I Stopped Shaving My Legs and You Can Too

I have always hated shaving my legs. It always ended the same, a bath tub full of blood dripping from my ankles. One day I decided to let my leg hair grow a little..and then a little more. Since then, shaving has never been a priority to me.

The act of shaving originated in the 1920’s and progressed more as fashion evolved and hemlines began rising. Porn had also contributed to not only shaving legs, but the pubic region as well.

I first began shaving my legs in the 5th grade when I noticed my legs started looking a little prickly. Having blonde hair, it was not as noticeable allowing me to hold off on shaving a little longer than my friends who had darker hair. To this day, I remember how nervous I was to ask my mom for the first time if we could buy razors to shave my legs. From then on, I was quite anal about having smooth legs. About two years ago, my laziness had finally overpowered my desire for silky skin and I decided to just let my hair grow until I felt like shaving. That’s pretty much how I live my life now, “I’ll shave it when I want to“. Of course, it’s winter now which makes not shaving a big easier. In all honesty, I probably shave once a month in winter and every two weeks in every other season.

That being said, my pubic hair is a different story. I have to admit, I still do associate negative feelings with an unshaven nether region. I feel pressure to look a certain way from society, from magazines and especially the adult industry.  I find that I really only feel sexy whilst on a Kim Possible naked mole rat level. My boyfriend and I have had discussions revolving our feelings on pubic hair and we agreed, either is great! It doesn’t matter if I am clean shaven or not, what matters is how I feel. But even he feels pressure to ‘trim’ certain body parts because of the societal norms we grew up with.

We see pressure to shave in books, movies and television. One example that to this day sticks out to me is the episode of As Told By Ginger when word of Ginger’s “Frizzy Lizzies” gets out to Miranda and she shaves her legs to spare herself the embarrassment at school. Isn’t that really why we shave our legs? To spare ourselves the embarrassment?

When I catch someone looking at my legs, I do feel a bit uneasy. I tend to exaggerate the thoughts they might be having. Questioning why a woman would freely put her legs on display like that but then I remember, it doesn’t matter. Whether I chose not to shave or whether I simply didn’t have time, it doesn’t matter. 

Women all across society are becoming pioneers to create acceptance of body hair. Harnaam Kaur, has allowed her beard to grow, accepting that even with facial hair, she can be beautiful. In a social post she writes, “I am openly, knowingly and unashamedly rebelling without a care! I’m rebelling against everything this world thinks I ‘should’ be! I am rebelling against the type of person society expects me to be. I am rebelling against the man made rules and regulations of beauty standards that are expected of me to abide by”. Many other women have followed suit in embracing their PCOS (Polycistic Ovary Syndrom) like Nova Galaxia . Even women without medical reasoning have embraced body hair. YouTuber, Ingrid Nilsen recently posted a photo showing off her hairy armpits with a caption diving into the real reasoning she felt she had to shave and how her reasoning has since evolved.

My purpose for exposing what some may call a secret? I simply want to help start these conversations. 2018 was the year we finally began seeing size inclusivity, body positivity and gender acceptance. Let’s continue the movement and include body hair positivity. Let’s make all bodies beautiful.

7 Weird Ingredient Face Masks for Spending Halloween at Home

If you are at the same critical stage in life as I am, where you value coziness and unlimited free snacks rather than paying $12 per drink on top of a cover charge, then it sounds like you’re kickin’ it at home this year. To help you get in the Halloween spirit, I rounded up a few face masks with some not-so-ordinary ingredients for you to sit in while you consume copious amounts of mini-sized candy bars you bought for trick-or-treaters.


Snail Jelly Mask – Snail secretion has been used for centuries, especially in countries like South Korea, where culture views youthfulness as extremely important. While this ingredient may not sound as an appealing ingredient to slather on your face, it is said to drastically help with anti-aging, tissue repair, acne, rosacea and scarring. Using the power of snail secretion to repair skin and lock in moisture, it also contains powerful ingredients including hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, collagen, elastin and other vitamins and nutrient such as vitamin A, C and E which are great for balancing skin tone and texture.


Rodial Dragon’s Hyaluronic Mask – You might be asking yourself, what the hell is Dragon’s blood because I am too. No, it’s not the blood of a mythical creature slayed by knights in shining armor, it’s actually sap taken from an Amazonian tree that helps regenerate and alleviate redness while boosting blood circulation. Packed with hyaluronic acid, this mask brightens and firms for a younger looking complexion providing a plumping effect to fill in deep wrinkles, creases and lines. This mask is recommended for more mature skin however, Kim Kardashian-West swears by this ingredient to help plump her lips.


Miss Spa Bee Venom Face Mask – Bee venom is actually known as a natural alternative to botox. The venom stimulates facial muscles for a natural anti-aging effect by smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Infused with powerful ingredients straight from the hive, this natural silk mask targets loss of skin firmness using royal jelly protein and bee venom to improve skin texture and bring liveliness back to a dull complexion.


Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum Mask – While this mask does not contain actual snake venom, it does have dipeptides that were inspired by the potent effects of the venom from a Temple Viper, a venomous species native to South East Asia. This innovative black “peel-off” formula also includes amino acids and licorice to brighten skin tone, deep cleanse and purify pores of excess dirt and oil.


Imselene Donkey Milk Holic Sleeping Mask – It seems like in today’s age everyone is lactose intolerant or against animal milks. I personally have switched to Almond milk for the health benefits and my boyfriend happens to be lactose intolerant but who would think to include donkey milk in skincare? The brand, Imselene sure has. It seems like this mask is no longer sold in the US, only through certain subscription boxes like Memebox but I thought this mask was so unique, I had to include it! The historical use of donkey milk is to use it fermented because the fermentation process produces lactic acid which is a proven exfoliant with skin renewing properties. I have seen some negative reviews about the texture and consistency of this mask being stringy and more gel-like than a mask should be but if I could get my hands on a container, I would definitely try this one  out.


Seoul Mamas Revitalizing Mask – When caviar comes to mind, most think of a luxurious meal served in 5 star restaurants most of us couldn’t even dream of being able to afford. While we may not have the money or desire to eat fish eggs, putting it in our skincare is a whole other story. Seoul Mamas has created a mask containing caviar extract, high in vitamins and minerals proven to prevent dullness without drying out the skin. Apple and wild cherry extracts help this super star ingredient to reduce dark spots and retain moisture.


Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Face Mask – Mushrooms are considered super foods for their richness in nutrients. They have been used in skincare for centuries originating from traditional Chinese medicine. This mask combines the nutrients of a red kidney-shaped fungi known as the Reishi mushroom with Sea Buckthorn and fermented Chaga to restore the skin’s resilience and alleviate redness. It’s creamy consistency helps calm and soothe irritated skin for a healthy-looking glow.

Let me know in the comments what your Halloween plans are and if you’re staying in, which mask would you want to try and which one sounds a bit too out there to put on your face.







BeautyconNYC and Why I Won’t Go Back

In case you wanted to attend this weekend’s BeautyconNYC and didn’t get the chance to, here’s everything you need to know about the land of the pink and home of the highlighter.

I had the chance to attend Beautycon purely by accident. As you know, I work in public relations. One of my clients was interested in participating in the convention next year and I went to scope it out and take lots and lots of pictures. I met a Beautycon employee at 11AM for a walk through tour of the convention center. I thought I would only be allowed to quickly walk through the booths, get my pictures and go but it turns out we were given two general admission wrist bands for free! Also, if I knew I would get the chance to stay, I wouldn’t have worn dress pants. I was definitely looking like a mom in a sea of sequin dresses and crop tops.

I’ve actually been wanting to attend the convention for some time now. I believe this is the convention’s third year and since the first, has exploded on social media. Beauty lovers flock to it almost as much as to Coachella. So safe to say, I would have been experiencing some serious fomo if another year went by without attending.

While the convention is known for having panels of beauty experts, new and upcoming brands, free products and of course, insta-worthy moments, I was curious to see if it’s really worth the money.

Since we were given GA tickets, we were not eligible to receive the swag bag with $200 worth in products. In case you weren’t familiar with pricing, GA tickets for a single day cost $39, a two day GA pass was $59 and if you wanted the swag bag, you have to hand over 200 big ones.

A few takeaways from the booths: Naked men and swings were all the rage this year. Mac had a massive booth bursting at the seams with shirtless men manhandling drills. I will admit, I almost got a picture with one of the guys but another was winking at me and I felt v awkward and ran away. I saw another brand also had shirtless men but the booth was definitely not as popular as Mac’s. While I am not opposed to seeing some man candy, I will say the tactic was a bit corny. Other than shirtless men popping up around every corner, swings were everywhere. While stalking social from last year’s convention, I noticed one brand had a swing which was definitely a hit with beauty goers. I’m sure brands had done their research as well and thought they could incorporate a swing to attract people to their booths and so we were left with three booths with swings. It was definitely a great boomerang but how many swing boomerangs can you really post? The hair care brand, Amika had chosen to include a slide and ball pit into their booth. Obviously I had to slide down it and let me tell you, I nearly died. The slide shook with every step up the ladder and I ended up tripping on the last step but that’s probably my fault and not the slides. Here are two screenshots from boomerangs I posted.

Although there were roughly one hundred booths, I found the content to get old really fast. Being the adult I am, I quickly caught wind of pink lemonade margaritas being sold by the Ponds booth. Had to get one. It was $15. Normal price for a cocktail in NYC I guess…

One of my favorite booth activations was Target’s. I will admit, one of the reasons I loved it so much was because the line was short. Everywhere you looked, there were lines. You were able to choose between three hairstyles; space buns, a braid or beach waves. I don’t know if they were promoting color sprays but you were able to choose between a variety of pinks and golds. I opted for space buns with a zigzag part and pink spray. It actually turned out super cute and I received a bunch of compliments!

Like I mentioned before, because we had general admission tickets, we didn’t receive the swag bag so we had to scavenger for free products where ever we could. Surprisingly enough, there really weren’t that many booths giving out free products. Most booths were selling products which I was not interested in. Side note, I did buy an electric tooth brush for my boyfriend…and a $15 margarita so I can’t say I didn’t buy anything. In the end, I had a small bag with just a few products. Upon reviewing the products later on the train home, I wasn’t really interested in anything I had collected. In my bag were a few lipsticks in some questionable shades, a travel case of tampons, a nail polish, a face mask and a few random itty-bitty samples from brands I wasn’t familiar with. Below are a few of them.


Overall, my general impression of the convention was lacking. Maybe it’s because I work with beauty everyday or because i’m a little bit older than the average attendee but I don’t think I would purchase a ticket for next year. And for those two day pass holders, I’m a little bit confused as to why anyone would want to go twice. Unless you want to see a specific panelist for example, Paris Hilton and Gigi Gorgeous were speakers on Saturday then there isn’t enough reason to come back. The booths are the same from Saturday to Sunday so your Instagram opportunities would be the same. The Beautycon employee did mention some brands give out different products from one day to the next to attract you back to the booth but receiving a charcoal mask one day and a cucumber one the next isn’t enough motivation to spend the money, at least for me.

I think for younger girls who are super fans of beauty influencers and want to post to cute pictures to Instagram, Beautycon is great. I did have fun, but it’s definitely one of those things you only need to experience once.

Did you go to BeautyCon? Let me know what you think about it and if you would go back a second time.


A Refinery29 Style Diary: A Day in Beauty PR

Today I will take you through a busy day in my life working at a Beauty Public Relations agency in New York City.

Spoiler Alert: it’s not a lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Name: Nicole – Occupation: Associate Account Executive (AAE) – Location: 45th ST. NY, NY Work Day: 10AM-6PM

5:05AM I wake up to the worst sound in the world; my alarm. It’s still dark af outside. A notification pops up on my phone: “Get your ass to gym”. I fall out of bed and manage to put on workout leggings.

5:20AM I walk into the gym and immediately want to walk out. I chug overly concentrated pre-workout and head for the treadmill. Then the elliptical. I go over to the free weights. I pick things up and put them down.

6:40AM I stand under boiling hot water in the shower for too long.

7:10AM *obnoxious rattling* I down a protein shake out of my blender bottle because “gains”. I use vanilla protein with almond milk. For an extra kick in the morning and for a little extra flavor, I add in a teaspoon of instant coffee. I fry up some egg whites and my favorite Morning Star meatless spicy sausage patties.

7:50AM I sit in a freezing car waiting for my wind shield to defrost.

8:06AM I board the (what I only imagine hell feels like), train. NjTransit, if you’re reading this, I hate you.

8:55AM I transfer trains at Secaucus.

9:22AM I take the subway to Bryant Park.

9:50AM I sit down at my desk.

10:00AM I scan for placements online. We use a tool called Cision which notifies you based on key words when a client has been featured on a publication site or magazine. I find three new placements for one client and two for another. I send an email with write ups on the placements including UVPM, links and images to clients. I input the new placements into our Rolling Report, a fluid excel document that holds all placements to-date. This report is sent to the client at the end of the month for review.

11:00AM I have a call with a client. I print out the agenda I created the day before and dial in.

11:30AM I recap the call in a word document and send back to the client with any additional feedback or information discussed on the call.

12:00PM Print publications have been folding left and right and editors are getting laid off. Every month we send magazine editors the newest launch from our brands. I comb through our list and delete all the editors out of work. I’m left with 24 editors. I print labels and start assembling gift bags. Each gift bag receives a product, press release, note and business card.

1:00PM Lunch arrives. Every Thursday we have an agency wide catered lunch. This week is Indian, my favorite. We sit at a long table in the middle of the office discussing any difficulties teams have been having with clients, products etc. We brainstorm a few solutions while everyone finishes their curry. Someone mentions a funny story about an old intern and it kicks off a chain of funny stories about the old agency owner.

2:00PM I begin scouting makeup artists for this month’s seeding. I collect information such as Instagram followers, email and agent representation in a word document template. The very specific format takes a long time and I end up taking a break.

2:50PM An old client needs their inventory sent back. I pack up the skincare products and any old collateral. We have our own shipping station so I play UPS woman for a while.

3:40PM I take a stab at some pitching, regional to be exact. Regional or mid-lead refers to magazines specific to a regional such as the AMNY(New York) or DMagazine(Dallas). I send a blast and respond to some reactive emails from the pitch.

4:00PM I run downstairs for coffee. We are lucky because we have 3 Starbucks locations within two blocks, a Pret A Manger IN THE BUILDING and a Gregory’s Coffee a block away. Options, people.

4:30PM Two more placements come through. I send the write-ups to the client and update the Rolling Report.

4:45PM I can’t find a hi-res image of a product in our shared drive folders. I decide to reorganize all product images by name, date and category because i’m crazy. And maybe a little bit of an over achiever.

5:30PM I am spearheading an Influencer program at the agency so I am slowly updating contacts in our influencer media list. Every day we receive requests from bloggers to be added to our media list. Once added, these bloggers receive pitches and are eligible to receive samples to try, review and write about. There are roughly 2,000+ contacts in this list. Slowly but surely we’ll get there.

5:40PM My team regroups for an EOD meeting. We discuss any outstanding work and what needs to be prioritized for tomorrow.

6:01PM I head for the subway to Penn Station, take a connecting train to Secaucus and board the Bergen County local train.

7:50PM We arrive in my town. I sit in a freezing car waiting for my wind shield to defrost and drive home.

8:00PM I’m home. I eat dinner and watch television with my mom until 10:30PM. I need to move out ASAP.

11:00PM I scroll through my Instagram feed in bed liking images or girls in bikinis and think about how much the gym will suck tomorrow morning.

11:30PM Lights out. Do it all again.