Summer Reads

I frequently ask for and love to hear recommendations for books to read. However, I’m not one for the sappy romantic novel, or the famous author who writes 15 of the same style murder mysteries. I like reading and learning and hearing the perspectives of others, inspiring others and encouraging others to do well.

That being said, I’ve read a few books lately that I figured I would pass on to all of you fabulous people – most are geared toward women so bear with me, guys!

Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin

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EVERY GIRL SHOULD READ THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY. Especially if you’re in your 20’s/30’s and have no idea about anything regarding finance or money. Even if you do, Lapin has an edgy, bitchy way of breaking it down into terms that any real betch can understand. It’s liquid gold. Or solid. Whichever you prefer.

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are * Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas

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I’m currently reading this book for the 4th time fully through (that’s why the cover is so dirty). I constantly reference the quotes and stories and quick (sometimes 1, 2, 3 page) “chapters” for hysterical advice. Makes me feel chic whenever I’m feeling basic. Parisians do it well and you can do it just as well as soon as you start taking yourself less seriously.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo

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Literally mind-blowing. For any of you psychotic OCD “cleaners” out there or for people like myself who are traditionally on the “hot mess express,” this book is for you. I read it in less than 24 hours. It’s quick and gives legit tips to declutter your life and starting with the space you live in. Sounds silly but the perspective is much clearer than most people can relate to.

Front Roe: How to Be the Leading Lady in Your Own Life by Louise Roe

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Pretty casual style book giving tips and tricks on how to “get it” and be awesome. Lots of confidence boosters and helpful things to do to get your shit together, fashionably and personally.

Cupcakes & Cashmere At Home by Emily Schuman

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One of my favorite bloggers recently debuted her 2nd book giving lifestyle tips, tricks and advice for your home. My favorite part is that she gives ideas for every room or space in the home for both homeowners and renters (me). Great photos and ideas throughout – can be read in an afternoon, but awesome to reference.

Honorable mention to Kim Kardashian West’s #Selfish by Rizzoli. 😉

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Melrose Trading Post

Obsessed. I’ve been spending a bunch of time in LA in 2015, so I’m going to share a few of my favorite experiences while I’ve been on the west coast. Melrose Trading Post is an outdoor flea market where tons of vendors and artisans come to sell their products – a lot of it is vintage – which I LOVE.  (I thought).

I’ve been having this internal battle about vintage things. Do I actually LOVE or am I mildly creeped out by old things that people have used before? This is actually an absurd way to feel. And it’s even more absurd to be having feelings that I’m admitting in this blog about vintage items. Like how am I actually entertaining the fact that I’m having feelings about whether or not I’m into vintage things and flea markets?

I’m easily overwhelmed by a lot of shit* in a small place. Curating the perfect closet or home full of vintage pieces can take time and selecting the items can be a lot of fun, even educational and inspirational. However, it’s less fun with crowds hordes of people and unlimited amounts of shit.*

* Obviously the items are not all “shit,” I just like using the word shit instead of things. “Things” are boring. Shit is cooler. 😉

Whatever –  I wish I could be more vintage loving. Maybe I’m not hippie enough to be that way? But I definitely am hippie enough to love certain vintage things. Just not full force 100%.

Furniture – I’m 100% down with. 200%. So fucking down. If I was decorating a space on the west coast, I would fully commit to furnishing some super cool pieces from Melrose Trading Post.

Until then, it’s fucking awesome. I highly recommend visiting – they’re open Sunday mornings at 9:00AM PCT. But maybe take Xanax beforehand.

Before entering Melrose - getting ready for the beautiful chaos.
Before entering Melrose – getting ready for the beautiful chaos.

Glossier Review

So I’m a skincare junkie. I’m also a shopping addict. I have OCD — (likely). When I see something I want and it’s easily attainable – it automatically becomes a MUST HAVE.

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Since Into the Gloss blog founder Emily Weiss launched Glossier – I knew it had to be amazing and I knew I needed it immediately. Glossier’s website says it best:

“How many products do you own, and how many do you actually use? We are creating a highly edited collection of modern staples reflecting how you get ready every day, starting with the most important thing—a perfectly primed canvas (your skin!)—and working our way up.”

“Our formulas are designed to live with you, not on you, and enhance what you already have. They are meant to be touched, smooshed, traveled with, cherished, and shared until their packages are crinkly and dirty and can literally give no more.”

I purchased the starter kit and the packaging it arrives in is super cute / it also comes with stickers which I LOVE. I think this is a great starter pack for people who use a lot of products and are fed up with it. Kind of lightens your load in a sense…
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My Review’s Below…
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Balm Dot Com: Skin salve. This is nice. It’s high high high in the running against Lucas Papaw Ointment which I use regularly. It can be used basically anywhere. GREAT for lips! Highly recommend if you have chapped lips and you are constantly in the lip balm / chapstick phenomena of constantly reapplying and you kind of think it doesn’t help you but makes you use it more. You can put it on dry cuticles. Dry elbows/knees/palms. Anywhere that needs a little extra lovin’!
Priming Moisturizer: Warning! Comes out of tube, very quickly. Positive: the tubing is very squeezable – does that make sense?! It’s like – do you know how it’s sometimes difficult to get the last of a product out of it’s tube? Yeah, well – this solves that problem. The packaging is super easy to get the cream out of. It’s a light-ish cream and its unscented which I love. It’s build-able – I’m not exactly sure what that means. It’s used as a nice makeup primer and I like it for that as well. It’s a great combination of your moisturizer and your primer. Put on after cleansing and before makeup. Recommend.
Perfecting Skin Tint: Are you a makeup girl or a non-makeup girl? If your answer is non-makeup girl, this is FOR YOU!!! It is extremely thin coverage. I don’t even want to say coverage because it does not cover you. It makes you feel as if you’re wearing nothing! Which is MAJOR. It’s definitely not for blemish coverage. HOWEVER, if you mix some of this in to your typical foundation, it will thin it out and give you a nice, dewy, clean finish. I got the medium color – which I think most people will fall in – unless you’re extremely pale or have much darker pigmentation. Highly suggest mixing it in with your daily foundation or BB/CC cream if you use one. Recommend if you have nice skin and if you just want to even out skin tone and wear something. Do not recommend for trying to cover up much of anything. Great mixer though for sure. 😉
Soothing Face Mist: A major mist fan, I always carry a mist with me, I always keep a mist in/on my desk at work, always on my vanity at home, and one in my carry-all travel bag. Basically, I live the nomadic life – at my apartment in Brooklyn, on Long Island at my best friends’ homes, and I travel a lot on the weekends. I’ve been enjoying the rosewater mist they make. Look for a future blog about rosewater mists because they’ve been a natural obsession of mine. Also Kim Kardashian West is obsessed with rosewater too, so OBV.
Shop my personal link below for 20% off your first order!! 

Jeff Koons: A Retrospective

Jeff Koons – A Retrospective at The Whitney Museum.

A “retrospective” – looking back on or dealing with past events or situations.

Fitting, really. Art in various forms has always been a passion of mine – since I see art in so many aspects of everyday life. Constantly wondering how a person created an object, idea or work. Where did it come from? How could one create something so major? So massive – whether in size or in thought…

Photos of my favorites!

Pink Balloon
Basketballs Submerged in Water – in Equilibrium.
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Pink Balloon – Selfie, obvi.
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Play Doh!
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Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake…
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Love you
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Alrightttttt…
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Balloon Dog
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Killa Cam
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That new, new.

Flat Hair NO MORE!

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is the bomb dot com for all textures of hair, and it’s AMAZING on fine, thin hair types like mine!

Oribe Dry Texturizing is a genius invisible dry spray that instantly fluffs hair for max volume. Big, voluminous hair, betches!!!! The miracle worker spray also absorbs oil at the roots and last for hours on end. I’ve tried it in my insanely thin/fine hair and it gives it “body” as if I have rich, luxurious locks. I mean —— not really, but it’s a great “fake it til ya make it!”

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Step 1: Blow Dry or Naturally “Air Dry” Hair

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Woof, boring & dull hair washed last night.

Don’t straighten it to begin with, or the curls will be more difficult to hold. I air dried mine, because it has slight natural curl. You honestly don’t even need to curl your hair – if you just want it “BIG,” you can spray upward and tease your roots. (Especially if you’re blessed with thick gorgeous hair). Voila! Even Bigger Hair!

Step 2: Section Off Pieces of Hair & Curl Using a Wand

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I use a Enzo Milano Clipless Curling Iron 1″ . This wand is the best quality wand I’ve ever used and the 1″ is perfect size for the curls that you want.

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First off, I’d like to commend my selfie ability here…wanding your hair takes 2 hands – I’m selfie-ing while doing this. LOSER, sorry. I section off pieces of hair on my head, start with the bottom layer, then middle layer,  sides & top. The curls hold not too tight, not too loose. They’ll fall naturally to perfection.

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Step 3: After All Hair is Curled, Flip Head Upside Down – LOL

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Step 4: Spray Away with your Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Spray upward to create the body that you want – it will literally stay that way. Play with it because it also does not make your hair hard like traditional hairspray does.

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Step 5: Enjoy the entire day or night worry free with bigger hair that stays! 

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I use this look a lot because it’s great for “dirty hair” or 2nd day hair & it is quick & easy!

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CRAZY FACE 😉

Diptyque – Baies or “Bae” ♥

Diptyque scented candles are among the best scented candles in this world – made from high quality vegetable/paraffin wax that burn cleanly & evenly. I went into the Diptyque shop in Soho (lower Manhattan – a few storefronts from Cafe Gitane) and explored a ton of fragrances. The shop assistant was extremely friendly and super helpful with my 21 questions about everything!

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Tip: (I learned this from the girl in the store) If you want to get a really good idea of the scent: tip the glass upside down and knock it against your hand so the wax comes out and then have a sniff! By doing this you can get a true impression of the fragrance rather than sniffing the top of the candle which has been exposed to the air and probably doesn’t smell as strong. Great idea and she did it to basically every scent in the store for me!

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Diptyque Soho Boutique

I went in knowing that I already loved the scent of Baies – which apparently smells like a bouquet of roses and blackcurrent leaves. Whatever that means, I just think it smells divine! And it’s pronounced “bae” – I mean, obviously I love that shit!

After almost going for Tubéreuse – definitely a more nighttime and sexy scent, I ended up with my Baies. Tubéreuse will be my next scent from Diptyque.

At $60.00 for a Standard Size candle – $30 for a votive size, it’s steep – but worth it! Such amazing scents & long lasting! To keep these pricey candles lasting even longer, make sure you always trim the wick nice & shore. Also – the first time you light this baby, put it in the freezer before the first light – the freeze somehow stops the candle from burning as quickly.

Diptyque makes about 50 different scents – they’re split into 5 categories: Fruity, Floral, Herbal, Spicy and Woody. They are all packaged in the clear glass tumblers with the trademark black and white labels – so chic. 

Highly recommend -another one of my favorites. I’ll be burning my “bae” all night long. Except not, as I’m too nervous to keep him on all night long because house burning down. Duh.

 

Head Shots – Bang

Tremendous thanks & shout out to Bellport Web Solutions! Had a blast shooting with my girl Alexandria (@alexyadig – follow her, she’s adorable) and Dan the owner/photographer & of course, our “props.”

Alex invited me a few hours before & tells me, “You’ve got one job, Ash – bring props.” Don’t tempt me with a good time! Fruit hats. Bananas. Stella Artois. TMG Flower Halos. Funky sunglasses. Done & done. Our experience with Dan was fantastic – his studio space is great & his two French Bulldogs rule!

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SO, as if you guys needed more of a reason to think Alex and I were legit in love with each other, here’s another one! We look like we’re sisters posing for family portraits as a gift to our parents for their 40th wedding anniversary. With that being said, I F-ING LOVE IT. Red lips are my favorite and this photo is my absolute favorite. Alex is wearing Hourglass lipstick in “Icon.” I’m wearing Chanel lipstick in “Passion.”

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As always – the fruit hat NEVER FAILS.

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Stunning in That Madonna Girl “The Dani” halo.

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SIGNING OFF.

I FEEL LIKE DAFT PUNK.

 

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Photo Cred: Bellport Web Solutions

Parisian Beauty Haul Part 2

Paris Beauty Haul Part Deux

Homeoplastine & Biafine

Before I went to Paris I thought it would be a good idea to go to a tanning salon so I wouldn’t look like I was translucent. POOR CHOICE, Ash. I think it was a mixture of me taking an antibiotic prescription the day before I tanned & the fact that I went on a run to the tanning place and sweaty… and just bad. Anyway, I got a heinous burn on my back.

Homeoplasmine & Biafine have saved my back in a few short days. Homeoplasmine is a oil or vaseline based and is great for minor cuts & burns. All of this stuff is prescription strength so it blows products like Neosporin out of the water. Biafine is a prescription strength cream – smells great and softens even the roughest of skin. Great on sunburns! And my back looks normal again. 😉IMG_9572

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BioRecept Hydra’ Fluide

This moisturizer is meant for all skin types. It penetrates the skin quickly and doesn’t leave any thick residue which is a make or break for me! NO greasiness, yay! Skin is getting softer by the minute. I’m really only doing it for the #flawless #IWokeUpLikeThis Instagram selfie. duh! And a great price of €16,90.

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BioRecept Gommage de Peau

This is a masque & exfoliation product combo that also works as a cleanser. You can use this a few times a week or even every day if you feel it’s necessary. The exfoliation does not contain any hard particles so it’s completely soft and will not irritate skin. Great for acne prone skin.

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 Lierac Anti-Blemish Mattifying Fluid

My absolute favorite moisturizer from my trip to Paris! The mattifying qualities in the moisturizer leave my skin feeling so super soft while still working super hard at battling any blemishes that I do have. Use after a cleanser day & night. I wish I would have purchased like 10 of these!

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Klorane Makeup Remover Wipes

Was beyond excited to see these beautiful paraben-free, fragrance-free wipes in Paris! I use these regularly, from a boutique skincare place in Roslyn and spend over $20.00 on them. Talk about a huge bargain for me at ONLY €4! For me, anyways. I love the way they feel and they do a great job of removing any excess makeup after washing my face the 1st time. Great for the gym or at the end of night out.

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SO MANY GREAT PRODUCTS FROM PARISIAN PHARMACIES ❤

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Stay soft. & beautiful! 

Paris Photo Diary

No need to overflow your Instagram feeds, so I’ll blog my Paris adventure!

Versailles Gardens
Versailles Gardens
SURFBOARDT!
SURFBOARDT!

Shopped 'til I dropped, JK.
Shopped ’til I dropped, JK.
Pont Saint Louis - "Love Lock Bridge"
Pont Saint Louis – “Love Lock Bridge”
Monk Selfies
Monk Selfies
Photobombed at the Louvre
Photobombed at the Louvre
Wedding Ceremony at the Grand Palais
Wedding Ceremony at the Grand Palais
Posing in front of Cartier (mainly took this photo for the hot dude to the left)
Posing in front of Cartier (mainly took this photo for the hot dude to the left, who turns out to not be that hot.)
Arc de Triomph
Arc de Triomph
Fresh Squeezed OJ in the Gardens of Versailles
Fresh Squeezed OJ in the Gardens of Versailles
no patience as always #kanye
no patience as always #kanye
Notre Dame from the Lovelock Bridge
Notre Dame from the Lovelock Bridge
CitiPharma <3
CitiPharma ❤
my girrrrrrl
my girrrrrrl
Laduree Bakery
Laduree Bakery
Ghetto Statue <3
Ghetto Statue ❤
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
City Street
City Street
All smiles
All smiles
# RATCHET <3
# RATCHET ❤
Paris Marathon on Sunday
Paris Marathon on Sunday
Caught in the act of a Selfie
Caught in the act of a Selfie
Quick! Jump in that bush...
Quick! Jump in that bush…
Queen Nightclub
Queen Nightclub
Arc de Triomph
Arc de Triomph
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

 So many more photos, I just picked a few favorites!

Parisian Pharmacies: Part 1

Parisian Beauty Haul

If by chance you did not have the pleasure of this knowledge, the French people make outstanding beauty products. The pharmacy or “pharmacie” in Paris are like the high end designer CVS. High quality with exceptionally effective formulas AND the prices are fantastic. But let me tell you – bitches are crazy! I’m talking 3+ security guards at Citypharma (the mecca of all + Pharmacies).

Imagine the following: Women grasping their oversize plastic hand baskets, bumping into each other to snatch whatever they can get their hands on, weaving in and out of skinny little aisles. Much easier to navigate if you’re French, much more fun to navigate when you’re American. Pharmacies in Paris are much different than pharmacies in America. First, you aren’t holding a typical Venti Starbucks cup in your hand. Secondly, you can’t really go in and buy OTC drugs – you ask for them from the pharmacist. Basically best case scenario for next time is to first go up to the pharmacist and ask for Xanax. Then proceed to the beauty section to go head to head with Parisian women for the last €39,90 eye cream on the shelf. I went a little bit crazy (shocker) so I’m splitting this up into 2 parts.

 Bioderma Créaline H2O

Removes makeup and cleans your face like a dream – odorless & basically like water but a whole lot better. This is a dream product & highly recommended. Use with a cotton pad – removes excess makeup even after you wash your face.

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Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

Overall moisturizer for daily use. From my experience it seemed a little heavy for my liking but dried well and didn’t leave any oily residue. Claims to be good for all skin types and I would say it worked nicely for combination skin like what I have. Not my favorite out of all moisturizers I tried.

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Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil

Oil is interesting to me. This oil is great because it’s meant for skin, hair, body…all over! I would never put oil in my hair because it’s so fine & thin and would completely weigh it down – but if it’s your thing – then cool. IT SMELLS AMAZINGGGGG! I used it on my dry as the arid desert legs and they were smoother in less than 24 hours. Aprox. €10.

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Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk

This is a GAME CHANGER! I get oily hair and really hate using powdered dry shampoo because I’m really bad at it. Like I look like I dumped flour in my hair and I just don’t think it really works. So after giving this type a try from a recommendation, I’m hooked! Aerosol is an A+ for this product!

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Avène Cold Cream

Which is not cold cream at all – it’s lip balm. And it’s heavenly! It makes chapped lips feel like a million bucks. And it has a gorgeous slight shimmer that looks like you put on lipgloss except you’re just treating your lips to a masterpiece of soft, plushy, hydrated goodness. Perfection.

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Yes, I spent way too much $ or € on Parisian beauty. But better skin = less makeup so that’s good enough reason for me. Stay tuned for Part 2!