Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Decor & the First Big Snowstorm of the Season

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas! This weekend was the first big snow storm of the season.  We really didn't do much so I decided to put some finishing touches on our holiday decorations and snap some pictures to share.  We'll start with the main event, the Christmas Tree:

I am a firm supporter of real trees.  I love the smell, the color, going to pick it out, everything.  Its just such a nice experience that kicks off the holiday season.  This year we tried a new cut your own farm that was AMAZING! So many trees to choose from! To top it off there was a dusting of snow on the ground which made it so pretty.
Ok, back to the decorations.  We changed up the tree decor a bit this year and did a red and silver theme.  We used only red and silver bulbs and then draped silver beaded garland all around.  Then we added all of our "random ornaments" which are made up of sovineer ornaments from places we've been, handmade ornaments, and ornaments that we had growing up.  Heres a few of my favorites:

We got the adorable wedding cake ornament as a wedding gift.
This is from the gift shop of the resort where we got married. My parents gave us this the Christmas before our wedding.
I made this from our first Christmas Tree. My parents used to do this.  I planned on making one every year...fail. Oh well, its a nice keepsake from our first Christmas at the house.
Heres some of the other decor around the living room:

My aunt got us this adorable Clothtique Santa a few years ago.  Look at the Dachshund pulling Santa in the snow! Adorable.
This is our other Clothique Santa who is living on top of our hutch putting the star on top of the tree. 

This was my grandmother's nativity scene.  I love how colorful it still is and its very old.  I have it on one of the side tables next to our couch.  I wish we had a better spot for this since the pieces get knocked over alot because it is so close to the ground and the dogs bump into it when they're playing. But for now we are enjoying it here.

Here is a shot of our table.  I'm in love with the mercury glass trees! I am a sucker for some mercury glass. They are also LED candles that flicker in different colors.

The centerpiece is a glass bowl with a candle in the middle and some bells all around.  I had planned on making this in my big glass hurricane.  But, by the time I got around to putting it together I realized that the hurricane was trapped inside the hutch! The only spot for our Christmas Tree in the living room is in between the table and the hutch, see the first picture.  To retrieve the hurricane would've meant moving the already decorated christmas tree, which would've been just too much work and a big mess. So, I improvised with this little glass bowl I picked up at Michaels in the candle section and a red and white polka dotted votive from Pier 1.  I actually really like the way it turned out! Bonus, the bells jingle a little bit when you walk by.

Piper was alot of help with the decorating..

Since we were snowed in for the night I took the opportunity to paint some Christmassy nails.  I used Essie Going Incognito and OPI Goldeneye on the accent nail, or party nail as my sister calls it.


We ended up getting about a foot of snow.  Dale lives for the snow! Here he is chasing snowballs the next morning.

Heres a shot of our front door after the storm.
Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Cosmetics Company Store Review & Mini Haul

On a recent trip to Wrentham Premium Outlets I made a visit to the Cosmetics Company Store.  This is basically an outlet store for makeup, skincare and fragrances. They sell only Estee Lauder-owned brands such as MAC, Bobbi Brown, Origins, Clinique and obviously Estee Lauder.  The products they sell are overstock, discontinued and limited-edition releases that are no longer sold at counters or stores. So here is what I bought:

Hey Sailor Blush in Launch Away!

(Summer 2012)

This is a pale pink satin finish blush.  It applied smooth and looks subtle on.  I tend to apply my blush pretty sheer, but it can be applied more heavily to get the true petal pink color as seen in the swatch. I think this will be lovely for spring!

Marilyn Monroe - Showgirl Large Eyeshadow

(Fall 2012)

So I ignored the bad reviews I'd read about the Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadows and picked this up.  I'll admit it, I was drawn in by the beautiful packaging.  I really loved this collection when it came out last fall and I own several pieces already.

The quality isn't terrible, but it isn't great either.  Kind of dry and flaky, I had to pack it on a few times on my eye to get true to pan color.  I do love the color though, sort of a light navy. It has a Veluxe Pearl finish and is double the size of a regular MAC eyeshadow.

I was thinking I would use this to create a one shadow look but when I wore this over the weekend I found I needed a little brown in the crease to warm it up.

In Extra Dimension - Extra Dimension Blush in Blazing Haute

(Spring 2013)

This blush is from a fairly recent MAC collection and I actually wanted to get this blush when it came out but it was sold out online so I was psyched to see it here!

The color is bright and frankly a little scary when swatched, but it looked surprisingly natural on my skin. Color is buildable and can be sheered out, which was necessary as I'm pretty pale right now. I will probably get more use of of this in the summer months.

Final Thoughts:

Like most outlet stores, expect for things to be picked through, but you can find some Gems! Its definitely hit or miss. I was so excited to see some items from some of my favorite past MAC collections!

Discounts were not as deep as I was hoping for, somewhere around 20-30%.

Keep in mind the potential age of the products.  I wouldn't buy things that have a short shelf life such as mascara or lip products since its tough to say how long they were already sitting on the shelf. I actually saw some things from the MAC To The Beach collection that I knew was pretty old.  I looked it up and this is from summer 2010...glad I passed!

Another thing to note is that if you are looking for help from the sales staff their knowledge seems to be more limited than those at the regular stores or counters who are generally makeup artists.  Expect the salespeople to greet you when you walk in, ask if you need help and then leave you alone to shop.  But to me this was refreshing because I personally hate it when salespeople hover over your shoulder. My shopping philosophy is I like to look around myself and if I need help I ask for it. When the salespeople are lingering it makes me uncomfortable and I usually end up leaving empty handed.

What has your experience been at the Cosmetics Company Store?