May 2017 Ipsy Glambag Review

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

At long last (well, a little over a year, to be more precise), I think my love affair with Ipsy is coming to an end. Nothing has changed about the service and I still think it can be a fun way to treat yourself every month, but my makeup collection is expansive. I have reached the point where it is rare for me to receive something I don't already own in a similar shade and finish. This month even contained two items I very specifically wanted and was very specifically excited to try, but ... not because I need  it. I was just curious about the formula! While for many people that is the point of beauty subscriptions, I have a humongous backlog of samples that I am never going to use up. I will definitely still be receiving a June bag, but I am actually considering cancelling for July ... at least for a little while! 

Saturday Reading List

Saturday, May 27, 2017


This article on the positive trends in retouching images. "Instead of reshaping, shellacking, and airbrushing women to look more like model versions of one another (thin, tan, young, and tall with shiny hair and clear skin), the retouching trend today is more focused on making sure you see individual quirks, without distraction."

This blog post from my school has been helpful to me lately (though not a complete cure) as a reminder that we all feel inadequately prepared to tackle jobs from time to time - or often, or always! 

This opinion piece from early May highlighting the leadership qualities exhibited by Sally Yates & Condoleezza Rice, which seem to be missing in most of our current administration.  

This homage to my professional woman fashion muse, Stella Gibson (played by Gillian Anderson in The Fall).

This essay from The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness, which discusses ambivalence toward having children in our modern world. So ... me. 

Lip Hoarder Part 4

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lip Hoarder Part Four with Nyx RealHer Too Faced Stila Burt's Bees bareMinerals NARS Urban Decay and Colourpop

It has been so exceptionally difficult to motivate myself to do a damn thing that isn't work lately, including keeping up with posts I'd like to share (obviously). My Lip Hoarder challenge has been going relatively well, though May has been a month full of being too lazy or busy to apply any makeup whatsoever, so progress is happening slowly. I have whittled my way down (after this point) to a myriad of shades that are a little vampy or out-there, so wearing new shades has started to become a challenge in and of itself. However, I don't want to give up yet, and it's interesting to see which shades I miss the most - like a weird orangey-coral from Nyx that I would never expect to be the lipstick I long to wear. You'll notice in round four that I tended toward Spring-y shades with a dash of alternative colors thrown in intermittently. 

May Check-In

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sorry for my lag in posting. I feel like I have been losing my mind a bit lately, and between work and school I have had little time for the small things that bring me joy - my self-care habits, like this blog or long baths or writing in my planner. I've been failing tremendously in some aspects: my stress shopping is going wild, for example, and I keep clicking "Confirm Purchase" on things I know I do not need. However, I have also had some big life successes. It may be a normal thing for most people, but I made an appointment to see a doctor about my anxiety, I actually went and was prescribed medication. This is a huge deal for me. I have dealt with various manifestations of debilitating anxiety since I was a kid and it is so empowering to have taken this step.

So, no small goals check-in this month. I can't handle reviewing failures right now. No goals to set for now, either. I am trying to focus on each day individually until I feel like I can breathe again. Hopefully I'll be able to post more soon, as posting really is a fun release for me, but we will see about carving out the time.

Thanks for reading.

xx Abbie

April Birchbox Review

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Well, well, well Birchbox, funny seeing you here. Y'all know how I feel about Birchbox (overrated, under delivers), but every now and then they run a promo that is worth paying $10 for. I ended up getting one sample I have really been wanting to try, too, so it wasn't a total wash. However, if I were you, I would wait until Birchbox is running a free gift with subscription deal that is worth it to you (like Lipstick Queen lipsticks or, in this case, the Smashbox mascara) and subscribe then. That way, you are getting a higher end beauty product for $10, plus samples. That's the only situation that makes Birchbox "worth it" for me. That being said, here is my April Birchbox!

Glossier Basics Review

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sorry to admit it, but I had no interest in Glossier. Once I decided to order from Glossier, I had no interest in liking anything I'd purchased. They catered to me too hard - milennial pink, minimal aesthetic, all these cool girls with their unbrushed hair and full brows and perfect skin ... the vibe is a modern girl cookie cutter, and I didn't want to fall for it. 

And yet, in my not-wanting-to-fall-for-it, I found myself spending $50+ on their website one dull day, you know, just to see. I knew I wouldn't like it. It would break me out or look like nothing on my face. I was sure it was all hype - Glossier probably hired tons of pretty beauty bloggers to hawk their products and they can turn a profit strictly from appealing to a 20-something woman's need to be in without actually putting in any effort. 

Effort is definitely not cool.

My package arrived significantly quicker than I expected, considering I chose free shipping. Like, three days? Maybe? And I've had a couple of weeks now to test out the three products I ordered, so here is my totally genuine, un-sponsored review of some Glossier basics. 

Airbnbs Around the World for Less Than $100 A Night

Monday, April 24, 2017


Clearly, I am not a travel blogger. Yet. It's always been a dream of mine, but between work and school I can barely find the time to make the two hour trip to visit my family, let alone fly across the world. However, I do daydream a lot and I read travel blogs a lot and I plan future trip goals a lot and one thing I have noticed over the past few months of reading travel blogs is that when bloggers say "affordable" to describe boutique locations, they clearly mean a different kind of "affordable" than my student loan repayments can accommodate. It's totally cool if you want to stay in a $400 per night treehouse in Bali, but I'm trying to avoid wallowing in debt until I'm in my grave. 

Through my own scouring of the interweb, I have found some of the coolest, most interesting places for super reasonable prices. I chose to focus specifically on Airbnb  (though Booking.com is also a great resource with helpful search tools) and I am only listing properties that are less than $100 per night to have the entire house (or apartment) to yourself.  They may not be the peak of luxury or they may be off the beaten path, but they are beautiful, inspiring, and within my puny budget! Ready? Happy daydreaming!  

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