Facial at HelaSpa

Since I cut my hair, I felt the need to pay extra attention to my skin care regimen.  My cleansing routine is pretty simple. I use a gentle cleanser, exfoliate ever so often,  and apply a hydrating lotion both day and night, but I knew I needed to step it up a notch since I started noticing some pimples were starting to surface. So, I scheduled an appointment with the DC's award-winning HelaSpa for a cleansing facial.

Bonnie was my esthetician and before she began my treatment, she explained some of the benefits of getting facials.

1.  Circulation:  Facials help restore circulation to the layers of your skin by increasing the flow of blood to your skin cells.  With small massaging movements, the flow of blood rushes throughout the skin giving your skin a healthy and youthful glow.

2.  Anti-Aging:  We can’t stop the aging process but we can delay it.  Facials can help slow down the aging process by removing dead and damaged skin by using products/treatments that increase collagen and cell growth which will offer you once again, a glowing youthful look.

3.  Cleansing:  A normal at home cleansing routine doesn’t always get to the root of your skin issues. Facials offer a deep cleaning of the skin by helping reduce an overabundance of sebum , which is an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands.  An excess of sebum, dead skin cells and dirt trapped inside yourpores can lead to acne and blackheads.

NOTE: You may not notice a vast difference in the Before and After pictures except for a little redness from the extractions, but my skin felt ahhhmazing!  It was incredibly soft and I had a JLo glow for days.  *Insert lady in red dress dancing emoji*

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Products used:

SkinCeuticals: Gentle Cleanser, Micro-Exfoliating Scrub and Phyto Corrective Gel

Skin Medica: Calming Mask

Young Pharmaceuticals: Moisturizer Riche

What I loved is that Bonnie customized the products and included chamomile oil and used rose water as a toner -who knew!

With the lovely esthetician Bonnie Brenkman

With the lovely esthetician Bonnie Brenkman

For more info or to book an appointment, click HERE! 

Empowered by you!

I am empowered by being imperfect.

I LOVE how cute and comfortable these seamless undies are by @empoweredbyyou and am so proud to be an ambassador for this brand!  They are the perfect everyday panty.  Honored to be a part of such an incredible campaign that helps #empower women out of poverty.  20% of net profits will go to the Seven Bar Foundation to empower women out of poverty and into business via microfinance.

Check out more on:

Facebook: @Empoweredbyyou

Twitter:  @Empoweredbyyou #Empoweredbyyou

Instagram: @Empoweredbyyou

 

Photo: Malek Naz Freidouni

rockyorizos/empoweredbyyou

The Golden Hour

I just love that time, right before sunset, when everything just seems to glow.  Those few minutes when the sun is low in the sky and creates such a beautiful warm light.  

Soooo perfect for pics (no filters needed.)

 

Photos: Emma McAlary

Jacket: Gap

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban  (thanks Emma for letting me borrow them!)

Top:  All Saints

Jeans: Rag & Bone

Boots:  Steve Madden

Cherry Blossoms - Washington, DC

Spring is truly my favorite time of the year.  Everyone starts to come out of hibernation, you can shed layers of clothing, and for me, it's the all about the beautiful flowers that start to bloom. Which is why I totally look forward to the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival every year.  It also reminds me of being in Japan where I lived for my last tour in the United States Navy.

Just a little bit of history, the famous trees were donated to Washington DC from Japan in 1912 in efforts to enhance the friendship between the two countries and to also celebrate the continued close relationship. 

Besides all of the fun events which include concerts, parades and even fireworks,  proper planning is definitely important in order to catch them at their peak bloom.  This year the festival runs from March 20th - April 17th.  You can find out more info here.

It is without a doubt worth experiencing!

xo,

Mel

 

Photos by: Malek Naz Freidouni

Tourist in my own city

Ok so, how many of you have been born and raised or lived in a state/country for a long time and have yet to visit any of the known tourist attractions?  I know, I'm guilty too.  I mean I am originally from New York City (The Bronx to be specific) and I haven't been to the Statue of Liberty yet! *insert surprised emoji face* 

So I started this ritual of taking myself on dates to the Smithsonian museums here in Washington, DC.  Not only because they are free (yes, free!) but I've lived here for almost five years and if someone asked me about them, I couldn't even respond without googling. So I wanted to learn more about my city than just the restaurants and bars.  

Here is what I found out during my visit to The National Gallery of Art:

  • The museum has an East and West building.
  • The National Gallery of Art owns the only painting by Leonardo Da Vinci in the Western Hemisphere.
  • They have a sculpture garden and the garden's centered on a circular pool, which is transformed into an ice skating rink during the winter.

 

Photos: Malek Naz Freidouni

    Coat and scarf: Zara

    Boots: Rag and Bone

    Three stripes

    I have always had this "thing" for Adidas.  Fron one, they are super comfortable but I totally associate them with growing up in the Boogie Down Bronx.  I will never forget when I saw my first pair on a girl on MTV back in the day when they used to show music videos. I just knew I needed a pair and that's when my love affair began.  I mean, I remember when I used to save my allowance to go to B Boy (breakdancing) competitions but mainly to see what everyone was wearing and how they were rocking their shell toes.

    Man, those were the days!

    I really love these Adidas Superstar Up's because they've maintained their signature style but added a subtle 1.5" hidden inner wedge for us short girls.  Yaaaaas! Like if I needed another reason to love them.

     

    Photos: Ari Melenciano

    Top and Bottom: Zara

    Sneakers: Adidas

    Faux Fab Find

    Confession:  

    I have been looking for the perfect faux fur jacket since the beginning of the winter.  The ones I found, I thought they were ALL too expensive and just weren't the right color.  I didn't want buy the typical black or anything with patterns because I felt it would be too overwhelming for my small frame.  But I got lucky! I found this olive green beauty at Zara on sale for 60 bucks!! Wooo Hooo ! I think I have about a good two weeks to rock it before the weather changes * fingers crossed*

    What fab finds have you guys found?  (geez, try saying that three times, lol)

     

    Photos: Ari Melenciano

    Ready for Spring

    Hey guys!

    I know, I know.  I have been slacking on my posts (my bad).  I have been extremely busy and I am just trying to balance it all but I'm BACK!  I don't know about you guys but I am super excited for spring time to come.  You know, like when the weather is warm enough to just rock a simple tee and a pair of distressed jeans.  It's my favorite outfit to wear any day.

    What is your "go-to" outfit?

    Photos: Emma McAlary

    T-shirt: Gap

    Jeans:  Levi's 

    The reason why I shaved my head.

    HERE IT IS ! 

    Special thanks to:

    Filmmaker Sam Song of Spare Tire Productions for bringing my vision to light.  You are truly the best!

    Photographer MalekNaz Freidouni of Maleknaz.com for taking such beautiful photos and being such an awesome friend.

    Hairstylist Gianne Nascimento for buzzing my hair to perfection and being part of such a profound moment with me.

    Designer Virginia Arrisueño of DeNada for allowing me to use your beautiful studio.  I am forever grateful.

    And to ALL of you that constantly support and follow me along this journey - THANK YOU!!!

    I hope you enjoy!

    Xo,

    Mel

    Carol's Daughter #BornandMade Campaign

    I'm going to be honest, I thought once I shaved my head it was going to be over.  I mean my brand means "Rock Yo Curls."  

    I prepared myself for the negative comments and how I was going to respond.  I was afraid that I was going to confuse my audience because I was expressing the importance of loving your hair and I did the opposite.  I was worried that all the relationships in the hair care industry I worked so hard to develop were going to start to diminish since I no longer had my rizos to market products.  I anticipated not being invited to the hottest events and the list could go on but I must say I was wrong and all of that really didn't matter.  Once I was true to myself I was able to be honest with you all and I feel like that's what is important.   As you guys know by now, I am not my hair but it was a hard lesson that I needed to learn and I felt the need to share. Why? Because it's not always about how you look on the outside, it's how you feel on the inside. 

    Given these points, not in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be asked to be part of such a beautiful campaign that totally represents what I stand for (this was on my dream board though)  

    I'm a huge fan of Carol's Daughter products but also of their #bornandmade campaign because it inspires women from all over to know their self worth and celebrate who they are.  Thank you to the entire Carol's Daughter team for this amazing opportunity and being able to share it with nine other courageous women.  And thank you ALL for continuing to #rock with me!

    Xo,

    Mel

    #iamlettingGO DC recap

    Last week I held the #iamlettingGO video screening in DC at Eighteenth Street Lounge (ALL because of my friend Linda who made it happen) and the turnout was way more than I ever imagined.  I just want to say Thank You to everyone who not only came to support but who also shared their stories including Kristina who was so brave to "let go" on stage.  Each and every one of you have truly inspired me with your openness and watching you all connect because of your beautiful struggles.  Also, BIG thanks to Pierre Edwards of Districtdodger.com for capturing all of these beautiful moments so perfectly.

    Enjoy!

    Xo,

    Mel

    I was on Good Morning Washington!

    I have been quite the busy one this year on social media - tons of photoshoots, filming videos, writing articles but this is the first time I was on national TV!  Crazy, right?  

    I mean being on TV has always been a goal of mine (I did have it on my dream board) but I imagined my first experience being a little different.  I pictured myself behind the scenes and calling creative shots but I couldn't have thought of a more perfect time and topic to discuss that is near and dear to my heart.

    The #iamlettingGO campaign has grown a life of it's own and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to share a little bit about it and promote my event that took place December 11th at Eighteenth Street Lounge.  A HUGE thanks to everyone who was able to attend and make it a huge success!

    Catch the full interview HERE!

    Xo,

    Mel

    #iamlettingGO DC EVENT

    rockyorizos_iamlettinggo

    After a successful (and sold out) event in NYC, there was NO WAY I wasn't going to have a screening here in DC!

    So for some of you that are new to my blog, I created the “#IamlettingGO” campaign after a realization that so many people were going through life transitions. 

    For the first week of the campaign, I shared on social media outlets what I was "letting GO" and encouraged my followers to do the same with the hashtag “#iamlettingGO.” More than 500 people have shared to date. 

    Please join me as I will be unveiling the real reason why I cut my signature shoulder length curls in a heartfelt video at this event.  

    ** Screening will be followed by a Q&A session and attendees will be encouraged to share their transitions/beautiful struggles.  Be prepared for special guests and some surprises at Eighteenth Street Lounge.

    Purchase your tickets HERE !

    Can't wait to meet you all.

    XO,

    Mel

    Dr. Martens X Rock Yo Rizos

    Remember a couple of weeks ago I posted on Instagram a sneak peek of my collab with Dr. Martens?  

    Here's why.  I was selected by SCDC Agency and Neuprofile as the ambassador for the iconic brand during Georgetown Blogger Crawl!  Ok, so I don't leave some of you wondering what #GTBloggerCrawl is all about - it's a day comprised of a group of local (DC, MD and VA) bloggers learning about the area and some of its top stores.  I must say I was super excited to work with Dr. Martens because not only do I loooove their boots but I wanted to know the history behind it.  While doing some research on the brand, here are some of the fun facts I discovered:

    • Inspired by a ski injury, Dr. Martens and his friend Dr. Funck invented an air-cushioned sole and were looking for investors.
    • In the late 1950, boot maker Bill Griggs was scrolling through an issue of Shoe and Leather News magazine to find the duo looking for overseas partners for their new air-cushioned sole.
    •  Griggs contacted Dr. Marten and the first boot was created on April 1, 1960.
    • Turning point for the brand and youth culture was when Peter Townshend of The Who wore the classic 1460 black boot on stage during a concert.  

    For more info, click here

    A huge thank you to the staff of Dr. Martens of Georgetown for the warm welcome and the lovely ladies of SDCD agency and Neuprofile for the wonderful opportunity with an American classic brand that has been around for over 50 years!

    Xo,

    Mel

     

    My new Hogarth Pascal boots

    With brand ambassador Jessica Hoy

    How cute are these for the babies?!?!!

    Ever wondered how these boots are made?  Check out this video!



    Creme of Nature - Straight from Eden

    Having healthy hair requires a well balanced diet, a consistent hair regimen and of course the hair products.  Right? And most of us curly girls can understand the #struggle. The Straight from Eden line by Creme of Nature contains olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil - perfect for those with all hair textures - and is all about healthy hair/lifestyle which seems to be on the same thinking as your transition so we felt a strong synergy. The line works for girls who are natural, texlaxed or relaxed.

    The Straight from Eden line comes with four hair maintenance products that all contain coconut, avocado and olive oils essential for naturally curly and permanently straightened hair.  

    These products include:

    Creme of Nature from Eden Natural-Oil Infused Hydrating Shampoo - a sulfate-free gentle cleanser for all hair types to cleanse, moisturize and detangle hair.

    Creme of Nature from Eden Natural-Oil Infused Hydrating Conditioner - a luxurious conditioner that deeply moisturizes and strengths hair.  This sulfate-free conditioner also contains shea butter and safflower oil for extra protection and can be used as a weekly conditioner or part of a steam treatment.

    Creme of Nature from Eden Natural-Oil Infused Hydrating Leave-in Conditioner- detangles, conditions and protects the hair for blow-dry and wet-set styles.  The fine mist nozzle provides even product distribution.

    Creme of Nature from Eden Natural Oil-infused Repairing Oil- a light rich oil to help repair hair, control frizz and protect against heat damage using coconut, avocado and olive oils.  Can be used on dry or wet hair when styling or add to conditioner for an extra boost of moisture during steam treatments.

    And for the ladies that like to permanently straighten their hair, Creme of Nature Straight from Eden Natural-Oil Infused Relaxer has a unique dual-phase technology that is one part naturally derived straightener and one part chemical activator. Coconut oil adds protection to the hair, avocado oil helps to fortify hair and olive oil replenishes hair during the straightening process. The system comes in two phases, allowing the user to mix it at home to maintain the freshness of the oils for healthier straight hair.

    The great thing about these products are that they retail from $5.99 - $9.99 which is extremely affordable!  They are located at your local Walmart, Walgreens and select beauty supply stores nationwide and for my online shoppers, check out: www.cremeofnature.com

     

    XO,

    Mel

    #iamlettingGO NYC Video Screening Recap

    I am reallllly excited to share these pictures with you from my #iamlettingGO video screening sponsored by Crème of Nature and Dark and Lovely at Pulse Karaoke Lounge located in the heart of NYC!!!!  

    Ok so to bring you up to speed, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, I started a campaign called #iamlettingGO after the realization that so many people were going through life transitions.  It was a platform for people to share their beautiful struggles and anything they were letting go of in order to move forward with any aspirations they've given up on.  

    Within a month, over 500 participated, shared and encouraged each other not to give up.  I was shocked at the response! So I felt it was only right to share my personal story (which I did through video) about my transition which included shaving off my signature shoulder length curls. But more than anything I wanted to meet everyone in person !

    rockyorizos_stage
    rockyorizos_cremeofnature

    The first 25 guests were gifted with full sized products from Crème of Nature’s Straight from Eden which is their new Natural Oil-Infused hair care line powered by coconut, avocado and olive oils all of which are essential for healthy hair.

    rockyorizos_giftbags
    rockyorizos_gifts

    We also handed out tags to everyone and asked them to share something they were “letting go” of.  Keep scrolling and you’ll see why……

    rockyorizos_ari
    rockyorizos_fedorah
    My friend Monica Stevens of Moknowshair.com

    My friend Monica Stevens of Moknowshair.com

    rockyorizos_guests
    rockyorizos_guests

    The crowd and the energy was just magnificent!

    Rockyorizos_twins
    rockyorizos_guests
    rockyorizos_guests
    Celebrity hairstylist Mr. Johnny Wright

    Celebrity hairstylist Mr. Johnny Wright

    Everyone asked great questions!

    Throughout the night, we gathered each guest’s tag that participated and attached them to balloons...

    To let them all go into the beautiful New York City sky.

    My friend Stephanie totally surprised me with her shirt.  How awesome!!

    The curly haired blogger crew totally represented in full effect.

    The LUCKY winner of the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Basket!

    KARAOKE TIME!!!! 

    Some of you have asked where the video can be viewed.  Stay tuned for upcoming screenings at a city near you!

    Xo,

    Mel

     

    All photos by Pete Monsanto of FlyLifeImages

    Sneak Peak: #iamlettingGO teaser

    I'm so excited about the video that I wanted to share a sneak peak with you all.

    Please join me as I will be unveiling why I cut my signature shoulder length curls in a heartfelt video at my #iamlettingGO event.  

    ** Screening will be followed by a Q&A session with me and attendees will be encouraged to share their transitions/beautiful struggles.  We'll then celebrate and sing our hearts away with unlimited karaoke and great drink & food specials at Pulse Karaoke Lounge in NYC!

    Purchase your tickets HERE !

    Can't wait to see you there.

    XO,

    Mel

    Creme Of Nature Announces Breast Cancer Awareness Month Campaign Including Continued Partnership With Look Good Feel Better

    How AHHHMAZING is this?!?!!! 

    Creme of Nature® is partnering with Look Good Feel Better for an informative Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign through the end of October. Look Good Feel Better is a free non-medical, national program dedicated to improving the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing cancer treatment. The campaign includes a limited-edition Creme of Nature with Argan Oil from Morocco Pink Perfect Edges; Breast Cancer Awareness walks in St. Louis, New York City, Jacksonville, Chicago and Atlanta; and "Wear Pink Fridays" social media campaign, encouraging fans and consumers to pledge to wear pink on a Friday for the month of October and post a photo using the hashtag #CourageousBeauty.

    Creme of Nature's Argan Oil from Morocco Pink Perfect Edges — a hair gel infused with Argan Oil that helps to control and hold down edges, without flaking, while moisturizing and adding Exotic Shine to the hair — will be available for purchase in October with a portion of its proceeds benefiting Look Good Feel Better.

    The brand's observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be highlighted with participation in five walks throughout the US, where Creme of Nature staff will walk with Breast Cancer Awareness supporters and donate supplies.

    • October 3, St. Louis – The Breakfast Club Inc.'s Sista Strut Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

    • October 18, New York City –American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

    • October 24, Chicago, IL – American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

    • October 24, Atlanta, GA – American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

    • October 24, Jacksonville, FL – American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

    To participate in a walk, please sign up here:  

    http://cremeofnature.com/nature/courageous_beauty.html

    As part of Creme of Nature’s continued support, the brand will match up to $2500 raised by each Creme of Nature team of staff, beauty enthusiasts and consumers in each city. Fans and consumers can sign up to walk with the Creme of Nature their city at 

    http://cremeofnature.com/nature/courageous_beauty.html

    Stay tuned to Creme of Nature's:

    Twitter: @cremeofnature

    Facebook:  facebook.com/cremeofnature

    Instagram: instagram.com/cremeofnature for more information on signing up.