Anthropologie Homegrown Monogram Mug

Last week, I found the cutest gift for less than $10. The Homegrown Monogram Mug from Anthropologie makes the perfect present for someone you want to spoil pretty – without breaking the bank. So if you’re still stumped about what to buy your co-worker, kid’s teachers, or bring to a holiday party as a hostess gift – this is it. And if you’ve got a couple more dollars to spend, stuff the mug with a Starbucks gift card or a baggie of chocolate-covered espresso beans!

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Polished: Best of MAKE UP FOR EVER Kit

As a fan of long-wear makeup, I was ecstatic to receive the Wild and Chic Best of MAKE UP FOR EVER Kit.

It includes:

  • HD Microfinish Powder
  • Aqua Cream in 13 Warm Beige (champagne shimmer)
  • Travel Aqua Eyes in Mat Black 0L (black)
  • Lab Shine in Star Collection – S4 (pearly pink beige)
  • HD Microperfecting Primer
  • Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara
I usually spend about five minutes on my makeup every morning. Before leaving the house (yes, I’m one of those girls) I apply foundation, pressed powder, eyeliner, mascara, and lip stain – at minimum. I recently tested all of the products in this kit, minus the lipgloss. No offense to MAKE UP FOR EVER, but I’m not a gloss girl.
First, here is a photo of me with no makeup on. This is what I start with.

I first applied the HD Microperfecting Primer, which made my skin feel smooth and wasn’t too heavy. I then applied my regular foundation. Next up was the Aqua Eyes eyeliner (inside upper lid, and on upper lid), which was precise but had smude-ability. I added Aqua Cream in 13 from the liner to my brow bone, and it gave the perfect amount of color and highlight. Then two coats of Smoky Lash Mascara, which I was probably the most curious about. My lashes are long, and hit my brow bone, so at the end of every day I have to make sure I haven’t turned into a raccoon. Finally, I dusted the HD Microfinish Powder over my entire face.

This whole process took about 10 minutes. I was eager to see if my extra time in the morning would hold up by the end of the day. This is what I looked like at 8 a.m., post makeup application. 
I then walked eight blocks to work on a foggy and humid day, had a typical seven hour day at work, and walked home the eight blocks in the humidity. This was unintentionally the perfect day to test these products!

Here is a photo of what I looked like when I got home. 
Everything had held up really well! The eyeliner, Aqua Cream, and mascara looked as good as they had 10 hours earlier. My foundation had melted a little, mostly in the T-zone area, which was to be expected after a humid day.

Overall, I adore this product set, and it was absolutely worth doubling the amount of time I spend applying makeup in the morning. I would suggest this most to ladies who have a long day ahead of them, and no time for a mirror check. Trust me, all MAKE UP FOR EVER products will stay exactly where you applied them, and you will look fresh and lovely (not made-up and cakey).
The Wild and Chic Best of Make Up For Ever Kit ($55) is available exclusively at Sephora and

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Essie Chinchilly with OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle

I may be the cosmetics connoisseur of the family, but my mom is definitely the nail phile. I know a lot about polishes and own an extensive library of lacquer, but every now and again I get schooled by my manicure mixtress mother. Her latest combo is a coat of OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle (from the Serena Glam Slam collection) layered over her all-time fave, Essie Chinchilly.

With flash
Without Flash
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If The Shoe Fits: Audrey Brooke Paris Flat

For years, Tory Burch’s Reva flats (left) have been on my wardrobe wish-list. But every time I work up the nerve to exercise my Visa, something always rains on my fancy footwear parade.
In 2009, I was this close to adopting a pair of the iconic ballet flats – but then I got pregnant and decided to wait until after I gave birth and my feet stopped growing. Then after I had Westley, I put Reva back on my shopping list – only to find that the style runs too narrow for my fat, flat feet.
I was ready to give up the dream until this week, during a routine venture to my neighborhood DSW. I was actually shopping for my son, but after being informed that they don’t sell kids shoes in the stores (only online), I decided that it shouldn’t be a wasted trip so I took a quick survey of the womens’ section before heading on my way.

That’s when I saw it…the Audrey Brooke Paris Flat. I was immediately enamored with the Reva doppleganger and rendered positively giddy by the price tag – just $59.95! But would the shoe fit? As I hurriedly removed my Ugg boot and slipped my foot into the shoe, I said a little prayer and…it fit like a glove. Not to sound dramatic – okay, maybe just a little – it was a Cinderella moment.

Alas, I didn’t buy the shoe in the store because I figured I could save more if I purchased online. So as soon as I returned home, I got on the Internet and picked up a black pair for less than $30. As I explained in a recent review of the Audrey Brooke Leopard Satchel, the awesome thing about is that you can combine coupon codes. By combining some promo codes I researched online and cashing in some coupons I received as a DSW Rewards member (sign up…it’s free!), I saved $30 and got free shipping.

In addition to black leather, the Paris Flat is available in a metalic leather and a leopard print haircalf. They leopard ones aren’t available online, but I spotted them in the store – just, sadly, not in my size. So I called some other local DSW stores and tracked down a pair in my size – and they’re on hold until I can go adopt them on Friday. I can’t wait!!!

Update: I scooped up the shoes a few days ago and I am so proud of my purchase. Too cute, right?

Maybe it’s a godsend that my feet are so fat…because, for less than the price of Reva, I can pick up all three pairs of Paris.

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