Summer Night Series: The White Lace Dress

 

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Dress: Bebe (similar) | Shoes: Steve Madden (similar)

 

My closet is packed to the brim with party wear that I haven’t really had the chance to party in (or blog, for that matter). I tend to fall in love with extravagant dresses that don’t quite fit into my life necessity list, but buy them anyway because they are simply gorgeous. Therefore, I’ve decided to start a Summer Nights Dresses Series, where I showcase every week a new dress I have that works great for a summers night out (a very dressed-up one, at that).

This one by far is one of my faves. It is stunning yet so simple, and can look very dressed up or down! The lace look on this piece is done so elegantly – where some lace pieces can look trashy. Not just that, but it is SO SOFT, I don’t need to wear a bra (well, I never do), and it shines. Something about it just catches all eyes. I got this as a gift to myself for my 21st birthday, as I thought it would be a big fun bash. Unfortunately, it was not, but I don’t regret having this gem in my closet! 2 year later and it’s as cute as ever! Successful shopping is not just finding items you are going to wear often – it’s finding pieces that you might not wear often, but are timeless statements!

June Gloom…

Top: Boohoo [similar] | Skirt: Forever21 [similar] | Sneakers: Adidas

June Gloom is upon us here in Santa Barbara, but that won’t stop my extravagant, summer style! Well, it may come with a sweatshirt in hand, but hey – I’m here to conquer you with my sunshine, gloom! Ain’t nothing stopping me. I have to say though, in all honesty, this skirt isn’t the most comfortable… but, we pay the price to have style (literally and figuratively). Maybe only for a few hours, though, as I’m all about being comfortable – so in a few hours time I was in a pair of leggings, bumming it. I’m also on an intense bra-less kick this 2017. If it’s not totally necessary, it’s not on me. Sorry peeps, free the nip 2017!

Journal Entry 3: 30 Days in Cali…

I’ve been a bad blogger …again. I hope that every time I add to my Journal Entry chronicles, I am not self-confessing my lack of interaction. But yes, I’ve been a bad blogger again.

I’ve been scared. I feel like I’ve used that word a lot since I’ve started my journal entries – but this time around, I’ve been scared that I would jinx the happiness.

These past 30 days have been the best days of my life. 

I promised to myself at the end of 2016 that 2017 was going to be my year – my year to do what’s right for me – my year to be strong, to adventure, to make life happen for myself. I was worried that moving to Cali could actually result in me failing that. I was in a new place with one person to call my friend who had her own life to live. I worked from home, which isn’t the best way to make friends. I had no way to get around, not that I really knew where to go. The cost of living was haunting me. I was scared. I was scared of failure and loneliness.

But then it all so quickly started to fall into place and all that fear went away. And then I was scared to write. The words being printed indefinitely on paper made me feel like they would be left there as a closing and make it all come to an end. I would be jinxed. But before this I ran around the entire house knocking on every piece of wood in sight – so, here goes nothing…

They say that when things are meant to be, they work out in mysterious ways. A large part of me wants to believe that that’s true – that this move was meant to be, that everything happens for a reason, that secretly our inner being knows what’s right for us and gets us there, eventually.

This experience for me thus far has been a fairy-tale… And maybe, just maybe, it’s not a fairy-tale at all – maybe it’s just how life should be, I just haven’t lived like this yet …until now.

Since the immediate second I stepped foot into Santa Barbara I’ve been taken in by my loving cousin who would tear down bridges for me (…literally). She brought me into her world and made me a friend to everyone she knew. I was worried that, like being in a relationship somewhere new, I would then in result be living her life instead of one of my own – but oddly enough, I wasn’t.

I have new cousins who aren’t my cousins at all but have me over for family dinners, and don’t second guess my company when I crash their Sunday beer pong games (even without the OG cuz), whose kids run around calling my name to jump on the trampoline and take silly selfies with me. They add me to their group texts, invite me to movie nights and for glasses of wine and hunt down bagel bites with me at every Starbucks in town.

The same goes for every other friend of my cousins that I’ve been introduced to – I can now call them my own. Every day, without fail, someone is asking me to hang out. Fashion shows, bottle service and sparklers on my birthday, classy parties in giant houses in giant hills, photo-shoot’s, signing my first lease, consuming my body length in burritos, sun bathing on beaches with palm trees in them…

I took my first shot of tequila, drank more in the past 30 days than I have conclusively in my entire life, champed through an oyster shooter and even ate cow just for the sake of the In-N-Out experience.

The list goes on… I went into this experience very scared, overwhelmed, sad… I set my expectations very, very low and did some burying of the excitement I did have. I forced myself, instance after instance, to not get my hopes up.

So now I ask you – Is it really true, when they say what’s meant to be will be? Or is it that we (I) tend to aggressively overthink things into such intense mannerisms that we destroy all sense of hope and expectation until we take the risk, so that it has to end up being more amazing than we anticipated? Maybe knocking our expectations down (not aggressively, but you know what I mean) is what we need sometimes to be grateful and remind us that life and people really are amazing? (Not to get confused here – I mean, get out of your own inner fairy-tale of expectations – I don’t mean let people treat you like sh*t).

I’m not exactly sure what direction I’m going in with this post, because there’s so many different things I’ve learned in my 30 days of this new life so far – So I’ll give you the sum of it:

1. Life is what you make it. Plain and simple. 2. YOLO 3. Take the risk. ALWAYS. 4. It will all work out. 5. If you’re scared to do something that you really want to do, just do it. Chances are at the end of the day it will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. 6. Be kind. Smile wherever you go. Let things roll – it’s usually useless to get worked up. And don’t forget to make friends wherever you go. 7. There really are nice, inviting, friendly people out there – sometimes it just takes time to find them. Don’t let any selfishness and ignorance you’ve experienced with others bleed into your judgments of humans as a whole. 8. Even if it’s not what you want in the moment, force yourself to do what’s best for you (we all have that little gut monster telling us what’s right). You will look back, even in a weeks time, and thank yourself for it. 9. Always be genuinely you. No matter how weird or imperfect it is. If you are raw from the get-go, then your friends will be your friends – everyone will love and choose to have you around for the crazy human that you are, not who you think they want you to be. 10. Look at everything, and yourself, as a constant learning experience. Take it in – all of it.

30 days down, a lifetime to go.

xx,

Al

 

Cali Crop Tops…

Crop Top: Pacsun [similar] | Jeans: Carmar from LF Store [in store only] | Sandals: Qupid | Cardigan [similar here] | Sunnies: Forever 21

Moment of honesty here: I’ve never felt comfortable wearing a crop top if my belly button wasn’t covered. I guess you can say I’m a bit reserved, but something about the air in California gives me such a relaxed confidence. There was no second guessing this outfit, and I’m not sure anyone else even looked twice at my little belly button peaking through. Nothing about it matched yet everything went so well and was crazy comfortable – mostly. I will admit, these sandals for some reason dig mid-sized craters into the tops of my feet. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, it hurts like a b-word. It doesn’t even make sense either, because there’s nothing on that part of the shoe that is sharp enough to leave a literal hole in my foot, but, here I am – band-aid covered and healing. Again – disregard my uncontrollable mane. You’ll be seeing much more of it.

P.s. I figured I would share with you a poem I love from a book I have…

“The metal cold and the glass broken; the wood old and splintered, throwing slivers like quills. Look and see, life explodes despite it. Between broken and the rusted, the shattered and the fractured, life. We are this, always this, and nothing can stop us from finding the light through the rubble. Watch us grow.” – Tyler Knott Gregson, Chasers of the Light 

Derby Style… 

Dress | Shoes [similar 1 or 2]| Hat [similar] | Sunnies | Jacket | Choker

In a not so surprising surprising way,  my first week in California went somewhat like how you would daydream it would – but on not so grand of a scale, and that’s only if you consider going to a Kentucky Derby party in a mansion on a hill in Santa Barbara a not majorly intense scale in the grand scheme of all things California. For the little Rhody girl that I am, it was pretty grand. It only took me a few minutes to get rolling around the floor in my dress with a cute puppy, and then in the next hour tucking my dress into a pair of shorts to go trampoline-ing with the kids. Small town girl in a glam world at its finest. Another shocker to many – this gorgeous dress is from Forever 21. Beautiful, am I right? Everything seems to just be much more beautiful here in Santa Barbara. I’m pretty content with it, to say the least. I’ve managed to wear this Ettika choker with just about every outfit. I can glam it up, for instance with this dress or wear it with a beachy look. the possibilities are endless!

p.s. – It’s official, my hair is out of control. I’ve just come to embrace it!

Journal Entry 2: I Moved to California…

Reporting to you live from Boston Logan Airport: I am scared. I am worried. I am sad. I am excited? Mostly sad. Mostly scared. My bag’s are too heavy and I’m a hot sweaty mess, but I’m making my way, people. I’m a woman on a mission with one end goal – happiness. I’m sitting at a window looking at the sunrise trying to think of how exactly I can put into words my feelings – how exactly I can explain to the world that I just upped and moved (again, but…) across the country. How I can convince myself more that it’s all okay by convincing you, too, that it is.

As I venture through life as the 22-year-old that I am, sometimes sh*t happens. It happens and you have to decide then and there what you’re going to do about it, how, when, if it’s the right thing. Sometimes you will be wrong. Sometimes you will regret. Sometimes you will struggle more than you ever thought you could – but those are the risks you have to take.

I’ve been a bad blogger the past week or two, so I thought I would give you all the inside scoop. Here’s the reality of it, plain and simple – I moved to California.

I hit a realization point in my life so I packed up my things, called everyone I knew and bought my ticket to California – all in a matter of 5 hours. Impulsive, I know. Across the country, I know. A little ridiculous and extreme, I know. I owe no one an explanation, but I mean, I didn’t make it easy for you not to wonder. So, here goes nothing…

The past 4 years have been the hardest years of my life. I had to grow up too fast. I had to fall a million times to stand up once. I had to learn to understand selfishness and selflessness and the proper times for each. How to handle giving and lowering my expectations for what I would receive in return. I never had trouble loving unconditionally but I had to learn that sometimes that’s not always what’s best for me. I went on so many adventures. I found myself. I never really knew who I was for a long time and constantly tried to turn myself into who I wanted to be, but it took  me understanding that that’s what was happening to realize I needed to just let myself be who I was meant to. I finally understood and defended my morals, my opinions, my emotions, but only after they were tested and sometimes persuaded in the wrong direction. I made and lost many friendships – broke down old relationships and then helped to build them back up again.

These were the best four years of my life in Virginia even though they have been the hardest. I received unconditional love, something I had been looking for for so long. Life is hard. Love is hard. Sometimes we settle for the love we think we deserve, or the love that we think is the most we will ever get. Sometimes our expectations are too high. Relationships are hard in general. They take work, time, mistakes, breakdowns… They will never be perfect. But sometimes it takes realizing that the relationship we have with ourselves may need some work first before it can ever have a successful one with someone else. Every single day that I wake up is a learning experience and I’m not saying the next four years of my life will be any easier – they will most likely get harder – but I’m taking risks for me, and all I can hope for is that I will one day look back on my life and say I never settled, I never shied from adventure, and I never didn’t risk it all. Life doesn’t have a guide or rule book. We are all in pursuit of our own happiness, whatever that may be. Live fearlessly. Take risks. Find adventure.

Here’s to mine.

Al

Emjoi Epi Slim Beauty Tool Review

Hi everyone!

It’s a proven fact – I’m all about trying out new beauty products, especially those concerning hair removal. That may be too much of the truth, but I’m Italian and Syrian… what else can I say? Recently I received this Emjoi Epi Slim hair removal tool from Lipton to review. It’s almost like an electric razor, but instead has a ton of tiny little tweezers that pull your hair out from the roots so that it doesn’t grow back for weeks. Sounds great, right? I liked the sound of it too – so I gave it a shot.

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Epi Slim+ e18 ($34.95) for sensitive area epilation is a great buy for Spring so you can get summer ready with quick and easy hair removal. That has to be one of the most annoying things about summer – the constant need to shave. For me, I know there’s nothing more frustrating. I fully take advantage of the fact that my legs are always covered in the Winter – bye bye razors – but now that I have this Epi Slim tool, I will simply need to shave once and not worry at all for a weeks. Imagine not having to shave your legs every other day in the summer? Sounds pretty convenient to me!

It’s light, runs on batteries, is actually a pretty cute looking tool (sounds weird, I know, but it really is… or light blue is just my favorite color) and is incredibly quick and easy to use. You simply turn it on and go. Boom. And this product can be used on your legs, armpits, face and bikini line… Magic. Simply convenient magic.

But there is one down fall for me when it comes to this product… It has been made clear to me before hand that all tools like this tend to hurt, so I wasn’t surprised when I used this one and it did too.

I tested 3 of the 4 areas. Can you guess which one I didn’t try?

My bikini line. I tried my leg first. It pinched a tiny bit – it wasn’t anything too dramatic. I could handle doing this to my legs every few weeks to prevent the constant need to shave. But, I have a pretty medium pain tolerance; I wouldn’t say I’m tolerant, but I’m not too sensitive.

Then I gave it a go on my arm pits. Disclaimer: I didn’t shave for a few days so that I could try this out the right way. Obviously you can’t properly tweeze hair that’s too short because the tweezers need something long enough to grab ahold of. This, unlike my legs, hurt. It was scary to do in the first place, and I think the fear of it all made it worse for me, but this isn’t something I would do again. If you have a pretty good pain tolerance, then this may be do-able for you, especially since your armpits are a small area that can be done quickly.

After that I tried it on my face – my lip, to be exact. Surprisingly enough, this was do-able. Yet again, scary at first, but do-able. My skin was pretty pink after but I didn’t get any kind of post-rash and didn’t feel the intensity of the pinching that I had on my armpits. It was pretty satisfying.

Overall, I’m pretty excited to have a product that I can rely on to save me from the constant razor purchasing and shaving. I won’t need to worry this summer about shaving, or the embarrassing moment when I realize I forgot too – because I now have a product that allows me to forget and relax for a few weeks at a time and just embrace bare skin and sun! Thanks Emjoi!

I Like Putting This Stuff On My Face… (My Skin Care Routine)

Yup. I suck at titles. So there you have it, plain and simple. I have a sick kind of obsession with putting Shea Moisture sh*t on my face. Thanks to the lovely Target in which I invade multiple times a week, and my chronically impulsive money spending friend, I have fell into a deep dark hole of Shea Moisture skin products.

(Side note: this is not an Ad. I just really found something I love.)

Shea Moisture is not only vegan, but it’s surprisingly affordable, has an extremely wide variety of products (including babies, kids, hair and makeup) and can be found at your local Target. Yet again, yup. You read it right.

It all started with the African Black Soap – a single bar of black colored soap filled with shea butter (and shockingly other organic products like tar) that you can use on your body and face in the shower.

Suffering from bad skin minimally on my back and face since I hit age 20 has been confusing and difficult. So naturally, still unaware of what works for my skin after 3 years, when my friend heard good things about it and wanted to give it a go, I was up to try anything. Instantly, I fell in love with this. It leaves your skin feeling fresh, clean and balanced (on the dry – oily spectrum). It has little bits of weird stuff (what I think are oats – I’ve never worried enough to look into it) that fall out of the soap as you wash which might take you by surprise, but it’s disgustingly satisfying.

After that I figured I would try it all, and instantly fell into this skin care routine that you see in the video above. So, here’s how it goes…

  1. Every night after work I use my Garnier makeup wipes (or just any general brand) and wipe my makeup off.

2. Then I use the Shea Moisture Youth Infusing Face Wash… It pumps out of a dispenser into a foamy substance, as you can see in the video. I can’t find this on the Target website but it’s definitely in the store. It’s so soft and IT SMELLS AMAZING. Gosh I would rub this all over my body if I could. Beautiful.

3. After doing a bit of scrubbing, I wash it off with warm water and pat my face dry. Then I’ll take the Clarifying Clay Mud Mask and put a thin layer all over my face.

mud mask thestylestudies target beauty shea moisture

Well, that’s a lie. I say thin because that’s what the directions say, but the reality of it is that I smother this sh*t all over my face in thick globs. I find it far too fun to make it look dark and smooth. It’s a problem. The mask will need to sit on your face for about 10 minutes – this is usually when I decide to run around the house and show everyone my weirdness, take some Snapchat selfies – you know, the usual. After allllll that comes my favorite part… I have tried a few times to wash the mask off with my hands and water, but after taking a wet towel with warm water to my face and wiping it off in strokes (you know, it’s called following the directions) – oh my gosh. Heaven. It comes off so easily; It’s as if you have a whole new face after. Your skin feels ultra soft, is glowing, and ugh. Amazing. I originally tried this mask in one of the tiny packets they sell it in at Target to see if I liked it, then ended up buying the whole tub and made everyone in a 15 foot radius try it. This is by far my favorite product thus far.

4. After that I’ll take the African Black Soap Clarifying Toner – another product I can’t find on the website but know is in your local Target store. I spray a few squirts of this on a cotton ball and wipe my face with this. Toner tends to really pick up all that extra dirt on your face, so you will be pleasantly surprised and a bit annoyed with your makeup wipes and face wash after this one, but it’s worth it. It gets all that excess dirt off your skin and makes your pores shrink – legitimately. Or maybe I’m just crazy. If you do the toner after the face mask, expect to see a bit of black from the mask on the cotton ball.

5. Then I rub this tea-tree oil smelling Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer in upward strokes on my face like a weirdo.

SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer - 2 Fl Oz

Hey – I’m just doing what I’m told. It says on the little glass container to do so, and I’ve read in articles that that’s the best practice for applying moisturizers to avoid wrinkling, so you bet your ass I’m doing it that way. You only need to take the tiniest little bit when applying this to your face – it’s extremely moisturizing.

In the morning, I use the Sensitive Skin face wash, the Clarifying Toner, and moisturize! Simple as that!

Welp, there you have it folks. Finally I’ve found some skin care products that work for me and I am eternally grateful. I expected more (got it) and payed less. Thanks target.

p.s. – Everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently to different products. If you’re wondering if this will work for you as it has for me, and are looking to compare you skin to mine, be aware that I have temperamental skim. It chronically switches between too dry and too oily, peels, gets small tiny blackheads and occasionally the large spot. If I don’t take my makeup off before bed and legitimately wash with face wash, I’m stuck with a backlash of tiny spots all along my forehead. If this sounds like you, then you may have found some amazing products that work for you, too. 🙂