Polka Dot Gradient Manicure And A Giveaway!

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A few weekends ago, I found myself struggling to find designs that were reasonably easy to apply but still fun enough to share here on the blog. As usual when confronted with such issues, I turned to Google and down the rabbit hole of nail art blogs I went. When I came out, I felt a new sense of inspiration…I also promptly bought a nail art brush set. 

This design was based on one I saw over on Chalkboard Nails. (Seriously, this blog is amazing!) Since it involved two of the easiest designs to apply – gradient and polka dots – I felt confident I could replicate the design, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. While I absolutely despise white polish (it always looks messy to me), I decided to try my hand at it once again…still hate it. I think next time I try this design I’ll use a darker color as the base. Maybe black with a neon gradient? 

And now for a little Friday fun! I’ve teamed up with the generous folks at Verve 360 Pittsburgh hair salons to give away these two polishes (Tracie and Myrta) from Zoya’s new Beach & Surf Summer Collection. Zoya polish is not only long lasting and easy to apply, but the polishes are also free from toluene, formaldehyde, and camphor.

To enter:
  • Leave a comment, telling me how you’d wear your new Zoya polish. As an example, if I got my hands on that beautiful coral color, Myrta, I’d pair it with a gold polish and glitter to create a gradient. Not into nail art? Simple ideas are more than welcome! (If you don't have a Disqus account, please be sure to leave your email address.)
For additional entries:
  • Like Style by Santina on Facebook
  • Follow Style by Santina on Twitter
  • Tweet about the giveaway. Example: “I just entered to win two bottles of Zoya polish via @stylebysantina http://bit.ly/QzWneC
  • Leave a comment for each additional entry
The rules:
  • This giveaway is open only to readers in the continental US (excludes Hawaii and Alaska).
  • Winner will be contacted via email. 
  • Giveaway will close next Friday, July 6th at 11:59 PST.
Good luck!

June In Review

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For so long, I thought of Style by Santina as being my little blog, where I shared my outfits with friends and people I know in real life. While I still have a long way to go, I am proud to say that Style by Santina has grown into something much bigger than I ever expected. With new readers coming by every day, I thought it was time for a new monthly feature to showcase my favorite looks from the month. Of course, I’ve not forgotten my loyal readers (thank you so much), who I imagine have very busy lives and might miss a post every now and again. So, without further ado, I present you my top five favorite posts from June (click on the caption to see the full post)! And this isn’t just about me, me, me; I want to hear which was your favorite – spill it! 

(I realize it’s a bit early as there are still a few more days in June, but tomorrow is Friday and Friday means a manicure post here on Style by Santina. And, there might be a fun announcement, so be sure to check back!)

Gray With A Side Of Spikes

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Sweater: Laugh Cry Repeat (Mira Mira)
Jeans: Insight (Mira Mira)
Shoes: Ego And Greed (ModCloth)
Necklace: All Saints
Rings: Marc by Marc Jacobs and Surface To Air
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

As a young east coast girl with affection for that very stereotypical east coast prep aesthetic, I would devour the J. Crew and L.L. Bean catalogs the second they arrived. And year after year, I would stare at the "summer cashmere" and wonder "who the hell would wear cashmere in summer?" East coast summers are hot and humid; the mere thought of wool touching my skin made me sweat. It wasn’t until many years later, when I pulled out this sweater at the end of June that I finally answered that question: people who live in San Francisco! "Summer cashmere" is now filed along with "summer tights" under "things I formerly considered oxymorons".

When faced with weather that leaves me feeling blah, I go one of two ways: cloak myself in a borderline obnoxious amount of color or wear gray. Gray is definitely my "meh" color. Once I resigned myself to wearing cashmere in summer, I decided gray was only fitting. Since they're gray these jeans both placated my meh feelings but also allowed me to maintain some semblance of spring and summer thanks to the floral print. But my real ray of summer sunshine? My new Rebecca Minkoff bag! The combination of the soft color and spikes could not be more perfect for me. When I saw it on sale, I did not think twice about buying it (having already fallen in love with it months earlier) and it has been on my arm pretty much ever since.

Pink All Over

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Shirt: H&M
Dress: Eva Franco (ModCloth)
Shoes: Pour La Victoire (a gift)
Bracelet and Ring: Michael Kors (Nordstrom Rack)
Bag: See by Chloe (Nordstrom)

So, I dyed my hair pink! While I liked the red, I couldn’t resist the urge to lighten up a bit. Knowing that starting with red hair would limit my options, I headed to the salon with loads of pics, ranging from pale pink blonde (as seen on Charlotte Free and Holly of Covetous Creatures) to brighter (but still pastel) pink and peach tones. After several hours of bleach and layers of color and toner, I emerged with a color that I am completely smitten with! While the pale pink blonde I adore can be achieved with time, I’m not necessarily in a rush. I really love this saturated pastel color. 

Of all the colors I’ve dyed my hair, I think pink is the one I most want to play up with my clothes. (When I came back from the salon I was this close to throwing on this outfit.) I’ve found it hard to stay away from pastels, especially pinks, and this outfit started with the shirt. The color reminded me of the belt of this dress, so I pulled it out though I was unsure if the shirt was too loose to be worn under it. It fit perfectly, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I absolutely love this combination! 

Pastel Leopard Manicure

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Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect in Sea // Sephora by OPI Queen of Everything // Sinful Colors Black on Black
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (more on that beauty next week)

I didn't realize it at the time, but in retrospect, I think these nails were partially inspired by my new Rebecca Minkoff bag, which hasn't left my side since it arrived. I mean, if I'm going to rock the same bag for days, my nails should at least match, right? The base color is a pale mint green but with metallic polish layered over for the leopard spots, it comes across more blue. This is the second time I've tried my hand at leopard print and it is definitely one of my favorite DIY nail art designs. It's actually the easiest pattern I've tried to date and the options are endless. Last time I went with neon, this time pastels and metallics. Next time? Maybe a neon and neutral version?

A Dreamy Blouse

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Shirt: Equipment (The Outnet)
Jeans: Rich & Skinny (Nordstrom)
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell (ModCloth)
Necklace: Kate Spade (Jeremy’s)
Bag: Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom Rack)

My love of oxfords is well documented here on Style by Santina, and while I adore my wardrobe staples, I thought it was time to up my game a little. And in the world of button downs, that meant Equipment. This one caught my eye with the Mandarin collar and geometric print. When it arrived I was pleased (but not surprised) to find that it was every bit as dreamy as I expected. This definitely will not be my last Equipment blouse. I think I’ll go for something with a collar and in a basic color next time.

Pink and green seems to be my new favorite color combination, as affirmed with my immediate choice of necklace. I also like the circle and square gems paired with the print of the blouse. When I wear a statement necklace, I often skip other jewelry and opt for adding interest with my bag or shoes. In this case I kept the shoes neutral (though I wouldn’t exactly describe them as “uninteresting”) and added one of my favorite bags. The mix of colors and textures were the perfect finish. 

(Don’t forget to enter to win a $100 gift card to Shopbop! The giveaway closes tomorrow night, so get your entries in!)

Easy Like Sunday Morning

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T-shirt: American Apparel
Skirt: ModCloth
Sandals: Calvin Klein (Nordstrom)
Necklace: A gift
Watch: c/o TOKYObay
Ring: Surface To Air (Shotwell)
Bag: ModCloth

This was a lazy outfit for a refreshingly lazy Sunday. With all the packing followed by unpacking, it felt like weeks of go, go, go and it was time for a day to unwind. I met up with a friend for a heavenly pedicure, which is my excuse for my shoe choice. Flat, strappy sandals aren’t something you’ll often catch me in. They’re just a bit too unflattering for my liking, so I usually stick to sandals with height (the higher, the better). After pulling out several pairs only to find that the straps would in some way cover at least one of my soon to be freshly painted toes, I resolved myself to this pair. It’s not that I don’t like the sandals; it’s just that flat sandals aren’t for me. And, while that’s something I’ve admitted to myself many times, reading this back makes it seem a bit absurd. “I don’t do flat sandals.” Is there anything for which you have an irrational distaste? Confess!

Stripes And Birds

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Shirt: J. Crew 
Skirt: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom)
Shoes: Nine West
Necklace: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom)
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Ring: BCBG Max Azria
Sunglasses: Prada (a gift)

I loved this skirt the moment I laid eyes on it – the stripes, the print, the pockets. It’s the perfect combination of preppy and sporty with a quirky twist, making it quintessentially Marc by Marc, and as we all know, I love Marc. When it was finally warm enough to wear it, I went more preppy than sporty, pairing it with my trusty chambray button down. Since Marc tends to repeat core color schemes for each season, I had plenty of accessories that were a perfect match and quickly decided on this blue logo necklace and poppy bag. I struggled a bit when it came to shoes. In my mind a pair of oxfords was adorable, but in reality, they just made my legs look stumpy. Nude wedges were the easiest solution, but the shoe dilemma totally got me lusting for the wedge high tops this skirt was shown with on the runway… 

Back To Triangles

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American Apparel Neon Violet // Sally Hansen Snappy Sorbet

It's time for another manicure post, which means we've made it through another week - happy Friday! (Raise your hand if you've been waiting for Friday ever since Monday.) I had plans for a more intricate manicure, but the truth is that I usually do my nails on Sunday and it just so happened that summer reappeared in San Francisco last Sunday. Such occasions call for soaking up the sun and drinking beer in the Panhandle, which is exactly what I did. When I finally resolved myself to making my way indoors, I opted for something simple and quick and just painted my nails with the neon purple color. Having learned from many disasters caused by applying tape to paint that wasn't completely dry, I waited until the next day to apply the triangles.

This was the first time I tried American Apparel polish, and I really liked it. I also snagged a neon yellow color, which I plan to use next time. Is there any polish you're obsessed with right now?

Sequins Sweatshirt Or Bust!

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Sweatshirt: Laugh Cry Repeat (Mira Mira)
Skirt: Zara
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Libby Edelman (Piperlime)
Ring: Surface To Air (Shotwell)
Bag, Rings, and Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Between yesterday’s post and all my whining over on Twitter, I think it’s safe to say everyone is well aware of my recent move into a new apartment. Much like any other renter, moving is nothing new to me, but experience doesn’t make it any less painful. I expected all the cleaning, organizing, and packing to suck every last drop of life from me (which it did) but I almost forgot how miserable it is to unpack it all. While seeing boxes around the apartment drives me crazy, I’m not the kind of girl who can be all work and no play, so I decided to allow myself the time to enjoy being in my new apartment, as well as unpacking. That left an already brimming closet but still several bins of clothes and shoes stacked up in a corner. One would think that I could have put together an outfit from what was already unpacked. Nope, not me. I dug through two bins to find this sweatshirt. When I want a sequins sweatshirt, I want a sequins sweatshirt! 

(Pssttt…if you haven’t already, head over to this post to enter to win a $100 gift card to Shopbop!)

Neon Pink Chinos: Two Ways

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I’ve long been considering a new series that highlights different ways to style one item, but something just didn't feel right... Sure, I like to maximize my closet as much as the next girl, and I by no means avoid wearing something I recently wore. In fact, I quite often wear the same thing repeatedly in a short time frame, but it’s not because I like the challenge. It’s because I’m lazy. That’s right, friends; I am lazy. And that is how I ended up wearing these pants twice in the same week. I’m starting to realize that if I can’t see it, then I don’t wear it. At the same time, the clothes I take off and throw onto a growing pile of other discarded clothing (don’t judge me!) end up getting the most wear simply because they are in my line of vision when getting dressed. This became abundantly clear during my recent move into a new apartment. As I cleaned out my closet, I couldn’t believe all the things I had forgotten about! And when almost everything was packed up, I was once again surprised, but this time by how easy it actually was to get dressed with limited - but visible - options! So, be it born from creativity or a lack of motivation, this will be the first of a new feature here on Style by Santina! (Though some of you might recall the From City To Sand series when I was living in Mexico.)

These two looks aren’t all that different (apparently these pants were made for silver shoes?) but each reflects a style you’ll often catch me in. The first was worn just the day before I moved. Exhausted and perhaps not in the best of moods (let’s be real – moving sucks!), I decided coffee was not going to cut it, so I added a heavy dose of neon to try to wake up. Neon pink pants paired with a neon orange bag might be a teeny tiny bit obnoxious, but it’s a whole lot of awesome, too. A comfortable sweatshirt, mouse flats, and layers of some of my favorite accessories definitely put me in a better mood (and the three cups of coffee helped, too). 

Sweatshirt: Rxmance (Mira Mira) // Pants: Gap // Bracelets, Necklace, Rings, Shoes, and Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs // Bag: The Cambridge Satchel Co. (ModCloth) // Necklaces: A gift // Sunglasses: Chanel

The second look was from a week later, all moved into the new apartment but still living alongside boxes. In a complete mess, I just pulled together whatever was out and not wrinkled, first spotting these pants. (I’m a little obsessed with them.) The rest of the outfit came together quickly…since I’ve technically worn it before. This pair of pants is identical to my green pair, and a few weeks back I sported this look with the green pants and my darker chambray button down. I went for a fresher take this time with the neon version and lighter chambray. 

Shirt: J. Crew // T-shirt: Gap // Pants: Gap // Shoes: Rachel Antonoff for Bass (ModCloth) // Bracelets: H&M // Ring: Surface To Air (Shotwell) // Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs // Sunglasses: Prada (a gift)

Which look do you like best? 

Shopbop Giveaway

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Happy Monday, friends! While “happy Monday” is generally considered an oxymoron in my book, I am excited to announce that the kind folks over at Shopbop have teamed up with Style by Santina for another gift card giveaway! And, if that doesn't sweeten your Monday just a little, then I don't know what will! (Seriously, go get yourself an IV drip of coffee and then come back...) This one comes just in time for summer, and every year around this time, I find myself hankering for quality basics – tees, tanks, and really anything cotton – that I can mix and match throughout the season. Looking to do the same? Head over to Shopbop to check out C&C California tops, Ella Moss shirts (so soft!), and designer tank tops! Of course, I often like to use gift cards as an excuse to splurge a little, so I’ve rounded up a few not so basic items that I wouldn’t mind adding to my closet! 

Shopbop Giveaway

To enter:
  • “Like” Style by Santina on Facebook
  • Leave a comment with your name and email address so I can contact you if you’re selected as winner! That’s it!

For additional entries:
  • Follow Style by Santina on Twitter
  • Tweet about the giveaway. Example: “I just entered to win a $100 @Shopbop gift card via @stylebysantina http://bit.ly/OindGK"
  • Follow Style by Santina via Bloglovin’
  • Leave a comment for every additional entry

The rules:
  • This giveaway is open to everyone, including international readers.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.
  • Giveaway will close Friday June 22nd at 11:59 PM PST.

So Long Shiny Shoes

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Top: Something Else by Natalie Wood (a gift)
Jeans: Levi’s (Urban Outfitters)
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell (ModCloth)
Ring: Surface To Air (Shotwell)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (a gift)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)

Take a long look at these shoes; it’s likely the last time you’ll see them. I’m not happy about it, but sometimes a girl just needs to learn to let go. Ages ago, these shoes broke…like, in half. They were already sold out and I was quite smitten with them, so rather than return them, I decided to get them repaired. And then I left them at the shoe repair shop for months…at least three. When I finally picked them up, they looked as good as new, and I thought we’d live happily ever after (or maybe a year). 

There were many times (including the last time I wore this tunic) that I searched my closet for these shoes only to realize that they were still at the shoe repair shop. Once I decided on this tunic, the rest of the outfit came together easily. And with such an amazing print, I didn’t feel the need to pile on accessories. Just a simple ring was all I needed. 

About halfway through the day I realized that my shoe broke in the exact same place that it did the first time. I knew there was a chance that they were beyond repair, but I was blinded by love (and shiny shoes). This time I think I need to just let them go. This pair just wasn’t meant to be. The worst part? Looking back on it, I'm pretty sure all my jumping around broke them the second time... Moment of silence, please.

One More Time

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Shirt: Gap
Skirt: Jason Wu for Target
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Necklace: Monserat de Lucca (ModCloth)
Watch and Bracelet: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Bag: The Cambridge Satchel Co. (ModCloth)
Sunglasses: Prada (a gift)

When I only get to wear an outfit I really like for a few hours, I almost feel robbed except that I know I’ll just keep it in mind for a day when I have absolutely no idea what to wear. I usually don’t wear it in exactly the same way though I’d be lying if I said I never do that. And while I wore the shirt, skirt and shoes together once before, it was without tights, and really, that changes everything, doesn’t it? I also changed the bag, opting for this satchel. I felt it played up the (conservative) schoolgirl vibe of the oxford and pleats. 

Layers Of Favorites

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Sweater: H&M
Shirt: American Apparel (a gift)
Jeans: Insight (Mira Mira)
Shoes: Ego And Greed (ModCloth)
Necklace: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bracelets: H&M and Marc by Marc Jacobs
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (a gift)

Sometimes I start with just one piece that I love – in this case, the floral jeans – and decide to build an outfit around it with other pieces that I love to death. They might not be the flashiest pieces in my closet, but I adore each and every one in this look. The sweater reminds me of living in Mexico. I bought it on my visa run in Portland, and desperate for new clothes, wore it quite frequently for the rest of my time there. The shirt was a birthday gift from my best friend. And, of course, the floral jeans that I can’t stop wearing… Together they created the kind of casual outfit that will always be at the core of my style. Sure, I love throwing on a frilly dress and sky high heels, but I’ll always be a jeans and t-shirt – ahem, sheer shirt – kinda girl! 

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