Recap: Dallas Comic Con Fan Days 2016

Dallas comic con fan days 2016Phew, recapping Dallas Comic Con is never an easy feat. It’s kind of incredible how much they can cram into one weekend. I’m going to try to break it down for you guys so you can easily skim through the stuff that miiiiiight not be as interesting to you ūüôā

Also before I forget, much thanks to Stephanie Drenka for letting me use her amazing photos. She’s the best so make sure to visit her blog too!

What I Wore

This time around I decided I wanted to wear a costume instead of my standard fan shirt or hat. My hair is the PERFECT color and length for my favorite character in X Men:¬†Days of Future Past, Quicksilver. NOT the Quicksilver that was in Age of Ultron. Nope. The Evan Peters one. Watch this scene if you need a refresher, easily the best part of the movie…and that’s saying a lot because it was an awesome movie.

Thankfully it was a pretty easy costume to pull together, the big thing I was missing was a silver jacket but it seemed silly to buy a silver jacket knowing I wouldn’t wear it again. Instead I just used a moto jacket I already had. I bought the Pink Floyd shirt for $7 from eBay and threw on some black jeans and silver shoes. The goggles were only $11 on Amazon – a little more than I wanted to spend but they were essential to the costume.

dallas-comic-con-fan-days-7873To drive the silver aspect home a little more, I went heavy on the silver makeup. In addition to using the Essence All About Greys Palette, I also used the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal 24 Hour Cream Gel¬†eyeshadow (omg have a longer product name!) It’s a cream so it was SUPER pigmented, easy to apply and blend with my finger and it stayed put all day. Once it was dry, I patted some regular silver shadow on top just to make sure it was set.

dallas-comic-con-fan-days-7878For the lips, I grabbed the wrong lipstick when I was walking out the door. Instead of the Cold Hearted Wicked Lippies I MEANT to get, I grabbed my matte black NYX Macaron Lippies. The good news is, I had the Essence silver eyeshadow with me! I applied the black lipstick like normal and then softly used my finger to pat on the shadow and it turned out way better than I expected! It also stayed put ALL day! I reapplied a bit after eating some greasy pizza for lunch but honestly I would have been okay without it.

Also I can’t leave out my blogger besties Stephanie and Sevi who joined me on the X Men cosplay as Jubilee and Storm! How stinking cute are we?! ūüôā

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Panels

I decided this time around, the best way to recap the panels is to see what I deemed funny/interesting enough to tweet at the time!

Brent Spiner was the first panel of the day on Saturday morning! He’s best¬†known as Data from Star Trek the Next Generation, but honestlyyyy I’m not much of a Trekkie (sorry y’all! Star Wars forever). BUT I actually found out after the fact that he’s the scientist in Independence Day! MIND BLOWN.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Robbie Amell – I don’t watch The Flash (yet) and the only thing I’ve seen him in was The Duff. He honestly really surprised me! He was super charming, funny and kind. I guess it runs in the family ¬†¬Į\_(„ÉĄ)_/¬Į He also talked quite a bit about working on the X Files, which y’all know I was ALL about (btw not one but TWO X Files outfits coming next week so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss that!)¬†

Stephen Amell was definitely the main event on Saturday. Best known for playing the titular role in Arrow, he also has the good looks on his side. Just like Robbie, Stephen was charming, funny and kind – also forever patient with all the questions asking for spoilers that he obviously can’t share. BUT the best part of the panel (and maybe the weekend) was when his feud with Stardust came to a head. Stardust busted in on the panel and took over as moderator for a good ten minutes. It was hilarious and, even though most of us knew it was coming,¬†it was still such a fun and exciting moment. Also I have to say that it’s for a REALLY good cause, you can read more about that here.

Unfortunately I didn’t tweet much during Will Friedle or David Ramsey‘s panels but both were really great. Will (aka Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World) is an insanely talented voice actor, and it’s always fun¬†to see someone like that in their element. Much to the audience’s dismay, he didn’t do the Feeny call, but for good reason – he has since passed it along to the ladies of Girl Meets World. Now it’s theirs to do, and he won’t do it anymore. David Ramsey (Diggle from Arrow) had some great onset stories¬†– apparently Manu Bennett and Paul Blackthorne are¬†both method actors, which makes for some funny situations on set since they are always “in character.”

Y’all I wish I knew what to say about the John Barrowman¬†panel but…the dude basically left me speechless. If you’re not familiar with John Barrowman, I know him as Malcolm Merlyn from Arrow but a lot of folks fancy¬†his role on Doctor Who and the spinoff, Torchwood. He’s also a fabulous singer and treated us to a few songs during his performance. Hilarious. Inappropriate. Gracious. Kind. All I can say is this will NOT be my last John Barrowman panel.

Photo opp

Sevi, Stephanie and I decided to split a photo opp with John Barrowman and Stephen Amell. None of us were willing to spend $145 on a photo by ourselves but it’s much easier to swallow when you’re splitting it three ways. (Keep that in mind for future cons, it’s a great way to save some money!) Since we’re all three big Arrow fans, it was totally worth the money for us! Admittedly, the photo opp experience is INSANELY fast, don’t expect to get to chit chat with the guests – they really get you in and out of there fast. If you’re looking to have a conversation, spend your money on an autograph instead. OKAY without further adieu…our Valentine’s Day photo opp! <3

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Everything Else

Logistics wise, I have to say that Fan Days could use some work. This time around they had some BIG stars, which was great, but the venue was clearly oversold. At one point there was a 10-15 minute wait just to get on the escalator. Parking was quite a trek, yes there were shuttles but I hardly saw them running and I don’t think many people used them. Thankfully I was able to get in the doors right away, but I read on Facebook that some people had to wait in line to get their passes for 1-1.5 hours and that’s simply unacceptable. There’s no reason it should take that long to get people inside, especially first thing in the morning. That being said, the staff and volunteers were VERY helpful and kind, I didn’t see anyone losing their temper even in a crowded/borderline insane situation. They made the best of a bad situation but it could use some work for sure.

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They’ve already announced the date for the next Dallas Comic Con (June 3-5) at the Dallas¬†Convention Center. If it’s anything like last year, the large Comic Con is actually much less overwhelming. The space can easily handle a much larger crowd, so even though there are WAY more people it doesn’t feel like it. Also they’ve announced three guests – the legendary Stan Lee and Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (aka Jay and Silent Bob!) and should have more guest announcements this week. (#PleaseBringMarkHamill)¬†You can get your tickets starting February 18th on the Fan Expo Dallas website.¬†¬†

Who should Sevi, Stephanie and I dress up as in June? I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve but I haven’t committed to anything just yet! Leave a comment and let me know!

xoxo

Valery

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5 Must Have Beauty Products for Travel

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BioreFizz #CollectiveBias

must have beauty products for travelAhhhh travel. Everyone loves travel (and it’s great!) but let’s be honest, it can be a little difficult on the beauty routine.¬†I travel about once a month and if there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s that I have to keep my skin care regimen consistent, even while traveling. Using various sample products instead of maintaining a routine has led to breakouts, dry patches, excess redness and oily skin in the T-zone. Not cute.

Here are my 5 must-have products for keeping your beauty routine in tip top shape when you’re on the go!

1. A good lip balm. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten this while traveling, but it happens. Especially if you’re traveling to an area that’s drier than the climate you live in, a good lip balm is essential! Those lips are going to crack, which can turn into a painful (not to mention unfortunate looking) situation. I really lather that stuff on at night to help repair any damage I did the day before with matte lipstick (oops).

2. A trusty everyday cleanser. No matter how much you want to, do NOT skip out on cleansing morning and night. Lately I’ve been reaching for the new Bior√© Baking Soda Pore Cleanser, it’s lightly scented but gentle enough that it doesn’t irritate my super sensitive skin. This daily pore cleanser dissolves deep down dirt & oil while gently exfoliating. Traveling and being out and about always makes my skin feel worse than normal, so a gentle daily exfoliation works wonders.

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3. A scrub. This one is SO important, especially if you’re going to be gone for more than just a day or two. Skipping out on regular exfoliation while traveling is going to mess you up, but I know how annoying it is to have to take another cleanser with you (especially if you’re only taking a carry-on). Enter:¬†Bior√© Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub.

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This unique Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub comes in powder form. Not only does that make it super convenient for travel (hellooooo more liquid space!), but it’s really fun to use! I feel like usually kids get all the “fun” beauty and health products, but this one’s for the grown ups. You just put a quarter size amount of the powder into your hand and add water. And yep…it fizzes!
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My favorite part about this product is¬†that it deep cleans and gently exfoliates, so it’s perfect for sensitive skin. Want a more intense scrub? Use¬†a small amount of water. Need something a little more gentle like me? Add more water.

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4. A moisturizer (preferably one with SPF!) After you do all that awesome cleansing and exfoliating, make sure to follow up with a moisturizer. This is going to keep your skin looking and feeling it’s best. When combined with the Bior√© Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub, say au revoir to those dry patches! Also if you forgot body lotion, make sure to throw that moisturizer on your hands at night – a little dab should work and you’ll thank yourself in the morning.

5. Dry shampoo. I know this isn’t a skin product like everything else, but to me dry shampoo is an essential part of my daily routine and a total lifesaver when traveling. I try to avoid washing my hair on vacation unless I’m gone more than a week, that way I don’t have to worry about taking shampoo/conditioner, heat protectant, styling products and a blow dryer. A trusty travel sized can of dry shampoo saves me a lot of time (and suitcase space!)

Oh before I forget – the Bior√© products I mentioned above are great for combination skin. If you have oily skin, I would try the Bior√© Charcoal Products! They’re all super easy to find at your local Target stores, I found mine with the regular skincare products on the bottom shelf. Click here to learn more about these Bior√© products!
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What are your travel must-have beauty products? Leave a comment below!

xoxo
Valery

6 Things You Can’t Miss at Dallas Comic Con Fan Days

dallas comic con fan daysY’all I can’t believe it’s almost that time again – Dallas Comic Con Fan Days! To be honest, I was originally planning on posting a Comic Con inspired makeup tutorial today but I’ve been sick all week so it just didn’t happen. I’m so sad about it. BUT instead I’m sharing the things I’m most looking forward to this weekend at Dallas Comic Con Fan Days.

If you don’t have your tickets already, you can get them online here or at the door (but they’re a bit more expensive at the door so get them ahead of time!) You can also just buy a one day pass for either Saturday or Sunday if you can’t commit to a full weekend of Comic Con (but come on, you want to be there the whole time).

Okay, okay, so here are 6 things that you can’t miss this weekend at Dallas Comic Con Fan Days!

1. My first ever cosplay – Typically my Comic Con attire is a pop culture t shirt and/or some accessories, just to keep it simple. This time around I’m doing what I like to call “cosplay light” and I’m so excited about it! I’m not going full on cosplay but it’s definitely a costume that will *hopefully* be recognizable to other con-goers. Also my blogger besties Sevi and Stephanie are joining in for a group cosplay – any ideas what we might dress up as? Hint: my hair is staying silver!

2.¬†A potential Stephen Amell/Stardust throwdown – For those of you who haven’t been keeping track, Stephen Amell and WWE’s Stardust have an ongoing feud. I’m not big into WWE but this has been thoroughly entertaining. Stardust confirmed on Twitter that he will be there and I. Cannot. Wait.

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3.¬†Calen Hoffman/Groot cosplayer – This cosplayer has been at Dallas Comic Con before but sadly I missed my photo opp last time around. This year I’m DEFINITELY going to get a photo with Groot – you seriously won’t believe how amazing this costume is.

4.¬†Wild Bill’s Soda (duh) – I think I mention Wild Bill’s in every single Comic Con post I write but it’s soooo delicious. Also, you can save some money by bringing back your mug from a previous year instead of a buying new one every time!

5.¬†Relive the 90s¬†with a Power Ranger, Data and Eric Matthews¬†– The guest lineup is full of some 90s goodness this time around including Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, original Red Power Ranger Austin St. John and Will Friedle…aka Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World! If you’re wondering why Will Friedle is on that list, he’s now an accomplished voice actor…anyone ever watched Batman Beyond? Yep, Batman is Will. *mind blown*¬†You can view all the Dallas Comic Con Fan Days guests here.

6.¬†A group photo with Stephen Amell and John Barrowman –¬†I’ve only done one photo opp before (Gus from Breaking Bad!) and it was a good one so this group photo opp has a lot to live up to! I’m so excited to take a photo with my blogger besties though – now I just have to figure out what to wear!!!

Click here to read the rest of my Comic Con posts! 

See you this weekend at Dallas Comic Con Fan Days, babes! And don’t forget to save $5 and get your tickets today.

xoxo
Valery


Embracing My Inner Stevie Nicks

inner stevie nicksSometimes a $10 purchase is a really good idea. I’ve been looking for more “throw and go” dresses – is that a thing? I’m going to pretend like it is. You know, something that you don’t have to iron that you can just throw on with some cute shoes and maybe a necklace and walk out the door looking like you planned the whole thing. This $10 black dress from H&M totally fit the bill.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan 232webWhen I was buying this gorgeous $39 coat from H&M, I needed something else in my cart so I could get free shipping. Because why pay $7 shipping when you can pay $10 for another item? #logic

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan 270web This black dress was my everything. Nice and long, full length sleeves and a crew neck meant I didn’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions or undergarment issues and the fact that it’s oversized meant that it would almost certainly fit. And it did! Admittedly, it’s not the most “flattering” dress but sometimes that really doesn’t matter. Actually most of the time that doesn’t matter, if you like wearing oversized clothes 24/7 you do you.

For this shoot I knew I wanted to wear the tattoo choker that Sevi provided us with for Stephanie’s 90s themed roller skating party. I threw on a hat¬†and I was really feeling like Stevie Nicks in the best way possible. My favorite metallic heeled booties from Target finished off the look. I headed out the door, husband and camera in tow.

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Hat: Forever 21 ($20; similar & on sale!) | Dress: H&M ($10; exact, I’m wearing a L but could have easily sized down) | Necklace: Gifted (exact & literally $.20) | Booties: Target ($30; exact)

Simple. Comfy. Easy to wear. This outfit had it all.

Oh, what else did it have? It also doubled as a peep show for everyone I encountered in public. Not until I was already having my photos taken did I realize that the dress is semi sheer. Not like see through, but sheer enough that when the light hit me just right, you could see my entire leg and underpants. COOL.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan 224webIt made choosing photos for this post easy though – “Can I see my underwear? No? Okay, I’ll use this one!”

Honestly, I’d still recommend this dress. It’s seriously insanely comfortable and the see through problem can easily be remedied with a slip or some shorts (or not if that’s what you’re into). I’m sad though because now it requires a lot more thought – I have to plan my undergarments which goes against my whole reasoning for buying the dress.

The moral of the story is, sometimes you really need to step outside in the sun and do an undergarment check before you go to the park with lots of people.¬†¬Į\_(„ÉĄ)_/¬Į

xoxo
Valery


Favorite Drugstore Pink and Red Lipsticks

Last week I posted an edgy Valentine’s Day makeup tutorial (check it out here!) but if you’re just looking for a lipstick….you’ve come to the right place! Here are some of my absolute favorite pink and red lippies and guess what…they’re all from the drugstore and under $8! They’re also all cruelty free except for one (sorry bunnies!) Check out the video at the bottom for swatches of all of them!

Valentines-LipsticksLeft to right, top to bottom:

  • elf Cosmetics Gotta Glow Lip Tint ($6) – This is a sheer lippie, more like a lip balm. Perfect if you just want a wash of pink and soooo comfortable on the lips.
  • Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake ($8.50) – A gorgeous, flattering light pink with surprisingly good coverage. The color is relatively buildable, it’s easy to apply and definitely doesn’t require a liner. Wears off naturally but is definitely not long lasting.
  • NYX Cosmetics Round Case Lipstick in Narcissus ($3.99) – I kind of can’t believe people don’t talk about these lipsticks more often – they’re so easy and comfortable to wear, come in tons of shades and they’re FOUR BUCKS! This super pink Barbie pink is my favorite shade I’ve tried – just so dang fun and surprisingly flattering.
  • NYX Liquid Suede Lip Cream in Tea & Cookies ($6.99) – A super soft pink that’s a little darker and more subtle than Narcissus. The finish dries to matte and the staying power is pretty good – you’ll probably need to reapply after eating though.
  • NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Privileged ($5.99) – I love the High Voltage lippies because the skinny tube makes them super easy to apply. This color looks a lot brighter than it is once it’s on the lips but it’s still really fun to wear. The finish is more like a highly pigmented lip balm.
  • NYX Liquid Suede Lip Cream in Pink Lust¬†($6.99) – Holy goodness this is HOT PINK. I think this would be so fun for Valentine’s Day with a simple black cat eye and some heavy mascara. Easy look that will pack a punch.
  • Essence Longlasting Lipstick in Blush My Lips ($2.99) – More of a “toned down” hot pink, this lipstick is surprisingly easy to apply and pigmented, especially for the price. I love it when a dark color like this doesn’t require a liner to go on clean.
  • NYX Matte Lipstick in Street Cred ($5.99) – Probably NYX’s most famous line of lipsticks, this one is almost a neon red. It does have a bit of an orange undertone so if you’re self conscious about yellowing teeth I’d stay away from this one. But if you’re feeling up to it, this is a bit more non traditional than some of the other lippies on this list but I think still fits the bill.
  • NYX Liquid Suede Lip Cream in Kitten Heels¬†($6.99) – Okay I promise this is the last Liquid Suede Lip Cream – they’re just so good! This is really the bombshell red lip – it leans toward blue not orange so you won’t have yellow teeth ūüôā
  • NYX Matte Lipstick in Perfect Red ($5.99) – The most perfect red for real. It goes on EVERY skin tone, it’s long lasting and the finish is matte without being too drying. The only caveat is you’ll probably need a liner with this one – it’s not super easy to apply, especially on the edges of the lips.

Or if you’re feeling grumpy and you want a lip color that reflects the color of your soul (lol)…

  • NYX Wicked Lippie in Cold Hearted ($5.99) – A metallic charcoal lippie that’s way more flattering than it sounds. Not quite as harsh as black, but still gives the same effect. I always get tons of compliments on this shade and if you wear it on Valentine’s Day you’re sure to turn some heads.

What color lippie are you going to be rocking on Valentine’s Day? Which one should I wear? I can’t decide!

xoxo
Valery


Drugstore, Cruelty Free Makeup Tutorial – Smokey Eyes and A Soft Lip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EssenceAtTarget #TargetYourEssence #CollectiveBias

edgy valentine's day makeupLove is in the air and Valentine’s Day is only 10 days away!¬†I’ve wanted to do a Valentine’s Day look for quite some time now, but to be honest I’m just not crazy about the SUPER feminine V-Day looks. I mean they work for other people, but for me…I just wanted something a little…edgier.

To create this look, I headed to my local Target to pick up some new makeup from Essence Cosmetics. If you’re not familiar, Essence is an affordable, high quality cosmetics brand that launched in Germany back in 2001. They’ve been in the states since 2007 and I’m so stinking excited because now Essence is available at select Target stores (over 500 nationwide)! Super easy to find, just head to the makeup aisles and look for the Essence sign!

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Here’s a video with the whole look start to finish! Scroll down for photos and gifs if video isn’t your thing ūüôā

This edgy Valentine’s Day look starts (of course) with the eyes. Here’s what you’ll need to smoke out those peepers – All About Greys Eyeshadow Palette, Gel Eye Pencil (black), 2 in 1 Eyeliner Pen, and Get Big Lashes Mascara.

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Apply silver shadow from the All About Greys Palette to your entire lid with a brush.


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Slowly build up the crease with darker shadows (start with a dark grey, blend, then repeat the process with black). Continue to build up the color until you have your desired “smokey” effect. You can stick with the dark grey for a more subtle smokey eye or build up the black for a more intense look. Just make sure to BLEND!!!


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Apply shadow on the lower lid (start with silver and slowly build up to darker colors until you get the desired effect).


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Use the Gel Eye Pencil to line your top and bottom waterline.


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Line the top lid with a thin line using the 2 in 1 Eyeliner Pen.


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Finish the eyes with Get Big Lashes Mascara.


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Give your face some color using the Sun Club Matte Bronzing Powder, Blush Up Powder Blush in Pinky Flow and the So Glow Cream to Powder Highlight.

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We can’t forget the lips! This look definitely calls for a lighter lip and since it’s Valentine’s Day it HAS to be pink! I used the Longwear Lipstick¬†in Get the Look and Liquid Lipstick in Colour Party. Either one would be beautiful on their own but I LOVE the effect they give together!

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One of the things I was most excited to see from Essence was the Gel Nail Polish. Not only is it super affordable, it doesn’t require a light! I bought Rock My World and Sweet as Candy to coordinate¬†with the grey and pink makeup. Not only did this polish dry super fast, the top coat covered up the mistakes I made when I was letting my nails dry (never fails).

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Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? What kind of makeup will you be rocking that day?!

xoxo
Valery


Tips for Styling a Winter Coat

style an oversized winter coatGrowing up in Texas, winter dressing has never been my forte. Every single time it snows or ices, I freak out because I have NO clue what shoes to wear. (Seriously though, it’s a problem). Thankfully I was able to survive some Chicago winter weather for a few days – you can get the details on that here – but the fashion lover in me was still a little worried about looking chic.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan841-webClick on any of the bold links to shop!

Sweater: Ross ($8; similar; plus size option here) | Button down shirt: Old Navy ($20; similar; plus size option) | Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar Jeans (exact; plus size option) | Boots: JC Penney-old (similar) | Bag: TJ Maxx ($29; similar; similar) | Necklace: BaubleBar ($14; exact and still on sale!) | Coat: H&M ($39.99; exact and still on sale!) | NYX Matte Lipstick in Minx ($6; exact) | Photos by Tek Chung
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I know, I know. It’s vain but whatever, clothing is how you present yourself to the world! The only coat I took to Chicago was a giant parka – something that is huge, black and gives me exactly ZERO shape. Yikes.

So how do you combat this? It’s not easy, but here are a few ways to feel chic, even when you’re wearing a giant shapeless coat:

  1. Add a statement scarf – I’m not talking about a normal scarf, this has to be a statement scarf. A faux fur scarf or a plaid blanket scarf will work perfectly!
  2. Patterns patterns patterns! – This outfit was my favorite of the trip because the patterns brought attention to the fact that I wasn’t just a black blob.
  3. Keep it slim on bottom – If you’re wearing an oversized coat, try to stick with slimmer cuts on bottom. It doesn’t have to be leggings or super skinny jeans but I would avoid wide silhouettes like culouttes or trouser pants. Let’s go ahead and leave the Jncos at home too ūüėČ
  4. Kill it with shoes and a bag – Wear shoes and a bag that make you feel awesome! They’ll elevate your look and your confidence too.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan889-web Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan743-webDallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan837-webNext time you grab that parka to face the chill, make sure to use the three tips above to feel your best!

xoxo
Valery

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How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Y’all.¬†It’s time to chat about makeup brushes…if you’re not washing them, you’re doing yourself a HUGE disservice. Not only do the brushes grow bacteria (ew), but they also don’t perform as well AND they’ll fall apart sooner if you don’t take care of your brushes and clean them regularly.

Click here for my list of essential budget friendly makeup brushes!

I’ve seen lots of posts that kind of overcomplicate it but honestly…cleaning your brushes is pretty easy. I use a grand total of ONE product and it gets the job done perfectly:¬†Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castille Soap (it’s called 18-in-1 because it has SO many uses). Here’s a video of how I wash my brushes – it’s easy peasey!

In case you can’t watch the video, here’s what to do. (If anything is confusing, you can always fast forward the video to the demo with the sound off.)

  1. Gather your brushes, a clean towel and your castille soap at the sink.
  2. Put a drop of castille soap in your palm (as small of a drop as you can).
  3. Using cool water (or as cold as you can handle), wet your brush. Try not to wet the bristles at the base of the brush if possible.
  4. Swirl the brush in the palm of your hand to make a lather – you’re going to see the product start to come off into your palm.
  5. Once you feel like you’ve worked the soap around quite a bit, rinse the brush bristles and repeat. Do this until the brush looks clean and there’s no more product on the brush or your hand.
  6. Carefully squeeze the bristles (keeping the shape of the brush as close to the original shape as you can).
  7. Lay the brush flat on a towel to dry. During the winter months, it may take more than just overnight to dry fully so plan accordingly!
  8. Bonus step: To fluff the brushes back up, after they’ve been drying for a bit, I swirl the brush on the dry towel VERY lightly just to bring some shape back into it. Then lay it flat again.

And that’s it! Hopefully this was helpful to you – if you have any questions you know how to get ahold of me ūüôā While you’re here, check out the video below with some AMAZING 90s inspired beauty looks –¬†I was honestly shocked at how closely these looks resemble the makeup I’ve been wearing lately. Apparently I’m even more of a 90s girl than I thought!

xoxo
Valery

 

Check out Nail the ’90s Grunge Look With These Makeup Tutorials

by Compulsive Style at Mode


Diversity Chic – Poncho Glam

Diversity Chic poncho glamThis month marks one full year of Diversity Chic and honestly…I can’t believe it. If you’re new here…

Diversity Chic is a collaboration of Dallas bloggers showcasing current fashion trends on a variety of skin tones, hair colors, body types and heights. Each month we will feature a new trend tailored to our personalities and style.

Our focus is to explore the world of fashion in its unique, diverse, and stylish manner ‚Äď one trend at a time.

Click here to see all of last year’s Diversity Chic posts.

Diversity-Chic-Ponchos-1258This collaboration is something that’s really near and dear to my heart. I feel like I gush about it every month but I’m going to go ahead and do it a little more. The world of fashion (although sometimes good changes are made) tends to put people in a box. You have to look, act, feel a certain way and with Diversity Chic we’re proving it wrong one trend at a time. Each of us has a different body type, skin tone, and personal style but every month we bring it, no matter what trend we’re working on. That’s what we want you to do – don’t be hesitant to try out a trend because you don’t look like the girls you see on Pinterest. Just find a way to make it work and freaking WERK IT! Then make sure to use the hashtag #diversitychicinspired on Instagram so we can connect!

Diversity-Chic-Ponchos-1441 Diversity-Chic-Ponchos-1486 Diversity-Chic-Ponchos-1493This month we’re taking it one step further by bringing Christian into the mix! I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I’d love to bring a guy in for one month and ponchos was a perfect opportunity! Of course, Christian nailed it. I’m loving how each of us styled our poncho in a totally different way!

Diversity-Chic-Ponchos-1506Since I’ve worn a poncho again and again and again and again on this blog, I tried to come up with a look that was really different from what I wore previously. I usually pair¬†ponchos with more casual pieces¬†since they scream comfort but this time around I wanted to go glam. I went a little nuts with the statement jewelry but I think it actually¬†works. With any other look it might be over the top but I’m into it here. I also wore my thrifted Gianni Bini heels to elevate the look even more. (See what I did there…elevated….because they’re heels….)

Diversity-Chic-Ponchos-1465Poncho: Forever 21 ($10; similar; similar; similar) | Necklace: BaubleBar ($20 on sale; exact) | Ring: BaubleBar ($32 and worth every penny; exact) | Leggings: Target (really old; similar) | Heels: Thrifted ($8; similar) | Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick in Minx ($6; exact) | Earrings: Rocksbox (exact here or use the code valerybrennanxoxo to get a month of Rocksbox FREE) | Photos by Stephanie Drenka

Diversity-Chic-Ponchos-1277Christian Alexander Fashion // Ware is the Vodka?! // Stephanie Drenka

Don’t forget to check out Stephanie, Christian and Sevi’s posts! Oh and guess what…next month Jordan finally makes her triumphant return!!!!

What’s your favorite way to wear a poncho? Got any styling tips for me?

xoxo
Valery


How a Texan Survived Chicago Winter Weather

how to dress for winter weatherWhen I was packing for Chicago, I was honestly freaking out a bit. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and a Chicago winter (even if it’s been mild this year) was nothing short of terrifying to me! Everyone I talked to said the key was layering – which is not something I excel at, if we’re being honest. Also I knew my short peacoat was not going to cut it and (even though I LOVE it), there was no way I was going to travel with my beloved vintage faux fur coat. So basically packing led to a meltdown. Okay maybe “meltdown” is a little melodramatic but STILL.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan81-web Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan14-web

Photos by Tek Chung

Here’s how this Texas girl survived – nay, dominated – four days in Chicago.

  1. Black and white. To keep things simple, I decided to pack all black and white. That’s what I wear most often these days anyway and I knew I could mix and match easily and add more layers in if necessary. Some button down shirts, a sweater, leggings, a t shirt dress and jeans were all I needed. Everything matched so I didn’t have to worry much about “outfits.”
  2. Smart shoes. As much as I desperately wanted to wear some cute loafers or even booties, I’m glad I listened to my gut. A snowy Chicago winter means you NEED boots and they have to be waterproof. A pair of faux patent combat boots and some duck boots served me well. Admittedly, I could have survived with one pair but I knew I would be taking outfit photos and wanted a bit of variety.
  3. Ridiculous scarves. I packed two scarves – a VERY long scarf that I could wrap around my neck and a faux fur infinity scarf. The faux fur scarf was a life saver because it also blocked the wind from my face.
  4. Layering. No matter what you think, one layer on your legs is NOT enough. With my coat and a long sleeved shirt, my torso was always warm but my legs were always FREEZING. Even leggings underneath jeans or two pairs of leggings wasn’t enough. You really need long socks and at least two layers of pants – three if you can swing it.
  5. Hoods. Have a hood available at all time. You will wear it often and it will seriously make all the difference in the world.
  6. Warm hands and feet. I got lucky and picked up a pair of leather gloves at Target on clearance right before we left and I’m SO glad I did. Without gloves I seriously would have been miserable and believe me when I tell you cotton gloves are NOT enough. Also regular socks probably aren’t going to do the trip. Try to bring at least one pair of long wool socks and layer your regular socks underneath.
  7. The right coat. Do NOT underestimate the power of a good coat. I’m bummed this particular coat is only available in a few sizes now but I cannot recommend it enough! It wasn’t super heavy or bulky but provided the warmth I needed – also it’s on sale for $39.99! Total steal.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan19-web Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan63-webDallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan21-webBy the way, you may or may not know the story of this “little black dress” – if you’re unfamiliar you have to go read this post before you go any further.

Now that we’re all caught up – you may think it’s insane that I’m wearing it again on this blog. I kind of do, honestly. But y’all this dress is SO comfy and so perfect for layering! I knew I was going to be wearing black jeans or leggings every day and I really wanted to try to work in a dress. With this dress, I was still able to wear two layers of leggings and still be relatively warm. The short sleeves meant I could highlight my white button down underneath. It’s always plenty warm inside buildings so I wanted to make sure I could take my coat off and still look pulled together.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan95-webDallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan16-web

Click on any of the bold links below to shop!

Coat: H&M ($39.99; exact) | Dress: Zaful ($10; exact; similar) | Button Down: Gifted (similar) | Bag: TJ Maxx ($29.99; similar; similar; similar) | Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick in Minx ($6.99; exact) | Leggings: Charlotte Russe ($10; exact) | Boots: Target ($20; similar) | Glasses: Polette ($17; exact) | Necklace: BaubleBar ($16 on super sale; exact still available!)

via GIPHY

How do you survive the cold?! As much as I loved Chicago, the 65 degree weather here in Dallas wasn’t so bad either ūüôā

xoxo
Valery