Friday, September 28, 2012

Sittella by Althea Harper - Comfy Layering Pieces Styled for Fall

Wow! So currently I'm stuck in a hotel room in Maryland on business and I am getting bombarded with texts about my girl Althea Harper being on the upcoming installment of Project Runway All Stars. Of course my hotel room doesn't have Lifetime! ARG!!! As luck would have it I had THIS post ready to go out for Friday morning (today). Go figure.

Althea Harper's Sittella  line is one of my favorite lines to shop from when I have a little bit of extra cash but not enough to purchase something major. I love to indulge in the feel of these lovely fabrics and wrap myself in the gorgeous colors created by Althea's dying process. I love to layer the pieces I own and wear them all year round. Althea knows my weakness - last week she sent me the following pictures to share with you, my darling readers.

Sittella Styled for Fall
In the following pictures you will notice Althea Harper's current line of Sittella clothing but dressed up for cooler weather. I don't own any of the following pieces (yet) but I can vouch for Sittella  in that it is one of the most versatile unusual lines I've personally tried. Seriously, sometimes I want to sleep in my Sittella dresses. Comfy. Layering. Wardrobe. Builders. Yeah!!!

BTW, I'm going to play "personal shopper" for some of my friends here in the commentary... Just for fun! It won't mean anything to the majority of you, but hey... I'm having fun with this post!

Del Mar Skirt - $88, Sanjay top $99
Ok, these separates are what I SHOULD go for - I could wear them with so many things. But they aren't what I would choose to purchase. You know how it is - when know something is good for you but you want something else..

Harbor Shorts - $88

I see these shorts and I think my girl Jenny needs them. She has awesome legs, and I think she could rock these on a casual day, almost exactly as pictured. Not to mention they'd make her butt look fabulous as always.

Amethyst Dress - $165
My girl Terri (tall and thin) would look rockin' in this dress! I'd have to beg her to try it on, and in the end she'd realize it was a good choice for her, but beg and beg and beg I would!

Vilano Dress - $160
Teresa (my curvy goddess) - you would fight me tooth and nail, but with your "girls" this dress would be rockin! And you could dress it up however you want to. Would you be bold enough to take on the cut outs? I think you are...

Sandy Point Dress - $165
Caressa darling, you're tall leggy self could wear this so comfortably, make it look absolutely effortless, and make all of us envious of your gams! On the other hand, I could also see you rocking the dress I suggested for Teresa.

(Styrch Obsession) Cobblestone Dress - $132
Angela, you and I would own these in different colors. But together we'd look awesome in this dress!

Osage Dress - $165
Ann - here's one I might think of for you. I could see you pairing this with a multitude of different accessories that would really bring this dress to life. Think about it - you could rock it.

(Styrch Obsession) Coralline Dress - $132
Kara, my petite powerhouse! This is your dress if I ever saw one. Your killer curves in a dress that's just girly enough to be fun? Yeah... you'd hate it. But I'd love it on you! And if you really hated it, I'd take it.

Stone Harbor Dress - $165
Ginger my dear! This one you would wear with me lounging around the Bellagio next spring in Vegas. Think about it!
Salter Path Skirt - $124, Winthrop Crop Top - $88
Aja, fearless one - I think you could do some awesome damage with the midriff baring top and the maxi skirt combo. You have such eclectic style I would LOVE to see what you did with these pieces!

What do you think?

My two favorites are still Cobblestone and Coralline, however I think if you're looking to get the most mileage out of your pieces I think the average person would have better luck sticking with the skirts.  Any of these dresses you could slap a cardi over and wear of course, but I'm thinking purely from a wardrobe building standpoint. Sanjay also has potential moving into cooler weather. But shopping with my own money I'd take Cobblestone (I wonder if she can make it in a seriously dark blue). It might look funky but I'd toss a sweater over the top, put some boots on and go! That's what I do with most of my Sittella  pieces anyway. They seriously are the most comfortable clothing in my wardrobe, though they are very body conscious, fyi.

Cool Factoid: Althea told me that her pieces have raw hems so if you want to hem them up to your desired length (are you daring?) then go right on ahead.  As a short girl I appreciate this - I've already had to hem a couple Sittella  dresses I purchased as samples because my legs are just that stubby!

What do you think? Anything striking your fancy?

Images provided by Althea Harper.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Zoya Designer Cream Collection NYFW 2012 - Better Late Than Never!

I received these polishes back in August, just before I was planning my trip to Italy. So yes, I am behind. But better late than never. Here is the Zoya Designer NYFW 2012 Creams Collection!

Rekha



Finally! The candy red polish of my dreams! Seriously, it's like the red on Zoya's Smitten poster from a few years back. Of course, that also means it reminds me just a bit of Zoya Kristi (but Rekha is prettier in my opinion).

Toni


Toni... I feel like I've seen her before. She's pretty but she didn't excite me. Reminded me of Zoya Stacy, from the same collection as Kristi.

Monica
 


Monica is a very pretty grape purple. But I would opt for a different Zoya if I were going for this type of shade. There are so many to choose from!

Natty



Interesting blue shade that isn't too vibrant, I think there will be quite a few people out there going for Natty. But again I felt like I already own this polish or similar. I'll have to check my stash.

Evvie



A lovely grey cream! Evvie is kind of what I wanted Rescue Beauty Lounge's Concrete Jungle to be.  So it makes me happy.

Noot


Probably my favorite of the collection, Noot is a darker gray than Evvie. They might look really good together, but they were so close on my hands when I was wearing them I decided you really don't need both - just ask yourself if you would wear lighter or darker more often.

Again, using my loaner camera while my new good camera is in the shop.

I don't usually like Cream polishes, however I was surprised to find that I was more excited about this collection than the Diva collection. Maybe my tastes are shifting just a bit. These creams just felt so polished (no pun intended) and classy. I will probably be wearing a couple of them often this fall.

On a side note, I aslo feel like Zoya has SO MANY shades now the degree of differences are infinitesimal. Is that just me? Please tell me it's in my head.

Application
I had zero issues with application on all of these creams. My issues came in with the top coat I was using (not my usual Seche Vite - boo).

Wear
As usual, the wear on these was stellar.

Cost
The usual $8 a pop. Remember when Zoya's were $5? I miss those days.

Bottom Line
My favorites were Rekha, Evie and Noot, though you probably don't NEED both of those colors. The other colors (and even Rekha) you'll be able to find similar in your existing collection I'm sure.

Disclosure
I was sent these polishes by Zoya for Review.  I am  not affiliated with Zoya or Art of Beauty, nor do I sell their products.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brand Exploration in Italy - Kiko Makeup Milano



Yeah I know... I'm way behind on posting about my awesome Italy trip. But you didn't think I'd go over there without trying some makeup that was new to me did you? My first day in Florence I ran into this store, Kiko Make Up Milano . The brand had a store about every block or two, crazy common. I walked into one and just started grabbing. And of course I started swatching, and taking pictures, then almost got myself kicked out of the store. But I splurged and spent some money anyway... I came away with a few hits and a few misses. Here they are...

Kiko's Water Eyeshadow - 8,90 €

204


208

218

Left to Right: 204, 208, 218
Look at these babies!!! They are GORGEOUS! There was this really sweet taupe shade I wanted to walk away with but the store was sold out. So I chose these three colors: 204 (the red), 208 (the gold), and 218 (the Peach).

Texture: Ok, I expected these to be creamy but they sort of break up a bit upon contact with brush or fingers. They do spread on your eye smoothly. I had very little control issues with these.

Wear: Yes, they stayed on fresh like you wouldn't believe over Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

Bottom Line: As I recall they weren't that expensive, under 10 euro. Worth picking up! I will use these.

Kiko Color Sphere Eye Shadow - 6,90 €

207
207 Swatched

208
208 swatched

I actually didn't swatch these in store... I just grabbed and ran. They were on sale for SUPER CHEAP. So I grabbed the most usable looking ones. I kinda wish I hadn't given in to my inner bargain hunter and had just left these alone.

Texture: A bit hard and powdery. Not my favorite. Not great on color payoff.

Wear: I'll be honest, I haven't been inspired enough to actually try them much.

Bottom Line: Don't waist your cash


68 and 43

Left to right: 68
Kiko Shiny Lipstick - 3,00 €

Interesting variety here. I almost chose a straight up purple but then thought again. Instead I got a 43 (lavender pink), and 68 (metallic rose). The finish on these is unreal! You want metallic, you GOT metallic!

Texture: Better than your average drug store brand.

Wear: On par with most lipstics

Bottom Line: At around 3 Euro a pop, so worth it!

I also purchased two nail polishes which I'll be reviewing separately.

From my understanding Kiko is available in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Another First - Dayton's Downtown Revival

A few weekends ago I had the very fortunate opportunity to to attend the Downtown Revival here in Dayton. Over 30 bands played, local and national with three stages set up for set rotation. For being the very FIRST festival of it's kind that Dayton has put on, I think it went really well. Incidentally, it was also MY first music Festival. Hard to believe? Well, I usually avoid crowds. But this seemed like a ton of fun - and it WAS!
The Bands I Got To Hear

The Motel Beds

John Legend

Lauren Elysse

Rusted Root

Train
Good friends make everything more fun!
Some of the standouts for me:
  •  Wheels - These were YOUNG high school kids who just kicked butt! Seriously, I couldn't believe the voices coming out of these kids. Awesome!
  • The Motel Beds - So one of my ex-co-workers is the drummer. But I still had a ton of fun listening to them.
  • The Ohio Players - Totally Fun.
  • Cowboy Mouth - Ok, at this point my friends and I were a little beer-buzzed, but we had the best time dancing silly and singing silly to these songs. Plus I was impressed that the drummer was also the frontman.
  • Lauren Elysse - Apparently she's a South Park native. Gorgeous with a powerhouse voice!
  • Andy Grammer -  He nearly missed his chance to perform because of a late bus. They snuck him in for a half hour on one of the stages. His acoustic set rocked and was one of the most fun performances of the second day.
  • Rusted Root - They gave me a chance to belly dance in a public setting so hey... I had fun.
  • Train and John Legend - the headliners on their respective days.  OF COURSE they were AWESOME!
One big let down for me was Guided By Voices. I'd been hearing they were supposed to be a fantastic band, originally local. Not only were they late to the stage but I thought their show sucked. I was so bored I got up and left for a different band. And it wasn't just a matter of me not knowing the music - I pretty much didn't know any of the bands that played except Train.

One overall observation: If you're into "Covers", festivals like this are a great place to hear some interesting takes on some songs that may or may not get released by the artist. For example, we got to hear John Legend cover several different people, and Train surprised us with a verse of "We Are Young" just for fun and to keep us pumped. I loved it.

Woman dancing silly!
Styrch's Festival Survival Tips
How could I possibly leave this post without giving a few of you some pointers should you choose to attend this even next year or a similar event in the meant time? After all, this WAS my first and I learned a lot. 
  • Pack Sunblock, Bandaids, Neosporin, Hand Sanitizer, and Earplugs... Just in Case - Inevitably, someone WILL Take a bad fall. Earplugs... you never know when someone will ask for some even if you don't use them. 
  • Opt for the Blanket Over The Chair - You can fold the blanket up easily and carry it with you if you want to get to the front of the stage. If not, it's a GREAT place holder if you intend on having a group join you eventually. Or bring the chair and be willing to abandon it if necessary.
  • Dance Often, Dance Silly - The food will be junk and chances are you'll be drinking more beer than you originally thought. So just MOVE! Plus you'll have more fun, especially if you don't care how silly you look. And no one will think you look silly if you look like you don't care.
  • Move to Another Stage Between Sets - There will ALWAYS be someone else playing. So go - you don't know what you'll end up loving. The exceptions to this rule is if you're tired or if you want get prime spots for the next act on the current stage.
  • Beverages in the Chair Bag - Just saying, they only checked the purses. So if you bring your own water (for example) that's where you want to put it.  
Did you miss the Downtown Revival in favor of the Greek Festival or something else? Not to fear! Check out the Dayton Downtown Revival Playlist on Spotify. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Straight Hair Awesomeness: Nicole Kidman at the Emmy's

Ok, so I got the following from a press release a bit ago. I usually don't post these sort of things... I also don't usually GET these sort of things. But I've been receiving them for this IT&LY line of products and being a girl who usually does straight hair styles I'm getting more and more interested in what these products could be about.

Anyway check it:

--- Begin Press Release ---



IT&LY's Pure Water Drops Serum and Pure Texture created this sleek, elegant look for this years' 2012 Emmy's. Celebrity Hairdresser David Babaii applied a small amount of IT&LY Pure Water Drops Serum followed by a spritzing of IT&LY's Pure Texture to wet hair and created a center part. This created the necessary barrier to ward off the day's heat and humidity while taming Nicole's natural curls. Next, he used his IT&LY Blow Dryer with the nozzle attachment to finish the drying process with a large paddle brush to smooth hair super straight. Avoid any metal coated brushes as these bristles only generate unnecessary heat and will cause hair to be baked not dried. Hair was sectioned first: top, sides and back. Hair was then dried by starting at the nape area first and continued with each section until the entire head was dry.

Next, he applied an additional amount of IT&LY Pure Water Drops prior to using a styling iron. To finish, he used his IT&LY's Racing Red 1" Digital Iron and divided hair into three parts again: top, sides and back. Starting at the nape area and taking small sections at a time, comb the hair before running the flat iron through. Complete each section until you have straightened every strand. Inside Tip: By sectioning the hair you have total control over the style, making sure every strand is smooth and sleek.

To finish he sprayed some IT&LY Pure Definition Hairspray on a toothbrush and ran it over the top hairs to give that light hold while taming any fly-a-ways at the same time.

To find out more about what is new and happening at IT&LY HAIRFASHION, N.A., follow them on twitter at www.twitter.com/italy_hair


If you wish to know more about who David Babaii will be styling next, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/davidbabaiihair and Facebook at www.facebook.com/babaii
--- End Press Release ---

Like I said... not my usual M.O. to just copy and past a press release, but I think Nicole's hair looks like how I wish mine would behave on an every day basis.  Sadly, I can never get it to look straight AND sleek/sexy. I may have to check these products out.

Have you used IT&LY products before? If you have, please let me know what you thought in comments below.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trying out "Eye Majic" Instant Eye Shadow


For a long while I've been intrigued by the idea of those "press on" lips or eye shadow or makeup of any kind. So when a PR rep for Eye Majic contacted me I pounced on her offer to let me try a couple shades out I pounced on it.

Step 2.

What is Eye Majic?
Ok, so when you get an Eye Majic color, you get these little packages with two roughly eye shaped sponges with a tab.   There are both pearl and matte shade (here I'm using a pearl shade). This is what you do (or at least what I did):


  1. Prep your eye - I've been using Too Faced Shadow Insurance so I felt no reason NOT to use that here.
  2. Press Eye Majic shade down on your eye - You have to hold it for 4 seconds according to the directions. Make sure you've lifted your eye high so there is a flat surface for the sponge with the shadow on it to lay correctly.
  3. Swipe Eye Majic across your eye - Well, after pressing for 4 seconds there wasn't much left for me to swipe but I did this step.
  4. Blend with sponge applicator - The applicator was pretty clean after swiping but I attempted to smooth out some of the places that looked funky. 
  5. Throw away your Eye Majic applicators - Ok, I can't argue that the idea of zero brush clean up appeals to me. Plus one use means it's probably a little more hygienic (just guessing).
Finished? Not quite...

After Step 3, 4, 5
The Eye Majic looked a little unfinished to me. So I took a pearly Inglot shade and blended into my brown bone.  There wasn't enough of the top shade in the Eye Majic for me to do this with their shadow. I also chose to take MAC Orpheus and line my lashes just a bit.

End Result

Ah, much better. Note: need to do some brow maintenance.

Not what I would normally do, but hey... it's not my design. I usually like a little more depth to my crease. I could have gone in with my own shadow and deepened the crease a bit but I chose not to for this review. I suspect the majority of people who are into makeup out there will want to monkey with Eye Majic using the application as a base then spice it up with their own flare.

Sort of fun, right? Yeah... it was!

Price - (UPDATED INFORMATION FROM PR on 09/24/12)
    • 2 Pair Box - $3.49 + S&H
    • 5 Pair Box - $8.49 + S&H
    • 10 Pair Box - $15.95 + S&H
    • Select 16 - $19.95 + S&H
      At a little over $1 per application I think the cost is a bit steep. If you purchase these, I think you'll want to be selective about when you're using them - like when you really do have less than 5 minutes to do your makeup!


      Bottom Line
      I would recommend Eye Majic for emergency makeup application when you need something FAST, or even for people who are starting out with eye shadow. Yes, I could see these being a great teaching tool. I may keep a couple with me for when I travel.

      Disclosure
      Eye Majic was provided to me by PR for the purpose of review. I was not compensated for this post in any other way nor am I affiliated with Eye Majic.

      Thursday, September 20, 2012

      Zoya Ornate Holiday Collection Press Release Info

      Time for some Zoya love...


      Press Release for Ornate Holiday Collection It’s time to celebrate... so make sure you celebrate in style! The NEW Zoya Ornate Collection is the perfect to decorate your nails with stunning jewel tone colors and special effect pigments this season. Featuring six stunning, glittering, crystal shades in our new Power Pigment Full Coverage Formula. Superior coverage and dynamic color in one. All in the long-wearing, toxin free (BIG5FREE) formula you love... Each one is as beautiful as the next.

       Zoya WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012/13: ORNATE Collection 
      • Blaze (ZP641) - Cranberry Glitter Glam Crystal - Featuring Power Pigment Full Coverage
      •  Electra (ZP642) - Holographic Tinsel Special Effect- wear it alone or layer it for extra drama 
      • Ziv (ZP644) - Gold Foil Glitter Crystal - Featuring Power Pigment Full Coverage 
      • Storm (ZP645) - Black with Multi Color Crystal Shimmer - Featuring Power Pigment Full Coverage 
      • Aurora (ZP646) - Plum with Multi Color Crystal Shimmer - Featuring Power Pigment Full Coverage
      •  Logan (ZP647) - Green Foil Glitter Crystal - Featuring Power Pigment Full Coverage
      The Zoya Ornate Collection will be available to purchase on October 15th.

      Styrch's Thoughts
      Wow! It looks like Electra is going to be holographic. Have we seen a true holo from Zoya yet? I don't think I have. But with so many colors in their collection maybe I missed something? Either way, totally excited to see how that turns out. Otherwise, I think this is the stereotypical color palette of any year's holiday season. I guess if you're not going crazy on color you can experiment with finish, right? Personally, I'm also very much looking forward to Storm (duh) and Logan (because you know I love foils).

      Will you be picking up the Ornate Collection?

      Image and information provided by Zoya.

      "Silky Underwear", "Lovely Jubblies", "Sweetie Pie", and "Lustre" - A Girls Night Out With LUSH


      Last week I received THIS PR pitch with an offer for samples. Since it was LUSH I said "YES PLEASE!!!" and then chuckled to myself after rereading the following:
      It’s Saturday night and you know what that means….girls night out! Ladies, it’s time to hike up those skirts, grab your favorite cocktails and prepare to turn some heads. Long before your stilettos hit the dance floor, get your mitts on some LUSH goodies that will ensure a GNO to remember.
      • Suds up like the saucy siren you are with Sweetie Pie shower jelly ($5.95 - $10.95). Carrageenan seaweed softens while the blackcurrant and cherry infusion leaves your skin smelling sultry.
      • Slip into some Silky Underwear ($6.95) before you slide into your little black dress. Our best-selling dusting powder contains cocoa butter to keep your bits moisturized while the absorbent powder will help you get in and out of that dress.
      • Shake what your momma gave ya! Perk up your perfect pair with our Lovely Jubblies ($24.95) cream, made with avocado to soften and meadowsweet infusion to tone your ta-tas.
      • Get glowing and smell sensual with one powerful puff! Lustre ($14.95) dusting powder gives skin a beautiful shimmer, and its seductive jasmine scent is sure to entice some admirers!
      End PR Pitch.

      I know, right? How silly! But so much fun!!! And it's been such a long while since I've delved into LUSH... I used to be such a Bath Bomb nut! Anyway, the second I got the samples I had to try them out.... just had to.

      Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly
      Woah...




      When I first opened this I smelled something that was fruity but almost in a cough syrup way. Sure enough, the ingredients list "cherry" as being one of the scents. This was an immediate turn off. Not to mention the fact I was a little skeptical about using something that was gelatinous as a shower soap. But I did try it. It does stay solid but it sort of melts as you smooth it onto your skin.  What impressed me was that not a single bit of glitter remained behind. In fact I couldn't even see it once I started using it. Unfortunately using it was tricky simply because it kept slipping out of my hands!

      The product says you can chill it (which I did not do - I used it at room temperature). You can also use it in your hair, which I did not do because I was worried about the glitter issue and I had already washed my hair.

      Bottom Line
      I don't think I've laughed so hard in the shower in a long time! But the novelty wears off (for me) after one use. I would not repurchase because of the smell and difficulty in the use of the product. However, I would like to note that I think kids (and maybe couples?) would get a kick out of this stuff!

      Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

      Silky Underwear - notice how it settled into my skin still visible.
      Appearance-wise it reminded me of baby powder. It's also used in a similar manner. You smooth it over your body. It is supposed to absorb sweat and moisturize. I can definitely say it does the latter and I could see how it would do the former. On the skin, for me, it did leave behind traces of white and didn't blend in very well so I don't think I would use it on anything visible. But it is soothing. And it smells of jasmine.


      Bottom Line
      Consider it if you're looking for a product of this type and like jasmine scent. Definitely recommend using it... um... under clothing.


      Lovely Jubblies
      LUSH breast cream? Ok.



      Well admittedly floral smelling cream is not the type of thing I usually use so I have nothing to compare it to. And no, I'm not going to show you before and after boobie pictures. However, having lost QUITE A BIT of weight over the last couple of years I have some places that need some firming (including the aforementioned "Jubblies"). Maybe I saw a difference because I wanted to, maybe not. But I think they looked a bit better (and a bit smaller) after use. I'm going to keep on using this until my sample runs out, and try it on other places (tummy, bum-bum, etc) and see if it makes a difference.

      Bottom Line
      Jury is still out, but very optimistic about this product's ability to just make one feel a bit better about one's appearance (imagined or not). However, I won't repurchase unless the difference is noticeable. 

      Lustre Dusting Powder

      Seriously, not in this pic, but the shimmer is AMAZING in good knighting.
      Darn my lack of good camera! I really wish I my camera with the decent macro lens was back from repair because this powder is AWESOME! Brush it on - it has the same soothing and moisturizing ability of Silky Underwear but it leaves behind a golden shimmer... that does NOT itch! Yes! I've found my dream body dusting powder!!! Oh you better believe I'll be using this product for some parties I have on my calendar!

      Bottom Line
      It's a little pricey as a novelty, but treat yourself and have fun being shimmery!

      Disclosure
      The products in this review were provided by PR for review. I was not compensated in any other way. I do not sell LUSH products and I am not affiliated with LUSH in any way.

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