Black Friday Hauling

Come to think of it I have never posted a clothing haul before, accessories & bags yes, but not clothes.
So here's a (yet another) first!

I don't know how many will read through all of my buying reasonings, but it will be interesting for me to look back on in the future. "Oh...that's why I bought/got that!" kindda moments. I'm a bit forgetful and sentimental like that.

But kudos to those who do read through most/all! :]

Some of these were from a trip to Woodbury Commons Outlet my family and I made last Saturday. But a majority were bought after a trip to Manhattan on Black Friday. Not as bad as I thought it would be, but still pretty bad.

1. Forever 21 - Love 21 - Black Skirt ... $19.80
  • Wasn't on sale but I really liked how it looked on me & I'm picky about skirts. But then again, I need to start wearing the few that I bought recently...heh
2. Coach Legacy Leather Penny Shoulder Purse - Deep Port ... $99 (Orig. $198)
  • Err, the impulse buy. The Coach outlet is just pure madness. Watching everyone stand on a line with bags hanging on both arms, in both hands, and on all fingers can make a person envious!
  • This small bag stood out to me the most. Everything else was either of canvas material with their monograms printed all over or the style seemed impractical or too mature for me at the moment.
3. Fossil Sydney Giftable Bifold Wallet - Bright Pink ... $21 (Orig. $35)
  • This isn't color I would usually consider. But in the end I thought it might stand out more inside my bags. *shrugs* (My strange logic..)
  • Although I love how compact it is, it is hard to put things inside! Maybe I just have to break it in first? But things like business cards and tea shop reward cards do not fit into the card slots at all. Bummer.
  • Despite all that I'm not returning it since it is a great size for me now. I don't have that many cards anyways so this forces me to only keep the necessities and it fits into my small bags.
4. Kate Spade Card Holder/Wallet ... $22.50 (Orig. $45)
  • Another impulse buy. A card holder has been on my wish/need list for a while now and was going to order from eBay. But when I got the the outlets, I honestly felt a bit jealous (again) seeing so many Kate Spade shopping bags around. Oh well! Saves me the effort of ordering and having to wait forever for eBay packages to arrive.
5. Various sports bras from Aerie (50% off original)
  • Ever since the summer, I have been wearing sports bras as often as possible (not for exercising reasons). Ones with skinny straps are great for oversized and wider neck sweaters! I personally like the thicker strapped ones for certain tank styles so I won't feel or look over exposed.
6. AE Knit Jeggings - Crush Berry ... $29.96 (Orig. $39.95)
  • I had a pair that was a similar burgundy color from Uniqlo that I loved...until it ripped by my inner upper thigh area. (Embarrassing!) Luckily I had a long coat on that day. & I was only able to wear it a few times last Fall/Winter too. *Shake my fist* Uniqlo never brought this color back!
  • I've been waiting to get this color for a while and thought I was getting a good deal at the time since it was the AE outlet. But I really wish I waited to buy these during AE's Black Friday deal instead. Could have had 50% off instead of 25%, too bad I had cut off the tags a week earlier.

8. Various undies from Aerie ... 10 for $30
  • Or to be exact the deal I got was 5 for $30 + 5 Free
    • Yup, that is what the signs in store and my receipt say
9. H&M Sweater ... $14.95 (Orig. $29.95)
  • Lured by the special promo price tag. But not a bad find. I wasn't expecting to buy much or anything from H&M since I usually have a hard time finding things there anyways. Their Black Friday sale selection was much smaller than I expected too.

10. AE Real Soft Mistletoe Sweater - Black ... $22.47 & AEO Factory Slouchy Crew Sweater - Chrome Green and Ocean View ... $19.98 
  • I bought the 2 slouchy sweaters first. I LOVE how comfortable they are. I really regret not grabbing more at the outlets, especially for that price ... 60% off 'original'! (Although I know that this item is specific to the AE outlets, the quality doesn't seem much different from the regular AE sweater I got.)
  • The mistletoe sweater was bought after realizing I couldn't get my hands on the slouchy sweater in black anymore. ('Slouchy' wasn't listed on the website before Black Friday, but was afterwards...Hate it when this happens!)
  • Mistletoe sweater isn't bad, but I like the style and fit of the slouchy sweater more. (It is looser by the arms.) Materials appears to be the same for both sweaters, so they're both equally soft to the touch.
11. Levi's Cardigan
  • Can never have too any cardigans! & I didn't already have this color either. Unfortunately, I don't remember the price nor have the receipt..I think after discounts and coupons it was ~$20 more or less?
12. *Not pictured* GAP Eversoft Neon Cardigan - Energetic Peach ... $5.98 (Orig. $39.95)
  • Bought Wednesday before Thanksgiving when GAP had 60% off most items & mom received a $10 coupon, hence the great deal.

    I was happier opening these gadgets last night than I probably am on my birthdays. Yes, that happy!

    KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer - Green Apple $299.99
    • My mom actually bought this a week before Black Friday when Macy's sold it for $299.99, the lowest we've ever seen it, at major retailers, in the last couple of years.
    • I We I have been eyeing this mixer since we moved into our new house and always joked about getting one. But the price was always too high. I know my mom always kept an eye out for the prices (even though she never explicitly told me) because she has casually asked "should we get it" multiple times when we saw any version of the KitchenAid mixer at Costco. But those were never the Artisan or in the color that I wanted (Ice Blue, Pistachio, Metallic).
    • For Black Friday, this was on sale at for $345.99 + 10% off + $50 manufacture's rebate. (But sans the 10% off in-store.) Which makes it a better deal than what we got it for. But considering that:
      • 1) my mom had to lug this thing from Manhattan to Brooklyn via public transport
      • 2) mom's feet/ankles/legs already ache from work
      • 3) we'd have to mail in the rebate and wait for it to come back
      • She decided the 10% savings isn't worth all the trouble.
    • I tested it out today to make cupcakes and I love it so far. Makes things soo much easier!
    KitchenAid Architect Hand Blender - $99.99 (Orig. $139.99)
    • Hand blenders haven't been on the wishlist for very long. But our magic bullet doesn't seem to cut it when it comes to blending smoothies anymore & the better(?) blenders available are very expensive. Few YouTube videos later, I thought a hand blender could do the job & more.
    • Mom originally bought a Cuisinart version for under $20 (because she saw that it was circled in her Macy's booklet. I always just randomly circle things that are "on sale" & normally she doesn't buy what I circle anyways). Later we found out that that version didn't have a detachable shaft so it had to be returned.
    • Fast forward a little over a week later on Black Friday, we noticed that the Kitchenaid version was on sale in-store. All it's many attachments caught my eye! Strangely, my mom was very easily convinced by me to get this now instead of waiting longer for possible further discounts.
      • The night before, I had checked and saw that this was going for $139.99 + 40% off. Which means that the "sale" price in-store wasn't as good. Of course my phone battery died on me that day so I didn't have proof to show them. BUT I did ask the cashier (who asked the supervisor/manager) and they told me that is different/separate from the actual store. WHAT?! So there was no price matching...
      • I could have ordered online, but my mom is skeptical of the interwebs and (especially big) package deliveries.
    • I also tested this today to puree/blend sweet potatoes. It was pretty awesome I'd say. Can't wait to try the milk frother attachment. Homemade lattes maybe?! :D

    Sales get me every time...
    I can get a little very carried away if I don't stop and think things over and over again.
    But sometimes rationalizing goes out the window at that moment and I can only take it as a lesson learned. Be smarter next time! Right?

    Some interesting tidbits & tips I learned:
    • American Eagle outlet store has a combo of both it's AEO Factory & normal AE store items (at least at Woodbury it is).
      • Don't go thinking everything are outlet items and that they are the lowest discounts possible.
      • Sometimes their outlet items make it to their online store, sometimes it does not but it will be at a later time.
    • American Eagle online's special Thanksgiving discount (50% off, I think a new promo this year) isn't the same as their online Black Friday discount (40% off, same as previous years). BUT in-store discount may still be 50% off!
      • Don't freak out if you miss the 'good sale'!
      • I learned the hard way, after getting pissed and stressed earlier Friday morning...*sigh*
    • If you plan to go to a big outlet mall or Woodbury Commons Outlet to be more exact:
      • Print out a map and list of stores & highlight the places you want to go to on the list & map
        • This way you can see where you want to go and can devise a route to efficiently use your time there.
      • Join their free VIP program online & print out their special online VIP coupons
        • Depending on when you go and if you could use coupons or not...the online print-out coupons are better deals than the ones in the VIP coupons booklet available at the Woodbury Outlet Information Center.
    • ≠ Macy's in-store ... apparently.
      • I can understand that not everything in-store is online and vice versa.
      • I can understand that discounts might be different from one platform to the other to attract sales to different places.
      • I can also understand that Black Friday deals may be different from Cyber Monday deals.
      • But please explain why the two are regarded as completely different entities from each other and that there is no price matching in-store to the online promo/price?
        • I am not really the type to make a fuss about it in-store. I especially didn't question further because the lines were super long on Black Friday and I didn't want to be "that person" who held everyone up. Also we were in the Cellar (home goods) part of the store and practically everyone was holding big boxes of electronics/pots and pans, etc.
    • I bought a lot less clothing/accessories/bags-wise than I originally planned to at Woodbury. I even walked in and out of the Cosmetic Company Outlet store empty-handed!
    • I seem to really like American Eagle because even at the outlets, most/almost all of the clothes I got were from there.
    • Seems like Woodbury Commons gets a lot of (or enough) Chinese visitors that they also have Mandarin and Cantonese announcements over the loudspeakers. My family and I just thought that was interesting.

    Did everyone else get some good buys recently?
    Do you take part in the holiday sales madness? In-store or online?

    How I | Deep Clean Makeup Brushes

    I am really bad when it comes to washing my makeup brushes. I always put off doing this chore because the whole process just takes too long and my hands get all wrinkly & dry afterwards. I usually go through all of my brushes before I am practically forced to clean them.

    But the cleaning is inevitable. It is very bad for the skin to always use dirty brushes. So I limit each brush to no more than a week of usage if it is for powder/dry products and at most one use only if it's for cream/liquid/wet products. Typically, with all my brushes, it takes a month or so before another washing is due.

    Since I started using makeup brushes, the process of cleaning has always been to put some shampoo onto the brush, lather & swirl on my palm, rinse, and repeat. This is the long way that everyone else is probably used to. A while back all these 'fancy' things like cleansing mitts and such came out. But they were too pricey and unjustifiable for me to try.

    Then for some reason, a couple of months ago, I decided to try something different.
    I found a plastic cup, put in some  Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap & Daiso Detergent & water into, and made a soapy mixture.
    I am not sure how 'innovative' this is but it was new to me!

    *I really love using Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap for brush cleaning. There are a few other bloggers who really like it too so I thought I would give it a try. It takes most of the makeup off and the foam/soap washes away well. When I used baby shampoo, it would still be soapy after many many rinses. Not sure why, but it was. The Magic Soap comes in many scents like Almond, Mint, Lavender, Scent-Free/Baby, and some others that I can't remember off the top of my head.*

    **The Daiso Detergent for puff and sponge is extremely good for getting off any stubborn stained makeup from the brushes. I don't really like the smell of it and it is pricey to order through eBay (no Daiso in NYC)... so I only use a couple of drops in the mixture.**

    I dip/dunk my dirty makeup brushes in the mixture multiple times...

    *Be sure NOT to do this step too vigorously or else the water will pump through the ferrule (metal part) and might loosen it ... LIGHT DUNKING IS KEY!**

    **You could also swirl & swoosh your brushes in the water. It might take a bit longer for makeup to come off. But this action actually works better for smaller makeup brushes.*

    ***I typically dump out the dirty mixture and make a new one if it turns really cloudy and has a dark-ish color.***

    Doing it this way usually takes a lot of the makeup off!
    Afterwards I still swirl the brushes on my palm to make sure everything is clean.
    Then I rinse it under the faucet, squeeze out the water, and brush out the excess water onto a (paper) towel.

    I leave the brushes on a window sill to dry.
    My brushes dry even faster in the colder months because most of the radiators in my house are under the windows. I used to place the makeup brushes onto paper towels to dry but didn't like the fact that it sat on something wet for so long. There are the brush drying trees and DIY brush drying hangers which essentially do the same thing, this just isn't upside down and there aren't any extra costs.

    I found that by cleaning this way it took me a lot less time to wash everything. & I think it might even use less shampoo. I think...But since I never really measured or anything I am not 100% sure on this point. It just seems like less product would be used. Right?

    Do you always dread having to wash your makeup brushes? How do you usually clean them?
    If you try this method, let me know how it goes for you! :]

    Target Hauling

    Erm. So I was probably a teeny bit too confident in my ability to control my impulsive buying habits. It was all going well until I was lured in by a 25% off Real Techniques brushes on a few weeks ago. *shake my first* You...sales...!

    I think that Ulta sometimes has better deals for these brushes. But I am not familiar with when Ulta has sales and my impatience got the best of me. Here's all the damage I did:

    L to R: Sonia Kashuk Pointed Blending Brush, Sonia Kashuk Duo Fiber Fan Brush, Real Techniques Travel Essentials, Real Techniques Core Collection, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Real Techniques Setting Brush

    These brushes have been on my wishlist for the longest time. What held me back was that I didn't have access to a physical Ulta or Walmart store. Even though in the end I did order from Target online, there is at least a store accessible to me in case returns had to be made. Luckily, everything I got felt nice enough so I do not mind keeping them all. There were also a couple other brushes from the Real Techniques line that I wanted to get but was unfortunately not available or out-of-stock.

    I also bought a 34pc set of Huggable Hangers that I forgot to take a photo of. But that isn't all too exciting to see, right? However, I was a little bummed when I went to Costco the other day and saw that they had a 35pc hangers only set of "No Slip Hangers" for $9.99. While the ones I ordered from Target (the original/brand-name versions) were $17.99. The pricier set also only had 14 hangers plus 10 clips and attachments. What luck I have... *sigh* I can't even return the Huggable Hangers because I already opened and threw away the box it came in.

    Of the ones that I got, I feel like I will get the least uses out of the two foundation brushes. But the next on my "To Get" list are the powder brush, blush brush, and kabuki brush.

    Has anyone else tried any Real Techniques brushes yet? Any favorites/dislikes?

    ----------Complaint about
    This was my first time ordering from the website. But Bestie C ordered from there a lot recently, so I thought that the Free Shipping minimum must not be too bad. Boy did I think wrong. I wasn't aware of their new policies and tactics to gain more cardholders. Basically, if you sign up for their card you will have (I think) Free Ship along with some other perks. BUT if you are not a cardholder, there are only a limited amount of items that they deemed to be eligible for "Free Shipping over $50".

    It took me much so long to decide on what to buy to meet that minimum while also not spending too much overall on the order. Things I saw and thought I would want to keep were not Free Ship Eligible. The ones I saw that were Free Ship Eligible wasn't anything that I wanted or needed. I know it would have been much easier to just pick any random thing and return it but that was really a last resort option.

    One thing that really bothered me most was how the site requires you to input all your personal and card information before estimating your shipping fees. I tried to Google what their typical shipping costs were like but didn't have much luck finding anything. Their Help/FAQ page also doesn't say much about prices either.