Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I just realized this morning that I have not blogged about jewelry at all. So I aim to remedy that with this entry. First I will say that some cheap jewelry (costume jewelry or non) is cool, and some isn't. BUT you can find really amazing stuff if you look for it. I will totally admit to scooping up jewelry at the doller store from time to time, and very often it is the case that these exact pieces get the most complements of any jewelry I wear. I'm not kidding. So with this in mind, here are some cute pieces I found on the usual websites:

From the

2. TILE PENDANT ($15) I totally love this one....


1. COLORED WAFER EARRINGS ($2.49) I think these would be fun as a shot of color with an outfit.

2. DOMINO STRETCH BRACELET ($3.99) I know... they look like dominos, am I weird because I think this is cute?






With some of these, like the bright stuff from Daisymaze, no one will mistake them for nice jewelry, obviously, but I think knowing how to use this type of costume jewelry can really be fun and inexpensive. Try it!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


From the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA near Palm Springs. It is a weekend that is always fun, and always tests the abilities of my products to keep my physical appearance and well being in tune (what with the sand, the wind, the 100+ degree heat, yipes! Good times). And I felt well taken care of this year. :-) My Alba night cream, especially, and my proactiv, saved my skin from turning into an overly dry and yet broken out mess. I LOVE MY FACE PRODUCTS.

On a product related note, this morning when I logged on to my email I found that one of my friends had passed on this AMAZING deal info to me - just what I was craving after a weekend of roughing it in the desert - glam makeup for $1 a pop!!!!!

"The make-up line E.L.F. ( Eyes, Lips, and Face) has been bought out by Nordstrom and will be re-packaged with the Nordstrom name on it. They are getting rid of all the make-up in ELF packaging. They are selling everything for $1. yes - one dollar. You do have to pay shipping, however, even with that charge it's cheaper than buying make-up anywhere else and it is fun to try things when you don't have to worry about the cost! They have powder, mascara, brushes, nail polish, you name it .. Just thought I'd pass along the good deal.Also, if you use the coupon code: CAROLINA you will get $7.50 off your first $15 of your purchase.Here is the site, have fun!"

I checked it out, as I have heard of ELF but haven't tried any of their stuff yet, and first things first, they are cruelty free and extremely active, even donating a portion of the sales of their "fur free" tweezer set to stop the fur trade. YAY!!! I LOVE YOU ELF! And it looks like they have some neat buys.... And for a FRIGGIN DOLLAR A POP???? Yeah.... I'm in. I also like that they have reviews for each product by users on their site (and they are real reviews, because there is a good mix of likes and dislikes with each product). This is what I think I am gonna try:


"Anti-aging formula combats premature aging and protects against sun damage while leaving skin radiant and lightly hydrated". Tinted moisture will be my new thing. I swear.

2. ALL OVER COLOR STICK (I'm gonna try it in "Pink Lemonade") . "3 in 1 color for your eyes, lips, and or face! Get the color that illuminates for a healthy glow, and instantly soothes and conditions the skin for fresh and natural color all day long"

3. NATURAL RADIANCE BLUSHER (in "flushed") "Exquisite, delicate, pigment payoff that makes cheeks radiant combined with a healthy-looking glow. Infused with texturizing agents, skin feels smooth and pores are minimized". I was JUUUUUST reading in ALLURE this weekend (ok, so my roughing it desert trip involved beauty mags and a pool at one point) that blush was HUGE in this year's collections. So get those cheeks a glowin'.

4. SUPER GLOSSY LIP SHINE SPF 15 (in Malt Shake and Pink Kiss) " This Super Glossy SPF 15 formula fights environmental damage while leaving your lips with a healthy glossy glow." Lip glossy gloss. Nuff said.

5. NAIL POLISH (in Clear, Nude, Champagne, Gum Pink) "This color-lock formula and chip resistant shield gives long lasting nail color with high shine. The aerodynamic bristle design glides color on flawlessly, while the quick dry formula gives perfect application every time. Key nutrients give nails that natural shine, infused with Vitamin E for stronger healthier nails." Sounds good.

6. SHINE ERASER "These amazing little sheets instantly absorb oil, minimize pores and mattify shiny skin. Woven texture eradicates shine and keeps skin matte for hours. Green Tea Extract helps re-texturize skin, masking facial imperfections." I dunno about the retexturization claim, but these sorts of blotter sheets are great.
So that is my list. They also have bath stuff and mineral makeup, but those aren't $1. Boo. But this is good, lots of stuff to try and if I don't like it, it was a BUCK! Let's girl out and give each other junior high sleepover makeovers....

Thursday, April 24, 2008


This time from Heavenly Couture ( I found these yesterday and I love them!!! And the best part? Everything at Heavenly Couture is $17.95 or less, so each of these sweet styles is just $17.95 :-)

1. Cotton Camisole Top Ruffled Dress

This is a really simple, boho-ish style that will look good for a while I think. Everyone pulls this cut of dress out for summer. Super simple, very stylish.

2. Snow White Jumper Dress

I LOVE this kind of material, I don't know what it is called though. It looks like it is ruched all the way through. This dress is very unique looking, but totally "now", and of course I am excited about the pockets.

3. White Summer Dress With Floral Detailing

Doesn't this dress look like it would be so fun to wear and swish around in? I love the gather at the waist, so flattering and lovely.

Now, I know you are asking, but Amanda, what would you wear WITH said little white dresses? I have thought about that too. The answer is..... ALMOST ANYTHING! One of the best things about the little white dress is you can go with any color scheme, and most styles. Go brown, go gold, go red, go blue, whatever you like. NICE....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Alright, maybe not quite an alternative, but a consideration for those days when you want the look of skinny jeans without having to deal with skinny jeans. Voila! Enter the jean legging. Perhaps these have been around for ages and I am just a slow bandwagon jumper, but I just discovered them a few months ago and ordered 2 pairs from Japan off of Ebay. This was one of those purchases that sounded great in my mind, but I wasn't actually sure how much I was going to wear them, being about a size 8 leggings are a specific ensemble choice for me. But, I can honestly say that I WEAR THEM ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME! They are so handy on the weekend or during a lazy morning to throw on with a billowy blouse or pullover sweater, and they look much cooler than any other easy "stretchpant" alternative I can think of. They really do look kinda like skinny jeans!

And now I'm happy to say that if you don't want to have to go through Ebay to find them, I did happen upon these
on for only $13.99! YAY! How cute would they be with this Ruffled Chiffon Blouse from ($19.80)
and these Rafia Chunky Heels from GoJane ($19.99)
or with this Ruffle Tie Behind Tank from GoJane ($23.99)

paired with these Metallic T-Strap Sandals from GoJane ($9.99)

I will tell you how cute these outfits would be. VERY cute. Ponder, and then go buy some denim leggings, then feel free to send me some GoJane shoes in appreciation. Or not. Ok, a girl can try, right?

Monday, April 21, 2008


There are SO MANY summer dress options out there right now, and I'm certainly not complaining... a girl can never have too many dresses. Here are a few cute new pieces I came across, and to celebrate BOGO time at Payless right now (buy any pair of shoes and get any other pair half off), some cute Payless shoe finds to go with them:

This dress has a really cute cut, and I love the pockets!! It would be kickin' with these

American Eagle Liddy Canvas Wedges ($22.99)

2. EMBROIDERED WOVEN DRESS (forever21, $22.80)

I LOVE the trend I am seeing with interesting embroidery and cut outs on alot of stuff right now, like this cute, vibrant dress. Wear it with

the Klara Mini Wedge to compliment the delicate feel without dressing it up too much (ONLY $9.99!)

3. HIGH SMOCK DRESS (forever21, $22.80)

I just love the color of this dress so much, and once again the cut outs are great. Try it with

the Reynolds Sandal ($15.99) for a casual yet feminine look. These sandals are slightly metallic hued, which I don't know if you can tell from the picture. Very nice.


On a casual afternoon out with

the Raffia Sandal Wedge ($19.99) This would be such a nice color combination with the dress...


with a brown sandal like

the Kim Slide ($19.99)

Woo hoo to dresses and sandals, and woo hoo to BOGO!


Sometimes, even for a cheapskate, a splurge is a good thing. I was at the hairdresser this weekend (no, that wasn't the splurge) and was, of course, perusing the magazines while getting my highlights applied. As I looked in an In Style magazine from a few months ago, I came across a product feature for Smashbox's "O-Gloss" ($22), and completely wanted it.

As you know, I am always on the search for the perfect pink-flushed lip gloss, and this product intrigued me. O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Gloss promises that "this innovative silky formula goes on clear and then reacts with your personal skin chemistry to instantly transform into your own custom shade of pink". It's like the mood lipstick from my childhood days, but a) I bet it actually works and b) mood lipstick always seemed to tell me that my mood was for lip color remeniscent of flamingo pink, but uglier. But Smashbox, oh Smashbox, I trust that your product will not do this. Not only does it claim to find the perfect pink blush shade to compliment my personal chemistry, it also has good for me stuff in it - "O-GLOSS is packed with our exclusive microcirculating Goji Berry-C Complex™ and ginkgo biloba, pomegranate seed antioxidants, revitalizing marine botanicals and moisturizing avocado oil for lustrous shine". Niiiiice. I will have to try this soon and tell you all the tales of my pink tinted adventures.

While on the Smashbox website, I found MORE products to covet. I think that because I have seen what a huge result the products of theirs that I have tried have delivered, I'm caught in their beautiful web now. Sigh....


AAAAAAAH! How could Smashbox make my favorite product even better? By adding SPF 15 and their Dermaxyl Complex (an advanced peptide treatment clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time) to their already fab formulation replete with vitamins A & E, grape seed extract and green tea for antioxidant protection. I LOOOOOVE the old Photo Finish to bits, and this one looks even better. It is an extra $8 ($42 for this puppy) but really, in terms of upscale cosmetics, that is still a steal and this product is SO WORTH any price! I must try this soon....


I also completely want to try this product. It promises a one-two punch of camoflauge and correction. First, "this portable pen-like filler has a silicone tip that targets the delicate eye and mouth area instantly filling in laugh lines, flattening crow’s feet and disguising fine lip lines", plus the Dermaxyl to help actually improve your facial lines. Knowing how much I love their primer, I can't wait to test this one out.


I have always liked the idea of tinted moisturizer, but just haven't really ever tried it. But with the summer months coming on fast, and me feeling pretty dandy about my skin quality at the moment, I might give the ol' tinted moisturizer a try. Smashbox's take promises that their "unique citrus honey moisturization technology nourishes skin as it absorbs excess oil throughout the day and UVA/UVB SPF 15 guards against future damage so skin stays flawless and protected". Sounds sweet.



It makes so much sense to me that the personalized color flush capability of their O-Gloss would also be a welcome addition to cheeks. I've been neglecting new blush advances lately, using a stick blush that I have almost worn through, so it is time to find something a bit better, I think. All the good stuff of O-Gloss, but for my cheeks! MUST TRY THIS!!

Friday, April 18, 2008


I figured I would update you all on how I was liking the Alba night cream and mineral face powder I bought a few weeks ago...

First, the night cream. A few weeks ago I bought Alba's Sea Plus Renewal Cream as a new night creamand I must say that so far I love it! Now I must admit that before I got this cream I was guilty of not always washing my makeup off my face at night (SHOCK!). This is bad, I know, and most nights I tried to, but sometimes when I got home late my pillow was just too enticing. Since I got this, however, I have been totally steller on the night face care routine tip, so that may have had an overall effect too. Now, back to the cream: I have NOT broken out, and it has already made my skin softer. NICE! It smells good, and is really really thick (sort of a body butter consistancy). It tingles when I put it on, which freaked me out a little bit at first, but I have had nothing but good results. I noticed yesterday in the mirror that the texture of my skin just looks nicer. YAY ALBA! It has only been a few weeks, so we shall see what sort of an end result I get with a little more time, but so far so good.

During that same CVS trip, I also purchased both Revlon and NYC mineral face powders. I am still deciding on these. The Revlon powder was the first to be tried. I have had a bit of a problem getting very much to come out when I shake it, which is annoying, but once I get it on my face, I do have to say it looks really really nice. It gives me a subtle finish ALL DAY (seriously no shine for hours) and actually provides more coverage than I had expected. I think it works best on a good skin day, since it is still more subtle than the ol' foundation/powder combo, but I really dig it for daily wear.

I have only tried the NYC powder once so far, so I still need to do a few more tests with this one. It went on easy and lasted well, but I think the color I got (which was light) might actually be a bit too dark for my face still. Not sure, only had a chance to look at it for a minute or two. But neither has made me break out, which is nice, and both really keep my face matte for many hours (hallelujah!).

Back on the Alba tip (I think I am getting obsessed with Alba products), I was so impressed with the face cream experiment that yesterday I bought their Green Tea Eye Gel

It promises the combined impact of aloe vera (with skin-building amino acid and protein compounds) and green tea (loaded with antioxidants) will soothe, smooth and protect while cucumber and kelp extracts will firm and tone my eye area. It also has chamomile and papaya extract, and Vitamin C. Sounds good to me. I have never used an eye GEL before, only creams, so using it this morning was weird. The consistancy was definitely very reminiscent on using an aloe vera gel, which felt weird. And I squirted out too much, bummer. BUT I have to say that my eye area actually feels really really hydrated and firm right now, several hours into the day. At $16.95 for 1 fl oz ( a LOT of bang for your buck for eye cream) I could get used to this.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


You saw it in spades last summer, on folks around town, on celebs, in magazines (see the HOT red carpet version of the LWD on Minka Kelly below, WITH POCKETS! Luv pocket dresses)
Well, it seems to be back, and for good reason. A simple, playful little white summer frock is appropriate in a range of situations, and white looks especially good against the (real or fake, preferably fake) tan skin of summer. I don't have one right now, but after checking out these couple I am feeling the need to remedy this. Take a look at these:

Triple Eyelet dress $26.50 from Wet Seal (
This Pleated Trim Dress is on sale for only $15 from $24.50 from Wet Seal! It's like it's beckoning me with it's lost cost cuteness.... (buy me, buy me)
I THINK that this Crochet Trim Sash Dress, which is also on sale from Wet Seal for $15 from $24.50, would be really cute with some flat sandals in person. But I would have to see how it looked in person. I slightly fear crochet, but sometimes it works great. This Nana Embroidered Dress for $29.80 from Forever 21 ( adds a touch of color to the concept of the little white dress, and I LOOOOVE the cut of this one.


I am so excited. Two cruelty free products I have been searching for for what seems like ages are teeth whitening strips and a resonably priced self tanner. Well, I have FINALLY found the latter! YAY! The only cruelty free self tanners I was aware of previously were rather expensive department store/top of the line brands, and if I am actively using a self tanner I go through it so quickly I couldn't hang with that. So, right now, I am pasty. BUT this morning during a quick CVS run I saw THIS

I was ridiculously excited. Seriously. Of course, since it is Nivea, it was extremely reasonably priced, and a BONUS was that they were including a cute blue and yellow tote bag for summer with each bottle purchased. So I bought 2. Yesssssss....... I can't wait to feel like a bronzed goddess (while carrying my cute tote to the beach or some such. It really is a cute tote!) And, because Nivea is infinitely awesome, this moisturizer not only tans, but FIRMS TOO! Excellent.

Now I just need to find cruelty free teeth strips and I will be a happy camper!!!! Anyone know of any non-testing company that makes strips?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


As the weather begins to heat up and we all start realizing that swimsuit season is almost here, it is time for a post regarding the oh-so fun and sometimes scary subject of swimwear. And I am hereby speaking out once and for all against the dreaded TANKINI. At some point, someone successfully convinced the mass population that if you were too wary of your midsection to feel comfortable in a bikini, that the answer was therefore to buy a two piece nonetheless, just one that came down further to ALMOST meet your suit bottoms. In theory, this sounds nice. HOWEVER, the way every tankini I have ever seen or tried on is designed results in the top ending right at the one spot that someone shying away from a 2 piece wouldn't want to showcase in a now highlighted strip of flesh. BAH! It makes no sense to me, so you will see NO TANKINIS in this entry. I am however frequenting the gym and NOT the vending machine this season in the hopes that a 2 piece will be in store for me when the weather heats up fully, so you will get some of my favorite bikini and one piece finds. I also must admit that although I have not tried any of the MONOKINI style suits that have popped up recently, I like their cut and think it would actually be flattering on most body types who want to try something a little more daring than a one-piece. SOOOOO - without further ado, here are some of my summer swimsuit favorites that will NOT break the bank:

Heavenly Couture aquamarine bikini and fire engine red bikini, each $17.95 (
DaisyMaze bandeau dot top and bottom $12.99 each piece (
DaisyMaze colored circle top and bottom $11.99 each piece
DaisMaze pink halter top and bottom $11.99 each piece GoJane Holbrook Monokini $29.99 ( GoJane brown Viona monokini $28.99 Target Xhilaration Stripe monokini $29.99 (
Target Merona coral 1 piece $34.99
Target Merona halter 1 piece $34.99 Target Merona dot halter 1 piece $34.99

YAY! Lots of options, says I! Just no tankinis... (I feel strongly about this)
Enjoy the sun!