Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ten Things: December To-Dos



1. Organize my skincare collection
2. Finish reading a certain book and write a review for it
3. Go to a concert (I have one in mind but playing it by ear)
4. Sell a few things, make some extra money
5. Listen to lots of Christmas music
6. Bake gingerbread, make cookies
7. Watch some of my favorite classic holiday movies and catch up on Netflix (The Crown, Orange Is the New Black, Chelsea, documentaries, etc...)
8. Have a simplified Christmas that's meaningful
9. Make a list of resolutions for 2017
10. Stay 'woke' about this world of ours













Now Playing: "Cold Little Heart" by Michael Kiwanuka

Friday, November 18, 2016

Haul: Sephora VIB Sale

Sephora VIB Sale 2016



If you're a fan of makeup and skincare, you know that high-end products very rarely get marked down. This is why twice a year, beauty lovers are treated to Sephora's VIB sale. Insiders are well aware that the fall sale is always the best because the discount is greater (20% as opposed to 15% in the spring). In addition to this, holiday sets are priced reasonably well so it's an excellent time to score bundles at the best value.

Because I occasionally freelance for another retailer and am able to get 40% off on most of my must-have beauty products, my temptation at the Sephora sale is usually limited to their more exclusive brands. This time around, I only picked up a couple things I've had my eye on all year as well as basics that are always smart to stock up on when it's on sale. While the sale is limited to VIB customers and is now over, these are some products that I highly recommend for Christmas gifts or to keep in mind for future events.


What I Purchased:

  • Anastasia of Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette: Technically, I didn't get this via the Sephora sale. I wanted to but it was out of stock. To my benefit, I was able to score this palette for even less at another retailer thanks to reward money and my insider discount! When this product originally launched earlier this year, I told myself that I didn't need another warm-toned palette but the hype got to me. I love Anastasia's eyeshadow formula and these colors really are my type. I recently cleared out my collection so I was happy to fit this in nicely. I'm curious to see how a few of the shades compare to others I own but as a whole, this will be very convenient to have in one palette. I'm not crazy about the packaging but my first impression in terms of quality in its formula and color range is very good.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Surreal Light: I've had my eye on this beauty since it first launched. It was the number one thing I wanted from the Sephora sale. Hourglass makes some of the most ethereal powders I have ever used. It gives your face an airbrushed, candlelit glow that is worth every penny. I highly recommend this for lighter complexions. I usually prefer my highlight to be subtle and this does the trick in the most wondrous of ways. The natural blush lasts for hours and the bronzer is actually suitable for fair skin. And of course, the faux marble packaging is what sold me. Stunning!
  • Perfect Formula Gel Coat Manicure Set: I discovered the Pink Gel Coat polish through a VIB points perk and it is now my favorite nail strengthener and base coat -- but it is so pricey. I always make sure to only purchase it when it is on sale. When I saw this set, I decided it would be a nice way to try out some of the brand's other products.
  • Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray Duo: This setting spray is a staple in my collection. It lasts quite a while but when you see the value set on sale, you stock up! I'll be good with setting spray for a long, long time. 
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (x3): This is another must-have that lasts forever but when it's marked down and on sale on top of that, you buy as many as logically possible. The reason the price was slashed is because the packaging changed but I much prefer this version. I won't need to buy another primer for years.
  • Sephora Oil Infusion Color & Care (07 Raspberry Smoothie): This was another item I found in the sale section. I love lip oils but they're usually pricey (Clarins is my favorite and YSL makes a beautiful one as well). I have another one from the Sephora brand and thought it was a decent product for the money. This doesn't last long on the lips but it's nice to throw on for hydration and shine.
  • Human + Kind Body Oil: I absolutely love body oils so when I found this in the sale section, I scooped it up. I was unfamiliar with this Irish brand but I'm excited to compare it to similar products I have in my collection. I'm always looking for a more affordable alternative to my Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil. Maybe this will fit the bill.
  • Sephora Cushion Bronzer (Light/Medium): I adore cushion products-- sunscreen, primer, corrector, foundation, blush, highlighter... I've got them all. But I've never tried a cushion bronzer. This product is smaller than I thought it would be and I'm not sure the color will be right for my skin tone but I found this in the sale section and it was a cheap thrill. 
  • Benefit Bigger & Bolder Brow Kit (03 Medium): I don't need any more brow products but this value set was enticing. I originally wanted a different kit but it sold out in my shade. I've been wanting to try out some of Benefit's new brow range so this was a good way to do so at the best price.
  • Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 5 (Color 04): After the Hourglass kit, this was the next item I wanted the most from the sale. I've wanted to try Natasha Denona eyeshadows for the past couple years. I could never justify the cost of her large palettes but this smaller set at the discounted price was worth the splurge. Based on these shades alone, I'd say that her shadows are definitely over-hyped and not worth the astronomical price that she charges for the large kits but they are beautiful and of good quality. Just not outstanding. I'm very happy to have this set and see how the shadows perform on the lids but I doubt that I repurchase anything else from her line. 


While it's fun to treat yourself every once in awhile, I don't condone hoarding cosmetics. I've always loved being a girlie girl and collecting makeup but as I've gotten older, I prefer the way I look with less and less. It's fun to try new products and experiment artistically with different looks but I'm hoping that 2017 will be the year that my collection gets smaller and better edited. I've done a pretty good job at narrowing it down but it's still insane for one lady to have. One of my new year's resolutions is definitely to simplify and keep things in check.













Now Playing: "Quick Musical Doodles" by Two Feet

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Go Deep: Leonard Cohen, 1934-2016



"You Want It Darker"













Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Quoteworthy: Susan B. Anthony 1820-1906


"Oh if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done."
-Susan B. Anthony










Now Playing: "Yamaha" by Delta Spirit

Friday, November 4, 2016

Ten Things: November To-Dos



1. Travel to WVU to support the Mountaineers for the first time in years
2. Cleveland, because it had to happen at some point
3. Write, write, write
4. Donate and give away unneeded things
5. Get new glasses (I've had the same pair for 7 years!)
6. Get a new phone (I've had the same one for 3 years)
7. Celebrate Ireland's 7th birthday with a pup party
8. See A Christmas Story the musical
9. Decoupage the rest of the craft pumpkins I found on sale
10. Get reacquainted with the elliptical machine











Now Playing: "Weight in Gold" by Gallant
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm 30 and living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, fashion marketing, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. One of my many ambitions is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!