If I have one guilty pleasure, it’s collecting designer and luxury sunglasses. One of the many reasons I love living in sunny Los Angeles, CA is that I have an excuse to always strut around with some new sunnies. From shield sunglasses helping me channel my inner Kardashian to some retro skinny cat eye sunglasses I believe that this fashion accessory should be a staple in every person’s wardrobe. If eyes are the window to the soul, then sunglasses are the storefront to attract and tell a story to the world.
As part of the new fall fashion blogs and videos I wanted to contribute to the conversation by sharing my list of top 5 sunglasses styles to wear in fall 2020. Whether you’re graced by sunny days or you just need a pair of sunglasses to love, check out my favorite styles below (in no particular order).
Fall Fashion 2020 Trends - 5 Sunglasses and Styles to Have In Your Fashion Closet
Skinny Statement Glasses – Retro Rectangular Frames
While I’ve yet to own a pair, I’ve definitely ordered myself, a pair of retro-inspired skinny sunglasses. The style that’s definitely going to be a fall fashion trend includes skinny rectangular frame sunglasses. Thanks to Fashion TikTok, the 80s are back in full swing and so it’s time to either bring out your mom’s vintage sunglasses or grab a pair before they’re sold out. The pair above is the one's I ordered from sunglass company Quay Australia. To shop them click here.
Classic and Cool – Aviator Sunglasses
A classic and I believe universally flattering style, aviator sunglasses should be a staple in every person’s fashion closet. This fall, aviators will of course be in style, but the twist is that statement piece aviators will be key. My favorite pair are the High Key Contrast from Quay Australia (again another Quay, and not the last. I swear this isn't a sponsored post but I wish it was). These trendy sunglasses live up to their name in the mirror lenses that Quay offers for this classic sunglass style.
All the drama – oversized square sunglasses
Similar to my love for shield sunglasses, and echoing my affinity for classic silhouettes, oversized square sunglasses are in my opinion a staple for any fall fashion 2020 closet. The sunglasses I’ve selected are another pair from my Macy’s Style Crew board, click here to shop them (affiliate link). These Prada Linea Rossa Sunglasses offer a universally flattering square lens, that works great for everyday wear.
Show up and show out – shield sunglasses
Shield sunglasses are always a statement piece, and every fall fashion closet needs a good pair of statement fashion accessories. My trendy fall fashion sunglasses are from Versace and they scream opulence with the gold bar on top. I'm so excited to share that not only did I recently join the Macy's Style Crew, but I found the exact pair of Versace shield sunglasses that I was talking about! You can buy them by clicking here, and note please note this is an affiliate link that supports me and the blog with no additional cost to you ever!
Classy and cool – club master sunglasses/ cat eye sunglasses
There is something to say about how much of a boss you feel when wearing cat eye or clubmaster sunglasses. These glasses are staples in fashion closets for the hustlers out there, and I think in fall fashion 2020 trends, these angular frames are going to pop. Because of their exaggerated shapes, they always draw attention to your eyes in the most understated way. My current favorite cat eye sunglasses were inspired by Alex Cooper’s and the Call Her Daddy podcast where she always dons a cool pair of cat eye sunglasses. The pair I’m rocking is the Mosanana Square Cateye Sunglasses available on Amazon here.
What are your favorite sunglasses or fall fashion 2020 closet staples?
Thanks for reading these Words by Will!
I have always been proud of my Central American heritage because of the resilience and strength demonstrated in my family’s journey to the United States. When my maternal grandma made the decision to immigrate to America she left a piece of her heart and soul back in El Salvador. My mom, uncle, and great-grandmother remained in their town unsure if they would ever see my grandma again. The stories she tells me are heart-pounding and heartbreaking as I learn of how she crossed three borders to reach America. (The three borders include El Salvador to Guatemala, then to Mexico, and finally the U.S. border.)
My grandma’s tenacity and willpower is one example of why I am proud to call myself Salvadorian American. My dad and paternal's grandma journey also inspires me, as they survived life on a crowded boat as they too tried to escape a civil war. My dad in particular is my role model as he went from dreams of being a mechanic in El Salvador to graduating from both UC Berkeley and UC Riverside with an MBA and then becoming a CEO of his own company. I don't have to look far for inspiration, my family and our spirit of survival is why I'm proud to be Salvadorian.
This Latinx Heritage month is different from what I’ve seen across social media and news outlets. It has meant the world to me to witness Central America being represented and celebrated more than ever during this 2020 Latinx Heritage month period. I feel that my culture is seen, I feel heard from others, and I feel that my fellow Latinx community is ready to welcome Central America into the discourse of representation.
2020 Latinx Heritage Month: Celebrating Being Salvadorian
I grew up in Southern California, in a predominately Mexican community, which led to my culture often being scrutinized. In grade school, I vividly remember the first time I ever heard a jab at my Latinx culture. It was this same time, almost two decades ago, and my classroom was invited to bring in foods that represented our cultures. The savory scent of tacos and tamales filled up my first-grade classroom. But when I went to unwrap my pupusas (a traditional dish from El Salvador, best described as a thick griddlecake stuffed typically with cheese, beans, or meat) my classmates looked at me in disgust.
“That’s serote food. Maybe that’s why it smells funny,” one very-smart-kid quipped. I didn’t know what serote meant until I got home. In a flurry of rage, my mom called the principal and my dad pulled me aside to let me know that when used between Salvadorians it was slang, but when used by other people it’s a slur that means, “piece of shit.” Instead of calling the kid out, my parents plead that I hold my piece.
Serote was far from the worst thing my grandma and parents were called growing up in predominantly Mexican communities. My parents also went through grade school in America, and they were bullied for their Central American heritage. But I don’t share these grievances as an attack or criticism of other Latinx cultures. No. I share this to actually urge my fellow Latinx communities to understand that this month is about celebrating the other cultures that contribute to Latin America’s cultural wealth.
Because I was asked to hold my piece, I went most of my life speaking sparingly about my Central American heritage. My friends only learned of my Salvadorian heritage when they visited my house and saw a small flag in our dining room. Most didn’t even know my family was from El Salvador because my family scrubbed the voz (the second-person singular pronoun used instead of tu in some Spanish speaking countries like across Central America)out of their dialect. To a degree, I was conditioned to know I was Latino, but not know what kind I was.
College was my catalyst for self-discovery for many aspects of my identity. From my professional interests in entertainment to my sexuality, and my cultural identity, the last 4 years of my life were my period to explore who I am. Learning more about El Salvador, beyond how delicious pupusas, became a prerogative. I asked for the music that my parents liked and I asked my grandma to teach me the hymns she learned from her abuela. I wanted to do everything I could then and now to celebrate being Salvadorian.
This last week, I’ve saved, shared, and reposted more posts than ever for Latinx Heritage Month. Again, I’ve always been upfront about embracing my Latino identity, and especially as being a young Latino working in the entertainment industry. The reason that I’ve been activated to do more, post more, and even write this, is because of how much it means to me to see major media outlets, influencers, and brands speaking up for Central America.
What being Salvadorian American means to me
I will always be proud of being a Salvadorian American. While I eat fewer pupusas now than before, my appetite for knowledge of my family’s heritage has grown. To me, being Salvadorian means my spirit is that of a survivor. From my grandma surviving crossing three borders by foot to my mom surviving witnessing carnage as a child through a civil war, my Salvodrian heritage means the power to survive is within me.
In my own journey of moving from being thirty-minutes away to three-thousand miles away from Hollywood (for college in Upstate NY) to breaking back in and sashaying on the Oscars red carpet, my spirit burned with hope like my Salvadorian ancestors. I’m glad I put pen to paper, or should I say clicks to my keyboard because I’m proud to have written this post in honor of the 2020 Latinx Heritage Month. Here's to a month of celebration, empowerment, and representation.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting one of POPS Artisanal Creamery ice cream shop in San Fernando, CA. After writing a travel blog spotlighting local businesses, I was eager to connect with the entrepreneurs calling the San Fernando Valley home. With that I want to give a huge thanks to the visionary behind POPS Artisanal Creamery, Marinth Ken. He hosted me for a special tasing and visit to talk all things ice cream, the future of his family’s ice cream business, and to let me know about how POPS is growing its menu to invite more Angelenos to try their one-of-a-kind artisanal frozen desserts.
The day I visited POPS was a warmer day, perfect for taste-testing dozens of ice creams. Upon arrival to the San Fernando shop you notice a different vibe than most other business on Maclay St. “Blue jeans and a T shirt, that’s who I am and that’s why this shop looks like that,” said Ken when summarizing the style of POPS Artisanal Creamery San Fernando shop. The cool blue tone and modern accents, like the wood accents and brick wall, make POPS feel a boutique that’s been transported from NYC. That is to say, this local ice cream shop in the San Fernando Valley invites people across generations and demographics.
As I learned in my conversation with Ken, a vision for POPS was an ice cream shop with flavors and an aesthetic that celebrated a diversity of influences. Many of the small business and the local restaurants in Los Angeles often tie themselves to the demographics of the community. In San Fernando many of the dining and dessert spots emphasize their Latinx and Hispanic influences. POPS Artisanal Creamery embraces is unique in how its array includes classic ice cream flavors, Latinx/Hispanic inspired flavors, and flavors that I have not seen at many other San Fernando valley-based ice cream shops. For example, POPS has an horchata flavor, a flavor expected in this community. And the menu also includes a personal favorite, a lavender flavor, which is very hard to get done just right.
When I started the tasting at POPS Artisanal Creamery, Ken invited me to begin with strawberry. Starting off with a classic ice cream flavor like strawberry was intentional as it primed my palette to experience what made POPS stand out as a small business to support in the Los Angeles area. “In L.A. it’s about mixing up the classics,” said Ken as he told me about the classic flavors and growing selection at POPS Artisanal Creamery. The strawberry ice cream at POPS was smooth, it went down like velvet, and I even tasted the berries natural juices. Each batch of ice cream at POPS is individually made with ingredients sourced from other small business. From the skill of six generations of ice cream makers to the flavors inspired by Ken’s Belizean culture, POPS Artisanal Creamery is a must-visit shop for a sweet treat and an even sweeter experience.
During our tasting, Ken shared me a point that made him stand out from other entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area. “When you have a plan don’t focus on the how - focus on the journey,” said Ken near the end of our tasting. His mantra stuck with me. In my full-time job in marketing for film/TV I deal with a lot of people obsessed with how to get things done, sometimes taxing the process itself. Even in the other industries I’ve grazed in my work, I meet so many entrepreneurs obsessed with costs rather than the quality of their service and vision.
POPS Artisanal Creamery has an impressive Instagram following, check it out here, and it has grown its engagement and level without any outside help. People follow POPS because people love what they get at this family-owned ice cream shop. The five-star ratings you see for POPS across Yelp, Google, and Facebook are from real people who make POPS part of their routine. And I’m beyond glad that I can share how POPS is further expanding its brand to invite even more Angelenos to experience its unique ice cream.
From the growing selection of fully vegan flavors, which thanks to Ken I learned how a “vegan” food truly needs to be vegan down to the sugar it uses, to the introduction of a coffee menu, POPS Artisanal Creamery is ready for a new wave of fans and customers. And as a coffee enthusiast, kudos to POPS for launching an affogato with the perfect complimentary coffee bean and roast. (My first affogato tasting was actually in Italy, and POPS Artisanal Creamery captured the essence from the coffee flakes to the miniature cups.) I left my visit of this small business to support with POPS super Instagrammable, and very delicious, coconut sundae.
I urge you to take a trip to POPS Artisanal Creamery when you’re in the San Fernando Valley. With POPS two locations in both San Fernando (450 N Maclay Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340) and Van Nuys (15355 Sherman Way Ste E, Los Angeles, CA 91406) this is a small business with a quality and service that is sure to win your follow and win you over with its delicious ice creams. Make sure to check out POPS Artisanal Creamery on Instagram @Popscreamery and give them a like on Facebook too!
Thanks for reading these Words by Will! See you in the next post!
When the clean skincare brand Summer Fridays first released its now iconic Jet Lag Mask, beauty influencers and Instagram were quick to share how much they loved this multi-use moisturizer. Since its initial launch, Summer Fridays continues to grow with new products filling up our skincare fridges and our Instagrammable shelves. The brand recently launched a brand-new product. I got to try Summer Fridays new Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution ($54) after ordering it on its launch day. After just a few uses, I'm glad to report that the Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution has quickly become the crown jewel of my nighttime skincare routine.
Founded by beauty and lifestyle influencers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Ireland, Summer Fridays remains one of Instagram’s favorite skincare brands- and with good reason. Upon opening the package, which like all Summer Fridays products feels and looks luxurious, I implemented the solution into my nighttime skincare routine. Because of my oily-combination skin, I’m always looking for products that exfoliate my skin while tackling my skin concerns include mild acne and some scarring. And Soft Reset by Summer Fridays is that AHA solution that has not only cleared my skin but proved gentle enough to use every night this past week.
As a skincare enthusiast, I had to try out this brand-new Summer Fridays product and give my honest first impressions on this nighttime skincare solution. In my opinion, the Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution is a perfect nighttime AHA solution for many, if not all, skin types and concerns. Used after I cleanse my skin with the Summer Fridays Super Gel Amino Cleanser, I swipe Soft Reset across my face with reusable cotton rounds. I’ll finish off my nighttime skincare routine by moisturizing with a staple Summer Fridays product, the Jet Lag Mask. I also finish my skincare routine with a swipe of the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm for a sweet and non-sticky overnight lip mask
This review of Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution comes a week after using the product and posting my updated nighttime skincare routine on my Instagram. It’s worth noting that the same night I used Soft Reset for the first time I came home after traveling by plane. This AHA exfoliating solution had a lot it had to smooth out.
From wearing face masks for hours at a time to the constant reapplying of products like sunscreen and make up, Soft Reset by Summer Fridays not only worked while I slept, but it did more work than any skincare product in my fridge could! The next morning, I woke up with visibly smaller pores and a natural glow! And this was all before I used my favorite vitamin C serum, the Summer Fridays CC me serum. Like all my Summer Fridays products, the brand-new Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution did not disappoint. As the product's tagline says, Summer Fridays Soft Reset is truly, "your only solution."
Have you tried Summer Fridays Soft Reset yet? What are your thoughts on Summer Fridays's brand-new product? Comment below or tag me with your answer on social media Instagram/Twitter @ Willsshowem
Thanks for reading these Words by Will! See you in the next post!
I want to start this post by saying that I’m writing from my own personal experience and decision to travel during the coronavirus pandemic. I’m a firm advocate for following the CDC guidelines that are constantly evolving, but maintain the pillars of up-keeping personal hygiene, maintaining social distance, and wearing a face mask in public settings. By no means do you have to agree or disagree with my decision or feel influenced to make any decision.
TRAVELING BY PLANE & FOLLOWING CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
I’m currently writing from my Southwest Airlines terminal, with heavy bags under my eyes and a heavier heart as I wrap up a reunion with my college best friends in Boston, MA. When people learned I was traveling to Boston during the coronavirus pandemic, it was an equal level of concern at both my decision and travel destination.
I know that my decision to travel during quarantine included a lot of risk. As I’ll get to in a bit, I felt comfortable with the risk that came with traveling thanks to the procedures implemented by Southwest to make my time on a plane as safe as possible. From the open middle seats, to the request to properly wear and secure face masks on the plane, I felt comfortable in my experience being on a plane during quarantine. When I landed in Boston, I was ready to follow the Massachusetts coronavirus travel restrictions and I was glad that some of my best friends were at the ready to pick me up.
I wanted to write from my perspective of what it was like going through an airport and flying in the hopes of educating others. Whether you have considered traveling this summer, or planning a staycation, wear your face masks in public settings, get tested for COVID-19, and practice social distancing. With that said, welcome to my travel blog on flying Southwest during coronavirus travel restrictions from Los Angeles, CA to Boston, MA.
Looking up coronavirus travel restrictions by state & doing it often
The first step in planning my trip was researching the Massachusetts travel restrictions. How did I go about this you may ask? Google! With the knowledge of COVID-19 constantly developing, it’s paramount to know travel restrictions for any place you may travel during quarantine. Consider how I was not coming from a low-risk state. I was coming in from California and many state’s coronavirus travel restrictions require a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
Current Massachusetts travel restrictions allowed me to skip the quarantine period if I could submit a negative coronavirus test taken within 72-hours of arrival. This meant that as long as my test result was negative, and I had proof upon request, I could return to California and avoid a $500 fine for not following travel guidelines. I highly stress that even if you imagine, or know someone, planning to travel that you see the travel restrictions for the state, city, place that you’re going to.
Even if you are granted permission to avoid the quarantine period, that does not mean that you can then ignore CDC safety guidelines. Something that I wanted to stress is that before you travel, it’s imperative to practice social distancing and following safety guidelines to ensure that you are not posing a risk to others. Before I left for Boston, I spent about 2 weeks preparing for the trip by securing PPE, limiting my time outside, and as always, wearing a face mask in public settings.
Traveling by plane during coronavirus pandemic
My everyday carry items in 2020 include: car keys; phone; wallet; gum; hand sanitizer; antibacterial wipes; and at least two face masks. After receiving my negative COVID-19 test, I made sure that I multiple copies of my exam in all of my luggage. I also made sure that my travel bags had plenty of PPE and face coverings for my trip to Massachusetts. Just like I act like a facemask wearing citizen back in L.A., I made sure that in Boston I did my part to protect myself and others.
As for my experience flying, again kudos to Southwest Airlines for implementing multiple safety procedures from waiting to board to being on the plane. In the many airports I stopped at, the terminals included seats blocked off for social distancing. We then boarded our Southwest planes in groups of 10. Before boarding each plane, I changed into a new face mask. On each flight the middle seats were open to continue social distancing. And it was comforting to see many passengers also wiping down their seats and trays. The practice of added disinfecting was even encouraged as the Southwest stewardess went through the aisles collecting used sanitizing wipes.
Overall, I felt that my Southwest flight experience during a period of coronavirus travel restrictions was as safe as it could be given this unprecedented situation. Well, I’m going to board in a few minutes, so let me go wash my hands and put on a fresh face mask!