Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Products from Sephora, Shea Moisture, Urban Decay + NYX

This isn't everything, lol, but I wanted to share with you ladies some of the new goodies I've accumulated over the past month.  For the most part it's all beauty with the exception of one hair product. 

First let's start with the Shea Moisture Wet/Dry Pressed Powder in Yuma Pecan.  All I can say is Target made me do it.  I feel like it's so easy to go in target for something as small as paper towels and before you know it you've spent $100 on some stuff you weren't even looking for.  That ever happened to you?  Well anyway this little baby was on clearance for $4.48!  So, uhm yeah, my spending was justified, lol.  I've already used this a few times and I love it!  I used it dry.  The
coverage is excellent and you can see an example of that in the photos I've posted of me below.  What's cool about this is that you can add a little water to it to create creamy coverage!

I may go back and purchase a shade darker for Summer.  I also picked up Shea Moisture Pressed Powder Insert in Montego Toffee.  I planned on using this hue that's one shade lighter than the Yuma Pecan to set my under eye highlight.  It's been working perfectly for me and I love the overall finish.  I make sure to use a light hand because I don't want to look 'ashy' or cakey.
The next two products I really needed because I've been dealing with shine in my T-zone and I was out of eye shadow primer.  This is my first experience with the NYX Shine Killer.  I picked it up on a whim.  If you follow me on Instagram, a few weeks ago I questioned if my current primer was right for me.  It left me with a slight shine which I don't particularly care for.  I don't want a complete matte finish, but after only a few hours of makeup wear I expected it to do more in that department.  Since then I've added this sort of gel like product on top of my primer and it seemed to work like a charm.  This has kept my shine at bay for at least 8 hours which is really good. 
I got the chance to try the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion before and I liked it a lot.  Plus it was on sale at Sephora for $10 so I couldn't pass it up!  I went for a couple weeks without using primer under my shadows and could definitely tell a difference.  My lids were a greasy, creasy mess, okay, lol.

All of a sudden I'm obsessed with NYX lip creams.  I purchased different kinds: NYX Soft Matte Lip Crème in 'Abu Dhabi' and 'Stockholm' and the NYX Butter Gloss in 'Strawberry Parfait'.  LOVE them all!  So now I'm hooked.  Below I'm wearing the butter gloss on top of another lip favorite of mine 'Flat out Fabulous' by MAC, lined with 'Magenta' also by MAC.  This is an everyday lip shade for me.  I really love how my skin tone looks with magenta, fushia, and violet colors. 
I also picked up the Blender Cleanser 'Solid' by Beauty Blender which was a must have because I have a beauty blender.  See that HERE!  I heard that cleaning the sponge regularly would actually damage it.  Have you heard about that??  I don't know.  I didn't want to take any chances so I made sure to get it.  You can also use it to wash your other makeup brushes, which is a plus because it's about that time.  I like to wash my brushes once a month.  I don't know if that's a good time frame, but it works for me!

Last but certainly not least I have the Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Blow Out Cream.  It was gifted to me by my lovely co-worker!  Thanks Teri!  I had often times saw it in stores and always wanted to see how it was.  Normally when I blow dry my hair I apply a leave-in after a wash and condition.  Then I apply a heat protectant.  Normally an oil and then blow dry.  With this I just apply after I've put a leave-in on my hair.  I must say, it works pretty good.  I love that the cream is light almost like a whipped custard.  It left my hair feeling really smooth and ready for a heat style.  You'll see more of my results soon!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ciao Bella

Oh hey!  How was your weekend?  Mine was non-stop, but very fun.  So I've finally figured it out.  Instead of complaining about the highs and lows of this VA weather, I figured I'd make it work to my style advantage.  Perfect excuse to play mix and match!  Take this look for instance.  Just the other day was perfect.  Cool enough to wear a jacket, but warm enough to wear shorts.  Spring definitely gives you the option to have a little fun and mix things up. 

In case you haven't noticed I'm not the girl who only wears things once.  So I'm warning you now that you'll more than likely see this stripped tee again this Spring and Summer.  It's perfect because I'm a big fan of striped shirts and it's giving me all types of Italian/Parisian flair.  Makes for the perfect "off duty model look" right?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Twist Outs with Eden Body Works Curl Defining Crème

It's been quite awhile now that I've been keeping my product junkie tendencies to a minimum : )  I've gone to plenty of hair events that have provided me with a product stash to last me a while.  So I figured it would be wise and let's not forget cost effective for me to 'use what I got' lol.  I'm really trying to use up everything that I have without buying more unless it's completely necessary or a new product comes out that I just have to try ; ).  This week I gave Eden Body Works 'All Natural Curl Defining Creme a try.  I was gifted this product from an event a few months back.  I really scored with this one seeing how I had run out of defining creme just a few days prior to receiving it.  This definitely came through as clutch!!

I'm always amazed with how my hair turns out after I've down a twist out.  Seeing how my natural textured curls are super tiny, being able to achieve elongated, coils and curls gives me the versatility that I enjoy.  I guess it's true what they say about afro texture--it's the most diverse and versatile of all curl types because you are able to achieve almost any and every style!

So about the Coconut Shea Curl Defining Crème:  I really like this one!  First of all--it has natural based ingredients which as we all know is a plus.  The ingredients are: Water, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Vegetable Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Butryospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter.  The product worked well with giving me the curl definition that I like with twist outs.  For my twist outs I like definition with fluff.  Definition that will keep a hold all day, but also keep my hair soft, full of volume and shine.  This product does that.  I also love how moisturized my hair feels.  If it's moisture you are looking for--this is definitely the product for you!  My hair felt very soft.

The packaging instructs you to apply to your hair either wet or dry.  This twist out was done on dry hair.  It also advises that it works best on wet hair so I will also try it that way and see what kind of results I  get.  Oh, and the smell of the product is really nice too.  It's not overpowering and strong.  It's soft yet sweet.  I can agree with the company's statement that the crème is "a humidity-resistant formulation to refine and separate curls and waves while providing maximum hold", because my hair behaved in that same way after using this. 

An added plus is that the jar is pretty big (16 fl oz.), so it should last you a good while.  The price point is $8.49 which is very budget friendly and you can find this line at Sally's, Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, and even Kroger! 
There are MANY twist out tutorials out there, but not all hair types are the same!  Maybe the method is similar but everyone's results are different and it's all in how that individual's hair looks. 
Here are my key tips to achieving a 'Styled Chic' twist out:
Day 2 Hair works better: For me, my hair seems to have a little more movement and volume that I like 2 days after I've initially completed a wash.  I normally achieve the results I'm looking for when starting on this day.
Use a product that promotes curl definition (medium hold is my preference):  There are many products out there that you can use like butters but I almost always reach for a crème.  You can use a butter, but I only like to use this if I will have my twists in for a few days and possibly wear them as a style.  The butter will provide softness and shine but time will be the ultimate factor to provide curl definition. 
Separate the hair twice and Fluff: Do an initial untwist all over and then separate 2x, depending on the size of your twists.  Use an afro pick to create volume.
Use a blow dryer to elongate and create volume:  I'll use this as a final step periodically if I want a fuller look.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

3 Years

Today, I wanted to take the time out to celebrate 3 whole years of blogging!  YAY!  I cannot believe that it has been that long.  Really time flies and so much has changed since I began this online journey.  3 years ago I decided to take everything that was built up inside of me regarding fashion, beauty, and hair and share it with the world.  Ever since I were in high school I always had a love for fashion.  I actually aspired to be a magazine editor.  My mom would buy me magazines on a regular basis and I would obsess over how the pages were put together, how spreads were made, and I even at one point wanted to be a model.

When I created 'Styled Chic' in 2012, I was at a really frustrating place academically.  I had just gotten my Associates Degree in Business Administration and planned to transfer to a local university to major in fashion merchandising.  It definitely was not as easy as I thought it would be.  First of all majority of the classes in the major were smack dab in the middle of the work day.  There weren't many online classes or even evening classes available for that matter. As a 20 something year old at the time I NEEDED to keep my day job.  It didn't help that my major didn't really cater to adults who worked a full time job.  What made it even more complicated was the fact that the university was about 30 minutes away from work so using my lunch hour for a class wasn't even an option.  To add to all of this, it was just plain EXPENSIVE.  I mean with the benefits of my job that would help cover costs, shoot I could even put a few coins down, but to really get somewhere...I needed to take a least 3 or 4 classes to complete my degree in a good amount of time.  I refused to spend 5 years trying to complete the degree.  Oh, and I refused to take out another loan.  I despise loans.  Something about the way I was raised taught me to keep my debts down.

So with all of this and the fact that I had many friends and family asking for beauty and hair advice, I decided to create my platform.  And so began 'Styled Chic'.  I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that 'Styled Chic' has given me.  All of the people that I have met and every time I receive an email, message, or comment  from others saying how much they enjoy this site really does my heart glad.  My goal has always been to inspire women to put their best foot forward.  Be the best YOU that you can be.  I'm just here to give you pointers, ideas, and inspiration. If you can believe it, there is still so much more that I would like to put into this site.  I'm such a perfectionist.

3 years ago I was at a different place in my life.  I was a single women living with mom and dad, working full time just trying to make it.  Striving for success.  Now I am a wife, taking on a greater purpose, living my life day to day striving to be a better woman.  My priorities are a little different.  Not only am I a helpmate to my husband but also the lady of the house!  So I've taken on many roles that I never even thought about before.  It's super exciting and I am glad that in some ways I am able to share a few new aspects of my life to this blog.

I would like to say THANK YOU!  To all of you who have been following along with me from the beginning.  The support doesn't go unnoticed.  All the comments, interactions on social media, the likes, I am very humbled by your support.  I hope to bring you so much more in the future.

Lately I've been so motivated to do more outdoors.  Warmer, more sunnier weather makes for a happier Samara.  Even though my allergies act up something serious during spring, I still love it.  I've been wearing this flowy kimono that definitely gives off bohemian spring time vibes.  My outfit choices seem to always reflect my mood and lately I've been happy and feminine.

You know what else I've been loving?  Flash tattoos. When I applied it, so many memories of my 7 year old self being super excited to find one wrapped up in candy came back.  I am really in love with these ones because they are so chic! For me it's a more grown up and feminine style without looking juvenile.   Plus they are super trendy.  Every now and again I like to try a trend in my own little way.  I love adding them to my 'Arm party' of bracelets.

For sticking with me through it all I thank you!  How have you been feeling this Spring?  Aren't you glad winter is finally freaking over and we can wear open toed heels and sandals again?  All of the pretty flowers has me feeling ultra feminine.  How about you?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Curl Wand Curls

Since the middle of this past winter, this style as been a favorite of mine.  You've seen me wear my hair this way in a few posts and I thought I'd share a bit of what it takes to achieve this look.  By using the curl wand, I've found that it's probably the most easiest way for me to get neatly styled waves/spirals just the way I like them without having to wait for my hair to set.  I love the look, bounce, and movement that my hair has with this style.

First of all before I even get started with using this heat styling tool, I make sure that my hair is cleaned and conditioned.  I really believe that this makes all the difference in the results that you get.    Leave-in conditioners and styling creams or products matter too.  Trust me, I learned this the hard way the first time I used this bad boy.  I used detangler/leave-in that made my hair too greasy so my curls were pretty much non existent.  This time around I got it right.  So again, make sure you are using products that will not leave the hair overly moisturized.  I can't remember what I used to wash my hair but I used the 'Entwine Couture Afrodisia 9 Leave-in conditioner' and the Entwine Couture Total Perfection Argan oil as a heat protectant.  

I set my curl wand temperature to 380 degrees.  Enough to lock the curl in, but not so hot that I incur heat damage.  This worked fine for my hair.  I also would advice that if you are not experienced with using the wand be sure to wear the protecting glove that comes with it.  After a few times of getting my rhythm with the wand I didn't really need it. 

The products you will need are pretty minimal.  I used the Entwine Couture Argan Oil as a heat proctectant.  I love this stuff.  It's actually 100% raw and vegan.  After I curled a section of hair I simply sprayed Tresemme hair spray on the curl to keep a hold.  I only spray one time.  I don't want my hair to be crunchy and stiff.  I purchased the travel sized bottle of Tresemme from Target.  You really don't need a lot of this stuff.

Next you will see the steps that I take of sectioning the hair and finally curling it.  It's really nothing to it.  You just want to make sure you keep the hair sectioned off.  When I curl my hair, I count to 10 and then carefully slide the hair off the wand.  I've figured out a way to do this without burning my finger tips, but I strongly advice using your glove.

And that's pretty much it.  Really easy.  It probably takes me about 30 minutes to complete the curls throughout my hair.  If you haven't already, check out my Instagram  to see more photos of this look.  Here are the results:

My favorite way to wear my hair this year!  What do you think of curl wand curls?  Have you tried them?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Save Our Date

Now that almost all of our potential guests are starting to receive our Save-The-Date postcards, I can share them with you all!  Remember how I said I was ordering them through  Well I finally decided on the design I really liked and both my husband and I love how they came out.  Take a look:

 I wanted a design that was simple and let our photo speak for itself.  There were so many designs to choose from.  How it works is you simply log in online and browse literally hundreds of designs.  You have the options to change fonts, colors, you name it.  Minted did such a great job with  getting each postcard printed in a timely manner.  My main concern was that our photo would not loose it's quality after being printed.  What's cool was that after you've designed everything you place your order and the company sends you a mock up through email of how everything would look and you are to make your final changes.  I left a note with my order expressing my concerns.  The company responded back saying that my photo quality would not be compromised.  They were able to do a test print for me.  Isn't that nice?  So after everything is finalized it is then placed for final order.  My postcards only took about 3 or 4 business days to get to me.

I love the way Minted packaged the cards.  So incredibly careful and classy.  The 'Thank You' note was an added touch!

 When sending out our cards I wanted to add a cute little touch so I got these beautiful stamps!

 I would highly recommend Minted for invites or stationary in general simply because there are so many styles to choose from.  No postcard will look the same.  The fact there are independent artists designing these cards is a big thing to me.  There's more creativity that goes into each look.  Aren't they cute?  With our postcards coming out just the way I liked them, I definitely plan on using Minted again for formal invites!
minted logo
**This post was sponsored by  Check out to uncover exceptional design from all over the world and bring this to savvy consumers who won't accept anything else.**

Monday, April 13, 2015

I'm On YouTube

The past three years have been pretty exciting and fun sharing so much style, beauty, and hair information.  At this point, I thought it would be cool to add another aspect of social media and that is through YouTube!  It's one thing to communicate with you all through writing, so why not add video where you can actually hear me speak?  I think sometimes the message that I'm trying to convey would most likely be better stated through video.

Check out what is actually my 2nd video on my channel!  My first was beauty related and this video is all about hair!  I want to start this YouTube journey simply to better share information with you all.    Growing up I always loved the Arts!  I wrote books.  I was involved in the Arts magnet program that cultivated students into musical, drama, and fine art categories.  I was also in marching band, color guard, and winter guard.  Oh and let's not forget dance and cheerleading!  I really have a love for these kinds of things.  Getting involved with filming just seems to naturally fit and pairs well with what I like!  I love creating, editing, and all of the cool things that go on behind the scenes of actually making a video.  Oh you thought I was just playing in front of the camera?? Lol!  There's a lot more that goes into it!  So far I really enjoy making videos and I hope to continue creating more content so stayed tuned!  Better yet subscribe so that you can keep up with me and be the first to know when I've uploaded a new video!  I've made it easy for you by providing you with a clickable widget (Top Right Hand Corner with the 'YouTube' logo).  It should take you straight to my channel!  I've also linked the video down below!  I hope you enjoy.

Loving My Texture: 5 Ways I style My Natural Texture is all about enjoying my curls as is.  Without any manipulation of blow drying, twisting, or braiding I find it so low maintenance to just simply 'Wash & Wear'.  Many times I have to remind myself that that was the whole point of going Natural.  How exciting is it to wake up to a head of curls that you can just wet and style?  If you have a curl pattern and texture similar to mine, you may find this helpful!


design + development by kelly christine studio