A Twelve Year Reunion

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Lips are Marrakesh by 100 Percent Pure.
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Eyeliner is Royal by 100 Percent Pure.

For those of you who don’t know I was born in Singapore.

A tiny island that’s so small you’ve probably missed it on a map more than once.

It is incredibly hot and filled to the brim with malls. Since they can’t expand horizontally they do so vertically instead.

It’s also a great place for tourists.

It had been twelve years since I was last there, so to say I was excited and nervous to go back for a week over the summer is an understatement.

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Tank from an indie store.
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Jacket is Urban Outfitters via Poshmark.

We arrived at two in the morning, which was so great, and off the bat did stuff.

Like getting my first tattoo.

Yup.

If you haven’t seen it on my Instagram account, then, well first of all, what are you doing? And then go look. It didn’t hurt at all; it was a cool experience. So much so that I decided to go get another one. On the side of my rib cage. That one definitely hurt.

Like a bitch.

I’m pretty sure I screamed so loudly and frequently that I scared off other clients that were waiting. There were a lot less people in the waiting area when I came then when I first arrived.

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I also reunited with my paternal side of the family for the first time in years.

My grandpa, as savage and blunt as ever, and my sweet grandma, but whose sassy too.

My hilarious and equally savage godmother/aunt and her husband (my uncle-in-law) in his awesome Darth Vader t-shirt.

Some of my cousins: Mark the responsible third grade teacher, Marcus the cool guy with tattooes all over his body who should’ve been an artist (it’s complicated), and Marian a.k.a. Squirt (for her height) my girl.

And, of course, my father. An incredibly tanned auditor whom I love very much. Who apparently remarried some time ago. Yup, I’ve got a stepmom. She just kinda popped up on me. But it’s ok. He seems happy. And she seems to enjoy giving me gifts, so who am I to refuse her?

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Choker is Gianna from Ettika.

*This portion of the post has nothing to do with the main topic, but I’ve gotta give a shout -out to Ettika and Planet Blue for this awesome choker collab.*

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My mother and I also had our own little adventures.

Like the zoo.

Yes, the zoo.

It’s awesome.

Don’t judge.

We had breakfast with the orangutans (the baby was soooo cute) and saw tons of animals. Like flamingos, naked mole rats, a polar bear (yes, in a hot continent but he’s ok), etc.

But the most important one was, of course, elephants. If you think otherwise you need to get yourself together cause elephants are the bomb dot com. I’m pretty we, meaning me, spent a good ten minutes just sitting and staring at them. And taking videos. and squealing like a little kid.

They’re so cute and sweet.

Ok, I’m done.

For now.

Not to mention our day at Universal Studios. Neither of us had ever been to one to it was pretty exciting. There were different sections like Sci-Fy, Jurassic Park, Hollywood, etc. But my personal favorite was Far Far Away. It reignited my love for the Shrek franchise.

My favorite rides were the Transformers 4D experience and The Mummy. They were both epically epic. We did The Mummy twice (even though it initially scared the shit out of me) and wanted to do the Transformers one again too (if it hadn’t had technical difficulties and had to stop).

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Shorts from Forever 21.
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Booties from JustFab.

I think it’s safe to say that the trip overall was wonderful.

From the family reunions to the touristy adventures.

And hopefully I’ll get to go back sooner.

Preferably not in twelve years.

Or eleven.

Or ten.

Ok, maybe just not in double digits.

Or above five.

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Until next time.

 

’17

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#Classof2017

“We, the Senior Class

of

Memorial High School,

proudly announce our

Graduation Ceremony

Saturday afternoon, May twenty-seventh

Two Thousand Seventeen

one o’clock

Don Coleman Coliseum

1050 Dairy Ashford

Houston, Texas 77079″

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Dress from H&M.
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Me and my Momma Bear.

It has been over a week since I graduated from high school and it still hasn’t sunk in yet.

I remember the lines and lines of teens Snapchatting and babbling and hugging one another as we sweat in our caps and gowns.

The feeling of being in a fishbowl surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of people.

The coliseum was filled with the friends and families of about 630 students, waving maniacally with their handmade posters and joyous clapping.

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#HAPPYDAYS
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Bracelet from Anthropologie.
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#ALWAYSGOTMYBACK

There were a few speeches given at the start of the ceremony. I admit that I didn’t know most of the people that were speaking… All I know is that they held some sort of important position in the school district. Apart from them two of our eighteen valedictorians spoke as well.

Out of all the speeches made only two things stood out to me:

The mention of our deceased classmate, Kobi Pickett (I didn’t really know her but bless her soul), who passed during our sophomore year,

and the mention of a quote by Ellen DeGeneres:

“Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. Then by all means follow that path.”

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It still hasn’t hit me that I’m attending college in the fall and that I won’t see my friends and family on a daily basis anymore.

I also have not cried yet.

A friend of mine cried ten times on our last day of school (yes I actually counted). I, along with maybe one or two of my friends, did not cry at all. We talked about how inhuman we felt compared to our other friends who bawled frequently. But I suppose I’ll cry when I officially move into the University of Dallas in August. It’ll hit me when my mother and I say goodbye (don’t start crying Momma Bear!).

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#FREEDOM
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Lipstick is 397 BERRY NOIR (Matte Berry) by Lancôme.
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Cap and gown from Balfour.

Overall I’m excited at the prospect of attending college and officially graduating from high school.

From the classes with a quiz and test every week, to the pressures of trying to be in at least the Top 15% and above (I was in the Top 20%; I just missed it grrr), to discerning what your rank is, then trying to get the AP scores you need/want, to blah blah blah blah …..

It was a struggle not just because of the competitive nature high school establishes, but also the feeling of inferiority that comes with it when you think others are succeeding whereas you are not.

But regardless of how tough it was, I, and my fellow classmates, stuck to it and made it!

With these last words a valedictorian of ours said:

“Let’s live!”

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Ready. I think.
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#HSMJump

My Prom

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202 NUIT ET JOUR (Sheer Nude) by Lancôme. Necklace was a birthday gift.

Last Saturday was my prom night.

I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t expect much.

Most of these dances are overrated and end up being incredibly boring. The hype that comes with it raises the expectations in our little teen hearts but normally result in nothing short of a disappointment.

The idea of buying a dress and renting a limo for one night is absolutely ludicrous to me.

But more importantly, the stress people have over getting a date is, quite honestly, stupid. Why on earth would having a date dictate whether or not you have an awesome night?

That’s why I wasn’t crazy about going to prom.

However, I decided to go in order to just say that I had the experience. Plus, it’s the last high school dance I’ll ever get to go to with my friends.

So why not?

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Feeling angelic.
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Blush Classic Convertible Gown by twobirds via Rent the Runway.
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Heels from JustFab. I borrowed them from Momma Bear.

Ever since my freshman homecoming dance I have rented my dresses from Rent the Runway, who is awesome!

My mother, like always :), was the one who found my dress, which you can see in this post. I haven’t been a pink girl for a long time, trading it in for a more grunge look filled with blacks and blues and reds.

But it was love at first sight with this dress.

It’s not a bright or neon or hot pink like Barbie kind of color, which I deeply appreciate. I now prefer the blush pinks to have in my closet.

Once my mother and I officially ordered the dress I began to feel excited.

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Strut

I’ve never been the type of girl who waited around, hoping that a guy would ask me to be his date with those big posters and flowers. Now before I go further, let me be clear: I’m not bashing those that do. It’s just not me.

I prefer being with my friends and dancing the night away acting goofy and content with my single status.

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When prom night arrived, my friends and I headed to a park in order to take pictures together in our dresses.

Now the shoes I was wearing, as you can see in some of the photos, are legit high heels. I normally stay away from them because, frankly, I’d like to feel my toes. But I thought maybe I should give it a try, so I borrowed a blush suede pair of heels from my mother (which somehow fit).

The shoes went incredibly well with the dress. It gave the height and made me look statuesque, were pretty as hell, and just completed the overall look.

But midway through the taking pictures, I promptly took them off and walked barefoot for the remainder of our shoot. It’s quite comical actually. In some pictures I’m incredibly tall while in others I’m a hobbit compared to my friends.

In the end I went to prom in my comfortable, glittery sandals with pride.

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Trying to be poised.

I danced throughout the night with all of my friends.

From Despacito to Yeah! to the Cupid Shuffle to Party Rock Anthem. I was sweating like hell (I perspire easily). I was a sweaty mess, but at least I was having fun and letting loose.

The first portion of the dance was literally just pure Zumba and reggaeton music (my dress was exceptionally great for dancing to those genres). Then it turned into a mix between hip hop and rap music, before ending the night with pop.

I just remembered having so much fun. By the end of the night every single one of us was dancing. Even the shy, introverted ones that swore they couldn’t dance or only did so in the comfort of their rooms.

It was genuinely a great night to me.

Would I say it was “the best night of my life” like those characters in teen movies revolving around a dance event?

Probably not.

But it was fun and I’m glad that I got to experience my prom.

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Benji and Me

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This is Benji.
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“He’s so fluffy!”

This is Benji.

He’s my best friend’s sister’s dog.

I think.

Benji was hers, then their grandfather’s, then their dad so I don’t know anymore.

Benji is also one of the few animals I’m not completely petrified of (yes, I have a fear of animals).

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Benji is literally a walking ball of fluff.

He is so soft and loves to give high fives. But I have to say, Benji did not give me many during the shoot which deeply offended me.

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“Come back!”
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Benji loves giving me high fives.
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He’s sticking his tongue out at me!
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“Benji, don’t you dare walk away while I’m talking!”

A few of my friends created an Instagram account for Benji called @belovedbenji with the goal of becoming as famous as Doug the Pug.

This was all studiously talked about during art class and lunch.

So when they suggested I do a shot with him, I thought, why not? It was slightly insulting when they were more excited about him then me. I remember saying, “What the hell? I’m the model, he’s the prop.” They just laughed before returning to Benji.

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He is adorable though.

A very happy pup who melts my heart.

I’m still not getting a pet though. I gotta learn how to take care of myself first (ahem, I’m talking to you Joy, you and your possible three dogs).

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A Team

My First Campus Visit

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DREAMY
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Sweater cardigan from Poshmark (it’s actually my mother’s).

Last weekend I attended my first ever college visit at the University of Dallas in Irving, Dallas.

Before anything let’s get some stuff out of the way:

Yes, it’s a Catholic school.

Yes, it means I might stay in Texas.

Yes, it’s been in the top most ugliest schools in America.

No, it’s not the same as the University of Texas in Dallas.

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WHATEVER
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Jeans are Abercrombie & Fitch

I stayed the night while my mother went back to the hotel and roomed with an already enrolled student.

The first thing we, including other possible and already enrolled students, did was…play volleyball. And by we I mean they. I made it clear from the get-go that I’m not at all athletically inclined, which they, thank God, respected (you never know, people can be cray).

Once the game ended we all headed out to have dinner at Rathskellers, which is on campus, where there was also a jukebox (which I thought was pretty cool). We sat outside while tunes like Love Shack were blaring on the speakers. By the end of dinner there were all in all ten of us.

Afterwards we headed out to the soccer field on the outskirts of the campus. While half of us played, the other half sat on the sidewalk listening to music and looking at the blue bonnets surrounding the field. Once they were done, we moved on to some night frisbee with a frisbee that lit up.

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We then proceeded to head back to the campus, while the students sang Justin Bieber’s “Baby” very very loudly, and went into one of the lounge rooms where they danced on top of the tables. Once they had their fill of that, we went into a different lounge room to play Catchphrase. Which, for those of you who don’t know, is an extremely intense game.

After playing a couple of rounds of Catchphrase all of us went to Club Donna, a portion of the campus that students basically have a rave in with a DJ and strobe lights.

I, however, had not properly slept for the past 24 hours so I was the first to fall and go to bed. Side note: the air conditioning in the dorms are awesome!

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#FRESHFACE
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Top from Poshmark
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Sneakers from Topshop

After saying goodbye to my host, who was incredibly sweet, I reunited with my mother. We, being the rebels we are, skipped the last event (alumni panel) to get some free hot chocolate and check out some books (there’s a bookstore on campus, by the way).

Another side note: the hot chocolate was amazing.

Overall I really enjoyed my experience in UD even though it was exhausting.

And for those of you who are asking: Yes, I’ll probably attend this university. Oh, by the way I got one of their college tees on sale! It’s super soft.

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Belle 🥀

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Sweater is a gift from my stepbrother’s girlfriend, Bennett. It’s so soft!!!

Today is the day Beauty and the Beast (2017) is finally released!

Disney’s animated version was released in 1991 and won numerous awards for its incredible music and storytelling. Honestly, I’m surprised a live action version of the Disney film has taken so long.

But then again, I’m probably biased since it’s my favorite film of all time.

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Lipstick is NINZA by LAQA & Co.
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Shades from Urban Outfitters.

When I first heard of the possibility of a live action Disney Beauty and the Beast film in 2015, I was so excited I think I started hyperventilating (yes, it’s quite pathetic). My excitement was further enhanced when I discovered that Emma Watson would be playing the main protagonist, Belle.

Belle has always been my favorite Disney princess. An independent and fiery bookworm whose beauty goes beyond her facade was in my eyes nothing short of inspirational.

Emma Watson appears to be a down-to-earth young woman whom I first took notice of in the Harry Potter series as the strong and intelligent witch, Hermione Granger. But it was her work with Books on the Underground, the Book Fairies, as well as the HeForShe campaign from UN Women that garnered my respect for her.

She, in my opinion, is the perfect Belle.

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Every trailer and clip that I watched leading up to the movie’s release always gave me chills.

From the light piano playing in the background to the dance between Belle and her Beast to the stark red rose petals falling slowly to the ground.

All of that on top of the incredible CGI that went into creating the Beast and his staff is awesome! And what is also equally cool is Lefou’s homosexuality. I mean, it’s the 21st century people! There aren’t just straight people! There are lesbians, gays, transgender, aseaxuals, so why shouldn’t they be represented in our media and entertainment? In the words of director Bill Condon on the controversy around it, “I’m so sick of this!”

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My momma’s got my back!
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Bracelet is part of the Disney Couture line. It was a Christmas gift from my mother.
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Shoes from JustFab.
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Low-key excited.

My family and a couple of my friends were lucky enough to nab some tickets the day after its premiere.

I’m so excited I’ll probably start crying before the film even begins.

It’s not just about the cool animation or the crazy musical numbers.

It’s getting the same feeling I got when I first watched the animated version when I was a little girl. A sense of complete wonder and content from watching a beautiful and meaningful film.

I’m sure the 2017 version will be as wonderful as the original.

Either way I’ll be humming the title song all the way home afterwards.

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Beauty and the Beast

Twenty Seventeen

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#2017
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Choker from Forever 21. It was a Christmas pressie:)
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Shades from Poshmark.

So.

2016 is finally over.

I think we can all agree that this (last) year has been the epitome of a roller coaster ride. No matter where you live or what you believe in, I think we can all agree that this year has been cray cray.

There was some form of battle around the world.

Whether it be a political one, social, or environmental.

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Although 2016 has ended, I’m feeling uneasy about this new year.

For as long as I can remember I have dreaded the year 2017.

The year I graduate.

While it’s terrifying, I can revel in this last semester (which no longer counts towards most college applications) and in the fact that no matter what I will have somewhere to go (yes that means I was indeed accepted into a school(s)) 😉 .

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Dress is Banana Republic via Poshmark.
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#GAMEFACE

In preparation of our (basically) free semester, my friends and I made a list to do before we part our ways in August.

I know, so dramatic.

This is our To-Do List:

  1. Learn how to kickbox or box
  2. Take a tango class
  3. Take a hip hop class
  4. Have a major outing for the sole purpose of tryning new food
  5. take a flower arrangement class
  6. Go biking
  7. Go rollerblading
  8. Go horseback riding
  9. Go skydiving
  10. Go scuba diving
  11. Learn how to fence
  12. Learn archery
  13. Go on a road trip
  14. Go to an amusement park and ride rollercoasters
  15. Have a scary movie night

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Not every single one of us wants to do everything on that list and is no way complete. But it is a good indication of what we’re going to be doing in our spare time.

Now mind you we are well aware that some of the activities listed above are not possible of doing in Houston. And there’s also that annoying thing in the way. What’s it called? Oh yeah, money.

But it’s nice to dream though, right?

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Bag is Rebecca Minkoff.
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Nail polish has a base coat of China Glaze’s Coconut Kiss and a top coat of ORLY’s Lumiere’s Light.
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Shoes from JustFab.

 2017 is either going to be the best year ever or the worse.

I prefer the former.

Fingers crossed.

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Beauty for Everyone. Again.

 

As you can see in the above pictures, punctuality is not my mother’s strong suit.

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If you’ve read my last post you’d know that I attended Sally Beauty’s Beauty for Everyone Influencer Executive Summit a while back.

On the second day bloggers were given the opportunity to talk to over 25 different brand partners and got tons of free products.

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There were two Sally Beauty hairstylists available to bloggers throughout the day in the Presidential Suite.

The woman in the picture above is my friend Cris Zaragoza (styleanthropy) and I promise she looked a lot better than what you see above ;D

And yes, the woman behind her is the one and only Mama Mai.

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Bloggers were welcomed with, of course, free products and an assortment of fruits and muffins.

Their blueberry muffins are amazing by the way.

I usually hate them but damn.

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Meeting Jeannie Mai.

At first glance I thought I was hallucinating because, I mean, there’s no way that that could be her! But the more I looked (yes, I know I sound like a stalker) the more I started to realize that it was indeed Jeannie Mai!

And after seeing Mama Mai too my mind just blew up.

I’m not going to lie, I spent the entire morning presentation looking over at her table to see if she really was real.

By the end of it my momma got fed up with me and told me to just ask for a picture. And I did! Well, she did for me because I couldn’t speak.

Jeannie was so nice and is a hardcore hugger. I just smiled and nodded at everything she said while momma took our picture together.

I have never been starstruck before so it was apparently very amusing for my mother to see me that way…

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While the trade show was going on there was also an entire section in the hotel that gave pedicures, manicures, haircuts, styling, and false lashes.

I had never tried falsies before so I was definitely apprehensive when the opportunity to try presented itself.

I kept blinking and closing my eyes and was a wreck throughout the process.

Yes, all five minutes of it.

But I liked the end result. Just not enough to do the work on a regular basis.

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#WERK

 

All of the brands were awesome.

There were so many that it was difficult to look at all of them. And not to mention the crowds and lines.

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Dinner was at one Dallas’s top nightclubs where people can ride mechanical bulls.

It was Sally Beauty Hairstylist Gregory Patterson’s birthday and apparently he’s always wanted to try it.

But…

Since I’m still underage and momma is not a huge fan of nightclubs anymore we decided to have room service instead.

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On the last day bloggers were given the opportunity to try the Experimental Pop Up Social Lounge and Content Studio during breakfast on the last day. It occupied a small section of the Grand Hyatt’s dining hall.

It had a light pink background with wooden stool in front of it. Bloggers could choose from a list of questions they could answer and were allowed to film as many as they wish. Like “What products can you not live without?” or “What’s the best beauty advice you have ever received?’

There was also an entire wall stacked with products for us to take.

You should have seen the bloggers who ran for it.

Even in those hella high heels of theirs.

It was quite impressive.

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Peace out!

I want to thank Sally Beauty and the Brain Trust for inviting me to the summit!

It was a lot of fun and I’m going to love trying out all the products I got.

Beauty for Everyone

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Yes, yes, this is incredibly late.

With school and college applications in the way, I had no time to properly describe my experience with Sally Beauty in Dallas a few months ago. (Yes, months.)

But now that it’s Winter Break (thank God) and I’ve been accepted by a few schools (thank God, again), I can finally sit down and blog about it.

My mother, Sheela Writes, and I were invited to Sally Beauty’ Beauty for Everyone Influencer Excutive Summit (quite a mouthful). It was basically a three-day event that allowed influencers to check out some of Sally Beauty’s products and learn how to develop our brand.

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Welcoming Gift

The summit took place in Dallas, Texas and my mother actually let me skip school in order to attend since it began on a Friday (such a rebel).

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt and upon arrival we were given a bag of goodies (as seen in the above picture). Our room was sooo cool. The blinds would automatically raise up when we entered the room, displaying a great view of the city. There was also one of those cosmetic mirrors with fancy lights that YouTube makeup tutorialists use.

And it was pretty awesome having a big TV too.

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Day 1: Fashion Show

The event was a fashion and hair show hosted by Project Runway and Lead Sally Beauty Hairstylist, Gregory Patterson. For those of you who dodn’t know who that is, it’s the guy you see on TV when Project Runway comes on. Turns out he’s real! (Don’t judge me.)

The show opened with a montage video of Project Runway Season 14 and other various fashion shows around the country. The atmosphere was what I imagine a club to be like, with Calvin Harris and Zedd tracks on full blast.

There were models in chairs lined up.

Gregory would give the audience some tips on how to do each model’s hairstyle, and of course showed which products to use, as each model kept on their black coverups.

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Gregory then proceeded to introduce a surprise guest: Ashley Tipton! Winner of Project Runway Season 14 and the first plus size designer to win.

The models, afetr getting their hair presentations done, took off the coverups and revealed Tipton’s new line with JCPenney.

It had a retro vibe with tons of a black and pink dominant color palette.

And it was also really cool that she had models of ALL sizes.

Not just the usual skinny ones, but not just the curvy ones either.

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Meeting Ashley Tipton
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The unconventional challenge

The dress above was Tipton’s unconventional dress that was asked for by Sally Beauty.

I think it’s made out of boxes. A lot of boxes.

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Dress from Forever 21.
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Cuff is Loewe. Rings from Poshmark, Shasa, and various indie boutiques. Necklace from Poshmark.
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Shoes are Jeffrey Campbell.

Now to give you some perspective, we left our house early in the morning because the airport is about an hour away. After dealing with our bags, going through check-in, and finding food we boarded our plane at around noon. The flight itself was super short, but once we landed we were working nonstop.

The show was originally supposed to be at 4 but began a little over an hour early.

The event (which included meet-and-greets and pre-show chatting) ended at around 5:30.

Basically momma and I were exhausted.

Dinner was at 6 but we, well, took a nap. A looong nap. Like three hours.

So we had room service instead and watched Descendants (yes, we still watch Disney movies).

By the way, the Grand Hyatt’s mac n’ cheese is amazing!

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Thanks for letting us shoot, Fuddruckers! And for the coupon 🙂
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#BEAUTYFOREVERYONE

And that was just Day 1.

I promise to write about the rest soon. It’s just a lot of stuff to write about 🙂

Til next time!

NOW

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🎧You gotta keep ya head up🎧

I think we can all agree that this presidential election has been the epitome of an emotional train wreck.

If you’ve read my previous post, you’d know that I’m a Clinton supporter. My entire family is. The night of the final results was a devastating blow, but it didn’t hit me just how divided America truly is until the hate crimes started to occur.

It’s one thing to not understand others that are different from you, whether physically or in beliefs, but to assault others and threaten their lives is uncalled for. There are incidents that have taken place across the United States. Incidents that have included the desecration of religious monuments, assaults on Muslim women, threats against Hispanics from their own coworkers, and countless others.

I have never been so terrified of being a female Asian immigrant in my entire life. I never thought of it as something that could possibly put myself in jeopardy. I had never seen myself as different. Until now.

But I refuse to let that affect me negatively.

Being different is good. And I hope anyone who is currently feeling the same fears and facing the same uncertainties as I do, will not be ashamed or afraid to live their lives fearlessly despite the perils that may lie ahead.

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Fight.
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Stand strong. Stay strong.

It’s not the results that upset me the most, but how this country keeps repeating the same old pattern.

One step forward, two steps back.

America elected its first African American president in 2009.

Seven years later this same country decided to have a white supremacist as its president, who also happens to be racist and sexist.

It’s discouraging.

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Dress from Zaful.
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Shades from an indie boutique in Malaysia.
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Shoes from an indie boutique in Malaysia.

Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I plan to do just that.

Everyday to the best of my ability, no matter what may come.

Will you?

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Go forth with no fear.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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