#DearMe: Be Brave (Happy International Women’s Day)

Happy International Women’s Day! Across the globe people are celebrating the accomplishments of women. As part of today, YouTube put together #DearMe asked women to create videos that featured advice they’d give to them past selves. This is my take on it.

Here’s what I say in the video in case you can’t watch it or videos just aren’t your thing:

Dear me, which is really dear you. Dear aimless wander in this world.

I have only one thing I want to tell you: All that matters is being brave, trying to be true to yourself, living your life. No one can tell you what to do different.

Don’t worry about anything else or what you don’t know or what you haven’t done. It will all come. Eventually you will know all the things you don’t know now.

Dear me.

I relaunched my YouTube channel, as my old channel was floundering and didn’t exactly represent what I’m interested in this point. You can subscribe, if you’d like. I have zero subscribers, so any support is much appreciated!

This video was actually quite fun to make. Sometimes I don’t want to be in front of the camera, in fact, most times I don’t like to be in front of the camera. It was an exercise is patience and creativity to put the clips together in a way that worked with the music and the voice over. I’ve always been a bit obsessed with collaging images, so collaging videos made sense to me. I’m sure there’s a technical term for this.

Best Lips at the Oscars (2015)

Best Oscar Lips 2015 | ThoseGraces.com

After five hours of watching the 2015 Oscars, I had to admit that I came away with a, “What was this all for?!” feeling. If you follow me on Twitter (and you should!), then you already know I was let down by the show. However, I decided to take my five hours of disappointment and turn it into something positive–a quick look at my favorite lip looks of the night! For me the actresses that really stood out were Margot Robbie, Emma Stone, Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lopez. I decided to do some digging on what colors they all wore on this lips last night so I could share them with you all!

Margot Robbie’s Hourglass Lips

Margot Robbie’s look was by far my favorite, hands down. After all, I make it no secret just how much I love red lipstick. Tyron Macchausen, Margot’s makeup artist, used Hourglass’s Panoramic Long Wear Lip Pencil in Raven followed by Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Raven. The lipstick is currently sold out, but it’s your traditional red-orange colors so easy dupes would be OCC’s Stalker or MAC’s Lady Danger.

Emma Stone’s Chanel Meets Revlon Lip

Emma Stone’s rocked a coral lip that complimented her skin tone and outfit perfectly. To create this look Rachel Goodwin combined high end and drugstore products by first using Chanel’s Precision Lip Definer in Rouge Candy followed by  Revlon’s Ultra HD Lipstick in Tulip. I suspect a lot of these celebs were fulfilling their contractual obligations to the makeup companies they represent, but, hey, who doesn’t like a $8 lipstick even if it is on top of a $29 liner?

Lupita Nyong’o in Lancome

Lupita Nyong’o can do no wrong on the red carpet, I think that’s pretty much a given. Already decked out in 6,000 pearls, Lupita’s look was topped off by Lancome’s Le Lipstique Lip Coloring Stick in Sheer Chocolate followed by Lancome’s L’Absolu Rouge Lipcolor in Aubergine Velvet. Makeup artist Nick Barose is responsible for this gorgeous look.

Jennifer Lopez Goes With Light Pink

I’ll be honest–usually I’m not a huge fan of natural lip color, especially at the Oscar’s, but I absolutely loved Jennifer Lopez’s light pink lip. It was a little bit more than a nude, but not quite bold. Makeup artist Mary Phillips used L’Oréal’s Infallible Pro-Last Color in Timeless Rose and probably a lip liner in a similar color like L’Oreal’s Infallible Never Fail Lipliner Pencil in Pink.

My Golden Rule for Thrifting

My Golden Rule for Thrifting | ThoseGraces.comitems available in my online shop

Thrifitng is a huge part of my life, so much so that I’ve even turned it into a business. I started thrifting in high school and often came home with vintage scarfs and shawls, much to my mother’s dismay. After I graduated college, I combed the thrift store to find wear-to-work pieces. Today I thrift just about everything, from home items to vintage dresses to jewelry. After over a decade of thrifting, I have discovered the golden rule of thrifting!

The Golden Rule of Thifting: Anticipate Your Needs

Thrifting success boils down to this: Anticipate your needs.

The majority of those who get frustrated with thrifting are ones who head to the thrift store looking for something specific. This, my friends, will drive you crazy. Typically thrift stores aren’t organized by size, and even if they are, chances are items aren’t in the right place. This is just the nature of the beast.

To prevent thrifting headaches, be on the lookout for things you will need in the future. These items are pulled from  broad categories of clothing like party dresses, wear to work, clutches, boots for winter.  This way you can buy styles you like and wear them further on down the line. Since the upfront investment is often minimal, you’re not really wasting money especially if you’re going to wear it a month or two from now.

Good luck on your next thrifting adventure!

Get the Classic Look: Casual Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn Sitting by River

Today I’m kicking off a new series called Get the Classic Look where I’ll share how to get a classic look. And what better way to start it off than with Audrey Hepburn? I adore Audrey’s style because it’s casual, elegant and simple all at the same time. I’ve always loved this photo of Audrey sitting by the river with the city in the background. In true Audrey fashion, it’s classic and comfortable.

Get the Casual Audrey Hepburn Look

Get the Classic Look: Audrey Hepburn | ThoseGraces.com
Forever 21 Faux Suede Moto Jacket, Citizens of Humanity Rocket High Rise Skinny Jeans, Rag and Bone Chelsea Boots

This look is fairly simple to recreate and involves just three key pieces:

  • A shortshearling trim jacket like this one or this one.
  • High waisted skinny jeans. Though the waistline isn’t visible in this photo, given that it was the 1960s, the jeans were most likely high waisted ones. I recommend going high waisted skinny jeans like this pair or these.
  • Flat simple booties. You’ll want to get a pair of flat ones that are fairly simple or plain looking like this pair or this pair.

Happy Audrey-ing!

Erin Condren Life Planner Review (18 Months Later)

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.com

Oh, the Erin Condren Life Planner! Where to begin? I purchased this planner in October 2013 in a flurry to get organized. I watched reviews and did my research before dropping about $60. I went back and forth on how I felt about the planner, which is why I waited to review it. I’ll just cut to the chase: I fell into the hype of this planner. For me the Life Planner wasn’t functional with my lifestyle and I felt restricted by its layout.  Overall, this isn’t a bad planner, it just didn’t work well for me.

The Pros of the Erin Condren Life Planner

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.comThe biggest thing the Life Planner has going is its design and durability. This planner is legit indestructible. I usually treat my notebooks roughly, and this planner was no exception. The metal binding is in the same condition as the day I got it, with no bends or pulls. The laminated cover is also  in near-perfect condition. The thing I liked most about the cover is that it’s cleanable, which meant I could just wipe it down if it got wet or sticky.

I’m a bit of a stationery and paper snob, so it’s also worth mentioning that the pages in this planner have a very nice texture. They’re not too thick and not too thin. I used multiple types of pens in this planner and never experienced any bleed through.

The planner came with stickers for labeling things within the planner as well as gift stickers with my name on them. Some stickers were blank, which came in handy for labeling containers in the pantry. However, the ones I ended up using the least were the appointment and event stickers. For example, there were 6 stickers for mani/pedi.  Since I’ve gotten a mani/pedi maybe three times in my entire life, the likelihood of going six times in 15 months was slim to none. In fact, it was none.

The Cons of the Erin Condren Life Planner

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.com

The biggest issue I had with this planner is that I think horizontally, or in rows, and this planner is setup vertically, or in columns. This my biggest challenge with the design. Generally  I like a lot of space to write, and I constantly felt restricted by the tiny little boxes. I have fairly drawn out (read: sloppy) handwriting so staying in the little space was annoying.

Another thing I disliked about the layout was the break up of the columns by times of the day (morning, day, night). With planners, I prefer to write down whatever needs to get done at the top of the space for that day, not chronologically. Honestly, my days really weren’t so busy that I need to break tasks down by periods. I can see this working for someone with kids or a lot of hobbies, but for a fairly regular person, it’s overkill.

My biggest gripe was with the metal binding. As a righty, the binding made writing things down in Wednesday’s column near impossible. It. Drove. Me. Crazy.  The way I had to hold my hand just felt so unnatural and uncomfortable. This problem wouldn’t exist if there was an option to have dates horizontally.

My last issue with the planner is the size and the weight. I knew going in that the Life Planner wasn’t exactly great for someone on the go all the time. It’s heavy. It’s cumbersome. It probably won’t fit in your purse, and even if it does, your shoulder will probably hurt. I can see this being great for a student who carries a backpack or someone who wants a true desk planner.

What I Learned From 15 Months With the Erin Condren Life Planner

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.com

My biggest takeaway from the Erin Condren Life Planner is I’m probably never spending $60 on a planner again unless it’s a Filofax. I don’t exactly regret the purchase, but I can’t claim that I got my money’s worth. For me, the layout didn’t work. I realized I’m the type of person where I need to either have a simple planner or one I can customize entirely, which I couldn’t do with the Life Planner.

Overall, I would recommend the Erin Condren Life Planner to people who think and plan vertically and don’t mind a small space to work in. I think it would be really great for those who are really busy and want to break down specific parts of their day within a planner. Also maybe lefties.

If you’re interested in purchasing an Erin Condren Life Planner, you can do so here. Prices start at $50.