My Two Cents: Fave 2016 Moments of Blogging

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Hello, my loves! Today, I am here with a post that is rather unorthodox. Unlike my fashion and beauty posts, this is a reflective post for 2016. I have said it before, but I’ll say again – 2016 was tough. It tested me in all sorts of ways, but I cannot blame it for doing so because I asked for it. Given all of the strength that I have gathered from past years of self-love from a committed relationship with myself, I welcomed company at the beginning of this year. Although I encountered a lot of bad vibes, I also encountered some amazing people who led me to some of the most incredible blogging opportunities. For that reason, I realized that 2016 wasn’t so bad after all and it deserves some credit. I shouldn’t allow a few bad experiences to overshadow some great accomplishments that WE achieved. (Let’s be real, my blog and IG have become a collaborative effort.)

Before I continue to highlight and celebrate some of my favorites 2016 moments of blogging, I would like to thank those who have supported me, whether you have been here from the beginning in 2013 or just now! Although I have been blogging for three years, on and off, it wasn’t until this year when I decided to take on a more active approach. These platforms of mine are not “famous” by any means, but I am still in awe of the momentum in which they have grown. I couldn’t have done it without y’all. Without further to do, let’s celebrate!

The Power of Makeup (link)

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I started the year with this post because I wanted to make a statement for not only my readers, but also for myself. I wanted to set an honest tone for the rest of the year. By being vulnerable and exposing myself like so, I had nothing to hide when it comes to self-expression, whether it is done on my platforms or in person. While I did sport a full face a bunch this year, I also flaunt my natural face, which I haven’t done in years.

Influenster’s Voxbox

Thanks to Influenster, I was blessed with about 6 voxboxes this year – so so crazy! I was able to try so many different brands from drugstore to high end. I love trying new products because they give me an opportunity to be as creative as I can be. From playing with colored eyeliner to create a cut crease look to using a lighter shade foundation stick as my highlighter to contour, I learned that I have so so much to learn about makeup and its art form. I am really excited to explore it further, and I must thank Influenster for letting me test such complimentary products.

Colourpop Cosmetics’ Mailer

I vividly remember how I felt after receiving a direct message from Colourpop Cosmetics in regards to using one of my Instagram pictures for its mailer. It was the timing that made it so memorable. I was talking to a person who undermined my passion and efforts toward my blog and IG, and never have I ever had to defend my platforms before. This mailer was a nice reminder that hard work does not go unnoticed.

Collaborations
Like I said before, I welcomed company in all forms this year, including collaborations. It was an effort to combat my social anxiety, but little did I know, it also challenged me creatively. Through my collaborations, I connected with some of the most creative individuals and brands, and there is something about creating art with others that is so humbling.

Wear Your Label (link)

I knew this year was special when I received an e-mail from Wear Your Label to collaborate in January. I was then asked to be a role model in March. It was such an eye-opening opportunity because I had to be really honest with myself in regards to my mental health. I have talked about my experiences with depression and social anxiety here and there on my platforms before, but for me to share my story in its depth was something else. It was that moment when I realized that I have a story to share, and I started to be a lot more vocal about it to start conversations and to end the stigma.
Russell Albert (link)
Russell reached out to me after my feature on Sacramento Fashion’s IG. Russell came up with the idea of documenting my blogging process, which was refreshing from my typical #ootd posts. Since Russell is a professional, I left this session with so much knowledge that I later applied in my photo-shoots.
Isabel Bagsik of Unconventional Bliss
Isabel is seriously one of my biggest blog crushes! Her spirit and work ethics are absolute killer. I have worked with Isabel before this year, but I had the pleasure of working with her again (twice, actually!) during the summer. She challenged me to enter uncharted territories, which make for beautiful pictures.
Taylor Nguyen (link)
Taylor proposed a grunge-themed shoot, and never have I ever been so challenged by clothes before. Whether or not I was successful in doing so, I had so much fun exploring my identities through fashion and beauty. It reminded me why I am so passionate about so-called materialistic mediums.
Kristin Pickett of kristinlovette
This unofficial (?) collaboration was so different from the rest that it was an experience on its own. I was asked to help Kristin with her project of recreating a similar picture of yours truly. It was done indoors with elaborate studio lighting, which I am unfamiliar with. Instead of my typical poses, I had to recreate a pose that was a lot harder than it looked. The experience was very humbling in that I have so so much to learn. It was really cool to be exposed to a different dynamic.
Allen Vang (link)
Allen covered so much during our first collaboration that I still have content to work with! We went from thrifting to shooting outfit pictures to exploring night photography. My favorite thing about this particular collaboration is that I went back to my roots with thrifting. A lot of people ask me when and what got me interested in fashion. I usually refer back to this blog as the start, but in actuality, it was thrift shopping that started it. From something that I was so ashamed of, I am now so proud to say that buying used clothes is part of my lifestyle.
Shany Cosmetics (link)

With Shany Cosmetics, I absolutely believe in the idea that things come full circle. For me to receive one of its products as a Secret Santa gift to being chosen as one of five Instagramers to try out one of its products as a sneak peak, I am still in awe. Before then, I was not familiar with the brand, and now, I use Shany Cosmetics on a daily basis.

ColoredBySarah (link)

My my, I don’t know where to start with my hair. Although I love the power of clothes and makeup, my hair definitely made this year extra special. It started so many conversations. From fellas at bars to an elder lady at my friend’s conservative work party, my hair did most of the talking. It also dispelled some common misconceptions like how educated I am or whether or not I come from a “good” family. Last but not least, my hair gave me the confidence to truly practice self-love as I try new things for my own good. I am really excited for what Sarah has in mind for the next year in regards to my hair!

I still cannot believe this particular event even happened! For one, I got to know Hana better, who cannot be anymore inspiring. I honestly believe that everyone has something to offer, and Hana definitely proved that. While I learned a lot about her and her journey with mental health, I also learned more about myself and my journey. I was so honored and humbled to join stories with Hana to host a workshop at NorCal UVSA’s 10th Annual Leadership Conference. Although it was surreal to share my story with the attendees, my favorite part was when the attendees shared their stories. It was one of the most rewarding experiences as a blogger – and even as a person.

2016, you weren’t too shabby. May 2017 be extra fab! As always, be kind.

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