Oh hello there! Long time no see! I have been away from a few months, and have been enjoying time with family and friends. But summer has come to an end, and I'm finally ready to get back to blogging. With the conclusion of summer comes the start of school, and I don't know about you but I am so over 'trying' for school. While I may not feel like dressing to the nines for class, I still do enjoy looking put together -- as easy as possible. Below, are my top five tips and tricks for looking naturally put together in the shortest amount of time. Enjoy!


Okay, I'm exaggerating. Dry shampoo can't really save your life, but it sure does make it easier! I'm someone who dreads washing my hair. Not because I don't like being clean, but because I absolutely hate the feeling of wet hair, and fixing my natural hair the next morning takes forever-and-a-half. Since washing my hair is a no-go most days, dry shampoo is my best friend. 

I've tried several dry shampoos -- drugstore and high-end -- but have found that the best brand of dry shampoo is from Dry Bar, and are we really surprised? The blowout bar-inspired brand has perfected dry hair-dos, and in hopes of my hair looking fresh out of a Dry Bar ad, I have turned towards their product to help clean my greasy roots and add some texture to my lengths. 

So if you're in a rush, spritz some dry shampoo on your roots, massage the product in, and you're left with texturized, freshly washed-looking, and sweet smelling tresses. You really can't beat that!

shop my favorite dry shampoo's



Just in case you didn't already know, I am obsessed with dresses. Truth be told, you'll never find me wearing pants -- I hate pants. Not only are pants uncomfortable (unless they're two-sizes-too-big leggings), but you have to put in the extra effort to pick other pieces from your closet that match. And if you're anything like me, you'd rather spend those extra 30-minutes doing some early morning yoga, right? 

Dresses are a magical garment because they are an entire outfit all-in-one. You don't have to find pants to match a top, or a top to match pants, but rather your entire outfit is complete just by slipping on one long (or short, if you're into that) piece of fabric. 

I always plan out which dress I'm going to wear the night before, and it is as easy as it sounds. If you don't already own at least 10 dreses, you're doing something wrong. Trust me when I say you will be happier when you no longer have to pick out an entire ensemble before going to class. And I'll say it louder for the people in back: DRESSES ARE MAGICAL.

shop my favorite dresses



For the longest time, my go-to makeup routine always included winged eyeliner. After seeing Taylor Swift’s Speak Now concert when I was a freshman in high school, it was always something I did – I wanted to be just like her.

From that point on, I would set aside five minutes each morning to perfect my winged eyes, and as I grew older I became an eyeliner expert. This summer though, was the first time in years that I stopped sporting my trademark wings. No, I didn’t stop flaunting them because I didn’t like how I looked, but rather because I was lazy. I didn’t feel like spending time to create two black lines grazing my lashes and finished off with perfectly symmetrical wings, and I didn’t feel like it added much to my makeup look. Therefore, I started focusing on my lashes. Instead of adding eyeliner on my eyes, I would simply skip that step and finish off my eyes with a thick coat of mascara. This not only saved time, but it allowed my everyday face to look more natural.

My tip for looking au naturel the easiest way possible is to invest in some high-quality mascara to amplify your makeup look. And, if you want your lashes looking especially voluminous, treat yourself to some lash extensions (while I personally have never gotten my lashes done, from what I heard they allow your makeup routine to be accomplished even quicker).

shop my favorite mascaras


tip no.4: ponytails are not just for sports

It’s a well-known fact that I hate doing my hair. And, like I mentioned earlier in this post, I hate washing my hair. But greasy roots just aren’t cute, so instead of suffering from wet hair syndrome I have mastered the art of concealing oily hair. How, you may ask? Simply: a ponytail. Personally, I love a good high-pony. It allows all of your hair to be off your face, and can be achieved in a matter of seconds. Sometimes, if I have a few extra minutes to spare, I’ll curl the lengths of my pony to give it more life and texture.

While a high-pony is my forte, you also can’t go wrong with a low-pony. My favorite way to spice up a boring ponytail is with braids. My go-to low-pony styling is by creating two Dutch braids in the middle of both sides of my head, and pulling them back with the rest of my hair into a low pony. After securing my hair with an elastic, I’ll “pancake” the braids (here’s how to do that) and pull out some of my face-framing fringe. This ponytail is great if you have a fancier occasion, or just want to look a bit more put together. Either way, these two hairstyles are so easy to do and oily hair-approved.

check out my favorite ponytail inspiration


tip no.5: a bangin' jacket will solve your problems

The weather in Chicago has been weird. I’ll wake up and The Weather Channel will tell me that it’s 50-degrees. By the time I leave class around 3p.m., the thermometer reads 75-degrees. I don’t know about you guys, but 25-degree change in weather can really cause a girl to contemplate her OOTD. Since the Windy City is known for its indecisive weather, I have invested in a stylish and practical spring/summer jacket. When I’m unsure of the day’s temperatures, I don’t waste time rummaging through my wardrobe, but instead I wear what I’m comfortable in and just throw a coat over my look.

While this seems easy, you can’t just use any coat. A puffy North Face jacket, for one, wouldn’t necessarily look that amazing over a dress. But a jacket with embroidery, embellishments, or even a fun print is the perfect style to stay warm if the shining sun fools you by still being cold outside. And, even if you walk out the doors and realize that it’s warmer than it really is, chances are wherever you’re going will be colder than Antarctica – you can thank me later.

shop my favorite jackets


With love & light, amanda