Friday, July 31, 2009

20% Off Lancome Boutique Purchases in Certain Markets

If you live in New York, New Jersey, California or Texas, you can take advantage of a 20% off discount at your local Lancome Boutique. Print out the photo below and present it at a Lancome Boutique in those 4 markets for 20% off anything. Looking for suggestions? I can't get enough of their fragrance, Magnifique. It's one of the few scents that I can wear both day and night - it's equal parts fresh and sultry. This offer is valid 8/01-8/08 a participating Lancome Boutiques - click here to find one near you. Not valid at any other locations, counters or online.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Medicine Cabinet Beauty Trick

My favorite shade of powder eye shadow is a gorgeous bronzy teal shade that makes my eyes look downright sparkly. The problem? The shadow's staying power stinks.

I've tried everything to keep it in place - Urban Decay Potion primer, Mac Paints in Canvas...nothing works. Except this trick from NYC-based makeup artist Diana Manzanares: dip your makeup brush into a few drops of contact solution, then swipe it over the eye shadow and apply however you normally would. The sodium choloride (also known as salt) in the solution will make the powder extra moist thanks to salt's power to retain water.

I have no idea how Diana came up with this trick, but it's a good one. I use ReNu contact solution because that's what's in my medicine cabinet - but you can use whichever brand is handy.

Photo credit: Renu.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I am loving this corduroy jacket by St. John's Bay. Blazers are a great way to define your curves and add visual interest to an understated outfit - I would toss this on over a pair of jeans and a t-shirt; a basic sheath dress; or any skirt currently hanging in my closet.

The military-style jacket's hip vibe is created by the princess seaming, ruffle detail,and gorgeous bordeaux color. The shape of the jacket (a high stance on the chest) may not flatter Bombshells with large busts, but the hip length could be especially great on petite girls.

You can find this jacket in-store and online at JC Penney. It's also available in a muddy beige color called Camel.

Photo credit: JCPenney.com

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Inside Curve on LaneBryant.com

Beginning Monday the 27th, Lane Bryant is launching an online social networking site, called Inside Curve, exclusively for Bombshells. Among other things, you can use the site to chat with fellow plus size women who are interested in style and fashion, check out an assortment of videos and blogs, and get sneak peeks at Lane Bryant's latest and greatest clothes. I'm excited to see what this networking site is all about because the most fun part of Bombshell Beauty is connecting with all of you. Any forum that gets us all together sounds pretty great to me.

As part of Inside Curve's launch, LB is sponsoring a sweepstakes in conjunction with the new reality TV show "More to Love." It's a Fox show that's kind of like The Bachelor - but all the contestants are Bombshells. The prize includes a trip to a spa, a whole slew of spa services, a $500 AmEx gift card and a $500 Lane Bryant gift card. It sounds pretty awesome. So head on over to LaneBryant.com and check it out.

Beauty Moment- Barielle Heel & Callus Treatment Cream

Sandal season is most definitely not a foot race - it's a long, paced marathon. And as we head into August, the last official month of summer, my heels have been looking a little worse for wear. Thanks to near constant exposure to pavement and sunlight, they're dry and cracked on a good day, a little ashy on a bad. To get them back in shape (and to stop feeling like people are judging me on my callused feet!), I've been diligently slathering Barielle Heel & Callus Treatment Cream on them morning and night.

Packed full of shea butter, aloe and vitamin E to moisturize, and other botanical extracts & vitamins to to reduce callus build-up, Barielle's treatment cream is the real deal. What sets it apart from other foot creams is the way it breaks down and sloughs off calluses. I rely on my handy Ped Egg to eliminate more serious calluses, but when I'm pressed for time and need a quick solution Barielle's treatment cream rejuvenates my tootsies.

This thick, concentrated cream soaks in quickly and leaves no slippery after-feel, which is essential when it comes time to slip into a pair of 3" sandals. You won't slide off your heel and sprain an ankle. I suggest washing your hands after rubbing the cream into your feet because this no-slip formula can leave them feeling a little sticky.

For $22, you get a healthy 6 oz of product, in which I've hardly made a dent despite my twice daily application for the past week. I'm certain it'll last me until it's time to hide my heels away in boots. For the ultimate in foot softening, I've got my eye on their 60-second Mani/Pedi scrub, too - and although I haven't tried the scrub myself I've heard good things about it. We'll see. You can find Barielle products in boutique beauty stores, or order online.

Photo credit: Barielle.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fall Trend- Indigo Blue

A recurring theme in fashion and beauty for early fall is the color blue - deep, saturated, indigo blue. It's a trend I can get on board with because this particular shade is incredibly flattering. Take this trend and translate it for your own style; wear a little or go all out.

If you'd like to add just a touch of blue to your look, and update your makeup at the same time, swap out the usual black or brown eyeliner for an inky blue. Dark blue can make the whites of your eyes seem brighter and is very versatile. For day, swipe an indigo liner across your top lashline - add some mascara and a healthy pop of blush to complete the look. For night, extend the liner to your lower lashes to build a fresh smokey eye. I love Lancome's Ink Artliner in Indigo Charm. The gel formula glides on easily and stays put for hours. In my book, dark blue nail polish is the perfect combination of cheeky sophistication. If you're ready to move beyond O.P.I's Russian Navy, pick up a bottle of the limited editionLancome's Le Vernis in Indigo Paris. This gorgeous polish has graced the pages of several of this month's magazines and looks fantastic paired with toes and a tan. (I'm wearing it on my toes right now!)

Update your jeans by picking up a pair that's ultra dark-washed, like this one from Babyphat:

I'm not much for screaming labels, but I do really like Babyphat's signature cat logo on the back pocket. It's all curvy and sensual - kind of like us! And I've never owned a pair of jeans that hugged my butt the way Babyphats do. Love 'em.

This indigo blue, sleeveless ruffle shirt makes a great layering piece:

It's office appropriate when paired with trousers and a cardigan, but this sheer top can be funked up by pulling it on over a long-sleeved cotton dress and left unbuttoned. Very pretty!

You cannot go wrong with a pair of Converse All-star sneaks. They instantly up the cool factor of jeans, make a skirt a little less girly, and add edge to the right dress.


Build your own pair at the Converse web site - this blue pair is the Chuck Taylor high top in Navy.


Photo credits: Lancome.com; Babyphat.com; OldNavy.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beauty Moment- L'Oreal HIP Matte Shadow Duo

What if I told you that this is my new go-to, wear-it-every-day eyeshadow duo?


I can just hear the reactions. "Oh honey, no. 1980's blue and white eyeshadow? No. NO."

I don't blame you- I felt the same way when I opened up a package from L'Oreal and pulled out their newest HIP eyeshadow collection: Matte Shadow Duos.

True to HIP's signature form, the five matte duos are a pop of color. But this is a pop of color unlike anything I've tried before; thanks to the matte formula, it's very grown-up and wearable. I like that juxtaposition - usually bright colors are reserved for clubbing or girls under 25. But because these colors aren't frosty or sparkly, they're more versatile. Sophisticated, even.

The blue and white combo above is called Animated. When swept across the entire lid, the white makes my whole eye area look more awake and fresh. I brush the blue shade lightly into the crease of my eye lid for a little definition and a really pretty wash of color. It's a great daytime look that's pulled me out of my mid-summer makeup rut (I know I'm not the only one who's been slapping on the same bronzey shadow since June).

Because the matte formulas provide buildable coverage, the shades could work on a variety of skin colors - the fairer your skintone, the lighter hand you can use in applying the color. For darker skintones or to create a dramatic look, apply more layers of shadow to your lid. Play around. See what works for you. Don't decide that a color combination is too far out for you based solely on what you see in the compact.

Here are the other four Matte Shadow Duos:



From left to right, they are:
Striking - lemon yellow and eggplant purple
Dashing - pinky nude and coal black
Perky - lime green and navy blue
Poppy - peachy orange and fawn brown

Each shadow duo comes with a hidden applicator and retails for about $8 at your local drugstore.

Monday, July 20, 2009

alight.com Giveaway

The fine folks at alight.com want you to look absolutely fabulous. I know this to be true for two very specific reasons:

1. They've spent the past 10+ years providing Bombshells with a one-stop shop of covet-worthy plus size clothes.
2. They've offered to provide three Bombshell Beauties with one free top, each.

alight was one of the very first online plus size retailers that I found, and I remember feeling like a whole new world of wardrobe options had opened up before my eyes. The site fulfilled my desire to shop across brands and across clothing genres in a way that hadn't been available for plus size women up to that point. It was like a department store minus the beaded, beige old lady dresses. And although the Internet is now a jackpot of Bombshell retailers, alight's still a leader in the industry. And for good reason. The clothes they carry are on-trend, stylish, and fun. Every girl wants a little fun in her closet. And alight wants to hang it up for you.

alight's giveaway is going to take place over the next three months. Every 30 days, I'll choose a winner at random. That winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond with the necessary information to claim her prize. Then alight will hand-pick a top and send it to her. Entries will not roll over each month.

Enter the contest as often as you'd like; the only thing you have to do in order to be eligible to win is go to alight.com and join their mailing list. If you're chosen as a winner but aren't on their mailing list, your prize will be awarded to the next randomly chosen winner. So register right now, then enter to win!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Torrid "House of Dreams" Plus Size Model Search

If you're the kind of Bombshell who makes "Blue Steel" faces to herself in the mirror while getting ready for work each day, then you might want to head to your local Torrid this weekend. The company is holding a nationwide plus size model search July 17-19th. Women ages 16 & up, and wearing size 12& up, can go to their local Torrid store with an entry form and photo in hand, and enter to win.

Winners will be flown out to Los Angeles to walk in a major fashion event (LA Fashion Week, maybe?) and will appear as the face of Torrid on Torrid.com. Click here for more details and to download an entry form. Check your local Torrid for store hours.

If you're hemming and hawing, thinking, "Oh my gosh I want to. But should I? No, it's dumb. Right? " Here's a little more incentive for you - the first 100 applicants will receive a free gift of e.l.f. cosmetics. AND, if you're into Jordin Sparks you can hear and pre-order her new album if you apply on Saturday between 3-6. And also? You should do this. You're beautiful! And the only way you for sure won't be chosen is if you don't apply.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beth Ditto Collection @ Evans

Beth Ditto, lead singer of punk band The Gossips, has become something of a plus sized fashion darling over the past year or so. She's gained some notoriety in the press over her lack of inhibition in rocking skimpy outfits and going nude on the covers of various magazines. She wears the same outrageous kind of outfits that everyone is used to seeing Lady Gaga in - but some people find it shocking, given her weight. Whatever.

When I heard that Beth had been tapped to design a line for Evans, I was curious to see how the brand would bring Beth's personal style and aesthetic to life in the form of mainstream, wearable offerings. Well, see for yourself: Geo Sequin Prom Dress

Black Prom Dress

Denim Pencil Skirt


Beth's collection takes its cues very obviously from 80's pop style, both good (pictured above) and bad (click here for more). I'm a fan of diverse options for plus size Bombshells to choose from, and in that spirit I love the collaboration that's gone on here. On the flip side of diversity, I will run screaming if I see anyone wearing this: .


Photo credits: Evans.co.uk

Monday, July 13, 2009

How to Wear Dress Shorts

I've received lots of questions from readers over the past several weeks about dress shorts. Are they cute? Are they wearable? And if they are wearable, what's the best way to pull off this look?

I think dress shorts can be a really stylish summer alternative to full dress pants in a business -casual office. When choosing a pair of dress shorts, go for fabrics that mimic the look of standard dress pants. Sateen and poplin are both good choices - they look substantial and hold up well against wrinkling. Avoid light cotton and linen - they'll look too casual. I like this pair of sateen bermuda shorts from Avenue: Knee-length (also known as bermuda) is appropriate for a dress short. If you have great legs, going touch shorter is fine - but just like a mini skirt isn't ok for the office, neither are short shorts. Look for knee-length shorts that fall straight from your hip to the knee. It's a classic, universally flattering fit. Unlike... This pair is a perfect example of poor fit. I know they seem kicky and fun with the extreme flare leg. But think about where this flare is going to hit on your leg...at the top of your calf. If your calf is svelte and shapely, you might be able to pull it off. But most of us carry weight in our calves. And adding the illusion of extra width right at that particular spot is going to make your legs looks clunky and chunky.

What to wear with your dress shorts? Depends on your style. I like a couple different takes on the trend. Paired with a demure empire waist top, like this one by Sweet Pea, and topped with a blazer - the dress short suddenly becomes a summery suit. If your work style is less Ann Taylor corporate and more creative agency, add a funky top like this hoodie from B & Lu. However you top the shorts, your footwear should be tall. In addition to making your legs look long and curvy, heels will ensure that your look maintains its professional spin. Flats can come off as too casual. I love this pair from BCBGirls.


Photo credits: LaneBryant.com; Avenue.com; Nordstrom.com; BandLu.com

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beauty Moment- Almay Liquid Liner

Every summer, my makeup routine is whittled down to the bare minimum. As much as I love makeup - the application, the colors, the fun - I just don't want to deal with the whole shebang June-August. I swap out foundation for tinted moisturizer, rely on just a touch of bronzer, and forego eyeshadow almost entirely. Instead of sweeping, shading and contouring the eyes, I reach for mascara and eyeliner. And my liner of choice these days has been Almay Liquid Liner.

I've never really given Almay as a brand much thought. A few of my friends who have allergies and sensitive skin use Almay because their products are all hypoallergenic. But I kept flipping past the ad that's in every magazine right now, the one featuring Leslie Bibb looking natural and pretty, with seriously knock-out eyes. And I started thinking, "Hmmm...Almay." Score one for their marketing team. I headed to Target, on a mission to pick up the products I'd need to recreate her look: Pure Blends Eye Shadow in Petal and Lavender. On a whim, I tossed a bottle of Black Liquid Liner in my basket too.

The eye shadows were a total bust - not only do they have zero staying power, the colors weren't as dark and true as the effect pictured on Leslie. I almost didn't even bother with the liquid liner. But holy cats am I glad I did!

Liquid liner isn't easy to apply - and I'm not going to pretend like I was able to draw a perfect line the first (or fourth) time I tried. There's really nothing Almay can do about a shaky hand - but they've done what they can to help in other ways.

The applicator fits perfectly in my hand - it's not too long or short so as to be awkward. The nub that holds the color is pliant enough to give just a bit so, I never felt like I was about to stab myself in the eye. Notice I said "nub," not brush. It's kind of like a felt tip marker, but a little softer. Very easy to maneuver around the eye. And finally, the right amount of product is attached to the nub. I never got halfway across my lip only to start sputtering and run out of color. This made it easy to draw one continuous line.

The real kicker with Almay's liquid liner is that it lasts forever. I've worn it in hundred degree heat, I've worn it through sweaty workouts at the gym, I've slept in it - and the color doesn't drip away or fade. I was hugely surprised by this. Surprised enough to look at Almay a little differently...


Photo credits: Almay.com

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bombshell-worthy Workout Clothes

The gym that I go to is, conveniently enough, located at my office building. This means two things:

1. There's no real excuse for not exercising every day. And yet...I still don't do it. Every day, that is.
2. When I do get into the gym, I'm sweating and panting next to the very same people that I will later be sitting across from in a meeting.

There's nothing I can do about how red I get in the face after 25 minutes on the elliptical machine, or that sweat tends to visibly pool right underneath my sports bra. But I can make sure that my workout clothes are so adorable that no one even notices anything else.

JC Penney has a really great selection of plus size exercise gear. I can't get enough of this little outfit: The SJB Active French Terry Jacket, Tee and Bermuda Short are all available in plus sizes and come in three colors: turquoise, cafe' brown, and rouge violet. The shorts are long enough to eliminate the whole "shorts creep up, you try to discreetly yank them down without missing a beat on the treadmill." And a short-sleeved jacket is perfect for tossing on over a tank or sweaty tee before heading out to your car. I learned that lesson once when I bolted from the gym in just a tank and bumped into one of my department's directors. It was...uncomfortable. The Active Colorblock Tee, available up to size 3X, is more stylish than the typical plain old workout tee. So cute.

I played soccer back in the day, in no small part because of the cool gear. While strutting around in shin guards is no longer the height of cool for this girl, I still love (love!) an iconic soccer brand - Puma. Do not even try to tell me that Puma's Easy Rider III shoes would not make you walk faster, jump higher, and look better doing it.

And because a gym bag is the ultimate accessory, coming or going, I love the very functional Fitness Workout Bag. With enough pockets to hold all your exercise essentials (including a separate pocket for your smelly tennis shoes), this bag looks good and lends gym street-cred. If there is such a thing.

Photo credits: JCPenney.com; Puma.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

All-around Best Summer Tank

This has been a fantastic week for finding new summer go-to pieces. Last week, I found that amazing yellow sundress at Faith21. And now today - Target's Plus Pure Energy Scoopneck Pleat Front Top is that super comfortable and stylish top that you can reach for again and again all summer long. The pleat that starts at the top of your cleavage and gradually drops to the waist creates a visual focal point (ahem, your cleavage) while masking the tummy area. The shaping across the chest and under the arms is fitted enough that this tank is both swingy but fitted. I'd wear this over dark jeans with heels for a night out, over a pair of long shorts and sandals for errands on Saturday, over a swimsuit as an impromptu cover-up...the options are endless. Available up to size 4 (roughly the equivalent of a standard plus size 28) for just $16.99, I'm going to pick up two of them so I've always got a backup.

Photo credit: Target.com

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4th of July Sale @ Misikko

If you've been putting off the replacement of a flat iron that's conked out, or have been wanting to upgrade to a higher quality flat iron - but haven't wanted to shell out major cash for the good stuff - you need to check out Misikko's online sale. Now through July 7th, you can snap up top of the line flat irons from Farouk and FHI for cheap. And by cheap, I mean craziness like a Farouk CHI Pink Dazzle 1" flat iron (pictured left), regularly priced $199 - on sale for $99. Seriously?? (Yes!)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - flat irons are one beauty tool where quality makes a huge difference in the health and condition of your hair. If your hair feels dry or crunchy after straightening it, chances are you need a better quality flat iron. And I've always had really good experiences with Misikko. They have lots of customer reviews and product information to help you make a good decision, and their return policy means you won't get stuck with something that doesn't end up working for you.

I'm good for flat irons but have been seriously contemplating a new hair dryer - the X5 Superlite Tourmaline Travel Hair Dryer is very tempting at the sale price of $69.99...

Photo Credit: Misikko.com
I spotted a really cute girl at work today, sporting a fantastic outfit. She strutted the office hallways in a crisp cotton, black dress cinched at the waist with a thick black belt. One minor (ok, not so minor) problem - her belt loops.

You know how belted dresses and tops always come with flimsy belt loops that don't actually add anything the outfit,but just hold the belt on in the store? You cut those belt loops off, right? Right - I figured that you all do that. But because I didn't know this girl well enough to go up and say, "Excuse me. You look pretty good. The only thing standing between you and "amazing" are those silly belt loops" - I'm trying to make up for it by getting the message out to you.