Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mall Of America Haul! - Urban Outfitters, F21, and More!

Hello! Hope you're having a good Thursday! It is cold and snowy here, but the sun is out, so that's nice at least. I'm actually not feeling 100%; I had a biopsy done on Wednesday and it's taking me a little longer to recover than I thought. It's more irritating than anything at this point, but I am in pain and moving around makes it worse.

But blogging (and then being able to clean up around my desk afterwards...) makes me happy, so here I am! Last weekend, my husband and I ended up with a Saturday off together, so we made the slightly bad decision to go to the Mall of America! We try to avoid the Mall around the holiday season because it's nuts. Near Christmas, it starts to get so packed that they actually have to turn people away. Basically, the higher you have to park in the parking ramps, the busier it's going to be. We didn't have to go all the way to the top (we've had to a few times; once we weren't even sure we'd find a spot there but we got lucky) and once you actually get into the Mall, it's not so bad. It's so big inside that it rarely gets cramped.

We mostly went to get the lunch specials at Benihana (don't laugh; the Lunch Boat is really tasty!) and exchange some Christmas presents, but, like always, we ended up with more than we expected!
Feel free to watch my video, or click below to see what I got!
I actually have a couple things that I didn't get at the Mall, but I wanted to include them in this haul because there's not enough to make a video/post. I got some more things on sale at Ulta because I have a problem.
I got a Bit Of Burt's Bees set in the Beeswax scent/flavor. I'm not a big fan of the Burt's Bees lip balm, but I love the Hand Salve! I'm actually not sure how much the Hand Salve retails on it's own, but the lip balms sell for more than $3 each, so I figured why not? But seriously, that Hand Salve is awesome if you have really dry hands (it does smell kind of weird at first, but it fades pretty quickly).
And then I bought more sale nail polish. I just can't help it! This is the Double Take duo in Ice from Butter London! It was on sale for half off, which is less than a single Butter London polish cost, and the flakie in this set looked really cool. There is a Fire set, too, but it wasn't at my Ulta (and it looks kind of meh anyways).
 This is Bluecoat, and surprisingly, is my favorite part of this set! It's a navy blue with shimmer, very similar to Neve by Zoya, but there's so much more depth to it. I'm not the biggest fan of dark polishes, but there's something very captivating about this color. It's hard to described or show in pictures; it's kind of something you have to see in real life.
And this is Leccy, which I have no clue how to pronounce. Apparently, it's the British slang term for "electricity". I'm pretty versed in British slang (thanks to Bridget Jone's Diary, Monty Python, and other British comedic enterprises) but I don't think I've ever heard "leccy" before. Then again, I have no idea what half of the newer American slang terms mean so. I'm probably just old. This is an iridescent flakey top coat; I thought this would be my favorite item in this set, but it's a little tricky to work with and it's one of those polishes that look better in the bottle.
Here they are swatched; Bluecoat on the left, Leccy on the right. Again, it's very difficult to capture the true beauty of Bluecoat so the swatch looks like a regular shimmery navy. I did two coats of Leccy, but since it's only over the translucent white of the swatch wheel, it's hard to see. Leccy also needs to be seen in real life (and probably over another polish) to be able to appreciate it. If you can find this set on sale, I'd say get it since for $12ish it's worth it.

MORE POLISH. Out of the lower mid-tier nail polishes, Orly is probably my favorite brand. It has a pretty good formula and color selection for a lower price than OPI or Zoya (but not really by much). The holiday collection for 2014 had some really pretty polishes (including Bling and Mirrorball, which I also purchased and are in a different haul) so I was happy to find them all on sale. This beauty is Steal The Spotlight; it's a teal glitter with bigger pieces of pink glitter in it.
Pretty! It took about three coats to get it opaque, but that's not bad for a full coverage glitter! This would also make a great topper over a peacock color. When I wore this, I didn't put a top coat on and it was super shiny and gorgeous!
I also bought more Pokemon cards! I really love Pokemon cards, even though I don't play anymore (I actually own the Pokemon TCG Gameboy game and I've been playing that a lot lately; I just don't play with real people. Or with any expansion beyond Fossil. No judging). They're fun to collect, and some of them look really cool (my favorite expansion set is the Legendary Treasures because of the varied artwork and card types). I got three packs from the XY Phantom Forces collection and I got some okay pulls:
I'm most happy about the Mantric EX and the Goodra. The other cards are kind of "eh". Especially the double Talonflame. Why.
My husband bought me another Sailor Moon blind box because he was sad that ended up Darian in the other one he got me. This time I got Rei! When I was younger, Sailor Mars was my favorite scout. I've since become more fond of Sailor Mercury, but Sailor Mars/Rei still holds a special place in my heart. These little figures are really detailed and well painted; well worth the $8. There is another set of boxes that are the "transformed" versions (so the actual Sailors and Tuxedo Mask) and we found one at the anime kiosk that's in the Mall of America, but they wanted $20 for it. I'm pretty sure we can find one online or at another store for less, so we did not buy it. Plus it probably has Tuxedo Mask in it, knowing my luck.
One final thing before we get to the stuff I got at the Mall! ...I had a lot more extra stuff than I thought. This is a cream-colored lacy lightweight scarf that my mom got for me! If you read some of my previous posts, you'll know I'm trying to expand my scarf/accessory horizons. This should be easy to wear since it's a solid, neutral color. Yay!

NOW FOR THE THINGS I ACTUALLY GOT AT THE MALL. There was a toy/calendar shop that was having a "50% off everything" sale! These kinds of sales always depress me a little since you know they have to close the store and try something else. But on the other hand, 50% off of toys. My husband and I bought a ton of blind boxes, but I only took pictures of the My Little Pony ones.
They only had four, so I bought all four. This is from one of the most (if not the most; I haven't been paying much attention to it so I don't know for sure) recent waves; the one with the weird fairy ponies. There were a ton of different models in this wave, which is nice since you don't get as many repaints. Except when they don't even bother repainting a figure and just pretend it's someone else, like they did with Big Wig there. They just threw in Mrs. Cake (or whatever the name of the wife of Mr. Cake is) and called it a day. I am pretty excited to get a DJ-Pon3 repaint and the fancy purple pony, so I guess it worked out.

One of the things I had to exchange was some jammies from Sears. I got a ton of pajama pants for Christmas, and the ones from Sears were kind of extras. I don't normally shop at Sears, mostly for the same reasons why I don't normally shop at Kohls (except I like Kohls more, which is sad). I ended up exchanging the jammies for a pair boots!
I needed another pair of black boots; they were on sale for $16 and after my exchange, I only paid $5ish for these. The label says they retail for $60 normally and there is no way I would ever pay that much for these boots. I have a pair of leather boots that I got from Macy's for $30 with an original retail price of $70; these boots are nowhere near as nice. They're not too cheap feeling, but they're plasticy and thin. I feel like the "original price" is one of those made-up prices and these are always on some kind of sale to make you feel like you're getting a deal (Kohls does this, too). But for what I paid, and the fact that these are going to get beat up at work, I'm happy with them.
I got a bunch of leggings for Christmas because I needed them, so my mom kindly got me some from Old Navy, but the color I needed the most (black) was apparently all sold out! She got me a few other useful colors like grey and darker grey, and said I could exchange any I didn't want/need for black. I was okay keeping the grey-based leggings, but there was a navy pair in the bunch and I'm just not very good at wearing navy (I'm really bad at making it "match"). Unfortunately, the Old Navy in the Mall was also out of black leggings (and the size small) so I settled for a pair in dark leopard print in size Medium! I think it's a fun pattern, but still easy to match since it's so monotone and I'm okay having slightly too big leggings (as opposed to too small).

With the exchanges out of the way, I had one more mission to complete to consider the day a success: get some plain, metal stud earrings. I like wearing low key jewelry at work and I'm getting board cycling through all my pearl earrings, so I thought a good way to "shake things up" would be to get some metal studs. And what better place to get cheap fashion jewelry than Forever 21?
Shopping in Forever 21 is like going on a quest; you'll probably find something you like, but it will be in the wrong size and all by itself so then you have to seek out where the rest of the stock is hiding. Asking an employee isn't usually helpful since they have about as much idea where things are as you do. It's a struggle. Also the two Forever 21s I tend to go to are giant, two-floor behemoths, so your experience might be different if you go to a smaller one. I found some metal studs easily enough; they also came with an ear crawler! I was pretty pumped about that since I wanted to get a pair of ear crawlers from BaubleBar but they had all sold out (also apparently they are trendy. I like being a sheeple). BUT. Then my husband found a card of cat face earrings. Realistic cat face earrings. I needed them, obviously, but the card my husband had found was missing one of the grey cats. We scoured the earring displays looking for me, but alas, we could not find any. Then, on a totally unrelated display, I spotted another, complete, card! They were meant for me.
I also got this Ultra Repairing Foot Mask in Apricot! These were in the impulse bins by the cash wrap and I cannot refuse a Korean skincare mask. These are by the brand PureDerm, the same people who make the peptide makeup remover wipes I like! I thought about getting another pack of the wipes, but I recently bought a double pack of the Simple ones, so I really didn't need anymore. I'm already used this mask and it's pretty hydrating, though it does smell a little weird (I think it's the shea). For $2.80 though, totally worth it.

We also hit up Urban Outfitters; you can find some pretty awesome stuff for cheap if you shop there during their half-off of clearance sales. Also they carry a bunch of Korean makeup and skincare, which is awesome.
 I got some tights! They were all on sale for $5, and then half off of that. Not going to turn that down. I got some black sheer knee hi "socks"...
a pair of sheer shimmery tights (though they look pretty opaque to me; they might sheer out while worn), and a pair of shimmery rainbow tights! I honestly have no idea where/when I'm going to wear shimmery rainbow tights, but hey. It was on sale.
And then at the cash registers, they had a ton of Korean face masks! I had to look through them quickly since there was a line behind me and my husband was getting a little antsy, so I grabbed this mask from Tonymoly! This is the I'm Real Pomegranate Mask for elasticity! There were a bunch of other varieties (as well as brands!) but I like Tonymoly products and I hadn't tried any of their masks before. I haven't tried this yet since I have a ton of other masks that need to get used up first, but I'm looking forward to it.
And then I got what I'm pretty sure is the most recent issue of Make-Up Artist magazine. I...actually can't remember if I've purchased this one or not. The cover is familiar since I remember my husband commenting on it, but I flipped through it in Barnes and Noble and it all looked new, so I'm fairly certain it's new to me. It's definitely been out for a while; MUA magazine is a bi-monthly, so I think it only comes out six or seven times a year. I should probably subscribe to it (especially since the B&N closest to me doesn't carry it; only the MoA one does), but I'm weirdly adverse to subscribing to magazines.

That's everything I purchased, but I do have one more exciting thing I got at the Mall of America; I got my nose pierced! I don't have any pictures of it since I couldn't get one that wasn't super dark or blurry or just looked weird, so if you want to see what it looks like, you can see it in the video. I had my nose pierced way back when I was 17 (my parents signed the consent for to let me do it before I was 18; I didn't even have my ears pierced at the time, so they were totally cool with it) and loved it; then in college, my stud had fallen out and I wasn't able to find it. I didn't have any backups and didn't really feel like putting in the effort in getting a new one (this was before I really purchased things online; neither me nor my roommate drove and I wasn't as familiar with the area as I am now. Now it would be no problem to get a replacement) so it eventually closed up. It didn't leave a very noticeable scar, but there was an indentation on my nose where it was. I've thought about getting it redone off and on; I think it looks really good on me, but again, I didn't really want to put the effort into it (there's not any reputable piercing parlor that I can easily walk/bus to and my husband wasn't too keen on giving me a ride to one).

But there is an Almost Famous piercing parlor in the Mall of America, and I had Christmas money, so I finally decided to go for it! Not sure exactly how long Almost Famous has been there, but it's definitely been a while now. Not really sure what pushed me to do it, but I'm so happy I did! I never realized how much I missed it until now. It was $45 for the piercing, $20 for the jewelery, and about $5 for the aftercare supplies (a bar of pure glycerine soap and a bag of non-iodized sea salt). It was a little more expensive than other places, but I was happy to pay for the convenience (factor in the extra money for bus fare/gas and it's really not that much more pricey). I think it hurt a little more than the first time, but that might be because they had to go through scar tissue (or I'm older and more of a wuss), but it faded quickly and, after a week, it feels great. It's definitely not fully healed or anything, and I do still need to be careful with it, but I think it's going to heal up nicely (it healed easily and quickly the first time, too). Sorry about the huge wall of text with no pictures, but I wanted to share with you the most exciting part of the trip!

And that's everything! I felt like I had more things from the Mall and fewer extras, but apparently I had my ratio backwards. The Mall is a fun place to visit, especially if you're into people watching, but I don't really find that it offers much uniqueness when it comes to stores. I live in a pretty shop-heavy area and, along with the internet, I have easy access to about 95% of the things offered at the Mall close to home. I didn't actually visit the Mall for the first time until I was in...high school? I think, so the first few times I went were super exciting. Now that I live within a 20min drive (we actually used to live really close and were there almost every single week), it's fun to visit, but not as exciting as those first few times. If you've never been, and you get a chance to visit, I'd say do it, even if it's just to say you were there!

Thanks for reading! <3

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