Black History Month

Ayyyyeeee Happy Black History Month, everybody!

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this month for most of my life. When I was a young kid, Black History Month didn’t mean all that much to me. The lack of melanin in my teachers and classmates meant that any extra attention to Black history was reserved for what could fit on the glass encased bulletin board that hung somewhere near the administration office. Once I got to high school, I started to hate Black History Month because I knew that meant a super awkward moment was awaiting me. Every February 1st, a teacher or a classmate or once even the principle would decide to point me out as one of the only two black people in the class (shout out Marcus Shelby if you out there) and ask me some kind of unwelcome personal question that would have me speak for all black people.

It wasn’t fun. BUT then I graduated high school, moved to LA, and learned to self educate! Black History Month became a time where I chose to learn more about myself and my black history than I knew existed. I was geeking out over the Moors, Madame C.J. Walker, and so much more. Did you know that ancient Egyptians used afro picks? In college, I decided that Black History Month was insulting. Why would we only get a month when others gets the rest of the year? I would look at what major media decided to cover and be frustrated that they wouldn’t dive deeper into the history of black people globally. I’d hashtag #BLACKHISTORYYEAR every single day in the month of February.

I still believe that discovering more about black history will enrich your life all year round. I also know that it is not everyday that people are looking to educate themselves on any kind of history. So, if black people have an opportunity to share our history, learn our history, and have our history acknowledged; I’ve got to be on board. I celebrate Black History Month because I want to know more about the past to help me prepare and move toward the future. I hope you all have take even a few moments to learn something new today! And you can start here!

Outfit details:

Pearl Embellished Beret: Similar here!

Jumpsuit: Here!

Faux Suede Booties: Similar here!

 

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NYE looks that you can wear again! | Sponsored by Simply Be

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner and so are the outfits – Ahh! But don’t stress, because honestly this year has been stressful enough on its own! So if you’re looking for some last minute inspiration for the your NYE look, I’ve got you! Whether you’re planning on ringing in 2018 at a fancy event or even a more casual get together, these Simply Be looks are sure to be a hit! And the best part? These looks can be easily re-accessorized for your next event!

Color pop!

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CLICK HERE TO SHOP

An obvious way to stand out this NYE is to wear a bright fun color! Gem tones like purple and turquoise are always a hit! And bright metallics are a welcomed addition to any celebration. My absolute favorite color to wear is red, so I decided to go with this Simply Be LRD, or Little Red Dress! There’s a shade of red out there for everyone. And not only does it make you feel sexy, it comes in handy on so many occasions! I love the crossover halter neckline and the fit of the body. This is the kind of dress that’s totally worth wearing a strapless bra for!

Where to wear it next: Date Night, Girl’s Night Out

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Texture, texture, texture!

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Nothing screams “Too glam to give a damn” like a floor length sequin, tiered tassel dress! I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that I felt like royalty the whole time I was wearing this! The detailed beading, sequins, and layering make this dress so much fun to wear! Pair this dress with some sky high heels and you’ll be ready to twirl and strut your stuff around the whole night!

Where to wear it next: Broadway Show, Gala Event

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Make a statement with fur!

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Bring on the fur! I personally think every girl deserves a (faux) fur coat in her closet. It is a tried and true way to bring instant glam to even your most simple jeans and lace cami top! I’m a big fan of this Simply Be blush pink coat because it’s neutral enough to style several ways, but it’s still a big statement! This coat will definitely keep you warm whether you’re walking to your next NYE party location or just to and from your car any time in the next month. Seriously, stay warm out there! Brrr!

Where to wear it next: All day, everyday this winter!

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Thank you for spending some time with me! I hope you all have an incredible rest of your 2017! Finish the year strong and have a Happy New Year!

Xoxo,

Alex

Thank you to Simply Be for sponsoring this post!

Top 5 skincare picks from the ASOS Advent Calendar

Hey everyone!

 

I hope all of you are having an amazing holiday season so far! It’s a couple days after Christmas and for those of you who celebrated… how was your Christmas?! I had an exceptionally fun and easy Christmas this year. I spent the early morning opening gifts (I definitely scored!) and the rest of the day cooking with my mom! Then the whole family got together for dinner and watched our favorite Christmas movie: Diehard lol! I’m not a natural gift giver or receiver. I always feel weird about it and somehow make things awkward or blow the surprise. It’s not my love language, BUT quality time most definitely is and I look forward to Christmas every year for that exact reason! But that is not what this post is about!

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Outfit details in last post!

 

 

 

I want to share my favorite items from the ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar! Y’all know what an advent calendar is all about, right? There’s twenty five little gifts inside and you are supposed to open one each day from Dec 1st to Dec 25th. I obviously don’t have the patience for that; because in true Alex fashion, I opened all 25 on day one. Oops! I already told you that I’m bad with gifts (and pretty much with rules in general). So sorry, not sorry? Do the cool kids still say that? The calendar had a nice mix of skincare, makeup, hair, and body products; and I really appreciated the size of the samples! I’m happy that I opened the whole calendar, because I was able to test the products throughout the month and share my favorites with all of you!  

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Links to shop are listed below!

My Top 5:

If you would’ve asked me beforehand which kind of beauty products I was most excited about, my answer would have definitely been makeup. But my favorite products are the skincare! One thing that stands out right away are the two different cleansers. I personally don’t use cleanser in the morning, because I have super dry skin; so I use these cleansers at night. DHC deep cleansing oil ($$) is perfect for removing makeup and cleansing on a good/dry skin day. But even with my dry skin, I get bad breakouts during my period. That’s when I use the REN T-Zone Control cleansing gel ($$)! I’m so in love with the Alpha-H Liquid Gold ($$$).This glycolic acid treatment goes on every other night after cleanser and works to revitalize and firm your skin. It’s like a mini facial in a bottle and it didn’t dry out my skin – major win! I was surprised by The Ordinary surface hydrating moisturizer ($). To be honest, it doesn’t have that spa/lux feeling when you first apply the product. But the moisture lasts all day and my makeup sat so well on this formula that I had to add it to the top five. The Cowshed lippy cow balm ($$) is my favorite product from the whole calendar! My lips chap like no other! Cracking, peeling, chapped lips are usually an annual shame that I go through every fall and winter, but Chowshed has completely alleviated this problem! I am so hype about it too! I’ve used the balm on my lips, of course, but also on dry patches around my nose and chin. I cannot recommend this product enough! Hello new skincare routine! I will definitely be purchasing all of these items again!

Honorable Mentions:

 

Eyeko London – Liquid Eyeliner in Black: ($$) Goes on smooth and stays put!

Caudalie – Vinosource Creme Sorbet: ($$) Skin feels plump and it smells so good!

Foreo LUNA travel cleansing brush: ($$$) Love to use this after the shower when my pores are still open! Its feels like I’m getting a really deep cleaning that isn’t too harsh or damaging.

Smashbox – Photo Finish Primer: ($$) A classic! This is my go to primer any day!

Rodial – Stem Cell Magic Gel: ($$$) This product felt amazing! Apply more product and you can use it overnight as a sleeping mask! This sample was pretty small, so I was only able to use it twice.

Thank you ASOS Beauty for helping me celebrate the holidays! The calendar was so much fun and the introduction to these amazing products was the perfect gift! And thank you to all of my readers! I appreciate that you spent these last few moments with me! 

XoXo

Alex

Holiday Fashion | Sponsored by Macy’s!

Holiday Fashion | Sponsored by Macy’s!

The holidays are here and I am finally feeling it this year! With moving across the country and apartment searching, I haven’t been prioritizing my usual holiday activities, like watching Elf on repeat for 25 days straight or dressing up my dog in festive outfits or drinking several almond milk peppermint lattes a day. But I’m making up for lost time and my friends at Macy’s are helping me do it! I’ve partnered with Macy’s to show you how I get my wardrobe holiday ready with embellished classic pieces that will elevate your tried and true outfits!

When I think of a classic wardrobe staple that we can elevate for the holidays, the first thing I think of is the LBD – Little Black Dress! This City Chic dress is the perfect LBD that has all the charm necessary for your next holiday party! Can you really go wrong with lace? I don’t think so! The lace overlay gives a subtle sexiness that is perfect for a night out but also cut long enough to be family friendly. One thing that made me instantly love this dress was the burgundy embroidered detailing – a trend that carried over from summer. I added this matching burgundy Kate Spade clutch to give the outfit an extra pop of color!

I don’t know about you, but I am a jeans and cute top girl just as much as I am a LBD girl! Sometimes the idea of putting on a dress, shaving my legs, and subjecting myself to those disrespectfully cold breezes that always make it up my skirt is just too much for me! I’ll opt for that jeans and a tee vibe any day! These Celebrity Pink faux-leather skinny jeans and City Chic bell sleeved top are the perfect pair for a holiday outfit that looks chic and polished, but feels more casual and comfy! (Quick tip: Add a leather detail to any outfit to instantly elevate the look) I think that if you’re gonna rock the jeans and top look to your next holiday party, the best way to ensure you’re dressed to impress is to give special attention to your accessories! I decided to wear these sexy Nine West pumps and a crystal choker to give my outfit that added touch of glamour.

I absolutely love these two embellished holiday looks! I hope you do too! All of the items in this post are available at Macy’s! Happy holidays! And, as always, thank you for reading!

XoXo
Alex

Special thanks to Macy’s for sponsoring this post!

 

Fall Magic with Full Beauty

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I don’t know if it’s the chill in the air, the changing leaves, or the ample amounts of deliciously spiced treats, but there’s something magical about fall. Would you believe that this is only my second fall ever?! I grew up in sunny Los Angeles where fall was a color scheme but definitely not a real season. So when Full Beauty asked me to join them and some of our favorite bloggers on an epic fall photoshoot upstate, I packed my bags!


Once we arrived to our beautiful location, we quickly changed into our first looks and were off to play with the horses. This skirt was definitely a winner! It’s the kind of piece that can be styled up with an off the shoulder top and heels or styled down for a more casual vibe. We opted for the more casual look and thank goodness because leading a horse is hard enough without the heels! Random fun fact: Horses roll on their backs like dogs and it’s mad funny!


Next up was bike riding, apple picking, and well… apple eating. We changed into our second looks to explore the apple farm and do some serious quality control. I never imagined I’d ride a two person bike and I never thought I’d eat an apple straight off the tree, but look at me out here living my best life!

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From left to right: Alison (Wardrobe Oxygen), Carine (@carine83), Shay (Shady Shay), Dani (Blonde In The District)

We changed into our last look for an adorable sunset picnic by the lake! Look at that view! Can we all take a minute to appreciate this perfect fall magic moment?! **happy sigh** This outfit was much more comfy than you’d expect and I really love the color of this peacoat. I am actively looking for a lipstick that matches, so drop your favs in the comments below!
What a beautiful day! Thank you Full Beauty for bringing me along on this epic day trip! And thank you to the ladies who made it extra special!

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From left to right: Dani (Blonde In The District), Alison (Wardrobe Oxygen), Carine (@carine83), Shay (Shady Shay)

Check out some more pictures from the day! All of these looks are available to shop at www.fullbeauty.com!

 


This post was sponsored by Full Beauty.

 

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Ashley Stewart Denim Campaign

Let’s all take a moment to celebrate brands that use #VisiblyPlusSize models in their campaigns! If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I had the honor of shooting Ashley Stewart’s latest denim campaign. You also already know that the shots came out amazing!! I love shooting denim because it’s all about showing […]

#VISIBILYPLUSSIZE

OH HEY YOU

Y’all I could cry! My first blog post! *Insert raised hands emoji* This is a loooonnngg time coming! I wanted to start a blog in college. That didn’t happen. I wanted to start a blog in 2015. That didn’t happen. And now we’re here. And it’s HAPPENING! You know what held me back all this time?  I had this ridiculous expectation that I would launch my blog once I had the perfect site with Vogue quality images and Teen Vogue quality articles. I wanted my blog to capture body positive culture, create community, and challenge the status quo all on day one. Obviously, I never felt ready. So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. But perfection isn’t real. And if I had to be honest with myself, I don’t think I’d ever feel ready. There will always be something more to learn or some way I can improve. And I’ll take you on that journey with me! For now, I’ve got somethings to say and it can’t wait any longer.

Let’s start with the basics:

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Photo by Shay Paresh – Dress by New Look Fashion

I’m Alex! I’m a plus size model and body positive activist. I’ve been in this industry for 8 years and have learned a whole lot about modeling, fashion, business, and activism. I love that there are more clothing options for plus size women and I recognize that we still have a lot of work to do to make fashion more inclusive. I’m from Los Angeles, but equally love my new home, New York City. I want to travel the world and experience different cultures. I think all people deserve love, respect, and equal rights. Although everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I will absolutely call you out on your shit if your opinion hurts people. I curse a lot and I’m not sorry about it. I like spaghetti and cold pizza. My favorite color is purple and I know the words to most Cheetah Girls songs. I’m half black, half white and was raised in a huge Italian family. I’ve been vegan for 3 months now and it’s getting easier every day. I practice yoga and meditation. I hate dancing in public, but regularly twerk it out alone in my room. I want to grow old with my boyfriend. I’m feminist as hell and am constantly inspired by amazing women on the internet. I want people to love themselves and I am furious that there are multi-billion dollar industries that convince them not to. I believe self-love is a journey, not a destination. I feel my most powerful after I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone. I feel my most badass when I go against the norm. And I feel my most loved when I forgive myself.

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Photo by Shay Paresh

I started a hashtag and internet campaign called #VisiblyPlusSize and it’s been pretty freaking cool to watch it grow! I started it because I noticed that as the plus size fashion industry grew, the size of the models shrunk significantly. Here’s a little history: Before we had fashion forward, trendy, or eclectic styles to choose from, plus size women were shopping in a store literally called The Forgotten Woman. How sad is that? Brands like Lane Bryant, Catherine’s, and Avenue came later, but still lacked popular styles that the smaller women were buying. Fat activism grew and a community of women who refused to be treated differently due to size demanded stylish clothing, a better shopping experience, and all around equal treatment for fat people. Fast forward to now and we have seen the work of these activists blossom into this amazing plus size fashion industry. The industry we know today is a 20 billion dollar industry that becomes more and more lucrative each year. Fashion brands and companies have recognized the money making opportunity and have started carrying plus sizes; however, they don’t necessary operate with the same purpose with which it began.

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Photo by Shay Paresh – Dress by New Look Fashion – Cage Bra by ASOS Curve

When I first started modeling, I worked for brands that wouldn’t be able to book me now. I shot campaigns, ecomm, and walked runways all at a size 16/18. Those same brands now only work with size 14 models. As plus size fashion brands have gone more mainstream, they have adopted aspects of the pre-existing beauty standard that favor thin, white and able bodies. And here’s the hardest part about this: research has shown that thin, white and able-bodied models sell more clothes. So from a business stand point, it makes sense. But, I’m not okay with it. We, the customers, have the power when it comes to retail fashion. We get to demand and the brands, supply. I started #VisiblyPlusSize because I want to normalized visibly plus size bodies in the media and in the minds of the customers, so that we can change how brands market to us. Our mindsets are already shifting to a more inclusive norm. You can see it in the success of the body positive movement. You can see it in the success of models of color in the straight size fashion world. We have brands who purpose their work in creating a more inclusive space in digital marketing, on runways, and in fashion options. It’s happening, y’all! And it needs to happen quickly. Representation in the media, whether it is in fashion, on television, in movies, or on a concert stage, is vital for developing a sense of belonging, of value, and of self-appreciation. Not only do images shape how we feel about ourselves, they shape how we feel about other people. Researchers at Durham University in England coined the term “visual diet.” Their studies proved that people became more tolerant of whatever images they saw. They concluded that “showing [their participants] thin bodies makes them like thin bodies, more, and showing them fat bodies makes them like fat bodies more.” This is why we need size diversity. This is why we need visibly plus size representation. It is my hope that #VisiblyPlusSize will help normalize fat bodies in the media, because it directly affects how fat people are tolerated and treated in their day to day lives. I want to see the world be a safer space for all and this is how I plan to help.

If you’ve gotten this far, I appreciate you! Thank you for being a part of my first blog post! Woo! I plan to share a lot of really amazing things with you all! Watch this space for more thoughts on the industry, modeling tips and tricks, self-care practices, style and beauty advice, and of course lots of pictures! I will be launching my YouTube channel VERY soon, so stay tuned for news on that! And as always, you can follow me on Instagram (here) or Facebook (here).

Talk to you next week!

Alex

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Photo by Shay Paresh – Dress by New Look Fashion