How To Style A Chambray Dress Year Round

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Chambray Dress (similar style for $30 HERE!) //  Blanket Scarf (under $10!)  //  OTK Boots

Once I started losing weight, the first shirt that looked way too big on me was my chambray shirt. I wore this shirt ALL. THE. TIME. Chambray can easily be dressed up or down, and that’s why I love it so much! I decided to start shopping online for another one, but came across this dress instead! My favorite part? You can wear this year round. Yup, you heard that right. I have it styled in these photos for winter, with OTK boots and a thick blanket scarf. You can even wear tights or leggings under it instead of OTK boots. For a more fitted look, you can add a black belt around the waist. Here are a few other options:

Spring: wear it with a statement necklace or earrings and ankle booties. If it’s warm outside, you can roll up the sleeves and wear it with a cute pair of mules.

Summer: roll up the sleeves, wear a pair of wedges or sandals, and add a statement clutch with bright colors.

Fall: Ankle booties and a scarf. This is one of my favorite ways to wear it!

Casual: wear a pair of Converse (I have these and love them!) and a baseball cap (THIS ONE is super cute and has pearls on it!).

Do you have an outfit that you wear year round, but style differently for each season? Let me know in the comments!

If you have an outfit you would like styled, just let me know! Leave a comment or send me an email, I’m always looking for new post ideas.

Thanks for reading!

Valerie

How To Dress Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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Top: Soft Surroundings // Shorts: Target // Bag: Target // Shoes: Similar //
Necklace: Similar 

With warmer weather starting to arrive, I decided to start posting summer looks. Soft Surroundings just released their summer collection, and I’m in love! SO many bright colors. The mixed prints and beaded detail are what caught my eye on this top, and knew I had to add it to my summer collection. It’s also perfect for transitioning from spring to summer. I styled it here with jean shorts and wedges, but you can style it with any pair of jeans or white pants.

What I love about this shirt, is you can wear it buttoned up, unbuttoned, tucked in (like I did here) or tie it together in the front. The back is a bit longer, so you can also wear it with leggings.

The top is a lot brighter than some of the outfits I usually wear, and the jean shorts are way shorter than what I’m used to, but I’m really trying to dress out of my comfort zone this year. I always tend to dress by what people may think about me (kind of what I’ve done my whole life). This year, one of my goals was to live my life the way I want, be my own person, and be happy in my own skin. Do what makes ME happy. So that’s exactly what I plan to do! WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! JUST BE YOU! The only person that can make you happy is yourself!

Here are a few tips to dress out of your comfort zone:
1. STOP caring what other people think! (obviously, the main one)
2. Wear bright colors! (or dark colors if you always wear bright ones).
3. Afraid to wear that 2 piece swim suit? GET IT! Love your body!
4. Wear tighter fitting clothes! (baggy shirts aren’t always flattering anyways 😉 )
5. Don’t put yourself down!
6. BE YOU.

I hope this helps you buy that tight dress you’ve always wanted, or that cute two piece swimsuit at Target. Have other tips? Leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

This post was in collaboration with Soft Surroundings. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible! ❤ 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

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We are officially halfway through the week! A little life update (2 things): First, As some of you may know, I work at the National Personnel Records Center as an Archives Technician. We basically send military records to veterans that request them. I’m currently on the burial team, and Friday is my last day. I’m officially going back up to the preservation department where I first started at the records center! I’m so excited to be working with my old coworkers again, and will somewhat be using the degree I am paying for each month, haha!

Last: This week my Aunt and Uncle from Georgia are visiting! I plan on spending all weekend with them. Saturday we will be spending the day at the lake BBQing and Fishing. The weather is supposed to be SO nice, so it will be perfect. Lake season has officially started, and I could not be more excited for warmer weather!

On to today’s post! Did anyone realize how close Mother’s Day is? Only two and a half weeks away! Usually I wait until the last minute to find something, but this year I’m trying to have a game plan. I did a quick round up of my favorite items that would be perfect for your mom listed above! I’m posting it ahead of time so you have plenty of time for shipping.

You can’t go wrong with Kendra Scott Jewelry, or anything coffee related! You can even throw in there a gift card to her favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or salon/spa! Don’t forget flowers ;). One of my favorite things to get my mom each year is a vase full of her favorite flowers or a plant she can put out in the yard.

I love bright colored scarves for spring and summer. You can add them to your bag, or tie around your neck for a cute statement piece. Of course I had to add a beach bag, since I have summer on the brain!

Do you have Mother’s Day gift ideas for your mom? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

 

Target Beauty Box Review

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For the past few weeks, I have been seeing a lot of talk about the limited edition Target Beauty boxes that hit stores. Everytime I would go and check for them by me, they wouldn’t be on the shelves yet. Yesterday while picking up a few groceries for the week, I FINALLY saw them on the shelves! They are also listed in the weekly ad this week, and can even be purchased online at Target.com! They came out with a total of four boxes, including: Wakeup and Makeup, Be You(tiful), Treat Yourself, and All The Masks. Each box is $7, and includes a mix of full size and travel size items, and coupons for almost every product in the box.

I decided to pick two boxes that caught my eye: Wakeup and Makeup and Be You(tiful).

First, Wakeup and Makeup:

Target box makeup

Contents: Sonia Kashuk Brush Cleaning Wipes (travel size), e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Blending Brush (full size), e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Face Palette (full size), Dove Dry Spray Invisible Deodorant (full size), Dove Dry Shampoo (travel size), Covergirl Peacock Flare Mascara (full size), Honest Beauty Makeup Remover Wipes (travel).

Review: This was my favorite box. It included FOUR full size items and even a blush palette! The travel size items are prefect for my gym bag. I just wish this box contained more makeup items. The name of the box makes you think it would be all makeup items. But either way, this box is way worth the price!

Next, Be You(tiful):

Target box beauty

Contents: e.l.f. Gotta Glow Lip Tint in Perfect Pink (full size), Simple Water Boost Micellar Makeup Remover Eye Pads (travel size), Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo & Conditioner (travel size), L’Oreal Pure Clay Cleanser – Detoxify and Brighten (travel size), Olly Undeniable Beauty Gummy (sample), Sinful Nail Color (full size), Honest Beauty The Younger Face Deep Hydration Cream (travel size).

Review: This was more of a beauty box. While this box only contains two full size items, it does contain a lot of great brands that I have been wanting to try. It also contains more coupons than the other box that I will most likely use very soon! I would also say this box is worth the $7, especially with the coupons included.

If you want to see the contents of the other two boxes, click HERE! I think I want to eventually get the other two boxes, just to try them out. Don’t forget these are limited edition, so once they sell out they won’t be back in stock. Kind of like the Hunter for Target collab, but don’t get me started on that! Haha. I just wanted the tall boots, and they didn’t even get released! Anyways, Don’t forget to use your Target RedCard to get an extra 5% off your purchase and free shipping.

Are there any specific products in these boxes that you would like a review of? Let me know in the comments, or send me an email or DM on Insta. Also, let me know if there are any posts you would like to see on the blog soon!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Valerie

Spring Bell Sleeve Top

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Top (similar) // Jeans (Nordstrom) // Shoes (similar) //  Bag (similar) // Lipstick (Lancome)

Happy Hump Day! Only two more work days until the weekend, and it could not come soon enough. Unfortunately, it’s going to be cold and rainy this weekend, so I just plan on spending it at home and getting a lot of blog work done! Since the weather is still cold, I decided to post an outfit that is springy, but will keep you warm on colder days. I actually shot this look at the beginning of fall, and decided this was more of a transition outfit, so I’ve been holding off on posting it. With that being said, a lot of these exact items are sold out, but I found very similar ones at better price points! I have also lost 20 pounds since I took these photos! I think this is the longest I have stuck with a New Year’s resolution, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! Fitness has turned into a hobby of mine, and I really enjoying working out every day and meal prepping on Sunday’s. Would you all enjoy more fitness posts? Let me know in the comments!

On to the outfit. I originally purchased this top from Shein over the summer. I found four that are almost identical/very similar. This one from Nordstrom isn’t off the shoulder, but I love the cross details! I love how simple this one is from Nordstrom Rack (and it’s under $27!). This Lucky Brand one has layered sleeves! How cute is that?

One of my closet staples that I wear all year round is ripped black jeans. These are from Nordstrom and are super comfy. I even wear them in the summer! I also made my studded flats a closet staple. You can dress them up with a formal dress, or down with a pair of jeans. I originally purchased mine from Amazon, but these from ASOS are very similar! Also, I’m very sad to see my leopard clutch that I CONSTANTLY use is officially sold out. Here are a few similar ones at all different price points: ASOS //  Nordstrom  // Clare V.

The lipstick I’m wearing is the perfect shade for spring and summer. It’s by Lancome, and I received it complimentary from Influenster a few months back. This was my first time trying any lipstick from Lancome! I like the formula, but I’m not a fan of the applicator. It’s WAY too big and hard to apply to the edges of your lip, so make sure you use a lip liner first! The shade I’m wearing is Power Pink. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t purchase it again. If you want a similar shade, go with Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick in shade Electric Pink! It’s so bright and fun!

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!

Valerie

 

 

My Picks From Ulta’s 21 Days Of Beauty

21 Days of Beauty

You guys, Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty is here! I wait for the sale every year and create a list of all the items I plan on getting. Each day, 2 or 3 different items will be on sale for that day only! Most of these items are 50% or more off their original price! This is the only time of the year some of these items will be on sale, so grab them while you can! Set an alarm on your phone for each day so you can order it as soon as you wake up and not worry about items selling out. To save on shipping, order with a friend and split the cost! Here are some of the best deals and items I plan on buying myself! Click the name below, and it will take you directly to the item!

3/18: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara ($10)
3/19: Benefit Brow Setter ($12); IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pressed Powder ($14.50)
3/22: Clarisonic Mia 2 ($119)
3/23: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Singles ($10) **Not sure if it’s specific colors!
3/25: IT Cosmetics Brush for Ulta Foundation Brush #102 ($11)
3/27: Lorac Pro Contour Palette ($20)
3/29: Benefit Cosmetics Roller Mascara ($12)
3/30: Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick ($10.50) **Not sure if it’s specific colors!
3/31: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($10.50)
4/3: Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten ($14)
4/5: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($10)
4/6: Tarte Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint ($10) **Not sure if it’s specific colors!
4/7: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($11.50) 

Items on sale every day:
Buy 3 Get 1 Free Minis (perfect time to buy products you want to try out without splurging on the full size! And traveling, of course!)
Tarte Ready, Set, Radiant Skin Mist ($15)
Bareminerals Liquid Lipstick ($13)
Smashbox Eyeliner ($12)

I know this isn’t included in the sale, but I just purchased the Becca Cosmetics Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder when I placed my order for the Tarte mascara. I have heard so many good things about it and decided to use some of my rewards points and get it! They were also having a deal on it, if you spend $38 on Becca Cosmetics, you get a free primer! So I will be giving a review of both of them as soon as I get them!

What items do you plan on getting in the sale? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Valerie

Spring Trends For 2018

Spring Trends

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Happy Hump Day! I know I have been MIA lately. I came down with the flu a few weeks ago, and it knocked me out! For a week straight, I had high fevers and no energy. Ever since then I just couldn’t get back to my normal routine. I’ve also been concentrating more on my weightloss journey. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated with two things (my favorite quote from Ron in Parks and Rec: “Never half a** two things, whole a** one thing”). Though this is true, I’ve decided to try and stay motivated with both by setting time aside for each thing, and only concentrating on it during that time. I also plan on having a lot more fitness related posts on here (next Friday I’m sharing fitness tips that helped me lose 25 pounds so far!).

Also, the Instagram algorithm has been bringing me down MAJORLY (anyone else??). Most of my website views came from Instagram, and now that only 200 (of the 10,000 followers I have) are seeing my posts, everything has dropped dramatically. It’s very discouraging for all bloggers and small businesses. Right now, I’m just going to continue creating my content like normal, but also focus more on other social platforms and hope that will help a little. Another thing, has anyone noticed how unreal everyone’s Instagram feeds are looking lately? Can you even relate to anyone? One thing I’m going to start working on is being real with you all, and showing the real me (because I obviously don’t live in a mansion, drive a BMW, or have a private jet. Tiny 2 bedroom duplex and a Ford Fusion, over here!). Okay, rant over! 🙂

With warmer weather approaching, I’m starting to bring out more of my spring clothes and accessories. I decided to do a round up of some of my favorite trends for spring this year. My favorite? The Cult Gaia Bamboo Shoulder Bag! It’s a splurge for sure (not in my budget, but for sure on my wish list!), but there are a ton of dups on Amazon! Just search “Bamboo Bag” and the tote and shoulder bag styles will both show up.

I’m also obsessed with floral printed blazers this season. I just bought this one from Target for under $35, and will have it on the blog in a couple weeks!

Another huge trend? Calf hair mules. These are a little pricey, but you can get the espadrille version from Target for under $25! I just bought them last week and can’t wait to style them. I also picked up these Sam Edelman Bow Mules a couple weeks ago when they were on sale.

Has anyone noticed the pearl trend? It’s literally on everything including jeans, shoes, and jean jackets. I have a pair of jeans very similar to these, and love the detail on them!

Of course, statement jewelry like these earrings will always have a place in my heart. There’s just something about them that catches my eye (and wallet) every time. I love the feathers on these! Stay tuned for a HUGE statement jewelry round up coming soon!

What’s your favorite spring trend this year? Let me know in the comments! As always, thanks for reading!

Valerie

Spring Lipstick

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MAC: Lady Danger  //  Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink: Lover  //  MAC: Pink Plaid  //  Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid: Pink Charge  //  Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner: Pink Coral 

Happy Monday! Some say that Monday is the worst day of the week, but I disagree. On Monday’s, I’m usually well rested (if I didn’t have a crazy weekend), organized, and ready to take on the week. Also, Monday’s are when The Bachelor is on! Is anyone else still watching that, or is it just me? Tuesday’s on the other hand, are the worst in my opinion. You’re worn out from a busy Monday, and realize that the weekend is so far away. A few years ago, a few co-workers and myself came upon the conclusion that Tuesday’s are the worst for those exact reasons, and I still agree with it to this day!

One thing that makes my day (Monday OR Tuesday) better, is a new lipstick. With spring right around the corner, I decided to clean out my closet and vanity over the weekend and get all of my spring items out, including lipsticks! After looking through them all, I set aside my favorites that I plan on wearing on repeat this season, and decided to share them with you all!

The first one is MAC: Lady Danger. You always need a red lipstick, it’s a staple for me. When American Horror Story Freak Show first aired, I searched and searched for a bright red lipstick that was similar to the one Emma Roberts wore in every episode of that season (it was seriously gorgeous!), and I think this might be the exact one!

You also need nude lipsticks as staple pieces in your makeup bag. I always tend to go towards pinky nudes. Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in shade Lover is a darker pinky nude, and MAC: Pink Plaid is a lighter pinky nude (one that I wear almost every day).

Last but not least, I always need a bright fun color! One that’s perfect for a morning brunch or day at the winery. I was walking down the makeup aisle at Target one day and saw the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid lipstick in shade Pink Charge and it caught my eye! I purchased it and fell in love, but the only issue is I wasn’t a fan of the applicator, it made applying it kinda messy around the edges, so I decided to get a lip liner in a close shade, and I found this Maybelline Color Sensational one in shade Pink Coral. The shades are almost identical, so they blended really well together.

Do you have any spring staple lipsticks? Let me know in the comments, I love adding new ones to my collection. Also, let me know if you are still watching The Bachelor, and who your favorite is so far!

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!

Valerie

Body Care That Gives Back

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Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a great week. Tonight I am attending a Fashion Show in St. Louis called Romancing the Runway! I’m SO excited to be attending. If you live in the area, you can still buy tickets HERE!

With all the bad things happening in the world right now, I seem to find myself wanting to help out in some way. Whether it be donating money or old clothes. When SoapBox contacted me and wanted to collaborate, I knew I had to jump on board!

SoapBox is a one-for-one personal care company that sells shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap and liquid hand soap. Their soaps are vegan, cruelty free, and made with thoughtfully selected ingredients. For every product sold, they donate a bar of soap to someone in need either here in the US or abroad! Their motto: Soap = Hope. BUT if you use code SBXSTYLEDMUSE317 they will give you 10% off AND donate 2 bars of soap for every product sold instead of 1! They are trying to get to their 3 millionth donation, so let’s help them exceed that! Here are a few of my favorite products they have:

Bamboo Strength and Body Shampoo and Conditioner: I LOVE the conditioner. After using it, my hair had so much body, even more than my Pantene conditioner! Also, they both smell so amazing! I can’t wait to see how strong is makes my hair after using it for about a month (it’s pretty brittle at the moment)!

Sea Minerals & Blue Iris Body Wash: My hands and elbows always get dried out once the weather starts to get a bit cooler. This body wash helped fight that! It’s a gentle moisturizer, so it’s great for sensitive skin, smells amazing, and lathers really well!

Vanilla and Lily Blossom Liquid Hand Soap: The same goes for the hand soap. It moisturizes my hands, and also smells so good! I’m the type of person that washes my hands more often than I should, so a gentle hand soap is a must.

Bar soap: I’m not really a bar soap type of person (I love my liquid body wash and loofah!), but this one smells so amazing just like the rest of the products. If I did use bar soap, this would be my go to!

If you would like to try all the products, you can buy a bundle that has 1 of everything!

My favorite thing about these products? They are all so affordable! This month, try switching out one or more of your body products, and help give back to those in need. Let’s get to 3 million donations! Just use code SBXSTYLEDMUSE317 to get 10% AND donate 2 bars to soap to those in need!

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!

This post is in collaboration with SoapBox. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible! 

5 Foundations For Oily Skin

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If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I always complain how oily/acne prone my skin is. In today’s post, I’m sharing with you 5 foundations that are perfect for those of you with oily and/or acne prone skin. I have tried SO many different foundations, and so far these are the clear winners! These are for all price points, from drugstore to Sephora, so you won’t have a hard time finding one that fits your budget! Coming up next month I will be having a blog post sharing all of my favorite skincare products for oily skin as well, so stay tuned for that! Now, onto the foundations.

  1. YSL All Hours Foundation: This is the foundation I’m currently using. Influenster sent me this to try out, and I actually fell in love. I don’t always love the products they send me, which is why you don’t see a lot of them on the blog. I only share products I actually love and think you would love as well. This is a long lasting full coverage foundation. I put this foundation on in the morning (5:00 am, to be exact) and it lasts me all day. it never creases or gets cakey. By 2:30 pm my T-zone is a little oily, but it’s nothing that blotter sheets can’t take care of. This foundation is perfect for fall/winter makeup looks, but if you are looking for a light summer one, I wouldn’t pick this (see #3 for a light summer foundation). 😉
  2. L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation: This is also a full coverage foundation, but a tad bit lighter. It’s a great dup to the YSL foundation if it’s out of your price range. This one really is long lasting, and I usually need makeup remover to take it off! Just soap and water doesn’t cut it, haha!
  3. Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream: This BB cream is light coverage, and perfect for summer. When it’s extremely hot and humid outside, the last thing you want to put on your acne prone skin is a heavy foundation (hello, breakouts!). This has enough coverage to hide acne and scars, but light enough for your skin to breath. This also is a matte BB cream, so it keeps your face from looking oily throughout the day.
  4. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation: This is a full coverage foundation that I always wear during the winter. It hides all my scars and large pores. It doesn’t crease or get cakey throughout the day. I have also never had an issue with this foundation breaking me out, which a heavy foundation usually does for me. You also can’t beat the $7.99 price tag!
  5. ELF Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation: This one is more of a foundation for my acne prone ladies. It provides a great coverage while also fighting acne when you wear it. It helps a tiny bit with oily skin, but I would recommend getting the other ones if that’s your main issue. It’s also only $6!

What’s your favorite foundation? Let me know in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!

Valerie

YSL All Hours Foundation received complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible!