February 14, 2018 – Ash Valentines (OOTD #227)

Valentine’s Day this year felt more like Ash Wednesday than Valentine’s Day.

Maybe that’s because it was Ash Wednesday as well – a fact that I normally would not have paid much attention to at all, seeing as I’m not Catholic. But, seeing as I now go to Catholic school and everything here is so deep in its own Catholicism that there’s a crucifix in every classroom, it was hard to miss.

Perhaps the most prominent sign of the start of Lent season here, other than the kids walking around with ashes on their foreheads, was that the dining hall was completely meat-free on Wednesday, and will be meat-free every Friday now until the end of Lent.

The Friday bit doesn’t so much annoy me (okay, it does sort of annoy me, but not too strongly), but the general lack of any Valentines-themed food at the dining hall on actual Valentines Day was kind of strange, especially considering this is a place that went all-out with themed desserts for holidays like Halloween, the feast of St. Francis (is that a holiday?), and pretty much any home football game last season.

The overall vibe of campus was also definitely more somber than usually, which I guess was a result of the Ash Wednesday thing. Like I said, I’m not Catholic, but I can appreciate some of the traditions. Still, it was weird that people weren’t more celebratory about Valentine’s Day here, and I’m not sure if that was as a result of it being Ash Wednesday or if that’s just not a thing college kids care about.

Personally, it’s a holiday I really enjoy, even if I don’t really do anything to celebrate it anymore. I like seeing couples together, and I like to see the lengths that people will go to to show their love for one another. I guess I’ve just bought into the commercial aspect of it all, but I think that can still be fun.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Shirt: H&M

Skirt: Forever21

February 13, 2018 – Fat Tuesday (OOTD #226)

I have never once lived somewhere where Mardi Gras was a big deal.

I wish I could say I have though — it seems like such a cool holiday, at least from what I see on television and in movies like The Princess and the Frog. I have a friend who’s at LSU who went into New Orleans for the parade, and from what I saw on her Snap stories from that holiday weekend, it looked like a ton of fun.

I did go into New Orleans once a long time ago, when I was a little kid. I think my family and I were ultimately going into Florida, but we decided to stop in New Orleans for a few days to look around. I don’t remember much of what we did on that trip, as I was still on the younger side, but a few things sick out in my memory.

I think the most memorable things were the voodoo shops peppered around the city because they absolutely terrified me. I couldn’t even look at their window displays. I think it was more the visuals, like little shrunken head trinkets, that scared me more so than the actual concept of voodoo magic.

Unfortunately, as fear is such a strong emotion, that’s mainly what I remember about New Orleans. Voodoo shops, of course, were not the only things we saw there – I remember a pretty cool Mardi Gras museum with a lot of pretty dresses from the various Mardi Gras queens, I remember getting alligator jerky somewhere in a park near water, and I remember eating some really bomb cajun food on our first night there.

Like I said, one of the days, I would really love to go into New Orleans for Mardi Gras and experience it again now that I’m adult. If anything, I’m sure the voodoo shops will fascinate me even more than ever now that I’ve developed a greater appreciation for the macabre. In the meantime, I can at least sport my purple hair with a green shirt on Mardi Gras and pretend I’m festive while stuck here in South Bend.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: The LOFT

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Zara

February 12, 2018 – Playing With Proportions (OOTD #225)

I really feel like a Project Runway contestant in this one.

You know, the “edgy” “artsy” drama queen who uses really pretentious words and consistently dresses in dark colors? I feel like that was me in this outfit.

I really wish Notre Dame had a fashion design class, and that I had the time to take it (assuming it existed), because I would love to learn to make clothes. I can do some basic sewing, buttons and the like, but nothing beyond that.

As a kid, I loved making clothes for my American Girl and Barbie dolls, and I think in some alternate reality, I might have taken that interest and turned it into a real career. I think I’m too far down the road now to really to get into real fashion design, but I like to think that I would have been good at it if I had ever seriously tried it. Maybe when I’m retired (or, alternatively, when I become so fabulously rich that I never have to work a day in my life), I’ll have the opportunity to take some sewing classes.

Anyway, I just really enjoy the way proportions are balanced in this outfit. It’s hardly uncommon to see a collared shirt paired with a sweater, but I think the fact that both the shirt and the sweater are oversized, and the way that the shirt’s left unbuttoned at the bottom makes this a little more unusual than average.

Plus, I’ve got purple hair. That always makes things look more unusual than average.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: thrifted

Shirt: thrifted

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Gung Hay Fat Choy

It was surprisingly difficult to find out the best way to say “happy Chinese New Year” in Chinese.

First, you have to sort through the different spellings in Mandarin and Cantonese, and then you have to figure out what’s the most appropriate way of saying “happy new year,” depending on whether you want to wish someone prosperity or good luck or any other number of well-wishes.

I opted for “gung hay fat choy” for this blog post’s title because I figured that would be what was what most Americans would know, but I went for a more “authentically Chinese” 新年快乐 (meaning literally “happy new year”) for my Instagram post.

Back home, my parents and I would always celebrate my heritage by going out to eat at a Chinese restaurant (and an authentic one, at that – none of that take out Panda Express stuff), but here, there wasn’t even really anything to do. They didn’t even have any Chinese food offered at the dining hall, which I thought was pretty sad considering they’d served cajun food just a few days ago on Mardi Gras.

Granted, it is lenten season, which, seeing as this is Catholic School ™, is something that is taken very seriously, to the point that they don’t serve any meat on Fridays at all. It sucks.

There’s a small celebration going on in the ballroom of the student center tomorrow, which I’m definitely going to try to go to, but somehow I doubt it’s going to be a huge deal. Maybe I’ll at least get some good fried rice out of it – it’s not Peking Duck, but it’s better than nothing.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

February 11, 2018 – Goth Hipster (OOTD #224)

Oh boy, is this a look.

It’s interesting, my need to do (some) sponsored posts on here really drives some of the outfits I do on this website, even when the sponsored post has nothing to do with fashion.

Take this outfit, for example. It was a Sunday – not normally a day I bother to get dressed up, but I had to get some nice selfies for a review of the Clairol Color Crave hair color I got from Influenster, which meant I had to put together a nice outfit to go with my makeup.

And since I was in a nice outfit and nice makeup, I figured I had to get photographic evidence of it. I mentioned this in a blog post a few days ago, but whenever I actually have the time to do my makeup AND wear a cute outfit, I have to document it, just to prove that it happened. It doesn’t happen often.

As for the outfit here – have you ever seen such a goth-like hipster art kid look? I joke about looking like an art kid a lot here, but I think this takes the cake.

The dramatic scarf, the all-black, the gauge-like earrings, and then my purple hair – it just screams “I went to art school and majored in design and I attend poetry slam performances on Thursday nights.”

And of course, it helps that I’m back in the art room again, taking my photos with my watch’s remote camera app while balancing my camera up on top of a drawing table.  My background is literally just a shelf with some art supplies on it. That’s an aesthetic in and of itself.

Like I said, this is a look. It’s maybe not quite everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s mine.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Banana Republic

Sweater: Thrifted

Pants: Altar’d State

February 9, 2018 – Mad Max At The Dining Hall (OOTD #223)

Okay, so this admittedly is not the best background I’ve ever used on this website.

A little context – I’m standing  on one of the staircases in North Dining Hall (not to be confused with South Dining Hall, which I have frequently featured as a backdrop here). It was actually the suggestion of the friend who was doing my pictures that day, and while I was initially hesitant given the super public nature of the location, I figured I would give it a shot.

It’s better than just another door, right?

I think it just really comes down to the lighting here – since I’m indoors rather than out, everything just sorta looks washed out and dull i. That’s sort of the nature of the beast though, but combining the dull light with the already pretty dull background, I feel, just makes for maybe not the most interesting photos I’ve ever done.

I do rather like this outfit though, with its utilitarian, post-apocalyptic look. You might have noticed that that’s a look I’ve gone for several times before on this blog (notable examples can be seen here and here). That would be, of course, because I rather like it – it’s not really something I can go for everyday, and not something that I can do all-out out of fear of coming off too costume-y, but it’s fun to incorporate influences from media like The Hunger Games or Mad Max into my daily wear.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Vest: Altar’d State

Sweater: Hot Topic

Leggings: Altar’d State

February 8, 2018 – Dad Plaid (OOTD #222)

This is some rad plaid.

I got this plaid, dad-like jacket from a local vintage shop back home in Lexington, and it’s been in fairly heavy rotation ever since. Or, at least, heavier ratio than I would have expected when I first purchased it – I figured I’d wear it every once in a while, but it’s really grown on me. It’s super easy to style because its pattern makes it look fancy without the need for me to layer a ton of stuff on top of it.

This particular outfit was borne out of another one of my “oh-no-I-just-woke-up-and-it’s-ten-minutes-before-my-exam-begins-and-the-building-is-a-fifteen-minute-walk-away” moments.

Those moments occur much more than I would like.

Anyway, in moments like this, pieces like the plaid dad jacket come in handy.

Like I said, its bombastic pattern makes it super easy to style, so I’m able to throw an outfit together around it really quickly in order to make it out the door on time. Since the plaid pattern is so loud, everything else has to be very simple and plain, and I don’t have to think too hard about what to pair with it. A plain sweater, plain pants, and plain shoes, and I can go.

You’ll also notice that this outfit, like yesterday’s, follows my basic everyday outfit formula – jacket, sweater/shirt, skinny pants (in this case leggings), and an accessory. It’s formulaic, but the formula works.

And when you’re faced with the decision to either be late to your exam or opt for a formulaic outfit (and very little makeup, you might also notice), you take the formula.

Also, can we just talk about this background? I’m in the art room again (my typical Thursday photographer friend was out of town), and I have no idea what this installation is. It was brand new when I got in there, so I assume some class is using it, but for what? I don’t know, but I figured it’d make for an interesting composition.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: vintage (thrifted)

Sweater: Aeropostale

February 7, 2018 – Formula One (OOTD # 221)

Here’s something I just noticed – when in doubt, I just throw a jacket on.

Recently, it seems like hardly a day goes by when I don’t wear some kind of jacket with my outfit. I mean, just look at the most recent blog posts here and here  – jackets everywhere.

I’ve discussed this a little before on this website, way back in the summer, but this is my go-to outfit formula. A jacket, skinny pants, some kind of blouse or sweater, and ankle boots – when I don’t have any clever ideas about what to wear, this is what I tend to go with. It’s safe, but it works, and it looks good.

This outfit is a little more unique with the yellow rain boots and the My Chemical Romance shirt. I like to have something unexpected to pair with even my formulaic outfits, you know? And a pop punk band t-shirt is practically the definition of “unexpected” here at the very very Catholic Notre Dame.

That’s another thing I’ve discussed on this blog – the fact that everyone at Notre Dame dresses in the same kind of rich, preppy way. There’s not much variety in the kinds of style you see people wearing around campus, not like my high school had. For one, I never see anyone trying to come in wearing gang signs, which happened a few times at my high school.

On a more serious note, there is a striking lack of diversity in fashion tastes here. Everyone looks nice, but pretty uninteresting, you know? There’s a lot of skinny jeans, crewcut sweaters, boots – you know, basic style. There’s also a ridiculous amount of bookstore-bought (overpriced) Notre Dame regalia.

I feel almost self-conscious wearing something like a My Chemical Romance t-shirt here because “emo” fashion – or any kind of goth-leaning, hipster-leaning, boho-leaning, or other more niche fashions –  seems to be such a foreign concept. I can’t imagine what people thought of me earlier this year when I dressed like a high-fashion dementor. Probably that I was a dementor.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jeans: Hollister

T-shirt: Hot Topic

Jacket: Banana Republic

February 6, 2018 – The Little Things (OOTD #220)

I love the way my shirt collar just barely peeks above the top of my sweater here; it’s a nice detail.

It’s just noticeable enough to make a difference in my outfit – that little touch of asymmetrical balance takes an outfit that’s pretty unexciting by itself and gives it more dimension.

I think the stripes also really help to elevate things, adding some pattern into an all-solid outfit. And then the way that the stripes run against the lines of my knit sweater…I don’t know guys, I’m just proud of myself on this one.

What I’m not so proud of is the way that I nearly wiped out in the solid 12 inches of snow  on the ground before I took these pictures. I got my friend to stand on the sidewalk with the camera, and I was just going to hop really quickly into the snow bank, get my shots, and then hop back out again.

What happened instead was that my foot got stuck in the strap of my backpack that I had tossed on the ground nearing that instead of a quick, clean jump into the snow, I ended up hopping around wildly, kicking up snow and flailing my arms in an attempt to regain my balance. Of course, this happened nearby a fairly busy sidewalk right outside of the dining hall at lunchtime so there would plenty of people who got to witness my blunder.

I kind of laughed it off, but I’m still kind of embarrassed. What is it that they say? She is beauty, she is grace…she’s about to fall on her stupid face? 

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Shirt: Abercrombie

Sweater: unknown (gift)

Pants: The LOFT

Boots: LL Bean

REVIEW: Clairol Color Crave Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Orchid

To read part one of my Clairol Color Crave review, click here!

Welp, I’ve gone and done it – I’ve dyed my hair purple.

My best friend has declared that I look like a high school band kid, but she usually has some complaint to make whenever I change my hair. I think if it were up to her, I would have maintained the platinum blonde hair, but with the texture of my non-bleach-damaged hair forever. Wouldn’t that be nice.

The reality is that I can’t be spending hundreds of dollars a month to have my hair chemically altered every month, so I have to make do with what I have. What I had was a short, slowly-growing-out brunette pixie cut that left me feeling a bit unsatisfied with how average it was. What I wanted was something practical and affordable that could change up my hair a little and remedy my sense of monotony.

That’s where Clairol comes in. In my latest Influenster VoxBox, I was sent their Semi-Permeant Hair Color in Orchid. While I hadn’t necessarily been thinking of dyeing my hair purple beforehand, I decided to go for it when the opportunity arose.

I have a lot of experience (well, not A LOT – not as much as some people, but more I think than the average 19 year-old) with various hair dyes. I started by getting my first set of highlights way back in sixth grade, before progressing to all-over color my freshman year of high school, then bleach blonde by junior year, then a semi-permanent grey and finally a brunette pixie cut just this year. My hair’s been every shade of brown under the sun, as well as jet black, blonde, platinum, grey, orange (on accident), and now, purple.

The first thing I noticed when I openeed the box was that there was nothing to mix – just the tube of dye. I don’t know if I’ve ever had any hair color products were no mixing was needed, so that was neat. In addition, the kit came with two pairs of protective gloves and a small brush.

As application goes, it was as easy as it gets – just squeeze the purple goop out of the tube, apply, and then rinse out. I guess it also helps that my hair is shorter now that it’s ever been, so I had no worries about making sure I got all my hair covered. I ended up using the whole bottle, though I probably didn’t really need to, with hair as short as mine. If you have long hair, I’d definitely buy two.

The directions said to leave the product in for 20 minutes, or 30 for a bolder look. Given the darkness of my hair (the root growth that is), I opted for 30 minutes.

To be honest, I probably could have left in in for shorter. The color didn’t really show up in my dark hair, and it showed up too dark in my bleached hair. Not that I really expected it to make much of a difference in my dark hair, because so little ever does, but I was hopeful for a little bit of a purple tinge.

(Me after applying and rinsing out for the first time)

That brings me to my biggest complaint about this product – it didn’t really come out as the same color on the box, at least for me. I think that’s partially due to the fact that part of my hair is bleached, which explains just how vibrant it came out, but even so, I don’t even think the color I got is even close to the color on the box. The girl on the box has a medium-tone red purple, while I what I got was a very dark (almost black!) blue purple.

On the plus side, I don’t mind a blue purple – it’s just not really what’s advertised here. If you have bleached hair and you use this product, I would definitely suggest leaving it in for much shorter than 30 minutes, maybe even 15, if you’re aiming for the orchid shade on the box. Another plus is that after three washes (one week approximately), this stuff is still just as vibrant as it was when I first put it in. It’s a semi-permanent dye, which means it should wash out in a few weeks, but I’m surprised it hasn’t at least started to fade for me.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Vibrant color payoff
  • Easy application
  • No mixing required
  • No fading (within first week)

Cons:

  • Color is more blue-toned than what box shows
  • Color comes out much darker on bleached hair
  • Color doesn’t show up at all on my dark hair

In the end, I like my purple hair. It’s not quite the medium lavender I was hoping for, but regardless, I’m happy with what I got. It’s more exciting than the brunette I had before, and that’s all I was really looking to get out of it. I would definitely recommend it for the easy application and vibrant color payoff, but I would just be careful with how long you leave it on in lightened hair, and don’t expect to get the same color as the girl on the box unless your hair is naturally her hair color to begin with. As for lasting power, it’s only my first week with this color, but it hasn’t yet faded, which seems to be a good sign.

Have you tried the Clairol Color Crave Semi-Permenant Collection? Or any other kind of semi-permanent dye? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.