For those of you who do not know, I officially started this blog mid February. I saw a bunch of bloggers on Instagram coming up with innovative content that inspired others for a while now. I finally realized that is something that I wanted to do. I would always post my outfits, where I eat, and such on my Instagram for years now but only for a close knit circle of friends and mutual friends. I would always get asked "Where are your shoes from?", or "What filter did you use on this picture?". Something finally clicked and I noticed, why not expand this and have one central outlet of creativity for people to look at.
I have always loved to create and share my creations, so it all made sense for me to share amongst a broad spectrum. Now I have readers from all over the world - I still get shocked when I get an e-mail from someone from South Africa or many other places such as France. It is so cool and I'm like, "woah somebody in another country actually cares about what I have to say!".
Anyways, initially the purpose of this blog was to showcase myself in a creative way that inspired many people. And it still is, but I slowly began to comprehend the business side of blogging and started monetizing my content.
Overall, I have learned there are many pros and cons to the world of blogging and I am still learning. There are many things that I had no idea of going into this and I can finally say now after a couple of months, I know how to maneuver within this expertise.
You will either hate or love a brand, and a brand will either hate or love you too. There is no in between. Working with a brand whom you don't believe in is detrimental because your followers are your friends and they trust your opinion. I would never work with a brand that I wouldn't recommend to a friend no matter how many products or how much money is on the table. My followers and relationship with them is my biggest priority and once you put a brand before them, you loose your credit. Essentially you are your own brand and who you associate yourself with is crucial. Same goes for a brand, not everyone will love you. There are many factors that go into deciding who will be apart of their campaign, and if you aren't the right fit that doesn't mean that you should be discouraged. I have turned down many opportunities and many brands have turned down me. It has to be a right fit because at the end of the day the brand and yourself has specific standards that need to be met in order to satisfy the targeted demographic.
Engagement is key
The amount of followers you have is everything and nothing. This is specifically referring to brands. Many brands have a specific amount of followers in mind that a blogger has to qualify in order to work with them. From there, the brands assess your relationship with your followers. A brand would rather work with someone who gets four hundred likes a photo and has a close relationship with their followers than that of someone who gets four thousand likes a photo and has no communication with their followers. My first collaboration was with Uniqlo (which is a household name brand) - they were specifically attracted to my engagement on my Instagram, and how I connect with my followers. At that time I only had three thousand followers, but if a tenth of my followers went out and bought a shirt I was wearing, then fell in love with more products from their line that is the goal. The main goal is to sell a product and help your followers chose that product. And when your followers trust the brand as much as you that is essential to a campaign's success and forming more relationships. If your followers don't trust you or your opinion no matter how popular you are that is a major red flag.
Many followers are turned off by a sponsored post or an ad. For those who you don't know, a sponsored post is a blogger's source of money. This is where a brand pays you x amount of dollars or sends you their product for a post displaying their product. Followers must believe in your opinion in order to want to buy what your buying. Nobody will listen to you if every post you do is sponsored. Believe it or not many bloggers will just take anything if money slapped on to it. As I said before, selectivity on both ends is integral. Your authenticity is what determines success in all aspects of blogging.
Your personality is your biggest strength and weakness
Blogging is and will always be a saturated industry. Thousands of bloggers will continue to do clothing hauls and skincare tutorials, but the determining factor of one's success is your personality. For example, my friend Patrick Starrr, does weekly makeup tutorials, but how he differentiates himself and the reason why he has reached a coveted two million subscribers on YouTube is his funny personality and powerful messages he conveys in each video. The common thread amongst my advice is your authenticity. Being yourself attracts followers but there are always boundaries as to what is professional and what is not. Always writing formal e-mails and being professional is so crucial. Responding to everyone (even your haters) with the utmost respect is what will make or break you.
Growing takes time and consistency is important
Today I just hit fourteen thousand Instagram followers and it takes time. Making a connection with your followers takes time and so does attracting new ones. The more consistent you are, the quicker you will grow. When you post more and your followers engage, it shows up on other's feeds and they will want to follow you too. What I always say is quality over quantity. If you have amazing content, a follower will tell five friends, and they will tell another five friends and so on. Nothing happens overnight and I am still looking to grow. Setting realistic goals is always great to work with. I know I have been successful in a short amount of time due to my consistency and quality of content, but I know I am not a "famous" blogger by any means yet.
Events are the best place to network
Fashion Week is one of my busiest weeks of the year, if you don't believe me watch my vlog here. Attending blogger events are always so much fun. Recently in LA, I attended a blogger brunch with Bliss. Between fashion week and brunches, I get the opportunity to make new friendships and collaborations. I am a fearless networker and if I see someone I want to work with I will walk over to them and exhibit myself and my ideas. It is important to remember first impressions dictate everything but it is not your fault if someone turns out to be a total A-hole, trust me it happens all the time. Age is a big factor so a lot of people and brands will either love or hate your youth. The younger you are there are pros and cons that come with that. More followers will follow you because the younger generation is more intuitive with technology and has a tendency to look up to others. The con is, well, your age. I was invited to an event by a brand and I had e-mailed back and fourth with the people who were running the event. But my age was looked over and nobody mentioned to me that there was an open bar. So once I arrived to the event the guards would not let me in without ID. Everything in blogging is a learning experience and there will always be obstacles along the road especially when you are not the ideal age.
Being analytical is smart
Knowing your followers and how to attract them and new ones is vital. If you are planning to grow your following, turn on the business account on Instagram. This allows for people to contact you by simply clicking on the email button. In addition, it also allows for analytics. There is a little bar graph button in the top right corner of your profile: its shows all information about your followers including age, where they live, what time is best to post, how many impressions you get, etc. This lets you see what posts are most popular and when to post them. In addition - tagging, hashtagging, and geotagging is best way to attract people in your niche. When you tag the brands you are wearing they will most likely repost it and their followers will follow you because your style reflects that of their brand. When you geotag where you are, new followers in your area will see your post too. I always geotag where I am eating or if I post in a store or new city. And hashtagging in my opinion is the best way to earn likes and comments - also followers! Within a hashtag there are x amount of posts and there are 9 top posts in that hashtag determined by the engagement on that photo. The main goal is to get in that top post section because it is the first thing these people will see when they are exploring that hashtag. The more posts within that hashtag, the harder it is to reach that top post section. Knowing your range of post numbers is essential in order to strategically hashtag so more and more people can find you. All in all, know what your followers like and dislike, and who they are! I know an outfit post will be more popular than a food post with my followers. When you do more of what you like and what your followers like you expand. But stepping out of your comfort zone attracts new groups of people!
There will be fans and haters
When people see that you are exposing your life on social media, you are vulnerable. When you take the risk of sharing your life and opinions, people will praise your for that or hate you for that. I know my loyal followers who I am always DM-ing with, they are like my best friends. But there are internet trolls who will try to kick you down. I will always get a comment or message from someone that is so so mean. Growing a thick skin is apart of the process and not engaging back in shallow activity is important. Learning to block someone and move on is something that took me a long time to do. When you are young you aren't as mature and you want to "clap back". But having a reputation as a sassy person who can't keep their mouth shut is even worse. There will always be more supporters than haters and remembering that will get you through the meanies. The fans definitely outweigh the haters. It is the best feeling getting stopped on the street and someone telling me they read and love my blog.
Blogging is a full time job
Blogging requires new consistent and relevant content. The quantity and quality of your work is the most important factor. Keep in mind that blogging requires hour and hours of work. And blogging is a job of many jobs. You are your own photographer, creative director, writer, video editor, photo editor, model, guinea pig, CE0, founder, analysist, and so much more!
There are more things I could say and I could talk for hours. But these are my main things that I wish I knew going into blogging. I figured all of this out while blogging and I still find out new things about this industry and myself everyday.
Coffee is probably the most popular beverage amongst Americans. And rightfully so. Many drink coffee for the buzz they need to maintain their focus during a busy day, or for the artificial flavors that so many drool over. When waiting in that obnoxiously long Starbucks line, one never grabs a sizzling hot coffee to curb their metabolism. Coffee surprisingly can help you shave off a couple pounds - but only if you drink it correctly. You are probably thinking how can one drink coffee incorrectly? But there are a ton of different factors to keep in mind such as the time of day in which you drink it, the amount, and what you put in it.
The most obvious rule and widely known rule is NO MILK! My dad always drinks his coffee "black", for nearly twenty years now because of a detox he did at a spa trip. On the other hand, out of all my friends, I am guilty of a serious case of milk obsession. I pour gallons of half and half into my coffee while I eat french fries (probably not the healthiest choice). One of my best friends, Carly, always puts the smallest amount of soy milk in her coffee but not for dietary reasons. Between the two of us the word "diet" is rarely ever used, mainly because we can't talk due to the fact that there is a cheeseburger in our mouths at all times.
So to test this theory of mine, I resorted to research. I read this article on Byrdie all about how coffee can curb your metabolism. The infamous ingredient in our coffee is caffeine, and it helps speed up your metabolism in addition to all its wonderful benefits. A pro tip is to drink your coffee pre-workout for an energy and fat cell breakdown boost. According to dietitian, Dana Godfrey, it helps signal fat cells to break down fat, in doing so it reduces your cravings. Disclaimer - the effects of the caffeine will start to not be as effective if you are an avid drinker of coffee. Dara suggests two to three "black" cups of coffee before 3pm. This means get your caffeine fix in before the afternoon, and stay away from sugar, cream, and milk. The extra sweeteners and ingredients not only add on the weight but increase your hunger. Ditching the yummy stuff is hard, I see that tear rolling down your eye. I know - harsh.
Now lets get scientific. Integrative physician Ralph Esposito, states that, drinking coffee pre-workout boosts Adiponectin, a hormone in your body, that increases the burning of fats and sugars. When you drink a coffee with a ton of flavor like my favorite, a pumpkin spice latte, it kills the flora (good bacteria) that maintains your metabolism and hunger.
But there are also cons. If you are regularly bloated or experience weight gain from this change of coffee-drinking, you should probably stop due to the irritation of your intestines causing further bloating. This might not be for everyone, sadly. I would rather change my coffee habits than going on a full blown diet because lets face it, cheeseburgers aren't going anywhere any time soon.
Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!
Hey guys! I know I haven't been on the blog as frequently but I had a bunch of finals so now that school is wrapping up, I can focus on you guys and of course Summer! I promise I will return to YouTube ASAP, too! Having an amazing Summer starts with the perfect wardrobe, and I hate scrambling the last minute trying to find outfits. The epitome of Summer is looking really cool and chic in the best sunglasses - but we all know there is more to an outfit than wearing mirrored sunnies. When going on a destination trip, or if you are staying home tanning in your backyard or on your roof, you want to look #trendy. Bonus points for an "Instagrammable" outfit that all your friends will be talking about for weeks. So in this blog post, I will be giving you all some insight on how to curate creative and cute outfits for whatever Summer plan you have. Click on links to shop your favorite pieces!
It doesn't matter what city streets you are on, from NYC to Paris, they are your catwalk. For the simplistic trendy gal, you might be inclined to go for the classic denim cut-offs and basic white sneakers. The alternative? A diverse denim skirt and white leather booties. A classic gingham print is very popular this Summer, so interpret it into your outfit subtly or be decked-out. And for my guys, you must step up your game as well. Ditch you worn out baseball cap and go for a suede one. With the weather being hot, go for a short-sleeved printed button down and track shorts paired with statement shoes (suede to match the hat is always great).
The Hamptons is the perfect place to show your more preppy side, but lets not look like a Vineyard Vines catalog (LOL). To embody the Hampton's style - blue and white prints are essential, alongside straw hats and bags to get a beachy vibe. I love stripes because they always make you look taller - and trust me that is something that I need to constantly keep in mind. Staying cool during the Summer never seemed so easy!
Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!
Acne has always been a battle of mine - despite it emerging rarely but always in the same stubborn vicinity of my T-zone. Sunday Riley sent the Ultra Clarifying Face Oil to me in the mail, and it has been such a lifesaver. These past two weeks my breakouts have been worse than ever, and my normal go-to products were not getting the job done. I always moisturize and dry-out my pimples, and the conflict is usually resolved within days. However, these couple of stubborn guys sitting on my forehead have not been bulging. With so many tests in school, my skin tends to mirror that of my stress level.
I had this unopened face oil on my desk for a little while now, and I had the perfect excuse to use my new goody. So I decided to breakout my Ultra Clarifying Face Oil from Sunday Riley (and yes, pun intended). I was a little skeptical at first, although, I heard great things about this product, I thought it was counterintuitive to apply oil on an area of my skin that was already oily. After I did my research, it actually trains the skin in producing less oil, causing your skin to breakout less!
When looking for a face oil make sure it is "non-comedogenic". Don't get scared by that big word - it simply means that the product wont clog your pores. This face oil specializes in getting rid of stubborn acne and blackheads by clearing congested pores with Salicylic Acid. Use this oil regularly about three times a week and allow yourself about three drops of the oil if you are using it on your whole face. And ladies - a cool tip that Sunday mentioned on the box is that you can incorporate it into your foundation.
When you pop open the oil it has a rustic plant-like scent and a green pigmentation. The green eventually melts into your skin, so don't be frightened by the pigmented color as it first hits your skin. This is all because there are a lot of organic ingredients within this oil, including, cucumber, black cumin, pomegranate, cranberry, apricot, licorice, eggplant, basil, turmeric, and jojoba. By the way, I love jojoba oil because it resembles the oil that our own skin produces which helps maintain clear pores as I mentioned before.
After using this product - I highly recommend it. I thought I had my acne routine down but this was a total game changer in addition the drying and moisturizing of those little pimples. It turns out adding oil to breakouts isn't counterintuitive at all nor complicated to comprehend. Shop the product by clicking here!
Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!
If you know anything about me, açai bowls are a crucial part of my "food pyramid". For those of you who do not know what açai bowls are, or simply recognize the photogenic dish from countless trendy Instagram posts, it is a custard-like consistency with a myriad of toppings sprinkled on top! Açai is a fruit found in the Amazon, and is very high in antioxidants and fiber, which is essential to curving your metabolism and creating a healthy lifestyle. When you think about it, açai bowls are just like ice cream but only extremely good for you. The meal is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a hearty snack! You can find these smoothie bowls at your local juice joint but I am going to show you how easy it is to make at home!
You do not need to be a talented cook by any means, although, I did get insight from a gal who spends her time cooking up a storm in the kitchen quite frequently. Talula Dempsey of Curious Cravingz, is a food blogger who is always filming how-to's, writing about the coolest places to dine on the West Coast, and also shares a mutual love for açai bowls. Dempsey spills her two styles of her açai bowl recipe, that are so easy to follow, and you will feel like a master chef in no time. The combination is so yummy and addicting!
Here is how to make it!
1 packet of Açai or Pitaya Super Food Smoothie Packet
1/2 of frozen banana
2-4 ounces of apple juice or coconut milk
Toppings: (Optional - mix and match!)
Granola, hemp and/or flax seeds, coconut shavings, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, dragon fruit, cacao nibs
Blend all of the ingredients listed above in a blender. Depending on your preference of consistency, start with two ounces of your selected liquid. Blend for the length that is appropriate for your desired consistency. Pour the mix into a bowl and decorate with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!
April is coming to an end, and May is slowly but indefinitely emanating. This means Spring fashion is inevitable to avoid. I talked about Spring skincare (here), and even made a look book about Spring fashion on my YouTube (here), but transitioning between seasons can be an enmity for many people. In this look, I wore a baby blue linen shirt, which is Spring in a nutshell. For a pop of color, (that also was monochromatic with my shirt) I added a suede baby blue belt. I dulled down this look by wearing a grey denim jacket and grey denim jeans, this posits easy style that is interchangeable for those cold nights, and those hot days with a subtle breeze. To make my outfit more Spring-esque (and embodying nature - not that nature is in my realm of expertise), I wore camouflage printed sneakers. My oversized black aviators automatically elevated my look from stylish to cool. When creating a transitional Spring outfit, it is essential to keep in mind the weather but also the aesthetic of the season in which you are embodying. Plus, posing in front of flowers and some plants never hurt your point you are trying to make.
Hey guys! I think skincare is obviously important all year round, but as the seasons change, your skin does too. I think of Spring as the ultimate transitional period. The weather is really nice and calm, but can also fluctuate - today it was forty five degrees and on Sunday it was eighty three degrees. As a result, we have the tendency to breakout. If you were worrying about finding the perfect products, have no fear. The best SPF, moisturizer, face-mist, black-head remover, night cream, and more is included! Below I selected a bunch of different products that are great for Spring (and the Spring themed ones are my faves), that you can shop by simply clicking on the image of your selected must-have. I mean how cool are the floral printed nose strips from Bioré?!?!!
Recently I was in LA, and I wanted to take you with me! I saw Tyga… and Kylie Jenner? I got left on the side of the highway by a smoking Uber driver. But aside from the craziness, I had a great time filled with food, friends, family, and shopping! Watch the vlog down below! P.S. watch my previous vlog here (My get ready with me / Saturday morning).
I have been in LA since Saturday and I am sadly leaving today! I have brought you along my trip on my Instagram, Snapchat, and here too. In the process of editing my vlog for this trip, I wanted to share with you guys what I wore each day and night during this fun trip! Whenever I travel I always recycle my essentials and normally don't wear everything in my (overpacked) suitcase.
I always wear sweats when I am flying - it is the comfiest option out there. I wore black joggers, a cotton/cashmere blend sweater from Banana Republic, and my favorite checkered Vans. To give my all black outfit a subtle pop of color, I wore a blush pink ripped denim jacket from ASOS. I accessorized this look by adding black aviators, a sterling silver Armani watch, and a cute black dried-lava bracelet from Greece. And many of you may question my choice to have a clear backpack, but it was actually quite cool, and I got a ton of compliments on it.
It was a must to start the day off in a robe and pajamas to order in room service. After I got ready for the day in Malibu, I wore an all white outfit. Click here for the blog post for more details and shots of the outfit. Later, we went to dinner during sunset at Nobu Malibu. I wore my favorite black ripped jeans from Rag & Bone, black leather boots from Zara, a green khaki bomber from Zara, and a denim button-down shirt from Gap.
The weather got really hot that day and I had a blogger brunch hosted by Bliss Spa. I kept it casual, stylish, and fun, so I wore my new pink tie-dye shorts from Urban Outfitters, a blush pink tee from TopMan, a new burgundy zip-up from All Saints, circle sunnies, and my checkered Vans once again. After that, later that afternoon I had a facial with Angela Caglia (if you are ever in LA - go see her she has magic hands!), then dinner at Mr. Chow's. So I changed into a striped long sleeve shirt from Zara, black dress pants from ASOS, a new denim grey jacket from All Saints, white sneakers from Zara, silver mirror sunnies, and a brown belt.
My mom and I went to breakfast at the Beverly Hills hotel. I wore my fave grey waffle-textured shirt, my grey denim jacket, green khaki jeans from Zara, the same black leather boots, and sunnies from Saint Laurent. We bumped into two celebs there - Tyga and John Stamos! Later, I went to spend the day in Malibu again with my friend Talula Dempsey (check out her blog here). It was pretty hot out although the beach has a tendency to get windy. So I wore beige shorts, a black hoodie, and my Adidas slides. When we went to dinner at Catch, I simply switched out my shorts for my dress pants and put on my Vans (which have been my favorite lately).
Due to the fact that I decided to be athletic and "hike to" the Hollywood sign I wore a not so fashionable outfit. I spent the day wandering around Melrose and eating my way through the city. From acai bowls to bubble tea, I stayed in my shorts which kinda turned out to be athletic-chic. For dinner, I wore a grey sweater, black pants, and black boots.
In LA, everything is very light and airy so I thought an all white look would be appropriate for going to lunch in Malibu. Before Uber-ing to Malibu, we stopped at LACMA, which is the coolest museum and they have an outdoor area dedicated to cohesive grey lampposts that go as far as the eye can see. Normally, I am an all back outfit kinda guy, and my favorite other colors to wear are beige, grey, and blush. Wearing all white is something I never really did because it is such a statement and I never want my clothes to get dirty. So as I expanded my wardrobe repertoire, I embraced an all white style and I love it! I wore a Gap cream knit sweater paired with a vintage Gucci belt, white ripped jeans with an uneven hem from ASOS, and I threw on my favorite white velcro sneakers from Zara. Since it tends to get chilly on the beach I wore a basic denim jacket from Theory and had a white scarf in my backpack to pull out. If you love my look you can shop it and similar styles with this link!
Tomorrow as I am flying to LA and packing my carry-on bag, I thought it might be cool to share with you guys my four favorite essentials to bring thirty thousand feet above the ground. First of all, when taking products they need to be less than eight ounces, so mini sized products are best! An important thing to remember when flying is that your skin can get super dehydrated and dry. So my favorite moisturizer and oil is a no-brainer. This moisturizer from Anita Celia MD is my favorite because it is light and gets the job done (bonus points because it makes my skin look extremely dewy). I love the rose stem cell oil from Peter Thomas Roth because of its smell, it smells like real roses and rose flavored pastries. Its extracted from six rose stems and contains SPF! I have talked about this oil countless times on Instagram and on my latest product haul video! But, before all of this I love to do a sheet mask. Sheet masks are so portable, easy to do, and clean - doing a clay mask on a plane is not smart at all. This pearl sheet mask from Tony Moly leaves your skin with a dewy glow! After all of these products, lets face it you are probably tired and you have the time to take a nap. I recently got a silk eye mask from Slip Silk Pillowcase. I love it so much - they are chic and soft. Silk is great for your skin, it allows antioxidants and amino acids to help repair skin cells, and condition your skin to keep it tight. If I have the energy and the time I also enjoy doing eye masks, nose strips, and/or a quick face mist. When you get off your plane you will look like you just got a facial!
A lot of you guys have asked me many questions about my daily life and routines, so I took my camera around today to show you how I get ready on a typical Saturday morning.
Hey guys! So as many of you know, I just uploaded my new YouTube video, where I did a huge skincare product haul. I briefly mentioned the importance of SPF, and I got a couple e-mails afterwards asking more in depth questions. I felt it was appropriate to make this blog post, since SPF is my number one secret to perfect skin.
Here on my blog, I am always talking about the latest skincare gadgets and coolest luxury face masks, but today I am sharing with you the most effective weapon of them all, and you all have it sitting in your closet or travel bag somewhere. It is SPF, or more commonly known as sunscreen. The power of sunscreen is often unappreciated by many. I am going to change your perception today in this blog post.
Having said that, I have hated sunscreen for years. When I am on a vacation, my parents force me into smearing it all over my face, body, and especially my nose, to prevent sunburns and skin cancers (don't worry, sunscreen actually makes your tan last longer). Over the past six months, I reevaluated my perspective on the long term and also present effects of sunscreen. Consequently, SPF has been essential in my everyday skincare routine - even on cloudy and rainy days.
Here's why: UVB Rays from the sun are constantly damaging our skin. And with the ozone layer deteriorating, and with the lack of protection from harsh rays from the sun, our skin is mirroring that of the ozone layer. SPF is that extra layer of protection to help not only prevent skin cancers but even wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin tone, acne, oily skin, dry skin, and more! Whether you are a teen or an adult you want to prevent all of the above. Sunscreen or products infused with SPF are your secret weapon to keeping your skin flawless.
Even my favorite moisturizers and oils have SPF in them, and that is a plus for me! When shopping for daily products, a huge factor for deciding if I am interested in them, is if there is SPF in it. The Rose Stem Cell Oil by Peter Thomas Roth (which you can shop in my previous blog post or the "Shop My Favorites" section on my homepage) has SPF in it, and I love it because of that, the heavenly smell, and many more reasons!
Anyways, there are different amounts of SPF in different sunscreens and products. SPF15 and SPF30 are most effective, and higher SPFs don't really work that well, even though any SPF is better than none. Also, fun fact, according to humantouchofchemistery.com, "...the founder of L'Oreal Company, chemist Eugene Schueller refined the invention and the first sunscreen made its debut in 1936."
I really wish that this post gave you a different outlook on sunscreen. This the first of many steps to achieving flawless skin. And when entering the battlefield, SPF is not your enemy.
Recently, I visited Alison Brod Marketing and Communications's beauty closet, and received a ton of luxury skincare products! I selected my favorites out of the bunch that I got. Watch the video, and shop all the products in the carousel down below by clicking on the individual photo.