Welcome to Shit I Bought, a column where we recap the life-changing beauty and fashion purchases of various staffers—and also just stuff we bought on a whim.

Clover Hope

I spent money on things this month. But rest assured, they were things that will enrich my life because, as we know, money and material worth are maybe the only the keys to happiness.

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Part of what makes me happy as well is a clean home, so for the past few months, I’ve been on a crazy decluttering spree, tossing magazines, replacing worn furniture with pieces that better match my adult style, and cleaning out my closet. (Shout out to Beacon’s Closet for declining to take ANY of the pieces in my two LARGE bags full of GREAT old clothing!)

As organized as I am, my place can still be a victim of clutter when I’m not paying attention. As such, I am ruthlessly paring down. Not exactly Marie Kondo minimalism, but the goal is to purge responsibly. Among the items I’ve discarded or recycled in the past month: clothing, towels, curtains, sheets, electronics and tangled up wires.

Since old energy needs to be replaced with younger, prettier energy—and as part of my ongoing mission to be featured on Apartment Therapy—I took wild advantage of West Elm’s Friends and Family sale.

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I like to think I made smart purchases. One, I ditched my old Ikea lamp for the mid-century floor lamp below, for $63 plus shipping (originally cost $219!).

Images via West Elm

Additionally, I got my rid of my long-cherished ivory Ikea Tullsta armchair—which loved to attract cat hair—and got the above distinguished pin-tuck chair on sale.

Here’s a sexy shot of the lamp in its new habitat.

I also purchased a set of bowls, a mug and a couple of cheap planters (below) from West Elm, and I got a few plants to fill them, including an adorable succulent from a grocery store ($15) and the seed of a cactus ($16) that I will grow myself, because Urban Outfitters is selling live plants now and I fell for it.

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To be an amateur botanist and/or gardener has been a longtime dream of mine, which was never fulfilled.

All of these purchases felt good, and honestly I didn’t need to spend too much to give my place fresh new vibes. Just needed to clean and enhance.

Images via West Elm

Moving onto beauty products, I am not exaggerating when I say life has changed for me ever since Rihanna launched her Fenty Beauty collection in September, in that my love of makeup has been renewed in a fun, frighteningly obsessive way.

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My previous daily routine consisted of mascara, blush, a little lip balm, rarely any concealer, and I’ve never highlighted my face other than occasional bronzer. But after purchasing items for Jezebel’s Fenty Beauty video shoot—foundation, match sticks, lip gloss and a highlighter—I continued to supplement my collection afterward with three more match stix (in Rum, Espresso and Unicorn), the Trophy Wife highlighter, the portable highlighter brush and the Invisimatte blotter.

I guess you could call that a haul.

I don’t wear the foundation everyday but I do make great use of the stix and all the highlighter. I also bought a Fresh Sugar caramel balm and a brush set. Those purchases successfully brought me back to VIB status at Sephora, my version of an Emmy.

Images via Zara

Every fall, I instinctively commit to refreshing my wardrobe with jeans, sweaters and the like. Since most of my purchases fell in the home and beauty category this month, I haven’t gone on a clothing splurge, but I did pick up a few nice pieces, like the above plaid dress, which I wore to my birthday party.

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The goal was to find a fun dress as quickly as possible and as soon as I walked into Zara, I spotted that mod-style sequined dress in the corner, tried it on and bought it for $39.90.

On the way to the dressing room, this mustard sweater jumped out at me and onto me, so I got that, too. A nice fall staple.

Images via Zara

And since it’s the season of turtlenecks, I got a chunky sweater from Urban Outfitters in green to cover up my always cold neck.

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Other miscellaneous things I purchased came via my usual obsession with Amazon Prime, including but not limited to: a top-entry cat litter box (finally there is less litter all over the bathroom floor) and what’s perhaps my most unusual purchase—Bonne Maman Raspberry Tartlets.

I discovered these lovely cookies while vacationing in Montreal and it’s the most delicious cookie to ever hit my tongue, but its availability appears to be limited in the U.S., so I bought three boxes from Amazon. They take weeks to ship, but the wait is worth it.

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If you or a family member knows where I can easily purchase these cookies, please hit me up. That’s it for me and my ridiculous month of spending.

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Post Fenty Beauty drop I, too, went full monst’ on the face tip. Sephora VIB is Clover’s Emmy, but I regret to admit that I hit VIB Rouge this month, which to me is more like the rock-bottom I needed to admit that I have a problem.

Images via Sephora.

Never used C-Firma by Drunk Elephant, but know enough people who are obsessed with it that in a moment of delirium I dropped a stack on the full-size, which I feel guilty about despite the fact that, since using it, my skin looks amazing? Way brighter and more elastic, and I have a glow. Also it smells like tree sap from a Vermont forest, which is appealing to the side of me that hates being in nature but likes the illusion of it. More affordably, I also copped Belif’s Holly Jolly Hydration set, which is the same price as the regular moisturizer I use and adore but with a small compendium of samples smacked on; and another Pat McGrath LuxeTrance lippy in Major Red, which is described as a cool red, and has just the right amount of blue undertones. As I have noted, $38 is an embarrassing amount to blow on a lipstick, but I’m at the point where my Pat McGraths are all I use—they’re that good, longlasting, and perfectly shaded to my weird face. The celebrated make-up artist is the mother of the modern glam face, but I’ve started thinking of her as my own mother, or at least a secondary mom (no diss to my mom). I can drink like, four cups of coffee before I need to reapply this shit and I feel like nothing less than a sexy bitch in every shade I own.

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Alas, my apocalyptic make-up spending spree is not over: I also copped Fenty Gloss Bomb (love it), Fenty Match Stix in the tangerine-y shade Ridiiic (love it), Fenty Kilawatt Highlighter in Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby (LOVE it), Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation (mostly love it, but probably too matte for how dry my skin gets in winter, assuming winter ever arrives in New York). And I copped my boyfriend’s mom a Sephora lipstick in a color I thought she’d like—Rebel Chic, a deep matte red—which she does, so I’m going to try to find her a McGrath in a similar shade, because she deserves it.

Because of climate change, the weather in New York has been fucking bonkers; just last night, I woke up next to my open window sweating and sporting three fiercely throbbing welts where I’d been attacked by a mosquito, but this morning it was like 42 degrees and chilly to the point that I didn’t want to leave my house not wearing sweatpants (fashion sweatpants, GET USED TO IT). (They’re old baggy Champions but they look tight when styled with a nice button down and/or heels, a trick best exemplified by Queen Fenty.) Thus, I’ve not done a lot of clothes shopping, with one exception: a black, Dior-invoking sequined mock turtleneck from & Other Stories, which I bought for and wore at Jezebel’s 10th anniversary party. I bought it in-store—for some reason I can’t find it on the website—but if you want to look like a fly Steve Jobs, too, here’s a sorta similar one from H&M. Bless.

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.