Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2009

December 2005: The first time I fell in love with Saks Fifth Avenue in Union Square during the holidays.

Taking a quick breather to do some feasting, present wrapping/unwrapping, and celebrating. Hope everyone has a fab time off and cheers to 2010!!

Free Shipping Day

December 17, 2009

Today is Free Shipping Day!If there’s one thing I hate to pay for, it’s shipping. The second item on that list is tax, but we can’t win everything (unless you live in Oregon or Delaware). 743 participating retailers are offering free shipping today (some do have a minimum purchase limit, so check!), perfect timing for those last minute giftings =)


Mike & Chris Sale at Reverse!

December 15, 2009

As if I haven’t been buying myself enough goodies this past month, one of my favorite (usually overpriced) lines went on sale today on Reverse! EFF! I love the style of Mike & Chris–comfy and casual. Thankfully, at 70% to 80% off, I can finally afford to pick up some of their pieces!

Glen Zip Up (Orig. $216, Sale $65) Long and lean, and great for throwing over skinny jeans. My favorite part is the shoulder flap in the back.

Dustin Cotton Voile V Neck Tunic (Orig. $160, Sale $39) I love, love tunics. I love, love white.

3 Button Tights (Orig. $68, Sale $19) My mom makes fun of me for wearing leggings because they shouldn't be considered pants, but the button detailing on these will hopefully make them look a little more legit.

I’ve been lusting after a Mike & Chris hoodie ever since I first laid eyes on the line (a leather jacket might be next on my list now)! For less than $200, how ever could I have resisted? I even learned a new trick on how to check my credit card number without my supervisor noticing. Hurry on to the site because things are selling out quickly! Click here for an invite to Reverse.

Drinking Rooibos Tea for Skin Issues

December 14, 2009

I’ve tried an infinite number of treatments for acne, from oral to topical, prescription and over-the-counter. Less is more, and the best solution is probably to leave my skin alone, but I’m always tempted by the promises that a new cream makes, such a sucker for good marketing. Lately though, I’ve been intrigued and researched into a more holistic approach to attacking some of my skin issues, and discovered a few things along the way.

Physical symptoms reflect unhealthiness of the body, whether it be be coughing from a cold, or in my case, breakouts from some sort of stress/junk food eating/hormonal imbalance. I do think that when a person doesn’t eat correctly, doesn’t exercise regularly (totally guilty), and is continuously under stress, the body buckles under the external forces and acts out.  So the solution is to be good to yourself, starting with diet and the food that we intake.

Recently, I stumbled upon a thread that hailed rooibos tea (from South Africa, also called “redbush tea”) as an effective liquid with lots of cleansing antioxidants to move toxins out of the body. More importantly, all ingredients are natural and rooibos is caffeine-free! A company called Republic of Tea produces a series of Be Well teas, with all sorts of tea mixes for different health issues. The one I was interested in was Get Gorgeous, but they also have Get Smart, Get Lost (for weight loss), Get Passionate (to increase the libido!), Get Focused, etc. You get the idea. After I read several pages of reviews with multiple people claiming benefits from drinking this tea, I ran across the street to GNC and picked up a can, which has 36 individual teabags.The instructions are to drink 3-4 teabags a day, and this is easier than it sounds. I drop two teabags into my thermos as my morning beverage in lieu of coffee (caffeine aggravates acne, so do dairy products!) and refill twice throughout the day, and have another mug-full at night before bed. Since it’s caffeine free, I don’t worry about insomnia! The taste is fine, I like tea so it tastes regular to me, but sometimes I add a little honey to sweeten.

It could be the tea, or it could be the huge amounts of water I’m ingesting daily now relative to before, but I have found that the tea works to calm my skin down. I’m also starting a new (simple!) skin regimen so that’s in the mix also, but I’m not stopping this tea anytime soon! Hoping that a greener diet and drinking this tea and more water in general can encourage clearer skin! I ordered 3 more cans from GNC when they had a sale last week, but these are also available directly from Republic of Tea in bulk. Also, I’m sure any rooibos tea would work and have the same cleansing qualities, but I like this one since it also has chamomile, orange peel, and burdock root.

Just checked GNC and they’re having a 1-day sale today, 25% off plus free shipping!!!! *Checks out with three more cans*

Another easy cleansing tip to detox – drink water with lemon! Lemon has amazing antiseptic qualities that filter out toxins in your system and balances out acidity with its alkalizing ability. I squeeze half a fresh lemon’s worth of juice into a glass of hot water in the morning, and also ask for lemons at restaurants to drink with a meal. When mixed with hot water, lemon is said to calm upset stomachs and aid digestion, along with other detoxifying benefits. Drink up!

Stocking Stuffer Bling

December 13, 2009

Looking for a stocking stuffer that will be sure to win over any gal in your life? While passing through the Petaluma Outlets last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find the infamous shu uemura eyelash curler on sale for only $10 at the Designer Fragrances & Cosmetic Co.! The red boxes were stacked throughout the store and calling for me to buy them for all the girls in my life. This beautiful limited edition 24K gold-plated version retails for $24 and is one of THE best eyelash curlers on the market. Hurry and grab some before they’re all gone! They will not disappoint.

Wear Your Heart on Your Very Fashionable Sleeve

December 12, 2009

By offering fashion made with ethical and environmentally-conscious practices, that’s the motto that Arboretum Apparel preaches. I can’t even begin to say how much I fell in love with this store while roaming around the streets of beautiful Healdsburg, CA.

Downtown Healdsburg, itself, was a gorgeous sight to see during this time of the year. After finishing up work for the day, my coworker and I were excited about having the chance to do some shopping and delighted to find Healdsburg Plaza bordered with cute boutiques all along Center St. and Healdsburg Ave. As we took our time checking out the stores, everyone was friendly and didn’t seem to mind that most of the time, we didn’t get a chance to buy anything at all. Boutique owners and sales people alike just seemed genuinely pleased that we’d even dropped by. I loved it!

Between the awesome decor (created by marine biologists), bright lights, and striking fashion offerings, Arboretum is one of the most intriguing I’ve ever seen. I mean, have you ever seen clothing racks like that?! We were even lucky enough to have some time to chat with one of the co-owners, Kate Morrison! As I listened to how she had already found previous success as a boutique owner in Boston and moved to Healdsburg for love, I couldn’t help but be excited. I think that’s what LA lacks: boutique owners who will chat with you about what they do, how they got there, and even what kind of perfume she likes. Even as I left the store longing for the last pair of summer sandals Kate had displayed, she offered to ship them to me. Such a sweet gal! I’m not sure that I’ll ever be back in town anytime soon, but hopefully she opens up shop in LA someday.

Just because I can't have them, maybe someone who's a size 6.5 can!

Rose Champagne Lovin’

December 11, 2009

I’m convinced that shopping is a bad, bad addiction in all sorts of ways. When forgotten, you almost convince yourself you can live without it. When wrapped up in the essence of it, you can’t even begin to imagine life without the rush. That may be a little over the top, but I’m constantly finding myself caught up in huge waves of buy, buy, buy. I picked up a bevy of fun, fun goodies while visiting Norcal and have to share them all with you over the next few days!

Rose Champagne. So pretty. I’ve always loved Reiss–their pieces are stunningly beautiful and painfully pricey. I picked up this gorgeous Alonsio Weave Fold Over Clutch while shopping in SF this weekend and I’m absolutely in love with it. I’ve been looking for a going out clutch/wristlet and this doubles up as both! The detachable strap allows for easy transitioning between classy dinner dates and ridiculous nights out (we have to have some way of holding onto our bags while juggling those drinks, right?). The weaving is also a sweet contrast to the more standard clutches I’ve seen and the ones I already own. The best part is that the color is seriously unlike anything I’ve seen (it even photographs nicely!) and will be a perfect pop against a LBD or even as an addition to a bright colored frock! I picked this up at the Reiss store for $240, but ASOS has it for only $203!

If I hadn’t already done so much damage to my bank account last week, I would’ve desperately wanted to buy this pretty little skirt as well:

Reiss Silk Selena Twist Skirt ($186.97)

It reminds me of the Aaron Ashe skirt from The White Dress Shop I’ve been eyeing! Oh well, maybe next time… For now, my pretty little clutch will have to do. I’m so disgustingly in love with it that I might try to pull off taking it out on casual outings here and there.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas – Beauty

December 7, 2009

Only a few short weeks until Christmas! The weekend after Thanksgiving, my roommates and I immediately went out and got decorations for our apartment – lights to line along the ceiling, a small (fake) tree, wreath, and garlands to make the place festive, I love it! This week, my holiday checklist included booking trips back home to California (so excited) and dreaming up cute gifts for stocking stuffers, white elephant exchanges, and secret santas. Here are some beauty-related ideas for gifts ranging from $25-50…

1) anything from LUSH! From Michelle’s post here, there are many yummy smelling goodies to pamper a lucky person on your list. For a newbie, I’d give the famous bathbombs (there are so many varieties to choose from) or bubble bars, both would make shower/bath time rock. Bath bombs are $5-6 and bubble bars are $6-7 , so while it’s not cheap to enjoy regularly, these would make great gifts.  Lush skincare also consistently receives raves but they’re harder to pick for somebody else since you don’t really know their skin type/concerns (so feel free to self-gift!). If there’s a store close by you, I’d recommend taking a walk, soaking up the smells, and choosing several to try.

2) Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner sets – holiday sets are AWESOME. Not only do they often offer a brand’s best selling products, but they give the recipient choices, and they’re economic to boot! I like this set of eyeliners from UD – quality is tops with super smooth and soft drawing ease, doesn’t smudge (hence the “24/7”), and a rainbow of colors to experiment with! These are perfect for nights out, since who really needs a full-size bright green eyeliner?! It’d just sit sadly in my traincase. And I try to love all my makeup by rotating and using them fairly regularly. This particular set is $36, and comes with 9 mini pencils, but there are two other sets I like also, with 4 larger pencils + a glitter liner.

3) Perfume sampers – still think these are a genius idea. Hook, line and sinker – the sample vials of Sephora’s best smelling fragrances let you try each scent without the $$ commitment, and later you can exchange for a full size bottle of your favorite pick. Easy peasy.

Other quick ideas:

– cult favorite items if the recipient doesn’t already have them: NARS blush (Orgasm is the ubiquitous shade, but I like Deep Throat better), Shu Uemura eyelash curler, YSL Touche Eclat pen.

– beauty books: Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin for a lover of dramatic and bold makeup, Bobbi Brown’s manuals for the girl who enjoys simple and basic makeup. Not beauty related, but I’ve also purchased Nina Garcia’s The One Hundred on pieces that every girl should have in her wardrobe. This was a great book for when I first started working and wanted to build my closet with timeless items.