Tory Burch and Kendra Scott on the Cheap. No… Really.

Tory Burch and Kendra Scott on the Cheap. No… Really.

Ugh!  Poshmark.  Staaaaaaaahhhhhhhp.  Look what you’ve done to me!  I promised myself I wouldn’t purchase anything, but my word.  I’ve never seen so many pretty things at such prices in my life.  It’s a struggle, guys.

I have wanted a pair of Tory Burch flats for… forever.  I’m a ballet flat kind of girl.  They’re my go-to nearly every day.  Now, I have to preface this post with the fact that I never spend more than $20 (and that’s steep for me…) on a pair of flats.  Ever.  EVER.  No, seriously, I won’t do it.  Why?  Prepare to be grossed out-I was blessed with hyperhydrosis (fancy name for your feet sweat like you regularly walk on coals… not flattering… thanks a lot, dad!).  So, guess what happens to all of my adorable little ballet flats?  They become filled with puddles.  Yep-disgusting.  After a season of flats I throw those babies out and feel no shame.

I somehow became rather addicted to my cognac colored pair.  They go with black, white, navy, you name it… can’t go wrong!  They dress up, they dress down, they always look classy with whatever they are paired with.  Thanks, Target… you rock for carrying them for years!  And yes… I do now have them in nearly every color they manufacture…

Alright… now that you have the weird background of my ballet flat obsession, here’s where a used shoe Purchase comes in.  When I began my Poshmark closet, I made a pact with myself.  I said, “Self, I will NOT purchase any used clothing.  If I find a GREAT (and I mean this has to be the deal of the century) deal on an item that is new with tags, I will THINK about making a purchase”.

Now, I have had my eye on Tory Burch flats for years, but would never dare pay $250 for  a pair.  Are you kidding?  They would be filled with a puddle in 30 seconds and I would cry because I practically gave my first born to pay for those shoes.  No, sir.  I eyed several pairs of NWT (new with tags) pairs of Tory Burch flats on Poshmark and even countered an offer, but no dice.  I stopped checking out the listings for a few days and out of the blue the former Roomie shoots me a text: “What do you think about these shoes on Poshmark?”.  Well, they’re used.  That was my thought.  Used shoes?  Then I took a look at them.  Sam Edelmans.  They looked BRAND NEW.  For $38.  Hmmm… you know, not everyone creates puddles while standing.  There just may be something to this.  I shot her a text back and said I don’t do used shoes, but they’re in amazing shape and you’ve wanted those shoes for a long time… buy the shoes.

Reluctantly, I opened my Poshmark app to take a look at new Tory Burch shoe listings.  There. They. Were.  “Used” Tory Burch flats in my beloved cognac color.  $100.  I thought “uh huh… bet those things look like they’ve been through WWIII”.  I took a look through the photos.  These things looked brand spanking new.  Ughhhh… ok.  I “liked” them.  A few hours after liking that pair I received an offer:  $75 with free shipping.  After selling a few pairs of jeans I’ll never fit in again, I have around $15 credit on Poshmark that I was considering just withdrawing for cash, but if I were to apply it to this purchase, these shoes would be about $60 even.  Not. Bad.  Alright, I don’t even know if these things will fit!  I decided to look at some reviews.  Most people complained that they’re snug and said to size up AT LEAST half a size.  I asked the seller what her opinion was.  She suggested looking at other reviews, but from her experience they fit very true to size.  Dang.  I give in.  Shoes ordered.  Anddddddd I wait.

The shoes shipped very quickly, were packaged with such care, and were absolutely perfect.  These shoes looked like they had been worn no more than once.  Indoors.  Such minimal wear on the sole, no scratches or visible wear on the leather, and so adorable.  Now, to see if they fit.  The moment of truth, y’all.  I put some no-show socks on so I don’t ruin the poor things within 5 seconds of trying them on with my puddle producing feet.

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Well, I do believe the reviews were correct.  They are snug.  After having babies my feet grew and never quite returned to their size 8 status.  They’re now more like an 8 1/2 almost 9 most days, so overall these aren’t too far off from true to size.  However, since they haven’t been broken in I’ll have to say, they just may be the most uncomfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. They darn near bruised my poor feet the first day I wore them. They are so stiff from not being broken in I think me and the Torys will need to spend some quality time while I’m home and wear them with some very thick socks to do some leather stretching. BUT… would it even matter if they were so small I couldn’t walk?  Nope.  They’re too darn cute!

After wearing them more they’ve stretched a significant amount.  I also don’t wear no-show socks with them any longer because I believe that may have been exacerbating the problem.  Exacerbating?  Did I just use that word?  I need a nap, guys…  I did, however, invest in a pair of Gekks.

What are Gekks you ask?  The most amazing no show socks EVER.  They are seriously life changing for flats, heels, and loafers.  I found them from a Facebook ad (don’t judge… I know you’re judging) and they were a little pricey, but with my sweaty feet problem I’m always willing to give options a try.  I have to say, they live up to the hype.  They have made my shoes so much more comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m completely ruining every pair of shoes I own.

gekks

After being so used to my cheap Target flats I have to say these flats are VERY well made.  The leather is beautiful, the Tory Burch medallions add such a great touch of style without standing out too much, and they’ll go with literally anything. These were a great purchase at an even greater price.

So, of course after I found these I HAD to keep looking at Tory Burch shoes.  Well, I also found an adorable pair of Tory Burch wedges I had to have.  I got them for $40 and I know these have never been worn.  The soles are pristine and the canvas isn’t stretched or discolored in the slightest.

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You know, if you have great shoes, you then need other awesome accessories.  It’s kind of like “If you give a mouse a cookie” or “If you give a moose a muffin”.  Don’t pretend you don’t know those books… by the way, Amazon Prime Video has an “If you give a mouse a cookie” series, guys and it’s adorable.  Play it for your kids!  Ok… I digress.

Tory Burch earrings and a Kendra Scott necklace completed my collection nicely.  I have wanted a Kendra Scott necklace for a long time, but never really wanted to pay the (according to me) high price for something so simple.  They never go on sale, so I figured I was out of luck.  Until Poshmark!  I scored an Elisa necklace for $30.

When I started Poshmark I promised myself I wouldn’t purchase anything, let alone used shoes.  Well, I broke my promise.  Poshmark, you’ve made me a believer!

New Makeup Favorites… and They’re DRUGSTORE Brands!

New Makeup Favorites… and They’re DRUGSTORE Brands!

I’ve ditched a few makeup favorites for drugstore brands (hey… they’re cheaper… and most ended up being better overall for the most part), had to make some changes due to discontinued products (boo!), and added a few newbies to the makeup routine over the past year or so (because, mom skin, y’all… it’s just totally different).

This post will walk you through my typical full coverage makeup regimen, my daily makeup regimen, what has been working well, what could use some improvement, and what products I’d like to try next.

Full Coverage Makeup Regimen

So, since I have been blessed with adult acne, it makes it much harder to get rid of any acne marks quickly.  Aging skin and acne just don’t mix, guys.  That being said, now add skin that is beginning to wrinkle and the fun begins.  Most days I wear fairly minimal makeup, but when I have time I LOVE to play with new trends and see what’s out there that works.  Lately I’ve been all in on drugstore dupes.  I’ve found that I can usually find drugstore brands that work as well (or better… heck yes!) than pricier brands.  I’ve also found that the pricier brands I grew to love changed their lines CONSTANTLY.  So, once I found something I loved they discontinued it.  Bummer.  Here are the steps I take for a full coverage face, what I use, what works, and what isn’t my favorite, but is currently what I use.

Oval Brushes

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And I thought I loved my beauty blender.  You guys.  Oval brushes are a thing and they are LIFE CHANGING.  Now, I’ll have to say they’re not great for everything, but here is what I find them most effective for:

  • foundation
  • blush
  • powder

I think my favorite has to be the foundation brush.  It makes foundation go on so smoothly without clumping, streaking, or absorbing all of the foundation.  I do love the blush and powder brushes for the same reason-effortless blending.

I still use my beauty blender for concealer, highlighter, and contouring.  I also use my eyeshadow brushes for eye makeup.  I found it extremely hard to use the eye makeup flat brushes as they were hard to get an even application with a flat brush.

African Black Soap for Brush and Beauty Blender Cleaner

african black soap

I have tried so many products and different methods to clean my brushes and beauty blenders over the years and NOTHING has come close to African Black Soap.  It even gets my beauty blender completely clean.  The price also can’t be beat!  The. Best. Hands. Down.

Maybelline Master Prime Primer

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Maybelline’s Master Prime Primer has something for everyone.  They have options for dry skin, redness, large pores, you name it, they’ve got you.  When I’m using full coverage makeup I typically use the redness control because I tend to have a little more redness in my cheeks as I get older.  All of these that I’ve tried have worked better than all expensive primers I’ve tried.  A great primer can go a long way to make your foundation look smoother, which helps provide such great coverage.

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation

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So, this stuff is magical.  I follow primer up with this foundation.  It’s a great full coverage foundation, is extremely light, goes on smoothly, and stays.  All. Day. Long.  It also doesn’t cause my skin to break out after wearing it like some heavier full coverage makeup I’ve tried.  It also has many different shades, so matching a color is fairly easy.

My only beef with this foundation is that I’m pretty sure it’s being discontinued.  They do however make a non “better skin” version that is still awesome.  I believe the only difference is the normal Superstay version doesn’t contain salicylic acid, which dries your skin anyway.

Maybelline Superstay Concealer

concealer

Might as well keep with the Superstay theme…  I figure if I’m going to use a a Superstay foundation, I might as well follow it up with a Superstay concealer.  This concealer works just as well as the foundation.  I use it on blemishes, redness, and sometimes I even use it as an under eye concealer.  It’s pretty awesome.

This also seems to be discontinuing, however.  I will more than likely replace it with the non-salicylic acid version, which should be just fine.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer

under eye

The Superstay concealer works for under eye circles, but I’ve notice that the older I get the worse my dark circles get (yay!).  This concealer seems to help combat the dark circles, but my only complaint is that my eyeliner and mascara seem magnetically attracted to this concealer.  Like, they’re besties…

I’m still using it for now until I find something that doesn’t stick to my mascara and eyeliner so much.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance (Replaced by Urban Decay Shadow Primer)

I have used Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Champagne for years.  I loved it because it doubled as a shadow.  It has a slightly shimmery nude base color that’s great for everyday wear or as a shadow primer.  Well, in true Too Faced fashion they discontinued it.  Fail, Too Faced, huge fail.  I’m pretty much on a rally against Too Faced since they’ve discontinued every product of theirs I love.

I received Urban Decay Shadow Primer in a gift from Ulta and it’s serving its purpose well, but I’m not about to shell out a fortune for this stuff.  I’m keeping my eye out for a great drugstore dupe and if I find one, you’ll be the first to hear about it!

Maybelline Master Contour Stick

contour

As a contour newbie, I chose this version because 1. it was cheap 2. it had awesome reviews.  I was NOT disappointed.  It has great color, is easy to blend, and did I mention it’s cheap? Oh… I did?  Ok.

If you’ve never contoured you need to try it-it’s not as hard as it sounds, guys and a little goes a long way.  Find a YouTube video and try it once-I promise it’s not hard!

What I love about this product is it has great pigmentation, blends fairly easily, but doesn’t just blend away.  You know what I mean… I know you’ve all had a product at least once that you put it on, it looks great, then you try to blend it and then think “wait… I just wanted to blend it, where did it go?!”.

My only complaint with this one is that it’s rather odd having a two sided product.  It just keeps getting pointier and pointier as I use it.  How do you fix that?  If you figure it out, let me know…

Maybelline Master Strobing Stick

highlighter

Meh.  I can take or leave this one.  It highlights alright, but I always add powder to my finished face anyhow, so it kind of defeats the purpose.  I don’t typically use highlighter, so I just figured I’d give this one a try since I was using other Maybelline products.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Eyeshadow Pallette

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I know, I know… another pricey one.  I can’t help it-I have searched high and low for a drugstore dupe for Urban Decay’s Naked pallets and it just doesn’t exist.

The high pigmentation, last-all-day wear, and awesome shades don’t exist for a drugstore price.  Sorry, guys, I promise I tried!

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

blush

I’ve actually used a cream blush for a few years, but secretly hated it.  Why did I keep using it?  I paid so dang much for it.  It was a Tarte cream blush that I tried to talk myself into liking.  Well, it is now discontinued, so apparently I’m not the only one that couldn’t stand it.

Replacement?  Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.  Thanks to my awesome sister-in-law (you know, the one that got me hooked on Poshmark…) I have found the holy grail of blush.  It’s cheap, it has high pigmentation, and the shades are gorgeous.  Best of all?  It’s cheapest on Amazon.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Maybelline Shine Free Oil Control Loose Powder & Maybelline FIT ME! Matte and Poreless Powder

When I’m doing full coverage makeup I usually reach for a loose setting powder.  Maybelline’s oil control powder is awesome and seems to last nearly all day.  My sister-in-law also suggested the Maybelline FIT ME!  powder in a compact.  It’s. Awesome.  It gives a flawless finish weather you’re wearing full coverage makeup or just an every day look.  I highly recommend both!

COVERGIRL Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Charcoal

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I’m not a fan of liquid eyeliner because it tends to look way too harsh around my eyes.  I have used this eyeliner for over 10 years.  Yeah… that’s a long time.  When something works, it works!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

roller lash

I’ve tried sooooooooo many different mascaras.  My favorite?  Chanel.  Well, I have expensive taste on a drugstore budget, so Benefit’s Roller Lash is my compromise.  It has what I like about Chanel’s mascara at more of a wallet friendly price.  No, it definitely isn’t cheap, but I have yet to find a drugstore brand that compares.

What I love about this mascara is that it feels almost waxy when being applied rather than a crunchy spider lash feel.  What I don’t like about it is that it always seems to leave marks under my eye later in the day.  But, overall I reach for this one every time.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-One Mattifying

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Since I rarely wear waterproof mascara I’ve been using Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for makeup remover.  It’s gentle, not oily, and seems to help remove most of my makeup before I was my face at night.  It doesn’t, however, remove stubborn waterproof makeup.  You’ll have to take more drastic measures for that one, ladies.

Daily Makeup Regimen

I don’t have time for a full coverage face every day.  What I do make sure to do is have a moisturizer and at least some eyeliner and mascara so my eyes still look like they exist.

Burt’s Bees BB Cream

BB cream

The first step I take is a moisturizer followed by a BB cream.  I feel like my skin never looks good enough to be naked, so this BB cream always does the trick.  Does it cover everything?  Nope, but that’s not the point.  This moisturizes and has an SPF 15 sunscreen while being slightly tinted to give a little smoother complexion.  To further smooth my complexion I add a thin layer of the Maybelline FIT ME!  powder I previously mentioned.

I follow up with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer.  This gives my lids some color and smoothness without having to apply layers of eyeshadow.  Add the COVERGIRL eyeliner and Benefit Roller Lash mascara and BAM!  A less than five minute effortless day-to-day look.

New Products I’ve Tried

Some products were suggested to me, so I figured why not give them a shot.  My current full coverage foundation is getting low, so I might as well see if something might be a better replacement.

Maybelline FIT ME! Matte and Poreless Foundation and Maybelline FIT ME! Concealer

My sister-in-law/s makeup always looks flawless, so I figured I would try the other FIT ME! products she suggested from Maybelline.  As drugstore products go these were great, but I’m not ready to replace my Superstay with them.  I felt they lacked a little coverage compared to the Superstay line.  It did however feel a little lighter than the Superstay version if that’s what you’re looking for.

Bottom line: I’m still not ready to switch from Superstay.  Yes, it’s still a pretty good foundation, but I still prefer the Superstay from Maybelline.

What I’m Pumped to Try Next

COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream

covergirl bb

My Burt’s Bees BB cream is running low, so I’m tempted to try something different.  While I love the Burt’s Bees BB cream it has a very oily feel to it.  This COVERGIRL version has amazing reviews and is less than half the price of the Burt’s Bees version.  I’ll keep you posted on how it holds up!

CC Cream

I’m also ready to try a real CC cream.  I have funky things going on with my skin and could really use a little more coverage and correction.  I haven’t really found one that is getting great reviews, so I’m open to suggestions!  Anyone have any luck with CC creams?  Let me know!

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

 I. Love. Shopping.  I don’t like how much time it takes now that I’m a working mom.  I have become a GREAT online shopper.  Great deals and even greater products in a fraction of the time.

The key to a great online experience is to find what works for you.  Once you nail down what you’re really looking for don’t get distracted by a “great deal”.  I’ve been there… so that funky shirt was only $5.  Doesn’t really matter when you don’t wear it!  $5 down the drain.  Here are some tips to help you avoid the pitfalls of online shopping.

Clothes. Clothes.  More Clothes.

Where to Go

What type of clothes are your favorite?  Chances are you have that go-to store that you absolutely love.  You know how all of their clothes fit and can pretty much pull an item off of the rack and know immediately if it will look good on you.  Well, there are online stores that have the same safe and familiar feel.Two of my favorites happen to be Gap and Old Navy.  I know how their clothes fit, what cuts flatter my body type, and I know the price range I have to work with.

Once you have your go-to sites, keep your cart full at all times-you never know when there may be a pop-up sale… you’ll be ready!  The clothes aren’t going anywhere, so it’s time to have a spending strategy…

Price Tag

I usually have an idea of how much I want to pay for certain items in my mind.  I never pay much for clothes because I tend to favor trendy pieces over traditional lately because I can find great deals.  When I start to feel like I’m starting to be not-so-trendy, I ditch them for some new trends at minimal cost.

Always look for promo codes.  Always.  There are usually great promo codes out there and I rarely settle for anything less than a 30% promo code in addition to items being on sale.  This is when having your cart full comes in handy-once you see a sale and have promo codes, you can decide what items are worth purchasing and which items are still a little too pricey and you can purchase them later.

Shipping

There are very few sites I will pay for shipping.  Most of the time if you purchase $50 or more in merchandise or have their credit card (Gap/Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, Target).  Sometimes being able to have items shipped directly to your door outweighs the cost of taking the time to drive to the store to purchase items.

Cosmetics/Beauty Products

Promo codes. Promo codes. Promo codes.  There are frequently promo codes or free item promotions for cosmetics from Ulta and Sephora.  Target also frequently has gift card promotions for purchasing a dollar amount of beauty products.  I normally don’t purchase beauty products online unless there is a large giveaway in addition to a coupon.

Although some higher priced products such as Too Faced or Benefit at Ulta are excluded in coupons, they frequently have free item promotions for those product lines.

Amazon

Amazon is one of my favorite go-to online shopping options.  However, I have found that sometimes deals aren’t so great for some items.  Always do a quick Google search on the item you’re considering to make sure there isn’t a high markup.  You never know… another site just may beat Amazon’s prices.

Credit Cards

I’m normally not an advocate of store/company credit cards, HOWEVER, they can be extremely beneficial for online shoppers.  Here are some of the perks they provide:

  • Free shipping
  • Cardholder exclusive sales, promotions, and coupons
  • Loyalty rewards

I never carry a balance on any of my credit cards, so these benefits really help me out when finding the best online deals.  Here are some of the cards that have great benefits to online shoppers:

  • Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic
    • Free shipping
    • Bonus promotions/sales
    • Loyalty rewards
  • Amazon
    • Free Shipping (with Amazon Prime)
    • Credit applied after application
    • Rewards points on purchases on Amazon.com and anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Kohl’s
    • Bonus promotions/sales
  • Victoria’s Secret
    • Cardholder promotions/sales
    • Rewards for purchases
Pixi Dust & Bees

Pixi Dust & Bees

  I’ve tried so many skincare routines I should probably become a professional test subject.  After trying everything from ingredients I can’t even pronounce in Proactiv to trying to keep things natural with a Burt’s Bees regimen (don’t get me wrong, I still love all of my Burt’s products), I have finally found a simple routine that actually works.  The best part?  You can find them ALL at Target!  Here are all of the products I use in my skincare routine:

My morning routing consists of the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm, Mud Cleanser, then Glow Tonic.  If my skin is fairly dry (which is usually the case in the winter months) I apply Burt’s Bees Day Lotion.  In the evening, I use the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm, Mud Cleanser, Glow Peel Pads, Glow Tonic, and the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream. If I’m in a pinch or want more sleep (who doesn’t???) I use Burt’s Bees Cucumber and Sage Facial Cleansing Towelettes to remove makeup, dirt, and oil before bed.  This is one of the only products I’ve found that works well without actually washing your face, applying a toner, and moisturizing afterward.  It also doesn’t cause breakouts, which is always a win in my book.

Most of the Pixi products contain Glycolic Acid, which acts as an exfoliant and helps aid the creation of new skin cells.  This has left my skin smooth and appears to have a much more even tone.  I have acne prone skin and some acne scarring and these products are slowly eliminating both of these issues.

Diaper Deals

Diaper Deals

  Best diaper deals?  Target.  Have I mentioned I love Target?  Oh… I have?

Target frequently has great deals on everything baby.  Here are some helpful hints on diaper buying at Target.

  • $25 off or $25 gift cards on $100 or more purchase of baby products.  They have this deal every month or so and it’s a great time to stock up on diapers and wipes.
  • Free gift card with diaper purchase.  Target usually has a deal for a gift card with the purchase of 2 or 3 jumbo boxes of diapers.  I normally wait until the gift card is $10 or $20 to get the most bang for my buck.
  • Cartwheel.  Pampers tend to be on Cartwheel more frequently than Huggies, but it’s great when there is a Cartwheel deal, a gift card offer, AND a coupon.
  • Mobile coupons.  If you have the Target app on your phone, there are often coupons right on your mobile app.
  • Printable coupons.  Google “Target coupons” and use the first link that appears.  There are usually Pampers and Huggies coupons you can print and use with all of the other offers Target has.