• Exclusive Interview with the Model Who is Normalizing Stretch Marks on Instagram

    Every once in a while we stumble across a girl on Instagram who just steals our hearts. One such person is Vanessa Ariel Torres, a beautiful Puerto Rican & Indo-Trinidadian model who we've watched build her social media following from the ground up over the years. With her cheerful spirit, and effortlessly gorgeous photos she's been popping up all over our feed lately, so we felt it was only right to share the goodness with our Bikini Luxe babes.

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    One of our favorite things about her is that she doesn't Facetune her STRETCHMARKS. Yup, you read that correctly. She's got a bangin' body and has tiger stripes JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. It's so refreshing to see other girls commenting on her posts, thanking her for being real and honest and not photo-shopping her body. We can't get enough! So, it's time for you to meet Vanessa, one of our favorite babes on the 'gram.

    Meet Vanessa, the triple threat beach babe who's beautiful, intelligent, and has a good freaking soul.

    How old are you and where do you live?

    I'm 20 years old I live in South Florida.

    Tell us a little about yourself?

    Well, I’m Vanessa Ariel Torres - named after my mother’s favorite girl’s name and the Little Mermaid! I was born and raised in Southeast Florida where I lived with my gorgeous family consisting of my mother, father, brother, and little sister.

    I enjoy really simple things - my favorite black coffee with agave nectar in the morning or a yummy smoothie bowl, sitting and watching tv all day with my cats, going to the beach when it’s hottest outside, or even just taking myself out for food and, of course, documenting my life through pictures! Each day is such a gift - there’s always some joy and fun to be found.

    What are you are most proud of?

    I’m most proud of who I am as a person and my achievements. My mom raised me to be a strong, independent, smart and confident woman and she really did succeed. Pretty much everything I love about myself, I owe to her.

    I’m so grateful for confidence and self-assurance to come easy to me because I see so many girls struggling with that every single day, but it means the world to me when I can pull other girls out of that and help them gain the confidence that they so deserve to own.

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    What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

    First thing I do is stretch, say good morning to my cat, drink water, and then head to the bathroom to start my morning skincare routine.

    You’re gorgeous, what does your beauty routine look like?

    Thank you! I use a lot of natural products and weekly face masks. I make sure to wash my face at least twice a day and always before I get into bed. I NEVER forget to moisturize!

    If you had to wear the same outfit for the rest of your life - what would it be?

    High-waisted sweatpants and a cropped t-shirt with my Nike’s.

    We want to know, what’s in your beauty bag?

    My beauty bag is all skincare products. I start with a salicylic acid cleanser, then rose water toner, hyaluronic or glycolic acid, and either jojoba oil, rosehip oil, coconut oil, or vitamin e oil for moisture. It takes me a pretty long time - my friends and family always make fun of me for it! As for my makeup bag, I always have concealer, mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss, and an eyelash curler.

    Who’s your favorite musician to jam out to when no one’s looking?

    I have so many that I love! There’s Camila Cabello, Vance Joy, Lovely the Band, Christina Aguilera, Yerba Buena, Rodrigo Amarante, J Balvin, Ludwig van Beethoven. I love so many genres.

    If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would it be?

    I would island-hop the South Pacific Islands! That part of the world looks so surreal.

    What’s your favorite thing to do in your down time?

    I love to have picnics on the beach - there’s such bliss in eating my favorite foods in the warmth of the sun with the ocean as my view. Or of course there’s those amazing days where I can stay home and cuddle up on the couch with my kitties watching Netflix with some hot ginger tea.

    They say you are what you eat, what are you?

    I’m a smoothie bowl topped with almond butter and cacao nibs!!

    If your best friends could tell us something embarrassing about you, what would it be?

    Probably that I’m actually very dorky, tell corny jokes that I think are legitimately funny and a big nerd who’s always sharing “fun facts” and I only know this because I’ve been told so!

    What are your favorite looks from Bikini Luxe?

    I absolutely love Soah and Agua Bendita. The lifestyle shots with each bikini are stunning and makes you want every piece LOL.

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    Where do you get your sense of style from?

    That’s almost a tough question because I have so many different styles based on my mood! I usually tend to go for a comfy sexy-boho style, but then there’s the edgy styles, laid back and flowy style, crisp-fashion styles, and sporty styles.

    In general, I get my sense of style from what makes me feel awesome and truly speaks to me. Because, you know, clothes totally talk.

    What inspired you to start modeling?

    Every year since I was little, my mom and I would watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the Miss Universe pageants. It was so empowering and beautiful to watch - I wanted to be them!

    Being a source of inspiration and empowering other people would be a surreal feeling. I always loved taking photos, so around 17 years old when I started using social media a lot more, I took to social media to share it and it started from there!

    Is this something you do Full-Time?

    I’d definitely consider this as a part-time kind of job because it doesn’t take out as much time as a ‘9-5’ and I’m also a college student. Between modeling and building my presence on social media, I’ve been studying to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience and Biology, which I’m super excited about because my major is a field that has always interested me- I want to study the human brain and our behaviors, tendencies, and why we are the way we are!

    I earned my Associate’s Degree in Biology at 18 years old because I went to college for the last two years of high school - which I am so immensely proud and grateful for (I was not a fan of high school life).

    Tell us about your dream collab, who is it and why?

    Victoria’s Secret - the women they’ve worked with are goddesses. It’d be unreal!!

    Girls worldwide want to do what you’re doing, do you have any advice for them?

    Be good to yourself, your body, and other people. Everyone loves kind-hearted people and I strongly believe that you attract what you put out. Also, just be yourself! It sounds cliche, but in a world full of millennials trying to look, act, and be like each other, feel free to be the odd one out.

    Emphasize the little things that make you different and that you love about yourself whether it be something mental or physical.

    What’s next for you?

    Currently, I’m just making sure to have fun with whatever I do. I plan to travel a lot more in the next year and so on, so I’m super excited for that. I’m done waiting to live my life, traveling is what I’ve always wanted to do and I don’t see the point in prolonging something that makes me feel whole!

     

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    Instagram Influencer Information:

     

    Twitter: @vanessaarielt

    Instagram: @vanessaarieltorres

    Age: 20 years old

    Ethnicity: Puerto Rican & Indo-Trinidadian

    Location: South Florida

    Major: Neuroscience and Biology

    Modeling Agency: Neon Model Management

     

  • Q+A with Miami Blogger Jasmine Tosh

    Jasmine Tosh Lately
    Jasmine Tosh is one of our favorite Miami based bloggers, her blog Jasmine Tosh Lately is every travelers dream. She attracts over 500,000 followers and has recently released her swimwear line. Jasmine's style is classy and trendy. She has collaborated with may brands such as Nordstrom, MissGuided, Revolve and Guess. This LA native mixes travel, fashion, photography and shopping to engage with her readers and build her brand. Read more about Jasmine and her experiences as an influcencer, model, blogger, and now business owner.

     

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    Where do you live? I am from LA, and am currently based in Miami. I am always going back and forth.

     

    How old are you? 27

     

    Tell us a little about yourself: I am a dog mom and originally from California. I now reside in Miami. I have been modeling since I was very young, and am now a full time travel + fashion blogger, and swimwear designer for my newly launched line, Tosh Swimwear.

     

    What’s the first thing you do in the morning? The first thing I do is check my phone, wash my face, put on fitness clothes, and then feed & walk my dogs. After that, I make coffee so that I can function, and check my email and make a to-do list for the day.

     

    You’re gorgeous, what does your beauty routine look like? Since I work from home, I only wear my Tatcha moisturizer until it's time to leave the house. When I finally do put makeup on, I only use Laura Mercier oil-free foundation because my skin is very sensitive. Unless I have an event that night, or an important photoshoot during the day, I wear very minimal makeup, always contouring my face with blush and bronzer.

     

    If you had to wear the same outfit for the rest of your life what would it be? That's a hard question! If I was on an island, a bikini. If it was never cold, I would choose a flowy white maxi dress, and cute sandals because maxi dresses are so chic and comfortable.

     

    We want to know, what’s in your beach bag? Probably the whole world haha. I always include sunblock, a makeup bag, (with all of the essentials like BB cream, lotion, chapstick, tissue, etc.), 2 large water bottles, (I drink A TON of water) a hat to protect my face from the sun, an extra pair of sunglasses, (I am a blogger after all), and an extra bikini from my swimwear line, so that I can take tons of pics, and healthy snacks like fresh fruits.
    Tosh Swimwear
    How did you get inspired to create a swimwear line? Thanks to my blogging career, I have been blessed with opportunities to travel the world in the last few years, and am now pursuing my career as a swimwear designer. My line, Tosh Swimwear launched this past June, and I am also the face of it. I have been modeling since I was very young, and that included modeling a lot of swimwear.

     

    After moving to Miami, I wear swimwear almost every day- I love bikinis. I would live in them If I could! When designing my line, I remembered things that I loved about the swimwear lines that I would model, and things that I hated. I created pieces that really show off the female body, and enable women to embrace their curves.

     

    Who’s your favorite musician to jam out to when no one’s looking? I honestly love lain music. I always put on today's Latin hits, even though I don't speak Spanish!

     

    If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would it be? I've always wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt and to go to Bora Bora to shoot new pieces from my line.

    Jasmine Tosh Lately

    What’s your favorite thing to do in your down time? If I ever have downtime, I like to go to the beach and/or shopping :-p

     

    They say you are what you eat, what are you? My diet is usually pasta, cheeseburgers, and pizza. Although I throw in salads and chicken with every meal. But some days, I detox and only eat salads and veggies to break up the junk food. It really depends on how I am feeling.

     

    If your best friends could tell us something embarrassing about you, what would it be? Probably that I am a huge jokester. I am just a dork underneath all the fashion.

     

    What are your favorite looks from Bikini Luxe? I am loving anything with gold in it right now.

     

    Where do you get your sense of style from? I started to love fashion at a very young age, because my grandmother and mom were very into fashion and shopping. I also get my interior decorating skills from them.

     

    What inspired you to start your own Blog? I've always gotten compliments on my style, so in 2013, I decided to start documenting my outfits with my camera.

     

    Tell us about your dream collab, who is it and why? My dream collaboration would be with a department store like Barney's or Neiman Marcus. It wold be an honor to have something I designed in their stores.

     

    Girls worldwide want to do what you’re doing, do you have any advice for them?
    Work hard, do something productive each day, and never ever give up, no matter how hard things may get.

     

    Jasmine Tosh Bio:

    Career: Travel and Fashion Blogger

    Location: Los Angeles & Miami

    Age: 27

    Facebook: JasmineToshLately

    Instagram: @jasmine_tosh

    Twitter: @jasmine_tosh

    Youtube: Jasminetosh

    Love a good Q+A? Meet fashion blogger Iron N Salt, and find out her favorite styles for 2018.