Hi, I'm LOL MEL.

Welcome! I'm so happy you're here. <3

 


Charlotte Russe: A Pink & Red Color Story

New work for Charlotte Russe. Love me a pink and red themed ANYTHING!

This art direction for Charlotte Russe still life photography was used throughout emails, homepages, and social media channels.

Art Direction: Melissa San Vicente
Stylist: Mat Gibilisco
Photographer: Lucas Saugen


Father's Day for the Cool Guys

As fate would have it, I found myself in Tampa last week to visit my fathead (yes, I call my dad fathead. No you cannot use the name). In case you've been living in a cave, let me fill you in. My stepdad, Steve, has been battling Cystic Fibrosis since 1999 and let me tell you... he's the strongest person I know. Every father's day I struggle with getting him a gift because he either has everything he needs or doesn't ask for what he really wants! The ultimate #COOLGUY. This year, we had the opportunity to collaborate with Harry's and my dad was so impressed with the products that I knew I had to share.

Sometimes life does funny things. Sometimes you don't get to see your dad everyday. Sometimes you only get in a quick phone call during your lunch break. Often times, we can get so caught up in the day-to-day that when the day finally rolls around where we can take our time to say "thank you for everything, dad" we're at a loss of what to buy and how to show them how much we appreciate them. Fathead and I had brunch where we exchanged loads of chisme. He told me about his early days of delivering tortillas for his dad's restaurant and I talked about work and my new chapter with blogging. We spent the rest of the day walking around Best Buy, TJMAXX and Marshalls... all because we were just letting the time pass. He spent the week filling me in on his new hobby of beading bracelets and he keeps me current with all things Judge Judy. Sometimes when life tries to be tricky and gets in the way of what you want out of life, you just have to turn off the cell phones and be present because it's the best kind of time we have. I'm so thankful for the little things we share. The inside jokes about my mom and the dinner recipes we tag each other in. Even the funny text messages that he sends with every other word being an emoji. These are the best gifts of all.

Fathead loves himself new products. Every time I have the chance, I make sure to snag him new swag from events that I attend or samples from the store. He loved his shave set and mentioned that the quality was amazing. NO NICKS or CUTS! WOO HOO! I'm super excited to have collaborated with Harry's for Father's Day because it was the perfect gift for the cool guy that already has everything. I popped that bad boy into my checked luggage and it was perfectly safe and sound once I got to Florida.

The Harry's team was kind enough to give away one shave set for a super awesome dad who might be reading this blog. OR, if you want your pops (or someone you love) to try out Harry's for the first time, head to my instagram to see how to enter.

You guys really seemed to be into this campaign/design style post so I brought it back ONE TIME.

I hope you have an amazing weekend and that you get to spend it with the ones you love. Kisses and hugs to all the papas out there either hustling to pay the bills, out mowing the lawn, or smiling down on us from heaven. We love and appreciate you so much!

A huge thanks to Harry's for sponsoring this post.

So, what the heck are you getting your papa for father's day? Share your ideas in the comments! :)


Viansa Sonoma Winery Vlog

I had a chance to visit Viansa Sonoma last month and had a blast hanging with the girls, drinking and taking photos. The property sits right up against Sonoma creek and the views are incredible. It was so sweet for Viansa Sonoma to invite us and cater to us for the day. We had a picnic in the courtyard and took in the views on their hilltop (that overlooks the property booming with pretty vines). I have yet to meet a winery I didn't like. LOL!

I included our trip in my recent vlog below, too. Check it out and see what shenanigans we get into!

Are you guys headed anywhere for the Summer?

 

 

 

 


White Moto Jacket and White Fringe

I'm trying something a little different with my blog posts lately. I've been testing my design and editing skills. Getting weird. Editing and cropping differently. To be honest, I am so over the stand there and pose methods of old-school blogging that I've been doing for years. I'd pick a cute outfit, find a nice background, go stand in front of it, shoot, edit the photos and throw a pretty filter on it, beg people to come back, repeat. YAWN, someone please put me outta my misery! LOLZ. (Remember when we used to use "z" at the end of lol? Those days were fun) I just felt like I wasn't being pushed creatively and I think in any career, that's the point where you take a step back and remember why you started down the path in the first place. Remind yourself why you love doing something by putting a little spark back into it!

From my Instagram style to my YouTube videos, I'm feeling a little reinvention and reinvent we shall. What do you think of these new blog post styles? I am also so short on words these days. Fun fact: I am back in school to get my MBA. Turns out, my "break" from school turned into 7 years and well... here we are.

Maybe I'll turn into one of those bloggers who write a blog post and end it with:

Yo, new blog shit. Check it.

Quay x Desi "Sahara" Sunnies / Jeans, Jacket, Bag: Zara / Heels: Old (Similar) / Senreve Wallet


Maybelline ColorSensational Shaping Lip Liner Swatches

Annnnnnnnd we're back with another makeup product swatch and review! I always love trying out Maybelline products because I feel like having knowledge about high and low priced makeup products makes for a very knowledgable makeup expert (winks). I raved about the 24k nudes eye shadow palette because it really was the first eye shadow kit that really changed my mind about drug store makeup.

Maybelline hooked me up (sent me) with the entire ColorSensational shaping lip liner collection and I'm happy to share swatches and my review with you. At first glance, they're definitely a step up from the OG lip liners (the ones you have to sharpen) that Maybelline has had for years. I love the sleek black and silver packaging and love that you don't need a sharpener.

As for the formula, I would say that the application goes on smooth and sets in a very matte finish. For women like myself, who absolutely suck at applying lip liner, I find this to be a great quality since you don't want your lip liner slipping and sliding all over the place. I used each of these as liners first, then filled in my entire lip with the liner and then added a touch of Baby Lips for moisture. Because these liners are entirely matte, you will need some sort of chapstick or balm for the center of the lips if you decide to use as a full lip coverup. I can definitely see these being used with liquid lipsticks!

Wild Violets and Rich Wine were the only ones that didn't cover the lip entirely well. You can see in the swatched photos how those colors look a little less vibrant in comparison to the others. Pink coral has to be my favorite of the bunch because it's such an unexpected color for me. I really didn't think I would like it as much as I did.

I also created a cool ombre look using Nude Whisper and Very Cherry. I applied Nude Whisper all around my lips and avoided the center. I filled in the center of my lips very carefully and then used a lip brush to blot the center and fade it into the nude which created a really cool ombre effect.

Have you tried out these lip liners yet? Which are your top two colors? Let me know in the comments!

I also created a video of the swatches which you can find on my YouTube channel below. Thanks for reading/watching!

P.s. Any content on this website that is sponsored will be indicated as such. As a content creator who takes the time and effort to make editorial-like content on a regular basis, it's important for me to share my honest and open opinion on everything I use. It would be pretty shitty for me to sell you something that I don't fully believe in. I like to keep things pretty real around here and if you ever feel like I'm trying to sell you on something or aren't being honest about my review, call me out on it, k?

This post is sponsored by Maybelline. All opinions expressed are my own, duh.


Flower Eyewear: Why I'm Glad I Wear Glasses

I started wearing contacts before I started wearing glasses. Weird right? I started wearing contacts when I turned 10. I remember going into Walmart with my mom for my vision test and sure as shit, I needed glasses (badly). The glasses that I wanted (which were pink of course) wouldn't be in until another 2 1/2 weeks and I just couldn't wait another second. So, off I went with my contact lens trial, walking into walls and blinking like crazy trying to get used to seeing clearly. I didn't realize how much I would end up liking glasses until the day that they were ready for pick-up. I always imaged this as a normal thing and that most people just started with contacts. So, wearing my glasses was always such a special moment for me!

Fast forward 18 years and here we are, still a stunning, 4-eyed freak and loving it. I guess by this time, most people my age invest in Lasik or ditch the glasses altogether and commit to contacts. Even though I have my tried and true pair of black frames that I've had for YEARS, I love having options to wear throughout the week - especially ones that have a little pick-me-up to them. I find that glasses give me this sort of confidence and comfort at the same time. Sometimes, when I wear contacts I feel like I'm just blending in. When I wear my glasses I feel like I have an alter ego that I get to be for a day. Because glasses have a tendency to hide the eyes, I throw on extra mascara on the outer corners of my lashes and add a little pop of highlight to the inner corners of my eyes. You have to love a good makeup trick! Try: Lancome Mascara and Becca Opal Highlight

I heard of Flower Eyewear through a connection via NYFW and when they reached out to see if I wanted to take these new frames for a spin, my answer was a no-brainer. Flower is a company owned by Drew Barrymore, which shares a message of empowerment and optimism and she launched this eyewear collection from it. I love the line and think the styles are so flattering for women. I'm rocking the Lucy frames and Sheila Sunnies. What do you think of these? You guys were very supportive of the pink frames on Instagram Stories, so I'm going to get my lenses put in ASAP.

Also, what are your thoughts about this sort of post? I was so inspired by this floral typography treatment and I knew I wanted to use it for an editorial piece. I decided to create my own Floral Eyewear campaign. I love the shadows of the type and the florals are an obvious nod to the brand. I'm so into this color sitch, too. Summer just seeping at the seems, my friends.

Have an amazing week, babes!


10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Wedding Costs

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So the big day is approaching and you're getting ready to reduce your wedding costs? Well, I'm here to hold your hand and coach you through all of the mistakes and financial epiphanies I had while planning our wedding. So, before we start hacking away at all of your new-found savings, I'm going to fill you in on a little info.

Everything I'm about to fill you in on is completely (and 100%) my own opinion. I made decisions and had to cut back on things for our wedding because I, personally, didn't feel we needed it or felt it prevented us from walking down the aisle. I'm not a wedding expert or claim to be one. Simply a REAL bride who busted her ass to pay for her own wedding and wants to fill you in on some major cost savings. Getting married is terrifying enough, so to have bridal magazines and blogs telling you what you NEED to have at YOUR wedding is cray. I will say that it's so easy to get sucked into the Pinterest swirl of fluffy tulle and golden-trimmed everything. You do what you need to do to make your day as special as you want it to be. People are bound to complain about SOMETHING so you might as well do what makes you happy. Now... off to pinching you some pennies, boo!

1. Electronic Wedding Invites or Save the Dates

Coming from a girl who LOVES print, I know just how important your wedding invites can be. We opted for printed invites for only our immediate family and everyone else in our list had the exact same invites sent electronically. Not only does it cut down on the cost (and reserves mama earth) but companies like Paperless Post allow you to keep track of who has opened the invite and who has RSVP'd (so when that RSVP date rolls around you're not shaking your fist at your relatives).

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2. Wedding Bands

Having a ring setting that you love is so important. But committing to a wedding band in the months you're also saving for your wedding day can really amp up the pressure. You can easily skip on purchasing your dream wedding band until AFTER the big day. Esty is crawling with beautiful and inexpensive wedding bands that you can use until you're ready to purchase the band of your dreams! As long as you're not allergic to costume jewelry, WHO will notice the different? I won't tell you which of my rings are fake and which aren't because honestly, you won't be able to tell from the photos alone.

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3. Centerpieces

If you're opting to do family-style seating (think long tables lined together instead of separate circle tables) then the amount of centerpieces can really be reduced. I've seen more and more that brides are opting for smaller candles and decor versus the traditional, grand centerpiece that can easily cost $70-$150 a piece. Really get creative with the decor and find elements that speak to your style instead of covering your tables with expensive florals that end up thrown out at the end of the night (sad face). I made our table letters out of acrylic photo holders and gold paper. Our greenery blended with our scenery and our votive candles were fake and SAFE. LOL!

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4. Destination Weddings

So you're saying I don't have to pay for food or drinks the entire weekend and my on-site wedding coordinator is included in my destination wedding? Tell me more. These days, it's actually less expensive to get married in a destination wedding versus getting married in the United States. I spent every waking moment looking for a venue in San Francisco and was drained when the CHEAPEST venue I found would end up costing us a teeny $15,000 (LOL) sans food and decor (ay, mama). Most destination wedding venues include a free ceremony, cake, and sometimes allow you to come back to the resort for free on your wedding anniversary! When you have a large Mexican/Dominican family like ours, you realize that having a destination wedding is the best route to go because it really cuts down on the amount of people that will attend. Something to remember is that having your wedding in a location that is not local to your immediate family also means that there are people that might not make it (be in due to financial situations or otherwise) and it's important to not take these sort of things personally. The most important thing is that the bride & groom (groom & groom / bride & bride / groom & groom & bride / you get it) show up!

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5. Bridal Party Attire

YAWN. Aren't we all kinda bored of the usual bridal party attire? All of your favorite girls in the same dress who ultimately hate you for putting them in said dress. Save your ladies or gents some dough and find attire that's flattering to each person and ties in with the theme of your wedding. Go monochromatic, same color, or find attire from sites you wouldn't typically purchase bridesmaids' dresses from. You can even go out of the box and do a little scavenging by looking into high-fashion thrift stores where you know your piece will truly be unique!

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6. Keep the Guest list to a Minimum

Look, I love my coffee lady, too! But if I added her and her plus one, well we're looking at another seat, another table, another center piece, and now you get the idea. We wanted to invite so many people to our wedding but we kept our guest list to a minimum. Weddings are meant to be shared with the closest people in your life and you may look back on your wedding 10 years from now and wonder who half of the people you invited were. We had a beautiful 37 person wedding and we had the chance to sit down with, dance and talk to every single person at our wedding. I wouldn't change that for anything!

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7. Maximize your Location

If you decide to get married in the woods or chose a date during the winter seasons, use your surroundings as decoration. Let your Pinterest cup runneth over with snowy bridal photos or soak in every single palm tree if you decide on a beach destination. The point is, try not to spend too much time covering up the venue and/or location and maximize every detail of it's existing character. It rained on our wedding day, and while I could have been the craziest bridezilla, I embraced it and allowed it to create this moody and beautiful backdrop to every photo. My dress was soaked and I danced all night in it. The puddles on the floor made for amazing light reflection, too. Work with what you have!

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8. Hair and Make-up

Some ladies might get nervous about this one, but I did my hair and makeup for my big day. I can't tell you how much that part of the day meant to me. I woke up, ate breakfast with my MOH, blasted the music real loud and found peace in knowing that I was creating the look for my husband to see for the first time. It was like getting ready for a really special date night and I was so excited to impress him with my skills. This not only saves you some cash but it ended up being the highlight of my morning to sit there, happy, singing and laughing while I took my time to get ready. If you're a newbie with makeup, keep your look simple. Highlight your natural beauty by sticking with shades and tones of makeup that play up your eye color and skin tone. And if you're feeling too nervous, practice during the weekends leading up to your big day. Bring your girls over and practice or get tips from them! This also applies to other items that you already do at home. Maybe you're a stellar nail art gal or maybe you know how to do a sick line-up for your grooms. Use your skills, my friends!

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9. Reduce the Bridal Party Number

Maybe this one is a little harsh, but your girl over here has about 50,000 cousins on one side of the family. I really wanted everyone to be included in our wedding, but the budget and stress prevailed. Having to coordinate tuxedos and dresses for 14 people sounded like a nightmare so we axed the number to 2. The people who love and care for you most will understand. At the end of the day, I was so thankful to not have to worry about picking out dress colors and gifts for so many of my girls. Instead, I spent my money on cards for everyone who attended our wedding and wrote hand written notes to each of our wedding guests.

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10. Sometimes you CAN do it yourself

I realize that not everyone likes to DIY.. but I REALLY found myself liking DIY when I started to see the costs add up. Example: a custom wedding guestbook can cost you up to $300+ on Etsy and a photobooth company can charge upwards of $600 for a full setup. We're talking a BOOK with BLANK pages for your guests to write their names in and a box where people go to take SELFIES. Are we both reading the same sentence? That's 900 bills altogether, y'all. So, I took my happy behind to Michael's and purchased a blank photo album, filled it with lined paper, and traced our names on the front in gold. I had an old polaroid camera that was collecting dust and found extra film on Amazon for the CHEAP. I maybe spent $60 on this in total and we were back in business! Our sign-in book was a polaroid selfie station and was not only a HIT at our reception, but was one of the highlights looking back at all the photos and notes from our friends with drunken polaroids of squished together faces and sweaty lens smudges. I'll always keep that book so close to my heart! There are so many ways around these sort of things. Sometimes buying a couple boxes of pizza and asking friends to come over for a craft party ends up being way cheaper (and fun) than having to dish it out for a complete stranger to do.

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Honestly, a lot of what stopped me from spending money was to stop overthinking things so much. WHO GIVES A SHIT if the wedding industry tells you that you need to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding video. I made our entire wedding video from our Go Pro footage, saved snapchats from our friends and footage from a dinky camera I've had for years and Luis and I spend our Friday nights watching it again and again.

The key take away here is to do what feels right in your heart and if you and your future hubby are fighting over expenses and allowing it to stress you out, then you're probably taking your wedding in the wrong direction. Don't be afraid to ask for help from your crafty friends and it's okay to let friends in on your wedding planning as long as they have your best interests at heart.

I wouldn't change a DAMN thing about our wedding and I'm really hoping that you'll be able to benefit from some of the things I learned. I'm planning to do a FULL write up about our full wedding story, so stay tuned for that. If you can't wait, you can see our full wedding video here. :)

Happy wedding planning! If you have tips and tricks for other brides to use, please dish in the comments section!

So much annoying newlywed love,
Mel + Luis

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Venue: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana | Photographer: Rachjana Kuch | Florals: Merca Flor | Dress: Katie May


NYFW Day 1: Outfit Details and How I Prep for Fashion Week

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My name is Mel. It's been 17 days since my last fashion show and I'm having major withdrawals. (in unison) *HI, MEL!* If you followed along on my IG stories or watched my NYFW vlog, you might've seen this bright pink getup that I wore to the Tanya Taylor FW17 show. I was introduced to Tanya Taylor through Bumble and bumble and I've been following her behind-the-scenes moments ever since. ONE look at her color palette and I'm in awe for days! Which, if you know me, tells you that I must have an alter ego because I have such a tough time wearing color (says the girl who considers a black t-shirt too much color) and admiringly, I love that Tanya's collection has a way of pairing the most beautiful color combos in unexpected ways.

When I prep for fashion week, a major part of my outfit preparation consists of research. I will pin and recap past shows for days just to get inspiration and then I'll put together an outfit that gives a little nod to the designer's aesthetic. I consider this my part as not only a fan of the designer's work but also as a sign of respect. To me, it's like going to a concert and knowing all the lyrics.

I start by raiding my own closet of items I already have and layering until it feels right. I'll use scarves as head wraps, add tights under ripped jeans, and find new ways to use the accessories I already own. I am also a sucker for making old items in my closet new again by reinventing them. I purchased this Zara circle bag a month ago and it had Porky Pig's face on it. And no shade to Looney Tunes but homeboy HAD to go. I created a floral felt garden (if you will) and covered up the not-so-great part of the bag and now I can't get enough!

So many people approached me during the Tanya Taylor show and I received so many inquiries about the bags that I might bring them to an online store really soon!!!! I'm working behind-the-scenes on a few things to see how they do in San Francisco, but will keep you posted as soon as they're ready!

It's been an on-again-off-again rainy few weeks in California, so I wanted to recap my first outfit with you and show you that I DO, in fact, wear color! :) What do you guys think of my first outfit @ NYFW? Also, I'm curious to know your process for showing respect to other creatives in the industry? Do you comment or share their work? Buy tickets and support their shows? Show up to their fashion presentations wearing every color in the collection? Let me know in the comments! xo

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NYFW Fall/Winter 2017 Vlog

NYFW Fall Winter 2017

Getting to attend New York Fashion Week for the first time in the Fall/Winter season was definitely a challenge but 100% worth it. I feel so lucky to have covered so much goodness backstage and really made some incredible connections this time around. I can't wait to see Spring/Summer looks in September. Huge thanks to Bumble and bumble for having me backstage! Let me know what your favorite part of the vlog was in the comments!

Click below to watch my NYFW Fall/Winter 2017 Vlog!