Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ok, so, I'm a Shoe Hoarder...

I've always been afraid to sit down and actually go through my shoes to see how many pairs I own. That would be admitting I have a problem. However, I'm living in a college dorm room and the amount of shoes I can fit in my tiny closet is limited… or so I thought. Somehow I managed to fit 31 pairs of shoes in that three foot hole in the wall. I invested in a four tier shoe rack and they're still kind of spilling out and sometimes I trip over them but it works. So, in the interest of admitting to my problem and sharing my glorious collection with the world, I sat down and photographed every single pair. I tried to remember where they were all from but I've collected these over a span of at least three years. Also, keep in mind: this is just what I have with me at school. There are more in my closet at home. Enjoy! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekly Check-In: Saying No

So last week I decided I was going to make a huge lifestyle change and bring you all along for the ride as a way to keep myself motivated. I was thinking positively and was ready to go… for about five minutes after I made the post. When it comes to exercising and eating healthy, I've always lacked the motivation I needed. It's not because I don't want to be healthy or comfortable with my body because I want that more than anything. It's because I am addicted to food. I can't say no to it. I have always had a problem with emotional eating and overeating almost to the point of binging; add that to an insatiable sweet tooth and it's safe to say it's pretty bad. It's also not something I can stop doing overnight; it's something I have to do gradually because if I just quit cold turkey I'll never be able to succeed. It just doesn't work for me.

The other problem I'm having is my relationship with exercise. I hate it. I hate it so much that the mere thought of it makes me want to throw up. I don't understand those people that get addicted to it and have to go every day. I get on an elliptical and I'm ready to get off after two minutes. The fact that I hate it so much makes it extremely difficult to get up and go. Yes, I'm one of those people that's always saying, "I'll start going tomorrow." But then tomorrow becomes next week and it just keeps getting put off. Going to the gym is as appealing to me as getting teeth pulled. But I know it's the only way I will ever reach my goal. I just can't figure out how to motivate myself. Anyone have any advice for me?

So all in all, this first week was a complete failure. I'm disappointed in myself but I know I'll be able to do it eventually… at least I hope so. If anyone has any advice on getting motivated feel free to share!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Outfit of the Day

Today was… interesting. As a Fashion Major, there are so many fun and intriguing classes I get to take. There are also those required classes that are so boring they make me want to poke my eye out with a butter knife. Yes, I'm talking about art history. There are some people that can spend hours walking around museums staring at paintings and sculptures and be completely enthralled the entire time. I am not one of those people. Yes, I spent today sitting in the Metropolitan, among hundreds of loud and very rude tourists, taking notes comparing two paintings I couldn't really give a crap about. But if I didn't do it I'd fail my class and blah, blah, blah. So I spent today bored out of my mind in the Met while I could have been strolling around and shopping in my favorite city in the world. I so wish I had gone shopping instead. The things I do for fashion. However, being the fashion and beauty obsessed woman that I am, if I was going to waste away in a crowded museum I was going to look damn cute doing it.

Hair - Goddess Braids (one on each side and pinned in the back)
Lips - Maybelline Bit of Berry
Necklace - Francesca's Boutique
Shirt - Francesca's Boutique
Sweater - Forever 21
Pants - American Eagle
Boots - Aldo 

All About Tattoos

I've always been a lover of tattoos and the meaning they can hold for the person that wears them. The adults I grew up around all had them and I spent most of my teenage years dreaming about what I was going to get the day I turned 18. My ideas changed frequently over the years depending on what phase of my life I was in and what I wanted when I was fifteen was no where near what I wanted when the day finally came. My nineteenth birthday is coming up quickly (less than a week!) and my tattoo count is currently at four. I definitely see myself getting more in the future but for now I'm taking a break from the needle. I want them each to mean something to me and I'm going to make sure that whatever I get on my body next is something that holds a lot of sentiment.

I went through a lot in my high school years and for my first tattoo I wanted something that symbolized my journey. I've always taken a liking to feathers and what they mean. To me, they symbolize strength and the ability to move on; which was exactly what I needed after four particularly rough years. So on my eighteenth birthday I made the appointment and two weeks later I was in the chair. I don't think I'd ever been that nervous. I've never been particularly fond of needles and the thought of sitting there with one continuously poking me for forty minutes straight was not appealing. But I sucked it up and a little while later I had a feather on my left wrist. It's just about due for a touch up and I think I'm going to have altered a bit so it doesn't look so rough around the edges. I want it to look a little bit more elegant and wispy. I don't love it 100% but I love what it means to me which is why I'll never regret any ink I put on my body.

The next tattoo I got was about five months later. I wanted to get something for my mom and my sister because they are two of the most important people in my lives. Because I was just about to go off to college at the time and I'd always loved them, I thought birds would be appropriate. So that's what I got. I have 3 black silhouettes of birds in flight on my collarbone/shoulder area. This is by far my favorite tattoo because of how elegant it is. I love the placement and the idea that no matter where I am I'll always have my family with me.

I got these next two tattoos about two months ago in the same sitting. The first one is a very small outline of a heart on the outside of my right wrist. It may not seem like it means anything but for me it is a reminder. I've always struggled with confidence and loving myself and when I see this heart it reminds me to do just that. It reminds me everyday to love myself no matter what I see looking back at me in the mirror.

My fourth and by far most painful tattoo is located on the side of my right foot. This one isn't as serious as the others but I love it just the same. I've been watching Titanic since I was about five years old. It is my all time favorite movie and I don't think that will ever change. In an early scene, Jack had dinner with Rose's people and makes a speech about making each and every day that he's alive count. Before he leaves that dinner he slips Rose a note that says "Make it count. Meet me at the clock." So I found a screen cap of that moment, had my tattoo artist trace "make it count" and that phrase will live forever on my foot. It is a little tribute to the movie I've invested so many hours of my life watching but the meaning goes further than that. With this tattoo, I'm remembering the speech Jack made and applying that mantra to my own life. I'm going to make each moment count.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Product Spotlight: Soap & Glory

I follow beauty bloggers heavily both through written blogs and YouTube. My favorite blogger and the one that inspired me to start my own blog was Zoella. Throughout the years there has been one brand that she has hailed over and over again: Soap & Glory. It's a UK based brand so it's availability in the U.S. is limited. At the moment, the brand is strictly carried at Sephora; which isn't really a hindrance at all being that it's one of the biggest beauty stores in the country. So I decided to give this brand a try. The first product I picked up was Soap & Glory's The Righteous Butter in the Original Pink Scent ($20). 

I think this is my favorite lotion I've ever used. The first thing I fell in love with was the scent; it's just incredible. It's described as combining 'fresh bergamot, mandarin, rose, jasmine, peach, strawberry, oakmoss, and amber with woody and warm vanilla notes.' As soon as I read rose and jasmine I was sold. I'm a big fan of heavy floral scents and this is definitely that. It's probably more of a winter scent but I'm going to use it all year round. The mandarin adds a little something extra in the after scent. I smell that more once I've put it on. 

Once I was done obsessing over the amazing smell of it I actually put it on. Now, I've always had eczema and just all around sensitive skin so heavily perfumed scents (such as Bath and Body Works products) have always left me irritated so I was a little bit hesitant to try this. My worries were all in vain because no lotion has ever left my skin feeling so literally silky. Not even lotions meant for eczema. It's so ridiculously hydrating I couldn't stop rubbing my arms after I applied it. Not only is it hydrating but it absorbs into damp skin almost instantly (it's meant to be applied directly after showering) so you're not left feeling all slippery and gross waiting for it to dry. 

So, after having such a great experience with this lotion, I picked up Soap & Glory's Hand Food ($12), also in the Pink scent, for my purse and I use it daily. It's just as moisturizing and sweet smelling. 

The next product I picked up was Soap & Glory's Clean On Me creamy moisture shower gel ($16). It's in the Pink scent (I know, I'm obsessed) and again, I've always had trouble with heavily scented shower gels because of my sensitive skin, but this stuff is actually incredible. The bottle is pretty big and lasts for a really long time. I only need two pumps on my loofah because it lathers up a ridiculous amount. I used three pumps the first time and was rinsing my loofah of the excess for at least five minutes. The mandarin scent is definitely more prominent in the shower gel but it smells just as sweet as the lotion. I've also never used a shower gel or soap that was as moisturizing as this one. Sometimes I skip the lotion altogether after showering but the effects of the shower gel and lotion combined are undeniable. 

Soap & Glory is definitely an incredible brand with great and effective products. I highly recommend that you find your favorite scent of theirs and buy every product they make in it. It's worth it and you get a lot of product for your money. Hope you enjoyed this review; let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Healthy Living

I'm going to be completely honest, here. I've always struggled with my weight and body image. I wouldn't say that I am 'fat' because I absolutely detest that word but I will say that I am technically overweight and it bothers me to no end. Most of the time looking in the mirror is nothing short of devastating. I'm making this post because I want to change this and to motivate myself to do it and keep to it. I'm going to make 'Weekly Check-In' posts where I share my progress. I think it will help me stay on track with this lifestyle change. I've tried so many times to do this in the past but I've never been able to stick with it for more than a few weeks. I started college last September and I've been steadily gaining weight since and I'm done. I'm going to commit to a workout routine and eating healthy in a way that works for me and track my progress on here for all of you to see. I'm hoping this will motivate me to keep going. I'm not going to post personal things like my weight but I'll give an honest account of the good and bad things that happen. I need to make a change in my life and I'm going to do it starting right now. Let's see how I feel in a week!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tutorial: Polka Dot Nails

I love doing my nails and I love finding new and cool designs to put on them. When I want something a little bit more than just one plain color but don't really feel like putting in too much effort, basic polka dots are my go to. It's so easy and it gives your manicure that little something extra.

What You'll Need:

  • Two nail polish colors of your choice. I'll be using Samoan Sand and Black Onyx by OPI
  • Clear Top Coat and Base Coat
  • Cuticle Oil/Lotion, Nail File, and Nail Clippers
  • One q-tip
Step 1:

I usually begin by clipping and filing my nails to my desired length. I then massage in cuticle lotion, get rid of any excess cuticle, and then push them back. This provides a blank base and I'm ready to begin. The next thing I do is apply a clear base coat. I use Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails because my nails tend to be a little bit frail and this helps strengthen them. I give this about five minutes to dry before moving on.

Step 2:

Next I take OPI's Samoan Sand and apply one coat. I wait another five minutes and apply a second coat. Now, because this is not a very pigmented color you may need more than two coats. I usually apply three. The trick to applying more than two coats without it getting sticky is to apply them very very thinly. The thinner the coat and the longer you wait between applications, the better chance you'll have of getting a nice, clean finish. I have on three coats in the picture below.

Step 3:

After your base coat is completely dry, you need to take your q-tip and remove the cotton tip from one end. You can either do this by pulling off the cotton or cutting the tip off completely (as long as the cut is completely even; I usually use my nail file to ensure that it's level). This is what you will use to make the polka dots. Now I take OPI's Black Onyx, dip the q-tip into the polish as needed and apply three dots to make something of a triangle. Use your judgement here as to where you fill in the rest of the polka dots. Continue with this technique until you've finished both hands and let dry completely. I usually wait fifteen to twenty minutes before continuing to the next step.

Step 4:

Once your manicure is completely dry, take your preferred Top Coat and apply one even coat to ensure a long lasting manicure. Make sure you let it dry completely and you're done!

Polka dots are always my go-to manicure and there are so many ways to make it different. There are an endless amount of color combinations. You could use two to three different colors for the polka dots or even do a different color on every nail. It's so simple and it really takes your manicure to a whole new level. Hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions just ask!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Makeup Essentials

Every girl has her everyday makeup routine and certain products that she buys over and over again. At the moment, these are mine. I own a mix of drug store and high end products that I use daily. They are posted in the order I apply them. I'll try to find all of the prices and list them, too.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream $8
I have never used foundation because I don't really need it. Aside from the occasional pimple or blackhead, I've never had acne so I don't really need the coverage. I use Maybelline's BB cream in the Light Sheer Tint to moisturize and even out my skin tone because I do have a little bit of redness. I apply it with the E.L.F. Studio Stipple Brush $3 (not what it's meant for) and it gives me flawless skin with a radiant glow.

E.L.F Essential Eyelid Primer $1
I was a little bit skeptical when I bought this primer because it was so cheap but I was completely sold after my first use. It goes on pretty easily and once it's dry it helps my eyeshadow stay on all day. I've only bought one tube so far but I've been using it for about three months so it's lasted me quite a while. I definitely recommend this product.

MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW15 $20
I've spent so much time and money going through concealers because I have a huge problem with dark under eye circles. They're not pretty to look at and it's probably my biggest insecurity about my face. This was the first MAC product I've purchased and currently the most expensive makeup product I own. I have to say, it does its job. It does a great job of brightening up my under eyes and making me look less zombie-like. I apply it with the very small brush that is in the tube and use the E.L.F Professional Foundation Brush $1 to blend it. This has definitely become my go to concealer.

Maybelline Fit Me Bronzer in Medium Bronze $5.50
This is actually the first and only bronzer I've ever tried and I am looking to find a better one. It's a packed powder formula, it goes on easily, and it's very blendable but the shade is just a little bit too dark for me. I tried the Fit Me in Light Bronze but that one was too yellow for my taste; it made me look sickly. So right now I apply a very very little amount of this bronzer to the hollows of my cheeks to contour and then blend it to my skin with a sheer translucent powder and it looks pretty good. I still would like to find a better one.

L'Oreal Visible Lift Color Lift Blush in Peach Gold $10
I actually really like this blush. The peach gold color goes great with my skin tone and it is very easy to apply. It isn't exactly a cream formula but it isn't a powder either. It's a strange mix of both but I really like it. It isn't too loose or too creamy. To apply I use the E.L.F Studio Blush Brush $3 and it goes on flawlessly.

Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Loose Powder in Translucent Light $12.95
I've used the Bare Minerals powder and this one is just as effective for half the price. I apply this powder with the brush it comes with all over my face to set my under eye concealer and to blend my bronzer and blush. I'm very pale so my bronzer and blush is way too bright when first applied and this sheer formula does a great job of blending and toning the color down a bit so it's just the right amount.

NYX Love in Paris 9 Color Eyeshadow Palette in LIP05 $10
From this palette, I create a nude colored smokey eye. I begin by applying the nude/gold color located in the top middle all over my eyelid. I then use the white color on the inner corner of my eye and on my brow bone to highlight. I finish by using the dark brown located on the bottom row in the middle in my crease and outer corner and finish by blending. It's a very simple look that give my eyes a little extra pop. To apply the shadow, I use the Sonia Kashuk Essential Eye Kit $10.95 available at Target.

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner $8.99
This is a great liquid eyeliner. It goes on smoothly and lasts all day without smudging. I like to apply it as thinly as I can and wing it out at the end to give a slight cat eye effect.

Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Nude $4.49
I use this nude eyeliner to line my bottom water line. It is nude so you can't see it but it makes the eyes appear brighter, whiter, and larger. The effect is almost instant. This eyeliner goes on very smoothly and lasts all day.

Almay One Coat Triple Effect Mascara $6.89
Mascara is my favorite part of doing my makeup because it's when the look really starts to come together. I was blessed with long eye lashes so I don't use a curler. I use about two coats of this mascara and apply on both my top and bottom lashes. I also run it over the back side of my top lashes to ensure full coverage. *Quick Tip: If you accidentally get mascara on your eyelid or under your eyes (I do all the time) do not try to rub it off right away. All you'll do it smudge it everywhere. Instead, wait for it to dry completely and then rub off with a dry q-tip. It should crumble right off leaving the rest of your makeup intact. 

Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Blonde $5.99
I'm a firm believer that no look is ever finished until you've filled in your eyebrows. Even on the days where all I apply is concealer and a thin coat of mascara, my brows will be filled in. It just takes your look to a whole other level and it's a very subtle way to do so. Full eyebrows are really in right now and this is my go to pencil. It's very thin so it allows a lot of room for shaping and it goes on very smoothly. I love this pencil and will always repurchase it.

So that's my everyday makeup routine and my go-to products! I usually finish off with some sort of chapstick or lipgloss but that varies from day to day. Thank you so much for reading and if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Hello Fellow Fashion Lovers!

My name is Kate and welcome to Flourish of Fashion! Here I'll be posting everything from beauty  tutorials, any DIY projects I do, product reviews, clothing hauls, look books, and my everyday outfits. My love for fashion is immense and I feel the need to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy my blog! Feel free to ask me any questions you may have or suggest different types of posts you might want to see from me. I'm open to anything. Thank you so much for visiting and subscribe if you like what you see!