What Jenny's Reading

{July 5, 2014}   Haul Post, and Stephanie Plum!

Yesterday I was supposed to go to the beach to celebrate the Fourth with my family.  It was going to be awesome – sun, sand, great drinks, fireworks, and of course time spent with the fam.  Sadly, it turned into a day of driving around looking for parking, and then giving up, and then finding a bar on the water (yea!) to at least do a little celebrating before I went home, defeated.  Pro tip: there isn’t always a lot of public parking on the beach!

Anyway, because I expected to be at the beach all day, I loaded up my Nook.  So at least I had a fun beachy book to read yesterday: Janet Evanovich’s Top Secret Twenty-One.  Do any of you read the Stephanie Plum series?  I started them several years ago, I think when I was in college.  The books are fun and fluffy – I usually finish them in a day or two.  They’re pretty formulaic, and I got sick of them a few years ago, but was drawn back in and now I love them again!  I loved the one with the barbecue cookout storyline, I think Fifteen?

So I read that yesterday and today I went shopping, because I was looking for some non-makeup things.  Specifically, I’m going to be officiating a wedding next month and was looking for my dress, and I also needed some bows to make the bride’s rehearsal bouquet.  And surprisingly, a few extra things crept in.  I started at the dollar store:


I got some French manicure guides, figured I could use them for nail art or something.  And the star tattoos, I wanted to try them, they’re much smaller and I think better suited for nails than the ones I reviewed a couple months ago.  The toothpaste was pretty cheap, and I like that brand.  I figure it’s probably okay since it’s a brand, right?  I must confess, I don’t buy a lot of stuff at the dollar store, but I went there searching for bows (I did find those too!) and realized I needed toothpaste, and it snowballed from there.  You know they sell clothes there?  I don’t know how I feel about wearing dollar store clothes.  (Jenny’s financial advisor: “If you don’t stop shopping, you will be wearing them anyway!”)

Then I went to the mall and tried on a few dresses.  I found one that was okay, but I want the bride’s approval, so I didn’t buy it yet.  And I stopped by Sephora, of course, because that’s like required when I go to the mall:


I freaking love Sephora.  Besides libraries and book stores, Sephora is my favorite place to go that isn’t a vacation destination.  I’ve read that some people have issues at Sephora, and think the girls who work there are stuck up and unhelpful.  I’ve been to several different Sephoras, and I can say I’ve always had a positive experience.  The people who work there are friendly, helpful, and not intrusive.  They’re quick to recommend products and give samples if they’re available.  Their return policy is excellent, and I have never had an issue swapping things out.  Overall, I’m clearly a fan.

I went in looking for another peel product, as I’ve yet to have luck with many of the others I’ve tried.  The girl who helped me, MJ, was awesome.  She recommended the Derma@home peel you see on the far right, and also helped me understand peels.  I told her the Dr. Gross peel didn’t work, and explained that I’m trying to smooth out my skin’s texture.  MJ told me that certain peels are heavy duty and certain are for maintenance, and the Gross one is maintenance.  The Dr. Jart that she recommended should address my issues, and she told me to bring it back next week if it doesn’t.  She also gave me a very generous sample of the Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads, and said those are maintenance.  So I would use the Dr. Jart once or twice a week, and then the Rescue as needed.  That’s the one with the receipt-looking paper attached to it.  I then got a full size Stila lip glaze in Roseberry.  Here’s a swatch on my lips:

2014-07-05 16.53.21

It’s a transparent, bronze-y color with sparkles.  I like it on its own and I think it would also look great over other colors.  Perfect for summer!

I also picked up a tiny sample of Hourglass matte lip color in Icon.  I’ve wanted to try the Hourglass lip colors for a long time, so I will see how this goes!

Finally, I picked up the 500 point Beauty Insider gift.  I tend to hoard my points and then splurge them, instead of using them every time I buy something.  This was for the Smoked Out Make Up Forever sample, which has a few eye shadow colors, a liquid eyeliner, and two different types of mascara to create a smoky eye.  This is my quest, friends, almost even more so than the perfect red lip.  I want to be able to create a perfect smoky eye by the end of summer!

After my Sephora trip, I went to Nordstrom Rack to look at more dresses.  They really had very little in the way of dresses, and I had decided at this point not to buy anything anyway, as the bride and I are headed out next weekend to search.  Unfortunately, though, I strolled through their accessory department before leaving:


Okay, you guys.  If you have a Nordstrom Rack anywhere near you, GO!  I paid just about $55 for everything you see here, plus a Stila concealer that I forgot to take a picture of.  I don’t know if this stuff is being discontinued or whatever, but these deals were way too good for me to pass up!

Stila is fast becoming my favorite makeup brand.  I love everything I’ve tried from them.  Right to left: Stila Coming Clean cleanser, Stila Glowing Reviews scrub, ButterLondon Jack the Lad, Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Electric, Stila Stay All Day Wet-to-Set Eyeshadow Trio in Desert Sunset, and the Stila lip glaze pack of Peach Blossom, Pink Orchid, and Lilac.

I picked up the Butter because it was just $6 and those are typically $15.  I AM NOT MADE OF STONE, PEOPLE.  That was the only color they had, and I guess in retrospect that’s good, as I do still need to buy my wedding party dress.

The Stila cleansers quickly followed.  They were less than $9/each, and I know for a fact that if I bought them at Ulta they would be more like $30.  Full size, too!  The lip glazes were just pretty (and like $8), and I wanted to try the eyeliner ($4) and the eyeshadow trio ($8).  I forced myself to stop after that.  Yes, surprisingly I do have willpower.  Just not very much!

Each Nordstrom Rack gets different stuff, I know, but mine had a huge variety of Stila, Smashbox, Two Faced, Nyx, Philosophy, and others.  All hugely discounted, all with no real imperfections that I could see, except that some of the boxes were a bit damaged.  The product, however, was just perfect.

I can’t go food shopping this week, and I’ll soon need a larger makeup storage system, but I REGRET NOTHING.

(Jenny’s financial advisor: *Rolls eyes and pours a stiff drink* as Jenny explains why these things were more important than food.)

Gotta go make an awesome bouquet now.  Happy weekend!!


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