Saturday, April 27, 2013

Changing Things Up

Hello, lovelies. I need to touch base with you as there are a few announcements I've been meaning to make for a while, so let's hop to it!

Temporary Semi-Hiatus
So, it's getting to be crunch time for the semester for me. The good news I have like, one final exam. The bad news is that in place of those final exams I have; a 10 page research paper, a ginormous project which involves having to interview city officials, a literary analysis, directing and rehearsing a 10-minute play and creating a prompt script for said play among a few other tiny assignments all due in the next two weeks. Between all that jazz and filming the The Look, I'm a very busy bee and just don't have enough time to dedicate to blogging  at the moment.

More good news though: I really, really love blogging and being away from it bums me out big time. School is going to be my priority for the the next few weeks, but I'll try to squeeze in a post here and there if I find the time, just understand class is my priority at the moment. Once all that is cleared out of the way though, it's smooooth sailing.

I'm moving to a new apartment! 
This is only sorta kinda blog relevant but I'm super duper excited because my new place is a lot bigger, nicer (I get a balcony, woo) and I have space for an office. The process of moving will also bite into my bloggy time as well, but this will be going down during the time I'm taking a break anyway.  Plus, having a dedicated space to "work" tends to help get my creative juices flowing freely, so I'm excited for what I'll come up with when I'm in a nicer space.

Moving to Wordpress and Possible Name Change
When I first began planning to even start a blog, I faced a decision virtually every newbie blogger these days faces: Blogspot or Wordpress? I really, truly wanted to start with Wordpress right from the get-go but I ended up using Blogspot because I had dabbled in it before and because of the prominence of Google Friend Connect, which is not available on Wordpress blogs. I'll admit I'm not entirely sure how the closing of Google Reader will affect subscribers on Google Friend Connect, but I've come to the conclusion that if I'm going to have to start changing strategies anyway I may as well move to a more professional platform in the process. So, in the near future I will be moving to a self-hosted Wordpress format. 

Which brings me to a second point. Moving platforms is an ideal time to set into motion another tweak (albeit a major one) I've been tossing around in my brain for a while now. I'm not entirely happy with the name Rhinestone Religion. Initially, it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek but now I'm finding myself wanting to distance my blog from anything even remotely related to the concept of religion. I just don't like the undertone it gives off; it feels unprofessional and maybe even potentially offensive, especially as a decidedly secular individual.

My goals with the name change is to retain as much of what I've established under the current name as possible. So far the best candidate is "Rhinestone Roses;" I get to keep my weird obsession with alliteration involved, I can keep the RR logo/watermark, I have a penchant for florals and I should be able to maintain some level of brand recognition with it, though I'm exploring other possibilities.

Summary, TL;DR, etc.
I'm taking a two week break from blogging regularly to focus on my hectic end of the semester work
I'm moving to a new apartment, which is not entirely blog related but I'm excited!
♥ Rhinestone Religion may be undergoing a name change...
♥ ... but will definitely be moved to Wordpress in the near future
♥  Everything else like content and style will remain the same -- or if anything, be new and improved!

Thank so much for sticking with  me, I appreciate everyone who has taken an interesting my blog more than I can possibly express. I know I have a great community of readers, many of whom are fellow bloggers and many of you can relate to the constant desire to bring your blog to the next level, so I ask for your understanding. Sometimes life gets in the way.

 Also, if you've had any experience moving platforms or changing names, I'd love to hear any advice you have to give.

Monday, April 22, 2013

21st Birthday

Hey everyone! Today was my 21st birthday. I just thought I'd make a quick post to share some of the highlights.

I can hardly believe what my boyfriend got me -- these gorgeous Prada baroque sunglasses that I've been lusting over since the first time I saw them in a magazine spread. I saw a girl wearing them when we were in Puerto Rico and that was the first time it actually struck me that people could actually buy them. I mean, it's not like I didn't know that, I'm just so used to flipping through magazines and seeing a barrage of designer items that I'd never be able to actually own that I start to gloss over the more reasonably priced pieces after a while.

I didn't have time to do it myself, so I asked the boyfriend to snap a quick picture of my outfit before we met some friends for dinner. He's not very good at photography (despite my insistence that all the best style bloggers have photographer boyfriends) and seemed to think that the picture was more about showing off his car than my clothes... My shoes aren't that exciting anyway, black leather pumps. Just use your imagination! 

Kinda sucks that my 21st was on a Monday (and I had an exam in the morning) but I'm not too big on partying most of the time anyway so I don't mind waiting until the weekend to celebrate a bit more.

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Pretty Spring Dresses

I'm so excited that the snow has finally melted (even though we did get a few flurries last week...) and I thought I'd share with you guys a few of the dresses I've recently bought in preparation for Spring weather.

This gorgeous yellow eyelet lace dress I purchased at The Limited. I was immediately drawn to the cheery, bright color and the 50s-esque silhouette when I spotted it on the rack. I held it up to my shoulders and excitedly asked my boyfriend what he thought of it.

He said it looked like cheese.

Though I suffered a crushing moment where I feared I would never be able to unsee the cheesiness, I resolved not to let his offhand comment bother me.

 I fell in love with the dress after trying it on. I'm on the bustier side, so I have a problem with button-gaping when it comes to off the rack pieces but this lace dress is incredibly flattering. Instead of buttoning all the way up, it comes to a V-neck midway across the chest, which is quite becoming on well endowed ladies. I can button it all the way up with zero worries about showing more skin than intended. This is a perfect dress for women with large chests who like a vintage look.

I forgot to mention: not to be discouraged by my skeptical boyfriend, I have henceforth referred to it as "the cheese dress." Put me next to Lady Gaga and we could be a walking meat and cheese platter.

This blue floral sundress is from Tommy Hilfiger. It struck me while I was shopping that 13 year old me would be so weirded out by the prospect of shopping there because, y'know, that's a prep store. I was super non-conformist and exclusively bought clothes at Hot Topic because it like, expressed how different I was. Or something. I don't know.

I just self-cringed a little. That was a dark time in my life, let us not speak of it further.

Anyway, I think this dress would look gorgeous with the big white straw sunhat I bought for Puerto Rico (but never ended up wearing because of the wind, boo.) Can't wait for the rain to let up so I can give it a whirl!
I'm ashamed to admit it, but as much as I adore vintage and retro styles I rarely ever go thrifting. It's a combination of feeling overwhelmed by the generally disorganized racks and feeling discouraged because of the aforementioned bust issue.

 When I decided on a whim to go to Atomic Katz, a local vintage store my discouragement was only reaffirmed as I zipped up gorgeous dresses with ease... right up until mid-ribcage when it became apparent there would be no closing them up without taking some very drastic measures.

This mint dress was the only one I had zero issue with, and strangely enough it's another with buttons. Since this is one of the first vintage missions I've come back from successfully, I'm itching to search for more shops around my area and hopefully expand my vintage wardrobe.

What have you bought for Spring? Tell me in the comments!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Link Love 04.14.13

Don't forget that Google Reader will be shutting down June 10th. Follow Rhinestone Religion on Bloglovin' to make sure you keep getting updates.

6 Life Lessons We Learned from Girls -- Okay, so confession time. I avoided watching Girls for a long time until my boyfriend got me into it. We just finished the second season and while I'm not borderline obsessive like I am with Game of Thrones, I have to admit it's pretty alright. I can definitely relate to a lot of what the characters on Girls go through. I cannot relate to being an exiled princess with three dragons in tow.
Some basic etiquette for your online life, because manners count on the internet too!
In the same vein, here are some tips for balancing sponsored content in posts and ethics.
The Pros and Cons of Bras -- Apparently bras actually make your boobs saggier. Sadface.
Miranda Kerr is no longer a Victoria's Secret angel. My feelings toward Miranda Kerr have always been something between girlcrush and blinding jealousy of her ability to somehow be adorable and sexy at the same time.

Friday, April 12, 2013

4 Best Products for Looking Glamorous On Vacation

It's only been a few weeks since I came back from Puerto Rico, but I'm already daydreaming about where I'll go next. One problem with traveling is trying to reconcile the hyper-romantic image I have in my head of looking like a celebrity jetsetting around the globe in style with... y'know, reality.

All things considered though, the majority of my trip I felt satisfactorily glamorous without sacrificing too much comfort or practicality and it's all thanks to these few items I was savvy enough to bring with me. Take a look at what I couldn't have lived without on my vacation and let me know what you always pack for your trips!

1. A Big, Beautiful Bag

One of my most vivid memories of traveling as a child with my grandma was her giant blue totebag that she'd bring on the plane with her. As a kid, it seemed like that bag had everything you could possibly ever need on a trip; ways to keep me entertained, snacks, extra batteries, whatever I needed was loaded into that ugly wind-breaker material tote bag. For some reason I specifically remember finding a banana at the bottom during a long flight and being the happiest kid in the world.

I wanted to hold onto that feeling of being prepared for anything by getting my own huge bag, just a more stylish one. I found the perfect bag at Aldo. It's deceptively roomy, with a main storage area, a zipper pocket inside, cell phone pocket, and then two zipper compartments on the front and back which were perfect for keeping my magazines and electronics stored separately. The coral color was gorgeous in the tropical weather, and the damned thing took one Hell of a beating being dragged all across Puerto Rico with me but it's still holding up great! I cannot gush enough about how much I love this bag.

2. Blister Relief

I bought Dr. Scholl's Rub Relief Stick on a whim while doing some last minute shopping shopping before the big day. At only about $6 and knowing I was bringing a few pairs of shoes with me that had yet to be broken in, I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

I'm so glad I took the risk, because I don't want to imagine what my trip to Puerto Rico would have been like without this! I was able to wear a pair of brand new, strappy wedges for hours a time. The key with this product is to put it on before anything starts to hurt, though. I just put on my shoes, took a few steps around with them to figure out where the problem spots were going to be, applied the product where needed and I was A-okay -- no ugly sneakers for me. Definitely don't go sight seeing without this one!

3. Waterproof Mascara

The thing about going on a tropical vacation is the opportunity to go swimming could present itself at any minute and chances are you're not going to want to pass it up. Unfortunately, impromptu dips in the pool are out of the question if you did your makeup earlier and want to avoid looking like you walked off the set of The Crow.

Normally when I go on vacation I keep my makeup pretty minimal. I don't want to waste too much time getting ready in the morning, and mascara is one of those products that can instantly make you like 5 times better so I keep it as one of my morning routine priorities. Getting your favorite in waterproof or water resistant is a great compromise while on vacation. My personal favorite is Covergirl's Clump Crusher, I wore it every day of my trip (even when snorkeling!) and never had a problem.

4. Tinted Moisturizer

On the topic of keeping makeup simple, my second priority after mascara is foundation. Out in the sun, I don't want anything that's going to be heavy or feel sticky so a tinted moisturizer with SPF is a fantastic way to get a little extra coverage.

I got a sample of  this Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer on my last trip to Sephora. The small sample size was perfect for travel and the coverage was better than I expected from a tinted moisturizer and I felt like it layered well with sunblock.

What are your secrets for looking fabulous while traveling? Tell me in the comments! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Lavender & Glitter Manicure

Don't forget that Google Reader will be shutting down June 10th. Follow Rhinestone Religion on Bloglovin' to make sure you keep getting updates. 

Something about having well-groomed hands makes everything I do feel so much more elegant. Even if I'm doing something nasty like cleaning the toilet, it makes me feel like at least I'm cleaning the toilet with class. 

Unfortunately I was cursed with brittle nails and the overwhelming desire to pick at my cuticles during long lectures, which makes it nigh impossible to have beautiful natural nails. 

Enter gel nails, which I've had on/off for the last few years. I won't lie, they can be a massive pain in the ass to maintain and expensive, but they make me feel so good about myself that it's usually an expense I'm willing to pay. 

I do have a problem however with being daring when it comes to my nails. I almost always default to the classic french look. It's elegant and I never have to worry about it clashing with something I'm wearing. But after spending a few hours in the nail salon watching other clients who unabashedly will get neon orange nails with green tips (something I would never, ever do) I've started trying to dip my toe into less conventional manicures. 

Today's mani was a big step for me, because I had them painted lavender with pink glitter, which is kind of depressingly still really basic... but at least I'm making an attempt at stepping out of my comfort zone. They look refreshingly spring-like, so at least they're seasonally appropriate! I provided both of the colors myself, both are Essie and are called "Bond With Whomever" (Lavender) and "A Cut Above" (glitter.)

I'm scouring Pinterest as we speak trying to find some new inspiration for future polish. What are your digits currently colored? Tell me in the comments! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Link Love 04.07.13

Don't forget that Google Reader will be shutting down June 10th. Follow Rhinestone Religion on Bloglovin' to make sure you keep getting updates. 

18 Trends That Died in 2012 ... I can honestly say I have never really liked any of these. Either I'm really un-trendy or I'm ahead of the curve. 
Did you catch the season premier of Game of Thrones? Here are 12 Game of Thrones House Sigils for the Internet
This was a really interesting read about blogging to "look good" vs. personal style. I definitely think it's a little bit of both for me; like most people I want to look as good as I can when I post pictures to my blog and I steer clear from anything I think is ugly or frumpy (even if it's trendy) but my style is already very feminine and classic. 
The 6 New Style Types -- I think I'm a mix of the Francophile and the Mad Men Extra. What about you?
 This advice on how to move is going to be very helpful to me in about a month. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm on TV!

Exciting news! I've been co-hosting a beauty and fashion talk show on my university's television channel. Unfortunately, it's only available on television in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin, but feel free to "like" The Look on Facebook to get updates on web uploads! 

Here I am with my co-host, Pang right after shooting our second episode yesterday. Neither of us had done any television work before, so our first shoot was a little rough but we were able to power through out second episode and do almost everything in one take.

I'm really excited to get involved with something style related on campus. Small college towns in the Midwest aren't exactly known for being fashion hubs, but I'm glad to be able to help promote the small local community that we do have. Unfortunately, it does eat into my blogging time a tad but I try to make time when I can.

Quick Note: Google Reader will be shutting down on June 1st. Make sure to update your subscription to Rhinestone Religion through Bloglovin' or another reader of your choice! 

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