Get The Look – Lauren James

I am constantly on the look for trendy new brands that have amazing quality and designs. I stumbled upon Lauren James while shopping for pieces for my fall senior portrait session with Mark Webb Photography. I agonized over my outfit decisions, as I wanted each choice to represent my personal style and flair. After weeks of shopping, I tried on two Lauren James dresses at a boutique and I was completely hooked. Today I’ll be sharing my two favorite Lauren James pieces with you, along with a review of each dress!

 

The Lauren James Livingston Solid Seersucker Dress has an absolutely fabulous design and features a sweetheart neckline, big pleated skirt, and beautiful bow on the back. This dress comes in eleven colors including the gorgeous red that I purchased. I am completely in love with this dress, and am so pleased with the quality.

 

The second dress that I purchased from Lauren James is what I am now calling my “power dress.” I am absolutely obsessed with this dress and love how versatile it is. I have worn it with strappy heels and red lipstick for a bold, sassy look and with black pumps and pearls for an interview. The Lauren James Landry Solid Seersucker Dress is hands down one of my absolute favorite purchases of 2016.

 

I absolutely adore these two Lauren James dresses that recently found their way into my wardrobe and I cannot wait to continue shopping with this amazing up and coming brand.

Get a free Lauren James sticker shipped to you here!

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

 

Fall Make Up Must Haves

Hey y’all!!

It’s officially October which means that it’s now socially acceptable to fully embrace all things fall. I am definitely a warm toned girl which means that I adore fall because its color scheme was practically made for me. (Find out if you’re warm or cool toned here.) Today I’ve put together a make up look using all of my favorite fall essentials. These products that I’m sharing with you today are my absolute favs and are staples for the upcoming season. I hope you guys enjoy this look!

 

Face –

Primer : Maybelline Master Prime 300

Concealer : NYX Concealer Wand Green and COVERGIRL Trublend Fix Stick in Medium 

Foundation : COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream in 540 and Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 7.75

Highlighter – Feather River Body Pumpkin Latte

Eyes –

Eye Primer : Revlon PhotoReady Eye Primer Brightener

Eye Shadow : Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen by Tarte – natural peaches all over, dogman in the crease, mancat in the outer corner, and sassy bun on the lid

Mascara – COVERGIRL The Super Sizer Mascara and Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

Brows – Benefit Ka-Brow

Lips – 

Tarte Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Crop Top

All of the following pictures have #noedit and were taken with flash to show y’all the full look!

Happy Fall y’all!!!

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

 

 

 

 

A Letter to The Stressed Out AP Student

This post is for all my high school students stressed out over AP exams, finals, exit exams, and projects. Remember – “We’re all in this together.”

If all you can think about is DBQs, FRQs, and whether you’re going to get a 2 or 3 then this is the post for you. In my opinion, the beginning of May is the absolute worst time of the year in high school. You have all the regular stress of school plus the additional stress of multiple three hour exams that determine whether you have to retake an entire course in college or not, and I know how overwhelming it is. Between cramming for exams, finishing homework, and studying for regular tests; it seems as if there just aren’t enough hours in a day.

When the stress gets to be too much and you can’t seem to think straight, it’s extremely important to be able to take a step back, relax, and gain perspective.  Will it matter if you passed AP Biology when you’re working at your dream job in fifteen years? Does it matter if you got a four or a five on AP Human Geography when you get into your dream college? Will your future husband care if you passed AP Calculus? The answer to all of these is NO.

While these exams are important, especially because in many cases you’ve spent a year preparing, they are in no way a defining point in your life. You are not defined by how well you do on one test in the first or second week of May. You are not defined by a 3,4, or 5. With that being said, I do feel that by studying smart and not overwhelming yourself it’s possible to make it through AP season without too many mental breakdowns.

 

Happy Studying and Good Luck!!

 

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

Gypsea Jewels

Hey y’all,

It’s one of my absolute favorite times of the year… SPRING BREAK. I’m in sunny St. Augustine, Florida spending time with my family. Spring Break is the first time this year that I’ve had the chance to wear some of my favorite pieces that have been sitting in my closet all winter, including my Gypsea Jewels!! Gypsea Jewels is an up and coming jewelry brand that offers eclectic designs at affordable prices. They have branded themselves on creating unique and fashion-forward jewelry that’s sure to impress. This brand is just under a year old, but the quality and design of their products is to die for!

 

I rocked my gold arrowhead wrap necklace  with an Aerie (sweet and sexy line) tee, SOLD Design Lab jeans, and black chunky heels.

 

Check out the details of my outfit below.

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=478767000&pid=uid3424-33496632-9

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=512211602&pid=uid3424-33496632-9

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=509386626&pid=uid3424-33496632-9

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

Prom Trends

Prom season is right around the corner and for many girls the hunt for the perfect dress is in full swing. Shopping for the perfect dress is no easy feat. Finding the perfect dress often takes hours of trying on dresses, multiple stores, and several arguments with mom. While shopping for the perfect dress can be stressful, it should also be fun because prom is one of the most exciting and memorable nights in high school.

This year, there are a few trends that seem to be dominating the prom dress scene. For example, two piece dresses are very popular. While many are skeptical of two pieces at first, I think that they are a great option for girls who don’t want to go with a classic dress silhouette. Two pieces styles range from an elegant long sleeve top with a ball gown skirt to a strapless top with a fitted mermaid skirt. Two piece dresses have added variety to the world of prom dresses and allowed designers more room for creativity.

Dresses with embroidered details are very hot this season. From the runways of Sherri Hill to Jovani, embroidery is everywhere. I think that this trend is very interesting because embroidery is so versatile and can be used in different styles. Embroidery can be used for a bohemian vibe or it can be used to dress up the dress and give it a rich,regal feel.

Printed dresses will be everywhere for prom 2016. These dresses have gained popularity in the fashion world over the past few years and this trend is now being translated into prom dresses. This trend can be used in a variety of ways from just a small printed detail to a full floral skirts. The floral prints being used by many designers are perfect for a springtime prom because they are so light and happy.

These three trends will be dominating prom dress choices across the nation this year. While all of these trends are beyond fabulous, finding the perfect dress is very personal and specific to every girl. I firmly believe that the dress that looks the best on you, is the dress that you feel the best in. My best dress shopping advice is to go with your gut and be sure to choose what makes you smile from ear to ear.

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

Today I’m here to share my favorite snow day activities that don’t involve building a snowman. If you have absolutely no interest in freezing your tail off and playing in the snow for hours on end then this is the post for you. A snow day is the perfect time to catch up on things that need to be done, but who really wants to do that? That’s what regular days are for! For the past two days I’ve been snowed in due to #snowpocalypse2016 and my friends and I have made some awesome memories and none of them involved building a snowman.

First we started our day off by attempting to make grilled cheeses, but that ended with smoke alarms going off so I won’t elaborate any more on that. After the grilled cheese fiasco we decided to try our hand at baking indoor s’mores bites. We followed a recipe from Pinterest that can be found here. The s’mores were pretty foolproof and tasted great. We ate them right out of the oven.

With our s’mores bites in hand we settled in for the evening with our “adult coloring books.” I can not tell you how fun these are, we colored for hours. I bought the coloring books at Target and you can purchase your very own here. Coloring is an awesome stress reliever and a great way to pass the time when your snowed in.  I definitely recommend giving it a try. For the rest of the night we just had a nice old fashioned sleepover. From hilarious YouTube videos (our favorite channel is wafflepwn) to devouring pizzas to dancing to our favorite Spotify playlists, we had a fantastic night.

By the third morning we all had cabin fever, but not much was open so we decided to brave the outdoors.  We planned a photoshoot in the snow. This activity involved a bit of preparation so after our sleepover we all woke up early and went our separate ways to get ready for the event. A couple of hours later we met back up, all dressed in warm coats and furs. We posed for pictures all morning. From silly faces to serious, we took all kinds of pictures. It was such a blast to get ready with my best friends and just have fun snapping pictures in the snow.

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So the next time that someone asks you “Do you wanna build a snowman?” you can say no proudly and use this post to suggest plenty of other fun activities for a snowy day.

Stay warm and sparkly,

Samantha

The Simple Joys of Life

Close your eyes. Now, take a minute and think about all the things you’re thankful for. The things that immediately come to mind are probably big things such as family, friends, shelter, health, and safety. With that being said, there are many small things in life that just make the world a little better. Often times, these small joys in life go unnoticed. These are the things that make the bad days better and the great days fantastic. I’m going to share a list (in no particular order) of some of these wonderful little things that make life that much sweeter.

  1. Puppies
  2. Fresh Flowers
  3. Coffee
  4. Girl Scout Cookies
  5. Snow Days
  6. Dancing Like No One Is Watching
  7. Free Wifi
  8. Fuzzy Socks
  9. Manicures
  10. Christmas Lights
  11. Laughing So Hard It Hurts
  12. Fast Internet
  13. New Car Smell
  14. Brunch
  15. Knowing Every Word To A Song
  16. Summer Camp
  17. Having Time to Yourself
  18. Fall
  19. Fresh Starts
  20. The Beach
  21. Warm Hugs
  22. Winged Eyeliner
  23. A Freshly Made Bed
  24. The Royal Family
  25. Handwritten Letters
  26. Waking Up And Realizing You Still Have Time To Sleep
  27. Chocolate Fountains
  28. Exercising
  29. Eating Your Favorite Meal
  30. Spending All Day In Your Pajamas

I encourage you all to take an extra minute today to reflect on all the simple joys that make your life better.

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

Summer Adventures – Things You Learn From Being a Camp Counselor

Hey y’all,

I have finally returned from a summer of working at Camp Seafarer. Seafarer is a girls camp in Arapahoe, NC with a focus on seamanship and character building. I have grown up attending camp here and it has impacted my life tremendously. This summer I spent eight weeks working as first a camper in leadership training and then a counselor. In the past eight weeks I have learned more about myself and about life than I could have ever imagined. Today I will be sharing some of the most memorable and important lessons.

It is ALWAYS about others first!

After spending eight weeks with twelve and thirteen year old girls, I learned very quickly that the more you give the more you get. Being on around the clock can get exhausting fairly quickly, but it is so rewarding. The more energy and love you give out, the more you get back.

Stay Positive 

It is easy to get overwhelmed when you have thirteen campers each with unique problems and special considerations that you have to keep in mind, but I have learned that when faced with tough situations it is best to keep a positive outlook. I faced some challenging situations this summer that I do not think would have a good outcome if our counselor team and other staff members had not maintained a positive attitude.

 Don’t take yourself too seriously!

As a camp counselor you often have to do tasks that may seem ridiculous or even embarrassing, but life is too short to be worried about what others think,  so let down your guard and live a little. Since returning this summer, I have had a new found perspective on self confidence and what it means to be truly comfortable in your own skin. I am a firm believer in the “you do you” attitude, and I believe camp has taught me this.

Thanks for reading!!

xoxo,

Samantha

Seventeen Social Club – L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

Hey y’all,

Recently, my awesome friends at the Seventeen Social Club sent me some new foundation. It is a new product by L’Oreal Paris called Infallible Pro – Matte Foundation. I absolutely fell in love with this product and will definitely be using it in the future. This foundation has medium coverage and a demi-matte finish.

This product is so awesome because :

  1. The color matched my skin almost perfectly, which doesn’t happen often.
  2. The foundation is very light and airy on my skin.
  3. It isn’t cakey and applies smoothly.
  4. It is matte and does an excellent job at covering oil and shine.
  5. This product is extremely long-lasting and looks fantastic all day long.

You can read more reviews about this product by checking the hashtag #iaminfallible on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Blake Lively’s Top 5 Fashion Moments

Hey y’all,

Blake Lively is a fashion icon. I first fell in love with Blake during her role as Serena on the CW’s hit show, Gossip Girl.  Since her Hollywood debut, Blake has always impressed fans and critics alike with her amazing sense of style. Recently, she began her company Preserve (preserve.us) that sells hand crafted goods from artisans across the world.  Preserve also has a section called “Blake’s Closet” in which shoppers can score some of Blake’s favorite pieces.

Today I will be sharing my some of my favorite looks by Lively.

5. blakegucci

Blake rocked this beautiful dress by one of her go-to designers, Gucci at the Cannes opening ceremony in May of 2014.

4. blakemichaelkors

This beautiful Michael Kors mini dress is so eye cathing and the scalloped bottom adds a bit of fun and flirtiness to the look. Her adorable pink pumps and headband tied together this look that she wore to the CFDA Fashion Awards in June of 2014.

3. blakeZuhairMurad

Lively wore this Zuhair Murad dress in LA to the premier of the Savages in June of 2012. This look is so glamourous and her loose waves and red lipstick complimented the dress perfectly.

2. blakemarchesa

In 2010, Blake wore this Marchesa dress to Fashion’s Night Out : The Show. I love how her she really let the dress shine and is wearing minimal accesories.

1. blakegucciyellow

This Gucci gown is my favorite look on Blake. The yellow really works on her and I love her turquoise accesories. Her loose fishtail braid adds to the bohemian and relaxed vibe of the dress.

xoxo,

Samantha