My morning skincare routine + WTF I’m doing to my face
 
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If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about go look at my latest IGTV!

So, I feel like skincare is a little confusing to people. I mean it’s also confusing to me too. There are so many products out there that it’s pretty impossible to even know what to put on your face. The products I’ve listed below are the ones that have been working pretty well for my skin. I still switch it up a little, but some are main staples (I’ll get to that later).

The real hero of the show are all the weird hand movements I’m making in this video. And it’s called facial massage! The Skinny Confidential can explain it waaaay better in her video here. Basically what you need to know is you are helping your lymphatic system drain it’s self better which reduces the puffiness of your face. The result is a slimmer and tighter face, who doesn’t want that?!

Also take a detailed notice at the way I do this to my eyes. I push the fluid toward my tear duct which drains all the puffiness out of your eyes. Seriously this is the only thing that has gotten rid of my under eye puffiness, which I used to have a lot of.

Try it out for yourself, all you need is an oil or moisturizer.


Why I'm Loving Body Suits Right Now
 
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In keeping with my new years resolution of trying to show the well rounded life of a graphic designer, I wanted to share a piece of clothing I’ve been loving recently.

And if you can’t tell from the title, it’s body suits!

women's winter fashion
women's winter fashion

There are so many reasons why I love them, but one of the main ones is that I don’t have to tuck in my shirt every. single. time. I go to the bathroom. Does that bug anyone else? It bothers me so much. Happy to not have to do that anymore. Also I love the look they give. It’s so clean and never baggy which is perf.

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I always thought of body suits as something classified under going out, but recently have seen them in a new light and wanted to share! I will link some of the one’s I have/want below {including the one in the picture above}.




Instagram Story Advertising Design Trends 2019
 
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Instagram is a huge advertising business these days. You see ads in your stories around every 3 people you scroll through. As designers, we have to stay current on what the competition is doing and what is popular in this space. I loved over the past month and a half putting together a list of these design trends so that you can just look through and be knowledgeable about the topic! Scroll through to see what trends are happening on Instagram stories today.

Instagram advertising trends - stories

Picture with text and “See more…” / Mimicking influencers stories 

For this trend. I’ve seen so many brands throw a photo on Instagram and put paragraphs of text. It almost mimics Instagram influencer’s stories and I think that’s the point. They want it to look more organic showing up between your stories so you are more likely to swipe up. As a designer, I don’t think it’s the most aesthetically pleasing, but if it’s the most effective way, then I would consider it.


A photo with layers and simple text

Here we see a lot of brands putting high quality photos with simple text. A few even add in more of a collage element that likely looks like their other digital advertising (i.e. email marketing and website designs). This is definitely a little more appealing of a trend and I would be curious to know if it is more/less effective.



GIF

A lot of brands are using GIFs in their advertising and not just video or photo.


Simple video with no words

{Sorry for the low usability here, I am limited with-how I upload videos on Squarespace}

All of the video advertising on stories that I have seen are all just simple videos of the clothing/products the company is promoting. A.K.A there isn’t someone talking in these stories. Also, as shown in the Cult Gia advertisement, they add in multiple videos in one to maximize the time allowed in the stories by showcasing more than one product.

I would love to know if anyone has seen any other trends, or if you have any thoughts about these?! Let’s discuss in the comments below.

How To Create An Effortless Style
 
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After the new year I really wanted to create a style for myself that I really loved and that was easy for me to put together everyday. I also wanted it to be consistent because I feel like before my style was all over the place.

I took some inspiration from Steve Jobs because he had so many decisions to make in a day and he talks about how he didn't really want his outfit to be a part of that. While I obviously love fashion and looking presentable, I didn't really wanted to be something that takes up all of my time and money. 

So I decided to create a style for myself that was accessible, fashion forward, and easy. Here’s how I did it.

Gather images:

I put together all the outfits and like inspiration that I had for style from my Pinterest. I will show you the document I used below:

how to create an effortless style

Similarities:

Then I tried to find all of the similarities between the outfits as well as look for key accessories that were used. I used that as the guideline for what types of pieces I would need in my wardrobe.

What to purchase:

I looked at what I had in my closet right now and what wasn’t. A lot of things I was able to use again, but some key things were missing. I would need which was more brown cream toned tops, gold accessories, and a lighter pair of jeans. So after I put that together I went online and found things that match that or I use Poshmark to find nicer pieces for less.

What I bought:

So the things that I bought were things like a black bodysuit, a white bodysuit, a cream mock neck sweater, a brown turtleneck, and a white turtleneck. So this along with a pair of dark wash jeans, medium wash jeans, and light jeans I now have endless options. 

I also recommend that you don't spend like a lot of money but that you edit down your closet. This is so that the pieces that you don't wear that much anymore are not something you have to sift through everyday to find what you want.

I hope that helps you find a style you LOVE and that is easy for you to wear everyday.






What I Want My Blog To Be In 2019
 
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As I was thinking about my New Year's resolutions I tried to picture what I would want my life to look like a year from now. I thought about how I feel now, January 5th 2019, and how I want to feel sitting in the same position January 5th 2020. 

I thought about how much of a process it's been for me to learn graphic design and figure everything out by myself by reading text books (yes really I read textbooks), watching thousands of videos online, and learning through trial and error. Then I thought about how I have no role model to look up to you and to learn from. I never had a mentor or anyone that could really offer me any advice on a career path in graphic design or offer criticism on what I'm doing wrong, etc. 

I’m only 23, so I have A LOT MORE to learn, but I want to take everything I've learned so far and put that out into the world. By sharing my stories, my trials, and how I've gone through for my career so far I hope to set an example for what not to do and what to do for the people who are younger than me and are trying to build a career in graphic design. 

I want to give a shout out to two people who have really influenced me through the years. One of them being Cassie Dulworth. She has no idea who I am, but she has really shown me how to create a holistic idea of design and how to be your own boss. She has shown me to believe in myself and my style and that you can make a career out of this.

In addition of Fabulous Fete has really influenced my style and shown me that you can make a career out of what you really love. She went through trial and error to create her hadn’t lettering style and I hope to do the same with my deign.

But when I think about it, there isn't really a person out there who's showing you the ups the downs how hard it really is to go through the creative process on a daily basis. So I want to share my knowledge and everything I’ve learned so far. I hope that it will help some young designers in 2019 and you all can watch me grow and learn. So be excited for content surrounding design. design trends, and advice. Think of me as the Carrie Bradshaw of graphic design. 

DesignSarah GrossComment
What I've Learned This Year As A Graphic Designer
 
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Well it's actually been such a long time since I've written a blog post and it's something that I've really been missing for a while. I wanted to start off the new year with a blog post about everything I've learned about graphic design from 2018. It wasn't exactly my favorite year, but I think I've learned a lot and I'm really excited to share my knowledge with you today. Let's just get into some of the lessons that I've learned this year.

Lesson 1 

Don't be offended by other people's criticism.

I think sometimes as a designer we have the tendency to really put our heart and soul into everything that we create. We spend a really long time on something and it sort of becomes your baby. Then when you have to present this work to a team, boss, or client you can get really down on yourself if they don't hundred percent like it.

One of the main things I've learned this year is that just because I put everything I have into something or I think that it is the best version that I can be, it doesn't always mean that the other person is going to think that. Their perception is always going to be different since they're a different person than you. I think it's really important you understand that you should not take their comments as a comment on if you're a good designer or not, but as a way to help them get what they want from you. After all, design is 90% subjective, so one person can love something you do and one person and hate it. 

Lesson 2

You are not an artist you are a defender of the user.

As someone who has been an artist their entire life, I love the creative process. But, going from creating art to being a graphic designer was a complete 180.  What drew me to graphic design was being able to make everything look better, but for a purpose and as a way to support myself in the "real world". What I didn't know was really how different graphic design and art are. Art is an expression of yourself of your interpretation of the world and it's completely personal and every decision is based off of what you think. For graphic design, you have an end goal and your design work has to meet this goal. Once you once you realize that graphic design isn’t supposed to be an expression of who you are it also makes it a lot easier to not take things personally like how I mentioned in my first lesson.  

Lesson 3

You can't please everyone. 

This one I'm sure you have heard so many times just about your everyday life and not even about graphic design, but I think it's probably one of the most important lessons that I've learned this year. I always thought that I need to be able to do everything to be desirable to a company/brand. What I've learned this year is that what you really need to do is focus on the things that bring you joy and that you think are great design. I think the main reason that I figured this out is through applying to jobs. I saw that some people really loved what I was doing and some people told me I needed to fix something. However, if I listened to their advice, someone else always ended up not liking it. So either way someone didn't like what I was doing and I compromised my opinion and thought on the subject matter. The moral of the story here is to do what you think is right and if you really trust someone else's opinion and do you agree with what they said then I would go ahead and follow their advice.

Lesson 4

Design is not a competition

I’ve seen a lot of competition among designers in just my year and a half as a designer. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in trying to be better than another person and let that rule your thoughts as you are designing. However, I feel like whenever I am designing in this midset that everything tends to become a competition and I always end up feeling bad about myself. I have learned to not compete, everyone is different, so there is no point in competing. Try to see your fellow designers as a resource for you to ask questions and to get advice from, not someone who you are trying to be better than. I swear you will learn so much more in the process and come out a better designer than before.


PIN IT!

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Making Your Own Winter Wreath
 
 

Not sure why I decided to make a winter wreath, but I’m so glad I did! I love how it turned out and that it’s exactly the way that I want it. It’s hard to find a cute wreath with the color scheme I like, so being able to pick everything that went into the wreath was so cool.

I want to share with y’all how I made it, so if you want to try too, you can! It’s pretty simple, but I will give you some tips/tricks that I learned along the way.

Step #1

Gather your supplies.

I chose different plants but all within the same shades, so it looked cohesive! (p.s. I didn’t end up using the lavender!) Make sure if you are buying this from Michael’s/Jo Annes that you use coupons! This saves you so much money.

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Step #2

Get the base down.

Figure out what flower is your base. I chose to use the flocked eucalyptus as my base as well as the regular version. Once I had these all cut into manageable pieces, I started with the flocked eucalyptus and evenly spreading it throughout the frame. It figured out it was easier to tie it down toward the middle and then bend the top and bottom to where I wanted it. Then, I would tie down the bottom of the stem and leave the top free.

*Note on the wire: I cut the wire pieces into 2 inch pieces and before I tried to use them as ties I bent them into more of a “c” shape, so it was easier to tie the stems to the wire wreath.

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Step #3

Add in decorative flowers.

Next, I took my more decorative flowers/plants to make the wreath look fuller. Once the base was in, I added 5 sprigs of the bunny’s tail and then the white berries. There wasn’t an exact science to where I added them, I just tried to make the wreath balanced on all sides. I tied down the bunny’s tail with wire, but the berries were too short to tie, so I just tried to snuggle them into the wreath enough so they wouldn’t fall out.

*Note on the flowers: The easiest flowers to use were the ones with wire in them, so next time I am definitely going to try to find flowers with wire throughout the entire piece. Makes it way easier to keep things in place.

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Step #4

Take a step back.

After you’ve added all of your pieces, I recommend hanging it on the wall and seeing if there are any spots that look more sparse than others or have more white than others. I found that one section needed more flocked eucalyptus, so I added that in there. Plus I had to mess around with some branches and bend them to the way I wanted them. This is the part that probably takes the longest because you are just bending and moving things until you like it.

And that’s it! It took me around an hour to put it all together, but it was also my first time ever doing this! I love the way it turned out too.


Pin it!

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This Weeks Moodboard & Color Story
 
 
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This week’s moodboard comes with a full color palette. When making a moodboard, I try to have balance in the proportions of everything, but also in the colors. I worked with complementary colors (blue & orange) this week, and wanted to show you how all of these colors work together in a color palette.

All of the background illustration is by me as well! I thought it added a little more texture to the overall board. Hope you love!

x Sarah


Image Sources: Audrey, record, house, person (instagram), background photo (Luis Domingo), lettering, cans, bowl.


 

Follow Us on Instagram: @sarahgrossdesign 



Blogger Branding: Sivan Ayla
 
 

As some of you may know, branding is my #1 love. It really makes me happy seeing beautiful branding in the form of packaging, business cards, Pinterest pages, you name it.

In the blogger world I’ve definitely seen some people take advantage of how they brand themselves, and Sivan Alya (@sivanalya) is the queen of this. I’ve recently started following her and have been captivated by how well she has branded herself.

I wanted to break it down and talk through some of the different things she does that WORK and work really well.

Created her own tagline

Her tagline “+ Lux Unfiltered” is seen almost everywhere that Sivan is associated. Insta bio, Pinterest page, and just in the way she acts and what she posts about. She’s really made it clear that she likes to make everyday life the best it can be and she’s never going to sugar coat it. It’s an interesting take on blogger branding because you see tag-lines used with large corporations and Sivan used that practice for her brand as well. Genius!

Created her own hashtags

She’s also added her own hashtags to her Insta bio. These are very Instagram specific, but are a very interesting way to create a sort of members only club atmosphere. It sucks you in as a reader because you want to know what #sivanin60seconds is and what it means.

Customizes each platform

As you saw in my first section her tag-line includes the “+” symbol. And she uses the EVERYWHERE. On her blog branding, Pinterest page, Insta bio, etc. She takes every platform she has and tries to customize it to her branding. And the + sign is one of the main ways that she does that. It’s almost like a sub logo that she uses to let people know that it’s her brand. Her website is unique, as well as the fonts she uses, and her images she pins to Pinterest. A lot of how she presents her self on each platform is carefully thought through, so it matches her style and brand to perfection.

Keeps it consistent

This is the age of practice of branding. If it’s not consistent in your logo, fonts, colors, attitude, etc. your audience is going to get confused. It’s okay to re-brand or change things here and there, but when you do, you have to make sure it’s consistent on every single page and I think she does a great job at that.

What branding do you all admire? Let me know so I can go stalk.

xoxo

Sarah


 

Follow Us on Instagram: @sarahgrossdesign 



Wish List: Fall Items I Want
 
 

It’s fall which means a wardrobe update! How cute are all of the items above? I love still having some long skirts and dresses in the fall paired with a sweater and sneakers to make them casual. PLUS I’m obsessed with mock neck and turtle necks right now. I feel like they are so chic and sophisticated.

Also let me just say that I’m OBSESSED with Yankee candles. They’re so underated. They last such a long time, they actually make your room smell good, and this scent is literally the scent of fall. Plus you can usually find them on sale at Marshalls, TJ Max, or Khols.

Also, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this hair accessories trend, since me wearing a headband makes me look like I’m 12, but this one looks so chic and easy to match with any outfit.

I’ve also tried the long coat on and it’s SO soft. It’s perfect for fall and easy to layer sweaters under neath.

Take a look at these items and let me know what you think below


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5 Wellness Habits I Need To Get Back Into
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I’m finally not feeling sick anymore (TG!!), but have still been feeling foggy headed/tired/overall just moody. I wasn’t exactly sure why, but knew in the back of my mind that there were definitely things that before getting sick I had been consistently doing and have clearly made a difference in my overall wellness.

So yesterday, I took time to notice all the things that I was doing differently and started implementing them back into my routine. I wanted to share these with you because they have really made such a difference in my life and in making me happier and more energetic. I love that I have this blog to share tips that I’ve learned and maybe to remind myself to listen to my own advice… I’ll go through them as you would throughout the day, so you can see where to incorporate them!

So anyway, here are my 5 wellness habit I need to start up again..

1: Wake Up Earlier

I think this one only applies if you are a morning person like me, but when I was sick I found myself sleeping in WAY later than usual. Then that habit carried over once I felt better because my body got used to it, and I hated it. Getting up earlier when everything is quiet and noone is trying to reach you makes me so so happy. Plus in NYC it’s almost quiet and I love that.

2: Drinking lemon water/coffee

While I know you’ve probably heard this one a billion times, I actually think it’s important, but maybe not for the reason you think. Taking 5 minutes to make the water, squeeze the lemon, and drink your little mixture creates a morning ritual which I feel helps slow down the whole morning and clear your head. I like to do lemon water AND coffee because I’m not that girl who is can survive without caffeine. I just think it’s important to take a second and chill before you think about schedules, goals, emails, etc.

3: Not looking at my phone the second I wake up

It feels like the norm is to always be on your phone now. I literally look at it the SECOND I wake up and for some reason that seems so wrong to me. I haven’t ever really been successful at not looking at it, but I want to really give it a real try. Maybe drink my morning coffee and open the blinds before checking this little rectangle. Anyone else feel that way? It’s so hard because you don’t even realize it until you’re doing it.

4: Working out 3 times a week

I actually NEVER EVER thought I would say this, but working out is starting to take a priority in my life. I feel like a poser even just saying that. I’ve never been into working out and still don’t exactly enjoy it, but it has helped my anxiety SO much. Even if that means going for a walk or doing BBG really slow, it still helps to get the endorphins going.

I think it never helped before because I wasn’t doing it consistently, but not I can see a HUGE difference in myself and BBG literally takes all the thought out of it. No gym, no planning, just 28 minutes 3 times a week.

5: Reading before bed

Yep, I’m clearly a grandma. Reading before bed is a way to disconnect and just focus on 1 thing. I mean how often do we get time to focus on ONE thing? NEVER. I could go on, but a Lauren Elizabeth explains it better here (go to 10mins in).

There ya have it!! All the habits I need to start doing again. Time go take my own advice and go drink my lemon water..