What I’m Wearing: Lounge Clothes

I spend a lot of time at home. I enjoy seeing my friends, family and coworkers…but I also really, really enjoy seeing my dog and Netflix shows. While the clothes I wear to work and social gatherings are perfectly fine, they aren’t something I would choose to wear while settling in for a Netflix binge-watching sesh. And I know I’m not alone — I’ve seen so many posts on Facebook about switching into elastic-waist pants the second we get home from work. #storyofmylife

So many stores carry lounge clothes now. I’m not sure that lounge clothes have been “reinvented” — they’re still elastic-waisted sweatpants. But they seem less frumpy than what typically comes to mind when I think about sweat pants. Ha, or maybe I’m just telling myself that. While stores like Nordstrom have lots of super cute lounge wear options, I just can’t. I want to look relatively cute while I’m lounging, but not to the point where I’m spending more money on pants for my Making a Murderer binge than pants for a luncheon.

Enter Old Navy.

This probably isn’t a surprise, since Old Navy is my go-to for lots of things, especially workout clothes. But they have great basics in a variety of colors. More importantly, they always have sales. And if you have their credit card, like me, you might also have a pile of rewards certificates to use, especially if you used your card a lot during the holidays, like me.

Here are some of my favorite recent lounge-wear purchases:

Old Navy Button Front Jersey Leggings | What Lindsey Likes

The Old Navy button-front jersey leggings. There are probably the most comfortable pants ever. The material is super soft; however, the material is also incredibly thin. I wear these with bum-covering t-shirts or hoodies only, and inside the privacy of my own home only. They are also incredibly fitted, hence the name “leggings.” I noticed mine stretched out a bit after a few wears, especially around the knees.

Old Navy French Terry Lounge Leggings | What Lindsey Likes

The Old Navy french-terry lounge legging. (Sorry, ladies, these are sold out online!) These are also super comfortable but also super fitted. This pair and the next three are all part of Old Navy’s french-terry pants. They are slightly thicker than the leggings above, but not so much that they cause you to overheat. When I took these out of the package (online order), they felt SO SOFT. I’m interested to see how they fare after several rounds through the washer and dryer.

One complaint about all of the french-terry pants: the waist stretches out quite a bit. There is a drawstring, but that sort of defeats the purpose of the elastic waist — the elastic is supposed to hug you just the right amount to keep your pants up but keep you comfortable after eating half a bag of Doritos. Amiright?!

Old Navy French Terry Lounge Pants | What Lindsey LikesThe Old Navy french-terry lounge pants. Mega comfortable and more figure-flattering than the leggings style, at least for my body shape.

Old Navy French Terry Sweatpants | What Lindsey Likes

The Old Navy french-terry sweatpants. Like all the other pants, these are crazy comfortable. The leg is slim fitting, but not skintight like the two leggings I featured earlier.

Are these groundbreaking products? No. But if you’re looking for more lounge pants that won’t break the bank, I highly recommend them. They’re all on sale right now, and chances are they will all be on sale again next week, and the week after, and the week after.

Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray Dupe

Back in January, I ditched my long locks for a cute wavy bob. I’ve stuck with it ever since — I still absolutely love it. It took me awhile to master the wavy style that I wanted, but I eventually figured it out. The MVP of my hair styling was the Oribe Thick Dry Finishing spray.

oribe thick dry finishing spray | whatlindseylikes

Oribe’s thick dry finishing spray is kind of amazing. I mentioned back in January that it was kind of a miracle product: hairspray, volumizer and dry shampoo all in one. Here’s how I used it: after washing my hair, I’d let it mostly air dry, spritz in a little sea salt spray, blow dry with a diffuser and curl. Then I’d lift a few sections and spray the Oribe thick dry finishing spray at my roots, then ruffle the area with my fingers for volume. I’d also spray all my curls/waves and scrunch.

My style would last basically all day. If I noticed things looking flat, I’d ruffle my hands at my scalp to up the volume.

I’ve had some issues with my curls holding lately, but I think it’s a sign that I need a trim to fix up the layers more so than an error on the product’s end.

OK, so I love this product, but I don’t love the budget-busting price: $39 (5.3 ounces). I can find it on Amazon and other sites for maybe a couple bucks off, but nothing major.

When my can of Oribe was out, I cried a little, then Googled dupes for the product. (Note: “dupe” means “cheaper alternative.”) I found two options, one from Oscar Blandi ($24 for 4 ounces) and one from Garnier Fructis ($3.49 for 3.8 ounces).

I obviously went for the cheaper version: Garnier Fructis De-Constructed Texture Tease Hairspray (available at drugstores).

garnier fructis de-constructed texture tease spray | whatlindseylikes

I’ve used it three times now — using the same method as with the Oribe spray. This product is almost as awesome as the Oribe spray. The Garnier Fructis De-Constructed Texture Tease spray has a stronger, stiffer hold than the Oribe spray. One thing I loved about the Oribe spray was that my hair was still touchable. The Garnier product makes my hair a little crunchier…but not mega crunchy. I’m happy with the volume and its ability to maintain my curls. The scent is OK…not bad, but not as awesome as the Oribe spray.

Based on my experience so far, I would repurchase the Garnier product, rather than the Oribe. I love Oribe’s spray, but just can’t rationalize the price.

What I’m Buying: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion at Ulta

Ulta is holding its 21 Days of Beauty event right now. I love these sales because I almost always find a few products that are on mega-sale and it’s amazing. Last year they had Bare Minerals foundation primer, Prime Time (read my review here), on sale for $10 a bottle. That’s more than 50% off! I stocked up.

This year, one of my absolute favorite products ever is part of the sale. Tomorrow (Saturday, March 21), Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion will be 50% off, which means $10-12. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t feel bad. This product is a primer for your eyelids that keeps your eye shadow on and in place ALL DAY. It’s amazing.

urban decay eyeshadow primer potion | whatlindseylikes

These two are my favorite colors. Original is a nude color that won’t really show up on your eyelids at all. Sin is this amazing champagne color. It’s beautiful on its own. I’ve used the color sin in the Naked 1 palette, but I haven’t used it in the primer potion yet. I bought these two a month ago when Ulta had a 20% off coupon…and clearly haven’t started using them yet. I’m bummed that I didn’t wait for the 21 Days of Beauty!

When I was younger, I was pretty clueless about makeup. And by “younger,” I don’t mean junior high and high school; I mean my late 20s. This is when I finally tried Bare Minerals. Bare Minerals foundation was life-changing for me. It was the first time I ever felt confident that my foundation was right for my skin. After many years and many foundations from brands at every price point, I finally found what worked for my pale, pink-toned skin.

That confidence made me question all the other makeup snafus I’d been having. The biggest issue for me had been keeping my eye shadow on my eyelids. Within 20 minutes of applying my eye shadow each morning, all the color would creep into the creases of my lids. Rather than an entire lid covered in a beautiful shade of grey, you’d see a greasy looking lid with a super dark line of grey along my creases. It seemed like most other women I knew had the same problem, so I just assumed there was no hope.

Wrong.

Once I became obsessed with Bare Minerals, I started watching hours of YouTube makeup tutorials every weekend. I learned that when women find their life-changing makeup products – the ones they wouldn’t choose to live without – they called them “holy grail” products. Bare Minerals foundation is definitely my holy grail foundation.

The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is without a doubt another holy grail product.

I apply a teeny amount – maybe the size of two or three beads of quinoa? or the size of a regular grain of rice? – to my ring finger, then smooth it over one eyelid.

urban decay eyeshadow primer potion amount | whatlindseylikes

Just a small amount.

urban decay eyeshadow primer potion amount  | whatlindseylikes

When I’m applying it, I think of it like applying lotion: I cover the entire eyelid and a little above the eyelid, and try to work it into my skin. I repeat on the opposite side, then let it dry for 30 to 60 seconds. (This is typically when I’d apply my blush.) After it’s had a little setting time, I apply my eye shadow.

my eye makeup favorites | whatlindseylikes

When I say your shadow will last “ALL DAY,” I mean from first thing in the morning until maybe the early hours of the next morning if you have a special occasion. Let’s say I have work all day, then have a dinner party or some other event that night. I can apply my eye makeup that morning, go through my entire work day, maybe touch up my face with some pressed powder and a new swath of blush, but that’s it – I typically don’t need to touch my eye makeup. My shadow will still be in place by the time I get home after whatever evening activity I have going on.

I’ve noticed that some of my kohl eyeliners don’t seem to last into the evening, so that’s my only warning. But I don’t typically consider kohl liners to be long-lasting anyway, so I probably wouldn’t use that product on a mega long day, or I’d plan to reapply liner before the evening event.

Anyway, if you are fed up with creased eye shadow, I highly recommend Urban Decay Primer Potion. If you don’t live near an Ulta, you can get the same deal online. I plan to buy a few, and maybe save a couple as gifts for people in the near future.

Note: The product packaging says that one tube is good for approximately six months. I’ve been using the same tube (albeit mine is a slightly larger size than the regular one that’s on sale tomorrow — see below) for several years. At least three, but maybe closer to four. Now, eye hygienists might find that disgusting, but I haven’t had any eye irritation, so I think it’s OK. The picture below shows the regular size (which is part of the sale), a normal-sized pen and the primer potion I’m currently using, which is considered the “professional” size.

urban decay eyeshadow primer potion | whatlindseylikes

Are you going to buy any? I didn’t see any other days of deals that I was super excited about, but I also kind of stopped paying attention after I saw this deal. Let me know if there’s anything else on the list that I should consider!

What I Did: Styled My Wavy Bob Haircut

It took me more than a week, but I finally figured out how to style my new wavy bob haircut. I spent all of last week trying to figure out how to get my hair to look wavy. I watched a million video tutorials. I read tons of articles. I stared intensely at pictures on Pinterest. I tried to learn how to curl my hair using a straightener. I need to just accept that I will never be able to do that. It’s just not going to happen. I don’t know if my wrist rotation is flawed or if I’m lacking the necessary coordination skills — either way, I will be reserving my use of my straightener solely for straightening.

Next I went through my collection of curling irons in various sizes. I tried a 3/4″ iron, a 1″ iron and a 1.25″ iron. And I tried doing regular curling as well as the technique where you wrap your hair AROUND the iron without the clamp. I only burned the tips of my fingers a couple times, so I consider that a win.

Every time I tried what the tutorials said, I got a look I didn’t like. Usually the curls were too intense for me, and my hair was too poofy (and not in the voluminous way). I couldn’t, for the life of me, get my hair to look anything like how my stylist did. I spent the whole week fighting my hair. Once the weekend came, I was “over it.” I decided to leave the vast majority of my styling products out, and simplified.

wavy bob | whatlindseylikes

And I am finally SO HAPPY.

Here’s what I did. I shampooed and conditioned as normal in the shower. I left out the mousse, and let my hair air dry instead of blow drying 100%. While my hair was air drying, I went about my other morning routine chores: breakfast, Digger duties, flossing/brushing my teeth, applying my makeup. This is almost enough time for my hair to air dry completely, but not quite. I spray a little Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray and scrunch my strands. Then I attach my diffuser thingie to my hair dryer and use it for 60-90 seconds — just enough time to get my hair close to 90% dry. Then I use my 1″ curling iron to run a few chunks of hair through wherever I need a little extra wave. My hair moves through my iron quickly — other irons I’ve used kind of stuck to my hair. When I’m adding my curls/waves, I move it right through instead of holding for any amount of time. To finish, I spray my new favorite hair product, Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray, throughout my hair to make it piecey.

wavy bob | whatlindseylikes

All of these pictures are after a FULL DAY of work (and an immediate outfit change to my comfy sweatpants and hooded sweatshirt). On top of surviving an entire work day, I was in and out of buildings while it was snowing most of the morning. My hair held the wave all day (thanks to Not Your Mother’s and Oribe).

wavy bob | whatlindseylikes

I’d feel totally comfortable meeting up with friends immediately after work without refreshing my hair if I had to. If I had time in between work and my evening plans, I’d probably spray a little of the Oribe into my roots to pump up the volume a smidge.

wavy bob | whatlindseylikes

I’d like to attempt skipping the sea salt spray whenever I can — I think it’ll dry out my ends pretty quickly.

So that’s it. I’m relieved that I found a method that actually works for me. And I’m relieved that it’s not very time-consuming.

What I Love: Wavy Bob Haircut

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have already seen my new ‘do. I’m SO IN LOVE. My stylist is amazing and she did a great job. Normally when I’m taking the plunge and chopping my hair, I get really nervous about whether the stylist with the scissors will understand my vision. Most of this is my fault — I don’t take in enough pictures, or I’ll bring in photos of two styles that look the same to me, but are completely different to the trained eye of a hair stylist. With this cut, I did my homework and paid a little more attention to the details of the images I really loved.

It didn’t matter, because my stylist knew exactly what to do. She went over the different aspects of the cut that were important to me — long layers in the back as opposed to a stacked cut; using a razor to get more wispy ends; etc. She even pointed out a picture in the salon that was exactly what I had described and what was illustrated in the photos I brought with me. I felt so at ease!

OK, enough about the prep. Let’s get to the cut! These are the photos I shared on Instagram, along with one more.

wavy bob haircut | whatlindseylikes

wavy bob haircut | whatlindseylikes

wavy bob haircut | whatlindseylikes

To style this cut, my stylist added some mousse from Oribe (I think it was Grandiose) throughout my hair while it was wet. Then she blow dried my hair. Ha, then I’m a little fuzzy if she added another product…but then she curled my hair using a straightener. Most of the tutorials I linked to from my post about getting my hair cut had recommended clamping the straightener on your hair, then bending the straightener one time (or, in a way that might make more sense, rotate the straightener 180 degrees), then just pull the straightener through. That’s what my stylist did, which resulted in these adorable waves with ends that flicked in whatever direction they pleased. After adding the waves, my stylist used Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray.

My stylist had used this finishing spray on me before and I thought it was amazing, but didn’t want to pay the hefty price tag ($37-40!!!!). Almost all the reviews I’ve read are rave reviews — it appears to be a miracle product. It’s like a hair spray, dry shampoo and volumizer, all in one. My style held ALL DAY on the day of my cut (my cut was at 8:30 in the morning), and actually even looked OK when I woke up the next morning (just as my stylist had promised). If I had planned to go with second-day hair, I would have used my straightener to touch up a few pieces, then would have been good to go.

However, I think one of the most fun things about a new haircut is styling it yourself for the first time, so I got a quick workout in after I woke up, then showered and washed my hair.

I didn’t purchase the Oribe Grandiose mousse that my stylist used — I had read a few articles and reviews of Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up mousse, so I went with that (and saved a ton of money). I did end up buying the Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray, though…I couldn’t help myself! I just want to try it. If anyone knows how to get good deals on Oribe products, let me know. Amazon seemed to be only a few dollars cheaper.

Styling my hair myself went relatively smoothly. I have to get the hang of curling my hair with a straightener. I also have to remember that the best thing about this style is that it’s not supposed to be perfect, which means curls/waves don’t have to be symmetrical or even fully present. I seem to be able to get one side of my head to look awesome, but the other side looks totally different. That’s mostly my inability to use my left hand the same way as I can with my right hand. Hopefully it’ll get better with practice. But thanks to the Whip It Up mousse and Thick Dry Finishing spray, whatever wave I did have is still there. (I’ll do a full review of both products after I’ve had them a little longer — so far so good, but we’ll see what I’m saying two months from now.)

What I’m Doing: Getting My Hair Cut

Pinterest images of wavy bob hairstyles have finally worn me down. I’m chopping my hair! I’ve had long hair for a couple years now, but I’m no stranger to shorter hair. I go back and forth every few years, so I think it’s time for change. Here I am shortly after my last chop in 2012. Super grainy pictures…but that’s what happens when you have to pull photos from Facebook!

whatlindseylikes

My goal was to wait until February, for no logical reason, but I just can’t take it. There are SO. MANY. PICTURES. on Pinterest. Here are my pin-spiration photos:

wavy bob pinspiration | whatlindseylikesImages 1, 2, 3

wavy bob | whatlindseylikes

Image 1, 2, 3

My appointment is on Saturday — I’ll try to post pics on Saturday night (let’s be honest, I’m not that ambitious — this is a lazy-girl-lifestyle-blog, after all) or Sunday with pics. I’ve been watching these tutorials (1, 2) and reading these articles (1, 2) for styling tips and recommended products. I’m planning to buy Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Mousse immediately after my haircut on Saturday (thanks to the perfectly timed 20% coupon from Ulta). I’m pretty confident I’ll be reading as many other articles as possible in case I decide to buy any other products. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

What I Bought: Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera

Buying electronics can be super exciting and incredibly depressing all at the same time. It’s exciting because you think you’ll have this new, fun technology that will improve your life in some way. It’s depressing because you quickly learn that the budget you have set – which you consider a big investment – is actually not enough to buy all the awesome features you expected. I went through this experience when I bought my last laptop. I thought laptop technology had changed so drastically that I’d be able to get a pretty decent machine for dirt cheap. I was very, very wrong.

I started looking at digital SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras before I even considered buying one. I just wanted to know what my favorite bloggers were using and approximately how much they spent on those cameras. I discovered that most of my favorites were using pretty professional-level cameras. Which makes sense considering how much income those blogs bring in.

I knew I wasn’t ready for a camera of that magnitude. More importantly, I couldn’t afford a price tag of that magnitude.

While all my favorite bloggers were using mega expensive cameras, they also recommended entry-level cameras for beginners. Although I wasn’t really looking for a camera at the time, it definitely helped to set a realistic sense of what the numbers would be. It also helped me determine what kinds of cameras and lenses are good for different types of photos. Food bloggers love one lens, travel bloggers love another. (Although I will say that almost everyone recommended a 50mm lens, for one thing or another with their blogs.)

Since most of my photos would be of my outfits, food I’ve made from Pinterest recipes or other small things I could get up close to, I didn’t need to worry about lenses that were great for maximum zooming.

But before I could get too caught up in what lenses to buy, I needed to figure out which brand to buy. All of my favorite bloggers were using Nikons and Canons. I chose to go with Canon, only because I had used two other Canon cameras (an SLR and a digital point and shoot) in the past and really loved both of them.

I found the Canon that most of my fave bloggers had recommended for entry-level photographers, and then looked at the other models that were just above and just below it. I selected four cameras that I thought met my needs and were close to within my price range (some were under, some were over). My top four, in no particular order: Canon T3i, Canon T5, Canon T5i and Canon SL1.

That’s when I started my hardcore research. Google is amazing. I would type “Canon T5 v. Canon T3i” and get tons of articles that either directly compared those two cameras, or at least offered reviews on one or both of those cameras. I did that for all of the cameras to learn each of their pros and cons, and how important certain specs were to me. Some of my favorite websites were Which Camera Should I Buy?, 2 Camera Guys, Imaging Resource and Smashing Camera.

I’m basically a photography novice. Wait, there’s no “basically” about it — I am a full-on photography novice. It was so helpful reading reviews and doing all sorts of Google searches to figure out what things meant.

I also highly recommend going into a store so you can look at the cameras, pick them up and play with them. I had a really good experience at the Best Buy – Mall of America store the two times I went in. One guy spent an absurd amount of time helping me understand as many of the features he could get my tiny brain to comprehend, while another woman asked me lots of questions about my blog to help me think about which specs were mega important and which ones didn’t matter. Through that discussion, I realized that one non-negotiable was an articulating screen. The articulating/tilting screen allows you to bring the screen away from the camera and position it so that if you happen to be in front of the camera (like all of my outfit posts would require), you would be able to see where in the frame you show up. This means I’d know if I was cutting off my head or my feet, and how much of my background was getting in the way of my shot.

Unfortunately the T5 and the SL1 didn’t have the articulating screen, so they were eliminated.

The remaining cameras, the T5i and the T3i, weren’t too different. The T5i is a newer camera, so it had newer technology, which helps. And it had a touch screen. But it was also more expensive.

Since I was planning to purchase really close to the holidays, I checked the Black Friday ads religiously. The T3i was part of a really good bundle on Black Friday at Best Buy, so originally that was the route I was going to take…and then, the week of Black Friday (the Sunday through Wednesday right before Thanksgiving), Best Buy had an even more awesome deal for the T5i…so that’s what I bought!

Canon EOS Rebel T5i | whatlindseylikes

Canon T5i – from Canon USA

It was more expensive, but not by much. Both promotions were package deals, meaning I’d get the camera body, two lenses, a camera bag and a memory card for one bundled price. The two lenses that came with the T5i bundle were better quality lenses. The biggest difference was “image stabilization” – which basically means that even though I am shaky and can never hold still when I hold a camera to take a photo, this lens will adjust for that and make me look like I can hold it together.

Also, I’m incredibly impatient, so I was super excited to learn that I could buy the T5i right away instead of waiting for Black Friday and hoping that no one else bought it before I could get to the store. I was so happy to walk out of the store that day (a Sunday — as soon as I saw the ad for that week, I basically went directly to the store and bought the camera immediately), go home and start playing with my new toy.

I’ve had the camera for a couple months now and I LOVE it. It’s been so much fun learning how different settings can totally change the look of a photo. I’ve read SO MANY ARTICLES with awesome tips. I’ll share my favorite articles and websites in another post.

And because half the fun of buying electronics is buying accessories, I’ll share the extra items I’ve purchased to go along with my camera.