May Haul

I am back with another haul, and before you raise a skeptical eyebrow at my suspiciously regular purchases from this website, no, I am not sponsored by I just genuinely enjoy the higher convenience and lower prices. I do not have a car, so running around to pick up essentials can be quite a hassle. provides free three-day shipping for orders above $35, and since my monthly essentials exceed that threshold anyway, I have no reason not to buy them online. There are other perks on top of that, but this is starting to sound like a plug, so you can check out the website if you so choose.

Here is what I purchased this month:

1. Revlon Aquamarine Body Lotion with Aloe, $1 (14.8 fl oz) at

2. Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash, $5.79 (10 fl oz) at

Summer is coming, so it is time to rid myself of (and prevent) body acne. My skin is still really dry from the cold Winter months, so I will only be using this on my chest and back areas.

3. Jergens Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash, $1.49 (7.5 fl oz) at

Likewise, the skin on my hands is in terrible condition, but I hate putting body lotion or even hand cream on my hands, so this is my compromise.

4. Aussie Hair Insurance Heat Protecting Hair Shine Spray, $2.97 (8.5 fl oz) at

5. Natrol MSM and Glucosamine Double Strength Tablets, $13.29 (90 tablets) at

6. Natrol Omega-3 Fish Oil Softgels, $11.99 (150 softgels) at The Vitamin Shoppe

I am getting old and feel my body slowly giving up on me, so I have started taking supplements. The MSM and glucosamine tablets are for joint health and the fish oil softgels are for heart health.

7. Yogi Tea Green Tea Kombucha, $3.99 (16 bags) at

I have previously tried a couple of teas from Yogi Tea. The Detox one worked really well, but the Skin Detox one, not so much. This Kombucha one is to help balance out my digestive system, which hates me.

Have you tried any of these products?
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Weekly Reading | May 22, 2016


Last week, I found some articles tackling topics not usually covered.

"Lipstick Confidence" via Discoveries of Self


These articles can help you live your best life.

"Restorative Yoga Poses" via Real Simple


With Summer on the heels of Spring, here are some articles to get you started on planning your Summer wardrobe.

"Fit and Flare Dress" via Dresses and Denim

For more fashion posts as well as college and lifestyle posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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May Birchbox Unboxing

If you can believe it, my last Birchbox unboxing post dates back to October 2013, more than two years ago. That is back when I had a different camera, as can be seen through the questionable quality of those pictures. That is also back when ExtraExtravagant had a completely different layout. I unsubscribed after my December 2013 box, after two years of continued subscription, mainly because of financial reasons. I was at a point in my life when $10 can sometimes be the difference between being able to eat and otherwise, so extra expenses had to go.

Since then, I have gotten my shit together and am in a much better situation, not just financially but generally. I am better at adulting now, and I decided to reward myself by resubscribing to Birchbox. I have much more room in my budget for $10 every month, but I still wanted to hold out until a good offer comes along. For those of you considering subscribing to Birchbox, here is a pro tip: sign up for the newsletter first. They will send you constant emails urging you to subscribe, and they will throw in a special offer to entice you. Wait until an offer that interests you comes along, then subscribe. I waited from August 2015 to March 2016 before I received one that I wanted: a free deluxe sample of the Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner, which was completely underwhelming, btw.

You probably did the math and realized that if I resubscribed in March, the unboxing posts for that box and the April box are missing. Tbh, I was super pumped to post about them, but life (well, school) got in the way. The Spring 2016 semester kept me busy, and it was all I could do to stay alive, let alone devote time to my blog. I am back now, though, and hoping that the summer semester is kind to me. With that being said, here is what came in my May 2016 Birchbox:

1. Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo for Coarse or Frizzy Hair, $25 (8.45 fl oz) at Birchbox

2. Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner for Coarse or Frizzy Hair, $29 (8.45 fl oz) at Birchbox

I started using this shampoo and conditioner duo on Monday, so we shall see how that goes.

3. ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Creme Brulee, $24 (3 ml) at Birchbox

4. Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer, $29 (0.28 oz) at Sephora

I was excited to see this sample. I already have the full size, but I love it so much that I am excited to have some extra.

5. COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray, $36 (1.7 fl oz) at Birchbox

I was miffed to see this sample because it was already in my March box, and it did not work for me at all. Even if it had worked, I would still have been annoyed at a repeat sample.

6. CLEAN Blossom Eau de Parfum, $41 (1 fl oz) at Ulta

I always love receiving fragrance samples!

Have you tried any of these products?
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Influenster Bloom Voxbox Unboxing

Influenster sent me another Voxbox, the Bloom Voxbox, which I assume is a Spring theme Voxbox. The only product in here that screams Spring is the nail polish, but I am still excited about three other products. Here is what came in my Bloom Voxbox:

1. Sunbelt Bakery Oats and Honey Chewy Granola Bar, $3.50 (15 count) at Walmart

2. Not Your Mother's Plump for Joy Thickening Hair Lifter, $5.99 (8 fl oz) at Ulta

3. NUXE Huile Prodigieuse, $45 (3.3 fl oz) at NUXE

4. Secret Outlast Xtend Completely Clean Invisible Solid Antiperspirant, $3.97 (2.6 oz) at Walmart

5. Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads, $3.99 (10 count) at

6. Sinful Colors Sinful Shine Gel Tech Nail Polish in VIP

The three products that I was most excited to see are the hair lifter, multipurpose oil, and nail polish remover pads. I've tried the Not Your Mother's dry shampoo and really liked it, so I have high hopes for this product as well. The multipurpose oil, on the other hand, I will probably use on the ends of my hair to hydrate them. As for the nail polish remover pads, I got them in my Glam Voxbox and liked them, so I'm glad I got more.

Have you tried any of these products?
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Weekly Reading | May 8, 2016


Last week, I stumbled upon some fashion hacks.


I also found some tips to help out those of you who are going through Finals Week as well as a listicle to give you that extra nudge to try study abroad next semester. Then, you will have experienced life as an international student.


If Finals Week has you in the doldrums, here is a listicle as well as an amazing compilation of artwork made from old books to put you back on your feet! If you are already on Summer Break, I also found a blog post on how to stay healthy while you are on vacation.

"How to Stay Healthy on Vacation" via Citrus and Style

For more fashion and lifestyle posts as well as beauty posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Spring Style Ideas by Bloggers

Spring is upon us, so it's time to stow those winter coats away and break out your pastels and floral prints. This season's Style Ideas post features gorgeous looks from gorgeous bloggers for all of your Spring fashion inspiration needs.

(Psst: If where you live still demands cold weather clothes, the Winter Style Ideas by Bloggers post is still a great resource!)

Holly is a fashion blogger, influencer, stylist, creative consultant, photographer, and model. Styled by Holly is her personal style and travel diary aiming to inspire her readers all over the world.

Cait blogs at Cait's Cozy Corner where she chats about fashion, food, fitness, and her little family of four (including her cat!). She is a full time career woman, mother, blogger, wife, friend, and coffee addict. She balances it all with a smile on her face and a passion for what she does. Her style can be defined as cozy chic as she loves pairing flattering clothing with an effortless touch.

Navy Striped Peonies is a New Englander's take on fashion, life, and more. Paulina, the girl behind the blog, started Navy Striped Peonies as a creative outlet amidst an academically swamped schedule. Outside of blogging, Paulina enjoys playing tennis, practicing yoga, using excessive amounts of sticky notes, and spreading smiles.

Style Sprinter is the diary of a young Russian American woman, Katya, who is passionate about fashion and beauty. Having a background in Russian journalism and news reporting, Katya created the Style Sprinter blog as a way to document what happens in her eventful life, from outfit choices to New York Fashion Week and everything in between.

Courtney is a Raleigh-based blogger who started Courtney Fashionista two years ago after migrating south from her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. She has always loved creating outfits, and her blog has been a fantastic outlet for this passion as well as a great way to document her new adventure. She loves mixing feminine and edgy pieces to create chic, contrasting looks. This Spring, she's excited about focusing more on the simple, soft looks that are currently on trend.

Pastel N Pink is primarily a fashion blog with bits of Amy's personal life sprinkled in. Amy started blogging as a creative outlet and as a way for her to share her personal style with everyone.

Kathryn is a 22-year-old Navy wife currently living in Mississippi. Her looks are rooted in classic elements but always have a modern twist. Her blog, Jassamine Elaine, offers tips for easy styling and elegant living.

Tomi is a 21-year-old student at Auburn University (War Eagle!) who can definitely be characterized as your stereotypical girly-girl. She enjoys exploring all aspects of fashion, beauty, and pop culture. She was inspired to start Good Tomi Cha when she realized that she can combine her love for writing and her personal style.

Melrose is the creator and editor of Decor Elise, a blog propelled to inspire you to decorate your life! Melrose is also the co-host of the Chic Conviction movement where she focuses on beauty from the inside out. Her passion for the arts, people, and fashion shape her timeless chic style and motivational blog.

You can check out their respective blogs for more fashion inspiration.

Who are your favorite bloggers for fashion inspiration?
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Weekly Reading | March 27, 2016


Last week, I found an article on packing light and two articles featuring beautiful artwork (from humans and insects).


These fashion articles can help you take your style game to the next level.


The following articles are unconventional albeit informative beauty guides for you (and your friends).

"Eat Your Way to Glowing Skin" via Polished Perfectly

For more lifestyle and fashion posts as well as career posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Celebrity Style Inspiration for Any Age: 30s

I finally got around to writing the third installment in the Celebrity Style Inspiration for Any Age series. I published the first post in January 2015 with a plan to publish one post per month for six months (teenage celebrities to celebrities in their 60s). Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the second installment didn't go up until April 2015. After that, life really got in the way, and I went into semi-hiatus.

Now that I'm more or less back in the game, I thought it's about time for this post to go up. It has been a year since the last one, after all. Also, back then, I had a different lineup of celebrities I wanted to feature (Jessica Alba, Nicole Scherzinger, and Olivia Wilde), but in the year since I drafted this post, other celebrities fell into my radar, so meet the new lineup: Krysten Ritter, Rose Byrne, and Meghan Markle.

Krysten Ritter

Source: Pinterest

I have been slowly growing into a Marvel fangirl* ever since I started watching Agents of SHIELD, so needless to say, I finished Jessica Jones and am anxiously awaiting The Defenders. I know I've seen Krysten Ritter in other movies and shows before this because I recognized her immediately when I looked into Jessica Jones, but I just can't remember from where. Either way, Krysten Ritter seems like a super fun, sarcastic chick, and I'm really glad more and more people are recognizing her and her work.

*I'd like to point out that I'm mostly a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because I'm not a comic book person, so I never got into the Marvel comics, although I occasionally look them up to help me make sense of the MCU.

Here's a look inspired by Krysten Ritter's Spring street style:

Celebrity Style Inspiration: Krysten Ritter

Shop the look:

Rose Byrne

Source: Daily Mail

I first saw Rose Byrne when I watched Insidious (five years too late, btw), and I was immediately drawn to her. After that, I started seeing her in a bunch of rom-coms (which I also always end up watching waaay after everyone else) and sci-fi and thrillers. Personally, I think this Australian woman is great in any genre. Besides that, she just seems like a really laid-back person who'd be great to hang out with.

Here's a look inspired by Rose Byrne's street style:

Celebrity Style Inspiration: Rose Byrne

Shop the look:

Meghan Markle

Source: Pinterest

Oh, Meghan Markle. I will forever see her as Rachel Zane, the strongheaded paralegal on Suits who will definitely hunt you down if you try to mess with her. I looked her up on IMDb, and she's apparently been in 90210 (the 2008 "sequel") and Horrible Bosses, but I don't remember her. From the first time I saw her on Suits, she instantly became my woman crush (Step aside, Eva Longoria). She's a fellow blogger, btw, on The Tig.

Here's how you can get Meghan Markle's Spring street style:

Celebrity Style Inspiration: Meghan Markle

Shop the look:

Which is your favorite outfit?

Which celebrities in their 40s would you like to see featured in the next installment?
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Weekly Reading | March 20, 2016


I am very excited to have found these amazing posts on how to kick more ass in our careers.

"Work/Life Balance: An Update" via Alicia Tenise


These posts focus on style simplicity.

"5 Ways to Make a Simple Outfit Next Level" via The Chriselle Factor


Learn some neat tricks to be more efficient at saving money and cleaning up. Plus, a great post that hits home the importance of self-love.

"5 Tips for Saving Money in 2016" via Wonderful You
"Choosing Me" via Wonderful You

For more lifestyle posts as well as beauty and college posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Macy's and (Mini) Haul

I'm not a fan of collective hauls, so I'm finding it hypocritical and ironic that I'm doing one myself. I have a reason, though! Since I started graduate school, and my income decreased (again), I've enforced a strict budget on myself where I can only buy things I need and skip on things I want. And since I don't usually go through beauty products that quickly, I haven't been buying enough to warrant haul posts. Note that I skipped last month's purchases entirely because I only bought, I think, two beauty products. Anyway, on to what I bought this month:

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown, $23 at Macy's
I have been hearing so many good things about Anastasia Beverly Hills' brow products! Luckily, my current brow powder (Sleek from the Nude Tude palette) is running out, so I can buy this without feeling guilty! I've mainly heard people rave about the pomade, but from past experience, I've learned that my eyebrows hate cooperating with gels. In fact, they hate cooperating with everything except powder. Anyway, I haven't tried this product out yet, but if I end up loving it, I'll do a How I Do My Brows-type post. Otherwise, I'll just do a plain ol' review.

2. Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Light/Medium Sheer Tint, $6.70 at
My current BB cream is the Dream Fresh BB Cream, also from Maybelline, and I like it. I've completely swapped out foundation for BB cream from my everyday beauty routine, and not only does it save time, it's kinder to my face too! I got this one, also because my current BB cream is running out, to see if I'd like it better because it claims to clear acne-prone skin.

3. Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner, $8.99 at (Repurchase)
If you remember from my December haul, I was enthusing about a new favorite toner, the Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner. At around the same time, I (accidentally) bought the Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner, and I mumbled angrily about it for a while because I completely neglected to see that it's an alcohol-based toner, and my face can't handle alcohol-based toner! What I didn't expect was for my face to not only react very well to this toner, it's starting to really clear up my acne scars and brighten up my skin. Surprise, surpise! Funnily enough, when I ran out of the previous bottle of this, I resorted to the leftover Boots toner I had, and I ended up really disliking it! Sure, it's gentle, but it also leaves a sticky film behind on my face and makes it feel icky when I put moisturizer on. I guess this Neutrogena toner is my new favorite. Sorry, Boots.

4. Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover, $5.35 at
Fortunately, I still have a piece of my heart with the Boots brand, so I decided to try this eye makeup remover. The ironic thing here is that I swapped my Boots toner for Neutrogena, and I swapped my Neutrogena eye makeup remover for Boots. I wonder if there's some subconscious self-guilt-tripping going on here.

5. Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Primer, $20 at Macy's
Ok, so I had initially wanted to repurchase the Urban Decay Primer Potion because, let's face it, it's the best eye primer out there. But what happened was that I had a ton of Plenti points sitting around that I figured I might as well use. But since I don't have a car that I need to buy gas for, and there's no Rite Aid in Ames, the only place I can use my points on is at Macy's (online, of course). And for some reason, Macy's doesn't carry the Primer Potion standalone, only in a set of three travel sizes. Why?! So, I begrudgingly went for the second best eye primer, which, according to the beauty blogosphere, is the Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Granted, I've worn it a few times already, and it's not bad, but I'm currently working on a Urban Decay vs. Too Faced-type post where I wear them both at the same time for a day and see what happens. But that's for another day!

Have you tried any of these products?
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