Saturday, March 29, 2014

DEB Birthday Haul! Vacation Clothes - PHOTO HEAVY

Alright guys. We're in for a big one today.

This is my HUGE DEB haul. I went shopping with my two best friends to celebrate my birthday (I turned 24 on St. Patty's Day!), plus my mom paid for my online shopping cart full of stuff as my gift, and THEN I placed another order of my own.  Sooo...I got a little less than $300 worth of clothes (actually it's probably worth more due to sales), and they are all for our huge family vacation to Florida in July. Disney, Universal and a Bahamian cruise. I can't wait!

Everyone, say hi to Boots, one of the two mascots of iwearcatshirts. You'll get to meet his brother in an upcoming post :)

So let's get started!

First, we'll start with the things I picked up on my trip to the mall last weekend. DEB was having an in-store sale, BOGO free tops, and 30% shorts. I was really just looking for shorts, but who can pass up BOGO free? Certainly not me.

Let's start with the shirt you KNOW I couldn't pass up. My blog is called iwearcatshirts for goodness sake. I saw it on a four-way and knew it had to be mine. This is a racerback style, and the Kitty Wearing Sunglasses image was too adorable. I love the pop of neon pink in the sunglasses, and I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of wear out of this baby. I did go up a size from my usual in this one. It fit in my usual size, but I wanted it to be a little more flowy for summer. Plus, I like my white shirts to be looser than other colors because white shows every little thing on my torso.

This Tribal Print Tank is adorable! I love the neutral tones and the black crochet detail is a great touch. I'll probably pair this with black or khaki bottoms and a cute sandal.

This High Low Tank has these cute floral crochet details at the shoulders. It's really simple but I love how flowy and light it is. The website describes this as coral, but to me it leans a little more pink. Not a true pink, but not a true coral either. It's a really pretty color, and I plan on picking up this tank in turquoise too.

This Daisy Peace Sign Tank is super cute too. At first, I wasn't sold on the ruffle detail, but it's growing on me. Daisies are really in for this spring and summer--it's a flashback to the 60s and 70s in the fashion world. I'm seeing daisies EVERYWHERE, and I just love the design of this. This tank does have deep armholes, so if that's something you aren't comfortable with, you might wanna skip this one. I'm usually on the fence about that style, but with a cami, this one doesn't bother me as much. With a cute braided headband and a beach waves hairdo, this will be perfect on the pool deck of the cruise ship.

Now onto the reason I went to the store in the first place: shorts.

I'll be honest: I dread shopping for shorts. I usually have to try on every style in three different sizes, and they are always either too short, or too long. I did luck out and find two pairs on this trip, and the website has a few other styles I might chance ordering now that I have a general idea of my size in the reign denim brand that DEB carries.

First up is this Dark Wash Denim pair of shorts from reign. These shorts are a little longer, though I wouldn't say they are quite bermuda length. Maybe an inch or two above my knee. They have this cute whiskering wash pattern on the front, a double button and zip fly, and I also like the cuff at the bottom of the leg, for a little extra detail.

These shorts also have this really nice detail on the back pocket and a button flap closure.

These denim shorts have a little bit of destruction, but nothing extravagant. I was really drawn to the Tribal Embroidery on the pockets, though it's likely no one will see it but me, since I tend to wear longer shirts untucked. But still...adorable. These shorts are shorter, but not uncomfortably so. I tried on a few pairs that seemed more like booty shorts, but these were a length I could definitely tolerate.

Here's an up close view of the pocket detail. I just think it's so cute. :)

Let's move on to birthday order number one, hmm?

My mom had no idea what to get me for my birthday, and I made a joke that she could just pay for the stuff I'd been putting in my cart while fantasy shopping for a week. Next thing I knew, she was holding my laptop and putting in her credit card number. That day online DEB was selling their tops for 40% off, so I picked up four more tops, along with a couple pairs of my favorite capris and two camis (2 for $12!).

Now this Floral Tank has a story to it. A few weeks ago, I put it in my cart fantasy shopping, and didn't think anything of it. A couple days later, an order arrived at my house that my mother had placed for my sister. She was getting some leggings and added a couple things to the cart to get the free shipping DEB offers for orders over $50. Lo and behold, she pulls out this same tank. I pouted because "I saw it first," but I went ahead and kept it in my cart anyway because I really wanted it. And I'm glad I did.  It's so cute. It's got a high low hem and the material is super soft and light.

Plus this detail on the back of the tank is to die for. I love it. I don't care that my sister has it too; I just won't wear it when she wears it. Or I'll hide hers. ;)

And again with the daisies. Pink this time. This is a pretty basic Floral Tank, with a crocheted neckline and straps and a banded bottom. It's really cute but nothing too special. I just like the shape of the tank.

I am obsessed with this tank. It's a basic black high low tank but the Embroidered and Beaded Neckline! It's so much brighter and colorful in person. I love the way it looks.

LOOK AT THIS. It's so pretty. I can't get over it.

Now I am so excited about this Ombre Crocheted Tank. I work in retail, and this style started coming into my store like crazy last spring. I loved the style and the trend, but couldn't find anything like it in a plus size. Until DEB. When I saw this I knew I had to have it. It's obviously really sheer, so I need a nude cami underneath, but it is adorable. The fringe just looks adorable and it's so light and breezy. I'm in love.

Now these capris.

I am OBSESSED with this brand of bottom.

They look and feel like leggings, but have a button and zip fly and the back pockets are functional. I have them in every color you can think of in the pant length, and several more colors in the capri length. So when I saw a jegging version, I jumped on them. So cute and comfy.

I liked them so much that I picked them up in the black denim version as well. From far away, they look true black, but up close you can see that denim detailing.

And finally...birthday order number two.

This order was all tops. I swear DEB has some of the cutest tops this season, and I was happy to find plenty to stock up on.

This Burnout Tye Dye Tank is so bright and vibrant. I love the colors and how comfy it will be in warmer weather. I may actually embellish this with some iron-ons for my trip. I haven't decided yet, but I think a big black Mickey head would look cute on this.

This tank has a Neon Tribal Screen on the front, which I love because I'm really into neons lately.

Also, the crochet detail on the back is amazing. I love how intricate and detailed it is.

This Tye Dye Daisy tank is adorable! It has deep armholes and a large keyhole detail on the back. The color is really vibrant, and although I'm not a big yellow wearer, I couldn't pass it up.I love the glitter on the flower; the whole shirt gives off a 60s vibe. LOVE.

Next is this Aztec Print Trapeze Tank. This tank is a chiffon material, slightly oversized and very flowing. The colors are a pretty pastel and the pattern is super cute.

However, the big draw for me is the ivory bead detail around the collar. It just gives it something a little extra that I love. I love this paired with white denim shorts and some sort of strappy sandal.

This Floral Burnout Tank has a bubble hem, which I am not usually a fan of. However, on this short it really works, I bought it in the teal, but it's also available in royal blue and coral. I love tanks like this because with a solid cami underneath it, the floral pattern really stands out.

This Color Block Racerback Tank is pretty basic but I really liked the color combination--there's something about the black, white and blue that drew me in. Unfortunately, this color combo is currently sold out online. It's really light and comfortable; perfect for a day at the beach or riding roller coasters at Universal Studios.

This last top I actually bought with my job in mind. I have a ton of these chiffon collared sleeveless tanks for summer since my workplace gets so freakin' hot! But this one is a little different, because it doesn't button up; instead it sort of drapes open (or closed) and has this neat twist detail in the front. The only color they have this left in online is ivory, but I might pick it up, just to have something white as well as black. I really overexposed the flash on this one so you could see the details more clearly. It's a really unique style, and I like it a lot.

So, this is my HUGE DEB haul. I really like DEB because they carry cute and trendy plus-size clothing at really reasonable prices. They have amazing dresses--both more formal and more casual, and  they seem to always be having some sort of sale. I could easily spend $200+ in one go if I didn't have any sort of self-restraint. Thank God for birthdays that make me feel like I can spoil myself just a little bit. :D (Not to mention, I already have my cart filled up again! eek.)

This post took forever to put together because of all the photos, but I wanted the whole haul altogether. In the future, I'll probably break haul posts up between stores or orders or something. Be on the lookout for my February&March faves and a polish swatch post sometime in the next week.:)

Allyson Rae

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My first ipsy "unbagging" - March 2014

Hi all! Today I have photos and first impressions of my very first ipsy Glam Bag!

ipsy is a beauty subscription service and community created by YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan. For $10.00 a month, you get a cute cosmetic travel bag filled with four or five beauty products to try and review for points. You can redeem points to get bonus goodies in an upcoming ipsy bag.

I am a new subscriber and I was really excited to get my first bag in the mail. This is the March 2014 "Destination Beauty" Glam Bag.

This month's bag "Klari" was designed by artist Klari Reis. It is an abstract rendering of a San Fransisco street map, where ipsy was born. I thought it was super cute, although I was kind of hoping for a true map print bag for my upcoming vacation.

Anyway, these are the goodies I got in this month's bag.

This Pixi Flawless beauty primer is really nice. It's smooth and has a subtle glow with a slight shimmer. I tried to swatch it, but it blends so nicely into my skin it didn't show up on camera! I am not a huge primer user because my foundation is a 3-in-1 and works pretty well, but I might use this in the summer when I want a glow without full face makeup.

I also got this Chella Fine-Tip Eyeliner Pen in Indigo Blue. I really don't wear any liner color but black but this liner makes me want to try it. I am OBSESSED with this.

I mean LOOK at that tip. I can only imagine what I could do with a tip like that. The color is really stunning, and I even had my mom swatch it. When she rubbed at it, she described it as "bulletproof." It didn't budge, smudge or smear even seconds after application.

When I saw we were getting a bareMinerals lipstick in the Glam Bag, I was psyched. I was a little less psyched to see it was only a sample size. I expected a full-size tube. But I couldn't stay disappointed when I saw the color. It's so pretty.

This color is not translating well on camera at all. Here it looks kind of coral, but Get Ready is more of a berry pink color. Not super dark, but it definitely doesn't have this orangey look to it in person. It looks amazing with my skin and I wouldn't hesitate to go full-size with this one. I only wish it had been full-size to begin with.

The last product I got this month is the NYX Love in Rio Palette in Moonlit Skinny Dip. The packaging on this is so cute, with a little bow on the latch area. The photo below shows the shades much more true to color.

However, I don't know how I feel about these shades. In the palette, they look gorgeous. But the color payoff was a little disappointing. It might just be my skin tone, or the fact that I've been spoiled with the nudes in my Naked 2 palette, but these ones are just kind of washed out and dull.

The lightest shade barely shows up and the center shade is really dull--not like the vibrant tan/gold shade you see in the package. I'm gonna give them a try on my actual eyelids before I rule them out completely, but right now these ones aren't quite doing it for me.

Overall, I am really happy with my decision to subscribe to ipsy. For $10.00 a month, you can't beat getting cool new brands and products to try. I was a little bummed to not get the Nicole by OPI Roughies polish that was also available in the bags this month, but then again, I have more polish than I know what to do with.

If you are interested in subscribing to ipsy, you can sign up here. I think it's a really cool service.

I am waiting on more more order to be delivered, and then I'll have my DEB Birthday haul to share with you. It's a big one, so be prepared! ;)

Allyson Rae

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas Review #SimplyIndulge

Okay, I'll be honest: I am not a tea person. I never have been, and I likely never will be. I don't like the smell, and the taste is always too bitter for me. So when I received these four samples of Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas in my Influenster J'adore VoxBox, I was a little...well worried. How do I review something I know I don't like?

Well, I decided to have an open mind and just try them anyway.

I googled the best way to "doctor" up flavored teas like these when you aren't a tea-drinker, and most people said to add plenty of milk/cream and sugar. I like milk. I like sugar. Let's do this.

In my VoxBox I received three Creme Caramel tea bags and one Lemon Chiffon tea bag. I figured milk and sugar would go better in a caramel flavored tea, so I grabbed one of those.

From the Influenster product card: "Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas deliver rich decadent flavors in a premium black tea blend. Enjoy this indulgence in a cup, with none of the calories and none of the guilt."

I decided to use my Keurig to brew the tea because boiling water takes too damn long. Can I just talk about my Keurig for a second? I love this thing. My sister and I begged for one for like...six months, and Santa brought us one as our family Christmas gift, straight from a QVC Today's Special Value presentation. As you can see, my family is made up of coffee people. My mom drinks tea from time to time, but we like coffee. And cocoa.

I put the tea bag in my Soft Kitty mug (a Christmas gift from my sister--along with a T-shirt and a singing Soft Kitty doll) and I noticed that it didn't have a super strong tea smell. I mean...I could tell it was tea, but it wasn't that overpowering smell that I strongly dislike. I brewed some hot water into my cup; I used the second-smallest setting--6 oz. I believe--to make sure I'd have plenty of room for milk in my mug. The instructions recommend steeping the tea for 3-5 minutes, and I think I left mine for just under 3--I don't like strong tea, remember?

I added some sugar and some Vanilla flavored powdered creamer...because it was sitting there...and then filled my mug the rest of the way with milk. It kind of looked like a really light roast coffee filled 3/4 of the way with milk. Really creamy looking.

Then, I tasted. It...wasn't bad. Obviously the tea wasn't strong because I didn't steep it for very long, but I could still taste tea more than I could taste any flavor. However, it wasn't terrible. It was definitely a tea that I could drink all of, versus the million other teas I've tried that I poured down the drain before the second sip.

So even though tea is not my favorite thing in the world, and I will still never be a tea drinker, I have to say that this Red Rose Creme Caramel tea was not bad. It's definitely something I would keep on hand for days when my throat is hurting and I need something hot.

I decided to skip my February faves post and do a combined February/March Faves post as the month closes out because I only tried one or two products I'm obsessed with last month, and that didn't seem like enough for a full post. I also have my first ipsy unbagging and a DEB birthday shopping haul on deck for you, so stay tuned! 

Allyson Rae

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Julep Maven Unboxing!

Hi all! Today I have my March Julep Maven box to show you.

This month Julep released The Riviera Collection. "The Riviera Collection includes nine jet-setting shades inspired by the vibrant colors and luxurious, laidback lifestyle of the Mediterranean coastline" (via Julep's blog).

I opted for the Modern Beauty box this months because A. Lord knows I have too much nail polish, and B. I like lip products.

The Modern Beauty box included the Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment and the Buff Lip Scrub.

The Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment is "fortified with omega-rich pumpkin oil nourishing sunflower wax, and healing vitamin E." It also includes Green coffee bean oil to "smooth fine lines and enhance lip definition." Julep instructs that this treatment be applied to lips throughout the bed and before bed, and can be worn alone or as a hydrating base for lip color.

This stuff smells amazing--just like pumpkins. It's really thick and creamy, and it has a slight pink tint to it, but it doesn't really translate on the skin. Well, at least not on the back of my hand. I think I'll be getting a lot of use out of this since this bitterly cold winter has left my lips so dry.

The Julep Buff Lip Scrub is "packed with exfoliating sugar crystals, nourishing vitamin E, and moisturizing panthenol (vitamin B5),  [and]...buffs away dry, flaky skin to reveal smooth, gorgeous lips." The instructions are simple enough: massage over lips and tissue off. It's basically meant to be a sugar scrub that is contained in a convenient applicator rather than in a jar, which can get kind of messy.

This stuff smells really sweet. Almost vanilla scented, but I'm not really sure how exactly to describe it. I rubbed it on the back of my hand and it's a little sticky, and the sugar crystals are really fine, so I didn't actually feel them until I rubbed it with my finger. I think this will feel really good on my chapped lips before I apply the Conditioning Treatment, just to get all that gross dry skin off.

I did opt to add of the Julep polish add-ons this month because I had some Jules to spend. This polish caught my eye because of the name more than the color. Rae is my middle name, so I had to have this. One of the reasons I like Julep so much is because I have managed to actually almost find a polish spelled like my name. It's missing an 'l,' but Alyson does have the 'y' I can never seem to find on personalized products (Thanks, Mom). I also managed to pick up a polish called Ally, so that's cool.

Anyway, back to Rae. Rae is the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year polish, a "Radiant Orchid creme."

It's really pretty in the bottle, and looks like it will be one or two coater, which is a plus. I do kind of need more cream polishes in my life; almost everything I have is shimmery or glittery--just like me! haha. I will be swatching this one once I receive the March birthstone polish I ordered from the Secret Store (because it's my birthday month!) so be on the lookout for that in the next week or so.

Also, a little extra Julep threw in: a cinnamon stick candy from Gilliam candy company! Yummy. I love the little treats that Julep includes in our Maven boxes. They also included a 35% discount code for the lip duo from this month's box, and a 25% off code for the lip glosses that were included in the other Maven boxes this month.

If you're interested in the Julep Maven program, you can sign up here. The subscription is $19.99 a month, and (under the new terms of the program) you can earn a skip every six months. You'll take a quiz and determine your default style profile, and you can change that default profile or try a new style every month during the selection window. As a Maven, you also receive free shipping and 20% off all purchases at If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I'll answer as best I can.

I'll be putting up my February Faves post sometime this week, and I'll also have an ipsy glam bag first impressions post and some new OOTDs coming up soon too. :)

Allyson Rae