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First Look Fridays: Blogger Ashley Allen of Smashing Style


A few months ago, I came across the blog Smashing Style. To be honest, I don't even remember how I found it -- but I'm so glad I did, because it's become one of my must reads! Blogger Ashley Allen puts together the best trend posts -- seriously, I want EVERY SINGLE THING she picks! Plus, she's a great writer. Read on to find out how she got started blogging, which mascara she can't live without and so much more.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Michigan and went to the most amazing public schools. I worked for my high school newspaper and became interested in journalism and writing. I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and I moved to New York after college.

How did you first become interested in fashion and style, and what led you to create your own blog?
I guess you could say I was born with an interest in fashion and style. According to my mother, I started picking out my own clothes at age two, and each year for my birthday I used to beg my parents to let me redecorate my room. The blog was just a natural outlet for my creative instinct and my interest in style.

I love the name of your blog! How did you come up with it?
My friends call me Smash, so Smashing Style was a play on the nickname. When I first started my blog I wasn’t sure how much of myself I wanted to “put out there” so instead of signing posts Ashley, I signed them Smash. As the blog has developed though, I realized that people want a name and a face to identify with, so I have slowly incorporated more photos of myself and my real name into social media.

Let's talk beauty. What are your top 5 favorite products?
I feel like such a sham answering this question. I really have a pretty low-maintenance beauty routine. Most days are just mascara, eyeliner and Blistex. I’m also weirdly cheap about beauty products, so most of my picks come from the drugstore.

1) For mascara I love the old Maybelline Great Lash Mascara standby. I use the dark black and the waterproof version during the summer. However, my future mother-in-law got me the new Le Volume de Chanel mascara for Christmas and I have to say, it is pretty great.

2) My eyeliner is Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner. I love that it rolls open so you never have to sharpen it.

3) I have just discovered the magic of brow gel to tame my absurdly long eyebrows. I get my brows done at the Benefit Brow Bar (Raquel is amazing) and I use the Benefit Cosmetics Speed Brow Gel between visits.

4) Like I said, my lips are pretty much exclusively Blistex, but if I want to dress them up I like the Lancome Juicy Tubes Smoothie Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss in Dreamsicle. I have yet to successfully venture into the world of dark lips.

5) Since I’m such a makeup novice I subscribe to Birchbox to help introduce me to new products. A few months ago they sent me the Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer and it is great! Just a little on your cheekbones and eyelids and your skin glows.

How about your top 5 fashion and style essentials?
For fashion and style I think less is more. Look for things that you absolutely love, and your closet will grow from there. My top five would be:
1) A classic handbag. This doesn’t need to be expensive, or trendy, it just needs to be something that represents your personality, and something you can have over time.

2) A go-to dress. Everyone needs a dress that you can throw on and go. Whether it’s a last-minute invitation or a knock-down drag-out fight with your closet, you need something you can rely upon.

3) A good pair of leather boots. It’s winter, so all I can really focus on is how cold it is, and the thought of wearing ballet flats outside makes me wince. A good pair of boots should last your lifetime.

4) A pair of nude pumps. They make everyone's legs look longer.

5) A statement coat. Like I said, it’s winter. People see you in your coat 90 percent of the time. Make it something fun.

Blogging must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
Right now, blogging is not my full-time job, so I spend a lot of my spare time working on the blog! If I’m not doing that, I love exploring New York, trying new restaurants and going vintage shopping. I can also be found plotting new ways to decorate my apartment or helping other people decorate their spaces.

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