Monday, August 31, 2009

Avenue/Jessica London

Gap did it first (that I know of) when they brought all of their brands under one easy-to-shop web site. And now Avenue (sizes 14-32) & Jessica London (sizes 14-34) have done it. This is a great idea for these two brands in particular because each could use a little awareness by the other's core customer. Avenue has put a lot of work into defining its brand as fun and trendy, while Jessica London is like the cooler, more sophisticated older sister to A.

Avenue's signature look right now is the The Boyfriend Collection - slouchy, preppy pieces layered over one another. It's a cute look, though one that requires tailoring on a Bombshell to avoid looking messy. Make sure oversized pieces aren't too oversized - like the lavender button-down below. The oversize style looks great when the shirt is a little longer than usual, or when the cuffs are long enough to roll up and push to your elbows. The top looks messy when it lacks shaping throughout the bust and waist. That's an easy fix for a tailor. Here's a look at Avenue's Boyfriend Collection:







I'm saving my pennies for Jessica London's leather jacket. It's the perfect edgy/cool piece to top everything from dresses and tights to jeans and tee-shirts.



Photo credit: Avenue.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beauty Moment- Ponds Wet Cleansing Towlettes

Do you remember when cleansing towelettes first hit the beauty scene back in..what, the late 90's? I remember making a Target run around that time with my BF Kimi; we picked up Ponds Towelettes, Biore Pore Strips, and a couple boxes of hair color before racing back to her dorm room at UNL to get busy. I recall turning Kim's hair orange (seriously, I did that more often than any true friend should be allowed to), the Biore strips hurting like hell after yanking them off my nose, and thinking the cleansing towelettes were freaking genius.

Jump forward 10+ years and cleansing towelettes, while still useful and popular, aren't garnering the kind of attention they once could. When I was sent a pack of Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes, I expected a walk down memory lane. What I got was that plus an incredibly soft, clean face that felt hydrated and fresh.

Available in:
Original Clean (the version I tried) - super effective at removing makeup, the quilted cloths sweep dirt off your face without irritating the skin. Contains Triple Tea Antioxidant Complex, Vitamin E and Chamomile.

Micro-Dermabrasion - dual sided cloths have micro derma beads on one side to exfoliate; the flip side is soft and smooth to remove makeup.

Age-Defying - special formula is designed to be extra gentle on the skin around the sensitive eye area; the clothes are infused with retinol and collagen which are known to aid in cell turnover and a plumper appearance to the skin.

I'm happy to have rediscovered an old favorite; the Original Clean Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes have a permanent spot in my heart and on my vanity. They're a terrific supplement to my skincare routine - for those days that I'm on the go, at the gym, travelling, or am too lazy to go through my normal regimen. Each variety is sold in packs of 30 for under $6 wherever Ponds products are sold.

Lee Plus Size Jeans

I should have titled this post "Lee Jeans - Not Just for Moms Anymore" because (let's be honest) the perception around the Lee brand is that they are high waisted, tapered and light washed circa 1991. And elastic might be involved. Like this:



Yes, these jeans are currently available from Lee. BUT. You can also get these jeans:


Here's the deal. Lee is making a concentrated effort to offer cuter, more stylish jeans. In plus sizes. In fact, they've invested in a new line of plus size jeans called Slender Secret. LOVE Slender Secret. It's some kind of fantastic stretchy technology that hugs your curves with an incredibly soft denim. Hugs your curves all day long. You won't have super tight jeans at 8AM and then a saggy butt at 3PM. Don't you hate that? I sure do.

I was given the chance to sample a pair of the Slender Secret Jeans; I wanted to wear them all the time. They're that comfortable. They look great on. And the price is perfect - under $45. Find your perfect pair here.

Photo credit: Lee.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another alight.com plus size clothing Give-Away!

The winner of our first alight.com plus size clothing Give-Away was chosen - Salem, congratulations! Shoot me an email by 7:15 p.m. on 8.25 to claim your prize.

You wanted to win a free top, didn't you? Well...maybe this will be your luck give-away! Contest is open, same rules (click over to alight.com plus size clothing to join their list), same prize (one top selected for you by the alight.com plus size clothing team). The next winner will be chosen on 9.23.09. Enter as often as you like!

In Case You Missed It

I've mentioned Glamour magazine here before - the editors feature plus size fashion and styling every once in a while - and wanted to make sure you guys had seen one of the most-talked about pictures to appear in a mag recently:



It's a shot of model Lizzi Miller, just hanging out in her undies, laughing and not trying to suck in her pooch. It accompanied a story about feeling good in your own body and has received a lot of attention from women who are excited to see someone who even faintly resembles them and their bodies.

A few people in various chat forums have mentioned that Lizzi is barely plus-size (she's a size 12/14). But true size isn't really the point here, is it? She is rocking a serious Bombshell attitude along with that normal-girl pooch. I love that - and the implications behind all this buzz:

1. A mainstream magazine published this photo
2. It's received a TON of positive feedback

Both good things in my book!

Photo credit: Glamour.com

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm Back!

Thanks for hanging in there with me - I know my posts have been spotty (to say the least!) over the past few weeks. God willing, my life will be back to normal this week which means regular posts (I have so much to share with you guys! Makeup, clothes, the cutest accessories!!).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

LashBlast Length Pre-Sale Event



Click here to buy a tube of Cover Girl's latest addition to the LashBlast family of mascara - LashBlast Length. It features a new formula that's supposed to eliminate flaking, and Cover Girl's longest mascara wand to date. It'll be available in stores come September, but is available now for a limited time online.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On the Hunt for Fall Pieces

The one item I most definitely want this fall is a leather jacket. The last time I owned one, Married...with Children was considered risque, Color Me Bad's latest cassette was in constant rotation on my tape deck, and gas cost about $1.25. Needless to say that particular leather jacket was about as cool as the Glamour Shots I had taken for my birthday.

I haven't found my leather jacket yet. I know I want one that is black, with a few zippers and a motorcycle feel. I'm on the hunt. If you see one that you think I should know about, shoot me an email at BombshellBeautyBlog@gmail.com or leave a comment here. And while you're at it, let me know what you're on the hunt for. Let's help each other get fabulous for Fall!

What to Wear to a Funeral

Forgive me if this topic seems morbid, but it's top of mind for me at the moment. My grandma died this weekend and I'm heading home for her funeral. Obsessing over what to wear is a lot easier than wallowing in sadness; I don't think I'm alone here since " What are you wearing" is the second most-common question among my family at the moment (right after "How are you doing," of course).

What makes dressing for this type of life event even more challenging for plus size women is that it's not always as simple as running out to the mall to pick up an appropriate outfit. And because funerals typically pop up quite unexpectedly, it's not always feasible to jump online and order something in time for the occassion (unless you're fine with paying lots of $$ for overnight shipping). So I really cannot stress enough what a good idea it is to make a simple black dress part of your wardrobe before you need it (and I'm not just talking about funerals - a black dress will come in handy for that last minute date or job interview, etc).

Thankfully, I have my trusty little black dress all ready to go. I plan on pairing it with black tights because, despite the summer heat, it just feels right for me to be a little more covered up than usual. I'm going to add a pop of color- bright green heels - in honor of Grandma. She'll be buried in the most cheerful hot pink pantsuit you've ever seen - which is perfect because I've never in my life seen her in a color more demure than lipstick red. She was that kind of lady.

When choosing an LBD, pick one that's as versatile as possible. This means a dress without too many bells and whistles or otherwise distinctive features. Make sure the fit is impeccable. Mine is similar to this Calvin Klein version: I prefer opaque black tights made by Cacique at Lane Bryant. They're not too terribly spendy when you consider how long one pair can last. I think it's a nice idea to pay tribute to a loved one with a special accessory or color. I know Grandma will get a kick out of green shoes like these because she always loved St. Patrick's Day, right down to the blinking plastic beer mug earrings she'd wear.

Photo credit: Nordstrom.com

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Favorite Web Site

I can't get enough of My Beauty Best Friend (mybbf.com), a fabulous web site with lots of informative articles on everything fashion and beauty. Once you register, you're assigned a team of Advisors who will give you the lowdown on everything from up and coming trends to recommendations for skincare, haircare, makeup and more - based on your personal preferences!

The site has so many tools for inspiration - check out your favorite celebrities' style to, read through articles and product recommendations from the advisors. You can also connect with other fashion and beauty lovers to share ideas and chat. It's so much fun. And do addictive. My to-do list for the afternoon ended up underneath my desk because I couldn't stop clicking around. I could go on and on but seriously, just check it out for yourself.

Belt It

While pushing past every hanger in my closet this morning I was struck with an over-whelming sense of "Blaaahhhh." The source of my blahhhs was not immediately evident. Obviously I was feeling uninspired by the clothes hanging in front of me. But I love my clothes. I don't really need anything new...so what's the deal? After throwing on a go-to dress that always elicits a cute waggling of eyebrows from my husband, I ran out the door still trying to pinpoint my issue.

Halfway through the day it hit me: belts! I need a couple more belts. Belts will make all the difference in making my favorite clothes feel new. And after hitting my favorite web sites, I found the belt: How cool is the Black, Brown, Silver and Gold Snakeskin Stretch Belt from Torrid? This one is going to jazz up practically any dress or top that needs a little oomph and some Bombshell definition. And because it stylishly blends black, brown and two metallics, choosing a coordinating shoe will be a cinch! And at $20, this belt's cost per wear will be practically nothing.

Photo credit: Torrid.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beauty Moment- Cover Girl Simply Ageless Foundation & Blush

I've received a lot of questions from you guys about the new Simply Ageless products by Cover Girl. I've been intrigued too, with Ellen Degeneres's appearance as the line's spokesmodel and the products themselves.

Both the foundation and blush share two key similarities: the addition of Olay Regenerist Serum that, with a combination of vitamins, skin conditioners and anti-oxidants, can improve the texture and elasticity of skin; the cream to liquid formula that glides over the skin without settling into fine lines and wrinkles. That's pretty potent stuff - but do the Simply Ageless products live up to their claims and Ellen's charm? In my opinion, yes on both accounts.

Maybe I'm flattering myself (probably) when I say that I might be a little younger than the target demographic for Simply Ageless. I'm 29 and have pretty decent skin - a touch of redness and rosacea across my cheeks and nose; my chin gets a little oily and breaks out once in a while. To see how these products work on other skin types, I recruited my sister-in-law, Katie, and mom to test them out with me.

Katie's in her early 30's and her skin tends to be drier, and she thinks she has fine lines and wrinkles (although I don't see it). She's a devoted Bare Minerals user. Mom is in her mid-fifties and has always been a makeup minimalist. Her skin has some redness (runs in the family), probably tends to be a little dry, with an expected amount of fine lines and wrinkles for a beautiful woman of her age.

Simply Ageless Foundation and Blush come in pretty nifty packaging. The product itself is housed in a glass jar container that twists off from the purple plastic base which stores a blending sponge. The cream looks like an old fashioned lollipop, with swirls of white (presumably the Olay Regenerist Serum) throughout. All three of us applied the same way - wiped the sponge across the cream and then patted onto our faces, blending this way and that.

The foundation was great because the coverage is sheer and feels extremely lightweight - a must for my mom who hates to feel like anything is caking up her face. The cream-to-liquid formula is meant to ensure that nothing settles into the skin, but instead rests on top of it. It's buildable, so Mom and I were able to conceal our redness where needed.

The blush looks very concentrated, and we were all a little unsure how much to put on. But after rubbing the sponge over the blush and then dabbing it onto our cheekbones, all three of us were surprised at the sheerness of the color. The shades we tried looked really luminous and natural. Plush Peach was the lightest and softest color; Rich Cinnamon created a summery bronzed look; and Royal Plum mimicked the kind of flush you might get after running around a bit. Very natural.

Both the blush and foundation are dematologically tested, hypoallergenic, suitable for sensitive skin, and fragrance & oil-free. The foundation contains SPF 22, which is great protection no matter what age you are.

The verdict between the three of us was that my mom and I both love these products, while Katie went back to her Bare Minerals. Bare Minerals lovers are a notoriously tough crowd. But based on my personal experience with Cover Girl's Simply Ageless line, I would recommend it to anyone with sensitive skin or who wants to add a little extra skincare into their makeup routine - no matter the age.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Check out this sexy kimono top from Alloy: The crochet inset along the deep v-neck (which is double-sided for equal plunge opportunity in the front and back) makes this top feel more bare than it really is.

Available up to size XXXL, it would look great over a pair of faded jeans and sandals. If the double plunge neck/backline is too much for you, a simple camisole underneath would cover you up without detracting from the top.

Photo credit: Alloy.com

Thursday, August 6, 2009

alight Give-Away

Don't forget to register for my alight.com give-away. The first winner will be chosen on August 19th. Click here for more details, and register below.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Super-Hydrating Lipstick

I used to be a lipgloss-only girl because lipstick was so complicated: too many formulas to choose from (matte, creamy, long-wear, etc) none of which ever looked or felt as easy as lipgloss. But I've finally found a lipstick that's as easy to throw on as lipgloss and may keep my lips hydrated and plump for years to come.

L'Oreal's Colour Riche Anti-Aging Serum smooths onto the lips, feeling creamy and slightly tingly (which confused me at first, but I've grown to like). The formula isn't heavy, so your lips won't feel waxy and coated, but it is long-lasting. The serum that's infused into the lipstick contains collagen which can fill surface lines, improve definition and make lips look fuller. I think my lips look smoother when I'm wearing this lipstick, and assume the aforementioned tingly-feeling is a result of the serum doing...something.

In any case, my color of choice is a really lovely, natural pink shade called Blushing Bouquet (above). It works well with natural makeup (mascara, tinted moisturizer and a hint of bronzer) or more dramatic looks (smokey eye).

First the HIP Matte Shadow Duos, now this new lipstick, - for my money, I think L'Oreal seriously has some of the best products out right now, at any price point. I've been testing out some new eye pencils from them, too, that I'll let you know about in the coming weeks. Until then - what's your favorite makeup that's under $10?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cute Little Black Dress

If your little black dress is in need of an update, check out this three-
tiered number from Missphit.
The proportions of this dress are just right for a Bombshell who has broad shoulders or a large bust because it will help create a visual balance between the upper and lower halves of the body. The ruffles begin at the top of the thigh which helps elongate curves. It's a much more flattering placement than at the top of the waist - many plus size women have curvy hips, and a higher placement of the ruffles might add bulk. The dress's straps are also adjustable to help ensure proper fit.

And speaking of fit, make sure this dress fits perfectly throughout the bust. The last thing you want to do is make it look like your breasts are bound and gagged! If need be, order one size up and take it to a tailor for a little nipping and tucking. An LBD should be the one item in your closet that you can toss on anytime for anything and know it's going to fit perfectly.