November hit heavy on the ole wallet:
Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Vest
Banana Republic Textured Cropped Turtleneck (in charcoal) and Coated Shine Mini
Aerie Romantic Lace Bralette in black (shown in navy)
Hue super opaque tights, black
NYX Powder Blush PB01 Mocha
A soft-haired blush brush from Marshalls
NYC Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, dark brown
Good news: only the vest was full-priced. Banana had a 50% off sale on the sweater and 30% off on the skirt. American Eagle Outfitters/Aerie had 40% off.
Meh news: The vest, tights and makeup were all regular-priced. Silly me got too eager in New York; I could have waited two weeks and got the ULD vest for $30. T_T.
Notes about the bralette: I’ve wanted to try one for a long time, but I kept waffling over it all throughout the summer which would have been an excellent time to test it out. Kept waiting for more than buy-one-get-one-50% off sales. I didn’t want to pay very much for what isn’t really a workhorse bra for me–I like my regular wired t-shirt bras for most situations. But bralettes look pretty and fancy and in my imagination, I am a pretty and fancy lady. I tried some Target bralettes from the Gilligan and O’Malley and Xhilaration lines but their construction and fit was not up to snuff (rough lace, and unflattering.) Enter the Aerie bralette. It arrived and while I thought the extra lace at the band was elegant, IRL it’s not as flattering on me as I would have wanted. The lace is also a bit itchy at the tops of the cups and on the band. :( I returned it yesterday. Try looking again, Kristina.
For those of you with eligible American Express credit cards, you may want to check out Shoprunner. It seems to be a shopping service that offers discounts as well as free 2-day shipping (similar to Amazon Prime’s offering) to a host of partner retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters. I took advantage of Shoprunner as I have an eligible AMEX card. Ordered my stuff on Tuesday 11/25, package arrived Friday 11/28. Not too shabby, Shoprunner!
Makeup mini-update: The Five-Minute Face is evolving. I’ve noticed that I look beat-up and pale at work after some long nights. I’m happy with my brows and my BB cream + pressed powder scheme is enough coverage for daily life, though I still want to eventually figure something more long-lasting for parties (with tons of dancing, because I’m shameless.) Enter blush. I’m trying this NYX Powder Blush which comes highly recommended by friends and family in the universally-flattering Mocha shade, which doesn’t look brown by any means.
Blush + tiny bit of eyeball pinstriping, lip balm, and brow shenanigans.
This isn’t too hard after all. It’s just muscle memory, right? With the holiday I’ve been wearing a little bit every time I go out with my family, just for practice and to get used to seeing it on me. I like the addition and the NYX price point is really fair. As I am not at ALL a powerhouse makeup consumer, this tool and compact should last pretty long. As for the eyeliner pencil, I’m hoping that the NYC pencil does not break as I am trying to sharpen it. I have yet to find an eyeliner pencil that did not suffer catastrophic crumbling upon sharpening. *crosses fingers* Do you have any favorite tough-as-nails eyeliner pencils? I’m willing to spend if it’s long-lasting and not prone to waste (breaking.)
Some musings on shopping and prioritization:
Something I’d like to work on or at least understand about myself: I noticed that while I make shopping lists and try to prioritize buys by time of need and buying when there is a deal, there are still times where I let certain items jump to the front of the list, for a myriad of reasons. The Banana Republic purchases were a bit unplanned; I had less than three days from the initial thought/desire to dress up for the holidays to looking around in-store and finally purchasing the two items I came away with. I usually can wait two weeks or more until I “forget” the item and end up not buying it. But this particular buy was accelerated and I hope that the short amount of review time won’t cost me regret in the long run–as in the sweater ends up not well-used or the skirt had a flaw I overlooked in my haste to have an outfit ready.
Why did I let it jump to the front of the list? I distinctly remember feeling like I had a deadline–my family’s dinner party, for example. I also had a vague musing that I would wear it to a work function, but that isn’t for another two weeks. I also remember saying I wanted turtlenecks because of how I didn’t have anything warmth-generating to wear to New York. I depended a lot on a Nike jacket in NY, which isn’t a crime in and of itself, but if I could do it over again I would have liked to wear a nice sweater on some of the days in the city. To look good. And also because while I don’t mind the sportswear look, I do like to look nice. I think sweaters are nice. But why am I focused on fulfilling a need that won’t even come around till the next time I’m in a location that actually requires cashmere and wool? My ordinary life is lived in a dry desert-type climate.
My own armchair analysis of it all is that shopping is still very emotionally linked for me. I buy things to tap into positive feelings. I had a great time traveling and experiencing things I don’t get to do very often. The weather in the East Coast is a novelty for me, so buying a sweater or a down vest can remind me of New York. I associate lox bagels with New York. I got home and tried one from a local shop and it can’t even come close to the lox I had (at Russ and Daughters / at Grey Dog.) I’ve been trying to replicate the experience I lived by purchasing items that give me back that state of mind.
I haven’t decided yet if this is necessarily a good or bad thing. It can definitely affect one’s finances, and more importantly I’m not sure that in the long run this whimsical purchasing really soothes the root of the buying, which is I want to experience more things. The thrill of a sale, or searching through stores for the “perfect” skirt is temporary. What I really want more than a charcoal sweater is the experience of living.
I almost can’t stand how introspective this got so I’ll wrap it up here for now. None of what I’ve just yakked out is new necessarily, but it’s eerie to find it so applicable to myself at the moment. I want to experience more of life. Consumption is a part of novel experiences. How does one keep emotion’s inexorable power in check while acknowledging and fulfilling reasonable needs?