I’m back! Life Update + New Makeup Blog!

Hi there! It’s been so long! Sorry for being away for 2 years. Although I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to blog, I can’t complain, life has been quite good to me; I got a promotion at work, moved to a bigger place, and I’m currently pursuing a long-time dream of mine: becoming a certified makeup artist!

I am taking classes on the weekends to achieve the certification and I am so excited. I have about half-ways to go and I’ve learned so much already. I’ve also spent a life’s worth trying to put together a freelance makeup kit for clients.

With that being said, I want to get into the blogging world again, but this time with the focus directed towards makeup. I’ve started a blog where I’ll be posting all of my work including before and after pics, makeup tips, makeup looks, product reviews, etc. If you’re interested please follow and support me on the following link: http://makeupbylispr.wix.com/blog




Mega Vacation Shopping Haul


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Hi there everyone! What better way to spend your vacation time with family, friends, food and massive retail therapy. Add some great finds on sale and I feel as if I’ve been to heaven and back. This wouldn’t be ‘Life of a Recessionista’ if I wasn’t so obsessed with a good sale. I didn’t mean to buy so much but I did. I couldn’t help myself.  Most of the items were half price of the lowest markdown! Which is why I love doing haul posts so much because I can share my great finds with all of you. FYI: these were recent purchases so if there is anything you like you may still be able to find it in the store so I made sure to include the prices and the stores below (if no sale price is specified it was purchased at retail).


Mint Knitted Sweater – H&M – Retail Price $30

Mint Chiffon Button Up Blouse – Forever 21 – Retail Price $19.80

Dark Blue Long Sleeve Jean Button Up Shirt – Forever 21 – Retail Price $17.80

Orange Loose Fit Tee – Pacsun – Retail Price $16.99 / Sale Price $8.49

Beige Knitted Sweater – Pacsun – Retail Price $31.99

Loose Fit Graphic Tee – Pacsun – Retail Price $19.99 / Sale Price $7.49

Loose Fit Graphic Tee – Pacsun – Retail Price $21.99 / Sale Price $8.49

Long Sleeveless Chiffon Blouse – Pacson – Retail Price $28.99 / Sale Price $9.99

Long Sleeveless Chiffon Blouse – Pacsun – Retail Price $25.99 / Sale Price $9.99


Sleeveless Billabong Dress – Pacsun – Retail Price $38.99 / Sale Price $14.99


Floral Print Jeggings – American Eagle – Retail Price $59.95 / Sale Price $29.99

Colorful Leaves Print Jeggings – American Eagle – Retail Price $59.95 / Sale Price $24.99

Light Pink Corduroy Skinny Pants – Forever 21 – Retail Price $19.80

White Skinny Jeans – American Eagle – Retail Price $ 49.95/ Sale Price $17.99

Black Leggings – Pacsun – Retail Price $15.99


Black & Gold Long Chain Necklace – Forever 21 – Retail Price $8.80

Bow Pearl  Earrings – Forever 21 – Retail Price $2.80 / Sale Price $0.99

Silver & Black Long Necklace – Pacsun – Retail Price $9.99

Long Gold Bow & Arrow Necklace – Pacsun – Retail Price $9.99 / Sale Price $4.99

Eye, Lip & Cheek Palette – Sephora – Retail Price $15.99

The total retail value of everything I purchased is $505.74 and the actual amount paid for all of the items is $308.55. A total savings of $197.19! Hell yeah (pats myself on the back)! This is probably the most I’ve ever saved. I can’t wait to mix and match all of my new stuff!

What’s your favorite item? How would you pair it?


September Glam Bag vs Birchbox: Final Round


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I apologize for completely skipping the month of August. And since I received both my Glam Bag and Birchbox really late this month, in order to make sure this post goes live in September, I’m going to skip on writing down the sizes as I usually do. But I can finally say I have chosen a keeper between these two monthly subscriptions services and have officially unsubscribed from the loser. Not that is wasn’t any good, but since this is Life of a Recessionista, I try my best to save money and look for the best deal, therefore forcing myself to only choose one of them. They both cost $10 a month each, making it $240 a year on beauty product samples if I were to keep both subscriptions, and in my opinion, it’s a bit much.

 September Glam Bag

The bags keep getting better and better. This sleek black bag with gold detail feels super high quality and can even double as a clutch. By the way, My Glam has changed its name to Ipsy. I have no idea why. It’s exactly the same thing just different name.

  • London Soho Smudge Brush (Full Size / Retail Price $6.99) – A full size smudge brush? Hell Yeah! It’s really good quality, too. I absolutely love this.
  • Jane Lip Gloss in the Color Sparkle Sparkle Pink (Full Size / Retail Price $9.99) – I’m not a big fan of glitter in my lip gloss but this glitter is subtle enough to make it wearable. And though the color seems very bright in the tube, it’s actually very light and gives a very romantic look.
  • Circus by Andrea’s Choice Nail Polish in the Color Tightrope (Full Size / Retail Price N/A) – In all I’ve received three of the Nail Colors in the Circus line, the yellow (eww), the pink (amazing!), and in this bag I got the purple, which is more of a magenta, fuschia color than purple. I absolutely love it. I get so many compliments when I wear this color. It’s not as durable as I wished it was, even after applying a long lasting top coat, but the color is to die for. My absolute favorite nail color ever.
  • Mirabella Eyeshadow in the Color Semiformal (Full Size / Retail Price $10.00) – It’s a light bronzey shimmery color that works perfect as a crease color for almost all skin tones. It does have a red undertone to it, so I have to be careful when applying it so that I don’t look sleepy or tired.
  • Carol’s Daughter Split End Sealer (Trial Size / Retail Size sells for $25.00) – This stuff is amazing, it does a great job doing exactly what it promotes itself to do: seal split ends and makes them super soft. I hope I can make this sample last forever.

September Birchbox

The box is always the same so no photo. I also didn’t notice that this month’s box came with a them either.

  • Color Club Nail Polish in the Color Insta-this (Trial Size / Full Size sells for $8) – This is a matte cobalt blue nail polish. Personally not my favorite color in the world but it does look really good on. It also doesn’t last as long but it’s still a really good polish.
  • Dr. Jart Beauty Balm (Trial Size / Full Size sells for $32) – I’m going to be fair and honest and admit that I haven’t had the chance to try this one out yet.
  • Fekkai Technicolor Shampoo & Conditioner (Sample Size / Full Size sells for $25) – The only thing I really liked about this shampoo and conditioner is that it was surprisingly a pretty color baby pink and it got me distracted just by looking at it in the shower. It did make my hair super soft but other than that, nothing to write home about.
  • Twistband Hair Tie (1 Qty / Set of 12 sells for $18) – I don’t understand this hair tie at all. It’s like taking a piece of elastic, tying a knot at the ends and then using it to tie up your hair. I could seriously do this myself and it would come out much cheaper than buying a set.
  • Vasanti Brighten Up! Face Rejuvinator Wash (Trial Size / Full Size sells for $34) – This little scrub type face wash really does brighten up your face. I used it in the morning and my skin was glowing and looked very healthy.
  • The Brush Guard (Full Size / Retail Price $5.50) – This is a very practical tool for traveling with makeup brushes. I’ll be traveling soon so I’m glad I got this.

And now to announce the winner! And the winner of Birchbox vs My Glam (aka Ipsy) is…. (drum roll please)… My Glam! It should come as no suprise reading this month’s reviews. The Glam Bag by far won over Birchbox. It has more full size products so you get more bang for your buck. It also sends more variety in my opinion. You also get a cosmetic bag each month. Even though it’s starting to annoy me how they are starting to pile up, but it’s nice to get something extra than just the beauty sample. I have officially unsubscribed from Birchbox and will continue my My Glam subscription until I’m either broke or they disappoint me and with they way they seem to be going, I don’t think they’ll disappoint me for a while.

Who would have you chosen? You can see the other My Glam vs Birchbox here & here. ♥


Must Have App: Stylish Girl


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Hey there everyone! First of all, let me start by saying I’m soooo sorry for my absence! I haven’t posted in about two full months! I’ve been really, super busy and procrastination keeps getting the best of me when I’m not. I can’t believe tomorrow will mark one year of Life of a Recessionista and I have it abandoned. But nonetheless I’m back! And hopefully good things will be up on here soon. I plan on doing a give away to celebrate my blogaversary and as soon as I figure out what I’d like to give away I’ll post it and promote it so you can enter, so stay tuned!

Did you ever see the movie “Clueless” with Alicia Silverstone and Brittany Murphy? Remember the scene where Alicia wakes up and starts getting ready to go to school and when she’s deciding what to wear she browses through all of her outfits on her computer and then pulls it out of her closet? I have forever been jealous of her. But not anymore!

I recently downloaded this app on my phone and I am obsessed with it. It allows you to keep a full inventory of your wardrobe right on your phone and create outfits just like Alicia did in Clueless. It’s called Stylish Girl and best of all it’s free! And available on both Android and iPhone. I have the iPhone version so this review will be based on the iPhone version of the app.

It is basically pretty simple to use. The photos below are the actual screenshots taken from my phone. How it works? You take pictures of each individual item in your wardrobe, upload it to the app, categorize it (top, bottom, shoes, accessory, etc) and voila! Your own personal wardrobe inventory and outfit creator at your fingertips. If you’re like me and don’t like a clutter of photos in your phone, you can delete the photos from your camera roll and the photos will remain uploaded in the app without using unnecessary photo storage on your phone.

The app also has a couple of other cool features. It allows you to mark the dates when you last wore an item. It also has a feature where you can plan the outfits for your next trip by adding them to your ‘Suitcase’. And there’s a feature called the ‘Fashion Lounge’ where you can get inspiration from outfits and pairings made by other people (sort of like Polyvore) but I haven’t really messed around with this feature yet. 

I will warn you that it is a bit time-consuming to take photos of every item in your wardrobe. It took me about two hours to do only my clothing items, and to save time I skipped a couple of jeans and tank tops. I only uploaded about a quarter of all of my shoes (because I probably have more shoes than clothes) and still have to upload all of my accessories. But honestly, it is all worth it. Especially since I am the type of girl who likes to plan my outfits ahead since I suffer from the extreme fear of wasting a good outfit on an insignificant day. This app is great for creating outfits. I’ve paired things I never would have otherwise thought they’d go together before seeing them all together in this app. All in all, I highly recommend it. And it’s free! You can’t beat that. 😉

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below or at my Facebook page. ♥

July Glam Bag vs Birchbox: Round 2


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This post almost didn’t make it into July but better late than never, right? It was really hard to compare this month’s Glam Bag and Birchbox and pick which one I liked best. They both had a good variety of sample products that were just perfect for the end of summer mood and weather. (If you still don’t know what My Glam or Birchbox is, read about it HERE) Here’s what I got this month:

July Glam Bag

I loved this month’s cosmetic bag. The material is really good quality and the colors are vibrant and summery; perfect for this month’s “Beach Beauty” theme. It’s a decent size too. All of the products arrived inside the cosmetic bag and it was zipped shut comfortably.

  • Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 15 Moisturizer  (Trial Size .5 oz/ Full Size 1.7 oz retails for $38)-  I hate the smell. It smells more like Fruit Loop Cereal than green apples. The texture isn’t very absorbent, which is strange for a moisturizer with such a low SPF number. Anyhow, I find that it works great as a makeup primer under my foundation, not so much as a moisturizer.
  • Nume Hydropunch Hydrating Conditioner (Trial Size .67 oz/ Full Size 8.45 oz retails for $24.99) – Honestly, I haven’t gotten around to try this one yet. Sorry…
  • Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip & Cheek Stain in the color ‘Jitterbug’ (Full Size .09 oz retails for $19) – I was excited to receive a full size lip stain. The color is very, and I mean very bright pink though. It’s nice on the lips, but I have no idea how to use it as a cheek stain without it looking like a drew on blush circles with a sharpie.
  • Yes to Cucumbers On-The-Go Facial Towelettes (10 count, retails for $3.00) – I haven’t used these either, not because I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but because I want to save them for when I really need them (like when I come home tipsy and don’t feel like fully washing my makeup off ;)).
  • Circus by Andrea’s Choice Nail Color in the color ‘Somersault’ (Full Size .45 fl oz. price N/A retails this fall) – I really liked receiving a full size nail polish (yay for two full size products this month!) but personally I hate the color. It is Big Bird yellow. It took about 3 to 4 coats to get a flawless color payoff, and it did last a full day without chipping. It would’ve lasted longer but I couldn’t stand looking at the color on my nails anymore.


This month’s Birchbox was sponsored by Glamour Magazine. There’s not much to talk about the box since it looks the same every month.

  • Amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask (Trial Size .067 fl oz/ Full Size 16.9 fl oz retails for $40) – This hair mask smells great and left my hair super soft. I was able to use only half to get a second use out of it. If it wasn’t so expensive I would consider purchasing the full size.
  • Amika Obliphica Oil Hair Treatment (Trial Size .01 fl oz/ Full Size 3.38 fl oz retails for $34) – I really liked this hair oil. It didn’t weigh my hair down and it didn’t make my hair greasy at all. And trust me, I used the whole packet in a single use. But again, if the full size wasn’t so darn expensive I would consider purchasing it.
  • Boscia BB Cream (Trial Size .01 fl oz/ Full Size 1.75 oz 3.38 fl oz retails for $38)  – I really believe it’s hard to give an unbiased review on sample facial products. Especially when they are not paired to match your skin color or type. And even worse when the amount is too small to give it a good test drive. How would you know if it works for you unless you have sufficient product to test it under different weather conditions and for different lengths of time? So for the sake of not giving a bad review on a product I’ve barely had the chance to test, this one is going to have to be a pass…
  • Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in the color Olive (Full Size .07 oz retails for $15)- At first I wasn’t so excited about the color. (It seems like I didn’t like any of the colors of the samples I received this month, right?) I wouldn’t know how to wear a green colored eyeliner. But, thankfully, it dries almost black, which is great. It looks more subtle than dark black liquid liner. It’s really easy to use, which is perfect for the winged liner look. And it lasts a long time.
  • Harvey Prince “Hello” Perfume (Trial Size N/A / Full Size retails for $26) – This is a really girly and lightly scented perfume. It smells really nice and sweet.
  • Larabar Uber Banana Foster Fruit & Nut Bar (Sample Size .82 oz / Full Size Pack of 16 $27.95) – It’s a bit strange that they would add a food sample into this month’s Birchbox. I really hope they don’t do it again, because I don’t like the idea of eating food that has been sent in the mail. However, if it weren’t for the banana flavor (because I’m not a banana fan) this would’ve been quite tasty.
  • Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds – Real, functional headphones? Hell yeah! Birchbox can feel free to send as many electronic items anytime they want. So they aren’t Beats Audio quality headphones, but they work pretty good.

And the winner of Round 2 is (drumroll please)… Birchbox! My favorite Birchbox items were the hair mask and oil (even if I only did get one use out of it, it was that good), the liquid eyeliner, and the earbuds. It was definitely a tough decision to pick a winner this month but the free electronics won me over. It was a really nice touch. Do you agree? Which one would’ve you preferred to receive this month?

Why We Can’t Get Enough of Mr. Grey


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This gorgeous man (aka Ian Somerhalder) is who I imagined playing Mr. Grey, the whole time while reading the book.

As I admitted previously, I too have been smitten by the one and only Christian Grey from the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. He is described in the books as the stereotypical perfect man: tall, handsome, millionaire, charming, muscular, millionaire, great smile, impeccable hair, and deep gray eyes, and he also happens to have a “dark side”. Because, you know, what woman doesn’t fall for a man with a dark side? He’s the type of guy that when he walks into a room, women spot him a mile away like a Coach handbag on clearance at Marshall’s.

The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy is not your average love story and probably should not be read by anyone under the age of 18 (the countless parenthesis and quotation marks in this post are my attempts to keep it as PG13 as possible). In fact, it’s so kinky and there’s so much sex that at times I’d find myself thinking: “Oh, they’re at it again?!” and would skip through until I found the words “orgasm” or “explosion” and would then continue the story line. Not that the sex scenes were bad, on the contrary, they were mind-blowing and would make you consider trying things you’ve never even thought of before. But honestly, that much sex can’t be normal. I think the author left out the part where the housekeeper crushes Viagra into their toothpaste or something because it’s just a bit much, in my honest opinion.

But what is it about Anastasia Steele’s (the main character) love interest, Mr. Christian Grey, that has all of us women wishing he was real? Especially when his “dark side” is so dark that he insists his girlfriends (aka submissives) sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) where they are legally prohibited to disclose to anyone the juicy details of their relationship and they would also have to sign a contract which states the do’s and don’ts along with the terms of the relationship (for example his “girlfriends” are required to be on a strict diet, have a personal trainer, wear a pre-selected wardrobe, wax their bikini area, etc.) because, according to him, he needs you presentable and  physically in shape (just imagine what he’s going to do to you :lol:).

But in spite of his strict contract, shut-your-mouth NDA, and his “dark side”, there is still something about him that would make most of us women (yes myself included) want to sign his contract all the way in chapter 5 of book 1, no questions asked, without probably even reading it (leave it up to a female author to create the perfect man). This got me thinking. And then I realized that if you remove from the equation the amazing, mind-blowing sex and the fact that he’s a millionaire, he is just a regular guy that pays a LOT of attention to detail (aka control freak). I tried my best to write down all the simple moments or little details (excluding the money and the kinky fuckery) that while reading the trilogy, had my inner goddess wondering why can’t more men be like Mr. Grey?

  1. He neatly folded her clothes for when she woke the morning after. If a guy did this for me, I’d ask him to marry me right then and there. This is by far, the sweetest thing, you could ever do for her the “morning after”. Forget breakfast. Who has time for breakfast anymore? If you really want to do something sweet for me, fold my clothes before you fall asleep so they’re wrinkle free when I wake up. 😀
  2. He knows how to braid a woman’s hair. Before “making love” or getting ready for “kinky fuckery” as frequently referred to in the books, he would occasionally braid her hair so it wouldn’t be in the way. Probably the most thoughtful thing you could do before ripping a woman’s clothes off is to tie up her hair. Yes,  flowing hair is sexy, but unless you have long hair you wouldn’t know how annoying it is to have it int he way when you’re “occupied”.
  3. He’s not afraid of being cheesy. He kept the song Toxic by Britney Spears on his iPod. Ok, so it was put there by his ex, but he did admit that he liked the song. Kudos to a man who’s not afraid to get his Toxic on.
  4. He’s wants to let everyone know he’s hers. Throughout the books, when he became aware that another woman was flirting with him, he would grab Anastasia’s hand or kiss her on the cheek, any kind of gesture to let the other woman know he was taken and proud of it. He was also ok with subtle public displays of affection in front of his family, even if it made him looked whipped.
  5. He was aware she’d get sick if she left the house with her hair wet. What man nowadays even knows that it’s possible to get sick if you step into cold weather with your hair wet? Just the fact that he knows this makes him the most caring man alive (or in this case imagined).
  6. He is responsible. Super responsible. Not once did Anastasia have to remind him of any appointments or plans. All the opposite, he would make sure everything was planned and taken care of, even her gynecological exams. 😯
  7. He knows how to dance. What dream man isn’t complete without the ability to dance?
  8. He told her to put the chicken in the fridge while she was preparing it for dinner before seducing her into the bedroom. I don’t know about you, but I hate being interrupted when I’m in the middle of something, no matter what it is. But especially if it involves leaving food halfway cooked. He was thoughtful enough to tell her to put the chicken in the fridge before seducing her because she was about to cook it and he didn’t want it to get ruined while he was “busy” with her in the bedroom.
  9. He would offer to prepare a bath for her whenever she seemed tired. Do you still need more reasons as to why he is the perfect man?
  10. He voluntarily held her hair while she puked. This one pretty much explains on its own why he is just perfect.
  11. He liked it when she ate everything on your plate. A man who actually wants me to eat? Wow, just wow.
  12. He voluntarily blow-dried her hair. Seriously? These days your lucky if you can get your man to brush it for you.
  13. He’s not afraid to be vulnerable. He is constantly telling her throughout the entire trilogy how much she means to him, how much he needs her and how he cannot live without her. Awww.
  14. He pays attention to detail. If you say you want hearts and flowers, he will give you hearts and flowers, literally. You only need to mention once what you would like for your birthday and he’ll remember, even if it’s months before your birthday.
  15. He removed her makeup for her before going to bed when she arrived home tipsy. When you’re out and having fun with your girls, it can be difficult sometimes to keep track on how many drinks you’ve had. The tipsier you are when you get home, the more likely you are to crawl into bed with your clothes and makeup on. I’ve learned by experience to always leave the bed made and ready for sleeping before going out with the girls. I even lay out my pajamas on the bed. But unfortunately, I haven’t found a shortcut for removing my makeup when I come home a bit on the drunk side. So having a man who is thoughtful enough to do it for me seems like the perfect solution.

At the end of the day, all we really want is someone who makes us feel special and cared for. It doesn’t really matter how he does it. I’m more than sure that a lot of women would disagree with me and find some of the items I mentioned above rather annoying instead of romantic. Not all women are the same. We do generally like the same things but one sweet gesture won’t have the same meaning to every individual woman. So the best advice I can give to a man on how to impress a woman is to get to know her and don’t be afraid to go out of your way to impress her, but keep in mind that sometimes the simplest details are enough. We don’t always want chocolates and flowers (okay maybe we do always want chocolate) but sometimes preparing our bath, dancing with us, or holding our hair while we puke can be just as thoughtful as flowers and chocolates. But if the only advice you’re looking for is how to step things up in the bedroom, I’d highly recommend giving her a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. Trust me. 😉

Mahi Mahi in Spanish Creole Sauce and Cooking Class Final Update


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Hi everyone! I recently did a recipe guest blog post for Sara’s blog  By The (Cook) Book where I made mahi mahi (dorado) fish fillet in a delicious spanish creole sauce that I learned and loved from my cooking class. It’s a super easy and also a fast to make recipe. The spanish creole sauce is one of my favorites and also works well with other types of fish, shrimp and even chicken. Check out the recipe on Sara’s blog HERE or click on the photo below.

I just realized I completely forgot to update you all on my cooking class. Well, I completed it a couple of weeks ago and honestly it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I learned so much. I went from the girl who burned Campbell’s soup to the girl who makes sushi & crème brûlée! I am very proud of myself. Cooking has become a therapy for me. I never thought I would see the day where I actually enjoy being in the kitchen.

Our last day of class was fun. We were able to make any dish we wanted so most of us made our favorite dishes learned in the class. My group decided to make French Onion Soup, Risotto with Mushrooms, Bacon & Parmesan Cheese, Breaded Lamb Chops, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries filled with Cheesecake. Thanks to me, my group was known as the group that added bacon to everything, because of course, everything tastes better with bacon. Here’s a group photo and some of the plates served in the buffet we had on our last day (the photo alone makes me want to take the class all over again!).

I’m 3rd from the right, dressed in black, with a Bacardi logo hat.

June Glam Bag vs. Birchbox: Round 1


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As mentioned in my May Glam Bag Review Post, I was considering unsubscribing from My Glam and subscribing to Birchbox. But after deep consideration, it is only fair that I put both through a trial period and have them fight each other to the death! So I subscribed to Birchbox and continued my My Glam subscription for the time being and let’s see who’s standing at the end. I think three months should be enough time to decide which one to keep, right?

June Glam Bag

It arrived in this super cute, clutch style, gold glitter make-up bag. I love the style of the bag. the only downside is that just by touching it you get glitter everywhere.  Not good for us contact lens users. I tried shaking it a bit to see if it helped but only a little. Here’s what came in it:

  • Marbella Permanent Eyeliner Pen (Full Size – Retail Price $19.00) – I am the worst when it comes to applying eyeliner, especially with eyeliner pens. So when I saw that they sent me an eyeliner pen at first I was really disappointed. I am now LOVING this pen. I wear it everyday. I’m not sure if it’s the felt tip pen applicator or the consistency of the liquid but this pen is super easy to apply. Plus, it is waterproof, smudge-proof, crease-proof, ninja-proof, you name it. When it says it will last all day, it will last all day, but also washes off easily with soap and water. Think of it as a Sharpie for your eyes. The packaging says it’s not safe for contact lenses users, but I’m going to ignore the warning and just hope it doesn’t go in my eye.
  • Philosophy “Take a Deep Breath” Energizing Gel Moisturizer (.4 fl oz Trail Size – Retail Price for 2 oz Full Size $34)  – This oil-free moisturizer is like a glass of water on your skin. It feels refreshing and light weight. I only wish my trial size tube will never end. I wouldn’t say I would pay $34 for a full size but if you have the money it’s a great moisturizer to splurge on.
  • Living Proof Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream (2 fl oz. Trial Size – Retail Price for 4 oz Full Size $26) – Another great product. I am the queen of frizz. I remember once, when I was little, I wanted to be a witch for Halloween and all my mom had to do was dress me up in costume and run a brush through my freshly washed hair. I was skeptical, yet hopeful, that this product would work and thankfully it did. It didn’t eliminate 100% of the frizz but the most of it was definitely under control.
  • NYX Round Lipstick in the color Georgia (Full Size – Retail Price $4) – I’m a huge NYX cosmetics fan. And to receive a full size lipstick was awesome. But this color, on me, is horrendous. It’s a shiny, bright pink lipstick, identical to the one my mom used to wear in the ’80s, and that I begged her to stop wearing in the ’90s, and I pray she is no longer wearing today. The color would be perfect on paler skin tones.


Birchbox arrived in this really cute box (duh!) and inside was a card indicating the month’s them is Jetset. Here’s what was inside:

  • The Balm Cosmetics Staniac Lipstain in Beauty Queen (.04 fl oz Trial Size – Retail Price for .3 fl oz Full Size $17) – I haven’t had good experiences with lip stains. They tend to bleed or are either too dark or too light. And when I saw the color in the tube of this one I thought I wasn’t going to be able to wear it at all. But, thankfully, it comes out nothing like the color on the tube. It is a sheer, subtle, and yet buildable fuchsia pink shade, that looks just like your lips but 10 times better.
  • Band-Aid Cynthia Rowley Designer Bandaids (Full Size Pack of 20 Retail Price $15) – These are so cute they make me want to cut my finger just so I can wear them.
  • Scalisi Skincare Anti-Aging Moisturizer (.2 fl oz Trial Size – Retail Price for 1.7 fl oz Full Size $110) – I’ve been using this on the wrinkles on my forehead for a couple of days now and I have honestly noticed an improvement. The skin seems noticeably firmer almost immediately. I can only imagine using the full size product for several weeks. Would I pay $110 for it? Hell no. Not while I’m in my 20s. Ask me again in 10 years.
  • Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint (.07 Trial Size – Retail Price for Full Size $38) – Honestly, this little thing is too tiny to even try to do a review. I wasted the whole thing on just my two cheeks.
  • Borghese Botanico Eye Compresses (2 Pads Trial Size – Retail Price for Full Size 60 Pads $51.00) – I left them on each eye for 10 minutes and it removed all puffiness from my eyes. It felt very relaxing and soothing.
  • John Varvatos Men’s Cologne Sample – I haven’t smelled this yet but I have every intention on testing it on my boyfriend, if he’ll let me.

This round’s winner, by far is Glam Bag (yay!). I loved the make-up bag, it came with 2 full sized items, and three out of four products were a hit with me. My favorite Birchbox item is the designer Band-Aids. The other sample products were just too small to really try out and consider purchasing. Do you agree with the winner? Who would you have named the winner of this round?

IFB Links à la Mode June 14th Weekly Roundup


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I’m super excited to announce that my blog post Beauty Products I Regret Purchasing was featured on IFB’s Top 20 Weekly Roundup for a third time! 😀 Check out the roundup below:

Style, personalized.

 Edited By: Taylor Davies

The submissions for this week’s Links a la Mode were a total turn around from last week’s, but isn’t that always the way with blogging? One week you want to talk about the Prada exhibit at The Met, and the next you want to share your DIY for a fabulous studded collar. As bloggers we each try to own our niche and develop a personality, but the fun is in being able to expand; to shift gears and to evolve our content any way we choose. The 20 links below represent a myriad of personal points-of-view, from color obsessions to trend tips learning to love dressing for yourself and no one else.



Dark Dresses at Shopbop3Dots, MinkPink, BCBG, C&C, Splendid, Arizaga, Elkin, Zac Posen, Of Two Minds, Tucker, Velvet & Haute Hippie Maxi Dresses

If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine

Blogger Appreciation Award!


This is very special to me because it is my first recognition as a good blogger by a great blogger. I was honestly flattered. I was nominated by the amazingly funny and ever talented SzaboinSlowMo, the author/blogger behind She Can’t Be Serious. I love her blog and have been reading it since about the same I decided to create Life of a Recessionista. Her humorous yet realistic views on life in her blog posts are entertaining and always relatable. Plus she shares the same recovering obsession for McDonald’s as I do!

The Blogger Appreciation Award is a chain type post where bloggers can show their appreciation for other bloggers. The nominated blogs are supposed to do a similar post on their blogs “nominating” the ones they would like to show their appreciation to. It’s also a great way for readers to gain some insight as to what blogs the author of the current blog is interested in and can help readers find new blogs to follow as well.

At the moment there are very few blogs that I follow where I really try not to miss a single post. Not because I don’t like to follow blogs but because I don’t have much time to really keep up with as much blogs as I’d like. But these are definitely the blogs that are dear to me and I really try to make an effort to see what they’re up to.

I believe in blogging because you love it, not for increasing traffic and/or the possibility of sponsoring companies sending you freebies, and all the other stuff blogging can bring. I genuinely enjoy reading comments left on my blog, so when I follow and comment on someone else’s blog, I don’t do it because I want them to follow me, I do it because I genuinely enjoy their posts. So blogging is, and I hope always will be, close to my heart.

Here are the blogs and their bloggers that I consider to be close to my heart also and who constantly inspire me to be a better blogger.

She Can’t Be Serious: First of all, thank you for nominating me. This is by far the funniest blog I’ve ever read. My favorite posts include: 25 Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than Taxes, Ask The Google Bitch: Why Do Facebook Friends Not Speak To You In Public, and All I Need To Know About The Corporate World I Learned at McDonald’s. Need I say more? Do yourself a favor and check her blog out. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

By The [Cook]Book: This recipe & craft blog is written by the very talented Sara. Let me just start by saying that the photos of her recipes look so mouth-watering delicious, that the envy I developed of her kitchen skills played a part in inspiring me to take a culinary art class. Sara is an everyday working girl like the rest of us, who finds time to make delicious looking meals in between work, blogging, and taking care of her oh-so-cute-son (I don’t know how she does it.) My favorite craft of hers is the Hollow Book Treasure Box, it’s so cool it looks like the something from a movie. And some of my favorite recipes are: Strawberry Banana Pancakes, Asian Sesame Seed Shrimp, & Mini Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cheesecakes. Yum.

The Jessica L Blog: Jessica is a beautiful young woman, happily married to her DH (Darling Husband as she refers to him on her blog), with the beautiful, sunny California as the backdrop for her outfit of the day posts, where sometimes her cute dogs make an appearance in her photos, too. In her blog posts, she shares with us bits and pieces of her life along with her bright and lovely wardrobe. Here are some of her outfit posts I liked the most: An Accidental Tourist, San Diego Earth Day, & Happy Birthday Daddy.

Viva La Highstreet!: Prerna’s beauty and fashion blog is what would be my dream come true. Her wardrobe is impeccable and affordable and to top it off she has the fascinating island of Japan as her setting. Her photo’s are always stunning and impressive whether it’s a photo of her outfit or beautiful Japan. Some of my favorite posts are: Trend Alert: Sailor Stripes, French Riviera, & Cherry Blossom Girl.

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do. Please stop by and show them some