Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Importance of Beauty Minis


I love buying fresh beauty products, especially ones that are my tried-and-true holy grail items. But sometimes I wonder if there's a better way to shop where I don't have to spend money on products that I might dislike. That's where sample minis come in. Whenever I used to go to Sephora or Nordstrom and a sales associate would include a sample of perfume or moisturizer in my bag, I would throw the product away. However, I've realized the importance of these tiny products and how they have the chance to transform one's beauty cabinet! Samples give us the opportunity to test out products without having to fork out handfuls of cash over bottles and jars we might end up hating. We are also able to learn more about unfamiliar beauty items that could be holy grail worthy! I recently tried the Origins Original Skin Serum and my skin loved it! If I didn't test it out on my skin, I would have disregarded the product and lost out on a future favorite. Minis are also great for traveling or just in case of emergency. I ran out of my favorite moisturizer the other day and panicked until I found the Origins Ginzing Moisturizer deluxe sample in my bathroom drawer. Now that I have a backup plan, I won't worry about rationing my moisturizer until a new one comes in. Next time you're given a miniature version of a beauty item, try it out. It could be the miracle your skin or makeup counter is looking for!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Football Focus | The Special Teams


One of the most important yet most forgotten parts of the football team is the special teams. Special teams is comprised of multiple players with different responsibilities. There are place-kickers, field goal kickers, punters, holders, long snappers, punt returners, kick returners, along with units of players who kickoffs, punts, punt returns, field goal and PATs, and those who block field goal and PATs. Kind of a lot to remember, huh? Let's start off with the specialists aka the place-kickers, field goal kickers and punters. Some football teams require their kickers to perform each position accurately, while others focus on one man for each responsibility. Place-kickers are responsible for PATs, field goal attempts and kickoffs. At kickoff, the kicker boots the ball in the air while he and 10 other players run toward the kick returner and his teammates. The kicker and his teammates are subject to stop the returner from gaining yardage. An optimal kickoff stays in the air for at least four seconds, which allows the kickoff team to get as close to the returner as possible and stop him from running with the ball.

Field goals are another way to gain points when a team is unable to score a touchdown. Most kickers are successful at completing a field goal attempt within 30 yards of the end zone. A field goal is worth three points and are most exciting when a team is trying to convert at the last second of a game. When attempting a field goal, a long snapper with snap the ball to the holder who will angle the ball in a proper position for the kicker to be as successful as possible. Here's Baylor P/K Chris Callahan's winning field goal kick against TCU in 2014:


Extra point attempts or "PATs" are attempted after a team has scored a touchdown. The kicker's job is to kick the ball between the upright goal posts after it is placed at around the 2 or 3 yard line. Punts are a similar ball game (pun intended!) to kickoffs as the punter punts the ball away to the opposing team. Punts occur when a team's offense can't score a touchdown and is too far away from the end zone for a field goal. When they are unable to convert on third down and they're on their own side of the field, a coach will usually decide to punt the ball away. When a punter is getting ready to boot the ball away, he must prepare himself to use extreme force and strength to get it as far to the other side of the field as possible. The punt returner will then catch the ball and try to gain yards with it.

The rest of the special teams is made up of blockers who try to block field goals and PATs. They spy on the kicker and attempt to knock the ball down once it's in the air and obtain it for their own gain. Blockers also pursue returners and stop them from running through the field. Similar to how a defense stops the offense from scoring, special teams blockers keep the opposing players from scoring extra points and gaining yards.

Adam Vinatieri is a tried-and-true placekicker veteran in the NFL. Vinatieri played for South Dakota State University before the New England Patriots (gross) drafted him in 1999. He's played for both the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, where he currently resides in his 21st season of professional football. He remains one of the best kickers in the league even though he's 43 years old. In 21 years of the NFL, Vinatieri has made 507 of 602 field goal attempts.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Qualm with High Fashion


Growing up, I always imagined what it would be like to see my own designs on the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. In present day, NYFW is no longer at Bryant Park and my heart doesn't belong with stick thin models and A-list celebrities. The fashion I used to love was about classic beauty and feminine minimalism. Coco Chanel was a true designer who understood what women wanted to wear. Nowadays, designers like Jeremy Scott and Marc Jacobs run the week with obnoxious designs that no regular woman would wear (alliteration not intended). Fashion is no longer about enhancing a woman's natural beauty, but rather clouded by obnoxious patterns, outlandish makeup and unflattering shapes. Models aren't chosen because of their kind spirits or diverse shapes; they're hand selected based on their last name (i.e.: Kendall, Gigi, Bella) or how many Instagram followers they have. Every woman walking down the runway has the same look and any other shape is completely ignored. While having an Ashley Graham is important, I'm looking for models of all shapes, sizes and skin tones. The fashion world has ultimately evolved in two directions- classic and modern. While I'm not afraid of new trends and ideas, I believe in natural enhancement, not what designers are showcasing on today's runways. Maybe one day a new Coco will arise and the creation of beautiful pieces modeled by powerful women will call me back home to Bryant Park.

Monday, September 19, 2016

An Ode to Old Navy Pixie Pants


When I first started working at Macy's (and learned that jeans weren't in dress code), I realized that I needed a pair of basic work pants. I wasn't into slacks or loose polyester bottoms, so I headed to J.Crew and Old Navy. J.Crew is known for their classic professional clothing, but their pants had a weird fit that didn't suit my body type. Instead of purchasing $100 pants that I didn't love, I went to Old Navy and found the most amazing pair in the form of their Pixie Mid-Rise Ankle Pants (petite size of course). The petite pants hit right at my ankle and are the softest, most comfortable pair of stretchy bottoms. I love how they come in multiple colors and patterns that rotate throughout the seasons. After I purchased my polka dot and navy pants, I bought a pair of black ones and khakis. One of my jobs required I wear khaki pants with our issued polo shirts and I knew that the Pixies would be perfect. I love styling them with loose blouses for work and camis or basic tank tops for school.
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