Beauty

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. 🙂

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Staying True To You – The Blue Hair Dilemma…

“I can’t agree, it’s too much… I would never.”

“Anything but that… Don’t do that.”

“I don’t want to wake up in the morning next to that.”
I heard it all. It was as if the world was ending just from merely mentioning the idea of adding any type of color to my hair that wasn’t the typical. I was so sure I wanted this too, and for so long! It had been nearly over a year and I never stepped up to the plate, which for me is odd, as I typically tend to do spontaneous things that are out of norm. But the words were replaying in my head and eating me alive, and the panic had set in. I found myself starring in the mirror at my hair for longer than what was normal and thinking about how much I loved it the way it was, which was something I never felt before. And then, cracking under pressure, I told myself I wouldn’t do it… ‘how could I do it? I look great!’ and I soon found myself searching online for “safer” options.
 –
Then I gave myself a good smack in the face –> THIS IS NOT ME. “Safer options”?? That’s just not my style. I’m the artsy type; The spontaneous type; The ‘I like ugly things’ type! Why was I negotiating myself out of my true character because of the opinions of others who were nothing like me!? I was frustrated with myself. I felt at that moment that I didn’t even know me. Was I who everyone wanted me to be, or was I who I wanted to be? Was I going to let everyone else tell me what to do? Was I really going to let others opinions of me sway my own opinions and decisions for myself? I thought I was going to vomit – and I know that sounds so dramatic, but I felt nauseous at an abnormal degree. That’s exactly the type of person I have never wanted to be – scared to do out of the box things because of others opinions. Who even cares if anyone likes it if I like it? And it’s just hair… It grows back, can be dyed over again, can even be cut off!
 –
I escaped to my friend’s apartment for the weekend and it was then that I realized it. As she encouraged me to do it, talked about her hair-goals herself, and bounced around the room with me to our favorite tunes, I really realized it. There are going to be tons of people in your life that are nothing like you, and you’re going to love them for that – but you can’t let their opinions of what you like persuade you, nor can you let anyone’s, really. Therefore, I don’t say this lightly, it’s great to have friends of all types, but never forget to surround yourself with people that are very much like you, and not just people, but your environment. Find that place, somewhere out there in this world that you automatically feel in love with even for the first time. It’s those people and those places that will bring out your truest, you-est you, and we all need that. We become who we are because of the people and places we surround ourselves with. How does one enhance their creative soul and be creative to the best of their ability in a non-creative environment? For instance, all of my poetry is usually about love, and my best writing and deepest emotions about love all come out when it’s written in bed, my comfort zone, next to the person I love… it makes sense, right?
 –
So don’t settle. Don’t have friends who you don’t click with right away. Even if they aren’t anything like you, if you click with them they will bring out amazing sides of you, some that you didn’t even know you had, and don’t live somewhere that doesn’t describe who you are. Move. It’s more simple than people make it out to be. And always do what you want to initially. Your gut and instincts are your truest self talking to you. Don’t ever let anyone, or the status quo, influence your style, your choices in friends, hobbies, etc. What makes you special is being you and no one else, and not catering to other peoples desires or opinions. If they love you, they will still continue to do so anyway, for the you inside, not your blue hair.
xo, Al.
p.s., they all loved it (;
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StoryChick…

Hi everyone! My blog has been lacking a bit lately… I’ve been extremely busy, between work, class, spending time working out and writing, I’ve been non-stop. Although I haven’t posted frequently lately, I have been writing tons and hopefully I can get some work up soon! Speaking of writing… I am officially a blogger for StoryChick Magazine! It’s an online magazine that caters to mainly woman, and covers all topics you can imagine; from body, mind, soul, lifestyle, fashion, celebrities to news beauty and so much more, they really have it all! As well as a great set of bloggers! (; So far, two of my articles have been posted. I will be sharing many of them with you on here, as well as exclusively writing pieces just for this blog and the same for the magazine. Check out their page, and my two posts below, and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see their articles in your feed!

http://www.StoryChick.com

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

My first two articles…

What to do When Your Heart is Hurting

The Key to Being a Chic Traveler: Airport Style

Enjoy xx

Target Beauty Haul/Sonia Kashuk Review…

After recently visiting home and leaving my entire makeup bag there 😦 I decided to do a little necessity run through at Target to hold me over for the time being. Although majority of my feedback is mainly negative, for me I have been using high end products for a few years now, so going backwards with my products really showed me the value of them. Foundation, Concealer, Bronzer, Brows, Brushes, eye liner & macara and a few fun lip colors, this was the result and my opinion on these drug store products.

  1. Foundation – Sonia Kashuk Foundation Stick in shade 14


Luckily I had a beauty blender on hand for this one… Not much coverage, very oily and leaves my skin, even after a 12 hour day, feeling more moist than I would typically want. When applying, each stroke leaves a thick creamy line and you can see all of my pores! (until I blend, of course, but it still freaked me out!) I definitely miss my Urban Decay liquid foundation, or any of my past liquid foundations. If you typically like your liquid, i don’t recommend this at all.

2. Concealer – Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles

Maybelline® Instant Age Rewind® Eraser Dark Circles Concealer + Treatment - Neutralizer

I love the application of this! It’s so easy an smart! The product is lightweight and smooth. The only downfall is that it does crease under the eyes, so a good blending and applying a powder on top can help with that.

3. Bronzer – Sonia Kashuk Loose Powder Bronzer in 47 golden


I may have just picked the wrong color in this case. I feel as though many of the drug store brand bronzer’s I’ve ever used have been too orange-ish and sparkly. What I look for in a bronzer is a natural looking tan color and this was just too bright and had too much shimmer, but could look better if I already had a tan!

4. Brows – NYX Eyebrow Pencil in EP05 Dark Brown


This yet again may have been a color mistake by me. Although it was Dark Brown, it still came out too light for my brows and was highly visible throughout them. I did love that it came with the brush at the end though. It was a great tool for cleaning up and shapng my brows which I do on my own almost daily!

5. Brushes – Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Bush Couture 5 piece brush set


I’ve read a lot of reviews on these bushes that agree with my opinion of them all together, they’re adorable to look at and mainly only for that! The foundation brush is hard and doesn’t smoothly spread the foundation. The blush/powder brush I do love, although it sheds. I love the size, shape, and density of it and use it for my bronzer every day but picking little brush hairs off my face isn’t too fun. After previously using the small round shaped eyeliner brush that comes with the Maybelline Gel Liner pot (see below), the angled brush in this set was a blessing. I never knew any other liner brush till this and because of the angle brush my winged liner comes out perfect every time. The shadow brush is thick and great for full lid coverage. The crease brush I have yet to use, but it’s thin, frail and too flat and wide for my crease. I have heard many great things about the Sonia Kashuk Single brushes in comparison to the limited edition sets.

6. Eye Liner – Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

Maybelline® Eye Studio® Lasting Drama™ Gel Eyeliner - Eggplant

This is another one of my go-to favorites. I have always used this eye liner gel and although have not tried many others besides MAC, I have always loved this one too much to change! It’s smooth and creamy so it’s easy to apply and stays the same all day. The only thing I will say about this product is because of the soft, creamy-ness it will smudge.

7. Mascara – Maybelline Colossal

I absolutely love this mascara. I’ve been using it for years and years now and have yet to find one I love more. Although after a long day it does flake a tiny bit, but I have never had the problem where it has been noticeable at all. It gives my lashes length and volume and I never have problems with it clumping unlike what I’ve experienced with many pricier, high end designer mascaras like Dior, Bag Gal Lash, Sephora, and Mac.

Deeper Than Words Blog…

After some long thought, I have decided to make another blog! This one in particular is just for my writing. Poetry, creative writing, short stories, photography and inspiration from other writers, it will all be there. The title The Style Studies just didn’t suit my creative writing style 😛 so therefore, I’m introducing Deeper Than Words.  

Check it out and if you like what you see, follow subscribe & share! 

xo 

Top 10 Summer Must-Haves…

Here’s too sunshine, sweat, and ocean water. And a list of my summer top 10 must haves…
(All pieces can be found at stores when the picture is clicked on… XO)
1. Bodysuits
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2. Throw On Go-to Rompers & Sun Dresses
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 3. A Sexy Bikini (Just bought the Coulbourne one… what a gem!)
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4.  Every Day Basic Flips with Style
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5. A Good Moisturizer & Glow (LOVE the Honey Bronze Oil!)
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6. Selfie stick
(I know, ridiculous… but definitely necessary)
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7. Waterproof mascara
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8. Good bronzer + Highlighter Shimmer (I use both of these!)
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9. Body chain
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10. A Stylish Pair of Sunnies
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(other colour options available)
XO,
A

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

Hey everyone!

I’ve been having quite a bit of random little breakouts on my face lately, and never having had acne before I imagined it might have something to do with my uncleaned makeup brushes – so I stopped using them in hopes I would get some makeup brush cleaner soon. After some Pintrest snooping, I found a few tricks and decided to give one a go. The results were amazing! This is a super easy, inexpensive, at home way to get all of the old makeup completely out. I swear – your brushes will be the same color as when they were bought new.

Step 1: Get a bowl or clear cup (clear, so you can see the results :P)

Step 2: Get some olive oil and dish soap

Here’s what I used…

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Step 3: 1 tsp. olive oil – 1 tsp. dish soap. – 3-4 tbsp. cool water

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Step 4: Dab brush into the mix until it becomes a lather, and you feel the makeup from the brush is residing in the mix

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Step 5: Rinse the brush under cool water…

Before & After...

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Step 6: Squeeze off excess water and rest to dry on paper towel

Amazing, right!?

Hope this helps 🙂

xo, A

Classic…

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I’m no makeup artist, and I learn nearly everything I know from makeup videos on youtube, but after some recent additions to my makeup I decided to fool around a bit. Yesterday before making my outfit post I created this subtle glam, bronzy type look.

Here’s what I used…

Mac Primer

Mac Mineralize Moisture Foundation

Urban Decay 24/7 concealer pencil in FBI

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour palet in Java, Fawn, Banana & Sand

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil

Smashbox Brow Tech

Too Faced Natural Eyes in Classic

Sephora Lip Liner Pencil in Pure Pinky

Maybelline Gel Eye Liner 

Maybelline Falsies Big Eyes Mascara 

Hope you like it!

xo,

A

Ulta Beauty Haul – Contouring…

I have been in desperate need of some new makeup (and still am!!) I just got a new ‘do’, my nails freshly done, and what else not better than some amazing new makeup to add to the beautifying madness!?

Here’s what I ended up with…

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

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Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil

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Smashbox Brow Tech in Dark Brown

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A simple blending sponge… (found at your local pharmacy store)

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I got this as a free-be with my Ulta rewards card… Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil

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After concealing & contouring… (for my first time!)

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I’ve always seen contouring guides on Pintrest using liquid concealers, highlighters, etc. But I chose this one in hopes that it would be a great guide for me, with many options and have a soft natural look. I think it paid off! I used the Smashbox brow kit and got the result I’ve been looking for since I’ve started using creamy pencils from Sephora. It really gave my eyebrows a clean, amazing look and enhanced their shape, but I didn’t realize how heavy I had put it on until taking a step back. Changing from the pencil to the powder, I was a bit unaware of how much even the tiniest bit of powder could impact the color.

I’d love to hear back any advice, what you think of these products if you have them, and any recommendations for some great bronzers & blushes!

xo,

A

50 Questions You’ve Never Been Asked

I found this cute list of random questions that I thought would be a perfect little ‘get to know me better’ post, and decided it would be a great little train to start.

So here’s how it works. You have to thank who nominated you, comment about something you thought was interesting about them, and then answer the 50 questions. After you’re done, nominate 5 new people!

So here it goes….

1. What’s your favorite candle scent? cinnamon 🙂

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? this is a hard one.. I already have an amazing sister. But I’d say Taylor Swift. I don’t look into many celebrities personal lives, or personalities per day. I enjoy them for what they do. But I’ve seen a lot of the sincere things she has done for her fans and she seems pretty down to earth, plus I love a song with some great lyrics!

3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? Like I said, this is hard for me because I don’t look into their personal lives, but I went through a phase where I watched tons of interviews of John Travolta when he was younger (because I’m obsessed with Grease) and he seemed like a super sweet guy. And would probably have some cute guy friends (; haha

4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? Hopefully I get married between 26 and 28.

5. Do you know a hoarder? hahahaha no. But I tend to keep random silly things because they hold a tiny memory. And shoe boxes, I like to fill them with stuff hahaha but no. no hoarders.

6. Can you do a split? I did gymnastics and cheerleading. So last time I tried I could, but that was awhile ago sooo…… im not so sure haha

7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike? I don’t even know.

8. How many oceans have you swam in? One. Sad, I know.

9. How many countries have you been to? One. 😦

10. Is anyone in your family in the army? No.

11. What would you name your daughter if you had one? Mila

12. What would you name your son if you had one? Bentley

13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test? F lol

14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child? Barney

15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight? I think I was Dorothy?

16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series? I read all of the Twilight books and have to say, the movies are pretty awful.

17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? British. My boyfriend is actually scottish haha

18. What is one of your strangest pet-peeves? I’ve had a question like this before. the answer is windshield wipers. It’s like I have OCD when it comes to them. It will drive me CRAZY if i’m not driving and the windshield wipers are going too fast when it isn’t raining a lot, or too slow, or are making a noise. And when I am driving I’m constantly changing them.

19. Are your grandparents still married? no

20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? no

21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is? yes haha

22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to? six flags my senior year of high school

23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in? Italian or french. I have strong italian roots and think they sound beautiful when the speak. And french is also soo beautiful.

24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray? grey

25. Is your father bald? hahaha how did you know!?

26. Do you know triplets? yup

27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? the notebook i think…. i love them both so much!

28. Have you ever had Indian food? nope

29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant? Don’s, but it closed 😦 (it was my grandfathers)

30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden? once, it was awful

31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)? no

32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? i was supposed to be a boy and that’s why my name is still alex. I have no middle name for that reason too.

33. If you have a nickname, what is it? Al

34. Who’s your favorite person in the world? Addison, my baby sister.

35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs? rural

36. Can you whistle? sometimes, it depends for some reason haha

37. Do you sleep with a nightlight? no, it needs to be pitch black usually for me to sleep

38. Do you eat breakfast every morning? rarely actually, which is pretty bad :/

39. Do you take any pills or medication daily? no, sometimes a vitamin

40. What medical conditions do you have? none

41. How many times have you been to the hospital? 2 times

42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? yes

43. Where do you buy your jeans? anywhere I find a pair that fit right, I’m insanely picky about my jeans

44. What’s the last compliment you got? I can’t even remember the last time I got a compliment lol

45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning? usually. I dream every night

46. What flavor tea do you enjoy? i’m not a tea person

47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? i think 15, that i never really wear either

48. What religion will you raise your children to practice? none. I don’t believe in practicing religion. i feel it has too much control over the free mind. but then again, the mind is free, so believe what you like.

49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real? i can’t really remember but maybe it was 13? I stayed up every christmas eve with my parents to help wrap presents as soon as i found out.

50. Why do you have a blog? I’ve always had a passion for writing and studied Journalism while I was in college; I’ve written my own songs and poetry since I was about 12. There was just every reason in the universe for me to do it. I have a passion for clothes, and thought what not a better way to get my self out there then to write about something that people will want to read, so I started with The Style Studies.

 

Here are the 5 blogs I nominate…

1. Plus + Beauty

2. State & Occupation

3. Lissa Elaine

4. Braids & Eyeliner

5. Aroon Melane

 

Have fun!

xo – A