Moda VoxBox

19 November 2014




Ready for a night out in Rimmel London mascara, lipstick, and lip liner

Hair Food Moisturizing Hair Mask

Pre-yoga, getting ready to refresh with Resource

Winter essentials: Starbucks and Puffs SoftPack

Enjoying Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa
Silky smooth hands after taking the Jergens One-Week Challenge


I received the Moda VoxBox from Influenster in perfect timing, just as it was getting really chilly here in Chicago. Hot chocolate, moisturizer, and tissues are necessary when it’s zero degrees outside. Here’s my review of all the products I received complimentary for testing purposes...

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Rockin Curves Mascara: This mascara’s curved brush is perfect for reaching all of my lashes. 

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick: I have been wearing the Nude Delight shade just about everyday since I received it. It’s moisturizing and is a great daytime color for my skin tone. 

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lip Liner: This is a transparent lip liner that prevents lipstick from feathering. I like that it’s transparent, so there’s no mismatched color that often comes with lip liner. 

Puffs SoftPack: I love how soft this tissue is and the packaging looks really cute in my bathroom.

Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer: This lotion is moisturizing, without being greasy and has a fresh scent. I will definitely purchase this in the future. 

Resource Natural Spring Water: I love that this bottle is big enough to last through an intense workout. Learn how you can get Resource delivered here

Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask: This is my favorite product from the voxbox. I have been using the hair mask in place of my normal conditioner. It makes my hair soft and shiny, and the delicious honey-apricot scent lasts even after my hair is dry. 

Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa: The best part about this hot chocolate is that it has only five ingredients! The dark chocolate flavor is absolutely delicious. 





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HiCustom Phone Case

03 November 2014

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Urban Outfitters jacket | Topshop t-shirt | Paige jeans | MCM backpack | Vince Camuto boots | HiCustom phone case

Courtesy of HiCustom.net, I was able to design my own AFA iPhone case. HiCustom also has other customizable products including t-shirts and coffee mugs. My new case is great for protecting my phone during a long school day.  

These pictures were taken right before I headed to class. I’m wearing my favorite Paige jeans which have become part of my school uniform. They’re so comfy and are perfect for tucking into over-the-knee boots. 

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Sweater Dress + Over-the-Knee Boots

26 October 2014

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Urban Outfitters dress | Stuart Weitzman boots | Proenza Schouler bag

Fall in Chicago makes for the most beautiful (and yes, maybe cliché) photo backdrop. My lovely roommate Stephanie (above, right) took some pictures of me in my new sweater dress, purchased at Urban Outfitters, on sale for $10. My exact dress isn’t available online, but there are some similar options below. 
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AFA’s Guide to Starting Your Own Fashion Blog

09 October 2014

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I often have friends and readers ask me how I started my blog, how I make money, etc. I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s How to Start a Fashion Blog guide, so I decided to make my own. I started blogging a few years ago and I have learned a lot from trial and error, googling tutorials, and reading articles. I am no expert, but I have some helpful tips to offer. In recent years, professional fashion blogging has become a coveted and lucrative career. Top blogger, Chiara Ferragni, is set to make $8 million this year. The amount of money I currently make from blogging is negligible, but there are other perks, like collaborating with brands and inspiring readers. Plus, having my blog on my resume is impressive to employers and a great talking point during interviews. Anyone with a computer can make a fashion blog, but it takes time and commitment to make your blog stand out. Here are some how-to’s and tips to get you started:

1. Choose a Platform
I use Blogger. There are a few other popular choices including Wordpress, Typepad, and OnSugar. Do a little research to figure out which one you like best. 

2. Name Your Blog
Coming up with an awesome blog name can be tricky. This generator might be helpful, but don’t worry because you can always change this later. Once you’ve finalized the name of your blog, consider purchasing your own domain (i.e. alliesfashionalley.blogspot.com turns into alliesfashionalley.com). This is an easy way to make your blog seem more legitimate and only costs about 12 bucks per year. 

3. Customize the Layout/Design
I started out with a template from Blogger, then coded and customized everything myself. XOmisse is a great site for easy tutorials using CSS and HTML. If you want to save time, you can pay someone else to customize parts of your blog or buy a pre-made template. When it comes to layout, I say simple is better. You want your pictures and content to take center stage. A busy background can be distracting. 

4. Invest in a DSLR
Great pictures are the most important part of your blog. All professional bloggers have photos with their outfit in focus and the background blurred. You need a DSLR camera to achieve this. If you have a photographer friend with a nice camera, you may not need your own. I use the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, which happens to be on sale at Target right now for an amazing price! This camera is easy to use, and is also the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR camera. Grab a friend, roommate, or family member to take your pictures.

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5. Find Your Voice
Every blogger has their own writing style. I tend to write just a few sentences to accompany my outfit posts. It’s all about what works for you. Make sure to spell check before posting. In addition, always preview your posts before publishing. Sometimes there might be formatting issues that aren’t obvious in your draft.

6. Connect with Other Bloggers
Find bloggers with similar interests, then subscribe to their blogs and consistently comment on their new posts (leave your link in the comments). Most bloggers will visit your blog in return. This is a good way to build a loyal follower base.

7. Share Your Posts
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are great tools for promoting your content and getting more readers. Avoid overwhelming yourself by focusing on just one or two of these platforms at a time. Once you’ve gathered a substantial following, then add a couple more.

8. Monetize $$$ 
You don’t need to think about this right away, but why not be rewarded for your hard work as soon as possible? There are a ton of different platforms you can use to monetize your content. I use ShopSense because I think it’s the most straight forward. This allows you to link to products in your posts and earn a few cents per click. Other affiliate networks like RewardStyle pay you only when your readers make a purchase. This isn’t very lucrative until you have a ton of followers. Also, if you’re using Blogger, Google Adsense is built in. All you have to do is turn it on in the settings. Be careful not to over monetize; it becomes obvious if all you’re trying to do is get readers to click on products.

9. Collaborate with Brands
After you’ve gathered a following of loyal readers, companies may want you to sample their products in exchange for your review. Here’s a list of some sponsorship programs. Most of the brands I’ve worked with have contacted me, not the other way around. It’s important to have your email easily accessible. I have mine under the contact tab at the top of my blog. 

Other Helpful Resources:
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers is an amazing site that has articles on every fashion-blogging-related subject imaginable. It’s also a great place to connect with other bloggers. 
  • Every blogger should join Influenster. You get to test new products for free and review them on your blog. This is a great way to voice your opinion. 
  • Following some of the most prominent fashion blogs will give you inspiration for your layout and posts. My favorites include The Blonde SaladPeace Love Shea, Sea of Shoes, and Ring My Bell
Feel free to comment on this post or email me with any specific questions. 
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Keurig 2.0 #HelloKeurig

02 October 2014

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A few weeks ago I received a Keurig 2.0, compliments of Influenster. This is by far my favorite blogger gift that has arrived in the mail. 

The new Keurig 2.0 can brew a single cup or a carafe (which is perfect to share with my roommates). My favorite feature is that there are 10 different brew sizes from 4 oz. to 30 oz. I received the K550 model which also has a hot water on demand feature and an impressive 80 oz. water reservoir. There are also adjustable strength and auto-brew settings. The touch screen display allows you to pick a wallpaper and reservoir light color, which is pretty cool. 

All of the customizable settings allow me to brew my perfect cup of coffee or tea. The only complaint I have is that the 2.0 will not accept old Keurig k-cups. It only accepts the new k-cups that have a white rim, but no big deal. In addition to the k-cups and k-carafes that came with the machine, I ordered Cinnabon coffee and vanilla chai tea. They are both subtly sweet and delicious. 

If you’d like an invite to Influenster so you too can review amazing new products, comment on this post with your email.
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eShakti Jacket in the City

18 September 2014

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eShakti jacket | Gap t-shirt | Levi’s shorts (on sale!) | Milly backpack | RACHEL Rachel Roy boots | TOMS sunglasses

These pictures were taken by my talented roomie, Stephanie, on top of a parking garage near my school in Chicago. The view of the city from up there is breathtaking. Today was the perfect day to wear my new jacket, sent to me courtesy of eShakti. My cool, new jacket was customized by my height and size so that it fits me just right. It protected me from the wind today and I can’t wait to wear it with sweaters and jeans in the coming months. 
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Wetsuit Skirt

12 September 2014

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TOPSHOP skirt and top | NIKE shoes | MCM bag | PRADA glasses

I’ve just completed my first week of classes for the fall quarter at DePaul University in Chicago. The location for these photos was at a high school in California and I’m happy to say that my high school days are long over. The pink Topshop skirt I’m wearing feels like it’s made of neoprene, wetsuit material. It’s a really fun piece and hopefully the weather will get a little warmer here in Chicago so I can wear it again. I love pairing skirts with my Nike Frees, which I’ve been wearing all summer long. I find them incredibly comfortable.  

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Last Look of Summer

02 September 2014

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I’m headed back to Chicago early tomorrow AM. Summer is out and school is in. I’ll be getting as much use as possible out of my rose gold Topshop Birkenstocks for the next few weeks until fall weather hits. 
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