bags, beauty, Fashion, hair, haircare, handbags, makeup, personal style, shoes, skincare, Travel

The Trip

On the way to Newark airport in a Lyft because the airport shuttle never came.

I started planning my trip back in July. i booked the airline, hotel and tours then went about my business, praying every day that there wouldn’t be another lockdown. Luckily there was just a travel restriction, but I got vaccinated earlier this year and I have consistently tested negative. I was still nervous that the whole thing would fall through. Once it got down to the last 7 days before the trip, I could get excited. I had a whole plan and now it was coming true.

I decided to pack a capsule wardrobe in black, with a white maxidress to go to the country in. I took my new plaid shacket for cold airports and to use as a blanket. My wardrobe consisted of:

  1. Uniqlo tshirt dress, $20, to travel in. Doubled as nightgown.
  2. Laundry by Shelli Segal tshirt minidress with pockets, on sale for $11.
  3. Banana Republic shirtdress with pockets, $55.
  4. Know One Cares white tiered maxidress, $34
  5. Eleven Paris sheer cotton tshirt, fashion internship perk
  6. Primark leggings, $3
  7. Thrifted black footless tights, $1
  8. RFID money belt, $16.95

I ended up adding the 10 euro floral maxidress on the way to the hotel, so I wore the white dress on an evening excursion.


This was how I did luggage. To travel I packed a Rebecca Minkoff tote bag ($40, sample sale) with a folded L.L. Bean camo duffel bag that i got free from another blogger at an event 6 years ago. The tiny wardrobe was packed in a ziplock bag, and I painted a little Street Level handbag (I think it was $20, I got it from C21) to use for my camera and plug adaptors, hand sanitizer, etc. I don’t like having to check anything. I was only staying four days, and I knew I was going to shop so had an empty bag ready.

Unfortunately the Minkoff bag gave up on the way to the hotel. The strap couldn’t handle the pressure. I swapped it out for a cheap tan faux leather bag that I bought in the metro with the dress. Tbh, I bought five dresses and this bag for 50 euro!

I will admit to a lot of toiletries, though. But I have a two Le Sac pouches from a blogger event at Caravan Style Studio ages ago. I took Herbivore Botanicals bakuchiol and Phoenix face oil. I bought Mario Badescu skincare and deodorant from Nordstrom Rack (I love NR), two amazing Bastide fragrances, and the new MAC items from my makeover. I got all the way there and realized that I’d forgotten toothbrush and toothpaste, do I got this awesome Botot brand at a Parisian pharmacy. I also got some Weleda body wash, which was confiscated on the way home.

I was reckless for buying it, and I only got to use it twice🤷🏿‍♀️

The finishing touch was getting faux locs. I love my hair, but I wanted a completely new, no stress, look. I bought a bonnet to protect them at night, and I admit to using Mario Badescu rosewater facial spray and a few drops of face oil to moisturize my scalp. I got new black and gold framed glasses from Zeelol, with fun costume jewelry from my favorite place (Nordstrom Rack), plus my fave Timex watch.

Oh, and these sweet Converse CX low tops, $70, with clear rubber toe detail and orange rubber soles. It turns out that Converse all stars are pretty popular in Paris. I saw so many different iterations! And they were comfortable for all the stair climbing and walking that I did for my whole trip. I didn’t stop moving from the moment I left my apartment in New York. It was a whole marathon.

Next time, we’ll take a trip to the Louvres.

art, Fashion, Travel

La Vacance (part 2)

I let somebody take my photo at Giverny and it could have been better. Like let me put my bag down and get my angles! But whatever.

Three days back and still a mess. I am still not properly unpacked, my bed is half made. I didn’t get it together to make a proper dinner until yesterday, and now I will be eating jollof inspired saucy rice with chicken deep into next year because guess who used three cups of rice for no reason?

Me. I made a massive pot of rice.

Anyway, I didn’t want to leave my blog empty until next Saturday, so here are some photos from my day tour to Giverny to see the home and gardens of Claude Monet.

But first, this is the first floral dress that I’ve ever liked enough to wear. Long dresses are commonplace on the stylish streets of Paris, and the floral was to honor the theme of this viator booked tour of the countryside. I loved wearing this dress. It felt very fresh and feminine.


I’m going to work on an outline for next week’s post and actually post it on Saturday. I learned a lot, every day was a revelation.

A tout a l’heure!

Fashion

La Vacance (part 1)

The gorgeous Eiffel Tower

I’m in Paris right now. Paris, France. I waited through quarantine when others were jumping on planes. I went back to work and slowly became too busy to travel. I worked on improving my side hustle and had no time to plan a vacation. I denied myself until it started feeling crazy. So I booked a four day Paris vacay through Priceline (air & hotel on my Priceline Visa card), then I booked some tours through Viator (Louvres, bike tour, Versailles package) and found the Porte de Montreuil vintage market. I am having the time of my life.

Be back next week with links, tips, and info. But for now, here’s some photos of Paris being Paris.

Accessories, achievements, american made, american retail, black fashion designer, clothes, clothing, coats, E commerce, ecofashion, ecommerce, entrepeneur, Fashion, fashion designer, fashion photo, footwear, lifestyle, recycled fashion, upcycled, vintage

The Business

SEBMARKETBK on Shopify

Working on my Shopify store and trying to gain perspective on my side hustle business. Constantly thinking of how to push it into sustainable success. Doing a lot of running around, researching, taking classes and looking at long term strategies. Plotting shopping trips and new marketing strategies.


Going through my inventory, looking for ways to style my items, and just taking time to be still and look at everything and find the significance and meaning in every piece.

Also, since I lost a little weight, I’m trying things on and looking at how pieces will work on real people, how things go together, etc. I’ve been selling since 2015 and have worked pretty much nonstop since quarantine trying to build a brand, trying to find an audience, trying to sell, trying and trying to stay on top of things and stay sane.
I can see the finish line, but I still have to figure out how to get there.

Fashion

The Thrill

So the reason I didn’t post last week because I was actually out in the world doing a thing. I signed up to do my first vintage pop up here in Brooklyn and between prepping, packing, transporting, selling, packing again and getting it all back upstairs that I didn’t get a chance to blog. I meant to do it on Sunday, but I was in pain. I found out the hard way that selling vintage is a real workout.

It was wild to have so many obstacles suddenly pop up, but I managed to get there and it was a good time. After all that time in lockdown, then going back to a job where I barely see other people, I was so excited to get to the pop up, and for about half an hour I thought it wouldn’t happen. And when I got there and didn’t have a rack, I was in shock that I had forgotten something so integral to selling. I was lucky enough that I put a card in my phone pocket so that I could order racks to be delivered, but my booth looked like a hot pile of garbage. My tablecloth didn’t cover my tubs and bags, I had to hang my stuff from the tent ceiling (ghetto), and I just felt like I was making the worst impression.

But I sold.

I sold a puffer jacket that I’ve had listed for three years, I sold a pretty sundress that I’ve had for about two years. I sold an awesome blazer that I got a few months ago. I sold a 70s patchwork skirt, I sold a 90s jacket. I sold two vintage tiebleached t-shirts almost instantly, which was gratifying since I couldn’t move them online. I sold a James Beard cookbook, which I could not move on eBay. The algorithm couldn’t keep people from finding the items that were meant for them. And I could watch people try things on, and see the items come alive and that was glorious. I’ve been investing in inventory for months and it was great to see some of my hunches payoff.

I’m probably doing another pop up soon, but until then here’s a taste of The Thrill. If you want to check out the vintage and high end items I have online, visit me on ShopThrilling/SEBMarketBK.

beauty products, brow maintenance, eyes, false eyelashes, Fashion, makeup

The MACover

MACbeauty

I got my skincare routine down and I was feeling good about myself, so I decided to buy a new matte red lipstick as I was passing the MAC store in Times Square. I got the lipstick and made an appointment for an eyelash lesson, and that turned into a bit of an investment. But… I mean… ok, I did not need any of this, but I bought it anyway.

I don’t look like Beyoncé or Naomi Campbell, or an ig model, so instead of hating myself over it, I picked a feature to love and I have a passionate adoration for the curve of my eyelids. Which is lucky because we’re back wearing masks in New York and eyes are all I have. It took a lot of products, plus concentration and precision. It was kind of zen. I started realizing how comforting it must be to paint on a mask to deal with a stressful world. Staring into your own eyes and assessing your own possibilities, then becoming the self you saw in your head. Powerful.

This is how it looked when I got home. I liked the fact that I could still see myself but my good qualities were amplified. I loved how definite my brows were. I figured that I could easily replicate the look and decided to wear makeup every day during the following week.

Let’s see how that went.

Day one, I did a whole face using tinted moisturizer and concealer from Fenty, all of the eye stuff except lashes with lipgloss over pencil.

Day 2 I was running late but did the eye thing with a Sephora lip stain over pencil.

Day 3 I just couldn’t. I didn’t even shower that day, and I had to wear a hat.

Day four I came back a little and did my eyes but that was the day that masks got mandated again, so I just did plain lip balm. Depressing.

Day five was the same.

It wasn’t that I didn’t care or didn’t want to, but mornings are hard. Getting up, exercising and getting a bike ride in, showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast or plotting where to pick it up on the way, finding my shoes and trying not to forget my keys takes up all of my time and energy. I’m going to have to get up earlier to fit makeup into this chaos. I’m going to try actually getting up when the alarm rings next week.

Here’s a list of the items I’ve been using:

Face:

Makeup Forever shine control Step 1 primer, $17

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop blurring skin tint in 23, $29.50

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r instant retouch concealer, $26

MAC Studio Fix powder plus in NW48, $35

Fenty Beauty Killawatt highlighter in Hu$tla Baby, $36

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out cream blush in Summertime Wine, $20

Sephora Beauty Amplifier setting spray, $16

Eyes:

MAC eyebrow styler crayon in Stud, $20

MAC Studio Fix 24hr smooth wear concealer, $24

Natasha Denona mini Star 5 shadow palette, $25

MAC Dazzleshadow liquid in Love Yourself, $23

MAC Pigment in Rose, $12

MAC eyeshadow in Carbon, $19

NYX Epic Ink liner in Black, $9

MAC Magic Extension 5mm fiber mascara in Extensive Black, $25

Kiss USA strip lash couture adhesive, $6

MAC Lash in Dreamgirl, $18

Lips:

Sephora lip liner to go in Deep Brown, $6

Sephora cream lip stain in 26, $15

MAC Lipglass in Oh Baby, $18

MAC Retro Matte liquid lipcolor, $22

beauty, beauty products, Fashion, makeup, skin care, skincare, summer beauty

The Box(es)

Recently I decided (again, because I’m always doing this) to try (again) to take my appearance more seriously. Again. I just want to look better, less tired, more attractive. Left to my own devices I’d do nothing, but that’s just laziness. I could do better. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything because I just feel ugly and I don’t want to be seen as trying to compete with better looking people. Because the only thing worse than being seen as ugly is being seen as an ugly person who thinks they’re cute. Which is kind of twisted. 1) looks are subjective, so even if you don’t look like a model someone somewhere prob thinks you’re adorable and 2) how sad that if someone wants to build themselves up, other people will seek to deny them that happiness out of small-mindedness.

A whole issue/dilemma/situation.

box of peace

So I started with skincare. No one can fault or bully you for wanting cleaner skin. I got this box of Peter Thomas Roth Made To Mask Kit ($58) at Sephora. I’ve been using sheet masks and had just run out and couldn’t decide on what to get. I saw this, snatched it and ran for the register. I love how this box runs the gamut from light Cucumber Gel Mask to hardcore Purifying Black Mask with Irish moor mud. Long baths deserve the 24K Good Mask, and I’m crazy about putting on the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask for exfoliating before jumping in the shower. Def worth every penny.


I I started feeling pretty good after using the masks for about a month, so it was time lay in a skin routine. I follow Herbivore Botanicals on instagram and one night I saw an ad for the Jewel Box ($58) and I was all in. You get their Prism exfoliating glow serum, Bakuchiol serum for lines and wrinkles, and three of their skin oils (Phoenix, Emerald and Lapis). These are incredible products and I love them. The Prism and Bakuchiol serums have a luxurious texture that doesn’t feel greasy or slimy. The oils absorb into the skin quickly leaving skin deliciously soft. I’ve been using it for about a week and it’s made me feel beautiful. My skin looks cleaner and is moisturized without generating excess oil.

I admit to keeping it in the box so that it’s a whole am/pm ritual using the products.






adventures, art, new york

The Lemons


It’s funny how people get information. I live in New York, and I follow a few people from my city and yet no one was posting about the lemon themed oasis called Citrovia. There’s basically a whole lemon art installation on 9th Avenue and 33rd. I only found out because I randomly picked up a free newspaper.

Since I have open time in the afternoons, I decided to head over after work. It was one of those hellishly hot days where you start to question whether or not New York is a hell mouth (it is, but we hide it better in the winter), and a shady, citrusy park seemed like heaven. It’s sort of interactive, but you can’t walk on the grass or step on the huge lemon discs spread all over the front lawn, so no selfies lying on them.

It’s kind of wild. Why lemons?

I love lemons, but I’m also partial to limes and oranges, and all three colors of fruit together would have been pretty interesting. Why not strawberries? I love red. Or kiwis because they’re so weird. Ooooh! A watermelon park because it’s THE summer fruit!

I’m just saying.

Fashion, home, home decor, home decorating, home furnishings, organization

The Organization

So I’ve been organizing my apartment to make it more livable, more comfortable, prettier and more organized. Which means spending money. I got this bookcase from Amazon ( here’s my list of items like bookshelves, trunks and tubs) which costs $34 and put my books and sewing machine and some tubs for inventory. I got two so that I could make a bedroom wall and separate the living room into a space with its own special integrity. I got this floral fabric cube from target and I use it for pajamas, sleep socks and sleep bras (I need them). It’s next to the linens chest I got from Home Depot during lockdown, which I put together on my own and need to stain soon.

the bookshelf wall from behind

Now, instead of a big open space, the bedroom is its own environment. It has really changed my mood when I wake up because now, one one side I have the plants in the window, and if I torn around I see books, my sewing machine, my camera and more plants. Once the wall is painted it’s going to be a red jewel box with my photography on the walls. Basically the room I’ve wanted my whole adult life.

The main area where I process and store my clothes and my online shop inventory has been updated with an over the door valet that holds items that need to be researched, photographed and measured. There two big tubs are holding processed items, the two little ottomans have upcycled and summer items (they went back to the living room). It’s better than it was. And now I’m not scared of that corner.

This was how it started off. I was embarrassed because I just kept dumping things in the corner as I bought more inventory and all the boxes accumulated over six months of ordering stuff online. It seemed overwhelming but then one day I just started breaking down boxes. It took ten minutes, so I felt really silly because I had procrastinated over nothing. I have a closet full of boxes and packing materials and the rest I got rid of. I still have stuff in the living room to change but I wanted to post about my progress.

Doing this energized this area. I feel a lot better and it’s easier to get things done. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, break your task into little, achievable goals. Every time you tick a goal off your list, you will feel motivated to tackle another one. You might still procrastinate, but the little tasks add up and make your life better.


adventures, Fashion, food, lifestyle

The Tea

For no reason whatsoever I took myself to the Russian Tea Room. It wasn’t my birthday, I didn’t have a date, I wasn’t meeting friends. I just wanted to see what it was like. This was the middle of the night some day last week, probably prompted by an instagram photo. Idk. It was just impossible to resist, so I made a reservation for high tea. I mean, I like tea.

I got a text reminder about my reservation so I looked up the menu to prep and realized that while I like tea and sandwiches, I couldn’t imagine sitting there by myself pouring tea and eating sandwiches. So I had the business lunch, then proceeded to add a cocktail and tea. That’s my problem. Once I’m at a place, I’ll just get whatever I want because I hate to tell myself no. Also, I’ve never had a Moscow mule and I was really curious. Now I know. And I ate borscht that I hadn’t made myself.

In case you’re wondering, I wore a plain black skirt, V-neck Gap cotton tshirt, and august silk cardigan with Nike skate shoes (they look like vans, but since everyone has vans…) clean but not showing off. There’s me, just a plain Jane eating lunch in a restaurant as lushly beautiful as a boudoir. Btw, that chandelier is all red Christmas ornaments and it is stunning.

I still procrastinate and sometimes I give up on things but I’m trying to push past that into a state of immediacy. Before the troubles I would say soon, or I’ll get to it, or maybe next week. Now I’m trying to grab at things and effect change in my life by doing instead of waiting. I had lunch at the Russian Tea Room because…why not?

And it was glorious.