Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whee! Kate Spade Online Sample Sale

Check here to get your shopping on (sign-up req'd)!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hello, Avon Calling!

My vanity and bathroom counters are littered with TONS of tubes and bottles and jars of beauty items from Chanel to Gucci and Revlon to Wet and Wild. Basically, it's like Sephora exploded all over my apartment.

But out of all the hundreds of brands I've tried, Avon somehow never made it into the mix. I remember the "Avon calling" commercials how-ever-many-eons-ago, but for whatever reason, it never really popped up on my radar. And my perception of their products was that they were kind of fuddy-duddy, like your grandma's upholstered sofa encased in protective plastic and frosted blue eyeshadow.

Robin, a friend of mine, recently started selling Avon though so naturally it's the perfect excuse for me to play with all kinds of new beauty goop! Eye shadow, perfume AND they have fashion accessories--heaven. Plus, since I'm going to buy new beauty stuff anyway, why not spend my cash to 1): help out and friend and 2) help support a company that's helped empower women all around the world for 122 years. In a small way, it kinda makes me like Angelina Jolie when you think about it.

Checking out her website, I was really surprised that the range is really comparable to what you'd find at a really good drugstore that has higher-end offerings. And from word-of-mouth and perusing beauty editor picks, Avon doesn't scrimp on quality.

Oh, and did I mention the prices? Pretty much everything is in the $8 - $10 range (excluding fragrance and skincare) and the clearance deals are in-cred-ible. Total guilt-free splurging.

On my shopping list so far:

Mark Flip For It Urban Neutrals palette ($20)

Supershock Mascara ($4.99)

Shine-on multi-task weekender ($35)

Precision glimmer powder eyeshadow ($8)

Dip dye scarves - 2 pack ($14.99)

All that and I haven't even cracked $100 bucks yet. Major score! I think this is the start of a beautiful (pun somewhat intended) relationship.

Do you use Avon products? What are your faves? If not, what's stopped you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exclusive Preview: Cover Girl LashBlast Length - To The Extreme!

Long, luscious, full and flirty.

No matter what's haute on the runway, out-to-there lashes are always in fashion.

Cover Girl is launching a brand new mascara that your lashes are going to love! The new leader in mascara, thanks to #1 LashBlast, will have a lash-lengthening partner in a slim, yellow tube.

LashBlash Length promises 80% longer lashes that won't clump or flake thanks to an advanced nylon brush that delivers a smooth application and a nifty Elasta-Nylon formula for extreme drama and definition.

It doesn't hit stores until September but you have the opportunity to get it early. Click here. Quantities are limited, so act fast!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Essentials To Fall Up Your Summer Staples

The appearance of back-to-school sale signs at your local mall can mean only one thing: reading, 'riting and retail--it's time to shop for fall fashions!

But wait!

There's no need to retire all of your summer staples for the annual closet switchover. You can winterize your look with just a few key items.

Layer, layer, layer. An oversize, slouchy boyfriend jacket/blazer thrown over your favorite warm weather dress or skirt is comfy, cozy and a chic must-have this season (and has even more appeal if you actually snagged it from your guy's closet).

Add some cardigans, turtlenecks and lightweight sweaters to your wardrobe mix to warm things up when temps dip and use as layering pieces for extra cold protection. Anything that's cashmere with a bit of feminine frou frou will become your new best friend. Throw stuff on and off to suit the temperature and still dress like a the epitome of feminine chic.

Unless you live in an igloo, skip the puffy Michelin Man coat and look for something made of heavy wool or cashmere that's fully lined. Black, camel, off-white, heather gray, or navy are your best bets for a coat that goes with everything. If you're afraid of looking shapeless, there's no better way to combat that than with a belt cinched at the waist.

I wrote about the versatility of a great pair of peep toe ankle boots on "Heels Are A Girl's Best Friend," but if the forecast calls for snow, you're going to have to get a pair of great warm boots, too--I suggest something that looks really sleek with a cute skirt and tights or with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into 'em, but will still keep you warm and toasty without forsaking style.

Rev up your cold weather look with a pair of seriously funky colored tights or dress up your no-nonsense snow boots with a textured or patterned pair. Why not try a footless version on for size? Very retro modern! And if you dare, try on the latest trend: grunge-y, ripped tights. Subscribing to this very cheap chic trend means that hole-y pair of tights you ripped in approximately 48 minutes after purchasing because you were in a rush to get out the door can be salvaged. They're not ruined, they're supposed to look like that!

Of course an outfit is not complete without a fantastic bag! Gray is definitely the new black this season from gritty dark pavement hues, earthy-grey tints and light grey tones. The shade is soft and sophisticated, but with a bit of an edge without looking too goth-y.

How to wear these pieces: Pair a cold-weather piece with a warm-weather piece and you are good to go. Some of my favorite combinations are a wool turtleneck with a miniskirt, a pair of shorts with a long-sleeved cardigan, a black leather jacket with a floral dress, or an oxford-style button down shirt and cashmere sweater with a short denim skirt.

It works for a few reasons, most importantly because it allows you to mix pieces you already own from other seasons with the few fall items (like lightweight sweaters) you'll actually buy, so your wardrobe stretches much farther. It also creates a contrast, which is widely accepted to be a fashion DO.

What are you fall must-haves? Have you started shopping for fall clothes or still living in your favorite maxi dress?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beauty and the Bag

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And what better way to behold all that beauty than in an adorable make-up case? Not only can you get one of these "Lola" cosmetics carry-alls custom-designed to match all your handbags, they can also double as a clutch.

It's like a free gift with purchase!

Why bother putting your lip gloss and concealer in something so fancy, you ask? This makes me feel more stylish. And like a present with beautiful wrapping paper, it gets me excited about the stuff inside the bag.

Besides, when you lug around as many ICOME (in case of makeup emergency) supplies as I do, time is of the essence--I can't waste time digging around in the bottomless pit of my ginormous tote.

And for all you cruelty-free cosmetics cuties, check out this fab bag:

I think my gal at My Beauty Bunny would approve.

Ladies, isn't it time to update your makeup bag?

Do you use a makeup bag or just toss your gloss and powder in your purse and go?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Affordable Sample Site Shopping: Gilt Fuse Launches Aug 12!

Do you love Gilt Groupe but end up doing more browsing than charging up the old credit card since even 70% off designer clothes still leaves a huge price tag?

Prepare to experience the thrill of bargain-scoring at its cheaper, yet still super chic, little sister site, Gilt Fuse.

On August 12, Gilt Fuse ("fusing fashion and affordability") goes live with its first sale. The site is about contemporary brands and has "a deeper inventory and significantly lower prices." I'm talking $75 to $150 here, ladies!

Gilt Fuse will work very much like the Gilt Groupe model, featuring looks from a single designer for just 36 hours at a time. The launch kicks off with sales from Plenty by Tracy Reese, Kova & T, Modern Amusement, CC Skye, TKO Orologi, RJ Graziano, and BCBG, all at prices up to 70% off retail.


  • Kelsi Dagger, 8/13 - The new little-sister line to footwear collection Pour la Victoire known for its platform booties, peep-toe Mary Janes and studded riding boots.
  • LaROK, 8/14 - A Gossip Girl fave, the RTW line is all about mixing chic with rocker-chick. Spotted on New York-meets-Hollywood starlets ranging from Blake Lively to Scarlett Johansson, LaROK’s trendy jumpsuits, tunic tops, distressed skinnies and high-waisted minis exude a cool, downtown vibe.

All I can say is...thank you!

Gilt Fuse's first sale starts on Wednesday, August 12 at 12pm EST. Membership is by invitation only, but if you're already a Gilt Groupe member, you're in. And if you're not, click here for your exclusive shopping invite.

I know where I'll be at noon--who needs food when there is shopping to sustain me? Are you excited to check out Gilt Fuse?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fool Me Once . . .

Kiki is joined at the hip to her Chloe carryall.

MK totes her Balenciaga bag with a new homeless outfit daily.

And half of Hollywood’s starlets seem prepared to have the LV logo tattooed on their foreheads.

Though really, anything that gets the Paris Hilton seal of approval should probably be avoided. And wiped down with an anti-bacterial cloth.

But fashion doesn't have to be serious to make a statement. Ditch the snotty "It" bags for something a little more fun.

Like this trompe l'oiel "Honey" tote ($74.20) from girl crush Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers line. French for "to deceive the eye," it features simulated stitching and sassy sketch accessories for added whimsy. Oh la la, talk about eye catching!

But here's the real deal: an exterior pocket keeps essentials (gum, cellie, etc.) close at hand and there's tons of room inside for all of your essentials and the latest issue of Allure magazine. Maybe even a lunch-time splurge item. Or two.

See what fabulous looks you're missing when you walk around with your nose in the air all the time? Boy, I hope didn't just ruin it for the rest of us normies . . .

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

DuWop Twilight Lip Venom V Sucks (And Not In A Good Way)

As a die-hard Harry Potter fanatic, no one dislikes the concept of Twilight—some pansy love story with not a single wizard in sight!—more than I do.

And even though there doesn't seem to be a warm-blooded female on the planet who's not obsessed with Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, he will always be Cedric Diggory in my eyes.

But despite my lack of obsession with all things pale and sparkly, I couldn't help trying DuWop's Twilight product tie-in, Lip Venom V.

I know, I know.

I've kvetched about my less than stellar experience with the cult-y lip plumper but with the rather sad state of my love life, the promise of a blood-red pout with the power to tempt even the undead was too alluring to resist. It just seemed like something that’s fun, youthful, and easy to wear with heavy eyeliner or a low cut dress.

I tried a few swipes first without shaking the vial to disperse the red stain droplets and though tiny colored flecks clung to the brush, it didn't deliver anything more than cinnamon scented lips. And oh yeah, the same blood-curdling tingle DuWop is known for. Yeow-zah!

For all the patented plumping razzle dazzle, my lips . . . looked exactly the same as before I applied the gloss. And they weren't even particularly shiny. Despite slicking on enough coats to be mistaken for the Exxon Valdez, LV2 is so thin and oily it literally melted off my lips and ran down my chin. WTF? So NOT cute.

Take two. A few shakes "to blend the human and vampire worlds" (insert eye roll here) definitely gave my pucker some color all right. You know the bright red stain kids get around their mouths after sucking on a Popsicle? Yeah. Not exactly the hypnotizing Black Honey-esque look I was hoping for. But if you're trying to achieve that youthful Kool-Aid red shade all the kids are sporting these days, this is definitely the product for you!

To be fair, I tried LV2 a few more times, but as Sean Connery said in Indiana Jones & The Lost Crusade, the "situation did not improve." Color clung to the corners of my mouth and ended up streaky and uneven on my actual lips, and the only plumping action was the padding of DuWop's wallets thanks to the $19.50 I shelled out for it.

Vampires might live forever but Lip Venom V should be staked and sent to product purgatory. Evidently Twilight's first foray into cosmetics, a perfume venture released by Hot Topic that ended up slapped with a lawsuit and a 50% off sticker, was a sign of sucky products to come.

But if the Harry Potter folks ever come out with a line of bubble, bubble, toil and trouble cosmetics, I'd totally be up for trying the "Holy Hogwarts!" lip balm and "Hip Hip Hippogriff" blush!

Just sayin' . . .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rachel Zoe's Newsletter: "I Die!" Or A Dud?

I was like a little kid at Christmas anticipating the debut issue of The Zoe Report, the Goop/Daily Candy-like digest of things I want but usually can't afford, from "I Die!" stylist and reality-television star Rachel Zoe.

So it was with manic glee that I clicked on my in-box today, only to find that my gift wrapped fashion treat arrived without batteries.

Whatever I was expecting, it wasn't the paint-by-numbers product pimping piece I suspect a lowly and poorly dressed intern typed up between jaunts to Starbucks and A-list fashion emergencies.

For our consumer-y consideration, Zoe offers up a striking, leopard print Lola Platform pump by Brian Atwood, along with her trademarked catchphrase. To avoid potential legal entanglements, let's just say they're "apples!"

Unfortch, they retail for $680.

Unless Bravo plans to sign me up for a riveting reality show about the life of a broke blogger cum Payless fashionista, they're so out of my budget it's not enough funny. Not even ha, ha funny that's really just polite, yet uncomfortable tittering.

But whereas Gwennie dearest is totally tone-deaf to our sucky economic situation, Zoe at least suggests a real-world alternative for us normies for $129.95.

Where is the Zoe-ness that makes me sentence friends and family to absolute silence from 10-11pm so I can bask in the delicious hi-def fashion glory that is The Rachel Zoe Project?

Inserting her signature quip does not a must-read make. God forgive me, but here's hoping the next issue meets or exceeds the cultural zeitgeistiness of Goop's unintended hilarity (ugh, I think I vomited in my mouth a little ...).

Monday, August 3, 2009

What's Red & White & Fabulous All Over? The Zoe Report!

Starting tomorrow, The Zoe Report, a daily email featuring Rachel Zoe's current obsessions in the ever-evolving worlds of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, will hit email in-boxes.


Sign up at for your daily dose of glamour.

Are you as excited as I am for the head-to-head between everyone's fave red carpet guru and the goddess of Goop Gwyneth Paltrow?

It'll be like an East coast vs. West coast rivalry, but with more hairspray and WAY better fashion---it's going to be bananas!

Bring it, ladies!

And totally coinky dink I'm sure, season two of her show The Rachel Zoe Project kicks off on August 25.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Free Stuff! Allure August Beauty Blowout

Imagine being a kid let loose to pick anything you wanted from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Well, Allure magazine's August Free Stuff Blowout is kinda like that.

Starting on August 3, and every day throughout the month, you have a chance to win 33,683 amazing fashion and beauty products worth over $564,000!

All 100% free. Ah, my favorite words.

Prizes include heaps of beauty products by Lancome, Molton Brown, Chanel, and Benefit as well as amazing fashion items by Oscar de la Renta, Derek Lam, and Cynthia Steffe.

Sign on to every weekday in August for a chance to win! To have a daily reminder sent to your cell phone, text "FREESTUFF" to ALLURE (255873).

To peep all of the August giveaway goodies, click here.

Here's what's on my weekly wish list:

Derek Lam sandals. With resin horn heels, these suede sandals stand out among black shoes (retail value: $790).

Shiseido Makeup Perfect Rouge Lipstick in RD304. Makeup artist Dick Page, who created the shade for Shiseido, likes to apply it in multiple layers, blotting between each coat, for a sexy, stainlike finish. The first 325 Allure readers to sign up will get one free (retail value: $25).

Calvin Klein Collection Tote. This minimalist leather tote gets you in the mood for fall (retail value: $750).

Orly Nail Lacquer in Prim & Proper. For a fresh twist on pale pink nails, try the often overlooked lilac. This sheer polish is truly flattering. The first 250 Allure readers to sign up will get a free bottle (retail value: $7.50).

Molton Brown Purifying Plum-Kadu Hairwash. Women seek clarity through meditation, psychiatry—and shampoo. The first 150 Allure readers to sign up will get a bottle of this plum-packed clarifying shampoo free (retail value: $28).

Hussy coat. This wool coat with layered sleeves and a wide sash belt is so trim, it could almost pass for a dress (retail value: $209).

What's on your lust list? If you could pick any one beauty or fashion product you wanted, what would it be?

Get Naked! With Bobbi Brown's Nude Collection (Sheesh, Ya Pervs)

Natural-looking makeup is the beauty equivalent of blue jeans--a look that can totally be dressed up or dressed down. Even better, it's pretty and polished and absolutely goof proof at o'dark-thirty in the morning.

Spackling and blending and excessive primping is just beyond my cosmetic capabilities when my brain is foggy from lack of sleep. I'm lucky if I don't poke my eye out with the eyeliner!

I probably already have more complexion-enhancing shades than most beauty editors, but I can't help being on the lookout for new ones to try. It's in my beauty DNA or something.

So naturally (ha!), I was immediately drawn to the gorgeously understated range in Bobbi Brown's new Nude Collection.

Love! Want! Must-have!

The Nude Eye Palette ($60) includes three eye shadow duos in day-to-night shades in three different textures: soft matte, lightly pearlized, and metallic high-shimmer. What’s great is that you can simply dust a mocha shade on your lids and blend it into your browbone for an effortlessly pretty daytime look. From there, you can put a hint of a darker hue in your creases for some extra depth, but if you’re in a hurry, just brush on the champagne shimmer to make your eyes really pop—add a little black liner on the top and some mascara and you’re good to go. And it has the perfect pairing to give you a sultry smoky eye for cocktails to celebrate not telling your boss where to stick it or your cube-mate that not everyone is interested in the intimate details of her latest trip to Loserville.

I've never in my life even considered spending that kind of cash for eye shadow but when you think about how much you've spent in the past on eye shadow disasters, and the fact that these are colors you'll wear practically every day, it's a totally economically feasible splurge. See, I am the bestie you want to go beauty shopping with because I can justify just about anything. It's a gift.

But it's the Nude Shimmer Brick ($38) that got the gimme! gasp. It's sooooo pretty. It features five pigments-pink, gold, bronze, beige, and caramel that can be used on the eyes, cheeks, anywhere really, for that extra bit of polish and "maybe she's born with it" glow. And who doesn't want that!?

The creamy lip color ($22) gives me pause even though there are lots of pout tempting shades. As a diehard lipgloss fan, it’s been years since I’ve used a lipstick. I can’t help it—gloss just wins my heart. I love the first time you twirl the lipstick up to reveal that perfectly shaped tip but the thrill is gone once it molds itself to your lips. Plus, I'm a slap-it-on and go kind of girl and applying lipstick on your lips and not your teeth requires a bit more time and effort. But the come-hither temptation of the raisin berry shade might be enough for me to go over to the lipstick side, at least for a visit.

Dropping $120 (not including S/H if you order online) on Bobbi's Nude Collection to achieve a natural look might be a bit much, but luckily there are plenty of products at your local drugstore to mimic the barely-there look for less.

Color-matching foundation, lipgloss, mascara AND eyeshadow from Revlon's Beyond Natural collection will run you less than $40.

Here's a sampling of other products that will help get that "you, but better" look:

Do you go barely-there with your makeup or is it just too blah?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Temptation, Thy Name Is Lorac Gift With Purchase!

Hey, makeup addicts!

Feeling blah? Going through new product withdrawal?

You deserve a little beauty pick-me-up.

From now through Sunday, August 15th, get a full-size eye shadow trio in Bronzed Bombshell, a totally cute cosmetics bag AND free shipping with you spend $50 bucks or more at Sweet!

If that's not enough to send you into spasms of glittery bliss, unleash your inner drag queen with a Crayola palette of viva Las Vegas golds, envy-inducing greens and passionate plums, load up on lip glosses, foundation and eye shadow -- you know, all the essentials -- in Lorac's "VIP discount" section. Stock up on faves or venture into new beauty territory for up to 50% off. Prices range from $4.99 to $17.50.

Check out some of the best beauty buys:
Croc Mocktail Collection, $7.50 (was $25) - six flavored mini lip glosses in wearable shades from go-with-anything beige-y brown with shimmer to pout-a-porter reds and pinks. Perfectly portable for a long weekend or the nightmare of getting through airport security.

Glam Rocks Loose Eyeshadow, $8 (was $16) - add glitz and glamour to your lids in glided shades that are as posh as the precious metal for a pauper's price. Available in shimmery gold, copper and pearl.

Get even more bang for your bucks, and all over color, with the Snake Charmer eye palette ($17.50, was $35). It comes with four eye-catching shades and a blush in exotic, warm shimmery earth tones that will easily take you from day to night.

If you're feeling more bold, pick the Pink Python (heehee, my inner adolescent couldn't help but giggle at the name!), shimmery neutrals with a hint of turquoise for eyes, and a pop of pink sheen on the cheeks.

What are you waiting for? Go! Get shopping before this glamour girl leaves you bare-faced and empty-handed!