As a staff writer for Rookie and the associate style editor at The Huffington Post, Chanel Parks has become known as a bit of a beauty guru. She's also got major style points in our book and we've asked her to add a pair of Blu Kicks to her shoe rack and show us what it's like to live a week In Her Shoes.

With a full-time job, a major writing gig and ongoing personal projects, this lady gun is almost constantly working, but you won't hear her complain. “My day job at the Huffington Post can be chill or hectic, and I secretly love it when it's stressful -- then I'm busy and getting shit done; it makes me feel accomplished.” Chanel typically works on her writing projects at night when she has a bit of free time. Though it hardly seems like work to her, "[Writing for] Rookie and personal projects [is] always fun because [it's] a mental break from everyday madness."

“When I get deep into a beauty tutorial, I love it, because I feel like I'm a teen again in my bathroom just experimenting with different products and finishes, without the feeling that I need to be perfect. It's a masterpiece, perfect or not. My favorite so far has to be this bonkers storm makeup tutorial, because I'm really into this gray aesthetic (well, I've always been into that aesthetic).”

We asked Chanel to tell us what it's like working at Rookie in all its coolness and her response made us wish that we could be a part of the team too. “The Rookie staff is A+, 100, great, however you like to classify 'the best.' Everyone is so supportive and, even though there's a big age range, I learn something from every single writer on that team. And the readers are super rad -- their comments and awareness of the world are great.”

As a writer, we knew Chanel would have some great reading recommendations for us and she didn't disappoint. "I made a goal to read 24 books this year, and I've only read seven so far. I'm on my eighth, which is White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I just started, but I'm really excited for it. As an English major and a writer, I've always loved reading. Sometimes I like to switch it up from an intense book, to a classic, and then switch to something lighter.

"One of the best things I read this year was Jessica Hopper's The First Collection Of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. She's an awesome music writer and her voice is so great. I heard her read passages from the collection and it was just so inspiring -- she gives me hope in my own writing. I recommend every single essay.

"I also really like The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North, a nice, intense read, which sounds like a paradox, but it's great. I want to read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus, [because] I've read Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun which were soooo good."

  "I recently got a succulent from my co-worker  Julee Wilson , and I decided to put it in my windowsill. My sister works in a floral shop and when she came over she, of course, wanted to talk about the plant. 'This soil is way too dry,' she said after I smugly said, 'Oh they don't need much care, maybe I'll water it like once a month.' She proceeded to get some water and carefully water the plant. 'Water it at least once every two weeks,' she instructed. And then I complained about it being lopsided and was about to move it when she said, 'Um, succulents tend to do better just the way they are, so don't move it.' A lesson in Succulents 101 -- apparently they do need some TLC. (Watch it die on my watch.) "

"I recently got a succulent from my co-worker Julee Wilson, and I decided to put it in my windowsill. My sister works in a floral shop and when she came over she, of course, wanted to talk about the plant. 'This soil is way too dry,' she said after I smugly said, 'Oh they don't need much care, maybe I'll water it like once a month.' She proceeded to get some water and carefully water the plant. 'Water it at least once every two weeks,' she instructed. And then I complained about it being lopsided and was about to move it when she said, 'Um, succulents tend to do better just the way they are, so don't move it.' A lesson in Succulents 101 -- apparently they do need some TLC. (Watch it die on my watch.) "

My vanity saves my beauty life, no joke. I’ve used it so much that there are stains from oily serums, nail polish splatter patterns and questionable residue in the cracks. On Sundays I really like to organize it so I can start the week off on the right note. I rummage through it every morning to find a lipstick — so it takes about a minute for it to get messed up again.
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“Every summer it seems like I have a resurgence of a past phase of music for me. Last summer I listened to The Strokes nonstop. Now, I'm listening to a variety of things: reclaiming my love for Michael Jackson, Parliament, The Go! Team, and a lot of dance/electronic stuff -- like Daft Punk, Justice and random shit that I think to listen to. My current jams are "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood and "Don't Make Me Over" by Sybil -- they are such jams.

"I always listen to music and envision how the music video would be if I directed it. [This is] probably because I watched too much of MTV's "Making the Video" as a child. I've been watching Michael Jackson videos [recently], specifically "Scream" with him and Janet Jackson, because that is truly one of the most influential videos of our time, and the making of the "Thriller" video which is also one of the most influential videos of our time.”

  “I have a side of my vanity dedicated to designer makeup and my pretty Chanel and Marc Jacobs polishes are lined up, along with this Tom Ford multi-use compact, which I'll probably never use because it's just so, so precious and beautiful. Yes, I have sacred makeup.”

“I have a side of my vanity dedicated to designer makeup and my pretty Chanel and Marc Jacobs polishes are lined up, along with this Tom Ford multi-use compact, which I'll probably never use because it's just so, so precious and beautiful. Yes, I have sacred makeup.”

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Typically when people discuss their commutes to work, the conversation is halted by mundanity or, in New York, perhaps littered with disgusting anecdotes. But in talking to Chanel about her commute -- which is different almost everyday as she's surrounded by lots of train options and keeps it interesting by taking different routes, listening to music, reading or staring at people and things in the subway car -- we found a lovely story and would like to find a way to incorporate some of her thoughtfulness into our own commutes.

“I look at other people and their situations and imagine if I was in them. If there's a child crying and throwing a tantrum, I'm like, "Hmm, what if that was me? Like, I could totally throw a tantrum right now and people would pay no mind, because the subway is always full of human surprises." Or if there's a couple standing up against the door, which I usually find annoying in my single stupor, but sometimes I observe and wonder what it's like to have someone lightly catch me as the subway's jerks make me sway, a gentle hand on my spine, a hot sweaty cheek next to mine.”

The shoes reflect my versatility. I tend to pick simple shoes so that they can go with a lot of things, like my all black outfits or times when I wear my neon green maxi skirt. I love the whales on the soles, they just add an element that other shoes don’t have. And the comfort! Since I wear sandals or slides most of the summer, it’s refreshing to wear sneakers that aren’t too heavy — and then I feel like I’m not fucking up my feet too much.

Chanel Parks is the epitome of a lady gun, proven by her unstoppable drive, her coolness, her positivity and the love and fantasy that so naturally oozes from her. We're so happy to be able to offer you the chance to walk In Her Shoes.

Photos © Chanel Parks + Raydene Salinas