Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adrien: Wrapped Up.

You know what sucks about gaining a little winter weight? It's knowing that all your spring clothes aren't going to fit. THAT IS JUST THE BEST. Actually, it makes me want to burn down my closet and just buy shoes to wear with my potato sack because shoes always fit. You hear that, clothes? Shoes always fit. Ugh, but a wrap dress is good for this too! A wrap dress is basically a really cute potato sack, happy to expand or contract as you need it to. While I don't agree they're universally flattering, I do think they're versatile.

My most recent favorite wrap dress was found for practically nothing on the sale racks at Ann Taylor and you guys, I can't say enough good things about it. It's well made, machine washable, has a cute DVF Jeanne collar, and, oh yeah, it fits. Get used to this one, I'll be wearing it a lot for the next month or so:

wrap dress: Ann Taylor tweed print dress (fancy similar here)
tights: Spanx Tight-End
boots: BP Trolley ankle boot (fancy similar here)
bag: Marc by Marc Mag Bag (similar MBMJ satchel here on sale!)
necklace: self-made

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Madewell Sweatshirt Dress Review

Okay, you guys know how I've been banging on about the Madewell Sweatshirt dress endlessly, so I finally got a discount code and bought it, hooray! Except, NO. NO no no no no. Non. No.

You guys. I cannot BELIEVE this dress retails for $118. I pulled it out of the package and was completely dismayed. Instead of being the thick fleece-backed terry I was expecting it was flimsy, thin and cheap-feeling. It was like something you'd find in the junior's dress section of Ross. Not the quality I expected from Madewell at all. But, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and tried it on. The zipper up the back is a nice detail and the dress fit. Technically.

 But yeah, no. It was a puffy, Tweedle Dum nightmare on me. Hark (and please excuse the crummy photos - they were originally meant for Marianne's eyes only):

Oh no no no no.

I tried it on with heels because everything looks better in heels:

 It was marginally better from the side:


But only marginally. Really, I think it's just the wrong cut on me. Too short, too pouffy, too young. I'm so disappointed, though, and really hoped it would be an easy winter-to-spring option. Boo. The search continues. I'm definitely considering this one. And maybe this one? We shall see. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Marianne: Moving On.

Here's the thing: I really don't have that much in the way of winter maternity clothing. And I am SO SICK OF WHAT I HAVE. So sick of it. Also? I am ready to burn all the maternity tights in the world, and frankly I've had it with pants. HAD. IT. End the tyranny of pants! And so, I pulled out all my cute springy maternity tops and some cardigans, and this is what you get, world. This is what you get.

Desperate times call for tank tops in February.

While I really have had it with maternity pants, I will admit that these full panel Paige jeans are still pretty comfortable. They are a touch big, and so I spend an inordinate amount of time hitching them up, but what are you going to do? Buy new expensive maternity jeans? No. I AM NOT BUYING ANY MORE MATERNITY CLOTHES. I am DONE. This ship has SAILED.
This smile is a lie, but my hair looks nice.

Hopefully spring will arrive here in TN soon and I can wear dresses without tights and I can burn All The Pants, and things will be happy again.

top: Old Navy Maternity (very similar here and similar print in a non-maternity top here)
jersey cardigan: Forever 21 (super cheap similar here)
jeans: Paige Maternity Laurel Canyon (non-maternity version here)
shoes: Frye (similar here and less expensive studded flats here)
necklace: Kate Spade Hello Sunshine (similar Kate Spade necklace here.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Adrien: Let's All Be Comfortable.

Something is going on with me where I'm suddenly obsessed with All Things Grey and the closer to a sweatshirt it is, the better. I think maybe I've just given up, guys. I want to ride out the rest of winter wrapped in bleak cotton terry comfort. But I really like grey! Especially the pale heather kind of grey, it's like my version of wearing a pastel color. (It's a stretch. Just humor me.)

First, I want to tell you guys that I bought this:

And it's GREAT. I mean, it's a sweatshirt, but slighter cuter than your average, well, sweatshirt. (And Gap has a 30% off code today! Go git you one.)  I also waited impatiently for a coupon code so I could buy this Madewell dress:

It hasn't arrived yet and I fear it's going to be a little young for me, but I love what a great blank canvas it might be. So cute with red or purple or teal, right? Yes. I also have my eye on this one:

It's grey and cotton and has a tiny stripe! All my favorite things. There is also an actual literal sweatshirt dress from Gap:

But we can all just agree that would be a real-life disaster right? Awkwardly placed pockets, and the banding at the bottom just makes me nervous. I thought this one looked pretty awesome in a cozy-sack kind of way:

...until I read the description. The idea, just the IDEA, of wearing angora/wool blend anything makes me want to scratch my skin off. Who can wear that stuff? I mean who? Ugh.

Finally, to round it all off I am feeling like I need a little grey bag. Something neutral but cute. Maybe this:

Oooh. Definitely that.

Friday, February 22, 2013

We Have Confessions.

A: I was tricked into seeing the new Die Hard movie which was predictably awful. Except for this part:

M: There's a new Die Hard? Anyway, I am reserving judgement on that fella until I see more pictures.

A: Yeah. It was unnecessary. Boom:

M: He has very nice arms. The face isn't doing it for me, but nice arms.

A: He is a bit unformed in a Branson kind of way, I agree. But arms! ARMS:

A: We'll pretend his name isn't Jai Courtney.

M: I was literally about to say something about that.

A: Derp.

M: "I have tiny, Hobbity hands!"

M: I have kind of a hot guy confession.


M: Well, the first confession is I watch The Vampire Diaries.

A: Oh please, like we all don't already know that

M: SHUT UP. ANYWAY. I kind of love this guy. I think he taps into the girl in me that loved Spike on Buffy?

A: Well...he's very pretty. (And I loved Spike too.)

M: I cannot find a picture of him that I like. His character is evil and awful and dirty and kind of wonderful.

A: Um, this is making me want to watch Vampire Diaries. Please shut up.

M: Not sorry.

A: Look, here he is resting after a grueling afternoon of shopping at Home Goods:

M: Listen, he just enjoys a good deal on lamps. NO SHAME IN THAT.

A: I'm just saying.

M: You just need to watch the show, okay?

A: Yes ma'am.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Denial.

A: I'm obsessed with lightweight sweatshirts all of a sudden? Like, I want this:

A: It's a $110. For a sweatshirt. A. Sweat. Shirt.

M: Gurrrrrrrl.

A: I know! It's just stupid. Luckily the Gap has a couple that look cute and are cheap:

A: I mean, we're talking about a cotton sweatshirt. I haven't entirely lost my mind.

M: I do love a nicely cut sweatshirt. And that James Perse one is destined to show up at my TJMaxx in about 6 months, I'm betting. I can't shop for clothes, but you know what I can shop for? Bags. I am suddenly in Dire Need of a green bag:

A: Oh! I LOVE that color. Green. OooooOohh. I'm all obsessed with blue and would like this, please:

M: ADRIEN THAT BAG. It is making me all mouth breathy and is also almost one thousand American dollars.


M: Speaking of pretty colors, this Saffron bag is also dreamy. Oh, SPRING COME TO ME.


M: Hey, it seems practically affordable compared to yours.

A: No! I meant talking about spring. It will never be here. Never. I bought these last week:

Dolce Vita Isolde sandal (on sale for $24!)

 Hoping it would bring spring but then it started raining ice.

M: Yes I bought those in green and then the next morning it was 54 degrees. INSIDE MY HOUSE. Anyway, I just saw this on someone in real life and it's SO CUTE and like $27:

A: Oh that's great! Magic dress territory! I want the animal print version RIGHT NOW.

M: Considering I have many more months before I can wear normal clothes, I think you need to buy it and wear it for me.

A: I will do that for you. Because that's how much I love you.

M: Aw, thanks man.

A: Um, you know you're just asking me to buy and wear something I already want to buy and wear, right?

M: Humor me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mascara Wars: L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes vs. CoverGirl Clump Crusher

Top of our list for Adrien's visit last week was a Very Important Mascara Test. Quite a few people have encouraged me to try CoverGirl's Clump Crusher LashBlast mascara, swearing that I would love it more than my (admittedly pesky and taking finesse to apply) #1 most favorite mascara, L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes.

The Contenders.

Because I am nothing if not bossy, I made Adrien participate as well. And it's a good thing, because we had COMPLETELY different experiences with these products. I, for one, was so sure she would love the False Fiber Lashes as much as I do. THE RESULTS MAY SURPRISE YOU.

Anyway, let's start with some alarmingly close up pictures of our bare, sad, mascara-less lashes.

Adrien, sans mascara.
Marianne, sans mascara.

We started things off by curling our lashes. I'm just going to go ahead and say this: if you're wearing mascara and not bothering to curl your lashes? You might as well not bother with the mascara either. Thems the breaks, folks. Take 10 seconds and curl those suckers. I like the ever-popular Shu Uemura curler, Adrien favors Shiseido, which has a shallower curve.


And now, on to the comparison. We curled our lashes and put two generous coats of mascara on each eye, False Fiber Lashes on the left, Clump Crusher on the right. Here's Adrien's take:

I was not blown away by either of these mascaras, to be honest. I have fine, straight, sad-ass lashes and I need volume and thickening. And lengthening. I need it all. The Clump Crusher was certainly not clumpy, but it didn't really do a whole lot for me aside from making my lashes darker. The False Fiber Lashes looked amazing on Marianne but was a weird mess on me. I tried to make it better with a few more coats, but it just stuck my lashes into weird long spikes. Then I had a tantrum and threw it across the room. Then Marianne gave me a time out. Result: Neither of these will replace my beloved Colossal.

Adrien: L'Oreal False Fiber Lashes on the left, CoverGirl Clump Crusher on the right.

And here is my take: First of all, I will admit that my eyelashes are already decently long and thick, so your mileage may vary. For me, the Clump Crusher Mascara lives up to its name, there was not a clump to be seen. However, I found this mascara a bit on the wimpy side. It gives very natural results, but I'm generally looking for more volume and drama (read: I want people to think I am wearing eyelash extensions). The False Fiber Lash mascara is kind of a pain to put on, I admitted to Adrien that it's kind of "advanced".  But if you get it right, it seriously ramps up the drama. After I took these pictures, I added one coat of the False Fiber Lashes OVER the Clump Crusher eye, and that really gave me the best results. The Clump Crusher almost works as a primer, defining and separating the lashes, and then the False Fiber ramps up the volume. So now I wear two mascaras every day, which is not exactly low maintenance but it sure looks good.

Marianne: L'Oreal False Fiber Lashes on the left, CoverGirl Clump Crusher on the right.

Dang, that's a lot of talk about mascara. Have y'all tried either of these? Am I the only moron that wears more than one mascara at a time? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Marianne: Preoccupied.

Shew, last week was...a week. Work was crazy, home was crazy, and to top it all off...

I had this one visiting. And really, I can't be expected to keep up with posting on this here blog when there is Very Important Snacking and Downton Abbey watching to be done. Right? Right.

Anyway, here I am in probably one of my very favorite maternity dresses, one of those rare ones that I truly wish I had in a non-maternity version. It's perfectly cut, flattering, and comfortable. 

Also, just because you can't button something doesn't mean you shouldn't wear it. Right? Say yes.

dress: Old Navy Maternity (similar here and here and non-maternity similar here)
scarf: vintage (similar here)
boots: Frye Lisa (similar here and on major sale similar here)
bag: Clare Vivier Messenger Bag in Navy (another cute navy messenger bag here)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

M&A: How We Spent Our Weekend.

Whee! I drove to Knoxville last weekend so that Marianne and I could watch Pitch Perfect together and eat snacks. Also, shopping. (I mean, come on. There was shopping.) We had a really great time and also managed to take some outfit shots. 

Marianne is wearing pretty much the exact same thing as her last outfit post (she's consistent) and I am apparently waiting to be inducted into the Red Hat Society. But, I think we both look pretty fucking cute, so whatever. Here you go:


Leaving now.

What are we looking at? Maybe Lulu? 

You can't see the lipstick on my teeth from here.

On Marianne:
shirt: ASOS Maternity Breton Stripe, which is on sale! 
jacket: Doki Geki (similar here)
leggings: Old Navy Maternity 
scarf: via eBay (similar here for $14)
boots: Frye Melissa Button Boot, which are on sale (even cheaper in black!)

On Adrien:
sweater: Ann Taylor (similar) (great 3/4 length sleeve version)
boots: Ugg Lynnea on sale!
scarf: Ann Taylor (pricey similar) (inexpensive similar)
coat: Cole Haan (similar

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Palette: Real vs. Fake

When Marianne told me she'd bought the Urban Decay Naked2 palette 60% off on a flash sale site*, I was excited for her. That was a DEAL, especially considering how often sites like Ulta list Urban Decay as an excluded brand when it comes for code. (You can still use sites like Ebates, though, and get cash back. Sephora is currently offering 8% back on eBates purchases.)

When Marianne's palette arrived, she mentioned that the mirror was loose and kind of wonky. I was concerned, but didn't think much about it until another friend (who'd also bought the discounted version) mentioned that she suspected they'd been sent a fake version. FAKE. MAKEUP. Yes, this exists. Pretty much any popular product is faked these days and makeup is one of them. This is just crazy to me, but it happens. 

So, when I visited Marianne in Knoxville last weekend I brought my palette with me so we could compare them. First, a side-by-side:

Real on the top, counterfeit on the bottom

You can see that they're slightly different colors and the font is a little different. But not much! The biggest tell was weight: 

I'm heavy! And real.
Wussy lightweight fake.

The real palette is slightly bigger and much heavier and more substantial. The brush was also different. The real one was longer, both the bristles and the handle. And, you can see in that the font on the colors is a bit different:

Real brush, left. Fake brush right. 

 At first glance the colors looked pretty similar: 

Real on top, fake on bottom.

But in the fake version the pans are only half-full (which I found very offensive. Those cheap bastards!)

And the texture is different. Marianne said that the shadows in my version were softer:

The overall construction of the fake was shoddy. The mirror in the fake is thin and warped and the palette itself is badly made: 
Real on top, fake on bottom. 
Oh! And finally, the real deal should come packaged with a mini lip gloss, like this:

If it doesn't you've probably bought a fake. The best way to avoid buying fake makeup is to avoid buying it on places like eBay, or on any site offering it deeply discounted. Also, if you buy on Amazon, make sure the seller is Urban Decay or Sephora. Not to say that some of the other Amazon sellers aren't selling the real deal, but some aren't. Basically, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Marianne is (obviously) sending hers back, even though she said the shadows were pretty good, because with counterfeit products you have no idea what's actually in them. If a company is shady enough to produce a counterfeit, they're shady enough to use cheap/harmful ingredients in the actual product. (Don't go putting lead in your eyes, is all I'm saying.)

So, what do you guys think? Have you ever bought a product that was fake? 

*Marianne bought the counterfeit through a site called Sharing Spree, who works with outside vendors. They have offered her a full refund.