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I Did 20,000 Crunches In 30 Minutes And This Is What Happened...

David Ruff

I did 20,000 crunches in 30 minutes. Yup. And that sounds impossible. Because it basically is. But nearly anything is possible when you visit Jeannel Astarita of Just Ageless at 11 Howard.

Astaria is on the forefront of cutting edge beauty technology as she performs everything from laser treatments to silk peel facials to using cool-sculpting machines. 

Although, this time I didn't get my regular facial with Jeannel. I tested out the new Emsculpt machine which is placed on your stomach to reduce fat and build muscle. The machine varies in intensity as a 30 minute session can be equivalent to 20,000 crunches. 

Recently, I have been working on abdominal strength and achieving the perfect six pack. Even though I am close, I needed the extra push (because I am not ready to say goodbye to french fries). The Emsculpt machine not only eliminates your fat, but aids in strengthening your core, which will allow you to complete your abdominal workouts more efficiently and improve in new areas of fitness.

I relaxed as the machine was strategically placed on my lower stomach where I experience the most fat. The machine subtly jolts your core in intervals then goes in to resting periods. Jeannel described these contractions akin to giving birth.

The whole experience was weird - but in the best way possible. At first I had the giggles from even using this machine to begin with, but as I eased in to it, I felt less guilty for having french toast earlier, and learned how cool and innovative this technology really is.

About 2 days later is when I really noticed the change in my workouts. I was able to complete my regular abdominal routine in longer sets while being able to perform new workouts I could not complete under normal circumstances.

Jeannel suggests to get this treatment 3-4 times to see the best physical and visual results. I definitely will be coming back to Astaria's office to do 20,000 crunches - no sweat involved.

 

6 Ways To Keep Your Tan From Fading

David Ruff

The best sign of having a fun Summer is returning to your school or office looking sun-kissed and glowing. If we could all capture Summer in a bottle, we would, but while scientists are figuring that one out (joking), we can create a period of longevity for our tan.

Exfoliate

Prepping your skin for a tan is essential. Using a scrub or exfoliating cleanser/body wash basically acts as a primer for tanning, as you get rid of all the dead skin cells sitting on top of your skin.

Take a cold shower

As much as I love a hot shower, beauty hurts, honey. Cold showers are more hydrating than hot showers, which strip your skin.

Hydrate

Drinking the proper amount of water daily, which is 8 servings of 8 ounces, is key to preserving your tan. Proper hydration extends the life of your skin cells, and subsequently delays your body's natural exfoliating process (yes, we shed like snakes). Add cocoa to your water for a boost of hydration - the perfect excuse to drink hot cocoa (or cold cocoa) in the middle of Summer.

Moisturize

Moisturizing should be the most important step in your skincare routine. This act will prevent your skin from peeling and aids in hydrating, as mentioned previously. Here's a pro tip: adding a few drops of tanning oil will help increase that bronzy #glow.

Wear a tan extender

There are actually products out there to help with this exact dilemma. Tan extenders help increase the time period of your tan and can actually make you look tanner than before.

Fake it 'till you make it

Slather on that bronzer or self tanner or whatever you need to do to glow, girl! Some Summers are better than others, or some people may just not tan (and only burn) *gasp*. Accentuate your tan or fake one until Fall.

How do you guys preserve your tan?

 

How To Feel Less Stressed This Week

David Ruff

If you know me, I am a very stressed person. Like 7 out of 10 times anyone interacts with me, I am stressed. Ok... more like 9 times out of 10. This is partially due to my hectic schedule and everything it entails. Although, stress is genetic, and a lot of my own stress is self-induced. On my journey to a stress-free life, I learned practices to incorporate into my life to reduce the amount of stress I could experience. 

Everything and anything exudes from the classic Sunday Scaries. I hate Sunday more than anything, alternatively, use your Sunday to plan instead of dwelling on your weekend and stressing about the upcoming week. 

Make lists

Know what you have to do for the week and write it down. Seeing it visually helps instead of forgetting or things jumbling up in your brain. One of the most satisfying things for me, is to cross off each priority, once it is finished. A major tip is add small tasks so you feel more accomplished as you remove those errands off your list. 

Just do it

If you look up procrastination in the dictionary, my (well-lit and edited) selfie pops up. Unfinished tasks or plans are the worst and that is where a lot of my anxiety accumulates from. Getting over whatever fear that task beholds is key to de-stressing, and the best way is just doing it - there is no way around it.

Practice self-care

Take a bath, put your favorite facemask on, light a candle, take a walk through the park, indulge in a donut. These are all ways of practicing self-care. Noticing when you need "me-time" or to pause from reality is integral to leading a healthy lifestyle. 

Meal and fitness prep

Working out and eating are important parts of my day, and I like to change things up every once in a while. Doing the same workouts and eating the same thing can get monotonous, instead of stressing out on what to do every day of the week, plan the new things you are willing to try out and how you will revisit your favorite places.

Plan your outfits

The worst thing is not knowing what to wear or not feeling confident in your on-the-go outfit. We have all been there where it has stressed us out to the max in the mornings, snowballing into being late and setting a bad vibe for the rest of the day. Planning your outfits can be really fun! Find inspiration online and pull your outfits - grab a polaroid and lay out your outfits for the week so you can visualize them daily. 

Unplug

As much as I love social media and my phone, the best thing to do is unplug. Digital devices are a big source of stress as they prevent us from being in the moment and promote lack of sleep. The best remedy for detoxing is being present and prioritizing YOU!

What do you guys do to de-stress? 

 

 

All The Must-Have Summer Items I Bought At H&M

David Ruff

Trendy or classic, I love a good clothing haul, especially for Summer. Instead of going Barney's or an expensive department store, I opted for H&M, which believe it or not has some great quality pieces when you actually look. I found that H&M suits my body the best for denim, as I have a small waist and rather defined booty (LOL). Below I selected my favorite must-have pieces that I purchased for my Summer wardrobe. 

Distressed Denim Shorts  $24.99

Blue Jeans $39.99

Linen Short Sleeve Button Down $24.99

Linen Shorts $29.99

White Knit Shorts $12.99

Classic Tank $7.99

Stay tuned for upcoming outfit posts featuring such items!

I Burned 1,000 Calories By Laying In Bed And Watching Netflix

David Ruff

Netflix, my supportive friend, asked once again, "Are you still watching?", as I rolled my eyes and reached for another handful of Oreos. The ideal Friday night situation - Netflix and chill.

Although, after a while your body and mind reap the effects of the lack of sleep and 3:00 AM pizza deliveries. In a perfect world, I am someone who gets 8 hours of sleep every night, eats the perfect amount of greens and protein, all while getting in my Netflix binge-sessions (and looking toned and amazing in the process).

This Summer, I have taken many strides in perfecting my #SummerBod and changing my "Netflix and chill" lifestyle. Not only have I physically improved as a result of partaking in a healthy lifestyle, but it is a game-changer mentally, too. The definition of healthy isn't washboard abs and a salad for every meal, but somewhere in the middle between that and your 3:00 AM pizza delivery. As every nutritionist and trainer known to mankind says, "Everything in moderation". In an effort to finding that perfect middle between gym maniac and couch potato, I discovered Shape House.

Shape House, or also known as the "Urban Sweat Lodge", is a 45-minute sweat session that burns anywhere between 800 and 1,600 calories. You chill out (no pun-intended) in a heated sleeping bag wearing a long sleeve tee, sweatpants, and socks. Shape House supplies you with mineral water - to maximize hydration - and even a mini tea session in their relaxation room, post-sweat. But the best part is while laying in bed, you can listen to your favorite music or watch the latest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, or if you are not a Kar-Jenner fan, you may indulge in any TV show that you desire. 

Not only do you get your "workout" in by doing nothing, the aftermath is a zen state for hours. The benefits include improvement in weight loss, sleep, and even your skin. The most prominent result for me was quality of sleep, as it felt as if every sore muscle, caffeine molecule, and ounce of stress was erased from my body. 

For someone like me, who is doing cardio for 1-2 hours daily and always running around for work, Shape House is a great place to calm down and detox. On the other hand, if you are really lazy and can't bring yourself to run on the treadmill, laying in a heated bed may be your fitness-calling.

Do I suggest this to be a daily remedy? No. Do I suggest a whole box of pizza to be apart of your daily meal plan? Yes... I mean no. Everything good for you (and bad for you) should be in moderation, and that is when the results will yield the best benefits. 

My Thoughts on "Love, Simon" + Insight In To My Own Coming Out Story

David Ruff

WHAT IS "LOVE, SIMON" ABOUT?

"Love, Simon" is the latest teen romantic comedy in theaters now. The only difference about this rom-com is that the protagonist is gay. The movie is a coming of age and coming out movie, as Simon, a senior in high school, slowly is opening up about his sexuality to his friends, family, and school. There is an anonymous gay teen at Simon's school with whom he connects with and falls in love with via e-mail. The only catch is that they don't know each other's identity. Simon tries to unravel the identity of "Blue", while hoping his own sexuality doesn't get revealed to his hyper-heterosexual high school. With many internal and external obstacles, "Love, Simon", exemplifies a less than ordinary coming out and first love story. And yes, there is a happy sappy, kleenex-worthy ending.

MINI-LGBTQ MEDIA HISTORY LESSON

Now, more than ever there is more LGBTQ representation in film, TV, and media. The past 10 years or so, LGBTQ characters and their love stories have been intertwined into popularized media like Grey's Anatomy, but never as the main love story being portrayed. "Love, Simon" is a fresh perspective on your favorite boy meets girl high school gooey love story, but now it is boy meets boy. 

MY OPINION

The societal goal of  "Love, Simon" was amazing. It is really the first movie (that isn't an Indie movie like Call Me By Your Name) where a gay love story is "the norm". I loved the fact that this is real life, that I can sit in a movie theater and watch a gay protagonist. The feeling is indescribable when you see a boy kiss a boy on the big screen, like butterflies - but in a good way. I am only sixteen, but the rest of my childhood, growing up, was watching my favorite classic 90s movies like "When Harry Met Sally" and "Pretty Woman", although I could never look up at the TV and aspire to have that love story. "Love, Simon" provides a sense of comfort that future generations of pre-teens and teens can see a gay love story and not think it is disgraceful or wrong. Love is love, and it should be that simple. 

However, "Love, Simon" isn't my ideal representation of a coming out story. Without spoiling the storyline, Simon was put in the position to chose either his friendships or his sexuality. The writers made it seem like being gay in 2018 limited you to only keeping your sexuality to yourself and that your support system of friends and family wouldn't be of any help. Even though it comes full circle by the end of the film (and Simon learns that mostly everyone is supportive of his relationship), the way they made Simon sacrifice friendships in order to maintain his secret love story, and how he was outed left a bad taste in my mouth. Coming out is a hard thing to do, even today, trust me I've been there. The first person I came out to was my best friend Victoria, and I knew when I was ready that my friends and family were the ones I could count on. Everything from my first crush to kiss was intimate, and I wouldn't have it any other way - but that is a story for another blog post. 

Anyways, the thing about the movie that I didn't like was that they made Simon's coming out everyone's business, where it should have been a bittersweet moment of intimacy, not his childhood burden. 

THE FINAL VERDICT

Although I did not like how Simon was outed, the message behind the film and what it means for our society is something that I am extremely happy about. This movie is not only a movie, it is an experience and part of the history of LBTQ media movements. I enjoyed the film a lot, the guy Simon falls in love with is a total hottie, and his first kiss is actual #goals. So unless you are homophobic (which I highly doubt any of my readers are because I am clearly gay AF), I definitely suggest that you purchase a ticket and go with your friends and family because films like these are not going away anytime soon.

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Interview: Madelaine Petsch On All Things Beauty and Riverdale, and Inside Bioré's Event

David Ruff

You might know Madelaine Petsch as the vindictive Cheryl Blossom on CW's Riverdale, but I can honestly tell you that Petsch has nothing in common with her character besides their hair color and love for the country side. 

I met Madelaine a few days before her Bioré event at the Jonathan Simkhai fashion show, so I was shocked when Madelaine greeted me with a hug as I waltzed over to her. Madelaine is arguably the nicest celebrity I ever met.

As we got to talk about her first ever Fashion Week, Petsch confessed that she likes New York and it's buzz, but would never live here because she is a suburban girl at heart. Right after the event, Madelaine was scheduled to hop on a plane to get right back to filming her hit teen drama show, so it is only fitting that she is Bioré's new brand ambassador; a skincare brand that promotes efficiency and the elimination of acne - very relevant to her demographic, and frankly her schedule (or anybody who has quite the busy schedule).

After our photo op, which included a messy face wash battle, I sat down with Madelaine to get the full scope on her own skincare routine and Cheryl Blossom's beauty secrets.

 

DAVID: "What is one beauty product you can't live without on set?"

MADELAINE: "The Bioré pore strips... I am addicted to them!"
 

DAVID: "Describe what your skin was like in high school."

MADELAINE: "It was fine in high school, after I graduated high school I had cystic acne for like two years and it was awful. Then, it cleared up again. But it was all stress related, like its all from stress."
 

DAVID: "What is your beauty secret for great skin?"

MADELAINE: "After I've been on set all day and I've got a bunch of makeup on, I will actually triple wash my face with the Bioré Baking Soda Acne Cleansing Foam just to get all of it out, because one wash and even two washes I think isn't enough to get all of that makeup out of your pores."
 

DAVID: "What do you think Cheryl's beauty routine would look like?"

MADELAINE: "I mean I do it every morning in the makeup trailer, and it is long. And I feel like between me and you, and the rest of the people who read your blog, I really feel like Cheryl would have a professional makeup artist come to the house every day, don't you think?"
 

DAVID: "She would!"

MADELAINE: "She honestly would."
 

DAVID: "What brand of red lipstick does Cheryl always wear?"

MADELAINE: "It's a secret!"

 

 

 

Shop Madelaine's Favorites

Click on the selected product to shop!

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!

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New YouTube Video: The Best Face-Masks To Do With Your BFF

David Ruff

I collaborated with my fellow blogger bestie, Katie Sands, also known as ‘Honestly Kate’, to show you guys the best masks to do with your BFF from Dr. Brandt, whether it be at a sleepover or getting ready for a night out on the town.

SHOP THE MASKS

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!

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#IWokeUpLikeThis Status: How To Save Your Skin Over-Night

David Ruff

We all have those days, and sometimes those days turn into weeks, and unfortunately even months. If you still don't know what I am hinting at - it is skin concerns; whether it be acne, dullness, dryness, oiliness, redness, irritation, or whatever your issue may be... this mask is here to save your skin (and you), overnight. 

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Recently, stress from finals sent my skin into a frenzy, so naturally, I am in full-on recovery mode. It is important not to over or under exfoliate, and many don't realize as you strip away the surface layer of your skin, you need to equally hydrate. Hydration is the ultimate form of recovery for your skin. Diet, stress, antibiotic intake, and even harsh beauty products, are all factors that disrupt your skin's normal equilibrium, and in-turn, you can say goodbye to your once perfect complexion.

Now, the question is: how can one save such a disaster? And even further, achieve Beyoncé's "#IWokeUpLikeThis" status.

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Dr. Brandt® Skincare's Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask is the answer to all your prayers, leaving your skin effortlessly glowing. 

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The way this mask works is that you apply it before you sleep, and leave it on throughout the night. You don't even need to wash it off the next morning! The mask targets your skin's barrier by repairing the damaged cells, giving off a healthy natural glow. 

As stated by Miami-based Dermatologist and Dr. Brandt Skin
Advisory Board member Dr. Shasa Hu, "Recovery and repair is
just as important for our skin as it is for our muscles. At the end of the day, our skin has been exposed to UV damage, thermal damage, environmental pollutants, and physical stressors. The nourishing blend of biotics and antioxidants in the Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask offers what I call ‘Active Recovery’ for the skin, so we wake up with that morning glow." As I would like to say, no "halo" needed (Beyoncé pun).

Also, (the skincare nerd within me needs to share that) a really cool thing about the Hydro Biotic mask is that it isn't sticky like most overnight masks are. Bonus points for the amazing smell, kudos to the manuka honey and tea extracts. 

Apply this mask every night, and "sweet dreams". I do not apologize for the reoccurring Beyoncé puns.

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Hydro Biotic

$52, Sephora

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below (and if you "woke up like 'dis")! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!

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Celebrity MUA, Jillian Dempsey, On How To Create The Perfect Makeup Look For All Your Holiday Parties

David Ruff

Makeup artist, Jillian Dempsey, is the woman behind the flawless made-up faces of mega stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, Kristen Dunst, Kate Winslet, and even her husband - Patrick Dempsey, to name a few. You might also recognize Dempsey's name from her eponymous beauty line of lid tints and eyeliners.

I asked Dempsey what her go-to makeup look would be for my readers's upcoming holiday parties, and how to execute such a look akin to that of Hollywood's celebrity tastemakers. Whether it be for your Christmas office gathering, or New Year's Eve at your best friend's home, the "no-makeup makeup" look is here to stay. Or as Jillian likes to call it, "the day after New Year's Eve" look. Jillian's take on holiday makeup is refreshingly different from many, as she ditches lavish greens and dark reds for a simple makeup application; leaving your skin glowing brighter than any Christmas light.

Skin

Dempsey suggests prepping your skin before makeup application, "I start with Chantecaille Gold Under Eye Pads for a boast of hydration. Then I use a small amount of Weleda Skin Food Cream as a light layer of moisturizer. I massage it into the skin, making sure to get all the dry areas.". 

Conceal + Cover

To get luminous skin spot corrects by mixing her favorite concealers. Dempsey mixes "Secret Camouflage by Laura Mercier or Chantecaille’s Camouflage pen. I either blend this in with Armani foundation brushes or a Beauty Blender. Lightly dust on a translucent loose powder like Suqqu to lock in the cover up, especially on the T-zone.".  

Contour + Blush + Highlight

A pro-tip of Dempsey's is; "if you are used to using a contour, go subtle." which is paired with her favorites, Kevyn Aucoin contour powder and a Hakuhodo fan brush. Dempsey suggests to smile and use a soft brush when applying your blush, Charlotte Tilbury powder blush is best for a natural look. "RMS Luminizer is lovely when used on the upper cheek bones - very natural and sheer." perfect for an opulent glow.

Hydrate

"I follow this step by spraying the face with Glossier soothing face mist to give the face a surge of moisture. I love using this product as it helps hydrate the skin and set the dewy look."

Eyes

Jillian loves her lid tint in Dew, "lightly apply a thin layer on the eyelids followed by a lash curl. Troy Surratt lash curler is my go-to. Make sure to squeeze the lashes a few times," To elevate the seductive aspect of the eyes, "...add two coats of mascara to the upper and lower lashes. I highly recommend DHC Mascara as it is a great one in black.". 

Lips

Keeping the lip simple and neutral, Jillian advises to stick with a sheer nude, such as Charlotte Tilbury Nude Kate.
 

Shop Jillian's Product Favorites

For more of Dempsey's product selections and celebrity behind-the-scenes, follow her @jilliandempsey

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!

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10 Non-Touristy Things To Do In NYC During The Holiday Season With Your #Besties

David Ruff

New York City is the sought-after commercialized destination of the holiday season, and I like iceskating under the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center as much as the next person, although constant tourist-pandemonium is inevitable in popular New York City landmarks. And after awhile, the cheesiness is, well... just cheesy.

Whether your BFFs live in New York, or you are all out-of-towners, you want to engage in activities and locations that will provide fond ephemeral memories that will give you all the nostalgic "holiday feels" in chic NYC fashion, without all the tacky commotion that tourist spots tend to emanate. As I impart all the esoteric New Yorker holiday traditions and new hot places to attend; take notes and screenshot away in your #bestie groupchat. 

1. Drunken Dumpling, East Village

What is a bestie-gathering without an Instagrammable brunch spot? Ditch the cold for gargantuan soup dumplings (or regular sized dumplings) in this little-known dumpling shop. This is perfect for getting in your Chinese food fix (and Insta post) without obnoxious lines and stampedes of people in China Town. Be the first people there when it opens at 12pm - it's like it was made for sleeping in! 

2. Yankee Candle Pop-Up, SoHo

Candles make the perfect holiday present, (and the top beauty editors can testify in my one of latest BLOGmas posts, hereand this pop-up let's you take free candles, purchase scents, and so much more! But what really makes this pop-up standout is all of the different fun photo-ops made for memorizing your day on the town. There is a fake forest made out of wood, a mock beach setting, and the coolest of them all... an upside down room! The room is an illusion so you can lay down, make funny faces, and when you rotate your camera it looks like you are falling from the ceiling. Great presents with great pictures make the perfect post-brunch destination.  

3. Facials, Massages, and/or Mani-Pedis at Bliss Spa, SoHo

Bliss Spa is the ideal getaway and relaxation location before resuming your holiday bucket list. I love the Steep-Clean facial, perfect for extracting all skin concerns while feeling luxuriously pampered with a glowing radiant aftermath. Or you and your girl-gang, can get classic mani-pedis and restock on all Bliss skincare essentials. 

4. Gallery Hopping, Chelsea

One of New York's recondite gems are the galleries in Chelsea. While the Whitney and Louis Vuitton exhibit are all the rage, check out some new artist's collections getting on your artistic culture and inspiration, while chomping down on candy canes, of course. 

5. The Shops at Columbus Circle, Upper West Side

With a view of Central Park and all the latest brands, treat yourself or get loved ones the present they always wanted from the popular shoe brand they are obsessed with, or an undiscovered accessories line. Grab a bite at Landmarc for carbs that won't disappoint.

6. Hot Chocolate and Madison Avenue Windows, Upper East Side

As you cross the park to another country (just kidding), step into Sant Ambroeus for the best hot chocolate in New York City. With snow falling from the sky and windows' lights seeming almost iridescent, chatting up a storm with your best friends, while checking out the clothes on Madison Avenue is the ultimate Gossip Girl experience you never knew you could have.

7. iPic Movie Theaters, Fulton Market

As you make your way downtown, end the night with iPic; the ultra-luxe movie experience, with reclining leather chairs and blankets, and you can ORDER your own food to your chairs. Holiday movies, truffle fries, and plush blankets - I think I'm sold... I don't think my friends will need any convincing either.

8. HigherDOSE: 11 Howard, SoHo

The best way to eliminate the sleep coma the following morning, induced by copious amounts of Christmas cookies and carb-loading is to SWEAT! HigherDOSE in 11 Howard hotel is an infrared sauna, which helps promote blood circulation, purify your skin, and lose weight - to name a few. Refreshing your body by eradicating toxins is a great way to start your day.

9. The Mask Bar, Howard Street

After all the detoxifying, hydration is key, and I am not talking about drinking water. Stock up on cheap sheet masks to use later that night while binging on all the Christmas movie classics. Brands like Masque Bar make animal sheet masks, like their reindeer one, or holiday scented (or product based) like their egg nog one!

10. Café Brunching, SoHo

Mini cafés feel the most cozy, so what better way to get your holiday on by feeling right at home? Stumble upon Two Hands for exemplary açai bowls, Bluestone Lane for the best avocado toast in town, or Nickle & Diner for an elevated modern diner experience. Double-check for holiday flavored drinks and snacks!

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!

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Buy or Bye? The Millennial Pink Beauty Products That Are Worth All The Hype

David Ruff

The holy grail of beauty products are the ones that you want on your vanity at all times - for the 'gram and for it's magical wonders it does for your skin. How does one distinguish the beauty product that does both? In the Instagram Era, you are never quite sure if the opinions on the product are authentic, especially when certain sought-after packaging traits and brand names often take the lead, instead of the consumer. After using these products for weeks, and some even a couple months, I'm dishing out which pretty products also make you look pretty. 

The Exfoliator

Totally dying over Drunk Elephant's T.L.C Sukari Baby Facial! Baby Facial has three of my essential ingredients when looking for a product that will get the job done; glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acids. This product is primarily glycolic acid as it peels your skin, killing dead skin cells, leaving your skin as soft as a baby... hence the name. The salicylic acid heals acne scars and destroys any remaining pimples, while the hyaluronic acid plumps the skin, giving it it's natural dewy glow. This product is a strong one, so incorporate it in your routine slowly, and know what ingredients do and don't work for your skin type. 

 

The Hydrators

Saturday Skin has been the latest brand I am obsessing over. Their sheet masks revive my skin after a long monotonous week of school, lack of sleep, and myriad of pizza consumption. I just throw on a brightening mask and chill out, and when I feel the mask getting a bit dry, I drench my face in their Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist - which is great to carry around for hydration all day. 

The Serum

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Glossier's Super Glow serum gives me life... literally. The thing about this product that I love is that it give your skin instant gratification all while training your skin long term. The vitamin C brightens while the magnesium energizes, so to translate; you will look like the epitome of a Glossier ad. When Glossier sent me this serum, I was in love, and so were all of my friends and family. They all noticed a difference in my skin, complementing me on my skin's luminosity. You put this bad boy on before your moisturizer, then all your products glide on your face as the watery texture of the glow serum absorbs into your skin.

For extra dewiness, I love this rose oil, which smells heavenly, contains SPF 15, and is 50% off.

The Device

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I Jade-roll so much that I can put it on my resume. This Mount Lai rose quartz facial roller is perfect, I like to put mine in the freezer and use it over a sheet mask, and also after I pile on all of my products. For those of you who don't know the many many benefits of jade-rolling; it reduces puffiness and inflammation, improves blood circulation, minimizes the look of pores, promotes lymphatic drainage, and relives facial and jaw tension.

The Lips

Chapsticks and lip moisturizers are a necessity for the cold Winter months. These are my three favorite that I keep in my bathroom, jacket pocket, and backpack at all times. (Left to Right) Glossier Balm Dot Com, C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve, Bliss Fabulips

Shop The Post

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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!

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11 Top Editors and The Products They Are Raving About This Holiday Season

David Ruff

Laura Brown: Editor-In-Chief, InStyle

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Laura Brown is the cheeky Australian editor that has swept the digital world by storm with her bonafide social media accounts showing a hilarious side of the fashion and beauty industry, that frankly no one has seen before. Brown loves to gift her favorite beauty products. She told RoughlyRuff.com that she is obsessed with Shani Darden Retinol Reform from her facialist's skincare line (it is my mom's favorite too), iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, and Jouer Body Butter.

Follow Laura; @laurabrown99

 

Cat Quinn: Beauty Director, Refinery 29

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Cat Quinn shared with us her favorite luxe products to gift to the beauty-obsessed family members in her life. Quinn suggests this Silk Sleep Mask, "These masks are so plush and silky-soft, and somehow miraculously don't budge the entire night without tugging at your hair. It's the closest thing to sleep that you can gift someone — which is why I'm giving them to my sisters (one who travels the world for work, one who's studying for college finals). Hurry, because they're almost all sold out.". For her boyfriend's mom, the Diptyque Bailes Candle (in addition to some face-masks), "I've never met anyone who doesn't love this rosy, black current scent that warms up the entire apartment." Lastly, Cat loves the Sisley Black Rose Infusion Cream, she even claims to have gone through three whole jars since June. Fancy creams are the perfect gift for mothers according to Quinn, "The brightening cream feels silky and luxurious (and smells like heaven) but it's a powerhouse when it comes to brightening, smoothing, and improving the texture of your skin." I don't know about you, but my shopping cart is suddenly filled. 

Follow Cat; @catquinn

 

Jessica Chia: Senior Beauty Editor, Allure

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If there is anyone to trust with beauty recommendations, it is Jessica. Chia's skin always seems to be luminous, her hair in perfect beach waves, while swatching the latest lipsticks on the Allure Insta-story. Jessica's picks are all under $40, so you can shop all the best products for your friends and family at an awesome deal, this holiday season. For #hairgoals, opt for Jen Atkin's Ouai Ouaisted Essentials Kit, which contains a dry shampoo foam, wave spray, full size memory mist, and rose gold barrette. Chia praises this kit for it's versatility, "...if you have second day hair, you can use the travel dry shampoo. If you’re air drying your hair, mist in this wave spray to accentuate the natural bends in your hair. If you’re going to do the whole thing and put a curling wand on it, the full sized memory mist will hold that curl for hours longer than it would last otherwise. And the gold barrette that comes with it is so chic—easy to toss in and go." With supermodel hair, you need a powerful lip to complete the look. Jessica's favorite bold lip goes to YSL Tatouage Couture"Hands down my favorite lipstick launch of the year. It’s this super-thin, super-pigmented stain that gives your lips a bright wash of color—but it doesn’t make it look like you’re wearing wax on your lips. And you can personalize the case with someone’s name, a little message, a special date, it’s something that’s going to be memorable and special." And for the homebody, go for the Incausa Bath and Meditation Soap and Incense Set, as Jessica refers to it as the "total spa moment" with the heavenly scents and essential oils packed into this mini bath and body set.  

Follow Jessica; @jess_chia

 

Bee Shapiro: Author of Skin Deep column and book, New York Times

Interviewing the biggest celebrities and brands in the beauty industry, Bee knows a thing or two when it comes to products. Shapiro loves the RMS Luminizer Quad, "I'm a sucker for anything shimmery for the holidays (or really any time of year). The RMS Luminizer is just so easy to use and I like that this has a variety of undertones to match your outfits to." No Kira-Kira app needed. From Bee's fragrance line, eponymous to that of her daughter; Ellis, Bee is obsessed with the Ellis Brooklyn Pseudonym Terrific Scented Candle, "It makes me want to take a luxurious bath and then cozy up in cashmere." I can testify to that, as I burn my Ellis Brooklyn candle, quite obsessively. An editor favorite, the Slip Silk Pillowcase, "I was recently sent a Slip pillowcase as a gift and now I'm a total convert. My hair wakes up with a lot less frizz and I like to imagine that it's tugging less at my crow's feet. " silk pillowcases are great for your skin, and are cleaner than your average pillow case due to it's hypoallergenic properties, plus who doesn't love anything silk?

Follow Bee; @beeshapiro, @ellisbrooklyn

 

Faith Xue: Editorial Director, Byrdie

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Faith Xue understands the concept of "Doing It For The Gram", as she advises gifting products that will be aesthetically pleasing, yet effective. Because if you didn't post your beauty product fave, do you even use it? Faith loves the Tatcha Starter Ritual Norm, "Tatcha wins for packaging all-around, I love that this skincare set comes with everything you need to start an indulgent self-care ritual." This Dear Dahlia Special Package definitely takes the cake for most aesthetically pleasing, I mean the whole exterior of the products are infamous white marble! Faith says, "I just discovered this vegan, cruelty-free and Instagrammable Korean makeup brand and can't get enough. These lipsticks were meant to be photographed and displayed on your vanity." Now that you have your skin and makeup gifts down, you can't forget about hair. Xue suggests purchasing the Dreslyn Hair Essentials Gift Set, "Dreslyn always has the most excellent beauty curation. I'd gift this gorgeous Playa haircare set to the best-tressed friend in my life." I couldn't help but notice the subtle beauty pun; take notes for your next Instagram post, just saying

Follow Faith; @faith_xue

 

Jessica Matlin: Beauty and Health Director, Teen Vogue, Co-host of Fat Mascara podcast 

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Jessica Matlin always thinks of organizations to give back to, especially when they go hand-in-hand with beauty. I remember falling in love with her writing when she wrote about the stopping the Yulin Dog Festival in China on TeenVogue.com. I found it so cool that a beauty editor can do justice with the platform she is given. Matlin picks the Disney x Kiehl's Creme de Corps Grapefruit Whipped Body Butter, the proceeds help secure 355 meals for Feeding America, a organization that works with food banks across the U.S. Plus, as Jessica said, "What better time than the holidays to treat someone to THE MOST LUXURIOUS BODY CREAM ON EARTH?". As you are getting into the Christmas spirit, Matlin isn't one to deck out her apartment, the Nest Holiday Candle is all she needs "Light the wick, and it's like you're standing in the middle of a Christmas tree farm. Pop on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and we're off!" And now... bath time! Jessica loves a Christmas Lush Bath Bomb as much as the next person, "Christmas Eve Bath Bomb, which is laced with sleepy jasmine and ylang ylang. So relaxing!"  

Follow Jessica; @jessicamatlin, @fatmascara

 

Kathleen Hou: Beauty Director, The Cut

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Kathleen loves Sisley Paris creams just as much as the rest of the world, or maybe a tad more... "I hope my mom never reads this, otherwise she'll find out I have been hiding this moisturizer from her. At one point, I had two jars of this cream in my apartment and I had all the best intentions to bring the second jar home to my mother. But before I knew it, I finished the first jar and opened the new one. It feels like a super-luxurious rich cream that just glides like silk over the skin. It's so good. It's so expensive. But my skin feels so soft and I swear, it looks more lifted, the morning after using it. I like it more than La Mer (don't tell anyone). I swear if I get a third jar, I will give it to my mom. Or at the very least, we will share it.", and honestly we can't blame her. Don't have the money to have your own private island to jet off to for Christmas, as most don't, Hou says this Coqui-Coqui candle's smell is akin to that of a beach, "All the perfumes evoke a sense of warm temperature and ocean breezes, without feeling cliche. I particularly like the Coco Coco scent, which smells a bit like fancy sunscreen without any of the waxiness.  " And now for the signature red holiday lip. Hou selects the Pat McGrath LuxeTrance lipsticks, "Give me every shade of Pat McGrath lipstick and I may never need another lipstick again. The reds are fantastic and so pigmented that they just saturate your lips with color. I love that you can apply the lipstick with just your fingertips, and instantly get a version of the lips seen at Prada from the previous four seasons." Looking like a Prada runway model on a Monday morning on the subway to work or school is the gift that keeps on giving.

 Follow Kathleen; @kathleenhou

 

Gwen Flamberg: Executive Beauty and Style Editor, Us Weekly, Vice President of Beauty and Style, the Style Group

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Gwen is literally like my second mom, and as the old saying says, "mother always knows best", especially when it comes to beauty products galore. Although Gwen could pass as twenty-five. Every red-head needs the perfect red lip; that is Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet No2. " I’m #obsessed with the limited edition red tube (the first time this formula has ever been packaged this way!) – it’s just drop-dead chic and the matte shade kisses lips in a wash of universally flattering ruby.". To achieve a glowing ambiance, Gwen suggests Man Ray x NARS Overexposed Glow Highlighter in Double Take, "Who wouldn’t want a highlighter that not only gives skin an other-worldly glow, but has Man Ray’s surreal lips imprinted in the powder? So fabulous!" Fabulous, indeed. And lastly, Flamberg's favorite scent, Baccarat Rouge 540 candle "This gorgeous candle diffuses my signature scent (created by my favorite perfumer Francis Kurkdjian) and the pillar is practically an objet d’art, a bit of home décor with a decidedly personal touch." The brass exterior of the candle is ultra-chic. 

Follow Gwen; @gwen_beauty

 

Didi Gluck: Deputy Beauty Editor, Shape

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Didi treats her giftees to products that can be used for an at-home spa day from candles, to soaps, to body washes! Gluck loves to give Fresh body soaps according to zodiac signs, "My personal favorite is the Patchouli scent, but if I know my recipient's star sign, I often go for the appropriate zodiac soap." Now that is really cool, if you are a beauty junkie like me. Molton Brown is known for their superlative body washes. Gluck is obsessed with their Cypress & Sea Fennel scent, but any Molton Brown scent is, (as Didi puts it), "delicious". And as for Diptyque candles, a classic holiday favorite, Didi goes for the intriguing Oud fragrance, as the Baies scent is overrated. Spa a la Gluck, excuse me while I sign up. 

Follow Didi; @didigluck

 

Holly Carter: Contributing Editor, Oprah Magazine

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Holly Carter is the epitome of a beauty expert; reporting the latest and greatest trends in makeup, skincare, hair, alongside the classic beauty tips and tricks to live by. Holly knows her sister would love an all-encompassing eyeshadow, "The Moschino + Sephora Limited Edition Collection has the most adorable golden teddy-bear shaped palette with 21 great-looking shadows. Creating day and night looks is a cinch with this baby." Now that you have displayed your opulent eyeshadow for a night out on the town, when winding down, Holly is obsessed with body oils and candles, as one typically is. For your bestie, Holly recommends the Diptyque Six-Piece Candle Set, " Everyone’s home is a little merrier and bright with a great-smelling candle. Diptyque’s custom six-piece candle set allows you to create your own mix of the iconic candles to give to a loved on—my BFF would love it. I’ve always been obsessed with the wood-burning scent of Feu de Bois." The perfect winter skin treatment according to Carter is Frédéric Malle Portrait of A Lady Hair and Body Oil "it’s rich and warm with rose, patchouli, sandalwood and frankincense.".

Follow Holly; @hollsbeauty

 

Lindsey Metrus: Managing Editor, Byrdie

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Lindsey Metrus is a big Sunday Riley fan, just like me. Metrus is obsessed especially with their Power Couple Duo, "I credit both Good Genes and Luna for reviving my skin when it's seen better days. The latter is super brightening, and the former is immensely hydrating and glow-inducing. I love that they come in this literal power duo so you can give the gift of good skin for much less than buying them separately. No doubt the giftee will be thrilled." Now that your skin is glowing and not dull anymore, amplify your game by applying a bold lip. Tom Ford Boys & Girls Lipsticks are the essential personalized beauty holiday gift, "These little lippies are not only pretty to keep on your vanity (or in your bag), they're cute to give as a gift when they match the name of the receiver (or the man/woman in their life)." Not sure what exactly your loved one wants? Atelier Bespoke Fragrances is the answer to your frantic worries, "The brand has a genius quiz on its website to find your perfect notes, and once you get your results, you can dress it up the bottle(s) with a special engraved leather case. Ambiguously send the quiz questions along to your loved one and surprise them with a new scent wardrobe." Metrus also mentions the notable scent and packaging.

Follow Lindsey; @lindseymetrus

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!

Cover Credit: Karen Rosalie

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Where Did The Statement Puffer Trend Come From? Shop For Him & Her

David Ruff

Why do all of these fashion editors and bloggers have these extremely large, almost elephantine-like puffers? I know Santa is the figurehead of Winter, and are we all trying to look like him? Yes, the answer is yes.

After Balenciaga introduced oversized puffers, specifically their iconic red one with matching scarf, circa Fall 2016, puffers; once a fashion faux pas, became the it-item for every style obsessed Instagrammer. From bold reds, to muted monochromatic tones, to metallic exteriors, the puffer isn't going away anytime soon. As the temperatures drop and the sales increase, it is time to indulge in a timeless warm puffer or catch the latest deal for the trendiest puffer. Because what beats a combo of functionality and chicness?

Sold out; Forever 21 Men, $40

Yesterday, I did an Instagram post with my metallic silver puffer from Forever 21 Men, and it sold out shortly after. With many of you asking for additional links I now curated a selection of metallic puffers for women and men. If you ask me, this is the perfect gift this holiday season, for that fashionable friend or lover in your life. Or even for that non-fashionable person in your life because this statement jacket can upgrade an outfit from bland to ultra-luxe, or as I like to say; the difference Andy pre and post Miranda Priestly (If you didn't get that “Devil Wears Prada” reference, watch it...). Shop the puffer you desire by simply clicking on the image.

Shop for Her

 

Shop for Him

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!

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Why I Wash and Style My Hair With Champagne...

David Ruff

Are there truly any positive benefits to being drenched in champagne? I think not... party animals might beg to differ, and so do sybaritic beauty lovers. Cuvée Beauty is the brand to know; with luxe champagne-infused products at an affordable price and a genius story behind it.

The founder, Rachel Katzman, while partying had copious amounts of champagne sprayed in hair (as one does) from an unhinged celebratory Vegas night. Katzman woke up the next morning noticing her hair seemingly more texturized, wavy, and nourished. From there, an idea blossomed to launch a champagne based haircare line.

But how does one exactly wash, treat, and style their hair with champagne without breaking the bank? Because let's face it... dunking your hair in Dom Perignon every day might entail taking on a few more jobs on the side to maintain such a lifestyle.

Champagne extract is the primary ingredient in these opulent hair products, amongst white truffle, platinum ferment extracts, resveratrol, ceramides, plant proteins, and botanicals. The smell is quite extravagant which might be a pro or con depending on your preference of fragrance. I for one, love the whiff of champagne at 6:45am whilst styling my hair in the bathroom getting ready for school - others maybe not. 

Now you still might be pondering why champagne in these products? It's the subtle stickiness that aids in styling the hair, all while nourishing and protecting as these ingredients are filled with rich (yes, pun intended) antioxidants to promote healthy, attractive hair. 

Out of all the products I have tried from the Cuvée line, the styling balm is hands down my favorite (shop here). The prominent smell of champagne and fig is amazing, in addition to how it shapes my hair effortlessly. The styling balm can be used as a gel, or as a base before smearing on gel depending on how natural or heavy you want your hair to look. It has been a staple in my morning hair routine (for all my other fave hair products click here), and I have loved the results after using the styling balm. 

Luminous hair and decadent products is something we all can raise a glass to; preferably a glass of champagne, or if you are like me (fifteen years old and all) we can raise a nice refreshing glass of water.

 

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1. Shampoo - http://bit.ly/2A2N4US

2. Conditioner - http://bit.ly/2AX5nuV

3. Volumizing Mist - http://bit.ly/2AV5uqO

4. Travel Set - http://bit.ly/2AX3sXf

5. Champagne Spray - http://bit.ly/2AWM84L

6. Première Treatment - http://bit.ly/2A3YZlu

7. Styling Balm - http://bit.ly/2A3pYNY

8. Protective Treatment - http://bit.ly/2AUCnnn

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!

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This blog post was not sponsored by Cuvée Beauty, nor was I compensated at any capacity. Products mentioned were gifted by PR. All sponsored content will be indicated, read this for FAQ questions. Further questions may be asked at david@roughlyruff.com. 

Incorporating Classic With Sleek Street Style

David Ruff

If you are like me, you tend to repeat the same outfit over and over again. I keep on finding myself asking, what articles of clothing I can mix and match? 99% of the time I'm in all black, and I have acquired some new chic black pieces, like these cargo pants with the statement zippers. During Autumn, layering is one of the best things you can do; logic-wise and style-wise.

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Classic Top with Versatile Bottom

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I started with my base - the black pants which are relatively "street style", if you will. Keeping it in the neutral family, I selected a grey fitted sweater, although the outfit seemed bland. I added a pair of red "sock sneakers" to give the outfit a bright pop, but something was seemingly missing. I was staring at my closet going over what I could layer that could still be polished yet casual. The epitome of effortless chic is looking put together with modern elements; such as red sneakers and zippers on your pants.

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POP!

Play with unexpected colors, styles, textures.

I soon picked a blue and white striped button down is a classic piece that you can wear on the beach during Summer, or under a cashmere pullover in Fall. The texture and structure gave it a street style vibe when it was complementing all the other articles of clothing, as the collar and timeless pattern essentially put together the whole look.

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When shopping, I always try to picture five completely different ways I could style that piece of clothing, and if I can't do that then it's not worth it. The great thing about staying within the same color family with your clothing is that everything in your closet most likely will match. The days of wearing the same black ripped jeans three days in a row are gone, incorporating different vibes creates a new vibe, and that vibe is you. At the end of the day, remember you wear the clothes, not the other way around. 

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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!

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Photography by Lexi Meyerowich

What I Wore + The Kaia Gerber and Hudson Jeans SS'18 Launch Party

David Ruff

Tonight was the Hudson Jeans' launch party of their newest instillation of trendy denim and leather, hosted by their campaign muse, Kaia Gerber, and to say I was psyched to attend would be a major understatement! Hudson Jeans' presentation showcased some new embroidered denim pants and diamond-encrusted leather jackets that you will see all your fave bloggers and editors strutting in, when it hits stores in the Spring. 

The party was in a huge loft in Soho, with lines and paparazzi around the whole block eager to get a peek at the pandemonium that occurred inside this fashionable event. When you entered in there was a huge step and repeat, and huge posters of Kaia EVERYWHERE! I brought two of my best friends Anna and Victoria, and it was such a great bonding date with all of us. An A-list DJ, fun 360 degree photo booths, and two floors of partying with the chic clothing draped on mannequins, it was an event to remember.

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Selfie time @KaiaGerber

Hudson Jeans SS'18 Launch Party, 10/20/17

For those of you who might not know, Kaia Gerber is the daughter of Cindy Crawford - iconic American supermodel. And if you don't know who Cindy Crawford is, then I'm disappointed in you, LOL. I got the chance to talk to Kaia a bit about her favorite denim, our friends that we have in common, and this past hectic Fashion Week. Gerber is definitely a million times more beautiful in person, and funny too! We posed for some pictures together and we jokingly made our "serious model faces", as Kaia called it. As you can tell, Kaia towers over me, and in my defense she had heels on and has supermodel genes... not a fair match. Now to my outfit!!

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This past Fashion Week, at nearly all of the shows I attended at least 5 people were wearing these retro-esque grey plaid blazers, so I couldn't help but jump on the trend! I am never one to go for whatever is "hot at the moment", but I really gravitated towards the pattern, texture, and structure. A classic blazer can elevate any bland outfit or body type by hugging your waist, drawing attention to the shoulders (and for women, especially your décolletage), and adding major professional vibes. 

As the blazer was my main focus of the outfit, I wore a white tee and my favorite Rag & Bone black ripped jeans. Black ripped jeans are my ultimate go-to, I wear them at least three times a week. And for my sneaks (not pictured), they were cracked leather Fenty (Rihanna's brand) x Puma "creepers". This is an outfit that can literally take you from day to night, Brunch with friends to date night. My number one rule is fill your closet with classics that complement your body and each other, and you can create an infinite amount of stylish looks, always feeling confident. Plus who doesn't love a little monochrome color scheme? I know Kaia can definitely attest to that. 

Shop my look

Blazer - http://bit.ly/2yXFsSz

Jeans- http://bit.ly/2it6n1W

Sneakers - http://bit.ly/2yYFZ74

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!

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Mixing My Ellis Brooklyn Fragrances

David Ruff

In my previous blog post, I interviewed celebrated New York Times beauty columnist, Bee Shapiroon her product line, Ellis Brooklyn, and now I am telling you about my favorite fragrances that I selected - and what I do with them. Ellis Brooklyn's products range from perfumes to candles to lotions, but what I really gravitated towards were their signature scent RIVES, and their newest addition, SCI-FI.

Shop My Faves

Click on the selected picture to take you to a direct link to shop.

All of their products are unisex, but as we all know, fragrances smell differently on different people. This is because the smell of a fragrance on someone is dependent on the PH level of their skin, and it's overall chemistry. When the perfume molecules react with the pulse points of our heart beat, the end result of the scent is determined by our hormones and our skin, this results in a particular diverse smell. No two people are the same, such that the chemical reaction that this gives off will never smell exactly the same to that of someone else.

I found that the scents I liked, RIVES and SCI-FI, smelled feminine on my skin (individually), although the ingredients in both, when mixed, complemented each other and alluded to a rather masculine aroma. RIVES's scent consists of neroli, lavender, and cedarwood, inspired by the French Rivera. SCI-FI is essentially the icing on the cake, figuratively and literally. The scent is similar to that of a whiff of vanilla cake, it is rather subtle yet sweet, making the mixture more lively and attractive. SCI-FI also includes bergamot and green tea. 

When these scents were mixed together, the leading characteristics of each fragrance created a prominent manly aroma, probably because of the natural nature-based ingredients which many associate with a robust figure, if you will. This mixture is the perfect combination for my skin's chemical makeup because of the perfect balance of masculinity with hints of delicate scents. The selection of Ellis fragrances offer a wide variety of natural unisex fragrances that are fun to mix and match, or wear exclusively on it's own. 

NYT Beauty Writer, Bee Shapiro, On Creating The Brand The Beauty World Was Missing

David Ruff

Bee Shapiro is not your typical editor. Lawyer turned top beauty columnist; Shapiro is a perfect example of the modern day woman - mom and wife, hustling non-stop, whether it be a New York Times article, a piece for Vanity Fair, or in the lab constructing a unique scent with the chemists for Ellis Brooklyn. To say Shapiro's repertoire is anything but admirable would be an understatement.

Her arsenal of accomplishments don't just consist of her coveted beauty column on the Styles section of the New York Times profiling the hottest products and people in the industry. Always tackling a new project, Shapiro just launched her new book Skin Deep, featuring her noteworthy columns and new exclusive interviews with the innovators in the beauty world. As a chunk of Bee's job is testing and trying the latest and greatest luxury products, Bee felt a sense of emptiness in the fragrance aspect of the beauty product realm and created Ellis Brooklyn to fill that void.

We turn the tables, and Bee is the one who is now the interviewee. Read along to find out Bee's inspiration for her brand, the story behind its exponential growth, and much more in our Q & A!

1. What is the story behind the name "Ellis Brooklyn"?

"I was pregnant with my first daughter Ellis when I came up with the idea for the line and we live in Brooklyn. I was keeping it simple!"

 

2. How has having your own beauty column for the New York Times inspire you to create your own brand?

"Being a beauty editor, you're constantly swabbing, testing, trying, experimenting. You get to know products and ingredient lists really well. I think there's a point were you've seen it all in a sense, but then you get the light bulb moment to make something specific and unique and special. That's how Ellis Brooklyn came about. There was this amazing green or conscious beauty movement happening in skincare and makeup, but nada in fragrance."

 

3. I remember you telling me that creating a brand is a very personal thing, can you elaborate on that?

"When you put it out there, it's truly your baby. You've put your heart, soul and creative energy into each product. It's a culmination of months-long, sometimes years-long creative journey, so it becomes very personal in a magical sort of way."

 

4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about having your own brand?

"Favorite thing is all the amazing people I get to collaborate with from my perfumer to package designer to chemist. The downside is all the no-fun homework stuff like making sure I get all my invoices and POs to my bookkeeper-- bleh."

 

5. What is the afflatus behind each fragrance scent?

 

"Because I wanted to keep it very personal, each scent is about taking an ingredient and really doing it in a way that hasn't been addressed well before. For example, SCI FI, our latest scent is taking vanilla, which is very well known, and keeping all its warm beauty but doing it in an elegant, almost clean way as opposed to your typical gourmand, cupcake-y vanillas of old."

 

6. If you had to describe your own personal scent, what would your top three adjectives be?

"I specifically created Ellis Brooklyn Myth for myself. To me, it's pretty yet urbane, modern yet warm."

 

7. What do you look for in a fragrance, and how have you applied that to each scent you have produced?

"I think finding the right fragrance is like dating. When you know, you know. It's the pathway there, which can be full of doubts and outside influences and opinions that is tough to navigate through. For me, because I've smelled SO many fragrances at this point, my starting off point is: does it smell good. I think so many brands I've reviewed miss this point. I want people to wear my scents. I want the fragrances to be part of their lives— to create memories where the scents play a role. Then, my next thought is: have I smelled this before? Is this unique? Is this special enough to warrant yet another fragrance out there in the marketplace? I am also a stickler for making sure the fragrances smells incredible from start to finish."

 

8. Can we expect any other beauty products, such as skincare and makeup, from Ellis Brooklyn in the future?

 

Right now, I think there are enough amazing skincare options out there right now. I feel like I could have a few things to say about natural or green makeup but it's not really something I'm planning on. I'm truly focused on fragrance.

 

9. How does beauty resonate with you in terms of current-politics and issues in the world? Is it an outlet of expression, a symbol for feminism, a distraction from the real world, or all of the above? 

"For me, it's all of the above. Scent, above all else, says something about you in a very subtle yet primal way. When you breathe in a scent, it goes right to your frontal lobe where your instincts are. You're going to be remembered that way. You're going to be identified by a scent. That's very powerful and exciting from an expression point of view. Because of that scent can be playful and transformative too."

 

10. What does being a powerful creative woman in the beauty industry mean to you?

 

"One of the beautiful things I've discovered since starting my life is how there are these wonderful female entrepreneurs out there who have been incredibly generous. I've gotten advice from Bobbi Brown. Laura Slatkin, founder of Nest, introduced me to Sephora. Mona Kattan, the business brains behind HudaBeauty, has shared with me countless resources and info. Jen Atkin of Ouai has connected me with her Middle East contacts when I was doing research on the region. The list of amazing women to thank goes on! That to me, is the definition of being a power woman: being secure enough about your success that you're down for lifting other women up."

11. If you had to name someone(s) as your muse for your fragrance line, who would it be and why?

 

"I don't have a muse. I actually would like to get away from the idea of a muse for fragrance. I feel like I see a lot of muses being created that are not at all like what real, modern women or men are like. I want each scent to stand on its own."

 

 

12. Where do you see yourself, and Ellis Brooklyn in 5 years from now?

 

"Taking over the world-- kidding! I would love to see us making an impact not only as a brand, but also in sourcing and sustainability. This is an area that green brands need to be more and more aware of. All this demand for green and natural ingredients means we have to be all the more responsible when sourcing. I would love to have a program in place that impacts environmental awareness and education in a big, important way." 

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post, a review of all my favorite Ellis Brooklyn fragrances and candles will be up here shortly! In the meantime, shop Ellis Brooklyn on Sephora, Barneys NY, and other select stores. 

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New YouTube Video: Interview with Sir John, Beyoncé's Makeup Artist

David Ruff

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sir John, to chat about all things beauty, politics (gender/sexuality, feminism, etc.), and his new TV show with Adriana Lima; American Beauty Star. Sir John is a celebrity makeup artist and L'Oreal brand ambassador. Sir John is known for his iconic work and relationship with Beyoncé. We even found out an exclusive Bey story that you won't want to miss.