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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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,

Erin

 

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Meet Caroline.

Dress--American Eagle. Shoes--Converse.

Dress–American Eagle. Shoes–Converse.

Caroline’s been a friend of mine since sixth grade, and I’ve always admired her style. She can pull off any style, from grungy to feminine. “I find lots of style inspiration from grungy looks,” she says, “but when I get dressed up I tend to naturally be very girly.”

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Of the traits in herself she admires, her loyalty and sense of humor are her favorites. She finds these traits easy to express when surrounded by strong female influences: “I look up to powerful women in the entertainment industry, like Tina Fey.”

As far as fashion inspiration goes? Caroline picks a favorite of mine. “I’d have to say I admire Zendaya’s style a lot.”

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For girls who struggle with acne, she has one word for you: water. “If you have acne prone skin you need to drink 2 liters of water a day because it clears up your skin way better than anything else.”

Note taken. Thanks Caroline!

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Thank you Caroline for being such fun to work with, Ruel Oquindo for the stunning shots, and Robin Oquindo for giving us home base at this downtown shoot.

And we are into the second half of #ProjectREAL! Big things are coming out of this movement, and I am so excited for you guys to see everything we still have in store for you. If you want to follow the movement, you can like the Project Maganda Facebook page and follow me @ProjectMaganda on Instagram and Twitter for updates and other blog happenings.

Thanks for reading!

Much love,

Erin

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Meet Lexi.

Dress--F21. Shoes--Target.

Dress–F21. Shoes–Target.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Lexi through Project Real, and I can say she is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. Her bright and easygoing demeanor can light up any room.

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“I consider my style to be preppy with a twist,” she says. Lexi’s fun and light style allow for her to showcase her favorite features–her hair and her eyes.

Lexi doesn’t have any specific style icon, but rather pulls from anything and everything that interests her. I love how she is able to pull inspiration from all that she sees and hears; it reminds me to put down my walls and let myself learn from everything around me.

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Lexi likes to reflect her care-free style and personality through more flowing shirts and dresses, like the one she chose here from Forever 21. This not only flatters her figure but allows for some dramatic shots in the wind!

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Lexi has a quality about her that I see very rarely in others. Even upon first meeting her, I knew that she would be a joy to work with, but also a friend I would be able to trust. Lexi is kind spirited, carefree, and trustworthy. All of these qualities you can just see in the way she walks, talks, and lives her life. Her kind demeanor is one that I am so glad to now know.

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Thanks for reading this installment of Project Real!

Thanks to Lexi for modeling this shoot! It was a blast.

Photography: Ruel and Erin Oquindo

Videography: Trey Hicks

Stay tuned for the next Project Real post by liking the Project Maganda Facebook page and by following me on Instagram and Twitter @ProjectMaganda. You can check out more behind the scenes pics with the hashtags #ProjectReal and #ProjectMaganda.

Much love,

Erin

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Meet Reagan.

 

Romper and Shoes--F21. Anorak--Pacsun.

Romper and Shoes–F21. Anorak–Pacsun.

Gentle spirited Reagan, with a cool and calm attitude, commands attention simply in the way she carries herself. There are few things in this world more inspiring to me than a woman who has mastered the art of quiet confidence, and Reagan fits the bill perfectly.

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As what seems to be a trend among our Real Girls, Reagan doesn’t really like to restrict herself by explicitly defining her style. “I just wear what’s comfortable most of the time,” she says. “I do what I like.”

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Reagan pulls a lot of inspiration from pop artist Demi Lovato, who also promotes both body positivity and calls young women to embrace their natural beauty. Demi’s influence shines through not only Reagan’s fashion sense, but her confident demeanor as well.

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The way Reagan works the camera speaks volumes more than I ever could about what it means to be both easygoing and yet a force to reckon with. My mantra for the past two years has been “be judicial in your actions, yet unapologetic in your presence”–essentially, to act wisely and to express yourself freely and with no reservations or fear of the opinions of others. Reagan serves as a role model to me in this respect. Keep doing you, Reagan.

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Sorry this post was a week late; college trips and all.

Thanks to Reagan for these stunning shots, photographers Ruel Oquindo and Bianca Sass (Instagram Gallery: @MadeOfWaves), and Robin Oquindo for our Radnor base.

Want updates on the next Project Real? Like the Project Maganda Facebook page and follow me @ProjectMaganda on Twitter and Instagram and with the hashtags #ProjectMaganda and #ProjectReal.

We’re moving toward the middle of our Project Real series, so stay tuned!

Much love,

Erin

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