Wednesday, June 27, 2012

College 2012: Target Style

So last week I took a little trip to Target for some beauty essentials. While I was there, I was so excited to see that they've started getting some of their college stuff out! Target is definitely my favorite inexpensive place for back to school stuff, and they always prove to be stylish as well!

As always, it was the bedding that first caught my attention. I love this bedding! It could be great for a girl or a guy, and it's a lot like chevron in a way. It's graphic, bold, modern, and very clean-lined. Plus the colors are so cheery!

Another bedding set that I instantly fell in love with is this black, red, and orange floral one. Once again it's bright and graphic and very cute. I love that this year Target isn't overly pink. While I do appreciate some pink, it's definitely annoying when every single store just carries pink and purple for girls and blue for guys! But it's like Target read my mind, because I actually didn't see any pink in store.

Isn't this blue floral bedding set so lovely? I think so! The blue is bright and happy and the floral pattern is very bold and graphic (I'm using bold and graphic to describe everything haha).

Since orange is apparently just an "in" color these days, I wasn't too surprised to see that Target used the color. I love this set as it's just so fresh and citrus-y feeling.

The frames that go with the college collection also caught my eye. This adorable frame that say "I love us" definitely calls me. I can just see it on my dresser showing off my boyfriend and I. By the way, doesn't the guy in the picture look a lot like Drake? Maybe he's now one of those picture frame models?

I thought this frame with the yellow and gray flowers was also so pretty. So fresh and fun feeling!

This frame isn't technically part of the college collection, but I already have big plans for it in my room this year. I love Umbra, they constantly amaze me, and I love the collage feel. (sorry for any of the pictures being blurry! In my excitment taking pictures with my iphone is not the easiest haha). 

Aren't these wall decals adorable?! I love the dandelions so much!

This frame is perfect for displaying pictures of your family! It has a cute little clip at the top that reads "Family" and at the bottom says "my family is weirder than yours." How cute haha!

Finally this frame with extra space to write on with a dry erase marker is such a great idea! Nothing like writing down your to-do list, favorite quotes, or important reminders besides your favorite picture.

So overall I love Target's stuff. I know they are getting more and more out, so if you head to Target I'm sure you'll see a lot more than what I posted.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dorm Room Drooling Part 2

I forgot to add some of my other favorite places to look for awesome dorm room decor, so prepare for more inspiring rooms!

PB Teen

How I love PB Teen. The products, while pricey in some areas (or most actually) are all really great quality, timeless, and beautiful. There's always a debate among college dorm "experts" whether one should invest in a great duvet cover or comforter that is over $100 or just buy the bargain bed in a bag from some place like Target, Walmart, or even Bed Bath and Beyond. I fall somewhere in between. I've had a $30 comforter from Walmart, that I loved. But I definitely noticed fading over time (and after about five or so washings). And I have a PB Teen dottie duvet cover that has held up pretty well (and one that I'm planning on using this upcoming school year. If you're like me and like to change up yearly, buying an expensive one is probably not a good way to make your parents happy.

Anyway...sorry for long debate. Back to looking at inspiring dorms and products.

I am definitely a fan of PB Dorm this year. The colors are kind of dark and moody (which is mature and cool looking, showing it isn't meant for an elementary schooler).

Isn't this damask duvet just lovely? Seriously, I was just wondering if I could convince my parents to go along with a new duvet cover...probably not. But a girl can dream, right? Doesn't this just scream mature, college girl? I think so. And I love the pairing of gold with the black and white. Reminds me of my freshman dorm room, maybe that's why I love it. See? 

Anyway...just look at this brillant dorm room from PB. In. Love. Literally. Words cannot describe everything that I love about this room. The walls, the bedding. Just lovely all around. I can't imagine coming back from class to a dorm that looks this darn good. I would never want to leave.

Just wow. Hopefully other people find this just as amazing as I do.

Ruched duvets are all the rage these days and this blue is so beautiful. I love the plain top paired with the printed sheets. Perfect for a great splash of color in a white dorm room.

I love how so many different retailers are incorporating today's trendiest prints in dorm design. Like this Ikat print. It's so much better than those bright girly pink bedspreads you are always bombarded with year after year.

These wall decals are all so cute too. Definitely would bring a ton of interest and fun on the walls of a blank dorm room.

This dry erase calendar is perfect for organzing a busy college student's tests, quizzes, homework, and activities around campus. I love the vintage frame look of it.

And here is just one of their inspiration rooms...Room 816

So lovely. I can't even stand it!

Next I'll highlight some of my favorites from Urban Outfitters for dorms, so look for that coming up!

Dorm Room Shopping

So as you've hopefully already noticed, dorm room shopping and decorating is one of my favorite things in the entire world! And with July quickly approaching, stores like Target, PB Teen, and others are starting to gear up for College 2012! So this post is dedicated to some of my favorite stores for some awesome dorm room furnishings! Check them all out, seriously, you won't regret it!

1. Dormify

There is so much to love from Dormify. They are modern, fresh, and fun! If you haven't checked them out yet, definitely do! I know that I am completely in love with so many of their products, expecially their wall art and bedding!

Love the Not-So-Lonely Hearts Collection! The yellow, gray, white, and brown look is just so fresh and modern for a drab looking dorm room! It's girly without being too much, and it just looks so comfy. Definitely a must in my book if you love yellow!

The California Girl Collection from Dormify is so fun and so current! I love the diamond ikat pattern of the bedding, as well as the fun throw pillows! Layering your dorm bed is one of the major differences between a comforting space and a temporary living arrangement. And really, even though it is technically temporary, you don't want to live that way.

Dormify's Spring Fling collection is the pink lover's dream! The bright pink chevron is seriously adorable and so trendy right now! And I love the bright green throw pillow.

Don't even get me started on my love for the Manifesto poster. It's currently out of stock and I seriously just screamed! I am planning getting one for my room in my sorority house this fall, so hopefully they get more soon. Doesn't this poster just sum everything up perfectly? It's so great to live by and will seriously add some cool graphic design to any dorm wall.

Moving away from Dormify, I just need to discuss my love for Vera Bradley and the new dorm collection coming out this week! My friend and I are going to be there at 8 am on Thursday for the opening (she in hopes of the adorable new bedding and little poor me along for the ride--and maybe some towels and notebooks haha).

It seems like I have waited my entire life for Vera to finally do dorm rooms. I literally screamed when I found out that this would be the year.

The above print is definitely my favorite out of the three and looks so welcoming. I can see any college girl getting much needed sleep in a bed that cute. The collection also includes rugs, ribbon boards, throw blankets, laundry bags, shower caddies, and the towels that I have my eye on:

Vera Bradley was already my favorite place to shop for back to college (highlighters, planners, pens, notebooks, and folders!!), but with their new dorm collection I'm sure that girls all over the nation will be going crazy with their campus staple prints!

Always a sorority girl staple, the bedding I've found by Lilly is drool inducing. It is so bright, cheery, and fully Lilly.

Lilly Pulitzer, besides being famous for her pretty dresses, also has quite the massive following for her agendas. This will be the first year I'm going to abandon Vera Bradley (I feel like a traitor) and becoming a Lilly girl in the planner department.

So many to choose from! But I so can't wait to have my first Lilly agenda to write down all my important dates!

I'll follow up a little later with some of Target's awesome dorm window shopping I did, but so far I can definitely say the College 2012 shopping is bright, fun, and something I definitely look forward to!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Slowly Coming Along

I'm so excited I can barely stand it!! My bedroom here back home (in other words not my dorm room) is slowly getting more and more perfect!

Sometimes I really wish my life were a 30 minute HGTV show where a room/house is completely redone, with everything in a day or week or something. Unfortunately, real life isn't quite like that. Back in the beginning of May my mom and I started redoing my bedroom to make it more exciting and comfortable for my summer vacation. And here it is, almost the end of June and I'd say it's about halfway. However, I'm so excited about it right now! Especially the bed, because that's done!

I love it so much! It's so bright and happy and it makes me smile! The comforter was a cheap $20 one from Target that is just plain yellow (but so fluffy and comfortable), the sheets (hard to see, I know), are a navy and white stripe (Target!), the yellow flower pillow (remember from my freshman dorm?!), navy blue from Target, and the sweet little chevron pillow my mom actually made (the fabric came from a shop on Etsy). Every time I'm in my room I stop and stare and just can't believe that this is my bed. It seriously makes me not want to go back to college because I love how my room is coming along!

Gotta love Target, right? But with the sheets being I think $15, the comforter $20, the blue pillow $20, it's so inexpensive but so lovely. 

I finally finished the dresser part of my room, make sure to take a look

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's Never Too Early...

It may be merely June, but to me, deciding/planning/obsessing about my dorm room is in full swing. See, I love interior design. I have for as long as I can remember. And going off to college was the perfect excuse to think of a different room design every year. There is nothing more fun (and I mean NOTHING) than scouring the web, driving store to store, trying to find the look for my next home in college.

For instance, my freshman year I desperately wanted to include yellow! My two favorite colors are red and  yellow, but combining them reminds me of McDonald's, which isn't exactly stylish. So I went with yellow (drab 30+ dorm room, popcorn ceiling, and dingy white walls needed that bright color to cheer it up). So it ended up looking really good in my humble opinion (sorry that the pictures aren't even remotely good. I took them with my old cheap cell phone. Sorry for the small size too).

If you're squinting, trying to figure out what you're looking at, that is in fact my bed and desk, with existing shelves above them. I found a pretty damask comforter at Target that totally contrasted with my pops of yellow in the most beautiful way. Even looking at it now it makes me happy.

Hopefully this picture illustrates a little bit more the look I went for. That pillow from Target still makes me fluttery on the inside (in a good way...btw). Definitely my favorite view of my room.

And here was my desk! This study space was really awesome. I loved those dollar bin pencil cups (Target), yellow lamp (Target! again), and damask ribbon board (Tuesday Morning). It was truly fun to sit at my desk.

My sophomore year I wanted a different look. A drastically different one. In all that time spent with yellow the year previously, I was really missing red. There's just something about red that is just so...perfect to me. I was on the other side of campus, and I just wanted a different feel. I wanted it to feel less...stuffy I guess.

This was how it all started. I wanted to use my awesome red dottie comforter (Walmart) and after that, I just went by idea of whatever I like. So that hopefully explains the random mix of things you see. The shelf above the bed provided fantastic storage. And I loved it's brightness.

So that's what my room was like about 75% of the school year. But something was just...wrong. I didn't know what. It bothered me to no end. My roommate, boyfriend, friends, and family all thought I was crazy, but you just know when it doesn't feel right. So I bought a yellow comforter from Target, wanting a more fresh look. It wasn't right. So I returned it. I bought a plain red quilt and zebra sheets. Loved the zebra, but froze to death under the quilt. But then finding a little inspiration in PB Teen, I opted for black and white dots.

Finally, something felt right. Maybe it was the zebra, the pops of red (instead of all over red), moving that shelf to over my desk, or the Vera Bradley Deco Daisy pillow my mom made (out of napkins!), but it felt right.

That's how I ended the year. Still was nowhere near perfect to my eye, but a lot more perfect at least.

So now I'm thinking all about my junior year, which will be spent living in my sorority's house. Our VP of Recruitment asked every bedroom in the house to have a "theme" for a more put together look for recruitment (a great idea I think). My roommate and I opted to go with a slight ladybug theme, black, white, and red focusing on Alpha Sigma Alpha. So I was planning on using all the same bedding (just upgrading my Target zebra sheets to some nice, PB teen ones), using my red KEEP CALM CARRY ON poster (not pictured, but it was there--because it's red, awesome, and has a crown --one of our symbols), and a few other touches here and there of my wonderful sisterhood.

 Like this awesome bulletin board my big made for me (perfect for our theme!). So hopefully more inspiration will strike. I still have such a long time to think about it, but I don't want it to be a copy of my sophomore room either.

So if anyone has some suggestions or anything I'd love to hear!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Much Needed Shopping Trip

So I've had my eye on a few things recently and today I decided to finally go get them. You know, sometimes nothing beats a good shopping trip. The sun shinning, walking around, and a nice Starbucks to go with it.

So I went to Target (my favorite store in the entire world) and picked up a few cheap essentials. I know after all that debate about Sigma vs. MAC vs. Sephora brushes I bought two ELF. By no means are they my final selection, but sometimes you just need to buy something to tide you over until you afford better. Plus, if they are good, they were only $3 each. And if they aren't, eh. It's only $6 total. But reviews online were pretty postive about the blush brush and the complexion brush, so we'll see.

While I'm discussing my love for Target (it is seriously up there in my top 10 loves because they constantly amaze me), I also decided to try out the Cos Bar cleansing towelettes. They're currently highlighting businesses from around the US and one of them is Cos Bar from Aspen. It was probably the packaging (loving leopard right now) and promise of a blueberry scent, but they were calling me. And for $5, you really can't argue. I'm loving my Garnier ones right now because they aren't overly oddly smelly and get off my mascara (best thing ever), but I'm halfway through them and wanted to try this. So excited to take off my makeup tonight!

The other half of my shopping trip was to the open air Promenade shoppes, which happen to have many of my favorite stores (Pottery Barn, Victoria Secret, Bath and Body Works, Express, Ulta, and Sephora).

Sephora is seriously another favorite of mine. Everything just calls me. Kinda like the Apple Store, everything is so shinny and sleek and beckoning me to sample new products. In the end, I walked out with what I wanted. NARS blush in the ever famous Orgasm and Sephora's ultra-smoothing primer.

I think I easily spent over an hour in Sephora playing with everything. I swatched the Naked Palettes on my arms, drooling over them (I know, I'm the last person to not own them), tried on every primer in the store (on my arm for some weird reason haha), and comparing all the different foundations and such.

But overall, I'm happy with the blush and the primer. I was seriously stuck for a little bit between Orgasm and Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush. Ugh, that was such a hard decision!

How is a girl to choose?! After swatching them, trying to them on, trying to find something to sway me either way, I finally had to go with NARS, it is supposedly the best. Plus, it was what I went to Sephora for originally. But I will definitely have Tarte in mind for the future, because the texture of the blush was so cool. Soft, heavily pigmented, almost cream-like. But definitely solid.

I also found a way to manage to stop my the mall to go to Dillards to visit the MAC counter. I've been trying to figure out a good summer face look and finally the wonderful reviews of MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural called me. It was cheaper than the Makeup Forever, Benefit, Bare Escentuals, and Laura Mercier ones I was looking at. And the reviews were promising me something that I wanted: a light, natural, finished look. I was color matched to medium plus and I can't wait to try it.

Overall, I think today was a successful shopping day. My account took a beating, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet I guess in the sake of investing in good products (hopefully). I can't wai to try them all and see how they work for me. This will be my first high quality face routine (before I just dabbled with Covergirl and other drugstore brands). Hopefully they live up to the hype!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Makeup Brushes...The Great Search

So a few months ago I decided to grow up and become a "big girl" as one of my close friends said, and bought some MAC makeup. Honestly, I didn't see all the hype before this monumental move. Seriously, $15 for one shadow seemed like a ridiculous amount of money, especially for a college student with a Starbucks addiction. That's three iced white mochas!!

So one Friday afternoon my boyfriend and I went on the hour and half pilgrimage to Denver to the MAC store in search of a new look for me. Almost $100 later (it was like $92 I think, I was too shocked by that price to realize what I was paying haha), I came back with a whole new look (just eyes...I wasn't ready to get a face look yet), a lighter wallet, and a disapproving boyfriend. It wasn't until I used the Technakohl liner that I realized just how amazing good quality makeup is. Seriously, this liner did not budge off of my eyes. Nope. It stayed put all day and even required slight scrubbing when I took it off. It glided on easily, I didn't even have to press it hard into my lashline.

Which, long-story short, leads me to now. Ready to take on face make-up (that's another post probably in itself), and ready for some good quality brushes. They say that brushes are what makes the makeup good. Up into this point I've been using a couple of Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target (hardly a bargain consdering they were both over $10 in my book), a Bare Escentuals brush, and an ELF. All are getting the job done for the most part.

The world of makeup brushes is a crazy one, that's for sure. If your spending upwards of $20 on a brush, you wanna know it's worth it, right?! So I've been holding off, perfecting my look with my beginner collection, trying to save money, and trying to make sense of what is the right type/brand/price for me. So without any more of my rambling, here's the options....

1. Sigma's Essential Kit --$89 but I found a code for 10% off so actually $80.10 (and whatever shipping is :p)

So I honestly had never heard of Sigma until like a month ago. And at times I'm still pretty skeptical. I mean, you can't feel them. Hold them. And pick out the exact ones from the store. But Youtube beauty gurus or whatever the heck they are all say they are like MAC. They look like MAC. And this kit has 7 brush styles that I know I want. You gotta say 7 outta 12, pretty good. I took out my calculator and it appears that the price for each brush is only about $6.68...which is pretty darn good. Even if I only use 7 brushes it would be $11.44 a brush...pretty much what I paid for my Sonia Kashuk ones. And still much less than MAC and Sephora.

2. Sigma's Travel Kit-Make Me Classy $59 ($53.10 after that discount)

A slightly more affordable option from Sigma is this travel kit. It has four brushes I definitely would use and even comes with a pretty cool travel case that is fantastic for brush storage (since I got nothing for that currently). Price per brush sits at $7.59 per brush for all 7 in the kit...$10.62 per brush if I only touch 5 of 'em. Plus that fantastic case!

My other options are buying brushes individually from MAC or Sephora (or both!). For small Sephora brushes like this one it runs about $13. Face brushes...up to $30. Which adds up if you get three for foundation, bronzer, and blush. MAC, is a totally different story. With brushes ranging from $22 to over $30.

I guess I just worry about quality. Although it's not guaranteed, you know the odds of good quality from MAC are pretty high. Everyone raves about them. They look and feel good. And they apparently last years.

So overall, I guess I'm still pretty clueless, although looking at it from a purely economical point of view continuously points me in the direction of Sigma. I'd break down how much each brush from Sephora and MAC (the ones I want to buy I mean) would cost, but it's obvious...probably over $100, for MAC at least. So I'm holding off...since the coupon code is until June 30th and my brushes for my eyes are doing just fine now.

If anyone has suggestions, reviews, or anything please tell me! I'd love to hear!