NO MAKEUP? NO PROBLEM: 3 PRODUCTS UNDER 3 MINUTES

"Less is more" is my makeup motto and Efficiency is my way of life. Those two combined lead to a lean getting ready routine.

I am not a fan of liquid foundation or powder, and if I do apply those there has to be a really good reason, like a special occasion or wedding. I am a fan of the natural look and every morning I put a moisturizer and SUNSCREEN (yes, even if it is February - I always put sunscreen)! If I really feel like it's a low day I will blend in some concealer under my eyes - but that's about it.

However, I love to add a touch of glamour by using this triple threat:

1. Mascara

2. Eye pencil

3. A fun lip

Here are my current obsessions: 

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From left:

Sisley Pytho-Lip Twist in Berry

Dior Show Pro Liner in Black

Maybelline VOLUM' EXPRESS® THE FALSIES® WASHABLE MASCARA in Blackest Black

The best part is - it takes less than 3 minutes to apply all 3! I am always looking to try new things - so would love for you to share your current obsessions!

XOXO,

S

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS: FIVE TIPS TO ENSURE AN ROI FOR YOUR NEW GOALS

As we approach the sparkly New Year, I began to think of my resolutions for 2018. Of course, there are the perpetual ones that keep sneaking in each year (exercising more, reading more, etc.) that all seem to have the common long-term benefits for one's health, happiness, and self. It makes sense that all these long-term investments keep intuitively reappearing on the list every year. But what about the others? The ones that you want to set for yourself now, in just a few days? Are they short-term investments? Are you setting them now because you want to achieve them soon? Or by this time next year?

 A photo from 2017 New Year's Eve celebration at my home in Herzliya, Israel

A photo from 2017 New Year's Eve celebration at my home in Herzliya, Israel

If you know me at all, you know I am a big fan of efficiency and maximization, so as my mind kept wandering, I thought to myself, “How do I ensure a higher success rate for my new goals?” We all know how this story ends. We finish our last final exam or paper, and we are off for winter break. We sleep. We eat. We have time for ourselves. And we think. Before we know it, sequins and metallics are surrounding us, from the racks and shelves at the nearest store, to the latest emoji, to the icing on the holiday cookies at our favorite coffee shop. As society expects of us, we take the lovely opportunity that the New Year has to offer and we set our new goals.

Most of us, however, or maybe just I, tend to forget one important thing. We are in a comfortable time-off environment, far from our everyday hectic college lives. The main difference - we are well rested. Thus, the goals we tend to set are simply unrealistic, to match nicely our overachieving personalities. Odds are, these goals are pretty hard to meet when you have two problem sets, a paper, and an extracurricular deadline due, and not to mention you have been running on four hours of sleep every night for the past week.

After these realizations, I decided that instead of jumping straight to setting my new goals, I want to reflect on this past quarter, learn from my experiences, the good and the bad, and then set my New Year’s resolutions in a more thoughtful manner. After all, this past quarter of my sophomore year at Stanford is a free resource, and I’d be foolish not to take advantage of it and everything I've learned from my time on campus up until now. I know one thing for sure: I want to ensure a higher ROI for my new short(er)-term investments.

Here are the five main conclusions that I came to while doing this process:

1. Be Realistic.

“The sky is the limit” is a great metaphor, but it’s a metaphor. You can’t do it all - and that is totally 1000% fine. No one expects you to, and neither should you. You can definitely reach for the sky, and you should. But don’t expect to get there in one single breath. Maybe set a baby step goal that will get you one step closer to walking?

2. Prioritize.

Before jumping into prioritizing your goals, figure out what your general priorities are. Your goals will naturally align with your priorities.

3. Motivation Alignment.

Priorities are useful, but not nearly as much as when they are aligned with your motivations. Dig a bit deeper and figure out what motivates you. Motivation alignment combined with prioritization will keep you focused and will ensure a higher success rate.

4. Be Specific.

Sometimes the hardest thing with completing a task is that it is too broad. We get overwhelmed because we don’t know where to start or how to tackle it, and we certainly don’t have disposable time on our hands to think about it. Putting it on hold sounds like the obvious temporary solution that, more often than not, turns into a permanent one. But there’s a simple way to avoid sweeping it under the rug- have a plan. Having an approximate deadline and some subgoals may seem like an unnecessary overkill, but from my experience, they actually work. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

5. Cut Yourself Some Slack.

We may play by the rules, and do everything as we planned, but a year from now we may not achieve our goals. Disappointment and frustration are usually the feelings that will tend to take over.  But before you let that happen, remember: that’s life. We plan life until life happens. Or as the proper phrase goes: “We plan life and God laughs.” We can only plan according to what we know, what we can predict. But most things are unpredictable. Adapting and pivoting is the only way to succeed and be happy. Dwelling on the change means wasting time, but figuring out next steps means moving forward. Choose to make the unknown your friend rather than your enemy. It’s what makes life exciting and spices up our routine. So, even if a year from now you are not where you thought you’d be according to your plan, cut yourself some slack: it doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong. It just means you are doing something right.

2018 - we got this. Happy New Year!

XOXO,

          S

WOW, YOU CAN CODE?

It was just another ordinary fabulous Saturday night out in New York City. I made my way downtown, very downtown, to this cute hidden Mexican bar, Pulqueria, to meet up with my friend after seeing the hilarious and inspiring Broadway show Beautiful about Carol King’s remarkable life story (highly recommended).

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Going for the effortlessly chic look, I wore my favorite LBD, my new white leather sneakers, paired with my bright yellow crossbody bag to add some color. To match my statement bag, I tied a colorful silk scarf around my hair.

As I sat by the bar with my friend while she ordered the appropriate tequila-based cocktail and I ordered my favorite go-to drink, soda water, we began chatting with one of her old friends from Penn, now in his 30s. He began to tell me about his software company, without wanting to elaborate much, since that was “not sexy.” At this point, he knew nothing about me. As I tried to show more interest in his company, he took charge of the interrogation and began questioning me.

After I finished my 15-second explanation of why I am a 24-year-old rising sophomore, he asked me what I am studying at Stanford. “Computer Science and Psychology,” I said, my simplification of Symbolic Systems to the outside world. He seemed surprised. Very surprised. “Oh, wow. So are you going to code?” he asked. Confused by his question, I said, “I already code.” Now shocked, he patted my shoulder and said how impressed he was.

Shaking off my semi-shock from my face-to-face encounter with the stereotype, I told him I thought it was sad he was so surprised and “impressed” that I code, which made him feel uncomfortable. “It was nice to meet you,” he replied and walked away. (The next day he texted my friend apologizing for offending me.)

Are geek and chic mutually exclusive? Is it so hard to believe that a 24-year-old young woman, wearing an LBD, platform sneaks, a bright yellow bag, and a silk scarf tied around her hair can code? I guess it is. For now.

So once again it is confirmed. The stereotypes are real. And they are everywhere. From large corporate firms, tech companies, classrooms, to Pulqueria, the small cute hidden Mexican bar located in lower Manhattan. It is up to us to fight them.

While winning the war might take some time, we can start by winning some battles. I’m a big believer that the smallest change can make the biggest difference. So next time you face the stereotypes with your cute outfit, you have two choices: you can either wait, ignore it in the moment, and call your BFF from the Uber ride home and complain about it, OR you can embrace the power that you have and decide to confront it right there and then, LIVE, while you’re staring them in the eye.

Although sometimes choice #1 may be more appropriate, the bottom line is that there is a lot of talk about feminism, the glass ceiling, and the stereotypes. There is, however, far less doing. So let’s talk less and do more, and be our 100% stylish selves along the way.

                                                           XOXO,

                                                                  S

ARE GEEK AND CHIC MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?

I was just weeks away from starting my freshman year at Stanford when I thought to myself, “How will I blend in? I am going to be a 23-year-old freshman and I want to make friends.” So I came up with a simple strategy – high-waisted jeans, cropped Brandy Melville top, sneakers, and a choker. Done. I’m 18 again.

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School started, and luckily the strategy worked. Most people initially thought I had only taken a gap year, although I took like six gap years. But still, I made friends and I fit right in.

By spring quarter, I was pretty much settled into my new life. I found amazing friends, I joined student organizations, I figured out what I am majoring in, I joined a sorority, and I had an idea of what I would be doing over the summer. But there was something missing. I wasn’t my true self.

With everything that I was doing - from being a part of different clubs on campus, to working part-time for a VC firm, to taking 19 units winter quarter - I couldn’t find time for my true passion: Fashion. Since fashion was not part of my 10-year plan, there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

So, I took matters into my own hands and came up with an immediate solution. I began dressing more like I would dress anywhere else, as if I were no longer on campus. As if the age gap were no longer an issue, and blending in were no longer a goal. I felt good. I felt more complete. I was back to my roots. I turned campus into my own runway.

People began to notice. I was getting compliments on different looks or pieces of clothing, which was great, but that was only ON campus, INSIDE the bubble. Off campus, many people were surprised when they heard I go to Stanford, let alone majoring in Symbolic Systems, a Bachelor of Science program that includes computer science classes.

Coming from the Stanford bubble I thought all the feminist talk was overrated and that the problem is not that big of a deal anymore – we are in the 21st century, right? But that bubble burst in my face after I was treated several times as a mere accessory. Even when people knew I went to Stanford it was not enough. I was still just an accessory. After all, how can a young woman be geek and chic at the same time? Well, fellows... She can. And she will.

Any woman should be able to express herself and dress the way she desires and still be treated with respect for who she is and what she has accomplished. Whether it’s a cute flirty skirt or a masculine pair of slacks, we should not need to be afraid to be who we are and fear of not being credited for our talents and achievements. We should not need to prove ourselves or change anything about ourselves so that we are treated with the same respect as men. Sounds cliché, right? It is. But unfortunately, it’s a cliché we must keep repeating until we overcome the stereotypes and glass ceiling.

I decided to combine my desire to fight with my passion for fashion. So here we are. I will be sharing my thoughts, experiences, and love for design here and on my Instagram and Facebook pages @geekyetchic.

                                                           XOXO,

                                                                  S