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Monday, February 28, 2011

My Weekend Mall Haul + Online Purchases (not a quick read, not for the faint of heart)

I made a spontaneous trip to the mall on Saturday (which in itself is a terrible idea and one that will leave you severely exhausted, poor, and wishing you chose more comfortable shoes) but it was such gorgeous weather that I wanted to get out and spend. I mean, get out and drive. That's right. SO, I did buy a few things (at each store) and I will share those purchases and photos with you because I know how obsessed you are with what other people buy.

                         From top to bottom: Tarte Lip Stain Charmed, LM
                                     concealer in shade #1, Mac Subculture compared
                                     to Chanel lipliner in Natural (very similar!)

Day 1:
Goal: buy shorts
Goal reached?: yes
Spending limit met?: no

My goal was to go to J Crew to buy shorts. But first, I wanted to stop by MAC to see if my lovely new make-up artist make-up friend got the Pink Friday lipstick I sent to her. She greeted me with a big hug which said to me, "yes, I got the lipstick and I am so in love with it." I was so happy that it made her so happy. I like to make people happy and I like to make people who appreciate things happy. Done and done. While in there, I swatched a bunch of stuff as did my young daughter. Now, I always use a tester wand to test things like lipstick and lipgloss on my lips but when I want to swatch something just to see the color pay-off, I rub it across my hands. I never saw the problem in this because its what the girls who work there do when they want to show me a certain shade. I continued to take part in my common swatching practice when I was approached by a MAC girl who is not my make-up friend (because real make-up friends let make-up friends swatch) and said "remember to use the wands we have over here to test anything." I don't know why but it just completely rubbed me the wrong way. Even if I took it too seriously, I felt like I was some dirty bird with a case of Herpes who was trying on all the lip products like it was nothing. Perhaps she doesn't know how much money I have spent this month alone in that store. I mean, have you seen the Wonder Woman items I purchased in one of my posts? Now listen up Mac girl, if I want to lick every lipstick in the store like its a tootsie-roll pop then you will sit quietly and allow me to do so.

After the brief setback in my make-up pursuit, I resumed my search for the Subculture lipliner (which I swatched repeatedly on my dirty filthy grimey hands) but they were out of it. I didn't realize this at the time because I grabbed what I thought was Subculture only to find out later that it was "Sublime Culture". What the what?! Tricky. I think its the same color but in a different form. I prefer the kohl style pencil liner. Not willing to leave the store liner-less, I decided to try the shade, Dervish which is a darker and pinkier tone. Most of the lipsticks I wear are of the nude/pink variety so I thought this may work. Finally, it was on to achieve my original goal so we headed to JCrew where I purchased some lovely shorts that were in that hot new spring shade, "blush". It is no secret why I would be so drawn to that shade given that its named after a cosmetic product, and one of my favorite products at that. Also picked up a gorgeous headband that really spices up that boring pony tail or bun that is occuring more and more frequently these days. You will see this all in photos. Lastly, Ipicked up a pair of shorts and adorable turquoise flip-flops for my oldest daughter and a couple of t-shirts for myself. Side note: I am NOT liking that thing that J Crew and lots of other stores are doing which is making paper thin t-shirts so that either A. you have to buy a tank top from them to go under it or B. They are so thin that after washing them twice the fabric is so worn that you will start to see little holes or even worse, your entire naked body. Wow. That paragraph was boring, boring, and more boring. Let's jazz it up with more make-up and less JCrew.

DAY 2:
Goal: to return some Mac items, return JCrew cropped chino pants when I realized they were extrememly far from my personal style.
Goal met?: partly
Spending limit met?: until I went to Sephora, yes.

Went to Mac at a different mall. My favorite mall. And if anyone is from the Durham, NC area then you know the mall. My goal was to return one of the J Crew items and exchange for another pair of the shorts I liked but this time in a gorgeous gorgeous dark teal shade. Mission accomplished and even received a $31 refund. That just doesn't happen often. And if it does, you better believe I will desperately and frantically search what products are nearest to the counter so I can buy something to use up the $31.

So I was off to MAC where I tried to return four of my Golden Lariat MSF's from the MAC WW collection. These products just weren't moving like I thought they would and they were all perfectly BNIB. No dice. I brought the wrong receipt and I didn't want to accept any store credit because that doesn't lighten up the Louis V wallet. But I exchanged my Dervish lipliner for the Subculture that I orignally wanted and was very satisfied because, when swatched on my hand, Subculture is extrememly similar to my beloved Chanel lipliner in Natural. And half the price! It doesn't go on quite as smoothly as Chanel but its a great back-up just in case Chanel cosmetics goes out of business and there isn't a single lipliner of its kind on the planet. Then I went upstairs to the Chanel/Trish McEvoy/MAC/Kiehl's counter. I had heard that the "Creme de Corps" whipped body butter is to die for. It kind of is. I went in to buy it but somehow got talked into something similar to it but that included Argan Oil. Also made by Kiehl's. I asked her how much, she said "$35". I said, "not bad." Then she loaded me down with samples and gave me my total which was $59. Mind you, I bought one product and the samples were free. I said, woah, back up, did you give me the biggest size of that lotion? She said "yes, that was what you said you wanted."I began to think I was suffering from make-up dillusion and that I had blacked out a few minutes ago long enough to make a decision that I would have never made. I am not the "buy the biggest size" kind of girl. I like to go in more cautiously, like buying the smallest size so that I get the instant gratification of being able to take the product home right then while simultaneously lessening the guilt I will feel when I review the receipts later. However, I saw just how many samples she gave me including a one ounce cleanser and Creme de Corps in a nice sized deluxe sample jar so I let it go. Consequently, she will not be invited into a make-up friendship with me. Clearly, she's dishonest and dishonest make-up friends will give you poor poor advice in the attempt of benefiting from it. Bye bye Kiehl's girl! You just lost out on a good thing.

Finally came my last and longest stop. Sephora. This particular Sephora is bigger and more awesome than the mall from Saturday. In a nutshell, I fell in love with Hourglass concealer and when I went to reach for my shade I had a thought run through my head that winded up becoming my reality. It was gone. As were each of the other two shades they offered. And by "offer", I mean "tease you with". I was actually willing to go one shade darker in the concealer if they had it. That's love. But they had zero. I then walked up to another Sephora lady and asked for a "full coverage, super creamy, long-lasting concealer than can cover a sun spot or blemish as well as work under the eyes." She looked at me blankly. Was I in Sephora, the make-up store or was I in the food court? She then walked over to another girl who was doing make-up on someone and asked her the concealer question. It was suggested to me that Laura Mercier was the way to go. I have a couple of LM products and have never been disappointed so I was sold before I got to the display. I'm no dummy though so I tried it on and played with it for a minute and loved it. As I was reaching for the shade for me, I saw that there were none. Not again! So I told her, in the exact words, "you better be opening up that drawer down there to see if you have more." It didn't sound quite as "gun pointed at your head-ish" as I just made it sound,  but more like joking friendly sarcasm. For once in my Sephora loving life, someone opened up the drawer that is supposed to hold more product which typically doesn't hold more product, and pulled out the item that I wanted in the shade that I wanted. Have you ever once asked any sales person in any retail venue if they had more of a particular item "in the back" and upon returning from "the back" they brought you the product you asked for? Me neither. This was history in the making. I proceeded to ask her if I could borrow a big fluffy brush so I could continue to walk around like I owned the place and it was my own personal vanity. The brush comes into play because after trying on that concealer everywhere in the lightest shade they sell, I was looking like Edward Scissorhands. I was going to say Edward Cullen here but realized it wasn't my style and felt desperate to attract the younger audience. What I'm saying is that I was in major need of bronzer. I've heard amazing things about Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer. It's a great matte universal type non-shimmery bronzer that actually smells like chocolate. What could be better than those qualities rolled into one product? SO, I grabbed a gigantic Sephora brand fluffy powder brush from the platinum line that has the pink metallic handle and very cool plastic flip top brush protector and went to town. I started to fall more and more in love with the brush with each swipe. So I naturally bought it. What else was I supposed to do with it?

I'm saving the best part for last. The girl who helped me with LM concealer and gave me a glowing review on the Sephora brush was beginning to do make-up on a nice young lady who wanted to start wearing more make-up because she's an event planner and has to put her best face forward on a daily basis. I asked if I could watch. Normally that would sound very out of line in another setting but it felt like an acceptable question for the context of events. Once I received my personal invitation to observe, the customer, myself, and Laura Mercier concealer girl started chatting about make-up and life and suddenly it hit me! I think I was making make-up friends! So I wrote down the name of my blog and gave each of them a copy and that was that. If you are one of the girls I'm talking about, hello! And thanks for giving my blog a chance! You're famous now!

Coach Joanna Wedge @ Nordstrom

Day 3
Goal: return Kiehl's lotion
Goal met?: ....and then some
Spending limit met?: no (starting to see a theme here?)

There was not supposed to be a "Day 3". Day 3's are for people that clearly have a problem and instead of "day three-ing it" at the mall, should instead be working on another set of the form of steps. Like, perhaps a step program. But it turned out I wasn't happy with the Kiehl's episode from Day 2. Now I may be slightly insane as it is but $60 is far too much to pay for body lotion unless it transforms your legs into those of one Miss Gisele Bunchen. Sadly, this is not the case and it made my legs an oil slick which is not smart for going out in the sun because there is zero difference between that oily lotion and going out in the sun with a nice coat of Johnson & Johnson's baby oil. Oil is oil is oil no matter if its mineral or argan when applying to sunscreen-less skin and facing the outdoor the world. Ahh, life was so much more carefree before all this sunscreen skin cancer UV/UVA ray business came about. In the attempt to accomplish this goal, I stopped at Nordstrom to make my return but because Nordstrom just happens to be the happiest place on earth and also houses every item on my current wish list, I wanted to look at the shoes. Reason being, I have no cute black sandals and the ones (Coach Gypsy Op Art black wedges) I recently ordered in my size are actually too small. I began my shoe hunt when I tried on the Dolce Vita Pali, not to be confused with its more expensive and hotter sister the Dolce Vita "Pela". The Pela's are around $170 and there is a picture of them in my Target blog post but the Pali's are the cheaper version still made by Dolce Vita but run around $80. Not fully willing to commit to these less than the best Pela counterparts, I spotted a pair of Coach Joann leather wedge sandals that were just my style. Coach shoes aren't the most comfortable and they run very small. But since comfort has nothing to do with my shoe-buying decisions, this did not factor into the "trying on" equation. I also don't like the fact that many of the Coach items are walking advertisements for the brand. Unless you're advertising Louis Vuitton, I typically don't like that characteristic in my wardrobe attire. I had DV Pali on one foot and Coach Joann on the other. There was a clear winner. The Coach wedge looked classier and better with my toe-nail polish while the DV looked a bit frumpy and unpolished. The Coach wedge did have a drawback when compared to the DV. The pricetag. What to do, what to do. Well... $208 dollars later I returned the Kiehl's and didn't exchange it for anything. To reward myself for my sensible decision (not the shoe decision, the one after it) I wanted to stop in Sephora to see if they miraculously got the Hourglass concealer. They did not. Instead I asked about the new Brazilian Peels that just came out at Sephora that boast the results that a professional chemical peel give without the dryness and peeling. I was very intrigued because I had one chemical peel and microdermabrasion done last month and I loved them. However, they are expensive to do on a regular basis. An at-home solution to this problem seemed to good to be true. But they were only $78 and you received four treatments to do once per week. And I also had the endorsement of a trusted older Sephora employee who has tried everything in the store and has nice and unwrinkled skin.

And that was the end of my three day mall binge. I feel so dirty. I feel so guilty. So low. But lookin' good while I'm down here swimming in my pool of shame.

Future Planned Mall Binges:

Next Saturday at the same mall, they are having a Hello Kitty make-up event. If you aren't familiar, they have a new Hello Kitty make-up line which I swatched today while at the store. I honestly thought it wasn't going to be any good. I assumed that the line was all fluff and not performance. I also thought, prior to swatching the shadows, was that they were going to feel like sidewalk chalk. They didn't! The shadows were so creamy smooth and very heavily pigmented. My daughter's face lit up when she heard there would be someone dressed as Hello Kitty and she could have her picture taken with her. So looks like Saturday number two will also be spent inside of Sephora. Should I inquire about living accomodations? Oh well, who can say no to an adorable girl who loves make-up AND Hello Kitty? And my daughter will have fun too!

Recent Online Purchases (in photos):
The Tarte lip tint in "Charmed"
Hope In a Jar original version
China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway


  1. just found your blog and am definitely digging your beauty reviews. i'm commenting on this post because I absolutely love Tarte cosmetics too! when you can, check out my beauty blog at

  2. Aww thank you, I sure will! Thanks for reading you made my day! :)