Back to Basics: Bobby Pins

Hi Beautiful People!

I have been pinning my hair up in a chignon lately. I will admit I am going hard for the curatorial look to match my new job! I noticed that the regular run of the mill bobby pins from discount department stores just not do not cut it for my ultra fine hair. Most bobby pins by brands like Conair or Goody are too large and end up slipping out of my hair. Even the mini bobby pins produced by Goody did not stay in my hair very well.

So when I stumbled upon a kiosk of premium bobby pins I knew I had to branch out and try something new. I grabbed a set of 36 bronze Premium Bob Pins ($2.99) by MetaGrip available at Sally Beauty Supply. I have been using these exclusively since I bought them and let tell you I cannot go back to the cheap brand of bobby pins. The premium bob pins by MetaGrip available Sally Beauty stay put all day long and at the end of the day my bun remains just where I put it in the morning! I bought the bronze tone, but they are also available in black, gold, and white.

Premium Bobby Pins by MetaGrip 

Premium Bobby Pins by MetaGrip available at Sally Beauty Supply ($2.99 for 36)

Premium Bobby Pins by MetaGrip in Bronze Tone 

I highly recommend these bobby pins! Go try ‘em out.




25% off Sale Prices at Anthropologie (ends 10/25)

HI Beautiful People!

Ok, my dears.

Anthropologie had a 25% off already reduced sale prices. As I am desperately amassing an appropriate wardrobe for work on a shoe string budget, I was absolutely delighted to receive an email about the sale. Luckily I was off that day, so I ran over to the Anthropologie in Berkeley, only about six miles from my home.

I didn’t really have anything in mind that I wanted so I just browsed. I did find a shirt that I wanted and a dress that I have admired online and ended up getting both! I feel sooo guilty because I have bought a lot of clothes lately. Something tells me I am not the first woman to feel guilty pleasure over buying beautiful clothes for cheap prices. But, I digress.

The dress I bought is absolutely fantastic! I plan on wearing this for when we go out in SF on New Years Eve. I had admired the Avian Myth Shift by Floreat online for a while and was absolutely shocked to see it on the 25% off sale prices rack. Even more surprised that they still had it in size heifer. just a little self deprecating humour. Tongue in cheek of course. ;-)

Avian Myth Shift by Floreat marked down to $59.96 from $158

Avian Myth Shift by Floreat Detail

This fabulous dress was originally $158, but I was able to snag is at $59.96!



Allure Magazine 2012 Best of Beauty

Hi Beautiful People!

Today I am discussing the Allure Magazine Best of Beauty list, which is something I wait all year for. Actually, the best of beauty issue is probably the reason I continue to subscribe to Allure as beauty magazines can be terribly repetitive…and they try to brainwash you. But that is a whole different posting. :-)

The entire Best of Beauty list is about a bazillion pages long and covers all of the critical topics including eye makeup, hair product, lipsticks, skin cleanser/moisturizers, fragrance, nails, foundation/powder, body wash/lotions, and a few special topics like sensitive skin, luxury schwag, natural products, guys stuff (ahem, metrosexual?) and my favorite section…Cheap Thrills.

This years best of beauty list features products that I am already using but also a few new ones that I now want to try out. There are three products on the list that I already have in my bathroom. The Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle ($3.25) conditioner is a must have in your shower. I am using expensive Redkin shampoo/conditioner right now but I still use the Aussie once a week just for hydration. My Mom sent me a Revlon Crazy Shine to Go Nail Buffer ($3.99) as a gift a while ago and I love this product. When I am occasionally able to quit biting my nails I love to use the Crazy Shine Buffer because your  nails just gleam. Finally, the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Towelette are great. I really love the oil-free version for those late nights when I am just too lazy to wash my face.

I was so excited to discover some new products on the list that I am really interested in trying. Lately, there has been a lot of hype about the new BB cream. (What is BB Cream?) So, I was happy to see the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream ($8.99) on the list. I have to check to see if it is oil free (doubtful) and, if so, I will try it. As a child of the 1980s, Wet n’ Wild brand has a special place in my heart. I really want to try the Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Powder ($3.99). I am always up for trying a new hand cream so I want to check out the St. Ives Naturally Smooth Hand Cream ($2.99). Finally, it is serendipitous that the list includes the Essence Liquid Ink Eyeliner ($2.99) because I have been pondering testing liquid eyeliner again. I have been an ardent pencil eyeliner type for ages but I want to try something new. It has been so long since I had a liquid eyeliner that I had no idea where to start. I can definitely afford to splurge on trying a $2.99 tube.

Ladies, the products that I mention here are just a few of the gems on the Allure Best of Beauty Cheap Thrills List. I highly recommend clicking through the entire list.



15% off Entire Purchase at Sephora (ends April 5)

Hello Beautiful People!

Exciting things are happening at your local Sephora store!  If you don’t already know, Sephora is a veritable Mecca of designer beauty products and fragrances. I only discovered Sephora in about 2007 when a co-worker provided me with a recommendation for DiorShow Mascara (Loved it, BTW). I became a life-long Sephora shopper about four minutes after I entered the store for the first time. Sephora is where beauty product mavens like myself go to heaven. So, if you haven’t already been, your homework is to head on out to your nearest Sephora to browse. Mini Sephora stores are now located in selected JCPenny stores for your shopping convenience.

The super exciting news is those of us who hold a Sephora Beauty Insider card can enjoy 15% off our entire purchase (in stores and online) in honor of Chic Week (ends April 5). I absolutely love this sale because lets face it…the vast majority of high-end designer products and fragrances NEVER GO ON SALE. If you don’t have a Beauty Insider card, I recommend that you sign up immediately if only for this once a year sale.

I have had my eye on a new set of parfumes for several months. I prefer mini bottles of fragrance because the scent in parfume goes stale after it sits on your dresser for a long time. I like to buy the small ones and use them up so the scent never turns stale. So yesterday I headed out to my local Sephora and purchased the Tocca Eau de Parfume Viaggio set of three fragrances!

Tocca Viaggio Eau de Parfume set ($45 original price)

It is really a huge splurge for me right now but I justified it by reminding myself that the sale only takes place once a year. Ok, I do feel guilty but I asked hubby and he encouraged me to buy it. :-)

While I was browsing around in the store I found an absolutely DIVINE hand cream. I was also able to justify purchasing this because it had a limited edition fragrance label (I always fall for this marketing ploy!)….and I am trying AGAIN to stop biting my nails once and for all. Nail biting has been a lifelong struggle for me.

L’occitane is famous for their 20% shea butter hand cream and the reputation is well earned. I sampled the Desert Rose fragrance early on in my visit and then went back to find a tube to purchase. When I couldn’t find the desert rose scent in the display, I took the liberty of opening the stock drawer below and pawing through the bin of lotions until I found what might have been the last one in the Desert Rose scent. The feel of this hand cream is fabulous and the scent is just so pretty. I couldn’t help myself. (apologize for the xtra small image…couldn’t find a larger one!)

Another great thing about Sephora is extravagant SAMPLES. I cashed in some Beauty Insider points and received two samples: an Ojon deep conditioner and a fancy Shaving Cream for hubby. The cashier also slipped me a Givenchy and a Emilio Puccini fragrance sample.I went into the store for the perfumes and only fell prey to one additional impulse buy! Yay!




from the runway section at TJMaxx

Hi Beautiful People!

Today, I made a special trip to the TJ Maxx in Moraga California while running errands. I had heard a rumour that this particular TJMaxx had a ‘from the runway’ section. I have been meaning to check it out for months but I hadn’t given myself the luxury of shopping for fun in a while. So, I treated myself. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to snap photos from this store so you will have to trust me for my word.

When I first arrived in the store I was immediately overcome when I saw a rack of garments from Talbots! I was super excited, especially because the pieces were in very trendy colors including gray and cobalt blue. Tank tops with appropriately places sequins for only $7.99 and adorable cotton spring jackets for $19.99! If you love Talbots like I do, run out to your fav TJ Maxx to see if they got any of this inventory. Love it.

The store in Moraga did indeed have a ‘from the runway’ section and even though it was quite small it had a lot of designer clothing and shoes. Honestly, I only recognized a few of the designers represented including Kate Spade and Escada. I was most impressed with the Kate Spade pumps and sandals ($129.99). I love Kate Spade, but I can hardly ever afford it so I was happy to see it at TJ Maxx. You can find good deals if you sign up for the Kate Spade store emails, but even then the stuff is super expensive. I got a wallet there after christmas on super clearance once. But I digress. I really love Kate Spade jewelry as well and would be so happy to see it at TJ Maxx. I saw several garments with “last runway season” tags while I was browsing around. I will definitely be back to this particular TJMaxx to browse the section.

Does anyone else know where other TJ Maxx stores with from the runway sections are located?



LOVE Maybelline

Hi Beautiful People!

I am very happy to report that I found gainful employment and therefore my forced hiatus from FFF is OVER!! Double Yay!

I allowed my self a great luxury and purchased a new mascara and fancy chapstick in celebration. Happily I chose very well and I love both of the new products that I bought.

I have been using the Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara for about six months and I really did like it. But I was looking for something a little more economical because the Lash Blash has gone up to about $8-9. So I went back to the old faithful that I used in high school but have since turned up my nose….Maybelline Great Lash. We all know this iconic green and pink tube from the cosmetics aisle because it has been around forever. Anyways, Maybelline is advertising a new brush for its classic formula still retailing at only $5, so I bought it.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara ($5)

I am so happy I did too because I love this formula. My lashes are so long when I used it, they reach all the way up to my brow. I love the results! So if you are looking for an extra economical mascara I highly recommend Great Lash.

I ALSO purchased a great chapstick by Maybelline that I LOVE. The Baby Lips line has been out for a while now and this is the first chance I’ve had to try it. I really like it, my lips feel smooth and moisturized for hours after I use it. I would have liked to get the cherry me but that was out so I grabbed the grape vine. Bonus is that it has an SPF 20 so you dont have to worry about getting sunburned. Best is that this product is only $2.99 at Target!

Maybelline Baby Lips in Grape Vine

Do you have any Maybelline products? What should I try next?



Next Hot Thing for Spring 2012: Flashback to the 1920s

Hi Beautiful People!

I have just discovered the great new series Boardwalk Empire by HBO. Personally, I absolutely adore HBO…I have been a huge fan since the series Carnivale (check it out if you haven’t seen it).

So, what does Boardwalk Empire have to do with fashion and style? The series is set in Atlantic City and Chicago in the 1920s and there is a HUGE resurgence of styles reminiscent of the era…low waisted dresses, cloche hats, low heeled shoes and art deco inspirations.

Being a Chicago girl (born and raised in the Chicago suburbs), I have always had an interest in the 1920s gangsters and most especially Al Capone. Rumour had it that Capone had a hideout in South Holland, which was only about 20 minutes from my childhood home. Just recently, my Father revealed that his maternal Grandfather was a driver for Al Capone! How exciting!!

I, for one, absolutely LOVE it! What do you think? Do you have any favorite 1920s inspired pieces that you have your eye on?




What is your favorite shampoo from the drugstore?

Hi Beautiful People!

Today I am here to ask the readership for some advice! As I have mentioned before I have always been slightly obsessed with my hair.

Right now, I am suffering from the economic crisis and am pinching pennies in every way possible. I am sure things will look up soon (hopefully in time for Jason Wu for Target!), but for the present I am not spending a lot of money on beauty products.

Which leads me to my topic for the day…What is YOUR favorite drugstore shampoo? I really want to hear from the readers on this so please take a second to leave a comment on your favorite affordable shampoo.

My hair is ULTRA thin and fine with just enough curl to make it frizz out if I don’t use product and/or heat to straighten it out. Unfortunatley, the heat and product wreck havoc on the ends of my super fine hair so I am forever battling split ends. Often, I end up trimming the ends of my hair over the sink between visits to the salon, just so my ends don’t look terribly frizzy.

In my lifetime I have tried TONS of different shampoo’s from the cheapest (White Rain, anyone?) to some pricey brands like Federic Fekkai (love!).  But I have yet to have a tried and true ‘favorite’ shampoo that I like and, more importantly, can afford on a daily basis. Besides, $25 for an 8 oz. bottle of shampoo is really outrageously expensive, right? Ugh, totally expensive.

So, here I am asking for your advice on which shampoo I should try next. The brands I have already tried include:

–Herbal Essences (for long hair)

–Pantene (for fine hair)

–Finesse (for normal hair–I wish I could find the Finesse volumizing shampoo in the stores but it is only avail online)

–Garnier (for fine hair)

–Suave Rosemary Mint (my husband’s shampoo!)

So, what kind of drugstore shampoo do you recommend?





Fall 2011 Hot Trend Patterned Tights

Hi Beautiful People!

Todays posting is dedicated a fabulous Fall 2011 trend: patterned tights. As I have preached several times before, NEVER spend tons of money on trends such as this…save your money for classic pieces that can be worn all seasons for the rest of your life (0r the life of the garment).

Currently, I am attending San Francisco State University (SFSU) and let me tell you that EVERYDAY IS A RUNWAY at SFSU! Yes, I know, I completely belong there.

One of the most fab-u-lous ladies in my department (shout out to Meredith) had on the most ADORABLE pair of tights in class yesterday. I nearly snatched them directly off her shaply legs. I also loved how she paired the tights: calf-high boots and a navy blue floral knit dress. She is too pretty.

Anyways, when I accosted her to learn more about her great toilette, I was overjoyed to learn that her tights were from Forever 21! We both gushed over the great (um, affordable) accessories, both reminding each other that F21 can def be ‘hit or miss.’ Onto the fabulous tights!

When I navigated to the website I found pairs very similiar to those that Meredith was wearing: the Floral Lace Tights adn the Lace Knit Tights. I love the subtle-ness of them! They are just enough without being too much!

Forever 21 Floral Lace Tights ($6.80)


Close-up of Forever 21 Floral Lace Tights ($6.80)


Forever 21 Lace Knit Tights ($5.80)


Forever 21 Lace Knit Tights ($5.80)


Both pairs come in several other colors! I highly encourage you to browse through the rest of the Forever 21 tights, because there are many, many more fabulous styles!

What I love most about these tights is the price! Less than $7 for each pair!

Happy Accessorizing!



Pink Hair for Hope!!

Hi Beautiful People!

Have you ever wanted to experiment with colorful streaks in your hair? Now is the time because for only $10 you can get a lovely (temporary) extension of human hair dyed pink!! The best part of Pink Hair for Hope is that 100% of the profits go to the Breast Cancer Research Fund in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

My family and I are relatively lucky as there is not a strong history of cancer–we suffer from high blood pressure and heart disease. However, this issue is close to all women’s hearts (literally), so it will benefit all of us to donate a little bit.

I was lucky enough to find Lewis & Co. Hair Design a participating salon located in Fremont (only about 30 miles from my home).

Lewis & Co. Hair Design in Fremont California

I was soo excited to do this as it was my first experience with hair extensions! When I sat in her chair my stylist showed me the several hues of pink extensions that were available. I chose a light pink that is still quite vibrant.

There are more than FIVE shades of pink hair!!

Erin hard at work!

She turned on her ‘hair extension hot glue gun’ and started literally glueing my extension to my hair.

Erin doing my work up!

Erin doing my work up (photo deux)!

When she was finished I had a lovely lock of vibrant pink hair! I hope I can keep it for six weeks or so. She mentioned that the extensions are 100% human hair and can be curled or flat ironed! Yea. I love mine because I feel saucy and hipster all at the same time. I am inspired to do more extensions in the future!

Pink Hair for Hope Extensions look great in a pony!

Please consider having someone put a pink extension in your hair in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! You can find a partipating salon in your area by clicking the link above.

Don’t forget to be gracious & tip your stylist…remember they are doing this pro bono. :-)



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