Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Best 15 of 2015

Most of my posts on StayLA have been outfits. So I wanted to do something different and share my favorite products from last year. To my surprise, I tried a handful of new beauty goods in 2015. Luckily for me and my wallet, most of these became instant favorites of mine. 

Since I like to keep the amount of things in my life to a minimum, here are my Best 15 of 2015 beauty products:

One of my friends wore this to a wedding and I immediately asked him what scent it was. (Yes, it was a guy wearing this. Thanks Christopher! ) I love the blackberry tartness of it and the warm grounding scent to it as well. It isn't too floral or too sweet, making it perfect for guys or girls to wear.

This is another recommendation from my friend Judy. She raved about it but I never had the chance to smell it. I was so grateful when she gave me my very own bottle this past holiday and since then I've been hooked. This and the Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay, are the two scents in my rotation. 

I stumbled upon Kapuluan via Instagram. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful aesthetic of their photos, the product and their mission to help Coconut farmers in the Philippines after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit. I was so excited when they reached out to me and I had the chance to learn more about Kapuluan's amazing mission after talking to the founder Will Lauder. They are able to improve the lives of the coconut farming community in the Philippines, many of which are in extreme poverty, through producing the finest quality raw organic coconut oil. Kapuluan provides the community with opportunity & hope impacting their lives & future tremendously. Plus, they plant a coconut palm tree each time they sell their coconut oil , changing lives and the environment.

      Watch this video to learn more about Kapuluan:   

Not only do I LOVE the work they do, but the quality of the product is so great. From the beautiful packaging to the coconut oil, it quickly became a staple for me. I've been using it everyday starting from the last half of 2015. As soon as I hop out of the shower, I use this and ditched lotion all together. It is so moisturizing, smells so good and each morning I could feel the difference in my skin. I also use it on my hair to moisturize my ends and any thin areas as well.  

My favorite thing about the unique packaging of this coconut oil is that it's easy to take with me on my travels. I visited places such as the Philippines where it was hot and the sun did work on my skin as well as cooler locations like Japan, where the weather was cold and drying. I was thankful I could throw this in my luggage to bring back moisture to my skin everywhere I went! 

Thanks to Kapuluan we will be doing a GIVEAWAY for my readers.
Keep scrolling to find out how you can win one for yourself!

These two in combination are the best through any weather. It lasts all day and doesn't cake!

This mascara will hold your curl and give you length (and life.) Trust me, try it!

These two are the best in it's class for me. I have large pores and this primer fills them all making my foundation look great. While the setting powder helps my makeup stay matte and in place all day/night. 


Since high school I've been trying to find the perfect skin regime to help my acne prone skin. 
I'm so happy that I finally found it with these 4 skin care items. The Dermalogica face wash changed the game for me. Its gentle, yet dissolves my makeup, and makes my face feel so clean. But most importantly since the day I used this (with the rest of these products) it has kept my acne at bay and I've noticed my skin looking better then it has in years. If I do have a blemish creeping in, I pop the Mario Badescu Drying lotion and it helps to tame it as fast as the next day. 

The Pixi Glow Tonic is something I was skeptical about because of all of the hype around it. Then I tried it for myself and I now understand why. It gently exfoliates my skin and I feel like it balanced out, making it look healthier. As for the Neutrogena Gel Cream, it is so light and super hydrating to my skin. It absorbs quickly, feels light & refreshing. 

These two are vital for a smooth blow out for me. A hair cocktail of these mixed together makes blowdrying my thick coarse hair go by so quickly and gives my hair a smooth finish!

Random fact: I also rake these two through my hair, twist sections and let my hair air dry. I find that it tames and defines my natural curls! 

I use this to give my hair more texture. Whether my hair was long and looking limp, or now with my short hair it gives it that undone texture I love and gives volume to my hair on day 1 and even through day 3+ hair. 

Photography by: Stacey E.
To enter to win a bottle of my favorite Cold Pressed Organic Raw Coconut Oil from Kapuluan  you must:

1.) Double tap (like) the photo on my Instagram Page with the Image of the Kapuluan Coconut Oil  and @ mention a friend in the Instagram comments of that photo. 

2.) Follow us on Instagram @StayLA and @KapuluanCoconut

|The deadline to enter is January 30th 2016.| 

Click the images below for links to my best 15 of 2015 :

Friday, January 8, 2016

Can't wait

Let's be honest, I've had these photos since last year. It's not because I didn't want to share them, in fact, that's the exact opposite. This was the last of a couple photos I took with my friend Erich Chen towards the end of Summer last year and they were actually my favorite.  After he sent the photos over, I told myself I would save this for my new site I was working on. I wanted this to be the first post.I was keeping them for that special moment, giving me more time to come up with the perfect words to go with it.  

Time kept passing and here we are today. It's months later and I finally gave in and I just decided to post these. I have the tendency to overthink things sometimes. Overthinking leads to procrastinating, to excuses being made, breaking commitments to myself and a whole bunch of nothing happening.

At the start of this year just like last year, I set new goals for myself. Rather than talking about each of them in detail, I decided I'm going to be about them instead. But each of my goals boil down to one thing and that's just making things happen - no excuses. Even small things like posting more on here or following through with promises and plans I have with myself. I've spent too long flaking on me,  and this is just one example of that.

This life we have is going by quickly and people couldn't care less about the mistakes we will make while passionately pursuing our goals. The only person that will be let down and disappointed if you don't follow through with your pursuit, is yourself. Instead of overthinking things, or saving things for the "perfect" time I'm going to keep promises to myself, share the gifts I was given (while I still have the time to) and pursue my passions. 

photographer: Erich Chen

We were given the gift of life, talents and love-all of which are meant to be shared. 
What a shame it would be if we wasted our entire lives waiting to share those things.

I hope that this year, whatever promises you made for yourself, you keep and whatever passions & talents you have, you share them. 

Find more posts with photography by Erich Chen HERE
Special thanks to my sister L.A. for helping me with this post.

Outfit Details & Similar Pieces:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Well Equipped

This summer felt like the longest one I've ever experienced. Back when I was still in college I was taking classes during breaks to get ahead and I was too busy to ever enjoy a vacation. When I began working, summer seemed non-existent with no real time to escape from the office life either. 

This year, I had the chance to travel and experienced a lot of great moments in just a few months and it finally felt like I was able to have my first real summer break. For the first time ever, I'm feeling that summer time sadness that everyone talks about but I never understood, until now. 

I had to scroll through my photo collection on my phone to try to remember everything I did over the summer because it all flew by so quickly that it was all just a blur.

In just a few months, I've learned and grown so much. I learned how to enjoy time to myself, how to cherish time with loved ones, how to forgive quickly and to slow down in other aspects of my life. I learned to let go of fear and unhealthy attachments, and I've grown bigger than my fears. 

So although I'm sad that summer is over, I'm excited for a new start. It feels like a new year has began for me (anyone else feel that way in the Fall?) and I'm looking forward to what it has in store for me. There are so many great things ahead: my birthday next month is one, the wedding of one of my best friends is another, hopefully a little more traveling and of course all of the awesome holidays to end the year.

photographer: Erich Chen
I feel well equipped with a new perspective on life, a little more wise, more brave than I was just a few months ago and ready to take on last three months of this year. 

Find more posts with photography by Erich Chen HERE