Faux fur vest in Maine’s winter wonderland

IMG_1478 2IMG_1503IMG_1462IMG_1502IMG_1501

Vest / Sweater / Jeans / Boots / Hermes Bracelet / David Yurman Bracelet / Watch

We had our first 30 degree day in a while in my hometown, it has been below freezing recently so this felt WARM! I found this faux fur vest at Target the other day, I tried it on just for fun and did not expect to love it, but I do! It was on sale for $20 so I had to get it. I don’t own anything like it, but it adds so much to the simplest of outfits! It’s so cozy and it has a hood too! So if you’re looking for a faux fur vest, check Target because they always have great sales! Also – I have become obsessed with Express denim, so if you are looking for a good pair of dark wash jeans, check Express because they also have good sales!

xoxo,

Blank 4 x 2 in-2

 

My favorite designer dupe shoe finds

Don’t get me wrong, there is a very long list of designer items that are on my wish list –  but on a college budget that is so far from realistic. I’ve found so many designer dupes at Target, Express, H&M, and various other boutiques, so why would I ever spend more than I have to for the same exact thing?! I’ve gotten so many compliments on a lot of the items in this post today – and people are so surprised when I tell them how affordable it is or where it’s from! It’s surprisingly very easy to find affordable designer dupes, so I’m sharing some of my favorites!

IMG_0612Jacket / Jeans / Boots

These black OTK boots are on sale for $60 at Macy’s! They Calvin Cline dupes, which are originally over $100.

IMG_2685 BlouseJeans / Boots / Jacket 

I found these Steven Madden & Stuart Weitzman dupes at Target for only $50!

IMG_0326

Thermal Top / Jeans / Ankle-Wrap Booties

These heels are dupes of various styles of the  Vince Camuto open toed booties – but these are only $40 from ThirtyOne Boutique!

IMG_6634

Top / Jeans / Wedges

These are by far my favorite pair of wedges I own – they are SO comfy! I got these at Target for only $30 – similar to these Steve Madden ones.

Black Loafers / Black Fur Loafers

Another shoe that is extremely popular lately are these slip ons that are Gucci dupes. I recently purchased the fur ones and they are so comfy – perfect for winter, spring and fall.

xoxo,

Blank 4 x 2 in-2

 

 

Favorite beauty purchases of 2017

PicMonkey Image-3-2

There have been various beauty products that I have tried throughout the past year – some that worked a lot better than others. The nine pictured above have become my holy grail products – game changers in my book. Some are a little bit on the pricier side, but they last quite a while and you definitely get your moneys worth!

The Professional Face Primer – I got this as a sample at first, I didn’t expect to love it because I have sensitive/oily skin and I had yet to find a lightweight primer that didn’t trap oils under my foundation. I tried this one and not only does it smell great, but it’s super lightweight and minimize the appearance of my pores. I ended up purchasing a full size one, but the sample size lasted me quite a while because a little goes a long way! (It is a little on the pricier side, but because I have such sensitive skin, not many drugstore primers were working for me.)

Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer –  I purchased this over the summer and loved how smooth and natural it looked on my skin. It blended onto my setting powder really easily and wasn’t chalky at all. This is definitely by far my favorite bronzer I’ve tried!

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer – I purchased this concealer after I ran out of my erase paste (now known as “boi-ing brightening concealer“) when Sephora had run out last winter because Benefit was re-packaging and re-naming the product. The consistency of this one is very similar to erase paste as it is rather thick and is full coverage – great for under eye circles. Because it is so thick and creamy, a little goes a long way. I’ve had the same tube of this stuff since last winter and am just now getting low!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – I have been using this stuff for so long I can’t even remember how long ago I purchased my first bottle! This spot treatment is a life saver for my oily skin when I get acne flare ups that need to be dried out! It dries them out overnight and makes a huge difference. The key is to not shake it – let the oil and powder separate in order for it to be most effective.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – This is one of my newer purchases that has been quite the game changer for my skin. In early December, one of my favorite bloggers, Olivia Rink, posted that she had gotten a $10 facial at Ulta through Dermalogica. Immediately after I saw her post, I called Ulta and booked a 10 minute, $10 facial facial for my cousin and I. I had never tried Dermalogica products before but I had always wondered about them. After my facial and learning more about my problem areas, the lady who gave me my facial pointed out a few products that would help with my oily problematic skin. This daily exfoliant is extremely gentle and my face feels so much cleaner after using it! (I tried out the travel size first – it lasted me about 3 weeks.)

Dove Dry Spray Deodorant – I had yet to find the perfect deodorant that worked for me until this one. Not only does it last all day, but they have different scents and they smell SO GOOD. I prefer to get the one that is invisible so that there are no white marks on my clothes.

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Divine Dark) – This is by far my favorite dry shampoo. Considering I am trying to wash my hair less, I use this daily. One of the things I used to hate about dry shampoo was the white that it left in your hair, but with this brown dry shampoo, you can’t see it at all – it also smells really good.

Aveda Damage Remedy leave-in treatment – This is on the pricier side as well – but has worked so well treating my damaged and dry hair. After a few balayages, my hair was extremely broken at the ends and dry feeling. I use this every time I wash my hair and it feels so much healthier. It is also super helpful because I curl/straighten my hair so much.

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray – For a while I never really understood the importance of heat protectant until I felt that my hair was extremely damaged and I really needed to protect it considering I was using heat on it almost daily. This one is super affordable and works really well!

xoxo,

Blank 4 x 2 in-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift Guide for your bff under $20

PicMonkey Image

Finals are finally over and we are officially on winter break! Towards the end of the first semester it can be tough to make time to get Christmas gifts when you’re just trying to finish out finals and get home for the holidays. Not only is it hard to make the time to go Christmas shopping, but when you’re on a college budget you’re super limited to where you can shop. I always really want to splurge on my best friends and my family but sometimes it’s just not realistic! So that’s why I made this gift guide – all of these gifts are under $20 and all from Target! (aka my second home) I have some of these things and love them. Target has some insane beauty set deals during the holidays.

Face Mask set – I love these face masks. This pack is such a good deal because they’re usually $2-$3 each. In this pack you get six for only $10!

Marble iPhone Case – I hope the marble trend never ends – this case is only $18 compared to other marble cases that are super expensive. You can seriously find a dupe of anything at Target.

Dr. Teals Pure Epsom Salt Bath & Body Set – I’m obsessed with Dr.Teals bath products – they make your entire bathroom smell so good and it’s so relaxing. This gift set is the perfect size to try for only $5.

Slipper Socks – I recently just bought these and I have lived in them the past few days. They are so comfortable and they have grips on the bottom too – only $10.

Marble Gift Box – Okay I am seriously obsessed with this gift box – it’s the perfect gift box for your bff and it’s only $5!

Moccasin Slippers – These slippers look just like the Ugg slippers and they are only $16.

Monogrammed Mug – I use my “A” mug all of the time, I love using it in photos, and it’s only $5.

Plaid Throw Blanket – Only $14 and so cozy!

Snuggly Sweater Candle – A lot of cheaper candles burn in a way that the wax doesn’t melt all the way and it becomes a waste – this brand burns straight down and smells AMAZING.

xoxo,

Blank 4 x 2 in-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to plan the perfect party

 

DSC_0816DSC_0817DSC_0818DSC_0814DSC_0813DSC_0815DSC_0812

I spent my summer planning my 21st birthday party and I LOVED it. I love putting together every little detail. Luckily all of the stress was totally worth it because it was definitely one of the best nights I’ve had – so I figured I’d share some tips and ideas that helped me plan! No matter what your budget is or what your party is for you can still throw an awesome party.

 1. Determine your budget 

This is the first thing you should always do when planning an event/party. You’ll need to know how much you can spend so that you can then determine your theme, what food and drinks you can provide, and how much decorating you can do. What I did for my 21st was make an excel sheet that calculated all of my totals for me, and included every  thing I needed. This makes it super easy to not only keep track of everything, but to add things along the way and having it calculated for you.

2. Who and how many people are you inviting?

Once your budget is determined, you’ll kind of have a feel for how much food/drinks you’re able to get. You never want to run out of food or drinks – so it’s good to determine how much you can afford before forming your guest list. Once you form a guest list, you’ll know the kind of people that’ll be coming – which means you should cater any activities to your guest list. What will the people you’re inviting enjoy? For example – if it’s your 21st , have some space for drinking games for people to play.

3. Determine a theme & decor

Now that you have determined how much money you can spend and how many people are coming, you can estimate the amount of decorations you can buy and how much you want to execute a theme. For my 21st I just chose the color scheme of white, gold and pink. Depending on your budget, you can go from there on how much to execute it.

Tables – You can easily find a company that rents out tables and chairs, I rented from Celebrations Party Rental in Highwood, IL – I purchased four tall boy cocktail tables for people to mingle and eat. I didn’t rent chairs, because if you have a lot of seating, that tends to bring the party down, instead I decided on less seating so that there would be more energy!

Linens – I also rented white linens from  Carousel Linens in Highland Park, IL for the tables and I tied them off with gold tool from Michael’s to add some elegance and sparkle.

Florals – I chose floral arrangements as the centerpieces. Obviously there are various options for centerpieces, but because it was an “end of the summer” party I decided on florals. Because my theme was pink, white and gold with white linens, I wanted my floral arrangements to pop against the white. I ordered the arrangements through Swansons Blossom Shop in Deerfield, IL.

Dressing up the space – Another tip to “dress up” the space of your party is to add a lot of candles if you don’t have a lot of other decor. Candles help create a really elegant mood especially if the event is at night. A little goes a long way with candles!

Something little I did to add some color is a mini candy bar. At Party City they have candy organized by any possible color you could ever need (at reasonable prices too!)

I also really like having chalkboards at parties or events because you can label various things and personalize it. Hobby Lobby or Michaels is a good place to go for things like that!

4. Food / Drinks

Sometimes it’s nice to coordinate your food and drinks to the theme of your party. For mine, it didn’t really matter – so I just had heavy appetizers and a dessert bar. If you are really planning to execute a specific theme though, its good to have the food coordinate with it. We hired a catering service that walked around passing out various appetizers as well as a bartender for the drinks!

 

 

 

 

 

How to style your dorm room without breaking the bank

fdsahf

I’ve done a post on my dorm decor before, but I wanted to write a more general post about styling your dorm in the most affordable way, especially because school is coming up and people are prepping for college. Although you may be googling “dorm room ideas” some of them just are not realistic – whether it’s all ridiculously expensive things, or just a huge dorm that you know yours won’t look like. After 3 years of living in a dorm room I have learned that there are ways to design your dorm room in a unique, cute, affordable way, here is how I style my dorm room without spending a TON of money! You’ll come to realize (if you haven’t already) that Target will literally be your BFF.

Wall Decor

For the past few years I’ve used the same wall decor and just styled it differently so that I could re use them each year. I definitely recommend this, wall decor can get pricey so if you get things you can re use each year, that saves you a lot of money. I still will probably use these wall butterflies (only $10 on amazon right now) for my upcoming senior year. These ones (that are only $7) come in different colors too! Wall stickers I also really like are these gold wall polka dots, but you wouldn’t be able to reuse them the following year. For decorative string lights, I wanted them to match my theme so I have used these globe string lights from target that are only $15 – and I’ll use these again this year! I also really like white basic Christmas lights, you can do so much with those in a dorm.

For frames and prints – I order from Etsy and buy cheap frames from target (which I also reuse). For example, I have one similar to this one and you can even download it yourself and just print it out. I really like how they placed these prints in their dorm (source unknown):

gallery wall 5.png

Right now is the perfect time to shop Target’s dorm selections – they are having some sales and there are some super cute finds. Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 10.43.36 PM

Right now on their website, they have a tutorial on how to create a gallery wall. There are some great tips on how to style your room to match the perfect theme you want it to be, even if you’re working with a small space in a dorm! Target is seriously the BEST when it comes to getting great deals for your dorm.

Organization / Storage

The key to keeping your dorm room organized in the cutest way possible is to purchase stylish organizers and containers. I have a few of these and I love them, they’re only $6 and I use them for toiletries as well as miscellaneous items. I also really like this – its only $15 and you can definitely keep that to store under your bed or wherever you want it each year! Setting your bed on the highest notch is always a good idea so you can store your dresser (if it’s that short), fridge, and organization underneath so there is less clutter in your space! I took this off of google but I thought it was a pretty good representation of what I’m talking about (source unknown):

00eada3c58e4e5ac283136646d7ad8a4--dorm-room-storage-dorm-organization

Lighting

Let’s face it – some dorm rooms just do not have good lighting, and for the girls that do their make up each morning before classes like I do, you may want a desk lamp of some sort by your make up mirror. I chose to get a decorative table lamp versus a basic college lamp – I chose the lamp shade and chose the blue lamp because it went with the theme of my room perfectly. I definitely recommend shopping Targets lamp selections.

18379150_10212869562844085_1171607406_o-2

I’m also obsessed with little decorations and trinkets that all contribute to the theme of your dorm room. Target also has a lot of cute decorations like this that aren’t too expensive!

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 11.41.55 PM

Other dorm room necessities

Something I also recommend you get is a rug – especially if the floors are tile. Definitely not a white rug (even though those are super pretty), that will show a lot of dirt and you may not be able to reuse it or wash it out, and a black rug may show the dirt as well. A happy medium that my roommates and I decided on a few years in a row is this gray rug.

Another necessity is a door mirror that you can hang onto the back of your door or command strip it to the back of your door.

Currently Target has some great sales on a lot of home/dorm items, including bedding. I mostly just have my comforter for looks, and I use throw blankets to put on my chair and my bed and just use those! I also recommend if you have extra space that you want to fill – extra seating is always a good idea for when friends are in your dorm! I bought this chair from Target and am planning on styling it just like I did last year (pictured below)

18379165_10212869563684106_557174475_o-2

I hope this helps show you a lot of cheaper options for your dorm that are still super cute and stylish! You can never go wrong with Target deals, and if things are cheaper on Amazon, definitely order them there as well!

When I’m all moved in to my dorm and all set up I’ll be posting the finished product as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save or splurge: Beauty products

SPLURGE: SKINCARE

SaveSplurge8SaveSplurge1SaveSplurge2SaveSplurge3SaveSpulrge2

On a college budget I’ve learned what I should save money on, and what I should  splurge on. I’ve learned that you should always invest in your skin. Until a few weeks ago I still hadn’t found any skin care products that were friendly to my wallet that worked for me and did everything my skin needed without breaking me out. I recently attended a Caudalie workshop at the Equinox gym I work at. They gave us these free products and I was super excited to try them – not expecting them to work, I was really impressed when I woke up the next morning and my skin felt hydrated and moisturized (but not too oily.) I have sensitive/oily skin so I’ve never been able to moisturize without breaking out – but my skin reacted really well to all of these products!

In the shower, I cleanse with the Mario Bedescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser – this is so gentle!

After I remove my eye make up with Neutrogena Oil Free Makeup Remover I use a cotton round to apply the Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water – and then I apply the Vine(Activ) Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum – this is super pricey, and I only use a tiny amount, a little goes a long way! I then apply the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet.

Of course none of this is cheap – but it has been a game changer for my skin. If you were to buy only one of these products – I would definitely invest in the Mario Bedescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser!!

SAVE: DRUGSTORE MAKE UP

SaveSplurge6SaveSplurge6-2SaveSplurge7

Face – Originally I found myself always splurging on foundation and concealer, but on a college budget, paying for a $40 foundation was just too much, and I knew I could probably find a drugstore foundation that was equally as great. I use Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation that is only $9, it’s super lightweight and I only use a little bit and blend it with a beauty blender. I’ve realized that less is more with foundation. My favorite powder that I have used for YEARS now is the Rimmel London Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder, which is only $6!  Because I have oily skin, this keeps my skin looking matte and less shiny. Something I do still splurge on is concealer – I figure I should splurge on either foundation and get a cheaper concealer, or a higher end concealer with a cheaper foundation. So, I settled for investing in a thick concealer that could work if I just want to wear concealer and powder. My new favorite concealer is the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer – it’s very thick so a little goes a long way. It’s a life saver for under eye circles, and comparatively $26 is not bad for high end concealer. For contouring, I use the Lorac Pro Contour Palette, this is pricey, but I’ve found that it’s lasted me SO long. For a setting spray, I use NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray – this is a life saver especially in the summertime.

Eyes – More recently I’ve started buying single colors of eye shadow from Walgreens or Target when I run out of my favorites in the Naked palettes, I don’t want to purchase an entire o palette to only use a few colors. I use the individual L’Oreal Paris Infallible Shadows as a base, and apply a little bit of Revlon Colorstay Creme Eyeshadow to brighten my eyes. For mascara I use Maybelline’s Lash Sensation,  this has been my favorite for years now. I have never been one to splurge on mascara.

SPLURGE: HAIR

SaveSplurge4

Along with skincare, I believe it’s also important to splurge on hair products. Ever since Emily Gemma shared that her favorite shampoo was the Caviar Anti-Aging Shampoo, I of course had to invest in it, it is by far my favorite shampoo I have ever tried. It immediately makes my hair shiner and softer after one wash. I recently realized that after getting highlights and balayage that my hair was extremely damaged, the Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair is another game changer. I put it especially on the ends of my hair where my hair seems to be the most damaged.

OR SAVE..

SaveSplurge5

Although it’s good to splurge on really nice hair products, on a college budget it’s not realistic to consistently purchase them, recently I’ve become obsessed with a more budget friendly option, the Tresemme Expert Selection Botanique Damage Recovery Shampoo – not only does it smell SO GOOD but it makes my hair extremely soft. The conditioner is also a must have.

Overall, there are obviously cheaper alternatives to everything, but I think investing in your skincare products and hair products is extremely important for healthier skin and healthier hair.