Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best Buys or '11 - Makeup and More!

Some of the best things I bought this year were surprisingly enough not beauty items!

The best non-beauty item purchased last year was my gym membership to the super fancy Equinox gym. 

Equinox, the NY based gym, has three locations in Northern California - one gym happens to be in downtown SF, about a seven minute walk from my office. Yes, I am often late from lunch running back from an after spin, yoga, weight, etc. I even purchased a few training sessions, probably the reason why my cosmetic/shoe purchases for the year were far and few between. It was well worth it because my awesome trainer helped me shed ten pounds. I am half way from my goal of twenty-five, I'll probably have to tack on a few extra pounds since I can't seem to stop eating "Holiday Style". 

This is the most I've ever spent on membership fees but I get free use of towels, the ladies locker room is stocked with Kiehl's bath products, there's a great health food cafe (also pricey) and there's a spa that gives a 10% discount off to members. I am still trying to save up for another massage as I type! I have to say this is money well spent.

This year, I am contemplating re-joining Weight Watchers. Those Jennifer Hudson commercials are starting to annoy me but I cannot snark - the girl worked her butt off on WW and she looks fantastic! I have joined and quit the program three time - this time I need to commit and quit when I reach my goal weight!

The other item came late in the year. It's my first Marc by Marc Jacobs purse. Technically it's not my first - I own a wristlet, a makeup pouch and a super cute medium sized clutch purse. But this it the style of purse I've had my eye on for a few years and I am so glad that I had the will power to apply a Nordstrom gift card I received on my birthday toward this purchase. Usually, I would blow a gift card at the cosmetic counter, naturally but this time I thought I'd REALLY treat myself.

Behold, the Supersonic Snake Printed Hiller' Faux Leather Hobo

I initially had buyer's remorse because of the price tag and also I thought about how much I paid for a purse that's 100% PVC. But it makes me smile when I use it and I get endless compliments from complete strangers on the street. Women talk to me about my purse on the elevator and how they are also obsessed with Marc by Marc Jacobs bags. I'd like to add a Marc Jacobs Stam bag one day but I'd have to save up a long time for that one but come on who wouldn't like to own THAT bag?

Here I am with my bag (for scale):

I don't know why I am not smiling and then I realized this was taken on my way to work. Who is really excited at 6:55 AM to go to work?

I am shocked at how much I can stuff into this bag - it's an awesome work bag!

I thank my good girlfriend, Cindy for giving me the gift card on my birthday. This girl understands my love for high priced goods! I want to also thank my co-worker and now one of my good friends, Rey - she actually picked this bag out for me. I thought it was bit much but with lots of assurance and coercing she talked me into this print!

I am also glad I discovered my new favorite moderately priced shoe line:
Vince Camuto

And these:

Both shoes were under $100 and more comfortable than I thought they would be!

Another great buy: concert tickets!!
Oh and how can I forget the three awesome concerts I attended last year:


Okay so my pick for favorite makeup item in 2011 has to be my everyday foundation:

Chanel Perfection Lumiere - reviewed here for

I love that you can work the formula with a light hand and wear it like a tinted moisturizer or layer it on a bit more for traditional coverage. This is the first Chanel foundation I have found that matches my skin very well and hasn't made my skin breakout!

Another great purchase for me was the Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner:

I wear this liner every other day. I love the formula but I really love this sexy bronze liner color even more. I use to shy away from colors like this because I thought they were too light for my skin tone. Boy, was I wrong. I pair it with strong red lips, as well as with glossy nude lips. This color works for all occasions - it's even stunning just by itself. The fact that it's practically budge proof is just a bonus.

My other favorite easy, swipe 'n go eye product had to be the Chanel touch cream shadow, Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Emerveille - soft peach shimmer.

I thought that this would be too light for me but it lights my eyes up nicely, especially when I need to look awake. I reviewed the product here.

A surprise buy for me has to be the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. okay technically not a new item for 2011 but I did buy the latest color from the Holiday collection, Train Bleu:

A stunning and dramatic eggplant shade.

My everyday favorite shade is Bahama and for a product with word Matte in it's title, it is oddly moisturizing!

It is the perfect pink-brown for me!

One last honorable mention - Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes!

I think I've collected about six bottles in 2011. I need to curb myself but it's tough when the awesome creator, Ji Baek rereleases old favorites, Bib (bring it back) on her site. I never had the pleasure to get my nails done at her nail salon, Rescue Beauty Lounge, even when I was in NYC two years ago. She has since closed her doors down but she still has a legion of fans willing to order as many polishes as Ji is willing to crank out. I'm pretty sure once she shuts down for good - there will be an angry mob with pitch forks outside her door. I'll be one of them!

Hands down these are my favorite polishes over the $8 mark. I can stop buying Essie, Zoya and OPI if I just use RBL but who am I kidding? It took me 25 minutes at Ulta yesterday just mulling over the decision whether or not to purchase yet another Essie polishes. I can happily announce that I put it back and walked away! I was already past my $20 limit!

So as far as Beauty Resolutions for 2012 I think wearing more colorful lips is top of my lips. A close second is shopping for more affordable, drugstore beauty.

Starting this week, I'll do another self-imposed challenge:

COLORED LIPS week!! It'll be tough because I love me a pink nude lip. I know I can do this. The best part of colorful lips is that I wear less makeup letting me shave at least five minutes off my primping time. The worst part is the high maintenance. I'll have to check my lips every hour, especially after finishing my water and coffee.

I have to say last year was a good one - but also a time of loss. I lost a dear friend unexpectedly. Those closest to E are still mourning his loss. But I know a bit of him walks with us daily. That  keeps me going and it comforts me.

So goals set forth: remaining positive in times of struggle, get my financial crap straight, shopping more of my makeup stash hiding in my bathroom (ties with budgeting goal), take up a new hobby (knitting), conquering my fear of making homemade pie dough, becoming more fragrance knowledgeable, make more time for friends, run a marathon (5K or half for now) and basically being the best mom and person my daughter and family can be proud of!

Wow, I didn't think I had that many goals! What are some of your self-imposed goals for 2012?


  1. I love Chanel's Emerveille shadow, it's just so easy to wear.

  2. Hi Lucy,
    Agreed - one of the best surprises of the year!

  3. What a monster post (in the best way possible of course!) I love the accessories you've shared, especially the MJ bag. I love the light white snakeskin print! I don't find anything wrong with buying an expensive PVC bag. If anything, I'd prefer to buy higher end plastic (or nylon). They're so much lighter than leather and they're easier to clean. (Also the save-the-animals part of me feels good). The result is still classy because it's high end :) So... win, win, win, and win.

    Oh, and I like the look of the camel peep toes--- they do look comfy despite the height! I hope you keep sharing your shoe and bag finds this year :)

  4. Yes, Dovey this was a bemoth of a post! I also agree that I'm making my vegetarian,vegan and animal loving friends very happy with my stylish PVC purse. I just had to get over my initial sticker shock!

    Also, by trying to limit my cosmetic purchases this year I hope to acquire more shoes/handbags!