Monday, November 28, 2011

$2 OFF L'Oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer in December 2011 Issue of Allure

Hi darlings!

I just wanted to let you know, in case you don't subscribe to Allure, or you haven't made it through the December 2011 issue yet, that there is a coupon for L'Oreal Paris' Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer. It is for $2 off and expires 5/01/12. There's a little sample with the ad which I haven't tried yet. I'm excited! I haven't really felt the need for a face primer but I'm interested in seeing if using one would make a difference in the way makeup applies and settles on my dry skin. Also, since this is a manufacturer's coupon this deal will really cut down the cost of the primer (which runs somewhere from $10-$15 depending on the store) when combined with a drugstore sale.

If you're already a fan of this primer or if you're like me and you've been wanting to try it but discouraged by the price, I'd recommend picking up a copy of Allure at a newstand if you don't subscribe, and if you do subscribe, the ad is sandwiched between page 54 and 55. This month's Allure is not one of my favorites in terms of articles or images to add to my "thought book/inspiration book" but I did get some interesting ideas from their "8 Top Trends From the Runways" section.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Hi darlings!

I just wanted to post an update on why I haven't been posting for a few weeks. Yes, I've been taking a bit of a break because everyone's celebrating Thanksgiving here in the US but I have also managed to catch a cold. I hope to be back soon with a review of O.P.I.'s Ski Teal We Drop (terrible swatches but I love love love the color!), a review of the ELF bronzer/blush duo, and a review of Tarte's Amazonian clay blush in Dollface. Again, my lips are very dry so I'm not in prime product-testing condition but I'm generally liking the Givenchy lipstick I picked up in my Sephora F&F haul and kind of hating the YSL lipstick I got though I threw out the receipt so I'm keeping everything.

I hope everyone in the US (and apparently Canada) had a lovely vacation. Happy Thanksgiving to them and to everyone else, welcome to the start of crazy pre-Christmas/pre-winter holiday shopping season! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hanky Panky Sample Sale November 2011/Thakoon Sample Sale

I checked out the last day of the Hanky Panky sale this morning and then went on over to Thakoon. The Hanky Panky sale was great. Prices are at a real low with a lot of buy-two-get-one-free sales. I bought 4 bralettes, 1 bra and panty set, two lace T-shirts, and and 2 cami tops. A good day all around. Oh, and I picked up a fascinator headband for $6.50 at a nearby store. I think it's been confirmed: If there's a Hanky Panky sale, you better get yourself there ASAP.

I also checked out the Thakoon Sample Sale. There are still a few hours left but I wouldn't bother. The cheapest and nicest dress in the showroom was a fraying blue and white cocktail dress. The quality and price don't match up and it doesn't seem like much of a sample sale. The actual nicest dress was a sort of snakeskin/fish scale shimmering blue dress going for $700. I browsed for a moment and then left. The level of disinterest from the salesgirls makes me think my behavior was pretty standard for the people who had stopped by earlier.

Forever21 Jewelry - Similar Look For Less

I think the premise of this post is explained in the title. I was browsing around the jewelry section of the Forever21 I do...and came across some pieces that reminded me of higher end items. Let me know if you'd be interested in hearing my thoughts on similar products whether clothes, jewelry, nail polish, or makeup.

First the Oksana earrings from Dannijo. $420. Oxidized brass plated with Swarovski crystals. (Side note: brass plated? If it's going to just be plated why not gold plated or silver plated?)

Now the Beaded Earrings from Forever21. $8.80

Are they the same? Absolutely not. Do the Forever21 pair mimic a lot of the elements of the Dannijo? Well enough to make it a worthwhile purchase, I would say.

Martine Wester Large Swarokski Crystal Necklace. $495.

Sparkling Collar Necklace from Forever21. $14.80. To be honest I kind of prefer this one.

Graduating Drop Earrings from Forever21. $4.80. I can't remember what this is a dupe for but I know I've seen this exact style and color combination before. 

Pyramid Stud Earrings Forever21. $1.50. (same as $30 Noir jewelry earrings)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale November 2011 / Jake Gyllenhaal

I realize that's an odd way to title a post. All will be revealed shortly. I scoped out the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale the rain...after I had already gone home...just because I love you so much. It's essentially a big warehouse with rows of tables covered in handbags. There was also a sad little rack of clothes off to the side and some small purses right up front but they felt very Forever21 and Aldo quality so I shall skip over them. It's hard to really describe the merchandise. I think that the prices are great if you've been eyeing a specific bag online because the discount is considerable. For me, the bags just didn't strike the right tone with me. I'm not a huge fan of handbags and shoes so when the right one comes along I instantly feel it. These bags were nice but there was something about them that wasn't speaking to me. However, fans of the brand will be happy to hear that there was a big selection of just about everything except for Alligator print and Circle Quilted bags. Otherwise, there are MACs in pretty much every color available and a full warehouse despite the preview sale tales of rampant hoarding. I was torn between a camel MAC and a teal one but in the end I let them go...mostly because my mother kept promising me a Chanel if we go back to Paris. That's a difficult temptation to resist.

So at this point you may be wondering, why is there a "/ Jake Gyllenhaal" in the title of this post. Well, I had been feeling like the trip back out was a waste of my time. As I got on the 6 train to go home, I saw someone sitting in the adjacent car who bore a decent resemblance to Jake Gyllenhaal but a bit thinner, more bearded, and more casually dressed. Well, I didn't think much of it since while we all like to believe we are unique little snowflakes, there are probably more than a few people on earth at this very moment we could be mistaken for quite easily. Genetics is good, but variations in the human population only extend so far in terms of surface physical appearance. Let's not get into the specificities of class I and II MHC molecules right now. Another time, another place. Anyway, as I got out of my car to transfer trains and as this person was getting out to exit at Bleecker he looked directly at me for a second or two. It was a moment of recognition when I recognized him and he could see that I had. There is no doubt in my mind that it was him.

In conclusion, if you're a fan of the brand, there is plenty to still see at the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale. If you already have a MAC or aren't a devotee you would probably be happy with a similar style from Aldo. There are many resources online that can teach you how to make tassels and deck it out with studs to your heart's content. But whether or not you go, relish being in NY where sometimes the oddest chance encounters can brighten up a rainy day. :)

Anna Sui Sample Sale November 2011

Alright, alright, I went! I honestly have no willpower. When every day is made up of thousands of little decisions sometimes you end up saying "why the heck not?" when you should be going home to write a lab report. Anyway...the sale is brilliant if you like T-shirts and massive savings. This Anna Sui sale is located at 250 W. 39th St. (bet. 7th & 8th Ave.) on the 6th Floor of a posh office building and is going on until Friday. Mizhattan has more details.

The size of the showroom is average. It isn't huge like Elie Tahari or the size of someone's bedroom like Dannijo. I would say that it feels like a showroom, the size of a midrange appartment or office. There is a small area where you first come in for a coat and bag check. They will let you keep your small purses (it doesn't have to be a clutch) which I am so grateful for. There are tables along the back wall by the entrance for checkout. The clothes in that area tend to run a little more expensive.

I headed right for the T-shirts as I really don't need too many more dresses and the style of the blouses doesn't appeal to me. The T-shirts are in brown cardboard boxes labeled $10 though when I got to the checkout they were down to $8 which made me very happy as I picked up 3 of them. I run about a size 4-6 and I fit best in the mediums so if you aren't interested in trying them on that should be a good reference for the sizes, though smalls ran very small and larges were not that much larger than mediums. The clothes are mostly for petite and thin women...and apparently Asian girls because they made up the majority of the bargain hunters who flooded the sale about 15 minutes after they opened again at 4pm. The T-shirt prints aren't too varied. Once you've been digging around for a while I think you'll see all of the 8 or so variations, unless the restock later in the week. I was trying to find more of the softer cotton shirts but I mostly found regular cotton T-shirts in white, black, red, or purple. The designs are pretty adorable so I'd recommend using this as a prime gift-shopping oppportunity if the people on your list fit into smaller sizes.

There was one box of belts. They were all identical and not impressive. Skipping ahead...

The dresses and blouses were not that impressive in terms of style or material for the price. Maybe they got cleaned out yesterday or they are holding onto the better stock. Most dresses average around $100 on the label (though prices seemed to have dropped from yesterday) and were in chiffons or cottons. The girl in the changing room beside me managed to find a dress that looked gorgeous on her but I would never be able to pull it off. In cases like this, you really need to find something special to make it worth the price.

I skipped over the pants. They seemed average.

I did not see many jackets.

The skirts occupied one rack. I would have hunted more had I known they had dropped to $25 and not the $35 on the labels but the sizing was odd regardless. Some samples ran large, others were small. I ended up leaving with a gorgeous skirt I need to take in a bit so it will sit at my waist and not low on my hips. There were a few plainer designs but the ones that really shine are the gorgeous prints. It would be very easy to find something special in this section...and where else are you going to get a quality skirt for $25? It is absolutely necessary to try these on though, as the fit is not standard.

(This picture is not color-accurate)

This is the height to which I want to take in the skirt.

The dressing room is just a walled off area to the side near the T-shirts. Two girls were stationed by the entrance. There is one real mirror propped up on a folding chair and two metal dress racks to hang possible purchases and your actual garments. There were also a few folding chairs for the same purpose. There was not a lot of privacy or opportunities to dawdle in front of the mirror but when I left everyone was still being very polite and there didn't seem to be too much of a crush. It was a relatively calm experience on the whole.

To recap, at this point T-shirts are $8, skirts are $25, the inventory is good and the staff (at the coat check, dressing room, AND checkout) are friendly. I would definitely recommend checking out this sale if you have the time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Full Essie Winter Collection Spotted

Hello darlings!

I was going to add this into a review of Essie's Bobbing for Baubles which I've been madly searching for at all the local drugstores in NY to no avail, but I've decided that a few coats of O.P.I.'s Ski Teal We Drop will make me much happier right now. Teal is, after all, my favorite color. Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that if you've been searching in vain for the full Essie nail polish collection for Winter 2011, it's available at Beauty 35, located at 505 8th Ave between 35th St & 36th St. I found it on my way to the Noir sample sale.

I'm not sure if I will be checking out any sample sales this week. It depends if I manage to get all my work done and if inspiration strikes soon enough for me to get a handle on a crazy assignment for my theater class. Now, if the first part of that sentence doesn't make me sound like Cinderella...perhaps the influence of "Once Upon a Time" has altered my view of the world. That or my rapid consumption of fairytales from birth. I was born during the Disney Renaissance, after all. Getting back on track, if I do check out any sales, it will either be Anna Sui, Rebecca Minkoff, or Thakoon. My rainy day budget is dwindling quickly so I have to exercise greater judgment before walking into all these lairs of temptation. Ah there it is again, now the influence of Tartuffe is starting to creep into my writing. OK, I am off before I write something that sounds like Henry James. Oh, the perils of being an English major.

Just one more thing, my lips have been very unhealthy lately so I've been treating them with a steady regimen of Covergirl Natureluxe glossbalm, Vaseline, and Aquaphor. This means I haven't really been testing out any lip products. I can recommend "Marble" (a very natural sheer pink shade, darker and more natural than the other one I reviewed with less noticeable shimmer) and "Peony" (bright red, also sheer but pretty pigmented and definitely reads as a red upclose and at a distance) from Covergirl Natureluxe glossbalms but you might have a long wait for any reviews of lipsticks. I have been trying out the Tarte blush in Dollface I picked up from the Sephora F&F sale almost daily and I love it, so a review should be coming in a month or two.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review of Essie's Sew Psyched With Swatches

This is my new favorite nail polish color for Fall. I know it's not part of the current fall collection. I didn't think it was going to be such a hit with me, but I love it. It quietly murmurs "fall". Because fall isn't the kind of season for shouting. There are probably a whole host of reviews out there already so I'll keep it brief. This is a gorgeous muted green shade that's appropriate for just about every situation without seeming too boring or too loud. It I would say the range is from the very dusky, dirty gray-green on my nails now from 2 weeks of wear without any reapplication of top a very pretty, slightly shimmery jade green which stays for the first 3-4 days of wear. I had no problems with application on my left hand. The formula is good. Not as great as some of the other Essie polishes in my collection, but close. It might just be the brush that came with the particular bottle but application on my right hand was a little annoying. I was left with ridges the first few times until I got the hang of it.

HOWEVER, this polish gets my ultimate recommendation. After about a week of wearing it on my nails, I ran out to the store to get another one. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Noir Jewelry Sample Sale November 2011

This sale is going on until Friday so I would suggest running to it as soon as you can. What are you doing reading this? Go NOW. Yes, clearly I had a much better experience than at yesterday's Dannijo sale. The sale is going on at 350 W 38th St between 8th and 9th Ave on the 5th floor of a sketchy looking building that is just an elevator. I'm not entirely sure how it works but I suppose they might not have a ground floor accessible from the street. Anyway, being the metal door, up the elevator, past the bag check is an apartment-sized room with plastic bins full of all the shiny, glittery accessories a girl could want.

There are a few handbags along the walls, bracelets and belts are mostly along the windows, and earrings and rings are scattered throughout from the bins on the tables to the containers along the wall. I would skip the bracelets which are pretty much mainly stackable rhinestone bangles and large metal cuffs. The jewelry placed near the door is a bit more expensive than the rest of it so save the display for last unless you know you want something in particular that might be more expensive. No, head straight for the plastic bins on the tables. There are sizes marked on the bins and in the individual plastic baggies but within the bins some of the sizes don't seem consistent so I would just try all the rings on.

The rings are an interesting mishmash of styles. There are some huge glass cocktail rings. I would personally skip those but then I am mostly dressing for work and school. There are also some great spiky metal pieces and pave rings but again, they are very large and with the sharp points they could get annoying to wear throughout the day without causing injury to yourself or others. However, if I were planning a fashion editorial I would definitely have scooped them up. For me, the real prize here are the glittery rhinestone pieces. I picked up the most adorable looking bumblebee ring for a steal at $15. I think most rings range about $15-$25.

The earrings are again, a grab bag. There were some very large, clunky pieces that felt like Forever21 items. There were also some delicate little dagger earrings at the very low price of $10. I picked up one pair in gold and one in pewter. There were also a lot of larger sword earrings in a different set of bins along the back wall. I personally gravitate towards smaller items because the heavy ones drag down my ear lobes but there are lot of interesting pieces to choose from. I think most earrings were in the $10-$25 range. Oh, and before I forget to mention it, there are some really pretty hoop earrings. I'm not sure how to describe them, but they're jagged, as if you laid a bunch of little pyramids in a row.

I wouldn't really bother with the belts. There were a lot of rhinestones which came off as a little showgirl and I'm not sure a jewelry company is the best source for leather goods. I barely glanced at the handbags for the same reason but I did walk away with a very cute $5 painted purse which maybe looks like it cost $20 but I'm happy wth it.

The sale takes place from 10am to 7pm. I went towards the end around 3pm-4pm or so and still found a great selection without too much of a crowd. I asked though and apparently it was hectic just before I came. Also, they don't have plans to restock unless a big shipment happens to come in so I would go sooner rather than later as prices don't seem likely to drop. Also, there was a pretty steady stream of girls wandering in the whole time I was there so I would go before the best things are taken because they're going pretty quickly.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dannijo Sample Sale November 2011

This one was even less productive than the last one. I'm kind of unsure if I'll bother to trek out to another at this point. I arrived about 10 minutes later than I did to the last one but despite it being dark outside, it was still fall and apparently all the sample sale hunters are in the city so I was at the end of the hallway. Not bad, not terrible. Again, once I left the line was winding down multiple flights. The problem was this time they let in a ridiculous, RIDICULOUS number of previewers or VIPs or whatever they were. I was at the end of the hallway but I'm going to guess I got bypassed by 50 people who were never in line. Yay!

I had two goals this time. Check the prices of Capella and Aurelie if they were present. The Capella was not. There were two Aurelie's in the showroom going for $258 and a denuded one with only the pendant going for $168. $168!!! For a brooch!?! For a brooch on some industrial metal!?! I know! Also, getting a closer look this time, I found a lot of glue. A LOT. That settles it. I'm buying some rhinestones and figuring out how to do this myself if they're just going to use glue to hold it together.

I could have walked away at that point but I didn't. I do love the bracelet I picked up last time. It's a good staple bracelet for stacking. I grabbed another and handed over $11 for it. I should not have done that. It does not have a clasp. The girl SOLD IT TO ME WITHOUT A CLASP, making sure to tell me it was final sale. Bear in mind, I rushed here from classes and had been standing in line for a good long time only to then be shoved around a showroom. I was not entirely present. And yet she sold me the bracelet without a word. Class. That's some Swarovski crystal, glue gun class right there.

On the plus side, I found a very cute snake ring on the street today for $12. It's very detailed and looks more expensive than it was. Imagine that, something looking like it cost MORE than what you paid for it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sephora Friends and Family Sale HAUL

This wasn't a huge haul but Sephora is kind of expensive and I wasn't really lusting after anything in particular so I just picked up a few items. Early into the sale I thought I'd get an Urban Decay Naked Palette but after swatching it at the store, I decided it wasn't for me. Then I thought I might get a full size bottle of the two perfumes I've been loving, Chloe by Chloe and Dior J'adore but I don't think I'm ready to make that commitment and my collection of samples is pretty well-stocked at this point. So what did I get?

Urban Decay Primer Potion Professional Size
I still have my regular sized UB primer potion in the squeeze tube, my mini version of UB Eden primer potion in liquid form in the bottle, and ELF primer in liquid form but considering the wait until the next Sephora F&F sale and the fact that eye makeup has recently become my focal point of choice, I thought I'd better stock up. I don't know if you need a review of this as it seems like everyone on the internet has already raved about it, but if you'd like a comparison of the primers I've mentioned, leave a comment.

 Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface

The packaging, pattern pressed into the blush, and the color are very simple, pretty, and girly without being childish or cloyingly adorable. I would have never gone for this blush at the regular price because I already have a decent collection of blush that works fine as I mostly just use a subtle coral or light pink depending on the season. I also wouldn't have picked out this color but going to the store and swatching them all, to my surprise, this is the one that worked the best. It looks very natural on me which is both a good thing and a bad thing. I kind of wish it had more of an immediate impact like my Stila self-adjusting blush in Coral instead of being something I need to build up. My dry skin makes repeatedly buffing in blush a problem. My skin will start to flake off if I do it too much. Anyway, I love the color and I like the consistency though right now I think I prefer the formula of my Stila blush which seems a bit smoother and more pigmented. I will report back with a review once I've tried it for a while.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne

The packaging is super chic and stylized though I'm not really sure what the point of the loop on the end is. I've been looking for a good nude lipstick but all the ones in the drugstore I've tried have ended up looking frosty and shimmery. This one isn't a nude so much as it matches my natural lip color when I've bitten my lips a little. The formula feels thick and moisturizing but I really haven't tested it out. I should note that when I tried it in the store, the name and the packaging were different. It was still Givenchy but the name was 02 Enchanting Beige and the packaging was much simpler and more natural like some of the Covergirl and Almay products. I don't know if that color has been discontinued but I thought I'd let you know anyway.

Here is the color on my lips though as a warning, photographs of makeup on my face are not entirely color-accurate.

Lips without any color/primer/moisturizer

Lips in Natural Light with Givenchy Beige Champagne

YSL Rouge Pur Couture 06 OHAA Rouge Bergamasque

This color is more of a true nude. The packaging is again, very pretty. I should note that the name does not actually appear on the lipstick and it's important to remember which brand of YSL lipstick you're looking for. The woman who helped me at Sephora did not write it down and I had a heck of a time trying to figure out if I was ordering the right one. Anyway, again I have no thoughts on how well this lipstick performs but I will be testing it out and a review should come along in a few months.
Lips without color/moisturizer/primer
Lips with YSL Rouge Pur Couture 06 Rouge Bergamasque

I hope you enjoyed seeing the few items that I bought. I know I'm enjoying checking out what everyone else used their discounts to purchase. If you purchased something in the Sephora F&F sale and did a similar post let me know in the comments so I can check it out. :)