Fashion Made Me Do It
What does it take to get a city girl (Detroit to be exact) out in the middle of the West Texas desert? One word: Beyonce. The first time I heard about the small town of Marfa, TX was in 2012 when pictures surfaced on Beyonce's Tumblr of her random stop there.
Like most people, I instantly wondered 'What in the world a Prada store was doing in the middle of nowhere?'. Well, if you're wondering, the store is considered living art. It is meant to be an exact replica of a the Prada boutiques found throughout luxurious cities of the world like New York and Milan. The artists, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, originally called the "living sculpture" an "experiment" on how gentrification can fuel our consumer obsessed culture. It was never meant to be maintained. Rather, the artists wanted nature to have it's way with their experiment.
However, since it's debut in 2005, the piece has become such a tourist attraction. So much so that people drive (the nearest airport is over an hour away in El Paso) to the town from all over the world just to see the mock store full of donated merchandise from Miuccia Prada herself. According to Vogue:
"Prada Marfa has become such a target for vandalism that the spirit of the sculpture has changed. Within days of its unveiling in 2005, a thief broke the windows and ran off with the loot. The bags were replaced with GPS trackers, and their bottoms were cut out to discourage further theft. Stricter security measures were added, such a camera and an alarm. The sculpture’s safety was entrusted to a local in the nearby town of Valentine named Boyd Elders, and the local sheriff was asked to keep his eye out for any trouble." I've always wanted to see it in person and do the infamous "Beyonce pose" in front of the piece. I read different accounts of the mystical place and decided to make it my 27th birthday trip. Imagine the excitement on my boyfriend's face when I brought up the idea of an 8 hour road trip to the middle of nowhere to take a picture like Bey. But, it was sooooo worth it.
Here's What I Know:
- Prada Marfa is actually in Valentine,TX which is an even smaller town about 30 minutes from Marfa (population 2,100)
- Don't be fooled by the reports that the sculpture is off of Highway 90. Highway 90 is actually a two lane street that is scary as heck a night. We saw a baby wolf...two of them actually! (Now if it was a real wolf or some other wolf like species is up for debate, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it)
- Surprise: do not drive this route at night if you do not have to! There's limited lighting, civilization is few and far in between the small towns of Alpine, Marfa and Valentine. Oh, and remember this "highway" is only 2 lanes with mountains and ranches on each side for your viewing pleasure.
- It's hot in Texas this time of year and it's even hotter in the desert. The temperature was anywhere between 100-110
- Buns N Roses was the only place we actually stopped in Marfa. They had some pretty good food and were fairly welcoming. The owner, who also served us and rang us up, even politely asked if we were visitors! (I'm sure it wasn't hard to tell)
- Marfa has one stop light, no police, and everything closes before 9pm for the most part.
- Prada Marfa only features one right shoe on display of each style and the hand bags all have the bottoms removed. This was put in place after the store was robbed just days after opening in 2005
- It really is a mystical place. After researching it for over 5 years, it was kind of unreal to see it in person. I'll cherish my experience there forever. Perhaps I'll go back one day to explore the city of Marfa in all its quirkiness.
Buns N Roses ladies
-XOXO Until NextTime, Ash :-)
Sooo…have you ever heard of those places that only specialize in blow-outs? No cuts, color or anything else. Just strictly blow-dry and style. The most popular company I know of is called the Dry Bar. I’ve always wanted to try one to see how the other side live. (HAHA). Well, I didn’t make it to the Dry Bar. However, I did make it to a different blow dry only place here in Dallas.
I was of course worried that they would not be able to handle my type of hair. First of all, my hair is thick, and full, and I don’t even like blow-drying it myself! So, I was curious on how this would pan out. I made the spur of the moment appointment online and arrived at the shop at 3:45pm. I wasn’t finished until 5:30 pm. So, what happened in that almost 2 hours? Girl, let me tell you….
Before (I'd just taken out my box braids)
I could tell from the vibe of the stylist that she was like WTH! I asked if she could also trim my ends and she said “Girl, I don’t know if I’ll have time” LOL. Ok, fair enough. So after being shampooed and conditioned, I sit back in the chair and wait. The poor girl is searching all over for the comb attachment that goes to the blow dryer.
Exhibit A: Blow Dryer Comb (aka necessity)
After she found that, the process begun....and went on for about an hour before she had her next appointment come in. At this time, she was clearly stressed TF out because she could was nowhere near finished with my hair and her next appointment was waiting. The salon manager had to then come over and finish up my hair. He blow dried my hair for about another 30 mins before flat-ironing it. While all of this transpired, here are a few quotables from the day:
“You have some tight curls, girl”
“How long did it take you to grow your out?”
“Your hair is so thick”
“Next time, just make sure to tell us that you need an hour and a half”
“You have some breakage in the front, or maybe those are baby hairs”
“You actually have some good hair” (after the blow dry was over)
The end result was:
Was my hair soft? Yes. Was it straight? Not around the crown of my head. I honestly think they’d gotten tired and were ready to finish up as soon as possible. My hair was soft but flat. I imagined that they would blow dry it with the roller type brush and give it some volume like this:
LOL…maybe my expectations were too high. When I got home, I ended up adding some curls to it and going over my edges with the edge control that I raved about in the last post. Ultimately, I could have just did my hair at home; As much as I dread the time and energy it takes for me to wash, blow dry and flat-iron my hair…I could have saved $42 bucks and got the same result with less heat applied to my hair.
Today, I’m wearing pin curls so that I can still maintain my curls from yesterday. I probably won’t be putting any heat on my hair for another month to protect it from any heat damage.
Have you tried any blow dry bars? Thoughts, comments, concerns? Leave them below!
Raise your hand if you have a bathroom cabinet full of hair and beauty products. Same here. I wanted to drop in and share some of my latest product obsessions with you.
In a quest to give my hair a break, I've been alternating between different protective styles. Currently, these box braids have been saving my life! Minimal maintenance required is always a plus. Once or twice a week I use this Carol's Daughter's Mimosa Hair Honey to add moisture to my scalp. Throughout the week I use the Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave in Conditioner and OGX Hydrating Coconut Oil. Both of these products are in a spray bottle form which makes it easy to apply directly between braids and elevate a dry or itchy scalp.
Now these edges, girl! I have tried a million and 25edge controls. Only to be disappointed by them either leaving residue, flakiness or making my hair wave up. I came across this edge control after a referral from a friend. It's magical, ladies!
Last but not least, with sun dress season quickly approaching, we need a good moisturizer! This Brooklyn Body Butter is hand-crafted by a fellow Detroiter and contains all natural ingredients. It melts on contact with your skin and leaves you glistening but not greasy. As you can see, I've already dipped into my jar! It's definitely a must for keeping your skin moisturized with a natural glow.
Are you too a product junkie? What's on your must have list?
What if I told you there was a cosmetic and accessory store with bomb product, and everything was.....wait for it....$1! (Insert shocked emoji here). Well, on a random trip to the mall, I stumbled upon this gem.
The H&M esq music playing in the store, the simple black and white signage, and the sight of what looked like make-up heaven, all stopped me in my tracks. What really drew me in was the sign outside the door that said everything's $1.
This can't be true, I thought. So, I had to investigate further! I just knew that there was a trick to it and only some of the items would be $1. There was no way that you could tell me these professional class make-up brushes, chic make-up pouches or endless shades of nail polish colors could be $1.
To my surprise, everything in the store was truly $1. I couldn't believe it! I shared my first trip to the store on my SnapChat because I was literally in awe. How could this store exist, and I not know about it?! One of my friends in my head (hey Paige), told me she was familiar with their only store but did not know they had an actual storefront. What do you mean online? This couldn't get any better! Yes, you can shop $1 cosmetics, accessories, and beauty products online! Amazing, right?!
The company is based Dallas and this is their first physical store. I went back to visit and see what's new. Here's a look at everything I picked up on my most recent trip.
If you spend $15 you also get free make-up wipes! All this stuff for $15 and something free, too!
4 Nail Polishes
3 Lip Pencils
2 Eye Shadows
Concealer, Bronzer, Primer, Lip Gloss, 1 Candle, and 1 Scarf
Have you shopped MISS A before? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on their products! Comment below and share with your friends.
I know, I know. I'm late to the party. But hear me out; Until recently, my only chance to get to Zara involved a trip out of town. Thankfully, since moving to Dallas, I now have access to two Zara locations. My heart and closet couldn't be happier.
This past week I had the chance to visit the newest location at North Park Center just in time for the coveted Zara sale. Zara does not have sales often. So when they do, you run! Here's a look at a few of my Zara finds from this week's sale:
I've been wanting one of these kind of a coat
kind of a sweater things. For $20 I had to get it!
This shirt was actually marked $20, but rang up for $10
These Zara High-Elasticity jeans are hands-down the best jeans ever. No gap in the back, no stretching out! P E R F E C T I O N. While, they're not on sale, at only $29.99 you can buy every pair in your size; And trust me, you will want to!
TRF Jeans are L I F E
Overall, I ended up with 1 pair of pants, one tunic, 2 shirts and 1 sweater for less than $60. I'll be headed back soon to get some more of those TRF jeans- my new favorite. Not to worry, Detroit will be getting it's very first Zara location in Fall 2017. Do you have a Zara in your area? What are some of your favorite Zara pieces?
Bigger may not always be better when it comes to handbags. I love a nice size satchel or tote like this next girl. However, I always find myself stuffing it with any and everything just because I have room to. Heavy Handbag Syndrome is real! Don't believe me, click here). Save yourself from the shoulder pain and try one of the Spring season's most playful trends.
Mini Bags are not only fun and playful but they also give you the freedom of being handsfree; Especially during those summer concerts and carnivals. All you need is room for your keys, phone and lipstick of course.
Here are a few designer and non-designer versions of the seasons must have (mini) bags:
Are you willing to trade in your over-sized bag for one of these mini cuties?
Having lived in Michigan all my life, I'd learned how to navigate through the Winter blues. Cold temps can really do a number on your skin. Cool, dry air tends to dry your skin out faster; Leaving you clinging to any moisturizer or lotion you can find. But what about your lips? Your typical lip gloss won't be an even match for Old Man Winter. Here's three products I've found to help keep my lips super soft throughout the season.
My biggest pet peeve in the Winter time: chapped and peeling lips! No matter how much chapstick I applied, my lips were still peeling. Frustrated with issue at hand, I did a little research and found the perfect solution. Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Just like your face, your lips need to be exfoliated to remove any dead skin cells. I decided to try this Bliss Fabulips sugar scrub ( Yes, if you're a DIY kinda girl you can make your own). You simply apply a moderate amount to your lips and wipe clean; Leaving behind super soft lips.
After you exfoliate, try a moisturizing lip mask to lock in moisture and increase softness. This mask from Sephora is not only affordable at $3 but it works in only 15 minutes. You should feel the difference after removing the mask. Your lips will thank you.
The key to keeping your lips hydrated throughout the day: moisturizing lip balm. I feel in love with this Nivea Kiss of Smoothness lip balm by accident. I came across coupons for it one day making them practically free and stocked up. I figured if anything, it would be a back-up in emergency situations. Needless to say, after trying it out I'm hooked. It's so soothing and easy to apply. Not to mention it is far from greasy.
REHAB TIP: It works well as a base prior to applying your lipstick too.
By now, you get the idea that moisture is the key to maintaining soft lips throughout the Winter months. The more you lick your lips, the more moisture you're loosing. Stay ready with a moisturizing lip balm throughout the day. Exfoliate and mask as needed for added protection.
Cheers to a New Year and to Winter being half way done!
Holiday season is my favorite time of year! There's nothing more exciting than holiday giving (and giving) gifts, spending time with family and friends and festive holiday parties. Speaking of parties, I had the pleasure of attending the Styling Closet's holiday party in conjunction with L.K.Benett. The event was held at the Somerset Collection and offered guests a chance to mix and mingle while exploring the London-based brand's boutique.
Walking in to the event, we were greeted by floating models showcasing the brand's Fall/Winter collection.
This was my first experience with the brand and I was instantly enthused by the sophisticated styling and muted color palette. Here are a few pieces that caught my eye:
Thank you to Latrice and the entireStyling Closet team for a great event!
As I sat down to type this, I literally couldn't believe it's December 1st! This is usually the time of where we we all self-reflect on the past 330+ days. It's also a great time to do some closet re-organization.
We all have those items hanging in the back of our closet that we never wear but just can't seem to let go of. Or those items that we know we need to let go of but just can't find the motivation to do so. Well, here's a list of 4 items that you should purge from your wardrobe before the New Year and a great way to get rid of them.
That Forever21 $3 legging rack is always tempting; but let's be honest: they aren't the best quality. No matter if you wear your leggings as pants (I won't judge) or you wear them as a layering piece, you need a reliable pair. Toss out those thinning, see-through leggings and invest in a higher quality pair that will last.
We have a love hate relationship but if we're forced to wear them, they should at least be in good shape. After all, undergarments are the foundation to every good outfit. Over time, bras can stretch out and loose their under-wires. Toss out those old bras and re-vamp your top drawer with a few new pieces to start the year off right.
Rehab Reminder: Getting fitted by a bra specialist to determine the right size is a major key in choosing the proper undergarments. Purchase a bra bag to protect your new bras during laundry day.
As much as you love that favorite lipstick shade or highlighter, it may be time to let it go. Do your skin a favor and go through your make-up bag. Use this guide to find out the expiration dates for your favorite make-up products.
Biggest fear in life: being caught in public with holes in your sock. Or worse, having a pile of socks with no mate. They serve no purpose in your life so get rid of them!
So, after you've purged your wardrobe...now what?! H & M has a great program going on where you can donate your clothing at their stores. Since 2013, the retailer has collected more than 32,000 tons of clothing to be recycled worldwide. They'll even offer you a 15% off coupon for your next purchase! A perfect way to stock up on some new items for 2017.
What better way to start National Handbag Day than to kick it off at a private event held inside the Gucci store?!
Celebrating 10 years of professional styling and fashion event production, The Styling Closet’s 10th anniversary party was nothing short of amazing. The invite only event took place inside the Somerset Collections this past Sunday. The champagne and hor d'oeuvres were flowing and so was the fashion. We were given exclusive access to try on the latest Fall/Winter collection-You know the same collection Beyoncé and Baby Blue have been wearing!
Gucci has long been an iconic fashion stable and symbolism of elite style and status with its recognizable signature “GG” monogram. However the Italian fashion house has gotten an updated look with designer Alessandro Michele joining the team in 2015. The street-wear influenced collection has garnered much praise and anticipation for every new piece that hits stores. Perhaps the most popular collection at the moment is a collaboration with Brooklyn-residing, Olympic snowboarder turned graffiti artist Trevor Andrew. He’s better known by his alias, #GUCCIGHOST. (Did you know that he got the nickname from his last-minute Halloween costume that resulted in him cutting two holes in his Gucci bed sheets for the fiercest ghost costume one has ever seen? Fancy, right?!)
The collection takes his graffiti style Gucci logo that he formally painted on buildings all over New York City and places it on some of Gucci’s finest bags and shoes. The juxtaposition between edgy street-art and luxury materials gives an insight into the direction the fashion house is headed. The latest collaboration collection with GucciGhost should be arriving in stores literally any moment now- and you’ll be lucky to get your hands on it!
The evening ended with a champagne toast to Latrice D, owner of The Styling Closet for 10 years of fashion and fabulousness. If you’re ever in need of personal styling, closet re-vamps or personal shopping, The Styling Closet has you covered. They’ll even it bring fashion to your doorstep so that you can shop the latest Gucci collection in the comfort of your own home!
Thank you to The Styling Closet and Gucci Somerset Collection team for providing a great evening of food, fun and fashion; my favorite F words!
Until Next Time….