Makeup

I’m on Youtube Now!

So I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing most of my blogging and Youtube videos now instead!

Here are the links to my first few videos!

Favorite All-time Lush Products: https://youtu.be/Yq2azXK9NYE

Liquid Lipstick Review Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hXLHZjeklY

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwSt7fSUJFw

Ecotools VoxBox and Influenster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Trbpos969UQ

Advertisements
Makeup

How do I Afford so Much Makeup? Steals and Deals for all Types of Cosmetics!

Please Note: I am not sponsored by any of these companies. I just really like saving money.

Influenster:

This is my main source of freebies for testing. The virtual Voxboxes happen every month and it’s an easy to be entered into a contest. I receive a physical Voxbox about every month or every other month depending on what I qualify for. Sometimes it’s just one product, and sometimes it’s a whole box full, depending on the company. The more you review and do your snaps, the better chance you have of getting boxes. Connect ALL of your social media. It REALLY helps to have a high reach. Don’t forget to do your reviews! Sign up here!
screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-11-13-22-pm
You’ll see that currently on my dashboard I have three virtual VoxBoxes going, two of which I have already completed, and am receiving one EcoTools VoxBox. Updates on how that box goes soon. I’ve heard the sponge they’re including in that one is awesome.

Crowdtap:

A little more of a pain than Influenster but worth it if you enjoy those brands. Some high end like Marc Jacobs and some low end like suave, with everything in between.

L’Oréal Consumer Testing:

Still waiting on this one. So far all I’ve gotten is hair dye and I don’t ever box dye my hair so I’m waiting to be chosen for a survey that is applicable to me.

The Direct Approach:

Email companies and say you’re willing to review/want a sample. Most of them will probably say no, but somebody might say yes. See Jessica Braun’s video about how to get companies to send you items here.

Ipsy:

See my blog post about Ipsy here! Basically: for 10$ a month you get four sample products and one full sized. My favorite thing I’ve ever done. Shout out to Rachel for recommending it! Sign up using my link here to get free points when you sign up!
fullsizerender-36
ipsy glam bag july.png
fullsizerender-41
fullsizerender-38
These are just some of the bags that I have loved. I’ve been a part of Ipsy for over two years now, and do not plan on stopping any time soon.

Ipsy points:

I think I’ve bullied everyone I know into ipsy at this point, so I’ve racked up a lot of ipsy points because I’ve gotten people to sign up and also you get points for reviews. I’ve cashed them all in at once before on luxury cosmetics like Hourglass, and I’ve chipped away with a lipstick here as a blush there as well over my two years with the program.
ipsy-points
Above you’ll see some of my recent redemptions. I cashed in my points to get a full sized Ambient Light Correcting Primer in Luminous Light by Hourglass, which retails for $44, my second Maracuja Oil by Tarte (I’m addicted to this stuff. I use it as a part of my skincare routine and on my cuticles!) which would retail for over $20 for the .23 ounces that it comes with, and a full sized St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion which retails at Ulta for $16.00. This was all free for me.

Ipsy Offers:

Ipsy buys in bulk from companies so every weekday they post an offer that you can buy through them as a member where a product, or group of products, is significantly discounted and has free shipping. I’ve gotten some amazing finds (and a dud or two) such as this HUGE NYX Pallet for 20$, these amazing em cosmetics lipsticks, this amazing Be a Bombshell kit, and of course my holy grail: this The Balm highlighter Pallet that normally retails for 25$ (I snagged it for 12$). These sell out fast, though so keep a sharp eye out!
fullsizerender-43
img_7841-2
Above, you’ll see a Be a Bombshell Cosmetics bundle I got for a dirt-cheap $12.00 (that set would retail for about $30 normally), and my MintPear sponge that I use to bake my under eyes every single day!

Sephora Play:

This one is new to me, as I’m still waiting on my first box, but the concept is similar to ipsy. $10.63 a month because of sales tax. The best way to get your hands on this baby? stalk the website. Don’t wait for that email, it’ll never come.
sephora-play

TJ Max/Marshalls:

This might seem weird to a lot of people but sometimes these stores can be a makeup treasure trove. You can find things with dented packaging or something that they have reformulated/changed the packaging of/discounted for VERY cheap. Sometimes there’s a whole lot of nothing, though so it can be hit or miss. I never buy anything used and often disinfect when I buy from these types of places, because they’ve often been swatched by other hunters like me.
too-faced-pallet
Snagged this Too Faced pallet from the TJ Maxx near the mall. Hidden gems, my friends!

Nordstrom Rack:

This one is similar to TJ Max and Marshalls, except for its much more upscale. There are brands as high end as Chanel and Bobbi Brown and also their NYX display is HUGE. They almost always have Urban Decay Primer Potion in stock in the old packaging for only 8$ as opposed to the usual 20$ per tube (I’ve never noticed a difference in quality). They also have an awesome skincare selection of Kheils and Glamglow, and the haircare is great too. I always buy my “It’s A 10” there. The same goes for opening products to see if they’ve been used/swatched. Disinfecting recommended for anything that’s not in sealed packaging.
fullsizerender-37
On my eyes in this look is the Urban Decay Primer Potion that I got for $8, as opposed to the usual $20 per bottle, and Urban Decay 24 Hour liquid waterproof eyeliner, which was $6, as opposed to the usual $19.00 at Sephora.

Kohl’s:

Kohl’s sells some awesome brands like Lorac, The Balm, and many others. You pretty much can’t ever use your Kohl’s coupons on them but you can use Kohl’s cash! Also on occasion, their clearance section has amazing finds!
img_7854
fullsizerender-39
This Lorac foundation that I am OBSESSED with lately I snagged from the clearance section for $16.00, and this The Balm Nude Dude Volume 2 I snagged for $10 since I was able to use my Khols cash! Both of these items retail for $36.00.

The Dollar Store/Big Lots:

This one might seem grubby, but more often than not there’s some awesome drugstore finds at these places that were overstock or limited addition and never fully sold out in stores. Sometimes they’ve been repackaged in cheap packaging and sometimes they’re in they’re original fancy packaging but don’t be afraid to look! Also, you know those plastic makeup organizers that are stupidly expensive (its PLASTIC. IM NOT PAYING 50$ FOR PLASTIC.) yeah well here they’re about $8-$10. What a steal.
img_7855This drugstore purchase came from Big Lots and only costed me $5.50.

Coupons:

I’ve become the equivalent to a soccer mom. I’m obsessed with coupons. Bed Bath and Beyond has some awesome ones and you can stack them, and Target Cartwheel become one of my best friends. Ulta always has some great deals, but unfortunately, you can’t stack coupons online, only in store.
img_7833

Beauty Deal Bloggers:

This holy grail blog that compiles all deals, drugstore, and high end, based on user feedback and research. Sometimes is a dull week in the cosmetic world and sometimes you literally can’t choose how to spend your money. Also: you can get SO MANY freebies when you buy online. I always check for little deluxe samples on all of my go-to blogs before I check out. More often than not, when you add them to your cart, they all go from like $10 to “Free.” Gotta be crafty when you’re ballin’ on a budget!
fullsizerender-44
Snagged these AMAZING Juvia’s Place brushes for 10% off with @GloKit‘s code “FARIDA”

Beautylish:

This was a discovery thanks to my favorite YouTuber Stephanie Nicole, and also my good friend and fellow makeup addict, Shelby. Shelby introduced me and Stephanie Nicole sold me. If you spend more than 35$ you get free shipping which rocks. Even though they don’t sell every brand like a Sephora or an Ulta, they have some awesome high-end stuff that is hard to find elsewhere. They also send emails when any of their brands are running big deals. I bought an embarrassing amount of Jeffree Star from here on Cyber Monday. You can also do payment plans on Beautylish, so if you really want that $80 Viseart palette, you can pay it off a little month by month.

I have made almost all of my Jeffree Star purchases from Beautylish. I got this for $15.00 and free shipping during a sale, and I’m currently awaiting one of my newest ones in Checkmate to come in from Jeffree’s most recent sale.

Hautelook:

Super awesome discounts and the brands are ever changing so keep a sharp eye out! This is a discovery I made from one of my favorite Youtubers, Jessica Braun! They change their deals every day, but most of them stay up for at least a week or so at a time. Currently, I think Smashbox and Morphe are the most well-known ones up this week. I’ve gotten The Balm and Charlotte Tilbury from Hautelook in the past.
instain-blush
Got this baby for 50% off on Hautelook among tons of other The Balm products!

Sell and Swap groups:

I am a part of far more sell and swap groups than I care to admit. I declutter my collection often of items that I haven’t used/didn’t like/were wrong for my skin tone and sell them on Facebook. 90% of the time I use that money to buy other makeup and skincare. PayPal is the only safe way to go with this, and make sure to always ask for tracking info! Many extreme couponers are on these groups and they tend to basically let you go shopping in their collections. They always have a great range of shades and usually several different brands based on the months coupons. Shout out to Ritzy Closets who always has great stuff to sell or swap!

Honey

My friend Kristina introduced me to Honey and ever since it’s been life changing. A few cents here and there is a lot easier to save when you don’t have to hunt down the coupon codes yourself! Honey does it all for you! I use it as a Chrome extension every time I online shop, and it automatically scans in coupon codes for you, so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Click here to sign up for free!

Where do you get your makeup for cheap? Comment below!

Every Day Life, Makeup, skincare, Uncategorized

Drugstore Makeup Week 1 Roundup

Alright so remember last week when I pledged to only use drugstore makeup for two weeks? Well, here’s how it’s going so far. I don’t want to give it all away, so here’s just a sneak peek. I’ll be changing up parts of my routine for next week so that I can try a wider variety of products. Special thanks to everyone who has given me tips on their favorites and even loaned me/gifted me products to test out.

So, here’s what I’ve learned so far:

 

  1. Drugstore makeup is not as cheap as you think it is

    So I started at Walmart because logically, they have the cheapest prices and one of the larger makeup sections (I did not feel like driving over half an hour to Ulta buy maybe, in the end, I should have…but we’ll talk about that later). In the end, at Walmart, I got: L’Oreal Magic Lumi Primer, some Maybelline gel eyeliner, a Milani Matte Lip Creme, and the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. This costed as much as a trip to Sephora or Ulta in the end.

  2. This took an insane amount of research…and I still hated some things

    So, let’s talk about how much Youtube I watched for this. In fact, I got curious and calculated. Over the course of about a month or so I watched about six and a half hours of YouTube. This does not include any of the makeup Youtube I have watched/blogs I’ve read since starting this adventure into beauty blogging in the fall. Not everybody will agree on everything, and makeup is no different. Some things were not meant for my skin type (like matte foundation), some were not my color preference, and some were just not worth the money for me. Prime example: Wet’n’Wild blushes: don’t bother. The Milani ones are way better for only a dollar more.

  3. L’Oreal is the most premium drugstore brand for a reason

    Pretty much all of the research I’ve done has come up with L’Oreal as the main topic of the drugstore makeup hits. Here are the L’Oreal items I have on my list (some of which I already own/have tried, some of which I bought, and some of which I’m still dying to try).

    – ProGlow Foundation
    – True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator in Ice
    – Infallible Pro-Matte Glosses
    – Infallible Eyeshadow (amber rush is a dupe for MAC’s pigment in tan)
    – Infallible Setting Spray
    – Infallible Pro-Contour
    – Lipliner in Beyond Pink
    – Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara
    – Color Riche Eyeshadow (petite pearl is a commonly used inner corner highlight)
    – Infallible Lacquer Eyeliner
    – Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream
    – Brow Stylist Plumper
    – TrueMatch Foundation
    – Glam Bronze Bronzer

  4. Knowing your parent companies is important

    Parent companies means similar formulas, and similar formulas means drugstore dupes for high-end products! (Example that’s non-drugstore but an easy one to illustrate: MAC own Smashbox. Therefore, the MAC foundation is almost identical to the Smashbox foundation in formula, shade range, wear, etc.) Here’s a handy chart, thanks to http://averymaebeauty.blogspot.com/2015/08/who-owns-who-corporate-ownership-of.html#.WJlm1LYrInU.
    cosmetic-parent-companies

  5. Sometimes “high end” or indie brands are actually CHEAPER (or the same price)

    I LOVE the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. But it’s expensive. So to accommodate, this, I moved on to the Sephora  Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer. The NARS is $30.00. The Sephora is $14.00. Now, if I can get high-end concealer for $14.00, why on earth would I buy drugstore ones for the same price, or sometimes only one dollar less? If you go to CVS or Target any Maybelline concealer, including the cult classic Age Defying one with the awesome sponge application comes out to be almost $12.00 if you pay sales tax. For the $2.00 more, I’ll shop at Sephora and get my VIB points!

  6. Coupons are essential

    I did more extreme couponing in the past week in a half than I care to admit. I pretty much stalk the Beauty section on Target’s Cartwheel. I am now the proud owner of the Walmart app, and even found this holy grail deal website: http://nouveaucheap.blogspot.com/ who has a whole weekly roundup deticated to the best drugstore coupons, deals, and finds.

  7. It’s a royal pain to find everything you need (I’m still searching for some things)

    I did not find everything I needed on one place. Or two. In fact, my first day out on the hunt, I started at Walmart, then went to Target, CVS, and Rite Aid, only to come up mostly empty besides a few essentials. I was not even able to hunt down any L’Orea Pro Glow Foundation (aka the so-called holy grail of Youtubers drugstore foundations besides the TrueMatch and Lumi), until yesterday. And it’s not even my exact shade. Since I’m winter-pale right now, my proper shade is 202, but I could only round up a 203, so I’m mixing it with my white primer and calling it a day at this point (which is what I often do for my foundation anyway, so it’s not a deviation from my normal routine). But my list is still a mile long, and that’s the risk you run with the drugstore: everything is usually sold the heck out when you need it.

  8. The list always grows

    I’ve found my favorite bloggers and Youtubers who talk about drugstore makeup. In fact, I’m basically a fixture on Jessica Braun’s channel these days. She is goals, tbh. I have about 62 more products on my list. I understand it’s highly unlikely I will EVER buy them all, but in the end, even if I ever get close one of these days, there will probably be 62 more products left under them to try! Also, it really does get expensive, so using sites like L’Oreal Testing and Influenster to get free samples is awesome; because in the end taking a quick survey or writing a 200-word review is worth it for free makeup. If you want to find out more about getting free makeup, here’s an explanation of Infulenster! http://www.influenster.com/r/1781566


    I hope this was helpful and I can’t wait to come in with my final reviews at the end of this week!

Makeup, skincare, Uncategorized

Affordable Skincare

So I’m a makeup and skincare junkie as almost everybody knows, but that doesn’t mean I turn my nose up at drug store products. Sometimes they are a great affordable alternative, or even the best version or formula. So without further extraneous information, here are my favorite drugstore products in each category and some honorable mention affordable options (that may not be from the drugstore) as well.

Cleanser

So there’s nothing like a good skincare routine to prep your face, and I am a huge fan of a lot of Lush cleansers, but not everybody finds Lush to be affordable to readily available since stores can be sparse. So, for a drugstore option, I love the Biore Baking Soda Pore Cleanser. It exfoliates and gets all of the extra gunk off my face when I’m trying to take my makeup off. I REFUSE to use makeup wipes of my face because of how they dry my already bone dry skin out, so this is a great alternative that actually works better than a traditional makeup wipe.

download

Exfoliating Scrub

If you want more exfoliation, this isn’t in every single drug store, but it is sold at Bed Bath and Beyond, and it’s a brand I’m a HUGE fan of. ClariSEA Sea Salt Solutions Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant that I got in my Ipsy bag a while back. Get it for $13.09 on Amazon, and similar prices at other stores!

sea salt scrub.jpeg

If you can’t find it at your local Bed Bath and Beyond, their website is super affordable and the Burts Bees Peach and Willow Deep Pore Scrub gives similar results on the skin and smells great, much like other BB products! It’s available for $7.29 at Target.

bb deep pore scrub.jpeg

Toner

A great toner water is important for the Ph of your skin, especially after you’ve scrubbed the heck out of it with cleansers and exfoliants. My favorite toner will always be Lush’s Eau Roma Water, which you can get in the small size for $10.95…

eau-roma-water

However, if you’re a one-stop-shop kind of shopper and like to get all of your toners in one place, I’m a big fan of this Pixi Glow Tonic toner that is available at target for $12.00.

pixi-glow-tonic

Serum

In the mornings, and sometimes even at night if my skin is feeling extra dull, I use a Vitamin C Serum or a similar product. I would recommend this to any person looking to amp up their skincare routine quickly and easily to get brighter, healthier skin. My favorite one that I’ve gotten has been through Ipsy, and it was the Jules & Esther Vitamin C Serum.

ipsy vitamin c serum.jpeg

However, this can be a little pricey for some people at $36.00 for the full sized bottle. So, to make an easy fix I looked for a drugstore option and have finally found that compares is the Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C Dry Skin Cocktail which retails for around $19.99 at Walgreens and CVS.

lumene.jpeg

Oil

People tend to want to run away from face oils, but they are a dream product for skin, dry or oily, is used in the right way. Some face oils can be insanely pricey, so here are some more affordable ones that can pep up your skincare routine ASAP. I always like to mention the Josie Maran 100 percent Pure Argan Oil which retails for an affordable $16.00 at Sephora.

sephora-argan-oil

However, once again, if you’re looking for that drugstore option, you can never go wrong with the Physician’s Formula Argan Oil that retails at Target and other drugstores for around $14.99

physicians-formula-argan-oil

Moisturizer

This is the most important step. AM or PM, your skin needs time to refresh, whether it’s under all of your makeup throughout the day, or at night while you catch some zzzz’s. A good moisturizer is not hard to come by, but here are some great ones that won’t break the bank.

I don’t know about you, but never in my life have I used an entire tube of moisturizer. It seems like they go on and on forever, and I’m always switching between brands to see what works best. Well, here’s the scoop: I got my First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair® Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40 sample from Ipsy about a million years and 20 glam bags ago, and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. A full-size tube can retail for around $30, but literally who needs that much moisturizer? NOBODY, THAT’S WHO. So the GIGANTIC travel size tube retails at Sephora for around $12. It’s my holy grail.

first aid moisturizer.jpg

Sometimes, I can’t afford the holy grail, though. Sometimes you’ve got to head back to your regular go-to, and when that happens, I always fall back on my Olay Regenerist Recovery Cream. You’re probably thinking that Olay is for older women because your mom and your grandma use it. Well, guess what? People have been using Olay forever because it works, and this stuff makes my skin so soft even in the coldest New England winters.

olay nighttime moisturizer.jpg

I hope you guys enjoyed this affordable alternative post and if you have any suggestions for a post feel free to comment or contact me! Stay glowing!

-Amanda

Every Day Life, Makeup, Shopping

Lipstck Olympics

I have dry lips. Like drier than the Sahara in August. I have a scar on the lower left side of my lips that lipstick just lovesssss to bleed into, even if I use the best lipliners. Guess what? I’ve had it. As a lip product addict, this is very annoying, because when you’re busy and trying to look your best, reapplying your lipstick and checking for dryness and smearing is the eternal epitome of inconvenient, and also messy usually. So no more. No more lipstick that my hair gets stuck to. No more staining my chapstick with lipstick because my lips are actually crumbling less than two hours after application. I’m here to find out the best brand of lipstick for the job that is being awesome…and then I’m going to buy it in ALL the colors. The Lipstick Olympics are officially open.

Rules

  1. I must wear every product for at least 6 hours
  2. I will wear one lip product per brand, unless there are multiple different types (I have like four different NYX products)
  3. I will prime my lips with the same thing every day
  4. I will line my lips with the same brand of liner every day
  5. I will only reapply once, if needed

Testing for

  1. Ease of application
  2. Long lasting
  3. How long it takes to dry
  4. The amount it dries my lips, despite primer
  5. If it bleeds, despite lipliner (I have a scar on my lower lip that lipstick tends to bleed into, so any bleeding is a big deal breaker for me)
  6. Pigment
  7. Is it a nuisance?

I am testing everything.

I’m testing all of the brands and products I’ve gotten from Ipsy. I’m testing the ones I’ve bought on a whim (most) and the ones I’ve ordered with intent. I’m testing recommendations and loaners from friends and family. I’m even testing the super ugly shades I dug out of my mom’s makeup box (because she never even wears lipstick). Drug store to high end. Like I said, I’m testing everything.

Testing the Brands

  1. Aurora
  2. Be a Bombshell
  3. Buxom
  4. Hikari
  5. MAC
  6. Mellow
  7. NYX
  8. Pacifica
  9. Tarte
  10. The Balm
  11. Too Faced
  12. Ulta
  13. Urban Decay
  14. Wet’n’Wild

So…which were the worst?

Well, sometimes I hate to admit when my favorite brands don’t always work out, and say it isn’t so, but here are they are.

  • NYX Butter gloss: shiny finish
    • Shade: peaches and cream
    • Wear time: had to wipe off after four hours
    • Dryness: medium high
    • Ease of application: 3/5
    • Bleeding: none
    • Pigment: 2/5
    • Comes off WAYY to easily
      • verdict: huge letdown, very sticky and gets everywhere
  • Ulta Lipstick: matte finish
    • Shade: perfect nude
    • Dryness: medium
    • Wear time: less than two hours
    • Ease of Application: 5/5
    • Bleeding: none
    • Pigment: 3/5
    • Comes off WAYY to easily
      • verdict: not too dry, but got a little crumbly and came off wicked easily
  • Be a Bombshell Matte Lipstick: matte finish
    • Shade: naive
    • Dryness: medium high…there were crumbles everywhere after a while
    • Wear time: four hours
    • Ease of Application: 5/5
    • Bleeding: a bit
    • Pigment: 2/5
    • Comes off WAYY to easily
      • verdict: so sad that this was so dry after only four hours
  • Wet-n-Wild Megalast Lip Color: matte finish
    • Shade: stoplight red
    • Dryness: very high, my lips were the Gobi desert
    • Wear time: four hours
    • Ease of Application: 3/5, the stick itself was dry and difficult to apply
    • Bleeding: medium
    • Pigment: 5/5 this is super pigmented
    • Comes off when you want it to
      • verdict: SO SO SO dry, it bled, and was more difficult to apply than I thought it would be, but it was very pigmented

Which were just ok?

  • Hikari Lipgloss: glossy finish
    • Shade: merlot
    • Dryness: none
    • Wear time: four hours
    • Ease of Application: 4/5
    • Bleeding: none
    • Pigment: 5/5
    • Comes off when you want it to
      • verdict: is very sticky, but stays put pretty well
  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick: matte finish
    • Shade: fiend
    • Dryness: medium
    • Wear time: 6.5 hours
    • Ease of Application: 4/5
    • Bleeding: none
    • Pigment: 4/5
    • Comes off when you want it to
      • verdict: it was a it of s nuisance, and came off when I ate and drank a lot, but the pigment lasted for a long time
  • Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Cream: shiny finish
    • Shade: wonder
    • Dryness: medium
    • Wear time: five hours
    • Ease of Application: 5
    • Bleeding: a tiny bit
    • Pigment: 3/5
    • Comes off when you want it to
      • verdict: stays on pretty well but isn’t very pigmented for the beautiful color that it advertises
  • NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick: matte finish
    • Shade: chaos chaos
    • Dryness: medium low
    • Wear time: five hours
    • Ease of Application: 5/5
    • Bleeding: medium
    • Pigment: 5/5
    • Comes off when you want it to
      • verdict: bled a little, and wasn’t the best when it came to dryness, but it has awesome pigment
  • Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment: balm, chapstick glossy-like finish
    • Shade: fresh
    • Dryness: none
    • Wear time: six hours
    • Ease of Application: 3/5
    • Bleeding: a little too much
    • Pigment: 1/5
    • Comes off on everything
      • verdict: is very sticky, doesn’t stay on too well, and isn’t very pigmented (as most balms aren’t supposed to be) moisturizes your lips a ton
  • NYX Liquid Suede: matte finish
    • Shade: Orange, Rosebery and Blush
    • Dryness: medium
    • Wear time: four hours
    • Ease of Application: 5/5
    • Bleeding: none
    • Pigment: 5/5
    • Comes off with some difficulty at the end of the night
      • verdict: hard to apply because of the lipgloss-like applicator, bleeds a little, but stays well, and dryness depends on the shade

And which were the best?

  • Aurora 24H Lively Lipstain: matte finish
    • Shade: merlot
    • Dryness: none
    • Wear time: four hours
    • Ease of Application: 4/5
    • Bleeding: none
    • Pigment: 5/5
    • Literally does not come off
      • verdict: SO easy to apply because of the applicator, but needs several coats, and stays FOREVER, like I’m talking you need coconut oil to come off
  • Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick: matte finish
    • Shade: sinful cinnamon
    • Dryness: not bad at all
    • Wear time: over six hours
    • Ease of Application: 5/5
    • Bleeding: hardly
    • Pigment: 4/5
    • Stays on pretty well and comes off okay
      • Verdict: great nude color, doesn’t dry out and so easy to apply in a quick second
  • Too Faced Melted: matte finish
    • Shade: Melted Candy and Chihuahua
    • Dryness: medium
    • Wear time: over six hours
    • Ease of Application: 3/5
    • Bleeding: minimal
    • Pigment: 5/5
    • Stays on like a dream, this is amazing stuff
      • Verdict: this stuff stays on like a dream, some shades are drier than others (the more neon the shade, like Melted Candy, the drier it is) and it is very difficult to get off, even with a makeup wipe
  • MAC Amplified lipstick: matte finish, but not too matte, if that makes any sense
    • Shade: sinful cinnamon
    • Dryness: not bad at all
    • Wear time: over six hours
    • Ease of Application: 5/5
    • Bleeding: hardly
    • Pigment: 4/5
    • Stays on pretty well and comes off okay
      • Verdict: the pigment is unreal on Melted Candy, and still pretty awesome on Chihuahua. It’s a bit dry, and not perfect, but the applicator makes it so easy to apply precisely, which is something I have trouble with when it comes to liquid lipsticks
  • The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick: matte finish
    • Shade: committed
    • Dryness: nearly none (all mattes are a little dry)
    • Wear time: five hours
    • Ease of Application: 4/5
    • Bleeding: none
    • Pigment: 5/5
    • Stays on very well, but also isn’t a pain to get off
      • verdict: this is the holy grail, friends. I don’t usually go for matte finishes due tot he dryness they tend to bring, but for this experiment I tried a lot of them. Buy this lipstick. It’s expensive, but it’s amazing and worth it. It is far and away the best product I have ever received through Ipsy.

In the end…

I tested A LOT of lipsticks, and for the sake of being consice, I didn’t write about all of them here, especially if there were dupes (i.e. Mellow is a dupe for Buxom) and I was too broke to get my hands on Jeffree Star or Kylie. I plan to add Limecrime, Colorpop and a few others once I’m less broke. There were some that were better than others, and some that were just fine in the end, and obviously there’s about a billion more to test, so in the end, the Lipstick Olympics will probably never close. Here’s to buying more makeup…for science!

Every Day Life, Makeup, Shopping

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Review

urban decay lipstick graduation

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick: Fiend

I bought this lipstick on a whim at Ulta one day because the woman following me around the store noticing I was skeptical of the higher priced items told me all of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks were on sale, because they were coming out with a whole new set of colors. Hearing the words “Urban Decay” and “sale,” obviously my ears perked up and I was suddenly interested in everything she had to say.

So I grabbed the last light pink color, thinking that if I was going to have a high priced lipstick, I should get it in a color I could wear every day, so I grabbed the last “fiend” off the shelf. It was one of the first lip products I tested in my current ongoing Lipstick Olympics, and so far it’s tested as one of the best, so here are the results:

  • Finish: shiny
  • Dryness: medium to hardly any
  • Put on at: 9:15am
  • Reapplied at: 12:00pm
  • Taken off/was gone by: 3:45pm
  • Lasted without coming off: 6.5 hours
  • Ease of application: 4/5
  • Bleeding: none
  • Nuisance Factor: medium (you can touch it, and it will stay put)
  • Does it come off: only with a makeup cloth

You can see me wearing it at my college graduation in the photo above. I had been wearing it for hours already in that photo, and clearly the light pink color was naturally yet a nice addition to my makeup routine, despite the fact that I was very sick that day. It held up through the ceremonies and everything after, a perfect special event lipstick.

In the end, I would rate this as a most definite 4.5/5. As somebody with dry lips, it’s very rare that a lipstick won’t crumble and make my lips crease. There were no crumbles, and only minimal creasing, in addition to a bit of a nuisance when trying to eat or drink, but that comes with the territory of most lip products. In the end, you get what you pay for, and I got a major steal on this lipstick. I liked it enough that once the new shades come out I will probably buy more at full price, even though I typically shy away from more expensive makeup when it’s not totally necessary. In the end, Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick is Cef tested and cheapskate approved!

Uncategorized

I’ve had it.

I’ve had it. That’s right. I’m done. (I’m told that’s what Italian women say when they’re upset, and I am indeed an upset Italian woman.)

I’ve had it with receiving save the dates from everybody and their brother. I’ve had it with leaving my “plus one” blank on everything…that is if people even deem me worthy of a plus one. I’ve had it with seeing everybody kiss their significant other all over Facebook, I’ve had it with being the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and even 9th wheel, I’ve had it with giving my number to a guy and then getting a text that says “your blonde friend was cute.” I’ve had it with eating alone, not being able to participate in “couples” events, and sitting at the table by myself at an event whenever a slow song comes on. I’ve had it with Tinder, Bumble, guys sliding into my DMs who literally probably don’t know anything about me other than my name. I’m done with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other extraneous family members asking how my “boyfriend” is, and why I never bring him to family events, and then having to explain that I don’t have a boyfriend. (Then they say “WHY?” with wide eyes. Like yeah, buddy, I WISH I KNEW)…I’ve had it with being single.

There are many reasons why I’m probably single.

I’m loud, swear too much, like sports more than most men I know, and hate being around anybody who can’t form a proper sentence. For a long time, though, I thought there were too many other reasons why I was single. I always thought, and sometimes that little voice in the back of my head still tells me that I’m not pretty enough. I’m not skinny enough. Guys don’t like overweight girls. Your makeup is ugly, your hair isn’t done right…blah blah blah. Do I still think that sometimes? Yes, of course. Everybody has a little bit of self doubt.

But that’s not why I’m single…or angry I’m single because the universe doesn’t like me. I’m angry because everybody is a moron.

That’s right. Everybody sucks. They’re all oblivious, not matter how many gentle hints and kind hearted talks you have with them.

The bottom line is: nobody realizes how eternally hurtful it is to be the single friend.

Nobody realizes how much it hurts to be sitting on your own. Nobody realizes how much it sucks to want to go out and meet people, but all of your friends have significant others, so all they want to do is watch a movie or go out for dinner and call it a “big night.” They don’t realize that it’s v stressful to text somebody you aren’t super close with and ask them to be your date to the upcoming wedding. They don’t understand that you’re not talking to 5 Tinder guys and 2 guys from high school that you “lost touch” (aka never talked to but they’re kinda cute now) because you’re a hoe, you’re just trying to not sit in your living room every weekend watching HGTV and Food Network. They judge you silently and sometimes even openly when you boozily flirt with guys in bars, and they’re the ones who have an exsetensial crisis when a guy even touches them on a dance floor (you’re at a BAR. DANCING. God forbid a guy tries to dance with you. Stop shooing them away! I’m bored and want to be kissed by somebody other than my dog). They just don’t get it, and they never will. They always try to give you advice. From changing your look to “being more open” and “confident,” somebody always has the magic cure to finding a relationship, or jeez even a date that doesn’t end in a disaster (or a “ghost”) because sometimes all I want is to talk to somebody for more than three minutes on a date and not want to pull my own hair out. None of it ever works, though. It’s like the newest fad diet: How to Catch a Boyfriend in 2 Weeks or Less. Spoiler Alert: always end with me pissed off and my friends’ “advice” falling through.

But I’m not picky. I’m really not.

I don’t have the luxury of being picky. I stopped being picky like 15 swipes into my first day on Tinder. I don’t have a type. I like guys who wear Vineyard Vines, and I also like guys who spend their free time knee deep in a lake with a fishing rod and covered in camo overals. I even date Yankee fans (sometimes).

I stopped believing my life was a romantic comedy the day I realized that the closest I was ever going to get to getting roses on Valentine’s Day was to send one to myself, because I appreciate myself. I found my own prom dates, ball dates, wedding dates, and somehow went through high school and college flying solo, save for a few blips on the radar so small, they shouldn’t even be considered blips in the first place.

Yet I do and say all the “right” things. My confidence is through the roof. I’m more outgoing than a used car salesman. I change my look every three days. One day I only wear black, the next I’ve got a Lily Pulitzer romper on and am carrying a Kate Spade purse (that’s today, in case you were wondering). I put myself out there. I’m honest, true to myself and all that other bullshit people sling at you when you’re feeling alone and hugging a bag of goldfish with your dog on the couch for the third straight day without putting a bra on. Yet, I’ve watched guys I’ve been in love with move on to somebody else, get engaged, married, and move across the country. And here I am, one month after graduating college, still single, sitting all alone in my bed of my room in my mom’s basement in little Newington, Connecticut, wondering not how I got here, but how I never left. I wish I had the answer. I wish I had something insightful to say right here, but I don’t.

Everybody’s got insight these days, though. The older people will tell me I still have time, and the younger ones will say I’ll meet somebody soon.

Anybody above the age of 35 will tell me I don’t need anybody. Anybody under the age of 30 will just keep saying “it’ll happen soon,” or “when I least expect it,” but I’m not satisfied with any of those answers.

Side note: Anybody between 30 and 35 is either happily with somebody/probably has multiple youngish kids and therefore does not ever leave their home due to their entire life being devoted to significant other/kids (…have we seen SoAndSo? Is he alive? Did the mini van implode on the way to XYZ’s soccer practice? Or was it Couple’s Ballroom Dancing? VOMIT). They are now SuperDomestic Man/Woman…or are even more bitterly single than I am right now (and what I am scared of becoming)…so they don’t say much.

But the ones who never seem to shut up are the 35+ and the 30-. The 35+ will say “you have plenty of time,” “you’re so YOUNG,” “I got married young, look how that turned out for ME,” and “you don’t need anybody. You’re such a strong young lady.” Well guess what? This strong young lady doesn’t want to get married tomorrow. She just wants a second date. Try explaining what being “ghosted” is to somebody over the age of 35. Then try explain that you gave your number to a moderately okay looking bartender at a townie bar because you were so bored of looking around and seeings couples, that writing your name on a napkin and then booking it the hell out of there seemed like the most fun thing to do on a Saturday night. Then try explaining that the reason you’re upset is because he randomly stopped texting you, and so did the three other guys you were talking to, but you know they saw your snap story so clearly they saw your text.

And the younger ones? The 30- get those things, though, at least, as much as they can. They were single once too, in some alternate demension. Your friends, cousins, and siblings like to pretend to understand, just because they’re you’re age, and they have a vague notion that 98% of all interactions with men in the 2016 era include the phrases, “so what are you tryna’ do?” and it usually ends up with me tossing my phone across my bedroom in disgust because why don’t I ever meet nice guys at bars who want to take me out on a DATE instead of take me back to their nasty apartment that smells like gym socks and spoiled take out (oh wait my friends all meet nice guys in bars), or take my number and literally never text me ever again. Nope and when these 30- people walk into your room and see you sulking, they just hand you your bra, take away the remote and your goldfish, and just say, “it’ll happen soon,” and some form of “toughen up.” Yeah well, I don’t know when the hell “soon” is, but it sure isn’t “soon” enough for me.

So what the hell is the point?

I want to say that the point of this angry post that’s probably fueled by the venti Starbucks iced coffee I just consumed and the unrealistic romantic comedy I just subjected myself to is that “I’m okay with being single” and “I’m done trying” because “I don’t need a man,” but guess what….it’s not. I’m not okay with being single. I am not done trying, and even though I don’t need a man, because I’ve been taking care of myself for long enough, thanks, it would be nice if you people in relationships with your heads up your asses tried to remember the little, single people sometimes. Not everything is meant for two. Sometimes, I want to have a girls lunch. Sometimes I want to do something besides talk about how much of a drag it is for you to wait for the bathroom while your boyfriend gets ready in the morning. Sometimes I want you to not judge the living shit out of me when I say I’m talking to multiple guys (because 80% of all male prospects turn out to be complete duds that you never even get a second text from, or they totally ghost you, never mind going on an actual date with them. The multiple prospect concept is just pure strategy). But don’t worry, I’ll go to your wedding alone (because you didn’t even give me a plus one so I could drag some poor soul guy “friend” along with me so I wouldn’t want to drown myself in the dry ass chicken and mashed potatoes you’re serving) and I’ll be the only one sitting next to an empty chair in the movie theater, and I’ll like all your Instagram pictures of Couples Paint Night. And that’s the message there: being the single friend is a lot of give, and I’ve officially been worn down to the point where I need a little “take.” I’m asking for help, so don’t spit your love-drunk saliva in my face. Please, just do me a small courtesy, let me think the universe hates me for 30 seconds before I get back on the horse and talk to some dude in the Dunkin’ line. Give me my moment, and just hand me back my bag of goldfish.

 

***Because pronouns are important to a lot of people (and should be more important to everyone: I use my gender preferred pronouns (I am a she/her/hers that likes he/him/his) in this for the sake of conciseness, but I’m assuming you get the idea.

Uncategorized

It’s Not a Goodbye, It’s a See You Later

It has been two weeks.

It’s been two weeks since we graduated. What. I visited Assumption to take some pictures in my graduation gown (because I had the plague the day of graduation and didn’t get the chance to take a picture with Touchdown Mary which is obviously a travesty and a tragedy in itself) and it doesn’t even feel like we left. This weird in between feeling got me thinking a lot about my candlelight talk that I wrote in a moment of senior year inspiration, and after a weird two weeks, I think I needed to hear it again, so maybe that means other people do too. So here it is. The theme for the night was “It’s Not a Goodbye, It’s a See You Later.” The song I chose to play afterward was Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel.

 

 

Last week I bought an Assumption College football sweatshirt during the half price sale at the bookstore.

Literally ten minutes after I purchased it, I realized that I would be working at Assumption’s biggest rival school next year: Merrimack College. I should be buying my first Warriors t-shirt. I should be getting ready to cheer on the blue and gold, but instead, this week I found myself taking pictures with my football neighbors and their championship rings. Holding the Hounds sweatshirt in one hand and my official Merrimack ID card in the other, I realized I may have issues letting go.

Senior year is made out be this grand adventure, and everybody always says that college is the best four years of your life, but holding those two items, I realized two things: college will not live up to being the best four years of my life, and yet I still didn’t know if I was ready to leave.

I never studied abroad. I never lived in the Valley. I never got on the roof of Testa, won bingo, had no class on Fridays, or danced on the stage during Pup Cup. After a rough weekend, I sat down to write this, and felt like saying, “Goodbye to Assumption. I’m done with this place,” but then my best friends showed up to my room with pizza, and that was when I realized what college was about, and why it’s not the best four years of our lives. The relationships we build in college are ones of convenience; in a club together, living on the same floor, learning the same major. It’s after college that we truly appreciate these friends and the moments we share together, because it’s the people and the memories will stay with us after college that will make the impact on our lives. Hannah Brencher once said, “College is not the best four years of your life, it’s only the best years of your life SO FAR,” and that was what I needed to hear: life goes on.

There is a world outside of this bubble.

There is a place to go, there are people to see, and there is work to be done. We all know it in our heads, but it’s really about coming to terms with it in our hearts. My favorite quote is by an anthropology professor who I’m so glad I got to have for two short semesters. She said, “You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in you, and that’s why you’re here, in college. I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is yourself.” In these four years, I saved myself. I left the door open, I left my heart nearly full but with a bit more to capacity. I found my people, my place, and my purpose. I laughed, cried, stressed, ate, and sometimes even worked out, and every moment lead up to another moment, which led to another. And all of these moments will lead to my life outside of this college…but it’s not a goodbye. Goodbyes are for kids, because kids really do lack object permanence. We came in as kids: bright eyed and bushy tailed enough to take 8:30s and too confused to understand the kiosks in Charlie’s, but we aren’t saying goodbye to every passing moment in these four years as adults.

Instead, we are saying see you later, because we always know that our home will never leave us. Hounds are Hounds forever, because no matter what, we’ll always have our place on the hill of Worcester that is 500 Salisbury.

Uncategorized

Online Shopping Addicting Alert

This edition: subscriptions

This summer has been a weird one for me so far, and with only exactly 30 days left to go until I get the privilege of walking the grounds of Assumption for my senior year. Somewhere between when I left school and had a solid $25 in my bank account to spare for a clothes-food-fun slush fund, and right now as I’m surrounded by way to many things that I have purchased this summer, I have realized something: I love subscriptions. I love people picking things out for me, because I’m usually too indecisive to do it myself. Here are the following subscription services I’ve tested out this summer, which ones are worth it, and which ones aren’t. I heavily researched all of these before

Ipsy…

It all started with Ipsy. (Thanks, Rachel. Grr.) Ipsy is a $10 per month makeup service. Each month they send you a “glam bag” that includes four sample sized products and one full size product. You take an extensive style quiz that asks about what you look like, what your style is, and what brands and types of makeup and beauty products that you prefer/would like to try. So far I have received 3 Glambags, and loved every second of this subscription! Here’s a list of the products I’ve received so far:

May 2015: Overall Bag Rating A-may ipsy glam bag 2015

Reviews of May 2015 products:

  • Jessie’s Girl Eye Dust: Good color, and great texture. Would totally buy it!
  • Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches: THESE WORK. BYE BYE DARK CIRCLES/. Would totally buy it.
  • GlamGlow Daily Hydrating Cleanser: Skin felt awesome after I used this. Would buy it.
  • Oscar Blandi Mousse: It worked well, but I don’t use mousse much, and the drug store brands work just as well for cheaper!
  • Luxie Beauty Blending Brush: Worked well, but I don’t need anymore brushes so I wouldn’t buy it personally.

June 2015: Overall rating of bag: Ajune ipsy glam bag 2015

Reviews of June 2015 products:

  • Jules and Esther Vitamin C Serum: Well, my mom stole this one from me, so I won’t be using it any time soon, but she seems to like it!
  • Aurora Gel Effect Nail Polish: LOVE. The color is awesome and it doesn’t chip easily! Totally buying it.
  • Two Faced Melted Liquified Longwear Lipstick: Love the shade and the texture. It’s much easier to apply than traditional lipstick. Will probably buy it in other shades.
  • BioRepublic Skincare Masks: These make your face feel AWESOME and the acne one really did help with my pimples. Would totally buy these, despite the fact that they’re a bit pricey.
  • Mini Eyeshadow Crayon: Love the shade and the brush-free application. 100% buying these from now on when I buy new shadows.

July 2015: Overall Rating of bag: A+july ipsy glam bag 2015

Reviews of July 2015 products:

  • Nicka K New York HQ Quad Eyeshadow: Love the shades, but it does go on light so you have to use a lot
  • Pur-lisse Soymilk Cleanser and Makeup Remover: Works well and is super natural, wouldn’t buy it, but would totally choose it as my free gift!
  • Coolway Beachy Salt Spray: Love it. Already bought a full sized bottle.
  • Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Lip Balm: It’s my new favorite lip balm and I intend to use nothing else ever again.
  • Tarte Deluxe Amazon Clay Waterproof Bronzer: Love it! Having waterproof bronzer is a great thing for sweaty summer days, and the “sample” size is basically full sized! Will totally buy it when my sample runs out.

“Points”

With Ipsy, you accumulate points by reviewing items that you’ve received in your glambag and then sharing them on Facebook (the sharing part is optional, but you get more points for it). You get 100 points automatically when you sign up, and if somebody signs up using your link, you get 250 points! You can use your points to get rewards, and rewards range from 250 points to 500 or 1000 points (depending on their price).

Want to sign up for Ipsy? Here’s the link! https://www.ipsy.com/new?refer=udaxf

Overall Rating of Ipsy: A+ 99/100
Netflix (…Obviously)

I finally became a grown up and stopped piggybacking off of my friends Netflix account (mostly because when that many people share an account somebody always gets locked out and that somebody kept turning out to be me). So, the natural solution was obviously to tell my family that I was putting a Netflix account under my name and that if they ever wanted to use it I demanded an upfront payment in exchange for the password. Muahaha.

Things I Have Started Watching on Netflix Since My Purchase:

  • Supernatural: I KNOW this one totally shouldn’t count, because I’ve already watched all of it, but I started rewatching out of boredom the week I was sick! We all know I think its the best show ever, so I’ll save you the rant. Just watch it.
  • Reign: Yes, my roommates finally got to me. And I’m obsessed. I loved the Tudors so this seemed only natural. It’s totally historically inaccurate but who cares? It’s so mysteriousss.
  • Once Upon A Time: OHHH this is my favorite (Thanks, Jaqui!) It’s got so many different stories tied into it, and although I really wish some of them would go away forever and some would have stuck around for longer (Ugh, the Huntsman was a beauty. He needs to come back) every episode is wonderful emotional turmoil and a really interesting spin on all of the classic fairy tales. Its hardly even cheesy at all (but just enough to be cute). It’s a must watch!

The only downside to Netflix is how long it can sometimes take to get your favorite

Overall Rating of Netflix: The Obvious A++ 101/100
Stitchfix

I would like to thank and simultaneously yell at my cousin Jessica for introducing me to this. I am fashion impaired: I know what I like, but I don’t know how to tell if it looks good on me, or how to branch out. Usually I rely on my sister (the fashion expert) to pick things out for me, or to give things the thumbs up/down, but since Jessica told me about Stitchfix I am officially a convert. Stitchfix is a monthly (if you choose…you can just get them randomly when you want to have one, or get them as often as every two weeks) service that is similar to ipsy, but instead you get clothes and accessories!

The Basics:

  • You get 5 items per “fix” (the box of goodies that Stitchfix sends you)
  • If you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit, you can send it back in the pre-dressed and paid shipping bag they give you. All you have to do is drop it in the mail.
  • You take a VERY extensive style quiz asking about what you like, what you think looks good on you how adventurous you’re willing to be, VERY detailed size measurements, and even how much you’d like to spend
  • You get assigned a personal stylist who you can write notes to if you’re looking for something specific. Like if you have a wedding next month you can say “need a dress to wear to a wedding, preferably black) and if they can find one if your size that fits your style, they’ll send it to you in your fix!
  • Whatever you decide to keep you’ll be charged for.
  • When you know what you’re keeping, you go onto their website and check out. It tells you the price of each item, and you can review the price, style, cut, fit, and colors of each item for future reference for your stylist (so even if you don’t buy something, you can tell your stylist that you liked it!) It’s like super-personalized online shopping, except you already have the items and don’t have to wait for them!
  • If you don’t keep anything you’ll be charged a 20$ styling fee (basically paying your stylist for doing their job), but if you keep anything, that $20 gets deducted from your purchase, so it’s basically a 20$ discount!
  • You get 25% off if you keep all 5 items
  • You can attach a link to your style related Pinterest boards AND THEY WILL SEND YOU THINGS THAT ARE SIMILAR. LIKE WHAATTTT. My Pinterest board for clothes and accessories is called “Dream Closet” so you can guess how crazy happy this feature made me.

Pros and Cons:

Well, obviously the pros are that I got SUPER cute clothes every time I was sent a fix (and the whole Pinterest thing made me shriek with glee), but the one and only con I have found with this is that the clothes can be pricey, despite the fact that my price range is “the cheaper the better” and  I have reviewed clothes as “too pricey” multiple times. However, after my first fix and reviews, the prices in my second fix did go down significantly! One pro that I’m in love with is the idea of a personal stylist. My stylist’s name is Emily, and she always sends me a cute little note with my fix. Examples below!IMG_9735 IMG_9734

My Fixes:

So With every fix they send you this cute little card with the note from your stylist on it, along with outfit ideas for the clothing pieces they sent you. Here are the cards they sent me, along with a few real-life pictures of items, because for certain ones (like the paisley maxi dress from my first fix) the pictures don’t do it justice!

IMG_9743

VERDICT: Morena Teal V-Neck Tee = returned. Too pricey for just a t-shirt, but I did love the material and would totally keep my eye out at Target or something for something similar.

IMG_9742

VERDTICT: Aldwick Swing Knit Tank = KEEPER! With the $20 discount I basically only paid like 10$ for this, and it was a super nice material, along with being very flattering (despite my usual aversion to horizontal stripes).

IMG_9741

VERDICT: Rosie Scoop Neck Top = returned. Loved the color blocking, but again I thought it was just a bit too pricey for a t-shirt.

IMG_9740

VERDICT: Lillie Cuffed Short = returned. They were too big. I adjusted my style quiz and asked for another similar style short to be sent in the future if it was available (seasonal weather permitting obviously).

IMG_9739

VERDICT: Merna Mixed Material Tank = returned. Ugh, it killed me to return this one. Like actually hurt me inside because IT LOOKED SO GOOD. But it was just far too expensive. I regret not keeping it all the time though. Blah.

IMG_9738

VERDICT: Briar Printed Maxi Dress = KEEPER. I AM OBSESSED WITH IT.

IMG_9737

VERDICT: Corinna Striped Dolman Top = keeper! I loved this sweater a ton, because once again, it was flattering despite the horizontal stripes, was a super comfortable material, and didn’t cling too much. (Nothing bothers me more than clothes that look comfy, but then wind up clinging excessively). It’s perfect for a chilly night in Maine or for walking to class in the fall! I also have a weakness for three-quarter-sleeves.

IMG_9736

VERDICT: Cordelia Scoop Neck Top = returned. It looks like basically every other shirt that I already own, despite the fact that I do love the colors. It was too expensive to keep when I already have several shirts like it.

IMG_9748

VERDICT: Tremaine Tube and Beaded Necklace = Keeper! It’s super delicate, so it can be worn more often than a statement necklace, which I love.

IMG_9749

VERDICT: Leighton Metal Bauble Necklace = KEEPER! Finally, a statement necklace that’s not obnoxious and is just plain gold. I love all my funky colored ones, but they’re not nearly as versatile as this beauty. Also, it goes super well with a bunch of the other stuff in my fixes, so obviously that was one of the selling points!

Overall Rating of StitchFix: B+ 89/100
Fabletics

Okay so this was actually the first subscription site that had their hooks in me this summer. Once I started getting back to a healthier lifestyle I decided I needed workout clothes that actually fit me, and weren’t just baggy t-shirts I had cut to shreds and turned into tank tops. I also just generally enjoy wearing athletic clothes on the daily, even if I’m not heading to the gym, so I figured I needed some mildly stylish ones. One day, while perusing Pinterest, I discovered Fabletics. Kate Hudson’s brand of workout clothes truly are fabulous and comfortable for athletic activity (sorry to all of those who I got addicted to this subscription, but you know you love it!)

The Basics

  • If you sign up for a VIP membership, like I did, your first outfit is $25. (It’s free to sign up!)
  • As a VIP member, you enjoy free shipping
  • Every month, you can look at the different outfits that the stylists have picked out for you based on your style quiz, and if you like them, you add it to your cart and buy it,
  • Every month, you have 3 days to either “skip” the month, or decide to buy something. If you don’t skip, you’ll be changed a flat fee of $50. (Most outfits are over $50, so you get a bit of a bargain there)
  • You enjoy crazy sale prices as a VIP member; things that were $30 get knocked down to $15 or even $10 sometimes. The over 50% markdown sometimes is an awesome perk.

The quality of the items is great, and you can cancel or reinstate your VIP membership at any time. It can be a bit expensive, but if you’re looking for a great brand of workout clothes look no further!

Overall Rating of Fabletics: B+ 85/100

I hope I’ve stimulated your inner shopper, and don’t forget that if you decide to subscribe to Ipsy, that you use this link to avoid the waiting list!

https://www.ipsy.com/new?refer=udaxf

Happy shopping!

Uncategorized

The 10 People You’ll Meet in Newington

Have you ever noticed that a lot of Newington is the same few people all around you? Our town is only 13 square miles and has about 30,500 people in it. It’s saturated with all of the people we went to high school with because the only times we see each other is when we all flood back home post-college or during vacations to see our families. Newington has a way of sucking people back in Every time I see somebody around town that I haven’t seen in a few years, they always say, “Yeah I always said I wouldn’t wind up back here, and here I am. It’s not so bad,” I just nod my head and smile. Once a Newingtonite, always a Newingtonite.

1. Center Rats

mill pond 2009

These are the people that hang around the center of town for hours and hours on end. We all did it in high school at one point, but these are the ones you’ve seen day in and day out in the same old places; Starbucks, Strech’s, outside of Rite Aid, and chilling at the picnic tables at Mill Pond. (Photo: me at Mill Pond circa 2008 or 2009 being a center rat).

2. Middle/High School Teeny Bopper

homecoming high school

They go to Starbucks, all order one Frappuccino and sit there for 4 hours talking about everybody they know…loudly. They walk to the center of town from the high school and then sometimes ride their bikes to the skatepark afterward. The group starts off with 2-3 people, but by their 4th or 5th stop around town, it always expands to 10-20. Can frequently be found at Bowl-O-Rama, T-bowl, Laser Quest, the movies (even though they’re technically in Berlin), and Yogurt Madness (…when it was open. RIP). They also take pictures of everything in strange poses. Many of them will be NHS star athletes, singers, etc and their whole lives revolve around their after school activity of choice. (Photo: a few friends and I taking pictures before homecoming in some strange and unexplained position for no apparent reason. It was probably hilarious at the time).

3. PomPom Parent

crazy sports parentCoach, volunteer, or just cheering in the stands (sometimes all 3 at once) these parents BELIEVE in their kids and are at every dance recital, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, football game, cheerleading competition and piano lesson rooting for their son or daughter, pompoms and all. They can often be found with coolers full of snacks and water/gatorade in the summer months, hot chocolate and blankets in the colder ones, and with no voice from all of the cheering. They usually drive some sort of SUV or mini van (that smelly gear needs to go somewhere) and transporting at least 2 children that aren’t their own because they stick together and help out members of the pack; teamwork is their motto. (Photo: some Newington Little League moms braving the cold with hot coca in hand!)

4. Volunteering Is My Superpower

parents volunter

President of the PTA, on the Town Council, zoning board, in the church choir and costume designer for the musicals, this person is everywhere all at once. Often a combination of a PomPom Parent, the SuperVolunteer has so many commitments that eventually they start saying things like “I’ll pencil you in.” They can often be found flitting around town, carting the props for the day’s latest endeavors after work. (Photo: some awesome John Wallace Middle School moms volunteering at the 8th grade dance).

5. Too Cool for Newi Hipster

trevi fountain

This person can most likely be seen posting pictures of all of the cooler places they’ve been besides Newington, such as their semester abroad, their trip to the beach, or even just that time they went to Boston for the day to see a Red Sox game and now they want to live in the city forever because it’s soon much cooler. They can most likely be found as the person

6. I’m Just Home for Christmas

max at xmas 2014

This person is probably in college or has long since moved on from Newi, and always winds up slumped down in the corner during all family affairs, totally over all of the in-town gossip that is no longer relevant to their lives. The Home-for-Christmas is most likely to be found sleeping or incredibly bored and asking if winter break is over yet so they can go back to school. (Photo: okay so this is my cousin, Max…and he’s from Wethersfield and not Newington, but this picture of him sleeping at Christmas this past year was too good to pass up. Sorry Max!)

7. Starting a Family

carter james kiss boo boo

This person is more like several people; they’re that adorable family that is constantly posting pictures on social media of everything their cute kids are doing. They just bought a cute little house and are always at the park and walking around pushing a stroller, or at target in the toddler section braving the sales. They’re so insanely cute it may or may not make you want to vomit because they’re just so darn happy. (Photo: I spent last summer as a freelance nanny/babysitter.

8. Hey You’d Kids Get Off My Lawn

grandma and grandpa

These are the elderly that saturate Newington’s population; they’re your parents, your grandparents, and your great grandparents. They’re loyal to the local and old time businesses, and they just want to live their life peacefully and without running over a 7th grader who is riding their bike on the street instead of the sidewalk. You can find them walking around town on their daily walks, gossiping about the town at Public Market with the old crowd, and taking care of some pretty adorable grandchildren at the park. (Photo: my grandparents looking super adorable. They’re Newingtonites through and through; they even play cards with other Newingtonites weekly).

9. Emergency Services

fire fighter newington

Have you ever noticed that literally EVERYBODY in Newington is a firefighter, police officer, or an EMT (but mostly just a fire fighter)? It seems like everybody you know is marching in the St. Patricks Day parade, chilling at the firehouse, and doing some sort of fundraiser to benefit something or other. These people can frequently be found walking around town in packs of other emergency services workers, and responding when you need them…so you should probably just buy some flowers for the fundraiser. (Photo: West Hill Company of the NFD and their pink engine).

10. The Eventual Acceptance

grad sheet benefit picture 2015memorial day paradebirthday breakfast pictureI happily put myself into this category these days. I go away to school, but as a summer job I work at Goldburgers in the heart of our dear town. I babysit for a handful of different Newington parents, I find myself cheering on my step-sister at her softball games at the field, I wind up roaming the halls of Wallace and NHS for various choral concerts (siblings and the siblings of friends), and I don’t mind the Memorial Day Parade, the Extravaganza…I even enjoy them these days. Everywhere I go around town I seem to run into somebody I know, whether it’s at work, Price Chopper, or walking the dog. Once you try to get away, and like most of us, fail to comply rid yourself from Newington, you evnetually let Newington settle into your gut, that place that is reserved for “home,” you realize it’s not so bad here after all. (Photos: My sister followed the Newington tradition when I graduated and made me a sheet to hang on the Clem Lemire fence, my sister and I at the Brickhouse [aka the only bar people in Newington ever seem to frequent for some reason] for a fundraiser my family runs every year, my sister, the dog, and I at the Memorial Day Parade on Main Street, and finally, celebrating my 21st birthday at midnight by a night out [starting with midnight breakfast] with Newington friends).