Sunday, October 31, 2010

Holloween Book Plug - Feed by Mira Grant

I just finished this book called Feed by Mira Grant. Since it's Halloween and the Zombie Apocalypse is absolutely on topic, I thought  why not share?

I first heard about this book via the Podcast Writing Excuses (which I adore). I believe it was mentioned in the context of a point of view discussion, but I could be wrong. Either way, it doesn't really matter why it was mentioned - I happened to pick it up.

Image from Amazon.com
Synopsis
It's 2040 and the Zombie Apocalypse has happened. Actually, it's long over. The world has been living with Zombies for something like 20 years. The human race is still around, the United States is still around (though we lost Alaska to Zombie Moose). The only reason humans are alive is because when the Zombie Apocalypse happened bloggers (yay!) saved the planet. They were the first to report about the walking dead and how to survive. See, the regular news had way too much red tape and couldn't get the word out fast enough.

The story follows Georgia and Shaun Mason who blog for a site containing a collection of blogs called After The End Times. They, and their techie side kick Buffy, have just been invited on the campaign trail of a promising presidential candidate. The Kellis-Amberlee Virus (what caused Zombies to appear to begin with) is at the forefront of every issue (of course).

What I Liked About This Book
Primarily, this was just a fun read. But it is the first book that I have read that centered on Zombies that made me cry. Yes I'm a sap, but I don't usually cry when reading books. I enjoyed the characters very much. And you know, since it's a Zombie book, people die. Apparently this book is to be a series (Newsflesh). I can't wait to read what comes next!

This book reads like a movie. I hope they make one actually. I'll go see it. I try to stay away from Zombie movies (unless the movie stars Milla Jovovich) because I am prone to Zombie nightmares. I can't even watch Shaun of the Dead. I had actually dismissed Feed as a book I wouldn't read until listening to the Writing Excuses podcast. I'm glad I put aside my fear of Zombies for this little treat!

What Isn't So Good
This book was extremely predictable. But I am also not going to hold that against the book. It still gets a big thumbs up for being fun.


Bottom Line
If you are at all interested, I suggest reading it. And if you're a blogger, I think you'll love it even more.

Halloween 2010 - I attempt to be Kara "Starbuck" Thrace from Battlestar Galactica

Yeah, most of you already know this based on my tweets and previous posts but my husband declared that since I was losing weight I should go as Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica for Halloween. Let me preface this by saying that I don't believe I could ever compare to the gorgeously tough Kattee Sackhoff. I also probably have at least another 30 lbs to go for this to be perfect. Seriously, I don't think I could ever be as pretty or cool as this...

Some of my favorite Starbuck screencaps...

Image found at Sachs Report
Image found at Universal Playback
No clue where I found this but it's been on my iPhone for several months now.
 In fact Starbuck and I have very little in common. Here's what we do have in common:
  • We both like to drink.
  • We both smoke cigars occasionally.
  • We both have an artistic side.
  • If we've had enough to drink, we might punch something.
Here's what we don't have in common:
  • Starbuck had a crappy mother (my mom is AWESOME)!
  • Starbuck can kick your ass, where as I am a tub of jello.
  • I am absolutely not nearly as good of a driver as Starbuck.
  • I will never be a good poker player (but I try). 
  • I never EVER would have married that silly boy Anders (we call him "Blanders" around my house). 
What we may have in common...
  • Potentially, I too could be a sharp shooter. Yeah, shocked my husband my first day out on the shooting range in 20 years by doing pretty well (see picture right). In general I don't like guns. But I am discovering that being good at shooting is fun!
  • Maybe I'll die and come back as an angel, but highly unlikely. Would be sort of cool right?
So no... most likely I will never BE Starbuck (not sure I'd really want to be - she's seriously screwed up), but I do admire the character for being very strong and complex. My husband, for whatever reason though this would be fun for me. I have never had a more demotivating costume...



Husband applied Tattoo using MAC Chromaline.

My husband took to calling me "Fatbuck" and himself "Fatpollo" since he was going as Lee Adama. Oh well. Could have been worse. I could have been a 200 lbs Starbuck! But on a positive note, my husband made me buy two sizes of pants (12s and 10s) and I fit into the smaller set for this costume. Yay! I should have ordered a smaller top too. Maybe we'll give this a try next year, though I'm hoping I could go for Selene from Underworld by then. :)

Incidentally, if you ever have the urge to order from Aradni Costumes for your Battlestar Galactica tank, be prepared. They only make the tank top and they purchase the gray shirt in bulk that goes under it. It won't fit you no matter what. Both my husband and I ended up removing the sleeves on another gray shirt to fit under. So you're purchasing a very expensive tank. They are very nice at that company, but I definitely do not think it was worth the price.

What is your costume this year?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Comparisons: Nars "Mash", Zoya "Irene", and China Glaze "Peace on Earth"

Or as I like to call this, "Battle of the Jabba the Haute Polishes"!

Left to Right: Nars "Mash", Zoya "Irene", China Glaze "Peace on Earth"

A little history... back when I spent a lot of time on the MUA boards I once tried creating a MAC Golden Olive polish by putting pigment into a clear polish. It didn't work out too well. But I called it "Jabba the Haute" because of the color resemblance to Jabba the Hutt. Thank goodness I'll never have to try mixing my polish again because as you can see, I have three "haute" contenders here.

Now none of these are dupes of each other, that is clear. But when I put on Nars Mash I instantly thought of Zoya Irene for some reason. Then when I received China Glaze Peace on Earth from PR, I thought of my Nars Mash purchase. So obviously, I had to swatch them side by side so I could see how different they really are. Nars Mash obviously has more brown to it. Zoya Irene is more of a true green, where as China Glaze Peace on Earth sits in the middle between the two.

I am somewhat curious to see how I might be able to combine these three Jabba polishes into an army green mani. That's assuming I ever have the desire to try.

Disclosure
The China Glaze products in this post were provided to me by PR for the purpose of review. I am not affiliated with China Glaze nor do I sell China Glaze products. 

Last Day to Use L'Occitane "MYSTERY" Code!

L'Occitane is doing a really awesome form of self promotion right now. If you spend $65, you get a certain "Mystery Gift" if you enter  code "MYSTERY" at check out. Best of all this gift grows as the number of people who "Like" them on Facebook grows.  As they say, the more fans that shop, the bigger the gift.

  • Step 1: "Like" L'Occitane
  • Step 2: Purchase
  • Step 3: Include Code "Mystery"
  • Step 4: Receive your purchase and enjoy the freebies!
My good friend Kara adores their Verbena scent while I am a HUGE fan of their Cherry Blossom scent, if you are looking for recommendations. 

Comparison: Zoya Suvi vs. China Glaze Jolly Holly

Just because I don't have any of the gorgeous old green polishes like OPI Rainforest I always think of Zoya Suvi when I come up against another Forrest green.

Zoya "Suvi" (Left), China Glaze "Jolly Holly" (right)
I may have to amend my comparisons in the future because as you can see, Suvi is clearly more blue. I never realized exactly how blue it was until I received China Glaze Jolly Holly from PR. But I think I now have a new polish with which to compare forest greens.

For the record, I think both polishes look gorgeous on. It's worth owning both.

Disclosure
The China Glaze products in this post were provided to me by PR for the purpose of review. I am not affiliated with China Glaze nor do I sell China Glaze products. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comparison: China Glaze "Midnight Kiss" vs. OPI Glitzerland

I know there have to be a few people wondering out there what these two are like side by side...

China Glaze "Midnight Kiss" (Left), OPI Glitzerland (Right)
I purchased OPI Glitzerland after I saw my mother wearing it as a pedi color. I had to have it. Then when I was sent Chin Glaze Midnight Kiss by PR, I realized I had a comparison to make. As you can see ChG Midnight Kiss is just a touch more yellow than Glitzerland. So I suspect those of you who are concerned about warm undertones may prefer Midnight Kiss, but those of you looking for a neutral which won't look too yellow might prefer Glitzerland.

Hope this helps!

Disclosure
The China Glaze products in this post were provided to me by PR for the purpose of review. I am not affiliated with China Glaze nor do I sell China Glaze products. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

It finally happened. We all knew it would. I gained... This week was not a good one. I had my in laws over for a visit, which meant eating out a couple of times.  I also had a party to attend. I tried to be good at all times, but sometimes my hunger, snacking, little nibbles here and there got the best of me.

I did meet my exercise goals this week and got every workout I wanted to get in done. I even made myself do 20 minute Turbo Jam and Ab Burner yesterday even though it was a "rest day". Maybe, my gain this week is because during my weighted workouts I was really lifting. VERY HEAVY WEIGHTS. I have been doing that for a few weeks now, so it could be muscle.

Weight: 168.4 (+ 0.5 lbs)

So here is what I don't understand. If I lost only a half a pound I'd be saying "I maintained." Why am I so willing to say "I gained" here?

Good Stuff This Week
  • Fitting into Size 10s in some brands. That's a big thing!
  • Didn't hit the alcohol as much this week (maybe that's the problem...). :)
What to focus on for next week...
Clean food, smarter choices. I've been relying too heavily on the Lean Cuisine and the Skinny Cow. Time to start cooking.

"Strip Poker" with Fyrinnae...Anyone?

It's getting harder to take pictures in the morning light. That's the one bad thing about fall (other than ragweed). But I've had this color by Fyrinnae called "Strip Poker" sitting in my drawer far too long unused.


Breakdown


Eyes
  • Fyrinnae Pixy Epoxy
  • Fyrinnae Eye Shadow in Strip Poker - all over lid.
  • Fyrinnae Eye Shadow in Leshii - In the crease a little.
  • Meow Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Virgin - Brow highlight.
  • MAC Pearlglide Eye Liner in Wolf
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara in Plushblack
Face
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15
  • MAC Beauty Powder in Truth in Light
  • Nars Multiple in Cannes
Lips
  • Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Tonkin
  • I know I used a gloss over this one (MAC) but I can not remember which one. Blame it on being too tired and waiting too long to post this. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kate Spade Bag - Are they for real?

Seriously?

All Typed Up Clyde Bag by Kate Spade - $495
Image from Kate Spade Email
I understand "Whimsey" is all the rage but this is just silly and stupid and way over the top. They say on their site "to brighten up your 9 to 5" but I think I would be a little frightened to carry this into the office. It's not office-chic, in my opinion. While I do think there is a place for "playful" in the workspace, when surrounded by a bunch of user-centered designers and presented with a non-functional keyboard on a bag... yeah, not so cool. Now if I actually could type using my bag while my computer takes 20 minutes to start up, that might be cool. But then why would I have my iPhone?

Things that make you go hmmm....

Polish - Nars Mash

I do believe I am going to have to do some comparisons with this color...



I am amassing quite a collection of green polishes and I don't even really like the color on my nails. But as soon as I put this on I thought of at least two other polish I will have to compare it with.  So be on the look out for a comparison post from me.

Color
Army Green with multifaceted shimmer. Think glitzy pea soup and you've got it right.

Application
I used two coats - this probably really needs three.

Wear
I wore this for nearly a full week, but it didn't chip that much on me (I was getting tired of changing my polish). Of course I wore it over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator, topped with Seche Vite. So yeah, this was great wear.


Bottom Line
If green is your thing, then get this one is a keeper.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"The Towers of Midnight" Book Has a Trailer!!! OMG! Why Did No One Tell Me???

If you are a fan of the Robert Jordan series The Wheel of Time (as I am) and love Brandon Sanderson's work... AND if the release of The Towers of Midnight coming up on November 2 is keeping you up at night (like it is me) then you have to see this:



I really wish that there was some way these books could feasibly be brought to the big screen. And not in a "Legend of the Seeker" sort of way either...

And there's my totally off-topic post of the week! :)

Polish - OPI Baby It's Coal Outside

I have had this polish for such a long time and this is the first time I've tried it...



I purchased this polish because I saw it on a person working at Hausfeld's who was using it as a base color with OPI Happy Anniversary on top of it. The color turned out to be this lavender sparkly goodness I had to have it. Of course, I never got the companion color and we all know I don't have the patience for layering. So it was an ill-fated purchase, due to sit in my Helmer for nearly a year before I finally decided to use it.

Color
Deep black with silver glitter/shimmer. Honestly, this color feels like a sucker punch to Chanel Black Satin. I know  many people complained when Black Satin came out that the beautiful shimmer in the bottle didn't really come out on the nail. Well, if you ever wanted that silver shimmer/glitter black, then Baby It's Coal Outside is for you.

Application
I believe I used three coats just to be on the safe side here.

Wear
Over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator and topped with Seche Vite, AWESOME!!!


Bottom Line
If black polish colors are your thing, this should be in your drawer.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trying out Nars Kalahari Duo

I was recommended this duo by @glowyjoeybunny  and felt I really needed to give it a really good try. Nars Kalahari, for the record, is a great set of neutral shadows. I just think on me perhaps it doesn't have the alluring power you'd see on someone with Joey's skintone.


Tried to use as many Nars Products as I could with this too... Just for fun.


Breakdown

Eyes:
  • Nars Eyeshadow Kalahari Duo - I think I put the lighter one all over my lid and the darker one in the crease, but these shadows moved around a bit and eventually just blended together
  • MAC Pearlglide Eyeliner in Wolf - Lined upper and lower lashes.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara
Face
  • Chanel Teint Innocence 01 - It has been a while since I pulled this out.
  • MAC Beauty Powder in Truth & Light - If you can get this powder, it's so strange it's worth it. It has a cool touch when it goes on and almost feels wet.
  • Nars Multiple in Cannes
Lips
  • Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Tonkin - Awesome lipstick!
  • MAC Lip Liner in Dervish

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review (Part 6) - Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service: Bonus And Overall Assessment

Imagine my surprise when at the bottom of Alex Musgrave's list of recommendations he added a 4th item...
"I thought about Artemisia for you too, but i think perhaps it is a little soft perhaps. Hard to tell without sampling it on your skin.  Reading through your answers I wanted to recommend three fragrances that would speak to different sides of your personality.  I hope you enjoy my answers and choose something that suits you.  Have fun too, and do let me know how you get on."
His concerns about Artemisia and me were spot on, but we already know that I love Artemisia regardless. Alex was unaware of this, so I was pleased when he added this little tag line below. 

Overall Assessment of the Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service
I was so impressed with the personal touch Penhaligon's gave to this service. The fact that I got to have an email exchange with the actual fragrance profiler is nothing short of amazing to me. I wish more fragrance companies would provide this type of service. Instead they try to lure us in with flashy images and vague descriptions (looking at you Chanel). Talking with Alex was such a treat and there is very little doubt in my mind that ANYONE interested in fragrances would not have a similarly enjoyable experience.

What Penhaligon's Could Improve On
While I promised to purchase Alex's number one suggestion for me (a risk), it wasn't a factor in me receiving samples as far as I know. Penhaligon's should think about providing samples (when possible), even for a small fee. I know I would be willing to pay to smell the suggested fragrance in a sample before purchasing a $100 bottle of perfume. It is a small suggestion that I think will make all the difference.

Bottom Line
If you like perfumes, I encourage you to take advantage of Penhaligon's Profiling Service. It's fun and you won't be sorry you did it because the service itself is free. If you're in New York or London, go to the boutiques/vendors and smell your suggestions and choose what is right for you. If not, email customer service. They may take pity on you as they did me.

Incidentally, here is my order in which I intend on purchasing my suggestions (and yes, I think I will own these all at some point):
  • Artemisia - I have the solid perfume but I love it so much I must have the bottle perfume and the lotion! It will happen.
  • Sartorial - Although I only smelled this on paper, I simply must have it. Even if the bottle just sits there and I spray it on random things. Maybe if I am lucky my husband will like it. He rarely wears anything though.
  • Lily & Spice - This scent is simply too different to ignore. I will have it at some point.
  • Amaranthine - I can hold off on this scent while I have Night Scented Stock. The two would be competing for my attention. 
Read my previous entries:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Outfit From Last Week - Help Me Fix It!

Ok, so hypothetical situation: You're in Target. You see a pair of crazy hosiery. You purchase them. What do you wear them with?  This was my solution...


Outfit Components
  • Sea NYC T-shirt purchased on Ideeli
  • Black Cardigan from Ann Taylor Loft - which is probably a bit big by now.
  • Skirt from Old Navy - Which is probably a little too tight.
  • Tights - from Target.
  • Boots - Report Signature (You've seen these before).
I got a lot of "compliments" on this outfit the day I wore it. But I was more skeptical about it. I think people were commenting because the tights were very busy and loud. Sort of the Regina George "Oh my god! I love that bracelet! Where did you get it?" type of comments.

So if you owned this pair of tights, what would you do with them? Or, do you think I made the best move possible given the situation? Constructive criticism appreciated below!

Congratulations to @fisiwoman @katygmorris @TheBeautyChick3 @marry @Sparkled_Beauty @polishology!

You six are my winners for @Zoya_NailPolish Sarah!

Please get me your addresses either by DMing me on twitter or by emailing me a prettyindayton at gmail dot com so that we can get your prize out to you as soon as possible.

Thank you to everyone who entered! You've really made my celebration of a Zoya Sarah color exciting!
Saw a lot of MAC Ruby Woo mentions for lipsticks. I'll have to pick that up. I already have MAC Cyndi so I'm covered there. :)

Review (Part 5): Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service Part 5 - Night Scented Stock

Here is the "risk" I took in my Fragrance Profiling journey. Alex Musgrave suggested in follow up conversation that if he had to pick one fragrance for me it would be Night Scented Stock.

Suggested Fragrance: Night Scented Stock
Here's what Alex had to say about this scent:
"For that gasoline note I want to suggest Night Scented Stock, edgy and hazy with an arresting, uncommon beauty. I love it. Wore it all last summer. Reminds me of clean linen, leather, powder and petrol all in one scent. Ylang, jasmine & benzoin make is so deeply sensual, sometimes it feels like a feverish, the night threaded with unease and expectation. The flower itself blooms at night, so the scent has a delicious laid back evening feel, but works beautifully as a statement day scent. Night Scented Stock is very special, unlike anything else we do. When I first smelt it I imagined a 1930s lady racing driver in fitted leathers, fresh from the podium, arms full of victory bouquets, the scent of fuel and transgressive glamour in the air. This masterful re-orchestration of the 1976 original by Bertrand Duchaufour respects the heritage feel of the original but imbues the new version with a dynamic and utterly modern resonance."
Alex went on later to say...
"I was wearing the Night Scented Stock today, writing to you about it made me want to drench myself in it. I have to say it still a scent that really floors me, so fabulously druggy and petrolic. The leather note is suggested by the amazing benzoin base as it settles down with all the spices and woods. If you have a space for something new, give it room. Wearing it is like wearing very fine mauve tinted mohair. Comforting but with edge."
What Penhaligon's Site Says About Night Scented Stock
Head Notes
Clove, Cinnamon
Heart Notes
Lily, Ylang, Violet, Jasmine, Heliotrope
Base Notes
Musk, Vanilla, Benzoin, Vetiver, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean
A soliflore, originally created in 1976, Night Scented Stock is an edgy unfolding of pungent floral enchantment, deep with clove, heliotrope, violet, vanilla, musk and tonka bean. Hazy with arresting uncommon beauty.
Night Scented Stock was originally created in 1976 and has been resurrected as part of our 2009 Anthology Collection.
Cost
Night Scented Stock Eau De Cologne comes in a 100 ml bottle for $120, or you can get it in the Anthology Fragrance Collection in a 15 ml bottle (you get four Fragrances) for $95. (Pictured Right). I must admit it's tempting - I sort of want that collection of little bottles!


Trying to Get My Hands On The Fragrance

Of course, as fate would have it, out of Alex's choices for me this was the only one not in stock on the US via the website. It's available now, but at the time I was calling all around trying to get it. The lovely Nicky at Penhaligon's Headquarters suggested I call the US Penhaligon's Customer Service. The representative I spoke with there gave me the names of the stores in the US that had Night Scented Stock available but told me I'd have to call them myself. I ended up calling Saks in New York City, who said they'd send it to me the following week. Well the following week came, no charge and no package. So I called again. Same thing: "Oh it will ship out next week!". Apparently they decided to hold my order for "A Special Saks Event" without telling me so I would get some free gifts. When the end of the following week came, I called a third time "Oh don't worry! It all went out today!" Grrrrr.

I did get a free Penhaligon's Travel Atomizer out of it as well as a few samples from other brands but I'm not happy about the lack of clarity on the part of Saks. If they intended to hold my order for about 3 weeks, why not just tell me up front?

My Experience with Night Scented Stock
When I first tried on Night Scented Stock I was slightly reminded of Amaranthine, but this scent is a little more dirty. It's like classic glamour gone edgy. I must admit I didn't catch the Jasmine notes at all until about the third day trying this fragrance. But like the other suggestions, this one dries down very musky. 

Do I like it as my primary suggestion? Given my responses to the questions that I sent to Alex Musgrave, yes I do think this fits. My husband hates it and I don't care. When I slip into my boots and my leather jacket for fall this scent makes total sense for me. But Alex was right in his initial assessment of my fragrance needs - I will need a fragrance wardrobe, as opposed to a signature scent.


Bottom Line
Night Scented Stock is a great choice for the girl who likes glamour with a bit of an edge. If you're overwhelmed by the clean smelling Amaranthine but like the idea, try this one.

Read my previous entries:
All images are from Penhaligon's Website.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sephora Friends and Family! Tomorrow Through Nov. 3!

Don't forget! Tomorrow is Sephora's Friends and Family sale! Get your baskets ready ahead of time and lets watch the site crash from the overload! It's great fun! The code this year is FF2010 for 20% off.

I'm considering picking up some of the following...
Among other things of course. :)

What are you going to get? Let me know below!

Review (Part 4): Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service Part 4 - Lily & Spice

I decided that for the purpose of this review I would present Alex Musgrave's recommendations in reverse order of what he decided I should try. That way I can save the best for last, right?

Suggested Fragrance: Lily & Spice
Here's what Alex had to say about this scent:
"...one of my personal favourite amongst Penhaligon’s fragrances - Lily & Spice. I just adore this scent. It the whiteness, the laundry-fresh, starch-like quality of this unusual floral that I love so much. The key is high quality white musks. These leave the soft, ivory, New England white trail across the skin.  Other notes include White Madonna Lily, saffron, pepper, clove, benzoin and vanilla. I’ll be honest, for you this will be total love or hate. I love white lilies, I am aware that some people don’t. But there is magic in this scent, darkness and light, haunting and dancing, simply beautiful and very easy to wear every day.  I have converted many people to this elegant, shifting gem and they still come in to thank me. I worked in Japanese fine art, in particular with textiles and lacquer. I like all things Japanese. I think one of the things I admire about Lily & Spice is the pared down, bone-white quality it has, it is quite Zen and contemplative at certain times of the year."
Lily & Spice? I love the name, but would it really be a scent I would like? I was very skeptical. The kind people at Penhaligon's sent me samples of this product and I was able to wear it for a while.

What Penhaligon's Site Says About Lily & Spice
Head Notes
White Madonna Lily and Saffron
Heart Notes
Hot Pepper and Clove
Base Notes
White Musk, Patchouli, Vanilla and Benzoin
Created in 2006, Lily and Spice is sensual and edgy, a floral oriental flirt, carnally spiced, thick with hedonistic blooms and musk. Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, earthy and warm, wraps itself around the oozing sweetness of White Madonna lily. This incredibly lush accord plunges into dark spices, sparkling musk and thick swathes of clove-studded vanilla. The final effect is remarkable; outrageously beautiful, dark, sweet, earthy and creamy.
Perfumer: Mathilde Bijaoui
Cost
Lily & Spice comes in several forms, including perfume, soap, hand and body cream, and a candle. The Eau de Parfume comes in a 100 ml bottle for $125 and a 50 ml bottle for $95.

My Experience with Lily & Spice
I must admit when I heard the word "Lilly" I was instantly put off by the idea. Lillies are, in general, my favorite flower. I love the way that they look. I can not stand the way they smell in a concentrated form, mostly because my sinuses instantly get set off. I don't like rose sent for the same reason.

Lily & Spice begins with a hard hit of Lilly. And I'll admit, the first time I tried this scent I absolutely hated it. But as the scent dries down you do get a more darker scent, as Alex describes. I never got the "spice" from it, however. The scent was undeniably floral on me. I could not discern the Saffron. Blame my Dayton-tortured sinuses.

However, I tried this scent a second time and ended up wearing it for several days. While Lilly &Spice is not a favorite scent of mine, or of the Penhaligon's scents I have tried, it is quite a powerful scent and it did grow on me. I could see myself eventually obtaining this as something to have, but not something I would go to every day.


Bottom Line
With this scent in particular, obtain a sample (or several) first. And try it a few times before you make up your mind. Because of the clarity of the lilly scent, I think this is unique among the floral perfumes I have smelled.  But if you love true scents of flowers (lilly in this case) this might be for you!

Read my previous entries:

Image from Penhaligon's Website.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Polish - China Glaze X - The BEST Go-to Near Black Ever!

I was looking through my drawers this past week and trying to find something I haven't featured on here yet. I was shocked to find I hadn't ever actually reviewed one of my favorite near-blacks: China Glaze X!




I think this polish came out in 2007, about the time where everyone decided they were going to do near-blacks. It captured my heart instantly and I consider it a must have polish.

Color
Burgundy red with copper undertones in a black base. The pictures I have here are much more red than the polish actually appears without sunlight and a direct flash. On the nail sometimes it looks like a warm black if you're not up close.


Application
I chose three coats this time. I've been able to apply it with two. But I wanted the color to be really rich.

Wear
Over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator and topped with Seche Vite it wore very well (for me). Minimal chips until I removed it two nights later.

Bottom Line
Like I said, I consider it a Must Have. There are similar colors out there now, but I just love this one!

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Hey I've got good news! I didn't gain this week! I was really afraid that I would gain this week. I have been hungry like you wouldn't believe! But my lovely coach, Xoreds, said that is normal considering how heavy I am lifting. I felt so horrible yesterday because I was snacking a lot and was going over my calorie intake. But Xoreds said that is sometimes a good thing, that it keeps your body guessing (she referenced The Wendie Plan, which I encourage you to have a look at). I think on my most successful weeks I've actually unconsciously followed this.

Weight: 167.9 (-1.9 lbs) YAY!

I also know for a fact that I have been losing inches. I was able to zip up two size 10 dresses yesterday, though I wouldn't want to wear them out of the house yet. I was so excited I sent pictures to my husband who said "You ruined it with the socks!" My response was basically "you missed the point entirely - I'm able to zip up a size 10! You should be thrilled for me." To which he basically grunted and ignored my comment. Ugh. Men.

What I Want To Focus On For Next Week
Food. I have to get back to healthy, cut out processed meals, come up with a better snacking strategy than "Skinny Cow" and "Whiskey".

Don't Forget:

Review (Part 3): Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service - Amaranthine

The second choice of fragrance for me from Alex (which was actually the third presented to me) was a relatively new fragrance: Amaranthine

Suggested Fragrance: Amarantine
Here's what Alex had to say about this scent:
"...My final choice for you might be risky, but it is an important scent, beautifully crafted and utterly seductive.  It is compulsive and tropical with libidinous notes rising and falling as it engulfs the skin. Amaranthine was launched last year to critical acclaim and client love/hate. It is challenging fragrance, there is no doubt about it. Bu you know what, challenging is good. I love the way is dirties up the skin, I love its confrontation, from its plantation banana leaf and cardamom oil top to its fleshy ylang heart and the soothing milky drydown. Every moment of this journey is wonderful. This scent is decadent but intensely private too, everything seems to contradict and harmonise at the same time. I love its seemingly prim and proper surface and the dark sensual forces swirling beneath. It sends out a coded warning.....beware, beneath my tailored exterior, savage waters run. So clever and vibrant, shimmering with stifled emotions and unspoken desire. Amaranthine is not for everyone, it is cutting-edge fragrance at its best, but if you fall for its charms, it will sweep you away."
What Penhaligon's Site Says About Lily & Spice
Head Notes
Green Tea, White Freesia, Banana Tree Leaf, Coriander Seed Oil, Cardamom Absolute
 
Heart Notes
Rose, Carnation, Clove Oil, Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang Oil, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute
 
Base Notes
Musk, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Condensed Milk, Tonka Bean Absolute
Created in 2009, Amaranthine is a corrupted floral oriental for those private moments when everything is anticipation. It opens with a dramatic flourish of spices and tropical green. This unsettling lick of drama is beautifully ambushed by an unctuous accord of jasmine and ylang-ylang, a heady bloom renowned for its aphrodisiac properties, and clove swathed in spices, tea, musk and the rounded beauty of tonka bean absolute.

Perfumer: Bertrand Duchaufour
Cost
Amaranthine comes in a 100 ml bottle for $125, a 50 mil bottle for $95, and a special edition bottle for $550 (pictured right). 

My Experience with Amaranthine
Like Lily & Spice, I was given a sample of this perfume. I put this scent on me and was instantly reminded of my mother's bottle of Chanel #5. I don't know if they have anything in common, but that same sense of timeless classic fragrance came to mind. This scent dried down to it's base notes really quickly on me.

Contrary to what Alex Musgrave said about this being a "risky" scent, I didn't find it risky at all. It's classic, without being out-dated. It was absolutely undeniably sexy. I kept thinking of old Hollywood, classic glamour. Not new Hollywood. I kept picturing Veronica Lake, honestly. Is it strange to associate a face with a perfume?


Bottom Line
If you're going to choose a scent blind from Penhaligons, this would be one on my list of ones you should try. It would make an excellent gift to give the woman you love if you want her to feel beautiful and sexy.

Read my previous entries:



All images are from Penhaligon's Website.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review (Part 2): Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service - Alex Musgrave's Opinion of My Scent Selections

As I stated in the previous post, I received a very personal response from Alex, master profiler for Penhaligon's Ltd. 

In the questions asked to me, I had to detail out some of my current fragrance choices. I was actually surprised when Alex's suggestions returned to me with his opinion of my current choices and how he felt about some of them. Here is what he had to say in his intro to my recommendations:

"I received your answers to the Fragrance Profiling questions via Nicky in head office.  Thank you for taking the time to answer them and think about them so fully. I loved your answers. I too adore the rainbow shimmering aromas of petrol. A cat person too. I was thinking the other week how beautiful my cat smelt after she sat basking in the sun for a while. You have some lovely taste in fragrances.  The Lolita Lempicka is one of my particular favourites, I am big fan of its creator Annick Menardo. She made Bulgari Black, Hypnotic Poison and the Le Labo Patchouli as well, she is  a fearless and innovative nose.  A lot of your fragrance choices ooze with fruits and white flowers. The D&G was a delicious sticky pungent white floral with the beautiful peachy glow about it.  I wouldn’t worry too much about finding the perfect ‘me’ scent unless that is something you really want. A lot of stuff has been written about signature scents over the years. Truth be told, in my opinion you can become trapped in a scented rut, applying the same layers of familiarity every day and night.  I think perfume should be considered in wardrobe terms, scents for different days, moods, public and private occasions etc. I wear one scent only to bed and another when I go to see an old friend who just loves the smell on me. Wearing bitter melancholy Eau Noire by Dior floods me with memories of Paris in the rain, and strolling with my partner as fireworks exploded across the new year skyline.
But there is something powerful about being defined by the sudden arrival of a scent, your own announcement or leaving a sillage or wake as you depart, your scent echoing through a room.  I prefer the unexpected, to play with fragrance,  orientals for breakfast,  a indolic white swooning floral as I wander through the supermarket pondering dinner, chocolate tints for a casual picnic lunch and waves of incense trailing off me as I wander carefully around an exhibition, shoes echoing in the silence. Our moods shift and change too, as you said, sometimes we carve comfort, other tome we want to unsheath claws and flash skin.
I have three suggestions for you. All of them different, but will I hope with something that will catch you, make you think about what is you are looking for and hopefully one of them will be the one that just blooms perfectly on your skin and you think....yes...I smell beautiful. After all, that is all that really matters."
I must admit Alex absolutely captured my attention with this introduction (that was the point I assume). Clearly, one of his gifts as a profiler was to capture the imagination with words. I found this quite unexpected.

Want to know what Alex Musgrave suggested for me? I will reveal one each day for the remainder of the week!

Read my previous entry:

Monday, October 18, 2010

What DOES Every Fall Wardrobe Need?

I was reading this email I got from JCrew which was titled "What Every Fall Wardrobe Needs". I clicked on it curious what they would say. Their answer: The Tissue Turtleneck. Not exactly what popped into my head first. Actually, what popped into my head was a list:

  • Something  Plaid- You know I'm a sucker for plaid. I don't care if it's not the trendy thing each year, but I must have myself a plaid skirt! My husband likes it too, much to my chagrin. This year, I've shrunken into mine, so I'm happy.
  • Opaque Black Tights - They go with everything. Yes, you can get funkier tights but this is a Fall must! 
  • Boots - I tend to think the classic knee high, heeled leather boot is essential. This year, though, I mean anything from flat to heel, laced or not laced, knee high, thigh high, ankle length. But I just can't get behind the open toed bootie.
  • Rocking Jeans - This goes for all year round, but really... what's fall without them?
  • Jacket  - I don't care if it's leather, trench, motorcycle, military, whatever. As the temperature turns cold, you need something. I have several. I have a trench, I have a motorcycle jacket, and I have a really cheap royal purple corduroy one I picked up from Target last year. 
I certainly don't have the answer here... I have many answers! So I ask you, dear readers, what pops into your head when I ask "What Does Every Fall Wardrobe Need?" Do you have a simple answer like JCrew? Or do you go through a list like I do? Maybe yours isn't clothing at all... maybe it's a lipstick or polish shade. Let me know in your comments below!

Shameless Self Promotion: Get 25% off BeachBody Products for FREE! Coaching Fees Waived!

If you've been thinking about ANYTHING BeachBody while reading my blog NOW IS THE TIME!!!

I am hearing that between October 18th through December 31, BeachBody will WAIVE the $39.95 Sign up fee for coaches. Your first month of site maintance fee ($14.95) is also free. This means that you could sign up as a "coach" receive the 25% discount on ANY of BeachBody's products without having to fork over start up money.  Yes, you could even sign up, get your stuff, and bail out the next day if you wanted to. You don't have to do anything but enjoy your discount.

It's totally worth it. If you've been reading me you know that I've lost 35 lbs using Turbo Jam, ChaLEAN Extreme and drinking Shakeology. So if you've thought about it even a little, or wanted to try Shakeology but thought the cost was too high, I encourage you to take advantage of this, even if you don't choose to sign up under me and want to sign up under someone else.

This is very worth it if you're interested in Shakeology or are planning on purchasing several workout videos (P90X, Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, ChaLEAN Extreme, Brazil Butt Lift, etc). And you can quit at any time. Here are examples of the types of deals you can get:
  • P90X Extreme Training System - $89.89 (usually $119.85)
  • Insanity 60 Total Body Conditioning System - $89.89 (usually $119.85)
  • Turbo Fire - $89.89 (usually $119.85)
  • Turbo Jam - $59.85 (usually $44.89)
  • Brazil Butt Lift - $59.85 (usually $44.89)
  • ChaLEAN Extreme- $89.89 (usually $119.85)
If you would like to join my team, you can go to my site and sign up under me. Just click "Coach"

And if you have questions, feel free to ask me below!

Review (Part 1): Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service - An Aromatic Journey Begins

Ever since my colleague sent me the gift of Penhaligon's Artemisia Solid Perfume I have been absolutely obsessed with the brand and with their other scents. What particularly caught my eye was a link at the bottom of their site that said "Fragrance Profiling". 


What Is Fragrance Profiling?
Penhaligon's offers you the chance to answer several questions about yourself and their master fragrance advisors, Zillah and Alex, will let you know what scents they think will best fit your personality out of the Penhaligon's library.

What Does it Cost?
Here's the best part - this personalized service is absolutely free. I'll be honest with you, though: I would have paid for this service if they sent samples of the recommended scents along with it. (Penhaligon's listen up - you could earn some extra cash here).

I Already Had Artemisia and Loved It, so What Could I Gain?
Well, honestly I wanted to see if the master advisors would suggest Artemisia to me or if there was something else that was better for me. I went into this with every intention of purchasing the scent that was recommended highest to me - taking a risk.

What Were the Questions?
I encourage you to try the service yourself and see (you must have Flash installed), but here were the questions (paraphrased) and my answers:

1) What fragrance(s) do you currently wear? What do you like about them?
  • Burberry Brit - I love that it makes me feel confident and polished.
  • DKNY Red Apple - I wear this when I'm looking for something casual. It makes me feel fun. But it wears off too quickly.
  • Dolce & Gabbana The One - This makes me feel sexy, confident and polished. More grown up.
  • Versace Red Jeans - Wore this in the past because the guys I knew liked it.
  • Lolita Lempicka - Just fresh and great.
  • Gucci II - Wore this for my wedding. It was romantic, and young.
  • Chanel Chance - makes me feel pretty, sophisticated, youthful (I am 31 years old).
  • (Omitted when sent to the profiler) Penhalingon's Artemisia - I just received this in solid form as a gift. You don't have to take it into consideration. I am sort of curious if it is one that you would recommend for me. 
2) Are you looking for something to compliment or contrast your current fragrance choices?
I don't really think I'm looking for either. I am just looking for something that is great for me for a variety of locations. I've never really found that "me" fragrance. I'd like to find a signature fragrance. As you can see from my previous answer I've tried many.
3) Why do you wear fragrance?
I don't feel like I'm fully dressed without something. If I am being completely honest, sometimes I also worry that I smell bad and I don't want to smell bad. :)
4) What mood of fragrance do you imagine yourself wearing?
Comforting - though the Flash application only lets me pick one. I would have also chose Seductive. Why does a fragrance have to be one thing?
5) What are some of your everyday smells?
  • Baking cookies
  • Garlic and onions being sauteed.
  • My cat's fur after he's bathed himself.
  • Gasoline
  • My eye cream at night (apricot scented just a bit)
  • Fresh laundry

6) How would you describe your personal style in three words?

  • In Flux
  • Casual
  • Playful
(On retrospect, I've decided that I am definitely NOT playful. But I'd like to be).

7) Imagine your ideal room, drink in hand, listening to music.
How is the room decorated? 
Dark walls, hardwood floors with a colorful rug. White chair sofa chair with an ottoman. Wooden side table. Wooden bookcase filled with books. Candles. A small window with white linen curtains. A cat-bed somewhere in the room. There's a photograph on the side table, not sure of who. 
What are you drinking?
A Green Tea Matcha martini, or just plain green tea. If it's that type of day, sake at room temperature out of the bottle. 
What are you listening to?
Clair de Lune, which is an odd choice for me.
 8) If you could go anywhere in the world on holiday, where would you go and why?
Probably to New York City for shopping because I recently lost a lot of weight and could use a new wardrobe! Or back to Oxford UK because I loved that city. Or Venice to continue my collection of Venician masks. All places I've been before. "Holiday" means relaxation to me and I have a hard time relaxing in new places, though I love visiting new places too.

How long was it before I got a response? 
While the site says it can take up a week or so to get a response. Master Profiler Alex Musgrave responded to me in less than 24 hours. Although these are personal responses, I was given permission by Alex and the head office of Penhaligon's to publish my correspondence with Alex on my blog as I embarked on my fragrance journey.

What am I going to do now?
I will be reviewing each of the scents Alex recommended to me as I review them. Yes, a kind person over at Penhaligon's sent me samples of the perfumes that were lower on the list of suggestions I received from Alex. And yes, I did purchase a full size of the one Alex and I agreed would probably be best for me (I took a risk!!!).  I will segment Alex's responses in with each of the scent reviews so you can get his take on the scent as well as my own.

Want to know what Alex thought of my current Fragrance choices? Stay tuned! More to come in the next few days.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's a "Sarah" Giveaway! Zoya's Helping Me Give Away... Me!!!

I wanted to bring this to you much earlier, but I wasn't allowed to post until October 15th... I hope it was worth the wait! Look how excited I am...


You remember back when Zoya Fire & Ice came out and I was so excited to see a "Sarah" among the collection? I vowed on the spot that I would purchase a bunch of bottles to give away to my readers. How could I not? I've been wanting a "Sarah" polish since I first fell in love with Zoya Nail Polish years ago. I had to share the "Sarah Celebration"!  Well, my "Good Zoya Fairy" waved her magic wand and magically I was somehow allowed to host a Giveaway by Zoya to give 6 readers a bottle of Sarah plus a bottle of Remove +. How awesome is that???

... on to the good stuff!

The Prize: 1 Bottle of "Sarah" and 1 oz Bottle Remove + to 6 Winners!!! (no I don't come with the bottle).

All you need to do is the following...
  1. Comment on this Blog Post: Tell me what lipstick brand and shade you would wear with Zoya Sarah. Give me a whole look if you want!
  2. Follow me on Google Friend Connect or Twitter
  3. Let Me Know How To Contact You: You can leave your twitter name, your email address (like name at domain dot com).
  4. Tweet "RT and Follow @styrch from Pretty In Dayton Blog to win Zoya Sarah Nail Polish #Giveaway" for an extra chance to win.
Winners will be chosen by random at noon on Friday the 22nd. Remember, there are 6 winners!!!

International Entries: Please let me know if you are international. I am keeping this contest open to International Entries, but it will take longer for you to get your prize because I will be sending them myself.

Full Disclosure
This Giveaway is sponsored by Zoya Nail Polish. I don't sell Zoya products, nor am I affiliated with Zoya/Art of Beauty in any way.

Photography
Images taken by my lovely friend and reader Kara. If you are in the Dayton area and are interested in her photography I suggest you get in touch with her. She's super awesome!

Congratulations to ggggg! You win MAC Bad Fairy!

Reader "ggggg" has won MAC Bad Fairy Nail Polish! The winner was chosen at random by number drawing on random.org.

When asked what ggggg would do if they were a Bad Fairy, ggggg said:
"If I were a Bad Fairy first I would make it so I win this darn giveway (!!!!!!!) and then conjure up one of those purses that never runs out of money. That's all."
I guess ggggg is a true "Bad Fairy" because it worked. :)

Some of my other favorite entries were...

From Beautopia:
"If I were a bad fairy I'd go into the DMV computer system and revoke the licenses of everyone that has a low IQ, texts while driving or cuts me off:) road rage much? I think so."
Pretty said:
"if i was a 'bad' fairy.. hmm i'd make is so all all the 'hot' guys in the world were nice and humble.. so every girl can get a nice hot guy.. lol.. and i'd make it so i could have perfect polish all the time... and make is so everyone was jealous.."

And my favorite was EvilAngel:
"If I was a Bad Fairy...OoooooOooo....wait you want the PG version?!
I think I already am a Bad Fairy...EvilAngel, Bad Fairy same thing right?
I would Gorilla glue my hubbies Ex to my Ex and video the best Youtube video ever. Title:Stank Whale vs. Loser Lizzard"
There were definitely two themes that emerged from entries:
  1.  Revenge on people.
  2. Making people nicer - mostly coworkers.
 I think there's a lesson in there somewhere...

Thanks to everyone who entered my MAC Bad Fairy giveaway. Thank you for reading and stay tuned. You never know when the next giveaway will appear!

Review-lite: A Small Smell of Penhaligon's Sartorial - New Men's Fragrance

When I received my recent Penhaligon's order,  with it I received a letter describing the arrival of Sartorial, the new Penhaligon's men fragrance. Screw the men! I want this for myself! Just to be wrapped around the smell because if it smells anything like it does on this scented stationary, it is utterly masculine and sexy. It's also nothing like any other men's fragrance I've ever smelled.


Image from Penhaligon's Website
Here's What The Press Release Paper Says
Penhaligon's latest fragrance, Sartorial, is tailored to perfection. Created by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, it was inspired by the scents of the workroom at Norton & Sons, Bespoke Tailors at No. 16 Savile Row.

Sartorial is a contemporary interpretation of a classic Fougere; the traditional notes of oakmoss, tonka bean and lavender have been exquisitely stitched together with woods, ozonic and metallic effects, leather, violet leaf, honey and spices to create the perfect illusion of a beeswax echoing the blocks of wax each thread is run across before stitching. This sweet smudged note ties together the more traditional elements; the oiled flash of shears cutting cloth, the rub of fabric beneath fingers, tobacco tinted cabinetry, puffs o chalk in the air and old paper patterns vanilla with age.

Bringing together the great traditions of British perfumery and British bespoke tailoring, Sartorial is a fragrance for a new generation of gentlemen.

Head Notes: Aldehydes, Ozonic Efect, Metallic Efect, violet leaf, Neroli, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Fresh Ginger

Heart Notes: Beeswax, Cyclamen, Linden Blossom, Lavender, Leather

Base Notes: Gurgum Wood, Patchouli, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Tonka Bean, Oakmoss, White Musk, Honey Effect, Old Wood Effect, Vanilla, Amber.

Penhaligon' Sartorlial Eau de Toilete 50ml $80
Penhaligon's Sartorial Eau de Toilette 100ml $110

Sartorial will launch in the US on 11Th October 2010 and will be available in Penhaligon's boutiques.
The US version of the site doesn't seem to have it up yet, so I can't link it for you. However it is available on the UK version of the site.


What I Notice on the Paper
I smell mostly the woods and the musks and it's just to die for. I wonder if this is one of those fragrances a woman could get away with, I like it that much. Maybe layered over something more feminine?

Bottom Line
Try to get a sample and smell it. I know I would love a sample. But I'm thinking Christmas for my husband whether he likes it or not. And if not, I'll just scent everything around me in it. The description is seriously wacky, but it's just so sexy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Score! Another Goal Dress Found: French Connection via Ideeli

I have had my eye on this dress ever since I saw the Lizzie Grant character wearing it on Entourage...

Image from Ideeli - French Connection $52 (formerly $160)

I purchased it in the largest size they had available, size 10. On another site where I found it a while back it was  called the "Sarah" dress, so that's another reason it has stuck in my head. I always have to have things with my name. Anyway I hope it works out. I hope I can tell what it will look like if I lose enough to wear it when it arrives.

On a side note, Ideeli has been great for me lately. They have helped me through this awkward shape changing weight loss better than any other site out there. The prices are good, and they have been excellent with their service. They are also very fun to talk with on Twitter.

If you need an invitation to Ideeli, please feel free to use my Invitation Link.

Polish - Ulta Rockstar

Picked this up on a whim...






I will be honest - I can't remember how much I paid for this and I can't find it on Ulta's site but I know it wasn't much. But since it's a purple, you know I had to grab it.

Color
Deep purple, almost black on the nails. There's shimmer to it in the bottle that doesn't show up except in the presence of flash or really bright light.

Application
I was shocked! This was such a pigmented color I barely needed 2 coats to cover. Awesome!

Wear
Unlike most of my pictures, I took this one after work. There is only minor tip wear on a day spent typing on a keyboard. I couldn't ask for anything better than that. Wore this over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator and topped with Seche Vite.

Bottom Line
Not the most unique shade, perhaps, but if you're into Blacks but Not Quite, then this could be for you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

All week long I had the feeling I was going to gain. It wasn't that I've been eating too many calories, I've been eating too few. Also the quality of my calories has been really poor. I started a project (writing a maybe-novel) and can't seem to make progress on it unless I've had a bit of whiskey. Also the Skinny Cow deserts - I almost wish I hadn't found them because I love them. I keep eating a second one saying "well, I need another 100 calories" when really I should be eating that apple in my fridge instead.

Also, I'm chewing ice like mad. I know that usually means my iron is low. I have been supplementing my salad lettuce with spinach, but I think I need more than that. Give me a cheeseburger!

Weight: 169.8 lbs (-0.9 lbs)
Essentially this is maintaining. I had a larger deficit of calories than I have in any of my past weeks for the last two months so I don't know. We'll see how next week is.

What Went Right This Week
  • Got in 2 days of cardio.
  • Finished ChaLEAN Extreme Burn Phase! Now onto the Push Phase. That  means heavier weights!
  • I actually started that stupid novel! (not really weight loss related, but you have no idea how hard it has been to get off my butt on that).
What to Focus On For Next Week
Very obviously food. I need to get the right food in the house and I need to eat that food. I am keeping track, but I need to get better calories in.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Outfit Inspired by Reader "Sumo" - Venturing Into Leggings

My dear friend and co-worker "Sumo" has been living and working across the country for a good long while now and I still miss her. One of the things I miss on a daily basis was seeing what she would wear to work. I don't know how the girl did it, but she could manage to show up to work still wearing pajama bottoms and no one would look twice. That was just "Sumo". One thing she had down very well was the leggings and tunic look. So when I stumbled upon a pair of leggings in my drawer last week I thought I'd give it a shot in her honor.


While comfy and fun, I am clearly NOT "Sumo". I think I came off looking a little pirate in this. But hey, I tried!

Outfit
  • Cardigan - Banana Republic: First time I've been able to wear this. Picked it up at the Factory store when I was too large to wear it hoping I'd get into it eventually.
  • Tunic - Salvage: Oh boy do I love this tunic! Lots of lacing. I just wish I understood the graphic. I dislike wearing shirts when I don't understand the graphic.
  • Leggings - Banana Republic: Picked these up when Sumo was still around in Dayton. 
  • Boots - MaddenGirl - picked these up mostly for Halloween this year.
I can do better, I know it!

Hautelook Purchase - I'm Getting Daring WIth Laundry, by Shelli Segal

I saw this and had to have it...

Image from Hautelook - Laundry by Shelli Segal $79 (on sale from $195)
I think it's hella sexy. My husband will probably hate it. But that front zipper??? Awesome!

Not a member of Hautelook? Not a problem! Use my Invitation Link if you like!

Ideeli Having Report on Sale Today!

Ideeli! How I love you right now! You've helped me obtain so many interesting pieces of clothing and footwear as my size shrinks down to the size I want to be!

The only reason I point this out is because I happen to be wearing these exact shoes today:

Image from Ideeli, of course.

Not an Ideeli member? Not a problem! Use my Invitation Link! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Polish - Zoya Harlow: Here I am, venturing back into mattes and velvets...

I really didn't want to try this polish that much because I had such poor luck with other Zoya Mattes (see my post on Zoya Posh). But the velvet is a little different, they seem more sparkly and for me, adhere just a bit better (read "super tons better") than Posh did on me.

Plus it's called "Harlow". How could I not buy this?


And I took a second picture because this color does change a bit depending on the lighting...



Color
Harlow is a fuchsia-purple "Velvet" finish (more sparkly than matte). If you own MAC Violetta lipstick, this color looks a lot like that lipstick in my opinion.

Application
It's a two coater, but be careful: like the mattes, they dry quickly and your brush can get a little goopy.

Wear
Over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator, this wears better than the Zoya Matte polishes on me. I took these pictures the morning after and you can tell I have a small bit of tip wear. I didn't start getting chips until the second day.

Bottom Line
A tentative recommendation. Harlow is gorgeous, but again I still wish the wear were better.

Fragrance Sale at Beyond The Rack - Some of my favorite scents!

I had to share that Beyond The Rack is having a women's perfume sale right now. Some of my favorite scents are included in the sale:
  • Burberry Britt Eau De Parfum- On sale for $53 (usually $82). I love this one for work.
  • Versace Red Jeans Eau de Toillette - On Sale for $27 (usually $49.50). Guys really tend to like this one I've noticed so it's great if you're young and hunting for a boyfriend.
  • Lolita Lempicka Eau De Parfum - on sale for $49 (usually $80). This was one of the perfumes I had in the running for what I wanted to wear for my wedding. Also love wearing it for work.
  • Vera Wang Rock Princess Eau de Toillette -on sale for $51 (usually $72). I just discovered this one, actually purchased it from Beyond The Rack a couple of months ago.
 If you don't like the fragrances I've listed, it's worth a peek anyway if you're shopping for perfume because there are a lot of others on sale as well.

Given my recent purchase of Vera Wang Rock Princess I should tell you that it took me about a month and a half to get my order. So you may experience a delay depending on what you order. But overall my experience with Beyond the Rack has been good.

Not a member? Not a problem. Use my Invitation Link!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Meow Cosmetics - 14.92% off and Free Shipping This Weekend

I thought this was a totally cute Columbus Day sale - Meow Cosmetics is taking 14.92% off your order with code CatLumbus this weekend. I've only tried their eye shadows so far but I'm in love with Swanky, Virgin and Bad Girl from the permanent collection and Misfortune and Supernatural from the Friday the 13th Collection.

Enjoy!



Look - Going Just a Tiny Little Bit Goth...


Awww... can I get a smile?

... a little more?


There you go!!!




Yes, it's that time of year again, and I always feel like busting out the dark lipstick. I had to pick my husband up at the airport last week after his week-long business trip and it gave me the opportunity to dress up. I wore my new Laundry by Shelli Segal dress (black with tiered grey body sheath) with knee high striped stocks and my Report Signiture booties (the ones with the spikes). I really wish someone had been around to take that picture, but you get to see my face.

Breakdown

Eyes
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Meow Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Virgin - All over lid. Seriously this has become a go-to.
  • Meow Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Bad Girl - In crease.
  • MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack - Around entire eye as close as I could get.
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon - Patted down over the Blacktrack to make it last (thanks to @MAC_Keri_B for this tip)
  • Mac Plushlash Mascara in Plushbalck
Face
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in By Candlelight
Lips - Not my best dark lip job, but I was experimenting.
  • MAC Mattene Lipstick in Night Violet - Applied with brush all over lips, defining as well.
  • MAC Amplefied Creme Lipstick in Black Knight - Darker at the corners.
  • MAC Lipstick in Blask 'o Blue - Right smack dab in the center. Since it's a lustre, I was hoping the berry tint would come out. I guess it did! Don't get to use this too often.
There was an error in this gadget