Essie Luxeffects Nail Polish

I went on a bit of a spree at Ulta this weekend. I wanted to pick up some of the new Essie Luxeffects top coats I’d seen on Pinterest. Of course I had not been to a cosmetic store in a while and they had all their fun holiday gift sets, and sale things, and buy so many, get something free deals… I went overboard. But they had stuff like $7 eyeliner pencil for $1! I managed to get some cute little stocking stuffers, too.

One funny thing that happened, when I was looking at the different makeup sets the sales lady came over and asked if I was shopping for my daughter. I gave her an involuntary “bitch, please” face and said, “Um, actually my mom maybe?” I’m not saying I’m not old enough to have a kid, but I more frequently get asked if I’m an undergrad, and since any kid I would have would not need a 100 color makeup set. I wonder if that lady puts her foot in her mouth a lot, or sells a lot of wrinkle cream that way!

Here’s the manicure I did yesterday. I really need to get my cuticles in better shape.

December Manicure

Essie “Brooch the Subject” Winter 2011, a creamy cashmere cameo

Essie “As Gold As It Gets” Luxeffects Top Coat, gilded lamé sparkles


Have you seen the shots from the Orla Kiely NYC store? It’s set up like a little house. So adorable! I’m excited to see all the mugs and paper products in stock, because that’s probably all I’ll be able to afford! (All images from their Facebook page)


Orla products!

Orla Kiely

Ever since I heard Orla Kiely was opening her first US location in NYC I have been planning to make a trip up to check it out. I absolutely love her stuff, even though I’ve only bought two Etc line purses (both on sale) and one mainline bag that my parents kindly splurged on for a Christmas gift. I would love the chance to even just try on the clothing, even though that is out of my budget. At least her bags last a long time and are something I can get a lot of use out of (I don’t mind if that don’t always match my outfit).

I looked into the discount trains, but I don’t think my personality would do well on a train, plus they don’t save you any time. I found I can take Amtrak for about $100 round trip. I can leave in the early morning, arrive in NYC Penn Station (which is a great hub for the subway) by late morning and then catch a train back that night. That will give be 10-12 hours in NYC and hopefully I can sleep during the train ride, which is about 3.5 hours.

I’ve started a Google Map of places I want to hit up. I need to confirm when/if the Orla store is actually opening. But I’m hoping to hit at least one Anthropologie as well as some more budget-friendly shops like H&M. I’m not actually budgeting a lot of spending money for the trip. It’s going to be more window shopping than anything, but hopefully if my student loan money comes through I will be able to pick up a few things. [This is the annoying thing about being sick, because I had a nice chunk saved and it’s basically all gone to medical bills.]

I’m bringing my mom with me and she wants to visit the World Trade Center memorial, but that requires tickets that I’m not sure are even available. I’m also hoping to meet up with at least one friend for lunch. I’ve got several friends in that area. I haven’t been to NYC since 2007, and I used to go up multiple times a year, so it will be really nice just to be back.

Consignment Shopping in Martha’s Vineyard

Everything on Martha’s Vineyard is extra expensive, which I think is due to the fact that a lot of rich people either live or vacation there and the remote nature of the island (there’s no bridge, so you have to have a ferry, or fly). It costs about $90 to take the vehicle ferry one way, so you can’t just pop over to the mainland to run to WalMart. Plus any vacation spot is going to jack up their prices for souvenirs or forgotten essentials.

The island is home to fancy preppy brands like Vineyard Vines, so I didn’t plan to get a bunch of traditional souvenirs, but I did manage to find a good consignment haul. The shop I scored at is called Martha’s Closet and it’s in a small shopping center in Vineyard Haven (near award winning seafood market The Net Result). The other store was near this bike shop in Woods Hole, on the mainland, but I can’t find it online (and the shop wasn’t as good).

Please excuse my face in these pictures. I’m not sure what was going on.

Velvet is one of my favorite brands (except when they make those super crazy slut dresses) because their dresses are super comfortable and versatile to dress up or down. My local consignment shop sells Velvet brand dresses for around $60. I scored this dark purple one for $25.

Purple Dress by Velvet

Purple Dress by Velvet

This top is a silky material, but I think it’s synthetic. It’s by a brand called Strawberry that I’ve never heard of. It’s not the best top, but it fit nicely, would be good for work, and was under $10.

Black and White Polka Dot Top

Black and White Polka Dot Top

This skirt was from Express and isn’t cutting edge fashion, but it was on clearance for $1.50, so even if I just wear it to church, I’ll feel like I got a good deal. It’s black with white and red dots and a nice comfy elastic waist.

Black Skirt from Express

Black Skirt from Express

This is an Anthropologie stretch mesh top by Moth paired with a fantastically comfortable super-soft stretch denim skirt.

Anthropologie (Moth) Top with Jean Skirt

Anthropologie (Moth) Top with Jean Skirt

Everything above (plus the pink top seen in the last post and a long skirt that I haven’t photographed yet) came to $75, and they don’t have sales tax on clothing.

And here’s the one outfit I got from the Wood’s Hole shop. It was on clearance too, for about $12 for both pieces. It doesn’t fit me perfectly (the top could be tailored a little better), but the skirt fits great and only $12!

Jacket and Skirt from White House Black Market

Jacket and Skirt from White House Black Market

Next time I’ll write about the few small new items I picked up.

Style This Skirt

striped skirt

striped skirt

When did Old Navy get so expensive? I always thought of it as a place to get super cheap items that would fall apart after a season or two. I find it crazy that I could get two really decent dresses from Target for $20 each, but this skirt cost about $30 at Old Navy yesterday.

I was there thanks to GroupOn’s $20 (for $10) certificate. I’ve been wanting a long striped skirt, but I’m super petite, so I thought this would be a good compromise. But I can’t really figure out what to pair it with. The striped appear cream and grey, but the website says the color is blue. So I can’t wear it with a white shirt. I’d also like to wear it to work (pretty casual workplace, but I don’t like to look sloppy or slutty).

Any suggestions?

Book Haul

The fancy bookstore at my local mall is going out of business/bankrupt and they have the clearance people in there to liquidate. I haven’t been able to get over there until Friday afternoon, when I was lucky enough to be allowed to leave work early for the holiday weekend (hurray!). This ended up being a good thing, since lots of books were only marked down 30% off retail after about 2 weeks of liquidation. 30% is about what you can get on Amazon, so I was disappointed and wandered around the store for a long time with just one book in my basket.

But they announced if you bought 3 books, you get an additional 10% off everything and if you buy 6 books you get an additional 20% off everything. So I ended up getting 10 books.

I got a real assortment: two books from the health section, two travel books, The Pioneer Woman’s new book, a science book, a book about work, A Visit From the Goon Squad

Orla Kiely Pattern

Probably the two I am most excited about are Orla Kiely’s Pattern and Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable.

I love to read, but rarely spend a lot of money on books (since adolescence anyway) since I don’t like to waste the money, or have to store them, or more and more lately I don’t have the time to read very much. Today I didn’t have anything I needed to do, so I stayed home and read an entire book.

Magic Dress

Over the weekend I picked up a “magic dress” of my own. It’s from Target’s Merona line and comes to me thanks to a tip from Looks Good From the Back: Marianne and Adrien. I’m pretty sure they should get commission.

Dress: Target $20! (comes in blue, brown or black)
Shoes: Kohls’s (here)
Necklace: from the Caribbean