrimp ceviche with kettle chips: REALLY liked the shrimp ceviche as it had pineapple in it and reminded me of the ceviche back in Belize. The kettle chips were good, but went soggy quickly as I visited on a rather humid day. A good alternative would be fresh tortilla or plantain chips.

Drea vs. Food. Photo: Andrea K. Castillo

I had a lovely experience at Up On 20, and would definitely want to go back on a sunny day. The open atmosphere makes it great for everything from after-work drinks, birthday parties, business meetings, and a casual date. Prices are mid-range, with cocktails in the mid to upper teens, and food made to share. If you are in Herald Square anytime soon, definitely check it out. Address below.


Up On 20 at the Hyatt Herald Square

30-32 W 31st St

New York, NY 10001

What I’ve Been Up To: More Writing, Fitness, Food & Travel!

Mid “Running through the 6 with my woes”/ Photo: AKC

For the past few weeks, my posts here have been a little inconsistent, so I wanted to update you all on some of the new happenings in my life. Here is an update of my past few weeks in the realms of writing, fitness, food, and travel. It is “A Life In The Day of Andrea” after all!


I am a new “Cocktail Culture” contributor Societe Perrier

I’ve been following Perrier and their lifestyle blog Societe Perrier for some time now. I’ve been interested in contributing since 2011, but didn’t think my work was strong enough as I was fairly new to writing and blogging at the time. Fast forward to late December 2014. They start to communicate with me via social media, to me eventually landing a spot as a new Cocktail Culture contributor for NYC! I started in late May. You can check out my first post on antioxidant cocktails here.


I ran a great race at the Nike Women Toronto 15 K, and took 3 dance classes after

Dancing in my race shirt/Photo: CDC

On June 14th, I ran my first major race in ages at the Nike Women Toronto 15 K and finished strong! You can read the full backstory with images here. Post-race I decided to take a few dance classes at the City Dance Corps open house in downtown Toronto (because I’m crazy, apparently). I took jazz, ballet, and dancehall (bluck bluck!) classes, all thirty minutes each, and had a blast! The photo above is from my most challenging session, ballet. Thank you so much to my girl/fake sister Celina for having me.


A new “Liquid Culture” feature on Large Up

Arcachon Cremas/ Photo: AKC

I’ve been contributing food & drink pieces to Caribbean culture site Large Up since December of 2014, mainly my own Belizean family recipes. This was my first feature, focusing on a fledging Haitian-American cremas brand. You can read all about it here. Photos by yours truly also!


*BIG NEWS: I am a Staff Writer at super new journalism platform, SLANT*

I’m super excited to share this news. I am a Staff Writer for newly launched (like one week old NEW) journalism platform Slant. It is innovative as its model is crowdsourced journalism, allowing the ones who are experiencing the “news” to contribute and tell their own unique story. I love this idea, because I am really able to express myself in ways I may have not been able to on other platforms. Stay tuned for awesome music, personal, fashion, art & culture stories. In the meantime, you can read these that are now live.

My Super Awesome Hair Makeover at ARROJO Williamsburg w/ My Contest Winner, Jordanna!


On a rather normal day in mid-May, I was checking my e-mail and came across a rather exciting message in my iCloud account. I was perplexed as to how I was even receiving mail there, as I rarely use the account. I opened the message and see it is from Andrew Arrojo from ARROJO salon. I read the words “free cut & color, for you and a friend, in Williamsburg” and I almost dropped my phone. I had worked with the salon a few times in the past, and I was ecstatic for this opportunity as I was able to reenergize the relationship, transform my hair as it was in pretty bad shape, bring a friend, and not have to leave Brooklyn.

I was invited for the service in the afternoon of their new Williamsburg salon’s grand opening festivities, and given the chance to stay and network at the party in the evening. I brought Jordanna of The Fashionette with me, as she won my contest for a hair makeover.


We both came in with dark brown, rather limp tresses. Jordanna had been transitioning to natural hair for a few months, but wanted to go for a short pixie cut for summer, in a blue-black tone. I hadn’t cut my hair in about six months and wanted to do something fresh and new. I decided on warm caramel highlights and fresh layers that added movement, but kept the majority of my length.


This selfie was obligatory as it really looked like my hair was plastic at this point. My colorist Lucy informed me that the plastic wrap helps process the color. My strands were bleached first then toned down to a warm caramel color.


Jordanna wanted to give her tresses more edge with this blue-black dye. As some of her strands were a little lighter from previous color, her process was a bit longer, but created an awesome result.


I showed my stylist John an image that I found in a Google search of the type of cut I wanted. The layers were a bit whimsical with great length, just a little past my shoulder. I think he really nailed it as he great technique cutting my curly hair. I’ve had unfortunate cuts in the past where the curls don’t blend and are very boxy. I’m super happy with the cut, and the blowout he gave me.


Look at how different we look! Isn’t Jordanna’s pixie awesome? Her stylist and colorist did an awesome job, and were really thoughtful and patient with her kinkier curls. I really want to stress the fact that ARROJO stylists are trained incredibly well. They can handle all hair types, from my thicker, wavy strands, to Jordanna’s finer, kinkier strands. I think we both got the look we wanted, and more.


Here is my “sexy/quirky” selfie of my final look. Yes, I felt like a Victoria’s Secret model. That’s how I always want to feel after having my hair styled.


After the cut & style, there was the party! Here I am with my super awesome colorist Lucy. We hung out at the grand opening party with prosecco in hand. I was able to meet a bunch of great ARROJO stylists and team members, whilst jamming to the tunes of DJ Spinva (who also happens to be a colorist at the SoHo salon).

ARROJO Williamsburg offered me such a lovely experience, from the service and stylists to the overall vibe of the space. I will definitely be back. In the meantime, you should check them out for your next cut or color. Tell them Andrea sent you! :)

ARROJO Williamsburg

11 Broadway

Brooklyn, NY 11249



*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo for A Life In The Day of Andrea

Saturday Sounds: The Internet “Special Affair”

My favorite musical peeps, The Internet set the internet ablaze when they dropped their new track “Special Affair”. The bass-laden, moody, late night caller track is super sensual, telling the story of taking the object of your desire at the bar/club home for the night. There are so many layers to the song, sonically, making it really sound like the darkness of the middle of the night.

“Special Affair” is the first single off of The Internet’s forthcoming sophomore album, Ego Death, which is to be released digitally on June 29th and physically on June 30th. Press play to get into the sensual vibes.

Feeling it? You can pre-order the album now on iTunes and Amazon here.

POSTPONED: Curly Girl Collective Presents Curl Fest 2015, “The Ultimate Natural Beauty Festival” 6/28/15 @ Prospect Park

Girls with the curls, listen up! The beautifully coiled women behind Curly Girl Collective are back with the second annual Curl Fest, dubbed “the ultimate natural beauty festival”. It is an opportunity for the curly girls (and those that love them) to flourish Brooklyn-style in an awesome picnic setting in Prospect Park. In addition to the picnic there will be a live DJ & dance party, food trucks, curly hair styling stations, beauty chats, and marketplace.

Sponsors this year include Carol’s Daughter, Kinky Curly, Hype Hair, and more. Be sure to follow @curlygirlcollective on social media and tag #Curlfest before and during the fest to win very special prizes! Entry is FREE and you can RSVP here. See you in the park!


Sunday, June 28th

1-6 PM

Prospect Park Nethermead, Prospect Park

Brooklyn, NY 11225

*UPDATE 6/25/15*

CurlFest has been postponed due to weather concerns. Will keep you updated regarding the new date!

*Photo courtesy of Curly Girl Collective