Shopping My Closet + Styling a Find

Hello lovelies! It’s me, Sophie aka The Chic Flamingo, writing a blog post about fashion! It feels like a million years since I’ve sat down and wrote about an outfit, but I’m here today to share this ensemble I really love and a little bit about it.

DSC01748

I’m about to be a super broke fashion student here in about 8 weeks, and I think that’s a little crazy to think about. As much as I’d love to drop a few thousand dollars on a brand new wardrobe, it’s a pretty unrealistic wish. Shopping my closet as been a necessity for me to create new looks, and along the way I’ve been finding forgotten gems in giveaway piles as well. That’s where this denim overall skirt comes in.

DSC01767

I bought this gem from Old Navy (similar here) back before my sophomore year in high school for a 5SOS concert. If I had to guess, I’m sure I wore it less than five times before I shoved it to the back of my closet, only to be taken out when doing some spring cleaning, and thrown into a garbage sack bound for Goodwill.

The other day when I took that garbage sack out to drop it off at Goodwill, I rummaged through it to double check and see if I really wanted to get rid of everything in it. When I found the overalls, I about died because I couldn’t believe I was actually going to get rid of them!

DSC01753

I’ve paired my black overall skirt with a tube top I purchased from Shein. I saw this style of top all over Instagram, and figured I’d go outside my comfort zone and try it out. I’m pretty sure I bought it for $5, so it was a good deal. My shoes were bought from Marshalls last summer, but I’ve linked a similar pair here. An outfit isn’t complete without a little pink in my opinion, so of course I’m carrying a pink crossbody. The super sassy shades are from Marshalls and are by the brand Quay.DSC01736

What kind of hidden gems have you found tucked into the back of your closet or in a giveaway pile?

Advertisements

Struggling with Acne and Self-Esteem

Hello lovelies! It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with some pretty intense acne this past year. I’ve tried so many different skincare products and routines, and it’s taken quite awhile to make any progress. These past 6 months I’ve been taking pictures of my skin, so I could eventually do a blog post showing the progress.

I knew I wanted to do this blog post because acne is something I’ve struggled with. It’s pretty much the root of my insecurities, and a lot of my time and money was focused on trying to have super clear skin at one point. But, with hormonal, cystic acne, it’s kinda hard just to clear it up in a day. It’s painful, it extremely noticeable under makeup in real life, and it tends to come right back a week after you clear it up, in my experience.

I had pretty good skin with minimal acne until July/August of 2017. It was a gradual change to where my skin went from typical, teenage hormonal acne to intense, cystic hormonal acne.

July/August 2017

These are the first photos I took of my skin for this post. They are from what I deem my “first” real breakout and when my skin really started taking a turn for the worse in August of 2017. I remember thinking, “Wow, there’s no way my skin could get worse than this.” And, boy, was I wrong. At this point, I believed the acne would pass quickly, and that is was caused by stress. I was starting my senior year of high school, applying for college and worrying I wouldn’t get in, and Casey left for basic training for the Air Force. Needless to say, I was stressed. I figured once I wasn’t anymore, it would go away.

November/December 2017

Then, in late November/early December I started to see my skin getting even worse. I can’t say it’s too much different from August, but there was quite a few more pimples and noticeable marks leftover from the zits I couldn’t help but pop. If I could go back, I wouldn’t have touched a single one of those cystic pimples, because they left some nasty marks on my face.

January 2018

January was one of the WORST months for my skin. I’d say my acne was at it’s worst during this time period. I felt ugly, worthless, and the cystic acne covering my face was PAINFUL. Again, I was popping pimples like it was my job and picking at the scabs that were left. It really did a deal on my face because of this.

Quick note: I’m not sad in these pictures, it was just a little awkward taking pictures so close to my face!

I can actually feel how painful those pimples were from just looking at those photos. Even when I’d get the stubborn zits to go away, they’d come back in a week or so. I think the fact that I literally just could not get them to go away for good was the most frustrating.

Meanwhile, my skin was covered in red pimples without makeup, but this is what it looked like with makeup and an Instagram filter.

img_4482

Looking at that picture I’m still not quite sure how I managed to make it look like I had clear skin, but I promise you this photo was taken days apart from the makeupless January ones. I even remember finishing my makeup in the mornings and still seeing bumps all over my face.

My skin looked pretty bad like this until about February/March when I started using Proactive. I swore I’d never use it because I genuinely thought it was a gimmick, but Casey had some leftover boxes and suggested I try it, so I did. I had nothing to lose at this point since my skin already looked so bad.

April 2018

Proactive made a noticeable difference in my skin, but I was still struggling with a few stubborn, cystic pimples on my cheeks that kept resurfacing. I went to the doctor and she prescribed Tretinoin Cream 0.025%, which is one of the lower dosages of retinoid creams. She recommended I continue using Proactive and to apply the cream just in the areas where I had acne (as seen in the pictures above). It’s been the best product for clearing up those painful, cystic zits. I didn’t even know my regular doctor could prescribe me cream for my acne, but it saved me a trip to the dermatologist!

Now

My skin isn’t completely clear yet, but I’m not dealing with constant breakouts and cystic zits. When I do get a pimple, which is rare, it’s small and passes within a day or two. This is just from being on the retinoid cream for two months, and I didn’t even have to go to the dermatologist to have it prescribed to me.

The biggest difference in my skin now is that it’s just leftover marks from acne that aren’t raised bumps. It’s a lot easier to cover with makeup and it isn’t painful anymore. Luckily, retinoid cream helps with scarring too, so I’m continuing to use it. The 2-3 cystic zits that were super stubborn and always coming back are gone, and if I push against the spots where they were, I don’t feel anything.

Acne is one of those things that seems like no big deal, unless you’ve got it. To me, when I had bright red, painful bumps covering my cheeks and jawline, it felt like the end of the world. I had a twisted image of myself when I looked in the mirror because all I saw was the acne. When everyone seems to have clear skin on social media, in magazines, and on T.V. it makes the breakouts seem even worse. I can tell you from experience that a little bit of Estee Lauder Double Wear and photo filters can go a long way. And if you think even celebrities have perfectly clear skin, then check out this article from Teen Vogue about Lili Reinhart or this one from Allure about Kendall Jenner!

Now, I still have a long way to go to get rid of my acne scarring. I’m definitely less insecure and I can actually leave the house without foundation or concealer on. I can’t stress enough how easy it is to make it look like you have clear skin on social media. If you’re struggling with acne and self-esteem issues, I really hope this post helped you out!

xoxo, The Chic Flamingo

 

Chic Vox Box Product Review

Hello lovelies! Awhile ago I received the Chic VoxBox from Influester complimentary for testing purposes. I was really excited when I was chosen for the campaign because I had no idea what was coming in the box. So, in today’s post I’ll be sharing all the goodies from the box along with a product review for each!

DSC01725-2

1. NYX Worth the Hype Mascara

I am a Too Faced BTS girl through and through, it’s my holy grail. If I’m not using BTS, then I’m wearing L’Oréal’s knock-off. When I opened the package and saw a mascara I was really excited to put it to the test against my two favorite mascaras, and when I did, it held up! NYX’s WTH mascara is super lengthening and voluminizing without being clumpy, everything a girl with short lashes needs. It takes an outrageous amount of coats to even get remotely clumpy, so if you’re a fan of the super natural look, this mascara is perfect for you!

DSC01726-2

2. EOS Shave Cream

I rarely ever use shaving cream because I think it’s just as easy to throw some soap on your legs and go for it. But, I really love this shave cream from EOS! It’s great because it is a thicker formula and it isn’t going to run off wet legs. Plus, EOS always has the best products for moisturizing in my opinion, and the shave cream goes right along with that trend. I’ve been self-tanning every few days lately, so this product helps to prep my legs and create a smooth base.

DSC01728-2

3. Hair Food Shampoo & Conditioner

After going bright blonde recently, my hair has been feeling pretty dry, so a shampoo and conditioner duo that’ll keep my locks hydrated is a must. This product is really good at moisturizing and it smells amazing! Plus, it doesn’t contain any parabens!

DSC01729-2

4. Korres Face Mask

I was a little hesitant to try this mask because I’m on a pretty strict skincare regiment right now. I’ve been using Proactiv and a retinoid cream prescribed by my doctor for a few months now. I was a little worried that using this mask would cause my face to break out, but it didn’t! The mask is grainy which surprised me, so when you first put it on it exfoliates the skin. Overall, I really loved how soft my skin felt after using this mask, and the product only has to stay on for less than 5 minutes!

DSC01727-2

Thank you Influenster for sending me these products complimentary for testing purposes!

xoxo,

The Chic Flamingo

 

 

 

18 Dresses for the Class of 2018

Hello lovelies! It’s May which means it’s almost time for graduation! I’ve had my ceremony dress for awhile, but I know some girls are looking right now for one. Today, I’ve rounded up 18 dresses for every budget and for every style. A lot of the dresses I’ve included are white or a blush because from what I’ve read, that’s a tradition. At my school we are required to wear white because girls wear white gowns, but I get that’s not the case for everyone. Most of the dresses included today also come in multiple colors, so even if you’re looking for a non-white dress for graduation or a different event, keep reading!

Under $300

Under $300

1. Kate Spade Poppy Embellished Mini Dress

2. Eliza J Lace Fit & Flare Dress

3. Madewell Eyelet Lattice Dress

4. Vince Camuto Sequin Dress

5. Ted Baker London Skater Dress

6. Lilly Pulitzer Zina Romper

Under $100

under $100

1. Gap Midi Dress

2. Nordstrom Rack Floral Fit & Flare

3. Von Maur Illusion Hemline Dress

4. Dillard’s 3D Floral Dress

5. Dillard’s Illusion Neckline Dress

6. Topshop Blush Mini Dress

Under $50

under $50

1. Old Navy Embroidered-Yoke Dress

2. Shein Lace Overlay Dress

3. Target Fringe Dress

4. Target Scallop Trim Dress

5. Francesca’s Scallop Trim Lace Dress

6. Francesca’s Illusion Dress

Which dress was your favorite?

Let me know on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!

xoxo, The Chic Flamingo

*links in this post may be affiliated*

The Beauty of Dad Denim

Hello lovelies! I’m usually a skinny jean gal, but lately I’ve been going out of my comfort zone. I picked up these wide straight leg jeans from Gap the other week when they were on sale, and I truly do love them. The best way to categorize this style of jeans is “dad denim.” Yep, they totally look like my dad’s light wash Levi’s he mows the lawn in, but for some reason, I’m really digging it.

DSC01698DSC01702

Now, these jeans aren’t for everyone, but they make a statement. To me, they say “yeah, I’m matching my dad but I don’t care!” I’ve honestly gotten a few stares when wearing them, and I really don’t care. They make me feel powerful, sophisticated, and feminine.

DSC01699DSC01684

I like to pair them with a basic white tee and mules to let the jeans do the talking, or with a pretty pink top and gingham wedges to show that I don’t need skintight jeans to look like a lady.

DSC01708

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be giving up my high-waisted skinnies anytime soon. I will be embracing the beauty of not caring in these unconventional jeans.

DSC01703

My big dilemma with these jeans is whether or not I should cut a raw hem. I’m really loving the classic feel of them now, but I think with a raw hem they’d put off a more boho vibe. What do you think? Let me know in the comments or on my Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!

xoxo, The Chic Flamingo

*some links in this post are affiliated*

Flamingo’s Top 4-March

Hello lovelies! Yet another month in 2018 has flown by quickly. In Ohio, the temperatures are starting to rise very slowly, but we’re getting there! March has honestly been the month of zero inspiration because of the not-so-fun weather. I’ve been ordering a lot of spring clothes and accessories. Once the weather warms up I’ll be styling them and sharing new outfits on the blog. For now, today’s post is the (late) March edition of Flamingo’s Top 4, so keep reading if you want to know my four favorite things from this past month!

1. Pretty Pink Nails

Pink nails have been my go-to this past month, especially light pink. I’ve been stocking up on all kinds of pink OPI nail polishes that I find at Marshalls for $4 a bottle. I can’t decide if my favorite is Suzi Shops & Island Hops, the bubblegum pink shade pictured below, or The Color That Keeps on Giving, a pale, pearl pink.

img_3554

2. NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue

Now that it’s spring and I’m wearing a lot of pink lip colors, I’m reaching for this one more than anything. I love to layer it over other pink hues, or even wear it alone!

img_3562

3. Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley

I received Emily Ley’s book, Grace, Not Perfectionin my Easter basket this year, and I’ve hardly been able to put it down. Something I seriously struggle with is trying to create a life that I deem “perfect.” There’s nothing wrong with being the best version of yourself, but I think sometimes it’s easy to become overwhelmed with trying to reach something nonexistent, perfection. This book addresses that, as well as embraces simplicity, like it says on the cover, lol. Honestly, I’m so bad at explaining the contents of books, so if you’re looking for a good read and you feel like you get overwhelmed with trying to be perfect, check out this book!

img_3678

4. Striped Kate Spade Sam

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my striped Kate Spade Sam Bag. It’s all over my Instagram and I even wrote a blog post about it! I’m seriously obsessed with the bag because it’s the perfect everyday bag. It holds all the essentials, like a water bottle, wallet, sunglasses, and if you’re like me, a bunch of miscellaneous lip products!

DSC01601

I guess with it being spring (even though it doesn’t feel like it) I’m really loving pink! What are some of your favorite things from the month of March? Let me know on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!

xoxo, The Chic Flamingo

*some of the links in this blog post are affiliated*

 

 

 

The College Credit+ Program: My Experience & Tips

Hello lovelies! I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog before that I take college classes while I’m still in high school. Ohio has a program called the College Credit Plus program where students can take classes through a lot of different colleges in the state. I’m not sure what other states have a program similar, but in Ohio students can take college courses through it without having to pay for tuition or books. Today, I’m sharing my experience as a CC+ student, and a few tips if you’re thinking about taking college courses in high school too!

I started taking college classes through the program my junior year of high school at Wright State University Lake Campus. My school does offer a few college courses at the high school through CC+, but they are through a state college and not a university. This isn’t always a huge deal, but I felt more comfortable getting college credits through a university where I knew the credits would transfer better. Also, when I decided that I was going to do CC+, I was considering Wright State University Main Campus as a potential college after high school.

When I first started CC+, I had completely no clue what classes to take. I didn’t know whether I should do online or on-campus, so I just stuck with on-campus my first semester to get a feel for it. The school gave me a list of courses other students had taken, and my advisor at college gave me some basic classes freshmen typically take. Honestly, my first semester I winged it. I signed up for three random classes (a psychology, English, and history) and went with it.

My first bit of advice is to just go for it, even if you don’t know what degree you want in the future.

After my first semester, I pretty much knew I wanted to go to Kent State for Fashion Merchandising. I got in contact with an advisor from Kent and she sent me some information about the courses required for a fashion merchandising degree. For Kent State, the program requirements can be found on their website too. She sent me an online transfer guide for Kent, too. The transfer guide became my lifesaver before every academic appointment. I would check out the general education courses required for fashion merchandising, and use the transfer guide to find the Wright State equivalent.

I recommend getting in touch with prospective colleges to get a transfer guide and program requirements. It saves you from wasting your time taking classes that won’t contribute much to your degree.

Although, I did take a few classes that I’m not quite sure will transfer or that weren’t a program requirement. I took a Small Business Management class because at the time I wanted to own a boutique in the future.

My third semester of CC+, I did all online. It was a mistake for me, but it may not be for anyone else. Every day I had the mornings off and went to high school for 3 periods a day. I slept in most mornings and saved all of my homework for the day it was due. It was a huge mistake on my part, but taking all online may work for other people!

The college courses I’ve taken weren’t too difficult in my opinion. I wasn’t a straight A student in high school, but it wasn’t anything unachievable. I think some times people assume you have to be super smart to do CC+, but that’s just not the truth. At the college I go to, there is free tutoring, and I take full advantage of it. Earlier this semester, I was struggling in the microeconomics class I’m taking. I figured out the only way I am going to comprehend the material is to sit down and read the book until I understand it.

If you start to struggle in a college course, ask for help. Professors may be able to offer you extra credit or you can find a tutor to help you out. At my school, if you fail a college class, you have to pay for it!

Now, if you don’t know where your future is headed, you can still do CC+. Casey did CC+ with me my junior year and he did not really know what he wanted to do when he was older. He assumed college, but soon decided after that the military was where he was meant to be. Casey was able to take the classes through CC+ that counted for high school too, and he graduated a year early. Even with him being in the military it benefited him because he was able to rank up prior to enlistment.

Even if you aren’t 100% sure college is in your future, college credits can benefit you.

There’s a big misconception around CC+ that you might miss out on important events in high school. This is so wrong on SO many levels because if you want to be involved at school, you can be involved. I went to homecoming, prom, I played sports, and I’m even in a club. The things I missed out on were things I didn’t want to do, so if anyone tries to tell you that you’ll miss out on high school experiences, don’t believe them. I’m only a part-time college student, but I know people who do CC+ full time and feel the same way.

Another misconception about the program is that it’s hard to participate in sports. Again, SO wrong! I played golf and swim and I knew I had practices in the evening, so I made sure to take classes in the morning. There was one time when I had a sectionals golf match and a college exam on the same day and at the same time. I talked to my professor and he let me take the exam a day early. All the professors I had handed out a daily schedule in the syllabus, so I knew at the beginning of the semester when exams and important events were.

Don’t let anyone discourage you from the CC+ program. There’s a lot of misconceptions surrounding the program. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask someone who has already done it, like me!

Taking courses at a college campus during high school was genuinely the best decision I’ve ever made. I matured and became a lot more independent because of it. I should graduate high school with 38 college credits, and I didn’t have to pay for any of it except a parking fee! It takes some hard work and self-motivation, but it’s all worth it!

Please, if you have any questions about the CC+ program, let me know. I know when I started to consider it, I had a ton of questions that were left unanswered until I dove in and found out for myself. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more of The Chic Flamingo!