December 31, 2012

Oh hey, baby!

Consider this my favorite review ever: Having a baby.

Harlie Grace was born on December 23: 8lbs, 3oz

The Good: Omigawd we have a baby. She's really amazing in every way and I already get antsy when I have to leave her for just an hour. Hubs and I are completely in love.

The Bad: When she's upset or inconsolable, it just kills me. However, considering she's just 8 days old I can't fault her for her minimal communication skills. ;)

The Verdict: A+. I think we'll be keeping this little peanut.

More posts on fashion, product reviews and other goodies to come soon!

December 17, 2012

Product Review: ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss in Strip Tease, B+

Another day another Birchbox goodie! I anxiously opened my December Birchbox like a kid on Christmas. Well, let's be honest, I express that joy probably every month. And I get really giddy when said box comes complete with a full size product, like today's product to be review - ModelCo's SHINE Lip Gloss in Strip Tease. This 4 ml gloss retails for $16.

About ModelCo Shine Lip Gloss via Birchbox:

Sydney-based ModelCo prides itself in creating products that are fuss-free but high impact—ideal for off-duty beauties (models and non-models, alike). This non-sticky gloss goes on smoothly and gives lips a soft punch of sheer, slightly shimmery color. This slim tube has a built-in mirror so you can reapply on the go.

These lush hues can be worn alone or layered over bolder lipsticks. It stays put for hours, without ever feeling heavy and there are three shades to choose from: red, pink, and light peach.

My Review:

The Good: ModelCo scores points with me for the trifecta in their gloss - great texture (not too sticky or gloppy), lovely shine (no glitter particles here), and fabulous scent (smells a bit like Sweet Tarts candy to me). The shade Strip Tease is a very translucent pinky-peach that would pair great with nude lips or just swipe on for a barely there face. Plus, the slim gloss tube (new packaging, perhaps?) has a built in mirror - which is so convenient, especially if the shade you choose is packed with color.

The Bad: $16 for a gloss isn't super steep, but it's not cheap either. And at the rate that I plow through lip product, a gloss has to be perfection for me to remain a staple in my handbag.

The Verdict: B+ from me. It's a great product with equally smart packaging. I'd love to try the other shades of said gloss...Showgirl Red and Berry Pink are beckoning me!

December 10, 2012

Top 5 Maternity Items For Cold Weather

Yeah yeah, I know many of you are probably thinking of your adorable, sparkly holiday outfits and not anything even remotely maternity-esque. But for those who are pregnant or are looking to become so, I've rounded up my top five must-haves* for those ladies incubating a little one during a chilly season.

*And yes, I am completely sick of said items, but they've become tried and true over the past few months!

1. Leggings: Sure, this may seem obvious, but it's tough to strike the balance of affordable and non-transparent leggings when it comes to maternity wear. I personally prefer Gap's crop maternity version but it looks like they stopped selling that length in the fall. I have no doubt that their full length version is just as comfy and flattering. I think I have at least five pairs of said leggings on rotation. While I love designer denim, at the very late stages of pregnancy I have little interest in pulling on anything that isn't 100% stretch.

2. Winter coat: This was a tough one. I didn't want to really test the limits of my pricey North Face fleece so around the 28-30 week mark I started looking for a warm and non-offensive coat that I could actually button/zip/snap around my bump. Of all places, guess where I found a total winner? Walmart. Yes. Walmart.

No, I didn't venture in store because apparently many Walmarts do not carry many maternity goods. I bought this maternity puffer jacket (in black) online for $21 plus $.97 shipping. It has been worth every single penny. It's comfortable, fits nicely and is damn warm - it even hosts a fleece lining and a hood. It looks like the version I grabbed currently out of stock online, but either check back or take a peek at the regular sized Faded Glory puffer coats in a size or two up. I've also seen a few cute, really affordable options at Old Navy.

3. Seamless tanks: When your belly starts a bustin' out, you'll want something smooth and comfy to sport keep things under wraps beneath sweaters and cardigans. Some of my favorite seamless tanks are from the BeMaternity line at Target in addition to a handful I purchased at Pea In the Pod.

4. Awesome, flat boots: Take your pick, friends. I'm sure you figured, but sporting super high heels while very pregnant is not the smartest thing. Your back already aches, so adding additional pressure probably isn't the best idea. To go along with all of those rockin' leggings, go ahead and indulge in some great flat - 1.5" heeled boots. A few of my picks are below - just make sure that your boots have proper tread on the bottom! Otherwise you could pull a Coley and totally bite it on the mall floor when your soles are a little wet. Impressive, I know.

5. Open cardigans, sweaters and jackets: Look, if you can buy things that you can wear now and possibly later, all the better. I've found a ton of really cute open sweaters and jackets that are non-maternity so I don't feel like I'm blowing my cash on maternity specific goods. Pair said topper with a seamless tank or fitted sweater and you're good to go. Here are a few options...

Have a great Monday, all!

December 3, 2012

Celebrity Style Stalker: Lea Michele

90% of the time, I feel like Lea Michele really kills it in the fashion department. Every once in a while she dons something exceptionally strange, but for the most part, girlfriend does it up right.

And this wrap dress was no exception. The cut is flawless, the color looks lovely with her skin tone and I want to steal that beaded clutch rightnow.

Photo via:
Jim Smeal/BEImages
In celeb-spiration, I've been stalking some really pretty tan and cream dresses that would fancy right up for the impending holidays...and transition right into spring and summer with a change up of shoes and accessories. This dress from ASOS is a pretty solid dupe for Lea Michele's (surely expensive, designer) version.

Seeking something a bite more versatile? Feast your eyes on a handful of goodies below. Happy Monday, all!

November 26, 2012

Waxy Ladies

I almost saved these two prized photos for a WTF Friday, but instead I thought I'd perhaps brighten your Monday with two *waxy ladies*...

These two photos are not from Madame Tussauds. These photos are indeed of a living breathing Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman. Is it just me or do they look so polished and poised that these could easily be wax figure promo shots?

Photo via REX USA
Photo via Frazer/Harrison Getty

On a different but related note, I've been saying in for years, but JLo has one of the best makeup artists in teh none. Girlfriend gives really good face.

November 20, 2012

Currently Craving: Holiday Wear Under $100!

Even though I'll likely be in really hot hospital wear come the holidays this year, that doesn't mean my eyes haven't gravitated towards all things sparkly, shiny and holiday-esque. Mmmm sequins, velvet, bright red, silvery shimmery goodness.

For all of your cocktail parties, white elephant gift exchanges, NYE celebrations and more, I've compiled a set of pretty freaking fabulous holiday wear with every item less than $100. Happy shopping, all! Don a sequin or ten for me.

November 13, 2012

Product Review: Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Cream, B

Intense hydration, you say? The Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Bzz Campaign could not have come at a better time. Why, you ask? Well, Saturday and Sunday, Chicago experience some gorgeous weather - upper 60s and 70s. And then Monday...30s. This morning? It snowed. So, it's fair to say that my skin isn't super happy with the changes.

However...I am quite pleased that I've been hydrating via Burt's Bees! One product in particular has been super helpful for those stubborn dry patches on my cheeks - Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Lotion. You can score this thick, creamy face cream for roughly $18 (1.8 ounces).

Info via DermStore: 

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream moisturizes, softens and soothes dry, wrinkled and aging skin while you sleep. This rich lotion improves moisture retention while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Clary sage promotes skin cell regeneration to rejuvenate your complexion. Soybean oil reduces blotchiness to improve the skin tone without irritating the skin.

My Review:

The Good: Oh thick goodness. If your skin is parched, this cream will quench it. It's smooth, the scent is definitely sage-y and the aftereffects weren't overly congested.

The Bad: If your skin gets clogged easily, I doubt this would fare well for you as it is fairly thick. While it does blend into the skin, there's certainly a bit of a film left from the cream.

The Verdict: B from me. This cream definitely lives up to its promises - it delivers hydration to your dermis. My skin looked supple and hydrated after just a few days of use!

November 7, 2012

Shopping On The Cheap: Target Goodies

I'm sure many of you know the drill. You head into Target for paper towels and a birthday card and you leave with six bags...full of things you wanted but didn't really need. Well, allow me to streamline that for you with a handful of picks from Target.

With the kiddo on the way, I've made more than my fair share of trips to Target as of late. And beyond picking up the essentials, I've spied some uber cute items in their ladies and shoe area. Take a peek at some Target picks below...and happy shopping!

October 30, 2012

Cleaning Up Sandy

Well, Hurricane Sandy still ravaging through the Northeast. And instead of feeling completely and utterly helpless, I did a bit of research as how we can best help out our friends who are affected by this horrible storm. If you're looking for a few ways to lend a hand from afar, see below.

You can check out an extensive list from abc: How To Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

How you can help Hurricane Sandy victims:
  • Donate blood: If you're in the vicinity of the storm (and all is safe - i.e. you are completely out of harm's way), donate blood. This is especially needed for residents who live in New Jersey, and if you live in NY, please consider donating blood to help out. To donate, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit
  • Donate funds to The American Red Cross: To donate, visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 
  • And don't forget about our furry friends! The Humane Society of the United States and American Humane Society are seeking donations to help rescue stranded pets and help animals in shelters.

I hope you're staying safe and healthy, wherever you are!

October 24, 2012

Cap That!

I've been spying a whole lot of cappin' going on. Cap toe heels, that is. Various shades from ombre effects to super shiny gold capped black pumps. And I like it.

I especially like when said cap pumps are showcased with ankle length trousers, a smart top and a slightly more structured bag. Proper lady style with a bit of sass. I'm especially craving a capped wedge...there's a goodie at ASOS that you can spy below.

And even though I haven't been sporting too many heels as of late, I'm really digging the options available. With the weather turning, you can even cap that with a super cute boot.

October 16, 2012

Tips & 6 Products for an Awesome Wedding Face

I truly enjoy putting on makeup. I find it therapeutic. I also enjoy purchasing makeup and applying it to others' faces. Odd? Maybe. Awesome? Surely.

Regardless, my lovely sister-in-law entrusted her pretty face to me for her wedding day makeup application. I was seriously stoked to pull together a fresh makeup look for her. Natural but glowy and gorgeous.

Since I also put together my own makeup face for my big day, here are a three tips and six products for a gorgeous wedding face.


1) Do invest in a really good base for yo' face. This includes foundation, concealer and powder. Trust me, the last thing you want is your face lookin' a different shade than the rest of your body. Not cute for memories. Check said makeup in various lights and with and without a camera flash!

2) Take a bit of a heavier hand on your eye makeup and blush. Not only is this so you look extra vibrant in photos, but as you hug, kiss and dance throughout the evening, makeup can and will wear off.

3) Unless you have a super themed-type wedding (black and white, New Years Eve, etc), keep your makeup neutral but with a punch. Super dark, kohl rimmed eyes or red lips are gorgeous, but it's tough to maintain those looks throughout the day. 

6 Products for an Awesome Wedding Face: Behold, my set of goodies!

October 9, 2012

Product Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, A-

Another day, another lip product. As I've mentioned before, I often hoard lip products in my purse. Just ask anyone who's spied the inside pocket of my bag. At any give time you'll likely find some type of lip balm, two or three glosses, two or three lipsticks and some other type of random lip product. Excess? Sure. But admitting you have a problem is the first step, no?

So, yes, I love lip products and a few weeks back one of my work buddies whipped out Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain. Oooh...I must investigate. The next time I found myself at Walgreens, I spied said product and took a gander. And hey, buy one get one 50% off doesn't hurt. I left with two - Honey Douce (a pretty neutral rose) and Sweetheart Valentine (a vibrant pink).

About Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (that's a mouthful):

Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain gives softer, smoother lips with a perfect flush of color that lasts hour after hour. The gel formula comes in 12 vibrant shades that match any look or mood.
  • Lightweight Lipstain + Moisturizing Balm
  • 100% of women who tried it felt their lips were instantly moisturized with a soft stain of color
  • Retractable chubby crayon, no sharpener required

  • My Review:

    The Good: The color payoff and texture are very on point. Revlon's not lying when they say this is a stain and balm - a tough line to toe (well)! I found the lippie moisturizing and both colors very pretty. Plus, no sharpener required - bonus!

    The Bad: Well, $9 for a drugstore balm/stain is a bit on the pricey side, but it's remedied with a coupon or BOGO.

    The Verdict: A-. This product fits in nicely with my arsenal of lip goodies. The shades are pretty and versatile and the stain is lasting without looking like you just nuzzled a Tootsie pop. Nice work, Revlon.

    October 2, 2012

    Fall Nailed It!

    I go through fits of painting my nails. I love how my digits look all glossy and sheeny-shiny. Thus, there will be weeks in a row when said fingers look quite polished and pretty. And then I'll fall off the proverbial bandwagon and showcase naked nails for a month or two.

    Currently, I'm on a nail upswing...with a few of my fave brands being Zoya, Butter and OPI. Sure, I like Essie too, but I find that particular brand chips a bit more than the others. With fall fulling encasing the fashions, it's time for me to temporarily retire a few of my summer shades and dive into the autumnal colors. Here are a few that I'm keeping my eye on...

    1) Butter Chancer: A deep, crushed glitter red that will be bangin' for the holidays. I have to say, even though Butter's laquers are pricey ($14 ish per pop), the brush is like no other. The polish simply glides on...swear!

    2) Butter Yummy Mummy:
    This was a fall-release shade from last year, but I love this color for all seasons. It's a shimmy greige and pretty on toes and fingers. Plus, for those who need to keep a neutral nail, this keeps things just a bit more interesting.

    3) Butter Knackered: For those who seek something a bit psychedelic, this purple/green/silver metallic looks incredibly fun. I would say this polish should be reserved for short nails as it's a bit much for the ladies with talons.

    4) Zoya Monica: From the NYFW designer collection, Monica looks dramatic and dark. A kind of upper end goth with its "dark, soft blue-toned purple with a glossy cream finish."
      Zoya-Nail-Polish-Monica-ZP628 Item Image Large

    5) Zoya Gilty Pleasure Box: Um, 18K gold flakes on yo' nails? Ok, sure, I'll bite! Too bad this hot little collection is sold out already. Maybe, just maybe, they'll bring 'er back?!

     Gilty Pleasures 18K Real Gold Nail Polish Topcoat Trio Box

    6) Zoya Blaze: Described as "a full coverage, cool undertone plum with a high concentration of micro fine diamond holographic glitter," this shade sounds like a red plum disco ball. YES.

    So, which polishes are you crazy for this fall?!

    September 24, 2012

    Emmy faves...!

    Confession: I didn't watch the Emmy Awards. However, that doesn't mean I wasn't scrolling through Twitter and to check out some super gorgeous gowns!

    I was pretty stoked to read that Homeland and Modern Family won in their series designations...both shows are pretty damn fantastic. And leading ladies from said series positively killed it in the dress department. Below are my faves from the evening...what are yours?!

    Claire Danes in Lanvin, photo via Steve Granitz/WireImage

    Kerry Washington in Vivienne Westwood, photo via Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

    Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad, photo via Jason Merritt/WireImage

    Tina Fey in Vivienne Westwood, photo via Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic