Author: Nicole .

Live the Life you Love.

Fashion Nova Review (Phoebe top)

So it’s been a while since I online shopped – actually, it’s been a while since I shopped AT ALL – and to honor that I decided to cause a little damage buy something new.

I’d been ogling Fashion Nova for a while, but because their stuff sells out so fast (Fashion Nova, PLEASE FIX THIS) it took me a while to finally find something still on sale that I actually liked.

Here’s the Phoebe top:

Now when I saw this, I immediately thought: what a beautiful taupe blouse. I would imagine, that’s what everyone else would think right? It is a taupe, right? Or am I going color blind?? Regardless, I ended up buying it alone since there was nothing else I liked.

This time, unlike last, I made sure to make an account prior to my purchase. From there, I could see my orders and whatnot. I was sent a confirmation email, and thereafter a tracking email (yay!), it arrived within 3 days.

Upon arrival, I was surprised to find the packaged resembled nothing more than a simple package. Isn’t that disappointing? Don’t you want to find logo’d stuff everywhere? I do!

The package came inside a priority mail bubble mailer (those are free), with logo’d stuff inside (much better 👌🏼).

Here’s what it looked like EXACTLY AS IT ARRIVED.


Hint hint, I think that’s a general code 😉

For your own sanity, here’s the code: SAVE10

I also used the code VACAY which saved me 15% off, and they always have codes, just google them prior to purchase.


Anyway, as for the blouse, I’m on the fence, absolutely. It’s definitely not a taupe, maybe not even a “coffee” which is the shade it is officially described as .. Soooo what shade is it??? Gray? Gray-Taupe-Coffee? The fabric is thin and slightly sheer, but I’d expect that to some degree for the price.

Not sure whether I’ll be returning this or not .. But as for the store, for those wondering, it is authentic.

Update: The color has grown on me, so it’s all good!

Pros:

-FAST shipping (ordered Sept 16, 2016, received Sept 19)

-Nice, professional inside packaging.

-Made in the US

-Fairly Inexpensive

CONS:

-Cheap outside packaging (a logo’d bubble mailer would’ve been nicer)

-Product color not accurate/ as pictured.

-Size is slightly larger.

Overall I would still recommend Fashion Nova, just know your clothes may or may not look as pictured .. Good luck! 🤔Nicole.

Note: I was not paid nor given anything free for this post (God. I wish.)

 

Kat Von D x Influenster – FIRST LOOK

I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve sure gotten realllllyy lucky with Influenster this year. Just a few years months ago I got to try out YSL’s corrector, and now part of Kat Von D’s new products. I’ll just get to to it and show you:


How. Pretty. And expensive. I know. This box’s value is at least $100 worth of makeup products and brushes. My absolute favorite is the setting powder brush – so soft, fluffy and effective. Let me know what you’d like to see reviews of!

Love, Nicole 🙂 

Play by Sephora June 2016

I was one of the few lucky ladies that actually managed to get into the Sephora beta subscription a few months back, and I have to say, so far I’m impressed. Last month’s box was okay as far as the products went, but this one’s definitely a winner in my book.

I introduce to you the Minimalist Box:



You see that first bottle? That’s Becca’s backlight priming filter, which has a lovely citrusy essent btw, that has .20 oz. That’s probably worth $10 on its own and applying to the high points of the face, this could last a while.
The they’re real mascara is alright imo, I’m not a big fan of benefit’s mascaras. I will say, however, I’m glad they’re also using recognizable, popular brands rather than sticking to the less recognizable need-to-sell-more-of-so-let’s-give-away-samples brands. 


 The tarte is great, but considering I’m nearly albino 😅, I think I’ll give it away. 

I’m not crazy about hair products besides (hint at future post) hair serums, so I’ll probably give away the Bb creme too.

Now Bare Minerals Sheer Sun is just, WHOAH. Like, WHOAH. It’s so good – in essence it’s a sheer liquid bronzer, but it’s lovely, would look natural due to the blendability. Sadly the bottle is really tiny, so I doubt I could get more than 10 applications out of this, although that’s still a steal!

The tocca fragrance strikes me as a citrusy essent as well, which is similar to last month’s orange based smell, but they both smell expensive, so I’m okay with them. What’s best is this is an absolute freebie.

Overall, I’m really impressed with this box’s value AND their choice of brands. I also love the monthly Baggie, great for carrying makeup!

Are you subscribed to the Play By Sephora subscription box? Let me know!

Love, Nicole 👀

Renewed Hope in a Jar & GlamGlow Supermud DUPES

Years back, I remember hearing about the awesomeness of the original Hope in a Jar, and how expensive it was for a single ounce, and I thought to myself, “who would buy that?!”

Years later, I’m that fool. Yes, I’ve purchased over $70 dollars worth of lotion PER 4 OZ BOTTLE.

To my own defense, Renewed Hope in a Jar, however, is the only lotion that doesn’t leave me greasy, breaks me out, or turns my foundation orange.

It wasn’t until I’d accidentally ran out of Hope in a Jar that I found this dupe. Oddly enough, a sample of it had been resting on my vanity for nearly 5 months! Here it is:


It’s called Beautiful Skin Night Cream (for Normal/Oily skin) by Boots and its ingredients are really close to Hope in a Jar. Not only that, but it so closely resembles Hope in a Jar, it’s almost scary. It even smells like it.

The best part is it’s only $14, for 1.6oz, compared to $75 per per 4oz of HIAJ. At $14 for 1.6 oz, Boot’s cream is $35 for 4 oz, that’s $40 less than HIAJ. You’re welcome.

The sample I got was for Dry skin, and it’s also like Renewed HIAJ, just slightly thicker and more moisturizing, so if you have dry skin, that works as well!

Furthermore, I have a dupe for GlamGlow’s Supermud mask.

I recently tried out a sample and I have to say it reminded me so much of Paula’s Choice daily skin clearing treatment.

They aren’t as closely related in formula as I’d like, but the function is essentially the same – in fact, I’d say Paula’s works even better than Supermud, simply because it dries out pimples completely overnight, compared to Supermud which takes a couple of applications over a few days. What’s best is, Paula’s Choice is super affordable, at $17 for 2.25 oz, compared to $69 for 1.2 oz. I also really like the fact that PC’s treatment is in a bottle, compared to GG Supermud’s jar container which encourages germ production in the product.

Overall, if you’ve tried either Hope in a Jar or GlamGlow Supermud but found it too expensive, or have found it too expensive to even try, I really recommend  you to try these dupes!

Love, Nicole 💋

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream for Dry/Very Dry Skin – 1.69 Fl Oz • Boots • $13.49

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream for Normal/Oily Skin – 1.69 Fl Oz • Boots • $13.49

Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Treatment Regular Strength with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide for Moderate Acne – 2.25 oz • Paula’s Choice • $17

Yves Saint Laurent x Influenster

When Influenster messaged me a few weeks back, letting me know about the new YSL correctors, on top of casually mentioning I WOULD BE GETTING ONE FREE, I absolutely couldn’t wait. I mean, I considered camping outside and waiting for the precious ol’ mail man to arrive. Which he did, eventually.

Here’s what it looks like:

  
The box is real tiny, though for a simple click-pen I don’t know what I was expecting lol


Inside, I found a card with gawjuss Cara Delevingne (Seriously though, how do you pronounce that?) next to lesser-known Amilna Estevao. Apparently YSL likes to reuse images from other campaigns? Nice marketing, YSL, nice.

459646-800w


After that is the YSL Touche Eclat Neutralizer in shade Bisque , which according to Sephora,

What it is:
A highlighter that targets and neutralizes color imperfections.

What it does:
Discover the award-winning complexion highlighter, now in a must-have, color correcting highlighter. It instantly cancels and neutralizes color imperfections for flawless skintone, and the easy-to-use, one-click brush allows you to perfectly target the problem zone. The lightweight formula allows for customizable and seamless correction—plus, you can wear it under or over foundation.

What else you need to know:
Choose the shade that works best for your skintone:
Green: Corrects blemishes, conceals redness for an even skintone.
Bisque: Corrects dark circles and dark spots. Illuminate.
Violet: Corrects yellow dull skin for a healthy glow.

The packaging is luxurious to both touch and feel, the box being gold, and the product feeling a bit heavier than common plastic and rose gold in tone.


    

 That is pretty much where the price difference between this and most other correctors lies – in the presentation.

The consistency in this is pretty thin. I also found that the product goes on semi-patchy on my face, compared to my arm. There is no significant smell. Once blended, it sheers out to a thin layer of orange lying on your skin. Overall though, for the price tag ($38), unless you like fancy packaging, I really don’t think this is any better than the L.A. Girls Correctors, which go up for 2-3 a pop.

   
 But the worst part by far, something many, many, many people tend to leave out when speaking about orange correctors on light skin is that it tends to show up as such, ORANGE, which easily translates to and is no better than having concealer 2 shades darker than your skin tone.

For this reason, I feel it is slightly unjust to deem this corrector useless, as I am sure there’s people out there for whom orange correctors actually work, however, those with light skin, I highly suggest you stay away.

Moreover, to prove my point, on Sephora’s website you’ll find a video sponsored by YSL in which a light-skinned gal uses Bisque as a BRONZER (3:23), not as an under-eye corrector. Though I must question this usage regardless, isn’t an orange-based tone too warm to use as a bronzer? I must note that she uses YSL products mostly, if not only, throughout the video, signaling that perhaps she used the shade because she had to.

Regardless, overall, If you’ve already tried an orange-toned corrector, liked it, and want to try something a bit fancier than orange lipstick, I think this could be worth a shot. If like me, you need something to go way above and beyond in order to match the price and feel less pain dropping nearly $40 on a pen rather than pizza or cheeseburgers, then I believe you can do equally well with other correctors.

Have you tried out any of YSL correctors or highlighters? Let me know!

The Skinny-Girl Weight Loss Guide 

So I have decided to write this post for two reasons, 1) it’s a New Year and about 45% of people are hoping to lose weight for their New Years resolution, 2) about only 8% out of the 45% will actually achieve that, and to be honest, I find that both scary and disappointing.

America is of one the most malnutritioned countries in the world. Note that malnutrition does not mean near-anorexic skinny but rather, not getting the nutrients your body needs. For that reason, I have decided to create a simple guide to losing weight, packaged with a no-Bs approach and plenty of goodies (yes, chocolate!)

So let’s start:

1. Create a “Calorie Deficit”

That sounds semi-smart, I know, so let me explain.

A calorie deficit is essentially “starving” your body of calories – “subtracting” calories, and thus losing fat. Generally 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat. A calorie deficit usually comes in straight up eating less than usual OR exercise – your choice.

To lose weight, aka burn calories, you need to move.

Think about it this way: you can’t spend money without earning it first. Think of eating as earning money, and burning calories as spending it – In order to lose weight you need to max out your Credit-Calorie Card.

Every time you burn calories, you create a gap to be either filled by earning calories (eating) or to be expelled (lose fat).

You want the gap to be there, so DO NOT EAT BACK YOUR BURNED CALORIES. Seriously, it’ll just set you back.

If that makes no sense, here’s a graph:

graph

The rest of the black bar is used up by your body’s other, normal functions.

Note: If the purple bar is not eaten to begin with, and the total amount of calories you eat looks like the last bar instead (700 calories) that could also cause weight loss. However, that is extremely dangerous, so please don’t even try it. That’s very literally starving yourself.

2. “Just Do it”

To lose weight, you need to move. I don’t care what you do: MOVE. Move up and down, walk around, sit and get up and sit again, really, JUST MOVE.

I know that sounds ridiculous, but it really is that simple.

For me, just “moving” isn’t exactly easy, because to be honest, I feel like an idiot. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Move how you WANT to move.

Throughout the years one of the hardest things to figure out was how I liked to move.

I have purchased, and played, and worked out to sooo many DVD’s, you can’t even imagine. I’ve even danced to an instructional Pussycat Dolls video. Yes, I’m serious. Not to mention that I’m awful at every single sport known to man.

It wasn’t until I found a $20 treadmill at a garage sale that I discovered how I liked to move: monotonously in a straight line, for a whole hour at 3 mph while Drunk in Love blasts from my earphones. 

You know what’s the best part? I feel like Beyoncé walking through her music video and burn approx. a whooping 500 calories per hour – usually an hour daily – bringing the total weekly calories burned up to 3,500 (aka a full pound).

You’re welcome.

DVD-wise, I still enjoy watching muscle-toning videos, because god knows I need all the help I can get!

I really enjoy doing Jillian’s 30 day shred, and Tracy Anderson’s videos, particularly the Mat Workout – she kicks your ass without you even noticing, but trust me, you’ll feel it deep in your soul the morning after, and you only need a mat. A big plus is that Tracy is quiet (Jillian gets on my nerves, I actually swear at her when I workout to her videos.)

I also use Youtube videos occasionally, like XHIT Daily’s Victoria’s Secret Series, their Kim Kardashian’s Butt Workout – because you know you want her butt too, and this girl’s videos, because they thicken my chicken legs into thunder thighs.

But for what it’s worth, you can use any video you want!

4. Eat well … and simple.

Healthy eating is a major part of weight loss. I know, I know, nothing is worse than eating like a cow … Literally .. They eat grass right?

There are three ways you can eat if you’re looking to lose weight:

1.) Eat whatever you want, but not more than a certain limited amount.

If your daily calorie allowance is 1,200 calories, you can eat whatever you want, yes, whatever, But DO NOT GO OVER THAT.

I know how sweet that sounds, but this is less nutrition-filled option for several reasons, 1) you’d probably be eating cookies and hot dogs, which hardly has any nutritional value whatsoever, and 2) because fattening/fast food has so many calories, you’ll be eating very little and will be starving for most of your days.

     2.) Eat generally “healthy foods.” 

Think simple and anything your ancestors would recognize as food. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not good for you.

Also, know what you’re eating – as in read the nutrition label and research the ingredients, and aim for genuine, organic foods.

For example, know that pastured eggs are healthier because the chickens are free to roam and eat what a chicken is supposed to, compared to the mass-produced eggs, where the chickens are kept in tiny cages for their entire lives, and thus their eggs contain less Vitamin D.

Another example, mass-produced milk contains growth hormones, meaning you’ll be fattening up.

In short, please read the nutrition label, and if you’re lazy, use an app like Fooducate, where you can simply scan barcodes and on a scale A-F see how “good” your food is.

This:  *protein* *fiber* *simple* *hardly any sugar* (yes, you can add a tiny bit of sugar and eat it with milk, as cereal – you get plus points if you add fruit)

  I particularly love the long list of artificial ingredients (sarcasm)

Is better than this:

*less protein* *10x more sugar* *

  Remember that ingredients are in order of what the product has most of … In this case, you might as well eat spoonfuls of sugar.
    

        3.) Eat a balanced diet.

This is a mixture of 1 & 2.

Basically what this means is, have a calorie allowance and eat mostly healthy foods while also eating chocolate (preferably a single square of dark chocolate) but not going over your calorie limit.

This is by far my favorite option. It’s easier to stick to, because I’m not left starving for days, and I get to eat chocolate and a cookie every once in a while. Feels good, feels good.

The best way to do this is by turning what you already eat into a healthier equivalent by trading out the ingredients for healthier ones.

For example, if you like pancakes, try making protein pancakes, or Banana-Egg Pancakes.

If you like French Toast, try using olive oil to make french toast (at a low temperature, olive oil can burn) and switch out the Syrup for a pinch of sprinkled sugar.

You can also mash up avocado and use it in place of mayo (my favorite since I’m an avocado addict.)

… You get the point.

For me, this is kind of what #3  looks like:

egg01

snack

oat01

Note that these are simplified examples of my actual meals, but they are great, simple starter meals. For more on healthy eating you can also go here.

Lastly, I’d like to say: Weight loss is ultimately a balancing act and sometimes even a bit of a mindfuck. If you eat well, and move accordingly, you should lose weight, I can almost promise you. The trick is sticking to it, and know that you’ll only stick to it if you like it.

Before starting a new weight loss program or exercise, ask yourself if it’s truly what you want, what you like, and something you’d be willing to do for the next 6 months or so.

Be realistic about what you like. I like chocolate, and I will eat chocolate. Starving myself of chocolate just to lose weight will only lead to me binge eating chocolate in such high amounts that all the progress I’ve made will be useless. So think of ways of incorporating your likings into a healthy diet.

With that said, I wish you all best of luck, as it’s time for me to go back to the treadmill zone, where I just tried to escape from 😅

Love, Nicole 💋

Note: Please know that I am no professional, so please discuss your health and diet with a doctor.

Naked Wardrobe Review

I know it’s been a while, and so I wanted to post something worthwhile!

For a few months now, I’ve been eyeing up naked wardrobe’s website, and I have to tell you, I was reeaalllyyyy tempted to purchase something but I refused due to the lack of reviews. So I just went ahead and bit the bullet, and here are my thoughts.

I purchased the ‘All Stripes And You’re Out Mini’ in Small, which you can see at their website here.

Update 1/11/2016: The link is has been updated. Their smaller sizes tend to sell out soon, so if you’re in love with a dress, know that it may sell out. Usually their Large sizes sell slower.

It was about $40, but then I remembered the usual codes they have on Instagram, so I went ahead and used one of their usual codes (ps. It’s “FRIDAY”) which takes 15% off so that brought the price down to $34, plus tax and shipping, the total was brought back up to $42.

After ordering, the worst part was the wait. Apparently, when ordering, the system automatically creates an account for you. The problem is, you’re likely not aware of this, especially since the option to create an account is in really small letters followed by a check.

So when it comes to knowing about your package, first of all you have no option on the home page to login. Second you don’t have any official information to log in.

To put it simply, I had no idea where my package was until I got a tracking email – I almost thought I had been scammed!

In total, it took about a week to get my package: about 3 days in preparing the shipment, and 3 days to ship, I’d say.

As far as the actual package goes, I admit I was pretty impressed.

The package comes in a black shipping bag with the words “naked wardrobe” on it:

 


Inside is the items wrapped up in tissue paper, along with your order sheet printed in pink paper.

Once unwrapped, in the middle you can find a card that looks like this:

  

The actual dress is a bit darker than in the image on the naked wardrobe website, though that’s probably due to lighting etc. The quality of the fabric is superb, as well the stitching/seams.

On the inside there is a second layer of fabric for more throughout coverage.


I couldn’t get a good picture of the full dress, so I’ll leave it at that!

Have you shopped from the naked wardrobe? What are your thoughts?

Let me know if you like clothing/boutique reviews like this!

Note: I was not paid nor given anything free for this post (God. I wish.)