annual christmas swap with...carrie of couture carrie!

I've dished on the blog swaps I did with Felicia of the blog Ellie and Ashley of the blog Happy. Pretty. Sweet. for the great holiday blog swap, but today I'm focusing on my swap with one of my favorite people - Carrie of Couture Carrie!

I have known Carrie since I first started blogging, and despite the fact that we live on opposite sides of the country, I consider her to be such a great friend. Last year, she suggested a Christmas swap, which has now evolved into a full-blown holiday tradition that I look forward to every. single. year. {I'm already counting down the days until I can start shopping for the next one!}. With that little back story, it's {clearly} time to show off the goods!

Bustier: Zimmermann Seer Marble Plunge Bodice Top | Nails {Red}: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Rhapsody Red | Nails {Gold}: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Game of Chromes | Nails {Black Bottle}: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat

Speechless. That is the one word I can use to describe exactly how I felt when I first opened my package, and it was all due to unwrapping that downright divine, completely unexpected, breathtakingly beautiful Zimmermann Seer Marble Plunge Bodice Top. It is the perfect juxtaposition between sexy and scanty and sweet and playful. Carrie suggested styling it under a sheer blouse for a wear-now look - which is how I plan on wearing it tonight to ring in the new year.

As for the polish...in my estimation, you can never have enough nail lacquer. Game of Chromes has been on my wish list for ages {how can you resist that name?}; and while crimsons aren't my year-round go-to, I wear nothing but from November through December, so the vampy Rhapsody Red was a welcome treat. Also pertinent: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat is my favorite product for finishing off my mani's, so I'm loving having a backup bottle.

Thank you so much for the gorgeous gifts, CC! Until next year...



{beauty board} frostbite

Take a cue from the runway this New Year's Eve with a sassy but classy metal mouth that will leave all the boys lining up for a smooch come midnight!

{1} MILANI Color Statement Lipstick in PINK FROST {$5.49}

{2} NYX COSMETICS Wicked Lippie in WRATH {$5.99}

{3} SEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Creme Lipstick in MAGNETISM 27 {$12.50}

{4} NYX COSMETICS Wicked Lippie in MISCHIEVOUS {$5.99}

{5} TOO FACED Melted Metal in PEONY {$21.00}




{fashion folio} winter beginnings

Poncho: Topshop Cowl Neck Poncho | Boots: Klub Nico Lenora Over the Knee Boot in Black Stretch Suede | Hat: Topshop Faux Fur Pom Beanie Hat | Skirt: Topshop Check Super-High Waist Skirt | Blush: Julep Skip the Brush Crème-To-Powder Blush Stick in Desert Rose | Lips: Julep Light On Your Lips Full-Coverage Crème Lipstick in Primp | Nails: FORMULA X Sheer Strength in Enduring | Earrings: BP. Ear Cuff & Stud in Gold/Crystal




NOTD: Prabal Gurung for Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Loden Green

Two coats of Prabal Gurung Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Loden Green. Olive Green Creme.

Back in fall 2013, when this was released as a Limited Edition shade for the Fashion Designer series, I literally hunted a bottle down - then forgot to use it. So ridiculous, right? I know. Anyway, I uncovered it a few weeks back and I am in love.

Loden Green is the perfect representation of the military trend that seems to appear on the runway every. single. year; thus, it will forever be in style. Though rich and creamy in color, Loden Green was a bit patchy during application, and definitely required two thick coats for full-coverage.

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?



after christmas sales!

I, for one, feel completely shopped out; but if you're still looking to spend a little moolah {or those magical things we call gift cards} then you're in luck because there are loads of sales currently going on that will get you the most bang for your buck! Peep a few of my favorite after Christmas sales below - I've even included a few of my favorite finds from each!

Sephora - Sale on Sale! Extra 20% Off Sale Items with code:
EXTRA20 {Good through 1/1/16}

Target - Extra 20% Off Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories with code:

Kate Spade New York - Extra 25% Off All Sale Items with code:
THRILL {Good Through January 6}

ANTHROPOLOGIE - Extra 25% Off All Sale Items with code:

BaubleBar - Post XMas CLEAN-UP up to 65% Off Select Top Styles {no code necessary}

TARTE COSMETICS - 15% Off Almost Everything + Free Shipping at $25 with code:

Some other great deals:

ASOS is offering Up to 50% Off Select Items
Nordstrom is offering Up to 50% Off Select Items
Topshop is offering Up to 50% Off Select Lines
Tory Burch is offering an Extra 30% Off All Sale Items with code MERRY {good through 1/4}

Are you hitting the after Christmas sales?



dusk to dawn

Bec & Bridge Dusk to Dawn Dress in Ink.

Those star-shaped cutouts make this a brilliant choice for ringing in the New Year, don't you think?



merry christmas, lovelies!

"Because we need Christmas we had better understand what it is and what it isn't. Gifts, holly, mistletoe, and red-nosed reindeer are fun as traditions, but they are not what Christmas is really all about. Christmas pertains to that glorious moment when the Son of our Father joined his divinity to our imperfect humanity."
-Hugh W. Pinnock

Merry Christmas everyone!



'twas the night before christmas...

Socks: BOOHOO Lily Fairisle Slipper Socks in Red | Tree: PEANUTS Classic Charlie Brown Christmas Tree | Cocoa: Williams-Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate | Sleep Shirt: Victoria's Secret The Angel Sleep Tee by Victoria’s Secret in Love Red / Dear Santa | Mug: Expressions Collection All I Want for Christmas Is You Coffee Mug | Gingerbread: Williams-Sonoma Gingerbread House Mug Topper | Blanket: LEVTEX Plaid Throw Blanket with Fleece Reverse in Red | Nails: JULEP Gilded Gems

Happy Christmas Eve, lovelies!




nails inc. alice + olivia Good Things Come in 3's Kit Swatches + Review

My obsession with alice + olivia's trademark girl with high bun and oversize sunnies illustration is real; so when I found that a makeup bag bedecked in that precise print was included in the nails inc. alice + olivia Good Things Come in 3's Kit, I couldn't simply pass it by {especially when the sale price dropped it to $15!}. Perfect for gifting to your bestie {or yourself}, this is one of my favorite purchases of the holiday season, and you're bound to love it too. Peep the pretty swatches below!

Sky With Diamonds is a Smoky Charcoal Black with Red, Silver, and Green Microglitter. This is the only full-size bottle in the trio - the other two are mini bottles. Sky With Diamonds is an unexpected favorite for me, as I'm not usually a fan of multi-color glitter; but, for some reason, it just works here. The formula here is so. flawless. But the color itself? Brilliant! The microshimmer casts this almost-metallic glow that is quintessentially festive + fabulous. If you want something offbeat for the holidays, this one's a must! This is 2 coats.

Sheer Beauty is a Peach-Based Nude Creme. Admittedly, I wasn't jumping for joy when I saw Sheer Beauty in this set because nude-y shades are so not my thing during the fall / winter months. But when I put it on? Le sigh. It was like I had died and gone to heaven. Sheer Beauty is the most perfect nude nail color I have ever seen - and my new official fave! The mix of feminine pink/peach and subtle skin is so on point, I just can't! Formula was fab - slightly thick, but manageable to work with. This is 2 coats.

Bohemia Noire is a Blackened Plum Creme. If vamp is your style then this one can't be missed. Bohemia Noire is one of the most luscious shades I have found in 2015. The color is rich and sophisticated, and that shine legit makes it otherworldly. Formula was flaw-less. Patchy on the first coat, but a cinch to even out with a second. Love! This is 2 coats.


PRICE: $15.00 for the boxed set {includes one full-size polish, two mini polishes, and a cosmetic bag}



the great holiday blog swap with... Ashley of Happy. Pretty. Sweet.

A few days ago I showed off the holiday swag that Felicia of the blog Ellie sent me for the great holiday blog swap {take two}; and today, it's all about the sweet surprises Ashley of the blog Happy. Pretty. Sweet. sent my way!

Candy: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Giant Candy Cane | Nails: essie Sleek Stick in A to Zebra | Note Cards | Book: The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield | Socks: AEO Cozy Socks Gift Set in Red

Before we proceed, I just have to say that, Ashley, you are the. best. gift. wrapper. ever. Seriously you guys, I wish I would have taken the time to photograph the gorgeous wrap job this girl did on these gifts, but my inner 5-year-old, known for unwrapping presents at warp speed, wouldn't allow it. Le sigh.

One word can describe this collection of gifts: cozy. Coincidentally, that's my favorite word come winter, so I was basically swooning as I unwrapped each gift. I am one of those perpetually cold people, so I have been living in the AEO Cozy Socks - as a matter of fact, I'm wearing them right now! My nephews, unfortunately, got a hold of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Giant Candy Cane before I could hide it; but the holidays are about sharing so I'll let that one slide.

I have never tried essie's Sleek Stick before, but I am loving the print you chose, and am dying to try them out for the New Year. And The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield? Every Christmas, by mid-afternoon, it's tradition for me to cozy up next to the tree with cocoa and a good book - this year, I'l be reading this!

As for the note cards? Girly, you. did. good. I collect note cards more than I use them, so receiving these was a welcome surprise - I love the gold detailing! Totally plan on using these in the coming year!

Thank you so much for all of the beautiful prezzies, Ashley! I'm so glad we wound up as swap partners for the second year in a row!



NOTD: Formula X Nail Color in Pyrotechnic

Two coats of Formula X Nail Color in Pyrotechnic. Dynamite Red Creme.

Christmas week isn't Christmas week without red nail polish, amiright? I found this fierce and festive little shade in my stash {saved from last Christmas}, and am currently loving it.

Pyrotechnic is one of those classic colors that you need in your year-round collection, but feels all sorts of magical come Christmas. The formula here is flaw-less, and just misses being a OCW {with a thicker coat you might succeed}. This is one for the stash babes!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?



the great holiday blog swap with...Felicia of Ellie!

This year I hosted the great holiday blog swap {take two} and, like last year, there was an uneven number of participants, so I got to swap with not one, but two fabulous bloggers - Felicia of the blog Ellie and Ashley of the blog Happy. Pretty. Sweet. Today I'm sharing my swap goodies from Felicia!

Socks: AirPlus Spa Footie Ultra Moisturizing Footies | Nails: essie Holiday Mini Nail Lacquer Kit | Lips: e.l.f. Lip Balm Tint in Berry | Spray: Simple Pleasures Frosty Delight Body Mist | Cocoa: Starbucks Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix | Sticky Notes | CD: N*Sync Home For Christmas | Scarf {Handmade}

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the ultra-amazing throwback that is N*Sync's Home For Christmas? Like seriously, I LOVE this album, and haven't heard it since I was, like, 7?! Sorry to the fam, but it's on repeat through the New Year. For real. Moving on...

With Hot Chocolate at hand, Frosty Delight Body Mist in the air, and Footies on {can I just live in these?}, I have to confess that I have been eyeing this essie Holiday Mini Nail Lacquer Kit since it first showed up at Target, but have forced myself not to buy because, hello, I have far too much nail polish; so I am thrilled to have received it in my swap box because I wanted it! You will definitely be seeing swatches of these shades soon!

Thank you so much for all of the amazingness, Felicia! I absolutely adore it all, and have plans to wear the e.l.f. Lip Balm Tint in Berry tonight when I meet up with my besties to exchange gifts.

P.S. Two questions for you: 1} how did you know that I'm obsessed with sticky notes? I literally carry them in my purse! 2} is the scarf handmade? If so, you have mad skills girl!



links à la mode: the IFB weekly roundup {december 17, 2015 edition}


I have a picture in my mind. An entire scenario. And sometimes dialog. Yes, even that. For what? Gift giving. After the brainstorming, shopping, purchasing, but then to get a puzzled face in return. Where did I go wrong?

IFB bloggers continued to share some of their favorite gift guides, which I clearly need. Useful gifts, festive gifts, gifts under $15, neutral gifts, some with a bit of glitz, and for our domestic animal friends, gifts for furbabies. I’ve certainly heard and seen it all now.

Fashion trend themes are about dressing in neutrals for the holidays, layering with a kimono, leather pants, and glam oxfords or retro wedges. Also included in this roundup is a DIY project, a beauty care review, a bloggers social media dilemma and a no holds barred review of the Pakistan Fashion Week. Helpful advice is given on purchasing and authenticating second hand handbags, and what it means to be ethical in fashion. Now, those are gifts unto themselves.

May all your gifts be received with joyous expression, excitement, and the words, “nailed it!” be heard.

Links a la Mode December 17

SPONSOR: Amazon's Shopbop findersKEEPERS, 3x1 Jeans, Vince Sweaters, Stone Fox Swim, SALINAS, OYE Swimwear, Black and White Blouses, Statement Jewelry, Evening Gowns, Men's Belber



{beauty board} wine tasting

A party-perfect pout is only a swipe of intoxicating lippy away!


pinot Maybelline ColorSensational Lip Color in DEEPEST CHERRY {$7.49}

merlot NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in VOLGA {$27.00} {the exact shade Kate is wearing in the pic above!}

claret Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in MERCY {$21.00}

cabernet Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in TRUFFLE {$24.00}




{holiday gift guide} merry minis

Ciaté London Tree Trinket Nail Duo | Sephora Collection Color Around the World: 4 Eye & Face Palettes | L'Occitane Pretty en Provence L'Occitane & Deborah Lippmann Set | Sephora Collection Color Wishes 5 Eyeshadow Palettes

There's always that one person you forget around the holidays; thus, I like to keep mini sets like these on hand at all times. They're great for gifting to co-workers, friends, or casual acquaintances {I gift my dog groomer every year}, because they're inexpensive, come individually wrapped, and serve as a super cute thinking of you during the holidays gesture.

If you've ever blog swapped with me, you know I'm a huge fan of these Ciaté London Tree Trinket Nail Duos, and use them every. single. year {fun idea for the office: hang them on a desktop Christmas tree, and pass them out to co-workers}; and I just ordered the L'Occitane Pretty en Provence L'Occitane & Deborah Lippmann Set for a former co-worker and her daughter, and just know that they'll love it!

Bonus: though released for the holidays, the Sephora Collection Color Around the World: 4 Eye & Face Palettes and Sephora Collection Color Wishes 5 Eyeshadow Palettes have no holiday markings on them, so they're a perfect buy now, save for later purchase. Use them in swag bags at parties, or as a topper on year-round gifts!




{fashion folio} winter sparkle

holiday glitz
Sweater: Topshop Patchwork Cable Jumper | Watch: Michael Kors Bradshaw Watch in Rose Gold | Heels: GALLOP Patent Court Shoes | Skirt: Topshop Twinkle Sequin Pelmet Skirt | Tights: COMMANDO Ultimate Opaque Matte 70 Denier Tights | Lips: Olivia Palermo x Ciaté London Satin Kiss Lipstick in Velveteen | Earrings: BaubleBar Ascher Drops | Bag: GUCCI Soho Textured-Leather Shoulder Bag




{holiday gift guide} under $5

Forever 21 Triangle Drop Earrings in Gold/Clear | e.l.f. Must Have Eyeliner Set | e.l.f. Lip Kiss Set | Forever 21 Cosmetics Organizer | Mini Bag Key Chain in Gold | Forever 21 Clustered Rhinestone Studs | Forever 21 Smokey Eyeshadow Travel Palette | Forever 21 Voilà Makeup Pouch | Forever 21 Lipstick Love Paddle Brush | e.l.f. Define Your Eyes Brush Set

There are always those casual acquaintances in your life whom you want to bestow a thinking of you at this time of year gift that is sweet and sassy without being too over the top or inappropriately lavish. For these individuals, there's no need to spend more than an Abraham Lincoln. Proof? Just take a look at the pretties above - all under $5 and spectacular!

I'm loving the Mini Bag Key Chain in Gold and want to pop them into all of my friend's stockings {I also wouldn't be opposed to finding one in mine - hinthint}! And the Forever 21 Smokey Eyeshadow Travel Palette? Such an essential for the beauty babe!




NOTD: JULEP Nail Color in Lacey

Two coats of JULEP Nail Color in Lacey. Midnight Blue Shimmer.

Le sigh...I literally die a little bit whenever I see this color - it is just so. pretty.

Lacey is the quintessential winter vamp shade, being inky while retaining that shimmery ice queen vibe. The formula here is a little thin, but builds to opacity quickly - looking dark without ever dipping into the is that black territory? My one complaint is staining - Lacey tends to stain your cuticles and nails a bit; but, honestly, it's kind of worth it!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?



{holiday gift guide} under $15

Levtex Bling Is My Favorite Color Pouch | Forever 21 Faux Fur Infinity Scarf in Dusty Pink | Sephora Collection Wishes Come True Eye and Face Makeup Palette | China Glaze Mix and Mingle Duo | Topshop Pavé Ball Front And Back in Peach | Topshop Pavé Ball Front And Back in Clear | Bow & Drape I Like You A Latte Ceramic Mug | Too Faced Deluxe Better Than Sex Mascara Ornament | The Body Shop Shea Treats

For my nearest and dearest I oftentimes put together entire gift sets for the holidays that feature corresponding prezzies that fit with a theme, so I capital L LOVE the $15 mark when it comes to shopping. I bought this Sephora Collection Wishes Come True Eye and Face Makeup Palette for a winter / pastel-themed gift I'm putting together for my sister; and while I don't have anyone in particular in mind for these Topshop Pavé Ball Front And Back Earrings, I'm seriously contemplating purchasing them for future gifting purposes. I mean, just look at that sparkle!




links à la mode: the IFB weekly roundup {december 10, 2015 edition}


Wants and needs, and the reason for the season. IFB Bloggers want and need winter wear and, when possible, find a way to give even the most casual looks a touch of glamour. Shared trends included tweed, fur, puffy vests, cable knit sweaters, plaid, and black turtlenecks paired with the most beautifully voluminous and colorful skirts.

The gift guides continued, and they really ran the gamut this go around. Themes went from men and women focused to budget crunched and the ethically minded, and even a specific color. There were also some great handmade gifting ideas. What they all have in common is unique giving for every person in our lives. Whether it’s purchasing a special item or the manner in which your gift is given, it’s all done in the name of consideration. So, please don’t mix up your gifts for your aunt Marge and your friend Marisa, who now only goes by the consonants in her name. Not that I’ve done that before or anything.

Links a la Mode December 10

SPONSOR: Shopbop Holiday Gift Guide, MM6, Madewell Dresses, Veronica Beard Jackets, MDS Stripes, SAME SWIM, Emerson Road, Infinity Scarves, Vests, Men's Accessories



China Glaze Mini Mixers Micro Mini Set Swatches + Review

I live for the release of China Glaze minis; so snatching the Mini Mixers Mini Set when it hit stores was a total no-brainer. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of shimmering, metallic shades {which this 6-piece largely consists of}; but in the spirit of the {sparkling} season I had to give it a whirl, and I tell you, it. is. incredible.

Don't Get Elfed Up is a Blackened Teal Shimmer. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this color is? Seriously! Don't Get Elfed Up {love that name btw} is an off-beat holiday shade that you can't help but to love. Despite how dark it is, it's patchy on coat one, but builds up beautifully, and is super easy to work with. Though photographs don't capture it, this one has a bit of a multichrome shift in certain lights that is brilliant! This is 2 1/2 coats.

Peppermint To Be is a Ruby Red Shimmer. Hello, holiday-perfect red. Isn't she gorgeous?! Peppermint To Be may be my new favorite red shimmer {have I been saying that too often lately?}. I mean, just. look. at. her. Le sigh. The formula here is brilliant - easy coats, quick opacity, and shimmer galore. This one's a keeper ladies! This is 2 coats.

Better Not Pout is a Berry Metallic Shimmer. Pictures do not even come close to doing this color justice. This is the perfectperfectperfect shade if you want something different than your typical classic red creme. Though classic overall, Better Not Pout is insanely multifaceted - looking like a merlot shimmer in some lights, and a vibrant berry shimmer in others. The lit from within glow on this one is just TDF - as is the formula. Each coat is easy breezy {and non-staining}. This is 2 coats.

Son Of A Nutcracker is a Pink-Toned Red Shimmer. This color is seriously cray for the holidays - yet somehow it just works, especially if you want something funky yet festive. The pink undertones make it feel bright and summery; while the red lends that Christmas-sy touch. Like with Better Not Pout, the formula here was flawless. In fact, I almost achieved OCW status with this beauty, and am positive you could with a thicker coat. This is 2 coats.

Mix and Mingle is a Blurple Crelly. I'm not always huge on purple shades, but Mix and Mingle is simply too gorgeous not to love. Though this is one of my favorite shades from the collection, it also has the thinnest formula which resulted in patchiness, and a desire to flood the cuticles. As long as you're v. careful with application the finished mani is divine! This is 3 coats.

I Soiree I Didn't Do It is a Teal Green Jelly with Teal, Silver, and Blue Glitter. My feelings about this color in one word: Dead. OMG you guys, this color is mind-blowingly beautiful - we're talking the kind of beautiful that you literally cannot take your eyes off of. It's v mermaid-inspired, yet seriously apropos for the soiree season. I Soiree I Didn't Do It can be used as a top coat; but I love the way it looks when you build it up - the silver glitter particles look so much like laughing champagne bubbles! This is 3 coats.


PRICE: $13.95 for the 6-Piece Mini Kit; or $7.50 per full-size bottle.




{holiday gift guide} under $10

Forever 21 2-in-1 Cable Knit Gloves in Blush | Forever 21 Faux Leather Makeup Pouch | Forever 21 Gimme Makeup Pouch | Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm in Honey | Topshop Gold Glitter Jar | Forever 21 Blush and Bronzer Palette | BP. Stone Stud Earrings in Crystal | Forever 21 Faux Gemstone Ear Cuff | Tony Moly I'm Real - Red Wine Face Mask Sheet - Pore Care (2 pack)

White elephant gift exchanges, co-worker / supervisor gifting...it seems that so many holiday events come attached to a $10 and under limit that can feel difficult to abide by when you're seeking spectacular on a shoestring budget. Cast your fears aside, ladies; here you'll find some of my personal faves - all priced under $10!

I just bought these Forever 21 2-in-1 Cable Knit Gloves in Blush for a blogger buddy I'm swapping with for the holidays; and I'm obsessed with this Topshop Gold Glitter Jar, which feels perfect for capturing the spirit of Christmas. Also pertinent: this Forever 21 Faux Leather Makeup Pouch is seriously calling my name. Wouldn't it make the cutest purse organizer?!




{fashion folio} black + baubles

black + baubles
Dress: Equipment Oscar Cashmere Turtleneck Mini Dress in Black | Lips: Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Amaretto | Boots: Stuart Weitzman Lowland Over the Knee Boot in Black Suede | Bracelet: Sole Society Shark Tooth Bracelet in White | Nails: NARS Nail Polish in Ecume | Bag: Milly Astor Saddle Bag in Black | Bracelet: Sole Society Open Metal Cuff in Gold | Ring: Sole Society Oversize Knot Ring in Gold | Ring: Sole Society Crystal Ring Set in Crystal


© cat eyes & skinny jeans | All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig