Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Minimal Makeup: Coconut Oil

In a recent article posted on Man Repeller, the author went into great detail on the different uses for Coconut oil.  I too love coconut oil and use on a daily basis. Here are my top three favorite uses:

1. Body Butter // Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer. I have used it instead of lotion and even a post-shower hair conditioner. I also put coconut oil on my face every night before going to bed. I often mix it with a few drops of lavender essential oil (an anti-inflammatory) to help keep my skin clear.

2. Cooking // I use coconut oil to sauté kale, on bread instead of butter, but best of all, I use it to make a "hard-shell" sauce for ice cream. [Just mix some peanut butter or chocolate syrup with slightly warmed coconut oil. Simply drizzle it over ice cream. It's amazing!]

3. Oil Pulling // Ok. This one takes some courage but does wonders for your dental health. All that is involved is taking a spoonful of coconut oil and swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Yes, it seems like a long time, but if you find an activity (like folding laundry) it goes by fairly quickly.  Just make sure you don't brush your teeth or drink anything but water for a good hour after spitting it out.  The benefits? It is a deep clean for your mouth and strengthens your enamel.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Minimal Music: City of the Sun

Minimal music is hard to define, but if there is one group that fits the bill, it's the band City of the Sun.  I first discovered them in Central Park back in September. Their music captivated me. The band consists of three guys, two guitars, a box and some bells. That's it. 

They have been together since 2010 and have made a splash in the music world. They have played everywhere from street corners to sold-out music halls.  According to their website, they describe their music as "sweeping from wide-screen post-rock dynamics to gypsy jazz syncopations." And honestly, that sounds just about right. They are completely instrumental and are redefining acoustic music.

This first video is a cover of Intro by XX.  Although it is not an original, this piece fits very well into their repertoire as a celebration of repetition and haunting, simplistic music theory.  

The next video showcases an original piece titled "W. 16th Street." This is my favorite song on their first full album (which was recently released) titled "To the Sun and all the Cities in Between" Enjoy!

Want more of their music? You can find them on Spotify, iTunes, and Soundcloud.  
My song suggestions? Everything, Second Sun, and Explosions 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Muji: The Love Story

Three years ago I was new to the New York City. I was trying to find my place in my new environment. I had a few friends, but was trying to meet more people.  Naturally, I decided to sign up for a college retreat. When I got to the sign-up sheet, as fate would have it, I didn't have a pen. I saw a guy holding a pen and asked if I could borrow it: It was love at first sight.

"Where did you get this pen? It's amazing!"
"Oh- it's from Muji."
"M... what?"
"Muji. M - U - J - I, Muji."

And the rest, they say, is history.

It was slow at first, but Muji began to take over. It started with their pens and notebooks but gradually the store began to fulfill more and more of my needs (clothing, organization, home goods...)

We have been going steady for 3 years now and I don't plan on leaving anytime soon.

Ok, but really - if you haven't stopped in one of their stores I would highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Muji: Minimalist Gifts

Gift giving is incredibly fun if you know exactly the person wants, but 9 out of 10 times, that isn't the case.

My gifting solution is always Muji. (Surprise!)

Here are my top 3 favorite gifts from Muji:

#3.  Chopsticks
I have a friend who really enjoys all forms of Asian cuisine, but would always take several packs of chopsticks from any restaurant she visited in order to always have a supply.  So, needless to say, this gift was perfect.  The Muji chopsticks range in price from $4.35 to $13.00 so you can buy an individual pair or whole set depending on how big your budget is.

#2. Cardboard Speakers
It was Christmas, and I had absolutely no idea what to give my dad.  Guy gifts are always hard for me because 1. I'm a girl, and 2. I don't have any brothers. This find was my saving grace.  The speakers worked well as a gift for several reasons: 
- It lays flat (thus easy to transport in a suitcase)
- They are useful (my dad currently has them sitting on his office desk)
- Construction required (it gave my dad something to build while my sisters and I had a Christmas gift fashion show)

muji speakers

#1. Personalized Notebooks [Warning: some planning required] 
This is the favorite gift that I have given.  I love the Muji notebooks because they are super cheap, and are a joy to write in. For Christmas one year, I bought a few notebooks and sketched iconic New York City sights onto the cardboard cover.  I drew the top of Chrysler Building, the torch from the Statue of Liberty (pictured below), and even the Conservatory Water (including sailboats) from Central Park.  This gift is ideal for your family (especially grandparents) who would rather have a meaningful piece of you rather than just another knickknack from an NYC tourist shop.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Minimal Makeup: Glossier. A review.

The Glassier Showroom was called "The most room in " (@SabiDatooLalji on twitter.) 

And it's true.

After searching my phone I realized I never saved the snapchats from the space... so here are some the promotional photos of the space taken from the Glossier Instagram.

From the first time I saw this product, I knew I wanted to be apart of the movement. They have truly captured the idea of what makeup should be.  Glossier wants to celebrate the natural beauty of each woman.  They are taking a French approach to makeup which means taking care of the skin first. With an entire line-up of skincare products, from a Milk Jelly cleanser to a Rosewater Toner, their focus is on enhancing the true you.  

After wandering around the showroom I decided to dive in and try out the products.  After trying them all, I just couldn't get over two products:

Boy Brow & Coconut Balm Dotcom

When I started filling in my eyebrows my whole makeup experience was revolutionized, so finding a product that filled them in, and made them look natural was a win-win.  That is just what the Boy Brow does.  It's basically mascara for your brows.  It darkens them, keeps them in place, and doesn't give the drawn-on look. 10 out of 10 would recommend. 

The second product that I fell in love with is the Coconut Balm Dotcom. This is the most useful product I have come across in a long time. 

Need chapstick? Check.
Elbows a bit dry? Check. 
Hands a bit chapped? Check.  

This balm does it all, and not to mention... it smells like vacation! 

{ j chillin @ Gather in BK with my Boy Brows }

Monday, April 11, 2016

Minimal DIY: Unfinished Hem Jean

There is a new trend going around: The Unfinished Hem.

This is a no-fuss style that makes a statement without needing too much work. As soon as I saw a pair in the subway, I knew I had to sacrifice a pair of my jeans so I could jump on this bandwagon.

I bought these great jeans a few months ago. They are distressed, patched and super comfortable, however, they were too long for my taste. Although cuffing them was an option they ended up being bulky and bit awkward.  They were the perfect specimen.

Sure. I was pretty scared as I sliced through my favorite pair of jeans with an exact-o knife... this would either solidify their position as my favorite pair or forever doom them to paint clothes.

Here is how they turned out...

I love them! These jeans are now light, breezy and perfect for summer. (In fact, my roommate loves them so much she is having me cut her jeans.)

The entire project took about 20 minutes and the only thing you need is a pair of scissors. Figure out how short you want to make them and snip away! (Just make sure to keep your line straight)

Do you have a pair of jeans that could just some refreshing? Try this! The unfinished hem will definitely be in style for a few more years.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Muji: SoHo

This weekend I was in SoHo so I stopped by Muji and yet again was reminded of how much I love this place. The essential oil defusers fill the air with a sweet and relaxing aroma. It's the perfect setting to wander the neatly stacked piles of linen shirts and wicker baskets.

The following photos are my best attempt at capturing the aura of Muji:

© Majorly Minimal
Maira Gall