Beauty, Boston, Promotional

Whittl

Salon-Booking Made Easy…IMG_0271

Sometimes scheduling and squeezing in salon appointments can be a hassle. “Walk-ins welcome” doesn’t always mean there’s a chair open for you. I have a lot of friends who have irrational anxiety when it comes to making reservations over the phone. And what about that dreaded moment when your nails are drying, and you realize you have no cash to leave a tip? Let Whittl take the wheel: Whittl is a startup site that works with salons, spas and barbershops to not only help you find excellent beauty businesses and services, but also let you book and pay for those services online—including gratuities. To quote their marketing specialist, Whittl is “kind of like OpenTable meets Uber, but for salons.” And guess what? They just launched in Boston.

Whittl’s website is straightforward and easy to use, and even sends helpful notifications to your phone once you’ve made your online request. You’ll receive a text message letting you know when your appointment has been confirmed, a 24-hour reminder, in case you need to cancel, as well as a handy text that lets you know when your appointment is an hour away, in case you’re forgetful or have a really hectic schedule. Your credit card isn’t charged until your services are complete, and you can adjust your tip accordingly. Basically, Whittl helps you do what you’re meant to do during salon and spa services: just relax.

I used Whittl to try a nail salon I’d never been to before, Paradise Nails & Spa, located at 215 Newbury Street. This hidden gem is cozy without being cramped, and offers an excellent range of services. Perhaps the most charming part of Paradise Nails is the husband-and-wife duo who have and owned and managed the salon for almost ten years, and who effectively (and adorably) split their work. The thing about bringing photos of desired nail designs into salons is that those photos don’t typically come with instructions, and every nail technician has his or her own approach to executing nail art. I requested a fairly intricate nail design, and the couple made a point of discussing it with me in detail so that we were all on the same page. I really appreciated that they communicated each step of the process, and loved watching as they took turns completing my fabulous gel manicure while seeing to other customers and tasks. They were both extremely sweet, skilled, and just pleasant in general. They’re also not afraid to offer advice, and thankfully helped me choose a better color scheme than I’d had in mind. Since their space is small and the couple are the only available technicians, I would advise booking in advance with Whittl. I will definitely be using Whittl and visiting Paradise again, and would recommend you do the same!

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Beauty, Fashion

Pastel Purple Haze

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DSC_0056Madewell chambray button-down, Carmar denim shorts, vintage belt, Silence + Noise ‘Vamp Paneled’ oxfords, Spitfire sunglasses.

The journey from brunette, to bright blue, to this pastel combination of purple, grayish-mint and hints of baby blue has been the most exciting beauty transformation of my entire life. Of all the unconventional hair colors I’ve tried, this look has absolutely stolen my heart. Hair stylist Ashley Seal of Stilisti Salon on Newbury Street has truly outdone herself over the last few months, and I’ve officially accepted her as my hair lord and savior.

It’s no secret that denim on denim is an easy, chic style that anyone can achieve, but now that it’s become somewhat commonplace, the question is how to make your Canadian Tuxedo stand out from the rest. My pastel locks inspired me to pair two shades of faded denim, creating a light and dreamy summer look. This fabulous Western-style belt, which I stole from my mother (she’s apparently not thrilled that I’ve been referring to her hand-me-downs as “vintage”—Sorry, Mom!), has quickly become my favorite accessory, adding a little something extra to even the simplest of outfits, and these oxfords with faux pony hair panels are a fresh take on the menswear-inspired staple.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion

#BlueHairDontCare

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DSC_0053-Edit (1)ALC pants, Theory top, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Stoppard’ shoes, Sandro bag, Eddie Borgo jewelry.

I’ve desperately wanted what social media has deemed “mermaid hair” for about five years now. Though I might tear my hair out entirely if one more person asks me “why” I’ve decided to dye it blue (just think really carefully for a second…that’s it! You got it—because I like it…), I am willing to answer a much more important question: why did I wait so long? As someone who adamantly believes that we should all style ourselves for ourselves—and kindly assume that that’s “why” anyone makes the sartorial choices they make—I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I let other people’s opinions postpone this change, even though I knew my desire was real. I dare not compare myself to Caitlyn Jenner, but the message her transformation sends applies to all of us: if you don’t live as your true self, you’ll live with regrets. I’m not saying I’m actually a mermaid on the inside, or that I want blue hair for the rest of my life, but I do believe if I hadn’t seized this opportunity just because a few people I love and respect didn’t love the idea, I’d have lost respect for myself.

In the week leading up to my hair appointment, the most popular question I received besides “why?” was, “Are you worried it will be harder to get dressed?” Well, not really, no. Even blondes and brunettes have to take their coloring into account when choosing clothes. I think because society still associates brightly colored hair with rebellious counter-cultures, people assume that I’ll have to push my always-eclectic style into one specific, radical corner in order to cater to this extreme hairstyle. Challenge accepted! Although I definitely do intend to dip into those more radical styles colorful hair commonly brings to mind, For however long I have blue hair, I’ll also aim to prove to my readers and followers that they can still relate to my style and draw inspiration from my looks, even if a head of blue hair is something they’d never consider. Let’s start with the outfit above. I won’t let anyone tell me it couldn’t be worn by someone with “normal” hair, because I’ve rocked this look as both a blonde and brunette, as well. For a chic daytime look, I’ve styled these sleek but funky pants with menswear-inspired shoes and an oversized tee. To transition to nighttime, I’d swap in a white tank and minimal black sandals, like the fabulous pair I just got at Joie.

Hair color by Ashley Seal of Stilisti Salon.

Photos by Miranda Mu.

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Fashion, Promotional

Joie Boston

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DSC_0023-5If you’re looking to refresh your summer wardrobe in one stop, hustle over to Joie’s new shop on Newbury Street, which feels more like a walk-in Pinterest board. Joie sells versatile classics—the kind of clothes you might find yourself wearing almost too often. Light, luxe fabrics, and subtle but unique details, combined with a healthy dose of practicality, left little in the store I wouldn’t wear, and their shoe selection is honestly better than that of any shoe store I’ve visited recently. I have a feeling Joie Boston’s employees are going to get sick of me very soon…

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion, Promotional

Warby Parker Exclusive

1Q1A8532I was so excited when eyewear company Warby Parker asked me to review their new summer sunglasses collection, which debuts today! Sunglasses have always been my favorite accessory, and Warby Parker makes beautiful, fun, affordable frames for men and women—and for a great cause. For every pair of sunglasses sold, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need, and their sunglasses start at just $95. In short, Warby Parker offers you the chance to buy stylish sunglasses and help those less fortunate without going broke yourself. That’s what I call a fashion win-win-win.

1Q1A8543My current Warby Parkers are the ‘Madison’ in Rum Cherry, which are part of their permanent core collection.1Q1A8527Theory printed blouse, vintage Ralph Lauren Collection shell sweater, Maje shorts, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Purvis’ platform loafers, ‘Lone Rider’ wool hat from Nasty Gal.1Q1A8537

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1Q1A8508by Amanda Rosen

I chose the ‘Madison’ frames because they feature a classic, flattering shape, and because this particular shade of burgundy-red is so versatile. Vibrant enough to bring a little life to my first, black and white outfit, yet understated enough to wear with more colorful looks without going over the top, Warby Parker sunglasses are perfect for people with eclectic style and taste.

Warby Parker’s new Spectrum Sun Collection, available starting today, achieves the same kind of cool with a classic, retro vibe and a fresh selection of colors. Every pair lends itself to endless looks for every occasion. Plus, their sturdy plastic frames will survive whatever craziness summer brings your way—a day at the beach, music festivals, the inside of your purse…

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The “Hall” in Cherry Blossum

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The “Minnie” in Eucalyptus

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The “Piper” in Revolver Black

After gushing over the whole new summer collection, I was able to narrow myself down three favorites, shown above, but I can’t seem to settle on one pair just yet. Each truly evokes the simultaneously adventurous and laid-back summer experience, and many looks from the summer line will carry over seamlessly into your fall/winter wardrobe. Stay tuned to see which pair I choose to take with me to Bonnaroo Music Festival in June, and be sure to visit the Warby Parker website to see the rest of the Spectrum Sun Collection, and to learn more about their charitable work. Warby Parker also has a store located at 83 Newbury Street here in Boston.

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Boston, Fashion

Nautical…or Not

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photo 2This lightweight, navy & white striped maxi skirt from a few LF Spring/Summer lines ago presented itself to me as a beachy piece, meant to be worn on a boat with a crochet bathing suit and something white and billowy and/or covered in little anchors. I’d never even worn the thing without sandals in our three-year relationship, so it got crammed into the back of my drawers once fall started feeling like fall. But since navy and black has been such a prominent color combination this fall/winter, it caught my eye yesterday while I was getting ready to do some holiday shopping on Newbury Street. With a pair of thick Wolford tights underneath, a Theory T-shirt in an ambiguous color they call “midnight,” my AllSaints leather jacket, Tod’s boots, and my ever-so-relevant Reiss London burgundy hat, you’d think this summery skirt was made to see some snowbanks.

Meanwhile, I saw a lot of other cool wintry looks between Heinz and Copley. Boston’s fashionistas are staying warm and current in neutrals & navy, fur (often in lieu of scarves), plaid, floppy/wide-brimmed hats and the side braid. IMG_1132

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