FATAL ATTRACTION

I believe I was wearing Reformation even in one of my very first blog posts, (see EARTH FRIENDLY).  I have been utterly obsessed with this brand ever since I was introduced to it two years ago, and my bank account has never looked so poor since.  This is what I call a fatal attraction.  My deadly desire to buy everything they make, and my credit card just can’t support my wants.

This summer was probably one of their best collections yet, and I can’t help but want to let everyone know just what I’ve been eye fucking:

Rosella Dress 
Rufus Jumpsuit (Petite)
Beliz Dress (Petite)

I’m hoping that for the sake of being able to feed my dog that I will stop my obsession.  Please Reformation, make something unattractive!


Oh, and if you love this Evil Eye necklace that I’m seen wearing, Mejuri has teamed up with Urgent Action Fund to donate from sales of the Evil Eye Collection to empower women and trans rights activists at critical moments. So if you’re going to shop anyway, shop for a good cause.  #MeForHer

Dress: Reformation / Shades: Crap Eyewear (sold out | similar look) / Necklace: Mejuri / Shoes: Forever 21 (sold out | similar look) / Bag: The Line (sold out | similar look)

Photographed by Stefanie Meier

AGAINST THE GRAIN

I’m 35.  I figure I just come right out and say it.  It seems as though that’s the #1 question I get whenever I talk about my skin, my physique, or my relationship status.  “Exactly how old are you?”  I don’t dress, act or look my age.  I’m going against the grain on what the general society thinks someone of my age should be.

Several factors play into why this is the case:

  1. I’m an actress, and I try my best to look my best at all times since it’s my profession.
  2. I’m not married.  I don’t have any kids, and that helps alleviate the stress that comes with running a household.
  3.  I don’t believe that one should avoid showing skin after any age, as long as it’s in good taste and they can pull it off.
  4. I’m VERY socially liberal.

With all that said, skincare and fitness is vital in this upkeep, which is why I have decided to divulge my skincare and fitness, (I’ll discuss this on my next blog post), regimens to help those that would like to add some youth and pep back into their appearance.

SKINCARE REGIMEN

Before I start, I would just like to state that none of the skincare products I use or name in this blog post is sponsored.  These are real legit stuff that I use on a daily basis.

I wash my face with Cetaphil Daily Cleanser day and night.  I love using this cleanser because it’s gentle on my skin, but has the fighting power to remove most of my makeup.  If I have on A LOT of makeup from being on set or a photoshoot, then I use Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam instead. This sucker will get every ounce of makeup off.  Be sure to wash your face for at least 1 minute to thoroughly cleanse the skin before you rinse off with water.

DAY

The products I use during the day are very different from the products I use at night.  I stick to more anti-oxidant and vitamin C serums versus deep hydrating and/or replenishing serums.  After I wash my face I like to use a toner/softener.  This helps prep your skin to absorb the products better.  I like to use Shiseido White Lucent Balancing Softener.

Next are the serums.  I use to use 3 different ones from AE Skin, but am in the process of testing a new serum, so I’m currently only using 2 serums.  I first apply 3 drops of Le Mieux Vita-C, then I use 2 drops of AE Skin Hydrating Serum.

Because I have a gnarly t-zone, I keep my daily moisturizer light. I like to mix Kate Somerville with EltaMD Clean Sunscreen SPF 46, which is my FAVORITE facial sunscreen of all time.  Note: if you do nothing else, at least wear sunscreen.  This is VITAL in keeping your skin from looking weathered.  I’ll also spray on the occasional hydrating mist.

NIGHT

I have been using Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Peels every other day for over two weeks now and I can see a significant improvement in the radiance of my skin.  My skin glows.  Yes, it shines naturally, and I love the look of my radiant skin.

This peel can be used during the day or night, but I prefer using it at night because I love following it up Le Mieux Hyaluronic Serum and Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil.

I’ve been switching between 2 night creams: Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Restoring Cream and La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream, simply because I love one more than the other, but I can’t afford the other one as much so I only use it every other night.  Just click on the links and check out the prices and you’ll know which one I’m talking about.

On the nights that I don’t use the peel, I make sure I use some kind of facial mask.  I spend at least 5 – 10 minutes each evening caring for my skin.  I think that makes all the difference in my appearance.  Here are all the products I have listed above and/or use:

I’ll talk more about how I stay fit and active on the next blog post.  I hope this answers most of your questions, and please keep them coming!  Thanks for reading!


Dress: For Love and Lemons / Shoes: Forever 21 (similar look) / Shades: mine (similar look) / Necklace: You.Nic

Photographed by Mire Yang

INDECENT EXPOSURE

Last month when I attended my brother’s wedding in Shanghai, my mother repeatedly, (and I use this adjective with the strongest sense), requested that I start dressing more conservatively.  I’m not sure if it’s a cultural difference or a styling discrepancy, but my mother HATES it when I don’t wear a bra.  I’m not exposing myself in public per se, but I would be lying if I said you wouldn’t see a nip or two when it gets cold.  So yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is our topic of discussion today.  Not so much a bra versus no bra mentality, but whether the SoCal show-more-skin sense of fashion works outside of…well, SoCal.

I have no qualms with women, (or men), that like to show of their bodies.  I Iive in Los Angeles.  This is the mecca of hot bods.  I’m not one to judge because I like wearing low cut back tops/bodysuits with no bra.  I like wearing cute high-waist underwear underneath a see-thru dress, (as exhibited in my photos).  But if I were to take this fashion to Dallas, Atlanta, or Chicago, would I be stoned by the public?

Perhaps not to that extreme, but I would definitely get a some glancing and glaring looks.  So how does one wear SoCal fashion in other parts of the US where it may be more conservative without losing your sense of style?

Personally, I think sexy trends can be taken in dosages, and it doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other.  It all depends on your surroundings: the people you’re hanging out with and the location setting you’re at.  You can always layer your bodysuit with a jacket or save that see-thru dress for a pool party.  However, at the end of the day, it’s all about confidence.  Regardless of your where you’re at in the world, if you wear something sexy or shows off skin, people WILL look.  It’s up to you to decide whether or not you like that kind of attention.  If you want it, flaunt it.

I know for a fact that I dress and style differently when I go home to Dallas.  I start thinking J. Crew and colorful sweaters.  With all this said, I would really like to hear from those of you that live, (not from), in middle America.  How do you style your For Love and Lemons or Blue Life pieces?  Do you wear low back tops with or without a bra?  Let me know because I’m actually really curious!  Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July!  Happy Birthday America!   

Dress: Hot-As-Hell / Flip Flops: Havaianas / Sunglasses: RAEN (featured in The Zoe Report Summer 2017 Box of Style) / Necklace: Adore Jewelry / Necklace: The Brave Collection (featured in The Zoe Report Summer 2017 Box of Style)

Photographed by Laci Havens

HOW I ESPRESS-O MYSELF

If you ever watch any of my InstaStories, (as you should because I’m freaking awesome), then you would know that I have a thing for coffee.  It’s part of my routine: morning workout, then an iced coffee/espresso/matcha beverage of some sort.

I recently did some math and figured out just how much I was spending on coffee on a monthly basis.  You ready? $100!  Yes, I am spending close to $100 per month on just COFFEE!  It sounds like some serious first world problems, but I have an addiction for yummy, tasty espresso drinks that are served all over Los Angeles.  With this kind of expenditure, you’d hope that I would know a thing or two about what’s good around town.  So, here are my top 5 favorite coffee shops in LA:

ONE: BLUE BOTTLE

New Orleans.  That’s the one and only drink I ever get at Blue Bottle and it’s all I ever need.  It’s just an ice coffee with organic cane sugar and milk.  That’s it.  So simple, and yet oh so good!

TWO: VERVE

Avocado Toast.  I know we’re talking about drinks, but this particular dish is a staple at every coffee shop.  I live in WeHo.  Trust me when I say that I’ve had my fair share of avocado toasts from every freaking restaurant/cafe there is.  Verve offers one of THE best avocado toasts in LA.  It’s got butter on the toast before the avocado, which are in heaping chunks.  I’m salivating as I type this.

THREE: ANDANTE

Matcha, Chai, Espresso Latte concoction.  This Andante drink has no name, but the barista, (possibly also the owner?), asked me to trust him, and he made me a phenomenal iced beverage that consisted of matcha, chai, a shot of espresso and milk.  Sorry, I’m of no help here with the name of this drink, but their Lavender Latte is really delicious as well, (get it hot).

FOUR: CARRERA CAFE

Americano.  I was very pleasantly surprised as to how good Carrera‘s coffee was.  I went there simply to take photos of their beautiful interior, and I ended up falling in love with their Americano.  The espresso beans they used are flavorful and aromatic.  I recommend their hot lattes as well.

FIVE: ALFRED TEA ROOM

Iced Matcha Tea Boba.  Need I say more?  As an asian, I can say that their boba is right on point.  It’s always warm, yummy and fresh.  Their decor is just pink-rrific, and every spot is photo worthy.  Go in for a boba drink, and be sure to take a gazillion photos, stories, and snaps.

I don’t recommend anyone spending $5-$7 each day on a caffeinated beverage.  HOWEVER, if you were planning on doing it anyway you might as well make sure it’s worth it.  I’m always down to try new places.  Any coffee shops in LA that you absolutely love?

Dress: For Love and Lemons / Shoes: Nasty Gal (sold out | similar look) / Purse: Coach / Sunglasses: Mine (similar look) / Bracelets: SUGARFIX

Photographed by Mire Yang

TROPICAL

Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I’m headed to Tulum, Mexico next week!  I’m so excited!  This trip started out as just a simple girls’ trip to celebrate mine and another girl’s birthdays (go Taurus!), but has since turned into another blogger campaign.  A ‘Tropical Escape’ to be exact.  So, I wanted to discuss today about some helpful tips that I found during this organizing process.

ONE – DON’T STRESS

I know this is easier said than done, but stressing over sponsorships and finance is only going to bring down the excitement of even going on a tropical trip.  Plan to just go and have a good time, and if you happen so to get some sponsors or hotel accommodations taken care of, then great.  But go in with the expectation that you’ll be paying for everything, and if you don’t want to pay, then just don’t go.  It REALLY is as simple as that.

TWO – EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL

Don’t be shy about emailing brands, hotels, etc..  Worse comes to worse they say no or don’t respond, but you won’t know unless you reach out.  I am very fortunate and have gotten myself a really great team of talented girls to travel with, and we were approached by some brands and others we got by reaching out to them.  This is a wonderful way to build relationships with brands, and let them know your ability to travel and create beautiful content.

THREE – HAVE A VISION

The biggest thing that helped us pitch was our vision board.  People loved the mood and vibe we had envisioned, and it made sense with summer just around the corner.  Know the season and how it plays into each brands’ promotions.  Tulum is a tropical paradise with ruins, caves and crystal clear water.  Have an idea of what content you’ll be creating while you’re there.

I hope these tips will help you out in your own future blogger trips.  Don’t forget, as much as you’re there to do a job, you’re also there to have fun.  None of this is worthwhile if you’re not having a good time.  Be present and enjoy the great people you’re surrounded by.  Xoxo!

Dress: Cleobella (sold out | similar look on sale) / Sunglasses: Izipizi / Shoes: Sbicca (currently on sale) / Bag: ZARA

Photographed by Mire Yang

MY FIRST TWOSOME

I’m still pretty new to this fashion & lifestyle blogging thing.  There’s a lot of firsts for me now that I’ve reached a certain level of engagement on my social media platforms.  Actually, it’s more like just Instagram, who am I trying to kid?  With that said, I’ve recently engaged in my first twosome.  Don’t think dirty folks.  The kind of twosome I’m talking about is a joint collaboration with another blogger.

Most of the time it’s just me wearing pretty clothes or using the latest beauty product.  So yeah, when I’m pitching to brands or brands are reaching out, it’s just ME.  Things are a little bit different when you’re pitching to brands as a twosome.  Now, we made some mistakes as first-timers, and I learned a lot from my first pitch deck.  So here are my top 5 advice for joint blogger campaigns:

ONE – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

It’s completely fine when you’re just posting your own content on your own account, but when there’s two of you in the picture, it would make sense that you both reach a certain audience that have similar taste.  Of course you want to expand your reach and get new followers, but if your aesthetics are too far off from one another, the image and vibe just wouldn’t make sense.  Also, you’re making it much harder for your photographer to go from one extreme to the other.

TWO – KNOW YOUR COUNTERPART

I lucked out so much with my counterpart, which happen so to be one of my blogger besties, Amy Zhang of The Luxi Look.  Now, I’m not saying you can’t work with bloggers you’re not familiar with, as that often happens when the brand pitches the campaign versus you.  However, it really REALLY does help when you know the other person.  I personally have a tendency to look fake and too posey when I’m uncomfortable, and my photographer calls me out on it immediately, (thanks Mire!).  Often times we’ll be holding hands or laughing and talking, and it looks more natural when you are actually enjoying each other’s company.  So my advice would be to try to get to know one another before the shoot, if you don’t already.  Grab coffee, or brunch or both.  Talk.  Chit chat.  Gossip.  Whatever.  Find some kind of bond that will shine through in the images during your shoot.

THREE – KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

The next most important thing to helping you act and feel natural during your shoot would be to know your photographer.  I’ve worked with Mire many many times before this flower field road trip, but Amy had only seen her work and never shot with her.  We all decided to meet for wine and dinner and talk about the campaign.  Since I know the two, I didn’t have any problems working with either of them, but I really wanted Amy to meet Mire so they can get a feel for one another before going on a 7-hour roundtrip road trip.

Another big reason to know your photographer is because you want to make sure that the images produced by the team has a vibe that all members can agree on.  It would be pointless for me to post images that make no sense in my feed.  It’s important to keep your feed consistent, and working with the same photographer(s) can help you with that consistency.

FOUR – KNOW YOUR BRANDS

This campaign was about the flower fields and the super bloom.  There’s a particular whimsical, romantic and bohemian vibe when you’re shooting with nature and flowers, and we wanted that particular look and feel.  You could just throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks, or you can actually aim for particular brands that have a similar look and feel.  I recommend creating a mood board and using it to pitch to brands.  If you’re just starting out like I am, I would recommend looking at other bloggers that have a similar look as yours and seeing which brands they’ve worked with and create a list from that.  Don’t be discouraged though if brands don’t respond.  They get hundreds if not thousands of pitch emails on a daily basis.  Hopefully you and your counterpart(s) stand out enough to grab their attention.

FIVE – PLAN AND THEN LET IT GO

The blogging thing can sometimes get competitive and too business oriented, and you lose track of what inspired you to start blogging in the first place.  For me, blogging was a creative outlet that I wanted to explore outside of acting where I usually had very little creative control.  The fact that I can now monetize off of it is such a blessing.

Our original plan was to make this a weekend road trip.  We had all these things we wanted to tackle, but it eventually just became too burdensome to do.  We eventually decided to opt for a day trip.  Leave super early in the morning and be home by evening to sleep in the comforts of our own bed.  It was indeed our first time putting together a campaign, and I think we overstretched a bit on what we could handle.  I would do somewhere local.  Travel may not be wise for first-timers.  And the most important thing of all: don’t forget to have fun and be present while the camera clicks.

I hope this was helpful, and please let me know if you’d like to read more posts like this.  Happy Tuesday!

Amy’s Dress: Flair The Label / My Jumpsuit: Flair The Label

My dress: Flair The Label / Amy’s Dress: Flair The Label

Amy’s Dress: Urban Outfitters / Amy’s Hat: Lack of Color / My Dress: Urban Outfitters (sold out | similar look) / My Hat: Lack of Color

My Dress: Saltwater Luxe / Amy’s Dress: Saltwater Luxe

Photographed by Mire Yang

WEDDING APPROPRIATE

My little brother is getting married.  Yes, my brother who is 5 years younger than me, is getting married before me.  #Storyofmylife.  However, don’t expect me to go down without a fight and show up in a conservative Chinese wedding appropriate dress.  I expect to walk into this wedding with a POW.  My sister, who is much older and wiser, said to me that this is not my wedding and that it’s not always about me.  She told me to just show up and let the bride shine.  Ha!  That’s what amateurs say when they don’t know how to dress.  (Just kidding!)

But seriously, at what point is your dress too much and overshadowing the bride?  You have to understand, this will be a Chinese wedding in Shanghai, China.  We are not talking about your SoCal boho fun wedding.  My mom has friends that don’t believe ladies should drink out of a water bottle or chew gum, (both of which I do often).  However, my inner fashionista says I still have to show up and shine, which is why I have selected a few evening dresses that are wedding guest appropriate, culturally appropriate, and still says WOW:

These dresses I’ve selected show only one major part of skin, but is covered everywhere else.  I think that’s fair play.  Show legs, but cover up the neck and arms.  Show neck and shoulders, but cover up the legs.  There’s got to a balance to a wedding guest dress.

I already know I’m going to be bombarded by the tirade of women who are concerned for my marital lifespan or lack there of, but no worries, this Flynn Skye dress should do the trick.  Hopefully they’ll be so distraught by the open back of this dress and forget about why I’m yet to be married.  #Fingerscrossed!

Dress: Flynn Skye (sold out | similar look) / Shoes: Forever 21 (similar look) / Wallet Clutch: Armani Exchange

Photographed by Mire Yang

QUICK TO JUDGE

One of the first things I will openly admit is how judgmental I am.  I’m not bragging.  This isn’t exactly a great quality to have, but it is what it is.  I’m quick to judge a person within the first 5 minutes of our conversation.  This could easily explain why I only have a handful of people I call “friends”, and everyone else just comes and goes.

It wasn’t until a recent situation in my life that caused me to really start thinking about how I am perceived, and how I am judged by people.  I once took an acting class where I had to turn my back to my class as my fellow actors and classmates wrote down words they think described who I was based on just the introduction line, “Hi, my name is…”.  I often get words like: authoritative, professional, perky, cute, strong, smart.  Are these words correct?  Can I be summed up by just a few adjectives?

This situation must really bother me, or else, why would it be on my mind?  Why else would it affect me so much to where I felt the need to blog about it.  I’ve come to realize that my own insecurities about my life choices have caused me to feel the need to impress and to prove to people that I’m not a “dumb dumb”.  Yes, I’m an actress/blogger, but I don’t want these titles to define me.  I feel the need to say I’m a Georgia Tech grad who chose to pursue the career of an entertainer, but does that change the fact that I’m still currently an actress and blogger?  No.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that we all have insecurities about ourselves.  We will always feel the need to put forth our best side and impress people we know and don’t know.  It’s okay to feel this way, but don’t ever let those insecurities change who you are.  Be happy with who you are, where you are, and how you are.  If you’re not happy with yourself, no one else will be either.  I know this sounds so cliché, but my hope is that by me sharing some of my own personal struggles that it will somehow help you in your own daily life.  Sending y’all love and light, xoxo!

Cactus Necklace: You.nic Shop / Lariat: You.nic Shop / Rings: Gorjana

Dress: ZARA / Sunglasses: My own (similar look) / Bag: Vintage Chanel / Shoes: ZARA (sold out | similar look)

Photographed by Laci Havens

THE CLASSICS OF GRANA

There’s a new kid in town when it comes to quality basics and staples for your wardrobe, and that’s GRANA, a brand who’s concept was first derived in Peru and then later moved to Hong Kong.  I knew something was different and unique about GRANA as soon as I touched their fabrics.  QUALITY was the first word that popped into my head.  This isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill GAP clothing.  We are talking wardrobe essentials on a premium level.

The fit is also very flattering for a woman of my size.  I would say that they are true to US sizing.  I ordered an XS in both of my GRANA picks, and I think they fit perfectly.  My photographer even complimented me as soon as she saw me with my gorgeous silk dress.  I’ll be honest, the silk does wrinkle easily, but nothing a little steamer and wrinkle-free spray can’t fix.

Here are some of my other GRANA silk favorites:

Dress: GRANA / Shoes: Steve Madden / Bag: Coach / Sunglasses: My Own (similar look)

Overall, I am very pleased with my new GRANA denim top and silk dress.  Sure, this post might be sponsored, but my opinions are not.  Still don’t believe me?  Try it on yourself, and feel the difference in the quality.  Use the code LINDAxGRANA to receive 10% off your order (for new customers only).

PS, Kenzie even made a special appearance for this shoot.  She gets serious FOMO when I shoot in the house without her in it.  She was our lighting test model…haha!

Top: GRANA / Shorts: Urban Outfitters

Photographed by Mire Yang

DINNER AND A MOVIE

Some people might find that a dinner and a movie is outdated and too boring of a date, but I find that there’s a romanticism to doing the good old classic date night.  Here’s my take on my dinner and movie date this past Sunday:

I recently started talking to a new guy, (and fingers crossed he’s not into reading fashion blogs), and we went and watched Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.  How he was convinced to go watch this movie, I’m not quite sure, but I’ll talk more about my review on the movie in just a bit.

So, he came over and we chatted briefly in my small studio.  Yes, I invited him in instead of him just picking me up because this is our fifth date, and I think it’s fair that we get to see where each other lives.  For those of you that don’t know, I live in a studio near The Grove.  We decide that I needed to be fed since he was at a kid’s birthday party right before, and I’m sure he’s had his share of cake.  However, I hadn’t eaten anything thinking we might get dinner so I was starving.

We opt for sushi since I’m a pescatarian, and went to Itacho Sushi since it’s close to the movie theater.  We tell each other what we like on the menu, and he asks me my top three favorite rolls off the menu.  Now listen up ladies, this is where you can really find out about a guy’s consideration for you: how does he order food for two?  Well, new guy orders everything that I said I liked, and skipped over his choices.  Yes, he’s that sweet.

We eat quickly since the movie is about to start, and he picks up the check.  I decided to pay for our movie tickets because I think it’s nice when a girl does her share of the date.  I don’t mean pay for everything, since that’s usually a gentlemen thing to do.  However, we are in the 21st century ladies, and women are still fighting for equality and rights.  We can’t expect men to pay for everything and then demand that we want equal pay.  Anyway, I know that I make less than him, but I pick up the check whenever I can as long as it fits into my budget.  Besides, he also picked up the popcorn and drink for the movie.

Now, onto the actual movie itself.  What’s my overall take on the movie without giving too much away?  It’s pretty much verbatim of the animated film with a few additional scenes that I felt unnecessary.  The movie was dragged out, and I think the songs were also sang too slowly.  I miss Jerry Orbach’s voice for the character, Lumière, and the CGI characters were missing the mark on their original character’s wittiness and charm.  I did love the opening scene of Belle and the provincial town, but everything else was just meh.

However, our movie date was just great.  We shared popcorn and the occasional light kisses during the movie.  This may be a typical boring date, but I think it’s these small moments that you share that brings you closer to one another.  Thanks for reading and happy Tuesday everyone!

Dress: Novella Royale (sold out | similar look) / Sunglasses: Melrose Trading Post stand (similar look)

Photographed by Stefanie Marie