Xo, MandySue

Happy Sunday!

A while back I got contacted by a boutique located in Newport Beach, California named Xo Mandy Sue to collaborate with them. My answer was an easy yes because all of their clothes are so cute and affordable, I also love that their style is beachy and effortless. If only I actually lived by a beach..

I purchased the Cheery set which is perfect for the summer time, it came with a tank top with knots at the sleeve and a pair of shorts with pockets. This set was only $52 which I love because I feel like it was super affordable compared to most stores. I love that you can throw this on for any activity such as going to the museum like I did, or even just to go to brunch. The heat and humidity is insane here in Texas so this set was definitely a go-to because it was so light and breathable. I also have been loving the color yellow lately and love that it really made me look tan – I felt like a ray of sunshine while wearing this outfit. I paired this outfit with my nude BP booties from Nordstrom and some statement earrings from Kendra Scott & of course some of my favorite sunnies. I wish it stayed hot year round in San Antonio so I could wear this set more often, but unfortunately its time to start preparing for the cooler, fall weather.

IMG_4690

IMG_4728

IMG_4705

I also purchased the Mila dress, one thing that caught my eye about this dress when I was online shopping was the color blue, I am a big fan of light blue and periwinkle hues and I also loved that it was a floral pattern! The dress was $42, and honestly I think this dress would look flattering on any body shape and women of any size. You have the option to tie the dress around the neck to give it more of a high collared look but I decided to leave it loose and have the strings hang down on the side. I paired this dress with my tan fedora hat from Forever 21 and my DSW Franco Sarto open toed heels that I purchased from DSW and accessorized with my Purpleheart & Plum Jord Wood Watch and my gold Lacy earrings from Kendra Scott. I have already worn this dress so many times, I love the loose long sleeves and how flowy the dress is.

IMG_5622

IMG_5616

IMG_5620

Be sure to go check out Xo MandySue on Instagram @xomandysue and on their online site https://www.xomandysue.com/ and use my code “LORI35” for 35% off your purchase. They definitely have super cute and trendy clothing options for everyone! 🙂

Thanks for reading and be sure to keep up with me through Instagram @xoxoloriallison

Have a great week!

Xoxo, Lori Allison ❤

Shellac vs. Dip, What Is Your Preference?

Since moving back from Florida, I started to frequently get my nails done again. I’m always up to try the new and upcoming trends when it comes to getting manicures and the hottest trend at the moment, seems to be dip powder.
I have heard many good things about dip, but I wanted to try it out for myself and see what my preference is, Shellac or Dip. A lot of my friends have asked my preference, since I get my nails done so often, so I thought I would test out both and find out the pros and cons.

Shellac

Shellac in Texas, is typically about $30-$35 at salons and is similar to gel nail polish but is 3 sets of polish (base coat, polish color, top coat) that typically can last about 2-3 weeks on your nails.

Pros:
Color options – I love that with shellac there are multiple color options to choose from, no matter what nail salon you go to. If you’re looking for a solid color you can go with that option or if you want to be bold and daring you can get cool effects on your nails such as mermaid, holographic, chrome, etc.
With the different effects, there usually is a up-charge but I think it is worth paying for because I love the compliments I get and I love to admire and obsess over them often.
Application – Shellac’s process involves a base coat, the color polish chosen, a UV lamp, and the top coat. The nail techs usually apply two coats of each polish in between applying the UV light to each coat. The process is very short and easy.
Longevity – When I get shellac on my natural nails, it lasts me about 3-4 weeks, which I think is great because whenever I paint my nails with normal nail polish, it only lasts on my nails about 1 week if anything. Although Shellac lasts about 3-4 weeks for me, it doesn’t mean that they remain looking as great as they did when I first got them done. If I let my nails grow that long with Shellac, most of the time I am in desperate need of a fill because my nails tend to grow pretty fast.
Removal – The removal process for shellac is very easy and can be done in a salon or at the comfort of your own home. If you go to a salon, most charge $5 to take off, which is very reasonable and I think is a faster process because the nail techs are so used to doing it and also have the right tools for it.

Cons:
UV Light – A big complaint on why I have heard people don’t like doing Shellac, is the UV light used to dry the polish. The UV lights can cause damage on your skin and fingers. One tip I recommend is to put water proof sun screen before going to my nail appointment, that way my skin is protected a little more than the UV lights beaming on my bare skin.
Peeling – Another complaint that I have about shellac is the fact that when my nails start growing out, the shellac coat on my nails can start to chip and therefore start to peel off the nail bed. When this happens, I notice that the part of my nail that’s peeling off, will get caught onto my clothes or other things and it leaves me no choice than to remove the shellac as a whole from my nails or to start peeling it off from my nail bed (which can cause damage to your nails if you’re not removing shellac the proper way).

Shellac with Chrome

Shellac with Chrome cont.

Shellac with Mermaid

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Process of Mermaid
White Shellac coats and then Pink Mermaid powder over

Shellac with Holographic

Dip

Dip, in Texas is normally about $40-$50 at salons but the price depends on if you are getting it on your natural nails or if you are getting acrylic, most salons also charge additionally if you are getting a French manicure since it is a longer process since you they have to use two different colors.

Pros:
Application – The application process for dip is very simple, easy, and fast. Unlike shellac, this process just involves a base coat, and then you dipping your finger nails into a container color dip of your choice multiple times until your nail is fully covered in the dip color and has the texture of an acrylic nail. Once it is shaped onto your nail then the nail technician adds a top coat and wipes away all the excess powder and you are good to go.
Longevity – I found that dip actually lasts a lot longer than shellac does, which is a great plus because you don’t have to get your nails done as often. Because the dip powder is like an acrylic nail on top of your real nail, it leaves your nail feeling hard and sturdy and it is very rare that you will break a nail with Dip on your fingernails.

Cons:
Color options – Although there are a decent amount of color options at salons, I was not very impressed with the different shade options. Of course the salons have the full rainbow spectrum (from red to purple) that is expected and the different colors in between but I didn’t find a lot of shade options in the colors I was interested, just one or two shades of each (but maybe I’m just picky).
Because dip is a powder, you also don’t have the option of getting mermaid, chrome, or holographic. It may be an option they are going to come out with later, but as of right now, they only have solid color options.
Removal – I was told by the salon that I got dip at, that the removal process of dip was the same as shellac. However, when I went to the salon I normally go to, to get mermaid/ holographic done at, they had to use the little drill to drill my nails down from the thickness of the acrylic and then I had to soak my hands in acetone for a good 15-20 minutes. I also found out after the fact, that the removal process is usually $5 more than the removal of shellac, so $10 for the removal. Although I know soaking your fingernails in acetone is the best way to take it off, I wasn’t a big fan of it because my fingers/fingernails got very hot, which wasn’t very comfortable and the dip got very gooey, which made for a very messy take off process.

IMG_4290

Dip nails

Verdict:

I naturally have long/strong nails, so I prefer getting a manicure on my natural nails rather than getting acrylic nails. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of acrylic nails on other girls and love that you can play with the different lengths, but I like more of natural look and prefer the least amount of damage on my nails as possible. Neither Shellac or Dip are necessarily safe on your nails because they both aren’t natural nail coloring techniques, but I think they are both great if you are looking to have a longer lasting manicure and not wanting to worry about them chipping fast like normal nail polish.

Although, I loved how long Dip lasted on my nails, I just wasn’t too big of a fan of how unnaturally bulky my nails looked with it and also how hard the acrylic was over my nail. I think that Shellac looks more natural and keeps my nails from looking less fake/boxy. I also am a huge fan of getting different colors/effects on my nails and getting away from the traditional everyday colors such as red, pink, white, and black. I also enjoy the fact that Shellac is a little bit cheaper than Dip and even lasts close to the same time as Dip.

I would definitely recommend people to try both Shellac and Dip to see what their preference is because this post is solely based on my own thoughts, opinions, and preferences.

If you live in San Antonio, I get all my mermaid/chrome/holographic nails done at Emme’s Nail Spa at the Elian Resort, I definitely recommend them 100%! @emmenailspa on instagram

Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions feel free to ask and comment if you have any ideas about other things I should blog about.

You can keep in touch with my life by following me @ xoxoloriallison on Instagram.

Xoxo, Lori Allison ❤

H-E-B Back To School Collection Haul

Good evening loves!

A month ago I got contacted by my local grocery store H-E-B to do a collaboration with them.   They sent me a $2oo gift card to shop my College Must Haves.

School starts back up for me today! I’m starting my senior year of college, and I’m so excited (but I’m really freaking out about how close to being an adult I am)!  I went shopping with my sister this past week.  I’m soo excited to share with y’all what I bought!

For those of you who don’t live in Texas, I’m very sorry for you.. for one, because Texas is the greatest state to ever live in but also because we have the best/biggest grocery store ever – HEB! As if normal H-E-B’s aren’t amazing, we have H-E-B Plus’ that are pretty much like a Walmart but 1000x’s better and not the slightest bit creepy like Walmarts’ are (no offense to them LOL). When I was living in Florida, my closest grocery store was Walmart.  After living in Texas and shopping at H-E-B all my life, it just wasn’t the same.. I missed H-E-B so much and truly realized what I had once it was already gone haha.  When I moved back to Texas and they emailed me for this collaboration, it was like a message from God that I was back home where I was meant to be!

So, of course when I went shopping to spend my gift card finally — I went crazy! They have the CUTEST things in their back-to-school collection!

My College Must haves are as follows:

  1. A cute and colorful planner – to keep my busy life a little more organized
  2. Cute/color accessories and accents for my room – because I love my room and spend a lot of time in it so I want it to be colorful and comfortable
  3. Journals – to write all my lecture notes in
  4. Pens – to be able to write notes with
  5. Snacks – to get me through the long days of classes and work
  6. Makeup, such as mascara – because I need to look presentable in class and around campus
  7. Storage bins – to make my room more organized
  8. School spirited apparel – because you always have to show love for your school!

& I found all of these items at H-E-B, I will post pictures below and include the prices to show you how cute and affordable everything is

FullSizeRender(17).jpg

I found a reversible comforter set that included 2 pillow shams, the reversible comforter, and a bed skirt. I’m absolutely in love with the colors of the comforter.  They’re so bright and make my room so much more colorful! It was only $29.97!

FullSizeRender

Decorative pillows are so in right now and such a great accessory for your bedroom. I was absolutely in love with these decorative pillows that I bought for only $8.97 each!

IMG_3745

Of course, you need new sheets to go with a new bed-set! I got these full size sheets in gray for $14.97.  I think they will be a good contrast with the floral colors of the comforter and they are super soft!

IMG_3735

I purchased an Eos hand lotion to keep in my backpack during school because you always need a good travel-size hand lotion to keep around for $1.98

IMG_3734.JPG

I needed a new makeup sponge for when I contour or use concealer.   I had never tried Real Techniques before, but I loved that it was angled.  I bought it for only $5.98

IMG_3736

Mascara is one of my favorite makeup inventions because just a small amount of it can make your eyes pop! I’ve been running low on a my mascara, and I previously tried this Revlon Ultimate All-In-One mascara and loved how great it was.  When I was on my way down the beauty aisle, I found a two-in-one pack for the Ultimate All-In-One and a Volume + Length Magnified mascara. One Revlon mascara is usually $8 on its own but this two-in-one pack was only $12.99, which I feel was a really good deal!

IMG_3738

Journals are always needed for school but I love colorful things, as you can tell from the things I’ve shared with you already.   Of course, I had to get some cute patterns! One of them is a one subject, 5 star notebook for my sorority meetings.  The other is a 5 subject notebook that I will be using for my classes since I am taking four this semester. The 5 subject was $4.99 and the one subject was for $5.79

FullSizeRender I loveee being organized so I usually buy colorful pens.  I pair my classes with a certain pen color to help me keep track of my assignments and tests. I bought this pen set for $3.49.

FullSizeRender(14)

Now, on to planners!  Every year I get a new planner and each year I make sure I get the cutest one because they make me excited to stay organized. I saw this planner from the company “Ban.do” at this store called Altar’d State, but it was a little pricey so I decided to see if I would find it anywhere else for cheaper price. When I went shopping at H-E-B, I went into their boutique called Mia’s Mirror and saw they had the planners starting at $20. I was so happy and excited once I saw the sale that I bought it right away 🙂  The planner was $26.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I also bought a 4-pocket binder so I didn’t need to buy multiple folders and keep track of where I placed all of them. For me, its easier just to have a folder all in one and be able to keep all my important papers in there. I got this folder for $7.97

IMG_3744.JPG

Storage bins make life soo much easier, and of course, it helps when they are as adorable as the one I got! I thought this storage bin was super cute.  I’ve been looking for one to put some of the clutter under my bed in.  I bought this for $5.97

IMG_3746.JPG

Post it notes! I love post it notes because they’re so bright, and I know they will get my attention to remind me of important things that I need to do or important events that I need to attend. I got this four pack for $2.54.

IMG_3748.JPG

Who doesn’t love glitter?  Am I right? I got this super cute glittery pen/pencil pouch to keep my pens in and make sure they don’t ruin the inside of my purses or backpacks for $2.50.

Of course, I ended up getting some snacks at H-E-B.  I bought some fruity pebbles and pop tarts for breakfast in the morning before going to class. I also ended up buying my sister a comforter set for her bed (shown below) and some sheets to go with it as well.

IMG_3747.JPG

What says school spirit more than collegiate school apparel?  I bought a pair of UTSA flip flops to wear around the house, campus, and to some football games during the year. I think they are awesome, and I love that they have the roadrunners on the straps!

IMG_3750

FullSizeRender(15).jpg

If you follow my Instagram, I’m sure you saw this picture that I posted last Friday wearing this outfit! My top says ‘All I need is coffee & mascara”. I love graphic tees and when I saw this one, I just knew I had to have it.  I obviously liked it so much that I ended up wearing it the next day.  This is how I paired it….

Andd, that is the end of my haul! I absolutely love everything I bought from H-E-B.  I thought that $200 was going to be tough to spend, but the money actually went A LOT faster than I thought it would. Thank you so much H-E-B for reaching out to me for this amazing opportunity and giving me this gift card to shop y’alls amazing back to school collection!

Thanks for reading.  Follow me on Instagram @ itsxoxoloriallison 🙂

Xoxo,

Lori Allison

Texas Pride, San Antonio Fashion

Texas is a great, big state with a lot to offer! Among the sites to see, food to eat, and events to attend, we also have a variety of styles! Today I’m pleased to share with you two fellow Texans that are also my fashion blogger friends. Diana is a blogger at The Neon Factor based in Houston, and Devoreaux is a blogger at The Prep Pursuit based in Dallas.

We each decided to share looks in landmark locations to our respective cities! Check out their amazing looks below!

IMG_3233

IMG_3228

IMG_3230

IMG_3241

San Antonio is famous for its beautiful skyline, and there is no better place to go to see it than the Hays Street Bridge. The Hays Street Bridge has become very popular over the last few years. They host different events like yoga, bike riding, mixers, and make the perfect place for pictures of downtown San Antonio. Overalls have been around for as long as I can remember, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.  Denim isn’t usually included in my summer look-book because it’s so hot, but these denim overalls are an outfit for the summer time, especially with this Texas heat. I love this distressed style and love that they’re versatile.  You can wear them casual during the day or dress them up for the night. I paired the overalls with a black tank top and accessorized with a taupe fedora to block out the sun during the day. This is definitely a summer outfit to beat the Texas heat and still be trendy at the same time while exploring everything the city has to offer!

Overalls: H&M

Black Tank Crop Top: Urban Outfitters

Sandals: Aldo

Hat: Forever 21

Backpack: Forever 21

Necklace: Kendra Scott

Bracelets: Zelle Boutique, Lauren Nicole Boutique, Shira Melody Jewelry

 

Devoreaux in Dallas

IMG_1532-1

We each decided to share looks in landmark locations to our respective cities! Which is why you may recognize the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge in the background of my shots! Now it’s hot here in Dallas… And I don’t mean warm, I mean steaming hot! One of my favorite summer accessories is a parasol guard the flaming sun waves beating down. I love this dress, featuring a tropical palm tree print! It’s summery and vibrant, and makes me feel like I’m on a tropical location – even if I’m home here in Dallas!

IMG_1518

IMG_1521

IMG_1522

Dress: H&M

Heels: Michael Kors

Parasol: Paper Lantern Company

Necklace: J.Crew

Watch: Talley & Twine

Bracelet: Ettika

 

Diana in Houston

Picture7

In the heart of Houston’s downtown area you’ll find Buffalo Bayou Park. It’s a gorgeous park that people gather from around the city for their daily bike rides, exercise, or to just soak in some sun. The floral print of the skirt goes beautifully with the background. Houston gets extremely hot in the summer so the glass gets slightly dry but the flowers still bloom in the heat. And as I love bright bold colors I couldn’t help but add these fabulous metallic colors. I wear this jacket year round in different ways. Some nude cage sandals to finish the look and I’m off to enjoy the beautiful city of Houston.

Picture8Picture5Picture6

Jacket: Burberry

Tank: Club Monaco

Skirt: Bebe

Shoes: Burberry

Bag: Dior

What do you like to wear to show pride for your city? Tell me in a comment below!

Thanks for reading, follow me on Instagram at itsxoxoloriallison 🙂

xoxo, Lori Allison