Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beauty Moment- Sephora Scent Sampler


You know how everyone says that scent is a really personal thing, and that one perfume may smell great on you only to morph into something truly wretched on your best friend? Everyone says it, because it's true. So instead of spritzing every single scent on your wrist and wondering if what smells like your best friend on your wrist will smell like her on her own wrist, buy Sephora's Scent Sampler. It includes 10 samples of Sephora's best-selling perfumes. Your gift recipient can test away at her own leisure. Once she finds her perfect scent, she can take the included gift voucher back to Sephora and pick up a full-size bottle of her choice. Great, huh? Included in the Scent Sampler for Her are:
- Burberry Brit Sheer
- Dior Addict Shine
- Emporio Armani Diamonds Intense
- Ferragamo Incanto Heaven
- Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame
- Lolita Lempicka Fleur De Corail
- Nina Ricci Nina
- Prada Infusion D'Iris
- Pucci Vivara

I'll be putting the Scent Sampler for Him under the tree for my husband this year. He'll get to try:
Bulgari Aqua Pour Homme Marine, Canali Canali, Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy Men, Diesel Fuel For Life Men, Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme, Hugo Boss Boss Pure, Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, Lacoste Essential, Prada Infusion D'Homme, and Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme.

Scent samplers available at Sephora. See Sephora web site for terms and conditions.

Last Day to Enter Cornucopia of Beauty


It's your last day to enter the Bombshell Beauty Cornucopia of Beauty Give-Away by clicking here. Because we have a lot to be grateful for - especially for all the great products that are part of this give-away - enter as often as you like to be chosen one of three random winners. Two runners up will win a Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner Duo in Plum Cake. One grand prize will winner will receive:
* Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner Duo in Plum Pudding/Black Forest
* NEW L'Oreal Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser
* Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (1fl. oz)
* Kiehl's Lip Balm #1
* Sally Hershberger Star Shine spray
* NEW L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara
* Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo
* L'Oreal Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Airbrush Self Tanning Mist (in Medium)
* Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Body Wash and Lotion in Jasmine Vanilla (4 fl. oz each)
AND...a Karmin Titanium Hair Straightening Iron (retail value, $99) provided by MyHairStylingTools.com (not pictured).

I'd like to thank the sponsors of the Cornucopia of Beauty - Laura Geller and MyHairStylingTools.com.

The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. CST today - so enter now!. Good luck, Bombshells!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Perfect Layering Pieces

A lot of women cast a variety of fears onto layering. Some aren't sure how to put different patterns and textures together. Others have a more practical fear - how to layer without getting hot. Trust me, this Bombshell gets it. There's nothing like going from a perfectly comfortable body temperature to what feels like the inside of a volcano with the addition of one seemingly harmless scarf.

Adding layers to your outfit is a great way to create visual interest and your own personal style. You can play it classic and cool by layering different pieces within the same color - it's a great way to make basic black less basic. Or you can be a little more eccentric by layering stripes on plaid, or polka dots on stripes. When going this route, avoid hurting the eyes of everyone who gets to look at you all day by ensuring that your various patterns all reside within the same color family.

To combat hot flashes, rely on lightweight layering pieces like these to get started:


A lightweight, short-sleeved mock turtleneck looks seasonal without the added bulk and heat of a full turtleneck sweater. You can layer a top like this underneath a blazer and add a scarf before your temperature will begin to rise. This Jessica London Ribbed Short Sleeve Mock comes in a variety of colors, size XL-3XL.


Instead of wrapping your heavy-duty, blizzard-worthy wool scarf around your neck, pull on a lightweight cotton blend version. Scarves are an easy way to add a splash of color to an outfit. I like the scarves at Gap - they come in lots of pretty colors and patterns, and are light enough to wear all day.

A great tee shirt can extend the life of lots of clothes that might otherwise languish in the back of your closet until spring - pretty tanks, sleeveless dresses, short sleeve tees. I like the long sleeved t-shirts at Old Navy. They're inexpensive, so you won't feel guilty about picking up a handful in different colors. They're soft, and the sleeves are roomy - tight sleeves always make me feel warmer, faster.

I rely on tights to pull together my looks throughout the winter that are built upon a cute dress. Tights can make a light-weight dress cold-weather appropriate. I continually reach for Spanx Tight End Tights with Extra Tummy Control. The key to ensuring that your tights control the tummy without constricting bloodflow is to get the right size. Buying smaller will not provide better contrl - but it will make sitting for more than 20 seconds uncomfortable. You can buy plus size Spanx at Lane Bryant.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beauty Moment- Laura Geller Wonder Wand


I caught a live demo on QVC this weekend of Laura Geller's Wonder Wand, and it looks pretty interesting. Wonder Wand is a pearly, sheer highlighting powder that can make your eyes look wider and brighter. Applying the powder to the corners of your eyes (along the tearduct) brightens the eye, faking the appearance of being wide-awake and alert. If you sweep the powder vertically down the center of your eyelid (over the rest of your eye-makeup), the highlight in that position makes narrow-set eyes appear wider. One of my favorite Wonder Wand fake-outs is creating the appearance of an eye-lift (albeit subtle) - lightly dust the powder along the arch of your eyebrow.

I know that the magic of a highlighter is nothing really new, there are many versions on the market, but I really like the looks of Laura Geller's for a couple of reasons. First, the wand is really small, which I think would make it easy to use. So often the wands on highlighters are long which (in my case) leads to an eye-stabbing scenario. Second, Laura's formula appears really subtle - not too much shimmer or glimmer. The models who were using the Wonder Wand didn't look dramatically different - just a little fresher. I like that.

You can find Laura Geller's Wonder Wand at Sephora.

Photo credit: Sephora.com

Enter to Win a Cornucopia of Beauty


Enter the Bombshell Beauty Cornucopia of Beauty Give-Away by clicking here. Because we have a lot to be grateful for - especially for all the great products that are part of this give-away - enter as often as you like to be chosen one of three random winners. Two runners up will win a Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner Duo in Plum Cake. One grand prize will winner will receive:
* Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner Duo in Plum Pudding/Black Forest
* NEW L'Oreal Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser
* Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (1fl. oz)
* Kiehl's Lip Balm #1
* Sally Hershberger Star Shine spray
* NEW L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara
* Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo
* L'Oreal Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Airbrush Self Tanning Mist (in Medium)
* Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Body Wash and Lotion in Jasmine Vanilla (4 fl. oz each)
AND...a Karmin Titanium Hair Straightening Iron (retail value, $99) provided by MyHairStylingTools.com (not pictured).

I'd like to thank the sponsors of the Cornucopia of Beauty - Laura Geller and MyHairStylingTools.com.

The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. CST on Wednesday, November 26th. Good luck, Bombshells!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Well-fitting Tank

I wrote about Old Navy's Plus winter collection a few weeks ago, and I just wanted to follow it up by letting you guys know how much I love this tank:

I've been wearing the Pleated Satin Top with everything: layered over a thin, long sleeved black tee and jeans,with a casual pair of khakis and a cream cardigan, and under a blazer and black pencil skirt. It fits so incredibly well, thanks to a really subtle elasticized back panel. This well-placed elastic makes all the difference between yet another top that either gaps or pulls (depending upon your feminine endowment) and a really well-fitting tank.

My second favorite detail? Velvet straps. They really elevate the whole piece to something more than you might expect for $29.50. The ultra flattering Pleated Satin Top is available in two prints (Sugar Cookie is shown above) and two solid shades. Available up to size 4X.

Photo credit: OldNavy.com

Spotlight on: JC Penney

When I think of JC Penney, I think of weekly doorbuster savings, "one-day sales", and "lowest prices of the season" every other Wednesday. Penney's definitely understands the power of a sale. But does this old-school discount store understand the power of cute clothes?

If this long, plaid bias cut skirt is any indicator, I'd say they do! Wearing long skirts can be difficult - the length walks a fine line between chic and shlump. When wearing a longer skirt, ensure the length hits no farther down the leg than a couple inches below your knee. To balance the added volume a long skirt provides, keep your top fitted.

This belted swing skirt is a really flattering option for that great, essential skirt that most women need in their wardrobes.

This purple turtleneck sweater features some really cute, but subtle details - the finish on the sleeves and waistband, the ruching along the chest. This sweater is a combination of cotton/cashmere, so it'll feel soft on your skin.

This charmeuse blouse is really pretty and versatile- it would look equally great over a slim skirt or a pair of dark jeans. The open neckline highlights the face, while the seaming helps define your curves.

I prefer shopping online at Penny's rather than shopping at the store - it's easier to find the good stuff. And most the discounts available in-store are also honored online. Something to keep in mind when shopping at a discount store - understanding the fabrics you're buying is important. To say that you get what you pay for is true, but doesn't have to mean your wardrobe looks cheap. Make sure the fabrics you buy at stores like JC Penney feel good on your skin - avoid anything that feels cheap. And take care of these items once you get them home - treat them delicately when washing so they don't pill and fall apart.

Photo credit: JCPenney.com

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bombshell Beauty Gift Guide

I absolutely love the Gift Guides that are everywhere right now - from the pages of our favorite magazines to segments on Extra (seriously, I think it's hilarious to watch Mario Lopez talking about makeup and random gifts every night) (Also, please tell me I'm not the only one who watches Extra). My mom taught me should be something the recipient may not buy herself - something fun and a little decadent. Over the past year, I've come across a lot of really great beauty products, gorgeous clothes, and fun accessories - all of which fit Mom's gift-giving criteria. So I give you the Bombshell Beauty Gift Guide:

For the Bombshell who loves to create a spa-like experience in her own bathroom, you'll become her favorite gifter with Crabtree & Evelyn's Revitalizing Skin Polishing Ritual. This set includes a generous 5.25 oz tub of Asian exfoliating spices that smell absolutely edible (think clove), a 5.25 oz tub of ultra moisturizing body butter, a ceramic bowl and wooden applicator. Your Bombshell can create custom blends of the spices and body butter (mixing them up in the bowl with the applicator) to make the perfect exfoliator for each part of her body. It's fun, it's Zen, it's a fun gift to give (and receive!). $49.50, online and wherever Crabtree & Evelyn products are sold.

The idea for this gift originated over on one of my favorite blogs, Frocks & Frou Frou. The very lovely Lillipilli commissioned an artisan on Etsy.com to revamp her underwear drawer. The pair shown above is one of several pairs that Etsy seller TouchMeNot created just for her. Cute undies can be hard to come by for curvy girls, so what Bombshell wouldn't love to open up a box of frothy (but comfortable!) knickers like this?

The Hana ceramic flat iron has revolutionized my hair. It's gone from a constant state of slightly damaged and dry, to healthy and shiny. I give a lot of credit to this flat iron - it heats up fast, makes quick work of straightening out my wavy hair and the top quality heating plates never snag my strands. At $189 on Misikko.com, it's a splurge but this appliance will last for years and years.

A feather headband is the epitome of a fun, indulgent item. Fred Flare's gold dapple feather headband is $32 and will add a lot of ooomph to a Bombshell's look.

A pair of sweater slippers from Gap promise lots of cozy nights in until the snow melts at the end of winter.

This post could go on and on...I may have to do installments. In the meantime, I want to know: What are you hoping to give or receive this season?

Beauty Moment- Aveda Vintage Clove Shampoo

For the past three weeks, I've been alternating Aveda's Clove Shampoo with my other current favorite (Bain de Terre). I received the bottle from Total Beauty to celebrate the release of Aveda's special limited edition, 30th anniversary packaging. The packaging is made of 96% recycled materials, and it's beautiful (bonus!) in a very Aveda-earthy way. The shampoo formula is unchanged - a combination of clove, coffee and aloe enrich and add shine to brunette hair.

I like this product - it doesn't weigh my hair down and it does seem shinier after I use it. My hair does feel dry after rinsing the shampoo out and needs a healthy does of conditioner to follow. If nothing else Vintage Clove smells amazing, which you can always expect in an Aveda product. You can pick up your own bottle of the Limited Edition Vintage Clove Shampoo in any Aveda salon.

Style on the Cheap

It kind of feels like, for some people, the party is over doesn't it? Decadence is no longer fabulous, it's gauche. I've read a couple of articles lately that said people who still have money are trying to keep it under wraps because it just doesn't feel right to flaunt it. As a regular woman with an average bank account, I've always had an appreciation for the nice things in life. But the things that are actually in my life are from Target, not Neiman Marcus. And while I wouldn't mind having scads of money to buy head-to-toe Dior, I don't mind pulling together outfits from Lane Bryant, Avenue, and a variety of online resources. In fact, I would wager serious money that it's more challenging to shop on the cheap and look great than it is to have tons of money on hand. I know, I know - that's not exactly an earth-shattering revelation. But it's true. There's no need to feel bad about your lifestyle- how much money you have, what size the clothes in you are closet are, if you know it's cool to like coffee but the taste makes your tongue curl. Between the economy and politics around the world, I think our society is in for a shakeup - in a good way. A way in which everyone is less defined by what they have and more defined by who they are.

One of my favorite blogs is called Fab Finds Under $50. The blog's owner, Kimberly, is gorgeous, stylish, resourceful and has an uncanny knack for pulling together really cute outfits that cost less than $50. She posts daily pictures of her fab outfit and lists out where each piece came from and how much it cost. Really fun. Check it out, get inspired, dive into your own closet and start making some fab outfits of your own!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is Color

Not just any color - sheer washes of colorful eye shadow, blush, lipstick. I want to look festive. And pretty. NARS knows what I'm talking about.

Jolie Poupee eye shadow duo is everything the holidays should be: fun, unexpected, beautiful. I've heard it over and over again from you guys: "NARS shadows look downright scary!" I know. But just try them. Seriously. One shade is a bright, vibrant violet that looks light and airy on the lid. The second shade is a pearly grape purple that adds a little depth and shine to the eye. Neither of them are scary once they're on your eyelids. Promise. And I think that purple shadow is the perfect day-to-night color. You can apply it with a light hand and hit the office without looking like a hooker. Or you can layer it and smudge it with some black liner to create a party-worthy smokey eye.

For a little more holiday oomph, I like to sweep a touch of Silent Night along the crease of my lid. It layers well over practically any other color, and the glittery gold shade makes my eyes sparkle.

Sometimes it's nice to mix up where you put your color - instead of going for the obvious focus on your eyes, put a pop of color on your cheeks. Super Orgasm powder blush gives a nice flush and a boost of shimmer - definitely not for day use. But a great option for a night out!

Red lips are as ubiquitous as misteltoe during the season. But it doesn't always wear well...especially if you spend a lot of time underneath said mistletoe. Go for a sheer alternative like Canaille. It's less berry, more brown. Amp it up with a wash of gloss.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Desperately Seeking: Easy Party Clothes

Sometimes, it's fun to spend two hours getting ready for a party or a night out - luxuriating in the bath tub, layering perfume over lotion over scented body wash, applying makeup with the precision of a Hollywood starlet's glam squad, and pulling on a dress and tights and heels and jewelry, all very carefully thought out. But sometimes, you've got to get home from work, fluff your hair, change your clothes, and just get there already!

When that's the case, you need a go-to outfit that you can pull on and be done with - minimal accessories, and if it can be pulled on over your work pants, even better. I give you:

Lane Bryant Rhinestone Top. Sheer sleeves are a nice alternative to sleeveless - fancy, but covered. A pop of flash at your bustline is brilliant. Wear this top with slim-fitting pants, not something flowey. The shirt has enough flow to it. Pair with tousled hair, shiny lips, and a glass of champagne.

Avenue's Sequin Sweater is festive, fun, and would look so cute paired with either pants or a skirt/tights/boots combo. Add diamond studs and a swipe of berry-colored lipstick for low-maintenance chic.

Everyone looks radiant in pink. Which makes it a no-brainer for party time. I like this ruffled bustier from MXM because you can toss a blazer over it before 5:00, then remove (or replace with a soft cardigan) for after-hours.

There is no other time of year that people will applaud you for draping yourself in sequins like this. But in the right setting, at the right time, MXM's sequins bandeau top could be a real show-stopper (in a good way). Keep everything else (jewelry, pants, shoes, hair) simple. You do not want anything competing with this top. I like the way the color bands elongate the torso and create curves.

Photo credits: Lanebryant.com; Avenue.com; 1-plus.com/mxm

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Coming...a Cornucopia of Beauty!


Get ready girls...the mother of all Harvest-themed beauty give-aways is coming. Between midnight on November 24th and 11:59 p.m. on the 26th, enter to win one of three great prizes in the Bombshell Beauty Cornucopia of Beauty Give-Away. There's a lot to be thankful for this month - family, friends, turkey, Black Friday doorbuster deals at every major retailer, and all of the terrific beauty products, new and old, that have come into my life over the past year.

Two lucky readers will each win one of my favorite new products, Laura Geller's Baked Cake Eyeliner Duo in Plum Pudding/Black Forest.

One incredibly lucky grand prize winner will receive:
* Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner Duo in Plum Pudding/Black Forest
* NEW L'Oreal Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser
* Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (1fl. oz)
* Kiehl's Lip Balm #1
* Sally Hershberger Star Shine spray
* NEW L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara
* Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo
* L'Oreal Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Airbrush Self Tanning Mist (in Medium)
* Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Body Wash and Lotion in Jasmine Vanilla (4 fl. oz each)
AND...a Karmin Titanium Hair Straightening Iron (retail value, $99) provided by MyHairStylingTools.com(not pictured)

Pretty amazing right? I'm so excited to bring you this give-away. It wouldn't be possible without my good friends at L'Oreal and most especially Laura Gellar and MyHairStylingTools.com. A huge thank you to them!

You wish that today was November 24th, huh? I know. Good news for today, though - MyHairStylingTools.com wants to give Bombshell Beauty readers special coupons that you can start using right this very minute. Use the following coupon codes:

BOMBSHELL25 - Good for $25 off any Karmin Titanium Hair Straightener
BOMBSHELL10 - Good for $10 off any item on the site.

These sweet coupons have no expiry date.

MyHairStylingTools.com might be new to you - I just recently became acquainted with the site's owner, Erin. She's a really cool woman - a single mom of 2 beautiful children - who started the site just over a year ago after running her own store on eBay. She absolutely loves all things beauty and really knows her stuff. Erin and her staff connect with their customers in a way that's absolutely unique - via a live chat on the site, and a feature that lets you email them with your questions (need styling tips? want to know how to create a certain look? wondering which flat iron you should buy? They'll help). Erin herself will, most often, be the one who gets back to you. So, check out her site, use a coupon if you find something you need, and remember to come back on November 24th to enter to win one of the three prizes up for grabs!

Versatile Clothing

In these interesting economic times (I'm so tired of hearing adjectives like "uncertain" or "tough" or "freaking scary"), it's important to make sure that everything you buy is truly worth the dollars you plunk down in payment. Before making any new clothing purchases, ask yourself how many different ways you can wear the piece that you're modeling in the dressing room mirror. Can you throw a cardigan on top? Put a thin turtleneck under? Belt it? Pull a sweater over it? Wear it with jeans, trousers, a pencil skirt? By ensuring that the clothes in you closet are versatile you'll avoid wasteful spending and wardrobe boredom. Need a little inspiration? Look at the two distinctly different outfits built around this one top:



Old Navy Flutter Sleeve top in Dark Night - available up to size 4X. My closet is mostly populated with short sleeve or sleeveless tops because I can wear them year-round by adding or eliminating layers.



Layer a sweater, like this Rosette Cardigan in Lemonade from Old Navy, unbuttoned over the top. Don't be afraid of bright colors - you can mix a shade of yellow like this over a print that contains a little bit of yellow or other complimentary color, or button up the cardigan and let it stand alone.



Dress up your look with a slim-fitting pencil skirt - this version from Old Navy features some really nice details like subtle pleating along the front and back, and a full lining.




Add some flash with a wristful of bangles and some gold hoops- you're ready to give a presentation at work or for a dinner date with your sweetheart.

For a casual alternative, let's keep the shirt and ditch the cardigan, skirt and jewelry.



Unfasten the first couple of buttons on the floral flutter sleeve top. Add:


Wine-colored Henley tee shirt.



Your favorite pair of jeans.



A warm scarf. Done. Good to go. Head out to the grocery store or catch a movie with the girls. Versatile, cute, totally mixable. That's a wardrobe done right.

All clothes available online in Old Navy's women' plus department. Photo credits: OldNavy.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My heart literally stopped beating for a moment when I came across this dress at Nordstrom:

It's achingly beautiful, don't you think? The absolute definition of "show stopper." And the color is even called Lipstick. Couldn't be more perfect. So, way to go Adrianna Papell. Thanks for making it red. And available in sizes 2-24.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beauty Moment- Holiday Gift Sets

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the release of a multitude of special edition holiday gift sets from pretty much every beauty brand on the planet. One of my favorite trends this season is the inclusion of really cute clutches filled with product. Here are a few of my favorites - if you're at all tempted, I suggest snapping them up post-haste.



Dior Miss Dior Cherie gift set includes a 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray, a 1.7 oz Moisturizing Perfumed Shower Gel, and a 1.7 oz Perfumed Body Moisturize and a very festive metallic silver handbag. Yes, that's a huge D on the clasp. But at least it stands for Dior, right?



Get your glow on with this 24K Sexy Gold Set from Benefit. Set includes The set includes:
- 0.12 oz 24K Sexy Gold Lipstick (true gold shimmer)
- 0.06 oz 24K Nugget Shimmering Loose Powder For Eyes & Face (pale shimmering gold)
- Gold embossed clutch



There is no way in hell you could possibly need another lip gloss in your makeup bag after picking up this wardrobe of glosses from Tarte. And for less than $40, it's a steal. The faux-croc clutch will go with practically any holiday outfit you choose, you too.

Photo credit: Sephora.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

Open Post to My Husband

My second wedding anniversary is coming up on the 17th and, while I of course have already purchased and wrapped the absolute perfect gift for him, my husband told me this evening that he's having a hard time coming up with something for me. He's a great gift giver so I'm not exactly worried. But I also don't want to leave anything up to chance. So here are some ideas, Honey - Bombshells weigh in if you've got any great ideas for him, too.



Remember how much I loved the Kate Spade wallet you unexpectedly splurged on for our first Christmas together? I'm just saying...if you feel like splurging...Kate's a good option. Especially this gorgeous ostrich and crocodile embossed purse.



There's something beautifully old fashioned and enduring about this engraved initials necklace from Red Envelope. Something we could pass down to a future, potential daughter.



I wouldn't mind curling up in front of the Fireplace DVD on our TV in these pajama pants.



This is probably more along the lines of what you were envisioning...



If we've learned anything over the past two years, it's the power of compromise. I think we could both appreciate this pretty, lace-trimmed chemise.

Photo credits: KateSpade.com; RedEnvelope.com; LaneBryant.com

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beauty Moment- Balance-N- Brighten


I can't think of a beauty line that commands more passion and more disdain than Bare Minerals. If you love it, you want everyone to know about how life-changing the Bare Mineral foundations, eye shadows, mineral veils, etc. have been. If you hate it, you smirk and roll your eyes every time a friend pulls out her mess of a makeup bag and tries to reapply without getting powder everywhere. I'm not quite at the smirking, eye-rolling stage - I've used Bare Minerals, have seen it make a major improvement to the skin condition of several women I know and love, and I even recommended it to a friend who has extremely sensitive skin. It has always left me wanting more. Or, I should say less: less powder all over my counter top; less swirling, tapping and buffing; less dryness. I want the flawless, natural look that Bare Minerals can create without the hassle. And I've found it.

Laura Geller created it with her Balance-N- Brighten baked pan of powder foundation. After getting a taste of Laura Geller from her fabulous eyeliner duo, Baked Cake, I wanted to try more of her line. I went straight for the holy grail, hero product - Balance-N-Brighten. Like the rest of her baked pans, Balance-N-Brighten started out as a liquid. A swirl of neutral shades of cream, peach, and soft tan were blended together then baked in terra cotta pots to create a light-as-air pressed powder. The combination of neutral colors tones down redness in the skin, brightness any dullness or sallow tones, and gives your complexion a healthy looking glow without the use of shine or glitter. I use Balance-N-Brighten differently, depending how my skin looks and feels on a given day. When it's pretty happy and clear, I use Balance-N-Brighten over my moisturizer. It evens out the little bit of redness on my cheeks and I'm good to go. When I need a little more coverage, I sweep the powder on top of foundation - it sets the look and makes me feel polished. Because of the liquid-to-powder baking process, the end result is so soft and light.

Balance-N-Brighten comes in a generous compact (.32 oz that will last me at least half a lifetime) for $29.50. You can choose from the original formula (best on medium to slightly darker skintones) and the new Fair formula. Not sure if a deep formula is in the works, but I should hope so. For an extra $5.50, you can upgrade to the Balance-N-Brighten kit which includes a really nice retractable brush. It's kind of large so I'll admit to tossing the much smaller Bare Minerals buki brush into my bag when I leave the house. The compact is brilliant, as it contains a mirror in the lid for touch-ups on the go.

If you, too, like the concept of good-for-you minerals (minus parabens, etc) in your makeup but want the application to be easy and mess-free, give Laura Geller's baked products a try. They're pretty on the face, pretty in the pot, and the price point is great for what you're getting.

You can buy Laura Geller direct from her web site, or head over to Sephora to try out her product line in person.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Juicy Couture Meet & Greet

Juicy Couture founders Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy will host a meet and greet for all Juicy lovers at their new Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City next Saturday, November 8th. The duo will be signing postcards and giving away a limited quantity of “Viva La Juicy” tees to shoppers who spend over $200.

When: Saturday, November 8th 11AM – 1PM
Where: Juicy Couture Flagship, 650 Fifth Avenue (Cross street 52nd St), NY NY



So throw on your favorite Juicy track suit (available in sizes up to 24 at Nordstrom) and head over to 5th Avenue to meet the women who made velour sweatpants chic.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Style

I got up at the crack of dawn (ok, 6:00 AM) so I could get to my polling location before 7:00 - after seeing all the horror stories of 3 hour waits at the polls on CNN, I was all about getting there early. I knew I could dial it in and just show up in my pajamas. But I wanted my outfit to match the excitement and enthusiasm I feel for Election Day. I had to plan for every "what if" possible - what if I have to stand outside in the morning chill, what if I have to stand inside a broiling hot building - and this is what I chose:



My Right Fit Denim trousers from Lane Bryant never steer me wrong. They're comfortable, pulled together, and make me feel a little kicky.



I chose this Lace Inset Blouse from Alloy (available up to size XXXL) so I could toss a jacket on over it without getting too warm if I needed to (which I didn't because for some reason, it's 75 degrees here in St. Paul). Oh, and the neutral cream color is the perfect backdrop for my red and white I VOTED sticker.



For accessories, I thought globally with this pendant and a pair of gold hoop earrings.



Standing around for an indefinite amount of time (in my case, about 40 minutes) called for flats. This plaid pair by B.P. gave a touch of Americana flair to my look. Get inspired, get out to vote - and look good doing it!

Photo credit: Lanebryant.com; Alloy.com; Macys.com; Nordstrom.com.