She So Stylish Feature: Romina Ramos Doing Meaningful Work Abroad In Style

There are many, many women out there doing important work in various places of the world, and most of the time they're out of the spotlight because 1. They prefer to remain free of outside validation of their purpose and their life choices, and 2. Capturing every second of their lives on social media (to show how amazing their lives are) isn't simply their thing. The fact that they alone know it to be true is the only authenticity they want/need.  

These women are freelancers, advocates, ambassadors...they are underground leaders making environmental impact one healthy turtle at a time, and are doing all of that while creating their own narratives. I mean...how inspirational, right! 

Last December I had a wonderful time working with one of these smart + driven women, Romina, as her personal shopper + stylist. If you're a frequent visitor of my blog, you may have noticed that sharing my client's stories is one of my favorite things to do. And this one is definitely worth reading...

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Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your work with turtles and the organization?

I work with endangered leatherback sea turtles in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. This year marks my third season with the project team at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. I patrol a beautiful beach from evening to sunrise to collect scientific data from nesting female turtles. The work is intensive and fun if you like wildlife and aesthetic views. 

Q: What prompted your desire to work abroad? 

Since middle school, I've had an obsession with maps. My favorite class was geography and I told myself that I would discover other countries one day, because I wanted to see how different cultures live day by day. Being American and growing up in a Cabo-Verdean household, I'm naturally drawn to the island life, natural foods, sleepy towns, and beaches.

Q: When you came to me, you were very intentional and decisive about where your personal style was going, can you talk about your style evolution and why this was important to you?

In St. Croix, I travel and work outdoors so a lot of my clothes are basic jeans, shorts and tees with a few nice pieces for outings. Because I'm active, I look younger than my actual age. I was particular about upgrading my wardrobe because I wanted to learn how to dress for my age and body type. There's a different response you get from people when you are and look 26 as opposed to when you look 18. I'm at a time in my life where I'm building on my ideas and networking, so investing in a fresh, new wardrobe seemed right. 

The right outfit for me has to say outgoing and authentic because I'm very grounded to my roots. I'm surrounded by tropical plants, fruit trees, farm animals, and the ocean, very similar to Cabo-Verde (where my family is from). I realized that's where I'm the most happy. For my style evolution, I wanted to play with ocean and desert colors because I'm very attracted to those environments where I live and work in. It's amazing how adding a few essentials such as dressy pants, cute blouses, simple and elegant dresses and jumpsuits can really transform how you feel and carry yourself. 

When I returned to the U.S. for the holidays, I had a budget in mind and knew I needed to stock up on basics and invest in pieces to last me all year long. It made sense to work with you because 1. I needed styling expertise, and 2. My one-week stay was going to be limiting and it was crucial for me to spend most of this precious time with my Rhode Island family, rather than in stores.

Q: What do you like about your wardrobe now? 

It's speaks feminine and maturity! 

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in StCroix on your off time? Your favorite food?

My favorite thing to do in St. Croix is to snorkel with my GoPro Hero4. My favorite food on the island are mangoes. I live on a lush property surrounded by the best mango trees in the west side of the island. 

Q. Do you have any advice for the nomad life seeker out there on where to begin? How to make the leap?

Always be kind to yourself and to others in all situations. Being kind and respectful pays off (especially if you are traveling). You learn to appreciate more and you will receive more. I made the leap when I quit my job, applied abroad again, and traveled on a tight budget for 8 months before I returned to St. Croix. I didn't know where I was headed, but that was okay for me because I felt confident, and I attracted this life that I am living now.  I've gone through so many challenges that I know myself a lot better now and I love that. Be fearless or else you will limit yourself.

Products & Tools That Make My Morning Routine Easier { A Self-Care & Beauty Edition }

Judging by the title of this post, you have probably realized that this is not going to be one of my usual posts about style. But it is. I find that having and being disciplined about self-care and beauty regimen play a role just as important as what we wear in our lives. When we feel healthy and great on the inside, it shows on the outside. Glowing, healthy skin and hair are part of the full style package!

I have rounded up my favorite products and tools that have done/do magical things in my busy life. From items that can be found at CVS and Target to Whole Foods, to online beauty shops, my self-care and pampering routine is nothing short of relaxing and feel-good moments!

Moorland Honey in The Rough

I found this jar at Whole Foods and I have been using it twice on a monthly basis on my face. Raw honey has healing and antibacterial properties, and you are guaranteed to feel the difference immediately after using it. I typically wash my face first with my facial cleanser, and then apply a spoon or two all over my face with the exception of my eyes. As expected it will be very sticky, therefore patting it in small increments is your best bet. Then I leave it on for about 5 mms or more (this might depend on your tolerance of dealing with dripping honey due to the skin's natural warmth). Once time is up, I rub the mask very gently in small, circular motion (without forgetting the lips - they need some love too!); then I use a towel soaked in lukewarm water to remove the mask. 

My face feels soft and incredibly velvety after using this product, making it one of my favorites. It's also one of the easiest ways to prep the skin prior to applying makeup as skin is matte and oil-free.  And if you want to know the type of honey to use for your skin type, check out this post on The Nourished Life blog.

Find it here or here

Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask 

I found this scrubbing beauty at Ocean State Job Lot! I'm a fan of OSJL, and a bigger fan of places and stores that carry good stuff at prices below retail. And this product is proof that quality doesn't always have to signify high price. It's grainy, pasty, tastes sweet, and smells fresh and clean. An awardee of Allure Best of Beauty 2013, this mask serves as both a mask and an exfoliator, and will leave your skin looking bright and refreshed. 

Go to www.ulta.com or find it at your nearest drugstore. 

Sugar Kiss Whipped Sugar Scrub, Lalicious

By now you have realized I'm a fan of scrubs and exfoliators. This one for the full body gives my typical shower routine a bit of a spa experience. It smells good, and leaves my skin soft and moisturized after the shower. Based in San Francisco, Lalicious' products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, gluten, paraffin, petroleum, sodium laureth sulfatetriclosan, GMO derived soy, propylene glycol, and synthetic colors. They are "98 % natural, 99% vegan, and 100% mindful." What's not to love!

Get your soufflé here, or if you're in Rhode Island, stop by Facing Thayer Beauty Spa in Providence and head home for a luxurious shower experience. 

Miss Jessie's Super Slip Shampoo and Creme de La Curl Conditioner, Miss jessies

This duo has kept my curls looking full, tight, and healthy. If your hair is curly, wavy, tight curly, or kinky, these might work well for you. The shampoo has a smooth detangling effect. The Creme de La Curl conditioner gives my hair volume and does not weigh it down as other brands often do.  

Find them here and here. Target also carries a few of Miss Jessie's products both online and in stores. 

Cricket Q Zone Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer, 1 AM Beauty

Every time I'm using this dryer, I find myself checking whether or not the speed is at its maximum, and it is, but that's how quiet it sounds and how softly it blows, without compromising its efficacy. It unequivocally lives up to its name, and I have yet to get accustomed to it.  The handle has a curve that softens the grip, and helps with longer holds depending on the texture and length of your hair. Absolutely worth the price tag!

G4 Swirled Extended Cork Round Brush (Large), Ibiza Hair

Two words: Time Saver. This brush has drastically shortened the amount of time it takes me to blow dry my curls in the morning. Made in Spain, this large, round brush has a cork handle that makes it easier to rotate and less tiring for your arm. My straight hair has bounce, volume, and shine. And if I want waves or curly ends, the brush's bristles help to achieve that look very seamlessly, without having to use a curly iron.  

You can buy it at Amazon, and Nordstrom. Your nearest professional hair salon may have it as well. If you're in Rhode Island, Ky Michaels on Wickenden Street carries it as well. 

Cricket Titanium Tourmaline 450 Hair Straighteming Flat Iron 1", 1 AM Beauty

Another great tool that has made a difference in my morning routine. Made to prevent hair damage, this flat iron is light, fast (heats up to 450 degrees in less than 30 seconds), and has a sixty minute auto shutoff for safety. Its stylish, 3 D metallic look is a fun, added bonus. 

1 AM Beauty is a Providence based Spa Source Online Company led by a talented team - check out their full array of products

Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara

Maybelline is one of my go-to over-the-counter makeup brand, and this mascara does eye wonders. You will meeoooww yourself. Promise! 

Available at your local CVS, Target, RiteAid.

Butter London Top & Tails Set, Butter London

I can't say enough about this Butter London set. Home manis and pedis have never been the same since I bought these. The results are astonishing, and very similar to getting my nails professionally done.  

One thing to remember is that we all have different types of skin and hair. The above beauty/hair products may cater well to my needs, but may not be a good fit for your hair and/or skin. These are merely suggestions. Getting a professional facial consultation/massage/mani and pedi are always great options, and let's admit, having an expert doing it for you while you sit down and relax is so much better.

At the end of the day, whatever your approach is to self-care, have fun with it, invest in it, and linger in the moment. I often put on my mask while my son is in the bath, playing with his toys right beside me. I call that multi-tasking without really multi-tasking - I am going to sit by the bathtub anyway - that's plenty of time for a face mask! 

And remember quality is primal! Quality means investment. Quality also means that you're making your life just a bit easier.  During styling sessions with clients, quality is a hot topic.  Why should it be any different with our skincare, hair regimen, make up needs, our food, fill in the blanks…? This year, let's make a goal to try new things and experiment rather than settling for 'meh-decent'.  If you are ready to give your skin/hair care routine a bit of a makeover, give any of these a try and let me know how it works out!

Cheers! xoxox