YOUR STYLE, YOUR SUPERPOWER
Carrie: Taylor! First of all, congratulations on your new single. I already have the song playing on repeat. How did you first get into singing?
Taylor: I don’t remember a time where I didn’t sing or dream of being a singer. When I was younger, my mom got me a karaoke machine and I would belt out Beyoncé and Madonna songs all day! I saw that music had the power to spread love and happiness to so many people, which is why I instantly fell in love with it. You can inspire others and change people’s lives through the lyrics and melody.
Carrie: What’s your favorite kind of music to listen to?
Taylor: I love listening to pop because it’s not a defined genre, it’s just “popular music.” Pop can contain a variety of different genres, from electronic to hip-hop. You already know how much I love mashups, and to me, pop is like a mashup of everything that is popular!
Carrie: Yeah, let’s talk a bit about your famous mashups! How did you initially come up with the idea to do #MashupMondays?
Taylor: I wanted to feature my favorite songs and mash them together into one. When I first started, I posted one every week for 52 weeks! It means so much to me when people tell me that they looked forward to Mondays and are inspired to create their own mashups. This year, I wanted to take it to the next level and start monthly mashups called #AllHooks. Each month I find different venues with grand pianos, and I do a mashup using the hooks/chorus of three songs! These mashups are really epic.
Carrie: Who are some singers that inspire you?
Taylor: Some of my singing influences are Rihanna, Pink, and Eminem! I love them so much!
Carrie: Do you dream of collaborating with them one day?
Taylor: I would love to collab with Logic, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Tori Kelly, Bazzi, Alessia Cara, Jessie J. I love so many artists, it’s so hard to pick!
Carrie: Haha...then my next question may be tough, too. Which song is forever on repeat on your playlist?
Taylor: That is such a hard question! One of my favorite songs of all time is “Where Is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas. It has such an inspiring message about spreading love, which is always needed. Another one of my favorite songs is “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne. It’s such a feel-good jam that reminds me of the summer and Los Angeles!
Carrie: Speaking of feel-good jams, let’s talk a bit about your new single, "Touch the Sky"! What was the message you were trying to portray in writing it?
Taylor: I walked into the studio and wanted to write a song that inspired others to dream big, even if people doubt you! Everyone has people who doubt them and try to tear them down, but you have to believe in yourself and not let anyone stop you! When Nymz (@djnymz) played me the track in the studio, the phrase “touch the sky” instantly came to me. I wanted to portray that anything is possible if you put your mind to it--just work hard and block out all the negativity. Prove all the haters wrong and go touch the sky. I believe in you!
Carrie: I love how you have created such a positive platform. What are your future plans?
Taylor: To keep inspiring people through my lyrics and music! I’ve been in the studio constantly writing and creating. More music on its way soon!
Carrie: I can’t wait to hear! Thanks so much for doing this interview, Taylor. Go out there and touch the sky!
A Clip from One of Taylor's #AllHooks Mashups
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Palette at Bergdorf Goodman is located between 57th and 58th Street on 5th Avenue. The cafe is situated on the lowest level of the department store.
Carrie: Hi Jaimi! So how did your journey on The Bachelor begin?
Jaimi: I decided to submit an application for The Bachelor because my friend and roommate at the time was going to the casting call and basically pressured me to fill out an application. She knew I watched the show and thought it would be fun to get all dressed up and go to the audition. And look where it got me!
Carrie: I know! I’m sure you had an absolute blast! What was your favorite group date that you went on?
Jaimi: My favorite group date was in Waukesha, Wisconsin. We went to this cute little farm and I could tell we were milking cows. I have always wanted to milk a cow since I could remember, so I was super excited about that day.
Carrie: That must have been so much fun. What was your favorite place to travel to on the show?
Jaimi: Well, while we filmed I lived in New Orleans and we also had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans. Even though I did not like the group date that we had in New Orleans, New Orleans is still one of my favorite places. I also was sent home in an Uber in New Orleans.
Carrie: OMG! That’s so ironic that your favorite place you traveled to is where Nick sent you home. How did you feel about Nick back then? How do you feel about him now?
Jaimi: I liked Nick back when he first made his debut on Andi’s season. I thought he was different and quirky. After that, my feelings about him changed a bit. I didn’t like how he put Andi’s business out there on Men Tell All and then how he came onto Kaitlyn’s season. When he was on Paradise, I felt like he was trying to repair his image, and I think it worked. But when I met him, he seemed like a bit of a know it all. Like he had been around the block a few times, and yes, he had been. I think he was trying to be comforting because he could tell all of us women were a bit uncomfortable with the cameras and direction. It just didn’t come off that way.
Carrie: Interesting. At least you girls could comfort each other! Who was your closest friend when you were on the show?
Jaimi: My closest friend and hotel buddy (when we traveled, we had to share hotel rooms), was Alexis [Waters]. She and I laughed a lot and didn’t take anything too seriously. We also shared a room in the mansion. I got along great with Dominique [Alexis] as well, even though she was sent home pretty early.
Carrie: So, after The Bachelor ended, you decided to give love another shot on Bachelor in Paradise! How did your experience in Paradise differ from your first experience in the franchise?
Jaimi: I loved Paradise much more. Although I wasn’t on the show for long, I was more relaxed and the vibes were much more my speed there.
Carrie: I totally get it. Would you ever go back to Paradise again?
Jaimi: I would definitely go back. I don’t think I had enough time to find love.
Carrie: Yay! I know Bachelor Nation will be watching out for you. Shifting gears a bit...do you hope to speak out about being bisexual more now that you’re a public figure?
Jaimi: I would love to speak out about my sexuality. If I inspire just one person, I think it would be worth it.
Carrie: Absolutely. What are you up to now?
Jaimi: After being on the show, I moved back to Los Angeles to be closer to family and my long-time friends. I’m still a pastry chef and I decorate cakes on the side. I started an Instagram for my cakes a while back and I’ve recently gotten back into that since I’m back in L.A. and single. I also started an Instagram where I review restaurants, since I’ll be checking out a ton of spots while dating.
Carrie: That sounds awesome! I can’t wait to read your reviews. Thank you so much for doing this interview, Jaimi! Keep doing you!
Full disclosure: Freeform’s The Bold Type is one of my guilty pleasures. The TV series revolves around three girls who navigate their way through the magazine industry while trying to find their own individual voices. As someone who dreams of becoming the editor-in-chief of a magazine one day, I, understandably, am obsessed with this show. So when I found out that POPSUGAR invited me to attend an exclusive event to celebrate the premiere of season two--in honor of National Best Friends Day--, I was absolutely ecstatic.
My outfit for the event was an adorable blue and white striped romper from Abercrombie. I paired the look with pops of metallic silver by incorporating a Yves Saint Laurent clutch and Steve Madden sandals in that hue.
The event took place in a large room at the Freehand Hotel in Manhattan’s Gramercy area. Upon entering the space, I headed straight for the LED wallpaper in the back with the Freeform, POPSUGAR, and Bold Type logos on it. I made sure to snap a bunch of pics in front of there with some of my fave blogger attendees, including Amber Fillerup (@amberfillerup) and Jessica Wang (@notjessfashion).
Throughout the course of the event, innovative hors d'oeuvres were being passed around the room, as well as some classic crowd favorites. Attendees indulged in falafels with English pea hummus, white cheddar tomato grilled cheese, fried chicken and waffle bites with smoked maple syrup, and beef sliders. But the appetizer that stole the show was the “Green Eggs and Ham,” a fresh take on devilled eggs by adding basil to tint the yolk green--yum!
Guests were also treated to a variety of fun vendor booths curated by POPSUGAR as DJ Jasmine Solano spun some tunes. I visited temporary-tattoo company Tattly’s corner first. They printed a fun, bright blue lightning bolt tattoo on the outside of my wrist--I loved how it stood out in all of the photos I took that night! There was also a representative from Deanna First Fashion Illustrations doing sketches of guests' "ootn's" (outfits of the night). Everyone seemed to be very impressed by the attention to detail in each individual drawing. I was also excited to get an aura reading courtesy of the Family of Light Holistic Center, where a picture was taken of me and my fortune was told based on the colors that showed up on the image. Apparently, the fact that I had a blue aura meant that I’m independent and go after what I want--eerily accurate.
Attendees also got pampered by Blushington, who did complimentary makeovers, and Paintbox, who treated guests to relaxing manicures. Although I was too busy socializing to do either, I did make sure to pick up my pair of infinity sign necklaces from the BFF Necklace Bar to take home for my bestie and me.
As the night drew to a close, people left with holographic bags filled with a special delicacy from one of NYC’s premier dessert shops: Supermoon Bakehouse. This treat was the bakery’s rosemary and blueberry croissant, which is one of their newest flavors. It’s a rosemary creme patissiere with house-made blueberry jam folded through it, topped with a blueberry white chocolate curled shard and a sprig of rosemary. Simply divine.
The event was truly a night to remember, and I am so grateful to POPSUGAR for extending an invitation for me to attend. Make sure to watch season two of The Bold Type every Tuesday at 8/7 Central on Freeform! I know I’ll be tuning in.
Don’t get me wrong, Beautycon is incredible, but I have been searching for a festival that covers all parts of the spectrum: fashion, beauty, health, and wellness. POPSUGAR Playground has made my wish come true.
POPSUGAR is an online media company that delivers the hottest trends, entertainment news, recipes, workouts, and more. They also are known for their quarterly subscription boxes that deliver products that are hand-picked by POPSUGAR’s Founder and President Lisa Sugar. This year, the company decided to formulate a two-day event that brought together 15,000 fashion, beauty, fitness, and health gurus alike. The dream was to unite girl bosses from all around the world, where they could listen to provocative panel conversations from celebs like Tiffany Haddish, cast members of Riverdale, Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, and Yara Shahidi. Complete with energetic workout classes, brand activations, a large shopping bazaar, and eight rainbow-colored slides leading into a ball pit filled with 208,000 balls, it’s safe to say that POPSUGAR’s mission was accomplished.
Upon arriving at the venue--Pier 94 in Midtown Manhattan--I first checked out the VIP lounge. GLAMSQUAD treated attendees in this exclusive area to complimentary hairstyling, and we were also gifted a “swag bag” filled with over $200 worth of POPSUGAR’s fave products. What a way to kick off the day!
Even though it was bright and early, it was a packed house as fitness mogul Kayla Itsines lead guests through an intense workout. The creator of the renowned ebooks “Bikini Body Guides” stood on the stage as she expertly demonstrated the moves. No sweat for her!
Throughout the day, I circulated the large event space in search of brands that peaked my interest. Although I was already familiar with Victoria’s Secret, I had a blast doing their interactive experience. Attendees were told to pick a card with a number on it, and then we had to open a pink locker with the corresponding number. Each locker housed Victoria’s Secret goodies including leggings, socks, shirts, and water bottles that guests got to take with them!
Kohl’s had a giant The Price is Right-style wheel where attendees spun to win money to use at their stores, while Pinky Swear had a live DJ and Foreo did DIY express facials. The activities got more and more exciting as I moved from one booth to the next.
I was also exposed to a bunch of new products that I had never anticipated trying that day. From drinking lavender collagen water to trying out fruit-scented mascara, it certainly was a day full of firsts!
The celebrity panels definitely lived up to the hype surrounding them prior to the event. On day one, Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project; A Wrinkle in Time) spoke with Elaine Welteroth on "Why Smart Girls Win." When asked about creating female characters, she responded how it’s important to her to “write roles for funny characters who aren’t necessarily a size zero, white woman. No woman wants to just be the arm candy for a guy who has a much funnier, better part...I love Yara [Shahidi] in Blackish because she is so beautiful and stylish yet also so authentic.” Me too, girl!
Shahidi actually joined Essence’s Cori Murray on a panel titled "Passion to Action" later in the day. She spoke intelligently on how important it is for young people to get involved in their communities, telling the audience that they should “wonder what you can learn from others who you admire. In the age of social media, you should be reaching out to people who you look up to but might not know.” She went on to say that people need to “make sure you take on larger issues with every person in mind. Don’t force people to split their identity in order to support something good.” Shahidi also proudly shared how she voted for the first time a week ago during the California midterms--#rockthatvote!
On day two, Tiffany Haddish stole the show in conversation with fellow comedian Amanda Seales about having the "Last Laugh." Haddish said, “I don’t care if people are laughing at me or with me because laughter is healing.” Holding nothing back throughout the panel, Haddish even got political saying “When people want to ask how Trump got to where he is… Trump believes in himself 110% and Trump surrounds himself with people who believe in him… he think he good. He thinks he doing wonderful things… The problem is when you do something, you have to think about what is good for everyone, not just for yourself. What is the best for everyone?” Preach it, sister.
My favorite panel, by far, was the "Scream Queens" panel with Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale), Vanessa Morgan (Riverdale), Candice Patton (The Flash), and Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow). As they each spoke about what it was like to play a comic book character in real life, Murray was not afraid to get personal. She touched upon being a black woman playing a character who was white in the comic books, saying that there was “so much happiness and gratitude outside of the negativeness.” Her co-star Morgan spoke about playing Toni, a bi-sexual character, saying “bisexuality is not represented as much in the media as it should be. Love is love.” When asked about the next season of Riverdale, Murray spoke on the fate of the broken Pussycats: “I imagine they are going to come back.” Fans, rejoice!
After their panel, I rode in a golf cart with the girls of the "Scream Queens" panel to the talent lounge so they could answer some of my pressing questions. After indulging in delicious scones with jam that were displayed on a large table, I got the opportunity to chat with each of the girls individually.
Murray started off by telling me about how excited she was to be speaking on the panel, and what, specifically, she loves most about POPSUGAR: “I really love the diversity and the inclusivity of everything they talk about, whether it’s beauty, politics...whatever it is...they always keep me in the know.”
Next, since these are boss ladies, after all, I queried them about why it’s so important to preach today’s feminist movement. Morgan did not hesitate before starting her response: “I mean, I think it’s so important. The whole ‘Time’s Up’ movement is so great because as women, we need to come together to put a stop to what has been happening to women in the workplace, especially in the industry that I’m in. I feel so safe now knowing that people are actually scared to treat women the way that they have been treated in the past. Now we can come together, be stronger, and say ‘enough is enough.’”
Patton added to our conversation on the feminist movement: “Now, more than ever, marginalized women need to feel like their voices are being heard. Even though we’re in 2018, equal pay is still a huge concern. I think the more that women with a platform like us speak up and encourage younger women to take action, the faster we will see these issues remedied in the future.”
Lotz is actually the pioneer of the new female empowerment platform “Shethority” that is bringing some of your favorite actresses together to promote feminism. In her own words, Shethority “is all about growth” in giving females a voice in their lives. She also mentioned how they are accepting inspiring articles from people around the world to be featured alongside pieces of writing by stars of Riverdale and DC Superhero shows. Check out their Instagram @shethority to learn more about how you can participate.
As the busy day came to an end, I dragged five heavy bags filled with makeup and clothes out of the venue...score! I had an absolute blast at the first annual POPSUGAR Playground, and I encourage all of you game shakers out there to be a part of the action when it returns next year. Until next time, future leaders!
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Reality-star turned supermodel Kendall Jenner is a style chameleon. Whether she’s going for a laid-back, rocker chic, or totally glam vibe, it’s safe to say that she will always be #stylegoals. Check out these ten different Kendall-inspired looks that need to be incorporated into your wardrobe ASAP (some of these pieces were even the exact ones that she wore!)...
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