Lily Sykora instantly became our Instagram crush thanks to her effortlessly chic style, perfect blonde waves and skills behind the camera. On her blog Afternoon Edit, Lily serves up serious style inspiration and beautifully captures life between her home bases of New York and Charleston. In April's OUAI Crush, Lily gives us the lowdown on her favorite spots in NY and Charleston, dishes on starting a fashion blog, her current beauty obsessions and how she gets that perfect blonde hair. 

Lily Sykora Ouai Crush

First things, first tell us about yourself.

I’m a project manager for a creative content agency/fashion stylist in NYC and I moonlight as a blogger.

What inspired you to start representing your sense of style digitally?

I started out when I was 16 interning for a fashion stylist + blogger here in Charleston and then worked for a few other bloggers afterward. I fell in love with the business and how you can share your personal style and thoughts with people on the internet!

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a fashion blog?

Just do it! I spent years going back and forth on whether or not to start. It was such a huge relief when I finally made my site live. But, I will say make sure you are ready and doing it for the right reasons. It’s a very hard industry to get into. And make sure you have the time. Consistently posting content is so important.

Have you always taken pictures? How did you get into it?

I have always loved photography and it’s been a huge party of my life. My mom used to get me and my brother little treats after school every Friday and my treat of choice was always a disposable camera. I have since graduated to the Fujifilm x100t which I highly recommend investing in if you are a blogger or just interested in taking photos!

Describe your aesthetic in three words?

Feminine, relaxed, simple.

What three brands that take up the most real estate in your closet?

J Brand, Isabel Marant, and Zara. My go to outfit is distressed skinny jeans, a tee or cute sweater (Zara has some amazing flare sleeve sweaters at the moment!) and some statement shoes. Chloe + Isabel Marant are my favorite designers for shoes and boots. I love mixing brands like Zara, which is so good for basics, with more designer pieces. Shoes make or break an outfit in my opinion and will always be my splurge item.

You live between New York & Charleston--how did that arrangement come about?

It worked out that I was able to work remotely from Charleston which I have been loving. It’s nice to have a break from the city. Charleston life is so quiet but I am a total city girl at heart so I love having a little of both worlds.

Where should we stop in your neighborhood(s)? What are your favorite spots for coffee, drinks, shopping etc.

In NYC, my favorite spots are Jane for brunch and Le Turtle or Vin et Fluers for a cozy dinner + drinks with friends. I also just went to Freeman’s in SoHo and fell in love! It’s down a sketchy alley but is such a hidden gem! That will for sure be my new go to spot.

In Charleston, I love Cannon Greene for dinner and The Gin Joint for cocktails. It’s such an intimate little spot and by far my favorite place to go for drinks! As for coffee, Black Tap in Charleston has my heart. It’s the hub for all the creatives in town.

Who does you cut and color?

Both my color and cut are done by Cady McGuire in Charleston! She’s the balayage master. I have never been so consistently happy with someone who has done my hair!

Do you have a hair icon and if so, who?

My hair icon has been Rachel Zoe since I was 16 years old. Her effortless golden waves and middle part are what my dreams are made of.

Ouai Crush Lily Sykora and Wave Spray

What products are you currently obsessed with and what do you use them for?

I am obsessed with Ouai’s Finishing Crème for a completing a sleek, put-together look and the Wave Spray for second or third day hair to add some texture. I swear by the Repair Conditioner for keeping my blonde hair healthy.

While I love anything to do with haircare, I am a bit of a skincare addict as well. I use Sunday Riley’s Artemis Oil and Tidal moisturizer religiously. Don’t be afraid of oils! Oils can actually help with problem skin. If you’re stripping your skin with harsh products, your skin will overproduce oil and can cause breakouts. Be gentle and your skin will thank you!

I also love Dr. Jart’s Water Replenishment sheet mask which I use every other day. I try to find skincare products that are as natural as possible, and Tata Harper’s my go to for that! Her Resurfacing Mask is a total lifesaver if your skin needs a little TLC.

How long do you spend on your hair in the morning? Describe your daily routine.

I honestly don’t spend that much time on my hair. Maybe 10-15 minutes, tops. I love an undone, natural look so if I have time, I let my hair air dry and then I will throw a few curls in hair with my T3 1.5” curling iron, focusing more on the hair that frames my face.

Any hair/general beauty secrets you’ll share with our readers? (this could be a hair hack that saves you time, or something like sleeping in coconut oil or taking a supplement)

Try to wash your hair as little as possible! Your hair will adapt and not produce as much oil when you lessen the times you shampoo. I also take biotin daily and sleep in Ouai’s Treatment Masque a few times a week!

Tell us a few things you love that have nothing to do with hair.

I am a huge music person and it’s such a big part of who I am. My father is a pianist and I grew up surrounded by musical people.  My favorite kind of night involves friends and a record player. My favorite songs at the moment are Forest Fires by Axel Flovent,  29 #Strafford APTS by Bon Iver, and Cherry Wine by Hozier.

What makes a house a home?

People you can’t imagine life without and a puppy or two.


Make Lily your new IG crush. Follow her here.