February 21, 2018

Professional Outerwear for Work

5 pieces of outerwear to add to your work wardrobe to conquer the elements, which what to wear to work when it's snowing and what to wear to work when it's raining. How to start building a professional wardrobe. What coats and jackets you really need for work. professional coats. work jackets. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

Hi hi hi! Since basically all I do anymore is work or watch Friends, I figured I'd start a new series called Work Wear Wednesdays where I share little tidbits I've learned out here in the real world. I'm still building my professional wardrobe and I know a lot of you are so this will just be a running list of things to look out for. 

Related: How to build a lawyer wardrobe 

These past two weeks in Dallas have been crazy with last week being so cold and this week being rain nonstop, so I thought I'd kick off the series talking about outerwear. And when I say outwear, I don't mean suit jackets or blazers. This is to protect your outfit and keep you warm/dry on your way to and from work.


Long coat


The Long Coat — 5 pieces of outerwear to add to your work wardrobe to conquer the elements, which what to wear to work when it's snowing and what to wear to work when it's raining. How to start building a professional wardrobe. What coats and jackets you really need for work. professional coats. work jackets. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

I'm listing this first because it's #1 on my buy list right now! I'm dying for this petite wool coat because it's not only warm but also very professional and aren't the buttons and oversized pockets the cutest?? (if you're not short like me, they also make a tall version as well). I think the camel color is just perfect and would go well with any outfit, and would look great over both black and navy. Now's actually a great time to buy a coat because they're all starting to go on sale (like those 2) so you can get them for really cheap and then have something for next fall and winter. One thing to keep in mind though is that if you do plan to wear this over suit jacket/blazer, then you'll want to size up at least one if not two sizes to make sure that you have room to move in it.




Quilted jacket

The Quilted Jacket — 5 pieces of outerwear to add to your work wardrobe to conquer the elements, which what to wear to work when it's snowing and what to wear to work when it's raining. How to start building a professional wardrobe. What coats and jackets you really need for work. professional coats. work jackets. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

Let's just all stop and admit that a Burberry quilted jacket is just like the most timeless and good looking jacket you get. One of the lawyers I work with has one and 10/10 times it always raises her outfit to another dimension. I've asked for this for the past two Christmas so come December you can bet that I'll be hoping that third time's the charm and my parents won't again give me the "get a job and buy it yourself" line lol. But luckily there's still plenty of great quality dupes out there in case I don't get it. I guarantee you that any day you hear the wind chill has dropped that you'll get a little excited that you have an excuse to bust this bad boy out and show off how polished you can look while strolling in to read legal documents.


Puffer coat

The Puffer Coat — 5 pieces of outerwear to add to your work wardrobe to conquer the elements, which what to wear to work when it's snowing and what to wear to work when it's raining. How to start building a professional wardrobe. What coats and jackets you really need for work. professional coats. work jackets. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

I like to think of this as the other two's big brother. Those are for when the temps drop, but the puffer coat is for when the snow comes out and you're spending all morning just hoping for a text or call saying that the roads are too icy so just stay home. Believe it or not, Texas actually does snow in the panhandle where I'm from and went to college so I've had a trusty Land's End coat that has saved my life over the years. And if you live in a place that gets below freezing then just trust me that you'll want to get one long enough that covers your butt. As the name describes they aren't exactly Spanx, but one key trick I've learned is to get one that cinches on the inside! Pulling it in even just an inch on your waist can actually send the message of "there's a figure underneath all this" and can help you not feel like a whale with a ton of blubber.



Trench coat


The Trench Coat — 5 pieces of outerwear to add to your work wardrobe to conquer the elements, which what to wear to work when it's snowing and what to wear to work when it's raining. How to start building a professional wardrobe. What coats and jackets you really need for work. professional coats. work jackets. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

This has been my saving grace this past week!! Last fall I found my Banana Republic trench coat and was so excited because at that point my only water-proof jacket was a pullover rain jacket that had DG on it real big so basically my options on rainy days were to either look like a sorostitue or be soaked (although let's be real if I could I would've gotten the classic and iconic Burberry trench). Two quick tips about managing the rain when you're trying to be an adult— 1) get a dome-shaped umbrella because they protect you more than a normal umbrella and 2) wear travel rainboots to work and pack shoes in your bag to change in to or you're going to ruin your work shoes. 


Duster cardigan

The Duster Cardigan — 5 pieces of outerwear to add to your work wardrobe to conquer the elements, which what to wear to work when it's snowing and what to wear to work when it's raining. How to start building a professional wardrobe. What coats and jackets you really need for work. professional coats. work jackets. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

A duster cardigan is perfect for the days when the wind makes it just a little cool, but it's not necessarily cold and you'd burn up in a regular old coat. If your office has a more casual vibe, then you might be able to pull off wearing this all day long (which is a major W because offices are always freezing). To my fellow shorties out there, live by the golden rule of always wearing heels when you wear these or seriously your legs will look six inches tall (I've learned this lesson the hard way). 



And there you have it my friends! That's everything that either I currently own and am so grateful for or are currently dying to buy! Of course, this is a very small list with only 5 types of outwear, so I'd love to hear if any of y'all have any must-haves that need to be on my radar. Anyways, happy humpday and I'll see y'all soon :) 

let's be friends!

February 14, 2018

Law School Graduation Countdown

In less than 100 days I will be a law school graduate, and I have A LOT to get done before then! Here's a checklist of how I'm preparing for law school graduation. law school graduation photos. law school graduation invitations. law school graduation party. Bar Exam prep and checklist. job hunting after law school. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

Happy Valentine's Day! To my Catholics, happy Ash Wednesday! And to my New Orleanians (?) happy recovery day from Mardi Gras! Just a little over a week ago I was officially 100 days out from graduating!! My school threw a 100-days-left party for all the 3Ls that looked so fun and I was sad to miss it, but it's okay because the real fun will come in less than 3 months! I still can't believe it y'all, I'm going to be Nikki Boyd, J.D. so so so soon! I'm not going to get emotional right now (that's for sure coming in the months ahead) but honestly I could pinch myself because there were many times when I was convinced that I would not make it this far. 

I'm not going to lie, it is a little more challenging doing my externship my last semester because I'm missing things like graduation meetings and fairs and instead am getting a lot of very long emails trying to catch me up. But on the flip side, my externship is 500 hours so once I'm done, I'm done. Right now I'm on track to be done by the beginning of April which is great because it'll give me time to move back and be settled before graduation and the bar.

Anyways, I just wanted to do this little post about how I'm preparing for graduation just as a checklist for any 3L reading this (or if you're not a 3L, well now you have a reference). So, you're a graduating law student. You drink some champagne to celebrate and then what?


Graduation checklist

First things first, do a degree audit on yourself. The sooner and more often you do this the better because you don't want to find out last minute that you're not graduating. Make sure that you've taken all the required classes and gotten in all of your other requirements (pro bono, writing, experience, whatever). Personally I would make an appointment before your last semester to sit down with someone in advising/registration and double check that you're good to go. Also, some schools have different re-take requirements so make sure you know if you'll have to retake a class only if you get an F, or if you get a D, or even if you get a low C. Again this is why it's nice to sit down with someone because even if you took the class, if your school has a C's Don't Get Degrees Policy then you're still not graduating.

Next, find out when deadlines are for everything that's coming up. When I ordered stickers for my new planner, I made sure to get a Graduation Sticker Set that not only had countdown stickers, but also had reminders for things like filing your intent to graduate and getting your cap and gown (mine's like $125 to rent 😅). Other important dates to add are any mandatory meetings, a grad fair if your school has one, and when any other mandatory paperwork (like who is going to hood you) is due.

Then if you want, take graduation photos. It's nice to do them early on so you can get them taken and they can be edited and sent back to you with plenty of time to turn them into invites. Even if you don't want to do photo invitations, there's lots of law school graduation invitation options on Etsy that I've been browsing here lately. 

I'm a little torn right now since I'm in Dallas because I want to have my photos taken on campus at my school, but don't really want to have to drive for 4 hours just for a photo shoot. I also don't even know when I would have time to have these done. In undergrad my bestie and I just rented a really nice camera from our library and took our own photos after we fired our photographer because we just weren't feeling it. The photo shoot actually worked out because we were friends so we felt completely honest making the other take 500 photos of slightly-different-yet-the-same pose and bossing each other around, plus we did this all for $0 which was nice. The photos turned out okay, but damnit I killed myself getting to this point so I think I deserve an all-out photo shoot to celebrate the occasion. So now also on my to-do list is to Insta-stalk everyone I know who either graduated or got married in my school's town to find a great photographer (ugh but also more money). I also have to choose/find the perfect outfit(s) for what I can wear...

However, I am slightly in a rush to get the photos done so I can get the invitations done so I can get everyone on board with the plan. My mom and I have been reminding family members that my graduation is coming up, but I really want to get them their invites with the dates soon so that they can go ahead and book appointments. A lot of hotels near a school start to jack up prices the closer to graduation, and even worse is some completely book up and I don't want my family to be stressed having to rush over to the other side of town to make it in time for the ceremony.

Although I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of doing grad photos, I'm already getting started on preparing for them. That means a teeth whitening routine of a whitening toothpaste kit and whitening strips. I'm also just being a little more conscious about what I'm eating because I've come to realize that it's pretty easy to gain a pound or two relatively quickly when you're sitting at a desk all day with the bored munchies and then get home and don't want to have to cook and just want fast food. Everyone else is starting on their spring break diet but I'm working towards graduation already lol!

As time gets closer, it's time to start booking! Hopefully sending out invites got you some "yay we'll see you there!" or "sorry I'll be gone that day" responses so you can start to have a head count of who is going to be there. Buy tickets for graduation if your school does that so you can have enough. And even if you can't get enough tickets, everyone can still come to your afterparty! One thing I learned in undergrad is that places fill up fast so it's better to be early on making a reservation for a little grad party. I'm still torn between do I want something casual like a dinner or something more fun like my bestie's grad party that was at a beer garden (it had lots of lawn games for the whole fam) or something more like a come-and-go cake party. Ideas/input would be greatly appreciated!! Once I know what kind of place my party will be at, I can start buying law school graduation party decorations and it'll really feel like it's coming up. 

Besides just the party planning, I'm also pricing hair and makeup appointments. Yes I very could do my own hair/makeup but getting it done by someone else just makes an event feel so much more special and like it's a big deal (I mean really, it was one of the best parts about prom). I also want to buy a new dress for my graduation. In undergrad I waited too long and ended up not finding a thing that I liked in time and ended up walking the stage in one of my gameday dresses because that's all I had #wreckem. This time around I'm starting much earlier because I want to get the dress right this time. But truly in my opinion I think the shoes you wear to graduation are actually even more important than the dress you wear because the dress is covered up by the robe so really it's just you in a black potato sack with some shoes so obviously they have to be great. My criteria for these are something that will look perfect as my J.D. shoes but are practical enough that I can wear again (so probably not all sparkly) and most importantly are comfortable enough that I'm not limping or wobbling across the stage.

Here's my Pinterest graduation inspiration board!

Job checklist

Well my friends it would be just lovely if I could completely skip out on this section and just write about how I already have a job offer so I don't have to worry about this. But sadly no job waiting for me right now but hey, at least maybe I can help someone feel more normal about not having a job at graduation too. So here's what I've got planned for my job hunt...

I've been working on updating my resumé to add my experience from this externship plus just really sell the experience that I have already. It does suck a little that I don't have any BoB or law review experience to help bolster my resumé, but I'm just out here trying to make lemonade. I've already had career services review my resumé before but I want to go back and get some final edits first. 

I also want to write an updated cover letter template. I use a template because I don't want to be so impersonal as to use a blanket CL, but I also don't have the time to completely re-write a 1-page elevator speech about myself for each and every place I apply to. Plus, there's only so many ways you can talk about yourself haha. I also want to run this, plus a writing sample, by career services to make sure that I'm selling myself in the best way possible. 

In no particular order to anything on this checklist is to get some headshots done. I had a photo taken at orientation that's technically a headshot because I was dressed nice, but it's not the best quality. Then my school arranged for all of the 3Ls to take headshots last fall (remember this fiasco), but to be honest I felt rushed and we only took a few photos and I ended up hating them all. A girl I worked with at the Texas Capitol had some headshots taken that were amazing and you can tell they weren't rushed at all so I really want to get those done as well.

The main reason why I want a good headshot is so that I can look professional AF on LinkedIn (Hi let's "network"). Lawyering is all about networking so even though I'm pretty sure I won't get a job just from LI, I still want to have a strong profile in case an interviewer/potential employer wants to check me out. My LI feels a little sloppy right now so once I get my resumé spick and span I can update this as well.

Next is to be on the hunt for jobs. LI actually could possibly get me a job because they have a LinkedIn Job Search app that actually has some good lawyer jobs on it. I also use the Symplicity Jobs and Careers app so I can access job postings through my school's career services. Another great job hunting website that I've found is LawCrossing so I love their LawCrossing Legal Job Search app. Between the 3 of these I should be able to find a good mix of jobs that I can send cold emails to and hopefully hear back from. But I'm not going to put all of my eggs in one basket so I've also started to really work on networking and I'll be doing a post about that soon! Basically just ya girl needs a job before her debt drowns her.

Bar Exam checklist

*shudders* This is the one thing that I'm dreading the most of all. Honestly I'd rather edit my resumé for 100 hours straight or go through 100 hours of small talk at a networking event than think about or actually even start my Bar journey. Y'all ugh I'm just so nervous! It would be absolutely heartbreaking to fail the Bar and yes I've been reminded about how there's been really smart people who fail it and really dumb people who somehow pass it the first time, but since it's only given twice a year here in Texas and takes like 4 months to get your results back, that's like a waste of a year of my life having to retake it. Plus that's super expensive.

Talking about money, let me remind you to start saving up now because Bar prep ain't cheap (lol and you thought $1200 for LSAT prep was a lot). Ugh quick side note but also thinking about studying for the Bar is giving me terror flashbacks to studying for the LSAT and how miserable/hard that was. Seriously, pray for me. Back to prep, I went ahead and bit the bullet and signed up with Barbri (you can read about my experience with them for MPRE prep here) but honestly from what I've heard Themis is pretty much just as good as Barbri but cheaper. I haven't heard much about other companies. I decided to do in-person classes because I tried online LSAT prep and fell asleep during it, but I'm honestly questioning my decision after doing MPRE and my Tax review through Barbri videos because I did just fine with those so we'll see. 

Whatever you end up choosing for yourself, my school told us that apparently you score higher if you take the Bar in the same city that you study in (I guess home field advantage?) so just keep that in consideration. So this means that if you're planning to take the Bar in a state different from the school you currently go to, you're most likely going to have to move. I decided to move back to Lubbock after my Dallas externship and hope to save some money by finding a DG in undergrad who is wanting to sublease her apartment for the summer. I'm trying to avoid having to take out a Bar Prep Loan but if it comes down to it, I'll absolutely spend the money to live in a quiet and stress-free place while I'm studying. But also if you end up deciding it'd be best for you to study in a city different than where you're taking the Bar, make sure you go ahead and book a hotel that is close to where the test center is (ideally walking distance so you don't have to worry about traffic/parking/public transportation) and also one that has free and fast wi-fi for your last minute studying.

Then keep saving up your money because you're going to have to register for the Bar. That itself was an effort so make sure you start on it early. One thing that I was really warned about is to be extra sure that you choose to take it on your laptop or else you'll be furiously hand writing your answers for several days straight. And the same rule as with the LSAT/finals applies in that if you have a documented excuse to get any special accommodation, take it! It's just part of the law school game and take advantage of any opportunity you can get to give yourself more time or whatever else might help you out. Even if you don't necessarily absolutely need it, it's still better to go ahead and take it. 

Whoo! Okay so not going to lie, looking back over this post is starting to stress me out just because there's still so much to do in less than 100 days and yet I'm sure that I've forgotten something or something else will end up being added to the list later on. Seriously, prayers are appreciated from now until Bar results come out in October. And also seriously, I appreciate any advice anyone has to share about graduation/job hunting/Bar prep! 

let's be friends!

February 9, 2018

Winter Favorites

The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

Happy Friday! I realize that we’re a month well into the new semester, but through the whirlwind of moving and starting my externship I’ve totally slacked on a few posts I wanted to write. As you probably guessed by the title, first up on my catch-up agenda is a little list of things that I discovered last semester! 

PopSockets

PopSockets - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com
First up is my little PopSocket because I actually got one this summer, then Ryan saw how cool it was and got one, then my sister heard us go on about them and got one not too long ago. I’m sure you’ve seen them in everyone’s mirror selfies! At first I was a little reluctant to order one because most of the people who I saw using them were much younger than me (ugh, youths!) but I finally did and am sold. 
Mostly why I wanted to get them is because how I hold my phone when texting or scrolling is to use my pinky underneath to stabilize it. This always would hurt my pinky but my hands really weren’t big enough to fully grip my phone any other way. These have definitely saved my poor pinky! Not only that, I like to watch makeup tutorial videos on my phone while I’m getting ready and this made a perfect stand to prop up my phone on. I’m sure most of y’all reading this already have one, but if you don’t I’m telling you to go ahead and get one. They’re about $10 so it’s cheap enough to see if you like them.

Emily Ley

The woman in general and the brand! Last semester I posted about how I was reading Grace Not Perfection and y’all I loved this book! It’s written by someone who was juggling running her own business and a young family, but it is so relatable to a law student because the whole theme was learning how to accept that you’re doing enough in life, which I’m sure all of us having been hard on ourselves for. 
Not only that, but I ordered my book through her website and now I’m signed up on their mailing list! Usually I’m all about Unroll.Me and unsubscribe from all mailing lists but this is one I’m happy to get. Every month they send out a little email with important dates to add to your planner (this is by a planner company) and some of my favorite Spotify playlists ever. 
Someone had mentioned that I try out the Simplified Planner for my planner review post, but at the time it was too expensive for me to buy just for a post so I didn’t, but now I’m considering getting one after this one runs out just because I’m in love with EL. I also bought her Simplified Life book and while I haven’t had the opportunity to read it just yet, I did watch her YouTube videos on it and she had some great life hacks! 

European Wax Center


This probably doesn’t seem like it belongs on here, but hear me out. Usually I get my eyebrows done by either my nail lady or my hairstylist. But then my friend referred me to EWC and the best part was that I got my first wax free! Not only that, but they have “wax passes” where you can prepay for several waxes at once at a discount, but because I was a student I got even more of a discount. I also like that they do a little bit more than your typical nail/hair lady and prime your eyebrows and then have a post-wax serum to go over it so you’re not as red afterwards. If you do decide to go on in for your free wax and are feeling extra generous, you can tell them that I sent you and I’ll get credit on my own wax pass.

Hulu + Spotify

Spotify and Hulu student discount - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

Another favorite for the simple fact that it’s a money saver! I was paying the $10 a month for Spotify Premium because I listen to it at school, the gym, and in the car so I needed the premium version. Then I found out that for only $5 a month I could get Spotify Premium and Hulu as a student!! Talk about a win-win because now I’m getting two services for half of the price that I used to pay for one. Thanks to this deal, this semester I’m also able to save on cable costs because I don’t have cable and instead just watch Hulu on my TV. So really, it’s a money-saving win-win-win. 

FastWeb

FastWeb $500 referral scholarship - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com
And while we’re on the subject of #poorlawstudent I have another exciting money-in-the-bank favorite to share with y’all! So you might remember that I shared about FastWeb a few months ago. Quick refresher if you don’t— it’s a scholarship match service to help you find scholarships relevant to your education and demographics. Anyways, last semester I won a $500 scholarship through them! This might sound de minimis (proof that I passed tax lol) in comparison to full-ride scholarships, but I’m still excited! When you’re taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans for school, it feels great to just be handed free money.

Echo Routines

Amazon Echo Routines - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

In my last favorites roundup post, I mentioned how last year I got an Amazon Echo Dot and smart plug and now I can’t go back to life before talking to a lamp. Anyways, I recently was playing on my Alexa App and came across the Routines section. It’s not new but I’d never messed with it because I thought that was more for when you have multiple smart devices that you want to go off in an if-this-then-that manner and I only have the one smart plug. But I have since found a way to make it work for me.
I currently have 2 routines. The first one goes off pretty soon after my alarm goes off and it is absolutely snooze-through proof so I highly recommend it if you’re one of those people who accidentally sleeps through your alarm or have a bad habit of snoozing too many times. First, I set it to turn on my nightstand lamp which will really wake you up. Immediately after that, Alexa starts reading off to me theSkimm because I have that Skill enabled and set up as my “news”. At the end of reading me that, she’ll tell me what the weather is going to be like for the day because usually by then I’m awake and up out of bed and in my closet trying to decide what to wear. I’m not going to lie, the first time this went off I about had a heart attack when someone other than me flipped on the switch and I heard a voice in my apartment that wasn’t me, but after a few days I calmed down and now I no longer wake up thinking I’m under attack haha.
My second routine is to remind me to get out the door. I used to have a reoccurring alarm on my phone to tell me to leave, but then it became this huge pain if it was already in my purse and I was in a rush and had to stop and find it and turn it off or because unsafe if I’d beaten my alarm and was driving but again had to find it and turn off the alarm (thankfully it never went off in class or anything!). Then I wanted to set a reoccurring alarm on my Echo to tell me when to leave, but again that’s less than ideal if I leave early but still have an alarm going off back at home. So now when it’s time for me to leave, Alexa will come on and give me a traffic report and since I’ve gone into the settings and set my home and work address, she’ll give me a real-time update on how long my drive should take me. You can also have Alexa say something so I chose to have her say “go get ‘em tiger” after she gives me a commute update and it makes me giggle at how dumb I am every time.

SkimmNotes

SkimmNotes in theSkimm App - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

If you’re new here, Hi I’m Nikki and I love (and maybe am slightly addicted to) theSkimm. I subscribe to their daily emails (you can too) and obviously I have my Echo read it to me every morning because #fancy. But they actually have a theSkimm App that is totally separate from their morning news blasts that I also love. The app itself is really cool because it has all these major events that you can add to your calendar (in emoji form!) and it’s how I know things like when This is Us had its season premier and how I know to tweet about a Supreme Court hearing.
Anyways, something new they recently came out with is their SkimmNotes podcast and I’m all about it. If you also love having general knowledge about things happening right now or love having bits of trivia on hand (PS— great for networking!!) then you’ll love this as much as I do. So for example, I listened to their podcast on IPOs and their analogy to Instagram really helped me understand how that works. And when my nephew asked me who Siri was, I had him listen to their podcast on that. Since the Olympics are now here, I’ve been listening to their daily podcast about the Koreas and Olympics during my drive home from work. They’re short and sweet at about 10 minutes each and they are always super interesting.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge indoor pool and magic quest - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

This is totally not related to any of the above favorites, but I’m going to share it anyways. I have two nephews- one is 8 and one is 4. For my youngest nephew’s 4thbirthday we recently took a family trip to Great Wolf Lodge. If you’ve never heard of it, go check it out on Pinterest! They’re famous for being a hotel with an indoor waterpark. Yep, it was November and freezing outside but we were playing in the pool. You’d think that an indoor waterpark would reek of chlorine, but somehow the room didn’t make me gag like normal hotel indoor pools. I went on the lazy river and down the slides with my nephews a few times and then got to chill in the adult hot tub with a beer! There’s also this kind-of scavenger hunt thing called a Magic Quest that I did with my older nephew and honestly I got a little too into that… haha! 
Anyways, I just thought I’d give a quick little review of that in case anyone out there has nieces/nephews or children or whatever and need a great domestic vacation for kids that isn’t too terrible as an adult (or in my case, overgrown child). 

iPhone X + Apple Heart Study

iPhone X and Apple Heart Study - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

I’ll admit that I was that nerd who stayed up until 3am on a school night and ordered my shiny new 10th anniversary iPhone. And I love it. I love having the huge, great quality screen and optical zoom options without having to have the huge Plus (see above explanation on my tiny hands/phone problem). The FaceID works so much easier than TouchID like when I’m at the gym and have sweaty hands, it’s cold and I’m wearing gloves, or my phone is propped up and my hands are busy. I also think it’s actually faster too because instead of getting a notification to put my finger on the scanner and then having to move my hand, I’ll be staring at my phone and all I have to do is keep staring to get it to unlock. I did turn off the “detect eyes” setting so that it will be more accurate and faster because really anyone who is close enough to me to be holding my phone is probably close enough to me to already know my passcode so I don’t care.
One of the coolest things though that Apple announced at the same time as the X was their new Heart Study using their Apple Watch! This was something I hold near and dear to my heart because my grandpa has a heart problem called A-Fib and this study could help the watch be able to detect and warn you if you were about to have a heart problem. Obviously I had to jump on board and help the scientists/computer engineers out because how cool would it be to one day have a watch automatically detect if you’re having a heart attack or something and simultaneously call an ambulance for you?! It’d be just wonderful if someone I had a little something to do with saving someone’s life someday. If you have an Apple Watch and want to participate, download their Heart Study app and sign up!
Sorry this post was so long, I’ve just had over a semester’s worth of thoughts piling up in my head! Have a great Valentine’s weekend everyone 💕

let's be friends!

February 7, 2018

Work Makeup Do's and Don't's

The top 5 work and professional makeup don't's with tips on how to fix them, plus 5 tips about how to organize your makeup. interview makeup tips. work makeup tips. professional makeup tips. corporate makeup tips. | brazenandbrunette.com

Hello friends! I know in my last post I briefly touched on the importance of having proper work makeup on during the day, but in the past week I saw a young girl (thankfully not from my office) with just the wrong makeup on. It was so distracting and I was just staring at her shocked. In my opinion, wearing the wrong makeup is just as unprofessional as showing up in a too-tight, too-short pencil skirt. Especially because it's a lot to take in at like a 9am meeting and it's a lot to take in under the already harsh fluorescent lighting. 

Related: 5 products for all-day makeup


What to do

Like I said when I was talking about establishing your brand at work, if you're not a makeup person that's totally okay but do at least something so it doesn't look like you just rolled out of bed. At the very least you should be putting on some moisturizer just so your skin can stay hydrated, so you can just step this up a notch and go for tinted moisturizer. You can also get tinted lip balm to give your lips a little bit of color without actually having to wear lipstick. A simple extra step to this that would go a long way is to also use a color corrector just to even our your skin tone.

Stick to neutrals because they're you're best friend at the office. Really colorful eyeshadows or really bold lips usually don't look professional. I've always been told to save the colors and the darks for the evenings or the weekends. Basically anything in a Naked palette will be perfectly work appropriate. The main key to professional makeup is try to make it look as natural as possible.  


What not to do

Fist off let me just say this— don't wear false eyelashes to work. You're an aspiring lawyer not a sales lady at Sephora; it's just too much, and you can bet that any female partners out there in the world have better things to do than waste 10 minutes at 6 am trying to glue on eyelashes. I have pretty small eyelashes and I'm so jealous of my friends whose lashes go up to their eyebrows so I understand the pain, but regular mascara is going to have to do because I can almost promise you that everyone will know those aren't your real lashes. To add another dimension to your lashes, try using the white side of this mascara as a base before you put on your mascara and you'll notice a huge difference.

I naturally have thick eyebrows so I've been all about the full eyebrow trend and totally support filling in your brows just as long as they aren't overfilled too dramatically. Remember, the key is to make them look natural and not like straight-edged stickers. A tip to keep your eyebrows in place but without going overboard is just to try clear brow gel because a most people have plenty thick eyebrows, they just need a little something to keep them in line.

Personally I also think contouring just shouldn't be a thing for the workday. It's totally fine to sculpt your face for any other occasion, but for work it's just not the right time. Most people either contour too much or don't blend it out too much and then you end up with some harsh facial features. If you want to give yourself a little color for some depth, try adding some bronzer around the edges of your face. Just make sure to get a bronzer not much darker than your foundation because you want this to look natural and not like a bad spray tan.

One thing that I've learned is that it is very easy to accidentally overdo it on the highlighter. I like how it makes my face look a little brighter, but again remember that you're under harsh lights already so the highlighter will probably do more harm than good. And no one is going to take you seriously if you look like a disco ball. If you are wanting to use highlighter just to brighten up your face, try using a dewy setting spray instead which will give you a fresh look without being in-your-face bright.

Finally, just be careful with eyeliner. Both liquid eyeliner on your eyelid or even tight lining is totally okay as long as you don't go overboard. If your eyeliner ever gets so thick that it's starting to look like eyeshadow then you're probably getting closer to a "night" look than an office appropriate look. If you like the look of eyeliner, then try using a nude eyeliner or a white one instead and it will really help your eyes look brighter and more awake.

The top 5 work and professional makeup don't's with tips on how to fix them, plus 5 tips about how to organize your makeup. interview makeup tips. work makeup tips. professional makeup tips. corporate makeup tips. | brazenandbrunette.com

Makeup organizing tips

While we're on the subject of makeup, I just wanted to talk real quick about some makeup organizers that I've recently found and am loving! 
The top 5 work makeup do's and 5 professional makeup don't's plus 5 tips about how to organize your makeup. interview makeup tips. work makeup tips. professional makeup tips. corporate makeup tips. | brazenandbrunette.com

Most recently I got this palette organizer and it has been amazing. Every year my mom gives me a new makeup palette in my stocking stuffer and now they're all neatly organized and honestly this takes up so much less space on my bathroom counter. 

The top 5 work makeup do's and 5 professional makeup don't's plus 5 tips about how to organize your makeup. interview makeup tips. work makeup tips. professional makeup tips. corporate makeup tips. | brazenandbrunette.com

Speaking of my mom, a few years ago she got me this makeup brush holder and I love it so much I just had to share it. I love that the rubber holds them in place and this has so many spots that you can fit a LOT of makeup brushes in it (I currently have these EcoTools brushes and these Beakey brushes in it). This also is reasonably small so it takes up hardly no room on your counter.

The top 5 work makeup do's and 5 professional makeup don't's plus 5 tips about how to organize your makeup. interview makeup tips. work makeup tips. professional makeup tips. corporate makeup tips. | brazenandbrunette.com

I love to use liquid lipsticks and since they're taller I actually prefer using a coffee mug for them. The mug I use now just happens to be what I got in my last FabFitFun box, but something like this coffee mug just seems so fitting with the gold lip print. Or if you're more in to traditional lipsticks, a small lipstick organizer would work perfect for you.

The top 5 work makeup do's and 5 professional makeup don't's plus 5 tips about how to organize your makeup. interview makeup tips. work makeup tips. professional makeup tips. corporate makeup tips. | brazenandbrunette.com

Another small item that is great just to organize your bathroom counter is this beauty blender holder. Not only does it keep the darn thing from rolling off the counter all the time, but it is a great way to store your blender in a way that lets it fully air dry. Plus it looks like one of those cute little egg cups so that's cool. Oh and did I mention that this one is $1?!

The top 5 work makeup do's and 5 professional makeup don't's plus 5 tips about how to organize your makeup. interview makeup tips. work makeup tips. professional makeup tips. corporate makeup tips. | brazenandbrunette.com

Okay technically this last item isn't for organizing but it is beauty related and I ordered it recently and think it's pretty cool. I follow a few fashion/beauty bloggers who always post about the $200 version of this mirror so it was totally a score to find the same one for less than $25. Having a lighted, magnified mirror is such a help for literally all parts of applying makeup! And if you really like it, they have a travel mirror version for you to stash in your purse on-the-go as well.

let's be friends!

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