Welcome Aboard Carribean Airlines

Life, God, The Universe (your pick) can display a real knack for putting us in the right place at the right time and even sitting scrunched up on an airplane for two hours next to the right person.

On April 3rd, I boarded my Miami connect to Jamaica behind a strikingly beautiful woman.  While we were being herded across the jet bridge she caught my attention with her animated phone conversation, thick Jamaican accent and statuesque carriage.  Fast forward five  minutes and I find my assigned seat wedged between the mystery woman herself and a middle-aged American man, who were right in the middle of introducing themselves when I walked up.  “Well, my name is Katie!”  I announced.  They both looked up and smiled in the realization that their third wheel had arrived.

My flight from Charlotte had boarded at 5:30am that morning and I’d gone on to successfully navigate the Miami airport and catch my connector to Jamaica with little to no complications.  That being said, I was tired and looking forward to settling into my newest Deepak Chopra book for a relaxing 2 hour flight.

The Book of Secrets

The Book of Secrets

As you may have guessed, a relaxing 2 hour flight with Deepak is not how this story ends.

It was clear within a few minutes that my flightmates and I were going to get to know each other.  On either side of me sat very charismatic, talkative and inquisitive individuals who were at least determined to get more acquainted with each other, whether I wanted to read in the middle or not.  With a few questions slung my way, I discarded my antisocial act and seized the moment to get to know two seemingly interesting fellow light beings.

Mystery Lady’s name is Nadine. I asked the obvious…”Are you Jamaican?”  “Yes, but I live in the US now”, she replied.  “Are you going home to march Carnival?”  I asked.  She looked pleasantly shocked “Carnival is this week?!  I had no idea!  Yesss!” she squealed in response.  I laughed, “Then what are you doing on your trip?  Visiting family and friends?”  “No” she said seriously and rather sheepishly “I’m going for business.”  “What do you do?” I asked “I am a model” she said, “I’ve taken some time off to spend with my family, but my agent has set up some photo shoots for me to refresh my portfolio.”  A model?  Now we were talking.  I immediately wanted to tell her that I model too, but judging from her 5’10 frame versus my 5’6 one…I wasn’t sure she’d take me seriously.  Or that I’d take myself seriously either.  So, I kept that tidbit to myself and the conversation carried on into other directions.

The three of us discussed our various plans for once we landed on the island and exchanged phone numbers with plans to link up for drinks once we settled in.  Nadine dozed off mid-flight and somehow managed to look quite graceful in the process.  She woke up after perhaps a 20 minute nap and sighed, “If I march Carnival, the press will catch wind that I’m home and I’ll never see the end of it.”  This comment tipped me off that maybe Nadine was like…really a capital M Model.  “So, have you done work for anyone that I may have heard of?” I asked.  “Gucci” she casually replied and proceeded to show me a few shots of her work that she’d saved on her cell phone.  See below:

Nadine Willis 3

Nadine Willis

Nadine Willis 2

I finally revealed to her that I too, do some modeling and she was so humble and genuinely interested in my experiences as well.  “You are a real model” she told me when I insisted that compared to her I wasn’t.  “But I am a super model” she laughed.  How could I disagree?  We landed in Jamaica, each of us bubbling with excitement to debark the plane.  We all three made promises to get in touch once we were on the island and went our separate ways.

Vacation ensues, I make new friends and lots of plans.  For the time being, I forget about my airplane buddies and get swept up in my new island breezy attitude.  About my fourth night there, I’m with the crew at an outdoor dance club perfecting my wind when I look up and see Nadine walking right in my direction.  She grins, I grin, we hug and gush about how crazy it is that we ran into each other again.  “This is my agency” she said gesturing to a building to my right “And this is my agent” gesturing to a man to her left.  Our reunion was brief, but sweet and my opinion of Nadine was further solidified.  She is really a sweet and down to earth, while exceptionally beautiful woman.

I can’t be sure why stories unfold the way that they do, but I believe with certainty that there is no such thing as coincidence.  Somewhere, someone is doing some orchestrating of events.  I’m not sure why I met Nadine, but I do know I’ll be using her phone number soon.  If nothing else, to get some more motherly advice from her on Jamaican men, because I’ve decided to relocate to Jamaica indefinitely.  My trip there inspired a joy and peace in me that I haven’t felt in quite some time and to put it simply, a week just wasn’t enough.  On my much less eventful return flight from Jamaica to Miami, I watched the island shrink farther and farther away through the window and through my tears.  That’s when I knew my time with Jamaica wasn’t up yet, we have unfinished business between ourselves.  Chapter Two of my Jamaican adventure kicks off on June 18th.

The 7 Most Hated People in Fashion

Pretty as the clothes and people may be, fashion has an undoubtedly ugly side at times.  Cut throat competition leads to feuds, gossip, blackballing…we all saw The Devil Wears Prada, right?

I’ve witnessed behind-the-scenes snobbery first hand and have even dodged a jab or two myself from photographers, agents and stylists alike (not from the models, pleasantly surprising enough).  While slights may sting temporarily, thick skin is ultimately required of those who are to make it in this industry.  I personally attribute the misbehaviors of my peers to overblown egos and then remind myself of exactly why I love and immerse myself in this field to begin with:  The astounding volume of creative genius that is expressed through Fashion as its medium and the wonderful people in the field who largely outnumber the meanie-heads.

Now that I’ve published my disclaimer regarding the dual personalities of capital F-Fashion (Is Fashion a Gemini?…Hmmm.  Profound.), check out The Huffington Post‘s list of “The 7 Most Hated People in Fashion:

1.  Anna Wintour

anna wintour

I doubt this one shocks any of us.  Anna Wintour is straight up infamous for her chilly demeanor as witnessed in The September Issue and as depicted by The Devil Wears Prada.

2.  Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

I was a little surprised at this one.  I always took Posh Spice’s persona to be for the media, but apparently she really comes off as cold in person as she does in front of the cameras.  All that aside, the woman can design, has great taste in men and is quite fertile!  Props.

3.  Olivia Palermo

Tibi - Backstage - Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

I get it, but didn’t know she was big-time enough to make a most hated list.

4.  Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr

Really?!  But she has such innocent and charming dimples.  Apparently she also has some real diva antics and was recently dropped from the Victoria’s Secret line-up.  Her reps claim that she was too busy to fulfill her duties and withdrew.  Hmm. Mmkay.

5.  Joan Rivers

British Academy Television Awards - Arrivals

Double Duh.

6.  John Galliano

John Galliano

Remember his anti-Semitic rant a while back?

7.  Cathy Horyn

HBZ109910_084 Alexander Wang - Front Row - Spring 2010 MBFW

Cathy is an über critical fashion critic for the New York Times who doesn’t have much nice to say about anyone.  She had a highly publicized feud with Lady GaGa via social media about a while back too.

“Hate” is such a strong word!  These are really the 7 People in Fashion Most in Need of More Hugs!  To check out the juicy details, visit The Huffington Post‘s article for more!  Peace 🙂

Mara Hoffman Fall Collection: The Circus is in Town

Mara Hoffman is  New York based designer.  She graduated from the acclaimed Parson’s School of Design in NYC and also studied at the Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London.  She launched her ready-to-wear line, Mara Hoffman, in 2000 and has gone on to gain critical and public acclaim for her subsequent collections.  Her work is whimsical and inspired by world travel, nature and fantasy.

Mara Hoffman

Mara Hoffman, Fashion Designer

Go to her website to check out the video advertising her Spring line: Mara Hoffman.  It’s extremely metaphysical in nature which I find fascinating.  Her Fall 2013 collection was inspired by bands of traveling circuses.  This vision translates beautifully to a colorfully whimsical and fantastical lookbook.  I’m including ten of my favorite looks, thanks to Refinery29 and the designer herself.

Circus 1

Circus 2

Circus 3

Circus 4

Circus 5

Circus 6

Circus 7

Circus 8

Circus 9

Circus 10

I love how she remixed the traditional animal prints and psychedelic colors of the circus experience.  Top Hats Off to Mara Hoffman!  She is a designer I will most definitely be keeping on my radar and wish list.

Full Brows are Flattering Brows

HELLO beautiful people!

I find myself in a natural beauty mood more and more these days and as I’ve lessened my dependency on makeup, I’ve turned my personal grooming time and attention primarily to my skin and brows.   I’m finding that both of these features make the biggest natural impact on my appearance (besides a smile of course).

A healthy, toned glow negates the need for foundation, although certainly I use spot concealer on an almost daily basis, and full well-groomed brows really anchor my face and provide a frame for my eyes.  I’ve never been a fan of over plucked brows, although from time to time throughout the years, I have over-plucked and immediately regretted it.  But it wasn’t until recently that I developed the patience to actually grow these suckers all the way out.  Check out a few gorgeous celebs with very flattering and youthful eyebrows that helped inspire my journey unto the tweezerless unknown:

Camilla Belle

Camilla Belle

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

Beyonce Giselle Knowles Carter

Beyonce Giselle Knowles Carter

Do you like the look of these gorgeous gals?  How about the classic Audrey Hepburn brows, or Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe?  All Full and Fabulous!  Well, don’t be afraid to go for the look yourself.  Here are my tips on growing those beauties out in no time with no awkwardness…

#1:  Castor Oil:  This miracle oil has a great many wonderful attributes, not least of which being hair nourishment and regrowth, and can be found at your local drug store.  Dab a Q-tip into the oil each night and apply it to the eyebrow area.  Wipe off any excess outside of the general area to avoid clogging pores and Sweet Dreams!  In the morning, wash away the castor oil, exfoliating lightly with a washcloth to avoid leaving an oily residue.  Moisturize.

#2:  Pluck ONLY outside of the area where you want regrowth, for instance on the outer corners of your eyebrow and definitely in between.  A unibrow isn’t cute on anyone.  Except maybe Tom Hardy could pull it off?

#3:  For that awkward mean time, in between time of growth…use an eyebrow pencil to draw in your brows.  If you use the right pencil and technique, I promise you won’t look like Groucho Marx.   I’m currently using the blonde pencil from Mary Kay which looks so natural even with my dark brown hair…black and dark brown pencils are just generally too harsh in color unless you’re dark complected with very very dark black hair.  When applying the pencil, use light and thin strokes in the direction of hair growth.  You can even lightly draw more shape and arch into your brows, but again…use light strokes.  I believe that less is more when it comes to the ol’ brow pencil because ultimately we are still going for the natural look.

#4:  Fly away brows? Are new short hairs mixing in with long old-school hairs?  Easy.  After using your brow pencil…tame your brows with a quick squirt of hair spray.  I spray mine directly onto an eyebrow brush and brush my brows into direction and shape that I desire.  Once the spray dries, you’re set for the whole day!

Once they’ve grown into the fullness that you desire, your next step of action is up to you.  You can have the professionally threaded into shape, waxed, plucked…pick your poison.  I personally like to do my own, because I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t get them just a hair thinner (hehe) than I’d prefer.  My tweezers of choice are slanted Tweezer Man.

Good luck in your regrowth journey!  What are your takes on eyebrow trends?  Are full, well-groomed brows universally flattering?  What techniques are you storing away in your beauty arsenal?