Thursday, September 26, 2013

Summer to Fall Jewelry Haul (Francesca's, Light Years, Charming Charlie, Ross, Kohl's, Target, TJ MAXX, Macy's, Dillard's, Hand Picked, and Genealogy)

Brands such as Kate Spade, J. Crew, Henri Bendel, Stella and Dot are known in the fashion world for releasing hot designs, spreading like wildfire - "bubble" necklace, "bib" necklace, etc. Obviously, I would love to own such designer jewelry, but the prices seem slightly unreasonable for costume jewelry. I believe I have found some great alternative brands and boutiques that offer trendy and quality jewelry items within a reasonably affordable price range. If you are a fan of designer costume jewelry, I would recommend taking a look at the jewelry and accessories sold at boutiques such as Francesca's, Light Years, Hand Picked, and Genealogy. At times I find a nice selection of items at Charming Charlie's. However, I think Charming Charlie would be an option for someone who likes Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe jewelry, yet desires better quality and wider color-oriented selection. TJ Maxx and Ross carry original designer brands at very affordable, nearly clearance level prices, but their stock varies so I either find unique treasures or waste my time. Macy's and Dillard's are my least favorite places because the selection is sometimes too mature for my age and prices are too steep for my liking. Macy's and Dillard's rarely have sales. Last, but not the least, and my favorite two places are Target and Kohl's. Kohl's always has sales and additional coupons. 

During the last few months, I have purchased quite a few beautiful pieces of jewelry. I wanted to share these colorful discoveries with you all and provide a preview of the items and deals that are currently available at these stores. 

I am definitely not a fashion expert on the current trends by any means whatsoever, but I have had a passion for "dressing up" and "looking fancy" since I was a little tyke. My mom says that she would dress me up in several different outfits throughout the day. My mom has so many pictures of me posing in at random outdoor places, in front of rusty orange and crimson trees in the Autumn or blooming gardens in the Spring. I loved wearing gold jewelry at a very young age, middle to high-school, back when only "aunties" used to rock the gold bling bling. Not everyone will understand that! I was stacking bangles and bracelets, showing off my arm candy in 6th grade, while the "cool girl" Ms. Snooty Bottoms next to me worn her little hair tie on the wrist. 

Although I find many fashion trends enticing, I feel like I have always been a little late in the game. Also, I like an array of style and like to add a unique twist of my own. I cannot seem to categorize my sense of style because I like it all - the grudge look of flannel and plaid, the retro chic motorcycle jackets, the classy military jackets, shape flattering peplum, dark wash skinnies, sexy sheer button downs, high-waisted pencil skirts, pearls, hoops, gold, mixed metals, Audrey Hepburn sunglasses, etc. 

All of the jewelry items below are my current favorites. I have been wearing these pieces for the past few months. I adore the bright pop of color and glamour these add to my rather semi-casual outfits. Some day, one day, in the future, I would love to own the original Audrey Hepburn Ray-bans and a Louis Vuitton handbag. 

Make a Statement, Flirty, Classy, Bright, Ethnic 

Macy's $28 (sale price) 

TJ Maxx $30 (necklace); $20 (bracelet) 

TJ Maxx $30 (necklace); $20 (bracelet) 

Hand-Picked $18 (necklace); $15 (earrings) 

Mixing Metals, Statement Chunky and Chain Link Bracelets 

TJ MAXX $24.99 

Francesca's $19.99 

Francesca's $19.99 

Francesca's $14 

Charming Charlie $9.99 

Kohl's Sonoma under $10 

Golden and Delicate, Arm Candy for Stacking 

Top to Bottom: Mint Gold Chain Link Bracelet $8; Navy Filigree Gold $9.99; Love Tag Chain Link Bracelet $12 

Target $14
(This is truly my love, go-to, favorite of all my bracelets. It reminds me of the Tiffany's ball bracelet. I pair this with the gold ball studs by CHAPS from Kohl's pictured below.) 

Ross $9.99 

Light Years $8

Light Years $9 

Charming Charlie $10 

Colorful, Trendy, Gemstone, Danglers, Hoops, and Studs

Left to Right: Kohl's CHAPS Gold Studs (under $10), Francesca's Druzy Stone Circle Danglers ($12 each), Genealogy Turquoise Teardrops ($15), Kohl's Sonoma Antique Gold Leaf-like Danglers (about $4), Kohl's CHAPS Gold Hoops (under $10), Francesca's Colorful Fuchsia Blue Gemstone Danglers ($14). 

Charming Charlie $4.99 

Summer to Autumn Transition Colors, Cobalt Blue, Fuchsia  

$15 each / Buy 2 - Get $10 Off (I got the cobalt blue and black earrings [below] for $4 each on clearance.) 

Dillard's $15 each / Buy 2 - Get $10 Off 

Festive Glamorous Gold for the Holidays 

Francesca's $12

Francesca's $14

Kohl's Sonoma under $10 

Meijer $5.99 

Target $7.99

Warm and Cozy, Plum and Berry, Autumn  

Target $7.99 

Target $7.99 

Keep an eye out for sales at these stores. Francesca's occasionally has a BOGO (buy one, get one 50%) sale. Target recently had 20% off earrings and 10% off necklaces. Other than the typical 10-20% off, Target sometimes has a buy three for "x" price deal on its jewelry. Kohl's always sends out coupons and marks down its jewelry by 40-60% off retail price. I have never bought anything full price at Kohl's. 

I hope you all liked the jewelry collection displayed above. Thank you for stopping by, until next time! 

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

*New* BOBBI BROWN Lip Gloss #55 Tea Berry (Rich Chocolate Fall 2013 Collection Limited Edition)

Once bitten, twice cautious, or not...

Bobbi Brown is one of the high-end brands I am quite drawn to, but my experience with this brand has been hit or miss. I am really fond of the blush and lipsticks (creamy and sheer formula) I own from this brand. I also enjoyed using my sample of their BB cream, but never purchased it because I don't use face products on a regular basis. However, a lot of their hyped products have not worked out for me, such as their eyeshadows, colored gel liners, bronzing powder, and "Rich" lipsticks. 

My general thoughts on the Rich Chocolate Fall 2013 Collection...

 Although I look forward to brands adding new products to their permanent line and seasonal collections, I am always slightly reluctant to try the seasonal collections. Bobbi Brown's collection for this Fall (Autumn) is called Rich Chocolate. The collection includes a shimmery palettes of beige and brown neutral shades. I experimented with these shades at the counter and noticed that the shadows were not pigmented whatsoever. The two lipsticks in the collection are pretty boring in my opinion - a pale pink (nude) and a berry (deep rosy pink). Moreover, these lipsticks are not from the creamy, creamy matte, or sheer formula ranges. These lipsticks have the packaging and formula of the Original/Rich range. The Original/Rich lipsticks have the old fashioned point-slanted bullets rather than a flat rounded balm-like bullet, which I love so much so that I don't even consider trying certain lipsticks that don't have such a bullet. Also, the formula of these lipsticks is very drying. Ultimately, the only product from this collection that caught my eye was the rosy pink lip gloss with the adorable name "Tea Berry". 

My thoughts on the coveted "Tea Berry" Gloss...

When I was paying for this lip gloss, a gutting $25 by the way, the MUA told me that I was buying the second to last one. The Muse from the Musings of a Muse gave this lip gloss a rave review. She said that she loved it so much that she bought a backup. Her review convinced me that I need this gloss in my life. 

"Tea Berry" is a medium to full coverage lip gloss even though it is not designated as one of Bobbi's Rich (full) Color glosses. On the arm in the picture below, the shade looks like a light berry red, yet on my lips it appears to be a rosy pink. I feel like it looked very subtle and similar to my own natural lip color. Although I love the color and the fact that this is a richly pigmented gloss, which implies effortless, on-the-go, quick application, this lip product is sadly not a keeper for me. 

So, what's missing? 

I am very particular about the glosses I wear because my lips react very sensitively. For your reference, Buxom's plumping lip glosses and Clinique's long-wear glosses irritate my lips, whereas Revlon's Super Lustrous glosses, Neutrogena lip shines, and MAC's lip glosses suit me. The Smashbox Limitless long-wear glosses fall somewhere in limbo of love-hate, being the only long-wear glosses that do not inflame my lips. 

This lip gloss really bothered my lips. I wanted to remove soon after applying it because my lips felt tight and suffocated. I cannot describe the exact feeling, but my lips feel prickly too, like a mixture of pain and heat. I am not saying I felt a pepperminty tingle. It was much more uncomfortable than the tingle of Tarte Lip Surgence or Buxom lip products. 

Once I removed this gloss from my lips, my upper lip sort of felt the same as it does when I get a sunburn. Furthermore, I experienced slight inflammation in the area where I had applied the gloss on my arm. Given the unfortunate circumstances and high price-point of this lip gloss, I plan to return it as soon as possible, so I will not be giving this gloss any additional tries. 

But who might like this? 

I think for those who do not have sensitive lips and enjoy wearing long-wear glosses, despite the heavy, sticky, rigid film-like feeling of such glosses, might really like this gloss, especially with its rich pigmentation. 

Overall, I cannot get over how much I adore the shade, but wish the formula had not irritated my lips because this would have been an ideal lip color for a busy day requiring subtle and quick on-the-go makeup. 

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Friday, September 20, 2013

*New* MAC Indulge Collection Deliciously Rich Gel Eyeliner and Divine Decadence Eyeshadow (Fall 2013)

One of MAC's recent Fall 2013 releases is the MAC Indulge collection. I picked up a gel liner in the shade called Deliciously Rich and an eyeshadow in the shade called Divine Decadence. 

Is the MAC Indulge collection an indulgence worth the calories? 

Price: $16

Price: $15

Top: Deliciously Rich; Bottom: Divine Decadence 

Deliciously Rich is a cool-toned antique bronze brown with loads of gold shimmer. The gold shimmer can look like gold flakes on the lids. Divine Decadence is a warm toned light milk chocolate brown with very subtle golden shimmer. I don't own MAC's Wood Winked, but these shades look very similar to Wood Winked, which is an antiqued bronze gold shade. Deliciously Rich has brown in it, which I don't think Wood Winked has and Deliciously Rich has toasty reddish undertones. The pigmentation of these shades is a little disappointing. I own MAC's Satin Taupe, All that Glitters, Naked Lunch, and Swiss Chocolate, which are all richly pigmented. One dip of your finger and bam boom va va voom! I had to really push, swirl, and twirl my brushes with these two. Also, there was significant fall out, not of the shadow per se, but a lot of golden shimmer settled under my eyes and on my cheeks, which was difficult to get rid of even with a moist wipe. 

In the picture below, I am wearing Deliciously Rich all over the lid. I attempted to apply it with a shader brush first, but that did not work out very well. I would suggest using your fingers, which is what I did, and then blend it out with a blending brush. 

Deliciously Rich sets in place very quickly. It did not budge when I tried to blend it with my finger, but I was able to blend it with my blending brush. I did use a primer as a base, so that could also partly be a reason for Deliciously Rich drying so quickly. 

In the picture below, I added Divine Decadence all over the lid with a shader brush. I also used this color to defining my crease and blending. I really like the two eye products paired together. Personally, I like limited my eye makeup to one or two shades and using as few shades as possible create a subtle mono-color gradient look. 

If you are someone who likes neutral smokey eye makeup looks, these two eye products are worth adding to your makeup collection. However, if you like variety and using multiple colors to create dimension and light to dark gradients, like a deep crease, luminous lid, and high arches, using both the colors might be too dull for your liking. 

Deliciously Rich is meant to be a gel liner. This may work as a very subtle eye liner for someone who has a fair/light skin tone with light hair color. I don't think this would suit me as an eyeliner. I don't even like brown eyeliner. I love the seductiveness of rich black winged liner look. Deliciously Rich might also be fun to use on your lower lid. I noticed that that is a popular look this season. I am not a fan of the sultry raccoon eyes, but it is fun to be free and color outside the lines at times. 

Overall, I do like these two products and will continue to use them on special occasions. If you are a big fan of MAC shadows, neutral yet smokey eye makeup, and don't mind the fall out, then I would recommend these. Also, the pigmentation is not awful. When I think of awful I think of MAC's Carbon or the infamous (in my opinion) Urban Decay Naked I and II. It just isn't as good as the other permanent MAC cult favorite shades I mentioned above. 

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