What it’s Really Like on Blogger Trips

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What it’s Really Like on Blogger Trips

Before I get into this topic, I wanted to start off by saying how very thankful and blessed I am to be a part of this blogging community that once didn’t exist nor was considered to be a real job. I meaaaan, is this real life?! I am very fortunate and grateful that I have turned a hobby into my career. And all of this would not be possible at all whatsoever if it weren’t for the continuous support of my blog and social media friends – YOU! Thank you.

Now where were we…? Oh yes!

 

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Social media is really funny. While no one most do not like to share anything negative on social media (speaking for myself as an influencer), it’s really easy to judge someone based off what they choose to share on social media. This goes without saying, don’t believe everything you see on social media – DON’T! Especially when you see all these amazing trips bloggers go on. Wait – let me rephrase that. Blogger trips ARE indeed fun and am forever grateful for every opportunity I have had as a blogger, however; it isn’t always what it seems to be.

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photos: Ryan Chua

Allow me to break it down for you.

Here’s what really happens behind the scenes on these blogger trips that we don’t talk about…

Before blogger trips:

  • Work on media kit and proposal letters. Outreach to brands to partner with me during my trips. Whether this is for complimentary stays in hotels, accommodations, or sponsored post collaborations. I love a free trip just as much as the next person, however, free doesn’t pay my bills. At the end of the day, I gotta eat.
  • Style my outfits beforehand. Taking photos of each look will help and make your life easier when shooting back-to-back photos.
  • Have inspiration photos to make sure I capture the content I and/or the brand is asking for.
  • Pack the essentials: camera (very important), chargers (very very important), the product I am shooting, etc…
  • Scout the location and area I am traveling to: hotel, outside of hotel, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. for outfit photos. Backgrounds are key.

During blogger trips:

  • Start documenting EVERYTHING on SnapChat, Insta-stories (because if you didn’t snap it, didn’t even really happen?!), Instagram, Vlog, and Blog.
  • Start creating content: outfit photos, product, etc.. depending on the collaborations.
  • Make time to eat in between shoots.
  • Then begin editing content, and start posting on Instagram.

 By this time, I have yet to enjoy the hotel, location, beach. To be completely honest with you, I have yet to really enjoy the hotel pool when I travel. Every Most photos I have shared on social media laying out on the beach or lounging by the pool have only been for a quick second or for the gram. I’ve never actually done any of the above in “real life” during my trips – lol. Sounds silly when you think about it. Sounds even more silly as I’m typing this post. But that’s blog life. That is my life when traveling for work.

After blogger trips:

  • Unpack.
  • Catch up on real life for a little bit. Then get back to work.
  • Begin uploading all of your content, and start editing.
  • On top of that – catch up on other work: respond to emails, follow up, prep for upcoming shoots and other collaborations, etc.

Although I have yet to master this whateveryouwanttocallit, I have learned that setting aside a few hours in the morning to shoot everything, has definitely helped me enjoy the rest of my stay. And as much as I try to set a plan and shoot all content first thing to get it out of the way, things always come up and not everything goes as planned. Life, right?! There’s a lot of work that is put into all of these trips and vacations. A lot of people don’t understand or realize that these trips are a lot of work and a huge part of our jobs. Creating content isn’t just taking a photo. It’s not as easy as point, shoot and upload. It’s so much more than that. It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 I love posting in real time on social media as much as possible because it feels more authentic and right for me, but that’s not how it always works out when traveling. So one thing I have learned and would advice any other influencer is to post all your travel content after your trip to fully enjoy your stay. This will make it feel more like a vacation and less stressful. As a creative, you always have to make sure you are in a happy place and stress-free in order to produce and create amazing content.

PLEASE NOTE: this post is in no way of me complaining. I am simply sharing with you all what happens prior from posting vacation photos on Instagram, and during these trips, and the amount of work behind it that you don’t hear about. I love what I do, and my goal was to turn what I love doing into a career. Beyond blessed.

I’m pretty sure I left out a few other things, but this is just to give you an idea of what goes down behind these blogger trips and vacations. If you have any questions or feedback on this topic, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips and what works for you when traveling.

xo

Last Days of Summer with Wet

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Last Days of Summer with Wet

I can’t think of a better way to spend the last couple of days of Summer than with Wet in Malibu. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of summer is the beach. Summer is one of my favorite season for obvious reasons – the weather. I can seriously live in bikini tops underneath my clothes all days of summer.

I decided to hit the beach with one of my favorite blogger babes Enocha.

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I partnered with Wet Swimwear to share with you all some of my top favorites pieces. This was a tough one to narrow down because they have the best swimwear collection with so many different styles and prints to choose from.

From endless bikini and one-piece options to a nice variety of cover-up pieces, Wet swimwear never fails to bring you the best of the best for warmer temps. And as you all know, I love when items double for more than one purpose, and can take you from day to all your night time festivities, so I was pretty pumped to find out that Wet carries not only a wide assortment of swimwear, but cover-ups that can be worn as outfits (insert clapping hands emojis here and here).

For instance, this beautiful black romper is not only perfect as a bathing suit cover-up, but also serves as a romper for a night out. Just add a strappy sandal or mule heel, and you are good to go and ready for a girls night.

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You better believe that I will be wearing these pantalones when I’m not lounging by a pool or beach. They are so cute and would look great with a crop top, hat, sandals… I’m picturing my next off-duty OOTD right now.

 

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Rest assured I’ll be taking this kimono cover-up dress out on the town. White cami underneath with a pair of cropped skinnys and a low-heel sandal. Done and done.

 

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photos: Stefanie M. Mariee

What are your go-to items for summer? What’s the one thing that comes to mind when you think of summer?

xo

SHOP THE LOOKS:

Black Romper | Halter Bikini Top & Bikini Bottoms | Floral Romper | Triangle Bikini Top & Bikini Bottoms  | Pants

Blog Tips: How to Get Started

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Blog Tips: How to Get Started

I wrote a blogpost on how I started my blog and included a few blog tips back in February. Since I’m constantly receiving questions and advice on how to start a blog, I decided to blog about it and share some more helpful tips. I’m always learning something new about blogging everyday – even after having 7 blogging years under my belt.  And because I never had someone to give me advice when I first started, I want to help those who are just starting out.

 

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Here are a few helpful tips and advice for anyone wanting to start a blog:

  1. START. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row and have a direct plan on how you would like to execute your blog. The best thing to do is just to start. Have a presence online, and begin creating content. The rest will fall into place accordingly. My blog is far from perfect, but that doesn’t stop me from creating content and publishing posts. If you don’t have a professional camera, that’s ok. Reach out to photographers on Instagram and see if they are willing to work for trade. There’s a lot of photographers out there who are trying to build their portfolio. Message them. It’s all about how you edit your photos. Use photoshop or light room. Most of my Instagram photos are taken with my iPhone 7 if I’m not shooting with my photographer or George. I wrote a blogpost on how I edit my Instagram photos and the apps I use. Most likely if you’re just starting out, chances are you’re not receiving gifted product, and again that’s ok. Do what I did when I first started my blog, go to Forever 21 or Nordstrom, and buy a few items and start taking photos. It’s all about building content. What a lot of influencers do or have done that no one really talks about is purchase product, shoot it for the blog with the tags still on, and then return or exchange. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. WHAT ABOUT BEAUTY BRANDS? Sign up on https://www.octoly.com. Obviously you cannot return used makeup and skin care products, so sign up to Octoly to receive free product to feature. This is a great way to begin, especially if you cannot afford to purchase beauty products on a regular like me. https://www.ipsy.com is another great way to receive product. It’s $10 a month. And once you have a decent amount of blogposts on your blog, then make sure to look into SEO (search engine optimization). Very important. This helps drive traffic to your blog.
  2. CONSISTENCY IS KEY. Blog regularly. Stay active. You have to have enough content on your blog if you want to work with brands. You need to have something to show these brands before pitching them. Make sure you link back to the brands you are featuring on your blog and social media, then shoot them an email or DM letting them know so that they can go check it out. Tagging brands on your Instagram posts helps tremendously. See what fashion accounts other bloggers are tagging in their posts, such as @world.fashion.bloggers and @streetstyleluxe, and start tagging them. The same goes with hashtags.
  3. GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. Honestly, I wish I had someone who could guide me in the right direction when I first started my blog. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I had to learn and find everything on my own for myself. I googled everything and anything, even if it didn’t make sense when I googled it. And guess what? I figured it out. My motto in life has always been MAKE IT HAPPEN. that phrase has stuck with me since my early years of working in the fashion industry. It just speaks to me in so many different ways on so many levels. Make It Happen. However I had to, or whatever I needed to do, I had to figure it out and make it happen. And I did.
  4. COLLABORATE INSTEAD OF COMPETING. There is room for everyone. You just need to figure out your niche – what you are good at and what you can bring that makes you stand out.  Support one another. Reach out to other bloggers and plan brunch dates. This is one of the easiest and best ways to network. If you don’t have a photographer – that’s ok. Reach out to other bloggers and meet up to take each other’s photos. I do it all the time. Have a friend, your mom, boyfriend, girlfriend, niece (I sometimes have my god-daughter take my photos, and she’s 9). Give them direction on how you want your photos taken. Show them inspiration photos.
  5. SELF PROMOTION. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You are your own brand, and if you don’t have an agent or manager, you need to represent yourself. Reach out to brands you want to work with or other influencers you want to collaborate with. DM them. Email them. Text your friends, family, baby momma, cousin when you publish a new blog post. I’m not kidding either! Spread the word. It’s free. Take advantage. Some people don’t understand the value of self promotion, and how beneficial self promoting truly is. When I first started my blog, my mom was and still is my biggest cheerleader. She always shares my blogposts and social media with her coworkers (bless her heart) and amongst her friends. I ain’t made about it. So what if people think you’re being “thirsty”. You have to go full force in promoting yourself before anyone starts promoting your work. You have to believe you are who you are before anyone else does. SOCIAL MEDIA IS EVERYTHING. It really is. Especially Instagram. Use this platform to cross-promote your content on your blog or any other channel.
  6. KEEP GOING. Even when the going gets tough (sounds like a quote from Pinterest, but it’s so true). Don’t feel discourage. I know it’s easier said than done. We’re only humans. We feel what we feel when we’re feeling it. LIFE. It happens to all of us. You’re going to get a lot of no’s before you get any yes’s. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to throw in the towel and say f*** it, I’m just going to go back to school. To be honest, what keeps me going is the fact that I never want to sit behind a desk all day. I’m not saying 9-5 jobs are bad. It’s just not for me. To each their own. If i’m going to be working a 9-5, then it’s going to be for myself or what I am hard-core passionate about. I just knew I was missing something in my career life, and a 9-5 corporate job was not one of them. Something that is very important, and should keep in mind is that many people do not realize that blogging is a lot of work. It’s not as easy as it looks, but if you’re passionate and it’s what you want to do as a full-time career, then you can do it. Leaving my 9-5 corporate job wasn’t easy, and being a full-time blogger is twice as hard because you are now your own boss, but I absolutely LOVE IT.
  7. PAY ATTENTION. Be very observant. If there’s a brand working with another influencer that you have been wanting to work with, DM that brand. If an influencer doesn’t share within the caption the outfit details or product they’re sharing, tap the photo and see if the brands were tagged, or message them – leave a comment and ask. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. At the end of the day, this is business and you have to be in a business state of mind.
  8. NETWORK in real life and online. Attend events, pass out your business cards, and ask for theirs. After the event, send them a thank you email. Stay on their radar. Support other bloggers by commenting on their blogs and/or social media. Most likely the people who follow that blogger will notice you and chances are they might start following you, too. Reach out to https://www.thecollectiveaffair.com and https://www.gpsradar.com, and stay updated on upcoming events and collaboration opportunities.
  9. PITCH BRANDS. It’s important to let them know the following: who you are, what you do, what you can offer them, and how they would benefit from this. Again, you may or may not get a respond, and you’re going to get a lot of no’s before you get a lot of yes’s. Trust me. I still get no’s, but the same brands who said no to me once upon a time, have reached out to me later to collaborate. And just because they don’t respond doesn’t mean they don’t want to work with you. Make sure to follow up. Even if it’s more than once. If you’re trying to pitch PR companies, but don’t know where to even begin, google or research on Instagram and find out who is representing these brands. This is exactly what I would do. Check what accounts these brands are following or see who is tagging them. Once you find them, shoot them an email introducing yourself and request to be on their influencer contact list for future events and collaboration opportunities.
  10. BE A NICE HUMAN. BE HUMBLE. BE YOU. No matter what, be nice to others. This industry is smaller than you think. Stay authentic and be real. My personality has remained the same since day 1. I’ve grown so much as a person and as an influencer because you never stop learning. I’m always learning something new about this whole blogging world we live in today. It’s crazy, good – and fun. Don’t try to change yourself because you think that you don’t “fit” the brand’s desire or requirements. If they don’t want to work with you, don’t take it personally. Maybe THEY weren’t a right fit for YOUR aesthetic and brand. Accept it and move on and keep doing you, boo. There are many brands out there who will love you and your work. Authenticity definitely shows, and brands appreciate it more than you think. I’m 100% grateful for every opportunity that has come my way, and have remain true to myself. I think this shows… or at least I hope so. 😉

I hope these tips and my advice are helpful for anyone reading. If I missed any questions you may have or want to find out more information about blogging, please feel free to comment below or send me a message on Instagram. I am more than happy to help out anyone. I love hearing from you guys. 🙂

 

xo

 

SHOP THE LOOK:

Dress & Scarf | Boots | Bag | Sunglasses

The Oaks at Ojai

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The Oaks at Ojai

Before we get into today’s post, happy Tuesday! I hope everyone enjoyed the long holiday weekend, because I know I sure did! Is it just me or did it felt like it was the shortest weekend ever though? If you follow my Insta Stories, you know that I had the most Sundayest Sunday of all Sundays.

Ok, let’s do this….

For those who have been following MelRodStyle for awhile, you know that I’m always on-the-go, and am always up for quick getaways. If there’s any talk of a girls trip or plans for one, you bet you can count on this lil gal to be there. Enocha and I decided to take a very last-minute girls trip to The Oaks at Ojai, which was approximately a two-hour drive. Though it was a very spare-of-the-moment getaway, it worked out perfectly, especially since it would be my last trip with Enocha until she returns from her trip to London (insert crying emoji).

We stayed in a Double Courtyard Suite located in a private corner behind the pool area, which included a private patio entry. I loved that it was secluded because I was really looking forward to nothing but a peace and quiet trip.

 

 

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The Oaks at Ojai offers an extent list of activities and services, such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Qigong, along with facial and body treatments. Their mission is to provide their guest with an environment that encourages your healthy goals of all kinds, including your eating and exercise habits. The Oaks provides healthy meals and snacks throughout the day, along with yummy smoothies and desserts, as well as offer fitness and calorie conscious meal programs customize to fit your needs.

During our stay, we made sure to make time for a facial. We got the Vita D Brightening Facial Treatment, which included a marine based mask that helps firm and lift the skin, along with Vitamins B5, C, D, E and K to protect and hydrate the skin.  It was heavenly. 

The rest of our stay was very relaxing and spent most of our time by the pool lounging. This quick trip was exactly what I needed to unwind and recharge. Thank you to the team at The Oaks for a wonderful experience. I had an amazing time.

xo

 

SHOP THE LOOKS

Polka Dot Dress | Halter Maxi Dress

Dressed Up | Paper Crown


 

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Dressed Up Paper Crown

Happy Monday and happy new week! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend. It seemed like it was just Friday like yesterday, doesn’t it? Am I the only one feeling like this?

Also, anyone watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight?! Holy cow!!! It was so intense! This fight literally had me at the edge of my seat. SMH.

Anywho, back to our regularly scheduled programming…. FASHUN!

My style tends to come across more on the casual side, but I love mixing casual pieces with dressier ones. Today’s look is definitely not casual, and I’m not mad about it. 😉  While I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl at heart, this dressier little number from Paper Crown is a new favorite. This look can definitely go from a business meeting to a girls luncheon to even an interview. I feel like this outfit can work for multiple occasions, which is why it’s my new jam. I’m all about outfits that can work for more than one type of event. The best part about this Paper Crown jumpsuit is the pockets! I meaaan, SOLD! You had me at pockets. I’m a huge fan of dresses with pockets, shorts with pockets, rompers with pockets – you name it, I’m about it. Who doesn’t love pockets? Am I right?!

 

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photos: Stefanie M Mairee

What are some your go-to items? What’s your favorite style of dressing? Comment below. I would love to hear some of your ideas and what your favorite looks are.

For more Paper Crown pieces, visit them online.

https://paper-crown.com

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Blouse (similar) | Jumpsuit (similar) | Sunglasses

Fall Dressing

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I love Summer so much. There’s no question or denying that. In fact – it is one of my favorite seasons for obvious reasons… the beach, endless poolside hangs, the list can go on and on. However; I am so ready for Fall season. I feel like I am not alone when I say I wish Fall was here. Fall dressing is my favorite, so when I received some pre-fall items from Glamorous, I couldn’t wait. I had to wear them, even if it was just for a little while. This floral dress is the perfect wrap dress to transition from Summer into Fall. This beautiful embroidered denim jacket is another item I am swooning over right now. I love how cool and edgy it is.

 

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photos: Stefanie M. Mairee

From layering pieces to fun coats to all the boots in the world, Fall is by far my most favorite time to really wear and be “fashun”. Lol.

For now, here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect for Fall. These transitional pieces from Glamorous will be dropping online in no time, so be sure to check them out. Stay tuned.

Until Fall arrives, I’ll just enjoy this beautiful floral dress and denim jacket from my screen… le sigh. 

 

What is your favorite season? And why? I’d love to hear. Comment below.

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Denim Jacket | Dress | Boots | Sunglasses

 

Swooning SABO SKIRT

Swooning SABO SKIRT

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Happy Tuesday kittens! Monday was the most Mondayest of all Mondays for me to be honest. Anyone else felt that way? It felt like Monday was never going to be over, LOL. Kidding, kinda.

If you follow me on Instagram (@melrodstyle) and follow my IG stories then you know my love for SABO SKIRT is pretty real. I mean, how can you not be obsessed with them?! Forever swooning Sabo Skirt. They’re just so good. Am I right or am I right?! If you don’t know me by now, then get to know me, because it’s really no surprise that I’m a huge fan of SABO SKIRT. A good 60% of my clothes is Sabo Skirt. From their gorgeous silhouettes to the details of each piece, Sabo Skirt can do no wrong when it comes to creating the perfect sets. They’re always killing it in the playsuit department. I’ve been a fan for quite some time now.

I decided to share a few of many favorite Sabo Skirt outfits of mine that you might’ve seen me recently wear on the gram (@melrodstyle).

 

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Which look is your favorite? Comment below. I’m curious to know!

 

P.S. I’ve linked all Sabor Skirt items below. Just click the icons. P.S.S. I don’t say this nearly enough, but thank you so much for all the love & support to MelRodStyle. You guys seriously mean everything to me, and I am forever grateful and thankful for each and every one of you. It goes without notice, and I definitely see you on Instagram Stories. I see who are my regulars and never miss my stories, and I see the newbies who I appreciate just as much. I luvya so much! I hope you all have an amazing Tuesday. Don’t forget to visit me on Instagram. I’ll be attending a fun event tonight. Stay tuned!

xo

SHOP THE LOOKS:

 

Overnight Getaway – Be Right Back!

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photo: Ryan Chua

Overnight Getaway – Be Right Back!

Happy almost Friday my kitty-cats!

I am headed to the Pala Casino Resort & Spa today for an overnight getaway. I’m super excited and cannot wait, because a little R&R is definitely in order.

To find out what I’ll be doing there during my stay, follow along on Instagram @melrodstyle, and Snapchat (username: melrod1206), where I’ll be sharing all the behind the scenes, fun activities, and so much more.

xo

Instagram Content – To Post Or Not To Post? That is The Question

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photos: Raul Romo 

Instagram Content – To Post Or Not To Post? That is The Question.

 I wanted to talk about a slightly different topic than normal on here – about the thought process behind scheduling my Instagram posts and my entire Instagram feed itself…

“Is it a GOOD photo or is it mediocre?” “Does it look good on my feed?” “Should I start posting only outfit photos and not coffee drinks or pretty flatlays because my outfits get higher engagement?” “Should I completely change my entire feed and try something new?” “Should I share things other than fashion?” “Should I play it safe and only post content that I already know will do well?” ” or should I change it up and not care?” “What direction should I take?” Asking for a friend. 

This is how I’ve been feeling lately. I have been in one of those moods where I feel stuck in a rut, confused, lost. Getting out of this weird “funk” is sometimes difficult. Or maybe I’m just having a moment. It happens. I feel like other bloggers know what I’m talking about. I’ve noticed that whenever I post a photo other than outfits, it doesn’t get the reaction I would’ve hoped for. Engagement is super low. While I love my feed to have a variety and not just outfit after another, seems like my followers are not into it. They only like my outfit photos. So what do I do? Should I only post what my followers like instead of what I like?

Don’t get me wrong. I do post what I like and I stay true to myself, but sometimes I look at my feed and think “(Yawning) Ugh, I could’ve done better”. “Boring”. And I don’t like feeling this way.

While you’ll see more of my personality and personal side on my Instagram stories and Snapchat, I do keep my Instagram account strictly blog-related content. I have to. It’s my business, however; you will see my fun-witty-sarcastic side (read IG captions), and share content that is still relevant but not just an OOTD after another OOTD… make sense? That’s what my personal account is for – to show content that isn’t blog-related.

The way I see my Instagram account is if it looks boring to me, then I need to make some changes. I like content that shows some type of breakage, that splits content from repeating similar content in a row, such as beauty or details shots or anything inspiring. I like consistency but not repetitive if that makes any sense.

So while I still try to figure out the plans for my Instagram feed and the direction I plan to take, I do hope that you stick around because I do plan to sprinkle in some new not-your-usual content on my Instagram.

 If you have any suggestions or thoughts on this post, feel free to leave me a comment. I love reading them. 🙂

 

xo

 

SHOP THE LOOK:

Isabel Marrant Blouse | Jeans | Slides | Sunglasses | Bag

Allure Blow Bar

Allure Blow Bar

 

I don’t know what person doesn’t love a good hair day. That feeling you get after a good blow out is EVERYTHING.  Am I right, ladies? Gents?

 

Allure Blow BarAllure Blow Bar Allure Blow Bar Allure Blow Bar Allure Blow Bar

 

The lovely ladies of Allure Blow Bar invited me into their beautiful salon for a complimentary blow out. Ummm yessss girllll!  So naturally I brought my sister Jojo (she’s like my right hand these days).

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with mimosas. Every girl deserves to be pampered once in a while so this was very much needed.  After our hair was looking oh-so-fab, we had a little photoshoot sesh (duh!).

What an incredible day it was! Thank you to the amazing team at Allure Blow Bar for pampering us and making us look fabulous.

If you are ever in the area or looking to get your hair done, then definitely check them out. The place is beautiful, the staff is super friendly, and my hair looked ah-mazing! Linking everything down below.

 

Allure Blow Bar

http://allureblowbar.com

Be sure to follow them on instagram @allureblowbar.