Shani Hillian: Beauty + Wellness Writer

Between the 68 degree weather I experienced in LA during Memorial Day Weekend and the 90 degree weather in North Carolina, I’m confused. I’m sure I’m not the only one, neither! I saw New Yorkers wearing full on coats and ponchos during the Alexander Wang show just this Monday! I’m fully aware the Earth is being impacted by global warming, but I think we all would appreciate clear climate direction. Just saying.

In the midst of the constant changes, keeping up a skin care routine that works for one season can be daunting. But have you ever considered switching up your regimen between seasons like you do your clothing? I had no clue! I decided to chat with my new friend, Shani from Instagram (because, where else). I learned a lot more consideration for your skin between seasons is not only beneficial but easy!

Shani is a holisitic and beauty writer based in New York that adopted self-awareness and healthy practices that she now shares with the world. Her experience within the hair and fashion industry ignited her passion for wellness. Understanding the connection between happiness and health, in the total sense of the word: mind, body, and spirit, Shani spreads her knowledge to others on the pursuit on wholeness. 

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This was a fun interview with gems for both women AND men! I’m a nerd when it comes to learning about anatomy and science so I thoroughly enjoyed Shani’s insight. Read our conversation below and I’m sure you will appreciate it, too!

 

The J Spot: Tell us about yourself!

Shani Hillian: My name is Shani, I’m a wellness advocate, writer, and model based in Brooklyn, NY.

TJS: How did you become interested in skincare?

SH: My interest in skin care began at an early age. I'd see my mom make homemade masks and walk around the house with it while tidying up haha. I started to do the same and I've been obsessed with masking ever since:)

TJS: What made you want to write about skincare?

SH: I'm a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician with some knowledge to share and I dig writing so I decided to pair the two with the hopes of helping some folks live their best life.

TJS: We connected about Hand & Stone. Do you mind telling my readers about your experience working there?

SH: I worked at Hand & Stone Spa very briefly during a transition period in my life of having just moved back to the east coast from Los Angeles. The company was lovely, to be honest. Calming atmosphere, they provided educational classes at the Dermalogica Institute, complimentary, in addition to the credentials you already have. They were great.

TJS: What’s your favorite part about being an esthetician?

SH: My favorite part about being an esthetician is helping people. What's the first thing you notice when you meet someone? Their skin, whether gleams or has blemishes. It's cliché but I want people to love the skin they're in. It's our largest organ, we must take care of it.

TJS: Is there a big difference between men and women’s skin, in terms of the genetic makeup?

SH: Yes, there is a major difference. In addition to having facial hair, there are structural differences between men's skin and women's skin. Androgen (testosterone) stimulation causes an increase in skin thickness, which is why a man's skin is about 25% thicker than a woman's. A man's skin is tougher, oiler and warmer because they have more blood vessels than women. As women, we suffer more, unfortunately. Our skin is thinner,  dryer and more susceptible to dramatic changes. Example: Hormonal changes. Our skin gets drier as we age which is why 98% of all anti-aging, collagen infused products are created for women.

TJS: Is it necessary to use as many products that women use or should we all go the less is more route?

SH: It's subjective, to be honest. I personally go for minimal skin care but that's because I don't have problematic skin and my skin benefits from such a regimen. I've treated people with all types of skin issues and some needed more, some needed less so it just depends on your skin type and what works best for you at that moment.

TJS: How can the weather affect the skin? Is it different living in different regions or should skincare be based on skin type?

SH: The environmental conditions of where you live can impact the way your skin behaves, so paying attention to the weather will determine what type of treatments your skin will need. If you live in the Northeast like me (NYC) where winters are brutal, we are definitely susceptible to developing skin ailments such as eczema, dry skin due to the lack of moisture, chapped lips, and atopical dermatitis, which I've developed this past year. Creams, oils, hydrating masks are your best friend during this time. People that reside in warmer climates tend to sweat more so they can be more acne prone, especially if your skin is naturally oily. Products that aim towards detoxifying will help and opt for an oil-free moisturizer in this climate.

TJS: Tell me about the importance of transitional skincare in between the four seasons. Is there anything people of color specifically need to focus on when it comes to these transitions?

SH: Just like you switch up your wardrobe in accordance with the seasons, you should also be rotating your products to protect your complexion against the elements. Most people also tend to have a seasonal diet whether you're conscious of it or not. We eat fruits and vegetables in abundance during the spring/summer, and hearty foods in fall/winter. The same should apply to your skin. Lighter products during warmer seasons, heavier products during colder seasons. People of color truly benefit from using oils and creams on our skin. It's more than just making sure we're not "ashy" haha, it's cultural and I love that about us. We tend to use the same products all year round as we live by the motto " If it ain't broke, don't fix it". If you're an oil lover like myself, the only thing I would suggest is using a lighter oil in spring/summer like Jojoba oil. It's closest to the natural oils in our skin which will hydrate and nourish without being too heavy and greasy.

 

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TJS: How do you switch up your skincare routine between the seasons?

SH: I tend to exfoliate more( 3x a week) during the warmer seasons and aim towards using detoxifying masks to help balance my sebum levels due to the humidity in the air. During the colder seasons, I exfoliate less (1x a week) because my skin is so dry. I also mask more in the winter (2-3x a week) with intense hydrating masks. That's what works for me.

 

TJS: What’s the biggest mistake someone can make when it comes to skincare or trying products?

SH: The biggest mistake someone can make when it comes to skincare is thinking a regimen is "one size fits all". That is 100% false. Just because a product works for your sister or bestie, doesn't mean it'll work for you. You have to know your skin type (dry, oily, combo) and try products that gear towards that specific type. Don't use oil-based products if you are oily/ance prone trying to achieve that Fenty Glow. You will clog your skin, I promise you and it's never worth it. If you are unsure of what skin type you have, I recommend seeking help from a Board Certified Dermatologist or Licensed Esthetician.

TJS: What are 3 fun facts about skin?

SH: Hmmm, let me think. 3 Fun Facts about skin would be:

+ Sometimes, babies can get acne in their first few weeks of life and it takes up to 6 months for babies to develop their permanent skin tone

+ There are 2 types of Melanin

  • Pheomelanin which is red, yellow tones
  • Eumelanin which is Brown, Black tones

+ Every minute your skin sheds over 30,000 dead cells

TJS: Here on The J Spot, I refer to those closest to me as “My Tribe.” Who is a part of your tribe and how do you they help or contribute to your life?

SH: Oh wow, my soulmates are my tribe. My soulmates include the people closest to me either family, friends or ancestors. I have amazing soulmates I talk to on a daily basis that keep me inspired, they champion with me and ride the waves of life with me. Forever grateful for them.

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You heard her! Don’t sacrifice your skin thinking you’re going to get that natural Fenty highlight with incorrect products! She knows what she’s talking about.

Thank you to our second feature on The J Spot! Shani, it was a pleasure and I can’t wait to see more from you.

Make sure to follow Shani on Instagram: @shanihillian and visit her website:

https://www.shanihillian.com/

Her IG Stories are one of my faves to follow! She has it all: Flawless Skin, flourishing hair, holistic wellness practices and down to Earth...It can’t get any better!

How do you take care of your skin?

Let me know in the comments!

Fashion Feature: MILLERSROOM

While in LA, I visited The Melrose Trading post and met the owner of Millers Room! He was so inviting and such a great spirit that I had to purchase a piece or two. When Miller found out I was headed to New York, he sent me the Death Row shirt below in addition to the camouflage pants. Look how I styled it at Fashion Week! 

INSTAGRAM: @millersoom

Melrose Trading Post - Sundays 9am-4:45pm; booth b-32

pull up.

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Congratulations Cardi!

As you know, over here on The J Spot, we are huge fans of Cardi B! Last night, she performed on Saturday Night Live and debuted her baby bump after her new album, Invasion of Privacy, went certified G O L D! The 13 track LP wasn't even available for a full 24 hours! 

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Cardi, you deserve! In celebration of her success, I want to feature Pin and Proper, an Enamel Pin/Greeting Card online store. In the new year, I entered a giveaway to receive their new pillow and coaster set with none other: Cardi B and won! Go check out their current assortment on Etsy!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PAPERbyBrandi

 

Am I A Hand Model, Yet?

No, but really. How can I get that job? That seems like a fun job! 

Nails pictured are by Nail Technician @nails_byjesss

Back in the A

We celebrated a national holiday in January! Brittany THE Brand was Tippin On 22 in Atlanta and and support North Carolina A&T at Honda Battle of the Bands. Somehow, I only got one picture with the birthday girl but we were still cute!

New York Fashion Week 2018

February 21, 2018

It doesn't matter who you are, if you are into fashion, it is a D R E A M to attend THEE New York Fashion Week! If you currently follow me on social media, then you already know that I had the opportunity to attend for the first time. 

It's amazing how the universe works because just five months ago, I wrote about how to experience the notorious well-known event. With only six weeks to plan, my friend and stylist Alysha Williams of Fetch Fashions, decided to buy a plane ticket and make it work! There was nothing but space and opportunity right in front of us to check this off of our bucket list. 

I managed to over-pack, get business cards printed and as you can tell from the home page, revamp my logo! Thanks to Custom Touch Designz, based in Charlotte, N.C., who worked with me to bring my vision to life because it made me feel more credible as a creative and entrepreneur. 

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If this experience taught me anything, it's taught me to prepare. My favorite quote is "stay ready so you won't have to get ready!" I can apply this inspirational phrase to all facets of my life. Whether it's brushing my hair before running to the grocery story, keeping an updated resume, or carrying cash just in case my card isn't accessible. Being prepared is essential, especially in a time when everything moves so fast, so quickly. 

As soon as we found out we were attending Fashion Week, we knew we needed a plug. If you aren't familiar with the term, it means a connection, a way in, an access point, all that. Phone calls were made, emails were sent and before we knew it, we had media credentials and a place to stay! I don't know how many times I can say this in each post but it's about networking, people!!

Work the room, maintain contacts, reach out to your friends who occupy the spaces you want to frequent.

 

As Alysha and I navigated the city, got lost in the city, ate in the city, and dominated the city, I realized my level of appreciation and pride I felt. The two of us could have made the decision to attend New York Fashion Week next year or thought small and attended the fashion week in our own city. Instead, we were decisive and intentional on making this trip happen. We chose to focus on the resources we had to create a strategy, not the resources we lacked. 

Take a look at our triumphs from that weekend and tell me in the comments how you will create a strategy in the next two months!

 

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Siraad Dirshe: The Glow Expert

The first guest ever to be featured and exclusively interviewed on The J Spot deserves a proper introduction! *I feel like a teacher at the front of the class, excited to share our special guest*

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Siraad Dirshe is a New York native, writer, and is currently a Beauty Editor for THEE Essence Magazine! She has written for publications such as Refinery 29, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Popsugar, Elle, Nylon, and many other notable platforms regarding skin care. I first learned of Siraad on the 17th episode during the second season of "Black Girl in Om," previously mentioned in Podcasts You Didn't Know You Needed

From that podcast alone, I acquired a huge amount of knowledge regarding skin care practices and the special attention for the largest organ in the body, specifically for women of color. Naturally, I followed her on every social media account possible. The information she spoke about pertaining to products was so impactful that I needed more! Over time, I followed her content, liked her pictures, and watched her Instagram stories. Of course, I replied to her polls, videos, and inquired about products that weren't familiar. Then, one day, I expressed my admiration for her knowledge within the beauty industry and asked if she would like to be highlighted as a woman of color within beauty on The J Spot and she said "yes!" 

If you don't know, Siraad is known as the GLOW EXPERT! I expressed to her that the J Spot is a platform for my readers, especially people of color, to have a resource and become inspired to try something new. Her skin is impeccable and I wanted her to explain how my readers could achieve it, too. There's six weeks left in winter! Which means there's six weeks left to obtain glowing, luminous skin. Keep reading to see how!

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The J Spot: I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to interview The Glow Expert, herself! I discovered you from your interview on The Black Girl in Om Podcast. You have an amazing breadth of knowledge regarding skin care, specifically for women of color, that I want all my readers to learn about. The below questions are focused on your insights on skin care, the beauty industry, and being a creative. 

You mentioned in previous interviews that you gravitated towards skincare products instead of makeup. That is so interesting! What motivated this preference?

Siraad Dirshe: Until very recently I never thought I was "good" at makeup, so I was pretty much afraid of it. I also think since beauty brands have historically not created products with us in mind, I never really found colors and tones that complimented my deeper skin tone. So I think skin care just seemed more accessible and easy to understand/use.   

TJS: In your articles, you talk about beauty and self love in your articles. What would you say the correlation is between these two topics?

SD: For me those two things are inextricably linked! When I'm taking 10-15 in the morning or evening to pamper myself with skin products, that's one of the ways I show myself some love. 

TJS: I recently highlighted self-care and its importance. What is your favorite self-care practice?

SD: Oh there are so many self-care practices I love and honestly, I am conscious to ensure that at multiple points in my day I am showing myself some love. Working out, eating foods that make me feel good, reading, spending time with loved ones, listening to music, and of course taking care of my skin are some of my go-tos. 

TJS: How did you accumulate your knowledge regarding skincare, specifically about melanin, which products are best meant for it, etc.?

SD: Because skin care is something I am just completely obsessed with, I never get tired of watching videos, reading articles or listening to podcasts about products and ingredients. So I think the genuine interest and curiosity made it so I was just always learning about it.  

TJS: What’s the most unconventional practice you’ve done or heard people do to improve their skin?

SD: I would say shocking my face (it's not nearly as crazy as it sounds) with an electro current facial or getting a colonic for better looking skin are some of the most interesting things I've done. 

TJS: What would you say the worst skincare practice is?

SD: Not wearing sun screen! Everyone needs to wear it, no matter how deep your skin color is.  

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TJS: You’ve been referred to as The Glow Expert! Can you tell my readers what it takes to get the perfect glow, even in the fall & winter?

SD: In my opinion, the best way to get the perfect glow doesn't have much to do with skin care. Drinking lots of water, eating a balanced diet, working up a sweat a few times a week are the best ways to help your skin glow. But a good moisturizer and an occasional mask is a great idea too. 

TJS: As a black woman, what do you feel your role is within the beauty industry? Do you feel you have a certain responsibility of any kind?

SD: Of course! I feel like it's my responsibility to help make the industry a place where we see ourselves reflected and to shine a light on the issues and people that Black women find relevant and important. 

TJS: What is your biggest challenge as a black writer?

SD: When I was freelancing, I would say it was getting people to respond to my pitches but now that I'm an editor, it's having enough time to respond to the emails I now receive. I want to help those who are trying to break into the industry as much as possible.  

TJS: What would be your advice to anyone looking to enter the beauty industry?

SD: The one piece of advice I would give is to don't be afraid to create your own opportunities -- something I wish I had done more of when I first moved to NYC. Last year, I started freelance writing on a whim (I was bored of my current job and knew I wanted to write in beauty). And lots of hard work later, I'm now working in my dream job. Oh, and don't let one person's no deter you from doing what you want to be do! 

TJS: What inspires you as a creative? 

SD: I find inspiration from other creatives, so I love to listen to music, visit museums, and reading other writers I admire. I also love to travel and experience new cultures, and I always feel inspired after I come back from a trip. 

TJS: Here at The J Spot, I refer to the people in my inner circle who support and guide me as my “Tribe.” Who would you consider your tribe?

SD: I have a tribe of 'sisters' (biological and not), that I could not imagine doing life without. They inspire, challenge and support me! 

TJS: You write for major publications, such as Essence, Elle, Vogue, Glamour, and many more. What would be the pinnacle writing experience to highlight the complexity and diversity of black women?

SD: Oh man, I'm not sure about that one! Maybe writing a book?  

TJS: Lastly, what are your top 3 skincare tips for women? Do you have any for men? 

SD: 1. Wear sunscreen 2. Wash your face at night 3. Drink lots of water!  

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I want to thank Siraad for taking the time to answer the above questions. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @sdirshe and read her article on Essence.com and BlackGirlInOm.com

I learned so much and I hope my readers did, too! Please like this post, share, and leave your comments below on your favorite skincare practices! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

World Tour: Series Part 4 - Los Angeles

For many who do not know, I was born and raised in Los Angeles and although I call North Carolina my place of residency now, I try to go back to visit my family as often as I can. More recently, I visited just to have fun but this visit was definitely a trip to check on my family and my best friend. 

As soon as I landed, I met up with my favorite people! My aunt and uncle. It was my Uncle's 70th birthday and I was excited to celebrate with them. As tradition, they always make reservations at Houston's. Although I used to go when I lived with them, it has almost been 5 years since I last went. I love my aunt and uncle because they may be seasoned with age but they are young at heart. They travel all the time, they're retired, educated, and well established. Honestly, they're goals. They don't have any children so I don't mind being spoiled by them from time to time. 

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I believe this dinner was the first time they saw me in a different light and more as an adult. We touched on topics regarding police brutality, net neutrality, 45, all the way to social media, how it works, what are influencers, etc. etc. It was nice to teach them about how my generation interacts and informs one another via social networking. My uncle and I also had a slight debate regarding his concern for my generation's plan of action with the current state of the world. I'm sure I could insert that [here] but then this post will be never-ending. Either way, with the help of my aunt as the mediator and translator (haha), we were able to see each others' point of views. In reality, my uncle and I are very much alike and if anything, this brings us closer. As always, dinner was amazing and I had a great time. 

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Upon arrival to my best friend, Aaryn's, house I was greeted with birthday presents! Little did she know I put Mario Bedescu's toners on my Christmas List! I was elated! She also gave me the book salt. by Nayyirah Waheed and I can't wait to finish it. I'm sure it will force me to deal with some "subconcious feelings that have not been addressed" but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Last, but certainly not least, I got Pantone postcards! Pantone is a color matching system used in different industries but primarily printing. So, if I were to have a logo with a specific color code, I could use that code on a variety of items such as business cards, websites, shirts, banner, etc. Pantone Books, which include thousands of colors, cost thousands of dollars. To see at least 100 in postcard form was super cool and new! I'm not sure how I will use them yet but I'm thinking for inspiration boards or photo shoot concepts.

My friends own homes! What do yours do? HA! I'm laughing but it's not a joke. It was so cool and super inspiring to see my oldest friend accomplish a huge goal of purchasing her own home. It reminds me that stability is attainable!

 Saturday Night we had dinner at Rush Street in Culver City. Great ambience, cool lighting, and great food. We decided to share different appetizers: Spicy Ahi Tacos, Mesquite Turkey Sliders, Fried Jumbo Shrimp with Cajun Tartar Sauce, and their infamous Mac n Cheese.  Highly Recommend!

Saturday Night we had dinner at Rush Street in Culver City. Great ambience, cool lighting, and great food. We decided to share different appetizers: Spicy Ahi Tacos, Mesquite Turkey Sliders, Fried Jumbo Shrimp with Cajun Tartar Sauce, and their infamous Mac n Cheese. Highly Recommend!

 I'm always here for cool lighting.

I'm always here for cool lighting.

 Of course, Aaryn and I had to do brunch on a Sunday because well..duh. I have been crowned as The Mimosa Queen and it is only fitting that we indulge in bottomless rounds for   five dollars   to start the day off right at Market Provisions in the Fairfax District.

Of course, Aaryn and I had to do brunch on a Sunday because well..duh. I have been crowned as The Mimosa Queen and it is only fitting that we indulge in bottomless rounds for five dollars to start the day off right at Market Provisions in the Fairfax District.

 This is actually a moment that needed to be documented because I don't even like eggs, let alone fried eggs. But their "Breakfast Sandwich" with roasted turkey, melted gruyere, bacon, grilled onions, lemon aioli + 2 fried eggs on ciabatta was impeccable. 

This is actually a moment that needed to be documented because I don't even like eggs, let alone fried eggs. But their "Breakfast Sandwich" with roasted turkey, melted gruyere, bacon, grilled onions, lemon aioli + 2 fried eggs on ciabatta was impeccable. 

 Did someone say "Happy Hour?" Maragaritas, of course.

Did someone say "Happy Hour?" Maragaritas, of course.

 Tacos...in LA...Mandatory. Aaryn pretty much ordered her favorites for the table but I think we have two chicken street tacos, guacamole, lamb barbacoa skillet wit lamb slow roasted in an adobo sauce marinade , and calamari. 

Tacos...in LA...Mandatory. Aaryn pretty much ordered her favorites for the table but I think we have two chicken street tacos, guacamole, lamb barbacoa skillet wit lamb slow roasted in an adobo sauce marinade , and calamari. 

 The view on Stocker will never get old.

The view on Stocker will never get old.

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I'm a sucker for views and landscapes so I'm sure you won't mind the obligatory airplane scenic pictures. I would be grateful because there are more where those came from.

It never fails. I come to LA, get comfortable, my skin clears up, I adapt a natural glow and then BOOM I'm on the next flight back to North Carolina with 30 degree weather. Despite the worst Mercury Retrograde that I've ever experienced taking place in all three cities, this was the best trip in a while. I got to see my aunt and uncle, my best friend, and my grandpa (not pictured). I need to start planning my next one soon. But after this tour, I'm thinking I should stay put for a while. Actually, I'll be honest with myself, traveling for a living would be the dream.

While on this "world tour," I did attend a few events that will be separate posts so make sure to check back soon! Have you ever been to any of the cities mentioned? If so, leave comments on your favorite places! Maybe even recommend a restaurant, store, or museum for me to stop by the next time I'm in town. 

World Tour: Series Part 3 - Vegas

So let's dive right in!

I feel super official because my big-girl job allowed for me to go on an all expense paid trip to VEGAS....FOR A WEEK! I felt so legit haha Also, this trip fell perfectly in line with my birthday so the world tour continued after Atlanta.

This was an experience I will never forget. I essentially work for an international company as a designer and every year, the company sponsors a national convention for our consumer segment/lifestyle. This year, moving from an intern to a full time employee, I was fortunate enough to attend this trip. One would think I was living it up in the night life, but I was definitely working and perfecting my craft. More importantly, I ate incredible food. I mean incredible! I probably ate at Wolfgang Puck's three times, an amazing Italian restaurant, an Irish pub and some others. As great as the food was, I was ready to head to my next destination, LA, by day three. None the less, I had a good time, learned a lot more about my job, and experienced Las Vegas in a different light.

Check out the pictures to get a glimpse of the places I visited!

 I'm a sucker for views. This is before I landed in Las Vegas.

I'm a sucker for views. This is before I landed in Las Vegas.

 I was on the 27th floor and the view when I woke up to the sunrise was impeccable. I could wake up every day with the sun shining through the blinds above a skyline. I have no problems with that.

I was on the 27th floor and the view when I woke up to the sunrise was impeccable. I could wake up every day with the sun shining through the blinds above a skyline. I have no problems with that.

Please note: Mercury Retrograde was taking place and I was not happy. This was the worst one that I'd experienced to the point where social media wasn't letting me post after editing images four. different. times. My work laptop wasn't working on random days. It was just too much. Did anyone else experience a tough time with technology or moods during this period?

 Do not let this picture deceive you because the temperature was frigid! I mean low 40s, upper 30s with wind. I was shocked! I'm pretty sure my feet left the ground while I was on the strip at one point.

Do not let this picture deceive you because the temperature was frigid! I mean low 40s, upper 30s with wind. I was shocked! I'm pretty sure my feet left the ground while I was on the strip at one point.

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 Jeff Koons x Louis Vuitton window display was perfection. This picture doesn't do it any justice. 

Jeff Koons x Louis Vuitton window display was perfection. This picture doesn't do it any justice. 

 Ok, boom. I definitely don't eat beef on the regular but this roast beef panini with horseradish aioli and homemade steak dipping sauce  WAS HIT-TINGGG. *Insert clapping hands emoji between each syllable* Best sandwich I've ever had hands down.

Ok, boom. I definitely don't eat beef on the regular but this roast beef panini with horseradish aioli and homemade steak dipping sauce  WAS HIT-TINGGG. *Insert clapping hands emoji between each syllable* Best sandwich I've ever had hands down.

 If you know me, you know I love my smoothies and I was feeling really heavy from all the meat and greasy food I was eating so I opted for a juice with 75% beets. WARNING!! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT consume beets if you have plans for the rest of the day/night. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love beet juice, and probably one of the few who actually do, but this stuff is called a cleanser for a reason. 

If you know me, you know I love my smoothies and I was feeling really heavy from all the meat and greasy food I was eating so I opted for a juice with 75% beets. WARNING!! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT consume beets if you have plans for the rest of the day/night. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love beet juice, and probably one of the few who actually do, but this stuff is called a cleanser for a reason. 

 This Irish Pub had a very "Haunted Mansion" a la Disney vibe with floating statue heads but their bar was pretty cool. The salmon was so good that it didn't last long enough to get a picture.

This Irish Pub had a very "Haunted Mansion" a la Disney vibe with floating statue heads but their bar was pretty cool. The salmon was so good that it didn't last long enough to get a picture.

 I'm all about ambience, aesthetics, and vibes. Fiamma Italian Kitchen was super authentic and had me sold. The menu was even in all Italian! Love.

I'm all about ambience, aesthetics, and vibes. Fiamma Italian Kitchen was super authentic and had me sold. The menu was even in all Italian! Love.

 If you didn't know, over time I've become the girl that loves Christmas decorations.

If you didn't know, over time I've become the girl that loves Christmas decorations.

 My first night in LV of course involved shopping. Although I didn't buy anything major, I made a stop in Urban Outfitter and found these vinyls by Sza (my fave) and Beyonce (MUVA). Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't have a crazy story to go with it. As we are in the mall, all alarms start sounding and people continue to walk casually. The person that I am starts searching social media for hashtags, looking at the location's Snapchat, everything. At this point, the alarms went off for about 10-15 minutes and loudly might I add with high-voltage bright lights. The shoe store I was closed their doors...with us still there, advising no one to leave. Come to find out, there was a shooting on the strip between two men who got into an altercation. One pulled a gun on the other and the man was taken to intensive care. Of course, we read about the article from the news and the associates who worked at the store begin to panic. Long story long, everyone within the mall was ok and me and my friends were able to leave. Talk about a first night to remember! 

My first night in LV of course involved shopping. Although I didn't buy anything major, I made a stop in Urban Outfitter and found these vinyls by Sza (my fave) and Beyonce (MUVA). Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't have a crazy story to go with it. As we are in the mall, all alarms start sounding and people continue to walk casually. The person that I am starts searching social media for hashtags, looking at the location's Snapchat, everything. At this point, the alarms went off for about 10-15 minutes and loudly might I add with high-voltage bright lights. The shoe store I was closed their doors...with us still there, advising no one to leave. Come to find out, there was a shooting on the strip between two men who got into an altercation. One pulled a gun on the other and the man was taken to intensive care. Of course, we read about the article from the news and the associates who worked at the store begin to panic. Long story long, everyone within the mall was ok and me and my friends were able to leave. Talk about a first night to remember! 

 Does anyone else have a soft spot for Haagen-Dazs? I grew up on this ice cream!

Does anyone else have a soft spot for Haagen-Dazs? I grew up on this ice cream!

 Something about architecture and craftsmanship!

Something about architecture and craftsmanship!

 Dinner this night was hilarious. We started at Morimoto, looked at the prices, and dipped out. We told our waiter we had an emergency. Haha how dumb. I usually am not one to be bougie about menu prices but this was a little more than we expected. Nonetheless, we ended up at this very Americanized restaurant instead. 

Dinner this night was hilarious. We started at Morimoto, looked at the prices, and dipped out. We told our waiter we had an emergency. Haha how dumb. I usually am not one to be bougie about menu prices but this was a little more than we expected. Nonetheless, we ended up at this very Americanized restaurant instead. 

 I ordered the Spaghetti Chitarra and this was anything by ordinary spaghetti. Trust me. It had San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Basil, Parmigiano with Italian Beef Meatballs...please hold while my mouth is watering.

I ordered the Spaghetti Chitarra and this was anything by ordinary spaghetti. Trust me. It had San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Basil, Parmigiano with Italian Beef Meatballs...please hold while my mouth is watering.

 On the last night, we ate at this cute tapas bar called Crush. The decor was a mix between modern and garden vibes. The drinks and food were amazing! Our waiter was super patient and recommended great items. This drink was one of their specialty cocktails called Punch, Drunk, Love. (Mint Infused Hendricks Gin, Lillet Rosé, Fresh Watermelon Juice, Fresh Lime Juice) Very refreshing!

On the last night, we ate at this cute tapas bar called Crush. The decor was a mix between modern and garden vibes. The drinks and food were amazing! Our waiter was super patient and recommended great items. This drink was one of their specialty cocktails called Punch, Drunk, Love. (Mint Infused Hendricks Gin, Lillet Rosé, Fresh Watermelon Juice, Fresh Lime Juice) Very refreshing!

 Hair: Corey Paul Hair Studios | Sweater: H&M | Denim: Wrangler Heritage Jean  Unapologetic Selfie

Hair: Corey Paul Hair Studios | Sweater: H&M | Denim: Wrangler Heritage Jean

Unapologetic Selfie

 When I travel, I try to order food that I wouldn't normally eat at home. What's the fun in that? But I'm also super indecisive but ultimately, I chose the Ravioli dish with Brussel sprouts and roasted carrots. 

When I travel, I try to order food that I wouldn't normally eat at home. What's the fun in that? But I'm also super indecisive but ultimately, I chose the Ravioli dish with Brussel sprouts and roasted carrots. 

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 I was beyond excited to finally fly on Virgin America Airlines

I was beyond excited to finally fly on Virgin America Airlines

Next Up: Los Angeles