Kauai is the most beautiful place on earth. We did not want to come home! This is the reason that we chose the island as the place we got married. There is just something different and amazing in the air there. The smell of plumerias, the moisture in the air (AMAZING for dry skin), and the chill vibe just makes the island the perfect vacay spot.

I had traveled to Kauai annually growing up, but hadn’t been as an adult, so I was all about asking for recommendations on food, activities, beauty, and shopping. On top of this, we did months and months of research on the best places to go, eat, and stay.

Here is your master list for all things Kauai!

Food

Eating House 1849

Eating House 1849 is a great place to go for date night. We went on our last night on the island. Must tries are the Kampachi Sashimi and the Poke. Their list of appetizers are all amazing (we ordered 5 appetizers to share). The vibe is a little more upscale but still a casual, open-air vibe.

Koloa Fish Market \ The Dolphin

If you want the freshest fish, Koloa Fish Market is your place. They can also make the most amazing poke bowls with the freshest ingredients. We went here several times during our time in Kauai and got fish to grill at our Airbnb as well as poke bowls to take to the beach.

The Dolphin Restaurant is an extension of the fish market, which is open for sushi at dinnertime…and is probably the best sushi on the island. It’s always really fresh & their nigiri and sashimi are SO GOOD. We ordered one roll that came with truffle oil sauce and it was out of this world. A must if you love sushi!

Al Pastor Tacos

Located in the Kapaa Food Truck Court next to Ostuka’s, husband and wife team, Paulino and Faun Hernandez serve amazing Mexican food. I had the best fish tacos of my whole life here on the second visit to their truck. The first time, they were sold out for the day at only 2 pm! 

Little Fish Coffee

From organic, fair-trade coffees to smoothies and acai bowls made with locally grown fruit and veggies, Little Fish Coffee was a spot we visited nearly every day during our trip. My order: an iced americano, black.

Makana Terrace

This breakfast spot/cocktail terrace (it’s both) is the most amazing Lanai experience you will have on the island with breathtaking views of Mount Makana. Whether you come for breakfast or for cocktails, the view is insane. Tip: you must come for a cocktail and watch the sunset. It looks like a painting – so gorgeous!

♡ Shopping & Beauty

Mahina

Mahina has the chicest clothing and accessories for amazing prices. It’s one of those places where you step in and want everything! From dainty jewelry to cute handbags to gorgeous summery clothes, this shop has every fashionista covered. I bought a bunch of jewelry there both for myself and as gifts.

Malie Organics

OMG…this place is pure heaven. Malie means “calm”, and that’s exactly how I’d describe their products. The foundation of all of their beauty products are natural & non-toxic with amazing benefits for the skin. My favorite product: The Pikake Body Gloss.

SoHa Living

SoHa Living carries the best gifts and home decor in the best, non-cheesy way. You know those stores that sell tchotchkes that no one will ever use? Yeah, this is not one of those stores. The girls that work there are so nice, too.

Sunkissed Kauai

If you want an organic spray tan, you have to contact Megan at Sunkissed. I highly recommend her. A spray tan was one beauty appointment that I made in preparation for my wedding, and since I didn’t have a chance to test it out before my wedding day being that this was a destination wedding, I was a little nervous because no bride wants to look like a patchy Oompa Loompa on their wedding day! But Megan DELIVERED. She brought her tent over to the house we rented and tanned sister, sister-in-law, and I, and we were all very happy with the results: even, sun kissed tans! I can’t recommend her enough.

♡ Adventures

Captain Andy’s

Since 1980, Captain Andy’s has taken guests on Kauai boat tours down famous Na Pali Coast. My first cruise ever was actually with Capt. Andy’s when I was a 10 year old on a family vacation. It was a snorkeling cruise, and it’s one of my favorite Kauai memories with my family. I was so happy to go back and experience their sunset cruise on this past trip!

Kauai ATV

This guided adventure takes you through 23 miles of diverse offroad trails, including stops along the way to see famous movie sites such as scenes from Jurassic Park and King Kong. I was absolutely TERRIFIED at first because I thought the ATV was going to flip over. The guide yelled at me at least twice to DRIVE FASTER, and finally, after about 30 minutes, I was comfortable keeping up with everyone else. You will get very dirty on this ride so I recommend wearing clothes you really don’t care about, or using what they offer (I took them up on this and wore clothes they provided).

Princeville Botanical Gardens

Hidden away in the jungle valleys of Princeville on Kauai’s North Shore, dramatic topography, natural landscaping, and tender cultivation have culminated into a sacred garden paradise. The gardens are home to potent medicinals, rare and endangered flowers, and useful economic plants from around the world. This place was breathtaking, and we learned so much about how plants can heal. Plus at the end there is a very informative chocolate tasting and tour! A must if you’re planning a trip to Kauai.

Koloa Rum Co.

The Koloa Rum Tasting Room is located at the historic Kilohana Plantation in Lihue. This was such a fun activity where we got to try several different rums, including coffee rum which was my favorite!

xo, Lynn

Happy Tuesday!

I am so excited to kick off some post-wedding blog posts with you. We’ll be recapping so many details of my wedding here, but first: the welcome party dress.

First things first: Since we chose to have a destination wedding in Kaua’i, having everyone gather before the big day was important to us. You know, to have everyone meet if they hadn’t had a chance yet before our wedding day. A time to just hang out, eat, and drink good food and booze.

I began shopping for my wedding outfits over a year before the wedding. Yep, I’m that psycho. NOT the dress, but the other outfits. Ya know: the welcome party dress, honeymoon outfits, and so on.

For the welcome party, I wanted something different. Not your typical boring white dress. I was looking for two piece sets online to no avail, and then I stumbled upon Dress The Population and their dresses stopped me in my tracks. We’re talking 3D florals, illusions, and gorgeous cuts. And not too wedding-y.

I went for this dress, which is unfortunately sold out, however Dress The Population has so many similar options that I will include below.

I fell in love with the Carla Dress because of the lace, as my wedding dress does not have any lace and I really love the look. Also because it has a bit of drama to it with the navy color on the flowers. Our wedding theme was DARK, and I wanted to tie that into the night before dress too.

Side note: I loved that the lace kind of covered my casper legs because I had a spray tan done after the welcome party due to maximum tan-ness and minimal streaking in the hot Hawaii weather. Ha!

xo, Lynn

Calling all BLONDES!

We need to talk about getting rid of BRASS. Getting icy. You know, these things that only us blondes understand. Or, if you are a brunette with balayage or blonde hi-lights, you get it too.

I like things COOL when it comes to my hair. Yes, I do currently have some warmer pieces in my hair, but the overall shade is cool. I really can’t stand brass or warmth.

Today I’m going to share my top 3 ANTI-BRASS tips with you.

1.) Find a colorist who is experienced with blonding. Brassy hair can usually be avoided by going to the right colorist. My biggest tip when finding a colorist is to look at their work. Instagram is such a great tool for this purpose.

Then, interview them. Ask the important questions. Another tip: take some photos with you when chatting with your colorist and ask if your inspiration is attainable.

If you are in the Bay Area and want to be blonde, you need Noelle at Ash Salon in your life. She is hands down the best. You can take it from me, the girl who has gone to 7+ colorists over the last 10 years before meeting the hair QUEEN.

2.) TWO WORDS: Purple shampoo. It’s an absolute MUST if you are blonde. Why? Take a look at the color wheel. The opposite of yellow/brass is purple. There are so many purple shampoos out there, but my 2 favorites are Pravana’s The Perfect Blonde and Unite’s BLONDA. I’ve narrowed these two down after being a human guinnea pig with lots of others. Both of these shampoos are sulfate-free, VERY purple (AKA effective), and are gentle on the hair. I use both on my extensions as well.

Pro tip: To really ice things up, you can do a toning session yourself with purple shampoo. Here’s what you do: get your hair wet in the shower and then apply your purple shampoo. Wrap your hair in a bun, on top of your head, then wrap with a dark towel (otherwise you may stain your towel purple), and leave it on for 25 minutes. Wash your hair like you normally would, and voila! You will have icy, sexy, cool blonde hair!

I do this about once a month, and in between I wash with purple shampoo and leave on for about 3 minutes.

3.) Avoid using tinted oils on your hair. Fun story: I had been using Moroccan Oil on my hair, and it was turning so, so brassy. It took me awhile to figure out that tinted oils such as this one can tint your hair!

Enter Ouai Hair Oil. Not only does is smell SO good, it is not tinted and my blonde hair stays bright and icy.

Anyone else have blonde hair tips? Spill.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend,

xo Lynn

Awhile back, I’d heard a medical professional say that sunscreen loses its effectiveness after a few hours of wear time. I am being vague because I honestly do not remember who said it, but when I went on to research the matter, this information is in fact correct.

Well, shit! For YEARS, I had been wearing lotion sunscreen and only lotion sunscreen under my makeup. And most of that time, I had no idea that it wasn’t doing much for me after several hours of wear.

You sunscreen’s SPF is only 100% guaranteed for two hours after you put it on.

“When we talk about reapplying sunscreen every two hours, that number comes from how SPF is tested,” John Zampella, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Health, said. He explained that SPF numbers are based on how much protection a certain sunscreen will give you against the sun for two hours. {source}

Enter Supergoop! 100% Mineral Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45.

This setting powder has a sheer, silky, non-drying texture…which is great for me since I have very dry skin, and sometimes powders can make me look even dryer. With 24.5 percent zinc oxide (and no silicones!), it offers an SPF 45 and full broad-spectrum protection. An extra bonus: there is no flashback in photos when wearing the powder.

The setting powder is ideal for touching up throughout the day – I usually reapply if I am outside all day mid-day, on top of makeup. It’s so easy to just throw it in your bag & GO. Also: do not forget your neck, chest, and shoulders, and anywhere else you’re exposed to the sun. I do it all: arms, boobs, legs…

Protecting your skin is so, so important, and I wish someone had beaten this into me when I was younger. But it’s never too late to start taking good care of your skin.

xo,

Lynn

I feel like we need to talk more about hair. I’ve always been he girl who would rather have her hair styled than have makeup on. GOOD hair can just make you feel some kind of way, don’t you think?

With the exception of one big chop about 3 years ago (remember the super blunt cut lob trend?) I have always loved BIG and LONG hair. In high school, someone asked me if I was from Texas because my hair was “so big” – LOL!

Unfortunately after the big chop, my hair has not been able to catch up to the length it was before. It is close, though!

Anyway, late last year I started thinking about getting hair extensions to add volume and length, especially in preparation for my wedding. I knew I wanted MERMAID HAIR for my wedding day. The stars totally aligned because I connected with Erica Santos, the owner of Revival Studio late last year, and we chatted about Natural Beaded Row Hair Extensions — Erica’s specialty.

Before we chat further, here is a bit more info: Natural Beaded Rows™ Hair Extensions are an exclusive hair extension method created by Danielle K. White of DKW Styling. The extensions are custom colored to match your natural hair color, creating ensuring a seamless blend. The hair extensions are placed in rows in the hair by creating a “track” with an exclusive bead and string technique. Wefts are then placed on the track and sewn in. The extensions are then cut and blended to create a natural and beautiful look!

Amazing, right?

From the moment I walked into Erica’s salon, I felt so excited and so at home. Revival Studio is just so chic and has such a friendly vibe. Erica and Angela, her partner in crime, and I just had the best time as they worked their magic on my hair. And I mean MAGIC.

Erica had done other extension methods in the past, but wanted to get trained on the Natural Beaded Rows method a few years ago, so she flew out to Laguna Beach, California, where the NBR headquarters resides, to get trained in this new method of healthy hair extensions that don’t damage your natural hair. Erica became friends with Danielle of DKW Styling, who invented the method and teaches it to select students each year. 

Long story short, Erica has trained extensively on the NBR method of hair extensions and is one of the few certified stylists in the East Bay Area to do the method. She is pure amazing.

The whole process took about 3 hours and I was seriously BLOWN AWAY by how well my hair turned out. From the custom color to the texture of the hair…it’s seriously perfect.

The length of the extensions I got are 22 inch extensions and I just love the length. If you love the DRAMA like me, you will LOVE the 22 inch extensions. However: NBR extensions come in a variety of different lengths and are all custom cut to suit your needs.

I was honestly a little worried about my big Jew ‘fro taking on a life of its own and the extensions being a completely different texture, but NOPE. Everything blends absolutely seamlessly and no one knows I have extensions.

To see the installation process and the complete before and after, watch my YouTube video as Erica and Angela explain the process and get a peek at how the extensions are installed:

At my wedding, many of my family members commented on my hair and said, “OMG! Your hair grew so long!”…and then I told them I was wearing NBR’s.

I’ve now had the extensions in for about four weeks and I can say that I’m still just as obsessed with them as I was the first time I saw myself in the mirror. They have made me feel so much more like ‘me’, more glam, more sexy, and the best part is that they do not harm my natural hair.

Erica and Angela couldn’t have been more generous or fun to talk to and I had such a great time hanging out with them for a few hours.  If you are interested in booking a consult with Erica, please fill out her form on her website or reach out to her on Instagram at @revivalstudio_

xo,

Lynn