Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Biggest Haul Yet!

My latest haul!
With last week being a three day weekend for Memorial Day, my parents invited a few family friends over. Surprisingly, that turned out to be a lot of graduation presents for me, with a good amount of it being cash. With no intention of making a trip to the bank to deposit it, I did what any person would do: go on a no-holds-barred shopping spree!

There's just something about shopping, a feeling of giddy success perhaps, and before I knew it, I had blown the whole bit. However, with the great Memorial Day sales, I ended up with quite a haul, which I'm going to share here (better late than never!) The pictures aren't the best quality, they've all been through multiple programs as I was modifying them. I'm working on my editing skills I promise!


C'est La Vie Crop Top, Free Spirit Tank top, flip flops, and necklace from Forever 21
First up is Forever 21. I love the little ruffles on the bottom of the C'est La Vie (never took French, but it sounds pretty) crop top. I'm still not sure how to style tank tops, but I think the Free Spirit tank top makes a nice summer piece. I also picked up a pair of flip flops, on sale, 2 pairs for $5, which my friend and I shared, and a necklace. I don't want this to be a super long post, so I'm keeping the descriptions short, but feel free to ask item costs in the comments, if I don't mention it.

Things I bought from H & M
Next is H&M. The striped shirt was part of a 2 for $10 sale, so I also got a solid royal blue version of it, which is in the wash right now. I also saw a cute crop top, which I don't usually wear, but I'm trying to expand my style, so I picked it up too. Finally, another pair of skinny jeans. You can never have too many!

Victoria's Secret
New Victoria's Secret bra, with a broken strap :(
I won't go into too much detail, but Victoria's Secret was have a 7 for $27 underwear sale that I could not resist. I was having a desperate need for underwear, so I'm extremely happy about that haul. A bonus was the additional $10 off any bra, so I finally got fitted and got one. It was so soft and comfortable thing, but when I got home, I noticed that it was ripped. I had to return it, and now they're sending me another over the mail.


My purchases from LUSH!

The Love Lettuce and Cupcake face masks from Lush
A trip to the mall is never complete without a stop at Lush. By now, I've sampled most, if not all, of the face masks that I think fit my skin type, and I finally settled on Love Lettuce and Cupcake. I've reviewed both of them in a previous post, which you can read here. I also got a sample of the Skin Drink moisturizer, which like Celestial is a bit heavy, so if I do end up buying a moisturizer from Lush, it's probably going to be Imperialis after all. I also bought a few toner tabs. They sell them for about $2, but if you get 6, they throw in a 7th for free. What you do with these is after you wash your face, you set up a steamer (a bowl of hot water under your face and a towel over your head), toss one of them in and let it fizz. The tea tree oil in the steam helps clear out pores and treat acne. When I first got these, I didn't really know how to use it properly, so I kind of messed up, but I can now advise from experience to hold your breathe while it fizzes and the steam is in your face because it only lasts about twenty seconds. You can follow up with a face mask or a moisturizer to complete the skincare routine (full details on how I do it in a later post).

I'm not sure how I feel about the Body Shop after this trip. On one hand, I support their message of sustainable production, but on the other hand, everything is so expensive. I only try to visit when they have sales, which is why I was so happy they had the 3 for 3 sale this weekend, but despite a lengthy conversation with the sales attendant, I still left the store overpaying by about $12 because of unclear
rules regarding sale items. When I called to try to figure it out, they were adamant about the nature of the sale, and I couldn't find any easy solution to rectify the problem. Anyhow, back to what I bought, I've always wanted to try the body butters, so I got two of the small ones. I also bought a shea hand cream for my mom, and some tea tree oil (I'm kind of obsessed with tea tree stuff right now). I split the sale with a friend, so she got two other items, and the purchase in total was over $60, so we were able to get a free full sized body butter as well (retails at $21). The body butters smell oh so good, and they really do help to soften skin (I find they do wonders for rough skin on my knees and elbows). As nice as they are, it'll be a long time before I go back to the Body Shop, for one, because I don't want to have to deal with confusing sales, and two because I have enough stuff to last me quite a while now.

I try to stay out of Bath & Body Works if I can because the smell is so overpowering, but there is always the exception of the 5 for $5 PocketBac hand sanitizers. I wanted to pick up three old favorites and two new scents, but Wildberry Dahlia scent was seasonal, so I only got Fresh Strawberries and Stress Relief. As for the new scents, they look promising, so I'm eager to try them out. Though they are small, the hand sanitizer scents are super strong, so a little goes a long way. They're really convenient to toss into a backpack or purse, which makes staying clean before eating super easy.

»Homeware & Misc.«

As great as Jansport is, with my long hair, I find it a bit bothersome to fuss with shoulder straps every time I use it, so a new bag for college was an absolute must. I've been eyeing oversized tote bags for a while, so when I saw this at Target, I only hesitated a tiny bit before buying it. I like that it's a black and white bag as well, which makes it really easy to use match with any outfit. It's big enough to fit a computer, and since it's structured, it's super roomy on the inside. My only qualm is that the inside pocket is too small for my wallet, but my wallet is big enough to be thrown in with the rest of the stuff without getting lost. It was also a bit more expensive than I what I usually would consider paying for it, but as the point of a shopping spree is to buy things without worrying about cost, I'm quite glad I decided to get it. Next, I picked up the Aussie Hair Insurance Heat Protecting Shine Spray I'm trying to figure out how to curl my hair. The last item is an Essie duo. It sold for $14.50 as a pair, which is a bit cheaper than normal as Essie is usually $8.50 a bottle. The clear stuff is a gel top coat, which so far has been glossier and more durable than any other top coat I've used. It just looks so much better and it protects all that effort of a self-manicure. The red polish is called "Forever Yummy" and I think it's just a good idea to have a strong red as a staple in any nail polish collection.

Last but not least, we have Yankee Candle. I'm a huge fan of candles, and this time, I finally got to pick up my favorite scent: Midnight Jasmine. I never go there without a sale, because it's just not worth it. This time, even with a sale it was a bit pricey, but I just had to have that scent. A purchase of minimum $30 earned a discount on medium jar candles, making them only $10. Since I already had a floral scent (Midnight Jasmine), a clean scent (Over the River), and a sweet scent (French Vanila), I decided to go with a fruity scent. I'm not obsessed with the Mango Peach Salsa, but even if I never get around to use it, I can still give it as a gift.

Unfortunately, I went to Sephora to pick up a white eyeliner, a red lipstick, and a bronzer, but I didn't end up getting anything because they were sold out of the specific items I wanted. Target was also out of the Revlon Lip Butters in Peach Parfait, so I wasn't able to buy that either.

Overall, I'd say it's a pretty successful shopping spree. However, just because it's a shopping spree, which by definition should mean that you don't consider many factors in buying what you like, my advice to you is that you can still be smart about it. From this haul, here is what I've learned:
  • Try not to shop on time constraints if possible, rushing results in more impulse buys.
  • Always check receipts before leaving the store. Make sure you haven't been overcharged.
  • Check quality on pricy items, if not all items. Returns are a hassle.
  • Shop with a friend to split discounts. You each spend less and get more.
  • Shop during holidays to take advantage of sales. A lot of things aren't worth the full price.
  • Make a list so you know exactly what you want, and it helps to not go over budget. I spent exactly what I had planned to spend, and that was an extremely satisfying feeling.
On a side note, I did film a haul video, but I'm not entirely comfortable with the vlogging thing. I kind of like just blogging, but maybe I'll try editing it and uploading later in the summer. Thanks for reading! ◊

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