Tag Archives: style or lack thereof

Getting a Ouidad Haircut

Time for another update in my ongoing curly hair saga. I got a cut in the fall from someone besides my normal stylist and it didn’t go great. Which got me thinking about getting a cut from a curl expert. When I started asking around I found out about Ouidad. And, whaddya know, we have a Ouidad salon here in Boston. My Mom is a big believer in doing everything you can to look your best, so she gave me a Ouidad cut as a birthday present and I finally got a chance to redeem it last month.

So what’s the difference between a Ouidad cut and a regular one? I can’t say exactly, but I can tell you that my Ouidad cut didn’t go anything like a normal one. They call it “carve and slice” and it’s a totally different approach. My stylist, Susanne, used Ouidad products from start to finish and told me exactly what she was doing every step of the way. It was also one of those rare times where I felt like I was able to get my stylist on the same page I was for what I wanted.

The Ouidad cut makes room for each curl to avoid the Christmas tree look. They also use their “rake and shake” method instead of the more common scrunching to define curls. 

I watched pretty closely because like most people, I’m terrible at reproducing a salon look at home. 

She also gave me some great advice about my curls. The top is barely curly at all and the bottom is much bouncier. She advised me to stop pulling my hair back so tightly (which I need to be better about) and when I’m styling I now use duck bill clips to boost my hair near the top of my head to give it a little more volume through the day.

Since then I’ve been wearing my hair done a LOT more, which was the main goal for the new cut. I needed my curls to be able to work on a regular basis, to get away from my default ponytail. 

 Getting a Ouidad HaircutAnd the cut itself? Pictures speak louder than words.

My ability to recreate it? Well, I’m still working on it. I can’t figure out how she was able to get those curls so perfect and defined without having them separate the way they do when I do my hair. I love the thickness of those curls, they’re what I’ve dreamed about since I went curly.

My day-to-day look is more like this next picture. But I love how the cut keeps the curls managed so I don’t have out of control crazy hair. A pin or a clip to pull it back or a quick tuck behind the ears seems to do the trick. 

 Getting a Ouidad HaircutAs for product, I went home with one shampoo, one conditioner and the conditioning spray. I only use the shampoo once a week. The conditioner is AMAZING, it’s kind of foamy and you apply it section by section, which is pretty similar to how you style in the Ouidad method.

I still have a bunch of drugstore styling cream left and I’m going through it. It seems to work out okay even if it’s a bit crunchy now and then. 

The rake and shake, which is super easy, is the only real change. I’m still using a t-shirt to dry my hair for a couple minutes before I style. I have a wide-toothed comb, no brush. And except for my one Ouidad shampoo, I’m using my normal shampoo the rest of the time.

So am I happy with it? Yup. 

The problem? It’s pricey. I’m wondering if I can afford to go back or if I can try some other options. But I’m not positive anything will work this well and being able to wear my hair down with this little effort is worth a lot to me. I feel like I have to go back at least once to ask her secret to getting those soft, big, gorgeous curls from that first day. 

Anyone else try Ouidad cuts?

 

Trying on Warby Parker at Home

affiliate links pic Trying on Warby Parker at HomeIf I can do something at home or online, I absolutely will. Grocery shopping, bill paying, and of course trying on glasses. My current pair of glasses came from a home try-on program at Fetch Eyewear, but I’m always looking for a new style that I love. So I decided to give Warby Parker a try.

WPlogo Trying on Warby Parker at HomeThe first thing I noticed about Warby Parker? Wow, they have a lot of styles. 

 warby parker Trying on Warby Parker at Home

And I love how you can see the different colors of frames available without having to click through to the specific style. Most frames have one more neutral frame and one with a brighter color. I love that. I am so craving a bright colored set of frames. Maybe something blue to compliment my eyes?

Oh, and did I mention that for every pair of Warby Parker frames you buy they donate a pair to a nonprofit that helps provide glasses to low-income people in need.

It took me a while to make a list of just five for the home try-on program. I decided to get a few more rectangular and a few more round. I remembered a few things from my last round of frame attempts: a strong brow that has some shape is good, round can work but it has to be just right. 

I opted for a couple things I hadn’t tried before and ended up with my list of five.

 
rowan optical graphite fog front Trying on Warby Parker at HomeRowan was an attempt to try something new, an interesting brow line, a rectangular style, but the heavy top frame with a much lighter bottom. I had no idea if it would work. That’s how I always feel about glasses, there’s no way of knowing until you actually put them on.

 

linwood optical violet magnolia front 2 Trying on Warby Parker at HomeLinwood was perhaps my first choice and an easy one. Rectangular but not too slim, and I’ve never tried on a pair of tortoiseshell glasses before. (Though technically they call it “violet magnolia,” and you can see the blue-ish tinge in the color.)
 
 Trying on Warby Parker at HomeNedwin was another easy choice. A more classic pair of skinny rectangles, I liked the soft shape at the bottom of the frame. The color was also swoon-worthy. While my eyes are blue, they do have strong shades of green and I was intrigued by what they’d look like.

 

finch optical grenadine front Trying on Warby Parker at HomeFinch was my experimental round-ish pair. The brow line is one that’s worked well on me in the past. I knew these were a long shot, but I like to throw a few unusual choices in there because you never know when they’ll surprise you.

 

baxter optical pinot noir front 1 Trying on Warby Parker at HomeBaxter was another more unusual choice, something outside my normal wheelhouse. I’ve never tried on frames that are this square and I thought, why not?

 

I put in my list and that was that. I will give you an advance warning: Warby Parker put 4 of my glasses in the home try-on portion of my cart and then put one down as a purchase and required a credit card. 

 Trying on Warby Parker at Home

It didn’t take long for them to show up at my door in a cute box. I didn’t wait long to pull them out and try them on. 

So how did they work? 

The square Baxters were an automatic out. I didn’t even snap a pic. There’s always one that just doesn’t work. Which left four options. I submitted it to an internet vote, too.

Warby Rowan e1394379976636 Trying on Warby Parker at Home

The Rowans weren’t a win. While I liked the color of “graphite fog” a lot, not too neutral and not too bright, it just wasn’t the right fit for me. The business-like accents at the corners aren’t really my style. But the dealbreaker was the bit right above the nose. Too heavy for my little nose. And I felt like the lightness at the bottom of the frame actually made my chubbier cheeks look rounder instead of drawing attention away from them, which is usually what I try to do with my glasses.

But you can definitely see how a pair like this could work really well on the right person, especially a guy. 

Rowan votes: 0

 

Warby Linwood e1394380396939 Trying on Warby Parker at HomeNext up was the Linwood. They were not as rectangular as I expected from online, but I didn’t care. Because I loved them. It was pretty immediate and obvious what my favorite pair would be.

The tortoiseshell style color makes it less in-your-face than my current all-black frames, and the rectangular style helps to thin my cheeks and draw the eye up. 

The only thing on my wish list was that these came in a blue, green or gray shade that might have gone better with my eyes. Still, those violet accents are nice, I’d love to see how they work in daylight.

Linwood votes: 12. 

 

Warby Nedwin e1394380824766 Trying on Warby Parker at Home

Nedwin’s greeen didn’t quite shine through the way I’d hoped it would, the color is just a bit yellow-ish for my pink-tinted skin. I still like rectangles on my face, they work pretty well for me, and I like the softness of the angles in this frame more than other rectangles I’ve worn in the past. 

These would make a nice low-key frame for me, more of a compliment to my current pair than a totally new style. Something I’d wear when I didn’t want my glasses to be the first thing people paid attention to.

The one big problem I have with rectangles? They make it very obvious that my eyes are not symmetrical. (Take a look, the eye on the left in this photo is lower in the lens than the eye on the right.) In this picture I tried hard to make it less obvious with a well-placed camera angle.

Nedwin votes: 8

 

Warby Finch e1394381254343 Trying on Warby Parker at HomeFrom the picture you probably won’t find it surprising that I call these my Sally Jesse Raphael glasses. I like the red more than I expected and I even liked the round more than I expected but I think they’re just a little bit too statement-making glasses for me. 

I wish the red were just a bit more bright and a bit less ruddy, I wish my eyes weren’t quite so close together so these frames don’t look quite so enormous on me. Because they’re close to being cool on me, but not quite there. Still, not at all how I thought they’d look.

Finch votes: 2

 

All in all, I was pretty impressed with my frames. They weren’t too heavy, they seemed nice and durable. I found the sizing to be somewhat on the small side so do keep that in mind if you’re looking at the width of your frames. For now I’m waiting on getting a new pair but I’ll definitely be back since I’m in need of a pair of prescription shades and I’m the proud new owner of a flex-spending account and vision insurance. That’ll be another fun try-on, I admit I enjoy this part of the process way too much. Getting input from Instagram and Facebook is my favorite thing about the home try-on glasses programs.

The try-on program was easy and the shipping was fast. They’re shipped UPS so return shipping is as simple as dropping the box with its return label into any UPS dropoff box. If you decide you want to keep a pair you send them back with the others so you can get your lenses. You can try on 5 pairs of glasses or sunglasses for free with their home try-on program

Dear Winter: FIX IT!

affiliate links pic Dear Winter: FIX IT!Now that we’re deep in the throes of winter cold and snow and chill and have a good while to go before we can pack away our coats for the season, I would like to address a number of winter grievances I have. Some of these problems have solutions, but others are desperately needed. And since they cover a wide range of issues I’ve just decided to go straight to the biggest player involved: winter itself. So winter. Listen up, okay?

#1: Earmuffs

 Dear Winter: FIX IT! Dear Winter: FIX IT!The first thing I went looking for this year was earmuffs. My hair rarely does well with a hat but covering ears is a must when you commute on the bus and the train. But I struck out constantly. No one sells earmuffs anymore. Instead they sell these guys: 180s, which are earmuffs that go around the back of your head. Sounds good in theory, right? In practice, not so much.

I have a big head. Ladies hats rarely fit me well. So I was worried they’d be too small. But never fear. They are not too small. Rather they are too big. They work for a walk from my house to the bus stop and earmuffs Dear Winter: FIX IT!they do fold up awfully nice in my purse. But they are not made for the long haul. Here is an expertly made diagram that illustrates why:

Yes, I have tightened them. It doesn’t really make much difference. I cannot imagine what would happen if I had a normal-sized head instead of my gargantuan one.

I am also irked because these claim not to mess up your hair, but they do. I have to put them under my hair or over my hair if it’s down and it would actually be much easier on my hair to use the typical over-the-top-of-your-head-seriously-what-is-so-wrong-with-that earmuffs.

#2: Puffy Coats

I hate the puffy coats. Why do we have the puffy coats? For the kids they mean they’re unsafe in their car seats due to all the extra puffiness separating them from the straps. 

And then there’s walking down a street wearing your puffy coat and skinny jeans and catching a glimpse of yourself in a store window to see you look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on top teetering on toothpick legs. Not attractive.

Finally there’s a big issue for ladies: wearing your purse. If I am carrying a baby and toting my purse, it is basically a given that the purse will not stay on my shoulder for more than a few steps. The big puffy shoulder just lets the purse straps slide right off because it cannot make any contact with my actual shoulder for me to keep it on. 

No more puffy coats, winter. Bring me something thin and sleek and super cute, ok?

#3 Pants

When it comes to bundling up, I’ve got my top half covered. Between the aforementioned coat, sweaters, tees and tanks I can layer like nobody’s business. But for my bottom half it’s not so fun. My kids get fleece- and jersey-lined pants to keep their legs toasty. I once found out that LL Bean sells some jeans for women with flannel lining and I was super pumped and then I tried them on and they were such mom jeans I suspect they were worn in that old SNL sketch.

But after consulting with some friends I have FOUND a solution. They are called fleece-lined leggings and they are awesome. I have worn them under my jeans for the past few cold days and they are comfy and warm and I still look like a normal person in my jeans. (I have not worn them under the skinny jeans, but fortunately I only have one pair of those.)

I got mine on Zulily, but you can also find a bunch on Amazon Dear Winter: FIX IT!.

#4: Gloves Are Worse Than Socks

I have a tough time keeping track of socks in our house. But gloves and mittens are so much worse. We don’t have enough of them so that I can just grab another when I can’t find the second one in a pair. I hereby request winter start selling gloves in 3-pair packs and 5-pair packs just like you do with socks because seriously it is making me crazy.

#5: Heating Vents

Outlets are always in the worst places. Except scratch that. They’re not. Heating vents are in worse places. They are inevitably behind a bed or the television or somewhere. I cannot find a way to arrange any room in my house so that it’s adequately heated. 

I have no idea who to take this up with, winter, so I’m just going straight to you.

#6: Snow Removal

I have snow removal now and it is awesome. Though I still have to shovel the dredges that are left around my car to get it out. But really, I feel sympathy for my friends with the giant driveways and sidewalks who are not so lucky. So, winter, I suggest that everyone is entitled to one of these puppies:

 resource.ashx?guid=a4977c330a004e9682095d442c4240bf&w=600&h=600&p=10&x=SJ322P Dear Winter: FIX IT!
So teeny. And not a snow blower but a snow THROWER, which I find kind of adorable. Looks like it takes up about as much space as my shovel. Let’s do this.

Oh, and also for the next blizzard that comes after freezing rain and takes out all our power:
resource.ashx?guid=a1c75757d1ea496bacc8fda399323ef2&w=600&h=600&p=10&x=SPS 1220W Dear Winter: FIX IT!
You get a generator! You get a generator! Everybody gets a generator!

So winter. These are my problems. I would like you take care of these for me immediately, please.

Best wishes,

Jess

Awesome Amazon Alternatives

affiliate links pic Awesome Amazon AlternativesI don’t know about you guys, but I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper. I like my shopping low-key and crowd-free. I am a big fan of two other things, though: Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Online holiday shopping is great, but one thing that makes me kind of stabby about it is Amazon. Like Facebook and Google, Amazon is one of those internet behemoths that I kind of love and kind of hate. I love all the books, their Kindles, their super saver shipping, the way they’ve rattled the publishing industry and every other industry they’ve taken on.

I hate… a lot of other things. Especially their holiday shopping insanity. Deals! More deals! Flash sales! It’s open! You missed it! Too much, too crazy, just blech.

Similarly, searching for gifts there is ridiculous. It’s such a vast marketplace that you can’t really find anything unless you already know what you want to get. The first time it really made me crazy was when I was pregnant with Graham and looking for baby gear and bedding. I would spend forever looking and researching and make virtually no progress. Oh, and then there’s the issue of some of the sellers who are lackluster at best. Not all Amazon sellers are created equal. Not by a long shot.

Luckily there are some other internet retailers out there that are making the online shopping process easier and still offering cool stuff and good prices.

Uncommon Goods Awesome Amazon Alternatives

22244 lg1 Awesome Amazon Alternatives Awesome Amazon AlternativesUncommon Goods is cool for a few reasons. They focus on creative merchandise, offer handmade items and feature green goods. They pay their workers well and support artists, plus they support several non-profits including RAINN and American Forests. Awesome, no?  Their toys for kids are creative rather than the popular item of the moment. Because of their environmental commitments you can also find lots of great wooden and natural fabric toys there. There’s a fab marketplace of artisan jewelry for ladies. I know mugs and glasses aren’t a super cool present, but I want pretty much all the ones they carry. Their gifts “for him” are really unique, too. This is definitely one to bookmark if you’ve got someone who’s tough to buy for or who loves unusual and handmade gifts. 

Jess’s picks: Smartphone Film Scanner Awesome Amazon Alternatives (convert film negatives into pics on your phone); Braille & Sign Language Blocks Awesome Amazon Alternatives; Personalized Whiskey Barrel Awesome Amazon Alternatives. Pictured: Major Scale Musical Wine Glasses – Set of 2 Awesome Amazon Alternatives.

VM Innovations

resource.ashx?guid=42fee74c0b8749799d70809203fef2a2&w=600&h=600&p=10&x=65086 Awesome Amazon AlternativesThis is probably one of those sites you’ve never heard of. They’re like a mini-Amazon but with a much smaller selection.  The big pluses: always free shipping, and they can get almost anywhere in the US in 2 days. Tons of LEGO stuff, great baby gear. The real winner? If you’re looking for a dollhouse. A-freaking-mazing dollhouses of all kinds here and they’re cheaper than Amazon. Kidkraft is one of their biggest brands.

Jess’s picks: KidKraft Fun Explorers Rocket Ship Play Set / 63213, KidKraft Everyday Heroes Police & Fire Set, all their wooden kitchen sets.  Pictured: Glitz & Glitter Dream Wood Dollhouse

Modnique

 Awesome Amazon AlternativesWhat’s impressive about Modnique is how varied their stuff is. They focus on apparel (men, women and kids) and accessories (watches, handbags, shoes, jewelry, makeup). Their model means that they will have a $10 bracelet next to a $15,000 bracelet. You can find something for basically any budget. And you’ll find big huge designer labels at big markdowns. 

My review from last week gave me the opportunity to peruse the site and see what I thought. This is another situation where a limited selection is not a drawback. While I found the women’s apparel section not quite as strong, in the accessories they’ve got some great stuff. If you’re looking to snag a great gift at a lower price, they’re worth a shot. They have a great daily deal element, too. My products came quickly (order processing took a few days but shipping was fast) and I’m very pleased with my orders. For a limited time get $5 off orders over $50 sitewide – use coupon code Modnique5off50 Awesome Amazon Alternatives

My picks: Purses, Shoes, Watches, Jewelry. It’s new stuff every day but it’s pretty great.

Shopping at Modnique

sponsored post image Shopping at ModniqueDesigner labels are out of my price range. I tend to get my decent clothes marked down at TJ Maxx or second-hand at Savers. I like quality clothes because I want them to last, when I just go for cheap stuff it never lasts much longer than a year or two. But I don’t have time to browse the racks at these stores all the time, and good finds take a decent amount of browsing. So I was happy to take the opportunity to review Modnique, a site that has flash sales that include a lot of designer labels and offer merchandise such as clothes, shoes, watches, jewelry, handbags and makeup.

Selection 

Because this isn’t a typical inventory, you’ll find there will be lots of sold out items. I know they could hide those sold out items, but they keep them on there because a lot of them are fantastic and have you kicking yourself for missing out. Yup, this is definitely a site for the shopping addict who likes to scour for a good deal but doesn’t always have the time.

modnique bags 1 Shopping at Modnique

 

Are these bags beautiful? Yes, they are. Am I mad they are sold out? Yes I am. This gives you an idea of the kind of markdowns you get to see, too. A $400 handbag down to $90? I like that.

I spent most of my time perusing the jewelry and handbags, since those were the items I could use the most. (I’ve ditched the baby bag and gone back to my old black purse. Which is nice and all, but I’d love something with more attitude and oomph.)  I realized really quickly that this was a good choice since they’re some of the best-stocked categories from when I was on the site. I scrolled and scrolled and I have to say, these were some fantastic bags. Just beautiful. I’m picky, very picky, and I would’ve bought a lot of what was there. 

The jewelry had lots of nice options, too, and since it was divided into necklaces, earrings, etc. it didn’t take as long to look at my options. I easily ended up with 1 bag and 5 pieces of jewelry in my cart and finally slimmed down to 4 items. The bag, 2 nice necklaces and earrings with a pop of color all for $99. It wasn’t hard at all for me to spend $100. Might have been a little *too* easy.

Price

The one thing I wish the site had is the ability to sort by price. The prices vary WILDLY within some categories, especially things like bags and jewelry.  Here is a necklace for $15.  Here is a necklace for $15,000 right below it.

Yeah, if you have a serious designer label lover in your life, this is a great place to shop for them. 

If you’re a bargain hunter who likes to get something at big fat markdowns, this is another good choice. Sure, you may have to get email updates or go visit the site every few days, but if you’re in the market for a statement ring or a great watch you’re going to find something you like in your budget eventually no matter what that budget is.

modnique bags 2 Shopping at Modnique

If you’re a TJ Maxx shopper like me, you may have seen your share of Tosca bags. If I’m buying a new bag I want it under $50 and I was pleased to find some cheaper brands that I know and have bought before next to Gucci and Louis Vuitton. 

Shipping is free if your purchase is $99 or more, and usually shipped next business day. If you don’t qualify for free shipping, don’t worry, it’s pretty cheap. 

For Gifts Shopping

Definitely a win. The men’s gifts under $99 section? Nice. $500 watches, Valentino and Versace neck ties, $100 pens, those fancy headphones all the kids are wearing. Yup, all there, all $99 or less. 

The Women’s Apparel section wasn’t their strong suit. But great accessories. Great shoes. Still plenty to work with.

The final purchases? I don’t get to shop for myself all that much so I went for it. 

modnique order Shopping at Modnique

 

My friends at Tosca still had the green version left, which was great with me since I wanted some color anyway and it’ll go nicely with my red wool winter coat. And the other pieces fulfill my need for a few colorful pieces of jewelry to add to my collection. I particularly loved the Chateau d’Argent pieces, as you can probably tell, since I got two.

Thanks to Splash Creative Media for sponsoring this post and providing me with a gift certificate to Modnique in exchange for this review. 

Stuff I Love: Beauty & Style

affiliate links pic Stuff I Love: Beauty & StyleHey, it’s part 2 of my Stuff I Love (and don’t love so much) week. Today it’s beauty, style, etc. Some of this stuff I got for free, some I bought myself, all of it is my opinions, of course.

ponds Stuff I Love: Beauty & StyleOh, makeup. I consider myself makeup challenged. Luckily my style is to keep my makeup natural. My biggest challenge is foundation. My skin can be kind of blotchy and the tone is uneven, my pores are a mess and I’m prone to outbreaks. I have a few tools in my arsenal that I trust. I love stick foundation, right now I use Shiseido Stick Foundation with primer underneath when I need to look my best.   But I like to have more than one option for foundation and I like some of them to be cheap. In the summer to keep it light I use Boots No. 7 Tinted Moisturizer. For a more matte look I use Revlon ColorStay. I was feeling pretty okay with these so when I got a sample of Ponds BB Cream from Influenster I wasn’t even sure I’d use it. But I did, because good foundation is hard to find. And um, wow. It’s my new favorite.

Even though it just comes in “Light” and “Medium” shades, the Light is great for my pale skin, which is usually too pale for even the lightest color. It blends well, gives better coverage than tinted moisturizer, but doesn’t feel as heavy as foundation. I think I have my dream product. It’s been over a week and I haven’t seen an increase in breakouts, my skin is doing just dandy. And I’m in love. 

Also speaking of makeup: I am also lazy. So I like stuff that goes on fast… and ways to take it off fast. Which is where another of my nice freebies comes in. I’ve been using Pond’s Cleansing Cloths at night, but CVS gave me one of their store-brand cleansing cloths, these are Apricot and have one side that removes makeup and one side that exfoliates. They work just as well as the Pond’s and they’re cheaper. Huzzah! Always nice to have a good generic, am I right?

 Stuff I Love: Beauty & Style

There are lots of things I can’t afford anymore. And a splurge for a pedicure, even a cheap one, isn’t in the cards these days. Especially since summer’s over and I won’t be walking around in sandals much. Despite Graham’s extensive nail polish collection I felt the need to get a new color to help perk me up and to come with me down to Miami. Something fun and eye-catching that wasn’t the kind of eye-popping color I normally go to during the summer.

I am super pumped with my choice: The Lace is On from essie. They call it a “jeweltoned pearlescent fuchsia” and that’s just about right. I like a less matte finish since my toe-polishing skills are subpar and the shiny helps cover my mistakes. The darker color makes it more fall-y without being a definite autumn tone. Plus I love purples and pinks on my toes, so this way I kind of get both.

savers Stuff I Love: Beauty & StyleAlso in the land of cheap: I was invited to the opening of a new Savers in Norwood and got some gift cards to use there. I’d never been to one before, I didn’t really know what it was, but I was happy to take a look. Basically, Savers is kind of like a cross between Goodwill and TJ Maxx. But I’ve gone to two locations now and I’m pretty much in love. It’s super organized. It has a giant selection of clothes. If you’re looking for kid stuff, there’s a decent amount of clothes and tons of toys. Everything’s in great condition, as good as a high-level consignment store. It’s clean and neat and I can do my shopping really fast. 

For less than $40 I got the kids 5 pairs of pajamas, I got myself a denim skirt from White House Black Market, a Jones New York top and a dress from Express. They have furniture. They have picture frames. They have bed sheets. They have ties. So other people living on a budget, I urge you to check it out if there’s one near you.

I did have to buy one non-budget item recently: a laptop bag. I’d been hauling mine around in a canvas tote bag and getting a job where I needed to take my laptop to work every day on the train meant the canvas tote was no longer sufficient.

 Stuff I Love: Beauty & Style Stuff I Love: Beauty & StyleTo keep it as budget-friendly as possible, I went down to the outlets and wrangled the kiddos while we went from store to store checking out my options. It turned out the first was the best: a Tumi Laptop Carrier Stuff I Love: Beauty & Style. I looked at a lot of options, from Samsonite to Kate Spade, but the TUMI bag was the one that had the best mix of style with useful features and durability. Plus it came with a laptop sleeve and a bag for my cord. So far I have zero complaints about the bag. It’s been on my shoulder every day I’ve gone to work for nearly 2 months. 

When the time comes for luggage, I have a feeling TUMI is going to be my new thing.

 —

 As for the stuff I DON’T love:

  • cover girl Stuff I Love: Beauty & StyleCoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast Eyeshadow. As I said, I like simple. A shadow that’s shiny but goes on like a primer is a huge find. It looks great, too. Unfortunately it also dries out your eyelids and can give you a kind of tingly/burning sensation. I experimented to make sure it was this and not allergies, but it was definitely the shadow. A week after quitting it, my eyes are still really dry and irritated. So that’s a big no.
  • Seriously, if anyone out there knows a great eyeshadow that isn’t a powder, tell me. I tried an e.l.f. one but the color was terrible for my skin tone. 
  • Mousse for my curls. For my trip to Miami I just brought a carry-on so I brought a travel-sized mousse instead of my V05 cream. Did not like. My cream is cheap and works great and I’m not sure I even want to find a fancy, pricey product.
  • I don’t like powder for eyeshadow or foundation, but I love it for blush. I just don’t like cream blush. And I don’t like that I don’t have any more Dandelion blush from Benefit. I’ve been out for a couple years and I keep trying to find a cheap replacement but nothing measures up. It shall be on my Christmas list for sure. Maybe it’s not in the budget, but it’ll make a great present if you’re so inclined…