Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Runway to Reality: Alice + Olivia Resort 2015

Sometimes during the summer, I struggle to get creative with my fashion.  I fall into a shorts and a t-shirt rut and it's pretty hard to escape.  Today I was feeling especially boring and decided to check out some fashion shows for inspiration.  I found plenty to ooh and ahh over, but I was especially drawn to the Alice + Olivia show.  It was colorful, fun, and more than a little adorable.  This look especially made me squeal with delight, so I decided to see if I could recreate the look for girls (like myself) who are on a budget.


It was surprisingly easy to find a pretty similar look for a whole lot less! I would have never thought to put orange with blue, but it is so bright and summery.  I will definitely be looking through my closet to see if I can add more unexpected color combinations to the mix.  Goodbye summer fashion slump!

Look for Less: Alice + Olivia Resort 2015




Which designers are inspiring you lately?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Daily Look: Bright White

We're on vacation! Sam and Lauren are spending two weeks exploring California from San Francisco to San Diego. We've scheduled posts for every other weekday that we're gone. In the meantime, follow our trip on Instagram @twinstyle_sam and @twinstyle_lauren.



Dress: Gap // Shoes: Converse // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban // Bracelet: Forever 21 // Rings: Madewell // Lips: MAC Girl About Town // Pink Streaks: Creative Image Adore in Pink Rose via Urban Outfitters

This outfit is about as simple as it gets: a throw-it-on eyelet sack dress and a brand spankin' new pair of Converse (my sixth pair overall, if my count is correct). I've wanted optical white Chuck Taylors for the longest time, but come on, they're not exactly practical and I'm not exactly the neatest person around. But I finally decided to just bite the bullet and take a chance on them (this was my version of YOLO because I'm such a wild and crazy person). I doused them in ScotchGard immediately, hoping to stave off the dingies as long as possible, again, because I'm a total bad girl. Intimidated yet? Oh, and I also put some fun streaks in my hair right before we left for California using a hair dye that I threw into my cart along with these shoes to get free shipping. That's what we call a win-win.



Do you wear white shoes, or are they a terrible idea? How do you keep yours clean?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Daily Look: Dark Colors in Summer

We're on vacation! Sam and Lauren are spending two weeks exploring California from San Francisco to San Diego. We've scheduled posts for every other weekday that we're gone. In the meantime, follow our trip on Instagram @twinstyle_sam and @twinstyle_lauren. 



Blouse: Loft // Shorts: J. Crew // Shoes: Ann Taylor // Earrings: Francesca's // Ring: Asos

It's a strange phenomenon, during the winter I always miss my bright summer wardrobe and in the summer I start missing the deeper colors of my cold weather clothes.  I think it's somewhat due to my tendency to anthropomorphize all of my belongings.  Whenever I chose which stuffed animal to sleep with as a kid, I felt bad for the ones left on the shelf and tried to keep the rotation very fair so I could spare their feelings.  So, when I saw this dark lipstick languishing in my makeup bag, I decided that I couldn't leave it lonely for another day!

It was definitely out of the ordinary, but I actually think that it worked.  Short shorts and sandals kept the outfit from looking too wintry, and the unexpected lip color really popped.  Now I just need to avoid making eye contact with my coat.  Lipstick is one thing, but if I start feeling guilty about not wearing wool, I'll be in real trouble!



Will you wear deep colors during the summer, or do you prefer to keep it bright?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Daily Look: Pre-Vacation Shopping

We're on vacation! Sam and Lauren are spending two weeks exploring California from San Francisco to San Diego. We've scheduled posts for every other weekday that we're gone. In the meantime, follow our trip on Instagram @twinstyle_sam and @twinstyle_lauren.



Shirt: Banana Republic Factory // Skirt: H&M // Shoes: Gap Factory // Bracelet: Madewell // Bucket Bag: Old Navy // Earrings: BCBGeneration via Lord & Taylor // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban // Nails: OPI Dim Sum Plum // Lips: Revlon Certainly Red (applied as a stain)

I wore this outfit the weekend before we left for California while running some pre-vacation errands with my husband. He needed a new pair of flip-flops (or flippy-floppies, as he has called them since watching a certain Lonely Island video), so naturally we headed to Old Navy, aka the flip-flop capital of the world. While we were there, I spotted the very purse I was carrying, which I had bought online a few weeks ago, and was relieved when I saw that I had gotten a better deal online. Phew! I have a tendency to wait awhile before wearing a new item in case it happens to go on sale for a better price, and this was actually the very day I cut the tags off of this bucket bag, so I would've been pretty annoyed with myself had it been cheaper at the store.



Do you ever wait before wearing a new item to either find a better price or decide if you really want to keep it, or are you more the wear-it-as-soon-as-I-possibly-can type? I do both!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Daily Look: Help Wanted

We're on vacation! Sam and Lauren are spending two weeks exploring California from San Francisco to San Diego. We've scheduled posts for every other weekday that we're gone. In the meantime, follow our trip on Instagram @twinstyle_sam and @twinstyle_lauren.



Dress: Asos // Shoes: Jessica Simpson via Marshall's // Earrings: Gift // Stacked Rings: Madewell, The Limited // Mood Ring: Vintage

This blog post is a little different because it isn't my outfit of the day; it is more of a potential outfit of the day.  I got this dress in the mail from Asos, but I haven't decided yet if I am going to keep it or return it.  I really love the shape and the Swedish feel of the floral pattern, but is it too retro looking?  It's a pretty fine line between a sixties-inspired look and a hippie costume.

I also usually avoid buying dresses that cost more than thirty dollars, and this slightly exceeded that amount.  On the other hand, it does make me feel pretty, and I've been watching so many What Not to Wear re-runs this summer that I feel like I can hear Stacy and Clinton telling me that if I like the way I feel in it, I should keep it.  Of course, they aren't on hand to give me $5,000, so the price matters.



What do you think?  Is it a keeper or should I add it to the pile of returns that I have accumulating in my closet?  Help!

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Ultimate DIY Manicure Kit

We're on vacation! Sam and Lauren are spending two weeks exploring California from San Francisco to San Diego. We've scheduled posts for every other weekday that we're gone. In the meantime, follow our trip on Instagram @twinstyle_sam and @twinstyle_lauren.

I've been doing my own nails every week for the last 8 years or so. During that time, I've experimented with a lot of different products to try to achieve the perfect at-home manicure. I've also read hundreds of MakeupAlley reviews in my quest for the best (or HG, in beauty-review speak) nail products, and after years of trial and error, I think I've finally created my ultimate DIY manicure kit. Here are my top picks that I can't live do my nails without.

1. Crystal Nail Files
I finally bought some of these a few months ago after hearing how good they were for years. I'm not sure what took me so long, but I love the way these leave a smooth finish and don't get dull the way that traditional emery boards do. I own the Cheeky ones linked to above and in the picture, but you can also find them at Sephora, among other places.



2. Revlon Colorstay Base Coat
This was another product I discovered thanks to its stellar MakeupAlley reviews. I must admit, I tried a few base coats years ago and concluded that they were pointless, just an attempt to force consumers to buy yet another product. But I decided to try this anyway, and wow, it proved me wrong. This stuff really works! It keeps my manicure virtually chip-free for 7-10 days, which is 3-5 days longer than before I started using this. The links on this post will take you to Amazon, but I actually buy it at my local supermarket for less. They just don't have this on their website!


3. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Anyone who reads a lot of beauty blogs and magazines has almost certainly heard of Seche Vite. It's widely considered to be the best top coat available, and you won't hear me arguing with that. I first started using this a few years ago when my mom got it for me as a Christmas present, and I haven't looked back. Seche Vite dries fast and rock-hard, so your nails can take a beating without getting dented. It also keeps my nails salon-shiny for at least a week, which no other top coat I've used in the past was able to do. The cons? Seche Vite does smell terrible (like, worse than regular nail polish), and it thickens once you get to the halfway point of the bottle. To deal with that, you will need the next product.


4. Seche Restore Thinner
This is to use once your Seche Vite top coat gets too thick. Yes, it's kind of annoying that you need an extra product, but in my opinion it's totally worth it. I buy it in the largest size on Amazon from whichever seller is offering the best deal. Supposedly, you can also use it to restore nail polishes that have gotten too thick, but I haven't tried it for that yet.


5. Cutex Cotton Ball Holders
These might look like mini UFOs, but they're actually nifty little devices that allow you to remove nail polish without ruining your manicure. I use them when I want to take off the nail polish on my toes without messing up my nails. They're a little bit tricky to use, but once you get the hang of it, they work well. So far, I've only been able to find them at cutex.com, which is where I bought mine.


6. Acetone Nail Polish Remover
I spent years using various nail polish removers with fancy descriptions like "moisturizing" and "gentle" before I bought this no-frills nail polish remover at Target. It has one ingredient: acetone. And you know what? This stuff dissolves nail polish in no time flat. I used to absolutely dread removing my nail polish, and while I can't say that I now enjoy the process, I no longer put it off. I still buy up&up's version, but I imagine that you could probably get whichever brand's pure acetone nail polish remover is cheapest.


7. Nail Polish
Last but not least, I have a lot (or, as my husband would say, an insane amount) of nail polishes. I'm honestly not too picky about the brand; my collection includes Revlon, Love & Beauty, OPI, Maybelline, Zoya, Sally Hansen, and Essie, among others. I've found that just about any nail polish will look good and last a long time with the right base coat and top coat. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd probably go with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear for its wide range of colors and low price. I generally avoid spending more than $3 on a single nail polish, and these babies run around $2.99.


If you made it to the end of this post, tell me: What are your favorite (HG) nail products? Do you use any of the ones in my ultimate manicure kit?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Daily Look: Throw Something On!

We're on vacation! Sam and Lauren are spending two weeks exploring California from San Francisco to San Diego. We've scheduled posts for every other weekday that we're gone. In the meantime, follow our trip on Instagram @twinstyle_sam and @twinstyle_lauren.



Blouse: Asos // Jeans: Madewell // Shoes: BCBG via Marshall's // Earrings: Loft // Ring: Vintage

One teeny tiny problem with the summer is that with so few things on my schedule, I tend to get very lazy with my fashion.  And when I say lazy, I really mean that I stay in pajamas all day.  When my only companions are my cats, it really doesn't matter, but when someone unexpectedly knocks on my door at two in the afternoon, I have to scramble.  This outfit is the result of just such a scramble!  Maintenance took me by surprise last week, and I barely threw this top and jeans on before they used the master key to come inside.

Once I had passed the great hurdle of getting dressed, I decided to really go all out and brush my hair. After that it only seemed natural to add a ring, slap on some lipstick, and pop over to Target.  Hey, if I'm going to take the time to change out of my elementary school t-shirt, I might as well check out the clearance section, right?



Do you get changed when someone knocks at your door?  I know Lauren will just answer in her pajamas, but I have had to learn my lesson from past mistakes.  I once let in maintenance having forgotten that I had completely unzipped the side of my dress.  Another time, I thought UPS had just left a package at my door and opened it in my robe only to find two momentarily stunned Mormon missionaries.