Big & Bouncy Curls Tutorial

Some people are blessed with gorgeous hair, the rest of us have to work hard to achieve greatness. I’ve learned to enjoy the hard work and make it fun!

Pretty frequently I get asked, “How do you curl your hair!?” Well ladies, it’s actually pretty simple! I made a how-to tutorial on my big & bouncy curls. They’re super fun and easily dress up your look! I hope you try it out and find that curling your hair really isn’t too hard!

IMG_2644

The more you practice the faster and easier it gets, if I’m in a hurry, I can curly my hair and be ready to go in less than ten minutes.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had friends come to me and say, “My hair just will not curl.” I have a simple response every time, “Let me try,” and I haven’t failed yet!

Image-1

I wish you the best of luck on your future hair curling endeavors. Let me know if you try out my technique and tag me in pictures of how great you look!!

The Value of a Brand Name

Being a college student on loans and being too busy to keep a job through the year, I’ve learned to make the most of the “broke college student” stereotype. I know first hand the struggle of Urban Decay taste on a Covergirl budget.

My whole life, I’ve been trying to keep up with my friends and their, what seemed like, endless supply of cute clothing. It started out with Limited Too, the coolest little girl store to hit the face of the Earth (not to mention, there was a Lizzie McGuire special line). It was incredibly overpriced but I loved every bit of that store!

Soon, it turned into Aeropostale, then American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie, etc. etc. Today, the best brands to wear are Nike, Lilly Pultizer, J Crew and so many more depending on your taste. Let’s not forget about the best accessories to be seen with, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Tory Burch etc.

So what’s my point here? Wearing a brand name is only as valuable as you make it. Recently, I’ve decided to never buy a brand-name just because it’s a brand-name. If you don’t absolutely love a name-brand handbag, why spend $200+ on it? I may offend a lot of people here, but what is so appealing about the Michael Kors logo of MKs all over a bag? The same goes for Coach and their logo.

I’ve fallen victim to it too. A Coach bag was the ultimate status symbol back in the day, but let’s take a second to think about this. You are paying a few hundred dollars to be a walking billboard. You are paying to advertise for them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a billboard. Instead, I want to showcase my taste in clothing and accessories, not tell the world I spent $300 on a handbag.

Kate Spade has been a favorite designer of mine for a while now. I’ve come across Kate Spade items on a really great sale a few times but said no because I didn’t love the style or design. I won’t spend money on anything unless it’s something I really, really love (it’s really helped my shopping habits).

The same goes for clothes. Just because the tag on your dress says (insert brand name here), does that really make it better than every other dress out there? Nope! I agree, a quality piece of clothing is worth the money, but don’t let a label dictate if it’s worth the money.

Example:

Countless times, I’ve found myself staring at my closet, full of clothes, and not liking anything I have. Why did I spend money on these clothes if I never want to wear them? Since changing my shopping habits to only spending money if I absolutely love it and can’t live without it, I’ve thinned out my closet and saved myself from wasting money.

It sounds so simple, but I’ve seen myself and my friends do it countless times. Your clothes should be something you can’t wait to wear, not something you settled on that morning! Next time you’re out looking for great deals, stop and make sure you’re going to really get the most out of your item before you swipe your card!

What is Influenster?

To sign up for Influenster, use my link: http://www.influenster.com/r/707650!

I’m new to Influenster, but already a huge fan! I’ve received five VoxBoxes since signing up in June, 2014! IMG_0267

So whats a VoxBox? They vary. You may receive one specific to a brand or product or some come with a mix of products around a central theme. They’re completely free. Yes, free! I’ve never entered any payment information to the Influenster website. The idea is to get you to try products, fall in love with them and share them with your friends through social media.

The Deans List VoxBox
The Deans List VoxBox

My first box was the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel VoxBox. The other two boxes were called the Dean’s List VoxBox and Reese’s Peanut Butter Spread VoxBox!

The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel VoxBox
The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel VoxBox

How does the program work? First you sign up on the website. (Use my link at the top of the page!) From there you will insert all your social media accounts, blogs etc. After that, you’ll answer questions called “Snaps.”  They’re simple questions with answers provided. They can be a little taxing, but you can always take a break and come back later!

After that you can see your Impact Score and play around on the site and review products. The Impact Score affects your chances of getting a VoxBox. A higher Impact Score means the higher your social impact is. Your Influenster site will look like this:

Influenster Dashboard
Influenster Dashboard

Now starts the waiting game. Based on the Snaps you answered, you’ll eventually receive an email asking you to take a survey specific to products you may receive. After completing the survey, you’ll receive another email a few days later letting you know if you’ll receive the VoxBox or not (almost always a yes!).

Once you receive the box, the “campaign” starts. You can review the products, post about them via social media and write a review on the Influenster website. There will be a survey at the end of the “campaign.” The survey at the end is crucial if you want to continue receiving VoxBoxes! IMG_0266

Influenster is a fun and easy program. Who wouldn’t want a box of surprises at their door?

About Influenster

from their website:

Influenster is a community of trendsetters, social media hotshots, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences.

Influensters meet here to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives!

We invite our most active and social media savvy members to participate in exclusive rewards campaigns, such as:

  • – VoxBox campaigns where members receive complimentary full-size products to test and review!
  • – Interactive Twitter chats with celebrities and in-the-know experts
  • – Fun contests where members can earn sweet giveaways
  • – Special discounts on featured brands, services, and more!

In return, all we ask of our members is to do what they already love to do: share their opinions with their friends & followers on social media!

Influenster lets you flex your social media influence and earn rewards. Sign up now to give direct feedback to brands you love and claim ongoing VoxPerk offers, rewarding you with discounts for the Social Impact you hold.

Wipe for Water with Neutrogena Naturals

You’ve probably used a makeup removing towelette before and you may love them or you may be like me and see no real use for them.

I’ve never been one to spend money on makeup removing towelettes when a bottle of CVS brand makeup remover is less expensive. Plus, it just seems wasteful to use a wipe and throw it away after just one use.


k2-_d83412a8-18f9-4aaa-857d-d60d16c93621.v2-1

I received Neutrogena Naturals Makeup Removing Towelettes in a recent Influenster campaign and was excited to try them because 1- they’re free, and 2- I love trying new things! Influenster asked it’s users to pledge to clean their face with just the towelettes for 3 days, calling it the Wipe for Water challenge.

We use, on average, five gallons of water every time we wash our face. That can add up quick, so I was on board right away to use these wipes in an attempt to conserve water.

Day one using my Neutrogena Naturals towelettes was fine. The formula irritated my eyes and stung just a bit. I was trying to make sure I removed every bit of eyeliner and mascara. I don’t like to be uncomfortable when removing my makeup, but I was prepared to give the wipes a second try.

IMG_2898-2

Unfortunately, Day two of using the towelettes irritated my eyes again. I’m really hoping that this was just my skin’s reaction and no one else had this problem!

The wipes do a great job of removing eye-makeup, something a lot of wipes have trouble with. It also left my skin feeling really refreshed and clean, just not my eyelids.

My favorite part about these towelettes is the actual wipe. It is made of natural fibers that are super soft and glide on your skin with ease.

IMG_2902-1

Because of the irritation the wipes left around my eyes, I did not stick to the 3 day challenge of using just the Neutrogena Naturals Towelettes.

Instead, I’ve made a conscious effort to use less water when I wash my face, brush my teeth and clean my coffee mugs. I think this is something we could all do. If we all cut down on the water we use each day, we could make a huge impact in conserving water!

If you give these a try, let me know what you think!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Outfit Repeater

Ever since middle school, I’ve lived in fear of being caught wearing the same outfit twice. I’m not sure when the idea formed in my head that this was a law in Girl World that I must abide by, but I’m glad I decided to stop living by it.

Maybe it stemmed from Kate Sanders who publicly ridiculed Lizzie McGuire at eighth grade graduation for being, “An outfit-repeater!”

imgres

Luckily, my school required me to wear a uniform from elementary to middle school. I loathed the khaki and navy pants or skort paired with either a white, red, blue or gold polo shirt. I had no idea how lucky I was until about the second week of high school when we were finally allowed to wear normal clothes. Suddenly, the clothes you wore said a lot about you, and the cool kids wore a different outfit every day.

What’s so wrong with repeating an outfit? I understand not wearing the same outfit twice in a week but to pair one pair of jeans with one top and then be forever banned from the combination just doesn’t make financial sense! Or what about a dress? Wear it once and then it’s done? I certainly don’t have the funds to facilitate this kind of lifestyle.

When I was in third grade I had a favorite outfit. I wore it every chance I got. My mom would do laundry just so I could wear it again and again. I was a 9-year-old without a care in the world as to who thought I was lame for wearing the same outfit over and over because it was my favorite!

So, what was this amazing outfit? It was Mary-Kate and Ashley brand from Walmart. It was a denim skirt with a lavender waistband and a matching lavender top with a silk collar and cuffs. I begged my mom to buy it for me every time we went grocery shopping. I believe it was actually one of my birthday presents that year!

scan0005

I had this outfit that made me feel great about myself, because I was obviously hot stuff in it. I thought it was the cutest outfit in the world! So why do we now consider wearing an outfit more than once as being bad? If I feel good in it, I’ll wear it again! Yes, I will switch it up, wear it somewhere different, change the shoes or add different accessories, but I will not ban myself from re-wearing a great outfit! Channel your little-kid-self and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks!

Also, be glad you don’t look like you did in third grade!

scan0006

3D Fiber Lashes

You’ve probably heard of Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara on Facebook or another social media. There’s a lot of hype about the length this product will add to your natural lashes. Youniqueproducts.com says this mascara will add 3x the wow factor. I was intrigued from the beginning and had to try it!

FullSizeRender-5

My natural lashes are pretty long on their own so I wasn’t sure if a fiber mascara would be worth the money. Luckily, my Aunt Kimmy gave me the mascara as a gift! Pictured below is my everyday mascara Urban Decay Perversion. I love it but you can see it doesn’t add nearly the length as 3D Fiber Lashes.

FullSizeRender-6

Here’s what I like most about 3D Fiber Lashes:

  • The length! It is definitely a noticeable difference.
  • How natural it feels. It doesn’t make your lashes brittle and stiff.
  • It’s easy to apply. It will take you a few minutes longer than your normal mascara, but long lashes are worth it!
  • They last throughout the day! A common complaint with fiber mascaras is the fall out. These stay in place!
  • After a few days of use, I can tell a difference in my lashes! They feel healthier and longer.
  • It’s super easy to remove. Your normal makeup remover will take it off easily.

IMG_2681

Here’s what comes with the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes: one tube of Transplanting Gel, one tube of 3D Fibers and a convenient carrying case to keep the two together.

IMG_2693IMG_2688

Now, here are my step by step instructions for 3D Fiber Lashes:

To begin, many people apply a thin coat of their favorite mascara. I prefer to go straight to the transplanting gel. I like it because it feels more natural. I’ve also noticed my lashes feel healthier and longer over time from not using a mascara with it. Try it both ways and see what you think!

1. First, apply the Transplanting Gel from root to tip. You’ll notice it isn’t thick like a mascara. Make sure you use enough Transplanting Gel so the fibers will have something to stick to! It may not look like much at this point, but keep going!

2.Apply the 3D Natural Fibers to your lashes. If you’re looking to add volume to your lashes, apply the fibers from root to tip. If you want to focus on just length, do one quick sweep from root to tip. Then you will want to focus on the tips of your lashes and building up there. Below is my lashes after one coat of 3D Fibers.

FullSizeRender

3. Add another coat of Transplanting Gel. This is when you’ll start to see the length being added. To avoid clumping, make sure there isn’t an excess of the Transplanting Gel on your mascara wand. You can always add another coat. Slow and steady wins the race for longest lashes. You can stop at this step if you’re happy with the length!

4. To add even more length (are they ever long enough?), apply another layer of 3D Natural Fibers to your lashes. By this point, my lashes are pretty long so I use the fibers only along the outer corner of my eye. Otherwise, my eyelashes end up nearly touching my eyebrow and leaving black marks on my eyelid where it does touch. Again, focus mostly on the tips of your lashes to avoid making everything look clumpy.

FullSizeRender-1

5. Finish it off with one last coat of Transplanting Gel to seal those fibers in. You can repeat the steps as many times as you want to get the length you want. I typically stick to two coats.

FullSizeRender-3

The 3D Fiber Lash Mascara is so much fun to add to your makeup drawer. I don’t wear it everyday because it does take longer than an average mascara (and it’s already hard enough to get out of bed in time to look decent for class), but I always pull it out for special occasions, nights out and on game-days!

FullSizeRender-2

I love my normal mascara, but it doesn’t even compare to the length and glamour 3D Fiber Lashes add!

If you’re interested in buying Younique’s 3D Fiber Lash Mascara, follow the link below to puchase from my online party! You’re going to love it!

LeahLately online 3D Fiber Lashes Party! Order here!

College Cheerleading: Getting “The Look”

Being a cheerleader requires athleticism and looking good at the same time. To be a cheerleader means you are put on a platform to be the epitome of sportsmanship. With everyone looking at you, it’s only natural to want to look good while doing it.

IMG_2511

I walked in to my college cheerleading tryout at the end of my senior year of high school with my hair pulled back in a pony tail and a braid in the front with what I considered normal makeup. I walked in treating it like a practice. I was actually surprised when the coach told everyone to come to the next day of tryouts “game-day ready!” This was an entirely new concept for me. Sure, I got ready for games in high school and put on makeup, but not much more than my everyday look.

FullSizeRenderSo what is this game-day look? It took me a while to master it. I still went through my first football season a little lost as far as dark eyeshadow and lipstick go. The picture to the right shows me before my first college football game. I was ecstatic! It was one of my favorite games I’ve ever cheered at. Everything was great and all, but I wasn’t as happy with the pictures I saw the next day. I just wasn’t wearing my makeup the right way.

No, this makeup certainly isn’t bad! For a college cheerleader though, it just isn’t enough. You have fans looking at you from the top of the bleachers. It’s the same concept as being on a stage, if you don’t accentuate your features, you’re going to look washed out. No cheerleader should just blend in!

285727_4321094779166_113560445_n There were so many pictures from games my freshman  year of college, where I would actually be shocked how my face turned out in them. I thought I was wearing a  lot of makeup, yet it looked like I had on none.

Eventually, a good friend of mine offered to do my makeup for a basketball game. That first look in the mirror was a big surprise when I saw how much dark eye makeup she put on me. I went with it for the day, feeling slightly self-conscious. My mom was at the game and she was taken aback by it too.

She said, “It’s a lot of makeup, but it looks really good!!” There was also picture evidence from the stands, and you could actually make out my features. I wasn’t a big washed out mess!

From that point on, I haven’t gone a game day without dark eye shadow. Yes, it is daunting. No, you shouldn’t be afraid to try it!

1472868_10203027071616798_1811343361_n-1

Here are my tips for getting your game-day and tryout look ready:

1. Practice makes perfect.

Come to tryouts with your hair and makeup game-day ready! Show the coaches and judges you’re ready to be on the sideline. You’ll probably find yourself up at the crack of dawn getting ready. You’re nervous, probably afraid to eat anything for fear of puking it up and don’t need any added stress to your morning. So don’t let this be the first time you put your makeup on “game-day-ready.” You practice your cheerleading skills, now practice those hair and makeup skills too!

2. Dark eyeshadow is your friend.

It is, really! It doesn’t have to be the blackest black in your palette, Dark browns work better for some skin tones.

For my examples, I’m using the Urban Decay palette, Naked.

For my everyday eye makeup I use Sin (1) on the inner lid. Next I use Naked (2) for the mid-lid. After that, depending on if I want a darker look, I may use Darkhorse (3) for the outter lid. If you don’t want the darker look continue with Naked (2) to the outer lid. The finishing touch is Buck (4) for my crease and to blend the colors together. You can’t forget to use a highlighting color like Virgin (5) to blend everything above your brow bone.

Naked eye look 1

For my game-day look, I begin with Sidecar (1) in the inner lid. Next, I’ll take Gunmetal (2) for the mid-lid and lightly in the crease. For the outer lid, I use Creep (3) and also blend it in with the crease. It’s important not to start off super dark with Creep because it is such a pigmented color. Instead, start off light and build up from there. Finish it off with Sin (4) to highlight your brow bone and blend. Finish off the look with eyeliner on top and bottom and mascara.

Naked eye look 2

You can see examples of this game-day look in tip #5!

3. Find a lipstick that compliments you!

Fire engine red is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not even for me. It’s important to find a shade that you feel confident in! Most young women tend to stay with a very light, nude colored lip, which is okay sometimes, but not here! If you really don’t want to go the red route, I suggest a berry color or darker natural nude. Lips are necessary! Find a makeup counter at your local department store and ask for help finding just the right shade to work with your skintone. I used to hate lipstick and felt weird wearing it. Now, I love it. It’s all about confidence.

FullSizeRender-1

4. Wear your hair appropriate for the team you’re trying out for.

IMG_2513Some schools wear giant, competition-style cheerleading bows on top of their heads. Other teams wear smaller bows with a pony tail. Some teams just wear ribbons tied in a bow. For my team at App State, we wear our hair pulled back, half-up/half-down and with the bow in the middle of the back of our heads (pictured to the right).

Going to the tryout wearing a different bow than what the team normally wears won’t make or break your chances, but if you want to look like you belong on their team, do your research! Most cheerleading teams are on social media. Check them out and see how their cheerleaders wear their hair. Is it all pulled up? Half-up/half-down? Big or small bow? Where is the bow placed and what way is it facing? Make yourself out to be the best candidate for their team!

5. Use a setting spray for your makeup!

My Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray has been a life saver! I never knew what I had been missing. It’s helped me through many long days of tailgating, pre-game, warm-ups and three hour long football games. It’s like hairspray for your face (without using actual hairspray. We’ve all tried it, right?).

I’ve got the picture evidence right  here. This was an away game in early  September in Mississippi, before on the left and after the game on the  right. It was 91 degrees during our warm-ups and we were hot! My  makeup lasted through that and the whole game, even on the plane ride  home.

IMG_0187 2IMG_0183

6. Go in to your tryout with confidence and a positive attitude!

Nothing will hurt you more than your own attitude. Be ready to learn and critiqued! Take in as much information as you can. You will stunt with a lot of people, be moved around from group to group or partner to partner. Keep an open mind and trust your skills! All you can do at this point is show them how you’re the best cheerleader for their program!

IMG_2516

I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about my first college tryout. Nothing had ever been so exciting as seeing my number on that list posted on the door. It’s a moment I’ll never forget because it has led me to the most incredible college experience that very few get to have!

Here are examples of good game-day makeup from over the years from me and my friends.

IMG_2514424244_2945496922003_1519012474_n10262268_10205621343151965_5764011050110535501_n198700_480239535340451_546039536_n10583959_10204885535997246_2780866320851172106_n

Best of luck to you at your college cheerleading tryout!