Nuit au Carmen

le_carmen_paris_PHOTO BY-Erich-Bouccan


“It was the perfect summer night, its warm, moist air still lingering in the streets. That was the kind of night for stepping out on the town, not sitting in bed watching movies in my pajamas. I picked up my phone and began dialing numbers…”

I recently began writing for Wouworld, a preference based city guide aimed at making tourists out of locals. After six months in the same spot, it’s easy to fall into routines and habits. Writing for Wouworld has been such a fun way of getting myself motivated to explore Paris again, and stop eating takeout sushi, every night. It’s free to sign up, and they also have an app for iPhone, to start exploring your city. Currently, our content covers seven of the major European cities, including Warsaw, Stockholm, Oslo, Lisbon, Copenhagen, London, and my love, Paris. Be sure to check out the site, and my latest article, Night at the Carmen.

Caleigh xx



La Peau

Self Nov 9

While sitting for hair and makeup at my job this morning, I did what any model would do: scrolled endlessly through Pinterest. One of my favorite boards I follow is La Peau, created by a writer and dedicated to beautiful images of the human body. At the top of the board is a snippet of poetry by Pablo Neruda, “Perhaps earth has / in some hidden place / the curve and the fragrance of your body,” which reminded me of one of my favorites by him.

“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.”
― Pablo Neruda

genouxLa peau, or, in English, skin, is such a beautiful subject to capture. Wonderfully, it holds us together, and allows us to feel the touch of others. Sentimentally, it holds on bitterly to the past, like jaded, glazed eyes, milky and white. Scientifically, it soaks up the sun and turns it into stepping stones to cover the bridge of my nose.

Speaking of which, the warm, spring weather is finally settling in here in Paris, and I am ecstatic. As my final farewell to winter, I’m headed to Val d’Isère tomorrow morning to have some spontaneous skiing/mountain fun! I’ll definitely be posting about this within the next week or so, stay tuned.

Caleigh xx

Ice Cream Dream

One of my favorite colors for spring is a creamy, dreamy lilac. It’s feminine and cheery, making it easy to wear from head to toe.
Beauty tip: when used as a liner or shadow, lilac works best with green/brown eyes. Instead of choosing a rosy blush, try a soft shade to highlight and accentuate your cheek bones.  purple copy
YSL glossy balm, $34 at Sephora. NYX lilac eye pencil, $4.50 at Nasty Gal. Chrissie Catmaster sunglasses, $34 at Topshop. Obsessive Compulsive crème colour, $20 at Sephora. Cross body bag, $47 at ASOS. Alexa Chung: IT book, $25 at UO.

How would you wear this shade? What other colors are you loving this season?

Caleigh xx

Sometimes I Smoke

collage editSometimes I smoke.
I don’t know why,
because I always
hate it.
It tastes like
something no one wants,
like gum stuck to the bottoms of their shoes
Or like regret.
It makes me feel
like I feel
all those times
when you have me
when it isn’t okay.
like I felt
after that time he had me
when it wasn’t okay.
And thinking of him,
I think of my pajama bottoms
pulled down to my thighs,
when I felt him
behind me,
when I wasn’t okay.

I don’t want to see
him again
and eat turkey with
him again
and get
drunk with
him again
because I might want
to do something
to me
that won’t be

Caleigh xx

Morning Musings: Home

674756As a drifter, you learn to make a home wherever you are. Home then becomes not a place but an idea. Home is safe. Home is necessary. Home is in bed with my sheets pulled up to my chin and my arms crossed over my chest the way I like them. I wrap myself in my own arms, and I feel safe.
I’d say the first time I really left home was two years ago. I was told I would be in Asia from October to March, and I was thrilled. “Aren’t you going to miss home?” “Mom, I’m a big girl. I don’t get homesick. Plus, Asia is going to be amazing!” The people, the food, the smells, everything was different. I spent most of my time eating Kinder Buenos and crying on Skype in the internet cafe below my place, while 20 pairs of Asian eyes stared at me. Over the holidays, I nearly canceled my second contract to fly home. I have never felt so homesick in my life. When I returned to America, I followed my mom around like a puppy. One day while watching TV together in bed, she turned to me, “I guess you did miss me after all,” referring to how closely I was sitting to her. I smiled, and I didn’t move.
I have the habit of calling the place I’m spending the night home, whether that’s a hotel in Hamburg, a friends place for the night, or an apartment in Paris. Words are simply symbols we use to identify thoughts, right? Some days, home means more; others days, it’s simply a word. I didn’t realize it was strange to call other people’s places my home until I had it pointed out to me. I once made the mistake and freaked out a boyfriend. I referred to his place as home after dinner one night, saying, “I’m tired. Let’s go home, honey.” After seeing the wide-eyed look he’d given me, you’d think I asked him to carry me in bridal style with a ring on my finger. I quickly corrected “home” to “your place” and I’ve been more careful since then.
I used to be envious of people who lived in the same house their entire life. I dated a boy my freshman year of high school like this whose refrigerator spat out old smelling ice cubes and wallpaper was outdated and floral. Sensitive as I am, it made me sad. I longed for that sense of time in my, then, newly bought, newly constructed subdivision home. I wanted my mother to finally settle down. “Choose one spot, please!” I begged. I wanted roots. I wanted safety.

A year later, we moved.

 Caleigh xx

Beauty Duos

Beauty Duo 03.24Beauty should be easy and fun, but sometimes it’s not. I’ll ask a makeup artist or hair stylist for tips and walk away with a list of tips a mile long. “Use this, this, this, this…to create a ‘simple’ look.” I’m a simple girl, and I want my beauty simplified. So, Beauty Duos are simple: two simple steps to a new look. Enjoy!

Urban Tribe for Voluminous, Textured Hair
1. xpander 05.2, volumizing and texturizing foam
2. uplift 05.3, volumizing hairspray

Summer is on its way, and we all know what that means: sexy, bohemian beach hair. These products have a fresh herbal scent that I’m in love with, and they work! Trust me, taming my curls is a tough trick! First, you’ll use the xpander foam to create the piecey texture. Comb it through your hair to make sure all of your hair is covered. Use a blow dryer with a diffuser, like this one, to tossle and dry the hair. Even when I let my hair air-dry like this, it dries my curls a bit piecey, no crunch, and no frizz. To add volume, flip your head over, tossle your hair, and slowly come back up. Spray a light layer of the uplift hairspray, and you’re ready to walk out the door!

Ole Henriksen for Fresh, Glowing Skin
3. Truth To Go Vitamin C Wipes
4. Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil

After a long day of shooting, sometimes even the thought of removing my makeup is exhausting. The Truth To Go wipes are tough on makeup and mascara without drying out your skin, which makes taking off the day a cinch. After cleansing*, apply a pump of the Vitamin C Youth Activating oil to your face and neck to nourish your skin. Rose hips oil is know to activate the skin’s natural reparative ability, while antioxidants and essential fatty acids help keep your skin young and radiant. This dynamic beauty duo will have you, and your skin, singing a whole different tune all the way home!

*wipes are not a substitute for your regular cleansing regimen. This is simply a quick fix to get the makeup off fast, refresh your skin, and get you home ASAP!

Caleigh xx

Sexual Dependency

artwork_images_423794977_556157_nan-goldinThe Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the definitive work of photographer Nan Goldin. The book of sexually charged images originally started as a slideshow in the early 80s. Goldin traveled the world showing it in underground cinemas and museums to make her living. It can still be seen today, now 48 minutes with 30 different songs, the lyrics of which narrate the film.

A common misconception of her work was that it was about marginalized people, outcasts. In her interview for MOCA, Goldin remarks, “We were never marginalized because we were the world.” Her philosophy was and still is that the wrong things are kept secret and that revisionism is against a person’s good will. In taking the photos, she felt that she had captured her life exactly as it was happening. The stories of those times could not be changed, or revised; they were written in the photos.

The real motivation behind the photos was to document relationships, particularly those between men and women, the different languages our genders speak, and the struggle between intimacy, autonomy, and independence. It’s about a person’s dependency on another, even if the person isn’t right for them, simply because the sex is good. I can’t say I haven’t felt that way before!

We’ve all seen perfectly manicured, posed images that depict human sexuality, or, rather, excite it. Goldin’s images are different. Her focus was not on the the physical photo at all, but about what she was capturing. Though her images may, at first, come across as haphazard and messy, a closer look shows the honest, raw emotion she grasped, the pain or pleasure of that moment, living and breathing behind the paper. She was often criticized and told that her work wasn’t good, that it wasn’t true photography. “I didn’t care about good photography, I cared about complete honesty,” Goldin says. “I had to take pictures to stay alive, and I believe that any artist has to do their work to stay alive.”

Art, no matter the form, is about self-expression, and in that is an element of “don’t care” attitude that is necessary. As for my writing, the same applies. I have to write daily, and I have to write honestly, and, sometimes, that means that I have to write crazy, or vulnerable, or ecstatic. I have to write to stay alive.

Sexual Feelings

What keeps you alive?

Caleigh xx

Nomad’s Guide: Talking to Strangers

meetModel or not, most of you know that being in a new place can be really lonely at first. Though talking to strangers may not be anyone’s first thought for aiding loneliness, I’ve found that when I reach out, the world seems to reach back. A nice conversation about the latest movie you saw or sharing a smoke with someone make be just the thing to make the sting of solo travel hurt a little bit less.

1. Talk to People
Over the weekend, my friend Chris came from London to visit me. We spent our days eating and site-seeing, your typical weekend in Paris. What threw me off about his visit, however, was that whenever we would being going someplace, he would stop and talk to strangers. Before consulting me, he would be shouting in his terrible french accent “S’cusez mwah!…” and asking a man with a dog how to get from A to B, or  a couple dining outside of a cafe what restaurants they would recommend for the area. I was annoyed, finally barking at him, “Why don’t we just Google it instead of bothering all of these people?” What my overly-analytical brain wasn’t able to realize was his motivation. “I’m just enjoying connecting to the people.” Through his method of reaching out,  More often than not, people were glad to assist us and make conversation.

I was awakened to a whole new method of possibly attaining some. Talk to people! Even if you are as independent as myself (I hate asking for directions), just do it. Dumb yourself down and force yourself to ask someone something, anything! You’re bound to find something interesting.

2. Take Chances
Ladies: traveling alone as a woman is okay! I hear so often, “That would be safe for a guy to do, but not a girl.” Wake up! This is 2014! When you’re on your own in a new city, do you really want to be cooped up in your (model) apartment worrying or would you rather be experiencing Roman Holiday-esque adventures (think Audrey Hepburn riding a scooter)? The other day, a new friend invited me for an afternoon coffee, which soon thereafter turned into a sight-seeing tour, via scooter, around all of Paris. Take chances, and always (with some exceptions) accept invitations. You never know what it might lead to!

3. Have Fun
This rule is all about the laws of attraction; people love happy people. When you make yourself approachable by smiling instead of grimacing at life, it’s amazing how people will flock to you. I was once out to dinner with a friend when the couple beside us said, “You both have such lovely energy! It’s like you’re glowing. Thank you for coming here and bringing that with you!” It may have been the wine they were drinking, but is that not the nicest compliment?! They then told us they had thought of what our song would be (to describe our energy). The girl broke out into a jazzy original and the man was be-bopping alongside her (ok, it was probably the wine!). For the 15 minutes that they chatted with us, I felt so enlivened, and I carried that feeling all the way home.

Caleigh xx

Ps. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of the greatest movies about strangers falling in love. <3

Latest & Greatest: Diana Mini

Mini collageLet’s just say I took yesterday’s post a little too seriously. Today, I went to the store to buy batteries for my Pentax Kx, maybe a disposable camera, and came home with this baby, the Diana Mini. She shoots 35mm, takes beautifully distorted images, and comes with colored jellies for the flash! And she’s pink!

I’ve been wanting to get back into photography because as I like to think, one can never have too many hobbies. I had a test shoot recently with Brice Darmon, a french photographer who shoots film with an old-school Minolta, and I fell in love when I saw the images. Film is so fun because you never know what you captured until you get the photos developed, but at the same time, you really take your time with each frame to make sure you’re photographing something worthwhile. Also, the quality of film is amazing. It embodies a richness and depth that digital photography really can’t compete with.

img001 PC004I can’t wait to start shooting and sharing my pictures here! One amazing thing about the Diana Mini is its ability to shoot in half-frame, meaning that instead of 36 exposures per roll, I get a whopping 72! On the other hand, It might be a while before I actually finish a roll. We will see!

Caleigh xx

A Change of Perspective

After suffering the flu for a long and draining week, I am feeling better but still quite weak from the whole thing. I was trapped in my room, alone, for the majority of it, and without saying too much, it drove my stir crazy. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I’m ready to feel the freshness of life. I’ve opened the windows, let the chill of the winter breeze drift in, and stocked the fridge with fresh veggies and fruits. I feel like I’ve gone and changed my whole perspective. Sometimes feeling like death can do that to you. And who doesn’t like a changed perspective? Or a few?

What if there was something that could allow you to see multiple perspectives all at once? I’m talking literally. Well, life might look a bit like a kaleidoscope. For inventor Brent Paul Pearson, this was exactly the objective behind his kaleidoscope glasses he calls Future Eyes. In an interview with I’m Revolting, Pearson remarked, “The word ‘kaleidoscope’ is a very wonderful word. Kaleidoscope comes from the Ancient Greek words Kalos, Eidos, and Skopeo – Beauty, Shape, and to Look. In other words it means to see the beauty of life.”

kaleidoscope-glasses-26future-yes-2future-eyes-edward-sharpePearson’s ideas include those found in a sci-fi novel, time travel and enlightenment, but the thought of “optical aerobics” allowing us to be more present in the present rather than in the past, as our thought typically is, could be considered time travel, right? The enlightenment of the experience seems to be quite extraordinary: Tanja M. Laden wrote, “One woman who used them to stare at the full moon for 10 minutes ended up speechless and crying, while a chef used them to eat his dessert because he wanted to know if they would affect his sense of taste, too.” If these can make me cry at the moon, I’m all in! At $50 a pair, it may take me some time, but I have to own these glasses!

What do you guys think? Could you see yourselves having some enchanting times in these?

Caleigh xx


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