Chicago Travel Diary

From May 24-27, 2017 Places in video: -Chicago O’hare Airport -CTA L train stations -Grant Park -Shedd Aquarium -The Field Museum -The Art Institute -Millenium Park -Cloud Gate -Buckingham Fountain -Portillo’s -Sears Tower (Willis Tower) -Architecture Foundation -Big Monster Toys -United Center -Garfield Park Conservatory -Navy Pier -Crystal Gardens -Garrett Popcorn Shops -Architecture River Tour […]

via Chicago Travel Diary — Merely Me

Review of eyeshadow palettes I own

In order of purchase, here are photos for reference:

Lorac Pro
1st palette I owned. Did a lot of careful research when I was choosing my first eyeshaow palette. I was extremely shocked when I swatched these because I have never felt eyeshadows like these before. Keep in mind, the eyeshadows I used before were all from elf. My favorite shade in the palette is taupe because it is the perfect transition color and I have yet to find a dupe for this color. The colors I hardly use are deep purple and slate because I tend not to use deeper shimmer shades. I especially stay away from slate because I do not like the way cool toned colors look on my skin tone. Otherwise, I still love this and use it. I rarely see a review where someone dislikes this product.

Urban Decay Naked Basics
This is a nice compact palette with a full mirror. I love the venus shade, which is also the only shimmer shade. I love to use venus for the brow bone and inner corners of the eyes. Foxy and W.O.S. are good for all over the lid to set the base. Naked 2 is a good transition color. Faint is perfect to make it more smokey. I rarely use crave, or any black eyeshadow, because I think it can be too harsh. I would only use it as an eyeliner, not for blending.

Tarte Tartelette
I like this palette, but unfortunately I don’t use 2 shades: power player and fashionista because one is cool toned and the other is black. I tend to use this on random days when I’m not sure what kind of look I want of if it’s a simple school day. My favorite shades are free spirit, natural beauty, and best friend. I love mauves and plums. It’s believed that purple toned shadows help bring out brown eyes.

Morphe 35T
I think the T stands for taupe, but the shadows look golden and mauve. This isn’t the best quality shadows, but they are buildable. I wish they had more mattes because I just realized that a lot of the finishes are shimmer and are dark.. which I don’t usually use. My most used shades are the first two on the second row and the third one on the last row. Looking at this palette makes me imagine many looks, but for more special occasions. Yet, I tend to reach for the higher quality shadows when it comes to those special occasions. This is also not travel friendly.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance 
I bought this after watching Stephanie Nicole’s review on Youtube. I trust her opinion because she is not easily amused by a lot of products. So when she loves something, it must really be awesome. And it is! These shadows are just as buttery and smooth as the Lorac Pro. My favorite shadows are cyprus umber, raw sienna, and burnt orange. It’s something I wish I could wear everyday, but I want to cherish those shadows for better occasions. I see myself using every single color. The only color I’m iffy about is warm taupe because it actually looks cool rather than warm.

Ranking in order of favorites:

  1. Modern Renaissance
  2. Lorac Pro
  3. Naked Basics
  4. Tarte Tartlette
  5. Morphe 35T

I also have a magnetic palette with individual eyeshadow pans.
Maybe I will reveal my thoughts on those when I get the chance.

How I Shop for Cute Clothes & Good Deals

People are always asking me where I buy clothes and how I get such good deals. So, I’m here to share my secret with all of you! Let me break it down:

My style
My two favorite styles are boho and monochrome fashion. Although, I don’t always portray either of those styles. Most of the time I follow trends and wear vintage inspired items.

How much do I spend?
I set limits on myself on how much I want to spend on a particular item. But, I don’t always follow through. Sometimes, I buy upon impulse and other times I can make a rational decision. Here are some of limits of what I am willing to spend… unless I really want it or if it’s worth the quality.

  • Sandals/Flats: $19
  • Pants: $24
  • Shorts: $18
  • Tops: $12
  • Cardigans/Kimonos: $18

Where do I shop?
These are not the only stores I shop at, but they are frequent ones I go to and the cheapest.

  1. In Stores
    1. Ross: The prices here are incredibly low. Some of these items are sold in other stores for much higher prices. I spend most of my time looking at the junior’s X-Large section because the tops tend to shrink ($7-9). It’s a good place to find Kimonos too ($14-18)! Every once in a while I find a totally awesome casual romper or dress ($12-14)!
    2. Warehouse sales
      Be aware that these sales have time limits in order to let everyone in without overcrowding.

      1. Brandy Melville: Prices are either $5,10,15. Retail price for the items range from $12-50. This brand brings out a lot of people because most of them spend hundreds of dollars to resell the items for profit. Everything is one size which means no trouble searching for your size. The secret is to catch the last hour of the sale. In the last hour, everything is usually $5 and sometimes the workers bring in more items for you. If not, then you save some money because there’s not that much to choose from.
      2. Ruche/Threadsence: Everything at this sale is $7. A lot of the clothes were prints. They had a wide variety of clothes, but not much to my taste. I would still go again!
      3. Obey: This is the most organized of all the warehouses. Everything is set neatly in boxes and most of the clothes are still wrapped in plastic. At the top of the box they have a sample of what item is inside. It’s almost like shopping in a real store except instead of racks, they’re all in boxes. Prices are amazing as well. About $8 for shirts, $10 for hats, $40 for outerwear. It’s all worth it. They even have a food drive; if you bring a can, you get a free item (usually a hat) at the end of checkout.
  2. Online
    1. Romwe: All of the items are shipped from china so it takes a while to get to you. They always have a coupon code for 55% off your order. It won’t go down much because the items are already on sale and they take the 55% off the original price. They put up new items everyday and the prices are amazing! High waisted denim shorts are about $11-14. I want so many things from this site!
    2. eBay: I use this to buy all my iPhone cases ($2-3). I can also find a lot of american apparel dupes like high neck crop tops and disco shorts (some of them are actually from AA). A lot of the sellers are big on customer service. If you receive an item that is defective or not as described, send them a message and they will usually give you a refund so you can give them positive feedback in return. I also love buying swimsuits here. For $14 you can get a two piece bikini. You can find multiple sellers selling the same item, so choose wisely based on price and the % positive feedback on the seller. Opt for the least shipping price; if something goes wrong, you will only be refunded for the item, not the shipping. Opt for the highest positive feedback. I have had no problems with those who had at least 99% positive feedback.
    3. GoJane: My go to place to buy sandals.

What to do with the clothes you no longer wear?
Every year I accumulate clothes that I find no longer fit my style and are too worn/faded. Before donating them to Goodwill, I try to make money off of them. I go to Buffalo Exchange which is a used clothing store. The workers choose what clothes they want based on style and how new the the item is. In the end, you can choose 30% cash or 50% store credit; it depends on how much they will sell the clothes for. Similar stores are Crossroads Trading Co. and Wasteland. Other than that, I opened up a store under and to sell my clothes. I didn’t think it would work, but it did and I have made over $150.

Hope this was helpful! Let me know some of your tips on finding good deals!

On The Hunt for the NEW Maybelline creamy matte lipsticks!


I have been on the hunt for the NEW Maybelline Color Sensational The Mattes lipsticks! I have specifically been wanting ” #660 Touch of Spice” which is characterized as Kylie Jenner’s famous lip color. Today, I went to 3 Targets, 2 Walgreens, 2 Rite Aids, and 2 CVS’s all with no luck in finding that one! Only 2 out of the targets carried a few of the lipsticks but not the color I wanted.

Like I’ve said in previous posts, lipstick is my type of makeup. This product is so new that Maybelline doesn’t even have it on their website. Also, Target is the only website you can view these products, but they are not available to purchase online. I emailed Maybelline to get more information and received this:

This product was recently introduced and is in the process of being shipped to stores nationwide. It will be available in your area shortly.

When we introduce a new product, it takes time for inventory to make its way to all the stores. Although you haven’t been able to find Color Sensational The Mattes in your local stores yet, it should be there soon.

Maybelline New York products are available at mass market retailers, drugstores, and supermarkets nationwide.

As you can see from the photos above, it’s been a long and difficult day driving around. In my local area, the displays are up in Target and Rite Aid, but nothing whatsoever from Walgreens or CVS. Although, a few youtubers have reviewed and swatched these products and have said they were able to get them from Walgreens and CVS. You can search on youtube swatches and reviews for these products as there are many out there. I honestly think that each youtube video is different because the lighting can change the true color of the lipsticks.

I guess I’m going to have to wait and check as often as I can!

Divine Wine


I have been on the hunt for a good everyday lipstick. Today, I found L’oreal’s Colour Riche Lip Colour in 762 Divine Wine.

Since my skin tone is more medium deep, all the pink nudes I have ever purchased look horrible on me until I discovered this. My plan was to hunt for the new Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick in Touch of Spice at Target, but after looking through two Targets, I had no luck because absolutely every color of that line was sold out. I went to Walgreens and found this lipstick, Divine Wine, and thought I would settle with it, but the price was $10. Then, I went to Walmart and found the same thing for $6. Seeing how cheap it was at Walmart, I just had to have it. The moment of truth came when I put it on in the car directly after purchasing. I put it on and it seemed dark at first. I was like oh well, it’ll be good just for fall. Then, once I entered my home and took a second look, I realized it wasn’t dark at all and it look just right for a natural everyday look. I am so happy with it now!

Lipsticks are hands down my favorite type of makeup product. I have a small collection that is growing but most of the colors I own and mostly wear are reds or berries, so I needed to expand into the pink and nude section. Now I have something I can wear everyday. My natural lips are purple on the outside (as if I have lipliner), and pink on the inside. I really like that all one color look a lipstick can do.

If anyone has any good deep mauve pink nude lipsticks to suggest, please do so by commenting! I’ll really appreciate it!

September 2014 IPSY Glam Bag

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The theme for this month is “Street Style”!

  • Crown Brush: Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush 
    This brush retails for $17.50 but is on sale through their website for $6.99.
    I already own both ends of the brush separately and I love it; it’s a great addition!
  • Hikari: Lipstick – Cabernet
    Hikari’s lipsticks retail for $13.00.
    Lipsticks are my favorite makeup product and you can never go wrong with red! It takes a few swipes to the lips to get the full color, but I love how it’s not too bright or too bold of a red. It’s perfect for everyday wear.
  • NYX: Hot Singles Eye Shadow – Innocent (HS19)
    These shadows retail for $4.50.
    This is a shimmery light gold eyeshadow. The quality is great and I think it would work great for all over the lid or just the inner corners to brighten up the eyes.
  • Pacifica: Natural Water-Proof Eye Pencil – Fringe
    This liner retails for $11.00.
    Fringe is a dark brown eyeliner. The name really speaks for itself: natural. Dark brown liner is perfect for a natural look without the harshness of a black eyeliner. I would glide this on the upper lash liner to create the appearance of fuller lashes.
  • Briogeo: Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
    This sample jar contains 1 fl oz. of product and the full size of 5.25 oz retails for $26.00.
    I have dry, damaged, and chemically treated hair so this is perfect to use when I want a little extra conditioning!

I believe all the products in my bag besides the hair mask were full size! I am absolutely happy with all the products I received this month! I can’t wait to use these products in my makeup routine! The average price of my bag is worth $40.44

If you don’t know what IPSY is, it’s basically a monthly subscription service! The price is only $10 a month and I also get charged 90 cents for shipping! You get a makeup bag and 5 products that can range from sample sizes to full size products. The products range from makeup to skincare to haircare to nails. No matter what, the total contents of the bag is always over $10. Go check out for more info if you’re interested!

MAC: A Novel Romance


I picked up two of the new Limited Edition Lipsticks from MAC’s A Novel Romance collection.

Hearts Aflame: brick red matte $16
Lingering Kiss: Deep plum matte $16

Both of these colors would look wonderful for fall or a night time look!
I would suggest a neutral eyeshadow with a small cat eye for Hearts Aflame and simple mascara for Lingering Kiss!

My skin tone is a warm medium/deep color and both of these colors look great with my skin!
Although, I do suggest wearing lip liner with Lingering Kiss since it stains lightly as it wears. The color tends to stay towards the outer lips and wears easily on the inside area.