Archive of ‘Beauty & Maintenance’ category

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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