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!!! 🙂 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.

CRUISE WEAR

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.

WHAT’S IN MY CRUISE BEAUTY BAG

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. 🙂

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


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. 😉

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 nails  to tie in the cheetah print colors. Pretty cool, huh?

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

FUNKY CHEETAH NAIL ART TUTORIAL

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!


Red, White, and Blue Inspiration – The Perfect Look for the 4th of July!

I love the “American Vintage” style, so I wanted to do a quick post in honor of the 4th of July! I typically prefer vintage pieces of American flag apparel to be worn outside of patriotic holidays (it’s more unexpected), but for a bit of fun try this out for the holiday. It’s a cool, casual look that you can take anywhere, and more than likely you’ll be in a crowd of people outside celebrating in the heat. With that being said, choose the type of bag/shoe that works best for you and your activities, as this is meant to be more of an inspiration.

What will you be wearing for the 4th? Do you dig this look?


Easter worthy Spring Pastel Nails

Springtime is here (yay!), and the pastel trend is taking a rise. I’m not talking about the neutral tones you’ve been seeing for awhile, but specifically pastel colors (think Easter eggs). I actually love that it’s taking a big role in nail polish this year. I especially love the way pastel “pops” off of darker/tan skin with the contrast (because pastels typically have a white base), but I think it definitely works with all skin tones. For example, checkout this pic of my sister and I with our “Easter egg” pastel nails.

 Ok, we’re matching A LOT  in that pic with our Michael Kors watches and Pandora rings. What can I say, we’re definitely sisters! 🙂

Anyways, unfortunately I’m not sure the exact color she is wearing because she got it done at the salon. However, I wanted to share the color I’m wearing and loving!

Meet Revlon’s nail enamel, color Charming 211.

Recognize this? That’s right, I actually used this color in my Ombre Nail Art Tutorial on my thumbs! This shade is a beautiful pastel lavender that isn’t too “purpley,” and it’s actually a lot more vibrant than this picture shows. Very wearable for everyday, and looks great on both fingernails and toenails. I love how quick it dries, that you don’t have to put a million coats on to get the opaque color, and it doesn’t chip. The brush that it comes with is good too, because it doesn’t leave my color streaky and only takes a few quick sweeps to cover the nail. I found this polish for under $6 here at Walgreens Beauty Shop

Now if lavender isn’t really your thing, then no worries. There are a billion other cool pastel colors you can try! Here’s a few examples:

From top left to bottom right: Revlon nail enamel, colors Dreamer, Flirt, Minted, and Blue Lagoon.

That last color, Blue Lagoon, actually looks just like the color Katharine McPhee is wearing here!

Photo credit: http://www.stylebistro.com/Katharine+McPhee/lookbooks

You can actually get any of those Revlon pastel nail polish colors  here for under $6, which I think is a great deal.

I’m definitely going to buy another pastel color, or maybe a few soon. So I’m curious, which of these is your favorite?

Let me know by taking the poll below!

Vote for your favorite Revlon pastel nail color!
pollcode.com free polls 

The Secret to a Cheap, Easy French Manicure!

I used to think press-on nails were tacky. Something that was only acceptable for a little girl playing “dress up,” or something that would result in Freddy Krueger looking long, pointy nails. That is, until I saw a friend with a beautiful, natural looking french manicure (press-on artificial nails, no kidding!) and became obsessed. That was about 5 years ago, and I’ve been using them ever since. I’m telling you, the modern press-on nail is nowhere near where it used to be and is one of my tried and true little secrets. If you are looking for a quick, cheap DIY route to beautify your nails and hate the way acrylics tear them up, then this tutorial is for you!

My favorite brands are the Kiss Nails or Broadway Nails, and I always make sure to get the kind that say “Real Short” on the box. That way they are very natural looking, and go just past the tip of your finger. You can usually pick these up at your local drugstore, Walmart, or Target for under $6, and they last 1-2 weeks.

For this example, I’m using the Kiss brand.

Contents include a 2-sided nail file, 28 nails of different sizes (I can usually get two uses per box), a cuticle stick, and nail glue. You’ll want to prep your nails by removing all polish and drying them first, then you can proceed to the steps of applying the Kiss press-on nails.

STEP 1 – Prep and Push Back Cuticles

Push back cuticles with the cuticle stick so you can get the nails glued on as close to the base of the nail as possible. This gives the most natural effect, and helps the nails look better as they grow out.

STEP 2 – Rough Up Surface of Nail and Check Length

Use the nail file to grit up the surface of the nail. This helps the nail/glue to hold better and mani last longer. The blue side is a harsher grit, the pink side a finer grit, so use whichever you prefer. Also, make sure you file the length of your nails short enough so that they don’t poke out from under the press-on nail when applied.

STEP 3 – Select Best Fit Per Nail and Layout

Nails are numbered so that you can figure out which number fits which nail best. Typically the smaller the number, the smaller the press-on nail size.

“Try on” the press-on nail before gluing to figure out the best size per nail. If you can’t find one that is a perfect match, select the closest fit and file edges as necessary to fit your nail better.

Layout your nails from left pinky to left thumb, and right thumb to right pinky. Then you can easily glue on your nails in that order. Here are the sizes I have laid out.

Left pinky to right pinky – 11, 7, 6, 8, 2, 2, 8, 6, 7, 11

STEP 4 – Glue On Nails

Twist off the glue cap, then squeeze glue directly onto your first nail (I’m right handed and like to start with my left pinky). Make sure you put enough glue to cover the surface of the nail, but not too much because you don’t want it to squeeze out on the sides.

Then immediately pick up the corresponding nail, and press on firmly. Hold and press the nail in place for at least 10 seconds until glue has dried. Repeat for all 10 nails.

STEP 5 -Snap Off Number Tabs and Smooth Tab Tip

The tabs come off really easy and pretty clean. Wiggle the tabs back and forth to snap them off. If there is any leftover tab still on the nail, use the pink side of the nail file to gently smooth it down.

VOILA!

And there you go. A beautiful, french manicure in 5 easy steps. Be prepared to receive a lot of compliments, and it’s up to you if you want to share the little secret. 🙂

Again, I’ve used these a lot so I thought I’d share some additional info on these types of press-on artificial nails.

PROS

  • I used to get acrylics at the salon all the time, but that can be expensive, ruin your real nails, and takes a long time to apply. These nails are easy to put on, you can do it yourself in under 5 minutes, and easily pop them off when you want to. Does not mess up your real nails like acrylics!
  • I have a dreadful bad habit of biting my nails. I know…gross, but I can’t help it. I really prefer natural nails the most, and learned I’m better at fighting off the habit if I can grow my real nails long enough to keep them looking good with a mani. These press-on nails act as “shields” for about 2 weeks, allowing me to grow my real nails long enough to actually manicure.
  • I am extremely visual, so I hated when I went to the salon and the white tip for the french part was not exact on every nail, covered too much, one nail was longer then the rest, etc. Of course there’s understandable human error…nobody is perfect! But you can’t really compete when press-on nails are manufactured and every nail matches the next.
  • These nails are low maintenance. No need to paint, they don’t chip, or anything like that. However, you can definitely paint over them if you want, which gives you a nice base to paint. Especially if you’re a nail-biter like me. You can see an example in my ombre nail art tutorial where I paint over artificial nails.

CONS

  • As they are easy to pop off, sometimes they do pop off when you don’t want them to. Make sure you apply with plenty of glue, and you may want to keep the glue in your purse for emergency touch ups. Typically if applied right, they last 1-2 weeks.
  • They don’t mess up your real nails nearly as bad as acrylic ones at the salon, but I have noticed the glue can dry out your real nails a bit. To prevent this, make sure you don’t leave on the press-on nails for too long (2 weeks MAX), and rub cuticle oil into your nails when you remove them.

Have you tried press-on nails before? Let me know in a comment what you think the biggest pro or con is!


Valentine’s Day – What to Wear? Perfect Vday Looks!

Valentine’s Day is sneaking around the corner, and you may find yourself wondering last minute what to wear. Here’s a few suggestions.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR YOUR PERFECT VALENTINE

Well obviously this ties into whatever activity you’re doing to celebrate, but let’s just say you’re going to a nice dinner or out somewhere with your significant other. Valentine’s Day is obviously associated with the color red, however you could definitely pull off a look wearing another romantic color such as purple or pink. If you’re not a “color” person, then opt for something classy and neutral, then add a touch of sparkle through accessories and matte red lips to glam up the evening. I tend to be a chameleon when it comes to style, but for something like anniversaries and Vday, I like to remind him of my girly, sparkly, ruffly side. 🙂

Look 1

Here’s an example of a cool, Valentine’s Day outfit for the modern girl. It could work for a range of Vday activities; the pants make it more casual, yet the heels and sequin top definitely kick up the “dressy” factor. Basically, it’s a great option for pretty much any date night, and it’s comprised of separates you can mix/match and wear again.

1. Pants Express Mars Red Slim Ponte Knit Pant

2. Top Express Vintage Pink Crochet & Sequin Tank

3. Heels Steve Madden Blush Traisie Pumps

4. Ring Mod Cloth heart ring

5. Nail Polish OPI color Hearts & Tarts

Look 2

Here’s a second look that’s more sweet and romantic with a vintage inspiration. This is more of the style I would wear for Vday, and I actually wore these exact heels for my wedding (but in blue as my something blue)! LOVE them, but they are an investment piece because they’re designer Badgley Mischka. You could definitely find some less expensive but similar options at places like DSW.

1. Dress Mod Cloth Peachy Pink Lace Dress

2. Earrings Mod Cloth Pearl Bow Earrings

3. Nail Polish OPI Significant Other Color

4. Heels Badgley Mischka White Randall Pump

If you’ve been with your significant other for awhile, another suggestion could be to add in a nostalgic piece, something that’s special to the two of you. Perhaps that piece of fancy jewelry he bought you years ago but you rarely have the occasion to wear it? Me, I was thinking about re-wearing either some of my wedding jewelry he bought me or wedding hair clips (depending on where we’re going). I recently got married, and I’m itching to find an excuse to re-wear my stuff! It’s a fun way to add a little more meaning to the night.

What are your Vday plans? Which Valentine Style fits you best — Look 1 or Look 2?


Ombre (Shade Gradient) Nail Art Tutorial

So today I tried a type of nail art look called Ombre. This is when you basically pick one color in five shades, ranging from light to dark. Then you paint each nail a color to get a gradient shade progression effect. This one isn’t as “in your face” as other nail art looks with patterns, and you can really determine how dramatic you want to go with it. I personally like it best when the shades are very close and in the same color so that the gradient isn’t as drastic. Otherwise, it could end up looking like you just painted each nail a random color when the effect you are trying to get is actually a shading of light to dark or even one color gradually transitioning to another.

I got my inspiration when I opened my newest Cosmo, and saw this cool pic (as well as some others I may try later on).

“Purple Haze Ombre” Cosmo Vol. 252, No. 2 pg. 185

Here’s another inspiration pic of Lauren Conrad sporting the Ombre look in blue.

You can go really either way, light on thumb to dark pinky as I did in my nail art gradient ombre tutorial, or reverse it. There’s really no rules, and you can get as creative as you want! It’s actually a lot easier than it looks, and here’s proof in my first ever attempt! I was also being lazy and didn’t use 5 store-bought colors which would have made it a lot easier. Instead, I just grabbed colors I already had (4 colors), and mixed them to get the shading effect.I think it turned out pretty good, and I ended up getting a lot of compliments! How do you think it turned out?

CLICK HERE to see how I did this nail art Ombre look

I would LOVE to see your creative take on the Ombre nail art trend. Leave me a comment linking to your pic or simply let me know what colors you’d use for this look.


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