Shopping For a New Wardrobe: Highs and Lows

In my previous post, I put together a fantasy wardrobe.I thought it would be fun to show how a fantasy wardrobe could be adapted for a lower budget. I’m sure with work, you could find similar pieces at an even lower price point.

High/Low 1
HIGH/LOW 2

Confession! I hate shopping for clothes. It’s exhausting. I love buying new clothes, but searching high and low for that perfect item is frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when you are over a size 12 because it limits your options further. Boo-urns. In order to minimize my frustrations, I follow some simple guidelines when I shop.

  • Have a vision of what you need to buy: My mind goes blank the second I hit the mall, a list will keep you on track. This is the visual list I’m using today.
  • Maximize your time by hitting the mall: When I have a lot of shopping to do, I like to go where there is a large concentration of stores so I don’t have to traipse all around town.
  • Check store websites before you go: I like to do a preview online to see the styles specific stores are offering up before I actually go to the mall. Prioritize your stops along the way based on what you see online.
  • Avoid peak hours: A busy mall is an annoying mall. Go early on the weekend, or during the day when other shoppers are at work.
  • Wear a shopping uniform: My shopping uniform is a pair of leggings, a form-fitting tank dress, comfortable slip on shoes and an oversized cardigan. I can easily slip clothing over the dress when the changing room line-ups are too long. Don’t bother with jewelry. You will just have to take it on and off when you want to try new pieces.
  • Don’t get too dolled up: Make-up can stain the clothes your are going to try on. Leave the ruby red lips for another day.
  • Shop alone: I always do my serious shopping alone. Shopping with friends can be fun, but it’s not optimal. Serious shopping should be all about you. Only bring a friend if they are willing to dedicate the day to helping you.

What are your optimal shopping tips?

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Glossybox Canada October Review

 

In this series of posts, I’ll be reviewing beauty subscription services. I will be focusing on how well the boxes are suited to the brown-skinned beauty consumer. Although there are some niche focused beauty subscriptions on the market, I am only reviewing the ones designed for a general audience. 

My first GLOSSYBOX arrived today! It took about 2 weeks from my initial order to delivery. I learned from the GLOSSYBOX Facebook page that it used to cost $15 per month, but I missed that boat. The new price is $21. This first box is the October edition. I read all the spoilers on Facebook, so opening it was a bit anticlimactic. I’m going to have to avoid doing that in the future. It’s like peeking at your Christmas present. You only cheat yourself. Alright, now let’s take a closer look!

First things first, the packaging. It arrived in a sturdy, reusable, pink box. Opening the lid revealed decorative tissue and a pink ribbon. Fancy.

Even though I knew what to expect, it was pretty exciting to unwrap that tissue. Much like Christmas, I wanted to dig right in to the goodies. But wait! There is a card!

The card includes a description of the contents and some coupons I’ll probably forget about. Now for the good stuff, in order of the listing on the card…

JOUVIANCE REJUVENATING ANTI-AGING CREAM FOR COMBINATION TO OILY SKIN AND FOR NORMAL TO DRY SKIN ( Sample size value $9.50/ Full size $93.50)

I suppose I’m at the age where anti-aging creams are a thing. I don’t know if I’m really going to be able to decide if I like the product based on this small sample. It’s a pricey product, so I understand the limited sample size. It has no scent, so that is a selling point if you are sensitive. I washed my face and put some on, it did leave my skin feeling soft. (Update: I woke up and my skin still feels soft and moisturized.)

MODELCO FLIPSTICK LIP DUO (Full size sample $38.75)

I was prepared to dislike this product based on photos I’d seen online, but I was wrong. I don’t wear a lot of lipstick but when I do I usually opt for something super bold. I’ve never really got the hang of nude lips. This is a lip duo, one end is lipstick (dusk) and one is gloss (striptease). The lipstick is very moisturizing and the gloss is not sticky. This adds up to a winning combination. An added bonus is the smell, it’s sweet like candy but it doesn’t have a flavour. There is one major design flaw. It has a built in mirror, but you can’t use it while applying because it’s attached to the part you hold. Oopsie daisy!

ZOYA NAILPOLISH (Full size sample $8.00)

This colour is not really my thing, but it does look nice with dark skin tones. I’d be more likely to wear it on my toes. This is my first experience with Zoya. I painted one nail to see how it went on, one coat was nearly enough. I’m looking forward to trying other colours by the brand.

TRILLIANCE SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER WITH ROCK CRYSTAL EXTRACT (Sample value $6.48, Full size set $32.38)

I don’t use shampoo very often. My hair is so dry. Honestly, I’ll probably just give the shampoo to my boyfriend. I will try the conditioner. I don’t expect to get much “shine” from the rock crystals it contains. Since my hair is so thick, I’ll only get one or two uses out of this sample. I’ll report back if it’s phenomenal.

GILLETTE VENUS & OLAY RAZOR (Retail value $16.99)

Razors are not the most exciting thing to get in a beauty box. They are like socks on Christmas. In the long run, you are glad you didn’t have to spend the money yourself. Really, razors are expensive man! This little puppy retails for $17! I’m going to use that $17 on wine instead.

TOTAL BOX VALUE: $79.73!

I am satisfied with this box overall. The products were pretty universal. I believe I got my money’s worth. This is just the first of many boxes and bags to come. If they can all be this solid, I am sure to find a lot of great products.

Make-up for Dumb Dumbs

I am not a beauty junkie. Make-up application is not my strongest skill. I do have a serious looking make-up case from Holt Renfrew, a gift I requested from my mother a few years ago. Right now, it’s full of crusty old products and 3 identical shades of silver nail polish. Once again, my make-up shortcomings are a product of the abject laziness I described in my last hair care post. I don’t really care for make-up shopping. I don’t like trying on products at the drugstore (because eww!). I get overwhelmed after about 2 minutes in Sephora, and slink out empty-handed every damn time. The make-up counters at department stores are a bit better, but I hate being sold things and would rather go about my business shopping without the help of an employee. As a result, I buy nothing.

So what is a girl to do when she wants to step up her make-up game? Internet!
I hit the beauty blogs on a quest for product recommendations and stumbled on the whole Beauty Product Subscription industry. Now you are speaking my language. Beauty products delivered to my house for a low monthly fee? Sign me up!

I signed up for 3 monthly services (Glymm, Ipsy, Glossybox); and one quarterly service (LuxeBox). I’m also on the waiting list for TopBox. Why so many you ask? I thought it might be interesting to review them for my blog. I have brown skin (if you didn’t notice) and I want to see how well the products are suited to darker complexions (and black hair!). I figure, I’m a good guinea pig. I have average skills in make-up application and no brand loyalty. There is only one product I am devoted to, Armani Face Fabric.  That stuff is magical.

Since I only applied for most of the boxes this week, I am not sure if I will be getting November boxes from all the companies. You will be happy to know that I did receive one box today. I’m unpacking it for review tonight! I’ll be sharing shortly.

 

Time to Get Serious about Fall Fashion

12 Step Clever Wardrobe Challenge

Holy smokes, it’s the middle of September! That means it’s time to get serious about fall/winter clothing. I am officially bored with 99.9% of my clothes and I’m ready to move on. To jumpstart things, I propose a challenge. You don’t have to post something daily, but try to work your way through the twelve steps! 

  1. Describe yourself and your lifestyle. If you have a job that requires a certain type of clothing, that is going to affect your choices. Give us an idea of what is important to you when it comes to clothing. You can also describe your personal taste.
  2. Closet organizing time! This is not always fun, but it’s essential to know what you are currently working with. If you live in an area that cools down in the fall, it’s a good time to put away those summer items. Schedule a donation pick up from a local charity organization so you have a deadline to sort your clothes.
  3. What are you keeping? Photograph the key items in your current wardrobe that you wear often and plan to wear in the fall.
  4. You bought it but you’ve never worn it? We all have these things in our closet. Things we bought but never wear. Find one of these items that fits you well, but you don’t wear. Take a picture of a neglected item and describe why you have never worn it.
  5. Make a new outfit! Using the item from assignment number 4, make a new outfit . If it’s appropriate, wear it out of the house!
  6. What is your default color palate? Describe the colors your usually wear. You can share an outfit if you would like.
  7. Break your color habit! Now that you have described your safety zone, try something different. Put together an outfit that doesn’t include your default colors.
  8. Confidence booster! Is there an outfit in your closet that makes you feel unstoppable? Describe or photograph it and share with us.
  9. What do you need? Make a list of things that you need for fall. I’m sure we can all think of a zillion things we want, but what are the essentials you must buy for your wardrobe to function for the season. Make a polyvore of these essential items.
  10. Let someone else dress you! Have a girlfriend, boyfriend, family member or sales person pick out an outfit for you. It can be from your own wardrobe or you can do it at a store. You can photograph it on or off your body.
  11. Fantasize a little (or a lot)! Create a 10 piece fantasy fall wardrobe using polyvore or link photos. Don’t worry about price, we are dreaming here. Try to pick styles that you would actually wear. You want to use this for inspiration when you go shopping for realistic items. You can use unlimited  shoes/accessories in your fantasy wardrobe, but stick to 10 clothing items.
  12. Go shopping and buy yourself something new for fall! Share a picture with the class!

Have fun!