Monday, November 30, 2009

Beauty Moment - Diorshow Brow Styler

Brow grooming products are about as unglamourous as they come. Which is kind of crazy when you think about how utterly glamourous a great set of brows can be. Think of Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields - all brow goddesses in their own right.

Most of us need a little help in achieving our own perfect set of brows. I have a couple favorite products that help me keep all my strays in line, and fill in the sparse spots. But none of them are as incredibly goof proof as the new Diorshow Brow Styler*.

This double-ended tool features a spooly brush (which sweeps every hair into place so you can see exactly what you're working with) and a twist-up pencil. The pencil's universal shade is supposed to work on women of all hair colors - and in my own informal, unscientific test I can vouch for the color looking natural on a blonde, a light brunette, and a dark brunette.

The magic lies in the pencil's ultra-fine tip. With short, feathery strokes across your brows, the pencil fills in the precise spots that need it without looking heavy or painted on. And the fact that it's Dior ups the glam factor just a bit. You know, for eye brows anyway.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Cold Shoulder

One-shouldered dresses and tops were all over the runways for the winter/resort fashion collections. This trend has been spotted on celebrities like Blake Lively, Queen Latifah, and Taylor Swift. You can pull it off with pieces from plus size favorites like B and Lu, Babyphat and Jessica London.

B and Lu Taye top in ink blue. This dramatic top would look great paired with a flowing skirt and ultra-high heels.

Babyphat's Asymmetrical dress is super body-concious. I think it would look even better if you swapped out the matching tie belt for a more structured corset-style version.

I love the balance of the tightly ruched bodice and the swishy hemline of Jessica London's one shoulder asymmetric dress.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Party Clutches

I've always thuoght plus size women look really good carrying an oversize purse. A lot of more diminuitive women try to get away with the large bag and just look overwhelmed. But a Bombshell can carry it off, no problem. The reverse can be true, too - a small purse on a plus size woman can get lost in the overall look. Therefore, I generally advocate a bag in direct proportion to a woman's size. However - party purses are an all together different thing.

A chic little dress, or a fancy pantsuit, or even a really saucey pair of jeans and top combo all deserve to stand out on their own without being hidden by a large, cumbersome purse. Toss only the essentials into a cute little clutch and hit the party.

This Zoe & Zac faux suede clutch adds a little bit of texture and a really festive jewel tone to any party outfit. Available at Payless.

Kate Landry's metal mesh evening bag is a real eye-catcher. It's a fun 80's touch, one that should probably be used sparingly. So if you're already rocking leg warmers and neon, maybe choose something else. But if you're stepping out in an LBD? This is perfect.

A clutch is the perfect accessory if you want to add a little whimsey to your outfit. Metallic feathers cover this Franchi Feather Frame clutch - guaranteed to shimmy with every step you take. At Nordstrom.

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Spa Week Give-aways

UPDATE- I had a chance to sample Jane Iredale's Chocoholicks glosses*. They're fantastic! All four pots of gloss are packaged in a faux candy box, which is adorable. It would make such a cute little gift for someone. The glosses taste great, and the shades are incredibly flattering. Love. If you don't win the set, consider picking it up for yourself.

'Tis the season for all kinds of amazing beauty deals! Two that I'm most excited about are sponsored by Spa Week - you know, the amazing folks who bring luxury spa treatments to the masses at prices we can all afford for one week in the spring and fall.

The first is a give-away of Jane Iredale's limited edition Chocoholicks products. You could win four shades/flavors of super hydrating lip glosses
* Truffle is a rich, chocolate brown gloss tasting of decadent, double chocolate.

* Chocolate Orange is a shimmering copper gloss pairing the flavors of deep, dark chocolate and zingy orange.

* Strawberry Cream is a glossy pink and tastes of luscious berries dipped in chocolate.

* Caramel is a sheer bronze gloss with sensuous, buttery sweetness.

If you're not familiar with Jane Iredale, this lip gloss set would be a great introduction. Her brand is known as "the skincare makeup" because it's packed full of good for you minerals. Click here to enter by December 31.

The second great deal allows you to purchase a $100 Spa Week gift card for $80. You can redeem a Spa Week gift card at most spas that particpate in Spa Week (although some exclusions apply). This is a great opportunity for you to give the gift of spa to someone (or yourself!) and save a little cash. Click here to purchase. Available for purchase through Dec 22. Find the directory or participating spas on Spa Week's homepage.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beauty Moment - Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash

If you're looking for a gently exfoliating body wash to slough off dry winter skin, check out Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash*. The ultra-creamy wash is flecked with tiny exfoliating beads - no harsh abrasives. Because of the gentle exfolation, I think this body wash could be used daily without irritating or stripping your skin.

The scent is a combination of burnt brown sugar and karite butter; it reminds me a little of Bath and Body Works' Warm Vanilla Sugar - but it's more subtle. Warm Vanilla Sugar always gave me a headache - too much musk or something. Evenly Gorgeous balances the sugar/butter scent really nicely. I'm a fan. And when applied with a shower poof, it lathers like crazy.

If you're not a body wash kind of girl, Evenly Gorgeous is available in a beauty bar, too. You can find them at Target, Wal-Mart, or almost any drugstore.

If you're interested, click here to request a coupon for $1 off Caress products, and enter for a chance to win a $100 Caress gift card. $100 would buy a lot of Caress body wash.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Calling All Twin Cities Bombshells

Aurora Spa, located in St. Louis Park, is hosting a weekend of really terrific spa-ing opportunities.

Friday December 4th, between 5-8 p.m., is being dubbed Give a Little Night. From the press release: "Aurora Spa’s weekend of beauty begins with a mix and mingle evening where guests can pick up gift sets from the Borghese and Pevonia skin care lines. Borghese offers a Rescue and Repair kit, Simply Beautiful makeup gift set, and Serenity Now gift set with all elements for a relaxing mini spa day at home. Pevonia features a caviar facial crème which helps relax harsh wrinkles, increase plumpness, and promotes cellular renewal. Shoppers will enjoy sushi from Sushi Tango (Sara's insert - yum!), wine and 20-percent off all gift cards and services booked that evening."

The Get a Lot portion of the weekend takes place on Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. "The Get A Lot event helps guests de-stress and look their best for upcoming holiday events. Whether it’s going all out for a black-tie party or just a brow tint for dinner, Aurora Spa has services for all occasions. For two days only, Aurora Spa is offering luxury spa services up to 60-percent off." Services include:

· Make-up Applications $10

· Make-up Lessons $25

· Lash tinting $15

· Lash perming $45

· Lash extensions $150

· Brow tint and shaping $30

· Manicures $15

· Haircuts $35

Sounds like fun, right? Book your appointment by calling 952-922-1222.

Lane Bryant Super Sale

Start shopping online today, and then hit the stores Wednesday-Sunday for 40% almost everything Lane Bryant offers. The only exclusions are Spanx brand products, and bras/panties. Stock up on goodies to deck yourself out this holiday season. My top three picks?

Take advantage of the sale to pick up a piece from the pricey Icon Collection. This purple silk tunic feels festive, yet classic. Wear it under a blazer for work, or with a pair of dark jeans on the weekend.

Splurge on something you might normally skip, like an ultra-sparkly bracelet. It's a great touch to any party look.

I honestly think I sleep better when I hit the sheets in cute pajamas. This Lurex striped sleep shirt is the perfect combination of comfort and cute.

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Beauty Moment- Nude Lip

A nude lip is a classic look, one that equally compliments a dramatic eye and a natural, fresh face. It’s also one that I, personally, have struggled to achieve. My ultra fair, rosy complexion rejects any lip color that is too brown or too beige. Many colors end up looking drab or chalky on my lips.

With a little mixing and experimentation, I found my perfect combination of nude lipstick and gloss. First layer is L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-aging Serum lipstick in Naturally Nude (803)*. I’ve built up an entire wardrobe of the Color Riche Anti-aging Serum lipsticks; the creamy formula is long-lasting and leaves my lips feeling moisturized and nourished. Naturally Nude is a brown -based shade with just a hint of rose. That rose tinge works wonders in making the nude work with my skin’s rosy undertones.

I like to top the creamy lipstick with Stila Lip Glaze in Brown Sugar (19). This light gloss adds a bit of sheen and another dimension of nude color; the combined effect is very soft and pretty.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What to Wear to Thanksgiving

While other people are furiously combing through cookbooks and to find that perfect recipe for (insert traditional Thanksgiving dish here), I've been scouring my closet for the perfect outfit to wear. I want to look festive but stylish, comfortable but not schlubby. I found inspiration in this look, featured on the J. Jill website: I like the balance of the slim-fit knit pants with the flowy cotton tunic and vest. The vest adds a nice layer to an otherwise pretty basic outfit. The neutral gray/white/black color combo is a great backdrop for accessories of any type: layered necklaces, an armful of bracelets - whatever you like. A soft updo and natural makeup pull the whole look together.

If your proportions are better suited to boot cut or wide-leg pants, you can certainly customize this look to your own body. Top looser-fitting pants with one layer that's cut close to the body - like a fitted blazer or cardigan - to avoid straying into shapeless frumpy territory. Like this: See how the blazer nips into the model's waist? That's what you want to do - give yourself some shape.

If you're trying to figure out what to wear that'll ensure you look great in family photos AND won't cut off circulation midway through the meal, see what you can create out of your own closet based on these two outfits. Or just buy the entire outfit here and here. The models aren't plus size, but each piece is available up to size 28.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beauty Moment - Usher VIP Cologne

No, that's not a typo. A men's cologne is being featured as a Beauty Moment. My husband's been testing Usher's VIP cologne*, a test I considered a success because it smells incredibly sexy on him. After I accidentally spilled the cologne all over the bathroom vanity and myself, I decided the scent smells equally sexy on me!

VIP is a sensual mix of nutmeg and saffron; the warmth of that combo is balanced by bergamot and tangerine. It all combines together to create a clean scent that's masculine to the very core. Dabbed onto a woman's skin, that masculinity morphs into a powerful essence, feminine and mysterious all at once.

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Nude Shoes

Gone are the days of matching your shoes to your belt and bag. I know, it's been hard for a lot of us to get used to the the idea of colors "going together" instead of "matching together." Once you've mastered that concept (black shoes, green bag, red belt - it works!), dip your toes into nude shoes.

A nude heel, one that closely matches your natural skintone, is many things: sophisticated, easy to pull off, and an instant elongator. Nude is the new black - the color that really does go with anything.

Pair nude heels with a dress or skirt in any color; it works because your eye will be fooled into thinking that the shoe is just an extension of your legs. You won't have to worry about your ankles looking stumpy, finding a pair of shoes to match that fancy skirt you never wear because it's a unique shade of coral, or braving strappy sandals in the dead of winter because full heels look too heavy with your party dress. No matter your skintone - from the very fairest to the deepest brown - there's a nude shoe out there with your name on it.

Enzo Angiolini's Merryann Pump in Natural Patent. Jessica Simpson "Jessica Pump" in Tan Leather.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Wanna Be a Featured Bombshell Beauty?

I always find the most inspiration for my own personal style from real women that I see on the street or on other blogs. It's especially helpful to see images of plus size women - because I never would have taken skinny jeans or large belts seriously if I hadn't seen them on fellow Bombshells.

So let's share the inspiration with one another - what do you think? If you'd like to share your personal style with us, send me an email at Be prepared to send me at least two photos of you in all your glory, answer a few questions, then see yourself right here! It'll be fun.

Win a Pair of Jeans from Silhouette

Between now and November 30th, you can enter to win a pair of Blue Couture jeans from Silhouette. I mean, who couldn't use another pair of jeans? Especially cute, free ones?

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Beauty Moment - Dove

One of my favorite drugstore brands of beauty products is Dove. Their product line has evolved over the past few years but one thing has remained constant - Dove products do exactly what they promise and they smell wonderfully clean. Three of my current faves:

Frizz Control Therapy Conditioner* - this thick, ultra creamy conditioner staves off the winter frizzies brought on by extra dry air. The formula contains a smoothing serum that tames fly-away strands all day. The only downside? I look like a freak every time I'm caught sniffing my own hair; it smells that good!

Clinical Protection Deodorant - I've been using this clinical strength anti perspirant/deodorant for a couple of years because it keeps me dry. Bottom line, it works for me. I know, I know, underarm sweat isn't glamourous. Luckily, this formula is infused with Dove's signature 1/4 moisturizers which ups the appeal. Also appealing, it doesn't contain aluminum chloride or alchohol which can irritate the skin under your arms.

Go Fresh Energizing Body Mist* - this light, citrusy spray has earned a permanent spot in my gym bag. A couple spritzes of the grapefruit & lemongrass scent re-energizes me, even after a challenging workout.

I feel good about buying Dove products because of their quality and the company's stand on using their influence in the beauty industry to build the self esteem of young girls and women. Their web site is chock full of interesting articles and great information on this topic.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Real Life Bombshell: Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe has been making the rounds in Hollywood ever since her incredible performance in the movie Precious started generating buzz.  I get a kick out of reading articles written about Gabby because it’s obvious the media doesn’t really know how to approach her.  They all seem to think that Gabby must really relate to her character, Precious, just because they’re both overweight; that she got this role and then became worthwhile.

Gabby doesn’t waste any time dispelling those two pieces of ridiculousness.  She doesn’t let Hollywood or anyone else take credit for her happiness, her self-esteem, or her very being.  Here’s what she says in a piece in New York Magazine:“They try to paint this picture that I was this downtrodden, ugly girl who was unpopular in school and in life, and then I got this role and now I’m awesome.  But the truth is that I’ve been awesome, and then I got this role.”

I think a lot of people have a hard time believing that plus size women feel good about themselves and enjoy fulfilling lives.  But it’s true.  I know I’m awesome, I believe you’re awesome.  And I love the fact that this Bombshell is out there, opening eyes left and right.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beauty Moment - L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Deep Set Wrinkle Repair 24 HR Eye Duo

As I've mentioned, I'm marching toward my 30th birthday this February and have made some changes in my skincare to ensure everything goes smoothly (ha). The delicate, very thin skin around the eyes shows the earliest signs of aging so it makes sense to pay special attention to that area. For the past month, I've been using L'Oreal's Revitalift Deep Set Wrinkle Repair 24 HR Eye Duo* and am sold on the dual benefits of this product.

The double-ended tube of cream contains a day formula with SPF 15, and a night formula with Pro-Retinal A. This potent anti-aging ingredient helps repair existing wrinkles and repel the development of them down the line. Both formulas feel light, though creamy to the touch. The day cream absorbs quickly and serves as a great foundation for my concealer.

I don't have deep wrinkles yet, but I've noticed an improvement in the elasticity of the skin under my eyes. It bounces back when I apply concealer or poke around at it. And I wake up with less puffiness and darkness than before I started using the duo. The cost of a good eye cream can be absolutely astronomical - the final selling point, after performance, for me on this product is the price: less than $20.

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Slip into a Shrug

Fashion-wise, the popularity of the shrug comes and goes - some seasons it's easier to find in the stores than during others. However, from a style standpoint a shrug is a nice alternative to a blazer or full-on cardigan. This versatile layer performs many functions: adding depth and layer to an otherwise "blah" outfit; adding a little arm coverage to sleeveless or strapless tops; transforming your wardrobe staples into something new and different.

Typically defined as a cropped sweater, the shrug can fall anywhere from the top of your rib cage to your belly button. To avoid looking stumpy pair the shrug with elongating pieces. This could include a long tee, jeans and flats; or a knee-length dress and boots.

One last thing -(I'm just going to say it). Lots of women are still wearing the shrug that ties right underneath the bust.

This particular look is a bit dated. If you have one of these in your closet, consider retiring it for a while and replacing it with a more sophisticated version.

You can use the unique proportions of a shrug to play up your own. If you have a small bust, choose one with embellishment or ruffles like this one from B and Lu:

For Bombshells with large busts or broad shoulders, consider this one:

Alloy's cozy version features a shawl neckline which provides structure to the flowey piece. That flowiness and the way the front of the shrug tapers back at the hip are exactly right for a large bust. Available up to 3XL.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

I’ve heard from many of you that your favorite product reviews are those that recreate spa-like results in your own bathroom. You’ve told me you like them because of the convenience and affordability, and also because the thought of going to an actual spa is really intimidating.

Going into a public place, taking off your clothes and paying a stranger to touch your skin is intimidating to a lot of women, no matter their size. But there are a few elements to the experience that are plus-size specific.

• Will the robe fit me?

• Is the equipment sturdy, or am I going to go flying off the massage table as it collapses beneath me?

• Am I supposed to hang out naked in a steam room with a bunch of hard bodied women, sipping cucumber water?

• Will the technician who performs my treatment act weird about touching my curves?

I completely agree that it’s convenient to slap on a hydrating mask in your bathroom, in between brushing your teeth and shaving your legs. But it doesn’t begin to compare to putting yourself in the hands of a professional, getting away from all the sounds and distractions of home, and letting someone else take care of you for an hour.

To get a professional opinion on how a Bombshell can make the spa experience more serene than anxious, I chatted with Mitchell Wherley, CEO and owner of Spalon Montage – one of the Twin Cities’ premier spas. The first thing he told me? “Our mission at Spalon Montage is to embrace diversity.”

This includes clients of all shapes and sizes. To that end, Spalon Montage educates its staff on how to interact with diverse clients. For plus size clientele, that means ensuring they have robes on hand that will fit. Their treatment rooms and equipment are all built to accommodate any person.

Another stressor at the spa is not knowing what you’re supposed to do once you get there – should you take off your clothes and slip into the robe now? Or should you wait for someone to give you directions?

“We assume every client is brand new to any treatment,” Mitchell said. “We always explain what’s going to happen next, from the concierge who greets you in the lobby to the treatment specialist who works with you.”

If you’re new to spa treatments, Mitchell suggests booking one that doesn’t require you to remove much (if any) clothing. A pedicure or facial are both good options – a facial in particular is relaxing and beneficial. If you’d like to dip your toes into the world of massage, see if your spa offers a specialty treatment like Spalon Montage’s Thai Yoga massage.*

Unlike traditional massage, in which you’d remove most of (or all) your clothing before being rubbed with oils and lotions, Thai Yoga massage requires you to wear your own yoga clothes while being stretched by a therapist. In Spalon Montage’s case, that therapist is the very sweet, extremely knowledgable Kathryn – completely unintimidating.

I received the most invigorating massage and a boatload of general yoga knowledge from her during our 60-minute session. The experience was calming and relaxing; Kathryn was able to stretch my body more deeply than I ever could on my own. She used a series of yoga moves and deep tissue massage, using her own body weight and mine for leverage. The best part? I was able to lay back on a warm, cushy floor mat in a gorgeous, dimly lit room and just enjoy the entire process.

At the end of the massage, I sprang up with energy coursing through my body. Traditional massage typically leaves me lethargic and ready for a nap (and a shower to get all those oils off) – a great experience in its own way. But the next time I need to re-center and gather some energy, I’m going for the Thai Yoga massage.

By all means, keep enjoying all the products available for at-home use. But treat yourself to a true spa experience, too! Here are three tips that might ease your anxiety as you look forward to that treatment:

1. Get to know the spa. Book a non-threatening treatment, like a pedicure or facial, your first go-around so you can get a feel for the place.

2. Ask questions. Does this treatment require any nudity? Do you have robes in 3X?

3. Go with your gut. If you feel anything less than completely welcomed and comfortable, cancel the appointment. Even if you’re already at the spa.

If you’re in the Twin Cities and would like more information on the Thai Yoga massage, call Spalon Montage at 952-915-2900. Also, take advantage of a series of free classes called Beautiful U. Upcoming sessions include Essential Skincare for Adults, Styling Tips, Techniques and Tools, and Holiday Style.

Glamour Magazine's Best Party Dresses

The December issue of Glamour features an article on the best party dresses by body type. Their picks for plus size party-goers are:

Ombre satin dress by Candlelight and Champagne, sizes 12-28 for $69.99. The surplice bodice provides enough coverage to support a full bra with comfortable straps. And the ombre fade of dark brown down to light beige draws the eye down, creating the illusion of height. Pair the dress with sparkly sandals or nude heels to elongate your legs.

Alex Marie "Claudia" dress, sizes 14-28 for $139. This winter-white sheath reminds me of the dress Michelle Obama recently wore to an event at the White House. Customize the look of this dress by adding a belt to further define the waist.

David Meister's purple matte jersey dress hugs your curves in all the right ways. Don't be afraid to wear a clingy dress - if you need some added confidence to pull of this sexy look, layer a pair of Spanx underneath and pile on the accessories over top. I'm envisioning a chunky necklace and an armful of bracelets.

And last, but not least, I think this Kiyonna faux-wrap dress is the same one shown in the magazine. I love the cascading ruffle detail!

Read the entire article in the December 2009 issue of Glamour magazine. It's on page 138.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sweet Treats from Sephora

Have you received your Sephora winter magalog? Mine was sitting on the kitchen counter this evening when I came home, and I excitedly snatched it up and flipped through the whole thing before even acknowledging my husband. It's ok - he gets it. And by it, I mean Sephora. This is their winter campaign:

Seriously whackadoo. There is no way in hell that I'm going to feel inspired by page after page of models wearing pounds of the craziest makeup caked on their pretty faces. I believe in color. And glitter. But this? Please. Show me a few pictures where the makeup is so gorgeous, so wearable that I race to my makeup stash and try to recreate it. Not happening this season. BUT - at least the gift sets and actual products that Sephora is peddling are fantastic and exciting.

Lorac Double Booked Full Face Collection, a $350 value for just $55. This set contains 16 eye shadows, 2 blushes, a bronzer, a highlighter, 2 lip glosses, a lip liner and a dual-ended brush.

Sephora Frangrance Sampler for Her (also available For Him), $75. Includes samples of 7 different perfumes PLUS a voucher for one full size bottle of whichever sample you like best. This is such an amazing gift.

Bare Escentuals junkies are going to be crazy for the bareMinerals Happiness Collection. This $137 value, selling for a mere $54, contains Glee all over face color, 2 eye colors, a liner shadow, mascara, lipgloss, and the requisite brushes.

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How cute is this sweater?

It would look amazing with a pencil skirt, tights and boots. I love a little sparkle by the face. Ok, I love a little sparkle period. But especially near the face.

Liz Claiborne Sequin Fair Isle Sweater, up to size 3X, $109.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trend Translation - Lucky Girl

One of my favorite sources for style inspiration is Lucky magazine and their online counterpart, My favorite spot to lurk? The Fashion Copycat page. This look strikes me as extremely cool in a thoughtful, but not overly-thought-out way: This look was ubiquitous across fashion magazines and on city streets all spring and summer - the laid back jeans, crew neck tee shirt, slouchy vest and sandals. With a few seasonal updates, it's an aesthetic that can still look fresh well into the winter as well. Here's my fashion copycat, using pieces designed for Bombshells.

First thing's first: jeans. Check your closet. Grab a pair that's more fitted than flared. Fitted jeans will keep the overall look from being sloppy.

A simple, gray cotton turtleneck is the perfect streamlined bottom layer for this chic style. Old Navy's Lightweight Turtleneck is a classic. (Bonus - you can layer this thin turtleneck under short sleeve dresses, too!)

This winter-weight tweed vest mimics the original inspiration's menswear vibe. Worn open, it'll evoke the same freestyle sense of chic; worn closed, it'll cinch your waist and highlight curves. Either way, it's a winner.

The purple tote bag really pops next to this outfit's neutrals. I love the sleek lines of this Lucky Brand Pleats of Love bag in Ultraviolet.

Ground the outfit in a pair of dark brown booties - their safari meets modern biker look is a great seasonal translation of the copycat girl's dark brown strappy sandals.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beauty Moment - Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

I'm quickly approaching my 30th birthday and long ago (ok, when I was 22) decided that I'd start getting serious about skincare when I hit that milestone age. My skin has changed a lot over the past five years; I've been surprised at how quickly and drastically those changes surfaced.

My skin has morphed with a mind of it's own - dry patches on my cheeks and nose, oily across the chin and forehead, sunken dark circles under the eyes, and lots of redness all over. I thought these were issues I'd be stuck with, that this new skin condition was my lot in life. It's not that I don't take care of my skin - I diligently cleanse, tone, moisturize and exfoliate. Beyond that, though, I didn't really know what else to do. The first treatment I've dipped my toes into is Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair serum*. It's a lightweight, non-greasy serum that goes on a clean face, after toner, before moisturizer.

Estee Lauder's really excited about this product; they're pursuing 20 different patents for the technology behind their proprietary formula. E.L's scientists believe the serum will improve skin in two ways: repairing past damage from environmental factors (like sun, smoke, smog, etc) and protecting the skin from future exposure.

Time will tell if Advanded Night Repair serum* really does live up to the brand's promises, but I'm really happy with the immediate improvement in my skin. My face retains hydration better; I don't get dry and tight halfway through the day. My skin tone is more even and the overall redness that I loathe is much less prevalent.

More to come on my journey toward 30 (which I'm excited about!) and the changes I'm making in my skincare. In the meantime, let me know if you have a favorite anti-aging product that I should check out.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Beauty Tip of the Day

And So It Begins - LB's Holiday Magalog

At the stroke of midnight on November 1st, before many of us had even made it home to count our Halloween candy, the world of retail declared that the holidays have arrived. And if the Lane Bryant holiday magalog is any indicator of what's to come, it's going to be a glamourous time of year. If you didn't receive a hard copy in the mail, click here to view a soft copy.

Lane Bryant's forecast for the holidays: shiny with a hit of surprise. I love the way they styled their winter collection. They paid a lot of attention to the little details, starting with the jewelry. Dramatic bib necklaces, dangly earrings - each piece makes a statement on its own. This is the time of year that a woman can get away with extra flash; and a $30 necklace that transforms what's already in your closet is a smart buy.

The biggest surprise of the magalog? The fact that LB showcased two different jump suits...and I actually like them. I've viewed jump suits with the kind of disdain normally reserved for Paris Hilton. But LB has me thinking twice.

My favorite spread in the magalog focuses on four tops, styled dressed up and dressed down. I must have the purple one-shouldered sweater on the far right.

Other highlights include on-trend sweaters, really cute pajamas & undies, and a very chic asymmetric ruffle dress from the Icon collection.

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