As you may or may not know, I recently rebranded, well… this whole thing.  I switched over the website, the social media handles, the hashtags… all of it!

Changing my hair color to match whatever madness I have brewing inside me was the final shove I needed to admit to myself that it was time for a change. 

I finally put “Amaranthine” to rest, and, in turn, awakened “Blood Spice”.

marketing
Rebranding Instagram post on @QueenBloodSpice, posted on May 4th, 2018. Since posting this, the website address has been switched over to www.bloodspice.com.

The rebranding announcement Instagram post from May 4th says,

“It’s a #newhaircolor! And it’s inspired me to change things up a bit around here. Ami Amaranthine is now a distant memory — I’ve gone the way of #BloodSpice. Life changes, and we change with it; there’s no point resisting that. While the Amaranthine vibes treated me wonderfully, I’ve outgrown them. I’ll always remember them fondly, but now it’s all about Blood Spice. 
The website link will remain the same until further notice (link is in my bio), but I’ll be plastered across here, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook as @QueenBloodSpice
Thank you again to all of my phenomenal #followers, old and new, for the support. Betting on yourself can be hard, but you guys make it so much easier. Xoxoxo. 💘”

The website is no longer under the www.amaranthine.blog address.  It has now been switched over to www.bloodspice.com.  

The inspiration for “Blood Spice” is kind of funny.  I’d mentioned a few days ago that gingers should proudly own the phrase “Pumpkin Spice” to describe themselves.

Understandably, after taking on a red ombre, I was asked if I, myself, was now “Pumpkin Spice”.  I laughed, considered my rather dark red hair, and responded with, “More like Blood Spice.”

And that was it – the angel choir sung, and, just like that, “Blood Spice” was my new direction (yeah, I’m sure the angels totally approve of it).

“Blood Spice” is more than just a hair color – it’s a description of the type of person I am and, in turn, the type of genuine content I want to create for you guys.

“Amaranthine” felt [almost] right when I came up with it – it expressed a type of faded, grunged out feeling in hues of red.  That’s the person I was for a while there.  But even back then, something in me knew it couldn’t last and, sure enough, I grew out of it.  I’m ever grateful to my “Amaranthine” brand and will always remember it fondly, but I finally had to let her go. 

Lately, that feeling of outgrowing my “clothes” has been gnawing at me with added vigor.  I’ve continuously shrugged it off, convinced that rebranding would be “irresponsible” marketing.

rebrand 3But what’s the point of sticking with a brand that you don’t feel any real connection to anymore?  Like, why bother?  I got to the point where I was just going through the movements, ending each Instagram post with a forced “#Amaranthine”, but I was hardly even convincing myself… let alone you guys.  I read this separation between myself and my brand clear as day in my SEO and in my performance stats.

It wasn’t healthy.

Then came “Blood Spice”.  And I just knew it truly captured my love for the dark, for the gothic, while also embracing my inner fieriness

That right there is what I really want to be sharing with you guys.

I stop resisting.  And that, in itself, was truer to my brand than dragging something out that had stopped working months ago.

Why is that?  Well, apparently there’s a little blurb in this website’s “About” section that mentions the actual meaning of my personal brand – it’s not just about all things “Amaranthine”, nor was it ever.

marketing
Taken from the “About” section of this website, www.bloodspice.com.

The “About” section snippet says,

“This blog and its corresponding photography are living and breathing organisms which wholly embrace concepts of unpredictability, explorationshape-shiftingand drastic change… where appropriate.  Still, the primary objectives always remain the same: the pursuits of knowledge and personal growth.”

I wrote that a while back, and I’m so glad I did.  It was the reminder I needed to know that it’s okay for me to grow, and that it’s fine for my brand to adjust accordingly as long as it’s with purpose, necessity, and integrity.

Don’t let anyone tell you that rebranding is “irresponsible” Just do it infrequently, swiftly, cleanly, and clearly – make sure your followers know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and try to wrap up the transition soon after commencing it. 

Once your new and revised brand is made public, everything else you do regarding the shift should follow immediately – this will reduce confusion, maintain follower loyalty, and possibly even increase interest among people previously unaware or uninterested in your brand.

marketing strategyOf course, this doesn’t mean I’m encouraging you to switch things up every single time you have a cool idea.

Rebranding should happen very rarely, and only when truly necessary.  Always try to keep things as solid as you can – there’s no need to go changing your usernames, website links, profile pictures, hashtags, etc. every few weeks just because you’re bored.

Your brand is your foundation, your structure.  When it needs to be adjusted, do it quickly and efficiently… without destroying everything you’ve built on it.  Don’t go in there with the power tools unless you’re truly prepared.

Rebranding doesn’t mean you have to scrap everything – it just means that you have to make your changes and move forward.  It’s tough, but it’s worth it. 

When it comes to marketing and to life, don’t dwell on a sunset when you can prepare for your next sunrise instead. 

You got this. 💘

 

“Wait, that’s all drugstore makeup?! I don’t believe you.”

That’s the common, slightly disdainful, rather surprised-sounding question I frequently find directed at me by my stunning, Sephora-queen friends, accompanied by their utter disbelief.

The answer to their inquiry, 9 times out of 10, is YES! This is all drugstore makeup!

{Just to clarify, when I say “drugstore makeup”, I mean drugstore makeup and random stuff I find on Amazon at 2 o’clock in the morning.}

Don’t get me wrong – I dabble in Sephora every now and again.  I have some Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighter and lipstick, Laura Mercier contour powder and tinted moisturizer, Estee Lauder powder and eyeshadow, and, as of last week, MAC liquid lipstick.  Ipsy also drops off more makeup than I can actually use on a monthly basis (I am definitely not complaining, though).

Regardless, drugstore makeup is still my go-to.

It’s nice to feel fancy, whether that’s rarely, once in a while, or all the time.  That’s why I’m definitely not looking down on anyone who exclusively wears expensive, boujee makeup.  I understand that some people do it to mitigate the risk of skin problems, some do it because it feels good to get dolled up in the best of the best, and others do it for the passion they have for makeup.

I’m just here to let you all know about some of the cheaper, more easily accessible, extremely glamorous, high quality products I have rolling around in my cosmetics bag[s… thanks, Ipsy].

I actually entered a Sephora store for the first time in late 2016, and I think I’ve been in one about two times since.  Between that and the fact that my makeup arsenal has thrived off drugstore [and, more recently, Amazon] makeup since I was a 14 year old scene girl, it’s hardly shocking that my allegiance is mainly to the drugstore makeup aisles.

But I’m grateful that I entered the Sephora game pretty late and half-heartedly because I’ve found that beauty can be expensive, but it doesn’t always have to be.

Before I move into a discussion of my ride or die drugstore makeup items, I’d like to remind all of you that what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa — these are simply my recommendations and reviews.  We all look different from one another and have diverse make-up/skincare needs, so this definitely isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of a thing. 

For example, I’m a medium brown tone with some pretty dry skin.  My eyebrows and eyelashes are thick and jet black.  My lips are decently full, my eyes are large, and my jaws and cheekbones are atleast somewhat prominent.  My nose is a bit odd, and I truly have no clue what I’m supposed to do with it.  I don’t generally wear foundation or primer. 

With all of that being said, let’s get started.

(more…)

The saga of my MMA fight training continues.

And let me tell you — man, do I love fight training.  It’s been glorious so far, and I’ve enjoyed each new skill I’ve learned, each opportunity to drill the same thing over and over again for the sake of gradual [but sure] improvement, the whole blood/sweat/tears “ordeal”, personal fitness developments, learning new things about the human psych, and feeling better and better about myself along the way. 

Yes, I’m being serious — I really and truly do love all of these things (even the blood/sweat/tears part).

amaranthineBut MMA really is an all-in type of a thing.  I spend most of my day sweaty, frizzy, grungy, and sans makeup.  When I’m not training, I’m at home… being clean, grungy, and sans makeup; I’m not usually looking all that glamorous as I run the Instagram (@EyebrowsandRoses) and this very blog.  There was a time when you could find me spinning content from a cutesy coffee shop, decked out in winged eyeliner, liquid lipstick, and a well-planned outfit, but those days are now a distant memory.

Fight training has affected me, a fashion and beauty blogger, in those very two departments: fashion and beauty.  In fact, when I started training, I kept joking that I was “sacrificing” them to do MMA.  

But now, I realize that what was originally a bunch of [hardly reluctant] “sacrifices” has shape-shifted into a new type of aesthetic altogether.  It’s not sacrifice — it’s change.  (more…)

“So, tell me… what’s your trick to losing all that weight?”

“Just between you and me, how did you really lose so much weight?”

These are the types of questions I get pretty often these days [ever since I successfully dropped the many, many pounds I accumulated in my final few semesters of college and dropped 10 pant sizes]. 

amaranthineAside from a few close, loved ones, I’ve basically stopped trying to answer these inquiries because no one really likes what I have to say.  My response to these questions usually revolves around words like “discipline”, “hard-work”, “exercise”, “clean eating”, “patience”, and “accountability”.  

Needless to say, this isn’t what most of the people sliding into my DMs want to hear.  A lot of people want “easy” and “glamorous” – they want one of those magical pills or mysterious fruits that you see splashed all over Twitter by popular accounts.  I honestly can’t blame them; life is busy, and we all have some tedious responsibilities on our shoulders.  It’s not easy to add a weight loss journey into an already saturated, tiring schedule.   

(more…)

We’ve all seen those stunning pin-up girls of the past – they were all the rage throughout that 1940s-1960s era, especially in the United States.

If you Google “pin-up girls”, you’ll find that almost all of the names that come up belong to the classics: Bettie Page, Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield, Hedy Lamarr, etc.

However, one name stands out: Dita Von Teese.

amaranthine

For starters, some of you may be wondering who Dita Von Teese is and what she actually does.  Don’t worry – we’ll get to that.

However, since Google has gone ahead and thrown the present-day star, Dita Von Teese, in with all of the old school, original pin-up girls, we have to delve a bit deeper.  Dita’s appearance on this list raises questions.

What is a pin-up girl?  Can full-on pin-up girls be alternative, or are they limited to glamour?  Is Dita Von Teese a pin-up girl if she models and performs in the present-day with an alternative edge?  What is a SuicideGirl?  Is Dita Von Teese actually a SuicideGirl? And, most importantly, what’s the difference between a pin-up girl and a SuicideGirl?

Let’s get these questions answered.

(more…)

If there’s anything I can really stick to my guns about, it’s the fact that fashion in the 2000s was a complete and utter disaster.

In fact, the best thing that ever happened to us was the arrival of the 2010s, which quickly made up for the agony we unknowingly endured throughout the previous decade.

amaranthine

Here’s a list of the biggest fashion errors of the 2000s.  Read them, know them, and never live them.


1. Chains

Unless you’re an assassin, you definitely don’t need heavy, silver chains hanging down from every pair of pants you decide to wear.

Chains aren’t as punk rock as we once thought they were – they’re just heavy and out of place.  Let’s be grateful for the fact that folks these days wear normal belts instead of ones that swing all over the place [and possibly even break stuff] when they head bang.

2. Pajama pants

amaranthine

What’s worse than the chains mentioned above?  You guessed it – those chains hanging down from flannel pajama pants… in public.

But, to be fair, pajama pants become pretty bad on their own the minute you leave the house in them.  They don’t really need chains to make them obnoxious – but the trendsetters of the 2000s decided to go that extra mile anyways, and we all suffered for it.

3. Ankle-length denim skirts

Remember those super long denim skirts everyone used to wear?  They were frequently even paired with platform flip flops [since apparently the 2000s had no concept of fashion sanity].

On top of being chunky denim ankle-length skirts, some of them even had a maneuver at the bottom, where you could pull on some strings and scrunch up the skirt a bit (YIKES).

4. Fedoras

amaranthine

Fedoras looked good at one point in time, but as the world moves forward, fashion should too.

Eventually, the modern-day grew too modern for fedoras – yet, they remained.

People wore fedoras as legitimate parts of their outfits on a daily basis, and these folks weren’t even pop stars who were embracing a type of fashion irony.  They actually took fedoras seriously.

Luckily, fedoras move through the air kind of like Frisbees – if you see one, just send it spiraling through the air back into the time machine [where it belongs].

 

5. Layered tank tops

No one really knows whose idea layering tank tops was, and that person is too ashamed to fess up to the absurd trend they started.

As they hide in shame, the victims of 2000s fashion are stuck digging up old pictures of themselves wearing two or more tank tops at one given time (though, if we’re being honest, two tank tops alone were considered weak back then).

Worse yet, these many tank tops [with their many, many corresponding straps] were frequently paired with those dreaded, ankle-length denim skirts.

Ugh, the horror.


amaranthine

On top of all of these fashion disasters, there were some serious beauty ones as well – don’t even get me started on the tiger-stripe highlights and over-tweezed eyebrows which were the epitomes of the 2000s.

All we can do now is burn our old photos from the 2000s, be grateful for the fashion sanity of the 2010s, and swear to never make those same mistakes again.

#Amaranthine


Photo Credits

Seoul’s celebrated Bajowoo absolutely slayed 99%IS’s Spring 2018 collection.

In fact, he went full metal with it – the runway debut of the collection absolutely screams rebellion, and Vogue even went so far as to describe the corresponding photo shoot as “the most sublime, subversive fashion shoot in Seoul”.

As usual, Vogue is not wrong.

amaranthine

The collection in itself is splendid – its essence is mainly that of insubordinate minimalism.  There were a few exceptions, but the overall vibe of the line is steely, serious, and nearly extraterrestrial.

amaranthine

Bajowoo spared no resources when it came to metallics and gloss, but played a different game with his color palette – other than a few vivid reds and a blue/pink ensemble, the color scheme was very reserved and stuck to neutral and near-neutral shades.

The accessories were also nothing short of quirky and otherworldly.  Some of the models wore masks, hoods, and hats that nearly concealed their faces; others were decorated in thin glow lights on their heads, necks, and/or torsos.

amaranthine

The style here is extraordinarily high fashion dark grunge, as made obvious by the black tarp floor used in Boon the Shop’s basement for the runway show.

amaranthine

Furthermore, the boutique’s architectural style made yet another declaration for the collection – designed by Peter Marino, the exterior of the building is a classic, establishment-friendly white marble.  However, the basement, where the runway show took place, consists of incomplete columns and rough concrete.  From the inside out, Boon the Shop was the perfect setting for the live action production of Bajowoo’s collection.

amaranthine

Bajowoo has, once again, revealed how shocking the product of classic apparel renovation can be – this is a creative talent that the fashion industry will never grow wary of.

10-99-percent-runway

Ethereal, ground-breaking, and unremorseful, Bajowoo’s 99%IS Spring 2018 collection is a reminder to us all to say what we mean and mean what we say.

Most importantly, it reminds us to never apologize for being punk rock.

#Amaranthine


Photo credits

Features Image: 99%IS

First Image: 99%IS

Second Image: 99%IS

Third Image: Vogue

Fourth Image: 99%IS

Fifth Image: Vogue

Sixth Image: 99%IS

 

 

 

Trends are tough, and there are so many questions that come with them.

When do you follow the trends?  When should you make the investment in them?  How do you know how long they’ll last?

Unless you’re knee-deep in the fashion world, identifying and keeping up with the trends can be extremely difficult (although it’s not always a cake walk when you’re a fashion blogger either).  There’s so many of them, and they’re all always growing, diminishing, and going in and out of style at varying rates.

emma watson burberry

These are tricky waters to navigate, but they are perfectly manageable. That’s why this entry exists: to help you determine when you should get involved with what’s on-trend and when you should just take a hard pass.


When it’s a practical fit for your lifestyle

As I frequently emphasize, fashion that makes you feel awkward or out of place never works.  That’s why you should never follow a trend if it doesn’t fit into your lifestyle.

Is your dark hair feeling pretty dried out and seems like it needs some serious moisturizing attention?  Then you’ll probably be doing it a great injustice by leaping across the color spectrum to dye it silver.

Are you a corporate CEO who basically lives in suits?  Then daily sportswear streetstyle probably won’t have the opportunity to play a big role in your life.  Consider letting it go.

Never force yourself to wear anything that isn’t practical for you.

 

When it’s affordable

amaranthine

We can’t break the bank every time something new comes into style – we’d be consistently broke, and we’d probably need to invest even more cash in public storage space.

Furthermore, fashion should never be pushed where it’s not affordable.  Just because a designer has some new, expensive piece out doesn’t mean that you are expected to buy it.  If your piggy-bank seems nervous, don’t bust out the big bucks for a trend that’ll be over in about two months.  You may end up regretting it.

If you do want to spend that money and you’re not sure if you should, ask yourself if this the trend you’re about to invest it seems like it’ll survive for atleast a year. The main indicator of trend longevity is usually that the look is gloriously simple, yet stunningly sleek – no one will be too quick to toss anything like that to the wayside, especially in the current fashion climate.

 

When you actually dig the trend

Don’t wear it if you don’t love it – it’s that simple.

Only bother with the trends you crave.  Trends aren’t mandatory, so why treat them as such?  You’re wasting your time if you try to make high fashion happy. 

Fashion works for you  – it’s not the other way around.  Let it make you content.

 

When it supplements your confidence

amaranthine

I’ve stressed this before, and I’ll continue to do so: nothing is more fashionable than confidence.  If your outfit doesn’t give you that, then it has to go.

Trends must abide by the same rule – if it doesn’t breed confidence, then don’t become invested in it. 

Remember: fashion isn’t enjoyable if you’re not loving what you’re rocking.

 

When what’s in style positively influences you

If the trend inspires you in any way, whether that’s regarding your fashion sense or even your approach to the day ahead, it’s a keeper.

Fashion should always add something positive to your life – if what you’re wearing is failing to do that, then there’s no point in bothering with it.  You call the shots; fashion is just there to encourage you.


amaranthine

If a trend just isn’t going to work for you, don’t stress out about it – there’s plenty of other trends to choose from, and there’s plenty more to come.  There’s something out there for everyone, so just be patient.

In the meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for what’s happening in the fashion world and what’s coming next.  If you’re ever not sure what to watch for, just check out what the trendiest stores have in stock and what fashion magazines have to say about the current styles.

Now, forgive me for the cheese, but remember that at the end of the day, the trendiest thing you can do is be yourself. 

Keep that in mind and you’ll always be on-trend.

Just in case I haven’t managed to make it clear by now, this blog absolutely adores all things velvet.

Amaranthine

That’s why, here in Amaranthine LandCharlotte Russe’s featured “Velvet Everything” collection is such a huge deal.  It’s everything that any velvet-lover could ever dream of [and then some].

amaranthine

I’ll be honest; I despised velvet when I was growing up.  But, when velvet made its recent comeback, it did so with such irresistible elegance that I finally had to embrace its beauty.

And so, now that I’m all hyped about velvet, I’m going to spread the holy word and tell you guys all about why Charlotte Russe’s “Velvet Everything” collection is pure fire.

(more…)