Welcome to Shit I Bought, a monthly column where we recap the life-changing beauty and fashion purchases of various staffers—and also just stuff we bought on a whim.
April turned out to be a rather flush month for me. I received not one but two influxes of cash outside my normal paycheck and what did I do with that excess? I bought a bunch of shit. Not to get all “self-care in the age of Trump” on you, but in general, I find retail therapy to be an effective mechanism for me. I know Solange says it doesn’t work but I have to live my own truth.
To paraphrase Lady Sonja Morgan, I have a taste for luxury denim and luxury denim has a taste for me. When I find myself in a bit of a boon, I almost always throw down for another nice pair of jeans. Living in Los Angeles and working from home means I wear a lot of denim and jeans are an example of those fashion items where I truly believe spending more pays off.
My dad often suggests I divide the cost of an item by the number of times I think I’ll wear it to judge whether or not it’s worth it. Even with that annoying and thrill-killing calculation, it almost always adds up.
This time I was looking for a lighter wash, something high-rise that hit at the ankles, with some distressing that would work well for summer evenings. I won’t bore you with the process of me trying on and buying four pairs of jeans and ultimately returning three of them—just know I settled on these from Paige.
Except I do not wear them cuffed like that. I turned to Paige when my denim brand of choice—Citizens of Humanity—uncharacteristically failed me. I like these jeans.
While we’re on the subject of denim, denim shorts have always been a goddamn chore for me to find. On a whim I tried on Madewell’s high-rise denim boyshorts and they mostly did the trick. After a long journey to find a pair of denim shorts that fit over my thighs and didn’t creep up into my crotch, it was extremely anticlimactic but fitting—literally! ha!—to stroll into a store and find these.
Like many black/Latina/posteriorly-blessed women who remember the time before they started adding elastic to denim, I’ll probably still have to get these taken in at the waist, but seeing as how they fit everywhere else, I consider it a victory.
While at Madewell, I also saw this burger tee. I should note that I fucking love burgers.
However, I thought, $42 for a burger tee? Then I tried it on and it was very soft and, again, I love burgers, so what the hell?
Jewelry purchases are difficult for me because, as I’ve learned, I just don’t have the eye for it. I do, however, have a very cool friend who is that cool girl. She’s always dressed like a cross between a non-annoying style blogger and a celebrity, but never seems like she tried every hard and is great even though she’s sometimes infuriating in her greatness. All that to say, she is often wearing an armful of these bracelets from a brand called Double High Five and I loved them.
They’re made out of recycled flip flops and you can get a set of 27 for $55 which is not ridiculous! And yes, I totally stole these from her but she’s the type of person who is so cool she doesn’t even care if you bite her style because that’s just the life of a trendsetter.
I’M ALMOST DONE I SWEAR.
Having not worn lipgloss since I was 22, its recent resurgence has left me torn. I still like the look of lipgloss but when I discovered MAC’s retro matte formula, I was ruined in the best possible way. Mostly, I like the way matte lipstick doesn’t leave a ring around your glass and doesn’t cause a mess if you accidentally touch your face.
However, I saw a Sephora employee wearing Smashbox’s Be Legendary Liquid Lip in the metallic finish and I forgot all my lipgloss qualms. I bought the shade Brains ‘N Bronze—a metallic bronze—and I am completely sold. It’s more tacky than sticky, which sounds bad but isn’t. The result is that it stays put about as well as a lipgloss can and it’s metallic which is very #ONTREND.
My lipgloss experiment stems from my desire to find some new summertime lipwear. To be clear, I’ll totally rock a full matte lip when it’s 90 degrees out, but sometimes it’s nice to have a lighter weight option.
To that end, I also pulled the trigger on Colourpop’s Ultra Blotted Lip. The blotted lip formula is exactly what it sounds like and provides more of a sheer look. The Ultra formula gives you the same blotted-off look but with the hold of a matte lipstick. They were having a 20 percent off sale, (and are doing free domestic shipping now!) and at $6 a pop regularly, Colourpop’s lipsticks are almost always worth the risk of an online makeup purchase.
I got the shades Split and Bit-O-Sunny and was legitimately shocked at how much I loved these. They’re a bit drying but that’s the matte lip life and I accepted it a long time ago.
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
I, too, had some extra freelance money this month, but the bulk of my April purchases came at the end because I had some major mouth surgery and was in intense pain for a couple of weeks. What did I do to distract myself from the throbbing sensation in my face, aside from eat 600 mg Ibuprofen like candy (what does a girl gotta do to get a narcotic around here?!)? I bought shit.
Clothing-wise, I’m trying as much as possible to shop from smaller outlets and especially if the designers are Xicana or other women of color, so this month’s clothing splurge was on Mujerista Market’s blue satin Lagrimas Bomber and their Frontera Hoodie in pink and orange, both featuring La Virgen; perhaps my pain had me subliminally reaching out to a higher power.
I haven’t received them yet because, as a very nice email from la Mujerista in question explained, they are handmade and currently on backorder, so I can’t yet tell you anything about the fit or how fly I look in them, but I do appreciate that they come in larger sizes for those of us with boobal issues and whatnot—which most small batch clothes do not.
I swear I wasn’t going to buy a new pair of Fenty Pumas, considering the white patent leather ones I already own are near perfect, but my coworker Ali asked me for advice on this new batch and after advising her on how truly comfortable they are, and that they fit true-to-size, she had convinced me to join her in this journey. I do not regret it.
Here’s where things get hairy: the day I was having the worst face pain, I decided that I should compensate in other areas, and so I went to Sephora to replace a $10 facial cleansing brush because mine broke. If my mouth had to hurt, why couldn’t my face be soft and exfoliated? This was my first mistake!
Copped the brush. In my delirium and dazzled by the soft lighting and pumping lite electro, my eye wandered. I decided to refill my Sephora brand Radiant Luminizing Drops since I’m almost out; I’ve been using them since Kara recommended the luminizer drops by Cover FX but I’m cheap. I use them just like Kara, by mixing them with my foundation and rubbing that shit on, because her skin looks great, and I am trying to be more like Kara (but cheaper). Thanks, Kara.
Oh, what’s this? I love Milk Makeup and they had new product I haven’t tried yet, so in my basket went the Blur Stick, which by the way makes my skin look incredible but only as a primer (I do not understand what it is doing or how people wear it without makeup), and the Liquid Strobe, which is basically just another highlighter but cute.
THEN I decided to cop a couple of Dr. Jart’s Rubber Masks because, let’s be honest, I was taken in by the way the graphic design looks like a Björk video. (I used the Clear Skin one this week, though, and it tightened up my pores in a delightfully effective way!)
Clearly I am taken in by shiny and pretty things, so that’s how I ended up at the glittery Pat McGrath display and ended up buying a $130 limited edition eye palette inside a shiny iridescent package that is also filled with sequins. Look, I’m not proud, but that pigment is serious and I like raves.
Finally, and this is still the same jaunt to Sephora, I impulse-bought a sampler of Histoires de Parfums scents while in the checkout line. Today I am wearing the scent “1969,” which is “composed of a voluptuous bunch of white florals and juicy peaches accentuated by white musk and intense chocolate.” It smells nice, but since I’ve been Le Labo’d it’s hard for me to wear or appreciate alcohol-based perfume. I guess this is the slow march to becoming bougie.
It’s my birthday in May, so wish me luck, for the love of God.
This has been “Shit I Bought,” comprised of shit we actually bought. No company compelled us to write about it for any reason. We bought it all, for better and often for worse, with our own money and of our own free will.