Mani Monday: Copy Cat Lauren Conrad Nails

Lauren Conrad Nail Inspo (via IG)

Lauren Conrad Nail Inspo (via IG)

Lauren Conrad posted this pretty up on her Instagram page and I was immediately smitten, the soft shades, the gorge trimmings and that nail!  A small pop of sparkly goodness that I HAD to recreate!  It looks like a white base shade with pink undertones and a glittered textured top coat like Essie LuxeEffects (which I’ve been known to rock).

Copy Cat:  Lauren Conrad Mani

Copy Cat: Lauren Conrad Mani

For my recreation I used Julep Dana as my base and Avon Dazzlers Top Coat in Disco Ball.  I think the outcome was definitely spot on!  I could of gone with Avon Dazzlers Top Coat in Show Stopper Copper to look a bit more like hers, but I liked the silver.  I have many Essie LuxeEffects and I have to say these Avon Dazzlers are giving them a run for their money… literally, considering these Avon polishes are only $6.

Julep Dana and Avon Dazzlers in Disco Ball

Julep Dana and Avon Dazzlers in Disco Ball

Creamy white mani with dazzling glitter topcoat!

Creamy white mani with dazzling glitter topcoat!

Huge fan of this one!  Definitely going to recreate this a few more times, plus it was super quick and easy with mega impact!  Bonus it’s the perfect soft shades mani to go with my current obsession (see here)!

Recreating Lauren Conrad's Nails with Julep and Avon

Recreating Lauren Conrad’s Nails with Julep and Avon

Pretty perfect for her Cinderella inspired collection for Kohl’s right!?  Check back for my “chic peek” from the Disney’s Cinderella collection by LC Lauren Conrad!

A Mani Fit For A Princess

A Mani Fit For A Princess

 

Soft Pants and Soft Shades with mark. Fine Print Pants

Soft Pants and Soft Shades with mark. Fine Print Pants

Soft Pants and Soft Shades with mark. Fine Print Pants

No secret that I’ve been digging the soft shades trend, but the soft pants trend is a little harder.  On pinterest they look like the most effortless thing out there, in real life they boarder bad Hammer pants.  When mark. released these Fine Print Pants ($36) I decided to give them a try!

mark. Fine Print Pants ($36)

mark. Fine Print Pants ($36)

These soft pants are exactly that a soft, lightweight, flowy material in a loose fitting cut with a higher waist line.  The mark. Fine Print Pants have a grey and black abstract print that is fun but yet subtle making them appropriate for a lot of occasions.

Styling Soft pants with Soft Shades

Styling Soft Pants

Styling Soft Pants

Styling mark. Fine Print Pants

When wearing soft pants you run the risk of looking like you dug out some early 90’s Hammer pants, which is why you need to pair it with the right thing on top.  I went with a fitted tank (Express Bra Cami) and an open front cardi (Express Tuck Stitch Cover Up).  This way, I kept the volume in the right places but still attained a relaxed fit and vibe.  Plus, the peach color against the grey and black pants achieves my soft shades color pallet.  (Even though I totally should of wore a grey cami instead of black)

Express Tuck Stitch Cover Up and mark. Tool Around Ring Set

Express Tuck Stitch Cover Up and mark. Tool Around Ring Set

Soft Pants in Soft Shades

Soft Pants in Soft Shades

mark. Box Set Necklace ($24)

mark. Box Set Necklace ($24)

My outfit is a little on the voluminous side, so keep the accessories simple with just a boyfriend watch (Avon, old) and layered necklace and rings, mark. Box Set Necklace ($24) and mark. Tool Around Ring Set ($18).

mark. In Black and White Tote

mark. In Black and White Tote

To add to my relaxed look a black and white tote with stud detailing with the mark. In Black and White Tote ($40 but get it for $30).  A tote is my favorite bag shape because all at the same time it’s casual, classic and chic, and you can fit your life in it.  You can get this mark. In Black and White Tote ($40) for ONLY $30 with any $25 mark. purchase (for a limited time at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger).

Get this tote for only $30!

Get this tote for only $30!

mark. Sassy Stepper Pumps

mark. Sassy Stepper Pumps

 

The biggest trick for pulling off these pants in in the heels!  Maybe not so much if you’re tall and thin, but being short and curvy these mark. Sassy Stepper Pumps ($40) elongated my legs to pull off these pants.  Can I just for a second talk about how much I love these shoes… they are my everything!  Mega mega comfortable, go with basically everything and I just dig the design so much!  But I digress… overall soft pants are super appealing for their comfort factor but styled with the right pieces they’re just as fashionable as they are comfortable.

mark. Jewelry with mark. All Butter Now Lip Treat in Baby Me

mark. Jewelry with mark. All Butter Now Lip Treat in Baby Me

Pulling off soft pants with mark. Fine Print Pants

Pulling off soft pants with mark. Fine Print Pants

Total Look:  Soft Pants with Soft Shades

Total Look: Soft Pants with Soft Shades

Have you tried the soft pants trend?  Shop my exact outfit here (http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger) and here (www.express.com).

Casual Soft Shades with mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt

Soft Shades with mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt

Soft Shades with mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt

Some days require things to be a little more casual.  Effortless pieces, comfortable flats, air dried waves and a bit of luxe does the trick to be casual, comfortable and quick and easy.  Especially on dreary February days a little comfort goes a long way, lucky for me I have the perfect piece the mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt ($28).  It was one of my picks for things to buy in February (see here) for a reason.

mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt

mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt

Besides it being super comfy it has a chiffon trim that allows you get the layered look without the bulk.  The cropped sleeves and textured fabric also take this into cute top territory instead of sloppy sweatshirt.  Chic sweatshirts have definitely been something I can get behind (as seen here and here!).

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Leopard Flats and Grey for Days

Leopard Flats and Gray for Days

February is a tough month to dress for.  Kinda over all those wintery pieces but it’s not quite spring yet.  The perfect way to combat that is introducing the soft shades pallet into the mix.  Grays, whites, blush, nudes and the like are great transitional colors.  Try going chromatic by sticking in the same family and breaking it up with some texture (like the chiffon trim and fabric of the mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt).  I could enter a witty 50 shades of Grey pun here, but you get the idea…

Sparkle and Casual Waves

Sparkle and Casual Waves

Keep it casual with some flats like these mark. Hit The Spot Flats (who even have gray in the leopard spots!).  Truth:  these are the MOST comfortable flats I’ve ever worn, EVER!  And they look super cute on so win win!  Follow it up with some sparkle, a baby pink lip, and casual waves.  I let my hair air dry after I ran a bit of mark. Curl Commander Gel through my hair to give it a little texture.  Perfect look for those running late days, a quick and easy look from head to toe!

Soft Shades and Leopard

Soft Shades and Leopard

Everyone needs that chic go-to casual outfit and I think I found mine!  Have you embraced chic casual and/or soft shades?  You can shop the look here:  http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger 

Casual Chic in Soft Shades with mark.

Casual Chic in Soft Shades with mark.

Trending Tuesday: Soft Shades

If the world of alicia was the internet #softshades would be trending!  I’m completely, utterly, most definitely obsessing over all things neutral and soft.  And I don’t think I’m the only one because they are ALL OVER the place!  I think, in this weird, not-quite-spring but not-quite-winter season (except back East muhahaha) we’ll lean toward a fresh clean pallet but still need to be a bit layered and bundled.  This is where soft shades of whites, grays, blues, blushes, etc stand out as go-to’s for late February in a monochromatic fashion.

soft shades

soft shades for Scandal (The Limited)

I could get lost in Pinterest with all the soft shade pinspiration but a few standouts have made the board. Check out my soft shades board here for more inspiration.  Here’s what’s been inspiring me lately:

ss6 ss5 ss4 ss3 ss2

soft shades pinspiration

soft shades pinspiration

 

Soft shades were also HUGE at the Oscar’s!  My favorites were Zoe, Lupita, Reese, with my top dress of the night going to Jennifer Aniston!

"the Rachael"

“the Rachael”

Oscar Dresses in Soft Shades

Oscar Dresses in Soft Shades

Oscar Dresses in Soft Shades

Oscar Dresses in Soft Shades

What I love about these tones are that they pair perfectly with your basics like black, navy and gray.  All you need are a few items to mix in with what you already have.  I picked up this peach/blush Tuck Stitch Cover Up from Express and it’s been in heavy rotation with everything from my mint jeans to my black dress pants!  My other must-have pick is the mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt (see here as my pick for February).  The addition of these two tops in soft shades opened up my wardrobe for a pinterest worthy soft shade love fest!  Here’s a peek how #softshades have been trending in my world.

Anchored with black

Anchored with black

Blush

Blush

Peach + Mint

Peach + Mint

Soft Blouse in Soft Shades

Soft Blouse in Soft Shades

All week I’ll be highlighting my soft shades (including the ones mentioned above), so be sure to check out my upcoming posts!  Have you been sporting soft shades this month?  What pins have been inspiring you?

Nailed It: Julep Smitten Kitten Box

Julep Smitten Kitten Box

Julep Smitten Kitten Box

Ok so this was totally my Valentine’s Day mani but hearts, glitter, red and white are still perfectly acceptable all month long!  So better late then never, here’s round 2 of the Valentine’s Day nails courtesy of Julep’s Smitten Kitten Box (see round 1 here).  For February I decided to go with the Smitten Kitten box as my maven selection.  (Maven’s are Julep’s members who get a perfectly curated box each moth to take or skip).  I knew it was going to be PERFECT for this month’s holiday and their themed out selections haven’t let me down in the past. (see last yrs v-day, st. patty’s and 4th of july)

Julep Smitten Kitten Box Nail Look

Julep Smitten Kitten Box Nail Look

The Smitten Kitten box included a red creme (Karissa) a full coverage gold glitter (Vivien), a holographic heart glitter (Hartleigh) and Freedom topcoat with cute red and white heart stickers.  I loved them all so much I had to use them all in one look.  Overkill, for some maybe, super fun and festive, absolutely!

Julep Vivien

Julep Vivien

Julep Harleigh

Julep Hartleigh

I alternated the red and gold as my base and then let them mostly dry before putting on the heart sticker.  I then followed it up with a generous coat of Freedom Topcoat.  Because I knew there were going to be a lot of layers I only went with one coat and got them opaque.  Again, this is why I love Julep for their killer formulas!

Accent Nail in Julep Harleigh

Accent Nail in Julep Hartleigh

For my pointer I decided to make it an accent nail by layering on Hartleigh over a super pale pink base. A glitter with hearts and heart decals make it way easier to get a perfect heart mani.  Way better then my past attempts at free handing a heart.

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Julep Smitten Kitten Box

Julep Smitten Kitten Box

I of course added this fun Tool Around Ring Set from mark. for a little something extra!

Valentine's Day Nails with Julep

Valentine’s Day Nails with Julep

If you loved the Smitten Kitten Box you can get a similar themed out box for St. Patrick’s day!  If you’re already a maven select the Lucky Shamrock Box or if you’re new to Julep sign up for the subscription use promo code PINCHME and get the themed out box FOR FREE!  If you want the perfect polish to theme out your St. Patrick’s Day then grab this, it includes my St. Patty’s favorite… LUCKY (see here and here).  Julep’s formula is KILLER, their maven program is KILLER and the their suggestions and pairings are KILLER!  If you haven’t signed up yet do so NOW!  (esp while it’s free!)

Free Julep with promo code PINCHME

Free Julep with promo code PINCHME

mark. Tool Around Ring Set

mark. Tool Around Ring Set

Peace Out!

Peace Out!

Until next mani Monday…

Monthly Edit – What To Buy In February

If you’re anything like me you constantly feel like you want to just go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but don’t have the budget, or honestly, the closet space to do so.  But I do love new things and being strategic and smart on my purchases, so instead of going all out each season add few key items each month that expand on what you have and keep you trendy and feeling good!  I’ve already shared my must-haves for January, here’s my word on February picks!

 

A new pink lip color and multi-tasking shimmer pallet:

mark. All Butter Now Lip Treat in Baby Me

mark. All Butter Now Lip Treat in Baby Me

Nothing is better than adding a little glow to pale winter skin.  Go with soft shades of pink and shimmer to perk up winter complexions.  mark. All Butter Now Lip Treat in Baby Me ($11) is an easy investment plus it wears like a balm so you prevent chapped lips while getting the perfect light pink shade!  Pair it with the mark. Touch and Glow Shimmer Cubes ($16) for a super easy look with a super versatile pallet.  Check out my look with it here.

mark. Touch and Glow

mark. Touch and Glow

 

A sparkly statement necklace:

Chambray and mark. Clear Choice Necklace

Chambray and mark. Clear Choice Necklace

Sick of wearing scarfs yet?  Try switching out a scarf with a sparkly necklace on those days when you’re not freezing!  Pair it with a chambray shirt for major impact that’s on trend and perfect for achieving the no- quite-spring-yet-look (as in with your leggings and boots).  mark. Clear Choice Necklace ($38) is the clear choice for this (see what I did there) and will work with your winter looks straight through to your summer looks!  {pic cred:  sealaura}

 

A spring scarf:

mark. Four Seasons Scarf

mark. Four Seasons Scarf (and wearing Baby Me on lips)

Not sick of wearing scarfs, then grab a new spring scarf in a lighter weight fabric and fun spring print.  I like the mark. Four Seasons Scarf ($18) because it’s super oversized!  I can wrap up in this baby and stay perfectly warm while wearing a print that just makes me spring-happy.  Plus this guy can transition into spring and summer not only as a scarf but also as a coverup for shoulder baring dresses (maybe during wedding season!?) or even at the beach!  Now that $18 seems even more appealing!

See how long this guy is!

See how long this guy is!

 

A new luxurious bath line:

mark. Naked Love

LOVE mark. Naked Love

Time to save winter skin and smell fresh for spring!  I can’t get over my excitement for the mark. Naked Love bath and body line.  This is probably my top pick (and favorite body line) in a long time.  Every time I lather up in the shower I’m immediately a little happier AND that gorgeous packaging makes me even more happy!  We’re over those deep scents from winter, but the notes of apricot nectar, white peaches, velvet freesia and skin musk are perfect for this time of year and beyond.  Whipped Up Body Butter is also super nourishing for winter skin.  It preps us for the upcoming skin-baring season.  This way, when those first few warm days hit we’ll be ready.

 

A chiffon layered top:

mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt

mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt

It’s hard to shop for clothes in February because we’re SO over buying those dark bulky winter items but it’s not quite warm enough for all those new spring arrivals.  So stick with buying tops that can work with many types of bottoms and in soft shades that work for winter and spring.  I’m loving the mark. Sheer Brilliance Sweatshirt ($28) for these exact reasons.  I can pair this with jeans for a casual look, or dress it up with a skirt or slim fitting dress pants.  The chiffon layer really let’s you dress it up, plus it takes away some of the bulk but still gives you that layered look!  I’m also looking forward to wearing this guy with shorts on those warmer days… like a cute pair of white denim shorts would look amazing with this!

BONUS:  An on-clearance favorite!

February is the best time to shop winter clearance finds!  Some of my favorites from fall and holiday releases are now marked down super low!  Like this top, necklace, clutch, polish set and MORE!  (all on clearance at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger)

 

Final Word of Alicia:

None of these items will break the bank (like under $150 for all of them, ALL of them!) and are new and now for February and beyond.  I also love how I can pair them with my January top picks and breath some 2015 life into my 2014 (and older, yikes!) wardrobe.  It’s like a breath of fresh air!   If you can only budget 1 thing this month my pick is the mark. Naked Love bath and body set ($34.99 for 6 pieces).  You can shop the items here and get 20% off with promo code AVONFB20

 

 

 

 

Happy Chinese New Year! (and get a free egg roll!)

Here’s to the year of the sheep/goat! One of these years I want to make a trip to China Town for the festivities.  Until then I’ll just act like the inner 4th grader I am and theme out my day!  This has been a GREAT week for doing such… Valentien’s Day followed by Mardi Gras and now Chinese New Year!

WORD ON WHAT TO WEAR:  Red and gold are the typical colors but also green for wealth in the new year!  It’s also common for folks to wear something new for a fresh new year.  If this was the early 90’s we had way more Chinese influence outfits (remember those tops!) but looking at my closet I don’t really have too much that feels Chinese inspired.  What I wish I had was a cool floral kimono that are super popular right now or a obi belt,  but I do have some red gold and green in a like-new top (old, but only wore it once!).  I paired this floral print satin top (mark.) with my favorite chevron pencil skirt (mark. see it here and here) with long lace cardi (Rodarte for Target) and some black tights (mark.) and of course a red lip (Avon).  You know, some Chinese inspired florals with red and gold accents are just going to have to do for my theme today!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year Inspired Look

Chinese New Year Inspired Look

Red and Gold Accents

Red and Gold Accents

Chinese Inspired Florals

Chinese Inspired Florals

 

WORD ON WHAT TO DO:  Well since a visit to China Town isn’t an option today and since I’m working like any other normal Thursday, my local parade isn’t really an option either.   Instead I’ll just eat Chinese!  Potstickers are not only a traditional Chinese food but they resemble little gold nuggets for wealth, or at least I’m told.  The great thing with making your own potstickers is you again can fill them with what you have and/or like, pork, shrimp, veggies, chicken… easy!  Just fill, pinch, steam and fry!  They’re actually a lot easier than you’d think to make.  For an easy weeknight dinner check out the recipe on food.com and pair them with a noodle dish!  I’ll personally just sauté some veggies and noodles with soy sauce, a little hot chili oil and garlic.  Or you can go even easier and order some take out!  We all know Chinese takeout is the best kind of take out!  EVEN BETTER Panda Express is giving free egg rolls out today so print or show this coupon on your device!

Potstickers for Chinese New Year

Potstickers for Chinese New Year

Free Egg Roll!

Free Egg Roll!

How are you inspired by the Chinese New Year?  Here’s to a happy Lunar New Year!

Bon Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras Inspo On A Regular Tuesday

Fat Tuesday has always held a special place in my heart, from French class, to nights out, to beads, to crepes or jambalaya I’ve always celebrated this sinful holiday!  Here’s a little inspiration for the day

Word On What To Wear:  Purple, yellow and green!  The Mardi Gras official colors!  Since I’m working like the rest of us on a typical Tuesday I’ll be pairing my green Express Portofino blouse with some black pants and fun accessories, like my satin printed Nolita pumps (Prabal Gurng for Target, last seen here), yellow skinny belt (Express, old) and of course some purple beads with matching ring and bracelet (mark.)!  Finishing it off with a purple and gold makeup look and my headband fit for Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras Inspired Work Look

Mardi Gras Inspired Work Look

Got Beads!?

Got Beads!?  Avon Ultra Color Lipstick in Power Plum

Green, Gold and Purple for Fat Tuesday

Green, Gold and Purple for Fat Tuesday

Gold and Purple Makeup with mark. On The Dot Bold Eye Color Pallet

Gold and Purple Makeup with mark. On The Dot Bold Eye Color Pallet

Yellow Belt adds the right Mardi Gras Touch

Yellow Belt adds the right Mardi Gras Touch

Mardi Gras Perfect Headband With Loose Curls

Mardi Gras Perfect Headband With Loose Curls

Fat Tuesday's Look

Fat Tuesday’s Look

 

Word On What To Do:  Make a New Orleans themed meal fit for a king!  May be a little hard to get down to Bourbon Street, but might as well eat like I’m there!  On the menu:  Jambalaya, Corn Bread, Green Salad and King Cake.  And maybe start the night with a hurricane?

image source:  http://www.coastalliving.com/food/kitchen-assistant/mardi-gras-recipes/print?print

For a good Jambalaya recipe I like this one, but it’s one of those dishes you can work with what you have!  Chicken and sausage, shrimp and sausage, pork and sausage, whatever you like!  Because this is “going up, on a Tuesday” go with a simple salad with dark greens for a bit more of southern taste and as for the king cake, pick this one up at a bakery/grocery store for a Tuesday night treat!

 

Bon Fat Tuesday!

Love: Happy Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  February the 14th (sung in the key of Outkast!)  I hope you enjoy the day with the people you love!

Lovely Look for Valentine's Day

Lovely Look for Valentine’s Day

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Jacket, Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet, Clutch:  mark.

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T-shirt, Express.  Mint jeans, Tillys.  Lace pumps, Shoedazzle.

 

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Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mani Monday: Easy Valentine’s Day Nails with Essie

Easy Valentine's Day Mani with Essie

Easy Valentine’s Day Mani with Essie

Essie Fiji and Essie A Cut Above

Essie Fiji and Essie A Cut Above

I’m totally excited to theme out the week in all things, red, white, pink, lacy and girly for Valentine’s Day this week!  So let’s start at the tips with a super easy Valentine’s Day mani!

Easy Valentine's Day mani with Essie

Easy Valentine’s Day mani with Essie

I’ve been dying to bust out my pastels and took this week as my opportunity!  I used one of my all time favorite pinks, Essie Fiji.  It’s opaque and the perfect pastel pink.  I then dappled on the rose gold glitter, Essie A Cut Above on my tips.  Perfect pairing for Valentine’s Day and super easy to do.

Essie Fiji with A Cut Above on the tips

Essie Fiji with A Cut Above on the tips

You might note my Valentine’s Day gift of past, my I Love You ring from Tiffany’s.  This guy, simple and small, has been in heavy rotation as of late, guess it’s time for a cleaning.  And those cute Valentine’s Day wine glasses, they’re from The Dollar Tree!  Talk about mixing high and low!

Tiffany & Co I Love You Ring

Tiffany & Co I Love You Ring

Because Valentine’s Day is on Saturday there’s plenty of time for me to get in another v-day nail look! Especially with all the pinspiration I’ve been pinning on my Be Mine board I definitely need to do another one before the week’s up!  What look will your nails be sporting for this lovely holiday?