Express Red Piped Lace Sheath Dress for the Holidays

When thinking about what to wear for a photoshoot spent in New York City, I pictured a bright red dress. Nothing screams "holiday dress" like a pop of hot red, right!?

Although my suitcase was overflowing with cozy knits and dark wash jeans, I still didn't bring anything close to a red dress.

After a day at the outlet mall, I stopped by Express to check out their selection of deals. I've been shopping there a lot more frequently than ever before, as they have 50% sales every week! Talk about saving a lot of cash during the holidays.

This RED PIPED SHEATH DRESS was the very first dress I saw. I took a few sizes back into the fitting room and instantly knew I found the dress!

The dress hugs my curves and is so glamorous for this time of year. I chose the size 0 because it fit me without having the straps fall down. The red makes it appropriate for holiday parties or for a date night out to dinner!

I decided to take my new red lace dress with me on the train ride to the city later that week for the photo shoot I planned at the Plaza Hotel to embrace the magic of the city during the holiday season.

I'll be posting more photos from the day over on my INSTAGRAM account, too.

I truly lucked out with the weather situation, because the temps were in the mid-60s for the day!

Carrying my essentials for the day is my brand new KATE SPADE tote. Just look at the adorable tassel on the front! I love little details like that on a handbag, it really adds some character.


How To Pull Off the Crushed Velvet Dress Trend

Photos by: Studio Magnolia

JACKET: Moto Jacket || BAG: Rebecca Minkoff Satchel {I use mine everywhere I go!) 

Velvet dresses are essential for the fall-winter season. 

THIS DRESS is a great way to add some glam to your wardrobe this holiday season.

I'm loving the velvet trend so much! 
It's soft and and lush at the same time. 

On the weekend, I chose to wear it around downtown Tampa to see the Christmas decorations. 

It's super flowy, too! I threw on my moto JACKET  for some warmth throughout the day. 

There's a few ways to wear this trend: adding a jacket and heels is one of them for a night look out. For the daytime, I would recommend wearing black boots and tights for a casual approach. 

The dress really speaks for itself with the texture, so it should be the center of attention.

Are you getting ready for the Christmas holiday?! 
I'll be providing gift guides this upcoming week to help you out!


How To Style a TopShop Pinafore Dress

Photos by: Christine Wozz

A pinafore dress is so exciting to style. I found this TOPSHOP option recently. The blush pink and cute floral details are what won me over.

The moto zipper is also a chic addition to such a girly pinafore dress. The soft color palette of the mural compliments the light pink color of the dress, too. A GINGHAM version of the dress is also adorable.

Did you take notice of the mural I shot this look at? 

It's a Twiggy mural created by artist Chad Mize in Downtown St. Pete. I absolutely love it and the 60s vibes went beautifully with the outfit I had on for the shoot. I really want to spend more time exploring the many murals of the downtown area. This Twiggy one has to be my favorite so far!

As usual, I have on my favorite Smashbox LIQUID LIPSTICK to tie my makeup look together. I keep recommending this lipstick to anyone who asks me about it. I simply can't be without it now! The colors are both pigmented and long-wearing, so I recommend this brand if you are looking to buy a new lipstick.

To find more details on the rest of my outfit, I've linked to a few options for you in the slider widget at the bottom of my post for you to check out!


How to Style an Old Navy Shearling Vest

Shearling vests are so cozy for the wintertime. 

I have this VEST from Old Navy that I scored for under $30! Pairing it with a green bell-sleeved PULL OVER ($17) is the right way to look casual with such a statement vest. The vest itself is great for mixing with other patterns and textures this holiday season. The white and brown colors are so neutral, I just love it!

Once again I am using my gorgeous new Rebecca Minkoff satchel purse.

Styling this bag for the fall and winter season is so easy! I adore the berry color and how it fits so much inside. I highly recommend this brand if you are in the market for a new satchel/cross-body purse. It also comes in SO many unique colors that you will love. The blush pink tone is now becoming one of my all-time favorites. 

These Brynn Hudson earrings are so glamorous for the holidays! 

I can't wait to style them with more looks that involve velvet, too. You can shop the earrings and use my discount code “affordableby30off" to receive 30% off your total!

Right now I am in New York on vacation. My cousin is getting married tomorrow! We are so thrilled to be in town to see her walk down the aisle. 

Stay tuned for my outfit and accessories reveal and details on how to shop the dress I will be wearing for the main event!


Acnedote™ Face & Body Scrub and Fast Fix™ For a Pimple Review

Skincare is a huge part of my daily beauty routine. I always pick products that are effective to keep my skin clear and remove all of my makeup from the day during my night routine. Something that I recently added to my routine are two natural skincare products from Alba Botanica®

Alba Botanica® is not just another beauty and skincare brand. The products they believe in are protecting your body from harsh chemicals and providing you with high-quality ingredients to maintain the beauty you were born with.

As someone who has struggled with acne for years, I have been through so many endless products to help my skin look clear. I tried the Acnedote™ Face & Body Scrub during my time at college and continue to use it on a regular basis if I need to refresh my skin. The ingredients found in this face & body scrub are meant to do GOOD things to your skin without stripping away important natural oils.

Not only does the face & body scrub have powerful Salicylic Acid and Willow Bark Extract to fight existing acne and prevent future breakouts, but it smells amazing! The peppermint smell is enjoyable to use each morning and night, and I look forward to gently exfoliating the dead skill away.

You can trust the botanically-based products to leave your face feeling as good as new each time you cleanse. Forget about over-irritation, as the face & body scrub is free of dangerous plastic microbeads that are found in most other skincare lines.

For those unfortunate pesky pimples, try applying the Fast Fix™ For a Pimple to zap away your zit in no time! The licorice root found in this product is great for calming down the large blemish and the willow bark extract soothes the irritation. Another cool factor about this product? It's tinted, so your blemish is immediately covered up in a flash if you need to attend class or have an important business meeting.

Follow the Alba Botanica page on Instagram for updates on the latest natural beauty releases.

*FTC: This post is sponsored by Alba Botanica and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Affordable by Amanda possible!

$39 Nordstrom BP Sweater + Levi's Skinny Jeans

Nordstrom sweaters are amazing! 

The BP collection is full of affordable flare sweaters like THIS SWEATER for $39. The great thing about this sweater is that it comes in sooo many colors! The under $40 price point is also seriously wonderful. 

Forget about finding something overpriced from Free People for the winter, check out Nordstrom's BP line for the best affordable deals. I'm bringing this sweater along on my trip up to New York. I am into the purple tones at the moment, however, this flare sweater is also cute in a dark orange color.

For the complete look pictured above, a pair of ripped jeans from LEVIS is a great match for this time of year. Don't forget about cute ANKLE BOOTIES, too!

Get ready to see some more exciting winter looks on the blog next week after I explore NYC and spend time with the family!
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