Two Sol de Janeiro beauties dish their style secrets

Sol de Janeiro Sophia Tao


How did you come to living in New York City?

I really believe New York called me here. After graduating from Optometry school in Boston, I applied to a position in Chicago – it was a city I was fascinated with, and thought I would feel comfortable living in. The company’s corporate team offered me an interview for a full time position that was available in New York. At that point, the thought of New York felt both daunting and exciting all at once – it was definitely out of my comfort zone. When offered the position, I told myself that it would be a one year adventure – a love affair of sorts that I would embrace and challenge myself with. Well, I fell in love with the tempo of this city, and my saga with New York continues. My move here was probably the scariest thing I have ever done, and the thing I am the most proud of.


Why eyewear?

Eyewear has been a long time passion of mine. I began working in the field almost a decade ago now (wowzas! Time flies!). I started off as a sales representative at a local optical boutique while I was completing my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. What I loved about the field is that it married my 3 passions: medicine, fashion and business. I then decided to pursue a career in Optometry with the intention of doing something more creative following graduation. Fast forward to nearly a year ago when I founded The Monocle Muse – a fashion/lifestyle blog with a focus on all things eyewear – from the latest trends to new brands that are hitting the scene. I am hoping to begin working on my own eyewear line in the future…(stay tuned).



Blogger Confessions

Name: Sophia Visanji

Occupation: Optometrist

Hometown: Calgary, AB CANADA

Current City: New York City

Instagram handle + blog website name: @themonoclemuse /

1. What are 5 songs from your current playlist?
Love Me Now – John Legend
All on Me – Gyptian
Lovers in Paris – Tonovi Remix
Fade – Kanye West
Feel – Radio Edit by Mahmut Orhan

2. Truth or Dare? Truth

3. Best kiss you have ever had? A lady never kisses and tells. 😉 but I can tell you it probably would have been even better had my lips been adorned with the Cupuacu lip butter – I am obsessed with it.

4. What is in your shower right now?  A louffa, agx argon oil shampoo, a 4-blade razor (the struggles of being East Indian ha!), and the Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel.

5. What is your ultimate beauty secret? Authenticity. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself – saying what she means, expressing what she feels and living her most true self. Also – drinking tons of water!

6. What is your favorite food? Steak, cooked just right.

7. What is your favorite book and who would you want to read it to you and where? Years ago I read the glass castle and it remains one of my favorite books. If we’re talking ultimate fantasy, I’d have Matthew McConaughey read it to me while lounging seaside in a hammock.

8. Describe your style in 2 words. Modern, edgy


9. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Whatever it is you dream of doing, do it now!

10. What is your guilty pleasure? TV Dramas (think Gossip girl, HTGAWM, Empire) and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s half baked ice cream.

11. What is your favorite Sol de Janeiro product you cannot live without?  The Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – It smells delicious!.


How did you come to living in New York City?

What brings anyone to New York City? The exciting zest + never-ending adventure, of course! But, on the real real, many years ago on a high school trip to the Big Apple, I was exposed to so many different types of people, art and culture. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before at that point in my life and it was absolutely brilliant. I was like a kid in a candy store!

I remember that evening on the bus ride home, driving down 5th Avenue, I was left hungry and restless to pack up my whole life and begin a new one here. So soon after college, I did! Looking back now, in some sort of weird, destined way, NYC was just waiting for me to get here and I had somehow always belonged to it. That’s just what this city will do to ya. How’s that for romantic?


On your instagram and blog, your life looks perfect! How do you balance your career/ambitions, your blogging and your personal life?

“Perfect” is just an illusion that Social Media created, but THANK YOU! However, I will say that for me, making lists and writing EVERYTHING down in my planner really helps. I’ve always been a do’er…sometimes a little too much doing. So over the years, I’ve learned that it’s important to be intentional about your time and how you spend it. It’s unrealistic for anyone to “do it all”, but it’s easier to set priorities and be honest with yourself.

At the beginning of each week, I’ll sit and plan out what the days ahead would look like and leave some room for any unexpected changes that may come up. I’ll even set mini goals to keep myself motivated and focused.

I love keeping a full schedule, whether it’s running lines for a script, running from one meeting to the next, or creating new content . BUT! I also truly value the time I make to relax with my love and do nothing, besides rest and recharge. It’s good for the soul and certainly helps me stay balanced.



Blogger Confessions

Name: Thao LeBlanc

Occupation: Actress + Lifestyle Blogger

Hometown: Manchester, CT

Current City: New York City

Instagram handle + blog website name: @thewayofthao /

1. What are 5 songs from your current playlist?
-“Behold (Then Sings My Soul) Live” – Hillsong United
-“Love Me Now” – John Legend
-“Versace On The Floor” – Bruno Mars
-“I Feel It Coming” The Weeknd
-“Sorry” – Beyoncé

2. Truth or Dare? Truth

3. Best kiss you have ever had? It was New Year’s Eve, about 3 years ago, by this hunky BABE…who now just so happens to be my Fiancé <3

4. What is in your shower right now?  Garnier Whole Blends Avocado Oil & Shea Butter Shampoo + Conditioner, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian 4 Play, Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap, a pink loofah and a silky razor.

5. What is your ultimate beauty secret? Love yourself FIERCELY. That and a daily lathering of Avocado Oil.

6. What is your favorite food? That’s really hard to narrow down, but lately I’ve been obsessed with Chicken Pad Thai. Who knows, it could change by tomorrow.

7. What is your go-to cocktail and who would you want to share it with? Depending on the mood I’m in, it’s either a Cucumber Martini or a nice chilled glass of Riesling. Either option with the fabulous Gina Rodriguez, ANY DAY!

8. Describe your style in 2 words. Edgy + Romantic

9. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Faith over fear, ALWAYS. The thing about fear is that it’s completely made up and it serves no purpose, other than to hold you back from living your best life. So get rid of it and go be a badass!


10. What is your guilty pleasure? Carbs + Bad Reality TV…all day, every day. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

11. What is your favorite Sol de Janeiro product you cannot live without?  The Brazilian Kiss Cupuaça Lip Butter! OH. EM. GEE. So good. It’s done some amazing things to my lips recently. But then again, how do I choose between that and smelling like Christmas cookies with the Bum Bum Cream?! I need it all.


Photos by @yeahokayali

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