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

2018 Goals

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I’m baaaack! I’m sure most of you noticed I took a bit of a hiatus over the holiday season. Well, that hiatus was longer than expected. The flu unfortunately hit our household. I had it, and now my boyfriend has had it for over a week now. This meant I had to push off some of my 2018 blog goals. I was able to start my fitness goals right away, and I’m still going strong! Here are a few of my goals for the new year:

  1. Lose at least 50 pounds (give or take, because I want muscle as well!)
  2. Become a consistent blogger
  3. Pay off debt
  4. Have a savings account
  5. Travel

I know everyone’s goal is to lose weight. I say this every year (and last year I lost 15 pounds!). I’m just never consistent with it. Well, I’m going into my 4th week and I have been working out 6 days a week and eating healthy and enjoying 1 cheat meal a week! I can’t wait to see how I feel in a couple months.

I love blogging, but sometimes life gets in the way. I really want to be more consistent and post 3 times a week. I have so much content planned out for the rest of this month and most of next month, and I’m so excited to share! My favorite post coming up in a couple weeks is how to host the perfect Galentine’s Day party. So keep an eye out for that post!

Paying off debt and having a savings account are huge for me. I have a couple credit cards I want to get paid off as well as student loans. Once I get that taken care of, I really want to build up my savings account, something I haven’t had much of the past few years. Hello, working overtime!

It has been 3 years since I took a vacation. This includes traveling, and even taking a week off of work. This year I have at least 2 trips I want to go on! The first one is in April to the Style Collective blogger conference in Raleigh, North Carolina! I can’t wait to meet all my other blogger sisters. I also want to go to New York Fashion Week this year. I know it’s a huge goal, and a pretty expensive one, but a girl can dream, right?

So how do I plan on achieving my goals? Well, obviously with losing weight I plan on working out 6 days a week and eating healthy. I plan out all my meals and workouts a week in advance using my Blogilates 2018 planner (it’s sold out, unfortunately). It’s a fitness planner that also has an hourly appointment view so you can use it as a regular planner as well. It’s a 2 in 1! This will also help me plan out time for the blog. I plan on shooting photos on the weekends and trying to get posts completed ahead of time. That way there are no excuses for something not being posted. Sometimes I find myself getting lazy and not wanting to leave my house, and I really want to change that this year.

Quote I’m going to live by this year: “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.

What are your 2018 goals? Let’s help keep each other accountable, and post them in the comments!

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!

Valerie

The Best Gifts For Everyone

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Only SIX DAYS until Christmas! Can anyone else believe that? If you are a last minute shopper (like myself), I’m rounding up some of my favorite gifts for everyone on your list. A lot of these can be delivered before Christmas, you just have to pay for expedited shipping! But, if you love something yourself, just use those gift cards you receive in your stockings ;). Also, make sure you enter for a chance to win a Soapbox bundle! (details are at the end of this post).

Soapbox Soaps:
I know I rave about this company all the time (they truly are the best, and the only products I have in my bathroom right now), but you really can’t pass up giving a gift that gives back. For each item you purchase, they donate a bar of soap to those in need. The bundles can get gifted to anyone on your list, including men! Use code bestgift17styledmuse to get 10% off your entire purchase!

Maria Shireen:
My favorite bracelet that hides your hair tie! There are so many designs and hair tie colors to choose from. Perfect for your mom, sister, or bestie. Use code FTW20 for 20% off your entire purchase!

Rachel’s Grove:
This is seriously the cutest boutique in St. Louis (but they also have a website)! I visited them for the first time at the beginning of this year, and found this wristlet that I use everytime I go out! They are sold out of it, but I’m in love with this velvet crossbody! 

Boho Betty:
I have a few of these wrap bracelets and I wear them all the time. This one is my favorite and is currently on my wish list! Use code STYLEDMUSE to get 20% off your entire purchase!

JustFab:
Lately, this is the only place I have been buying shoes from. Your first style is only $10 when you sign up!

Mala Prayer:
Mala Prayer has gorgeous handmade necklaces! You can see me wearing mine in this post HERE. Also, each purchase you make goes towards women entrepreneurs to help invest in their businesses! Use code VALERIEHELTON20 for 20% off your entire purchase!

WallsNeedLove:
For the person who loves decorating their home! WallsNeedLove is a company that makes removable wallpaper! I have the cutest banana leaf wallpaper by them, and I’m so excited to put it above my vanity!

Young Living Essential Oils:
I use essential oils for everything. Not only do they smell amazing, but they are free of harmful chemicals. You can use them for everything from stress and headaches to beauty and cleaning products! You can order your own essential oils by using the link above! I will have a lot of essential oil tutorials in the new year, so keep an eye out!

Ruth & Philomena:
The sweatshirt I’m wearing in the photos above are from this boutique! They have gifts for anyone on your christmas list! You can use code NEWFREE to get free shipping on your order!

Kohl’s & Ulta:
When I’m not sure what to get my sister or bestites, my fall back is always makeup gift sets you can find at Ulta and Kohl’s. This Lorac lipstick gift set is my favorite, and is currently on sale for under $22!

3GIVEAWAY! Win this Soapbox Coconut Oil bundle! To win:

  1. Comment on this post telling me what the best gift you have ever received for Christmas was.
  2. Sign up for the Styled Muse newsletters! Click HERE to subscribe to new posts and giveaway updates via email!

***CONGRATS TO REBECCA NILES! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY! Please send an email to styledmuse@gmail.com with your shipping information!***

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

Valerie

The Best Black Friday Sales

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Like every Thanksgiving, I’m starting to plan out my Black Friday shopping list. There are SO many good deals this year! If you want tips on shopping Black Friday sales, check out my post from last year where I talk about everything I do to get ready! I like to get a lot of my Christmas shopping done on Black Friday, but you also can’t get away from treating yo-self. Why not pass up these good deals!?

According to my Insta-stories poll, most of you shop online, so I am going to include a lot of online sales! But there are a few who go in stores (like myself), so I will include those as well! I’m going to round up some of my favorite stores to shop at on Black Friday (and Gray Thursday?), along with links to their websites and my favorite deals they will have going on! I’m also sharing coupon codes to some of your favorite stores that you won’t find anywhere else! Everything starts now, unless otherwise noted. I will update this as more sales are released.

Kohls:
Deals start online now!
Stores open 5pm Thursday.
– $15 Kohls Cash for every $50 you spend
– Instax Mini 9 camera with 20 pack film ($69.99). On my Christmas list this year!
-Victrola Vintage Bluetooth Turntable ($39.99). I’ve always wanted one of these!
-LC Lauren Conrad jewelry organizers and gifts (under $10). She always designs the cutest stuff. These would be perfect stocking stuffers.
-Select luggage 60-75% off. Perfect if you have trips planned next year!
-All fragrances 20-25% off.
-Select beauty products (including Cargo eyeshadow palettes and LORAC mascara!) 50% off!
-CHI hair straightener with curling iron ($79.99)
-Croft & Barrow Woven Vests $12.99!

Target:
Doors open 6pm Thursday
-Instax Mini 9 Camera with 10ct film ($59.99)
-Women’s sweaters starting at $10
-Chi flat iron with bonus brush and mini dryer ($74.99)
-All beauty gift sets buy 1 get 1 50% off

Old Navy:
Sales start online Wednesday, and stores open 3pm Thursday
-50% your entire purchase

Nordstrom:
Online Thursday, in store Friday
-Deals not released yet, will update as soon as they are!

Macy’s:
Online Now.
In stores 5pm Thursday.
-Take 20% off with code HURRY
-If you have a Macy’s card, you get $10 off $25 or more, or $20 off $50 or more on select purchases.
-Luggage 60-75% off
-Select boots 40% off
-Select designer handbags 40-60% off
-Sequined graphic sweatshirt $39.99 (super cute!)
-Beauty gift sets under $25

Bath & Body Works:
Online now
-All 3 wick candles $12.50
-Body care buy 3 get 2 free
*deals might change, will update once Thursday gets here.

Ulta (my favorite sale!):
Online at 5pm Thursday, in store 6pm Thursday
-Free 9 piece beauty bag with any $50 online purchase.
-Urban Decay Nocturnal eyeshadow palette ($14.50)
-NYX Lippie Countdown Advent Calendar ($29.99)
-Chi straighteners and dryers ($69.99 each)
-Select mascaras $10 each.
-OPI select nail polish $5 each
-Urban Decay Vice liquid lipstick ($9)
-Anastasia Beverly Hills select glow kits 40% off
-20% off Clarisonic holiday gift sets
-Buy 1 get 1 free Batiste and Not Your Mother’s products

Sephora:
Great deals online already, but will update once more is released! Only preview is available.
-Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda (new palette!) $58

Charlotte Russe:
Online now (will update if any changes are made on Thursday)
-Everything $20 or less online
-Free shipping, no minimum

Nike:
-Take an extra 25% off sale styles with code EPIC25

Shopbob:
-Take up to 75% off sales items and 30% off full-priced styles with code MORE17

J. Crew:
-Take 40% off everything with code THANKU

Topshop:
-Get up to 50% off and free shipping

Urban Outfitters:
-Buy one get one 50% off everything

Boohoo:
-Take 30% off everything with code GOGOGO

Boho Betty:
-Take 60% off with code BLACK60

Mala Prayer:
-50% off with code PREVIEW

Express:
-50% off everything and free shipping on every order

Tarte Cosmetics:
-25% off almost everything with code PREVIEW

Baublebar:
-30% off gift sets and holiday collections with code YAY30

I will update as more sales are released. HAPPY SHOPPING!

Valerie

Wedge Fall Booties

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Shop The Look

Booties: Payless // Scarf: Payless // Hat: Target // Top: Nordstrom // Jeans: Charlotte Russe // Bag: Kate Spade (similar)

It’s FINALLY the freakin’ weekend, you guys! I feel like this has been the longest week ever. Tomorrow, make sure you follow along for our Style Collective St. Louis meetup on my Insta-stories! It’s sure to be a fun time 🙂 .

I have been obsessing over ankle booties lately. I feel like everytime I go into a store, I end up leaving with a pair. I think my boyfriend is going to kill me if I buy another pair, baha! I saw these black wedge booties on display at Payless last week, and KNEW I had to buy them. Of course you can’t leave Payless without browsing the accessories, so I also left with this knit scarf and a pair of no show socks. Oh, and add a pair of tennis shoes to that as well, haha! These are the cutest, and I have gotten so many compliments! I will be sharing those with you soon, too! I got all of this for $58! I love sales and coupons. You can find the cutest items at a great price at Payless! And for any occasion!

I love wearing all black during the fall. There’s just something about it that looks so chic and put together. These jeans are also the most comfortable pair I own! They are currently on sale for $25! I got this bag last year at Kate Spade, and can no longer find it online. I tagged a very similar one, just in a different print!

Next week on the blog I will be sharing all of my favorite Black Friday sales, as well as the start of Gift Guides! I can’t believe it’s already that time of year!!! But stay tuned, I have a lot of fun posts planned for the holiday season :).

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

Valerie

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

Thanksgiving Outfit Inspiration

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Shop The Look

Necklace: Mala Prayer // Dress: Target // OTK Boots: Charlotte Russe (under $32!) // Clutch: Similar // Ring: Similar

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week! I feel like this year has flown by. One of my favorite things to do every holiday season is pick out what I plan on wearing. I love to look cute and somewhat dressed up on Thanksgiving, but I also like to feel comfortable (there’s a 90% chance I will fall asleep after eating while wearing this, so it has to be comfy, haha!).

My go-to is always a simple dress with statement accessories. I found this dress at Target the other day. As soon as I walked into the dress section, the color drew me in. I knew it was the perfect color for Thanksgiving. I was worried that the lace would be too itchy, but it’s totally not! It’s also pretty roomy (so after eating two Thanksgiving meals, it shouldn’t show too bad, baha!). I paired it with a pair of OTK boots (currently under $32!) and my favorite leopard clutch.

For my statement accessories, I wore the Ajita tassel necklace from Mala Prayer. I loved the color and the detail on the beads. Each piece is handmade (which I absolutely LOVE!). I love supporting brands that give back, and Mala Prayer is all about empowering women. All sales made through Mala Prayer will provide female entrepreneurs with a microfinance loan, which they can invest in their business, home or community. You can read more about their story, and what a Mala is HERE! Mala Prayer is giving a discount to Styled Muse readers! Just use code VALERIEHELTON20 at checkout to get 20% off your entire purchase!

I think the next necklaces I want to add my collection are the Iona and the Dirillo. There’s just something about white marble and spotted beads that I always go towards!

Do you have your Thanksgiving outfit planned out yet? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Valerie

This post was sponsored by Mala Prayer. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible! 

My Updated Skincare Routine

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About a year ago, I posted about my skincare routine. Since then I have added and gotten rid of products I use, so I decided to do an updated one for you all! Just so you can get an idea of how my skin is (in case this is the first time you are reading my blog), I have very oily, acne prone skin. So most of these products are for those with the same type of skin as me.

Morning Routine: When I first wake up in the morning, I clean my face off with Micellar Cleansing Water using a round cotton pad. I never go too crazy in the mornings with washing my face, because I usually do a deep cleaning right before I go to bed. My face seems to get more oily when I wash my face a lot. If I’m having a bad break out, then I use the Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser and my Clarisonic Mia 1. This cleanser is mild and helps clean my face without being too strong and drying. I then finish by using alcohol free witch hazel on a round cotton pad and wiping it all over my face and neck. It seems to help keep my face from getting oily throughout the day.

Night Routine: I take my showers at night, so when I get in the shower the first thing I do is wash my face. I still use the Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne face wash (mentioned in my skincare post). I have used this for a few years now, and it seems like the only face wash that can clear up my breakouts. I use my Clarisonic Mia 1 with my Neutrogena face wash to help clean my pores out (I will go into more detail below). After I’m done washing, I leave the face wash on my face like a mask while washing my hair and body. This is one thing I swear by! It lets the active ingredients really get to work on those pesky pimples. Once I’m out of the shower, I apply the Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Toner. This helps prevent breakouts and keeps your face from getting oily.

Face Mask: Every other night I use a face mask. If it’s a face mask night, then I will apply it to my face right after I get out of the shower. Once it has sat on my face for about 20 minutes, I will remove it and continue with the rest of my routine. Right now I’m loving the L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks. The green one I’m using helps with oily skin. I just recently purchased it and love it. I switch up my masks every couple weeks because I’m always finding new ones I love!

Cleansing Brush: I absolutely love my Clarisonic Mia 1! I have been using Clarisonic products for a few years now, and I think my skin clearing up has a lot to do with this! I used to break out really bad, now it’s just when my time of the month comes (I don’t think anything can really stop that, haha!).

But how does it work? The bristles of a Clarisonic cleansing brush head move back and forth, or “oscillate”, gently flexing the skin and flushing water and cleanser into pores. This sonic cleansing process removes the dirt, oil and debris that ages your skin and causes breakouts. Because Clarisonic facial cleansing devices don’t exfoliate – a common myth! – Clarisonic is gentle enough for twice-daily use, even on the most sensitive skin.

The brush head I prefer most, and really works with my skin, is the Deep Pore brush head. It really gets all the dirt and makeup out of my pores! I know the Clarisonic cleansing brushes can seem a bit out of your budget, but Right now Clarisonic is offering Styled Muse readers 15% off! Just head to this website and use code HERCAMPUS. They now also offer payment plans (with credit approval)! If you would like how read how to use one, just head to my previous skin care post HERE!

What products to you use in your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

This post was in collaboration with Clarisonic and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible!

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! 

Fall Staple Pieces You Need In Your Closet

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Happy Wednesday! With the end of August near, that only means one thing: fall is almost here! My favorite thing to do lately is scour the web for fall items to add to my closet. But with buying a new car, it’s really hard to stay under budget. Until I found Zulily! They offer the best brands at the best prices! Y’all, I found a YSL bag for over 50% off! My favorite thing about them, is they have items that will fit everyone’s budget. I decided to do a roundup of my favorite fall staple items that I found at Zulily below!

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Cold Shoulder Tops: If you are looking for a top that will transition perfectly from summer to fall, then look no further than this one from Zulily! The long sleeves will keep you warm, while the open shoulders will help you stay cool on warmer days. The ruffle adds a cute detail, and is perfect to wear casually or to work. You also can’t beat the $11.99 price tag!

A Cozy Cardigan: For chilly fall mornings, a cozy oversized cardigan is perfect to have to throw over any outfit. I love this Lemoniade one I found on Zulily!

Dark Jeans: Jeans are so versatile that you can wear them all year round, but there’s just something about a dark wash that makes them perfect for fall. I love these by Silver Jeans Co!

Crossbody Bag: I love adding a crossbody bag to any fall outfit. This one from Isaac Mizrahi can be worn all year round!

Booties: You can’t complete a fall outfit without a pair of booties. I love the braid detail on these Frye Black Suede Booties I found on Zulily!

Fall Beauty Items:

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Zulily not only has clothing items, but they have beauty items as well! All of these items are under $20! You can’t beat finding Nars lipstick for $12.99. I rounded up some of my favorite beauty items that would complete your fall makeup look. Which one is your favorite? I love the color of that eyeshadow!

View my full fall roundup list on Maven! These items will only be on sale for a couple days on Zulily, so make sure you grab them before they sell out! If they do, don’t be discouraged though! Everyday Zulily adds more items for sale, so there will always be cute designer items you can find within your budget.

Head over to Zulily’s website, and let me know what you find in the comments!

Valerie

This post was sponsored by Maven and Zulily. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible!