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Filtering by Tag: model

VIDEO: Meditation, Tuning In, and My Weave

Danika Brysha

I've gone and done it friends.  I've started meditating.  And I can't really stop. It's a massive game changer and I had no idea what those crazy meditating people were talking about until my girl Oprah offered me a free 21-day meditation challenge. And if there are two things in this world that I can't say no to, it is Oprah and anything that's free.

Just by sitting still and quieting my conscious thoughts for 20 minutes a day, I have uncovered so many things that I had previously buried with ideas of how things should be, expectations and anxiety, and stories of how I wasn't quite good enough. It has been less than two weeks and I've already discovered a few key points AND seen them playing out immediately in my daily life. Let's just say I've been using the phrases "Wow!" and "Holy Sh!t" in my journal a lot lately.

Here is what I now know for sure through my mediation practice:

1. Everything we need, every single thing, is within us

2. When we find it in ourselves to stop worrying and to trust that we'll be taken care of and everything will be ok, the universe will have the space to get to work.  And that damn "universe" (or God or Energy or whatever you prefer to call it) knows what's best for us. Like always.

3. Letting go of our conscious thoughts allows us access to our core, deeper ones- the ones that know us best and that aren't affected by the stories and lies we tell ourselves- the subconscious self has all the answers but we have to be in a position to listen.

And so maybe this makes me a hippy but I'm certainly ok with that identification if it means I can keep this up on the reg. Do you meditate?  I'd love to hear about your experience if so... mainly to prove that I'm not crazy.  And because I love you. I realized that while meditating. You're welcome.

Check out my experience via video blog, a cameo from Kingsley, and find out why I put my weave in for your viewing pleasure...

Practicing Vulnerability: Journals Unedited

Danika Brysha

In the last couple months, I have been journaling every day.  I absolutely love to write and when I do, time stands still. It has been the first time that I've been able to really make sense of my thoughts and to truly access that deeper level that has been buried or numbed for so long. Most of my blog posts take fragments from my journal and are edited to suit an audience but every now and then I want to share with you the dialogue that comes straight from my heart.  My journal entries, completely unedited.  Here is what came up this morning...

photo 1

Date: Friday, April 11th, 2014

Time: 12:30-1:30pm

Location: NYC- Meatpacking District: random table and chair outside Gaslight

I decided to stop and sit in the action of the city to do this morning's journaling.  With the exception of the cigarette smoke that's reaching my health bubble, everything is pretty perfect.  I just had a casting at Milk Studios so I'm looking pretty top notch as well. I like being alone in a big city occasionally.  All sorts of energy passing by as I peacefully sit here and write.

I want to feel like New York is as magical as if I was sitting in the middle of Paris or Barcelona.  And it is!  It can just be hard to recognize when you feel like it isn't going anywhere.  When you live here it is really easy to take for granted the fact that I'm living in the most beautiful part of the most amazing city in the world.  How lucky am I?!

I really don't need much to make me happy.  Getting good sleep, getting up and ready for the day, and getting out into the world is so fulfilling.  What I'm doing right now is what I hope to be doing forever.  And its so great to know just how little I really need to be happy. A journal, a pen, a roof over my head, food to eat, and love and support around me.  I could really make that a reality anywhere.

photo 2

It's truly a great day in NY.  The first since I've moved here that was really suited to sitting outside and writing.  I have a feeling that Spring will be when I fall madly in love with this place.  As I've been spending more time out and about, meeting people and being present, I'm reminded of how many wonderful people are out in this world.  It's a true shame that we don't get to meet all of them but I trust that the universe brings together the right ones. 

I've been really wanting to be my true, authentic self more lately.  I notice that I still wear a lot of masks and that I want nothing more than to totally strip myself of them in all arenas. The thing is, I know I'm a beautiful, passionate person worth of love and I truly believe that I'd find even more support and much deeper connections if I could just find a way to cut out all the bullshit.  All of the caring what people think, trying to please everyone, and anything I do that suggests I'm trying to be something that I'm not.  I know I'll get there.  I've already come so far and I know it's just a matter of time.  I'm just going to try to be more aware of when I think I may be faking or trying too much and to make some positive shift.

(My friend) Julia is staying with me and she's just so real. So able to be vulnerable and not concern herself with what I think when she tells a story.  She seems to just be really in tune with herself which I admire.  For so long I numbed myself to all my emotions so I can't expect to start feeling and being completely in tune with them right away.  It all takes time.  It's a journey much like mine with food.

photo 3

I'm beginning to get a lot more comfortable with being hungry.  I've found that now that I've told myself that being hungry is ok, I'm a lot less frantic about the concept.  I can relax and live more, knowing that I don't have to plan every move around my next meal.  Knowing that food will always be there and that I won't starve.  It feels really freeing.  And I think that's gonna be the key to being able to tune out the thinking about food all day thing.  Because when I know its ok to be hungry, I can forget to worry about it and in turn focus on living fully during the remainder of my days.  When its not a constant concern, I'll be able to forget about it- which for me is the ultimate goal. 

To only think of food and eating when my physical body tells me it needs fueling.  That would be a true cure for me.  The goal of all of this.  To take all the power away from food and to view it strictly as fuel. 

Be someone who "forgets to eat" or who finally views eating as another normal daily task like going to the bathroom or sleeping.

Something we think about when our body alerts us to its necessity and that we don't think about when it doesn't. That's how I define being cured from food addiction.  That's the END!

I think I've always had a hard time determining what the goal was.  What to strive for at the very end of all of this.  What I can tell people to expect when they can finally conquer all of this.  Being the kind of person that can have a box of Cheez-Its go stale in the cupboard or find a bag of peanut M&M's that have expired in your pantry.  

And fortunately through all of this I've managed to become super passionate about health and nutrition as well.  Thinking for so long that they were two completely related concepts but really they're quite different.  I'm glad my comfort eating led me to thinking nutrition was the answer because though I'm realizing that it isn't, I managed to gain an extreme love and passion for quality, real, whole foods in this process of self-discovery.  And that is truly invaluable!

Danika

Vulnerability and the ProFreshNess of being REAL

Danika Brysha

Working in the fashion and beauty industry gives me a firsthand view of just how much fake-ness goes into most of the media we are exposed to.  My Facebook status just yesterday asked where I could find a great spray tan place for an upcoming swimwear shoot.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about my friend's comment that they threw in a few bonus airbrushed abs.  And as I pack my hair extensions, get my acrylic toenails glued on, and sit for hours being made up for camera, I am often reminded of how refreshing it is to sit around in a completely unsexy sweatsuit and take in the moments where I get to be 100% myself.  Like right now for example.

I've recently started to recognize just how important it is to find the courage to be vulnerable. It allows us to connect to others on a much deeper level, and to know that we are not alone in whatever it is that we struggle with.  So when my girl Christina recently moved to L.A. from the big apple, I knew I had to pick her brain (on video duh) and find out how she does such a great job of promoting realness, vulnerability, and overall epicness on her world famous blog proFRESHstyle.

Check out my interview with Christina above as she talks about why she feels it is important to share so much of herself, how opening up about her sexual assault brought her even closer to her readers, and how she finds balance between comedy and sensitivity.

And then check out our collaboration over on Christina's page where she teaches me how to properly use Bay Area slang.  Cashin' out all over the place...

Health Challenge: Cutting Out Processed Foods… without obsessing

Danika Brysha

I had the privilege of interviewing health and wellness expert, Chelsea Hise-Strate, of Life Balance by Chelsea.  She is like my own personal Dr. Oz.  Except not really anything like that.  I recently decided that I want to do whatever it takes to live my best life ever and that it was time to start questioning almost every behavior that I have.  I told Chelsea this and she decided to give me a personal challenge.  The challenge was to not eat any processed foods for one week and to keep a food journal documenting what I ate, when I ate it, and how I was feeling.  Chelsea sent me over a cheat sheet and some info for my first day of the challenge which you can see here.  Check out the video to see how the challenge went.  Spoiler alert:  I’m addicted to clean eating!

And if you missed the original interview, you can see it here

There you have it.  I’ve been sucked in to the healthy living lifestyle and I don’t see myself leaving it any time soon.  I love that feeling when something just clicks and you know you are on to something.  I knew I could do the challenge but I had no idea just how much it would change my body and ultimately my life.  If I feel this great after a week of eating like this then I can’t imagine how I’ll be feeling in a few months or even years.  I’ve always had some acne and it has been clearing up like crazy.  My energy and positivity is through the roof and I have had multiple friends comment on the physical change they see in me, specifically in the brightness of my eyes!  I sound like a total hippy granola lover right now (raw, organic granola that is).  And I’m ok with that.

If you’re interested in seeing what I ate over the course of the week and how I was feeling, click here.

Food has always been an issue for me.  As some of you know, I had a pretty severe eating disorder for about a decade of my life.  I spent all my energy being consumed with weight loss and food.  I have to admit that when I was given this challenge, I was a bit fearful.  Afraid that consuming my mind with food would plunge me back into the disordered mindset I had finally fought off.  Scared that putting so much energy into recording my every bite would flash me back to the years I spent counting every single calorie.  But after honest consideration, I decided that I am at a healthy enough place in my life that I could take on this challenge.  And I am more than grateful that I did.

women-food-and-god

So much of my eating issues have been based around control.  I’m not sure if eating disorders ever fully go away but I can promise that they lose almost all of their power with each and every day that you commit to overcoming them.  Not only was I altering my diet and recording my every bite, I was continuing the ongoing process of learning to eat out of physical hunger rather than emotionally. I have to fight every day to not reach for comfort food any time I feel stressed, tired, overwhelmed, sad or bored.   Geneen Roth is an author who has changed my life and I highly recommend her books to anybody suffering from emotional eating or who feels like they are constantly in a battle with food and their body.

But with this challenge I found that I felt more in control than ever before.  I didn’t obsess over what I was eating- I chose to eat things because I started listening to my body and paying attention to what made it feel good.  I was able to recognize that I didn’t need to be perfect with this.  All that mattered was that I did my best.  I was more in tune with my body than every before.  Where I used to look for food as an escape from how I was feeling, I was finally able to get fully in touch with myself.  I felt like I could finally shift my thought process from seeing food as an evil, to recognizing how wonderful fresh nutrient-rich food could make me feel.

It is early to say this, but I’m fairly certain that this is the start of a lifetime of health, wellness, and self-appreciation.  I have no plans to be perfect but I have every intention of giving it my best shot.  This challenge has woken me up to how connected everything truly is.  Because I am feeling so great physically, my mind is clearer and I am happier.  I am infinitely more productive, driven, and present, and I have been spending my new excess of energy on trying to bring joy to all those that I come into contact with.

Have any of you experienced similar results from a change in your diet and lifestyle? I would love to hear your story of transformation and share it with other readers so we can continue to inspire people to live their best lives possible.

I will keep you guys posted on how this all progresses but as of now it has been two weeks since I started and I have no intention whatsoever to stop.  Thanks for supporting me in this journey and if you have any questions, comments, or feedback, I would absolutely love to hear it!

Check out Chelsea's website here: Life Balance by Chelsea

Style: Pumpkin Prey

Danika Brysha

Halloween has long been my favorite holiday but with the devastation on the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy and my sudden onslaught of the flu that is lingering now for its third day, it looks like this year may be my most relaxed and dare I say "grown-up" one of them all.  Boo.  And not in a fun Halloween way.  Regardless of my ailing body, I'm so excited to share these photos with you that I took last week with a new friend, amazing photographer, and inspiring woman, Annie Vovan.  Annie enjoys capturing beautiful moments at weddings, and has found her true passion in portrait photography and in empowering women.  Annie and I are teaming up in an effort to give all women the opportunity to feel beautiful and confident through her Just B.E. (Be Empowered) photo sessions. More on this later but I definitely recommend checking out the amazing work she is doing!

There is the cutest little pumpkin patch located quite close to my apartment in Santa Monica.  The day Annie and I shot these photos it was one of the chillier evenings we've had this year and it felt perfect for a fall themed shoot.  The men working at the patch were so friendly and even offered their direction as to what the best backdrops and landscapes would be to shoot.

As the weather gets (slightly) cooler in Southern California, I love making the switch to wearing tights with all my dresses.  Because I'm 5'10, some of my dresses can ONLY be worn with tights (this statement was questionable during my sorority days) so it is like having an entirely new wardrobe and a plethora of options to choose from.  Because the leopard print on this sweaterdress is so busy, I paired it with a basic Levi's denim jacket to dress it down.  Plus, denim screamed Pumpkin Patch to me and reminded me so much of growing up in Long Island, NY... probably because both my mom and I work denim overalls about 85% of the time.

I'll be scanning my Facebook and Instagram news feeds looking for all of your creative Halloween costumes as I lay recovering in my bed for the third day in a row.  Sending my prayers and positivity to my East Coast friends as well and hoping everybody can still be in the Halloween spirit amongst all the chaos!

Photography by Annie Vovan

Leopard Sweater Dress- Victoria's Secret; Denim Jacket- Levi's; Black Tights- Target; Leopard Face Ring- Nasty Gal; Brown Booties- Target; Cascading Earring- Target; Red Lipstick- Makeup Forever Rogue Artist 42

Style: FALLing Off

Danika Brysha

Now we all know I love a good bodycon dress, but as the weather gets cooler, I can't help but dress more for comfort than courting my future husband.  Enter my simple and casual fall wardrobe.  Boots, jeans, light "Los Angeles appropriate" sweaters.  Nothing like having a little room to grow!

These brown boots have been worn-in severely and I would have them no other way.  They are so comfortable and I have yet to find another pair that I like equally or more, so I'm pushing them to their limit.  I wear a lot more brown than I do black... well with the exception of leather, so they've come in quite handy.

My fabulous (and newly married) friend Lisa, designs some of the coolest jewelry and this necklace is one of her pieces.  You can buy her stuff here (it's very affordable, not to mention unique).  She has skulls, crosses, vintage jewels, gems, and more.  I am most definitely addicted... You should probably be her friend too...

I went to the Torrid event at the Century City mall during LA's Fashion week and ended up leaving with some amazing steals!  I got both these jeans and the navy blue off-the-shoulder top for barely anything!  I feel like these jeans were made for my body as well!  They are super long which I appreciate with my height, and they have a higher rise which is a little more flattering for my shape.  I love wearing pants because I can drop down and get my eagle on at any given time of day without disappointing my father.

Navy Blue Off-the-Shoulder Top- Torrid; White Undershirt- H&M; Grey Skinny Jeans- Torrid; Brown Boots- Steve Madden; Gold Necklace- St. Eve Jewelry; Gold Watch- Michael Kors; Brown Leather Bracelet- Marc Jacobs;  Hair by Lindsey Carter

Style: Zip, Zap, Zop

Danika Brysha

Two weekends ago I was so kindly invited to tag along with my best friend and her family for a weekend in Vegas.  I am sorry to report that I did not make any form of VIP list at Wet Republic, but what I lacked in bottle service and boob tassels, I made up for in fine dining and my own little quadruple bypass that I like to call The JERSEY BOYS!

I saw this blue/black minidress on Forever 21 plus sizes and that was that.  I knew the second I slipped in to it that my milkshake would undoubtedly bring all the boys to the yard.  Needless to say I was right...

On our last night in Vegas we headed to the Palazzo and dined at Emeril's restaurant, Table 10.  The highlight of my evening?  SRIRACHA Chicken Wings!!!  I would tell you more about them but I might be too tempted to eat my computer.  There was also an outrageous Banana Cream Pie involved.  I love when desserts have fruit in the title and you automatically think you're eating something kind of healthy.  Peach Rings, Fruit Roll Ups, Appletini, Stoli Blueberry... you get my point.

Even a simple dinner out in Vegas requires careful style choices.  One thing I've learned is that you never know where the night will take you.  Another thing I've learned is that what happens in Vegas usually finds a way to leave town for a while.  Metaphorically of course.  I thought this dress was sexy but still classy for dinner, and the vibrant blue is one of my favorite shades to wear.  I also found out that the zipper on this dress is... in fact... a working zipper.  Good times.  Such good times in fact that we decided to stay an extra night, and because modeling is somewhat like being unemployed(?), I had nobody to call in sick to.  And that's something I can get down with.

Dress- Forever 21+; Shoes- Sam Edelman; Silver Circle Earrings- A generous loan from the lovely Mrs. Karen Lupinetti

What Lies Beneath:  Maidenform Self Expressions in Black (Purchased at Target)

L.A. Fashion's Night Out- Torrid Edition

Danika Brysha

Thursday night was Los Angeles' very own version of Fashion's Night Out so I, of course, had to be a part of it.  I skimmed the list of participating stores in my area and saw that Torrid's store at the Westfield Mall in Culver City was listed.  I had plans to meet up with some friends over on Melrose Ave and to attend a party at the Beverly Center later in the night, so I made Torrid my first stop.  I was greeted by the two most lovely ladies, Sandra and Symone, who were working the Fashion's Night Out event, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about them.  They were such great sports and even helped me pick out what would eventually be my evenings new outfit!

I lapped the store a couple times, grabbed what I liked and hit the dressing room... my own personalized dressing room!  I just love that!  AND I managed to not lock myself out which is a success in itself.

Though I was tempted to buy everything, I limited myself to three things...

1. I knew I had to have the grey Source of Wisdom skinny jeans that I found on the... get ready.. CLEARANCE rack!  I felt like they were literally constructed to fit me perfectly.  They sat above my hips and butt rather than cutting me off where I am fuller, and they were nice and long.

2. I loved the Blue Open-Knit Banded pullover when I shot it originally but trying it on in the store, on my own time, made me really realize I needed it!  I think the "off-the-shoulder" look is such a relaxed yet sexy style and the sheerness of the top gives me the option to get creative with what I choose to wear underneath.

3. And my favorite of all were these multi-colored, zig-zag leggings that I ALSO found in the clearance section! Huge score!

... In fact, I liked them so much that I decided I wanted to wear them for the rest of the night.  I had originally worn one of my favorite "go-to" lace Torrid dresses (I shot it in a style post here) and though I still love it dearly, I wanted something a little bit edgier to compete with all the fashionistas out for the night using the sidewalk as their runway.  I told Symone and Sandra I needed help deciding what to wear with them, and they suggested I pair them with a basic tank top and the new sheer Black Button-Up Chiffon Hi-Lo Top.  And they were VERY right. Did I say "3 Things"?  I meant FIVE.  Oh well.  And might I just add that I got all five things for just over $120 with the Fashion's Night Out sale, clearance items, and my newly opened and potentially very dangerous Torrid credit card! Success!I bid my farewells to the fabulous Sandra and Symone and thanked them for their help and fashion guidance, and was off to meet up with my friends for the Genlux Magazine party on the roof of the Beverly Center.I had a wonderful evening in my new Torrid outfit and of course rocked my grey jeans and Blue Knit top all day Friday.  The night was wonderful and I'm sending a big thank you to Sandra, Symone, and Torrid for helping me feel even more fashionable yet again!

Anybody else score some awesome sales for Fashion's Night Out?

 

Style: Flying High

Danika Brysha

A couple years ago, I wouldn't have dared wear this outfit in front of anyone besides my bedroom mirror.  Two huge trends in the last couple years have been lace and crop tops, and though I was fashionably prepared with this top on hand, it remained on its hanger.  I've grown a lot as a person in the last year and my confidence has exponentially taken the first place ticket in that race.  I can now genuinely say that I love my body and the curves that I have, and I am ready to share them with the world after years of being told otherwise.

I talked about crop tops before here, and there is no reason a plus size or curvier woman should miss out on the trend.  Try one with a high waisted skirt or jeans, or even layer one over a basic form-fitting dress to give it a different look.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure where I got this top.  I'm pretty sure a friend left it at my house years ago and time passed and I forgot who it belonged to (and fine, ok... I didn't try TOO hard to return it).  Maybe they'll claim it now though after this post.  However, I'm going to need to see valid identification and proof of ownership if the emails start flooding in...

Photographer: Stefan Brysha

Location: Lido Island, Newport Beach, CA

Lace Crop Top- Vintage (no tag or anything, sorry) but here is a similar one at Torrid; Black High Waisted Skirt- Zara; Tan Lace Up Heeled Booties- Michael Kors; Brown Stone Ring- Forever 21; Coral Beaded Earrings- Target

 

And finally... Here are your PHOTOS THAT ALMOST MADE THE CUT (Because nobody is perfect)...

*Note: I will never photoshop my Style/Personal photos in order to alter the size, shape, firmness, smoothness, etc. of my body.  I think it is important that we see people as they truly are, and if I can do my little part to help promote a better body image, then I am fulfilled.

Beauty Boyfriends: Hairspray Harry

Danika Brysha

(Yes, I know this photo is somewhat inappropriate and suggestive.  No, I have no intention of altering it in any additional way.  Behave yourselves.)

If you're anything like me, you have little to no self control when it comes to applying an appropriate amount of any hair product.  Without fail I will always put too much product in, leaving my hair to look weighed down, greasy, or on special occasions... like Cameron Diaz's look in "There's Something About Mary".  I kept noticing that a large percentage of the hairstylists on my photoshoots were using this gold tube of heaven when it came to hairspray.  Me being the curious lass that I am, ordered a bottle (on Amazon Prime of course) and started trying it out on my own to see what all the hype was about.

Well it turns out that the hype was well deserved and L'Oreal can check one more loyal customer off their list.  I used to use the very liquid-y sprays that can come out very wet and give you that "set in stone" look that we all became too familiar with in middle school.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I've included a photo of my older brother from 1997 sporting the look.

The spray is a fine mist and looks dry immediately.  It is light enough that you can spray as much as you desire and holds my thin, fine hair in place for hours.  You can buy it at most drugstores and it is relatively affordable and lasts quite long.  I vote an A+!!

Here is a little video of how I use it...

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Have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend!

Style: Ferris Wheels and Fun Zones

Danika Brysha

The Balboa Fun Zone in Newport is such a cool little spot.  It has that old school carnival feel with the multi-colored ferris wheel and open-walled arcade.  Then you look around and realize the gorgeous setting, on the peninsula in Newport Beach, and the charming ferry that shuttles people back and forth to Balboa Island.  My parents still live in Newport Beach so it makes it easy to drive the one hour from Los Angeles on the reg.

I'm a big fan of solid-colored basics because I feel like they give you a lot of room to accessorize with shoes, bags, jewelry, scarves, sexy men, etc.  I wore these Torrid jeans while shooting product for their website one day and went home and ordered them immediately because they had fit so well.  They are the "curvy" style so they sit nicely above my hips, meaning that they not only stay up without constant pulling, but they also don't cut me off in unflattering places like many jeans can. Oh, and as I've said before, I have no intention of ever photoshopping my body smoother, thinner, or smaller... so if you can't get down with my back roll then please get down somewhere else.

When I bought this white leotard from ASOS online (one of my first purchases from them), I had no idea how much I'd wear it.  I think leotards are incredibly underrated and I find myself wearing them frequently.  Because I wear high waisted skirts and pants often, it is the perfect top as it is form-fitting and stays put.  I also love the low "V" back with the little ruching detail.  Those little details get me excited every time!  So does tequila.

Photographer: Stefan Brysha
Location: Balboa Fun Zone, Newport Beach, California

Jeans- Torrid "Curvy Skinny Jean (Tall)"; White Leotard- ASOS; Blue Platform Wedge Shoes- Betsey Johnson; Straw Hat- H&M; Yellow Crossbody Purse- Rebecca Minkoff; Gold Oversized Watch- Michael Kors; Brown and Turquoise Beaded Bracelets- St. Eve Jewelry; Leather Braided Brown Bracelet- Marc Jacobs; Silver Ring with Turquoise and Black Stone- Vintage (from my DAD's closet!)

And now for your new favorite section... Photos That Almost Made The Cut... Because Nobody is Perfect...

Sunday Worship: In-N-Out

Danika Brysha

I hope everybody had a lovely weekend! This week (and really every week) I am incredibly thankful for In-N-Out Burger.  They provide me not only fantastically delicious food on the reg, but they also gave me my first job back in 2003.  I absolutely LOVED working there!  There is a reason all the employees appear happy and courteous, and that is because it is a great company to be a part of.  I worked with some of the best people and learned a ton from the bosses and managers I had along the way, regarding customer service and how to provide a positive community culture were people are happy to work!  I took away so much more than a paycheck from working there and I will forever be thankful for what I learned during my employment.  So here's to In-N-Out Burger... (And my mom for making that unreal Double-Double costume that landed me the job!

If there is something you'd like to see worshipped in the following weeks, and it is something I truly enjoy as well, please leave your ideas in the comments and I'll try to make some magic happen!

Sunday Worship: Flamin' Hot Cheetos

Danika Brysha

This weekend I was driving to Fresno for my friend Jenna's birthday celebration.  I was busy chatting on the phone with my friend and telling her that I was eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos but I had hidden the orange bag in my purse just in case anybody peered into my window and wanted to judge the beautifully personal moment I was having with myself.  And that's when I decided what this weeks Sunday Worship should be about. And then this happened...

Style: Nothing Rhymes with Purple

Danika Brysha

(You may find it hard to believe but... I wasn't actually hailing a cab in this photo... oh?... you already assumed that?... You know what they say about people who assume right?... Ok, I'm done)

My work requires that I travel often and one of my most frequented destinations is New York.  Fortunately for me, my brother and tons of my friends live there, so there is never a lack of things to do or people to see.  I was in the city shooting for Kohl's upcoming Plus Catalogue and I will happily share some photos with you from that shoot, as soon as they're released.  I have yet to come to terms with the overall concept of heat and humidity though, so my packing always ends up a bit heavy and my armpits always end up a bit waterfallish.  Sexy, I know.    Apparently I lucked out with one of the "chillier" summer days but that remains to be confirmed.

One of the lighter tops I brought was this sheer Forever 21 blouse in this vibrant purple.  This is one of those pieces that I've had forever... and actually worn forever.  It was light enough that it didn't make me feel too sticky in the New York humidity.  The top is almost a crop length so I paired it with my new high-waisted black jeans.  I chose a neutral belt to break up the two solid colors... and I guess to keep my pants up but that's not really all that important.

I prefer higher-waisted pants as they don't cut me off on my hips (the fullest part of my body).  Rather, they hold everything in and smooth out the bumps that many bootcut jeans can create if you have hips or a fuller butt.  These jeans have definitely been a staple in my wardrobe lately... now I just need to figure out how to sit down in them...

Purple Sheer Top- Forever 21; Black High-Waisted Jean- J Brand; Black Caged Sandal- Halogen; Gold Oversized Watch- Michael Kors; Earrings- A boutique in Fresno California

Photographer: Blake Brysha

Location: Lower East Side, New York City, NY

Behind the Seams- Torrid

Danika Brysha

BEHIND THE SEAMS at  

I always have such a great time when I shoot for Torrid.  Since I started modeling full time, I'd often miss the days when I used to work with the same people all of the time, and how we all knew what was going on in each others' lives.  Whenever I shoot at Torrid I feel like I'm back with a ton of old friends and we always have the best time.  And though it's great to be working no matter where the job is, it is always nice when I get to shoot close to home.

I usually arrive around 8am and spend about an hour or so in hair and makeup.  Stephanie, the hair and makeup artist on this shoot, truly knows how to transform me, and anybody would be amazed to see how much hard work goes into being "photoready".  I bring my own extensions (fake hair) that match my color.  Stephanie clips them in and styles them to give my normally thin, fine, straight hair, a bit more volume and length.  She often applies fake lashes too.  She definitely knows how to make a girl feel fabulous!

Here's a before and after...

Though I know there are many important people behind the scenes that I don't regularly work hands on with, there are usually a few key people on set at a Torrid product photoshoot that include: a photographer, stylist, hair and makeup artist, digital tech, and a model.

We spend the day shooting product that will be available for purchase online.  The photographer, Jason, shoots the front and back of most pieces, as well as any important detail shots.  The model and stylist's (well really everybody's) job is to make sure the clothes look their best.  I always try to remember what it is that I am specifically wearing.  I like to picture where I would wear it, and pose accordingly.  It is important to give the photographer and Digital Tech a variety of poses and angles so they can choose which image flatters the clothing best.

My best piece of advice for any working or aspiring models is to research the company you are shooting with before you work for them.  Take notes on how they shoot their clothing. Do they shoot both the front and back of the garments? Do they allow hands up near the face, on the hips, or do they prefer arms down?  Where do they crop the photos for each specific garment of clothing?  Do the other models on the site look serious, flirty, smiley, or sexy?  The photographer and art director will give you direction but it is important to know what it is you're wearing and to do your best to present it in the best way.  Research, Study, and Practice your butt off!... Well, not all the way "off".  That's part of the fun of being plus size!

Eventually, a day full of this...

 

***With occasionally a little bit of this...

 

Results in a site full of this...

(With A LOT of talented people in between!)

 

 

 

Thanks for joining me "Behind the Seams" with Torrid and please check back frequently for more fashion, style, and humor.

A special thank you to Torrid, your fabulous team, and your wonderful customers for making this post possible!

Style: Party in the Back...

Danika Brysha

I was out on my yacht the other day... kidding.  I mean life has been good to me so far but not that good.  Why or how I got on this boat is not important nor legal.  As I was saying...

When it comes to plus size shopping in Los Angeles, I’ve found that the best option has always been to stay at home and shop online.  It is unfortunate but there aren’t a lot of options if you want to try on clothing before purchasing.  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised on one of my most recent Forever 21 trips.  I went into the store with the usual intention of trying to squeeze myself into their size "Large" and was ecstatic to see that not only did they have a somewhat decent sized plus section, but it was also featured in one of the front window displays!... in Beverly Hills!  Baby steps my friends!  I tried on tons of stuff and was excited to finally leave that store with something that wouldn’t tear upon the first Dougie I tried to teach.

This coral top really stood out to me and I loved the sheer patterned design on the back.  I also liked that it was light enough for summer but still had sleeves.

I had originally planned on wearing it buttoned and loose, as it was meant to be, and pairing it over this basic short-sleeved, black dress.  But when I put it on I realized it would better flatter my hourglass figure if I could cinch it at the waist.  And though I’ve previously harped on my love affair with waist belts, I thought this tied-up-yet-relaxed style was a nice change.  Hey Boys!!!

I like to mix things that are tight and loose together.  Wearing two baggy pieces can look frumpy and unflattering, so with this flowing top I chose to wear a tighter dress underneath to show off the shape of my hips and butt while still being comfortable and not too revealing.

I threw my hair up in a messy ponytail to showcase the unique back pattern, and kept things simple by accessorizing with black shoes, a black purse, and this white plastic chain bracelet.

Photographer: Stefan Brysha

Location: Newport Beach, CA

Coral Blouse- Forever21+; Black Short Sleeve Dress- H&M; Black Caged Sandal- Halogen; White Plastic Chain Bracelet- St. Eve Jewelry, Black Studded Fur Purse- Street Level

Style: Lace Face

Danika Brysha

Every so often I shoot something at work that I know I need to add to my wardrobe.  I guess that is a perk about modeling as you get to try on tons of different things, many that you may not normally try yourself, and learn what works best on your body.

I absolutely love the lace trend, especially for the summer.  I think it can be so elegant and feminine, or it can be styled in a way that almost contradicts itself with a leather jacket or biker boots.  I fell hard for this trend and though my closet is quickly becoming a lacey landmine, I knew I had to add this Torrid dress to the collection.  As you can imagine, trying on a ton of clothes all the time isn't the most helpful tool for somebody who tends to shop a little too often, so I forced myself to wait a couple weeks before purchasing.  But when the weeks passed and I found myself still thinking about this dress, I knew my desires were valid.  Having the luxury of knowing it fit, I went online and ordered it.  Contrary to popular belief, models don't often get free clothes... but Torrid, if you're reading this, I'm happy to take some off your hands.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE waist belts.  Because my waist is smaller in comparison to my hips and butt, belting something at the waist tends to give a little more shape to any dresses that I wear.  I'm usually more of a fan of thin belts but I thought this thick-to-thin wrap belt actually worked better with this particular dress.  It also happened to match my favorite worn-out wedge boots!

One of the things that really drew me to this dress was the deep "V" in the back.  I love when something appears classic and somewhat neutral but throws in little design details like this.  I am also a huge fan of this knee length lately.  I think it is a really flattering cut and that it really outlines the curves of my body in a nice way.

 

Though I live in Los Angeles, I feel very lucky to have my parents and one of my brothers just about an hour away in Newport Beach.  It's not too shabby to have as an option for a weekend getaway and it definitely provides tons of gorgeous backdrops for shooting.  I usually don't post so many photos but I couldn't narrow down any further so I hope you're enjoying the bonus shots!

Photographer: Stefan Brysha

Hair: Style inspired and taught via YouTube- "Sleek High Bun Hair Tutorial"

Location: Lido Island, Newport Beach, CA

Lace Dress- Torrid; Brown Leather Wrap Belt- H&M; Brown Wedge Boots- Steve Madden; Gold Oversized Watch- Michael Kors; Gold/Brown Stone Ring- H&M; Earrings- Nordstrom

Beauty Boyfriends: Mascara McConaughey

Danika Brysha

While I don't have a boyfriend of my own, I do have a strong support system of beauty products that I'm pretty sure get me just as... excited.  Fortunately, some of my favorite male celebrities offered to help me spread the good word as the weeks go on.  "Why am I not dating them you ask?"... "EWWW... we're BEST FRIENDS... he's like my brother"...  right.  Now on to the eyelashes...

It seems like every time that I shoot I end up on Amazon.com right after we wrap, ordering whatever new beauty product I learned about that day.  I feel lucky to be learning from the pros and it wouldn't be fair if I kept it all to myself now would it?

What I lack in hair on my head, I for some reason was rewarded with in eyelashes... And I'm not complaining.  The thing is, I am naturally a dirty blonde and therefore my eyelashes and eyebrows (and that's where we'll leave this discussion) are very light.  Mascara makes a huge difference for me and I've tried too many to count.  There are two winners but one has a clear advantage.

Runner Up goes to Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils

A friend turned me on to this mascara in high school.  A very wealthy friend.  It truly makes your eyelashes look fake but the price tag is a bit higher than I prefer at $30 a pop.  I've also noticed that it tends to dry out rather quickly so I was frequently purchasing a new tube, which started to add up.  If you don't mind splurging then I highly recommend it but otherwise I'll let you in on my little "not so" secret...

 

THE WINNER: Maybelline theCOLOSSAL Volum' Express

This has been my favored mascara choice for a couple of years now and I'm often seeing it in Makeup artist's kits at work.  It is sold in almost all drugstores for about $7 and usually lasts me for a few months!  I recommend the "Glam Black" color.  I don't recommend the Waterproof one... unless you are planning on competing in a wet T-shirt contest.  The regular formula works just fine but will also come off when you want it to.  The first couple applications can be a little too heavy but after that it is the perfect little miracle!  I have a whole transition process when I'm at the end of one tube and the start of another which involves dipping the older used brush in the new tube for a few applications.  It keeps the old tube going strong for a few more uses and helps avoid the over lacquering that can happen with a new tube.  I'm thrifty... what can I say!

But wait... there's more.  The way you apply mascara is just as important as the kind you use.  I've put together a video blog of my personal mascara tips, live from my Milwaukee hotel room...

Tricks of the Trade: Glue-on Drugstore Nails

Danika Brysha

I would have to say that the one thing that is toughest for me to maintain regarding showing up to shoots "camera ready" is keeping my fingernails perfectly groomed.  Models are expected to show up to work with clean, filed, medium length nails, that are either natural or painted with a very neutral shade like beige or a very soft pink.  And though there's no guarantee Bruce Jenner isn't my father, I unfortunately do not have my own nailpolish line...

Now, I blame growing up with brothers and being a tomboy, for my complete inability to wear nail polish that is chip-free for any length of time over an hour.  When I first started modeling I would do my very best not to bite, bruise, or break my natural fingernails.  I would get a manicure and it would chip the next day, often leaving me helpless without the matching shade for touchups.  I later started painting my own nails and bringing the shades with me as I traveled.  Without failure they always exploded in my toiletry case, making everything smell strongly of chemicals, and having to throw away tons of my favorite colors along the way.  No matter how hard I tried to keep them in tact, I always found myself in hotel rooms late at night touching up chips before the next days shoot.

And then... one day, while browsing the aisles of CVS for more junk I don't need, it occurred to me that I may have just found my solution!  I picked up the pair of natural-colored, short-length, glue-on nails and figured I'd try them out.  I went home and diligently glued the appropriate sizes on.  I also managed to glue a couple of my fingers together.  I was instantly hooked and stocked up on three more boxes to have in case of emergencies.  The packs usually come with more than enough so I just bring my bag of backups and glue anytime I travel or shoot.  When one falls off, I easily glue on a new one in seconds.

And the best news of all?!  They now have fake TOENAILS!!!  So weird, so good.  I'll save that blog post for a special occasion.

And here I present to you the ONLY photo I could find that somewhat showcased my fingernail masterpiece.  Looks pretty real right?  Please forgive me as this photo was taken in an airport around 1:00AM waiting for my redeye to New York.  I guess I rest my case...

Style: Blue Cheese

Danika Brysha

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to my blue cheese pants.  At least that's what I like to call them.  They remind me of Blue Cheese and what could be better than covering your body in that, right?  I saw these jeans years ago at Nordstrom Rack and had to have them... Even if they were two sizes too small and absent of any form of elastic.

Colored and patterned pants seem to be all the rage right now so I was excited to pull these babies out of the closet.  They have that 80's acid-washed look but still neutral enough to not distract from the entire outfit.   You know what fancy pants means though... basic everything else.  This solid black Ella Moss tanktop has lasted hundreds of wears and can be a staple with almost anything.  It's been a bit chilly by the beach lately so I paired it with my summery Theory blazer.  My friend Lisa makes some of the coolest Jewelry and this necklace is my favorite ever.  It is a large crystal with a chain of three different styles and I get compliments on it every time I wear it!

And lastly, I told you I would be genuine and so I have to let you in on a little secret...

You know what they say... When life gives you lemons, just keep eating them until your pants no longer fit.  And then wear the pants more.

Pants- William Rast; Black Top- Ella Moss; White Blazer- Theory; Crystal Necklace- St. Eve Jewelry; Watch- Michael Kors; Shoes- Halogen

Photographer: Angela Lupinetti

Location: Santa Monica, CA