15% off cruelty free beauty at macy’s

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (at valleyoftheshoes), you may already know that I’ve recently decided to buy only cruelty free products, going forward. I’ve been doing preliminary research (aka googling) and found there are organizations and blogs that dedicate themselves into listing which companies are cruelty free or not. I check the databases on Peta and Leaping Bunny as well as cruelty free blogs to see if a brand or specific product is cruelty free or not. Some blogs and even brand websites, such as Korres, specify if the ingredients are suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Since this is all new to me, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out the following but they all seem to get high marks online. I will do a follow up review on the items once I’ve started using the products.

I was happy to see that Macy’s offers cruelty free beauty items. There is always Amazon but every now and then you will come across reviews for a product stating it’s not a legitimate product made by the brand, especially for beauty items. I believe Macy’s takes this out of the equation so I can shop with confidence. And a huge bonus that Macy’s has a 15% off beauty and fragrance right now with promo code FRIEND. So, let’s be a good FRIEND to the animals and also save some money for ourselves and holiday gifts!

Tarte eye/blush palette (for $15.30!); Korres lip butter; Korres exfoliating cleanser; Korres fragrance; Korres toner.

The Tarte palette is $15.30! This is a perfect Secret Santa or stocking stuffer. I knew Macy’s carried Tarte but it was a pleasant surprise to see Korres. I’ve been wanting to try this brand but I don’t really shop at Sephora so I just never got around to it. I got their iconic lip butter in guava (clear) and in pomegranate (a peachy tint). I also stocked up on basics such as cleanser and toner. I thought a new fragrance would be fun. All of my Korres picks above are suitable for vegans, I checked with the website. Please correct me if I’m mistaken.

Kenra color maintenance shampoo & conditioner.

I was looking for a shampoo and conditioner that would preserve my hair color and this seems to fit the bill. I hope they work, I just got my hair colored at the salon (a rarity for me these days).

Tarte blush set; Tarte lippie lingerie lipstick; Clean fragrance set; Tarte sunscreen; Tarte toasted eyeshadow palette.

Tarte has a loyal following, especially for their powders such as eyeshadow and blush. Their long staying power is what separates them from their peers, which is what my oily complexion needs (blushes usually disappear after a couple of hours). I also ordered the lipsticks which received high ratings online. The latest buzz on Tarte’s Instagram is the toasted eyeshadow palette. It’s supposed to amazing things for warm complexions (that’s me). There’s this color Flame that is beyond gorgeous on different people, but really all the colors are extraordinary. I ordered Tarte’s sunscreen which is suitable for vegans, it’s another must have basic.

I was intrigued by the Clean fragrance set. It’s hard to find cruelty free fragrances but this company’s scents seem popular. I’ve never heard of this brand, so it’s a bit of a discovery for me.

Do you have a favorite cruelty free beauty or fragrance item that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it!

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sweater leggings = cozy

Oversized tunic sweater in wine (old color, new colors here, here, here & here; Floral sweater leggings in black; Vaneli harness ankle boots (old, similar).

This outfit shows my love for Free People sweaters since I’m wearing my beloved tunic sweater in wine from last year and my recently purchased sweater leggings (discussed here). On a chilly day like today, my legs were wrapped in their own sweater. Sweater leggings really keep you cozy and warm and they look great under an oversized tunic sweater. This particular pair are well made, they seem to have a tightly woven knit where it doesn’t catch easily on the inside and helps keep out the chilly wind.

I ordered a size Small and they are true to size (I also followed the size chart on Free People’s website). The length is perfect for my shorter legs, where they are not too long (love this!). I also dig the random floral motif, it’s very pretty and the various colors complement many sweaters I already own. I highly recommend these sweater leggings for yourself or as a gift for the holidays.

Have a great week! xx

j.crew review–part 1

Tartan plaid shirt; Red wine tee; Striped tissue turtleneck tee; Black tankini top; Black high waisted bikini bottom.

Red wine tee; Black coated J Brand skinny jeans (old, similar); Kenneth Cole New York ankle boots in cognac (old, similar).

I think I found my new drinking shirt, oh yeah. I got my j.crew Oder and of course, this tee was the first up at bat. It’s true to size (size Small) and it’s mid weight where it’s not tissue thin but not thick either. It’s a total keeper. You should buy this tee for the red wine lover in your life for the holidays.

On left: Tartan plaid shirt; Black coated J Brand skinny jeans (old, similar); Kenneth Cole New York ankle boots in cognac (old, similar).

On right: Tartan plaid button down shirt (old, similar); Black coated J Brand skinny jeans (old, similar); Kenneth Cole New York ankle boots in cognac (old, similar).

I ordered the wrong size for the new j.crew Stewart plaid shirt on the left, it’s a size 4. I should have ordered a size 2, which is the size of the j.crew shirt on the right. It’s from last year and still fits me, surprisingly. I would have exchanged the new shirt for a size 2, but the side vents are too high. I could see the waistband of my jeans, which I don’t mind, but I don’t wish to inadvertently flash my muffin top. So, I’m returning this shirt.

Striped tissue turtleneck tee; Banana Republic ruched skirt (old, similar); Vince cardigan (old, similar); Kenneth Cole New York ankle boots in cognac (old, similar).

The j.crew tissue turtleneck in stripes is another keeper for your fall/winter layering needs. It’s true to size (I’m wearing a size Small) and soft like your favorite thin tee. Keep in mind it’s fitted so it will easily fit under your sweaters, sweatshirts, cardigans, etc. without adding bulk. I bought several of these tissue turtlenecks before (and I wore the heck out of them), but they are too small for me now. I’ll get back to my fighting weight again. Until then, I stocked up on these for this fall and winter in other colors too (black, navy, wine and black/ivory stripe).

Black tankini top; Black high waisted bikini bottom.

I debated on showing a pic of me in the tankini since I don’t feel my personal best. But, here it is in the hope that it helps you decide on whether to try this swimsuit or not. Try it, you won’t regret it. It gets top ratings online for good reason, it’s awesome. Keep in mind that I have a longer torso, but it still keeps me covered in the middle. I usually don’t find one-piece swimsuits comfortable or flattering due to the long torso, so this tankini is flipping fantastic.

It’s true to size, I’m wearing a size Small. I also ordered a size Medium, just to see. The Medium was too big in the chest and in the back of the bikini bottoms (with puckered hems). I also love the pique matte fabric of this swimsuit, so flattering since it’s doesn’t highlight lumps and bumps. I also ordered this tankini suit in the red color and I’m keeping both. The top is adjustable with a halter tie at the top and a tie at the waist where you could tie a bow in the front or back. The high waisted bikini bottom locks in everything, which is great for this new mama. I highly recommend this super cute tankini!

Part 2 of my recent j.crew purchases will be posted soon, so please check back.

Happy Thursday! xx

Free People recent purchases & reviews

Sweatshirt dress in red; Cotton poplin dress in black; Sweaterdress in black/white; Plaid sequin blouse in red (also here); Ribbed leggings in oatmeal; Floral sweater leggings in black.

Free People had a flash sale online a couple of weeks ago and I quickly ordered a bunch of holiday party and winter looks. Well, out of the six items I ordered above, I only kept one dress and a pair of sweater leggings.

First, I ordered the red sweatshirt dress in a size Small and it was returned for being too short and too fitted around my stomach. The sweatshirt fabric was on the thin side too.

On the plus side, I kept the black cotton dress which is a size Small. The cut of the dress is flattering and adjustable due to the bow tie at the back of the neck. The poplin material is thin for the winter weather, but this subtly sexy dress will be clutch for my resort vacation and for the upcoming spring and summer. The open back amps up the sexy factor.

Next, the black and white sweater dress in a size Small was returned due to being fitted in the stomach area and the material looked a bit cheap, where you just know it will pill like crazy.

So, I had high hopes for the red plaid blouse since I saw it in the Free People store, but there was no time to try it on. I ordered it in a size XS because it’s generously cut in the torso. Sadly, I returned this because the stitching along the back of the top was on the tight side. Also, there are these gorgeous tiny sequins that sparkle in the light. BUT, the sequins are quite itchy at the collar and neckline, it was a deal-breaker for me. I may try on a size Small to see if the collar is less or not itchy.

The oatmeal ribbed leggings (in a size Small) were a hard pass for me. Thin and see through, yikes. I tried on a size Small.

Lastly, the floral sweater leggings are the bomb! This is one of my favorite recent purchases. They are cozy and the different colors in the floral pattern complements lots of my tunic sweaters. I purchased a size Small and they are true to size. I wore the leggings for nearly three days in a row during Thanksgiving weekend, I did not want to take them off! These would make for an excellent holiday gift too.

Happy Tuesday night to you! xx

recent purchases & outfits

Happy Thanksgiving week! I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of 2017. This is a follow-up from my earlier post featuring my recent purchases (discussed here with reviews and sizing information). As you can see below, I love and recommend them all.

Colorblocked tunic (old, similar); Grey leopard leggings; Grey slip-on sneakers (old, similar).

Oversized sweater in red; Camo leggings leggings (similar); Dolce Vita white ankle boots (similar here & here).

Striped beach caftan.

Tassel sweater (also here, here & here); Moto vegan leather miniskirt; Zara metallic ankle boots (old, similar).

Camo hooded jacket; Striped camel/navy turtleneck (old, similar); Current Elliott Stiletto jeans (old, similar); Grey flannel high top slip-on sneakers (old, similar); Michael Kors polarized sunglasses (also here).

Are you hitting the Thanksgiving sales? Let’s have a great week! xx

my recent loves

Camo hooded jacket; Tassel sweater (also here at 30% off, here & here); Striped beach caftan; Grey leopard leggings; Moto vegan leather miniskirt; Easy Breezy ankle socks.

Happy November to you! Here are a few recent purchases that I’m seriously loving.

I ordered a size Small and Medium in the camo quilted jacket, but I kept the Medium. I am going to wear the jacket over sweaters and sweatshirts, so I needed to go up one size from my usual Small. The weight is great for transitional fall weather and I love the deep hood to keep my head and neck warm. It has two exterior hand warmer pockets and it’s machine washable. I highly recommend this camo jacket.

I ordered this pricey tassel sweater on a whim because it was instant love, yet I was hoping to hate it due to the price. I paid full price for it too, which is rare for me. But of course, it’s perfect. The slouch factor is on point and the details are really special. It looked especially cute with skinny jeans. A total keeper. I’m not the only one who thinks this way, because it’s nearly sold out already. I have a size Small and it runs true to size.

The striped beach tunic was just ordered online so I haven’t received it yet. I’ve been stalking this caftan for months and it’s now 65% off. I’m hoping it will be a great addition to my summer wardrobe. We also have a family vacation planned for this winter so this number should come in handy. I ordered a size XS/S for reference.

The grey leopard leggings are fun and inexpensive. I plan on wearing my oversized tunic sweaters with these leggings. I also ordered a regular leopard pair and a camo pair but it looks like they have sold out online. I’d check back to see if they have been restocked though, because cute. I went with my usual size, Small.

I’m very excited for this moto mini in faux leather! I haven’t received it yet and I am praying that the size 6 I ordered fits. I followed the size guide on the website. I can see this being versatile. And cool.

The socks are just fun. And on major sale. Easy breezy, right?

Happy Election Day, don’t forget to vote!

blazer for the win

Ruffled cutout top; Boyfriend glen plaid blazer (also here); Skinny jeans (old, similar); Loafer Mules; J.Crew earrings (old).

This serves as a follow-up to my last post and I’m happy to report that the plaid blazer is a hit. I am wearing a size XS above and the fit is generous but not overwhelming. I’d say this blazer is true to size to slightly generous. This blazer adds polish to my outfit in about 5 seconds flat. This particular trend is a must-have item since it’s functional, stylish and easy.

I returned the glen plaid pants that I featured in my earlier post. The wide legged cropped length hit my calves at a weird spot and the overall shape of the pants was not flattering.

I’m wearing a top that was an unexpected find. I’ve yet to try the ruffle and cutout trends and this cute little number tackles both and comes in under $20. I really like this feminine and flirty top. I’m wearing a size S, so it’s true to size.

Have s great week, lovelies! xx

got glen plaid?

Glen plaid boyfriend blazer (similar here, here, here & here) & Glen plaid cropped pants.

Have you noticed that oversized plaid blazers are one of the hottest trends right now? It’s an easy top layer that you can throw over a tee, turtleneck or a lightweight sweater and you have instant polish as a result. I really like the look of this particular blazer and the price is right. Plus, promo code FRESH gets you 25% off your clothing purchase. I’d hurry ordering this blazer, though. They just offered online and it’s almost sold out already. If your size is not available, I’d keep checking for popbacks. Otherwise, I have four more options that are all (and well) under $100.

I ordered this blazer yesterday and the pants, which are fully stocked in all sizes. The online description for both the blazer and pants says the print is herringbone but I disagree. The blazer and pants look like they are a glen plaid.

Have you been wearing oversized plaid blazers this fall?

Happy Saturday!

friday stripes

Free People sweaterdress (old, similar here, here & here) & fishnet socks in black (also here, on sale); Dolce Vita white ankle boots (also here, similar styles here, here & here); Personalized script name necklace in rose gold.

Free People fishnet socks in black (also here, on sale); Dolce Vita white ankle boots (also here, similar styles here, here & here).

Free People sweaterdress (old, similar here, here & here) & fishnet socks in black (also here, on sale); Dolce Vita white ankle boots (also here, similar styles here, here & here); Personalized script name necklace in rose gold.

TGIF! I think fall weather is here to stay and it’s time to break out the sweater dresses and ankle boots, both of which I’m wearing above are from last year. The fishnet ankle socks are new and have I sold you yet on these? As I mentioned before (here & here), it’s a fun and cheap refresh for nearly every outfit you have. I really love this particular pair of fishnet socks for the striped hem. Sporty, yet not that sporty. Post-Sid & Nancy punk but with preppy rugby stripes. I mean, these socks are already so complex and have personality for days. For less than $10 a pair too, this is a no-brainer.

Speaking of stripes, my baby girl had her own stripes outfit that she wanted to share with you. Does this girl know how to pose for a selfie or what? The proverbial apple from the selfie tree.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend, friends! xx

transitional ootd

J.Crew boiled wool coat in camel; Wayf lace top (sold out, similar); Sanctuary cropped flare pants; Steven Madden Razzi mules; Free People fishnet socks in nude (also here);
Rhinestone and tortoise shell earrings (old, similar here, here & here).

Sanctuary cropped flare pants; Steven by Steve Madden Razzi mules; Free People fishnet socks in nude (also here).

Wayf lace top (sold out, similar); Sanctuary cropped flare pants; Steven Madden Razzi mules; Free People fishnet socks in nude (also here); Rhinestone and tortoise shell earrings (old, similar here, here & here).

Hello! It was finally cool enough today to try on the camel topcoat. I really like this topper but I’m afraid it’s a bit too small. I tried it on over a lightweight sweater and it was a touch too snug in the torso and sleeves when I buttoned the coat. I ordered a size 0 based on Instagram reviews (it runs big), but I suppose that I did not account for myself as a larger size. Le sigh. It’s a great transitional layer since it’s not too light nor too heavy. There is no lining and the boiled wool fabric has a bit of stretch to it.

The croppped flare pants are fairly new and are quite comfortable. They are a stretchy ponte material that has plenty of give. I’m in need of pants, yet I don’t want to spend a fortune on them. I still have hope that I will lose more baby weight. The ponte pants are true to size, I bought a Small. I love that they are truly cropped for my shorter legs.

How cool are these fishnet socks? They are such a fun detail and add plenty of visual interest with some attitude. I also purchased these socks in black and in wine. Macy’s is currently running a sale on these, 25% off with code FRESH!

Have a great night, it’s almost the weekend. Yay!

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