Monthly Archives: July 2015

Thrifty Possibilities – A New Old Way to Shop

When someone asks me, “Hey where did you get that top (skirt, dress, etc.) and I tell them “Goodwill” their expression changes from curious to absolute shock. I explain that a good portion of my closet actually is second hand and they’re usually my favorite pieces to wardrobe. Then they say how lucky I am to have found such a deal because they themselves have never been successful at thrifting, and in some cases would never even consider doing it. And to be honest I used to feel the same way. thrift collage

When I first started thrifting it was so frustrating to have to sift through a bunch of unwanted clothes just to come out empty-handed. I have always loved the concept of thrifting: giving purpose to older goods and being able to recycle from what can be a very wasteful fashion industry.  But I almost gave up on the idea when I just couldn’t find anything worth having. It all changed when I moved to San Francisco and discovered the tricks behind finding the best of deals.

San Francisco, much like other big cities, is a second-hand-shop mecca! At first, I began shopping at consignment stores like Crossroads Trading Co. and Buffalo Exchange with great results. Consignment stores are different from thrift stores in that their merchandise typically does not consist of donations. Consignors choose and buy the products they carry which means they are going to be more expensive. Their items are usually gently used and sometimes even brand new.  I find a ton of stuff from these stores and always for good prices; however, nothing beats thrift shops. Here are my tips on how to become not only a savvy shopper, but an amazing “thrifter”!

  1. BE WILLING: Remember you are thrifting, not just shopping! You should not come to a second hand shop with a wish list because chances are you will leave unhappy. Instead be willing to search racks of clothing and explore shelves of stuff. It’s like a big Easter-egg hunt so you want to make sure you are in the mood to thrift and have the energy to do so.
  1. BE PATIENT: It may take you some time to come across something nice, but I guarantee once you do it’ll be well worth it (the prices will be unbeatable!). The best results for me come when I make a day out of it and visit more than just one store. Thrifting is hit or miss but that should not discourage you to keep trying. When it comes to thrift stores it is all about location because they usually take up donations from local residences. Based on my experience, the shops I liked most were in neighborhoods where there were more people around my age and therefore had a similar style to mine.
  1. BE CREATIVE: Thrift shops are the best place to tap into your imagination. You can really change up your style at a low cost. I try to be more creative when it comes to colors, prints, and clothing textures. It allows me to be adventurous when it comes to layering and styling pieces. I even try to replicate outfits that I see in magazines. This creativity can also be applied to other merchandise you might find such as furniture or vintage décor.thrift collage 2
  1. BE KNOWLEDABLE: One of my most important tips is to really think about what you are buying. What will you do with it? Are you actually going to wear it? Is it in good condition? It is important to ask these questions because there is nothing worse (and definitely NOT thrifty) than buying something you won’t use/wear – no matter how low the cost!
  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH: If you are like me and want to know the life of your clothing, then take some time to search up brands. When I come across an item with a questionable label, I pull out my phone to see whether or not it is worth my buy. Sometimes, I even come across very expensive brands that are sold in shops like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth. The better the brand, the bigger the deal!

I hope these tips lead you to the best thrifting experience! Have fun and good luck!

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Makeup Tips: How to Make Drugstore Brands Work for You

Every time I go to Target, Wal-Mart, or really any drug store I find myself lost in the cosmetics section wanting to try everything on the shelves. Lipstick, lip gloss, lip stains, lip balms, lip liners – there is almost too much to choose from (and this is only one part of the face!). For me, the choosing process is even more difficult because of the low prices. This might not make sense at first, but hear me out. See, when I shop from more expensive makeup brands like MAC or Benefit I come in knowing exactly what I’m looking and how much I am willing to pay. Plus I am able to sample the different products to be sure I am happy with my purchases.  I usually end up with maybe 2 or 3 things whereas when I shop at stores like Rite-Aid I leave with a bag full products. “What’s wrong with that?” you might ask. Well, usually I end up only using half the products I purchase. Whether it is because it lacks the quality I’m looking for or it’s simply not my shade. At first I became very discouraged and didn’t want to buy any product unless I got to sample it. But being on a college student’s budget and wanting to still keep up with trends there was no way I could afford to buy all my makeup from Sephora…

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As a result, I discovered ways to find the perfect affordable product all without having to try it on beforehand. I begin by having a good idea of what new trend I want to try by looking through magazines, watching makeup gurus on YouTube, etc. For example if I want to try an orange lip color there are a few things I need to determine. Like my skin tone and which kind of orange will match well with it (Maybe neon orange? Maybe a delicate coral?). Then I have to think about what I want from the product whether it be a matte finish, a shiny gloss, or something moisturizing and on the natural side. But the key thing in finding the best product for you is to do your research. You can easily find articles on makeup dupes (drug store products that have been compared to high end brands) and popular top-rated drug store makeup products with personal reviews. And if you want to know how a product looks on – because it may look a bit different than what you see on its packaging – check out tutorials from the hundreds of makeup gurus on YouTube. One of my favorites is guru BeautywithEmilyFox, she has great videos on lipstick swatches from a variety of drug store brands and covers every color from their line.

By following these steps I get exactly what I want with products I am more than happy with. The proper research allows you to keep the quality of makeup you are looking for.  Also because they are drug store brands you can buy a bag full of products compared to the few items you would get from more expensive cosmetic lines. If you love to keep up with trends like I do having an assortment of makeup to choose from is important. Below I have also listed some of my top drug store products. I hope this helps your makeup shopping process and good luck!

1. Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm: smooth, very easy to apply, moisturizing, bright pigments

2. Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream: wonderful wand that helps for easy application, very very matte, long-lasting

3. Maybelline Colorsational Lipstick: excellent pigments/ variety of colors, bright as can be, available in matte

4. Maybelline Blushed Nude Palette: beautiful colors, easy to mix and match different shades

5. L’oreal Pop Balm: great for moisturizing lips, color appears lighter than on packaging

6. Milani Color Statement Lipstick: not as smooth to apply but that makes it easier to shape your lips with minimal mess-ups, long lasting

7. L’oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes: great for length, waterproof never smudges!

8. FitMe Foundation: great overall coverage, smooth finish, available in matte and dewey

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Tell your Friends about BondsWell Contest. Oh yeah!

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