Networking Essential

blogger conferences

With fall in full swing and work picking up, it is time for massive networking events. I personally love socializing with like-minded individuals who are in the field of blogging. There are tons to discuss, usually great products to test, and new friends to meet. This time around, I really thought about how important it is to be prepared for networking events such as meetups and conferences.  Just like any other part of life, going in prepared allows you to achieve your intentions.

For networking events, I set specific goals. One being, I want to get to know at least four new people. I believe that taking the time to really listen and understand a person is far more successful than several quick connections over the course of the night. I also go in with the notion that, while promoting my brand is important, discovering how I can help another brand is far more important. Asking thoughtful questions and providing solutions, will not only leave the person remembering who I am but more likely to help my brand in return. The biggest part, is being genuinely interested in helping first and foremost. Good deeds do get noticed, believe me.

Successful networking is simply helping another brand or person.

Lastly, I am equipped with a journal or notepad at all times. More than likely, being surrounded by a creative group will spark ideas and new ways I am able to improve as a brand. I love jotting down information, or quotes that inspire new ideas. I try to jot down at least three important takeaways that I can brainstorm on later. Of course, if it is a day long lecture, I am more likely to fill a few pages of notes than just three points.

Not only am I mentally prepared, but I am also stocked up on these following goodies!



1) As I already mentioned, a notebook is super important to take down contact info, as well as any inspirational ideas that strike.

2) Along with a place to jot down info, you are going to need pens or pencils. It’s easy to forget, so make sure you pack two or three immediately (as in right now) before you lose track.

3) Hair Pins. If you are attending a conference that last 6-8 hours, most likely hair, makeup, and everything else will start to fade after the first few hours. Hair pins are great for a quick pick-me-up before taking more photos.

4) Speaking of sprucing up, a nice perfume and chapstick is another great idea to keep you looking your best during the entire event. Never underestimate a perfect lip and a signature scent. I use NYX Butter Lip Balm and Billionaire Boyfriend roll on perfume.

5) Business Cards of course. I got my cards from

6) Your phone for selfies and massive social media coverage. This is a great way to up your followers and maintain high-quality content.

7) Your wallet, because well, why wouldn’t you have your wallet? Mine is from Henri Bendel.

8) Last but certainly not least, accessories. Wear a statement piece that will spark conversations.

What tips do you use when networking? Let me know in the comments below!

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Paris by Day

Last week I shared the quintessential Parisian dream of what it was like doing a photoshoot in front of the Eiffel Tower. Today I wanted to share what Paris is like by day. During my latest trip, I made every effort to live like a local. I stayed at an Airbnb in the posh neighborhood Le Marais. I spoke french everywhere I could. Leading to many incomprehensible conversations with locals that made both of us laugh. I learned that ‘may I have the bill’ in french is l’adittion (sounds like audition) and if you don’t ask for it, they will not bring you the bill for a very long time. I discovered while half the time the trip was sunny, the other half of the time when it rain made the city was even more romantic. I could easily get use to the culture of stopping work by 5 and seeing friends late at night even if it is a Monday. This trip filled my heart with so much love and gratitude. Grateful for the experience to live out my dreams.

Here is a collection of photos of what it was like to roam around the tiny streets and eat delicious chocolates at a local cafe in Paris. I hope you enjoy!

Paris by day


French onion soup

seine river, Paris

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower Paris France

Croque monsieur

French Doors

Parisian Streets, Paris France

Paris France

Gated community Paris

Roaming the street, streetwear

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Navigating Columbus Day Sales

Columbus day sales are here for the weekend! It is the last big sale before Black Friday. If you are anything like me, getting a great bag for an amazing price is a total “yes, please!”

So what should you look for during the Columbus day sales?

The biggest discount are on shoes and accessories. You will find price drops anywhere between 25-90% off! This is a great time to stock up on boots for the winter months ahead, or grab a few clutches and accessories for all the holiday parties you’ll attend.

Skip on clothes. This might be the only time I will advise you to ever skip the clothing racks. While there are sales, stores just released their winter wear and it won’t be as big of a discount as Black Friday. Girl, hold on for one more month – it will be worth it!

Who has the best deals?

Here are a list of places holding the best Columbus day sales, and codes to get the best price:

Last Call by Neiman Marcus: 30% off and Extra 10% off with code Gimme10.

Macy’s: 40% off and an Extra 20% off with code Fall.

Asos: 50% off and free shipping.

Barneys Warehouse: Extra 40% off clearance.

BCBG: 30% off sales.

Diane Von Furstenberg: Additional 25% off sales with code Enjoy25.

Kate Spade: 50% off sale and additional 25% off with code Sweet.

Any suggested picks from the sale?

Glad you asked! I have spent hours sourcing the web for the absolute best deals and here they are. My top picks from this years Columbus day sale. Plus, they are all animal loving faux fur and faux leather options. Happy shopping!

Affiliate links, thank you!

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The Launch Fashion Show

A series of new designers presented their Spring Summer 2016 designs at The Launch this past fashion week, and I was lucky enough to be invited! Held at the Grand Soho Hotel, the event was was ultra swanky and filled with forward-thinking fashionistas. I had a blast chatting with other bloggers, and sipping organic ginger ale before the shows. Once the designers began their presentation (a total of four shows) we gathered around the runway in awe of the collections. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the respected designers, as well as what I wore to the incredible event. I hope you enjoy!

The Soho Grand Hotel. Fall Outfit Idea 2015

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week

Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week

Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week, Fall Fashion ideas 2015


Alexa Blaq:

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Alexa Blaq

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Alexa Blaq

Hanah NYC:

Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Hanah NYC

Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Hanah NYC

Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Hanah NYC


The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Autie

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Autie

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Autie

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Autie


The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Grinko

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Grinko

The Launch, Soho Grand Hotel, New York Fashion Week Grinko

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That one time in Paris

Paris. I mean what can I say, it is every girl’s dream to be whisked away to the most romantic city. The food, the culture, the atmosphere, the language; everything about Paris is well, magnificent.

This past visit was nothing short of exceptional. A good friend and I stayed in the ultra posh neighborhood of Le Marais. If you are visiting and want a truly Parisian experience, I highly recommend staying in this neighborhood. It was so much fun to get lost in the neighborhood coming home at night. Walking down the narrow streets in the rain passing by cafe after cafe, and boutique shop after boutique shop. On any given Tuesday, we watched as the locals sit unbothered at 11pm, having a drink while catching up with a friend. It filled my heart.

One of the biggest decisions we made on the trip was to do the ultimate dream… A photoshoot in front of the Eiffel tower. Days leading up to the shoot, we looked all over Paris for outfits and jewelry. We found the prettiest dresses in a cute Parisian shop. At one moment while trying on looks, my friends whispers to me through the velvet curtain “Ellese, we are in Paris trying on dresses in a vintage shop”, neither one of us could stop giggle with pure excitement that this is actually happening.

On the day of the shoot, we woke up very early to rain. That didn’t stop us. After all isn’t it even more romantic to see Paris in the rain? we put on our outfits, did our hair and makeup, and then added an extra layer of clothing to protect us from the cold, wet weather outside. we scurried to the nearby train and road with all the locals heading to work. I can only imagine what they were thinking when they saw these two American girls all decked out on this commuter train. But it didn’t matter. The only thing that matter was, we were actually going to achieve this beautiful dream of ours.

We got off at a stop that is a little further away than the Eiffel tower. A day in advance, we stocked out where we could get a clear photo of the Eiffel Tower in the background. Once there, we began to setup and stripped down to our dresses to start the photoshoot. Since it was raining, there were only a few tourist. Our biggest audience were the national guards who watched the area. They did stare quiet heavily, but never bothered us. In fact, we felt rather safe having them around while our belongings sat to the side.

My friend snapped these photos while it poured, juggling an umbrella in one hand and her professional camera in the other. About 15 minutes later, it was her turn. I bundled up as she changed. She handed over her extremely expensive and heavy camera. “Have you ever used one of these?” she asked. I shook my head and said “Nope” but what better time to learn than now while standing in the rain in Paris.

I juggled my umbrella while snapping photos, just as she had done for me. In the end, we have these incredible photos, and more importantly, these irreplaceable memories of that one time in Paris.

Paris photo shoot, Eiffel Tower

Paris photo shoot, Eiffel Tower

Paris photo shoot, Eiffel Tower

Paris photo shoot, Eiffel Tower

Feel free to visit my friends blog, Fabulizza, to learn how you can replicate this photoshoot on your next trip to Paris!

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5 brands you need to know for fall

My favorite time of the years is upon us!  I thought I would share five brands that you absolutely need to know to make this fall that much better. From forward-thinking, to fun designs these brands will brighten the crisp fall days ahead. Enjoy!

Gorjana: I am a fan of any brand whose slogan is live love layer. Gorjana jewelry is simple, delicate, yet absolutely stunning. I had the opportunity to meet her last year at a rewardStyle meetup. She and her jewelry were such a delight in person.

Rebecca Minkoff: We all know Rebecca makes some of the most beautiful handbags, but did you know that she makes some amazing shoes to match? Her fall boots are to die for. I mean, just look at those thigh-high fringe boots!

Revolve clothing: I am obsessed with Revolve Clothing collection of fitted knitted midi dresses for fall! They are perfect to dress up or dress down. I love them the most for the mere fact that all you need to do is throw one on with heels, and you have a complete look.

Tibi: The colors Tibi uses for fall are perfection! I love the deep evergreen and plum hues. Plus the tie details and the draping for each garment are impeccable. This brand is great for classic fall looks.

Zimmermann: Grey never looked so good. I love the way Zimmermann infuses muted tones with high-quality silhouettes and fabrics. The grey felt brim hat and tassel shoes are some of my favorite pieces from the fall line.

What are you favorites?

Links are affiliated. Thank you for your support!

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Doré Fashion Presentation

I am still dreaming about all the designs and clothes I saw during New York Fashion Week. One of the most incredible presentation was the ever so flirtatious yet elegant designer, Doré. Held at the spectacular Gramercy Hotel, a line of beautiful models showcased the vibrant Spring/Summer 2016 line.

Doré began designing for dance students using the finest fabrics, as well as construction to withhold movement of the dancers. They easily flourished into providing beautiful ensembles for figure skaters, ballroom dancers and the like. They have been a featured designer on the hit show “So you think you can dance”. I felt very honored to see their upcoming line and spot a few pieces that I would wear every day, dancing or not.

My top two favorites from the line were the black tulle dress with the beautifully embellished top in the first two photos. As well as the long, exquisitely draped red dress in the last two photos. Do you see a favorite you would wear? Let me know in the comments bellow.

Doré Fashion presentation Doré Fashion presentation Doré Fashion presentation Doré Fashion presentation Doré Fashion presentationDoré Fashion presentation Doré Fashion presentation Doré Fashion presentation

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Beauty tips from a professional

There is only one person I trust when it comes to getting my makeup done, Sophia Joseph. The most talented professional makeup artist and friend graciously spent time disclosing her secret beauty tips and tricks of the trade. You have no idea how excited I was for this interview!

Q: To Start, where should someone begin when it comes to makeup? Any area we should master first in makeup application?

A: Well it would depend on the amount of experience one would have. There are many phenomenal makeup artists that were self-taught, picking up tips and tricks along the way. As for myself, I took a course in makeup artistry. I had little to no experience in makeup whatsoever. I wanted to learn every inch of the art of makeup from the history of makeup to proper makeup application, face structure, skin, set ethics, and building a business from the ground up. The first area I would suggest someone to master is the art of communication. Is is so important to listen to your client and to be sensitive to their needs. You have to build a trust with them. Once that is established, you are then perceived as someone they can count on and most importantly respect. That is something to have in this business and in life general. Secondly, I would advise learning basic beauty makeup. It is the foundation to all makeup application whether bridal, special effects or any other kind of makeup, you have to be able to create a flawless face.

Q: What is your absolute favorite makeup brand? Brush brand?

A: I get this question a lot. I do not have a favorite brand, I do however, have a lot of favorite products from many different brands. I’ll give you a list of my top five favorites:

  • RCMA foundation cream palette: this is a God sent I can create so much looks with this palette. Full to sheer coverage, contour, bronzer, color correct the list goes on.
  • Inglot eyeliner gel: this a must have for anyone who is having a problem with eyeliner not lasting through out the day. This bad boy once set is not going anywhere, but you defiantly have to work fast. my favorite colors are Gold (95), Black (77), and White (76).
  • MAC pigment in Vanilla: I adore this pigment I use it as an eyeshadow, face highlight, nail polish, or mix with body cream and use as a body highlights for an editorial look very versatile product.
  • Beauty Blender Sponge: is essential for a kit, it creates a more flawless airbrushed finish on the skin.
  • Eve Pearl Invisible finish powerless powder: control shine amazingly when I first use it I was like “oh my God this is magic”. When used on clients or myself I do not have to reapply as often or at all. It great for all skin tones and complexions.
Beauty Tips from Expert Makeup Artist Sophia Joseph
Makeup by Sophia Joseph

Q: What trick do you use that most people wouldn’t think about doing when it comes to makeup?

A: After I apply foundation and before I set the makeup with powder I like to blot. I take apart a 2ply Kleenex tissue and blot the entire face removing any excess makeup this helps the makeup from creasing and looking too caked on. Once I am done bolting I then go ahead and set my makeup. If I feel that I’ve removed too much makeup I pick up my brush or sponge that I used to apply foundation with product still on it I and go over areas where I lost little coverage.

Q: What makeup trends are you loving right now? Hating right now?

A: I am loving the clean look that I have been seeing on the fashion runways the past couple of seasons. A fresh dewy skin is by far my favorite makeup to do. I am really disliking over done brows. When it comes to brows, unless you are going for an over done editorial look, my advice is to use light strokes and a color that is one to two shades lighter than your natural hair color. If you’re a blond use light to medium taupe shades.

Q: Who is your beauty role model?

A: One of my favorite beauty role models is Pat McGrath. I absolutely adore her work. I draw inspirations from many of her runway looks she has created, and I cannot wait for the day to meet and work side by side with her. Pat McGrath is a living legend.

 Q: How can someone create a glam look on a budget? Any tips in where to find quality products at an affordable price?

A: Creating a glam look on a budget is a lot easier than people think. I also say “it is not about the products but about the technique”. Once you know how to use a product correctly you can have a finish face that look as if you used products that cost hundreds of dollars when in reality it properly cost maybe $40 and will last you six months to a year depending how often you use the items. Checking out your local drug store like CVS or Rite Aide. They are great places to find affordable makeup and usually have awesome sales (BOGO). Some drug store brands I like to use for a glam or any look are:

Beauty Tips from Expert Makeup Artist Sophia Joseph
Makeup by Sophia Joseph

Q: What are three beauty products (hair, makeup, brushes) essential for your everyday use?

A: My three beauty products to have are hairspray even when there is a hair artist on set I always walk with extra hairspray and pin in case I have to tame a section and the stylist is not available at that particular moment. Second would be press powder to remove any shine that I would get throughout the day. Lastly, my MAC 217 blending brush, I love this brush I have about ten duplicates including Sigma and other nameless brands. I use this brush to apply eyeshadow, blend eyeshadow, buff in concealer and foundation around small areas, and to also set the makeup with.

Q: What is the most exciting experience you’ve had as a makeup artist?

A: Tough question I feel that every experience I’ve had thus far has been exciting. But I do remember early on into career when I had just finished my Makeup course and I was doing my second fashion show for charity. I was still so green and inexperienced I was worried that I would not be able to perform on a level that was expected of me. However, I had to subside those thoughts because that was not the place nor the time to panic. So I start doing what I’ve learned and what I’ve practice, as I contained to work on my models one after another I turned around to observe my environment I notice I had a line of models waiting for me to do their makeup. I really had no clue where this line came from. There were several other makeup artist working there as well. One model told me once she got into my chair that she was watching me and she loved the makeup I was doing and she wanted only me to do her makeup. I felt extremely flattered, humbled and blessed that she found my work beautiful and just moments before I was having a silent panic attack. From that day on I believed in myself and had more confidence in my work. If I ever have self-doubts I always say to myself “I was chosen for a reason, they like my work and they believe in me, now I have to believe in myself”. When you have a passion for something, nothing should hold you back from achieving it even if it’s yourself.

Q: What can we expect to see from you in the upcoming year?

A: In the next year I am definitely going to continue building my clientele and my portfolio. I plan on branching into bridal hair and makeup artistry I want to build a network for that, as well as continue doing editorial work which I also love to do. It allows me to do something different and think outside the box. I also look forward to booking work international. I’ve never been out the country for work, so I cannot wait to experience that.

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Casual Friday



Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend, and now it is time to take a breather. I don’t know about you, but this has been one busy week. I am looking forward to slipping into super comfy clothes and watching some really bad reality shows on Bravo.

Today I want to share some tips on how to create a fun casual Friday look that is sleek, timeless, but still has that designer edge. If you know me even a little bit, you know that this is my ultimate go to look. I love clean lines, no fuss accessories, and black denim.

So, how do you get the look? Really easy. I took one main designer and matched my outfit around that piece. As you can see I went with my all time favorite Chanel black quilted purse. For an alternative, more affordable quilted purse, click here!

The other recognizable brand I am rocking are my Ray-Ban shades. That’s it though for brands! A great tip is to never mix too many designers and labels in one outfit. It becomes a little overwhelming otherwise.

For colors, I went with monotones to create a sleek, NYC vibe. The V-neck long sleeve shirt and black denim pants I found at Old Navy.  I suggest tucking in your shirt to instantly kick the outfit up a notch without much effort involved.

Of course, the shoes are from dollhouse, but you can get an even more killer pair here by Jeffrey Campbell. I pulled my hair pack into a loose ponytail to match the simplicity and clean lines of the look.

Casual Friday IMG_5073IMG_5094IMG_5145IMG_5124IMG_5177


Obviously this is a look that goes beyond casual Friday. Comment below on how you style a simple look. Follow along and make sure you subscribe!

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