Monday, January 31, 2011

A Girl and THE Dress - A Story About Obtaining the Seemingly Unobtainable

You all know this story...

Once there was a girl an overweight girl who loved Project Runway. She would watch the show faithfully often disagreeing with the judges and making snarky comments, but enjoying the show nonetheless. Every season she picked one or two favorites and hoped they would make it to the finale.

One day, a designer appear on the show who happened to be from Dayton. The girl dismissed the designer at first, thinking she couldn't possibly be that good being from this place. The girl was seriously wrong. As the season went on the designer's pieces became more and more intriguing to the girl. "There's talent like this coming out of Dayton???" she asked bewildered. It turned out that not only was the designer talented, but she would go on to the finale of Project Runway and almost win!

After the season was finished, the girl made an attempt to follow the designer's career. Twitter played a big part in her ability to do this. Through Twitter the girl discovered that the designer would be coming to the Dayton Art Institute to give a talk. Eager, the girl went to the the talk and got to meet the designer. She was thrilled!

The Lorenzo Dress
Shortly after that, the girl discovered that the designer was launching her own line to be sold online. The girl was on pins and needles awaiting shots of the collection. When they were finally online a particular dress caught the girl's eye. This dress eventually became known as The Lorenzo Dress. The girl had to have this dress! But she knew there was no way she could possibly fit into something so tight and shapely. She felt at her size it would be a farce. So she vowed to get in shape and lose weight and fit in the Lorenzo Dress by New Year's Eve proudly! She even went to a trunk show for the designer and told her about her goal herself. The designer was very nice and said that the girl could fit into it anyway and didn't believe her when she said she was a size 18. With the help of her lovely blog readers that's exactly what she did.

In November of 2010, the girl finally decided to order the dress. It turned out that the designer seemed to have taken an interest in the girl's weight loss journey and offered to deliver the dress in person, knowing how special that would be for the girl. The girl agreed. She couldn't believe it - the designer was going to come to HER house! Alas, the New York Snowpocalypse of December 2010 occurred and the designer's luggage was lost by the TSA. That was ok because the girl had a birthday in a month! A perfect opportunity for as second chance!

But disaster struck again. UPS failed to deliver the dress several times over the next couple of weeks. In the end it went back to New York City. The girl began to get nervous, but the lovely designer assured her all would be ok.

The weeks went by and soon the girl's birthday arrived. The dress was being sent by FedEx and was slated for delivery by 4:30 pm on the day before her birthday. The dress did not arrive. The girl called FedEx and asked about the dress. All they knew was that it wasn't even in Ohio yet. Over Twitter, the designer gave the girl the tracking number. Armed with the tracking number the girl awoke early and checked the status... the dress had arrived in Ohio. Quickly she called FedEx. They said that all of the drivers had been dispatched for the day and her garment was not aboard a delivery truck. That was ok - the girl knew where to go to pick it up. Just as she was climbing out of the shower and getting ready to head to FedEx to pick up the dress in person, the door bell rang. The girl's mother, who was visiting from out of town, answered. It was the dress!!!

I stand triumphant!
You can see the color a little better without the flash.

Fashion Art from Althea!!!
The girl was so excited and happy she called the designer and left a ridiculously wacky message on her voice mail thanking her for the lovely package. Not only did the package contain the dress but it also contained a tank, a scarf, and an AWESOME sketch of a woman with medium length blondish brownish hair (not unlike the girl) wearing a dress (not unlike The Lorenzo) which she took to Michael's to get framed immediately.

And they all lived happily ever after! (not quite the end)

Discussion
I chose this dress as a weight loss goal dress because it was fun, inventive, and unlike anything I've ever seen in a store. The second I saw images of it I knew it had to be mine and I would have to go through incredible lifestyle changes in order to feel like I could wear it. Thank you all for supporting me.

I would also like to thank Althea Harper for being patient with me and my obsession over this dress. I'd also like to commend myself on not getting angry over how long it took to get this dress. I'm not going to say I didn't have a couple of sleepless nights - I did. This is literally the second most expensive piece of clothing I own (the other being my wedding dress).  That made me really nervous! I don't spend this type of money on one item often unless it has electrical parts and is somehow integral to my everyday way of life. So yeah... I'll lay blame where it belongs for being late in the first place: with myself (for saying yes to the invitation from Althea) and the TSA (for losing Ms. Harper's luggage). The rest of it is just wacky stuff! But I doubt I'll ever see a designer take as much personal time and interest in a purchase of mine as Althea Harper did.

The Fit and the Tailoring
The fit of the dress is actually a little large in some areas (you'll notice the bumps on the side seams). Althea advised me to get it taken to a tailor and to have them take it in from the patterned work, not the black, because that will allow the design to stand out. Or, if I get lucky and am in the New York area, she can take it in. Also, the finishing was a little off. There are some things that seam a little questionable, like the brand label falling off. There are places where I think the seams could have laid a little more smoothly.

Was it Worth It?
I spent a lot of time and money losing 45 lbs (ish) to get into this dress. I also paid close to $375 for the dress itself. Overall, I'm not sure I think the dress itself was really worth the price.  That being said, I think the story and experience is absolutely worth all of this!


Will I Purchase From Althea Harper Again?
I will purchase from Althea again in the future. After all, Harmonics is on the horizon, and I intend on getting several pieces! And of course, Fall 2011 will be debuting in a couple of weeks. Who knows what the future holds, but my closet will hold several more Althea Harper items! And if the same thing happens a second time... well I'll be prepared for it, right?

Thank you all for supporting me in my weight loss and reading this enormous post.  I would not be wearing this dress if it weren't for you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Time for some analysis. You know how I've been questioning my body's metabolic rate now that I'm doing TurboFire and have noticed a definite improvement in my overall fitness since the New Year break? Well, I am clearly still having trouble figuring out exactly what I need to do.
 

Weight: 161.6 lbs (+1.2 lbs)

Now, here's what I know:
  • Exercise - I have this covered so well it's not even funny. I'm getting in all my exercise and I don't miss one. I even switch it up every 90 days or so. I have since the beginning back in May.
  • Food - I am NOT consistently eating over my budget of 1350 calories per day. My ratios of Fats, Carbohydrates, and Proteins may be off. But still, a calorie deficit should mean weight loss, right?
  • Calorie Expenditure - I am keeping track of Exercise by using my heart rate monitor to determine calories out.
  • Calorie Intake - I am writing everything down in the Lose It App. It also tells me what my max calorie intake should be.
This Week's Food Intake Graph (From Lose It)
Eating above the red line means I've had more than my allotted amount per day. I can eat more than 1350 calories IF I exercise and create the deficite. The 1350 calories already assumes I want to lose 1.5 lb per week.




Now the previous two weeks when
 I was losing:


You will notice the biggest difference is that I have a lower weekly calorie deficit. And in fact, I over ate on several days of the week. I think maybe I should try eating up to the red line regardless of the exercise during the day and see what happens for next week.

Anyway... Have a look. Give me your take below. I am all ears!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Althea Harper - Blogging for ElleGIRL and 15%!

So I just heard via twitter last night that Althea Harper will be blogging Fashion Week for ElleGIRL. You can find the blog on which she is writing on the ElleGIRL website.

After I found that out I wanted to confirm it so I checked Althea's Blog for updates and saw THIS great news that she is offering 15% off everything on her site from now until the end of the month! I wish I had checked this sooner - maybe all my readers would be wearing pretty dresses, or SITTELLA Scarves.

SITTELLA is actually tempting me now... I've had my eye on the Boardwalk dress for a while and am desperately in love with the Beckinsale Tee for no other reason than it would look ridiculous on me and I love the name.

Ok, Styrch... hide the credit card and back away from the computer...

Look: Trying to "Get a Kick" from "Unflappable" Mega Metal Eye Shadow

I still am not seeing much of a benefit or use for my "I Get No Kick" Eye Kohl from MAC. Here was another attempt at using it:


On the plus side, I'm using my MAC Paint Pot in Vintage Selection a lot lately. It's a nice base, though a little too shimmery. The thing is, MAC also put out their Mega Metal Eye shadows and I'm just not seeing them as being all that great compared to regular eye shadows. Yes, they are a little creamier and a little larger, but are they really that great? I'm not convinced. Unflappable is a pretty color, though.

I'm far more impressed with this shade of Meow Cosmetics Foundation than the previous one.

Eyes
  • MAC Paint Pot in Vintage Selection - All over lid.
  • MAC Pigment in Subtle - On top of the Vintage Selection.
  • MAC Mega Metal in Unflappable - In crease.
  • Meow Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Virgin - On brow bone.
  • MAC Eye Kohl in I Get No Kick - Lining lower lash line.
  • Mac Plushlash Mascara in Plushblack
Face
  • Meow Cosmetics Purr-fect Puss in Frisky Sphynx
  • MAC Blush in Dollymix - very lightly. I didn't want the color to be too heavy.
Lips  - didn't get a good pic, sorry.
  • Tokidoki Lip Stain in Nana Star - Gosh, this is becoming a go-to for me!
  • Evil Shades Wicked Gloss in Lethal Kiss

Monday, January 24, 2011

Biggest Loser and DVF: Ah ha! I Knew I'd Seen That Dress Before!

So I was watching The Biggest Loser Session 11Episode 2 for this season last week with my husband (we're behind on watching) and remarked how much I like Alison's dress during the weigh in. I also knew that I had seen it before. I can't for the life of me find a picture of Alison in the dress, but I stumbled on it accidentally at the designer's website and instantly made a connection in my brain.  It was Diane Von Furstenberg Slashed Arita Dress:

 
Image from DVF.com - On Sale for $297.50 ($425)
The reason I remembered this dress when I saw it on Alison was because of the slashed neckline. Not only is there an open slash, but the top part of the dress is twisted. The effect looks strange on the model in this picture but the overall effect on Ali was gorgeous! I wish I could find a picture for you... I really wish I could. Because she was stunning and made a good case as to why this dress shouldn't be dismissed as "wonkey" (which is how I filed it when I saw the picture on DVF's site originally).

Incidentally, Shop Bop also has it for $217.

Just thought I'd share.

Look up! Change in URL...

Just letting you know that I bit the bullet and purchased "www.prettyindayton.com" for this blog. You no longer will have to use the prettyindayton.blogspot.com to reach this blog, though if you do use it you should still be directed to the site.

Thanks!

Stila Spring 2011 - Light Up The World! Thoughts...

Many of you probably also received Stila's email notice about their spring collection. It included this lovely image:

Ok, now I think the model looks gorgeous in this picture and instantly I wanted just about every product related to this picture. However, it occurred to me, didn't we just see this same concept with MAC Cham Pale? Here's Cham Pale pic for comparison...

From MAC's website.
Yes, I realize these are very different models and different makeup application, but the use of pale makeup and gold around the eyes and lips is very much the same right? I guess we've got ourselves a trend... or at least companies thinking along the same lines. I'm probably late in realizing this it's just I took a look at Stila's email and said... wait, these colors look very familiar!

Anyway, Stila's Collection includes:
  • All Over Shimmer Duo in Kitten -$22
  • Eye Shadow Trios Etheral and Gilded - $22
  • Glitter Eye Liner in Kitten - $18
  • Lip & Cheek Stain in Coconut Crush - $24
  • Silk Shimmer Gloss in Sunlight - $22
Have any of you tried the new Stila Stuff yet? What did you think?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Penhaligon's Discount - This Weekend Only!

Go this little treat in my mailbox today. I thought I would make you aware:

"In the absence of a January sale last year, we offered you an online exclusive.

For this weekend only - it's back!

To avoid disappointment and reward our online customers save £20 or $30 on all orders over £100 or $150 this weekend!

Simply add your chosen items to your basket, ensuring the total is £100* or $150** and you will save £20 or $30."
All you have to do is go to Penhaligon's website and order the required sum. It looks like there is a code: 44301, and a key: Save$30 (for example) if you look at their homepage once you've selected the country you're shopping in.

Ladies, you know I recommend Artemisia if you want light, Night Scented Stock if you're looking for something edgy, and Amaranthine if you want something "classic".  Gentlemen, I do love Sartorial but I'm still trying to get my husband to like it as much as I do.

Zoya Intimate Collection In The House!!!

What an incredible surprise!!! Look what just arrived on my doorstep:

(cell phone pic, please excuse my excitement)

I swear, I truly did not think that I would be receiving these beauties to review. but here they are! I absolutely can't believe it! I mean, I've been entering every Intimate giveaway I can find because I so wanted them and have been waiting for my spending account to recover. You saw my Covet post yesterday! Makes me wonder if I'll suddenly receive a Hale Bob dress out of nowhere...

Expect a review within a week or so. My right hand sustained a burn cooking a healthy roasted chicken breast dinner last week and is still recovering. That means that I may be limited to swatching only on one hand. And you know I like to wear my swatches for a day at least. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Thank you Zoya for allowing me to review your collection once again!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coveted Items of the Week: Zoya Intimate and Hale Bob Dress

Entire collection Price: $36
This week I have two coveted items for you! Yes, items I've been obsessing over. Lets take them one at a time.

Coveted Item 1: Zoya Intimate Collection
My Good Zoya Fairy sent me the gift of Rihanna this week (there's a story there I'll tell in another post). But with it came Zoya Intimate Spoon palette. So I was able to actually see the colors against my own skin...

Why I Covet This Collection?
  • Zoya keeps their collections around for a while. Therefore I know I can wait to purchase.
  • I don't believe I own any colors like these colors, therefore I am much more curious than I would be for other collections.
  • I admit I was spoiled by receiving Zoya Fire & Ice as a review item from the company and sort of hoped I'd get this collection too. But if wishes were fishes and such... Plus, I understand - there are much finer hands on which to showcase these beautiful colors than mine!
Will I Get The Collection?
YES! Just as soon as my spending account has recovered from my holiday splurges and my Althea Harper Dress (which I have yet to get my hands on). Speaking of which, I suggest that qualifies the Lorenzo dress as a still-coveted item.

Updated: Zoya just sent me Intimates collection to review so I can cross this item off my coveted list!

Grey Velvet Burnout Tank Dress: On Sale For $208
Coveted Item 2:  Hale Bob Burnout Velvet Tank Dress
I don't know how m any times I've looked at this dress going "oh, if only I looked like that model!"

Why I Covet This Dress
  • Yes, it's partially the model. 
  • For some reason I could see myself wearing this while enjoying a nice time... someplace warm... like maybe Vegas? 
  • It's on sale and that makes everything more attractive.
  • The dress is familiar to me. I believe sometimes I grow to like things because they are familiar. And because I check the Hale Bob sale site often I've seen this dress a lot. I just can't get over the price.
  • The only size left is "L". Isn't that fate?
Will I Buy This Dress?
Probably not. I have no practical reason for it (though my husband and I are planning another trip to Vegas perhaps). I don't like the price. If I see it come up on Rue-La-La, Haute Look, or Ideeli maybe... In fact I may have seen it and just not been fast enough or sure enough of my size. So this is probably a lost cause.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cult Nails Is Taking Pre-Sale Orders!

@R3Daily announced yesterday that she had decided to take pre-orders on her shades for her new polish line. The three colors up for sale are:
  • Iconic - described as "a brilliant berry red with gorgeous red flakes."
  • Living Water - described as a "deep blue jelly polish with green glitter inspired by phosphorescent sea water." 
  • My Kind of Cool Aid - described as a "purple/grey, described as "gravender", creme polish with a delicate shimmer."
You can view these shades on her blog R3Daily

Yeah, I want them all! My Kind o Cool Aid will ship already, the other two you will have to wait a couple weeks in order to get your hands on them. You can get them for $10 each at Cult Nails.

Special "Hello Kitty" Nail Art Stamping Plate Offer From Born Pretty!

Born Pretty is offering 1000 copies of their Hello Kitty Nail Art Stamping plate (or "Fauxnad" if you preferr) FREE with code BP299:

Image from Born Pretty Store

Although I can not vouch for the store because I have not made a purchase, Hello Kitty lovers and Nail Art fanatics might want to move fast as this is first come, first serve on the code!

Several other codes seem to be in existance for Born Pretty, including 10% off until Jan 31: OPENTENOFF

Please let me know if you purchase and how your purchase goes. I would be interested to hear your experiences with Born Pretty.

Review: Meow Cosmetics Purr-fect Puss Foundation and a Look

Last weekend we ended up hosting an impromptu party. Originally, my friends and I had intended on going ice skating and then out to dinner, but that ended up degenerating into "Lets go hang at the house located in the middle of all of us geographically!" My house...


However it did give me the chance to try out my Meow Cosmetics Purr-fect Puss Foundation samples. My dermatologist suggested I might want to try mineral foundations as they usually contain fewer ingredients and (his theory here) might not aggravate my skin to break out quite as much. This was my first mineral foundation experience (I don't count MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish). I was very pleased.

Ingredients
Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Choosing A Color
Meow Cosmetics advises that you select a few different colors as samples to try in order to find your perfect match. I ordered about 5 different foundations. Looking at their colors when I finally received them I realized that only two were possible contenders. The one you see above was, of course, the wrong color for me. It's just a shade lighter than I need (the shade pictured is Sleek Sphinx). But rest assured, you can find the color you're looking for. Although Temptalia's Foundation Matrix says an NC15 in MAC should be an Inquisitive Abyssinian in Meow, I think I'm actually a "Frisky Sphinx".

Application
I poured the sample into my palm and used my 187 brush to swirl it around in my palm and cover my face.  It actually buffed in really smoothly. I used way too much Sleek Sphinx in the picture above and have since realized that a little goes a very long way.


Coverage
Purr-Fect Puss is supposed to be the lightest coverage. It's definitely buildable though. My skin was having a terrible week and I was happy with this foundation's ability to cover my blemishes.

Price
A sample size only costs $1, but a 85g jar will cost you $21.95, and the Munchkin size 25 gram jar will cost you $10.95. Considering my sample of Frisky Sphinx has lasted me over a week I'd say you get your money's worth.

Downside

This foundation can be a little drying. Make sure you don't put too much on and are wearing a decent moisturizer. Also, if you put too much on the little hairs on your face stand out a bit more. But I'm still learning how to work with this stuff.


Bottom Line
I suggest giving this foundation a shot. Make sure you select a few samples first. I almost garantee your first guess won't be correct looking at the color swatches on their site. But read the drescriptions - they are accurate.

I went and purchased 2 Purr-fect Puss and 1 Pampered Puss (to try it out) Munchkin sizes once I figured out my shade.

Bonus
I think my skin isn't freaking out with it as much as it does with MAC foundation. Maybe I've finally found the reason for my breakouts!

Breakdown of the Face - (because I liked it)

Eyes
  • MAC Paint Pot in Vintage Selection - On lid first as base.
  • Fyrnnae Eye Shadow in Koala - On top of the paint pot.
  • Meow Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Virgin - brow highlight.
  • MAC Fluidline in Dark Diversion - upper liner
  • MAC Eye Kohl in I Get No Kick - Lower lash line. You really can't see it on me. I'm gonna keep trying it until I figure out what all the fuss is about.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara in Plush Black
Face
  • Meow Cosmetics Purr-fect Puss Foundation in Sleek Sphinx
  • Meow Cosmetics Blush in Delicious Despair - awesome blush... seriously awesome.

Lips
  • Tokidoki Lip Stain in Nana Star
  • Evil Shades Lipstick in Cursed Beauty
  • MAC Who's That Lady Lip Gelee

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

This week I continued eating a few days of MORE food than I should. I was nervous about this, but I think it's beneficial to me as this is the second week in a row with a loss. I am happy to report that I think maybe my workout might be having an effect on my husband (finally) as he worked out two days in a row for the first time in a very long time this week. He still does not work out regularly, which is starting to make me mad. I don't know how to describe it. But it's really hard to not be jealous of his ability to not care, eat whatever he wants, and not work out. On the other hand, he's seeing huge changes in me... if he doesn't admire my tenacity then I'd question a lot more things about him than I care to at the moment.

Weight: 160.4 lbs (-1.0 lb)
In all fairness, I really should be clocking this at 160.5 lbs, but I wanted a nice round number so I went with my first weight this week rather than the average.

Just some Thoughts on My Workout
I Turbo Fire this week. I have been sticking to doing weight lifting from ChaLEAN Extreme Monday, Wednesday and Friday in addition to the basic Turbo Fire workout schedule. Last Wednesday when I did HIIT workout, Stretch 10 combined with ChaLEAN Extreme Lean Circuit 2 I was the most exhausted I have been from a work out to date! However the next day was a longer arobic program that was so much fun I forgot how tired I was.

By the way, the ab workout in ChaLEAN Extreme is seriously no joke! It uses resistance bands to help maximize the crunch. It was only 20 minutes but it was killer. I followed it up with 40 minutes of stretching, which I think will become my "Burn Intervals" for Turbo Fire (meaning I'll hate it but see a benefit in doing it.

Goal for Next Week
If I'm not in the 150's I will be very mad at myself!!!

Don't forget - ChaLEAN Extreme is on Sale this month!

First Polish Review Of the Year - Chanel Black Pearl

Black Pearl...


No Flash

Image from Pirates4News.com
The words "Black Pearl" have to bring for some people (like me) images of Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, and Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Every time I look at this bottle I want to start screaming "Yarrrr!!!" and stumble around the house holding a bottle of rum and letting my hair go uncombed and not bathe for days. Yes, for me "Black Pearl" has a different meaning, and none of it evoking the elegance of Chanel. So forgive me for indulging myself a bit in this post... Where' not really all that worried about whether or not Captain Barbossa would fancy this polish, or whether or not Captain Jack would be admiring his nails while playing with his compass... although, he's always had great taste in eye makeup I think. No, the one I should be thinking about pleasing is her...

Tia Dalama aka "Calypso" played by Naomi Harris

Yeah I could imagine the bad-ass Calypso indulging in some pirated Chanel booty once in a while. I think it would look quite lovely on her too.

Close up
Color
Black Pearl... the name really says it all. As you can see in my non-flash picture, this is one near black polish that does not appear black. The color is really more of a green or sea green shimmer in a gray base. I haven't seen too many real black pearls but I sure thought I was looking at them when I saw my nails. Maybe it needs a hint of pink and brown, but this sure comes off just fine for me!


Application
2 coats on Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator topped with Seche Vite.

Wear
Alas, this do be a chippy one, Yar!  (I had chips the next day).

Bottom Line
I am very happy to report that this is one Chanel purchase did not result in buyers remorse. Regardless of the chippy problem, I still reapplied and wore it for two weeks straight. I haven't done that with a polish since... well since before I started blogging about polish. Calypso and I are happy with this Chanel Purchase!

Thanks to BellaSugar for alerting the general public that this polish and other Chanel polishes were $7 cheaper on CUSP, a Neiman Marcus Boutique. I got this gorgeous bottle for a mere (comparatively) $18. Sadly Cusp appears to have fixed that mistake. They have raised the price to $25 since the time that I purchased.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Send The Trend - Dana Gunmetal Necklace 20% Off!

If you are looking for a nice statement necklace with a hard edge this could be it...


For the next tow days, the Dana Gunmetal Necklace will be 20% off if you use code "DANA" at checkout. Just go to Send the Trend and order!

Want to read about my Send the Trend experience? You can, just view it here!

Megan Fox Golden Globe Look


Ok, this is the FIRST EVER post Award Show Red Carpet info on looks I have EVER received, so of course I'm going to post it even though you've probably already seen it a few times over. And if it is your first time seeing Megan Fox's Golden Globe Hair Break Down then I feel very privileged that you're reading it here!


"Hairstylist Andy Lecompte was inspired to create a classic look for Megan Fox with a glamorous vibe to complement her stunning one-strap gown.
To achieve this look, Lecompte started by applying Phyto Professional Intense Volume Mousse before blow drying. He set her hair using a 3/4-inch barrel curling iron and then pin curls. Once he released the pin curls, Lecompte brushed out her hair and gave the hair a deep side part."

Dude... I can't believe my first break down read carpet hair look is Megan Fox. My husband will be so proud! Incidentally I thought she looked very sweet and downplayed the sexy just right... up until the part where Megan tripped on stage a bit and hiked up her skirt. I mean, if anyone can pull of a slit THAT HIGH it's her.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Evil Shades Is AWESOME! New PUSH Gloss to Benefit Dayton PUSH

Image from Evil Shades
Remember the Dayton Push Charity Fashion Show and Auction I wrote about a few days ago? Well, the world is full of wonderful people and one of them happens to be Andrea of Evil Shades. She has created a Limited Edition shade of gloss called PUSH to benefit Dayton PUSH. I am seriously floored at this incredible gesture of generosity.

PUSH is described as "A creamy, dreamy, juicy coral pink with violet shift" according to the website and comes with a doe foot applicator (always a plus). 80% will go to Dayton's division of PUSH, and 20% will go to advertising.

For those of you not in the Dayton area and unable to attend the Charity Fashion Show, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE purchase PUSH from Evil Shades for $6. Our teens will be more educated and prepared as a result.

Now that's what I call an AWESOME impulse buy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

ChaLEAN Extreme ON SALE - Save $30!!!

Do you remember ChaLEAN Extreme, the program that got me incredible results through the last part of the year? Well, it's on sale! Usually priced at $119.85, you can now get it for $89.85. Coaches and Beach Body Club members get an even deeper discount.

If you want to purchase ChaLEAN Extreme you can do so here. Just click on Shop and look under programs for ChaLEAN Extreme

Read my review if you want more information on the program.

Do I think it's worth it? HELL YES!  Remember my before and after pictures?

BEFORE....


AFTER...

I am a BeachBody coach so I do get commission if you purchase through me. But seriously consider this even if you don't purchase through me. It's a great program if you're looking to build muscle. Purchase for anyone, just GET IN SHAPE!

Zoya Intimates Collection Online Today!

I must admit, that this is the collection I am most excited to see this spring. I think it's going to be filled with colors that push my comfort boundaries, and I always like being pushed.  I wish I could bring you swatches, but I'll be purchasing this collection just like the rest of you. However, I do have the press release info (which I believe you've seen) below.

What I LOVE about this collection is it doesn't feel like it's jumping into "warm weather" the way a lot of spring collections often do. Instead, this is savoring the cooler temperature that is the emerging spring, and the feeling of wonder and mystery that comes with a new spring. I love how this doesn't at all evoke Valentine's day, but instead I think of fresh grass, dripping water, melting snow, cool breezes, and the small buds of color that build the excitement of Spring.

I also can't help but think of the bedroom hues with lingerie (TMI but I just purchased a little something-something in a color similar to Caitlin).

I am most excited for Jules, Danni and Gemma. I'm not certain I can pull off the more shy shades of Dove, Marley, and Caitlin.
Zoya Intimate Collection
Marley (ZP542) - lavender pink with a whisper of metallic
Dove (ZP541) - delicate, pale gray cream
Caitlin (ZP540) - misty, moody gray violet cream
Dannii (ZP537) - sparkling, enchanted orchid metallic
Jules (ZP538) - soft, glimmering gold kiss metallic
Gemma (ZP544) - mysterious green/purple duotone metallic
If you want swatches, please check out Vampy Varnish and Scrangie. They have great ones, of course!

So go do what I'm going to do right now and head off to Zoya's Site! Happy Shopping!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Latest Fascination: Althea Harper's Harmonics Collection

In the midst of my Althea Harper Lorenzo Dress debacle I must admit I've spent a good deal of time consoling myself by looking at images off her site. Specifically, I have been looking toward Spring by admiring her Harmonics collection. I have become obsessed with the muted palette and the shape of some of these items - so I just had to know more! When Ms. Harper was not able to make my New Years Eve party, she graciously offered to spend some time on the phone with me because I had questions about Harmonics. I spoke with the elusive yet accessible designer last Friday.

My Confession
I debated a long time over even posting my discussion with Ms. Harper about this collection. I sort of wanted to keep this special phone call all to myself. But in the end I decided the conversation and details of the collection were worth sharing with you.

Jess Skirt
Why "Harmonics"?
I got the answer to the question of how this collection was named by asking Ms. Harper about the "Tree-like" print on many of her items. She corrected me: It's not a tree, it's sound waves. The pitch and the volume and what you say actually determine the pattern. She didn't use a specific sound or anything, she confessed. But she did go on about how you can take this visual representation of sound and manipulate it in Photoshop in such interesting ways.

Additionally Ms. Harper adds that this collection was also about balance.  More items are mirrored, the patterns reflect one another. But that's not to say you won't see asymmetry - Althea Harper's popular one-shoulder designs are still present. However, it was this pattern that really drew me to this collection. I fully intend on purchasing the skirt pictured above. As you can see, it also comes in a full length dress.


Grace Skirt
What Is Up With The Super Sexy Pencil Skirts?
One design element that appears over and over again in Harmonics is the use of a fitted skirt that falls below the knee in a tight taper. I  told Althea it reminded me of those "cigarette pants" that were so popular years ago. She told me she drew inspiration from the forties silhouette. "Every woman has something they are self-conscious about," she told me, "well for me it's my knees." Isn't she lucky? When she said that I started to rattle off the things I hate about my body (stomach, butt, hips, arms, back, neck... knees). But I must admit it was refreshing to hear the gorgeous Glamazon Althea Harper admitting she didn't like something about her rockin' body. Either way, pull out those Spanx ladies because these skirts are smokin' hot with their curve hugging shape!

If you browse her collection you'll see this shape repeated not only in skirts but in dresses as well. It's clear knees were on Ms. Harper's mind!

Monaco Dress
What is THAT Fabric???
Looking through the collection you'll see a very strange metallic looking fabric used several times. Knowing that Althea Harper tends to use some non-traditional fabrics on occasion (shoe lace yarn, anyone?) I thought maybe this was the non-traditional fabric. "It's jersey," she tells me. I couldn't believe it. But apparently this jersey she uses has a metallic sheen in it that makes these items look like liquid gunmetal. So once again Althea Harper stays true to her "comfortable clothing" ideals through the use of a non-traditional jersey fabric. The dress in this fabric, or the sexy skirt, are on my "wish list" items should I come up with some serious throw-away cash.

How Much Will It Cost? And When Is It Available?
Items will be priced between $100 and $400, so hopefully the ones I have my eyes on will be on the affordable end. The collection will go up for purchase on her site on March 1st.


I love backstage pics, don't you?

What's Next On Althea's Plate?
Fashion Week in February, obviously! She is back in her studio and working on the collection. She told me that there is a killer blazer in the collection that I will just love. She even said she'd send me a picture when it's finished. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I get that picture! I need to fall in love with a blazer right about now.

Something I Did Not Get An Answer To...

This:
Polly Jacket, Zach Pants
Can't say I'm down with this. I'm reminded of pajamas rather than a suit. It also, to me, seems out of place with the rest of the palette and prints. But to each their own.

Also, shapes like this....

Harmony Dress
Not sure what I think about this one...
While I think the name "Harmony" is very fitting for this dress, I just can't see very many people being able to pull this off. To me, it's a little bit "elegant Snuggy". On the other hand, perhaps if it were paired with some strong earthy jewelry it could look absolutely in place on the right woman.

I don't have to like everything, right? Right?

A Few Other Pictures Of Looks I Like...

Jess Dress

Megan Dress

Miller Jacket, Cali Pant
I'm not to fond of the leggings, but I love the blazer!
Boyfriend Tank, Stewart Pant
My Mom adores these capris. I think they look comfy!

Harmonics!
Anyway, I can hardly wait for March 1st. That Jess skirt will be mine! I can see myself building a good solid work wardrobe around it provided I can get just a couple more inches of length... maybe I'm better off with Grace... decisions!

All images are from Althea Harper's site or from Althea Harper herself.

My Coveted Item of the Week: McQ- Alexander McQueen Asymmetrical Sweater

I decided to start doing something weekly... we'll see how it goes. I figure on nearly a weekly basis there is at least one item I am obsessing over. It can be anything. I'll post it every Friday. Like I said, let's see how it goes.

Asymmetrical Sweater by McQ - Alexander McQueen
I saw this sweater on ShopBop and it was instant love.

Asymmetrica Sweater by Mc@ - Alexander McQueen
Available at ShopBop - $340

See what I mean About the Waist?
Why do I Covet This Sweater?
  • I love grey sweaters!
  • It is 100% cotton, which is awesome.
  • I have never personally tried to knit asymmetrical hems before. Which means it's giving me new ideas.
  • Dude... the use of the dropped stitch in this is way awesome!
  • It's too much money for me to spend.
Will I Get It?
Heck no! I just purchased an Althea Harper dress! I can't go plunking down $340 for a sweater. Also, I think maybe the fit around the hips/waist could be improved. Plus, they don't have my size in stock.

However, I do think I could knit this. Don't be surprised if you see me attempting my own Asymmetrical Sweater inspired by this design.

All images are from ShopBop. I will take them down if they want me to do so. Hopefully I'm directing traffic to their shop. It is an awesome place to browse covetable items. Eventually, with enough preparation, I will start shopping there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Game On! Send in Your Submissions to Rescue Beauty Lounge!

As I mentioned earlier, Ji Baek is going to make us Rescue Beauty Lounge Fans dreams come true! The main fun started 2 hours ago, so you have 46 hours left to make your wishes known to our beloved Ji Baek.

What is your unobtainable polish idea? I sent in my submission, terrified of Ji's judgment, and knowing that I won't get picked. Yes I'm a blogger, but damn it! I am a FAN!!! But seriously, how many times have I said I'm looking for a Princess Leia in a Gold Bikini Polish and keep finding polishes coming up short?

Image from Univers Guide
Here was my description for Ji:
My inspiration is Princess Leia from Return of the Jedi, specifically Leia slave outfit "the gold bikini" at the moment she takes out the evil Jabba the Hutt.  I see her outfit not as one of shame and degradation, but as a symbol of underestimate power waiting for the perfect moment to strike!   I would want the color to be a dusty scarlet, similar to the fabric in her skirt, that flashed a dirty bronze-gold in the light to represent the metal bikini. In the past I have said I'd like this to be a foil (which were overdone last year), but with your Tudor collection I realized there is a different type of finish possible that would be much better for this color. If it could be like Anne, a dusty and subdued scarlet with a bronze-golden shimmer like stone that would be the perfect way to represent the sands of Tatoine. It would line a dusty scarlet on the nail waiting for that perfect ray of sun to show it's golden-bronze shimmer!
I give you that so none of you will be embarrassed to send her your polish color ideas. Nothing could be more embarrassing than mine!

For those of you under a rock, submissions have started. Go to Ji's blog for details.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

This past week I can say that I finally got back into my regular eating habits. After realizing how little energy I had I started analyzing my nutrient intake from the weeks while I was on vacation. It turns out most of my calories were swayed toward "Fat" even good fat, and very little protein. I was going for heavy veggies without paying attention to protein and some days my fat percentage was as much as 80%! Those were the days when I snacked more but didn't plan meals well. My mom will say "It's the alcohol!" but oddly, those days were alcohol free days. They simply were imbalanced.

I also started Turbo Fire. Let me tell you - it's like Turbo Jam on speed! I even tried to get my husband to join in but he couldn't keep up. I took him back to Turbo Jam to learn the moves a bit more, and he still was having trouble with his right vs. his left. Eventually he gave up saying his knees hurt. I'll continue to work on him.

Weight: 161.4 lbs (-2.8 lbs)

What Went Right
  • I realized my problem was nutrient intake percentages.
  • I started TurboFire regardless of being afraid of it.
  • Getting my husband involved, or initiating the continuing effort is a GOOD THING.
  • I got excited with the Snow Blower and did 4 driveways yesterday. Not as much of a calorie burn as shoveling, but infinitely more fun! And believe me - if you have a snowblower, get your neighbors drive too if they haven't done theirs yet. They will love you for it!
Focus for Next Week
Cook more and try to get off of Lean Cuisines. Even if that means preparing soups in advance. Also, I've found an Achilles Heel: Dorothy Lane Market Friend Green Beans. Love 'em! Must not buy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

#Dayton PUSH Charity Fashion Show/Auction March 5th

Hi everyone!

A co-worker/friend of mine informed me that she is helping a group called PUSH in the Dayton area put together a charity Fashion Show/Auction for March 5th called Runway the Right Way. I thought I would let you know about this event for several reasons:
  1. You might want to attend.
  2. You might want to donate to the auction.
About PUSH (From their website)
"PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) is a group of Planned Parenthood Advocates who demonstrate their interest and commitment for the organization in unique and exciting ways.
Made up of women and men from the Miami Valley, PUSH members support the use of prevention to promote sexual health and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies.

The PUSH group hosts fundraising events, social gatherings and educational programs throughout the year.  They first got involved when Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide free condoms was threatened after a loss of grant funding.  The PUSH group pulled together and raised enough money to “save the condoms,” insuring that condoms will be available from Planned Parenthood free of cost for the rest of the year.

PUSH is committed to making sure individuals in the Miami Valley have access to the information and healthcare they need to stay safe and healthy."
Details About Attending
"Runway the Right Way is scheduled for Saturday March 5th at Coco's in downtown Dayton, and will run from 12-3pm. Tickets will be $25 each and will include lunch (heavy apps), a complementary glass of champagne, access to the $5 Martini bar, and a limited seat at an incredible fashion event!"
Details About Donating
Runway the Right Way is looking for people to donate new or gently used high end fashion clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, etc.  for the auction and the runway. Aside from the catwalk items, there will be items that the attendees can bid on (gift baskets, etc). These can be related, like makeup for example.

If you would like to donate, or know of a company interested in donating, contributing, advertising, with this event, please contact me at prettyindayton at gmail dot com and I will put you in touch with event coordinators.

Already I'm asking the (very few) contacts I have if they would be interested in donating. I know some of my readers have a much larger contact list so therefore I am calling upon you to help.

Thank you!
-Styrch

Review: Tokidoki Robbery Palette

Back in December I got this innocent little email from Sephora telling me that I had a mere $1 left to spend to achieve VIB for the following year. For the record, I think they are wrong and didn't record some of my in-store purchases. But regardless, it gave me an excuse to pick up something fun. I browsed the Sephora Sale hoping for a good deal and came across the Tokidoki Robbery Palette. Why did I choose this palette? I thought it might be a good way to get to know the brand. I think I made a good purchase.

What is It?
They really should call this something like the "Robbery Case" because it contains three palettes: Royal Pride, Arlecchino, and Rapina. Other than that it's a very decorative tin with a mirror on the inside and a cute tokidoki magnet on the front. You can remove everything from the inside and use the tin for storage, which is kind of cool. But really, this "palette" is all about the packaging.

The Palettes
I didn't do single swatches for this - I just decided to see if I could do a complete eye look with each palette. I may swatch shadows separately if you want. Just let me know. But I figured it might be more useful to know if you could get a complete look (minus lips) out of each palette.

By the way, because you can remove each palette, I think these will make xcel


Royal Pride
Obviously this palette gets it's name from the bronzer it contains. The palette consists of four shadows and a bronzer.
  • Lion Pappa Eye Shadow - Shimmery Tan. Used here in crease and outer third.
  • Savana Eye Shadow - Yellow shimmery. Very yellow. Used here in inner third.
  • Ercolini Eye Shadow - Very orange bronze shadow, my favorite of this palette. Used here in the middle.
  • Bulleto Eye Shadow - Dark brown, almost black. Used here as liner
  • Royal Pride Bronzer - Very light, wearable bronzer.
Using Royal Pride, I was able to create a look, but I didn't have a brow highlight color. That was the only downfall of this palette for me. Bulleto makes a very nice liner, by the way. Other than that, it is very warm so cooler tones may have trouble with it. All the shadows are very easy to work with.

Face using Royal Pride Palette
Arlecchino Palette
This palette was by far the most interesting palette to me. But I wasn't quite sure how I would use the colors together.
  • Soya Eye Shadow - Wassabe green eye shadow. Shimmery. Used here on inner.
  • Candy Cane Eye Shadow - Matte white that is actually very sheer. I used it as highlighter.
  • Ninja Dog Eye Shadow - Purple blue shimmer. Used here on outer third.
  • Meteo Eye Shadow - Dark blue shadow. I used it as a liner.
  • Momobella Blush - Gorgeous pale pink. But it's easy to go overboard with it. I had to sheer it out.
Overall, I agree with my friend Kara about this palette: I like all the colors here but I probably wouldn't use them together on a regular basis. It was very funky. Not that I mind the idea of blues and greens together but if Royal pride was a warm palette, this one was a touch too cool for me (and a touch more wild than my face can handle). Good thing the shadows are buildable and sheer!



Rapina Palette
This palette turned out to be the most interesting palette. The colors in here are actually very fun. I could see myself using these with other colors as well. Like the Arlecchino palette, I might not use these all together ever again.
  • Liberty Eye Shadow - Dark green shimmery shadow, almost black. Used here over the entire lid.
  • Bullets Eye Shadow - Silver shimmer shadow used here in crease and highlight.
  • LA Gun Eye Shadow - Dark blue shimmer shadow dochrome black. Used here smudging the lash line.
  • Adios Eye Shadow - Matte Black used as a liner here.
  • Pulpettina Blush - Raspberry blush. I had to sheer this one out too.
Smokey overload! So this is the palette you pull out when you really want to go sexy smoke. I was so reminded of MAC Club, Carbon... you know how it is. I should probably do some comparison swatches. But this is easily the most fun palette to work with. I found the blush problematic, though. If I'm going this smokey with the eye, then I don't want a heavy blush. Pulpettina is more color than my pale face can handle with a smokey eye. 
Face using Rapina Palette
Overall
Savana, Soya, and Bulleto are the only shadows that appear to be in the listing of the Chromatico eye shadows that Sephora carries. I assume that means they are permanent. Overall the quality of these shadows was on par with what I like (MAC) and I was able to play with them to get the color payoff I wanted. I did go sheer with them - I was wearing these looks to work after all.  I love the palette packaging, though I think they went overboard with the tin. I appreciate the utility of it. Based on the offerings in this palette, expect to see me purchasing more Tokidoki this year. This is good stuff!

Bottom Line
Definitely a palette for someone with a large variety of eye makeup tastes!This palette is on sale at Sephora for $39. For the price I consider it an excellent value and a good way to get to know Tokidoki. However, I think everyone buying this will have one favorite palette they go to the most.

Seriously crazy packaging! But I love it. :)
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