Instagram Took Away My Likes

Outfit Details: Jumpsuit // Similar Booties // Other Similar Booties

Dear Instagram User,

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you know that Instagram has now started taking away the ability to see other users like counts. My personal account was put on the list as one of the first groups to get my like count viewability revoked. I have been living with this new Instagram feature for about a week now and I am here to report that the Earth is still spinning, I am still breathing and that when it happens to you, you too will survive. No need to panic.

It’s no secret that social media has the ability to be a toxic place if used in the wrong manner. The comparison game and constant highlight reel is inevitable. With that comes some self-esteem issues and thus even some mental health issues. Instagram is trying to combat that, cue the like change. Instagram started testing this new feature earlier this year in 7 countries around the world: New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Australia. After a period of time, what was the result of this test you may ask? Overall, it generally led to positive sentiment. With that, CEO Adam Mosseri decided it was time to roll out this new update to the U.S.

You now may be asking yourself why this change was even necessary in the first place. Well, according to Mosseri, the idea was to try to depressurize Instagram making it less of a competitive space, encourage users to post, connect and engage more and reduce social comparison and anxiety. He’s also discussed Instagram’s growing interest in being able to shop right on the app allowing Influencers and brands a new revenue stream.

If you aren’t aware, influencers usually get on brands’ radars for potential collaborations and sponsored posts (one way they make an income) by their engagement rate (how many people are liking, commenting, sharing and saving your post), by your content quality, direct conversions, positive return on investment and by their follower counts. Mosseri knows that influencers are a huge part of Instagram’s success as their audiences are the ones that continue to log into the app day after day to check in on their favorites. These content creators are vital to the success of the app and Instagram is aware of the fact that if this new update impacts the success of influencers, it may reconsider the change. In my opinion, that’ll never happen.

So now you may be wondering how I feel after a week of not being able to see anybody’s likes. Well first let me clarify, I can see my own like count. I can see the exact number of likes all of my posts receive. I cannot see the amount of likes another user’s post receives. Under your post where it used to say “liked by __ and 100 others” for example, it now just says “liked by __ and others”. You still have the ability though to like people’s content. You can still tap that little heart and show your love.

Honestly, I think this update is fabulous. I honestly do feel way less pressure posting content. I honestly feel like I can post whatever I want to whenever I want to. Get ready for 3, 4, maybe ever 5 posts a day (kidding of course, who has time for that).

But in all seriousness, I’m not mad about this change whatsoever. I feel like if anything, it’s encouraging me and pushing me to be more creative. I really have to work for that like, earn that like and when a post performs well, I get personal satisfaction knowing that people didn’t have to like it, but they still did anyway. I even love that I can’t see other people’s likes. It did make me feel bad when I saw other people post shitty quality images and get way more likes than a post I put time and effort into. Now, it doesn’t even matter because I can’t see if your post is performing well or not. From an influencer standpoint, I think this is pushing influencers to step up their game and is forcing brands to work with people who can contribute to actual metrics that matter and are attributable to success. Brands will now have to look at things like direct conversions, reach and click-through rates. If you work in marketing, you know that this is wayyyyy more substantial to businesses than vanity metrics.

If this slight change will help with mental health too, then of course I am all about it. In fact, I’m kind of more inspired than ever. I know people don’t want to see my face every single day, so I’m all for bringing back the creative flat lays, beautiful landscapes and food pics. Heck, maybe I’ll even pick up my camera again and just start snapping away. As new platforms start to gain popularity, like TikTok, Instagram needed to always evolve to remain relevant in the ever-changing world we live in. Evolution is key, not our enemy.

 The cons of the update you may ask next? I hate that not everybody has the new update yet. I’m constantly asking people “do you still have likes” “can you see likes on Instagram?” I swear it’s my new form of an icebreaker. I wish they would just roll it out to everyone already so we can all adapt together. It’s coming though, no worries. Some of the influencers I follow are complaining that removing likes will only shift users into playing the comparison game in terms of comments on posts or follower counts. I don’t agree with this at all.

I think if you have a verified, real following (not bots or fake accounts) and if you’ve built a solid following of engaged users (not people who are commenting “love this” or “you go girl”) but rather asking thoughtful questions and conversing in an organic way, then you girl should have nothing to worry about. I absolutely HATE when people say that Instagram is just a highlight reel, like yeah duh!! Bad things happen enough in my life as it is, I don’t want to navigate to my escape space and read about your awful day too. If people are truly making you feel that terrible about yourself, then newsflash you need to start unfollowing and find people who inspire and encourage you to be a better person. Besides that, I really don’t have any other things tearing at my heart. I think I’m pretty good with it.

All in all, there’s truly nothing that any of us can do about this change. If a slight update to an app is making you that pissed off, then in the words of Taylor Swift “you need to calm down.” If you’re worried about the comparison game continuing with other Instagram metrics, well that sounds more like a you problem than an Instagram problem. It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s world and frankly we’re all just living in it. As previously mentioned, the Earth is still spinning, I am still breathing air, my cat still needs to eat food, nothing that earth-shattering is actually happening in our lives. I promise you it will be okay. In fact, I think this a great step in our relationship. Embrace it. Love it. Revel in it and push yourself to create bomb content people want to like because well, you don’t really have a choice either way.

Sincerely,

How To Wear A Suit

Outfit Details: Blazer // Trousers // Shoes

Why hello there,

For the past three years, female empowerment and advocacy for equality has become a highly publicized societal evolution. This has been a fight for centuries, but it’s no secret that in these last few years, women’s voices are louder and more forceful than ever. Although it may seem trivial, when you’re fighting the good fight, you also have to look the part. I feel the same way for when you are wanting to be taken seriously in the workplace. As modern, professional women, we are constantly fighting to deserve a seat at the conference table, not to take notes, but to lead passionate discussions and make big decisions. In order to be taken seriously and in order to present yourself as a professional, you need to dress the part.

In my personal opinion, every modern, professional woman needs to own a suit. If you work at any sort of establishment, you need to own a suit. If you want to be taken seriously at work when big business meetings are taking place, you need to own a suit. Period, end of discussion. The evolution and right to “power dress” go hand in hand with the work that the women before us have done in order for us to have that right. Remember, not that long ago, women weren’t even allowed to wear pants. Women’s suits are the amalgam of a women’s determination, her willingness to show up and the stereotypical masculinity. Suits makes me feel confident, intelligent, powerful and empowered.

Interviews are the perfect time to wear a classic suit. I also think it’ super important to always have a good suit in hand if you have an important business meeting coming up. Quarterly business reviews or annual planning presentations are a few prime examples of these. Always read the room. If your client is younger and more laid back, perhaps wear a suit in a different color or with a cropped pant, but if you’re meeting with someone who tends to fall more on the traditional side, I’d stick to the classic tailored suit in a neutral color like navy or dark charcoal.  

The power suit trend has been with us for so long, nothing in fashion is ever really new but rather born again. This time around, the suit is gaining traction in regard to oversized blazers and bold shoulders. That’s right ladies, the shoulder pad is making a comeback, but I encourage you to embrace it. With the suit standing in the spotlight recently, I thought it’d be fun to share some easy and fun ways to wear a suit this season. Whether it’s for work, holiday parties or events, suits can be professional and trendy.

1. Wear a fun color. I found this amazing Robert Rodriguez suit (above) on Rent the Runway and knew that I had to wear it. The powdery blue was just the perfect feminine touch I needed to take this oversized, should pad adorned blazer from menswear-inspired to totally chic. Find a soft, yet eclectic color for a dreamy monochromatic look.

2. Find a classic plaid. Don’t go crazy, but the way I would wear a head to toe plaid ensemble to work and to happy hour would be to stick with a muted print in a neutral color. The gray plaid is the epitome of this kind of look. A classic gray checked suit can be worn from day to night especially if paired with a pop of color shoe.

3. Inspired by the men. I’m talking oversized blazers. The bigger the better as long as they are tailored properly. Everything should not be skintight, that just isn’t in anymore. Hailey Bieber pulls off this look flawlessly. Go for a more fitted pant and an oversized blazer for that effortlessly cool vibe. Make it look like you just grabbed it out of your boyfriend’s closet.

4. Turtleneck undershirts. I am a sucker for a good turtleneck. If I could have only one piece of clothing in my closet for the rest of my life, it would be a classic black turtleneck. Layer your suits over a traditional neutral turtleneck for the perfect wintery aesthetic.

5. Mix and match. Under the right circumstances, funk up your suit look by mixing and matching the blazer and trouser with contrasting patterns, colors or fabrics. Wear a plaid with a cheetah print, a green with a red or a sequin with a cotton. If you have multiple matching suits in your closet, experiment one day by taking one jacket and pairing it with a different pant. It will totally elevate the whole look.

As long as your look is tasteful, professional and puts you in a confident mindset, it really doesn’t matter how you style different suits. There is no tried and true guidebook, but these are a few ways that I like to rock a suit for work. I hope after reading this, it inspires you to try something a little out of the ordinary. If you are looking for a sign, well honey this is it.

Sincerely,

Favorite Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Happy Sunday Loves,

People often become attached to certain brands. If you’re going to buy paper towels and dish soap, you may choose Target over Walmart because you have had a better experience and find the brand more attractive (that’s a real life example for me). When it comes to coffee, I am a loyal Starbucks consumer. I will always choose them over Starbucks’ competitors because I think their products just taste better and I love the crafty variations.

As the seasons change, so do my drink orders. This past Summer, I was an Iced Caramel Macchiato and Very Berry Hibiscus kind of girl. Fall, I’m married to Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Starbuck’s new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Winter has hit hard and fast in Chicago this year, or at least it feels like it has. While I am on my commute to work every morning, I find it a necessity to have a piping hot Starbucks cup in my hand to keep me warm. If you’re the same way, or if you’re looking for a new drink to try as we transition into the holiday season, here are some of my favorite Winter Starbucks drinks!

Caramel Brulee Latte – Starbucks has this holiday drink every season. It is the perfect mix of espresso, steamed milk, caramel Brulee sauce and caramel pieces. It’s sweet while still having that quintessential coffee taste. Basic but delicious!

Blonde Eggnog Latte – This is a classic holiday favorite made with steamed eggnog and the Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast topped with nutmeg. It feels like Christmas Eve night in a cup.

Vanilla Latte – If you’re not one for fancy concoctions, the Starbucks Vanilla Latte is a staple drink. This is the perfect drink for the coffee lover who prefers a subtle sweet treat.

Hot Caramel Macchiato – In the Summer I drink this cold, in the Winter I get it HOT. I love how frothy this Starbucks year-round favorite is. Steamed milk, vanilla-flavored syrup matched with all of the important espresso notes finished with caramel drizzle. Hands down, probably my favorite overall Starbucks drink!

Cold Chai Tea Latte with Soy Milk and Three Pumps of Cinnamon Dolce – So that was a mouth full…BUT my friend introduced this drink to me a few years back and I always have to get it around this time. It tastes like Christmas in a cup. This is the only drink I’d get cold during the Winter months. It is so good, trust me!

Please leave any of your favorite Winter Starbucks drinks below! I am always looking to mix it up, so all suggestions are welcomed and encouraged. I hope you try at least one from my list and love it as much as I do!

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/15

Happy Friday Friends!

I hope you all had the best week! From dinners to meetings and events, mine was quite the whirlwind. One of the highlights…getting to meet Clay from Bachelor in Paradise last night at the Hubbard Inn grand re-opening party. He was so nice and I even got to snag a picture with him!

This is the time of year that’s the busiest, so it’s hard to make certain things a priority even if it’s something we love. In the midst of all the holiday celebrations ahead, it is still my mission to really get back into posting articles here more often and making them as relevant as possible. I value you so much and value your opinion. Please always stay in touch with me and let me know what you’d like to see more of. For the time being, I have compiled some of the cutest, tear-jerking articles that were on the internet this week. I guess I was just feeling a little more sentimental than usual. If you find yourself looking for entertainment this weekend, start with this list!

This week’s Wish List is also holiday party themed as I know so many people are shopping for the perfect outfits right now. I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Alex Trebek gets emotional when contestant answers with “What is we love you Alex”

John Legend named People’s Sexiest Man Alive

Kelly Clarkson’s kids adorably interview their hero Jason Momoa about Aquaman

How Success Can Come From Learning What You’re Terrible At

Apply to earn $1,000 from watching Christmas Hallmark movies

Wish List

Holiday outfit edition

Michael Kors sequin one shoulder jumpsuit

Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific tulle layered skirt

Kohls Vera Wang sequin top

Macy’s faux-wrap midi dress

Spanx faux leather leggings

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

How Conspicuous Consumption Helps The Economy

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 11/8

Fashionable Matching Sets

Sincerely,

How Conspicuous Consumption Helps The Economy

Hello Conspicuous Consumers,

This is one of my favorite topics of all time!! When I was a Freshmen in college at Indiana University, I took a fashion merchandising class. I was fully prepared to take my passion for fashion to the next level and pursue a degree in it. This class supported that assumption. For an entire week, I remember studying the concept of conspicuous consumption. I became utterly fascinated with the notion of consumer behavior and why we choose to make certain purchase decisions solely on perceived socioeconomic status. It was enough to get me hooked. This one week this one subject was enough to where if I hadn’t transferred to Ball State my Sophomore year, I would have immersed myself in the fashion merchandising degree. I’m still thinking of getting my Master’s Degree in Consumer Behavior, that’s how much I love this stuff!

If you are unaware of the phrase, conspicuous consumption is the consumption of luxuries on a lavish scale in an attempt to enhance one’s prestige. In layman’s terms, it means that you pursue buying things that are at a higher price point because you want people to think you have money. The term was first used by economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in the 19th century as a way of describing families who showed off their great wealth publicly to manifest their social power whether it was real or living beyond their means.

So why is it important? Well, our society is inherently obsessed with social class. The items we buy on a daily basis puts us into buckets in other people’s eyes. If someone is waking around with a Dunkin Donuts cup of coffee, carries an Android phone and wears a label-less purse from Target, our society would put that person in the bucket of people who fall lower on the socioeconomic scale. If they saw another person walking around with a Starbucks cup, carrying their Apple products and toting a Louis Vuitton Neverfull, then that person has money.

We are all guilty of conspicuous consumption. To be completely honest, when I bought my Louis bag back in February, I had to take a step back and ask why. Why this bag, why this price point, is that reasonable? The answer was I wanted to be able to buy something that showed for how hard I had been working but the answer was also no, spending that much money on a handbag probably wasn’t reasonable. Just with the faint monogrammed LV plastered all over the canvas though, I could let passerby’s know that I worked hard enough to afford a bag of that stature. Same goes for the people who jumped at the opportunity to buy the new iPhone 11 as soon as it debuted. Did they really need that new phone? Likely no, but being at the forefront of those snagging the new luxury good allowed those consumers to “show off” their status as trend-starters and as someone who has the means to drop that kind of cash in a New York minute.

Makes sense? Sure, but I’m sure you’re asking well why should I even care, is it good or are these people just pretentious a-holes? Actually, conspicuous consumption is kind of a good thing because it stimulates economic growth. Since people are spending money on more luxurious goods, they are putting money back into the economy and thus back into businesses. The demand increases and the businesses need to hire more people. More people have jobs and ultimately have more money to spend back to the economy. It’s a cyclical infinity symbol of money both coming and going and that’s always a good thing for our economy.

My tip though is to always spend within your means. If you have the discretionary income that you’ve been saving to purchase a luxury good you’ve always wanted, that’s one thing. That’s exactly what I did. Beware though of the fad fashion items. The items that are all the rage and that everyone seems to be buying all at one time. They come into popularity just as fast as they fade into oblivion, becoming irrelevant and a waste of your hard-earned money. These are great items to buy on a dime. If you are purchasing a luxury item, go for something classic and timeless, something that will always be in style no matter what the year may be. That’s money well spent.

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/8

Happy Friday!

I am so happy we are at the weekend! This week, I’ve been inundated with annual planning work and 2020 preparation for my clients. It’s just that time of the year. Thinking about planning for 2020 kind of gives me chills. Where has the time gone?

It is also officially Winter here in Chicago. What was once an enjoyable commute to my office in the Summer has now become my worst nightmare during these cooler, more harsh months. I anticipate a lot fo Lyft receipts coming my way soon. And more Winter coats. Basically, just goodbye to all my money.

Monday night I attended the launch event of the Chicago Blogger Union chapter! I’m sort of a nerd in that I absolutely LOVE going to networking events and meeting new people. I always make the rule for myself to talk to at least three new people each time I attend an event. It sets a realistic objective and gives the event more purpose. My enneagram Type 3 really came out in that sentence lol.

The rest of the week was pretty chill and I even got a night to catch up on my Bravo shows while hanging at home. That never happens. Any RHOC watchers out there, gooooooodbye Tamara!!! This weekend will probably be spent getting my life together and organized because next week we’re back to crazy! What are you up to this weekend? If you find yourself lurking the web, here are some great videos and articles you HAVE to check out!

This adorable Beluga plays catch with a couple of guys cruising by in a boat!

Met Gala theme and costume exhibition announced and I am LIVING for it

Ellen and Nature Valley give thanks to California first responders by surprising them with $250K

New Starbucks holidays cups were released this week, I like the one with the big block letters

If you’re looking for a great and easy Fall recipe, Half Baked Harvest shows off her Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs with butter mashed potatoes YUM

John Legend gets wine tipsy and performs on stage at Universal Studios

Forbes Women article on What Successful Women Learned About Creating A Career You Love

Wish List

Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Velvet PaperBag Waist Pants

Polka Dot Tights

H&M Halterneck Bodysuit

Colorful Faux Fur Coat

Topshop Tie Neck Dobby Blouse

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 11/1

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream Review

24-Hour Seattle Travel Guide

Sincerely,

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

Hi There! Long time, no talk,

If I’m being completely honest, whenever I get a notification from Influenster declaring that I’ve been put on the list to receive a new Vox Box, I’m always a little skeptical. Why these products? Why was I chosen? After being notified that I was receiving their new Fall beauty product round up box, I was skeptical but excited to try some new products I had never heard of.

One of the products in my Vox Box this time around was the RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. Just to the touch, it felt luxurious, a characteristic that I actively seek out. The small triangular-shaped tube of eye cream almost felt like metal and is adorned with gold-colored accents. It’s actually quite pretty.

Retinol. That caught my eye when reading the ingredients. Retinol in its purest form is the same coppery, yellow color as turmeric, so creams that claim to have retinol in them should have tints of yellow depending on the potency. Upon the first squeeze, I could just slightly tell that there was a very faint yellow color, almost invisible to the naked eye, maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me. However it may be, I was happy because my face can be not only sensitive to new products but also sensitive to products with powerful ingredients such as retinol. I knew I could ease my way into this one without causing damage especially to delicate under eye skin. Already, a good sign.

I suffer from severe dark circles under my eyes. Whether it’s genetic or just usual fatigue, I am always looking for products to correct this huge insecurity. Nothing has ever made quite an impact as this one product. The RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream is a MUST for real if you’ve ever felt the same way.

I wanted to be diligent. Use it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, for at least two weeks in order to really give it a fair shot. I had low expectations that were quickly exceeded. Even after a couple days, I could tell a difference. Over the course of the next two weeks with habitual use, I noticed significant difference in my under-eye color. Skin that was once dull, dark, almost lifeless was now hydrated, plump, brighter and more firm. I saw a reduction of fine lines and this specific area of my skin just appeared more awake than its been in a very long time.

During these cooler, more harsh Winter months ahead, I think it is so important to switch out products we use on a daily basis because our bodies are going to be reacting differently to the changing temperatures. Skin is the first thing that will be affected given that it’s our largest organ. Skin will feel drier and hair will feel more brittle, so swapping out products you used in the Summer for products that will actively work to combat those issues is critical. Changing out my old eye cream for the RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my skin.

For best use, I would recommend using this product twice a day. Once in the morning right when you wake up and once again in the evening after washing off the day’s dirt and grime. Giving the retinol time to work overnight is the ultimate holy grail, so apply a little more heavily at night. A tip I picked up after seeing one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Cipoletti, post about this brand as well is to freshen up your eyes for those busy on-the-go days by reapplying lightly under your eyes throughout the day giving your skin the extra moisture and boost it needs during these brutal weather conditions. If you live in the Midwest, you know that the worst is yet to come! If you are interested in trying this AMAZING product, you can find it directly on the RoC website for $23 here, at Amazon for $16 here or at Target for $16 here. Wanted to provide different options as I know people can be loyal to certain brands! I honestly cannot believe how affordable the cost is because I think this cream is so luxurious and works so well that it could go for so much more. Snag it as soon as you can and I can’t wait for you to see the results too!

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Sincerely,