Monday, December 9

Product Review: Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer

Hope you are all having a lovely day! I am a Chicagoan and here in the city, winter is typically cold, windy and dry. To counter the dryness, I typically use my Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Protective Emulsion with SPF 15 daily. Unfortunately, I ran out of my Shiseido White Lucent Moisturizer several weeks past. Typical me, when I went to order a new one...I sent it to my parent's address by accident. Although I was planning on heading home for Thanksgiving, I knew my skin would have dried up like a prune if I attempted to go without moisturizer for two weeks.

Therefore, I decided to pay a visit to my local Walgreens to pick up a moisturizer that would hold me over until I could pick up my Shiseido emulsion. After browsing the shelves for a bit, I decided to give the Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer with SPF 30 a try as I have used their cleanser since high school (years ago) and have had positive results.

I am happy to say that my skin has not reacted negatively to the moisturizer after using it for the past month. While I do still love and use my Shiseido emulsion, I now switch it out with my Cetaphil moisturizer every other day as a means to keep my acne-prone skin at bay. The pump is also a plus. The only thing that I do not like about the product is that it does not control oil very well, but I am content that it moisturizes without causing breakouts. If you have sensitive, combo-oily, acne-prone skin like me, I would definitely recommend you give this product a try! 

Do you have a moisturizer you cannot live without? Comment below with your thoughts or questions!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Michael Kors 'Mini Camille' Bracelet Watch

Hello Hello! I hope you are all having a lovely week. I am late in putting up this post as I made this purchase approximately one week ago, but thought this might be useful for those that are still searching for a gift or a Michael Kors watch and are experiencing difficulties in determining sizing and color. I have been interested in purchasing a watch for a while, but had questions relating to both sizing and color. There were a lot of good online deals floating around, but I did not make a purchase for the longest time.

When my sister came back home from school for Thanksgiving Break, we decided to stop by the new Michael Kors outlet store that opened up close to home. I found a beautiful rose gold watch there and brought it home with me, but was hesitant to wear it. 

The next day, we decided to make a trip to TJMaxx. I decided to take a look at the watches in their jewelry display and noticed they held several Michael Kors watches and this gold Michael Kors 'Mini Camille' Bracelet Watch 33mm immediately caught my eye. Upon trying the watch on, I instantly fell in love with the 'Mini Camille' and decided to bring it home with me.

I left the rose gold MK watch at my parent's house and therefore, have not included pictures for comparison, but I can definitely take some pictures next time I am home and post them up. I have decided I to return the original watch I purchased.

There are several details I love about 'Mini Camille' watch. The first detail is that the rhinestones on the watch face add just enough sparkle without being too empowering. My style is more simplistic and therefore, this watch really appeals to me. The second detail is that the watch is multi-functional and has hands for both time, day of the week, military time and date. Lastly, I loved the fact that the watch can be submersible in water (in case I ever forget to remove it before showering).

The watch normally retails at $250.00, but I have seen this watch on sale through several retailers and did not purchase it for full price.

For a better fit, I had two links taken out from the band. Hopefully, the picture above gives you an idea of the size of the watch face on the 'Mini Camille', 33mm

Overall, this is a beautiful piece I know I will wear often.

Do you own a Michael Kors watch? Comment below with your thoughts and feel free to leave any questions you might have!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Sunday, December 8

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Under $50

Happy Sunday everyone! With all the beautifully decorated storefronts I have seen, I am definitely in the holiday mood. Christmas is fast approaching and while I have purchased some gifts, I still have a couple more to pick up. However, as I am now living on my own, budgeting is key as I carefully consider the rest of the gifts I still need to purchase and put together. Therefore, I thought I would put together some pocketbook friendly gift ideas for everyone.

1. Mini Structured Handbag from - $44.00
2. Winter Candy Apple 3-Wick Candle 14.5 oz from - $20.00
3. Coach Park Leather Small Wristlet - $24.50
4. Demi Cup and Saucer Set from - $27.95
5. Paperblanks Karakusa Ultra Journal from - $22.95
6. Essie Nail Polishes in Pennytalk and Shearling Darling from Walgreens - $7.00-$8.00

Let me know below if you have other affordable gift ideas for this holiday season! Good luck with your holiday shopping!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Thursday, November 21

Wear to Work

Hello! Hello! As the weather has gotten chillier, I have changed out pieces in my work attire to adjust. In the past, I have been asked what would be appropriate work attire in a business casual setting. My personal style is based off of simplicity and comfort. With simplicity and comfort as my basis, I created the outfit above. Let me know your thoughts and what your essentials are for biz casual attire!

Wardrobe Essentials
Watch to avoid being late to meeting
Reasonably sized handbag in case you need to take something home


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Monday, October 28

Fall Favorites

 Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Here are my picks for fashion inspired by the colors of the fall. I have a jacket similar to the one pictured above. I think it pairs well with a simple tee or layered with a cozy knit sweater. Tan colored boots pair easily with jeans and are perfect for romping through crisp leaves. A pop of oxblood would go beautifully with the colors of fall and to top it all off, a pop of rose gold.


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Saturday, October 26

Coach Small Wristlets in Bordeaux and Black

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a lovely weekend. A long time has passed since I last posted. Primary, this is because I have been busy adjusting to my new job and new apartment. Yes! I am excited to say that I have a place of my own. However, I am ready to get back into blogging as I miss reading the insights everyone has to offer and look forward to sharing with you some of my own.

I recently treated myself to two Coach Small Wristlets when I saw a 50% off clearance on the website. The wristlets were originally $68.00, but after the discount, came to $34.00 each. The wristlets appealed to me because they are the perfect size to fit the items I typically carry around with me (a.k.a. cash, transit pass, cards.)

The first item in my cart was this Black wristlet because I have numerous black handbags and felt that it would match well with the ones I have.

I was surprised to find that the coach tag was white instead of black, but felt that it was a nice detail to accent the wristlet.

The interior of the wristlet is a lovely jewel-toned green hue and both the wristlets have a pocket on the inside. However, after checking this morning, I found the black wristlet is no longer available for purchase on the Coach Factory site, but it might be still available at a Coach Factory store.

The second wristlet I picked up was in the color Bordeaux. I thought this was a beautiful color for the fall and believe it will match perfectly with another bag I have.

Unlike the Black wristlet, the Bordeaux colored wristlet came with a Coach tag to match and I think the brass hardware goes beautifully with the color of the wristlet!

The interior of the wristlet was lined with matching fabric. For those of you that are interested, the Bordeaux color, it is still available for purchase on the site.

As always, I hope this post was helpful. I am very happy to be posting again and look forward to reading your thoughts/comments!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Saturday, June 8

Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. in Black

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! 

I finally caved and purchased the Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. in Black with gold hardware and could not wait to share my first impressions. I have been eying this bag for over a year and with the Bloomingdale's 20% off Friends and Family coupon code, I finally took the plunge. For those of you that are interested in purchasing something from Bloomingdale's, I used the coupon code RETAILMENOT20 (coupon expires 6/9/2013) to purchase my bag.

I had a difficult time choosing between the Black with silver hardware and the Black with gold hardware, but I decided to go for the gold this time. 

The purse is a little bit heavy, which is most likely due to the chain, but you can easily detach the strap and carry this as a clutch as well!

I was really happy with the size as I am trying to minimize the amount I carry in my everyday purse. I am between 5'3" and 5'4" and the purse hangs at my hip. One thing I did notice was that the leather strap tassels are thinner than the ones on my mint colored bag.

There are no adornments on the back of the purse, but the leather is very smooth. The inside of the purse is patterned black and white. I have heard that some RM Mini M.A.C.s in Black do not have pockets in the interior of the purse, but mine does come with two.

There are four studs located on the bottom of the purse. 

I think this will be the last RM bag I will be purchasing for a while as I need to monitor my spending, but definitely a great piece to use both everyday and on a date. I hope you find this helpful! Comment below and let me know what you think or if you have a favorite RM bag. Have a lovely weekend!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Monday, June 3

Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. in Mint

Hello lovelies! It seems it has been a while since I last posted, but after two years, I have finally completed my Masters program! Since graduation, I have just been catching up on all the different odds and ends I have neglected, but I am excited to finally have the chance to return to my blog. Lately, I have been really into purchasing accessories to enhance my everyday outfits. I had never been a bag girl, but I have added a few new pieces to what was before a sparse collection.

Today, I wanted to reveal my new bag obsession, the Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C.! Normally, the Mini M.A.C. retails for $195.00. I did purchase the item off of Amazon for less. However, because of the price, I really wanted to pick a bag that I would be able to wear for both spring and summer. Originally, I was going to go for black with gold hardware, but I absolutely fell in love with the Mint colored when it released this spring and took the plunge.

The bag comes with a silver chain link and mint leather studded strap that allows the bag to hang either at your hip or just below depending on your height. It can also be worn crossbody. The bag is also embellished by two sets of mint leather strips attached to the zipper pull. I tried to get the pictures to be as true to color as possible.

Here's a closeup of the silver hardware for the mint bag with the initials RM. This hardware can be unbuckled to reveal another pocket underneath the flap.

On the bottom of the purse are four silver studs. The bag also comes with a dust bag that matches the interior of the purse.

Overall, I think the details for the bag are great! Love the feel and quality of the leather as well as the color. One thing to note is that if you purchase this bag in the lighter colors, there's a possibility that the color of your clothing or jeans could rub off on the bag. I noticed this happening and was able to clean it up with a non-alcoholic, fragrance-free baby wipe. I can say I am definitely happy with the purchase and would definitely consider purchasing this bag in another color! Still have my eyes on the black bag with gold hardware!

How about you all? Do you like Rebecca Minkoff bags? What's your favorite? Leave a message below!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Sunday, April 21

Essie: Sugar Daddy

Hi everyone! Long time no post sadly, but I was getting a bit overwhelmed by school, jobs and projects. Just as an update, I presented my capstone project last week to faculty at my school and found out several days ago that I officially passed that program requirement. Now, I'm happy to say that as long as I can get past my finals, I have three weeks until graduation! These last two years has definitely been challenging, but I'm happy to say it was worth it.

As indicated in the title, today, I wanted to post a review on Essie polish in Sugar Daddy. It is a very pretty polish that can be layered up. 

(2 coats of Sugar Daddy)

For those of you interested, you can usually find Essie polishes at Target, Ulta, CVS or Walgreens. What are your favorite shades of Essie? Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! Happy Sunday!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Monday, March 11

Spotted: Rebecca Minkoff Desire Satchel

Hello Hello! I have recently become very fascinated by handbags and purses. As thus, I have consistently found myself browsing ebay for vintage Coach and Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC clutches instead of working on my capstone project...basically what I need to complete to graduate from my program. However, when I visited home this weekend, my mom and I paid a visit to TJ Maxx and look what I spotted! I resisted the urge to pick this up, but I thought I would just share the pic I took. I originally put it up on my Instagram (AriaRhapsody), but thought I'd share this with you all as well!

I believe this Rebecca Minkoff Desire Satchel retails for $495 at Nordstrom, but it was at TJ Maxx for $299 if I remember the tag correctly. Although its vividly bright, I do love the pattern! Comment below and let me know what you think of this bag! Do you like Rebecca Minkoff as well? What's your favorite bags?


Monday, March 4

Coach Court Bag

Up until recently, I always considered high end purses to be too costly and not worth the money. Growing up, I had seen my mom receive Coach purses as gifts from relatives and was even asked if I would like one as a birthday gift last year, which I declined. However, after much research I decided to jump the gun. What really prompted me was a combination of two things. I had seen a blog post highlighting the beauty of various vintage Coach pieces and secondly, I thought it was time that I invest in some quality pieces to incorporate into my wardrobe. The Coach Court Bag was what I decided to purchase as my first piece.

Via the Coach website, the bag retails $258.00. However, I purchased mine via Etsy. I was ecstatic at the condition the bag came in! Included with the bag was a dust bag to protect it from scratches, its original strap and hangtag. The bag hangs just at the hip with the strap, but can also be carried on its own via the handle. Honestly, I have never viewed a purse as being beautiful...but I can definitely say this one is. 

One thing to keep in mind though is that there are numerous counterfeits on the second-hand market. I would recommend doing a lot of research before purchasing a bag and familiarize yourself with the product. An alternative would be to consider purchasing from an outlet store as many outlet stores offer significant discounts. I have also read that sometimes there are good finds at Savers, Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment shops or thrift shops.

Hope this was helpful and for those of you that are interested, good luck with the treasure hunt! Do you like Coach purses? Comment below on which styles are your favorite!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Wednesday, February 20

Inspiration: Spring 2013

Hello Hello! Hope you are having a lovely Wednesday! Although in many parts of the U.S., the weather has still been pretty cold, I think this would be a pretty color palette for spring. 

Comment below on what trends you are looking forward to this spring!


Tuesday, February 12

Thrifting: Goodwill

Hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday! When my little sister came back for winter break in December/January, we decided it would be fun to go thrifting together. Oftentimes, when I catch the thrifting bug, I like to go to Goodwill because it is easier on my pocketbook. Usually, I end up grabbing a couple books, but this time I got...

These adorable leopard kitten heels! I was surprised to find these heels were only $3.99! What a steal! They are in good condition too and I know when the weather gets warmer, they will be kind to my feet as the heels aren't crazy high. Do you enjoy thrifting? Where are your favorite places to thrift? I'd love to hear what treasures you've found!


Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Saturday, February 9

Outfit Idea: Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone is having a lovely day! I decided to go home and spend some time with the family for Chinese New Years. Yay! Year of the Snake! Since this coming Thursday is Valentine's Day, I thought it would be fun to put together an outfit idea with what I would wear for V-day if I were to go out with friends or my bf.

I'm not very good with heels, so I thought a pair of flats would be cute. Let me know what you think and comment below if you have V-day ideas as well!


Thursday, February 7

Loreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain

Happy Thursday! Although Loreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stains came out a little while ago, I didn't get a chance to pick any up until last week. From what I have heard, these are supposedly a dupe for a YSL product. However, I have not used YSL products before and therefore cannot vouch that they are indeed similar. Regardless, I really like the product and decided to share some swatches! I picked up two colors. 

I grabbed Pink Resistance (183) and Pink Rebellion (189). Out of the two shades, my favorite is Pink Rebellion! I picked mine up from Walgreens for about $10.00 each. Have you tried either of these colors or other colors? What did you think? What are your favorite shades?

Joy ♥ 

Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Sunday, February 3

Maybelline Vivids Collection: Shocking Coral

Hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday and for those of you that enjoy watching football, Happy Superbowl XLVII! Today, I just wanted to share one product with you from the Maybelline Vivids Collection. The color is Shocking Coral (870). I purchased this product a couple weeks ago and really love the pretty bright color.

Yes, the packaging is a bit blinding, but I just thought this was a very pretty pop of color that could be worn both during the spring and summer. The swatch was taken in natural light! Let me know what you think below and if you have tried any colors from this collection as well!

Joy ♥ 

Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Friday, February 1

Too Faced: Boudoir Beauty Collection 2013

Hello Hello! So glad it is Friday. Although I am currently in the midst of my last semester of graduate school and job applications, somehow I still found time to do some online shopping! I couldn't help but pick up these lovely new Too Faced products from their Boudoir Beauty Collection

 The items arrived in a pretty pink box!

Note on the inside flap.

I ordered 2 items and the order came with 3 freebies!
Boudoir Eyes Eyeshadow Palette
Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush
Double Ended Eyeshadow Brush (freebie)
Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder (freebie)
Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer (freebie)

Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in cardboard box packaging.

From L to R: Swatch of all the colors combined, Swatches of all the colors separately

Boudoir Eyes in pretty tin packaging!

The shadow names definitely seem to match with the boudoir theme...

Shadows swatched from left to right, top to bottom.

From L to R: In the Buff, Satin Sheets, Birthday Suit, Fuzzy Handcuffs

From L to R: Voulez Vous, Sugar Walls, Garter Belt, Lap Dance, French Tickler

Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder (it actually smells like chocolate ^___^ yummm)

First Impression
This is the first time I have purchased from Too Faced and I'm actually very happy with the purchase! The blush was the item that initially drew me to their site. I'm so excited to use the blush both separately and combined. I think it will be a perfect for both spring and summer. The eyeshadow palette seems perfect for travel and the colors turned out to be quite pigmented. I have also heard positive reviews about the bronzer and although it is sample size, it will most likely last me a while. Hopefully, it works well on my NC15/NW15 skin (yes, I am ghostly). 

Have you purchased from Too Faced before? What are some of your favorite Too Faced products? Comment below and let me know what you think below!

Joy ♥ 
Note: Products were purchased with my own money and the reviews are 100% my own.

Wednesday, January 16

Fun at the Game!

Since last semester was so trying, I decided to treat both my little sister and I to a basketball game to view our favorite team, The Bulls! She was the one that actually prompted me to get into viewing NBA basketball and I've been hook ever since. We arrived early to see if we could get autographs as our seats were near the tunnels and...we did!

We were lucky enough to get both Marco Belinelli's and Joakim Noah's autographs (^__^).

 This was taken before the game.

Huddle time!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Wednesday! Comment below and let me know what are some of your favorite sports teams!