Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beauty Moment- L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Powder

As you get older, are you wearing more or less makeup? I'm a complete makeup junkie; I love everything about it - buying it, applying it, re-applying, giving makeovers, receiving makeovers. Everything. But the older I get, the less I wear on a day-to-day basis. I've begun to look for foundation alternatives because I like the idea of showing my skin. I'm a new fan of powders that can play dual roles - light, sheer coverage for those days that my skin is on its best behavior; buildable, medium to full coverage for those days that my face looks inflamed or otherwise out of whack.

I've told you all about Laura Geller's Balance and Brighten, which I love. I can now add another, less expensive, option to my list of players: L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Powder.

The Infallible Powder promises 16 hours of continuous coverage, thanks to high resistance pigments that can power through heat and humidity. Available in six shades, the product also contains SPF 20.

I didn't get 16 hours of wear out of the Infallible Powder - probably closer to 6 before I started to notice a little shine. I wasn't really disappointed by this - as I mentioned, I enjoy a good touch-up at some point in the day. For sheer, light coverage I dust the powder on with a fluffy brush. When I want more coverage, I dampen a sponge, rub it over the powder and then tap it onto the areas that need it. No cakiness, no flakiness. I recommend using a primer or an emollient moisturizer before applying the powder; this will keep your face from feeling dry.

You can find Infallible Powder wherever L'Oreal products are sold. I usually get mine at Target or Ulta.
Babyphat's Asymmetrical Jacket just might become my go-to spring layer of choice. It feels a little rough and rugged, like a motorcycle jacket, but features refined touches like the off-center Peter Pan collar and elbow-length sleeves with buttons. It will add a little edge to a flowy sundress and strappy sandals, and will make a ribbed tank top and cropped jeans look a little more polished. Available up to size 3X.

Photo credit: Macys.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beauty Moment- Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting

Maybe it's because I just had a birthday (and cake) but I'm all about anything with the word "frosting" in its name. A light dusting of Laura Geller's Baked Body Frosting makes skin look absolutely delicious (although I don't recommend licking it...)

Like most of Laura Geller's powder products, Body Frosting starts out as a moisture-infused liquid that's baked in a teracotta pot to a silky smooth pressed powder formula. The generous serving of frosting comes with a powder puff that makes application easy. I saw Laura (on a QVC appearance) dip the puff in water and then swipe over the powder before applying it to skin - this makes the powder last longer.

I've been dusting myself with Sugar Glow, a light champagne shimmer, every day before work. I don't look shiny or sparkly - just naturally glowey. It's a beautiful, very wearable effect. And adding a little luminosity to my sun-starved skin right now is exactly what I need to look less scary. Baked Body Frosting is also available in Honey Glow, a soft golden beige shade. I haven't tried it (yet) but am seriously tempted.

Laura Geller is slowly working her way into my makeup bag of essential products. This is one more product that I never want to be without.

No

More often than not, I prefer to focus on the positive - all the great clothes that are available for plus size women. But every once in a while, I feel compelled to highlight something that makes my eyes hurt. Behold: No. Please, no. Sometimes a bustier over a shirt can look cute (I can't recall a real life example of this, but let's just say I'm sure someone out there can pull it off). But a shirt with a fake corset sewn onto it? No.

Photo credit: Lane Bryant.com

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Spring Arrivals

As much as I love fall and winter clothing, I am so ready for the easy fabrics and shapes of spring. Everything is a little more laid back, less constrictive and more go-with-the-flow. Here are just a few new arrivals I'm excited about: This pair of Michael Kors wide-leg jeans is so flattering. Available up to size 24, they fall straight from the waist to the ground. This is a great look for a variety of Bombshell body types. Pair them with a fitted top to provide a focal point on your body, otherwise all of your curves could get lost. This pair will be great come the warmer spring/summer months thanks to its cotton/linen blend. How juicy is the orange print on this chiffon shirt dress? Love that! Especially if it comes in an ultra flattering silhouette like this curvy dress - notice how the notched lapel and twisted bodice nip in the model's waist and bring well-deserved attention to her face? Now imagine it on you... I live in espadrilles from the moment the snow clears off the city streets right up until Fall blows away. I'm looking for a major pair of espadrilles to anchor my spring wardrobe this year. The Stuart Weitzman Saturn sandal is definitely a contender.

Photo credits: Nordstrom.com

Beauty Moment- L'Oreal HIP Color Presso Lipgloss

I'm completely obsessed with the HIP Color Presso Lipgloss duos from L'Oreal. This double chambered gloss allows you to create your own perfect shade by mixing the two colors together. Each chamber has it's own dispenser - press one side or the other to release as little or as much color as you like.

My favorite combination right now is Snazzy - one side is a berry rose shade, shot through with a touch of gold. It's perfect on its own when I want my lips to stand out. If I'm rocking a smokey eye or want the focus to be on my rosy cheeks, I'll use more of the neutral beige color (also featuring a touch of gold). I love products that multi-task. HIP Color Presso Lipgloss cuts down on the number of lip products that I jam into my already-crowded purse. And the gloss feels great on my lips, no yucky aftertaste.

Find your perfect combo wherever L'Oreal HIP makeup is sold, like Target.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beauty Moment- Nubar Nail Polish

There’s nothing like a flawless manicure- smooth, shiny, high-gloss color perfectly painted onto tips and toes. I always feel ladylike (and kind of kick-ass) when my nails are done. One of my new favorite polishes is called Corvina, by Nubar.

Nubar is a cult favorite of Hollywood startlets (like Scarlett Johanson) and Bombshells alike who are into eco-friendly beauty brands. None of Nubar’s polishes contain formaldehyde, toluene, or phlalates – all of which are absorbable carginogens. Granted, nails are pretty much indestructable and don't absorb much but if someone can make a great product without extra chemicals, all the better.

Corvina is a gorgeous, saturated shade of port purple. It looks amazing on short nails and toenails. The polish is thin; I always need three coats for even coverage. And as long as I add another top coat every few days, I can get a solid 6 days of chip-free wear. I love the design of the polish's cap, too - it's shaped like an hourglass is so easy to hold and control while polishing.

Check your local nail salon to see if they carry Nubar – if not, you can order online. Polish retails for $6.99 each, and entire color collections of 8 polishes are available for $45. Corvina is part of the Vineyard Collection.

Photo credit: ByNubar.com
This is a shout out to my brother, Eric: Breakin' tee from Alloy.
I'm living one of those weeks that's going to end with me crawling into bed and rejoicing that it's over. Although I still have to get cuted up for work every day, I'd rather wear all cotton all the time. Granted, the lounge outfit would have to be cute because it never does any good to dress schlubby when you feel crummy. That just makes you feel crummier. It's possible to wear a sweatsuit and look cute - just make sure nothing is over-sized. And a pop of color never hurt anyone. Basic gray hoodie from Old Navy. It's tempting to buy hoodies a size larger than you need because it's comfortable. But guess what? That looks terrible. It's cotton, so wearing the right size isn't going to be constrictive. Layer a patterned tee underneath. A pattern will add some visual interest and makes it seem like you put a little thought and effort into the outfit. Even if you didn't. Pop of color! I love these lounge pants from Evans. The pink sherbet-esque color is so happy. When I'm in a lounging mood, slip off shoes are essential. If the opportunity to nap or lounge strikes, there's no time for laces.

Photo credits: OldNavy.com; Target.com; Evans.co.uk; Payless.com

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine-worthy Lingerie

Lots of women feel completely alien in lingerie. I think the problem is that they just haven't found the right lingerie. Just as every woman has her own unique style of outerwear, there are lots of different styles of underwear. So if you look at lingerie as "just not you", rethink the kind of lingerie you're looking at. Whomever you're wearing it for - yourself, your boyfriend or girlfriend - will thank you!

A tip for women who like the way something slinky looks on the hanger or model more than on herself - most lingerie lacks support throughout the bust area. If you'd like a little more boost in the bedroom, wear a pretty bra underneath your lingerie. Trust me - no one is going to mind peeling off an extra layer. Sportier girls can find sportier lingerie with a touch of delicate lace at Kiyonna. There's nothing fussy or overt about the Harlow camisole and matching hipster panty. Both are made of incredible soft cotton so you'll feel slinky and sexy. If your style is more sultry vamp, Kiyonna has you covered, too. The Bardot lace cami and panty set in Black Cherry is old school luxurious. I like this camisole because it's hip length - long enough to cover up what I want to, while the surplice neckline is adequately plunging. This is definitely not your grandma's slip! It looks like something Sandra Lee might have worn at her vanity in the 50's. Avenue's flirty smocked lace trimmed slip is equal parts sweetly demure and sexy - love that! Sheer mesh fabric turns this demure pink trimmed babydoll number into something a little naughtier than nice. Thanks, Torrid.

Photo credit: Kiyonna.com; Avenue.com; Torrid.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beauty Moment- Update on Pro X

Here's a little update on my 4-week long test of the Olay Pro X products. You can read about my progress after week 1 here. I completed my second week of the moisture regimen and haven't noticed any new developments. Well, aside from three small blemishes which could honestly have been caused by stress. The likelihood of that is so great that I'm not even going to try and pin them on Pro X. If anything, I think my skin could use a little more moisture - but I'll stick with the Pro X plan for another two weeks.

Wrap Me Up

The wrap is universally flattering to practically any woman's shape. It's especially gorgeous on women with curves; the most famous of all wraps is the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. But it's also a great look in a top, paired with crisply tailored pants or jeans. There's something particularly fresh and enticing about this version from Igigi: The combination of teal on gray is so sophisticated. Very cute!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One More Bombshell at the Grammys

I've been searching high and low for a good picture of Queen Latifah at Sunday night's Grammy awards. Finally: You could tell that Latifah felt amazing in this dress. The fringe, which I was at first kind of uncertain about, shimmied when she walked. And boy did she work it! I love the fact that her hair and makeup work perfectly in synch, showing off her natural beauty.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Grammy-winning Bombshells

Adele looked adorable last night at the Grammys. She was styled by Anna Wintour who commissioned a dress for Adele from designer Barbara Tfank. It was a fantastic collaboration that captured & elevated Adele's 60's art-house style perfectly. I also loved Jennifer Hudon's sparkly cocktail dress. She wore it for her performance, and this dress was absolutely gorgeous on-stage.

Beauty Moment- Sephora Professionnel Refillable Powder Brush #54

I absolutely love Sephora's refillable powder brush.
It's the perfect solution to messy mineral makeup and loose powder. The container is incredibly easy to fill - the bottom unscrews, use the included mini spatula to spoon your powder into the vessel, snap it all back together and voila! You're in business. It comes with a cap to keep the brush clean and fluffy; and the bottom twists open and closed so you never end up with powder flying all over your purse. Love this! Get one! $24 in store and online.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Give Me Something New. And Springy.

I can appreciate the super gonzo sales that all retailers have been putting on since October. Who doesn't love 70% off something? But I'm so tired of seeing the same old merchandise hanging on the racks of my favorite stores. Give me something new - please! I may even purchase something at full price if I get excited enough. Like this: This Madra top from B and Lu fits that slightly bohemian yearning I get every spring. Also courtesy of B and Lu, the Adair dress feels just "garden party" enough - without crossing over into fussy territory. Here's hoping that other retailers follow suit!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Adele in Vogue magazine


British Bombshell Adele will be gracing the pages of American Vogue in an editorial spread sometime soon. The soulful singer made such an impression on Anna Wintour that Vogues' editor in chief will be styling her for the Grammy's. Read the whole article here.

While Vogue is not as relevant as it once was, it's nice to see a publication like this embracing a curvier type of beauty.
I love this green belted trench coat. It gives me hope for Spring showers. I think I need more color in my life. This Evans of London trench would be a great start. As soon as it's available online, which frankly I don't when that will be. I'm headed into stalker mode until it is.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Beauty Moment- Olay Professional Pro X

If you've opened a fashion magazine even once over the past several months, you've probably read something about Olay's new Professional line of anti-aging face creams. The products were developed in partnership with the Proctor & Gamble scientists and a team of dermatologists. The beauty industry is abuzz because this relatively inexpensive line (each cream costs approx $47) shows results competitive with those rendered by creams that cost upwards of $100. It's even been compared to the famed Creme de la Mer. I was sent a starter kit containing three of the six Olay Professional Pro X creams and will be testing them out for the next 3 weeks. I've been using them for a week already and will give you updates periodically.

I've been using the Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30 as a day lotion. It's a nice, fluid lotion dispensed from a pump that instantly softens my face and has eliminated the need for a primer before my foundation. For my combination skin (dry on the cheeks, oilier throughout the t-zone), it's the perfect weight - not to heavy nor too light.

At night, I slather on the Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. It comes in a jar, which I find interesting because a lot of dermatologists warn of product contamination when a person dips her fingers into a jar of cream over and over. Bacteria can be transferred to the cream, living and growing. Me? I don't really worry about that. I'm just saying. The Wrinkle Smoothing Cream is also very hydrating, feels great on the skin, instantly softens and sinks right in with no greasiness or heaviness.

Day and night, I apply the Eye Restoration Complex all around my eyes. The formula doesn't sting my eyes (which I can't say about all eye creams), quickly absorbs into the delicate skin around the eyes, and is a great base for my under-eye concealer.

According to Olay, after one week of use I should experience the following:
* Hydrated skin - yep

* Skin is protected from UVA/UVB rays - yep

* Appearance of dark circles and puffiness is dimished - I think so. Nothing dramatic, but I do feel like I wake up looking less ghastly than usual.

* Skin texture is smoother - yes; I like that one the best!

* Skin's natural exfoliation cycle is increased - I have no idea.

After week one, I'm still pretty ambivalent. Would I pay a combined total of $141 for these products on my own? Absolutely not. But maybe that will change over the next few weeks. The hard thing about anti-aging products is that you just have to trust they're working. I appreciate the fact that this line offers immediate, albeit superficial, results. And I recognize the need to be diligent with skincare while I'm still in my 20's.

Olay Professional Pro X products are available at Target and wherever Olay is sold. You can purchase the Anti-aging Starter Kit (shown above) which includes the products I'm using for under $65.