5 Questions With: Jessica Mascitti Ellis

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I have a thing for tattoos and I have a whole lot of respect for tattoo artists. Jessica Mascitti Ellis is a tattoo artist based out of Brooklyn, New York. I found her work via Instagram a year ago and have been following her career ever since. Her black and white work and all of the portraits she does are simply stunning. She has a unique way of blending colors, her detail work is amazing and has a real talent for making every tattoo look so great on the skin. In my opinion, she’s one of the top female tattoo artists in the US right now. She currently tattoos at Graceland in Brooklyn and East Side Ink also located in Brooklyn. You can see some of the beautiful work she’s done here. Hope you’ll enjoy my 5 Questions With Jessica Mascitti Ellis:

1) When did you start tattooing? What made you want to become a tattoo artist?

In June of 2008 I started my first session on my first tattoo; a back piece by the incredibly talented Josh Lord. I fell in love with the method and ritual of the art of tattooing. I had never once felt beautiful until I adorned Josh’s beautiful work on my skin. I learned then that tattoos are magic. 

At the time, I was a freelance animator as well as a bartender and I wasn’t entirely pleased with either vocation. One of my closest friends, Bethany, planted the seed. She suggested trying to get an apprenticeship at Josh Lord’s shop East Side Ink. I didn’t feel worthy enough to be a tattoo artist, let alone one that would learn under the legendary artists at East Side Ink, but I thought, fuck it, what do I have to lose? 
I introduced my artwork to Josh along with my intentions, and to my surprise he wasn’t against the idea! A year later I was in the shop as both Josh Lord and Patrick Conlon’s apprentice. 

2) What inspires your art?

My artistic roots stem from my love of animation and comic books. Their influence never left my hand. Despite my best efforts to “mature” my style, you can always see the residue of anime and American comic book art in every piece I do. My current inspiration however is Bollywood! All those saturated colors in every shot and scene! The beautiful women!! I can’t take it!! 

3) How much has the perception women tattoo artists changed over the past couple of years?

I was lucky to come into tattooing at a time when ladies started to dominate the industry. Most of my tattoo idols are women, and I share those idols with my male colleagues. I know that my lady predecessors dealt with some serious bullshit from their male peers to pave the way for the next generation of lady tattooers, and I worship them even more for it. 

4) What in your opinion makes a good tattoo?

A composition that moves with the wearers anatomy and compliments the muscle structure is what creates a beautiful tattoo. Even the smallest tattoo should glide over the body like a silk scarf. 

5) What have been some of the most memorable pieces you’ve done thus far in your career?  

The pieces that I revisit are those that have accidentally evolved my style. It’s always the ones that force you out of your comfort zone that are most memorable. 

LOVEFRESH

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I don’t usually share any beauty tips, finds, etc. on the blog but felt compelled to share with you my latest discovery. For quite some time now, I’ve been on the lookout for a natural deodorant that doesn’t contain any aluminum. I’ve read lot’s on the negative effects aluminum in deodorants can have especially on women. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and anything that could potentially reduce my risk of having breast cancer in the future, including not putting any aluminum in my body is important to me.

I heard of LOVEFRESH through Instagram and knew I immediately wanted to try these products because they are 100% natural and made here in Toronto. The founder of the brand Stacey Davis has created a luxurious brand of healthy products for the body using only non-toxic and natural ingredients (the deodorant I’ve been using lists only 7 ingredients, all of which I know!).

Though a little skeptical at first, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by how well the natural cream deodorant worked. It’s easy to apply, all you need is a pea-sized dab to apply under your arms. I’m someone who runs around a lot during the day so I wanted to give the deodorant the ultimate test. On the first day I tried it, I rode my bike 1hr to and from work, spent the entire day running around and went to a workout class in the evening and to my surprise, I still smelt ok. The following day, I worked 12 hours and still smelt presentable when came time to do interviews in the evening. I’ve been wearing the deodorant for over a week now and I’m really happy that I can go about my day with just one application.

My favorite scent is “Lemon Verbena“, it smells super sweet and delicate!

A little tip when trying it out: if you’re someone who wears silk or delicate fabrics, make sure you wait until the deodorant dries before putting on your garment.

The deodorant in addition to a handful of other body products like hand lotions, body wash, body butter, etc. can all be found on her online shop right here. Plus, she ships to Canada & the US.

Really happy I made this discovery… I think I’ll stick with it :)

Baggy Leather Pants

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Never thought I’d be a big fan of baggy faux leather pants but then I tried on this comfy as hell pants from M for Mendocino a few weeks back and decided to had to have them. Not only are they comfy but they’re also super warm. I think they’ll officially become my new travel pants. Plus you get dress them up with heels or with a nice pair of boots or even opt for a more casual look with sneakers or slip-on shoes. Would you wear the baggy leather pant?

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Photos by @Offner

M for Mendocino baggy leather pants

Zara TRF green square cut t-shirt (get it here)

Urban Outfitters felt slouch fedora (get it here)

Springsioux Lady Muerte ring (get it here)

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

Smells Like Fall

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Fall is a special season for me. It’s a season that brings back so many memories, as early as childhood. Though I’ve always been a summer girl, fall has always had a unique place in my heart for several reasons.

As a kid, fall meant going back-to-school shopping with my mom. I loved getting a brand new wardrobe filled with comfy sweaters, coats, pants and a pair of brand new boots every year. My mom would always take us to the States to get the latest and greatest styles.

Fall reminds me of the many trips I made to Stowe, Vermont growing up to see the leaves change colors. We would always stay at this cute bed & breakfast that smelled like hot apple cider. The smell from that place has stayed with me to this day!

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Speaking of apples, each year as a kid we would go pick apples as a family on a farm and my mom would make amazing apple crisp and apple sauce that would disappear in a flash! That reminds me… I should definitely get that recipe from my mom one day. It’s so incredibly yummy!

As a kid, I would also love collecting different colored leaves and putting them into scrapbooks year after year.

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Another fall tradition growing up was partaking in my village’s annual Halloween costume contest. I was lucky to grow up with a grandma that knew how to sew. She would always make me the coolest costumes (can you believe it, I was Marie-Antoinette one year!) that allowed me to take home the first prize every year except one. And boy was I sad when I didn’t win that year…

As I’ve grown older, some of these traditions have faded away but have been replaced with new ones. One thing’s for sure, the smell of fall always brings back so many memories. Therefore, getting a Glade Wax Melt warmer for my home insures that the smells of fall not only surround me when I’m outdoors but also in my home. It makes my home feel really nice and “homey”. What’s neat about this cool-looking electric tabletop warming pottery dish is that it allows you to choose from so many different fragrances. The fragrances come in pressed wax cubes and the warmer is easy to clean, making it simple to go from one scent to another, depending on your mood or day. My favorite scent is without a doubt “Apple Cinnamon”, it reminds me so much of my childhood.

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 What do you love most about fall?  

 

Glade® Wax Melts turn on your best feelings with up to 96 hours of fragrance per pack. Available in a variety of scents, they are designed to evoke your most beautiful emotions. Find out more about Glade® Wax Melts and our inspiring scents at www.glade.ca

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Glade® via Mode Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of SC Johnson & Son Inc.

Joie de Vivre

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I live a pretty crazy life. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do the things I love and be surrounded by some amazing people every day, who keep inspiring me to be the best person that I can be. Though things can get a little overwhelming at times, I always make sure to stop myself and really appreciate the present moment and count my blessings.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve really made an effort to enjoy life to the fullest and develop a positive attitude regardless of what is thrown at me. I believe having that “joie de vivre” spirit is contagious and therefore affects everything and everyone around you.

Though finding happiness is a never-ending journey, growing older has made me realize what, in fact, makes me happy.

Travel is a constant source of inspiration and happiness. Meeting new people, discovering new cultures & food makes me feel so alive!

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Surfing, though I’m still terrible at it, is the only real activity that allows me to clear my head and feel truly at peace and happy. I can’t wait to live by the ocean one day!

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Spending time in California is also a major source of happiness for me. I love the nature, people and lifestyle there. I’m also incredibly lucky to have many amazing friends there.

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Over the past year, running on the lakeshore trail in Toronto has become one of the things I love most. It’s me-time that I really appreciate and look forward to.

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And then there are also all the simple things in life that fill me with “joie de vivre”, like enjoying a nice meal with friends, cooking, having brunch with my boyfriend, biking around the city, having an almond chai latte at my local coffee shop, getting some nice flowers to decorate our home or even just laughing and spending quality time with my man after a long day of work.

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Life is so short and always filled with surprises; I want to make sure I enjoy it as much as I can and surround myself by what makes me happy!

What makes you happy? How do you find time to stop and enjoy the moment?

 

Prada’s latest fragrance evolved from the concept of an imaginary flower created especially for Candy.  Of course, Candy cannot simply have any flower. Her flower has to be wondrous and sophisticated, bursting with life and sensuality as Candy herself.

Light airy top notes put the sparkle in Candy, tender powdery heart notes echo her Spring-like grace, and a whisper of warmth and honey reflect Candy’s sensuality.

Prada Candy Florale Eau de Toilette spray 50ml, $85.00

Prada Candy Florale Eau de Toilette spray 80ml, $115.00

Prada New Logo for Authors

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by PUIG via Glam Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of PUIG. 

Canadian Thanksgiving

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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!! So much to be grateful for on this day and also throughout the year. Thankful for my health, my family & friends, all the amazing opportunities that have come my way this year and just being able to travel the world and do what makes me happy! Also grateful to all of you who take the time out of your day to come visit this site! Thank YOU!

What are you grateful for?

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Photos by @Offner

The Kooples Faux Python Embossed Boots (get them here)

Zara Green Wool Coat

Zara checked mini skirt (similar one here)

Zara TRF knit lace long sleeve shirt

Fall Leaves

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I love my new M for Mendocino long sleeve dress. It’s the comfiest and is perfect for fall. For today’s outfit, I gave it more of an edge with a leather jacket and combat boots. Those who know me, know how much sharks fascinate me. I’m obsessed with my new Crywolf shark tooth necklace (thanks Offner!). Crywolf is a super cute shop located on Ossington Ave. in Toronto. They have the greatest selection of little gifts, apparel and items for the house.

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Photos by @Offner

M for Mendocino grey bodycon dress

 Nasty Gal Shoe Cult Diverge Combat Boot (get it here)

CRYWOLF sharktooth necklace

 Zara Biker Jacket with zips (similar one here)

Waterfront

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Took a beautiful stroll on the waterfront in Toronto this evening after work. I love having time to walk around and explore my city without having a particular goal in mind. I love breathing in the cool and crisp fall air. The walk was very welcome after a busy day at work!

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Photos by @Offner

Aldo Parella bag (get it here)

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

 Zara Biker Jacket with zips (similar one here)

 Forever 21 burnt orange zip pocket tee

Stella & Dot Gold Signature Engravable Bar (get it here)

Wave necklace from Etsy

A New Vegas Experience

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Ah Las Vegas! One of the craziest places I’ve been to on earth, where pretty much anything goes. To some, this place fulfills all of their fantasies and to others, this place inspires nothing at all. Having been to Las Vegas now close to a dozen times, either for short stays, shows or as a way to get to California, I definitely felt like I had seen it all. I don’t really gamble (unless you call playing $5 in the Michael Jackson slot machine gambling…) and I don’t go out clubbing, so Vegas doesn’t really appeal to me unlike a lot of people. Or at least I thought it didn’t… Until I went to Vegas last month and got a completely different view and experience. The reason being, I did things in Vegas I never thought I would do. Vegas is really what you want it to be. If you’re on the lookout for a new Vegas experience here are a few recommendations:

1) Vegas Watersports. Located in the beautiful National Recreation Area of Lake Mead, just 30 minutes away from the Vegas strip, Vegas Watersports is a small company held by some rad locals that offer people the chance to wakeboard, wakesurf, waterski, etc. in the most gorgeous setting. We had the raddest guide, who is a full-time Las Vegas firefighter but also an avid wakeboarder. He was super welcoming, friendly and incredibly fun to spend time with. We spent two hours on the boat with him. He had prepared some cold water bottles, a great music selection and also had the best tips to improve our boarding chops. He also got us to try wakesurfing, which I can say is now one of my newest addictions! Not only was Lake Mead super quiet and peaceful, it was beautiful beyond belief and the water was incredibly warm. We finished our excursion with a super relaxing and refreshing swim in the lake before heading back to the marina. Our excursion was probably two of the best hours of my life! If watersports isn’t for you, the national park is also a great place for camping, picnics and trekking.

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2) Michael Jackson One.  Ever since I was a kid, my dad has taken me to pretty much every different Cirque du Soleil. I had seen “O” a couple of years ago in Vegas and was floored, but nothing had really prepared me for the experience of Michael Jackson One. It’s Cirque du Soleil at its finest. It’s the neatest combination of theatre, music, dance and acrobatics all wrapped into one breathtaking performance. Though tickets are somewhat pricey (over $100 US per person), it’s well worth the cash. The show brings you directly into Michael Jackson‘s universe with all of his greatest hits as a soundtrack. The show made me laugh, gave me chills and even made me shed a tear. It’s 90minutes of non-stop action and performances that will pull on your heartstrings. A truly magical experience!!

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3) Sensi. One of the top destinations on my travel bucket list is Hawaii. While we were staying at the Bellagio we decided to try out Royden Ellamar‘s Hawaiian inspired restaurant called Sensi for dinner one night. The idea behind the restaurant is to find sustainable and local raised products to make some culinary innovative creations inspired by the island life. Their menu is varied, they have a lot of fresh fish, seafood and meats as well as several vegan and vegetarian options. The thing that really stood out to me was originality and flavors. The “Vegan Tofu Scallops” I ordered was probably the tastiest vegan dish I’ve had in a while. They also had a great wine selection and the overall atmosphere was incredibly relaxing.

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4) Mix At Delano. If you’re looking for the dreamiest view of the Vegas strip, look no further than the Mix at Delano. This incredibly beautiful restaurant and lounge is located at the very top of the recently built Delano casino. You can choose to be seated indoors or outdoors on their beautiful outdoor patio. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Their lounge and restaurant both have a very modern and edgy vibe. The Mix is the perfect place for a date or a tasty drink with friends.

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5) Pro Gun Club. The following activity definitely won’t be for everyone. If you’re looking for a unique Nevada experience that is more on the wild side, this might be for you. I’m not at all a gun advocate, on the contrary guns scare the living crap out of me. That said, in Vegas the gun culture is so present it’s impossible to go to Vegas without seeing signs for shooting ranges or gun shops. I had heard of this interesting place tucked away in a remote location in the middle of the Nevada desert, just 30 minutes from the strip. Though I would have never gone on my own, I know that it was something Offner had been wanting to try once in his lifetime, as a way to educate himself more than anything else. After having done it once, I can honestly say I would never do it again but I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn about safety and the power of these actual things. The time I spent there was very overwhelming so I would say that it is not for the faint of heart. That said, the people who worked there were all very gracious and kind.

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What do you like doing when you’re in Vegas? Send me your recommendations!

October 1st

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Pinch me! I can’t believe it’s already October! Things I love about October: the leaves changing colours, the crisp smell of fall, being able to wear pants again, bringing my collection of teas back out, etc! Another thing about October is that it’s BREAST CANCER AWARENESS month. Breast cancer is a cause that touches me directly, my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Unfortunately, a lot of her friends who were also diagnosed around the same time as her, have passed away. We’ve come such a long way in regards to treatment but we still have so much further to go. There are so many great initiatives and campaigns out there to raise funds for breast cancer. I particularly liked this unique campaign I saw today by Surfline x Mauli Ola Foundation called “Battle For The Breasts”, which gets you to vote for your favorite women surfers. You can check it out here. For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness month, you can check out the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation or your local Breast Cancer organization.

Enjoying the last few days of warm weather this year to wear my shorts a couple more times. Wearing a long sleeve shirt today just to make the outfit a little warmer.

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Photos by @Offner

The Kooples Faux Python Embossed Boots (get them here)

Zara black crochet shorts (similar ones here)

H&M chambray buttoned-up shirt

Lionette necklace (similar one here)