Wednesday, July 19, 2017

OOTD: The Wonder of Color

Photography by Cassidy Hopkins

Here's a (not-so-secret) confession: I'm not big on wearing colors. I used to totally rock bright colors in high school, but as I've gotten older my closet has turned to neutrals and pastels. It doesn't help that I've spent the last 4 years living in Seattle and New York, where wearing all-black is part of the lifestyle. Every now and then, though, I find a colorful piece that I just have to have. This dress is one of those pieces.

I bought this dress when I was going through my comfy body-con dress phase. I was drawn to the style more than the color, and told myself I'd wear this dress when I felt like standing out.

And, for a while, I did. Once I dyed my hair, though, wearing colors got that much harder. If I wanted to stand out, I'd go for a daring lipstick or a uniquely designed piece. After all, if a red dress is too much for me, pairing a red dress with my blue hair is definitely too much.

When Cassidy, Tomi and I decided to go to Coney Island last Saturday, Cassidy (the most experienced New Yorker of the bunch) said we should wear bright colors to match the colorful rides in the background. I found myself staring blankly at my clothing rack. This dress is the only colorful piece I own, and I've been waiting until my blue hair grows out to wear it. "I'll just wear white," I decided.

At the last minute, I threw this dress into my backpack on my way to meet Cassidy and Tomi. It's been years since I wore it in a blog post, and goodness knows I have to make the most out of my wardrobe when it comes to dressing for OOTD posts. I figured I'd throw my hair in a bun so the blue wouldn't clash with the red.

I really surprised myself when I looked in the mirror and liked seeing myself in all this color. Not only did I look great, but I still looked like myself. Usually when I try a trend I'm not naturally drawn towards, I don't feel authentic. One of the most important aspects of my sense of style is being true to myself and portraying myself the way I feel, not just the way others see me as a fashion blogger. I'm glad I tried something new, and I'm glad I truly committed to the look. Plus, these colors ended up matching the ferris island on Coney Island, which is pretty ideal.

Now that I'm back in the land of shades of gray (literally), I'm content to let this red dress hang untouched on my clothing rack. It's nice to know, though, that I can totally pull it off if and when I so choose.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

OOTD: Part of the Skyline

On Saturday, I took a trip to the East River State Park in Williamsburg to see what Smorgasburg was all about. Here are the Cliff notes: it's expensive, crowded, and just as cool as it was in "Master of None".

Since summer's been in New York, I've been struggling a little more to get dressed in the morning. I need to be work-appropriate during the week, which can be difficult in 90 F heat. Yeah, I know that's not actually that bad, but I'm from the Pacific North West! 90 feels like death.

On the weekend, though, I want to take advantage of not having to wear appropriate clothing. I try not to buy a lot of clothes that I can't wear to the office; it doesn't make sense to only own clothing that I can wear 2/7ths of the time. My office has a pretty lax dress code, so all of my week-wear is really cute and totally wearable outside the office. This isn't too dissimilar from my time in college, when I could basically wear anything I wanted to class. Now that I work in a professional environment, the few things I can't wear stick out like a sore thumb, and I often think about how badly I want to wear my ripped jeans or crop tops during the week.

I definitely can't wear this shirt to work, for example, so I wanted to wear it this weekend because I haven't worn it since I bought it. The only problem is that I didn't want to wear it with ANYTHING in my closet. It usually takes me 15 minutes to get dressed and ready in the morning, but I took a full 45 minutes to sort through everything I own trying to figure out how to best take advantage of not having to adhere to a dress code.

So... A little silly, right? I'm working on finding a balance between being happy with what I wear and getting out of the house in a reasonable amount of time. One of my goals is to stop putting pressure on myself to look picture perfect every day. What really matters is the experience I have on my days off, not what I look like on these adventures. Plus, I can definitely put a cute outfit like this together in a couple minutes if I don't push myself for perfection.

How do you dress for the weekend/your days off? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How I Organize My Lipstick // Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink

Not-so-surprising confession: I own a lot of lip products. Like, they make up half of my entire makeup collection. I spent too long keeping them stuffed inside a cabinet, only using a couple of my favorites. Luckily, I've figured out a more efficient system of organizing and storing them.

Surprise! A color-coordinated sheet. Is anyone surprised that I've color-coordinated my lipsticks the same way I've color-coordinated my entire life? I actually just had to remake this sheet to make sure I had enough room for future purchases.

2 of my most recent additions were these Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink, sent to me for free to review from Influenster. This lip product stayed on my lips for 10 hours without needing reapplication. It withstood tacos, ice cream, multiple cups of tea, and a bagel. It felt a little sticky throughout the day, but still didn't come off. For less than $10, I couldn't believe this product worked so well.

I hang my lipstick chart up right next to my vanity, so I can look to it for help when I'm doing my makeup.

Friday, June 30, 2017


I am many things: a dog owner, a writer, someone with blue hair, a bisexual woman, Jewish, a picky eater, someone with depression and anxiety, a 6th generation Oregonian, etc. I make sure to surround myself with people who accept me and all my parts. Some of these identities, however, make me more susceptible to adversity and inequality. While these disadvantages are sometimes due to mere thoughtlessness, sometimes they come due to the systematic targeting of my communities. For instance, the LGBTQ community and those with mental illnesses have been profiled and targeted for years by tobacco companies, leading to higher prevalence rates in these communities.

The way advertising affects us has to do with the way our brains process external stimuli. Whether we realize it or not, everyone is sensitive to every piece of information in their environment. Our brains compile this information to form implicit memories, or memories that we can’t recall but that still influence the way we think and behave. Advertisements take advantage of our unknowing formation of implicit memories by flooding us with positive messages about specific products and brands. By advertising in “gay press” publications, hosting local “LGBT bar nights”, and participating in pride events, Big Tobacco has associated itself with a fun and healthy LGBTQ lifestyle. The fact that LGBTQ youths are nearly 2.5 times more likely to smoke than their straight peers is no coincidence: it’s the result of decades of profiling and targeting by the tobacco industry, designed to hook us on their products.

I don’t need to tell you why high smoking rates in any given community is a disadvantage. We’ve all seen the data showing that smoking leads to any number of health complications, and often, death. Society often puts the LGBTQ community at a disadvantage by not accepting us, who we love, our safety, protecting our healthcare and childcare rights and even our right to go to the bathroom. We are subject to higher rates of hatred, intolerance, and violence than our straight friends. As a result of this discrimination, depression and suicide rates are 3X higher in LGBTQ individuals. Tobacco companies target us because we are already vulnerable.

The LGBTQ community isn’t the only community targeted by Big Tobacco. As Tomi explains, tobacco companies also target black communities and low-income neighborhoods. That’s why we are bringing attention to  truth® to put an end to their targeting of our communities. truth’s #STOPPROFILING campaign shines a light on how the tobacco industry deliberately singles out communities that already face adversity and inequality with aggressive marketing tactics. Tobacco use is more than a health issue: it’s a social justice issue. Join us by calling out tobacco industry profiling as it happens by tagging @truthorange and #STOPPROFILING and enlist at to become more involved in local actions nationwide. Teen smoking may have reached an all-time low of 6% in 2016, but there’s still work to be done, especially in these communities.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

NYC Pride 2017

Happy almost-last day of National Pride Month! I was so excited to be able to celebrate Pride this month in the very city in which the movement largely started. I even got to watch the parade just a couple blocks from The Stonewall Inn. The historical significance of my experience was hugely momentous for me.

I've been to pride celebrations before, but this was a whole new experience. For one, NYC Pride was much bigger than Seattle Pride. For another, going to Pride as someone who recognizes themselves as existing within the LGBTQ+ community is an entirely different experience than going as a perceived ally. When I went a couple years ago, I was in the middle of my "I'm committed to a man, why does it matter if I'm attracted to other genders?" phase, and didn't carve out space to truly be proud of the movement and what it's done in the last 50 or so years. Now that I've taken the time and energy to really get to know myself, acknowledging each and every person around me and their role in the fight for our rights was overwhelming. I saw so much love, so much self-love, so much PRIDE everywhere I looked. I'm not going to lie: seeing the love and support in this community moved me to tears several times during the day. We still have work to do, particularly in decolonizing the LGBTQ+ community and including the fight for rights beyond marriage equality in our agenda, but I couldn't help but admire how far those who've come before me have pushed. I wouldn't be able to write this post without the work, blood, sweat, tears, and passion of the people (especially the trans WOC) on whose backs the modern LGBTQ+ movement was built.

I'm still fairly new to the LGBTQ+ community. In many ways, I still don't feel like I belong. Sure, I've always known I don't just like men, but I have to admit that I've internalized a LOT of biphobia throughout my life that I didn't know about until I started thinking about outing myself to people. "Am I any less of a member of the LGBTQ+ community," I ask myself, "because I've only ever seriously dated men? How will I defend myself to those who think women my age kiss other women/femmes 'for the attention?' Do I look the part? Do I act the part? How can I bring someone other than a cis man home after setting that as the norm for myself? Will people think I'm going through a phase? AM I going through a phase?" 

I'm still working to unlearn many of these implicit biases (just as I'm working to unlearn all of my implicit biases). I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to have family and friends who supported me without question when I told them that I'm bisexual. I'm incredibly privileged to not have experienced discrimination based on my sexuality and to even have been allowed space to talk about myself and my experiences. As I move forward to learn more about my role in the LGBTQ+ community, I hope to use my privilege to the benefit of the rest of my community.