When I travel, I love to sneak in moments to capture portraits and candids of local women, and during my last pilgrimage to Spain, Flare gave me the opportunity to take it one step further and delve into the health and beauty practices of Andalucían women. Here's the feature where I learn that for the women of Andalucía, beauty runs deeper than a secret anti-wrinkle cream but the innate attitude and charm of "duende." But, what's duende??
I met some incredible women in Hawaii who, to put it simply, get shit done, all the while being generously kind and absolutely inspiring. In Kona, where there is so much history to learn, things to discover, and activities to partake in, there was no shortage of said badass ladies. As action filled as Kona was, it was the women of the trip who really touched my heart and left me with the warmest sense of ohana (I told you, Hawaii has turned me into a total sap!).
There's nothing I love more than road tripping around a beautiful island - with stunning views of the land + water and all the delicious food stops along the drive, it's the best way to get up close and local. On Hawaii Island, we got to cover the top 180 of the island going north-west from Hilo to Kona.
I always had a feeling that Hawaii would be a magical place, which is a big reason why I've always wanted to visit, and there really is no better way to get a sense of what that magic is all about than a trek through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Words cannot express the out of worldness that is hiking through, and on top of, a continuously erupting volcano. We started at 2:30pm, continued through sunset to pitch darkness (except for the glow coming from Kīlauea's active lava flow), while going through six different climates (rain, sun, dry, humid, cold, you name it, we felt it), which changes the color of the hardened lava from bronze to silver in a second. 12.4 miles later and it still feels unreal.
Being able to fly direct to Hilo from LAX (via United) made it an ideal first stop on my road trip across Hawaii Island. The main draw to Hilo, of course, is its close proximity to the out of this world experience that is hiking the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is currently oozing the fiery 61G lava flow.
When you think of Granada, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is the Alhambra palace, which is only natural considering it is the #1 tourist attraction in all of Spain. Having been to Spain a few times before this trip, but never in Andalucia, I was pretty stoked to finally get the full Alhambra experience.
This year's Spanish adventure takes me to the south to explore the sunny Andalucian region. My home base was in Málaga, a city known as the gateway to the Costa del Sol and the birthplace of Picasso. Originally settled by the Phoenicians (then, the Muslims and then, the Christians...), there is no doubt of Málaga's deep history but in recent years, the city has reinvented itself as the cultural hub of Southern Spain, thanks in large part to the opening of the stunning Centre Pompidou, the first outside of the Paris museum
To celebrate Pride month, I produced and directed a video series for Beautycon called Dare To Be Me - stories within the LGBTQ community about a moment that defined the decision to be brave and stand against expectations and norms set by friends, family and society. Here's one of the videos with La Demi (below). For more, check out Beautycon's facebook page.
If you've ever needed a reason why you should travel alone at least once in your lifetime, here's 6! Honestly, if you’re itching to go away but feel like you need to wait for someone to go with you first, you could be waiting forever. So, just book the ticket; you'll have the best time ever with the best person ever (i.e. YOURSELF).
When I first started interviewing music artists at MTV back in 2006, I kept a list of their names so that when I was old and grey, I'd be reminded that I once interviewed a band named Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, or The Pigeon Detectives (not even making those up, I swear). Anyway, I dug up said list, which didn't get updated too frequently towards the later years but still pretty funny and nostalgic to browse through nonetheless. I think there's over 300 names in there (including some tv and film peeps too).
Here it is in all it's glory:
The best way to celebrate Chinese New Year, of course, is with non-stop feasting. Here's my family's recipe for Sweet Sesame Ma Fah Cookies, which we make annually for the new year and, another loving nod to my Hakka-Indian roots, my latest piece on a few of the unique Chinese dishes being cooked up and served around the world. Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous year of the monkey.
I don't normally write about cosmetics but a recent lip allergy lead me to find out that there are lots of you out there who have also, unfortunately, developed random out of the blue allergies to lip products. After learning that the allergy would never go away, I became my own personal guinea pig to find out what I was/wasn't allergic to and which products I could wear that would't blow up my lips and cause them to peel and spew out liquid (pretty picture, right?).