Black & Bright |Style Inspiration

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As usual, Chicago weather is all over the place but the temperature is finally dropping which means I can embrace all that Fall fashion has to offer. In the past, I would keep my Fall wardrobe very dark and edgy but lately I’ve been inspired and want to keep my pieces simple yet girly. I feel like I achieved that in this look since the leather jacket and short haircut gives it an edge while my high waisted jeans and lavender bejeweled booties keeps things feminine.

Shirt & High waist jeans – Akira

Leather jacket -H&M

Shoes – Zara

xoxo

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4 Fast Tips To Help You Find Your Signature Fragrance | (Quiz Inside!)

4 Fast Tips To Help You Find A Signature Fragrance (Quiz Inside!) | GLAMRIKA.COM

Growing up, I always looked up to my mama for being one of the most put together, bad ass females in my life. You would rarely catch my mother outside of the house looking a raggedy mess. Her hair was aways styled, nails always done, makeup always complete and a spritz or two of her Burberry perfume always lingered close beside her as she set out to complete her daily errands. That is the #bossgirl aesthetic I looked up to and the one that is ingrained in my own personal definition of what it means to be a women -handling all of the worlds bullshit, in style.

Now that I am coming into my own as a full time functioning adult (eww) I know that I want to continue my mothers legacy by looking put together and smelling wonderful as well. The only problem is that I knew nothing about perfume, or where to begin shopping for a signature fragrance. This past weekend, I took myself on a shopping spree and I was determined to purchase a signature fragrance of my own. Along the way, I learned quite a bit and decided to share my new found knowledge with you all in this blog post.

1. Budget

Perfume is an investment and at minimum you will be spending $50+ so be sure to stack your pennies before going out to shop for a fragrance.

2. Scents in Category

To help your search – perfume is usually broken up into four categories:

  • Floral
  • Fresh
  • Warm & Spicy
  • Earthy & Woody

If you know which category you gravitate towards naturally, then shopping for a fragrance should be a bit easier for you since you can just stick within your category.

3. Sephora Fragrance IQ Test

I used to work for Sephora at one point so I know I’m pretty bias, but I absolutely love starting my beauty search there. Luckily in store (and online right here) Sephora has developed a fragrance iq test that you can take to discover some new scents. Once you have answered a few questions, it gives you a handful of perfume recommendations to look into.

I took this test in store and Chanel no 5 was the 3rd recommendation on my list. I was able to smell the perfume right there and decided to go for it.

4. Smell The Perfume On Yourself

I had no clue that perfume actually smell different on each individual person. What I should have done was smell the perfume on myself while I was at Sephora, but I made the mistake of only smelling it on the sample paper and running to the cashier. Now, I got lucky because the next day when I wore the fragrance I fell even more in love with it paired with my own natural scent. Even so – I still would recommend spraying a bit on yourself before you purchase.

That is it from me! What was the #1 perfume recommendation from your test results?

xoxo

Cozy & Sexy |Fall Fashion Look

Cozy and Sexy | Fall Fashion | glamrika.comCozy and Sexy | Fall Fashion Look | Glamrika.comCozy and Sexy | Fall Fashion Look | glamrika.com

The weather has BARELY dropped and I’m already rocking booties and a cardigan. Fall fashion always gets me so hype so I’m really excited that we are so close to September, crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice everything. If I actually went out while wearing this outfit, instead of just throwing it together to snap a few pics, then it would probably be to go to a nice bar with my girlfriends. This look is otherwise pretty casual, but the deep v-neck bodysuits turns the sex appeal all the way up. Plus, the jersey material will suck everything in and shape your body nicely. The grey knit cardigan keeps things cozy all while the high-waist, dark denim jeans and black booties bring on the Fall vibes.

Top | Jeans | Booties – all from Akira

Cardigan – from H&M

xoxo

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Happy 23rd Birthday To Me!

Happy Birthday to Me | Glamrika.com

Happy Birthday to Me | glamrika.comHappy Birthday to Me | glamrika.comHappy Birthday to Me | glamrika.com

Happy Birthday to Me | Glamrika.com

Happy Birthday to Me | glamrika.com

Happy Birthday to Me | glamrika.com

Happy Birthday to Me | glamrika.com

If I had to summarize the 22nd year of my life in a few words, I would say that it was all about finding the value in failure. On the surface things may have looked great and successful, but my transition from college girl to young adult was anything but smooth. My internship turned into a full time job, while I was still a full time student. My four year relationship went from good, to bad, to worse, to over. I failed a class, and failed again and felt like things were not going according to my well thought out master plan. And on top of it all, I had already moved off campus, with no roommate, and was now a full time dog mama with real ass bills to pay (I’ll explain the dog situation in another post). I was beyooonnnddd stressed out, taking my frustrations out on family and friends all while isolating myself from everyone else.

Pressures like the ones I experienced are common, but have more than enough power to break you. For a moment I let my failures convince me that I wasn’t capable of ever being great. Now I’m not saying that things are all sunshine and rainbows now, it took hella work and self discovery. With the help of my mama, music, makeup and some dedicated friends, I finally found the courage to tell my ego to bounce and reevaluate what I could realistically handle. The main things I learned are as follows:

It’s ok to say no.

The majority of my problems were caused by burn out. I would literally say yes to plans with a homie knowing damn well that I am tired from work and I still had homework to do, a dog to walk and dishes to clean. Then I would get frustrated trying to cram everything into a small timeframe, all because I wanted the illusion of a work / life balance… IT WAS JUST NOT THAT SERIOUS! I finally just had to keep it real with myself and start telling other people no, so I could tell myself yes.

Preparation really does matter.

I always notice a MAJOR difference in my productivity, mood and stress levels when I prep everything for the week. Having my lunch and dinner cooked for the week, laundry done, outfits picked out and house clean really does help me to clear my mind and focus on my true goals. It also gives me a consistent routine to cling to (still working on that consistency part tho lol). Its like that saying, if you don’t prepare you plan to fail. I know if I don’t plan my day out the night before, my mornings are in shambles and my afternoons are filled with frustration. Routines that cater to your needs really do matter.

Be thankful for what you have.

I will never understand why it is so addictive to be focused on negativity, when positivity feels so much better. I noticed that during the period of my life where I was so down on myself for my failures, I lost focus on all the things I should be thankful for. Things could always be 10x worse and it is important to keep gratitude in your heart and count your blessings.

Mind over matter.

The first step to any type of progress, starts in your mind. When I changed my mindset and became focused on graduation (which I did graduate btw) things started to change for the better.

Well folks, that is my story or whatever. Being in your early 20’s is kind of weird, but I have an amazing feeling about 23. I took these bomb ass pictures to celebrate my progress so I hope you all like them. Oh, and while you are here you might as well wish me a happy birthday in the comments.

Happy Birthday to Me | glamrika.com

xoxo

Happy 4th of July | OOTD

Happy 4th Of July | Glamrika.com

Happy 4th of July | glamrika.com

Happy 4th of July | glamrika.com

Happy 4th of July | glamrika.com

Romper: Akira | Sandals: Target

I honestly can’t remember the last time I dressed in red, white and blue for the 4th of July. In my household, we never placed an emphasis on the aesthetic of being American, but this year my mama had other plans. At our annual barbecue this year she requested that everyone dress in the festive colors of our country (eye roll). America and I are not on the best of terms right now, but I do love this country and more importantly, I love my mama and I’m going to do whatever she says regardless.

I wanted my independence fit to be adorable yet functional so I opted for a romper since I’ll probably be running around with my nephews and helping out around the house when needed. Hope ya’ll enjoy!

xoxo

Playful Brunch Look

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.comPlayful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | glamrika.com

Playful Brunch Look | Glamrika.com

Top: Akira | Skirt: Forever21 | Sandals: Target

The off shoulder, mustard yellow blouse with dramatic ruffles sleeves is a statement piece of its own. The denim skirt and thick wrap around sandals keep things casual while the red lip and hoop earrings keep things fun and playful.

xoxo

Vanity Tour | Something Simple and Affordable

vanity

My makeup collection has finally reached a point where my tiny bathroom sink is no longer the move. I live in a studio apartment and although 400 sqft is very spacious in Chicago, I don’t have the luxury of space to invest in a all out, glamorous vanity (even though I would love one). To keep things airy, light and affordable, I decided to think creatively and design my own mini vanity.

The vision for my vanity was simple: keep it girly, glamorous and small, like the rest of my apartment décor. I wanted something that was light weight, making it easy to move around my apartment. I also wanted something versatile. I have to make the most out of all of my space which means every item of furniture has to live a double life. With all of that in mind, I set out to construct something that worked best for ME and my lifestyle #MajorKey

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Now technically, the base of my self proclaimed vanity is just a shelf. The way I see it, when you buy something with your own money, it is whatever you want it to be. I purchased this shelf at target. The shelf has such a basic, yet practical design that I am sure it can be found anywhere, including your local thrift store.

The top two shelves store my personal makeup collection. The bottom right shelf stores my freelance makeup kit.The bottom left shelf stores items for cleaning and upkeep of the space. Yes, the bottom left is a bit of a eyesore but this is the aspect of “double life” that my vanity has to play.

I upcycled this mini bottle of patron into a vase (my flowers died before taking all of these pics) and I keep it surrounded by tea light candles and this super cute stone thing that I also got from target.

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I secretly collect perfume samples from Sephora for decor purposes only (perfume gives me a huge headache). I just think the tiny bottles are too adorable! The stone jewelry holder against the minimalist glass bottle design was the statement piece I needed to transform the space. This piece is easily my favorite part of the vanity.

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I received the acrylic makeup organizers as a Christmas gift last year. Even though acrylic organizers are harder to clean, I still prefer the transparent material because it doesn’t make the space feel cramped.

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img_1717Lastly, I pair this white chair with a white faux sheep skin. This may not be the coziest chair in the universe, but again I needed something practical. Originally this chair was used as a dining chair, before I got rid of my table to save space.

img_1708For now, I use a mini hand held mirror to do my makeup at the vanity. In the future, I plan on adding a vanity mirror with some lights and hopefully a ton more makeup!

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