FAVORITES | August 2018

I had been planning to post a favorites in July, but when I couldn’t really muster up enough loved items to warrant a post. It’s the start of September now, and I think I’ve gathered enough items to share with you what I’ve been loving for these last two months.

Ilia Illuminator in Polka Dots & Moonbeams (0.18 oz, $34): This gives the most subtle glow-from-within look. It blends very easily and smoothly, even moreso than my well-loved W3ll People Bio Brightener Stick (0.21 oz, $23.99).

The Leo Oil (1 oz, $46): I’ve written a review already on this, so all I’ll say here is that this is worth every penny.

Alterna CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction (5.1 oz, $41): My best friend got this for me for my birthday this year. She claimed it was hair crack, and I couldn’t understand why, until I used this for myself. It’s amazing. When I put it in my damp hair and let my hair air dry, my hair dries so smoothly that it’s almost like I got a blowout. It’s magic. I tried using this recently before blow-drying my hair, and it’s great that way as well – my hair stays smooth, soft, and far from frizzy until my next hair wash. My only concern with this product is that Alterna is a grey-area brand on the cruelty-free sites I could find it on.

Glossier Cloud Paints (0.33 fl oz, 2 for $30 or 1 for $18) in Storm and Beam: I’ve already written a review on this, but basically, these are some of the best blushes I’ve ever used.

Glossier Stretch Concealer (0.17 oz, $18): There’s also a review on this already, but tl:dr, I love this concealer’s creamy consistency that makes it great for both blemishes and under the eye.

Mount Lai Mini Jade Roller ($20): I definitely fell into the hype of these facial rollers, but I’ve known for a long time that these are really effective for de-puffing the face, and jade has cooling properties as well. My face doesn’t puff up that much in the mornings, but I definitely enjoy using this after applying my skincare because of how cooling the jade feels on my skin. The facial massages I give myself with this roller also helps relieve any tension I have in my face after a long day.

Anthropologie Palm Leaf Dish ($20): My friends got me this for me as part of my birthday present this year. It’s been a great prop in my pictures, and I love that it’s both extremely cute and functional.

Madewell Oversized Hoops ($24): I’ve been eyeing these for a while and finally picked them up in August when I got a $25 off birthday coupon. I’ve already lost count of how many times I’ve worn them, since they go with almost every outfit.

Madewell Bandana ($12.50) in Strawberry Multi: I’ve gotten obsessed with bandanas in the last couple of months and amassed a little collection, but this strawberry one is by far my favorite. I managed to snag it on sale for less than $5, but unfortunately it’s sold out now 😦 I highly recommend Madewell’s bandanas, because all of their bandana prints are extremely cute. They’re also pretty reasonably priced, especially if you can find one on sale (and there almost always is one on sale).

What have you been loving during these last couple of summer months?

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AT A GLANCE | Lively

Recently, I came to the realization that most of my bras were getting misshapen because they were old. I had been eyeing Lively bras for a while because I was really drawn to the brand’s marketing and bigger bust friendly sizing, and it was as good a time as ever to try out these Lively bras.

Lively bras are at a flat price of $35 per bra, no matter the style, but you can get two for $55 and three for $75. I decided to pick up 3 to maximize my savings: (1) the Busty Bralette in Jet Black, (2) the Mesh Trim No-Wire in Jet Black, and (3) the T-Shirt Bra in Toasted Almond.

Before I talk about my thoughts on the actual bras, I want to point out that I wear a size 32DD, so it’s really difficult for me to find bras on any old website or at any old store. I really appreciate that the site has a specific bra category of “DD/DDD” that doesn’t just have one or two styles. There’s actually a great selection of styles, and they all look very comfortable and sexy. I love that there’s also a selection of bralettes with sizes made just for larger busts.

It seems that all of the bras have a J-hook in the back, which allows you to convert the bra to a racer back bra. The straps are also front-adjusting, so you can adjust the strap length while you wear them. Both of these features make the bras very versatile.

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Each order comes with a simple little drawstring bag to store your bras as well!

I’m really enjoying all three of the bras that I purchased. The bralette has a lot of coverage and fits wonderfully, and the t-shirt bra is very comfortable. The Mesh Trim No-Wire bra is probably my favorite – it has the support of a typical wire bra but is more comfortable because there is no wire. To me, it’s the perfect hybrid of a bra and bralette.

Unfortunately, after wearing the Mesh Trim No-Wire bra for only one day, the bra strap completely snapped off. Thankfully, Lively’s customer service team was very understanding and sent me a replacement for free after I sent them pictures of the broken bra strap.

I’ve been loving these bras so much so that I purchased three more bras as soon as Lively released their strapless bras: (1) the Lace Strapless in Jet Black, (2) the Lace Strapless in Toasted Almond, and (3) the All-Day Deep V No-Wire in Midnight Navy.

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The Lace Strapless was love at first sight. It’s a beautiful bra, so I really hoped that it would be comfortable and provide ample support, and it did not disappoint. The four hook and eye closures on the back as well as the side boning ensure that the bra band does not slide around without straps, and although the cups are not padded, they have that line of gel/silicone that you usually see on the top of strapless dresses to help hold the cups up. To be honest, that line of gel/silicone didn’t do too much to hold up the cups, but the bra fit well enough that it wasn’t much of an issue. It was the most fuss-free strapless bra I’ve ever worn – I didn’t feel myself pulling the bra up much, if at all. I’m glad I bought this bra in two colors, because I see myself getting a lot of use from these. No more bra straps showing for sleeveless and/or strapless tops!

The All-Day Deep V No-Wire is great at all, though, to me, it looks and feels the same as the Mesh Trim No-Wire bra. I compared the two, and it seems that the Deep V has slightly less fabric on the cups where they are close to your cleavage – I’ll have to try this versus the Mesh Trim on a lower cut shirt to compare, but regardless, I enjoy this bra very much as well.

Lively also sells undies ($10 each or 3 for $25), bodysuits ($45 each, maternity bodysuits included!), swim ($65 for one pieces, $45 for bikini pieces), and its own fragrance ($55). I’ll be looking at the swimwear because I’ll be going on a couple of vacations later this year, but otherwise, I don’t have a need for any of these other categories, so I probably won’t be checking those out for a while.

As a final cherry on top, Lively has an amazing point system. For every 100 points, you get a $10 reward. You get a 100 point bonus for making a Lively account, then 1 point per dollar spent, but sometimes there are are double point events. I made my second purchase during such an event, so now I have over 300 points, which is $30 to spend. I’ll probably be purchasing a bikini top with that reward.

If you’re interested in checking out Lively, sign up here!

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FAVORITES | September 2017

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Another month has come and gone, and that means another favorites! This month, I share with you three beauty favorites, four fashion favorites, a movie favorite, and a TV show favorite.

  1. e.l.f. Pore Refining Face Brush and Mask Tool ($5): This tool has made masking so much easier. Honestly, I get lazy and reluctant about applying masks because if it’s a rinse-off mask, the application gets pretty messy. This fixes that problem, and so I’ve gotten better about masking regularly. I don’t care much for the pore refining brush and don’t ever see myself using it, but this product is so affordable that only having one usable side isn’t a big deal to me.
  2. YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara in Black ($32): Honestly, this isn’t anything groundbreaking for me. But I’ve had a streak of really mediocre mascaras in the last year, and this one grew on me because it actually lengthens my lashes and does hold a curl for a while. I got a deluxe size of this as part of one of those Sephora mascara sampler packs, so I didn’t know the price. Knowing it now and unable to find any information on how much product you get for $32, I’m not too keen on purchasing a full size of this.
  3. Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Blaze (0.074 oz, $5): I’ve actually had this for a while, but didn’t really bust it out until recently. This shadow, a coco bronze sprinkled with multi-dimensional glitter, is part of the Where The Light Is quad (4 shadows, $18) from Colourpop’s collaboration with KathleenLights. I’ve never been disappointed with Colourpop shadows, and I’m glad I finally put this shade to use. The bronze color keeps it very wearable for day-to-day, and the glitter adds a little extra something that keeps this from being a typical bronze. My favorite look with this shadow is a standard warm crease shade, Blaze all over the lids, applied with finger tips, and a darker matte brown smoked out in the outer edges of the eye. With whatever product I have left on my fingers, I smudge Blaze through my lower lash line.

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    This swatch doesn’t do the shadow any justice, but you can see that it’s very pigmented!
  4. Men’s Tees at Marshalls ($7.99 each): Last month, I was obsessed with digging through the men’s section of Marshalls for graphic-tee treasures. I had two favorites, both of which I’ve already worn every opportunity I get: (1) a Pulp Fiction tee, and (2) a plain white tee with a little french bulldog patch on the top left corner.
  5. Abercrombie & Fitch Lace-Trim Cami ($28): Since this was first released, I’ve kept it on my radar so I could buy it at first discount. I bought two, one in black and one in olive, for $16.80 each. They’re great as layering pieces, and I can see myself wearing these in so many different outfits. The straps are also adjustable, and the lace is so very pretty. The only concern would probably be that they’re pretty sheer, so lighter colors could be see-through.
  6. Abercrombie & Fitch Cropped Wide-Leg Pants in Black ($58): First of all, I want to say very proudly that I got these for a steal at $17.40 with a couple of discounts, and I love them already after wearing them only once. I actually wore these with the previous item, the lace-trim cami in olive, and my mules that I featured in last month’s favorites, for a laid-back yet still put together look.
  7. C9 French Terry Jogger in Light Grey ($22.99): I had never been planning to purchase these, but at the beginning of September, I traveled to Upstate New York extremely unprepared for the chillier weather. For some reason, I saw that the weather would be in the high 50s to low 60s and interpreted that as sundress-and-shorts weather. Not really sure what I was thinking, but as soon as I saw these at the local Target I grabbed them without even trying them on first. Despite being an impulsive purchase, I have enjoyed wearing these, even after coming back from my trip. They’re extremely soft and not too baggy. For a quality pair of sweats, these are at a pretty good price point. I only wish they had my size in the darker grey, since that would’ve been my color preference.
  8. Little Evil (out on Netflix): This is branded as a horror comedy, and is something of a parody of The Omen, but really, there wasn’t much horror in it besides the premise itself. Adam Scott (from Parks and Rec) plays Gary Bloom, who marries the woman of his dreams, but his stepson may be the Antichrist. Adam Scott is great in this role, but the supporting cast, specifically the group of stepdads from Gary’s support group, really make the movie. Watching this inspired me to watch the director Eli Craig’s previous movie, Dale and Tucker vs. Evil, which was also hilarious, and I’m excited to see more horror comedies from him.
  9. The Strain, season 4 (on FX): The Strain is a horror drama about vampires that are created through a virus, and a ragtag group of protagonists that come together to fight these strigoi, as vampires are known in the show. It isn’t the most well-written show out there, and I still don’t understand the showrunners’ obsession with the possible redemption of one possibly evil, psychopathic character (if you watch this show, you know who I’m talking about), but I’ve always found the world of The Strain and most of its characters worth watching. I had been slightly disappointed with season three, but the fourth and final season did not disappoint, and I really liked how the show explored the effects of a complete strigoi takeover of society. I was also satisfied with the ending to the series, as it was very fitting of the show and its characters.

What are some of your favorites this month?

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FAVORITES | August 2017

In the blink of an eye, it’s already September, and we’re heading into Labor Day weekend and the end of summer. With that in mind, I thought it’d be nice to start a favorites series before summer comes to a complete end.

These posts will primarily be on beauty favorites, but if I have any fashion or other lifestyle favorites, I will include those as well. For this month, I have a fashion love that isn’t included in the post image – continue reading to see what it is! 🙂

  1. LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25): My friend recommended this to me, and I am so glad I picked it up. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing, and very easy to use. I usually put this on in place of my nighttime moisturizer, and when I do, I wake up the next morning with soft, dewy skin. It’s also pretty good value for the price – you get a hefty jar of it, and the packaging neither looks nor feels cheap. There’s also a spatula that you can use to scoop out the product.
  2. Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Face Palette Pretty Cheeky (0.38 oz, $19.99 – currently $16.98): As soon as I saw KathleenLights recommend this on Youtube, I went ahead and purchased it. Despite being a drugstore product, the quality of the packaging is good, and the design on the compact is very cute. The formulas for the bronzer, blush, and highlighter are all amazing – if you swatch any of them with your finger, you’ll find that they’re almost creamy in texture. They’re also super pigmented, so make sure you go in with a light hand, especially if you’re more fair-skinned, since these colors are definitely more targeted for medium skin tones. There is quite a bit of fall out when you dip your brush in, but that’s not too much of an issue for me because they apply so nicely to my face.
  3. Kevin Aucoin The Eyelash Curler ($21): My previous eyelash curler from Trish McEvoy was great, but it was old and no longer curling my lashes. I decided I wanted to try a new one, and this one had decent reviews on Sephora. It definitely didn’t disappoint – it curls my lashes nicely and fits the shape of my eye well.
  4. Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum ($58 for 1.7 fl oz, or $77 for 2.5 fl oz): I have a whole review of this here. I love how this makes my skin feel and plan to purchase a full-size version when I have used up more of my current skincare inventory.
  5. Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser (6 fl oz, $18): I’ve had this for a while and had been using it solely as a makeup remover. It did the job, but I never particularly enjoyed using it. Recently, I decided to try using it as a face wash instead, and I love using it as a face wash so much more than I ever did using it as a makeup remover. I use it as a morning cleanser now, and it leaves my skin clean and refreshed without stripping it of moisture. Unfortunately, I’m almost near the end of my bottle, so I won’t be getting back to it for a while.
  6. Glossier Priming Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, $22): I bought this a while ago when Glossier was first getting big, and I have to say I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary as a primer, which was how I used it. In hindsight, it’s probably because my skin is normal/combination/oily, so additional moisture isn’t really what I need in a primer. In a recent effort to finish products before they expire, I started using this as a moisturizer in the morning, and it’s amazing. It gives just the right amount of moisture and dewiness to my face. With the rediscovery and newfound love for this and the Milk Jelly Cleanser, I’m excited to get my hands on more Glossier products.
  7. The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel (25.3 fl oz, $20): I love The Body Shop’s shower gels, and they’re pretty affordable since there are sales so often. I got this particular one when Amazon had a deal on these for around $11, but The Body Shop often has “buy x amount, get x amount free” deals where you can get them for even less. I had to give a shout out to the Pink Grapefruit in this post because this scent is stronger than any of the other scents I’ve used, so every time I shower, my whole bathroom smells nice and fresh.
  8. The Gemma Mule in Leather in English Saddle ($98): I love these. I purchased them last month as a birthday present to myself when Madewell offered me $25 off my purchase. I hate wearing socks, so I’ve been trying to find a good pair of work shoes that don’t require socks. These are extremely comfortable, and I can walk a long time in them. The leather started off a bit stiffer and rubbed at certain parts of my foot the wrong way, but as I wear them more that’s become less of an issue.

What were your favorites this past month? Let me know in the comments section below!

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HAUL | Nordstrom Anniverary Sale 2017

I hadn’t been planning on getting anything during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year, but a few deals caught my eye that were so good I couldn’t resist. Here’s what I purchased:

  1. Fresh Sugar Lip Romance Set ($26, $38 value): This set includes a full-size (0.15 oz, $26) Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy and a half-size (0.07 oz, $12) Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15. Fresh has one of my favorite lip balm formulations ever (with SPF included!), and I’ve always wanted to try the Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy, so this one was a no-brainer.
  2. Living Proof Perfect hair Day Collection ($75, $130 value – SOLD OUT 😦 ): This set includes 24 fl oz bottles with pumps of both the shampoo and conditioner ($59 each) and a travel size (1.8 oz, $12) dry shampoo. My friend had gifted me a trial set of these products last year for Christmas, and I loved all of the products. The dry shampoo is probably the best I’ve ever used, and the shampoo and conditioner left my hair feeling clean and moisturized. I hadn’t ever planned on purchasing full-size bottles of the shampoo and conditioner because I don’t like spending a lot on shampoo/conditioner, but with this deal I decided to splurge. Plus, at $75, this set is almost 50% off what you would pay for the three items if you purchased them separately.
  3. beautyblender® air.port.pro Makeup Sponge Applicator & Large Cosmetics Bag Set ($35, $66 value – SOLD OUT 😦 ): Two beauty blenders, a solid sponge cleanser, and a large cosmetics bag, all for $35? This was another no-brainer, and a lot of people definitely shared my thoughts, as this is now sold out. Beauty blenders retail for $20 each and the sponge cleanser retails for $16.
  4. Band of Gypsies Faux Wrap Maxi Dress in Wine/Teal/Rust ($35.90, $55 after sale ends): I’ve been really wanting a wrap style maxi dress in a cute print, and this did not disappoint. It’s so flowy and romantic, and the different print at the very bottom of the dress was a nice touch. It also has a high-low skirt which I always think is extra flattering. I’m already thinking of occasions when I can bust out this dress to wear!

The sale ends Sunday, August 6, so get on it before it’s over! What did you all buy during the sale? 🙂

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