Sometimes we get lucky, and someone reaches out to us with an idea that we absolutely love. Enter Idalia Salsamendi, a consultant and the Director of Business for Chriselle Lim's company, who has a very different take on what a life upgrade should look like. Less about spending and more about digging deep, she came up with 7 ways to upgrade your life that we just couldn't resist, because who doesn't want to find the real and authentic ways to make meaningful change? I know we do, and we think you will, too. 


If there's one thing that I've learned from all my travels and life experiences, is that there are so many incredible ways to upgrade your life. Working in fashion, the industry sometimes may mistaken the word "upgrade" to something synonymous with a dollar sign. Fear not my friends, it's not all like that. Here are some tricks I've learned along the way to upgrade you life in every possible way.
- Idalia Salsamendi



shop the post

1. Brains
As a working woman with a crazy international schedule, the thing I've put on top priority is my mind. In order for me to be productive, I have to ensure that I'm always positive, clear and focused. So how does one go about upgrading the mind? Sounds a bit hokey, doesn't it? The trick for me has been meditation. I've been doing it for about four years now, and I'm so happy it's actually becoming a cool thing to do. Meditation studios are popping up left and right. I also love doing it at home before I go to sleep. This book shows you how to do some powerful meditations, while also explaining different theories of how our minds work. Knowledge is power. 

And if brains equates with work to you (hi, we're twins!), and you're in the entertainment industry in any capacity, also check out the Influencer Starter Kit I recently launched. The Kit includes an 11-minute Audio Guide of me guiding you through the two different templates I offer (Media Kit and One-Sheet), as well as an example email to send to clients you want to work with. This is a must-have for anyone trying to gain better insight in the entertainment industry. Being able to extend my insider-knowledge to the general public is a top goal of mine.

2. Beauty
When you're trying to make the best first impression, or trying to continue making an incredible impression, keeping your mug looking its best is key. After all, whenever you talk to someone, it's your face they look at. So how to upgrade it? I've learned a thing or two working with Chriselle Lim, so here are three beauty products that go beyond the basic: 

Kate Somerville's Dermalquench Lift
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Serum
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation with SPF (YES! SPF IS KEY!)

3. Body
Something that boggles my brain is how expensive gym memberships are in the United States. And let's not even talk about specific workout classes. Living in Europe, it's actually hip to ditch the gym and just walk. So upgrade your body by doing something that you should already be doing ... walking. This I learned in Paris, and it not only develops lean muscle, but it's also phenomenal for the environment. As in, the only thing we're burning is calories, not fossil fuels.

4. Style
How to upgrade your wardrobe, you ask? It's more cost-effective than you may think: Tailoring the clothes you already own and love. Every time we look at our favorite fashionistas walking the red carpet, we sometimes forget that there is a team behind them making sure that every stitch is perfectly fit to their body. So how do us mortals do it? Find your local tailor, friend or even your Abuela and see how they can transform your pieces into something tailored to you. And if you're ballsy, try it yourself. You'll be surprised how much money you save by doing this instead of buying new clothes.

PS: Always keep a clothing steamer in hand. Alongside having clothes that fit, is also having wrinkle-free clothing. My go-to is by Conair.

5. Food
This is a tricky subject because people relate to food with their emotions, so I'll speak from my own. About two months ago I switched my diet to mostly plant-based and of all things I've done in my life, this I consider my biggest and most challenging adventure. Being aware of what goes into the body takes a crap-ton of dedication and will. Although I know going vegan is not for everyone, I still do believe that to upgrade the way you eat, you just need to be conscious of what's in it. Notice what doesn't sit well with your body, and try to quit it. About eight years ago I cut out dairy from my diet because of skin issues. I have TERRIBLE acne breakouts every time I eat cheese (by the way, I'm the biggest freak for cheese), so giving it up was not easy. But I had a choice, get cystic acne and bloating, or don't. So in turn, I ask you, what's one thing you shouldn't be eating for health (or conscious/social/environmental) issues but still eat? Then I encourage you to do some research and see if taking the steps to quitting it will upgrade your food choices. 

6. Home
You're probably thinking I'm going to say something about plants, or bedding, or even furniture. Think again. This particular life upgrade I'm sharing was one that was years in the making for me:  Invest in good art. Like good. Very good. Something you probably think you'd be crazy to buy. The key here is to save. When I turned 30, I had saved up for a couple of years to purchase my first legit work of art. Coming from a Cuban household, I knew I wanted a renowned Cuban artist to be my first official piece. So do your research about what speaks to you, talk to art buyers, visit galleries, and have fun. Hopefully in the end, you'll see that saving for one sentimental piece (and perhaps starting a collection over time) will have more meaning in your life than the 4 million Urban Outfitters posters we've been trained to buy. But PS: I still love UO!

7. Travel
I saved the best for last! The ultimate upgrade in life is to actually live it. To live it in all forms. To live it in different cultures and countries. Don't worry about business class v. economy class, or the fancy resort you see everyone staying at. Travel for you, and once you get there, do something the locals do. Airlines offer such amazing random deals, so keep up to date with them. Make a bucket list of places you want to visit in your life, and try your mighty best to cross one off every year. And if you ever find yourself craving Paris, stay at The Amastan and tell them Idalia says hi. They'll give you an even friendlier rate. 

about idalia salsamendi

An experienced professional with a prestigeous demonstrated work history in the high-fashion, commercial, and hospitality industry, Idalia Salsamendi launched her consulting company less than two years ago after working in the model/talent agency world for almost a decade. Alongside her consulting, Idalia is also the Director of Business for Chriselle Lim's company Chriselle Inc. garnering the most exclusive and sought-after deals in the high-fashion industry. As if her resume wasn't already overwhelming, Idalia and her mom also own LaHavane New York, a  jewelry line of standout pieces inspired by her mother's native land of Havana, Cuba. Since it's launch in 2016, they've been featured in Vanity Fair Magazine, and also seen in People Style, Harper's Bazaar online, and The Hamptons Magazine. Being a passionate philanthropist, she incorporates some form of charitable aspect with every client she works with. "No matter the platform, if there are people interested in you and your work, I feel like it's a no-brainer to spread kindness and awareness in whatever form speaks truly to you," says Idalia about her charity work. For more information, please visit www.idaliasalsamendi.com