Weekly Reading | January 19, 2017


Travel

Let this year be the year that you take some time to see more of the world.

"A Houstonian's Guide: Tokyo in 24 Hours" via It's Not Hou It's Me
"Under the Tuscan Sun" via The Artfulist

College

With the new semester underway, you might be beginning to have roommate issues. You might also be considering study abroad.


Lifestyle

Here are some posts that I found useful and enlightening as we enter a new year.

"9 Ways to Rock Your Commute" via A Wanderer's Adventures

For more travel and college posts as well as career posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Dress in the Color of the Year with StyleWe*


I am one of those women who dress in shades of black, so unsurprisingly, green is not a common color in my closet, let alone such a specific shade as greenery. I literally have four pieces of green clothing in my closet, only two of which I actually wear, so when StyleWe reached out to me to showcase their products, I was immediately drawn to how colorful and vibrant they are, so if you are like me and need to inject some color into your closet, look no further than StyleWe, especially with these gorgeous dresses and coats. If you are brave enough, you can even layer them.





In line with the theme of vibrant and colorful, StyleWe is also party dress express! They have everything ranging from classy and elegant evening dresses to showstoppingly sexy pieces. If you are in the market for a new Valentine's Day outfit, for example, this is a great place to start, if only for some inspiration. I was browsing the website while planning for this post, and it struck me how well styled the outfits are, so I enjoyed even just clicking around for outfit combinations to try.

Also, StyleWe apparently has a blog that covers topics on fashion, style, beauty, lifestyle, and women power, so inspiration really does abound with posts such as "How to Cut Bangs Hairstyle."

What are your thoughts on the color of the year, greenery?
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My 2016 MVPs (Most Valuable Posts) and a 2017 Forecast


One more year has come and gone. Well, it will still be around for about four days, I guess. We still have the week! Either way, the sad, nostalgic lament of "Wow, time flies" is overplayed and growing old (just like I am, sigh), so I will sidestep all of the cliché sentiments and move into a foreword of sorts for my ten most popular posts for the year.

At the start of the year, I resolved to post twice a week, once on Tuesday and once on Thursday. I am still a full-time graduate student with what is essentially a full-time teaching and research job, so I decided to start with an easy and manageable schedule that I can add to once I get the ball rolling again (My blog took a huge hit when I disappeared on that unexpected hiatus). I stuck to the schedule surprisingly well for the first half of the year, especially after I launched my Weekly Reading series that I added to every Thursday.

Blogging finally became a routine for me. It was such a sustainable and efficient schedule that I even had time to dedicate to regularly updating my Instagram. I was slowly creating an aesthetic for it and was building up my following, so I finally felt like ExtraExtravagant was getting back on track and growing again. Things were going so well that I considered finally expanding into creating YouTube videos.

Then, this past Fall semester hit, and everything basically went to shit. I was taking four classes as a student, teaching two classes for my teaching assistantship, and working on a grant-funded project for my research assistantship. How graduate school usually works is you take two to three classes per semester and work on either a teaching or a research assistantship. It did not work out that way for me, unfortunately. What that means is that once August hit, 24 hours in a day became way too little time for all of that, let alone blogging, so yet again, I had to place blogging on the backburner.

Fortunately, I was still able to produce a few posts, and I am so glad that a few of them managed to make it into the lineup of my ten most popular posts for 2016.

Here they are! You can click on the titles to navigate to the posts themselves.

10. July Drugstore.com Haul


9. 5 Hair Myths You Shouldn't Believe


















It does not come as a surprise that the Celebrity Style Inspiration for Any Age post is the most popular one. The series itself was probably my most popular series when I launched it in 2015. This is the most recent one, but I planned for the series as a whole to have four more installments (40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s and Beyond). If 2017 goes as hoped, I should be able to complete the entire series by the end of next year.

Another series that I want to continue into 2017 is Style Ideas by Bloggers, my most popular series for this year. I was actually able to complete it for 2016, and three out of the four total 2016 posts made it into this lineup. One of my favorite aspects of running this series is the opportunity it provides me (and you) to connect with other bloggers, so I do not see this series going away anytime soon.

Besides that, the guides (albeit clickbait-y) seem to be a reader favorite too, and the good news is that I have quite a few ideas for more of them all sitting around as drafts, so I hope to be able to get to them too in 2017.

I honestly have no idea how 2017 will go. This coming Spring semester, I will only be taking two classes, but I still have my teaching and research assistantships. Plus, it will be my graduating semester, so I have my entire thesis research project to conduct and write up to prepare to defend and hopefully graduate! After that, I will be going home to Malaysia to visit my family for at least the summer, and everything after that is super tentative and in-the-air, so I really have no idea if I'll be able to get back into blogging consistently again. Fingers crossed!

What types of posts do you typically expect from a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog?
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Winter Style Ideas by Bloggers


I want to believe that Winter is upon us, but we have only had two days of mild snow thus far in Iowa. It has been freezing cold, though, with temperatures below ten degrees, but this week, it is supposed to climb back up to the high 30s, which actually sounds like repose.

On a different note, with tomorrow being the official first day of Winter, it is time for another installment of Style Ideas by Bloggers! Winter is my favorite season for this series because we have bloggers who live in different areas with different climates, so they transition into the new season in different ways!


At The Pink Paperdoll, you can get inspired to find the beautiful details in your life through décor, travel, fashion, and nature. In addition to lifestyle blogging, Abbie works as a freelance writer.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Liv is a college student, YouTuber, blogger, and social media lover, who lives for fashion, makeup, and exciting adventures. Liv for Style was launched as the place to go to for inspirational style, the 411 on fashion, advice on beauty, and a variety of informative lifestyle topics. Liv uses Liv for Style as a creative outlet and to inspire women around the world to use today's trends in fashion and beauty to express themselves in a healthy and self-fulfilling lifestyle.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Jordan is a 23-year-old Los Angeles, CA-based blogger who started The Teacup of Style as a way to express her creativity and inner fashionista. She recently graduated from college and is pursuing her teaching credentials in elementary education. In addition to her blog and career endeavors, Jordan is knee-deep in planning for her wedding in June. The Teacup of Style is proof that sometimes, the busiest of people make for the best fashionistas.


By day, Deb leads product management for a Silicon Valley tech giant. By night (and on weekends), she blogs! She loves all things beautiful and spends most of her time photographing or writing about fashion and doing DIY projects around her house, changing up the décor for the season. A few times a year, she travels far and wide and write to blog about her experiences. On Deesignplay, you can find the latest on fashion, DIY décor, and travel.

Click here for the featured outfit post.


Written by Cait, a Chicago-based 20-something navigating the PR industry, blogging, and the L, Sophisticaition is a personal style blog dedicated to helping you look, feel, and be your best self.

Click here for the featured outfit post.


Where the Pretty Things Are is a life and style blog written by Lydia, a Wisconsinite with a love for fashion and beauty. She focuses on affordable style, everyday makeup tutorials, and everything in between. Lydia shares her insight of the fashion and beauty world with all of her readers, offering them the very best the world has to offer.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Lauren is a 21-year-old college student and the writer behind My Life as Lauren. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and currently resides in Richmond, VA. Lauren is a style addict, foodie, and loves throwing parties for every occasion. On her blog, she shares lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food pieces while trying to inspire her readers to live a fun and happy life! Her goal is to be your virtual bestie, and she loves having conversations with readers on social media.

Click here for the featured outfit post.


Imperfect Idealist is a blog documenting the ponderings and personal style of a girl with outlandish dreams, too many clothes, and an insatiable hunger for adventure. It's a space for the creator, Lily, to bare her soul about her latest study abroad misadventure, grueling endurance race, or existential crisis. By writing, she seeks resonance with her life, with herself, and with others. By sharing such raw stories, she hopes to show that we're not alone on this wild, beautiful journey.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Lizzie in Lace is a personal petite style blog showcasing feminine fashion with a bit of whimsy. There, you can find OOTD inspiration, styling tips and tricks, and a great community of women who are positive and uplifting. Liz is a Kate Spade-obsessed, flower crown wearing, dress twirling kind of girl who believes in wearing tulle skirts for any occasion, eating cupcakes for breakfast, and sporting sequins during the day. Aside from blogging, she teaches guitar as a profession, enjoys traveling, and loves to draw.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.

For more fashion inspiration, check out the Style Ideas by Bloggers posts from past seasons.

Who are your favorite style bloggers for fashion inspiration?
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A Versatile Fall Dress ft. eShakti*


This dress from eShakti is quickly becoming a staple in my closet. It's easy to dress up (I wore it to a wedding) and down (I've worn it to school). Plus, it's comfortable! There are also a couple of hidden treasures. There's a clasp at the neckline that you can fasten or remove depending on how much you want to show. There are also tiny clasps on the inside of the shoulders for securing bra straps! Overall, this is a well-made, high-quality dress.

Let's talk about eShakti's ordering process for a second. eShakti boasts customization as its number one selling point, but the level of customization is insane! You know when you find an amazing piece of clothing that you really want, but if only it fit right or if only it had a longer hem? With eShakti, you put in your measurements with your order, and the piece is custom made for you! On top of that, with this dress, I really liked the color, cloth, and that little wraparound detail in the front, but I really didn't like the original cap sleeves and above-knee hem, so I customized that as well. I requested the elbow-length sleeves in the picture, and I also requested an ankle-length hem. It all fit perfectly!

I'm also currently looking at a couple of other dresses that I'm considering buying.


I really like the color and length of this dress, but I'm thinking a scoop neck would look better on me.


On the other hand, I really like this dress as is, so I'll probably just enter my measurements.

For inspiration on how other bloggers have customized their dresses to match their individual styles, you can follow eShakti on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

What are your thoughts on customizable clothing?

*This complimentary product was provided for review consideration.
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Fall Style Ideas by Bloggers


My favorite season is finally here! I love the colors, and I especially love the weather. The temperatures in Iowa are still in the high 70s/low 80s in the day, but the nights are in the wonderful high 50s/low 60s. I wish I could live in a place where the temperatures are in the high 50s year-round.

With the temperatures (too) slowly dipping into the 50s and 40s, a big portion of my wardrobe is appropriate to wear again! We had a cold day on Tuesday, and I was almost giddy with excitement to have been able to wear a sweater! My fellow bloggers are transitioning into their fall wardrobes too, so here's this season's Style Ideas by Bloggers post featuring bloggers new to my blog as well as some familiar faces who have been featured on ExtraExtravagant before.


Stephanie is not your average fashion personality. She is a 22-year-old who currently resides in Richmond, Virginia, but the wanderlust is very strong in her veins. Her passions include eating her weight in gelato and French macarons, drinking bubble tea, watching superhero movies, making friends via social media, and, of course, shopping. You may have previously known her as Drunk on Vogue, but she recently rebranded her blog. She Saw Style is her style spirit encapsulated in a blog. Along with providing fashion, beauty, and lifestyle inspiration, her goal is to reach other women and remind them of their immense worth.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Laurel is a Toronto-based blogger who started Laurel Musical five years ago to express her creativity. She graduated with honors this year with a Bachelor of Music in voice performance and can always be caught singing. Laurel Musical is a place where she shares music, beauty, and fashion advice to help others feel their best.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


May writes at The PDX Belle, a fashion and lifestyle blog that draws on her experiences growing up in Portland (PDX) and living as a young adult in Richmond, Virginia. The PDX Belle is a positive place for you to go hang out, gather inspiration, and leave feeling totally okay to be yourself, whether it's through fashion, travel, or fitness.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Sophia is a 21-year-old college student who is just trying to understand herself a little bit more. In a world full of chaos, Sofieyah gives her a sense of place and direction. She believes that beauty and fashion should not be discriminatory and hopes to be proof that you don't have to be thin and tall to look good in clothes. While beauty and fashion are central to her blog, they aren't central to her life. She also believes in personal growth and wants her blog not just to advertise outer beauty but to also be a mecca for your inner beauty to shine.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Amy is the 20-something fashion and lifestyle blogger behind Pastel N Pink, which was born in the summer of 2014 to share outfit inspiration, lifestyle tips, and a little happiness to those who visit. She loves all things floral and is always in the mood for brunch.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Le Fab Chic is a Los Angeles-based life and style blog by Joshaunic Scott. She focuses on affordable fashion, beauty tips, and life hacks. Joshaunic is a graduate of FIDM and works as a commercial model in addition to blogging.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Sophisticaition tells the story of a Chicago 20-something trying to navigate fashion blogging, the PR industry, and the "L." Cait shares fashion trends, beauty tips, and life hacks to help keep women confident and bosses!

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Tatum is a style blogger and PR girl living in NYC. Her blog, The Pace, is where she explores her passions: style, health and fitness, and travel.

Click here to view the featured outfit Instagram.

For more fashion inspiration, check out the Style Ideas by Bloggers posts from past seasons.

Note: Features were edited for clarity and length.

Where do you go to for style inspiration?
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Weekly Reading | August 28, 2016


Travel

The final moments of summer vacation is your final chance to get some fun in before you go back to school!

"Theme Park Checklist" via Dani Dearest
"The 10 Biggest Packing Mistakes You're Making" via Department of Wandering

Career

Work wear can be challenging to nail down.

"My Fashion Interview Outfit" via Milan Darling

College

School has already started back up for me, but here are some tips for incoming freshmen (domestic and international) who are starting their first week of college tomorrow!


For more college posts as well as fashion and fitness posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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DIY Spa Night


If your week was anything like mine, you must be exhausted at this point (which is made worse by the fact that I won't actually have a weekend this week). Be it due to work or school or anything in your life that tires you out to the verge of tears, we need a night to just relax and unwind. Trips to the spa can hurt your wallet (and time), so for times when you want or need to pamper yourself at home, here are some ways to make it as luxurious as a fancy trip to the spa.

Create the Mood

To be able to fully relax and unwind, you need to create an atmosphere. Light some scented candles, play some soothing music, grab a glass of wine, and pull up your favorite show on Netflix (which spas don't have). Now that you have the spa ambience down, let the pampering begin!

DIY Beauty Treatments

There is a whole host of beauty treatments that you can whip up yourself, using ingredients that you already have on hand. You can make face masks from bananas, oats, yogurt, and honey. You can make hair masks from egg whites or coconut oil. All you need to do to find these recipes is hit up Pinterest or even Google. There really is no need to splurge on expensive beauty products (unless you plan on having spa nights on a regular basis, in which case you might prefer more luxurious, store-bought options).

Teeth

Our teeth are often forgotten about when it comes to pampering even though it is also an integral factor in how we look and even how we feel. One way to pamper your teeth is to whiten them. You can incorporate this step into your spa night by just looking for the best whitening strips for you.

Hands and Feet

One of the most popular pampering activities is a mani-pedi. These are rather expensive to get at a salon, especially considering how easy it is to create the same look at home for much cheaper. To do so, start with a good hand cream. Then, file your nails and cut your cuticles. Finish off with nail polish of your choice, including a base and top coat. Then, you're good to go! If you're looking for more complex designs than just a swipe of color, there are cute nail designs that you can try. While you're doing your nails, you can even pop your feet into a foot spa. If you don't have one at home, you can DIY it! Just fill a large bowl with warm water and essential oils. It's that easy!

How do you prefer to pamper yourself?
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Weekly Reading | August 14, 2016


Fashion

Last week, I found some helpful tips on shopping sales. Then, once the hauling is done, it will be time to break in those new heels and plan a new wardrobe.

"4 Ways to Wear Heels Without the Pain" via Career Girl Daily
"How to Plan a Minimal Wardrobe" via The Private Life of a Girl

Fitness

I also found more compelling reasons for me especially to get off of my butt and exercise more.


College

Once again, I did not plan for all three articles to be from the same source. Society 19 just pumps out more college-related articles than any of the other blogs I follow.

"10 Tips for Moving into Your Dorm" via Society 19
"15 Reasons to Consider Community College" via Society 19
"Money Saving Tips to Help You Travel on a College Budget" via Society 19

For travel, career, and home posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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My Everyday Makeup (but with Glasses) ft. GlassesShop*


Here is a fun fact for you: I posted my last makeup tutorial three years ago! It was a pink eyeshadow look for a wedding. Believe it or not, not much has changed since then except that I now have a better relationship with my eyebrows.


This is not going to be a tutorial post. I will just be discussing my favorite makeup products and how I incorporate them into my everyday look.

For my face, I start by priming with the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer and use the Catrice 12H Matt Mousse Foundation in Soft Ivory, set with the ELF High Definition Translucent Powder. Then, I lightly bronze with the Benefit Hoola Bronzer and add some Benefit Dandelion Blush to my cheekbones.

Then, I fill in my eyebrows with Sleek from the TheBalm Nude'tude Palette and the lighter shade from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown. For my lips, I first buff with the ELF Clear Lip Exfoliator, then apply a generous amount of the Peripera Peri's Tint Jelly.

For my eyes, I first prime with the Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion and just sweep Sin from the Urban Decay Naked Palette all over my eyelids. The cat eye is achieved with the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper as a base and sharpened with the ELF Liquid Liner in Jet Black. I then tightline with the Wet N Wild Color Icon Kohl Eyeliner and finish with a couple of coats of the Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara in Very Black.


Not only do I love this routine because it is easy to do, but I also love it because I have the option to slap on my glasses and completely change the look of my outfit for the day. To be completely honest, I like that it makes me look older and thus more credible when I teach.

This pair that I have on is from GlassesShop. My eyesight is terrible, so my prescription tends to make it so that the lenses in my glasses are super thick and, as a result, super heavy. However, these ones are lightweight, which I really appreciate because, as you can see from the picture above, the bigger frames that I prefer always end up resting right above my nose stud, so heavy glasses like my previous pair sometimes pull on it, which obviously hurts.

GlassesShop is the way to go if you are looking for some new prescription eyeglasses or just cheap glasses in general. They even stock prescription sunglasses!

As a bonus, you can take 50% off your purchase of glasses or sunglasses, which also come with free lenses! Just use the coupon code GSHOT50 at checkout.

How do you do your everyday makeup?

*This complimentary product was provided for review consideration.
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