Beautiful Vulnerability

There is something beautiful about being vulnerable. A friend told me this about a year and a half ago. I remember cringing as he said this to me. The person I was at the time responded very differently to these words back then.

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At the time, we were sort of dating, and he told me this statement in order to get me to loosen up a bit. He was asking all the tough questions, attempting to break down walls I had spent years building up. I dodged his questions (successfully…so I thought) and chose not to self-disclose. That’s when he said, “You know, Marisa, there’s something beautiful about being vulnerable.”

I remember my body physically responding to that statement—muscles tightening, jaw clenching, body overheating—I was resisting in so many ways. It makes me think about what else I was resisting at that time in my life.   I was so closed-off and afraid of being vulnerable, even to a person who was completely open and receptive to my vulnerability. I felt so awkward, and it was so obvious. All I could think was how do I get out of this conversation? Somehow, probably with a bad joke or some kind of lame humor, I escaped the conversation. He knew he was pushing me to my limits, but I just wasn’t ready to answer the tough questions. I maybe couldn’t even answer them for myself.   It was safe to be transparent, but I couldn’t do it.  I felt attacked, although he was coming at me from a loving and caring place.

A year and a half later, I still struggle with times like these, although now, I wholeheartedly believe that there is something beautiful about being vulnerable.

It’s straight up frightening to be vulnerable. I used to see it as a sign of weakness, but that’s so far from the truth. I shake my head at my younger self for thinking that. Yes, you feel exposed and yes, exposure is scary, but if you own that exposure, nobody can use it against you. Not one single person.  Trust me.

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So, as part of owning my own vulnerability, I really want to start writing more, specifically about my life (more personal and meaningful topics) and how I live it.  This blog is a great creative outlet for me, and I’d like to take it to the next level. #WatchThisSpace for what’s to come in this new year 😉

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All of these amazing photos are from Pipilotti Rist’s exhibit titled Pixel Forest, which is now on display at the New Museum (located in the LES, 235 Bowery). I have seriously been trying to go to this exhibit since it opened in October, but just never found the time! Due to all the press and hype, the exhibit was extended, and I finally took the opportunity to go yesterday.

Rist is a Swiss video artist known for her mesmerizing and hypnotic video and multimedia installations. Her video, film, and image projections incorporate themes of gender, sexuality, and the human body.

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Pixel Forest occupies the main three floors of the New Museum. The exhibit includes works that span over the artist’s entire career, emphasizing the progression of technology and how this evolution has affected her art.

The kaleidoscopic projections, soothing audio, rhythmic lighting of each piece make you feel as if you are transported from your everyday, monotonous world into a tranquil, dreamlike environment.

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I love entrancing LED installations, so naturally my favorite piece was Looking Through Pixel Forest, a hanging LED installation and video projection piece (pictured above and below). The hanging LED lights changed to all colors of the rainbow in a rhythmic pattern while two videos played on the adjacent walls. The video, audio, and lighting combination made me feel like I was in a pixel forest, straight out of the movie Avatar or something. I felt like I was in a completely different world, and I loved every moment of it.

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This exhibit ends on January 15th!! That’s in 4 days, so I strongly suggest making it a priority to check it out yourself!

Read more about Pipilotti Rist and her Pixel Forest here and here.

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Xx Marisa

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Nip + Fab Round 2

Hi friends!  Hope you are enjoying the holidays!

A few weeks ago, I partnered with Nip+Fab and reviewed some of their products! Check out my first post here.

They sent me some more skincare goodies, along with an eyeliner sample from their sister skin care and makeup line, Rodial. I had the opportunity to try five awesome products!

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The winter months are upon us, and my body is already in hibernation mode and in need of some serious sculpting.  Luckily, Nip + Fab sent me two body gels: one for my bust and one for my booty.  The Cellulite Fix is a body sculpting gel for fast action against the appearance of cellulite.  The Bust Fix is a light serum that plumps and firms the area around the bust.  I’ve been using these products for about a week, and my skin feels much firmer.  I haven’t gone to the gym in two weeks because I have been sick, but my skin (especially my booty–a problem area of mine) feels tight thanks to these products.

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The Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing pads are exfoliating facial pads that retexture and brighten the skin.  The glycolic acid retextures and resurfaces while the hyaluronic acid moisturizes and refreshes.  It leaves your skin feeling very smooth and calm.  I can definitely see myself using these on a daily basis.

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The pores on my face are visibly huge and suck up any makeup I put on, leaving my pores to be constantly clogged.  I tried Nip + Fab’s Viper Venom Micro Blur Fix, which is a priming gel that transforms the look of your skin, minimizes pores, and controls the production of oil. It definitely does it’s job–my pores are visually smaller.  You should apply it before putting on your makeup.

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Last but not least, I am also in love with my Smoky Eye Pen from Rodial! I have been in the market for a new black eye pencil, and I have found it! I love how it leaves a matte finish.  Now if I could only wing my eyeliner perfectly!

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Thanks Nip+ Fab & Rodial!

Xx

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Radiant Aura

 Flatiron, Manhattan

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“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life” – Omar Khayyam

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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” -Gandhi

 “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more” -Oscar Wilde

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“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” -Oscar Wilde

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“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow” -Helen Keller

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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” -Oscar Wilde

Dress: Express; Shoes: Michael Kors, Choker: Forever 21, Lips: Laura Mercier’s Lip Glacé “Pink Spark,” Sunglasses: Bought them on the street in Flatiron 🙂

Photos by Devon McLaughlin, The Leveraged Look @theleveragedlook

Brighter Than Sunshine

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“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves” -William Shakespeare

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“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none” -William Shakespeare

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be” -William Shakespeare

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another” -William Shakespeare

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“To do a great right do a little wrong” -William Shakespeare

Bradley Theodore (@bradleytheodore) is hands down my favorite graffiti artist.  He is best known for portraying fashion icons, including Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour, in a colorful, skeletal way.  His is most recent work consists historical icons, such as Queen Elizabeth, and infamous stars, including Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.  His work can be found in galleries and on the street throughout the world, specifically in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong.  In New York, most of his street art is found in Soho and the LES.  The above are found on Rivington and Ludlow in the LES.

Dress: Zara, Earrings & Bracelet: C Wonder, Shoes: Steve Madden, Lipstick: Lancome #333 Pink Preview (Matte)

Photos by Devon McLaughlin, The Leveraged Look @theleveragedlook

Empire State of Mind

This past week marked my 2 year anniversary in New York!  Most days the score is New York: 1, Marisa: 0, but I must thank you, New York City, for making me the person I am today.  Can’t wait to see what year 3 holds! tumblr_ncgygnrpyv1r9fos1o1_500

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Romper: Design Lab/Lord & Taylor, Ear Cuff Earrings: Forever 21, Lips: Laura Mercier’s Lip Glacé “Pink Spark,” Sunglasses: Bought them on the street in Flatiron  🙂

Photos by Devon McLaughlin, The Leveraged Look @theleveragedlook

Unlimited Vitality

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“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest” -Maya Angelou

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“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated” -Maya Angelou

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“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them” -Maya Angelou

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” -Maya Angelou

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“Nothing will work unless you do” -Maya Angelou

This colorful mural, featuring musician and singer-songwriter Joey Ramone, can be found on the side of Saxon + Parole on Bleecker Street. In 2015, this piece was commissioned  by the Little Italy Street Art Project (L.I.S.A., @thelisaprjectnyc) and painted by Dublin’s Solus and the Bronx’s John ‘CRASH’ Matos (#SolusxCrash).   The L.I.S.A. Project is “a 501(c)3 charity arts program founded in historic Little Italy bringing events & diverse artists to Downtown, creating NYC only mural district” (-L.I.S.A.).  The mural was strategically painted across the street from CBGB, the location where the band the Ramones originally started.

Top & Sunglasses: H&M, Bracelet: Ralph Lauren, Choker: Forever 21, Shorts: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: Christian Siriano, Lips: L’Oreal 8hr New Nouveau Infallible #320 “Mirror Underneath”

Photos by Devon McLaughlin, The Leveraged Look @theleveragedlook

Color Therapy

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“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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“I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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“Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Top & Skirt: Zara; Choker: Forever 21; Eye Shadow Pallet: Lancome; Bracelet: Baublebar; Lips: New York Color Expert Last Lip Lacquer “#100 Bare Brooklyn”

Photos by Devon McLaughlin