Seersucker Sass: February 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Weekend Reading


Yay!  Happy weekending, my friends!  This post is coming to you a bit late, but it's been a chaotic and amazing weekend!  My boyfriend took me out to dinner on Friday night because we weren't in the mood to make fish at home.  Afterwards, I met up with my best friend Amanda and her boyfriend for drinks.  It was so nice to just catch up and enjoy each other's presence since while she was in town.  Yesterday I got up early to help set up for an event, which my boyfriend and I attended last night.  It was carnival themed and absolutely amazing.  (You can see it all on snapchat! - seersuckersass)  This morning I grabbed brunch with two more of my best friends in a belated birthday celebration.  I feel so overwhelmed with love.  Isn't that the best way to spend a weekend?

Here are some links to check out if you're looking to enjoy some Sunday reading:











How was your weekend?  What did you get into?

As always, I invite you to leave your favorite link of the week in the comments!  Have a wonderful week, y'all!






Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Favorites

TGIF, y'all!  I am so glad that the weekend is almost here.  I was seriously starting to wonder if it was ever going to show up!  I've been feeling a little blah for the past day, and looking at pretties online always cheers me up.  Here are a few of my Friday Favorites:



I am working on a collaboration with Kenra, and I was gifted the entire Revive System!  It is absolutely perfect for my color treated hair.  So far, I've had really good results with the Revive Shampoo and Revive Conditoner, and I plan on trying out the Revive Complex, Revive Treatment, and Revive Oil products this weekend.


BEAUTY:  Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio in Sassy
I love that the shades can be swirled or used separately.  I will be doing quite a bit of travelling this spring, so I love that this is one product I can throw in my makeup bag instead of toting around my contour palette.


ACCESSORY:  Rebecca Minkoff Mini Sofia Crossbody Bag
I am probably the millionth blogger to write about this bag, but with good reason!  I love the way the bright tassels pop against the warm leather.


FASHION:  Champagne Campaign top ($10!!!)
I love tongue in cheek graphic tees, and I think this is perfect for what is sure to be a messy campaign season!  I ordered this for myself this morning, and it was less than $13 with shipping!  #treatyoself


WILDCARD:  Victoria's Secret Bikini!  (Top & Bottoms)
I typically buy myself a new bikini every summer.  My aunt has a pool, and I spend a lot of my Sundays out there just hanging out.  Sometimes I wear a white t-shirt over my swim suit to limit sun exposure, and I think the contrast of black and bright piping would be fun under a white tee!

What are your Friday favorites?  Highs and lows from this week?





Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Daily Makeup Routine

Last week, I shared my hair care routine with y'all.  Today, I'm really excited to share my daily makeup routine!  On the days that I wear a full face of makeup, this is pretty much my exact routine.  I love new beauty products, so occasionally I'll change things up a bit, which is why I like to update these posts from time to time :)  I apologize for the odd lighting - I have horrible natural lighting in all rooms of my apartment.  

Before getting started, I think it helps to note that I have oily skin.  I also want to denote that any product marked (c/o) was gifted to me.  As a blogger, I am gifted products in exchange for honest reviews.  I want you to know that the products I use in the post are products that I use when I wear makeup!  (I won't say every day, because I definitely do not wear makeup every day. Haha)

Daily makeup routine

Here is my before shot:




Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup (Shade 01 - Fresh Alabaster)


I started suffering from cystic acne in 2014, and I truly believe that the Salicylic Acid acne treatment in this product helps.  I like this foundation because it provides pretty heavy coverage, which I like in the colder months because my skin gets so red.  I apply this with my hands.


Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Neutralizers  (Green)


I was introduced to color correcting concealer my senior year of college; I burned my neck with a curling wand on multiple occasions, and I looked like I was continually getting hickeys. Green concealers neutralize red, so this is the perfect product when a mountain of a zit pops up on my face.  I like this product compared to other green concealers because there's a little on the end of the tube that makes it dispense from the brush, similar to the way a lip gloss would.  I wish this product was a little easier to blend; I usually use a Beauty Blender to ensure that mine is properly blended.


Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette (Light 07) Review


I started using concealer when I started my new job in June.  I was so overwhelmed with studying for the LSAT and trying to transition between jobs, and it was really obvious.  My friend Samantha recommended this concealer, and it has been a game changer.  I got so many compliments on how happy and refreshed I look.  I apply this shade of product in the top right corner with my finger, then I use a brush to apply the setting powder over the concealer.  I typically apply it under my eyes, as well as over any blemishes or any areas that I've used green concealer.


Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder Review


This stuff is my one of my holy grail products!  In the past, I used powder that was a match to my sin color, but this translucent powder makes my skin look airbrushed.  I apply it with a big, fluffy powder brush all over my face, moving the brush in a circular motion.


Ulta Matte Bronzer (Warm) Review


I always have issues with bronzers crumbling on me after awhile.  Last time that happened, I had this in a drawer because I won it in a giveaway, and I've been using it since.  I apply bronzer to my cheekbones just to give my skin the healthy glow that it lacks.  


LORAC Blush Rose


I am super pale, so I really rely on blush to give my cheeks a little flush.  I've had this one from Lorac forever, and I like it because it's flattering no matter how pale or tan I get.  I apply this product to the apples of my cheeks (the fleshy part of your cheeks when you smile.)


Paula Dorf 2+1 for Brows  (Brunette) Review


This came with a little brush, but I've found that I like how "undone" it looks if I do it with my fingers.  I get a little bit of the wax on my pointer finger, and then manipulate my brows around until they look how I want them. Then I pat a little bit of the powder in areas that don't look as full.  I end by pushing the part of the brow that I'm touching in the photo above inward.


Urban Decay Naked 3 Review


I love the versatility of this palette!  I typically use three shades - a super light shimmery one that it comes with on my whole lid, a darker shade in the crease, and then a shimmery neutral shade to blend it all together.  You can use this palette to create just about any look you can imagine.


NYX Retractable Eyeliner (White) Review


I don't wear eyeliner very often just because I find it to be such a hassle.  But I do line the waterline of my lower lids with white eyeliner, because it makes me look more awake.  I am really picky about the products I use near my sensitive eyes,and I haven't had a problem with this one.


CoverGirl Plumpify Blast Pro Review


When I started using this product, I didn't really love it.  But it's hard for me to make my mind up about a mascara until I've used about half of the tube.  This wand has a little spiked ball at the end of it, and when used properly, it does amazing things for your lashes!  It's so hard to describe how I use the wand, but if you're interested, I can take a quick iPhone video and email it to ya!


YSL Rouge Pur Couture (Shade No.9 Rose Stiletto)


This is my every day lipstick.  The color is neutral and perfect for whatever a day may throw at me.  I love a bold lip, but this is low maintenance - I don't even need a lip liner with it! If you've been considering picking up a YSL lipstick, I highly recommend them.  Out of my lipstick collection, this one is my absolute favorite!

And here's what I look like after all of those products do their magic:



What does your daily makeup routine look like?  What are your holy grail products?

Happy Thursday!





Wednesday, February 24, 2016

That Time I Almost Cropped the Rug (and All Authenticity) out of a Photo

Not to be confused with the time I created a faux marble surface.


Why Blogging Authenticity is Important


It started innocently enough.  My boss sent me home from work early because the weather was a little touchy.  I've been trying to step up my Instagram game, so I figured I would take a little snow day photo.

First step - Did everything in the photo make sense?  (This is my boyfriend's favorite question to ask me as he teaches me photography.)  Yes!  It totally makes sense to be in my pajamas, reading magazines, and drinking cider out of one of my favorite mugs (a gift from Nicole of Chronicling Home) on a snow day.  But no matter how I angle the photo, I can't get the rug out of the background.

So I attempt to hide it by throwing my down throw, a neutral little sage green number, over the rug.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a fluffy white rug like other bloggers? I thought to myself.  The throw looks icky, so I go back to my attempt at just angling the photo without the rug in the background.  And that's when I catch myself, as this rug is important to so many people for so many reasons.

During World War I, the Armenian people were forced out of their homes by the Ottoman Turks, under the impression that they were being relocated to safety from the war.  In reality, it was a death march that claimed the lives of 1.5 million Armenians, many of whom who had all of their worldly possessions, and specifically rugs like the rugs in my home, with them.  It is widely recognized as the Armenian Genocide.

 When we moved into our apartment, my boyfriend and I didn't have a lot.  We had a (borrowed) air mattress, a few pieces of Target furniture that could fit into his car, a card table that acted as a desk, and a some folding chairs.  By the time we got our couch for Christmas (thanks Aunt Susie!), we had added some new Target furniture and started working on two gallery walls.  When I came back from Mexico, our apartment had two new (to us) rugs, not only were the gorgeous and made, but something about having rugs made our apartment truly felt like home.  (Isn't it weird how one little touch can change everything?)  The rugs were gifts from my boyfriend's grandparents.  Their parents (legally) fled to America during the genocide, and we have been told that the rugs were among the items they brought with them.  I'm still in disbelief that they were entrusted to us, and I'm so ashamed that I would ever try to crop something so magnificent out of a silly Instagram photo.



I strive really hard to be authentic.  It's important because this blog is a community to me.  When I write my posts, I write them they way that I would speak as if I were lying out in the floor of the sorority hall carrying on with my closest friends.  Would I hide the rugs if my friends came over?  No, because I'm really proud of them!  So why would I ever crop them out of a photo?!  When we spend time trying to be something that we aren't or writing in a voice that's different than our actual voice, we only hurt ourselves.  Readers (and friends) can smell bullshit (pardon my language) a mile away.  As bloggers, if we pretend to be something that we aren't, it's going to become evident really quickly, and we will lose our credibility and our online friends.

This experience taught me an invaluable lesson in authenticity.  My blog should reflect where I am right now in my life.   I live in a cozy, one bedroom apartment.  The natural lighting sucks, and there is a lot of brown - the couch, the walls (ugh), and tones from the rugs.  I work in an industrial park. I live in a city where manufacturing is the lifeblood.  So instead of looking for fluffy white rugs and scouting out extremely picturesque locations, or stomping my foot when I have to take a photo inside of my apartment, I'm going to be really proud of where I am, and embrace it.  The photos of my blog will be taking on a new feel - less stereotypical and more representative of me.

Have you had a similar situation?  Why is authenticity important to you?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  I'm so excited to share a beauty post with y'all tomorrow :)


PS - If I've sparked your interest in the photo that inspired this post, click here.  If you're curious about the Armenian culture, specifically the rugs, click here.   I watched this hilarious episode of Conan with my boyfriend and his parents, and according to them, it is spot on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blogging 101: How I Create an Editorial Calendar (in Four Steps!)

Like most of y'all, I am not a full time blogger.  To produce at least four quality posts a week along with working full time, being involved in my community, and having somewhat of a social life, I have to stay on top of my time management game.  This is where my editorial calendar comes in.  (If you're unfamiliar with an editorial calendar, it's basically a calendar where you plan out your content for the month.)  Having a "prompt" already set for the day helps me stay motivated to write, and sometimes I'm even able to knock out two or three posts just because of this.  There are many different ways to go about this, but today I am sharing my process and what works best for me.

Blogging 101:  Editorial Calendar


About a week before a new month starts, I sit down with my planner,a blog notebook where I keep a running list of ideas, and some erasable pens.  (Before I had a blog planner, I printed monthly calendar pages off of WinCalendar and tucked them into my blog notebook.)  I am a color-coder, so I'm particular about my supplies.  Haha.

Please note that by clicking on the photos, it will bring up a larger version of the photos so that you can read them a little more clearly!


STEP ONE:
Holidays, Deadlines, and Commitments 
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
The first thing I do is look at a calendar of holidays and notable days, and I mark them on my calendar in a neutral color.  If I have a deadline, I mark it in red.  Then I mark anything I've already committed myself to, like a link up, in blue.  (I write all posts in blue!)


STEP TWO:
Mark out series
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
I don't stick by this to a tee, but it does help to have it laid out when later on I'm plugging content ideas!  On Wednesdays, I typically do Wednesday Wisdom.  On weekends, I do my Weekend Reading post, where I share my favorite links of the week.


STEP THREE:
Plan out any holiday related content
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
Timing is really important when it comes to blogging.  You can write the absolute best post about finding cute green attire for St. Patrick's Day, but if you publish it on Wednesday and St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, you've missed the mark.  (Remember - all of your readers aren't from the same city, and they don't all have access to the same stores.  Online shipping can take time; allow for that in the timing of your post!) I also like to do a few "after the fact" posts, like sharing photos of my Easter dress the Monday after Easter.


STEP FOUR:
Pull ideas from your list of ideas and "social media holidays"
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
I keep a running list of blog post ideas in my blog journal.  Depending on the time, I may even sit down and bullet point them out so that when it becomes time to write, I remember what I was talking about and what direction I was going in.

I also use lists of "social media holidays" and trend reports to plan my content.  A good example of a social media holiday is #NationalMargaritaDay, which occurred yesterday.  March 2 is #NationalOldStuffDay, which is holiday that encourages people to be nostalgic.  Share a vintage outfit or vintage inspired beauty look or share some photos of yourself as child with your favorite memories.  The great thing about these social media holidays is that you can take them in whatever direction you want!  (This post from SproutSocial and this post from Rebecca VanDenBerg are great resources on social media holidays.)

Ultimately, I like to have my content calendar about 75% full.  This allows flexibility!  I can pop a post in right as it's relevant or laying on my heart (I really feel like God lays things on my heart to share with y'all, and I'm not about to make God wait!), and I can also accept sponsorship opportunities with short turnaround times.  I also feel that writing in erasable pen allows me to feel less stressed about moving things around or taking a day off.

I hope that you found this post to be helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me!

Do you plan your editorial content or do you just go with the flow?

Happy Tuesday!





Monday, February 22, 2016

Spring '16 Trends Under $100 (+ Spring Fling Linkup Announcement!)

My love affair with fashion became hot and heavy in middle school.  While my friends were interested in sports and the opposite sex, I couldn't get enough when it came to fashion magazines.  I was Type A, diagnosed OCD, and way too uptight to be a pre-teen, but magazines like Vogue, Lucky, Harper's Bazaar, and W (forever my favorite), transported me off to a far away, magical land.

Over the past few months, I've realized that I really miss that part of myself.  (I've also been very inspired by my friend Jordyn of The Fairy Princess Diaries.)  One of my goals for 2016 was to journal more, so last night I christened a brand new journal by reading through magazines and taking notes on the major trends that I noticed - Jet-set (trends inspired by countries and travel), Manga inspired (a la Louis Vuitton), 70's boho, Minimalism, super preppy navy stripes, and stereotypical spring (lace, pastels, and floral), paired with structured bags and large accessories, and a combination of natural hair and natural makeup with a bold lip.

I was ready for spring, but after really looking into the spring trends, I'm even more excited for it to get here!  Because I'm a blogger on a budget, I've pulled some of my favorite "on trend" pieces for you, and they're all under $100.  Happy shopping!

Spring 2016 Trends Under $100


Sleeveless trench coat • Striped a-line skirt • Lace Shift Dress
Nautical stripe bell sleeve sweater • Red & Black handbag • Off-the-shoulder statement blouse
e.l.f. All over color stick (Persimmon) • Gold cuff • Faux pearl wrap ring
Stripe poplin shorts • Lace-up Wedge Sandals • Blue eye shadow • Maybelline liquid matte lip color (Berry Boost)



Feeling inspired by spring now?  Good, because Pick Your Beau and I will be hosting our Second Annual Spring Fling Linkup on Sunday, March 20!  (Sunday is the first day of spring, but if you don't typically post on Sundays, you can still link up on Monday, March 21!)  We hope that you will join us in showcasing our favorite spring trends :)

Please note that you don't have to be a blogger to participate!  If you don't have a blog, you can join us by using the "#springflinglinkup2016" hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

#springflinglinkup2016


I hope all of this spring lovin' made your Monday a little brighter!  What is your favorite spring trend? :)






Saturday, February 20, 2016

Weekend Reading

 Happy weekend, friends!  What a week it has been for me!  Tuesday night, I officially became an Active member of Junior League!  Wednesday was my 25th birthday, and for a birthday that I was dreading, it was amazing.  My co-workers threw me a surprise luncheon, my mentor called me at work to sing me "Happy Birthday", I went to dinner with my boyfriend and family, and then C took me out for a birthday drink!  (Singular drink, because I'm no longer in college and don't drink on weeknights any more #lame)

Thank you all so much for the flood of birthday well wishes.  It made my day so special.  Seriously, thank you for taking time out of your busy life to stop by my little corner of the internet.  I'm starting to plan content for March, so if there's anything you'd like to see on here, please let me know!  I love getting your emails and questions and suggestions :)

Without any further rambling, here's this week's Weekend Reading:



Style a bar cart
DIY Gold Vases
DIY Vanity Mirror
DIY Floral Centerpiece
Create the best about page




Dotted Cape
Effortless in all black




Veggie Eggrolls
Easy Guacamole
Magically delicious Shamrock shake




The year of owning it.
Why I wear heels to work
So happy I could cartwheel


As always, I invite you to share your favorite link of the week with me!  It could be shared in a future Weekend Reading post!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hair Care Routine for Healthy Hair


Today I'm starting a new series where I'm going to be sharing my "routines" with you!  This week will be hair care, followed by makeup, skin care, and event makeup.  If there's anything else that you'd like to see, please let me know!


Hair Care Routine for Healthy Hair


My relationship with my hair is complicated and very love/hate.  In elementary and middle school, I chopped my hair off twice for Locks of Love.  The first chop was a cute little bob, but the second time I cut it, my hairstylist gave me a Peter Pan look, and it was awful.  (So bad that my dad voluntarily took me on a shopping spree at Limited Too because I looked like a boy.)  That horrible haircut taught me a lot about the importance of healthy hair, because I needed my hair to be healthy so that it would grow.

Here are the products that I use to keep a healthy mane!


The Wet Brush Review

• BRUSHES •

The Wet Brush Pro •  This is my holy grail of hair brushes.  My hair tangles easily, so I keep one at home, one in my car, and one in my bathroom at work.  I even give them to my friends as gifts.  I've never used a brush that is so efficient and sturdy.  I can't tell y'all how many brushes that my momma and I have tried over the year and had good results for about a month, and then started finding little plastic bristles in our hair.  We both swear by this brush, and that says a lot because we have completely different (yet both extremely difficult) hair types!

Hask Brush (c/o) •  I was gifted this brush from Hask, and I use it specifically for brushing out really bad tangles that just won't budge and for teasing.  My hair is naturally pretty flat, so I'll occasionally tease the crown for more volume or tease a ponytail to create a fluffier bun.


HASK Coconut Oil Product Review

• IN THE SHOWER • 

The hair care products that I use in the shower vary from day to day, but these are the products that I alternate between!


Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Shampoo (c/o) •  Because I color treat my hair, I like products that are nourishing but that don't cause my oily hair to go crazy.  This shampoo has been perfect for that!

Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Conditioner (c/o) •  Conditioner is probably one of my favorite parts of my hair care routine.  I only apply it to the bottom of half of my hair, starting right below my ear, and I completely coat that hair with it.

Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo •  I use this after skipping a day of washing my hair.  It helps get rid of the grease at my roots and just the gross feeling my hair gets when it needs to be washed.  I tend to use this more frequently in the summer, because of sweat.  (Gross, I know, but hair is hot!)  This can be found just about anywhere for under $2!  

Instanatural Argan Oil Hair Mask (c/o) •  Not pictured above, but I love this hair mask.  I've been using it for over a year now, and I just love how soft it makes my hair feel, specifically the ends of my hair.  The smell is super pleasant, and I all around just enjoy using this product.  I use this about once I week.


ION whirlwind pro, Kenra Blow-Dry Spray, Hask Coconut Hair Oil

• DRYING PRODUCTS •

I usually go to bed with wet hair, so that I can skip the drying step of my process for two reasons.  My hair takes absolutely forever to dry because it's so thick, and I avoid heat on my hair as much as possible to keep it healthy.  When I do dry my hair, I use a variation of these products.

Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing SHINE® Oil (c/o) •  If I'm not planning on straightening or curling my hair post-blow dry, I'll apply this shine oil before blow drying.  It makes my hair super shiny, and really reminds me of the product my hair dresser uses for a blow out.

Kenra Professional Platinum Blow-Dry Spray •  I bought this when my hair was starting to get really long again.  It not only cuts my drying time down to less than ten minutes, but I love the smell of it! When using this product, I try to towel dry my hair as much as possible, spray this all over my hair, and then blow dry.

Ion Whirlwind Pro Hair Dryer •   My aunt bought me and my mom one of these for Christmas, and we were both amazed at how fast it dried our hair, especially in comparison to our older Ion dryers.  This has an attachment that seems to be helpful with a blow out, but I don't use it very frequently.  (I typically only blow dry my hair on Sunday mornings before church.)


holy grail hair products - dove dry shampoo

• FOR DRY HAIR •

Like I said above, I typically go to bed with wet hair and then fix my air dried hair in the morning.  These are products that I use every day.

Dove Dry Shampoo •  I've tried a few other dry shampoos, but I keep coming back to this one.  It's cheap, which is awesome because I run through so many cans of it!  On the mornings that I don't dry my hair, I use this to soak up any extra oil and also just to provide volume to my super flat hair.  When I'm fixing my hair for a special occasion, I use this after blow-drying but before styling to add some fullness at the roots.  This is also one of my "holy grail" products!

Glo Essentials Radiant Fix Hairspray •  I ended up with this after bidding on a blow out in a silent auction. It's really great for taming my chronic fly aways and frizziness, and I'm convinced that this bottle is going to last forever!


Revlon Curling Iron, Jilbere Flat Iron, Hot Tools Curling Wand Review

• HEAT PRODUCTS •


Revlon Perfect Heat 1.5" Curling Iron •  I use this on days where I want to smooth my hair out, but also give it some body and a little bit of bounce like in this photo.  It's super affordable, and I've had it forever, so it's kind of my "old faithful." 

Jilbere Flat Iron •  Now that my hair is shorter with some layers, I straighten it pretty much every day.  This was originally the straightener that I left at my dad's house on weekends, but it has outlasted my Chi.  (An example of my hair when styled with a straightener can be found here.)

Hot Tools Curling Wand •  I use this to give my hair fun waves like in this photo.  I rarely use this, but I love the look that it gives my hair when I do use it, as the curls are less defined than they are with a regular clamped curling iron.


I want to know from you - what are your holy grail hair products?  Anything I should try?  Any products on my list that you have questions about?

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!




Disclaimer:  As a blogger, I am often sent products in exchange for an honest review.  Anything denoted (c/o) was gifted to me with that purpose.  I only promote products that I love.  Thank you for supporting brands that support Seersucker Sass!