Spring Break Getaway OOTD

Fashion & Beauty

During spring break a few weeks ago, my family decided to go on a mid-week getaway at a secluded resort in Austin, Texas. Barton Creek Resorts was beautiful, surrounded by flourishing plants. Greenery pervaded the acreage as we had a front-view of the golf course from our window. This technology-free vacation was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my family and take my mind off of worldly stress. I left that back at home. There was a cute nature trail and mini-golf course right by the outdoor pool on the cliff overlooking the large bodies of water and surrounding mansions. The sight was breathtaking. I finally had my chance to eat out for almost every meal, trying new varieties like Vietnamese Pho and Japanese California rolls.

5 Beauty Hacks for Clear Skin & An Update on My Life

Fashion & Beauty

Hi friends! Boy, has it been ages since my last post on here. I have a lot to catch you up on, from my acne flare up to my mental health. So here goes.

Not a single pimple in the year 2016 until the gloomy day of December 31, 2016. I thought I could keep the streak going, but my luck just isn’t that considerate towards me. Now I have a bunch of tiny friends popping up every few days, but luckily I restarted my clear skin routine that I made a video of below. It’s kind of going away, but considering the fact that my eating and sleep habits have been erratic, I don’t expect the superficial remedies to work optimally. As far as my New Year’s resolution of working out consistently, I can kiss that one goodbye. The fourth time I worked out this year, was three days ago. I know, please stop cringing.

No Brushes Makeup Challenge

Fashion & Beauty
No Brushes Makeup Challenge! Was it an epic fail or pretty decent? Let me know in the comments. I personally felt that my makeup didn’t come out too shabby. The eyebrows were definitely the worst part, as it was hard to get just the right amount of product on my fingertips. Using my fingers the entire time was frustrating because I had to keep washing my hands between products, and the entire process just felt so unsanitary considering how acne-prone my skin already is. I don’t need extra oils from my fingers all over my face to make it worse. I hope you enjoyed this video. Make sure to like and subscribe!

4 Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day in Houston

Take a Chill Pill, Wellness
DID AMY POEHLER KNOW WHAT SHE WAS PUTTING OUT INTO THE WORLD when her character Leslie Knope invented Galentine’s Day on Parks and Recreation? Heartbreak and single syndrome can be combatted by sobbing over a tub of Chunky Monkey during a Sex & the City marathon, sure, but who needs men anyway? But whether or not you have someone to celebrate with on the 14th, Galentine’s Day has already moved from rom-com cliché to real-world holiday. Here’s four ways to celebrate it in Houston.

 

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Retail Therapy

It’s time to melt that block of ice inside with your credit card. Grab your flush friends and sign up for a Galentine’s Day Shopping Soiree ($65-$140) on Saturday through Houston Shopping Tours. The afternoon event includes signature cocktails, entertainment, chauffeured cruisers, party favors and exclusive discounts at Houston’s hottest boutiques.

Looking Good Is The Best Revenge

They say never to make big hair changes post-break-up, but we think this counts as an exception. Why stick to the conventional Valentine’s Day Hallmark card when you can wear your heart on your hairline? Birds Barbershop in the Heights is offering lovebirds a discounted price of $14 (get it? for Valentine’s?) for a buzz cut with a heart or arrow etched into their hairdo. The offer is good now through Tuesday, but you might as well show up on Monday (yes, they’re open) for the Galentine’s Night party featuring complementary bubbly, a Verb hydrating mask hair treatment and blowout and a wild dance party to beats by DJ Girlfriend.

Girly Getaway

There’s nothing like a suite escape away from the city life. Pamper yourself with a girlfriend getaway at the luxurious Hotel Sorella inside Houston’s CityCentre development. Sip on cosmos poolside, shop at all the stores without having to find a parking spot, sample Italian light bites from Radio Milano, indulge in a hot stone massage at the spa, or attend the matinee premiere of Fifty Shades Darker on Feb. 14.

Bust The Windows

Not every girl’s night out has to be full of cute and kumbaya. Hold onto your sledgehammers and baseball helmets, because this Galentine’s Day is going to get violent. The only place that encourages destruction and vandalism of property, Houston’s Rage Room is a hub for people who want to let loose. No, breaking a bunch of stuff won’t heal your broken heart but it helps a little bit. Whether you are stressed out, a recent divorcee, lost your job, or just want to have fun, simply pay the entry fee, get geared up and start smashing!

Valentine’s Day Party Makeup Look

Fashion & Beauty

As promised, I made a video of my makeup tutorial for the MAXIM party. This look is perfect even for a Valentine’s day date night or just a fancy party. Let me know in the comments below if you have any tutorial or video requests! Like and subscribe!

Farewell to Super Bowl Fever : 2017 MAXIM Party

Culture, Fashion & Beauty, Take a Chill Pill, Wellness

Did you show your patriot-ism for the Falcons last Sunday? Am I funny yet?

It was a one of a kind game, making history for the first Super Bowl overtime. As a Patriots fan, I was undoubtedly disappointed during the first half. I nearly gave up hope (until Gaga’s halftime performance of course), but when my Internet resumed to stream the game after a brief lag, I noticed the Patriots went from 12 to 20 on the scoreboard. Like I said, Gaga makes everything better. The Patriot’s comeback was mind-blowing.

I sat on floor in front of my LCD TV, legs sprawled out, moping till the fourth quarter while I snuck in whatever few homework questions I could during the commercials. Unfortunately, most of them weren’t even good. What I did notice was that many of them centered around the topic of inclusion and diversity. Budweiser, on the other hand, straight up made a commercial about immigration. Subtle much?

I have to admit the Skittles ad was my favorite, mainly because that was the only remotely engaging commercial that genuinely made me laugh out loud (and I don’t mean a courtesy chuckle).

Living in Houston, Super Bowl fever was prevalent in my life, whether I liked it or not. Super Bowl propaganda, radio promotions for free concert tickets, significantly longer commutes to college the week before, constant construction to widen highways and revamp the bridges are among some of them. The constant buzz about all eyes being on Houston was kind of empowering, though. When does Houston ever get this kind of exposure? The city officials even had the downtown homeless population relocated to the outskirts, to give tourists the illusion that downtown Houston is pristine beyond gentrification.

Now that it’s all over, it feels weird. What now? What happens on December 26 after you hype up the entire month for Christmas?

So I started my fellowship at Houstonia Magazine this past January. I absolutely love it because of all the new experiences I get, and interesting people I meet. One of these amazing events I was privileged to attend was the 2017 MAXIM Super Bowl Party on Feb. 4, which happened to be at a new venue around five minutes from my house.

I bought myself a Tadashi Shoji gown from Nordstrom Rack for $87 that morning. What I realized during the party was that there was an inch-long thumb tack embedded within the dress which poked out the entire night, scraping my arm. I now have a 2-inch scab by my left elbow. There is no way I am keeping this dress.

The party was phenomenal, and probably my once in a lifetime experience being invited to a celebrity event as a member of the media. I had a press pass and everything, granting me access to every nook and cranny of the arena.  Even VIP backstage with free valet parking.

Six rounds of security checks and a metal detector separated guests from the party entrance as celebrities waltzed down the red carpet.

Singers, reality show stars, celebrity wannabes, and fans took to the Smart Financial Center, looking like a million bucks. You could see the fuchsia-lit stadium from miles away. Stunt motorcyclists flew through the air at the Monster Energy FMX Motorcycle Show outside the center, which had been transformed into a glamorous party hall. Models danced on illuminated platforms as waiters served light bites.

Famous faces we’d seen on TV and in tabloids stood inches away. Patriots cheerleaders walked out of their bus, posing in their cocktail dresses for the flashing cameras. Pop stars Fergie and Nick Cannon were there, as was Rocket James Harden and Dallas heartthrob Chace Crawford from Gossip Girl. Chace passed by me on the red carpet, as he avoided most of the media, keeping a low profile before hopping to another party with Fergie.

Even Ludacris made the bash. Some stayed only for a bit before hopping to other parties, while others spent the entire evening in their private suites. I spoke with Texans player Andre Hal and his girlfriend. I interviewed a Patriots cheerleader, former Cheetah girl Adrienne Bailon, Bow Wow, and even Olivia Caridi from the last season of The Bachelor.

As guests entered the grand hall, they were greeted with bright red lights, blaring music, lingerie models, and elaborate displays of macarons, cupcakes, and spiked ice cream. The Monster Energy Lounge and the open bar kept the audience in good spirits throughout the night. After crowds spent hours socializing, at around eleven, the performances got underway and everyone went insane.
Agile, graceful, acrobatic dancers hung from the ceiling on red ribbons as DJ Khaled dropped beats. DJ Khaled is cool and all, but a DJ can only entertain the crowd so much before he just gets boring, as he stands behind a booth for an entire hour scrambling to find a song we aren’t already tired of hearing on the radio. It got boring after 20 minutes, and I was left there swaying to the music for 40 minutes as I prayed for DNCE to swoop in to save me from my boredom.

DNCE came on at midnight and got the crowd screaming along to hits “Cake by the Ocean” and “Toothbrush” while tossing them everything from DNCE “currency” and roses, to beach balls and sex dolls. Yes, it was weird. I was front row in the VIP section during DNCE’s performance. Joe Jonas (aka my crush since the 3rd grade) held my hand twice during his brief performance. Just when I thought I died, I was reincarnated, and died again the second time. Ok I’m done fangirling.

Maxim Super Bowl Party - Inside

Me awkwardly staring at my phone despite being beside the love of my life.

Travis Scott ended the night at around 2:30 as the partiers roared along to his hit “Antidote.”

Follow me on IG @rafafarihah to see my interviews and photos with some of the stars. I will have a MAXIM makeup tutorial video out tomorrow on my YouTube channel.

Check out my original Houstonia article here with a video of the event.

Types of Couples on Valentine’s Day

Take a Chill Pill, Uncategorized

Hello all! I apologize for being so busy this week that I haven’t posted much. An update on my life: I have been bogged down with Mondays and Wednesdays packed with classes till 8:30 pm, and my Houstonia Magazine fellowship from 9:30-5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition to that, I have been out the rest of the weekend interviewing Simone Biles (yes, the Olympic gold medalist) and Haute Hijab CEO Melanie Elturk, attending events to cover for the magazine, spending time with friends, volunteering, and filming/editing YouTube videos. Events and interviews may seem like fun, and don’t get me wrong. They are. There is always so much to do that I constantly have this voice in my head nagging about some other event I need to run to another deadline to meet, even if it’s a self-imposed one. I just need one day to relax, clear my head, and treat myself by indulging myself in an alleviating hot bath with a Lush bath bomb, and a good movie (or binge watch a few) on Netflix.

Anyway, here is the YouTube video my friend and I collaborated on, in light of the upcoming “Day of Romance” aka Valentine’s Day. Please don’t cherish your partner for just this one day, I beg of you. Go buy your S.O. a bouquet right now or wash the dishes to keep your youthful romance ongoing on a daily basis. Don’t forget to ask about their day, how they are feeling, compliment them and just give them a back massage after work without being asked. It’s the little things that count. Now, you know the routine. Please like, subscribe, and share my video on social media. Loads of love ❤

6 Things Anyone Who Moves A Lot Knows

Blog

As a child, I was raised by parents who decided to move around every one or two years, whether it was because of a job far away, or shifting from an apartment to a suburban town home of our very own. Some people say “Oh I am sorry. That must have sucked,” but in retrospect, you think it was pretty awesome to get cultured in so many ways. Sure, it was stressful at first but I learned to adjust.

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If you were one of those kids, you definitely relate to the following list:

1. Everyone assumes your dad was in the army.

And when you tell them he wasn’t, you have to sit through an entire conversation explaining why you moved so much, and how it really wasn’t as bad as they presume it to be.

2. Everywhere you travel, you will have a group of friends close by.

Going to Austin City Limits music festival and you need a place to crash? No problem! You know your bestie from high school goes to UT and she can totally hook you up with a place to stay.

3. You know how to determine which friends are keepers.

With the number of people you have met, you already know which guy is the jerk just by looking at him. You also know which friends are worth hanging on to for life. #squadgoals for real.

4.  College was an easier transition for you than it was for most people.

New place and new friends? You got this! Talking to people and starting fresh is your forte. You probably even have the emotional strength of a Scorpio and emanate confidence to all your peers.

5. When people ask you where you’re originally from, you tell them the place you lived longest or the place you lived last.

Be honest, your answer to this question changes a lot but who is there to check? I think it’s pretty awesome saying you are from New Jersey, Texas, and India.

6. Your personality is a combination of fragments from all the different places you lived in.

You wouldn’t have been the person you are today, even if you hadn’t lived in one of those areas. You got your accent from Kentucky, a huge appetite from Texas, your love for rap music from New York, and met your soul mate on a mission trip to China. Say what?

Complete Yourself

Uncategorized, Written Word Wednesday

The empty canvas stares, mocking her

fears meant to be poured out as vibrant splatters.

Beastly secrets seething in the artist’s soul gather,

pounding on the doors of Hell, summoning to be released.

Into a dream of fairy tales and lovers’ sacred decree.

 

The artist must choose, a life of murder or letting go.

Release the demons within, and row

the boat in a river of untouched goals.

She escapes to become one with God, her savior truly.

Takes off like a bird, and revels in the world’s trivial beauties.

 

Travel this game of life one place at a time,

Roll the dice and see where you go,

like a drop of rain before the rainbow.

Expand the bounds of your horizons, illuminate them with pastel.

Go conquer your fears, and complete yourself.

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Animal Shelter OOTD

Fashion & Beauty

Yesterday, I went to the animal shelter with some friends to pet the cutest kittens known to man (probably not but they were cute, okay). Their magical puny paws in my hands and soft fur against my skin felt almost too mollifying. No one can resist but fall madly in love with these cuddly creatures. I was tempted to adopt a tabby of brown and gray shades named Corinne.

This little kitten had the charm of a 2-year-old, initially shy, but very playful when comfortable enough. Unfortunately, my parents aren’t too comfortable with the idea of having a living, breathing animal roaming the house amongst us. Someday when I have my own apartment, maybe my dream of owning a kitten, or maybe becoming a cat lady will come true. Au revoir Corinne!

Here is my OOTD:

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Shop my look

Blouse: Worthington, JCPenney

Bomber Jacket: Forever 21

Ankle Jeans: Forever 21

Oxfords: Max, India

Scarf: Get it on AliExpress here

Concealer: Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer – Deep 34, $25

Foundation: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation – Warm Nude 30, $10

Eyebrow Liner: Walmart; Salon Perfect Brow Pomade – Dark Brown, $5

Lipstick: Maybelline Super Stay 14hr Lipstick – Enduring Ruby, $7

Watch this tutorial to get my hijab look & check out ColourPop Ultra Matte swatches here!

Make sure to request on my Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat/Facebook @rafafarihah any other OOTD ideas you want me to try!