Can we just talk about how Kate Spade is KILLING it with their new Spring Forward/Lawn Party collection novelty bags?! I AM DYING. That snail. That freaking snail. If I had a spare $300 to splurge on a wicker snail friend that I would name Charlie and bring with me everywhere, I mean, you so know I would. 

I love how whimsical and daring Kate Spade is, and even though these are obviously novelty purchases, I am impressed with the creativity they keep bringing to the table. They offer a wide range and selection of accessories from the classics every girl should have (black tote bag, nice leather wallet, colorful crossbody) to luxury goods (think calfskin and structured silhouettes) to affordable but colorfully cute  choices within collections. They set themselves apart by offering higher-end, quality pieces without losing their sense of humor and confining themselves to the "chic" look. I, for one, keep going back because of the adorable factor, and while I might not be able to afford that little wicker snail it's definitely going to stick to my mind and pin to my Pinterest board!

(Some of these are from older collections but I had to feature them too -- I mean, who doesn't want to carry her keys in a hot air balloon? And the Lily Avenue collection is gold. This is most definitely not sponsored post; I'm just enamored with and excited about all of the new things that I just saw on their site!) 

What are are your favorites from Kate Spade's recent releases? I'd love to know!

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Some morning you just can't bring yourself to get dolled up (aka the "I'm totally going to go work out after class" look, sports hairband and all, when I am actually just too lazy to shower and will eat half a bag of Trader Joe's tater tots instead of going on that run when I get home...). Today was was one those mornings with an 8 a.m. midterm halfway across town, but to make up for that I decided to take a little part of the afternoon to treat myself to a much-needed manicure. With the crispy breeze and hint of warm weather I was feeling Sally Hansen Lacey Lilac to get a head start on spring pastels with this cool-toned lilac shade. I forget how good the Sally Hansen formulas are, but they are really remarkable considering I got this for under $3 at my local drugstore. It's a thicker consistency which gives a bit of a gel-like feel. Lacey Lilac applied a little streaky on the first coat (weird for a thick formula), but the second coat smoothed everything out and I'm loving this as a slightly lighter alternative to my old bottle of OPI Do You Lilac It? -- especially at a third of the price!

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The woes of being a college student with a part-time minimum wage job are plentiful, but with a little  help from the scrappy saving that go into my "Treat Yo'self Fund" and the occasional holiday/birthday treats and splurges (mine come all in one go in December) I am slowly building out my little makeup trove of high-end goodies. I don't know what it is about the brand name label and sleek, sturdy packaging, but as superficial as it sounds, I find using nicer products and indulging a little bit in yourself is always a satisfying feeling! I've finally collected up enough high-end products to create a whole look, so that's what I'm sharing with you today. I think investing in the staples is the way to go, but I don't reach for all of these every day. Changing my routine up from the usual use-and-abuse drugstore products (though I don't know where I'd be without them!) to a little more luxurious selection made for a really fun morning! Also, excuse the unruly hair -- nothing worked in getting it camera-appropriate today. 

BASE: Tarte Amazonian Clay 24hr Airbrush Foundation + Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush
This magical powder foundation but basically melts into the skin. Like a lot of reviews I read before purchasing said, it doesn't seem like it's doing much when you first buff it in, but by the time I'm done with my makeup it looks like my skin has a naturally smooth touch and is really evened out. I love how lightweight it is and how natural it looks while still covering up the redness and pores.

CHEEKS: Benefit Box Blush - Dandelion, Too Faced Glamour to Go Palette - Fairy Edition
Sweeping on any Benefit Box Blush is a treat because they smell absolutely gorgeous (a slight floral hint) and it's a foolproof formula - you can never apply too much of Dandelion, which gives the most natural flush of perk-me-up baby pink to the cheeks. I also busted out my Glamour to Go palette today (I always forget about this little sucker) to lightly bronze up the "3" zone of my face.

EYES: NARS Eyeshadow Duo - Charade, Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara (Sample Size)
My wonderful roommates pitched in to get me the NARS Charade duo for my birthday a few years back and it's one of those products I always come back to and am like "Oooh yeah!" It's a subtle look but the touch of purple really accentuates the green in my hazel eyes without overdoing it on the brightness front. Today I tested out my Sephora sample of the Make Up Forever mascara and the size of the brush was so alarming I had to close it back up right quick before mustering up the courage to face this monster again. It's not the best or the worst mascara I've used, but probably not going to use it again due to the fear factor brought on by this scary spiral contraption.

Can I say anything more about this product? I've already raved. Check it out here.

Products mentioned:
Tarte Amazonian Clay 24hr Airbrush Foundation    /    Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush    /    Benefit Box Blush - Dandelion    /    MAC Syrup
Too Faced Glamour to Go Palette - Fairy Edition    /    NARS Eyeshadow Duo - Charade    /    Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

Having recently dealt with my combination skin tending to be on the oilier side, Maybelline's new Fit Me! Matte + Poreless foundation display immediately caught my eye at the drugstore. A fan of the Fit Me! Concealer and having had moderate success with the Fit Me! Stick Foundation I figured it would be worth a try. The product packaging promises to mattify and refine pores, match your natural tone, and give a seamless finish. It's a standard liquid formula, not too runny but slightly fast-drying due to perhaps it's matte feature. I'd say the finish isn't completely matte like some of the heavier foundations I've tried but it gives light-to-medium coverage, evening out the redness in my skin. Obviously my dark studied-too-hard-at-the-library-last-night circles didn't get too much help from the foundation alone, but nothing some concealer can't attempt to hide anyway.

As for the poreless claim, as you can see it does smooth over my nose area and diminish the noticeability, but by hour 3 or 4 of wear my nose was definitely shiny and the foundation had begun to rub off. Next time I will try powdering my t-zone, even though this claims mattifying so I was hoping I could skip the extra step. My skin did look pretty natural and the rest of the foundation held up moderately well considering I didn't hate how it looked when I got home. My only concern is that I oftentimes get eczema breakouts and dry spots on my face and this would definitely cling to any patches. Word of caution: moisturize!! And have a backup for those dry skin days.

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Every girl wants to have her signature scent, and I'm pretty sure mine has become Angels of Florence. I treated myself to this fragrance from Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the world's oldest pharmacies that was founded in 1221 by Dominican Friars in the heart of Florence, during my mother-daughter trip through Italy last summer. Not only does it have sentimental value, but it has the most gorgeous floral fresh scent. All SM Novella perfumes are all made in-house and they try to use as many local ingredients as they can. The official site lists the notes for this one as jasmine, lilac, rose and gardenia with peach, melon and violet plus a drop of grey amber. I love floral-sweet scents with hints of muskiness like sandalwood and amber so this is the perfect blend for my everyday wear. I thought I could only get my hands on this in Italy, but I've unexpectedly seen products from SM Novella in several small boutique stores and just found out that there is an online shop, too!(Though I do think that when I run out of this 100mL bottle I will just have to plan another trip to Italy to restock... and it'll give me enough time to save up for the ticket, haha). I seriously just get so happy thinking about this scent and every time I spritz this it reminds me of Italy and the lovely trip we had. Perfect qualities of a signature scent, no? What is your favorite perfume?

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I've got a little shopping dilemma. I've been wanting a white dress for ages, and finally caved to order this beautiful simple piece from ASOS (hoping it fits perfectly when it arrives! Plus, 20% off with code PREZDAY20). I've also been on the hunt for some new heels to go with it, and I'm on the fence between three pairs. I'm hoping to get some helpful feedback! I love love love the caged design of the Carolinna Espinosa Saris but wondering if I can wear 4" heels more often than not... The Madewell Corin sandals are gorgeous but very daytime and chunky, whereas the Cole Haan Lucille are classic and pretty with scalloped details (and on sale!). I'm trying to invest in pieces that I can wear once I find a job/career but still are cute and wearable to go out on the weekends. Versatility is key! Which ones do you like best? I can't decide!

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If you've ever been to Rome you know how crazy crowded Via del Corso (the main shopping street) is, and if you've walked by the KIKO store you definitely know the chaos that ensues inside that tiny storefront. Via del Corso was a regular stop for me while I lived in Rome and it took me a while to muster up the confidence to elbow my way inside... but once I discovered the variety, quality, and affordability of KIKO cosmetics I realized what all of the craze was about. KIKO has been popping up on a lot of blogs and YouTube channels lately and I'm hoping this exposure will help them expand further into the global market and come to the West Coast soon!

Anyway, today I'm here to tell you about the wonderful goodness that is the KIKO Infinity+ eyeshadow. Man oh man these are buttery smooth to the touch, glossy and shimmery (in a non-offensive way), and the color selection is gorgeous. I picked up five everyday colors to bring home with me and these are regulars in my day-to-day school makeup and travel bag too. My favorite is probably the purple shade, because it's way more wearable than I imagined and makes my hazel eyes pop! While I can combine the shades for different looks, I find that each can be worn on its own with just a bit of mascara to add enough emphasis around the eye, so these shadows are super versatile and a great investment at just €4.90 / £5.90 a piece (and usually they're on sale!). The only warning is that they're so soft an accidental wrong move (aka accidentally stabbing it with your finger... whoops) will cause it to dent/crumble away, but I'm not too mad about it. What KIKO products do you love?

Swatches (L to R):
202 / 219 / 212 / 241 / 243 

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