Girl, Interrupted

Hello lovelies! I’m sorry for my absence in the blogging realm as of late. I have been severely lacking inspiration for posts…especially fashion-related posts. I have plenty of beauty-related ideas, but I miss my roots as a fashion blogger. I … Continue reading

September Subscriptions: Ipsy, Sunset 45, & Vegan Cuts

Ipsy: Street Style

IMG_9622This is my very first Ipsy bag, and I have to admit, my first impression was not great. It took SO long for it to get here. My friends were excitedly posting about their bags the week before I even got a shipping notification for mine. When I saw the sparkly pink packaging at my doorstep on Saturday, I was elated it was finally here! But the bag inside looked rough. As you can see from the picture, it was a mess. There were dents and tears in the fabric of the studded bag, and creases all over the place. Not a great first impression of such a raved-about beauty subscription.

Anyways, let’s move on to the contents of the bag–AWESOME! I received:

  • Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick in Make A Mauve – this is my favorite item in the box so far; I was worried the color was going to be too dark, but one brush of the stick on my cheek and a little rubbing does wonders for adding color! My cheeks look flushed without it looking clown-like, and I found it lasts much longer than traditional powdered blushes.
  • Nourish Organic Mositurizing Cream Face Cleanser – this is a gel-type cleanser that gently foams as you rub it into your skin. The smell is alright, but it leaves skin feeling soft and clean, and the sample size should last me a longggg time.
  • Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish in Red Red Wine – this color goes on a beautiful blood-red color, that looks different to me in various light settings. Although it goes on smoothly, two coats is needed to evenly distribute the color. Did I mention it’s vegan-friendly?! Yes!
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask – this conditioning mask was nothing special. I put it on my hair after shampooing with my Redken, and left it on for about 4 minutes. I didn’t feel it conditions nearly as much as a regular conditioner, as my hair was really knotted and difficult to brush through (and pulled out a lot of hair) while styling.
  • Be A Bombshell Smooth Criminal Powder – have not sampled yet.

Sunset 45: Classic Lines

sunset45-2

I was pretty happy with my Sunset 45 box this month, though I’m still not sure it’s worth $35. I am having a hard time actually cancelling because I like most of what they send me, I just don’t think it’s always worth $35…decisions, decisions. September’s theme was “Classic Lines:”

  • Gold bar necklace – this necklace is my favorite piece in the box. It’s simple and understated, the perfect piece to add when you’re going for classic luxury.
  • Gold bangles – I’m kind of “meh” about bangles, because they are usually too uncomfortable for me to wear all day. They usually don’t stay on my wrists very well, and the constant jangling of them going up and down when I move my arm drives me crazy. I do like that these are a bit thicker than other bangles I’ve tried, so you can wear one or all 7!
  • Absolute New York Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black – this liner is fantastic. Because it’s gel, it glides so effortlessly across the skin, but be sure to let it dry before testing its waterproof capabilities. Gels can smudge easily when first applied.
  • Absolute New York Nail Art Paint in Black and White – have not experimented with these yet, but I like the long skinny tubes. Feels more luxurious that way πŸ˜‰
  • Gold crystal-chain necklace – this necklace is pretty long so you can wear it as is, or double it up!

Vegan Cuts: End of Summer Snacking

IMG_1814This is my second experience with a food box subscription, and my first time with Vegan Cuts.Β  This box included a bunch of warm-weather treats:

  • Somersault Snack Co. nut-free sunflower nuggets
  • Snikiddy vegetable chips
  • UB Super meal replacement powder (shake)
  • Surf Sweets organic watermelon ring candies – yum! Just like the ones in the gas station, but organic!
  • Ziggy Marley Organics sea salt and pepper hemp seeds – what does a hemp seed taste like?
  • Chic-a-Peas falafel chickpeas – sadly not as good as I hoped, and I’m a falafel junkie.
  • Smooze ice pop – I love these pops. I got on in my Love With Food box and it was so delicious! I don’t know if I liked this flavor as much, but the brand is definitely worth checking out!
  • Pur-Absorb Iron water packets – I am afraid to try these, haha. Just like multivitamins, I can’t stomach iron-laced items, because I think iron tastes like blood. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but surely there is someone out there that has had a bloody nose and knows what I mean! Blegh!
  • Neat meat-replacement mix – I was very skeptical. You just add eggs and water and cook it on a stove-top like you would ground beef (which I’ve never done in my life…even when I wasn’t a vegetarian). But. it. was. DELICIOUS. We made it with tacos. I can’t stand vegetarian products that taste too much like meat (like veggie “sausage” patties) because it freaks me out, but this had all the zesty flavoring of a taco mix with just some vegetable protein holding it together. It was so good, but the cheapest I can find it is 6/$30. Yikes!
  • Beanfield bean and rice ranch-flavored chips

I had a hard time getting everything to sit (and stay put) while I took photos, so I’m sorry about the poor quality of the photo. As far as the subscription box goes, it’s another check-mark on my list of boxes I wanted to try. At $19/month, this will be the only Vegan Cuts snack box I try, as I just can’t see the price value of food boxes. They do have a beauty box I’m itching to get my hands on though, so maybe that will be in a future review. I love me some new beauty products (but I really don’t need anymore!).

What subscription boxes do you get?!

XO Ali

Birchbox Madness

This month it has been raining Birchbox at my doorstep, which isn’t the worse problem in the world (except that it’s not exactly free haha). Following the heels of the CEW Awards, Birchbox released two special edition boxes featuring some of the year’s most raved-about products at an absolutely terrific value! I had to snatch them both up before they were sold out. You can also get $5 off if you buy them both at the same time!

2014 Mass Appeal Box ($15)

IMG_1727The mass appeals box is full of products that you can find at your local drugstore:

  • Dove Go Fresh Body Wash in Blue Fig & Orange Blossom – I’ve used this body wash about 10 times already and it is still half-full. I normally use Dove’s body wash in the shower so the only difference was really the scent. It’s got a sweet clean smell to it, but I can’t really pick out orange (nor do I know what fig smells like).
  • Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer w/ SPF 15 – I tried this on my face and shoulders last week on a practice run and it works as well as any other sunscreens.
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara – I am a mascara snob, I really have a hard time finding one I like, but this one was alright in my book (which is better than the negative rating I give 75% of mascaras I try!). It lengthened my lashes without clumping, but I’ve got an irresistible love for my D&G Passion Eyes mascara, which is still my #1.
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips – this stuff is amazing! I bought the original lip therapy a few years ago and forgot about it when I ran out. Now, they make this pink tinted one, which is amazing at hydrating and protecting lips from the elements.
  • Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Gloss in Spring Splendor – I have not tried this yet, but if it’s worth reviewing, you will see it on a monthly favorites list πŸ™‚
  • TRESemme Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum – I use a lot of TRESemme’s heat protecting products, so even though I haven’t tried this one yet, I have high expectations that it will be just as good.

2014 Prestige Headliners ($18)

IMG_1746The Prestige Headliners Box is full of luxury-oriented items:

  • Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Creme – can we just talk about the amazing smell of this hair product for a second? It is pure bliss–a refreshing parfum scent which makes the hair feel silky and look shiny.
  • Josie Maran Cosmetics 100% Pure Argan Oil Light – confession: I have not tried any oils on my face yet. I know it is supposed to be really healthy for skin. From what I’ve been told by friends, it is best to apply and let sit a short time before you wash your face, to keep your skin from drying out (though you can really use it at any time).
  • 100% Pure Creamy Nail Polish (my color was in Velveteen) – colors will vary in this box. Mine was a soft mauvey-nude color which goes on much lighter than it photographed in the above picture. I put on two coats and it went on very smooth and evenly.
  • Philosophy Miracle Worker Overnight – I haven’t tried this moisturizer yet, which is surprising since I use the Purity facewash by Philosophy. Regardless, this is a cult favorite and my expectations are high πŸ™‚
  • COOLA Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion – unfortunately, I had to use this yesterday do to an intense sunburn from my half-marathon. Fortunately, however, this stuff works! I put it on multiple times throughout the day (mostly because of how burnt my skin was), and it was cooling and not-sticky. My sunburn felt much better this morning after applying an additional slab of it before bed last night.
  • Extras: Pocket Mirror & Toe Separators

August 2014 Birchbox

IMG_1866Signing back up for Birchbox was completely worth it. I don’t know if it’s because they consider me a “new” subscriber or what, but they have completely stepped up their game compared to prior boxes. Three of my last four boxes prior to canceling had foil packets of shampoo and conditioner or bodywash. Because I resubscribed mid-month, they sent me August’s and September’s box about 2 days apart.

  • Neil George Shampoo & Neil George Conditioner – I give this a “meh” rating. It really wasn’t anything that special, but I’m astounded by the sample size! It’s clear in color and reminds me of a Paul Mitchell clean smell. I wouldn’t pay for it.
  • Paula’s Choice Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum – I’ve been applying this serum around my eyes and my cheek-smile lines. I haven’t noticed a huge difference yet, but it’s easy enough to apply. It twists up into a press-and-squirt bottle, which unfortunately makes it hard to control the amount it squeezes out and I always have way more than I need. It’s very oil-based, so may not be the greatest for oily-skin types.
  • Laura Gellar Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands – wahhh this was an awesome surprise. I got a beautiful silver color that glides on effortlessly. It doesn’t take much to apply, so this “sample” will last me a longgg time. Make sure to put an eyeshadow base-coat on first to keep from sweating off the cream!
  • Whish CC Body Cream in Coconut – adore this brand. Hate the smell. Not a fan of coconut-smell at all, so this will likely be given away. I got the body lotion in “Pomegranate” in one of my first Birchboxes, and I literally squeezed every last drop out before I threw it away. So so so good.

September 2014 Birchbox

IMG_1873

Note: I haven’t tried any of my September products so far.

  • Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
  • Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofa
  • Temptu S/B Highlighter
  • Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner (huge sample!)
  • Pixi by Petra Lip Balm inΒ Honey Nectar

If you would like to subscribe to Birchbox, I would LOVE it if you could use my referral link! πŸ™‚ You can subscribe HERE

My Year Without Clothes Shopping Part 4: Shopping Again

You may or may not be wondering why I have not yet updated what I have purchased so far!! The answer to that is…well…I’m still purchasing, and still returning. Haha

The day my challenge was over (Saturday, September 6th), my best and I made a day of shopping! We went to H&M, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, 2 different Victoria’s Secrets, American Eagle, and a few other places as well. I was so good…all in all buying about $120 worth of stuff at H&M and a $30 purse at Charlotte Russe (I felt very aged at that store…they have changed their branding so much that it seems to appeal to more early teen girls). I know that is still a lot of money, but it is nothing to what I thought I might spend!

I had been extremely picky in my selections, not letting myself spend, for example, $20 on a tank top or $30 on a pair of shorts, especially with fall coming up. I looked for unique items missing in my wardrobe, instead of getting duplicates that would just get lost.

I wish I could say I was still that good today. This past week has proven a lot of temptation and little resistance in my attitude. I spent hours at Target dropping a ton more money, though mostly on items that I am missing. However, I have also bought a pair of shoes on Amazon, a couple items on Modcloth, a medium order on Forever 21, and another large order from Target… 😦 I am currently wading through this massive sea of guilt and deciding which items I will be taking back. I guess this part is to be continued…

For now, I will show off some items I DID keep and have been LOVING! Items marked with an asterisk* are new:

IMG_9422*Pink top: H&M | *Black/gold leaf necklace: H&M | Black pants: H&M | Black heels: Targets

IMG_9479*Magenta cardigan: Target | *Gray/yellow/pink dress: Target | *Blush-pink rhinestone flats: Target

IMG_9493*Blue floral blouse: Target | *White skinnies: Target | Braided sandals: Aeropostale

IMG_9520*Gray/pink/black floral dress: Target | Black cardigan: Forever 21 | Black heels: Target

My Rules For Shopping Moving Forward:

1. Limit online shopping, especially when unsure of size and/or final sale items.
2. Just because it’s a sale, doesn’t mean you have to have it. If you wouldn’t pay full price for the item, there’s a chance you might just be buying it because it’s on sale, not because you love it.
3. Don’t be fooled into spending a minimum amount to get a “free” item. Victoria’s Secret is notorious for their “free” bags and towels…with a $75 purchase!
4. Establish a monthly budget and stick to it. As simple as it sounds, this is the hardest and is still in the works.
5. Before buying an item, ask these key questions:
-Is this item unique or do I already have something similar?
-Will I get a lot of wear out of it?
-Will I still love this item a year from now?
-If I wait, can I get a better deal on this item (if so, make note of the size and price)?
-Can you afford it?

Well, that concludes this little summarized series on things I have learned over the course of the last year not shopping. Hopefully I can truly apply these lessons and strengthen my control over my shopping addiction πŸ™‚ If you have read all of these parts, thank you for your diligence and support. If not, thanks for stopping by and if you like my blog, please press the “follow” button!

XO Ali

Winner of my Beauty Giveaway

Congrats to Carla S! She is the winner of a fabulous prize-filled beauty pack. I have given her 48 hours to respond, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Thank you to EVERYONE who was a part of my very first beauty giveaway. I had such a positive response that I will be doing another giveaway later this fall.

Stay tuned! XO

My Year Without Clothes Shopping Part 3: Revelations

If you are new to my blog, you’ve probably already figured out that I’m just coming off of a year of no-new-clothes shopping!

My Year Without Clothes Shopping Part 1: Raw Data

My Year Without Clothes Shopping Part 2: Opinions & Honesty

Having a year off has really forced me to understand my wardrobe. Not only what I have, but what I need, don’t need, and what still has it’s tags attached…

Quality vs. Quantity

Oh the age-old debate. Would you rather have ten $10 cheap items or one $100 quality item? Though the quality choice is ideal, it’s just not that easy. With stores like Forever 21 and Topshop offering insane deals on every day items and clearance, who wouldn’t want a bunch of fun, patterned, textured pieces in a variety of shapes and colors???

It’s not easy, is it? I will say that I get a bad taste in my mouth now when I think about buying anything from Forever 21. I have thrown away/donated so many items during the year that were mostly fine when I bought them, but that changed sizes, warped, tore, stretched, pulled, or just fell apart at the drop of a hat. One tank top, for instance, had seams that were three inches off on each side (one going down the front of the body, one going down the back)…something I didn’t notice when I picked it up off the table for $2.80, not even trying it on because I knew my size.

I’m not trying to give Forever 21 a bad name. Not all of their clothes are this way, in fact, some of my favorite items are from this brand! However, it make you wonder how they can afford to sell them at such great prices. Where do they compensate for that? Is it a sweat shop in rural China? Is it the low-wages they offer employees? Is it the lack of quality assurance?

On the flip side, paying $100 for something doesn’t ensure it is of the highest quality either. The fact of the matter is you have to set rules for yourself, whether written or mental. Inspect the article of clothing before you fish out $20 for it (just this past Saturday, my friend noticed a huge snag on the back of a dress she was trying on. She was able to replace it right then and there and let the store know so that they could [hopefully] take it off the rack). Decide of what value that particular item is worth to you. Do you wear it one season a year? Is it practical? What is your experience with the brand? Is it too similar to something you already have?

Defining Your Style

I didn’t really set out on this challenge to define a style for myself, but I’ve definitely noticed patterns in what appealed to me when I was only able to buy a handful of things during the year.

I have just recently discovered into-mind.com, a website that is dedicated to helping others define their own personal style and create the perfect wardrobe. The creator has a variety of helpful articles from assessing the quality of garments to diagnosing your wardrobe to developing your own signature look. Lists and guides are perfect for neurotic folks like me πŸ™‚ I am really excited about this discovery. I wish I would have found it sooner so I could have applied many of the principles to my no-new-clothes challenge, but I will definitely be leaning on this website for support in the next few months.

Limit Online Shopping

In this day and age, it is so easy to buy something online, especially with credit cards and exclusive online deals. I remember learning in a psychology class (and reading about it here and there) that the brain actually registers pain with handing over cash for items. This same type of pain is less severe when using credit, because you are not registering it the same type of way as you do with cash. This makes using credit cards super easy, not to mention convenient.

I can attest that the majority of clothes that I sold that still had tags on them, were from online deals (especially when Forever 21 has their 50% off clearance sales) which were final sale. Unless you are buying from a brand that runs true to your size (and how often does that happen anymore? When I’m at H&M, my size runs from a 4 to a 12…that’s a big variety), limit your online purchases. Be especially weary of the fine print.

Tips for Others

  1. Just because it’s a really good deal doesn’t mean you have to have it. I know this “but what if they run out and I missed out” feeling all too well. You’ll live, trust me. If not, you can probably find it on eBay someday, ha.
  2. Try to avoid “final sale” items. What if after the first you wear it, you notice a terrible flaw. Only stores with great customer service will be willing to remedy the issue.
  3. Think before you buy. Do you have something that is similar? Do you need to get rid of other items in your closet before you buy more?
  4. Know your spending habits. Mint.com is a great and safe tool for tracking all financial aspects. You can import your bank accounts, credit cards, and loans so you can track everything in one place. I’ve used it for over 3 years now and it is simply wonderful. It’s endorsed by several well-known companies like MSNBC, the New York Times, Wallstreet Journal, etc. I’ve never run into any privacy issues, and you can’t actually manage your money through it–only view it and track it.
  5. Try to use cash if you can. This is one of the biggest keys to budgeting (and the one I need to work on most). This will limit you to spending what you actually have, and not getting yourself into debt.

One more section to go! Look for Part 4 which includes new purchases post-challenge, as well as rules I have set for myself moving forward.

XO Ali

My Year Without Clothes Shopping Part 2: Opinions & Honesty

See “My Year Without Clothes Shopping Part 1” Here

Despite spending $54.71 more than I sold, I don’t consider that I failed my challenge. I knew that my last purchase was going to put me over, but I thought I could recoup the amount from selling more clothes. Knowing I was over, however, kept me from buying a single item for the remaining 5 months of my challenge!

Β What I did learn, was that I potentially saved $4,000+ dollars between September 6, 2013 – September 5, 2014. The graphs below represent my spending pattern between the two years.

September 6, 2012-September 5, 2013

2012-2013September 6, 2013-September 5, 2014

2013-2014Notes:

-This report was run from my mint.com account, which tracks spending habits over time.
-The category I ran was myΒ  general “Shopping” expenditures for the two years.
-I accounted for and removed similar purchase categories for Books, Electronics, Hobbies, Costumes, etc.
-The “Clothing-Other” category represents clothing items that were exempt from my challenge (such as my suit and bridesmaids items), while the “Clothing” category represents all clothing purchased from the first year and clothing purchased during my challenge year with “selling” money (though no “selling” income is accounted for on the graph).

Maybe now will be a good time to talk about the elephant in the room: beauty expenditures. Where one vice is corrected, a new vice began. A year ago I could simply not understand why people would buy expensive beauty products when there are perfectly good drug store products to choose from. A year later, I’m over a thousand dollars invested in products that I still don’t quite understand.

I am not saying that beauty products aren’t worth the hype or the price tag (in some cases), but I would be a fool to say that I didn’t turn one addiction into another. The fact is, I have so. many. new. products. and. samples. And yet, I keep accumulating more! I think my next goal is going to be to inventory my makeup, try to clear out some of the garbage, and utilize the golden products. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been doing a lot of products hauls, but lacking in the actual reviews and FOTD’s. I could do (and actually plan on) another giveaway or two just before the year is up with all the sealed, new products I’ve accumulated but not yet tried!


Cosmetics aside, I am actually very proud of myself for getting through this year. If you would have told me 18 months ago that I would attempt such an endeavor, I would have laughed in your face. But the days leading up to my decision were wracked with guilt, anxiety, and bills. I just couldn’t stop myself from the sales and the sense of “newness,” despite my evolving style. I could not have completed this challenge without the following:

  • This blog. This blog has introduced me to the most wonderful people from all over the world, and has kept me accountable to my goal. If I didn’t have others checking up on me, I would have failed within the first 3 months of the challenge.
  • Dresses for Julie” – though her blog has been put to rest and she wrapped up her challenge in 2013, it was really nice being able to follow along as she completed the same challenge. It kept my vigor renewed and offered many ideas for completing the challenge, and completing it well. Not to mention, she introduced me to…
  • The “Stylebook” app (I am not paid or asked to promote this app at all). This app is legit. For $3-$4, I was able to take an inventory of my entire closet. It has features that let you crop out the background so you can lay your outfits out together on the screen. Also, you can create looks, search for inspiration, and get a lot of stats (such as most worn, least worn, and average cost/wear) that nerds like me just can’t get enough of. I’m an accountant after all!
  • Most importantly: your support. Support came from the most unexpected sources, and kept me excited and motivated about what I was doing. I only hope that through these embarrassing revelations and honesty about my “addiction,” I can inspire others to go out and do the same, whether it’s clothes, food, cosmetics, anything! Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, Bloglovin’, etc. all have great families of beauty and fashion bloggers that live to answer your questions and offer advice! Seriously, you guys are the best ❀

Stay tuned for Part 3 including what I have learned about style and wardrobe planning!

XO Ali

Β 

My Year Without Clothes Shopping Part 1: The Raw Data

(I apologize in advance for my lengthy post. A lot has happened in one year!)

cropped-sunflower-2-e1347318486812-copy.jpgWell, my year is just about up. At midnight tonight, I will have completed one year without clothes shopping…crazy. I am going to try to crank out a few posts in this multi-part series (I have yet to decide how many parts), so my normal posts will either be on hiatus, or scattered throughout. I would like to start this collective series on how well I followed my rules. Let’s see how well I did versus the rules I established on Day 1:

1. No new clothes for 365 days.

2. Definition of clothes: tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, jewelry, purses, belts, sunglasses, scarves, underwear, bras, socks, basics, etc.

I came into this challenge with something like 30 bras and 120 pairs of underwear…so there was so shortage there. Ha

3. Makeup & hair-dye do not count. No new perfume.

Whoops, I failed on the perfume rule here. To be quite honest, I forgot about it. But I didn’t go overboard. I bought Bath & Body Works
Red in the fall and Versace’s Bright Crystal this spring. I also received about a billion perfume samples from various beauty hauls and subscription boxes.

4. Workout clothes do not count, assuming they cannot be used as normal clothing.

I had one workout clothing haul totaling ~$100 (true workout clothes–ASICS, New Balance, Nike, tanks, running shorts, running socks, etc.) and a new pair of running shoes totaling ~$150. I don’t regret these purchases since this is the first time I have bought workout stuff in about 3-4 years, and I’ve done 2 half marathons and countless other races since then.

5. I need one new winter coat this year. I am budgeting $120 for this.

Untitled-1Delia’s moto-detailed winter jacket:Β  $81.15

6. Any money made from selling clothes will be put in a jar to use at my discretion (a necklace, a pair of flats, a pack of socks) with a $20 start. This will allow me to replace the essentials should the need arise. Any purchases will be documented.

Believe it or not, I made $234.10 selling clothes (80+ items), and spent ALL of it.

7. I can accept clothing as a gift, or gift cards to be used for clothing. I cannot use cash gifts for clothing.

I received a $20 Target card, 2-$20 Forever 21 gift cards for Christmas, and a $50 gift card to H&M for Valentine’s Day (thanks babe!)

8. I can borrow clothes from friends and vice versa.

9. Bridesmaid-related items do not count. Nor do costume items, at a minimum.

IMG_9206Red multi-way bridesmaid dress: $40 | One-wink earrings: $12.50 | Beige strappy heels: $35.13 | Pearls: $0 (gift from the bride)


Wardrobe Updates During the Challenge

As indicated in numbers 6&7 above, I was able to use gift cards and any cash made selling clothes to buy clothes. I think this little bit of flexibility was key to my ability to continue this challenge. The following were additions to my wardrobe between September 6, 2013 – September 5, 2014 (including their portion of tax):

IMG_9191Forever 21

Beige cable-knit sweater: $8.49 | Black knife-pleated maxi skirt: $6.09

Total: $14.58

IMG_9192Old Navy

Pink/taupe striped sweater: $16.01 | Navy sunburst earrings: $1.07

Total: $17.08

IMG_9193Target

Silver ball necklace: $21.44 (less $20 Target gift card)

Total: $1.44

IMG_9194Old Navy

Blue quilted jacket: $28.95

Total: $28.95

IMG_9195Target

Navy blue dress pants: 28.52

Total: $28.52

IMG_9196Forever 21

Black-sheep sweater: $15.69 | Cream-colored gold-flower button cardigan: $19.02 | Navy/mint striped boyfriend sweater: $12.70 | White polka dot tights: $3.71 | Pink polka dot tights: $3.71 (less $40 in gift cards)

Total: $14.83

IMG_9197H&M

Red cardigan: $7.87 | Black floral lace tee: $9.08 | Taupe skirt: $34.09 (less $50 gift card)

Total: $1.04

IMG_9198Macy’s

Navy Tommy Hilfiger cardigan: $63.00

Total: $63.00

IMG_9199Target

Black dress for bachelorette party: $24.13

DSW

Gold jewelry for bachelorette party: $7.37

Total: $31.15

IMG_9200Reitman’s (Montreal)

Mint-green sweater: $37.70 | Gray jeggings: $27.23 | Floral necklace: $16.75

Total: $81.68

Wardrobe Stats Summary

Beginning Sold/Donated Purchased End
Tops 191 -45 10 156
Bottoms 83 -11 6 78
Shoes 49 -13 4 40
Dresses 57 -11 2 48
Outerwear 16 0 6 22
$234.10 ($288.81) ($54.71)

As you can see, despite my best efforts to sell sell sell, I ended up in the hole after my Montreal mini-haul in March. That was the purchase that set me over, and I was only able to recoup about $30 since then.

There were also some other discretionary additions that I don’t count towards my challenge: IMG_9202Macy’s/DSW

3 piece suit: $200+ | Calvin Klein tank: $31.83 | Beige bow-heels, blue loafers, and blue heels: $144.43

I was informed in February that I would be attending a trade show in New Orleans in the Spring, and that I needed to wear a suit on the floor. If you’ve ever been the the NOLA Convention Center before, you know how enormous it is, and that there would be lots of standing/walking throughout the two full-days spent there. I got a new pair of heels (all my old heels are scuffed) for each of the two days/outfits and a pair of loafers for when I would have to walk.

IMG_9207Montreal jacket: $26.31 | 2 pair of American Eagle jeans: Free

Upon landing in Montreal, I realized I never packet a jacket/coat! It was April, so it was still in the 40’s when we got there, and I was freezing. I went into a shop across from our hotel and bought the first one I found in my size. I do like it though, and I still wear it about once a week despite the “Montreal” logo on it, ha.


I think this post on all of the raw data for the past year has been long enough. Please look forward to my opinions on how well/poor I think I did in Part 2!

XO

Birthday Guilt-Free Beauty Haul

It was my birthday and I was in Target, so naturally, purchases are guilt-free! Especially these beauty goodies…

10I’ve been monitoring Pixi by Petra and Sonia Kashuk for about a month or two now, as I knew Target carried both brands and they were rather new to me. Pixi does not do any testing on animals, nor do they use any suppliers that follow those practices. I also love the simplicity of the brand and packaging. They don’t try to overdo it and the product is still lovely. Sonia Kashuk, on the other hand, popped onto my radar when I saw the brand won multiple spots out of 31 winners on the CEW Insiders 2014 Beauty Awards. Out of 5 submitted products, they placed 3 winners, and were a finalist for a 4th in the entire beauty industry! Was I missing out on something right under my nose??

Beauty Haul

Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Plum Quartz – I fell in love with this $12 palette through Pixi’s instagram page.

IMG_2149As you can see, there is quite a bit of color payoff, which is one of the reasons I had to have it. Plums, pinks, and browns are perfect fall colors, though I like to wear them year-round with my fair skin-tone. I can’t wait to experiment more with Plum Quartz!

IMG_7343(Left to right: Pixi Radiant Rose, SK Bronzer, SK Blush, SK Bronzer/Blush blended, SK Sheer Pink Lust, SK Illuminator [thick swatch], Elf Pink Balm, L’Oreal Paris Doutzen Lipstick)

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Radiant Rose – this pretty rose hue goes on lighter than the stock swatch indicates. It glides on creamy and has quite a lot of color payoff for being marketed as a “balm.” It’s rather pricey at $14 a tube, but I would definitely try Pixi’s other colors if they were to go on sale after loving this product this much.

Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo in Glisten – to the naked eye (and in Target’s harsh florescent light), it was difficult to really tell the difference between the three different $12.99 options–Glow, Glisten, and Glimmer–so I picked the middle option. This was a CEW Winner, and with its two-in-one compact, it’s easy to carry around and mixes like a dream to offer that perfect summer glow.

Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Lip Color in Sheer Pink Lust ($10.99) – this was another CEW winner, so I picked up a handsome nudey-pink color to fill in a gap I had in my lippy drawer. I didn’t realize it mimics the texture of a gloss (which I usually avoid), but it was wearable for a few hours before I ended up wiping it off. I won’t knock the product, as I know my comfort level was a bit off.

Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Translucent Illuminator ($14.99) – I own and have sampled plenty of BB and CC creams, but I wanted a cream that just brightens skin tone without feeling like you’re caking on the makeup. I am very pleased at how blendable it was, though the smell is somewhat offputting. The cream is a glistening gold and melts with your skin, so as not to leave harsh toning effects. I swatched a thick layer to show how it comes out of the tube.

e.l.f. Lip Balm in Pink – e.l.f. is another one of those brands that I always overlooked, but after seeing so many positive reviews on beauty blogs, and for how dang cheap the brand was, I figured ‘what could it hurt?’ I have not yet applied this $3 balm to my lips, but the color for the price is about expected.

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator – if you like brown sugar at all, stop what you are doing and spend the $2 it takes to buy this beauty product. It scrubs your lips as you apply it back and forth, and leaves a soft, waxy texture that you can leave on to keep them moistened. I like to rinse it off, however, and apply lipstick immediately afterwards for a soft, hydrated lip full of color.

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick in Doutzen’s Nude – this was the biggest let down of the beauty haul, at least by first reactions alone. This lipstick went on so wet, and was nearly impossible to get an even coat. The color itself is supposed to be light, but I thought it was almost like a sheer gloss.

What beauty products are you looking to binge-buy soon?!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway by clicking on the link below! πŸ™‚

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