Friday, October 30, 2009

Casual Friday Jeans

It's casual Friday, girls - well, casual Friday if you work anyplace half civilized (shout out to my friend Ann whose dress code is all business, all the time!). Casual Friday means jeans. And jeans means decisions: boyfriend, skinny, trouser, bootcut. Which to choose?

You know what I say? There are at least four Fridays a month; get one of each. Start your search here:



In my opinion, Old Navy has nailed the boyfriend jean - theirs look authentic, truly worn in and kind of like you pulled them off your boyfriend's bedroom floor. A close second is Avenue's Distressed Sparkle Boyfriend Jean, available up to size 32. To keep this casual look chic instead of sloppy, roll up the pant legs and pair them with a fitted top. Heels or tailored flats complete the outfit.



This ultra dark wash pair of skinny jeans is so hot. It can be hard to find dark jeans without any whiskering or other "fade" spots, but that faux treatment can draw attention to the exact spots you'd rather streamline. (I cannot be the only one who'd rather not have light patches directly on my thighs, right?). Torrid's Dark Wash Graduate Skinny Jean is true dark blue all the way around. Plus, this pair is available in 5 different in-seams so you're guaranteed the perfect length. I also love Lane Bryant's zipper-detail slim leg jeans - they're super cute, up to size 28.



Svoboda's Cate Wide Leg Trouser Jean is extra stylish because the wash is lighter than most trouser jeans. This pair is dubbed "steel blue" - it's a fun twist on the most business-like of all jeans. Kiyonna also offers a killer pair of trouser jeans, available up to size 32.



Jag Jeans' Sawyer cut is perfectly curvy, with well-placed pockets that make the most of your booty. Avenue also features a really crisp pair of bootcut jeans that wear well.

Photo credits: OldNavy.com; Torrid.com: Svoboda.com; Nordstrom.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

While cruising the online pages of Little Woods, I noticed more and more of their models were styled with oversized berets. Like this:



Sure, sure the clothes are cute. But those berets...the fanciful, playful aesthetic is fantastic. It takes a little moxie to top an outfit with a hat - even one as unthreatening as a girly beret. But the pay-off is so worth it. New winter must have: the perfect beret. Let the hunt begin...

Photo credit: LittleWoods.com

Congratulations to the Winners of the L'Oreal Booty Stash

From over 400 entries, three were randomly chosen- and they are:

Kathy H - L'Oreal Plumping 6 Hour Lipgloss set

Amber G- L'Oreal HIP Color Chrome Eyeliner Trio

Hal Fran - L'Oreal HIP Matte Eyeshadow Duos

Thank you to everyone who entered! Winners, please send your full name and mailing address to me at BombshellBeautyBlog@gmail.com

Last Day to Enter the L'Oreal Booty Stash Give-Away

Booties

Not butts - shoes! I've seen a lot of women rocking booties with tights and skirts, leggings, and even cropped pants (to show off the amazing shoes, of course). Booties are a stylish substitute for heels or boots; I think they look a little edgier, too. They still feel fresh and sort of unexpected.

Because booties typically hit right at the ankle, they can cut off a long visual line and make a girl look stumpy. Combat that undesired effect by choosing booties that cut lower down the front of the foot, or by going monochromatic (wearing black booties with black tights).

Torrid is carrying a bunch of really great bootie options, most of which cost less than $65.



This Black Faith Peeptoe Bootie is an example of one that's cut lower on the foot.



Not for the faint of heart, the Dollhouse Blue Burke Dome Stud Bootie will steal the spotlight. Pair with boyfriend jeans, rolled up to the ankle to show off those stud details.



I love the elegant ruching on this Dollhouse Taupe Basanti Peeptoe Bootie. And in case you still aren't sure - yes, you can wear tights with peeptoes. Just make sure the seam along the toe is tucked under.

Photo credit: Torrid.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inspired by Bobbi

Bobbi Brown has debuted her newest, the Chrome Collection, which she predicts will be on everyone's eyes and lips this holiday season. It's a really beautiful look: diffused grays and purples hit with a touch of sparkle.





Check out a quick video, which details the palette and lipsticks that
make up the Chrome Collection, here.

The icy, exotic vibe of the collection inspired me to look for a few pieces that would wear well with Bobbi's Chrome theme.



Igigi's Jessica dress gives the illusion of separates, but is one attached piece of adorable. Appropriate for work, then dinner and drinks afterward, the dress's gray and black georgette blouse provides just a hint of Bobbi's chrome theme.



J. Jill's velvet Boyfriend Jacket (available up to size 4X) looks incredibly luxe, especially when paired with a steely gray or purple tank underneath. Roll the sleeves up and pair it with dark jeans for a stylish play on casual chic.



You'll look like a gift in this Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique dress. The draped neckline and asymmetrical ruffle transform a basic shift dress into something really special - and the metallic gold fabric suits the upcoming holiday season.

Photo credit: BobbiBrownCosmetics.com; Igigi.com; JJill.com; Nordstrom.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

L'Oreal Booty Stash Give-Away

Thanks to my friends over at L'Oreal, I'm really excited to be able to give away three different prizes comprised of my new favorite L'Oreal products! The prizes are:

* One set of five HIP Matte Eyeshadow Duos
* One set of three HIP Color Chrome Eyeliners
* One set of two Infallible Plumping 6 Hour Lipglosses

The contest runs until 6:00 p.m. on October 29th. Enter as often as you like; open to U.S. Bombshells only.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Congratulations to Jessica!

Jessica was the winner of the third (and final) alight.com plus size clothing give-away. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Seasonal Scents

With every major shift in season, I find myself reaching for a different perfume. When the temperature dips, my warm-weather fragrances don't seem warm enough, strong enough. Conversely, what works in the fall and winter smells way too strong when combined with warm temperatures and an extra body heat.

I've long been a fan of Dior's J'Adore, come late fall. It was the first "grown-up" perfume that I wore - and was actually grown up enough to pull off. It's a sensual, yet crisp, combination of bergamot, rose and jasmine. It's an absolute classic.

Another classic that I love is Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist Eau de Parfum Spray*. It's a heady mix of bergamot, moroccan jasmine, lily of the valley, sandalwood, musk and amber. The perfume is the olfactory equivalent of a cashmere blanket - warm, soft and snuggly. I typically shy away from anything musky - but for some reason, this formula works for me. Based on the fact that Cashmere Mist, in any one of its many formulations, is one of the best selling fragrance lines in the US I'm guessing that many of you are already familiar with it. If that's the case, be sure to check out its latest incarnation: Cashmere Mist Luxe Edition EDP.

For a winter scent with a bit of bite, I like Lancome's Magnifique Eau de Parfum*. Spicy saffron, warm rose, and something incredibly exotic-sounding called nagarmota wood come together in a modern girl-about-town kind of fragrance. I wear it whenever I need a little boost of sauciness.

Do you wear perfume seasonally? Or do you have a signature scent that you wear year-round?

Photo credit: DonnaKaranBeauty.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Luxe Coat from Baby Phat

I love the luxe touches that Baby Phat added to this classic trench-style long wool coat. The detachable (faux) fur trim collar looks decadent and brings extra attention to the face. If you choose to remove the collar, epaulet-detailed shoulders are revealed. Tres' chic. $149, available up to size 3X.

Photo credit: Babyphat.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Note About FCC Blogger Regulations

The FCC has enacted new regulations that require bloggers to disclose when they review products or services provided gratis by PR agencies. In order to comply within my posts, I'll mark any product or service review that's been gifted to me with an asterisk. For the sake of writing a fluid post without constantly calling out, "Hey, this was given to me by ____", I'm going the asterisk route. If there is no asterisk next to a product name, you'll know that I bought the product or service myself.

I have no problem these FCC regulations, because I've never tried to hide the fact that some of the products I review are given to me for free. I'm lucky enough to receive a lot of product samples from companies who would like me to fall in love with their stuff and let all of you know about it. Very few products that I sample actually make me swoon and jump on the computer to write about them. But those that do - you can trust my affection is genuine.

I don't currently carry ads on my site, but if I do decide to go that route it'll be nothing more than a little bit of capitalism. I can't imagine carrying ads for products that I personally hate (like weight loss drugs or Crocs), but I wouldn't allow those ads to influence my reviews.

Now...back to being more fun, Bomshelly things!

Beauty Moment - Mario Badescu's The Moisture Magnet

I've been using Mario Badescu's The Moisture Magnet (SPF-15) daily moisturizer for a couple of weeks, and I'm happy with it on so many levels. I had high hopes for this product - Mario Badescu is a longtime favorite of Liv Tyler, who has the clearest, most sparkling skin in the world. The Moisture Magnet relies on hyaluronic acid and pentavin to lock in moisture while Vitamin A fights free radicals.

This creamy lotion smoothes over the skin and sinks in quickly without feeling greasy or gooey. It provides a great base for the rest of my makeup, and keeps my skin feeling hydrated all day. Overall, it's a great all-purpose day moisturizer. And for $22, I feel like I'm getting a good deal: top notch skincare at a price that let me pile a few other items in my basket at Ulta.

Mario Badescu products are available online, at Ulta, Nordstrom and other fine retailers.

Photo credit: MarioBadescu.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Accessorize this Dress with a Big Stick


Because you're going to need it to beat back all the salivating suitors. Seriously.

B and Lu does it again with the Joelle dress in red, available up to size 28.

Behind the Scenes Footage of Kristen Stewart Allure Cover Shoot

I'm a fan of Kristen Stewart, even more so after watching this footage. She says something in this clip about liking photographers to just shoot what's in front of them and not try to manipulate their subject to be what they want her to be. I think that's a very Bombshell philosophy.

Igigi Debuts an Homage to Bombshells

The Internet has been abuzz lately with stories about mainstream magazines featuring plus size models, and a really great dialogue has begun around how great it would be for magazines and other forms of media to be more inclusive in the kinds of images they show to sell their products. We'll see how that turns out.

Something that we can count on, and support and appreciate in the now are all the fantastic designers and retailers of plus size clothing who are working hard to recognize the beauty of plus size women. To that end, I'm so excited about a short film commissioned by Igigi - it's called 16 and (to quote the company) "the film is about beauty – real beauty. Not the artificial, airbrushed, enhanced, starved beauty we are bombardedwith everyday. It is about a powerful, sexy woman who loves herself and her body."

I love seeing a woman whose body I can relate to, in action, being everything that women of every size are: sexy and sensual.

Igigi is "committed to breaking down the barriers that inhibit people from realizing their own beauty. That is why we asked filmmaker Mark de Paola to create a short film that portrays a curvaceous size-16 woman as beautiful, sexy and powerful."

And did he ever...click here to watch part one of this project (although be aware of your surroundings as some of the footage may not be work appropriate).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trend-Spotting: Yellow

Yellow has been nothing more than an accent for a long time; the color brightened up gray last winter, and it was one of summer's sunniest touches in sandals and clutches. But get ready for yellow to step into the spotlight. No more will this primary color be a playing up subtler shades - black, cream and gray will be jockeying for position to support yellow as it takes center stage. Use the color strategically to play up the best of your figure. If you have shapely hips and a curvacious booty, try a yellow pencil skirt.



Jessica London A-line skirt in Dijon Ivory, available up to size 28. This buttery yellow is ladylike and chic; add an edgy twist by pairing it with a white crew neck tee shirt and a tough motorcycle jacket.



Anna Scholz's silk jersey panel top tunic is retro sweet in a 1970's house-wife kind of way. You could style it in that same vein, with wide-legged pants and platform heels. Or give it a modern interpretation by way of skinny jeans and flats.



If you've read this far thinking, "There is no way in hell I'm covering myself in that much color. N.O," then this one's for you. Igigi's Evita Cowl Tunic drapes gorgeously. Slip it under a suit for work, or wear it with a saucy denim skirt and boots for date night.

Photo credit: JessicaLondon.com; AnnaScholz.com; Igigi.com

Friday, October 16, 2009

alight.com plus size clothing give-away

I'm still accepting entries for the alight.com plus size clothing give-away. Enter between now and Oct 23rd; I'll select one winner who'll receive a top from the fine folks over at alight.com plus size clothing!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beauty Moment- Stila's Holiday Gift Guide Released

Stila really knows how to do a gift guide:
* Pull together a crush-worthy collection of products
* Discount them at unbelievably low prices
* Offer free shipping

Seriously? I started to make an entire wish list based on the gift guide, then realized there's no way I was going to wait long enough for someone to gift me with what I want. I'm buying gifts for myself. Now. Starting with these:



Gift of Appreciation ($192 value for $38). Includes Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Gold Glow, Kajal Eye Liner in Topaz, Illuminating Finishing Powder in Rose Gold, Lash Visor in Brown, Plumping Lip Glaze in Minty Mint, Longwear Lip in Flushed, Pressed Powder in Medium, Lip Rouge in Pucker, and an eye pencil sharpener. (SERIOUSLY? All that for $38? Yes.)



It Gloss (an $18 value, for just $8). I'm choosing Smashing, a bright hot pink that will look amazing with black liner and lots of mascara.



Can Cam Palette ($72 value, for just $18), features 3 eye shadows and one cheek color. Also? It features one of the super cute , iconic Stila girls on the signature cardboard-style palette.

Free shipping on any order over $40. Enter coupon code FREESHIP upon checkout.

Photo credit: Stilacosmetics.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Blame the Snow

Flurries flew outside my window for most of the day, and then I came across this at City Chic:



And now I'm thinking about the holidays. I want saucy dresses and sparkly hair accessories, shoes and pink lip gloss, egg nog...please, someone stop me. Or at least buy me that dress. Or at the VERY least, let me know that I'll for sure have a party to wear it to this December.

If you're not familiar with City Chic, check them out. They're an Australian company that specialize in clothes size 14-24 (don't be fooled at first glance by their XS-XL sizing...XS = size 14) that are trendy and fun.

Photo credit: CityChiconline.com

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off Bras At Lane Bryant

I'm a devoted fan of Cacique bras (I usually wear one of the plunge variety), so I'm stocking up during the Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale going on now. I'm thinking about picking up one Cacique's newest offerings - the Back Smoothing Bra. I like to wear fitted sweaters and tees, but don't like the look of my back fat. The Back Smoothing Bra is supposed to smooth away bulges that can look lumpy underneath fitted tops - which sounds good to me!

I'll give it a try and let you know what I think - in the meantime, you can read other women's reviews on the bra (and other stuff!) at Lane Bryant's Inside Curve. It's a fun social networking site devoted to plus size women and the fashion topics closest to their hearts. Yet another highly addictive way to kill time online!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Best Bombshell Halloween Costumes

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which means there's no excuse to skip out on the festivities. Don't be caught costume-less! There are plenty of great options available at lots of retailers for Bombshell Beauties. Plus size costumes used to be difficult to find, but now you can find plus size options at Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, and Party City as well as most online costume retailers.

Here, three of my favorite Bombshell costumes plus a directory of resources for you to put together your own costume.

Bat Girl costume includes black dress, cape, glovelets, mask, belt and boot tops.

Greek Goddess costume includes gown and headpiece.

I've never really understood why Halloween is the ultimate excuse for dressing sexily. But I understand that's something a lot of women look forward to. If you're going to choose a "sexy" costume, at least pick one that's kind of funny like this Red Riding Hood getup.

Find a costume, or at least a little inspiration, at these retailers - all of whom offer plus size costumes:

Annie's Costumes
Halloween Express
Costume Supercenter
Target
Costume Craze
Kmart

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fast, Everyday Updo from Ted Gibson

I ran across this Youtube video a while back; it's Ted Gibson demonstrating how to create a so-stylish but so-easy updo. Very often, that translates into so-much-of-a-disaster for me; I'm all thumbs when it comes to creating fun hairstyles. But I gave his technique a try this morning and the results were superb. I have a new, go-to hairstyle!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beauty Moment - Evelyn Lauder Lip Design Collection

As the Estee Lauder web site proclaims, "Give your lips a world of pinks and show your support of Breast Cancer Awareness." With the Evelyn Lauder Lip Design Collection, you get the best of all things beauty with this three-piece lip set - the satisfaction of knowing your purchase will help the Lauder Company donate half a million dollars to breast cancer research, and your lips will look perfectly pretty.

Tucked into an extremely ladylike pink case with mirror are three products that will create a variety of looks when worn individually or together.

* Pure Color Lipstick in Bois de Rose
* High Gloss in Blush
* Artist's Lip Pencil in Spice Writer

Pick up this limited edition set from your local Estee Lauder counter, or order online.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Scavenging for Deals at Marshalls

I am unapologetically midwestern when it comes to my love of a great deal on clothes, jewelry and accessories (even before the economic spiral that's made thriftiness it's own unique trend). I love nice things, and would never sacrifice quality for a low price. But I also know that paying full retail for the items you really want in your closet is entirely unnecessary. However, I am a terrible sale shopper - I don't have the patience to stalk a pair of pants, waiting for the price to drop. And I don't want to wear the same thing everyone else is wearing. Two potentially distrastrous downfalls that could make fashionable deal-finding impossible. Which is why I rely on Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

I have to thank my husband for introducing me to these two discount chains. I was vaguely aware of them throughout my college years, but just couldn't get into scouring racks in the hopes that something I wanted would jump out at me. Fast forward a few (ok, quite a few) years. I've matured a bit and have learned that a bottle of water in my purse and wearing light layers make the whole scouring process better. And once I came across THE find of the century (at least as far as my closet was concerned - a designer tote bag for just $35 that I carry every single day and love!)

A couple weeks ago, I was sent a Marshall's gift card from their PR agency. My mission: find a collection of Bombshell separates that look amazing together and will mix into my wardrobe. And I was determined to do it for under $100. Here's what I found:



(Clearly, I am not a gifted photographer!)
The plaid top, gray cut through with a subtle fuschia, is from Suzie Couture Woman. Regular price is not bad, just $34. But the Marshall's price of $19.99 is even better.

I paired the top with a pair of Dalia black dress pants. The pants have really great details, including a very delicate tone on tone pinstripe. Worn with the plaid top or one of many graphic tees already in my closet, these trousers are incredibly versatile. And also only $19.99!

I don't know anyone who doesn't look a little more vibrant and awake with a pink scarf draped around the neck. It's a great way to add a dash of flavor to an outfit. This ultra-long hot pink Cejon scarf is a steal at just $9.99.

At just $50 so far, I had enough money left over to tie the entire outfit together with a really great silver Kathy Van Zeeland purse. Called the Classy Lassie, it retails for $66 - but at Marshall's it's just $39.00. Mission accomplished - with enough cash left out of my $100 to grab a Misty Freeze on my way out of the mall.

If you need a little retail pick me up, but don't have a ton of cash to impulsively lay out, check out your local Marshall's or TJ Maxx - and let me know what fabulous finds come home with you!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Work Your Look with Evans

Evans has pulled together a collection of 11 outfits, with head-to-toe recommendations, that had me rethinking what's already in my closet and considering a few new additions. My favorite look is number 10:



Although I'm also a big fan of look number 1:



Check out all 11 looks here.

Photo credit: Evans.co.uk

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dior Diva Auction


Dior Diva Auction

Log on now to bid on amazing auction items, part of the 2nd Annual Dior Diva Auction. All proceeds benefit Look Good...Feel Better, an organization that helps women deal with the physical aspects of battling cancer and realize their inner and out beauty during and after cancer treatment.

Five sensational prizes at launch and an additional 5 revealed
throughout the auction.

GOING. GOING. GONE

CHÉRIE DIVA
Live a day in the life of Miss Dior Chérie just like the commercial!
Prize includes business class airfare, two nights at a luxurious
Parisian hotel, a bike tour of Paris, lunch at a famous patisserie,
a chauffeured tour of the sites and much more!

PROFESSIONAL DIVA
Give your beauty career a boost with a one-month marketing
internship at Dior Beauty!

ESCAPE DIVA
Escape to the picturesque countryside with a tour of the award-
winning Unionville Winery, an 8-course dinner prepared by a local chef,
and a night at the quaint Inn at Lambertville Station.

PREVIEW DIVA
Receive previews of our fabulous makeup, skincare and fragrance
launches each season for an entire year!

RED CARPET DIVA
Experience the ultimate night out at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards!
We’ll fly you and a guest to LA for the big event and make sure you
look your best with a makeover by a professional Dior Artist!

Each of these auction items sounds absolutely amazing! Now through Oct 10th, log on to www.diorauction.com to learn more or place a bid.

Beauty Moment - Pop Beauty Cat Eyes

Cat eyes can't really be called trendy since they look just as hot today:

as they did back in the 60's:



Creating the perfect cat eye (even on each eye, not too heavy) takes some practice and know-how. Click here for a fantastic step-by-step tutorial by SpinDaily.com. Then grab one of Pop Beauty's Cat Eyes liners and get to work! The pliable liner features a slanted tip that makes the cat eye a cinch. I like Black Dahlia, an inky black/purple shade.



You can buy Pop Beauty products at Ulta.

Photo credit: PopBeauty.co.uk