Archives for August 2012

Cruise and Beach Vacation Essentials – Stock Up On End of Summer Sales!

Cruises, beaches, tropical resorts! You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this post going into Fall, huh? In my attempt to hang onto the last bits of Summer, I actually have good reasoning beyond that. Here’s why!

  1. Summer is ending so now is the time to find great stuff on clearance and stock up for next year.
  2. I live in Florida so it’s still 90+ degree beach weather!
  3. Most importantly, my husband Gary and I are celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary NEXT WEEK (yayyy!) on an 8-day Carnival cruise! SOO EXCITED!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ While cruises are definitely top of my mind right now, I actually know a lot of other people who are going/just went on a cruise too. Makes sense because you can find great deals on cruises in the off-season.

Whatever the case, my universal problem with traveling has always been packing because, let’s face it, I pack way too much….I like options! So I thought long and hard to narrow the essential must-have pieces for a cruise or really any other beachy, tropical getaway. You can use this as a packing guide, or inspiration for items to hunt during these end-of-season sales.


Obviously it doesn’t have to be these exact pieces, but this is a general idea of basics to include. A few tank tops and shorts, a casual sundress, a swimsuit coverup, a nicer outfit you can dress up or down (like the romper), comfy flip flops, and dressier shoes that still look casual (platform wedges).

You’ll want to accessorize with a bag that is fairly neutral so you can wear it with everything, cool sunglasses, and a straw beach hat. Of course you’ll need a few bikini options, and I’d suggest mix-and-match bikinis so you can get more looks out of less pieces. Victoria’s Secret is actually having an end-of season sale right now on their swimwear, so I’d suggest checking it out! I just stocked up.


If you’re like me and don’t want to be pale in a bikini, you should checkout the Style Trials Bronze Skin Series for the BEST Self tanners.

I just want to leave you with one last thing. Have a great Labor Day weekend, and think of me while I’M ON A BOAT!


Yeeeep, I just went there. ๐Ÿ™‚

What are yourย  top fashion and beauty items when packing for a vacation getaway? Leave me a comment and let me know!

How to do a Messy Bun OR Polished Bun Hairstyle

It’s no secret that the bun hairstyle has made a major come back in Hollywood. No longer just a ballerina staple, lots of modern variations have cropped up! I wear these variations a lot, and wanted to show you how to get a perfect bun.

There’s the pretty, polished bun like Kim Kardashian always wears….

Kim Kardashian often wears this sleek, high bun.
Photo Credits:

A really great hairstyle to glam up an outfit, especially when you add long, dangly earrings. Extra style points for wearing this super high on your head for a more modern look (and less ballerina).

Kate Bosworth also wears it well, and you can see it looks great with any hair color.

Kate Bosworth wears a sleek, polished high bun.
Photo Credits:

There’s the messy, I just threw-this-up-on-top-of-my-head (but not really) kinda cool, unfinished bun like Vanessa Hudgens’.

Vanessa Hudgens wears a curly, messy bun.
Photo Credits:

You can really wear this with anything. If you wear it up high, it still looks casually chic. You can also pull off a kind of boho, effortless look with this hairstyle. It looks even better if you curl your hair first to add texture and pull face-framing pieces out.

And finally, one of my fav bun looks of the season (besides wearing is smack on top of your head) is wearing this messy or polished bun on the side. Looks like a chignon, but easier to do.

Audrina Patridge wears a messy, low, side bun.
Photo Credits:

So you want to try it out, right? Here’s my tutorial on how to create BOTH of these looks!


As I mention in the video, I have thin hair so I focus on making my bun fuller. However, if you have thick hair and want to try something like the Perfect Bun Maker, just take any excess hair and wrap it around the base after you’ve completed the bun. It will look extra cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is seriously one of my favorite inventions, and probably the best $4.99 I’ve spent. It’s saved me from lot’s of “don’t-feel-like-washing-my-hair” days!

Bun Maker 6 Pc. Kit

Bun Maker 6 Pc. Kit


These would also be great and easy hairstyles for prom, weddings, or other dressy events where you want an easy updo!

Style Trials: Results using Conair’s Bun Maker.

Style Trials: Sleek high bun hairstyle using Conair’s bun maker.

Style Trials: Messy Bun Tutorial

Style Trials: Messy Bun Tutorial


To glam up this look even further, try pairing it with a matte red lipstick!

What is your perfect bun? Messy or polished? Give both a try and let me know!

And if you haven’t yet, make sure to subscribe to Style Trials!

Decoupage DIY Clipboard with Astrobrights Paper!

This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s been awhile since my last project, and my artsy side has been itching to come out. So it was perfect when I got the challenge to create something out of my new favorite craft paper, AstroBrights!

There are so many things I can do with this paper, so I started brainstorming. As I was thinking, my eyes wandered over to the ugly, drab clipboard sitting on my desk, and I knew this was a much needed project. A DIY clipboard makeover of course – PERFECT! Something you can personalize, use at work or school, and is definitely pin worthy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s the main tools I started with:

  • A plain clipboard
  • AstroBrights Paper
  • Paper ModPodge
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Acrylic Paint (a small tube of your preferred color)
  • Cardboard or cardstock (to make a template)

AstroBrights comes in 23 awesomely bright colors, so I knew any AstroBrights design for this clipboard would liven it right up. However, I’ve been really partial to the chevron zigzag print lately, so I wanted to start there as my base.

First, I used the ruler to measure out and draw a chevron print on the cardboard.

I cut it out to create my chevron pattern template. I used the template to cut out several of the same zigzag strips on different color paper.

Next, I painted the entire front of the clipboard and just the top and bottom of the back of the clipboard (the middle will be covered with paper). I used a pretty teal paint. Let that dry before moving to the next step.

Then I laid out the chevron paper strips across the back of the clipboard, leaving the painted top and bottom areas showing. I used ModPodge and a paint brush on the back of the paper to glue the strips down. If you haven’t heard of ModPodge, it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. It’s a glue and sealer with a glossy finish, and you use it to decoupage things.

Once that was dry, I flipped it over and used an x-acto knife to cut the excess paper from the edges.

I could’ve just left it like that, because it already looked SO much better! But I was still feeling crafty and wanted to add some girly touches. For the back, I used more AstroBrights paper to cut out shapes for an Owl figure. I glued them together with ModPodge. I also cut out two little branches.

I arranged them on the back, and once again glued down with ModPodge.

Since the back looked so cute, I couldn’t leave the front hanging. I decided to add my initial in pretty paper on the front. I cut a “K” out of paper, mounted it on another color, then trimmed the edges. I glued that down on the front of the clipboard which definitely gave it more oomph!

Once everything dried, the last step was coating the entire clipboard, front and back, with a thin layer of ModPodge. Don’t worry, it dries crystal clear with a glossy finish. I also added a pretty ribbon.

Checkout the finished results!

Ta Dah!!! Do you love it?

Astrobrights on Facebook has a lot of cool things going onย  you should checkout. Make sure to enter their “Give a Brighter Year” sweepstakes where every “Like” enters you for a chance to win $30,000 in supplies for an elementary school of your choice! They’ll also have bi-weekly challenges with more prize opportunities.

What would you make with AstroBrights paper?

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How to get a Flawless Face

I recently got a request to do a flawless face tutorial, and I LOVE requests! There are many things that can go into a flawless face, starting with good skincare, but I wanted to focus this tutorial on an everyday makeup routine that’s a perfect base for ANY makeup look. I cover tips and techniques for achieving this look and making it your own, touching on a few beauty tricks. It really depends on how much coverage you’re going for, but for my preference I like a minimal look for everyday, which I showcase in the video. I do mention ways to get heavier coverage though (which I love to do for nighttime or blotchy skin problems), so make sure to watch the entire thing!

I forgot to mention in the video that before you start any flawless face look, you start with a clean, moisturized face. I also like to add face primer to smooth out skin and have makeup last longer.


Products Used

Make sure you checkout these other posts I mention that go hand-in-hand to this flawless look! These are great basic techniques to ANY makeup routine! ๐Ÿ™‚



So my question to you is, what kind of coverage do you prefer for an everyday look?

Funky Cheetah Nail Art Tutorial

Kinda funny, but I was inspired by my Victoria’s Secret PJs to do this tutorial! You’ll see my inspiration in the “how-to” video. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What I show here is a funky nail art cheetah/leopard design. I’m just going to call it cheetah print for now…does anybody know the difference? If so, please share!

Anyways, while hand-painting is time consuming, I think it gives you more options and you could do this on ALL of your fingers for a bolder design. I sometimes prefer a little variety, so I made it more subtle for an everyday look by painting this funky pattern ONLY on my ring finger. I did a pink tip manicure on my other 4 nailsย  to tie in the cheetah print colors. Pretty cool, huh?

Wanna see how I did it? Checkout my video below!


Products Used

Base Color: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish, Color “Commander In Chic” On Sale right now for $5.99

Dark Pink Cheetah Spots: Sinful Nail Polish, Color #871 $1.99 —-> yeah, that’s right $1.99!

Light Pink Cheetah Spots: Sinful Nail Enamel, Color #920$1.99

Black Liner: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, Color Black $7.99

Here’s a few more “after shots”….


What do you think of this cheetah print design? Tweet me your take on it @mystyletrials!

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