Monthly Edit Vol. 1

April 15, 2018
Hi everyone! A lot of my favorite bloggers have regular series' in which they share links to interesting articles, blog posts, and videos they've recently seen. My favorites are Barefoot Blonde's 12 Things, Carly the Prepster's On My Radar, and Fran Acciardo's Top 10. While I don't have it in me to publish a weekly edit, I'm excited about starting a monthly edit in which I share what's been keeping me happy and entertained for the past month. Welcome to volume 1!

1. How L'Oréal Is Using Tech to Make Thousands of Custom Skin Shades

The intersection of beauty and tech is a quickly involving space right now. I've always shied away from products that claim to make your hair grow or clear your skin with a light, they freak me out. But, L'Oreal using technology to better suit its wide range of customers with custom products seems like a great way to marry beauty and tech!

2. The Flowers that Make Chanel No. 5

Chanel No. 5 is one of those cult beauty products that everyone has owned or lusted over at one point in their lives (see my 2015 holiday wish list). Reading about the process of cultivating the fragrance and the tradition of it gave me a better appreciation of the brand and its star product.

3. Sunday Self Care Routine

Since it's Sunday, I want to share the new weekly ritual that I've started and have been loving! In my most recent life update, I mentioned that I started going to National Community Church and I've been loving it. For the past couple of months, I've woken up at 7am and washed my hair going the whole nine yards — shampoo, reconstructor, deep condition with a hair mask, and condition. The process relaxes me while allowing a dedicated time in the week to go all out taking care of my hair. After that, I grab a quick breakfast and hop in an Uber to get to church by 10:30am. At about 11:45, after the service, I walk about 8 minutes to Violet Boutique — my favorite place to shop in D.C. I shop for about an hour before making my way to 14th Street where I typically go into Trader Joes for some groceries. It's always so busy, but I enjoy going with the flow and getting a couple of snacks or emergency meals for the week! Last week, I tried the mildly spiced vegetable burrito and it was the perfect late dinner on nights when studying got the best of me.

4. Violet Boutique

As I just mentioned, I shop at Violet Boutique on a weekly basis. At this point, I've collected a mini capsule wardrobe complete with a full outfit and accessories all from Violet. One of my favorite and most worn pieces is the denim skirt that I purchased a few weeks ago. I love that denim skirts have come back into style, but my style is a bit more polished than the frayed and distressed skirts I've been seeing from my favorite retailers. In addition to the finished bottom, the skirt comes with the coolest loop belt for the perfect touch 90s flair!

5. Spring Break in the Dominican Republic

If you've been keeping up my blog or following along on Instagram (@misslaurenalston) then you know that I was in the Dominican Republic for an extended Easter break/spring break. To recap, we stayed at Dreams La Romana and had the best time of any of our past tropical vacations!

6. Murder on the Orient Express

I wanted to see this movie since it came out in theaters near the end of 2017 but never had the chance. I was thinking about renting it from Redbox while I was at home and then to my surprise it was available to watch on the flight to the DR. Though I haven't seen the original, I loved the film! Mysteries with a big overarching subplot and without an obvious conclusion are my favorites! I highly recommend for a family movie night!

7. Claire from Bon Appétit

A couple weeks ago, a bunch of Bon Appétit videos showed up in my YouTube recommendations. I first watched the one where Claire makes Cheetos and I was immediately captivated. In addition to her being so innovative and knowledgeable about food, I'm intrigued by cooking cheap junk food in a gourmet kitchen with quality ingredients. Claire is super fun and I could watch videos of her for hours (I actually did)! My favorite video of hers is when she makes Gushers!

8. American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

The first season of American Crime Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson, is one of the best shows I've ever watched (and made me fall in love with Sterling K. Brown). The acting and storyline are so well depicted and each episode brought clear to the program. I heard about season 2 from Vogue's 73 questions with Donatella Versace and later when I discovered that Darren Criss was playing the murder I had to watch it. This season doesn't feel as relevant or high stakes as its predecessor, nevertheless, it was more captivating than any other show I'm watching right now. What stood out to was the structure of the show, it moves backward through Andrew Cunanan and Gianni Versace's lives. Darren Criss' performance was amazing (as always) and the entire season was wonderfully beautiful.

9. Morning Skincare Routine

This past week on my Instagram story I shared my current morning skincare routine. Burt's Bees is my favorite brand, so it's no surprise that most of my products are from their skincare range.  First, I use Burt's Bees' Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser, to clean my skin of any dirt or residual makeup that may not have been fully cleared the night before. I love the thickness of this product and how foams so well. Then, I apply Clean and Clear Acne Spot Treatment which I don't love by any means but is effective in getting rid of any spots on my face. If you have any acne cream recommendations, leave them in the comments! To moisturize, I use Burt's Bees' Intense Hydration Daily Lotion. It creates a thick layer of moisture and protection from the air, which my skin needs no matter what season it is. I finish it all with a couple spritzes of Mario Badescu's rose water spray.

10. Jeremy Jordan's "She Used to Be Mine"

I'm secretly a musical theater fan and in my opinion, Jeremy Jordan is one of the best singers of all time. His performance of She Used to Be Mine at MisCast  2018 is one the few performances that nearly moves me to tears when I hear it. My sister and I had it on repeat the first night in the DR and since being back I still listen to it every couple of days.

11. Difficult Women

A couple of days ago, I posted a book talk on Roxane Gay's Difficult Women. I actually haven't finished the book yet, but I read a story every night and I'm absolutely loving it! As I mentioned in the post, each story gives an interesting perspective which is extremely important. Go read the post to find out what my favorite stories are!

12. COSMIC by Bazzi

If you didn't know, I'm a big fan of Bazzi. He released a new album a few weeks ago and I've been playing it every day. My two favorite songs are Mine and Why, both of which were released as singles before the album dropped. His music is the perfect mix of hip-hop and pop (what I like to call hip pop) and I love to sing along and dance in the privacy of my shower. I highly recommend it!

That's all for today! I hope you all enjoyed this month's edit and I would love you to leave what you've found interesting lately in the comments. xx, Lauren


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