I initially became aware of the fact that the airport experience, as it relates to fashion, is relatively indistinguishable from the one in which street style gurus clamor for sidewalk space outside of the most coveted (and photographed!) runway shows when I spotted a picture of Victoria Beckham waltzing through Heathrow in a pair of sky-high Louboutins and reflective glass aviators. Immediately at her side, like a small, chic football team (pun intended!!), were her equally posh (pun intended!!) looking children — Harper stealing the show in a Burberry dress and a matching pink hair bow.
When Chiara, Negin, and Olivia post photos of themselves perched atop roll-along Louis Vuitton suitcases, looking fresh faced and beautiful, one might reasonably assume that each girl is headed straight down to the beach rather than directly into what promises to be a germ infested, claustrophobic, twenty-one hour nightmare.
But here’s the thing: I, too, spend a fairly exorbitant amount of time boarding flights for a living. Since there are a whole host of pre-existing horrors dedicated solely to the experience of simply being in an airport, it’s especially important to ensure that I’m travelling in an efficient, stylish and streamlined way; that’s the one aspect of the situation that I actually can control.
And so, when I discovered Lipault Paris, I made a direct beeline towards their products. Since commencing my gypsy based life smack-dab in the center of LaGuardia, I’ve become cognizant of the fact that a substantial deficit exists in the way of finding chic and affordable travel pieces. More often than not, I watch the same mid-size, black canvas bags work their way around the conveyor belt, shouting things like “Each of use are just as drab and depressing as the next – instant outfit ruiners, for sure!” and “We’re all the same color, shape and size; just put us out of our misery already!”
Listen — it suffices to say that the majority of modern day fashionistas don’t have a particularly compelling interest in pulling out all of the stops to dedicate five hours of hair and makeup — and the potential threat of a broken ankle — to becoming Victoria Beckham prior to boarding transatlantic flights. But who doesn’t want to feel put together and organized when commencing a trip, knowing that their cute outfits and must-have products are neatly stowed away in style?
Lipault Paris is all about rich colors, textures, and — WAIT FOR IT — affordability. Created in Paris about a decade ago (Anything French – #obviously, #getonit, #nobraineranyway), the bags are basically the inedible equivalent of those delish macaroons that we like to photograph (and consume) all day long. In slowly commencing the process of planning for my honeymoon, I’ve already decided that I want one of the bags in every color — I won’t pack in anything else nowadays.
To see what it is that I’m so fervently raving about, visit http://www.lipault-usa.com.
Here’s the thing about my skincare regimen: for the greater portion of my adult life, it ceased to exist.
Unless you factor in that one plastic hand soap dispenser with the white pump top that I’d press down on each night to retrieve a small sampling of an emulsion that was more conducive to sterilizing dirty dishes than it was to removing makeup from — human flesh — then it would be accurate to assert that I’ve spent far too many years willfully neglecting my pores.
But before you start drawing parallels between me and 2007 Britney – you know, the one who proudly noted that she often slept in her makeup for several consecutive nights in order to avoid the inevitability of having to go through the reapplication process in the AM – let me just remind you of the maddening (and ubiquitous) skincare introductory scenario that the majority of women experience.
If you’ve ever visited a cosmetics counter, then you’ve probably already had the displeasure of listening to a sales pitch that resulted in the confused purchase of seven “completely necessary” and “highly effective” serums.
And although your newly acquired high brow potions are mixed with bizarrely named ingredients that you can’t even begin to pronounce, but that your over zealous associate tosses around as though they’re every day adjectives (“And this one is infused with lavender julep mint tea extract (!) excavated from the single most plush rainforest (!) in Sri Lanka”) – they’re just never going to provide that instantaneous Karlie Kloss complexion that you were so steadfastly guaranteed.
As I’ve gotten older and learned to veer away from things like dish soap and Bounty paper towels when it comes to washing my face, I’ve accepted the fact that skincare is, in fact, extremely important. It turns out that dermatologists really do seem to know what they’re talking about. And, with my wedding date quickly approaching, I’m especially particular about what I get into the habit of putting on my pores.
While I think it’s safe to say that most aspects of my life are relatively high maintenance require a lot of time and the occasional indulgence, skin care just isn’t one of them. With a trifecta of mini bottles that keep me clear and glowy (And I mean, what more could I really ask for out of life, anyway?), this is one thing that I can be very pragmatic about.
It’s 8pm on a Friday night, and I’m jonesing to make a smooth escape from the cubicle where I’ve spent the entirety of my workweek, flexing and unfurling my lower limbs in the same manner that a meth addict does when she’s patently itching for a stockpile of smack.
At 8:o7pm, exactly, my boss retrieves his briefcase and careens through the secure glass doors that divide us – the newsroom: a small, if not eclectic, group of producers, reporters, and tech gurus – from the city that’s unleashing its rush hour based rigor twenty stories below.
As the resident underachiever of the group, it’s inherently understood that I’ll be the first to leave for the night. Despite the fact that the minimum base fare of an Uber ‘X’ has surged to something that equates to what a substantial percentage of Americans — outside of the New York major metropolitan area — pay in property taxes, I make a heated beeline to the nearest black car and enjoy a cushy ride back to my apartment on the East Side.
There’s a theory that’s not often discussed – probably because it exists solely within the recesses of my own mind – that suggests that nobody in New York, with the exception of parents and/or a small fraction of the resident elderly population, puts forth a particularly compelling effort to establish any semblance of a robust savings account.
I’m producing content for MSNBC, and for a long while, I’m completely enamored with the act of being part of the largest media market in North America; at twenty-five years old, I’m fulfilling my dream of playing in the the majors. But unsurprisingly, the days are arduous and exhaustive and my shoots can be as physically taxing as they are emotionally jarring. As such, I quickly realize that I’m willing to forego things like heat and electricity in exchange for espresso laden venti iced coffees and a few extra minutes of sleep propagated by the aid of a bi-daily Uber ride.
By 9:15 pm, Caroline, my best friend, arrives at my doorstep. Fresh off the heels of what appears to be a grueling therapy session, I immediately detect familiar shadows of my own demeanor in her overwrought, tense expression. Together, we meander onto the small, concrete terrace that’s directly outside of my bedroom window, and with a blue bottle of cheap Moscato in tote, commence a candid dialogue about the fact that we’re both terrified of everything.
Caroline is a true genius – not the obnoxious kind who consistently mentions “Harvard this, Harvard that” — but the kind whose passions and predilections are so genuinely out of sync with her physical appearance that she herself becomes an object of fascination to the world at large.
Sitting on the 2×4 slab of concrete that is my terrace, with the New York skyline standing prostrate in front of us, as if to ask, aggressively, acerbically, “Oh, you thought this would be easy?” we resemble two characters in the center of an utterly tragic Lana Del Ray video. Beneath the full moon, we’re lounging on the floor, sipping white carbonated wine and obsessing over the idea that all of our worst fears could so easily come to fruition, obliterating our pre-constructed life plans and rendering us perpetually alone and wholly unfulfilled.
We talk about our careers and wonder if we’ll end up intellectually underwhelmed and eternally destitute. And what about our relationship statuses? Tonight, I’ve successfully managed to convince myself that my boyfriend, the love of my adult life (and my now fiancé), will disappear into oblivion via a Joe Jonas like breakup text. Failing to find a partner to spend forever with seems like a tragedy of sorts, but I make absolutely certain to remind myself of the fact that it’ll be ten times more horrific to finally feel something this poignant and then to watch it all slip away.
We take turns analyzing the potential root causes of our wide spanning list of anxieties and try to decipher what our respective purposes on the planet ought to be. It’s a lot to tackle for two young girls on a Friday night, especially while readying ourselves to go downtown for an evening of…fun. But with each free floating anxiety that we ruminate over, ultimately, we end up laughing so voraciously at our own melodramatic musings that I literally have to beg Caroline to “shut up!” because eyeliner is now dripping off of my face, and, per usual, we’re running late. I grab her metallic gold YSL tribute heels and she pulls an outfit from somewhere in my closet. We leave.
Truth be told, some of our fears are entirely valid: they’re far more deeply rooted than the surface level stuff that we’re touching upon in conversation. Caroline knows my darkest demons. But she’s also aware of the fact that my rational side, the one that allows me to function on a day day to basis, is still firmly in tact, and that while a bout of situational anxiety might’ve reared its icky, foundation free face for a moment, it’s actually unbelievably cathartic for both of us to let it out.
I understand certain things about Caroline, as well. I recognize what people consistently expecther to be – a leggy blonde girl with Kennedy-esque Massachusetts based roots and messy hair that always falls perfectly into place (proverbial eye roll, ensue). Both of us are well aware of the fact that lots of people don’t have particularly kind things to say about us, but we’ve stopped caring about baseless assumptions and personal insults. There’s no time for that anymore. New York feels like a microcosm of social darwinism at play, and we’re primarily focused on surviving in the new maze that’s become our adult lives. While I recognize that Cara is decidedly a well coiffed glamor puss and a ridiculously talented stylist to some of the greatest talents of our time, to boot, I also know that she’s a scientifically and mathematically driven engineer before she is anything else, that she n-e-v-e-r utters a negative word about anyone (a seemingly impossible feat that I’m working on being able to lay claim to myself), and that, regardless of any of her fears, she’ll always be OK.
I project onto her life a mirror of sorts, a luminous window into a complex mind and an old soul. She, in turn, does the same for me.
And now, a couple of years into our respective journeys in New York, when we worry, we don’t run towards the darkest parts of our psyches, but instead, we go out into the city, the one that’s shown us how resilient we really are, and if nothing else, we’re finally free.