Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yippie Fashions

Urban Outfitters has always puzzled me as a store. It caters to "hippie" type fashions, the retro-hip crowd, those too busy living freely to worry about things like jobs or money. However, Urban Outfitters gear is actually fairly pricey. Therefore, those who actually shop there are really what I like to call "yippies." They are the young hippies who come from good families and go to good schools and will eventually become tomorrow's yuppies. It's the people who are willing to pay $40 for a shirt looks like it should've cost $1 at that thrift store. Except you can actually find that cool shirt in your size.

Now, this may seem like I'm ragging on Urban Outfitters a bit, and I guess I am. Does that astop me from shopping there? Of course not. They have the softest-feeling t-shirts ever! My current favorite t-shirt ("I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees!") was purchased lovingly from UO by my husband, when I was too cheap to buy it for myself. And, most recently, I found a whole barrage of fantabulous necklaces there that I'm very much in love with.

This adorable angel wings necklace is available in gold- and silver-tone. I'm normally not a gold jewelry person, but it just didn't look right to me in silver so I got the gold-toned version. Unfortunately the links on this necklace aren't closed very well and scratch at your neck a bit (if you're gonna charge $18 for a necklace at least make sure it's gonna be comfortable!). This dissappointed me greatly when I tried to wear it this morning but decided I could not deal with the discomfort. However before taking it back I will try to see if I can maybe attach it to a different gold chain (a jewelry-making friend might be able to assist me in this endeavor). I also got a similar necklace in silver-tone with lighting bolts as the charms, which I wore yesterday and didn't seem to bother me as much. There are also, of course, matching angel wing and lighting bolt earrings. For more cute necklaces, click here.

I also adored each of these earrings:

The keepsake drop earrings are just too precious, while the blue-and-green marble filligree hoops are very ethnic chic.

And then there's this:

They call it the spiffy spot ring, which I think is pretty appropriate. I just now found it online, it seems to be a web exclusive, and I just adore it. I guess I'm just into the whole obnoxiously-huge-ring thing. ; )

(All photos courtesy of Urbn.com)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Summer Essentials

We've already covered your most important summer essential (sunblock), so what about some of the other must-have items for a killer summer?

(Picture courtesy of Sheplers.com)

Maybe it's my southern-girl roots, but to me a good ole broken-in straw cowboy hat (or, as a friend of mine called it once: a "ten times hotter" hat, as it made the girl wearing it automatically seem to be 10 times hotter... he's a southern boy, too, btw) is always in style. It looks cute, it protects you from the sun, and it's a great cover-up for when you just don't want to mess with your hair. The hat in the picture is from Sheplers.com and costs $19.99. Target also has a few styles online here.

(Picture courtesy of Target.com)

Another essential is a good pair of sunglasses. I recently bought myself 2 pairs of those oversize, squared-off sunglasses sort of like the ones Denise Richards has been sporting around (except that mine are from Target and hers are, like designer somebody). Now, I'm usually a girl who hates wearing sunglasses because I was convinced that I looked funny in them. Anbd they somehow always sat on my face slightly crooked. But I have been wearing these 2 pairs non-stop (I keep 1 pair in my purse at all times, and the other in the car for driving). The best thing about the oversized trend-- they actually keep the sun out of your eyes! Fantabulous. And even better is that virtually every pair of sunglasses out there nowadays has 99%-100% protection against UVA/UVB rays, to help keep your eyes healthy and strong. Target has a pretty great variety of sunglasses (in this style and various others) along with some very cute cases to tote them in.

(Picture courtesy of Oldnavy.com)

This is possibly my favorite summer essential: flipflops. I would live in flipflops every day if I could. By fall when I finally have to start actually wearing sdhoes than encase my feet, they tend to feel claustrophobic and constrained.... My staple has tended to be Old Navy flipflops. They're comfortable, they're cheap, they've lasted me for years, and they come in just about every color imaginable. I've also been very loyal to my Locals, which are still alive and kicking (though less enthusiastically as they first did) after almost 3 years of use. I bought mine while in Hawaii visiting a friend that lived there. Apparently you can now buy them online, for about twice the retail price, but then again it's still cheaper than the cost iof flying to Hawaii which is the only other way to get them really. Other than Ebay. You can get anything off Ebay these days.

(Picture courtesy of REI.com)

I recently bought this pair of Teva flipflops, as I've lately been becoming more aware of the fact that sometimes feet need cushioning.. and arch support.... They're pretty comfy, the heels are very squishy which feels wierd at first but kinda cool. I didn't even realize how much support they really do give me untill, after wearing them for an entire weekend, I slipped back into another pair of flip flops and noticed the difference. I'm considering now also trying to find a pair of Reef flipflops in brown. I know lots of people who absolutely love their Reefs.

Clearly, there are a few other summer essentials... The perfect lipgloss, a good swimsuit cover-up, that perfect beach tote. But I may have to leave those for another post... =P

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New discovery!

So, in the past couple of weeks I have read 2 separate articles on skincare that each recommended washing your face twice (in a row) in order to really get rid of all the make-up, dead skin, etc on your face. This seemed a bit odd to me, so I mostly dismissed it at first.

Well, this afternoon while showering after my work-out I decided to give this theory a try. I'd already washed my face once, so for the 2nd time (since I haven't exfoliated in a while, either) I took some salt scrub (which had lost a lot of its oil so was mostly salt left over) and mixed it in with some of my facial cleanser and did a gentle scrub of my face (I then did the same thing with my shower gel to make a nice, gentler body scrub).

Well, when I stepped out of the shower and looked at my face I was in awe.... My skin looked posivitely radiant. Usually after a shower it looks a bit red and starts feeling dry quickly, so the change was a bit amazing (and counter-intuitive, to say the least). I couldn't believe it made that big of a difference. The scrub will certainlyu be too harsh to use every day, but maybe I'll try to folow this routine once a week and se how it goes. I'll keep y'all posted. ; )

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Favorite Shadow

(Photo courtesy of Ulta.com)

I am still very much upset that there are no Ulta stores close by me here in Cali. It's usually one of my must-see stops when I go home to Austin to visit the fam. One of the things I love about Ulta is their Ulta brand of make-up, particularly their eyeshadows. They have TONS of absolutely gorgeous colors available for testing and playing around with, and the best part is that almost every time I go there they have a 2-for-1 special going on. This means I can buy 2 eyeshadows for $6.50. That is friggin sweet.

My current go-to eyeshadow is pictured above, Lustre. It's always kinda hard to tell from a computer picture, but this color is absolutely fantabulous. It's a shimmery gold, which I never thought I would like this much. The thing about it is it's not obnoxiously or even obviously gold-toned when it's on. It's actually very subtle, simply giving me enough shimmer on my eyelids to enhance and bring focus up to my eyes (especially when paired with my current favorite eyeliner, Flirt!'s Look of Love Eyeliner Pencil in Purple Rain). It's the perfect look for a subtle-and-natural-yet-still-sexy summer look.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gel Eyeliner

(Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com)

Several months ago a friend of mine hooked a bunch of us up with tickets to a make-up show at Nordstroms. In addition to watching a show on the runway of the latest and coolest make-up products, we also each got to have a make-over. Mine was at the Bobbi Brown counter. The make-over was ok, but my biggest take-away was the eyeliner they used-- it was this awesome, funky new (relatively?) gel eyeliner that comes in a pot.

Now, as a daytime item it will never replace my trusty pencil liner. However, it is absolutely brilliant for a nighttime, more dramatic effect. Like many other girls out there, I just never mastered the art of liquid eyeliner. I've tried, I've practiced, but it just never ever worked for me.

This gel liner gives you the look of liquid liner, BUT with much easier application. I went ahead and bought their Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush that allows you to make the line as fine (or thick) as you want. And this stuff really doesn't budge. I have the Bobbi Brown liner in Black Ink, and I also later went and tried out the MAC version (Fluidline Liner) in Dipdown (a brown shade). I am tempted to go back and experiment with some of the funkier colors that each line has, including some pretty sparkly colors. I'll have to check the bank account first, though... ; )

(Photo Courtesy of maccosmetics.com)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

bareMinerals Powder Foundation

Everyone keeps raving about this stuff.... So after many months of putting it off I finally decided to try it. I went to Ulta and bought their started kit (2 shades of foundation, Mineral Veil, Warmth which is like a bronzer, and the flawless application brush) for $45. Sephora has a slightly larger kit with a second brush and their skin re-ver upper for $60.

So, I tried it. When I first put it on, I couldn't tell much of a difference. I had heard that you can use a small brush and dot powder right on trouble spots as a concealer, so I tried this with the pesky zit that had been sitting right next to my mouth for a few days... and to my amazement after a couple pats it nearly dissappeared! This amazed me, since I've never been able to figure out how to properly use concealer before.

Now, the other claim I've heard is that, b/c this minerals stuff is actually good for your skin, you can also put some on zits overnight and it'll help them go away. Well, surprise surprise when at the end of the night I took my make-up off and my zit was MUCH less noticeable!
I've noticed since then that when I'm wearing this make-up my face does look better--smoother, more even, etc. But it's not obvious, which is nice. It doesn't feel like I'm wearing make-up. It also seems to help absorb oil-- I tend to feel oily around my mouth and chin as the day goes on, but don't notice it as much when I'm wearing this foundation.

So... I think I'm sold.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I remember when I first heard about this new line of make-up, which was to be sold exclusively at Kohl's stores. One of 3 new beauty-product lines being launched (American Beauty and Good Skin being the other 2, later joined by Grassroots as well), Flirt! products claimed to have a variety of hot new make-up buys, in wide, youthful and hip color ranges.

When a Kohl's opened up just a few blocks away, I just had to check them out. =P

Now, I've always been a drugstore make-up gal, a big fan of L'Oreal and Revlon. Flirt! products (at about $10 a pop) are still a *bit* higher on my normal price scale for mek-up items. However, living now in California where even a tube of Revlon lipgloss costs me $7-$8, paying $10 for a products that looks cuter, has different colors, and that I can actually try out before buying isn't that big of a jump.

So, let's move on to my favorite Flirt! products.....

Look of Love Eye Pencil

I adore this stuff. The eyeliner glides on smoothly and easily, and is perfectly smudgeable. I've been wearing their Purple Rain color (more like a raisin or dark burgundy color than bright purple) every day for the past, um, ever. I actually just the other day had to buy a new pencil b/c my old one was getting too short to sharpen anymore. I'm sort of make-up ADD so the fact that I used a make-up item long enough to run out and need to buy a replacement says a LOT! I also have it in Licorice Delight for a darker evening look, and Ice Pixie.

Dreamy Eyes Eyeshadow

All of Flirt!'s eyeshadow colors seem to have a nice shimmery quality, without being obnoxiously so. They also seem to have pretty good staying power. My favorite so far is Honey Lemonade, a cheery yet subdued yellow shade that's perfect for spring and summer. My only complaint about this eyeshadow is the packaging, which doesn't allow you to see which compact is which color very easily, though things like that can be worked around.

Squeeze Me Super Shiny Lipgloss

I am a lipgloss fiend. I am addicted to lipgloss. I've always preferred to use a bit of lip liner + lipgloss over wearing lipstick when possible. The first item in Flirt!'s line that got me was their lipgloss. I LOVE this stuff. It's perfectly shiny, it comes in all sorts of super-fun colors, and each has a nice, fun scent that's just subtle enough. Their Zippy Ginger shade was my signature lipgloss for several months. I also love some of their brighter shades, like Fruitalicious. Even the bright shades are sheer enough to be totally wearable.

Rollerblush Portable Blush Paper

Now, this last one, I will admit, is one of those products that grabs me more than anything b/c of its packaging. I mean, LOOK at it! How cool is that?!? In practice it's not the most practical of products, I guess..... it can be a bit awkward figuring out how to hold the paper so as to apply it to your cheeks the best way. But then again it's small, it's portable, and it works well enough.... =P I have it in Peach Glimmer and when I feel like switching over from my usual rosy-pink blush I'll use it to give me an oh-so-slightly shimmery peach glow.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sunless Tanners

So, now that we've established the importance of keeping clear of unprotected sun exposure and even found a wonderful sunscreen to use to achieve this goal, what are we to do about still being able to sport that lovely tan we all love to have? Because, let's face it, as much as we try to be proud of our healthy white skin, we all know a nice tan is incredibly flattering. Here's a few options for sunless tanners that I've tried over the years:

Neutrogena Build-A-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning Lotion

I've always been a bit weary of sunless tanners, so the first one I tried last year as I began experimenting with these products was this gradual tanner, which gives you a subtle tan with each application that you can build up to being as dark as you wish. At first, I loved this stuff-- I used it after every shower and within a week had a nice glow. However I also started noticing wierd streaks.... It seemed I had a hard time putting it on my arms without getting odd lines. I couldn't figure it out. Also, it smelled kinda wierd. After a few weeks of using it I got tired of smelling like that all the time and was ready to try something new....

Neutrogena Instant Bronze Sunless Tanner and Bronzer In One Foam

The bronzer was nice because I could see exactly where I had put it, and if I'd missed any spots. Plus I had the instant gratification of a golden tan, without having to wait for the sunless tanner to "take." However, when I took a shower the next day the bronzer washed off.... and there was no residual tan left. I continued to try it a couple more times, to see if it needed to "build on itself" but still nothing.... As soon as the bronzer came off, I was back to my natural color. Quite dissappointing.

My latest attmept/discovery is this:

Dove Energy Glow Daily Moisturizer with Subtle Self Tanners Lotion

I've been totally loving Dove's new ad campaign and so have been supporting them more by buying their products more often. I was recently at Target and looking at the latest batch of body lotions with tanners mixed in and decided to go for this one. I didn't have very high expectations. I used it twice during the week after buying it, and then was pleasantly surprised to find that over the weekend I actually had quite a nice golden glow, that looked completely natural and streak-free! It also doesn't seem to have the same smell issues as Neutrogena's tanning lotion did. I like this stuff too b/c you basically use it as you would regular body lotion-- which means you can put it on anytime during the day (you do have to give it a couple minutes to dry) instead of having to wait till after you've showered and exfoliated. So far, I have been happy. We'll see how long it lasts... ; )

Monday, May 08, 2006

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock

Summer approaches. This means time spent out in the sun, time that could cost your skin sun damage that could eventually lead to wrinkles if you're lucky, skin cancer if you're not. We've all heard the stories, we all know we need to use sun protection.

I, for one, can become incredibly indecisive when trying to choose a product. Things like face wash, bath gels, and sunscreen come in so many different forms, from so many different brands, for different skin types, etc etc etc that it can be mind boggling.

Finally, last season, I found a sunscreen that I have since become intesely loyal to. I used to be weary of Neutrogena products (thanks to a bottle of Neutrogena body lotion I got years ago that actually made my skin more dry) but when I heard about their Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, and the claim that it doesn't even feel like you have sunscreen on, I had to try it.

And now, I won't use anything else. This stuff is AWESOME. It really does go on like lotion, gets absorbed and leaves none of the ickyness that sunscreen usually does. Plus, it's recommended by the American Cancer Society as being exemplary at being able to shield your skin of those nasty UVA and UVB rays. Who could ask for more?!?

My only gripe is that I have trouble spreading it on my back if I don't have anyone to help me, so I'm considering trying Neutrogena's new spray-on sunblock. I will, of course, report back when I do and let y'all know how I like it.


I'm a make-up whore. And a hair styling products whore. I buy new products that come out, either b/c they make pretty new promises or sometimes just b/c they have ultra-cute packaging. You know those plastic shoe-organizers you hang over a door in your closet? I have one chock-full of hair products in my bathroom.

So as I keep reading these fantastic fashion and make-up blogs such as Las Fashionistas, I thought to myself "what if I start one of these?" So, here it is. I'll be posting my reviews and personal opinions of various products I try out. I have no idea if anyone will be interested in reading them, but they'll be there for you anyway.

Enjoy. =)