Every now and then someone will ask for a makeup tricks post. Here’s the problem: I am no makeup artist. Sure I’m no hairdresser either but that didn’t keep me from my how to Youtube channel. Explain? I have no shame when the subject is hair. Makeup though, far more intimidating. Instead, I’m sharing my lastest purchases from the beauty sector that I’m going absolutely cookoo for:
- Guerlain Terracota Four Seasons -Brunettes -It’s bronzing powder but I take it as summer blush
- MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 - Mine, NC42. Love but also have never tried anything different. Should I?
- Benefit Girl Meets Pearls Luminizer - Seriously good luminizer. No really!
- Benefit Cha Cha Tint - On me it doesn’t stay on longer than lipgloss (as I’ve heard other people comment) but if you’re going for seemingly effortless rosy lips, this is key.
- MAC Viva Glam Nicki - I’m no longer a “Snob.” I’m Nicki!
Not very long ago I heard about the Urban Outfitters Outlet in Lincoln Park aka U.O Surplus. It sounded like an urban legend, something people fantasize about but doesn’t really exist in the material world. But no, it’s true!
True and huge. With an assortment for both men and women, it’s probably the only outlet I know that actually only sells merchandise first seen at the actual retail stores. And I lived in Orlando, I know my outlets.
I’d say about 70% of all clothing are priced under the ten dollar mark. Sweet. There’s only one small problem: there aren’t enough sizes available. Although if you’re a petite, you’ll be well served (0-2′s sizes by the bulk).
The verdict: Absolutely great outlet to find cool basics with Forever 21 prices. If you like to shop at the end of season you must stop by (I wish I had waited an extra week to get the same cardigan for half the money). A few statement pieces will make their way in here looking the same and weighing much less (on your pocket). Not ideal to spree at, but perfect for guilt-free impulse buys. Pretend it just happened to be on your way to the drugstore.
Where? 2352 N Clark St (between Belden Ave and Fullerton Ave) Chicago, IL 60614
The best things in life come when you don’t expect them, and I was definitely not expecting Art Effect in my life. I had walked by it several times before but never walked in. That is, till my friend Megan suggested it as one of her favorites shops in the city
And boy was she right! This place is overloaded with, and only with, the cutest things for your desk, kitchen, ears, closet, you name it!
I felt at home saying hello to Brazilian flip-flops Havaianas (which means Hawaiians in portuguese, fyi)
Tangerine taking the lead. Aside from all the amazing home goods, they have an incredible selection of accessories and clothing that are out of this world adorable, for boutique prices, I may point out.
The verdict: This is not just a place to go shopping, it’s somewhere to get inspired and take some inspiration home, if you wish. It’s tough to select the strengths because there are so many, but here you’ll find a large variety of eye-wear, cute stationary, charming bookends, the coolest wrapping paper designs, earrings and necklaces (by the bunch), clever kitchen wear, and a perfectly chosen clothing assortment. In other words, heaven at Armitage.
Where? 934 W Armitage Ave (at Bissell St) Chicago, IL 60614 (in Lincoln Park)
If you live in Chicago, you know this name and that you may find more of these than any other fashion retailer in the city of Chicago. Naturally, it was only a matter of weeks till I’d have to cut my credit card in half before setting foot in one of their many stores. I should have, but I didn’t. Closer to home, the Water Tower place store at Michigan avenue was my first pick.
Although this is a local store, it definitely doesn’t feel like one. First of all, it takes up just as much space as a big retailer would (large). Second, I was impressed by the amount of merchandise; racks and racks of potentially-mine garments. But let’s be more specific.
You would not believe how many cocktail dresses of all colors and sorts. I’m talking about that dress you realize you don’t have just hours before that cool event. Well, they have it! And by peaking at the tags, I saw lots of $50, $70, $100. Not bad at all in case of an emergency.
The staff was friendly and offered to tour me around when I said it was my first time, which was nice because they had a huge sale going on and without the tour, it’d have been overwhelming. Although organized by color for the most part, the racks were a little too cramped. It reminded me of shopping at outlets in Florida (a memory I’d like to forget), and I don’t know about you, but for me, if it’s not Forever 21, a mess will turn me off real quick. But somehow, I got past that.
They also have a large denim section to shop through, which I haven’t yet seen at another local shop. Another reminder Akira is something else.
Lastly, the picture wall is the strongest reminder this is a Chicagoan store.
The verdict: This is the place to find a cocktail dress that is cute, different and on a budget, especially if you’re running out of time. And if that’s the case, their large selection of accessories will help you complete the look. Their rings and bracelets are the cutest and the prices are good. If you’re visiting, it’s a nice change from the national shops you’ll be seeing at Michigan Avenue
When I left home to stroll around Wicker Park, I didn’t expect to make any major discoveries. True, vintage shops, hippie bookstores, cozy restaurants all line Milwaukee Ave, but of all the places I’ve visited, Eskell was the most flirtatious.
I have no idea what the word Eskell means but wonder if it has anything to do with the hanging bicycle in the window display (and the reason why I walked in there at the first place). Very Alice in the rabbit hole, I know. But I’m glad I did. The second thing to catch my eye was the frame wall where various photos of bicycles and their owners hung. Super cool. The whole place has this whimsical feel and I could tell so much thought was put in every little decorative object.
The girls at the store were extremely nice and helpful. I mean, really nice. Ready to help if I had a question but also respectful to let me browse independently. It felt like the whole store was my giant dressing room.
Everything was put together and neatly organized. Yes, the candles smell even better than they look.
Look at the vintage sun-glasses collection, my favorite corner (shocker) and if I can remember right, they run under $20 a pair.
No questions I’m coming back sometime soon to snatch a couple of vintage belts and a few other things.
The verdict: This is a place I’d like to shop at again, especially if I was looking for something different. Vintage sunglasses, belts, maybe a few clothing items (their own collection is actually very cute) and the best deal of all: a relaxed atmosphere paired with attentive customer service.
Where? 1509 N Millwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622. In Wicker Park
Holy cow it’s cold out! That puts me in the mood (and need for) more boots. Anyone familiar with my closet would say I don’t need any more boots, shoes or anything else but I know I can make a case. These vintage cowboy-ish ones sold at US #1 (Wicker Park) are the perfect example. I’m not only confident these will make a good impact over tights but they’ll look great paired with a floral dress/jumper for spring. Look at me! Babbling about Spring when I condemned so many for doing the same. Well, at least I’m making an effort to acknowledge winter is here to stay till march.
If you’re into the western look or if you like to mix it up (cowgirl/urban chic) this a great stop for vintage Frye boots fans as you can see in the photo above. You walk in, and they’ll be right to your right. All, of course with a lower price tag than brand new. Yee-haw!
They also have a pretty large vintage fur rack. I’ve always thought vintage fur shopping is a less harmful alternative for those who don’t wanna let go their furry habit but can’t stand the thought of harming another animal. And some of these were really pretty too.
Boys get their own boot-wall. Uh, how fancy!
But if you’re looking for a real bargain, this is your girl right here: the back wall. You get the look without opening the wallet all the way. Yee-haw times five.
The verdict: This is pretty much a one-objective destination, which is finding the coolest vintage, cowboy-ish looking boots in the city of Chicago.
Where? 1460 N Milwaukee Ave (between a Evergreen Ave and Honore St) Chicago, IL 60622.
Before pushing on the door nob I made sure to check the board to see if there were any additional promos I could pair up with my gift card (I’m cheap like that). A trio tan sounds great and a make-up update sounds marvelous, but right after the Holidays when my money has long vanished, not gonna lie, a little extra incentive would have been nice. But that was okay cause I had my gift card.
Anybody else want to move in this place? It’s so freaking adorable. While I waited, I didn’t really. They invited me to sit down and put on some of their core products: face cream, primer, powder, blush. All of which felt nice on the skin and look no less darling. Most products stayed within the $30 mark, so not that bad.
Here you can see Jessica working her magic on another client. Before I could pucker my lips I was sitting on that very same chair. The moment I’d been waiting for, the first time I’d let an American touch my eyebrows (no prejudice, it always seemed easier and logical to go to the ones who invented it (Brazilian wax). Wait, we invented wax down there… nervermind! The thin eyebrow scare had me doubting American brow waxes. Sad but true.
Living in the Midwest has forced me into many odd situations, like not being able to order chicken hearts at the restaurant. What’s that about? But it’s also served to show me I can survive it all. Do I regret it? No, Jessica did an awesome job (I dosed of on the chair quite a few times I was so relaxed) and I love how my brows turned out.
I’ll say the sales pitch felt a little pushy at times, but I guess that’s part of the whole experience and a very personal take by me. You go, get your beauty treatment going and take home the supplies. Maybe I was a little thrown back because I was there solely to try the brow bar.
Once I got to the register, an inconvenient surprise: my gift card which would expire no later than two days later wasn’t valid for Friday nights. My fault for have completely forgotten this, rules are rules, I understand. But thinking on the customer service side, cutting me a little slack would have left a lasting impression on a first timer, compulsive at times, shopaholic Lulu.
The verdict: This is a great place to come get an eyebrow wax. I’d come back for that reason alone. Treatment prices are reasonable. Extensive variety of beauty products, pushy sales pitch friendly staff but average costumer service.
Where? 1616 N Damen Ave (between Milwaukee Ave & North Ave) Chicago, IL 60647