Hey ya’ll! So, so sorry I’ve been MIA the last two weeks. Everything has been crazy with work, wedding planning, and my small ounce of a social life. Anyway, everything is finally settling down and I have the opportunity to sit down and get back on my blogging schedule!

Today, I want to talk about kimonos that every woman needs in her closet. I love kimonos– they can take a simple jeans and a tee look into something fun and creative, without really any effort at all! I also have taken a page from my Mom’s book, and started wearing them when I want to cover my shoulders for work or because my outfit needs a little something , and I don’t want to just throw on something boring.

There are so many types of kimonos out there right now, and here are my favorite ones that I think you need for the fall! The item is linked at the beginning of each blurb, where it reads “(blank) kimono.”

kimono, style, fashion

Enjoy, and happy shopping!

Black kimono— Everyone needs a versatile black kimono in their closet. It can pretty much be paired with anything, dressed up or down, and gives you a little shoulder coverage for when either a) it’s chilly, b) you’re at work or another professional venue where you feel like covering up a little more, or c) you just think your outfit needs something. This simple piece from ASOS is $29, has a cute lace trim and subtle side slits, so it moves with you. Perfect for the kimono newbie!

Satin kimono— Total disclosure– I found this kimono while writing this post, and ordered it immediately. I can’t help myself. The lavender satin is beautiful for a fancy dinner with your beau or a cocktail party… but, I plan on wearing it more casually too, by pairing it with a white tank and black jeans. Wear slides or booties with this, and you have achieved the ultimate cool girl vibe. It’s $78, comes in black (!!!) and, since Victoria’s Secret probably made it for this reason, can be used as a nighttime robe. Lord, please let this be at my doorstep soon.

Floral kimono— A long, pink, floral kimono is pretty much my dream. I love the length of this piece, because it seems dramatic but the overall fit keeps it breezy and perfect for a day at work (or at least, for my work!). The floral pattern on this $49 Love, Fire kimono runs down the sides near the opening, on the back, and on the sleeves, which I totally love. Florals can get real busy looking, real fast… but this simple pattern nixes that issue.

Velvet kimono– This navy, velvet baby is GORGEOUS. I love the pattern, because it looks like the night sky to me. It’s Free People, but $88 is not too bad for the brand’s quality fabric and timeless style. I don’t have this kimono, just I want it so badly! Someone add to my fashion fund!

Fringe kimono— This fringe kimono is half sexy, half elegant… which is pretty much all you can ask for, right? I love the pink paisley detailing towards the bottom, but I love how the top is sheer so you can see through to your shoulders. This would work perfectly over a black dress for date night, or over jeans and a tee shirt for a casual Saturday or drinks with your girlfriends. Also, at $17, what’s not to love? (PS if you haven’t ever used SheIn, or even heard of it, check out this post for my experience with the site!)

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

 

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If you haven’t heard about Rihanna’s new Fenty Beauty collection, you’re living under a rock.

I got a sample of the brand’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation–one of the most talked about products– to test out and see if it’s really worth the hype… and the $34 price tag.

Watch to see my first impressions of the Fenty Beauty foundation!

Color is 170, for reference. All products worn in the video can be found in the YouTube description here. All Fenty Beauty products can be found online or at Sephora stores! If you want an update after I wear this product for several days, let me know in the comments.

(PS  I am still trying my hand at YouTube and video editing, so thanks for being patient!)

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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If your house is at all like mine, there isn’t a whole lot of storage space. I also really hate (visible) clutter, so it can be hard to figure out where things should belong. When I started moving things from my parent’s house to my fiancés, I quickly realized what a lifesaver cute storage options really are.

There are millions of variations of the options below, but you can really take these ideas and make them your own! For example, I have some wooden crates I bought for $6 at a local hardware store– I’m going to stain them to match our bed frame and use them to store sheets. It just depends on your style and needs, but something similar to options can work for anyone.

I’ve listed and linked below some of my favorite storage options and how I use them. I hope this list gives you some inspiration, and let me know how you use them!

home, storage, home storage

1. Wicker basket: I have an addiction to baskets like these, and I have them all over the house. In the closet, in the pantry, under the sink… I love them. You can usually find baskets in the same color but in different shapes and sizes at T.J. Maxx or HomeGoods, and then you can create unity while getting the different sizes you need to hold your stuff. (Buy the one pictured here)

2. Marble lazy Susan: While most people think lazy Susan’s are only for the kitchen (which they are great for!), they can actually be used for so many things. A pretty marble one can be used for things like nail polish or jewelry holders, while you can keep the wooden one in the kitchen. (Buy the one pictured here)

3. Bamboo shoe rack: I have two of these racks and I probably could use another. I use them for my heels, Mit’s shoes, and even hats! They stack, too, which is great for shoe hoarders like me. (Buy the one pictured here)

4. Painted jars: I bought a can of rose gold metallic spray paint at Walmart and I’ve never looked back. It takes 5 minutes to spray a few Mason jars (or plain glass jars from the dollar store), but they look like you paid high-dollar for them at a boutique. I use mine for makeup storage (check that out here!) but you can also use them for pens if you have an office.

5. Wooden cart: This is something I showed in my office room makeover too, and I hadn’t even taken the tag off of it in the picture! I loved it so much, I just loaded everything in it without even ripping off that pesky price tag. Obviously, I kept it. I use my cart for makeup storage (again) and for my camera gear. Use it in the bathroom for washcloths and essentials, or try it if you have a walk-in closet for socks and tights.  (Buy the one pictured here)

6. Trunk: In my parents’ house, at my college apartment, and now, I have always had a trunk at the foot of my bed. As a kid, it held my stuffed animals and toys. In college, it held books. Now, it is used for sheets and duvet covers. I love the idea of a trunk at the foot of the bed, and I think its safe to say I will always have one. Literally, throw anything you need in there! (Buy the one pictured here)

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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I love makeup. I love the process of doing my makeup, and I love how seeing the final result too. But, even I’ll admit, I hardly ever wear eyeshadow to work. I barely have time in the mornings to put on my foundation and concealer, let alone eyeshadow and liner.

There is an exception though— when I know I have plans after work, I try to up my face game a little. Whether it be dinner with my mom or drinks with my girlfriends, I like to be ready to go straight from work, because if I go home to redo my face, there’s a solid chance I won’t be leaving again!

Here’s where Naked 3 comes in. The warm, pink tones are so flattering and can create so many soft looks that are perfect for transitioning from the office to the dinner table.

This is one of my favorite looks to create from the palette! I hope you enjoy the look and make it your own. All products are linked!

Naked 3

Yes, I put on eyeliner BEFORE  shadow. I put it on before to give the effect of smoky, soft liner, because I’m not really good with pencil liner (I know that sounds ridiculous). You can also line your lids with the darkest color in the palette, Blackheart, after you finish your eyeshadow for the same effect. I do that often too, but I find that Blackheart has REALLY bad fallout for me and I’m not about that life. Maybe I just got a dud though, so feel free to try that!

Use Strange as base. I use a big, fluffy brush to spread it across my lid and brow bone to cover the whole area. I also like to go in with Reserve Your Cabana  (a “bronzer” form Wet & Wild) over Strange to give it a little more shimmer.

Then, use Burnout with a little Limit mixed in as your transition color. This just means you sweep it into your crease, and a tiny bit above, to define your eye shape and to make the darker colors blend in easier. I use a 99 cent Wet & Wild crease brush that I personally think is the best on the market!

Go in with Nooner on the outer crease if you want to darken the look a little. I have pretty big eyelids, so I like to make my crease really defined with this color! I also just love Nooner in general.

Finally, use Factory as your outer V color— this is just another fancy makeup term that means to sweep the color in a sideways “V” shape, from the outer corner of your lash line and in the very outer part of your crease. You can even stretch it out a bit and make it just past your crease, towards your temple, to widen your eyes!

And you’re done! The look is a great way to up your makeup game for work, and take it into the night without feeling like you just came from, you know…. work.

P.S.- If you don’t have Naked 3 and are looking for a drugstore option, I think NYC’s Demi Lovato palette is definitely comparable! I love that palette, and you can’t beat the price tag. 

I hope you enjoy this look and let me know what you want to see next!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliates. 

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You always want the places in your house that you’re in most often to look, and feel, the best. My favorite spots in our house are where we gather with our friends and families– in the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room. But, there’s one more room I spend a majority of my time… my record room and office. And recently, I got the urge to give that room a makeover.

When we first got settled, we bought a record player and put it in a small room down the hallway. We bought great records, and turned up the volume so we could hear it down the hall. Those were great memories— but eventually, we used that room for something else (a closet) and moved the records, and I combined that room with my sudo-office.

I’m slightly embarrassed to show these before pictures… but one thing led to another and this mess just got out of control!

BEFORE

I knew something had to give. So, I went to HomeGoods and the Dollar Tree and went to work.

Unfortunately, you have to make a mess to organize. First, I took everything out and laid it on the desk. I did a huge clean out, and threw away anything that was old or I didn’t use.

(I’m sorry for the dark pictures. I got the urge to start this makeover in the middle of the night… )
office makeover, office, home, decor

After

Then, the fun part.  After a day of work, I did it!

I knew I needed several plastic containers to organize eye makeup, foundation, lipsticks, etc. I bought a few in different shapes and sizes to see what worked best, and to keep things a little different.

I had painted these mason jars copper a few years back for my brushes, but they were just too big. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought glass marbles, poured them in the jars to fill the bottoms, and then stuck my brushes in. Viola!

I also bought this rustic little cart, where I put some the containers to keep everything more organized. I also have a few wicker baskets, and I think it looks really cool combined with the plastic containers and my white desk. The desk? IKEA! 

The jewelry holders are both from HomeGoods and also things I had at my parents’ house. The cute, boho rug is also from HomeGoods. Can you tell I’m obsessed?

And that cool green glass bottle? The Dollar Tree!

I hope this post helps you get some ideas to organize your office or desk. If it does, please let me know or send me pictures of your progress. As always, thanks for reading the Southern Style Diaries.

xoxo–

Ivana

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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If you’re like me, you always see those ads for sites like Romwe and SheIn and wonder if it’s a total scam. Because let’s face it— it looks like a scam. The websites are not professional, the prices are too good to be true, and there are thousands of products to browse through on the site. I just couldn’t resist though, and earlier this summer I bought several things from SheIn. They got me with the unbelievable prices!

The first thing I noticed about SheIn is that there is virtually no way to know if you’re getting the right size. I figured (since they are made in China) that they would run small, so I ordered a size up in everything I purchased. For reference, I’m a 4-6, 5’6, and usually a medium– but I bought larges. That proved to be a good idea!

I made two orders from the site over the summer. The first one I used the regular shipping, and the second one I bought the expedited shipping. Let’s just go ahead and say, the expedited shipping was a total scam and it took just as long. Both packages took about 3-4 weeks to be delivered, which was annoying because half the summer was over by the time I got my super-summery outfits. I can’t say I was totally surprised by the shipping delays though– when you pay so little, you know the process isn’t going to be perfect.

I also checked my credit card after purchasing to make sure I wasn’t overcharged. It didn’t overcharge me, but I still think its a good idea to make sure.

Two-piece striped set with skirt and an off-the-shoulder crop top $31

SheIn, striped set, t-shirt, set, stripes

First, the positives: The skirt has shorts built in, which I love. The outfit overall is pretty comfortable, and very cute for a special event. My event had passed by the time this was delievered, so I haven’t worn it yet, but I’m still going to keep it. You could also wear the skirt separate from the crop top with a white tank and sandals to dress it down and get more wear out of it!

And the negatives: The crop top is huge, but the skirt’s band at the top is super tight. It’s almost like they sent me a smaller size skirt and a larger size top than I ordered… but there are no labels in the clothes, so it’s impossible to check for that. Also, the construction isn’t perfect, but its okay– again, what I expected. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the purchase.

Buy it online here

SheIn, set, stripes

set with gingham shorts and matching off-the-shoulder top $15

Positives: I think this set is super cute. I love the arm ties and the little matching ties on the shorts. It’s also insanely comfy! I love that I can wear this to a casual event or for a dinner date and it will look trendy, but I won’t be dying to run home and change into loose PJs.

Negatives: The shorts fit okay in the waist, but the crotch area is a little baggy. It’s not really something that I think most people would notice, but it does bother me. I also wish the elastic band on the top wasn’t so snug– I definitely think it would be more flattering. Overall though, I think this set is precious and it looks cute on for a night out, so I’m keeping it.

Buy it here

Graphic tee, “We should all be feminists” $9

I couldn’t resist this top. (Because… right?)

Positives: I love this shirt. It’s a good size (I bought a large). It seems like it might shrink a little bit in the wash, which I would be ok with. The lettering is printed on and none of the letters are falling off or anything. It’s also super comfy.

Negatives: Really no negatives here! I wish it was 100% cotton, but let’s keep ourselves grounded.

Buy it here

I think SheIn can work, if you keep your expectations reasonable. Getting it is a hassle, and I would order at least a size up in everything. Nothing I got was wonderfully made, but I do think most of it fits pretty well and looks like it was shown in the website pictures. I will order from SheIn again— I actually just placed an order today for this pair of shoes!

If ya’ll want an update when I get future orders, or want me to try out another sketchy site, let me know in the comments! 

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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Sometimes in blogging, you only see the glam side of things. I say this because I recently realized that I do it too– I see bloggers that I love posting on social media and on their sites about all the amazing things they do, how gorgeous they look, and how put together their home is. When that’s all you see, it’s easy to get caught up in the “why don’t I look like that?” world.

But the truth is they aren’t perfect, and neither am I! I have my days where I’m lucky if I put on athletic shorts and a clean t-shirt before running out the door. Sometimes my makeup looks gross, and my house isn’t always clean. That’s ok, and that’s normal.

I wanted to share this because in a world with seemingly perfect bloggers and social media accounts that Paris Hilton would envy, I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to get caught up in the mist of making my readers think I am perfect. I’m a normal person, who doesn’t always look good and who has a laundry pile a mile high.

Blogs are amazing things, because they let us show the world our favorite parts of life and where our passions lie. Blogging is my favorite hobby, and I hope one day it will be my career— but while on this journey, I always want my readers to remember I’m not here to be perfect. Just to be myself.

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I don’t know about you, but my weekends are pretty swamped. Not always with fun things, either– yes, there are those, but more than anything my free time on the weekends is filled with errands. More often than not, I feel like the things that consume my weekend are going to the bank, running to pick up something from Lowe’s, and getting milk from the drug store because we’re out. And, that’s okay. I’m not complaining.

The errands OUTFIT

However, it can get really easy to get in an outfit rut when all you’re doing is seemingly mindless tasks. I’m guilty of that! Nike shorts and a t-shirt is SO easy to throw on if you’re just going to the pharmacy. But, I’m trying to be better and I’m trying to make it a habit to care about the way I dress, even if it’s just to do errands.

This top is SO comfy, and from one of my college friend’s online boutique!

“Coffee first” top;  shorts (similar here and here);  OTBT shoes;  lace bralette (similar here)

In the southern July weather we’re getting right now, it makes dressing even more difficult. Here is my pick for a cute, simple, and comfortable outfit to run weekend errands in, even when it’s so hot you don’t want to leave your living room and A/C.

Once again, thank you to my lovely fiancé Mitri for my photos. He’s getting pretty good at this whole photography thing!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links, meaning I could make commission from your purchase.

What do you wear for your errand-running days? Are you bad to reach for the workout clothes, too?

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We all know its open-toe season, and its time to break out the sandals. This year, its all about the details! Fashion icons and bloggers both are loving tassels, bright colors, and ties this summer– but it can be hard to find your cutest pair without breaking the bank.

I’ve seen so many people wearing the cutest espadrilles or slides, but I always turn away when I see the brand is Chloe or Tory Burch, because that’s just not something most of us can drop money on without affecting our budgets!

Below I’ve listed some of my favorite sandals for the season— both flats and wedges. I included a range of styles and price points, so hopefully everyone can find something they like and can buy without worrying about the price! Links are included in each description below.

summer, shoes, style

1.Old Navy sandals

These sandals are so precious and provide the perfect pop of color to any everyday, causal summer outfit. The tie detail also makes these sandals ok for a more dressy look– just pair them with a sun dress and some delicate jewelry. Old Navy also makes the comfiest shoes, so you may want to pick these up in several colors!

2. Free People Revolver Clogs

I bought these clogs years and years ago, and they just look better with age! (Mine are older and don’t have the tie) The leather is so soft, and the wear on it makes the shoes look lived in, which I adore. The wooden bottom is also surprisingly comfortable– I’ve worn these from work to dinner, and didn’t need to change. While they’re some of the more pricey shoes on my list, I definitely recommend them and I know you’ll get your money’s worth!

3.Steve Madden Jaylen WEDGE sandals

You’ve seen these all over your favorite bloggers’ Instagrams, and I am here to tell you that they’re just as great as you think. They’re a less expensive alternative to the ones by Chloe, which run about $660. The Steve Madden wedges come in several colors, but this taupe color is so versatile that I couldn’t resist. I will say I don’t think these shoes are as comfy as the Free People ones, but that may be because I haven’t broken them in yet and I have pretty wide feet.

4. Forever 21 Tassel Slides

I showed these on Instagram earlier this summer and got so many comments asking where they were from! Everyone was shocked to hear how inexpensive they are, and that they’re from Forever 21. They’re super easy to throw on, and they make any outfit look more put together and festive. Limited sizes are available in these now, so run to your nearest store or to their site!

P.S. If they’re sold out of your size, here are basically the same shoes in a different color from Amazon.

5. Sam Edelman oliver Flip Flops

People never believe me when I say the best basic flip flops I’ve ever worn are by Sam Edelman, but it’s true. He makes so many styles and colors of flip flops that you’re sure to find what you’re looking for, but get the comfort and durability of his brand. If you are looking for a more affordable option, T.J. Maxx often gets a boatload of these!

6. Sam Edelman Carrin Platform Espadrille

These are some of my favorite options for weekend errands. These slip ons are suede, but the espadrille bottom keeps them summery and the slight platform also gives you a little height. Best of all worlds! Again, these are insanely comfortable (are you seeing a theme?) and will go with just about everything.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.

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Sigma, I’m disappointed in you. I had heard great things about the Sigma F-80 flat top kabuki brush, and decided to try it after not being able to order one from Zoeva (has anyone else had problems ordering from there?) So, I splurged at my local department store on a set that came with the brush and the brush cleaning mat.

The Review

Every beauty guru might hate me for saying this, but I am not impressed with the F-80.

Sigma, makeup, makeup brushes

The bristles are SO dense that I feel like they don’t even move when I’m trying to buff in my foundation. Sometimes I feel like the brush is actually taking off more makeup than its actually putting on.

I also don’t feel like I get an even layer of foundation when using this brush. It seems splotchy, and doesn’t wear well– and I know it isn’t the foundation!

I’ve tried several methods of using the Sigma brush and I’ve played around with it until I’m blue in the face. I just can’t make it something I love. I need something softer, or more flexible so I can buff in my makeup.  I’ve even washed it to see if maybe it was just a first time thing, and it didn’t seem to make a difference.

Now, I could totally be wrong. Maybe there’s a trick I just haven’t figured out, or maybe I don’t know how to properly use it. If you have tried this brush and liked it, let me know what I am doing wrong and help me fix it!

I so wanted to like this brush. I so wanted to… but it’s just not for me. I’m going to stick with my Bliss buffing foundation brush and my tried-and-true Max Studio flat top kabuki (both purchased at TJ Maxx).

I will say, I LOVE the cleaning mat. It suctions onto the sink, so you can scrub your brushes without worrying about the mat slipping and sliding. It also has different ridges for different types of brushes and a place to refine your bristles after rinsing.  I pour a little baby shampoo on it and go to town! Coming from someone who used to never wash her brushes, this makes it fun and makes you want to do it more often. Who knew being sanitary could be so easy?


This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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