Top 5 Most Instagramable Places in Miami

  1. Fountainebleau Hotel and LIV Nightclub

2. South Beach Miami

3. Dreamer Miami, Matcha/Acai Bowl/Juice Bar

4. Wynwood Walls

5. SLS Hotel, Hyde Beach

Honorable Mentions:  Versace Mansion, Nobu, and Mr. Jones Nightclub

You are what you wear so #LoveYourClothes

Whenever I watch a TED talk…BOOM! Inspiration hits me and out comes an article! Christina Dean is the founder of Redress. She cares so much about sustainability in the fashion industry that she was inspired to wear clothing picked out of a landfill for A YEAR. The outfits she found in dumpsters were perfectly good clothes, except for maybe a few spots. She found designer items that were in perfect shape, except for a missing button or a stain. So many things that are thrown away are repairable! She stresses the fact that landfills wouldn’t be so full of clothes if we loved our clothing more.

I thought, “How cool would it be to do what she did, but maybe just for a week and join the #LoveYourClothes movement?!” But then, I remembered that I did something like this once but with a much more special piece of clothing! In December, I volunteered at a wedding dress warehouse to sort through sample dresses that people could buy. Proceeds benefited Wish Upon a Wedding. WUAW is a nonprofit that gives terminally-ill brides the weddings of their dreams. I was overwhelmed at how many dresses there were in this full warehouse! My job was to sort through and literally THROW OUT gowns that would never sell because of rips or stains. At the end, we had dumpsters full of beautiful gowns. Us volunteers were heartbroken, so I decided to take home some of the gowns that I could still potentially get use out of. After looking at what I had taken, I realized that some of them were almost still perfectly fine. I wore one to a photoshoot, and might even wear it for my next pageant. It goes to show what putting a little TLC into your wardrobe can do. I included a photo of this dress that I brought back to life below!

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, after oil. Fast fashion stores like H&M, Forever 21, and others cycle new clothes into their stores every 1-2 weeks. It doesn’t add up. How are they constantly making so many new clothes for so cheap? Workers in Bangladesh and India probably aren’t getting paid fairly for the constant work they are doing in polluting garment factories. I surveyed my followers on Instagram, and 70% of them consistently shop at fast fashion stores instead of investing in higher quality pieces. Instead, shop in stores like Everlane and Madewell that openly share their supply chain transparency. These brands are sustainable and ethical. Make the switch! Stop buying poorly made clothes that you’ll trash after a few wears, and invest in yourself and your style.

If you want to learn more about sustainability and how you can be a smarter consumer, watch this TED talk Youtube video, or watch “The True Cost” documentary on Netflix. I encourage you to join the #LoveYourClothes movement and bring a garment back to life, like Christina and I did!

dsw wedding dress.JPG
Salvaged wedding dress, almost ending up in a landfill. Photo by DSW Photography

Headshot Photoshoot Tips

This article is for all of my pageant girls and aspiring models!
Photoshoots can be overwhelming because there is so much to think about, like outfits, hair/makeup, posing, photographers, and preparation. Here are a few of my tricks that I’ve learned throughout my years of modeling and pageantry to make sure you get the best shots possible!

My #1 tip: Have photos you want to recreate. If you are not experienced with posing, having a few images that you want to recreate will help immensely to create your “vision.” I always find photos of celebrities or models that I love, so I bring a similar outfit and pose the way they did in the photo! Works every time for me, and I am always satisfied with the image.

Practice posing often with a photographer or friend. I shoot often with my friend David of DSW Photo in Cleveland, and I’ve become so comfortable with posing because of the practice and seeing how I look in images. Learn your own style and learn how YOU work the camera!

Get a spray tan a few days before, and bring lotion so you don’t look dry or ashy in photos. Unless you have naturally darker skin, you should consider getting a spray tan or using self tanner before your shoot so you don’t look washed out in photos. Make sure you shower at least once before your shoot so you don’t look orange! Also, make sure your nails are done.

Bring LOTS of outfit options. You may discover that a certain outfit you planned doesn’t photograph well, so bring a backup! DO NOT wear small, detailed patterns in your photos. These will not show up well and are very distracting, especially for a headshot. Solid colors are the way to go. Also, bring appropriate jewelry options (sparkly earrings, hoops, studs, etc!).

Ask to look at a few of your photos during the shoot. Some photographers don’t like to reveal your photos right away, but they are YOUR photos that you are paying for. Make sure that you don’t have a stray hair in your face or something silly!

Ask to use natural lighting if possible. Trust me, studio lights are awesome, but natural light beats them every time!

Ask your photographer about how they retouch or edit images. Its personal preference: some people like lots of retouching, others do not want themselves edited at all. Some photographers charge extra for certain types of retouching which may include: smoothing out flaws, skin retouching, teeth whitening, and hair editing.

Have a mirror nearby to check up on your hair/makeup and outfit every so often. You sometimes can’t tell if something is out of place, but when a mistake shows up in your photos, you will be very upset! This has happened to all of us, guaranteed!

Finally, make sure that you are getting the photos you want, and you should feel comfortable with your photographer. Remember that YOU are paying for these photos (unless the photographer is using you as a model to build his/her portfolio), so you need to be happy with the final images. Read reviews of the photographer and look at their past work. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Safety tip: Make sure you are shooting somewhere safe, like a studio or in public, or else bring a friend/parent with you. Especially if you don’t know the photographer.

Below are some of my photos from past shoots. Photographers have very different styles, as you can see.

 

10 Brands to Recycle your Clothes at that Benefit YOU

In the fashion industry, the new hot topic is of course, sustainability, which means avoiding the depletion of our natural resources to maintained a balanced ecosystem. You would not believe the amount of water, fabric, energy, and other resources it takes to make clothes. Especially with fast fashion stores like Forever 21, Zara, and H&M, we are constantly throwing out and buying clothes we don’t need.

So instead of throwing out your clothes, the logical thing to do is donate them, right? Well, of course this takes a little extra effort. But what if I told you that donating your clothes can benefit YOU? Brands are trying very hard now to be more sustainable, so they are incentivizing customers to come recycle clothes in ANY CONDITION their stores.

H&M: Recycle any clothes/fabric, receive a 15% off coupon

MAC: Recycle any 6 MAC packaged makeup items, receive a free MAC lipstick

Eileen Fisher: Recycle any clothes, for every item, receive $5 reward card

Levis: Recycle any clothing or shoes,  receive 20% off any item

LUSH: Recycle any LUSH 5 packaging tubs, receive a free face mask

Madewell: Recycle an old pair of jeans, receive $20 off a new pair of jeans

Monki: Recycle any clothes/fabric, receive a voucher

Kiehls: Recycle any 10 full-size Kiehls container to receive 10 stamps, receive a free Kiehls travel item

The North Face: Recycle any clothes or shoes, receive a $10 off $100 or more coupon

& Other Stories: Recycle old beauty packaging and clothes, receive a 10% off purchase

So, keep a pile of recyclable clothes/fabric to bring shopping with you, and you will be rewarded! Cleaning your closet, saving money, and saving the environment all at the same time! Take advantage of these innovative programs!

Fall and Winter Style Guide: Shopping Local in Columbus

Charlene and Hanna (my style bff/blog sis) here! We wanted to get together to show you some of our favorite fall and winter trends this season. We shopped all around Columbus’s local boutiques to see what was trending for cooler weather.

Items from Columbus stores:
CHUNKY ARMADILLO @chunkyarmadillo *Texas Glam*

JOLIE OCCASIONS @jolieoccasions *Feminine Chic*

VAMP OFFICIAL @vamp.official *Edgy Monochromatic*

FABRIK @fabrikeaston *Classic Luxury*


CHARLENE’S LOOK:

  • Velvet Overalls Jumpsuit: Forever 21
  • Bell Sleeve Layered Shirt: VAMP Official

HANNA’S LOOK:

  • Leather Pants and Gray Suede Jacket: Fabrik
  • Red Top: Madewell

CHARLENE’S LOOK:

  • Floral Cold Shoulder Top: Jolie’s Occasions
  • Ruffled Black Crop Jeans: Anthropologie
  • Leather Jacket with Shoulder Pads: Forever Unique

HANNA’S LOOK:

  • Burnt Orange Skirt and White Sweater with Pearled Sleeves: Fabrik

CHARLENE’S LOOK:

  • White Fur Coat, Hustle Tee, and Sequin Ombre Pants: Chunky Armadillo

HANNA’S LOOK:

  • Fur Coat: Anthropologie
  • Black Dress: Jolie Occasions
  • Belt: Gucci

Check out more of our style! Follow Hanna (@runwayandrosefashion) and I (@firstaidphysique and @charlene_westfall) on Instagram.

All photos by David Wingate of DSW Photography

 

Eating Disorder Awareness and Education

Today in my graduate class with Dr. Nancy Rudd, we discussed the risk of eating disorders and how to gain perspective. Most people know very basic facts about eating disorders, but I wanted to share even more that I learned that really opened my eyes and allowed me to gain more empathy for those with an ED.

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses associated with life threatening medical and psychiatric issues that can affect anyone, even children. The youngest person diagnosed with an ED was a 2 year old child. People with anorexia experience the highest fatality rates. But, over 60% of eating disorders are classified as EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) in a clinical setting. This means that behaviors do not fit a specific disorder. Some extreme behaviors that we discussed were mind-boggling, but very real. Eating cotton balls, cosmetics, and hair so as not to consume calories was one of them. Our professor even helped find treatment for a 14 year old girl (5’2″) that was down to 60 pounds, ate one apple, and did 200 stair climbs per day.

The highest risk sports for developing an eating disorder are gymnastics and swimming for women, and wrestling and gymnastics for men. Among others at risk sports are ballet, ice skating, cross-country, and track and field. But, one does not have to be underweight nor an athlete to be suffering from a life-threatening eating disorders.

A problem of treatment providers when treating patients with an ED is that they don’t know what to treat first. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa include the “nervosa” component in the name because it suggests an obsessive compulsive behavior associated with the eating and exercising practices. So, does a treatment provider treat the malnourishment first? Or the obsessive behavior, or the depression and anxiety? I never even knew that all these destructive behaviors were a part of an eating disorder.

In summary, ALL eating disorders are dangerous. There is also no “look” to an ED. Check out NEDA for more information or call the help hotline at 800-931-2237.

Top 10 Most Beautiful Lipstick Tubes

This is my list of the top ten most visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing fancy lipstick tubes/packaging. I love having gorgeous makeup…it makes it so much more fun and glamorous! They are arranged from most to least expensive! Happy scrolling!

Christian Louboutin Lip Color

Luxurious, high class, $90

christianlouboutin-tutulle-8052200_X700_1_1200x1200_1511952152.jpg

History of Whoo Luxury Lipstick

Enchanted, glamorous, $35

whoo.jpg

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Tint-In-Balm 

Elegant, customized, $34

yves.jpg

Anna Sui Lipstick V: Vivid Star

Bold, structured, $30

anna.jpg

Anna Sui Lipstick S: Sheer Flower

Artistic, romantic, $30

anna sui.jpg

Pretty Vulgar Bury Them with a Smile Lipstick

Floral, feminine, $24

pretty vulgar.jpg

TOO FACED La Crème Mystical Effects Lipstick

Lively, playful, $22

unicorn tears.jpg

Besame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick

Vintage, classic, $22

besame.jpg

Winky Lux Flower Balm

Whimsical, fresh, $14

winku.jpg

Sephora #Lipstories Lipstick

Personal, nostalgic, $8

sephora.jpg