Thursday, January 31, 2013

No-Buy Tips #1

Tips for a No-Buy and Being Better with Money in General

Hello Ladies,

As you know, I am a cosmetic junky and a self-diagnosed shop-a-holic.  I love a good sale and have a hard time turning away from new products (I am looking a you, Maybelline Vivids).  Unfortunately, my budget is not as game for shopping as I am, so I decided to do my first official "no-buy" this January.

For those of you who haven't tried one, a "no buy" is a period when you stop purchasing items you do not need.  The best part is that you can cater your "no buy" to your specific needs.  Some people focus on not dining out or not buying shoes.  Others take a more stringent approach and limit themselves to only the necessities.  I chose to focus my no-buy on not purchasing makeup or clothes because (it pains me to admit this) I have WAY too much makeup and more clothes than I can wear in a year.  Don't judge :)

Over the next week, I am going to post things I have learned over the last month.  In total, I have 8 tips to help you be successful in curbing your cosmetic addiction.  Without further ado, here we go!

Tips for a Succesful "No-Buy"

1) Don't Tempt Yourself- If you know you love lipsticks or chocolate eclairs, but you are trying not to purchase those items, simply stay away.  Let's be honest, you don't really NEED to go to Sephora or the dessert counter at Whole Foods.  So.. don't.

2) Make it more difficult to make online purchases- I used to have my CC info saved into Google Chrome and ready to go.  Then, a few days into my no-buy, I found myself checking out at  Luckily, I stopped myself before making the purchase and promptly removed the stored information from my browser.  Now, if I add an item to my shopping cart, I have to physically get up, walk into the kitchen and get my debit (yes, debit) card.  Entering those little numbers into the computer makes me realize I am spending my hard earned money and causes me to think twice about the purchases I am making.

Stay tuned for more tips tomorrow!

Talk Soon,


Monday, January 28, 2013

NOTD: Essie In Stitches

Hello Ladies,

I am still on my no-buy and going strong!  In the mean time, I am exploring the products I already own.  This week, I am wearing a polish I got for Christmas, Essie In Stitches.  

It is a rose pink with brown undertones and is really pretty and wearable.  I don't hear a lot of people talking about this shade, but I think it is a hidden gem in the Essie collection.

Have you tried In Stitches?

Talk Soon,


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Maybelline Superstay 10 HR Stain Gloss vs L'Oreal Color Riche Caresse Aqua Lacquer

Hello Ladies,

I recently purchased two different lip gloss stains: Maybelline Superstay 10 HR Stain Gloss and L'Oreal Color Riche Caresse Aqua Lacquer.  The products are very similar in concept to the YSL Glossy Stain, and I wanted to see which drugstore version worked best for me.

Maybelline Superstay 10 HR Stain Gloss:

The packaging is a white plastic tube with a cap that matches to color of the product inside.  It is nothing fancy.  The wand is a good length and allows for precise application of the product.  I purchased the shade Fresh Fuchsia.

Left: Two Coats, Right: One Coat
The product smells fruity and goes on easily.  The formula is rather thin, not goopy and gloss-like.  However, the product is very pigmented.  Once on the lips, the stain sets in about 2 - 5 minutes, depending on how thickly it was applied.

Initial Application
The Maybelline gloss wears well, but it does not last anywhere near 10 hours.  I took photos two hours after application, and there was very little product remaining on my lips.  It also fades more on the inside of the lips than the outside and can leave a visible outline on the lips.  That said, it does not come off on glasses, food or people.  While wearing this stain, I took a drink of water from a clear glass, and there was no lip print!

After Two Hours
Final Thoughts: Good product.  You will have to reapply every couple of hours, but the color doesn't transfer to objects or people. 

Price: About $8.99

L'Oreal Color Riche Caresse Aqua Lacquer

The packaging is a small gold tube with a wand very similar to the YSL Glossy Stain.  I think the idea was for the packaging to look high end, like Estee Lauder or YSL.  However, I don't like that it is such a gaudy looking plastic, and you leave fingerprints any time you touch it.  I am also not a fan of the nubby little wand.

Top: One Coat, Bottom: Two Coats
The product doesn't really have a smell and is thicker and more gloss-like than the Maybelline version.  I chose the color Endless Red, and it is a gorgeous orangey-red hue.  I found the L'Oreal version to be very buildable.  I first applied a light coat and went back with a second coat that made the color much more vibrant.  I like that the product can be worn sheer or opaque.

Initial Application
My biggest gripe about this product is that it takes a really long time to set.  In fact, I didn't feel like mine every really set.  When I drank from a water glass, the product definitely transferred.  It also left a lip print on my boyfriend's cheek when I kissed him goodbye, and that was about a half hour after application. When I checked back in at the two hour mark, there was very little product remaining on my lips.

After Two Hours
Final Thoughts: Meh product.  The packaging is kind of ugly (in my opinion), and the product is a bit of a goopy mess.  They do have some beautiful shades in the line.  However, if you are looking for a long wearing stain, this isn't it.

Price: About $9.99

Overall:  Neither of these products is a must-have.  If you are going to buy one, I would recommend the Maybelline.  While it definitely does not live up to its 10 HR claim, it does stain the lips and sets much faster than the L'Oreal version.

Do you own either of these gloss stains?  What do you think?

Talk Soon,


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Maybelline Vivid Lipsticks

Hello Lovelies,

I am still on my no-buy and cash only budget, so I am not buying new products right now.  However, come February, there is one thing I KNOW I want to buy. 

I want the new Maybelline Vivid lipstick in Fuchsia Flash.  It is SO pretty!  I have seen a ton of swatches on blogs and YouTube, and I know that is the first shade I want to try.  It will be perfect for the spring and summer months, and I am ready for a little color in my life.
Photo by Maybelline
Any other new products or shades I should try?  Do you own Fuchsia Flash?  Do you love it?

On another note, I have been trying out two different gloss stains and will post on those this week.

Talk Soon,


Monday, January 14, 2013

New City DOs and DON'Ts

Hey Girls,

In honor of my little sis moving to a new city, today's post will be a list of city DO's and DON'Ts.  Feel free to add your own in the comments!

DO be realistic about your budget.  City living isn’t cheap, and it is not abnormal to experience sticker shock when moving to a new place.  Be mindful of how much you have to spend and create a budget that allows for savings, emergencies and a few of life’s little indulgencies.  You can likely spring for that fancy pastry or a new pair of shoes, but you can’t do it every day.  Make your money count!
DO become a “joiner.”  Join clubs, activities and classes that interest you.  One of the easiest ways to make friends in a new place is by finding other people who enjoy the same things you enjoy.  Try out to find groups of people who share your interests.
DO explore.  It’s a new place where everything is new to you!  Get out and see what your new city has to offer.  From museums to music, the sights and sounds of your new city are waiting to be explored.
DO research public transit.  It is inexpensive, it is environmentally friendly, and there is no traffic.  Just make sure you have a general idea of how the system works before hitting the streets.
DON’T spend all your free time at home.  Aside from your roommates, you won’t meet anyone sitting on your couch.  It can be tempting to stay in when you don’t know a lot of people.  However, you won’t know more people unless you make an effort to get out and meet them.
DON’T sink half your income into your living situation.  That brand new apartment in a great location is going to cost you serious money in the city.  Don’t be unrealistic about only eating crackers in order to afford your luxurious digs.  Find a housing option that is realistic for you, even if it means a roommate or a place further out of the city than you had hoped.  Your wallet will thank you.
DON’T be scared to try new things.  New food, new music, listening to spoken word… The city has so much to offer!  Learn to say yes to invites you might normally turn down.  That cute Vietnamese restaurant your coworker invites you to could end up being your favorite lunch spot!
DON’T forget to lock your car.  It seems like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people neglect to lock their vehicles.  Trust me, lock your car!
Talk Soon,


Monday, January 7, 2013

New Favorite Mascara: Lancome Hypnose Star

Hello Lovely Ladies,

I have been using a new mascara for the last month or so, and I am in love!  The mascara is Lancome Hypnose Star, and it is awesome on my lashes!

Photo from Sephora
I don't usually buy high end mascara because I have found some winners at the drug store (I'm looking at you, Almay Get Up 'N Grow), but I got a Hypnose Star sample with a recent Sephora purchase.  When I tested it out, I was pleasantly surprised. 

The wand is tapered, so it is skinnier on the tip than at the base.  I like this feature because it makes it easier to maneuver the wand to get to the itty bitty lashes.  This mascara makes my lashes look long and full at the same time.

I decided I wanted a full-size (which retails for $28), but when I logged on to Sephora (before my January "no-buy"), I found a set that includes a full-size Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner in Noir
and delux sizes of Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base and Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover.  The best part is that you get it all for $34!

Photo from Sephora

If you are looking for a new mascara, I recommend snatching this deal up while you can!

Talk Soon,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Need to Do a "No Buy"

Hey Girls,

I have gone cosmetics crazy!  I love me some makeup.  Unfortunately, my wallet is paying the price for my cosmetic addiction.  I really need to take a break and use up the products I have.  I just can't seem to tear myself away from makeup... or jewelry... or clothes or books or .... the list goes on.

Image from

Anyway, I promised myself I wouldn't buy any makeup in January, and I just purchased a new blush palette. Ahhh!!!  I couldn't help it.  It was on sale.  I wanted it.  The reviews were great.

I have to learn to resist temptation.  Any tips on how to put a cosmetic addiction on hold in order to protect your bottom line?

Talk Soon,


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tarte Carried Away Collector's Set

Hello Girls,

One of my gifts to myself this holiday season was the Tarte Carried Away Collector's Set from Sephora ($54).  If you can find one in your local Sephora, I definitely recommend picking it up right away.  It is such a great value!
Photo from Amazon
The kit includes 24 full size eyeshadows, a face brush, a mini 24 Hour Amazonian Clay blush in Adventurous (shimmering rose), a mini finishing powder, a mini Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara, and eight mini lip glosses.  It is all conveniently stored in a carrying case that is perfect for traveling.

The shadows are definitely the stars of the show.  I am a huge fan of Tarte shadows and am generally impressed with their pigmentation and staying power.  This kit features mostly shimmering shades, but it is a nice mix of neutrals and more colorful choices.  The shadows are packaged in quads, so you can experiment or use each quad for a well-planned eye look.  Finally, the shadows have cute, travel related names.

Rows 1 - 2 (L to R)
Snowfall in Paris, Golden Gate Bridge, Pearl River, Seychelles Sand,  Volcanic Ash,  Pyramid Gold, Touchdown in Londontown and Martha'sVineyard
Rows 3 - 4 (L to R)
Pebble Beach, Boston Brick, Georgia Peach, Tuscan Sun, Spanish Sangria, Napa Grapes, Acai Jungle, Coral Reef
Rows 5 - 6 (L to R)
Iceland Air, Mystic Seaport, Sunshine State, Hawaiian Palm, Concrete Jungle, Hampton Waves, Olive Grove, Sin City
While I am pleased with most of the shadows, there are a few that fall a little flat (ahem, Iceland Air).  However, there are others that I love. Olive Grove, Hampton Waves, Tuscan Sun and Touchdown in Londontown are all gorgeous, highly pigmented shadows.

The mini lipglosses are super cute, and they have a slight minty smell.  There is not a huge variety in colors, but overall, I was pleased with the pigmentation and lack of stickiness.

Jena, Mer, Ali, Muria

Heather, Casey, Anna, Mel
Finally, the other products in this kit are nice enough. I am a huge fan of Tarte blushes, and Adventurous is a very blendable, wearable rose shade.  It doesn't have chunky glitter (always a plus in my book!).  Smooth Operator is very similar to MUF HD Finishing Powder.  It is not groundbreaking, but it is nice to have in my collection.  I am not a huge fan of the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara, but that could be because I am newly addicted to another mascara (post coming soon!).  Everything else pales in comparison. Sigh.

Overall, I love this kit.  If you have the opportunity to try it out, go for it!  If not, be on the lookout for other great products from Tarte.  Based on my experiences thus far, Tarte makes some good stuff!

Lesson Learned: This was my first holiday season as a makeup devotee and blogger, and I learned a very important lesson.  Holiday makeup kits are amazing!  They are such great values, but they also sell quickly.  So, in the words of the ladies from Eleventh Gorgeous, "If you love it, don't set it free.  Buy it!"

Talk Soon,