January 30, 2014

January Favorites

Today I'm going to share some of the things I've been especially loving during the month of January. Between Christmas and my shopping addiction, I've got a pretty great group to tell you about. I hope you enjoy!

Dolce and Gabbana Square Lace Sunglasses- I got these for an insane steal at Sak's Fifth Avenue Off 5th a few days after Christmas. They retail for $300, which is beyond ridiculous, but were priced at $130 and an additional 30% off that. I had been wanting new sunglasses for a long time with a slight cat eye and I absolutely love the leopard print around the eye with a lace print on the sides of these. I found the leopard print pair online here at Piperlime.com, but they're sold out of the lace side ones. However, I'd recommend checking Sak's if you have one near you, because you may be able to find them for a better price. 

Studio 35 Beauty Nail Polish Remover- Have I been living under a rock? Why haven't I tried one of these nail polish removers with a pump dispenser before? I can tell you one thing, I'll be buying this from now on, it make removing nail polish so much easier! I know you're probably thinking "it has a pump, big deal" and had I read someone raving about this before trying it, I'd be thinking the same thing, but give it a try and tell me you don't love it! I can't tell you how annoying I think it is when I used the traditional version of this and poured it onto a cotton ball, totally soaking it and it just making a big acetone mess. No more, my friends. I bought this baby at Walgreens for about $2.

Swissco Beauty Blending Sponge-  Remind you of anyone? Maybe the $20 Beauty Blender? I've wanted to try the Beauty Blender forever, but at $20 for a sponge, I'm sorry, no. I've researched dupes online and everything I came across had awful reviews, but I knew if I waited long enough someone would come out with something comparable, and I'm so glad I did. I saw this little gem at TJ Maxx for $5 and passed on it at first. Later that evening I saw Casey, a beauty vlogger on YouTube who I love, make a video on this exact sponge. You can watch her rave review here . Needless to say, I went back the next day, bought it and LOVE it. It applies my foundation better than anything I've ever tried. I have really dry skin and I read once somewhere that sponges work best for dry skin because you should be pressing the foundation into your skin rather than buffing with a brush which actually exfoliates and brushes up your dry skin, makes such sense. Sadly, I can't find this exact sponge online or in store anywhere now! However, Casey to the rescue, she also did a review of the Real Techniques sponge, you can watch it here and I will most definitely` be trying that next. 

Holiday Gems Lip Gloss-  This is such a silly little favorite, but it's awesome! My mom put this in my stocking for Christmas, and I seriously love it.  I think it was one of Ulta's Christmas products, but Clinique makes a similar and affordable version here . It's just nice to always have something to moisturize my lips with at all times.

Real Techniques Blush Brush-  I've never really understood the hype around makeup brushes. I mean a brush is a brush, it's all about the quality of the makeup, right? Wrong. I got this brush for Christmas and it has changed my blush life.  It applies the perfect amount of product and in such a natural way. I have so many blushed I've bought on recommendation and they just sit in my makeup collection because they always looked horrible on me. After receiving and using this brush, every single one of them apply better. You can find it here.

Real Techniques Accent Brush-  Obviously I love these brushes! This one is so tiny and perfect for highlighting the inner corner of your eye. There isn't really much to say about it, it's just incredibly soft and get the job done. I got this in a set, and don't think you can buy it separately, but at $17.99 for 5 brushes, you can't really go wrong and I really like each of the brushes. You can find the set here .

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation- I got this mini sample in an Ipsy bag during the summer and it was slightly too light for me, but now that I'm transparent, less tan it matches great.  I love how natural this foundation looks. It really doesn't look like I'm wearing any makeup at all, and it gives the nicest glow; I do not like matte foundation.  I usually favor drugstore foundations, because there are really great affordable options, but I'm highly considering buying this in a full size. You can find it at Ulta here.

Gap hat-  I don't even know what to call this kind of hat, it's basically a fancy baseball hat? I got it from Gap years and years ago and aside from being insanely itchy against my forehead after a few hours of wear, I love it.  I love hats in general, they're a really easy way to kick even your most basic outfit up a notch. This one is really similar, and I'm really wanting one like this .

Monogram Coasters- I also got these for Christmas and they're completely my style. i love that they're a heavy sandstone and just look really classy as opposed to some other coasters. You can find them at Bed Bath and Beyond here

January 22, 2014

Don't Buy, DIY!

I'm back again today with another home decor post! Lately I have really been into embellished pillows, I love how they add a little touch of glamour to a room.  Have any of you ever looked at buying one of these things? They can be incredibly expensive! I like to invest my money into things that are timeless and I'll have forever, or really special and unique pieces, not bedazzled pillows.  I hope you all enjoy this massively simple DIY!

The Inspiration:

My take:

Okay, so this DIY is insanely easy, and really needs no explanation, but I will explain anyway. First I picked up 3 packs of sparkled stones at Michael's  and some glue sticks, I already had the pillow and hot glue gun at home. Once I began gluing on the stones I quickly realized I'd need more, so I went back out and purchased two more packs of the smaller colored stones and 1 pack of the larger diamond stones. If you decide to recreate this, I'd suggest buying more stones than you think you need, you can always return what you don't use.  My favorite part of this "project" is how customizable it is, you can literally tailor this to any color scheme depending on the pillow and embellishments you choose!

All in all, I spent $12.44 on 6 packs of stones and a pack of glue sticks for my embellished pillow, I'd say that's pretty great in comparison to the pillows above, 3 of which are more than $100!  If you need to buy a glue gun, I know Michael's has them for about $5 and I'd look for a pillow at stores like Walmart or TJ Maxx.

What do you think of my recreation? If you try this be sure to come back and share it with me, I'd love to see!

January 21, 2014

On My Radar: New Apartment Wishlist

In a little less than one month I'll be moving...yet again. I've moved four times in the past five years, and once a year for the past three years, so to say I'm extremely over moving would be the understatement of the century.  I loathe everything about moving, my last move was especially brutal. Naturally with each move you accumulate more junk to cart from place and let me tell you, moving from third story to third story is no walk in the park. This is especially true when the "movers" who so graciously offered to help were my mom and sister. We're all 5'2" and "possessing powerful arm strength" isn't how anyone in the history of ever would describe us. I always joke that we look like Gus Gus from Cinderella when he's carrying cheese up to his mouth, and it's exactly how we looked waddling around, boxes to our heads.

But, however, I'll admit there is a good feeling when I open my brand spanking new apartment, free of soon-to-be clutter and food wine stains; it's a blank canvas, ready to be styled.  Below are some items I'm keeping in mind to add to my new space. As you will see, I'm all about neutrals, metallics and slightly quirky pieces.

1. This clock looks like it was pulled straight from the White Rabbit's house in Alice and Wonderland. I love it's whimsical feel, while still managing to be sleek and modern. 

2. I love the pattern on this rug and how affordable it is, a 4' x 6' is only $43!

3. I've been in need of a full body mirror for quite some time, mine is completely falling apart (stay tuned, I have a unique DIY coming up with it!) and I absolutely love the pearled studding this has on it.

4. The only means of natural light my living room has a my new place, is the sliding glass door, there aren't any other windows.  To keep the place from feeling too closed in and cavernous, I'm going to be relying on a lot of mirrors to open up the space.  These won't make the place feel like Buckingham Palace, but they'll reflect some light and be an interesting wall piece.

5. Probably the thing I am most wanting to get my hands on is an ottoman. I love everything about this one ! The size is perfect for my living room and will allow for functionality without being too overpowering.

What are some of your favorite home decor stores?

January 15, 2014

Review: Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser

I heard about this product about a 2 months ago when it was still only available overseas and was so incredibly anxious to get my hands on it.  I wouldn't say large pores is my biggest problem area, but they're definitely visible, at least to me.  The biggest name in the pore erasing game is undoubtedly Benefit's Porefessional, but at $30, I have never been ready to take that plunge.  I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to makeup claims, especially when it comes to products that are supposed to reverse, or in this case "erase", things.

According to the package, it is an "instant pore eraser".  Now I still have pores, and my skin isn't baby smooth, but it definitely did make my pores less noticeable under my makeup. The package also says you can wear this product alone or under makeup, and on me, I can't tell much of a difference without makeup on, as it does fill pores, but since the product is clear, it doesn't mask anything.

If you don't like silicone primers, you probably won't like this, because it's the same consistency as the Smashbox Photo Finish, but it does leave a nice silky, smooth feeling on the skin. I have noticed I like the effect of this product the best when I rub it onto my skin and then press it in.  I haven't ever tried Benefit's Porefessional, so I can't comment on the claims that this is a dupe for that, however this is a decent product in itself. 

Overall, I give this product a B+.  It isn't a holy grail, and I won't rush to buy back ups, but I can tell a difference when wearing it and would definitely repurchase it if my drugstore had a sale on Maybelline. If large pores are a problem for you, I'd recommend giving this a try, at around $6, you can't really go wrong and I know at my Rite Aide, Ulta and Walmart, I can return beauty products that I tested and didn't like. 

Have you tried this product or Benefit Porefessional? If so, what are your thoughts? Is Porefessional worth the $30 price tag?

January 13, 2014

Sweater Weather

I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret website I've been selfishly keeping to myself called Heavenly Couture. I had never heard of this website which sells clothing, shoes and accessories similarly to Forever 21 when I stumbled across it last Spring and I am so glad I did! The clothing style, as I said, is really similar to what you'd find at Forever 21, but everything on the site is $16, and their shipping is super fast! When I first found the website I was looking for an orange dress to wear to a Clemson football game, and since I usually don't wear them but once a season, I wanted something that wasn't too expensive. While browsing the site I noticed there were definitely some pieces that...well, just aren't my style, to say the least, and I worried with the low uniform price tag if the quality would reflect that, but much to my surprise, everything I have ordered from them has been exceptional quality! The dress I ordered feel much more expensive than you would expect a $16 dress to feel like, and is even lined. Same goes for the boots I ordered, I've had them for about 6 months now, have worn them a ton and they don't show any sign of wear; I get complimented on them every single time I wear them. Sadly, those two items are no longer available online, but this sweater however, is!

Upon first glance, it just looks like a cute black sweater with some beading around the neck (which I love by the way, built in necklace!) I thought the material looked nice, kind of similar to a waffle knit thermal, so it would probably be comfortable. Then, my mouth dropped and it was a done deal, this sweater would be mine. 
I like this sweater enough to post a picture of my big rear end for all the world to see

Split open back!? Yes, please! If you know me, you know I love me an open back shirt, there's just something so sexy about them, without being too much. I love the fact that this is a split open back sweater, I think it's just so unexpected. As with my previous experiences with this company's clothing, this sweater is amazing quality as well.  It's thick and warm, the material is really soft and super comfortable.  The beading seems pretty secure too, although I will probably dry clean this just to be on the safe side; I'd be heartbroken if I ruined it!

Now onto the rest of the details...

Jeggings- American Eagle // Sweater- Heavenly Couture // 
Shoes- really old from Target, love these and these

I've only bought the three things from the website, so I obviously can't speak for the quality on everything, but I have been blown away by the experiences I've had, and definitely think it's way better than anything you'll find at stores like Forever 21, and for significantly less (this sweater was $22, shipped). 

I highly recommend this website, and no this is not a sponsored post (I've been blogging for a month people) I'm just that excited over these clothes. To each their own. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

January 6, 2014

Mixing Prints

Mixing prints & patterns is a look I really love, but haven't practiced doing much myself.  There is a very thin line between looking incredibly chic and looking incredibly ridiculous.  I find that leopard is a great print to start out with, it basically goes with anything.  I decided to pair these leopard print high top tennis shoes that I got from Aldo a few years back with this black and white houndstooth skirt from Forever 21.  And while I adore the look of two bold patterns directly on top of one another such as a skirt and blouse, it can be very intimidating when you're first experimenting with pattern mixing.  If you're like me, and just easing into this trend, I've found the easiest way to get started is by keeping the two different prints away from one another.  For example pairing a striped scarf with floral shorts in complimentary colors, mixing the pattern on shoes with the one on your top, or as I did, my shoes with my skirt.
 solid black tank- Forever 21 // chunky infinity scarf- Old Navy similar (if shipping time isn't an issue, Etsy had a ton of options as well) // houndstooth skirt- old, Forever 21 similar // leopard high tops  - Aldo similar

 What are your thoughts on mixing prints? Is it too much? For me, it's all about trial and error, I mix and match a few different times before landing upon something I like.


sweater- old from my mom//  shorts- Forever 21, old. Love these // knee high socks- Hue similar //
wedge booties- old, love these & these

Truthfully, I'm not much of a traditional sweater gal. I much prefer thinner, long sleeved "sweater" tunics as opposed to a thick and constricting sweater.  This is an old Ralph Lauren sweater that my mom used to wear years ago and I love it! It's thick, but because it's slightly oversized it's super comfortable.  I usually wear it with black leggings (surprise, surprise) or really dark skinny jeans & some leopard flats, but felt like throwing a different spin on things with these knee high socks and wedge booties.  I got these satin shorts from Forever 21 and didn't realize how much I would end up wearing them.  Because of the material, they're a really simple way to make any basic top look more dressy.  

January 3, 2014

New Year's Eve OOTN

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve & New Year! I'm a big fan of New Year's Day, I love the feeling of a fresh start, although you won't find any resolutions around these parts.  I generally view my New Year's as a good point at which to try to do more of, less of, etc. I just don't like the idea of setting a list of goals that have to be completed in a year. I know I can't be alone in that, right? Now, while I love New Year's Day, I am so not a fan of New Year's Eve.  I think I got excited for my first New Year's Eve as a 21 year old and then pretty much was happy to sit them out, save a little lot of money, and not feel terrible the next day.. This year, however, my boyfriend and I met a couple of friends for a low key night in one of my favorite Charlotte neighborhoods, NoDa. I've spoken of my love for this area before, it's very laid back, the bar we went to had two skee ball and racing video game, for crying out loud, and I did my New Years champagne toast at a pizza restaurant in which our group and the 2 bartenders were the only occupants. It was a really fun time, and if I'm going out at all, this is definitely my kind of celebration.

I decided to keep my outfit really low key, as far as NYE goes, and wore black jeggings, a sheer color block top from Target, black vest also from Target (that I got on clearance for $13!) and booties, also from Target. 

black jeggings- TJ Maxx (ignore the white fuzz on my thigh, sexy)// color block top- Target, old // 
vest- Target, here (check your local store, mine was on clearance) booties- Target here

How do you like to spend New Year's Eve? Am I the only one who like to ring in the New Year on the couch in pajamas?

January 2, 2014

Pantone Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

Pantone announced at the beginning of December that the color of the year for 2014 was Radiant Orchid. First of all, Radiant Orchid, that's quite the descriptive color, second of all I'm having mixed feelings about this choice as I don't own a lot of purple orchid colored clothing, and certainly not of the radiant variety.  I guess however Radiant Orchid is better than 2006's color, Sand Dollar, a (you guessed it!) sandy beige color.  Now I love a neutral color more than a lot of things, but you're picking the color of the year and you go with sand? The color choice was supposed to signify the concern about the economy, along with a bunch of other stuff I'm sure, but how about giving us Gold Nugget (completely made up), or something we can aspire to, versus Sand Dollar. 2006 got gypped, just saying. Anyway, back to the present, I really do like Radiant Orchid and have created a sort of mood board for inspiration on how to incorporate it throughout the year, or in the case of the purple chair, how I wish I could incorporate it should I ever find myself with an extra $230 laying around and not a thing to spend it on other than a transparent purple chair.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

What are your thoughts on the color for 2014?