beauty

12/11 Inspiration…

 

all images via tumblr

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10/26 Inspo

 

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.”

Hafiz of Persia

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. 🙂

Mood Board/Inspo…

This weeks mood board/inspo’ vibes are all about casual denim and simple, natural beauty. I like simplicity a lot when it comes to style, life, and pictures. There’s something s intriguing about an insanely beautiful picture that is just so… well, simple.

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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Summer 2016 Beauty Trends…

With Memorial Day just passed, Summer is here and there’s no other way to spend it than in style. With the common trends of off the shoulder tops, ruffles, and simple, girly vibes, the beauty trends are following that same memo as well. With inspiration from Spring/Summer Runway looks, like DVF, Vivienne Tam, Tory Burch, Edun and so many more, this summers looks are filled with relaxed glamour. Messy buns, plain nails, simple ‘natural’ makeup and bright eyes, this is all you need to know to rule this summer.

 

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The Messy Bun, and what a blessing that is! No more hours on your hair – look stylish in a messy, trendy way. (Image via Edun runway)

 

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Faux Freckles – I told you gals, this summer is all about au-natural! If you got ’em, flaunt ’em. If not, you can buy them! Get yours at freckyourself.com (Image via Emanuel Ungaro runway)

 

braids-ss-2016

Braids – And lots of them. Thick front braids, scattered tiny braids throughout your down-do, ponytail braids, you name it, you braid it. This style looks great with the bare face and faux freckle trend. Your inner little girl is definitely coming out! (Image via Herve Leger runway)

 

blue-eyes-ss-2016

Bright, Colorful eyes – Yellows, blues, pinks, oranges – it’s all necessary for your summer excursions. It’s never a dull brunch when you show up with your eyes glowing (; (Image via DVF runway)

 

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Dark lips, Bare face – Classic red is a must this summer. Simple, clean glam. (Image via  Jason Wu runway)

 

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Wet Hair – This look is a hard one to achieve; aka lots of gel and hairspray. Not that i’m the biggest fan, this can only look tres chic. This would have to be the most stylish look of your summer! Don’t forget the natural looking, bronzed highlight with this. Surfer chic is the main goal here. (Image via DSquared2 runway)

 

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Bold liner, Flirty Wings –  Can you say 1960’s!? LOVING this look. Whether it’s a thick, grungy bottom liner or some flirty top liner flare, rock a sun dress and bring out your inner Audrey Hepburn. (Image via Moschino runway)

 

(Sources: Cosmo, StyleCaster)

 

 

Ettika X The Style Studies…

I’ve yet again received another amazing piece from Ettika! The handmade designer jewelry company constantly leaves me thinking far too often about jewelry and how I will incorporate it into my daily outfits. This gold ‘Million Miles Away’ long chain necklace was created for a collection in corporation with Nordstrom, and was my best friend these past few weekends, as I wore it for days around the city, nights out with friends and for my birthday dinner paired with this gorgeous dress!

 

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It’s beautiful in a simple way, which is why it looks great with nearly every outfit! I loved wearing it with a white halter body suit, ripped jeans and a pair of nude heels. It made it glam easily and had me feeling incredibly chic. It ends just a bit past my belly button, which is perfect for a long necklace. It has a nice bohemian flow and isn’t overwhelmingly glitzy, and therefore can be either dressed up or down. The only negative about this piece is the small gem in the center piece doesn’t seem to be set in all the way; for the price of the piece I find that this is something a bit critical. It’s not something you want to see after spending $75 – not that all pieces will come this way, but mine did. It is very unnoticeable though, and is just me being a tad picky, mind it is my job to give you the most honest review!

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Overall, regardless of the minimal flaw, the piece is beautiful, effortless and timeless. Like I said, it can be worn with just about anything (as I say this I’m wearing it with a pair of black leggings and khaki tunic (; ) and it has become a critical piece to my wardrobe!

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See more bohemian, handmade jewelry from Ettika and get 15% off your order –> here. See more of their pieces in collab with Nordstrom at the Nordstrom Website http://www.Nordstrom.com

 

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.

All I Want For Christmas Is…

Dear Santa,

It would be absolutely amazing if you could get me everything from The Royal Department Paris (TRDP… aka one of the best stores ever), particularly these few things (;

love,

Alex

….Rewind for a minute.. Get 20% off anything and everything TRDP with the code STYLESTUDIES20 … tell you parents, tell your friends, and especially tell Santa. There’s nothing better than cute clothes and some savings 😛

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See more amazing pieces over on TheRoyalDept.storenvy.com (and don’t forget to get 20% your entire purchase with code STYLESTUDIES20 😛 )