“Bargains & Splurges” – Beauty Edition

Hello Lovelies!

Fall is upon us, though living in Guam is an endless summer in flip flops! I do miss the rush of looking for the perfect sweater dress and boots! So, in lieu of doing a “Best Fall Fashion” post like I’ve done before, I present my favorite Beauty Bargains and Splurges!

I chose to review the basic three we usually use: Foundation, Lipstick, and Mascara.

You know the saying, “you get what you paid for?” I think that couldn’t be more true when it comes to beauty products. I’m sure you’ve tried a number of products over the years and it can take quite awhile to find what works. So, I’ll break down what has worked for me.

  1. BEST FOUNDATION: 

 Bargain – L’oreal True Match

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Hands down, True Match is one of the best drugstore brands out there. Priced at $8-10 a bottle, this gentle and lightweight foundation comes in several shades that lives up to its name, True Match. It never looks “cakey,” and has pretty good staying power throughout the day.

 Splurge- Younique Touch Mineral Foundation

touch-liquid-foundation

Initially, I bought this as a “going out/special occasion” makeup, but once I put it on, I am wearing it nearly every time I wear makeup! I have never felt anything so light and velvety before. It’s gentle on my skin, moisturizes, and doesn’t get greasy looking after a day in the Guam climate. Yes, it’s more pricey ($39), but since it doesn’t irritate or change color over the day, I am in love.

Runner Up: Clinique Chubby Stick Foundation 

2. LIPSTICK/GLOSSES

Bargain – NYX Butter Lipstick

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Priced at just $6 a tube, this lipstick is surprisingly lasting and has a nice shine, but not too shiny. I would say that it does feel “like butter” on my lips and I like that it doesn’t dry out my lips, like many lipsticks tend to do. Lots of colors to choose from!

Splurge: (tie) Clinique Chubby Stick & Pure Romance Obsession Lipgloss

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I’ve been a big fan of the Clinique line for quite awhile now, especially since I love the Chubby Stick Foundation, and I love the Chubby Stick for lips even more. The fact that it comes in a “crayon” keeps it from melting down like sometimes lipsticks can do in tubes. The color makes my lips moisturized and includes my favorite rose color – Bountiful Blush. Great for an everyday look or going out! (Retails $17).

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Pure Romance is a company which specializes in beauty, bath, and bedroom accessories (and I am a consultant!) and to be honest, I wasn’t that excited about the lip gloss at first. But when I got it as a free gift, my tune changed! I’m normally not a gloss girl, but Obsessed is NOT sticky, too shiny, and it being formulated from bees’ wax makes me lips super soft! I wear it all the time, and fits great in my purse! In four colors – Charm, Crush, Groove (my fav!) and Captive. (Retails $18-20) Grab your Obsessed here: https://www.pureromance.com/melanierobinson187802

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Wearing my fav color – Crush!

3. MASCARA.

Who doesn’t love mascara? Even if you’re not a big fan of wearing makeup, somehow just adding mascara adds enough to wake up your face.

Bargain – L’Oreal Butterfly Intenza

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Finally, I found a mascara that lengthens, thickens, and doesn’t give me a clumpy look! Plus it’s pretty easy to remove at night. Butterfly Intenza’s wand gets the baby lashes, and doesn’t dry out the lashes, either. Priced at $7, you can’t beat that!

Honestly, I don’t use any higher end mascaras! Are there any you like?

What are YOUR picks for best foundation/lipstick/mascara? Please comment:)

Until next time -love, laughter, and shoes!

xo, Melanie.

 

 

An Eye Opener About Fast Fashion

Hello lovelies,

Like many of you, I love to shop. I love a good bargain for a hot style. Many of my clothes have been bought from Forever 21, H&M, and Charlotte Russe – retailers who specialize in “fast fashion.” 

Fast Fashion Retailers – Many are My Favorite!

Trendy, of the moment, affordable style? Sure, sign me up. Stores like these are super attractive for a fashionista like me.

However, today my view of fast fashion has drastically changed, due to a documentary called The True Cost

This film showed me how my pursuit of a $8 top is at the cost of workers in Bangladesh, China, India, and Cambodia. Many of these workers are in dangerous working conditions to keep the costs of manufacturing low. In 2013, a large building collapsed in the Rana Plaza where much of the garment industry is centered. 1,100 workers died as a result of factory managers neglecting the deteriorating conditions of the building. This event is just one of the tragedies at garment factories in these areas.

Is it worth the cost?

Not only are people being affected by the low wages and dangerous working conditions, but our environment is taking a hit by the use of pesticides on the cottons used in the material. Dyes used for leathers in India are full of chemicals, which end up leaking in water supplies.

Most of these women make just $3 USD a day.

I don’t want to preach to others that they shouldn’t buy from our favorite retailers, but maybe we can slow down how much we buy. Maybe we can recycle more of our clothes. Maybe we can give our business to more fair trade retailers and designers. 

My mission now is to profile fair trade brands and also show looks I created from secondhand stores.

I hope you will join me! Let’s share our fair trade and recycled looks!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo Melanie.

 

Beyond What’s On the Scale

Hello Lovelies!

As you are aware, I am on a quest to reclaim my fitness. The truth is, there is no “magic trick” to losing weight. It’s hard work and watching what you eat, plain and simple. However, there’s a lot more to the story than numbers on a scale. I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve gained (and lost!) during these past 30 days:

  1. Eating REAL food makes a big difference! I didn’t realize just how much processed food I was eating until I began paying attention to my diet. I’ve dumped a lot of canned and frozen veggies from my diet and added in a bunch of fresh veggies and fruit. Watching the kind of starchy carbs (and how much I eat) has made a difference in my calorie intake. I feel a lot less sluggish and have more energy.
  2. Fitness Apps keep me on track. What did we do before smartphones? A lot of math and calorie burning guesswork! There’s a number of fitness apps out there, but the ones I use every day is My Fitness Pal and FitBit. What I really love about My Fitness Pal is that I put in my goal weight and it automatically figures out how many calories I need a day based on my activity level. It also can get all the nutrition info on any food with a barcode! I’ve also found it has the food info on LOTS of dishes served in restaurant chains. FitBit keeps me motivated and tracks my steps/exercise, and that info is linked to My Fitness Pal, which figures out how many calories I’ve burned! Yay!
  3. No Excuses. I decided that exercise MUST come first with me before doing anything else. To reach my goals, I do at least 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise 4-5 times a week, switching between cardio and strength training. I’ve rediscovered my inner athlete, regained flexibility and strength, and my endurance is so much better!
    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    I am a BEAST!

    I am a BEAST!

     

  4. Planning ahead is EVERYTHING! One of the bad habits I had was letting myself get too hungry, then I’d reach for the quickest food possible (and it was usually something processed or fast food). Now I make sure to eat 4-5 small meals a day to keep my blood sugar up and the food is low calorie and nutritious.
  5. Giving Myself a Break. I love food. I love celebrating good times with friends. To keep my sanity and stay on course, I allow myself one “cheat” meal a week. For example, last Saturday I enjoyed an 8 oz steak and mashed potatoes with friends. That is my indulgence until next Saturday. I also let my body rest the day after a harder workout.
  6. Rewards are Necessary. When I lost my first five lbs., I treated myself to a pair of pretty sandals. Then, when I realized I’d lost 8″ off my body last week, I got some “new to me” things from the local Airman’s Attic. When I meet a goal, I am sure to give myself a reward to stay motivated!
"New" wrap top, purse and earrings!

“New” wrap top, purse and earrings!

Purple earring

Can't believe this was FREE!

Can’t believe this was FREE!

Most of all…I am happier. Feeling lighter and having more energy has made all the difference with my depression issues. I hope to be 30 lbs. lighter by September, but I’m looking at this experience as a marathon, not a sprint, and to live my life this way for good.

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

Blogger on a Budget: Fabulous Fringe!

Blk floral fringe1

Hello lovelies!

As you know, I love a bargain, and with a lot of ’70s influence in this season’s looks, I hit Macy’s to find something to rock.

Blk floral fringe side

Macy’s never fails me. I can always find something chic that fits me beautifully for an awesome price. This adorable black floral coverall with sassy fringe from American Rag was marked down to $12! I can wear it with shorts, a jumpsuit, a dress, a skirt!

FREE thrift find!

I paired it with my fantastic thrift find – an Old Navy cotton dress that fits me great! My waist is defined, giving me more of an hourglass. I got this for FREE!!

Of course, I have to trick out my look with a few accessories, so I went gold with this chain necklace and gold cuff from Claire’s Accessories, and lengthened my legs with these beige wedges from Charlotte Russe. Love it!

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You might notice I’ve got a black bracelet on. I’ve been working on developing a healthier lifestyle, so I got a Fit Bit! So, I’m tracking steps, exercise, food, and water. Having this definitely makes me more accountable to myself!

However, as you know, I’m not about being a certain size. We all should find beauty in ourselves, regardless of size. My Fit Bit makes me make better decisions about how I treat my body. So, if I end up losing weight, my back would definitely be better for it, plus I want more energy! Who wouldn’t want more energy?

I hope your November is off to a great start! Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger on a Budget: Chasing the Fall Blues

Hello Lovelies!

Are you enjoying autumn? Pulling out my fall/winter wardrobe was always something I enjoyed doing, as it was like a mini-Christmas! Hello sweaters, hello leggings, hello boots!

But here in Guam, it is like a endless summer! I can feel slight changes in the temperature with less humidity, so I guess this is fall! Since I’m not going to get any new clothes for the season, I have to get creative…so after visiting the Airman’s Attic,  I found some GREAT pieces for free!

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I found this adorable Old Navy cotton dress (love the polka dots!) which looks great with my Charlotte Russe duster! Add my cage sandals from JustFab, and I’ve got a great day look.

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But that’s not all, folks! I picked up these awesome bangles for free as well! I’m especially nuts about the “rocker” one. Wearing these with this outfit keeps it from looking too sweet.

Bangle CU

Bangles

What else is fun and free? Going through makeup bags and rediscovering lip and eye colors!

Old Navy CU

I’ve had a subscription to Ipsy for almost two years, so you can imagine I’ve collected quite a few beauty products! I decided to rock this warm pink lip from NYX. Originally I thought the color was “too pink” for me, but after adding some lip crayon in Spicy Berry from Ulta,  I really love it!

I admit, it’s a little sad to not shop for the new fall styles. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t switch up my looks! Plus it doesn’t mean I need to spend a fortune (which the Hubby appreciates!).

What is your favorite fall find so far? Please share! 

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

#ShopMyCloset Part 1: The ABCs

Glasses, Cover Girl

Glasses, Cover Girl

Hey Divas! So, I’ve been keeping my pledge to #shopmycloset and not buy anything new for three months, BUT I do get bored easily with my style. How to change it up? By using the ABCs – Accessories, Bold Color, and Cosmetics!

A is for Accessories

A couple of years ago, I finally accepted that I needed reading glasses.  Not wanting to settle for anything dowdy, I chose this foxy pair from Cover Girl. Now, I like to put these on for a “nice but naughty” look for date night!

Glasses 1

Who can forget the power of a hot pair of heels? Since I was rocking all black for my outfit, I had to go all out with these gold metallic from Charlotte Russe.

CR gold heels

Blk Peplum 1a

Blk Peplum 2

On the rooftop of Papa’s Restaurant, overlooking Tumon Bay.

B: Bold Color

The easiest way to change up your look without a commitment is using temporary color in the hair. When I was in between hair appointments and the white hairs were popping out, I grabbed some lip stain and streaked it in. I loved the effect so much, I ended up getting red highlights at my appointment!

This was just some lip stain! Washed out easily!

This was just some lip stain! Washed out easily!

C: Cosmetics

Of course, makeup can change the whole feel and mood of your look. I’ve been experimenting with glam and natural, and I’ve really come to embrace the minimal as well as the glamorous.

Pared back and pretty.

Pared back and pretty.

 

Glamour face!

Glamour face!

So,  when you want to break out of  rut or try something unexpected, try some ABCs. Show me your ways how you change your look!

Ready for date night! Top, Forever 21 Plus. Skirt, INC.

Ready for date night!
Top, Forever 21 Plus.
Skirt, INC.

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Graphic about My Closet

Supermodel

Top, Charlotte Russe. Maxi skirt, Material Girl.

Lovelies, I hope your summer has been wonderful. I’ve been so busy unpacking box after box of belongings, trying to organize my closet.

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After unpacking so much, I realize just how much clothing I’ve collected over the last few years.  It’s actually a bit embarrassing. Call it an obsession or a result of being a fashion blogger, but I’ve discovered that I really do not need so much.

Graphic vignette

The last few days, I’ve said goodbye to several pairs of shoes, tops, pants, and many pairs of favorite leggings. All of these will go to charity for someone else to enjoy. Life is not about collecting things, and it’s time for me to go on a shopping diet!

Graphic BW

I’ve made a pledge to not buy any new clothes for the next three months.  All the looks I’ll show will be “shopped from my closet.” Who else wants to join the pledge? Share your “re-shopped” looks with me!

Graphic CU

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie