The Summer Loves: Top Product Picks

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Agent Nateur N°3 Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorant is a tough switch. But the frightening effects of anti-perspirant deodorants is truly enough to convince me I don’t need Dove or Secret or some other drugstore brand to mask the potential odor of me living and moving. This is actually the second time I attempted to make the switch. I know shame on me, wellness lover, whatever, I am human. I had previously tested a natural deo that was in paste form, that had to be applied basically twice a day in order to be effective. This go round, I knew I had to commit to a brand I could rely on with outstanding results. I have heard amazing things about the product and I am absolutely in love. I really noticed a difference when I once forgot to put it on and noticed there was a slight aroma from le pits. In other words, it actually prevents from the daily stink. The packaging is sexy and the product is effective. Need I say more?

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Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator

I am obsessed with this mist. This hydrating accelerator is to be used post- wash and pre-serum. It is key for your skin to be moist before applying more product as it allows for the products to sink deep into your skin. I am nearly finished with my second lil’ bottle of this guy, and will absolutely be ordering another bottle when I can remember it. Lastly, the scent of this spritz is remarkably herbal and refreshing. Huge fan of it and I spritz generously!

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Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm

Finding the perfect moisturizing tool for my eyes has been a long time struggle. Thanks to Indie Lee, the dilemma has been quietly solved.  I have previously tested eye balms that have been cooling or tightening, but I don’t need those benefits daily. At 23 years old, I need protection and moisture, I get those benefits from Indie Lee’s eye balm immediately. This product is hydrating, gives the delicate skin around my eyes a soft glow and creates a smooth surface for make up application.  

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Kypris Antioxidant Dew

Mid-Summer, I popped into Credo Beauty, seeking a radiant serum that did not weigh me down in New York heat. This Kypris product was one of their recs, and I gave it a shot. I honestly liked the packaging, and that it had the word “Dew,” in its title. I am glad I liked it, because in retrospect that was a pretty judgey method for choosing the right serum. The product is lightweight, cooling and hydrates. I would usually pack it in my bag for SoulCycle- as I often showered after class- and would gently massage a few drops on my skin. Despite the light consistency of the serum, it fully hydrates your skin. This product was perfect for summer and I am all about it for hot temps!

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JaneGee Suncare Oil

I purchased this product at JaneGee’s flagship shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the beginning of the summer- and I was hooked. I have very sensitive skin, and the sun is quick to bite. I flew through my first bottle and repurchased mid-Summer. The scent is herbal, oil is soothing after a hot day in the sun and the price is reasonable! This product is a fantastic natural alternative to some (albeit efficient) but unclean products for keeping your skin hydrated and extending your sun kissed glow.

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Byrd Texturizing Surfspray

Rad brand and stellar product! Summer in a can, to say the least. Finding the perfect hair routine is a bit of a situation for yours truly, especially in the summer, but this product is fantastic. It gives a salty crunch, without the stiff aesthetic that curl products often create. Not only is this product a great way to preserve your curls or waves, but it is also a UV protector. Major major if you get your hair treated in any way, or are passionate about the care of your hair. For my post-bathing ritual, I spritz the Surfspray after applying a curl cream and anti frizz cream. I also use it when I am need in need of a touch up, or when heading to the beach to catch some rays- not waves. It is so great, I highly recommend testing out this product regardless of the season.

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Charleston, South Carolina | | Photographed by Jesse Volk

Farewell, Cinque Terre

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En Route

We are en route from Firenze to Cinque Terre for a quick two day jaunt. You know the place- it’s probably what you envision when you hear someone chatting about the coast of Italy. It’s an incredibly picturesque little town composed of five wee villages replete with stunning views and landscapes. Strangely, though, it’s also home to some of the world’s ugliest Airbnb’s. Perhaps in the high season there are some nicer options, but at this time of year it was slim pickings for “Mern” and me (Welcome Marie-Nicole- also known as Mern, French American, Sassafrass glam babe, and my closest friend abroad in Firenze!! Xoxxoo muah)! One would think that an infamous location like Cinque Terre would have a plethora of boutique hotel and summer-flats available. Unfortunately, however, all the lodging options we found were over-priced and full of old school euro décor – not exactly ideal.

It’s a lovely Saturday and we are heading towards Riomaggiore by train! Despite Cinque Terre’s proximity to Firenze, the journey to Cinque Terre does require one train change after departing from the central train station in Firenze. We booked our Airbnb & transport last night, with the knowledge that it might be a bit chilly and rainy during our visit. Mind you, we are heading to a location that’s known for its long hikes and views from the water. All of the popular activities are entirely outdoors. But hey, we are going!!

The weekend is already shaping up to be an adventure. I slept through an hour of alarms. Leaving myself with less than thirty minutes to get ready for the day, pack, eat breakfast, etc. It was also in my morning schedule to bathe, so I’m sporting dirty hair and no make-up. I was late to the train station and we had to hustle onboard, sweating and grumpy. We finally find seats only to hear an announcement in Italian telling us that the train is out of service and to move to an alternative train. My fellow travelers and I competitively scramble to find a good seat with their travel buddy of choice, on our new train. The flurry of activity made for an exciting ten minutes of havoc to say the least, especially considering the fact that I’m also carrying two obnoxious tote bags. As we are shuffling through the train, desperately searching for seats, I am thinking for the hundredth time that I need to invest in a sleek Lululemon backpack for shenanigans like this. Somehow we found seats near, but not next to, each other and the journey finally began.

Have I mentioned that nothing really works in Italy? No?? Perhaps I can enlighten you. For instance, yesterday when I was moving to my new abode it took us 45 minutes to get a cab. One does not “hail a cab,” here in Firenze- you have to find a phone and make some calls. There are three taxi companies, no Uber, and a country full of people that have no sense of urgency. Added together this makes it nearly impossible for a taxi to be consistent. I do not find myself too flustered by this lag in progression, but it is something to be aware of. As in, what if there’s a flight to catch? You might want to give yourself more time than necessary. Additionally, try to compose yourself. Adapt. Get over it. It’s a different place where things simply run differently (or not at all, like the train we had to vacate).

Back to the weekend ahead- we are going to have fun! I’ve got a bag of snacks (including gluten free bread) so I feel aptly prepared. However, I also have some sort of sinus pressure, ear pain, running nose situation happening right now, so I’ve got to go find some tissues (aka toilet paper). Classic. Oh, and this just in! Mern just passed me her phone to show me the expected weather for Cinque Terre today. The little screen of her iPhone 5 gleams: “Sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit, with gray skies and a solid chance of rain.” I am telling you, it’s always an adventure. Chat later ya boobs.

 

One Week Later

It’s been roughly a week since our return from Cinque Terre, and I am still in awe. Unfortunately, not the good sort of awe that leads to daydreaming and future trip planning- quite the opposite, actually. Let me explain: Cinque Terre can be best explained as hype.

According to Urban Dictionary, hype is “A fad. A clever marketing strategy which a product is advertised as the thing everyone must have, to the point where people begin to feel they need to consume it.”

My gal pal and I were greatly disappointed with the entirety of Cinque Terre. We arrived on a gray day with high hopes for a lovely weekend. We managed to find affordable accommodations with Airbnb in Riomaggiore, and our host was very sweet and hospitable. After we arrived and took a quick tour of our little flat, we promptly ventured out for sustenance. With approximately five restaurants in the town of Riomaggiore, we settled on the first one (I cannot recall the name, probably because I neither felt the need to recommend it, nor store it for later dissection on Yelp). The waiter cautioned that there may be cross-contamination, but thankfully I was left unscathed. My fish was fabulous, and the side of veggies was so-so. The day was soon dampened by rain… as was our weekend. Jokes, jokes! We made it an adventure.

We really did enjoy ourselves! We laughed, found nutella, and enjoyed being bloated due to our respective digestive issues. Yet, I must say, the gray skies and dewy weather did not help the looks of the decrepit architecture of Cinque Terre. Honestly, it resembled a Eastern European slum. The biggest disappointment was the lack of culture. To start, Cinque Terre is compiled entirely of tourists. I know we are visiting as well, but I did not spy one local roaming the town. The magic of Cinque Terre has been entirely stripped by the override of tourism. It goes beyond “a tourist town,” and I can say that confidently as I am currently living in Florence. It was like Disney world for adults- nothing more than an attraction (lines and bad food included). Isn’t this supposed to be Italy? It felt like a bad trip to Epcot.

On our second day the sun came out, so we set out to visit three of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre. We began the morning with Nutella toast, a recipe for success, and soon after caught the ferry to Monterosso; the furthest town from Riomaggiore. This venture allowed us to see the five towns from the sea, and let me tell you- perspective is everything. Riomaggiore looked quite lovely from the water, but was questionable when viewed up close. Sorry ‘bout it.

Starting our morning off in Monterosso was quite nice. We hopped off the ferry and right back into the sea! We cleverly changed into our suits, on the pebbly beach and dipped in the water for a morning swim. Apparently jellyfish have been a bit wild in Cinque Terre this season, so I was a little frightened. Nonetheless, this was the best part of the trip. The little beach was not overrun with tourists, so the experience was restorative. After lunch, we discovered the larger beach of Monterosso, along with the striped beach umbrella’s of your dreams. Monterosso really is much bigger than the other towns, and the images and blogs do not do its size justice.

We then pranced to Vernazza, which was strange and not as charming as Monterroso. We scooted away from the crowds to find an aperitivo on top of a cliff with a breathtaking view (the local vino bianco of Cinque, was actually quite lovely).

While the land and sea of the area are beautiful- truly stunning- Cinque Terre is  best known for its towns, which have been ransacked by the masses and stripped of their appeal. Once upon a time- in the seventies- Cinque Terre was a hidden gem. A lustrous, beaming, secret, spot for holiday. And I apologize for letting you down, but in 2016 Cinque Terre was nothing more than a beautiful disappointment.

Oddly enough, it remains immensely picturesque when viewed through a lens- especially with solid editing skills. So here is a little mind F for you. Enjoy these beautiful, idyllic pictures of a sad, soulless place called Cinque Terre. Xo  H baby 

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Chan Luu Dress (No longer avail.) & Soludos Smoking Slipper (ON SALE)

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Day Two!! And the sun joined the party!
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Riomaggiore
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Riomaggiore from the sea

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Mern!
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bae.
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Vernazza from the sea

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Warm waters, sandy toes and a little Mern
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Wearing: Marysia Swim (Similar here

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View for lunch & where we spent the morning dipping in the sea

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local vino bianco for the win

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At this point in the day, we sat in exhausted silence. This was a real candid, as I could not conjure the strength to do anything more than read… and drink.
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A magical spot, by the Riomaggiore train station
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guardian angel pup that helped our disastrous return home 
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Farewell, see you never, Cinque Terre

 

Photos via iphone. Taken by myself (Hannah Rice,) or not if I am pictured.

Cinque Terre 2016

Arrows 2016

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All smiles with my Nat for (stellar) drinks at the Wythe with our crazy Davy 

There’s a lot to be said for good friends. I met my beautiful best friend this summer working in Manhattan. Our meeting was not by chance and she is one of those amazing “forever friends.” We were able to jet to the city for New Year’s Eve and we had high hopes for a perfect few days.

Usually; I have words, plenty of words to properly express myself. Well I still do, but sometimes my words aren’t the best. Today, I will let someone else give you a better image of the serendipitous account of meeting my best friend Natalie. One weekend off this summer, I pranced up to Maine for rest. In the library of my house, I found a beautiful book of poems. I was in tears of awe when I read the first page. This poem is the perfect description of Natalie coming into my life.

The Arrow and the Song 

I shot an arrow into the air

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong

That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

Henry W. Longfellow

Nat, I love you dearly. I sent up a prayer, asking for a friend; and my sweet Jesus, sent me you. Thank you for being the sweetest best friend. I am thankful for every giggle thus far, and looking forward to endless adventures. Xo

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Gluten free delish

Oregano

Our first meal in the city was at Oregano in Williamsburg. It was just a quick stroll from our air bnb and we were welcomed with carbs. Nat and myself found ourselves drowning in pasta! They were accommodating with their gluten free options and I was thrilled that there was a desert I could dive into. Nutella pizza with a gluten free crust, sign a sister up! We loved Oregano and returned to order take out as we were getting ready for New Year’s Eve! GF FRIENDLY

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Nutella pizza | | Gluten Free
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The Marquet

The Marquet 

My heart can still be warmed by the memories of walking into this shop. Nat and I were gushing over the cool colors and handmade beauty. We chatted with the fabulous owner of the shop and attached cafe, who was a hard working, cool as shit french woman. Splendid. New York is filled with insanely cool people. Creative & motivated peeps bring me so much joy! This place is a must for your future visit. Located in Williamsburg.

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Rabbit Hole

A little Williamsburg stop. Boozy Chai. The food was sub-par at best, but I am absurdly picky so don’t trust my judgement for everything. They did have gluten free options, but I was just happy with this clever cocktail creation! Natalie had some gluten on her plate and it looked amaze! My fave non-alcoholic chai in Brooklyn, is found at Toby’s Estate Brooklyn

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SoHo

SoHo is wonderful, but you must tactfully avoid the masses.

Clic Bookstore & Gallery  is one of my favorite stops. Oodles of inspiration. Discovered one of my favorite photographers, Jean Philippe Piter, at Clic this summer. 

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Two Hands NYC

Two Hands NYC

Fave almond chai in Manhattan. Love their breakfast and snack options (gluten free friendly) but I was not wild for their lunch options. Follow their beautiful insta and if you’re in the city venture to their brand NEW restaurant and bar in TriBeCa!! I can imagine it is stellar. GF FRIENDLY

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SoHo

 

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‘aight.

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love.
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Blondes at The New Whitney
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everyone needs a Nat
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All the love for our For Love & Lemons 
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2016
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Summers Brooklyn

Summers Brooklyn

After New Year’s Eve, we were in dire need of avocado toast. Summers was the perfect AM solution. The toast was delish and I was uber thankful for their gluten free bread! I as well indulged in an almond chai latte & a ginger turmeric shot to ring in the new year. Not only was our breakfast quality, but the vibes were heaven. You quite literally, step into summer with cool tunes and smiling faces. We loved Summers so much we went twice! GF FRIENDLY

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Summers Brooklyn
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Did I mention lovely customer service? (He worked there)
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BK
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Nat being a babe
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Dirty Hands Jewelry | |  Williamsburg
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Hand crafted with an in-shop studio. Sickkkkkk
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If you are ever church seeking in the city, stop by C3. Amazing community. So much love and support from this church. I am insanely grateful to know C3 Brooklyn.

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All iphone pictures taken by myself or Natalie. NYC 2015/2016.

Follow Nat on IG & her blog

IG: @therealhannybee Snapchat: @hannyebr

Pre-season to the best season

First of all, welcome to fall in Charleston.

I am glad you are virtually joining me in my romantic city of inspiration.

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I am detesting the slow process of fall in Charleston. I am eager for cable knit sweaters, broken-in cashmere and trendy jeans. I am hesitant to dive into realistic fall clothing while my peers and I are struggling to make it to class while staying hydrated. I will be focusing on pre-season attire for a few posts. I am obtaining a realistic wardrobe for my current location, in hopes of assisting southerners who are eager for new styles but restricted to summer staples.

I feel it is fitting to understand the importance of pre-season attire as I am also transitioning into this fall. As a recent transfer student I have the luxury of experiencing this season as an unknown. Similar to this weather, my understanding of this season of my life will take time. So, bear with me, and let’s transition into something great.

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September brings new ideas, styles and inspiration. I have been obsessing over Fashion Week and the inspirational juices that follow these shows. I have been primarily reading blogs and studying shows and have yet to express my thoughts. Even if you say you do not like shopping, or clothes, do some google homework and see what the creatives have been up to.

Feast your eyes on these stunning pictures, not a fashion shoot but a glimpse of me and the work that is going to come.

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I am happy to announce my collaboration with Davy, a naturally hip student with a vision he is eager to fulfill. I am blessed to be inspired by my peers and I am humbled to work with such a talented artist.

Photographed by Davy Kesey

top: James Perse, similar and similar

jeans:  J Brand

hair:  Ronnie of Salon 101