Oh look, more cheap stuff

I don’t know if these posts are boring or not, but I always love them, because sometimes my e-mails from my various favorite stores go to spam, but sometimes they don’t. Don’t ask me, ask Gmail’s spam bot algorithm. Also, sometimes when I am deleting e-mail, I only look at the sender and delete, never checking the subject line (normally when I need to save money!).

Anyway, LOFT is offering 50% off all their sale items, and evidently they have new markdowns. Last time they did this I got four awesome dresses for like $100. J. Crew Factory is having a skirt and dress sale — 30-40% off. I really like their clothes; they make excellent basics and staple items. Coldwater Creek is still having the 50% off everything sale I mentioned last time, and Victoria’s Secret sale is still going strong, but now you get free shipping on orders over $25! Just use code SHIPSEMI.

Beyond the Rack has China Glaze and Nicole by OPI polishes on sale. Lots of colors and varieties — metallics, glitters, shimmers, cremes. They’re all $4.49, down from retail prices of $7-8. Gilt has Clarins facial and body skincare products on sale, if that’s your thing. Looks like the products are anywhere from 20-60% off.

Today in free shit, L’Oreal is offering samples of their new advanced hair care line. Try it out and see what you like. I ordered a sample of their Total Repair shampoo. I’ll try it out and let you know what I think!

Good Stuff Cheap: Nail polish, Urban Decay, and more…

Disclaimer: Invitation links are included in this post.

First up is Gilt, one of the many discount fashion and beauty websites you see out there these days. They feature designer products for up to 60% off retail prices. Today Gilt has a great “Beauty Finds Under $50” sale, featuring Julep nail polish, Tweezerman manicure and grooming sets, Deborah Lipmann polish, and more. There are also some nice makeup brush sets on sale!

Ideeli‘s “Rejuvenate Your Skin” sale ends today. It’s featuring awesome beauty brands like StriVectin and NARS (their mud mask is great!).

HauteLook has two great brands on sale today. Urban Decay is up with a number of eyeshadows, palettes, and powders. Also on sale are their makeup setting sprays, which I cannot recommend enough! I use their De-slick Setting Spray religiously; it seriously works. I might have to review it! Anyway, the setting sprays are 50% off, so grab them while you can — the sale ends today! They also put Diptyque on sale today, a prestige seller of candles, colognes, and soaps. These retail for a lot more money than I am ever willing to spend, but I so love sniffing them when I have the chance. Lucky for me, though, and everyone else who loves these delicious products, HauteLook has them on sale for 50% off. The yummy smelling sandalwood soaps featured above are only $30 for three of them! Totally worth it.

In clothing news, you might be happy to know Old Navy’s active wear is on sale for up to 40% off. Their yoga pants? To die for — and they’re only $12 today! And they don’t come from a company who believes birth control is the explanation for the spike in divorced women — oh, and is purposefully named to make fun of the Japanese. Um, anyway, Coldwater Creek is having a massive 50% off sale of EVERYTHING, including their sale and outlet items. Best part? Everything is returnable, even items marked down to nearly nothing. The style leans toward old lady, but their staples are great. I have two pairs of dress pants from there that fit me perfectly. And of course, Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale is going on. Their Pink seamless underwear is amazing and only $3.99 a pair right now (originally $9.50 a pair!).

Happy shopping!

Review: Essie “First Base” base coat

So a few days ago when I reviewed my Julep Maven box, I included a picture of my manicure using the Boho Glam color Dianna. What I didn’t mention is that while testing out the box, I was also trying out another product — Essie’s “First Base” base coat.

So, my nails are super thin. They flake, they break, and they don’t hold polish for crap. I’ve used products to varying degrees of success to improve their strength and brittleness, but there never seemed to be anything that really worked to keep the polish on my fingers. I can normally count on experiencing a chip within a day of wear, no matter how careful I am. And honestly, it’s all downhill from there — once there is a chip, I have to remove all the polish, normally by peeling it off. Speaking of, is there a feeling more satisfying than peeling a whole sheet of polish off a nail?

ANYWAY. No amount of “chip skip” products, chip-protecting top coats, or base coats seemed to keep my polish from wearing. UNTIL NOW.

Essie "First Base" base coat
My mani is still kickin’ thanks to First Base!

Essie’s “First Base” base coat is rubber adhesive base coat that “bond[s] polish to the nail surface, to protect color wear and create a smooth canvas for color application,” according to the Essie website. First Base enjoys a 4.4/5 star rating on ULTA and 4.7/5 lippies on MakeupAlley. I didn’t even know that prior to buying! I was just at ULTA browsing the nail treatment section. The first rubber adhesive basecoat I actually saw was Orly’s Bonder basecoat, but the Essie one was cheaper, so that’s why I bought it. Lucky for me, considering Bonder only has a 4 star rating on ULTA and 4 lippies on MUA!

Applying the basecoat is very easy. The formula isn’t too thick, so it spreads evenly, but it isn’t so thin that it runs and drips. It dries fairly quickly as well. It has a slightly rough texture when you touch it — I suppose this is the rubberized adhesive property! As I noted in my review, applying Dianna wasn’t exactly easy (and I tried applying it on a bare nail as well, so it wasn’t the base coat!), so I wasn’t sure if this would be a fair test. But it has been 5 days of wear, and my mani is looking just as good as it did the day I applied it! I am very pleased with this base coat, and I don’t think I will ever use anything else! First Base is my base coat for life!

Free stuff alert!

So I kind of live for free shit, especially free beauty products. Well, today at 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDT), if you are one of the first 1,000 to sign up and enter the secret word announced on Physicians Formula’s facebook page, you’ll receive a free full-size Physician’s Formula Endless Color nail trio in “In The Nude”! It’s a gorgeous three-piece nail polish set of nude colors, including a light pink, a mauve, and a taupe. These three polishes also snap together for easy convenient organization! You’ll have to like Physicians Formula’s facebook page first, and then enter your information on their Promotions page. Good luck!

Why I Didn’t Like Brave

Movie poster for Brave
Pixar’s Brave

I know I am a bit late to the game on this film. Brave came out June 2012, but thanks to grad school, I didn’t really make it a priority to see. A lot of my friends did, though, and they all seemed to love it. I thought I would like it, too — strong female character, the previews didn’t say much about a love interest, she was a little rounder than your average princess, with messier hair and a penchant for running wild.

I have one friend, though, who had a problem with Brave, the plot, and how the writers chose to handle Merida’s story. She didn’t give me specifics, which was great because it allowed me to look at it with an open mind. Unfortunately, once I saw the movie, I had to agree with her. Brave was not the fun feminist kids’ film I thought it was going to be.

Before we get into the bullshit, let’s talk about the good. For one thing, I loved how Fergus encouraged Merida’s interest in archery, even when she was a young adult princess (“Princess or not, learning to fight is essential!”), much to Elinor’s chagrin. Also, I loved how wild her hair was, and how she looked like a kid, rather than a 25 year old. I mean, Pocahontas was supposed to be 10-13, and she was not only involved in a relationship with a much older man, she looked like an adult. Another good thing was that most of the women were portrayed as quite stocky and round — with the exception of the royalty, of course. I have a problem with that, since it forces on us the whole idea that desirable people are thin.

I think the best thing about the film was when Merida competed for her “own hand” in archery and beat the pants off her suitors; that was a clever little trick. I suppose I liked that in the end (SPOILERS) Merida doesn’t have to get married, but the way that conclusion came about was filled with so much patriarchal bullshit that I can’t even be happy about it. Oh, and it was cool that Merida and Elinor-As-Bear ended demon bear Mor’du, instead of the menfolk.Read More »

Review: June Julep Maven “Boho Glam” Box

I was excited to receive my June Julep Maven box on Friday. I am all about the nautical theme (I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, after all!), and the colors were stunning this month. I ended up selecting the Boho Glam box containing Dianna and Lexie, a mint green and dandelion yellow, respectively. I had dupes of the other colors already, but Lexie was unique, and I looked forward to trying it.

This month’s box also included a new cosmetic item in Julep’s beauty line, their “DD Creme.” This “dynamic do-all” (get it?) creme purportedly combines the coverage found in BB creams and the complexion-correcting powers of CC creams to result in flawless color and coverage. Here’s what Julep has to say about their DD creme:

A dynamic do-all makeup that goes beyond BB crème to moisturize, prime, perfect, and protect—both instantly and over time. SPF 25 provides daily defense from the sun, two patented anti-aging ingredients decrease the appearance of pores and fine lines, hibiscus and olive extracts keep skin hydrated, lightweight, buildable coverage with an ultra-smoothing finish, comes in four shades—light, medium, medium-dark, and dark.

So without further ado, here is this month’s box:

June's nautical-themed box.
June’s nautical-themed box.

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