Shopping: Makeup, thrifting for designer clothes and buying wearable art


If this bothers your sensibilities and frugal bones, then stop reading immediately.

You have been warned… πŸ™‚


This tanning-from-traveling-to-hot-countries-for-so-long-even-while-wearing-long-sleeves-and-a-hat thing has really turned my skin the darkest it’s ever been.

All my other concealers and foundations are REALLY light in comparison and I look like a reverse raccoon.

Therefore, I had to pick up some new concealer and foundation. *sigh* I went to my trusty TheBalm and picked up a shade darker (which matched perfectly), and some Stila powder foundation for quick pats over my face when I don’t want to deal with buffing in Bare Escentuals.

Also, this is a recommended primer for oily skin by Arianne of Glitter Geek AND my sister. They both have oily skin and apparently love this primer.

So far, I love it. It looks like a yellow gel, goes on a lot lighter and thinner than my original Tarte primer which I found a little too thick/silicone-y.

You can buy it from Shoppers Drug Mart.

And now on to my favourite of the bunch — this Urban Decay Liquid Eyeliner for $22. I am usually a fan of UD’s pencil eyeliners, as I always felt I was too clumsy for liquid eyeliners.

I am willing to learn now because these eyeliners are AWESOME. Check out Jen’s From Head to Toe post on the colours here.

I picked up the eyeliner in Sabbath, which she describes as a very dark flat navy blue, and it is AWESOME. It’s a very dark almost black midnight blue, and I love it.

I tried putting on the eyeliner in the store and got it all over my lashes. Oops. It dried and I had to try and crumble it off my lashes at night (ouch).

The other two colours I liked were Smog in a shimmery olive and Retrograde, a shimmery purple. I already own similar colours of the pencil eyeliner variety, so I don’t feel the need to buy them.


When I thrift, I look for the following things:

  1. Something that actually fits, not almost fits
  2. Something I’d buy in a store at full retail, but with the bonus of a major discount
  3. A good name on it; e.g. nothing from “George” (Wal-mart) for instance — I’d just go to Wal-mart then
  4. Something you can’t buy off the rack in stores; e.g. retro/vintage clothing

As I go through these points in my head as I am shopping, I am realizing that I am not cut out for thrifting.

As much as I love going to these stores, I can only go to 2-3 select ones and they are mostly consignment stores. Even then, nothing is in my size! Everything is either way too big, or way too tiny.

That said, I found this Marc Jacobs silk skirt for $30 in Kensington Market:

I LOVE that the polka dots are there, but more importantly, that it’s a different design if you look at it closely. It isn’t a boring polkadot skirt.

As I am more into prints, patterns and/or bright colours this year (no more neutral solids), this is a nice addition.

Look at the label however — it says Size 10!!!

Must be a designer size 10 then because it fit like a size 4/6 (It was slightly loose at the waist and I think I’m a size 4 now).

Whatever. It feels nice, and is a good weight in some pretty nice silk.

Also, seeing as it is Marc Jacobs and not Marc by Marc Jacobs, I am assuming from these prices that the original owner paid anywhere from $300 – $400 for it at retail.

SCORE!!! πŸ™‚



But my best purchases of the day were totally on impulse and out of character, in the sense that I wouldn’t normally look for something like this.

What is it?

A piece of art. Two pieces of art actually. Wearable art.

I picked up this nagoya obi belt that just caught my attention with its vibrant colour and gorgeous detail – $85

…and this silk kimono which I found out is a furisode or a kimono worn by unmarried single girls, usually for their 19th birthday coming-of-age ceremony (debutante-ish).

It is done in rinzu silk (printed geometric patterned silk), and its age is anywhere from 1930 – 1980, with a guess by the shop assistant at the 1950s. It’s done in a traditional style (not sure what it means but it said so on the tag), and it is just too beautiful for words.

I pulled it off the rack and gasped. I knew immediately it was silk (it’s extremely heavy!) and when I saw the price tag $240, I gasped again…

But it’s wearable art, and I am going to hang it on the wall as my first-ever decoration.

I mean, just look at the front of the obi with the red crane. It’s EMBROIDERED beautifully. It isn’t printed!

The sleeves are just so pretty. And LONG. The whole garment is about 6′ in length or more. I am told that they pull up the length of the kimono and then adjust it at the waist, then secure it all with a huge obi.

It also has a lovely red dyed lining for the inside, which I am told might indicate it’s from the 1950s/1960s.

I also saw a lot of flaws in the garments with stains (it IS old), but I have no idea how to clean it.. and it kind of lends to its character.

Oh yeah, and the matching of the kimono with the obi?

It’s probably totally wrong. An autumn-style obi with a summer-style dress or whatever… I’m sure it’s all out of season and mismatched, but the colours look stunning together.

That pale seafoam green with that vibrant purple, just looks so beautiful.

Update: I emailed a lovely lady who collects kimonos and she told me that the obi is too INFORMAL to be worn with such a kimono, that is meant for a girl who is wearing it to the Coming of Age ceremony.

*sigh* πŸ™‚ Wearable art. *SQUEAL*!

Then my sister visited for the weekend for some heavy shopping, and I bought more things.



For $23, it’s a steal. I LOVE this skirt.

I usually don’t find anything I like in F21 (low quality, too trendy, etc etc).. but this skirt is well made, cheap, HAS POCKETS, looks retro (something I’d pick up in a thrift store) and belt loops. The whole skirt is really cool.

(The picture is true to colour in real life)

You can check it out here. I bought it in Medium and it fits me perfectly.

Yes, it’s a solid colour, but I don’t have that colour in my wardrobe ANYWHERE and the style is really kind of awesome with the pockets.

The small fit as well, but I like the slightly longer length and the breathing room that the Medium gives me after I eat a nice big meal.

I can’t wear mustard near my face, so I’m wearing it in a skirt and I am already picturing 5-6 tops in my wardrobe (green, teal, ivory, etc) going with this skirt and looking fabulous.

Post coming up on that soon. πŸ™‚

Did you also see those amazing pockets? πŸ˜› Yes. POCKETS.


I also picked up some dark grey tweed pants for work.

I already have light grey in linen and two dark trouser jeans, but as I don’t wear black, I feel like I need a dark pair of pants to wear to interviews that isn’t of a jean material and looks professional enough to score a job.

Enter, these pants for about $36!

I know the website says “flare pant”, but they’re really more wide leg than flared.

I took a picture of them here so you can see them better.

It comes with a pretty well made black skinny leather belt as well. Total surprise. It looks amazing, is of good quality and feels good.


I didn’t buy them because I have a strange body.

The 28 had a waist that was too loose on me and the 26s made my thighs feel like sausages (it pulled a bit in the front)

But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try!

The H&M at the Toronto Eaton’s Center has the most amazing dark rinse jean trouser in wideleg hem (looks more like a straight leg to me) that feels and looks JUST like a more expensive premium brand.

I think they look and feel just like Citizens of Humanity jeans for a quarter of the price.

They also come up as a mid-rise jean, which means NO butt cracks showing and they won’t sag down your body, because it’s mostly cotton, rather than being a stretch jean.

Go near the window that faces The Bay, and it should be on the rack where they usually put stuff on display.

These jeans are killer and someone should enjoy them if I can’t.


I finally own a Mackage coat as well.

I’ve been eying their beautiful coats for years now, living in Montreal. A friend of mine bought this black tweed wool coat from Mackage, and it looks a bit ratty and pill-y, so I figured their quality isn’t amazing for wool, but perhaps in another material it would be fine.

Enter this coat! ON SALE! πŸ™‚

I had wanted an autumn trench in a neutral colour, but I was not willing to pay for a Burberry trench coat in cotton for $2000 (ARG!) nor buy any other classic trench coat (I think they look awful on me and I don’t need a billion trench coats).

So when I saw this Mackage Gaia coat, I squealed at it and my sister egged me on into buying it (enabler!)

Here’s the photo from the website which is more true in colour and style. It looks AMAZING on.

I love the belt tie, the wide lapels, the zippers and the whole effect of the coat on me.

Did I mention it has a hidden hood at the back as well and is totally waterproof? πŸ™‚

I L-O-V-E it and it’s on sale right now although your size may not be available if you want to pick it up.

It also has two zippered areas that lets you have it looser or tighter. I LOVE that feature. I sometimes wear lighter things underneath but then my jacket is too loose, or vice versa.

Now, I can adjust it based on what I wear.

The khaki green is also a good neutral but absolutely NOT black, grey or white.

I already own a bright red spring coat but it’s too hard to wear it with my other more colourful items that scream out for having a more neutral coat over it.


Oh and I bought that Burberry winter coat. *scuffle scuffle*

I had been looking for a winter coat for 2-3 years now, making do with the ones that were getting ratty in my wardrobe (the wool was peeling off on a cheap coat and starting to go bare).

I remember writing about it in October 2009 here stating that I needed a winter coat, but didn’t find a single one I liked enough to buy.

It’s another piece of wearable art in a one-off design (so they won’t make it again), but I’m really going to wear it to death.

I really hesitated for 2-3 months while eying the coat on the website on and off because I loathe designer names and it is BLACK (a colour I don’t really reach for).

Just the name BURBERRY alone is enough to make me NOT want to buy it.

I hate logos and thankfully this one doesn’t scream “BURBERRY” in its iconic plaid print but still. πŸ™

I feel like a sell-out.

That said, the design is incredible, the fit was perfect and the wool/cashmere was so soft and lovely.

Plus, it gets cold in Texas for 3-4 months hitting lows of 30 F, or so people tell me πŸ™‚

To reason with myself:

  • I am never buying another winter coat again (finally, two years of searching & waiting has yielded this coat!)
  • This coat doesn’t have logos or screams “Burberry” at all (thank god)
  • The design is what caught my eye first, even though it’s in black
  • It actually looks good on me in black with the buckles and buttons
  • It cost ~$1920 including taxes and I have until the end of September to return it

I am currently sleeping, eating, gardening, cooking and lazing around in it to make sure I really want it, but it’s heavenly and I can’t wait for colder weather to come so I can wear it and squeal every time I put it on.


  • Winter Coat that looks amazing. Check.
  • Bright Spring Coat in Red. Check.
  • Neutral Spring/Autumn Coat in Khaki Green. Check.
  • Classic Ivory Dress Coat. Check. (BF bought it for me 3 years ago & I still wear it)

My coat wardrobe is complete and I couldn’t be happier.

My budget is shot to hell this month

Er… no, the spending doesn’t stop there.

I also bought a birthday/Christmas/everything present for BOTH of my parents — a 32″ LCD TV and a set of 10 mixing bowls for my mom (for her mise en place in the kitchen).

I accidentally er… destroyed the side (read: melted with heat) of a TV that was stupidly placed beside the stove as part of their decorating scheme (arg!! PARENTS!!).

So to make up for it, I bought them a new flat screen TV to put on the wall to say “I’m sorry for melting your only source of entertainment because I was cooking lunch for you” and “Happy all the birthdays and celebrations where I haven’t found anything practical to buy for you two because you have everything you need.

(I refuse to pay for frivolous items that they won’t use in their life, so I tend to only take them out to dinner to celebrate, but to not actually give them a gift.)

TOTAL DAMAGE = $3600… which means…..ahh forget it.

See you next month. πŸ˜›

(P.S. did I mention that this all has to fit into two large suitcases? OMG. I am going to need to do some serious rolling and packing. And layering.)

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.