Posted by & filed under On Health&Beauty.

Happy first Hump Day post from school! In case you haven’t heard, Coming Up Roses is in Back-to-College mode. Since I’m an RA for 26 wild n’ crazy (just kidding, they won’t be wild n’ crazy in MY hall…) frosh, these past two weeks have been jam packed with trainings and hall decorations and writing notes to my freshman year self.

Going back to school is so rough when you’re a kid. When it’s college…it can be rougher. Your late night bonfires and Netflix marathons are over, and you’re lucky if you have one totally free weekend to spare on binge-watching a new OITNB series (priorities, people).

But, I’m a fan of the –ism, “Life can be rough, but throw on some red lipstick and it’s a party.”

I just made that up. Catchy, right?

Really though, I think one of the easiest ways to feel better instantly (and get a quick brain break!) is by playing with some new makeup.

Time is of the essence in college, though, and going through a full beauty regimen everyday just isn’t possible.

But, do you have 3 minutes?

As I always seem to be running on the brink of lateness anymore (sorry, mom), I’ve mastered fast makeup.

And I timed myself to prove it.

2:39.65 later, I’m ready to go tackle this day.

The key? Stick to the essentials. Figure out what you need to cover, what you want to emphasize, and what will have lasting power. I got right to concealing my problem spots (i.e. T-Zone blemishes), making my eyes pop (since they’re my favorite feature), and adding a touch of moisturizing shine to my lips.

The clock is ticking…


3 minute makeup



Fresh-faced, first thing in the morning.


Start the clock!


First up, some acne-fighting concealer.


I use a makeup sponge for any preliminary concealing. Note my blurry hand. That’s called SPEED, baby.


This is my new all-time favorite when it comes to face goop. It’s Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer, and it’s a gift from God.


Next, I dab spots of tinted moisturizer all over and blend it in via brushing. It’s like painting on a canvas, and I like it. Faster, faster…


WOO! The skin is d-o-n-e.


0:28.91. On the fast track.


Quick makeup needs to be easy, so a three-in-one palette is the way to go! This one is part of the MaryKay at Play line, which I’ve been absolutely loving thanks to my friend, Ashley. (She can get you 10% off of your next order, too! Just click on her ad on the right sidebar.) My baked eye trio is in On the Horizon.


When ain’t nobody got time fo’ liquid liners and winged cateyes galore, a palette with a darker pigment works wonders. Swipe your darker shade of choice along your lashlines for a more muted look that doesn’t need to be perfect to still look en pointe.


And the clock keeps running…


I can curl my eyelashes in 7 seconds flat, wanna see?


My Falsies mascara has taken a beating this summer, obvi. Not my favorite, but gets the job done.


Sidenote: This whole thing would be so much cooler in video form, wouldn’t you agree. Comment below if I should just go for it and start a YouTube channel.


2:13.23 and going strong. Next up, eyeliner and a finishing touch!


I’m a hauuuuuge fan of Maybelline’s black eyeliner. I apply directly onto my lower waterline, and it’s one of the few I’ve found that actually go on smoothly and last down there!


Waterline: That innermost part right above your lower lashes. It’s wet (hence, waterline), so finding the right liner that stays is tricky.


My peepers are done! On to my pucker…


I bought tinted Burt’s Bees on a whim after hearing this flavor/tint recommended highly by one of my favorite beauty vloggers. So I’m giving it a go…




Ze finished product. To give you some perspective, refer back to picture numero uno.


And VOILA! 2 minutes and 39 seconds later, I’m ready to run out the door.


And there you have it, ladies! Your makeup is done…time to pick out a killer outfit for a comfy and chic day.

How do you get ready when there’s seemingly no time to spare? What makeup products go on easy and FAST?

In other news, a lot of you have requested that I do a post on how to maximize your LinkedIn profile, and this series seems like just the perfect time to do it! Be sure to check back in on Friday (yup, FRIDAY!) to find out how you can get that “All-Star” rating on your LinkedIn and make genuine connections that lead to something more.

Adios, amigos! It’s been a fun 3 minutes.


Posted by & filed under On Life.

This week has been a whirlwind. The whole world has been whirlwind lately. All I can do is sit here and eat my Corn Pops and stare at my completely not unpacked room and just think about it all. I don’t even know where to begin with the world, so I’ll just get right to the point of this whole shebang. Coming Up Roses is now in back-to-college (or school in general…we don’t discriminate) mode. Some fun (and hopefully helpful, or at least fun-ny) things are in the works to progress your personal style, maximize your beauty time crunches, master the in-dorm-room crunches (because who has time for the gym nowadays?), balance your life…and reach All-Star status on your LinkedIn profile. It’s all coming up in the next two weeks, so be sure to send me anything you want to see specifically, your best college life hacks, or just your thoughts on heading back to school in general!

I started off the summer wanting to hit the blogosphere full force, publishing more often and connecting like crazy. Then, Burlington happened. My last day at Burlington also just so happened to be my first day back at school – how fun, right? But in all seriousness, I couldn’t be more excited to be an RA for 26 freshmen this year. It got me thinking (naturally). What would I tell 18-year-old me if I could go back in time to my own freshman year move-in day? What snippets of learned wisdom would I want to bestow upon myself, in the hopes of preparing for what is to come? What really matters for the next few years? In 10….9…..8…..


1. Smile. You’re in the 6.7% of people the world who will be attending higher institutions of learning to attain a college degree. How lucky you are. Remember this in the next year when you’re crying over Ramen noodles and B-’s.

2. I’ll get this one out of the way now. You are going to feel you’ve failed at some point this year. Maybe you’ll fail a class (hopefully not…study, guys). Maybe you’ll fail a friend or feel like you’ve failed yourself. But you haven’t really failed. You’ve learned. You’ve learned what didn’t work in preparing for a class. You’ve learned what doesn’t work in making friends and keeping them, and – for as hard as this may be to come to terms with – you’ve learned something about yourself. What drives you, what motivates you, what makes you tick.

3. You have kryptonite. Multiple kryptonites. But if Superman can have kryptonite and still be super, so can you. You’re going to face challenges this year. You’re entering a whole new obstacle course, and some hurdles and hoops might seem too big to jump over or through. That doesn’t mean it can’t get done; that doesn’t even mean that it can’t get done while wearing high heels and pearls.

4. People aren’t always what they seem. You know this by now, I’m sure. But in college, you’ll be forced to take it a few steps further. The people who seemingly have the world on a string might be hanging be a thread. The girl who has the best pearly white smile might be hiding behind it and fighting back tears. And the guy who seems to constantly take girls home? Maybe he really just wants a girlfriend to take home to his mom.

5. Start liking coffee. Just trust me on this one.

6. Stretch yourself. This is your time to really shine. You have the opportunity to do whatever it is you’ve always wanted to do. Really. And that in and of itself can be overwhelming. Challenge yourself during your freshmen year to try at least two clubs or activities or sports that you’ve never done, but that you think might be a fun time. Try at least two new foods. Talk to at least two people who you would’ve never picked out of a hat to be your friend.

7. Prioritize health. Otherwise, You will burn out. Exercise often, sleep enough, and eat a colorfully healthy diet. (Note: I learned at RA training that apparently colorful pizza does not constitute “healthy.” My life thus far has apparently been a lie, nbd.)

8. Prioritize friends above academics. (Within reason). This one might sound craycray. But, hear me out. Your history paper can wait 15 minutes for you to grab a Hoagiefest sub from Wawa with your roommate (where my Philly people at??) or for you to catch up with a friend over lattes. Those friends might make it to your wedding in 10 years. Your history paper will not.

9. Don’t underestimate the power of a clean room. Your dorm room (or apartment, suite, what have you) is your four-year oasis. Simply tidying up a bit can do a 180 on your mood and essence. Not only that, but you’ll be playing pre-exterminator to those roaches and mice that would otherwise be hanging out with your industrial size cereal. Mi casa no es su casa.

10. Lastly, life goes on. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing in the moment, you can’t stop time. I heard another tidbit of wisdom in training today in the form of a quote from a Chinese man’s proverb. It ends with

“present moment………wonderful moment.”

If only we lived each moment with such intention. In sadness or sorrow, perhaps we could then see through and always seek the light on the other side of the moment, drastically bettering our perceptions of ourselves and our worlds.

In the grand scheme of life, college is but a moment. Live it with intention, taking as much out of the good times as the bad and putting equal (or nearly equal) parts effort into lifelong friendships and a lifelong hub of knowledge.

What would you tell your freshmen year self? What were the most salient lessons for you, and what would you want to share with freshmen moving in this week?

Let the comments commence. And may the end of your hump day be cheery and bright.


Posted by & filed under On Fashion.

I believe that style is a learning experience. Becoming truly fashionable is an art, like blowing bubbles, whistling, and going 12 hours without a caffeinated pickmeup.

A disclaimer or two: Burlington did not pay me to post this. They did not persuade me to post this or tell me to post this or give me products or cash to shop…this isn’t a dream, folks. In fact, I was told I shouldn’t blog about Burlington while working there. #rebel

I love off-price shopping because it truly is a treasure hunt every time. Sometimes, you’ll walk into a store and see rack after rack of discounted designer merchandise. It’s not old, damaged, unwanted, or ugly. It might not even be last season. Au contraire, you might be able to walk out of the off-price retailer of your choice and stroll right on up to Macy’s and find the same designer handbag at twice the price. Don’t tell Macy’s I told you that.

For me, off-price shopping is a no-brainer. Just like it’s a no-brainer that I’m addicted to Scandal and mint chocolate chip.

I bought 18 pieces for $372.81.

What did I learn from this particular shopping experience? I love shopping off-price. I always shopped Ross and Marshall’s. I Ross hauled last spring, and it was a hit like Beyonce’s secret album. That’s kinda how I like to think of off-price shopping. The racks of clothes in off-price stores are a mix, maybe, of Beyonce’s secret album and Gretchen Weiner’s hair – they’re full of secrets.

Brace yourself; this haul includes designers. I’m talkin’ Michael Kors, Steve Madden, Betsey Johnson…my kinda designers.

What did I learn from this particular photoshoot experience? I’m still not a model, leopard print jeggings match pretty much everything, and I’ll never not have bloopers. Stay tuned ’til the end, folks…


The open-back bow top, leopard jeggings, mesh pumps mismatched look, of course. Neon green because why not. A $6.99 top, $9.99 Steve Madden jeggings, and $16.99 pumps.


It’s sweet on the front and a party in the back for $16.99.


We’ve got braided sleeves, we’ve got a pleated front, we’ve got swing…for $14.99.


There is nothing I love more than a zippered pocket tee. $7.99 baby.


On Wednesdays we wear pink. Especially when it’s only $9.99.


Because it’s time to start stocking up on sweaters now, guys. Seriously. $5.98.


Drape-y and comfy and neutral and perfect. Even more perfect? $4.98.


Yes, this is a Michael Kors trench coat thanks for asking. I paid $60 for it. 6-0. And its coral. BRB, being Olivia Pope.


There is little I love more than a slouchy oversized tee with a pocket and asymmetrical front. Like c’mon people can we say tres chic? $7.99.


Leopard print chiffon tank with a sweeter than sweet bow on the back…$10.99.


This dress is my current wardrobe obsession. Not only is it the most wild J.crew-esque chevron print, but the sides are raised up for a sexier edge. And it was $15.99. Lord help my wallet. (And here are those $16.99 shoes again…)


Another one of my wardrobe obsessions for always. Boyfriend sweaters with big pockets that come in twos. Because everything is better in twos. You feel me? $7.99.


I feel like I’m wearing a watercolor painting or something. You know that’s a good sign. Especially for $14.99. And Betsey Johnson heels for $14.99? Um, unbeatable.

The jailbird-meets-Barbie Betsey bag? $49.99. And that matching wallet? $19.99.

The jailbird-meets-Barbie Betsey Johnson bag? $49.99. And that matching BJ wallet? $19.99.

CK bag

I fell totally in love with this professional nude satchel. You keep doin’ you, Calvin. I paid $75.


3 tips for finding the loot on your off-price retailer treasure hunt:

1. Dig thoughtfully. You know what you like and what you’re on a mission to find, so feel free to pass over things that you know are definite “no” pieces for those that catch your eye. With that being said, if something catches your eye, pick it up!

2. Try it on. You could find the most random and seemingly obscure pieces at off-price retailers just because. Regardless of whether or not you think it’ll look good on you, sometimes it just helps to throw it on in the dressing room and see one way or another. For such low prices, there’s room for experimentation! You’ll feel a lot better spending only $10 on a more unique, I-don’t-know-if-I-can-pull-this-off top than if you spent a pretty penny on it. Let yourself have fun and use this time to figure out what you really can’t pull off, versus what you’ve just been too chicken to try.

3. Even if you don’t “need” it, buy it. Now, this makes me sound like a shopaholic. Ah, you got me! But actually, I use this as an excuse every time I hit up an off-pricer and spend a paycheck (oops). You might not need the designer this or that that’s on clearance for literally 3/4 off the actual retailer’s price. But if it’s an item that has been on your wish list for as long as you can remember, it might be worth picking it up now while it has an insanely attractive price tag. My new technique is this: Buy it now, but put it aside as a “prize” for yourself once you achieve a longstanding goal.


Since I always deliver, here’s 5 more reasons why I’m not a model.


“Let me toss my hair like I have a fan cos that’s how they do it.” Yeah, Erica. That’s exactly how they do it.


Tell me I’m pretty.


I think I was trying to be fierce. Oops.


I honestly don’t even know. Way to stay in the frame, E.



We’re not a blooper; we’re just awesome.


What’s the best thing you’ve snagged at an off-price retailer? Have you ever been in a Burlington? All bias aside, I’m now o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d. If anyone wants a fall shopping buddy, I’m your gal. Let me know in the comments!