Speak Now

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dress: gifted from a friend //scarf: gifted from a friend //cardigan: Nordstrom B.P. HIP ~$35 //belt: F21 $4 //tights: Old Navy $4 SALE //ring: kiosk in Hawaii and gifted from family

First and foremost, I would like to say hello again...after being MIA for an entire week! Question: Have you ever studied so hard, went to bed, and woke up feeling like you were hit with a large object? Yeah, that was totally me, yesterday. It's a really strange concept, really-- how studying can sometimes make you more tired than running a great distance.

I had a revelation the other day. I finally decided on a voice to use while writing my blog posts. Before, I wasn't sure how to say this-n-that because I wanted to sound like an intelligent person, yet very casual. Looking back on my older posts, there is an obvious flip flop between many different voices. I was reading advice from Jessica of What I Wore, and she encouraged people to write as if they were explaining something to a friend. I couldn't have said it better!

I would also like to thank you lovely bloggers for leaving such sweet comments. They truly make my day, and I just wanted to let you guys know...you will always have my support! :) As corny as it sounds, even though we have never met in person, I see each and every one of you as a great friend. Of the blogs that I have come across, you are all such talented, creative, and genuinely kind people. I am hoping to meet more of you!

Now... on to the meat and potatoes of this post. One of my good friends recently came back from studying abroad. She surprised me with this gorgeous scarf, and a late birthday present: a bold purple dress. As a kid, I remember looking through an issue of Allure magazine and coming across an article on how to wear a lot of the same color. The take-home message of it was to wear different shades that were not of the same opacity. For example, since the dress is of a darker shade, it is ok for me to wear the scarf with it because it is much lighter. So, then next time you feel like flaunting your favorite color on an entirely different level, have no fear of resembling a fruit. :)


Hair It Is

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Yesterday afternoon, I went to get my hair deep conditioned for the first time. I have been slowly damaging it all summer by sitting in the sun, soaking it in ocean water, and using heated tools. I was excited for my hair to be smooth again, but was mostly looking forward to the way the hairstylist was going to style it. I usually get my hair cut by my mom, so it is always up to me to style my freshly cut hair, which always ends up looking mediocre! She ended up doing a wonderful job, and because she is good at what she does, it looked a million times better than what I had when I first walked through the door.

Here is a video I found with a few tips on how to blow-dry your hair professionally/maintain that great texture you get after leaving a salon. The introduction is really funny too :).



P.s, I'm going to be a bit slower on responding to everyone's comments this week because I have a big test coming up. :\

100th post: Well Polished

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This season's nail polish trends are tailored for the girl who loves a little bit of everything. Whether she is glitzy, glamorous, innocent, bold, or fierce, she will find love in the trends to come for Fall 2010.

The trends pictured below are in this order:
1. Metallic/Glitter
2. Mysterious Purples
3. Gem Inspired
4. Amorous Reds (my favorite!)
Not pictured: Nudes/Muted shades

Thanks for all of your support! xoxo

OPI 'Glamour Game' //Sephora for OPI 'Only Gold For Me' //F21 Nailpolish 4 pack

F21 'Lavender' //Sinful Colors 'Fiji' (metallic nailpolish by Sinful Colors requires several coats to obtain color seen in bottle)

Cover Girl NailSlicks 'Sunrise' //F21 Nail Polish 4 pack

Sinful Colors 'Thimbleberry' //N.Y.C. 'Broadway Burgundy Frost' //Revlon 'Valentine' //Petites 'Cabernet' //N.Y.C. 'Big Apple Red Creme'

Does This Mean You're Moving On?

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image via WeHeartIt

This week's list for MUSIC MONDAY:
1. 'Great Expectations' The Gaslight Anthem
2. 'How I Could Just Kill A Man' Charlotte Sometimes
3. 'I Miss You' The Honeydogs
4. 'Does This Mean You're Moving On' The Airborne Toxic Event
5. 'Something New' The Airborne Toxic Event

Sequins

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cardigan: Nordstrom B.P. HIP $38 //tank: Urban Outfitters $25 SALE //leggings: Nordstrom HUE //turquoise ring: street vendor in Hawaii //nail polish: Revlon in 'Valentine' $2.99 SALE

Rather than dreading the end of summer, I am going to try and embrace it. There are three things I am really looking forward to: my senior year of college, seeing all of my colleagues, and FALL FASHION!

Bargain Hunting Diaries: Vampy Nail Polish

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I have been obsessed with looking for a good glitter nail polish lately. With the cold weather slowly dominating the last weeks of summer, and the up-coming spooky holiday, I have been especially interested in darker shades. After Emily, of Cupcakes and Cashmere made a post about Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish last week, I just had to check it out. 'Bad Romance' was a shade that caught my eye. For those who enjoy a good bargain, I found a replica going by the name of 'Mummy May I' by China Glaze. $18 vs $6? I think I'll take the latter.

 
images via here and here

*Note: These are borrowed images of other people's swatches. See highlighted links above for these individuals' websites.

Splurge 'n Save

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image via WeHeartIt


Want to know how you can save money while still keeping up with this season's trends? Look no further! Here are 3 tips:

1. Organize your closet so you know what you need, and what you already have. Try your best not to purchase unnecessary items. Stick to the plan!

2.  Ask yourself the "cost-per-wear" question: "What is the item's price divided by the number of times I plan on wearing it?" A good price per wear is $5. Any more than $7 is not worth it. Unless of course...the item is a prom/wedding dress!

3. 70/30 rule: at least 70% of your closet should consist of classic pieces you can wear all the time, while no more than 30% should be left for trendy items. Trendy items should never be splurged on, since they got out of style so quickly.

All tips inspired by People's Style Watch Magazine.

In The Bag

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makeup bag: Nordstrom B.P., Amici Accessories

Since the only things I carry in my purse are my wallet, cell phone, and a pen, I thought it would be more exciting to show you guys the contents of my makeup bag. I have been using these cosmetics as a group since May of this year, so I have a pretty good idea as to how well each of them work. If you still have questions after reading my comments on each product below, feel free to leave me a comment/email. :)

Bare Escentuals Makeup Brushes (Sephora) (long handled kabuki, blush, and concealer brush): to be honest, these brushes are not the best quality. I have been using these same ones for a little over 3 years (with the exception of the Kabuki, which I got for Christmas 2 years ago from my BFF, K), and find their bristles to get more and more coarse over time. They are fine during the first year of use, but after that, it is all downhill. I am currently looking for a new set.

Bare Escentuals Foundation, Mineral Veil, and Blush (Sephora): I absolutely love Bare Minerals! I have really oily, acne prone, sensitive skin, and this makeup does not break me out. The only downside is that the foundation can give off a cakey appearance at times, but only if you use a lot of it.

Lancome Eyelash Curler (Macy's): This came with a gift set my mom got from purchasing one of their products. It works great, which is why I believe a good eyelash curler doesn't have to be expensive.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance (Sephora): Let me tell you something: As I had mentioned above, I have really oily skin. Without this primer, my eyeshadow is down to my chin at the end of the day. OK-- not literally, but it does shift quite a bit. This primer has really helped with that, especially when I have nights out with the girls.

Clinique High Impact Mascara (Nordstrom): This little tube of mascara came from a gift set I received during one of Clinique's promotions. I would say it works around the same level as Cover Girl's Lash Blast...at least for me. Because of that, I probably wouldn't purchase this product on my own.

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup (Nordstrom): I was first introduced to this product at Nordstrom during a makeup event. It is intended to be a foundation, but I decided to use it as a light weight concealer since it was about to be Summer. Don't get me wrong though, this product serves as a really great foundation, and feels super light weight when done so.

MAC Smoke and Mirrors Eye Shadow Palette (Nordstrom): I bought this about a year ago around Christmas time as a reward (to myself, from myself :)) for getting through finals. I absolutely love it, especially because it contains a variety of matte as well as shimmery eyeshadows. It was kind of pricey, but well worth it. If you are looking to invest in a good smokey eye compact, definitely look into the random collections MAC comes out with every few weeks.

*edit: I completely forgot to include information about the eyeliner!

MAC Fluid Liner in 'Blacktrack': Even though I bought this early in the year, I didn't really start using it daily until Summer. It's waterproof, and glides on easily. I highly recommend it.

Angle Eyeliner Brush (Target): I didn't like this brush at first because I thought it was too stiff. I then became accustomed to it after several uses, and now love it. It applies the Fluid Liner perfectly!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

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image via WeHeartIt

For those of you who will be new to a college campus this Fall, I thought you would enjoy this article from Lo Bosworth's blog, The Lo Down. It's filled with tips on how to make the best of your time in college when it comes to boys and having fun. Enjoy!

"Going to College?: How to Navigate the New Guys

Congratulations! You’re off to school. It will truly be the time of your life, and that’s a guarantee. So much to think about: your dorm, your new roommate, a whole bunch of classes and a new schedule. And…BOYS! Let’s chat about them for a sec.

The day you arrive, they’ll swarm. Be ready, it’s very exciting. There is a way to navigate them all without losing your head or becoming a living legend (you don’t really want that, swear).

Some Tips:
◦It may be tempting to make out with the president of the coolest fraternity, but that’s what he expects of freshmen. If you like him, show him that you’re serious rather than slobbering all over him in the common room at 1 am.

◦While some seniors are living up their last year, they are possibly the most ready to make a commitment. I dated a senior as a freshman, and we lasted for 2 solid years.

◦Be cautious of new best friends and guys, too. Everything may not always be as it seems (I learned this the hard way. One of my roommates in college was craaazy).


Tips For a Great Night Out:
◦Don’t get stuck at a frat by yourself late at night. That’s bad.

◦Charge your phone before you go out.

◦Create a buddy system of some sort (I know this sounds like Girl Scouts, but it will help keep you safe).

◦Let your roommate or someone on your floor (your R.A. perhaps?) where you are headed for the night.

◦Have fun, and don’t drink toooo much of the good stuff."

Boys Of Summer

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I apologize for the lack of posts this past week. I just got back from vacationing in Hawaii! It was absolutely amazing. I wish I could have taken the sun back with me, but for some strange reason, I found my reunion with the rain to be quite refreshing. I will always be a Seattlelite at heart. What is your favorite thing about the city/state/country you live in?

This week's list for MUSIC MONDAY (OK--..."Music Thursday", as I should be calling it):
1. 'O Valencia' The Decemberists
2. 'Follow Through' Gavin DeGraw
3. 'Just The Way You Are' Bruno Mars
4. 'Boys In The Summer' Jessie James
5. 'Boys Of Summer' DJ Sammy or The Ataris (both versions are awesome)
6. 'I Could Say' Lily Allen
7. 'You Make It Real' James Morrison
8. 'Stolen' Dashboard Confessional


How-to: At-Home Pedicure

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Although I enjoy going out for an occasional pedicure, I prefer to do my own nails. It saves me money, and I always get to use the exact color/brand I want. Over the years, I have discovered red to be my all time favorite winter nailpolish, while hot pink stands as my signature summer color. I wanted to share with you lovely bloggers the steps I use to achieve your very own at-home pedicure.

What you will need:
-a place to soak your feet in warm water for ~10 minutes (I usually use my bathroom sink)
-nail clippers and a cuticle cutter (you can find these tools for cheap at a dollar store, Target, Wal-Mart, etc)
-nailpolish of choice (below, I have the color 'Lavender' from F21)

optional:
-cotton balls/pads to remove pre-existing nailpolish
-sugar scrub, to slough away dead skin (see below for home-made recipes)
-nail file
-top coat (I usually don't use base coats or top coats. Especially base coats, because they tend to make your nailpolish peel faster.)

Steps:
1. Soak feet in warm water for ~10 minutes. If you would like to exfoliate, you can use a foot scrub. For home-made recipes, visit this website.
2. Cut nails to desired length. I prefer mine to be short.
3. Using a cuticle cutter (you can also use a 'cuticle nipper' or a 'cuticle pusher'), cut away the cuticle on each nail. Be careful not to cut too close to your actual skin. The cuticle cutter I have pictured below also doubles as a great tool to clean the surface of the edges of your toenails.
4. Apply 2 coats of color to nails that are clean and dry. I usually skip the top coat because the thinner your nailpolish is, the longer it lasts. However, you don't want to add too thin of a coat, because in my opinion, the more opaque nailpolish appears on your nails, the more put-together it looks. I decided to add a top coat this time for glossiness. See picture below for finished product.

-If you accidentally get polish onto the skin that is close to your newly painted nail, take a q-tip that has been dipped in remover, and gently rub away the polish.

Good luck!