New Blogging Gadgets and Stationary

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People really have no idea or conception about the amount of detail that goes into blogging. I take a great amount of pride in making sure my content is consistent and the best that I can do. I push myself every single day trying to think of new ways to add a twist to my post and for that you need the right tools. These might seem boring and nothing special but they certainly help me keep everything organized. I was fortunate enough to invest in some items in the beginning of the year to add to the “tool kit”. You might have seen these items floating around on IG already but I wanted to share how they’ve helped me so far!

  • Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Portable Drive - I was so happy to finally get one of these to store all my photos and additional work! Making YouTube videos was a challenge because it was eating away at all the space on my MacBook but now that isn’t an issue with 1 TB of space. I have everything backed up on here just in case I accidentally delete something or needed to work away from home. It’s very thin and easy to chuck in a bag without it taking up room.
  • Frends Headphones (Taylor-Silver) - I have been eyeing these headphones for ages and placed the order because they’re on sale! I edit my work mainly at night and most recently during my lunch break at work. No one wants to hear the scribble sounds you hear during an editing sesh so headphones are super important for me. I’ve used the headphones that Apple devices usually come with but after a while the rubbered cord become dingy, tangled and just a mess. I love the simple design of these headphones and the fact that the cord is made of fabric. The sound quality is nice and clean not to mention the soft cushioning that covers your ears! I’m very pleased with them and glad I made the investment.
  • Moleskine Classic Notebook - I’m a stationary hoarder at heart! I have a crap load of notebooks lying around the house but the one I always come back to are the Moleskine. It’s a basic black covered journal which has my name written all over it! I like the elastic band that keeps the book closed, perfect while it’s in your bag so the pages don’t get ruined.
  • Sharpie Pens - I purchased these to start sketching again. I’ve never really shared this with you all but I’ve been drawing since the age of 8. I’ll pick up the sketch pad every now and again but I haven’t drawn in a very long time. I recently started sketching fashion illustrations in my journal to help with my OOTD posts. I’m happy to have finally found a way to incorporate drawing as a part of brainstorming when it comes to blogging. These pens help outline my sketches without bleeding on the pages.

I try my best to share as much BTS as I can so that my viewers can get a better sense of who I am. I’m also nosy and want to know what are some of your favorite blogging tools, I have paper and pen in hand!

4 New Things

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  1. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow - It’s finally mine! I just gave in and I’m so glad I did. I was skeptical about the bronzer showing up on my skin but it does, all I can say is holy sh*t!
  2. Tea Forte White Ambrosia - This year I’m trying different foods, drinks and all things yummy. I’m a green tea junkie but decided it would be good to try white tea this time around. First of all how cute are these silk tea infusers? I’m obsessed and even ordered a new cup (Image is from this site) that I’ve been eyeing for ages. The tea itself is delicious with notes of Madagascar vanilla and coconut.
  3. Jouer Luminizing Liquid Highlighter - The founder of Jouer Cosmetics, Christina  Zibler was kind enough to send me a lovely gift along with Jouer’s new highlighting pen. I only swatched it on the back of my hand so I’ll keep you guys posted as to how it works!
  4. Big Collaboration - Soooo you know how I was telling you I was working on something special?! Movado and I have teamed up to bring you guys looks showcasing some of their watches from the bold line! I absolutely love the brand and own some of their pieces so I was super excited when I received the message. It will be live sometime next week so stay tuned!

What I Bring Along For OOTD Shoots

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OOTD photos can be challenging especially if you have no one to help out and have to take them on your own. There is more then just pointing and shooting when I head out to take my photos. I prep the day before so that I’m not scrambling around looking for items that might help me when I’m in a pinch.

  • Lotion - I like to take shots of my rings, watches, etc and I want to make sure my hands are hydrated. Ashy hands and dry cuticles are not appealing to the eye. Same goes for feet!
  • Nail Polish - I will bring the nail color I’m wearing just in case I chip my nails on the way to my location, I’ve already done it.
  • Hair Spray - For some extra oomph I will bring my trusty Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, you never know what the weather is going to do to your hair!
  • Lint Roller - Pretty self explanatory.
  • Cleaning Cloth - This will help with smudgy finger prints that might be on your sunglasses or on the face of a watch.
  • Change Of Shoes - More often than not I will arrive at the location in some sandals or boots, this comes in handy when scouting locations and don’t want to walk in 6in heels.
  • Makeup - Touch-ups may need to happen so I’ll bring concealer, lipstick, powder, blotting sheets and cream highlighter.
  • Hand Sanitizer - You might touch the floor or lean against a wall, then touch the camera, need I say more?
  • Screen Shots Of Inspo - Maybe there is a new pose you want to try out, taking screen shots on your phone is an awesome way to help with creativity.

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Obscura

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 There are a lot of mixed reviews about the 7 new eyeshadow palettes that Hourglass have released. While I’ve only tried this palette in particular I can’t vouch for the other 6 and if they’re all similar in texture. I chose the palette in Obscura/Earth Tones cream, smokey brown, rose gold, coffee, cool bronze. While the shades on Temptalia are very warmed toned on her site they didn’t swatch warm in person for me. I also read that she had issues with the shadows having a powdery finish during application again that wasn’t the case for me. I honestly didn’t have a problem with blending or payoff, I did use a primer but I always do because I have greasy eyelids. I found them to have a very similar fall-out when using one of the Naked palettes from Urban Decay. Any baked makeup product is going to give some type of fall-out so I’m not sure what expectations were when being purchased. Pigmentation to me was on point and I had no issues in that department, I used a M.A.C 239 to pack the rose gold shade on my lid then blended some of the darker brown shades into the crease with a M.A.C 217. At first I thought they were the same size as the ambient lighting palettes but they’re not, you can see in comparison above.

A very basic color palette but it’s all I use, you can never have too many neutral palettes. I have to agree with Sabrina on this one and say thumbs up, I love that the palette is smaller and compact, it has all the shades I would need to create a vast amount of looks, plus the waved ripple design is absolutely beautiful!

*PR Samples

Living Proof PHD 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

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I get a ton of requests to do hair tutorials or a styling video but truth is I barely brush it and use minimal styling products. I use hair straighteners and that’s pretty much it, once my hair is longer I can probably start curling it again. One thing that I’ve added to the hair line-up and has really changed the overall finish of my hair is the Living Proof PHD 5-in-1 Styling Treatment. This sort of priming product has all these great features in just one bottle. It conditions the hair, helps with static (I know I need it with all the hair tucking I do), UV protection, smooths, and adds volume/body. This really helps me achieve that second day hair without having to wait the 48hrs. What I like most about it is that it’s a non-greasy formula and it feels weightless in the hair. I have thick coarse hair and I try to avoid heavy products because then it’s that much harder to wash out, I would have to use a clarifying shampoo which tends to dry out my scalp. This treatment smells amazing and I haven’t come across anything like it. I’ve been using it for a month and can tell the difference in the texture of my hair when I forget to put some on. You want to use it on damp hair from roots to ends then comb it through.

Being that I love it so much I have an extra bottle to give to one of my viewers, all you have to do is comment down below telling me your most coveted hair product and why! This is open internationally and will end Jan. 28th 12AM EST, I’ll announce the winner on the 29th.

Good luck guys!

*PR Samples 

5 Drugstore Favorites

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To switch things up a bit I decided to talk about some drugstore products that really bring it when it comes to longevity, texture and quality. It’s usually a hit and miss type deal when it comes to drugstore makeup with me. I hope you guys enjoy the video and feel free to let me know what types of videos you’d like to see next so that I can add them on to my list!

Items mentioned: 

Maybelline lipsticks in Stormy Sahara & Truffle Tease

L’Oreal Infallible 24hr Shadows in Bronzed Taupe and Amber Rush

Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohls in Nude, Bronze and Taupe

Maybelline Full & Soft WP Mascara

Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner in Ultra Black

My Instagram Method & Tips

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IG to me is just an extension of what my blog has to offer, it’s where I do most of my communication with my viewers and I could spend hours on it! I try to keep my feed clean and consistent with what’s on my site but it’s also a place I can share news, post updates and really push my creativity.

  • Similar Tones & Sizes - I feel that if you have an over-all color palette to your feed it makes it that much more appealing to the eye. Just like it’s said if a blog is too busy people will click away, same goes for your IG. I suffer from synesthesia and I do find that it helps me when it comes to colors meshing well. I’ll scroll through my feed and if an old picture isn’t saturated enough I’ll remove it. I know its stupid (I’ll use the word stupid so that I’m not insensitive towards others feelings) but it will annoy the hell out of me and again I’m very anal about shit like that. If you use an app (like me) to make sure the entire picture fits in the screen do it for all of your photos to keep it all proportioned.
  • Separate Business from Personal - When I first started my IG it was a bit of both because I wasn’t really serious about blogging but now that I’m trying to take LWSS to the next level I feel that my personal life should be its own thing. I know some people have separate accounts for friends and family but thats all too much for me, I really don’t care who sees my page nor am I trying to hide the fact that I blog. I’ll occasionally post something about my children every now and again but I try to keep them off social media as much as I can for now. Maybe in the future I’ll feature them in vlogs or something but I don’t feel it necessary to do so at this very moment. IG is a place to share my work not my #MCM! (no offense)
  • Consistency - I feel that if you have a certain style or background in which you take your photos it can now be a way to recognized where the photo originated. New ways to create content is great but you also want to leave a trail so that you are known for your work.
  • Tagging - If you take a picture of a flatlay make sure you tag all the brands that are in the picture, your picture might catch the eye of a particular brand and get re-posted! I can’t describe the feeling every time someone or a brand  shares my work, it’s flattering and humbling.

There is no right or wrong way to do things, it’s all a matter of what you want to achieve with your account. For some bloggers it’s how they get traffic to their site or simply letting viewers know a post has gone live. These are all things I take into consideration while uploading to IG because it’s a reflection of who and what I represent. Having an abundance of followers is nice and all but the interaction is what matters most to me at least, I could only speak for myself.

Currently Loving #3 . . .

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Shopped My Stash - Jouer Cream Shadow in Galaxy, Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in 102, Essie Wicked, M.A.C Lip Liner in Subculture, Chanel Shadow in Emerveille.

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Tortoise Shell - I’m not huge on prints as you all know but for some reason Tortoise Shell has caught my attention. It’s such a classic print and adds a bit of fun to my monochrome life. This votive set from Belle Fleur smells heavenly and have a very warm base to them. I also had to incorporate it into my wardrobe somehow so it was the perfect excuse to get new Rays.

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NYC - So If you haven’t heard I booked a class in the city to learn how to make macarons early May! I’m super excited and feel like the city keeps calling me back, I’ll most likely be eating and exploring all day (shopping included). Oh and Wicked is happening for sure, late X-mas gift from the boy!

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Edamame - My current snack of choice and I can’t get enough of it! I just add a pinch of sea salt and munch away.

Layers

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As much as I hate the cold weather I’m obsessed with layering clothing. It’s a nice way to balance out an outfit with different textures and prints. I kept this outfit very monochrome as you all know but still adding a new color to the mix, grey (does that still count). I am also having a moment with tortoise shell hence the new pair of sunnies on my face. Now once again I don’t dress to flatter, I go baggy all the way baby!

Turtleneck: *RD Style Label  //  Buttoned Shirt: Old Navy  //  Knit Coat: Zara  //  High-waisted Trousers: Zara  //  Shoes: Converse  //  Watch: Movado  //  Rings: HomeGrown Silver & Stone  //  Sunglasses: Ray-Ban 2140 50mm  //  Hat: Janessa Leone Gabrielle