Welcome To This Jenn Girl

Today is the day that I make the official move from Polished PR to This Jenn Girl! I cannot even begin to fully express how excited I am to go on this new journey with you. Although it is slightly bittersweet to be leaving WordPress, I am so thrilled to be making this big move, and I hope that you will join me!

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Celebrating 5,000+ Facebook Fans, With A Re-Brand

Over the weekend, thanks to another #sharethelove movement, Polished PR reached over 5,000 fans! I am so thrilled, and thought this would be the perfect time to reveal some big news to you. Not only will I be leaving my .wordpress.com blog for a domain of my very own, but Polished PR will also be re-branding to This Jenn Girl!

Here’s a little back story regarding that name, and why it is the handle for all of my social media platforms: When I began college and started introducing myself as Jenn to people (I always went by Jennifer when I was younger), everyone would refer to me as ‘this Jenn girl’ in every imaginable context. When I started my first job as a hostess at a local restaurant: “This Jenn girl just started training today.” When I started getting into nail art and my peers found out about it: “This Jenn girl does really cool nail designs, you should check out her blog.” Even when I started at the agency I’m currently working at, it was “This Jenn girl” this and “This Jenn girl” that. I never bothered getting offended by the fact that I was being referred to so casually and informally– in fact, I embraced it, by using the phrase for all my social media handles.

And so, I am embracing the name once again, through this re-brand. This Jenn Girl will be a lifestyle blog with a main focus on nail art, but will also include posts that delve into career advice, fashion trends, beauty tips and more. Think of it as that corner café where you can unwind over your favorite cup of coffee.

I want to take the time to thank you for your support throughout the Polished PR journey– I hope you’ll join me on this next adventure! The new blog will be launched at the end of the month, so stay tuned!

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Styling Saturday: Love, Leeann

Today, I’m calling out to all of my New York readers! I recently discovered, via social media, a new boutique located on Main Street in Irvington, and as Mother’s Day is just around the corner, I thought that now would be the perfect time to share this new find. Love, Leeann is a brand new boutique that launched last month, founded by Leeann Cerrito, a stylist and merchandiser with over 25 years of experience.

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What sets this boutique apart from others in NY, is not only the fact that it offers shoppers a personalized, intimate shopping experience, but also that 5% of its net sales profit The Abbott House, a human services agency that serves children and families in need in the New York metropolitan area and nearby Hudson Valley counties.

Love, Leeann‘s mission is to offer clients a personal shopping experience that feels like shopping in a girlfriend’s closet. Leeann assists her clients in identifying go-to customized ensemble pieces to fit their lifestyle, and is committed to helping women find their own unique sense of style.

If you stop by Love, Leeann today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can celebrate Mom with some retail therapy, pink champagne, wine and sweet treats. Be sure to snap some shots from your girls’ day out and check-in to Love, Leeann on Facebook!

 

About Love, Leeann

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Love, Leeann is located at 94 Main Street in Irvington, NY. The boutique sells easy-to-wear, everyday chic, affordable and elegant clothing and carries a variety of designers, including Alternative ApparelMystiqueMonroe and KamaliKulture.

 

Floral Decals From Born Pretty

*Disclosure: One of the products featured in this post was provided by the manufacturer for review.

During the time that Alice, from the Born Pretty Store, reached out to me in regards to writing up a product review, another item that caught my eye was this set of flower-patterned water decals. They looked perfect for springtime and I thought they’d pair nicely with a soft blue polish.

I applied two coats of Bam-Blue-Zled from Ulta onto each nail, minus the ring finger, where I instead used two thin coats of Indigo Night from Revlon Colorstay. Once the coats dried completely, I began to apply the water decals onto the lighter blue polish. The application process was extremely easy– I simply cut out the decals that I wanted to use, placed the decal face-down on the nail, and then placed a cotton ball soaked in water over it. After about ten seconds, I removed the cotton ball and the decal to reveal a perfectly placed floral transfer on each nail. I then applied one generous coat of Adrienne from Shimmer Polish onto the accent nail, and finished the manicure by applying a single coat of INM Out The Door top coat to each nail.

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This is one of the rare times that a manicure turns out just as I imagined it would! You can take a look at the other items that the Born Pretty Store offers nail artists on its New Arrivals and Most Popular pages. If it’s your first time shopping, you can use my code FLX31 at checkout for 10% off your order.

I’m excited to officially announce my return to the blog :) I’ve got a lot of fun swatches and nail designs lined up for you, so be on the lookout!

L’Oreal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque In ‘Don’t Shy Away’

Last weekend, I went to my local CVS and came across a display for L’oreal’s Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 system. I’m not normally an impulse buyer when it comes to items like this, but when I saw the description ‘Perfectly shaped and volumized nails. Rich, ultra glossy color.’ without a need for a UV lamp, I could see how someone might get sucked in.

So, I bought the system; a box containing the Step 1 Primer and Step 3 Glaze for $12.99 and a bottle of the Step 2 Color in Don’t Shy Away, a creamy navy blue, for $7.99. The application was easy enough: one coat of primer, followed with two coats of color, and finally a coat of glaze to finish the mani.

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Post-application, the mani looked extremely glossy, just as the box described. However, there was no mention of length of wear anywhere on the box or bottles. The mani stayed put for about three days until I started to notice wear along the tips of my nails. The shine also dulled significantly after three days. I was able to wear them for a little bit less than five days before my minor OCD kicked in and I had to remove the polish. The consensus? I’d rather spend $5 on a bottle of INM Out The Door, use that as a top coat for any polish of my choice, and have it last for a week, than spend $19.99 on a system that made my mani last for five days.

I, unfortunately, do not have any day-by-day photos for you :( Because I’m out of the house all day because of work, it’s so difficult to get the right lighting for my pictures like I used to. Which means, it’s time to build a light box! If you have any tips or tricks for me in regards to building one, I’d love some suggestions!

Guest Post: The Lifespan Of Makeup

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It seems like every beauty article I’ve read lately is telling me when I need to dispose of my makeup. The problem for me, as with a lot of bloggers, is that we have a lot of makeup and some of it only makes it out of storage for the most special of special occasions. So, I thought it might be useful to explain what the makeup expiration time limits these articles give us are based on, the risks you run by using your products past these dates, and how can you extend the life of your products.

The first risk is of bacterial contamination. Bacteria loves to grow in warm, moist environments, so the biggest risks are in moist products (gels, liquids, tints or creams) that we use on moist areas (eyes and lips). The big offenders here are mascara, liquid eyeliner pens, lipsticks and lip glosses. Next up, are facial products, especially any that are touched repeatedly with fingers or swiped on the face. To minimise the risks and extend life on these products, here are a few easy tips: 

  • Make sure and store these in a non-warm/non-moist environment (Keep these stored out of the shower area!);
  • Keep the lid on tightly when not in use to minimise airborne contaminants;
  • Try to not touch the applicators, but drip the products onto an applicator that you can clean separately (like a brush);
  • For products like gel eyeliners, use an applicator that can be cleaned and sterilised;
  • For very rarely used items, you can sterilise them with rubbing alcohol after each use to minimise germs;
  • Wash your hands before using any products where you have to touch the container.

The second risk is that the active ingredients can lose effectiveness or the formula can become less stable. This why you get suggestions like throwing out nail polish after a year (as if!). Powder-based pigments fall into this category, as do lotions, blush, brow pencils, fragrances and so on. It’s worth noting here that sunscreens (SPF) are particularly prone to expire so make sure to double up and not rely on the SPF given on an old product. This is one of the most common triggers of an expiry/PAO (period-after-opening). The risks associated can range from the product becoming less vibrant, the product separating or the product simply changing texture or fragrance; but if the active ingredients have changed, you may be more prone to skin irritation in some cases.  To minimise the risks and extend life on these products here are a few easy tips:

  • Keep out of direct sunlight as this will encourage degradation;
  • Keep the lid on tightly when not in use to minimise the product drying out or losing texture;
  • Temperature control will help these products maintain stability (Again, not stored in the shower area!);
  • If you suddenly discover old eyeshadow or blush that you want to start using again, try testing the product on the back of your hand to test whether the product will irritate your skin, before swiping it across the face and potentially having a very bad reaction.

Essentially, most products are designed to last as long as it would reasonably take you to use them up and are tested presuming the worst about how you will store your makeup. With care, you can extend the life even further that suggested with really very little risk to your health.

 

About the Contributor

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Rebecca is an Australian beauty blogger with a passion for data organizing! She has an extensive makeup collection (mainly nail polish), with a personal blog at lastcontrast.wordpress.com. She has 3 kids and 3 cats and keeps very busy on both fronts. She enjoys puns and silly jokes, and is always aiming to be more organized around the house, but is never as successful as she planned. She has a makeup organizing app on Apple and Android available via www.mymakeupcollection.com

Guest Post: Extreme Makeover: Business Cards Edition

Hopefully, everyone knows the importance of having a business card by now, but if you don’t, I need you to come out from under the rock you’re living in. Whether you’re employed or unemployed, business cards help promote your personal and professional brand. Let’s face it, we all want to move up that grand corporate ladder, and business cards, along with a few other things, can help you get there.

Unlike a resume, business cards are used just for your contact information. As far as the basics, you should include your name, phone number and e-mail. Depending on your employment status, the information mentioned before would be work related in addition to your company name, your title and work address. Although this probably goes without saying, add your top two or three most active social media accounts to your card as well.

Listing your online portfolio would be another great addition to your business card also. If you haven’t already, I suggest that you create an about.me profile or use sites like Weebly or Wix so people can view your work.

Not only is the information you provide on your cards important, but the design element is also important. Here are a few tips to help your business card stand out from the rest.

Use Vibrant Colors – What is more eye catching than seeing spots of color on something? You could have the color incorporated into your logo, or have your name in a different color or font from the other text. Be aware that too many colors or fonts can look too busy. As long as you stick to 1 or 2 different colors and fonts you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Be Different – The majority of business cards that I’ve seen are horizontal cards. Just to be different, why not order vertical cards? I mean, who said that business cards should only be printed one way?

Choose Your Corners Wisely –  Is anyone else shocked that the corners of a business card can be printed in another form besides square? Well, rounded corners are actually kind of popular and they look really nice on cards. Square corners, Imma let you finish, but rounded corners are the best corners of all time.

Add Visual Elements – I’ve read that if your photo is on your business card, it’s easier for the person to remember you the next time they see you. Which means all the time and money you spent into printing these beauties won’t be in vain. Adding logos, graphics or even adding your own work to your card makes them unique.

If you’re really feeling fancy, go on and create a nontraditional business card like the one pictured below. I know I’d definitely remember the person who gave me that card.

Photo Credit: Vandelaydesign

Photo Credit: Vandelaydesign

In case you’re design-challenged, Pinterest is a great place to draw inspiration from! Of course, you could always look at the templates provided by most places that specialize in printing business cards. With sites like VistaPrint.com, MOO.com, Zazzle.com, Office Depot and Staples all offering cards for reasonable prices, there is no excuse for not having business cards.

Bonus Tip: Carry a few business cards with you everywhere you go. You never know who you’ll meet in line at Publix or even in the airport waiting for a flight. Remember that you’ll never have to get ready, if you stay ready!

About the Contributor:

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Brea Allen is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she obtained a degree in mass communications with a concentration in public relations. She is a self-proclaimed music and pop culture enthusiast and loves all things Beyonce and positivity. When she’s not on the post-grad job hunt, she’s blogging at AllSheWrotePR.blogspot.com or tweeting at @breajallen.

Guest Post: Choosing Your Major

Hello friends of Jenn! My name is Rachael and I am from The Overwhelmed Undergrad. As my blog implies, I am an undergraduate student who is way too busy doing anything and everything I can get myself into. I am a junior biology major with a minor in equine studies. I have four jobs on my college campus, I am involved in various clubs, and I ride for my college’s IHSA Equestrian Team. I started my blog to write about the random musings of an overwhelmed undergraduate student. Today I want to share with you my experience with choosing a major, something that seems to be more difficult than it should be.

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Ever since I can remember, I wanted to become a veterinarian when I grew up. Animals are my passion, my whole world, so why wouldn’t I want to help them for the rest of my life? Entering college, I knew that there was no other option for me other than majoring in pre-veterinary science to prepare myself for veterinary school. I made my way to my new college home, 250 miles away from my hometown, ready to make my dreams come true. A year and a half later, at 19 years old, I realized that I had absolutely NO IDEA what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. *Cue in immense amounts of panic*

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After way too much deliberation, crying to my friends and family, and having many conversations with my professors, I changed my major to biology. I saw the little light bulb shining above my head: I was not obligated to do what I always thought I was going to do. Do I still love animals more than anything? Yes. Do I still want to help them? Yes. Do I still want to enjoy my career? Yes. Do I NEED to go to veterinary school to do this? No.

College is about finding yourself. Yes, this is probably the most common cliché you are going to hear before, during, and after your college years, but it is probably also the most important. It is okay to explore the opportunities that the world has to offer. If the opportunities presented to you seem more appealing than what you thought about in the past, then go for something different! The only person that you have to please is yourself. If you do not major in something you enjoy to enter a career that you will enjoy, the only thing you are going to be is miserable.

What are a few “simple” pieces of advice that I can give to an incoming or new college student about choosing their major?

  1. Choose a major, take classes and electives you enjoy, but always keep an open mind.
  2. Get involved on campus and throughout the community. You may love doing something that you never would have expected.
  3. Learn everything you possibly can. I don’t care how boring that stupid short story is for your Intro to Literature class… Read it, dissect it, find a different viewpoint, and learn.
  4. Attend lectures hosted by your school, even if extra credit isn’t being offered.
  5. After all of that, change your major if you want to. Change it 5 times. It is okay to be indecisive. (But remember to make sure it won’t affect your graduation date…)
  6. Most importantly, make new friends and have fun. College will fly by without you noticing, but it is such an amazing experience.

Thank you for letting me visit! I hope you all enjoyed.

 

About the Contributor:

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Rachael is in her junior year at a small private college in Massachusetts, majoring in biology with a minor in equine studies. She believes that animals are better than people and leading a boring life is completely unacceptable. Her blog, The Overwhelmed Undergrad, is a place in the universe where she shares stories from her anything but calm life.

 

Guest Post: Just For Me Mani (Plus, An Interview Tip!)

Hi everyone!! My name is Jacqui and I run a U.S. nail art blog called craftynail.com.  I’m very happy to guest post for Polished PR today!  After all, I’ve been reading Jenn’s blog since, well, since we both started blogging!  I love that Jenn throws in little tips on career building.  I moonlight as a nail blogger, but I work as an advisor at a university for my day job.  So education and career planning is in the forefront of my mind as well.  If you read through to the end of my post I will have a bonus job interviewing tip for you!  But let’s see my nails first…

As a blogger, I often find myself doing my nails specifically for a nail art challenge, or to review a new product I received. But what’s different about this manicure is that I did it JUST FOR ME! It’s not often enough that I get to do a manicure just because I feel like it! I used two polishes that have been calling to me saying, “Jacqui, you love me, why don’t you wear me?  You keep thinking about me, but I’m still sitting here on this shelf!” Those two talking polishes are Zoya Zuza (my base color) and Sinful Colors Lush Life (glitter topper).

Being this glitter-tastic didn’t come easy though! You won’t believe how many coats of polish I’m wearing here. I applied one coat of Essence peel-off base coat, two coats of Zoya Zuza to give me a nice teal base color, 5 coats of my Sinful Colors teal glitter, and one coat of Seche Vite topcoat.  That is a total of 9 coats!  I didn’t expect needing that many, but I wanted it to be super glittery and my Lush Life glitter was more sparse than I expected.  Oh well.  No one said being beautiful was easy!

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Now for my job interviewing tip!  I interview students from time to time when my office needs a new student worker or intern.  I have also been on the other side, as an interviewee, since I have had many career changes since I graduated from college.  I’ve landed some jobs that I had no experience in at all.  I’d like to think that a lot of my success hinged on my interviewing skills.  Specifically, my enthusiasm and honesty.  What do I mean by that?  If I’m interviewing for a job and I’m really psyched about it, I make sure to tell the interviewer!  You should come right out and tell them exactly why you think you are perfect for the job and that you’re really excited about the opportunity.  Be honest with them.  If you’re thinking it’s a perfect fit for you, then tell them that!  If they don’t ask you questions that allow you to express this stuff, then make sure to bring it up before you leave the interview.

When I’m saying my goodbyes I like to stand up, shake their hand nice and firm and tell them how excited I am because of x, y and z. Look them straight in the eyes and be honest and enthusiastic.  You want to end the interview with a bang so you stand out from the bunch.  Why would they want to hire someone who just comes in, sits down and answers their questions like a drone when they could hire YOU!

I must admit, I always get so nervous before I interview!  I can’t tell you how to handle that, since I haven’t found a solution for that yet.  LOL!  But none the less, I hope my little interviewing tip is helpful for you.  Thanks to Jenn for having me!  And if you want to see more of my Craftynail style, find me online!  Here’s where I’ll be hanging out– facebookpinteresttwittertumblr, and bloglovin. 

 

 About the Contributor:

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Jacqui lives in the Hudson Valley of New York State, where she works at a university as a financial aid counselor. When the daily grind of student loans comes to an end, she can be found hibernating at home while whipping up some cool craftiness. The main focus of her blog, Craftynail, is on nail care, nail polish and cute nail designs.

Guest Post: Shaping Your Career Path With A Blog

Everything starts with an idea. For me, though, it started with a fear. The idea of people reading my writing has always been horrifying to me. I would cover my paper when teachers walked by, shoo my sister away if she saw me scribbling, and then later on, I just decided not to write anymore.  The fear of someone else reading and then possibly critiquing my writing was enough to stifle my passion for a long time.

I am, now a public relations major at Penn State, and after being undecided my first two years (more like, undecided most of my life), I could not be happier with my decision. I love PR because I have a passion for people. I want to be the bridge between person and company, and public relations is the perfect way to do that.

Public relations isn’t all glam and gold though. I have to write, and people have to read it. My writing professor this semester gave me great advice, and that was to write everyday. Simple enough, right? I wanted to take this a step further. It’s one thing to write everyday, but I saw this as an opportunity to rekindle an old flame. After not writing for so long, I wanted to do something worthwhile with it.  So naturally, I started a blog.

I have only been blogging for a couple of months. After I published my first post, I was excited, horrified and proud. Nothing is more permanent then the Internet, and now I had about 300 of my own words, published for the whole world to see. I wanted to keep going. The fear I had of people reading my writing and critiquing and judging was slowly starting to disappear.

After only a couple months of blogging, I was accepted to be a member of the Her Campus Blogger Network. But, what’s even more exciting to me, is that I’ve told my friends and my family about my blog. I was afraid of judgment, but all I am getting is love and support.

I cannot wait for my blog to grow into something truly amazing and wonderful. I am excited for upcoming projects and my future as a blogger. I am grateful for my new followers and my exponentially growing views that I receive everyday. But I don’t think anything will ever compare to seeing someone I love and them telling me, “Hey, I read your blog today.”

 

About the Contributor:

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Briannah is currently a sophomore studying public relations at Penn State University. She recently discovered her passion for blogging and loves to write about the obstacles she faces in college and how she is over coming them. Her blog, Briannah., is a lifestyle, fashion, and beauty blog where she gives her readers the inside scoop on fashion trends and beauty product reviews, as well as allows them to see her mistakes and triumphs as a college student.