Holiday Shopping Head Start!


‘Tis the season to be gifting! Thanksgiving is next week, which means that it’s time to make that gift-giving list (if you choose to do so). There are so many useful, cute, & affordable gift options out right now to fill your most fashionable friends with style & joy this season. Personally, I don’t buy gifts just for the sake of buying meaningless stuff to give to  anyone. I like to pick special pieces that will really please a recipient & serve a function—even if that function is indulgence & luxury.

When compiling your shopping list, consider if an item is something that they’ll actually use, that it’s not just a filler gift. Also, jot down their interests by their name on your list so that if you can look out for something particularly perfect for a friend or loved one. Lastly, I’ll often discuss with people close to me if they want to exchange gifts (& if so, establish a spending limit) or if they’d prefer to go out for dinner instead. Sometimes arranging a night with a group of friends with dinner & drinks is the best way to go. However, listing, shopping, wrapping, & giving are my favorite ways to put me in the holiday spirit.

All of the below ideas are not just stylish, but they’re all under $15.

beanie @Charlotte Russebook @TJMaxxgift set @Ultaearrings @Francesca’sscarf @H&M

I love discovering accessories as gifts because they add just a little bit more sparkle, which I know I’m always seeking for myself. What kinds of gifts are you shopping for this season? Where do you shop for the best deals this holiday? Happy Styling!

 

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Holiday Gift Styles: Casper’s Beauty Sleep Challenge & Stylish Deals for Better Sleep!


November is nearly over, but it’s not too late to take better steps towards National Sleep Comfort Month… Did you know? I didn’t! Casper, a company that makes latex memory foam mattresses, is holding a Beauty Sleep Challenge & Style Darling is up for the task, sharing favorite ways to relax in style & get ready for bed for a more satisfying night’s sleep. Not to mention the fact that everyone’s life gets crazy, so giving the gift of better sleep to a loved one this holiday season is a great idea, whether it’s with a pajama set, fuzzy slippers, stylish throw blanket, or relaxing extras like candles or moisturizers!

When it comes to sleepwear, I’m all about color. Here’s the one instance where color-coordination isn’t such a big deal for me. I love mixing pops of color since sleep is all about a time for your body to rejuvenate & why not have fun with colors & patterns that you can alternate for a playful sleep ensemble? When hitting the sheets, I’ve picked some must-haves that will certainly make lounge-time even better, & these selections won’t break the bank!

Casper's Beauty Sleep Challenge for National Sleep Comfort MonthSHOP: Eartherapeutics sleep mask ($8.00) @Ultashort robe ($39.50) in pink @Victoria’s Secret, pajama set ($13.19) in oatmeal heather @Target, pajama set ($13.19) in grey @Target, & slippers ($17.95) in blue @H&M.

This is definitely the time of year to bundle up & I’m not one to shy away from blanket variety, if I’m snuggling up for a Sunday afternoon nap or curling up with my beau for a restful winter night’s sleep. Here’s another opportunity to let your style speak through your sleep-ready essentials. Soft textures & modern prints are what bring any bedding arrangement to life & these will certainly inspire you to get that much-needed shut eye.

sleepSHOP: throw blanket ($8.88) in interlocking squares @Walmart, velvet plush throw ($8.99) in leopard @JC Penneyfleece blanket ($6.00) in houndstooth @OldNavy, & fluffy throw ($9.99) in fucshia @Bed Bath & Beyond.

Before heading off to bed, I always have to take care of my skin since I suffer from dryness. Staying moisturized will keep your skin glowing & healthy for when you wake up!

sleepSHOP: Neutrogena night cream ($11.99) @CVS & Blistex medicated lip balm ($3.69) @Drugstore.com for a 3-pack.

Lastly, the writer in me loves a good book before dozing off at night. When prepping my mind for dreamland, I have a few other valuable pre-sleep rituals to relax & distress me from everything going on during my hectic day of work, school, relationships, & writing. I try to keep hydrated, especially since this the dryness in the air this time of year sometimes affects my mouth and throat.

sleepSHOP: chamomile tea ($3.39) @Celestial Seasonings, coconut water ($21.16) @Zico for a 12-pack, candle ($11.25) in necatrine green tea @Bath & Body Works, & Eartherapeutcis pillow mist ($9.00) @Ulta.

When it comes to sleep, the best thing you can really do is invest in a quality mattress & pillows that meet your sleeping needs. For more from Casper, be sure to check out their informative & helpful blog, Pillow Talk, featuring plenty of tips for better sleep habits & ways to relax before heading to bed!

Where do you like to shop for pajamas? What’s your sleepwear style for the seasons? For more stylish & affordable posts, check out recent #BlackFriday deals from stores like Gap & New York & Company, Jennifer Aniston’s latest red carpet looks, the ultimate photo gallery featuring Olivia Palermo’s style, & winter pastel wardrobe inspiration from Lupita Nyong’o & Elle Fanning! Happy Styling!

Beauty Buys: All-In-One Cosmetic Kits For The Holidays!


I’m known for my dresses, shoes, & earrings collections, but I’m also a sucker for a good cosmetic case, full of eye-popping shadow colors, fun lip hues, & basic blushes to enhance your beauty look. Not to mention, that all-in-one sets are the perfect holiday gift for the Style Darling in your life. Even if you’re just starting to discover your makeup style, a kit with plenty of color options is fun for experimenting to discover what looks best withy our eye shape or skin tone. Also, it’s important for space efficiency to have your cosmetics in one unit in order to keep your personal space as organized as possible for a stress-free morning & getting ready routine.

e.l.f.

 e.l.f. large makeup collection ($45.99) @Target

Sephora

color festival blockbuster palette ($49.50) @Sephora

Ulta

glam & glow blockbuster ($19.99) @Ulta

Victoria's Secret

give me glam makeup kit ($35.00) @Victoria’s Secret

Which brands or beauty store do you prefer for all of your makeup needs? Do you have a weakness for new eyeshadows or lip colors? What’s your go-to beauty must-have? For more stylish posts, check out affordable cold weather accessories, Anna Kendrick for Marie Claire‘ December 2014 issue, & bowed ballet flats from MICHAEL Michael Kors & Kate Spade New York! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Loving A Little Leopard, Inspired by Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, & More!


When it comes to animal prints, my go-to is zebra, which goes back to my natural love all black & white patterns. However, as we’re in the thick of summer, stores are filling up with fall fashions, including luxe leopard pieces to mix up with neutral separates & pops of color in your accessories.

Olivia Palermo, Miranda Kerr, & Heidi Klum

Trendsetter Olivia Palermo styled her separates by Tibi with a pop of leopard in her skinny belt, which offset the geometric look of her ankle strap sandals. Model Miranda Kerr was flawless this spring when hitting the street for a stylish day out with a bold leopard A.L.C. duffel bag to add a trendy splash of personality to her button down shirt, denim skirt, & thigh high boots. Project Runway host Heidi Klum shows off her wild side (& her legs!) in a high slit skirt & embellished too.

For affordable leopard love in your wardrobe, I found these functional & fashionable pieces that are sure to make a splash when corrdinated a variety of ways. First, the leopard tote ($2.50) from Forever 21 is great for all of your on-the-go needs, especially when wanting to use a durable recyclable bag when hitting the market. Also, you can dress up or dress down the tiered leopard tank ($34.00) from Dress Barn (which I own & love!) with dark denim skinnies & a blazer for a girls’ night out, or cardigan & pencil skirt for the office. For a truly wild look, pair these loose fit pants ($17.95) from H&M with a black tank & gold flats for day, or mix up your look with a crop top & pointy heels for evening.

leopard images

I love shopping for printed belts, which can work well with a wrap dress, shirtdress, over a cardigan, or when you wanna cinch in a tunic top to show off your waist, like the leopard skinny belt ($24.90) from Express. One of my most recent purchases come from Charlotte Russe, & that is the patent thong sandal ($7.50), which was such a great buy too since there’s currently a BOGO $5 sale of select shoes. So, I also indulged in a white pair to wear with sporty jersey dresses & when heading out to the beach this summer.

For one last look at some leopard inspirations, I put together some of my favorite images, high end & affordable items, & celebrity moments that include leopard. This includes a September 2010 Vogue UK shoot fetauring supermodel Kate Moss in an embellished leopard jacket. Scarlett Johansson added a pop of leopard in her Christian Louboutin pointy toe pumps with a Vivienne Westwood dress. Also, to celebrate leopard on your nails, there’s the Sally Hansen strips ($9.99) in leopard, available @Ulta. Also, you can keep warm on those cool summer knits with this Apt. 9 leopard scarf ($11.99) from Kohl’s. For some designer inspiration, the paneled leopard dress ($1,150.00) by Escada is sold @Neiman Marcus. Lastly, the leopard heart drop earrings ($16.00) from River Island are playful & flirty to dress down a classic LBD.

Kate Moss for Vogue UK, Scarlett Johansson in a Vivienne Westwood dress & Christian Louboutin pumps, Leopard earrings by River Island, Sally Hansen leopard nail stickers, leopard scarf from Kohl's, & Escada leopard panel dress from Neiman Marcus.

How do you like to wear leopard? What’s your favorite leopard accessory? Which leopard pieces are your favorites? Happy Styling!

Watch The Style: Scarlett Johansson & Matthew McConaughey Star In Dolce & Gabbana’s “The One”!


Dolce & Gabbana - The One, featuring Scarlett Johansson & Matthew McConaughey

Two of the biggest stars in Hollywood are lending their acting chops & model-worthy good looks to the fashion industry’s latest short film, Street of Dreams, directed by the one & only, Martin Scorsese. Dolce & Gabbana spokesmodel Scarlett Johansson & Southern heartthrob Matthew McConaughey join forces under Scorsese’s direction for this commercial / video, celebrating the Italian fashion house’s fragrance The One ($59.00 – $82.00), which can be purchased through the brand’s official website, Sephora, Macy’s, & Ulta.

In a recent press release, Domenico Dolce shared how pleased he was with the final result, as well as Scarlett’s performance: “Scarlett is the embodiment of ‘The One’ woman… She lives and breathes every womanly nuance. She exudes desire and innocence. She is both sobriety and sensuality. There is innocence in her eyes yet her smile is laced with mischief. She is a talented actress and a beautiful woman.

Below, check out the commercial of Scarlett, clad in the brand’s signature black lace & old Hollywood glamour, playing the role of ‘The One.’

For more celebrity videos, be sure to check out previous posts, including Robert Pattinson for Dior Homme, a behind-the-scenes look at Chloe Grace Moretz for Glamour, Rooney Mara starring in ‘Downtown’ for Calvin Klein, & Nicole Kidman’s debut campaign for Jimmy Choo! Happy Styling!

5/6/2013 Darling Of The Day: Ashley Madekwe’s Checkered Topshop Jumpsuit!


Usually when I post something for Darling Of The Day, I share look-alike pieces that are much more affordable than what a celebrity is wearing. However, Revenge actress & style blogger extraordinaire Ashley Madekwe (who is making her second appearance in DOTD) calls on the pajama trend for a recent red carpet in support of a Topshop event. She showed up in the brand’s check dungaree jumpsuit ($110.00), which is currently available for purchase online. Yes, it’s a lot higher than I would pay, but the one-piece has a lot of versatility & plays with the same light flirtiness of a maxi dress.

To complete this look without breaking the bank, I’ve selected affordable pieces from Forever 21, including the essential layering tank ($2.80) in white, Love pendant necklace ($1.80) in gold, & lacquered geo hinge cuff ($5.80) in cream / white. Also, other pieces to build the outfit include the strappy faux leather heels ($22.60) from GOjane & Lulu Townsend flower snap box clutch ($34.95) from DSW. I also wanted to share that Ashley’s showing off some major toe cleavage & her pedicure looks fantastic with this season’s greatest color trend. To achieve this look, I recommend the salon formula nail lacquer ($6.00) in mint condition @Ulta.

What do you think about Ashley’s stylish overalls? Would you wear this look? Do you follow Ashley’s style blog, Ring My Bell? For more celebrity posts, check out the most recent update from Top 10 Celeb Sightings, Olga Kurylenko’s latest red carpet looks, Gwyneth Paltrow’s promotional tour frocks for her latest cookbook, spring floral looks inspired by Elizabeth Olsen & Miranda Kerr, & Scarlett Johansson’s Marie Claire cover shoot! Happy Styling!

Beauty Buys / Ad Madness: Behind-The-Scenes At Kate Hudson’s Almay Shoot!


Kate Hudson for Almay

Kate Hudson is one busy lady! Not only is she returning as the face of Ann Taylor, working on her debut capsule collection for the store, & has recently appeared as a recurring character on Glee, but she’s also continuing her role as spokesmodel for cosmetics giant, Almay. Courtesy of InStyle, I was able to find behind-the-scenes images of Kate in action, showing off her beautiful features with Almay’s Intense i-Color Shimmer Eyeshadow ($6.00) in Bold Nudes, which is available @Ulta. This color trio is also available in blue, hazel, & green shades to match with your eye color.

Kate Hudson for Almay

What do you think about Kate’s modeling efforts for Almay & Ann Taylor? Do you use Almay cosmetics? For more from Beauty Buys & Ad Madness, check out posts including Victoria’s Secret latest nail polish launch, Sally Hansen’s sparkle-friendly polishes, Kirsten Dunst’s Bvlgari film, Mon Jasmin Noir, & Scarlett Johansson for Dolce & Gabbana’s Perfect Luminous cosmetics.  Happy Styling!

Beauty Buys: Hurricane Sandy Can’t Stop Your Nails From Sparkling!


Local schools, universities, offices, & transit is already cancelled for tomorrow, while we’re waiting for this hurricane to make a mess out of the Northeast (for those of you who don’t know, Style Darling is based out of New York’s very suburban Long Island).  I figured I’d get a jump on posting blogs for my lucky readers to indulge in since they’ll have power & alas, I won’t.

My family has stocked up on water, ice, batteries, & clock radios, but I’m not worried about how I will spend my time should the power go out.  Of course, I wouldn’t dream of recommending to anyone that polishing your nails is an essential part of hurricane survival, but here’s a little advice for when the daylight in upon us & there’s not much to do when the television & internet is down.

I’ve been keeping an eye out on the latest trends in nail art, especially since that’s the fashion-related hashtag read around the world. No matter where you live, what language you speak, or what your style is, there’s nail art for everyone. I’m a big fan of sparkles, especially this season & I don’t have time to change my nail color daily. I’m no basic pink-fingered Style Darling, but I like something that can be re-touched without any hassle… which brings me to the Gem Crush collection by Sally Hansen ($6.99) from Ulta.

You can find Sally Hansen at any drug store (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, as well as Target or Walmart), but I love shopping for any & all beauty products at Ulta since I’m a member & receive tons of weekly coupons ranging from $3.50 off a $10 purchase, $5 off a $10 purchase, or 20% off any item.

The Gem Crush line includes dazzling hues like (from left-to-right, as seen above) Show Girl Chic, Cha-Ching, Big Money, Bling-tastic, Be-Jeweled, Razzle Dazzler, Lady Luck, & Glitz Gal. I haven’t picked a favorite, but if you were wondering, I’m currently sporting Big Money on my fingers & Razzle Dazzler on my toes! For more about Style Darling’s nails, be sure to check out the latest updates on Instagram (@MissAlissaL)! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Pretty Hues For Your Peepers ($10 & Under)!


I can’t even remember the last time I bought eyeshadow (perhaps b/c I have sooo much of it), but every now & again, it’s always a good idea to refresh your collection with some new hues.  Here are some of my affordable suggestions, all for under $10 @Ulta.

The Almay Intense I-Color Satin Eyeshadow in Greens ($6.99) is a palette perfect for any eye color & the chic blend of green & purple will make the lighter flecks of color really stand out.  The Prestige Cosmetics Eyeshadow Duo in Morada ($2.39) is a great way to reinvent the smoky eye, especially in such rich purple hues.  This affordable duo also comes in combinations of neutrals, pinks, & blues.  My favorite everyday eye shadow is Revlon’s 12 Hour Eyeshadow Quad in Nude Elements ($3.29) b/c its neutral for daytime, but still smoldering when blended with the darker hues for a date night.  To perk up your peepers with cream instead of powder, try Revlon’s Illuminance Creme Shadow in Black Magic ($5.99) will take away any evidence of your previously night’s party.  For those Style Darlings that really like to sparkle, NYX’s Glitter Cream Palette in Ocean Breeze ($5.99) gives you five different & vibrant options in one package!  This also comes in combinations of golds, silver, purples, & bronze shades!

What’s your favorite makeup brand?  Are you an Ulta shopper?  How do you usually do your eye makeup this time of year?  Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Best Beauty Deals @Ulta ($10 & Under)!


During a recent bargain beauty excursion @Ulta, I was coupon queen & discovered a bunch of deals on some of my new favorite items!  What’s so great about Ulta is that you can find great brand name cosmetics & beauty products for $10 & Under, & in most cases $5 & under too! Don’t forget to sign up @Ulta.com for regular notifications on sales & $3.50 off $10 purchase coupons for in-store use.

I picked different items to showcase, including this shimmering eyeshadow by Essence in Disco Diva, for only $1.99!  If applied lightly, it’s flirty for day, or even something under the lower lash line is cute for night with a shorts romper or cocktail look.  While we’re talking about face care, don’t forget about lipliner by Prestige Cosmetics.  It costs $4.29 & is an easy way to touch up your lips if you’re looking to accentuate your pout with your favorite lip gloss.  However, I always recommend finding a hue closest to your actual lip color so that you don’t see a darker, tacky line if it starts wearing off.  When trying to hide some shine on your face in the heat, try Cover Girl‘s loose powder for $5.89.  Use a puffy applicator or lightweight blush brush to graze over your browbone & along your jawline to reduce an unwanted shine.

Moving on to your hands, if you’re still looking for that one perfect hand lotion to throw in your tote, experiment with a travel size item like the everyday hand lotion by Eos for $2.99.  If you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted too much of your hard-earned paycheck on a failed product. I’ve probably posted this nail lacquer by Ulta brand cosmetics in “After Party,” but it still stands the test of time as my favorite all-time polish for only $5.00!  Sometimes it’s even on sale as low as $2.  It reminds me of a nail polish version of Dorothy’s ruby slippers in Wizard of Oz. TIP: Take the survey at the bottom of your Ulta receipt & get a code for a fee nail polish too! Happy Styling!