Allure Beauty Blogger Awards

The power of a noun.

AJ Schulz // Your Stylist AJ I’ll never forget sitting in Mrs. Metzger’s 8th grade English class that day.

“What are you waiting for? I said go! My goodness this generation is slow. Get up to that board!”

Just moments before, we were asked to choose a word that described ourselves. We all popped right up after Mrs. Metger’s scolding demand, and took turns writing our word, and passing the torch.

Once settled back in our seats, the world’s longest acrylic nail tapped on the side of the world’s thickest glasses while studying our words. “Whoooo chose passionate?” she howled.

I was so proud. I knew it was a good one! I knew mine was the best! I’m a Stroud, passion is in our blood. “I did.” I admitted.

“You better keep that passion above the belt missy.” She successfully embarrassed me as the rest of the glass giggled.

I was so upset. Did she REALLY think I was getting frisky with my pre braces expander leaving a ginormous gap in my teeth, the fact that I was wearing a bra I didn’t need, let alone rocking a unibrow. C’mon. My word was perfect! I was passionate.

I don’t remember what the rest of that lesson was, but I give Mrs. Metzger an F.

This story isn’t supposed to spotlight middle school hussies or bad teachers, but that as far back as I can remember, I’ve believed in my passions, and followed them. I’ve failed. A LOT. I’ve learned so much more.

I’m tired and happy. Scared and excited. Undoubtably passionate.

I was eliminated this morning in the fourth round of the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards. I’m OK! I’m maybe even slightly relieved. I’m fine with it because it lit a fire in me just like Mrs. Metzger. It motivated me in ways I didn’t know I had! It pushed me to do things like get in front of a video camera, add even moooore to my plate, allow myself to be judged and voted for or against, and actually compete FOR my passions.

I’m not left with an award, but I’m so proud of myself. I made it to the top 10 Beauty Bloggers in the nation in the eyes of the respectable Allure Magazine! My 13 year old self would be so proud, and more importantly, my 25 year old self is pretty damn proud too.

Learn through your failures, they teach you more than your successes.

Your Stylist, AJ

Photo by Kina Wicks XO

Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Challenge 3

I MADE IT TO THE THIRD ROUND OF THE ALLURE BEAUTY BLOGGER AWARDS! This week's challenge was "A Week in Beauty". Pretty broad right?

For this challenge, I wanted to focus less on my personal beauty routine, and more about the lifestyle I lead within the beauty industry. As a hairdresser, and owner of a bridal hair business, my life in beauty isn't about me, it's about YOU.

Check out the video for a little baby glimpse into my world, but more importantly PLEASE head over to to #VOTEforAJ.

Two voters will win a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet worth $399. All voters will also be entered for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip to Rancho La Puerta in Mexico, plus $1,000 worth of Revlon products.



Guess what?! I'm a finalist in Allure's Beauty Blogger Awards!

This year, Allure chose their top 10 picks to compete as finalists in the competition. When I got the call that I was one of them, I just about passed out. I stopped walking, sat straight down on the sidewalk, and tried to act normal. But this isn't normal, this is HUGE.

All my life, I've set large goals, but sometimes, I let the largest ones pass out of fear. Fear is a powerful feeling, and one of my personal goals for 2014, was to ignore fear, and only follow the words "I AM" with words of optimism and strength. I would love to win this competition, but I mean it when I say I already feel like I've won. Challenging myself to even apply for a spot, and putting myself in the vulnerable position of letting America vote either for or against me, is such personal progress. We all have insecurities, and some of mine had to be broken down in order to make this happen. I am so proud of myself for that, and at the very least, I will take that away from this experience.

Beginning this Monday, April 14th, we finalists will compete in up to five challenges, and YOUR votes can keep me in it to win it! And get this- you can win incredible prizes just for voting. Not a bad deal right?

I'll keep you posted each week as the new challenges are released! I'm excited to share my love of the beauty industry and hope you guys enjoy what I've been working on!

Thank you so much to Allure for this opportunity! I'm also just beaming with gratitude, as the close friends and family in my life have shown an incredible amount of support.

See you at the first Challenge on Monday! Until then, you can see my intro video and interview HERE!