Thursday, June 7, 2012

Recent Consumerism

I haven't been dressing up lately so I haven't had much reason to post, and even if I had, I wouldn't be able to share photos because I forgot to bring my camera cable with me >_<

Reasons I've been a slob (T-shirt, jeans/shorts, sneakers) lately (in tiny text because it's kind of whiny)
When summer started, I was super lazy and wore pajamas all day. Okay, this one is totally my fault.
My eyes somehow became sensitive to my contacts, so if I wear my contacts my eyes get red (especially my left eye), but if I wear glasses for a couple of days they go back to normal. No pain/itchiness/irritation. I threw away my old contacts and tried a fresh pair on Monday (eyes had been totally clear for ~3 days), and everything seemed okay for the rest of the day and on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning my left eye was red again. So I'll be wearing glasses for the foreseeable (ha) future, and I don't like the way I look with glasses, so I don't feel like dressing nicely. 
I have tendinitis in my feet and have to wear supportive shoes, preferably sneakers with an orthotic insert. Usually I can get away with wearing other shoes for a few hours if I put in arch supports (and am willing to have my feet hurt for a couple of days after) but recently it's been pretty bad - my feet hurt even after walking in the sandals for too long. So it's sneakers, all day, every day.
I work in a neuroscience lab and have to wear pants and closed-toe shoes. 
It's super hot and humid here, so my hair frizzes as soon as I walk out the door.

But even when I don't dress up, I still like pretty here's the results of my recent consumerism/bargain-hunting.

Revlon Lip Butters (HEB)

I'm pretty late to the party, but Revlon lip butters are super popular, yeah? I know they can get pretty pricey (ULTA carries them for $7.49, for $5.99 - $7.49) but HEB (supermarket chain in Texas) carries them for $5.47, plus they recently had a coupon for $3 off any Revlon item o_O So I picked up these for $2.47 + tax each:

Left to Right: Revlon ColorBurst™ Lip Butter in Candy Apple, Peach Parfait, and Creme Brulee

First of all, these smell like vanilla frosting, and I love the packaging. Neither of these factors should affect how I buy cosmetics...but they totally do.

I actually bought Cherry Tart and not Candy Apple, but these photos are from and they didn't carry Cherry Tart. In any case, red lipstick still scares me, so I doubt I'll be wearing it much. Maybe dab a little bit on top of lip balm for some color. I though that a "lip butter" would be more sheer but it's still quite strongly pigmented, which I guess is generally a plus - just not for me.

Peach Parfait is a very pretty, warm medium pink. It's a bit too girly for me as an everyday thing, but I'm still quite happy with it and will probably wear it occasionally.

Creme Brulee is slightly darker in real life than it appears in the photos, and is a perfect nude lip color for medium/tan skin. I actually bought another one of these because I seriously have been using it every day since I bought it.

Slim Boot Jean, Medium Wash (American Eagle)

I'm pretty fickle about jeans, and somehow I ended up donating or wearing out several pairs until I was left with three pairs of skinny jeans (black, white, and indigo) but only one boot-cut pair, which was a size 6 and after I lost some weight was too big for me. They used to be my "fat pants," and then after I put ~15lb in college they fit me...and now that I'm back to my original weight, I don't want to be that fat again. So I donated those and then I had no boot-cut jeans.

I earned a $25 gift card to American Eagle from doing some surveys, so I figured that would be a good place to try. I figured out in-store that I really like the cut of their Slim Boot Jean - fitted through the knee, with just enough flare. But I didn't want to pay $44.50, so I ended up buying a different wash online (faded medium, sold out now) for $17.99 plus tax.

I do like the dark wash more, but not $26.51 more.

Xhiliration Twyla Wedge (Target)

As I briefly mentioned before, I have tendinitis in my feet. This is the result of a weird congenital mutation resulting in an extra bone in each foot, so my tendons aren't connected correctly (connected to the extra bone before connecting to the bone with which they're supposed to connect), resulting in an artificial "shortening" of some tendons, among other problems. Thus, flats are really uncomfortable for me because not only do they usually not have enough arch support for me, they stretch my short tendons.

Most of the time I wear sneakers with orthotic inserts, or super-supportive Chacos flip-flops (they were on sale at the orthotics store for $50, half off the original price - ridiculous price for flip-flops, but they're the only sandals I can wear for any extended period of time). I don't really have any shoes I could comfortably wear with a dress without looking just awful. But then I found these at Target, and they're perfect!

They're not quite "flatforms," but most of the height does come from the platform and not from the heel. The angle is perfectly comfortable for me - not flat, but not ridiculously tall. I'll still need to put in arch supports of some kind, but for less than $25 I'm really happy with these. I'm tempted to buy them in black (only sold online) but I'm kind of reluctant to put my credit card in any more pain because I just bought...

Laura Leather Tote, Silver/White/Toffee
Penelope Leather Tote, Silver/Black
Bottle Opener Key Ring in Mahogany 
(Coach Factory Online)

Coach Factory Online is exactly what it sounds like - Coach's factory/outlet store, online. The interesting part is that each sale is only open for 24 or 48 hours, and only by invitation. The invitations are supposedly random - I think I didn't get any for a couple of months after I first signed up, but recently I've been getting them pretty much every week. Coach Factory also sells through eBay - I don't think the sale schedules are exactly the same, though.

I've never spent more than $50 on a handbag (the most was $45 on a black leather purse from Fossil when I was ~12; funnily enough my older brother was the one who picked it out) but I feel like I need a classic black tote for when I need to look professional. I heard that Coach leather products last a really long time, and they're not much more expensive than the fabric versions, so when I saw one I liked I asked my mom if I could have one for my 21st birthday present - and she said yes.

Originally I wanted this one - the trim is a bit shinier than I'd like, but is black and not overly fussy. But I didn't have time to buy it before I left for work, and then it sold out ;_;

Laura Leather Tote, $100 (MSRP $328)

So I emailed my mom asking her whether I should get the white version of the Laura tote (which I actually like better than the black, but it's definitely not as practical/professional) or the black Penelope tote, which is a bit bulkier, but also looks a little more mature, since it doesn't have the shiny logo trim.

Laura Leather Tote, $100 (MSRP $328), and Penelope Leather Tote, $143.20 (MSRP $398)

Mom said get both! Apparently even though I had told her I was buying from the outlet store she and my dad had been under the impression that the bag would cost ~$300 so buying both was still within the planned budget.

I paid for this one myself - it's a 21st birthday present for a friend. On the outside, he's a preppy guy who's working in investment banking over the summer and majoring in economics, but on the inside he's a nerd majoring in electrical engineering, the guy that used to have entire conversations with  me in Latin. Bottle opener because...well, 21st. ;)

Coach Bottle Opener Key Ring in Mahogany, $20 (MSRP $98)

$98 is insane for a bottle opener or a key bring (or even both, I guess) - I can't imagine anyone every buying it for full price! The main Coach site has a different bottle-opener key ring for $48, and other key rings range from $28 to $68, which seems...well, $28 seems reasonable to me for a small luxury-good item, but in general I think all the prices are ridiculous.

Anyway, I'm pretty excited for the Coach stuff - total before tax was $263.20, roughly 32% of the MSRP of $824. I don't know exactly what Coach's markup is, but for luxury the average is about 10 to 12 times the production cost1. The discount, then, reduces the markup to about 3-4 times the production cost, which is a pretty normal markup for non-luxury goods, and what I consider a fair price for the quality.

1Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster. Dana Thomas, Penguin Press, 2007.

1 comment:

  1. I love all these buys!! I would have chosen the Laura Leather Tote...but yea, definitely hard to pick b/w the two.