This Week in Cosmetics: Ulta Edition

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Ulta diehards (read: Platinum members) received their 10/20% off coupons this week – they’re good for 10% off prestige brands of cosmetics, AKA the good stuff, and 20% of the rest of the store. Here are my picks for what to get with your coupon at Ulta!

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1. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PHD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

This has been on my wishlist for ages. Smoothness, volume, conditioning, strength and polish in one step? Sounds too good to be true. If you’ve tried this out, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

2. Lorac PRO Palette

Lorac’s palette is widely considered to be an alternative to the UD Naked Palette, however; I haven’t tried this one yet so I can’t weigh in. It’s less expensive, though, and includes an eye primer.

3. Lipstick Queen The Pretty Pair

This duo is too cute – a suave nude and a sheer red make for a winning team. Also, the purple and gold packaging is so luxe.

4. Urban Decay Naked Basics

Here’s another of my wishlist veterans – I can’t justify it yet since I’m so satisfied with my Naked palette, but when that runs out I will definitely buy this instead of a new Naked since I mostly use the lighter shades.

5. bareMinerals Quick Change Brush Cleaner

I recently started using real brushes (I know) and I’ve been looking for a good cleanser. I may just get the Sephora brand one, but I love that this one is quick-drying, allowing you to use the same brush even as you apply your makeup with different shades.

 

 

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Collection: Perfect Tees

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Collection is a column that features a themed set of clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry, along with shopping tips and coupon codes for the sites where the items are found! This week’s collection features tee shirts. Of course there tends to be a running theme of mint green and stripes – but can you blame me? There are more than nine items in this collection; you can see the rest by clicking the “tees” link below.

 

Today’s tips:

  • Use eBates for cashback.
  • $5.00 flat-rate shipping & free shipping on orders of $100+ at jcrewfactory.com.
  • 40% off final sale styles with code TREAT and free shipping on all orders of $100+ at jcrew.com.

Fantastic 5: NY Edition

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Fantastic 5 is a regular post featuring my reviews of five thrift and/or consignment stores all over the US! I’ve visited each and every one, and I’m excited to share my thoughts (and steals) with fellow thrifters. If you’ve been to any of the stores I mention, please do leave a comment and I’ll be happy to add your experiences to the index! Here are today’s 5, which all happen to be in the great state of New York.

1. Buffalo Exchange on 114 W 26th St in New York, NY

This place has served me so well over the years. I rarely leave without some treasure in hand (the dresses and shoes in particular). One of my favorite thrift stores in the city! I recently made out with a pair of grey suede Sam Edelman oxfords for about $25.

2. Second Time Around on 111 Thompson St in New York, NY

It’s a small store, but the selection is really carefully cultivated. The salespeople here are also friendly, which isn’t always the case in SoHo stores!

3. In2Retro on 1163 State Rt 17B in Mongaup Valley, NY

Seriously the nicest little vintage store – or house, really. The selection of designer clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry is amazing and the other 75% of the store is full of awesome furniture and housewares. My favorite part is how some of the rooms are organized by theme, like the “camping” room.

4. Simply Chic Consignment Boutique in the Fishkill Village Square on 986 Main St in Fishkill, NY

Really great selection! Got a cute Bloomingdales Sutton Studio cardigan for around $13.

5. Plato’s Closet Vestal on 1708 Vestal Pkwy E Ste 4 in Vestal, NY

I don’t often have luck at Plato’s, but this store has a great selection. I’ve gotten a brand new pair of The North Face winter boots ($40), a new O’neill backpack ($20), a maroon American Eagle bustier dress ($12), a new pair of teal Hue tights ($4) and a French Connection wool coat for $6 in an amazing summer-end clearance sale that they had.

 

Online “Thrifting”

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What’s a thrifter to do if he or she doesn’t live near a good thrift store? Traveling isn’t always an option. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get thrift-like deals online! It just takes a little time and research. Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite methods of shopping online – it’s definitely possible to avoid paying retail prices even from the comfort of your home!

1. eBay

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This is perhaps the most obvious choice for scoring steals and deals. It’s always the first place I go to in order to seek a specific discontinued item or see if I can buy something for less than what it costs in the store. eBay continues to offer the widest selection of “stores”, or rather, sellers, and usually satisfies my search.

2. Thrift shops’ online stores

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Many stores like Goodwill have online eBay stores while some stores even have independent websites. Check out Housing Works, for example, if you can’t get to the brick-and-mortar version. WebThriftStore is also a nonprofit virtual option!

3. Twice

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Enter another crowdsourcing option for thrifting (consignment, really) – Twice. Sometimes the prices are a little steep, but the site is stocked with contemporary brands. They encourage you to sell your own stuff, too.

4. reddit /r/wardrobepurge, /r/thriftythread and /r/closetswap

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It’s never been a better time to join reddit. These subreddits are amazing ways to buy, sell and trade clothing while avoiding eBay and other sites’ fees. Members use PayPal for transactions, and many items are really inexpensive!

5. Flash sale sites such as Gilt and HauteLook

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These are typically the last sites that I browse since they tend to be the most expensive. However, if there’s a certain something that you regret not buying while it was in stores, these sites are great for name-brand designers at a slight discount.

Good luck!

(Psst, don’t forget about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale!)

 

Bulletin Board

This series of posts focuses on the non-thrift-related things/topics on my mind this week. Sometimes a visual representation is literally pinned on the bulletin board on my dorm room desk. The items on the list below are sometimes random and occasionally a borderline obsession. Whether a physical or Pinterest board or just a half-thought-out dream, I’d love to hear what’s on yours, too! Here’s what’s on my bulletin board this week…

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1. Adidas Climalite Capris

I got an awesome pair of Adidas capris on clearance from TJ Maxx the other day for $10. I did yoga in them this morning and they’re great! They’re dark grey with lavender stripes on the back. Very sweet.

2. Kate Spade Fall 2014 Jewelry

I’m obsessed with the new KS jewelry (mostly the necklaces)! The ombre is so pretty.

3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

I just finished this YA action-adventure novel. Ms. Bray wrote another one of my tweenhood favorites, Going Bovine. This book was a fast read and a fun satire of capitalism and materialism.

4. Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus

This is the best hummus EVER. It’s so tasty. I’ve been dipping veggies and pretzel chips constantly.

5. Ingrid Michaelson’s “Lights Out”

I’ve got tickets to Ingrid Michaelson in the city at the end of this month and I can’t wait! Her new album is great – I especially like “Girls Chase Boys” and “Over You”.