Backpacks: from childhood to chic

Monday, April 27, 2015

Whoa now, what's this, a fashion post? Haven't done one of these in forever! I wanted to give you all the scoop on my latest fashion obsession for spring and summer. I'm pretty sure the last time I wore a non-school backpack I was in middle school. Did anyone else have one of the mini-backpacks (that basically held nothing) as a kid? Cross-body bags have been more my style the past few years. Even though I don't think I carry around that much stuff, my shoulder and neck have been bothering me more than usual lately from the weight of the bag, so I figured it was a sign to explore some other options. 

Backpacks seem to be having a moment and I was definitely interested in switching up my bag game. Looking like a child, however, was not my goal. Finding a backpack is easy, but finding a chic one is more of a challenge. While browsing through TJ Maxx I stumbled on the Brory backpack by Steve Madden and after much mental debating I went for it. Best. Decision. Ever. 
I love the beige tone mixed with the black and the all of the gold hardware. It really takes it from a basic backpack to a completely modern handbag. The size is just enough to hold what I need and being able to wear it on both shoulders makes my back, neck, and shoulders feel sooo much better! Plus, I think it'll be really convenient for keeping both hands free if I go to any festivals this spring and summer!

Since I can't seem to find this specific one anywhere online (isn't that always the way...), I thought I'd pull together some other cute ones that I'm crazy about for all of you!
1 - H&M / 2 - Topshop / 3 - Asos (love the lavender!) / 4 - Asos / 5 - H&M

So what do you think about the backpack trend? Are you on board with them or sticking to traditional handbags for the season? I hope everyone had a great weekend! I didn't do too much- watched some old Pretty Little Liars episodes on Netflix and just hung out around the house with the dogs. Sometimes relaxing weekends are the best!! 

Smudgy shadow and plum lips

Thursday, April 23, 2015

So the Sephora sale happened...and I picked up a few things. I was actually pretty restrained and only bought 3 beauty bits- crazy, I know! I thought I'd do a little FOTD and let you know how they worked out for me so far.
I knew that I wanted to get the Laura Mercier caviar stick in Khaki so that was first treat to go into the basket. It's so different from the shades of shadow that I typically buy- a dark taupe-brown with a gorgeous green undertone. Not crazy green, but a deep green with an almost pearly finish. It goes on just as smooth as I've come to expect and blends out beautifully. I applied it as a thick liner-like line and then blended it out with fluffy brush until it was all smoky and smudgy. 

The Clinique bottom lash mascara has been something I've looked at for years and somehow never bought. I really struggle with mascara on my bottom lashes- it always ends up getting on my skin and I can never get the wand all the way to the root of the lashes. I tried this out and instantly feel in love with it. The wand is small enough to coat the bottom lashes from root to tip without transferring to your undereye and it gives perfect length and separation. Where has this been my whole life?

After reading a bunch of reviews across the blog-o-sphere lately about the Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer I knew that I wanted to try one out- specifically Plum Pop. First off, let me just say that this little lipstick has completely surpassed my expectations. The color itself is stunning- a perfect mix of pink and purple that makes such a pretty berry shade. It's one of the creamiest formulas I've ever used and glides on extremely smoothly without any dragging. After the initial "lipstick" portion wears away (after hours!) it leaves a slight stain behind that continues to last even longer. The lipstick wore for about 4-5 hours and the stain lasted for another 5 hours (at least) after that. This was the really impressive part for me, since the color it leaves behind is the actual color of the lipstick! Shocker, I know, but I've had way to many lipstains over the years that have left behind that awful awkward-pink color that in no way resembles the original lip color. This added bonus definitely gives it extra marks in my book. 

If you picked up anything in the Sephora sale that you liked, let me know in the comments! I'm always looking for more winners to try!

L'Oréal Collection Privee The Perfect Nudes- Something for Everyone

Monday, April 20, 2015

If I'm to forced to choose between nude or red lipstick I'll always choose nude. It's a comfort zone thing, I guess. So when I saw that L'Oréal created the Collection Privee The Perfect Nudes lipsticks in a full range of colors I was definitely intrigued. Each of the celebrities behind the collection represent different skin tones, so there's a nude shade for everyone. The lipsticks are part of the popular Color Riche range, as well, so they up to the standard quality that you would expect from the brand. 

Let's get the elephant out of the room and talk about the smell- that chemical-heavy smell that takes me right back to trying on my mom's lipsticks as a kid. As strong as it is when it's first applied, it's oddly nostalgic for me and really doesn't bother me too much. If lipsticks that have any kind of a scent bother you, then these are probably not for you, though.

The formula is creamy and nicely pigmented, making them easy to apply right out of the bullet (maybe even without a mirror, depending on the shade). They typically last about 3-4 hours for me before they need to be re-applied and will definitely need to get touched up if you eat anything. For a drugstore lipstick a 4 hour staying power is good enough for me.

There are six colors in total, ranging from a pale pink to a deep, rich brown. I picked up Doutzen's, JLo's, and Freida's to try out thus far.
The first one I tried is Doutzen's nude, thinking it would be "my" nude, being as pale as I am. (It was a long winter and I practically hibernated, so I desperately need a bit of sun, ok?) The light bubblegum pink was much more pigmented than I thought and definitely comes across as a straight-up pink nude. It's lighter than I usually go for and not terrible on my skin tone, just not what I would reach for as an everyday nude.
I wanted to try a couple of other shades, so I picked up JLo's nude in my last shopping trip. I think this one is my fave out of them all. I'm certainly no Jennifer Lopez (obviously), but it just works for me, I think. The peach undertones to this shade make a completely wearable nude that's not too pale or too brown. This one's a keeper in the rotation, for sure.
Last up, completely out of left field is Frieda's. Now if I'm no JLo, then I am definitely no Frieda Pinto, but this color has been growing on me. It a lavender nude that completely embodies the 90's grunge lip trend. Pair this one with a gray smokey eye and it would be perfection.

Which of these is your favorite? If you've tried any of these before (or any of the shades that I haven't tried yet), let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this collection!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Now that my long hours at work are finally over (*insert parade here*) I finally took a few days off for a nice long weekend. Some family was in town so we hung out with them a bit, went out to dinner, took Brutus for a haircut, and just caught up on life (and the DVR list)! The Mr and I are thinking of taking a vacation this year, so if you have any suggestions for a great trip please let me know! We're looking to go somewhere in the US in late spring for about 4-5 days. Las Vegas? NYC? I honestly can't decide, so if you've had a fabulous vacay somewhere, I'll definitely take recommendations!!

Haul: Speed Shopping

Monday, April 13, 2015


I only had a day left to use my 20% off coupon at Ulta and I was short on time. The result? Speed Shopping. I went a little nuts grabbing things that I was actually looking for and others that just looked promising. When you're getting that discount on everything you tend to get a little spendy, I guess. I've tried out a few so far, so I'll throw in my thoughts on any those as I run through what I picked up. Let's dive in!

The reason I went there in the first place was to get another shade of the Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten baked blushes. I was so impressed with the sample I tried (review here) that I've dying to try more! I went in for one, so naturally I bought two. (Oops!) Tropic Hues (bottom right) is the shade I intended to buy. It's a lovely swirl of coral, peach, and bronze that I have a feeling I'll be wearing a lot this summer for a bright and glowing look. I also swatched Sunswept (top left) while I was in the store and was sold. The golden bronze with a hint of peachy pink of the this blush screams summer-sun-kissed-glow! I have a feeling I'm going to end up buying all of the shades in this collection as spring and summer roll on...

I've been on the hunt for a pink nail polish that's borderline white and I've hopefully found it with Essie's Limo-Scene. I tend to lean more towards bright nails in the summer, but this one is so soft and pretty that I might be converted. 

I really been liking blending in my concealer with a small brush lately, but the one I've been using hasn't been cutting it, so I chucked a Real Techniques Setting Brush into my order for that job. It works like a dream, let me tell ya. Pairing this brush with the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer is my current daily concealing team.

So this L'Oréal Miss Manga mascara...I so hated it at first and now I'm totally in love. This is my second tube and I think I've figured out the two tricks to getting it to work fabulously. #1- let it dry out for a bit. Not ages or anything, but a couple of weeks after it's been opened and dried out a bit it's much easier to use. It's a little too wet for my liking at first. #2- at least two coats. Always. One coat of this doesn't do much, but two or more is really when you start to see some volume and length. I'm completely converted.

Last up, lip products! I grabbed a NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee, because you really can't go wrong with these glosses- both in formula and price! This shade is lovely pinky-nude that will be perfect for everyday wear. I also went for two more of the L'Oréal Collection Privee Nude lipsticks. I'd like to do a full review of these soon, as I also have one more (Doutzen's- a light pink shade). I ended up adding JLo's nude- a warm peach nude- and Frieda's nude- a lavender nude. Obviously these are "nudes" for different skin tones (and I am definitely no Jennifer Lopez or Frieda Pinto), but these something about these shades that just works. I especially loving Frieda's nude- it gives my lips an almost 90's vibe that I really like.

I can't wait to incorporate these finds into some looks for upcoming posts! Let me know if you've tried out any of these products before or if you're curious to pick them up! Have a great week everyone! The end's in sight for my crazy hours at work and I finally have some time off at the end of the week! I'm planning on doing a bit of cleaning around the house (much needed), some spring clothes shopping (not needed, but whatevs), and hopefully some relaxing outside if the weather's nice enough. I'd love to get my hammock set back up for the year and maybe read a book laying on it in the sun. Fingers crossed!

what I've been up to {#1}

Monday, April 6, 2015

Trying out a Starbucks Birthday Cake Frap. (I was not disappointed. Baxter was, since he had none.) I think it was only available for a limited time, but if you ordered a vanilla bean frap with raspberry whip it would pretty much be the same thing.
Found this awesome octopus statue at Target. I'm planning to spray paint it gold in the near future and I think it'll look fabulous.
Baxter's hair was getting pretty long, and it's still too cold out to cut it, so we decided to give him a mohawk because...why not? He can totally pull it off- I love it!
source: TV Line
Still trying to process the Pretty Little Liars season finale. There so many theories out there about the latest clues (or lack thereof). I've read way too many to even admit... I think I'll be re-watching seasons 3 through 5 between now and June.
Source: Buzzfeed
This video is the cutest thing I've seen in a while. A monkey and puppies? Aww! Pure happiness.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! We went out to dinner on Saturday and did a little shopping. I popped into both Ulta and Sephora over the weekend and bought nothing! (Who am I?) To my credit, most of the products I was looking for were out of stock, so I'm seeing some online shopping in my future...

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