Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm A Model, Who Knew?

This past weekend I had a little girl's night with my pal Le'Andra. I spent the night at her dorm and we stayed up entirely too late watching Moonrise Kingdom, eating Jolly Ranchers, giggling about Miranda Sings videos, and sneaking out around midnight to take selfies with the George Mason statue. We'd been meaning to take photos of each other for a while now, so we decided to get dolled up and get snaphappy in the morning.

It was really fun to take turns in front of and behind the camera, and Le kept me feeling super comfortable and made me laugh the entire time she took my photos. It was a great way to celebrate my finally being on campus, and for Le to celebrate graduating in a couple months!

Just sitting on a wall, you know, as you do.

No matter how hard I try, I don't think posing for photos will ever come natural to me!

Le'Andra on the other hand... what a stunner! Seriously, how gorgeous is this girl?!

Rule #1 of modeling is to always peer into the distance. Duh.

After wearing ourselves out taking photos, we decided to get lunch and goof off in the science building where they have none other than... PERIODIC TABLES. I actually snort laughed when I saw these on my first day of class. So clever.

Have you ever done a "photoshoot" with a friend?
What's your #1 modeling tip? Be sarcastic, I love it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Inside A Girl's Mind At LUSH

LUSH Cosmetics, you know the place. That magical store maybe in your mall or online that you visit every-so-often to browse the brightly colored bath bombs, smell all the smells, and daydream about a time in the future in which you'll have endless cash and never-ending baths. You're snapped back to reality when you realize you've been in the store for an hour and you only have a few bucks to spend. That's when you have to make the dreaded decision.

If you've never been to LUSH, or can commiserate with me about the toughness of decision making, you might like to know what's going on inside any given person's head at any given LUSH location at any given time. Maybe you've been there too, and you can understand.

This is what goes on Inside A Girl's (and everyone else's) Mind at LUSH:
Okay, I'm here for a bath bomb. But which one?
Wow, its super crowded in here. I guess everyone decided to go to LUSH today.
Can I blame them? This place is rad.  
I've heard good things about Avobath... but it's so green. I want something that will really get everyone's attention on Instagram.
Ooh... Phoenix Rising!
Nah, Dragon's Egg is totally the move. 
What's the difference between a bath bomb and a bubble bar?
Okay... that is expensive. 
Haha, Sex Bomb. 
LUSH employees are always so positive. I would love to work here.
I bet the discount is freaking awesome.
Oh, she's talking to me. No, I don't need any help. 
Actually, help me. I WANT EVERYTHING!!!!!
Soap soap soap!
I wonder if anyone has ever bought the entire block. How would you even use that?I should do it.
This bar has sparkles in it! SPARKLES! 
Yeah... that's weird. Leaves? Seaweed? Really?
$20 for THIS? Do they have a smaller one? 
Oh these gift boxes are just too adorable. I should get one for a friend.
Hahaha, who am I kidding. I'm shopping for ME. 
Okay WHO can afford that?
I still want it. 
Now where are the face scrubs?
Ocean Salt. Ocean Salt. Ocean Salt. 
They even have makeup here. I really should try it next time I have more money.
I wonder if these toner tabs work.
And new shower gels omg Ughhh LUSH WHY 
I think I'll try the shampoo bars too. Just not that one, it smells like ass.
But... it's supposed to make my hair shiny.
Yeah, I need it. 
Wow, I need a cart.
 I'm going to scrub everything. I will shed all my skin and become a new human!Okay Jess get a grip.
Ugh I still really want to try the Karma perfume.
It kinda smells like fruit loops though. Pro or con? 
Solid tooth paste? How is that even a thing?
Pepper and grapefruit?! Sounds freakin gross. No thanks.
I don't actually need any of this. 
Okay time to check out. I think I actually did pretty good this time.
Aaaand the total is $134.... Dammit LUSH.
So worth it. 
Until next time, demon store.

What goes through your head at LUSH?
What is your favorite LUSH product?

Thank you Emily for helping me dive deep into "LUSH Brain" and giving me some ideas for this post! Love ya :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bloggin' Babes - Jacky from Do It For The Irony

Hello friends, I'm back with another installment of Bloggin Babes, and this time I have the lovely Jacky from Do It For The Irony. She's a fellow college student, cute, spunky, and super hilarious! I asked her a few questions so all of you could get to know her better! Please do stop by her blog as well, you won't be sorry!

Your Name & Blog Name:

Favorite color:

Red. Always.

Lucky number: 
100. Because I givE EVERYTHING 100%. Ayyy. Don't really have one.

How would you describe your style?  

A fellow blogger described my vibe as laid back artistic. I've never been able to describe it because I don't really identify with any celebrities/bloggers but I think that is a good representation.

Celebrity Crushes:  
I think Ryan Gosling will always be swoon worthy. His movies, looks and music ability are an awesome mix.

When and why you got into blogging:  
I started in May 2013 and I started it because I wanted some sort of creativity to my name. I originally created it to keep a portfolio of all the creative things I do!  It became a lot more than that, of course, and I couldn't be happier with what I have in store.

Pet peeve:
People who can't walk through crowds right and mess up with my walking flow. Annoys me so badly.

Most prized posession: 
Any of my art journals. I put so much work into them and I think they are the only thing that will represent me on a deeper level.

Dream Job? 
Creative Director.

Things that most inspire you: 
Pioneering content creators, especially Michelle Phan and Natalie Tran.

Favorite stores: 
H&M and Macy's.

Favorite food: 
Breakfast sandwiches. I love breakfast sandwiches.

Favorite dessert: 
I really love hot fudge. That's what I'm craving right now.

Favorite book:
Pride & Prejudice

Favorite Post you've written: 
Why Your College Major Doesn't Matter
It was amazing to see people react to this view on college that I really hold dear.

Favorite movie: 

What would a perfect day be like for you?  

A breakfast sandwich and tacos for all meals. A new place to wander around and walk. I love to walk. And a meal with people I love who I haven't seen in a longtime. That's a perfect day.

Thanks Jacky!
Go check out Do It For The Irony!

Would you like to be featured on Bloggin' Babes? Send me a line at writinginredlipstick@gmail.com!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Busy Snowy Day (+ a question for you!)

 Hi friends! It's been such a busy week and it's only Wednesday! I started my first classes at GMU and have also been working, so it's been tough getting used to the daily grind again.

Today it snowed, and parking on campus was an absolute nightmare. I did get ahold of Taylor Swift's new album, so my trek to class wasn't all bad. My favorite song is Style, it's so cute!

I really like all my classes thus far, my professors are really cool and funny, and for once I'm excited to actually start working on my assignments. I think it has something to do with actually taking courses I'm interested in!

Now that the day is over, I'm finally able to crash at home, but I have an even bigger day ahead of me tomorrow, classes from noon to 10pm ahhh! Other than classes and such, my main goal for the week has been to develop a blogging schedule. I really need to get everything organized and up and running smoothly.

Now my question for you - what do you want to see on Writing in Red Lipstick?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Blogger Struggle - Authenticity vs. Aspiration

In my past few years of blogging, I've come across quite a few forks in the road. Moments in which I had to decide what was best for myself and my readers. When it comes to blogging, you're constantly making decisions. You have to be proactive about what content you're producing, and be mindful of what you're showing your readers on a daily basis.

One of the biggest decisions in blogging is not only how you want others to perceive your blog and your brand, but how you want your readers to perceive you.

The best answer of course is "I just want to be myself!" but sometimes it's not that simple. You can be yourself in a multitude of ways.

You can be yourself by showing your readers your favorite fashion choices, the recipe that's close to your heart, or even in a personal anecdote that really shows your true colors.

What it comes down to is the choice between Authenticity and Aspiration. The decision to keep your readers at arms length or close to your heart. This decision is between wanting to find yourself amongst your peers or blazing trails ahead of the pack.

Like most things, no blogger archetype is set in stone, and I'm sure there is a balance to be found between the two. However, I find most blogs tend to lean in either direction. Let's take a look at them, shall we?

The Aspirational Blogger
These are the bloggers many "aspire" to be like. Aspirational bloggers are those that seem to have it all figured out. Their readers rely on them for new and original content, and are often considered "experts" in some field. There is likely one blogger you go to first for beauty tips, fashion advice, or just for some beautiful photos of a seemingly "perfect" life. These bloggers often highlight luxury products or lifestyle. Their photos look straight out of a magazine and even their "mess" looks highly curated.

Examples of Aspirational Bloggers: Gala Darling, Bleubird

The Authentic Blogger
These are the bloggers that you can relate to. You read their blog and you feel as though you could be their friend. They aren't afraid to get personal, to show you the nitty gritty and laugh at themselves along with you. Their photos range from highly curated to iPhone-in-the-dressing-room. Their readers rely on them for personal anecdotes and twists on old ideas. Their "before" photos are believable, and they understand that you don't always have to buy organic. There is a functionality to these bloggers and they almost always tweet back.

Examples of Authentic Bloggers: The Clueless Girl's Guide, The Daily Tay

*disclaimer - there is no *correct* way to do things. The content and persona you choose to provide on your blog should be your own personal preference. It is not anyone's place to tell you what kind of blogger you are or should try to be. There are pros and cons to each list and I wanted to maintain a neutral standpoint in this post.

Which of these two archetypes does your blog fit best?
Do you think there are more than just two categories? 
I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, January 16, 2015

This Week in Photos

This week has been so busy! Chock full of planning my classes, visiting my family, organizing some stuff with roommates, and most of all trying to get my head on straight before I start school again! Here's a little peek at some of the things I've been digging into lately.

My gal pal Carly gave me this Twisted Peppermint candle for Christmas, and I've been burning it nonstop ever since. This corner of my desk is one of my favorite spots in my room, and bonus points if you noticed how that painting there matches my blog ;)

I picked up this gorgeous Pietersite ring when I was at the Gem & Jewelry show in Orlando with my mom. It reminds me of an oil painting, and I absolutely love it.

Sometimes you just gotta take a selfie. I took this when I was on my way to campus to pick up my Student ID and have lunch with my lovely friend Le'Andra yesterday.

My latest edivv haul! I traded in some of my unwanted items and got a Tarte Sweet Indulgences palette, Tarte Matte Lipsurgence in Lucky, and LUSH Red Fun. Such a fun and cheap way to get new makeup!

I also got my first box from PetitVour, a vegan beauty subscription box. I'm so happy with the variety of stuff they sent me. Included in the box was a soothing skin cream, a mineral eyeshadow, lavender cream deodorant, and a baby pink nail polish. Let me know if you'd like me to do a full review of the box!

Last but not least, I attended New Student Orientation at George Mason University, my new home for the rest of my Bachelor's Degree and beyond. I'm finally a Patriot, woohoo!

What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Recent Reads & Reviews - Yes Please, 50 Shades, Not That Kind of Girl

bossypants, not that kind of girlHey y'all! Long time no see! I've been gearing up to start classes again and have been traveling the past few days, and travel of course means plenty of time to read. I devoured five books already this month, which is insane for me! I read Not That Kind of Girl, Yes Please, Empire Girls, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Bossypants. Most of which I had been dying to read for some reason or another. So without further ado, let's get into my thoughts on each of these reads, shall we?

e.l. james, bossypants

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham:
I've always liked Lena Dunham, so of course I was very excited to read her memoir. After taking a gander at it, I totally understand why it was such a fuss in 2014. Lena certainly has a way with words. In the book, she discusses bits and pieces of her personal life, and a lot of it was really profound and quite funny. A few of the parts had me remembering some of the awkward or foolish bits of my own childhood, and I think that relatablitiy is why I think a lot of people held the book in such high esteem. 
Though overall I enjoyed the book, I think Lena should have spent a bit more time writing useful content as opposed to some of the self-serving anecdotes she used as "filler." I understand that a memoir is meant to be a fly-on-the-wall perspective into a person's life, but much of the book seemed unnecessary. For instance, there were quite a few pages in which Lena divulged the things she'd eaten for approximately two weeks during some point in her life. Not the most interesting of reads if you ask me. Of course, that could spark many an argument, so I'm just going to say this - I liked the book, but it wasn't my absolute favorite. I would say it's a good read for anyone that is "still figuring themselves out." Myself included. Just skip the dumb parts.

I give it ✮ (three and a half stars)

Yes Please by Amy Poehler:
I'm sure I'm not the first one to say this, but I loved this book. I fell in love with Amy even more with every page. She proves to be smart, funny, and wise, just like we all knew she was. I loved reading about her beginnings in comedy, it made me feel that much closer to her. It was also great reading about her relationships with her co-workers (aka Best Friends) like Seth Meyers and Tina Fey. She gives great advice and seems like such a genuine and sweet person. I thought it would be hard to love Amy Poehler more than I already do, but this book proved that was possible.

I give it 

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James:
Okay, I'll admit that I picked up this book because I heard someone say it was based off of Twilight and I seriously wanted that to be false. I also plan on seeing the movie so I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to bite the bullet and read this book. I know a few people that have said it absolutely changed their life or something, but that didn't happen for me. Simply put, it's a smut book and not much more. A weak, emotionless girl seeks out powerful, stone cold man to "teach her about life." It really did remind me of Twilight too, which was kind of boring.

I give it 

Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes & Loretta Nyhan
I picked up this book as a last minute travel read at the airport. I was halfway done with Yes Please and I needed something to hold me over for the rest of my trip. Empire Girls is a story about two sisters that are "different in every way." When their father dies, they set out to find a brother they never knew they had. It's set in 1920's New York City, and that was the major selling point for me. Overall this book was an easy read. So easy in fact that I read it in about a day. The storyline was kind of unrealistic, and the plot made loops that were supposed to make the reader feel all fluttery inside but they fell flat in the execution. In the end, the sisters learn a lot about themselves. The fact that this was written by two authors in two different points of view was distracting. I think this book would be a great young adult read, but it left a lot to be desired for me.

I give it (two and a half stars)

Bossypants by Tina Fey:
Since I'd recently finished Yes Please and Not That Kind Of Girl, I thought this would be a great addition to my strong female lead collection. I was right. Bossypants was just as delightful as I expected it to be, even though I read it like 78 years later than everyone else did. Everything I said about Yes Please applies to this book. It's full of great advice, keeps you laughing, and makes you love Tina Fey more than you thought you could. I definitely recommend it, especially when paired with Amy's book.

I give it 

Have you read any of these books?
I'd love to know what you thought of them!