Aerie Chill Play Move Review and Photos!

Hello everybody!

As you all know – I am a HUGE fan of Aerie. Aerie is a ladies loungewear, activewear, underwear store, and is a sister store to American Eagle Outfitters. About a week ago, I took advantage of a rewards member discount, and purchased two sports bras, a tank top, and a sweater! I loved the pink sports bra I bought because it matched a pair of leggings I bought from Aerie back in the spring time. My best friend and I were already planning to have a photoshoot day, so once my order came in, I knew I wanted to take some pictures in my new Aerie apparel. I also needed new headshots and action shots for auditions, so we grabbed our cameras and took some dance photos!

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The sports bra I am wearing in these images which is one of their Chill, Play, Move bras in the color ballet pinkI am also wearing their highwaisted Chill, Play, Move leggings which are a grey and pink floral print. Can you tell I love them!? The bra is so comfortable, and it offers a lot of support for the girls (if you know what I mean). The leggings are great too, and hold me in while giving me full range of motion!

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If you have not checked out Aerie’s apparel, you should definitely give them a chance! They always have great deals on their website, and most of the time they offer free shipping. The best part about Aerie is that they do not retouch their models, and they have models of all body types and ethnics in their marketing. The company campaign is #aerieREAL and being proud to show the world the REAL you! I love my body and am proud of who I am, and I am happy to know one of my favorite retailers supports all body types and different kinds of women wearing their brand!

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If you like my makeup in these photos, I did my makeup myself and used the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette on my eyes. I also used the Cailyn Cosmetics Pure Lust Extreme Lust Tint + Velvet in the shade Practicable (seriously it is a favorite of mine!!) on my lips.

What are your favorite activewear brands? Do you like Aerie? What do you love about them? Let me know! ❤

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

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The Inspiration Behind my Blog and Etsy Shop

Hello beautiful internet people!

I wanted to tell you all a story this evening about the inspiration behind Julia’s Leaps of Faith! There are so many reasons why I started my blog, but the blog it is today is completely different than the blog it began as, and the direction my blog is headed now has a definite backstory I think is important to share! There are two influences that helped me shape Julia’s Leaps of Faith into what it is today, so here we go!

As a child/teenager, I danced a lot at my local studio. I was taking seven classes a week, and to be honest I was no where near my peers in the amount of classes they were enrolled in. Truth is – dance lessons are super expensive, especially for parents of three who are paying for three childrens’ extracurricular activities, sports, and living expenses. I could not afford to dance as much as my peers, but in order to continue dancing as much as I was, I partook in a workstudy program at my studio. I student-taught/assisted classes each week, and I was given an hourly stipend to cut the costs of my monthly tuition (to help my parents pay the bills!).

This definitely helped my parents afford my dance lessons, and all the while I was able to assist my favorite teacher, Miss Sarah, in her ballet classes. Thursdays were the best because I helped Miss Sarah teach for two hours in the evening, and then I took two hours of her advanced class at night. Plus, I would buy us both Dunkin Donuts coffee every week, and in the fall we would delight over our obsession with Dunkin pumpkin coffee (hot with milk and sweetner on the side). See, Miss Sarah was a professional ballerina and always came to class with her hair in a PERFECT French Twist slicked back and pinned, her eyeshadow was flawlessly done, and the colors of her eyeshadow complimented her leotard and ballet skirt, and it complimented her earrings (she wore the prettiest earrings!).

I always admired her eyeshadow and earrings, and I knew when I was the lead dance teacher in the future I was going to try to compose myself in the way Miss Sarah did so gracefully! Miss Sarah also was the only teacher who never waivered in her belief in me to suceed and achieve in dance, and in all of my other endeavors. She is a big reason I am where I am today as a dancer/performer. As you can see, I only have very fond memories of this teacher, and she clearly left a positive impact on me!

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Always leaping!

The same year I began student teaching with Miss Sarah, I also began dancing in my high school’s musical productions! It was the first musical I ever danced in, and I began experimenting with makeup A LOT. I never wore a lot of makeup – a little mascara and blush, but I didn’t wear eyeliner or eyeshadow. But since I was going to be performing on stage as a character, I needed to improve my makeup skills. I bought a Maybelline and a Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow trio, and I began my experimentation! I also tried to mimic the winged liner I saw all of the other dancers wearing!

Thus, this experience catalyzed my obsession with makeup and eyeshadow, and I have not stopped experimenting with makeup or beauty products since. I was 15 when this all began, and now as a 22 year old woman I am so thankful dance and makeup go hand-in-hand, and that I can merge my two favorite obsessions together! ❤

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Talk about a throwback… Here is 15 year old me experimenting with layering white eyeliner on top of my winged black liquid liner. This picture was taken in 2011 (check out my auburn hair!)

I started making makeup because I wanted to have my own makeup collection available to performers and people everywhere who need cruelty-free and quality makeup, whether they need to perform on stage or at their workplace! Doing your makeup makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you shine! I want people to shine and feel as beautiful as they can because they deserve to! And who knows, you may be the person who inspires another young kid to go pursue their dreams and work hard, and to have kick-ass eye makeup while doing it (like Miss Sarah did for me)!

If you would like to purchase any of the makeup I make, or purchase a custom palette, visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/juliasleapsoffaith! The link will direct you to my page.

Xoxo lots of love and positive energy

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National Dance Day & National Lipstick Day!

HI EVERYBODY!

Today is a double national holiday for me – it is NATIONAL DANCE DAY, and NATIONAL LIPSTICK DAY! Can you believe the two coexist on one amazing day of the year?! 🙂 I am so thankful for both dance and lipstick, and in honor of recognizing the two holidays, today I wanted to tell you all about my favorite ballet shoes, and favorite lipstick to wear on stage!

Let’s start with ballet shoes. I used to be devoted to Bloch Zenith ballet slippers – the canvas type to be exact. I wore them all throughout college. However, as I progressed through college and danced many hours a week, the bone structures of my feet actually shifted and changed, and the Bloch Zenith’s lost their perfect fit. The reason I loved them was because they were soft and form-fitting, and the elastics came pre-sewn. They are still a great option to look into if you’re shopping for new ballet slippers.

Nonetheless, the ballet slippers I am highlighting today are So Danca SD16s! I recently have become a huge fan of these shoes! They fit like a sock, come pre-sewn, are canvas, and hug the shape of the foot in a very flattering way. Furthermore, they are GREAT for turning, center tendu and pirouette, and even for allegro. When my feet get sweaty, they stay put, and I don’t find my feet slipping out of them, or sticking to the floor in a negative way that inhibits my movement.

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So Danca SD16 – I wear a size 7.5 B width

They are incredible, and AFFORDABLE so I highly recommend these slippers to any dancer who wants to try something new! These shoes retail for about $22, and are totally worth the money. As you can tell from the picture, I just bought a new pair for company rehearsals, and I’m obssessed.

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So Danca SD16

Next onto lipstick! I love wearing red lipstick, and more time then not if I have red lipstick on, that means it is show time!! I’m either at a dress rehearsal or in a dressing room putting my makeup on for a show! I’ve tried so many shades of red in all types of finishes – satins, mattes, ultra mattes, metallics, etc. I’ve tried cool-toned reds, blue-toned reds, warm-toned reds, and rust-toned reds. I sweat a lot during dress rehearsals and shows too, and I require a lipstick that can stay put and not move when I am sweating and quickly changing on the side of the stage between numbers.

The lipstick I’ve found that steals the show and is my favorite lipstick for stage is ColourPop’s Ultra-Matte lipstick in the shade Mama! It is a warm/orange-toned red that is super matte! It looks amazing on, and doesn’t move for hours! When reapplication is needed, a dab in the center of the lips will do, and it looks great in photographs, up close, and from far away.

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ColourPop Ultra-Matte Lipstick in Mama

As you can see, I use this lipstick really often and the ColourPop logo has actually rubbed off of the tube. I always throw this in my beauty bag when I have any sort of performance that requires a full-face of makeup, and I am always complimented on it when I wear it. I don’t think a lot of warm-toned reds look good against my teeth, yet this color completes my makeup look when I am on stage! It retails for $6 on the Colourpop website! It’s a steal and definitely worth the very affordable price of $6.

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ColourPop Ultra-Matte Lipstick in Mama

Today is a beautiful Saturday, and the beautiful weather makes it a perfect day to celebrate National Dance Day and National Lipstick Day! I hope you all find something to dance about today, and put on a little bit (or a lot) of your favorite lipstick and let yourself feel beautiful! ❤ Because that is the nature of today, and it is only right to celebrate appropriately!

Thank you all for reading! I hope you enjoyed my post, and let me know how you all are celebrating National Dance Day and National Lipstick Day!

Xoxo

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Post-Rehearsal Hike – Stairway to Heaven Trail

Today after company class and rehearsal, I took a hike up to heaven 💓 By that I mean I took the Stairway to Heaven Trail (a part of the Appalachian Trail) up to “the view”, which overlooks a valley and the Appalachian mountain range. And seriously guys – it was heaven!! The sky was pure blue, and the smell of the fresh pine and earthiness of the forest was invigorating! The breeze at the top of the mountain was incredible also, and dried all of the sweat I perspired during my trek up there. Even more amazing were the hawks that flew so close – you could see the definitions between their feathers!

 

The warm sun toasted my skin and gave me happy, grounding vibes. Sometimes hiking by yourself helps you find your center more than ballet class 🙏 I rehearse out of NY state, and I pass this trail every week on my way to rehearsal. Switching up my workout routine by taking this hike instead of going to the gym was a fun change to challenge my body in a new way. It was my second time climbing this trail (I climbed it last year), and it was even more exhilarating this time around. God bless this beautiful country! 💓

What are your favorite trails to climb in your state/around the county? Do you like to hike for a workout, and have you ever hiked alone before? Let me know!

Xoxo

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Julia’s Leaps of Faith Etsy Shop is Open!

Hi blog readers!

I am so excited to announce my Etsy shop – Julia’s Leaps of Faith – is now open for business! Remember back when I announced I was making my own makeup? (You can read about it here: Leaps of Faith Vegan & Cruelty-Free Homemade Eyeshadow). I have since been testing out different formulas and have sent some to friends and other bloggers (like Dating Through the Distance!) to try my homemade cosmetics, and I’ve received such good feedback! ❤ For this reason, I decided to take the leap and jump into running my own Etsy shop which consists of homemade eyeshadow, custom eye palettes, and soon screen-printed t-shirts! I am very excited about this endeavor as I venture into my first fall without college to worry about! Below are some swatches of colors that are available to purchase right now (more are to come!).

Also available are custom four pan eyeshadow palettes! They are so so so pretty and conveniently sized for travel or in the pocketbook! The colors will be sure to make your eyes pop whether you are performing on stage, on a date, running errands, or hanging with your besties! ❤ Check out some of my images below!

My eyeshadows are pressed in 26mm magnetic pans! The individual pans are selling for $5 individually, and the custom palettes are $20 each with the magnetic palette! 🙂 You can follow this link to check out my Etsy shop: JuliaLeapsofFaith Etsy. All of the eyeshadows are cruelty-free and most are vegan unless they contain carmine and are specified otherwise! 🙂

I hope you all enjoy my shop! I will still be reviewing other makeup, beauty, and dance products on here, but I will be promoting my own brand from time to time too 😉 You can always comment, or DM my Facebook or Instagram if you have any questions about ordering!

Let me know what you all think!

Xoxo

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