College: What You Actually Need

A friend of mine is starting college in the fall and asked me for some packing advice. Packing for college may sound simple, but it can be extremely overwhelming. After a full year of living in the dorms, I have realized what is actually important to bring and what is completely unnecessary.

There are two main packing categories: what you bring and what you buy. We’ll start off with what you bring. My biggest suggestion is that you start early. I separated my room into four regions towards the beginning of the summer and worked on each part for a week or two. I went through every drawer and shelf and de-cluttered. I threw things out and donated multiple bags of clothing. What this process will help you realize is what is actually important to you. You will be leaving your home and you can’t bring everything, so ask yourself: what can’t I live without for a year? What I soon realized is that the things I could live without, were items I really didn’t need. I mean if you aren’t going to use it for a whole year, when will you ever? By the end of the summer the things left in my room were items I truly valued and used. By tackling one section of my room at a time I didn’t become overwhelmed (well… not that overwhelmed).

Now, what do you need to buy? My school sent out a packing list with suggested items to bring to college. While I found some suggestions helpful, others were ridiculous. First of all, you don’t need an iron/ironing board. You hear me? Almost every friend of mine bought those adorable mini chevron ironing boards and never used them. No one (except maybe those pledging boys) irons in college. And I promise you, if you do find yourself in need of some wrinkle relief, there will be a naive freshman with an adorable mini chevron ironing board right down the hall who will happily let you borrow it.

Any college packing list will suggest the obvious: bedding, towels, shower caddy, hangers… But there are a few items I would like to heavily emphasize. Bring a printer. Even if your school provides free printing (which very few do), I recommend a personal printer. When you’re up writing an essay until 4am, the last thing  you’ll want to worry about is getting up early to print at the library. Having a printer will also help you make friends. I think my friends used my printer more than me and repaid me with paper (well worth it!). Another important item? A robe. Walking to a communal bathroom in a towel is just not for me. Plus, hanging out in your room with your stranger of a roommate can be kind of uncomfortable in a towel. Robes rule! I also recommend bringing stamps for letters to friends, a drying rack for all those items that really shouldn’t go in the dryer (you can’t hang your wet clothes all over your room like you did back home), and a plastic bin for your wet shower caddy fresh from the shower.

Now for a few of my packing quick tips…

-Keep your boots and coats at home: If you plan on returning home before the winter months, keep your warmer clothes at home and get them when you’re ready for them. I swapped out my crop tops and denim shorts for riding boots and vests in November, which allowed for extra room in my dorm closet (if you could even call it that).

-Invest in a Target card: See next bullet point for further explanation.

-Make a list of toiletries: I’m warning you now. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to need a lot of products. My suggestion is to make a list of the products you use while you’re still home, so when you get to college you know exactly what you will be needing. There won’t be enough room in your car (or in those boxes you have to ship across the country) for your shampoo and leave-in conditioner, and sunscreen, and laundry detergent, and dish soap (you forgot about that one, huh?).

-Get crafty: I had so much fun with my friends making DIY wall art for my dorm over the summer. Dorm rooms can be dark and depressing, so definitely bring some colorful items to brighten the space up. Check out these chevron canvases I made a few years ago here!!!

-Command Hooks are your best friend: Enough said.

-Dorm stuff might not be your style: Don’t limit yourself to the “dorm” section of a store. Personally, I think generic dorm bedding is awful. I searched far and wide for the perfect bedding  that fit my taste and I don’t regret it. I also got sucked into buying an acrylic desk lamp from the dorm section of Bed Bath and Beyond and literally turned it on once. It was so ugly! Your dorm room is your home so make it your own.

-Expect a mess: BRING CLEANING SUPPLIES! Clorex wipes saved my life the day of move in. I was not prepared for the amount of dirt and dust I’d find in my room upon move in. I heavily suggest wiping down every surface before you move in.

-Follow the rules: Before shopping, make sure to review your college’s dorm rules. For example, my school didn’t allow wall decals, extension cords, or toasters.

Packing is a unique experience and you will quickly figure out what works for you. No matter what, even if you forget a laundry basket or some washcloths, you will survive.

Good luck packing!

If you are curious about where I’ve been for the last year, catch up with me here!


What’s In My School Bag?

Here is a look inside my school bag! This bag is by Steve Madden and it is perfect for my every need! It is just the right shape for folders and notebooks, and holds everything I need! The adjustable zipper allows more room too!

Hope you enjoyed!


Ombre Nails!

This week I tried out the ombre trend on my nails and they turned out great! I was happily surprised by how easy it was to achieve this look and can’t wait to try it out again with different combinations of colors.

The tools you will need:

  • cosmetic sponges
  • 3-4 nail polish colors (depending on the length of your nails)
  • nail polish remover
  • small brush for cleanup

Here’s how I got the look:

  1. Paint your nails with a base color, then wait for them to completely dry before moving on to the next step (I used white nail polish so that the neon colors would pop) ***TIP OF ADVICE: Don’t wait too long before starting with the ombre. I was actually enjoying the white polish so I left it for 2-3 days (which was a mistake). The ombre design began chipping only a few days later because the white base had been on my nails for a while. I recommend paining the base color at night and then continuing with the ombre the next morning.
  2. Cut the cosmetic sponges in half to better fit the width of your nail
  3. Paint one stripe of each color on the tip of the sponge (make sure your put enough polish on the sponge. I would pull the brush out of the bottle and wipe off one side of the brush, leaving the other side thick with polish).
  4. Line the sponge up to your nail and repeatedly tap the sponge on your nail (the polish will dry to a matte finish very quickly).
  5. When dry, repeat the previous step step for a second coat (the second coat really makes it!).
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 on each nail.
  7. Dip a small brush in nail polish remover and swipe around the nail to clean up the edges.
  8. Apply a top coat to complete the look.

I absolutely LOVE this nail design and have gotten so many compliments. Let me know if you try it out!

xoxo, Emily


Colorful Holiday Makeup Tutorial

This silver and plum eye, paired with a pink lip, is a perfect way to add a little color to your holiday look!

  1. Prime eyes with a silver eyeshadow base (Maybelline Color Tattoo in “Too Cool”)
  2. Apply a silver eyeshadow all over the lid (Stila “Wish Upon a Star” Holiday Palette)
  3. Apply a lavender/mauve eyeshadow to the crease
  4. Apply a dark plum eyeshadow to the outer corner of the eye
  5. Line eyes with black liner
  6. Apply mascara (L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black)
  7. Apply highlighter to the top of the cheekbones and blend in for a holiday glow (Benefit High Beam)
  8. Finish the look off with a pink lip gloss (Revlon “Pink Pop”)

Happy holidays everyone!


New In My Collection!

Recently I ordered the Lorac Pro Palette from It consists of 8 matte and 8 shimmery shadows and a Lorac eye primer. Although I haven’t used the palette yet, I have read amazing reviews on this palette and look forward to trying it out soon (I have been using the eye shadow primer for the last week. It applies extremely easy and makes my shadows last all day without creasing!) Expect a Face of the Day post featuring this palette in the near future!


Back to School Clothing Haul

For the past 5 years my friends and I have dedicated an entire day to back-to-school-shopping. Usually we head out to the outlet malls a week or two before school starts up again, and although we do end up with quite a few purchases, we always find fabulous deals! Here are the clothing pieces I picked up on this shopping trip:


  • Dark wash jeans - American Eagle
  • Blue jeans - American Eagle
  • Oxblood pants - Charlotte Russe
  • Floral printed pants - Cotton On


  • Pink top - Jcrew Factory
  • White top with blue stripes - Forever21
  • Puffer Vest - Jcrew Factory
  • Coral striped top - Forever21
  • Polka dot button down - Forever21
  • Blue peplum top - Cotton On


  • Navy dress - Cotton On
  • Coral chevron dress - Charlotte Russe
  • Teal chevron dress - Charlotte Russe
  • Navy and white striped dress - Forever21

Check back soon for my Back to School Accessories Haul! Hope you all had a fabulous summer and good luck on a new school year.


Stila Haul

All products were purchased on at a discounted price. So far, I have only tried the long wear lip colors and am really enjoying them!

  1. Long Wear Lip Color in “Flushed” and “Intriguing”
  2. “Written in the Stars” Eye Shadow Palette
  3. “Wish Upon a Star” Collectible Holiday Palette
  4. Holiday Eyeliner Set
  5. Countless Color Pigments in “Melody”


Back To School Drugstore Makeup Tutorial!

This is a simple and inexpensive look I have put together for back to school. It’s an easy way to look put together with only a little effort. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Apply foundation with a synthetic brush (Revlon Color Stay Foundation)
  2. Apply a mattifying powder with a large face brush (Maybelline Dream Matte Powder)
  3. Contour your face with a light bronzer (NYC “Sunny” Bronzer)
  4. Apply a light cream base with your finger (Maybelline Color Tattoo in “Too Cool”)
  5. Apply a pinky-gold shadow to the lid (Wet n’ Wild Eyeshadow trio in “Walking on Eggshells”)
  6. Apply a light shimmery brown to the crease
  7. Apply a highlight shade in the inner corner of the eye and under the eyebrow
  8. Line the outer third of the eye with a brown pencil liner, which will be more natural than a harsh black liner (NYX Slide On Liner in “Brown Perfection”)
  9. Apply a coat of mascara (L’Oreal Voluminous)
  10. Use brow gel to keep them in place (Maybelline Great Lash in clear)
  11. Apply a pink lip balm (Maybelline Baby Lips in “Pink Shock”)

Back to School Accessories Haul

  • Riding Boots - DSW
  • Pave bracelet - Jcrew Factory
  • Pink flats - Ross
  • Neon green/yellow flats - Target
  • School Bag - Michael Kors (I plan to do a post all about this bag and why I chose it coming soon!)

Please check out my Back to School Clothing Haul by clicking here!


Creating Chevron Canvases

I was in need of new wall art in my room and had seen some chevron canvases at Target that I liked. The only problem was that the ones at target were the wrong colors and the wrong size. So I headed over the Michaels to buy supplies to make them myself (to my liking). The canvases happened to be 50% off, and the brushes I purchased were 30% off. I ended up spending $16, which is a true bargain!