Ad Madness: Eva Mendes for Estee Lauder’s New Dimension Skincare!


Eva Mendes for Estee Lauder's New Dimension Skincare

Eva Mendes is one busy woman- not only is she a mother, girlfriend of Ryan Gosling, fashion designer (for New York & Company), & cosmetics mogul (for Circa), she’s also a spokesmodel for Estee Lauder‘s New Dimension Skincare line, including serums & cosmetics to enhance the look of your skin. The Cuban-American beauty is flawless in the ads, featuring her warm honey complexion, killer cheekbones, & natural glow. When talking about her interest in representing the products (ranging in price from $58-$89), Eva shares with Estee Lauder her own experiences getting to know her face as an actress with, “I have an angular face and I kind of had to learn which angles were which, and how I could work that into a scene,” she continues. “It’s probably what was attractive to me about becoming an actress—the art of transformation.”

Eva Mendes in a red Halston Heritage dress at a mall in Miami for Estee Lauder New Dimension skincare & a belted floral dress at the airport.

The actress made an appearance at a Miami mall to promote the line in a timeless Grecian-inspired Halston Heritage dress with pink ankle strap heels, discussing her experiences as a new mother & turning 40. Later in the day, Eva was spotted at the airport, looking every bit elegant as ever in a belted printed shirtdress & sandals. Though she’s known for her sexy roles & stylish magazine covers, any Style Darling can appreciate the busy day-to-day life of the working woman who’s just trying to take care of herself. For more on Eva’s beauty philosophy, check out Estee Lauder’s interview here.

What beauty products do you trust with your skin? Are you a fan of the New Dimension line from Estee Lauder? What concerns do you have about your skincare? Shop around for the best deals on Estee Lauder at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdale’s, & Neiman Marcus. For more posts, check out the newest from The $100 Challenge featuring an affordable summer dress for every size, the latest red carpet looks from Halle Berry & Olivia Palermo, Dress Barn’s Calvin Klein design for less, & Taylor Swift’s fashionable music videos from her 1989 album. Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Alice + Olivia’s Pre-Fall 2015 Collection Lookbook!


Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2015 Collection.

I heard somewhere that 2015 is all about the 70s, & when you see the Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2015 Collection lookbook, it couldn’t be clearer. The line includes knotted blouses, maxi skirts, flowy dresses, fringe details, & deep-v necklines. These new separates are perfect for mixing & matching with plenty of other wardrobe essentials like skinny jeans, a boyfriend blazer, cigarette pants, ankle booties, a white tee, & pencil skirt. Fans of the brand include Sarah Hyland, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, & Emily Blunt.

Which pieces from the collection are your favorite? Which brands are you following with their newest designs? To shop Alice + Olivia, check out retailers like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, The Outnet, Bergdorf Goodman, Revolve Clothing, & Saks Fifth Avenue. For more stylish posts, click through more Runway Rundown galleries featuring Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, Naeem Khan, Rachel Zoe Collection, Marchesa, & Badgley Mischka. Happy Styling!

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Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Leopard, Metallic, & Rhinestone Flip Flops For Summer!


Memorial Day marks the start of summer for retailers & everywhere you look, cut-off shorts, maxi dresses, & swimsuits are invading the racks at some of my favorite stores. Also, you’ll find plenty of flip-flop options, including ones with leopard print, metallic finished, & rhinestone details, which are perfect for mixing & matching with a variety of summer staples. In my search to share some of the best deals, I couldn’t help but see these trends all over, including at luxury department stores by big brand names. Of course, my goal here is to find the most affordable picks, & that it’s so easy to find look-alikes without breaking the bank.

First, I love the look of animal inspiration for flip-flops, which can work with a polka dot shorts romper, neon bathing suit, or blouse & mini skirt look. That’s why I found the Sam Edelman Gracie flat sandal ($60.00) from Neiman Marcus, & compared it to the American Eagle Twinkle flat flip-flop ($7.99) from Payless.

Next, @Steve Madden, you can find the Sandstrom flip flop ($49.95) in platinum, but you can also achieve the metallic look with the faux leather thong sandals ($8.80) in silver from Forever 21, which are also available in black, gold, & rose. Also, dress up your flip-flops with a little sparkle, as seen with the GUESS flip-flop sandals ($49.00) from Bloomingdale’s. However, for your next barbecue or beachside getaway, check out the rhinestone strap jelly flip-flop ($14.50) in black from Charlotte Russe, which is also where you can score the Buy 1 Get 1 for $12.50 deal on footwear!

Which is your favorite flip-flop trend? How do you like to wear flip-flops? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out the best maxi skirts of the season, 7 must-have sale items for under $100, & a sneak peek at 3.1 Philip Lim’s collaboration with Target! Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… On Pink Jeans!


The neon trend just isn’t going away & why should it? With the latest trend in colored jeans, I wanted to play up the popularity of spring hues after my last Splurge or Save? post, featuring neon blouses. There were just so many different pinks to pick from & styles in skinny jeans that can work for so many looks.

First, I headed over to Forever 21 with the colored skinny jeans ($19.80), which are also available in four other neon colors to mix & match with everyday wardrobe essentials. Next up the price point ladder are the Sophie perfect fit skinny jeans ($30.00) from JC Penney, which can work for a casual day with ballet flats, a graphic tee, & a leather jacket, or for a night out with the girls in a sequin tank & strappy sandals. The jeans that caught my eye to inspire this post are the modern slim denim jeans ($59.99) from Ann Taylor, which have been marked down from their original $88.00 price tag. Not only are these perfect for any age, but I also love the look of ExpressStella colored jean legging ($79.90), which will punch up any casual Friday look at the office with a metallic belt & watercolor print blouse.

Higher price point pink jeans include the MICHAEL Michael Kors Guatemala skinny pants ($89.50) from Dillards, which fulfill any bubblegum pink needs that your wardrobe may have. The feminine color is perfect for neutral accessories like round toe pumps, a taupe jacket, or leather-accented top. Next, you can find the J Brand Jeans neon skinny jeans ($112.20) @Bloomingdale’s & the slim cigarette destroyed jeans ($198.00) @7 For All Mankind. If you prefer to spend more money on a well-known brand, consider your cost per wear & break down how much you’re investing into these 80s throwback bottoms.

How much would you spend on colored jeans? Which color is your favorite? Would you wear pink, or do you prefer the other neon trends? For more posts on affordable fashion options, check out winter-ready LWDs inspired by Taylor Swift & Emma Stone, luxury look-alike Stella McCartney floral pants worn by Dian Kruger, my latest shoe purchases from Target for under $10, & stylish stud earrings from Forever 21. Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… On A Neon Blouse!


In previous Splurge or Save? posts, I’ve featured plenty of classic & trendy items, including polka dot pants, red suede ankle booties, spiked bracelets, burgundy blouses, polka dot tights, & leopard print flats. I would totally rock any of these items, but I’m super excited to share this latest post on neon blouses! Of course the neon hues in yellow / green are a nod to the 1980s & it’s everywhere! Neon is a little tricky to pull off, but it’s not impossible & when you wear a classic button-down blouse like those pictured below, consider pairing it with dark denim jeans, a black pencil skirt, or crisp white skinny pants.

I’d like to start with the most expensive blouse, which is the Splendid neon double pocket henley ($108.00) from Bloomingdale’s. It has a more relaxed feel, but can be dressed up with a brocade skirt, something sequined, or leather leggings. Next is the Patterson J. Kincaid Nova high-low blouse ($82.00) from Neiman Marcus which offers a more feminine take on a neon blouse in a soft, luxurious chiffon, perfect for mixing textures with other edgier pieces. Moving down the price points, the Portofino shirt ($49.90) from Express is a functional blouse to wear under a cardigan, with a pair of satin shorts, or match with navy or charcoal separates.

For the budget-conscious shopper, I selected the Apt. 9 drop-tail hem crepe blouse ($25.20) from Kohl’s, which has been marked down from its original $36.00 price. If worn at least three times in one month, this top comes to less than $9.00 per wear. I know I’ve been sharing a lot from Target lately, but I’ve had the Mossimo long sleeve blouse ($22.99) on my mind, which I’ve seen in stores & have considered for my own wardrobe. I think it would look very modern, yet casual with a leather jacket & cotton camisole, worn over skinny pants for a night out with the girls or a dessert date with your beau. Lastly, the most affordable of all is Forever 21‘s chiffon pocket blouse ($12.80) & it really a steal. For an unexpected twist, you can match this with a bold teal, bright tangerine, or try something softer like a contrast with cream.

Do you like to wear neon? Is this color too scary for you? How would you style these blouses? Which is your favorite color this season? For more affordable fashion posts, check out little white dresses inspired by Taylor Swift & Rooney Mara, a polka dots & pastel looks for under $100, stylish stud earrings from Forever 21, Lauren Conrad’s spring LC Lauren Conrad collection for Kohl’s, & monochromatic outfits featuring Alexa Chung & Michelle Williams! Happy Styling!

Ad Madness / Show Me The Shoes: Kate Upton’s Latest Campaign For Sam Edelman Shoes!


Kate Upton for Sam Edelman

Model Kate Upton has been making headlines for breaking the rules of high fashion lately. The voluptuous Sports Illustrated model has recently scored a campaign deal for shoe designer, Sam Edelman, because photographer David Lipman says that “she isn’t thin,” according to WWD. While modeling strappy heels & sitting in a scattered sea of ballet flats, the blonde looks nothing short of amazing, certainly capturing “the spirit of youth & vitality.” Prices for the collection range between $60.00 – $150.00. To shop Sam Edelman shoes, check out Zappos, Nordstrom, 6PM, Heels.com, DSW, Bloomingdales, & Dillards.

For more celebrity ads, check out a behind-the-scenes look at Beyoncé’s Pulse NYC fragrance, Kate Hudson’s return to Ann Taylor, Raf Simons’ debut for Dior, & Natalie Portman’s Miss Dior Le Parfum commercial. Happy Styling!

Kate Upton for Sam Edelman

Splurge or Save… On Classic Polka Dot Tights?


What better way to spruce up a fall wardrobe & amp up your office style than by playing with different patterns & textures when it comes to hosiery. You can find virtually anything these days, however I’m partial to classics like zebra & houndstooth. The most feminine & universally-stylish of them all is polka dots.  I must have at least four pairs of polka dot tights, especially since they look great against more masculine prints like argyle on a cardigan & can really make plaids pop.  Of course, when it comes to tights, you always have to consider quality to ensure no snags or runs, so I always advise that garments like these are an investment, especially when you find a reliable & comfortable brand.

I’ve selected five pairs, ranging in price from some of my favorite stores, including the Falke dots tights ($44.00) from Bloomingdale’s, DKNY dotted tights ($25.00) from Nordstrom, sheer small dot full tights ($16.90) from Express, Simply Vera Vera Wang polka dot control top tights ($9.99) from Kohl’s– which are regularly priced at $14.00, & Minicci swiss dot tights ($7.99) @Payless.

How would you wear polka dot tights? How much are you willing to spend on hosiery? How often do you wear tights? Do you prefer them for work or a night out? For more fabulous Splurge or Save? posts, check out burgundy & oxblood blouses & leopard ballet flats! Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… A Burgundy Blouse?


The color of the upcoming fall-winter season is burgundy & its related hues, including brick, deep red, maroon, oxblood, merlot, & so on. I have to say that this isn’t a color I wear often, but I can see the luxury in it, especially when it comes to classic & feminine pieces like a burgundy blouse. Lately, Style Darling has been all about what’s been going down at New York Fashion Week with manic posts under Runway Rundown, but if we’re going to look ahead, let’s talk about what we should be considering for updating our wardrobe this fall.  Even if you’re not looking to stay on-trend, the idea of a burgundy blouse is pretty timeless.  It will look lush & expensive against any black, gray, navy, cream, mustard (yes, I said mustard), or denim pieces that you already own & rely on for building your everday looks.  Keep with the jewel tones & add a splash of deep purple for some colorblocking!

I’ve found five similar blouses that fit the criteria for Splurge of Save?, ranging in price from nearly $400 to under $20.  Of course, when it comes to a blouse, you have to consider the care that you will take in cleaning it, if it’s hand wash or dry clean only, which will entail an extra cost & time spent going to & from a reliable dry cleaners. Also, let’s say that for the sake of variety, we’d be looking at wearing this blouse twice a month from September to April. That’s 8 months & 16 wears, which is how we’ll figure the always important CPW (cost per wear).

The most expensive, but perhaps my favorite of all these blouses is the Equipment Signature 2-pocket silk chiffon shirt ($398.38) from ASOS. The subtle polka dot print can also be mixed with other prints like a pinstripe pant or always fashionable houndstooth pencil skirt if you’re going for a real runway-inspired look.  At most, this comes to just under $25 per wear, which can always buy you a great lunch & dessert with a refreshing glass of wine when you’re out with the girls.  Next, the Joie ‘Marru’ pleated blouse ($198.00) @Neiman Marcus is a less conventional looking blouse, but the modern pleats down the front add texture to this flowy feminine piece.  Wearing this will cost you less than $13 each day, which doesn’t sound so bad, but for some, the sleeve-length may not be favorable.  This can always be remedied with a cool cardigan or heavy knit wrap sweater. ALso, keep in mind that light pieces like blouses can always soften up tough separates like a leather jacket!

Thirdly, the Calvin Klein roll sleeve shirt ($69.50) from Bloomingdale’s doesn’t necessarily fall under the blouse category, but if worn with the right separates, this shirt can be utilized for day or night, in the office or for a date.  The sporty sleeves are perfect for pairing with a menswear-inspired vest, but this can also be coordinated with faux leather leggings, tucked in with satin shorts & tights, or simply worn with distressed boyfriend jeans & flats.  Dress this up with an embellished cardigan & drop earrings, or keep it simple with a croc embossed belt & riding boots.  For just over $4 a day, this doesn’t seem like such a bad deal, but of course, every Style Darling knows to keep their budget in mind.

For those who love the retro look, consider the ‘Prepare to Bordeaux’ top ($49.99) from Mod Cloth, which recalls that sexy librarian / secretary vibe, while also donning an air of Old Hollywood.  With a metallic-accented brocade pencil skirt or sequined mini, this is perfect with a killer blazer or worn to show off the sheer sleeves.  Not to mention that the scarf-like knot at the neck draws attention to your face.  Not to keep getting too math-y, for just over $3 a day, this blouse is worth the investment.  Lastly, Forever 21‘s shirred high-low shirt ($19.80) is our least expensive blouse, costing barely $1.25 per wear & is also great for styling for day or night.  Take a cue from the pic above & try your favorite pair of colored jeans, or create a 70’s look with wide leg jeans & camel accessories.

Which blouse is your favorite? Are you getting into the burgundy trend? How would you style this look? What piece would you like to see next in Splurge or Save? Happy Styling! (Special thanks to graphic designer, Nino Vlacich <3, for his time & skills in creating the image above!)

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Black & Gray Patterned Cardigans from Bloomingdales & Forever 21!


I know I haven’t posted any of my own outfits on here yet, but I will & when I do, you’ll be seeing a lot of cardigans! It’s probably my favorite finishing piece to a look.  Some may say that cardigans are frompy or for old ladies, but I love that they’re more delicate than bulky jackets & come in so many different forms.

I saw the C by Bloomingdale’s Fair Isle open front cardigan ($152.00) @Bloomingdale’s & loved the color combination, but it was out of my price range, even though it had been marked down from $190.00. This is something so effortless to wear with a basic pullover & my favorite dark denim jeans on a fall afternoon running errands.  I even love how the picture is styled with a long pendant necklace- exactly what I would wear!

However, since we’re talking about patterned cardigans, I have to bring up the black & gray knitted geometric cardigan ($34.90) from Forever 21.  At first glance I thought the two sweaters were identical.  Alas, they are not the same, but since I love wearing black & gray during the cooler months.  Don’t ask me why, I think it makes me feel warmer!

Both can be worn to add some texture to an outfit of a silk shell & pencil skirt, or wide leg trousers with a turtleneck.  There’s over $100.00 worth of savings between the two items, money that can be well-spent elsewhere, don’t you agree?

What do you think of cardigans?  Do they regularly rotate in your wardrobe?  Which would you wear?  Which would you actually buy?  Take a look at the last Luxury Look-Alikes for Less post, featuring Alexis Bittar vs. Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s earrings!  Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: The Big Jewelry Post Featuring Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, & More!


Who doesn’t love fashion jewelry?!  For starters, the real thing is fabulous, but when you can find luxury look-alikes like these, who’s thinking about dropping some serious dough?

During my search, I came across these blue-stone hoop earrings.  One pair is $695.00 @Bergdorf Goodman, whereas the other comparable pair is sold @Kohl’s by the Candies label for under $10.  These are the perfect pop of color to bring out any eye color, especially with a boldly printed maxi dress, or if you’re sporting a ruffled blouse & skinny jeans for date night!  Next, if you’re looking for animal-inspired accessories, check out the Ikat bangle by Kate Spade from Neiman Marcus, however it runs $128.00, whereas the white leopard option is a mere $5.80 @Forever 21.  If you’re wearing solids like a sultry red, or a bright cobalt mini dress, here’s where animal prints work best in your accessories.

If you’re into two-finger rings, a la Gwen Stefani’s Rock Steady phase, check out what designers Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen have designed for their label, Elizabeth & James.  The sea urchin two finger ring costs $175.00 @Bloomingdale’s, but is comparable in the rock star chic sense to the Candie’s crystal two finger ring from Kohl’s for $11.20.  Lastly, I wasn’t intentionally looking to feature a second pair of earrings, but I couldn’t get over how similarly these drop earrings are & just had to make room for them! Between Nordstrom & Forever 21, both pairs show off gold tones, but vary in price from $4.80 all the way up to $262.00!  These are the perfect finishing touches on a look with upswept hair or a messy ponytail!

Check out our previous Luxury Look-Alikes posts for more great affordable ways to recreate these stylish finds!  Is there a piece that you’re looking for, but can’t find for less cash?  I can’t make any promises, but I’ll do my best to try & find it!  Happy Styling!