Monday, April 30, 2007

Bombshell Swimsuits

Unlike a lot of women, a Bombshell never dreads summer and the ensuing fashion...even swimsuits! At this time of year, it seems that every magazine cover has tips for finding the perfect suit, dealing with the angst of swimsuit shopping, getting your body ready for swimsuits...it goes on and on.

Let me tell you something, Bombshell - you're ready! Sure, sure, do a few extra arm curls or knee bends if it will make you feel great about yourself. But that should be the only reason you ramp up your health and fitness! It should not be about fitting into a suit. Cause guess what? There are a ton of great suits ready and waiting, just for you.

Take the Miraclesuit above, for example, from Eddie Bauer. This is the creme' de la creme' of one piece suits, featuring 3 times the average allocation of Lycra. What does that mean? You'll feel supported throughout your tummy and waist, a smooth silhouette guranteed. The sexy plunge neckline and ruched side details are icing on the cake.

For the most prolific selection of suits anywhere, that I have found, check out Lands End. Yes, Lands End. You'll be astounded at the selection, styles and prices this retailer is offering the Bombshell customer! My favorites are the mix and match tankini's, like this one. I would pair the floral top with a simple black bottom. The print will draw the eye upward to your beautiful face, while the solid bottoms will break up a pattern that could become a little loud when worn all matchy-matchy like.

Bottom line for this summer, there's no need to sit on the edge of the pool in street clothes while everyone else whoops it up in the water. A Bombshell loves life and lives it to the fullest. You're beautiful and you're sexy and there's a swimsuit out there with your name on it!


Product Details:
Miraclesuit, $112, available in chocolate and black, www.eddiebauer.com.
Photo from eddiebauer.com.

Tankini top, $62, available at www.landsend.com.
Photo from landsend.com.



Saturday, April 28, 2007

Beauty Blitz

Saturday afternoon is prime time for trying out new facial masks, sorting through your makeup bag and trying everything on, and other assorted beauty rituals. With that in mind, here are a few more product suggestions from some of the most fabulous girls in my life.

Lindsay told me that she buys all her makeup at The Body Shop, in part because that's just the only place she's ever bought makeup (ever? really??) and in part because the company actively advocates for protecting our planet, defending human rights, and never tests on animals. Beauty with a concience - pretty cool. Kassina is also a fan of The Body Shop's makeup, in particular the Shimmer Cubes. They last forever, can be layered on over other makeup and always add that extra pop of wow to her eyes.

Stephanie has some of the most beautiful skin you will ever see. She occasionally wears concealer, never bothers with foundation, and always looks fresh and glowy. She attributes it to her skin care routine which includes Mary Kay's Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser. This one product cleanses, exfoliates and freshens. It also packs an anti-aging punch, so Steph is going to look amazing for years to come.

Another friend with great skin is Evie. She's just begun using Bobbi Brown's Luminous Moisturizing Foundation and concedes that, while it's a little spendy, this stuff is magic. It leaves her skin feeling nice and moisurized, looking refreshed. Must be all the collagen-boosting, skin firming ingredients. That Bobbi...she's always got something great in her beauty case!


One more favorite of Eve's is Redken's Urban Experiment 7 Velvet Gelatine Silk-infused Gel. The name is a mouthful, but the concept is simple: comb the gel through damp hair, blow dry, then spend the day tossing your velvety, silky, luscious locks.


As always, if you have any product suggestions let me know in the comments!

Product Details:
The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes, $17.50, available in stores and online at www.bodyshop.com.

Mary Kay Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser, $18, see www.marykaycosmetics.com for availability.

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation, $45, available wherever Bobbi Brown is sold and online at www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.

Redken Gel, available in salons, wherever Redken products are sold.



Friday, April 27, 2007

A Bombshell No-No

There are few things that a Bombshell can't wear - no matter the style or trend, it's all about finding the correct proportion and fit for your body. But there is one article of clothing that should never drape itself across a Bombshell's figure - the overall.

Overalls have one pro to register in their column - comfort. But that one pro does not come close to outweighing the cons - baggy, shapeless, childish, completely un-Bombshell. Not convinced? Let's deconstruct.

The overall is, in essence, a jumpsuit cut to avoid any curves. Straight up and down,itvflattens your chest, erases any suggestion of a backside, grabs at the tummy, and either cuts across the crotch area in a really unattractive way or bags said area down to your knees.

If the word jumpsuit didn't make you think twice, mull this over for a moment - in wearing overalls, you will create the dreaded tapered effect from head to toe. And do you know, in that tapered silhouette, where all the focus is going to rest? Not on your pretty face or your lavish curves. It will rest on your stomach. The straps and pockets will ensure that.

Overalls are a prime example, the primest perhaps, of my next point: just because you can buy something doesn't mean you should. I don't know why retailers sell overalls to anyone over the age of 5. But they do - and so it is up to every Bombshell out there to take responsibility for her fabulous self and to dress in clothes that play up her assets.


Take this Bombshell oath and hold it close to your heart: I _______________, have enough self esteem, self worth, and sense of style to promise never to wear overalls. Ever.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Summer Pants De-mystified

While browsing through Lane Bryant yesterday, pulling out pairs of cropped pants, capris, gauchos, and bermudas ,I realized that I could not tell the difference between the various styles that were loaded onto my arms. Sure, I could see that some were denim, some were twill and others were cotton. They were all longer than shorts and shorter than pants. But really, what was the difference?

Showing great self-restraint, I put every pair back and walked out of the store, determined to understand what was what before making a purchase. After doing some very unscientific research on www.lanebryant.com, which included randomly clicking on a few pairs of pants shown in each category, here is what I have come up with:

Bermuda shorts - with an inseam ranging between 13-15", bermudas feature a straight cut that skims over the hips and thighs. Once called "walking shorts", they look really modern when worn with heels and 3" espadrilles. I can't imagine any Bombshell would do a lot of walking in them.

Capris - featuring an inseam that ranges between 21-22", the capri pants are a short version of skinny jeans. They cling to every curve and cut off a little below the knee.

Crops - a sister to the bermuda shorts, the crops also feature a straight cut. The difference is in the inseam. Crops are a bit longer than the bermudas, with inseams ranging 23-25".

Gauchos - a personal favorite, gauchos are wide-legged and breezy. The inseam on Lane Bryant's gauchos ranges between 19-21". It should be noted that, while gauchos were a huge trend last year, they are a little harder to find this year. LB carries only 2 pairs online.

Pedal Pushers- a shorter version of capris, pedal pushers are cut to the knee and run an inseam of 17".

Monday, April 23, 2007

Beauty Blitz

We've made it through Monday - as a reward, everyone deserves another Beauty Blitz! Here you go - the products that my friends can't live without.

Lindsay is known far and wide for her vivacious personality and awesomely straight hair. She won't spill the secret to acquiring the personality, but she did let me know how she gets her hair so perfectly straight - it's all thanks to the CHI Original Ceramic Flat Iron. Hmmm...maybe the hair really is the root of all that vivacity.

Kimi (known to anyone who has met her since 1997 as Kim...but who will always be Kimi to me) is the kind of Bombshell who really turns heads. It could be her infectious laugh...or maybe it's Maybelline Full & Soft mascara. A self-described commitment-phobe, Kimi has dedicated herself to the length, the fullness and the softness of her lashes once coated in this mascara.

Illuminance Creme Shadow by Revlon never lets Stephanie down. The formula goes on silky and stays put all day without creasing. Oh, and each palette of 4 shadows retails for less than $10. It's almost too good to be true! But then, that's what a lot of people say about Stephanie.
Product Details:
CHI Ceramic Flat Iron available at select online retailers and Ulta.
Maybelline and Revlon products available at most drugstores.

Cute Tee



From the design gurus over at b & lu comes this fabulous t-shirt, called the Bright Eyes T. As the weather warms up, it's essential to find comfortable, breathable clothes - and what fits the bill better than a great cotton t-shirt? I love the versatility of this one - toss on over jeans or a denim skirt and you're ready for the weekend. Pull it on over a pair of cropped pants and a fitted blazer for work - so fabulous.

If you haven't yet checked out b&lu online, get to it! Check out the detail they put into a simple t-shirt - they're cutting no style corners over there. You're going to love the boutique-style designs and amazing prices. Seriously.

Photo - www.bandlu.com; Bright Eyes T, $28

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sense of Style

Thanks to fashion magazines and Web sites dedicated to the sport of star-watching, women are inundated with images of what is fashionable, cool, beautiful, sexy, etc. The ownership of fashion has evolved from the couture houses of Paris, run by artists such as Dior, Chanel and Balenciaga to, proprietors of mass market, ready-wear. In short, fashion is more about business than style. Why do hemlines rise and fall, jeans become tighter and tapered, then relaxed and flare out? It's not because extremely skinny jeans suddenly look fabulous, and then they don't. It's because the survival of the fashion industry rests on women wanting to look good, not trusting themselves implicitly to know what looks good, and racing out to buy whatever garment will "make"them fashionable, cool, beautiful, sexy.

Don't get me wrong - I love the availability of clothes, the fact that every season brings new styles and colors to choose from. I love to mix and match, find out what really works for me. What I don't love is the perpetuating myth that in order to be stylish, you have to follow the current style.

Today, I'm urging you, as a Bombshell, to become truly fashionable. Find which styles look good on you. On you. Regardless of what is currently "in style," figure out which cut of jeans flatter you, which colors and fabrics enhance your assets, whether you look and feel better in pants or skirts. A-line coats? Might be perfect. Tunics? Could be great. Skinny jeans? I doubt it, but maybe. The point is, you're only fashionable if you honor the shape of your body instead of the cover of Vogue. True style starts within and then works its way out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bargain Shopping

Kohl's discount department store is not a place I have generally thought of in relation to fashionable clothes in Bombshell sizes. However, I recently stopped in and spied this cute Mandarin Collar Mock-Layered Sweater by the store's house brand, Apartment 9.

On sale for $24.99, I bought it and have been shocked at how well it goes with so many things in my closet (always a plus!), and at how many compliments I've received while wearing the top. One woman asked if I'd bought the shirt and sweater at Banana Republic! Love that.

Granted, the quality is not as good as if I had bought the top at Banana Republic. It's certainly not an investment piece. But, when I pair it with something that is of higher quality (jeans, trousers) the overall look works. And the shirt will probably spontaneously combust (or pill itself to death) by the time I'm tired of it anyway.

The next time you're looking for a bargain, don't be afraid to do a little discount shopping at Kohl's. Head straight for the Apartment 9 and Daisy Fuentes labels, though - that's where you'll find the good stuff.

Beauty Blitz

Do you ever find yourself reaching for the same brand of lotion, conditioner, lip gloss or _____________ (insert your own here), wondering, "Is this the best thing out there?" I frequently suffer from product envy - sharp pangs of uncertainty, punctuated by, "That bottle is prettier than mine!" But there's also a large part of my Bombshell psyche that just wants to look great, no matter what brand names and labels populate my medicine chest. (Incidentally, my medicine chest does not house any medicine.)

So, I asked my girlfriends to help me out, tell me which products they rely on each day to look as fabulous as they do. They gave me so many terrific recommendations, that I'll be spreading them out over a series of posts called "Beauty Blitz."

If you use a product that should be added to the Beauty Blitz, write about it in the comments!

Ahava Mineral Hand Cream is a staple for Mindy, who loves the fact that the lotion is creamy, soothing, and has noticeably strengthened her nails. I've held hands with Mindy once or twice and have always found her grip to be strong but her skin very soft.

Kassina has amazingly beautiful eyes and she'd perfected framing them with lush lashes by way of applying two different formulas of mascara. She recently tried out a new mascara which has turned her beauty ritual upside down. The culprit? Maybelline Intense Volume XXL. Use the white primer first, then swipe on 1 and a half coats of black. She swears you'll be able to tell the difference between 1 and half and two.

Stephanie swears that she's come up with the definitive step-by-step process to handle her fabulously curly hair - none of the steps include a ponytail holder or a hat.

1. Start with DevaCurl No Poo Shampoo, a non-lathering, sulfate-free shampoo that smells of peppermint and turkish rose.

2. Follow with Curl Solutions Serum by Alto Bella, to coat and soften the hair.

3. Finish up with a spritz of Instant Recurl by Samy. Voila! Beautiful, frizz-free curls.


Product Details:
Ahava Lotion - available at beauty.com. $17 for 3.4 fl oz.
Maybelline Intense Volume XXL mascara - available at drugstore.com. $6.89
DevaCurl No Poo Shampoo - available at Ulta (in stores and online). $13.00
Curl Solutions Serum by Alto Bella - available at Roco Altobella Salons
Instant Recurl by Samy - available at Ulta (in stores and online). $5.99


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bombshell Opportunity

Benefit Cosmetics is teaming up with the very fabulous Carmindy, resident makeup artist for TLC's What Not to Wear, for an exclusive event at Sephora in New York City. I fully expect any Bombshell in NYC who is able to make it over there, to do so and then report back.

Building a Bombshell Wardrobe Part 4- Trousers

Trousers, made famous by Katherine Hepburn (a Bombshell in spirit), offer polish, comfort and flattery to the buxom body in a way no other article of clothing can. The trouser pant can easily change personalities from business casual and low key to ramped up glamour for a special night out. When they fit, they look fabulous. When they don't...well, that's another story entirely.

I commend Lane Bryant for identifying the need to design a variety of trouser cuts to fit a variety of shapes. Just because we're curvy doesn't mean we're curvy in the same spots. LB has created 5 different cuts of trousers, all of which come in petite, average and tall as well as a variety of colors including black, gray and brown.


Of the five trouser cuts offered by Lane Bryant, the Lexington pant is the most universally flattering. Every woman looks fantastic in a long, lean line from waist to toe, and these pants help create that illusion of height and length. Sitting at the waist, the pant flows straight down from hip to ankle, skimming easily over the thighs and flaring out slightly at the ankle. The flare is what keeps the silhouette modern and fresh, and balances out a fuller hip or broad shoulders.

For the Bombshell who is on the taller side or who carries what height she does have on the leg (instead of the torso), the Chelsea cut is a great alternative to the Lexington. Chelsea offers a much wider leg, which does a beautiful job of creating the illusion of a smaller waist. It's also very dramatic and classically modern, with a nod to old Hollywood (Katherine would most assuredly have approved).

Trousers are a wardrobe staple, items that will be worn frequently. With that in mind, look for a pair made from a durable fabric that will hold up to laundering. In addition, you will be amazed at what a difference a tailor can make in giving the absolute best fit possible. Very few Bombshells will be able to walk into a store, pull a pair of trousers off the rack and find a perfect fit. Factor the cost of simple tailoring into your budget as you shop..

I've shown you a few of my favorite dress pants - now it's your turn. Where have you found great-fitting trousers?

Product Details:
Lexington pant - $44.50; Chelsea pant - $49.50. Both available in stores and online, www.lanebryant.com.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wear to Work


Going to work is so much more fun when you walk in the door knowing you look great. I'm fortunate enough to work for a company that takes a fairly liberal view on business casual, and am able to dress more creatively than some. With that in mind, though, I like to inject each of my outfits with a little bit of professional polish and structure. And with the weather heating up, I'm also in need of a few pieces that are lighter, brighter and, well...new! With those criterion in mind, I've gone on a virtual shopping spree at Torrid.

I always feel bombshell in a dress and fell head over heels with the Khaki Shirt Dress (above, $68). It's crisp and pulled together without being fussy. For work, I would slip a tank underneath and then coordinate accessories around the color of the tank. My personal style usually incorporates a pop of color that is thread through my shoes, jewelry and such.

I rely on structured jackets to cinch my waist and give my frame definition. Come spring and summer, though, I need the form of a jacket minus the long sleeves. I was so excited to come across the Black Pique' Short Sleeve Jacket ($48). The closure detail adds visual interest while calling attention to the smallest part of my torso. So cute!
And finally, what to wear in place of the wintery wool dress pants? Capri pants are fantastic, especially when paired with a kicky sandal. The Brown Zip Pocket Convertible Capri Pants (on sale, $24.99) fit the bill perfectly.

Let's get more ideas for looking bombshell at work this spring. What are some of your favorite looks?
Product Details:
See Torrid stores or online, www.torrid.com, for clothes.


Go-to Sandal for Spring


This spring, I'll be slipping my pedicured toes into this pair of sandals from Payless. I leave the big shoe investments to leather heels and boots, and would rather plunk down $20 (or $17.99 in this case) for several pairs of trendy, fun sandals. Expendable sandals, if you will.
This pair is fantastic because it'll dress up jeans and a tank top on the weekends and will add some flirt to workwear. And by choosing gold, the shoes will complement a variety of colors: black, brown and so much more. Gold is my go-to color in lieu of purchasing brown for that very reason. And notice the clear straps? That's a fun nod to the current lucite rage cropping up all over the accessories department in every major department store.
Payless is a great resource for cute shoes that don't need to last a lifetime, in sizes up to 13.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bombshell Inspiration

It's probably happened to you at some point. I know it's happened to me. There comes a point in every woman's life when she feels less than fabulous, stale, in a rut with her clothes. She reaches for the same little black dress for every cocktail party, the same pair of jeans and top for date night, or (worse yet!) the same pair of worn out sweatpants every night after work.

To snap out of it, I look to other bombshells, past and present, to see what about their look I could incorporate into my own. It's not exactly playing dress-up; it's more about finding inspiration from other women who wear their curves (and their clothes) well. Looking to icons of beauty, whether they are Hollywood stars, fashion models, or the fashionable girl who turns up at the grocery store every once in a while, is a great way to define your own personal sense of style. What colors appeal to you? What genre of clothing catches your eye - bohemian, classic, glamourous, casual? What about your icon's style is especially appealing to you?

Understand, though, that just because you admire a particular style on someone else does not necessarily mean that style is for you. And that's ok! If your closet is full of classic clothes-tailored blazers and trousers, button down blouses and pearls-you would probably feel a little out of sorts if you adopted a whimsical, bohemian style overnight. Instead, see if there are a couple of whimsical touches you could add to your classic look: flowing scarves, dangling earrings, a slouchy bag.

Take a look at Sara Ramirez (above). This TV star embodies old Hollywood glamour, especially in her choice of red carpet gowns. Her dresses are always form-fitting and shapely, showing off her height, her bust and that beautiful face. And color? You bet! Sara leaves black to everyone else, preferring to standout in red. Her hair is soft and touchable, the jewels are flashy without overwhelming. And she always caps her look off with a big smile - perfection!

If the icon you're drawn to is a true Bombshell, I'm sure her confidence and carriage are part of her allure. Before hitting the stores, boost your own confidence in whatever way works for you (red lipstick, a good book and a glass of wine, a relaxing bath). You might be surprised what an impact a jolt of Bombshell attitude can do for the clothes already in your closet!

Let's chat - whose style do you think icon-worthy?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spotlight on: b&lu

b&lu is a six -year old, online fashion house catering to Bombshells, sizes 14-30, who are looking for boutique-style clothing. It's run by two sisters, Christine and Lucie, who understand a curvy woman's desire to look and feel amazing without wearing what everyone else is wearing.

b&lu's collection of skirts, dresses, pants, tops and more are reasonably priced to begin with and often go on sale. Would you believe that this divine shrug, feauturing ribbon and beading details, is on sale for a mere $16? Bombshells do love
a bargain...especially on clothing as fabulous as this!


The designers at b&lu draw upon classically flattering silhouettes, especially those popular throughout the 40's and 50's, that hug a buxom figure in all the right places - draw the eye up to the face & bust, cinch in at the waist, flow across the hips. The Miriam top is a perfect example of design done right for the Bombshell. It incorporates the trendy, yet classic, look of belting in the waist - sometimes a tricky endeavor for a curvy woman to undertake with modern -day belts. But b&lu has ingeniusly done the belting for you with fabric that will lay smooth across your body.
I am terribly excited to have found this brand and cannot wait to see what new designs b&lu have in store for spring. Supporting two sisters who are dedicated to creating something new and different for curvy women, while looking fabulous for next to nothing? Talk about fabulous!
Ethel shrug, on sale for $16; Miriam top, $34; available at www.bandlu.com.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Building a Bombshell Wardrobe Part 3 - Jeans


Few items of clothing are so ubiquitously versatile as jeans. As our society embraces the casual way of life, what was once relegated to play-wear is now everywhere! Denim serves many functions within the Bombshell way of life, and there is a cut and wash for every situation. Rule of thumb states that the lighter the wash, the more casual the jean. For office wear and drinks afterward, choose a darker wash and a more figure-clinging cut, such as flare or bootcut.

Most curvy women benefit from the proportions of the flare or bootcut because a little extra volume at the ankle balances out broad shoulders and hips. Flared jeans fit closely along the hip and thigh, nip in slightly (key word: slightly) at the knee and then flare out to the ankle. Flares generally look best on taller types. Bootcut jeans are universally flattering. They skim the hips and thighs, dropping straight down to to the ankle. Length of jeans can vary a bit - have a few pairs with longer inseams to wear with heels, and a couple pairs with shorter inseams to pair with flats.

The only real no-no in choosing cuts is the tapered leg. I cannot say enough bad things about pants that taper in at the ankle. Tapered ankles are truly awful - they will take your beautiful curves and use them against you. Your silhouette will suddenly look an awful lot like an inverse triangle or an ice cream cone. Let your curves work for you. Avoid tapering.

At the top of the page, you'll see Baby Phat's low-rise, 5-pocket bootcut jean. It's the perfect night-out pair- I feel absolutely fabulous every time I pull them on. They feature a 33.5" inseam - slightly longer than the average 32". So they are just crying out for you to slip on a great pair of heels and head out. I will caution anyone with a voluptuous rear end: the lighter wash on the rear will definitely call attention to this area. If, however you're trying to boost your bottom a bit, this jean is for you!

The Lane Bryant flare is my go-to jean. A little less dressy than the Baby Phat jean, this pair will make you feel pulled together and polished in an instant. The rise is a little lower than other Lane Bryant editions, but I've seen it look fantastic on an array of women - tall, short, full hips, flat rear. And the fabric is very soft - not stiff, and not overly stretchy.


Finally, the the denim trouser pant from Avenue. This is a terrific option for those of you who work in an office that calls for a more professional cut of denim. Notice the slightly higher waist and the crisp pleat down the legs. This pant is also a great option for a girl with larger thighs or who is on the short side - the straight draping from top to bottom will really elongate.

So many options to choose from! The key to buying a great pair of jeans is to try on as many pairs as possible and really use that 3-way mirror. You want to look fabulous coming and going!
Product Details:
Baby Phat bootcut jean sizes 14-24, $64, available in select department stores and online, www.babyphat.com; Lane Bryant flare jean, sizes 14-28, $39.50, available in stores and online, www.lanebryant.com; Avenue denim trouser, sizes 14-26, $39.95, available in stores and online, www.avenue.com.

Makeup Moment- Benefit

I can think of no beauty brand who better exemplifies the spirit of the Bombshell better than Benefit Cosmetics. From the ultra feminine packaging and irreverently sassy product names to their boudoir-inspired bath line, everything about Benefit is absolutely decadent and desirable. Just like us!



The Bathina line of products is, by far, my favorite of the line. The signature scent of Bathina is absolutely intoxicating - fresh and seductive, sweet but not saccharine, with a hint of musk and white blossoms that lingers ever so slightly. I feel positively delicious every time I spray Maybe, Baby behind my knees. Yes, it's one of those scents that you want to spray behind your knees.


I'm a devoted fan of the Bathina Body So Fine balm. It comes in a long tin that contains the balm and a velvety application puff. One swipe of the puff and my skin is hydrated, smelling fantastic (see rapturous description of scent above) and glowing (thanks to the most subtle sparkle you've ever seen in a product). I wear Body So Fine on a daily basis to jump start my Bombshell attitude before heading out the door.


For those occasions that call for a slightly more evident application of sparkle, I follow up Body So Fine with a couple poufs of Kitten Classic, a pink champagne powder. Trust me when I say you won't be suffering prom-flashbacks with this powder. What you will experience is an overall feeling of increased sensuality.



In addition to these classic favorites, Benefit is constantly coming up with the new must-haves you never knew you needed. My most recent acquisition is the Brow Zing eyebrow palette. One side features a waxy balm that goes over the eyebrow first and secures the matching powder, housed on the second side of the palette. It comes with two brushes and a mini pair of tweezers - brilliant! My brows have never been so Bombshell!

Product Details:
All products available at your local Benefit counter or online at www.benefitcosmetics.com .
Kitten Classic, $26; Brow Zings (in 3 available shades), $28.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bombshells really are the whole package - smart,fun, and polished from head to toe. And speaking of toes...mine can't wait to be liberated from the confines of winter footwear, and to see the light of day from within a strappy sandal. Just as finding curvy, figure-friendly clothes takes a good eye and some insider's tips, so too does finding the perfect shoe in sizes 11+. One of the best resources for fashion-forward footwear in larger sizes is www.Nordstrom.com.

The sandals showcased here are just a smattering of the cutest, most fantastic, must-have shoes of this season. There's nothing dowdy or orthopaedic here, no skimping on style or quality - just a terrific selection of the season's best, up to size 13, brought together by Nordstrom.

So in the spirit of welcoming spring, give yourself a pedicure and pick up a pair of sandals. Your toes will thank you!

From left to right, A. Marinelli Cloud slide in Natural, $79.95; Pelle Moda Holler sandal in Brown, $119.95; Taryn by Taryn Rose Brilliant sandal in Red, $245. All available at www.nordstrom.com.


Friday, April 6, 2007

Building a Bombshell Wardrobe Part 2 - Dresses

Few articles of clothing are more bombshell than the dress, and every self-respecting, curvaceous woman should have at least one onh hand that hugs and fits in all the right places. Dresses are easy to toss on and run out the door, polished and ready to face the day. And most dresses can easily change personalities, morphing from fancy to casual with a change of shoe and accessories.

We're heading into a really fantastic time of year for building up your dress wardrobe. Choose fabrics that fit your lifestyle - cottons and linen blends for wash and wear comfort, a light wool or crepe blend if you stop at the dry cleaners regularly. Take a look at two of the many options out there right now.

The dress to your right is from Lane Bryant, one of the first bombshell retailers to jump on the resurgent trend in dresses this spring. Don't be mistaken, though, dresses are far from trendy - it doesn't get more classic than a great fitting dress. This one is called the Swiss Dot Flutter Sleeve dress, featuring a faux-wrap with removable belt and delicate flutter sleeves. I would recommend adding brightly colored jewelry and shoes (yellow, pink. red) to punch up the dress for work. Dress it up further with gold-accented jewelry and metallic heeled sandals. Or, take it down a notch by strapping on flat, Grecian-inspired brown sandals and wooden jewelry (necklace, bracelet).

The dress to your left is new, from Old Navy. The delicious tangerine color makes me want to whip up potato salad and race over to a BBQ to show it off (the dress, not the potato salad). The silhouette is superbly flattering thanks to the tie-back halter, structured seaming across the bust and flirty skirt. You could winterize this dress by throwing on a pair of knee boots and structured blazer.

That's really the secret to making the most out of a dress - dressing it up and down, adding layers to make it seasonally appropriate.

I would mention, too, that a dress can go from so-so to perfect with a little nip/tuck from a tailor. Many women think of their clothes simply as 'It fits' or 'It doesn't fit.' With a bombshell figure, many clothes may not look perfect right off the rack. So if you try on a dress (or any other article of clothing) and it pulls in one spot or the hemline is off, buy it, take it to a tailor and see what she could do for you. Worst case scenario, you return the dress and keep looking. Best case scenario, you've got a custom tailored dress! Nothing feels more fabulous than that.

Product Details:
Swiss dot flutter sleeve dress, $59.50, available at www.lanebryant.com
Linen-blend halter dress, $39.50, available at www.oldnavy.com

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Building a Bombshell Wardrobe Part 1- Wrap Sweaters

Let me begin this next series of posts with a disclaimer: No Bombshell would ever run out and fill her closet full of clothes simply because someone told her to, especially if those clothes did not suit her body and personal style. However, every Bombshell likes new ideas for how to look fabulous every day. With that in mind, we begin...

A truly bombshell wardrobe is full of clothes that can mix and match, flow into and out of a day, feel great and drape beautifully, and make the wearer feel like she can conquer the world. Sounds like a tall order, I suppose, but certainly not undoable.

The first order of business in building said wardrobe is figuring out what your lifestyle calls for in clothing choices. The woman who works 60 hours a week in corporate America requires different clothes than the woman who works a million hours a week as a stay-at-home mom. Yes, clothes can help transform a woman in a better version of herself - the point being "a better version of herself", the person she already is.

When dressing a curvaceous body, it's important to highlight the most flattering features: most often face, bust and waist. This beautiful, and versatile, blush-colored wrap sweater from Spiegel does a bang-up job of focusing on the best a curvy body has to offer. The open neckline brings attention to the face and the bust - depending on what is put underneath, you can get a little or a lot of cleavage. The shape of the sweater follows the natural curves of the body, cinching in at the waist with the matching belt.

What will make this sweater your own is how you incorporate it into your lifestyle- slip it on over a simple t-shirt, jeans and flats for hanging out with friends or taking your kids to the park. Pull it on over chocolate-brown trousers and a cream camisole for work, or use it to add a punch of color to a black cocktail dress.

No need to get hung up on buying this particular sweater (although it is pretty fantastic) - just use the basic shape and details as a guide to finding one that is perfect for you! A Bomshell is nothing if not unique.

Product Details:
Pink/blush sweater, cotton & jersey knit; on sale now $44 (regularly $54). Available at www.Spiegel.com
Photo - Spiegel.com

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Makeup Moment - Bourjois Maxi Fringe Mascara

Every Bombshell should have an arsenal of makeup tips and tricks in her bag that take her from 0-fabulous in an instant. One such product that I keep with me at all times is Maxi Fringe Maximum Length and Volume Mascara by Bourjois Paris. It’s a double-ended tube of false-eyelash-creating mascara that does exactly what the name states: frames your eyes with lashes at their maximum length and volume. To be honest, I don’t bother with the comb & primer side of the tube – it’s a little too fussy for me. But the mascara formula is truly amazing.

The big bang starts with the mascara brush – it’s soft and pliant, molds to and draws out each eyelash, even those tiny ones at the corner of the eye. The formula feels weightless, slick, and dries quickly (eliminating smudges and smears). And the hold is fantastic – all day long, well into the night and then some. I couldn’t possibly gush any more about this mascara…except to say that it comes in a variety of colors, including black, midnight blue, brown and prune.

Product Details:

Bourjois Maxi-fringe Mascara, $19, available at Sephora, in stores or online, www.sephora.com
Photo – Sephora.com

Monday, April 2, 2007

Spring into the Office




We're still in that slightly annoying transitional phase from winter to spring - which means that getting dressed for work may be more challenging than usual. But with a variation on this fabulous navy suit hanging in your closet, you'll be out the door looking fresh and put together in no time.


Navy is a great transitional color because it's every bit as sleek and modern as black, without coming across as harsh or too wintery. If it's rainy and gloomy out, slip on a chunky necklace or other substantial jewelry and boots. Once the sun comes out, lighten up the look with sandals. Add a pop of color to the outfit by accessorizing with a bright color like red or yellow. You'll be strutting around the office, a breath of fresh air.

Another tough call in spring dressing revolves around what kind of jacket to wear. Cold rain and cooler breezes call for a light jacket that can easily top any outfit - jeans, t-shirt and flats for running around on the weekends; trousers and heels for work; and a spring dress for date night. Does such a coat exist? In our size? Yes!

This trench coat (pictured above) does great things for the Bombshell figure. The fabric is crisp and unfussy, with a structured top that cinches in at the smallest part of almost any woman - right under the bustline. The bottom half flows away from the body, balancing out broad shoulders or a large bust. And any item of clothing that swings like that is a keeper! A trench coat is a classic - invest in one now and reach for it for years to come.

Product Details:
Linen jacket in Navy $88; Linen boot-cut pants in Navy $71; Trench coat in Stone $139, all available online at www.igigi.com.

The Online Shopping Game

Shopping for clothes online can be as dicey as dating online. I met my amazing husband through Match.com, though, so I know that with a little searching and due diligence, you can find a great deal over the Web. Keep these tips in mind to make the online shopping experience as fabulous as possible.

Take down your measurements (bust, chest, hips, waist), then compare the measurements to each site’s sizing chart. Sizes vary by almost every site, so don’t bother trying to rely on what you “usually” wear. Get it right the first time in order to cut down on returns.

Speaking of returns…know the site’s return policy. One of my favorite return policies is upheld by Old Navy. They provide a bag and prepaid shipping label in the box with your order. If you’re exchanging an item, the shipping is free. If you’re making a return, they deduct $5 from your refund.

Use a credit card for purchases, instead of your bank’s check card. Governing laws around credit card disputes are in your favor when dealing with purchases made with a traditional credit card. The same may not be true for your check card. Who wants their bank account to take a hit, even momentarily, when dealing with a dispute?

Shop in advance. Looking for a great dress to debut at your cousin’s wedding? Don’t try to buy online a week before the event. Unless you’ve seen the dress in person and have already tried it on, you can’t count on the fact that it will fit right or look exactly like the picture. Don’t chance feeling less than great by last-minute shopping. Expect that you’ll have to return or exchange your purchase in order get it right.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Who Likes Pretty Underwear? (I Do! I Do!)

I will admit that, once upon a time, my underwear was purchased in packs of 4 designed by Hanes. It didn't take long for me to become hooked on the idea of owning really fantastic bras and panties - colorful, matching and swathed in silk and lace. As my friends all stocked up on 5 for $25 bunches of thongs and cotton briefs at Victoria's Secret, I felt kind of left out in the cold. It's no secret that Victoria doesn't provide for her more buxom customer.

Cacique to the rescue.
"Ca-what?" you may ask.
"Kah-seek," I reply.
Cacique is the house brand of lingerie - including bras,panties and sleepwear - carried by Lane Bryant. Check out the photo here; does that look like your grandma's panties? Certainly not. Unless your grandma is incredibly hot, in which case let's just leave it at that.

My favorites of the line include the lightweight seamless panty ,which I wear on a daily basis. It comes in a rainbow of colors and has yet to give me visible panty line (commonly known as VPL). Some Bombshells prefer thongs and g-strings, which Cacique does offer in a variety of sexy and sexier versions. A little something for everyone.

When it comes to bras, I like the front and center benefits of the passion lace lined plunge bra (pictured). It comes with small, inflated inserts for those times when my top calls for it. For everyday wear, I take out the insert - unfortunately not every second in my life calls for cleavage. The bra is equal parts lacy, comfortable coverage.

Cacique carries lots of styles, lots of colors, tons of options. Make an investment in yourself by ponying up a little more money than the Hanes 4-pack requires, and get yourself some sexy underwear. It's the least that every Bombshell deserves.

Cacique available in stores and online at www.lanebryant.com.