1. Be Better at…Summer.

    Hi lovies,

    It’s officially summa’ y’all! Get your american flag Budweiser bikinis on, make some watermelon mojitos and put some damn music on. What music you ask? 

    Since you asked so nicely, I made you a playlist with my own hands.

    CLICK HERE IDIOT FOR THE SPOTIFY LINK——> You’ve Got Some Sunlight in Your Hair

    Here’s the songlist, just in case you’re worried it won’t be your thing:

    Happy Summer!

    xoxo Chinae

     


  2. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Rhubarb Dark and Stormy:

    Friends, it’s Friday. WASTHISTHELONGESTWEEKEVERORWHAT?

    I think the best way we can celebrate that summer officially kicked our asses this week, is to make a fantastic cocktail. Sound good? Bueno!

    Rhubarb Dark and Stormy:

    • 2 ounces dark rum
    • 3 ounces ginger beer (not ginger ale, douchebags)
    • Small grate of fresh ginger
    • 1/2 ounce lime juice
    • Ice (Ice, Baby)
    • 1 tbsp of Rhubarb Syrup* (Recipe below)

    Combine all the ingredients together and stir over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a sliver of ginger or lime wedge. 

    To make your own rhubarb syrup (stays good in the fridge for 3 weeks):

    • 1 1/4 cup of rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups of water
    Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir. Heat over high until boiling, then turn that bitch down and simmer for 25 minutes longer. After that time, remove it from the heat, and strain the liquid through a fine, mesh strainer. Let cool down and transfer to a bottle or jar.
    Happy Weekend y’all.
    Chinae
     


  3. Be a Better…Cook.

    Homemade Lo-Carb Popsicles Edition:

    It’s f*cking hot out. I over-romanticize summer every year and then here we are…August and my curse rate is about 20wpm. So, instead of stuffing my VS bra with ice cubes like I initially wanted to, I think making home made Low Carb popsicles is probably a better idea. (Although that bra thing sounds like a decent plan B)

    Here are some fun summery recipes to beat the heat by putting frozen things into your mouthhole.

    Coco Pops: (Should make 4 average sized pops)

    -Shaved coconut (unsweetened, preferably fresh)

    -1 plain small box of Vitacoco, original flavor

    -1/4 cup Heavy Cream

    -2 packets of splenda

    Mix together all ingredients, use as much shaved coconut as you like, some like it more pulpy than others. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze!

    Coffee Pops: (my fav)

    -Coffee

    -Sweetener of Choice

    -Half and Half

    Basically make yourself a couple cups of your favorite coffee mixture and pour into molds. I think I’ll be bringing these on the subway for my morning commute.

    Mixed Berry Lemonade Pops:

    -Crystal light, lemonade 

    -Fresh blueberries + Raspberries, slightly crushed

    You know what to do here.

    Strawberry Basil Pops:

    -Crushed Fresh Strawberries

    -Finely diced basil

    -Limeade

    Same thing here, geniuses.

    Thank God Fall is COMING SOON,

    Chinae

     


  4. Be a Better…Beauty.

    Summer Nails Edition:

    I have a Saturday morning ritual that is pretty much un-missable in my book. Q Spa is a magical land where my girlfriends gather every weekend to catch up on the latest craziness in each other’s lives, get manis, and drink Gorilla coffee. Pretty much the pinnacle of all things girly. 

    A good manicure is the best investment of $8 I spend all week and I highly encourage all you raggedy-nailed individuals to start doing on a weekly basis. You’ll thank me later.

    This summer in particular has been a-buzz with nail trends in the beauty world. Celebs and stylish girls alike, have been flocking to their local nail tech to get the best and brightest in new manicures! BUT…some of this sh*t is just ridiculous. 

    So how do we pick the perfect summer manicure without looking like someone that works at the DMV (anyone else understand this reference?)?

    Nail Tips:

    -I prefer nails to be short, and a natural nail shape. Especially if you are doing bright nails, short is key. Otherwise, you are going to look like aforementioned DMV employee, I promise.

    -If you aren’t good at painting them yourself, DONT.

    -Don’t go overboard with nail art unless you are SURE it’s going to be good looking…this is a very thin line ladies (and some very particular gentlemen)

    -Men, you can still get a manicure without losing your masculinity. We ladies appreciate when you don’t look like you’ve been digging around in sh*t or been snacking on your nailbeds when you’re hungry. OM NOM NOM NOM

    -Bold, flat colors (i.e. no shimmer or pearlescence) work on everyone. Shimmer or pearlized polishes have a tendency to look like you just finished the 7th grade and you’ve just discovered that your body is changing in some weird ways, so steer clear!

    -Trendy nails…now, I know that nail companies are REALLY trying to be innovative with polishes currently…but personally I don’t need my manicure to look shattered or move along with magnets. It’s seems unnecessary and borderline trashy.

    Now for some fun Summer Nail Inspiration!

    Look chic down to your nailbeds bitches.

    xoxo Chinae

     


  5. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Strawberry Basil Mojito Edition:

    It’s Friday again my loves. You know what that means. Time to have a mini digital cocktail break at work. 

    I used to frequent this Cuban bar in Fort Worth when I was in school, and I’m still having dreams about their mojitos. But alas, these were no REGULAR ass mojitos. This was a special concoction that made me feel like I could legitimately fight crime, Mcgruff style. 

    Here’s the recipe:

    -Diced Strawberries

    -Basil

    -Ice

    -Rum

    -Sugar or Splenda

    -Lime Juice

    -Club Soda

    Start with a handful of diced strawberries, a couple sprigs of basil, splash of lime juice, and sugar/splenda in the bottom of your glass. Muddle these ingredients together. After these are all mushy and great smelling, add your rum (I like 2 parts rum but ya know…I like the booze). Then add your ice, and fill the rest of your glass up with club soda. 

    Garnish with a sprig of basil if you can wait that long.

    Happy Summer Boozefest!

    x Chinae

     


  6. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Maxi Skirt Edition:

    (wanted to look like this…but yeah. I wore the maxi with pride instead)

    Maxi skirts used to play a major role in my life. Picture it. 6th grade. Black, long, stretchy, maxi skirt (with side slit to amp up the sexiness) with large t-shirt (inevitably tucked in and poufed out, because that was “cool”), hair parted down the middle making a lovely, mushroom-like coif. Top this whole look off with some platform MIA (the brand not Sri Lankan rapper/singer) slides and a pukka shell necklace. What. A. Sexpot. 

    But seriously, I remember looking in the mirror and thinking…DAMN. I look good. I am really going to get those pre-pubescent boys going with this ensemble. 

    And damn, was I wrong. 

    So you can understand my hesitation when maxi skirts made a big comeback about a year or two ago. I stayed away from the trend because, like 6th grade, if I don’t participate or think about it, it MIGHT be removed from my memory. Well, shit. It didn’t and now it’s time to jump on the bandwagon (though I won’t forget home base, miniskirts4life).

    Let’s go over some DO’s and DONT’s here people:

    DONT’s:

    1) Don’t get me wrong, I love a good plaid. You give me a reformed hipster male wearing a decent plaid button down shirt and I’ll put all my chips in. BUT, plaid in a maxi just looks like you are going out Braveheart-style (in a bad way). If you want to look wide, old, and school marm-esque, wear this option with pride, just don’t forget your school books and bagpipes.

    2) Horizontal stretchy stripes in a hip-hugging maxi skirt are just going to make you look beefy. And not in the delicious sense. 

    3) I love ethnic-inspired things, but seriously this is just bad. Maybe pick something more simple to avoid looking like you are going to a theme party, ya know….unless you are going to a theme party. In that case, invite me. I love a good dress up party.

    4) I didn’t know Lilith Fair was still happening. Apparently for some people, it is. Broomstick-tiered skirts make me have flashbacks to when my mom used to wear these everyday with a good denim shirt, chunky Texan silver jewelry and western-style boots. Attempt this only if you are willing to listen to playlists made up of: Jewel (before she went country and shit), Sarah McLachan, and Paula Cole. (I don’t wanna wait either Paula, and props to you if you get this reference) OR if you live on some GD prairie. 

    DO’s:

    -A great new take (one of my faves this season) on the maxi skirt is the half sheer version of it. So lovely and makes this potentially gender-killing trend, a little sexier. Reclaim your lady parts!

    -OW OW OW. This one is just good. A great tulip shape with a front slit makes this Faux-Wrap Maxi a figure flattering option for just about any Jane. 

    -A pop of color in a maxi can make you avoid looking like me in 6th grade and make you instead look pretty major. Top this off with a bright top to get in on the color blocking trend this season OR pair with a neutral top and some killer jewels to fancy yourself up for a summer soiree. You’ll for sure make the other girls jealous…that’s the point right?

    -So you don’t want to feel like your legs are trapped like sausages in their casing? Hello Palazzo Pants! The perfect option for you to get that maxi skirt look without giving away the freedom to sit like a man on the train!

    Maxi skirts not Maxi Pads lovies,

    Chinae

     


  7. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Color Blocking Edition:

    This is totally old news in the fashion world, I’m aware. But I’ve seen some great examples (and really sh*tty ones) of color blocking in clothing lately around the streets of NYC. This has totally simplified my wardrobe and has totally made getting ready for “school” fun again. So I thought I’d share my thoughts.

    Now, once you get the hang of HOW to do this, you’ll be set, but there are some DO’s and DONT’s so we can all avoid looking like a Christmas elf, Ronald McDonald, or Mattel’s Skipper.

    DO’s:

    (Rachel Roy)

    (Gucci)

    -Pick simple, tailored items in a rich fabric

    -Stick with 2-3 solid brights and 1 neutral 

    -Bold colors work best, pastels can get a bit tricky and you can end up looking like My Little Pony

    -Pro Tip: Jewel tones almost ALWAYS work together…so if you are a beginner, it’s a great way to try out the trend

    (Here’s my stupid ass, looking like Barney but color blocking like an idiot champion)

    Here are some stand-by color combos that work well:

    DONT’s:

    -Mixing lots of patterns in with your color blocking WILL make you look insane. Beware.

    -Try to mix in some sort of neutral or metallic to add interest and grounding to the look

    -Red/Yellow, Pink/Purple, Red/Green are almost never good combos unless you want to look like the aforementioned: elf, McDonald’s employee, or My Little Pony. (unless you are trying to get a job as one of these….in that case, go for it.)

    Here are some BAD color blocking examples:

          

    I now release you, to go forth and color block,

    Chinae

     


  8. Be Better…Looking.

    Summer Upkeep Edition:

    NYC is relatively the same temperature as Earth’s Inner Core currently and I pretty much look like I’ve dipped my face in a vat of day-old french fry oil most of the time. One thing I can be really thankful to my Korean American heritage about is the fact that I don’t have sweat stains in the formation of the Great Lakes like most people but still, I’m struggling to look average on the attractiveness scale right now. I reallllly wish all of America could just get together for a brief meeting, pop a few Tecate Lites, and just come to an agreement that we can all give up on our looks from June-August and really let ourselves go, but alas…my wishes don’t come true that easily. If they did, my job would be to watch treadmill fall videos on youtube all day from my lounge chair at my beach resort while being fed bacon-centric treats by a shirtless Argentinean cabana boy(s). But I digress. 

    So here’s some tips and products that will assist in the effort to NOT to repulse everyone around you in the summer:

    -Oil Absorbtion: (p.s. the above photo is not me, for the record) Alright, I know this is kinda gross for a girl to be admitting, but I’m one oily bitch up in the T-Zone. I mean, I’m not like slipping and falling on granite floors due to my “situation” but you get it. If I could pick one beauty product to take with me to a desert island (where I would be stranded with that Werewolf actor), I’d take some Clean N’ Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. They are seriously the best 4.99 you’ll spend each week and just think, people won’t be using your forehead to check and see if they have something in their teeth post-dinner. The best part is, you aren’t caking on more powdery makeup. Because if you do that all day, you’ll be looking like a Geisha by 4pm, and that’s not so sexy unless you are like… one of those people that likes Geishas (like in that movie from 2005…what am i talking about?!). The point is…these are a total lifesaver for girls AND guys alike (yes, you boys are oily too and yes, it totally grosses us out).

    -Sweat Management: So, like I said before, I won the big prize on life’s Price is Right giant wheel and don’t really sweat (except for my face, which is REALLY attractive) but I know most people have perspiration issues in the hot months. Baby powder and a brand switch on your D.O. could be a good start to getting rid of your Niagra-esque sweating issue. I would recommend trying Johnson’s Baby Powder with Cornstarch in it…dust a light layer on the body (not on your arms and legs bc then we have a mime/clown situation, which makes even fewer friends than being wet all the time), right after showering. The cornstarch in the baby powder helps absorbs moisture, and creates a cooling effect on the skin! Another tip/trick is to sprinkle some on your sheets before bed, you’ll be cool all night and you’ll smell like an infant so that’s pretty legit too. 

    Another way to beat the sweat is to switch up the deodorant you use. Let’s do a little package labeling lesson: antiperspirant =reduces sweating, deodorant=covers your stench up, antiperspirant with deodorant=bingo! You’ll want to be buying the last kind, because we want double duty of not sweating and most importantly, not smelling like you are smuggling decaying animal carcasses under your pits. Also, you’ll want to switch up the brand you are using every other time or so…this will keep your body from becoming too accustomed to Old Spice Swagger (shout out to my deodorant brand..holla!). 

    Drink More: Water…I know. Boring. You’ll need to be slamming over 100 oz. a day during the summer. I have an app on my phone to track my H20 consumption because I’m a huge toolbag but find your own way to keep tabs on how much you are actually putting in your hot body. Water makes all the difference in your skin, hair, and health. You’ll be surprised how many summer naps and headaches can be avoided by chugging a few glasses of freedom juice. To switch things up, try it with slices of cucumber…it adds no-calorie deliciousness if plain ol’ water isn’t turning you on. 

    Beauty Essentials: Around 2pm everyday, women’s faces melt off. Well, that could be dramatic…but still…things start to wear off, move around, smudge, etc due to the sun frying our outer layers. You don’t need carry an entire Sephora franchise in your bag, but invest in some small touch up solutions to keep you looking decent from happy hour through dinner and drinks.

    Here are some essentials (along with your trusty oil sheets):

    -A combo bronzer/blush like Philosophy’s The Supernatural “You Make Me Blush” Bronzer/Blush Duo

    -A Mini Mascara (waterproof is best in the summa’ time)

    -A cream eyeliner and brush, I am obsessed with Make Up Forever’s Aqua Creamliner

    -A bright lipstick like NARS Funny Face

    Hair Fury: I consider my hair to be about a 6.5 on the hair scale of manageability, but you add in some heat and humidity and we are averaging at about a 3.2. So how to we make ourselves look like we don’t have to try and somehow look effortlessly hot? BEACH HAIR. It’s the answer to all the world’s problems folks. NATO, are you listening? Now most guys have already stopped reading due to the very feminine bullet point that just happened, BUT beach hair is sexy for men too. And no, you don’t have to call it beach hair. So skip the L.A. Looks gel this season and try this with us ladies. 

    Most beach spray is pretty pricey, and apparently it’s frowned upon to take a spray bottle full of seawater from the beach (it’s full of urine and will mildew and stink within 2-3 days…not that I tried this last summer or anything…ehem). Here’s a failproof beach hair spray recipe that is free/cheap and works like a charm! (I tried it last night)

    UNISEX Beach Hair Spray:

    -8oz of warm water

    -1 Tablespoon of Table salt or Sea Salt (preferred)

    -Small Amount of Conditioner

    Just mix it all up in a spray bottle and spray on damp hair! Let it air dry (or use your blow dryer on low impact) and you’ll have sexy beach hair that no one will know that you spent all day doing excel spreadsheets in your cubicle. 

    Cheers to a Better Looking Summer and keeping it fresh to death.

    Chinae

     


  9. Be Better at…Summertime.

    First Beach Day Woes Edition:

    It’s the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, I was wearing a leather jacket a week ago, and suddenly, we are living in a solar flare. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED NYC? I thought you said you were going to take things nice and slow this year, easing me into seasonal change like the Smooth Operator I thought you were. Well you’re doing it wrong. We are in a fight. 

    As I arrived home late last night, my best friend iPhone let me know that I had an email coming in…”Subject Line: BIIIIZZZEACH!” ….Translation: Beach trip. Momentary panic ensues. 

    Now, let’s get some things straight. I F*ing love the beach. I will be the first one on the LIRR heading out, I will bring my own myriad of oils, I will power through an 8-hour stint on the sand (no breaks), I will make those weird drippy castles on your stomach if you fall asleep, and I will be in the water 95% of the time (with the majority of the time spent evading the lifeguards who are yelling at me for breaking beach rules). A good beach trip is my favorite summertime activity and I honestly couldn’t make it through NYC summer without the proximity of the sun, sand, and agua. But I’ll tell you, that first beach day is a rough one for all of us. 

    You’ve powered through the winter and spring (which was non-existant really)…and you’ve emerged as this translucent creature, similar to a jellyfish, soft, pale, and boneless (OK, maybe not boneless). So how can we make the most of our Jellyfish state and look halfway decent on this perilous first beach trip? Here we go:

    -Swimsuit choice: Now I know we’ve discussed swimsuit choices on this god-forsaken blog before, but this is crucial to the first beach day experience. This is NOT the time to be busting out your light colors, and skimpiest options. WE AREN’T READY FOR IT. Just stick to something more low key. You are way too pale to be wearing your yellow polka dot bikini, so just save it ok? The time will come, after 2-3 beach trips, that you’ll be tan enough to be wearing that…for right now you just look like a jaundiced baby with a couple extra sets of dimples. 

    -Self Tanning Lotion: Guys, Gals, this is more for the general public rather than for you. You’ve been warned a couple days in advance that you will be bearing your goodies, let’s put in a little prep work and substitute a lotion with a mild self tanner for the usual body lotion…It’s cheap, it works, and seriously it will assist in your Memorial Beach day game with the opposite sex. Things to remember: wash your hands after application, make sure you rub it in well, and don’t overdo it (you aren’t fooling anyone Snooki). Here’s one of my favorite products that always does the trick! 

    -Manscaping/Ladyscaping: Take care of your business(this includes chest, pits, back, ass, and wonder zones). We don’t need to see your lack of personal hygiene when you took the winter off from dating and lived in your apartment like it was some weird man/lady cave.  (please note…the best photo that ever was and will be on the internet)

    -Beach Makeup: Alright I’ll admit, I rarely leave the house without some sort of makeup on. Yes, I’m the girl lifting heavier weights and getting more reps in than you at the gym, while wearing red lipstick. DEAL WITH IT. So the beach is an interesting ordeal, especially if you spend most of your time in the water like this Lil’ Mermaid. Here are some ways I stay looking glam at the beach all up in the face:

    1) Choose a BRIGHT waterproof lipstick that is going to stay with you all day, without having to re-apply every hour…this will instantly make your features pop and you will still feel mega-hot when you are throwing up all the seawater you accidentally swallowed during the under-water handstand contest you just participated in. Here is my personal favorite, Beyonce Red from L’Oreal Infallible Stars Collection

    2) Get your hands on a great waterproof mascara. This is my personal favorite L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara. You don’t want to end up looking like this….

    or This…

    3) Tinted Moisturizer: This is a great option for a little bit of coverage mixed with the added benefit of some SPF action (if you are into that sort of thing) I like Korres’s Watermelon Tinted Moisturizer the best. 

    -Exfoliation: You are going to feel a million times hotter when you scrub off all that nasty wintery dry skin and BONUS…your tan will stay a lot longer if you do this before you hit the beach! (Tip: Exfoliate, Self tanner lotion, beach…in that order) Save your moolah for a new swimsuit and make your own salt scrub at home!

    Homemade Salt Scrub:

    -Lavender or Peppermint Oil

    -Olive Oil

    -Course Sea Salt 

    Combine equal parts Sea Salt and Olive Oil, add peppermint/lavender oil to scent the mixture. Insta-smooth skin!

    Good luck out there. Hope this makes you feel infinitely hotter on your first day out my little mermaid/mermen. See you all on Recovery Tuesday. 

    xoxo Chinae

     


  10. Be a Better…Dresser.

    One-Piece Swimsuit Edition:

    It’s nearing summer, although here in the city I forgot what heat feels like or sun looks like…the closest thing I’ve gotten to sun is the UV nail dryer at my local favorite janky nail salon Q Spa. 

    Anyway, if I beleive what “they” say…summer is coming and that means it’s beach time bitches. You ready? If you didn’t start dieting back in January, just forget it and try again next year…starting crunches in late May just isn’t going to cut it unless you have Giselle genes so soothe your worries with another one of your homemade “stews”.

    With beach season, comes the ultimate female woe…a day typically that ends with you sitting in some God-forsaken dressing room, laying on the floor, crying or considering joining a convent so your pale, wintery ass can hide for the summer and avoid buying a new swimsuit. 

    Well fashion this year has done us a favor ladies…apparently one pieces are back in with vengeance and I don’t mean those tan-through Miracle Suits™ you find in SkyMall. No, actual cute one-piece swimsuits designed by actual people who have talent. Hurrah!

    Let’s see some Do’s and Don’ts of One Piece Bathing Suits for this season…

    Dont’s:

    Alright, let’s talk this out. These swimsuits make me get the “fashion runs” pretty immediately. The first lovely lady is sporting what I like to call the “Slutty Sumo”. Requirements for this suit are fake tatas, a perfectly sculpted back and judging by the pleather, probably some acrylic nails…so I don’t know about you guys…but I’m out on this one.  

    The next three lil’ gems are obviously designed by a man. NO WOMAN LOOKS GOOD WITH A CENTRAL STOMACH CUTOUT. Can we all agree this is the worst? Nothing says beach-sexy than a round tanline obviously highlighting the fact that you probably shouldn’t have eaten that second round of hot dogs at the beach bbq or that you may have not worked out since you took that hellish Zumba class two years ago and had to fake your own death as a quick exit strategy. 

    The last suit is just ridiculous…white/tan/cream are never really a great option for swimwear considering if its not made just right you look like the little Hispanic kids at the public pool in my home town that go swimming in their undershirts as well as white being the universally know “how to look fat” color. And those black boob cups? They look like two teacups, just waiting for a beachside tea party…let’s just say I prefer coffee. 

    These suits really suck. But here are some that don’t…

    DO’s:

    1. If you are looking for a solid suit, pick a flattering color in a bold, dense hue like these fun blue suits…jewel tones look good on pretty much everyone. Like I said, avoid light colors (only exception is if it’s heavily lined) unless you want a little extra attention at the beach when you do your unexpected peek-a-boo show. Hey, this might be a good option for those of you who need to make a few extra bucks on the weekends.

    2. If you are looking for a printed suit, pick a small to medium sized print that doesn’t overwhelm you, ultimately we don’t want you to look like you Macguyvered a swim suit out of your dad’s Tommy Bahama reject shirt. 

    3. Find your best assest and flaunt that. Long legs? Pick a suit that is higher cut on the thighs so you can elongate those hot gams. Small Waist? Find swimwear that has some structure to it, to accentuate your hourglass figure and make all those straight-up-and-down bitches jealous. Small Boobs/Big Boobs? Wear a cup shape that is supportive to the level that you need, for big knockers wear something with a built in cup, for small nuggets, you can get away with a deep v, so do it while the girls are still up and around.

    Hope this helps ease your forth-coming nervous breakdown regarding your thighs, 

    Chinae

    p.s. two pieces coming in a post soon!