Wardrobe Essentials

A question I get asked a lot is “If I was going to update my wardrobe with one new essential, what should it be?”

This is a tough one to answer, because while certain pieces do have a way of improving every look, it’s still hard to pick just one! So here I’ve narrowed it down to four.

Four items that will instantly “up” your style:

1. Leopard Pumps. I’m on the market for the perfect pair of these. I have amazing leopard-print smoking slippers, which I’ve completely worn to death, but I’m ready to take it to the next level by adding a heel. The key is to keep them dainty and ladylike, to avoid looking tacky (as leopard sometimes tends to do…) You can literally wear these with a t-shirt and jeans, and you’ll automatically look stylish. These ones are from Neiman’s and kind of pricey, but so lovely!

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2. Leather Jacket. I have several leather jackets, and they’re my favorite things in my closet. It takes some trial and error to find the perfect one. I got my favorite one from Foreign Exchange ages ago, but my newest addition is this one from H&M. It’s classic, perfect, and still available!

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3. Silk Blouse. This one is essential! I didn’t figure this out until recently, but a collared blouse can be thrown into, literally, any outfit. It instantly adds an extra element of style to whatever you are wearing. Look at the difference it makes to my sweater! This piece is perfect for fall.

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4. Structured Tote. Wanna look like a fashion blogger? Carry around a structured tote–even if there’s nothing inside! When I carry this one around, I literally feel like a celebrity (especially paired with sunglasses and a Starbucks cup!) It doesn’t even have to be designer–this one is from Nine West for under $100! Worried you can’t pull it off? Or that you’ll look ridiculous? Just give it a try. Trust me, everyone is intrigued by a woman with a bad-ass bag.

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Hair Repair

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In general, I think I’m a pretty good-natured person–but when it comes to my hair, I’m borderline abusive.

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I have really fine, thin hair to begin with. So it’s already super fragile and damage-prone. Then on top of that, I dye and color it all the time (I even get bleached highlights–yikes!) and heat-style it, whether I’m curling or straightening, every single day. I also do more damage by giving myself trims with non-hair scissors, picking at my dead-ends with my finger nails, and wearing clip-in extensions.

I honestly deserve to have the crunchiest, most-damaged, scarecrow hair. But somehow, people still compliment me on my “super soft” locks. How do I save my hair from all the damage I’ve caused? Read on for tips on how I keep it silky-soft and looking healthy:

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  1. Heat protectant serum. This is something I use every day–anytime I use any sort of heat on my hair. It’s inexpensive, but it’s super important!
  2. Shampoo. I try to only wash my hair every 3rd day. Washing your hair too often is a sure-fire way to dry it out, because it strips the hair of its natural oils. Also, I read shampoo labels like they’re the Bible. I always try and find the perfect shampoo for my hair’s specific needs. Right now, I use a special shampoo for bleached hair. (I’ll never do bleach again, it really killed my hair)
  3. Moroccan oil. After letting my hair air-dry, I put some oil on my fingers and run them through my hair. I put extra emphasis on the tips of my hair, to avoid split-ends. Moroccan oil is kind of expensive, but a little bit goes a long way, and it really makes a big difference in the health of my hair.
  4. Deep conditioning. Once a week, I use a deep conditioning hair-mask which I let sit in my hair for 15 minutes between my usual shampoo and conditioner. I promise it will change your hair! Deep conditioner is amazing, and your hair literally gets softer with every use. This is a step most people skip over, but it’s a worth-it investment!

The Products I Use (click to shop):

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Extra Tips!

  • Try not to blowdry! -Everyone has different opinions on this, but I personally find my hair to be healthier/softer when I haven’t blown it dry in a while.
  • Ponytail holders = breakage. This is common sense, but we ignore it. Keeping your hair in a tight pony or throwing it into an adorably messy bun will break hairs. “Ouchless Ponytails”? Lies. And I nevvver sleep in a ponytail. If I need to, I’ll sleep in a loose braid (having the fastener at the bottom causes less breakage).
  • Maintain your manicure. This might sound random, but I promise it affects your hair. When your nails have rough edges, or your polish is chipped, your hair gets caught in them without you realizing. This is an easy way for damage to sneak into your mane.
  • Don’t brush wet hair. This is my personal thing. My hair (because it’s so thin) is super delicate when it’s wet. I wait till it dries before I brush it. Once I made this change, I noticed a lot less damage.

 

The Financial Guy’s Shoes

On Tuesday, I went to the student activities office to ask somebody a question, and I saw that there was a workshop going on. I had no idea what the topic of the workshop was, but I was on my lunch break anyway so I sat down to listen.

The workshop ended up being about building credit so you could take out business loans. *Yawn*

But I have to tell you, the way the speaker presented himself made me want to stay and listen to everything he had to say. Every hair on his head was in place. His slim-fit suit was flawlessly pressed. His tie was artfully clipped to his dress shirt, which matched his pocket square. His watch? Loved it. His belt? Perfect.

But the greatest part of his entire outfit was his footwear. He was wearing the greatest men’s dress shoes I’ve ever seen!

After he concluded his workshop, several students stayed behind to ask him questions. I did as well. But I didn’t want to ask his financial advice; I wanted to ask about his shoes. Obviously.

“Hi David,” I shameless approached him, “Can I take a picture of your shoes?” (The things I do for this blog…)

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This picture does NOT do these beauties any justice…but look at him striking that pose. He was clearly flattered. Hehe.

I didn’t want to push my luck and ask who made his shoes, but once I got home I tore up the internet trying to find them. I never found them, but I did find some other great ones. I had no idea there were so many nice dress shoes for men. Why do they all wear the same black ones when there are so many other unique and wonderful options?

Here are some of my picks that I came across in my search: (Some of these even have price points lower than $100! Can you guess which ones?)

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 Any of these shoes catch your fancy? Each one is its own link, so click away!

Painting ‘em Red

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Once upon a time, like a thousand years ago, I was dating this guy who really liked when I wore bright red nail polish (I’m talking seriously “firetruck” “candy-apple” red…) So, during those months of my life, my nails were adorned strictly in variations of the hue. Needless to say, after he dumped me, I went back to a normal rotation of colors. But, between you and I, those few red-binge months have made it so that I’m a freakin’ bright-red-nail-polish-expert over here. Just saying.

After testing basically every bright red polish out there, here are my favorites:

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From left to right: Essie 424 “Bordeaux”, China Glaze 881 “Phat Santa” (ha, seriously), and Revlon 730 “Valentine”.

They all look very similar (what can I say? my ex had specific taste,) but I promise if you try any of the three you’ll be hooked for life.

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Yes, the name is upside down in this pic…#leftyproblems

The “Bordeaux” is my favorite. I’ve honestly had to re-buy it several times, because it’s the only nail polish bottle I physically finish. Every last drop. Believe it.

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That awkward moment when my mom tells me my nails look like claws. Sorry, ma, ain’t gonna cut them!