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."
“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.”
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.”