Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sisters Succeeding: Bryanne Lawless

Starting your own company is not easy- it takes hard work, dedication, and patience!  A firm believer in the power of cross collaboration, Bryanne Lawless has simultaneously operated 3 different types of businesses but with similar synergies that can be applied across the complete spectrum of marketing and PR. She has developed and implemented creative and unique marketing and PR strategies and proposals that cover industries such as hospitality, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Bryanne has extensive industry contacts developed through her regional experience of over 8 years with deep relationships within Southern California. She also garners an industry wide reputation of creating, organizing and implementing small to large scale events that complement client outlook and overall message. A Kappa Kappa Gamma Alum, she now is the Managing Partner of BLND Public Relations, Located in Los Angeles. 

The Sorority Secrets sits down with Bryanne to get the ins & outs of the PR industry, how to get started in the industry, the ups & downs, and her #1 advice to people that are getting into the industry!

1.    How long have you been in Public Relations?
I’ve been in PR and Marketing since I was a child to be honest. I’ve always been quite the talker and putting things together just comes naturally to me.

2.    What sparked you to start your own PR company?
I was working at a local newspaper and found that when I was speaking with clients buying ad space that they had no one helping them with getting the word out and doing PR/marketing for their companies. More than one of them told me that they would love help in that area, and began to ask for my advice. Huge companies had huge agencies representing them but there wasn’t a PR firm in the area representing the local brands.

3.    Who's your dream client?
My dream client is someone who knows what they want. Their branding is on point or they are willing to have us rebrand them. Branding and aesthetics are really 90% of your business now a days and it makes our job so difficult to sell and pitch something that we know is bland. People who often flip flop back and forth on ideas or never see something from Start to finish make our jobs much more difficult.

4.    What are your 3 must-have beauty products?
My Daily Routine :
Purity Face Wash – By Philosophy – My skin is always so clear and fresh with this stuff
My Clean and Clear Oil Free Moisturizer –Never too oily and always keeps me moisturized

5.    What is your schedule typically like day to day?
one: Wake up around 7am to take my maltipoo, Benzo, out for a quick walk to the beach.
two: Head into the office by 9am
three: Conference calls, client meetings, pitching, writing, social media, Emails
four: Leave the office around 6pm
five: This is where it’s choose your own adventure:
    Option 1: Head to the gym (if possible/hopefully)
    Come home and pour myself a glass of red wine and maybe cook some dinner or order some thai!       Plop myself on couch and enjoy some RHOOC
    Option 2: Client Dinner or Event
    Option 3: Drinks/Dinner with the girls for a catch up sesh

6.    What are the ups & downs of being in the PR industry?
It’s a high stress job but the happiness that it brings you when you land a big press placement for the client or have an amazing event is undoubtedly worth every minute of stress. I always tell interns when they start that they will know within a week whether PR is for them or not. It’s not something that grows on you and it’s not something that you get over. You either LOVE it or you hate it. That’s it.

7.    If you can have anyone's closet- who would it be?
Definitely Khloe Kardashian. She is AH-Mazing! Like her, I’m also not the skinniest girl in the room so her stuff would fit me! I’d pick Kate Moss or Leighton Meister but I mean, Let’s be honest mama ain’t fitting into their wardrobes.

8.    What do you like to do in your free time?
Honestly I don’t have a lot of free time. I work A LOT. Having your own business is not easy! Any “free time” I come across is time that I MAKE happen. I love going on quick vacations. I was just in Cabo for 4 days and it was AMAZING.. .However even on vacation I find myself working quite a bit.

9.   Name 3 things in your purse that you can't live without?
MY Sapphire Credit card-The only thing I buy anything with.. I live for the points..Makes me feel less guilty.

10. What is your #1 advice for people that are going into the PR industry?
Make sure you intern somewhere first in college before you declare it as your major so you KNOW that it’s something you love. The business is hard and you really have to be passionate about it for it to work. There is of course things you can learn and grow from - but you really have it or you don't. And there's no point in forcing yourself to fit into someone else's mold.

Thanks again to Bryanne for sitting with us!  Feel free to reach out to Bryanne for any questions!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lather Up! Our Sunscreen Secrets

Last week we got really inspired by this awesome video created by Thomas Leveritt, posted by Upworthy that highlights the importance of sunscreen. As Arizona girls, we have always been taught to wear sunscreen since the sun is pretty much out 24/7! However, often times sunscreen has been a chore to put on. Well, Thomas Leveritt's video further shows us why wearing sunscreen is important because it severely protects our skin from sun damage. It doesn't matter if your skin is light or dark; we all need sun protection to some degree.

TSS Reader and Alpha Delta Pi alumnae, Stephanie Rosa works for a company called Solta Medical, a division of Valeant Aesthetics. We reached out to her to get some better insight on the importance of sunscreen. Stephanie shared that,"The Importance of putting sunscreen on is huge! You should wear it every day, 35 SPF minimum, although 50 is recommended. Anything above 50 (75,90) doesn't make a difference, it's all marketing gimmicks. Also, the term water resistant is now being revoked by the FDA because it's not possible to have a sunscreen that is water resistant. That'll be seen in the next few months. Also, it's necessary to have UVA & UVB protection for it to do it's job! FDA will now require companies to state that it has both to be considered proper sunscreen". 
Stephanie further explained that,"Obagi makes several lines that work wonderfully and feel awesome on the skin. I use the Obagi Professional C Sunscreen and I LOVE it! It works really well as a primer too. Lastly, always having Vitamin C in addition to the sunscreen is a must. The Vitamin C serves as a serum/antioxidant".

What sunscreen do you recommend to stay protected? Share with us below!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School Fall Bags {all under $75!}

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

School is officially back in session and although it's a bit bittersweet that summer has come to an end, there are tons of exciting things to look forward to- like getting a new bag for the year!  Picking out a new bag for the school year isn't as easy as it sounds- it has to be cute, durable, last the whole year (at least!), and fit your college budget. Also, with Fall coming around the corner, it has to go with all the cute fall outfits!

Today we're sharing our 7 favorite Fall bags!  Whether you're a backpack kinda girl or a messenger bag girl, we've got it all right here for you. These bags are all under $75 and they're made out of great materials that'll last a long time!

Happy Tuesday! xo

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Apply Lipstick Like A Pro

We love wearing fun lipstick colors!  At first, it can be tricky to apply... how do you use lip liner?!  How do you get it to last longer?  We answer all of these questions, so you can have a pretty pout in no time.

1.  Start with clean, hydrated lips.  If you're wearing a dark color, exfoliate gently with a toothbrush before getting started.  Add a light coat of chapstick or face lotion to moisturize.

2.  Next, apply primer.  We actually like using MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, which can be used as an eyeshadow primer as well!  This will serve as a base to help that lipstick stay put.  It will look lighter than your natural lip color, but not to worry-- we're adding the color back in!

3.  Start lining your lips at the cupid's bow... the little dip at the top center of your lip line.  You can draw the pencil in the shape of an "X" so it gets the lines at the cupid's bow in a straight line, as seen in picture number 3.

4.  Now, line the entire lip shape!  You can go slightly outside the natural lip line if desired for a fuller lip effect.  Be careful to not go too far outside the natural lip line, as you want your lip shape to still appear well-- natural!  We used MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Staunchly Stylish.  We love how versatile this color is, and the long lasting effects of this lip pencil formula!

5.  After you've lined your lips, apply lipstick.  Start by dabbing on, covering the areas lined by the pencil so it all blends together.  For more precision (especially helpful when wearing bold or darker lipstick hues) use a lip brush instead of applying it straight from the tube.  We used MAC Lipstick in Twig.  It's a great neutral shade for fall!

6.  Once the lipstick is applied, blot your lips together.  No need to "mash" them from side to side, simply blot by pressing them together.

7.  Now, your lipstick is almost ready to go!  But, we have a final step for extra long wear...

8.  As the last step, apply a sheer layer of translucent powder.  We used MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Powder, which is a favorite product of ours that can be used on the rest of the face as well!  Use a fluffy brush (like this one by e.l.f.) to lightly dust a tiny bit of powder on top of the lipstick.  For a skilled hand, this can be done directly on the lips.  If you want to practice first (or if you have a heavy hand) use a 1-ply tissue instead of applying directly to the lips.  Hold the tissue up to your lips, and dust the powder on top of the tissue.  Adding the powder will add a slight matte finish to the look as well.

9.  Smile, you're done!  Your lipstick will be ready to go, and ready to take on the day with your pretty painted lips!  If you're wearing a darker hue, stick your pointer finger in your pursed lips, and pull your finger out.  This will help to remove any lipstick residue inside the lips, which can end up on your teeth... and nobody wants lipstick on their teeth!

10.  Kisses.

Enjoy your long lasting lipstick!  What are some of your favorite tips for applying lipstick?  Share with us below!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Top 10 Time-Saving Beauty Hacks

Every girl has a few beauty hacks in her arsenal.  They make our lives (and getting ready) easier, faster, and often times help us to save money as well!  But, a few new tricks are always welcome!  Here are a few of our favorite beauty hacks, that we have grown to love & swear by.

1. Dry Shampoo at night
Dry shampoo is one of THE BEST discoveries of all time.  Why bother washing your hair, when a few sprays of dry shampoo can revive yesterday's good hair day?!  Instead of applying dry shampoo in the morning, spray it on at night.  This allows the product to "work" its way into your hair.  By the morning, the white or dull spots left from dry shampoo will be less visible.  Your hair will feel volumized and ready to go!  {try this: Batiste Hint of Color Dry Shampoo}

2. Whiten Teeth for pennies
Swishing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide (the kind in the brown bottle) not only helps with gingivitis and to freshen breath, but it whitens too!  Pour the solution into the cap, and apply several generous coats with a Q-Tip.  Allow it to bubble for a few minutes, then swish another capful in your mouth for about one minute.  Spit and rinse.  Add this routine 1-2 times a day, and you'll notice results before you know it!  Make sure to not swallow hydrogen peroxide, and ask your dentist for any concerns before starting.  It also is a great supplement to your whitening routine, in between using a product like Crest Whitestrips.  {try this: Hydrogen Peroxide}

3. Tame Frizz & Flyaways on the go
Notice a little flyaway or frizz while you're out & about?  Dab a tiny bit of hand lotion into your hands, and use it to tame the problem area.  Only a little bit will do the trick, start small!  Too much will leave your hair feeling greasy, but a small amount will work just right.  Do a tiny amount, and add more if needed.  {try this: EOS Travel Size Hand Lotion}

4. Set Brows in place
Are your eyebrows looking a little frazzled, in need of something to hold them in place?  Grab an old toothbrush or a clean mascara wand, and mist it with hairspray.  Gently comb brows into place.  {try this: Big Sexy Hairspray}

5. Pick up loose glitter (or fallen eyeshadow)
If some of your eye makeup fell onto your cheek, have no fear!  Get a piece of transparent tape, and use it to pick up the fallen flecks of glitter or eyeshadow.  Much better than attempting to smear it across your face!  {try this: Scotch Magic Tape}

6. Polish jewelry in a snap
Do your rings need a little extra sparkle?  Silver necklace looking a little dull?  Just grab an old toothbrush, and a few common items to have them shine in no time.  Toothpaste helps to clean sterling silver, and dish detergent adds sparkle back to gemstones.  Be sure to clean underneath gemstones and precious stones to get the sparkle from the back side as well.  {try this: Dawn Ultra Platinum Dishwashing Liquid}

7. Ban the grease monkey
Is your hair beyond dry shampoo repair?  Often times, you can freshen the back of you hair with dry shampoo (see tip #1) and just wash the few strands in the front with shampoo.  Pull your hair into a pony, leaving only the very front greasy strands out.  By your sink, wet the front strands only, and apply shampoo.  Wash the shampooed area, and dry with a hairdryer before taking your hair out of the ponytail.

8. Freshen up oil slicks anywhere
If your t-zone is in trouble while you're out & about, go to the nearest public restroom.  Grab a clean toilet seat cover, and use to blot your face just as you would with any other facial blotting paper or rice paper.  It will absorb the oil just the same!

9. Avoid the iron
If that blouse you're planning on wearing today could use some de-wrinkling, you have two time saving options-- and they both don't involve an iron or a steamer.  If you notice the wrinkles the night before you wear the item, hang it in your shower and lightly mist it with Downy Wrinkle Releaser.  By the morning, your clothing will be dry and ready to wear!  If you notice the wrinkles as you're running out the door, a warm flatiron (super hot isn't needed) can smooth out any offenders.  Make sure the item you're running the flatiron over is iron-able first... if it can't be ironed, it can't be flat-ironed either.  {try this: Ultra CHI Flat Iron}

10.  Give your lipstick staying power
Love wearing lipstick, but can't stand how quickly it comes off?  After applying, hold a thin (1-ply preferred) tissue over your pout, and dust with a fluffy brush and translucent powder.  {try this: MAC Prep Prime Transparent Powder}

What are some of your favorite time-saving beauty hacks?  Share with us below!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Power In Putting Your Phone Down

We are guilty.

We have an addiction to our phones. Somehow, getting the perfect angle, the perfect lighting, the perfect shot has taken away from living in the moment. That's more perfect.

If you were to gather around with your friends and family, chances are your phone is on the table or hiding in your lap so it appears like you're giving undivided attention when we all know you're not {haha}! What happened to an authentic experience where you would much rather live in the moment and capture your favorite scenes of the day in your memory bank?

Don't get us wrong, we LOVE taking pictures. Pictures help to capture the moments forever, however, it is important to experience the moment with you and your loved ones or your company before the whole world needs to see it on your Twitter feed or Instagram and Facebook feed every second of the day. 

Here are some tips to help you live in the moment in a world of social media narcissism:
  • Put your phone in the backseat. This way, you won't try to reach for it when you're driving with friends or family.
  • Leave your phone in your room or purse while at the dinner table. Think "out of sight, out of mind".
  • Choose one moment to snap a picture or two. Not everyone likes taking pictures so be cognizant of your audience and choose one moment to take pictures then put your pretty little phone away.
  • Have a reasonable picture cap. This is pretty self explanatory.
  • Make eye contact. Unless you are an awesome "look away" texter or photographer, chances are you can't look someone in the eyes while doing that. When you look into someone's eyes while conversing with them it leaves you no choice but to neglect your phone.
Ask yourself, am I taking this picture for the sake of making my social media wall look cool, or is it really to capture the moment? Our advice is to just be more present. Your company will appreciate it so much more, and trust us, you will too.

What are some ways you think are helpful to help ween off of the "constant picture taking" disease most of us have inherited? Leave your comments below!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We Love Disneyland

2nd Picture: Co-Founders Ali & Karen at Candy Palace.  3rd Picture: World Of Color show at California Adventure.

It's a fact: we love Disneyland.  We have loved it since we were little, and nothing has changed to this day!  Sure, Space Mountain may not be as scary as it once was now that we're "grown ups," but we're still just as excited to blast off on one of our favorite rides.  In fact, Disneyland is a totally new experience now that we're old enough (and tall enough) to go on all of the fun rides!  So, how do you make your trip to the happiest place on Earth as happy as possible?  We've put together our favorite tips & tricks!

Buy tickets in advance.
To maximize as much time for fun as possible (and wait in one less line) buy your tickets online before heading to Disneyland.  It's more convenient, and can save money as well!  Disneyland tickets are pricey, but there are also some Disney authorized websites such as aRes Travel that offer discounted rates.  Discounted rates are also sometimes available for corporate companies, students, teachers, and youth groups.  There are special military rates as well, available select dates.

Dress for fun!
Comfort is key while spending the day at Disneyland!  Sneakers are ideal, with either shorts or jeans (depending on the weather).  Think footwear that you can walk around in easily, without having to worry about tripping or getting stepped on.  Plus, a little traction doesn't hurt for water rides!  During the hot summer months, shorts are ideal... it can get toasty!  Sunscreen is a must.  Bring a small purse or bag that you can hang on to or tuck away easily during rides.  Crossbody bags work great as well!  Make sure you have room to tuck your phone, wallet, and sunglasses away inside your bag... otherwise, pack light.  Hats & Mickey ears can fly off during rides, so put them away before hopping on.  A little extra safe spot to store your Disneyland ticket is ideal too!

Use the Fastpass.
Why is easy access to your Disneyland ticket important?  So you can get a Fastpass!  Fastpasses are used throughout the park on the most popular rides, and help so there's less waiting time.  Simply bring your Disneyland ticket to the Fastpass machine, and it will give you the Fastpass (free of charge) with a time to return to the ride later that day.  It's pretty simple, but there's a strategy to getting the most out of your Fastpass:

  • You can only get one Fastpass at a time.  Don't run and grab the first Fastpass you see; think ahead!  Go to the most popular ride you're excited to go on first, and get the Fastpass there.  Each ride only allows for a certain number of Fastpasses each day... once they run out, they run out.
  • As soon as your window opens up to get the next Fastpass, go get the next Fastpass immediately!  Don't wait around, since Fastpasses can run out for the day.
  • When the lines are long for the busy rides (such as Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, and Splash Mountain), this is the prime chance to go to the other rides.  When the big rides have long lines, the others (such as Haunted Mansion) usually have shorter lines under 15 minutes.  Go to these rides while waiting in between getting your next Fastpass.
  • Put each ride you want to go on the most on your list of Fastpasses to get, and strategically go to the next one as soon as the window opens up.  That way, you'll get a chance to go on everything you want!
  • Strategize with friends and family.  If you're waiting in a line together, have one person in the group go get Fastpasses for everyone while you wait.  Just make sure they take each of your Disneyland tickets with them first!
Capture the moments.
Disneyland has professional photographers at all of the landmarks (such as Sleeping Beauty's Castle) that can snap a photo for you.  Sign up for a PhotoPass account before you go, and you can view & purchase all of the pictures taken during your trip for up to 30 days!  All of the details for PhotoPass can be found on the Disneyland website.

Experience the highlights.
For us, a trip to Disneyland isn't complete without a churro.  They are just SO delicious!  Be sure to make a stop and grab one of your childhood favorite snacks while you're there.  A few of our favorite stops:
  • Candy Palace, Main Street: our favorite spot for handmade candy, chocolates, cookies, and treats.
  • Redd Rocket's Pizza Port: over by Tomorrowland (and right next to Space Mountain) you can conveniently grab a slice of pizza!
  • World Of Color, California Adventure: this nighttime show is nothing short of spectacular.  Located in Paradise Park inside California Adventure, get ready for a beautiful show of water, light effects, and your favorite Disney movie moments.  
  • 21 years old?  Head over to California Adventure for a cocktail.  They have beer, wine (there's even a winery!), and mixed drinks.
  • Get a souvenir.  Purchase those mouse ears when you get to the park, so you can enjoy them all day while you walk around!  Save the other purchases that are harder to carry around for when you leave.
  • Ride the classics.  Teacups, It's A Small World, Peter Pan... be sure to make a stop at these memorable locations!
The necessities.
When going with a big group, plan out a meeting spot in case everyone gets lost.  Go with a fully charged phone.  Bring a hair tie.  Stay hydrated... you can even bring your own bottle of water into the park when you arrive, as long as it's unopened.  And most of all, get ready for a day filled with happiness!!

Where are your favorite rides & places to go in Disneyland?  We would love to hear!
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