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To sleep,
perchance to dream --

Sometimes, I have a hard time feeling like I need to be all these things - youthful, pretty, soft, small. While taking photos the other day, I was trying to project all of that: but after looking at the photos I wanted to cry. I began hyper focusing on the lines under my eyes, how tired I looked, how my body looked.

So I decided to hell with it - I put my hair up, smoked out my cried off eye makeup, and started taking portraits - only this time, instead of worrying about looking pretty, I decided to try to look annoyed, confident, bored, smug… Slowly, I realized I was trying to emulate a bit of a Shakespearean hero - think Romeo’s bravado or Hamlet’s weariness.






Looking at these photos, I definitely didn’t want to cry. I still saw the eye bags, all the flaws I hyper fixate on - but I also saw somebody who was confident not in spite of, but because of - and it made all the difference ♥️

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So excited to share my hair transformation using evo Hair with you all! Wanting to try something new, I went for a rich, cool toned pink using a custom mix of their Staino professional customizable direct dyes in Fuchsia, Flame, and Clear (my friend Dori says it looks like raspberry sorbet)! I also wanted to get you guys involved in the fun, so I’m giving away evo Hair’s Fabuloso, their color boosting treatment over on my instagram! Have you ever colored your hair a bright color before?

This post is made in collaboration with evo Hair. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Mermaidens possible!

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After years of trial and error, I finally feel like I'm getting the hang of caring for my skin! Researching my skin type and really paying attention to what my skin likes has been a long, but ultimately rewarding, journey - and I wanted to share with you some of my holy grail skincare products!


PJs: Missguided (sold out, similar)

Kocostar Sheet Masks *
I have always loved sheet masks but didn't notice a big difference between them - until I tried Kocostar's Sheet Masks! Their masks leave my skin feeling ultra hydrated, and are offered in a wide variety for varying skin concerns. Not only that, I'm in love with their "slice" concept - they've divided up the mask into 12 mini shaped "sheets" drenched in essence - think 12 mini strawberries or sunflowers - and you can place them wherever you want - face or body! I love that this helps you target moisture where you really need it, and not in your hair...!

Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen
Arguably one of the most important but often overlooked skincare products, sunscreen has never been fun for my skin with it's oily tendencies...! I've been searching high and low for a sunscreen that doesn't make my forehead feel like an oil slick: enter Biore's Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen! After being recommended the product many times when asking for product recommendations, it more then lived up to the hype! It has a really nice thin consistency that melts into the skin well, and a scent that I find to be rather pleasant.

Pixi Double Cleanse *
Again, as an oily-combo skin gal, my first instinct with oil cleansers is to cringe - but I am equally smitten with both the cream and oil cleanser in this set from Pixi! Formulated by skincare maven Caroline Hirons, these cleansers don't leave my skin feeling striped of moisture but still manages to leave my face squeaky clean. I don't feel right without double cleansing after wearing a full face of makeup now...

Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream *
I am throughly impressed with this moisturizer from Too Cool For School - I instantly fell in love with it's milky consistency that my skin absolutely drinks up. It has an almost sticky texture that creates a flawless base for foundation to stick to!

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Being somebody heavily associated with mermaids, I thought it would be fun if we tested out mermaid themed beauty products together! I did a video on Youtube testing these products, but for those of you who prefer to read blog posts, I also wrote down my thoughts below! Are you sick of the mermaid trend yet? I'm still fond of it because I love a good kitschy theme, but can definitely understand the fatigue! Also, please let me know if you'd like me to do more posts like this ♡

TonyMoly I'm Real Pearl Luminating Sheet Mask
To start, I wanted to test out a product that, when looking at it, said "what would a mermaid use?" instead of screaming "MERMAID! METALLIC! GREEN LIPSTICK!" - if that makes sense! Enter, the TonyMoly pearl themed sheet mask. I feel like sheet masks are such a great way to self indulge, and this one is so cute!

3CE Baby Glow Cushion Foundation
Cushion foundations are usually my favorite formulas, so when I spotted this one with a pink shell compact, I needed to try it! Sold by 3 Concept Eyes (the in house beauty line for the clothing brand Style Nanda), who I've been itching to try since I'm always so impressed with their beauty campaigns. Sadly, this foundation missed the mark for me! First, the pros! I did like the coverage (initially) and inclusion of SPF in the formula. And that case is truly darling - said to be inspired by 90s toys, I was very impressed with the shell design. But at $30, this is a bit of a pricey foundation, and I noticed it emphasizing texture around my nose. Not to mention, this foundation is only available in two shades - which doesn't even begin to cover the beautiful variety of skin tones people have! Overall, even though it's adorable, I don't see myself reaching for it very often. I hope to try out more 3CE products in the future, because I'm still very eager to try what else they have to offer as a brand!

Milk Makeup Eye Pigment in Mermaid Parade *
I am constantly impressed with Milk Makeup's fresh and fun take on beauty - and this eye pigment was no exception! I love cream eyeshadows but rarely do they met my expectations when it comes to pigmentation and longevity - which was absolutely not the case with this shadow. A little goes a long way with this hyper pigmented product - and it's so easy to create a striking look (see, this gorgeous look from Sophia Roe)! That said, this product dries down quickly, so be sure to work fast! I was a bit slow, and it made applying eyeliner over the product a bit difficult - but overall, I'm a big fan.


Colourpop Mermaid Glow Face Duo *
Sadly, this face duo is no longer available - but it was the only mermaid themed blush I had on hand or could find! I only used the blush for this look, and was really into how the diffused warm pink blush translated on my skin. If you are interested in finding a look-a-like that is still readily available, Temptalia has a great dupe feature on her site!

e.l.f. Prismatic Highlighting Duo in Mermaid Tail *
e.l.f. has been really impressing me with their releases lately! I really love the concept of these highlighting duos - and if you wet these you can get a super metallic, beautiful highlight!

I Heart Revolution Mermaid's Heart Highlighter *
I'm so smitten with these themed heart highlighters from I Heart Revolution! I really love this color combination for their Mermaid Heart - and the gold I used for this look as a highlighter was a beaut.

Mermaid Wishlist
Of course, this barely scratches the surface when it comes to mermaid beauty - so here's a few products I've had my eye on!

Too Faced Magic Crystal Lip Topper in Mermaid Tears
Ciate London Mermaid Glow Highlighter
Almay Make Them Jelly Hi-Lite in Mermaid Magic

Have you tried any of these products? (Ps, I didn't use any mermaid themed lip products because the majority of the ones I could find leaned green, blue, or metallic - and I felt it would compete too much with the rest of the look! Please let me know if you want a part two and me to try out some mermaid lips products next ♡)

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NECKLACE: Forever 21 (sold out, similar) DRESS: Evewear *
PURSE: Amazon SUNGLASSES: Amazon

Spring has almost sprung! Flowers are blooming, and I feel like everybody is shaking off the cold winter and blooming again with them. Spring speaks deeply to my personal style - seeing my feed coming back to life with pastels, florals, fruit print, gingham (oh my!) - makes my heart so full! Here is a catalog of some of my favorite spring trends to get you ready for the new season!




First, I want to talk about this dreamy Evewear dress! It's ticking all the boxes for me to be my stand out Spring piece: a squared neckline and cherry print are at the top of my "favorite spring trends" list. And the little details, including darling buttons, deadstock fabric, and the most darling ruffles at the wrists make me swoon! I paired the dreamy piece with a dainty necklace, red novelty purse, and white sunglasses!

Cherries

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Milkmaid Blouses

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Hair Bows

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Gingham

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Pearls

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There is nothing quite as satisfying as emerging from your local thrift store after digging for hours, clutching your hidden gems closely! Since I've been thrifting for as long as I can remember, I wanted to share an updated guide on how to thrift like a pro! Huge thank you to Courtney for these pictures ♡

Visit All the Thrift Stores in Your Area
And go often! Over time, you will get an idea of where has the best prices, best pieces, and when the best times of day to thrift are for each store! Don't get discouraged if you don't find anything good at first - the more you go, the better thrifter you'll become. The Thrift Shopper is an amazing directory that lists thrift stores in your area.

Flex Those diy Skills
Sometimes, you'll find a piece with a hideous cut, but gorgeous fabric - this is the perfect opportunity to flex your DIY skills! You can repurpose it into a skirt, fabric hair bow - even a backdrop for photos. Found a boring but sweet dress? You can use fabric paint and/or fabric dye to spice it up. The possibilities are endless!


Go With a Friend
Some of my favorite hangouts with friends are the ones where we thrifted together! It's fun to get each other's perspective on potential purchases, as well as finding pieces for each other.



Learn Your Fabrics
With a bit of knowledge on how certain fabrics look and feel, you'll know to snap it up when you stumble upon a skirt made with expensive fabric that's a steal for $4!

Go Through Everything
The beauty of thrifting is you never know what you'll find! When thrifting, I try to comb through everything - even the men's and children sections! Some of my holy grail pieces were found in the "wrong" section.
Don't Forget the Hand Sanitizer...
I'm a bit of a germaphobe, so this is a big one for me - don't forget to thoroughly sanitize any find you take home as well!

What was your most cherished thrifted find?


Photos by Courtney

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Happy New Year's Eve! Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I hope your 2019 is filled with love, light, and happiness ♡ I wanted to say goodbye to 2018 with a conceptual shoot I'm actually really proud of! Sometimes I feel like there is a thin veil between myself and others — ever present and isolating. Having a hard time expressing myself, occasionally I'll feel like a ghost: always watching, never participating. I wanted to explore these emotions in a shoot, and immediately thought of using veils to literally and figuratively show feeling obscured. I also took inspiration from Victorian era† ghosts — think spirits shrouded by lace and dust — one of my favorite motifs to explore in media.

I shot these on a cold September evening with the very last rays of golden light to spotlight how the veils cast shadows on the face. Shooting these photos felt like a beautiful marriage of many of my favorite concepts and designers which that have been swirling around in my head for months: Meadham Kirchhoff, old favorite Victorian era ghost stories, and past shoots I've done with Hana Haley all served as inspiration.

This dreamy vintage Gunne Sax dress I found at House of Vintage was a perfect match for this shoot. The brand’s use of high necks, puff sleeves, and delicate frills were all borrowed motifs from Victorian fashion trends! The makeup was directly inspired by Rodarte's stunning Spring/Summer 2019 Ready-To-Wear Collection that featured Robin's Egg blue eyes, matte skin, and a deep true red matte lip *.

Here's to 2019!

† A time period heavily associated with ghosts.
* Due to the golden light, the tones of my makeup appear different then they did in person!











Face:
Photo Finish Primerizer - Smashbox *
Dream Cushion Foundation - Maybelline
Concealer - Urban Decay *
Ravishing Rose Blush - Revlon *
Quick Fix Powder Translucent - Pixi *
Ultra HD Loose Powder - Make Up For Ever *
Cherry All Nighter Setting Spray - Urban Decay *

Eyes:
Step One - Primers
24 Hour Shadow Primer - Smashbox *
Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk - NYX Cosmetics

Step Two - Shadows & Mascara
Tako - Sugarpill *
Home Sweet Home - Sugarpill *
Kim Chi - Sugarpill *
Monsieur Big Mascara - Lancome *

Lip:
Boldly Bare - MAC Lip Pencil *
Ruby Woo - MAC Lipstick

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I'm Wearing... Miss Patina blouse *, ModCloth pinafore *

I have spent the majority of my life feeling inarticulate and not particularly good enough at anything. It was only through blogging that I finally started to feel like maybe I was *good* at something. But if I am, it has only been through making a conscious, dedicated effort to get “good” at things every single day - like taking photos, conceptualizing shoots, writing, editing, etc. And it didn’t just fall into my lap. It has been a culmination of everything I had loved, felt, and was touched by for years. These feelings were always teeming in me - I had to release them. To do these things justice I had to get better at whatever medium I could express them in.

This October, I find myself sitting on a chair and looking into a small crowd of college students. My voice is shaky and cracking a lot, but I’m addressing their questions and making eye contact. I’ve been asked to speak on my experience with fashion marketing for Lena Cavusoglu’s Marketing Management class at Portland State University.

I was scared to death, I made many mistakes. But I knew I had to do this. And afterward, even though I replayed my mistakes in my mind and cringed, students still shook my hand and thanked me for my time, and Lena said she’d love to have me back. With adrenaline coursing through my veins, I smiled back at her and said I would love to. After all, I know how to do better next time. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams ♡

Photos taken at Burgerville after the talk - I needed french fries after that haha!

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In the past four years, I have attempted to put into words how much Hana Haley means to me many times. We meet at a critical, painful point in my life, and she represented the first time I ever worked with a professional photographer. Not knowing what to expect at all, I was practically trembling when I knocked on her door. But the second I met Hana, all my fears melted - she makes you feel like you are the entire universe when you are around her. Hilarious, protective, and radiating light - I see how people are drawn to her everywhere we go.

After doing a shoot every couple months together for around two years, life forced us to take a break that stretched out to three years. This summer, we were finally reunited. After spotting each other in a parking lot, I ran to be enveloped in a familiar hug - it was like no time had passed at all. On both an artistic and personal stand point, I feel like we click together perfectly - like a friendship heart necklace put back together. Originally planning on just catching up over coffee, we did an impromptu shoot that included location hopping, rose garden smelling, eating fries, changing dresses in the backseat, and taking photos in the Photo Booth. All the while, speaking a mile a minute - that night, my voice was raspy from talking (and laughing, and smiling...) so much!

At the end of the day Hana dropped me back home. Clinging to each other, we swore it was not going to be three more years until we see each other again. "I can't even be sad today is over, I'm so grateful it happened at all," I said before letting go. ☆











OUTFIT ONE:
COAT: Jakke * WAITRESS COSTUME: Hot Topic

OUTFIT TWO:
COAT: Miss Patina * DRESS: ASOS

OUTFIT THREE:
BLOUSE: Forever 21 SKIRT: Amazon then I painted cherries on it PURSE: Amazon

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