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!
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
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!
For more inspiration, visit my Tumblr page…. www.stylestudiesx.tumblr.com
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…
- 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.
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.
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. 🙂
Ever since I’ve started selling chokers on Etsy I’ve came across a whole new world of merchandise – a type that I admired more than any other. Knowing the effort, time and money spent making my chokers, I understand and respect the dedication that others take to create their unique products on Etsy. Therefore, I’ve decided I’d start a weekly blog post featuring 5 new shops I come across that I admire, and some of my favorite pieces from them
This is by far my favorite Etsy shop at the moment. I’m not the biggest jewelry person, as I tend to lose it all, but I do find jewelry so beautiful (as expected). What I love most about this particular jewelry shop is the delicacy of it all. It’s simply stunning – and I mean simply literally. It speaks for itself…
2. Thread Thugs
This shop is trendy and unique! Many products are based off of pieces found at LF stores – a clothing store only found in big cities like LA and NY and can’t be bought online. Therefore, it most likely has exactly what you’re looking for but can’t find anywhere else. It’s edgy and chic, affordable and irreplaceable.
This shop is a bit pricey, but makes dresses so you’re paying for what you’re getting. What I love about this shop in particular is the 50s inspired dresses. I have a strong obsession with the 50s era, and I mean everything to do with the decade even beyond the adorable flare skirts and gingham prints. I find it rather difficult to find good 50s inspired pieces, so I instantly fell in love with Valdenize.
These beautiful, beautiful, beautiful gowns are fit for a goddess. I will say no more.
This bohemian style shop sells everything from jewelry to clothing. I have always been on the edge about bohemian style clothing – sometimes I feel like it’s a bit too much, but the great thing about this shop is the variety. Not all pieces are overly bohemian styled, yet there are some pieces that are. It’s perfect for all who are interested in the style!
I have been using my second blog, Deeper Than Words, to post my creative writing; poems, short stories, lifestyle and journal entry posts. I figured that from now on I will put more of them here. After all, no blogger is just one specific genre behind a computer – they are human, and you should see the human side of me too. So, I’m going to post a series of journal entries – meaning, posts where I reflect on situations I find myself in in life; posts about those moments when I take a step back from the situation and think about it more as a whole. These posts can get pretty personal and sometimes very deep, but hey, that’s a part of being a writer. You can’t really be a good one unless you lay it all out there on the table. So, here it goes. Journal Entry One…
You gave me a sense of purpose.
You gave me a sense of purpose.
You gave me a sense of purpose.
The words continued to replay over and over in my head. “I… you know…” he stumbled, “It’s just when you were here you gave me a sense of purpose. I could have helped you. Or, well, I could have tried to. And now you’re not here and it’s just that I don’t have the incentive, the reminder, the bond with you that we have when you are around to remind me that I could have a purpose, that I could be good for something. It’s just hard. It’s hard.”
It hit me like one of those giant, unexpected waves I’ve almost drowned in on the shores of the Hamptons. The taller-than-you waves that curl over your body, that you might actually in reality expect but aren’t seriously prepared for even though you think there’s some way that you will indeed be able to handle its strength. I hated the waves. I hate the ocean but at the same time it’s my favorite thing. I’m afraid of it, and there aren’t many things that I am actually afraid of. It reminds me so much of this moment because this, too, this deep moment of honesty that had been stored for at a minimum of 4 years since I had been living away from my dad had been built up and then released over me. It hit me hard, and I tried to handle its strength but it brought me down anyway, and I was drowning in it.
I finally reached the top and felt the sun on my face. Gasping for air, I rubbed the salt out of my eyes, found my feet and buried them deep and hard into the sand below me and calmed myself. Sweet relief, sweet gratification, purity.
He knew it and I knew it too, that with the truth comes more truth. Before I could even speak he had filled in my words, “But I want you to live your life. That’s where you want to be and what you want to do and that’s what I want for you too, your happiness and to make your own choices.” I had my life to live and couldn’t change my destination or course to be what someone else needed rather than what I did. He understood me, and all at once I understood him too. I think I always did – I always knew this unspoken truth – it was just one that I wanted to stay under the water. I didn’t want to feel it, drowning me, yet it still did. And with the relief of it, I still felt the grains of salt burying themselves into my skin. They soon too will wash away, but I couldn’t help but think how unfair it was that they took me under in the first place. It hit me exactly how he didn’t want it to but needed it to all at the same time.
It felt unfair for him to throw that upon me. I am here and he is there and I wish every day for him to be better. I have tried with my kindest strength to be an incentive for his sobriety – calls every other day if not daily, understanding, loving tones, genuine love, kindness, motivating words. I thought that was enough but it never was and so I gave up.
Those moments, underneath, seeing glances of the sun shine through into the darkness as I searched my way to the top, the salt burning my eyes, are panic mode. Honesty is my favorite action yet the most unpredictable and breathtaking, for good and bad reasons of course, and instantly sweeps you off your feet and into panic. You see, that suffocating moment led me to a deeper understanding.
Maybe sometimes it is the healthiest decision to relieve yourself of your deepest feelings, but for others that relief can leave a burden. But then again, maybe sometimes that burden on us can be turned into less of a burden and more into a deeper understanding and perspective into that persons thoughts and your relationship with them. I’ve come to learn that the truth will, at one time or another, be revealed whether it’s from the person themselves or through some other revealing that might not be as pleasant – and that’s in a emotional and literal way. But regardless, the truth conquers all. Maintaining a healthy relationship is all about communication – honesty, perspective, understanding. All of these things my dad and I had together, and whether the truth did drown me for that moment or not, it was the gentle rawness of his feelings, the truth of it all, that I appreciated more than anything.
I think that’s something we all can (or more so need to) understand and appreciate – that sometimes the pain of drowning for a moment brings us the utter beauty and appreciation of the fresh air pulling deep into our lungs, and the sun shining on our skin.
P.S. – Yes, the header picture is me on the shore of the beach (known as ‘The End of the World’) in the Hamptons, NY. I was on vacation with my family there. We stayed in a tiny, old little hotel that legitimately rested on the ocean shore. The 6 of us would step out of our one bedroom shack at sunset and listen to the waves pouring onto our doorstep. It was magical. And yes, I almost drowned. True story (but then again, I can be a bit dramatic). XO
Sending all sorts of spring love your way with this lovely, flowery lay I created with images via Tumblr ❤ See all original images and their accredited owners here: www.stylestudiesx.tumblr.com
I have to be the worst ever at coming up with blog post titles… But, Spring has definitely sprung here in northern VA. Actually… it sprung about mid-February. We’ve had a series of 80 degree days and then next day drops to 40. If that isn’t global warming, then I’m not sure what it is…
I was strutting through the streets of this gorgeous historic teeny tiny town with my hardcore sass shoes on. My best friend always brings out the inner sass, confidence, and rawness of my personality – there’s no one I feel more comfortable around, which is why we’re such a good duo! These pictures really capture that. It can be hard to pose well in pictures, especially since it takes a certain amount of ‘into yourself-ness’ about it (… if that’s a thing). This was by far my funnest shoot yet, with the best photographer yet. I can’t wait for all of our trips through little historical towns in glam outfits to continue. Here’s to more Zara, lipstick, and sass!