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21 things I learned by 21

Posted in Lifestyle
on 01/24/2018

As I turned 20 last year, I reflected on some things that I learned in my years of life. A year later, and I’m back writing my 21-year-old version. Time is flying by so fast y’all! I was so giddy sitting down to type up this post. MAMA I MADE IT.

Twenty one things I learned by 21:

  1. An all black outfit is always a good idea. Man do I feel like a million bucks in black on black. Not sure what it is, but this year I have been so drawn to the sophisticated look of an all black ‘fit.
  2. I am a TOTAL HOMEBODY. Ok, so I knew this before but I really connected to my bed this past year. There’s just something about snuggling in with some Netflix…
  3. Learn to love your flaws. This year especially, I struggled with severe acne. Accutane saved my skin for real. It got worse before it got better and it made me realize it’s not worth putting on pounds of makeup everyday. Everyone deals with it, so I’m not alone. Although it took me until the end of the year to realize that, it has made a huge difference in my self-confidence.
  4. I don’t think I could survive without chapstick. It’s truly an essential for me. Put one in every purse/jacket pocket so you’ll never have crusty lips (so gross I know.. but I can thank Accutane for my 8 month stint with those).
  5. Organization is key. Last year, I talked about my planner as my lifeline and this year I’m going a bit deeper into organization. HAVING YOUR LIFE ORGANIZED MAKES THINGS 100% EASIER/SMOOTHER/BETTER. A clean and organized room/phone/purse is the best feeling in the entire world (don’t @ me).
  6. Champagne goes with everything.
  7. Some things are worth the splurge. Before I started working at Hemline, I really didn’t splurge much on clothes. I didn’t even understand the value behind them either. Since learning about sourcing and other factors that go into the making of a garment — I know what’s worth it and what’s not. This year I got a little carried away and splurged on a few things (*cough cough* these jeans, boots, and this top).
  8. DRINK YOUR WATER kids. I swear I feel like a different human being when I am dehydrated. You can catch me with my huge S’well bottle attached to my hip most days. We need water to function, so please give your body what it needs!
  9. If you need a cheering up/wishful thinking/crying night watch a rom-com from the 1990s-early 2000s. They’re a one stop shop for any mood I’m ever in. New life goal is to watch every one I can find on the internet. If ya need somewhere to start, I’d go with She’s all That.
  10. Love to learn. Being open to learning/trying something new can really change your life! While I do hate to learn I’m doing something wrong (I’m a total type A), it’s even better to be taught how to do things right. I’ll forever be student!
  11. Each year I am consistently reminded of how amazing the women in my life truly are. Each and every one is so strong and I simply could not imagine where in the world I would be if I did not have them. Alpha Phi especially has shown me that as women we really do have the power to make a difference #girlpower!
  12. Self tanner has saved my life. This year especially, I’ve really tried to be cautious about my exposure to the sun so self tanner has been my absolute go-to year round. I really helps me to look like I am a real live human being and not a ghost. Shouts to this one because it’s $20 and my all time fave.
  13. Totally going against my splurge rant a minute ago, but I’ve really tried (keyword: tried) to save this year. Hey, I don’t have much time left until I’m going to have to enter the real world (oooh scary) so I am gonna have to have some funds to make it?? I’ve been putting a little bit of each check in savings this year! Although I’ll have to start over after my summer internship (que the Kim K gif of her fanning out the money), my savings up until then will have been worth it.
  14. THERE IS NOTHING BETTER IN THE WORLD THAN A NICE COLD FOUNTAIN COKE. Do not fight me on this because you know it’s true.
  15. Clean sheets after a shower… need I say more?
  16. Social media is fun.. but it’s does not define who you are or your success. I am still learning this fact of life…. Often times, I find myself scrolling through instagram and only thinking negatively of myself and the work I am putting out there. That’s not what’s it’s about. Instagram is not real life. I’m still working on that insecure feeling that I get when I log on to the gram but I think this is probably something many of us struggle with!
  17. Spotify is number 1. Life is just better with music, anytime, anywhere. My taste is all over the place (accurate parallel to my personality) and Spotify is my favorite for finding and organizing all ma tunes.
  18. Learn to treat yourself. Down time is key! Netflix and a fountain coke are always my remedies for a relaxing night.
  19. Working for what you have is more rewarding than anything. Y’all know those warm fuzzies that you get in the pit of your stomach? Mine normally come from those moments when I can look back and see the fruits of my labor!
  20. One Direction > all boys ever.
  21. Your 20s are where it’s at! Although I am only one year in, I can tell this phase of my life will really define me!

Here’s to another year of life! 21, lets hope you’re the best year yet. Cheeerrrrzzz!

Madison

My love for loafers + Gucci dupe for under $25

Posted in Fashion
on 01/16/2018

top // jeans // loafers (Gucci dupes under $25) // bag (discontinued) // bangles // sunglasses

I’m writing this from a warm day in Louisiana.. shocking I know. Probably not the time to be writing about my excitement for spring shoes with it being January but hey, whatevs. I’ve been obsessed with loafers lately!! They’re comfortable and super stylish so ya can’t get much better than that. Did I mention that I feel like a classy rich kid from the 80s when I wear them? Molly Ringwald vibes…

Here’s some of my favorite pairs under $100 (including these Gucci dupes):

My favorite and the easiest way I think to style loafers is with jeans and a simple top. Boring I know, and so going against my goal to be more fun with my outfits this year lol. These jeans are AMAZING and I would normally never spend this much on jeans but I fell in love and I could not pass them up! I love the edgy raw hem with the classic look of a loafer!

xoxo, Madison

Everything you need to know about Accutane + my skin care routine

Posted in Beauty, Lifestyle
on 01/03/2018

I have struggled with acne for years and when I got to college, it got progressively worse. The acne was mostly concentrated on in my cheeks, forehead and back. I turned to caking on makeup because my face was broken out, I could never wear the cute tops I wanted to because my back was broken out, and I just did not feel good about myself.

I had been seeing a dermatologist since I was in high school and when I tell you I’ve tried everything — I really have. Creams, antibiotics, face washes, gels literally all of it. But nothing really worked for me. I was finally so fed up which is why I decided to bite the bullet and go on Accutane. While I will say some of the side effects can seem scary, I was at the point where I would have done anything for clear skin.

**peep my skin now!! thank you accutane for changing my skin forever!**

I’ll jump into how my process worked for those of you wondering. There is a once a month blood test you have to get done (I am so scared of needles, but by month three I was fine. I just can’t look lol) as well as a dermatologist appointment to check in. In order to get your prescription filled each month, you have to go online and answer questions (from the iPledge program.. they were mostly about birth control and such). My prescription was from a remote pharmacy and was always overnighted to me so I was never without medicine.

Accutane does take a while to see results. Your skin may take awhile to adjust and react to the medicine, like mine did. I really did not see my skin starting to clear up until around September (month 5) and my back did not get clear until this month really (month 8). I have been taking this medicine since May and I’ve been on around 40 mg since month two. Everyone’s skin reacts differently so there is no for sure guarantee it’ll work in x amount of time or even work at all. I’ve known people who have done multiple rounds of Accutane, and some who have done 5 months and been done. Thankfully my 8 month run was enough to finally GET MY SKIN CLEAR.

The side effects came and went. In my first few months, I experienced back pain (I had always had a small lower back curve so this was nothing out the ordinary) that was worse then normal. Since I started during the summer, my lips were super dry too due to the heat. I pretty much had to change my entire skincare routine to cater to my now drier skin. Before the medicine, I had the freaking oiliest skin in the world. Like I could use two-three oil wipes midday on my face. It was seriously so gross. My hair.. oh, my hair! I think that was my favorite thing about being on this medicine. It essentially stops your skins oil production so my hair wouldn’t get oily for at least 4-5 days. Right now, after 8 months of Accutane, I could probably get away with washing it once a week. That’s been a plus for me.

Skincare routine

My skincare routine has drastically changed since I’ve started Accutane. I’ve simplified everything and just let the medicine do it’s job. Before I was doing four and five steps including cleasner, toner, acne cream and moisturizer. Now I am down to three at max — it’s seriously the best thing to happen to a lazy girl like me.

Philosophy purity made simple face wash //  My absolute favorite face wash on and off Accutane. I’ve been using this one for around 6 years now and I have nothing but rave reviews to give! It’s really hydrating with it’s silky creamy texture and also great to use as makeup remover too if you’re in a hurrry. With my Clarisonic and this — my skin feels AMAZING.

First aid beauty ultra repair cream //  I stumbled upon this at Ulta this past summer and I figured I would give it a try since it’s reviews were pretty good. I  just bought my second tub and I am head over heels for it. I use it as my body moisteriser too and it’s a nice unscented lotion that actually keeps my skin hydrated.

Clairisonic Mia 1 //  My tried and true. I’ve had the same one since freshman year of high school (6 years) and it’s still goin so strong. I used to use it everyday, but now that my skin is drier and I’ve gotten a lot lazier (lol) I use it every once in a while to get a goood deep clean. The brush head I’ve found works best for me is the acne one! I would recommend, despite the hefty price tag! I can honestly say I feel the difference when I use it and when I don’t.

Mario Badescu rose water toner spray // This is something I use here and there, but especially when my skin is tired and needs a lil boost. I like it if I haven’t washed my face in the morning to put on before makeup. I’ve also seen some people use it as setting spray — I need to test that theory out!!

Garnier micellular water // One of my favorite beauty finds of 2017 hands down. One cotton bad and squirt of this and I am clean and makeup free. Makeup wipes are so expensive but this is cheaper and lasts way longer! I also find it’s bit more gentle on my skin and sensitive eye area. I could easily use this at night and be fine without moisturizer for the day too!

Blistex lip medex //  I swear by this stuff. Ugh omg I could go on about how moisturizing this is and how it literally SAVES my peeling, cracked dry lips every time. It’s also got a cooling feeling too that I love. No need to spend the big bucks on lip balm when you can have it all for under $4 with this guy!

Makeup favorites (full coverage)

Some of my makeup favorites changed too! I ended up needing A LOT more coverage the first three months so I was experimenting with foundation and concealer like crazy!

Benefit boing concealer //  I found that using this under my foundation helped. The first few months were hard with lots of breakouts on my cheeks, but this def has the coverage I needed! The color I have is light.

Two faced born this way foundation //  This was the FULL coverage foundation I used when I first started Accuatne. It was awesome for pretty much making me look acne-less. I did have to use a bit of concealer with it since my acne/scaring was severe. The finish was pretty natural looking and I would spritz it with my Mario Badescu rose water toner to make it a bit more dewy looking. Once my skin got clearer, I didn’t find the need for it anymore.

Maybelline fit me foundation //  This is was I use currently, as I am wrapping up Accutane. I think this foundation is a fantastic drugstore buy. I have used high end foundations for the past 5 or 6 years, and I honestly think this one revels a few. It runs about $9 and the coverage is pretty solid (more light to medium). I can layer it up if I need to though so that is a plus!

Has anyone else done Accutane or is interested in doing it? I would love to chat about it if y’all have any questions. I know it’s really not a medicine that is for everyone but for me it was exactly what I needed to get my skin clear. It might sound superficial but I really do feel so much more confident with my clear skin. It was something that had always made me feel self conscious. After years of dealing with acne (I seriously would not wish that upon anyone) I can say I am finally FREEE! Ugh, how liberating.

Hope y’all enjoyed this #realtalk with me! Love y’all too much!!

Madison

 

5 NYE outfit ideas you have to try

Posted in Fashion
on 12/29/2017

Hello hello my friends! Hope y’all had a great Christmas and will have an even better new year! I for one, cannot freaking fathom how 2018 is just around the corner. I’ll most likely be curled up on the couch with my dog watching a movie with some champs, but for those of you going out, I know how stressful NYE outfits can be. You want glitz, but not too much glitter, fun, but not something too over the top… I feel you on finding that balance. So I’m share with y’all my secret.

My go to for any party outfit goes as follows…

statement piece + basic = PARTYPARTYPARTY

DSC_0099DSC_0089DSC_0100

black turtleneck // fringe skirt (similar) // chunky heel (THESE ARE AMAZING)

It’s no secret I am obsessed with my black turtleneck haha. I’ve featured it on another recent post too. I just love how chic it is paired with a skirt. So bottom line, go get yourself one (you will never put it down). How amazing is this fringe skirt? I found it at our last call Dillards this summer and got such a great deal on it! I thought the black on black was “dressy” enough for NYE but also super comfortable and at least a lil bit warm.

Here’s a few ideas for y’all if you’re not into the fringe skirt + turtleneck combo. I tried to have a look for any NYE plans (house party, going out, freezing temps, warm temps… you get it).

I would so do (1) black culottes (I am about to buy bc #obsessed), fun top, chunky heel for something more dressy. If it’s warm where ya are (2) a black jean skirt with a fun statement belt, chunky sweater, booties would be so casual chic. For those who wanna be a lil flashy do a (3) sequin top, black flares, chunky heel. You can always do that “classic” NYE look with (4) a fun dress with a fur jacket. If you’re a romper gal, do (5) a basic romper with some statement jewelry — earrings, necklaces, bracelets really just whatever you like best.

Y’all let me know what your plans are below! Are you going out or staying in?

catch ya on the flip (aka 2018)

Madison

Chunky sweater + my faves under $70

Posted in Fashion
on 12/11/2017

chunky sweater // jeans (under $30) // chunky heels // purse // sunglasses

Well, the unthinkable happened y’all — it’s cold in Louisiana. WTF?! Ya gotta have some way to curb that chill so that’s exactly when the chunky sweater comes in. The chunkier the better in my book. They’re my favorite thing to wear with just about everything. While I’m not much of a cardigan gal since public school totally wore me out (had to wear one over every outfit haha) I do love pullover sweaters since they’re easy. Just one piece and then you’re done!

I dressed this lil #ootd up with my new favorite heels. I’m pretty late jumping on the bandwagon for these babes but now I see where the hype is coming from! They come in oh so many colors and have a great price point. I would also do the sweater with leggings (my fave are Spanx faux leather) for a super comfy look. Booties would be great if it’s a little cooler outside!

shop this #ootd

I’m linking a bunch of sweater options for y’all below. They’re all under $70 (shoutout to my gals #ballinonabudget) so happy shopping! I am loving anything chunky and colorful so you’ll see lots of that in my picks!!

my fave sweaters under $70

xo, Madison

Photos by Demi Lyons Photography

Black, leopard and a little bit of patent leather | Dressing for a Southern Winter

Posted in Fashion
on 11/22/2017

IT’S BEEN A LONG 21 DAYS SINCE I’VE LAST POSTED, Y’ALL. To be honest, those few weeks have been some of the hardest times of this year. But hey, I am back! Thank you lord for Thanksgiving break, although it may only be two days for me when I factor in my work schedule. Nonetheless, I am thankful to have some sort of break. The end of the school year is coming WAAYY too fast.

Let’s dive into this post — featuring a super simple, super chic neutral look. It’s so perfect for the Louisiana “winters” we have (cold in the morning, warm in the afternoon).

turtleneck // leopard mini // black crossbody bag (same style, different print) // cabby hat // patent leather booties

Black and leopard… WHAT A COMBO. I picked up this skirt from work a few weeks ago but I was saving it for a black turtleneck. I finally found this one at Brandy Melville while I was in NYC. I threw these patent leather booties on to lighten up the look! Neutrals are my jam always. I am so happy leopard is coming back into style cause man I was missing it from my 2005 days.

I took a few pictures with my cabby hat (which I get so nervous to rock) to show y’all how to edge it up a bit. These are absolutely everywhere (thank you Niall Horan for bringing this trend BACK) and I am starting to like hats? Never thought I would say that haha.

get the look

On a side note: peep my hair. Goodness gracious, it’s looking rough. That half and half thing? Not digging it. Bought myself some hair dye today so I’ll report back tomorrow with the results. Wish me luck!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y’ALL!

xo, Madison

NYC recap

Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle
on 11/01/2017

As a girl who NEVER gets away, this long weekend up north was just what I needed. My roommate is living in NYC this semester due to her internship in the city. I was absolutely dying to get up there to visit with her, sightsee (this was only my second trip to NYC), and eat our way through the city.


I ended up taking the earliest flight I could find on Friday morning so I could get there with time to spare in the afternoon. I arrived in NYC at around 1:30 and got on a bus that took me to city. I was getting off at Penn station (they told me it was the second stop) so that’s where I got off.. turns out it wasn’t Penn station lol. So I bobbed and weaved through the streets of NYC with my suitcase in tow, headed to Catherine’s apartment.

We made a beeline for Ellen’s Stardust Diner (aka the most touristy restaurant in all of NYC, besides the Times Square Olive Garden lol) where your waiters do karaoke while you eat. Honestly, amazing. I felt like I was watching a Glee episode the entire meal but I was loving it!!

After the Stardust diner, it was starting to get chilly but we trekked over to the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) to check out the fashion exhibit they had going. Oh, and we got in for free since it was a Friday! Add that to ya bucket list.

Omigosh, y’all. If you love museums and fashion history you MUST go visit this exhibit at MoMA. It was seriously the coolest thing. As a fashion student, seeing things that I have been learning about in my classes and being able to name the designer or history of it was such a great feeling. Fashion lovers unite!

burger + fries tees // spanx leggings (on me) // superega platforms

Catherine and I met up with my bestie from home Gav for a Halloween party. Obviously we had to be burger and fries. Literally the easiest, best costume (and comfy too). We had a little too much fun on Friday night! A slice of $1 pizza was absolutely needed after that night (Two Bros has my heart).

dress // sunglasses

Saturday morning started off on the subway headed to the Financial district. We got Joe’s bagels… omg the best bagel I have ever had and totally worth the 15 min wait. Then made our way to the Staten Island ferry (where we met up with Catherine’s friend from internship, Isa and her friend Sophia) so we could have a free shot at seeing the Statue of Liberty. The weather was perfect and honestly we were scared that the ferry would be freezing, but it was not bad at all!

After Staten Island was DUMBO, Brooklyn. To be exact, the HOME of Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl. Yes, I was totally fan-girling. I can’t help myself y’all. It was the cutest little place. We ended up hanging out in DUMBO’s park for an hour. The view of the Brooklyn bridge and the city was so gorgeous.

A picnic in Central Park was up next. We racked up at Whole Foods on all the essentials: a baguette, brie, sandwiches, soups, cookies, and champagne. With the picnic blanket spread out, we feasted our hearts out (I was hella hungry).

Sunday was super gloomy and it was raining all day long. We visited our favorite founding father’s grave at Trinity Church, Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop in Greenwich Village and then went to SoHo for some retail therapy.

I racked up on some fabulous basics from my faves: Zara, H&M, Steve Madden, and Bloomingdales. My flight was at 5:55pm so I had to head back to the airport after SoHo. It got delayed so I arrived back in NOLA pretty late.

Thank you NYC for giving me a fabulous weekend and thank you to my hosts who made everything all the better (Gav and Catherine)!!

lots of love, Madison

All black errything | Head to toe fall style on a budget

Posted in Fashion
on 10/29/2017

BLACK ON BLACK MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A BOSS and I honestly wish I had enough black so I could wear it everyday. I don’t think there is occasion when black on black isn’t appropriate? I am so digging this trend for the fall and winter seasons. Did I mention that everything I’m wearing is under $50? See, ya don’t have to spend a lot of money to look chic af.

black cami // black ripped jeans // black chunky heels (similar) // mini MAC cross body // belt // ray ban aviators

Each piece in this head to toe black outfit is under $50 (and mostly everything is from Target). No, this is not a sponsored post by Target… I wish lol but I do LOVE their women’s section for basics. I really cannot believe I lived my life without a pair of black jeans before this. I find myself wearing them all the time, but my favorite thing to pair them with is a black top! The cami trend has been everywhere this season and I have been dying to hop on the bandwagon. I saw this one at Target and I was drawn to the simplicity of it — no lace, no frills just a simple v-neck. It comes in a few colors too (I’m linking below for y’all)! I’m typing this as I wait for my delayed flight home from New York.. man did I wear ALOT of black on my trip. No city like NYC to do it in I suppose? :-)

all black errything

Madison