The Stuff You Need from the Sephora Sale

8 Nov

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So, I’m not going to pretend I’m some prolific beauty blogger (or, heck, even a regular blogger), but lately I’ve been going hard at Sephora, and ever since the dates were posted for the VIB sale, I’ve been carefully refining my cart.  (If you’re a VIB, you’ll use code 20VIB at checkout from November 11-14.)

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Here is all the stuff you need.

Want lashes that look so good people will ask if they are fake?

Then, first, you need to buy the DiorShow Primer. (The real name is like seventeen words long. Who needs to name something that long?)  It’s $30, which is insane, but one tube lasts me for like six months, and I swear it’s made the most amazing difference in my lashes.  Honestly, if you get this primer, then you could even go cheap on the actual mascara, and the only person who will really be able to tell is your mother.

The next thing you need is Too Faced Better than Sex mascara. Throw like two layers of that over your primer, and your lashes will look amazing. (I will admit here…I don’t LOVE the brush, but it’s great for making your lashes really thick and long. I sometimes will finish off with a cheaper mascara that has one of those rubber brushes to make sure everything is combed out.)

Want to figure out how to get perfect skin while struggling with both acne and aging?

I feel like having acne while you’re in your late 20’s is the most unfair thing in the world.  (Okay, that’s exaggerating.)  What worked when we were teens–super harsh drying toners and creams–is no longer great for our aging skin, and if any of you are using those rough, St. Ives scrubs, then see me after class because those are terrible for your skin.

I’m all about acids now. Lactic. Glycolic. Even fruit enzymes.  Basically, using acids to exfoliate your face is a win all around because you’re avoiding scraping it up with scrubs, battling acne, and combating signs of aging.

I am on my third bottle of Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. It’s a quick mask that combines all my favorite acids into one, and promises to brighten your skin while combating damage (lines, sun, old scars).  It smells…not great, and it feels like you’re smearing smushed up gummi bears on your face, but holy cow, it works.

I also liked Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Lactic Acid treatment…but I ended up never rebuying it after it ran out. So, this is an AHA, which is geared more towards aging skin. (BHAs, by comparison, is more for acne-prone skin, although both kinds of skin can benefit from both types. For a great break down of chemical exfoliants, read this post.)  I liked how it made my skin feel, but ever since I started using Curology (OMG MY HOLY GRAIL, my skin has never been better), I just stick to that and moisturize at night.

I’d also recommend Drunk Elephant’s Glycolic Night serum, but the beauty junkies have bought it all up and it’s currently sold out.  Oops.  Full disclosure: I haven’t tried this myself, but my fellow skincare addicts swear by it, and I trust their opinion.

The last acid you’ll want to consider is a hyaluronic acid, which is for moisturizing. (Scientific story short, it’s basically super small molecules that penetrate your skin better than lotions or creams.) If you’re all about the Sephora points, you could pick up Skin Inc’s version (which I tried and liked) BUT because we’re friends, I’m going to point you over to Deciem and their $6 version. (You read that right. $6.  You’re welcome.)

Do you low-key want Kylie Jenner lips even though you’re publicly on a Kardashian Kleanse?

Girl, I know. I “can’t stand” them either. (Wink.)  But if you want the best nude of your entire life, you have to buy Kat Von D’s Everlasting Lipstick in Lolita II. I don’t have a lot to say about it other than it’s the perfect pinky-nude, and I wear it all the time.

Do you want to look like you’re using the Snapchat Pretty filter in real life?

Then grab the Ambient Lighting Powder from Hourglass. I used my Dim Light to the bottom of the pan, but I think I want to try the Mood Light next.  It makes your skin look all glowy without being greasy.

Do you want to be known as the best Christmas gift giver ever?

My best go-to gift is Sephora’s perfume sampler. I have made so many girlfriends/wives happy by telling all the guys I work with this tip.  You basically are giving them a giftcard to buy perfume, but it feels more meaningful since they’re also getting to sample all the perfumes and pick their favorite. If it’s a girl you like a lot, give her the big sampler.  If it’s a girl you like a little bit, give her the small sampler. If your man smells like the gym ALL the time, then give him the cologne sampler.  (Or just buy that for yourself and pick your favorite and then buy him that one.)

Do you want to know one weird trick for making your eyes pop?

Ignore the click-bait-ish title for a second, and come with me to the world of nude eyeliner.  It will change your life forever.  If you use a little shadow underneath your lower lash line and then rim the waterline of your lower eye with nude, it makes your eyes look HUGE and clear.  A lot of girls do this with white eyeliner–which also technically works, but is really noticeable.  With nude liner, you’ll just look better without anyone realizing what you are doing.

I’ve been using Nars Larger than Life liner in Rue Bonaparte, but I’ve heard other girls swear by Urban Decay’s 24/7 waterline liner in Walk of Shame.  Urban Decay is a few bucks cheaper, so I might try it to compare.

Do you have a $300 Sephora gift card burning a hole in your pocket and also enjoy blow drying your hair?

Sooo the Drybar blow dryer is definitely worth the hype.  This little gift package combines products, the dryer, a curling iron, and a brush.  I didn’t get this exact package, but I got the dryer last year and I love love it.  My hair drys so fast now, and the dryer itself is pretty light.  I’ve never actually used the curling iron (other than someone using it ON me the one time I went to DryBar), so I can’t vouch for its awesomeness.  BUT the Hot Toddy Heat Protectant smells AMAZING and makes my hair really soft, and you get that with this little set which is nice.

If you guys have holy grail products that I missed, please let me know mostly so I can obsess over them too.

 

Copycat $1500 Gold/Fur Chair DIY for $215

30 Jun

I wanted to share a quick DIY I recently did…that may be the easiest DIY you’ll ever do in your entire life.  (Maybe this is more of a hack? That’s trendy to say right now. Decor Hack! Chair Hack!)

I was recently staying at the Hotel Allegro in Chicago, and I fell in love with the most beautiful chair of my entire life.

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See those guys on the right? The white fur and gold metal arm chairs?

I. Was. Obsessed. (Well, legit, I was obsessed with this entire hotel. It was the perfect mix of Art Deco and Hollywood Regency that dominates my Pinterest boards…and my home….and my life. And, no, this isn’t a sponsored post. I JUST LIKE PRETTY THINGS. I’ll actually share a bunch of pictures of the gorgeous decor here at the end of my post because they’re THAT inspiring.)

I’ve been slowly redoing my living room, since the last time I decorated, I was a new baby, fresh out of college and too excited to make design choices that would last me a lifetime. (I literally picked the first couch I saw in RoomStore. It was super comfy, but it wasn’t winning any design awards. I tend to get excited and make quick choices.)

Anyway, I picked out a baller couch and gorgeous paint, but I couldn’t stop thinking about those white fur and gold chairs.  I mean. Let’s look at more pictures and drool a bit.

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So I emailed the hotel to ask where they were purchased, and someone emailed me back within the day.

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Introducing the Ansel Brass Chair with Tibetian Fur. And it could be mine for the low low price of $1520!

….yeah.  That wasn’t happening. So, my hunt began. I was sure I could find a gold chair with white fur. Positive.

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And I did!  This guy from TOV Furniture was a bit cheaper, coming in at $725.  But still…I was already dropping serious  money on a new couch, and I didn’t want to spend that much.

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I also found this Shag Puff chair from Anthropologie, but that was $750. Still a bit more than I wanted to spend.

So, I figured I’d get a little creative.

I found a great gold metal chair with cool details here for only $190.

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What I liked about this chair is that it was a reproduction of a design by Harry Bertoia, who was an Italian designer who did a beautiful series of metallic furniture in the 1950’s. (The real version of these chairs can go over $500.)

I took that chair and ordered a sheepskin off of Amazon. (I picked this one from Ikea. It’s not the kind of fur that will make you die of happiness, but it looks nice and full.)

Combine the two and…voila!  A $1500 chair created for about $215.indy chair

Ignore the cat who has decided this is her new throne. Mine looks a little different–no side arms, and I liked the design of the back of the chair so much that I didn’t want to cover it up. (Although, I learned that the back of the inspiration chair is just a big pillow, so it’d be easy to add in at some point.)

It’s also not as full at the base as the original, BUT I love the juxtaposition of architectural metal with the luxe-looking fur.

My truest confession is that I still might save my pennies and buy the real version one day.  But I think this is a great substitution while I wait for that day to come.

So there you go. I just saved you like $1200 AND you go to see a picture of a spoiled kitten. (insert heart eyes emojiis)

And before I leave you, here are a few more pictures of the Hotel Allegro. I took a thousand pictures on my phone, but obviously, the real promo pictures are WAY better.

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Life Updates: Well, I wrote a book.

12 May

So, I know. It’s been approximately 23,392 years since I’ve posted here. I didn’t mean to stop blogging, but one day, I realized I hadn’t thought about The Preppy Leopard for some time.

There’s the standard stable of excuses–I started a new job. I started helping my church with some of their social media and blogging. I tore my ACL and had surgery. I went to Reykjavik and then Madrid and then Paris then Munich then Rome.

But, the biggest update I’ve been keeping from you all is that…I’m an author.  (You can read a few cool interviews I did here and here.)

For people who know me in real life, this is a bit of old news. I sold my first book a few years back to an indie publishing house, and it didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. (There was a lot I wasn’t happy with during that whole process, but it definitely helped me learn what works and what doesn’t work.)

That was a hard lesson for me to learn. Most things I’ve done in my life–success has always come easy. You work hard; you produce quality products; and people respond.

I learned quickly that publishing was not like that. So much of it is luck and timing and the right person reading your book at the right time.

Last month, I did something really scary. I published a second book on Amazon. On my own. Using my own money.

There used to be a bit of a stigma about self-publishing in the writing world. I know I thought that as I went through my English program at GMU. Self-published authors were the ones who weren’t good enough to land an agent/traditional publisher.

But, man, times have changed. It’s a different world–where Amazon is king and Bookbub is the king maker. If you can get your book on a Bookbub list and then hit high categories on Amazon, success is almost guaranteed. On Amazon, no one can tell which books are traditional and which are self-published unless you squint and read the book’s details down at the bottom. Publishers no longer control the gates to Border’s and Barnes & Noble because…those stores really don’t exist anymore. (There are no more mega-chain bookstores where I live–and I live in a huge suburban area right outside of DC.)

I digress. I might write more about the publishing world at a later date, but really, today, I wanted to tell you about my books.

They’re fluffy, happy, YA books. I pitched the first as Gossip Girl (only with celebrities), and I was inspired by tabloids (of all places)! As someone who grew up with Lindsay Lohan (metaphorically, obviously) and loved all her movies from The Parent Trap to Mean Girls, I was so interested how someone as bright, beautiful, and talented as she was could spiral downward so quickly. (And, she’s not the only one. Then there’s Britney Spears and Amanda Bynes and all the others who crashed and burned spectacularly.)

I wanted to write that story–about a girl who has everything and gets her fifteen minutes of fame…what happens to her? What scenario could propel her to spiral down?

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Lifestyles of the Rich and (In)Famous – Available Here!

The next book is the one I published on my own. It’s not a direct sequel, but while it does contain characters from the first book, I wrote the sequel to standalone and have a complete story by itself.

The inspiration behind this one was a little different. I loved cheesy teen movies growing up (and I still do!)–ones like She’s All That or Mean Girls. In almost every single movie, the romantic plot is about a girl who might be unpopular or awkward or wears glasses (the horror!) and therefore, no one loves her. But fate intervenes, and the quarterback falls for her, and by the end of the movie, he’s dumped his cheerleader girlfriend and then lives happily ever after with the nerdy girl.

I was always curious in what happened to that cheerleader. After every one else gets their happy ending, what kind of ending does she get? She lost her boyfriend; she was probably  humiliated in some way (they always are in movies); and the social ramifications are huge in high school land.

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He Loves Me Not–Available Here!

This is a big part of my life now–I hope to keep writing and sharing stories with the world, but the idea of self-promoting seems so foreign to me! (My parents always taught me to let others praise you before you praise yourself.) But, I think there’s a good balance to find–sharing your passion with people isn’t wrong. (And it’s not like I’m standing here telling you I’m the best author ever–I’m far from it!)

I know some of you have been blog friends since the days of Ruby Woo Loves You.  Some of you came here from my epic fridge tutorial. And some of you have become Instagram and Snapchat and even Facebook friends.

There are few things you could do that would mean the world (THE ENTIRE WORLD!) to me:

  1.  Sign up for my mailing list.  This isn’t something I’ll ever use to spam you (or sell to a third party), but instead, I will use it to let you know when new books are coming out, share freebies like short stories or previews, or share some of my current favorite reads with you. Building a good mailing list is a HUGE foundation for a self-published author, and I hope to make it into one of my strongest marketing tools.
  2. Like my Facebook page. I’ll be sharing more frequent updates here about signings or sales. (Also, it makes me more legit when I’m applying to different signing events or when other authors check out my page.)
  3. Review, review, review! Reviews on Amazon are HUGE for indie authors. Not only does it influence new readers to check out books from an author they don’t know, but the number of reviews has a huge impact on the kinds of promotion I can do. Even a star rating and a few words count towards the ultimate total. (Goodreads reviews are great too, but not as great as Amazon!)
  4. Then, obviously, the last one, is the almighty one-click buy on Amazon. Buy the books–I hope you love them!

Lilly Pulitzer for Target Lookbook

26 Mar

When the news dropped that Lilly Pulitzer would be the next designer to collaborate with Target, I couldn’t have been more excited.  (One of my favorite things Target has ever done was the Jason Wu collaboration.)

I’m so excited to share the full look book (link here).  This collection is even cuter than I hoped for, and the pricing is amazing!

I’m not sure if it will help when the collection finally posts online, but you can click a little red heart on each item, and it seems to save to some kind of wishlist.  It may make checking out that much faster…especially with how this collection is going ot sell out fast.  Try logging in (or creating an account here) and then saving all your favorites.

Here are some of my must haves:

Button Down Shirt in Nosie Posie – $24

Satin Flounce Dress in Sea Urchin for You – $38

Shift Dress in Fan Dance – $38

Embroidered Clutch in Nosie Posie – $24

Gold Pineapple Sandals – $30

Halter Top in Pineapple Punch – $26

Shift Dress – My Fans – $38

Navy Cover Up – $32

Throw Pillows – $25

I definitely recommend you check out the full lookbook and start “hearting” your favorite pieces.

In the meantime, here are some of my tips to start planning your sale strategy.

1.  Make a List.  Write down all your must-haves.  It helps to have a game plan of exactly what you want.  It also helps to nail down your budget ahead of time so you can start saving.

2.  Buddy System.  Link of with friends (both local and out of state) and coordinate your attack.  This collection will probably be more popular down South, so if you have friends in Montana, they may experience a leisurely shopping time compared to your frantic grab and run.  It helps to share your lists, and then you can feel better knowing that even if your store doesn’t have something, your good old Montanan (sp? haha) buddy picked it up for you.

Buddies at the same store can help combat the resellers.  The Target resellers are probably some of the worst people on the planet.  They will shove you and take things from you and literally grab entire racks and stuff them in their carts.  (I once saw a woman bear hug an entire rack of dresses, yank them all off, and fill her cart.  It was gross.)

Personally, this year, I’m up to like an eight woman collective team.  We are intense about our Lilly.

3.  Shop Online!  The new collection normally drops around midnightish the day of, and it’s nice to be able to handpick all your choices without having to fight other bleary-eyed girls a few hours later.  Also remember that some items will only be available online.  That’s where your list comes in handy–you may have a BUY ONLINE list and a BUY IN STORE list.

4.  Ignore the Haters.  I have never seen a more snobbish backlash for a designer collaboration than with Lilly for Target.  (Just google Lilly for Target and a bunch of articles will pop up about the girls on Twitter whining.)  I’ve seen people lamenting the loss of quality to the loss of exclusivity.  Girls, you are seriously  making us all look like bratty, entitled women.

Do people now think of Liberty of London as a cheap brand?  What about Zac Posen?  Phillip Lim?  Proenza Schouler? Rodarte?  Alexander McQueen?  All these designers (and bunches more) have partnered with Target without any hit to their branding.  If anything, it’s cool to be able to afford a dress by Phillip Lim without having to drop a grand at Neiman Marcus.

As for quality, I guarantee most of the girls whining love to stroll through Target with their Starbucks in hand and stock up for spring break.  I don’t have super high expectations of my $24 Target sundress, but then again, I paid $24 for it.  (And honestly, I have dresses from Target that are years old that have held up just fine.)

I hope your mothers raised you right enough to live by that old Thumper adage from Bambi–if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.

30% off Barbour Jackets!

4 Feb

One of my favorite purchases over the last few years has been my Barbour Bedale jacket.  You can wear without the liner in fall and spring, and then zip in the quilted liner when the temperatures dropped.

These jackets don’t normally go on sale, but right now, you can take 30% off several styles at both Tuckernuck and Nordstrom.

Nordstrom doesn’t need any coupon code:

This is the style I have, the Beadnell, and right now, it’s marked down to $253 (from $379).

I always like ordering from Nordstrom because they have free shipping and easy returns.

Nordstrom also marked down the zip in liner vest.  You can wear it with the jacket (zipped in), or alone.  It’s warm but not too bulky.

Beadnell Vest, marked down to $66 from $99

If you use code BRRR30 at Tuckernuck, you can also take 30% off all Barbour products.

A good buy right now is the snap on hood.

Unisex Waxed Hood – $34 with code (normally $49)

Barbour Beadnell – $265 with code (originally $379)

I have this same style in navy, which I ordered from Tuckernuck last year!

You can check out all the Barbour products on sale at Tuckernuck here.

What to Buy in the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale

5 Jan

So, the Lilly Pulitzer site may be down already, but the first thing I do is always open up a full list of every sale item and keep that open in case it does go down.

Here’s some of what I’m seeing on the site, if it helps you guys plan!  You can do a Google Image search to grab pictures of each item.

Travel Pants for $39 (Five Colors!)

Corine T-Shirt Dress in Paws Off and Escapades in the Everglades for $39

Sarasota Beaded Tunic in Navy (SO PRETTY!) for $39

Beckett T-Shirt Dress (four colors!) for $39

Those were the only items I had up….but here are screenshots of everything in the sale.  I’ll keep updating this post!

ETA:  It looks like a lot has sold out already, but a bunch of other websites are jumping on board!

6PM has a ton of discounted Lilly that I didn’t see in the sale, and some of the prices are even better!

Westley Tunic – $39.20

Rogan Top in She She Shells – $55.20

Porter Top in Under the Palms – $27.20

Tate Skirt in Swim Lanes – $35.20

Marlisa Maxi in Let’s Cha Cha – $59.20

Elsa in Booze Cruise – $63.20

Tips on Shopping Lilly Pulitzer Online Sales

2 Jan

Hi, friends! The Lilly Pulitzer New Year Cheer is almost upon us, and I thought it’d be a good idea to brush up on all the sale tips that have helped me in the past.

Happy Shopping!

The Preppy Leopard

And so it begins.

….

Okay, so it’s not that serious, but here’s a round up of Lilly Pulitzer Sale Shopping tips that have helped me over the years.

What’s the big deal anyway?

Unless you live near an actual Lilly Pulitzer store or compete for the six dresses posted on Rue La La, chances are you don’t normally see Lilly Pulitzer on sale.  Like, anywhere.  There’s no sale section online (although, some of the online signature stores will have mark downs).

Twice a year, Lilly does a huge online sale on their main website here.  The prices are insanely low…even lower than the Warehouse Sale prices.  (See my write up here!)

Basically, these sales are the best.

Wait, prices are good?  How good are we talking here?

In the past, I’ve gotten Cassie dresses for $39.  Shoreline totes for $39.  Murfees for like $30

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