A Look Back

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As 2012 comes to an end, I decided to take a look back at my posts from this year and highlight my favorite from each month. I can’t believe how quickly this year passed! Going through my archives brought back so many happy memories and having a record of the everyday details, which are often the most special, is one of the best parts of blogging.

A few things I noticed while looking back on 2012:
  • There were a few drastic hair color changes! I started out the year with a silvery gray color before softening it a little to a platinum blond. After almost a year of varying shades of white, I decided to saturate my hair in a fiery red color. (Claire Danes was one hundred percent my inspiration.) While I liked the red, it never quite felt like me, and smitten with the pastel hair trend, I made the change to pink. 
  • I became obsessed with nail art. While I spent half of 2011 on a beach with bare nails (and a tan), 2012 was the year for experimenting with everything from clouds to polka dots to leopard print. I don’t see this obsession ceasing any time soon, so expect more nail art in 2013!
  • And, not to brag, but Style by Santina saw its fair share of features this year, including: The Bold Italic, The New York Times Street Style (quite a few times), Mira Mira blog, and the biggest pinch me moment – in Marie Claire!
Thank you all for following along with me in 2012. Your comments, tweets, and Instagram love mean so much to me and I look forward to seeing what 2013 holds for us all! 

Happy New Year, friends!


















Holiday Glitter Gradient Manicure

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Sephora X Control Freak // Sephora by OPI Spark-tacular

Phew, it has been a crazy few weeks! Holiday parties, Hack Week (nerd alert!), and catching up with friends before they head out of town for the holidays have left me exhausted, and I am really looking forward to a little downtime next week. Despite all that, I managed to find time to do my nails…well, that’s not exactly true. I actually treated myself to a manicure and pedicure in preparation for my office holiday party (and more importantly the open toe shoes I wore), but after the party, my nails were completely trashed. I quickly decided to extend the life of the manicure with a little nail art. And since it’s the holiday season, I wanted to go with something festive…which obviously lead me to glitter. Of all my glitter gradient manicures, this one just might be my favorite. While I have never been a fan of red polish, I am absolutely obsessed with this vampy red. And once I saw the name – Control Freak – I knew it had to be mine!

Are you rocking a holiday manicure? I’d love to hear about it!

On Repeat

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Sweater: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Mercantile, Portland, OR)
Shirt: Alexa Chung for Madewell
Skirt: Zara
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom)
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (a gift)

I’m just going to come right out and say it: this isn’t the first time I wore this outfit (last seen here). And, I doubt it will be the last. These three pieces are just perfect together. The classic sweater and buttoned up blouse make the mini work appropriate, while the bright color combination and polka dots keep it fun. Each piece has been worn many times separately, but there are times when grabbing one leads to wearing all three. I don’t fight it. I just change up my shoes and bag and call it a new outfit. Speaking of shoes, the outfit started with this pair. When I thought of the perfect outfit to debut them, this was the first one that came to mind. Now, there might be four pieces that I can’t resist wearing together…

Matte Plaid Manicure

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I stole this manicure straight off the Wah Nails Instagram feed. (Check out my inspiration here.) I fell in love with matte top coats a few months ago but had yet to apply one over a design. I actually didn’t think to do so as I find that matte top coats don’t smooth out imperfections like a good top coat does. Also, I usually add a few coats for a very apparent matte finish, and all too often layers of polish with layers of a top coat lead to nails that never fully dry. Nothing is more disappointing than waking up to find smudges all over the nails you carefully painted the day before. Am I right?

This is one of those manicures that looks best from afar. All those straight lines in the plaid? Not so straight but not so bad for freehand. As I’ve complained before, I absolutely hate using tape to apply designs, so I generally apply designs with nail art brushes. The key to this one was allowing each layer of paint to dry fully. And to be completely honest, I waited a solid three hours before applying the matte top coat. No smudges – success!

Blue, Blue, Blue

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Shirt: Equipment (The Outnet)
Pants: Zara
Shoes: Modern Vintage (Gilt)
Necklace: BCBG Max Azria
Bag: H&M

Remember these shoes? I wore them constantly for a few weeks right after I bought them, but after moving them to a corner of my closet, I forgot about them…completely. Shame on me. But when I found them while digging around for another pair of shoes, I promptly moved them to the front of my closet. Much like any other girl with a closet that’s way too small, I tend to wear only what I can see, which is a mere fraction of what’s in there.

This outfit started with the shoes, which quickly lead to the pants. With all the blue I found myself looking to my closet for something green to create a color block look in one of my favorite color combos. The subtle print of this Equipment blouse made it an easy choice; it softened the look and kept it from going too over the top. The most difficult decision was the bag, but in the end I couldn’t resist just a little more blue. 

A Perfect {Pencil Skirt} Contradiction

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Sweater: Madewell
Skirt: J. Crew
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Bracelets: Nordstrom and Marc by Marc Jacobs
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Necklace: H&M
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom)

I’ve slowly been working pencil skirts into my wardrobe, mostly because I made a few impulse buys at a J. Crew sale. You know what I’m talking about. It was one of those magical moments when everything I tried on fit and was on serious sale. Surrounded by the preppy yet quirk aesthetic I adore, I didn’t stop to consider how I’d wear these fabulous new pieces. I just would. 

Pencil skirts really didn’t strike me as a piece I’d find difficult to make my own, but after a few tries, I was still on the fence about the polished silhouette. Then I paired one with a chunky knit, and I knew I’d found my go to styling. I love the contradiction of a slouchy, oversized knit with a fitted, ladylike skirt. Throw in my favorite booties and a few pops of neon? Suddenly I love pencil skirts.

Gold On Gold

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American Apparel Gold Flash // Sephora by OPI I Found a Pot of Gold!

Ah, glitter polish. I swore it off when I realized it was slowing destroying my nails. Of course, with the holiday season in full swing, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the lure of a little extra sparkle. And then I received an invitation to Poshmark’s 1st Birthday party, one at which anything sparkly was encouraged. I knew exactly which dress to wear – a new brocade number you’ll soon see – so I used that as my nail inspiration. I immediately decided to run with gold. I started with two coats of this metallic polish before adding several coats of a polish with tiny glitter and diamond shape pieces. While I usually finish a manicure with one layer of top coat, chunkier glitter can be a bit jagged so I like to smooth it out with two coats. 

Leather And Plaid

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Jacket: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
T-shirt: Kate Spade
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Rings and Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)

This outfit makes me giggle. And, not just because of the cheeky t-shirt. It reminds me of outfits from my fashion past that I’m not too proud of. In junior high school, I was particularly smitten with a wide leg pair of pants in this very plaid. I recall my favorite outfits from that time involving those plaid pants, suspenders, a baby tee, and Doc Martens. I stand behind the Docs. The rest? Tragic. While my obsession with baby tees has long since abated (and shows no sign of return), my love for plaid pants was renewed when I pulled these out for the first time this season. I want to wear them with everything, including more plaid. That might have to be next!

Weekend Wear

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Sweatshirt: Topshop (Nordstrom)
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Vince Camuto (Piperlime)
Necklaces: H&M and Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bracelet: c/o TOKYObay
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Bag: Treesje (Nordstrom)

It’s no secret that I love a good sweatshirt, and this one is the latest addition to my collection. I bought it a while ago and have worn it so much that it’s quite surprising that it hasn’t appeared on the blog before now. Then again, like all of my favorite comfortable pieces, I usually wear them in outfits not deemed worthy of the blog. The kind you’ll catch me in when I’m running to pick up my dry cleaning or lounging about the apartment. Easy outfits that reflect my lazy weekend attitude much more than my finest fashion moments. But swap out my shredded jeans for a denim skirt and layer on accessories and - bam! A blog worthy outfit!

Fishtail Manicure: Take Two

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American Apparel The Valley // Sephora by OPI Teal We Meet Again

Finally a nail art post! Remember when they were a weekly feature here on Style by Santina? Yeah, me too. What happened, you ask? Well, fear not, friends; my nails were not bare (gasp!) but I did keep them simple for the first month of my new job. Leaving the fashion world behind may have meant leaving certain nail art - ahem, kitty nails - behind, as well. (While I loved them, I don't really think kitty nail art screams, "I'm a professional!") And to be honest, between trying to get my footing at the new gig, friends visiting San Francisco, and ten million other more important things, I really haven't had time for nail art. But last weekend I made time for a quick design because I really missed it. I truly enjoy meticulous tasks and the focus they demand, so it was actually quite relaxing. I’ve done this fishtail manicure before, but I wanted to try it with a natural base. Skipping the base color not only saved time but also created a design that's interesting without being too over the top. I think I might explore this option with a few of my other favorite designs. What do you think? Do you prefer this design with a solid base color?

Moody Monday

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Jacket: Michael Kors (Nordstrom Rack)
Dress: BCBG Max Azria
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: 80%20 (ModCloth)
Necklace: All Saints
Ring: A gift
Bag: Treesje (Nordstrom)

I’ve had this dress for years, and to be honest, I thought I sold it at Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange before moving into the new apartment. But for some reason, I woke up on a Monday thinking about this dress (and only this dress). It’s not really consistent with my usual Monday aesthetic – comfortable and as much like pajamas as I can get away with in public. Actually, it’s quite the opposite, something uncharacteristically fitted. And even more unusual, I did what I always want to do but talk myself out of in the end – I went with shoes I love but aren’t necessarily the most flattering. It may have been a moody Monday but it seems it was a self confident one, too.

Fall Florals

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Sweater: BCBG Max Azria
Jeans: Insight (Mira Mira)
Shoes: Kurt Geiger 
Bracelets: TOKYObay and Marc by Marc Jacobs
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m an emotional dresser. Most of the time I wake up having some sense of what I want to wear. This day? No idea at all. This usually leads to me staring into my closet until it’s about fifteen minutes before I need to get out the door and I realize it’s decision time. When decision time came this morning, all I knew was that I wanted to wear my favorite booties. (Seriously, I think they might deserve a remix post soon!) Shoe decision made, I quickly reached for this pair of jeans. While I like to pair the feminine floral print with soft colors, I wanted to keep the look decidedly fall, so I opted for a black cashmere sweater and black accessories. I love how changing up the colors and textures worn with a piece can easily transition it from season to season. These jeans have stayed in rotation throughout the seasons, and I don’t see that changing any time soon!

Life Lessons From A Polka Dot Sweater

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Sweater: J. Crew
Jeans: Rich & Skinny (Nordstrom)
Shoes: BCBG Max Azria
Necklace: ModCloth
Bracelet: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bag: See by Chloe (a gift)
Sunglasses: H&M (a gift)

I bought this sweater a few weeks ago and for some reason it’s taken me a while to get around to wearing it. While I’m as smitten with it now as I was when I bought it, I had a very specific idea of how I wanted to wear it. Of course, I tried to realize that vision a few times, but there was always something that just wasn’t right. So rather than waiting around for the perfect outfit, I decided to just wear the damn sweater and in the first way that came to mind – with boyfriend jeans. Even though I liked the outfit, I stood in front of the mirror (for longer than I care to admit), trying to figure out what I could do to make myself like it a little more. I came up short but would not allow myself to change. Was it the outfit of my dreams? No. But the next time might be. And you know what? That’s real life: adjusting expectations, rolling with whatever comes one’s way, and trying for something better next time. And, I’m sure some of you are sitting there, rolling your eyes, wondering if I really just compared the trials and tribulations of life to a polka dot sweater. Yes, I really did. Sometimes there’s a life lesson in even the silliest of things…like a pink polka dot sweater. And for someone who strives for perfection and often beats herself up for not achieving it, I constantly need to remind myself that perfection is rarely achieved on the first try, and that’s okay. There's always next time.

Wren Leopard Print Skirt: Four Ways

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I recently wore this skirt (while hanging out with this lady, actually) and I realized that I wear it quite often. Much more than I thought I would when I convinced myself I couldn’t live without a pink, leopard print skirt. While I probably would have continued breathing without it, this skirt has outlasted several hair colors and it’s become a go-to thanks to the easy shape and playful print. 

It’s no surprise that when faced with styling a new piece, I went straight to my comfort zone: a button down. I also kept the look simple with black tights and shoes and simple accessories.

Chambray, Spots, And Studs

Any restraint I showed with the first outfit was totally out the window for the second. I was determined to pair that leopard with another print, and this striped sweater was an easy choice. My approach to mixing prints is to always anchor the look with a color that’s common between all the prints. And, green and pink is one of my favorite color combinations. 

Spots And Stripes

For this look, I went simple with a simple tee and neutral colors, adding interest with mixed textures. To be honest, I have a feeling I’ll be wearing something very similar in the very near future. Just add tights and my favorite booties (last seen here)!

Leopard And Leather Sleeves

And it was inevitable I’d wear the skirt with a sweatshirt…because I wear everything with a sweatshirt (as documented in my last remix post)! 

Blue Suede Shoes (And A Sweatshirt)

So, did you have a favorite? Styling advice for next time? Lay it on me!

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