Month: January 2015

Batting A Thousand

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I was not blessed with naturally full, long lashes. Skimpy and short–that’s a more accurate description! They are virtually invisible if I don’t use mascara (which I rarely use because I’m pretty low maintenance).

Plus, make-up is just not my forte. It’s not my passion. It’s something I dabble in on three occassions: a date, a special event, or if I know my picture will be taken (why do you think all of my OOTDs on Istagram are almost all headless?!).

But there are a few make-up techniques and products I’m curious about. One thing I have been DYING to try is Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes.

It retails for $29, but a lovely Instagram follower offered me a complimentary set to do this review. I jumped with excitement at the chance! I have heard it absolutely transforms your lashes.

To give you an idea of what we’re working with here, let’s (begrudgingly) start with a fresh-faced picture with no make-up. Yup. Here I am vulnerable to the world! (Side note: please try not to let my crazy brows distract you too much. They have always been a trouble area for me!)

NATURAL

Now, here’s what I look like with the mascara I currently have in my make-up bag. It’s Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara. I only have this because it was included in a gift set I purchased while buying my powder. It’s just ok. I doubt I will ever buy it again. Retails about $18.

MASCARA

And….the moment we have all been waiting for!!!

3D

This was my first time using this product. A complete novice. It’s relatively easy, although I was nervous I’d find a way to screw up the application process. I read the simple, 3-step directions like 10 times just to make sure I didn’t mess up.

Each step is like putting on regular mascara with the included products: transplanting gel and the fibers.

1. Apply the Transplanting Gel.

2. While gel is still wet, apply the Natural Fibers.

3. Reapply the Transplanting Gel to seal in the fibers.

So, here are my thoughts.

Pros:

My lashes were super long! You can see for yourself, the difference is pretty obvious. I could not believe how long my lashes looked! Never in my life have I had this look without gluing falsies to my eyelids.

It has staying power! I actually went to the gym and took a Step aerobics class (hard core sweating!) later in the day and it did not smudge or streak! I was impressed!

It washed off so easily! Since it stay put so well at the gym, I just knew I would walk out of the shower looking like Lauren Conrad after she broke up with Heidi on “The Hills.” But, no! I didn’t see any traces of it when I got out of the shower (using my basic Clearasil face wash). I was AH-MAZED!

Cons:

They weren’t as full as I hoped. I think I set the bar so high, I was expecting more lusciousness. But again, compared to what we were working with initially, they are considerably thicker.

They look a bit clumpy. I think it’s because I didn’t use a lash comb. I am pretty certain that would have alleviated some of the clumping had I combed through it during the application process. They do sell a lash comb, which I’m sure is amazing, but I can’t see myself spending $20 for it.

Flakiness actually wasn’t an issue for me, but I feel compelled to mention some other people have complained about it. I was directed to use a thick coat of the gel to seal everything in and it worked for me!

So, would I actually spend $30 on this product? It is highly likely. I want to play with it some more and see how it looks with full eye make-up. I think it would be amazing for a night out, dates, events…basically all of the times I typically wear make-up. Because I’m not a big make-up wearer, it’s a little much for everyday wear for me. But next time I get gussied up, I’ll post a pic to my Budding Fashionista Facebook page to show you how it can all come together, so make sure you follow me there for another update! I’m excited to try it again!

What are your thoughts?!! I’d love your feedback!

If you’re interested in giving it a try, please visit Mya’s Younique Link to place your order!

The Budget Is Back!

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So, remember that whole “6 months no shopping” challenge I gave myself last year? I got a lot of positive feedback from it and learned a lot about my will power and my ability to appreciate things I have. All great things! But I have a dirty confession. I am now a statistic. I did what many financial gurus predicted. I binged! Oh, how I binged.

My no shopping challenge ended right before I went to San Francisco for the first time. So, when I got there, I shopped, of course. And I shopped when I returned home. And I shopped online. I hate to admit I was out of control! Where was that will power I had for 6 months prior?! It went on vacation, too I guess–somewhere far, far away from me!

So, what’s the point of all this??

To get my financial frenzy back on track, I’ve decided to do a “12-month no shopping challenge.” HA! I kid, I kid!!

Seriously, though. If you read the title of this post, you probably figured it out–I’m bringing back my monthly budget! My husband and I recently met with some money pros and we got realistic about our spending/budgeting. I decided to put myself back on my $150/month budget. It worked really well for me last year. And for some reason, I am better about saying “no” to a sale if I know I can use my budget as an excuse to cool off my debit card. For instance, “Hey, Vanessa! Did you see the amazing sale going on at XYZ?!” I would reply, “Yes! It’s so awesome, but I’ve already maxed out my budget for the month.” It’s easier for me that way. I know. I’m twisted. But it’s the only thing that seems to work for me.

How am I doing now? Before mid-January, I’d already spent about $110. While that doesn’t give me a ton of wiggle room, I do take comfort in knowing I have made some great purchases so far (y’all know I love to stretch my dollars!). And I still have $40 available to spend before the end of the month! I’ll definitely be posting my monthly purchase/budget results. It helps hold me accountable. Because, you know, holding myself accountable privately is just crazy talk.

Now, I know this is not some flashy post with a lot of pics, so I’ll leave you with a preview of two of my favorite purchases so far!

I got this dress from Old Navy (online) for $7.50! It’s now sold out, but the sale is still going on through January 10th and there was a lot of cute stuff I would’ve considered buying had I not been keeping my budget in mind ;). (See, it’s already working!) Use code: SAVENOW to save 25% off clearance prices through midnight EST January 10th. Normally, I am looking for additional 50%, but with these low Old Navy prices, the deals are already dirt cheap.

Old Navy
Old Navy

I also made my first Rebecca Minkoff purchase! It may be my first designer handbag purchase come to think of it. The Leo envelope clutch was $38 during a sale of 50% off markdowns at a local boutique called Soca. I LOVE it SO much! It has beautiful lining which makes me love it even more!

Rebecca Minkoff-Leo envelope clutch
Rebecca Minkoff-Leo envelope clutch

I can’t wait to share my other purchases with you…and I can’t wait to spend the remaining $40 of my budget! haha! Thanks for following me on this journey!

If you’re still with me, I have a little treat to share with you! I’ve teamed up with several other fashion lovers for an awesome giveaway on Instagram! We are giving away 3 $200 pre-paid Visa Gift Cards. Head on over to my Instagram for more details!  

Cold Weather Work Wear

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Happy New Year, everyone! I’m not doing a silly resolution post. I don’t keep them. Not wasting my time or yours with false promises, hopes and dreams. I’m a realist. What I realistically need is some cold weather work wear inspiration!

I was born on an island (the Philippines) and have lived in the southern U.S. the remainder of my life. Being acclimated to cold weather just isn’t in my blood. It’s not in my genes. When the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you can rest assured, I’ll be layered up and bundled up.

This is where my problem arises. It’s tough for me to be motivated to look cute for work when all I want to do is stay warm and cozy in pj’s or in my bed! Best case scenario (when you factor in winter weight gain), I am happy to throw on leggings, boots and an over-sized sweater.

So, I did some blog and Pinterest perusing to try and get excited about getting dressed when my inspiration level is about as low as the temperature. For any of you who may feel the same, hopefully this will help you make warm wardrobe decisions that are still office appropriate!

1. Add some color somewhere..or everywhere! It’s a lot more fun to get dressed when your choices are more fun to look at! I’m crazy about color blocking. I particularly love colored pants! All of these really get my fashion mojo going! Bonus style points to Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific for that rocking cape!

Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Lookbook can do no wrong. A red blazer is a perfect way to add color and warmth! Leather leggings aren’t the best work appropriate option, but trade those for black trousers…add black tights..def keep those leopard pumps!!… and you’re hot to trot!

from: Wendy’s Lookbook

2. Add patterns to the mix…multiple patterns if you’re feeling bold! One thing I love to see is a patterned top/button-down under a basic sweater. It’s like a peek-a-boo fun house! If you want to push the envelope, merge two prints–stripes and dots are an easy way to mix patterns for first-timers!

Don’t be afraid to try patterns on the bottom, either! Go with a more subtle pattern, which allows you to play with bolder colors. Or go with a bold pattern and keep the rest simple–I love how the black pieces tame these amazing plaid pants!

3. Texturize (maybe I made up that word)! There’s no better way to feel cozy than when you’re wrapped in a cozy, chunky knit! Pair with a leather blazer or skirt to bump up the cool factor a few notches. Or just keep it safer, yet still chic, by pairing with a fun blazer or coat. Are you dying to try leather leggings at work? Try the look Kat pulls off (3rd image). The layers are long enough to cover everything tastefully and the suede knee boots provide extra coverage while balancing out the texture!

4. Pile It On! One theme that seems consistent with staying chic in cold weather: layering! It adds that much-needed warmth and also elevates the overall look. To keep from feeling like you are being restrained in your own outfit, keep the bottom layer on the fitted side and go up a size in your outer layers to give you some breathing room!

Now, I need to head to my closet and start playing dress up! If you have any warm weather favorites for the office, I’d LOVE to see! Feel free to tag me on Instagram: @buddingfashionista or share a pic on Facebook!