Monday, March 18, 2019

A Verstaile Dress that helps a great cause






If you have been following me for a while, you know that I am all about buying versatile pieces that can be worn multiple ways.  When I saw this GREY MAXI DRESS from Talbots, I thought it was the perfect addition to my wardrobe.  Before I talk about different ways to style the dress, I wanted to let you know my favorite thing about it.  (Hint - It has nothing to do with what the dress looks like!)

Talbots has worked with O, The Oprah Magazine, to create a capsule collection and this dress is part of that collection.  (I love Talbots and Oprah, so I knew it would be good!)  My favorite part about this collection is that 30% of the net proceeds go to DRESS FOR SUCCESS.  This amazing organization is committed to helping women reach their fullest potential in life and work. According to the Dress For Success website, they are "an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, andante development tools to help women thrive in work and life."

You can give back and support Dress For Success in a few different ways.  First, you can purchase a piece from O, The Oprah Magazine collection from February 19 to March 31.  30% of the net proceeds from this collection go to Dress For Success.  During these dates, you can also make a monetary donation to Dress For Success at a Talbots store or on line HERE.

In addition to the partnership with Dress For Success, I love the details on this GREY MAXI DRESS and the fact that you can wear it multiple ways.  It has a flattering fit with a tie at the waist, cap sleeves and a side slit.  I dressed up the maxi a little by adding a fun leopard print scarf, some blush heeled sandals and matching blush accessories.   I plan to wear the dress in the cooler months layered under a blazer or denim jacket.  And for a more casual look, I am going to pair it with some slip on sneakers.  The possibilities are endless!


 

Before I go, I also have to share this adorable RAINCOAT and these pull on JEGGINGS that are also from Talbots.  Although they are not part of The Oprah Magazine collection, I wanted to share them because like the dress, they are versatile pieces that can be worn a bunch.  I love this raincoat so much I have even worn it when it isn't raining!  It is a perfect weight for Spring and I am in love with the color blocking.  And pull on jeggings can be worn with just about anything.  When you visit a Talbots store or their online shop to look at O, The Oprah Magazine capsule collection, you may want to take a look at these pieces too.

Be sure you check out my Talbots coupon page HERE for any available deals and promo codes.  For daily Smart Southern Style inspiration, be sure follow me on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.  I always appreciate you stopping by the blog!

A big thanks to Talbots and Stylinity for sponsoring this post.  All ideas, opinions and photographs are my own.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

My favorite style trend for spring

 


SIMILAR MULES HERE & HERE \\ EARRINGS 

Spring is finally here!  I love the fresh start that a new season brings and the opportunity to switch up my wardrobe to match the changing temperatures.  One of the style trends I am always a fan of in the spring is a kimono.  They are an easy way to elevate a very basic outfit and there are several ways to wear them.

One of the style options that I am sharing in these photos is to pair a kimono with some jeans and a basic t-shirt or cami.  You instantly look more put together with very little effort.  As I am sure my fellow busy mamas can agree, the less effort required to look put together the better!  As it warms up, you can also pair a kimono with a tank and shorts for a similar cute look.




Another way to style a kimono is to layer it over a dress. This will completely change the look of a basic tank or t-shirt dress.  It is a great way to add some additional color and dimension to an outfit with very little effort.  A kimono a also great option to wear over a dress to provide some warmth if you are going out at night when it could be a bit chilly.  Lastly, you can use a kimono as a cover-up over your swimsuit when you are at the pool or beach.

Kimonos come in all price points and the two I am styling in this post are very affordable at under $30.  They come in all different lengths and styles and I am sharing a few others I am loving below.  I have linked my outfits as well as my other kimono picks under each photo, so if you want to shop any of these items, just click the link below the photo.




I hope this post gave you some style inspiration on how to incorporate a kimono into your spring wardrobe.  Don't forget to follow me on LIKEtoKNOW.itINSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for daily style posts.  And I have a surprise for you now...I am offering a fun giveaway with a few blogger friends, so read below on how to enter.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style!

Louella Reese-April Showers Rafflecopter GiveawayWith Spring upon us and April showers ahead, I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a pair of Hunter Rain Boots of your choice ($150 value), a Hunter Umbrella of your choice ($50-60 value) and a pair of Hunter Rain Boot Socks of your choice ($50 value). That way you'll be fully prepared for those April Showers.  Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and runs until 03/18/2019.Winner will be announced here. Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 4, 2019

My everyday make up routine




Happy March, friends!  One of the blog posts that you all have requested the most is a round up of the make up products that I wear everyday. By no means am I a beauty or make up expert, but I have tried enough different products over the years to know what works best for me. I have included all of the products that I use below with links to each item. I hope this is helpful!  Also, don't forget to read all the way to the end of this post, because I have a fun surprise for you!

FOUNDATION:

I don't like a super thick foundation, so I mix a foundation and a tinted moisturizer for a more natural look.  I use this CLINIQUE FOUNDATION that improves skin radiance.  I wear the color "Neutral" & love the light reflecting quality of this product.  I mix it with this LAURA MERCIER TINTED MOISTURIZER in color "Natural Radiance".  I use equal parts of each and use this FOUNDATION BRUSH to apply.

POWDER:

I started using this BECCA POWDER about a year ago and love it.  It is very lightweight and blurs imperfections with a little luminosity.  I wear the color "Golden Hour" which I think would look good on any skin tone.  I use this POWDER BRUSH to apply.

CONCEALER:

I use this BENEFIT CONCEALER in shade light / medium.  I like that it comes in a little pot so you can use as little or as much as you need.  I use this CONCEALER BRUSH to apply.

BLUSH:

This NARS BLUSH has been my go to for years.  I wear the color "Orgasm" which is a neutral peachy pink that would look good on most any skin tone.  I like the angle and size of this BLUSH BRUSH.

HIGHLIGHER:

I started using this TARTE HIGHLIGHTER STICK about a year ago and love it.  I like that you can just roll it up, put in on your cheek bones (or wherever you want) and you are good to go! No mess, no applicators - so easy!

EYE SHADOW:

Before I put on my eyeshadow, I used this BENEFIT EYE SHADOW PRIMER.  It is a nude color and just helps your eyeshadow stay on better.  I have green eyes so I like to use some purple tones to bring out the color of my eyes.

With that said, if you have a different color eye, these colors may not be a great option for you.  Either way, they are all MAC EYESHADOWS and they come in TONS to colors so you are sure to find one that works well for you skin and eye color.  I use VEX as my all over color, HAUX on my eyelid & TRAX on my crease.

I use the following brushes for my shadow:  EYESHADOW BRUSH for all over the eye, EYELID BRUSH, & CREASE BRUSH.

EYE LINER:

Keeping the purple theme of my eye shadows, I also use this purple MAC LIQUID EYE LINER in color "Macroviolet".  I use a thin EYE LINER BRUSH to get a more detailed line.

MASCARA:

I love this BENEFIT MASCARA.  I have tried just about every mascara out there and this one makes my lashes look the longest.  Prior to applying the mascara, I use this CLINIQUE LASH PRIMER.  It helps the mascara stay on better and I think it helps my lashes look thicker too.

EYEBROWS:

I have light eyebrows, so I like to shade them to make them show up on my face a little better.  I use this BENEFIT EYEBROW KIT for shaping and filling my brows.  It comes in 6 different shades and I wear shade "02 - Light".

LIPSTICK:

Several times a week, I get a DM on Instagram asking which brand and color of lipstick I wear.  I actually have 3 different lipsticks that I rotate between, depending on what color I want.  The color I wear the most is this MAC LIPSTICK in the color "O".  It is a taupe plum color, and is definitely a darker shade.  When I want to wear more of a neutral taupe color, I will wear this URBAN DECAY LIPSTICK in the color "Backdoor".  Finally, when I want a lighter pink/plum shade, I wear this MAC LIPSTICK in the color "Plum Dandy".

I always wear lip liner with my lipsticks.  Before applying lipstick, I line my lips and completely fill them in with a lip liner.  I think this helps the lipstick stay on much better.  I wear one of two different color depending on if I want more of a dark bold lip or an everyday lip.  For a dark plum lip, I wear this MAC LIPLINER in the color "Plum".  Most days, I wear this neutral MAC LIPLINER in the color "Spice" under any of my lipsticks.

I hope this make up roundup was helpful!  If you have any questions about my makeup routine, feel free to comment below or SEND ME AN EMAIL.  Don't forget to follow me on LIKEtoKNOW.itINSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for daily style posts.  And I have a surprise for you now...I am offering a fun giveaway with a few blogger friends, so read below on how to enter.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style!

Louella Reese-April Showers Rafflecopter GiveawayWith Spring upon us and April showers ahead, I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a pair of Hunter Rain Boots of your choice ($150 value), a Hunter Umbrella of your choice ($50-60 value) and a pair of Hunter Rain Boot Socks of your choice ($50 value). That way you'll be fully prepared for those April Showers.  Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and runs until 03/18/2019.Winner will be announced here. Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 8, 2019

Looks to take you from winter to spring with the Charlotte Today Show


Not sure how the weather is where you live, but here in Charlotte, the months of February through April can be unpredictable!  We can have 70 degree days in February and 40 degree days in April and everything in between.  This crazy weather can sometimes make it challenging to figure out what to wear!  On my most recent segment on the Charlotte Today show, I shared looks that are perfect to wear during these transitional months.  If you are new around here, I am an occasional fashion contributor on the Charlotte Today show which is a local TV show on NBC that airs every weekday.  I love going on the show and am so thankful that they keep asking me back!

I recruited 4 friends to be models for the segment including three blogger babes here in Charlotte.   Anna from Peppered In Style, Josephine from The Style Hostess and Rachel from Queen City Chic all did a wonderful job as models.  I have linked their Instagrams so you can go check out their feeds!   I partnered with a local boutique, Vestique, to provide clothes for me and the models.  They have a great selection of clothes, shoes and accessories and everything is so affordable which you know I love! Vestique has 2 locations in the Charlotte area:  Dilworth on East Boulevard and South Charlotte in Blakeney Shopping Center.  They also have 6 additional locations throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. Vestique also has a great online store for those of you who are not local, which you can visit HERE.


The outfit that I wore during the segment is definitely more of a winter look, but as soon as I saw this leopard print sweater dress, I knew I had to wear it!  I love the turtleneck style and full sleeves, and you can't beat the under $50 price tag!  I paired it with some ankle booties, but it would also look cute paired with tights or black leggings.


The outfits that the 4 models wore can all be worn now and into spring.  The key is how you layer and accessorize them!  Andrea wore an eyelet top layered with a cardigan paired with some distressed jeans.   This outfit can easily be worn into spring by shedding the cardigan and swap out the boots for some wedge sandals.


Anna chose a winter white look that is so chic!  These white pants can be worn as it gets warmer with a pretty tank top.  Wide leg pants look great with a heel, so Anna can switch out her leopard heels for some high heel sandals in the spring.


Josephine is wearing another layered look that is so on trend.  She has paired denim on denim which is very popular right now. Just be sure the denim washes are different to give your look some dimension. As it warms up, wear the light weight sweater without the denim jacket.  This sweater would look cute with denim shorts too!

flare jeans \\ scarf options HEREHERE & HERE

Rachel shared another popular trend this season - flared jeans.  These are flattering on the leg, especially on you taller ladies!  She wore a white cropped sweater and added some color with a cozy scarf. As it warms up, ditch the scarf for a statement necklace.  With this look and the others, accessories and layers can really help transition from one season to the next.  I hope you found some style inspiration to get you through these transitional months with these looks!

TO VIEW THE FULL TV SEGMENT, CLICK HERE.

Pictured with the host of Charlotte Today, Colleen Odegaard
(Left to Right:  Colleen, Laura, Anna, Andrea, Rachel, Josephine)

Laura:  leopard sweater dress 
Anna: white v-neck sweater \\ wide leg pants \\ belt
Andrea: white eyelet top \\ necklace \\ distressed jeans \\ earrings \\ cardigan option
Rachel: exact white sweater \\ similar white v-neck top \\ flare jeans \\ scarf options HEREHERE & HERE
Josephine: striped sweater \\ exact jeans \\ similar jeans \\ denim jacket

Thanks so much for reading Smart Southern Style!  I appreciate you following along here on the blog.  I generally post every day on Instagram and Facebook, so be sure you are following along there as well.  Stay tuned for more blog posts and another segment on Charlotte Today soon!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

THE PERFECT $30 TRANSITIONAL DRESS







Happy Love Month, friends!  The weather has been so pretty here in Charlotte and is giving me spring fever!  It will probably be cold again next week, but I am enjoying it while it lasts. With the unpredictable weather, sometimes it can be a challenge dressing in these transitional months between seasons.  I like to have some pieces in my closet that I can easily take from winter to spring, and found the PERFECT TRANSITIONAL DRESS to share with you all.  The best part?!?  It is priced under $30!

In addition to the great price, there are so many reasons to love this little dress.  It comes in this pretty teal color as well as a navy and red color option, all with cute polka dots.  I love the ruffles at the sleeves and around the waist and hem as well.  It is light weight, so it can easily be worn as the temps start to rise.  I also like the length of this dress, as it hits just above the knee.  (I am 5'5" for reference.)

While it is cooler out, you can layer the dress with a denim jacket or cardigan.  I am wearing booties with my dress, but it would look cute with tall boots as well.  If you are a hat gal, this dress would also look great paired with a hat in the cooler temps.

As it warms up, I will switch out my booties for some wedge sandals like THESE.   I have them in two colors because I love them so much!  The heel is high but with the wedge they are so comfy.  I can wear them all day and my feet don't hurt.

The dress also comes in navy and red so there are three pretty color options.  I am tempted to get a second color, especially for the price!  If you decide to purchase this dress, please send me a photo. I would love to see how you style it!

Don't forget to follow me on LIKEtoKNOW.itINSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for daily style posts.  And I have a surprise for you now...I am offering a fun giveaway with a few blogger friends, so read below on how to enter.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style!

Louella Reese-Ultimate Valentine's Day Giveaway
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a $200 Gal Meets Glam Gift Card to pick out your date night look and a $300 Open Table Gift Card to spoil you and your sweetie (or best friends) with a delicious Valentine's Day meal! Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and runs until 02/14/2019.Winner will be announced here. Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 1, 2019

Amazon Best Buys - February 2019


Happy February!  Did anyone else feel like January lasted 296 days?  Longest month EVERRRRR.  It was pretty quiet on the blog last month while I was getting back into a routine with school, work & life in general after the holidays.  But, I have some exciting content planned for you all, starting with this highly requested blog post.  Many of you have asked me to start sharing more of my top picks on Amazon, and today I am starting a new blog series called "Amazon Best Buys".  This particular post is all about fashion, but the content will vary with each Amazon post.  If there are any particular categories you want to see me focus on in future posts, please comment below or SEND ME AN EMAIL.

(Side note before we get started:  I make a very small commission when you purchase directly through the links in this blog post.  However, if you check out through the Amazon app or a different browser, I do not make any commission.  I only share this because the little commission that I make is what allows me to keep Smart Southern Style running.  Thank you for supporting my little business!)



Every piece featured in this blog post is an item I already own and love.  And the best part is that nothing is priced over $30!  We will start with this light weight BLACK VEST.  I have shared it on my INSTAGRAM a few times and many of you buy it each time I post it.  I love how versatile this piece is!  I have it styled under a long sleeve shirt here and you could also wear it under a turtleneck sweater in colder months.  As it gets warmer, layer it over a simple cotton dress, tank top or basic tee.  It runs true to size, comes in tons of colors and you can't beat the price at around $16.


This EMBROIDERED TOP has been another favorite of Smart Southern Style readers.  It looks so expensive with the beautiful embroidery, but it is only $26.  It snaps up the front, so you could also leave it open with a tee or tank underneath to style it more like a jacket.  I find that it runs true to size.


These JOGGER SWEATPANTS so insanely comfy and soft!  I wear them a few times a week because I love them so much.  I find that they run true to size and you can't beat the $22 price for this quality too!


The FLEECE PULLOVER that I am wearing with the joggers and in the photo above is the softest piece of clothing I own! I have purchased similar pullovers before but they were scratchy and uncomfortable on the inside.  This one has the same fleece on the inside as the outside so it is so comfy.  It is only $24 and runs a little oversized, but I would say to stick with your usual size for outerwear.  (I am wearing a medium.)  I love it so much I got it in two different colors!


This SHORT SLEEVE EMBROIDERED TOP was one of the most purchased items on the blog last summer.  It looks way more expensive than the $19 price with the embroidery detail and fun tassels.  I bought it in blue last year and love it so much that I just purchased it in pink!  This would look cute layered under a cardigan in the cooler months.  It runs small and doesn't have any stretch, so I would recommend sizing up.


This LEOPARD CARDIGAN has also been popular when I have posted it on Instagram.  It comes in several color options and runs true to size.  With a price under $30, I am tempted to get a second color!


Last but not least, this LEATHER BELT is one of my most worn Amazon purchases.  It is reversible with brown on one side and black on the other.  It has a gold buckle and looks very similar to a designer belt but only costs $25.  Be sure to follow the size guidelines to make sure you get the correct size.   Mine is 105cm for reference.

I hope you found a few goodies in this post that you wouldn't have discovered otherwise.  I would love to hear feedback on what you want to see in future "Amazon Best Buys" posts.  Feel free to leave your feedback below or SEND ME AN EMAIL.  Don't forget to follow me on LIKEtoKNOW.itINSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for daily style posts.  And I have a surprise for you now...I am offering a fun giveaway with a few blogger friends, so read below on how to enter.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style!

Louella Reese-Ultimate Valentine's Day Giveaway With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a $200 Gal Meets Glam Gift Card to pick out your date night look and a $300 Open Table Gift Card to spoil you and your sweetie (or best friends) with a delicious Valentine's Day meal! Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and runs until 02/14/2019.Winner will be announced here. Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Two ways to style a moto jacket




Happy New Year friends!  I hope 2019 is off to a good start for you all.  I so appreciate you following along in 2018 (my first full year of blogging) and I am excited for what is to come in 2019. Some of your favorite posts on Smart Southern Style in 2018 were about how to maximize what is already in your closet.  This was even the topic of one of my TV segments last year and you can read the post about that TV segment HERE.

Since you all seem to enjoy those posts, I thought I would start off the new year with a post about two ways to style a Moto jacket.  I have a very special guest joining me in this post...my sister Leslie.  (Yes, we are biological sisters and yes, I know we look nothing alike!  Ha!) Leslie was in town at Christmas (she lives in L.A.) and I decided last minute to have her join me for a photo shoot while she was here.  You may remember that my mom joined me in a post a few months ago and I decided to call her Smart Southern Mimi on the blog.  (You can read that post HERE.)  Leslie is a singer out in LA, so to continue the trend I have decided to call her "Smart Southern Singer"! You can follow her on Instagram at @leslieaustinlife HERE.


Black bootie options HERE & HERE

As I was saying, today I am showing two different ways to wear a Moto jacket.  In this case, Leslie and I are both wearing black leather jackets but the same style ideas are applicable to any type of Moto or leather jacket.  First we will start with my dressier look.  I dressed up my jacket a bit by pairing it with a camo skirt.  If camo isn't your thing, you could pair a similar jacket with just about any skirt.  I layered it over a silk cami and added some black ankle boots.  I accessorized with gold earrings and a layered gold necklace to compliment the gold hardware on my jacket.  For another way to dress up a Moto or leather jacket, you could layer it over a dress to make your dress a bit edgier.


Necklace options HERE & HERE \\ Converse sneakers

My sister is styling a super casual look with her black Moto jacket.  She has paired it with a basic tee and grey jeans.  She is wearing some white Converse high tops and added a fun beanie for a pop of color.  Leslie added a long gold necklace & some simple hoop earrings to finish off her look.  You could also layer your jacket over a graphic or colored tee for some other casual style options.  The possibilities are really endless with a jacket like this!  And, it is a piece that is not going out of style anytime soon, so you will get some good wear out of it.  I have some options under the photos above in case you don't already have one or are in the market for a new one.


These looks and photos are pretty typical of the major differences between Leslie and me.  In terms of style, I generally dress up more than Leslie and she has an edgier look overall.  The pictures are also a good depiction of the differences in our personalities.  You can probably tell which one followed the rules when we were kids and which one was a bit rebellious!  Isn't it funny how totally different two siblings can be?!?  As I mentioned, Leslie is a singer in L.A. and has released a few great songs recently.  You can check out her music HERE.

Thanks again to my sweet sister Leslie for joining me in this blog post.  I hope you enjoyed another post about styling one item multiple ways.  If you have any ideas of what you would like to see in future posts, please comment below or send me an email HERE.  Just a reminder to follow along on Facebook HERE & Instagram HERE for daily style posts.  I appreciate you stopping by!
 

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