Active Fashion: Why It’s A Worthy Sector Of Style Now

It’s no secret that active fashion has slowly started to infiltrate the world of fashion and everyday street style. It even has its own terminology nowadays, confirmed by Merriam-Webster: athleisure. It’s a thing, and it’s is having more than just a moment. It’s no longer an afterthought on the runway or seen as a sloppy alternative to business casual.

We have seen all levels of fashion accept the movement: Alexander Wang’s nylon and mesh details, the collaboration of Stella McCartney and Adidas, Versace’s spandex details, and of course, my personal fave, Rihanna’s collaboration with Puma, Fenty.

As the first fashion blogger in this niche of fashion, it’s a topic that is near and dear to me. Mixing sporty notes into my daily style was the inspiration for this blog, and I’m proud to see the efforts of my fellow sportswear enthusiasts, from designers to friends, finally getting their voice heard.

I was inspired by the visions of designers I witnessed at New York Fashion Week this February, and want to further that voice. This month, I am working on a project to celebrate brands and trends that share this voice in a robust style edit, taking active fashion from the studio, street, and into the space of formal and couture eveningwear.

This photoshoot was one of my favorites of the trip, blurring the lines of evening wear and athleisure. The best part of blending these styles? The diverse textures. There’s something refreshing about pairing tulle or silk with scuba or spandex. As a rebel, it’s kind of exhilarating. This Lululemon top is one of my favorite transitional pieces this season, especially being a crop. It’s fun to pair with high waisted jeans, skirts, and of all my loose tanks which add an extra level of dimension to the look. Nab one while you can, they’re on MEGA sale right now and almost gone!

Lululemon, please make more crop tops like this.

Additionally, experimenting with colorful makeup is another way to dress up your street style. I had so much fun playing with different shades from my Pastel Goth Pallette by Kat Von D. It looks super bright and pigmented, and it is, however it can be downplayed for a soft wash of color as well if you’re not ready to be super bold just yet! It’s easy to use and adds a new dimension to your look.

Outfit Details

Top: Hill and Valley Mock Neck Crop, Lululemon

Pants: Ripped Warrior Legging, Alo Yoga

Skirt: Asymmetrical Mesh Layer Skirt, Forever 21

Sunglasses: Aviator, Ray-Ban, Black

Scarf: Urban Code Faux Fur Lepel Detail Scarf (SOLD OUT), ASOS, similar here

Shoes: Superstar Original, Adidas

Earrings: Pave Crystal Line Earring, Bauble Bar

Makeup Details

Foundation: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, Dark

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Glossier Boy Brow, in Brown

Eyes: Pastel Goth Palette, Kat Von D

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, in Black

Lips: Le Marc Lip Creme, in Slow Burn

Photo by Lauren from Lauren Bloom Photography

My Winter Beauty Routine

Between my trip to freezing New York City, to the crazy rainy winter we’ve had here in San Francisco this season, my skin has been struggling! I’ve had to up my moisturizer game heavily these past few months, and I’ve found a pretty great lineup of amazing products that keep my skin hydrated, and blemish-free with the ups and downs. It’s important to keep up a consistent routine in these cases, as well as amp up the masking and prep part of skincare, to make sure I look and feel my best every day. If you’re not sure how to stack your products, here’s what I do to keep my skin in great shape.

Cleansers

Since I love to experiment with new makeup products and styles, it’s imperative that I wash my skin day and night, once with a makeup removing cleanser, and one with clarifying ingredients like Glycolic Acid, Vitamin A, and/or Salicylic Acid. I start with my fave cleanser of all time, Glossier’s Milky Jelly cleanser, to remove buildup and makeup from the day, or to remove my sleeping masks in the morning. I follow immediately with a clarifying cleanser, my current fave is Serious Skincare’s Glycolic Cleanser.

Serums

Layering serums is super important when the weather changes. Making sure you have several avenues of attack during winter is key: hydration and clarification are at the forefront of my concerns, and I layer my serums this way, morning and night.

Step 1: Serums (Clarification)

I have problem skin, and often get blemishes due to stress or my winter dry skin patches. I take two steps to mitigate this, first, being serum, and the last being a mask two times a week. I like to use serums that contain Glycolic Acid, Vitamin A, and/or Salicylic Acid. My current go-to is Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. Oil. It also adds a little hydration which helps in the winter.

Step 2: Serums (Anti-Aging/Moisture)

My second layer of serum is something moisturizing and/or anti-aging, and is another one of my daily winter go-to’s, Glossier’s Super Bounce. I slathered this on pre-flight to New York, and on the way home too to help with the dry aircraft cabin air.

I also use an anti-aging eye serum/cream day and night and LOVE the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for eyes.

Moisturizer

I usually don’t wear richer moisturizers or oils since I have super oily skin, but during the winter, I always add a light layer to my skin before sunscreen and makeup. Since I am on the oily side, I stick to Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer, instead of their Rich version. It also adds a second element of priming, so my makeup sits better.

When my skin is in serious SOS mode, I opt for the holy grail of moisturizers (works on lips too!!), the La Mer Crème de la Mer. It’s now available at Sephora (OMGGG) which means I earn my VIB Rouge points for it now. I always opt for the .5oz jar, and that lasts me over a year. It’s the best $85 I spend on skincare because it actually works for severely dry skin. If you have long flights ahead this winter, layer the Super Bounce and Crème de la Mer to fight against the dryness and irritation of the elements.

Winter Friendly Makeup

I start with a primer that’s going to help my skin look more radiant, and exclusively stick to Hourglass’ Ambient Light Correcting Primer. It gives my skin that spring and summertime glow even in the winter and is mineral based, which is great for my skin. During the winter I try to not wear much foundation, and I cannot live without Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint! It’s so hydrating, and I feel good about it sinking into my skin because of its skincare focused ingredients. If you haven’t tried foundation before, start with this. It makes you look camera ready without all the extra layers, and is actually good for your skin.

Masks

It’s super important you take time to tend your skin during the winter, and just in general. I use my masks 2-3 times a week between the clarifying ones and the moisturizing/sleeping ones. I never sleep without an overnight mask of some sort, specific to my needs each month. My faves for winter are Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask, and Sephora’s Sleeping Masks for Anti-Aging or Perfecting. If you need blemish control, use Glossier’s Mega Green Galaxy Pack, and double with the Sephora Detoxifying Sleeping Mask.

Here’s the final roundup of every product discussed above. Treat your skin right this winter, and always! It’s the only one we get, so taking care of it early on is a must, and is well worth the investment.

Milky Jelly Cleanser, Glossier

Glycolic Cleanser, Serious Skincare

U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, Sunday Riley

Super Bounce, Glossier

Facial Treatment Essence – Eye, SK-II

Priming Moisturizer, Glossier

Crème de la Mer, La Mer

Light Correcting Primer, Hourglass

Perfecting Skin Tint, Glossier

Moon Mask, Glossier

Sleeping Mask – Orchid Anti-Aging, Sephora

Sleeping Mask – Rose Moisturizing/Brightening Mask, Sephora

Sleeping Mask – Algae Detoxifying Mask, Sephora

Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Mask, Glossier

My New York City Travel Diary

It goes without saying that I had the absolute time of my life this past month traveling to New York for Fashion Week. So much so, it was difficult to leave, as I felt very much at home amid the fast-paced pulse of the city. I’ll definitely be back soon, and maybe permanently. Stay tuned…

I got many great recommendations for places to eat, drink, and simply explore, and found some of my own along the way, and am excited to share them with you!

Eats & Drinks

The Anthony (Greenwich Village): FAVE of the trip, hands down. This spot is elegantly old-world New York, and is a newcomer on the dining/drinks/lounge scene, opening this past fall. In one word? Phenomenal. It was a recommendation by a friend, whose hometown friend was one of their creators, and it turned out to be my favorite of the trip, and one of my top five dining spots EVER. Yeah, it’s THAT good. They have fusions ranging from French Onion Fondue to the best chicken you’ll ever eat. Seriously. Plus, a bar that has a flawless Manhattan ON TAP? Sold. Cool story: Real Housewives of NYC was filming an upcoming episode while I was there, so the secret’s about to be out! Go out of your way to check this spot out before it’s booked up months out.

4 Charles Prime Rib (West Village): BEST PIE OF YOUR LIFE. If you’re a dessert addict like me, it’s the best I’ve ever had. Plus, it’s a late night spot, which is amazing, if you’re tied up for dinner elsewhere. I hear the food is equally amazing too. Check it out.

Russ and Daughters Cafe (Lower East Side): BAGELS. Because NYC. Their bagels and bialys are amazing, and they even have options for caviar and champagne. It was an obvious yes for brunch.

Joe’s Pizza (Greenwich Village): It came to me recommended as the best pizza in New York, and it did not disappoint. I grabbed some slices for dinner on my last night there, and cannot wait to go back for more.

BlackTail (Battery Park): From the creators of Dead Rabbit comes a new Havana style bar, with a cocktail book full of amazing libations. As a crafted cocktail aficionado, I was hooked after my first drink. If you don’t want to deal with the drama of wait times at Dead Rabbit, this place is just as good and just as cool.

Maison Premiere (Williamsburg): I agreed to go to Brooklyn to check it out, and that should say it all: Oysters and crafted cocktails, two of my favorite things. This place is DEF worth the trip out of Manhattan.

Fashion

Rent the Runway Flagship: How much does it suck to travel with a million outfits or several winter coats? No response needed. I rented several coats for this trip and didn’t have to pack a damn thing. They even offer Uber rushing, so if you’re too busy to jet over to Midtown, you can have them Uber over your rentals to your hotel or event. Lifechanging.

Glossier Showroom (SoHo): Try your Glossier faves out in person, and chat with their reps about why it’s seriously the best makeup on the planet. The showroom is just as adorable as their website and makes you want to go home with literally everything. Shop my fave picks here.

The Reformation Showroom (SoHo): Try on your fave Reformation dresses in person! I love their designs, but sometimes have qualms purchasing before trying them on. There are so many different designs, and you can get a great idea of how styles fit, so in the future, it’s less confusing when hitting purchase online!

Fitness

Physique57 (Spring Street – SoHo): I had been told by a client to try this barre class, and holy crap it was every bit as challenging as she made it out to be! I’m a total believer. If you’re looking for something more than a traditional barre class, this is it. High intensity, and hard as hell.

Barry’s Bootcamp (TriBeCa): New York’s studios are renowned for a reason. I took four classes while I was there with some of my favorite trainers, and loved the energy. High energy, no nonsense, and a kick ass runner’s high!

Accommodations

The Cosmopolitan TriBeCa Hotel: This hotel was SO central to every show I attended, as well as super convenient with transit for anywhere I wanted to go for the week. With a subway stop right outside the door, I was able to navigate the city without freezing! Second, the accommodations were gorgeous, and totally affordable. This will be my new home base when I travel to New York.

Outfit Details

My most worn items were my fave leggings and pullover from Carbon38. If you’ve never tried ordering from there, do it! The lines they carry are top notch, and customer service is truly unmatched.

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Top: Fuller Top, Jonathan Simkhai x Carbon38

Pants: Ripped Warrior Legging, Alo Yoga

Beanie: Faux Fur Pom Pom Beanie, Forever21

Sunglasses: So Real 48mm Sunglasses, Dior, in Palladium/Crystal

Jacket: Zara Down Coat (OLD), similar ON SALE here

Makeup Details

Foundation: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, Dark

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Glossier Boy Brow, in Brown

Eyes: Pastel Goth Palette, Kat Von D

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, in Black

Lips: Lips: ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick, Yves Saint Laurent in Fuchsia Fétiche

Photo by Lauren from Lauren Bloom Photography

NYFW Day 3: Gypsy Sport

I’ll start off by saying that Gypsy Sport has been a long time favorite of mine.

Unapologetically bold and genderless, it speaks to my eclectic sense of style that shifts between polished and feminine to boyish and sporty. I was honored to attend the show this season. It was by far the most moving show of the week, taking a beautifully unconventional approach to presenting fashion, and it was breathtaking.

The show was dedicated to people of all walks of life, and in particular, those who do not have access to editorial fashion, or really any level of it. The auditorium was dark, and bare, albeit a few large camping tents, and several buckets. Rio Uribe, the creative force behind the label, did not shame politics, but rather, called us to uplift the people of our cities towards unity and respect in response to the country’s current turmoil. He urged us really look at and take action to the injustices some face in today’s society.

Gypsy Sport’s show was recently ranked by Vogue as one of the top eight of the season, here. It is also the subject of my very first “vlog” on YouTube as well, check it out for a quick synopsis of the show below.

The clothes were a tribute to raw, real street style, and it was moving. I expect to see lots of avant-garde sweats, sport inspired velvet designs and more in the ready to wear this fall, and couldn’t be more excited.

The footwear for the show was provided by NEKEDI, another moving label that is pioneering the fashion world out of the limits of formal labeling, and acknowledging sporty street style as a worthy sector of beauty and luxury:

“For too long ‘high fashion’ has been defined by formal attire, with its casual counterparts being hailed as nothing more than an afterthought… NEKEDI has a plan to disrupt the saturated market with a range that speaks to the innovative dressers that are transforming the face of fashion as we know it.” -Yannick Brown, Creative Director

I adore the concept completely. The footwear couldn’t have been more of a perfect fit for Gypsy Sport, while also being a fit for my own personal aesthetic and spirit behind this blog.

I chose my outfit in a very similar take to Gypsy Sport’s aesthetic, sporty notes blended with ragged and softer pieces, and also incorporated my new Pastel Goth Palette by Kat Von D into my makeup for the day.

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This dress is quite literally one of the most versatile pieces I own, and one of my favorite. I wore it styled this way, as well as with my Michi bodysuit under it for a night out on the town later in the week. You can pair it with a concert tee and a pair of cutoff jeans too!

Outfit Details

Dress: Mesh Dress With Frill Hem, The Ragged Priest via ASOS

Top: Crossback Bra in Liquid Silver (SOLD OUT), Alala (different color here)

Pants: Ripped Warrior Legging, Alo Yoga

Shoes: Nike Sky Hi Wedge (Special Edition Nike Women’s Marathon – OLD), similar ON SALE here

Jacket: Down Jacket, Zara (OLD) similar here

Sunglasses: So Real 48mm Sunglasses, Dior, in Palladium/Crystal

Makeup Details

Foundation: Too Faced Born This Way, Natural Beige

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, in Granite

Eyes: Pastel Goth Palette, Kat Von D

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, in Black

Lips: Lips: ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick, Yves Saint Laurent in Fuchsia Fétiche

Photos by my boyfriend, Emil Eklund

NYFW Day 2: Fashion Gallery – The Shows

Day 2 was my busiest day of all: I attended a series of shows hosted by Fashion Gallery, showcasing the following designers throughout the day:

Kepaza by Pernille Fristad

Layana Aguilar (Project Runway)

Taryn Winters

Flesh

Black Rat

I adored all the different textures and moods of each, from the light and free spirited movement of the Kepaza line, to the fur details of Layana Aguilar and Taryn Winters, and the raw and bold designs of Flesh and Black Rat. You’ll definitely be seeing some Black Rat pieces flow into Haute Sweat in the coming months as spring progresses!

In true athlesiure fashion, I took a bold step in pairing my athletic wear with some street pieces, to create a polished athleisure look that was runway ready. That of course, included my pieces from the first designer & fitness collaboration from Carbon38: Jonathan Simkhai.

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My Zara down jacket was a perfect addition to the look as well, being both practical yet edgy with its shiny material and faux fur details. These oversized puffers have been all over the fashion scene this season, on the like of Kendall and other millennial supermodels.

As for the outfit itself, it’s sometimes a risk to take two statement pieces and pair them together, but the Tommaso Pants and Fuller Top played perfectly together! I tucked one side to give it that polished look, easing the athletic lining details a bit.

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Shop the look below, there’s still some Jonathan Simkhai x Carbon38 pieces left! It’s limited edition so grab it while you can. It’s seriously functional across all dress codes, and holds up while working out.

Outfit Details

Top: Fuller Top, c/o Jonathan Simkhai x Carbon38

Pants: Tommaso Pant, c/o Jonathan Simkhai x Carbon38

Shoes: Classic Superstar, Adidas in Rose Gold

Jacket: Down Jacket, Zara (OLD) similar ON SALE here

Makeup Details

Foundation: Too Faced Born This Way, Natural Beige

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, in Granite

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, Cool Palette

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, in Black

Lips: Lips: ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick, Yves Saint Laurent in Fuchsia Fétiche

Photos by my boyfriend, Emil Eklund

NYFW Diaries: Day 1 | Rack Addik

New York Fashion Week was an absolute (freezing! ha) whirlwind of inspiration, and I cannot wait to share my diaries this week on the blog with you. I’ve come back a more inspired and positive person, and couldn’t be more thankful for the brands and companies that allowed me to work with them this past week.

2017 has been a year that has forced me to focus on finding the positives in life, and have it directly inspire my work and how it relates to the world around me. In an effort to focus on just that, I only RSVPed to shows and brands that really spoke to me. That said, Rack Addik was an obvious choice.

Rack Addik, the creative line by Kelly Dempsey of Project Runway’s Season 14, was one of those lines that sparked love at first sight for me. A fan of her work since her Project Runway days, I was excited to see what this season had in store, and was ecstatic when I found out it would have a grunge inspiration. Hosted by AMCONYC at Gary’s Loft in Midtown, her Fall/Winter 2017 collection was titled “Glitter and Grunge” and was unapologetically fashion forward. Kelly shared, “My collection is an endeavor to take the ‘idgaf’ attitude of grunge and modify it by adding a bit of glitz and glam. What strikes me about the grunge mentality is that it’s audacious to a point where limits become absent. My aesthetic has never been cookie cutter, and I believe my attraction to remain authentic is the true underlying foundation of my work.”

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From heeled sneaks, fur, to beanies, I was in love. The collection was a true mix of glamorous details fused with an authentic spirit of street style, and one that even touched upon athletic inspiration with track pants, and comfortable yet sleek bodysuit stylings. It’s a collection that I’d actually wear on the street, and I plan to! The more rad fact? You can shop the runway directly via AMCO’s site here!

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Kelly’s message through the brand and this line really resonated with me. I truly believe fashion is an art form, which should never be labeled. All too often, especially in the fashion industry, we tend to gravitate to labels, whether it’s the ones we choose to adorn ourselves with or the ones we attempt to fit those around us into. It’s a struggle I often face as well, being labeled as a rebel, or “fashion forward.” Kelly’s authentic style and outlook on the industry was truly inspiring and relatable, and I love her for that.

I dress and apply makeup as a way to express my creativity and artistry, not to be perceived a certain way or fit a specific mold. It’s an expression of who I am, not who others expect me to be or who I want people to think I am. Holding onto your authenticity is the one of the hardest, yet most rewarding challenges we all face.  She said, “I always thought that once you put a label on someone or something, you are creating restrictions that are unnatural. I wear what I want, when I want because I am me. I do not dress with the objective to be labeled. I believe that real beauty is present once you are able to look at someone and view them without confinement.”

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The Rack Addik show was the best way to kick off Fashion Week this year, with an honest and real take on fashion culture. I’m super excited to shop the collection and blend it into my upcoming ensembles of street styled activewear!

Outfit Details

Shirt: Plunging Strappy Tee, Forever 21

Skirt: Asymmetrical Mesh Layer Skirt, Forever 21

Tights: Large Hole Fishnet Tights, ASOS

Boots: Gigi Boot, Stuart Weitzman

Jacket: Orla Faux Fur Leather Biker Sleeve Coat Grey (OLD), Missguided (similar here)

Makeup Details

Foundation: Too Faced Born This Way, Natural Beige

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, in Granite

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, Cool Palette

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, in Black

Lips: Le Marc Lip Creme, in Blow

Ribbons, Red Lips, & Keeping It All Together

It’s been a crazy close to one of the chaotic years of my life, and with a lot of focus and heart, I managed to keep it all tied together and moving forward. I’ve spent the last five days back home in El Dorado Hills with family, taking a pause from the grind, in order to recharge and ready myself for 2017. I could think of no better theme to roll into next year in than bows, so I saved this look and my matching manicure for the final look of the year.

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A little more back story on the Mandy/bows history: I’ve always been a bow gal, from my early days as a young girl obsessed with Hello Kitty, to an adult who’s constantly inspired by Japanese fashion and beauty trends (…and still awkwardly obsessed with Hello Kitty). Needless to say, if there’s any chance I can put a bow on it, I do.

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This sweatshirt is playful yet not over the top, and not only have I found it a win with my athleisure, I’ve also turned it into an evening staple here in San Francisco. Pair it with a wool mini pencil skirt, or even a big tea length one. Skinny jeans and a long silk blouse under? SLAY.

Best part? It’s under $70.

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I’ve started a yearly tradition of donning this beanie on Christmas, starting with last year, when I found this amazing Kate Spade gem! It’s sadly no longer available, however, I’ve linked an all black version below that’s equally amazing! Everything’s better with pom poms, and they’re even better with veils! It adds a touch of glam to a casual item, and one that I don’t feel bad about wearing out on the town in the evening.

Outfit Details

Sweatshirt: Zeo Ring Belt Cuff Sweatshirt, Storets

Leggings: High Rise Gleam Tight, Athleta

Shoes: Alexander McQueen for Puma Brace Mid Sneaker, Puma, similar pair here

Beanie: Veiled Pom Beanie, BCBG Max Azria

Makeup Details

Foundation: Make Up For Ever, Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, in Y315

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, Granite

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, Cool Palette

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Black

Lips: Urban Decay VICE Lipstick, Wonderland