Posts in “Fashion”

Comfortable Clothes With Cuddl Duds

Monday, November 21, 2016


Last Saturday, the temperature in Houston dropped to 60 degrees! It wasn’t cold for my husband and other people I know, but it was for me 😉 If you are following me on Instagram, I’ve been sharing the latest pieces I’ve worn lately. I like to stay comfortable as I keep up with my busy toddlers all day, but I also want to stay stylish as much as I can. That’s what I’m loving about Cuddl Duds! They offer comfort, but also have a classic style. You can use their pieces to add layers to your wardrobe during the cool weather. Wear these when going to brunch, doing errands, meeting up with friends, etc. I wanted to share  three comfortable looks I put together that will give you confidence and style for the whole day. Mothers like us need to be stylish too, right? 😉


This gray long-sleeve wrap keeps me warm. I wore it over a lightweight turtleneck. Checkered clothing has been a trend too this season, so I stole one of my husband’s shirts since he has ton of checkered and plaid shirts(they’ve been his favorite ever since I met him!).  Layering is great not only for style, but to keep warm.



It’s a good thing the gray wrap  is flexible; it was able to stretch over several layers of  clothes! You can also wear this wrap for a casual look, or when dressing up at night to complete a more formal outfit. If you go to Macy’s (where it is available), you can feel for yourself just how and soft and light the fabric is.


Houston weather is well-known for fluctuating temperatures in the fall and winter.  This is a perfect outfit for one of those days that starts out cold and ends up warm!  I paired this long-sleeve turtleneck with a skirt I got from a thrift store, then finished up with a pair of cute knee-high socks! If you live in colder climate, you can add a coat and scarf, and use a higher pair of boots.


I mostly prefer to wear plain colors. I love how easily this simple black turtleneck goes with different outfits. It fits great with this skirt and knee-high socks. But it’s also versatile enough to use in many other settings. I plan to use it frequently at home with my kids because it is soft and comfortable.  


Now that it’s getting colder, there are more days when the kids and I  stay at home and choose to do activities indoors. Even though I am home most of the day, I still like wearing something stylish. Like I’ve said before, dressing up each morning is a confidence and mood booster! These flexible, lightweight leggings are my current on-the-go bottoms at home, and can be used under my jeans if I need warmer clothes when I go out to do errands or bring kids to the park.


Cuddl Duds has inspired me to be both stylish and comfortable, even when I’m with my kids.  Cuddl Duds also offers a wide variety of other v-necks, hats, leggings and more.

Be sure to browse their line at the Macy’s site! Which piece will you try for this weather?





Fall Style: Denim And Gray Sweater Dress

Thursday, November 17, 2016


(white sneakers)


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I’m not sure when WAS the last time I wore a turtleneck. I don’t think I ever even had the chance to wear one when I was living in the tropical, Philippine weather. 😉 I think I might have fainted from the heat if I had… I was so excited to see this turtleneck sweater dress from TOBI. I fell in love with the simplicity of the color. I can wear this sweater dress with comfy sneakers for long walks, or booties when it’s cooler. My mother was sweet enough to let me borrow this denim jacket. Perks of having a mom with the same clothing size. The jacket gave my outfit a more casual look when paired with the sweater dress. Here are a few items that are similar to the ones in my outfits.

Denim Jacket




I’m wearing bareMinerals Gen Nude in Swank, but you can also try this.


How will you style this sweater dress for the fall?

I hope everyone is enjoying the weather with their friends and loved ones. Feel free to follow me on Instagram / FacebookTwitter

Have a great weekend, beauties! :)

*Sweater dress is provided by TOBI, but all opinions are honest and my own.


Dress Outfits To Try On This Fall

Thursday, November 10, 2016


(Similar Booties / Bethany Shift Dress / Black Strap Cami Similar)

Houston weather can be unpredictable during the fall. Sometimes it seems like it’s getting cooler and cooler. Then, all of the sudden, a warm day will pop up again. This week’s weather has been so consistently beautiful though. It’s been around a nice, cool 70°F. :) This is the time of year when I can roll down my car window and enjoy the cool breeze. That’s why, on today’s blog post, I want to share with you what I’ve loved wearing lately.

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As a mother of two toddlers, I like comfortable, simple styles to wear. This bethany shift dress from is a good example of what I like wearing for the fall season. The fabric is lightweight and perfect for this kind of weather. I like how I can wear a black camisole (similar) underneath to add a layer and help keep me warm. I know it might sound weird how I find 70-degree weather to be cold, but I come from a tropical climate. I’m starting to get used to it though. Before, I used to wear 3 layers when temps were in the 70s. My husband would laugh at me all the time. 😉 I think this shift dress is also cool to style with  black pants and a leather jacket if the weather gets colder. 



(Wearing Alicia Shift Dress with a white camisole inside / Scarf is from a thrift store, but similar ones can be found here / Similar leggings / Keds Sneaker)

These sneakers have been another favorite of mine to wear this season, especially when I’m out with my kids. I think they’re the most comfortable shoes to wear for moms who have active toddlers like mine. I like pairing these sneakers with soft, fitted leggings, and this Alicia Shift Dress. Since the dress is lightweight, I’ll be wearing it not only this fall, but for the spring and summer too! When those warmer seasons come around, I’ll wear the dress on its own, with the sleeves rolled-up. 

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How would you want to style this red shift dress or  white shift dress for the fall?

*Shift Dresses are provided by TOBI, but all my opinions are honest and my own.

Special thanks to Sabine.


Happy Labor Day SALE!

Sunday, September 4, 2016


It’s Labor Day! Here are some of gorgeous items that are on SALE! Find great deals on dresses, shirts, pants, kids clothing, accessories, and more from these stores! Happy browsing and happy Labor Day to all! :-)








P.S. I’m wearing an OLD NAVY dress similar to this


Stunning Senior Pictures

Sunday, August 28, 2016

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OFF-THE-SHOULDER SHIFT DRESS / BOOHOO stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (7)

FLORAL RUFFLE MAXI DRESS  Forever 21 / SHOES  stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (8) stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (9) stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (10) stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (11) stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (12) stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (13) stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (14) stunning-senior-pictures-photography-makeup (15)

An inspiring set of senior pictures taken by Lauren Bloom Photography. Makeup by Em Smith (that’ me!) Hairstyling by Styling by Macey. Stunning lighting, poses, and looks that are great for senior portraits.
Make sure to check out my makeup portfolio on Instagram @emsmithartist. For my personal Instagram, follow @helloislandmama.

Happy Monday!


6 Easy Steps To Create Glitter Nail Polish

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Glitter Nail Polish Tutorial – An easy and fun glitter nail art tutorial that can be worn for summer. Nail tips and products to help you achieve healthy-looking and smoother fingernails.

Since I am a freelance makeup artist, I always have body glitters in my makeup kit. I use them for my creative makeup work with my clients, like for Halloween events. This time, though, glitter won’t be used on the face but on nails! I’m turning this body glitter into a cool summer sparkle nail polish. Not only is it easy to do yourself, it’s fun too!

Before applying the nail polish, prep your nails. If you have dry and brittle nails like I do, or if you want to maintain healthy-looking nails, I have a recommendation for you! Use a nourishing oil like Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil on your nails. Massage and leave it overnight to soften your cuticles and keep your nails from breaking. I often like to opt for shorter nails as when my nails are long, they become more dry and prone to breaking. This is especially true as I wash the dishes by hand a lot. he Vitamin E Oil not only strengthens and nourishes your nails, it helps with nail growth too! Plus, it has been salon and dermatologist tested.

Here are 6 easy and fun steps to make your own Glitter Nail Polish: DIY_do-it-yourself_nail_art_polish_glitter_tutorial_sally_hansen_summer_smoothies_fingernails_4

1 Before applying the nail polish, prepare your glitter in a small container that has space for your fingernails to dip in., In this tutorial I used a lipstick cover (yep, my thumb can fit there!:) ).


2 Next, apply a base coat of nail polish to your clean nails. I use Sally Hansen Complete Care 7-in-1, which also can serve as the top coat. DIY_do-it-yourself_nail_art_polish_glitter_tutorial_sally_hansen_summer_smoothies_fingernails_6

3 Apply the first coat of colored nail polish on the fingernails. I chose a bright orange color (Hot Tamale) since it’s summer. DIY_do-it-yourself_nail_art_polish_glitter_tutorial_sally_hansen_summer_smoothies_fingernails_7 4 Apply the second coat on one fingernail first and immediately dip your finger into the glitter and roll it around to cover the nail polish. Do this for each nail, one at a time so the nail polish stays wet and the glitters stick on.


5 After you are done putting glitter on all your fingernails, wash off your hand in running water to remove any excess glitter. DIY_do-it-yourself_nail_art_polish_glitter_tutorial_sally_hansen_summer_smoothies_fingernails_9 DIY_do-it-yourself_nail_art_polish_glitter_tutorial_sally_hansen_summer_smoothies_fingernails_10

6 To lock the glitter in, apply a clear top coat. Again, I use Sally Hansen Complete Care 7-in-1 nail polish. I’m impressed with this product as it offers all-in-one convenience, serving as a base and top coat, helping nail growth, strengthening nails, and giving nails a nice shine. It also has a patented formula which includes avocado oil, sea salt, pomegranate extract, and calcium. These ingredients all help to keep your nails moisturized, prevent staining, and give a healthy and smooth appearance. It is long-wearing too!

NAIL TIP: To dry your nails more quickly, have a small bowl of cold ice water ready next to you. Then, simply dip your nails into the bowl and keep them there for 2-3 minutes. DIY_do-it-yourself_nail_art_polish_glitter_tutorial_sally_hansen_summer_smoothies_fingernails_11 nail_polish_base_top_coat_clear_nourishing_mouisturizing_oil_soft_cuticle_strong_nails_em_smith

Here’s where I grabbed my Sally Hansen products at Walmart while I’m doing my errands. Stop by and let me know how Sally Hansen Complete Care 7-in-1 and their Vitamin E Oil works for you! :)


Have a great week everyone, and stay hydrated!


Do-It-Yourself Sling Sandals (Perfect for Summer!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySmooth #CollectiveBias

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It’s flip flop season y’all! Today, I’m sharing a DIY hack for sling sandals that are really comfy and are much cheaper than in stores. I’ve always wanted to have these types of sandals, and I’m happy that I was able to make them on my own. Plus, I spent less than $5! I love wearing flip flops all the time, whether it’s when my kids and I go out to the park, or when we’re meeting up with friends for playdates. However, sometimes I want to wear something more casual and comfortable. These sling sandals are WINNERS, especially when wearing a dress! If you’d like to learn how I created these sandals, scroll down and enjoy the tutorial!


Materials you will need:

  • Flip Flops (new or old is fine)
  • Stretch Knit Fabric (You can use an old shirt if the fabric is stretchy)
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Chopstick or small paint brush (anything that can go through the three holes of the flip flops)



  1. You will need 4 fabric straps. Cut two straps that are 5” wide and 22” long (longer or shorter depending on your shoe size), and then cut out two shorter straps at 5” wide and 11” long.  Remove the rubber straps of the flip flops. You can use scissors. TIP: It’s better to use separate scissors for the fabric and for the rubber strap of the sandals to avoid ruining the scissors.


2. Fold both sides of the long fabric strap along the center. Following the diagram above, fold along the dotted line.



3. Join both ends of the strap together. Then, make a V-shape cut resembling something like a necktie. This way, it will be easier to push the end of the strap into the flip flop hole.


4. Push the end of the strap with the v-shape into the top hole. I used my paint brush,which I found easier to use than a pencil or a pen. You can use a chopstick as well. After pushing the strap through the hole, knot the strap to secure it.  You can also try the sandals on if you’d like before knotting so you know how tight the fabric straps are. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments.When you have the fit you want, cut off any excess fabric.


5. Use the same fold for the short straps. Overlap the short fabric strap over the long fabric strap as shown in the image above.

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And here’s the finished DIY Sling Sandals! They’re super comfy and easy to create. I actually wore these sandals last Sunday to church and they were perfectly comfortable to wear. I matched them with my summer dress, sinceshorts, skirts, and dresses are a must in hot Texas weather..

Another must in hot Texas weather is making sure my legs are moisturized and hair-free. If you shave your legs, you know how shaving can make hair grow back thicker, faster, and can create bumps. When I used to live in the Philippines, I would go to salons to have my legs waxed (it’s a lot cheaper there). Now that I live in the US, I’m glad I’ve found an easy-to-use and safe wax to apply at home. I picked up Sally Hansen wax strips for the body at Walmart. What I love about this product is that I feel confident and hair-free for up to 8 weeks as compared to shaving, where hair comes back after just 3 short days!. Sally Hansen is a well-known and trusted brand when it comes to hair removal products – that’s  why they have been in the business for many years!

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Tips:  For better results, wait for your hair to grow for at least 2-5 days. When removing the strip,pull backwards – NOT upwards. Do this quickly in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Make sure your legs are clean, oil-free, and dry before using the wax strip. I like to use a wet wash cloth and wipe off any excess hair downward in the direction of the hair growth.


I also tried the microwavable wax for eyebrows, face, and lips. It was my first time waxing my brows. To be honest, I felt worried that my eyebrows would get waxed in half or something like that. However, Sally Hansen offers an eyebrow adhesive as a guideline and these help protect the hairs you don’t want to wax. After finishing my waxing, I realized how easy and painless it was compared to plucking my eyebrows (Ouch!). Again, you won’t get unwanted hair for up to 8 weeks! Sally Hansen eyebrow adhesive also comes with a blue spatula to help you determine if the wax is too hot or when it’s ready to use. Cool isn’t it? DIY_do_it_yourself_sling_sandals_flip_flops_comfy_stylish_lightweight_tutorial_emsmith_sally_hansen_wax_11 DIY_do_it_yourself_sling_sandals_flip_flops_comfy_stylish_lightweight_tutorial_emsmith_sally_hansen_wax_12

How will you wear these sling sandals? To learn more about how to get smooth, hair-free legs, check out these video tutorials
Happy weekday!! :-)

Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7


Mother’s Day GIVEAWAY: Python Bracelet

Thursday, May 5, 2016


These past few weeks, I have seen 3 snakes! If you know my husband, he loves nature. Whenever we walk with our kids before bedtime, he tries to look for snakes to show to our son (Follow me on Snapchat: ememist). I’m totally not a fan of them, especially if there is snake where I am walking! It totally makes me freak out. I mean, I don’t mind looking, but I don’t want snakes touching my skin, and I won’t hold them!  Anyway, when I tried on this Python Bracelet from Rebecca Lankford, I felt that I conquered my fear. Haha! This bracelet is hand-made in Houston, Texas. The cool thing about this bracelet is that you can use this as a choker necklace too! It has a magnetic closure which is easy to open and close. What I love about Rebecca’s work is that it is inspired by love, faith and nature. If you love necklaces, bracelets, rings and one-of-a-kind accessories, check out Rebecca Lankford’s website for her stunning designs!


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We are giving away one Blush Python Double Wrap Bracelet! Head to my Instagram  to learn how to join this amazing giveaway! :)
Contest ends on Mother’s Day at 11:59pm CST and it is open to everyone! Good luck! :)



Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of two boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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