Here are 8 crucial elements I’ve discovered for developing a strong personal brand.
1. Take High-Quality HeadshotsHaving a professional portrait will help you stand out online, especially on social media. I find it beneficial to use the same picture across all online profiles, so anyone who’s looking can see that all accounts belong to the same person.
2. Create Deliberate Desk SpaceThe way your office looks says a lot about you. Decorating your desk with baskets, pencil cups, and coffee table books that you love will help you stand out, even if you work at home.
3. Establish a Meaningful Mantra
Most companies have a tagline or a motto that summarizes what they do or what they believe. Try the same thing for yourself. It can be a bible verse, a favorite quote, or even just a saying that you relate to. My mantra is “A Well-Designed Life."
4. Use Consistent Colors
You may have a few favorite colors. Or you may have certain color schemes that you prefer more than others (warm/cool, saturated/unsaturated). These are your brand colors. Wear them, decorate with them, and find other creative ways to bring these colors into your life.
5. Make a Working Wardrobe
For anyone who sees you regularly, what you wear is one of the biggest parts of your personal brand. You don’t have to put on heels if that’s not your style, but taking some time to evaluate what you wear and why will help you dress for each day with confidence.
6. Develop a Signature Style
Your personal brand should have your personal touch. Evaluate your handwriting and your signature and make sure they represent the kind of person you want to be. Bonus points if you have a favorite pen or writing tool.
7. Find Mindful Mentors
If there’s someone who embodies the kind of personal brand you’d like to have, connect with them. Observe how they behave online and in-person and adopt those strategies yourself.
8. Start Seeking to Share
How will anybody know who you are if you don’t tell them? When you see something online or in real life that embodies your brand, share it with your friends and followers. They will appreciate the insight, and they may even start sharing similar things with you!
I love these pictures because they feel like "me!"
I think it’s important to note that it’s very important for me to have a makeup look that is:
- Professional (classy and age-appropriate)
- Simple (minimal layers on my face)
- Affordable (shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg)
- Easy (sometimes I do my makeup in the car)
Step 1: MoisturizeI always start with a clean face. I use “Dermasil Daily Retinol Lotion” as a moisturizer and it’s only $1 from the Dollar Tree! I’m telling you, this stuff is MAGIC. It tightens your pores and leaves your skin feeling soft without any shine or grease.
Step 2: FoundationI use L’Oreal True Match Lumi foundation in the shade Cool C3. I have tried literally almost every foundation in the world and right now this one is my favorite. To me, it’s more important to have a foundation that matches my skin and has a natural, smooth finish, than to have a foundation that covers ALL my blemishes and lasts all day. I also have pretty clear skin right now so that makes a big difference in what I want to use. I apply my foundation with a Real Techniques Expert Face brush.
Step 3: PowderI set my foundation with Coty Airspun Loose Powder using the Real Techniques setting brush. I only set it underneath my eyes and around my t-zone, otherwise my makeup starts looking cakey.
Step 4: BlushI switch off using the Pixi blush from Target and the Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. I apply it using a Real Techniques blending brush and I start from the edge of my cheekbones and blend in. The Pixi blush is a little more pink and the Milani blush is a little more coral and pigmented. I try to keep my blush really minimal because some days I feel like I go to work looking like a clown, and nobody likes that!
Step 5: EyebrowsI use the Maybelline “Brow Precise” pencil in soft brown for my eyebrows. I just fill in the spots that are a little sparse and then brush through it. I don’t like really harsh or dramatic brows, I just try to fill in the brows that I already have.
STEP 6: MASCARA
I wear the L’Oreal Million Lashes mascara in black. I put on pretty thick mascara on my top lashes and a very very thin layer on my bottom lashes. When I need to look good all day, I’ll wear the waterproof version and it stays on all day. (It actually would stay on forever if I didn’t take it off, that stuff is super long-lasting).
Step 7: LipsI have A LOT of lip products that I love. I feel like sometimes my lips look really product-heavy, so I’m trying to simplify in that area. Most days, I wear Maybelline Baby Lips in “Pink Glow.” This is a lip balm that changes color depending on the Ph balance in your lips, so it always matches your skin perfectly. I love it!
|This beautiful nursery is from www.lynzyandco.com!|
I have a really small room to work with, so there won’t be much there besides the crib and a rocker, but I still want to make it a soothing space for the baby. I’m sticking to a gray and white color scheme, with soft navy blue as an accent. I’d love to choose an “animal” that I could get as a stuffed animal or a mobile, kind of as a subtle theme, but I haven’t found the perfect animal yet. To be honest, it’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be to find things that I like. Baby stuff is all so multi-colored and ugly! #firstworldproblems. Hahaha I’ll have to share a picture of the nursery when it’s all finalized!
Links to all the items on my inspiration board are below. Everything is from Ikea, Target, and TJ Maxx, so it’s all pretty affordable.
One thing I didn’t include on this inspiration board that I would love to find is a vintage rocking horse. I found one that I LOVE from Restoration Hardware, but it was like $600. No thank you!
I can’t wait to meet this baby in just a few months!
I’ve been on a major organization kick lately. I made a goal to improve my physical environment this year, and to me that meant cleaning and organizing literally everything. It’s been a huge project because (a) I’m already pretty organized and (b) because I have REALLY limited space and A LOT of stuff. So with that introduction, here’s a list of all the things I organized in 2017!
Our bathroom is teeny tiny with absolutely no storage. We don’t even have space around the sink to balance my hair straightener. I have to put it on the toilet seat while I do my hair. My goal was to organize everything without making it hard to access anything.
I bought these white baskets from Target that fit perfectly on the shelf above the toilet. There’s a big one beneath the sink for toilet paper, but I forgot to get a picture of it.
I found a cute hack on Pinterest for storing my makeup brushes. You put rocks in the bottom of a jar so that the brushes stand up on their own. It has actually helped a lot!
Next . . . UNDER THE SINK
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw me organize this space in real time. It was a little overwhelming because there was SOOOOO much stuff, but I found an awesome tutorial that inspired me to get started. I bought the silver stands/baskets from Amazon and I think they were worth every penny! I love how neat and clean everything is.
In my dream world, all of these cleaning supplies would be color-coordinated, like the tutorial. Haha my husband tells me I’m a nut, but I don’t mind!
Can I just say that cleaning out the fridge is so gross? I feel like I’ve been pretty good about wiping it down every once in a while, but it was still filthy!
I used the same baskets from Target (I’m kind of obsessed, if you couldn’t tell) and I tried to keep it simple. There’s one for cans and leftovers, one for produce, one for cheese and bread, and one for miscellaneous items.
I haven’t figured out what to put in the actual produce drawers. We were kind of low on food when I did this, which honestly made it a lot easier to organize!
I don’t know what to call this project. We have a built-in bookshelf in our living room with open space underneath that I use for storing big stuff. I have one bin for Christmas decorations, one for sheets and linens, one for extra bags/luggage, and one for creative tools, like my laminator and glue gun.
I cleaned out every bin, threw stuff away, and reorganized everything to fit better.
Along with these bins, I organized the bin (I refuse to call them tupperwares) with all my harp music. Which led me to organizing . . .
Dun dun dun! This was the most difficult organization task BY FAR. I had binders and books and random copies of music all over the place. They were organized at one time in my life, but not now. Nothing was labeled correctly, all of the sheet protectors were falling apart, it was terrible.
I took everything out, recorded the song titles, composers, and parts (solo, duet, what instruments, etc) and then put them in fresh, new sheet protectors in alphabetical order. I’m honestly so proud of this. I have one binder with Christmas music, and one binder of everything else. Everything is labeled and I have a massive table of contents so I know exactly what each binder contains.
If you have a lot of music, I highly recommend doing this! It has made me eager to practice again and it also helped me feel accomplished because I have so many beautiful songs in my repertoire.
Well, there you have it, folks! Everything I have organized (so far) in 2017. Because I’ve tried to tackle one project every weekend, I feel like my house has stayed a lot cleaner and feels more open and inviting. Here’s what’s left for me to do:
- Under the bed
- The cupboards
- Shelf in the closet
I feel like organizing those spaces won’t be too bad because they’re not food/bathroom areas. I’m excited to see how happy and organized my apartment feels after going through everything and making it new again!
Thanks for reading,
Hi. It’s me again.
I’ve been taking a blogging break. Actually, let’s call it a blogging sabbatical. (I think I always planned on coming back.)
When I started “blogging” in 2014, I did it as a way to showcase my design skills and demonstrate my industry knowledge. I thought it gave me more credibility when I met with recruiters in college. Maybe it did. But I quickly got bored. There are sooooo many design bloggers out there with tips on DIY logo design and squarespace hacks and I just didn’t feel like I had much to offer in the way of entrepreneurial design/freelance work. But I HAVE been feeling the desire to blog again. I work full-time so I won’t have a consistent writing schedule, but I just really enjoy coming up with ideas and crafting a blog post and designing images to go along with it. I’m not as interested in sharing my thoughts regarding design, although I’m sure that will come up from time to time.
From now on, my blog posts will fall under the creative/lifestyle category. I won’t share anything REALLY personal because I want to protect my privacy and the privacy of my family, but I’ll share things that I care about and (hopefully) give you a glimpse into my life.
Some of the things I want to tell you about:
- My incredible job at The Younique Foundation
- Decorating my apartment
- My goals and what I’m doing to reach them
- How I’m finding my creative style/voice
- Getting back into exercising after sitting on my butt for literally 5 years
- My hair journey (get excited for this)
- Trying to live a more inspired life physically, mentally, spiritually, etc.
- Tackling my email inbox
- Setting boundaries on social media
- Learning to watercolor and feeling like a real artist!
- My curated Instagram account
- Waking up early and taking responsibility for my life
- Trying to do less boring stuff and do more fun stuff in 2017
Just writing out that list made me so excited! I’ve been learning so many new things and finding my voice and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Thanks for reading,
In the spirit of honest media, I thought I would share with you some of the home/beauty/lifestyle products I absolutely LOVE. Most of the time, when you buy a brand name product, you’re paying twice as much for just that--the name. However, there are some brands that I think are truly worth the cost. Nobody is paying me to advertise these products (although they really should because I’m so passionate about them), I just wanted to share my honest opinions with you!
Downy Unstoppables Scent Booster
There’s a lot of housekeeping products I really like but my favorite by far is Downy Unstoppables. You throw them in your washing machine and they make your laundry smell SO GOOD. The blue kind is my favorite, it’s that standard Tide/clean laundry smell.
($4.99 at Smith’s)
Tul Fine Ballpoint Pens
I am kind of a pen snob. I don’t care about having the fanciest, best-looking pen, but I want one that’s really black and doesn’t smear or stop. Lots of people swear by the Pilot G2 Gel Pen, but I have had terrible luck with those. These Tul pens write on every surface and they never get glitchy. I never have to write over something just because the pen stopped working. I bought pack of twelve pens 6 months ago and so far I have only used up 2.
($18.99 for a pack of 12 at Office Depot)
Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder Foundation
I have the OILIEST skin ever. No matter what I do, my skin is extremely shiny at the end of the day. I have used this powder for years and I love it because it matches my skin perfectly, it smells good, and it keeps my skin matte without feeling cakey. I dust it on my face with a big brush very lightly after putting on my liquid foundation and it looks great! Unfortunately, even with this awesome powder, my skin starts looking oily again after 10 hours or so. C’est la vie.
($11.99 at Target)
Biore Acne Clearing Scrub
This is another product I have been using for a long time. I use it to wash my face both morning and night and it makes me feel so clean! I used to have really terrible acne and I feel like this helped clear up my skin without drying it out.
($7.99 at Smith’s)
Carmex Hydrating Lotion
If you like Carmex chapstick, you’ll LOVE this lotion. I hate having dry hands but I hate greasy, slimy hands even more and this lotion is the solution. It smells amazing (it smells just like Carmex) and it makes your hands so soft! I also have really sensitive skin on my legs and I frequently get razor burn when I shave, and this lotion doesn’t irritate me at all. The only downside is it can be impossible to find. Amazon carries it but I’ve been able to find it cheaper at stores.
($5.99 at Harmons)
This is a product many of you are probably familiar with, but I thought I would share it anyway. Whenever I wake up with a throat full of sandpaper, I take a packet of EmergenC with me to work and the relief is almost instantaneous. I like the raspberry flavor the best, but they’re all good!
($8.99 at Smith’s)
22 oz. Insulated Cup with Straw
I know this is a strange thing to include on this list because it’s not a particular brand, but I drink 5X more water when I have a cute cup with a straw. I have purchased these cups from Hobby Lobby in the past, but I know there’s lots of different options on Etsy, too. There’s just something so fun out of drinking out of a cute cup!!!
($5.99 at Hobby Lobby)
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I read this book at a very difficult time in my life and it has profoundly impacted the way I understand myself. I love Gilbert’s style of writing and the way she explains abstract ideas of art, beauty, guilt, and depression. I think every girl should read this when she lives on her own for the first time.
($9.99 on Amazon)
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Here’s another book I think everyone should read. Carnegie addresses very fundamental principles of human interaction including making conversation, avoiding arguments, and being polite. This book is really popular for good reason. It’s fun and easy to read and totally inspiring.
($8.99 on Amazon)
Monogram It! App
I know that most people don’t care about making cute background for their iPhone, but to me it is an art, and I take it very seriously. This app has all the patterns, colors, and typefaces available to make the perfect wallpaper. It’s also very easy to use, which is important to me.
($1.99 on iTunes)
There’s several other products and brands I could rave about, but these are the ones I feel most strongly about. I love finding products that are worth the price and I want to do a better job of sharing reviews with my audience.
Thanks for reading!
If there's anyone reading this who still hasn't taken my survey, please do so now! I will be answering questions and sharing insights from that form next month.