Mules On My Mind (insert all the heart-eyed emojis here)

Affordable Mules

Affordable Mules by abidina

I want new mules (tbh, I’m not sure if these are mules or clogs) so freaking badly. I have two pairs of open-toe mules from J. Crew that I adore, but I miss the look all winter long while I’m hiding my toes from an icy death.
I’m still trying not to buy any new clothes until Spring, so who knows if I’ll still want closed-toed anything at that point, but I love these beauty babies. 

Waking Up in January

rifle paper co constellation wall calendar january2017 cassiopeia

There are few things more definitively “me” than kicking off the New Year midway through January. I went to Disney World with my family over the holidays and celebrated New Year’s Eve with a 103° temperature, so coming back to Nashville greeted with a heavy workload and immediately starting school was a little overwhelming.

So, on the 17th of January, I’d like to say Happy New Year! 🙂

Life Right Now:

Additionally, I was inspired Nicole @ writes like a girl to make “small goals” rather than huge resolutions this year. I do have some travel, school, and work-related resolutions, but I love the idea of breaking it down into monthly surmountable tasks. So without further ado… 

January Small Goals: 
  • Use food delivery no more than 5 times. I’m already at 2 Postmates orders for the month, and my Postmates Plus account expires in February, so here’s hoping that I can kick my food delivery habit. 
  • Exercise more & don’t cancel classes I sign up for just from chickening out — I went to a reformer Pilates class last week that kicked my butt so badly, the instructor was continuously lowering my weights 🙁
  • Start reading before bed instead of scrolling my phone
  • Finish homework ASAP/don’t procrastinate & get overwhelmed/no days off from code
  • Order plane tickets/plan trip for 2017 — whether I go with James or by myself (or both!) is up in the air right now
Some personal motivation of places to see this year. 

Ipsy (For the Past Three Months)

I love Ipsy. I’ve mentioned trying to quit it before – I cancelled Sephora Play! & Birchbox & Benevolent Beauty & so many others, but there’s something about Ipsy that keeps drawing me back. I love the new quiz, the wide variety of beauty & skincare products, and the way it seems to truly be getting smarter about my preferences (yay algorithms? Machine learning?). Here are my Ipsy bags from the past three months! 
November Ipsy GlamBag Last Smiles Vanilla Lip Balm Luxie Rose Gold Duo Fiber Brush Absolute New York Matte Lipstick in Dark Red the balm Mad Lash Bascara Laqa & Co B'Lighter Peacher's Daughter

In my November bag (such a design) I received: 
The first three items come out to about $24, so without breaking down the cost of the samples I’ve already more than doubled what I spent on the bag! I passed down the lipstick – I already have so many reds – but kept & am using everything else. The brush has the silkiest bristles & I use the lip balm every day. 
december ipsy glambag 2016 mica beauty angle eyeshadow brush benefit porefessional primer nyx prismatic shadow bedroom eyes ciate london liquid velvet lipstick in pin up
The December bag was fuzzy & fun. I received: 
  • Mica Beauty Angle Eyeshadow Brush (RV $22.95, full-size) – Silky soft. I love receiving good quality brushes in my Ipsy bags because I never like forking over the money for them! 
  • Marc Anthony Argan Oil Conditioning Treatment (RV $2.99, full-size) – I haven’t tried this yet, but god knows my poor bleach-damaged hair can use all the help it can get. 
  • Benefit POREfessional Primer (RV $4.13) – I just don’t get Benefit samples. They’re so teeny tiny I can barely get a decent use out of any of them. I’ve received a few POREfessional samples over the years, and while I don’t think it’s bad, it isn’t my favorite primer and I can’t imagine paying full price, ever. 
  • NYX Prismatic Shadow in Bedroom Eyes (RV $5.99, full-size) – I really wanted to like this eyeshadow. Nyx is my favorite drugstore brand, and it swatches beautifully (see below – that’s one swipe!) and I love the metallic bronze shade. However, on my eyes the metallic aspect blended out immediately so it just looked like any ordinary brown shadow & within a few hours it had creased even with eyeshadow primer. 
  • Ciaté London Liquid Velvet in Pin Up (RV $5.79) – LOVE. Super love. The nude-berry shade is perfect, the formula is perfect, the pigment is perfect, the applicator is perfect. I would never have considered Ciaté beyond nail polish, but this liquid lip is so much better than I would’ve imagined. Definitely worth the $19 full-size price. 
December’s bag retails for $41.85 – more than 4x the $10 a month subscription price!!
ciate london pin up swatch nyx bedroom eyes swatch
December’s liquid lip & eyeshadow swatches. 

January 2017 Ipsy GlamBag LoveRecipe Sheet Masks in Aloe and Acai Berry Manna Kadar Paradise Pearlized Blush Pretty Woman Nail Polish in I Can't Deal Trust Fund Beauty Lip Gloss in Blame Game Naked Cosmetics Pigment in Desert Sunset #02
I got my January Ipsy in the mail today & oh my gosh it is so good! I’m thinking it’s my favorite Ipsy GlamBag ever. As a side note, I redeemed rewards points for the Lime Crime Velvetine in “Mercury”, a metallic lavender. I expected a sample, but received the full-size $20 product! Also, Ipsy has great customer service – they proactively emailed people that Lime Crime shades had been swapped during shipping, apologized for their mistake, and reimbursed everyone’s points (with an extra 75 added). However, I’m feeling #blessed because I was reimbursed & still received the shade I requested. 
For the rest of my bag, I received: 
  • Loverecipe Sheet Masks in Aloe & Acai Berry (RV $1.50 each, received 2) – I love sheet masks & this is my first time to get them in an Ipsy bag. They’re low value, but Ipsy sent out two! 
  • Manna Kadar Paradise Pearlized Blush (RV $19, full-size) – I love Manna Kadar. This blush shade is a little intimidating for me considering it’s hot pink and pretty pigmented, but I don’t have anything like it in my collection. 
  • Pretty Woman Nail Polish in I Can’t Deal (RV $7.99, full-size) – I’m a sucker for neutral nails. Can’t get enough. 
  • Trust Fund Beauty Lip Gloss in Blame Game (RV $18, full-size) – I don’t love lip gloss, but I do love Trust Fund Beauty so I’ll give this a whirl. As far as lip glosses go, I prefer this darker brown-berry shade to something pale & shimmery! 
  • Naked Cosmetics Pigment in Desert Sunset #02 (RV $14.99, full-size) – I don’t like loose pigments as a general rule, but the pigment on this powder is incredible. It’s such a beautiful rose gold/champagne & I cannot wait to use it as an eyeshadow and highlighter. Ipsy also suggested mixing it with lip balm for a funky rose gold lip, & if I’m feeling extra bold I may give that a try!
Total Retail Value (excluding the Velvetine): $62.98!!!
From top to bottom: Trust Fund Beauty Lipgloss, Manna Kadar Paradise Blush, Naked Cosmetics Pigment, Lime Crime Velvetine

A bit of my Christmas List

Christmas List sephora favorite give me some bold lip my bucket list journal by axel and ash madewell saucony dxn trainers in burgundy rifle paper co 2017 constellations wall calendar lady of leisure getaway bundle rose gold hardshell luggage set kensie target matt + nat hope circle bag black vegan leather

Christmas List by abidina

Since Christmas is fast approaching (20 day countdown, woo!) and I’ve finished wrapping nearly all of my gifts for the season, I thought I’d share a few things on my Christmas list for anyone who may still be fumbling for things to suggest to their grandmother. I have quite a few Christmases to attend every year – immediate family, bio-dad’s side of the family, mom’s side of the family, stepdad’s side of the family … you get the picture. I curate little wishlists to keep separate and send to each individual family group, to try and avoid overlap. This is one of those lists!
  1. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Bold Lip, $28 – I bought myself the more neutral/pink Sephora Favorite lip set earlier in the year, but this one is more my style with brands I already know I love.
  2. My Bucketlist, Journal by Axel and Ash, $40 (but $25 on Amazon!) – I have such an affinity for journals and planners and beautifully bound books, and I’d love to add this one to my collection.
  3. Madewell x Saucony DXN Trainers, $75 – I tend to get myself a pair of Madewell x Saucony sneakers every year. My navy/red accent pair from 2015? 2014? are still happy, but my blush pair is about ready to be replaced – though I absolutely adore them – and I’m tempted by the gray pair. However, in high school my uniform included gray & white New Balance in an equally pale shade, so I don’t know if I’m ready to embrace it. Burgundy is my favorite of the Fall colors, so burgundy it is. 
  4. Rifle Paper Co. 2017 Constellations Wall Calendar, $28 – Rifle Paper Co. has multiple gorgeous calendars for 2017, but being an insatiable space nerd with a penchant for rose gold, this beauty speaks to me. 
  5. Lady of Leisure Getaway Bundle, $28 – I love the over-the-top girly print on this luggage tag & passport holder. Since I am saving for international travel in 2017, I have my eye on lots of different travel “necessities” this season. 
  6. Matt + Nat Hope Bag, $70 – My mouth has been watering for a Baggu Circle Purse all year, but I never bit. Now I’m glad I didn’t! Matt + Nat offers a vegan circle purse, 100% of the proceeds of which go to a charity of your choosing (among the options).
  7. Kensie 3pc Expandable Luggage Set, $200 – Again, since I’m making travel plans for this year, I figured it was high time to attain a luggage set. The hard shell seems like a safe bet for my accident-prone self and, as usual, I’m drawn to the rose gold. 

I’m sorry & Happy Holidays!

I haven’t had much motivation or positivity since the election. It was like a light went out across the country and talking about fashion or beauty seemed petty, though I suppose it could’ve been a solid distraction.

However, it’s December now, which is my second favorite month of the year (after October) so I am ready to savor it. I’ve already watched White Christmas & Miracle on 34th Street, I’ve wrapped a few presents, and I’m burning my Christmasy WoodWick candles.

I’m currently 3/4 through reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I just wanted something sappy after all the crime books & shows I’ve been indulging in. I’m listening exclusively to Christmas music, because why wouldn’t I be? James & I also went on a date last week to see Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them …. and what a freaking joy.

Some articles I’ve appreciated recently:

  1. “Newt Scamander takes every trope we know about the Male Hero — the toxic tropes that we have grown up with, that are so internalized in traditional narratives that we don’t even blink at them anymore — and flips them on their head.” – On Newt Scamander, Toxic Masculinity, and the Power of Hufflepuff Heroes
  2. “Women talk ourselves into needing less, because we’re not supposed to want more—or because we know we won’t get more, and we don’t want to feel unsatisfied. We reduce our needs for food, for space, for respect, for help, for love and affection, for being noticed, according to what we think we’re allowed to have. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can live without it, even that we don’t want it. But it’s not that we don’t want more. It’s that we don’t want to be seen asking for it.” – Hunger Makes Me
  3. Evan Rachel Wood speaking for so many through her ‘confession’ to Rolling Stone.
Shoes on my Christmas List:
madewell nealy boot in print velvet free people aura ankle boot in sage madewell lou loafer in smoked graphite

Madewell Nealy Boot in Print Velvet // Free People Aura Ankle Boot in Sage // Madewell Lou Loafer in Smoked Graphite

Check out my Amazon wishlist for more items on my Christmas list this year. 

— Edit —

I forgot to add that I just finished watching all three seasons of The Fall over the course of a few weeks. Oh my gosh, I can’t recommend it enough. Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson is the strongest-written female lead I have ever seen in movies or television. Being a BBC show, the seasons are only 4-6 episodes and it’s recently transitioned to a Netflix series. Go watch it, then kick ass.

Color palettes, personal style, etc.

Now that there are a measly two weeks left of Fall 2016, I think it’s fair to say that my Autumn Capsule was a bust. I never really got the hang of my style and frankly, it was way too hot to wear the things I felt I should’ve seasonally been able to wear. There was no need for sweaters or even light jackets, for the most part. I could wear my Birkenstocks through all of October without my toes ever getting cold.

However, I can’t really say that it was a failed experiment, because I’ve learned so much through the first attempt and I’m really looking forward to trying again for Winter. First, I took some time to really delve into my coloring and what looks best on me and though I’d kinda-sorta always known, it’s nice to pinpoint that, yeah, super greyed-out shades are more flattering and bolds always have looked wonky. I used this quiz to really pinpoint what I am, which btw is a Soft or Toned Summer (always thought I was a Winter!!). Into Mind also has a gorgeous color analysis breakdown. I had become so uncomfortable with color that I’d been getting rid of essentially everything in my closet that wasn’t some shade of blue, so for me it’s liberating to see that I can wear essentially any muted color.

I’ve been using a lot of different tools to help determine my personal style. I think the FemaleFashionAdvice subreddit is a hugely helpful resource. They have great threads on personal color analysis, wardrobe overhauls, clothing materials (though, warning, I did find out that suede is lamb skin, so … yeah, I’ll never be buying it again), and dressing for your shape. I’ve felt like a fashion mess the past couple of months, but these are helping me get it together again. I’ve also been using ClosetSpace to add items from my current closet to keep track of what I have and what I need/want.

Better luck next time!

I know, I know, I can wear whatever the heck I want, but for the purposes of curation and feeling comfortable and confident in my wardrobe & creating a personal style that feels authentic, this is helpful. No more neon peplum tops and tomato red dresses just because they’re on sale! 

October BeautyFix

BeautyFix October 2016

BeautyFix is a monthly subscription box from DermStore that’s $25 a month and contains skincare, hair products, tools, and makeup – but the emphasis is definitely on skincare. I signed up at the end of the month, so I received the October box on November 1st, and will also be receiving the November box soon!

dermalogica phyto replenish oil replenix neckletage lashfood eyelash enhancer dermstore lip quence

+ Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil, RV $12.50 |  This oil is made to go under foundation to help your skin stay dewy throughout the day. However, with Nashville’s 85 degree weather in November, my skin has yet to suffer from winter dryness, so I’ll be saving or gifting this one.
+ Replenix Neckletage, RV $15 | I gave my last high-end neck cream to my mom, so I’m glad to have a sample of my own.
+ LashFood Eyelash Enhancer, RV $39 | This is half of the full-size, and it gets great reviews, so I’m really excited to see if I have any results!
+ DermStore Lip Quench, Full-Size $12 | This lip gloss is tinted a sheer pale pink, so I’ll be gifting it to one of my young cousins over the holidays.

neuma smoothing creme danielle creations pink glitter compact juice beauty blemish clearing cleanser luzern laboratories serum absolut we3

+ Neuma Smoothing Creme, RV $3.60 |  I always love hair products – my bleached mess can use all the help it can get.
+ Danielle Creations Pink Glitter Compact, RV $13 | I was torn on this because the pink glitter is a little youthful, but I’ve decided to keep it because it’s really useful and the glitter is growing on me.
+ Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser, Full-Size $22 | I have already replaced my Kiehl’s face wash with this one – I am super loving it. It removes all my makeup and is free of ~spooky chemicals~.
+ Luzern Laboratories Serum Absolut WE3, RV $23.30 |  Haven’t tried this yet – it’s for anti-aging, so I’m considering gifting to my mom, but it retails for $140 per oz. so I’m tempted to see if it works any magic on my own skin.