I Stole These Jeans

But not actually 🙂

Family, friends, strangers… I have officially outdone myself in bargain shopping. I literally don’t think it’s possible to have a victory better than this, at least for me.

I present to you my new baby… Hudson Jeans, found at Ross for $16.99

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

witchcraft, I tell ya! 

Less than 1/10th the retail price for these jeans! Making them cost less than even some Forever21 jeans! 

I feel like I just won the lottery! 

 

Flaws: button missing from back pocket, some tearing on hem. But seriously, I do not care! Especially because I was on the market for new jeans and had been specifically looking for Hudson jeans. Not to mention I rarely shop (or find anything) at Ross, but lo and behold a true Ross gem.

2014 Makeup Haul

I’m back! With a haul 🙂

With Christmas money burning a little hole in my pocket, I placed an order from ELF (eyeslipsface.com) and made a quick stop by my local Ulta store. None of these products are new, but they are all new to me!

I love ELF products and have been buying their stuff for years, maybe since 2005/2006, way back when they only had the Essentials line and everything was $1. I’ve never had a problem with ordering from them – until now. My order was missing 5 items out of 13, and I was charged for all of them. I was not happy, so I immediately emailed their customer service with my order number and a list of all of the missing items. Two days later, I received an email saying they were sending me the items immediately. So I’m still waiting on those, but for now I’ll show you what I’ve got!

Maybelline Baby Skin, $5.99+tax at ULTA

Image

 

This stuff is AMAZING. I don’t have enormous pores, but my boyfriend’s are on the bigger side (sorry!) so I tried it on him. They really really reduced the size. It has a slippery/silicon-y feel to it that reminds me of Smashbox’s primer. I haven’t tried it with foundation over top yet, so I don’t know about pilling or peeling, but I have high hopes for this bad boy.

ULTA Extreme Wear matte finish mousse blush, nude glow $8.00+tax at ULTA

Image

Image

 

okay, as you can see this isn’t a matte finish – it clearly has shimmers in it. It isn’t bad, but I was expecting matte, so I’m a little disappointed. I was expecting more along the lines of a Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee. Instead these remind me of a Maybelline Dream Whipped Mousse blush. Not a bad thing – just not what I expected from the description.

NYX Butter Gloss, Tiramisu, $4.99+Tax at ULTA

 

 

Image

Image

 

I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about these, but I totally bought into the hype. I bought the shade Tiramisu, which is a gorgeous nude-pink shade. The consistency of this is beautiful – totally a lip product I can see myself wearing everyday due to the color and texture. LOVE. 

NYX Glossy Black Liner $5.99+Tax at ULTA

ImageImage

This liner has a beautiful consistency – it’s smooth and shiny like a liquid liner, but sets like a pencil liner. It is perfect for tightlining and getting in close to the lash line with its small tip and silky formula. 

NYX Round Case Lipstick, Strawberry Milk, $3.99+tax at ULTA

Image

 

I think this shade is going to be pretty hit-or-miss, and it will depend a lot on whether I wear a gloss over the top or not. However, in the tube it really attracted me. The formula seems really creamy and nice, so I think it will be ok for occasions that I choose to wear lipstick for. 

Image

 

 

Now for ELF products… I haven’t totally reviewed these yet because I have been waiting patiently for the rest of my package to arrive. Any day now.

ELF Studio Fluffy Concealer Brush, $3

Image

 

Blends really well, hasn’t shed yet, quite soft which is ideal for use around the eyes.

 

ELF Studio HD Lifting Concealer, $3 each, in Balancing and Brightening.

ImageImage

 

Balancing appeared to be a lavender color, but it is actually white with a slight lavender undertone. Regardless, it is quite flattering as a highlight color for under my eyes and down the bridge of my nose. I love it. The brightening shade shade is similar in that it is quite pale with a yellow undertone. I like it for covering these little red spots I’ve been getting, or scars on my face which are red. The formula is very creamy and I enjoy this product a lot.

ELF Studio Contouring and Blush and Bronzer Powder, Turks and Caicos, $3

Image

I really like these colors – but they are SO shimmery. You really need a light touch and fluffy brush to not end up looking like a disco ball. The bronzer is darker than the shade in the original colors (St. Lucia?? I think) and comes off as very dark, so a light touch is best. The blush is a nice warm golden-taupe color. I like using it on my cheekbones as it is so shimmery. The bronzer works well on the high points of the face, like the cheekbones, temples, and forehead, as it is so shimmery. I wouldn’t recommend this product for contouring, but it is nice when used sparingly. I really like that ELF is expanding on this product, I just wish they would make these colors in the cream formula, as those are matte, which I prefer.

ELF pigment eyeshadow, naturally nude, $3

Image

 

Okkkkkkkay, HUGE difference between the color of the product and the color online. I was expecting this to be a light champagne color, which it isn’t. It is a golden bronze color. Ah well, I will adapt. But I haven’t had an occasion to wear it yet.

ELF Studio Single Eyeshadow, Raspberry Truffle and Pebble, $3

Image

Image

So far, so good on these. I like the colors, they are a little powdery (meaning lots of fallout) but for the price, it’s not bad. They are a good size and nice texture.

Dear Retailers

Dear retailers,

It is the end of June, and I am forced to face the task of buying a new bathing suit. Why must you make it so hard?

Seriously, why must you include “push-up” padding in size XL bathing suit tops? Do you really think that if I am buying a size XL top, that I really want to enhance my already-big chest? Because news flash: I am not. I wear a size medium in shirts, and I buy XL bathing suit tops to look decently modest: I really do not want to look like I am running around the pool in a brightly-colored, bedazzled push up bra.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

Secret Outlast Clear Gel Review

Image

Hey guys!

I have another influenster-sponsored post today. In the spring VoxBox I received a full-size antiperspirant/deodorant, and let me just say, I LOVE THIS. Like seriously, in love.

I don’t tend to go for gel formulas – I find them to be too sticky, and take forever to dry before I want to get dressed. Not this one. The scent, “completely clean”, is perfect for me, as it smells fresh. No more pit stains! And I’m even back in hot, humid Boston, so this has really been put to the test.

It is a little chilly upon application, but that hasn’t been a problem for me with this hot weather. It’s actually pretty refreshing, and not to mention awakening!

This is also good for keeping the underarm area clear – and I will expand – but just giving a TMI warning :). Before I received this VoxBox, I had been using a different antiperspirant/deodorant, one that was made to be clinical and prevent sweating, and will remain unnamed. It was white, which was fine with me as I usually put my deodorant on a few minutes before I get dressed. Well, a few days after using it, I had this painful LUMP under my armpit, which at first I thought was just an ingrown hair. After days of hot salt compresses, it finally popped, and OMG – the junk that came out of it was the deodorant. A massive amount of it from one pea-size lump. Yeah, no thanks. All set.

Thankfully, that doesn’t happen with the Secret Outlast formula. It is clean, fresh smelling, and doesn’t even cause white marks. Can’t beat that! I will TOTALLY buy more of this when I run out, and now I am a believer in the gel formula. At least for hot summer 🙂

NYC Applelicious Big Apple Red – Review

Image

Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary from Influenster in a VoxBox for review purposes.

 

Image

I was really excited when I saw this lip product in my VoxBox. I tend to like NYC products because they are cheap, and more accessible to me than brands such as ELF. They are good for a nice little “pick me up” or as a way to experiment with colors you might not normally try without a big financial risk. I’m glad to see that they have upgraded their products somewhat.

First Impressions: This product looked to me like all of those lipsticks that were in a few years ago with the “hydrating inner core”. It is labeled as a “glossy lip balm”.

Be forewarned: this thing smells. Maybe I got a bad product, but it smells like melted plastic with a hint of artificial fruit- not very pleasant.

It is also more pigmented than I was expecting. It is definitely a sheer red. I wouldn’t say it is a lipstick but it is definitely more than a balm – more a tinted balm or a stain. This was a little bit shocking for me because I wasn’t expecting it to turn out so bright – but it is definitely red. I am not really a fan of bright colors on my own lips, so it was a little startling, although the color itself is nice.

Overall: Retailing for just $2.79 a pop, I think they’re a worthwhile treat for yourself or a way to get comfortable wearing light color, granted that you don’t have an overly sensitive nose (or hopefully that I just got a particularly smelly product). I wish I had been sent a different color that is a little bit more to my taste, something more neutral, but perhaps I will have to go pick one up the next time I am at the drugstore!

Making the Cut

Hello, friends! It has been awhile since I’ve posted on here, for which I apologize. Life got crazy, but I am back and ready to write 🙂

I want to talk haircuts. I am having mine cut, and I mean REALLY cut, for the first time in over a year. Sure, I’ve had trims and such, but I want to make a chop. My hair has just gotten out of control since I’ve dyed it more often than I usually do ( I got tired of the brown and put blonde highlights back in), and it actually tangles now, which I haven’t seen since elementary school! I’ve been feeling like a bob, although i know it will be a lot more work to style it than I generally put into my hair now, so that I don’t get the dreaded triangle hair. Image

I’m planning to bring these photos into the salon for a little inspiration.

ImageImageImageImage

Have you ever made a drastic cut? How did it work out for you?

On a More Serious Note

This post has nothing to do with beauty, cosmetics, the latest fashions, who’s wearing what, etc. While that’s fun and good and the point of this blog, I’d really like to take this opportunity to write about what’s been on my mind in the last few weeks, and is on my mind as we start approaching the holidays.

In the past week this blog has gotten more followers than in any other week-long period of the just over a year that I have been writing. I’ve had more time to post, and generally, I actually feel like I’ve caught some footing on here. So I want to say a huge thanks for that! I started this blog as sort of an outlet for myself. I honestly still get shocked when another blogger ‘likes’ something that I write.

I love the holidays. I always have, and I always will. In classic Stephanie manner, I use it as an excuse to go scope out Sephora while I’m buying gifts for my sister. (Who always steals the makeup I buy for myself, but barely touches the stuff I buy for her. Even if it’s identical. I know. Sisters…)

However, this winter I have had a very special task at my job over break that I absolutely cherish. There is an agency called The Home for Little Wanderers, which provides services for children and families in need. Each winter, they publish a wishlist, where kids who are using the agency can ask for holiday gifts, and individuals can choose to buy that gift for the child. The children sometimes share part of their stories through the wishlist, and the donors (hopefully) make the child’s wishes come true. My job has been to go through the wishlist and, using a budget, purchase gifts for some of the children on behalf of the company I work for.

I went into this task with the wrong attitude. “Yeah, I’m getting paid to shop! Woohoo!”

I’ve spent eight hours this week reading through the stories, and have had my heart broken with each one that I read. The effects of parental terminal illness, domestic violence, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy are absolutely devastating. I’ve seen the effects of these obstacles in my own family, as a relative of mine is involved in the Foster Care system. Unfortunately, adoption doesn’t always solve problems for the kids in Foster Care, as my family had to learn the hard way.

12 year old boys and girls should be asking for skateboards and dolls, not gift certificates to the grocery store so that they can purchase food for the holidays for their families. Obviously poverty is not an issue that is going anywhere, but I strongly believe that the children are the future, and even if the gifts my company is giving only make one kid’s holiday, then damn it, we made an impact on ONE kid, and that’s better then not having any impact at all.

This holiday season, I encourage you to give your kids (or nieces, or cousins) a hug and just tell them how much you love them. I think the holiday seasons really come to down to love, and even if you’re barely making ends meet, if you can make your kids feel safe and protected and loved, you are a special kind of person. Because unfortunately, there are not enough parents who are willing to protect the innocent babies that they bring into this world. And that, to me, is the biggest crime.

 

 

 

Dreaming of Food

Because I had my wisdom teeth taken out. I guess all my wisdom has been lost. 🙂

"I feel pretty...oh so pretty"

“I feel pretty…oh so pretty”

 

I haven’t been able to touch my face for five days because it’s been extremely swollen and tender, (also, I probably shouldn’t be near anything remotely pointed while on Vicodin) which means I’ve been makeup free since Thursday. Luckily, I haven’t left my house!!

Which also means I’ve been trolling Pinterest… salivating… and I also realized that my food board is the biggest one yet. Shocker. As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for the dough for my English muffin bread to rise. Thanks, Jillee! My little brother requested that I make it, as I discovered the recipe this summer and got him hooked. Seriously, if you’re a carb lover, TRY IT! It is so, sooooooo good. I’m looking forward to actually being able to eat something that will feel like real food in my stomach… please please no more soup.

 

Which got me thinking about what to bake for the holidays. And for, you know, everyday. Weight loss, schmeit loss.

Like this recipe for pretzel crusted brownies. COME ON!! Why didn’t I ever think of that!? It’s genius!!

Or this recipe for Arancini! Yummy!!

 

What are some of the foods you make for the holidays?

 

 

Time for a Change

Hi!
I’ve been thinking for awhile now that it’s time to make a change to my hair. I’m getting sick of the upkeep of blonde highlights, and I also am seriously bored with my hair!

Tomorrow I have an appointment, and I’m gonna be going some shade of brown!! Here are the photos I’m going to bring in to the salon for some inspiration:

 

I did my best to choose photos of women whose coloring is otherwise similar to mine. I’m really loving Jessica Biel’s color – hopefully that’s how mine will turn out. Sort of a warm, golden brown, with a rich enough base to make her eyes pop!

I’ll post pictures tomorrow after the salon!

 

Have any of you ever made a drastic hair change? What made you decide to go through with it? Do you have any regrets?