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Ask Jess–on language barriers while traveling, the best lip gloss, and more!

Feb 15, 2019

Language barriers while traveling

Goood morning! 

Happy Friday! Coming at you from my sunny kitchen drinking, espresso out of my little espresso cup from the cutest ceramic shop in Portugal. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is playing in the background (Our House, if you’re wondering!)–it’s going to be a great day! ??

Did you have a good Valentine’s Day? We went to our favorite neighborhood Italian spot, Nando Milano and it was perfect. ?This weekend is Neal’s birthday, and we’re heading to the lake house tomorrow. Really looking forward to seeing our family and getting out the city for a little! 

Anyway, we’re back with another Ask Jess! Let’s jump into some questions. 

What is your favorite brand for hair dryers? Looking for a new one! 

I LOVE T3 hair dryers. I don’t blow dry my full head of hair very often (see my air-drying method here), so I would not consider myself an experienced blow-dryer guru, but I personally love mine! I’m on my second one (I gave the first one to my mom, it’s still going strong!) This is the one that I currently use. It’s small, SO lightweight, and I swear it dries faster than other hair dryers and doesn’t make your hair fried or frizzy. I use it with this round brush that I also really like and it cuts down on drying time that way as well. I also always get asked about the Dyson hair dryer and I have not tried it, but I know Kelly loves it! 

What would you recommend for someone visiting Chicago who is really looking to get off the beaten path and check out something cool and local? 

Hmmm that’s a tough question! I would definitely recommend staying at The Robey––it’s in Wicker Park (my neighborhood!) which is a local hood far away from any tourist traps. There are tons of great bars (lot’s of good dives! The Blue Line is a great one, under the el) and restaurants. I would also recommend checking out Pilsen for the best tacos and then heading to Thalia Hall–it’s a concert venue but one with three different amazing bars and restaurants. Punch House is my favorite! 

What are your favorite lip balms and glosses? My lips get so chapped in the winter! 

I am OBSESSED with Kopari’s Coconut lip glossy! I can’t really decide whether it’s a balm or a gloss. It feels like a balm but looks like a gloss and it’s super, super hydrating–actually I can’t find mine and I’m very upset about it. I’m going to order another one when I hit “publish” on this post. ?I have the clear but they also come tinted, too. 

How do you plan and get from place to place in foreign countries? I want to go to Europe so badly but I worry about not speaking the language. 

I’ve never really had an issue with this! Most people in Europe’s major cities speak at least a little bit of English. You just figure it out. Also, iPhones. There are lot’s of translating apps if you need them, and you use google maps to get around! 

If you don’t want to use your data, there is wifi everywhere and you can star locations on google maps that you want to go and then put your phone on airplane mode. Polite and friendly body language goes a long way. Make an effort to learn common phrases–hello, please, thank you, and you’ll be fine. 

If you’re really nervous about this aspect, I would highly recommend Portugal being your first trip out of the country. Everyone speaks incredible English, the people are so warm and wonderful, and you can use the Noken app–they plan literally EVERYTHING for you–anything you could ever need is in one app, from what to see, do, eat, drink to hotel confirmations to train tickets to maps, detailed directions–everything. I cannot recommend it enough. Definitely check out my Lisbon review for more details! 

My closet has so much black because it’s a “safe” color–how should I start to incorporate other colors? 

I own a lot of black too–it’s the most versatile color and so flattering! Don’t be ashamed of an all-black closet. ?

Bright colors can be daunting if you’re used to a wardrobe of all-black, so I would start with some muted, softer colors, as those are more neutral and versatile! Blush (like this sweater!) is one of my all-time favorites. It’s feminine and suitable for all seasons! If blush isn’t your thing, I also really love shades of blue–especially French blue (I have Everlane’s silk button down in French blue and I love it paired with so many different things!) or a pretty light blue, like this sweater

Hope you guys have the best weekend! ❤️

Read more Ask Jess posts here! Also, FYI–there’s a Nordstrom sale this weekend! 

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