Category Archives: Uncategorized

Two Quickies for the Price of One!

I’m updating a little slow this week. The truth is most of my brain power is going to mulling over the series finale of Lost. (Even fashionistas can be huge nerds.) But don’t forget me! I’m still working on keeping you up to date with fashion and beauty fun and news!

For today, here’s a couple of quick shots for you:

Allure Magazine has published its 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards. Every year the magazine surveys readers for their favorite drugstore and designer products and compiles a list of the best. So if you want to know what works for real people instead of what beauty editors want you to buy, this is the list for you.

ModCloth is a popular site for shoppers who want a unique look with vintage flair. Their prices can be a bit high, so I usually stick to checking out what’s on sale. I got a great pair of black and white tweed t-strap heels there that get compliments every time I wear them! I haven’t tried their clothes, but their accessories and shoes are adorable and you can get some great deals when they have a sale.

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Quickie: Spring’s Hot Makeup Shades

Allure Magazine has a rundown of the 6 best makeup shades for spring.

Probably the least shocking news is that red lips are in. (Is this news anymore? Are red lips ever out?) Also big for spring: khaki green eye shadow, metallic purple eye shadow and liner, and flushed pink cheeks and lips. Not necessarily all at the same time.

What I love about makeup is that it’s a quick, fun, and commitment-free way to give your look a little punch. You can freshen your face by switching your normal neutral eyeliner for a purple without having to embrace Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. The nice thing about Allure’s list is that the six shades their featuring can be made to work on just about any skin tone or face. There’s nothing on their list that’s so crazy you can’t give it a try.

Wash before wearing!

This one is not for the faint of heart or obsessive compulsive.

A while back the Today show performed a little shopping experiment:

The news team removed price tags and hygienic strips from panties, stained them with baby oil, and marked tags with two black dots for identification purposes.

Wouldn’t you love to be the intern assigned that job? Anyway, they then returned the panties to several retailers in the metro New York area and then went back to the store later to find that the untagged, soiled panties had been returned to the sales floor.

Gross.

They went back for a post-exposé check and found that all the stores they had busted had changed their dirty undies – or at least stopped selling them. That’s the good news. The bad news is they caught new retailers selling soiled panties and swimsuits this time around.

The full story and list of stores is at the link, but the point is always wash before you wear when you buy swimwear or lingerie no matter what the corporate office says their policy is. There’s always the chance that some lazy employee didn’t correctly process used garments.

An example from my retail experience:

I worked for a popular mall store that sells prank gift items for a year in college. During one of my first shifts I learned that one of our assistant managers had been taking returns on “personal massagers” and returning them to the sales floor. Nauseated, I asked him if he did this a lot and wound up spending the rest of that shift going through the entire product shelf looking for open packages to drop in the damaged merchandise bin. (That was not my favorite job and I should state for the record that I’m pretty sure re-selling the used items in question was not the company norm.)

I also worked for a popular clothing retailer a few years ago, however, and we had a strict policy not to re-sell any clothing that had been worn by the customer. Swimwear, intimates, winter coats, it didn’t matter. If it was used, it got sent back to corporate. (That was a much better job.)

But like I said, all it takes is one lazy employee to give you some free bacteria with your purchase. Personally I tend not to buy intimates or swimwear without a tag or hygienic strip, but it’s always a good idea to wash those items before you wear them anyway. Even if the item isn’t used, you never know if you’re getting a formaldehyde bra like Victoria’s Secret was apparently selling a few years back.

Quickie: Cover Girl’s color match

Looking to shave some costs off your makeup budget? Check out Cover Girl’s website where you can compare your favorite designer shades to the CG product line and look for a match.

The selection is a little limited – for instance, the only Nars products you can match are lip glosses. But every penny counts when you’re on a budget. If you can get a $7 Cover Girl gloss instead of a $24 Nars gloss, why not? With the difference you can get a Liberty of London dress on sale at Target!

On Target: Liberty of London on Sale

Target has become the new place to be for big-name designers looking for a budget audience. Most of these collections (like the current Zac Posen for Target line) are geared toward younger shoppers. They’re made in juniors’ sizes and tend to feature sky-high hemlines and young looks. (I remain a tad bitter that Isaac Mizrahi left Target for Liz Claiborne since his line for Target was filled with gorgeous clothes that were beautifully fitted for women, but I digress…)

What’s great about these lines is that they give the average consumer a chance to own some designer looks. But you have to be careful: not all the prices are actually very budget-conscious, and some of the fabrics that have been used for capsule collections look and feel very cheap in person. (Jean-Paul Gaultier, I’m looking at you.) The long and short of it is that you’re better off checking out any designer collection in-store instead of buying online. You can find some real treasures sometimes.

With that in mind I hit my local Target this weekend to check out the Zac Posen line (which didn’t wow me) and was pleasantly surprised to find the Liberty of London capsule collection on clearance. This sale seems to be in-store only since items on Target.com are still listed at their full prices, so if you see anything you like hit the stores!

I picked up this cute halter-top dress for $14.98:

The LoL line features home decor, women’s and children’s clothes, swimwear, and even a bicycle in one of LoL’s signature bright prints. Oh yes, I said prints. The LoL brand is known for their colorful and flamboyant prints. I love this, but it’s not for everybody.

One word of advice: if you’re shopping the dresses in this collection, try going a size down. They run on the large side. I usually wear around a size 10 or 12, and the size 12 dresses I tried on were swimming on me. (Which actually wound up being handy, since I could only afford to buy one thing, and if all the adorable dresses I tried on had fit me I would have had a tough decision on my hands.)

The selection was already pretty limited when I shopped on Friday, so if you see anything online that you love you’ll want to hit your local Target ASAP to get the sale price.

Quickie: The Beauty Brains

The Beauty Brains is a blog written by a group of cosmetic chemists who let you behind the curtain of the beauty industry to reveal what really works (and why) and what’s a load of bunk. Their website has a forum where readers can exchange ideas and ask questions, and they update daily with posts that can help you shop smarter when choosing beauty products.

Yesterday’s feature on TBB: Seven ways you waste money buying beauty products.

The “simple” math of fashion and attraction

Ladies, are you trying to attract a man? (Of course you are!) Do you go out to clubs every night just hoping someone will ask you dance, but instead you go and you stand there alone like you’re living inside a Smiths song? Well fret no more, for England’s Telegraph has solved your man-hunting woes once and for all!

And the answer is this: you’re not showing the right amount of skin:

Using tape recorders hidden in their handbags, the researchers took note of what female clubbers were wearing and how many times they were approached by men asking them to dance.

For the purposes of the study, each arm accounted for 10 per cent of the body, each leg for 15 per cent and the torso for 50 per cent.

Women who revealed around 40 per cent of their skin attracted twice as many men as those who covered up.

However, those who exposed any more than this also fared worse. Experts believe that showing too much flesh puts men off because it suggests they might be unfaithful.

It’s so simple! All you have to do is show exactly 40% of your body’s skin. Too little and men will think you’re a prude; too much and men will think you’re a tramp. And what’s really nice is that this super simplification of human attraction isn’t insulting or patronizing at all.

It does raise a few questions, though. For instance, does my face count? Is this like the SATs where I’ll get 200 free points just for not leaving the house in a ski mask every day? And given that the study was performed in England it seems only fair to ask what women are expected to do in the winter. Should we just suck it up and get hypothermia or expect men to ignore us if we choose to avoid frostbite? Do men find amputated limbs sexy as long as their uncovered? A truly thorough study would have addressed these things. After all, we women need this information so that we can achieve our true purpose for existing: attracting a man!

Obviously we need more information. For that, I direct you to this clip from The House Bunny. At 47 seconds in there’s a primer on “skimplifying” which I think is very helpful for just this sort of thing. Except of course for the part about revealing your torso, because that will make men think you’re going to cheat on them. So just ignore that part.