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.

What’s in my bag | Volume I

whats in my bag

I come from a family of purse hoarders. Not solely in the sense of purchasing bags, but filling these bags with items that are not really necessarily for everyday functioning, leaving said bag weighing 35 pounds and causing back problems.

With that being said, welcome to a new thread of posts hilighting the things I carry around on a daily basis. While my bag does not weigh 35 pounds, I hope that shedding light on all of the unnecessary things I carry on a daily basis will help me to eliminatesome of this clutter in the near future.

The bag: 

Kate Spade Emerson Place Small Ryley Black Quilted Leather Handbag | I got this handbag as an absolute steal amidst my small stint working at the Kate Spade Outlet during last year’s holiday season. We would get select merchandise from the retail stores sent to us from time to time and were able to use our insane employee discount on these ridiculously gorgeous, expensive bags. This specific bag lasted a whole, I’d say, 3 minutes on the shelf in the stockroom before I made it mine.

What’s in it:

  • Kate Spade Cameron Street Lacey wallet | Again, a purchase during my short stint as a Kate Spade employee. This wallet is my absolute fav due to the fact that a) it holds everything, and b) it’s big enough to use as a clutch in times where I don’t feel like lugging a bag around. And, extra points, it holds my phone!
  • Bath and Body Works Shea Butter hand cream in the scent Cucumber Melon | With the changing weather comes the cracked, dry hands. This travel size shea butter hand cream is a god send for those days when my hands don’t quite feel like they can make it through another moment! And cucumber melon? Brings me straight back to the ’90s!
  • Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Exposed | My go-to nude lip. It goes with any possible look and compliments my skin tone perfectly. I keep this in my bag at all times for those days that I either forget to put on a lipstick, or when later on during the day I am questioning my sanity as to why I didn’t wear a lip color in the first place.
  • Vera Bradley Breakaway Lanyard | aka home to my work I.D. and a Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer in the scent Energy, another favorite of mine from BBW.
  • Chapstick Total Hydration chapstick in the scent Sweet Peach | I apply this to my lips every morning before work and every night before bed, and sometimes a few hours in-between. This scent is apparently specifically made for Target, so naturally, I own it. And the formula? Feels like butter. Can’t get much better.
  • e.l.f. Mattifying Setting Powder in the shade Translucent | For those afternoon pick-me-ups that are needed after chasing kids around a classroom all day. It’s cheap, the packaging is durable, and it does its’ job.
  • A pen | Can’t leave the house without one. Mostly because the thought of touching everyone else’s germy pens really grosses me out.
  • Checkbook | Yes, I am old school. Yes, I have a checkbook. Get over it!
  • Vera Bradley Soft Eyeglasses Case | aka home to either my glasses or my sunglasses, depending on which one is currently on my face
  • Orbit gum | To kick the post-coffee breath.
  • Ibuprofen | For mid-afternoon headaches, or casual aches and pains.
  • Asthma inhaler | For when I really want to breathe but really can’t.
  • Headphones | For the semi-rare occasion I go to the gym.
  • Keys | To either enter my home or drive my car, both essential to living.
  • iPhone | Can’t leave home without it.

What are some of the essentials you carry with you daily? xoxo.

The day I tried to do my makeup like Jaclyn Hill!

As previously documented on my blog, I was one of the lucky ones to get my hands on the Jaclyn Hill palette. Sure, I’ve done some playing around myself with this palette, totally pretending that I am a makeup guru on YouTube and a total professional at this art. But the reality is, I’m just a girl in front of a dirty mirror with bad lighting who pokes herself in the eye with her mascara every. single. day. 

Naturally, my inner fangirl was reeling when my girl Jaclyn posted a makeup tutorial on her YouTube channel using her palette that she considered her go-to, so I figured, hey, must be easy to have a go-to label! If you’re not feeling watching the video, the look can be seen below –

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Granted, it was my first try at this look so I know there was absolutely no way in hell I would come anything close to looking like the queen herself. Let’s just say I am happy I carved out a chunk of my time to work on this and take my time! To achieve one look, this girl used nine colors from her palette.

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The shades used were: silk cream, butter, pukey, buns, mocha, pooter, central park, enlight, and abyss. That is literally one fourth of her palette – today I was overwhelmed is a gross under-exaggeration.

Did my final look resemble that of Jaclyn’s? Truthfully, not really. Mine came out more orange-y than hers, but I still think I did pretty damn good for how hard I tried [and my first try at that]! My final result can be seen below –

I paired this look with the e.l.f. Day to Night lipstick duo in the shade Need it Nudes. I layered both ends of the lipstick duo together!

What I ended up getting out of this video was even more respect for these ladies and men out here putting on faces full of makeup in front of a camera day in and day out because, damn. Not only is it time consuming, but it is sheer talent to be able to achieve some of the looks they do.

What are some of your favorite go-to looks? xoxo.

Jaclyn Hill can do no wrong.

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Guys, I did it.

I got my hands on the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette.

It took until the third restock to get my hands on this beauty, but you know what they say, third time’s the charm!

For those of you unfamiliar with the goddess that is Jaclyn Hill, she is a beauty blogger/vlogger/YouTuber who is not only drop dead gorgeous, but has the kindest heart and sweetest personality. Also ton be added to her ‘”resume,” she is basically the sole reason that I somewhat know how to apply makeup to my face.

When she announced the creation/launch of her eyeshadow palette collaboration with Morphe cosmetics, it only made sense to me that I had to add this to my ever-growing makeup collection. As stated before, it took me three times to get my hands on this palette, three.

On the morning of restock number three, I literally was so much of a lame-o that I sat by my phone/computer waiting for the clock to strike 11:00am. I kid you not, the second the clock turned to the golden hour, my hands moved quicker than I had ever seen them move before. And I did it. I got it.

I got my palette in the mail on Saturday, almost a week ago, and after playing around with it, I can now see why this is in such high demand. For $38, you get 35 colors, making that a super-affordable $0.92 per pan. I have reached for this palette every single day since I received it – the amount of looks that you can create are endless due to the wide variety of colors. The formula is so creamy, easily bendable, and the colors are gorgeous to a whole new degree.

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[You can see Jaclyn go into detail about her palette here.]

It is my only wish for everyone to be able to get their hands on this palette one day or another, and for everyone to be able to work with this on their own and create their own unique makeup looks. Totally worth the wait, totally a deal, totally perfect. Makeup lovers or not, this is a staple. xoxo.

Maybe she’s born with it.. never mind, it’s probably another post about makeup.

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First off, hey guys! I have three days vacation from work and I am taking these three days to type my little fingers off and get some new blog posts rollin’.

First post of the many ahead are focused on my most-recent trip to Ulta. I went in to purchase some of my trusty Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless foundation, as I had waited too long to pick up a new bottle, and I found myself to be completely bone dry. Much to my surprise, my local Ulta was sold out of my shade *cries* but did that stop me from continuing to shop around? Of course not.

I didn’t quite know what I was looking for, but it had been over a month and a half *gasps* since I had been in there, so I figured, why not? I had some free time to kill to myself, although I really should have been at Wegmans picking up the ingredients for the dessert I was planning to make for my family reunion [more on that later].

If you know me, you know I am a drugstore cosmetic girl. I can never seem to justify spending a lot of money on makeup. Yes, the higher the price the higher the quality, but I could never seem to take the plunge [minus one Tarte liquid lipstick, but that’s only because they had the exact shade I was looking for to match an outfit], mostly because I always had a feeling that once I started on the high-end makeup trail, I would never want to go back.

But, thanks to the show Parks & Recreation, I went into full “treat yo’ self” mode and took a very small plunge.

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My first high-end purchase was the Dream Big palette from Tarte Cosmetics.

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This limited-edition eyeshadow palette has 8 shades destined to motivate and inspire your inner glam-getter [as per Tarte’s website]. The palette contains two matte and six shimmer shades ranging from dark to light, essentially making it a palette that I would reach for on a daily basis due to the unlimited amount of makeup looks you can create.

When I watched the shades in-store, I appreciated the creamy texture of the formula, but it wasn’t until I got home and actually used the palette on my eyes that I appreciated this formula. The eyeshadow shades are super pigmented and super easy to blend out, making me appreciate the difference between high-end and drugstore products. I always thought what I had was incredible, until I tried this, and I haven’t reached for anything else since! This palette runs for $30.

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I also picked up an Ulta brand lipstick on my way out in the shade 254 Rosey Glow, a light rosy pink with slight shimmer. I love Ulta’s lipsticks, and their nude line is absolutely to die for. The shades are soft and neutral and they go with anything or any skin tone. This lipstick runs for $8.50, but since I also picked up a new beauty blender, I was able to use my store coupon!

What are some new makeup items you’ve tried recently? I’d love to know! xoxo.

Things I’m currently obsessed with, 6.0

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  1. LANY. I know what you’re thinking, “another band made up of boys?!?!” The answer? Yes. All things yes. This band has been active since 2014, but it wasn’t until recently that I started tuning into their material, and let me tell you, I have become head over heels obsessed. I keep telling everyone I know to listen to their music and have turned into basically their marketing manager overnight??! All I know is, I haven’t listened to anything in my car other than their album, LANY, for about three weeks now. I am undoubtedly hooked. Check out one of their songs here.
  2. Baby Daddy. I didn’t start watching this show when it was trendy, same story goes for most shows I watch, but it popped up on Netflix a while back and my brother and his girlfriend were huge fans. I jumped in a couple times and watched with them, and suddenly it only made sense that I watched it from the beginning of the series. Now, here I am, with a new season out on Netflix that I finished in [not kidding] one day. If you need a good laugh or a little pick me up, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
  3. Chobani Flip Coffee Brownie Bliss. Coffee flavored greek yogurt with biscotti pieces, milk chocolate, and brownie chunks. Need I say more? Personally, I love crunchy items in foods and its no surprise that I drink enough coffee to fill my body head to toe, so I feel as if Chobani dug deep into my soul and crafted this yogurt just for me. In their defense, however, I haven’t had a Chobani greek yogurt I haven’t liked, so there you go.
  4. e.l.f Double Ended Lipstick Duo in the shade Need it Nudes. I picked this up one weekend in Rochester with my boyfriend when I had forgotten a lipstick *gasps* at Target. I thought it was interesting to have two lipsticks included in the same wand, but much to my surprise, this has been the lipstick(s) I have been reaching for first. There were five options to choose from, but I got the nude shade(s) making it go with virtually everything in my wardrobe. The day end is a soft nude shade, whereas the night end is a bit bolder. The formula is sooooo creamy, it doesn’t dry my crusty lips out to the core. And, bonus? It was only $5! [$5 for two lipsticks…that’s almost unheard of].

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. 

Things I’m currently obsessed with, 2.0

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Thirteen days later, and we are back for a new version of “learn about more things that are currently consuming my life.” Enjoy!

  1. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I started this Netflix original series one night just to play in the background of my room as I was trying to sleep. I knew I was going to pass out at any given time, and didn’t want to miss out on important parts of Parenthood, so I scrolled through and found this little gem of a series. Oh my god, it is so funny. It kind of has the same vibe [and some of the same actors!] as 30 Rock, which I love. Plus, I feel like anything involving Tina Fey is automatically iconic. I am done with the two seasons available and am constantly wishing for more!
  2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Not going to lie here, I completely judged a book by its cover considering it was a required text for school that my professor sprung on us the second day of the semester, telling us we had to complete and write a 10 page response on in 7 days. So, I was bitter about it before I even read the first word. But as I am a little more than halfway done, I realize that this is a great choice for a required-read for just about anyone approaching the scary real-world, or anyone who needs a little pick-me-up. These seven habits are important life lessons – be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand-then to be understood, synergize, and sharpen the saw.
  3. Nyx Cosmetics Epic Ink Lip Dye in the shade Blaze. I went to Ulta the other day for a new beauty blender and saw the massive display of this new [I think?] lip line from Nyx. I grabbed one in the shade Blaze and figured I’d try it out, not only because it was new, but because the shade looked killer [and, of course, I had a coupon]. The formula is extremely thin, kind of not what I expected, but something I loved. It dried super fast into this super-matte-lightweight-yet-bold lip color. I wore it the entire day and did a very small touch up only once. Highly recommend.
  4. John Mayer, The Search for Everything: Wave 1. Guys, are you kidding me? From 2013 up until now was the world’s longest wait for some new music from John Mayer. Sometimes when artists go so long without releasing anything new, I get nervous because Lord only knows how the music will sound. But in this instance, this album was so beyond worth the wait, I don’t even know what else to say about it. Just listen to it, and you’ll get what I mean.
  5. The 1975I am obsessed with them every day/week/month/year of my life, that is nothing new here, but this week’s obsession with the band stems from the fact that they are playing two freaking nights in my hometown on their spring tour. Annnnd I got approved for a presale code to buy tickets tomorrow. Nothing can really top this right now. xoxo.

Things I’m currently obsessed with. 


1. NYX Butter Lipstick in the shade Sugar Wafer (BLS13). Holy hell do I love this shade. The formula is creamy as hell, which makes it perfect for the chapped winter lips, and the color is perfect if you know you want to wear a lippie, but don’t want to go bold. It goes with honestly everything. I snagged this shade at Nordstrom Rack for $4!

2. Drive Like I Do by Drive Like I Do. If anyone knows me, they know my obsession with the band The 1975. Lately, I have been going back and nonstop listing to the pre-1975 era 1975. If you are new to the fandom and didn’t know about the pre-existing life of Matty and the boys, listen to this album. Right now.

3. Parenthood. I will admit, I am sooooo late to this party. I was recently looking into new shows to watch on Netflix and landed upon Parenthood. It’s something I always wanted to start but for some reason, never did. I am about 6 episodes in, and I am hooked. [Honestly, I’m sitting here counting down the minutes until I can go home and watch more].

4. Strawberry, peach and banana smoothies. I’ve been on a smoothie kick lately. Usually late at night, I crave something sweet like ice cream. But I’ve turned to the alternative that is smoothies. It is cold like ice cream. Kind of tastes like a milkshake. But is so much better for you. And sooo easy to make [thanks to the NutriBullet]. Once I’ve 100% perfected my recipe, maybe I’ll share.

5. Oversized sweaters. Okay, okay. This really isn’t anything too out of the ordinary for me or anyone. But lately, the last few sweaters I’ve purchased I’ve gotten in a L/XL size because, duh, they are soooooo warm and cozy and so perfect to pear with leggings or skinny denim. And, you still look cute and put together and appropriate for [most of] the work environment! So technically, this is a win-win.