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Monthly Favorites: May 2022

Monthly Favorites

Ok, I know today is what some might call “the thirteenth day of June” but I am bravely moving forward with releasing a belated list of May Favorites and cannot be stopped. Writing out a series of monthly favorites is very nostalgic to me, as someone who fiend-ed over videos of this sort during YouTube’s beauty guru heyday of the 2010s. It’s a nice way to check in and have a guaranteed morsel of writing to serve up, no matter how blank or busy my brain gets.

Looking Good

Not sure if you heard but according to me, it’s Greco-Roman summer. What does that mean, you ask? Well to avoid this newsletter being the length of a medium-sized research paper, I plan on saving my expose on my number one summer theme for another day. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: the ultimate Greco-Roman summer fashion item is a pair (or 4) of lace-up, gladiator-style shoes. I’ve been accumulating quite a collection since there is a lot of crossover into my forever go-to late 60s aesthetic. Google and ye shall find.

Other important items include:

  • Big gold front-facing hoops: vintage, new, I don’t care, but if you want to instantly feel like a retro moviestar, fasten these on and the Atlantic accent kinda just follows.

  • Off the shoulder tops, a wardrobe essential if you want to feel like Sofia Loren this summer (which I do, especially after finding out we share the same Kibbe body type). I used to sport bare shoulders religiously and am falling in love with the concept all over again.

  • Linen. Think: the perfect over-shirt to avoid subway creeps and the AC chill in your office, pull-on pants for lazy days at the beach or pool, perhaps a full linen outfit? Accept that you will be wrinkled and let yourself bask in all of linen’s breathable glory.) I’ve been thrifting mine but if you need an instant gratification linen fix, there is certainly no shortage at commercial retailers. My advice if you’re thrifting whether irl or on apps like my bae Poshmark is to search for brands that cater to older women: Chico’s, Sag Harbor, Alfred Dunner, Anne Klein, Liz Claiborne. You’re going to get a more relaxed, less narrow fit.

Feeling Gorgeous

  • Wet wipes, a travel/parent-of-a-small-child essential for good reason. Summer is a sticky time. Get yourself a pack and thank me later.

  • Wave sprays: Being at the beach unlocks the most superb waves in my hair that rarely show themselves in my normal life. Because I strive to be who I am at the beach all the day, I’m trying out salt sprays until one gives me the same effect (or the closest to it) as Mother Ocean. Long may she reign. Recommend me your favorite if you care!

  • Sun Bum Revitalizing 3 In 1 Leave In Treatment: another product that makes me feel like I’m perpetually on the beach because it’s made to spray in your hair during and/or after a long day in the sun. It detangles, conditions, and prevents breakage and color fading all while smelling like bananas. This is what dreams are made of.

  • Paula’s Choice BHA Liquid Exfoliant: like a kiss from an angel, but in toner form. In a time when my skin was overreacting to travel, changes in weather, sun exposure, and running out of a dermatological prescription, this toner saved my skin. It’s very very gentle.

  • Gold eyeshadow + liner. There are a lot of good ones out there so go get some. I’m realizing this is most of my advice, but unless there’s something specifically amazing by a brand, I’d rather give the inspo than plug a product when there are similar things out there in different price points and exclude other skintones, body types, etc.

  • Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm. More Sun Bum! They should sponsor me :) I brought one of each of my girlies during my BFF’s bachelorette trip in early May and let me tell you that our lips looked snatched the entire time. Snatched, I tell you!

Culture Sommelier Vibes

  • A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan. I read this over a long weekend back in early May and was gripped in a way that a novel hasn’t done for me in a while. It’s funny and scary and weird. My three favorites! I look forward to more beach rides that I can sink my teeth into like an almost-overripe nectarine.

  • RHONY (or for the lay people reading this, “Real Housewives of New York”). I embarked on the treacherous 14-season rewatch almost a year ago and it’s still going strong as my comfort show. Bethenny’s my no. 1 girl and Sonja racks in at no. 2.

  • Stranger Things Vol. 4, duh. When I get obsessed with something, boy, do I get obsessed! I’ve been a fan of this show since I arrived a tad late between seasons one and two but something about the COVID hiatus made this new season all the more juicy. Now I’m rewatching the entire series from the start.

  • "In America: An Anthology of Fashion:" Maybe the Costume Institute's strategy was to underwhelm us so severely with the "Lexicon" portion of this series, that this couldn't help but huff, puff, and blow us away....if so, it worked. This is the second time the Met has brought me to tears in the last year (the other was with "Inspiring Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts). I can't wait to go back and relive it again before it closes in September and we give celebrities another chance to read a single Wikipedia page on a historical era and watch them fuck it up again.

Live to Eat

  • POG juice, the nectar of all nectars. If you can find the brand “Hawaiian Sun,” do not hesitate to buy every can in sight.

  • Mediterranean diet, not just like “the diet” as a concept but more a focus on lighter, fresher, and more summery foods. I also eat a lot of food from Latin America this time of year and really any cuisine from a warm place.

  • Flax meal and chia seeds: where are my IBS hotties at?! Adding both of these to my morning smoothie has changed everything. I ❤️ being able to digest properly.

Vibe Check:

I’m a mega fan of the feeling that comes as we transition into summer and arrive here with a relaxed sigh of relief. Yes, we may be sweaty but this time of year is like a renewal. I was very lucky to go on two vacations this past month which allowed me time to reflect on what I want to channel for the second half of the year. Even if you’re not going away anytime soon, I encourage you to take a day for yourself where you sit with nature and stare into the void for a little while to clear that ol noggin up. I was rolling with the weekly blog posts back in April but between work and vacations, I neglected the blog severely. Honestly, I was kind of burnt out from Big Idea Essays so the goal for the summer is to balance those out with little sweethearts like this, which I can write like I’m having a casual conversation and maybe slightly drunk from a couple Aperol Spritz. Isn’t that the way summer is supposed to feel?


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writer + pop culture Historian  

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