Retail: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

I am always looking to save money, especially with my horrible shopping obsessions. So, I am a regular Plato’s Closet recycler. It’s such a smart way to make money AND save money. If you haven’t ever been to Plato’s Closet, they are a retail store that recycles fashion for both guys and girls! Meaning, they buy your old clothes and accessories off of you for instant cash! They then sell these clothes for low prices that are affordable for any budget. So, here’s how you get started:

Step 1: Go through your closet and pick out anything you haven’t worn in the past 6 months to 1 year. Make sure everything is in decent quality and has no stains.

Step 2: Go through your accessories and pick out anything you haven’t used in the past 6 months to 1 year. This means all jewelry (earrings must be on its original hang tag) belts, scarves, purses, and shoes.

Step 3: Fold everything neatly in a large tote bag or shopping bag.

Step 4: Take to your nearest Plato’s Closet and get cash for your clothes and accessories on the spot!

I’ve found that they’re a little picky when it comes to shoes and dresses. However, I typically get around $20-$30 whenever I go there. I also frequently go there for quick events, like holidays, to pick up a quick dress for under $10 instead of spending $30 at the mall for something I’ll only wear once! And usually, they’ll buy it back after you’ve gotten your use out of it!

Plato’s Closet is also a great place to go shopping for quick trends you know won’t be in style for long or for anything in general! They carry tons of Forever 21, Hollister, American Eagle, Abercrombie, Juicy Couture, Charlotte Russe, and brands from Urban Outfitters. Dresses and skirts typically run $6-$10 dollars and shirts and tank tops $6-$12 depending on brand and style. Shoes are around $10-$20, same with jeans, leggings, and sweaters/blazers/sweatshirts. It’s a place that anyone can bargain shop and I promise you’ll find some great steals! If you haven’t been there yet, I definitely recommend you try it out!

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8 Must Have Apps

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I consider myself a very organized individual, especially when it comes to
my phone! Over the past year I’ve gone through my fair share of apps, only keeping the best of the best in order to de-clutter my iPhone. Here are a few of my top picks for best apps:

1. Wallpapers HD: Free. This app has the best wallpapers for your phone, and has a large variety to choose from. You can search by category or browse the newest additions, and when you save them to your phone it automatically creates a Wallpapers folder for you in your albums!

2. Bokehful: Not Free. I don’t usually purchase any apps unless they’re 100% worth it, and this one is definitely worth the money! With this app you can add bokeh to any of your photos exactly where you want it. You can choose from a bunch of color schemes and shapes, AND choose how opaque it is! Most bokeh filters overpower your photos, so I really enjoy how much variation this app has.

3. ShopWell: Free. For anyone that is health conscious or allergic to a certain food you MUST download this app! It allows you to scan products at the grocery store to see what health score the food has and according to your personal profile it reveals hidden sugars, fats, and any allergens you may have. For me, I track what products have gluten. You’d be surprised what is truly healthy and what isn’t!

4. Joann Fabrics App: Free. This was extremely helpful for me throughout college since I was a fashion design major, and still remains to be one of my most used apps. Do not ever buy anything from Joanns again without a coupon! This app has downloadable coupons that are reusable! And I’ll let you in on another secret, Joann’s accepts Michael’s coupons and Hobby Lobby! AND Michael’s also has an app with readily available coupons. Just show the cashier your phone and you’re good to go!

5. FourSquare: Free. Check into places to receive discounts and coupons! Not many places offer discounts but some places like American Eagle and Payless typically offer something daily. Not only does it feature clothing stores, but also restaurants and small businesses.

6. AutoRap: Free. This app is something to use just for fun. It takes a recording and turns it into an instant rap, and you choose what beat you want. It’s so funny! You an your friends and family will be laughing for hours.

7. PicJoiner: Free. I like this frame app more than others because it gives you more options. You can change the color of the frame and round the corners (my personal favorite feature)!

8. PicFx: Not Free. This app is my little secret weapon. BEST PHOTO EDITING APP EVER. You’ll never use another filter app again. Pic Fx offers so many filters, textures, and bokeh, your head will spin. It allows you to layer filters, rotate filters and choose their opacity. Everyone on Instagram will ask how you edited your photos!

Beauty: The Perfect Bun

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Whenever I’m short on time, my signature go-to hairdo is the topknot. It’s super chic, quick, and great for those days your hair is less than fresh!
Over the years, I’ve leaned new ways to perfect the ‘do and now I’m going to share them with you!

First lets start with the basics. If your hair isn’t first day fresh, grab some powder to soak up any greasiness. Baby powder, scented body powder, whatever you have! Simply pour a small amount on the crown of your head and pat it through to the roots. Next, brush your hair back until all the whiteness from the powder is absorbed and pull into a ponytail. Now, choose 1 of 3 ways to achieve bun perfection:

The first way is quickest, and requires only 2 small hair clips. Tease your ponytail and divide into 2 pieces. Take one piece and wrap it around the base of your ponytail and secure with a clip. Take the second piece and do the same but in the OPPOSITE direction around the base and clip. Hairspray any fly-always and you’re good to go!

The second way requires either a bun insert (like the small one above, available at Claire’s for $5) or use a rolled sock (check out the sockbun vids
on YouTube). Take your ponytail and pull it through the center of the bun insert of your choice, so it’s sitting at the base of your pony. Now, take the insert and pull it up the ponytail until only about 2 inches of your ends are hanging out. Then, tuck the ends over the insert and begin to roll the insert down toward the base of the ponytail. It’s much easier if you use your thumbs to push the hair up into the insert rather than try to use the tips of your fingers to pull from the top. After practice, you’ll have a perfectly tight ballerina bun!

The last way is my personal favorite! You’ll need the largest bun insert (Mine above was $5.25 from Claire’s) and 3-5 bobby pins. First pull the ponytail through the insert, so it is sitting at the base of the pony against your head. Divide the pony into two pieces and make sure both pieces are voluminous. Slightly twist one piece and wrap it around the bun making sure to hide the insert and bobby pin the ends under the insert. Do the same with the second piece but wrap in the OPPOSITE direction to hide the other side of the insert! And voila, the biggest and best topknot in under 5 minutes!

Beauty Tip: Let’s Get Catty

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As a part of my everyday routine, the cat eye can take months to master. I’ve been wearing my eye makeup like this for about 5 years now, and there are some secret tips to achieving the perfect wing. First, gather your materials:

 1. Eyelash curler

2. Liquid eyeliner (I use Maybelline’s Line Stiletto)

3. Gel Eyeliner (I use Maybelline’s Eyestudio)

4. Eyeliner pencil

5. Mascara

 First, curl your lashes (so you avoid smudging the eyeliner in the future). Then, draw a quick line over your lashline with a regular pencil eyeliner. Smudge it with a sponge. This will help the liquid liner stick to your lid. Next, using the liquid liner, draw your bottom wing tip. Now, starting from your inner eye, create the top of your eyeliner and connect it to the bottom wing tip you just drew. You should have a space of skin still showing between the two. Continue by filling in the space and perfecting the shape of “swoosh” you desire. Let that dry. Finish the perfect cat eye by going over it with gel liner. I just started doing this recently and found that my eyeliner appeared less faded, more black, and lasted MUCH longer. Simply dip the brush into the gel pot and gently trace the liquid liner. And finally, top your lashes off with mascara and you’re good to go!