Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

FOTW: April 30, 2008

Labels: , , , , , ,


I decided to go with a fairly tame 'Face Of The Week' for my first one. It's not too exciting, but I wanted to get my face out there so that everyone knows who is behind all this Shop With a Vengeance mayhem :)

FOTW 4-30-2008

What I used:
  • Primer - Face: Monistat Chafing Relief Gel, Eye: UDPP

  • Foundation - Almay Nearly Naked Liquid Makeup in Honey, CoverBlend Concealer in Beige and Light, Sonia Kashuk Loose Powder

  • Cheeks - Jane Blushing Cheeks in Blushing Plum

  • Brow - The Body Shop Brow/Liner Powder Duo, Revlon Brow Fantasy Gel

  • Eye - MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, MAC Powerpoint Pencil in Engraved, Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara (see it doesn't do much for my short lashes, does it?)

  • Lips - Homemade Lip Stain!


The photos are unretouched, just cropped up. I have been having a bad skin week, so ignore the rough/blemishy condition of mine right now; I had a pretty bad breakout due to Shiseido SPF42 PA+++ Foundation (Fragrance and too heavy, no no) and possibly also Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil (too many botanical extracts for my skin to handle!). I have been trying to nurture my skin back to health and bought a bunch of stuff to do so last night... so I'll be back in business in no time!

I did this look on Tuesday so that I could actively comment on it and let you all know how it turned out. I don't usually use Almay's foundation, but I had some laying around so I figured I'd use it. (Now I remember why I stopped using it... it made me very oily, very quickly, and the rest of my makeup seemed to slide off within a few hours!) I am always on a foundation hunt that will probably continue forever. The one thing that seems to always work for me (that I've repurchased countless times) is Milani's Mineral Compact, so I'll likely be back to that right away.

I like the lip stain a lot, and not just because I made it! I think the end result color is pretty and natural, but still very rosy. I wouldn't wear it every day, but I would definitely make it a staple for at least once a week.

This is my first FOTW, but hopefully there will be many more to come! What do you think?

Do It Yourself: Lip Balm Stain!

Labels: , , , , ,

Bargain Finds

I had some free time so I decided to do a little tutorial on making your own lip balm stain. This, in essence, would be similar to Benetint Lip balm, but a lot easier on the wallet! You can use whatever balm you have available, from Chapstick to Chicken Poop, anything will do. Also, a fun "green" alternative would be to use Burt's Bees Lip Balm and Organic Food Dye. Not only is this balm useful for lip stain purposes, but it is also great for moisturizing since you are using a balm you already love. Have fun experimenting with colors and mixtures... this is fairly easy, but you might make a bit of a mess in the kitchen if you aren't careful!

Things you'll need:
  • Microwave safe container with a spout, like a measuring cup
  • Plastic disposable cup for mixing
  • Toothpicks or other flat tool for mixing, I used a metal chopstick
  • Wilton Gel Icing Color or other Food Coloring (Red, or other colors if you'd like to mix)
  • Stick of Lip Balm, I used Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm in "Sweet Orange"
  • Microwave! Mine is 1200Watts, so timing may vary
  • Optional: Empty Lip Balm Pot Container
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

First, start off by twisting the tube of lip balm all the way up and removing the balm from the tube. If your balm is very soft, like Blistex Complete Moisture, you might want to consider putting the mixture, when complete, into the optional pot container since it might not stay intact otherwise. But, that's up to you to decide later. For now, place the balm you just emptied into the microwave safe bowl/cup and microwave on high for 15 second intervals, until your balm has melted completely. This time will vary, mine took about 50 seconds, so be sure to keep an eye on the balm!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Then, you wanna add your color. I used pure red, so I didn't have to worry about mixing colors, but you could add a little blue to make a berry stain that would be gorgeous as well! Just be sure to take a nice hefty amount. Remember: you want this to stain your lips, not just color them temporarily. Keep the amount in proportion to the amount of balm you have though... I had a decent amount of balm so I added about 1/4tsp. If you want a really dark stain, add more. If you want a light stain, add less... you know the drill.

Now, this is important, when you add the color if you are using a gel food dye like I used, pop that baby back into the microwave for an additional 10-15 seconds. This is important because the gel is harder to blend into the balm than liquid so you want to make sure it really melds into it. Remove from the microwave immediately and start stirring like you would with a whisk. Whip it up! While the balm is in liquid form, it will NOT blend directly with the food dye. Keep mixing as if you are trying to blend salad dressing.

You will notice the balm starting to harden up; this is your cue to pour the mixture into your original tube! Make sure you've twisted the tube back "down" so that it can be filled up! Pour away. If your mixture has hardened too much to pour, like mine did, then scoop it in. It doesn't have to be perfect! If you want a more streamlined final result, put it in the optional pot container or melt it down in the microwave if your original tube can handle it. Be careful while microwaving these products and be mindful. No metal or foil in the microwave, please! It might be kind of sloppy otherwise, so if you're nit-picky, feel free to smooth it over by slicing off the top or patting it down instead. I didn't bother.

Let the mixture set for about 15 minutes, then enjoy. Apply with a lip brush or q-tip, as this is sure to stain your fingers. Make sure you exfoliate your lips (warm washcloth, toothbrush and Vaseline -- pick your poison) prior to applying, as this will stick to and color any dry areas first! It will look like a matte lipstick on and then as it wears off you should be able to see how it has stained your lips nicely. The longer you let it sit, the more stained your lips will become. I took a quick pic for posting purposes:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Hope you love it, and here's to a beautiful Tuesday!

Any questions or additional ideas, let me know!

Make It Or Break It: Whale Tail vs. Muffin Top!

Labels: , , , , ,


I have decided to throw a little order into my blog here. I want to incorporate three official "days" onto the blog so that readers can know what to expect. The topics I'd like to include are: "Make it or Break it Monday", "FOTW Wednesday" and "Fashion Match Friday" :)

The first category will be an interactive poll for everyone to participate in that compares beauty, fashion, and style related things. I just figured this could be a fun way to start off the week. FOTW (Face of the Week) Wednesday is pretty self explanatory... as I realize I have never posted a FOTD and people are probably wondering when one is coming! This way I'm obligated to do one a week. And, Fashion Match Friday will give me a good opportunity to put up a weekly match. I love doing the Fashion Matches so that will keep me busy as well.

So, without further ado, here is the first Make it or Break it Monday post!

This week's poll is: What is worse, the "Whale Tail" or "Muffin Top"?

Vote, Vote, Vote!


Voted? Ok, good. Now feast your eyes on this beauty:


Sigh. Now, I am a heavier girl. Well, people tend to disagree with me on that, but I feel like I'm a heavier girl, and I know what looks good on me and what doesn't. I'm not going to into a rant about how heavier girls should not be wearing low rise pants because I believe everyone is entitled to wear what they feel comfortable in, but just make sure it fits you! A muffin top means, "Hey! guess what, your pants are too tight around the top!" and you should really buy the next size up. I am bigger around the middle and I have slim legs, and this advice really comes close to my heart: Don't be afraid of buying the right size. Who cares what the numbers say, what's important is that your pants fit, look good, and that you are comfortable. Cut the tags out if you have that much of an issue with size!

As for the whale tail, I have nothing to say. Don't hike up your thong if you are wearing extra low rise pants. Don't bend down if you are wearing extra low rise pants. Don't wear extra low rise pants! If you must, try layering a camisole under your shirt and tuck it in to your jeans. Better to show a cami bending down than your underwear! If you are self conscious about muffin tops and whale tails and your middle, try out something like the Tummy Tuck Jeans (hint: Giveaway!) that will prevent BOTH!

Some other stylish alternatives:

Forever 21 Lindy Trouser Jean $29.80
Seven Jeans High Waist Boot Cut $165.00
MK Signature Stretch Jean $99.50

I know this post was extra long, so thanks go out to those of you who stuck with it! Hope you enjoyed Make it or Break it Monday and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Not Your Daughter's Jeans - Tummy Tuck Jean Giveaway! (4/27/08 - 5/18/08)

Labels: , , , , , ,


I'm happy to bring you another giveaway, courtesy of Not Your Daughter's Jeans and KMR Communications! This time, we'll be giving one lucky reader a pair of "Tummy Tuck Jeans" in their size!

Let me just say, these tummy tuck jeans are amazing! In honor of slimming down for summer, they are perfect to make you look and feel your best. The jeans flatten your tummy, lift your butt and make you look and feel one size smaller. I've tried them on myself at Lord & Taylor and they are made from super soft denim that feels great on. They are mid-high rise so you don't have to worry about showing too much when bending down! There are also new spring colors, shown in the chart above. Very flattering!

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post with your email address. That's all! All entries must be received by 5/18/2008. On 5/19/2008, I will be choosing a winner at random. Expect an email where you can provide me with your size and address, and Katherine of KMR will then take that information to send you out a pair of your very own Tummy Tuck Jeans! If the chosen winner does not respond by email within 7 days, I will be choosing another winner. You must provide your email address in order to win (otherwise I can't contact you!).

Good luck!

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED! Check back for more great giveaways soon :)

Reader Feedback: Skincare Tips!

Labels: , , , ,


Congratulations go out to Katy Morris, winner of the Sothy's Skincare Giveaway as per Random.org! As part of the giveaway, I asked my readers to tell me what they do to keep their skin looking it's best.

Here are the results:
"My beauty tip is use a microfiber cloth to exfoliate instead those scrubbers with coarse material. Another one which I think is more important than what you do externally is watch what you eat. Make sure you eat your fruits and vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids." - Ngoc H.

"I drink plenty of water and see my dermatologist regularly." - Claudia

"In order to keep my skin looking its best, before I put on my favorite moisturizer at night, I make sure that I exfoliate not with a hand towel, but with an electronic toothbrush. The rubbing motion of the bristles is just the right motion to remove all the dead skin cells that are still on my face. I just use whatever exfoliant I am using at the time. Right now I'm loving Dr. Haschuka's Cleaning Cream." -Rebecca

"Right now my favorite skin care tip is an old fashioned one...but something I had forgotten: after cleansing your face use super-cold water after rinsing to tighten pores!" - Katy Morris

"I always touch my face gently and insist that others do the same!" - Paula in Seattle

"My favorite skincare tip would be to "relax, relate, and release". I know it's a cheesy line, but I believe that hormones play a key role in how our body reacts to various stress levels. And since our skin is our largest organ, it is ultimately affected by our moods and lifestyle changes. I generally can't go wrong with a basic skincare routine (cleanser, toner, moisturizer), however, i've noticed that my skin was its clearest when I made an effort to relax more and not let stressful experiences overwhelm me." - Kenya (Virtuous Blue)

"Mine would be to use a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher. Also, what the other ladies said drink plenty of water." - Karina

"My biggest skincare tip would be a tip passed on by my mom. It would be sleeping early and having at least 8 hours of sleep everyday. Trust me, it needs some discipline to sleep early every night! When you have enough sleep, you will feel fresh, your skin doest feel dehydrated and your eyes look bright and well rested. You will also realise that with enough sleep, your makeup glides on beautifully on your skin. I've also noticed I do not need as much makeup compared to days when I'm sleep deprived. Skin rejuvenates and heals as we sleep, usually between 12midnight - 3am. Therefore, this also helps to maximize the potential of our night cream treatment. " - Beauty Tyrant
Thank you everyone for participating, and also for the awesome advice!

D-I-Y Kitchen Skincare!

Labels: , , , , , ,


In keeping with the "Go Green" theme, I am sharing some of the best products to use that are natural, organic, and can be found right at home! If you don't like making your own skincare treats at home, there are plenty of natural alternatives available in stores everywhere... otherwise, enjoy these skincare tips and tricks using products you would find in your own kitchen!

Oatmeal/Yogurt Face Mask
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3-4 tablespoons of unflavored instant oats

Mix together until it becomes a spreadable paste (...sounds luxurious!), then wait until the oats soften and release their oat goodness into the yogurt. Apply to your face. This should most likely be done over a sink because oat crumbles may fall off. Keep the mask on until it begins to feel tight. Then wash off with warm water and a washcloth. If you need to, moisturize afterwards... otherwise, enjoy your smooth, soft skin!

It sounds gross, it looks gross, it smells kind of good... but most importantly... it is EXCELLENT for your skin! The oatmeal will exfoliate, calm and soothe, and the yogurt will naturally moisturize and balance out your skin. Also, yogurt is laden with probiotics that encourage good bacteria, which is essential to fighting off the bad bacteria, such as that trapped in acne, etc.
Want a natural alternative to Vaseline, Aquaphor, and other petroleum jelly/mineral oil based products? Try Crisco!!! I am not crazy. Crisco is shortening, not lard! It is made from vegetable oils that will comfort, soften, and moisturize the skin. It contains Vitamin E, which is great for skin as well. Crisco is also great for people who suffer from Eczema, like myself. It makes an excellent hand cream and body cream, and, if you're brave enough, you can even use it on your face. Crisco, when used in moderation, should not clog your pores, but everyone's skin is different. If you've got a rough patch of skin, give it a shot :)
Aspirin Mask for blemishes or milia:

Dissolve several tablets of uncoated aspirin in a small amount of hot water (optional: add a tablespoon of honey into the aspirin to make it easier to spread). Apply to your face, or just to blemishes, and leave on for 15 minutes or so. Wash off and you should be good to go!
If you are looking for a natural toner, try diluting Apple Cider Vinegar! For a quick, cheap exfoliant, try Baking Soda or Sugar!

What are your tried and true D-I-Y skincare tips? Prefer sticking to store-bought products?

Let me know!

SWAV Loves: LaMonir Collection!

Labels: , , , , ,


Anyone have a formal event coming up?

I was trying to do a Fashion Match and I stumbled upon this fantastic website, LaMonir Collection. They have THE MOST GORGEOUS formal dresses I've ever seen in one place! I love looking at formalwear so this was like eye candy for me. I wish I had money to buy them just for fun or I wish I had somewhere to go to wear one of these beautiful dresses!

Here are a few of the ones I picked out:
SWAV LaMonir Collection Picks!

They have dressy clubwear, formal gowns, and bridal wear as well. If you have an event coming up, please, please check out their site... I don't know why I'm so avidly promoting them but the dresses are just so beautiful! Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you all :)

Like any of my picks? Have you bought anything from LaMonir Collection before? Know a better formalwear site? Let me know!

An Urban Decay Primer Potion Extravaganza!

Labels: , , , , , ,

The other night I spent some time removing the "traces" of Urban Decay Primer Potion from it's original bottle. As most beauty lovers are well aware, the "UDPP" bottle has many flaws: ie. it seems like it's empty when there is still a lot of product left over. This is due to the fact that the odd shape of the bottle allows for product to be trapped where the applicator wand cannot reach.

Ooh, creamy

Now, before anyone goes into a rant about how Urban Decay is gypping the public and ripping them off with this product... let me just say that I don't believe this is true. UDPP is a fantastic, cult-worthy product for girls like me with oily lids that would crease shadows and liners like crazy without it. I love this stuff.

It's very unfortunate that the bottle does not make the most of the product in there, but the truth of the matter is... Urban Decay is NOT ripping people off. You paid for X amount of product... ok, well it's not like Urban Decay didn't give it to you! The product is in there! It's just the unfortunate packaging that makes it seem like you didn't get what you paid for. And, to think, when this first came out everyone loved the "cute little genie bottle" design. Anyway, I know countless people have emailed and written to Urban Decay about this problem so I'm sure they are well aware.

Regardless, I decided when my bottle appeared "empty" with the applicator wand practically dry every time I use it, that I would pry this baby open! So, pry I did. I managed to melt a little bit of the bottle and then just peel off the circle of plastic at the bottom. This allowed for me to put a tool inside to scoop out the remaining product. Yes, it would've been more time efficient to just cut the thing open, but I didn't do that. And yes, I made a mess this way. But, bottom line is, I got SO MUCH primer potion out of the bottle that I was actually shocked. I knew there would be a lot, but I wasn't sure how much really. It was crazy! Additionally, the blogger who originally did this mentioned that it looks like ice cream, and it really does... that or nougat (mmm Snickers)!

So, I "depotted" it and put the primer potion into one of the craft jars I posted about previously. This should last me a very long time, since I don't wear eye makeup every day and you only need the tiniest bit of UDPP. Will I rebuy Urban Decay Primer Potion? I don't know, it depends on whether they change the bottle or not! I might try a new primer otherwise, perhaps the one by Too Faced that is said to be comparable.

Anyway, I made a mess and loved every minute of it. Except when the UDPP I got on my hands wouldn't wash off easily. That was kind of bad.

Have you depotted your UDPP yet? Do you think Urban Decay will change their Primer Potion bottles any time soon?

YSL Beauté Mother's Day Promotion!

Labels: , , , ,

Hello everyone!

I was contacted today by a representative from YSL Beauté who wanted me to let my readers know that they are having a special promotion of free Ground Shipping on orders of $80. or more from now until May 1st! This is the perfect opportunity to buy your mothers something luxurious and lavish from YSL Beauté.

Here are some picks from their Mother's Day gift area:

Thematic Pallettes, $60., elle Yves Saint Laurent Must Have Bag Accessory $56.
Touche Eclat Radiant Touch $40., elle Yves Saint Laurent Mother's Day Coffret $80.

For more Mother's Day picks, check out their website, here!

Pearls: Outdated Trend or Timeless Treasure?

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mother's Day is coming up on May 11th, and I know there must be some readers out there who are thinking of getting their Mom some jewelry as a gift! The ideal of pearl bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, are generally seen as a classy item for a lady to receive as a Mother's Day present. I don't know if it is just me, but usually I think of pearls as having more of a "timeless" appeal that stems back to the idea of the original Hollywood starlets dripping with pearls and diamonds in my mind.
I made a little celebrity collage to illustrate ways that the Hollywood elite have added a little class to their ensembles:

Celebrities wearing pearls!

As you can see, Pearl jewelry comes in a variety of forms. A pearl necklace alone could be single strand, double, triple or more. The most popular pearl is the Japanese Akoya, which first appeared in the 1920's in the form of the Akoya pearl necklace and Akoya earrings.

No matter the kind of pearl used, the necklace could be just a single chain with a few pearl "drops" on it, or a large array of ribbons, pearls, and sparkling crystals in one. Pearls can be a bit confusing to wear for some. If you wear them with something too conservative, you may feel more like a "grandma" than a timeless beauty. One thing you could try is to layer the pearl strands, or incorporate different colors or styles of pearls together. A black pearl necklace would also be a choice you could do to be a little different.

Between a saltwater or freshwater pearl necklace, or faux pearl necklaces, when considering pearls, the possibilities are truly endless. You can dress them up with a formal outfit, or dress them down with a pair of jeans and a tank. To make them a bit edgier, follow Kim Kardashian’s lead and pair a strand of pearls up with some sparkly beaded necklaces, or swirl a ribbon around your pearls to emulate Sarah Michelle Gellar’s look. I can't stress this point enough... pearls are like a blank canvas, it's really up to you to make them your own!

I'm curious to see what my readers think about pearl jewelry. Is it something you see as more of a timeless piece, or kind of old and outdated? What would you pair with a strand of pearls?

My first time being tagged :)

Labels: ,

I've been Tagged by The Style Page! I figured Sunday was a good down day to get this done, so here goes :)

My 6 unspectacular quirks:

  • I am late for everything. Being on time is really ridiculously difficult for me!

  • I crave salty snacks a lot more than sweets. One of my favorites is Salt 'n Vinegar chips!

  • I decorate my binders for school in hopes that it will get me more excited for my classes. I'm almost a senior in college, by the way.

  • I get carsick if I'm not driving and I'm very paranoid about it, which doesn't really help. I might also be a hypochondriac.

  • I procrastinate like crazy... I can't work if I'm not under pressure because I get too easily distracted with no deadline in sight!

  • I can roll my stomach like a bellydancer! Although I've never taken bellydancing classes. I used to show people this, but I haven't in a really long time, lol.
To play tag, here are the rules:

1. link the person who tagged you.
2. mention the rules in your blog.
3. tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. tag 6 random bloggers by linking them at the end of your post.
5. leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.
6. once your post is up, notify the person who tagged you.

I'm tagging: Henna, Beauty Tyrant, Raging Rouge, Glamour Queen, Lakahna, and Vanessa! Not sure if you ladies have been tagged with this one yet but if so, sorry for the double tagging :)

The minimal M·A·C that I pack!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


It seems that a lot of beauty bloggers are obsessed with M·A·C. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is! Ok, so the price point is fairly average, the packaging is generally minimalistic and chic, and the selection is very good. It's also available in many countries. The Back-To-M·A·C program, where you can bring in six empty containers and receive a new product is pretty nice as well.

Here's what I don't like: The main flaw with the brand that I, myself, have encountered (and I know people who feel the same way) is that a lot of customers are afraid to try any form of M·A·C foundation or skincare. This is probably because of all the negative reviews on some products and the general idea that M·A·C will "break you out". This is a big no-no. If people are afraid to try your product there must be something wrong! In addition to that, there are too many scammers out there on eBay, etc, that are selling fake M·A·C, so it's hard to tell if the M·A·C you are getting is even real unless you have a very sharp eye or are buying straight from the counter or a freestanding store (which I would do anyway). Their lip glasses (not glosses, glasses) used to be, and might still be, a number one selling gloss... although a lot of which I feel are too sticky for everyday use. I actually tossed my Lychee Luxe Lipglass years ago because it was so sticky and oozing out of the tube when I would close it! Needless to say, I am not a M·A·C-aholic.

I must applaud M·A·C on their excellent marketing skills. They release their "collections" so that they can ultimately form a monopoly where the M·A·C slaves go crazy over and buy the same colors that came out two years ago, repackaged now in zebra print or orange plastic... similar how Disney puts their movies "back in the vault" for re-release years later. From M·A·C Pro Stores to limited edition collections only available in certain locations, it's clear to see that there is a skill here that M·A·C is incorporating to become a beauty empire.

M·A·C is, of course, known for their dazzling displays of what seems to be an endless variety of eye shadow and pigment shades, all of which are of pretty fantastic quality. Yes, M·A·C is good, but M·A·C is not God! Although the color line is impressive, every M·A·C-aholic will cringe when I say that I feel that there are so many drugstore options that do the job just as well. For example, NYX, Milani... you all know the drill by now. Mineral makeup companies make pigments just as vibrant as M·A·C's for a fraction of the cost!! Despite all this, I do have a couple M·A·C items that I feel like mentioning today, because regardless of the fact that the brand is NOT cult-worthy in my opinion, I like these items!

My M·A·C:
  • Lip Gelee - "Dewy Jube"
    This is a really pretty bright red/pink in the tube, and looks very sheer and glossy on. It doesn't feel as sticky or heavy as the regular lipglasses, and comes in a slant-tip squeeze tube.
  • Powerpoint Eye Pencil - "Engraved"
    This is an excellent pencil. I use this on my waterline and lower lash area, and it stays on with minimal smudging. I've tried endless pencils and this is definitely the best one I've used.
  • Pigment - "Vanilla"
    The infamous all-purpose Vanilla! I love it. It's a nice, glowy, sheer golden white that flatters all skintones. M·A·C does give you a lot of pigment for the price tag, which is important too.
  • Fluidline - "Blacktrack"
    This is one product I would recommend to everyone. Who doesn't need an excellent black eyeliner? The gel formula lasts forever with no smudging AT ALL or creasing or flaking. It's perfect. And the little pot lasts a long time too.
  • Blot Powder
    I'm not 100% about this one, but it doesn't break me out and cuts the shine, so I guess it's doing what it's supposed to do.
What are some of your favorite M·A·C products? Are there any you could do without? Let me know!

Fashion Match: Geri Halliwell!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Fashion Match

Hello all!

I decided to recreate Geri Halliwell's Galaxy British Book Awards look. The former Spice Girl (my favorite one, actually), looked radiant in this white strapless dress! I think that this look would be great for a formal dance, like prom, or any special occasion where white is acceptable. If you look at the close up picture, you can see that her skin is glittering with body shimmer, so I decided to include that in the Fashion Match as well. The individual pieces are pretty budget friendly, considering. Enjoy!

Geri Halliwell Fashion Match

Here's what I used:
  • A) 14k Gold "Love" Pendant Necklace
    $98. at Nordstrom

  • B) Urban Decay Flavored Body Powder in "Marshmallow"
    $26. at Sephora

  • C) Jessica McClintock Dress (Style No. 32523)
    $155. at Jessica McClintock

  • D) 18k Gold Over Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Bangle
    $100. at Macy's

  • E) Type Z Markita 2 in "Silver"
    $90. at Zappos.com

To be honest, I kind of miss the red hair of "Ginger Spice"! I like her as a blonde too, but I feel like she really stood out, in a good way, with the red hair.

What do you think? Would you wear this look?

Fashion Match: Elle MacPherson!

Labels: , , , , ,

Fashion Match

Today I've recreated Elle MacPherson's look for the Martha Stewart show! This look involves many layers, so I've chosen seasonally appropriate options that will add style without bulk. Enjoy!

Elle MacPherson Fashion Match!

What I used:
  • A) Police Wayfarer Sunglasses in "Brown"
    $173.88 at ASOS

  • B) Mike & Chris Biker Jacket in "White"
    $247. at Barneys New York

  • C) Classic Striped Waffle V-Neck T
    $16.99 at Gap

  • D) Unisex Sheer Jersey Scarf in "Heather Grey"
    $15. at American Apparel

  • E) J. Brand Pencil Leg Jean in "Dark Vintage"
    $168 at Ron Herman

  • F) Eagle Belt Buckle
    $8.95 at Strait City Trading Co.

  • G) French Connection Weave Shopper
    $132.06 at ASOS

  • H) Xhilaration "Simone" Stretch Ballet Flats
    $14.99 at Target
What do you think? Would you wear it?

Reader Feedback: My current skincare and makeup routine!

Labels: , , ,

This is the third question I am answering from the top responses in my Spring Feedback Giveaway!


Reader "Kanashimi Blue" asks: What is your current daily skincare/makeup routine? Do you have any holy grail products?

Shop With a Vengeance! Response:
My current skincare and makeup products are listed below! I love pretty much everything I've listed, but mainly I think it's important to have products that you feel work best for you. Something that is great on me, might not be so great on someone else, ya know? I have combination acne-prone skin, for reference.

Basically, with both topics, I try to keep it simple. My skin is fairly temperamental so I don't want to use products with too many chemicals or unknown ingredients. The makeup I have listed are products that basically even out my complexion. Of course I use other blushes, eye shadows, and lip products... but I just wanted to give you the mainstay products. Hope this helps!

Facial Skin Care -

Face Moisturizers:
  • Almond Oil (Review)
  • Weleda Almond Intensive Facial Cream (Review)
  • Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion (Review)
Face Cleanser:
  • Oil Cleansing Method - (I use a mixture of Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil, Castor Oil, EVOO, Tea Tree Oil, and Vitamin E Oil)
  • Dermaklear Enzymatic Therapy Akne Treatment Bar (Review)
Acne-fighting Products:
  • Zapzyt 10% Benzoyl Peroxide
Eye Treatment:
  • L'Oreal Skin Genesis Daily Treatment Eye Serum (Review)
Makeup Remover:
  • Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover
Lip Moisturizer:
  • Juice Organics Lip Amplifier (Review)
Makeup -

  • Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel
  • Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation SPF 42 PA +++ (Shade: SP20)
  • Milani Minerals Compact (Shade: 102 Nude Buff)
  • CoverBlend by Exuviance Multi-Function Concealer SPF 15 (Shades: Light & Beige, Review)
Loose Powder:
  • Sonia Kashuk Barely There Loose Powder (Shade: 02 Colorless Matte)
  • Revlon New Complexion Bronzer (Shade: Sun)
Brow Products:
  • The Body Shop Brow and Liner Kit
Love these products? Wanna try any? What are your HGs? Post!

Milani Smooth Finish Cream-To-Powder Foundation Review

Labels: , , , , ,


Let me start off by saying... I love Milani products! Their blushes, eye shadows, and eye liner are all fabulous and equivalent to that of department store brands. This is why I decided to try their cream foundation. (Well, the persuasive MakeupAlley reviews helped, too.)

My hopes were high. I've tried cream foundations before: Revlon New Compexion (smudges too easily, but good coverage), various Clinique compacts, Max Factor's Pan-Stik (mineral oil city), and probably others along the way. I had been using Milani's mineral compact prior to this, which I like a lot, and I figured this cream foundation would up the ante, coverage and moisture-wise. Boy, was I wrong.

First off, this product has a strong scent. It smells like, for lack of better terms, "old lady makeup". It has that heavy baby powder perfume odor. Actually, it smells just like Max Factor's foundation. I can't stand it, especially not on my own face. Strike one!

Now, I purchased the shade called "Buff" because in the minerals, I am "Nude Buff" and usually colors tend to correspond. Well, the Buff shade was too light. There are about 4 color choices at my CVS, so I knew I wasn't going to find a closer match than this even if I attempted to go back. Strike two! The coverage was mediocre. You could see the streaks that this formula applied in, and it was difficult to blend because it turned to that thick "powder" so quickly. Once it "sets" it looks a little better... but for this just wasn't agreeing with my face, and certainly wasn't the look I was going for. Yup, that's the third strike, ladies.

No one with a large pore problem, combination skin, or dry skin should try this. Ever. It will settle into every pore and highlight bumps and flakes like no one's business. Bumps and flakes should instead, truly be no one's business! They should be treated, exfoliated off, moisturized, and covered, if necessary. Milani failed at the covering part. I'd say the coverage was about light to medium, but if I even built up to medium my face would've caked up and shriveled dry. If Milani was benched at this point for striking out, they would now just be kicked out of the game entirely for creating this product.

So, overall, I am genuinely disappointed. MakeupAlley had be fooled with their "100% of reviewers would rebuy" statistic. Milani had me fooled with their otherwise good product reputation. Maybe this foundation works for some ladies, but not me... soooo, back to CVS it went! Gotta love that beauty-buyback guarantee!

Sothy's Skincare Giveaway! (4/12/08 - 4/26/08)

Labels: , , , ,


Hey there everyone!

We've got another giveaway for you! KMR Communications and Sothy's (a luxury Parisian Skincare line) are offering you three products from the Sothy's line, a retail value of $114!

The prize includes:
  • Active-Contour™ Tensor Gel
    Sothys Active-Contour Tensor Gel is a global eye contour response obtained with Phytobiotech is a leading edge technology between science and nature, creating a treatment to soothe congested eyelids and smooth the eye contour, and leave you with a tense and radiant look. (Price: $36)
  • Active-Contour™ Hydra-Cream
    An intensive cream with high tech active ingredients and plant and vegetable extracts (Centella asiatica, Ginseng, Horsetail) to revitalize and remodel your skin and minimize under-eye shadows and wrinkles. (Price: $47)
  • Active-Contour™ Destressing Mask
    A cool translucent gel to help remove bags under the eyes, with cornflower, chamomile, witch hazel and sage. (Price: $31)

How to enter:
Shop With a Vengeance! wants to know: What do you do to keep your skin looking it's best?

Just fill out the comments section of this post with your name, email, and your favorite skincare tip, and you'll be entered to win! This prize will be drawn at random on April 27, 2008. All entries must be received by April 26, 2008. You must include your email and skincare tip in order to win.

(Note: If winner does not respond to emails within 7 days of contest closure, a new winner will be drawn!)

Good luck!

This giveaway is closed! Check out the results here :)

Bruno Jamais Gift Certificate Winner!

Labels: , ,

I processed the entrants on Random.org today, and the results are in!

Reader Kristen will be receiving the $50 gift certificate to Manhattan's Bruno Jamais Restaurant Club! This means that this giveaway is officially closed!

Kristen, expect an email from KMR Communications, which will provide you with the certificate and information. Let me know how you like the restaurant!

Hot Victoria's Secret One-Piece Swimsuit Picks!

Labels: , , , , ,

The weather is warming up and swimsuit season is just around the corner. Well, actually, its a couple months away... but today was just so warm and nice here in N.J. that I couldn't resist posting this.

Here are some tantalizing one-piece selections from Victoria's Secret that happen to be more fabulous than functional. (Think of the tanlines!) The ones I've selected are priced from $60 - $165, and are from various brands available through the Victoria's Secret website.

If you think you're safe buying a one-piece... you'll be surprised to see that these "monokinis" are revealing enough to make you want to hit the gym just as hard as an itsy bitsy teeny weeny... yeah, you get it.

Anyway, be sure to click the pictures to be directed back to the V.S. site if you like any of these! Without further ado...

Carmen Marc Valvo: "Retro" ($156), "Halter monokini" ($136)

Very Sexy®: "Retro Scoopneck" ($88), "Ombré" ($60)

Vix® "Jeweled cut-out" ($165), Kenneth Cole Reaction ($74)

I love all these styles!! The first one, in red, is soo cute. I would definitely consider buying the Very Sexy®: "Retro Scoopneck" suit, which looks so flattering! Other than that, I think these suits may not offer enough coverage for me.

What do you think? Will you be buying a one piece or two-piece this year?

SWAV Loves: Another great Elliott Lucca find!

Labels: , , , , , , ,


At the rate my Elliott Lucca purse shopping is going, I should really have an endorsement deal with Elliott Lucca/The Sak by now! Just kidding... unless Elliott Lucca is reading. ;)

Anyway, tonight, on a whim, I purchased the Elliott Lucca "Helena" Satchel in "Sunlight" (suggested retail: $228.) from Lord & Taylor at a deeeeeeeply discounted rate. As in, it was on sale there already, plus a coupon for an additional 15% off, plus another 15% off for opening their credit card. Yeah. Pretty good deal, if you ask me.

I love it's sunshine yellow color, which is just excellent for Spring and Summer use! The shade is pretty accurately shown in the picture I took. I was hoping to find a picture of this bag online but I couldn't see it anywhere. Odd. But oh well.

By the way, this is my third patent leather purse in the past month and a half. Yeah, that's bad.

Regardless, I can't wait to use it! I DO want to wait until the weather warms up to break it out though. I really am loving the quality of these Elliott Lucca bags so far, they are just awesome. This one has a frame shape and is medium sized, perfect for carrying just the right amount of stuff.

What do you think?! Love it? Hate it? Let me know!

Reader Feedback: Mint Green Eyeshadow!

Labels: , , , , , , ,


During my Spring Feedback Giveaway, I received many excellent questions to respond to! This is the second of the "Top Five" questions being answered. The first question can be found here. Also, the winner's question is answered here!

Reader Leesha asked: "I'm in search of the perfect eyeshadow (preferably mint green), what brand would you suggest?"

Shop With a Vengeance Response:
The perfect eyeshadow varies by preference of course! Some wearers prefer a cream or stick shadow, while others would never even touch the stuff.

Personally, I like to use loose mineral eye shadows or regular pan shadows. The important thing, in order to make your mint shadow really "pop", is to use a primer (like Urban Decay Primer Potion).

Here is a variety of mint green picks in several formulas!

If you happen to be a beauty "snob", here are some high-end picks for your enjoyment ;)
          • Benefit Lust Duster "Moon Doggie"
            $18. at Benefit
          • MAC Shadestick "Lucky Jade"
            16.50 at MAC
          • Urban Decay Eye Shadow "Green Goddess" (shown)
            $16 at Sephora
          • Smashbox Single Eye Shadow "Zoom"
            $16 at Sephora
There are many great drugstore picks that work just as well as the high-end brands. If you are on a budget, you should try these:
          • Ulta Single Shadow "Mint" (shown)
            $6.50 at Ulta
          • Milani Eye Shadow Compacts "Garden Mist"
            $3.50 at Salons Plus
          • NYX Single Shadow "Spring Leaf"
            $3.99 at CherryCulture

Hope that helps a bit, Leesha!!

If you have any more suggestions for Leesha, or if you've tried any of my picks, go on, post :)

Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara Review!

Labels: , , , , ,


Neutrogena's new Healthy Volume Mascara promises 400% Fuller Lashes with the slogan, "Don't just coat your lashes, build them from the inside out". How does Neutrogena claim to accomplish this seemingly outlandish goal of quadrupling the size of your lashes? Easy... with a little help from good old-fashioned Olive Oil and of course, our dear friend, Almond Oil.

I recently purchased this mascara in "Rich Black" from Target (also $7.99 at Drugstore.com), mostly because of my affinity for all things almond. I was pleasantly surprised by the formula, which looked natural, but better. Does it really get your lashes 4x more voluminous? Perhaps over time, as the oils ARE supposed to be good for your lashes. Other than that, this just looks like any other Neutrogena mascara. It has an oversized wand, no offensive or noticeable scent, and it wears very well... depending on your skin type.

The reason I say "depending" is that you need to make sure make sure you don't put any sort of oils or oil like products on your lash area before applying. This may sound like common sense but... hey... I had an incident. If you follow this one simple rule, Neutrogena's mascara will not smear, flake, or cause you any problem relating to wearing off. Also, if your skin or your eyelids get super oily/sweaty, this product might smudge a little bit under your eye area after a few hours, just because it's not waterproof.

If you don't have any of these issues and your face will be staying dry, this mascara will work for you! When it comes time for removal, any eye-makeup remover will do the trick.

All in all, I'm torn. If you are looking for a daytime, natural looking mascara that won't budge on your normal to dry skin, check this out! If you like to use oils to moisturize or naturally produce a lot of oil, you might wanna steer clear of Neutrogena's Healthy Volume Mascara.