Thursday, August 31, 2006

Foot Petals: Your Feet's New Best Friend

I discovered Foot Petals on a trip to Nordstrom's a while back. I was immediately drawn to them-- my biggest problem when wearing heels is that the balls of my feet will start to ache from walking and dancing, and when wearing flats I got the same ache in my heels. I'd been searching for cushioning inserts I could slip into my shoes to help alleviate this problem. I had tried some gel inserts, but they didn't have any adhesive so they slipped around a lot and were annoying.

Foot Petals are slim and have an adhesive strip on the bottom. This means you can't change them from one shoe to another, but it also means they'll stay put. There's a variety of different cushions available: ball of the foot, heels, back of the heels (to prevent the back of your shoe from slipping or rubbing), whole foot, for small straps on strappy sandals. I bought the small strap inserts (which I used as back-of-heel cushions on one pair of shoes and it's made them wearable again) and the whole foot ones. I don't recommend those, the "one size fits all" means it's hard to hit your heel and ball of your foot at once. The separate heel and toe cushions should work better, and be a bit easier to slip into deeper shoes like boots.

There are also lots of gift sets with differtent combinations of each of these inserts all in one package (such as the Fancy Feet or Strut N Style kits). Each of the inserts come in black, grey, pink, and beige, to blend in a bit easier to your shoes (some cushions such as the toe tips come in additional colors, such a zebra stripe). And they're small and sleek enough to be worn even with open sandals.

Go to the Shop section to purchase these little foot savers, or find a store nearby to check them out in person. Your feet will thank you!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

This is one product I have heard about often: Maybelline Great Lash Mascara has been mentioned time and again in magazines and websites as, well, the perfect mascara. It comes in washable and waterproof formulas, in black, brown, and clear. The packaging is bright and colorful, making it easy to find in the most cluttered makeup bag. And did I mention that it's cheap? It's listed on as $4.49.

As much as I'd always heard about this wondermascara, I'd never triend it... until last week. I was standing in line to check out at Target and was glancing over all the little extra goodies they have on sale beside the check-out counter, when I saw this product (the washable version, in black) on sale for $3.99!

Now, I have to admit-- I'm not much of a mascara girl. I have naturally dark lashes and during the day usually get by with just wearing eyelinder. However I do like having mascara for nights out, so of course when I saw this much-talked about product on sale for a mere few dollars I grabbed it raced home to try it.

Perhaps it's not being used to wearing a lengthening mascara everyday... but I was amazed when I spread this on my lashes! It was like they doubled in size instantly! And NO clumps! Now, I have experienced that before with different mascaras only to find clumps forming a little later, so we'll see... I have also read that you can keep clumps at bay by swiping the wand through a kleenex to get rid of excess product before using it.

Anyway, I kept the mascara on the rest of the day and did not notice any smudging. I only applied to top lashes, though-- I think that's a tip that's wise to follow with any mascara (I personally prefer to highlight the bottom half of my eye by lining the inner rim of my lower lid with a dark liner instead of using mascara). Then, at night when I took a shower, I purposefully skipped the eyemakeup remover to see how it would do with a regular cream clenser. I was quite pleased to step back out of the shower with my mascara gone, and only a trace of black smudged under one eye. Other mascaras (particularly waterproof ones) have left me with raccoon eyes after using makeup remover AND washing my face.

Do other mascaras work better than this one? Possibly. Are they worth the extra money? That's up to you. I'm always dissapointed in that I have to throw away barely used tubes of mascara after the required 3-6 months since I don't use them every day, so to me I'm quite pleased to only spend $4 for a product that works pretty darn well. I will say, however, that to me this look still seems a bit severe for daytime and I still prefer to use Neutrogena's Clean Lash Tint for casual daily wear-- it gives lashes a bit of a kick, but looks 100% natural. I'll save the big guns (like Maybelline) for evening. ; )

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Benefit Eye Bright

Some days, you need some help looking "bright eyed and bushy-tailed." This is when makeup can do its best work. It can make you look alert, awake, and neat when you feel the least bit like any of these things. Benefit Eye Bright ($18) is one of these such tools. It's a light pink colored pencil that hides the dark coloring that can creep up underneath tired eyes. Just slick a little bit over your dark circles and blend just a bit (on light-skinned gals like me, there's hardly much blending needed at all) and your eyes look instantly much more awake.

You can also dab a bit right in the inner corners of your eyes, near you tear ducts, for a nice brightening effect, or just under the arch of your eyebrows for an instantly more groomed look and to add a bit of depth to your eye shadow job (Benefit sells a separate brow highlighting pencil, also $18, but they really seem like the same thing to me).

So, while you really *should* be getting a good 8-9 hours of sleep a night, we all know that on occasion that is just not quite possible. On those days, Eye Bright is your friend.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Campaign for Real Beauty

I LOVE Dove's new ad campaign. I remember seeing the first of their Campaign for Real Beauty ads in a fashion magazine several months back and thinking "Hooray!" In the era of Mischa Barton, Nicole Ritchie, and The Olsen Twins, it's nice to see images of real females, with real bodies, not only being displayed but being celebrated!

I'm tired of hearing my gorgeous girl friends complaining about their bodies. I'm tired of seeing Hollywood actresses tout their refusal to "conform to the standards of Hollywood" one day, and revealing their secrets to super-slim downs the next. It's ridiculous the standards we set for ourselves!

Dove is not only taking a risk by choosing this alternative model type (which is fabulous, by the way) but they are also taking strides to help girls all over the world gain better self-confidence and feel better about themselves in general. According to a world-wide poll by Dove, almost 70% of women ages 15-64 have withdrawn from life-engaging activities because of their negative views of themselves and their bodies. As a response, Dove has created their Self-Esteem Fund, and has tools available on its website (a downloadable workbook, ideas and exercises) to help mothers and daughters (almost 70% of teenage girls reported that their mothers have an influence their feelings about themselves and their beauty) reconnect and feel better about themselves.

I applaud Dove for celebrating all the various shapes and sizes we come in, and taking the steps to help our young women attain better and healthier views of their bodies. Perhaps If Dina Lohan can snap out of her desire to be 21 again, she can look up some of these tools and help save her daughter from a drunken and undernourished demise....

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Beauty Brains (my new fave site)

I found this website (thanks to Delightful Blogs) last night, and have hardly been able to tear myself away from it since! (ok, so I slept for a few hours between perusing it last night and this morning...) The bloggers behind The Beauty Brains are professional cosmetic chemists whose job is to create and test different beauty products. Their blog is a series of question-and-answer posts about everything from shampoos and conditioners to makeup, and how it all works. This site is AMAZING! I keep clicking through their old posts and learning all sorts of new things! For example:

What are the best cheap hair care formulas?
Are expensive beauty products really worth it?
What do antioxidants and vitami C really do for your skin?
Do sunscreens work on hair?
How well do anti-aging products really work?
Are salon products sold at Target, etc, trustworthy?

And much, much, much, much, MUCH more. There's also a link to a cosmetics ingredients dictionary, and general info on how products like shampoos, conditioners, face lotions, etc actually work. This is a great site to get information on what's behind the marketing ploys of different new products, and how to educate yourself to be a better, smarter consumer so you can known what you're buying and get what you want. Go check them out!!

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (in other words, smoky eyes are hot)

The Smoky Eye look seems to be "in" again for fall (wait, has it ever been "out?"). This really is a great look-- it's classic, it's foxy, it highlights the eyes, it's versatile (you can do it with basic black or charcoal gray, or be more playful with blues, greens and purples). And taking the time do perfect your eye-makeup is often a better way to go when you're dressing up as it's more likely to stay in place than your lip color.

I have to say, though, that I'm not a big fan of this trend of pairing smoky eyes with non-existent lips. Yes, it is important to be low-key with the rest of your make-up when going bold with any one feature, or else you risk looking kind of... trampish. However that doesn't mean you have to look as if you've completely erased the other features from your face altogether. Or like you're dead. Take Mischa Barton, here, at left-- her lips just look.. wierd. Often when I've seen this look on celebs (often on Jessica Simpson or Keira Knightly, right) their eyes look very bold and dark but the rest of their face is pale and uni-color. Not a good look, in my opinion. It's just too severe, and often looks kind of un-feminine. I'll look at their face and think they look kind of sickly.

There's nothing wrong with a soft pink or peach blush. Or with a bit of lip gloss. Your lips do not need to match your skin tone. If nothing else, at least let them be their own naturally rosy color, with a bit of lip balm on top or something, instead of caking them under tons of nude-colored lipstick. Lips should still look natural.

As wonderful as the smoky eye is, it is also quite tricky to master. Lucky for us, Elke Von Freudenberg, makeup artist to the stars and fellow blogger, has outlined the steps needed to perfect this look. Enjoy! And please remember-- after you've mastered your smolderingly fantabulous eyes, finish it off with a spot of gloss. And some blush. Thanks!

(and thanks to Juliet over at Beautynomics for the how-to link!)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

DIY Inspirations

My shopping drive goes in cycles. I'll be in a make-up kick for a few weeks, then I'll get really into looking for hair products or maybe accessories, other times I'll be really into clothes. Lately, I've been on more of a beauty-product kick, window-shopping at Sephora and researching hair products online.

Then today I went to Borders and looked through the latest People Style magazine. As I looked through all the upcoming trends for fall (many of them resurgences of last year's trends), I got inspired. All of a sudden I found myself making a shopping list-- cropped leggings (finally giving in), a skinny belt to wear high on the waist over longer tops, skinny jeans (just to be able to tuck into my boots), perhaps an oversized sweater?

Then I started thinking-- why waste money on trends that, although fun to indulge in, probably won't last another season? So I've gone DIY. Last winter I was totally into the opaque/textured/patterned tights trend. So as soon as I got home, I pulled out a pair of black opaque tights. Why spend money on leggings when I can "recycle" these? So I cut them off below the knee. I'm thinking of wearing them with a skirt, as shown at right (you can click on the pictures to see them bigger). I'm not totally crazy about it yet... but we'll see. (btw those shoes are the adorable little mary janes I spied at Payless recently... I just had to have them)

Now, to the skinny jeans.... I've been contemplating getting a pair of these for a while. Let me be clear-- I firmly believe that this style of pant is really suited best for ultra skinny gals with little to no curves, and most of the rest of us that actually have hips should probably stay away. However, I'm really liking the tuck-your-jeans-into-your-boots look, which is nearly impossible to achieve with bootcut or flared jeans. So, not crazy about the idea of spending money on a pair of pants that, again, will probably survive through this fall and winter and not much longer, I took a look into my own closet... and at a pair of grey Mossimo jeans that I got from Target years ago (at left). They fit me well, and have a nice flare to them, but I don't wear them very often... and I'm not sure why. But they seemed like the best candidates for this experiment.

I cut the seam open (on the inside of the leg) up to about the knee, then used safety pins to bring in the leg and make it more of a straight leg. I then used black thread to sew the leg back up, and afterwards turned the leg inside-out to cut the extra fabric off. I also cut them off above the ankle, to prevent them from bunching up there inside the boot. It's a pretty shoddy sewing job overall, seeing as I don't sew... But as long as you don't look at the inside seams very closely it's not very noticeable. And now I can wear my jeans with boots! (like my outfit at right) The shirt is a very cool cowl-neck top I got at Target today, for $13 (also available in black, purple, olive green, light brown, and maroon). The silver belt, which I am SO excited about, is actually a necklace, also purchased at Target today (for $12), that works absolutely fantabulously as a belt with this top. I have a party to go to this saturday and I am very much looking forward to wearing this outfit!

I may make another trip to Target on friday (when my weekly budget re-sets), to look for a skinny and/or wide belt to wear at my waist, and take a second look at some other cute tops I saw today.... ; )

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Brush Off

We all know the importance of a good set of makeup brushes. They help make application easier, smoother, more pleasant (hello super soft brushes!). Here's 2 makeup brush kits that are both adorable and good buys, both from Sephora:

My husband got me this Two Tone Portfolio Brush Set ($42) for christmas last year (yay wishlists!). It's a great deal when you consider that you're getting 6 quality brushes plus the cute carrying case. The kit includes a blush brush, a powder/bronzer brush, a lip brush, a concealer brush, an eyeshadow brush, and an eye countouring brush. I use these brushes almost exclusively now, abandoning my old drugstore-bought brushes.

This other set (Mini Clear Brush Set, $6) I just found on monday... and immediately bought it. This set includes a mini blush brush, eye shadow brush, eye shadow applicator, eyeliner brush, and lip brush. Ok, so the "blush brush" is probably too small to actually use, but all the others should still work fine even though they're so small. And the case itself is only about 3 inches long, so it's absolutely perfect for stashing in your makeup bag when you're travelling. Plus, it's only $6. You can't beat that.

I have a couple other beauty buys from today, including the Benefit Bright Eye pencil and Maybelline Great Lash mascara that I snagged at Target for under $4. Those reviews will be coming soon. ; )

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Almay Skincare

While on a trip to Target this morning, I noticed another great deal among the beauty aisles– sets of the Almay Skincare 1-2-3 products (cleanser, toner, and moisturizer), for dry, oily, or normal/combination skin, sold in a cute little case for $18.99!

This face care system seems to be modeled after Clinique’s popular (and much more expensive) 3-step skin care system. The 3 steps (cleanse, tone/exfoliate, moisturize) are meant to be used together, twice a day, for maximum results.

If you were to buy each of these items separately you’d pay close to $30 (and the Clinique version costs almost $50), but at Target you can get all 3 for under $20! I have not actually tried these products so can't vouch for them, but if you're looking for a new skincare regimen this may be a good time to try it (and, hey, if you save that receipt you can always take it back if you don't like it). ; )

Monday, August 21, 2006


I have to say, I do not understand this phenomenon. It's been coming for a while, and now the Teen Choice Awards even gave out an award for "Best Grill." I just don't get it.

Every time I see some rapper or celebrity with a "grill" (which is like jewelry for your teeth, made of gold, platinum, even diamonds) it looks like they a) are missing teeth b/c of the reflection of the light or b) they have braces.

Now, WHY on EARTH would anyone want to look like a hill billy or a hormonal teenager?!? I remember having to wear braces in middle school (along with the rest of the world) and NO ONE liked them. They felt hideous, and more importantly they looked hideous. So why would anyone want to imitate that?

It just goes to show that people have so much money they don't know what to do with it. What ever happened to simply buying obnoxiously large jewelry? I really hope these "grillz" are not permanent, so when everyone finally realizes that they look like jackasses with them they can go take them off and not have completely ruined their teeth.

Sorry for the off-the-wall post, but I've just been baffled by this so-called trend for a while and just had to vent a bit. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow, I promise.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Tank

Tank tops are one of my favorite items of clothing. They are simple and low-key, yet can be incredibly versatile and flattering. They are the ultimate wardrobe staple. And even a plain ole combo of jeans and a tank top can be dressed up and chic'ed out when the right jewelry and accessories are added.

Two of my favorite places to buy your basic tank top are Target and Old Navy. Target's Juniors Mossimo Long and Lean tank top is a steal at $6.99 (picture above, click here to see a limited selection of colors online, I usually see tons more in the store). Target also offers the FormFit tank top (in the underwear section). I believe these usually come in packages of 2 for about $6-$8, either in white or some combination of white, black, and grey. They're a really great basic tank, and since they're so cheap you can build up a whole back-up wardrobe of them so you don't have to live in fear of stains. I have one in white and gray, and need to go back and get a few more.

Old Navy has their Perfect Fit tank tops, now in a longer length. I adore these tank tops and have several-- the fit is great, especially the longer ones (I was never fan of their tank tops until they introduced their longer length ones, now I have about 4). And they come in a bazillion colors. These usually cost about $8.50, or $7.50 when you buy 2 or more. Right now certain colors (purple iris, creamy orange, and carribean blue) are on sale for just $4.50!

I'm loving that tanks are coming in longer lengths now, usually about midway down the hips. It's a great length for those of us with shorter torsos.... and those of us who are fond of low-rise jeans (the long tops help hide any accidental panty-peek). It also allows you to play with current trends such as tying a scarf or belt around your natural waist (which only looks right if you're wearing a longer top). You can wear your tank alone, or layered over another one in a matching or contrasting color. It can be worn with jeans and flip flops, of with a skirt and cute heels. I've even seen them worn underneath a skimpier top or dress. They're like a great blank canvas that you can built whole outfits around!

I think you can see why I like them so much. ; )

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Great Deals at Delia's

There's some sweet clearance deals over at right now. I've always viewed Delia's aa a bit more of a teenybopper trend store, but they're still worth checking out from time to time b/c they'll have some really cute items and their prices aren't bad. They almost always have very cute and unique shoes, that's one thing that's drawn me to them in the past.

Anyway... so I was browsing their website and looking through the sale items and found several very cute things! For example:

I LOVE skirts just like this one (Yasmin Knit Skirt, $14.99). It's flowly, it's flirty, it's long enough so you don't have to be all paranoid always about what you may accidentally be showing off to the world... basically, skirts like these are a perfect alternative for girls like me, who normally live in jeans or pants. And the color is fairly neutral, so it can be paired with some fun colored tops.

I also really like this top (Nora Tank, $12.99). I'm liking the trend toward longer-length tops, and this one looks nice and light and flowy. You could probably use it as a layering piece, layering a tighter-fitting light tank top underneath it (perhaps one with a shelf bra so you don't have to worry about a strapless one). This would actually probably look very cute with the above skirt.

These shell earrings ($5.99) are fabulous! I love love love them! They're the perfect fun earring to wear when you want some stand-out jewelry but still want to keep your look low-key and casual.

These printed ballet flats ($14.99) are just too fun. To be honest I'm not entirely sure how or when I'd wear them, but they'd definitely add a bit of pizzazz to any outfit!

There's lots more to check out, including some fun printed t-shirts, and LOTS of jeans (most for about $20). Happy browsing! =)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Hello Dear Readers,

Fantabulous! has been added to the list of blogs over at Delightful Blogs! This is very exciting for me. =) I'm listed as one of the 15 Beauty and Cosmetics blogs. If you like, you can head on over to Delightful and leave a comment about this blog, and/or give it a rating. Thanks!


Lady in Red, Pt 2

I recently wrote about my red lips find from Target. Well, I got to test them out last saturday night. The hubby and I met some friends to go see a screening of Casablanca at a fun old-style movie theatre and I decided to look the part, complete with the bold red lips.

I did the full routine-- lined and filled in my lips with the red lip liner first, then used a lip brush to paint on the red lipstick. I found the brush didn't give me quite a strong a color, but oh well. At this point in the process I gently blotted with a kleenex and then separated 1 ply of the 2-ply kleenex I was using and held it up to my lips and I dusted powder over it (this is a trick I've read about before to give lipstick more staying power). Then I added another layer of red lipstick and topped it off with a bit of the gloss. If I may say so myself, my lips looked pretty fabulous by this point. ; )

I wasn't sure how long the color would last, so I packed the lipstick and gloss tubes with me in my purse. The movie started at 5:30pm and we wanted to get there early to buy tickets, so we left around 4:30. We were a bit hungry after getting the tickets so we stopped to get a slice of pizza. After eating my pizza and drinking my soda (through a straw) I went to the bathroom to check on my lips. Some of the color towards the center of my mouth had worn off a bit, so I reapplied the lipstick alone and was off again.

We made the movie (which was fabulous, I love Casablanca) and afterwards went out for a proper dinner. After dinner was over I checked my lips again. Again, a lot of the color had worn off, so I reapplied the lipstick and added a bit of gloss on top as well.

After dinner we went for a coffee nearby, and then went home before too long. My lips actually still looked nice and fresh at that point.

Bottom line: Red is a very high-maintenance color. But it is quite fun to wear, so if you want to brave it be sure to bring extras with you and a mirror (I kept wishing for a compact the whole evening, I didn't have a mirror with me!). I liked this lipstick combination, it wasn't drying and I liked the color, even if the staying power isn't perfect (is it ever?).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

I went and saw this movie with a friend this afternoon, and as a movie that comprises so much about fashion (even if it is high fashion which I never talk about here) I thought I'd talk a bit about it. The movie itself was cute. Normally these kinds of movies seem to dreadfully predictable to me, but I honestly was not entirely sure which way this one was gonna go at the end. Overall, entertaining. Especially since I adore Anne Hathaway. I remember when she was Get Real, a sitcom that lasted about 2 seconds, back when I didn't even know who she was. The there were the Princess Diary movies which, yes, incredibly cheesy, but she was so cute and adorable and honest and real that I instantly liked her. I'm really glad she's jumped into the world of grown-up-people movies (Brokeback Mountain, Devil) and may make a good career for herself. She really was a big driving force in me wanting to see this movie.

I thought she did a great job in this movie. Her actions, feelings, and motivations were believable, and she was relatable. Her hair and makeup looked gorgeous the whole time. However I noticed something about the clothes, the glamorous high-fashion clothes she was wearing. She seemed...awkward in them. The clothes were wearing her, instead of the other way around. Maybe it's b/c she's still getting comfortable with herself as an actress. Maybe it's b/c I envision her as more of a laid-back kinda gal. Maybe it was part of the movie, to show that she never really "fit in" with that crew.... I don't know. But it seemed to me that, on all the other fashionistas in the movie, their clothes seemed an extension of their bodies. With Anne, they seemed like something she was wearing for a part, but not really her thing.

The Glammies

Glamour's September issue announces the results for "The Glammies," for which 83,000 readers sent in their favorite beauty products. Below are some of the favorites in the "drugstore" department:

Maybelline Shiny-Licious Lip Gloss ($6). Readers claimed it wasn't sticky, yet lasted through and entire Italian meal! Lip gloss fiend that I am, I have not tried this product yet but believe me I'm going to now!

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara ($6.50). I've seen this product be raved about and voted "best mascara" over and over again, even when compared to higher-priced options. I've tried the clear version before, but never the colored mascara. I'm adding it to my Must-Try list now.

Olay Complete All Day Moisture Lotion SPF 15 ($7-10). My sister actually swears by this moisturizer, and it is another product I have seen be raved about before. I use it as my nighttime lotion (for day I prefer something with higher SPF). But this one seems to do good to my skin.

Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum ($19). Readers claimed it helped fade dark circles and fine lines around the eyes. Another product I'm adding to my Must-Try list.
Click here to view a slide show of the rest of the results.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Target Culture

I have news! I am now a contributing blogger for Target Culture! Target Culture is a blog about my favorite store, Target. The posts range from corporate news to fun finds and the great deals that can be found within the store itself. I am very excited to be part of this blog, and be able to share my Target finds. =) I currently have 2 posts published on the site, please go check them out!

Do not worry, this will not affect my posting abilities here at my original and primary blog, Fantabulous! I will probably post over at Target Culture once or twice a week. On those days I may use the same post of both sites, I hope y'all will forgive me this convenience. ; )

Why I Love Payless

OMG how CUTE are these?!?

I've been contemplating this whole grown-up-mary-janes trend and was recently considering looking for a pair for myself... And then I saw these! The best part? They come in wide widths, too (well, the black ones, anyway)! And they're a relatively low $17.99.

Of course, we'll have to see if they actually have the wide version in the stores. I could never find the wide version of my beloved pointy-toed kitten heels and finally ordered them online (on sale for $14.99, thank you very much, with free shipping since they're going to a Payless store-- though that also means I have to wait TWO WEEKS to get them... *sigh*).

Friday, August 11, 2006

Oh, Lord....

Ok, so I might be comitting fashion suicide here, but.... I kinda like the leggings trend. NOT ankle-length leggings, that looks wierd to me, but I really like the look of pants cropped just below the knee, which includes leggings. I don't know, maybe it's just the funky 80's vibe of it all. Take Lindsay, below. I know most fashion blogs blasted her for these outfits... but I think they're kinda cute. I love the cropped leggings paired with peep-toe heels. I think these tend to look best worn under a skirt or dress.

These, however, are a no-go in my book:

Cropped leggings, for some reason, like kinda cute. Full-length leggings that hit at the ankle... not cute. Check out Alessandra Ambrosio (bottom picture)-- she's a beautiful woman, a tad bit skinny perhaps... but those leggings make it look like she has chicken legs (and I have no clue what's going on with that skirt....). Full-length leggings are like skinny pants-- they're not meant to be worn by anyone with curves, and on someone who has none it only accentuates how incredibly skinny they are (in a not-good way).

However, they're still not as bad as THIS:

That's right. Victoria's Secret is bringing stirrups back this fall, calling them the seaon's "must have layer."

Does anyone even remember anyone ever looking good in these?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Target Beauty

Check out the new Target Beauty page, complete with info on the various beauty brands Target carries, suggestions for trendy hairstyles, and even beauty tips at the bottom thanks to Sonia Kashuk. You can also sign up for a Target Beauty E-Newsletter, to keep you updated on their latest news and specials.

Lady in Red

I've always liked the look of bold, red lips. However I've always had a hard time finding the perfect red for me. It's usually either too dark (verging on purple or burgundy), or too light (more dark/hot pinkkish than I'd like) or too orange... or the formula's not right. I've always liked more a of a deep, true blood-red color, which apparently is quite hard to find. Or maybe it's just my skin tone.... Anyway, I had kind of given up on finding a good color, or at least had stopped actively searching.

Then Almay came out with their Almay Ideal Lip Collections, trios of complimentary lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss, in shades that (supposedly) flatter just about anyone. The trios come in 2 different shades of neutrals, pinks, berries, and reds. The lip liners, lipsticks, and glosses are sold separately for approx $7.50 each, but recently at Target (my favorite store EVER), I found a package with all 3 matching products together, for $10.99. I'd been considering trying out these lip collections, but had been hesitant to spend the money on them... but now they were on sale, and Target had the 3-pack of lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss in Wine (the darker of the Reds shades). The color, as advertised on the package by a sensuous pair of pouting lips, looked gorgeous... I decided to try it out.

I got home and tested out how the products worked together. I first used the lip liner, lining the edges of my lips and then filling in all the way (to give the lip stick something to stick to). I then spread the lipstick on, and was pleasantly surprised at how creamy and silky it felt going on. For going out it would probably be best to use a lip brush to apply the lipstick, for more precision-- red lipstick needs to be exactly in the right places, or else it can look wierd or clownish. This is why glosses alone are not that great, they shift around too much. Anyway, so after apllying the liner and lipstick I topped it off with a bit of the whipped gloss, and I was left with a deep, beautiful red that I instantly fell in love with. I do still need to play around with how best to apply the liner and lipstick to my upper lip, as again precision is key and with something as bold as red you have to get the shape exactly right, which can be tricky.

Later on I applied the lipstick alone, and then the gloss alone, to see how they worked on their own. They both still gave a nice red color, though not quite as deep and full as when the products are layered together. But I was impressed with the gloss, normally "red" glosses leave more of a dark pink color, and this one was still pretty true to red. But, again, I don't think glosses are all that great for red b/c they don't always have the staying power required.

I can't attest to how well these products wear over the course of a day or night-- you kinda gotta have some sort of an occasion to wear red listick out. But this weekend I'm going to go see Casablanca at an old-style movie theatre, which definitely calls for some old-hollywood glamour, aka red lipstick. ; )

These Almay products can usually be found at Target,, or any other neighborhood drugstore.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Let Me See That Thong

I am a thong girl. I even wear thongs with my jeans, in order to avoid the panty lines. Over the years I've done some informal research on different kinds of thongs, trying to figure out the most comfortable ones.

I tried cutesy thongs from trendy stores, I tried cheapy cotton thongs from Target, pretty lacy ones, etc. Some were comfortable, some were not, some would seem great untill I had to sit for extended periods of time in a class or plane ride and choose those times to become incredibly uncomfortable...

Then I came accross Victoria's Secret PINK cotton thongs ($7.50 ea, or 5/$25). I forget why I tried them initially, probably because of the cute prints and also how soft the fabric felt-- always promising. I've tried both their classic thong and their v-string thong now, and I have to say... I will wear no other thongs now. These are the most comfortable ones I have ever worn, and there will be no turning back. I've even worn them on long (5+ hr) flights and felt nothing. I realize every woman's body is different so these may not work for everyone... but they arew honestly the most comfortable thong I have ever tried. I've even tried out other Victoria's Secret thongs (like their Body by Victoria collection) and been dissappointed. These are it for me-- they're adorable and come in a ton of different colors and patterns, they're super comfortable, they're cotton (good for your nether-regions), and they're still relatively inexpensive.

So, next time you're out shopping for some new underwear, be sure to pop into Victoria's Secret and check these out. I don't think you'll be dissappointed.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


No, I have not lost my mind. I realize Crocs are not exactly a fashion accesory, but bear with me for a bit here...

I remember when I first saw Crocs beginning to appear... my father-in-law (not exactly a fashion connoiseur) was among the first people I saw sporting them. I remember looking at them and thinking "How the heck are those comfortable?!?"

The fad grew... The shoe advertised as an ugly, yet still desireable, kept growing in popularity. And last week, after months and months of resisting, I finally got a pair (the lovely orange ones pictures above). I even got a couple of those cute adornments you can stick into the holes ( a bee and ladybug, purchased at Nordstroms, $2 each).

I have to admit-- these shoes are super comfy. They're like flip flops, except they cover more of your foot and are more secure. Now, a good fashionista may still recoil at the thoughts of wearing these out in public, but for those of us who on occasion are outdoorsy girls I tell you these shoes are a must!

  • They're comfortable.
  • They can get wet, so you can use them when going swimming anywhere you wouldn't want your feet to touch the bottom (like on a lake, etc).
  • They float, so if one comes off in the water they'll be easy to find and retrieve.
  • They cover your toes, so you won't stub them on a rock.
  • With the back strap down, they stay on your feet really well and feel stable.
  • With the strap up (worn clog-style) they're super fast and easy to slip on and off.
  • They're super light to carry, and are the perfect camp shoe for when camping or even backpacking.
  • The tread on the bottom is really good (I wore mine this past weekend while walking on big rocks and even on a super steed area, at least 45 degree slope, they gripped really well and never slipped).

My husband recently spent a lot more money on fancy sandals that he can wear in the water and that cover and protect your toes, and he's been having a lot of trouble breaking them in. I started telling him this week that maybe he should just get a pair of Crocs ($29-$34) instead.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Favorite Lipstick

So on my recent trip to Kohl's I took at peek at the American Beauty counter. Their spokesmodel, Ashley Judd, is usually featured wearing their latest seasonal make-up palette. Their latest collection is called Vintage Rose, and immediately struck me. I already had eyeshadows similar to the ones featured and I certainly don't need any more blush, but I really liked the lipstick, Enduring Beauty™ Longwear Lipcolor in Bronze Star (which looks nothing like the way it's shown on the website, $12.50). The color is a pretty sort-of brownish-mauve with a touch of shimmer. So, I bought it. I don't normally spend that much on lipstick, but I really liked this color.

Anyway, I'm totally in love with it. The color goes on kinda sheer, so it gives a nice color without being too obvious or hasrh-- it's a perfect color for summer (and yes, it's still summer I don't care if there are already back-to-school specials all over the place). It feels nice going on, doesn't get all dried out, and has decent staying power. It is currently my favorite lipstick. It's been totally worth the money.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Flirt! SEE-YA Makeup Remover

I've tried various different eye makeup removers, from cheaper brands (like Neutrogena) to more expensive ones (like a sample of a Laura Mercier makeup remover a friend gave me) to good old-fashioned baby oil, and the one I keep coming back to is Flirt! SEE-YA Makeup Remover ($10 at Kohls stores or It removes my eye makeup quickly and easily, without feeling oily or leaving a greasy residue on my eyes. I normally am a product chameleon, trying one thing for a while then getting bored and trying some other brand or formula. But this makeup remover is one of those rare tried-and-true beauty products that I have remained faithful to for some time now.