Madewell Candles & A Beauty Launch

Argh! I’m a bit late to post on this, seeing that one of the lovely candles I recently discovered now appears to be sold out.

Madewell launched a line of candles a few months ago, and I picked up a set of these as a gift, and then immediately purchased a second set for myself:

These are slightly larger than a votive and they’re hand poured here in Minnesota. The ceramic containers are supposedly re-usable once the candles are done.

The two pictured above are Fig Cassis and Cedar Vetiver, respectively, but the sold out one – which, sadly, was my favorite – came in a lovely millennial pink hue and is scented with Bergamot and Amber. Together, the three made a pretty trio and the palette is spot on for 2017. 

Even though millennial pink candle #1 may no longer be available, this new Bergamot and Amber edition is:

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Same tone, same scent. Millennial Pink #2.

The new candle release also includes this cute number:

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One more thing: Madewell also just launched Beauty Cabinet, an edited collection of  cosmetics that include French Girl Lip Tints.

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These Boots

Take a moment to appreciate these beauties:

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I saw a woman wearing these on an elevator last night, and I was so taken by their sheer awesomeness that I asked if I could take a picture. She obliged.

For context, I’m currently in San Antonio and many, many people were out celebrating Dia de los Muertos last night, but still. Swoon. I would wear these the other 364 days of the year, too. 

 

Lip Review

Lipgloss. How I love you.

Ever since I was a three year old eating Lipsmackers, I’ve had an ongoing relationship with all things lip and glossy.

Lipstick tends to get all over my teeth and since I’m not used to seeing myself in it, I always feel awkward when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I try to rock a bright lip.

Gloss is my friend, and historically has been one of my favored pick-me-up treats to buy.

Recently I ordered three new-to-me lip products from Sephora.

Pop star Rihanna just launched her new Fenty Beauty line, and it basically broke the beauty internet. The collection (more than 90 items) is being praised for its extensive shades of foundation, but curiously, it only has one lip gloss.

This is called the Universal Lip Lumizer and is described as shiny, rose nude shade. The packaging is nice, the gloss is not too sticky, and the color is as billed. This is going to be a long, long reach, but this gloss reminds me – in both color and formula – of a Calvin Klein gloss that I had sometime in the 1990s. I think it was called Apricot.

Sidenote: Did you even know that Calvin Klein had a makeup line in the 90s? It was very minimalist in the packaging, and I recall liking their eye and lip glosses. The lipgloss came in a glass tube with a silver cap and the color I had was a near dupe of the Fenty one above. I used it until it dropped and broke. Sigh.

Eye Glosses

[In researching this post, it looks like cK had a revival of their cosmetics line about five years ago, but it seems to have suffered a similar fate as in the 90s since it no longer is available except on eBay and closeout/discount sites].

Back to the Fenty gloss: I would rate it as an 8/10 when considering color, consistency (not sticky but a bit thin, requiring re-application more than I would like), scent/taste (not sure if there is one, if so it is very subtle), and packaging (solid plastic body and cap that closes with a satisfying click twist at the end).

The second product I ordered was billed as a creamy argan lip butter with plumping ability. That is a lot to promise, but Josie Maran does it.

I thought this would be a shiny gloss in stick form, but the finish is more matte than I expected. To be fair, it is described as “satin finish” on the Sephora website, so I should have been warned. The plumping effect is minimal and comes from a pepper-y infusion that very mildly causes the lips to sting. It did not give a bee-stung effect as implied, but it also was not stinging to the point of irritation.

The color descriptions on Sephora’s website were not too clear, but I ended up ordering Free It, which is another rose/pink/nude shade. Josie Maran wins here on two accounts: the grapefruit scent (and taste) is really on point, and the packaging is also solid and features a small bump to click and hold the lid in place. I would rate this as a 7/10, with the high score relating to the grapefruit scent and the packaging. Without these, the finish is not my favorite and I would give it a 4 or 5 if the scent was bad and the case was cheap.

The final thing I received in this order was a freebie, but it’s a lip product and I’m going to still review it.

This is a sample of the Tarte Quench Lip Rescue in Buff. It’s described as having a high shine finish and retails for $19. The freebie size was considerably smaller than the retail version:

Here it is up against the Josie Maran lip butter (which is a standard size lipstick) for comparison.

This Tarte sample is what I thought the argan lip butter would be, namely a high shine lipgloss-in-a-stick. The formula is extremely creamy and the color is a subtle your-lips-but-slightly-more shade. The outer packaging is cardboard (i.e. not sturdy), but I can’t complain since this was a freebie. It’s probably not fair to rate it, but I liked the color and formula enough that I’m planning to buy a full sized version. It comes in eight different shades, including clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. Crew Fall 2017

I fell a bit out of love with J. Crew after the exit of Jenna Lyons, but I still keep coming back to the well.

With their sales becoming as frequent as Banana Republic’s, it’s also almost impossible to pay full price for anything at J. Crew.

I bit at a recent 30% off sale and picked up this open front sweater blazer, which is a pretty perfect fall camel hue:

I *just* noticed that it also comes in a cool looking olive color, which sets off all kinds of justifying in my mind why I need two extremely similar sweaters.

I decided to pair the sweater with a striped turtleneck that was only $11.99 on sale, a price I could not resist. The vision was to wear the turtleneck, jeans and sweater blazer together for fall, maybe with leopard print sneakers.

The side slits on this sweater – also a turtleneck– intrigued me, and many of my black turtleneck sweaters are looking a bit sad, so I put this in my basket. A fresh (read: not faded or pilled) black turtleneck sweater is a wardrobe must, and it should be replenished the same way that a good white tee needs to be frequently updated. 

I *also just* noticed that this sweater, too, comes in a cool olive color. And now I am self-justifying the purchase of nearly-identical sweater #2.

The last thing that I bought for fall 2017 was this pair of earrings:

Statement earrings aren’t my thing the way that statement necklaces are, but I saw a segment on the Today Show recently where both the interviewer and the interviewee were wearing oversized crystal danglers like these, and I liked the look enough to try it for myself. I was happy that they were bold but not too heavy. It’s hard to tell from the picture but they also have a slight yellow-diamond type tint, which makes them look great with the camel sweater above.

While none of these pieces from J. Crew is a huge style risk, I think they’ll fall into the safe space of being new and versatile enough to feel like I updated my wardrobe more than I did.

What do you like at J. Crew this fall?

 

 

 

 

 

 

School Break

Last week the kids had two days off of school, the famous MEA weekend in Minnesota, where public schools ostensibly give teachers two days off to attend an educational conference.

But basically this is a Mini Spring Break in the Fall, and many families take copious advantage of this to escape town for a long weekend.

Per my usual state, I didn’t prepare well in advance and for Day 1 of break, both MGM and Trixie found themselves back at school for an all-day Kids’ Club session.

Miraculously, I’d had foresight back in the summer to take off work for Day 2 of the break, so we had a whole day to spend together. It was a perfect fall day – warm and sunny – and we decided to do something fall-y, which was to go to a corn maze.

Everyone else in the Metro Area had the same idea. This place was a zoo, figuratively and literally since there was a petting zoo area. 

After paying for entrance fees, face painting, some strange food for the animals at the petting zoo, overpriced drinks and for camel (!) rides, I was suddenly $100 poorer for the effort.

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But the kids had a blast, especially in an area that was like a ball or sand pit, except completely filled with corn.

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On the con side, I’ve been digging corn kernels out of the washing machine for a week.

The weekend held one more perfect day and this time, I decided we were going to get some culture. Off the the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden!

If you’ve ever seen pictures of Minneapolis, there’s a fair chance you’ve seen the most iconic work in the garden, Spoonbridge and Cherry.

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The kids appreciated the art about as much as I predicted, which was approximately a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.

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This “snowman” sculpture was a hit with the late afternoon sun providing a perfect angle for the shadows:

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The giant blue chicken also did not disappoint:

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In the end we spent about an hour and a half enjoying the sculptures and running up and down the hill behind the Walker Art Center (them, not me).

Perfect way to cap off fall break!