Black Friday Online Shopping Tips

As I mentioned in my post from this morning, I’m not an in-store Black Friday shopper. I don’t deal well with crowds and the thought of waiting in the lines, fighting over the last product on the shelf, and driving around to find a parking spot just gives me terrible anxiety. Instead, I find myself browsing the Internet on Black Friday to shop online. And guess what? Most of the deals are the same, if not better! I’ll be shopping in my pajamas- what about you?

Typically I shop for clothes, makeup or jewelry on Black Friday, but this year I’m thinking of looking into the deals for technology and office supplies. You know you’re an adult when… Anyway, one area I checked out this morning was Office Depot’s Deal Center Website, which has some great deals on laptops, tablets, printers, headphones and more, all at their lowest prices ever. My co-workers and I are actually moving offices, so now is the perfect excuse to buy some cute office supplies for my new cubicle.

Speaking of OfficeMax, does anyone else remember their epic “Elf Yourself” website? I remember making a bunch of different versions with my college roommates. We would scour Facebook to find the most ridiculous photos of each other just to make the visual that much better. You can now download “Elf Yourself” on your smart phone (of course).

I’m also sharing a fun infographic they made about how to strategize, save and survive Black Friday. I find the stats about social media to be particularly interesting- especially how profitable Pinterest is- and can be- if you utilize it correctly.

black friday infogaphic

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! If you’re like me, you won’t be leaving the house today to shop with the crazies, BUT you might order a few items from the comfort of your own home. Here is a round-up of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. I’ll be updating them as they come in, so check back!

Black Friday Sales

Ann Taylor- 50% off

Anthropologie-  Black Friday huge sale sitewide

ASOS- 30% off with code TGIBF

Banana Republic- 50% off 1 full-priced item with code BRFIFTY and 40% off sitewide with code BRFORTY

BaubleBar- 15% off 2 items with code FRIDAY15, 35% off 4+ items with code FRIDAY35

BHLDN- new markdowns in every category

Bloomingdales- 50% off selected items

Delias- 50% off sitewide & free shipping with code NOCROWD

Express- 50% sitewide

Forever 21- deals under $5, $10, $20 & extra 30% off clearance

Gap- 50% off sidewide with code BLKFRIDAY

J Crew- 30% off select styles & 40% sale & free shipping with code HOLIDAY

Kate Spade Saturday- 30% off sitewide + free shipping with code DEALME

Lord and Taylor- extra 20% off almost everything + 25% off fine jewelry with code THANKS

Madewell- 25% off your entire purchase with code GIFTON

Modcloth- 50% off new arrivals

Nine West- up to 50% off select products & 20% off your purchase of $125+

Nordstrom- up to 40% off select products

Old Navy – entire store will be 50% off

PacSun- buy one get one 50% off select categories, buy one get one free denim

Piperlime- 25% off sitewide with code THANKFUL25

Shopbop- 15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000 with code GOBIG14

Sole Society- 30% off all footwear & bags

Topshop- 30% off select product, and 2 for 1 on mid-season sale items

Urban Outfitters- additional 25% off all sales online

 

 

Cyber Monday Sales

Anthropologie- Free shipping

ASOS- 30% off with code ILOVEMONDAYS

BaubleBar- 20% off with code CYBER20

BHLDN- additional 25% off sale (excluding gowns)

Bloomingdales- 25% off selected items

Delias- 50% off sitewide & free shipping with code  CYBER50

Express- 50% sitewide & free shipping

Forever 21- 20% off $60+ with code CYBER 20

J Crew- 30% off select styles & 40% sale & free shipping with code MONDAY

Kate Spade Saturday- 30% off sitewide with code OHWOW

Modcloth- 25% sitewide with code CYBERMONDAY

PacSun- 30% off sitewide

Piperlime- 30% off sitewide + 40% off markdowns with code CYBERSALE

Shopbop- 15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000 with code GOBIG14

Sole Society- 30% off entire site

Beauty Products: When to Save and Splurge

when to splurge or save on makeup

When it comes to makeup, we all have our favorite brands. I mostly stick to drugstore brands due to my budget, but I do splurge on certain products at Sephora or MAC if they are worth it. After a few years of wearing makeup and trying my fair share of products, I’ve realized that there are certain beauty products that are worth splurging on and some you should save on.

save on makeup

When to Save on Makeup

Mascara. In all honesty, I seem to like drugstore mascaras better than department stores. Brands like Cover GirlRevlonMaybelline and L’Oreal make amazing mascaras at under $10 a pop. Since each of these brands offers at least 5-10 different types of mascara (lengthening, volumizing, darkening, etc.), it’s easy to find the perfect mascara for your lash type. Mascara typically lasts only for a couple of months, so why waste $30 every 2 months when you could save and spend $10 with similar/better results? You also can mix and match two different mascaras to get your desired look if that helps mimic a high-end formula. My pick:  L’Oreal Voluminous Volume Building Waterproof Mascara.

Lipstick. Sure, some $.99 lipsticks won’t last as long as one from NARS, but in general, you can find quality lip shades at your drugstore. My personal favorite brand is Revlon. Their Super Lustrous line is creamy and highly pigmented and lasts for hours. The range of colors is very extensive- and there are so many similar shades to department store products (Revlon’s “Really Red” is an exact match of MAC’s “Russian Red”- seriously). The key to getting lasting lip color is how you apply it- so start with lip primer, line your lips and apply a few coats. I’m also really loving all Nyx cosmetics lipsticks as an affordable option. My pickNyx Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in “Angel”

Eyeliner. I love buying cheap pencil eyeliners at the drugstore in a variety of colors- since I only wear colored liner every now and then, I don’t feel bad spending so little on it. For my everyday liner, I love Revlon’s entire ColorStay line- the color really stays on long, hence the name! ELF makes some great cheap eyeliners too. In my experience, these drugstores brands work just as well as a high-end one. The key is to pick the right type of liner and applicator for you- liquid, pencil, gel, etc. Using two different forms and layering them on top of one another provides extra staying power. My pick: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen

splurge on makeup

When to Splurge on Makeup

Foundation. If you’re going to splurge on one makeup item, I say make it foundation. While I usually stick to a BB cream or a drugstore foundation, if you have sensitive or problem skin, you may need to invest in something high-end to cover up all imperfections. Clinique makes great skin products for sensitive skin, redness and blemishes. Find what type of skin you have, what areas need improvement, and what skin tone you have. Bring this knowledge (and your bare face) with you to your local department store and have a professional test out different brands/formulas on you. A bottle of foundation can typically last months- especially if you only use it when going out in public. Great skin is worth spending extra money, in my opinion. My pick: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream

Primer. Primer has so many uses- it evens out your skin’s texture, provides a bare canvas for applying makeup and keeps your makeup looking in tip-top shape for hours. Some cheaper brands don’t get the job fully done, so I feel that it’s best to invest. Not everyone needs to use primer, it’s optional. And since there are a variety of primers (for the face, for the eyes, for the lips, etc.), stick to ones you’ll actually use. My pick: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Eyeshadow. You can get away with drugstore or cheaper eyeshadow if you use a primer like I mentioned above. But generally, higher-end brands are more pigmented, made with higher quality materials and will last longer. Some of my favorites are MAC and Urban Decay shadows. If you wear eyeshadow often and like to experience, I recommend buying kits or quads with different shades. If you rarely wear eyeshadow, just stick to a few shades you will use. My pick: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

 

Cardstore Christmas Cards & Giveaway

cardstore christmas card

Now that I’m an adult, sending Christmas cards becomes more normal- and almost a necessity in certain social circles. I’m sure once I have kids (or maybe just another cat) I’ll do the whole “let’s take a cute photo and send it to everyone we know on Christmas”, but for now I find myself just sending funny, cute cards to a handful of friends and family. One place that has become my go-to for cards for an upcoming occasion is Cardstore.

I’ve used Cardstore previously (and gave my own Cardstore review on my blog last summer) for other occasions, like my dating anniversary, and love the variety of cards they have. You can customize the cards to your liking (with photos and text) and then mail them electronically or have them printed to you and mailed with an envelope. I prefer the tangible cards, so I always opt for that option. Getting something in the mail with your name on it is the best  feeling, right?

This year, I stocked up on a few cards for Christmas- a sentimental one for my Mom, a funny one for James, one that’s perfect for a blogging buddy of mine and then a couple of cards that are great for anyone who celebrates Christmas (a.k.a. last-minute cards to give to someone when they send one to you!)

While you’re browsing their cards, why not enter the Candid Christmas Cards contest? Choose your funniest “real life” photo and create your own “real” Christmas card to submit. Use #MyChristmasStory when sharing to encourage family and friends to get in on the fun! You can submit as many cards as you like by the submission end date, and then you (and everyone else) can vote for your favorites. The 3 photos with the most votes will be our winners! The grand prize winner will receive a $1,500 Visa gift card to put towards a holiday trip for your crazy family, a Nikon CoolPix camera, and free Cardstore Christmas cards to send out to their loved ones this holiday season!

Cardstore is offering one Life Unsweetened reader a promotional code for 20 free cards of their choice. To enter, simply fill out the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Create Holiday Looks with tagspire

tagspire logo

If you’re a blogger, you’re probably well aware of the different websites and products you can use to help create and curate content for your blog. If you’re a reader on the other hand, you probably just know that you click on a link to a dress and then you can immediately buy it. Of course, the two are usually connected. A new way for bloggers and blog readers to effectively shop for clothing is with tagspire.

tagspire is a unique way bloggers and website owners can monetize their photos. This social commerce and social shopping platform allows you to incorporate multiple tags to direct people to more than one link to purchase the items in your photo, instead of only being able to link to one place. It gives you the opportunity to monetize multiple categories (consumer electronics, apparel/accessories, beauty, home, and travel) that fit with your blog’s brand and voice.

The 3-step process of using tagspire  is simple- 1. Upload photos of the stuff you love to Tagspire.com. 2. Tag the products in your photos. 3. Share your photos with your audience.

The tagspire dashboard allows you to see sell analytics and history, so you know what items are being clicked on and purchased. Their social sharing and blog embed tools allow you to maintain site traffic and increase purchase conversions. With a minimal $50 commission payout threshold, you’ll be making money in no time!  tagspire is also great for discovering new trends, endorsing the things you love and keeping track of products on your own personal wish list.

You can learn more about using tagspire on your own with this helpful video. Sign up for tagspire today to maximize the busiest time of online sales (October-March).

Today I’ll show you an example of how to use tagspire to create a curated collection. The theme for this collection is “My Favorite Holiday Look”.

 

 

This post is Sponsored by tagspire, but all opinions are my own.