Thursday, August 25

My Top 10 ipsy & Birchbox Products

By now, if you know literally one thing about me from reading this blog, it’s that I started subscribing to ipsy and Birchbox nearly two years ago, and have become kinda obsessed. It’s not that I was a beauty person before, or even now, really, but I like to think my subs have at least eradicated my status as a total beauty rookie.

Two years in I have tried out a TON of products, and I love that aspect of trying something that I normally wouldn’t have. I frequently buy things for people or lend things to people or rave about a product to my sisters or friends and always say the same thing “I got this in my ipsy/Birchbox!” I’m unfortunately very predictable.

However, some of the products have jumped out above the rest; the ones that have made me say "How was I NOT using this before?!" and got me to thinking- what are the ten best products I’ve ever received? These are things that, if I haven’t purchased already, I’m planning to, or would purchase if I didn’t already own.

And they are a great place to start for beauty rookies, mavens, or anyone in between!

Here they are, my Top 10 ipsy/Birchbox Products:
*Most of these products have additional reviews on the blog that I’ve linked to.

1.       beauty blender | I still remember the gasp heard ‘round the office when I got this in my Birchbox. Said gasp was partially because I had never heard of them. Beauty blenders are THE best way to apply and blend concealer or foundation, and bonus that they keep things neat. More here.
2.     Elizabeth Mott primer | I’ve tried out several primers, but none that I have stuck with like this one. A dab of this keeps eye make-up in place ALL day- and I mean to the office and gym and drinks. The consistency and texture of it is perfect. As soon as I finish my sample I will be purchasing this. More here.
3.     NYX soft-spoken | I’m not ranking within this list buuuut if I were, this might be the overall winner. You’ve heard me rave about this product and shade so many times, but here’s one more. This is my MLBB. It’s extremely close to my natural lip color, and the formula goes on nicely, and stays put. The matte finish adds a bit of subtle polish. Just a fantastic product and shade! Initial review / what it looks like on me.
4.     Stila liquid lipstick | I’m a lip color fanatic above anything else, and I’ve received many a gloss/stick/crayon, but this product is a cut above the rest. I’ve received it in Beso (which I’ve misplaced) and recently in Patina (a neutral pink) and I’m about ready to buy them in every color! The formula is fantastic- long lasting and perfect in glossy or matte. Initial review / what they look like on me: Patina / Beso.
5.     Hello by Harvey Prince perfume | I purchased this perfume, which is the best vote of confidence I can give you! I like scents that are fresh and not too sweet, and this fits the bill perfectly. More here.
6.     Mirenesse mascara | I have sampled a bunch of mascara, and I think you’d agree that most of them rank about the same. This is the best mascara I’ve ever used. Something about the curved brush really lifted & separated my lashes like I’d never seen! At $30 a pop, I was hesitant to purchase it on my own, but in an act of providence, I just received this in a Birchbox mystery sample pack for FREE. For realz. More here.
7.     Klorane dry shampoo | I’m sorry I’m such a broken record, but the only hair product I used on a regular basis is dry shampoo (daily.) I always run out of it when I travel, so I always love getting a sample. This dry shampoo is tinted, which makes it just that much better for this dark brunette. More here.
8.     Beaver shampoo & conditioner | My hair is thick and difficult to wash. I really notice a difference when I use cheaper shampoo, and likewise if I use really good stuff. This shampoo and conditioner left my hair feeling noticeably different and super clean! It would be a splurge for shampoo & conditioner, but totally worth it. They are consistently sold out in the Birchbox shop, which is another good sign. More here.
9.     Jelly Pong liner | I typically save black eyeliner for more festive occasions, and rarely wear it to work on a normal day. This liner is the perfect step in between. It definitely takes eye make-up to the next level, but is still subtle enough to wear for daytime. The shimmery brown is so pretty, and it’s a thicker crayon, so it goes on super easily. More here.
10.  Redken Windblown spray | I am very lazy chill when it comes to my hair, so it takes a LOT to get me to use a product. What I love about this is that it works on any state of hair- natural, straightened, curled, you name it. It’s a “finishing spray” which likens to a hairspray, but also gives you some volume and texture, sans crunch. More here.

If you have love for one of these products (or something similar, or something different) I would love to hear about it! I’m still just barely above beauty rookie status and welcome all advice :)

Let me know if you’d like to hear my soapbox of why I enjoy Birchbox & ipsy so much. For a while I was comparing the two monthly if you’d like to determine which one would best for you. Over the last few months I’ve just been highlighting the best from each sub.

You can subscribe to ipsy or Birchbox for $10/month using my referral links, if you like!

Wednesday, August 24

Head to Toe Remix #4: Black Cargo Pants

Three cheers for Wednesday! It’s hump day, we’re halfway to the weekend, AND it’s time for another weekly installment of the #HeadtoToeRemix with Elana of Room 334.

If you’ve missed the series entirely, (first of all, stop being a terrible friend); in an effort to shop our closets and therefore not actually shop, Elana and I are remixing abandoned items in our closet, from head to toe! So far I’ve remixed a Summer scarf, a leather jacket, and a vintage floral blouse. Click through for full posts and Elana’s equivalents (a statement necklace, a utility vest, and a striped button-up.)
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| lip: Stila Liquid Lipstick in Patina | watch: c/o JORD | necklace: gift (Forever 21) | top, pants, & loafers: Old Navy haha oops |

So today we’re focusing on neglected bottoms which makes me LOL. There are several ways I could’ve gone here- skirts, jeans, shorts, etc. however instead of an item that’s actually been “neglected”, I opted for one I’m always just looking for more ways to style: my beloved cargo pants.

I purchased these on a total whim from the Old Navy clearance section years ago, figuring, “they’re $8 and it’s always good to have pants that aren’t jeans and if I wear them once, I’ll get my moneys worth.” Now, cargo pants should never be someone’s claim to fame, but yeah, I’ve worn them quite a bit.

The remix for me here was simply wearing them with flat shoes which I realize sounds silly, but this tiny tweak totally changed the vibe of the outfit into something I’ve never tried before. These pants seem casual, plus something about the crop had previously all but required me to pair them with a heel or wedge of some kind.

This time I went with a closet favorite, my gold loafers, for a look that was totally laid back and cool. Does my outfit say “I curled my hair four days ago for a Bachelorette party?” Because that would be accurate!
Elana is wearing a look I can see transitioning to Fall so easily with booties and a cardigan (that's what this time of year is all about, right?) Button-front skirts like this are so on trend, and the khaki is a nice twist! She should definitely hang on to this one. See her full post right here.

If you have cargo pants, PLEASE let me know, I’m looking for members for my support group.

Thank you for following along with the #HeadtoToeRemix! And thanks to Elana for co-hosting. We’ll be back next week featuring a “closet orphaned” pair of shoes!

Monday, August 22

Weekend Update: #MaizyMari

As is customary around here, I have some iPhone snaps to share for now, and will share the offish wedding photos as soon as we get them- so excited about that!

You GUYS. No one warned me or prepared me for a family wedding. I’m getting to be like a pro at going to weddings and being a bridesmaid (…not my own…sobbing emoji) but a family wedding weekend has seriously taken things to the next level.

Going into the weekend I knew that I should throw the idea of “personal space” out the window and just soak up “The Pappus, extended edition: MORE people and MORE cultures” and that mindset was very helpful, HAHA.

Camarillo Ranch is just gorgeous and felt very Californian, the weather was to die for, and the Victorian home and barn an amazing backdrop. It was a total blast getting to experience wedding festivities, from the rehearsal to pictures to ceremony to the reception with some of my favorite people on the planet, my sibs (and a couple of THEIR favorite people <3 and extended family that traveled really far, and some seriously awesome family friends.)

I did give a speech that went well, and I actually had fun giving it! Tuppy sang and played Around You” – Sherwood for the first dance, and then Coren & Tuppy played and sang I Won’t Give Up” – Jason Mraz at the reception which was 100% the definition of a moment for life. We have videos of it all (not pictured- my sisters & I weeping in the background.) It was a family affair, through & through.

And if you’re wondering if my dad came out on the dance floor to “In Da Club”…yes, that happened.

I am perfectly exhausted at going from Nashville to the Bay Area and down to Southern California and back to the Bay Area and then back to Nashville (wow even writing that sentence wears me out) but, thankful. And exhausted from F-U-N.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY- congrats Coren & Marisol! We love you and loved getting to celebrate you!!

Our first Pappu wedding is in the books.

*A note on that hashtag- when they got engaged I was excitedly texting Marisol and included #MaizyMari as a joke (Coren...sounds like corn...maiz in Spanish...Mari is her nickname...) AND it stuck! I promise you that was thrown together in five minutes and isn't my best work. 

**Oh, I realize I don't have a photo here with the actual couple on the actual day...stay tuned. 

Friday, August 19

Chambray AllDay

| lip: NYX liquid lipstick in Soft-Spoken | cardi: ancient H&M | necklace: Target | dress: Old Navy | heels: Francesca’s | watch: c/o JORD |

I wish-listed this little chambray sundress a while ago, and haven’t been able to get enough of it this Summer! So far I’ve worn it to a concert (Silversun Pickups at the Ryman) out to dinner (Easy Bistro in Chattanooga) and now to work, making it office-approp with a cardigan. It’s a dress that I can put on and go without much thought or adjustment, the “corset style” is so comfortable and flattering!

Looking at these photos again, I can’t wait to style this dress for Fall over a flannel with booties!

If you didn’t previously scope out Old Navy’s chambray catalog at the start of the Summer, there’s still time! This dress is still available in limited sizes (lucky you!) and some other chambray options are on mega sale as they gear up for Fall: like this functional dress, this pretty top, and this jumpsuit (OMG.)

ALSO I have to make an amendment to being so excited about not spending money on shopping in July. Honest mistake- I realized in retro that at the start of the month I had to buy an “emergency outfit” (just ask!), and while at Francesca’s, took these shoes into the dressing room “purely for trying on purposes” and, they came home with me. This is why I don’t go to animal shelters! These heels are faux leather and I’m not convinced at their longevity, but for now, let the good times roll. I’ve had my eyes on a pair of  “basket style heels” 4evsies.

You guys, I’m sorry I always talk about the same things on my blog! If there was an algorithm or something that could calculate the most used phrases on perfectly Priya I know it would be: Old Navy! Dry shampoo! Lip color! Graphic Tees! My jean jacket! Always a Bridesmaid! Being busy! Not doing my hair! Not shopping! Ipsy/Birchbox! Clogs! Haha. What would the algorithm say about your blog?

And while you’re reading this, I am in California for my brother Coren’s wedding to Marisol! It’s finally hereeeeee!! Follow along on Instagram and/or my personal Twitter for #siblingselfies and #sariselfies, and if the alcohol and emotions don’t kill me, I’ll be back on Monday!

Wednesday, August 17

Head to Toe Remix #3: Vintage Floral Blouse

header by my friend David!

Hey hey! It’s that time again. Today’s episode of the Head to Toe Remix features a top that needed some lovin’ [ICYMI: Me & Elana of Room 334 are remixing forgotten pieces in our closet from the top, down! So far we’ve remixed an accessory and an outerwear item.) 
| earrings: Old Navy | dress: Old Navy via clothing swap | watch: c/o JORD | ring: made by Adriane! | top: vintage giveaway win | clogs: Old Navy | lip: Stila Liquid Lipstick in Patina (new fave!) |

Much like last week- today’s item of choice is vintage, floral, and hasn’t been worn this season. 

When I started brainstorming for today’s outfit, instead of picking out the actual item first like I’d done previously, I thought about how I’d like to style a top in a new way. The answer was “jumper style” (as I like to call it) that is, layering under a dress. I don’t know why I forget this so often, but THE single easiest way to add some visual interest to an outfit is to layer. I absolutely loved the way this top layered under this dress! Both in terms of the fabric and fit, and the little bow tie. 

This blouse is one I won in a giveaway a couple years ago (umm, I've actually worn it several times on the blog!) but hadn't worn in a while. This dress on its’ own is a favorite that I got in an office clothing swap about a year ago (an early Fall outfit with this dress that I love!)

The result was a combo that felt totally 70’s- and I am totally into it. 
jcrew-button-down-thrifted-bb-dakota-skirt (1)
Elana is wearing a couple of my favorite pieces in her closet, together, for some fantastic pattern mixing! I immediately wish-list a top like this every time I see her wear it, and can you believe she thrifted this skirt?? Be sure to check out the entire post on Room 334!

I've loved being able to collaborate with Elana consistently, and this remix has also made me feel pretty good about what I have in my closet- both in terms of having plenty and wearing it out. Which was kinda absolutely the goal! And we still have three weeks & themes to go: a bottom, a pair of shoes, and a dress. 

Thanks for following along with us! If you've gotten inspired to style or re-style a top or other item of clothing that you haven't worn in a while, let me know so I can cheer you on! 

Next up, next week: a bottom (this sounds silly so I'll go ahead and tell you I'll be wearing my cargo pants :) 

Monday, August 15

Weekend {& life} Update: Benders & Balance

the view from our balcony in Gatlinburg

Whew. Life has been a bender of activity since last Monday. I knew the time between my recent trip to CA and going back for the wedding would go by at lightning speed- and it HAS- I'm headed back on Wednesday afternoon for Coren & Marisol's wedding (the first of the Pappus!)

Since I started working full-time (uh, almost three years ago) if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s a really delicate balance during the week of activities after work, and completely free evenings. My sweet spot seems to be exactly two free evenings to get my life on track (usually Monday after the weekend and one other) and three evenings where I have “plans” (this includes side hustles, errands, happy hours, meeting friends, etc.) I’m just curious if you’ve found a balance that works well for you, and what it is?

And then I’ve found that if this gets thrown off-balance- so does my life. Last week for me looked like: meeting a friend of a friend Monday evening, meeting a new co-worker Tuesday evening, a goodbye party that turned into going to a friend’s show Wednesday, babysitting and going to watch the Perseid meteor shower Thursday, and then a pre-game event at work (the game being the Nashville Sounds) on Friday night.

This went right up to leaving for Gatlinburg Saturday morning with Amanda for our friend Katie’s bachelorette party (#SoontobeShanked.) It was a quick turnaround, we stayed in an amazing 3 story cabin with just as many balconies and 14 girls. As for Gatlinburg, I’ll just say it was certainly scenic and otherwise everything that everyone warned me about (lots of Tweety Bird tattoos.) Katie- we love you! 

See what I mean? I’ve been on a bender!

I feel like I have one million things I need to do between now and when I leave Wednesday after work, which is always the case when I leave town mid-week. This includes getting loads of sleep so I can be on my best behavior around family and extended family for three days straight AND so I can kick this nasty cold/cough that crept up on me last week. And I dunno, writing my speech for the reception?? 

Just a quick real-life-update so you know what’s going on in my life besides the outfits :) hope your week is off to a great start and thanks for reading!

Friday, August 12

Summer Brights with thredUP

| earrings: gift (from Katie) | button-up: Gap c/o thredUP | skirt: J.Crew c/o thredUP | basket heels: Francesca’s | lip: Maybelline Colorsensational in Fuchsia Fever | pedi: Play Date by Essie (maybe my fave polish right now) |

photos by Theresa and edited with VSCOCam

This outfit, though as girly and sugary sweet as they come, still feels completely like my style. I know I've told this story on the blog before, but when I was in college, I was thrilled to get interviewed for the style section of our online newspaper thing. I had described my personal style as "quirky classy" or, "if you wore J.Crew in middle school", and thought that captured it pretty well! Until I read the published article where I was quoted as saying my personal style was "quirky middle schooler." Not quite. No such thing as bad publicity, right? 

I found myself discussing personal styles with my co-workers on the day I wore this outfit, after several people commented on how bright I looked!

While I can totally get into the neutral/minimal/Americana/all black ensembles that are so trendy right now, I still love bright colors and patterns and probably will until I age out. 

I'm really thrilled that almost this entire outfit is new-to-me via thredUP- a company I've heard great things about for years and finally got to try!

Are you guys familiar with thredUP? They're a San Francisco based online secondhand shop, where you can find virtually anything and everything; from brands like J.Crew, Gap, Anthropologie, Free People, H&M, you name it!
You can tell that thredUP puts a huge emphasis on customer experience: from the high quality of the items they sell, to the tracking update emails, and delivery and packaging! How cute is the wrapping and those custom tags?
my spoils: J.Crew top, J.Crew shorts, J.Crew skirt, Gap button-up, Old Navy button-up
I was seriously pleased with just how much great stuff I got using only the credit they sent me! Like, enough to put together several fantastic outfits.

A couple tips for shopping on thredUp:
Use the filter feature: thredUP has thousands of items (with more added daily!) so it can be a little overwhelming at first. I knew I wanted to put an outfit together, so after browsing and finding the colorblocked skirt, I knew I wanted some kind of neutral/printed button-up to go with it.
- Look out for promo codes! In addition to the credit I had, thredUP offers a myriad of other discount codes (for first time users, etc.) The really neat thing is I was able to combine promo codes, which you normally can't do- making for some seriously great deals!
- Selling: the other half of thredUP is the closet clean-out/sell option, which I haven't had the chance to do yet, but hear great things about. You can literally clean out your closet and send items to thredUP, which they will then price out and sell for you. Could be a great alternative to other secondhand services for nicer, name brand items.
- Referrals: thredUP has a fantastic give $10, get $10 referral program, which I've already sent to my sisters and some friends! They can get something cool and so can you.

And just for you guys- thredUP has provided the code JCREW50 for 50% off J.Crew items for first time orders! With their already steeply discounted items + that code, there are some seriously good deals waiting for you, friends.

Use this link right here to head over to thredUP and start shopping!

ThredUp provided me with a shopping credit in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own and I genuinely *love* what they're doing!