The Essentials: October 2018

Holy cow! I haven’t done an “essentials” post in over a year! I usually store my empties until one of these posts go up so you can only imagine the pile of recyclables I had hanging out in my living room.

Once I go through this pile I’ll start giving these posts a more curated theme.

Anyway, let's get to it!

monthly essentials october 2018.jpg

Hair: Garnier Fructis sent me their collection of hair care products which was a walk down memory lane. I loved all things Garnier when in high school - it was the only brand that detangled my curls and tamed my frizz. So of course, I decided to give their Damage Eraser line a try and I still love it! My color-treated hair felt so hydrated and strong after each use. I definitely recommend picking up this drugstore favorite if salon brands are out of your budget. Another favorite I reached for again and again this summer, was Vernon Francois’ Revamp Conditioner Spray. Now Vernon is a celebrity is a natural hair stylist so he definitely knows how to treat the curl right and has definitely used his knowledge to create a line specifically made for me. Or so it feels. This is one standout favorite that I love and use it as a refresher for my curls more than as a conditioner.

Face: Each one that made it on here is so GOOD. In an effort to not overwhelm you I’ll stick to my top 3. First and foremost, Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a godsend. It’s a light moisturizer that packs a heavy punch and smells divine. This is definitely something I’ll repurchase and have it stocked at my boyfriend’s apartment too! Next up is The Ordinary’s Niacinamide Serum as it’s been a definite game changer. Each bottle costs about $6 and helps fade acne marks and prevents new zits from popping up. It melts right into my skin too so it’s great for layering. Lastly, La Roche-Porsay’s Serozinc is finally being sold stateside! But due to heavy demand these guys sell out so quickly. I honestly have email alerts for when they’re stocked so I can scoop up a few bottles. Now you’re probably wondering what’s so great about this face mist? WELL, this face mist helps mattify your skin which is perfect for those of us with oily/combination skin. It’s also does wonders for clearing up acne.

Body: Okay, so I’ve been obsessed with the Dorco Shai razors. They’re 6 blade razors, that pivot around curves seamlessly. The best part, they’re priced at 35% cheaper than well known drugstore brands and in my experience work much better. I know on my Instagram Stories I mentioned signing up for the Billy razors so I’ll let you know how it compares to this.

Makeup: Let’s have a moment of silence for my favorite nude lip gloss from L’Oreal in Coral Sands. This shade has probably made in an appearance in about 65% of my outfit posts. Whether I was wearing a full look of makeup or went barefaced - this color went perfectly with everything. I dread the day L’Oreal discontinues this color.

Fashion: YOU GUYS. Everlane made jeans and they are amazing. The fit, the stretch, the colors - so good! The only thing I will say is to get them a size smaller and embrace your curves.

Any favorites you've been loving this month?

Shop my essentials below:
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen // fifteen

Currently Trending: Beach Waves for Fall

Today's post was created in collaboration with Bed Head by TIGI and Her Campus Media. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

Summer has come and gone but it’s no secret that I like to rollover my hairstyles into fall. Give me healthy, glossy beach waves any time of the year!

aileen olmedo new york city lifestyle blogger on fall hair style trends

Are you wondering why beach waves?

Well, after going through a few bouts of Alopecia (which I’ll share more on later) I’ve been embracing the style since it helps hide the awkward lengths happening around my head. Don’t worry, it’ll all even out eventually but it takes time.

aileen olmedo new york city beauty blogger best hair products for waves curly hair

Bed Head by TIGI sent me their line of all-star styling products so I tested it out for a few weeks. (Want to make sure I can give you my honest opinion ya know.)

So far, I’ve been loving the below picks and must add (since I’ve worked in advertising) that the branding and packaging is so fun. I’ve been able to extend my styles from 4 days to a full week while keeping my mane frizz-free throughout the humidity.

My Top Picks:

aileen olmedo hair blogger shares best hair products from Ulta

You can find all of my favorites at your local Ulta. AND, if you’re in New York City make sure to visit the Ulta on 86th street in the UES. It’s gigantic!

What hairstyles and products are you leaning on this fall?

After (Art) School Special: Lydia Hudgens

Curiosity and creativity go hand-in-hand. And as we get older, we start to lose that need to question everything or create for that matter. We no longer want to swim against the grain but instead, want to blend in. But why?

In order to produce unique, new ideas one has to be open, curious, and stay creative. Let your imagination run free. 

And with that, I welcome you to my newest series that will spotlight some of my favorite people who continue to push their own boundaries when it comes to creating. Photography, installation, designing, painting - anything and everything. 

First up to the podium is Lydia Hudgens.


I've known Lydia for years now. I started as her photo intern years ago and the rest is history.

You may have seen her name receive photo credit for an image whilst scrolling through your Instagram feed. But what you may not be so familiar with is her personal portfolio. It has a completely different vibe - moodier, bold, and with a hint of homage to film. Fuel your fascination with our Q&A below.

Lydia Hudgens
San Francisco -> Brooklyn, New York
Academy of the Art University for Fine Art Photography

Who inspires you and how did they influence you? 

Lately, I've really been into really quiet photographers. Artists like Erika Astrid, lililand, sabrinasantiago, paradisonyc and Christina Emilile (the last being a close friend and an amazing minimalist photographer). I've shot street style for so long, so photographers like this interest me directly because it's so different than the fast speed that I've come accustomed to shooting. It's quieter, more thoughtful, poignant and I respond to it. 


What do you want viewers to take away from your work? 

I want to start going in a more thoughtful direction with my work because the photography I personally enjoy is quiet, almost brooding and nearly always serious. I want people viewing my work to think, not only about the shape and fabric of the garment I'm shooting but the story I'm trying to convey. I'm working on rebranding currently, so this is the direction I'll be starting to gear my personal work towards.


What is the difference between beauty and vulgarity? 

I think it's a fine line honestly. I see some photos where the subjects are clearly naked but they're more poignant and raw than someone completely clothed. I personally loved photographing the human form for years so I find beauty in the skin, regardless of the shape - whether it be fat, thin, muscle-bound, etc.. People can find something vulgar in any image but generally that vulgarity is personal. Something about the photo causes them distress but that response differs from person to person. It's not necessarily a negative but can become one if it's voiced online - an issue that is becoming more and more normal in this day and age. People feel like they can hide behind their computers and pick other people apart and it's honestly disgusting. If you don't like something, look elsewhere. It's not for you.


Black and white or color?



Do you miss film?

Yes, 100%. I shot film this weekend and will start incorporating more into my work. Unfortunately, it's very pricey so that's the only hurdle but I have been seeing more and more brands paying photographers to shoot film so maybe there's hope it'll have a resurgence!


If you could take your art / photographs in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new thing would you try?

I may have already mentioned this before but I'm rebranding myself and created a new photography account @LydiaHudgensPhoto. I think people have sort of pigeonholed my work to bloggers and I know I have the bandwidth to do so much more. So that's what I'm working on - expanding, experimenting, slowing down, etc. Getting back to my roots! 


Hope you enjoyed the first After (Art) School Special installment featuring Lydia Hudgens. Be sure to give her Instagram account a follow at @LydiaHudgensPhoto. My goal is to have these installments have their own consistent schedule, but until then you can stay up-to-date on all my blog happenings on Instagram and Twitter!