Tag Archives: sale

Be Still My Fashion Heart…..

21 Aug

Once in a while, in the quest for the ultimate fashion item and deal…. you find it. The find of all finds. A piece that speaks to you. Was made for you. It calls to you. And as you pick it up to admire it, your heart skips a beat. It’s like the sun is shining only on you and your discovery. Angels sing, flowers bloom. And you tackle the girl who is reaching for the last one in your size…. with tact and grace of course.

That happened to me today. It was a moment of moments. And it was my daughter who I tackled.

Anyone who knows the show Sex and the City and the spin-off movies from the series knows the epic outfit from the second movie where Carrie is wearing a full, color-block skirt and a Christian Dior “J’Adore Dior 8” black tee shirt. She made this outfit famous and the shirt a necessity now in all high-fashion closets. The photo of her in this epic piece became legendary. In fact, that segment where she wore the shirt and skirt was actually the most-watched trailer for the movie. It became as acclaimed to SATC fashionistas like Godiva is to chocolate lovers. Yeah… that big.

So when my daughter and I hit our favorite local thrift store to see if any new goodies had come in, we both started our hunt in the t-shirt section. I found this really cute shirt with a kitty cat on it wearing neon glasses. I knew she’d love it. As I held it up to show her, she pulled out a white tee from Old Navy that was adorned with sequins, jewels and tulle, showing two black and blue pop-art painted heels and “J’Adore” signed at the bottom in matching paint. I felt as if time stopped in my fashion world as I gasped for air and lunged for the shirt in her hand. It was GORG! I didn’t even know if it would fit. It didn’t matter…. I HAD to have it. It was unique, it was Carrie-ish, it was classic chic… and it had to be mine. In fact, I had a Carrie moment, like when she saw the new line of Manolo’s in the window??:



I guess my daughter knew not to fight with me for it because as soon as she saw my face, she handed it over quicker than a bank teller hands over the cash in an armed robbery. I carried it around, nestled in my arms till I was able to take it to the register and pay for it. When I finally did, I looked at the check out girl and said, “Do you know how great this piece is??? DO YOU???” She obviously didn’t because she just scanned the price tag and jammed it into a plastic bag, sending me on my way. She was young. She didn’t know. She probably didn’t even know who Dior was, who Carrie Bradshaw was, and how epic-ly stylish the shirt was.

I got the shirt home and put it on like it was made of gold. Yeah, it didn’t fit me perfectly, but it fit good enough. And it even had potential for me to jazz it up a bit at the bottom to make it fit a little better. Honestly? It didn’t matter. It was gorgeous, and I was going to wear it like it was the last shirt on Earth. I just love it when I find a secret treat that I know is a big-time fashion piece. It makes what I do so fun and rewarding. And it makes me feel like I’m slammin’ and stylin’! I just smile from ear to ear.

Now I know you are thinking about that one find you can remember where you felt like you hit the lottery when you got your hands on it. SHARE!… I want to hear all about it. Tell me the story of your quests and treasures. I’d love to hear how you came across your diva discoveries!!

Here. Take a looksie at my fashion find: Oh…. and by the way….. did I happen to mention it was only $3?? Yeah, SCORE!

Does 97% Off Work For You?

6 Apr

Yesterday while at the mall, I had to pop into Kmart to grab some Easter things. On my way in, a few sales clerks were putting out the last of the winter merchandise at its final markdown price. What was that final price? $1.99 Wow. The problem? There really wasn’t anything left. Unless you were a fan of red, blue and black tutlenecks and men’s flannel shirts, there wasn’t much style to be found. Or was there…..

I quickly browsed through the half rack of women’s clothing and saw nothing that immediately caught my eye. Then, stuck in between a Christmas Tree sweatshirt and eight red mock tutlenecks was this black and white tunic top. It was made by Kmart’s signature brand and designer, Jacklyn Smith. On the price tag, I was happy to see my size – small – and its original price: $24.99. But right below that, marked down for about the fifth time was a pretty little red sale sticker that said “1.99”. The more I looked at the top, the more I couldn’t figure out exactly what type of top it was. Was it a tunic? Was it a nightshirt? Was it a lounge gown? Beat the heck out of me! All I know was, in my head, I easily pictured it with a pair of leggings, knee-high boots, and a studded belt around the waist–hot things I already had in my wardrobe. I didn’t care what it was. At this point it could have been a Snuggie and I would have made it a fashion trend. It was $1.99!!!!!

So buy it I did. And jazzy I made it! I decided to wear it today since it looked so comfortable and I was running errands where I didn’t want to feel constrained. So I paired it with a pair of Bullhead black denim leggings (Peter Harris Clothes, $5.99), my uber-glitzy BCBGMAXAZIRA black gemstone flats (TJ Maxx, $9.99), a wide elastic studded belt around the middle of the top (thrift store, 50 cents!) and then topped it all off with a black bowed newsboy hat (Marshalls, $6.99). The look was SLAMMING! Not only was it fun, fresh and now, but it was oh so comfy! The most expensive thing I wore today? My perfume… J’adore by Dior (no comment)!

Don’t think when you hit the malls or local stores that just past-season, out-dated merchandise is on the clearance rack. It is always worth a look. Even if something is a little “yesterday”, you might be able to pair it up with something current that you already have, making a tres chic outfit! Just look at me… I might have found a $1.99 nightgown for all I know, but I turned that little beauty into a rocking piece for my Spring wardrobe!

So tell me, fashionistas….. what is YOUR greatest fashion find that you can remember? I guarantee you can think of at least one. (ALL fashionistas remember their greatest finds!!)

Splurging on luxuries…for less!

5 Jan


There are some designer stores that you can’t even mention without countless dollar signs flashing in your head.  Stores which have items that you love to drool over, but can’t seem to justify—or handle–the costs. Well, just because a high-end store has some pretty expensive items doesn’t mean you have to miss out completely. Hidden in these glitzy establishments or their websites can be great little finds, some even less than you could imagine.  Of course, their method of madness is that if they get you in the store or in a buying mood, you’ll drop a few bills and a hunk of plastic as well.  I’m telling you if you stick to your guns, stay strong in your ways, and browse with your eyes open and your wallet closed, you can make a day out of strutting the town and hitting the en vogue establishments without missing this month’s car payment. For example, here are a few things you can grab that are awesome and won’t break your bank:

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SEPHORA

Sephora Brand Nano Eyeliner:   I love these little goodies. They come in a huge array of colors ranging from the basics through the now hot glitter neons. They are old school and need a sharpener, but I prefer that kind of liner anyways because I can get that super-sharp tip to precisely glide over the lids.  They aren’t huge liners, but they are small enough to carry anywhere and cheap enough to create your own collection. Nineteen shades come in at only $5 each.

Roll-On Designer Perfumes:   Not all of the hot scents right now come in purse-sized packaging, but with the new airline regulations, more and more of them are. There are great advantages to getting the smaller roller versions. First, they are killer cheap compared to a full-sized bottle. Second, you can mix and match at a fraction of the price depending on your fragrance mood of the day. And third, the smaller container means that it won’t lose its potency of scent by laying around a long time.  My current favorites—Stella McCartney Stella Eau de Parfum Roll-On , $17; Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Eau de Parfum Roll-On, $16; Marc Jacobs Daisy Rollerball, $20; DKNY Delicious Duo Rollerball, $20.

MACY’S

GUESS? Blondie Crossbody Bag:   Quite often, you can hit Macy’s for some super sales. But lately their handbags have been quite the steal. Crossbody bags are so in right now. Just check out Coach’s line ranging in price from $150 and above. Ouch.  Guess? has some fabulous bags at great prices even when they aren’t on sale! This bag is extra chic because it is big enough to hold a necessity of goodies and comes in killer designer colors (wine and pewter) that go with all that is in right now.  Available now, on sale for $36.

TIFFANY & CO.:

Return to Tiffany™ Mini Heart Lock Pendant:   If you know your jewelry and you know your silver, then I’m sure you’ve heard of Tiffany’s. That famous little blue box is known by many, even those who have never been to NYC. It’s not easy to make a purchase from Tiffany’s without laying down several large bills. But this little gem is a real find. It is the infamous Tiffany lock pendant with its trademark logo on the front. Granted, it is not huge, but it is genuine. Plus it even comes with a chain so you can wear it straight out of the box or even put it on one of your own. And of course, it comes with the blue box!  In Tiffany’s pure sterling silver for $85.

T.J. MAXX & MARSHALLS:

Endless clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories:  The all-knowing shopper knows where to find the big names at the small prices and these two stores are definitely my go-to places when I want a big designer selection aT a fraction of the price. The items are not damaged or irregulars and they are not (always) off season. Most of the time they are just surpluses that the designers need to move. And move them I shall—right into my closet!! This past year, for example, I found a few really awesome items at my local T.J. Maxx that easily could have gone for more than twice the price in the designer’s NYC stores.  For example– A killer silver trench coat by Guess? for under $50; a hot pink and black leopard tote by Betsey Johnson for less than $20; a pair of snakeskin print purple patent leather pumps by Jessica Simpson for under $30; and a matching purple ruffled cardigan sweater by DKNY for less than $25.  When I looked at the retail price of these items online, together they easily could have sold for over $300. And I paid $125!!!

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It’s a fact that name brands don’t necessarily mean better….at all! But there are times when certain lines  have an edge on current fashion trends that you can’t find any place else. Or the designer just has a style all their own that you just crave (for me that’s Betsey Johnson and Guess?).  But you don’t have to drive down to the Big Apple and pay retail prices that are flat out obscene. Do a little browsing online for sales and steals at the store’s/designer’s site, hit the discount retail stores that sell the big names, and keep an eye out here for the lowdown on what is hot at prices you are sure to love!! Before long you’ll be a deal-searching fashionista just like me!

Pricey vs. Prudent Purchases…

26 May

Dictionary.com’s definition of the word “hype” is the following:

To create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods

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There is nothing bigger than the hype that surrounds a new product on the skin and beauty care frontier. Fancy packaging, supermodels with stunning looks, exorbitant magazines spreads. Money is no object when trying to entice you to spend some of your own on their newest product. But does the drama always deliver? Does the hype match the results?  Eh, not always.

Over the past few years I have invested some hard-earned cash into top-of-the-line items that were supposed to give me glamour girl lashes, luscious lips, supple skin and wrinkle-free eyes. Sometimes what I got was an empty wallet and a tube of goo that got me no place fast. Other times I’ve paid just a few bucks and got runway looks that made people do a double take. So how do you know the glamour fluff from the good stuff?  Trial and error. OR… cool review sites like this. Here are a few things I’ve invested a chunk of change in as well as their drug store dollar counter-parts that gave me great, if not better, results for a fraction of the price:

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INSTEAD OF…

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box ($38). Colors are cool, but really REALLY sparkly. In fact the fall-out from the glitter is so bad, you need a roll of scotch tape to get the majority of the glitz off your cheeks. The shades are glam, but the mess isn’t worth it.

MilaniTRY!

Milani Runways Eyes Fashion Shadows in 10 Haute Couture ($8.99) Milani offers over eight different pallets including blues, browns, pinks and flat-out wow. I find that many drug store colors are weak in pigments, but this brand is bright and easily blendable. The day I bought this collection, the store (CVS) had a Buy One, Get One ½ Price sale, so I actually got two for under $14. With 6 shades per pallet, the options are endless. This specific pallet has both warm and cool tones in bright shades to go with this summer’s fashion must-haves!

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INSTEAD OF…

Exceptionnel de Chanel Intense Volume & Curl Mascara ($30). After getting this mascara as a demo to do a product review, I thought I had found the mascara to end all future mascara hunting escapades. It made my lashes thick, long, lush and had fabu staying power. Then when the review questionnaire came and it said the mascara cost $30, I almost choked. It was good… really good… but not thirty dollars good. Especially when it needs to be replaced once every three months.

LashBlastTRY!

Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof Mascara ($8.49). Any junkie of America’s Next Top Model knows that Cycle 10 made you want to buy a tube of this mascara before the last model was left standing. I’ll admit, I was a mascara snob and it took me almost a year to buy my first tube of Lash Blast. The packaging was a little bulky and, well, it was drugstore mascara. My first use of it didn’t thrill me. I found the applicator a little hard to work with. But that’s because I was spoiled with my previous mascara brush. I did notice, however, it made my lashes super long, super thick, and definitely runway worthy. And the waterproof formula stayed put…all…day…long! A little extra eye makeup remover is needed, but totally worthy of the second cotton ball!! Now it’s my hot-weather, gym-workout, rainy-day, got-to-last-me-till-midnight mascara of choice!

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INSTEAD OF…

Any designer-named, high-end, department store lipstick over $15

lipssTRY!

L’Oreal Hip Liquid Lipsticks ($11.99). I’ll be blunt and honest—I am a lipgloss hussy. I will try anything new, and if it rates above a 3 on a scale of 1-10, I’ll keep it and use it. There are times, however, when I like a little more color than an average sheer lipgloss can give me. This leaves me in a, pardon the pun, “sticky” situation since I am not a fan of tubular stick of color. Most fade or come off too easy, tastes like a plastic coffee stirrer, or just leave my lips flat out dry. I love this lipcolor because it goes on like a lipgloss (with a sponge-tipped wand), has bold, long lasting high pigment color, and even has a gentle vanilla cake scent/flavor to it. These little babies are my “can’t leave home without it” lip item, and there is at least one in my purse every single day!

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INSTEAD OF…

Mary Kay’s TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer ($22). Aah, a favorite among the home party shoppers. Mary Kay has been around since 1963 but her formulas change about as often as the Thursday night fall TV lineups. Tempting you with lots of big words like “free radicals”, the bottom line is it is an expensive product that offers what most other age-fighting moisturizers do nowadays. (A little note? Mary Kay has not signed onto the Compact For Safe Cosmetics, an industry committed to disclosing harmful ingredients in skin care and cosmetics. They do not list their ingredients on their website and have also lobbied against legislation requiring disclosure of harmful ingredients in cosmetics.)

olive oilTRY:

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($-pennies). That’s right kiddies. For a supreme “night cream”, hit your local market or Walmart, stop in the cooking oil section and pick up a bottle of this little gem. Some notes about olive oil that everyone should know:

  • Almost all vegetable oils are compatible with all skin types (they are non-comedogenic and do not clog pores, even for oily-proned individuals)
  • Avoid “pure” and “light” olive oils—they have been processed and contain chemicals
  • Olive oil contains natural antioxidants to prevent aging of the skin (although we all know that sun damage causes the most aging, therefore it should be used just at night or as a moisturizer with an SPF under it during the day)
  • Olive oil contains the highest level of polyphenols—aka: “free radical scavengers”—of any natural product on the market

Honestly, if it is safe enough to put on your salad, cook your fish in, and sauté your chicken, don’t you think it is natural and healthy enough for your skin?  I haven’t found anything better.

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INSTEAD OF…

Juice Beauty’s Exfoliating Cleanser ($22). Juice Beauty is a brand that is a favorite amongst natural glamour users. It is free of synthetic dyes and fragrances and isn’t loaded down with parabens and sulfates.  For the most part, it is a good product. It tends to be a little thick and can leave the skin feeling not completely cleansed.

befineTRY:

Befine Exfoliating Cleanser ($15). Befine is a fabulous brand that bases all of their products from natural ingredients sourced from plants or minerals. Using things like rice, cocoa, coconut and citrus, their products follow the philosophy that if it is good for the body, it is good for the skin. The Exfoliating Cleanser uses brown sugar, sweet almond and rice to cleanse the skin gently and thoroughly while exfoliating at the same time. I love their use of brown sugar as an exfoliants. Although it feels slightly “rough” when it first goes on the skin, the sugar begins to dissolve, and soon all of the grit is gone while the melted sugar continues to clean, moisturize and brighten the skin. Brilliant! I use this once a day (in the evening) while using the Befine Gentle Cleanser with mint in the morning. This actually worked out in my favor because a full-size Gentle Cleanser came FREE with the purchase of my Exfoliating Cleanser. So I got two for the price of one. A steal of a deal!

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INSTEAD OF…

L’Oreal Elnett Extra Strong Hold Hairspray ($15). This hot salon item was not available in the US until just recently. For hair stylists, it was a must-have, must-get item. It is a staple at all fashion and runway shows, maybe second only to duct tape. I had read about it for years in glamour magazines, and even started hunting down how to find it because it sounded like it would solve the world’s hair problems. When Target introduced it in their stores, I showed up with my money in hand to grab a gold can of the firm-hold love. The hold was pretty good, I can say that. But the smell?  Oh heavens…the smell was not appealing at all. Okay, I’ll say it:  in my opinion, it was flat out nasty!

TresemmeTRY!

TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray ($5). This new product is getting a lot of air- and print-time on TV and in the fashion magazines. This new line by TRESemme promises to hold in all the bounce and fullness of your hair throughout the day. That’s a big promise for big hair! Having very thick, long, wavy hair I will say I have never found a good hairspray that can hold in my style from the minute I leave the house till I come home without using a product that ends up feeling like I have a sticky, two inch thick hairnet on my head. That is… until now. I love this line. All of the products are salon quality at a fraction of the price. And the Finishing Spray is my favorite. The spray goes on light, is not sticky, has a GREAT hold and even smells good!

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If any of my loyal readers and followers happen to have a favorite product that isn’t just cheap but good, I’d love to hear about it. I’m always willing to test out and try other people’s favorites and share what I find. And these days when every dollar counts… a deal is something that is glamorous to everyone!!