Luscious Travels: The Pacific Northwest

 

If you want to experience true BEAUTY, please take a trip to the Pacific Northwest. All that I can say is that this part of the country is so luscious. I know I can be rather frivolous with this word, but for real, I have not experienced this type of natural beauty in my life.

Seattle is a fantastic city that has so many beautiful views. Being able to see Mount Rainier peak through the clouds and the city skyline was unreal. I was so thrilled to see special bike lanes, compost trashcans, and juice bars everywhere. I spent a few days in Seattle, getting to know my best friends new city. We ate tacos and lumpia and the best dankest molten chocolate cake I’ve ever had. The city is so dog-friendly, my heart was pretty much melting the whole time. Also, I never fully realized how much of a marine town Seattle is. Seriously, where have I been? I watched The Real World: Seattle. All clues point to nautical vibes. After we celebrated the Summer Solstice, we took a few days and road-tripped down the 101 West towards the Pacific Ocean! A California girl at heart, I COULD NOT wait to be reunited with the West Coast. We took a few stops along the way and I must say, none of my pictures do these sites any justice. We were so fortunate to have some magical days with that good sun.  You’ll just have to experience it for yourself to completely understand! I felt rejuvenated about life after my trip. This is what beautiful scenery and fresh air can do for your soul. I can’t wait to go back!


IMG_3499(Hello Seattle!)

IMG_3310(Golden Gardens, Puget Sound)

IMG_3583(Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park)

IMG_1891(Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park)

IMG_1902(Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park)

IMG_3655(Kale Salad, Grilled Steelhead Trout & Bok Choy, Kentucky Gentleman & Ginger Ale. We had cheese & salmon candy for apps and did Sephora Collection face maques in our tent.)

IMG_1960 (1)(Is this like a Crocs ad or what?)

IMG_1941(Kalaloch Campground; Pacific Coast Sunset)

IMG_2000(Sol Duc Falls, sustaining beauty in sustainable beauty)

IMG_3742(You better believe I waited in a long line of tourists to buy a souvenir cup)

IMG_3755(Found a secret Filipino food restaurant. I love you, Seattle)

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Album Review: Mariah Carey Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

First things first, I would like to welcome a founding member of Luscious Judy back to the blog!! When it comes to music and pop culture, Noel is THE GURU. For almost 10 years now, I have relied on him to supply me (and our friend-family) with the hits, before the radio gets ’em, before they’re played out. He knows which celebrity rumors are true/false and that Beyoncé is in fact, a member of the Illuminati. A lover of booty poppin, this B has an affinity for belting out R&B hits in his car (RIP EXPLORER) while also saving room on the mix CD for Reba McIntyre and Rilo Kiley. Eclectic does not even begin to describe his taste in music. WELCOME BACK, BISH. (Find him on twitter, @KettleCooked)

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Album Review: Mariah Carey Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

We’ve been waiting for Mariah to make her return and give us the soundtrack to life. Me. I Am Mariah is a good album that, like the best albums do,  gets better with repeat listens.  Songs I was on the fence about evolve into favorites.  It’s a more subtle M.C. then we’ve heard lately(subway gowns and all) and truly balances old and new Mariah in a way that should please every Lamb. By not joining forces with today’s hot act, but choosing features that come with a reminiscent feel built in, she comes off confident not desperate. She’s whispering nostalgia while staying relevant. Pretty impressive for a pretty and impressive artist on her 14th studio album. ‘ The Elusive Chanteuse’ has shades of Carole King and samples from Wu-Tang Clan, yet it comes off authentic and effortless. The album is incredibly cohesive given the amount of producers, 12 total, and that is to Carey’s credit behind the scenes and as a performer. Music is Mariah’s science and she is the Einstein of her peers.

Luscious Tracks:

Cry – Emotional, piano led ballad that builds beautifully and let’s Mariah show us her range and control.

Faded – My choice for single. Mariah reflects on a past lover, over a Mike WiLL Made It beat that knocks and sways throughout. The kind of song  that liquor and reminiscing makes perfect. You end up drunk(faded) and singing the shit out of every lyric.  The last minute of the song is my favorite moment on the album.

Make it Look Good –  The kind of song that sounds like summer. I love songs about having a crush and Mariah captures the jubilation. The song has  interpolations of “Let Me Make Love to You” made famous by The O’Jays and featuresStevie Wonder going solo on the harmonica. The best song on the album, just blissful, luscious fun. Should be the biggest hit on the album.

Meteorite – Produced by Q-tip and Mariah. The disco beat lifts off and Mariah takes flight. The kind of song you put on when you’re getting ready to go out.

Money ($*/…) –  Hit-Boy produced slow bumper about the fact that money means nothing if you don’t have your boo.

GradeA

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(www.mariahcarey.com)

Luscious Libations: Leah’s Birthday

My friend Leah is the coolest. She always has the best recipes, hosts great parties, makes shelves out of ladders (pre-Pinterest) and is just ALWAYS keeping it real. Also, I have never seen a polish smudge in her nails. She really knows whats up when it comes to staying cool while taking care of domestic business. (It’s a compliment, Leah!!!) I’ve learned so much from her over the years and pretty much copy her when I can! Her birthday was yesterday and every year, it is a reminder that Summer is ON THE WAY.

 

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I received really nice popsicle molds as a wedding present and had been dying to use them! Since Leah is a popsicle enthusiast, I had the great idea of making booze popsicles for her birthday! Personally, I am a huge fan of adding booze to recipes. (Obviously, I love a jello shot and a cupcake with some Bailey’s.) She had recently gifted me a bottle of Hendricks Gin and couldn’t believe that I hadn’t opened it yet. (I’m a retired party girl, what can I say?) A couple years ago, I was bartending at a Latin Caribbean restaurant and my friend Sergio, who hails from Oaxaca told me about a drink that people would make back home. Gin + Mint + Coconut Water. I am a coconut water JUNKIE and pimp that shit out so hard. I strongly believe in all of its benefits. It has a slight sweetness that makes it great to add to cocktails and it’s extra hydrating as well. When Leah told me that she had never had coconut water before, I was shocked. So naturally, I had to sneak it in the recipe. The recipe also includes grapefruit mint from my front yard, lemon juice, and honey. It’s a Bee’s Knees with a fun twist. They’re très magnifique.

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Leah’s Birthday Popsicles

Juice of 2 lemons

1/3 cup mint

3 oz Hendrick’s Gin (because who drinks rail liquor anymore)

2 1/2 tablespoons honey (local, of course!)

2 cups nectar of the gods coconut water (no coconut bits, FYI)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and BLE ND THAT SHIT. Pour into popsicle molds. I was only planning to make six but made ten 3oz popsicles. Freeze. ENJOY.

(If only the mint didn’t settle on the bottom. Anybody have tips for that??)

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEAH!!

New Moon Judy

Happy May 1st!!! I cannot believe we are already five months into this year. The first of May is always significant for me. You see, my  birthday is on April 29th and I always set goals for myself for *my* new year. Since, April 30th is typically a recovery day, my fresh start always begins on May 1st. So far, 2014 has turned out to be fantastic. I got married on 2-8 and think that’s pretty cool, since I just turned 28. In addition, there was a Solar Eclipse / New Moon in Taurus that fell on my birthday. You know I love my numbers and my new age !! I have been looking forward to this cosmic shift and have been excited for some new things to pop off.

I already started my day with a Hot Vinyasa class. My girlfriends and I are doing a yoga challenge which consists of practicing 21 hot yoga classes in 31 days. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I picked up hot yoga when I began my fitness journey last year to prepare for my wedding. I’m not ashamed to say that I was a bride with a serious mission to look damn good in my wedding gown. I set fitness goals for myself and achieved them.  The wedding is over and done with but I am dedicated to staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So what if my vanity pushed me to becoming a healthier person, mentally and physically. /endminirant  Also, a yoga challenge is going to be the perfect way to head into the Summer!

New Moon Yoga goal: to do a headstand

My BFF and skin care guru, Lauren came from the Pacific Northwest to visit last week. I’m so thankful that she has the knowledge to tell me how to protect my skin from aging! Everyone needs a skincare personal shopper, PS. I knew that I was a geezer when I got so excited about all of the anti-aging products that she gifted me !

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1. BENEFIT Peek-a-bright eyes Illuminating Kit 

(Not quite anti-aging, but this kit can help me look bright eyed & bushy tailed.)

2. BOSCIA Pore Purifying Black Strips

( Is there anything more satisfying than rippin’ out blackheads?)

3. OLE HENRIKSEN Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster

(Vitamin C helps to brighten and minimize fine lines.)

4. ALGENIST Triple-Action Micropolish & Peel

(This microderm abrasion peel improves skin texture and tone, keeping the skin smooth)

5. GLOW BY DR. BRANDT Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream

(They had me  at “diffuses light to soften the look of lines & wrinkles.” Super nourishing!)

6. BENEFIT The POREfessional

(A priming balm that minimizes the appearance of pores AND fine lines. Makes my face feel silky under makeup)

7. OLE HENRIKSEN Ultimate Life Firming Serum

(Tightens the skin as well as locks in hydration)

New Moon Skincare goal: Minimize forehead wrinkles

 

My parents were so kind to gift me a Bath & Body Works basket full of goodies from their Hawaii line. There were years when I got a boujie lotion/body spray set for every freakin’ occasion. I haven’t gotten one in awhile and I was excited to re-up on lotion/body spray/hand sanitizer. Sometimes it’s necessary to smell like a coconut sunset.

New Moon Bodycare goal: Moisturize more!!

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Enjoy the rest of your month!! Lots of fun posts coming up. Don’t forget your SPF and your sunnies in this beautiful weather!!

 

Earth Day Vibes

 

Happy Earth Day!!! I hope everyone is getting’ their green on today. I rode my bike to work and watered my plants with water that I saved from yesterday. It was the least I could do! In addition, all of the brands that I am using today are Earth conscious.  I’m sure you have all dabbled with some of these brands, but do you know how awesome they actually are? As much as I try to be environmentally responsible, it is not always easy or in my control. It feels so great to be able to indulge in products and know they have the Earth’s best interest in mind.

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Aveda

In my opinion, Aveda has always been the O.G. eco-friendly line for luxury beauty products. As a teen, I always wanted to go into the Aveda store at the mall but I thought I was too much of a scrub. Recently, I worked at an Aveda salon and I learned they are truly an amazing company. Their products are botanical-based and naturally derived. Aveda sources sustainable & renewable plant based ingredients from all over the world while ensuring their impact does not negatively effect the environment they are sourced from. The entire month of April is EARTH MONTH for Aveda. Proceeds from Earth Month support clean water projects, near and far. Some of my favorite Aveda products are the Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser, the perfect morning-after cleanser because it increases cell turnover! Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisturizer is sheer yet protects your skin with SPF 20. Lightweight and radiating! Yes, Aveda seems really boujie but the bottom line is they have pioneered the way for environmentally & socially responsible beauty products.

Josie Maran 

Does anyone remember that Josie Maran was in a Backstreet Boys video? Of course, we all remember her as a Maybelline spokesmodel! In 2007, she launched her own cosmetics line that claims to be ‘Luxury with a Conscience.” JACKPOT. It can be hard to figure out which products are actually earth-friendly and organic. There is no question with Josie Maran. Her *star* ingredient in her line is  100% Pure Organic Argan Oil. The Argan Oil is sourced from Morocco, where Josie works with women’s co-ops to economically & socially empower those who produce the argan oil. I use it daily as a moisturizer for my face and hair! So does my husband. I am a big fan of the Bear Naked Nail Wipes. (and the Face wipes!) I haven’t smelled acetone in SO LONG. My cuticles stay moisturized and a portion of the proceeds of this product support the Polar Bear SOS initiative ! Josie believes every day is Earth Day!  (She is also a Fixed Earth Taurus, like me!!)

Origins

Origins is a fantastic natural cosmetic line who is committed to protecting the planet. They use wind energy and renewable resources to manufacture their products. Origins is committed to giving back. They are partnered with Global Releaf, an organization that is devoted to caring for the environment by planting and maintaning trees. Across the United States and internationally, over 25 million trees have been planted. I am so in love with Plantscription aka their anti-aging line. This line is infused with Anogeissus tree bark extract, which delivers extraordinary results. Anogeissus is a sacred tree that is native to the Republic of Ghana. Years of research have shown that the use of Anogeissus extract boosts the skins natural production of fibrillin as well as protects collagen. I have noticed visible repair of  my saggy under eye after religiously using Plantscription Anti-Aging Eye Cream. Spend $40 on the Origins website and get a FREE FULL-SIZE eye cream. Spend a little more and they’ll plant a tree!! It is never too early to prepare for the aging process. And I feel SO much better about it, knowing that I am nourishing my skin with plant-based products.

Tarte

This is one of my FAVORITE cosmetic lines. They take pride in being eco-chic. Tarte products are cruelty-free and naturally derived from plant extracts, minerals, and essential oils. These ‘high-performance naturals’ are made with skinvigorating ingredients  like Amazonian clay, acai berry extract, and maracuja, among other amazing ingredients. I am truly impressed by this brand as it is environmentally conscious as well as devoted to long-lasting cosmetic formulas. I was a Tarte believer after buying Amazonian clay matte waterproof bronzer. YES, WATERPROOF BRONZER. Once you go matte, you never go back. There is no shimmer in this bronzer which was key for me, as shimmer can make my oily self look like the tin-man. Tarte supports co-ops in the Rainforest who work toward reducing environmental waste while developing sustainable products. Tarte also believes Amazonian clay is nature’s most perfect ingredient. It balances the skin while removing surface oil (thank you!) and improves texture. My favorite way to apply any face makeup is with The Buffer, airbrush finish brush. It is made from sustainably harvested bamboo. It was a magical day when I found this brush. It is durable and makes my skin look flawless whether I am applying a dry powder or a liquid foundation. It is important to keep this brush clean (and all other brushes). It feels brand new every time I wash it. Isn’t it wonderful that things can last for a long time when you simply take care of them?

Check out these awesome brands, if you have not already! Who knew you could actually be making a difference during your beauty routine?

 

Metrosexuals: OUT, Bearded Bastards: IN

Remember when dudes who were meticulous about their appearance were called ‘metrosexual’? According to Merriam-Webster, a metrosexual is “a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes.” This term was first used in 1994, which was a horrendous time for male fashion and maybe just fashion in general. Cher Horowitz said it best, ” It looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair – ew – and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we’re expected to swoon? I don’t think so.”  20 years ago, looking like a slouch was the trend. Everyone was sagging their ripped jeans. I feel like the word has some kind of negative-ish conotation. I bet some bully coined the term ‘metrosexual’ while hating a dude who was looking pretty fresh. That’s just my guess.

I’ve always thought the word was silly. Then I realized I might hate this word because all of my male friends are metrosexual!!! JUST KIDDING. Ok, so I happen to live in an urban area where hetero males actually give a shit about what they look like. Can’t we all agree that a man who cares about his well-being and appearance is attractive? These days salons offer specific services for men and they have an ARRAY of beauty products to chose from, specifically made just for them. Dudes deserve to enjoy the same luxuries that we ladies do. /endrant

My BFF Adam works in the beauty industry and always has the best insider info on new products. (My secret is out!!) Adam also has a luxurious beard that I begged him to grow out for my wedding. He didn’t, but he had a five o’clock shadow and looked amazing.  In the past couple of years, beards have experienced a revival. Generally viewed as a sign of rebellion or laziness, these days most can agree that beards are hot right now. Anyhow, Adam recently started using beard oil from The Bearded Bastard. This is a line of handmade products dedicated to FACIAL HAIR. Mountain men everywhere are rejoicing.  Made with essential oils and other natural ingredients, a few drops of beard oil is meant to condition and make beards feel soft and luscious. The Bearded Bastard also carries beard combs, pomades, clays, and other products that will help you maintain that beard!


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For my good pal Chip’s birthday, my h-band and I gifted him some Bearded Bastard goods. Uppercut Featherweight Pomade is a lightweight wax with a medium hold. Easy to comb, easy to get out and lemony scented! He says it is the best pomade he has every used! For $20-$30, you can get 1oz of beard oil of your choice OR they offer sample sizes for $5. Smelling the oils was the most fun part about giving Chip his gift.

Woodsman Smells like  “a sexy pencil sharpener” Obviously, a super woodsy oil with heavy notes of sandalwood and pine needle.

Morocco– Smells like “a Cinnamon Roll Yankee Candle” Scented with amber & coffee (and other essentials), this smells like an exotic latte.

Opium Den– Smells like “sweet forest floor”, my personal favorite! Slighty smoky and sweet with tobacco and vanilla notes.

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Shout to my bearded dragon babies. Treat that special bear in your life right. Check out The Bearded Bastard for all beard necessities!

 

 

PSA!

Let me welcome you to the new Luscious Judy!

4 years ago, my two friends Adam, Noel & I created this blog. I still can’t remember why we chose Luscious Judy. We wrote about all the things that we liked, sexy men, cool fashion, cats, but mostly sexy men. We had a good run, but we fell off pretty hard. I was itching to get back into the blogosphere and didn’t want to come up with yet another URL. It sounds lazy, but do you know how hard it is to come up with a cool blog name? Redirecting the focus of this blog was the best idea that I had. ANNNNDD here we are! Luscious Judy is now dedicated to BEAUTY & BOOTY.

I have been a makeup addict for as long as I can remember.  At 15, I found my first MAC counter while on a family vacation. You can’t show a pizza face teenager Studio Fix Powder Foundation and expect her not to fall in love with a full-coverage look. Ever since, then it has been ON. You name a beauty trend (or faux), I’ve tried it. I’ve bought it. I’ve pimped it out. I’ve hated it. Blue eyeshadow + Pink lips, Dream Matte Mousse obsession, SO MUCH BLUSH and not enough eyebrow.

I just found a picture of myself in 2006, when I was spending student loan money on Chanel compacts. Clearly, I had not discovered my correct foundation shade then, do you see the white face to tan body ratio? Oh, how I am so glad that I have evolved into Laguna-loving bronzer freak. I might not be a makeup professional, but I have a deep love for the beauty industry. I am truly fascinated by makeup and definitely view its application as an art form and not just a daily routine. There is always going to be something for me to play with and write about and that’s fun! Hope you enjoy the route Luscious Judy is taking!

 

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