Patriotic Nailart

With the 4th of July coming up, I wanted to show you a fun, patriotic nail art tutorial! Showoff your American pride this year and try this. 🙂

Style Trials 4th of july Patriotic Nail Art Tutorial
Patriotic Nail Art Tutorial
Apply a base coat, then paint your nails a solid red (this color is more red than it appears in these pictures).

Apply a base coat, then paint your nails a solid red (this color is more red than it appears in these pictures).

Use a sparkly silver to lightly paint over each ring finger (the red should still show through).

Use a sparkly silver to lightly paint over each ring finger (the red should still show through).

With the sparkly blue color, lightly start at the base of the nail and paint halfway up into the silver.

With the sparkly blue color, lightly start at the base of the nail and paint halfway up into the silver.

Remove excess polish from silver brush, so it's pretty dry. From the top of the nail, use this brush to blend the silver back down into the blue, blurring the line for an ombre effect.

Remove excess polish from silver brush, so it’s pretty dry. From the top of the nail, use this brush to blend the silver back down into the blue, blurring the line for an ombre effect.

Use a white nail art pen to draw two white lines that follow the shape of your nail.

Use a white nail art pen to draw two white lines that follow the shape of your nail.

I applied the first at the very top (like a french manicure), left a space of red in-between the top and bottom stripe.

I applied the first at the very top (like a french manicure), left a space of red in-between the top and bottom stripe.

Use the white nail art pen to create a big circle in the center of your thumb....

Use the white nail art pen to create a big circle in the center of your thumb….

...then pull from the center of the dot out to create a star.

…then pull from the center of the dot out to create a star. Mine’s a little sloppy because I was rushing, but from a distance you can’t even tell! So it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Last step! Use a q-tip soaked in nail polish remover to clean up your edges, then apply a shiny top coat.

Last step! Use a q-tip soaked in nail polish remover to clean up your edges, then apply a shiny top coat.

You're all done! Now enjoy your beautiful nails, and have a great holiday! :)

You’re all done! Now enjoy your beautiful nails, and have a great holiday! 🙂

Also, if you’re looking for outfit inspiration for the 4th, make sure to checkout this vintage American look I put together last year. I recommend picking one patriotic thing, and working neutrals around that so as not to go overboard. 🙂

I Can See! Hunter Vision 3D LASIK Eye Surgery Review

I’d been wearing glasses/contacts for 18 years now, and was basically blind without them. I’m talking a prescription of -7 and thick, embarrassing glasses for a ten-year old. I temporarily remedied my “blindness” by turning to contacts and finally finding the CUTEST pair of hipster nerdy eyeglasses around. However, I was still constantly falling asleep in my contacts (bad!), and as Hubby liked to joke, would be handicapped if a zombie apocalypse occurred (yep, we’re fans of the TV show The Walking Dead). So I decided to take action, and finally get LASIK. Oh, and there’s a video! Uh huh, reeeeaddd onnn.

I went with Hunter Vision out of the RDV in Orlando, Florida for several reasons. I knew people who had gone to Dr. Hunter and had a great experience. I also liked the staff, and got a great deal by locking in a last minute appointment! But aside from that, their equipment is top-of-the line and Dr. Hunter is very knowledgeable and personable.

I particularly liked how they offer LASIK 3D, which of course is a marketing thing, but really did mean 2 things. They use fancy expensive  cameras to take 3D images of the eye. This helps to see if you are in fact a good candidate for LASIK, or if you would have major issues down the road. Because of this diagnostic tool, they actually turn down a lot more people as candidates than most other LASIK places. They want to be sure you’re a perfect candidate and will get great results!

Style Trials Lasik 3D Image

A fancy picture of my eye for 3D LASIK by Hunter Vision.

Style Trials Lasik 3D

Side view of my eyeball.

The other thing with 3D LASIK is the type of laser they use. It’s built to retain the natural curvature of your eye as much as possible, which especially helps someone like me with a really bad prescription. This also helps reduce night “light halos,” which is a common side effect people experience for a few months after.

LASIK COST

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “how much does LASIK cost?” Well, I have to tell you that it really depends! I looked at a few clinics, and they all had different options. Mainly, the difference in cost was associated with whether you wanted an “eye warranty” and for how long. They also price per eye, and averages range between $1,500 – $3,000 per eye.

I also had to buy prescribed drops, which is standard with any LASIK surgery. This helps with inflammation, healing, and dry eyes – Restasis eyedrops, Refresh Plus eyedrops, and to some other prescription drops be exact. Even with insurance, these drops still added up to over $200 (I think it was over $600 without), so something you should account for when anticipating costs.

DAY OF PROCEDURE

I have to say, I got really nervous the day of surgery when I realized they were actually going to be cutting my eyeball now (gulp)! In fact, the night before I almost cancelled, but instead decided to eat myself into an Italian food coma so the day would come quicker.

You aren’t allowed to wear any makeup on surgery day either, as well as any eye makeup for the next week. If you’ve read my review on my favorite mascara, you’ll know that was a tough one to swallow!

The day of, I went into the office and they gave me numbing eye drops and half a Valium to calm any nerves.

StyleTrials Lasik Eye Surgery ReviewStyle Trials Lasik Vision Surgery

Dr. Hunter also told me a few key things to expect during surgery. Boy am I glad he did, otherwise I think I would have freaked out during certain parts! Here’s what he told me and exactly what happened.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING SURGERY

  • They work on one eye at a time, and it literally takes only a few minutes to complete. You’re done with the entire surgery in about 20 minutes.
  • They use this thing to keep your top and bottom eyelids open while they’re working on that eye. It felt weird, but not nearly as weird as I expected.
  • They use a tool to hold your eyeball in place. He told me I would feel pressure on that eyeball, and then temporarily lose vision in that eye. That’s exactly what happened, which was kind of strange since you know your eye is wide open. It honestly just felt like it was closed the whole time, so no biggie there.
  • The next step is the laser. He rolled me over to another machine (I stayed reclined in the same chair), and the laser part took about 10-15 seconds. Super quick! All you do during this part is look at a green light, and you don’t feel anything. The only thing you will notice is a smell like a firework. Dr. Hunter forewarned me about this, and told me it’s something that happens when the laser actually hits the air…it’s NOT your eyeball burning.

Check it out for yourself. My hubby was present during the surgery, and took a video of my LASIK procedure!

 

SUCCESS! I was soooo relieved and HAPPY when I was done. Can you tell?

Style Trials Hunter Vision 3d Lasik

AFTER LASIK

 Immediately after this picture was taken, I could already see better than before. My eyes were still numb from the numbing drops, but things were definitely less blurry! I also got some “super cool” shades to wear for the day. 🙂

I was tasked with putting in some prescription drops for the next week, along with those awesome Refresh Plus Eyedrops for the rest of surgery day every 15 minutes. Those things are awesome, and I still use them! Even if you don’t have LASIK, I recommend these drops as it dramatically helps with dry eyes and redness on a daily basis.

I’m not going to say that everything from there was rosy, because it definitely got worse when the numbing drops wore off. It never really hurt, just more watery eye irritation and my vision got blurry again. The best way to describe it is if you’ve ever scratched your eye before, or worn a contact lens that was ripped or inside out. That kind of irritation lasted for about an hour, but I found the Refresh Plus Eyedrops really helped the irritation. Then there was a moment when I guess the “eye flap” seals itself (about an hour or so after surgery), and you immediately feel relief! From there, things just continue to get better throughout the day, and your vision improves. By the end of the night, my vision was amazingly clear but still a little blurry at a distance.

They give you plastic eye barriers to tape over your eyes when you sleep for the next few days. You aren’t supposed to rub/touch your eyes, and this helps prevent that while sleeping. The next morning, I woke up and could see the alarm clock! So weird! My vision (thank God) was perfect.

There was a post-op appt. the next day, and everything looked good. I actually was better than 20/20, I was 20/15! I setup a 3 month, 6 month, and year followup appointment.

SIDE EFFECTS

There are typically 2 common side effects from LASIK. The first is halos around lights, which people particularly experience while driving at night. I had this for literally 2 days after surgery, and it was not even bad then. I don’t experience light halos at all now (maybe the 3D laser really did help), but of course everyone is different.

The second is dry eyes. After surgery, you have to put the Restasis prescription drops in twice a day to help with chronic dryness. Your eyes are healing over the next 6 months, so you will most likely have dry eyes. Along with Restasis, I’m continuing my Refresh Plus Eyedrops. I do experience dry eyes still, and it’s been about 2 months since my surgery. However, Dr. Hunter said that it will get better over the next few months, and I have felt an improvement.

OVERALL

Overall, this is probably the best money I’ve spent! I keep trying to take my contacts out at night, and then realize I’m not wearing them. No more having to run to the store when I run out or forget to pack contact solution, and no worrying about losing a contact lens. If you have anymore questions about my LASIK eye surgery, definitely let me know. Just leave me a comment below or email me and I’ll respond. 🙂

I just want to say a quick “THANK YOU” to Dr. Hunter and his team at Hunter Vision. They really were awesome to work with, and did an amazing job!

style trials lasik eye surgery complete

Now the question is, should I get non-prescription lenses put back into my Rayban eyeglasses??? I still love them and definitely want the option to wear as an accessory!


How to get Better Beauty Sleep

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ZzzQuil. All opinions are 100% mine.

Everyone’s heard the saying “I gotta get my beauty sleep,” but what exactly does that mean? Well, I did a little digging around and thought I’d share some interesting info.

Not only does getting the proper amount of sleep on a consistent basis make you feel better and is good for your health, but you’ll actually look better too. I’m not just talking about avoiding puffy eyes and dark circles, but your skin actually renews itself during this time. Not only that, but beauty sleep has also been linked to weight control.

Here’s Style Trials tips on how to get the most out of your beauty sleep!

  1. Get yourself on a routine. Try to set your “internal body clock” in a rhythm by going to bed and waking up at a regular time. This calls for weekends too!
  2. Wash your face and get on a skincare routine. This is the time the skin will rebalance and rebuild itself.
  3. Do not take caffeine or drink liquids too close to bedtime. Definite cause of sleeplessness/waking up in the middle of the night.
  4. Don’t workout too close to bedtime. This boosts your adrenaline, sometimes making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  5. Train yourself to be a “back sleeper.” Althought I really, really try and wish I were a back sleeper, I personally sleep on my stomach. This is SO bad as it increases wrinkles, especially on your chest, neck and face. If you absolutely can’t sleep on your back, then invest in a silk or satin pillowcase which will keep your face from twisting and wrinkling. The silky pillowcase will also make your “slept in” hair look fresher in the morning, especially if you have thin/oily hair.
  6. White sheets free from dyes are best, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  7. Try aromatherapy. Lavendar spray on a pillow case can relax and help you sleep.
  8. Invest in a good mattress. You’ll spend a good portion of your life sleeping on it!

No matter if you follow these steps, you may still have occassional nights of sleeplessness. I sometimes do myself, or have situations where I have a super early flight in the morning and have to go to bed much earlier than normal. That’s the worst, when you know you HAVE to fall asleep, but just can’t. Luckily, I found a solution!

I was sent a bottle of the cool new product ZzzQuil I’ve been hearing so much about. It’s from the makers of Vicks NyQuil, but is different because there’s no pain medication. ZzzQuil is literally just for the problem of occasional sleeplessness, and is non-habit forming. I tried out the liquid form because I hate taking pills (although they do offer it in pill form), and the taste wasn’t bad. Just kinda like cough syrup, and it instantly made my belly feel warm…which equals sleep for me! 🙂 I woke up feeling refreshed, so I’d definitely recommend this for adults and children 12+ years old who experience occassional sleeplessness.

If you’d like more info, checkout and “like” ZzzQuil on Facebook. If you try it out, let me know and tweet about your #ZzzQuilNight!

How do you combat sleeplessness? What beauty sleep tips do you have?

P.S. The image below is a hint for an upcoming post!

Style Trials ZzzQuil

Visit Sponsor's Site


Poppy Nail Art for Valentine’s Day

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a BIG fan of celebrating the holidays. Any excuse to be festive is enough for me! With that, I’m dedicating this nail art tutorial to upcoming Valentine’s Day. : -)

Style Trials Vday Nail Art Tutorial

Checkout my video for the tutorial on how to achieve this two-tone, romantic Valentine’s nail art. I love the poppy colors!

Valentine’s Nail Art

Products Used:

  • Zoya Nail Polish, color Kara
  • Zoya Nail Polish, color Jewell
  • White Nail Art Pen
  • Regular Tape

Like I showed in the video, you could even stop at just the two-tone nail art shading part, which would give you a poppy Spring look instead. But I think adding the white details and little heart help make it more romantic for something specific like Valentine’s.

You can do this type of look with any colors, so get creative! Don’t have the colors you want or nail art pens?  Checkout the options at Ulta, and use this Ulta 20% off ANY product coupon. It even works on sale and clearance items, and is good till 2/16/13!

Here’s one last closeup.

StyleTrials Valentines Nail Art Shading

If you’re looking for the perfect outfit for Valentine’s Day, checkout this  post for inspiration.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Fantasy Makeup Halloween Tutorial

A few weeks back, I asked you to vote on which Halloween makeup look you wanted to see most. We had a clear winner!

Checkout my tutorial below. This would be the perfect makeup look for any girly, glam, or fantasy type of costume. I’m thinking fairies, mermaids, butterflies, princesses, even 80’s or disco since I used a blue/pink combo.

FANTASY MAKEUP HALLOWEEN TUTORIAL

I started with my cheek contouring technique, then used these products:

Here’s a few closer up “after shots” as well:

Hope you like it!

What do you plan on being for Halloween this year? What costume would you pair this makeup look with?


Vote for the Halloween Makeup Look You Want to See!

I love dressing up and themes, so Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! I know there are a ton of costumes out there, but you’ll want to make sure you complete the look with the right makeup/hair. Since this usually falls outside the norm of your everyday makeup, I want to do a fun tutorial or two on some Halloween looks! Based on the most popular choices, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 options and want your feedback! 🙂

Please vote for your favorite Halloween makeup look (or looks, you can select multiple choices) you’d like to see on Style Trials. I’ll keep the poll open until about mid-October, then create some how-to looks based on the most popular choices. You can pick your favorite selection (or selections) to vote for once a day. Thanks for voting!

Which Halloween Makeup Tutorial(s) do you Want to See?
 

 

 

 

 

  

How to do a Ponytail with a Twist!

This cool hairstyle tutorial is inspired by the Fendi runway show during New York Fashion week earlier this year. I LOVED the model’s twisted ponytail hairstyle! It would work on long or medium length hair (short hair, you can definitely do a variation of this or add in clip-in extensions), straight or curly. You can also take these tips and create new hairstyle variations.

Fendi ponytail twists.
Photo credits: http://www.jcinstitute.com

I spotted the ‘do while reading my Glamour magazine and thought, “What a creative way to make a ponytail more interesting and modern!” Something I definitely wanted to attempt myself, and it looks awesome! In my video, I go through step-by-step instructions on how to achieve a similar ponytail twisted hairstyle. My version is easy for anyone to do on their own hair, so give it a try! I also mention little tips and tricks throughout (especially helpful if you have layers), so make sure to watch the whole thing and let me know what you think!

How to do the Fendi Runway Ponytail Twist Hairstyle

 

I love braids and twisting hair for Fall, so it’s great for the season (or really anytime of the year). I also love how this hairstyle works with a range of styles, from boho to sleek and modern. For extra style flair, try incorporating some fun hair accessories like this!

 

Copper Feather Metal Headband
Copper Feather Metal Headband

Hippie Flower Braid Hair Wrap

Hippie Flower Braid Hair Wrap

All Tied Up Hair Clip


All Tied Up Hair Clip

Vote for Vintage Hair Clips
Vote for Vintage Hair Clips

Here’s some pics of my “after shots.”

What do you think of the ponytail twists? Will you give it a try?

And if you haven’t yet, make sure to subscribe to Style Trials so you don’t miss a thing! 🙂


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