I’m Back, and I was Not in Kansas.

Posted: 1st August 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

Only a few hundred people visit my blog each week, so I’m not betting many of you noticed I haven’t posted in a month. I’ve been busy sleeping, watching T.V., modeling and other things that don’t really make a great excuse except for being lazy. Well earlier this summer I got to attend a steampunk event where I had the privilege of posing for several photographers and their cameras. I had some great networking connections, and it looks like my steampunk work may be continuing in the next several months.

Not in Kansas Steampunk Event

Credits: Prism Photography, Carol Casimir and Matthew Moog

Matthew Moog

Prism Photography

Prism Photography

Carol Casimir

Carol Casimir

Come visit me work in the social networking world!


$1 Flip Flops @ Old Navy TOMORROW!

Posted: 28th June 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

This will be my first year taking advantage of Old Navy’s $1 flip flop deal, and yes, I will be there early. This sounds like a fantastic deal, and if you Google Old Navy deals for July 2013, you can actually print a 10% off coupon to use in addition to the sale.

Birthday Slew

Posted: 21st June 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

In continuation of my last post, here is the debut of the navy star romper I picked up with some bday cash from my boyfriend. It’s not his favorite outfit I own, but I like the simplicity. I’m still unsure if I like navy as a spring color, but sites like Pinterest and other DIY blogs always have some fresh looks that keep me believing.

On Location: St. Nazianz, WI (surrounding areas)

Posted: 4th June 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

Where are you, Bad News and Subtle Blues?

Posted: 24th May 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

To my surprise, today was the best day I have had in a long time. When my alarm clock went off this morning I was dreading the 8am departure from my blankets. At least I didn’t have to work, right? Oh wait, I LOVE my job so that wouldn’t have been so bad! Anyways…

My friend and I decided to take some pictures with her semi-new camera so that she can test her eye in photography. We visited St. Nazianz, a short drive with a long history…our first thrift shop stop of the day. *Ques Macklemoore – or whatever his name is* St Nazianz has an old, abandoned Catholic school, and many buildings that once upon a time catered to the use of the Catholic school. With the help of a developing thrift shop, the community is attempting to raise money to restore the historic church, school and surrounding buildings. But until the buildings are restored, there is no admittance into any of the buildings other than the church, so you can see our disappointment when we asked the owner to take photos in her asbestos caked landmarks. She granted us full permission to have our fun around the buildings, so we did. Thrift Shop Stop Report no.1: We departed with a stuffed penguin, a unicorn pillow pet, a Simpson’s puzzle…more puzzles and whatever else Nikki bought that I didn’t actually take notice of.

Even though we weren’t allowed into the buildings, we found remarkable structures, stain glass windows, art and things I could only describe as a broken-”what-is-that”. Most people would not consider a couple hours spent kicking glass a good time, but the day got better. After our departure from St. Nazianz, we traveled to my friend’s house so she could pick up her laptop to upload our images. On our way, we stopped at a consignment shop AND another thrift shop, which thankfully, between the two, only concluded in a couple dollars spend by Nikki on some vinyls she will end up burning.

After picking up the computer, we continued to the gas station nearest my house, and made yet another stop at a rummage sale. I really didn’t want to go, but my friend insisted she sells purses at a reasonable price. Not that I cared at first, since “cheap” and “designer” still end up being hundreds of dollars. To our amazement, we approached the rummage sale and were informed that the rack of brand new purses in her driveway were on clearance for $10, exceeding the slashed $48 rummage sale price. After minimal discussion, we left with two new purses and were greeted by a small kitten when leaving. Like a cherry on a sundae…a purring kitten AND a new purse. What is a girl to do?!

So then we continued to the gas station near my house to get money out, grab Subway and head home. When I arrived at the Kwik Trip nearest to my house, I accidentally pressed the wrong cash amount when selecting a withdrawl amount. To my surprise, yet again, the ATM spat out the sum I requested in error, when I didn’t think I even had that amount available. Not only did it hand out above and beyond what I thought I had, but my balance noted I had a $3 comfort left in my account! SCORE! In a victory lap, we pulled into the Wal Mart parking lot just as a car was leaving the front space – not so uncommon, I know, but sometimes its the small things. We proceeded to order Subway sandwiches inside, when we were informed at the cash register our orders would be free since their system had unexpectedly shut down. Free Subway?!! YES!! Best day ever. Free Subway for my boyfriend, Nikki and myself. We went home, informed my boyfriend of our incredible day, shared a visit with my mom and ate. Nikki went to work shortly after and I left for Appleton with my boyfriend. My day continues…

After two thrift shop stops, a rummage sale and a consignment stop, my boyfriend and I stopped at another consignment shop looking for some odd things we’d been meaning to look for. We found more than what we had been looking for at BumblePuppy, and I even found some unique steam punk buttons I will be using for a photo shoot next month. Our trip concluded at Michael’s, a craft store similar to Hobby Lobby, where I bought a new professional portfolio to fit inside the leather carrying case I picked up at BumblePuppy. There was an additional item I picked up for the “Not in Kansas” steam punk event next month in Chiton, WI., but I’ll just let you guys see my wardrobe selections when I post the images.

I wanted to share my incredibly awesome day with you guys! I will have pictures to post soon of the mini shoots I’ve been doing with my friend, Nichole. She is a photography hobbyist who is learning the tricks of the trade. I know pictures speak more than words, so I’ll post my findings from today in a later post with photos from my time with Nikki. Hopefully, my excellent day will encourage someone who didn’t have such a good day, or at least provide an amusing form of entertainment for those of you who think this had to have been a fabricated tale. Tomorrow will also be a very fun day, as I’m spending the morning with Nikki again and attending a wedding with my boyfriend, but it will also have it’s cons. Tomorrow is the last day the Appleton Ragstock will remain in business. They are closing their doors for now until relocating is possible. Please pray for the lost jobs of those involved, and the decision making process of the corporate staff.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out my page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/DeAnna-McNeil/417710908265565

Making Life Easier

Posted: 10th May 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

Lately, I have read multiple blog posts regarding what a model should carry in her bag. Until now, my thinking has always been along the lines of simplicity in my daily life, which would seem realistic. However, my view has changed as I have began to realize that I need to make things easier for myself when I don’t have the extra time to spare. So obvious, right!?

On a usual day, I can wake up when I please, make any phone calls within normal business hours and send emails at any hour of the night, knowing they will be addressed the following business day. On a usual day, I may run to the store, go out to run errands, eat on the go or have a date with Brian. On these “usual days”, I have my own schedule where very few things such as appointments or meetings have a hard schedule, and I can take my time doing my makeup routine. Working days are another story.

On a day where I have a photo shoot, promotional appearance, rehearsal, show or a combination of these things, I am in a rush most of the day. When my day begins, I like to have all of my makeup in the drawer conveniently located under my bedroom mirror. When all of my makeup is there, my morning flows and I can easily complete my look for the day, utilizing the four-way lights and shelves that hold most of my products. After I do my makeup for a day of work, I struggle to recall all the products I will need for the day. After I have my favorite products gathered, I feel like I could recreate an appropriate look for the day if I would need to reapply anything, such as mascara ruined by the rain or lipstick smudged by a water bottle. I don’t always take the exact shade or the same brand that I applied in the morning, but something similar has always worked.

When reading about what models consider essential products to always keep in their bag, I changed my thinking. If I am keeping things in one spot for the convenience of when I have time to locate ‘various tools in different cases’, like my boyfriend says; I should relocate my items to make things easier for when I don’t have the time. From this day on I will have my go-see bag packed and ready to go. No more late nights spent frivolously packing, hoping to get it all the next morning. It is easier to spend two minutes on my days off picking my daily essentials out of the model bag next to my bedroom dresser to get ready, instead of throwing my products in a bag for a long day of work where my job is looking my best.

At home, I also try to give my skin and hair a break. As gross as it sounds, I try to only wash my hair a couple times a week in order to let the natural oils reach the ends of my hair. The products in my bag are coordinated with my routine of creating a natural look, which is always the best choice when making a first impression in the industry. Having my go-to bag finished is a good reminder for me to try using mostly those makeup products when I am at home, also. The products in my bag are as follows:

1. Clipboard: This particular clipboard opens to store writing utensils and paperwork inside. Tomorrow I will doing an Axe promotional event, which allows me to store all my necessary paperwork without creasing the edges of my time sheet or wrinkling my training manual on accident. Inside I have also stored a portable calendar for reference of my schedule on the job.

2. Makeup Bag: Inside I have included concealer (Maybelline), powder (Covergirl), a light liquid foundation (Almay), moisturizer (Gold Bond), lip balm in clear and soft pink (Nivea), water-proof mascara (Rimmel London), makeup remover (Maybelline), facial pads and Q-tips, liquid primer and bronzer (Hard Candy), compact (Estee Lauder), lipstick and a soft colored gloss with matching lip liner(Mary Kay). This seems like a lot, but I included products that are in smaller, flat bottles, or found in travel sizes. Everything is a basic makeup product, and I excluded tools such as an eyelash curler or brushes that would add too much extra.

3. Dial Lotion: Non scented, for sensitive skin. Used in travel bottle.

4. Secret Deodorant: Often times I leave the house for fittings not wearing deodorant because clients do not want to see marks on their clothing. It makes it easier to quickly slip in and out of the clothing without ruining them. It is an essential item I always need to carry.

5. Sunscreen: I use Coppertone Sport High Performance so my skin has the ultimate protection. Try to find the best SPF possible. Your skin will thank you. Being burned is uncomfortable and it damages your skin, making the aging process much harsher, I hear.

6. Perfume: Sweet Pea from Bath and Body Works (travel size $5)

7. Sunglasses: Your choice!

8. Travel box: Includes Tums, Midol, cough drops, hair ties, bobby pins, nail file, contact case, elastic headband.

9. Kleenex: You never know..

10. Comb or brush: You’ll thank yourself later.

11: Anything else you need that is personal. Contact Solution(travel size)/Glasses/Case: At the end of the day, my eyes are dry from contacts and they need a rest. So many times I have left the house without cases and had to ‘deal with it’ for a multiple hour car ride home from an event. ESSENTIAL for contact users. I also just began bringing my inhaler because of my asthma. Bring things you would need to be comfortable on a daily basis. This would include an extra pair of walking shoes, because heels are not comfortable and you’ll wish you had something different to leave the venue in.

Lav-endure and Grape Vine

Posted: 18th April 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

Hi everyone!

Yet again we are entering the early hours of the morning, which usually turns out to be the most productive hours of my day. Last night followed the pattern of the preceding nights, where I got very little sleep due to my recent insomnia (or as I like to call it, “something like it”).

Today, or as some like to call it…yesterday- I was surprised by my mom inviting me out to lunch and buying me a Baby Lips lip balm as well as a bottle of Covergirl’s Outlast Stay Brilliant. After my recent raves over Maybelline’s Baby Lips product she’d decided to try one for herself in addition to generously purchasing one for me to add to my now four strong collection of Baby Lips. My previous product review says enough, but my lips were chapped and bleeding when we were eating lunch; and in a matter of thirty minutes after applying the product my dry skin was peeling away to reveal the softer, healthier skin underneath. This time around my pick was Grape Vine (20) and my mom, who opts for softer, more natural shades, chose Peach Kiss (30). Both are made with aloe leaf extract and vitamin E. This is definitely one of those products that I try to keep spread out around my house. One is kept in my purse, jacket or pants pocket (especially in cold weather or long periods spent away from home) so it is with me most of the time. I also try to keep one in my makeup drawer because it can be used to create a natural look as well as a glamorous look. When using it to create a glamorous look I try to use Baby Lips as a base coat on my lips. This helps the top product glide smoothly over my lips and prevent the product from caking in my natural lip creases. Without too much more on this product, I’d like to conclude that its an ultimate go to product. It works while I sleep to transform my lips overnight and it increases the fullness of my lips to truly make my skin photo shoot ready.You can purchase any shade of Baby Lips here, or at most local convenience centers.



On to the exciting, new product of the day…. Covergirl’s Outlast Stay Brilliant nail polish. While shopping after lunch my mom invited me to pick out a color for myself because she had a coupon for $3 off when buying 2. She picked up “Peaches and Cream” after pondering over a darker coral hue and I picked “lav-endure” after drooling over pastel nail products for months now. Upon applying this particular product I was impressed by the integrity of the color. The polish actually looked opaque after all of my nails were done, and only a couple nails needed a second coat due to my lack of consistency. I’m definitely giving it a thumbs up. It was well worth the price, even without the coupon since they’re only $4 each. There are 45 high gloss colors to choose from, and some even have a fine shimmer to them. I purchased mine at Wal-Mart, but you can view product information or purchase them at http://www.covergirl.com/. So far I’m liking the sincerity of the Covergirl “go topless” ads. No top coat is needed and there is still a finished, glossy look to each nail.

UPDATE: After 7 days of wear my nails look practically the same! I’m not even going to post a picture because it looks mostly like day 1 from below. There are minor chips on the edges from my nasty lip picking habit. There is also a line where the paint has broken from the cuticle. I’m going to push down my cuticles and reapply so there is a straight, neat line across the bottom of my nails. This product does not disappoint.

Spring Duo

Posted: 17th April 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

The increasingly popular trend of Spring 2013 is the coral/mint duo that has left its traces in shopping malls across the country. For just three months, stores will be featuring thousands of outfits incorporating the two colors and by the time summer hits, everyone will have moved on to the dreamy cream colors stamped with lace. So much lace.

Not proud, I will admit I liked the mint/coral combo – at first. On a trip to Milwaukee for a runway casting my boyfriend and I stopped at Wet Seal in the Mayfair Mall where I proceeded to max out my debit card during their “Buy one, get one for a penny” sale. In Wet Seal that day, some of the mint and coral trends were already threaded into their penny sale. I bought a black and mint striped sweater, which I’m guessing didn’t sell because everyone is welcoming the spring/summer wardrobe anticipations and long sleeves aren’t an item people are awaiting. Although I have a lot of clothes, I almost always follow my rule of not making a purchase unless the item is on sale. My rule varies by the item, for example, I can’t say no to $5 sunglasses just because they’re not “on sale”. Nor will I give into buying a $80 dress because it says “clearance”, but you get the jist.  After a lot of thought and guilt I gave into buying some items from Wet Seal that day. With the purchase of the sweater I also bought a pair of black and tan shorts and a mint dress.

Along with my new buys, I stopped in various stores to try and find some thigh high leggings in a creme or white color. Unsuccessful, I found the next best thing in Forever 21. Sometimes I stop in my local Forever 21 and browse, but before this day I’d never made a purchase. Luckily, this location had thigh high creme tights as well as pastel pink open work tights that would go perfectly with many things I already owned as well as my fresh buys. The photo to the right is the mint dress as well as the open work tights. Below are the creme thigh highs in a snapshot I took for my modeling page.

Daily Stuff

Posted: 16th April 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

Today I did things a bit differently than I usually do when getting ready for the day. The first thing was applying a bold eyeliner and the second thing was wearing a headband. For the sake of whats more interesting, I’m only going to talk about the first thing today. For the longest time I’ve been using a liquid eyeliner on only the top lid of my eye. Maybe it has something to do with deciding that I probably wore too much eyeliner in middle school, but recently I haven’t been using regular eyeliner at all. I began my makeup routine with the intentions of making a crisp, dark look with my glitter liner that went along the top and bottom lash line. One thing I wish I could change about myself is the multiple wrinkles under my eyes. This is probably something that middle aged, female bloggers write about; but you heard it here, I’m eighteen and I was born with under eye wrinkles. This becomes a problem when wearing and applying my makeup. ANY type of makeup I wear tends to sit in my eye creases and make me look incredibly old and tired. So before I even began applying this look I had my Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover and a Q-tip at hand. Since my eyeliner was going to be applied generously, I used white eye shadow as a base for the lid and added some tan eye shadow to the outer areas of the eyelid to accentuate natural contouring. This gives the rest of the eye a natural look that softens the overall appearance.

There are many opinions on whether eyeliner should be applied inside the lash line near the eye, directly on the lash line or as close to the outside of the lash line as possible. I find that my liner will clump if I get too close to the lash line on the outside or directly on it, but I’m also aware that wearing it too close to your eye can create an infection, irritation or just wash off due to your eye’s natural cleansing routine. Also, you need a very soft liner to apply directly next to the eye because harder pencils will not rub off evenly. For this particular look I tried to apply the liner just below the lash line, staying as close as possible. Then I took a sponge tip makeup applicator to smudge black eye shadow over the line I’d made on the top and bottom lid. This helped to get rid of the tiny clumps that accumulated around the lash line as well as getting a crisp, black line.

After that, I curled my lashes and applied Maybelline New York’s Colossal Volume Express with a simple gloss. Since my eyes were bold, I wanted to make the lips look simple so the overall appearance doesn’t look caked or clown-like.

The Red Shirt Project

Posted: 9th April 2013 by DeAnna McNeil in Fashion/Beauty

Generally, I tend to spend my nights not sewing, but not tonight! It’s after 1 a.m. and I have finally finished a shirt I’ve been working on since about 9:30 p.m. Why did this take so long? Because I had no idea what I was going to do with a red Christmas turtleneck and I changed my plan about 107 times throughout the process. So here it is…

I started with a Christmas turtleneck that I have no intentions of wearing. I’m SUPER far behind on all of my “sewing projects”; otherwise known as clothes I don’t wear, yet refuse to get rid of. I began by cutting off the turtleneck portion, of course, because whatever I was going to do with this shirt wasn’t going to end with that thing still attached. 

Next came the sleeves. I cut them at an angle so the longer portion would be at the top of the arm. The other day I saw a shirt at work I was tempted to buy, but since I’m poor it inspired me to make my own version. To do that I simply cut a slit at the top of each sleeve, lengthwise, long enough to go from the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the elbow (not past). The sleeves of the original shirt I wanted to buy had ties at the bottom of the slit where the sleeve ended. I left some extra length in the sleeves past the slit to bunch the material in the tied portion. Instead of using the sleeve’s material to make the tie, I decided to use some of the cuff material so the bottom of the sleeves were left baggy. If you’re trying to recreate your own, be sure to cut off the seam or the loose ends won’t thin out towards the bottom due to the thick fabric build up.

After this step I wasted some time by sewing a neckline to the shirt instead of leaving it freshly cut. Later, I decided I had enough of trying to sew without a seam ripper (which is at my mom’s house) and I cut the neckline lower to get rid of my puckered attempt at a finished edge. Since the neckline was now lower, I had the idea of giving the shirt a scooped back with a corset styled lace on the lower back portion of the shirt. With the unfinished edges, the shirt had a grunge appeal that would work well with the direction I was headed. Since I have no idea how to cut a swoop back, I later decided on turning the entire shirt around to make a cardigan. This immediately made me feel better about ditching the neckline I’d spent so much time on. 

Utilizing the zipper from an American Eagle hoodie I got for free, (due to the fact that the zipper didn’t work) I sewed the raw edges onto the zipper’s edges. I left some the raw edges as they were because I started to like the homemade look I was getting, and I figured it’d be a waste to spend time making it look nice when I prefer the edge it has now.

After the zipper was sewn onto both sides of the shirt, I began cutting holes on either side of the zipper edges. Six holes on each side was what I ended up making, but do whatever you think looks awesome. This particular shirt still has plenty of room to go all the way to the bottom of the shirt, or up farther towards the chest area.