Some TJ Maxx shopping / Cynthia Rowley Haul {May 10, 2014}

Navy and white striped linen blend Ellen Tracy sweater with 3/4 length sleeves. Great for layering over tanks.
Navy and white striped linen blend Ellen Tracy sweater with 3/4 length sleeves. Great for layering over tanks.

So I went shopping at TJ Maxx Saturday looking for some simple business casual pieces that would work well in the hot summer heat and with my existing wardrobe. I was mostly looking for light layering pieces like short sleeved breezy cardigans and super light light sweaters that would work well over tank tops.

Let’s start with the items I passed on:
(and then we’ll get to the good stuff)

NOW on to the good stuff:
(I went in thinking I might find one good piece but instead found a bit more!)

I ALMOST passed on the silk tank top because of the price. It’s been awhile since I spent $30 on a single shirt. But it’s a good business meeting piece and comfortable so it came home with me. Really cute button top in the back that I didn’t take a better photo of too.

As for buying TWO short sleeve linen blend cardigans – I already own some long sleeve linen blend cardigans [seen here and here] and LOVE them which is part of the reason I just bought both short sleeve linen blend cardigans. I also have the same long sleeve jacket in black as well as the neutral shade.

I probably could wear the long sleeve cardigans in the summer they are so light but they look warmer than they are. They are also warm enough though to cut the chill on a cool evening.

A surprising amount of what I bought was Cynthia Rowley. I did not plan it this way as I tend to shop by look and feel of the fabric quality when shopping in a store like TJ Maxx (I also do this when thrift shopping.) I’m clearly attracted to rayon, linen and silk though….

Anyway – WAY more items than I expected to find shopping on Saturday but they were all such good wardrobe building basic that I didn’t want to pass any up!

Birchbox February 2014 unboxing

Birchbox February 2014

First lets start with what you can see in these photos – this is the first time I’ve had something leak in one of my Birchboxes. When I posted this on instagram I was told to contact [email protected] which I did and since I told them I hadn’t wanted to try the hair oil and nothing else was ruined they gave me some birchbox points for the trouble.

I didn’t take any additional product photos after opening this month’s box and I threw out the hair oil bottle and the packaging so let’s move on to what was inside. 🙂

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face – cones rule it out for me (allergy / breakouts.) I think I swatched this on my hand with a sample I received in the past though and wasn’t thrilled. I’m never thrilled with tinted moisturizers though. Love the Coola sunscreen though and I can highly recommend that!! This tinted matte moisturizing sunscreen rates a 3 with the cosmetic database. (reminder: lower is better with 0 being best and 10 being worst with regards to being healthy.)

Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Kitten Heels – is this 3 free? I need to do a bit more research (tiny print.) Love the brightness of the shade indoors. We’ll see how this wears.

Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara – have to call. Not waterproof so not worth it for me. Not going to do the cosmetics database report on this one either.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil – cones rule it out for me.  Rates a 6 with the cosmetics database so even without the cones it’s a bit too high.

Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Palette – Most of these don’t have cones but there are one or two shades that have cones in them. Also I’m half and half on this “card” style sample. There’s enough to try but not enough to play with. I can maybe do swatches on my arm ONCE and ONCE on my eyes and that’s it. Yes, retail it would be $49 for the full palette so I get why they couldn’t give us the full palette but this paper card seems a bit of a cop out – like something you might see for free in a magazine. Colors are good but I don’t think I’m impressed enough to buy the full set. The ingredients are long and listed out on the back of the card (and nowhere online) so I’ll have to come back to running a cosmetics database report on these.


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Birchbox & Ipsy for October 2013

Birchbox & Ipsy for October 2013

In my Ipsy Glambag for October 2013:

Zoya Nail Polish in Neve – as always, another great Zoya color. Perfect for fall and winter and really great because it’s a classy cobalt blue shade. All Zoya polishes are 3-free.

Sexy Hair Blow Dry Gel – dimethicone, can’t use it personally. Cosmetics database rates it a 6! Remember, lower is better!

Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush – this is going to be my goto eyeshadow brush. I love this shape brush and previously had been buying the ELF brushes that are this shape (a brush doesn’t always have to be expensive to be quality.) The quality of the ELF brushes has gone downhill however as my last purchase of these brushes from ELF, the brush bristles were a little mis-shaped. The Coastal Scents brush is a little long but otherwise it’s a real step up from the ELF brush in terms of quality. The bristles are in the perfect shape and size and the handle coating is much better. This seems like it will last a much longer time and I’ll probably be buying a few more in the near future. It is a synthetic brush in case that is a deciding factor for you.

La Fresh® Eco-Beauty® Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes – I haven’t used this yet but I’m looking forward to trying it. I think they’ve changed the ingredients some since the last time I checked out this product because the current ingredients are healthier than what I remember. I’m already a big fan of the LA Fresh nail polish remover wipes. Cosmetics Database rates this a 4 … I suspect the real life rating would be lower if EWG would account for natural scents. Checked without the “fragrance” this was a 2.

Wet n Wild Photo Op Eyeshadow – dimethicone, can’t use it personally. Cosmetics Database rates this a 1! I’m surprised! But I still can’t use it personally. :/

 


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In my Birchbox October 2013:

Bain de Terre macadamia oil NOURISHING CONDITIONER – argh dimethicone, so I can’t personally use.  Cosmetics Database score is a 4.

POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer – nothing to keep me from trying this but it’s not exactly healthy either. It uses mineral oil, propylparaben, and fragrance. The color is a fun color that reminded me of a cherry lollipop but goes on a little more subtly like a thin layer of something that should pop over neutral lip tone. The color is good. It is fairly sticky sticky however so even if I hadn’t looked over the ingredients, I’m not sure I would choose to wear this regularly. Cosmetics Database score is a 4.

ChapStick® Hydration Lock – dimethicone, can’t personally use. Cosmetics Database score is a 5. Remember, lower is better.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit – INCREDIBLE ingredient list. The only one I wasn’t sure about in terms of personal allergies is hops. I know I have some problems consuming hops but I’ve never had the occasion to try anything topically so I don’t know if I have a skin sensitivity to it. I HAVE used this though for the last 4 days both morning and night and so far no problems. I’m in love with this. My face looks and feels healthier. It doesn’t cause my face to get oily, it doesn’t strip away like a regular soap cleanser might AND I still feel clean after using it. This is a tough thing to accomplish, healthy natural ingredients and not left feeling like you still need to clean.

Really – my face has a nice healthy glow to it now. I can’t tell how much of that is the muslin cloth and how much is this cleanser but this cleanser is definitely good still. Liz Earle has done an excellent job with this product! Cosmetics Database score is a 3. 

Liz Earle Pure Muslin Cloths – LOVE this. Already tried this and absolutely love love love it. This is just the right amount of exfoliation for 1-2 times per day use. It’s surprising because holding the cloth I really didn’t think I was going to be that impressed by it. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to scrub much but somehow it does. I don’t know if all muslin would be scrubby or if Lis Earle has just sourced the perfect cloth but I think I’m in. As long as I can find a better way to store / dry these I think I’m going to buy a few more to have on hand / keep as backups!


 Still not signed up for Birchbox? :D

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Turkey day outfit 2012

Just a quick shot of the outfit I wore Thanksgiving Day. I went to TJ Maxx the day before and ended up finding quite a few things I liked including this short sleeve cowl neck sweater as well as the snake print scarf I’m wearing in the photo. (I think $16.99 and $12.99 respectively.)

I almost wore these shoes (the grey / taupe suede ones) with this which were a perfect match (but I didn’t want to wear heels all day) and I did wear this nailpolish which was also a perfect taupe-y mocha latte brown. Apparently I’m developing a thing for this color. 🙂