Monthly Archives: April 2016

[Beauty in a Box] IPSY’s April Picks: Makeup for Dreamers 

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For the entirety of my post-teenage life, I’ve claimed that if makeup were considered paint – more women would be considered painters, myself included.  The only difference between the me of 2016 and the me of 2003 is the want to go makeup shopping and a daring eye of new styles and novel products.  Back then, I used to frequent sparkly cascades of rainbow colored eyeshadow paired with electric eyeliner and all sorts of concealer, moisturizer and foundation; now, I barely use four makeup products on my eyes, let alone my entire face.

When it comes to discovering new products, you could say I’m basically a noob all over again – so, I’m beyond thankful that monthly beauty subscription boxes have blossomed into commonality.Beyond just makeup, there’s literally hundreds upon hundreds of monthly boxes to choose from – and for as little as $10 a month, you’re showered with lots of fun goodies – some of which, you might become a superfan of in a heartbeat. More on the litany of boxes later – and back to the makeup, my fav! Once a month, their makeup mavens toss together an esteemed ‘Glam Bag’ chalk full of tantalizing treats and new fanged products – and I’ve been itching to get my paws on them for a good minute – turns out, there’s no time like the present.

With a menagerie of monthly makeup boxes to choose from, I made a note to choose wisely – but for the low cost of $10 a month, I let myself splurge a bit and try out a couple.  There’s the tried and true makeup and skincare favorite Birchbox – which I have cruising my direction in May (woot), the jealousy inspiring Sephora Box and last but certainly not least – my first box, IPSY.

 

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Among the samples for April are two facial masks from Pur-lisse, a cute little Tarte lip sensation, a lively lavender nailpolish from ProBelle, a Highliter Trio, a highlighter brush and a makeup pounce that takes an ode from the pastels of Springtime. I’ve ranked each of the items on a scale of 1-10 on whether I’d buy the full size retail version, as well as a link to where you can purchase the items individually.

(From Top Right, Counter Clockwise)

(1) Probelle Nail Lacquer in In or Out // Retail: .5g for $6 // Take my money

Let’s be real, I’d rather buy five new nail polishes, a mini manicure set and some nail polish remover than go to a salon to get my nails done – so when I get a full size nail polish, the little girl inside me starts giggling with glee.  Not to mention, it’s a beautifully rich lavender – which makes for an exceptional Spring time color for your toes or your fingers.  I’ve never even heard of Probelle before this past week, but after how my nails held up over three days of Coachella -I’ll definitely be ordering some new colors for festival season.

(2) 2 x Pur-lisse Treatment Sheet Masks // Retail: $8 for 1, $36 for 6  // Take my money

I’m a sucker for a good skincare product, and this one completely takes the cake.  Best known for her role as the villain Vypra in the Power Rangers of my childhood, Jennifer Yen is now revolutionizing the skincare game – one Asian fusion product and face at a time. I’ve always used lotion or actual product as a mask instead of a cut cloth mask that was saturated in the product, so I definitely felt a bit silly walking around the apartment – but if that’s the price you have to pay for clear skin, I’ll gladly give in.

(3) City Color Highlighter Trio + Luxte Highlighter Brush  // Retail: $8.99 + $24 // Neutral

For me, highlighter is a lovely little touch on top of my makeup – and a wonderful double for neutral eyeshadow; but something I already have a ton of, brush included.  I’m thankful to have something else to toss into my reservoir of travel makeup, but I wouldn’t purchase a trio of highlighters – I’d prefer just one rich bronze color.  The makeup brush is soft and wonderful, and though I have others – I’ll actually probably replace them with this one, good on you, IPSY.  Now I won’t need a new one of those for a few years!

(4) Tarte Lip Surgence in Wonder  // Retail: 3g for $24 // Pass 

Though I’m a huge fan of the Tarte brand, and this comes in a pretty pink packaging and leaves a sultry smooth stain behind – I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never really been a fan of lip cremes or lip stain – this one included.  I’d never purchase this on my own, but I’m glad I have it around for special formal occasions, weddings or big nights out on the town.  For now, I’ll stick to my Mango Burt’s Bees please and thank you.


All in all, this was a great first Glam Bag because I’ve been in desperate need of some facial masks and Summer highlights for my cheekbones, not to mention – I’m a bit obsessed with pastel polish.  But I’d definitely skip the Tarte lip stain and go in the direction of a natural lip balm with a dash of SPF and little to no tint.  Is it time for the next one yet?!

Do you have any subscription boxes that you’re a sucker for?

I’m always looking to try out new things, let me know in the comments below!

For more information on IPSY, head to their website or socials –

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[Traveling Tales] Spring has Sprung in the Sequoias

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“You are yourself a Sequoia; stop and get acquainted with your big brethren.”
[John Muir to Ralph Waldo Emerson]

Once in a blue moon the stars  shift into alignment by night while the sun showers down on by day, sharing their ominously beautiful light and dancing around us to and fro; beautiful butterflies bounce by in bountiful numbers, eagerly awaiting the lush vegetation sprouting up and around each nook and cranny of the land as a reminder that Summer is just around the corner.   It might not be magic, but it certainly feels like it; it’s simply another Spring day in Sequoia, gleefully taking in all the wonder the grounds have to offer.

Just about three hours north of Los Angeles, the Sequoias provide both a literal and figurative breath of fresh air for this city kitty turned nature nymph. After a wonderful Winter adventure up to Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks, I’ve been itching to go back and Danny’s birthday this past weekend gave me the perfect excuse.  On Saturday morning, we packed our bags, added a friend to the mix and were off, off and away on another nature fueled adventure to the land where there might not be internet, but I promise you will find a better connection.

Even though we just visited this past February, the landscape had magically manifested from a pristine snow covered wonderland into an effervescently lush landscape of a menagerie of eager greens ebbing to and fro throughout forests while bold pops of wildflowers were perfectly scattered throughout the park and around the cabin where we frolicked for the weekend.  The icing on Danny’s birthday cake – his birthday (4/17) falls during National Park Week, which lasts from April 16-24, 2016; and now that we know, for every birthday going forward we’re going to add another National Park to our epic “To See” list – but more on that later!

We kicked off the trip on Saturday afternoon with another adventure into the North side of the park to visit King’s Canyon and Grant’s Grove.  With how frequently I’d been updating my weather app, I was absolutely astonished and beyond happy that the weather in the park for the weekend was a delightful 70, and it was definitely at least 80 back in Three Rivers.  An awe-inspiring tree, to be in the presence of the great Sequoia is incredibly humbling – not to mention, an incredible dose of perspective.   By the time we reached our cabin that night, the sun had begun to set and the creatures had begun to creep out and enjoy themselves in the dashing dusk. 

The next morning, the sun greeted us with an awe inspiring sunrise as the weather took a turn for the beautiful, butterflies and sunshowers greeted us around every corner while the Kaweah River calmly rolled through Three Rivers.  Each and every moment felt right out of a dream, or better yet a perfect moment of space preserved in time.  We spent the day frolicking around the river, dipping our feet in to cool down as we took in the wonderful wildlife around us.  I’ve never felt so humbled and awestruck by the world we live in as I do in Sequoia, and I’m already itching to go back.

What National Parks are on your Must See list??


  

[LA Life] The Growth of the Empire Polo Fields

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In news out of The Palm Springs Desert Sun this morning, it appears that the world’s number one grossing music festival is once again making big moves. Over the last decade, The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California has shifted from a one day, one weekend occasion to a three day, two weekend phenomenon.

Last year alone, the festival drew 99,000 dancing, smiling faces each weekend – drawing 198,000 people with both weekends combined, and took in nearly $85 Million, according to Forbes. This past Wednesday, the Indio City Council approved Goldenvoice’s March proposal to increase the attendance cap for their April Festivities – with Coachella’s attendance blossoming over 25% from 99,000 a weekend to 125,000 a weekend; meaning total attendance rises to 250,000 from 198,000. Stagecoach, which occurs the following weekend, is expected to increase from 75,000 to 85,000 – raising by a mere 13%, in comparison.

Back in 2013, Goldenvoice, the parent company of Coachella, threatened to leave Indio over a 6% tax on tickets, which as you very well know cost in the ballpark of $350; meaning $21 of every ticket would have gone to the city, or roughly $4.15 Million. Instead, Goldenvoice set an agreement with the city that will keep them there at least until the year 2030. Within that agreement, Goldenvoice agreed that it would give $5.01 of every ticket sold to the city of indio – a 200% increase in profit. The agreement also paved the way for Goldenvoice to increase their festival breadth in the city from three events a year to five, two of them in the Fall! (Also, WHAT?!)

But, back to the original point – with Coachella’s attendance alone (198,000), Indio makes nearly $1 Million in taxes, add in Stagecoach and you have $1.36 Million. With the increase in capacity of 62,000 extra audiophiles, Indio is slated to add an extra 20% in profit, making nearly $1.67 Million.  With the current supply and demand economy of the festival world, this news truly drives home the idea that we’re swimming in a money market with the sharks and are too blinded by the glitter, lasers and confetti to see it.

With Coachella already feeling like it’s pushing capacity and it’s internationally renowned cast of musicians drawing exponentially large crowds – it will be interesting to see how this impacts the flow of the event, or if they will choose to increase the festival grounds to account for their growth in attendance.

What are your thoughts on the raise in attendance?

Here’s some music while you get those thoughts together.

For more on Coachella, head to their social media channels:

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[The Audiofiles] Coachella’s Creators, AEG, Bring Music Festivals Back to LA With The Arroyo Seco Music & Arts Festival

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With Coachella less than two weeks away and hype about the East Coast’s Panama Music + Arts Festival premiere later this year, it’s refreshing to hear that AEG is finally gearing up to bring the Music, Art and magic back into Los Angeles – where it belongs! With great excitement (and some slight disdain from Pasadena residents who fear for their musical tastes to be expanded), The Arroyo Seco Music Festival is slotted for 2017 – and it’s got this East LA resident all sorts of pumped.

“As we embark on another busy events season, we are always thinking about the future. To that point, the Rose Bowl Operating Company and the City of Pasadena continue to evaluate potential opportunities which fit with our community and which could contribute much needed revenue to maintain the historic Stadium for years to come. As you may be aware, one such proposed event is a Music & Arts Festival at the Rose Bowl and we wanted to share with you a little about the concept and also key aspects of the decision-making process.” – Official Rose Bowl Statement

12512417_10102988303762164_7090201985702856433_nThe Arroyo Seco Music & Arts Festival stands to be a world class event eliciting massive acclaim from audiophiles, musicians and fans alike and Pasadena is the perfect city to carry on the tradition that Coachella would set forth. Proposed to be held over either a two or three day period in June of 2017, the ASMAF would hold true to the Coachella tradition of artist tastemakers and bootyshakers from around the globe.

With the magnanimous amounts of internationally renowned talent, Coachella has always been a current Who’s Who of the Music circuit from across the genres, Funk, Folk, Big Band, Rap, Alternative, Disco, Dubstep, EDM, Punk Rock and so much more; bringing a festival of this caliber back to the city of Los Angeles that so desperately wants a festival they can at least metro to would be sweet, sweet music to our dancing ears.

More as the story breaks, but for more – head to the official Rose Bowl Webpage for a statement. For more on AEG, head to their website here

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[LA Life] Trekking Cahuenga Peak To The Hollywood Sign

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Now that Spring has officially sprung, it’s been a personal mission of mine to get out and enjoy every ounce of sunshine I possibly can.  Depending on your perspective of Los Angeles, it’s easy to flounder under the incorrect assumption that the city is a concrete jungle – but quite the contrary: in the midst of the hustle and bustle of our go-go-go lifestyle are a plethora of green spaces waiting to be explored.  From The Huntington Gardens to Pasadena’s Arboretum, Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon – there are a lot of amazing nature hikes to offer, and you don’t even have to go far to get it in.

When we first set out for our hike, we only had one thing on our mind – it’s a beautiful day to get some exercise in.  We packed a little pack of water, snacks and goodies and were off, off and away on a Saturday adventure.  Not gonna lie on this one, the struggle was definitely real; we haphazardly decided to ascend the Tree of Life Trail to Cahuenga Peak  so we could get as close as possible to the Hollywood Sign.  Depending on your source, the tree in question is equally referred to as ‘The Wishing Tree’, ‘The Wisdom Tree’ ‘The Giving Tree’ and ‘The Magic Tree’, but whatever you choose to call it – it’s a beautiful hike up a ridiculous incline; meaning you’re going to want some badass shoes to accompany you.  As a fair warning, this hike is not for novices or beginners – and I only say this, because I consider myself both, especially when it comes to this trail.

If you’ve been following my adventures over the last few years, I’ve evolved into a nature nymph of sorts and I absolute adore it.  There’s nothing like the brisk air and fresh breeze of the great outdoors, but man – was I a sweaty, panting mess by the end of it. This hike is one puppy that you want to pack some supplies for – some snacks with sugar to keep up your blood sugar, sunblock to prevent heat stroke, tons of water to rehydrate yourself and some quick to eat protein like nuts or beef jerkey.  Overall, I would say it took us about two hours to get to the top with a few pit stops along the way to stretch our muscles and take in the view.  It was only later that we discovered a simpler way to the view, where you can park on city streets and take a paved, lazy river of an incline to the top.  Definitely not as gratifying but thank goodness we could take that route out of the park!

 

Overall, the view from the Tree of Life Trail is breathtaking, and the aerial 360 of the city is as stunning as it sound.  This is one hike that I not only recommend, but will be doing far more frequently – after all, we didn’t actually make it over to the Tree of Life – we caught ourselves a stellar view of the city instead – so that’ll have to be a day-venture for another time.


  

  


  

[The Audiofiles] The Countdown to Coachella Has Commenced!

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Once Spring has sprung, it can only mean one thing – it’s time to fest with the best, On the West Coast, you’ll find droves of party people, festival families – and actual families, flocking down to Weekend 1 and Weekend 2 of the Coachella Music and Arts Festivals, and then again the following weekend for the Stagecoach Festival – but the later is definitely for another time and place 😉 Over the last few decades, the pull of the music community has been strong with Coachella – eliciting the creme of the crop from each and every far reaching corner of the music industry. Originally founded in 1999 by Paul Tollett, Coachella is now in it’s 19th year and produced as a beautiful byproduct of the California based AEG subsidiary, Goldenvoice. Like Coachella, Tollett has only magnified his position in music culture as the President and CEO of Goldenvoice and a Board Member of AEG.

A dynamic, ever changing event – many of us have been witness to the pure expansion of the festival and it’s widespread cult-like appeal. At it’s inception, Coachella boasted one day of decadent dancing; in 2002, the festival had spawned an extra day of extravagance, by 2007, a thirsty third day was added into the mix and in 2012, Coachella had grown large enough to warrant double weekends. As of 2016, we’re all anxiously awaiting the global takeover – and it starts g as the best of the West heads East in the form of New York City’s Panorama Music, Arts and Technology Festival, held on Randall’s Island July 22-24; not to mention this week’s announcement of 2017’s Arroyo Seco Music + Arts Festival, which wistfully ushers music festivals back into Los Angeles proper.

Now that we’ve had ourselves a little history lesson, it’s time to prepare for our Adult Spring Break the only way we know how – an official playlist of all the artists you’d be a fool to miss while you’re imbibing, indulging and enjoying yourself in Indio’s desert landscape. We don’t know how the stages are going to tear our groups apart quite yet, so until then we can all share this proverbial dancefloor together and groove to the collective tunes of the esteemed Coachella cast of 2016.

Each weekend’s music is a cascading arc – from Friday’s dynamic stage presence of James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem, to Saturday’s historic sounds Rock and Roll sounds of Guns N’ Roses and then closing it off with Calvin Harris, in an ode to the sheer power and prowess of EDM. There’s definitely something for everyone at the show, but at The DJ List, we want to give an extra special shoutout to the BPM brothers and soul sisters, booty shakers and dance music tastemakers that have ushered in stages like the Yuma, overrun the Gobi, scared the over-30 crowd away from the Sahara and coveted the Do LaB stage all for their own.

The dance influenced acts of this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are: the emotive and brooding Underworld, M83, bass heavy, crowd pleasing DJ superduo Jack Ü, made of Skrillex and Diplo ( does this mean we should be prepared for some Bieber fever?!), Purity Ring, 2manydjs, DJ Mustard, Snakehips, Bob Moses, the queen of Techno Nicole Moudaber, Sasha (and will be maybe bring Digweed on stage?!), Disclosure, Zedd, RL Grime, Tchami, ZHU, Nina Kravitz, RÜFÜS DU SOL…..and I’m not even halfway through the second day, not to mention the EPIC lineup from the Do LaB camp!

I’ll be out at Weekend 2 of Coachella representing The DJ List with some of my press besties, including Danny who’s shooting the event as an on site photographer for Getty Images; I can’t wait to show you guys the magic he captures! don’t be afraid, to share some grooves, moves and or beers with us as we enjoy the 17th anniversary of The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

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For more on Coachella, head to their social media channels:

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