My Go-To Sites for Beauty Product Reviews

Best Sites for Beauty Product ReviewsI’ll admit it, I am a sucker for reviews. On everything. I want to know the ins and outs of each and every single thing I’m buying before I pull the trigger. Yes, it can be overwhelming, paralyzing at times, but in most situations it pays off. ESPECIALLY when it comes to beauty products. For one thing, because most non-drugstore products don’t come cheap. Also, the market is SO saturated, so you usually don’t know what you’re getting and if it even does what it claims it does.

With all that said, I research the sh*t out of every beauty product I purchase. I need to make sure I know what I’m putting on my face & hair, and that the product is worth the price. Call me crazy, but I check reviews across a few sites for different perspective.

Amazon

I check Amazon for reviews on most things, and more recently started checking for beauty product reviews too. They don’t have reviews on all things beauty, but when you do find the product you’re looking for the reviews listed are thorough and descriptive. People writing reviews on Amazon really put the effort in. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m glad they keep cranking. Amazon isn’t the first place I go for reviews, but more of a last gut check to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Beautypedia

This site is my holy grail. I don’t buy anything without checking Beautypedia. I could be in line at Sephora checking out, and looking up review for everything I’m buying on here. What’s special about it? They have a team of experts that evaluate each product in detail. Some things they check for: it actually does what it claims, it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, it’s worth the price, it’s packaged in a way that preserves the powerful ingredients it contains. It’s helped me pick up on red flags when shopping beauty. For example, did you know that any skincare product with a strong fragrance is bad news? That the best form of vitamin C for skin is ascorbic acid in high concentrations (15-20%) and low pH? If you take one thing out of this post…it’s to check out this site!

Dermstore

I came across Dermstore on the hunt for my all-time favorite serum, and realized that I had stumbled upon my next go-to site for reviews. There are a TON of reviews available for each product (my serum alone has over 600!), and I like that it tells you how many customers have purchased the product. Creepy, I know, but I like to know this kind of stuff! The reviews are not as informative as what you would find on Amazon, but it’s still nice to see the sheer # of reviews and the overall rating people are giving each product. You can sort by “top rated” products or “best sellers”, another nice-to-have feature.  PS – they offer 20% off your first purchase, just a heads up in case you’re on the hunt for a little somethin’ somethin’!

Sephora

Last but not least, Sephora! My favorite place to shop beauty. Sephora nails it in many categories, from their loyalty program to customer service to product offering. BUT, another less talked about thing they do well is encourage their customers to review the products they purchased. Yes, I’m talking about those annoying reminder emails they send you to fill out a review…aren’t you glad someone is filling them out?! I couldn’t be more grateful, because when shopping online at Sephora, that is the first thing I sort by in each category. I love that they feature details about the reviewer – age, skin or hair type, etc. The only thing to be mindful of is that most products get a positive overall rating, so be sure to read through the negative reviews (if they exist) & then check it up against one of the other sites I listed to be sure it’s legit!

PS – My latest beauty craze and tips on getting the dewy skin we all crave!Best Sites for Beauty Reviews

How to Wear a Power Suit

How to Wear a Power Suit

Suit: Vintage YSL (a lucky find from a Vintage Garage event), I couldn’t find something like it but you can pair a midi skirt with a cropped blazer for a similar look! | Sock Boots: Zara | Beanie: I picked this up in Berlin a few years back, but here’s a similar one | Lipstick: Mac, Chili

I’ve been waiting all year for this. Secretly, I’ve built up my stash of vintage power suits and have been waiting for the right moment to bust them out. Now is the TIME. My first suit purchase was actually this blazer (yes, it comes with pants!). I’m working on tapering the pants as they currently have a wide leg. TBD on that. Hoping to get that done so I can rock that bad boy soon.

Now, back to this suit. Vintage Yves Saint Laurent from the 70s. The previous owner sold it to me herself – we had a moment. I think she was very excited that I was excited about it, and that this beauty was given a second life. From the stitching to the buttons to the colors of the wool…it’s a stunning set. AND, it fits me perfectly. I didn’t even have to tailor it. Meant to be.

You are probably thinking to yourself, “I don’t know how to pull this off”. I thought the same thing, and here I am. Here’s how to wear a power suit. you can do it…

Continue reading…    

My Favorite Podcasts of the Moment

My Favorite Podcasts of the Moment

I go back and forth on listening to podcasts. I was initially introduced to the podcast world back when Serial came out, and was instantly obsessed. Hence, my initial list of favorite podcasts that I shared about two years ago…funny enough, around this time of year! I’ve been back on the podcasts lately, it all began when I started walking to and from the office a few months back. The walks have ended but my podcast listening hasn’t, so I think it’s safe to say I’m into it. Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately:

Continue reading…    

Beer Bread Made Easy

Beer Bread Made Easy

I made bread. That’s right…I made BREAD. Who am I?! I never imagined that I’d be able to enjoy a piece of bread that I made my very self, but it happened. Let me explain, as I definitely needed a lot of help.

A couple of months back, I visited Kansas City with Visit KC. Yes, the trip was awesome. If you’re thinking of going (which you definitely should!), here are some things to do and places to eat while you’re there. One of my favorite activities on the KC trip was getting a tour of Boulevard Brewery. For one, the actual space of the brewery was really cool. The decor & branding was so on point, and the energy was awesome – jam packed & so lively! At the end of the tour, we headed to the tasting room to sample the beer (the best part of any brewery tour, let’s be honest).

One of the beers that I tried was the Tank 7, and it just stuck with me. The flavor is intense but in the best way possible. It’s fruity, hoppy and peppery all at the same time. On our way out of the brewery, we stopped in the gift shop (which was SO cute by the way!), and I figured it was probably a good time to buy Leo a little gift from my trip. I came across this adorable beer bread kit from I Loaf You, a KC brand that puts together these homemade bread kits to help people like me make their own bread.

Continue reading…    

My Fall Bucket List

My Fall Bucket List

Blazer: Vintage Escada (from one of my favorite vintage shops!), I couldn’t find a leather blazer, but here‘s a navy moto jacket! | Jeans: Levi’s, similar hereSilver Sandals: Massimo Dutti, sold out (similar here and here) | White Tee: Frank & Oak | Sunglasses: Celine, more affordable option here

It may not feel like fall yet, but it’s definitely here. I’ve been rocking fall clothes & sweating my ass off, but I don’t care. I refuse to wear summer gear in October. It’s just not happening. NO MORE OPEN TOES. Done…except for these silver sandals, though. They just went too well with this navy blazer. I had to do it. But after this, I’m done. For real.

Continue reading…    

The Beauty Trend I’m Loving: Metallic Lipstick

The Beauty Trend I’m Loving: Metallic Lipstick

I’d like to think that I don’t wear much makeup – I stick with bronzer, concealer, mascara, eyeliner (sometimes) & blush. That’s pretty much it. If I’m looking to spruce things up a bit, I pop on my favorite lipstick of the moment, and I particularly love rocking a bold lip. Since lipstick is my go-to in elevating my look, I’m always close to the latest trends and bounce on them immediately. You saw my favorite lipsticks of the summer a couple of months ago! Today, I’m sharing the beauty trend I’m loving lately…METALLIC LIPSTICK.

Continue reading…    

Vintage Shopping in Chicago: My Go-To Spots

Vintage Shopping in Chicago: My Go-To Spots

Blazer: Vintage, similar hereSlip Dress: Zara, similar here| Velvet Boots: Sam EdelmanClutch: Vintage, this one is also chainmail but a little different (I like it more than the one I have!) | Lipstick: Milk Lip Metal

Over the last 5 years, my vintage purchases have increased exponentially. The first piece of vintage clothing I purchased was this blazer 4 years ago. I used to be hesitant in buying vintage clothes…until I realized the quality I was getting for a fraction of the price of something new. Let’s just say the cleaners have become my new best friend!

Outside of being more affordable, my favorite thing about buying vintage is the fact that each piece of one of a kind. I love the feeling of finding an awesome vintage item and knowing that I’m the ONLY one who has it! The exclusivity of each purchase makes for a thrilling shopping experience – such a good feeling. I’m at the point now where 70% of what I buy is vintage, and there’s no turning back. I will say, though, that finding the right places to shop vintage is key. There are plenty of vintage stores, but depending on where you go, you’ll find yourself leaving the store defeated and confused (“why can I not find anything good?! What’s wrong with me?!”). The key is knowing WHERE to shop. That said, today I’m sharing my go-to spots for vintage shopping in Chicago.

Continue reading…    

A Minimalist Vinyl Record Storage Idea

A Minimalist Vinyl Record Storage Idea

We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to enhance our living room lately. You probably remember this little corner from a post I shared a few weeks back (our speaker DIY – these used to be black!). Leo had put his old records in my mom’s garage for storage 2 years ago – believe me, I got a reminder from her monthly that they were still in there – and we finally found a new home for them!

We all know about the Ikea Kallax shelving system. I’ve seen this thing EVERYWHERE and serving different purposes – as a bookshelf, a cubby at the gym, a storage piece . You can basically transform it to fit any purpose, and in this case, we used it for record storage. The records fit so perfectly in the little cubbies, and we were able to place Leo’s record player (he was very excited about this purchase) on top. It was a nice touch to the retro feel we had going with the speakers. The only thing that we weren’t sold on? The fact that everyone knew this Ikea piece, and that it just kind of looked, you know, basic.

Continue reading…    

#NYFW Street Style Trends | Spring 2018

#NYFW Street Style Trends | Spring 2018

Shorts: Vintage Levi’s, similar here | White Tee: Frank & Oak | Shoes: Zara, similar hereBlazer: Vintage, similar here | Necklace: Zara, similar here

New York fashion week feels like ages ago, but I realized that I never did my standard round up post of the street style trends! Typically, I find the trends after perusing through all of the street style pics..but this time around, I saw everything first hand. As crazy & overwhelming NYFW was, the most fun part was the inspiration you’re surrounded by, both on the runway & on the street. Walking in and out of shows may have been my favorite part of it all, with the street style photographers crowded at the corners, waiting for the next street style star to walk on by. Here are 5 trends I saw everywhere the few days I was there! I’ve pulled together my favorite pieces from each trend so that you can shop it too, if your heart desires.

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I can’t believe it’s already October! Where has this year gone? It’s officially fall…which is great because I love fall…but it also means I’m turning 30 soon. WOAH. That’s kind of a big deal right? A month from now, I’ll be going on three decades of life. Crazy to think about.

I remember when I was younger, people would say after you pass a certain age, the years just FLY by. The older you get, the faster time goes. I catch myself saying things like “oh, 15 years ago I went to…”. WHAT?! 15 years ago now refers to a time when I was a coherent & “almost” responsible adult…it’s no longer referencing a moment in time where my biggest concern in life was when the next I Love Lucy marathon would air (yes, I was into I Love Lucy, and no I’m not ashamed of it). How times change.

Surprisingly enough…I feel alright about it. Six months ago I was in panic mode, but now I’m okay. I thought about why I would be afraid/sad to turn 30, and really, I’m quite happy with where I’m at in life. In fact, I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin, and it’s a good feeling. So, what’s the deal? There’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m ready to embrace 30 people. BRING IT.

Continue reading…