Clothing Brands You May Have Wondered About

January 30, 2017
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There are so many different clothing startups these days, I don’t even know how you can keep up with them all. Recently I decided to give some of them a try to see if they lived up to the hype that surrounds them. The results turned out to be mixed but at least I was able to find some brands that delivered on their promises while others didn’t.

First brand that you may have heard of is Girlfriend Collective leggings. These are taking over social media and have endless amount of people impatiently waiting to snag a pair. For the last 6 months (maybe even longer, I’m not sure when they started) they have been giving away “free” leggings. They aren’t exactly free, because you have to pay $20 for shipping from their factory in Vietnam. Lots of people are doubting the fact that shipping costs that much and etc, etc, but I was interested in them because they were gonna be $20 and I don’t care if that’s the legging price or the shipping price. These are supposed to go on sale this spring and the retail price is expected to be $70. The catch is that when you order your free pair you have to wait around 2-3 months to get them because of how far away the factory is located.

Well, I ordered and waited and ended up receiving my pair last week. They turned out much better than expected. I was very torn about what size to get, and ended up going with small instead of medium. They fit perfectly and they are a lot more comfortable than some of the other leggings I have, like Lululemon. The material is a lot different and it feels softer to the touch. I ended up using my other email address to order a second pair of leggings which should be arriving sometime this spring. So if you’ve been curious about these leggings and you need a solid black pair I think these ones are a great choice.

thinx

Next up is ThirdLove  which is a brand that claims to have the most comfortable t-shirt bra ever. I’ve heard endless ads on podcasts until I finally cracked and decided to give it a go. They have an app which can apparently tell which size you need so I got the app and trusted it with the sizing. It ended up giving me the size of 34A, which seemed interesting but I went with it.

The cool thing about this company is that you’re able to try on the bra and wear it around for 30 days, if during that time you decide you don’t like the bra you can return it without a penalty. I’m always on the market for a comfortable bra so I had the highest of hopes for it. When it arrived I was anxious to try it on, only to discover that this bra is way too small for me. So the sizing failed me and I unfortunately had to return it. The material was very soft though so that was good, but I don’t think I will be ordering a replacement because I think that I’m about to jump onto the bralette train.

Last but not least is Thinx (this is a referral link) which is period proof underwear. If you’ve been on an NYC subway lately you may have seen endless ads for those all over the place. So I finally gave in and decided to give them a try, after all it couldn’t hurt and if they work then my life was going to become a lot easier. I ordered a pair to start with someone’s random referral link and I was able to get them for $10 cheaper, which was nice. I decided to go with the sport style, which is their medium absorbency underwear.

I was excited to get them in the mail and couldn’t wait to test them out! As it turns out they work very well and definitely replace panty liners. They are also great for lighter days when you need a little protection. It sounds like a weird experience but it’s not as odd as it sounds and you don’t end up feeling like there’s anything funky going on in your undies. I’m fully converted now so I’m ordering their hip hugger style as we speak because reusable is better, if you’re catching my drift.

 

Have you tried any of these brands? What are some startups that you like?

January 2017 Birch Box

January 24, 2017
birch box

This is my first time ever getting a subscription box! I’ve managed to stay away from them for a pretty long time, and I guess it’s a little disappointing that I finally cracked. The whole thing just seems like lots of fun, especially since I love trying out new samples. January box was pretty good, but it’s only my first one so I don’t have any other boxes to compare it to.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner – I didn’t even try it, because I don’t do liquid eyeliner. I’ve tired and failed so many times that I’ve stopped attempting. But I did use it to draw on my hand and it has great staying power and it’s a very black. So if you’re into eyeliners that might be something to check out.

Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer – I loved the smell of this moisturizer right away, very fruity without being too overpowering. That part was enjoyable, but I didn’t find that it moisturized as much as promised. It didn’t have SPF which made me iffy about using it during the day, and it wasn’t a deep moisturizer that I’d like to use for night time. Overall it was good but I wouldn’t purchase the full size.

Davines Naturaltech – Shampoo, conditioner, and serum spray. All of them smelled like lemons, which was pleasant. Sulfate free, which I always appreciate but the shampoo didn’t lather as much as I would have liked. The conditioner was okay, the good thing about it was the fact that I was able to wash it out without troubles. The serum spray was okay, overall I couldn’t tell much difference in volume that they added. I don’t think I would purchase this particular set but I’m curious about other hair products by this brand.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3 Minute Peel – This was the worst because I couldn’t get it to work. Basically you just have to keep rubbing it in for like 3 minutes, which to me sounds like too much work. The reviews are very positive though, so maybe I will give this peel another shot.

Milk Makeup Lip+Cheek – I’ve seen Milk in Sephora before but never took the time to inspect their offerings. I like this little guy, but only for my cheeks. I found that the color was too sheer and washed out to look good on my lips. Very easy to work with for the cheeks though, just a quick dab and then I rub it in a bit to tone it down. I would consider repurchasing this in a full size if I needed a cream blush.

Bonus Milk Makeup Highlighter – I got this as a bonus for signing up, which was nice! I like this highlighter and it reminds me a lot of Watt’s Up from Benefit. Same champagne color, though this one might be a tad lighter.

Overall Birch Box seems like a fun experience, and for $10 a month I feel no guilt in subscribing to it! If you’re curious to try it out you can use my link to sign up for it and give it a go, full disclosure though, I will very slightly benefit from you signing up and you’ll get 50% off your first box. My mom wanted to sign up for it so badly but they don’t send to Canada anymore :(

Have you tried Birch Box? What did you think of it?

December Reading Wrap Up

January 19, 2017
december wrap up

December was an alright reading month for me, I feel like I took my sweet time writing about it though so here it is!

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley – (3/5) I was looking forward to reading this book because it was supposed to be super intense, spoiler alert, it wasn’t! It was a very bland book with basic characters who didn’t interest me. The ending and the “resolution” to the whole thing was very underwhelming and wasn’t at all shocking or unbelievable.

The Bell Jar  by Sylvia Plath – (4/5) Basically this is about a young woman who slowly goes crazy. I couldn’t tell that she was crazy, I guess I probably wasn’t reading it that closely. It was very well written though and was an interesting story  involving relationships and friendships.

Couple Next Door  by Shari Lapena – (4/5) This book sounded promising and it sort of lived up to the expectations. The beginning was definitely pretty intense but I found that it all died down and the mystery unravelled halfway through. Overall it’s a decent read and there is a fair amount of suspense in it!

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – (4/5) I’ve seen this being compared to “And Then There Were None” somewhere, and that’s extremely inaccurate because the latter is an amazing read. This one was decent but a little bit predictable, I couldn’t tell who was the person in question but bit by bit you get the idea before what’s going on is actually revealed. Good book but had the potential to be better.

Have you read any good books lately?

My Trip to the Dermatologist

January 12, 2017
Dermatologist

I don’t think I’ve ever been to the dermatologist before. Actually I have been, forever ago when I was a little kid and had troubles that involved mosquito bites and itching. Anyways, I’m a pretty freckly person with a bunch of moles, which makes me a prime target for shady stuff. I’ve been constantly thinking dark thoughts whenever I looked at a mole that seemed suspicious so one day I just decided to finally make an appointment and visit a dermatologist.

I know it’s a huge hassle, making any kind of doctor’s appointment sucks. Finding new doctors is an issue too because there are so many different ones out there, moving places doesn’t help either. I’ve been using Zocdoc which is a website that lets you browse local doctors/dentists and also shows their ratings. Through there I found my primary care doctor, dentist, and now my dermatologist. Another crappy thing about going to a specialist is the fact that most insurance doesn’t cover 100% of it. I know mine doesn’t, it only covers 80% which is really painful especially for someone who’s not used to paying anything for heath care. Anyhow, I ended up biting the bullet and scheduling an appointment.

My experience was great! The office was nice, the dermatologist was wonderful. I scheduled a yearly full body check up, so I had to strip to my underwear and wear one of those awkward paper coverups. I decided to go to a female dermatologist because I’m a sexist like that (kidding!),  I prefer female doctors and dentists. Her and the nurse made sure to inspect me from head to toe, and they found a freckle on my back that looked questionable. They suggested that I get it removed and sent off to a lab, so I did. It was quick and painless, she gave me a numbing shot which didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel her “shaving” the freckle off either. So if you’re ever in that predicament don’t be scared, it’s a quick and easy process. To save you the suspense the result of the lab came saying that it was a mildly abnormal mole, meaning that I’ll live. They gave me an option to remove the cells or just let it go and I decided to let it go and come back in 6 months. Fun fact, the freckle that turned out to be troublesome was the most mild looking thing on my body. I’ve got much more intense looking moles that I was worried about that turned out to be all good.

The dermatologist shared a bunch of interesting information with me about taking care of my skin, and I figured it would be interesting to share.

  • She told me to wear a rash guard on the beach. So basically no bikini but instead a long sleeve cover up to avoid catching those rays. It sounds pretty extreme but I guess it’s her job to make patients aware of some serious sun safety. Luckily JCrew has some cute ones.
  • Beach umbrellas aren’t a good enough protection from the sun.
  • Wear a hat in the summer or always apply sunscreen on the area where you part your hair. Apparently it’s a very overlooked area that gets a lot of sun damage.
  • Wear at least a 30SPF on my face, neck, and chest. I didn’t tell her that I always forget my neck and chest but she knew that I had some sun damage in that area from doing a shitty job with sunscreen.
  • If you’re struggling with dry skin on your body to only apply soap to your armpits, privates, and feet. Everything else doesn’t have to be lathered with soap. Good to know!
  • Apply body lotion to damp skin after the shower because it will absorb better.
  • She recommended two brands of daily facial moisturizer with SPF CeraVe and EltaMD

Overall it was a good experience and I recommend that you do it at least once just for the peace of mind. I also liked getting a bunch of free skincare samples, and it’s through one of the samples that I’ve discovered a miracle product that is Aquaphor which can heal pretty much anything.

Have you ever been to the dermatologist?

Fresh Skincare

January 9, 2017
fresh

Last month was my birthday so I had to get over to Sephora to collect my birthday gift. I’ve been a fan of their previous gifts, the NARS lip pencils which are excellent, but they’ve changed things up and now they offer other stuff. I had to choose between Marc Jacobs makeup samples or the Fresh skincare so I decided to go with the skincare since that’s what I’m into more these days rather than makeup.

Umbrian Clay Purifying Facial Toner – I’ve been on the market for a toner after not using one for a month or so, I badly needed one to help with some breakouts that I was battling. This toner is very different from any other ones that I’ve tried in the past because you have shake it up (the clay separates) and it comes out on the cotton swab brown in color. It’s different but I think it really helped clear up my skin and overall it feels very pleasant. I don’t know that I will stick to it because I want to keep trying different toners but it’s a good option for troubled skin.

Soy Face Cleanser – The most amazing cleanser I’ve ever used. I’m going out and buying a full sized one as soon as I run out of my current Glossier cleanser. It also has a gel consistency but it has a pleasant cucumber smell and is very gentle on the face. A little bit goes a long way and it removes makeup very well. Best of all it doesn’t ever sting my eyes whenever I’m removing makeup, and that’s important. It’s pricy for a cleanser but the sample lasted me a good month so I think the full sized one will be worth it.

Rose Face Mask – Great mask, I wish it was overnight rather than just a 10 minute mask but I feel like it does a decent job moisturizing in a short period of time. It smells good and you don’t need a lot of it but I don’t think I would get the full sized one because I prefer sleeping masks.

Have you tried anything by Fresh? What’s your favorite thing?

My Love Of Thrift Shopping

January 5, 2017
Thrifts

Ever since moving to the city I’ve had access to a great variety of thrift shops. Thrifting hasn’t really been a thing that I was into until recently, because I guess I was picturing it to be kind of like a Goodwill filled with raggity Old Navy hoodies. All of that changed when I got a chance to explore some nice thrift shops that are filled with brands that I enjoy. I’ve decided to buy less but better quality stuff, so now before I make a purchase I try to consider if I really love the item or if I’m just getting it for the sake of buying something.

I’ve had the best experiences at a thrift shop called Crossroads, of which were are 2 locations in my area. First one is in the Flatiron district and the second one is in Williamsburg. I prefer the Williamsburg location as the selection tens to be a lot better, for unknown to me reasons. I haven’t purchased that much stuff there but the highlight of my browsing were Madewell jeans that looked like they haven’t been worn and fit me perfectly. I guess rummaging through everything in hopes of coming across a hidden gem is half the fun of the whole experience.

While thrift shopping is not for everyone, which is understandable, I really like getting a great bargain. I think the best bargain I ever got was a Zara Basics dress for around $6 which looked excellent and I ended up wearing it to a wedding in November. Another great steal I got was an American Apparel sweater for around $10 but which retails for much more than that because I’ve purchased that same one in the past. So overall it’s worth it whenever you come across excellent pieces!

Do you like thrift shopping? What are your favorite stores? What’s the best deal you’ve ever got?