How to Dress Like Your Favorite TV Characters: ‘Julie and the Phantoms’ Edition

So, I’ve been seeing this trend all over TikTok where all sorts of fans dress up as their favorite TV show characters. And since, I’m a JATP fantom, I’ve managed to see a lot of iterations of this based on Netflix’s Julie & the Phantoms. These videos are so incredibly clever, all about how these users manage to find some pretty close representatives of the show costumes in their own wardrobes. So, as the proper fangirl I am, I decided to jump on the bandwagon too.

With garments that have been pulled from my color-coordinated closet (TY for your inspo, The Home Edit), I’ve attempted to replicate six key show looks for everyday wear. Sure, not all are exact matches because I don’t have the show’s stylist, wardrobe closet, or budget at my disposal. But, I do have a packed closet of my own and a keen idea of my personal style. So, keep reading to find out how to dress like your fave Julie & the Phantoms character IRL, just as I’ve done.

Standing on the Edge of Great Like Julie

Yes, I’m holding a box of “girl stuff” and a notebook perfect for writing songs. #incharacter

Julie was a tad tricky for me because, usually, I don’t dress like a  “cool teen” like the JATP lead singer, so I had to improvise a bit. Paired with some ripped skinny jeans, I added this off-the-shoulder green, leopard-print, flowy blouse from Kenzo x H&M to complete my look. Then, I threw on some white sneakers from Keds to match. I thought this look is quite similar to the vibe of her “Edge of Great” butterfly look, which too has a whimsical, cool aesthetic.

What You Need to Replicate It: Jeans, off-the-shoulder printed blouse


Embracing My Inner Rockstar Ala Luke

Luke was an easy one to replicate, with his casual, wannabe musician look. To give it a Miranda Touch, I matched a pair of black jeans with a sleeveless concert tee. Alternatively, he’s the one band member to wear a Sunset Curve (hey, tell your friends!) tee on the daily, so I have that included too. I added a sleeveless Calia hoodie over it because that hoodie aesthetic is so Luke. I finished off the look with a pair of black booties to give it some edge.

What You Need to Replicate It: Sleeveless band tee, jeans, sleeveless or sleeved hoodie, beanie hat


I Wish I Had a Puppy, Pizza … or Outfits Like Reggie

Yes, because I was deeply in character, the middle photo is an homage to Reggie’s wish scene.

Bassist Reggie was another effortless look to put together. To do so, I paired some dark jeans with a white tank top and a black moto-inspired blazer. However, since I don’t have any flannel shirts, I found tying my faux Burberry scarf around my waist achieved a similar look. To complete the outfit, I added a pair of black booties to fully edge this ‘fit out.

What You Need to Replicate It: Jeans, white tank top, motorcycle jacket, flannel-like shirt


Taking Fashion Inspo From Alex AKA the Purest Ghost Ever

The sweetheart ghost himself brings such a casual vibe to the show, so I tried to emulate that. In order to make it a reality, I paired a plain pink tee over a denim jacket and jeans. To finish off the look, I added a black, backward-facing cap, naturally. Now, I don’t have a fanny pack to work with, but I do have a crossbody bag. Switching his fanny pack for my crossbody helps make this look even easier to wear modern-day because I don’t look like I’m perpetually stuck in 1995 like Alex on the show. Then, I added some sneakers on my feet since the look is quite casual.

What You Need to Replicate It: Pink tee, jean jacket, black hat, black crossbody or fanny pack


All Eyes Are on Me … as Carrie

Embracing my inner diva slash Carrie, even doing *that* “All Eyes on Me” head move.

While some of Carrie’s Dirty Candy ‘fits were v v cool, they are v v unlike anything I own. So, I went with a version of her preppy, all-pink ensemble from the school scenes. I matched a pink miniskirt with both a sleeveless, hot pink blouse and a pale pink sweater. I believe it achieves a similar look that Carrie could have rocked if she was in her mid-twenties and working in the corporate world. For my shoes, I added a pair of silver ballet flats. Then, for accessories, I went with a sparkly headband, a chunky jeweled necklace, and either a Lilly Pulitzer wristlet or Kate Spade purse.

What You Need to Replicate It: Pink blouse and skirt, any sparkly baubles


No One is as Cool as Flynn

Now, Flynn’s the most adventurous dresser on the show, IMO, which scared me a bit. So, hesitantly, I found a leopard-print sweater I owned and tucked it underneath a Minnie Mouse overall dress, and added some black booties underneath. It was a look I wasn’t sure about, but felt so cool and very fall while I was wearing it. It was my version of her “Flying Solo” getup. Alternatively, I wore a chunky black sweater underneath the overall dress and brought the leopard pattern with some Kate Spade flats instead. Also, since we mostly see Flynn at the school on the show, I added a chic brown leather backpack to accessorize the look. Sure, it’s a bit out there for my usual tastes, but I feel closer to Flynn’s style already and feel that much cooler.

What You Need to Replicate It: Overalls, leopard or chunky sweater


There you have it! Six different ways to bring Julie & the Phantoms to life based on clothes you already own! Stylish, edgy, casual, preppy, or cool — whatever your style, the JATP crew would think you’d rock their styles! And sure, these looks took me out of my comfort zone, but that’s the great part. These looks gave me all the confidence that, sure, I could rock any of these looks in my usual day-to-day activities.

Review: Indulge in Self-Care With the LUXSB Perfume Subscription Box

Fall is in the air and so is our collective desire to break out our best cozy sweaters, riding boots, pumpkin spice-flavored anything, and watch the leaves changing on the trees. As we dive deeper into the colder weather season and the enduring pandemic rages on, any forms of self-care are so very welcome to keep us sane during our favorite season.

It was a few weeks ago when I found an email in my inbox about LUXSB, an online perfume subscription service, with its monthly deliveries of more than 600 fragrances, including a few new scents that give me all the fall feels. From that initial message alone, I was instantly intrigued to learn more and test out some beauty goodies for myself. After all, self-care is needed now more than ever and that’s just a fact.

A little background for y’all: LUXSB (Luxury Scent Box) is a women-founded company owned by sisters, which it’s always so so so so amazing to see other women thriving and succeeding on their own as they disrupt the patriarchal nonsense of the world we live in (ugh) to shatter glass ceilings and make their dreams come true. After debuting its first brick-and-mortar shop back in 2010, thanks to COVID and lockdown, the brand pivoted to focus more on home deliveries and online orders. What separates this brand from other competitors is its vast beauty experience and deep knowledge to offer custom fragrance suggestions that are perfect for you and what you are looking for in a fragrance.

Each monthly box, starting at the reasonable price of $15, offers a selection of perfumes, in a luxe perfume case, which includes a personal choice of your favorite designer or scents. LUXSB partners with many iconic brands for niche and exclusive perfumes and once you find your new signature scent from the monthly miniature bottles in your order, you can order larger sizes when you find the scent of your dreams. I was lucky enough to receive a box of several of the brand’s newest fall scents from the company and was excited to try it out for myself!

Testing 1, 2, 3

Upon unboxing my shipment for the first time, I found four handheld, travel-sized perfume samples in total. Each came in a handy, interchangeable travel case in metallic red, teal, purple, and gold colors. What’s great is that as soon as you run out of one vial, you can swap it out with fresh ones super easily, not to mention that it’s the perfect size to carry in your purse or travel luggage. It also comes with a velvet drawstring bag that can hold one container for easy transportation.

In general, it’s super easy to use. All you have to do is twist open the colorful top and the spray top pops up almost like a tube of lipstick. Then, to close and seal you just twist it back up. Super simple to apply your new go-to scent over and over! Now, if you want to check which travel case has which fragrance insider or even to replace empty vials, it can be a little more difficult. But the box’s instruction card reveals that’s, in reality, quite simple. After you’ve twisted the top open, you can pull the black-colored top straight up and out of the case to reveal or replace what’s inside. Then, to put it back in, you just have place it back inside the container and twist to close again. In the end, there’s no need to stress that you can’t get it because it was a fairly simple procedure.

Now, onto the main event: the exclusive Eau de Parfums that were made in France or England and are just delightful for a quick spritz.

Quintessential Fall Scents

Now, my box sample came with four new fall arrivals that are each different but equally perfect for this crisp autumn season, so keep reading for my two cents based solely on my lil’ nose and its power.

Juliette Has a Gun – Lipstick Fever: Right off the bat, this name gave me serious badass slash strong females only vibes, which I’m always here for, every time. With a spritz and a sniff, I can tell it’s a very strong (that’s a hard yes, lol) but light scent. It’s not bad at all, in fact, I quite like it. It seems like a nice, basic perfume for those consumers who typically don’t wear much perfume, but yes, it does smell lovely with a slight floral tone.

It’s definitely a pretty feminine scent, naturally focusing on the historic notes used in lipsticks with aromas of iris, violet absolute, and raspberry, plus woodsy notes to give it refinement.


Shay & Blue Salt Caramel: Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, this was not 100 percent my cup of tea for my nose. It was very spicy and all those caramel smells come out strong here. It definitely could be a unisex scent because it’s less floral and almost cinnamon-y with such a rich caramel smell. It’s not totally my style, I’d much prefer Juliette Has a Gun – Lipstick Fever of the two, but I definitely feel all the fall vibes with this one.

This rich Eau de Parfum brings the flavors of glossy caramel, sea salt, tonka bean, and sandalwood for an indulgent, deeper, and darker scent.


Etat Libre d’Orange – You or Someone Like You: This makes me think of a traditional perfume that you’d smell at a makeup counter and was always envious of your mom for having when you were growing up because this hits all the notes of what you’d think a perfume should be. In terms of scent, this one is quite minty and smells of pine-ish. This light perfume is nice, and I definitely like this one the most for its subtle scent. It gives off winter vibes, thanks to its minty smell, and that’s when I’d want to wear it the most. Like, it’d be perfect for any holiday parties you attend, you know, if Corona doesn’t cancel them all.

This light perfume brings a fresh and crisp aroma to your skin when you spritz this on yourself. Its primary notes include mint, anise, bergamot, and grapefruit, all of which come through tenfold.


Mancera – Jardin Exclusif: This strong scent reminds me of some big-name designer perfume, which isn’t awful and I actually like the aroma. It has a little floral smell to it, and in general, it’s the type of perfume I’d choose to wear to work slash the office and feel like a strong, powerful woman and a total girlboss.

This perfume brings a bewitching citrus scent that’s just delicious and indulgent. The fruit scent contains notes of pear, caramel, lemon, peach, black currant, and green apple. Plus, sprinkling of notes of jasmine, rose, violet, grey amber, sandalwood, and vanilla that complete its lovely package and final smell.


All in all, my order of favorites would likely be Etat Libre d’Orange – You or Someone Like You, Juliette Has a Gun – Lipstick Fever, Mancera – Jardin Exclusif, and Shay & Blue Salt Caramel to round out the quartet. Each scent gives me *all* the fall vibes, and I can’t wait to wear these fragrances all season long while I don my coziest sweaters and drink copious amounts of hot cocoa. That being said, while these are great fall scents, I’m not still totally sure if I found my ideal scent just yet, but I guess there’s always next month to make sure…

What Happens When a Natural Makeup-Type Girl Tries a Bold Beauty Look In Real Life

Following up on part one of my blog post about trying a non-traditional, bold lip color for me, a girl that tends to stick to the neutral and natural look, my test continues here: where I wear my new purple MAC “Evening Buzz” matte lipstick out and about, as I go about my day-to-day activities within the city of Manhattan. How will it go? Keep reading to find out how I feel, the potential confidence I’ll need in order to pull it off, and if I get any strange or positive reactions from strangers I pass? Let’s try this and see how it goes…

It is such an edgier look for me, so I needed to make sure I found an edgy or trendy-enough outfit in my closet that would somewhat go with the lip color. (I mean, it was one thing to see how I felt and others reacted to the lip color alone? But if it doesn’t go with my outfit? I’m afraid of looking foolish, clown-like.

Some thoughts before I begin: I think I’ll need to have a lot of confidence to walk outside with *shudder* purple lipstick; and I’m nervous about that, because I normally walk with my head down and with purpose to get to my destination as quickly as possible to avoid drawing any attention to myself. So, this is definitely new for me: not just wearing the purple hue on my lips, but acting like I have complete confidence in myself when trying something new and different.

My nerves are kicking into overdrive as I prepare to apply my new lipstick. But, I’m trying to face more of my fears, one thing at a time, on this blog, so I want to cast those nerves aside; and so, I swipe on the lilac hue and walk out my apartment door.

HERE. WE. GO.

Taking My Test Into The Real World

The first application is always the hardest…

I had to remember to breathe as I walked down the street, my mind couldn’t help my wonder if I could pull off such a look like the throngs of trendy Manhattanites do everyday.

…And here we go.

What It’s Like to Wear a Non-Traditional Bright Lip Color For Someone That Sticks to The Natural Look

A few months ago, it was National Lipstick Day and to celebrate, MAC decided on a free lipstick promotion (no catch, just a free lipstick for anyone that shows up to collect). Naturally, this seemed like a good idea and one I’d definitely take advantage of.

So, story time:

As it turns out, there’s a MAC kiosk inside Grand Central (only a short distance from my apartment), so it seemed to be worth it to check out this promotion. And since there was no earthly rhyme or reason I’d wake up at the crack of dawn to stand in line, I called around noon to ask about availability. Turns out, the Grand Central one had been “shut down” (IDK what that really meant), but I could come by now and get one. Utterly confused but hopeful, I schlepped down to the store and saw a short-ish line forming throughout the tiny store. As I stood in line, a few more people followed, until the number of people reached the door. To which the MAC employees (total troopers BTW for dealing with this craziness!) shut the door behind the last person in line and stood guard so no one else could join the line (OR wait in line outside). Because, apparently the cops/military personnel had already shut down the line earlier that morning at 9:30 a.m., when the line snaked through the terminal and blocked people from getting to their train platforms. Talk about insane. I only had to wait less than 20 minutes, and when I was about second in line: there were only about six colors left (they started with over 300 shades that morning): different hues of gray, blue, and purple.

Now, for someone like me, those colors terrified me. I was thinking this free lipstick deal would allow me to choose a pale pink, deep red, or a nude shade (as I typically stick to), but alas it seems the early bird really did get the worm. But, considering MAC lipsticks typically retail for $17 a tube and this was $0, the deal was too good to pass up and abandon my place in line. So, I inspected my choices, which revealed a pretty lilac color. Now, I’ve never ever worn purple lipstick in my lifetime, but I love the color purple in general and have seen social media trends starring this shade, so why not? Let’s give it a shot?

Now armed with a purple “Evening Buzz” matte lipstick in my makeup bag, I wanted to try it out. Not just snapping a few pics in my apartment to see how it would look on me, but in the real world — wearing *gasp* an edgy makeup look (something I never do), because as you know, I tend it to keep it au natural when I wear makeup at all. So what was it really like to swap my Plain Jane beauty rituals for something a bit more edgy?

Testing 1, 2, 3

First steps, time to test, to see how it looks on me before I go out in public with such a look. I swipe on the purple shade and inspect my handiwork in the mirror.

It’s definitely edgier than I’ve ever worn before, you can say that again. But, the color is actually really pretty, but will it feel ridiculous out in public? Will I look foolish with bright purple lips? These are the questions that cloud my brain as soon as I swiped on the sample. But the point of this blog is to try something new, so here we go, trying something new…

What’s next? I’m going to attempt to go out in public with my new shade and document it on here.

Disclaimer: I’ve been holding onto this post for awhile because that means I have to ditch my natural makeup routine and try something new and bolder, something that requires more confidence than I’m afraid to admit I don’t yet possess about myself in comparison to others around me. Now, I’m not trying to change who I am, but merely I just don’t want to be afraid to try new things; things that are outside the comfortable bubble that I live my daily life inside. And by posting this article, it’s a way to hold myself accountable to physically try it, and not wuss out at the last minute, as I’ve been doing for months already. And one step into gaining that confidence about myself? Taking a chance, trying new things. And that’s exactly what I want to do more on this page of my blog.

So, here we go, facing my fears– one purple-colored lipstick at a time…

Now read Part II, where I take my test out-and-about as I go about my everyday life.

What’s all the fuss about? Reviewing the Kylie Lip Kit.

So, for almost a year, the beauty and pop culture sphere (which I frequently follow, almost religiously) have been abuzz with news of the mystical Kylie Jenner Lip Kit, how to get it, how it’s amazing– and at last, I was able to purchase one of these now-famous kits, and so, I thought I’d review my first experiences with the kit.

Off the bat, getting my Kylie Lip Kit in the mail, I felt instantly cooler, like all the teens of the world would definitely approve of my newfound coolness.

Color: So, after careful research, I purchased the Koko K lip kit (which comes with a lipliner and matte lipstick). I chose Koko (named for Khloe Kardashian, Kylie’s half-sister) because the nude-pink color would look best on fair/pale skin (aka me).

It’s here! It arrived!

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Within the well-known design of the KLK box, I opened it up to find my lipstick (looking more like a lip gloss) and matching lip liner.

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The application:

Time to try it out!

As Kylie indicated on the box, “for the best result, fill in your lips with the lip liner then top with one coat of Matte Liquid Lipstick.”

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Lips filled in with Koko K liner

The liner is barely visible and appears to lose its sharpness after just one use. So, what happens when it runs low? Is there a mechanism to sharpen it? Or do you just have to buy more?

I go to apply the lipstick, as I open it, I notice how good it smells. It smells like a fruity Lip Smacker (makes me miss my childhood!) and goes on easily and really fast.

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At first, the lipstick is really glossy.

But very quickly, the lipstick becomes more matte-looking and dries just as fast. Woah. Immediately, I really like the color, it’s a cute nude-pink color that pops a bit against my skin, more than a completely nude color would, which I like.

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After some ten minutes, I notice how it doesn’t seem to be coming off at all– let’s see how it holds up when I test how well it lasts going about my regular day.

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Ta Da!

As I looked in the mirror, I noticed how it looks good when my mouth is closed, but not so much when you open your mouth or smile (that’s when you can see cracks). I mean, I don’t think Kylie ever smiles wearing her KLK, so I guess that makes sense…But, it still smells good while I’m wearing it, so there’s that.

And to all my fellow pale girls: Koko K is the perfect shade for my super fair skin tone. (Finally! A shade for us ghostly pale people that looks perfect!

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BEFORE

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AFTER

Wearing it all day:

Side effect of wearing a Kylie Lip Kit: you can’t stop taking selfies, or maybe that’s because I feel so much cooler now (like teens would approve of me now)…

Day 1 wearing the KLK, after eating my salad for lunch, the lipstick almost all came off, but the lipliner remained. Hm, interesting. Everyone on social media has raved about its lasting effects… well, clearly Kylie and her fans that wear her lipsticks, don’t eat food, because it did not hold up at all to me just eating a salad. Point one for the negative column, Kylie. Great message, Kylie: if you don’t eat, your Kylie Lip Kit will last all day! You just have to sacrifice your lipstick for satisfying your hunger, right?!? Nope, sorry Kylie and her loyal followers– that’s not a good thing. (Sorry to burst any bubbles…) Well, let me explain: after eating lunch, almost all of the color is gone, yet a faint stickiness o from the lipstick remains on my lips.

I decided to test the KLK all day at work, to see how well it would hold up when working full-time. That morning, I applied my kit and then some eos lip balm on top because I heard that helps it stay longer? (Could be an urban myth– but it did make it shinier.) Then, at 10:37 am (about forty minutes into my work day), I started noticing little crumblies in the lower corners of my lips. By noon, the kit had officially dried, there was no sticky parts left (color still there).

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Then, by 1:30pm, it was basically all gone after running errands in the heat and drinking a lot of water (NYC life. Fashion intern life.), BUT there was no visible residue on my water bottles (but none left on my lips), so I’m confused about WHERE exactly the color went?!? Then, I put more of my eos balm on, which helped preserve the color a little (I didn’t reapply, as I read you’re not supposed to with the KLK).

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At 3pm (hardly the end of the work day), the lip color was completely gone and my lips were completely bare, except they were stained a little darker than normal. However, the lip liner was still there, just the matte gloss/ lipstick, not really– but I still felt stickiness from it. I wonder how well the lip liner would work with other lipsticks?

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All in all, I LOVE the color (and I instantly feel cooler wearing it, so bonus??), but practically? It’s just not very long-lasting, which I don’t like or want in a lipstick.

Well, I tried it… Will I wear it again? Yes, but not for an extended period of time, because KLK can’t handle it.

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A non-tech girl tries something new… Reviewing the new Pokemon app.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard or been playing the new Pokemon game. Or app? I really have no idea other than that it’s become the fastest/most popular app in the App Store (double the amount of downloads Tinder has) and that you catch virtual Pokemon in the real world. Other than that, I’m clueless. But, in an effort to write more on here– here we go: I’m about to try it. My goal: I just don’t want to lose. (Wait, can you lose this game??)

So, let’s start this adventure. (Disclaimer: I just want to say how I’m probably the least tech-savvy millennial and I haven’t used the phrase ‘Pokemon,’ other than just now, since elementary school. So, yeah, just wanted to throw that out there.)

***

Step 1: Download the app.

While it’s downloading, I go to the page description: two unhelpful, un-explanatory pictures, and it just says how you need to find the Pokemon as you walk around your neighborhood. So, basically not being helpful to the non Pokemon-savvy.

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I did a thing… Will I enjoy it? Will I regret it? Only time will tell…

Step 2: Open the app.

Birthday entered. No clue why. Email logged on. Let’s start this thing, or at least attempt to.

Step 3: Play the game. (Or attempt to)

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I decided to play leisurely, and not play every time I walk anywhere. (I never was the diehard Pokemon or tech fan.)

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When you pull up the app (after staring at the Caution: Be Safe page for a few minutes while it loads), you (or should I say your character as a “Pokemon trainer”) are suddenly thrust into a virtual green landscape surrounded by random blue geometric shapes, with weird pink and green confetti flying out of it. And you wait (or move around) until you find a “wild” Pokemon roaming around– or better put, standing right next to you. When you find something, you must click on it, which brings you to a new screen.

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(Me playing while doing research at work) IMG_1696

So, the new screen uses your camera and GPS apps to project the Pokemon into the real world, where you must throw your ball (Pokeball?) at the little guy. (Note: “throw” is a bad choice of words– it’s just a swipe.) And by luck, your swipe will capture the Pokemon or force you to try again.

After capturing about fifteen Pokemon in total, I never felt any thrill of adding to my PokeCollection, like now what? Now, I never passed Level 4 during my one-week experiment, but apparently, at Level 5 you can join a team and go to the gym? (Which people have told me is not really anything special.) So, my thoughts on this game? Meh. Boring. Not fun. Over it.

So, I’ve been playing the new Pokemon game for about a week, and I can honestly say, it’s never been fun whenever I open the app to play.

Come Friday evening, I open the app once I get home, and find Pokemon has logged me out and deleted my progress. So, instead of starting over from a mediocre game (in my opinion), I chose to delete the app and I’ll live in the moment instead of looking for virtual fictional characters through my phone.

I did it– I tried something new, it didn’t go well.

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I’m so excited!

Hi guys!

So, I have an exciting announcement to make! As of this week, I will be going to to Teen Vogue’s annual “Fashion University” program in March!

tvfu-logoIt’s described as “the only educational program where the business of fashion is taught by its stars.” As well as, “TEEN VOGUE brings designers, models, entrepreneurs, and insiders together with the future leaders of the fashion and beauty industries.”

I’m so excited to be able to learn more about journalism in the fashion industry! And it’ll be such an AH-MAZING networking opportunity before I move up to NYC for the summer!

I can’t wait to see what lays ahead when I head up to New York in a couple months! Look out for some blog posts on my experiences!

xx.

 

Let’s chat.

So, I haven’t written in awhile because of finals. But, I’m back no, don’t fret! Today, I thought I’d answer some random vlog-type questions on here.

  1. What is something you regret? Middle school, I think those years were for rough for everyone. Especially the fashion trends.
  2. What do you think of Toddlers & Tiaras? I love reality shows so I might not be the best person to answer.
  3. Have you ever met anyone famous? YES. Emma Roberts and I shot bows and arrows together while discussing books, Ed Sheeran rubbed my shoulder once, Sara Bareilles, many Gold Medal Olympians in ice skating and… that’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure there’s more.
  4. If someone played a prank on you in the shower, and posted a video of it on the Internet without your permission, how would you feel? I’d not be happy. So, don’t even think about it.
  5. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4. Uhh, it’s a magazine: it’s an ad for Dillards.
  6. What is the last film you saw? Mockingjay. Wasn’t impressed.
  7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Everywhere! I’d pull a Shailene Woodley and travel nonstop!
  8. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? Uhhh… shoes? clothes I pinned on Pinterest?
  9. Do you like to dance? YES. Solo dance parties are sometimes all you need.
  10. Are you listening to music right now? Yes. Pandora. No one needs to know what stations I listen to.
  11. What do you do most when you are bored? Blog, read, Netflix, dance it out.
  12. Are you a morning person or a night owl? MORNING. Like, I start yawning at 11 if I’m not headed for bed, truthfully.

Well, that should be enough for now. Back to studying!

What I Think Every Journalism Student Needs

As an always-busy college journalism student, I thought today’s post would cover what I think every journalism student needs for optimum success. (Keep in mind, this is all based on what I’ve learned so far.)

Courtesy of tumblr.com

  • Online portfolio [Weebly]

Weebly is an online portfolio site (there are many), and I’ve recently learned how important that your portfolio, writing samples, work experience and resume should be online. It’s easy to use. Future employers can read everything or download and print. Another thing about Weebly, it’s super easy for beginners to use. I’d definitely recommend creating one, and then make sure you keep updating it! (Helpful tip: With your resume, you should list all of your “relevant coursework” and a small summary, because in college, that is the bulk of your experience.)

  • Hard copy of your resume & portfolio/writing samples

With that being said, it’s still crucial to have hard copies of everything. I literally went to Michael’s and bought artist portfolios that I can slip my work between the sleeves. (I have two; one from my high school paper and one for my internship blog. And I’ll probably need another for my college work.) Going to an interview works the best when you are organized with copies of your resumes, writing samples and portfolio work will always impress.

  • LinkedIn profile

This is extremely important for networking. LinkedIn is perfect for connecting with employers, friends and family, because you never know who you’ll have a mutual connection with. Networking is probably one of the biggest tips I could give you about being a professional journalist. Get out there and meet people. Not only that, but prove your prowess and your skills!

  • Professional Twitter account

Now, I love my personal Twitter as much as the next person, but I can admit that it won’t help me find a job. Tweeting about college traditions, friends, your reality TV guilty pleasures, et cetera won’t seem impressive to prospective employers. And yes, employers will check your social media presence, ESPECIALLY as a journalist. My professional Twitter I use for tweeting things about journalism, as well as links to stories I write (because journalists love self-promotion.). Helpful tip: use a professional headshot as your Twitter profile picture/icon. An iPhone picture is never as good of a quality as a good camera like a DSLR or something. (I don’t know much about cameras, forgive me.)

  • A Blog

Like WordPress, etc, having and maintaining a blog is the perfect way to interact with your audience, as well as a way for you to keep writing when you’re not on assignment or you can write about a passion, something you don’t write about as a journalist.

  • External hard drive

Okay, this one is more for photography and videography. But, a good journalist can do it all. And having an external hard drive has the perfect amount of storage to hold it all. This one linked above is what I have. It’s very thin, which is perfect for carrying it around.

  • USB drives

This one seems like a no brainer for journalists. We need to BACK UP OUR WORK. I know that no one wants to hear it, but, computers have glitches, and when you’re on deadline, you’re going to wish you had another way to access your story.

  • Headphones or ear buds

Again, this is mostly for getting sound bites. Good journalists need to be able to do it all, so if you can write a story, conduct interviews, film a quick video or sound clip; you’re golden. It’s such a competitive market that we need to be able to do it all to compete with all the other prospective hires out there.

  • Moleskine or notebook (one that can fit in a purse is best!) & pen/pencil

Obviously, a journalism needs to take notes, DUH. A Moleskine is perfect because it’s small enough to always have with you. Perfect for when you see a quick story, get a quick quote or jot down a story idea. Definitely invest in one. You can easily find them at Barnes & Noble or Target.

  • Digital recorder

This is helpful for interviews when transcribing quotes. If you are serious about becoming a journalist, definitely invest in a recorder. It’ll help when you’re on deadline late at night and can’t remember the exact phrasing of a quote. Don’t forget to always ask your subject for permission to tape the interview beforehand! (You don’t want to anger anyone!)

  • Youtube account

Again, this is more for filming. But, it’s good to have one to quickly upload videos, and you can edit it easily on Youtube.

  • SD card & camera

Cameras are helpful when you are writing a quick story and need to get a photo to accompany it. Because you never know if a staff photographer will be covering the event you’re writing about. Again, as journalists, we have to be editors, writers, filmmakers, photographers, etc: we must do it all.

If this list hasn’t scared you off, then go forth and start writing and look for stories!

Courtesy of tumblr.com

Advice for college freshmen I wish had someone told me

I’m sorry it’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been busy at my internships (I’ve been doing work for three companies) and I’ve had a severe case of writers block. But, I’m back!

For today’s blog, I thought I’d focus on college life, since I’ll be headed back to school in a few weeks.

1. Find a floor plan of your dorm before you move in. Most college websites will have a page on dorms, and often it will include a floor plan. Use that to find out how much space you’ll have, closet size, and whether your floor will be coed or not (which will dictate the type of bathroom you’ll have.)

2. Budget your money. Whether we are talking about your meal plan or your actual cash funds, it’s crucial to keep in mind how much your are actually spending. I know one girl who went crazy with online shopping that her mom freaked—that’s something you should keep a handle on. It’s easy to shop online, especially when you’re not at home, however, all those bills add up… and don’t forget about shipping costs too! For me, I’ll shop if there’s a really good sale and if there’s some piece I have to have. And keep in mind, free shipping and free returns deals websites will have.

3. Keep in mind the size of your space. Do not bring your entire wardrobe. It’s a waste of space and you won’t end up wearing at least half of the things you brought. I know for me, I overpacked on shoes. I basically brought every pair of boots, heels and wedges, sandals and flats I owned. And it took up way more space than I care to admit, not to mention I didn’t have the time and place to wear them all.

4. Check the prices of textbooks before purchasing. Textbooks are so expensive… it’s not worth buying them new for every class (it adds up!). You probably will never need it ever again after class or you may only need it for one week, so it’s better to rent them. Check your bookstore’s rental policy or sites like Chegg and Amazon. (However, with those, make sure you order them in advance so they won’t be backordered.)

5. Don’t arrive to college thinking you only can do one thing. While you shouldn’t be overly involved in every activity under the sun, it’s still nice to be involved in several things, and you’ll make more friends. I know people who never did anything except scrape by in their classes and party Thursday-Sunday. And when you’re trying to get a job, going to frat parties won’t look good on your resume. So, join in! There’s so much to do—take advantage of it. Another thing, many people believe Greek life is the pinnacle of college life, and if you join then that’s the only thing you can do. FALSE. There are many types of organizations to join; Greek life is not an all or nothing activity. I’m in a service sorority. We are a Greek sorority, but we have a much greater emphasis on service–which seems better than just going out and partying nonstop, and bonus–it’ll look good on a resume!

6. Don’t focus on Rate My Professor too much. While it’s helpful for a general consensus about a teacher, don’t overanalyze. Focus on the class, not the teacher or the time preference. Because if it’s a class you enjoy then a teacher’s review or the time it’s offered won’t matter.

7. What to bring: Mattress topper, power strip, first aid kit, tool kit, plunger, bathroom cleaning supplies (if you have own bathroom), pictures to hang up of your friends and family, vacuum (if there’s a carpet), shoes to wear in the shower, Command hooks. Keep in mind how much space you have before buying an area rug or a sofa—make sure it’s something that will fit.

Those are some of my tips. Have a great time as a new freshman at your college!