Saturday, September 13, 2014

Radical Skincare for Radical Skin:
The Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum

Y'all, I'm 26. I realize in the grand scheme of things, that isn't very old, but I still sometimes accidentally tell people I'm 22-- not to be purposefully deceitful; I genuinely forget how old I am. I am reminded, however, when I see cute little crows feet and wrinkle lines around my eyes in the middle of the day, when being tired can't possibly be an excuse. A representative from Radical Skincare contacted me asking if I would test out their Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum, and as soon as I heard the words "help fight 16 identified causes of aging," I was 100% on board. 

Beauty, Radical Skincare, Sephora
Radical Skincare's Advanced Peptide Serum contains 13 active ingredients chosen for their efficacy, their ability to work in synergy, their clinical results to reduce the deepest wrinkles, even skin tone, and improve skin elasticity/firmness. Within a few weeks of applying day and night after cleansing your face, you should see increased hydration and comfort, less wrinkles, reduced wrinkle depth, improved skin firmness and density, more even complexion, and better protection due to broad spectrum antioxidants.

I always like to give a product a solid two weeks before jumping to any premature conclusions, but I've been testing this particular serum out for over a month, since anti-aging effects are harder to notice up front with my skin. It goes on mornings and evenings before moisturizing, and it usually takes about two tiny pumps to generate a dime-sized amount of product. The formula is lightweight, and it never leaves my skin feeling cakey or product heavy. I can already tell a noticeable difference in the elasticity of my skin, and the super nasty crows feet on the sides of my face are getting less and less noticeable. Luckily, I don't have too many wrinkles--yet, but physical exhaustion throughout the past season has taken a considerable toll on my eyes and their dark circles. My sincerest gratitude goes to Radical for keeping me from looking like Uncle Fester. 

Radical's formula smells fabulous, and it's worked so well that I have my eye on a few other products with stellar reviews from their skincare line, like their Age Defying Exfoliating Pads and Instant Revitalizing Mask. My only issue is that these products are relatively pricey. Radical Skincare's Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum is about $190 from Sephora, although its sister products are much less expensive, ranging from $50-$75 per product. It works like a charm, though, and this serum is a far less expensive alternative to Botox, so keep that in consideration. If you're on the fence, I recommend asking for a sample from Sephora before taking the near $200 plunge-- trust me, it'll be worth it, and you can see how your skin takes to the formula.


Have you tried any Radical Skincare products lately? What did you think?


Happy Saturday!
xo


♥ Stephanie

Friday, September 12, 2014

Love Me Some Lovato:
Express Yourself in the #BeRadiant Contest



Before you jump to extreme fan girl conclusions, I would like to point out that I'm a classically trained vocalist with a sincere appreciation for a versatile range and impressive utilization of breath control. I'm also a firm advocate for eating disorder awareness and the importance of promoting healthy body images and lifestyle choices. With that being said, I'm ecstatic to report that I am not only going to the Demi Lovato concert in Orlando on Monday night, but I also get to meet her. Oh-my-gawdddd. I think I'll have a heart atta-a-a-aa-a-ck. 

When it comes to owning a distinct style, multi-talented rocker chick, fashionista, and eating disorder over-comer Demi Lovato does it best. Ergo, The Radiant Collection, brought to you by Procter & Gamble's leading feminine protection brands Always and Tampax, has hit the road with Demi as a sponsor for her World Tour to inspire young women to have the confidence to wear what they want any time of the month.

“It took me a long time to realize that confidence comes from how I feel and not from what others think or say about me,” said Demi Lovato. As an official tour sponsor, The Radiant Collection will give young women style inspiration and fashion tips. At each concert attendees can:
  • Get some serious style cred from the Radiant Demi-Inspired Closet, featuring one of Demi’s rocker-chic tour ensembles
  • Showcase their stellar senses of style by snapping a pic in the selfie station
  • Pose in the GIF photo booth
  • Receive free Radiant product samples, coupons and information

Demi is also giving The Radiant Collection backstage access into her life on the road in online videos that can be found on the Tampax YouTube page beginning mid-September.

To give everyone the chance to join the fun on tour, and maybe even spot themselves in one of the videos, fans can enter the Be Radiant Sweepstakes from Sept. 10, through Oct. 10, 2014. The Be Radiant Sweepstakes offers fans the chance to win a VIP experience to attend Demi’s Brooklyn show in style receiving: a two-night trip to New York for one lucky winner and three friends, limo service, four front-row concert tickets, a meet-and-greet with Demi, and a year supply of Tampax Radiant and Always Radiant Infinity.




Fans can enter the Be Radiant Sweepstakes from Sept. 10, through Oct. 10, 2014. The Be Radiant Sweepstakes offers fans the chance to win a VIP experience to attend Demi’s Brooklyn show in style receiving: a two-night trip to New York for one lucky winner and three friends, limo service, four front-row concert tickets, a meet-and-greet with Demi, and a year supply of Tampax Radiant and Always Radiant Infinity.

Entering the sweepstakes is simple and social; young women can post a solo selfie showing off their Radiant-inspired look on Twitter or Instagram tagging @Tampax, using the hashtag #BeRadiantSweeps and including a link to www.BeRadiant.com. Even after the VIP winner is announced, fans can still enter to win weekly prizes through Nov. 14, 2014, ranging from an exclusive autographed picture of Demi to Tampax Radiant products and more!


No Purchase Necessary. The Tampax Be Radiant Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 or older. Void where prohibited. VIP Drawing ends 10/10/14; Weekly Drawings ends 11/14/14. Sponsored by The Procter & Gamble Distributing LLC. For Official Rules, Click Here.



Every stop on the tour, @Tampax will Tweet #BeRadiant tips and Instagram real-time concert experiences, including concert fashion to spread the wear what you want confidence to young women everywhere! To join the conversation and show support, follow and use the #BeRadiant hashtag.


For more updates on The Demi World Tour and information on The Radiant Collection, visit Facebook.com/TampaxTampax.com, or DemiLovato.com. I'll be posting live from the concert on Monday, so keep an eye out for all things music, fun, and fashion. 


I'm off to the beach to #beradiant. Have a great weekend, y'all!
xo

♥ Stephanie

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Flannel without the Fleece:
Florida Fall Fashion

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, InStyle, Vogue and Elle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #inspirefallfashion  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad

Florida, its weather gods, and the Gregorian calendar may disagree with me, but as soon as Labor Day passes, it's officially fall. September is amazing in itself for the sole fact that all my favorite magazines release their fall fashion editions in the beginning of the month. During a routine shopping expedition at Target, I immediately grabbed Elle's and InStyle's September, ie Fall Fashion, issue, and the inspiration started flowing. I can't quite put my finger on why I adore this season's styles more than any other; it may be the plaid, the flannel, the scarves, the blazers, the boots, the tailgating ensembles.. I just love it all. From gingham to animal prints, wool to fleece material, booties to knee-high riding boots, my classically conservative style is epitomized during this beautiful season. 

For my first spring OOTD of the year, I decided to spin the classic autumn elements into a more business casual feel, since I spend 80% of my life in my office these days. Don't ever let anybody tell you that flannel doesn't dress up nicely when paired with a not-so-mini J. Crew mini skirt and closed-toe patent leather heels. 

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad

When I combine the elements of classic and preppy, which in my opinion are already synonymous, Audrey Hepburn comes to mind. Ergo, I had to pair my outfit with a variation of her signature style of over-sized oval/round-framed sunglasses, as well as with an adorable neutral leopard scarf, pearl studs, and silver jewelry. 

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad

Elle, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad
Shirt: J. Crew // Skirt: J. Crew (Out of Stock), Similar Here // Scarf: Apt. 9 // Shoes: BCBG // Bag: Kardashian Kollection // Sunglasses: Fantas-Eyes // Watch: Kate Spade // Bangle: David Yurman 

Elle's September issue even inspired me to dye my hair--again-- to better reflect my affinity for the fall season. Yes, I went dark, and I love it. Pictures to come! Oh, and if you pick up two Fall Fashion magazines (InStyle, Elle, and/or Vogue), you'll get a $5 gift card from Target.. and maybe the inspiration to switch up your hair and buy a gorgeous new red Ralph Lauren bag, as well! The offer starts August 25th and runs through September 13th while supplies last. 

Elle, InStyle, Fashion Magazines, J. Crew, Fall, Fashion, Style, Plaid, Gingham, Wool, Leopard, Inspire Fall Fashion, PMedia, Ad


What are your favorite fashion trends for Fall 2014? Hope the weather near you is warming up a bit. Down here in Florida, we're still in the mid-upper '90s. Womp.


xo


♥ Stephanie

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Celebrate Global Literacy in Style:
A Ralph Lauren International Literacy Day Giveaway!



Nothing makes me endorse large brands more adamantly than seeing them take vested interests in worthwhile causes. I've been an advocate for early childhood literacy since I stepped foot in my first preschool classroom at Genesis Christian Preschool some 6 years ago, and that passion has only grown stronger over the years. I adopted Hooked on Books: Promoting Early Childhood Literacy as my official Miss America platform in 2011, and since my graduation--euphemism for aging out--from their charity-oriented system, I felt compelled to continue developing the organization and spreading its message. 

Ralph Lauren said, "Books open windows to the world and have the power to transform lives." I love this sentiment, so I felt it to be extremely appropriate to celebrate Ralph Lauren's Children's Literacy Program and International Literacy Day, which falls on this Monday, September 8th, with a giveaway! The Ralph Lauren Corporation now proudly offers the Children's Literacy Program capsule collection, featuring a limited edition runway-sketch tee and a new Global Literacy Pony to promote childhood literacy in twelve languages (which all happen to be incredibly cute), and 25% of every purchase price will benefit Reach Out and Read, an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children.




Enter to win a Polo Ralph Lauren Tee of your choice from the Literacy Collection (any of these here) and a Global Literacy Bookmark! You'll be fabulous and philanthropic, all in one. Giveaway starts tonight at midnight and ends Sunday, September 14th! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win, I also encourage you to consider purchasing an item or two on your own. Remember... readers become leaders! Have a great rest of your weekend, y'all!

xo
♥ Stephanie

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dirty Hair, Don't Care:
The Best of the Best Dry Shampoos

It's not exactly news, but my poor peroxided hair is fried. When I'm on a "give it a break" kick, I opt for heatless hairstyling (tutorial here) and dry shampoo. Since I am Italian, ie oily all over, I simply cannot forgo washing my hair for any duration of time, so a dry shampoo formula has to be just as powerful as it is effective to leave my dirty hair feeling clean. Over the past few years-- in between my 03853 dye jobs-- I've shopped the hair market for the best products available, and I've finally found a solid 5 that I would recommend personally. If there's a popular brand that I don't mention, I guarantee I've tried it-- and I hated it. 



1. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk


I tried Klorane after I did a Google search for "Best Dry Shampoo Recommendations," and I wasn't disappointed. It's not cheap, but you can get it for under $20 a can from Birchbox. This fabulous product was awarded Allure's elusive Best of Beauty Award for its undeniable grease busting, volumizing, and waterless cleansing powers. It smells great, works effectively, and leaves your hair feeling clean and oil-free. Ulta used to carry it in stores, but now I have to buy it online, which is really its only drawback. 

2. Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo



Oh, Birchbox, even though you were flaky, you did introduce me to some amazing products. A sample-sized version of Serge Normant Meta Revive was in one of my better boxes, and I was so hooked that I immediately purchased a full-sized bottle, which retails for about $25, a few days later. This formula is more powdery than the others, but it doesn't leave a heavy residue, which is nice. 

3. KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray


This was recommended to me by my pageant coaches at McKenna Walsh, and it's solely responsible for my voluminous second and (yes) third-day pageant hair during Miss Florida week! You can find it at Ulta for just under $20, although you can get a sample-sized bottle for about $7, and it's worth every penny. Even with my Halo extensions, gallons of hair spray, and a heavy mist of thermal heat spray to keep the curls in place, the KMS formula still managed to subdue the oil and give my hair impressive texture and firm hold. 

4. drybar Detox Dry Shampoo


It's no secret that I have a soft spot for drybar. My only qualm with their company is that they haven't migrated their studios down to Florida yet. As far as product quality and effectiveness, drybar is hands-down consistently my favorite. Their Detox Dry Shampoo prolongs the life of your blowout without the use of parabens or sulfates, safely absorbs oil from all color-treated hair, smells amazing, as all their formulas do, and it's available at Sephora for $20 for 3.5 oz bottle. Travel-sized bottles are available, too, for less. Love, love, love it. 

5. Tigi Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo


Tigi Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo, aka the product with the longest descriptive name in the history of the beauty industry, is effective and can be found on the shelves of most beauty retailers and drug stores, which is nice. Its formula is near colorless, so you don't have to worry about awkward pasty residue, and it does a great job of absorbing oil and creating volume for fresh-feeling and smelling second day hair. Rockaholic is currently on sale at Ulta for $9, although it typically retails for around $22 elsewhere. 


Did I miss any good products? Which dry shampoos have you used in the past and how do you feel about them? 


Happy Hump Day! Gotta love four-day weeks :)
x0


♥ Stephanie

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tassles, Rompers, + Recreation:
Lakeside Labor Day OOTD

Labor Day, OOTD, Fashion, Style, The Mint Julep

Oh, Labor Day... a national holiday dedicated to not working in honor of Americans working hard. For me in particular, it's a day essentially designer for playtime on the water, so my outfit needs to be cute, comfy, and boat appropriate. I found this pink ruffled romper from The Mint Julep and knew it was the perfect candidate for the job. I got together with the oh-so-talented Bill Ward of Lakeside Photography for this fun and fancy-free shoot, where we probably did more playing than working. Thanks, BW, for great photography and a great time! 

Labor Day, OOTD, Fashion, Style, The Mint Julep, Chains by Lauren

Labor Day, OOTD, Fashion, Style, The Mint Julep, Lakeside Photography

Labor Day, OOTD, Fashion, Style, The Mint Julep, Chains by Lauren

Since Labor Day is also somewhat symbolic of the imminent end of sweet summertime, I always like to spruce up my outfits with brightly-colored accessories. I couldn't be more in love with these adorable teal Hermosa Tassel earrings from Chains by Lauren. They're the perfect homemade statement piece, giving a fun pop of gorgeous color, and they're literally light as a feather. Lauren also makes mini tassel earrings, too, in a variety of different designs, as well as other unique styles of beach jewelry and boho jewelry.

Labor Day, Fashion, Style, OOTD, The Mint Julep, Lakeside Photography, Chains by Lauren

Labor Day, Fashion, Style, OOTD, The Mint Julep

I'm equally obsessed with these adjustable Dana Beach Bangles from Chains by Lauren, and I'll be honest-- I haven't taken them off in over two weeks. The mix of these three colorful bracelets with their gorgeous rose gold hardware pair perfectly with any colorful outfit, especially this pink romper. 

My fabulous bonded "Love" ring by ODEHYA complimented the bracelets well and also added a fun and unique pop of expression to my outfit. Since multiple adventures in pageantry this summer have left my hair and nails damaged and in need of a detox, I've been opting for nude nails as of lately, so added accessories are mandatory for dressing up my boring hands. 

Chains by Lauren, Michael Kors, ODEHYA

Chains by Lauren, Michael Kors, ODEHYA

Chains by Lauren, Michael Kors, ODEHYA
Romper: The Mint Julep // Shoes: LC Lauren Conrad // Earrings: Chains by Lauren // Bangles: Chains by Lauren // Watch: Michael Kors (Unavailable), Similar Here // Ring: ODEHYA

As for my Labor Day plans? I'll be-- again-- lounging lakeside. What are y'all up to? 

Happy relaxing!
xo

♥ Stephanie

Saturday, August 30, 2014

An American Tradition:
Labor Day Cyber Sales + Shopping Guide


Shopping time! Labor Day hits on all cylinders in the Ziajka household. Not only is it the unofficial end-of-summer marker, which implies the beginning of Fall, aka my favorite season, but it's America giving me permission to capitalize on my hard work by contributing to the US economy through a plethora of online sales.  I'm not only in the process of decorating my new and awkwardly large office, but my bedroom and living room need some major revamping, so new work clothes, decorative odds and ends, and office supplies are my top priorities this holiday weekend. 

Here are a handful of my favorite online retailers with fabulous Labor Day discount codes running now through Monday (alphabetized for quick + easy referencing):

Anthropologie
Extra 20% Off Sale Finds

BaubleBar
50% Off Sale Finds

Bloomingdales
The Big Brown Sale
20-60% Off Select Items

C. Wonder
30% Off Full Price, Additional 50% Off Sale, Free Shipping on Orders $100+

Express
40% Off Every Item, Free Shipping for Orders over $50 

Forever 21
BOGO Clearance Sale, Free Shipping on Orders $21+
Code: BOGOFREE

Gap
20% Off Entire Purchase
Code: HAPPY

J. Crew
Extra 40% Off Final Sale Styles
Code: WEEKEND 

J. Crew Factory
40-60% Off Everything

Kohl's
$10 Off $25 Sitewide + Kohls Cash + Extra 15% Off, Exp 9/1
Code: SCHOOL 

The Limited
50% Off All Regular Priced Items, 40% Off All Sale Item
No Code: Site-Wide 

20% Off Entire Store
Code: STOCKUP

Nordstrom
Clearance Sale
Up to 40% Off

Rent the Runway
30% Off Orders $100+ with Delivery Date before 9/14

Up to 75% Off Select Items
Online Only 

BOGO 50% Off on Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories, Up to 25% Off TVs, home goods, and outdoor fun, Free Shipping $50+

Up to 30% Off, Free Shipping on Orders $300+, Free 2-Day Shipping with PayPal
Code: LaborDay14

20% Off a Single Bra- Code: 20BRA
$15 off $100, $30 Off $150, $75 Off $250, $150 Off $500
Code: FALL14


Have a safe, responsible, and fabulous Labor Day weekend, y'all! Oh, and Happy Game Day, Happy Fall, + Happy Shopping!

xo

♥ Stephanie
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