Checkerboard Manicure

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It was only a matter of time before I tried my hand at a checkerboard manicure. Checkerboard has long been a staple in my wardrobe. Growing up, I spent a lot of time at the beach and had a tendency to adopt a beach bum style in the summer. Think: Sailor Knot bracelets and checkerboard Vans. The classic slip-ons stuck with me, and when I became ska obsessed in high school, my love for them grew that much deeper. While I may have outgrown the checkerboard everything and creepers look, there’s always a pair of checkerboard Vans in my closet. (They even made an appearance on the blog as seen here!) And when I saw the Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 collection I found a print I associate with a sense of rebellion reinvented and incredibly chic. I love the revival of checkerboard! And, I also love this manicure. Polka dots have been my go to for a while, but I think they’ve been replaced. I can’t wait to try another version of this design!

Feel Good Pieces

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Shirt: J.Crew
Skirt: Vince Camuto (Nordstrom)
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Necklace: Sheila B (Mira Mira)
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Bracelet: Stella & Dot
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)

Oh hi. I'm back…and with pinker hair. Of course, my break from outfit photos wasn't that apparent here on the blog since I had a backlog of outfit photos, but I actually took a few weeks off. When the haze of my vacation hangover finally lifted, I realized that it was time to get back to work. For real. And when my work life starts to consume my non-work life, I can't seem to make time for outfit photos. That happens from time to time, but there was something different about this break. It was like I lost my fashion mojo. I'd spend way too much time staring into my far from bare closet, feeling frustrated and unmotivated, only to throw on jeans and a button down before running out the door. Even clothes that I absolutely love didn’t inspire me. I hoped it would flip like a switch and I'd be back to myself, but after two weeks I realized I had to flip the switch for myself. "I will take outfit photos today" I declared on this day. And so I did. I can’t say this is the most interesting combination of pieces; I also can’t say it’s a surprising one. When I’m feeling out of sorts, I tend to reach for “feel good” pieces, like my trusty chambray shirt, a comfortable skirt and one of my favorite pairs of flats. So, here’s to trying, friends!

Sweatshirt Manicure

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My love of sweatshirts has been well documented here on Style by Santina. From sequins to camouflage to a mirror print, I have a diverse collection of sweatshirts. So smitten with the latest addition to my collection – a glittery Gat Rimon sweatshirt – I decided to turn it into a manicure. I started with a gray base coat and waited for it to dry. Then I taped off the top third of my nail and added a few coats of a multicolor glitter top coat. I intended to stop there, but the division between glitter and gray wasn’t as pronounced as I hoped, so I swiped a black line across the nail using striping polish. What do you think? Have I taken my love of sweatshirts too far or just far enough?

Also, Refinery29 is hosting a nail art contest, and a few of my designs have been selected. If you have a few minutes and wouldn't mind heading over to vote, I'd really appreciate it! You can vote on my Cloud Manicure, Dotty Fade Manicure, and Fishtail Manicure. There are a few others, but I can't find a way to filter out only my designs - bummer! Thanks for your support!

Perfect Pockets

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Dress: H&M
Necklace: BCBG Max Azria
Bracelet: A gift
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

I’ve only worn this dress one other time. I’m ashamed to admit that considering that I love this dress. And when I say that I really mean that I love the pockets. Of all my dresses, those with pockets are by far my favorites. And this dress might have the best pockets. That gives it all the makings to be one of my favorite dresses. How could I ever forget it?

Art Inspired Manicure

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I don't know about you, but I can't get on a plane without an arsenal of reading material. This usually breaks down to one book and three magazines, two fashion and one trashy. I grabbed the April issue of Nylon before heading to Costa Rica, and I was delighted to find page after page of nail art inspiration. I brought the magazine back with me, having already decided on the design I'd try first. Of course, by the time vacation ended, nail art was the last thing on my mind and it wasn't until I finally unpacked my carry on (don't judge me) that I remembered all this.

The feature included designs inspired by several artists - Monet, Pollock, Matisse - but the Ellsworth Kelly design called to me. The graphic print is simple but the clashing color combinations keep it interesting. While I was happy with the results, I fear my version looked more juvenile than artistic. What do you think?

Spring Styling

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Jacket: Gap
Dress: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Necklace: Sheila B Jewelry (Mira Mira)
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita (ModCloth)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

When warm weather hits San Francisco, I don't hesitate; I go straight for dresses that I think look best without tights. And, this is definitely one of those dresses. Sure, I’ve accepted that tights are (sadly) in rotation all year round here, so I’ve worn this dress several times with tights. But what I love most about this dress is that it’s easy. It’s comfortable and flattering (a far too rare combination if you ask me), and it has pockets. Tights somehow complicate all that. So, I jumped at the chance to wear it and show off my quickly fading tan while I could. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t worn pretty much this exact outfit before…several times before. Though I did take advantage of the neckline to showcase my new shark tooth necklace. I might be a little obsessed with it...

Lace Pants

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Shirt: J.Crew
Pants: J.Crew
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Sam Edelman (Piperlime)
Bag: See by Chloe (a gift)

I eyed these pants at J.Crew for a while, but because they’re quite similar to this DVF dress, I convinced myself there is a limit to how much mint lace a girl needs. But when I found them on sale and with an extra 30% off, I lost my self-control.

This outfit is two parts spring and one part prep with a splash of Florida retiree, and I wasn’t quite sure that I could (or should) pull it off. But in the end, I can never resist a look that makes me giggle, and this one definitely did just that. When it came time to style my new pants, I quickly pulled together several outfits but I actually went with the one I put together in the dressing room. Of course, I didn't head to the dressing room thinking that I wanted to wear the items in my hands together, but once on, I quite liked the combination. Fashion fate? I think so.

Speaking of fashion fate, do you ever feel like the fashion gods are smiling down on you when you find a pair of designer shoes at a serious discount and in just one size (yours)? And do you love it? Of course you do. Well, if you live in the Bay Area, then be sure to enter to win two tickets to the Gilt City Warehouse sale this Saturday, May 18th by leaving a comment on this post!

Cloudy Skies Manicure

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Sephora by OPI Havana Dreams// Essie Mezmerised // Sally Hansen White On
If you follow me on Twitter, you probably grew tired of hearing me complain about my "vacation hangover". Of course if you follow me on Twitter, you also know that the vacation hangover was soon overshadowed by the more familiar "why-did-I-drink-so-much-whiskey" hangover. Hangovers aside, it's been a struggle to get back into my hectic schedule, and I've felt a little off my game. I've found myself daydreaming about Costa Rica a little too much for a girl who just returned from an amazing vacation, and I think that "heads in the clouds" daze lead to this manicure.

This wasn't first time I've done a cloud design, but like almost every manicure, I like this one better than the last and I'm sure I'll like the next better than this one. It's so easy, and since clouds are imperfect in shape, there's very little room for error. To apply this design, I started with a base coat and then two coats of the light blue color. I allowed that to dry before creating a gradient with the darker blue polish and a makeup sponge. Then, using a dotting tool, I applied overlapping dots of white polish to create the clouds. Once dry, I finished it off with a top coat.

And, if you live in the Bay Area, be sure to head over to this post and leave a comment to enter to win two tickets to the Gilt City warehouse sale next weekend! 

Gilt City SF Warehouse Sale

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Listen up Bay Area friends! Gilt City is having a warehouse sale on Saturday, May 18th. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love warehouse sales. I’m not sure what I love most - designer brands at a discount or the thrill of victory when I score that one pair of size 10 heels that everyone is eyeing. Needless to say, I am looking forward to this one, especially since perusing Gilt has been part of my morning routine for years now.

Sounds fun, right? I thought so, which is why I’ve teamed up with Gilt City SF to give away two tickets to the warehouse sale! So get ready to grab a pal and scour the racks!

The details:
To enter:

Just leave a comment on this post by Wednesday May 15th 11:59 pm PST. I’ll select a winner on Thursday and contact you via the email.

To follow along on Twitter, follow @GiltCitySF and look for the hash tag #raidthewarehouse!

Good luck!

Back To Reality

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Shirt: J.Crew
Skirt: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Shoes: Coach
Necklace: Monserat de Lucca (ModCloth)
Bracelet: Stella & Dot
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)

I returned from vacation expecting the chilly, foggy weather I left behind. Instead, San Francisco welcomed me back with a streak of summer weather. It definitely softened the blow of the slap of reality, and it also allowed me to show off my tan. I had forgotten about this skirt and rediscovered it when packing for Costa Rica. It didn’t make it into my suitcase, so I vowed to show it some love soon after my return. Still in denial that I had to put on something other than a bikini and cutoffs, I went with a comfortable outfit, pairing it with my favorite button down and flats. After ten days of basically not wearing shoes, my feet just weren’t ready for heels.

A Sunset Stroll

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Dress: Lifetime (Mira Mira)
Sunglasses: ModCloth
Bracelets: Voz Collective (Renegade Craft Fair)

When I left for Costa Rica, I took a suitcase full of clothes I couldn’t wait to wear. Unlike many of my vacations, this one was planned out well in advance, giving me months to daydream about it…and shop for it. When I spotted this dress at Mira Mira, I knew it would be perfect for hot and humid nights on the beach. I also knew that it would look good with a tan, which is why I waited until the end of the trip to wear it. I absolutely love that the first time I wore this dress was on a very happy vacation - every time I wear it, I’ll think back to this day and smile!

Chalkboard Manicure

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A few weeks ago, I spied an ad for the Ciate Chalkboard Manicure kit in a magazine and totally planned to recreate it with polish I already own. But when I popped into Sephora to pick up a yellow polish, I saw the actual kit and decided to go for it. The kit comes with chalkboard paint, a matte top coat and four chalk pens. The best part is that because the chalk pens contain a liquid, there’s a thirty-second window during which one can decide she hates the design and quickly wash it off completely with water.

I debated a few designs but decided to keep it simple for my first attempt. Punctuation marks felt appropriate for a manicure that evokes memories of classrooms. (I actually love writing on chalkboards.) I was happy with the end result but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a list of improvements to make next time. My manicures always get better with practice, and I look forward to trying this one again!

Feet In The Sand

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Dress: BB Dakota (ModCloth)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)

As I often remark (and as those of you who followed Style by Santina when I was living in Mexico likely remember), I keep my style low key when I’m at the beach. So when I found myself planning a vacation to celebrate twelve happy years with my love and life partner, I faced a small dilemma. I wanted something special if not fancy, something that would make me feel pretty but not out of place. And then ModCloth had their Cabin Fever Sale and as I was perusing the site, I came across this dress. It was one that I had long admired, both online and on women I worked with at ModCloth, and it was perfect. I love, love, love this dress. The whimsical print and ruffles made the dress feel fancier than my usual beach go-tos while the racerback and bohemian feel keep it beach appropriate…especially when paired with nothing but sunglasses and the smile of a girl who’s exactly where she’s happiest – on the beach!

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