Archive of ‘Beauty & Maintenance’ category

GJC Pampering Day [Sunday, May 21st]

Growing in Jersey City is hosting its second Wellness event this weekend – GJC Pampering Day – on Sunday, May 21st at 1pm.

GJC Pampering Day takes place in a beautiful backyard in Jersey City Heights (229 Ogden Ave.) outfitted with local businesses offering pampering products and services that you can try before you buy.

Think hand massages, nutrition workshops, make-up consultations. The list goes on…check out the detailed invite.

Besides services, there will be $1400+ in raffles from  local businesses. And to keep your energy up, light food and drink will be served.

A perfect excuse to get with friends or fam and spend QT together.

Buy tickets here.

Go get pampered,

Moxie Mist

Today I arrived home to my package of MoxieMist, a natural and plant based facial and body mist line created by husband-wife duo Ashley and Joel in Jersey City.

MoxieMist tones, hydrates and refreshes like other facial mists, but it’s better for your skin, being chemical-free and made with ingredients nature intended you to use. Think organic, Ecocert and straight-up natural: Alcohol-free witch hazel, aloe vera juice, soy protein, cucumber water, rose water and pomegranate extract.

The MoxieMist line began with Ashley, who as a teenager struggled so much with acne that she started creating home-made formulas to remedy the situation. This led to her studying chemistry and launching a career in cosmetic chemistry. Ashley combined her passion and her knowledge to found the 100% natural multi-benefit mists with husband Joel.

I tried the rose, pomegranate and cucumber mists, and now misting has become part of my daily routine – it just feels so good! And it doesn’t hurt that MoxieMist is great for your skin, especially on some of these harsher-weather days. Toning and hydrating your skin is that simple.

“Beauty means feeling like the best version of yourself ready to face whatever lies ahead,” says Ashley. “Our definition of beauty inspired our brand name, since moxie means to have force of character, determination, or nerve. We want to inspire women to face their days with moxie.”

Check out MoxieMist and purchase online here.

To natural, refreshing beauty,

2017: New Year, Better You


Happy New Year Jersey City!!

Whatever your goals are, my advice is to pick one thing and achieve that. You cannot do 10 things really well at once. But YOU CAN do one thing really well if you focus on that for life-improvement. Once you’ve mastered the first goal, tackle something else. Keep it simple.

There is room for improvement throughout the year. Here are some Jersey City spots to find your “A-ha” inspiration during every quarter of 2017.

Take up Zumba, Yoga or Martial Arts
Workout for free in JC
Ice Skate here or here
Learn belly dancing, yoga, or Latin dancing for free at Kennedy Dancers
Jersey City Ballroom Dancing
Jivamukti Yoga
Get Salsa Fever

Learn something new:
Computer Courses
Jersey City Arts School
Sticth ‘n’ Bitch
Casa Colombo
Cork & Canvas
Spanish Blackbelt

Read something that expands your mind:
Jersey City Free Books
Jersey City Bookmobile & Library
WORD Jersey City

Get more work done:
Editing Services
Website Consulting

Jersey City Cares
Liberty Humane Society
Dress For Success

Meet JC Peeps:
JC Fab Lab
Singles in Jersey City
Geeks Who Drink
Jersey City Young Professionals

Serenity Day Spa
European Wax Center
Zeel Massage
Nails and Nails
Hair and Hair and Hair and Hair
My DIY trix here

Treat yourself to a statement piece:
Love, Liesel
Vivi Girl Shop
Tia’s Place
Another Man’s Treasure
Republic of Pigtails
Take care of your clothing


Be well & happy,

Happy New Year!!! #HangoverTips


Heaven forbid you have to suffer.

Sometimes—no—all of the time with age, we just can’t handle what we used to drink in handles.

SO, I choose to not over-do it at night because I hate ruining my next day.

But during my happy days at a (no liquor license) fancy coffee cafe last year, a guy asked me what else would cure his day-after disaster other than his coffee and big gourmet breakfast.

Let me tell you: Not much, so don’t party hardy in the first place unless you’re prepared to reap a day of shit. But that’s the older me speaking, and let’s be honest: Every older person parties and we still make the same mistakes. We think we’re good—but wake up and nah, we’re effin not so much.

I gave him a few quick tips, but I really thought about it later.

Because everyone can always use more advice on how to party and not suffer consequences, please add your tips in the comment section.

Here are mine:

*First, OD on water. It will flush your body of toxins and help things repair faster (like your liver). If this is the only thing you can do, it’s also the most important thing you can do.

*If you had a sleepover, morning sex helps by releasing endorphins (your natural painkiller), which kill the headache and help you sweat out the toxins.

*Take a shot of B-vitamins intravaneously like the stars! Or vape them. Or simply just take some orally. No judgment.

*Blue-green algae with tons of vitamins is amaze. Find it all in GT’s multi-green bottled kombacha tea. Tastes oh-so-nasty but so worth the swallow instead of feeling less than stellar. And it has trace amounts of alcohol so that may be the wise woman’s hair of the dog.

*Replenish your electrolytes with Pedialite, Gatorade, and even—someone just informed me—pickle juice.

*Two liquigel Advils or three of the regular kind work wonders.

*Alka-Seltzer, yes that old people stuff, can be amaze.

*Pizza seems to absorb and heal better than breakfast foods in my experience, but only treat yourself to the best, top quality-ingredient slice.

*Or don’t eat at all. Just drink all of your fluids, flush the poison out and sleep. Your system is already working hard enough. Assist it along and give it a break so it can break down your wild night.

Choose your own ending:

*Sleep as many hours as you can. Only get out of bed to heavily hydrate and use the loo.

*Move on with your day. Drink some coffee if you feel you need it. And carve out some time for a nap. 🙂

To a healthy 2017!

The Ultimate Summer Packing List: Ladies Now Let’s Get (on) VACATE-TION

Packing Jersey City Gal

It’s time for our last summer hurrahs Jersey City. If you’re like me and have chosen air-conditioning and money-making over humidity so you could be a baller during September/October and tail it everywhere when most people go back to work…oh wait, you’re not me.

Anyway, now that I’m planning for two months of adventure, I thought it high time to share my quick checklist of packing needs for most of you who are last-minute shove-in-the-suitcase peeps. These are my summer necessities, but the list is adaptable.

If you leave your house, it’s “phone, wallet, keys.” But traveling for a weekend or a week requires more preparation.

The Gal’s Guide to Traveling Light:

In your purse/carry-on tote (Besides phone, wallet WITH CASH, keys):


*WaterWipes. The “world’s purest baby wipes” will save your life at the airport, on a boat, at the pool, on the beach and taking your makeup off at night. I always carry these in my purse, but they are especially essential during travel. Most hand sanitizers and wipes have a lot of alcohol and other harsh chemicals that ruin my skin. WaterWipes are 99.9% purified water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. So gentle.

*Lotion that works for face and hands because…dryness. I like Aveeno.

*Light makeup: Your basics. I like to keep blush & a brush to quickly freshen my pale look.

*Something to read. While we’re all connected to interesting soundbites of info via the Internet every day, vacation allows us the time to disconnect (please disconnect!) and get into a story, a journal, or a good magazine. So be prepared. Here are Jersey City’s Summer Reading Picks.

In Your Suitcase:

*Toiletrees: toothbrush, toothpaste, razor(s), shampoo, conditioner, detangling spray, hair pick (hello beach waves! and tangles!), soap, Advil, Neosporin, Visine, Aquaphor, Banana Boat Aloe Vera After Sun Gel & Repel 100 for insects. The generic versions of most of these products are just as good.

*Sun care: Sunscreen!!! After surviving melanoma, I use Neutrogena SPF 70, but I also use Walgreens watermelon SPF 50. For some color on my legs, I use the best: Bain de Soleil Orange Gelèe SPF 4 and for my stomach, Hawaiian Tropic SPF 8. Do not forget UV 400+ sunglasses and a good hat (some have SPF material built in…like these beauts here).

*Bathing suits: Bring 3 for a quick weekend and 5 for a week-long stay. You can always mix & match! (Or buy a new one, yaaas!)

*3-5 Cover-ups that can be scarves, shirts, skirts or dresses.

*2 going out outfits, max. Because you’ve got the above to work with.

*Shorts/tees/tanks: PJs that can double as beach coverups/lounge wear and can triple as workout gear.

*A hoodie, zip-up or jacket because there are cold beach/ lake nights and/or blasting indoor ACs.

*Shoes: Flip flops, sneakers, going out shoes. I’ve found that shoes take up the most space. So if you are strictly going to a beachy or tropical place, only pack flip flops and fancy flip flops. If you’re attending a wedding, event, or a  chi-chi nightclub, you’ll need your strappy heels. If you plan on exercising or know you’ll be doing a lot of walking (especially on cobblestone streets or any rough terrain), bring your sneaks. Otherwise, save your suitcase space and just bring your flips. Great for getting through the airport security line quickly, too.

*Undies, bras, socks (<—-if you’re bringing sneaks or you like to sleep in foot-covers, like me).

*Hardware: Chargers, laptop (only if you need it; as a constant writer with multiple projects, I often do), “real” camera (if you want better than phone-quality photos).

*Accessories: earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, head scarves that can double as belts, all of which should coordinate with your shizzaz. Since most accessories don’t take up space, you should maximize here to minimize your outfits. Accessories change your look. Period. (Emphasis on punctuation here needed.)

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Zeel: Massage On Demand!


I’m super productive, but when I stop running on the hamster wheel, I need some recovery time. Enter my new favorite app: Zeel. Zeel is a Massage On Demand® company that delivers top quality massages from licensed and vetted therapists to homes, hotels, workplaces, or events, even with same-day booking. And they are now serving Hudson County. Yay Jersey City!

Think of it like your wellness Uber. Simply go to the app or Once registered, it’s seamless. Just select date and time and type of massage and you’re all set! They offer Swedish [stress relief], deep tissue [workout recovery], prenatal [eases aches/discomfort] and couples massages [relaxing fun].

The Zeel masseuse will arrive at your house at said time and set up the table. (You provide sheets, a pillow case and a towel for sanitary purposes.)

My deep tissue massage with Al [Last name upon request] was to die for. He was extremely polite, had super-strong hands and paid special attention to my complicated kinks. He played background tunes of birds chirping which was pleasant—and he washed his hands right before the action (again, great on the sanitary aspect for –>this germaphobe–< who washes her hands circa 20 times a day). The only thing Al asked for was to warm his lotion in the microwave. No problem!


All Zeel Massage therapists are licensed in their state of practice, and fully vetted by the Zeel team. They are screened, background-checked, and chosen for their excellence. Then they receive further training in reaching the highest Zeel standards of customer service and experience.

No corners are cut. Book for today; book for a month from now. Zeel operates 7 days a week and 365 days a year from 8am-10:30pm. Initially in NYC, they have branched out to Westchester and Long Island as well as Hudson, Bergen and Essex counties in NJ.

And if you’re fancy, they have a members program “Massage Zeelot,” a “frequent flyers,” which includes a Zeel Massage each month plus a professional-grade massage table.

USE CODE: GIA25 to get $25 off your first appt.!

Get your rub on,

Wedding Season Is Upon Us!


Did he put a ring on it? Time to start planning.

When it comes to “the most important day of your life,” good photos are essential—and good makeup.

I spent a recent afternoon with wedding photographer Susan Shek and MAC makeup artist Maura Rivera to talk weddings weddings weddings and how to create and capture the most beautiful subject on the most beautiful day of your life—you.

Here is my day of makeup and photos with two awesome ladies who make weddings their business.

Maura Rivera, a freelance makeup-artist for MAC, arrived with (literally) a suitcase of beauty products. She just completed stints doing runway makeup for both NYC and Jersey City fashion weeks.

As Maura applied my makeup, Susan began to take pictures.


Susan is a wedding photographer with a very strategic approach. “I meet with clients and share my portfolio, which spans eight years in the business. People ask me what makes me different from other photographers and I tell them ‘Because it’s not a job. I do it because it’s my passion. I love it.’ If I wasn’t doing wedding photography, I would be doing wedding planning.”

Susan also wants the bride-to-be to have the least stress as possible going into the wedding. “I always have a specific plan. I give the bride and groom an organized list of how the day will play out photo-wise, shot by shot.”

Here is one of the shots Susan took of me outside the day after a big snowstorm, dashing through the wintry white in the cold. (For others, check out in the near future). She has a great eye for picking good backgrounds, even when options are limited and the air is thick with fog—both of which could have caused problems on this particular day.


When it comes to Jersey, both women are enthused. Susan says, “I like working in Jersey the best because there’re more venues, more space. I would love to shoot at Liberty House. I love that Jersey City is still close to Manhattan, and it’s a diverse and close community of ex-New Yorkers.”

“People in Jersey are crazy about weddings,” chimes in Maura. “I like weddings because I love pretty makeup and being part of a woman’s special day. A lot of women don’t even know how to do their own basic makeup [JCG interjection: Myself included!], and it’s the best feeling when they look in the mirror and gasp and say, ‘Thank you. I’m so beautiful!'”

As an old-school gal, Maura doesn’t rely on social media for her business; it has been purely word-of-mouth (still in style!) amongst Manhattan’s elite and her MAC customers. She has plenty of regulars for eyelash extensions and daily makeup (I’m thinking rich housewives). She also does party makeup: Club nights, the prom, sweet sixteen celebrations, Halloween faces, fantasy makeup, etc.

Susan’s photography business is booked for most of 2014, as she likes to start planning a year in advance and prefers space between weddings to really focus on each one. She also does the editing, photo-retouching, the layout, and chooses what photos make the cut. Check out her website here.

Both ladies travel to their clients and do not have set price lists. Rather, they individualize packages according to the customer’s needs.

Later in the day, Susan said, “I can’t see myself planning my own wedding because I’m too controlling and obsessive. I’d want everything to be perfect.” Maura and I laughed, because despite the fact that all three of us have long-term boyfriends and love weddings, we feel the same way.

Be pretty, Pretty Princess,

Back to School!


After selling most of my stuff at the Riverview Fisk Flea Market two weeks ago, I felt justified to buy new things.

Even though it’s been a while since I’ve gone “back to school,” this time of year is a great time to revamp your life and begin a new chapter.

New season, new things. Right? I rarely buy for myself, but it is just high time that I do. My sneakers are failing me. My clothing is getting thready. My iPod and phone are both glitchy. My jewelry just bores me. And I really, really want a bike.

I began my new (frugal) shopping spree with a corduroy bomber jacket, two skirts and a new sketchbook/journal. The hair-bows are from the 6th Borough Market.


I then bought some things (T-shirts, candle, soaps, lip balm, wristlets and baby headband) at the All About Downtown Street Fair. Most of these are gifts.


 The JC GAL bracelet is obvi not going to be gifted.

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What’s Happening This Weekend in Jersey City? 7/26/13


Though we’re in the middle of summer, there’s still plenty going on in Jersey City. The heat wave has broken, so if you’re around, get on out there and support local…everything.

Friday 7/26/13

Creative Grove Art Market Visit the Grove Street PATH plaza to check out local art, jewelry and other crafts. 3-9pm. Shop our local vendors.

Free Tennis Clinics for children ages 6-17 at Country Village Park (110 Country Village Rd., Greenville).

Victory Hall Drawing Rooms (181 Grand St.) plays host to Music on the Lawn featuring jazz vibraphonist Eldad Tarmu from 5:30-7pm. Free admission and a complimentary glass of wine.


helicopter jc

Saturday 7/27/13

A Free Farmer’s Market—yes, free—offers citizens of Jersey City produce at no charge, no matter your income level. Team Walker is a non-profit created by Jerry Walker, and this initiative is co-sponsered by Grow-a-Row Farms of Pittstown, NJ. Get in on the action at Dr. Lena Edwards Park (Johnston Ave. & and Pine St.) at 10am today, and every other Saturday.

Free Waterfront Vinyasa Yoga at Owen Grundy Pier (Exchange Place, next to Hyatt). Get your stretch on from 9-10:15am, while taking in the view of Manhattan.

Green Villian‘s BBQ (3rd installment of series) From 12-6pm, listen to live music at Lafayette Community Garden (314 Pacific Ave.) and enjoy beer and BBQ in support of  More Than A Race‘s Summer Camp. $20 admission includes all food and drink. Deets.

Jersey City’s West Indian and Caribbean-American 18th Annual Carnival kicks off at 12pm with a parade at Lincoln Park, followed by festivities at Exchange Place (3-8pm). Think floats, fun, performances by local dance troupes and musicians, games and food.

Paella & Sangria Garden Party This just-for-fun event will raise money in support of Movies in The Park (Pershing Field and Washington Park). Enjoy an afternoon of paella, sangria and dancing to Spanish beats by DJs Smoke and Kleber from 3-7pm at 662 Palisade Ave. Tickets are $40. Buy here.

Balance JC Hair Salon plays host to a comedy event at 3pm. Details here.

tHe AuDiobOdiEs rock band is performing at the W.A.M. fundraising event at Sole Cafe (496 Communipaw Ave.). Fundraiser begins at 6pm and the band comes on at 8pm.


Sunday 7/28/13

Hatha Style Yoga Class at Grassroots Community Space (54 Coles Street) from 9:30-11am. Suggested donation of $10.

Farmer’s Market at Riverview Fisk Park. Buy farm-fresh produce and unique local goods from 9am-2pm. Plus, FREE YOGA TODAY @10am!! (Ogden Ave. & Bowers St.) Details here.

Block Party Exhibition at Liberty Science Center 10am-4:30pm.

Salsa Under the Sun! Yesenia Peralta hosts salsa lessons from 6-7pm at Boca Grande (564 Washington Blvd.) $10 per person.


Let me know what you plan to do or did this weekend: tweet @jerseycitygia or email me at




Jersey City Health & Wellness Deals 7/9/13



Get your rejuvenation on with these local deals:

Enercure Health (230 Liberty Ave.) is offering a one-hour reflexology session for $32 and two sessions for $59. Details here.

Petracco Chiropractic Center (218 Newark Ave.) will give you a one-hour massage and chiropractic exam for $30. More info here.

Beach Bum Tanning (Edgewater and Bayonne locations) are promoting a deal for two to five FIT bodywrap sessions, starting at $49. Full deets here.

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