All posts by Kristina Crowley

Product Review: Skinnygirl Bath Collection

I have to admit that after finding out I missed Bethenny Frankel speak at my university this spring I was pretty sad. As a big fan of Skinnygirl Margarita (I mean what girl isn’t?), I would have loved to hear Bethenny’s words of wisdom. That’s why when I was offered the chance to try the new Skinnygirl Bath Collection I had to say yes.

I was nicely sent the Skinnygirl Bath collection in both refreshing and quite tasty summer scents, Margarita and Sangria. The bath collection consists of a shower gel, body lotion, and an exfoliating body scrub.

Sangria

I tried out the body lotions first. As much as I loved both scents, the lotion was extremely liquid-y. It poured out of the bottle way faster than a lotion should and I did not feel moisturized at all. Bummer.

Margarita

Next I tried both the shower gel and the exfoliating body scrub while in the shower. I liked these much better. The shower gels are perfect and refreshing for summer. The exfoliating scrub worked nicely on my legs. I only wish that the scrub had more minerals in it (I had to use a LOT to get the job done), but it was still a nice addition to my daily shower routine.

If I had to pick one scent over the other I’d choose the Margarita. It really does smell like a yummy cocktail and after a summer’s day at the beach, who wouldn’t want to rinse off to this scent?

The Skinnygirl Bath Collection retails at $15 and can be purchased at Walmart.

Photos: Walmart/Skinnygirl Bath Collection

 

 

Summer Staple: Poolside Accessories

Some of my favorite memories as a little girl were hanging out next to my neighbor’s pool. All the kids in the neighborhood would gather as we shared a day of splashing and sunning.  Now that I’m grown up, hanging poolside means something totally different, but requires much more—poolside accessories!

Poolside accessories are both practical yet fun for your summer days spent relaxing. Whether at a friend’s, a town pool, or a hotel there is always a way to accessorize that bathing suit of yours. Beach towels, tote bags, and hats are only a few desirable pool accessories. Thanks to fun and quirky designers, such as Kate Spade, you can find the perfect pool accessories for yourself.

Check out some of my favorite poolside accessories below and don’t forget the most important accessory of all—SUNSCREEN!

 Dive In Beach Towel– Kate Spade- $78

Dive in! What a cute towel

Have you seen a cuter towel? I love all of Kate Spade’s summer designs.

Bahamas Jelly– Jack Rogers- $68

I don't think you're ready for this jelly

Swap out your usual pool flip flop for a cute jelly sandal like this one! I just ordered these for myself in a pink color and they are both adorable and comfortable.

Shade-y Lady Sunglasses– ModCloth- $11.99

I wear my sunglasses at night

Such a fun pair of sunglasses will keep your eyes protected from those dangerous rays all while looking stylish!

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Sun Hat– Nordstrom- $45

Don't forget to top off your outfit with a hat

Show off your chic side with this stylish sun hat. This is one hat style that will always get an ‘A’ in my book!

What are your favorite poolside accessories?

A Charmed Life: Alex and Ani Charm Bracelets

I have to say that I am not much of the “charm” kind of girl. And by that I mean that I’ve never really been into charm bracelets, Pandora, or anything along those lines. However, there is one brand that I’ve kept my eye on that has continuously impressed me. This brand is Alex and Ani.

Alex and Ani takes the idea of a “charm” bracelet to a different level. Customers collect different charm bangles that have charms for different occasions on them. Milestones, holidays, and initials are just a few examples of the different charm bangles you can collect. The company is a strong believer in positive energy and crafts each piece of jewelry to represent that.

Perhaps the most innovative part of the Alex and Ani charm bangles are that they have an expandable clasp which allows the owner to adjust the bracelets however they want. Expandable necklaces and other jewelry styles can be purchased as well.

While searching through the online site, I’ve found quite a few charm bangles that I like. The bangles look beautiful together and are truly the most sophisticated version of a charm bracelet that I’ve ever seen.

The single charm bangles range in price from $21 to $148, depending on the type of metal used. Please note that the majority of the bangles are only $28 though, even more appealing to a college student like myself.

Take a look at a few of my favorite Alex and Ani charm bangles below, and maybe you’ll even see me wearing my own in a different post one day!

Tree of Life Expandable Wire Bangle– Russian Silver- $28

 

Pineapple Expandable Wire Bangle– Russian Gold- $28

 

Mini Script Initial Expandable Wire Bangle– Russian Gold- $21

 

Shark Fin Expandable Wire Bangle– Russian Silver- $28

What do you think of these charm bangles?

Photos: Alex and Ani


Three Must-Visit Clothing Sites

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to three of my favorite places to shop. The best part about this shopping experience is that you can do it from the comfort of your own bed, on lunch break at work, or to pass the time during your morning commute on your smart phone. Yes, these are three websites that have really grown on me over the past year and I think it’s time for me to share them with you as a little insider.

ModCloth

ModCloth – This site is probably the most well-known of the three. ModCloth carries a variety of different quirky designers that will have you excited with every next page you click on. The clothing is perfect for a casual day or the office, while the accessories are just too cute to ignore. There’s a vintage section on this site that has a very Etsy-esque feel to it and sells many beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces. The best part about ModCloth is that the prices are very reasonable for the quality and individuality of the products. For the retro girl: a sure must-check out!

Nasty Gal

Nasty Gal – You’re probably thinking the same thing I did the first time that I heard about this website… what kind of clothes could they possibly sell?! Turns out Nasty Gal is one of the most up and coming clothing websites at the moment. I would define the products on this site as edgy-feminine.  Cut-out tees and bodycons are a sure find on this site. If you’re looking for a killer dress to wear out at night—this is definitely a site to consider.

ThreadSence

ThreadSence– You’ll probably never believe that I first discovered this site last spring as an advertisement on the side of my Facebook. As one who usually ignores ads, it really tells you something that I was drawn to click on this site. I immediately fell in love. ThreadSence is Free People and Urban Outfitter’s child for sure (if it were only part of the same company..). The clothing is boho chic and extremely well-priced. I just bought a dress off this site and everything from the packaging to the item itself got an ‘A’ in my book.

My Dress from Threadsence

One thing to know about these sites is that their products are ever-changing and their inventory can be limited. So if you see something you love, DO NOT hesitate! It may be gone tomorrow. I hope you check out some of these out!

Have you ever purchased something from one of these websites?

Photos: ModCloth; Nasty Gal; ThreadSence

Summer Must-Have: The Maxi Cardigan

To all of the readers who read my post on the maxi skirt, you all are about to think I am obsessed with this to the ground clothing trend. And I have to say—I am a little obsessed. My latest obsession is the maxi cardigan I purchased a couple weeks ago.

I’ve seen many fashionistas walking around with sweater lengths that achieve new heights (or lows?) recently. From the back you’d think they’re wearing a dress, but in the front you realize that this is actually just the longest cardigan you’ve ever seen. After experiencing this illusion, I knew I had to have one of my own.

I found a maxi cardigan from T.J. Maxx for the price of only $25! It’s a light tan color and hits about mid-shin. I bought the maxi cardigan without hesitation. On the way home I entered my fashion daydream zone that I go into when dreaming up outfits in my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking of the different ways to wear this awesome cardigan. Over a maxi dress, a mid-length dress, maxi skirt were just a few of my ideas.

After trying out different outfits to debut my new maxi cardigan, I decided my favorite was over the simple black maxi dress below. The sweater creates a sophisticated, yet bohemian look.

The best part about a maxi cardigan is that if it is sheer enough, you can rock it over your bathing suit to the beach! Sometimes maxi cardigans even come in a short sleeve or vest style, made especially to be a beach cover-up.

What do you think of this maxi cardigan look?
A little side view action
One more for good luck!

Check out some of my maxi cardigan picks below and try out your own this season… if you dare!

Open Maxi Cardigan- Forever 21– $13.99

The price on this maxi cardigan in unbeatable! The sheerness of the fabric is similar to my own maxi cardigan.

Starlight Knitted Long Cardigan- Threadsence– $4

The knit pattern of this cardigan allows this piece to beach-worthy! Try scrunching the sleeves and sporting over your favorite bikini.

Crochet Love Long Sleeve Cardi- Free People– $88

This is the perfect maxi cardigan for a beginner. The shorter length in the front allows the cardigan to be less of a statement all while still having a very long length in the back.

Cerulian Maxi Cardigan- AllSaints– $13

Who doesn’t love an AllSaints cardigan? The design of this one is chic enough to carry over to the fall months as well.

What do you think about this trend?

Photos: AllSaints; Free People; Forever21; Threadsence; Kristina Crowley/BeautyXpose

White Clothing’s Return

A very old and popular fashion saying is that “you can only wear white beginning on Memorial Day and not after Labor Day.” While many designers have disagreed with this statement, I have to say that I think there is at least SOME sensibility behind it. While I definitely can be found wearing my white and off-white tops in the winter, there are several items I would never be caught dead in other than over the summer months.

White pants, shorts, dresses and even some tops should be left to abide by this rule. With Memorial Day this weekend, your chance to wear these white items is right around the corner. The best part about white clothing is that you can match basically anything you want with them. You can also go for different looks with white—a nautical top brings out the preppy side of a white bottom, while a white flouncy dress can appear very bohemian.

Check out some of my favorite white pieces of clothing below to add to your own wardrobe this summer season!

Capri Scalloped Shorts– Nasty Gal- $58

Scalloped shorts are popping up in every store display this summer season! White is the most feminine and versatile option for this style of shorts.

 

Skinny Skinny Ankle Jeans in White Wash– Madewell- $115

Every girl needs a pair of killer white pants. Pair with brights, neutrals, and patterns on top.

 

Oasis Lantern Dress– Asos- $113.07

The cut-outs on this dress are the perfect new take on a typical white summer dress. Preppy yet chic at the same time!

 

Coincidence & Chance Gaucho Jumper– Urban Outfitters- $49

I am in love with this jumper. The style of it is perfect and a belt can easily be added as an accessory.

What is your favorite piece of white clothing?

Closet Recycling

After recently moving from my apartment at school back to my family home, I decided it was time to do some spring cleaning and go through my collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories. I set out on a Saturday morning thinking I’d have this project done in a breeze. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. Somehow between the clothes I brought to school and the clothes I left at home, I had accumulated the wardrobe size of about 3 girls combined. This was going to be a project.

Closet shot: My closet full to the brim!

Many hours later after sorting, trying things on, and repeating, I finally selected about three garbage bags full of clothing and accessories I no longer wanted. Here comes my inspiration for this blog post. There are so many things you can do with old clothes that you don’t want anymore! I went back through the garbage bags to separate them into different piles for the different ways I planned to recycle them.

Look at all these clothes I got rid of! See anything you like in that pile?

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite ways for you to recycle your own clothing below. You can bet these are where my old clothes are going!

  • Resell–  Consignment shops are all the rage right now. I feel like every shopping area I enter there is a new, funky little consignment boutique. Consignment shops will buy back your clothes based off what they are buying at the time. In most shops you either have the option to receive store credit or a lesser percentage in cash for your clothes. This is a great way to earn a little extra cash to add some new items to your wardrobe! Check out two of my favorite consignment shops now while you’re at it: Buffalo Exchange and Second Time Around.
  • Donate– Various organizations and charities are always looking for clothing and accessories. The majority of my old clothing I donate to Goodwill I always have a feel-good feeling after since I know someone else will be happy with my belongings.
  • Swap– The Swapaholics is a fun new way to clean out your closet all while adding to it. The Swapaholics host events called “Swaps” where fashionistas are able to trade clothes with fellow fashionistas in the area. I haven’t attended one of these events yet, but it is definitely on my list!
  • Recreate– As a recent Pinterest addict, I’ve realized just how many opportunities there are for DIYs. The fabric from clothes you want to get rid of can be used to create a new piece of clothing or accessory. I recently saw a DIY that turned an old button-down into an accent pillow cover and couldn’t get over how adorable that is for the preppy girl.

What do you usually do with your old clothes?

Photos: Kristina Crowley/BeautyXpose, Buffalo Exchange

Product Review: L’Occitane’s New Pivoine Délicate Collection

When it comes to spring make up, I am all about the sweet florals and fresh-faced look. Shimmery champagne shadows, blush cheeks, and light pink lipsticks are certainly in full bloom this season. Cue the recent launch of L’Occitane’s New Pivoine Délicate Collection.

A feminine girl’s dream, this collection includes an au de Toilette, Hand Cream, Shimmering Powder, Eau de Toilette & Lip Gloss Duo, Lip Shine, Lipstick and Lip Balm. All of the products are a feminine light pink color and carry the simple yet refreshing scent of peonies.

L’Occitane has so many products that I love, so I couldn’t have been happier to be sent a sample of the Eau de Toilette & Lip Gloss Duo. The sleek packaging with the picture of a beautiful peony on the front could have been enough to sell me on the product right there. I also adore that L’Occitane has a story on their website behind some their lines, and this one is certainly worth the read!

Love the packaging
Eau de Toilette & Lip Gloss Duo

The rollerball is perfect for a day when you need a little beauty pick-me-up in the afternoon. The scent is very clean, yet not overpowering. If you aren’t able to go for a walk outside during your lunch break, this Eau de Toilette will certainly remind you of the sweet air of walking through a peony garden.

Perfume on top, lipgloss on bottom

I’m not always much of a lip gloss fan since shine on my lips is usually a little much, but I have to say this is lip gloss works miracles. The shade is a very light pink, almost clear, shimmery color. The gloss is the right type of neutral that gives my lips some definition, without looking like I raided a seventh grader’s makeup kit.

Lip Gloss Swatch

The products in L’Occitane’s Pivoine Délicate Collection retail between $12 to $45 and can be purchased at www.usa.loccitane.com.

Read up on the history of the peonies in Provence here and purchase your own part of the collection this spring while it’s still here!

Photos: Kristina Crowley/BeautyXpose, L’Occitaine; Disclosure

Trends to Try: The Maxi Skirt

The maxi skirt was brought to us a few years ago and is still seen worn by many women everywhere. However, this year I’m over the maxi dress and my fascination is turned towards the maxi skirt. Normally I would never even attempt a maxi skirt, thinking it was to boho for my style or I would look silly covered in all that fabric. Yet as I was shopping the other weekend, I kept noticing more and more maxi skirts that I enjoyed.

With my recent purchase of flatforms (another big leap from my usual style), I realized how cute these shoes would look with the right maxi skirt. Then, alas, I found the skirt at Fossil! A coral pink pleated chiffon number, with a slip that is shorter displaying the contrast between fabrics. I knew I had to try it out, especially for the price of $30!

I paired it with a white cut-out tank and a chunky beaded necklace (and of course the flatforms)! I received many compliments on this outfit throughout the day and feel like it was a cute spring outfit.

My own maxi skirt outfit!

Check some of the maxi skirts that are now on my wish list below and don’t be afraid to try out your own this season!

Halogen Chiffon Maxi Skirt– Nordstrom- $78

This skirt does it just right for a maxi skirt with a mixture of colors.

Lauren Jeans Co. Raina Striped Maxi Skirt– Dillard’s- $89.50

For the nautical girl! Sport this skirt on the boat or the beach.

 

Mad Cool Skirt– Free People- $88

A simple black maxi skirt is the perfect versatile piece for your wardrobe. Tanks, tees, and jackets can all be layered over this skirt with ease.

 

Collective Concepts Pleated Maxi Skirt– Piperlime- $69

Since my skirt is sold out, here is a similar option to mine! Love the orange tint in this skirt.

Product Review: Julep Nail Therapy

If you ask my girlfriends they’d probably tell you I’m a bit addicted to nail polish. Okay maybe not just a bit—more like a LOT. I love trying out new colors and designs to compliment my weekly outfits. However, all the wear and tear of constantly changing polish left my nails very weak. I’d get excited when they’d be at the perfect length, but then peel back in an instant. I knew there had to be a solution.

Julep Nail Therapy

 

I read reviews on Julep Nail Therapy in the past, and this product instantly popped into my mind. Even with the price tag on the slightly higher end, I still decided to bite the bullet and invested in the Nail Therapy polish in hopes it would work.

The directions on the bottle suggest painting the Nail Therapy on your nails and leaving it on for a few days to nourish the nails, or using it as a basecoat. I decided to use it as a base coat, since who are we kidding, I cannot stand looking at unpolished nails!

 

After removing my polish from the week, I was thrilled to notice a difference in the strength of my nails. Not only did they grow longer than they normally do in that time, but they appeared much healthier. Using the Nail Therapy as a basecoat also allowed my polish to stay almost perfectly intact all week—no chipped nails here!

My nail savior

Julep Nail Therapy retails at $16 and can be purchased online at www.julep.com.

I highly recommend this product to all nail polish junkies such as myself. It is worth every penny—take my word for it!