Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dior It-Lash Mascara Giveaway

Do you melt over a brand-new beauty product? Does an unopened package fill you with excitement and anticipation?

Me too! That's why I was so excited last week when I was gifted a brand-new Dior It-Lash Mascara in It-Black valued at $26 from Sephora. While I love makeup, I also really love sharing, and I want someone else to share in that excitement of a brand new product. That's why I'm giving away this amazing beauty product to one lucky person.

About a month one of the makeup artists at Sephora decided to use me for a blank canvas to experiment with new products. One of the products she used on me was this mascara, which is why I was so excited when I was given it for free. It is a beautiful, vibrant black that went on easily and didn't clump. My lashes were instantly va-va-voom and it lasted throughout the rest of the day and into the evening.

All you have to do to enter is follow the steps on Rafflecopter to enter. You get up to 6 entries, but if you do all 6 you get an extra 4 making it 10 entries total! This contest is open to use U.S. residents only and will end on Sunday, September 8th at 8:00 pm. The winner will be announced that evening. Good luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tory Burch for FitBit

In the last few years fitness has become a prominent presence in the fashion industry. Instead of tight jeans, there are designer track pants and instead of cardigans, there are sequined wind breakers. Fitness and fashion seemed to have simultaneously fused, and with that ever-present fusion on the runway and on the streets, collaborations have begun to pop up left and right. 

Designers, celebrities and fitness companies are taking their products to a new level to satisfy consumer demands. With fitness as a big part of our culture, it only makes sense that our clothes need to look good, not only when we're at work and out to dinner, but when we're working up a sweat too.

To satisfy the need for designer duds that look good while doing burpees, a feat in and of itself, there have been collaborations across the board:

 - Kate Hudson for Fabletics

- Heidi Klum for New Balance

- Stella McCartney for Adidas

Even Riccardo Tisci for Nike! Yes, the guy that designed Kim Kardashian's wedding dress is making clothes for Nike. 

(Don't worry though, I don't think there are any lace trains in his collection. It'd be a little hard to do squat thrusts with a lace train behind you. Think about it.)

My favorite collaboration thus far though is one I just found out about last week and I'm so excited I decided to do my post about it tonight: 

Tory Burch for FitBit 

 FitBit is an amazing product that is essentially a high-tech bracelet or necklace that helps keep you healthy. It tracks how many calories you burn in a day, how many calories you take in, and most amazingly; how well you sleep. This amazing device actually monitors your sleep patterns so you can see how well you're sleeping, or not.

This collaboration is awesome, not only because Tory Burch is an amazing designer, but now keeping healthy doesn't look boring. It looks you're wearing a beautiful designer bracelet...that also happens to be helping you keep fit. 

The Tory Burch accessories don't come with the monitoring device, which goes for about $100.

The price of staying healthy and looking impeccably chic while doing so? Priceless.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Straw Studios NYC

One of my good friends in NYC became an assistant at Straw Studios back in March. While I was excited for her new job, I was puzzled: I felt like I had heard of them before but I couldn't quite place my finger on where. After she started working for them, I realized that I had seen a few of their items before in Dillard's, on Zulily, and in Glamour and Lucky magazine. So imagine my delight when I heard a surprise care package was on route to me a few weeks ago. When it arrived I opened the box and was immediately surprised at how colorful and rich everything looked. The idea of straw has always appealed to me but I've usually been a little put off by many stores that I've seen selling straw accessories. Most straw items I've seen look cheap, feel cheap, and fall apart after one use, so I've generally stayed away and just admired from a far.

My friend sold me on straw when she sent me 6 beautiful pieces, but before I even had a chance to say "Time to go to the beach", my sister-in-law, who was there as I opened the package, snatched up  the two fedoras and a beautiful bright blue clutch. I grabbed the other 3 pieces and ran like I had a pair of Louboutins at a sample sale.

Straw Studios Samples

The color and design on the front is eye-catching and fun - it's the perfect bag for the beach, the farmer's market, or even dinner with friends.

The twisted detail on the leather straps really adds to the overall unique personality of the bag.

These pieces aren't anything like the Dollar General wannabes - they're very sturdy and can hold a lot. When you purchase a knockoff or an item from a dollar store, it usually has that really cheap, flimsy feeling. Straw Studio items feel expensive - they're durable and feel like they'll last.These are quality straw pieces, which isn't surprising since they own their own factory where they grow and harvest the straw they use for their items.

These items are now permanent staples in my wardrobe, the one I've used the most so far being the pink tote. This tote is convenient with it's multitasking abilities, thick lining and spacious inside pockets.

With an affordable price range of $54-$144, this USA-based brand is quickly becoming a well-known wardrobe staple. Keep your eyes open for this growing brand in a store near you.

Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY: How to fix your favorite glitter shoes

About a year and a half ago, my husband (then boyfriend) decided to propose to me in a whirlwind of romance and cannibalistic squirrels. As a fashion girl who had planned many a fake weddings for class projects, I knew that my first wedding venture would be my shoes. I was either going to walk down the aisle barefoot, or have outrageous shoes full of color/glitter.

Finding the right balance between circus clown and comfortable proved to be a bit of a challenge, but I lucked up one night when I stumbled across - one of my favorite websites that offers high-end shoes at a fraction of the cost. I found the most beautiful pair of gold Vince Camuto glitter oxfords for only $20. I normally sit on online purchase decisions for about 24-48 hours, to make sure it's something I really want vs. just a spur of the moment urge. 

I was finished checking out 4 minutes after first discovering them. 

Since then, not only were they my wedding shoes, but they've been a staple in my wardrobe when I want to spice up an outfit. Which is why when I noticed about 2 months ago that the glitter was beginning to crack and come off in small chunks that my heart broke into a million pieces. I knew Vince Camuto didn't have anymore of that style since it was over a  year old, so when I realized that a Hobby Lobby was only 20 minutes down the road, I knew what I had to do. 

[As you can see, at the front of the shoes by the toes there are cracks and missing sections]

Luckily for me, Hobby Lobby carries the exact same size and just a fraction different of the same color glitter used on my shoes.The goal? Redo each shoe entirely.

[While I love the original rose-gold glitter, this gold glitter is quite pretty too, and will do just fine as a replacement color]

The end result? Perfection.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How I made money with old clothes

During one balmy Saturday afternoon about 8 months ago, I realized my wardrobe was entirely too large and I didn't wear most of my clothes enough to justify me owning them. (I think of the most random things on lazy days) It was that afternoon I decided to embark on a mission to find a way to actually get something back for my really nice, gently used clothes. As much as I love donating and supporting thrift stores, I wanted to get a little more bang for my buck with such a huge haul. I began to hunt around the internet for the best way to get a return on my investment, and not long after I came across I know I've mentioned the site previously, but it really a user-friendly and fun site to use. Listia is a site where you put your things up for auction/sale and when something sells, you get x amount of credit to the website to use for other people's auctions/sales. There is everything imaginable that's sold on that site, and so with a little patience and elbow grease, I managed to turn my major clothing overhaul into an amazing and massive addition to every area of my life. From 2 large bags of clothes, I managed to acquire designer clothing, shoes, makeup, jewelry, a gaming system + several games, and house decorations.

2 Saturdays ago I had a similar epiphany - too much clothing still in my wardrobe, not nearly enough wears to justify them. Once again I feverishly sorted through my clothes and came up with a bag's worth of items that were just collecting dust. Instead of immediately going to Listia, this time I wanted to see if I could get actual cash in my pocket, out of curiosity more than genuine broke-as-a-joke necessity. I hunted around again, and this time I came across a site called Twice.

Twice is a very well laid-out, easy to navigate website where they accept and resell certain brands of gently used clothing. The great part is they can either pay you via check, or you can get a credit to their website. I requested the free, already postage-paid bag from them to send in my items. 4 days later an envelope showed up with instructions and a folded bag inside. The bag they sent me could've easily fit 20 items, but I sent in only 6 following their accepted brand list found on the website. I folded up the bag, secured it, and dropped it in the mail. 5 days later, I received an email from them stating that they had received my bag, processed the clothes, and were going to accept 3 of my 6 items. From the 3 items, I could get either a $20.50 check sent to me, or I could get a $32.50 credit to their website. 

To finish this experiment, I chose the money. 7 days after I clicked the "Receive Check" option, I got my check in the mail.

While it is little bit harder to secure an in-hand cash return when selling items online, it can be done with sites like Twice that make it fun and easy, and a little elbow grease of course. <.3

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Favorite Mobile Shopping App

While I love taking a few minutes on a lazy afternoon and browsing shopping sites on my computer, nothing makes me happier than being able to browse whats current on my lunch break. Exploring apps makes the time fly by for me while waiting, but I have a Nokia Lumia 1520 with a Windows operating system. While I love Windows, many apps that are available for Android and Apple aren't yet available for Windows, which leaves me out in the dust a lot of the time.

Luckily for me, the Windows App store is expanding my leaps and bounds, and one such app I found a few weeks ago has made a place in my permanent app list: RedLaser.

This amazing app lets you scan a bar-code on an item you see to see all the sites it's available on, as well as which stores by you also offer the product. The reason? To price compare of course, and see which site/store offers it at the lowest cost.

This is a sample screen shot. The app is very easy to navigate, fun, and interesting. I think this app is worth a download from everyone, especially since it's free!

My review: download this app now - you won't regret it, especially when hunting for something you love. <.3