I teamed up with one of my college besties/roommate's boyfriend to SURPRISE her with a birthday weekend with me in D.C. It was SO fun! (Watch the video below to hear the LAME lie I made up on the spot when I told her she was coming here, like, 5 hours before her flight!)
We made this vlog for you to see the FUN of winter in this city, how ridiculously goofy we are, and the power of girlfriends in your life. (Did you know that if you stay friends for 7 years, you'll be freinds for life?!) Or you can watch this vlog to see me almost fall on my face while ice skating in from of the National Archives (AKA - where the Declaration of Independence lives!). Enjoy!
SHOP MY LOOK
- Backpack/Camera Bag: http://bit.ly/2Cip3de
- My Vlogging Camera: https://rstyle.me/n/cwwhi6cegdp
- Faux Fur Scarf: https://rstyle.me/n/cwt3yacegdp
- Faux Fur Headphone Ear Muffs: https://rstyle.me/n/cwt3yucegdp
- Blue Beret: https://rstyle.me/~agioW
- Destiny's Earrings from my company: http://bit.ly/2iUi1PJ
Elisabeth's Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/elisabethhui...
Elisabeth's Blog - http://www.elisabethhuijskens.com
Destiny's Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/destinystrav...
Destiny's Blog - http://www.thetravelersnotes.com
LIST OF PLACES WE WENT IN D.C.:
- Two Birds, One Stone
- Ted's Bulletin
- Founding Farmers
- Medium Rare
- Boulangerie Christophe
- The National Mall
- The National Archives (Declaration of Independence)
- The National Sculpture Garden + Ice Rink
- The Washington Monument
- The Lincoln Memorial
Photos by Corbin LeGrand
This post has been sponsored by PMD Beauty. Thank you for empowering me to work with brands I believe in for their product and their social mission and to keep my blog running. All opinions are my own.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of confidence is Dove’s Love Your Body campaign from the early 2000s. I thought it was brilliant and wrote a 40-page essay about it in my junior year of college.
But out of bravely starting conversations about female confidence, a dangerous byproduct has evolved: the notion that women are hopelessly depleted of any self-esteem. I once read the hilarious and relatable Mindy Kaling say...
“A general assumption about confidence is that women, particularly young women, will have very little of it, and girls will have zero of it.”
This posture of pity towards women any time the word “confidence” comes up makes me sad. As girls are coming out of the womb we label them with “no confidence,” and as if they’re defective, we run around frantic: “How are we going to save our girls and teach them to be confident?!”
Are women broken today with a lack of confidence? Yes. But the girls aren’t the problem. They aren’t born broken. Someone tells them a story along the way that they shouldn’t be anything but entitled to being brilliantly confident.
I get concerned that girls hearing about how difficult it is to be confident subliminally tells them that it will be very hard for them to be able to do it. This ironically, strips them of their confidence and sets them up to fail before they even start trying.
Being a woman is not a disease that needs to be treated for confidence.
I’m not going to tell girls (or women) that it’s super hard to love yourself and walk in confidence. Those who know me would claim that’s easy for me to say that as I am very confident today. But what they don’t know is that it has been a long journey. I vividly remember one afternoon when I was 13 crying, yelling that I was never going to have children because I didn’t want to pass down my “ugly” (my acne) to my daughter. I didn’t want her to feel the weight I was feeling.
At 13, I had read the books about loving myself, heard the sermons, grew up loved, and knew I wasn’t alone in lacking confidence. But I was told the media had wronged me, and I felt that pain.
But I wish someone had told me to pull it together, and that I wasn’t a victim to what the media said. I wasn’t a hostage to my peers’ words towards me. I wasn’t chained by the lies I heard in the back of my mind. I had a choice. At 13, learning confidence, I wish I heard less about looking within and more about 3 three things: working hard, being entitled, and creating a you that you could live with forever.
Don’t stop until you’re proud.
Work stinking hard. I continually ask myself throughout the day, “Am I proud of how this morning went?” “If I stopped working now, would I be proud of myself?” And I always listen to the voice inside. On days I feel energized or things are down to the wire, I push even harder. But sometimes life pushes US around, and it’s okay to be gentle. I still work hard, but while listening to my wellbeing. Either way, I work until I feel accomplished, like I went the extra mile, and can lay in bed that night proud of how the day went. This fosters confidence because I know I gave my best.
It’s okay to feel entitled to your right to be confident. You deserve to be honest about who you are and what you like about yourself simply because your heart is beating in your chest. There are things you need to earn: raises at work, vulnerability from others, wisdom from experiences. But you’re entitled to a feeling of confidence in yourself.
“I just realized I’m stuck with me my entire life.”
One time, I got dumped because he just didn’t like me anymore. And I realized, “huh, I can’t do that with myself. If I decide one day I don’t like me, I’m stuck with me. I can’t run away.” That’s when I decided, I will always foster Elisabeth to set ME up to like her. That means working hard, not changing just to make someone else like me, and developing parts of me that I anticipate not liking one day. People will come and go, but I will always have me. I will be the one that is for sure there on nights when things feel hopeless. I will for sure be there when I feel like a failure. I will for sure be there for every mountain top and valley. And because I will always be there for me through everything, I make sure I like the person I am. I believe everyone deserves to take opportunities to make them more the person they want to be: whether that’s personality characteristics, ambition towards accomplishments, or the physical aspects of themselves.
I discovered PMD Beauty through the hashtag #BrilliantConfidence.
And when I realized that their Personal Microdermabrasion could help me heal my scares from the acne 13-year-old Elisabeth cried over, I knew I had to try it out.
For those who had no idea what microderm was before PMD like me it’s a “noninvasive, skin resurfacing procedure that gently exfoliates or polishes away the top layer of dead skin cells, while stimulating collagen growth, to reveal healthy new skin that looks and feels smoother. Fine lines, blemishes, dull skin and sun spots.”
I used to NEVER be excited to try new products that claim to change my skin, but this baby feels like a spa treatment at home! (Talk about self-care and self-confidence!) And it WORKS. Dermabrasion treatments are usually $80-$100 dollars in an aesthetician office. (No body has time for that!)
Instead, I light some candles, turn on peppy Stevie Wonder, and use my PMD once a week in my pink velvet sweatpants. FOR FREE. (Hello!) Not being able to work or check my phone at the same time makes it the ultimate unplugged pampering time!
It’s been 3 weeks of consistent use (once a week), and I’ve already seen virtually no build up on my face, way less breakouts, and the plumping of fine lines. And with more uses, the results improve!
pmd brings my best self out for the world to see!
If your current skin situation is NOT something you like about yourself, let me tell you that you completely deserve to take opportunities to bring out the you that you want to be. Confidence shouldn’t be based on appearances, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t matter to you. You know I walk with sass when I am FEELIN’. MY. SELF. *lowers shades and winks*
Check out PMD, and I would be happy to answer any questions about it. And then we can bond over our fabulous skin after together.
I would love to hear from you: What part of yourself do you LOVE?
Recently, I realized I had given away some of my favorite Trades of Hope pieces and needed to restock my accessories at home! Rather than going to our product development team, I went to our beautiful website and ordered them so I could experience what you experience when Trades of Hope goodies are sent to your home!
Watch this video to see what I got! The products are linked below so you can shop and change the world, too!
Evangeline Set: http://bit.ly/2is8Mqp
Sea Glass Necklace: http://bit.ly/2Ayvl4V
Beloved Necklace: http://bit.ly/2jUcWYa
Western Studs Trio: http://bit.ly/2jgZRsw
Northern Light Studs: http://bit.ly/2As4klz
FREE PERSONAL SHOPPER POST: Not only am I sharing three of my favorite fashion trends for Fall 2017, but I am providing you direct links to specific pieces you can buy to add the trend to your wardrobe -- FOR FREE! Making your Fall a little more stylish and easy is my goal. There are pieces from so many stores (from Target to Anthropologie), options for every budget, and sizing from "petits" to "plus size" and every where in between!
There are waaay more than three trends that I'm gushing over right now (shout out to my collection of berets!), but these are EASY to work into your everyday style. I also picked three trends that compliment every woman, whether your style is more relaxed or if you've trained your feet to walk in heels all day like I have. This list is for every woman to feel proud of her fashion game this Fall! Let's do this!
01. Japanese floral patterns
The Japanese florals! Florals? In fall? YES! The vintage patterns nod to Fall's love of tradition. Think these are a little too "out there" for you? Absolutely not! (Style tip: try new things in pant or skirt form! Keeping it away from your face will make it less overwhelming while trying a new trend for the first time!) I went super bold (per usual) with my favorite heels to call out the color in the blooms. I did this only because my top was a classic, simple ivory (always have one "supporting" piece so your statement piece can be the focal point!). But black heels or some discrete flats would set the stage for the Japanese florals beautifully!
Also, you may have seen some Japanese floral, satin button downs. This is often referred to the "pyjama trend" (no reference to Asian culture). So many people are against it, but I LOVE it! Bold and oh so comfy! Click through the photos below, they each link you to its product page to buy pieces that fit this trend!
02. sweaters with flair
Guys, this one is EASY! Sweaters with a little (or a lot) of flare is in, in, in for the rest of the year and into early Spring! Ruffles, bows, bell sleeves -- oh, my! Here, I'm wearing some subtly puffed sleeves from Anthropology (got it on sale, sorry!). This trend is so exciting because you can choose how big or small (literally) you want to go! I'm including several examples that you can click through and buy below!
03. Relaxed Business Attire
I just made up the trend name "relaxed business attire" but, regardless of what else it could be called, I'm catching the trend! This could also be described as "masculine fashion for women" -- which is super in right now, too. Call it what you want, but the button downs, striped dress shirts, slacks (or in my case leather pants), and loafer shoes are 10/10 this season! It's a favorite because it's "relaxed" but still put together! (PS - I LOVE CAPES!) There are so many ways to bring this trend to life in your wardrobe, and some pieces are linked in the slideshow below!
I have a few more Fall and Winter fashion blogs lined up, but let me know what YOU would like to see (fashion-related or not) in the comments below or on my Instagram, and I will be happy to cover it!
Hope you are loving everything that comes with this Fall season!
Every time this alluring season comes around, I wonder what it is about this time of year that unites most of us in anticipation and enthusiasm. What makes us gush over leaves? What is it about about autumn vegetables that possesses us to put them on our coffee tables and mantels? How can shortening of days move us inwards to new depths of reflection and creativity?
As we stand at the threshold of a new season, the earth is drawing back into itself, accepting change, surrendering to what needs to be in order to become what it was destined to be. There is a development happening; and though it looks like death and an end, it is actually growth for a new beginning. And even though the earth comes back to this place every year, and it seems to endure the same battering process, each time is an evolution forward. Returning to a similar place does not a hopeless indication.
I wonder what it is about this natural phenomenon that causes us to mimic what creation is doing around us. Turning inward. Developing ourselves. Reaching within. Enduring refinement into order to reveal more of who we truly are.
Fall captures me because it gives me permission to go through that process, to trust the process of life, of human existence, of ups and downs. It reminds me that there is so much beauty in change, so much to behold when you trust, and so much security in believing confidently that more light and new life always, always, always is restored like never before.
That is why I love sweaters, leaves, apple cider, and pumpkin spice everything -- because they're traditional, comforting reminders that even in this season, where everything appears to be ending, the stage is truly being set for life like we've never seen it before.
The earth is filled with signs and reminders and comforts whispering, "What you're going through, it's okay. It is a part of this life. We'll give you proof that hope always comes. Trust that where you are right now is a beautiful part of the process."
This has been my go-to outfit the last few months! It's so easy, pretty comfortable, and a fun conversation starter. I got these overalls on clearance a couple years ago, but I've linked below all the pieces I'm wearing (from overalls, undershirt, to lip color) or pieces that are remarkably similar!
Let me know if you have any other questions + what your favorite style or trend is right now!
I'm very open with the few temporary cosmetic things I have enjoyed. They are FUN! And I wish more women realized that there is no reason to feel ashamed for taking hold of how you present yourself to others.
Feeling bomb about yourself so you can focus on changing the world. > Letting your insecurities hold you back from being yourself and ultimately helping other people.
I’m also convinced that there’s no reason to hoard information, connections, or insight -- especially with other women! It's exhausting to view women as competition. I have been on both ends of making silly little things (such as eyelashes) a point of comparison. I'm so over it, guys. Besides, it's way more fun to share in fun, feminine things rather than experience them alone. When I kept getting questions on my Instagram about them, I decided to answer the most frequently asked ones here! So, read all my answered questions about my eyelash extensions experience so that (if you're thinking about them) you can get them too, and we can woo and awe at each other's fab lashes!
Question 01: Do they hurt? Can you get them wet?
No! The process is painless. You will enter some kind of room at a hair/nail/beauty salon, lay on a reclining chair or bed, and simply relax. The cosmetologist uses two pairs of tweezer-like tools to place one eyelash at a time on one of your own lashes. Remember that someone is moving very closely to your eyes, which is not a common occurrence for most people, so the first few minutes take some getting used to. Before the actual eyelash part starts, most cosmetologists will tape your lower lashes down or cover them will gel pads which will cause your eyes to water, but they don't hurt. This is to keep the glue from sticking to your lower lashes and protect your under eye skin. I will say, every once in a while, there will be an accidental tug that will be uncomfortable, but this only happens to me approximately 3 times per visit.
You can get them wet after 24 hours. (So make sure you shower right before!) Mine get wet all the time in the shower and when I wash my face. I have even swam in the ocean with waves crashing on me and they endured.
Questions 02: Where do I go to get them done?
The #1 thing that will make or break your eyelash extensions experience will be who/where you go to get them. While they are offered almost everywhere with beauty services now, I have been to 3 very different places and had very different experiences. There are 3 things you want to ask before you book your appointment. Trust me, it will save you discomfort, time, and dissatisfaction. Learn from my mistakes.
1.) Ask how long your cosmetologist has been doing eyelash extensions. The first place I went to, where I got my whole set done originally, was a professional salon with with very well trained stylists. The experience was so amazing that I fell asleep while most of it was being done (awkwardly sleeping with my mouth open and everything!).
2.) Ask if they use tape or gel pads for your lower lashed. I know the thought doesn't seem enjoyable. But you know what's even less enjoyable? Having an eyelash pulled off your under eye because they didn't use tape and now it's stuck to your face. Yeah. I would know. The second place I went to for a fill was a nail salon and tape/gel pads were not used on me. Suddenly, the eye watering was far more welcomed.
3.) Ask if they use a sanitary bed. The third place I went to for a fill was a small business owner. Rather than laying on a technician type bed that you would see in a dentist's office or salon, I laid on a cot with a big fluffy pink blanket on it. The fluffy pink blanket was cute and fit her brand, but as I was laying there all I could think about was how many people laid (and sweat) there since it was washed. The lack of professionalism added to the not awesome experience.
Question 03: Do you feel fake?
My response? I feel empowered! Do you know how long I would spend putting mascara on everyday (and then taking it off)? A lot! And even after all that wasted time, I wasn't happy with how they looked. Now, I spend zero time working with my eyelashes. And because I like them so much, I have been wearing a lot less make up. (Cue Beyonce: "I woke up like this.") Eliminating the distraction of eyelashes has opened me up to be more productive and focus on things that truly matter. Plus, it feels good to wake up feeling good! And if anyone has ever made you feel ashamed for wanting to feel that feeling, let me tell you how silly that is. Boldly take matters into your own hands, girl! We don't have time to fret about what we don't like about ourselves. You have too many businesses to start or degrees to collect or people to influence! So, if something is bothering you, do something about it. Then spend your energy chasing your dreams, investing in relationships, and bettering the world!
This is Ismaella.
She creates necklaces in one of the artisan groups with which Trades of Hope partners. She gave me permission to share her words: “I don't need to ask my mom for money. I became more independent economically, and I can help others also.” Ismaella says her dream is to be a lawyer one day.
I’ll be traveling to Haiti next week on a business trip to see her, and I’m thankful, more than ever to be in this business partnership with her.
Tomorrow, May 13, 2017, is World Fair Trade Day.
Many of the things we buy on a regular basis are made by women, men, and children around the world who are treated and paid very poorly. Approximately, 40% of the world's population exists on $2 dollars a day. When I was a teenager, $10 finds at Forever21 was exciting. Now, I see things on sale for $10, $5, or even $2 and think, “Someone in the process of this product is being taken advantage of.” Underpaid, mistreated people toiling in sweatshops or even slavery contributes to the cheap prices available to us, most often also leaving a damaging footprint on our environment behind.
Fair Trade creates space in the world for socially conscious, dignified, and safe partnerships between product-makers, product-retailers, and product-consumers. Some of the Fair Trade principles include, but aren’t limited to, supporting safe and empowering working conditions, create opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers, paying producers promptly and fairly, and respecting cultural identity.
Tomorrow is a day to celebrate women like Ismaella who, through fair trade practices and socially conscious shoppers, can reach for her dreams. It is also a day to put our foot down. People toiling in sweatshops, child labor, slavery: these are realities that do not need to exist.
How can we do our part to empower those who are economically and socially oppressed and protect our beautiful world?
1. We can lower the demand.
By not buying cheap products, we lower the retailer’s ability to order more inventory, also lowering the availability of abusive positions that take women, men, and children captive. With most brands not prioritizing the human who make product, this realistically is a gradual change. Don’t try to quit buying everything you do now immediately. That’s not feasible! Just find a couple ethical brands (like Trades of Hope!) or products at a time or choose one area of your shopping to slowly change for the better.
2. We can shop brands that are conscious.
By purchasing from brands that have humanity, equality, and the environment in mind (even if you pay a little bit more), enables companies to have more job positions for women and men around the world. As a founder of Trades of Hope, I can tell you firsthand how the upward growth of our company directly correlates to being able to help more and more people sustainably and long term. In addition to our company that sells fashion accessories and home décor, there are plenty of companies that sell fair trade, ethically made skin care, make up, clothes, and household products. Spend some time on Google and find brands that fit with you.
3. We can buy less stuff and buy more of what truly brings us joy.
I recently made a lifestyle change by buying less that I might only wear for a short period of time, buying pieces on a whim because I thought I might like it. I started asking myself, “Does this really bring me joy? Or am I just buying it because so-and-so had something similar or because it will make people perceive me a certain way?” Keeping pieces that are better quality and that you are truly excited about longer will also lessen the demand for retailers that don’t have humanity’s wellness at heart. If you do want to let something go, bring it to a thrift store so someone else can get their clothes from your closet, again, lowering the demand of sweatshops.
It’s time to start wearing what we believe.
It would be so easy to wear accessories everyone else is wearing, pieces that can be easily found at every surrounding store. But everything we buy was made by someone, a person with a heart and family and dreams, Ismaella. Trades of Hope creates a marketplace of accessories made by artisans in 16 countries who are now earning a safe, sustainable incomes for the first time.
This is what I believe in.
Poverty ending. Hearts hoping. People rising. Nations healing.
What do you believe in?
No. 01 - Colour Pop Ultra Blotted Lip
This lip formula is light, kiss-proof, and stays on all day! Unlike other stains or mattes, the Ultra Blotted Lip is extremely light weight. I don't usually wear make up to the beach, but I love wearing a pop of color on my lips (as long as I know it won't smear in the heat!). I got some really fun shades to wear out under the sun. All 3 of the shades I got are pictured here, from left to right: Zuma (a more neutral, maroon/brown/red), Double Scoop (orange-y + very in style this summer), and Out of Beach (a really bright red/orange, also trending for this summer).
No. 02 - Accessories from Trades of Hope's NEW Summer Line
Jewelry that you can throw on fast, that makes a substantial contribution to your outfit is so important amidst the whirlwind of fun for Summer. As a co-founder of Trades of Hope, obviously I love our pieces. But I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't share our NEW Summer Line with you! It just released today (yay!), and there are statement and everyday pieces of jewelry, accessories, and home decor. Pictured, left to right: the Copper Hammered Studs (easy to throw on to pick up your outfit), the Indu Tassel Necklace (my favorite in this line, the tassel is removable, giving you 2 necklaces for the price of one!), the Chandra Earrings (statement earrings that are so light, you'll forget they are on!). All of our pieces are ethically made by artisans around the world rising out of poverty through sustainable business and job creation!
No. 03 - St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub
In the bright sunny days of summer, loving our skin is all the more important! I use this scrub all year round, but am so thankful for it during the hot, sometimes sweltering days! If I am breaking out at night, I use this scrub, and in the morning, my skin is clear! Having dealt with skin issues my whole life, I am not over exaggerating. If you want to love your skin more, grab this! I pick it up at Publix while I'm grocery shopping, but it's sold almost everywhere.
No. 04 - A Go-To Hat to Make Your Crazy Hair Look "On Purpose"
Whether it's a ball cap, a wide-rimmed sun hat, or a fedora (are those still cool?), you'll want a trusty hat when your hair is the last thing you want to focus on. I just got this Washington Nationals hat in honor of my recent announcement that I'm moving to D.C. in the fall. Getting my money's worth is not going to be a problem!
No. 05 - A "Throw It All In There" Bag
Little crossbody bags and backpacks are great while on the adventure, but while on the journey or on the run or on the way to the beach, having an over-sized tote will be a God-send. Get one you love and one you'll be okay giving a little wear-and-tear. You should be having too much fun to worry about your bag holding up for you. This Dasah Tote from Trades of Hope (ethically made by artisans rising out of poverty in Bangladesh) is so sturdy and will fit anything you could possibly want while on your summer excursions!
With relentless ambition + passion I live intentionally to take my dreams from plans to reality + empower other women to do the same. I'm a Trades of Hope founder, public speaker, and designer living in Washington, D.C. When I'm not following fashion trends, catching airplanes, or playing with my redhead pup, I'm offering up fashion shortcuts, life lessons I'm learning, and free wallpapers to remind you of how much you've got this.