Meet Emme.

Dress–New Zealand Thrift Market. Denim Shirt–Goodwill.

Emme’s style is a compilation of everything that happens around her; she’s always dressed for an adventure and never skips a beat. This is something that I really admire about Emme, since she always seems to be able to flow through all settings effortlessly.


“My favorite thing about myself is that I like myself better without makeup on, although it’s always fun to get dolled up,” she says. “I’m a pretty care free person and I think that often reflects in my appearance.”


Emme finds inspiration from all random areas, but also from a national icon: “My role model is of course Miranda Sings! Duhh. She has a great style and is perfect in every way.” Emme is undoubtedly Miranda’s biggest bae.


Emme’s fun-loving, easy-going perspective on life is in no way lacking its share of wisdom. Here are Emme’s closing remarks:

“I know I have a healthy body, but I also know that I am not super skinny. Girls like me might look at magazines, famous people, and even their thinner friends and feel insecure. I want them to know that they don’t need to have that body type to be beautiful or even healthy. It is perfectly normal to be a little thicker than the perfect girls the world tells us we should look like. I love my body and I encourage other girls to love their bodies too.”


And in just a few sentences, Emme managed to sum up the entire point of Project Real. This four month journey comes to a close today, and if you remember anything, please remember these words. Love your body. Love your face, both with and without makeup. Love your style, and those who inspire it. Love your opinions, love your hobbies, love your ambitions. Love every version of yourself. Be unapologetic in your presence and judicial in your actions. Defy the norm, be original, dismiss negativity and reject mediocrity. Be real.



EmmeWEB1-0755 EmmeWEB1-0775





















Huge thanks to my parents Ruel and Robin Oquindo for supporting me through the two weeks of shooting and being understanding of my spending hours upon hours a week on the computer working to produce each post in time. Thanks Bianca Sass (Instagram: @MadeOfWaves) for shooting with us at Dragon Park and Radnor Lake–your pics are stellar. Lots of love to Chandler Elkins for helping me not only flesh out the idea for Project Real but also for helping get some of the greatest models I could ask for (check Chandler’s Project Real post here.) And speaking of models, let’s hear it for all the Real Girls: Kathleen, Chandler, Ashley, Chloe, Reagan, Lexi, Caroline, Katherine, Abi, Kathryn, and Emme for lending me your amazing modeling skills and precious bits of wisdom. And finally, thank you to all my readers for supporting Project Real–with no audience this all would have been for naught.

That’s a wrap for Project Real! If you missed any posts along the way, you can track back by clicking the STYLE BLOG tab at the top of this webpage. You can also like our Facebook page to get automated updates on any upcoming posts, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter @ProjectMaganda and the hashtags #ProjectMaganda and #ProjectREAL to see some day to day updates on my life and happenings with the blogs. My regular posting will begin again at the beginning of next month.

Again, I can’t thank you all enough. It’s been more work than I ever imagined when I first wanted to embark on an endeavor like this when the blog was first started, but the feeling of fulfillment is more than worth it.

I’ll see you all in October! Stay real.

Much love,



Meet Kathryn.

Cropped Halter Top--Kohls. Palazzo Pants--UO.

Cropped Halter Top–Kohls. Palazzo Pants–UO.

Kathryn and I, in our four years of friendship, have often found ourselves coming to school in matching outfits, identical hairstyles, and coordinating color schemes. I’m pretty sure at least a quarter our wardrobes are exactly the same. And yet, despite our eerily similar taste in clothing, Kathryn always manages to put her own, awesome, 60’s/70’s inspired personal twist on everything she wears.


Kathryn’s favorite personal qualities are based off of her influence on others. “I’ve always loved my smile, because it’s the kind of thing that can impact other people and make them feel loved. I also like my sense of humor, and like to feel connected to those around me,” she says.


Kathryn and I, other than our clothing, share some of the same role models: “I don’t have a specific style icon, but I look at people like Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal and appreciate the mindset she has regarding fashion.”


One of Kathryn’s greatest skills in the way she dresses herself is styling pieces to best flatter her body, while still maintaining comfort and style. “A lot of my clothing choices are influenced by my curves, but this gives me the ability to wear high waisted bottoms to help give me a good hourglass shape.”

Kathryn has this great awareness of how to use her body shape to her greatest advantage, and it makes for some of the most dynamic and interesting outfits I’ve ever seen. She’s got great taste, if I do say so myself.
















just had to throw a BTS shot in there ;)

just had to throw a BTS shot in there ;)



Thanks for the great pics, Kathryn!

Photography: Ruel and Erin Oquindo

Only ONE Project Real post to go! Don’t miss it–follow PM on Facebook for updates on every post, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram @ProjectMaganda for more in depth looks at Project Real through the hashtags #ProjectREAL and #ProjectMaganda.

We’re almost at the end of this journey; I’ll see you there.

Much love,



Meet Abi.


Dress, Belt, and Shoes–Goodwill. Hat–Pre to Post Modern.

“I would definitely thrive in the 90’s. Maybe granola grunge, haha.”

Lo and behold, Abi the Granola Grunge Goodwill Goddess, here to liberate humanity from the chains of overpriced vintage clothing!


Aside from her love of science, her empathetic nature, and her sick bass guitar skills, Abi’s a fan of her height. “Being 5’11 makes you feel kinda powerful,” she says.


Abi pulls inspiration from babes like Patty Smith, Debbie Harry, and most of all her sister. “Her evolving, unique style really inspires me.” Abi’s style is diverse in and of itself; I’ve seen her in leather jackets, lace dresses, and everything in between. She’s been a style inspiration to me for years.


“TALL GIRLS: LISTEN UP. Wear heels. Wear shorts. Own it! Don’t think about what will ‘fit your body type,’ wear what makes you feel yo’self. Dress for you. Same for my lanky ladies! Your lack of curves means you can pull off a lot of styles! Go for it my beautiful ruler bod sistas!”

Abi stresses the importance of dressing for personal happiness as opposed to pleasing others or dressing in a way that the general public assumes would fit your body type. Wear what you want, because there will always people who love it and people who hate it, and you can’t rely on their approval or disapproval to feel like you’re worth something. You’re worth something because you are YOU and no one else should ever have the power to take that away from you.

Right on, Abi.












Thanks Abi for modeling for me! Have fun in college :)

Photography: Ruel Oquindo and Bianca Sass (Instagram: @MadeOfWaves)

Follow the Project Maganda Facebook page for automated updates on new Project Real posts, and follow me on Instagram and Twitter @ProjectMaganda for more content under the hashtags #ProjectREAL and #ProjectMaganda.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you guys next week!

Much love,



Meet Katherine.

Top--UO. Jeans--Topshop. Shoes--Dolce Vita. Bag--Rebecca Minkoff.

Top–UO. Jeans–Topshop. Shoes–Dolce Vita. Bag–Rebecca Minkoff.

Katherine is probably one of the most photogenic people I know–it would be a feat for the paparazzi to find an unflattering shot of her. Her put-together style is always going with the flow of the current trends, but Katherine always makes sure to put her own personal twist on them.


Katherine loves to play up her favorite features: her hair, eyes, and skin. As for her personality: “I really like my sense of humor, maturity, and independent spirit.” All the makings of a New York lady, if you ask me.


Katherine values quiet confidence and pulls inspiration from both current trends and classic styles. “Rachel Zoe has always been a style icon for me–I love her effortless glam. In life, my role model is my mom. She has a selfless attitude and is always encouraging and supporting me in whatever I take on.”


So what does Katherine have to say to the girls of today? “My advice isn’t just for my certain body type, but rather for every girl. Dress the way YOU want to dress. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t wear something or have certain makeup looks or hairstyles because “it doesn’t suit you.” At the end of the day, your opinion and happiness is all that matters. Take risks and explore different sides of yourself.”


Katherine’s point is one that I struggled with a lot in the past. Regardless of your body type, face shape, or skin color, you should be able to wear whatever you choose. Whether or not it looks good on you is YOUR decision and YOUR DECISION ALONE. People reluctantly conforming to fashion trends often sprouts from the fear of what others will think or say. And as someone who makes it a habit of wearing platform shoes to class at least once every couple of weeks, I can tell you that succumbing to that pressure is something that takes a conscious effort to resist. But the reward of wearing what YOU want because YOU like it is so incredible and empowering, and pulling back from expressing your true self is tiring in its own way. So go–wear those crazy neon pants to school if you want. Rock those fake glasses you bought but were too embarrassed to wear in public. You deserve to be able to wear what you want, how you want, with no shame.



















Thanks Katherine for rocking this shoot! Check out her YouTube channel if you want to see more.

Photography: Ruel and Erin Oquindo

Downtown Base Manager: Robin Oquindo

Want to see updates on both Project Real and Project Maganda? You can follow the Facebook page or follow me on Instagram and Twitter @ProjectMaganda and with the hashtags #ProjectMaganda and #ProjectREAL.

Thanks for reading! See you next week,

Much love,



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