May Golden Tote Review

It’s been a busy month of finals, roadtrips and work, but I am determined to get my May Golden Tote review out before May ends! It’s the last day of May, but who’s counting? If you need an overview of Golden Tote in general, check my first review here.

So this time around I opted for a $49 tote. The shipping was actually very quick, the general consensus online is that the $49 totes ship right away but the $149 totes take forever to ship. I picked the Under Skies navy eyelet trim button down as my main item, and I really love it!
under skies navy eyelet button down shirt

The picture on GT’s site didn’t do all of the detail justice. It has mother of pearl type buttons, an eyelet detail along the top part of the shirt, a jersey fabric as the main body, and is finished with a textured cotton detail stitched on the placket, pocket and a few other places.
under skies navy eyelet button down close up detailunder skies navy eyelet button down back
I really loved the mixed materials here, and it’s also one of the few GT tops that’s fitted instead of loose. Golden Tote does tend to cater toward a non-curvy build, and even though my curves are smaller than they used to be, I still think I look better in a nipped waist rather than the loose, drapey styles that tend to look best on really willowy girls.


I only got one surprise item, and it’s this lovely cobalt collarless crepe shirtdress by Naked Zebra. It’s high quality, lined, comfortable and super flattering BUT it’s also super short. I have this problem a lot with Golden Tote’s dresses. They’re great, but they are SO short on me.
naked zebra cobalt blue crepe cinched waist shirt dress naked zebra bright blue shirt dress back golden tote naked zebra cobalt blue shirt dress side

I love this dress so much, and I would love it even more if it were 2-3 inches longer. As is, it still works over leggings (with bare legs or tights I feel exposed, but leggings make it seem less scandalous. I wore it to Memorial Day brunch last weekend with leggings (not pictured) and felt awesome:
naked zebra royal blue crepe cinched waist shirt dress

Ok, so that’s all for the tote, but I have more to review.

I got Naked Zebra’s multi-strap detail tank in lavender as an add-on item. It’s a little bit sheer (what up, black bra!), but I really like the strap detail, especially in the back. I think Golden Tote’s signature drapey, boxy style works well with this top.
naked zebra strappy tank top lavendar naked zebra strappy tank top lavender and navynaked zebra strappy tank top lavender and navy straps

I also like that the straps are made from a crepe material rather than jersey, so they won’t stretch out.golden tote naked zebra strappy tank top lavender navy straps

I also have a few follow up items. After last month’s craziness with my missing April item, GT sent me this to make up for the missing piece. It’s the embroidered white top by In Clover. It’s sort of a weird length on me and I’m still tring to decide how to style it, but I’m thinking it’ll look great over a maxi skirt. I haven’t worn it yet other than to try on, so I’m keeping it in the bag for a while. I’m either going to trade it or wear it, we’ll see which happens first.

in clover white embroidered top  in clover white embroidered peasant top side in clover white embroidered peasant topin clover white embroidered peasant top shoulder crochet detail

I also have a couple of items that I traded through the Golden Tote Trading Group on facebook. These are from past bags, but it still gives you an idea of the types of styles Golden Tote has carried.

Collective Concepts mixed material peplum top. I love the prints on this! I don’t wear a lot of peplums, so I’m still trying to figure out how to style it.
collective conepts mixed media tribal print peplum top  collective conepts mixed media print peplum top side view collective conepts mixed media peplum top blue and green print
There’s a zipper that goes the full length of the back.
collective conepts mixed media print peplum top zipped back

Puella striped long sleeve fit and flare dress. The fit on this one is a little off for me and makes me look a little thicker than I am, but somehow it doesn’t bother me. In my mind it has a sort of modern-meets-vintage appeal and it has a ton of styling options. I wore it to a dinner party a few weeks ago and was complimented on it right away.
puella long sleeve striped fit and flare dresspuella navy gray long sleeve striped fit and flare dress  puella long sleeve striped fit and flare dress navy heather grey fabric

And that’s it for all of my Golden Tote pieces. The June tote boutique opens this Monday, June 2, at 9:00 PST. The new items are already in the regular boutique for you to check out in advance, but the tote won’t switch over until Monday. Are you going to get a tote this month?

Milani Cosmetics Review

I’ve read a lot of good things about Milani and I already love their Liquid Eye Pencils ($6.99) as mentioned here, so I decided to pick up a few things on a recent Walgreens trip. Here’s what I got:

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Luminous ($5.99).

milani brilliant shine lipgloss luminousmilani brilliant shine lipgloss doefoot applicator milani lip gloss luminous swatchmilani brilliant shine lipgloss luminous swatch

This was sheerer than I expected based on the packaging, but it might just be that it’s too close to my natural lip color. It felt just a little thick, but not sticky, and it actually left a nice, balmy feel when it wore off. The balminess lasted a few hours, so I consider it pretty hydrating. It also made my lips feel very smooth, which I liked (you can see in the picture above how the lip lines are almost invisible). From what I’ve seen online the other colors are more pigmented, and this is the only color with any glitter that I saw at the store, although that may just have been what was in stock. This is a great low-price lip gloss, although it would be too thick for those who prefer the feel of a lipstick.

Milani Illuminating Face Powder in Hermosa Rose 02 ($8.99).

Milani Illuminating Face Powder Hermosa Rose 02 packaging Milani Illuminating Face Powder Hermosa Rose 02 swatchMilani Illuminating Face Powder Hermosa Rose swatch


This was super pretty and subtle, very even and VERY sheer. I love how subtle it is and how evenly it applied, but it’s a tricky shade. It’s a very light color even on me, so I think this would only work as a blush/contour on very fair skinned girls, or as a highlighter on darker skinned girls. I don’t know that this would do anything for a medium skintone. The swatch on my face is after layering it up a bit more than I normally would just to see how it builds, but I was happy with how natural it looked when I used a little less. It’s a great formula if you can make it work for your complexion.

Milani Total Lash Cover Mascara in Black 105 ($4.49)

milani total lash mascara packaging milani total lash mascara hybrid brushmilani total lash mascara before and aftermilani total lash mascara review

This product has been around for a couple years, but its crazy bristles and low price drew me in. The color is good and the results were great! A lot of bloggers have complained about the brush size. I can see that, but it worked well enough for me and I really liked the comb that helped to de-clump the lashes. This isn’t waterproof, but so far this hasn’t smudged under my eyes. Mascara formulas are always best on the first day, though, so I’ll keep using this and see if it continues being good. So far I feel pretty good about it for a five dollar mascara.

All in all, my Milani experience was really good! I’ll definitely keep buying from them. Here’s a full look using all three products (as well as my Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in Medium Brown ($28) that I reviewed a while ago and Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection ($36)).

milani cosmetics review milani cosmetics product reviews

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Review

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon ($28).
This is a classic blue-based red that was very flattering. It goes on well, and you only need a little bit of product (no need to re-dip the wand to get more product, once is enough). It’s super opaque and has no smell. The texture is smooth and slightly dry and it looks painted on. It’s pretty matte, but not TOO matte, and it feels slightly dry, like most other liquid lipsticks. It stayed on very well through a coffee with no transfer, but the top lip started to fade after I ate some almonds. So it’s better longevity than a typical lipstick, but it doesn’t really hold up to food.




I have it in a little mini trial size, but the full sized packaging is similar. I don’t like how the product is separating inside, but I guess it’s still fine.


And for another liquid lipstick option, here’s a little on NYX soft matte lip creams.

Tarte Brow Pomade Review

My hair is dyed almost black these days, so darkening my eyebrows has been more important to me than ever. My brow powder just hasn’t been doing it for me lately, so I decided to branch out into brow pomade. I tested a few varieties out at Sephora, and while Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade ($18) has a phenomenal texture and shade range, the double ended eyebrow brush #12 wasn’t included and would set me back another $18. This kind of product really works best with that specific type of brush, so the Anastasia brow mousse would have run me $36 once I included the brush. Tarte’s formula worked just as well for me and included a brush, but costs $8 less than that.

So based on that, I ended up buying Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in Medium Brown ($28). I thought the Rich Brown shade would be the best match for my hair color, but these shades run really dark, and Medium Brown was actually quite dark and looked the most natural. Any darker would look kind of harsh, and I think this will continue to work even if I lighten my hair again.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in Medium Brown with double ended spoolie brush Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse Dark Brown with double ended brush

The shade selection is pretty minimal. There are only three shades and each one is darker than you’d expect. As a result, there are only options for a light/medium brown, dark brown and black. If you have light blonde or red hair you’re out of luck. If your hair is some kind of brown, then this is a great buy!

The product is pretty hard, so you won’t pick up too much with the brush, making this pretty foolproof. Even though it looked like my brush looked like it barely had any product on it after a few swipes into the pot, the line was surprisingly sharp and very pigmented. This was easy to use, super precise and the spoolie end of the brush helped me to soften the look up as needed. It also lasted really well, although I did touch it up slightly after 8 hours. I would have looked fine without a touch up, but I wanted to make sure my brows were super intense for night.

Here’s a quick look at my daytime brow:

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in Medium Brown swatch

Comparison of Brow pomade on left and without brow makeup on the right:

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in Medium Brown review


And here it is with a finished look. Yes, I’m wearing one of my Golden Tote dresses. I’m also wearing the same makeup from my Boudoir Eyes tutorial.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in Medium Brown with neutral makeup