Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : December 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Beach Babe Gift Guide 2019!

I know it's a little late this year...okay, SUPER late, but if you're looking for a cute, unique last-minute gift for the beach babe in your life, you've come to the right place! I'm looking at you who are still shopping or have plans to celebrate after Christmas! Plus, a bonus, all of these are just as great gifts year-round!

I've put together a list of things that I think are either really cool, useful or just plain fun with a beachy vibe.

I've tried to collect a variety of things and price ranges so there is something for everyone!

REN Skincare sets ($15-$75)

One of my favorite skincare companies has the absolute CUTEST gift sets! I really love REN's high quality products and none that I have tried have done me wrong! They are all staples in my every day routine! Right now, they are offering sets ranging in price from stocking stuffers at $15 all the way up to a full skincare routine at $75, which is a super steal IMHO. They have different "themes" I guess you would call it like nighttime routines and travel favorites!

Dolkii Radiate Aloha Graphic Tee ($45)

Dolkii is a Hawaiian-owned clothing company that sells super cute tees and other great pieces and is all about empowering women! This "Radiate Aloha" tee is a great piece that she can throw on with some cut offs over her bikini and head out to the beach! I love the quality of these tees and the message is always very positive and happy! I chose this shirt because I liked the color and the graphic, but there are tons to choose from! And they also go up to a XXL!

Gunn & Swain The Perfect Wave Soy Candle ($12 $26)

The description for this candle says it all: "This candle has hints of bamboo and floral, reminiscent of a day at the beach, catching the perfect wave and lounging under a palm tree and a bright hibiscus plant. This candle will have your home smelling like surf and summer all year long." I can smell it just based on that description! Yum! On top of that wonderful scent, Gunn and Swain make their candles in small batches using essential oils and they are also vegan and made with 100% soybean wax! I also adore the very modern look of it and the fact they the wick has no black soot. Plus, right now, it's on sale!

Antonym Baked Blush in Copper ($36)

Antonym is an organic and natural cosmetics company with some really beautiful products! I cannot speak to experience since I haven't actually tried the brand personally, but boy are they gorgeous. The packaging alone gives me some major beach vibes, but this blush in particular sings to me. I love a good bronzy, coral blush that gives you that sun kissed look.

James Michelle Tropical Leaf Earrings ($148)

I personally have been absolutely drooling over everything this company releases. Their jewelry is so cool and simple, yet makes a statement which I really love. Even better, a lot of their pieces are made just for beach babes! These particular earrings are on my personal Christmas list. I love the shape of the hoop and the color of the gold. And obviously the awesome little monstera leaf!

Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish ($25)

These nail polishes are EVERYTHING. They have such unique colors, the packaging is super cute and they are vegan and cruelty free! Also super cool is that they are water permeable, so the beach babe in your life will keep her polish chip free for longer, even after those long days at the beach! I instantly fell in love with the color "Kiss" which is a super bright, almost neon coral pink! *Drool.*

Freestyle Watches Shark Clip Apple Watch Band

I personally own an Apple Watch that I wear daily and a Freestyle Shark Clip watch that I use for beach vacays and anywhere I'll be in close proximity to water (including sweat.) I personally hate the silicon band that comes with the Apple Watch Sport. When I use it to work out, I sweat and it gets real uncomfortable, real fast. So the though of being able to combine my two favorite watches into one sounds super cool! Freestyle just released their classic, fabric watch bands that can attach to your Apple Watch! So for any activities that will make you sweat and won't dunk you in the water, this band is great! A solid, in-between choice for daily, sweaty activities, but still with all the perks of your smartwatch!

Hemleva Monstera adansonii 'Archipelago' Keychain ($18)

While that plant name is a mouthful, this is the cutest little Monstera leaf keychain and would make a great gift! Hemleva is all about plants and have some really cute products! They also have a "plastic free" packaging option, which just makes my heart sing.

Sandy Feet Hawaii Mini Clutch ($25-$35)

There is a very strong chance I've featured Sand Feet Hawaii on my blog before. They have such great prints and such cute bags! And honestly, you can't really go wrong with gifting a bag! This mini clutch is perfect for gals on the go. Your beach babe can stash her phone, cards and lip balm in here and toss it in her beach bag or grab it out to go to lunch! A small wristlet is a very versatile bag and is a great addition to anyone's accessory collection.

Paula Beltz Creations Cutting Board

Consider this a bonus product, since her Etsy store is closed until the 26th, but boy does she make some cool stuff! Any thalassophile will find her work dreamy with those super-realistic waves added to many of them. I think the cutting boards are so cool and will help bring that beachy vibe to the kitchen! I also love the little seashell because it can be used to hold anything from rings to keys! She also makes the cutest ornaments and coasters with the same wave style! Until her store reopens, you can check out her Instagram! 

Which gift is your favorite? Share your favorite, go-to gifts with me in the comments! Happy Holidays!

XO, Briana

All photos belong to their respective companies and I do not claim any of them as my own.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

My favorite fashion tricks and shopping tips

Since I was little, I have been into fashion and clothing. Over the years, I've picked up a few trick and mantras for my fashion and accessory choices. So here are a few of my favorites!

The wise words of Coco Chanel

This one always stuck with me and I'm not sure why. I'm at the point now where I don't even think about it anymore! The very chic designer suggests removing one accessory before leaving the house.

I don't always follow this exact rule, especially when layering necklaces, etc. But it's a good mantra to have if your still new at fashionably accessorizing.


In this case, my advice would be to follow this for more stand-out pieces. For example, you don't want to wear big, dangley earrings, a statement necklace and a cuff bracelet. Why? More often than not, it's just too much going on. Same goes for a bold shoe choice.

If you have too many things going on, the eye doesn't know where to go.

So for jewelry, choose between a statement earring and a statement necklace and go from there. With shoes, make sure they match the vibe of your outfit and other accessories. You don't want to pair a chunky, glitter heel with a very prim and proper shift dress!

Dress it up!

I always like to use accessories and top pieces to dress up a rather casual look. A plain t-shirt and jeans can easily become more fashionable by adding a statement necklace or earrings, a jacket and a pair of heels; or one of the three!

For a casual but put together look, I like to go by the rule of three. If you are wearing three pieces, its hard to look overly casual! If you're feeling a little under dressed, keep this in mind and toss on a cardigan, vest, kimono or jacket to achieve that goal!

I love wearing palazzo pants (you know, the really wide leg pants made with really comfy fabric.) Sometimes they can read as pajamas if they're not properly styled! Throwing on my favorite denim jacket always takes the look up a notch!

Your makeup changes your look

Some people don't really think about this, especially if you're not really into makeup, but what you put on your face is just as much an accessory as a bracelet or a belt!

If you want to dress up a more casual outfit, go for a bolder makeup look like a glittery eye or bright lipstick.

If you want to dress down a more elegant look, go for a more minimal, natural makeup look.

Wearing a fancy dress for a party or night out? Add to the glam factor by doing a more nighttime-inspired makeup look like a dark smokey eye.

I like to use this trick when I want to be comfortable but also still look put together. I could be wearing just jeans and a cute tee, but I dress it up a little by doing a more "natural glam" makeup look instead of going bare-faced.

Better to be overdressed than under-dressed

More often than not, I wind up being overdressed for parties and events. It may have something to do with growing up in the city, but I just always feel like nightclubs call for sparkles and heels. Living in beach towns, that's not always the case since the entire vibe of the area is a little more casual.

(Fashion Fee)

Either way, I'd ALWAYS rather be overdressed than under-dressed. There's nothing more uncomfortable than showing up somewhere in jeans when everyone else is wearing a dress. I'd definitely prefer being the fabulous one in a dress and heels surrounded by people in jeans and tees.

That may be a personal preference, but looking extra put together is better than seeming sloppy or out of touch.

Invest in high-quality

Growing up I had two fashion angels on my shoulders: my parents. They each have different ways of shopping, which are both good in the right situations. Growing up shopping with my mom, she always was looking for a bargain. However, she also got carried away sometimes, buying things mainly because they were cheap and not for any real reason. That taught me that it's good to find a good sale (there's really no better feeling than seeing that "YOU SAVE X AMOUNT OF DOLLARS!" at the bottom of your receipt) but for the right reasons.

My dad also loves a sale, but saves his purchasing for high end items at discounted prices. So for every 10, $5 tops my mom would by at Fashion Bug (anyone else remember that store?) my dad would buy a Dolce and Gabbana shirt.

(Huffington Post)

So what did I learn from watching them? A few things actually: Quality is key; Sales are good, but don't go crazy; invest in better quality brands and closet staples and buy cheap on trendy items.

What I like to do is find those better brands that I love, like Free People, Nike, etc., and get them at deep discounts OR I'll buy ONE thing I really love at full price or less of a discount and nothing more.

For more trendy, lower quality items that you'll probably not use too often or will be out of style after one season, I turn to stores that have big sales on already inexpensive things.

Buy what you love

This one may have come to me through a combination of having WAY too many clothes and Marie Kondo in my head saying, "but does it spark joy?"

Regardless, one thing that helps me decide whether or not to make a purchase is by asking myself, "Do you LOVE it?"

That is my first line of defense. If I have any hesitation at ALL of whether I actually like it or not, I don't buy it. My thought process is, if my closet is full of things I absolutely love, I'm more likely to actually wear it all and not have a closet full of things that still have tags.

If the item is a little more expensive than I would have liked, I still may decide not to buy it, but to do that, I think about how often I'd wear it; is it worth the money for the amount of use I'll get out of it. Then I also look at what else I'm planning to buy. Sometimes, I'll put other things back to make room for the one more expensive item that I "have to have."

The only things I will buy that aren't necessarily things I'd be jumping for joy about are basics, like t-shirts that are the right color to match a certain pair of pants or something like that. But for unique, stand-out pieces, this is my method.

Embrace your shape

Dressing for your body shape can really make a huge difference! Certain styles and cuts are made to flatter specific body types.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you what you "can and cannot" wear. I'm just saying, certain styles can really elevate your look by highlighting your favorite things about your body!

For me personally, and I'm sure for most of you, I have things I like and I have my problem spots. My shape is curvy but not busty. I have a nice waist and a big bum, but my problem area is my stomach. Using clothing, I am able to mold my body to appear what I'd like it to look like. Think of it like makeup. You're highlighting the assets and covering up the imperfections.

So for me, I like to buy things that will hide my tummy and nip in my smallest part, which is my waist. An a-line dress is my best friend. Some of you may favor your bust, so show 'em off (but please, keep it classy lol)

Also, on a somewhat related note, if you are on the curvy side, please don't feel like you have to cover everything up with baggy t-shirts and moo-moos!

And if you're really not comfortable in anything fitted, regardless of your shape, you can totally rock the oversized trend without looking sloppy! Just choose items that are made to be oversized and buy it in the appropriate size.

Pieces labeled "oversized" are cut specifically to still flatter the wearer while still having that comfy, baggy effect. Buying a regular shirt but three sizes too big isn't the same and doesn't always work out!

I could go on for days about my fashion decisions and shopping tips, but I'll leave those for another day! What are your favorite tricks and tips?

XO, Briana