Monday, March 29, 2010

Lane Bryant Haul

Ok, this may not qualify as much of a haul to many of you - but it is for me! I had a coupon that expired this past weekend for $25 off a $75 purchase, and there's no way I was going to give up a free $25. Here's what I picked up:

This open front cardigan is so much cuter in person than online! I bought it in Juniper Green and LOVE it. The cotton is is very soft and flows over my curves really nicely. I'm 6' tall and it skims the tops of my thighs, so the length is great. My LB store didn't have the cardigan in black, so I am picking one up online.

This twist neck tunic is something of a departure for me, style-wise. But I threw it on and just loved the look. Especially paired with these ruched leggings. I've long admired leggings on other Bombshells but hadn't taken the plunge myself. Color me shocked to find out how comfortable and cute they are. Here's my outfit, topped with a cardigan (because it was cold outside).



And last, but not least, I bought this shirt dress. Ok, not this exact shirtdress - mine is the same style/fabric, but in a dark gray/black denim. I couldn't find it online, though. Maybe it's in-store only.

Anyway- that's my haul; after cleaning out my closet last week it was fun to add a few new pieces into the mix. Have you bought anything new for spring?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beauty Fix* Review

Here's my review of a new beauty program I just joined. It's called Beauty Fix. Check out my video and then click here for the site's FAQ's to learn even more. If you have specific questions, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Random Cuteness

Another Friday, another mishmash of random things I think are cute:

Not your usual denim jacket, this Babyphat version is a great alternative to boxier, more traditional versions.

Super soft twill cargo crops scream springtime to me; they're a weekend staple paired with strappy sandals and sparkly jewelry.

I'd pair this laid back top with tight jeans - the drapiness would go a long way toward camoflaging a tummy.

A stylish reminder to love the life you live. From Target!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peek Inside My Closet

I've been asked quite a few times for pictures of my closet; I'm taking a mini vacation from work and somehow found myself cleaning out my closet.

(I know, what kind of weirdo chooses to clean her closet while on vacation?)

I pulled out all the winter clothes, checked them over for wear and tear, donated as needed and then stored everything else. I pulled all of my spring clothes out of storage, spruced them up, then got busy hanging & folding.

And here's the final result:



I'm guessing that you might be surprised that it's not jam packed full of stuff, right? I've definitely gone through those periods in my life where I thought more clothes meant I was a better-dressed woman. But for me, a packed closet means more headaches and time trying to piece together an outfit. I love every piece that I own and feel great every time (ok, most of the time) I get dressed. Not that I don't struggle with keeping my closet in check - I do! Every season, I have to fight the urge to rush out and buy a bunch of stuff that looks great in the moment. When I do pick up something new, I try to ensure that it's something I truly need/want and then I check my hangers to see what could be retired to make room for the latest and greatest.



Here's a closer look at my purse collection. I really like Kate Spade, Kathy Van Zeeland, and Hobo International bags. I store smaller clutches in the big floral Kate Spade purse on the far left, then stuff the rest of my bags with skeins of yarn to help them keep their shape.



I like to separate my work clothes from play clothes. Here's the work side: lots of dresses, one pair of black trousers, three skirts and two blazers.



And on the right are my play clothes: cotton shirts, skirts too short to wear to the office, two pairs of jeans (buried in the back since I rarely wear them!). I do pair some of my cotton tops with work skirts, but for some reason like to keep them over on the casual side of the closet. I also have a hanging shoe thingy - it holds 10 pair, which I try to keep my collection to. Of course I don't include in that final count my two pairs of boots (stored for the season) and my running shoes.

Along the top racks of the closet are workout/lounge gear, tee shirts, light sweaters, cardigans and my swimsuit.



Most of my jewelry is kept in an armoire, but I hang longer necklaces along the back wall of the closet. Scarves and belts hang from the upper racks for easy access.

So, that's my closet! What's your closet like?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How To Video - Easy, Messy Bun

So it's becoming very apparent that I need to buy a real camera to shoot these videos, rather than relying on my old Macbook's built in device. And learn a little bit about audio mixing (seriously, with the background noise? Sorry about that!). Bear with me until I get it all put together, ok?

As promised, the how to video on creating an easy, messy bun. Give it a whirl and let me know how it turns out for you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Found: Great Denim Pencil Skirt

In recent years, I've had a hard time getting my hands on a really great denim pencil skirt. So many of the options available in plus sizes feature really unflattering fading right along the thighs - do you know what I'm talking about? The denim is significantly lighter right up and down the thighs, which for me is just...no. I prefer denim in an even wash. Like Torrid's Einstein Wash Denim Pencil Skirt.



I know a lot of Bombshells are very hesitant to wear a pencil skirt; but the fear of a clingy skirt is completely unfounded. They look great on curvy women! Keep a few fit-tips in mind and don't be afraid to experiment with this silhouette.

* Choose a skirt whose length compliments your overall shape. Right at or just above the knee is usually flattering on most women.

* The length should also influence the type of shoe you pair with the skirt. Longer skirts look great with heels or wedges because they elongate the leg. Shorter skirts are better balanced by flats to avoid straying into "too much" territory.

* Clingy skirts call for a flowy top (and vice versa). This combo can be a little tricky for plus size women because tunics can completely hide all the curves that make them look balanced and proportioned.

Avoid the muumuu look by topping a tunic with a waist-enhancing cardigan, blazer or vest; a wide belt would also do the trick. Imagine the possibilities with these cute options:



Anna Scholz Cotton Silk Anchor Tunic



I love the roomy design of this button-down top, paired with a slim skirt. It's very sexy in an "I just threw on my boyfriend's shirt" kind of way. I'd go with tough accessories like a leather belt, ankle boots, and a leather studded purse.



The ruffle/zip neckline on this top is a really fun accent that adds volume to the upper half of the body. The ruffles will help draw the eye downward, too, which is nice - who doesn't want to look a little taller? It would look really polished with a fitted denim jacket or blazer.

Photo credit: Torrid.com; Macy.com

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Favorite Dress!

I ordered this dress from Old Navy, and it arrived today:



This online photo does not do this piece justice - it is so much better in person! The cotton is so incredibly soft that it feels like pajamas (which I like...nothing wrong with being comfortable!). The silhouette fits my curves perfectly; it's shapely without clinging to my hips. And the ruffle detail along the neckline is the perfect touch of girly without being overly precious.

The dress looks very cool paired with a blazer and heels for work, and then transitions perfectly into an evening/weekend outfit by removing the jacket and adding a belt along the cinched empire waist. I'm also really happy with the length; I was a little concerned that, given my height (6') the dress would be too short to wear to work. But it hits right at my knee. Perfect.


For work.


For play.

The dress is available up to size 4X, and it ran true to size for me.

Photo credit: OldNavy.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What the...

Ok, usually this blog is about all the great fashion that's out there for plus size Bombshells. But I came across this and literally shouted, "What the hell??" Out loud. In a very quiet coffee shop. Whatever. If the people who were glaring at me could have seen what I'm about to show you, they would have understood. Behold:


Had you heard that Prairie Chic in the form of freaking overalls is in this spring? Because I certainly had not gotten that message. Wow.


Photo credit: Onestopplus.com

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Video Review of My Favorite Lipgloss

Lane Bryant Spring Preview

Hopefully you've received the spring magalog from LB, complete with a $25 gift check, because let me tell you - the clothes featured inside are so incredibly tempting. The magalog came at the exact right time for me because all I want to see right now are bright colors and crisp cotton anything.

My top three favorite categories of clothing at Lane Bryant right now are:

* Blazers - LB has several extremely cute (and flattering) blazers right now. Top honors go to the Sateen Boyfriend Jacket (which is so versatile that both my mom and I want to get one during an upcoming Mother/Daughter shopping trip). Second place goes to the Tweed Cropped Jacket, a truly sweet topper that would look great with denim of all kinds (jeans, cropped pants, skirt). And finally, I've been on the lookout for a white fitted blazer. Think I've found it in the form of Lane Bryant's Sateen Jacket in white.

* Prints - Florals, polka dots and animal prints abound in the spring collection. I'm lusting after this floral skirt, polka dot dress (below) and prefer my animal print in a snappy clutch.

* Bright colors - juicy tangerine, lemon yellow, lime green and fuschia can't help but lift my mood...and my wardrobe! Paired with the basic black and gray that I've been living in all winter, these bright colors infuse my wardrobe with a much needed jolt of happy. I want cardigans by the handful and stacks of the super soft Supima tee shirts in every color.

So what do you think? Anything at Lane Bryant calling your name?









Photo credit: Media Source

Monday, March 8, 2010

Limited Time Coupon Code @ Evans

Get 10% off an order at Evans with coupon code BOMBSHELL between march 9-12. Minimum qualifying order of 40 British pounds (approx $61 USD). Evans is one of my favorite spots for jackets, vests and tunics.



This black stud-detail wrap is so easy to throw on over practically anything - fitted jeans and a tee-shirt, a shift dress and heels, even a swimsuit come summertime.



This dramatic tunic is perfect for a night out - graphic, just interesting enough without overpowering an entire look.



The high neck collar on this turquoise trench is a tres' modern update to a total classic.

Photo credit: Evans.co.uk

Friday, March 5, 2010

Every once in a while, out of nowhere, I decide that I need to invest in a proper suit. Never mind the fact that standard suits are so not my thing; I feel more like myself in a mixed up suit, a non-matching skirt and blazer. However, if I were going to invest in a classic pants/ jacket combo it would be this one from Calvin Klein's plus size collection:



The one-button jacket is the perfect length, especially combined with the tailoring that will accent curvy hips instead of eliminate them. This would be a great option for your next interview or a fancy night out - be the girl who stands out in her little black suit, accessorized with a silk/lacy cami and dramatic jewelry.


Photo credit: Macys.com

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A New Twist on Bright Eyes

Brightly colored eye liner has been a trend for the past few seasons - one that I've largely ignored. But with spring comes a fresh crop of pretty eye liners in shades like teal, grass green, bright purple and fuschia pink. And it's looking kind of good to me this time around.

(Side note: don't you feel like a bit of a sellout when you change your mind on a trend? Like skinny jeans and shooties...and now colored eye liner. Sigh)

Here's my little guide to wearing this trend, based on my own testing (and mistakes). Very unscientific, by the way.

* This look is best saved for weekends and after work. Your co-workers will probably find teal eye liner to be kind of distracting.

* Pair your crazy liner with a relatively nude eye - a very neutral eye shadow to even out your lid tone, and mascara. Leave your upper lash line bare, tracing your liner just around the lower lash line. Smudge like crazy to create a soft, romantic effect. Go with a sheer flush on the cheeks and a lip color that closely resembles your natural lip color.

* For an interesting take on the standard smokey eye, lay down a layer of black eyeliner first and then top it with a funky color. The color effect will be more muted than if you applied the colored liner on its own, but that extra color will look very cool.

A few of my favorite colored liners include Urban Decay's Graffiti (a bright grass green with shimmer) & Ransom (bright purple), L'Oreal HIP Studio Secrets Color Rich Cream Crayon in Intricate (a dark sky blue), and Lancome Ink Artliner in Plum Tease.

I couldn't find a picture to illustrate how pretty this look can be, so I did myself up and snapped a few pictures. Not saying it's super pretty, but you should get the idea.





I'm wearing Lancome Ink Artliner in Indigo Charm.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stripe Happy

Stripes are so verstatile. I know that sounds kind of strange, right? But think about it: stripes can transform from chic to preppy just by changing up the width or color combination; they can add texture and interest to an otherwise basic outfit; and they fit into pretty much any style scene.

For Work







Start with an eye-catching cardigan in varying shades and widths of stripes. Choose a complimentary color from the cardigan and layer in a girly top. Pull it all together with a neutral skirt or pants - I love how this skirt plays off the waist-enhancing dark blue stripe on the cardigan.

Going Out







Start with a slouchy tank (extra long through the hips) in shades of black, gray or dark blue. I love the watercolor effect of this one (see how the stripes are kind of smudgy?) - what a cool detail. Pair the tank with your choice of pant - black trousers or your favorite pair of jeans. A well-worn denim jacket is a cool final touch. I like to roll the sleeves up, too.


Playing it Casual









I'm always looking for ways to mix comfort with style. Jeans and a tee shirt with a really cool detail makes that effort so easy . Snappy sneakers in an unexpected color are like frosting on the cake.

Photo credit: OldNavy.com; Evans.co.uk

Monday, March 1, 2010

Beauty Moment- Coral Makeup


A couple weeks ago, I tested out Bobbi Brown's newest makeup collection. Called Cabana Corals, the sales associate had to twist my arm to let her put some of the makeup on me. It's not that the collection's shimmer bricks, gloss and lipsticks didn't look gorgeous - of course they did. I've just never thought I could wear coral, that amped up combination of pink and peach. I assumed that particular vibrant combo would clash with the pink undertones of my skin and would make me look red and overheated. I could not have been more wrong!

The second I had a sweep of Nectar Shimmer Brick along my cheek bones, my skin suddenly looked alive and pretty. And the obsession began; I was intrigued by coral. But I was not intrigued by the cost of Bobbi's shimmer brick, despite the amazing glow that I couldn't get enough of. Here's the thing...I already own two shimmer bricks. They're great products that I love and use a lot. Which got me thinking: could I mix my own shade of coral, one that would give the same effect as Nectar Shimmer Brick without the need to buy yet another product?

So I got busy, testing and layering on different variations using the pink and peach blushes I already own. It was fun, reminded me that I need to be more creative with my makeup, and yielded the perfect coral cheek color (laying down Cover Girl Simply Ageless cream blush in Plum, topped with a sweep of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Apricot). I also mixed a really pretty lipcolor, using a rosy pink cream lipstick topped with a shimmery peach gloss. It's exactly what I needed to break out of my makeup rut - and get in on the coral trend without laying out extra cash. Win!

Winner of N Perricone Cold Plasma

Congratulations to...Kenz! Please send your mailing address to me at bombshellbeautyblog@gmail in order to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered; I'll see if Kenz would be willing to let us all know how the cream works for her.