February 22, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.




{Follow my social media accounts @miss_alk!}



Ramblings:

  • Big things coming soon! That's all I can say for right now.... but God is GOOD and BIG CHANGES are happening for me. ☺️ I'll share more as soon as I can!
  • In this week's weird news... I read a lot of entertainment and weird news headlines early on weekdays mornings as apart of the prep work I do for my morning radio internship. This week, one of the weirdest stories that I've read yet while interning came across my computer screen! This Nevada man says that he runs his own mini nation... say what? Read all about it here- this story fascinated me and I had to stop reading it so I could finish my work for the day, haha! 
  • Workshop! This weekend I have the really cool opportunity to teach a Social Media 101 workshop for other students (and even a few staff members) at my broadcasting school! I by no means call myself an expert in blogging or social media and I'm always looking to learn more about these platforms, but as many of my classmates are just beginning their journeys into the social media world, I am so excited to share with them some of the skills that I have picked up over the past few years with running my blog! If you have any links to articles or blog posts with great advice or tips with anything relate to social media, please leave them in a comment on this post or send them my way! I'd love to include a resource list for everyone coming to the workshop. I never thought that I'd have this type of opportunity in broadcasting school, so I'm really excited for it! 

Purchases:

  • The bridesmaids in the wedding that I'm in later this spring have to wear nude pumps with our dresses, and I figured it was time to upgrade to a fresh pair! My previous nude pumps are a few years old, and a shoe like this is such a wardrobe staple. These are the ones I went with- I found them in a department store on sale for 30% off! 
  • My lips have been exceptionally chapped this winter. I deal with chapped lips on the regular, but what I've been experiencing lately is pretty unreal. I've tried just about every variety of Chapstick and a lot of other drugstore lip products, but nothing was helping. While on a Target run, I spotted this lip product in a pharmacy aisle which I hadn't seen before, and I decided to give it a try. Y'ALL. GAME CHANGER. I haven't had chapped lips at all since I started using it a couple weeks ago! It's under $5 and I don't think I'll ever go without it again. 

Wishlist:

  • Ugh y'all. Lots on my wishlist right now. This darling dress under $35 and absolutely the prettiest for spring. I might be ordering this ASAP.
  • These pretty floral heels have me dreaming about all of my favorite things about spring (and under $30!)
  • I'm rarely a fan of pleats in clothing pieces but this skirt might be changing my mind about that!
  • This jacket is on sale and I LOVE the green color.



     My question for y'all this week: what are you looking forward to in the month of March? And again- please share any links with me to your favorite social media resources! Have a great Wednesday!


     xoxo Annaliese

February 20, 2017

8 Best Affordable Lipsticks.









Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography


     My love for makeup runs almost as deep as my passion for fashion- true story! It dawned on me recently though that beauty isn't a topic that I blog about very often at all, and I'm hoping to change that. I'm not really sure why it's something I don't blog about often... maybe because when I'm looking for information about beauty products or a certain type of makeup tutorial it is something I'll definitely seek out, but on an average day I would personally rather read about fashion or lifestyle on someone else's blog. But it doesn't mean that I don't still love it- if that makes sense?! Haha. So here's to adding in more beauty posts on my blog!


    I thought a good place to start with the beauty posts would be with sharing about my tried and true lipsticks. There are certain beauty products that I prefer to splurge on, but in all honestly lip products are not one of them. (I do have one beloved Chanel lip gloss which I feel very fancy every time that I wear, but that's about the exception. 😉) There are so many great drugstore cosmetic brands, and I think that lip products are one of the best makeup items to buy at a drugstore price point. Of course not every affordable cosmetic brand makes great lipsticks- some aren't well pigmented, and some can really dry out your lips. But there are also some true winners that are both great on the lips and great for the wallet! As you can probably tell from the pictures, my favorite shades for daily wear are variations of muted berries and pinks. I do wear nudes, reds and bright shades for blog photos or special events sometimes, but the lipsticks that I'm sharing today are my favorites for everyday. 


    Revlon is usually my go-to brand for lipsticks. I've never partnered with Revlon on my blog... just an honest fan of their lipsticks! These lipsticks are available at Ulta, Target/Walmart and drugstores nationwide, and they're always bringing new colors into the line, as well as continuing to produce the favorite colors. Most of my favorite Revlon lipsticks are from the Super Lustrous line. I used to be a fan of the Colorburst Lip Butters as well (and featured one of my favorite shades, Berry Smoothie, from those in this post), but sadly the Lip Butters have been recently discontinued. But here are my favorites from the Super Lustrous lipstick line:


     *Demure (683) - This was my signature lipstick shade just about all through college! It's a warm peachy-pink, and has very much of a "pearl" finish to it. I wear this lipstick more than any other in my blog posts, but here's just one look at it!


    *Blushing Mauve (460) - A gorgeous shade- I would describe it as a "moody pink" if that makes any sense! It's a great shade to wear in winter/early spring especially as it's slightly cool toned.  I wore it in this post! 


     *Rosewine (225) - This is the perfect hint of red for everyday wear, without being so bold that it feels overpowering! It's a very warm shade. I don't wear on blog very often (not really sure why), but I did wear it here


     *Temptress (680) - Just a really pretty bright pink for everyday wear. Gorgeous color without being "too much." Looks great with a liner under it as well! I'm wearing it here (old blog post but some of the close up photos show the color well). 


     *Pink Velvet (423) - This is a very versatile lipstick that looks great with outfits in all seasons, and can easily go from day to night looks! I've recommended this one to friends before as one of my ultimate go to shades. It's a nice blend of pink and red. It looks great worn in this blog post! 


     And my favorite from the sadly discontined Colorburst Lip Butter line from Revlon: 

     *Berry Smoothie - The perfect warm berry shade for everyday wear. I loved the Lip Butter line because these lipsticks literally went on like butter!! Hopefully I'll find a dupe product for this soon. If you can still find this anywhere, here's me wearing it in a blog post. 



     Two other non-Revlon favorites that I wanted to share:  


     *essence Long Lasting Lipstick in Blush My Lips (c/o) - essence is my favorite drugstore makeup brand. When I do want to wear a very bold pink for an everyday look, this is usually the lipstick I reach for! It's a gorgeous deep pink, and has amazing staying power. The best part is that it's under $5! I'm wearing it here


     *Aveda nourish-mint lipstick in Sheer (c/o) - I've received some awesome PR packages from Aveda over the past several months, and my favorite package of all contained this lipstick, as well as another from the nourish-mint line. This one specifically is the ideal nude shade!! It's truly a "your lips but better" color. I wore it in this post! 


     I'm linking the adorable makeup bag shown in the pictures below as well! (A Christmas gift from my sweet college roommate, Caroline!) 

     Now I want to know - what are your favorite everyday lipsticks? Is there a drugstore brand that you're loyal to for lip products? Share away!






      Stay tuned for Midweek Ramblings and Recent Purchases on Wednesday! Lots of exciting things to come soon... both for the blog and my personal life. Can't wait to share more soon!



     xoxo Annaliese


February 16, 2017

Results of My First Reader Survey!

 


      Thanks so much to everyone who took my blog's first-ever reader survey a couple of weeks ago! The results were much more helpful, interesting, and heartwarming than I ever could have predicted. I'm just mad at myself that I haven't decided to do a reader survey sooner, but better late than never, right?!  I've already started making a few content changes since going over the results of the survey,  but I wanted to share everything with y'all. If you didn't get a chance to take the survey, feel free to leave some of your thoughts about the results, or my blog in general, in a comment on this post!


     *Almost 40% of you have been reading Southern Belle in Training for 2-3 years (OMG!). The rest of you were a huge mix in terms of how long you've been reading the blog... some of you have been around since the very beginning (4+ years), and some of you are newer followers. Either way, I'm so happy that each and every one of you are here!


     *Almost 70% of you read my blog either "every time there's a new post" or "a few times a week." This was amazing for me to hear!! Cliche as it may sound, it really does warm my heart that a lot of y'all enjoy my posts enough to pop in each time there's a new one.


      *When I asked which types of blog posts were y'all's absolute favorites to see, four categories that I write about took the lead by far! Fashion and OOTD posts won with almost 40% of you picking that answer, which I guess isn't too much of a surprise- since the main focus of my blog is affordable fashion and style! The other three categories which y'all like the best are any posts about "adulting" (like finances, apartment living, etc), college/sorority life posts, and my Wednesday Midweek Ramblings posts- which will return next week I promise!


     *I asked y'all's thoughts about adding in some new content to Southern Belle in Training, and I liked what I heard! For awhile now, I've been considering adding in blog posts about relationships and my future career in broadcasting.  87% of you are interested in relationships blog posts, and almost 60% are interested in learning more about broadcasting and radio! Since the survey ended, I've already begun a "Relationship Monday" series, and shared a couple of posts about dating/singleness (including one this week for Valentine's Day!). I'm also beginning to plan out how to integrate content about broadcasting and my career, and I'm getting really excited to do that later this year! I'm currently in the thick of finishing classes at broadcasting school over the next few weeks and I'm also knee deep in job applications, so I think these posts might be better to start once I can recap my educational journey and job search process in full - which will hopefully be sooner rather than later!



     I also asked for y'all to share some honest critiques of my blog, and any ways that you think I might be able to improve. I was actually thankful to receive this constructive criticism! Here a couple of great responses to this question:


     "I'd love to see an updated blog design that's easier to navigate & a little more modern (while still maintaining your personality!)" - Yes to this! This year actually marks two years since I rebranded my blog and switched to the current design and template that I have now. I'm actually hoping to switch over to Wordpress later this year or next, but that's unfortunately a costly thing to do (when done well), and while finishing up school and job searching I don't have the type of extra money to do that right now. But once I'm able to in the hopefully near future, this is something that I want to tackle!


     "I enjoy personal posts every now and then. I know it's best to be private (and for safety I agree)... But I like to get to "know" the bloggers I follow. It gives me a reason to keep coming back to read the blog." - I received several responses similar to this one, but I felt like this one specifically summed it up best. I'll definitely keep trying to add more personal content each month going forward! I hope y'all have been enjoying the Relationship Monday posts so far, and I'll be trying to see if I can find other ways to integrate personal content as well. 



     So thank you, thank you, thank you again to those of you who took the survey! I hope this post expressed how truly grateful I am for each one of you who took the time to share your feedback with me. Here's to this year being the best year yet for SBIT!


     On an unrelated note.... some big things are happening in my personal life this weekend. ☺️ I decided that I'll be taking a social media break this weekend while everything is figured out. I can't give away any details quite yet.... but I would appreciate any prayers! Hoping to share some news soon.



     xoxo Annaliese