My 5 Minute Makeup Routine (In 1 Minute)

I finally did it- I posted my first makeup tutorial! When I first started my Instagram I would do makeup tutorials on Insta Stories and would receive such a postive response. I figured it was time to take it to the next level. I got a camera, tripod, ring light etc. And then this past weekend I filmed this tutorial. I had NO idea what I was doing (from connecting the camera to the tripd, to editing on imovie). Somehow, I figured it out. I know there is a lot I need to improve on (like seeing the ring light in the back..ugh), but I wanted to post this anyways. This is my every day, 5 minute makeup routine. It's so easy and simple to do. For a list of products used check out my YouTube channel. Let me know what other tutorials you'd like to see!


My Stay At The Fairmont Grand Del Mar

The past few months seem like a blur. Both Ray and I have been swamped with work and haven’t really stopped to relax, breathe and enjoy our surroundings. Not to mention that I went to London for 9 days without him. So we decided that a romantic getaway was necessary, stat. It's kind of strange but sometimes you need to force yourself to take a getaway. I can imagine that when you have kids this is particularly difficult.  However, even when you don't, it can sometimes be a challenge. I won't lie...Ray and I considered just staying home, snuggling in bed and catching up on shows (I mean, how bad can that be?!). But truth be told there is something important about getting out of your usual setting and getting into the mindset of a vacation. You focus on the two of you, limit your time on the phone/social media, try and limit work, get dressed up and just have fun. Do you guys know what I mean? I can’t stress enough the importance of prioritizing your relationship, getting away (even if it’s for a day), and reconnecting.

People ask us all the time if we travel around California. I hate to admit it but we don’t do it nearly enough. We’ve been to Palm Springs a handful of times and have made it to Santa Barbara, Ojai and Napa Valley. San Diego was on our list for a while so we decided to head there for our romantic weekend.

Saturday morning we packed up the car, grabbed a Starbucks and made our way there. We stayed at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar and wow! The service was incredible and the hotel was upscale and charming. Since we knew we were going to arrive by noon, we requested an early check-in. Our room was ready when we got there.

We had the most luxurious and spacious room. I should preface this by saying that I have been known to play musical rooms (cue Ray’s eye roll). Generally, I’m not pleased with the first room I’m given and politely request to change rooms until I’m satisfied. I won’t lie, I was ready to do it as per usual…until I walked into our room. The bathroom had a long double sink (with ample room for all my makeup and hair products…as if it was designed for me). Not to mention the most beautiful marble (yes, I took a million Instagram pics in there). There was a huge tub with Le Labo rose bath salts on the side (I mean…dreams).  There was a large king bed, sitting area and office space, which was perfect for Ray since he had to work. Our room opened up to a large terrace overlooking the adult pool. All of that is impressive but what really got to me was the dog bed and bowls they had ready for Luca (they really know the way to my heart).

Once we were settled in we made our way to Amaya for a late lunch. I had a glass of champagne while Ray chose a bloody maria (bloody mary made with tequila) and we shared something to eat. We then walked around the grounds, which are so picturesque. In the late afternoon, I got a therapeutic massage and Ray used the spa facilities. My massage was amazing, obviously. I love when spas pay attention to the little details, like heating your robe during the massage so that it’s warm and cozy when you’re done.  It takes the massage from great to unforgettable, if you know what I mean.

Saturday night we had a few cocktails at the bar before heading to town for dinner and a walk on the beach.  On Sunday we slept in (until 8…yup, we’re that old). We ordered room service, tried (but failed) to get Ray to take cute Instagram pics of me (it’s not easy to be an Instagram Hubby), and just stayed in our robes until we were ready to venture out. I won’t lie, I was mega sad to check out. While it was a short trip, I left feeling relaxed and recharged. Can’t wait to go back.  

Where I Ate in London

I had the best time in London. As I’ve mentioned, I went to visit my brother who has lived there for over 15 years. It’s always special to spend time with him but this time was even more special because I went for a full week (normally my trips are so rushed)! While he worked every day I would wander the streets, visit the shops and take in all of the sights and incredible Christmas lights. We had some really delicious meals so I thought I would share. It’s always fun to see where the locals go rather than just the tourist hotspots.

Bella Vita- Homey and hearty Italian in a cute setting. This was my first meal in London and couldn’t be more perfect. The restaurant was packed but we got a nice table in the corner, enjoyed an amazing bottle of red and ate some classic Italien dishes with a modern twist.

Shoreditch House- Part of Soho House, Shoreditch House has a similar menu to all the others. Scene is always bustling and the menu is great for sharing.

The Ned- It’s a member’s club but you don’t need to be a member to dine there.  It's located in an exquisite old bank. When you walk in you feel like you're walking into a scene from Great Gatsby.  There are nine restaurants in the space all serving different kinds of food. We had a late reservation but were starving so we decided to have appetizers at Zobler’s (an upscale deli- champagne and latkas) and then we had dinner at Millie’s (cutest pink sofas!). I would go there every week if I lived in London. Make sure to reserve since it’s always packed.

Shackfuyu- Asian fusion, tapas style. Need I say more?

Duke of Cambridge- We went here for lunch one day and I loved my meal. The food is all organic and there are tons of healthy options (which, in comparison to LA, isn’t that easy to find).

Sketch- A few of you had messaged me on Instagram suggesting Sketch. I went for drinks and the atmosphere is amazing! But be ready to spend a lot on drinks (like 50 pounds for 2 martinis…yikes!) It's definitely a tourist hot spot but worth it to see! 

The Ivy- I had a work brunch here and loved the menu. I have to say I'm not a huge fan of traditional english breakfasts (particularly since I don't eat a lot of carbs and I don't eat meat). The Ivy had tons of healthy options, like eggs and avocado toast. 

Photography by Lydia Collins

My Favorite Places to Shop in London

Hi from London! I've been having the best time. Catching up with my brother, Casey, and his girlfriend, Tara. Good drinks, yummy food (despite my jetlag and therefore lunch at 4:00 pm), and the shopping...ohhh, the shopping. Let's just say I've bought 8 jackets over the past 3 days. No idea where I'm going to store them (let alone wear them in LA). I thought I would share with you my favorite shops in London. 

Shopping on a budget:

River Island- As you guys know, I have been a huge fan of River Island for a while. All my favorite sandals (which are so cheap!) are from here. Last year I was in London and picked up 5 pairs (which I’ve shared on Instagram and you guys have loved). So I reached out and I’ve been collaborating with them ever since. They have some real treasures and no one will believe the price.

Primark- if you want some trendy clothes on a budget this place is for you. The prices are so low, it’s hard to beat. And they have some really nice pieces. The jacket I'm wearing is from Primark and I got it for 25 pounds! (I bought it in navy as well). 

Topshop- okay, so it’s not so cheap. And they have it in the US. But the Topshop in Oxford Circus is so big and there is so much more stock to sort through. If you are a fan of the shop in the US, you will love this one. I won't lie, I tend to get a bit frustrated and walk out (it's so big!). But if you have patience you could find so many cute units. 

Zara- I know this isn’t London specific, but I just had to mention that the (four) Zaras in Oxford Circus are amazing! I find they tend to have different stuff in the Europe shops than in the US ones. I got a jacket and a sweater that I'm obsessed with. 

Pull and Bear - My London photographer, Lydia Collins, told me about this shop. They have the cutest pieces! During our photoshoot I was obsessed with her aviator jacket. She told me about Pull and Bear where she got it. Let's just say I ran there and got it and another one as well. Highly recommend!

Stradivius- Similar to Pull and Bear, they have great jackets and basics. I got two pairs of black boots (for 30 pounds each). Obsessed!

When money ain’t a thing (just kidding- but you want to browse the fancy stuff)

Selfridges- I mean! This department store is unlike any. I could spend all day roaming the floors. And I love the food court on the 4th floor. 

Harrods- This is an obvious one but it’s always fun to visit. Really makes you feel like you're in London. Not to mention the food court is also top notch.

Harvey Nichols- Just like Selfridges, it has all the major designer brands. I do really like the buying in the clothing department.

Okay, by for now. Back to the shops! J xoxo

Photography by Lydia Collins 

London Packing List

I'm off to London tonight for a week! I'm visiting my brother who lives there and I also have a few meetings and a shoot planned. I always start thinking about what I'm going to pack wayyy too early (cue the stickies on Mac with lists that get refined as the trip gets closer). I thought I would share with you what I decided to pack (personally, I think it would be way easier if I just followed someone else's list). This is perfect for a place thats cool (but not snowing) and a 7 day trip. In addition to the following I included this turtleneck and these jeans from yesterday's post, a few blouses for at night (like this one and this one), toiletries, makeup, hair brush and curling iron, electronics (and converter) and my carry on with all my goodies for the plane. 

1. Sweatpants // 2. Booties // 3. Dark jeans // 4. Purse // 5. Pajamas // 6. Camera // 7. Second pajama set // 8. Choker // 9. Black sweater // 10. White tee // 11. Leather jacket // 12. Grey sweater // 13. Boyfriend jeans // 14. Sparkly sneakers // 15. Puffer // 16. Pumps // 17. Black tee // 18. Grey tee // 19. Sunglasses // 20. White sneakers // 21. Black jeans

Two Pieces You Need For Winter

This look is definitely coming with me on my trip. Any guesses where I'm going? I asked on Insta and no one guessed it. LONDON! So excited! I leave on Friday for a week. Tonight I'm finally going to pack and tomorrow I will share with you my packing list.

It's always exciting getting to style two of my favorite pieces in the same look. Let's start with this turtleneck. You've probably seen it on your Insta feed before. When I saw it I knew I had to have it. Firstly, it looked beyond cozy. Secondly, I love styling a heavy white knit in winter. Here I decided to go for a daytime look. I paired it with boyfriend jeans and nude heels, but you could easily wear it with white sneakers (like this pair).

The jeans are my absolute favorite. It's so hard to find a flattering pair of boyfriend jeans. Not only do these look good, they are so comfortable. If you watch my Instagram stories you've definitely seen me wearing them every weekend (schlepping Ray to Home Goods, Ikea...oh boy). I usually pair them with a simple t-shirt, tucked in, and sneakers (like this pair) or gucci loafers (like this).

She Went West Turns 1!

I truly can’t believe it’s been a year since I officially launched She Went West. For those of you who are relatively new to the blog, I’ll give you some background. For years and years I would compare my life to bloggers and complain to Ray that I wish I had pursued a creative outlet like they did. The idea that I could work with brands I love and admire, create content that’s all my own, share my life with people that wanted to follow, get free stuff at a constant (one of the best perks, I’m not going to lie), and interact every day with likeminded, creative and positive people seemed like a dream to me. So one day, three years ago, I decided that I should stop complaining and do something about it. We had recently moved to LA and I had just written the California bar. I started a blog, hired a photographer and did two shoots (with eight looks). I was ready to go! Finally! And then I landed a full-time job. Somehow I convinced myself I couldn’t do both, so I gave up the blog idea. And I can’t tell you how much I regretted it. Every so often I would say to Ray, “imagine I had started the blog x months ago, where it could be now!” And he would always tell me it’s not too late. So finally, two years later (and now a year ago), I launched She Went West.  I am so grateful that I get to say “I can’t believe what has happened in a year” rather than “imagine where the blog could have been if I launched last year.”

People ask me what took so long to get the courage to launch the blog. For one, I was really nervous what people would think of me. If you ask my photographer, I was sooo nervous shooting at the beginning. You inevitable get the stares, eye rolls and people thinking another basic b. For some reason, I cared. Something switched in my late 20s and I no longer cared what others were going to think. If they were going to judge me, that’s on them, not on me. Secondly, I thought I couldn’t be a lawyer and a blogger. To this day I try and keep those two worlds separate. But the fear wasn’t enough to stop me from launching She Went West. The real reason I finally launched was because I was so sick of hearing myself complain and not doing anything about it. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who complain and don’t take any steps to try and make it better. After all, no one was stopping me from starting a blog. I figured I might as well try.

 Overall I’m so happy with how the first year went. I collaborated with some awesome companies, like Nordstrom, Saks, Sephora and the Four Seasons. I’ve met an amazing community of girls online. And I constantly feel joy when I’m working on the brand, whether it be pitching ideas, writing posts, styling looks, editing outfits, etc.

I thought I would share 10 things I learned in my first year as a blogger (scroll down!)

1.   People will judge and then they will get over it – As I mentioned above, at first I was so nervous about people’s reactions. And it’s true; people will likely judge you at the beginning. But when you stay true to yourself, work hard and show value to your work, people’s perceptions will change (or not, and that’s there loss!). 

2.   Patience is key- I’m still learning this. Some weeks are great while others aren’t. Some days my posts will do amazing and others will fall flat. Some weeks I’ll get tons of emails for collaborations and others I won’t get any. It’s all about patience (which, truthfully, is the hardest part). I want the brand to get bigger and bigger overnight, but I know that’s not how it works. Patience and dedication is necessary to grow a successful brand.

3.   Don’t be afraid of rejection. I pitch a lot of brands. If I love something, I reach out. I’m not afraid of rejection. I get tons of no’s and tons of yes’. You never know what the outcome might be and as cliché as it sounds, you will never know unless you try. What’s the worst that they will say? Something like, “thank you for reaching out. At this time we do not have any room for collaborations.” Okay, that’s not so bad. No one will judge you for trying.

4.   It’s okay to figure it out- what does that mean exactly? Your first year is all about learning. What’s your voice like in blog posts? What’s your tone in your captions on Instagram? What does your feed like? What about home décor? Personally, my style and taste has evolved a lot over the past year. Even this week, I am making tons of changes (new blog, new editing for my feed etc.) I think it is okay to take time, figure it out and evolve. From home décor (I used to be obsessed with shabby chic and now I’m so over it), to editing (my feed used to be very bright and now I’m shifting to a more moody tone), style and taste will evolve and change.

5.   You will gain a lot of followers and lose a lot of followers- This could not be more true. And you can’t take it personally.

6.   Eventually you will shift from a hobby to something more serious- This is where I am at right now. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I still really felt like She Went West was a fun hobby. Something changed recently and I have completely shifted my vision. For one, I have started to invest in necessary equipment (using money from collaborations so I don’t have to be out of pocket). I bought a camera, lighting, tripods and I’m building a home office. It feels good to take it to the next level.

7.   Don’t compare yourself to others- OH MY GOD, this one is hard. Brutal. Scrolling through Instagram on a daily basis (it’s your job!) can make it almost impossible not to compare yourself to others. There are bloggers that seemed to have gained popularity overnight, that have such exciting collaborations, that go to such great events and that travel all the time for work. It can be extremely hard not to compare yourself and feel down about where you are. You just need to remember that nobody else is you. There may be a million bloggers out there but everyone is different and your following chooses to follow you for a reason. Just like I mentioned above, patience is key. I remember there was a week where I had amazing collaborations with brands I could have only dreamed of working with a year ago, and yet I was complaining to Ray about something regarding comparing myself to other bloggers. I had to stop myself and realize what was happening. A year ago I would have dreamed to be where I am right now. And I’m sure I’ll say the same thing this time next year.

8.   You need to invest to grow- You need to be willing to invest money to grow the brand. My tip would be to pick and choose what you invest your money in. For me, good quality photographs were key. So, at the beginning, I would just shoot clothes I’ve had for a while but spend my money on a photographer. It is only recently I’ve invested in equipment I’ve wanted for a while. Make a plan and decide what your priorities are.

9.   Some people won’t understand you- Since blogging is relatively new in the grand scheme of things, some people just won’t understand how scrolling through Instagram, commenting on people’s pictures, writing blogs and taking pictures is work. But, boy is it. It takes tons of time, hard work, creativity, patience etc. They’ll understand when they see your paychecks ;)

10. Remember why you started in the first places- On days when it’s not going so well (no collaborations, posts don’t do well, you lose followers etc.), remember why you started the blog in the first place. This always makes me feel better. Because, even if on that day the brand isn’t doing as well as I would like, I think about how far I’ve come. I would way prefer to have an off day than to have no day thinking about She Went West.

Photography by Felicia Lasala