Happy 2017! I closed out 2016 by taking an amazing trip to Iceland and Berlin with my sister for Christmas and visiting Mattia and his family in Italy for NYE (more pics and blogposts to come!) I thought I'd kick start 2017 by recapping my top favorites from the past year. These are items that I've used on a regular basis in 2016 and I'd highly recommend to anyone.
You might recognize most of these from my monthly 2016 favorites, but I thought I'd do an additional shout out to these amazing, game-changing products.
UE BOOM 2 My friend brought this on our Puerto Rico trip in February last year and we spent the entire weekend in love with it. We blasted music while chilling by the pool, pregaming in the hotel room, hiking in the rainforest, partying on boozy boat rides, watching the the sunset over the ocean, etc. I've since purchased my own and have been telling everyone and their mothers to buy it. Everyone who's gotten it absolutely loves it as much as I do. I bring it on most of my trips. It's been especially awesome on my 2016 trips to Las Vegas, Ibiza, Lyon, and London.
It is a bit pricey, but man is it worth it! The sound quality is AMAZING and gets pretty loud without sacrificing quality. If your friend also has a UE BOOM speaker, you can use the Double Up feature to play music at the same time. BOOM! For a more affordable option, you can get the CERTIFIED REFURBISHED MODEL.
KIEHL'S OLIVE OIL HAIR MASK My hair is pretty damaged from years of straight perms, color, and styling with heat at home. I've used this hair mask every week for several months and it's done wonders to improve quality. I have a lot fewer split ends! My hair is instantly softer and wonderfully moisturized after each use. The mask is also the perfect consistency, it isn't too thick that it weighs your hair down, and isn't too thin that it doesn't provide enough moisture.
MISS DIOR BLOOMING BOUQUET This is a fresh, sweet (but not overly sweet) scent that I used the most in 2016. It's more of a spring/summer scent, but I loved it so much that I wore it into fall and winter as well. You can see how much I love it since I'm on my third bottle now! My nose is a bit sensitive to really strong perfumes, so this one is at the perfect strength--light but definitely still there. It's feminine, but not overly so as the packaging would suggest.
BCBG LITTLE BLACK DRESS I finally found my perfect LBD! This dress is seriously a life changer. It's always in my suitcase for trips since it is so versatile. I wear it to work, date nights, brunches, and all the above. There have been so many times where I didn't expect to need a dress on a trip, but had to pull this out for last minute dinners and nights out. I love that it has sleeves and it hits me perfectly above the knee.
(Travel tip: always pack a LBD that you can dress up or down since you never know what might come up!)
LULULEMON TIGHTS I think I've worn this at least once a week last year and it's replaced jeans in a lot of my outfits. It's so comfortable yet stylish. It's also my go-to bottoms for traveling since it's perfect for long plane rides and lugging lots of baggage around. I've tried on a lot of athleisure tights/leggings and Lululemon's definitely have the best fit and lift (especially awesome for your booty area haha). I'm around 5'3 (and a half!) so the 7/8 fits me perfectly all the way down to the ankle.
Also pictured: FOREVER21 BLANKET SCARF, a close top pick for my top favorites.
KAPTEN & SON WATCH I love, love, love my minimalist Kapten & Son chain mesh watch. It goes with pretty much every outfit. I wear it to work, nights out at bars, brunches, you name it. There are a lot of watch brands out there right now, but I ultimately chose Kapten & Son because I love their design and great price. The anchor symbol is such a pretty detail that always makes me happy since it reminds me of the travel and the sea.
DR JART SHEET MASKS I use sheet masks at least once a week. If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for?! The results are instantaneous as well as long term. I usually apply one right before I sleep and sometime during the night I yank it off. I never remember the moment but I wake up with it crumbled on the floor next to me, lol! The results in the morning is very dewy, soft, supple skin, including reduction in pimples, visibility of pores, and all other goodness. Proper moisturization that sheet masks provide also reduces wrinkles and flakiness.
My favorite ones are Dr. Jart masks because it gives a lot of quality bang for your buck! My favorite ones are FUSE WATER-FULL HYDROGEL (hydrate that dry skin!) and PORE MINIMALIST (focuses on purifying).
GOOGLE PHOTOS THIS APP SAVED MY LIFE! I have an iPhone with 128 GB so I stopped manually backing up photos to my external hard drive. Thankfully, I started using Google Photos to back up my iPhone photos--it's completely free for unlimited backup for high quality back-ups (not full-size, but still decent enough). In July 2016, I got a few splashes of salty sea water on my phone in Ibiza and it completely died before I could get it to an Apple store. I thought my photos were gone forever--until I remembered that I had the entire history of my phone's photos saved on Google Photos. I would've been devastated if I had lost thousands of photos and memories. I'm forever grateful to this app!.
Also, who doesn't love being able to search through your photos with keywords like "March 2016", "tree", "Spain", "dog", etc.? Saves me so much time!
OVERDRIVE I recently found out that you could rent audiobooks and ebooks through this app for free! I had a difficult time getting into reading in 2016, but audiobooks have made me start binging on books! It super easy to listen on planes, trains, etc. I even listen while doing chores and putting on makeup/doing my hair at home! I know that New York and Los Angeles public library systems offer this service, so check if your local library offers something like this!
(If you're new to audio or ebooks, I suggest reading something lightweight to ease yourself into it. My first audiobook was Amy Poehler's "Yes, Please!" and it was super easy to get through since she reads it herself and brings in celebrity guest readers.)
INSTAX MINI PRINTER I can't say enough good things about this printer. I'd wanted an Instax camera for the longest time, but I'm so glad that Mattia got me the printer for my birthday instead. One of the best things about this printer is that I don't have to lug around yet another camera in order to get my cute polaroid pics. I usually travel with my DSLR and GoPro, so not taking an Instax camera definitely saves a ton of space. I can just choose the photos I want to print right off my phone and voila!
Super easy to use, super cute, and super convenient. I now have a bunch of cute prints hanging around my room. The prints can also make a quick cute gift to a friend after you take a trip together.
Follow Characters & Carry-ons