"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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Surprisingly Fantastic Jewelry at Ann Taylor LOFT

Ann Taylor LOFT bracelet

On occasion, I will pop into Ann Taylor LOFT to peruse their latest fashion offerings.  While the store does not particularly define my style, I have found several key wardrobe pieces there that I have enjoyed.  Additionally, they have good sales pretty frequently that I sometimes take advantage of (Hello $30 denim days). 

Having said that, it completely took me by surprise when I wandered over to their jewelry/accessories display to find that I was semi-entranced by several pieces.  The real gem of the situation (pun intended) was the fact that most of the merchandise was marked down by 50%.  I purchased the above bracelet for $12 (originally marked $24).  The photo really doesn't do it justice as the piece is weighty (in other words...does not feel like it cost only $12) and the stones have a great sparkle.  Personally, I think it can be dressed up or down.

Heck, I don't even bat an eyelash when I spend $5 on a latte.  So, to spend $12 on a cute piece of costume jewelry that I hope to wear again and again seems worth it to me.

Has anyone else ever had a great jewelry score at the LOFT??

Friday, September 24, 2010

Waiting to be Dazzled by ShoeDazzle

ShoeDazzle boot in Anise

If you haven't guessed so far- I AM A SHOE-ADDICT (click here and here to see my other shoe posts).  So, it makes complete and utter sense that I would join the site Shoedazzle.com, right?  Of course it does!

For those not familiar with the site, Shoedazzle is a subscription based shoe shopping site headed up by Kim Kardashian.  The site offers you shoe selections on a monthly basis placed into your own personalized "showroom".  The stylists determine your selections via an online survey you take at the beginning of your membership.  Essentially, you pick and choose photos of shoes and designer styles that most appeal to you.  Then, each month you are given a choice of shoes to pick from each for $39.95 (which includes your shipping and handling).  The site offers handbags, jewelry, and accessories to choose from too.  Don't like any selections presented to you that particular month?  Simply, press the button to "request alternate styles" and different selections will be delivered to your showroom in a couple of days.  Still not happy?  Press the "skip this month" button by the 5th of a particular month.  You are not obligated to purchase each month.

Practically drooling at the thought of a fantastic new pair of shoes each month hand-picked by a stylist, I joined.  In my first "showroom", I didn't care for any of the styles.  I was a bit disappointed in this and requested an "alternate selection."  About two days later, my new "showroom" was ready to view.  I was much happier with this new selection presented to me.  I chose the faux suede bow boot pictured above called Anise.

Long story short, I received an email from the company two days later stating that there was going to be a delay in my shipment (free delivery is supposed to arrive in 3 to 5 business days).  URGH!  Okay, I didn't like my first round of shoes and now this??  We were not off to a good start.  Finally, about a week and a half later my boots arrived.  I tore into the box and put these babies on.  Let me just say that they look cute enough but are terribly uncomfortable.  The inside arch feels awkward when I walk and the bottom sole doesn't feel like it was made with the best quality.  However, they are kind of adorable!  I have not decided yet if I am going to return them or not (returns are accepted for a credit towards another month).

Just as soon as I received these in the mail, my next month's showroom was ready for me to view.  Well, my mouth almost hit the floor at a pair of tall brown studded faux leather boots called Dallas.  LOVE!!!  I quickly ordered these babies right up.  And, guess what?  They shipped already.  I almost don't even care if they are uncomfortable, they are just so gorgeous!!  Perhaps now I will be dazzled!
ShoeDazzle boots in Dallas

What is your experience with ShoeDazzle?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nordstrom Rack Love

Michael Kors Bella du Mod and Preview International Zebra Print

It amazes me how finding a great pair of shoes (or two) at a deeply discounted price can somehow transform a day into glittery, shimmery happiness.  

Occasionally I venture into my local Nordstrom Rack, not searching for anything in particular; just sort of browsing if you will.  Very often, I will find a phenomenal pair of heels and want to take them home immediately.  With every fiber of my being, every restraint possible, I sometimes put them down in the hopes that I will find them again at a later date and at a much discounted price.  Mind you, this is usually not the case.  If you know anything about stores like the Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls; you know that if you find something you like at all, you better pick it up and run to the register as if your pants were on fire because the likelihood of you finding it again is slim to none. 

Well, I am happy to report that my most recent visit to the Nordstrom Rack was one filled with love and glee!  While meticulously searching the shoe racks from top to bottom, I stumbled upon gold!   Do you recall in my earlier post titled:  "Superfluous Shoes- Bring 'Em On!" (if not, click here) that I was still searching for the perfect zebra-print stiletto that I thought was lost forever??  Well, I found them on this visit at the very bottom of the rack!  One pair left, in my size, and 35% off the original listed price!!!!  The smile on my face couldn't get any wider or brighter the rest of the day.  It was as if the Sparkle Fairy came down from Glitter Heaven and waved her bejeweled wand at me!  

To make matters even sweeter, I also found a  fantastic pair of rock-star style black leather stilettos from Michael Kors- also deeply discounted.  Score!!  These will be perfect as they have the slightest hint of a platform with a bit of a rugged bottom and gorgeous silver details.  

Well, as far as I am concerned, I am at peace and tranquility for the moment- until of course, my next shoe obsession comes along!  

Have you ever had a great score at Nordies Rack?

Friday, September 17, 2010

NYX Smokey Look = Smokin' Hot!

Wearing NYX Smokey Look Lip Gloss over MAC Peachstock Lipstick

There is nothing that thrills me more than finding a great lip gloss at a great price (okay, maybe I can think of a few things that excite me more- but this is right up there baby)!  I stumbled upon NYX Smokey Look Lip Gloss by complete serendipity.  As I was searching my local Harmon for my necessary arsenal of shampoo, deodorant, etc.,  this little gem caught my eye.  Of course, immediately after purchasing it (prior to even starting the ignition in my car), I lovingly applied the gloss.  Love, I tell you!!

This gloss is a great peachy nude with the smallest hint of shimmer.  I know I've hit the jackpot when my husband even tells me that my lips look great!  Today, I paired it with MAC Peachstock lipstick and I love the result. 

Have you tried NXY Smokey Look yet and if so, do you love the result as much as I do??

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Models, Models Everywhere!!

(photo credit:  ecouterre.com)
What a scene in NYC this past Friday night, Sept. 10, 2010!  My husband and I have a house guest staying with us from Michigan and we thought we would show him some hot-spots and city treats.  Well, this week is Fashion Week in NYC and the treats didn't come in the form of fabulous food or drinks, but rather eye candy galore!  Everywhere you turned models sashayed on by drenched in amazing couture and splendid stilettos.  What an inspiration!

Although it took me almost an hour to hail a taxi from Grand Central Station to get to the West Village (urgh...), I happily partook in mentally memorizing all of the fashion pieces I will dream about.

Madame X - NYC
Upon arrival to the West Village, we went to a boudoir-style bar called Madame X.  The place is dark and sexy with crimson lighting and vintage style couches.  The drinks are the real star here.  I had a superb drink called "Indecent Proposal" made of champagne and peach shnapps.  Yummy!

Models and Madame X- only in New York baby!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fast Forward to Fall: Black is Back Baby!!

OPI Black Onyx and Charlotte Russe Shoes
 There is something so magical about the Fall- it's my favorite season by far.  I can't get enough of the smells, the cool crisp air, wearing tights and tall black boots, and by far my favorite.........putting jet black nail-polish on my toes!  Ahhh, dark, vampy toes are so sensual and mysterious.

While it was a beautiful and warm day today in NYC, I couldn't resist the urge to paint my toes black- it is September after all!.  Gone is my bright pink pedi; OPI's Black Onyx now adorns my toes and will take is rightful home for fall. 

I've loved a dark pedi since Chanel's Vamp hit the scene.  I like all variations of black- black with purple undertones, black with glitter, black with a navy twist, etc- all so seductive if you ask me!!

What are some of your favorite fall beauty rituals??

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Flawless, Fresh and Beautiful: Lancome Teint Idole Fresh Wear

Wearing Lancome Teint Idole Fresh Wear in Bisque 9W

Who doesn't love perfect, flawless skin that illuminates with a healthy glow?  Ages of searching for a foundation that will do just that on my verrrry oily complexion has been quite the challenge.  I want my foundation to provide just the right canvas to even out my skin tone, minimize my pores, and look vibrant and healthy and allow my skin to show through.  Shouldn't be that impossible of a task, right?

Very often, oil-free foundations look like a mask on me- not the cutest look.  I have been disappointed time and again.  Either the coverage is way too heavy, the fragrance is so strong it almost knocks you out, or I look like a bona-fide oil slick in an hour or less. I have even gone so far as to eliminate foundation altogether in favor of  nice pressed powder prior to my makeup routine.  The problem with this?  I don't look polished after only a couple of hours- my makeup just seems to melt off my face.

I am happy to report, my search is over for the perfect foundation!  I discovered Lancome's Teint Idole Fresh Wear from a magazine ad.  Shortly after seeing it, I went straight to a Lancome counter to get a sample prior to purchasing it.  I was matched to shade Bisque 9W.  I tried it the very next day and was hooked!

Here's what I discovered:
  • Flawless looking coverage (for me coverage is light to medium which I love!)
  • My skin looked fresh and healthy (not really matte, more of a luminous matte)
  • My pores were greatly minimized (even without a primer)
  • My skin was relatively shine-free throughout the day and looked freshly applied even after hours and hours of wear (company claims 18 hours of fresh wear)
  • I feel glamorous when I wear it!!!!!!!!!!!
The foundation comes in a squeeze tube, which I like.  A little dot of it goes a long way.  The consistency is slightly runny and you need to work with it quickly because it dries so fast.  I paid $32 for it at the Lancome counter (pretty reasonable considering how remarkable I think it is).

If you are oily like me and crave a flawless, shine-free, fresh looking face- try Lancome's Teint Idole Fresh Wear.  Get a sample of it at the Lancome counter, or perhaps at your local Sephora if you want to try before you buy like I did.

I hope you love it as much as I do!