Inspired: Nir Arieli’s Infrared Photographs of Male Dancers

Sometimes, I feel like photography sees nothing out of ordinary, that if the lighting is right and you’re lucky enough, you could end up with something that feels surreal out of real life. Then, there are collections of photography, like Nir Arieli’s infrared portraits of male dancers, that make you question how accessible the truth of reality really is. In his project, the infrared technique reveals what lies underneath a dancer’s seemingly perfect facade, a history of scars, stretch marks and sun damage that is more real that what can be seen.

Inframen will be showing at the Daniel Clooney Gallery from January 16th through March 8th. If you’re lucky enough to be in New York then, you should indulge yourselves into this feast of interiority.

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Arieli says, “It’s interesting to use this technique on dancers because they tend to look ‘perfect’ to the naked eye. They are in their early twenties; their bodies are shaped.”

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“I use this infrared technique to challenge the model’s beauty and find a greater intimacy. You are seeing what is already but it reveals and emphasizes these marks… like a form of voyeurism, this photographic process strips away the dancer’s outer shell, exposing hidden flaws. In Inframen, the surface of the skin becomes a metaphor for the dancer’s interiority.”

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This morning I had the privilege of running my fingers along Colin’s display of freckles on the tops of his shoulders, and it’s very him to have his imperfections out in the public to be seen by ordinary eyes. He’s transparent but not simple (and not complicated as he likes to remind me); he has nothing to hide because he thinks these marks create a fuller picture on a person’s soul. I wish that startups would stop advertising that their social networks allow for you to get personal with your friends; these platforms only act as filters in which we view our least authentic selves, the versions that we want to be known for while we ignore the imperfections that make us wholly human.

Karl Jung would have a thing or two to say about Facebook.

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Seeing Stripes

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Pattern play is the name of the game, and I think spring and summer were playing those stripes right! While more demure girls might opt for the Parisian stripe for a classic look, I like the idea of mixing different stripe sizes and colors together for an unique look. I enjoy the classic aesthetic at times (for an untraditional girl like me, I don’t dress up classic unless we’re having Breakfast at Tiffany’s). For this look, I kept my jewelry simple but modern and kept things straightforward in black and white. I don’t forget my personality and mixed all the classic elements with a pair of funky tribal wedges. There’s one thing you never forget to wear, gals, and it’s some attitude (woot woot).

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How do you like wearing your stripes?

SHOES: Rocketdog / ACCESSORIES: H&M / SKIRT: Target / TOP: Old Navy

Love,
Heidi

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Industry Girls: Q&A with Stephanie Alegado, Apparel Designer

Sometimes, the best way to learn about fashion is to talk to women in the industry who face both the ugly and the beautiful every single day in their line of work. As a woman who works for a fashion e-commerce company, I was inspired by the varying stories of all the women I encounter… so inspired, in fact, that I plan on doing a monthly post on these women who kick ass, take names, and do it all in stilettos.

Stephanie Alegado, 26
Brooklyn, NY
Fashion / Apparel Designer

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Part dinosaur, part bubblegum princess, and altogether, funny girl, I first met Stephanie during a time when my mother still shopped for me and I looked like meatloaf stuffed in a Christmas sweater with transition glasses (my fashion taste have evolved from that time, I promise). Stephanie Alegado, on the other hand, lived in her clothes as if it was second skin, and I knew somehow she would be in the industry of making people beautiful. Years later, she has interned at Milly, Andrew Buckler, and Narciso Rodriguez and attended multiple New York Fashion Weeks… and now, she’s primed for the next big thing.

I asked her several questions about the industry, her future, and other things for bits and giggles:

HS: How would you describe your aesthetic?
Stephanie: 
Hippie princess with a modern feminine (sometimes classic) twist.

HS: Who are you currently working for? How would you describe your day to day?
Stephanie: After spending a year and half interning for Andrew Buckler, Narciso Rodriguez, and Michelle Smith (Milly) I’m currently taking time off to travel, take advantage of the spoils of living in New York City and working on launching some personal projects.

The typical day of an intern is never typical.  Some days you sit at a desk all day obsessing over how to create a laser cut pattern and some days you’re running around town picking up samples, buttons, and zippers.  I’ve done everything from dropping off fashion show invitations in the pouring rain to helping contribute
designs to upcoming fall and pre fall collections.  It’s quite the adventure!
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HS: What does your career look like in ten years?
Stephanie: In 10 years I hope to have already made the crossover from womenswear to menswear and to have a label featuring clothing for both.   Though I’m a trained womenswear designer I have a very real love and appreciation of everything that goes into menswear design and i hope to be fortunate enough to learn and create pieces for men and women alike.
HS: What is the best thing to happen to fashion?
Stephanie: Fashion week.  It offers so many designers the opportunity to present their collections to the buyers, media, and the consumers.  Once you’re associated with fashion week the world notices.
HS: Are male models really as beautiful as they seem to be?
Stephanie: Male models are everything.  Some are also 17 years old so try not to feed them any free booze.
Male models ARE everything. Thanks, Steph!
Love,
Heidi
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Happy Birthday, America!

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Happy belated birthday, America! Here are my obligatory vanity shots with the stairs at my complex as a boring background. Exciting!

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My beloved Philz Coffee was opened on Fourth of July, so we decided to take the Philz virgins (my roommate Trac and my sister Deanna) out to have their first taste of sweet, caffeinated sin. Sin they did… and it was minty and refreshing! If you’ve never had a Philz before in your life, you don’t know what a truly delicious caffeine buzz is. I like my coffee iced, creamy, and with three packets of Splenda. I’ve got the sweetest tooth.

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So, for Fourth of July eats, Eden (that’s the name I’ve given to my household) decided to go out for lobster rolls and fireworks in the city. However, when we got to the Lobster Shack, there was a line out of the door and we found out that lobster rolls were $19 each with a waiting time of forever. But, like saving grace, In & Out was right next door, so our very classy Fourth of July meal was at In & Out… and as a Californian, I have to say that it never gets old. Double double with a Neopolitan shake all the way. NOM NOM NOM.

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General silliness ensues, arteries clogged, and happiness abound, we set off for San Francisco to score seats on top of a park near Haight Street for the fireworks display. We hiked, we nearly died, and we conquered that hill. We all sat on a blanket and waited for the fireworks display, and while that way happening, a mosquito decided to make a meal out of my face… and I ended up looking like a very pissy unicorn with my swollen mosquito bite on my forehead. Forever I will remember that mosquito and the buffet he made out of my face.

But the fireworks was well worth all the mosquito bites in the world. The Gentleman said something so beautifully him when we were up that hill: “If aliens could choose any day to visit earth, it would be today. They would think our planet is so beautiful.” My starry-eyed dreamer, I couldn’t agree more.

Favorite Instagram? This one with the kid sister. She’s freakin’ beautiful.

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How did you spend your Fourth of July?

DRESS: H&M / ACCESSORIES: Forever 21 / SHOES: Forever 21

Love,
Heidi

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June Favorites: Beauty Edition

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Ahh, the month of June. My credit card got a real workout during the start of this summer season. I have this tendency to shop like mad during hotter temperatures. I think it might be related to the inability to stand up and get my wallet from the other room during the winter cold. Laziness wins after all. I’ve been smitten over skincare for quite some time now. It has to do with this overarching quest to find out the what it means to be beautiful. For me, beauty needs to be apparent even when a person is stripped bare of all their fancy paint pots and foundations and layers of makeup and is left with just skin. My goal is to be able to go to work without having to put on face makeup. One day, I might choose to wear very little makeup on my wedding day.

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With my coupon from Skinstore, June became a good month for skincare. I repurchased another Dr. Dennis Gross Brightening Serum after I emptied my first bottle and decided to go out on the limb and buy the GlamGlow Supermud Mask. I haven’t used it long enough to see the long term effects (clearing acne completely and acne scars), but it does make my skin glow and as a spot corrector, it does dry out my pimples within a night. The smell of licorice is not my favorite smell, but the short term effects inspire me to write a review on this mask later on. My skincare drugstore purchase is the AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Cleanser, which is a Proactiv dupe (in my opinion), but at a fraction of the cost ($5.99)!

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Eye schtuff! There’s nothing I love better than finding a mascara that actually works. Having long fine lashes, I’m always looking for a volumizing mascara that holds, and I can’t seem to get enough of the L’Oreal Voluminous False Lashes. Not only do I think the package is sleek and glamorous, but the stuff inside works. Who would have thought? While I am loyal to my Urban Decay Naked palette, I couldn’t say no to Maybelline’s cute little eyeshadow pots. The consistency of the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo shadow is amazeballz. It’s so creamy, soft and buildable, and the color I chose (Bad to the Bronze) is a neutral palette’s glam dream.

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Last but definitely not least is my insta-favorite purchase from Sephora this week: Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream! I definitely want to do a review on this CC cream along with a little history lesson on the world of BB and CC creams (and thanks to Julep, DD cream). My first impression of this product is that it definitely gives more coverage than you would expect from a non-foundation or non-concealer. If you don’t need heavy coverage, then this CC cream would be a perfect alternate for your foundation in the summer season when all you want is matte skin. If you want a more extensive review on this CC cream, please let me know in the comments section!

Love,
Heidi

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Dear Heidi of the Past: A Love Letter

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Dear Heidi of the Past,

Before you jump to conclusions, this is a love letter… from me extending my heart out to you. Don’t think I am judging you for dating that boy, or that one, or the one before him, or for that time when you decided to shave your head or dye it pink. These are things that must happen in order for you to become the woman you are becoming today. It is a beautiful, natural part of life to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Keep making them… keep learning and do it humbly, gracefully, and with so much laughter that it hardly looks like a mistake.

Did you know that there’s a man out there who will love you more than you can imagine? More than you want sometimes, more than you can handle, more than you can even comprehend? He’s amazing beyond words, and he’s yours and you will grow up to be worthy of him. You are a girl, and so am I… but we are working hard to be the woman who will give him a future one day.

As for your dreams, you work in fashion… which is where you belong. You always loved beautiful things, and this career is the most beautiful dress to suit up against the world. We will be doing big things… and dressed fabulously as we stomp in stilettos.

The best piece of wisdom that I can give you is be proactive with your happiness. Life doesn’t just happen to you like you always thought it would. If you want love, chase after it and fight for him. If you want success, learn, grow, ask, and then ask for more. If you want beauty, find it within yourself instead of waiting for the scars to fade. Happiness is a journey not a destination. Love is not fate… love is choice.

Go and be happy. DO what’s easy for you now, but remember to choose what is most hard for the things that are most worth it.

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Heidi, circa 2010:

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BLOUSE: H&M / SKIRT: Ann Taylor (Vintage) / SHOES: Guess / ACCESSORIES: Forever 21, H&M

Love,
Heidi

P.S. — The floor is not a trash bin… just take out your trash. Jesus.

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The Beauty Duo for Perfect Soft Lips

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Just because winter is long gone and we’re getting tan, fit, and ready doesn’t mean that our lips are going to be magically ready for some summer lovin’. Especially during the summer, our lips are prone to sunburns and ugly, flakey lips syndrome (I like making up diseases). Trust me, I used to be the former queen of chapped, unkissable lips.

Say goodbye to chapped unhappy lips and say hello to hydration! All it takes is $6 dollars, a drugstore and this guide.

I am one of those girls who buys lip products by the dozen, regardless of whether or not I have enough chapstick to start my own lip care factory. I found that most products sit on top of your lips rather than hydrate you from the inside out.

This guide features two products that have cured me of my ugly, flakey lips syndrome (aka UFL, pronounced “AW-FUL”): E.L.F. Lip Exfoliator and Maybelline Baby Lips Balm!

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The great thing about these two products is that you don’t have to incessantly apply in order to get results. It only requires a morning and night application. For the morning, apply the Maybelline Baby Lips Balm and allow it soak before you apply lipstick. At night, exfoliate slightly moist lips it with the E.L.F. Lip Exfoliator and then wipe the sugar from your lips with a damp towel. Follow with another application of the Baby Lips balm.

If you notice that your lips aren’t all that chapped anymore, you don’t have to exfoliate every night. Once a week will do the trick!

Another thing I love about the Baby Lips balm is the wash of color. I can wear this balm on its own and still look like I’m making some effort. I don’t even keep this balm in my bag for applications throughout the day. All you need is once in the morning and once before you go to bed, and it does its job like whoa.

TOTAL COST: Balm ($2.99) + Exfoliator ($3) = Around $6

Love,
Heidi

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