Happy Friday, friends! I’m back with another round of The Friday Five, which I brought back last month in case you missed it. Head to this post if you want a little more explanation behind this series, but other than that, I want to get into things since this post is pretty long! And, per usual, John is being endlessly patient as I finish things up, but I owe that guy [and myself, TBH] some non-screen time.
Let’s do it, shall we?
Five Must-Have Drugstore Makeup Products
Ooooh, love this one, friends! You know I’m a beauty lover and I’m NEVER above a great drugstore makeup dupe. I outlined my 10 Must-Have Sephora Sale Picks earlier this week, but as for drugstore products that don’t miss a beat, these are 5 to note.
MAYBELLINE CONCEALER: This is a dupe of Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Away Concealer that I absolutely adore. If this amazing dupe was cruelty-free, I would 1000% still be using it! It has a creamy consistency and offers you full-coverage making it easy to ADIOS those dark under-eye circles! The application sponge makes it go on so smooth and then I blend it out with a beauty blender.
NYX BUTTER GLOSS: I’ve noticed the resurgence of gloss and I’m definitely not mad at it. I love adding this affordable glass on top of a lipstick. The smell and smooth consistency of the gloss make it a no-brainer and this brand carries the best shades, which are: Eclair, Tiramisu and Creme Brulee.
MAYBELLINE PRO-MATTE POWDER: This powder is another dupe for a Charlotte Tilbury product, the Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder so I’ve gotta give it space. It’s completely translucent and feels light on your skin, blurs those lines and imperfections you want hidden. I use a light hand to brush this on my face after I’m done with my makeup to make sure everything stays in place. It eliminates shine for hours and hours and is a true budget gem!
REVOLUTION BLUSH: Okay, I broke the one I had recently so, I have to restock but, y’all … these have the best pigment for a blush, which means you only need a little bit with every application … which means the $7 price tags lasts you SO. LONG. I think I had the Sweet Pea color.
MORPHE EYESHADOW PALETTE IN 25B: I don’t know if Morphe is technically considered a drug-store brand but, we’re going to go with it because it’s located in the drug-store section at Ulta and this palette is only $19, which means that you’re paying less than $0.75 for each color. The consistency of these eyeshadows is amazing, super blend-able and carry beautiful pigment. This is the one [I think] that I have at home that’s been sold out every time I use it so snag it now as it’s clearly been restocked!
Five Things To Buy Right Now
I wanted to take this question from the aspect of what *general areas* to shop for right now, as opposed to five specific items I’m eyeing or whatever. I personally like to assess my closet every month or two to see what I’m in need of. What from year’s prior needs to be restocked or replaced? What holes do I have? What trends am I seeking? Etc. I will call out a few specific picks in the answers below but know that I wanted to cover areas of a wardrobe as a whole.
COATS: I encourage y’all to snag these in the middle of the Fall season every year because the best ones go quickly! Look on J.Crew, J.Crew Factory and Madewell for quality wool coats. Look on Backcountry for down coats and enjoy 15% off with code ALYSONH15!.
SCARVES & BEANIES: Again, now is the time to snag those cold weather items. I absolutely love the brand White + Warren, carried at Shopbop, for high-quality cashmere scarves, beanies and slippers. For more affordable options, I love what I’m seeing at Anthropologie, Free People and Nordstrom right now, like THIS scarf and THIS beanie.
HOLIDAY PARTY DRESSES: I shared a few options last week on IG stories for my weekly style question as I’ve gotten some requests for ideas! I saved them in a highlight on my IG so head there to see my commentary on these cuties below:
GIFTS: Now is a great time to start your Christmas shopping! No, it’s not December yet but it’s better to get an early start than to wait until the last minute. Next week, I’ll be sharing some items to go ahead and snag to have on hand for all of your holiday wrapping but here are a few small gift ideas before my gift guides begin:
THANKSGIVING DINNER ITEMS: Okay, so this isn’t style-related but I do think now is a great time to start placing some calls to your local Honeybaked Ham or Whole Foods for anything you may want to pick up just before Thanksgiving, whether you’re hosting or not! Start thinking about your plans and how you can contribute to the meal or make your day of hosting a little less stressful by getting all of those orders placed now!
Five Items I’ve Reworn Over Several Years
Another great question, y’all! I love that you thought of asking me this, because even as a fashion blogger, I never want to be the girl pushing new, new, new. Obviously it’s part of my job to share *all the new* but I’m happy that y’all notice that I absolutely re-wear things ALL. THE. TIME. As I’m maturing, I’ve found a healthy balance of new and investment pieces that can be recycled throughout the years. I share the new stuff in case you have holes in your closet or want to buy something trending and fun, but I’m all about investing in pieces to wear for years to come – or 20x a season. With that, these five items are basically what I’d grab in a fire [half joking …].
LONGCHAMP LE PLIAGE LARGE TOTE: This tote is durable and I appreciate how secure it makes me feel when I’m traveling with the zip-top. This is definitely something you’ll have in your wardrobe for years and years because the quality is beyond compare. So while it’s pricier, I’ve gotten my money’s worth in spades.
TODS ‘GOMMINI’ DRIVING MOCCASIN: These loafers are so incredibly comfortable, you guys. Yes, they’re an investment but anything that you have in your wardrobe for a long, long time likely is. I had a light pink pair that I wore into the ground over the course of three years before finally getting a new pair. They would have lasted a lot longer if I didn’t wear them on almost all of my travels. Highly recommend these for someone who walks a lot and likes to also look put together.
TOPSHOP JAMIE JEANS: These jeans are so flattering, and even better? They’re only $70! They have lasted me about three years now. I suggest going up one size in the waist as they run a bit small.
PATAGONIA LAYERING ITEMS: I have had the Retool Pullover in my wardrobe in both beige and black for years and years … since I lived in Colorado back in 2012. I also have a few of their vests: These are pieces that you will wear over and over again and have in your wardrobe for years. Enjoy 15% off at Backcountry with code ALYSONH15 at checkout!
J. CREW COCOON COAT: I have probably beat this coat to death but, if you’re new around here or you don’t watch my IG stories regularly, I need you to know that this coat is such a worthy investment and one that has been in my closet for years. It has gotten so much wear and still looks brand new! Highly recommend checking it out – especially because of the color options! Keep an eye on my IG stories for sale alerts!
Five Favorite Undergarments
Hopefully, y’all were wanting to see everyday undergarments and not flirty lingerie or anything … because let’s be real, 99% of the time I’m in pretty boring stuff over here. Guessing I’m not the only one though, right? Right?! If you’re looking for something for special occasions, let me know and I can cover eventually.
LAYERING TANK: This isn’t probably you’d see on most undergarments lists but I swear by it. It smoothes everything out and makes me more comfortable for some reason? It’s also a blessing when something is slightly sheer or whatever. It also doubles as a great tank to wear to bed or under a chunky cardigan. I have them in all three colors and highly rec.
SEAMLESS BRALETTE: Enter praise-hands emoji! This is hands-down the comfiest bra I’ve ever owned and it truly is seamless. It’s labeled a bralette, but I wear it daily as a bra. Plus, you can move the straps for flexibility depending on what type of top you’re dealing with. It’s $29 which I find to be extremely reasonable [or you can buy 2 for $49]. It’s probably not crazy supportive if you have a large chest for daily wear, but still comfy for around the house either way.
SMOOTH STRAPLESS BRA: Technically this is a regular, flexible bra, but it’s what I reach for as a strapless [though I’ve worn it with straps and it’s perfect]. I tend to reach for this more in the spring and summer when I’m showing a bit more skin, but definitely a necessity for a lot of dresses / tops during the holiday party circuit and wedding wear. It’s under $50 and really holds up.
LACE THONG UNDIES: While I love me some Spanx, I can’t justify the price being that Chips is disgusting and gets into my dirty clothes as often as he can manage. So, AERIE is where I go for all my undies as they are almost identical to SPANX. I personally live in these and these.
BRALETTE: This is what I consider a true bralette and I loooooove this thing. AERIE is excellent for comfy lounge and undergarments in general, so if you haven’t checked them out, I would. This is what you’ll find me in when I’m in casual clothes, running errands in athleisure or while at home.
Five Everyday Purses Under $250
I have a weakness for designer bags and enjoy treating myself to them here and there, but again, y’all know I’m all about mixing high and low. A $250 budget is actually not something I’d consider “low,” but I’m looking at this from a non-high-designer kind of light. There are SO many excellent designers and brands who make excellent quality bags for under $250, especially for Fall, so I’m very excited to tackle this one! You’ll notice that I generally snag neutral bags, no matter the price point. I’m leaving out Summer-y specific bags [like straw] and I’m happy to cover this question again and Spring / Summer get closer.
MZ WALLACE METRO TOTE: I’m a firm believer that every girl needs at least one tote in her wardrobe. Whether for traveling, for work, for the gym, or for a lot of stuff, it’s a must. This bag [especially in the Glacier / Rose Gold Metallic] is beautiful and efficient. A combo you can’t beat for $235. The full Rose Gold is pretty and there is a fun leopard option if you’re wanting something different. Also, this pebbled leather tote has good reviews and is super chic [comes in black and that grey taupe that goes with everything]. For a brown / cognac pick, this oversized leather tote is gorgggg.
LEATHER TORY BURCH CROSSBODY: This bag is currently 33% making it $240 and something I would snag in a heartbeat! You can’t go wrong with Tory, as her designs are always polished and classic. The gold chain and logo make this perfect for warmer hues in your wardrobe. Personally, I like the gray heron, black, and of course, classic tan. But dang, that white is GORG for a Spring / Summer bag. If you like something rounder, this Michael by Michael Kors camera bag is $168.
SMALL WALLET BAG: Depending on how much you carry daily, a sleek, minimal chain wallet might be the perfect fit. I’ve always found this style of bag to be minimal and ladylike and VERY versatile [everyday wear or easy to wear to a wedding instead of a clutch, etc.]. Kate Spade makes a beauty at $178, and so does Tory Burch here and here.
LARGE KATE SPADE LEATHER SATCHEL: For a bag with endless versatility, this is probably my pick for everyday wear. The light fawn leather is beautiful and there’s plenty of pocket and storage space for all your needs. It can be carried as a handbag or off the shoulder, and yep, it’s top of my list! It’s currently 40% off so snag it while you can!
REBECCA MINKOFF SMALL LEATHER CROSSBODY: While there’s truly no dupe for a Chanel bag, I find that Rebecca Minkoff made her own edgier, much more affordable version with this beauty. It has that same Chanel quilting and hardware but it falls under $200. The perla (gray) is a true beauty, but you could go for black if you’re looking for something edgier or dark. This slightly slouchier version of the bag is cute if you’re seeking something with less structure [available in gray and black].
Since I listed plenty more than five [oops! At least I stuck to five styles?] I’ll share them all here:
Phew, OK! My hands are about to fall off – ha. I’d love to hear what you girls think about me bringing this series back. It’s a labor of love, no doubt, but I hope that it’s valuable! If that’s the case, I’m obviously MORE than happy to keep doing them; just would sure appreciate any feedback you might have. Oh, and here’s last months in case you missed it [I tackled splurge regrets, lessons from my 30’s, travel essentials, affordable Fall finds, and basics for a bomb Fall wardrobe]. Also, Nordstrom just launched a huge 40% off sale and there are tons of great items that are included like fleece pullovers, cozy pajamas, and boots … even, Barefoot Dreams! More sales will be in tomorrow’s Instagram Roundup!
Thank you so much and hope you have a great weekend! xo.