Curls for days! {How I get my long lasting curls}

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How do I get long lasting, beautiful curls you ask?? Here’s my “mane” regimen of tools and products I use and LOVE!
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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1) A damn good blow dryer (brand recommendations below!)
2) Regular Hair brush
3) Round Brush
4) Deep conditioning mask
5) Smoothing serum
6) Hair clips
7) Curling wand
8) Finishing cream or serum
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FINDING THE RIGHT BLOW DRYER
If you’re looking for a great blow dryer, I would recommend one that has at least 1875 watts of power + using the blow straight attachment on the end that typically comes with most blow dryers. I used to be the haircare Buyer at Macys.com so I personally feel it’s worth it to splurge on a good blow dryer because you’ll have it for years AND because more expensive ones typically have ceramic, ionic or torumaline technology. This technology helps to lessen frizz and reduce the amount of heat damage to your hair. If you’re looking to learn more about the difference between these technologies, read more HERE. In addition, many brands offer a 1 to 2 year warranty which is sometimes also renewable for a small price in case something goes wrong or it breaks.
Best brands (in my opinion) are SolanoBabyliss and DryBar. For the ultimate splurge, go for T3 or GHD. Personally, I use and love Solano because I feel like you’re getting a good value without spending $250+.
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PREPPING + THE PERFECT BLOW DRY
Step 1
In the shower, wash your hair as you normally would with shampoo & conditioner.
After conditioning, I recommend using L’Oreal’s total repair damage erasing hair mask in the shower. It will make your hair feel soon soft and adds an extra layer of protection to hair breakage and heat damage. It’s only $5.99 at Target.com and you can shop the product HERE.
After you apply the mask, and let it soak in for 5 min per the instructions. Brush your hair out in the shower using a detangling brush (I use the $15 Tangle Teaser from Sephora HERE) and rinse out the mask under COLD water. The cold temperature of the water actually helps to reduce frizz!
Step 2
Once out of the shower, towel dry and brush out your hair before applying a smoothing or frizz reducing hair serum. Ive been using John Frieda’s anti-frizz and smoothing hair serum for YEARS and swear by it! It works wonders for my natural beach waves and curly hair as well, even on humid and rainy days. It’s only $7.99 at Target.com and you can shop this product HERE.
Let your hair naturally air dry for 20 minutes before blow drying {as long as you’re not in a rush}. This reduces frizz and dry time..the best of both worlds!
Step 3
Start by sectioning your hair half up with a clip. (I find that it’s easiest to blow dry the bottom portion of my hair first.)
 
Section off the bottom half into two sections and pick a side to start with. Depending on the thickness of your hair, you may need to break this section out into 2 more using another clip. I have super thick hair so I do but it’s not always necessary!
 
Step 4
Start with a round brush at your head and place your blow dryer on the round brush, working your way down the section. Simply repeat this step over and over until each section is dry. Make sure to completely blow dry each section of hair before moving to the next section!
 
Step 5
After blow drying the bottom potion of your hair, break out the top portion into 2 or 4 sections as you did the bottom portion, again depending on the thickness of your hair. Dry each section at a time until complete.
Once your hair is completely dry, I recommend waiting until the next day to actually curl it. This allows your hair to produce natural oils which will hold your curls better and longer!
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CURLING
Just as I walked you through blow drying your hair in sections, I also curl my hair utilizing the same sections. Most importantly, I use a wand instead of a traditional curling iron because you can start curls closer to your head and because a wand holds curls better. I use the Conair Infiniti Pro Curling wand, only $20 at Ulta. It will take some getting used to but I promise you will be SO happy with it once you learn how to use it! I may take you 4-5 times to get the hang of it. Buy this amazing wand at Ulta Beauty HERE.
Step 1
Start by clipping the top half of your hair up. Break the bottom portion of your hair into 2 sections and start with about an inch thickness of hair and begin with the wand pointing down and thickest part of the curling wand on your section of hair closest to your head. Wrap your hair around over and over working your section of hair down the wand. Again, it may take some practice but I promise you will get the hang of it!
Step 2
Once you finish curling the bottom section of your hair, begin with the top section. As when you blow dried, break out the top portion into 2 sections. Start with an inch of hair and continue to wrap it around the wand, again with the wand pointing down and thickest part closest to your head. Repeat with each section until complete.
Step 3
For finishing touches on my curls, I use biosilk. It’s smells AMAZING and also makes your hair luxuriously soft. You can purchase a travel size version that goes a long way for $15 at Ulta Beauty HERE.
It may come as a shock, but hair spray is an absolute NO NO for me. It allows my curls to look more natural when I sleep on them. I’m able to make my curls last up to 3 days and use dry shampoo & conditioner to look fab all week!
If you’re looking to make your blow dry and curls last longer, I recommend using dry shampoo and conditioner each morning. I use Oscar Blandi, Living proof or Drybar brand but prefer the powder over the spray because I feel like it absorbs grease and dirt much better. Shop Sephora’s dry shampoo products HERE and dry conditioner products HERE.

Happy Curling!

Exploring Soho, Boho Style!

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Manhattan is hands down the most amazing city in the United States. I’ve lived here for 8 years after graduating from college {not counting my 14 month beach getaway to Santa Monica last year. I had to break up with East coast winters for a little bit!}

Despite my undying love (literally) of beachy SoCal cities, I have grown to really appreciate living in New York. It’s definitely not an easy place to live. I moved here when I turned 21 and absolutely fell in LOVE. I had never been to New York in my life but had nailed a Summer internship at Chanel’s corporate office and I would have been CRAZY to turn the opportunity down. Since then I have built my resume at companies like Jimmy Choo, Bergdorf Goodman, Victorias Secret, Macys & JustFab.
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Sitting shot_outfit 2The best thing about NYC? The fact that it’s the fashion capital of the world!!

My second favorite thing about New York is the fact that every neighborhood has a different character, a different personality and a different vibe. You could be walking down a deserted cobblestone street, turn the corner, and find the most remarkable stores or unique coffee shops and cafes.

Soho is one of my top favorite neighborhoods in the city and my absolute favorite for shopping! There are so many cute boutiques that line Broadway as well as high end luxury retailers, up and coming brands and pop up shops. Every time I’m there, I can’t help but automatically feel cool living in NYC. (If you live here, you know what I mean!)

With that said, here are some of the highest rated places to stay, best coffee shops, best sweet treats and the best cafes to grab brunch or dinner in Soho!*I have linked each place to websites where you can find more info on each place!

sohoWhere to Stay
soho grand

Soho Grand Hotel ($$)*
Arlo Soho ($$)
SIXTY Soho ($$)
The James Hotel ($$$)
Nomo Soho ($$$)
Trump Soho ($$$)
Crosby Street Hotel ($$$$)
*Pictured

Best Brunch
jwf

Laduree (French + outdoor patio)
Jacks wife Frieda (Mediterranean) *Pictured
By Chloe (Vegan)
Pietro Nolita (Italian)
The Butchers Daughter (Vegetarian & Vegan)
Pera Soho (Mediterranean + outdoor Patio)
Hundred Acres (American)
Aurora Soho (Italian)

Best Coffee Shops
birch

Everyman Espresso (Coffee & Espresso)
Birch Coffee (Coffee & Espresso) *Pictured
Gasoline Alley (Coffee & Espresso)
La Colombe (Coffee, Espresso & Tea)
Cha Cha Matcha (Coffee, Tea & Soft Serve)
Joe & the Juice (Coffe & Fresh Pressed Juices)
Juice Press (Fresh Pressed Juices & Smoothies)

Best Soho Sweet Treats
laduree

Dominique Ansel Bakery (The original cronut + donuts)
Eileens Special Cheesecake (cheesecake)
Laduree (macaroons) *Pictured
Brigadeiro Bakery (Brigadeiros & Cakes)
Jars by Dani (Mason jar desserts)
Kith Treats (ice cream with unique cereal mix ins)
Georgetown cupcake (cupcakes)

Best Cocktail Bars
jimmy

The Ship (Speakeasy)
The Jimmy at the James Hotel (Rooftop bar)*
The Mulberry Project (Craft Cocktails)
Houston Hall (Beer)
Pegu (Craft Cocktails)
The Handy Liquor Bar (Piano Bar)

Best Dinner Spots
BALTH

Balthazar (French) *Pictured
Blue Ribbon (Sushi)
La Esquina (Mexican)
Ed’s Lobster Bar (Seafood)
Charlie Bird (Italian)
Lombardi’s (Pizza)
Boqueria Soho (Tapas)

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All photos of locations are from respective establishments websites. Please note this list is curated by me and is solely based off of my own personal opinions and research.

Turks & Caicos: Providenciales

If you’ve already explored the Bahamas, Jamaica and Puerto Rico and are looking for somewhere different to explore in the Caribbean, Turks & Caicos is perfect for your next Spring Break, Summer or holiday vacation! I would highly recommend it for both couples and families because there are a multitude of activities for adults and kiddos. It’s also a great place for a romantic getaway or just  to unplug from the outside world!
Located just 550 miles off the coast of Miami, Turks & Caicos is a British Territory and consists of 40 islands, 8 of which are inhabited. The most popular island in Turks & Caicos where we visited for 9 days is the island of Providenciales, voted the #1 island in the world on Trip Advisor in 2015!
WHAT TO BRING
Check out MoonlightGypsyShop.com for all of your beach essentials before you go. Our beach shop is the perfect place to find handmade beach bags and beach jewelry with a Bohemian vibe. Don’t forget your sunscreen + sunnies!
MoonlightGypsyShop.com The Beach Shop   MoonlightGypsyShop.com Pom Pom Wristlet
WHERE TO STAY
Known for it’s gorgeous turquoise waters and pristine beaches, Turks & Caicos is famous for Grace Bay, the main beach area where you can find a plethora of resorts, restaurants and shops. If you’re looking to stay where the action is, Grace Bay is definitely the place for you! Voted the #1 beach in the world in 2016, you can work on your tan, casually snorkel right off the beach, eat at restaurants overlooking the beach and find plenty of activities to do in the bay.
Grace Bay Turks & Caicos
Photo from GetsReady.com
If you’re looking to live like a local in a more secluded area of the island with no tourists, I would suggest suggest booking a private house or villa on Airbnb or RVBO on the opposite side of the island.
We stayed in a secluded beautiful home with an infinity edge pool and private beach on for the first half of the week of our vacation.
Check out this view!
Turks & Caicos beach view   MoonlightGypsyShop.com Embroidered Pom Pom Tote
For the second half of the week, we stayed at La Vista Azul which is walkable to Turtle Cove, a cute and casual area filled with great restaurants and water views. La Vista Azul was cozy and comfortable. I would highly recommend staying here and would definitely go back!
La Vista Azul Turks & Caicos   La Vista Azul Turks & Caicos
For more resort and hotel information on the island, check out hotels.com to input the dates of your trip, read reviews and check availability.
You can also click here to read reviews on top rated places to stay.
ACTIVITIES
There are a number of outdoor activities for both adults and children in Turks & Caicos.
We decided to spend one afternoon reef fishing with Grand Slam Fishing Charters which turned out to be more fun than I expected.
The staff on the boat made it super easy and helped us bait our fishing lines which was nice, especially because I didnt want to be the one touching slimy fish guts. I had never been fishing before, but caught 3 fish including this grouper! They gave us some great tips and also would take the fish off the hook for you (after you take all necessary insta worthy photos and selfies of course!)
To book a fishing trip with Grand Slam Fishing Charters, click here.
Grand Slam Fishing Charters Turks & Caicos
Fishing was a lot of fun, but the ultimate highlight of our trip was  Snuba diving in in Coral Gardens around Bight Reef.
Jodi is well known on the island for her Snuba expertise and was an absolutely amazing instructor. I only had previous experience with snorkeling so was a bit intimidated at first with having to learn how to breath from an air tank, but if my 65 year old mom could do it, you can too! It was honestly one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Unlike a typical snorkel experience, you can get up close and personal with some really cool wildlife. We saw huge green turtles, lobster, eel, a giant sting ray and tons of gorgeous tropical fish. Jodi even picked up a sea spider and shrimp under water to show us which was REALLY cool. I highly recommend this activity as a must on your trip!
To schedule snuba with Jodi, click here.
Snuba Turks & Caicos   Snuba Turks & Caicos
 After an afternoon of activities in Grace Bay, cool off with a tropical cocktail at Ozmosis Bar, a beachside bar at The Palms resort. You can enjoy a full bar, daiquiris or the island’s famous Rum Punch, my personal favorite!
Rum Punch Ozmosis Bar Turks & Caicos   Ozmosis Bar The Plams Turks & Caicos
Photo from TrueViralNews.com
One of the best local activities to do in Provinciales is the Thursday night Fish Fry. Unfortunately our Thursday night got rained out so we weren’t able to attend but it is highly recommended and frequented by the locals. From 5:30 to 9:30 in Bights Park, you can enjoy local food vendors, entertainment and cultural activities. This is also a great activity for kids and all ages.
For a full list of top rated activities in Provo, check here.
WHERE TO EAT
Breakfast & Brunch
If you’re looking for a great brunch spot, I would highly recommend Bay Bistro at the Sibonne Beach Hotel. You can enjoy delicious banana coconut pancakes or lobster Benedict while overlooking the ocean from a causal shaded patio. The food was fantastic and they have an awesome $16 brunch deal that includes a menu entree + a Bloody Mary, screwdriver or mimosa. 😉

Bay Bistro Coconut Pancakes   Bay Bistro View
Photo from TripAdvisor.com

If you’re staying near Turtle Cove, Green Bean Island Bistro is the perfect place to grab your morning joe and a casual bite. Their breakfast bagel sandwiches really hit the spot! We put in a to go order before heading over to the secluded beach area where Smith’s Reef is located. This is another great area to snorkel if you dont make it to Coral Gardens to check out Bights Reef or want to snorkel somewhere less crowded. Certain areas are rocky getting in the water though so make sure you bring water shoes or flippers.

Green Bean Coffee Turks & Caicos
Lunch & Small Bites
One of my favorite lunch spots in Turks & Caicos was Bugalos Conch Crawl which is well known for their conch dishes. You can eat outside under the shade of palm trees with a fabulous view of the beach and listen to their live music while enjoying a frozen tropical cocktails. I would absolutely recommend their conch fritters here because they are known for having the best on the island!
Check out this gorgeous view!
Conch Fritters Bugaloos Turks & Caicos   Strawberry Daquari Bugaloos Turks & Caicos
Photo from TripAdvisor.com
Shark Bite was also a favorite of mine for lunch. Located in Turtle Cove Marina, this spot has some great bar bites and fish sandwiches. Their crab cakes were AMAZING! You can casually dine outside on the patio and enjoy this great view of the marina while watching the boats go by.
Shark Bite Turtle Cove Marina View Turks & Caicos
 Dinner
Coco Bistro is the islands most popular restaurant for dinner, but you’ll need to make a reservation about a month or two in advance. Unfortunately, we booked too late but we were able to walk next door to Cocovan which is the restaurant’s new outdoor food truck. They offer yummy lobster dishes and tacos as well as a full bar. If you dont make the cut fora reservation at Coco Bistro or want just something more causal with outdoor seating, check this place out!
Coco Bistro Turks & Caicos   Cocovan Turks & Caicos
Photos from Pintrest.com & Twitter.com
If you love fresh sushi, Yoshi Sushi is the top rated sushi restaurant on the island. This was definitely one of my favorite meals on our trip. We tried some great lobster dishes including the Tempura Lobster & Lobster Fried Rice but my ultimate favorite was the volcano roll. It was honestly one of the BEST sushi dishes I’ve ever had and I LOVE my sushi! (I’m still dreaming of it by the way…)
Yoshi Sushi Turks & Caicos
Photo from TripAdvisor.com
Specializing in French cuisine, we enjoyed Le Bouchon Du Village so much that we ate there twice for dinner! Their romantic outdoor ambiance sets the mood for a pleasant evening. We started with a selection of cheese and meats to pair with our wine and enjoyed their Mediterranean salad which was one of the best Ive ever had. Their menu had so many fresh seafood dishes, it was hard to choose! Their sea scallops are a must and if you’re a meat lover, their steak is absolutely delicious.
Le Bouchon Turks & Caicos   Le Bouchon Scallops Turks & Caicos
Photos from Pintrest.com & TripAdvisor.com
WHERE TO RELAX
Voted the #3 best spa in Turks & Caicos on Trip Advisor, we spent one morning at The Palms Spa. Upon arrival, the staff were extremely attentive and gave us a tour of the locker room and meditation pool where you can relax and enjoy a variety of warm tea before and after your services. Talk about heaven on earth! My stone massage was hands down, the BEST stone massage I’ve ever had! I will definitely be back on my next vacay here.
To view the spa services offered at the Palms, click here.
The Palms Spa Turks & Caicos   The Palms Spa Turks & Caicos   The Palms Spa Turks & Caicos
To check out other top ranted spas on the island, click here.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
If you need more info about visiting Turks & Caicos islands, I would definitely read reviews on Trip Advisor and I have included some other fantastic resources below.
I hope this blog post was helpful and that you enjoy your trip to Turks & Caicos!
Happy Travels!
Turtle Cove Marina Turks & Caicos   MoonlightGypsyShop.com Boho Bracelets Beach Jewelry