Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Macy's Online Beauty GWP's Going on Now!!!

Laura Mercier online only GWP at Macy's: 5 piece set with any $75 LM purchase. Cosmetic bag, mini lipstick, mini primer, mini face polish, deluxe almond coconut scrub.

Lancome GWP online only at Macy's: 5 piece set with any $50 Lancome purchase. Lipstick, Juicy Tube, Magnifique Parfum mini, Absolue Eye Cream, Absoluue Face Cream.

Philosophy online only GWP at Macy's: with any $75 Philosophy purchase receive a shower gel/bubble bath/shampoo in three scents, Amazing Grace, Inner Grace, and Pure Grace.

Online Makeup Freebies:)

Both of my loves, Sephora and Ulta, are having some additional fun freebies for online orders going on right now. At www.sephora.com, online only (quantities limited), they are offering a fragrance mini to and order placed by a Beauty Insider (you are a Beauty Insider, right???). CODE: SPRITZME. Your choices of fragrance are: Marc Jacobs Daisy, Dior J'adore, Bvlgari BLV Eau de Parfum II, and, last but not least, Clean Ultimate. We'll always take a free fragrance sample, right ladies??!!

Here's something really exciting from Ulta! Like I said a few posts ago, they just keep throwing freebies at us with an online purchase!!! In addition to all of the other freebies and goodies going on right now (!), you can receive a free full-size ULTA brand eye shadow with any $25 online purchase! It's getting cheaper and cheaper to get Mom tons of goodies!! Not sure if you get to choose your color but the one pictured is pretty enough.

Remember, Mother's Day is May 9th!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ULTA for Mother's Day!!

I used to be a Sephora snob but Ulta is really growing on me. As I realize more and more that I don't have unlimited funds to spend on beauty and skincare I really appreciate the ridiculous deals that Ulta seems to be having all the time!! Here's what's going on now:

- Free Shipping online for orders over $25, CODE 53558
- Buy one Get one free on all Ulta brand cosmetics, minerals, implements, and beauty tools
- $3.50 off any purchase of $10.00 or more, CODE 40002
- three free samples with every online order
- through May 9th, receive a free Hampton tote with any fragrance purchase of $30 or more (and really, none of us should be wearing fragrances that cost less than this...NO Brittany Spears people!)

So use those bargains and get your Mom something fabulous for Mother's Day, May 9th...DON'T FORGET!!

I know QVC says it all the time but if your Mom likes fragrances, Philosophy really does make some nice ones. I would assume that the Philosophy fragrances are included in the free tote promotion so why not get your Mom an Amazing Grace set, get the free tote, and load it up with buy one get one Ulta brand goodies. What about several nail polishes and every thing she would need for a mani/pedi? Toe separators, nail file, cuticle oil, clippers, foot soak, hand lotion...sounds like a sweet and thoughtful gift to me!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Savings, Savings, Savings!!!!!!

I am so excited because I saved uber cash at CVS today. I needed some Zyrtec (thank you pollen) and got the CVS brand for $12.99 with $5 Extra Care Bucks back. When that receipt printed out, in addition to my $5 ECB, I had $23.50 built up that print out...SCORE!!! So I did another transaction and bought some vitamins we needed. They were buy one get one free so I bought the value size of two different kinds, 2 free = 4 giant bottles of vitamins. When I combined all my extra care bucks with the buy one get one free, I ended up getting $54 worth of vitamins for $0.74. Yes, that's right, seventy-four cents. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank CVS for their generosity:)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sephora Skincare Challange

If you haven't figured it out, I am obsessed with great skin and I encourage all of you to be too! If we take care of our skin while we're younger (and we're always younger than someone!!) we will have better skin for longer and save money in the long run on all that expensive Botox and plastic surgery:)

Sephora is now having a Skincare Challenge that looks fun, plus you get some awesome freebies and, most importantly, a great skincare regimen will be custom fit for you! Here's how it works: 1) shop skincare, 2) receive one credit for every facial skincare item you buy, 3) get a featured reward product for every four credits you earn!! Scroll down from the link on the page to see the skincare consultation.

I'm going to do the consultation for myself, just for kicks:) 1) What is your skin type? Normal/Combination and Sensitive; 2) What are your skin concerns? I would like to clear up blemishes and even skin tone on my face. For my eyes I would like to brighten dark circles and reduce puffiness. Hmm, those are all the question they ask, not very thorough but let's see what they recommend for my regime.

Cleansers: Kate Sommerville Gentle Daily Wash (I don't know who that is so no), Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser (score, Kinerase is great, Courtney Cox told me so!), DDF Sensitive Skin Cleansing Gel (whatever, DDF is fine). Considering that all my recommendations were gentle formulas, and considering what I know about gentle formulas, that they contain few ingredients so they won't irritate skin, I think I'll stick to my CeraVe Cleanser. moving on...moisturizers: AAHHH!! we skipped daily exfoliation!!! Anyway, here are the recs for me: Kate Sommerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer (KS must be sponsoring this Skincare Challenge!!), and really a bunch of other moisturizers that don't look particularly interesting or helpful. Again, I'll stick with what I use everyday...Lancome Bienfait w/SPF. They do recommend daily sun protection, a must, but I am too lazy to have more steps than necessary so I'll just get that from my moisturizer thank you very much. They offer some skincare sets which would be a great way to go if you don't have a skincare regimen at all but I don't need that. Blemish treatments...check, although, daily exfoliation can usually take care of this if you just have occasional blemishes. My eye cream recs look good except none of them contain SPF which I always want in a day eye cream (I love Shiseido for this!!). A few of my eye recs are the Murad Lighten and Brighten Eye Treatment (I've enjoyed Murad before so would consider this) and the Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue (this s*** is $100 so it better be made of gold flakes and instantly make my entire face look just like Nicole Kidman).

Overall opinion of the skincare consultation...great if you do not have a skincare regime or are not happy with any of your current products. I always like to get ideas on new products that might be better than what I'm using but only asking two questions about my skin makes it very difficult to customize a regime particularly for me.

OK, now to the god stuff, the free reward. By the by, purchasing at least 3 skincare products there is basically no way you won't go over the $50 to get free shipping. Also, don't forget that you get three free tiny (crappy) samples with every online order. Also, remember that as you earn Beauty Insider Rewards Points you get nice, deluxe samples (not crappy). Wow, Sephora is giving me so much free stuff I haven't even gotten to the Skincare Challenge free reward yet!! OK, here it is. I don't know if people get different choices but here are mine: Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash 6.6 oz., Murad Active Radiance Serum, Korres Wild Rose 24 hour moisturizer SPF 6 (why bother with that SPF?), and Philosophy Hope in a Jar. I am liking these choices. I would choose the Philosophy. I have used Hope in a Jar and it's a great moisturizer and provides very gentle continuous exfoliation which is the key to it being awesome, I think. However, no SPF. That means an extra step for me and that means no go. Maybe at night though, I'll consider it.

To continue Sephora throwing free s*** at you (it's not really s***, it's actually tremendously fun and exciting stuff!!) when you order ANYTHING put in code 10FREE at checkout and receive a Skincare Challenge Sample Bag with 10 skincare samples. Another great way to try some different products without commitment!! The only requirement is that you be a Beauty Insider, which I think should be a prerequisite for reading my blog anyway.

Go order from Sephora now!! It's like they are paying you in free stuff to shop from them...LOVE IT!!!!!!! Thanks Sephora for making my Saturday, and my skin, a little brighter!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Best GWP's Going On Now

www.macys.com (online only) - Laura Mercier 5 piece gift with any $75 LM purchase

Belk and www.belk.com - Lancome GWP with any $32.50 Lancome purchase. This one is fun because you can choose between two sets of products for your gift, one focusing on skincare and the other on makeup! Which ever gift you choose you are walking away with 6 or 7 pieces...SCORE!

Nordstrom and www.nordstrom.com - interestingly, Lancome is having a gift at two stores at once. I would hypothesize that there are not Nordstrom and Belk in the same geographic region but that just my guess. With this gift too you get to choose between two gifts with any $35 Lancome purchase. IDEA: if you need two Lancome items in the price range, why not order one from Belk and one from Nordstrom....two different free gifts!! Also, if you spend $65 you also get a three piece travel brush set!

www.beauty.com - with any $40 Pop Beauty purchase you get a precious three drawer make-up cabinet with 12 eye shadows, 6 lip colors, and 4 cheek colors. Plus, the box is pink, I think we will all be getting this one:). In even better news from beauty.com, spend $100 and get an adorable train case filled with deluxe free samples and free shipping!!! I was going to be pissed when I figured this one out because I just spent a small fortune on Shiseido and the best I could do was order from Sephora for a few freebies. However, I also just figured out that beauty.com doesn't carry any of the products that I ordered to, whew!

www.ecosmeticworld.com - Clinique bonus with any $21.50 Clinique purchase. Pretty standard Clinique gift but it definitely beats going to your local counter and getting no extras:) ENDS MARCH 21. Also in the Clinique world, GWP at www.boscovs.com. This one is kind of cool in that is contains two bronzing items, yum. Again, if you need two Clinique items, order one from each place for twice the fun!! This is the same bonus that Dillard's is having right now...ending the 22nd.

Several of these are ending on the 21st or the 22nd so you better go on it!!

Even if you don't want all of the items in your free gift I have found that these pieces can serve as deal makers on Makeup Alley!

Smart(er) Makeup Shopping

In these difficult economic times (I had to use that phrase!) we all have to be smarter about our money. I've heard it said that cosmetics is one thing that is not hurt too badly during a recession but I beg to differ. Yes, people can go buy an item or two of prestige or what seems like only a few dollars but my hypothesis is that people instead go buy more items for the same amount of money at the drugstore (gasp!). I recently read on Yahoo in an article about saving money that a great way to do so is to use drugstore cosmetics. The article said that most of it is made in the same factories with the same ingredients as prestige brands, implying that it is the same thing. Well, here's a news flash for you, it's not! Let's take the example of Lancome and L'Oreal. Does the L'oreal own Lancome? Yes. Do they share product information? Yes Do they share certain common ingredients? Yes. Are you paying twice as much at the department store for Lancome when you could be getting the same thing at CVS for mere pennies? NO!

Here's why...drugstore brand makeup is much less pigmented meaning you need more of it to get the same-ish look. You're using more, no savings there plus, if you are using say, more eye shadow, it is more likely to crease and look nasty, so just don't do it. Secondly, re: skincare...yes, drugstore brands can claim this or that fancy sounding ingredient all they want but the fact is that it is cheaper because there is less of the active ingredient(s) in it. You really are paying for what you get. Just like with the eye shadow, you will have to use more to get the same-ish effect and, with skincare, it will take MUCH longer to see results and the results will, most likely, be more subtle than if you were paying for a prestige brand. I'm not going in to the $300 moisturizer v. the $70 prestige one, you can decide what you can afford yourself:)

Even though that section of the article was clearly hallucinatory, there was another suggestion that was great. I made it on here (kind of) months ago. Makeup swaps!!! The article I was reading suggested setting up a makeup swap with your friends to trade. But why trade with five or six people when you could trade with thousands of friends (read: complete strangers) on a site like www.makeupalley.com? I have been trading on MUA for several months now and it has been a blast. I really should add up the $ of everything I've swapped for but that just probably isn't going to happen:) Here are a few of the things I've gotten though (all for the price of postage - cheap - and while getting rid of crap I don't use or want): Brand new - Diorshow mascara, NARS lip glosses (3), Clinique Lip Pencil, Stila Lipglaze, Stila eyeshadow palette, Frederick Fekkai Smoothing Cream, Redken Overnight Treat, and Clarins Body Scrub; and slightly used (but I cleaned and sanitized the hell out of them): five or six fragrances I wanted to try, MAC lip pencils, Benefit blushes, Chanel lip liner, and Shiseido White Lucent Cream. And those are just the things I'm thinking of off the top of my head!! Try it!!

Another smart makeup shopping tip that I also think is fun is to remember that the best deal on your prestige cosmetics is usually not going to be at your local department store. Prestige brands rotate their GWP's across the country and higher end stores (Saks, Bergdorff Goodman) have nicer GWP's with more items worth more $ than lower end retailers (Belk). Considering this, most of the time, some national retailer is going to be having a GWP on the major prestige brands. If you are in the market for a Estee Lauder moisturizer, spend two minutes online and google "Estee Lauder free gift" or "Estee Lauder bonus." You'll quickly see which stores are having GWP's and what they are. If I used EL, which I don't, and saw that Neiman Marcus was having a GWP and my store wasn't, obviously it is a better deal for me to order my items from NM online. #1 I get the GWP, #2 since there isn't a NM in AL I get no tax, #3 most department store retailers have free shipping offers if you spend a certain amount going on almost all of the time and, if not, if you're getting out of tax you're probably doing better if at least not breaking even.

If you can't find a GWP, which I know is v. disappointing, most of the time, depending on how much you're spending, you will come out better shopping online at www.beauty.com, www.sephora.com, or www.ulta.com. All of these sites give free samples with every order and also have GWP-ish items for different brands almost all the time. Free shipping over $50 usually and, if there isn't a store in your state, you get no tax as well. So, if I want to buy the Benefit Laugh With Me LeeLee fragrance and the Smashbox blush in Sugarbomb (which it just so happens I do) and I can't find a GWP online, I am going to come out much better ordering those items from Sephora, where at least I will get three free samples (and add to my frequent spenders account that you can redeem for free products) than going to the local department store and picking them up.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Low (er) Carb Diet

This past week I have embarked on a lower carb diet (thanks Meagan!). I have previously done Atkin's and South Beach hardcore and lost tons of weight and thought they were so much easier than Weight Watcher's (I don't have time for all that counting mess!). FYI...I have been continuously thinking about my weight for the last, um, at least two decades, so this is not some new thought process going on here.

While having lunch with a friend she was mentioning another friend who did low carb 6 days a week then chose one day to eat whatever the crap they wanted. This really clicked with me and reminded me how well low carb eating had done for me in the past so I got right on it. For those of you familiar, I am doing a version (my own) of South Beach Phase 2. I can't do that hard core stuff anymore, it's frankly a giant pain in my a**. I hear that over time the 7th day binge subsides but today it's going strong and the three delicious carb-laden muffins I ate in under 2 minutes were ever so satisfying!!!

I'll update as this process goes on and is a resounding, overwhelming success!!! Hmmm, that's strange, where did the other half of that cake go?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

J. Crew Online Knits Sale

Three days only, online only...J Crew fabulous knits sale!! 20% off all knits and tees.

Not anything too exciting but a few cute things with some well-placed ruffles. Some great deals on basic tees and tanks starting at $14.40. Loving that knit dresses and leggings are included too, thanks J Crew!

Good way to get a jump start on some summer looks. I might get a few of these and wear them under sweaters and cardigans just as a reminder that it will get warmer...eventually.

Disclaimer: I need to put it out there that I can not support the shorts that some of these tops are pictured with. Little known fact that shorts were invented by the Devil and it is impossible for them to look good on anyone. Disclaimer on my disclaimer: shorts have the possibility of not being insanely horrible if they are formal, made or satin, and worn with expensive stilettos.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Absolutely Fabulous New Products!!!

Oh how I love new makeup products, especially ones that I am fairly certain will revolutionize my entire existence like these three new wonders!!

#1. Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage; repackaging of All About Eyes (love it anyway) with a "unique cooling rollerball tip." I'm a little confused as to why this is unique considering that stupid drugstore brand Garnier has been advertising the crap out of their rollerball eye cream but I am nonetheless excited about this. First, I have touching my makeup and skincare, I am fairly certain that does nothing but spread germs so I like the concept of the rollerball. Secondly, it looks cool and I will try anything new just for the sake of it being new, let's be honest here.

#2. NARS Orgasm Illuminator; my favorite blush ever revamped into a liquid version highlighter! The company says it can be used "over the face" (don't understand that at all, wouldn't your entire face be glowing peachy/gold) or as a highlighter. I will definitely be using this as a cream/liquid blush along with my Urban Decay highlighter...with these two in combination, I might just have the perfect face!!

#3. Benefit Stay Don't Stray; best idea ever...not only is it an eyeshadow base but also a concealer base so you can slap this all the way around your eye and not have to worry about your shadow or under eye concealer running away during the day. Can't wait to try this...I think this is really very innovative (that's my excuse to spend $ on it...you might want to try that excuse, it seems to work well for me:)

Potero Luxery Shoes

If you've been reading my blog you know that I love, love, love www.proteroluxery.com. I am exploring their shoe selection currently and getting a little too excited about it all. If you want to shop here though, shop fast, one of each and, at the ridiculous discounts, they go fast.

Some of my favorites right now:

Christian Louboutin Bronze Metallic Leather Scissor Girl, platform base, almost a bootie type peep-toe, gorgeous color. I would wear these every day, including while vacuuming and cleaning toilets. $493/45% off!

Christian Louboutin Raspberry Patent Leather Slingbacks, platform base, classic/perfect slingbacks. $438/45% off!

Prada Brown Satin & Camel Leather Cap Toe Ballet Flats, I'm not usually a fan of Prada shoes (gasp!) but I adore these. #1, give me a satin ballet flat any day and a well constructed one at that, top it with a camel colored cap toe and bow and you have, pretty much, the perfect ballet flat...thank you Prada, I appreciate you:) $237/55% off!

Please remember everyone, just because it's expensive does not make it cute...shop wisely! (ex: everyone with the last name Olsen...money does not buy class people!) Also, just an aside, I really hope J.Lo hasn't trashed up Louboutins too much with that ridiculous song.

Williams Sonoma Home

I didn't even know this existed and I am so excited...I love it!!! WS already makes my kitchen very happy and now it can expand the happiness to the rest of the house, thanks WS!

Right now you can enter for a $500 gift card (but no one else do this because I want to win:). Maybe I shouldn't have told you that, hmmm. Anyway, I am drooling over several items at WS Home right now. They have some amazing bedding. Continuing my obsession with all things monogrammed, there are some beautiful monogrammed bedding sets. I just know that all of Carrie's and Big's sheets in their giant new apartment are monogrammed! Be still my heart, some are even on sale! My current favorite, the foliage bedding (monogramed of course) is currently on sale for $35-$225. I admit I do usually buy sheets in sets because they are so much cheaper but if I was wanting to blow a little money, these would definitely be in contention.

Considering that Pottery Barn and WS are the same company I do question the differences between their products. I suspect there aren't any differences but I don't care. More places to shop is always a good thing in my book!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lancome.com Sweet Free Gift

www.lancome-USA.com is having a free gift (hence my wildly creative title:). Free shipping and free gift with any purchase over $50. Enter code MICHELLEPHAN at checkout. The gift includes a beautiful lipstick in Pale Lip, Black Definicils Mascara (who can ever have enough of this?), Sun Bronzing Powder, and Bi-Facil Eye makeup remover (I can have more than enough of this considering it's in every gift and I don't use it). Oh how I love free gifts!

Some Lancome staples that I love are Definicils mascara in Black (TRY IT!) and the Cils Booster (white lash conditioner that you put on before mascara that makes such a difference, promise), Blush in Sparkling Pink Pool and Shimmer Mocha Havana, Effacernes Waterproof Undereye Concealer, and Juicy Tubes. I like their eye shadows too but not more than other prestige brands like Chanel and Dior. I hate, hate, hate most of their fragrances. They swear they are not "stronger" than other brands but I swear you put one spray of any of them on and you will not only have a headache within the hour but will be knocking people over with your overwhelming scent immediately upon application. I kind of like Miracle if I spray and walk and Hypnose doesn't make me want to puke but the others are disgusting.

So, if you are wanting some makeup happies, head on over to Lancome and pick up some fun along with a free gift:)

Burberry New Spring Accessories

These obviously fall under the category of fabulous (and in the category of things I can't afford, but this is my blog and in my own blog world I can afford anything!!). Amazing shoes, new handbags, and the most amazing cuffs I have ever seen (pink cuff!!!!). A little aside...I so enjoy the fact that Burberry loves pink as much as I do. I am going to include lots of pictures here because Burberry speaks louder than words, again, obviously. www.neimanmarcus.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cashmere Sale!!!

Neiman Marcus is having a Cashmere sale...hurrah!! Up to 70% off and free shipping with a purchase of $200 (code: FEBSHIP) This is one of the first end of season sales that I have seen and I'm so excited. Cashmere is timeless and classic (is that the same thing?) so I always think it's a good investment and, at up to 70% off, INVEST!! There are a lot of great basics available in this sale and some really cute trendy pieces that we all could still get tons of wear out of, what with all the snow this season:)

A few pieces I'm loving: Bow-front cashmere top (was $295, now $88), Scoop Neck Cardigan (was $400, now $120), Beaded Cashmere Shift Dress (was $335, now $195), Pleated Collar Cardigan (was $395, now $118)!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Latest Obsession

This changes on a minute to minute basis, but currently my obsession is with Hunter rain boots. I must own these, my feet need them...my feet must stay dry!! The gray ones make me drool. It's hard to put my finger on why I adore these so much, the adorable label is one reason and I love that they are taller than most wellies. They come to just below the knee/maybe upper mid-calf. They are just so beautiful! Now, I understand that some of you might think rain boots are stupid. Well, I think Uggs are stupid so we will just have to agree to disagree on this one. So that we're all clear, I am not advocating the short boot (gross) but the original. I don't want anyone to order the short boots, hate them, and think I told you to do it! I love, love, love the beige and also the gray. Let me paint you a picture: rainy day, Hunter rain boots in beige, khaki Burberry trench, Burberry novacheck scarf and umbrella to match. Maybe throw in a Tod's camel tote or, if we're really thinking big time here, an Hermes Birkin. Best rainy day ever!

Computers for Girls!!

Finally, our computers don't have to look like boy computers! Why has this taken so long to occur to computer makers? I think they have been ignoring a huge market...I would drop more money on a laptop that was cute than an ugly one...definitely. But I guess Steve Jobs and Bill Gates don't have much experience with the fairer sex.

Vivienne Tam and HP are launching a Mini notebook that is champagne colored with butterflies! Thank you! Carrie Bradshaw would definitely be getting one of these for writing "Sex and the City." Big would buy it for her, obviously. Tam is calling them a "digital clutch," how cute is that?! I want one just because its called that!! See, cute = money spent! Ready for even more cute?? The enter key has the Chinese symbol for double-happiness character on it...how peaceful and, also, the greatest idea of all time. Another version is deep plum color with gorgeous flowers, tummy! www.hpdirect.com, $599.

I have an idea, let's combine nail polish and laptops. Oh wait, that's not my idea, it's OPI and Dell's. I think it's a good one. It's no Vivienne Tam but still cutie. You can match your nail polish to your computer...seriously. The "Hong Kong" case colors are available on three Dell laptop models. Oh, how I love OPI color names! A few of the case colors are Red My Fortune Cookie (redish), Dim Sum Plum (purpleish), Hot and Spicy (yellowish), Jade is the New Black (greenish), Suzi Says Feng Shui (blueish), and Meet Me on the Star Ferry (pinkish). www.dell.com, starting at $364.

White House|Black Market...it's a house and a market...get it?!

While CUSP was an epic fail this week, White House|Black market once again comes through to brighten my day and redeem my faith and hope in fashion. They are having an "Artful Unbasics" promotion right now with nine pieces, all of which are amazing and I want them. Thanks WH|BM for not being offensive:)

The collection is black and white...go figure...and is simple and classic. A few ruffles here and there but very tiny and tasteful. I would wear it to work and not fear being thought an idiot for my frilly clothing. My favorites are the Micropleated Tweed Jacket, the Elysee Pencil Skirt, and the Sculpted Poplin Shirt.

Spring denim from $49.99 (SCORE!) and free shipping this week only on purchases over $125.

CUSP - Tribe & True - I Don't Think So

First off, I find the tag lines in this promotion offensive. I don't think it is OK to call anything "tribal" or "ethnic," sounds ignorant and insensitive to me. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

Anyway, CUSP has a new promotion called "Tribe & True: The Exotic New Trend." Also included in the promotion are the words "Tribal Fusion." PLEASE! I completely don't support this trend. Number one, every bit of it is fugly! Secondly, so many groups should be offended by this, it's hard to name them all but here are a few: Native Americans, traditional African tribes, Hippies (tie-dye and acid washed leggings...how did Lindsay Lohan get in on this?), and wild animals (zebra and leopard print everywhere...gross).

CUSP is brought to you by Neiman Marcus so I am especially confused as to why this sucks so bad considering my usual love of NM. Ladies, sometimes trends are not OK...this is one of those times.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Beauty Snob

If you haven't yet, head on over to www.beautysnob.com and sign up for their emails. It is always the highlight of my day when I see one in my inbox! Their fab emails are filled with articles that every "Cosmo girl" needs to know. (note: I hate Cosmo, I think it's trashy, but ten points to anyone who catches the reference) Some I don't give a crap about but most of them are a great way to hear about new products and add things to my www.makeupalley.com swap list!! Some of this weeks gems:

- Ferragamo launches new scent: Incanto Bloom; it was launched last week, will be sold exclusively at Bloomie's, and has the Farragamo bow on the cap!!!

- Bobbie Brown has a heart: Heart Truth Bronze Shimmer Brick Set, only 500 limited edition available at www.bobbiebrown.com, part of a partnership with the Heart Truth Campaign to raise awareness of Heart Disease in Women.

- I knew I loved Cartier: Les Heures de Parfum; Valentine's Gift Set in Cartier red leather box featuring four of their L'Heure scents, completely adorable and such a steal at only $1,725. OK, just kidding about that being a steal but you can get a single fragrance from the collection for $250 if that's more in your budget. (maybe someone will just buy the scent and give me the empty box:)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bergdorf Holds the Key to My Heart

If I had an iPhone and used this app they would also have my entire bank account! Bergdorf Goodman purveyor of all things expensive and wonderful, has a new app for your iPhone or iPhone Touch called "The Shoe Salon." Here's what they have to say about it:

Every day, Bergdorf Goodman will offer you 24-hour access to an exclusively selected, must-have style. Purchase shoes instantly, share finds with friends, and enjoy expedited delivery and complimentary returns.

For every app that is downloaded, Bergdorf will donate $5 to City Harvest, a charity that feeds over 250,000 New Yorkers. They are laying on the incentives to download this app think and, once it is downloaded, how will anyone be able to resist the must-have styles?!?! Don't fight it, download it and enjoy a new pair of shoes every day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

ULTA...Some Fun for Valentine's Day

I don't love Ulta as much as I love Sephora...I think having non-prestige cosmetics is a sell-out, but in the interest of supporting a store that does carry a limited selection of prestige I do shop there occasionally.; not to mention they have crazy good sales and specials going on almost all of the time.

From now until Valentine's Day when you order online you get a free makeup bag with eight free samples with a purchase over $35. Caveat: It's a stupid clear bag and the samples are those useless packets but they are free and, therefore, excite me very much. Also, every ULTA brand item is buy two get two free right now, I already cashed in on this one in store and bought four body scrubs @ $10/each for $20!

Suggestion: make a shopping bag filled with your favorite goodies, pick your free samples, throw in some extra stuff just because it's Valentine's Day :) and leave your computer strategically placed so your man will see it and purchase everything on your list for your gift! Thank you, I am a genius!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Found Out What's Wrong With My Face!

Hurrah!! I am just going with what the dermatologist said because I haven't heard it before so I am going to assume it is correct. YAY, there is something I can do to fix it all! I have something-or-other dermatitis that is causing my eye problems, something-or-else-other dermatitis around my mouth, and psoriasis on my scalp (gross!). My derm said that it was a severe case of bad luck that this all happened at the same time. I blame stress so I will attribute the improvement in my skin to the Wii Fit (see previous post:).

I have been using the products/skin regimen she recommended for only 5 days and I can't believe the difference. Everything literally looks almost normal again! I am taking an oral antibiotic and, am washing my face with CeraVe cleanser then applying Protopic around my eyes and an anti-bacterial lotion around my mouth. I have a cortisone liquid solution to put on my scalp. Fun fact, it is literally 39% alcohol, I wonder if I just dipped my head in a vat of vodka each day if it would be the same difference. I am following all this up with CeraVe moisturizing cream. It's all quite nice. Also, with my new skin care regimen, I have a lot more stuff to swap on Makeup Alley! According to my Derm I should be able to use my regular makeup and once this mess on my face gets cleared up it should stay away!

Wii Fit & Relaxation...the Best of Both Worlds!!!

I got a Wii Fit a few weeks ago and LOVE it!! The last month or so has been so stressful and I have had so much fun getting a little bit of exercise playing games and not thinking about things that have to be done. I got the Wii Fit Plus at Target for $99. The Plus has an extra set of games that are super fun. There are also balance games, aerobics, yoga positions, and strength exercises. I admit that I definitely play the new games and the balance games much more than the other choices but I try to do a few of those just for posterity. My favorites are the hula hoop, skateboarding, and the obstacle course.

I do have to say that while it is very fun and you are certainly burning more calories that sitting on the couch, the Wii Fit is not going to replace a regular workout schedule. I am using it in addition to my workouts at the gym, cardio exclusively, and do it everyday for the body test. It measures your BMI and weight and records it. It definitely helps me to see it on a graph and is a really great and easy way to keep track of exercise and weight without having to write it down, which I never remember to do.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

ENDING TODAY...Banana Republic Sale

One of my favorite places for work clothes, the Banana, is having a great sale on work attire. 25% off work styles, online only. Be careful of ordering online from the Banana if you don't know what cut pants you wear. They have a few different cuts, which I definitely appreciate, but they fit wildly differently, even in the same sizes. One style of their wide-leg dress pants (not my favorite but maybe it's yours) starts at $49.99, HELLO!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Best Beauty Tips

I am finally getting around to going through the ridiculously large pile of magazines that I get in the mail and don't have time to read. I am determined to go through at least one each day until I get them out of my house, which isn't really hard because once I get started, I usually read three or four at a time. Could you have guessed that I love magazines??

An InStyle from this summer had a list of the 50 Best Beauty Tips and I thought I would pick out the best ones and share. Some of these I actually hadn't heard before and will be trying ASAP!
- Make your own dry shampoo - I have posted before about one of my favorite hair products, Pssssst! Dry Shampoo. I do love it but I go through it quickly since I only wash my hair two or three times a week (try it, don't be a hater!). I pay $7/can at CVS but I am going to make my own, per this InStyle recommendation, and save some money!! Just mix equal parts Baking Soda and Baby Powder. Sprinkle it through hair, leave in for maybe a minute, fluff hair, then brush out...gorgeous!! I can't wait to try this!

- Make your own volumizing spray - take two sugar packets and put them in a 20 oz. bottle of water. Spray in hair for instant volume. I haven't tried this one but it was recommended by Oscar Blandi so I am just going to assume it's a great tip.

- Wash your face with dandruff shampoo? - this sounds a little fishy to me but with all the trouble I've been having with my eyes I am definitely going to try it. According to InStyle, washing your face with dandruff shampoo decreases yeast levels which cause scaly skin. Who knew? Well, InStyle I guess.
- Last but not least...make your own cream blush - I am all over this one! Take old/cracked powder blushes and crush them up in a bowl with the back of a spoon. Mix the powder with regular old lip balm (I'm going to use Burt's Bees) and, poof, you have cream blush. I use cream blush under my powder blush since my oily skin sucks up powder color so I can't wait to mix a few of my old powder blushes together and make some new colors of cream blush...FUN!

Swagbucks Redux

It's been a week since I started messing with the Swagbucks and it's going alright so far. As you might notice, I did remove the widgets from the side of the blog, they were just too unsightly. I have been using the search engine that I downloaded and get a buck or two every day. I have 15 just from this week. That is enough swagbucks for a bunch of things, the only ones that I might be interested in are a few different CD's (not all of which are complete crap) and several different $5 gift cards. I am going to continue saving the swagbucks though and will probably wait until I have several hundred so I can get a gift card...YAY!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Portero Luxery Louis Vuitton Event

One of my favorite websites, www.porteroluxery, sells premium pre-owned luxury goods. Trust me, I'm not talking about "vintage" crap that is disintegrating, most of their items look fabulous and their website is so fun to browse through when you are trying to not be doing something else! They also rate their bags with ratings like "pristine" and "excellent" and provide a great description of what these terms mean when they are rating so you will never be surprised!

Right now they are having a Louis Vuitton even with bags up to 63% (that's a weird percentage, right?) off and some bags starting under $200...SCORE! The only thing I see right now that I love is the LV Damier Azur Canvas Saleya MM Tote Bag, excellent condition, retail = $1,050, portero price = $683, percent off = 35%. Check it out though, maybe you'll see something you love and can't live without.

Just a side-note, I certainly don't want to be false advertising that I'm going to go right now and drop $683 on a LV, I am not. In my fantasy world, though, I already bought it:)

SPANX Swimsuits = Best Idea Ever!

Good news ladies...SPANX is coming out with a swimsuit line...genius!!! Not only will the collection of one and two-pieces suck you in comfortably, some of them are strikingly cute! I will be purchasing one or more of these shortly:) For instance, a bikini bottom is designed to be dig-free plus has a hidden tummy control panel. My favorite is the gorgeous one-shoulder (style 714) that includes a shelf-bra (a must-have for me) and a slimming waist! The main suit is black with a white ruffle from the one shoulder diagonally across the bust. Gorgeous. Not cheap, between $150-$200, but, like all expensive clothes, should last forever. I think they are totally worth it! These aren't available yet, not sure when they will be coming out but they should be available soon at www.spanx.com, Saks, and Bloomies!

Michael Kors for Estee Lauder

I am so sick of designers marketing low end, crappy clothes and makeup at Target. It's just gross. Sure the clothes might look alright but they are just like any other cheaply made clothes. They don't wash well, the seams will fall out, and you might get a few months wear out of them. I get it that some people can't afford designer labels and it lets them have a glimpse in to the fashion world, but I just can't get on board with this hot mess.

What I can support, however, is designers working with prestige cosmetics companies and creating limited edition lines for them. Love it! Michael Kors has teamed up with Estee Lauder and has two collections, Bel Aire Beige and Rodeo Drive. These are called "makeup wardrobes" and each color palette has your typical color necessities, blush, lip gloss, eyeshadow, liners, and lipstick. Really like this idea. We all know that I love expensive makeup because you can get the most expensive lip gloss around and still come out under $35...love that! It's a little indulgence without going crazy.

Check these out at any Estee Lauder counter:)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coupons, the Greatest Invention Ever??


Today was a great coupon day...I love use them, I love saving money of things I'm buying anyway, and I love feeling like I'm outsmarting the store (which I totally am:). Thanks to www.southernsavers.com for the most amazing help in figuring this all out and making it so simple. I spent around 45 minutes last night getting my shopping list together, cutting coupons from last Sundays paper, and printing coupons from online. A little smart shopping goes a long way y'all!!!

CVS was my first stop of the "Tour of Awesome Savings" that I have officially dubbed today. I made two transaction, got $7 Extra Care Bucks from the first, then used that towards the purchase of 6(!) 12-can packs of Pepsi products. They were 3 for $11, buy one get one free, and then you got $10 Extra Care Bucks back when you bought $20 of the Pepsi stuff! SO, to sum up, I ended up paying $4.81 for 6 12-can packs. It was literally like crack, which is, in fact, not whack, but amazing! The coupons, not the crack. The "Tour of Awesome Savings" then proceeded to Publix where I, the Queen of shopping, saved $19.87!!

Is there some kind of prize for this? I guess saving money is it's own reward (I just threw up a little bit in my mouth for saying that).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bergdorf's Beauty Event

For those of you who an still enjoy my beloved cosmetics, an FYI that Bergdorf Goodman is having an amazing promotion. In store until January 30 and online until February 1, you get an amazing snake skin-y cosmetic bag filled with deluxe samples with any $200 beauty and/or fragrance purchase. Stock up ladies and try out some new stuff while you're at it!

Golden Globes Fashion...Hits and Misses

I admit, I didn't watch the Golden Globes, all I really care about are the clothes anyway and I knew I could get a hefty serving of that today online. I was right, of course:) I don't listen to those Fashion Police people because I often think they are wrong and I am right, again, of course. So here are my favorites and the not-so-muches.

HITS:Sandra Bullock - a lot of people didn't like this dress but I love it! It's very Glinda-y and I would wear it every day if I could. The only think that would have made this better is if it were in pink.

Emily Blount - Heidi Klum's dress done right. Soft, flowy (but not too much), kind of perfect.

Fergie - let me start this by saying that I hate, hate, hate her. However, if you take her ugly head off this dress, the dress is amazing. Great color, cut, and style. Love it!

Kate Winslet - enough said. Perfection every time!

Nicole Kidman - I love the similarity between the color of the dress and her skin tone. Very monochromatic and fabulous.

Jennifer Westfeldt - couture perfection!

Toni Collette - not much would look good on her body but this dress is to die for! Very flapper meets old Hollywood meets fabulous!

Thank you to those of you not wearing black, I appreciate it.

MISSES:Halle Berry - I don't know why people always think her dresses are fab, they are not. This hot mess looked like a lace/zipper factory threw up on her. Gross.

Drew Barrymore - why is she wearing a Swarovsky Crystal purse on her shoulder and hip? I do like the pink though. It's like that episode of SATC where Big gives Carries the duck purse.

Heidi Klum - another one that could put on a trash bag and everyone would think she looked amazing...except for me. She looks like she had an unfortunate confrontation with a cloud before arrival.

Mariah Cary - ATTENTION - it is not the 90's so stop dressing like it is. Also, you do not weigh 100 pounds, just in case you didn't realize it, which you clearly don't.

Anna Paquin - I hate to say this because she's my favorite but I think a girl wore this to my senior prom and it looked stupid then. Or maybe it was my grandma, I can't remember.

Rite Wilson - I think my grandma made this dress out of her curtains, and not in a fabulous way like Maria von Trapp.

Vanessa Manillo - this is not the Miss America Pageant!

What's with all the ruffles and hanging, shapeless sequins? Also, why did so many beautiful women just decide not to do their hair and leave it hanging limply in their faces? I don't understand, it confuses me.