#MonthlyMani: DIY Brushstrokes

I'm linking up again with my gal pals for our #MonthlyMani! I was half-tempted to skip out on this month because, after working on our Alternative Fashion Week collection for the past month, my nails and cuticles have seen better days. But since this month's theme, Art-Inspired, was so close to my heart, I couldn't pass it up! So here it is, dry skin and all, my DIY brushstroke mani.

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Brushstroke-Nails-Paintbrushes

I was drawn to this idea of creating abstract brushstrokes for a number of reasons. Firstly, I love a splash of color and this look has that in spades. Secondly, it just doesn't get much easier than randomly placed paint dollops and in my book that is something to celebrate.

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Brushstroke-Nails-Painting-Stroke

To get the look, I started with a nude base coat. Then I chose my rainbow of colors and instead of flicking on the color with the nail polish brush, I used a paintbrush for a more jagged edge. To switch colors, all you have to do is swish the brush around in some nail polish remover, pat dry on a paper towel, and you're good to go.

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I've loved that every time I look down and get a glimpse of my hand, I have all these great colors looking back at me! I think this mani was one of my favorites to date. It's what I consider the perfect combo- pretty and a little messy- and the art inspiration really suits my personality.

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Brushstroke-Nails-Paint-Tube

Make sure to check out the other art-inspired nail looks from these ladies:

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

Would you wear this artsy mani?

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#MonthlyMani // Simple Nail Art Inspired by Candy Buttons

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It's the third Tuesday of the month, which means I'm linking up once again with the ladies of #MonthlyMani! Our theme this month was Candy Colors, and with so many pretty options I had a really hard time coming up with this one. I was in idea overload!

I considered all the bright, crazy-patterned options, but it when it comes down to it, I'm really most inspired by more minimal nail art lately. I am also loving simple geometric shapes likes dots and stripes.

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So this look, inspired by old-fashion candy button strips, gives me the best of both worlds. It's simple, both in looks and effort, but still has a great splash of color. While I'm sure a dotting tool would work wonders, I've never owned one because I think the tip of a bobby pin works perfectly.

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I just dotted the design on, one color at a time. The only thing slightly tricky here is getting them centered and keeping your hand steady. A trick I learned in art school is to rest your elbow on something and your hand instantly becomes steady.

Overall, I love the look! It's fun and graphic without feeling too in your face. If you wanted an even more toned-down, office-ready look, using a muted purple, gray, or black instead of the candy colors would be gorgeous!

Check out these ladies for some more candy-colored inspiration!

Kristi from Delightfully, Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

 

What's your vote on nail art? Do you like more minimal designs or are you in the more-is-better camp?

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#MONTHLYMANI | Glam Rock Nail Art with a Simple Cheat

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It's the third Tuesday of the month, which means I'm linking up with the ladies from the #MonthlyMani group! This month's theme is metallics, and I have to admit I feel like I cheated a little on this one.

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I go through major phases when it comes to metals, and I'm thinking 2016 is the year for copper. I started this mani out with a metallic copper base. I knew I wanted to do something flashy and sort of glam rock, so I cut out a lightning bolt from washi tape and was planning to use it as a stencil.

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However (here comes the cheating part), once the blue glitter bolt was on my nail, I really dug it. So, all I did was add a clear top coat and called it a day!

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I had never used any kind of foreign object in my diy manis before, but I thought it worked really well. If you're the type of person who would be distracted by the somewhat raised surface, I would recommend using an incredibly thin material, like a foil or lightweight tape instead of the glitter washi tape.

If you're looking for some more metallic mani inspiration, check out the rest of the #MonthlyMani crew:

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali Melissa from The Fashion Huntress Kristi from Delightfully Kristi Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

Have you ever tried a washi tape mani?

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DIY NAIL ART | A Pantone Gradient Mani Featuring the Colors of 2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity

  A gradient, or ombre, mani is by no means a new idea. I've been pinning them on Pinterest for years, and yet I still hadn't actually tried the process out myself. When I found out the theme for this month's #MonthlyMani was Pantone's Colors of 2016, I realized the time to ombre had inevitable arrived. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to blend the two hues. I think they look so perfectly pretty together and even mimic a cool, pastel sunset.

 

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Pantone-Gradient-Nails-Brushes

 

Luckily, as this was my first time trying out the gradient sponging technique, it turned out to be really easy and now I can't stop looking at the results. So soft, so romantic, and just so darn pretty. Here's how to get the blended effect.

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What you need.

-Two nail polish colors. I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear in Tickled Pink and Babe Blue. This is not my favorite type/brand of polish, but the price is great and the Pantone colors are spot on!

-Cosmetic sponge. For applying/blending gradient effect.

-Cotton swab and nail polish remover. For clean up.

 

What you do.

Paint a light base coat.

I used the bottom color of my gradient- the blue- and it worked really well. Let your base coat dry completely before moving on.

Paint the sponge.

Apply the pink and the blue polishes, one on top of the other, so that the polish stripes bump into one another. Make sure the design will cover the width and length of your nail bed.

Lightly sponge/roll onto the nail.

Emphasis on lightly. I was too heavy-handed the first time around and had to start over. You are aiming for light layers here and you can expect to do at least three for full coverage.

Clean up the edges.

Use the cotton swab and the nail polish remover to clean up around cuticle and under the nail.

Apply a top coat and you're done! Simple as that! :)

 

 

Check out more DIY Pantone manis from the ladies of #MonthlyMani!

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

 

Have you used this gradient technique before?

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Friday 5: Five Crazy Easy DIY Updates for Your F/W Wardrobe Using Just a Pair of Scissors

For a girl on a budget, this season's trends are super exciting because a lot of them can easily be recreated using just a pair of scissors and some items you probably already have hanging in your closet! If you like a neatly finished product, you're going to want to use perhaps a few more items and a few more steps. But if quick and easy is the name of the game, you can go ahead skip them. Just grab your scissors and start cutting!

1. The Car Wash Skirt

Car wash skirts were everywhere on the F/W 2015 runways. They look great layered over a slip skirt, tights, or on their own. If you have an old pencil skirt hanging in your closet that has really lost its luster, snipping a few car wash panels is a great way to give it a fun trendy update!

All you need for this DIY is really a pair of scissors and an unlined pencil skirt. To make your panels precise, simply measure around the hem of your skirt and mark in even increments. If you are using a knit skirt, something with stretch, like jersey, you won't need to finish the edges where you've cut. However, if you are using a woven skirt, something without stretch, like cotton twill, you will probably want to finish the edges with a serge stitch or a seam sealant like Fray Check.

Five-Fall-Fashion-Hacks-Using-a-Pair-of-Scissors-Car-Wash-Skirt

starter skirt  |  inspiration skirt by Tibi

scissors  |  marking pencil  |  ruler  |  seam sealant

 

2. The Sleeveless Coat Vest

With the rise of 70s fashion comes a natural trend toward the long duster vest. This style is a perfect complement to a turtleneck and flares, works well over a skirt for the office, and can even be layered over other coats, like a black moto jacket, for an interesting twist.

This is an easy look to replicate with a thrift store coat or one whose sleeves are an inch or so too short (hello, my life). For a quick fix DIY, simply cut off the sleeve at the shoulder seam and finish with some seam sealant. Or, to correctly finish the alteration (if you're into that kind of thing), you can cut the sleeve off a few inches below the shoulder seam and follow this great tutorial at ...Love Maegan.

Five-Fall-Fashion-Hacks-Using-a-Pair-of-Scissors-Sleeveless-Coat-Vest

starter coat  |  inspiration coat by Rag & Bone

scissors  |  needle  |  thread  |  seam sealant

 

3. The Turtleneck Choker

Just like me on every elementary school picture day, this season has been all about one neckline: the turtleneck. But this trend isn't just for sweaters anymore. Seen all over the Fall 2015 runways, the turtleneck choker/dickie/scarf (whatever you want to call it), served as a cozy accessory to everything from sweaters to slinky dresses.

To recreate this trend yourself, you can easily cut the neck or sleeve off of any old sweater. But I especially like the idea of using a pair of stretch tights or leggings for a no-sew, 90's-era version of this trend. You will want to cut nearly double the width to allow the ends to fold and turn under as they will naturally want to do. Because the stretch material won't fray, you don't even need to take any extra steps for finishing, unless of course you need something to help stretch it out! Choker is not meant to be taken literally. ;)

Five-Fall-Fashion-Hacks-Using-a-Pair-of-Scissors-Turtleneck-Choker

starter leggings  |  inspiration choker look by Tome

scissors  |  measuring tape

 

4. The Uneven Hem Jeans

A lot of the DIY denim practices I used in my teenage days are back in fashion. One of my favorite versions of DIY denim as of late is the raw, uneven hem like on this pair of Vetements jeans or like the DIY I version I saw (and loved) on Honestly WTF. For petite girls, it's a perfect excuse to cut the hem of your jeans. And for the rest of us, it's a fresh denim update that will really show off your cold weather booties.

To create this look, simply cut the sewn hem from a pair of relaxed or straight cut jeans. Then cutting right inside of the side seams and inseams, cut up another two inches (or however long you prefer) and straight across the front to create the shorter front hem. Use your fingers to pull some strands for a frayed look. If you're not great at eyeballing lengths, you can measure and mark for precision.

Five-Fall-Fashion-Hacks-Using-a-Pair-of-Scissors-Uneven-Frayed-Hem-Jeans

starter jeans  |  inspiration jeans by Vetements

scissors  |  fabric marker  |  seam gauge

 

5. The Cropped Western Boot

Cowboy boots are a classic, they're never really "out of style." But unless you are out roping cattle for a living, they can also be pretty tricky to work into your wardrobe without looking like Jessica Simpson in her Daisy Duke days. Cue the crop! A shorter version, either in bootie or mule form, takes the most ornate, traditional western boot and makes in modern and urban.

This is the perfect makeover for that pair of hard-to-wear boots collecting dust in your closet. How to go about the actual cutting will depend on your boot. You can either trim along the natural seam lines or simply snip straight across. I like the look of the imperfect raw hem, but if you want a more finished look you can always clean up the cut with a needle and thread or some strong fabric glue.

Five-Fall-Fashion-Hacks-Using-a-Pair-of-Scissors-Cropped-Western-Boots

starter boots  |  inspiration boots by Donald & Lisa

needle  |  thread  |  fabric glue

 

What do you think? Do these DIY style updates make "the cut"?

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5 Male-Approved Couples Costumes for Halloween

Hi, friends! Remember that girl that used to post all the time? Well, sorry for my little hiatus as of late. I'll have a little catch up post soon to fill you in on what I've been up to, but in the meantime let's talk Halloween! I know most of you probably have your costumes ready to go, but in case you and your boo (pun intended) are still at a loss for what to wear, I've got you covered! In theory, I love a good couples costume, but they can be tricky to pull off. For male-female couples it can be hard to find a balance between something you love and something he's also excited about. So when I was writing this post, I thought why not just go straight to the source and ask my better half, Zach? And that's exactly what I did! So, here are his favorite classic couples costumes. And the best part? With a little creativity and a few borrowed accessories, a lot of these looks can be pulled straight from your closet! Perfect for any last-minute plans!

 

1. Romeo & Juliet (90s Baz Luhrmann-Style)

This is at the top of Zach's list every year. I think he loves the modern, more casual, interpretation of such classically romantic characters and costumes. I mean what guy doesn't want to be a knight at least once in his lifetime? And what girl doesn't want her date to be Leonardo DiCaprio- am I right?

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romeo:  mask  |  armor  |  top  |  pants  |  sword

juliet:  dress  |  wings  |  sandals  |  necklace

 

2. Johnny & June

Not only do they have a historically epic romance, but I think the chance to be the original country music rebel (and wear all black) is appealing to a lot of men.

*(I know these are not the real Johnny and June, but I'm using pictures from Walk the Line mainly because of the photo quality. Plus those costumes are on point.)

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Johnny:  boots  |  shirt  |  belt  |  tie  |  vest  |  guitar  |  pants

june:  necklace  |  earrings  |  dress  |  bag  |  bumpits  |  microphone  |  shoes

 

3. Bonnie & Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde is always a classic couples costume, but with all the 60s-70s madness going on in fashion, the 1967 Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty version has never seemed more relevant. You'll get to wear this season's hottest accessory, the neck scarf, and your guy will love going as the historical gun-toting bandit.

5-Male-Approved-Couples-Costumes-2-Bonnie-and-Clyde 5-Male-Approved-Couples-Costumes-3-Bonnie-and-Clyde-Shop

clyde:  tie  |  jacket  |  shirt  |  pants  |  suspenders  |  gun  |  hat  |  shoes

bonnie:  beret  |  scarf  |  bag  |  sweater  |  skirt  |  heels  |  gun

 

4. Kurt & Courtney

The king and queen of grunge will officially never be out of style, and I don't know about you, but I will personally never stop having a star crush on Kurt Cobain. Plus, with the 90s fashion overload from the past few years, you've definitely got some of these pieces already in your closet.

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5-Male-Approved-Couples-Costumes-4-Kurt-and-Courtney-Shop

kurt:  sunglasses  |  shoes  |  jeans  |  shirt  |  tee  |  cardigan

courtney:  dress  |  coat  |  shoes  |  lipstick  |  tiara  |  bag  |  tights

 

5. JFK and Jackie (or Marilyn)

According to Zach, JFK is "like the most stylish guy ever." Who knew, right? And according to Mad Men, every woman is either a Jackie or a Marilyn. So I say pick your alter ego, brush your guy's hair back (or grab a wig), and whichever girl is your go-to, you can step out as some of the most classically fashionable people in American history.

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5-Male-Approved-Couples-Costumes-5-JFK-Jackie-and-Marilyn-Shop

jfk:  shirt  |  tie  |  pin  |  shoes  |  jacket  |  pants

jackie:  hat  |  necklace  |  earrings  |  shoes  |  suit  |  sunglasses  |  gloves  |  bag

marilyn:  earrings  |  gloves  |  bracelet 1  |  bracelet 2  |  necklace  |  bag  |  shoes  |  fur  |  dress

   

So Zach was obviously thinking in terms of me and him here, but what if you're in a same sex couple or going out with friends? Well, if you still need a few more ideas, I loved this A League of Their Own duo, thought Ace and Gary was a pretty hilarious idea, and why not just go ahead and be the whole Bad Blood squad?

 

Are you dressing up this weekend? Fill me in on all the details in the comments!

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Five Ways to DIY It: The Artsy Credenza

Ever since these gorgeous credenzas from DENY caught my eye, I haven't been able to shake the idea of having one for my dining room. If I had an spare $799 (a pretty reasonable price) in the budget, I would have one heading my way in a heartbeat. But for me and my personal finances, this is definitely not making the list of "must buys" anytime in the near future.

Especially when I can see so many great cost-cutting DIY possibilities! Using a thrifted sideboard or a basic IKEA piece and a little ingenuity, you could pretty easily replicate some of these looks in your space for half the cost- or even less!

Check out my 5 Ways to DIY It, while I look up all the upcoming garage sales in my area. ;)

 

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inspiration  |  paint  |  brushes

 

Five-Ways-to-DIY-it-Statement-Credenzas-Tape-Stripes

inspiration  |  paint  |  tape

 

Five-Ways-to-DIY-it-Statement-Credenzas-Watercolor-Mural

inspiration  |  utility knife  |  mural

 

Five-Ways-to-DIY-it-Statement-Credenzas-Diamond-Stencil

inspiration  |  paint  |  brush  |  stencil

 

Five-Ways-to-DIY-it-Statement-Credenzas-Photo-Transfer

inspiration  |  blueprint copy  |  photo transfer medium  |  brush

 

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for a frugal, DIY-able piece because I am crazy about the first look- the graphic word art. I also love the photo transfer idea (which by the way, would use a photocopy as opposed to an actual photo or anything with a high gloss finish). Wouldn't it be a wonderful way to use a vacation pic? It's a perfect blend of sentiment and good design. Which style is your favorite?

Would you give any of these DIYs a go?

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Five Minute Friday: Using a Ribbon to Solve Your Wardrobe Woes

 

Do you have a ribbon and a minute to spare? Great, because this simple solution can get your closet whipped into shape with seriously minimal effort!

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Have you heard of the ribbon method before? It's a super simple way to get your closet organized- you basically just tie a ribbon at the far end of your closet rod with all of your clothes to one side. Then, after you've worn a piece, hang it back up on the opposite side of the ribbon. After a couple of months of following this system, you'll really be able to see what items you wear and what items might be ready for donation.

 

The ribbon method can help solve a few major organizational problems:

1. You'll lighten the load. If you know you need to purge your wardrobe but can't seem to part with anything, this eliminates the decision process. Simply set a date (like 6 months out, for example) and anything on the unworn side of the ribbon goes.

2. You'll re-purpose old favorites. You know that designer skirt you found on clearance two years ago that still has the tags on it? Or that favorite old jacket that, even though it's not really your style anymore, you're still hanging onto, just in case? Well, there's nothing like a looming donation deadline to get the creative juices flowing. Now is the time to see if you can restyle those pieces in a new way that you'll love or if it's simply time to pass them along.

3. You'll get organized. If it has been a while since you cleaned out your closet, this is the perfect opportunity to get it back in order. As you are hanging the pieces you've worn on the other side of the ribbon, take a second to merchandise it among the others. If you decide on an organizational method in the beginning (tanks with tanks, jackets with jackets, etc.) and then hang your worn items accordingly, by the time your ribbon has moved down the rack, your closet will be an organized masterpiece!

 

What do you think? Would you try the ribbon method?

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#MonthlyMani: Graphic Pineapple Print

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I'm taking part again this month in the #MonthlyMani linkup hosted by Delightfully, Kristi. The theme chosen was "summer picnic" so I went with my favorite summer food- pineapples!

I've always loved painting my nails and making nail art, but I'm still feeling really inadequate when it comes to documenting these DIY manis. It can be really awkward to take a picture of your own hand not to mention nearly impossible to capture the actual process. It's times like these I realize I need an assistant. And a photographer. And probably a life coach. ;)

Anyway, here's my take on a fruity summer picnic mani...

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Graphic-Pineapple-Base-Colors

First, I applied my base colors. I'm pretty obsessed with black or white nail polish as a base for nail art. I think they help to make everything look graphic and chic. Either color would work great with this design, but I opted for black, using it on most of my nails. I then added a couple yellow accent nails to serve as my "pineapple" nails.

 

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Graphic-Pineapple-Stripes

I used a paintbrush to add crossing stripes on the accent nails. If you feel really shaky (pun intended) with making freehand stripes, you could use nail stripe tape, but I don't mind the organic/imperfect quality here. Pineapples have texture, so I think it works. :)

 

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Graphic-Pineapple-Green

Then I added a green tip for the... leaves? Do pineapples have leaves? Anyway, I just swiped the nail polish across the top, but again, you could easily tape off that portion before painting if you prefer.

 

DIY-Monthly-Mani-Graphic-Pineapple-Graphic-Print

What do you think? Am I ready for a summer picnic?

 

Want some more DIY mani ideas? Check out what the other bloggers came up with!

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

Kate from Into the Stratosphere

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Natalie from Being Mrs. Olson

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Friday Five: A 5-Minute DIY for Color-blocked Keys

After moving recently, I noticed our key rings are now stacked with a whole lot of plain metal keys. Not exactly a visual treat. So I decided to use tape and nail polish to give them a quick pop of color and help them stand out from one another.

To give your own keys a 5-minute upgrade all you need is Scotch tape and some nail polish!

First, tape off sections of your keys, leaving an exposed shape to be painted.

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Give the exposed areas a couple of coats of nail polish. I used neon colors but I think black and white would also look really cool!

You can see here that some polishes will need more coats than others. The lime green, for instance, took several while the fuchsia had good coverage with just one coat.

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Remove the tape before the paint is completely dry. This will prevent the tape from peeling part of the design off.

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Voila! A little pop of DIY color always makes me happy.

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Happy weekend!

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#MonthlyMani: A Practice in Negative Space

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! I don't really do anything to celebrate the holiday since I'm in that space in my life where I'm a lot less interested in binge drinking in crowds but also don't have kids to do fun all the fun themed Pinterest-y things with yet. I will, however, be wearing my green, especially since I'm already rocking some in my new negative space mani!

Have you tried doing negative space nail art yet? I've been wanting to try it forever and taking part in Delightfully Kristi's #MonthlyMani linkup (my first time!) gave me the perfect opportunity to finally give it a shot! This month's theme was St. Patrick's Day, obviously, but since I'm not really going all out with the celebrating, I wanted to do something that was a more subtle approach to the festive mani. Something I could wear for the rest of the week without screaming "Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

So I opted for a black and nude negative space mani with just a few pops of green. And let me tell you friends, for my first ever nail art post, I have to say some lessons have been learned.

1. It is WAY harder to photograph your own hand than you would imagine.

2. Manicure pics without background colors or props turn out really boring.

So, bear with me and my rough/boring pics this time and hopefully next month I will have enlisted help and employed some more interesting photo techniques. (Click images to enlarge.)

How to do it:

1. Start with a bare or nude nail. I actually prefer the look of a bare nail, but had bright blue polish on my nails last week and they still had a bit of a blue tinge, so I opted for the painted look. If using polish, make sure it has plenty of time to dry or you'll find yourself in a very sticky situation (pun, yes, but also horribly true).

2. Mask off the areas that will become your negative space. You can make each nail have the same design or get completely random, like I did here. Nail art striping tape is generally recommended for this, but I just cut thin strips of clear office tape and it worked perfectly fine.

3. Add your polish to the exposed areas. I used two colors- black and green- and the trick here is to move very quickly because step 4 is crucial.

4. Peel off the tape immediately, while the paint it still completely wet. This seems strange at first, but if you wait for the paint to dry, you run the risk of it coming off and taking parts of the design with it.

5. Add clear top coat.

6. Voila! (See the all-green accent nail? It's my version of a negative space four leaf clover. Like I said, subtly festive. ;) )

 

I have to say, although I'm not crazy about the pictures, I am loving this negative space manicure! It was a lot easier than I anticipated- it probably took only about 5 minutes for the tape and polish- and although a little shaky, I think it ended up looking pretty good! I can't wait to try the look with bare (non-blue) nails and employ even more negative space.

 

Looking for more #MonthlyMani ideas? Check out the St. Patty's day nail art from my fellow linkers:

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Piniel from Pins-Place

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Erika from Erika’s Style Diary

Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty

 

Have you tried a negative space mani?

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5 Ways to DIY It... Designer-Inspired Ideas to Up Your Beanie Game

I know it's probably in my best interest to refrain from talking too much about the weather, it being the stereotypical boring topic and all, but Ohio is seriously like a live reenactment of Frozen these days. I've considered changing my profession to human ice sculpture. It at least seems like an easily attainable goal, if not incredibly lucrative. What I'm saying, in rambling fashion, is that it is cold. Really cold. And we all know, just like moms/teachers/camp counselors/weather aficionados everywhere have told us countless times before, the best way to stay warm is to cover up that melon.

I've been loving the beanie craze lately, especially since you can scoop them up for under $10 at places like Topshop, Forever21, and Target.  But if you want to add some personality to your basic beanie, I've got a few quick and easy designer-inspired craft ideas. So go on, girl- get your craft on!

 

You can add a bow...

5-Ways-To-DIY-It-Beanie-Bow

inspiration

beanie  |  needle & thread  |  bow

 

...or a contrasting pom.

 5-Ways-To-DIY-It-Beanie-Pom-Pom

inspiration

beanie  |  needle & thread  |  pom pom

 

Or go for the drama with a veil and some pearls.

5-Ways-To-DIY-It-Beanie-Veil-And-Pearls

inspiration

beanie  |  needle & thread  |  tulle  |  pearls

 

You can add a row of sparkling gems...

5-Ways-To-DIY-It-Beanie-Gems

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beanie  |  glue  |  gems

 

...or stamp on some metallic dots for a beanie that shines!

5-Ways-To-DIY-It-Beanie-Gold-Dot

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beanie  |  pencil  |  fabric paint

 

Which one is your favorite?

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5 Super Last-Minute Costume Ideas You Can Find in Your Own Closet

Maybe you haven't looked at a calendar since September or maybe you've been on a space mission that just landed yesterday- I don't know. I don't know your life. But if your first thought this morning was "Oh crap- tomorrow's Halloween!" well then, my friend, this is the post for you. Today I'm answering the procrastinator's prayer and offering up my best last-minute costume ideas using things you've probably already got hanging in your closet. With a couple of strategic clothing selections, you can transform into any of these iconic film characters and no one will ever know you almost forgot the best holiday of the year.

 LastMinuteHalloweenCostumes_BonnieParker

LastMinuteHalloweenCostumes_CoreyEmpireRecords

LastMinuteHalloweenCostumes_MargotTheRoyalTenenbaums

LastMinuteHalloweenCostumes_DarlaDazed&Confused

*While I realize you likely don't have a "Seniors" shirt in your closet, you can easily make one with some iron-on letters or a Sharpie marker.

LastMinuteHalloweenCostumes_ReginaGeorgeMeanGirls

What's your best costume idea to throw together in a pinch? Share your genius with us in the comments!

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Pinspired: Styling Your Way to the Perfect Costume

Since I work in costume/styling fields, I find myself often attending cocktail/themed events where I need to be dressed up, but at the same time I also need to be in "work mode." This isn't always the easiest task, but over the past few years I've become a bit of a pro at blurring the lines between event-appropriate and work-ready by focusing all my energy on the details of an outfit. I'll wear basic, comfortable clothing (black leggings, comfortable tops, simple dresses, etc.) and then style them with my boldest accessories and beauty looks. The idea is to get people looking at my necklace or my eyeliner, and not looking at my comfort-soled shoes.

This method is especially great for when I work Halloween events, so I'm constantly on the hunt for makeup ideas or cute hats- anything that will help me to look festive but still allow me to focus on the task at hand. For anyone attending an office party, taking the kids trick-or-treating, or throwing together a last-minute costume, this concept is also a great way to have some Halloween fun without having to go full-on costume. I've scoured the wonderful world of Pinterest to put together some looks that use just three elements- makeup, nails, and hair accessories- but still offer plenty of festive bang for you buck. And they all come with a handy DIY tutorial so you can recreate them for yourselves. Let's dig in!...

 

DIYHalloweenBeautyLooks_WickedWitch

hat  |  makeup  |  nails

You can't go wrong with what is arguably the most classic costume in Halloween history. Skip the face paint and opt for green eye shadow instead for a more flattering and chic alternative.

 

DIYHalloweenBeautyLooks_PopArt

nails  |  makeup  |  headband

No doubt you've seen the complex and amazing Lichtenstein-inspired makeup looks circling Pinterest. While they're impressive, they're not very practical for most people. These ideas take a far less intimidating approach while still offering the graphic punch that makes this look so much fun.

 

DIYHalloweenBeautyLooks_CatLady

headband  |  nails  |  eyes

Everyone loves a cat costume and these tutorials employ the most up-to-date trends to keep the classic costume chic. Wear all black with a leopard clutch or shoes for a purr-fect head-to-toe look.

 

DIYHalloweenBeautyLooks_Mermaid

headpiece  |  eyes  |  nails

If you love the beautiful, ethereal look of a mermaid costume, but are intimidated because you think you have to go full sea shell bikini and tail- don't be! A maxi dress or skirt will give you the look you want while still keeping you covered. Just let the beautiful shimmering accents do all the talking.

 

DIYHalloweenBeautyLooks_Vampire

headband  |  makeup  |  nails

Another great classic, and a perfect addition to an all-black ensemble, is the vampire. The makeup is sexy, the nails are much easier than they look, and the bat headband is a simple, yet makes a major statement.

 

DIYHalloweenBeautyLooks_Alien

lips  |  headband  |  nails

And this look is perhaps my favorite. I love how the most on-trend motif of the year- the evil eye- also serves as a perfect sci fi mani. Add the futuristic lips and an LED headband and you're ready to take on the universe!

 

Which look is your favorite?

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10 DIY Fashion Icon Costumes

The official start of the Halloween takeover on the blog starts today! One of the many creative hats I wear is that of a costume designer, so naturally I LOVE Halloween! And from today on, most of the regular blog spots are officially costume-focused for the next few weeks. First up, I have to focus on my favorite topic with some DIY Fashion Icon Costumes. I love dressing as actual people for Halloween, especially stylish ones, because then your costume money actually goes towards amping up your wardrobe outside of the holiday. Here are some of my favorites with links to the pieces in case you want to recreate the looks yourselves.

1. Anna Wintour

The must have pieces here are Wintour's signature shades and bob hairstyle. Throw the latest Vogue into a sleek bag and work an icy cool demeanor to really nail it.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_AnnaWintour

shoes  |  necklaces  |  brooch  |  sunglasses  |  bag  |  wig  |  dress

 

2. Karl Lagerfeld

This look, complete with the white ponytail, shades, and fingerless gloves is actually a perfect look for a woman. Just ask Barbie. Bonus points for carrying around your cat as fashion's top feline, Choupette.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_KarlLagerfeld

jacket  |  shirt  |  boots  |  hair powder  |  necklace  |  jeans  |  sunglasses  |  belt  |  gloves

 

3. The Olsens

The trick to making this look work as a costume is the must-have Starbucks cup and some heavily contoured cheekbones. A look-alike BFF and a super-awkward Vine doesn't hurt either.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_OlsenTwins

rings  |  shoes  |  bag  |  tumbler  |  dress  |  sunglasses  |  coat  |  nail polish  |  lipstick  |  wave spray

 

4. Cara Delevingne

Throw in every street-style trend you can and don't forget the trademark brows. This tutorial will help with that.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_CaraDelivingne

jacket  |  necklace  |  top  |  shoes  |  sunglasses  |  pants  |  brow pencil  |  lipstick  |  hat

 

5. Grace Coddington

No Coddington costume is complete without replicating the most recognizable hair in fashion. Assuming you don't sport a bright red triangle quaff, I suggest teasing out a curly wig and trimming where needed. And don't forget the makeup- concealed brows and red lipstick complete the look.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_GraceCoddington

shoes  |  brooch  |  top  |  jacket  |  bag  |  pants  |  teaser  |  wig  |  lipstick

 

6. Twiggy

Work this year's mod trend with a flirty mini and white tights. Top it off with the signature Twiggy eye makeup and false lashes. This tutorial will help you make your eyes their doe-iest.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_Twiggy

tights  |  earrings  |  bag  |  shoes  |  dress  |  liquid liner  |  cream liner  |  eyeshadow  |  lashes

 

 7. Jenna Lyons

To get this look, wear your sharpest, most tailored pieces. The slicked back hair, bright lip, and trademark glasses are must-haves and carrying a J. Crew shopping bag will help to drive the concept home.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_JennaLyons

shoes  |  glasses  |  coat  |  jacket  |  shirt  |  lipstick  |  necklace  |  pants

 

8. Betsey Johnson

The signature look of my favorite wacky designer makes for such a fun costume! And with her recent run on DWTS, it's the perfect year to show your love. The staples to any Betsey costume: a bright tutu, mix of prints (namely black and white stripes, floral, and leopard), and lots of layers. Blonde bangs and visible extensions (or a wig) will help create her wild do.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_BetseyJohnson

bag  |  bracelet  |  bangles  |  shoes  |  necklace  |  jacket  |  tee  |  leggings  |  tutus  |  bangs  |  extensions

 

9. Kate Moss

Nothing says 90s like the Kate Moss Calvin Klein ad. And if you really want to show off your abs, I think this is a super-clever way to do it. 1000 bonus points for sporting the Mark Wahlberg nail decals.

 Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_KateMoss

boots  |  bra  |  underwear  |  nail decals  |  perfume  |  jacket  |  beauty balm  |  jeans

 

10. Coco Chanel

Not only is Coco the ultimate style icon, but this costume can most likely be made with things you already have in your closet. Just don't forget the trademark cigarette holder, which you can even make yourself with a straw or coffee stirrer. Get the finger waves hairstyle with this tutorial.

Top10_DIYHalloweenCostumes_FashionIcons_CocoChanel

sweater  |  cigarette holder  |  shoes  |  dress  |  necklace  |  earrings  |  bracelet  |  cuff  |  bag  |  hat

 

Would you wear any of these looks for Halloween? Who am I forgetting that should be on the list? Let's talk trick-or-treating in style in the comments!

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Pinspired: The Ultimate Last Days of Summer Party

If Labor Day has you itching for a final summer soiree, then I have the post for you! (This is not an infomercial, I swear.) But what better way to send off the season than with a Last Days of Summer party celebrating the most summery of summer things?! Hawaiian burgers, and grilled watermelon in the daytime followed by fireside s'mores and sparklers when the sun goes down? Getting the last wear out of your favorite summer maxi and sipping a glass of the greatest summertime drink ever- Pimm's? It all sounds pretty awesome to me.

Here are my favorite things from the wonderful world of Pinterest to inspire an a fabulous Ultimate Last Days of Summer Party. Now just don't forget to send me an invite. ;)

But now for the real issue: what songs make the playlist? Tell me your ultimate summer party jam in the comments!

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5 Ways to DIY It... Embellished Denim

I got a really great response to the last installment of 5 Ways to DIY It and was so excited to give it a second go! And what's a girl to wear when the weather is still hot but you're itching for fall fashion? The one all-season standard, of course- jeans!

If you saw my Top 10 on Tuesday, you know I've been pretty excited about the Old Navy denim sale, so here I've got 5 different and super-easy ways to take advantage of those awesome prices and upgrade your basic denim into designer-inspired statement jeans.

Let your legs do the talking for a fraction of the price! ;)

Give them a little sparkle with some glue-on rhinestones...

5Ways_EmbellishedDenim_Gemstones

inspiration

jeans  |  glue  |  gems

 

...or some shine with metallic fabric paint.

5Ways_EmbellishedDenim_Metallic

inspiration

jeans  |  paint  |  brush

 

For a modern minimalist take, just add some faux-leather panels with glue (or thread)...

5Ways_EmbellishedDenim_Leather

inspiration

jeans  |  glue  |  leather

 

...or use the same process on some nostalgic patches for both some edge and charm.

5Ways_EmbellishedDenim_Patches

inspiration

jeans  |  glue  |  patches

 

Or take the basic up a notch with a bright white tuxedo stripe. Just tape off and spray!

5Ways_EmbellishedDenim_TuxedoStripe

inspiration

jeans  |  paint  |  tape

What do you think? Would you ever DIY your denim?

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Eye It + Buy It + DIY It: Boho Comfort

So in case you are new to the blog, this is a series I did back at the very beginning. I quit doing these posts because, due to my limited knowledge of blogging and using Photoshop (among many, many other things), they were taking way too long to complete. Now that I'm more into the swing of things, I really missed doing them and thought I'd give it another shot. So here we go! My reincarnated E+B+D!...

Eye It

EBD_BohoComfort_EyeIt

To me, nothing says summer like bohemian style. The easy shapes are as comfortable as they come and the vintage textiles are soft and romantic.

 

Buy It

Now is the perfect time to grab bohemian pieces. They're often marked down, plus you can wear them through the rest of the summer and then work them in as layering pieces for fall mixed with suede, velvet, and chunky knits.

bag  |  dress  |  bracelet  |  shorts  |  hat  |  romper

phone case  |  jumpsuit  |  sandals  |  swimsuit  |  braid in  |  top

 

DIY It

EBD_BohoComfort_DiyIt_DIYKimono

Or you can craft the look yourself with this super-easy kimono that has just a few steps and requires very few crafting skills.

EBD_BohoComfort_DiyIt_Materials

Any material (or large scarf) that has some movement will work. I used a sheer woven, but if you used a knit you could really get away with leaving the edges unfinished.

EBD_BohoComfort_Step1

If this seems confusing, you are creating a slit like the one below. You can skip this step all together and make the cut yourself, it just eliminates the need to measure.

EBD_BohoComfort_Step2

An optional step here would be to trim the edges to create a circular shape or a shirt tail hem. I have a few like this already, so I left them square and it creates a nice scarf hem effect.

Also, you can obviously use a sewing machine to turn in the edges. Fabric glue could work as well on non-sheer fabric.

EBD_BohoComfort_Step3

Don't let this tiny bit of "sewing" scare you. All you need to be able to do is thread a needle, do the same stitch a couple of times on top of itself ("tack" it), and tie the thread off, all of which can be found here.

EBD_BohoComfort_Step4

And finally, wear it out and feel the wind in your sails! :)

This was so easy I'm already thinking of making more! One with pompom trim, one in velvet...

What do you think? Will you be trying out your own DIY kimono? 

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Pinspiration: My Imaginary Parisian Wedding (also titled Help Me!)

 

Pinspired_Wedding_Headpiece

I got engaged on New Year's Eve 2012. My fiance is the kind of guy who's very quietly romantic and much to my happiness his proposal was in the same fashion. He had intended to take me to a dinner reservation, but when he ended up having to work much later than expected, the plans kind of got squashed. So anyway, he picked me up very late with a bottle of champagne. We grabbed some burgers (fancy, huh?) and went to the top of this parking garage near our apartment to watch fireworks. We went there mainly because there wasn't enough time to do anything else, but it turned out to be so lovely because we had a great vantage point for the fireworks and we had the entire place to ourselves.

I had known that he was going to propose, but in the back of my head I thought maybe he wouldn't because the evening was not nearly as "romantic" as planned. He kind of gave it away though because he kept watching the clock for the right moment to play this song he had in mind. Anyone who knows Zach knows he had to soundtrack his proposal, which is one of the many reasons he's the right guy for me. Anyway, he played the song and we slow danced in the snow, drinking champagne from plastic cups, and then finally he said some beautiful things and asked me. And for all of it's simplicity and lack of glamour, it's hands down one of my favorite days of my life.

Fast forward to 18 months later and I now have every last wedding detail accounted for and we are getting married. Just kidding, I literally haven't planned one single thing. We were thinking about a relatively small, DIY-style wedding after a long and leisurely engagement, and all of that was perfect in my book. But then both my dad and my fiance lost their jobs around the same time and any small thought, along with the small wedding fund we had saved, flew out the window.

Now before you cry for me, Argentina, both the guys are back on their feet but after a hard year, but our wedding budget is currently $0.00 and our plans are just stuck. I'm not able to plan an actual wedding (even a small/informal one), but I'm also not sold on the whole elopement thing (and currently can't even afford that).

So I obviously need help. Tell me about your experience. Did you go to the courthouse and it was the best decision you've ever made? Was your wedding day so magical that you think I should carry on the good fight or live a life of regret? Are you just a cat surfing the web but even you think I need to at least plan a getaway elopement? I don't care if we've never even met before, put your two cents right on in. All thoughts, comments, personal experiences, advice, etc., is invited begged for in the comments section.

And in the meantime, please behold my carefully curated (and entirely imaginary) Pinterest wedding...

Looking forward to your sage advice! :)

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5 Ways to DIY It... Designer-Inspired Craft Ideas to Upgrade Your Chain Necklace

5 Ways to DIY It is a new series for the blog where I'm going to share some simple craft ideas inspired by designer pieces. This isn't the space for complex projects, but rather for all of the ideas I've had that don't really warrant their own DIY page and instructions, because they're already pretty self-explanatory. My hopes are to simply give you easy ideas using items you probably already have (or can buy cheaply), that in just a few simple steps can be made into a major statement pieces. I'm kicking off the series with one of my all-time favorite accessories- a chunky gold chain! For crafting, I usually opt for parts that are as inexpensive as possible. I find the thrift store to be a great resource (garage sales, stores like Forever 21, and your own jewelry box are other great options).

So let's get into it and turn that basic chain into DIY treasure!...

5WaysToDIYIt_TasselChain

I love the impact that just a few tassels make on a simple chain. To attach, just use pliers to open and close the jump rings. (Bonus points for "spot painting" the tassels with gold paint or bleaching to create the extra color.)

 5WaysToDIYIt_BraidChain

For this look, you can either find braided trim or make your own chunky braid with embroidery floss or even raffia. Attach with a simple stitch. (If you're clueless when it comes to sewing, fear not! It's really simple and you can find a basic how-to here.)

 5WaysToDIYIt_BlackChain

Adding a block of color lends a sleek update to a classic chain. To do, simply mask of the area you don't want to be painted with painters tape, then spray remaining area. Let dry completely before removing tape.

 
5WaysToDIYIt_CrystalChain

You can basically use any sparkly extras to add some glam to your chain. The ones above are just really inexpensive earrings that you can easily remove the posts from using wire cutters.

5WaysToDIYIt_FringeChain

Super glue the longest, most luxurious fringe trim you can find onto your chain to turn a simple piece into a major statement.

Have you ever made a DIY chain necklace? Or would you try one of the ideas above? Tell me all about it in the comments section!
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