Lust List {Cozy Candles and Fuzzy Accents}

by Lauren Durden in , ,

Fact #1: It's getting colder. 

Fact #2: This means you'll be spending more time indoors.

When I think of spending time indoors for winter, I imagine a fire crackling, a big fur blanket wrapped around me, and a cup of some spiced cider in hand. Maybe there's a bearskin rug on the floor near the fire... But I live in an apartment in East Harlem, and it certainly doesn't have a fireplace, or a bearskin rug for that matter. But I make due by filling my apartment with candles, lighting them seemingly earlier and earlier each day, as the sun goes down earlier and earlier and buying faux fur accents. 

This Lust List encompasses my love of the warm glow of candles, fuzzy things everywhere, and a cozy feeling even if a polar vortex is raging outside. The Lust items are a large format, super jumbo Diptyque Baies Candle in Noir that would pretty much break all the rules for how much one should reasonably spend on a single candle. It clocks in close to $300, but these other candles (all of which I own andthereby can attest to their delicious smell) are luxe on a budget. Smaller formats, like the mini Baies candle, and mid-range brands offer lower prices. Going faux instead of vrais on the fur accessories and  subbing in less expensive textiles like mohair make getting cozy pretty and affordable. Check out the List above. You can get more details on the specific products shown by clicking on the link in the caption, and let us know what you think in the comments! 


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Creatives {Q&A with Rebel Redefined Founder Emily Costa}

by Lauren Durden in ,

We Q&A'ed with clothing label founder Emily Costa, of Rebel Redefined, to talk about what it takes to start your own clothing line while juggling interning and school. She's under 30 and already a business owner (#hustle).  She's pretty much the modern day, millennial triple threat.

Read ahead to find out more about the line and check out our styling of her awesome shirts. 

What inspired you to launch Rebel Redefined?

Growing up it was my ultimate dream to have my own clothing line. I kept thinking one day it would be something I could do, but during my senior year of high school I decided there was nothing stopping me from starting now. Ever since launching a little over a year ago, the vision I had for the brand has come to an amazing reality.

What has been the hardest part of starting your own company?

The hardest part of starting my own company has been figuring out every aspect of owning and running a business as I go. I’m only a sophomore at the Fashion Institute of Technology, so I still have a ton to learn! But it’s a challenge I love taking on everyday.

Who is the RR girl?

The Rebel Redefined girl to me is someone who isn't afraid to be themselves - whoever that may be. They love dressing for themselves and don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone.

Did you pursue funding to start your own brand?

When I started the brand I was only 17, so trying to pursue funding was a bit out of reach. I was lucky enough to have my extremely supportive parents trust my vision and helped me launch the company. As Rebel continues to grow, funding may be the next big step to take.

What has been your greatest success? How did it come about?

The greatest success so far would have to be participating in the Super Saturday event benefiting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in the Hamptons and LA this past summer. We almost sold out our entire booth, which felt surreal since our neighbors included Rachel Zoe and Kate Spade. The best part was knowing we were able to support such an important cause.

What has been your greatest setback? How did you deal with that?

The biggest setback so far has been trying to grow the company while being a full time student and also interning.  I've learned to balance all of my responsibilities and still leave plenty of time to focus on Rebel Redefined.

The shirts feature really smart and sassy sayings.  Who comes up with them?

I've actually come up with all of them! I have a note in my phone with a ton of sassy (and usually ridiculous) sayings I come up with during the day. When it comes to making a new line, I usually start by going through all of them and selecting the ones I can really envision on a tee. I believe Rebel Redefined apparel is all about saying what you want through what you wear.

Where do you find your inspiration in the everyday?

I find inspiration in everything around me! I’m lucky enough to live in New York City, so it is easy to be inspired simply walking around and exploring. I also love looking on Instagram and fashion blogs to spark some creativity.

Whose career has inspired you?

Sophia Amoruso has to be my ultimate inspiration. Her book #GIRLBOSS has become the Rebel Redefined bible. It’s so inspiring to see how a company like Nasty Gal started as a small eBay operation in Sophia’s bedroom but is now a multimillion-dollar empire. It reminds me that if I stay positive and work hard, I can create something bigger than I have ever imagined.

You are very busy juggling several projects at once, how do you stay organized and on top of everything?

It takes a lot of time and organization to stay on top of everything between Rebel, school and interning! What keeps me on track is REALLY loving what I do. When it doesn’t feel like work, it keeps me motivated and excited.

How much of a role does the internet and social media play in your branding and distribution of your product?

The internet and social media plays a huge role in branding and distributing our merchandise. Rebel Redefined is solely e-commerce right now, so our presence and operation is entirely online. Our website and social media accounts are the first and only impression a potential customer has of seeing what Rebel Redefined is about. We also have a blog that features posts on fashion, outfit inspiration and life in general by a team of 6 girls including myself. Along with that, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr play a huge role in branding.

What are your favorite trends or staples for Fall?

My staples for this fall include my favorite Rebel tee, a leather jacket, a pair of my favorite Jeffery Campbell booties and my Proenza Schouler PS1.  

What’s one way you can repurpose or remix pieces you already have to achieve one of those trends for Fall?

    Fall is always my favorite season because it’s the best time to wear things you already have in new ways. I usually take some of my favorite summer dresses or tees and throw on my leather jacket and booties. It is always the easiest way to look chic and polished while transitioning into the cooler weather.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Whatever idea you have - go for it, you don't have anything to lose! If you believe in what you’re doing and are passionate, everything will slowly fall into place. Working hard always pays off.

Check out the Rebel Redefined line and learn more about the company here

Credits: Photos by Lauren, edited by Gloira. Rebel Redefined Same Old Chic shirt modeled by Gloria, styled by Gloria and Lauren. 

Outfit details: Necklace: Kenneth Jay Lane via (similar here), Pants: Zara (similar here), Boots: Aldo, Lip: MAC Rebel

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{the BLVD Beauty} A Golden Halloween

by Gloria Cavallaro

While you might be past the trick or treating stage (emphasis on the might), Halloween still holds lots of fun for us big kids (sometimes, a little TOO much fun).  I’ve tried the span of predictable and creative costumes, from a black cat (it’s just SO EASY) to a Greek Muse (made the floral headpiece and gold trimmed toga all by myself) and enjoyed them all.


Something that remains a Halloween constant, however, is my desire to go a little more out there than usual with my makeup. This year, I’m not quite sure what I’ll be (clock’s tickin’ Gloria, get on this) but I do know what beauty look I’m wearing.  It’s a stand-out smoky eye with an all over gold wash that can go with a range of different costumes. What makes this look perfect for a spooky evening is the subtle shimmer, ensuring you’ll be seen no matter how dim the lighting.


{How To}

1.    To get that lit-from-within look, I applied liquid highlighter all over my face before applying my foundation. I used Nars Orgasm Illuminator for it’s gold flush. Layer on top a minimal coverage foundation - like a tinted moisturizer - so the glow can shine through.

2.    For a full-on gold eye with deep definition, apply a black eye shadow from the middle of the upper lash line to the crease and smoke it out into an almond shape. Use that same black shadow to line the lower lash line as well.

3.    Next, apply a lighter gold shade from the middle of the lash line to the inner corner as a highlight. I used Half Baked from the original Urban Decay Naked Palette.

4.    Follow that with a deep gold wash across the rest of the lid. I used Nars Étrusque for it’s amazing color pay off. Pack it on, don’t swipe, in order to not muddy the black almond shape underneath.  Pack the gold on top of the black shadow lining the lower lasher as well.

5.    Complete the look by lining the upper and lower waterlines with black eyeliner, applying a thin black line along the upper lashes, and swiping on your most statement-making mascara on top and bottom lashes.

6.    Perfect your pout with a shimmery, peachy nude and finish off your skin with a bronzy blush dusted on the cheeks almost like a contour. Highlight cheekbones with an illuminator - Benefit’s Watt's Up is a great one - and you’re ready to take on the night.

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Creatives {Q&A with Birch Coffee Co-Founder Jeremy Lyman}

by Lauren Durden in

We had a little Q&A with Birch Coffee's co-founder, Jeremy Lyman, to talk about what's important to him as a business owner, how he lets off steam, and how he takes his morning cup o' joe. 

                                          Co-Founders of Birch Coffee, Paul Schlader (left) and Jeremy Lyman (right). 

                                          Co-Founders of Birch Coffee, Paul Schlader (left) and Jeremy Lyman (right). 


What inspired you to start your own coffee house? 

I was very unhappy with my previous job. I honestly feel like I am doing what I was meant to do but that every single job that I've had and company that I have worked for has brought me exactly to where I am. I truly believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well and that is why whether I was happy or not, I showed up and did the best job I knew how.  That is why I think I am so fortunate to be doing this.  I absolutely love it and so my "all" goes into it, every day. I really wanted to create an environment that fosters a sense of community and togetherness.  I believe Birch Coffee is the epitome of that.  

What sets Birch Coffee apart from other coffee houses? 

It is, without hesitation, our service. Our baristas and staff are incredibly approachable and make the product, coffee, very accessible to anyone coming into any of the stores. From the moment someone walks into the store to the minute they leave, it is our priority to take care of their needs.  We obviously can't service everything, I mean, we don't serve sushi, but if asked, we can tell you a couple of our favorite places we like to go!  

Can you describe challenges you faced in starting your own business in NYC? Are there any challenges that are specific to NYC? 

I would say that in the beginning, raising capital was the biggest challenge when opening the business.  We were trying to open in one of the worst financial times of the last 30+ years and asking people to give us money when we had no experience and take a big leap of faith with us was a lot to ask.  We managed to convince enough of our close family and friends to do so but I think it was because they simply had more faith in Paul and I than they did in the business concept itself.  As far as challenges specific to NY, since we haven't opened anywhere else yet, I can't speak to that but I have been told that it is just as tough to open anywhere else as it is here.  

How would each of you describe your personal work ethic? 

I am a strong believer in the saying "anything worth doing is worth doing well"  Any job I have ever had, I show up and I do my job. Whether or not I like what I was doing when I was doing it was irrelevant. If someone was trusting me to do a job, it was my obligation to do it as best I could. I believe I can speak for Paul when I say that we are just two really straightforward and honest hardworking guys.  If you don't have your integrity, what have you got? And at the end of the day I have to be okay with how I handled myself throughout the day and sleep well at night.

What is most important for you in day to day operations? 

So long as the staff are kickin' ass in the customer service department, I'm pretty happy. I think it goes without saying that the cleanliness of the shop and the quality of the product are perfect (or as close to it as possible) as well, but this is all a part of the customer experience.  Our barista can be super nice but then the floor or the condiment station is dirty and that barista interaction is somewhat negated. 

That grilled cheese sandwich - the Humboldt Fog with avocado and tomato - who thought of this glorious combination? 

As much as both Paul and I would love to take credit for this, we have to give credit where it is due.  We had been serving a cheddar, tomato, and avocado grilled cheese, but our friend and celebrity chef Jehangir Mehta tried it and wanted to spice it up a bit.  He had us try one with roasted tomatoes and added humboldt fog, and brilliance.  It's my favorite thing on the menu.  

What's your favorite grilled cheese combo? 

See above!

What do you take into consideration when creating the menu for Birch Coffee? 

First and foremost, we assess the size of the space. If it is conducive to having a kitchen, we will work it in. Sometimes it is simply better as a pure coffee spot. As far as creating the menu, we have a pretty solid menu of sandwiches that works well so we will just keep going with that until it no longer works!

If you couldn't eat or drink at Birch Coffee, where would we find you in the city?  

For coffee, I'll hit up Grumpy or Joe and if I can't eat at Birch, I'll go out of my way to track down a Dos Toros, best burrito in the city (I think).  Also, and you didn't ask, but I figured I'd throw it in... because I work as much as I do, there is a balance I need to maintain so if I'm not eating or having coffee, I'll be boxing over at Title Boxing Club on w 37th st!!  

And, of course, how do you take your coffee? 

Most often, iced, with a touch of cream.  The rest of the time, hot and black.  

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The Lust List {Hats Off}

by Gloria Cavallaro in , , ,

The autumn chill is here + I just chopped off a foot of hair = baby girl's head needs some extra warmth - which is why this week's Lust List is entirely devoted to hats. From the classic fedora to chic baseball caps and Lower East Side staple, the pork pie; hat options this season are so stellar I can hardly choose. Thus, for your style pleasure, I put together some of my favorites, all under $70, all perfect for fall.  

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