striped dress and blush pink tote


I think I wear stripes more than any other pattern found in the fashion world. They always seem to draw my attention because I always wear neutrals. This American Eagle dress was on sale for $34. This dress is also made of the super soft material the store launched a bunch of clothing in recently. It has a high-neck which is a trend I am also loving right now. My jewel sandals are from BCBG but I found them in Marshalls for $30 a few weeks back. I am also debuting my new Kate Spade tote in this post! I received this as a birthday gift in February. It is also on sale right now for $159, which is not bad for such a large designer tote. The blush pink color is perfect for the spring. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and thank you for stopping by! I am also happy to announce that I am graduating from college tomorrow...let's hope I mastered how to walk in my wedges by then! 

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tribal romper

Bag: Forever 21 {$24.90} // Lipstick: Revlon 'Pink Truffle'

Rompers are easily my favorite things to wear because they are so simple! This tribal one is a new addition. I wear a lot of navy and white, so picking this one was a no-brainer. My black cross-body is also a new find. On a recent trip to the mall I stopped in Forever 21 just to take a peak at the spring lines, but also to look at the sale racks. I spotted this bag in the clearance section and saw that it was marked down to $10.99. I initially liked the size of the bag, the color of it, and how it reminded me of this expensive one. When I saw the affordable price I had to have it. 

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the best sephora hacks

I love shopping at Sephora. Whenever I am in the mall I always make my way over to the stand-alone Sephora or the one inside JC Penney's. What I don't love is when I spend tons of money in there at one single point in time. I instantly feel buyer's remorse and wonder if my purchases are justified. "Do I need that new Tarte blush?" Makeup, like fashion, has trends and new editions coming out on the regular. These are a few of my personal tips for making your next Sephora trip a success!

1. Talk to the Employees
More often than not customers tend to walk into stores thinking they already know everything about what is sold. I sometimes think this way, too. The employees working in Sephora go through tons of training in order to be super informative for all different types of clients' needs. The employees are what make Sephora such a fun place to shop at. For a beauty junkie like myself, talking about makeup with people who also love learning about brands makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

2. Sign up for a Beauty Insider Card
A lot of stores have reward programs that do not do much for customers. I have an American Eagle reward card that requires me to spend over $100 before I can even get 10% off! The Sephora card is one I find truly valuable. During your birthday month you can choose from two high-end gifts. This year it was a Marc Jacobs lipstick (pictured above!) and eyeliner, or a Fresh cleanser and face mask. You get special coupons sent in the mail for 15% your entire purchase. Every time you make a purchase you get points added to your balance. These points are redeemable for small gifts and can be used online to get samples added to a purchase. Eventually you will work your way up to being a VIB then a VIB Rogue. Each level has its own set of great perks.

3. Get Samples!!
The best tip I can offer you is without a doubt to get as many samples of products that you want to try as possible! This is by far my favorite experience at Sephora. I am always trying new foundations, face masks, and other skin care favorites because of the Sephora samples I obtain during my visits. In this way I can figure out if I am wearing the right shade of makeup for my skin tone and if certain skin care items are doing the trick. Don't hesitate to ask for samples! The employees love to show you around, but make sure to be considerate and not go overboard. I've discovered my perfect shade for Lancome foundation this way!

4. Do the Skin IQ Test
I've personally had this test done a few times and each time I the test helps me get a more precise color match for foundations. This IQ device is placed on three locations on your forehead, cheek, and neck for an accurate look at your skin color. The test results are immediately shown on an iPad and can be sent to your e-mail for further use!

5. Hold Onto Receipts--Or Don't
Quite a few times I've had to return something that just didn't work out for me to Sephora. Whether it was a consistency issue in a liquid foundation, the fact that something broke me out, or my regret paying $50 for a face mask, Sephora's got you covered. If you have your receipt they will give you a full refund. If you don't have your receipt they will gladly give you store credit.

celebrity look for less: rosie huntington-whiteley

Sunglasses: Ann Taylor Loft {similar Charlotte Russe $5.99} // Shoes: BCBG Sandals 

I used to love recreating celebrity looks back in high school, and in today's post I am wearing a simple black and white look for less. Rosie's outfit was so chic for street-wear and I thought about my peasant top that's just been hanging in my closet for some time now. They ended up looking extremely similar and I now I must wear this top more often! It is so breezy and boho-inspired. I wore it with some comfy black leggings and my newest jewel flat sandals. I got them at TJ Maxx for only $30, too.This entire look is also very affordable! 
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blue shirtdress

Dress: Charlotte Russe Shirtdress // Boots: Blu Spero {similar pair}
 Bag: Forever 21 {similar one}
The best part about springtime is the fun relaxing dresses you can finally wear! This one is originally from H&M but I have some super similar chambray shirtdress picks below. This button-up dress is so casual and is great option for looking chic this year. I've worn these adorable booties in this last post and had to pull them out again for this combo. This look is one I am going to repeat all season!
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espresso yourself

Top: Hollister Easy Crew Graphic Tee {Only $7.99} // Jeans: American Eagle AEO Crop Denim Jeggings Crop // Necklace: Kendra Scott Elisa Druzy in Rose Gold // Bag: Forever 21 Dupe for Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac Crossbody

Good Monday morning, friends! In today's outfit post, I'm wearing a brand new top I purchased last week in Hollister. I was returning a dress and I found this adorable and super soft "Espresso Yourself" top for only $7.99! I chose to make it look fresh and springy with my favorite white jeggings from American Eagle. These are distressed and can be found online.  I also want to let you all know that I started a Facebook page for my blog! I would absolutely love it if you "liked" the page to stay up to date with all things Affordable by Amanda. Have a great week!
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splurge vs. steal spring edition

splurge vs steal

Kendra Scott 'Elton' Station Cuff, $55 // BP. Stone Station Cuff, $12
Rebecca Minkoff Mini Crosby Crossbody, $156 // BP. Junior Double Stud Crossbody Bag, $32
Elara's Silver Studs, $60 // Chico's Jillian Stud Earrings, $10
Kohl and Kaftan's Cat Eye Sunglasses, $210 // BP. 56mm Cat Eye Sunglasses, $12

The Nordstrom Junior department has been killing it lately with all of these great dupes. The 'new arrivals' section is one to have bookmarked on your laptop because I swear as soon as a new trend hits Instagram the BP. line has their own cheaper version stocked and ready to sell. I've found a ton of affordable picks that look scary similar to expensive ones! These awesome $12 cuffs, for example, are even named after their designer inspiration in mind. If you haven't picked up your own Rebecca Minkoff crossbody yet, you might want to consider purchasing this super cheap alternative for $32! I also still love druzy earrings and these $10 studs are perfect for the spring! Check out the rest of my favorites below:
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spring basics

My top essentials for spring 2016 are all items found within this look! Button-down skirts are something that continue to be a huge trend for the year. In the fall I would typically pair this skirt with a long-sleeve top, but for the warmer months I would pair it with a tank top or crisp white shirt like this $12.47 American Eagle one. A pop of turquoise instantly makes your outfit look more beachy and fit for the summertime. I found this cool gemstone one at a local boutique, but I listed more options for you to check out below. And who can deny the popularity of lace-up flats?! These are my first pair and they have been featured in many previous posts (search: flats for more). I found them online for $19.99 on two sites!

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spring 2016 swim picks

spring swimwear

Spring inevitably means summer is near and there is no better time than now to start swimsuit shopping! I am loving the new trends for 2016. Everything from scalloped details to high-neck halter tops are being stocked in most stores. Check out some of my favorites from Victoria's Secret, ASOS, and H&M! All of these are affordable finds that I know I am going to purchase for my beach vacation days. 

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