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 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.

Saturday Musings + Coffee – I’m A Potato

It’s rare that I have a day where I am as useless as this.

It started out very well, actually. I got up at 8AM, did some really good work for my job in the athletics communications department at school, and cleaned up my desk. I thought I was going to have a really productive day.

Then, I made a fatal mistake – I decided to go back to bed for a short “nap.” That short nap turned into a few hours, and I was in bed until 1:30.

Okay, not the worst, right? I could still salvage the day by focusing and getting some good work done in the remaining hours.

I didn’t, of course.

I did go for a run, write a blog, and write a bit in my planner, but it’s 6:30 now, and that’s all I’ve done. I have been about as hardworking today as a potato, and I am very much not proud of myself. I’m hoping I can turn things around a bit this evening and actually do some reading for my peace studies and history class, some laundry, and maybe my sketchbook assignments for drawing.

Or I could just go to bed early and pray that maybe tomorrow a wave of productivity hits me. Or if not a wave of productivity, at least some anxiety that class starts again tomorrow to force me to actually get some work done.

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 4, 2018 – Fly Eagles Fly (OOTD #219)

I never thought it would happen, but here we are – the Philadelphia Eagles have won their first Super Bowl!

I admit, I wasn’t following them very closely at the beginning of the season (I was more preoccupied with Notre Dame’s football performance), but by Thanksgiving, I was watching every game. It helps that by Thanksgiving, Notre Dame was pretty much out of the consideration for the playoffs so…I was able to focus more of my energy onto the Eagles.

Still, I never expected them to make it so far. I’ve seen them come close a couple of times, especially  when I was a younger kid, but every time, I’ve been disappointed. I remember a particularly heartbreaking playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals when I was about nine, causing me to question if, like my father, I could perhaps wait 50 years and never see them win to the Super Bowl.

But now that’s all changed – it’s 2018, Year of the Dog, and the underdog Eagles of just won Super Bowl 52, hopefully the first of many!

I watched the Super Bowl in the lounge of my dorm, which was a little less than ideal – it was noisy and crowded, the food wasn’t nearly as good as what my mother makes for football parties, and my family wasn’t there with me. I don’t know, I don’t get homesick much, but I would have really liked to have been at home with the people who fostered my love for the Eagles when the Super Bowl win finally happened.

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: Hollister

Leggings: Forever21

Jersey: NFL (thrifted)

February 3, 2018 – Rose Gold (OOTD #218)

I don’t believe I’ve ever shown my dorm room on here.

Well…tada! Here it is: plain white walls, some command hooks, a radiator, and that’s all.

No, of course, my room is significantly more decorated than that – we’ve got four people living in here together. This white wall is probably the emptiest and cleanest part of the entire quad.

These shots were done in the middle of middle of the night with my phone set up against a bean bag, much like I did with these shots in an empty art room when I was unable to find anyone to do pictures for me one day.

Why did I feel the need to do these pictures at such an odd hour? It all has to do with that little faint hint of pink color in my hair. That’s the result of the Clairol Color Crave Hair Makeup that was sent to me by Influenster to review.

So it was late at night on Friday, and I had the room to myself. After I finished my homework for the evening (well…my homework’s really never finished – I just eventually give up on it or pass out from exhaustion), I decided to get to work testing my product and writing my review.

I fixed my hair all nice and pretty, did my makeup, and took some selfies for my review. And then I thought – why stop there? Might as well get some OOTD photos out of this too. It’s not often that I take the time to make up my face, so when I do, I need photographic evidence to prove it actually happened, you know?

By now, it was pretty late at night – too late to reasonably ask someone to do my pictures for me. But thankfully, there was this beautifully plain white wall in my room, so I set up my phone camera and my Apple watch’s remote photo-taking features, and I had at it.

So that’s the story of the outfit I wore and photographed in the middle of the night just so that the makeup and hair look I had put together didn’t go to waste. Was it more effort than it was worth? …maybe. But at least I got a funny story to write about in this blog post.

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: Vintage (thrifted)

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT