Back on the [Green] Scene (Feat. FashionMia + Phipps Conservatory)

Hello, everyone! It sure has been awhile hasn't it? Though I had yet another unplanned hiatus (I don't know why but they always seem to happen in early spring, what's up with that?), however, I'm thrilled to say that this most recent 2018 hiatus was for a much brighter reason than last years. This time, and there will be more on this below, my hiatus had a HUGE focus on self-care and as a result has left me feeling happier, healthier, and more motivated than ever to get back on to the blogging scene!

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And of course, aside from being happy to be back to writing and styling (which are just a few of my favorite things), I am also thrilled to be back because I also have some very exciting collaborations coming up this summer and will also be working with some really awesome people. But most of all, I am excited to be back because I have missed all of you, which as always I am forever appreciative of all of your on going support! Now, let's get to the good stuff, plus my brand new #OOTD.

Life/Blog Updates + What I've Been Up To

So, I am sure many of you are wondering why I have been away (especially without warning) for so long. The short answer to this is back in late February, I unfortunately caught that nasty flu and bronchitis that had been going around this year, and was in and out of the hospital for weeks. That in itself was rough, however, what made it worse was due to being ill I fell behind in my classes at Point Park University. The latter was originally the main reason for my hiatus because I take my schooling very seriously (good news is, though I'm not thrilled my GPA didn't stay at a 4.0, I did come out of this semester with a 3.6 all things considered), I also started focusing on getting healthier and taking better care of myself.

In order to do this, I began making time to do things that I enjoy again. These activities include yoga, running, ballet, singing, and of course photography. I also made strides in my personal health by making sure I made time for myself (because like many of us do, I occasionally forget that I am in fact important too) to relax and do things that I love, in order to keep my mental health in tip-top shape. I also have been eating better and have been sure to avoid pulling all-nighters at all costs, considering I know my sleep habits were an issue.

As for updates on the blog front, for one, my blogiversary was back on March 20, 2018, and Stark Raving Chic turned three years old! And though I didn’t get a proper post done about it, I’m still so happy to have had this success over three years. I was also thrilled to find that I haven't only not lost any followers, but I gained a significant amount, and actually hit 25K on Instagram! So along with some more exciting interviews (similar to the kick-ass one with Terra McBride back in February), as well as awesome upcoming collaborations with a few major companies, I will also be hosting a 25K giveaway sometime this summer, so be sure to stay tuned!

New Photography Work

As mentioned above, along with practicing self-care through being sure to make time for myself, I also really got back to my artistic roots and began photographing nature again. Though my focus was in photojournalism, and I love fashion photography, another thing I always loved focusing my lens on was nature, and honestly hadn't shot anything new until recently. However, it was so uplifting and I am so excited about the photos that I have decided I might have found a new passion in nature macro photography. If you head to my "Portfolio, Nature: 2018" section you can see all the photos I've been working on, but I picked a few of my favorites to show here (also note, all photographs can be printed and framed for purchase, pricing is available upon request via email):

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Gorgeous Greenery 

Last but not least, though this portion won't be as extensive as my other "Outfit of the Day" posts, I did want to share one of my new favorite early spring dresses from my affiliate and sponsor, FashionMia, along with some gorgeous jewelry from my favorite South Side boutique, Terry Jolo.

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The reason I love this dress is due to its lush green color, which in my opinion, is absolutely gorgeous for spring. It reflects the new greenery we get this time of year as well as everything coming into bloom. I also like this dress’ flowy, a-line, cut, which gives this dress a soft and feminine appearance—adding to the soft look, and touch, of the velvet. 

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To style this look, I chose to keep it classic with some gorgeous gold jewelry from Terry Jolo. The reason this necklace and earring (see below) duo work so well for this look is due to the fact that they make a a statement without overwhelming the dress. 

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Lastly, to complete this soft and feminine look, I chose to keep it simple with my makeup and opted for bareMinerals BarePro in Aspen, Maybelline’s Bronze Rooftops City Minis pallet for my eyes, Dior’s My Rose Blush, and Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss lipstick in Lovecraft. 

One Last Look

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What have you been up too for the past three months, and what are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care? Let’s chat about them in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Have any fabulous photography or spring looks that you have just been dying to show off? I’d love to see them, so feel free to tag me in you Instagram Story at @StarkRavingChic. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssst! just in case you haven't heard, I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

#OOTD: Posh Performance (Feat. Amazon + Terry Jolo Brand)

Ahhhh, nothing like a little bit of an Indian summer to brighten up these cold, drab winter days, am I right? Even if in this case it was only in the low fifties, it is still way better the the below freezing temperatures we have been dealing with here in the 'Burgh lately. The only thing that isn't so great about this weather shift is, is I have unfortunately caught an awful cold. But I haven't let that get me down, and to take advantage of the nice weather we've had this week (along with attempting to make myself feel better), I have been doing one of my favorite pass times, and that is of course primping, styling, and dressing up!

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Now it is not that I don't dress up when it's cold of course, but obviously frigid temperatures make it nearly impossible to wear a dress or a skirt with out turning into a popsicle halfway through the day. This is especially the case if your college campus is in a downtown setting like Point Park University, meaning you have to walk through the city streets to get from class to class. However, as stated earlier, with the weather actually being bearable this week, I've taken the opportunity to style some of my favorite posh pieces for my classes earlier this week. 

Polished For Presentation 

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Another reason why I was stoked the weather has been nice this week is aside from allowing me to wear skirts and heels, it worked out great because my first semester is already off and running and I have actually have had two presentations already! Though this was a bit of a challenge due to the fact I currently have no voice (I seriously sound like a frog at the moment), I at least was able to feel confident by looking my best in one of my favorite outfits, even if I might have not sounded that great. To give myself this extra confidence boost, I chose to style this white, laser cut out blouse by Amazon Fashion + SheIn, along with this gorgeous brown, button front wool skirt from my long time collaborator and friend, Terry, owner of the Pittsburgh South Side boutique, Terry Jolo Brand.

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First, let me tell you about this adorable top from Amazon Fashion + SheIn. Though I have written about SheIn since the very start of my blog (almost three years ago, wow!) I'm thrilled to announce that their clothes are now available for purchase on Amazon and Amazon Prime, which is great for quick shipping! And of course these clothes live up to the same quality and craftsmanship that you receive from SheIn's main site. This blouse is no different, much like all my other clothes fro SheIn, this blouse is exceptionally well made and very comfortable. I also just love every detail of this top, from its laser cutout pattern to its tied sleeves, which though it is otherwise plain, these small details really give this piece a little something extra. Lastly, this piece fits true to size and is quite versatile, meaning you can wear this piece as a casual top or dress it up a bit like I did for this post.

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For the bottom half of my presentation day outfit, I chose this one of a kind, tailor made, skirt from Pittsburgh's South Side boutique, Terry Jolo Brand. I have mentioned Terry and her boutique many times here, but for those of you who are new to my blog, Terry Jolo Brand is a local boutique that specializes in one of a kind designs, all made by my friend Terry. It is located on 27th Carson Street, right across the street from South Side Works. As I stated earlier, most of her pieces are one of a kind creations so you are guaranteed to have your own uniquely designed piece, and when you design your piece, Terry will meet with you and tailor your design to fit you perfectly. Aside from this skirt fitting me like a glove due to this process, I also love the material which is a combination of wool and velvet, which makes this a great piece for fall and winter. (One last note about this piece: It has pockets!!)

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To further style these two pieces, I chose to pair them with my brown Prada Saffiano bag along with y black bow tie heels by Ralph Lauren. The reason I chose to style these pieces with this look is because for one, I loved how the light brown leather of my bag complemented the deep brown color of the skirt, and I felt the gold detailing on the heels played well off of the gold detailing on my bag. 

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Keeping my gold accessory theme, to add a little shine to this look, I chose to wear this pretty gold crystal points necklace and this moonlight daydream cuff, each by SLATE. Though both of these pieces are simple, they really add a nice touch and some extra polish to this outfit.

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To complete my presentation day outfit, I decided to go with a light, airy, and natural makeup look. To achieve this, I used my bareMinerals Bare Pro liquid foundation, bareMinerals Gorgeous Eyes kit, Dior "My Rose" blush, and Covergirl's Oh Sugar lipstick. The reason I chose to go with a more subtle makeup look is because I wanted to keep this outfit looking fresh, polished, and professional.

One Last Look

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What are some of your favorite professional looks to style this season? Let's chat about it in the comment section below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Have an awesome presentation day look of your own that you just need to show off? Feel free to tag me in your Instagram story at @StarkRavingChic. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can learn more here!

P.P.S. I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

Marvelous Makeup (Feat. Makeup by Bailey Waterbury)

If you know me, you know that I know nothing about makeup. Sure, sure, I know enough to keep myself from going out in public looking like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show, but other than some simple techniques, I am by no means a makeup artist. However, that is not the issue for my friend Bailey, in fact she has been working as both a freelance and retail makeup artist since 2015, and let me tell you, this girl knows her stuff. Recently, I was fortunate enough to not only sit down with Bailey and interview her about her craft for this collaboration, but also had the opportunity for her to style my makeup look for the latter half of this post!

Bailey Waterbury: Makeup Artist

So by now, you're all probably wondering how I know Bailey. Is she a makeup artist I met at one of the runway shows I've attended? A stylist for one of my many photo shoots? Well, not exactly anything that glamorous, Bailey and I actually met in our freshman year of college at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Both her and I were there studying photography, and though we initially got off to a rocky start, by our junior year we became friends and began working on a handful of photography projects together. The one thing I always noticed about Bailey in her photography work was her precision and he attention to detail, which also shows in her makeup artistry. So needless to say, I was thrilled that when I reached out to her she was more than happy to do yet another collaboration with me, and as always, I was absolutely amazed by her work.

Bree Fesh: To start off this interview, when did you begin practicing makeup artistry?

Bailey Waterbury: Well, I was always very interested in makeup, especially being a photographer and wanting to work in runway or editorial fashion. So, I'd have to say that I began practicing and experimenting with makeup my sophomore year of college. And in 2014 I became completely immersed in the makeup artistry world when I began working as a cashier at Sephora, and then went on to become a makeup artist in 2015.

BF: I know you were living in Arizona for a while back in 2015, did you continue working as a makeup artist for Sephora while you were there? If so, which part, and was working as a makeup artist in a more heavily populated area much different than working here in Pittsburgh?

BW: Yes! I continued working as a makeup artist for Sephora while I was living in Arizona, and I was in the Scottsdale location. I have to say that it was quite a bit different just because Scottsdale is such a travel destination so you are constantly meeting new clients and trying different things, I must say I did like that challenge though. Personally, though I love the Sephora I am working at here in South Hills Village, I feel as though I am not being pushed enough. I really love trying new looks and techniques and unfortunately here, it seems many people just like simpler, classic makeup.

BF: Since I know you also have great photography skills, I'm curious to know if photography is still your greatest passion, or has makeup artistry surpassed it?

BW: Originally, I wanted my photography and makeup artistry to go hand in hand so I could both style and photograph my models, however as I grew more skilled with makeup, I began to really fall in love with being a makeup artist. So though I still love photography, and honestly wish I could do more with it than I have been lately, I do think that it is safe to say makeup artistry is my main passion. 

BF: Recently you've started your own makeup artistry Instagram page titled "bayyylien", what are your goals with it, and do you ever see yourself expanding outside of Instagram and potentially starting a blog of your own?

BW: The reason I started my page, bayyylien, is because I really wanted my art to stand on its own, opposed to constantly posting selfies to my personal Instagram *laughs*. However what I would like to achieve through bayyylien is to grow, and work with other artists. The types of people I would like to connect with are those who are either interested in conceptual art or even couture fashion. As for starting a blog i haven't even thought about that yet! I could see some potential in doing so, however before I decide on it, I would like to grown my Instagram's following first as well as start a YouTube channel that features makeup tutorials. 

Plum Seduction

As I mentioned earlier (and as you can see above), Bailey was kind enough to actually do my makeup on top of letting me interview her for this collaboration! However, you're probably wondering how exactly we decided on these colors, so let me give you a little run down before I dive in to the complete look and outfit.

First of all, I have to be honest, not knowing anything about makeup and being an artist myself, I gave Bailey full reign of this makeup look. To plan it though, Bailey had asked me to simply pick out an outfit that I would like to model, give her the color scheme, and she'd work from there. So the night before our meeting I simply sent her some quick snapshots of my outfit so she could get her pallet ready, and needless to say she couldn't have done a better job at pairing!

For starters, I just have to say that Bailey's clients are in for an absolute treat when working with her. Bailey isn't only incredibly talented, but she is also highly personable and fun to work with as well! Before starting the process, Bailey made sure I was comfortable and walked me through the steps as she was doing them. She also has the patience of a saint and gave (much needed on my part) direction well as to what she needed me to do. So for this look, Bailey chose to style me using the following products:

Skin Care:

  1. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Moisturizer
  2. Tatcha Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Eye Cream

Color:

  1. Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  2. Becca Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector in Peach
  3. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Fair Neutral
  4. Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation in R250

  5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light

  6. Kat Von D Shade and Light Face Refillable Contour Palette

  7. NARS blush in Orgasm

  8. Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in 01

  9. Kat Von D Holographic Alchemist Palette in Pink Opal

  10. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Taupe

  11. Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel

  12. Too Faced 24 HR Shadow Insurance

  13. The Estée Edit Metallishadow Crème + Powder in Cyberella

  14. Sephora Collection Colorful Wink-It Felt Liner Waterproof in Bone White

  15. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

  16. Ardell Lashes in Natural

  17. NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Vintage

  18. Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Kristen

  19. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

Lastly, about the outfit I chose to style for this collaboration. For this post I decided it would only make sense to style clothing from two Pittsburgh boutiques since I was working with a Pittsburgh based makeup artist, so I chose to style this sweater from ModCloth as well as this gorgeous skirt from Terry Jolo Brand. The reason I chose these pieces is because I like their cool winter look. The white sweater and purple skirt complement each other perfectly and create a nice contrast. To add the finishing touches to this look, I chose to pair these items with my Jenny Bird Flagstaff Earrings, my Hermes Pop H necklace layered with this Kendra Scott pendant, black tights, and a pair of high heeled booties, making this look casual yet sophisticated.

One Last Look

What are some of your favorite makeup looks? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Have a marvelous makeup look of your own that you'd love to show off? Feel free to tag me in a post or on your Instagram story at @StarkRavingChic.

Also remember, if you want to see more of Bailey's awesome skills, be to follow her Instagram account @bayyylien! Later, dolls.

Xx, Bree

P.S. Pssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can read all about it, here!

Also, in case you haven't heard, I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

#OOTD: Attractively Active (Feat. Terry Jolo Brand + Calia)

If you've been reading my blog for awhile (or follow me on Instagram and Twitter) you probably know that I absolutely hate going to the gym. Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy exercise in the form of going on walks, hiking, and dancing but the gym, eh not so much. Ironically enough, my visual merchandising job at Dick's Sporting Goods requires me to edit photos of active wear as well as wear it on the occasions that I have to help with a set at a store, and with that being said I actually own a ton of active wear, even though I hardly ever style it when I'm not on location for work. However, in the light of trying new things this year, I decided to give the athleisure trend a whirl and decided to style some of my pieces from Calia for this post. (And I gotta admit, I really did enjoy styling my yoga pants--cute and comfy? Yes please!)

Perfectly Plum

For this look, I decided to once again try a monochromatic outfit, only instead of this outfit being all black, I decided to pair up different shades of purple. The reason I am particularly digging this trend so much is because there are just so many ways to experiment with it! For instance, come warmer weather, I would love to play around with some pastels and tights (under shorts particularly). However, for this more winter weather compatible look, I chose to style my workout top and moto tights by Calia along with my ever trusty furry purple vest from one of my favorite South Side boutiques, Terry Jolo Brand.

My longtime readers may remember one of my first collaborations was with the local shop Terry Jolo Brand, back in 2015. (Woah, it's been that long already?!) However, during that collaboration, Terry, was kind enough to give me this vest and ever since it has been one of my favorite pieces in my closet. The cool thing about this vest, and all of Terry's clothing for that matter, is that they are made in house at her South Side boutique, and each garment is a limited addition, with no more than one in each size made. The reason I decided to style this vest with my active wear is because I felt the vest dressed them up a bit and really gave this outfit an athleisure feel, I just adored how perfectly this vest matched the rest of my outfit as well!

Speaking of the rest of my outfit, I'm sure you're curious where I got this kick-ass workout apparel right? Well my answer to that is Chelsea Collective! Now, I have to admit that even though I work for the company (In case you didn't know, Chelsea Collective is owned by Dick's Sporting Goods, and is actually the apparel that I work the most with for the merchandising team.) I still have to say that Chelsea is a great store for women who have an active live but still want to look chic, even at the gym. Chelsea Collective specializes in athleisure, meaning all of their pieces transition well from the gym to whatever it may be that you are doing after (or before) your work out. The core part of my outfit (aka, my top and moto tights) are by Calia. This essential Calia top is so incredibly comfortable and very soft. The material is also quite flexible so I could see where it would be a great workout piece. Then my pieced moto tights are just so incredibly chic! They seriously blend two of my favorite things: the moto style pant and comfort. Whats not to love? (And I gotta say, these tights look killer with my booties from SheIn!)

Lastly, the finishing touches I added to this outfit were a simple pair of gold earrings and a gold cuff from Victoria's Secret, along with my gold cat eye sunnies from Forever 21. The reason I chose the earrings and the modern cuff, is because I wanted to keep this look laid back and did not want to over power it with overly bulky jewelry. And as for the sunglasses, I just felt their rose gold tinted lenses were the perfect piece to completely this monochromatic, purple ensemble.

One Last Look

What are your thoughts on the athleisure trend? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me your thoughts at @StarkRavingChic! Have an active wear outfit you just would love to show off? Feel free to tag me in your an Instagram post or your Insta Story at @StarkRavingChic. Later, dolls!

Xx, Bree

P.S. If you would like to learn more about Terry Jolo Brand, you can read my article on the boutique here. And if you've never been to Chelsea Collective and want to check it out, their Pittsburgh Location is at the Ross Park Mall right by Nordstrom, and you can click here to see some of their cool up coming events.