Healthy Habits for Spring

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I have a penchant for falling out of good habits into, well, bad habits. Last semester and even for a month of this semester, I was on a really good workout routine. If I didn't do it daily, it was at least 5 out of 7 days a week and I felt good. Then I started a project that, coupled with school and work, sucked up all of my free time. Well, I finally finished that project last Wednesday and now I'm getting back into the swing of things! Here are five things I'm going to do for the remainder of my spring semester (and obviously carry without me through the summer).


I have, no joke, seven massive water bottles in my fridge so that I have cold water to drink at all times. No excuses! 

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Okay, this one won't be too difficult considering these are the only two things I like to buy with my dining dollars on campus, but I feel like writing it down will only make me want to eat more.

3. Walk everywhere and take the stairs

Again, I do this anyways, but now that it's nicer out there really are no excuses to take public transportation (though I am known to take the four mile round trip walk to and from work in 20 degree weather because I don't like the bus)! Everything I need to get to is within a two mile (maximum) walk or five flights of stairs. I'm fairly capable of doing this!

4. 30 Day Workout Routines

Most of the time, I don't know what to do when I'm working out that isn't running (which I can't do at school) or the typical push-ups or crunches. I don't know how many reps to do or how to keep myself on a steady schedule, so these pre-made 30 day workout challenges are perfect because they keep me on a schedule and active every day! I'm partial to the squat challenges and abs challenges. Pinterest has a ton!

5. Remember to relax

This is the one thing I struggle with the most. I don't like to let myself take a day off even if I truly don't have anything to do. I'll make things for me to do, which is a bit nutty! Sometimes I just need to remind myself to relax and take that day to chill and read or watch Netflix.

What are your healthy habits for spring? 

Confidence Is Key

Monday, March 30, 2015

"C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T that's me, I'm confident."
- wise and ridiculously cool philosophers, Fifth Harmony

Eighteen-year-old Francesca would not have been able to write this post. I don't even think eighteen-year-old Francesca would have ever used the word "confident" in describing herself, not even as a self-depreciating joke. But I am not eighteen anymore, nor have I been for quite a few months, and I feel confident enough in myself to write a post about that very thing.

A few weeks back, my friend noted that ever since starting my blog, I've sort of blossomed into the girl I am today. I totally agreed with that. I also think there was a distinct shift in my state of mind when I got my hair cut for the first time in December, right before Christmas. My hair was always my security blanket. I was under the assumption that long hair forever equated beautiful and that without it, I would be nothing. Then I saw other girls chopping off their long locks and I had the (usually dangerous) thought, "Why can't I do it too?" 

The "if they can do it, so can I" logic is tricky because I believe it can lead to as many foolish things as good things, but in the case of my Long Hair, Don't Care phase, wanting to jump on the "short" hair bandwagon was a wise life choice. Do I think I could've gotten to this point with long hair? Probably, most certainly. I just think my haircut and deciding to get rid of my security blanket once and for all was the kick in the a$$ that I needed.

It was a domino effect from there. Selfies—usually hidden within the depths of my photos on my phone or sent to only my closet friends—turned into my favorite thing to post about on social media. I wanted for people to see what I was looking like, what I was wearing because I liked it enough to share it. That was huge for me, a pivotal moment that transitioned from my coyness on social media into a self-love fest.

I have journal entires from spring semester last year and in those few months there is a noticeable change in my attitude, even just two weeks after I started blogging regularly. Am I saying that the only way to achieve and garner confidence is to blog? No, certainly not! But I believe that it starts with filling your life up with people, things and activities that you love and discarding the rest. Don't be afraid to erase the negative forces in your life if they're tearing you down. It's easier said than done, I'm aware, but I also believe that it's still worth the effort. You'll never know if you don't try, my friends.

To me, confidence is one of the ultimate stages of self-love. Confidence is not arrogance, it is not self-centeredness. It is simply feeling good about yourself and your abilities, feel worthy of what you have in life and even feeling worthy of something more. Confidence is not selfish, rude, unsexy. And it's not something that anybody should feel forced to have or fake.

Despite not feeling confident until the ripe age of nineteen, I have preached confidence to friends and strangers for years. I have told people to love themselves time and time again, knowing damn well that it was a task that I wasn't even able to accomplish myself. But aiding people in their self-confidence journeys made me feel like I was doing something to help somebody else and that maybe, just maybe, I'd be able to do it for myself one day.

Top three keys to confidence: 


2. Know that you are worth more than that voice inside of your head.

3. It may take time, but your journey is important no matter the length. Pace yourself and don't be afraid to seek for help from the people you trust.


There are good and bad days when it comes to being confident. It's obviously difficult to remain optimistic and positive 100% of the time (this is coming from someone whose second favorite thing to do, behind complimenting people, is to smile) and some days you really just don't feel like yourself, whether it's because you're sick, on your period, or just are not having the best day. And that is all okay! Exerting your confidence doesn't have to by a 24/7 thing. You're entitled to off days, to days where you might not feel top notch, and days where maybe you don't feel like there's anything to be confident about. Just remember the three keys when you're trying to maintain your confidence as well on those days where you really need to hone in on it and channel out the negative thoughts.

I genuinely hope that one day you—yes, you, my lovely little reader and actual ray of sunshine—can evoke the inner confidence in you and radiate it from the inside out. Good luck!

Do you think that you're confident? Why do you think that word has such a negative connotation?

Good Reads

Sunday, March 29, 2015

1. Hello, I Have a Blog If I'm talking about my blog, it normally comes out as an accident! I'll say that I'm writing a blog post if somebody asks what I'm doing at the moment, or I'll just mention it briefly in passing, but it's rare that I'll actually say "Hey, I'm Francesca and I blog every day." A lot of people just don't get it. Or they do and I'm just really paranoid. What do you guys do?

2. Tropical Printed Dress + Braids Oh my lanta, this dress is heavenly. I love the look of these crossed braids, especially with Alex's hair color. I'm anxiously awaiting warmer weather now!!

3. How To: Be More Productive GUYS, THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST POSTS OF ALL TIME. Being productive is one of my favorite feelings in the entire world. It gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing that I'm doing something conducive with my time and am not spending all of my spare moments lollygaggling (though, sometimes you need a bit of relaxing time! Nothing wrong with it when it's in moderation). This post is perfectly timed with April coming up soon AKA the last month of school before the dreaded week of finals.

4. Day-to-Night: Black and White I am all about the black and white look, no matter what time of year. It's so effortlessly chic.

5. Three Book Suggestions I have The Girl on the Train in my possession, have heard only good things about Delirium, and John Green is my absolute favorite so you know Paper Towns has been devoured many-o-times. Just like Carly, I'd have to say that'd be my suggestion of the three books she's mentioned (disregard the fact that it's also the ONLY one I read of the three. Owning and hearing about the books counts too!!!)

6. Brush Cleaning Basics I swear by baby shampoo to clean my brushes (though I just use Johnson's, if I'm being honest). Ideally, I like to do them on Sunday night, but sometimes I wash them more frequently than honestly depends on how much makeup I was wearing that week. Clean brushes are super important though! Don't forget!

7. Notes On Being A Boss (Of Your Life) Takes notes, ladies!

8. Scared or Not, Here You Come Ever since Taylor Swift's sophomore album Fearless debuted, being "fearless" has been something that I've always strived for. I want to be brave and fearless too! Perhaps now is the time to put it into gear, eh?

9. Polka Dots or Stripes? I love both, but I think I'm partial to stripes. Which pattern takes the cake for you?

What have you been reading lately?

Easter Sunday Dresses

Saturday, March 28, 2015

For me, Easter Sunday was always an exciting time to dress for. It was go big or go home with the florals or pastels (rarely white because I am a mess and am not to be trusted most of the time).  I'm not going home for Easter this year, but I figured it'd still be fun to online search for the perfect dress that I would have worn!

Cherry Blossoms — A Spring Playlist

Friday, March 27, 2015

I am aware that I made a playlist not even three weeks ago, but I have a sickness and I can't stop, won't stop making playlists. So, in honor of THE SNOW THAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY, here's a spring playlist featuring songs that make me feel like I'm enveloped in a warm hug on a mild day.

Listen to Cherry Blossoms here!

What are your favorite songs to listen to during springtime?

Things I'm Loving (But Not Really)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

If I'm being honest, there haven't been that many things that I've been loving over the past week. It's been fairly busy with school and work and just generally trying to get my life back together. I'm sure there are things I can think of that I've been enjoying, but I've been sort of just...chilling.

Regardless, I'm just going to list the top ten things that I love at the moment that I have probably talked about before, but am going to mention again:

1. Red lipstick (currently, Red Jungle from NARS is my favorite)
2. Sunshine
3. 8tracks playlists
4. Fashion magazines
5. Zayn Malik (gonna miss you...)
6. Bold eyebrows
7. Dove chocolate covered almonds
8. Fresh fruit
9. Grace Helbig (her show premieres on E! Network next week!!!!)
10. Girl groups

I promise I'll have some more exciting things to talk about next week! For now, here are my past three blog posts to occupy your time and provide a little more entertainment that this list.

+ Girl Groups
+ Odd Pairings
+ My Mottos

What are you loving at the moment?

My Mottos

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"That's the motto, baby, YOLO."
- wise Canadian philosopher, Drake

On the real, saying something is my motto is quite possible my favorite thing to say other than saying that any song I have ever listened to more than once is my jam. If I hear a quote I particularly like, I'll automatically deem it motto material...and then promptly forget about it. Despite my inability to really sort out the true "jams" and "mottos" in my life, there are definitely a select few sayings that I either recite repeatedly until I remember them or just keep in the back of my mind as life references, just not necessarily verbatim. 

Anyone who knows me in real life (or follows me on enough social media platforms) knows that my favorite motto, the one I truly live by and will recite repeatedly until I'm blue in the face, is the following: 

Honest to god, any advice I ever give will, nine out of ten, end with me saying this. Want to wear bold lipstick? Fake it 'til you make it. Want to wear culottes or palazzo pants? Fake it 'til you make it. Want to be more confident? FAKE 👏 IT 👏 'TIL 👏 YOU 👏 MAKE 👏 IT. 

However, faking it until you make it isn't the only piece of advice that I have to give, nor is it the only motto I try to live by (it's just the main one that gets me through). Here are some other mottos or little life tips that I think are quite cute and helpful. 

What's your trusty motto?

Odd Pairings

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I have a penchant for mixing prints, colors, and fabrics that probably shouldn't go together. Hell, even just yesterday I wore a gingham shirt with a striped vest! There's something about pushing boundaries and bending fashion "rules" (spoiler alert: there are no rules to fashion) that makes putting outfits together that much more exciting.

It's all about playing around with what you have in your closet and wardrobe and mixing and matching. Try things out, see if they work for you. The odd pairings that work for me might not for you, and vice versa.

Here are some of my favorite pattern and color odd pairings!

What are two things that you like to pair together that others might find odd?

Girl Groups

Monday, March 23, 2015

Other than my continuation of daily 1989 listening sessions, I've been spending a lot of my down time listening to what is, arguably, my current favorite "genre" of music: GIRL GROUPS. I'm aware that girl groups technically isn't a genre, but if there can be a genre called glitchcore and crunkcore, I can refer to my current Spotify playlists as girl groups.

I've always liked songs here and there from girl groups, but I've just been really feeling them lately. They're my go-to songs to dance to, to drive to, to walk to, to work to, to breathe to. They're my sun and moon, my day and night. They're the red lipstick to my Taylor Swift. The Manolos to my Carrie Bradshaw. The riding boot to my female college student.

If you're looking for a little boost of confidence, an injection of girl power, or just some really great new music to listen to, definitely give these girl groups a listen. You won't regret it!

1. Fifth Harmony

I ignored and borderline disliked Fifth Harmony for far too long. While I was too busy blinded by "hate," I was missing out on five talented young ladies doing really great things with their X-Factor exposure. With the release of their newest album Reflection, I've truly come to enjoy and adore this group. Ask anyone who has talked to me over the past month or so. I mention them in just about every conversation. It's becoming an issue.

To listen to: "Better Together," "Miss Movin' On," "BO$$," "Sledgehammer," "Worth It," "Them Girls Be Like," "Top Down," "Reflection," and "Like Mariah."

2. Haim

I remember getting one of their songs for free on iTunes a long while ago, leaving it to rot in my purchased playlist for a solid month or two before I finally decided to give it a listen (on accident, it probably came on and I didn't feel like changing it). Boy, am I glad that I didn't, because my love for Haim is forever now. The three sisters—Este, Danielle, and Alana—radiate cool, create a really unique indie/pop-rock sound, and are best friends with everybody's homegirl, Taylor Swift. If you're not listening to them already, you should get on that ASAP.

To listen to: "The Wire," "Forever," "Let Me Go," "Falling," and their cover of Beyoncé's "XO."

3. Little Mix

Another product of the X-Factor (the UK version), this group of girls have reached success in their home country as well as in the United States with their hit songs. They've had two studio releases (the third one pending, cross your fingers there's an announcement soon!)

To listen to: "Wings," "Salute," "Move," and "About the Boy."

4. Say Lou Lou

This duo is a more recent discover of mine, but I adore them all the same. There isn't album worth of materials for this group, but the music that is released is great indie/electric-pop that gives off a Lorde/Lana Del Rey vibe.

To listen to: "Peppermint," "Julian," and "Nothing But A Heartbeat."

5. M.O

Look, when I say that I cannot get enough of this group, I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THIS GROUP.  This trio is straight up bringing the 90s back and I am here for it. Their song "Dance on My Own" has been my pump up song, for anything. I listen to it on repeat before I leave for class (and then proceed to work up a sweat because I dance so aggressively to it).

To listen to: "Dance On My Own" (bonus acoustic version here), "For a Minute," and "Ain't Got Time."

6. Juce

How is it possible that the UK breeds such great girl groups? Another recent discovery, but they still have a beloved spot on my "current favorite" playlist (which is honestly just girl groups with the exception of one James Bay song). They only seem to have one EP out with five songs, but I highly recommend giving Taste The JUCE! a listen. They remind me a lot of Say Lou Lou's sound, just more funky? It reminds me a bit of Fitz and the Tantrums, but more soulful, if that makes any sense.

To listen to: "Call You Out," and "6th Floor."

And I cannot talk about girl groups without mentioning some of the OGGs. Here's a list of some of my other favorite songs by girl groups of the past.

  • "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles
  • "Manic Monday" by The Bangles
  • "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child
  • "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
  • "Waterfalls" by TLC
  • "No Scrubs" by TLC
  • "Wannabe" by Spice Girls
  • "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by The Shirelles
  • "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes
  • "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes
  • "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes
  • "We Got The Beat" by The Go-Go's
  • "Our Lips Are Sealed" by The Go-Go's

What's your favorite girl group? Do you still get down to "Bootylicious" as aggressively as I do?

Good Reads

Sunday, March 22, 2015


1. 6 Affirmations These are six things I'm definitely going to try to keep in my back pocket whenever I need them throughout the days, and I hope you do as well!

2. What I Wore In Aix-En-Provence We sell a very similar colored and styled top at work and I love the way periwinkle looks with the tan leather of the flats!

3. Feather-Print: From Fall To Spring At first, I was all there for the dress. Then, as I scrolled down the page, there were some major heart eyes for those two-toned boots. Talk about shoe envy!

4. How To: My One Minute Brows My friend and I both agreed (and I'm sure plenty of other women would as well) that our eyebrows are game changers on our face once we're done with them. This is pretty much what I do on a daily basis, just with different brow tools and two powders from Urban Decay rather than MAC.

5. A Trick for Drinking More Water This is what I do in my dorm (I try to when I'm home!) and it seriously makes all the difference in the world. I have about three water bottles as well as a tumbler cup or two constantly filled with cold water.

6. The Fashion Police on House Arrest I will admit to watching this show weekly toward the end of high school, but once I lost DVR when I went to college, I stopped watching as frequently and stopped entirely after Joan Rivers died. I definitely think a hiatus is much needed...but I'm going to miss Kelly Osbourne so much (if I decide to start watching again).

7. Step Up Your Spring Style Carly Cristman rocks monochrome and neutrals like no other.

8. A Few Things I Know To Be True Number nine on this list is SO IMPORTANT.

9. DIY Lemon Lavender Sugar Body Scrub I love the smell of lavender and I'm trying my best to use body scrubs on my legs in conjunction with lotions to ensure smooth and hydrated skin when the day where I wear to bear bare legs comes.

10. Camel + Cream I totally support the white jeans all year movement and the combination of white/camel is killer. So cute!

11. Spring Jackets This is an item I desperately need. I have a yellow rain jacket that I love, but I feel like I need another to add to my wardrobe...maybe someday!

12. The Newest Wrinkle's Weekend in Florence Can I just say WOW to the photos of Florence? My brother went last month and I was all heart eyes over his photos from his Italian adventure.

What have you been reading lately?

Dream Vacations

Saturday, March 21, 2015

As you may or may not know, it's spring break time for many colleges. Mine was two weeks ago, but some are still carrying on to now. As you as may know, I went nowhere for my spring break...again. But never fear, I've spent the last two weeks dreaming up vacations that I would kill to go on next spring break, or really, ever, because I'm sure some destinations would require more than a crazy week. 

1. Cape Town, South Africa

2. Malaga, Spain

3. Portugal

4. Costa Rica

Where is your dream vacation destination?

Spring Cleaning & Organization

Friday, March 20, 2015

*fireworks go off*
*flowers spontaneously bloom*
*I begin to swim in all of my bright lipsticks*

I distinctly remember that in elementary school, there would be a legitimate "spring cleaning" day where we all had to bring in sponges and cleaning supplies and had to clean our classroom, desks, and locker. In retrospect...why were elementary school students cleaning a classroom? Were we even supposed to be using those cleaning supplies? I digress, for a while I thought spring cleaning only meant it in the literal sense, hands and knees scrubbing the floors and making sure everything was in tip top shape.

I look at spring cleaning differently now, thought it does involve a bit of light cleaning. Every once in a while, I get on these massive cleaning and purging sprees where I'm get rid of a lot of junk, whether it's old makeup, clothes that don't fit or that I don't wear, or old notebooks and school supplies that I hoard just incase. And without a fail, the beginning of spring is always one of those times.

In my dorm, I like to lysol down every surface to get rid of any dust, dirt, makeup, food, etc. that spilled or collected since the last time I did it. I'll vacuum up and pieces of papers, crumbs, hair (since cutting it shorter, I find that there's a lot less hair on the ground, which is great for my lack of motivation to vacuum 99% of the time). I clean my mirrors and windows and will normally give the shower a nice scrub if it's looking particularly gross.

My makeup purge happened a few weeks ago when I tossed quite a few mascara and eye products into the trash because they were a little funny smelling or dried out. It's usually around the time that I part with chapsticks I know I will never use (I'm looking at you, EOS balms) or lip glosses that I know for a fact I won't use because there's only one that I do (Revlon's Pink Ice). I wash my makeup brushes weekly anyways, but maybe I'll give them a nice deep cleanse to really clean out an old makeup or bacteria that could have been harboring in them.

Since I don't sleep under my covers (I sleep on top of my comforter under two blankets), this is normally the time that I'll switch my sheets just for fun. I switch my pillow cases every week so I'm not sleeping on any of the dirt or oils that came off of my face during the night too often. I usually do a bit of redecorating too, whether it's adding in flowers or new photos on my half wall (I just put up two photos of my mom and me at Niagara Falls, graciously gifted to me by her best friend who went with us).

As for organization, since the beginning of spring is normally after my midterms, it marks the fact that I have about half a semester left to kick myself back into gear. I'll start planning ahead in my agenda, adding due dates and making sure they're noticeable. I'll read through all of my syllabi again just to make sure I'm up to date on all of my assignments and to check the schedule to see what is still to come in my classes. Chances are that I'll find a way to reorganize my desk when I'm bored one day, just to make it seem like I'm doing something and to reorder my life.

I don't really switch out my closet during the spring, just because it's still quite chilly here and I wear my light sweaters all year round. However, I do start to eliminate the really wintery bits of my wardrobe, like thick sweaters, bulky vests, and most of my knitted scarves. I'll start incorporating shorts, skirts, and dresses into my wardrobe come mid-April, usually, unless there's a wildcard day where it's miraculously warm at the end of March/early April.

Let me just say, I am pumped for spring. I'm also pumped for spring semester to be over. And for sun. And for spring semester to be over. And for the opportunity to wear more bright lipstick. And for spring semester to be over.

What's your favorite way to celebrate the beginning of spring?

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, March 19, 2015

1. New haircut

I chopped a little more of my hair off last week and got it lightened! My hair dresser/stylist/actual angel angled the front of my hair, as usual, and gave me more layers to keep my hair from being an awkward one length and poofy (which was the mistake I made back before my freshmen year and why I stupidly swore off short hair for five years).

2. NARS Jungle Red

I was on the hunt for Dragon Girl and stumbled upon this punchy red shade. It has more of an orange tint to it, rather than my typical blue-toned reds. It's a creamy, non-drying matte and applies really smoothly to your lips. A lot of matte lipsticks are problematic for me because I have the tendency to have drier lips because I'm stubborn and hate chapstick. This, however, hasn't proved any problems for my semi-dry lips so far! I love NARS packaging until you get finger prints all over it, which is one of the annoying things about their products after you have them for a while. Also, this red makes me teeth look really nice? It doesn't make them look uber white, but they're definitely not yellow and I just find that my smile pairs nicely with it. I'm not sure if that's a quality that everybody looks for in lipstick, but I think this one has it!

If you want to see a picture of me wearing it, there's a picture of it (and also another one of my new hair) in this post from last week.

3. The Sun

SHOUTOUT TO THE SUN FOR CHILLING IN THE SKY FOR SO LONG. And for allowing me to not wear a jacket for the past two days. You're the real, MVP, Sun.

4. Fruit salad

It's a known fact that whenever I go home for long weekends or breaks, I eat terribly and I eat a lot of it. I start baking again or I eat the treats that are at my grandparents house that people bring. I'll snack on whatever junk food is in the cupboards or pantry closet and I'll somehow end up eating takeout 70% of the time. The thing is...I don't even like junk food all that much. It's nice to have on occasion, but I would honestly rather be eating salads and fruit and what not. Since getting back to school, I've been trying to pick up one or two of the pre-made fruit salads on campus (I've been getting these for a while because, but have been really going hard this week). They're a nice treat to have at night, especially since I'm used to popping a few pieces of chocolate as my late night sweet. 

5. St. Ives Oatmeal scrub and mask

I've only been using this as a scrub because my new prescription from my dermatologist is great...except it dries out my skin. It's not as dramatic as the first product I was prescribed two years ago was, but it definitely leaves my skin drier than Epiduo did. However, the dry skin can easily be combated with this nourishing facial scrub. It's a really fine exfoliator too, so it gently removes the dry skin from my face unlike some of the more abrasive and hardcore exfoliators I've tried. Plus, the oatmeal is really soothing and smells fantastic.

What have you been loving lately?

Everyday Makeup

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I always start of my makeup routine with a freshly washed faced and moisturizer. Right now, in the mornings, I use a St. Ives exfoliator (my new product from the dermatologist dries out my skin more than it used to) and my Philosophy Purity cleanser. My moisturizer is still the Neutrogena Oil-Free with SPF 15 (it's starting to get sunny, you have to be careful!)

My foundation has been pretty standard for the past two years now. I apply Covergirl's Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 foundation (in the shade creamy natural) with a stippling brush from Real Techniques. If I have a lot of redness, I'll also use the Aquasmooth creamy foundation from Covergirl as a way to smooth out any foundation lines and apply extra coverage where I need it.

I like to let my foundation sit before I apply any powders to my face, so I move onto the eyes. I always use Urban Decay's Primer Potion (not pictured) to prime my lids before eye shadow. I used W.O.S. and Naked 2 from my Naked Basics palette all of the lid and into the crease, respectively. I opted for simple eyeliner, ignoring a wing with the Stila Stay All Day liquid liner. To set that, I will use Crave from the same palette to ensure that the liner won't budge or smudge.

After my eye makeup is finished, I'll apply the rest of my face makeup. Using a big fluffy brush, I use my Revlon setting powder to ensure that I won't get oily throughout the day and my foundation will stay in place. I use TooFaced's Chocolate Bronzer to contour my face, lightly applying it onto the contours of my cheek bone, down my jaw, around my temple, and on the sides of my nose. The last products I use on my face are a highlighter (I used Benefit's Sun Beam on this particular day) and a blush (NARS Orgasm), both usually depending on what outfit or lipstick I'm wearing.

Once all of my face makeup is applied, I will go in to fill-in and set my eyebrows. I used two shades from the Naked Basics palette—Faint and Crave—to fill in my brows before setting them with Anatastia's Tinted Brow Gel in Chocolate.

I'll normally eat breakfast and get my work done after most of my makeup is done. When it's about 20 minutes before I'm supposed to leave, I'll put my contacts in and brush my teeth. That's when I'll curl my lashes and apply my mascara (my current favorite is Urban Decay's Perversion on my top lashes and Tarte's Lights, Cameras, Lashes on my bottom lashes). My lipstick changes from day to day, but I decided to wear Revlon's Balm Stain in Lovesick on this day.

The only thing that really changes about my routine from day to day is highlighter, blush, and lipstick color!

What's one makeup product you find yourself using every day? 

Dream Closet, Vol. 3

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Anthropologie bathing suit | Valentino sandals | Saint Laurent shirtdress

Chloé wrap dress | Kate Spade bag | Kendra Scott bracelet

What's in your dream closet?

Spring Nail Colors

Monday, March 16, 2015

With the official start of spring beginning on Friday and the melting of the snow that occurred over my spring break in Cleveland, I figured there was no better way to celebrate than by breaking out all of my spring nail colors and putting away all of the darker polishes. Does anybody else organize their makeup by season? I (sadly) just put all of my berries and deep red lipsticks to the bottom of my drawer and organized all of my spring colors on top.

Of all of my "spring" nail polish shades, these eight are the ones that I constantly seem to reach for when the sun starts shining and the temperatures start to rise.


1. Mint Candy Apple from Essie— a pastel mint blue (more blue than green), almost comes off as an off-white

2. Tart Deco from Essie— a pastel coral (more orange thank pink)

3. Mod Square from Essie— the perfect hot pink

4. Turquoise & Caicos from Essie— a light turquoise (more blue than green)


5. It's Hippo to be Square from Sephora by OPI— a pastel lilac

6. Do You Lilac It? from OPI— darker than It's Hippo To Be Square, more lavender than lilac

7. You're Such a Budapest from OPI— a pastel periwinkle

8. Dosh from Butter London— an apple-green metallic glitter

What are your favorite spring nail colors?

Good Reads

Sunday, March 15, 2015

1. Square Peg, Round Hole A beautiful and insightful post about life, relationships, and how you can deal with those pesky empty spaces that linger in your chest.

2. Only in it for the Gold Stars I am so guilty of this, I can't even deny my Starbucks habit. There were three cups in my car just on Friday. Let's see if I can find myself a new coffee shop to alleviate the debt Starbucks will put me into, yeah? BUT PAYING WITH THE APP IS SO HANDY, C'MON. 

3. Penultimately in Paris: Louis Vuitton This line just about sums it up for me, "get a little weird, what's the worst that can happen?"

4. Gingham Shirtdress: Splurge vs Save Both gingham and shirt dresses are both trends for spring, so you might as well kill two birds with one stone.

5. At Valentino: The Seriously Good, The Acutely Funny Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson walking the runway to close the Valentino show was something I never expected, yet appreciated nonetheless.

6. Playful Kitties I love the full skirt and flirty length of this dress! And, of course, the Charlotte Olivia cat flats that I've been pining after. 

7. 10 Tips for Feeling Productive I am somebody who loves their free time...but after things have been done. I will create problems that need to be solved or tasks that need to be completed in order for me to feel like I earned my free time. So being productive is something I feel like I need to do in order to enjoy the various other aspects of life outside of work and school!

8. Ye Feather Peplum The Peter Som feather peplum top mentioned in this DIY post is the dream, and I'm oddly attracted to this boa/v-neck combination as well...

9. 10 Tips for Mastering Instagram I always love seeing new and different posts with tips for Instagram (or really, social media in general—I'm fascinated by it!) 

10. "I Have Cancer...And It Sucks" A brutally honest and confessional post from a Cosmo beauty editor and her cancer. 

What have you been reading lately?

Scenic Walk & New Haircut

Saturday, March 14, 2015

On Thursday, my mom, her friend, and I went for a walk down at the falls because it was shockingly sunny and nice out. There was quite a few tourists as well, presumably because the frozen bits of the river have been pretty highly publicized over the past few weeks. Hopefully they weren't thoroughly disappointed!

The last time I went to Niagara Falls, despite, y' there, was at the tail end of July when some friends came to visit on their way to Canada. I always forget how cool it is down by the water.

I hoped Niall Horan was at the bottom of that rainbow...

Had to snap that picture of the rapids because IT'S ONLY MY FAVORITE COLOR. 

Yesterday was the day I've been waiting for since January. My hair grew so fast from the last time that I got it cut and I was itching to get it shorter and blonder. Spring break blessed me with this new haircut (I used a picture from January of Allie Evans). The picture above it what my hair looked like before the cut, which was a little dingy and not as nice as it could have looked. I went in to my hair stylist (the greatest human being ever, I trust nobody else with my hair) and said "cut as much off as you can, I just need to be able to pull it into a ponytail," which is entirely different than what it was just one year ago when I said "Cut the least amount you have to, just get rid of the deed ends."


 I was not going anywhere when I took the above picture. I just knew my car had the best selfie lighting and that I wanted to wear my new sunglasses, so I threw my Aerie blanket scarf on and sat in my car for about five minutes until I liked one of the pictures. Then, I went back inside to put it on Instagram. So, yes, that is the truth behind about 70% of my Instagram photos. 


This is what my car looks like at any given moment. I actually had to throw these on the floor because all four of the cup holders in my car were full with Starbucks cups (as well as one rogue Chick-fil-A cup) and I needed room guessed it...more Starbucks. I'm fully aware I have a problem, you do not need to tell me twice. 

What's your favorite Starbucks drink?

One Year of Life According To Francesca

Friday, March 13, 2015

Who would have thought that 365 days and over 370 posts later that I would still be at this? I've had this blog (under several different names) since the summer of 2012, but it wasn't until the middle of March last spring that I looked at my blog and thought, "I could do better than this." So I bought a domain name, tweaked my template, and dove right into daily posts.

When I say I blog daily, people gasp and get confused and either ask what a blog is or how I could possibly blog every day. I think my friends (and any regular readers) (by the way, do I have regular readers? I would literally cry if I did. I want to hug every one of you if you put up with me on a daily basis) understand that not every day is a massive advice post. Some days I just post pictures of clothes that I want, other days I step onto a soap box and preach the opinions I can no longer suppress (*cough cough* my Fifty Shades of Grey post *cough cough*). But I genuinely like every post I put up, no matter how much text goes along with it because I just genuinely love blogging.

I don't expect everybody to get it. I try to explain it the best I can, but sometimes I can't even explain it. Blogging has always been natural to me. I've had a Blogger account since middle school and have been using most social media sites since then as well, with the exception of Instagram which came during my senior year. It was one of those things where I assumed everybody did it in their own way, whether it was micro-blogging with Tumblr or keeping secret blogs on Blogger like I did. Then, as I got older and more into fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, I saw that there was a little online niche for writing about those things. I'd always loved magazines, at first for the pictures, and then for the content. Then I fell in love with beauty videos on YouTube. A lot of the "gurus" I watched had blogs as well, which is how I ended up stumbling upon some of my favorite blogs today.

Blogging once every few weeks (or months) was more of a hobby that I kept on the back burner behind school and extracurriculars) because I couldn't dedicate the time and energy I wanted into it. But as I started reading more and more blogs my freshman year of college (I read a lot of The College Prepster and ManRepeller), I started to want to do it. Not as competition, not as a means to really do anything with it besides write and maybe help a few people with me (let's be real here) unqualified advice. I wanted to keep myself writing every day, keep the creative juices flowing, without having to delve into a whole alternate universe like I would have to in my creative writing projects. I just wanted to write about, well, me—my life, my friends, my likes, my dislikes, the world around me—and I knew blogs were the place to do that.

When I do things, I go all in. So when I decided I wanted to "be a blogger" (whatever that means!), I went big. I bought domain name, I switched to daily posts, and I haven't looked back. Sometimes it's daunting to look at a completely empty week in my blogging agenda, but then I realize that I have a clean slate of topics to write about and I get excited. That's seven days of things I get to write about, two of them being about things I've been loving and things I've been reading on the internet. I'm getting giddy just thinking about what's going to be on my blog next week!

I know I talk a lot, so I'm going to wrap up this little gushing session with a few thank you's: thanks to my mom, who I'm pretty sure was the only person reading this for a while; to my friends who text me things I've said on my blog or even give it the time of day...and also for not caring that I name drop you all of the time in order to make it seem like I actually have friends; to Harry Styles for merely existing and for showing up in at least half of my posts, one way or another; to Her Campus because life without a supportive blogging community would be so dull; and to you, the beautiful person reading this post right now, and to anybody who has read even a single post. My heart is swelling like the Grinch's right now.

To wrap up my one year anniversary post, here are my personal favorite posts that I've written in the past year.

Top Ten Personal Favorite Posts:

1. Finding Time For Yourself In College, in which I talk about ways to make time for all of your hobbies and friends.

2. Things I Hope Are Acceptable In 2015, in which I rant about selfies, prejudice, and quote Taylor Swift.

3. 10 Things I've Learned About Myself In 2014, in which I talk about my self-discoveries (and barely mention Harry Styles)

4. Don't Be Such A Tulle, in which I wear my dream tulle skirt for my first brand collaboration.

5. The Anatomy of a Good College Paper, in which I have no idea why this post gets so many views, but I'm glad people seem to enjoy my paper writing technique.

6. How To Motivate the Unmotivated, in which I take my lack of motivation to do schoolwork and write a blog post about it instead of actually doing my work.

7. Francesca's Focus: Harry Styles' Headscarves (And A Wearable Version), in which a joke post went way, way too far (and remains in my top ten most popular about embarrassing).

8. How To Cook When You're Not Sure How, in which I try to be funny, but I really am a terrible cook and don't know what I'm doing half of the time.

9. "We Turn Skeletons Into Goddesses", in which I get serious and talk about body images and eating disorders (trigger warnings).

10. Tips For Writers, Via Dan O'Shannon, in which I skipped math class to listen to Dan O'Shannon talk and fill me with more insight about the real world of writing than any class ever could.

Here's to another year of Life According to Francesca! Cheers! 

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, March 12, 2015

1. Viva La Juicy Rollerball

I've had a small Viva La Juicy Noir since last Christmas as well as a sample of the regular version from November. I got this on Sunday and have been wearing it nonstop. My "signature scent" has always been Pink Sugar by Aqualina, but I think this perfume would be a nice one to switch it up with, as it is a lot less sweet.

2. Kiss Me Or Elf from OPI

This came in the Gwen Stefani Christmas set from OPI, which was graciously gifted to me by a dear, dear friend. As soon as I saw this color in the package I knew I needed it on my nails. It requires a few coats to be completely opaque, but it's such a gorgeous transition color between the seasons because it's not too dark where it's a deep berry on my nails but it's also not a neon or a pastel. It has a nice sheen to it too, not quite metallic but not creamy either. I can't wait to try the other colors in the collection (there's a beautiful red that I want on my toes ASAP).

3. Too Faced's Melted Lipsticks

I picked up two of these on Sunday (along with some other lipsticks that I'm sure I'll talk about soon, didn't want to overload them in one post) and narrowly avoided purchasing another one yesterday while I was shopping. They smell fantastic, apply smoothly (some liquid lipsticks are really drying, I've found), and have some pretty intense pigmentation. A little goes a long way with these, let me tell you! I really like the spongy applicator too because it helps apply it it more precisely. It looks like a tube with a sponge tip, so you'd apply it like a tube lipgloss, just with more precision.

I have the shades Melted Violet, a true vibrant lilac/violet combo, and Melted Jelly Donut, a deep magenta, and both of them have incredible wear time. I wore Melted Jelly Donut all day on Wednesday, through two meals, and had no real issues with fading.

4. The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter

Oh. My. God. Guys, this is the nicest smelling body butter I have ever smelled. It smells like sour blueberries and it is absolutely heavenly. I'm trying to get better about using lotion on my body because I notice once the spring and summer months come, my legs are gross and patchy because I avoided lotion the entire winter. So, here I am trying to be good and keep my skin hydrated. This was also a gift from my friend Aly (hey girl, you nailed it!) and is sadly a special edition, but if you can find this anywhere, I highly recommend it. Body Shop's body butters are all fantastic and super hydrating, but this smell.... *faints because it's so great*

What have you been loving lately? 

Paris Fashion Week

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The final day of Paris Fashion Week today was the closure of fashion month. Let's all just have a moment of silence, for this is the first fashion show-less day since early February. It's a sad day for all, but that doesn't mean we cannot celebrate with some of my favorite looks from the PFW collections.

Top row: Looks 2 and 4 from Alexander McQueen
Bottom row: Looks 9 and 12 from Alexander McQueen

Top row: Looks 2, 4, 8, and 12 from Valentino
Middle Row: Looks 31, 37, 42, and 43 from Valentino
Bottom row: Looks 51, 66, 73, and 80 from Valentino
Looks 10 and 18 from Céline
Looks 4 and 11 from Theory
Looks 4 and 37 from Nina Ricci
Top row: Looks 16, 20, and 23 from Elie Saab
Middle row: Looks 25, 31, and 32 from Elie Saab
Bottom row: Looks 44, 53, and 57 from Elie Saab
Top row: Looks 3 and 4 from Christian Dior
Bottom row: Looks 27 and 37 from Christian Dior

Looks 29 and 31 from Rochas
© life according to francesca. Design by FCD.