"Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, cuz we were born this way…!" Lady Gaga

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dolce Vita - DEAL!

Dolce Vita Marcus Black Vintage Milled Leather Sandal
I couldn't resist the urge to tell you about a great deal I snagged yesterday at my local Lord & Taylor department store on the above shoes.  After receiving an email from Lord & Taylor that is was the final day they were offering an additional 25% off their already reduced clearance items, I decided to take a quick trip over to see if anything was worth while. 

To my surprise, these Dolce Vita strappy, rock-star style sandals with large grommets and buckle details were on the clearance rack and marked 50% off the clearance price (which were already marked down by $30).  On top of that, I was able to use my 25% coupon too.  The final price:  An AMAZING, ASTOUNDING  $26.24!

 The icing on the cake is that these shoes are currently going for $103 on shoes.com and similar sites.  I LOVE when I grab a great deal.  

These babies are going with me to South Beach next week!!

If you live near a Lord & Taylor or can access them online, they are still offering clearance items with a current coupon of an additional 20% off.  Might be worth it to check it out.  

Anyone else ever grab a great item on clearance too?


Monday, February 7, 2011

Shoe Ponderings

On my most recent trip to the supermarket, this gorgeous magazine cover stood out to me and in my shopping cart it went.  What was the appeal?  Was it the ever-stunning Marisa Miller on the cover?  Was it her fresh, natural-looking, albeit glowy makeup look?  Was it the fact that spring/summer is right around the corner and I should read every single article in SHAPE with meticulous attention to detail?
Nope, nada, nil.
Glance down past her exquisite hair, her barely there crochet dress, and her amazing body.  Now look at her feet.  Those are some killer heels!  They are the perfect patent leather spring shade; complete with platform front, 5" heel, and girlie buckle details.  They scream ME all over them!
After racing home to rip open the magazine to the Cover Look section, I learned the shoes are from Casadei.  
Casadei Tiered Buckle Bootie
A bit of online research later, I learn the shoes are priced at $720 and are available at Nieman Marcus along with other high-end retailers.  *SIGH*.  *DOUBLE SIGH*.  I guess I won't be racing to purchase them any time soon as they are not in the budget for now. 
I can look at it in the positive though, they are still in my home...not in the traditional hanging in my shoe closet sort of way...but in the I will look at this magazine cover on my nightstand daily sort of way.  

Now, perhaps I should get my shoe fix in with these instead.  I saw these Badgley Mischka beauties at Lord & Taylor on sale for less than $150...
Badgley Mischka Kiss Kiss (smoke glitter)
I bet they would look great with sun-kissed legs and feet. 

Has anyone else ever purchased magazines simply for the shoes on the cover??

Have a fantastic week!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: Clarisonic Mia - Sonic Skin Cleansing

To sum up this review in a word, the Clarisonic Mia is...BRILLIANT.  Having said that, please read on for a more comprehensive review.

I received the Mia as a gift at Christmas from my dad.  He purchased it at Sephora for $149.

  The set features  
- Clarisonic Mia One Speed Brush
- International pLink™ charger for worldwide use
- Sensitive Brush Head 
- 1.0 oz Gentle Hydro Cleanser

Here's what the company claims:

The sonic frequency moves Clarisonic's soft, gentle brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second, thoroughly clearing pores and skin surface.

Here are some of the benefits this revolutionary skincare tool delivers:
- Removes makeup six times better than traditional methods.
- Clears pores and reduces the appearance of pore size.
- Cleanses so thoroughly that skincare products absorb better.
- Creates noticeably healthier looking skin.

 My Review:

After receiving the gift on December 25th, I literally ran home from my dad's house to plug in the charger as I could not wait to get started.  The pLink charger magnetically attaches to the handle.  Prior to your initial use, the  directions instruct you to charge the Mia handle for 24 hours.  After this, the unit maintains a charge for 20 minutes of use.

After what seemed to be a very long 24 hours (yes, I was that excited to begin), I followed the manual's instructions and moved the brush along my face in small circular motions.  The Mia will automatically shut off after one minute.  The guidlines suggest you use the Mia on the following area:
Forehead- 20 seconds
Cheek-10 seconds each
Nose/Chin- 20 seconds

My Skin Type:
Oily year-round (particularly in the T-Zone)
Occasional hormonal breakouts
Large Pores on my cheeks

Initial Thoughts:
My face felt smooth after the first use.  I enjoyed the sensation of the brush heads gently massaging my skin.  However, I was quite expecting my cheeks to be glowing pink, but that didn't happen.  Initially, this disappointed me.  Perhaps because I regularly exfoliate and/or utilize an at-home micro-dermabrasion cream, I thought the Mia might not work for me.  Was it conceivable that I needed the regular brush head as opposed to the sensitive brush head the unit came with?  Hence, that night, I pushed and pressed the Mia into my face as I cleansed.  The next morning I woke to several tiny broken capillaries on my cheeks.  Lesson learned, I no longer pressed the brush into my skin, but rather allowed the unit to gently glide over my face (as the manual states).
After One Week of Usage (2x daily):
 Lo and behold, my skin was already starting to look fabulous.  My skin-tone was more even in its appearance.  My pores appeared tighter and less visible.  My skin seemed to be less oily overall.

After One Month of Continual Usage (mainly 2x daily):
It amazes me how a company that didn't make sweeping grandiose claims about its product, produced a product that gives me MAGNIFICENT results.  Overall, here are the benefits my skin has received from using the Mia:

  • My skin is bright and even-toned
  • My skin is much less oily (as I matter of fact, I might be so bold to now say that I have NORMAL skin as opposed to oily)
  • My pores appear minimized
  • My skin is soft and silky smooth in texture 
  • Past scarring from old pimples has  diminished greatly
  • Much less of a need for foundation and/or concealer- as a matter of fact, I prefer to now use a foundation with light coverage to allow my skin to shine through
  • My skin care products seem to be working better.  I adore using my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair at night right after cleansing for glowy, fresh skin the next morning. 
  • *Greatly minimized a scar on the back of my hand (see reference below under tips/tricks)

  • The only real downside here is the affordability factor.  I suggest searching the internet for the best deal.  There are much cheaper alternatives than Sephora. Also, when speaking about the price, it should be noted that the company recommends replacing the brush head every 3-4 months.
  • On another note, I did notice that using the Mia 2x a day was making my skin the slightest bit dry (I am not even sure how that's possible considering how oily I am).  However, I now alternate days  where I use the Mia 1x a day one day, and then 2x a day the next.  This has given me perfect results.

  • I use my Mia in the shower several times a week (the unit is waterproof and safe to use in the shower) to give my neck and decolletage a proper exfoliation.   When I apply my body moisturizer directly after, that area feels like silk.
  • I scrub my lips with the Mia 1x a day.  They are plump and pouty and soft.  I use a lip balm immediately thereafter.
  • *I use the Mia on the back of my hands 1x a day.  I mainly started doing this because I have a scar on the back of my hand that I was hoping to lighten the appearance of.  Sure enough, not only has the unit done that, it also makes my hands appear more youthful and has certainly minimized the pores there too.   
  • While I haven't done so yet, I would like to purchase one for my children.  I have two little boys and they hate washing their face- I think this would make it fun for them (considering they absolutely love to brush their teeth since they got their Spin brushes).  Perhaps it would be good for your children too (of course with the sensitive brush head).

I wanted to mention that I use the Mia with Dr. Ohhira's Probiotic Soap (occasionally I will use it with other products like the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion cream).   I have yet to use the cleanser the unit came with as I have read splotchy reviews on it.

Overall, I could not be more impressed with my Clarisonic Mia.  If you have been on the fence about trying it, I hope this review has provided you with some insight. 
On another note, I do hide my Mia every night from my husband.  He loves to peruse my products and often dips his hands into my eye creams, moisturizers, and even self-tanner!  He has had his eyes on this little gem for some time.- maybe I'll splurge and get him one for his birthday.  

I would love to hear from you if you have used the Mia or are thinking of getting one.  Please share your thoughts.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Award Time!

Recently, I have received this great award from the following FABULOUS bloggers:  Rinz, Jo, Snarky P, and Heather.  Thanks so much to each of you! 

1. Thank the person who gave you the award
2.  List 7 things about yourself
3.  Name the blogs you would like to award

7 Things About Me:  

1.  My husband and I met at Bloomingdale's (of all places!) 12 years ago.  It was my first day on the job working as a counter manager in cosmetics and I was looking for a bathroom.  He was working in luggage at the time and said "Hi, are you lost?" and the rest is history.

2.   I am addicted to Pawn... "Pawn Stars" that is... on The History Channel!!  Great Show!

3.  I like my oatmeal LUMPY...no really, I do!

4.  When I was younger, I danced on a show called "Dance Party USA".  I had an absolute blast!  Kelly Ripa was on the show too at the time (she was 16 and adorable with very long and curly hair).

5.  I have loved Jon Bon Jovi since I am in 5th grade!  I still think of what I would say to him if, um, rather, when I meet him. 

6.  While this is in my profile info, I thought I would share it again since this is one of the most fun, challenging, and rewarding things I have ever done: I hosted and produced a Game Show at my former job.  Exhilarating! 

7I have a teensy, weensy, beensy shoe obsession!

I now pass this on to the following amazingly beautiful and talented bloggers:

Kate at KatieGene

Enjoy the upcoming weekend everyone!  Clarisonic Mia review to be posted shortly!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Bling in the New Year" Giveaway - WINNER is....

This giveaway proved to be a load of fun.  I look forward to doing more in the future.  Many of the resolutions were very inspirational to read!

After tallying all of the entries, I used Random.org to generate a winner.  

And the winner is....(drum-roll please).....

Congrats to you!  I hope you enjoy all of the items.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Review: Guerlain Le 2 Volumumizing Mascara

Imagine my excitement when I found this mascara...being the mascara addict that I am...I was simply overjoyed at the prospects of what this sleek black wand had to offer.

Here's what the company claims:

Guerlain Le 2 Volumizing Mascara 
"An innovative, two-brush mascara that contains polymers instead of traditional waxes for a dramatic, intense result." 
What it does: 
"Outrageous volume, dramatic curl! Le 2 de Guerlain Volumizing Mascara, the most innovative two-brush mascara on the market, has two polymers that replace traditional waxes for a dramatic, intense result. The first polymer has spherical balls which wrap lashes for amazing volume and the second polymer allows for maximum coverage without smudging or clumping. In addition, the exclusive main brush has hollow fibers for a multi-dimensional volume effect and the second foam-tipped wand acts as a "Lash Gloss", coating lashes in rich color and creating captivatingly curled lashes." 

Here's a view of the two different brushes at either end:
Brush #1

Brush #2
Cost$36 USD

Application method (according to box directions):
Step 1:  Use this brush for generous volume and extravagant curve
Step 2:  Use this brush for a vinyl effect lacquer to fix and intensify

My thoughts:  I have used this mascara for one solid week each day.  To say that I am utterly disappointed would be a huge understatement.  This mascara delivers lackluster results on my lashes.  Curl?  Outrageous volume?  No way, not here!

Having tried numerous methods to apply it (i.e. juxtaposing steps 1 and 2,  using a lash primer-not using a lash primer, curling my lashes first-not curling my lashes first, etc, etc), none of them delivered results that justified the $36 price tag.  

  • Delivers great length to my lashes.  Ironically, this product was designed for volume.
  • Smell- Not as glamorous to me as YSL's rose fragrance that emanates from the tube,  this mascara does deliver a soft smell (reminiscent of baby powder).  I realize this may not be a pro for some. 
  • Did not smudge or flake at all during wear.
  • Easy to remove at night.
  • The price!  At $36, I believed my lashes were going to look about as good as it gets (I imagined my fluttery, come-hither doll lashes were going to bring my husband to his knees...NOT!)
  • My lashes looked clumpy each time I used it.
  • Non-existent volume.
  • Brush #2 is a complete farce (no vinyl effect, no intensity- it seems to do nothing and is really more of a marketing gimmick).
  • Overall results.  For comparison, I am including a photo of my lashes using L'Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black (with Shiseido Nourishing Lash Base underneath- for a complete review of these two together, read HERE) and the Guerlain Le 2 Volumizing (with Shiseido Nourishing Lash Base underneath). 

Using L'Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black

Using Guerlain Le 2 Volumizing Mascara
The proof is in the photos, my $4.99 L'Oreal Mascara outperformed my $36 Guerlain mascara by a mile (and then some).  
I know mascara is such a personal thing, but I certainly don't recommend this one at all.  

Have you tried this mascara?  If so, I would love to know your thoughts.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holiday Favorites!

While this post may be a touch late, I would like to share some of my favorite pieces I received for Christmas. 

We had a wonderful holiday in my home and I am so grateful for it.  The above photo highlights some of the wonderful gifts that I received. 

1.  Clarisonic Mia:  While a review on it at this point would be a bit premature since I have only been using it a week straight; I can tell you that at this point I am beyond THRILLED with the results.  My skin-tone is even and bright since I began using it.  More details to come later.

2.  Chandelier Earrings:  My husband knows me well- the sparklier the earring, the happier the wife ;)  He picked these out at a little boutique and I LOVE them.  Here's a closeup shot:

3.  Victoria's Secret goodies:  I received a great pair of sparkly tank style pjs from my mom and some beautiful lingerie from my husband.  

4.  Michael Kors Parker Bootie in Coffee:  My husband picked these out since he thought I had enough tall boots at home (I gently let him know that I can never have enough tall boots at home-lol).  With that being said, these boots look adorable on and the look is reminiscent of a cute snow-bunny.  The gold studs detailing the boot are quite similar to the ShoeDazzle tall boots I own in the style called Dallas.  They are featured in this post HERE

5.  Coach Filomena Vachetta Heels:  Seriously, I am in love with this shoe.  First, they are beyond comfortable.  Second, and more importantly, they look amazing on.  To me, they are both sophisticated AND sexy.  I have paired these with a skinny jean, but I think they would look equally as lovely with a pencil skirt.  Here's a closer look:

6.  Gucci Guily Fragrance:  I am smitten with this fragrance.  The dry down is so soft and alluring.  My husband enjoys this fragrance on me too.  It reminds me a touch of my Dolce and Gabbana The One fragrance which is absolutely my go-to scent.

7.  Gift Certificate for Ballroom Dancing Lessons!:  My all-time favorite show is Dancing with the Stars.  I have wanted to take ballroom lessons for the past few years to no avail.  I mentioned to my mother that a ballroom dancing studio opened up relatively close to my home.  Amazingly enough, she called up and ordered a gift certificate for both my husband and I.  I am so thrilled!!  Argentine Tango- here I come!

I am hoping everyone is enjoying all of their holiday goodies.  By the way, I am really inspired by everyone's entries to my giveaway- the resolutions have been thought provoking and fun to read!