When doesn’t Ulta Beauty drain my bank account?. . a memoir

I will start off this post by saying that technically I didn’t go into Ulta to shop for myself. However, some of the deals on Black Friday were a teensy bit too good for me to pass up and naturally, I had to make a purchase.

It is no secret to anyone on this blog that I have a new-found love for makeup. While I rarely wear makeup Monday thru Friday thanks to my often increased levels of sweat at my job, I am no stranger to it on the weekends, or even to evening events, dates, whenever I want to feel good about myself, etc.

Fast forward to the information that actually matters.. my Ulta shopping haul. I will make it known right here and now that until I got to the cashwrap and saw the massive display of Morphe Cosmetics, I only had one thing in my shopping bag. But, thanks to some peer pressure from my boyfriend to “treat myself on your first Black Friday,” here we are with enough makeup to do a mini-store haul.

Item #1: Smashbox Studio to Go Eyes 

This $10 bundle was way too good to pass up, mostly because never in my life have I tried anything from Smashbox, but also because getting a $27 value for $10 is incredible. In this mini bundle, you receive a 0.06oz Photo Op Eye Shadow Single in the shade Nude, as well as a 0.02oz Deluxe Size Always on Gel Liner in Fishnet (black). Since I bought this bundle, I have worn this on my eyes every single day. The shadow goes on so smoothly and is so pigmented, and the liner is absolutely to die for – they weren’t kidding when they said it was weightless. I am looking forward to purchasing, for sure, the gel liner in full-size once this mini runs out!

Item #2 : NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream 3 Piece Set

NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM IS MY FAVORITE LIP PRODUCT TO DATE. Did I need the unnecessary caps lock? Yes, yes I did because I need to get the point across to you that not only is this product super affordable, but it stays on all day, feels weightless as ever, and the colors are so pigmented that you feel as if you are wearing a high-end lip product. This bundle was $12, saving $6 from its’ $18 value. Ulta had a wide array of trios available, but my eye went directly to the one I purchased as every single shade of these 0.27oz lippies were new! Austin (a pink shade), Los Angeles (a brown shade), and Warsaw (a purple shade), are all everyday-appropriate and products that I will for sure grab for when I go to complete my look.

Item #3 and #4: Morphe 25A Copper Spice and 25B Bronzed Mocha Eyeshadow Palettes 

I combined these two items together solely for the fact that what I say about one will directly mimic the other. The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette was the first product I’ve ever purchased from this brand and, I swear to you on my life, that I have never reached for another eyeshadow palette ever again. Every other palette I own has been pushed aside or tucked away in makeup storage due to their sub-par quality as compared to Morphe’s pigment, bendability, and creamy color. So, much to my [pleasant] surprise, when I saw Morphe at the cashwrap, it all went down. I picked up these two eyeshadow palettes for a discounted price of $12 a piece. I fell head-over-heels in love with these palettes. The 25A Copper Spice Eyeshadow Palette (top photo) ranges from deep browns and spicy cream shades to fiery metallic and shimmery taupe shades. This palette is perfect for either an extremely neutral to an all out smoky look. The 25B Bronzed Mocha Eyeshadow Palette (bottom photo) ranges from glimmering bronze shades to rich mocha and burgundy shades while having the perfect balance of matte and shimmer. This wide range allows for looks that fit perfectly for any occasion or any lifestyle.

What are some of your most-recent makeup finds? xoxo.

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Find the products mentioned below:

  • Smashbox Studio to Go Eyes: http://www.ulta.com/studio-go-eyes?productId=xlsImpprod17191209
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream 3 Piece Set: http://www.ulta.com/soft-matte-lip-cream-set?productId=xlsImpprod17031155#
  • Morphe 25A Copper Spice Eyeshadow Palette: http://www.ulta.com/25a-copper-spice-eyeshadow-palette?productId=xlsImpprod17081137
  • Morphe 25B Bronzed Mocha Eyeshadow Palette: http://www.ulta.com/25b-bronzed-mocha-eyeshadow-palette?productId=xlsImpprod17081139

 

What’s in my bag? | Volume II

All bag carriers, unite!

I know, I know. You’re probably all thinking, *really, another bag haul.. didn’t she just do this?* The answer: a month ago, yes. But a lot changes in a month [bag included], and I figured it was time for you to see the unnecessary crap I am carrying in my bag this month! So stick around – it’s gonna be a great time!

The bag:

YALUXE Women’s Vintage Style Soft Leather Work Tote Large Shoulder Bag | I got this handbag as a gift from my honey on our anniversary. I told him I had wanted a larger bag to carry all my things in for work that looked a little more professional, but wasn’t too expensive, as it gets shoved in a locker everyday. Low and behold, this bag has become the best thing ever. It holds everything I need, it’s stylish, comfortable. It’s great. Find it here.

What’s in it:

  • Kate Spade Cameron Street Lacey wallet | A repeat from last month, but this wallet is my ride or die.
  • Vera Bradley Breakaway Lanyard | Again, a repeat from last month, but how would I get myself into work without it?!
  •  Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Body Lotion in the scent Comfort | Hand creams are my absolute best friend when the weather gets cold and my hands get dry. I had a coupon for a free item *score* and was able to pick up this hand lotion a few weeks ago. Let me tell you, the name does not lie. The vanilla and patchouli mashup makes you feel as if you are wearing a giant sweater and getting the biggest hug. And your hands are left feeling so soft. Totally a 10/10 recommendation.
  • Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm | Shoutout to my Nana for this one, because she bought me two of these and they are my new obsession. For the last few weeks I have been battling a horrendous sinus/cold sickness, leaving my lips extra chapped due to not being able to breathe through my nose. This has been my lifesaver. Especially at night before I go to bed, it gives me that extra protection.
  • Gloves | For when the cold weather is really too much for me to handle at 8:45am when I am getting students off the bus.
  • Dayquil/Nyquil Combo Tablets | To assist with my aforementioned germiness.
  • e.l.f. Mattifying Setting Powder in the shade Translucent | A repeat from last month, this product has become my ride or die and has helped make me get some life back into my face mid-day.
  • Belvita Breakfast Biscuits | These have been my go-to when I don’t have enough time to make myself breakfast in the morning. I kid you not, literally every single flavor is so good that I never have a consistent one. But, also come in handy when I am left wishing I had an afternoon snack. A little snap of the fingers and *poof* my prayers are answered.
  •  Vaseline | To help with my super-chapped, red nose. Thanks, Kleenex.
  • A pen | For those moments I really need one.
  • Checkbook | To make me feel like I am a functioning adult.
  • Orbit gum | I should really buy stock with them.
  • Vera Bradley Soft Eyeglasses Case | To, you know, hold those things that make me able to see.
  • Asthma inhaler | For those moments that you take my breath away.
  • Keys | To be able to go into my house and lay in my bed, or go into my car and get the heck away.
  • iPhone | Duh.

What are some things you can’t leave the house with? xoxo.

Things I’m currently obsessed with | October Edition


I know, I know. First thing on your mind has to be, ‘but Gab, it’s November!” My response to this is quite simple – it’s three days into the new month, so how could I possibly have a favorites list for the month of November already?! Again, simply stated, I can’t!

With that being said, let’s dive into the things I couldn’t get enough of throughout the month of October!

  1. IKEA KIVIK series. Guys, I LOVE MY NEW COUCH. You don’t really realize how much a cozy, comfortable couch matters until you’ve been sitting on a shitty futon from Walmart for well over a year! This bad boy [pictured above] was purchased at IKEA in St. Catherines, Ontario. The road to picking a couch was a long one [especially that day when we made it all the way to the basement of IKEA to get our stock only to realize the boxes were way to big to fit into the Jeep]. But this long road was totally and completely worth it. I love sitting in the living room to watch Netflix or Hulu  now. And, I’ve gone into crazy-redecoration mode ever since this couch has made it into our living room, which can be either good or bad, depending on how you look at it [and yes, those are Christmas decorations starting to trickle in already..oops].
  2. Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm in the shade Healthy Blush. Let me shout it from the rooftops, I LOVE THIS LIP BALM. It moisturizes your lips while adding a healthy tint of color to them. It is totally everyday-wearable, is infused with SPF 20 and comes in four different shades. I got mine at Target for $6.49.
  3. hopeless fountain kingdom. God bless Halsey. God bless her talent. God bless this album. I’ve loved this girl from the start [well, really all thanks to my brother’s girlfriend for introducing me to her years ago], and I continue to love her through today. From “100 Letters” to “Walls Could Talk” this album can’t be beat. Plus it includes hits “Bad at Love” and “Now or Never,” songs you basically can’t turn on the radio without hearing. 10/10 recommend.
  4. Peace Love World. Surprisingly enough, my grandmother introduced me to this clothing brand all thanks to her slight obsession with QVC. She bought two shirts for me off air that she thought I would love and, boy, was she right! The material is so beyond soft and comfortable, yet when you wear them you look like you are right on trend with today’s fashion. I’ve gotten many compliments on these tops ever since they’ve been added to my wardrobe. And, added bonus, they have the little thumb holes in the sleeves for even more cozy comfort! Check it out here.

What are some things you couldn’t live without last month? xoxo.

Fashion 101: Save me. 


When I got this new job teaching, I did not expect to look into my [bursting] closet and truly not have a single thing to wear. It seems insane to say for someone who loves shopping a little bit too much, but it could not be any more true. Where I work, there are more days spent on the floor than standing up in front of the classroom – it comes with the nature of the job, this is not a typical school setting. Previously, working retail allowed me to wear basically anything I wanted – pants, skirts, dresses, sandals, jewelry – anything to show of my personal sense of style. It took so much as my first day on the job to learn that a dress paired with booties and a choker would absolutely not be work appropriate in this type of environment.
I will admit, for a while there, I completely felt lost. I missed wearing all of my clothes and totally would look forward to the weekend solely to wear items that I had been missing. I was struggling to find clothes that were not only environmentally appropriate, but professional, as well as me. Seems impossible enough, right?

I am a few months into my job and I am still occasionally stopping at the store on my way home to pick up a top or a pair of bottoms similar to that in which I had seen a coworker wear that day. Just yesterday, I was guilty of running to the outlets on my way home to pick up a few more pairs of shorts, because pants on a 80+ degree day while also working all summer simply won’t cut it [BONUS TIP: J. Crew has their shorts on sale anywhere from $10-$25 this week!]. Shorts are a whole new world for me now that I’ve “grown up” [lol] and am transitioning from high waisted ripped shorts to something that would be considered soccer mom appropriate.

Cropped trousers, flowy tunic tops, and wide leg printed pants have become my best friend – they are comfy, yet stylish. While I am now transitioning into shorts and tees, I am still missing accessorizing with [way too much] jewelry, etc. Slowly but surely, I am getting excited to get dressed each morning again as I continue to add more versatile pieces to my wardrobe and become comfortable with embracing my new soccer-momness.

So to all you fashionistas out there – what are some staples that you think I absolutely need to add to my wardrobe!? xoxo.

Grammy fashion.

And, no, I don’t mean Grammy as in “what would my grandma wear today.” Unless you live under a rock, you would know that last night was the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. This year, I was just about obsessed with almost everyone [both the good and the bad] on the Red Carpet. Here’s some of my top picks from last night:

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Rihanna wearing Armani Privé.

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Lady Gaga wearing Custom Chrome Hearts and Vex Clothing.

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Chance the Rapper wearing Thom Browne. [Fun Fact Alert: Thom Browne was my godfather’s college roommate freshman year!]

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Chrissy Teigen wearing Roberto Cavalli.

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Maren Morris wearing ???.

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Nick Jonas wearing Balmain.

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Jennifer Lopez wearing Ralph & Russo Couture.

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Kelsea Ballerini wearing Ines Di Santo.

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Paris Jackson wearing Balmain.

What were some of your picks for best and worst from last night’s Red Carpet? What did you think of the show as a whole? My feelings were mixed, but overall, pretty good. xoxo.

Things I’m currently obsessed with, 3.0 


  1. Awkward. I recently signed up for Hulu [I know, I’m behind] and have reincarnated my love for this MTV guilty-pleasure from many years ago. I forgot how freaking hilarious this show is. For the record, I’m still #teamMatty. 
  2. Buying [and wearing] XL Shirts. As if I am actually a size XL and not a size S/M. I can’t get away from my love of roomy, cozy clothes. I am currently sitting here typing this wearing a men’s XL tee shirt, happy as a clam. 
  3. Dunkin’ Donuts Cold Brew with a Shot of Hazelnut. I am one of those freaks that believes in drinking iced coffee year round. I just can’t get into loving the hot stuff. [SIDENOTE: It is Roll Up the Rim seasons at Tim Hortons, so I’ve been making the sacrifice]. No cream. No sugar. Just a nice smooth cup of coffee. 
  4. Makeup Revolution “Affirmation” Eyeshadow Palette. Holy cow guys. I’ve been going back and forth between different eyeshadow palettes and which one would be a great addition to my makeup stash. I was at Ulta the other day [shocker] picking up a couple things for my mom, when I decided to look into expanding my palette collection a little more. I found this palette by Makeup Revolution, which I’ve just recently learned is exclusive to Ulta, for just $15! I’ve been using it daily and I am obsessed. 
  5. Nature Valley Cinnamon Granola in a Bag. I have been nonstop eating yogurt and granola for breakfast in hopes that I will eventually get skinnier one day [lol]. I found a bag of this granola at Wegmans and decided to try it since I’m a huge fan of the Nature Valley brand itself. I would highly recommend this to anyone. It adds just enough crunch and substance to your yogurt that you need to feel full and satisfied. xoxo. 

And it was all yellow.

So I, like many other girls in the world, am obsessed with the award show season. Truthfully, I don’t even really care much about the awards shows as much as I do the red carpet. I often find myself looking at all of these glamorous outfits wishing I was still 18 years old preparing for the senior prom, wearing one of these dresses.

There were sooooo many A+ looks this year [did you see Olivia Culpo?! or Emma Stone?!], but there was one thing [well, color] that stood out the most….yellow.

I, for one, am not usually a huge fan of the color. It reminds me a little bit of Big Bird or something, but let me just tell you how huge of a fan I was of EVERY SINGLE yellow dress on the red carpet of the 2017 Golden Globes last night. Holy cow! See some of my favorite bursts of sunshine below:

Emily Ratajkowski wearing Reem Acra 

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Reese Witherspoon wearing Versace 

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Natalie Portman wearing Prada 

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Maisie Williams wearing ???

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Viola Davis wearing Michael Kors 

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Seeing these fabulous ladies rocking the yellow threads makes me want to expand my horizons past my usual [and boring] neutral clothing palette. I can’t wait to see what sorts of looks the next awards shows will bring. xoxo.

Target: Every girl’s best + worst nightmare.

“I only need one thing, but I’ll grab a cart just in case.” — Me

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Ladies, ladies ladies. I know I’m not alone when I say that I am unhealthily obsessed with none other than the wonderful superstore that is Target.

I would be lying to you if I said that I was not there at least twice a week. I know, I’m sick. When people tell me they prefer other stores to Target, I literally go as far as to question their mental stability. How is this possible?

Just yesterday I went to Target for one thing, a Christmas gift bag [since of course I am always 12 steps behind]. Mind you, the entire Christmas/Holiday collection at Target is 50–90% off, making this gift bag a whopping — wait for it — 90¢. I should have walked out of there spending under $1. But did I? Of course not!

I was on my merry way to the self-checkout, basket in tow, ready to scan my things and move on with my day. From the time I picked up the 90¢ gift bag to the time I got to the checkout machine, I honestly think I blacked out. Well, not think. Know. I know I did. All the sales had my adrenaline pumping to the max, and I lost all self control. $67 later, I have added a turtleneck, nail polish, hand and foot warmers, a bag of ground coffee, a set of earrings, trail mix and a plethora of other goodies to my basket. I didn’t even want this stuff, but I needed it all, and walked out 3 full bags later.

I can go into Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or even Wegmans and walk out with exactly what I need. In and out, no questions asked. But 9 times out of 10, I not only leave Target with shit I don’t need, but also forget the sole item I was looking for, only resulting in yet another Target run. It is a vicious cycle, and I love every second of it. Target is a drug and I am a full-blown addict. Is it the dollar section? The crazy sales? The Cartwheel app? The ever-so-cute home decor? How about the clothes? I don’t know what it is, but my room is too full and my pockets are too empty.

I can’t be the only one wound up in this madness. I know there are more of you out there that are addicted like me. With that being said, happy shopping to all my fellow Target lovers. I know how you feel.

And to Target, I love you. I’m sure I will see you soon.