Friday, July 29, 2016

LINK LOVE VOL. 4


Hi everyone! Whew, it feels like such a whirlwind kind of week so it's nice to just sit down and write this post. I flew home from Paris on Wednesday and the jet lag is hitting me HARD. I've been waking up at 4:30 the past two mornings... Hopefully I'll get back on track soon because it's getting a little annoying (though I've been getting a ton of blog stuff done early in the morning, ha!). 

One of the things I've been doing in my early hours is catching up on all the blogs I read. In Europe, between the lack of wifi during the day and our jam-packed schedule, I barely had time to read any blogs I normally check daily. So, in this installment of Link Love, I'm sharing everything I missed while I was abroad! 

As for the weekend, I'm excited to just relax and get organized after such a busy two weeks. Hopefully, I'll get my sleep schedule back on track one of these days, too! I'm super excited for a fun college collaboration series I'm doing next week starting on Monday, so stay tuned for that. Happy reading! 

1. Jessica's travel guide for Paris was such a life saver during my trip. My family and I tried some of her recommendations and our favorite was Le Petit Cler cafe. So delicious! 

2. Shelby rounded up a really great list of the best drugstore makeup products

3. Here's a preview of my five days in London! Full recap posts are coming in the next week, so stay tuned. 

4. This post is from about a month ago, but Hallie posted this link to an older post and I loved reading her thoughts about "being ready". 

5.  I'm in love with Carly's rebrand. Everything from the new logo to the fonts and design of the website is perfect and so TCP. Excited to keep following TCP throughout this new and exciting chapter! 

6. I've always loved a good jumpsuit, and Meg's is no exception. I love all the different ways she styled it- so fun! 

7. Obsessed with Renee's denim jumper

8. I always love reading others' routines, so I finally posted mine! Here's my complete beauty routine from absolute start to finish. 

9. My host-sister left this week to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for Team USA this week. I'm so incredibly excited for her. Go Amanda and go Team USA!

10. This weekend marks the start of August and I'm super excited to start using my new Kate Spade agenda. Which agenda will you be using this year? 

Happy Friday! XO

Monday, July 25, 2016

COMPLETE BEAUTY ROUTINE


I always love reading and watching other bloggers' beauty routines and seeing what products they use, so I figured I'd share mine today. I am always on the lookout for new products and find that usually these posts are broken up by skincare, makeup or hair products. I figured I'd just compile them all together. So, this post is a little lengthy but it's filled with product recommendations throughout my routine. I linked basically everything so you can try out some of my favorite products!

SHOWER
First, I use Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash. Since starting to use this soap, my skin has been so soft and rarely gets dry. Plus it smells so good! Next, I wash my face with Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (1-2 pumps). If you don't know it already, I'm a huge Glossier fan (see this post). The milky jelly cleanser is a super gentle face wash that is great for everyday use. It has makeup removing properties, but usually, I'll use a Neutrogena makeup remover wipe before my shower, then use the cleanser to wash my face and get off any excess makeup that the wipe missed. I shave with EOS Shaving Cream & a Venus Razor. The EOS shaving cream makes my legs so soft- cannot recommend it enough! 

For my hair, I usually wash it every two or three days. I have a dry scalp, so to keep it healthy, I use AG Control Shampoo every other time I wash my hair (so every four days). When I don't use the control shampoo, I just use the Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner duo. Its a little expensive for a drugstore product, but it leaves my hair so smooth and shiny, and I've noticed that its helped with the strength of my hair. 

POST SHOWER

The first thing I do when I get out of the shower after drying off is put Glossier priming moisturizer on my face (yes, another Glossier product. And there's more coming #sorrynotsorry). Then, I'll put on some Palmer's cocoa butter lotion to keep my skin soft and moisturized, especially in the summer. 
There are two products I put in my hair post-shower: AG Fast Food leave in conditioner and Organix Coconut Milk serum. The leave-in conditioner works with my conditioner to moisturize and keep my hair smooth. The coconut milk serum hydrates my hair and helps with anti-breakage. And of course, I'll put on deodorant.

MAKEUP

Usually, I shower at night so I'm not doing my makeup and hair afterwards but I thought this post would be more fun if it was more detailed, so I'm also sharing my daily hair and makeup routines. 

Moisturizer is one of the most important parts of the routine, so even though its in the "post-shower" section, I wanted to address it again. Since using Glossier's moisturizer, I've noticed major differences in my skin and its never looked better. Moral of the story: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!! 

After that, I'll put on Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint. Its lighter than a BB cream or foundation, but it gives some coverage, which is perfect for me, especially in the summer. If I'm dressing up or just want heavier coverage, I'll use Maybelline BB Cream instead. Then I'll cover up any blemishes with Benefit bo-ing concealer. Usually, I'll put a little of this under my eyes as well to brighten up my face. Then, I'll quickly dust Urban Decay Naked Powder on and then use the Naked Flushed bronzer and blush to add some color back on my face. Then, I add some highlight with Benefit's High Beam on my cheek bones, brow bone and Cupid's bow. I'm dying to try out Glossier's Haloscope highlighter once it comes back in stock in my shade. 

After that, I keep it pretty simple and quickly brush on Glossier's boy brow and then Dior Iconic Overcurl mascara. I always used to just use drugstore mascara, but when I did my own makeup for prom I splurged and got this one and have been loving it! I use half as much and get a great curl and length. For my lips, most days I just use my Burt's Bees pomegranate lip balm. To finish off my makeup, I spritz Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray to freshen up my face and keep everything on all day. 

HAIR

I never blow dry my hair, so if I'm going out soon after my shower, I'll just let it air dry or put it in a quick braid or low bun. During the week, I'll sometimes curl or straighten my hair. I use a Dry Bar flat iron and curling wand. 

MISC.  

A few other things I wanted to include... I try to do face masks once every week or so. I haven't been good about keeping up with it lately but I'm hoping to get back on the bandwagon soon. I love Glossier's two masks (surprised?). I also usually paint my nails once every week or two. My favorite color lately has been Essie's Bikini So Teeny.  As for perfume, honestly, I usually forget. If I remember, I love Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh. I just have the rollerball so I can throw it in my purse or my school bag and have it on-the-go!

I'd love to hear some of your favorite beauty products, so comment below! XO

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Friday, July 22, 2016

POSTCARDS FROM LONDON

Hello from across the pond! I've been in London for the last five days and today I'm heading to Paris! I've been Instagramming and Snapchatting (@empirestyles) a lot, so be sure to follow along to see what I've been up to. I'm not going to share too much of my trip yet since I'm going to post a few more detailed recaps once I get home next week. In short- London was incredible and ever better than I imagined. Here's a few pictures from my trip:







And with that, let me say happy Friday and au revoir as I head to the airport en route to Paris! XO 

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

KEN DOWNING: THE BEST OF THIS YEAR'S FASHION PRESENTATION AT DREXEL UNIVERSITY


This post is long overdue, but in April I visited Drexel University (my future home!) with my mom to hear Ken Downing, the Senior Vice President and Fashion Director of Neiman Marcus, speak about the past year in fashion. The presentation came a few weeks after all the F/W Fashion Weeks had ended, which Ken Downing had attended, and the presentation was marketed as a panel about the new trends, highlights of each fashion week and mentions of overall great designers/ shows.

The presentation ended up being less about fashion trends and more about how the industry is changing with new trends in industry practices. One of the biggest points that Ken Downing made was that technology has changed the industry so much and has kind of pulled the floor out from underneath it. The industry is resisting change but the consumers and some brands have adapted to these changes. Generally, we are seeing most brands embrace and try the new technologies, but as a whole the industry has not accepted the major changes that have come with recent technological advancements. This has left the luxury industry especially with a large problem on its hands: negotiating the fashion timeline.

High end brands show their collections about a 6 months before they are being sold in stores. It has always been this way in order for the industry to operate. Editors of fashion magazines, buyers, stylists and other industry professionals would attend these shows to be able to get started on brainstorming the next issue of Vogue, place orders for the upcoming season and help stylists prepare for their clients. This system worked very well because by the time the editorials in the fashion magazines were being published and printed, the items were in stores and (luxury) consumers could buy the new Chanel handbag they saw in Harper's Bazaar that month.

Today, these fashion shows are happening at much larger scales. Celebrities and bloggers are invited to the fashion shows in order to advertise the brand to their hundreds of thousands of followers. With this extra publicity comes more brand recognition and good PR. But, what also comes with this is a skewed fashion calendar. 

With the rise of social media and live streaming (Periscope, Facebook Live etc.), consumers and admirers alike see the debut of the collections the second they walk down the runway. Each look is plastered all over every platform from Facebook and Instagram to individual websites like Vogue Runway and Fashionista.com. Its all fun and games until the consumer wants what they saw on the runway. 

Ken Downing showed us this major flaw in the system. Today, there are softwares that let us purchase items from a user's Instagram post. We are buying things faster, without lifting a finger. Shopping is not the chore it used to be. When we see something we like, we buy it. Simple as that. This poses a challenge for all of the luxury brands debuting collections six months in advance because when loyal Chanel customers walk into Neiman Marcus after having seen their new collection on Instagram last night, it is not in the store ready to buy. Sorry, please stop by in six months. In six months time, there will be something new to want. 

This is an issue because it can result in a loss of business. What the consumer wants now is not what the consumer wants in six months. There will be newer, better things to buy and consumers will have long forgotten about the Chanel show they saw online six months ago. This is a result of living in such a fast-paced society. Our attention span is short and we jump from liking one thing to another very quickly. 

So, the fashion industry is posed with a question: what can we do about the fashion timeline? Ken Downing discussed a few options and his opinions on each. The most viable method, in his opinion, seems to be showing items in a fashion show at the beginning of the season in which they will be sold. So then the shows of fashion week act to kick off the shopping season debuting all of the designers' new items and trends. That way, the brand still gets recognition and positive PR from the bloggers and magazines who attend the shows and their customers stay satisfied because the items in the show are currently available for purchase. 

This makes sense for a number of reasons. First, it is simply most logical to the consumers who are not familiar with the inner workings of the fashion industry. Second, there is nothing physical lost. Yes, the tradition and identity of the fashion industry would change by moving the fashion calendar, which Downing pointed out as one of the main arguments by many large European fashion houses , but it would positively affect sales and social media coverage, two arguably more significant factors.

There are a number of American designers who have already adopted this new model, like Rebecca Minkoff.  During NYFW in February 2016, instead of showing a future collection, she showed her S/S 2016 collection again (it was also show during NYFW in September 2015). This show acted solely as a promotional kickoff of her spring collection, which was for sale the day of the show. Downing confirmed this model's success by disclosing that it was one of their best sales days, ever. 

I think this model is much more practical as we continue to become a technology based society in business and in our day-to-day lives. While yes, it disrupts the European (specifically Parisian) fashion and couture traditions, we can't hold on to these traditions forever. Especially when they disrupt and potentially hurt business and sales. It just is not worth it. 

What do you think? Comment below & we can start a discussion! XO

Monday, July 18, 2016

MY LATEST OBSESSION: PODCASTS


I've started listening to podcasts lately and I've been loving it. Its a whole new library full of inspiration and education. Most of the ones I've been listening to are tied to the fashion industry in some way (surprise, surprise). I've had them playing while writing blog posts, while coloring (another new obsession of mine) or while on Pinterest or Tumblr. Here are a few of the podcasts I've been tuning into: 

1. Oh Boy by Man Repeller: This is just another platform in which Man Repeller slays the game. Oh Boy is a podcast where Jay Buim, the Man Repeller filmmaker, interviews "cool women about their life and work", in the words of the man repeller herself, Leandra Medine. I love listening to "Oh Boy" and just learning more about the lives and thought processes of cool and inspiring women, like Amy Odell and Garance DorĂ©. 

2. Girlboss Radio by Sophia Amoruso: Not gonna lie, I started reading Sophia Amoruso's book, #GirlBoss, but never finished. Its on my list. So for now, I'll just listen to her podcast ;-) Similar to Oh Boy and a lot of the following podcast, Sophia sits down and chats with other inspiring women that she calls girl bosses. One of my favorite episodes is the one in which she chats with Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of Glossier (and you guys know I'm obsessed with all things Glossier after this post). 

3. Office Hours with College Fashionista: I love College Fashionista's podcast, Office Hours, because its specifically focussed on the college-aged audience who is interested in fashion, business, technology and entrepreneurship. Office Hours episodes are a little shorter than the aforementioned podcasts, but just as informative. My favorite episode so far is with Elaine Welteroth. At the time of the interview, she was Beauty & Health Director at Teen Vogue, but now she is the Editor in Chief! Elaine is a long time inspiration of mine; I met her a few years ago, which was one of the best experiences ever.  

4. Fashion Friends: I love this podcast because its a little bit of a different perspective than the previously mentioned ones. It is run by a fellow blogger, Jena Gambacinni of Chi City Fashion, which gives an interesting point of view not only in the interviews, but also the people who she choses to interview. One of my favorite episodes was with Hallie from Corals + Cognacs, one of my favorite bloggers! 

5. Monocycle with Leandra Medine: Yes, another Man Repeller podcast. This one is with the man repeller herself, Leandra. She has such a wonderful personality and positive energy that listeners can even hear through the speakers in Medine's Monocycle podcast. These episodes are short little snippets of whatever is going on in Leandra's life or something she's thinking about. She can be wildly funny, insightful and real. Highly recommend it- its an easy listen and listening to Leandra always puts me in a good mood :-) 

6. Vogue Podcast: As expected, Vogue's podcast interviews a ton of really cool industry professionals and celebrities. Also, I like their podcast because in each episode, the interviewer and interviewee is different, giving new perspectives and personalities each listen. 

7. Fashion is Your Business: This podcast describes itself as the intersection between fashion, tech and business. It is produced by Open Source Fashion in collaboration with the Fashion Media Center. One of my favorites episodes that I've listened to so far is the podcast interviewing Deborah Lloyd, Chief Creative Officer of Kate Spade. 

8. Pop Fashion: Ok, I included this one last but I haven't listened to it yet but figured I'd add it in the post for anyone interested in fashion and looking for more podcasts. Once I give it a listen, I'll update this little blurb and review :-) 

Do you listen to any podcasts? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to find some more! XO
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Friday, July 15, 2016

LINK LOVE VOL. 3


1. Shelby has a new series on her blog and this post highlights one of my favorite stores in NYC.

2. Meg's latest outfit post was amazing (killer shoes!) and I love her commentary on dressing for yourself.

3. I spent a lot of my week planning the itinerary for my family's upcoming trip to London & Paris. Carly's post about how to plan a big trip was so helpful, especially her tips about using Google Maps.

4. I finally got around to posting a recap of my graduation party. Woohoo class of 2016!

5. Already starting to think about packing for college and Sammy's college packing list post was super helpful. Can't believe there's only a little over 50 days until I move in... eep!

6.  I always love Mackenzie's outfits. They're just the right amount of preppy for my style and her post this week was no different. I especially love how she tucked in the bottom layer of the top to make it look like a crop top.

7. Alexa Chung is launching her own ready-to-wear line and I am so excited.  *heart-eyes emoji*

8. I've had this playlist on repeat this week. Some of my favorites are Billy Joel, The Goo Goo Dolls, Jack Johnson and Paul Simon.

9. Renee's latest outfit is so cute, and I love how she added a fun pop of color by wrapping a scarf around her bag!

10. I'm leaving for London and Paris tomorrow! I would love any recommendations for either city- restaurants, places to visit, stores & boutiques.. Let me know in the comments, tweet me or shoot me an e-mail! :-)

Happy Friday! XO

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

GRADUATION PARTY RECAP


The weekend after I graduated, we threw a graduation party at my house and it was so much fun! Having all my friends and family together was such a special treat; I loved spending time with everyone I love all in one place. Everything was perfect and exactly how I pictured my graduation party to be, and all the credit goes to my mom who worked tirelessly to pull it off. We got a big tent for my backyard, which I was hesitant about at first, but it ended up being exactly what we needed. The color scheme was black & gold (or sometimes yellow, ha) which are the colors of my high school. We strung some lights all around the inside ceiling of the tent, which reminded me of one of my favorite shows, Parenthood (PSA: everyone go watch it on Netflix!!!) and made me smile.

The party lasted all night since a lot of my family was staying over and we ended the night with a family bonfire and late night snacks and sandwiches. Sitting around the fire with my family just laughing and telling stories was such a special moment that I will never forget. It was truly one of those moments that felt like it was out of a movie. The whole day went perfectly and I couldn't be more thankful to all my family and friends who helped make my day so special. It was truly the perfect way to celebrate my high school graduation and kick off my senior year summer.

















Thanks to all my family & friends for such an amazing day!! XO