Style Profile: Alyssa Garrison

Ayssa Garrison is not your typical fashion and lifestyle blogger. She is a pastel loving, social-media savvy, trendsetter. And much more. She describes her style as "fun" and "fairytale meets urban life, sparkle magic meets the everyday". 

Alyssa has experienced many things when it comes to fashion such as working in the retail world, blogging, and working as a creative director for a handful of companies in her city. She has had her amazing blog, Random Acts of Pastel, for two whole years now!

I have followed Alyssa on Instagram and on her blog for just over a year now, and have been wanting to chat with her for a while about some of the amazing and fun things she has been able to accomplish and create through fashion and social media. I had the pleasure of getting to ask Alyssa a few questions via email. She is a super sweet girl with a very unique sense of style, that I really admire!

Read the full interview with Alyssa below, and also see the fun and whimsical photos she kindly let me use from her blog!



Mikayla:

How would you describe your personal style?

Alyssa:

Fun! I always like to play dress up when it comes to getting ready each day. Life is short- clothing should be exciting and make you feel happy! My style is always evolving, but in general it's sort of fairytale meets urban life, sparkle magic meets the everyday.  I like to play with colour, statement pieces; and novelty items (like my gold horse clutch purse or a glittery pair of sneakers!)

Mikayla:

Talk a bit more about how you landed your job (being a creative director for business' Instagram accounts) and also which companies do you work with?

Alyssa:

My boss came across my Instagram and emailed me right away to set up a meeting. He offered me a job on the spot, and I've been with the agency for just over 6 months! I'm basically a creative director for Instagram accounts, which is pretty cool. Some clients include @hermajestyspleasure and @littlefin, but they are always changing! 



Mikayla:

What other jobs have you had (in fashion or other) leading up to this job you have now? 

Alyssa:

I worked in retail for most of my life, which I loved and hated. I also did social media for small businesses in-house for awhile, and for years I wrote for an awesome indie fashion magazine called WORN fashion journal. All of these jobs added up to where I am today. 

Mikayla:

Where do you find your unique style inspiration?

Alyssa:

For the most part it comes from my own imagination, but I do follow a handful of babe's Instagram accounts that constantly give me ideas and inspiration. @christinawinkelmann, @jengotch, and basically the entire @shop.bando team are big players in my outfit inspiration game! 


Mikayla:

What are some tips or advice you would give to someone that wants to go into the fashion and media industry? 

Alyssa:

Do your own thing! There's no right or wrong way to get into this field. Personally I think internships and hands on experience are much much more valuable than school courses, but you have to find what works for you. 



Mikayla:

What made you decide you did not want to pursue journalism? What was your experience like in the journalism program you had taken, and what school was it at? 

Alyssa:

I went to journalism school at Ryerson University, and honestly I wish I'd just stuck to internships. The media world is so fast paced right now, and I think schools have a hard time keeping up with new trends and tech advancements. I learned a lot of outdated information, and not much about social media or marketing yourself, which are such important elements to a career in journalism these days. 

In the end I decided not to go into journalism because of all the censorship. Everything is so heavily edited and controlled by what will garner the most clicks and advertiser dollars, which means journalism isn't really all that creative or exciting anymore. I wanted to be my own boss, write what I liked to write, and actually make a difference. None of the jobs I saw my peers applying for really appealed to me, so I chose to go out on my own and create a new job! 



Mikayla:

How do you make your Instagram pictures so perfect?! Is there a trick or method you use to capturing such pretty pastel images? 

Alyssa:

No tricks! I actually just do a bit of brightening right in the app before I post and that's it. The key to a great Instagram is curation, and I am really hyper aware of that in my feed. Everywhere I go I am looking for pastel magic to snap photos of, which means I always have a bank of photos to use at any moment. I call it "pastel hunting". 

Mikayla:

What has been your most proud achievement in your blogging / fashion career? 

Alyssa:

I'm getting a city guide feature in the September issue of Fashion magazine this September, so that's pretty high up there! 



Mikayla:
What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to their readers? 
Alyssa:
Honesty. I'm so tired of reading blogs that sound the exact same and show nothing about real life. The best bloggers are those who open up and acknowledge all the crazy, hard, confusing and painful bits of life. 
Mikayla:
Are there other careers and/or hobbies you would like to explore in fashion and beauty towards the future? 
Alyssa:
I'd love to get into styling more, refine my photography skills, and one day turn my blog into a real life pastel shop!
{Photo of Alyssa's current Insta feed! You have got to follow this girl - @randomactsofpastel}

Photos from www.randomactsofpastel.com

© All content is my own. Feel free to use anything you would like, while giving proper credit. 
Thank you. 

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For more Fashion and Beauty Inspiration, follow me on Instagram @mikaylakuehn 
and/or
Subscribe to my YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/mikaylalak17 
NEW videos up EVERY Friday!

Style Profile: Courtney Connolly

Meet Courtney.
Courtney Connolly is a beauty blogger with much passion and love for what she does. She went to George Brown College in the School of Fashion Studies and took a double course of Fashion Design and Fashion Business Communications. She left in her second year after an illness, which is what got her to start blogging. She took to her computer to start building her beauty blogging empire.
Courtney started her blog "La Belle Sirene" in March of 2014. She states that her blog is intended to be a piece of her. "I like to think of it as a best friend to my readers." "I focus on educating my readers and giving out honest information so they can brave the aisles of the drugstore with confidence." She focuses a lot on self acceptance through the posts in her blog, and she wants her blog to be a relateable source for readers. 
This beauty blogger has been working on some other side projects as well to go along with her blog, that I am sure you will love! Follow Courtney's journey through her blog, or Instagram. (PS. Courtney's feed is beautiful and worth the follow!)
Read below my full interview with this gorgeous girl below!

Mikayla:
Where did the passion for makeup and beauty products come from? Has it always been something you loved? 
Courtney:
I have loved beauty for as long as I can possibly remember. To be honest, I can't think of a time when I didn't have a bright lip on even as a very young girl. I grew up quite close to my grandma and she was one of those women who always looked completely pulled together and sophisticated and never left the house without a touch of lipstick. I'm not sure if she was the spark that ignited my love for makeup but I can definitely remember watching her, fascinated by how beautiful she looked. As I grew up, she taught me everything she could about makeup and skincare and I have no doubt that she was a huge influence on who I am today. Apart from my grandma, I was always drawn to the makeup displays in the drugstore and I had a bad habit of wandering away to look at the Bonnebelle display while my mom searched for me on the other side of the store. 
Mikayla:
What has helped you the most in terms of getting people to notice your beauty blog? What platforms and/or tools have helped you to develop your audience?
Courtney:
I think the one thing that has helped my blog get noticed is my dedication to being a person and not just a face. I try to be relatable to every person that reads my blog no matter what lifestyle they lead or background they come from. I am always very honest and open with my readers and I think people appreciate that. I think that people can see how genuine I am in my recommendations and tutorials and that makes them want to see what I will post next. 
In terms of social media, I'm very active on instagram and snapchat, because they are both great platforms for being able to actually connect with your readers but in very different ways. Instagram is probably my favourite social media platform because the possibilities are endless. It's all about branding and consistency but you can connect with millions of people who relate to your blog and that can really help grow your audience. Snapchat is a completely different story but I love it just the same. Snapchat is all about sharing a peek into your day to day life and because I try to have such a good relationship with my readers I really love having the chance to share special moments with them. 
Mikayla:
What are some tips you would give to someone starting their own beauty-based blog? 
Courtney:
If I were give advice to someone starting their own beauty blog I would say to be passionate. The beauty blogging world can be a pretty intimidating place and it definitely was for me but I think it's so incredibly important to remember that it started from a place of passion. If you remember why you started, whether it's a love for makeup, special makeup artistry or a skincare addiction, you will always love what you're doing no matter how difficult it gets. It takes time to grow in blogging and it can get discouraging but if you remember to be passionate you will always succeed. 
Mikayla:
What inspired the name of your blog, "La Belle Sirene" ? 
Courtney:
People always ask me where the name, La Belle Sirene, came from and I don't blame them. It's definitely not your average blog name but that was really important to me when I started. I wanted a name that meant something to me and would last me throughout my blogging career and La Belle Sirene was one of the first names that came to me. It's inspired by a few things but in all honesty it's a tribute to my grandma. My grandma was such a huge influence on me when I was growing up, she introduced me to the beauty world and taught me everything she could but she also completely supported my obsession with mermaids. When I was little she gave me a personalized book that was all about a mermaid named Courtney and it was probably the best thing anyone could have ever given me. The love for mermaids and for beauty carried through into my teenage years and she never stopped trying to support and teach me so I wish that she was here to see where her support has gotten me to today. She was also a huge fan of french culture and she passed that onto me so I chose to use the French words for "the beauty mermaid". So in a nutshell, La Belle Sirene is a combination of everything she taught me. 
Mikayla:
What is your go-to everyday makeup look? 
Courtney:
My everyday makeup routine is still pretty glam for what most people consider "everyday". I always love to play with new products and try out new techniques so it changes pretty frequently but on the day to day I apply quite a bit of makeup because it's fun and I enjoy getting ready. I usually wear primer, foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, highlighter, brow pomade, neutral shadow, black eyeliner, mascara and lip liner. 
Mikayla:
What are some of your all-time favourite beauty products? 
Courtney:
It's so difficult for me to narrow down my favourite products because I have quite a few but I would say the products that I can't live without are: the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, the Essence Cosmetics Lip Liners, the Maybelline Master Camouflage Concealer, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, and the L'oreal Pro Matte Foundation.
Mikayla:
Talk a little bit about your experience at George Brown College, and the programs you took. 
Courtney:
Attending George Brown was a really great experience, I met so many amazing people and I learned so much more than I ever thought was possible. I took a double course of both Fashion Design and Fashion Business Industry so I spent half of my time learning how to design and construct clothing and the other half learning about the business behind the fashion industry. In that course I learned about manufacturing, logistics, retail business theories and even the history of fashion. It was a really fascinating course and I really enjoyed it. Even now, a few years later, I find myself using things that I learned especially the business ethics that work in any setting even blogging. 
Mikayla:
You have said that beauty is all about expressing yourself and being able to play with an art form. In what ways do you express yourself through makeup?
Courtney:
Makeup is truly an art form but one that should be taken with a lighter view. Makeup is fun and it shouldn't ever not be fun. I love to sit at my vanity and pull out products randomly and then create a look that works for whatever I've picked. I like to play with different techniques and methods so one day I might do a deep smokey eye and the next a cranberry halo. I like to try out new trends and play with different products that I haven't tried before. It's all about taking the time to play around and practice, remembering that nothing is permanent so if you aren't happy with the finished product you can take it off and start again. Right now I am really loving exploring different colour families in both eyeshadow and eyeliner. 
Mikayla:
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you hope to keep blogging? Working as a makeup artist? A beauty guru on YouTube? 
Courtney:
In 10 years I hope that I have grown my blog and my brand. I definitely see myself still blogging but I hope to have gained a larger audience and I hope to have helped as many people as possible learn to love themselves and love makeup. I would also love to have taken La Belle Sirene onto Youtube and to be successful on that platform. Mainly, I hope that in 10 years I am still getting up every morning looking forward to doing my makeup and loving every second of it. 
Photos Submitted by Courtney Connolly 
Check outfit + makeup details for photos @ www.labellesirene.ca
© All content is my own. Feel free to use anything you would like, while giving proper credit. 
Thank you. 
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For more Fashion and Beauty Inspiration, follow me on Instagram @mikaylakuehn 
and/or
Subscribe to my YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/mikaylalak17 
NEW videos up EVERY Friday!