A Look Back At 2013

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Well, hello again. I know it’s been a while, and I think I owe you all an explanation. In reflecting on 2013, it was clearly a year when I really focused on my career. My job is demanding and challenging, and it pushes me to be better every single day. While the Type A in me absolutely fucking loves that, another part of me is exhausted. And long days at work mean less time with my partner, the man who holds my life together while I’m busy at the office. So, in order to get time away from my laptop and time with the people I care about, I had to take a break from blogging.

Though I’d be lying if I played it like my insane schedule was the only thing keeping me from blogging. Those of you who have followed Style by Santina for a while have likely heard me complain about my eczema. And while acupuncture cured me almost entirely of it, a stressful few weeks resulted in a severe outbreak of eczema around my eyes. I wasn’t feeling my most photogenic, and it stuck around for weeks and weeks. Luckily, I’ve been able to get it under control by adopting a gluten-free diet.

So that explains my break. With that behind us, let me say that I cannot believe the year is coming to an end. It went by in a blink! The annual “year in review” posts are some of the most fun to put together. One of the things I love most about blogging is capturing the day-to-day moments, and these are my favorites. Did you see one of yours in the mix?

Lastly, I want to thank you all for coming back and checking in on Style by Santina. Despite not posting at all this month, I’ve felt connected thanks to interactions on Twitter and Instagram. I’m not sure what 2014 holds, but I do hope to get back to a regular posting schedule that works for me.

Happy New Year!

Back To Baja

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Well, hello. It’s been a while. But rather than bore you with all of the reasons why posts have been so infrequent, let’s instead feast our eyes on these photos. Beautiful, empty beaches, incredible sunsets and, of course, ceviche – yes, I went back to Mexico (Baja, to be exact)! If you’ve followed Style by Santina for a while, you know that I love Mexico. I lived in Mexico for about a year before moving to San Francisco, and this was my second trip since then. I’ve done a lot of traveling, but no country tugs at my heart quite like Mexico, and I’m particularly smitten with Baja. As always, the weather was perfect, the food was delicious and the people were warm and friendly. I really did not want to leave!

Galaxy Manicure

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After weeks of bare nails, I forced myself to make time for a manicure this week. While a lot of people see my nails and think “she has a lot of time on her hands”, the reality is quite the opposite. I rarely feel like there’s enough hours in the day to get everything done, and that can be stressful at times. And, for me, focusing on a tedious, manual task is a way to de-stress and prepare myself for another busy week. Even if Monday sucks, which it almost always does, I want my nails to look good. And this week they did - I love this galaxy manicure! Of course there are things I wish I had done differently like used a finer glitter to add more “stars” to the design, but there’s always next time! What do you think of this manicure?

Back To Boots

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Dress: ModCloth
Shirt: BCBG Max Azria
Tights: DKNY (Nordstrom)
Boots: Theory (Nordstrom Rack)
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Necklace: H&M
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

After a few days of crisp, fall weather, I decided it was time for boots. And when I say “boots”, I mean this pair in particular. I love these boots and look forward to wearing them year after year. Taller boots make me feel like I can get away with a shorter hemline at the office, so I took advantage and wore this little drop waist dress. The print is one of my absolute favorites. Not yet ready to pair it with a turtleneck, I layered it over a super soft cashmere tee, the perfect light but warm layer. I’ve been in quite the fashion rut lately, but I think my favorite fashion season – fall – might turn that around!

A Sweatshirt And A Skirt

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Sweatshirt: Prabal Gurung for Target
Skirt: Vince Camuto (Nordstrom)
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Necklace and Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

There were quite a few days that I used my busy schedule as an excuse to be lazy when it came time to get dressed. Skinnies and a button down, boyfriend jeans and a button down, all button downs, all day, every day - it had to stop! At the same time, I’ve long felt like my closet is a bit stale and I’m not really inspired by it. So I decided to have fun, a decision that lead me straight to this sweatshirt. I love the print so much, and while I generally try to avoid wearing sweatshirts to the office, I decided to roll with it. I thought I’d dress it up, so I quickly reached for this midi skirt. Heels probably would have been better suited for work, but I went with my favorite booties instead.  I can’t lie; this outfit totally broke me out of my fashion rut! 


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Clockwise from top left: A modern spin on the usual wall of polish // Acting silly when I caught Angie
snapping a pic of me // ...so I Instagrammed her right back // I fell in love with these moody
fall colors from Deborah Lippman

Every time I tell myself (and all of you) that I’ll get back to a posting schedule of three times a week, I find myself with almost no time to dedicate to blogging. The last few months have been crazy busy, and it’s been tough finding time for myself. So you can imagine my excitement when the generous folks over at LUX SF offered me a complimentary manicure and pedicure at the brand spanking new nail salon in Hayes Valley. I made an appointment for the following weekend, and to make it that much better, my sister from another mister, Angie, made one for the same time. So we spent a rainy afternoon chatting, laughing, and sipping on mimosas while being totally pampered by the lovely ladies at LUX SF. Not only did I leave feeling relaxed and happy, but also my nails were perfectly painted in fall colors from Deborah Lippman. My favorite part? The Soyaffin – a blend of shea butter, beeswax, and soy – wrap that left my eczema prone hands feeling super soft and hydrated. And, did I mention they’re open until 8 PM? Finally, a nail salon I can hit up after work! If you live in the Bay Area, I definitely recommend checking out LUX SF.

Disclosure: while LUX SF provided a DeLUX manicure and pedicure free of charge, the views and opinions are honest and completely my own. 

Boyfriend Jeans/Boyfriend's Shirt

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Shirt: Borrowed from the boyfriend
Jeans: Current/Elliott (Nordstrom)
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Necklace: Sheila B Jewelry (Mira Mira)
Bag: Gucci
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Sunglasses: Prada

Unless I’m on vacation, I hate Mondays. And I think all the reasons that make me hate Monday also make it difficult to get dressed on Monday mornings. I struggle to get dressed on Monday. It’s like some part of me actually believes that if I stay in pajamas, the weekend won’t really come to an end. And, I definitely did not want this past weekend to end. After several loooooooooong weeks, I got some much-needed relaxation. It felt so good…I wanted at least another day of it. No luck. So, I delayed it as much as possible before resigning myself to reality. Boyfriend jeans and a shirt stolen from my boyfriend? Done!

Polka Dot Gradient Manicure

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I’ll just come right out and say it: I was disappointed in this manicure. It’s a simple design so it’s not like I thought I was going to be overly impressed by my handiwork, so it’s not the application that bugs me. It’s the color combination. This green looks more like an army green in the bottle, and I completely forgot how much brighter it is on my nails. Fine, poor base color choice. I could have recovered, but I stuck with my plan to apply black dots in varying sizes. The combination almost reminds me of Halloween. It feels like a Franken-mani to me. What do you think?

Outfit Redux

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Sweatshirt: Gat Rimon (Mira Mira)
Shirt: J.Crew 
Jeans: Current/Elliott (Nordstrom)
Shoes: Modern Vintage (Gilt)
Bag: Kate Spade (Gilt)

You've likely come to the conclusion that I work a lot. Let's face it; tech startups are not synonymous with work/life balance. Sometimes I have to put blog posts on hold; sometimes I have to put my personal life on hold. And while that sucks, it also means that when I do get together with my girls, we make up for lost time (read: we go hard) so the warm and fuzzies last until the next time I see them. And, that's exactly what happened this past weekend. I went out for what ending up being an epic brunch with Adiel, Angie and Dana, and this is what I wore. Of course, when Monday rolled around, I wasn't ready to let go of the weekend and all the fun I had, so I threw on the very same outfit as a reminder. I tell you this with no shame. I’m an emotional dresser, so once I associate a particular item or outfit with something positive, I like to wear it when I need some good vibes. And who can’t use that on Monday morning?

Kate Spade x Darcel

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Dress: Kate Spade x Darcel
Shoes: Nine West
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

This dress was a total impulse buy. I stopped by the San Francisco Magazine Kate Spade shopping event, and one minute later, this dress was in my hand. The print killed me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it! On top of that, I’m a big fan of long sleeved dresses for the office, as I often prefer to keep my tattoos covered. And, the pockets sealed the deal. I will admit to a quick sanity check during which I asked myself if I could style it at least three ways, and I quickly came up with a few outfits mixing pieces already in my closet. I also had a little encouragement from my friend Jes. Sometimes a girl just needs to put logic aside and shop, right?

Lattice Manicure

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Kiss Nail Artist Paint White // Sephora by OPI What’s a Tire, Jack?
One of my nerd superpowers is the ability to take complex data and break it down into a simple, easy to understand structures. It's interesting that the same logic often applies to my nail designs. I can’t remember where I first saw this design, but it popped up a few times in searches for inspiration. I quickly realized that it’s nothing more than lines and dots, two things I can do with confidence. This manicure was really quick to apply, and I love the design. I definitely plan to do it again soon; I think an ombre base would be a fun variation.

Happy Friday!


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Dress: Free People (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Vans
Necklace: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Sunglasses: Chanel
Bag: Proenza Schouler (Barneys)

When I spotted this dress on a recent trip to The Rack, I thought of only one thing: I want to wear that on the plane to Mexico in November. Yes, I am already planning what I will wear on the plane. Listen, when the weeks are long, I like to focus on relaxing times ahead…and what I’ll be wearing during them! Normal, right? Anyhow, this dress is absolutely perfect for a day of travel. Of course, that doesn’t quite explain how I ended up wearing it over the weekend. I blame the fact that this dress is basically an oversized t-shirt, and an irresistibly soft t-shirt at that. Once I put it on, there was no taking it off, so I made it work. And before I knew it, I ended up in an outfit that’s a perfect mishmash of high and low end, which is the kind of cool girl look I often admire but never think I can put together. 

Spots And A Satchel

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Dress: Rachel Zoe (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Bag: The Cambridge Satchel Company (ModCloth)

Hello again. That week off from blogging wasn’t completely intentional, but just as I said August kicked my ass, September is shaping up to be more of the same. I think it will be go, go, go until my next vacation in November, so while I hope to get back on my normal schedule of three posts a week, I’ll have to ask you to bear with me if I slack off from time to time.

These photos were taken just before my mother arrived for Labor Day. It was a long week gearing up for the visit as well as some time off from work, and I spent most of it in jeans and button downs. But I wanted to finish the week on a high note, so I forced myself to take advantage of the warm weather and wear a dress. This one is so easy that it’s hard to resist even on my laziest days. I added a similar neutral print with these cap toe shoes, before adding a pop of neon.

Winking Manicure

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MAC Hyperion // Kiss Brush On Nail Art Paint in White, Black and Blue Print

TGIF, friends. What a week! And after two extremely busy weeks, my mother is coming to town…and staying in my apartment…tonight. Of course, I still have a million things to do between now and then, so I’m going to keep this super short. I’m obsessed with this manicure. It’s a combination my new favorite clutch and a nail art design I particularly loved, and the result is definitely one of my all time favorite manicures I’ve done to date. It’s whimsical and fun without being overly cutesy. What do you think of this winking manicure?

Pink With A Wink

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Sweater: Something Else By Natalie Wood (Mira Mira)
Skirt: Something Else By Natalie Wood (Mira Mira)
Tank: Michael Stars (Nordstrom Rack)
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Carven (Barneys)
Clutch: Kate Spade

I love these pieces together, but I was not a fan of the all pink look when my hair was pink. It could work at just the right moment as the color faded, but I never quite caught it. So when I lightened my hair to white, I immediately thought of this outfit…and these shoes. And when it came to accessories, I quickly grabbed this playful clutch and a statement necklace that just so happens to match my shoes. Does that combination look familiar? Yup, you saw it here last week. Sorry I’m not sorry – I love it!

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