What’s in My Bag

What's in my bag

TGIF!  The weekend is upon us and I can’t wait to get out of the house and spend some time exploring the city these next couple of days.  I have a long-time friend coming to visit and I’m excited to show her around our new neighborhood.  Because I know we will spend a majority of our day out and about I will be packing my purse with the essentials I need to get me through the day. Keep reading to see what I keep in my bag.

Continue reading “What’s in My Bag”

New Month, New Products

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Can you believe it is August already?  Summer always seems to go by so fast!  In my last post I focused on products I had recently used up in the month of July.  Today, I am sharing a few of the items I recently purchased to replace a few of those items.  I had a 20 percent off your entire purchase coupon (including prestige brands) from Ulta and platinum members earned 5 times the rewards, so it seem like a good time to pick up a few items I have been wanting to try.

I had seen several bloggers and YouTube vloggers talking about the new Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation  that recently launched and could not wait to try it out for myself.  It is advertised as a full-coverage, matte finish and long-lasting foundation. Even though I have only been wearing it for a few days, I can already attest to these claims.  Per the advice of many reviews, I chose a shade lighter than normal, as the foundation dries a bit darker than when first applied.  I am the lightest shade 0.5 Fair Porcelain.  There seems to be quite a large shade range, however the lighter shades seem to all run on the warm side.

When I ran out of my Make Up For Ever Ultra HD concealer I knew I need to find another under-eye concealer ASAP-it’s definitely a crucial step in my makeup routine.  I had tried a drugstore product that worked pretty well, but I was looking for higher coverage and something with a shade light enough to give my face a highlighted look.  I decided to go with the recently released Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer in the shade Very Fair.  Last year I tried the Born This Way Foundation and was not a fan for my skin type, but so far I’m pretty impressed with the concealer.

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my favorite mascaras was discontinued.  In it’s place I’ve been using the new Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara.  I’m really enjoying the wand and the consistency of this formula.  I haven’t had too many issues with smudging or smearing around the lash line- a total feat for the summer heat.  I am curious to see if I notice any difference in the color of my lashes, as this product claims it will tint your lashes over time.

While I was at Ulta I totally fell total victim to the travel/sample-size section at the check-out and ended up picking up the First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist .  I thought it would be a good product to replace my empty Mac Prep + Prime Fix +, so into my bag it went.  I’ve been giving it a go for the last few days and it seems to be nice and refreshing both before and after my makeup application.

Overall I’ve been pleased with all the products I purchased and will continue to test them out and share reviews as time goes on.  Did anyone else use the 20 percent off coupon over the weekend?  It’s such a good deal!  Let me know what products you are wanting to try this month in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

 

July Empties: Products I’ve Used Up

empty beauty products
These products are empty and headed to trash. Read below to see which products I would repurchase. 

Do you ever finish a product and have that bittersweet moment of simultaneously being sad but also proud that you used up an entire item?  If you are a total makeup lover like me, you totally get it.  Now, you are either left without your favorite product and need to restock ASAP, or you are excited because you get to replace it with a new item you’ve been wanting to try.  Either way, it always seems to end up in a trip to the beauty counter.

Today, I will be sharing with you the products that I have finished over the past month. Some of these products I have been using longer than others and some I enjoyed more than others.  Continue reading to see what products were hits, which were misses and what I’m looking forward to purchasing in the future. Continue reading “July Empties: Products I’ve Used Up”

LUSH Haul

Left to Right: Razzle Dazzle | You’ve Been Mangoed |Sakura | Pumice Power | Softy | Ayesha

Today I’m sharing my recent purchases from LUSH.  Up until my recent move back to Chicago the closest LUSH store was over 140 miles!  Now, I live within blocks from a location-dangerous!  I have always been a fan of their masks and other face products, but had never really ventured into a lot of the bath and body products, which is kind of crazy considering they are known for their bath bombs and soaps.  Anyways, now that I have moved and have a tub that deems worthy of taking a relaxing bath I decided it was time to try a bath bomb.
I had done a little research ahead of time (a.k.a. watching YouTube videos and searching the hashtag #bathart on instagram), and had a pretty good idea of what items I was interested in.   In the end I chose the Sakura bath bomb, which is described as  “A refreshing floral dip into springtime…with scents of mimosa and jasmine”.  While I was in the bath section I came across the luxury bath oils. I admit that more often than not I’m too lazy to moisturize my entire body after showering, so I figured these would be fun and useful products to try. I picked Razzle Dazzle, described as “a berry relaxing blend of Persian lime oil, bergamot oil and violet leaf” it also includes shea butter, cocoa butter and jojoba oil.  Beware-this one is easily transferred onto your hands (pink and sparkly nonetheless).  The employee suggested I keep this one in the bag until I was ready to use it and then to drop the product directly out of the bag and into the tub.  I should have listened-it can be a little messy!  I also picked up You’ve been Mangoed simply because it smelled too good to resist (clearly I have no-self control).

Going in I knew that I wanted to pick up the Pumice Power Foot Soap.  Its one of my absolute favorite products from LUSH.  It gives instant results and leaves your feet feeling super smooth and refreshed.  It is surprisingly gentle, much more so than an actual pumice stone, but with the same, if not better results. A definite must-have if you’ve been walking around in sandals all summer like me!  I also received a sample of the Softy Foot Lotion.  It has a wonderful sounding blend of essentials oils and seems like it would be perfect to use after the foot soap.

Last but not least, I grabbed the fresh face masks Ayesha.  What really drew me to this particular mask was it’s description as “a blend of tightening and toning ingredients to refresh tired-looking skin”.  The woman helping me told me this really shrank her pores for several days-B-I-N-G-O, I’m sold!  In the past I have used the Cup O’Coffee for exfoliating and the Mask of Magnaminty  when my skin is acting up, and I have been very pleased with both, but I am always looking for new products to try.

I can’t wait to use these products and report back with a review.  At checkout I was informed that if you bring back five empty LUSH pots you get a free face mask.  What an awesome incentive to recycle and reuse!  Do you have any favorite LUSH products or items you’ve been wanting to try?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

 

 

What’s on My Bedside Table

bedside table

Today I’m sharing the essentials I keep on my bedside table.  I try to keep my bedroom as clean and uncluttered as possible, as I believe this is an integral part of getting a good night’s sleep, but I also want it to look cute and styled.  In order to balance the two I have placed a white tray on top of my nightstand to help organize and contain all the items I want easily accessible.  I have a small soft sheepskin rug underneath to both protect the table and to add texture and a cozy feel to the area.

Every night right  before bed, I spray the Bath & Body Works  Aromatherapy  Pillow mists in Lavender Vanilla or Eucalyptus Spearmint on my pillows and surrounding area.  I also love using the body lotion as well.  Next, I like to moisturize my face and lips. For my face I apply the L’occitane Divine Cream.  A small amount worked into the skin goes along way and leaves your skin smooth and moisturized until morning.  For my lips I keep a variety of balms and chapsticks available.  I absolutely  cannot sleep if my lips feel dry!  The combination is always changing, but currently I am enjoying using the Vaseline Lip Therapy in Bubbly Pink, Nivea A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon  and L’occitane Shea Vanilla Bouquet Lip Balm.

I love to read, however I rarely find myself carving out enough time to be able to calm down with a good book.  To get myself into the habit of reading a few chapters a day, I keep a book near my bed.  I just finished reading “Why Not Me” by Mindy Kaling, and it was a fantastic read-funny, insightful and empowering.  I highly suggest it-especially if you are a fan of The Mindy Project or The Office.

Do you ever get into bed only to realize you’ve forgotten to take off your rings, earrings or other pieces of jewelry?  It happens to me almost every single night.  In order to keep these small items from getting lost or knocked of the table, I keep two small catch-all dishes handy.  This way, I can always locate my jewelry come morning.  There’s nothing worse than stepping on an earring or having a cat get a hold of your favorite necklace!  The small pink dish is from Home Goods and the cute dog one is from Hobby Lobby.

When possible, I like to cheer up the area with a small arrangement of fresh flowers.   I also like to have a candle to add to the overall ambiance and cozy feel of the room.  Since I use my pillow sprays and lotion l tend to lean towards a simple, unscented candle.  Lately, I’ve been using LED candles that run on a timer.  You can pick up so many fun styles at stores like Home Goods and T.J. Maxx at a discount.

Do you have a special night-time routine?  Any products that are always by your side?  Let me know in the comments below.  As always, thanks for reading!

Nordstrom Sale Picks Part 2

Nordstrom Sale pt. 2

In my last post I shared my top beauty and accessory picks for The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Early Access started Thursday, July 14th for cardholders and will run until August 8th.  Non-cardholders can start shopping the sale Friday, July 22nd. Today, I will be sharing my personal top picks for clothing.  I’ve included pieces that range across women and plus-size categories.  As I mentioned before, I take this time to look for pieces that will transition my wardrobe into the fall season.

  1. Columbia ‘Surburbanizer’ Front Zip Hooded Jacket $69.90 ($100.00 after sale): This jacket looks to be the best of both worlds-both stylish and functional.  The water-resistant material will be great for the rainy and overcast days ahead.
  2. NYDJ ‘Ami’ Stretch Skinny Jeans (Marseilles) $95.90 ($144.00 after sale): I’ve tried several pairs of NYDJ jeans on in the past, and they are always so comfortable and flattering.  Their steep price tag usually means I end up passing, however with a price reduction of almost fifty dollars may have me reconsidering!
  3. Foxcroft Plaid Shirt $56.90 ($86.00 after sale): Foxcroft shirts are excellent quality and never seem to wrinkle!  I love that they are offered in plus sizes, as in button down shirts I have to size up in order to get the right fit.  This plaid is perfect on its own or would look great layered with a vest or sweater come winter!
  4. Barefoot Dreams Drape Front Cardigan $62.90 ($94.00 after sale): I can already imagine myself slipping into leggings, a comfy tee and this perfectly soft sweater! Dress it up or down, either way you are bound to be comfortable and in style.
  5. Caslon Drape Front Utility Jacket $51.90 ($78.00 after sale): This looks like the perfect light-weight jacket that can be worn throughout the year.  I love the way the model is wearing it with a striped tee and white jeans-so easy.  I can see many possible outfit combinations with this jacket.
  6. BP. Cargo Anorak Jacket $44.90 ($68.00 after sale): Another great versatile jacket that will work with almost anything in your closet.  Plus, for right around forty-five dollars, you can’t go wrong!
  7. Trouve Side Slit Sweater $45.90 ($69.00 after sale): I purchased a very similar sweater (both in color and cut) like this last fall and I got so much use out of it,  I wished I had bought it in more colors.  The longer length is great for wearing with leggings or for a half tuck with jeans.
  8. Lush Deep-V Neck Tee $15.90 (24.00 after sale): Who doesn’t need a great basic tee? At this price you can afford to pick up multiple colors-I’m really liking the grape leaf and Tandoori Spice shades.
  9. Dreamers by Debut Cowl Neck Boxy Pullover $29.90 (45.00 after sale): In the past, I have loved the fit of Boxy sweaters and I think a cowl neck is so classic for the fall and winter.  This is another item I can see being dressed up or down depending on your own personal taste.

And that’s a wrap!  My top nine clothing picks for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  What items are you looking at?  Any suggestions?

 

Nordstrom Sale Picks

 

Nordstrom Sale Picks

It’s the sale everyone is talking about, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Early access started Thursday, July 14th for cardholders and runs until August 8th.  Non-cardholders can start shopping the sale on July 22nd.  The is a great time to pick up some great deals on items that are rarely discounted, as well as exclusive pieces and gift sets.

I’m already looking towards fall and trying to pick some versatile pieces that will work with my existing wardrobe.  There are so many great clothing items on sale, it’s almost overwhelming.  And until, I can get to the store to see a few in person ( I prefer to try-on most of my clothing) I will save my picks for clothing for another post.  For today, I’m sharing my top picks for beauty and accessories.

  1. NARS ‘Nordstrom ‘s Best Cheek Palette’ $65.00 ($124.00 value): This palette is a great value and perfect for travel.  I don’t own a lot of NARS products, but I love the items I have, so this will be a great way to try out a lot of their popular  shades.
  2. Elizabeth and James ‘Nirvana Black Set’ $100.00 ($160.00 value): This is a total splurge item for me, but I absolutely adore this scent.  I spray it every time I go into Sephora but have yet to bite the bullet and buy it already.  I love that this scent isn’t floral or overly-feminine, its very warm and has a strong vanilla tone.
  3. Kendra Scott ‘Elton’ Station Cuff Bracelet $35.90-42.90 ($55.00-65.00 after sale): I really enjoy Kendra Scott jewelry and I think this bracelet would be great on it’s own or stacked with other bracelets.  The beautiful rose gold and jewel tones make a stellar combination!
  4.   Diptyque Scented Candle Set $55.00 ($75.00 value): Another total splurge item-part of me says $55.00 for candles is absolutely ludicrous and the other part is dying to see what all the hype on social media is about.  No doubt, these candles would make a beautiful and luxurious addition to any room.  There are also a lot of great DIYs on Pinterest for re-purposing the jars when the candle is done.
  5. Halogen ‘Owen’ Calf Hair Pointy Toe Ghilllie Flat $59.90 (89.95 after sale): I’ve been wanting to try the lace-up flat trend for awhile now, and I think these calf hair flats are just the pair to begin!  I don’t wear a lot of prints, but I love to be a little more adventurous with my shoes.  If this print isn’t your style, the same shoe comes in several other colors.
  6. B.P. Geo Pattern Square Scarf $18.90 (29.00 after sale): Scarves are a great accessory for the fall and winter months.  They help create a cute layered look and can make a big impact on simple outfit.  Not to mention they are functional-especially if you live in the Midwest like me!  I love the colors and pattern of this square B.P. scarf-and at this price, you won’t break the bank.

Has anyone made any purchases yet?  What items are eyeing?  Let me know in the comments below and be sure to look for my top clothing picks coming soon.  Thanks for reading and happy shopping!