Friday, July 30, 2010

New Ann Taylor Clothes

Today's outfit is brought to you by last week's Ann Taylor super clearance online sale:



I was a little concerned the tiered ruffle skirt might be too short. But I'm very comfortable with the length. And Alissa of Stylish Curves was not kidding when she told me the skirt is super comfortable. It's a really soft knit cotton. But at the same time, it's not flimsy. So I'm really happy with that $14.99 purchase.

The clay cardigan was on sale for $24.99. The web site made the color appear more gray than the brown it really is. It's very lightweight and I like the longer boyfriend-length. I think this cardigan will be in heavy rotation through the fall and winter.



I have to share with you how much I love this lipstick. It's crazy, because I received this tube of Wet N Wild fuschia lipstick (# 521A) in a goodie bag from the Bombshell Boutique launch party. I put it on this morning, expecting it to be dry and have a strange taste...so imagine my surprise when the formula went on creamy, no smell, and looks great! I'll be checking out more Wet N Wild lipsticks.



I wear this cute necklace whenever possible. It's a cheapie from Target.

The clothes:
White tank - Gap
Cardigan - Ann Taylor
Tiered skirt - Ann Taylor
Shoes - Payless
Necklace - From Target

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bombshell Boutique Splashes onto Grand Ave

St. Paul's historic Grand Avenue has long been a destination for boutique shops that cater to the boho-eclectic style of the city's straight-size women. Last night's launch party for Bombshell Boutique was a celebration of plus size fashion and it's new home in the neighborhood.

Situated in a cozy spot next to Bruegger's Bagels and across from the North Face store, Bombshell Boutique's facade is a welcome addition to the Twin Cities' style scene. The owner, Denise Alden, exemplified everything that her store stands for: welcoming and personable, with a very Bombshell up-sweep of platinum blonde hair, decked out in a curve-flattering lace overlay dress from Kiyonna. She was the consumate hostess, welcoming every party guest into her boutique with pink champagne and a tour of the clothing racks. Denise spoke passionately and knowledgeably about each of the designers she carries, pointing out this skirt that lays just right and that dress that feels amazing on.

My friend, Stephanie, and I had a great time wandering through the store, checking out the well-edited selection of clothes, jewelry and purses. We both loved the silky printed wrap tops from INES, and were very interested in the Not Your Daughter's Jeans display. I tried on a dress from LucieLu that had to come home with me, and Stephanie snagged a gorgeous red purse.

I'm very passionate about supporting the small businesses in my neighborhood, and I'm especially excited about Bombshell Boutique. If last night's party was any indication, Grand Avenue is going to be looking a lot more glamourous for a long time to come.



I'm looking forward to having lots of these cute shopping bags...



This LucieLu dress has so many great details - epaulets at the shoulders, zipper front, ruching along the waistline, and pockets at the hips. It's very soft and comfortable. A new favorite!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bombshell Roundup

When life gets crazy (like this week has been/will be) I can always count on my favorite bloggers to keep me sane.

I love Kenz from All the Weigh so much. This post exemplifies exactly why - she's open, even when it's hard, but is optimistic. Here's hoping a bit of the sunshine she spreads to the rest of us, touches her life very soon.

To keep myself going off the shopping deep end come Fall, I'll be employing Sal's Pre-Purchase Quiz.

I didn't even realize I wanted cuter, more fun sunglasses until Kimberly suggested it.

The name of this blog, Low Fat Dressing, makes me laugh every time it pops up in my Google Reader. The fact that Kristen is fun and stylish is just icing on the (low fat, sugar free) cake.

It's Tuesday...that means it's time for Tips with Tina!

Where've you been, Pale and Pallor Princess?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday, Monday

I'm really excited to start the week. I've been living and breathing a project since February, and we're finally moving to the final phase before a different team implements the product. Today's going to consist of a lot of running around and trouble-shooting, so comfort is essential.







The Outfit:
Black cardigan - Gap
Dress- Cynthia Rowley
Belt - Target
Ballet flats - DesignerShoes.com
Earrings - Lia Sophia
Necklace- gift from a friend

Saturday, July 24, 2010

For My Twin Cities Bombshells-

Nicole Fae, the fabulous makeup artist who gave me that sweet airbrush tan, is looking for a few women in desperate need of an eyebrow shaping. If you have some seriously overgrown brows (hey, it happens) - get in touch with Nicole to possibly participate in a free waxing & photo shoot for her web site next Friday.

You can reach her by way of info@nicolefae.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

Keeping it Casual

I woke up waaaay too early this morning, so decided to head into work at the crack of dawn. I didn't feel like fussing too much with my clothes, so went with one of my favorite casual/sporty outfits:



It doesn't get much simpler than a cotton khaki skirt + white crew neck tee. I added my gold sandals so I'd feel a little more office-appropriate. Although I'll be slipping into my Converse flip flops for happy hour tonight!

The clothes:
Khaki skirt - Gap
White tee- Gap
Sandals - Payless
Pinecone necklace - Grandma Ruth
Sapphire earrings - Grandma Kappy

Ann Taylor Loft Super Sale

Well, I broke down on the $10/week challenge. I blame Ann Taylor Loft's 70% off sale. I picked up two pieces that will get a lot of wear this Fall:





The clothes:
Tiered Knit Skirt in Magical Plum - $14.99

V-Neck Cardigan in Clay - $24.99

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beauty Moment - Nicole Fae Airbrush Tan

It's hard to believe that less than 24 hours ago, I shared the same skintone with Snow White. Last night, I received an invitation from makeup artist Nicole Fae to come over to her studio for an airbrush tanning session.* So I popped over to her suite in downtown St. Paul's historic Northwestern Building for my first airbrush tanning experience.

I'll admit that I said "Yes" before really thinking through a couple things.

1.) I could have, potentially, been turned the same color as an Oompa Loompa or Lindsay Lohan.

2.) I would be getting naked in front of a stranger.

So I spent 20 minutes researching methods for removing or quickly fading fake-tan products. And I spent another 20 minutes telling myself that I'm sure Nicole has seen plenty of bodies like mine and to chill the heck out.

Happily...I do not look like an Oompa Loompa. And Nicole is a total pro about the whole naked thing and made me feel extremely comfortable. I actually forgot that I wasn't clothed because she's one of those people who is instantly friendly and engaging.

Check out my before picture:



And after:



I love it! While I love my fair skin, too, I think I look really healthy and vibrant with a tan. And this is the way to go; no way am I sitting out in the sun to get a little color. And I'm way too lazy to bother with self tanners at home. I stipped down to my panties, stood in a portable tanning hood, then chatted with Nicole while she sprayed me. The tanning product dried on contact. And I was really surprised to discover that it had no gross scent. The entire process took about 15 minutes, from start to finish.

Nicole specializes in creating the perfect color for any skintone. From the fairest of the fair (she just got a new product in for redheads, who have a really specific undertone), to women of color (who can get a gorgeous mahogany glow that combats ashiness); Nicole knows how to get the perfect blend of coverage and color. She gave me a few tips for how to keep my color looking fresh and pretty for 7-10 days:

* Don't shower for at least 8 hours, post tan
* Avoid exfoliating the skin
* Be diligent about slathering body lotion all over
* Every 2 or 3 days, boost the color with a lotion like Jergens Natural Glow

Go to Nicole Fae's website for more details on her entire range of services, and to learn more about the tanning products she uses. Nicole offers a client's first airbrush tan for just $25; regular priced sessions are $40. She can even come to your home to tan you there - I think it would be fun to get a bunch of girls together to have a tanning party at the end of the summer. The cost per person goes down to about $32 for parties of 10.

I'll definitely do this again and, though this session was complimentary, I'll have no problem spending my own $40 to have Nicole work her magic on me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Retro Wednesday

I love this outfit. The shirt dress + cardigan combo is very 1950's ladylike, which I enjoy. To add a touch of color, I tied a red sash in a bow around my waist. A pair of vintage earrings bring a little color and shine up near my face.





Hope you're wearing an outfit that makes you feel like a 10 today!

The clothes:
Denim shirt dress - Lane Bryant
Black cardigan - Gap
Red and white flower earrings - vintage, from Great Grandma Midge
Silver bangles - Karma boutique in St. Paul
Ballet flats - DesignerShoes.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beauty Moment - Goody Spin Pins

I'm officially a Goody Spin Pin junky. I keep them close by at all times, and they've effectively replaced my ponytail holder.

They are:
1. Very easy to use
2. Extremely strong - they really hold a bun in place!
3. Gentle - the pins don't get tangled up or yank on my strands the way a bobby pin can

Here are a few pictures of my favorite hairstyles, compliments of the Spin Pin. Then I have a quick little video showing you the basic Spin Spin technique. I'm still complete crap at "how-to" videos, so forgive my ineptitude and gratuitous elbow shots.

Hairstyle #1: Half Up Bun





Look #2: Kicky Side Bun








Let me know if you use Spin Pins to create any other hairstyles - I would love to see how you do it!

One Top, Three Ways

Bombshell readers Kristin, Eve and Maggie all asked me the same question about my new Carly top* from Sealed with a Kiss Designs: how does it look untucked? A fair enough question since I don't know many women who tuck their shirts in. I only do it with my high waisted skirt. So with that in mind, here are two more pictures of the Carly top. See look number one here.



Look number two is casual with jeans. This tank is nice and long, fitted through the bust and looser through the hips. To keep the look balanced, I made sure to pick jeans that are tighter through the hips and thighs.



Look number three is more businessy. I chose a pair of black dress pants and, because they're a looser fit, a black belt to help define my shape. The same objective could be accomplished with a blazer or cardigan, too.

I'm excited to have such a versatile top in my wardrobe. Thanks for prompting me to style it differently, girls!

2nd Sealed with a Kiss Designs Review

After a long, fun weekend celebrating Dan's birthday, I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. But when I remembered what was waiting for me in my closet, getting up and dressed was more fun. Sealed with a Kiss Designs sent me this really cute tank top* to test drive and review for you:



It's the Carly top in jade and I feel really good in it. The material is soft and snuggly, and the ruffled neckline is so flattering (if I do say so myself). I paired it with my high-waisted skirt and a white blazer for work today:



I'm also really excited about the necklace I'm wearing. With the dramatic ruffled neckline, I searched through my jewelry box for something that wouldn't compete with my top. Here's what I came up with:



I remember giving my mom this rose pendant back when I was in elementary school. I think I bought it at one of those 'Santa's Workshop' deals, which means it's most likely very inexpensive (I definitely wasn't rolling in money at the age of 7). So it kind of makes me laugh; which is a nice way to start out a Monday.

I'm looking forward to doing some more shopping at Sealed with a Kiss Designs once the July $10/week restriction ends. What have you bought from them?

The clothes:
Carly tank top - gift from Sealed with a Kiss Designs
White cotton blazer - Lane Bryant
High waist skirt - Lane Bryant (Icon collection)
Sandals - Payless Shoe Source
Earrings- Grandma Kappy's
Pendant - Mom's

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sealed with a Kiss Designs

A little less than three weeks ago, I started seeing posts on other blogs and bloggers' Facebook pages about Sealed with a Kiss Designs. The line is sold in select cities across the US, Canada, Autralia, France, Israel... they're building quite a presence for themselves! Their online store is packed full of trendy clothes that are body concious, yet flattering.

Last week, Sealed with a Kiss asked if I would like to pick out a couple pieces and review them for you guys. I chose a top, and they chose one for me - it was a fun surprise to see what they picked! Here's the package, as it looked when I opened it:



I really appreciate it when a retailer makes that extra effort with the presentation - tissue paper goes a long way with me. As for the clothes, I received the Carly top in Jade (the surprise piece!) and the Crochet Tunic top in Lilac (my choice!) Both tops are a rayon/spandex blend, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect in their quality. Would they feel rough and cheap?

Nope! Both tops are incredibly soft, and I'm thrilled with the quality of the details that adorn both. So based on the brand's selection, quality, and price the big question is, 'Would I make a purchase from Sealed with a Kiss with my own money?' Yes, I would. I will- most likely this Color Block Dress.

Here I am in the Lace Crochet Tunic:





I'll let you know when I wear the Carly top next week!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting Through the Week

This has been a really trying week...work has been a little crazy! So I've been wearing all my favorite clothes to help get through each day. Today, I pulled out my turquoise Is It tunic and a side ponytail:





I like the way I look with a little hair around my face; sometimes a standard ponytail is too severe. So a sorta-side pony is my solution. It also reminds me of my childhood; my mom spent many mornings pulling my hair into a very high ponytail, pulled across my head, firmly anchored on the side of my head. It was kind of an
80's signature for me.

The clothes:
Is It tunic- Lane Bryant
Leggings -Lane Bryant
Black cardigan - Gap
Shoes - Payless.com
Siver hoops - Lia Sophia
Crocodile bracelet - gift from Kimberly

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Store in St. Paul - Bombshell

It started with a tweet from Allison Kaplan of Ali Shops...then I got an email from someone else...and then another...and another - all congratulating me on opening my new store called Bombshell, on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. You can imagine my confusion because, uhm, I'm not opening a store.

Allison got to the bottom of things, though, and located the actual new owner of Bombshell. And guess what? It's going to be a plus size shop! Denise Alden, the proprietress, plans to stock labels like Lucie Lu, Kiyonna, and Igigi. It'll be a destination for that great dress or skirt that can be so elusive for the plus size woman.

I feel like we need some kind of partnership between Bombshell Beauty (the blog) and Bombshell (the store)... In any case, Bombshells who live in the Twin Cities will be able to pop into our namesake store sometime this August. The address is 794 Grand Avenue.

$10 Shopping Restriction - Week 2

I bought two things with my $10 this week, and I've been wearing both of them like crazy! So the cost/wear is already very low. My first purchase was a set of Goody Spin Pins:



I've never been very adept at doing my hair, so I'm a sucker for any product or gadget that promises quick & easy results. I read a really positive review of them over on Work With What You've Got, so figured I would give them a try. I'm surprised at how incredibly easy it is to create a bun with these two pins - and they really hold! I'll do a full review later, and will show you some of the hairstyles I've created. I bought mine at Target for $5.99.



My second purchase was another one made at Old Navy. I'm really feeling the Old Navy clearance section lately! It's a really pretty cotton scarf; pink with gray, fuschia and green polka dots. It's huge, so I've been able to wear it pinned as a shrug, wrapped around my neck, and it even served as a makeshift blanket during a meeting in which sat directly under the A/C. It was $3.99.

What did you get this week?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friend Date

I have a date with one of my friends after work tonight; we're going to window shop at Mall of America then grab a bite to eat. So obviously I needed to pull together a great outfit - to wow my friend! She always looks great and I'd like to keep up. So I'm wearing one of my favorites:



I like to maintain a fairly minimal closet, so I do wear the same clothes over and over. To keep my outfits feeling fresh and new, I mix them with different accessories. The last time I wore my high waisted skirt and striped top, I wore big earrings and lots of bracelets. This time, I went for a major necklace:



Geez, I look tired today. Better put on some more blush and concealer!

The clothes:
Flower bib necklace - Lane Bryant
Striped top - Kohl's
Skirt - Lane Bryant Icon Collection
Bracelet - Lia Sophia
Shoes - DesignerShoes.com

Monday, July 12, 2010

Purple Pride

Dan always tells me how much he loves it when I wear purple. I'm pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that purple is the color of MN Vikings football, and less to do with me. I can practically hear the Vikings rouser going through his mind. In any case, here I am showing my purple pride:





I really like the necklace I'm wearing. It's part of the Jackie Kennedy reproduction line from QVC. The clasp is really pretty, which is why I like to wear it towards the front instead of hidden in the back.

The clothes:
Black ruffle shrug - Lane Bryant
Purple dress - Old Navy
Necklace - QVC
Bracelet - Lia Sophia
Ballet flats - DesignerShoes.com

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fall Wish List

Fall fashion previews have popped up in every magazine I subscribe to this month, and I've somewhat dismissively flipped past the photo spreads of denim, jackets and jewel tone everything. But today, while flipping through the most random of my subscriptions (Town & Country...I know, could I be less of their demographic? I got it for free) it suddenly hit me: I am ready!!

Ok, not exactly ready to rush out and start snapping up fall clothes and accessories. Even better - I'm ready to start planning out which items I am going to rush out and snap up. I love planning: vacations, outfits, parties, shopping trips. Planning is at least 49% of the fun. So here's my first draft of a Fall Fashion Wish List (subject to change, of course):



I think a fitted shirt dress would be a great addition to my work wardrobe. I like how substantial this version from Ralph Lauren appears to be.

I have no polka dots in my closet, and I think this fall is the perfect time to remedy that. I'll look for a versatile top that I can wear with jeans and a brightly colored cardigan, or with a pencil skirt and blazer.

I'm officially a fan of leggings - and a denim version would be a great swap for my usual black pair.

I think a pair of serious cage sandals will look great with tights - a dark eggplant color is neutral but more interesting than basic black or brown.

A bib necklace will add instant glamour to a basic tee. This cute bumble bee version is out of my price range, but will serve as inspiration.

Come Fall, I love a more sultry perfume. Stella is perfect for me- a blend of rose and light musk.