Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2017 Makeup No Buy: The Final Update

2017 Makeup No Buy Review

If you were following along with my 2017 makeup no buy, I apologize for leaving you hanging. About midway through the year, I went through a few personal challenges and makeup simply wasn't even on my radar. I purchased a few selective items during a sale here and there but overall, I added very little new product to my collection. I purged quite a bit as well. Overall, I was extremely pleased with my results. If I were grading my performance, I would say that I earned a solid B+. I am going to continue my no-buy into the new year with the same "rules" of only purchasing for special occasions, major sales or rare launches. My focus has completely shifted in recent months and I no longer have the desire to buy everything that catches my eye. I  simply don't need it. While my love and appreciation for beauty will always remain, there comes a time when you must take an inventory of your lifestyle and priorities and realize what you need is more important than what you want. I would rather put my money toward savings, books and travel. Collect moments, not things.

Products Featured Above:

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

Tarte Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette

Etude House Universe Palette in Gold

ABH Subculture Palette

Urban Decay Eyeliner in Alkaline

MAC Holiday Lipstick

Too Faced Clover Eyeshadow Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eyeshadow Palette

Now Playing: "Praise You" by Jon Kenzie (Fatboy Slim Cover)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia: Top Selections from Chip and Joanna Gaines' New Collection for Target

Hearth and Hand with Magnolia Target Picks Fall 2017 Launch

I'm late to the Fixer Upper craze. I don't watch very much HGTV, so it wasn't until very recently that I started to binge the show. I kept hearing the name Joanna Gaines all over sites like Pinterest and among my friends who are into home decor. I finally figured out what all the buzz was about and now, I get it. My mind is a bit blown by the fact that it took me so long to jump on this bandwagon. I've always been thrifty and appreciated the art of turning something old and unwanted into something new to be cherished. A lifelong thrifter (I inherited the genes from my parents), over the years I have developed a keen eye for quality craftsmanship. You couldn't pay me to live in a McMansion. While my style isn't a mirror image to Chip and Joanna's preferred, modern farmhouse aesthetic (I'm much more of a traditional eclectic), I can definitely appreciate a ton of what this design power couple has to offer.

Enter their newest collection with retail giant, Target. Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is everything you'd expect from Chip and Joanna Gaines: simplistic pottery, preppy plaids and galvanization galore. It's the quintessential array of products that will easily add a dash of down-home charm to your place. Best of all? The products are all very well-made and affordable. For fans of Fixer Upper and the Magnolia brand made famous by Chip and Joanna Gaines, this new collection for Target is sure to impress. Launch date is set for November 5th. While this is a permanent range, these items are sure to sell-out fast and you never know if or how quickly items will be restocked. Here are a few of the items from the collection that I thought stood out to me the most:

Galvanized Container 25 oz Candle 

While I absolutely adore the ambiance that only a candle can provide, when it comes to a jar of wax, I have a difficult time spending more than about $10. One way that I justify spending money on candles is knowing that I can repurpose the container. I have used the jars for holding everything from straws on a bar cart to pens on a desk or makeup brushes on a vanity. If the packaging is cute, the price of the candle is suddenly okay in my book. This galvanized container would be adorable for holiday crafting!

Galvanized Charger with Gold Welding

I love a good charger. I adore anything with a gold accent. These would be spectacular for Christmas dinner. I'm picturing a warm and cozy cabin in the mountains. The fireplace is crackling and the conversation around the table is engaging. I don't have a country house to display these beauties but it's fun to pretend, right?

Stoneware Pitcher

For some reason, black stoneware isn't easily found. This pitcher really sparked my fancy because not only is it black but it's the perfect shade and finish of black (yep, I'm crazy). I also like the contrasting trim on the bottom of the vessel.

Galvanized House Lanterns

Lanterns are definitely in my wheelhouse. I have been a fan for years. These adorable galvanized "houses" would be stunning indoors or on a patio. I envision these filled with candles, Christmas garland, twinkle lights, ornaments...the options are endless.

X-Patterned Glassware Goblet

I get my love of glassware from my Mom who has collected Depression glass since I was a little girl. I have amassed my own collection of beautiful drinkware. This particular design isn't exquisitely crafted like true antiques but the shade of green is dynamite for Christmas or even a St. Patrick's Day tablescape.

Moravian Star Tree Topper

I will forever be grateful to this collection for reminding me of the name of this design! I have been a fan of the MORAVIAN Star (use it in a sentence today!) for many years. Anytime I see an episode of Friends, I find myself lusting after the light fixture in the hallway of Monica's apartment. I have seen similar styles but never remember what to call the actual design. This galvanized Christmas tree topper would pair wonderfully with so many other items in the Hearth & Hand holiday collection. So rustic. So chic.

Stoneware Serving Platter and Plates

This is hands down, my favorite piece in the entire collection! I will absolutely be adding these plates to my shopping cart. Rae Dunn vibes for sure (not exactly cool to blatantly rip off another designer) but these beauties are everything.

Lidded Jar Container 8 oz Candle

Here we have another product that feels familiar. The poor man's Le Labo candle? Don't mind if I do.

Women's Pajama Union Suit Green Plaid

I love green and blue plaids. It takes me back to my optimistic childhood when as a young Irish girl, I thought that someday I'd go to Notre Dame (for the record, I never applied). My Mom always dressed me in these colors to complement my red hair and green eyes. Not only is this pajama absolutely adorable and festive, but it also comes in sizes for everyone in the family.

Round Acacia Wood Cutting Board

There's nothing particularly unique about this design but everyone needs a good wood cutting board. They make excellent hostess gifts (put a bow on it and pair it with some wine and cheese). I also like to use mine for serving appetizers, as a cheese board, or for layering home decor vignettes.

Round Wood and Wire Tray

I have a mild-severe obsession with trays (and boxes while we're on the subject). I adore using them for any and all purposes: displaying perfume, booze, seasonal accents, makeup, bath and body products, candles...the list goes on and on. I am not a minimalist. I have a lot of stuff that I've hoarded collected over the years. Trays are a stylish way to wrangle all of my found objects into a "safe space" in my home. Anything that can diminish being overwhelmed and help you stay organized is always good to have around.

Happy Shopping!

Now Playing: "Won't You Be My Neighbor" by Rachel Lynne
(Yinzplosion! That's a Pittsburgh artist covering the late, great Mister Rogers)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hocus Pocus Figural Key Chain Blind Bag Opening

Anyone who knows me understands my obsession with the movie Hocus Pocus. I also enjoy a little bit of a surprising thrill every now and then, so this blind bag had my name written all over it. For some reason, the video didn't convert properly to HD and the audio isn't fantastic but it gets the point across. Enjoy and please subscribe to my YouTube channel for future videos. 

Where to buy your own Hocus Pocus key chain:  http://go.magik.ly/ml/7ggj/

Now Playing: "Havana Vieja" by Susto

Friday, October 27, 2017

Halloween Decor Shopping - Come Along!

Shopping for fall and Halloween decor is one of the things I look forward to most about this time of year! I spent a couple days traipsing around a few of my favorite haunts looking for new treasures to add to my collection. I had never been inside a Kirkland's store before but was impressed with quite a few of their seasonal selections including a stunning black and white 'Boo' pillar set. The shopping in Pittsburgh seems to be improving every year and it's getting overwhelming with all of the wonderful choices. I still appreciate my thrifted finds and upcycled crafts more than anything you could discover being mass-produced on the market today, but I can never resist a gorgeous velvet pumpkin, charming throw pillow or adorable country primitive black cat. Enjoy and please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Now Playing: "Spooky" by Dusty Springfield

Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 Makeup No Buy Update: April/May Temptations


Please overlook my lack of makeup updates as my mind has been preoccupied with hockey (Let's Go Pens! Back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions!). April was a complete and utter disaster in terms of sticking to my no-buy. I expected this to be one of the most challenging months of the year due to the Sephora spring sale along with 50% off through my freelancing. The good news? May was the easiest month so far. I cleared out my collection and gave my little cousin who is in high school a massive bag of perfectly good products that weren't getting the attention it deserved. It felt wonderful to narrow down my stash. I can honestly say that everything I currently have is something that I cherish and will make the effort to put into regular rotation. I still have a huge collection but it is much more pared down. I wouldn't exactly say it's well-edited but it's a fair downsize for a maximalist such as myself.

I am at the place in my collecting years where few products are tempting me. There really isn't much that strikes my fancy. In order for me to be attracted to something, it truly has to be unique or new to the market. Here are a few of the items that recently managed to catch my eye:

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Treatment Lotion Mist, $22

This is technically a skincare product but with the heat and humidity finally swinging into my area, I'm all for spritzes of hydration. I love a good mist and think this is a nice one for prepping your makeup application. It's especially good for those who have to be up and out the door early.

Dose of Colors Baked Browns Eyeshadow Palette, $32

I don't own anything from this brand (I would be content in never buying another liquid lipstick, something it's known for, ever again) but this palette struck me as very well put together. The colors are definitely my type but therein lies the problem. I probably have several dupes already within my collection. I have yet to buy any eyeshadow palettes in 2017 and it's looking like that trend might make it all the way through the end of the year. I simply do not need anymore eyeshadow...especially warm tones. It's all I have. Drawers of browns, nudes and sepias. Enough is enough.

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer, $15

For the past few seasons, this has been the bronzer that everyone and their next-door neighbor hasn't stopped talking about. Physicians Formula is one of my favorite drugstore brands and I love the few bronzers I already have from them. I'm not sure that this one will be all that different but it has been on my list long enough. I'll probably add it to my collection sometime in the next year or so when I see it on sale. Physicians Formula produces good quality powders but it is rather expensive for the drugstore.

Etude House Glitter Pigment Eyeshadow, $10

I'm not really a glitter eyeshadow type of gal these days but it's nice to have a couple options for victory parades and celebratory things of that nature. You never know when a party or costume might call for a dash of sparkle. The packaging of this one was too cute to miss. It sold out before temptation got the best of me. If I make an order from Etude House before the close of the year and this item is still available, consider it snatched.

Gucci Nude Freesia Sheer Blushing Powder, $49

I adore the Gucci products that I have...extremely good quality and incredibly beautiful packaging. Unfortunately, the blush that I picked out online a few years ago, is way too deep for my complexion. A $50 blush is a commitment. If I can find someone to sell my original blush to, I might justify replacing it with a more neutral shade like this easy-to-wear color from their newest collection.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey Glam, $26

The Clarins lip oils are among my favorite products in my entire collection. I have all of the shades with the exception of a couple. I intend to add Honey Glam and Tangerine into my collection before the end of the year.

Items I recently 'shopped from my own stash':


Lancome Belle de Teint Bronzer in 01, $45

I was on the fence about purchasing this beauty but I'm so glad that I did. It's a gorgeous little palette that creates a very natural bronzed glow. The powder trio is very flattering on fair skin and the packaging is a delight to use.

MAC Eyeshadow, $16-$32

My MAC eyeshadows are some of the oldest products in my collection. Powders never go bad if they're kept sealed and in proper storage areas. I began adding MAC single and holiday eyeshadows to my collection long before the notion of palettes grew in popularity. It requires a bit more forethought to pair singles together but the quality of the shadows have definitely held up and stood the test of time.

Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation$28

I've wanted to use the Dior Airflash foundation for years but the lightest color is still a few shades too deep for my fair skin. Dior's version is far more expensive so I was thrilled to see that there was finally an affordable alternative on the market (and with a much wider color range!). Believe it or not, the lightest shade in the launch, the one that I purchased (Cream), might actually be a bit too light for me. That never happens! PS: I also recommend Sephora's mist blush.

NARS Highlighter in Albatross$30

This is one of the first highlighters I ever purchased. It's a bit loud and in your face but it sure is a beauty.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Setting Powder, $35

I was happy to finish a couple deluxe sample compacts of this. I have dry skin but this is excellent for setting the under eyes or anywhere that might produce a bit of  shine in the heat and humidity. When my samples run out, I will definitely be purchasing the full size. Luckily for my wallet, a little goes a long way.

Now Playing: "Huntress" by Sv√§va

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm 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!