Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bombshell Roundup

Tina takes on the concept of being "matchy-matchy" and wins.

CeCe meets uber plus-model, Ashley Graham - and discovers they have something in common. Cute!

Work with What You've Got? No problem, if you've got this in your closet. Could I pull off cowboy boots in MN without looking like a poser?

Plus Model Magazine is featuring a really pretty convertible dress on their blog. I think it would be great to wear to a summer wedding.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beauty Moment- My Skincare Routine

Finding a great skincare routine can be as challenging as finding a husband or wife. You know what? I'm going to say it's harder: I've been married for 3 years and have just recently stabilized my skincare routine! Here's what I spent all that time looking for:

* Products that clean without stripping my skin
* Ingredients that feel good and do good
* Something that I can afford to purchase regularly ($20 or less per product)

Three simple things that have taken all of my adult life to find. At various points over the past few years, I've used and loved a variety of products. I was really happy with my skincare routine until Bobbi Brown discontinued my favorite face wash. That set me off on a journey that led to Mario Badescu. Mario and I met a little over a year ago, in the Roseville Ulta, and it's been a love story ever since. He really is everything I ever wanted in a skincare regimen.

Mario Badescu products have long been available in high end department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. But it wasn't until I came face to face with them in my beloved Ulta that I gave the line a little time and attention. I like the simple, "chemist's shop" inspired packaging. And I read once that the impeccably gorgeous Liv Tyler is a fan of the line. Those two incredibly superficial facts, coupled with an Ulta coupon, were all it took for me to start opening jars and slathering on creams. And here's what I've been using:



The morning regimen (from left to right): Complex Moisturizer with Vitamin E & SPF 20 (in bottle missing the label), Cucumber Cream Soap, Glycolic Acid Toner, Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream



Night time regimen: Target Up & Up brand Eye Makeup Remover, same cream soap and toner, same eye cream (not pictured), Seaweed NightCream



I used two specialty treatment products: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair*. The Bliss product is amazing - it instantly wakes up my complexion whenever it looks a little dull. And I'm not exactly sure what the Estee Lauder serum does...but it feels nice and cool on my skin, and seems to tighten everything up. So I'm in.



And finally, I slather my ultra-white legs in Mario Badescu Summer Shine Body Lotion every day to minimize the whiteness and give them a nice healthy lustre.

I have dry skin; find your perfect combination of products at Mario Badescu's web site. The products are all categorized by Dry, Oily and Combination skin types. Estee Lauder products are in most major department stores, and Bliss products can be purchased at Sephora.

Accessories Swap Party

This past Saturday, I hosted an Accessories Swap Rarty for my girlfriends. It was a lot of fun, and very easy to do. The event was completely last minute (I sent out the invites a mere week beforehand!) but luckily the girls were available and willing to dig into their closets to unearth scarves, jewelry, sunglasses and handbags that were in good condition but no longer energizing to wear.

I asked each girl to bring 2-3 items; it was pretty funny because everyone who walked in made a self-concious comment about her goods. "Oh, I feel like my things are so nerdy/not cool enough/no one will want them." Just goes to show that sometimes your perception of your own belongings is completely off - because everything was really cute!

The rules were simple:
* Bring a few items
* For every piece you bring, get a token to use for bidding on items
* Walk around, cocktails in hand, and try on new accessories. When you find something you like, lay your token next to it
* If more than one person wants a single item, we used dice for a "roll off" (highest die wins) to determine a winner

Every girl walked away with something she was genuinely excited about - and we had lots of fun trying on new things and having girl talk.

You saw one of my new pieces yesterday, and I'll unveil the rest of them over the course of this week. But for now, here's a picture of the entire group (plus our good friend, Kara, who lives in GA and joined us via Skype).



Thanks for a great night, girls!

On Safari

Kimberly, of Fab Finds Under $50 fame, is an amazing bargain shopper. This fact is known, far and wide. She's also a really sweet, generous friend - which I came to know recently! Kimberly sent me this very cool alligator bracelet; she has one and so does Tina of T Minus, T Plus. I can't wait to see how they wear theirs. Those two are very creative - you never know where this bracelet could end up! On a scarf, in their hair, around an ankle....ok, probably not that one.

The bracelet inspired me to put together a Safari-type outfit...urban Safari if you will. Because a silver alligator bracelet and leopard print headband might be as close as I ever get to the real thing!



Here are the bracelet, my animal-print headband, and an emerald & diamond ring that belonged to my mom. My wedding rings are at the jeweler's, so this ring is standing in. And...emeralds & diamonds are mined in Africa. So the ring keeps my theme consistent!





The clothes:
Dress - Target (Merona)
Shoes - DesignerShoes.com
Headband - Karma, in St. Paul
Bracelet - gift from Kimberly
Ring - gift from Mom

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feeling Gray

Not sure why, but every article of clothing I've liked lately has been gray. It took one of my most recent Polyvore sets for me to realize that, so I thought I'd just embrace the gray and maybe get it out of my system. I'm usually all about color! So, this is what I'm wearing out in the world today:









The last time I wore this silky shirt/jacket, it was with a pair of flowing black pants. I like it better with a more fitted pair of jeans; the outfit seems more balanced. The necklace I'm wearing is one of the pieces I picked up during this weekend's accessories swap party - score!

The clothes:
Shirt/jacket- Lane Bryant
Purple tank - Gap
Jeans - Lee
Shoes - Payless
Earrings - Lia Sophia
Necklace - accessories swap party

About the Ads

I've decided to begin placing ads on Bombshell Beauty; it's taken me over 3 years to decide to allow them! I feel very strongly that the ads appearing on my blog represent products and brands I either have purchased/would purchase/plan to purchase.

Because of that, you will see me write about the same brands for whom ads appear. It's not because I'm trying to sell you anything; it's because I've probably been talking about those brands and products for the past 3 years, anyway. If you ever have any questions about my ads, let me know!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sharing a Little Blog Love

I have fantastic parents - the best - who have supported me in everything I've ever shown an interest in (soccer, playing the clarinet, throwing the shot put in middle school...don't ask, and more than a few questionable boyfriends in my lifetime). So it's my turn to lend a show of support to my awesome dad.

He'd probably be mortified to find out that I'm posting this. But as I used to tell him, along with a good old fashioned stamping of the foot, "I can do what I want to do!"

My dad has just started a blog. A great blog called Pitches from Right Field. It's chronicling his journey to all 30 of the major league baseball parks. And it's a lot more than that...it's about him. And his life. Like him, the blog is funny and touching and entertaining.


This is Dad and me, at a friend's wedding a few months ago.

So do this Bombshell a favor - check it out. Tell your husbands and your boyfriends and whomever else you think would like it.

Thanks so much!
Sara

Fashion to Figure

I've been getting to know Fashion to Figure a bit, having read my friend Tina's review on a dress sent to her by the brand; and checking out their Facebook Fan page. I'm excited to have another resource for what appears to be on-trend, flirty separates and dresses.

Here are a few of my current faves from Fashion to Fit's site (notice an unintentional black & gray theme...)



Have you ordered anything from Fashion to Figure? If so, what was your experience like?

Day-After a Party Outfit

Last night's accessories swap party with my friends was so much fun! Everyone left with a bag of new accessories to jazz up their wardrobes. And we made a pretty good dent in the Bota Box of chardonnay. Ooops!

Given that, I'm in no mood to put on a complicated outfit (defined as anything with a zipper and multiple layers). Something like this is perfect - comfortable but cute enough to get me out of the house and into a booth at my favorite local diner for a plate of bacon and lots of coffee:



You'll note that I included a strapless bra in this set. I'd like to take a moment to remind women everywhere that visible bra straps completely detract from a tank top. Even those crazy "clear" straps I've seen all over the place here in MN lately. Buy a strapless bra. This one is exceptionally comfortable - I own two and wear them under everything (even tops that don't require strapless).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Such Fun on a Saturday

It's been a wonderful, though busy, Saturday so far. I started the morning off by running down to the Farmer's Market with Dan for some breakfast and to pick up a few bunches of herbs. We live a block away from the market which is ideal because the neighborhood becomes jam-packed with cars and shoppers by about 8AM.

After the market, I was interviewed by Plus Model Magazine's editor, Maddy Figueroa-Jones. What a treat! I met Maddy at the Lane Bryant blogger conference. She is a wonderful woman with the most amazing spirit. You can get a glimpse of that spirit in her video on Inside Curve.

After that, I had to run a few errands to prep for the accessories swap party I'm hosting for a few of my girlfriends. I love throwing parties; preparing for them is at least half the fun! Here's what I wore while running around today:



I rarely include a purse in the pictures of my outfits, but was literally racing out the door. I'm carrying one of my favorite bags - it's a slouchy leather bag from Hobo International. It has two pockets on the side and two more on the inside. It holds so much! Kimberly asked me to do a "What's In My Purse" post, and I'm going to do it with this bag. You won't believe what's in there right now!



The clothes:
Black ruffled bolero - LB
Turquoise tunic - LB
Leggings - LB (holy cow, I didn't realize I was head to toe LB today)
Shoes - Designer Shoes.com
Purse - Hobo International

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not-So Casual Friday

I have an important meeting today at work, so I struggled a bit in deciding what to wear. The rest of my colleagues will be kicking it casual-style in jeans, so I wanted an outfit that would be appropriate for the meeting without looking completely out of place the other 7.5 hours of my day. Here's what I came up with:





I chose a classic shirt-dress cut in a light denim/cotton blend. I paired it with one of my favorite belts and understated gold jewlery.

The clothes:
Denim shirt-dress: Lane Bryant
Earrings - my Grandma Kappy's
Necklace - Lia Sophia
Bangles - a gift from Lane Bryant
Belt - Gap
Shoes - Nordstrom Rack

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Easy, Day to Evening Dress

Tina and I have been talking about putting ourselves on a spending restriction...well, I said freeze and Tina negotiated a "restriction" that allows $10/week. Kenz told me she was doing a spending freeze too (how's that going, Kenz?). We start July 1st and my checking account will be thrilled to hear this. I've been shopping like crazy since the beginning of the month. It's gotten to the point where I don't really even need or want anything! So, clearly time to reign it in.

Anyway - good thing I bought this gauzy black dress before the restriction started. I have one more piece arriving today and then I'm done shopping (for a while). This dress is great on many levels: it's comfortable, it's versatile and I look forward to wearing it to work then out for cocktails with Dan tonight:



Topped with a lightweight seersucker blazer, I'm ready for the A/C at the office. Here's a close up of the straps and bodice detail on the dress:





The clothes:
Gauzy black dress - Lane Bryant
Black & white seersucker blazer - gift from Lane Bryant
Bracelet- Lia Sophia
Earrings - Fred Flare
Shoes - Payless

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Feelin' Lucky

I wasn't feeling inspired when I stood in front of my closet this morning. So I grabbed a copy of last month's Lucky Magazine (with Katy Perry on the cover) and decided to flip it open and mimic the first outfit I came to within the pages.

I opened it up to the "Lucky Girl" feature...a very cute and stylish lucky girl, indeed. Her page was full of flowy 80's inspired graphic-print tops and skinny jeans; I own nothing that comes even close to being able to mimic that style. So, I looked at my accessories...what do I have that's kind of 80's inspired and graphic? Ta-da:



A necklace from the 80's that belonged to my mom! I decided to pair it with jeans-turned cropped pants and my striped tee.



I always feel very "Jean Seberg" in this top, so I put on Lancome's Magnifique perfume*.


I'm saying "Ooohh la la!" in this shot.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Plus Size Label: Eliza Parker

I'm really bummed out not to have been able to accept the invitation to the Eliza Parker launch party (the downside of not living in NYC! The upside? Grass and affordable housing). The line is described as being designed by real women for real women. The designer, Jessica Tenaglia, was a health care consultant before making the leap into plus size fashion. I imagine her new gig as a designer is a little more glamourous than the whole health care consultant deal!

The first collection from the Eliza Parker label includes everything one would need to create a head-to-toe, curve hugging look. From fabulous belted cardigans and a gorgeous swishy skirt, to tailored dresses, bags and jewelry - I really like the aesthetic of the collection. Everything appears to be well cut, with lovely details that add enough personality so as to be distinctly "Eliza Parker" without overtaking the entire look of an individual wearer. I really appreciate the way everything compliments one another - the accessories, especially, seem very thoughtfully created to work with the clothes.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces - I'm envisioning the navy blue dress with the red rose pinned at the waist?



And I just know this black skirt would twirl nicely!



You can shop the entire line at www.elizaparker.com.

Bombshell Round Up

An Olive a Day shares her favorite style - sweet and vintage inspired pieces.

I'm contemplating Cid's Summer Challenge: choose five pieces from your wardrobe and remix them with accessories for a week of outfits.

I've never heard of Alisi Swimwear, but the snaps on Curves & Chaos have me hooked!

Lilli is killing me with this belt - and the shoes. And...everything about this outfit.

Stylish Curves found a white dress for every woman's style. I can't decide between the first one and the third one.

Right on, Roxie. Right. On.

Breaking the Cardinal Rule

As a sophomore in college, I joined a sorority. It was a lot of fun. My parents paid for some of my very best friends, still to this day. It was a good investment. However, it was not very good for my personal sense of style. We all dressed alike, a lot of the time. The same crispy blonde highlights. The same Old Navy khaki pants. The same tie back top for hitting up frat parties on the weekends. One of the cardinal rules of sorority style was this: black belt, black shoes, black purse. One did not mix and match, or (gads!) mix black and brown.

It took me a couple years to get over all the sorority rules that had been drilled into my head. And now, mixing black and brown is one of my favorite things to do:



This dress might look familiar; it's the one I received at the LB Blogger Conference. It's a great, satiny-feeling date dress. But I wanted to rework it and wear it to the office today. So I paired it with very casual accessories, like the green cardigan (which I wore this past weekend), and brown gladiator sandals. The necklace is one of my favorite pieces; it used to belong to Great Grandma Midge:



I'm playing with lip color again today, layering Bare Minerals gloss in Cupcake over Clinique Color Surge lipstick in Precious Pink:



The clothes:
Green cardigan - Target
Dress - gift from Lane Bryant (available online and in stores, now)
Necklace - inherited from Great Grandma Midge
Gladiator sandals - Payless

Monday, June 21, 2010

Start with the Lips

While getting dressed today, I decided to shake up my usual routine: pick out a dress, then add accessories, then put on makeup. Instead, I started with my makeup. I wanted to wear the new bright pink lipstick that I bought this weekend:


The lipstick is a lot pinker in real life.

That's a very bright color, especially for the office, so I kept the rest of my makeup minimal with just a little bronzer, a touch of gray eye shadow, black eyeliner and mascara. (Yes, that's minimal in my world.)

When it came to choosing my outfit, I found myself layering on tough metal accessories like the long twisted metal necklace, bracelet and earrings. Even my shoes have metal gromets on them! It makes sense, though, because I like the counterbalance of cold metal with the ultra-girly lipstick:


My pose and ultra-smile are making me laugh today.

The clothes:
Black cardigan - Lane Bryant
Gray & purple dress - Cynthia Rowley by way of Marshalls
Shoes - Payless
Earrings & bracelet - Lia Sophia
Necklace - compliments of Lane Bryant