OOTD, wrap dress edition

I finally took OOTD pics with my BR Gemma wrap dress! I bought this back in January and still haven’t worn it in an OOTD. It’s been unbelievably cold here lately — tomorrow is the first day of Spring, and today the high was low 40s and rainy. At this rate, the cherry blossoms will bloom around Memorial Day. Not to mention, this was our view on St. Patrick’s Day:

So I guess that’s why I don’t feel too weird about wearing a long-sleeved dress with boots in March. We still have snow on the ground! And could even get more before the month is over!

Dress: Banana Republic (on sale for $69!) | Boots: No idea — I’ve had them for some time, and there aren’t many boots left in stores this time of year! | Accessories: Necklace is Pandora and was a gift, and I am wearing a simple Tiffany ring on my right hand

As you can see in the above pictures, the dress actually comes to right above the knee. In the picture on BR’s website, it is much shorter. I am 5’8″ so I’m not super short. If you wanted a shorter dress like it shows in the picture, I don’t think this is it.

For eye makeup, I actually wore light green eyeshadow — Mac Lucky Green! You can’t see it too well in these pictures but I liked the fact that it was something a little more colorful and less neutral.

So although I want nothing more than to be in short sleeves and capris, I guess I’ll stick to dresses with boots for now! It will be spring soon … I think … Hah.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


March 2014 Birchbox review


March is here and so I have another Birchbox review and round-up post! This month, I received the following 5 items:


Jergens BB Body Cream

Stila Lip Glaze in Fig

Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom

Air Repair Rescue Balm

Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum


Overall, this was kind of a mixed bag (mixed box?) On the positive side, there was nothing I absolutely hated and all of the samples could easily be used more than once. Hooray! Nothing is worse in these boxes than the tiny, one-time use samples on cheap little cards. HATE. Even the perfume sample could easily be used at least 3 times if not more.


On the negative, I have to say I didn’t love anything. There was nothing in this box that I would want to purchase later. Let’s get to the reviews.


Jergens BB Body Cream: OK, this was just a weird concept in general. I don’t see the point of wearing tinted body lotion. It was a good lotion in that it’s not heavy, sticky, etc. and it felt moisturizing. But I’m just not that insecure about uneven skin tone on my body. Maybe I should be? Hah. I should also add I’ve tried other Jergens products in the past and much like their gradual self-tanning lotions, this product has quite a strong scent. It’s not unpleasant but it is a strong powdery floral scent that is quite noticeable on skin.


Stila Lip Glaze: This is my 3rd shade of Stila lip glaze and each time it seems like no matter what the color looks like in the tube, it’s going to show up mostly clear on my lips. The fig shade looks like a light pinky purple in the tube but pretty much completely disappeared on my lips. I don’t have anything like that so the fact that it didn’t show up on my lips at all was a huge disappointment because I feel like it would have been a cool color. I realize these are supposed to have sheer color but I mean … this was really, really sheer.


Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom: I don’t really like getting perfume samples in my Birchbox because it’s so easy to get them free with your Sephora online orders. This fragrance was nice, but I barely  got any blossom scent from it at all. Instead it smelled very strongly of amber and vanilla, to me at least. It seemed more appropriate for the winter. It did last a very long time on my skin and I could still smell it 8-10 hours later.


Air Repair Rescue Balm: I really liked this on my hands. It moisturized well without feeling sticky or slimy. But it also said it could be used on lips and I don’t know about that, because the scent is incredibly strong. It has an herbal, slightly citrus-y scent that would be really inappropriate and gross up near your face. It’s fine on your hands but I wouldn’t want to smell it right up by my nose!


Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum: This felt very moisturizing, but also rather heavy. I don’t really like heavy moisturizers during the day time. It also smelled strongly of, well, sunscreen! Just like the scent you’d expect to go along with sunscreen. I tend to prefer unscented face products so that wasn’t a great point for me. I do think I will keep this sample around for the summer because I’m always on the lookout for good facial sunscreens that last a long time and don’t make me break out — and this product did seem rather long-lasting which was great. At this point  in the year, however, I will stick to my normal moisturizer which also contains SPF. It just sadly hasn’t been warm or sunny enough to justify wearing SPF 30 sunscreen during the day!


These products are available in full size on Birchbox.com, or you could have a chance to sample them with a Birchbox subscription! A subscription is only $10.00 per month, and you can cancel at any time. I’ve found some really great products through Birchbox, such as pretty much all the Beauty Protector hair products, and some great nail polishes from brands like Color Club and Ruffian.


Did you get a Birchbox this month? What products did you get? 🙂

Sephora Formula X Liquid Crystals Solar Flare Review

This past weekend at Sephora I picked up two of the new Formula X nail polishes. These retail at a higher price point ($10.50 to $12.50) than the regular Sephora brand nail polishes, but they’re also available in different colors and finishes.


Formula X Liquid Crystals Solar Flare


Sephora Formula X Liquid Crystal Nail Polish in Solar Flare

I was very intrigued by the Formula X Liquid Crystals formula, which is very shimmery but does not have large glitter particles. Solar Flare is described as “pink micro glitter in sheer strawberry.” First of all, this is NOT sheer. Which is great! But it’s so not sheer, so the description is a little off. I’ve heard that some of other shades are actually sheer though, so your best bet is to swatch it in store or read some reviews before purchasing.


Solar Flare was opaque in two coats. It applied smoothly and the formula is not overly thick. It’s a very pretty and bright color in person, and depending on the lighting it can look more pink or more red. I applied this on Sunday and now that it’s Wednesday I’m noticing significant tip wear, which is honestly par for the course with me — I’m very hard on nail polish because I type so much! But it definitely hasn’t chipped from the base/cuticles of the nail at all.




The Formula X Liquid Crystals polishes retail for $12.50 each at Sephora and are available in 14 shades.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

BeautyArmy subscriptions on RueLaLa!


Today on RueLaLa, a 3-month subscription to the BeautyArmy monthly beauty box is retailing for $23.00, instead of the normal price of $36.00.


I’ve never tried this particular beauty box, but I figured for that price, why not? And unlike other beauty boxes I’ve tried, they allow you to choose your samples (out of a group of samples customized for you) so that’s a nice perk.


If you’ve tried it, let me know how you like it in the comments!


And if you’re not already a RueLaLa member, you can sign up here.

OOTD, still not warm enough edition

It’s March and it’s still really cold. We’ve been barely getting above freezing most days, although next week is forecast to be warmer … if they don’t change their mind first, that is. I’m looking forward to wearing heels again (they’re treacherous on our snow and ice-pack), and skirts, and bare legs. But until then, it’s pants and tops. Sigh.



Long shirt: Target  (I blogged about it in my February purchase round-up from a few days ago!)| Ponte pants: J. Crew (no longer available) | Shoes: Steve Madden, old



I’ve been doing brown eyeshadow and eyeliner the past few days, which is a good look for me because the more red-based browns really make green eyes pop. No filters on this image, just color correction because all my lighting is very warm toned!



Today I did a quick wash of theBalm Shameless Shana from the Shady Lady vol. 1 palette, and used Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes Pencil Eyeliner in 2L. And of course, mascara. 🙂


I’m looking forward to spring! It’s been great having all these random days off but spring will be so much better. Fortunately, the first sign of spring is already here as the Park Service has announced the projected peak bloom dates for the cherry blossoms: April 8-12. Which is a good week or two later than we’ve been averaging over the past number of years — last year it was late because we had a late burst of winter in March, but this year it’s just been cold all around ever since January!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Academy Awards fashion post!

Here are some of my most noteworthy looks from the Academy Awards. I’m not going to bother posting about the Liza Minellis of the world (seriously, Google that …) but here’s some of the better/most interesting looks.


Best – Kate Hudson in Versace

THE COLOR. THE CAPE. THE PLUNGING NECKLINE. And OMG, the cape, I can’t say enough about it. LOVE. And she is not someone I generally notice on the red carpet so I mean, it really stood out to me.


Other bests


Charlize Theron in Dior

She always looks so great, and I loved that she rocked a gorgeous black dress when the trend was more toward lighter metallic shades.


Lupita Nyongo in Prada

I just loved this on her, she looked so regal and gorgeous. I would have maybe preferred a slightly darker blue color, but if anyone can pull off pastel blue it’s her.


Others (some not great, some good)

Amy Adams in Gucci

I thought this was nice, but understated. Perhaps too understated. The fit was immaculate but it could have perhaps used more detailing. Maybe she could borrow some beading and crystals from …


Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive

This was like the opposite of Amy Adams in some ways. Again, the fit was perfect but the gown was almost too much. Too much sparkle, too much sheer, too much embellishment.


Giuliana Rancic in Paolo Sebastian


So this is one part wedding gown, one part figure skating costume, I guess. She needs to step away from the princess gowns and try something more fashion forward.


Anna Kendrick in J. Mendel

There’s … a lot going on here. A slit, sheer panels, waist detailing, an intricate neckline. And it’s just too much. I’m not a fan.


Olivia Wilde in Valentino

Far be it from me to snark on a pregnant lady but she seriously couldn’t wear a bra? Reeeeeally?


Sandra Bullock in McQueen

Gorgeous color and interesting cut, but somehow the fabric made it look somewhat cheap, like a classy bridesmaid dress.


Who were your best and worst dressed last night? What looks stood out the most?

OOTD, errand running edition

We benefited from some great weather (well, great for this time of year and based on the type of weather we’ve been having, so we’re grading on a curve here) this past weekend so we took advantage of it to run some errands. As such, I was looking to wear comfy clothes that weren’t overly warm because there’s nothing worse when you’re at Ikea than being too hot or being in uncomfortable shoes!


I know people don’t feel too great about leggings as pants, but whatever, I do it all the time. So long as your bum’s covered there’s no big deal in my opinion!

Top: H&M (very old, don’t know where else to get something like this! It’s between elbow and 3/4 sleeves and kind of a lightweight material) | Leggings: Kohl’s | Boots: Old from Kohl’s — I’ve worn these in previous outfits before. These Frye’s are similar as are these from Steve Madden (on sale!) And my bracelet was a gift for Christmas.



On my face, I am wearing Diorshow Fusion Mono eyeshadow in Hypnotique and Mac eyeshadow in Carbon; and my black eyeliner is from an old Glam Bag but it’s just a regular ol’ black pencil eyeliner so I think you could get the same effect with any type of black eyeliner. My blush is TheBalm Instain blush in Argyle and my lip gloss is Revlon ColorBurst in Honey.


Eye closeup: I was going for a fairly low effort, somewhat smoky eye look, so that meant plenty of black eyeliner and mascara.



I can’t wait for the Oscars tonight! Specifically, the fashion — I don’t bother with the actual awards show, hah.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

February 2014 Purchase Round-Up

Here we are at the end of another month — and I swear it’s colder at the end of this month than it was at the end of January! With no end in sight to winter, I’m still buying winter-type clothes. I seriously think that by this time last year I was wearing capris!



OS Whetherly Top from Target. I bought this in a size small because I was looking for a more generous fit. It looks really good over skinny pants and leggings — I’m really liking the flowy top over very fitted pants look in general.



Lauren Conrad star chiffon blouse. I really liked this. The star pattern is cute but not overly in your face. It also comes in off white with black stars. The fabric is lightweight and slightly sheer so it might need a tank or cami underneath it.



Apt. 9 Striped Maxi Dress. I liked the fit on this, although the size Small definitely fit on the looser side. But they didn’t have the color that I wanted in the XS so whatever, I knew it would work well enough. The Small is workable but it is somewhat large around the waist. The fabric is stretchy enough that it doesn’t make a huge difference so I would say if you’re between sizes it’s OK to size up or size down, depending on your fit preference or just what they have in stock in your size.


I picked up these earrings at Target but haven’t worn them yet. I liked them for the pastel colors for Spring. You know, whenever Winter decides to give up the ghost …


Ulta had their 20% off coupon at the beginning of the month so I stocked up on some basics — Seche Vite, dry shampoo, a new hairbrush … nothing too exciting. The only interesting thing that I bought was a nail polish, OPI Polka.com, which is a cool-toned blue, purple, and pink multi-color glitter from the Euro Centrale collection which was released I think last year, maybe. I layered it over a dark blue, and the glitter didn’t really show up too well. It’s a very thick formula, but the glitter doesn’t necessarily spread evenly across the nail without some serious help. I think it will work better over a silver, pink, or another lighter color, so I’ll try it again next month.


I think that mostly covers everything, except one thing I have to review in another post 😉 Next month’s purchase plan is kind of already set — I’ve ordered some boots and a nail polish from Haute Look so they will arrive … well, whenever they arrive, Haute Look’s shipping is not the most reliable, LOL. In addition, I have a $25 gift card to Sephora burning a hole in my pocket! I’m thinking I want to try one of their new nail polishes — the Formula X Liquid Crystals.


I hope that by the end of March I can be out of the winter rut of sweaters and flats/boots, and into dresses, heels, etc. at work. But it looks like we’re going to get yet another storm to start the month of March, and then cold temps for days and days afterward … so I’m not optimistic …


What did you guys haul this month? Anything good? Are you looking forward to Spring, or are you still a fan of Winter?


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Butter London Jack the Lad

Time for a nail polish post!


Today I tested out Butter London’s Jack the Lad which I picked up on the cheap from HauteLook. In the past, I’ve been impressed by BL’s shades (glitters! duochromes! holos!) but not necessarily by their application. I’ve found that they tend to take 3 or even 4 coats for full opacity, and at $15.00 a pop at full price, I just think they should be 1-2 coaters, rather than 3+.



Jack the Lad is described as “Opaque, moss green shimmer with gold, turquoise, and green microglitter.” Overall, I would say this description is accurate as it comes to the microglitter. It’s mostly green, but you definitely have turquoise/blue and gold in there as well. However, I would say the color is more forest green than moss green. When I think of moss green I think of something lighter and this is fairly deep. In fact, in dimmer lighting, it looks almost black.


As for opacity, this was definitely a three-coater. But I felt that it looked better after 3 coats than some of my other Butter London shades.



Ignore my short middle nail, I had a nail breakage problem mid-week! Ugh!


The finish is glittery, but not in your face — it’s more of a fine shimmer. There isn’t a duochrome or shift to this polish, but as I mentioned the glitters are blue and gold in addition to the dominant color of green.


Butter London Jack the Lad nail lacquer can be purchased at beauty.com and each shade retails for $15. However, as I’ve said I picked these up on Hautelook a few months back, and Ulta will occasionally have them as buy one get one, I believe in the spring. So if you find a shade you like keep a look out for sales because they are out there!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.