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Sephora Spin to Win Codes

18 Oct

So I need to pick up some more ExfoliKate, but that stuff is très cher, so I have been putting it off. Well, Sephora is doing its Spin to Win game again, so I had my fingers crossed for a 10% off coupon. Just like last year, however, I keep winning crap I don’t want or need like sample size mascaras and moisturizers. Just give me my 10% off, already!

Well, thanks to Google, I happened upon the Looks Cute Though blog, which helpfully provided the following list of codes:

BINGO! Thank you, Mayette!

– Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum Deluxe Mini (code: MT34S7, 7.5:10 odds)
– Shiseido Urban Environment SPF Sunscreen Deluxe Mini (code: MS2U8E, 7.5:10 odds)
– Lancome Defincils Mascara Deluxe Mini (code: ML4D02, 7.5:10 odds)
– 10% Off Purchase (code: BRG3P8Y, 1:10 odds)
– Free Shipping on purchases over $25 (code: F1AS12, 1.5:10 odds)

NEW GIVEAWAY!

8 Oct

Oh here it is, and it’s a goodie! With a retail value of $120 (!!!!), I present you:

Tarte’s Statement Lips 5-Piece LipSurgence Collector’s Set! I know I don’t have to tell you to ENTER NOW! And spread the word!

WEINER!!!!

1 Oct

Gosh I am so far behind I am almost ahead – sorry about that. I cannot believe it’s already October. I have so many products to review and so much to do, but this baby business is bearing down on me fast.

Nonetheless! It is time to announce the winner for the September giveaway, and it is An L! An, I will contact you via email for a mailing address. Congratulations!

10 Things Every (Normal) Woman Should Have

5 Sep

Allure magazine, which I normally really like for beauty and product reviews and advice, has a recurring column called “10 Things Every Woman Should Have.” They have designers, fashion editors, etc., compile this list every month, and every month, it makes me laff and laff.

Here are my three favorite items from this month’s list, created by Peter Copping, some dude I don’t know or care about:

-A “Siamese cat.” (?!? seriously???)
-“A ladylike Nina Ricci Dress.” The one Allure chose to feature is priced at an affordable $1,635. You can get it at your neighborhood Neiman Marcus.
-A “Tiger Rug.” Blessedly, this is not an actual tiger, but at €1,370 (that’s roughly $1,700 to you ladies who don’t make regular trips to The Old World), it may as well be. Also, it’s f**king hideous.

Now lest you think I am exaggerating, some previous things EVERY woman should have include a $585 Jason Wu striped sweater (suggested by, shockingly, Jason Wu), a $5,530 ring (suggested by Olivier Theyskens), and a Diane von Furstenberg bracelet, priced at “$200 and up” (well go on and guess who suggested that). (As a side note, you know who was surprisingly vague and therefore affordable with her list? Donna Karan! You go, girl!)

Anyhow, I was thinking this month as I read this, I sincerely wish I could apply these ideas to my life. Some of them are clever and helpful, but there’s no way I am ever going to be able to spend $1,600 on a dress – my WEDDING DRESS set us back $600. After a bit of pondering, I thought, you know what I need to do? Make a list. A list of 10 Things Every NORMAL Woman Should Have. (And don’t snipe at me for the word “normal,” I know it’s subjective, but no woman I know regularly spends gobs of cash on the crap they’re suggesting. So it’s normal to ME.)

Without further ado, in no particular order…

10. A lipgloss you love.
Not surprising this is on my list, given the name of the blog, but I am quite seres. If you follow the blog, you know I go through lipglosses like nobody’s business, but one of my reigning champions – which, hilariously, has been discontinued – is Estée Lauder’s High Gloss in Blush. I have written about it before so I won’t go on now, but it’s the BEST, and you can get all sorts of other pretty colors besides Blush, so don’t fret. But of course it can be ANY lipgloss, as long as you love it.

9. An LBD.
I don’t care if it’s from Neiman Marcus or Target – you should have one black cocktail dress that makes you feel sexy, well-dressed, and presentable, and that you can throw on at a moment’s notice. My absolute favorites have come from White House Black Market, and I have worn them for all sorts of occasions. Well priced, well made, and they fit like a glove. Oh and hi? They go up to size 16. Love you, WHBM!

8. A fabulous pair of sunglasses.
I have a slight sunglasses addiction (nowhere near as bad as my product addiction, no worries) and it worsened when I discovered sites like Rue La La and Zulily. When sunglasses manufacturers discontinue a style, they often sell remaining inventory through these discount sites. What that means is you can pick up a pair of Fendi or Tom Ford sunglasses for less than half what they’d cost retail. As a result, I have designer sunglasses like whoa, but I can still afford to eat. And I get compliments on them all the time!

7. Shoes that make you feel sexy.
Again, brand is irrelevant. Nine West, Christian Louboutin, Merona, I don’t care. When you put them on, they should boost your self-confidence (if not your height). They don’t have to be heels, but you should be able to imagine yourself doing naughty things in them. Check out www.ninewest.com for inspiration – they have some of my favorites.

6. Sexy underthings.
Maybe you never even wear them under things. Maybe you just wear them to greet your someone special at the door. Or in bed. Or you just save them in a drawer for when that moment comes. Just having them will make you feel prepared. Allure’s always recommending these sets that cost hundreds of dollars but you know what? I like Frederick’s because they’re cheap and sexy and I usually don’t have them on for all that long. They just have to look good – my husband doesn’t care what the bloody tag says.

5. Yoga or sweatpants and an oversized tee shirt.
I don’t even need to explain this, I hope. We all have those days. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of comfort. Comfort is way underrated in our image-obsessed society. Give yourself a day off. Enjoy.

4. Every-day eyeshadow.
You should own an eyeshadow you can put on any day, no matter what you’re wearing (even if it’s number 5), and feel good in it. The secret is choosing something that has a little color or shimmer but is easy to apply. I love Too Faced’s Glamazon, a buttery shimmery brown that I always get compliments on. It’s visible but never “too much.”

3. A favorite book.
This is a slightly weird one, I admit. But you should have (at least) one book you really love. Even if you don’t read, or prefer magazines, or whatever. Get an audio book. Find something literary you love and can talk about forever. Some of my favorites are The Catcher in the Rye, Valley of the Dolls, Fahrenheit 451, and The Great Gatsby. Girls who know something about literature are hot. Seriously.

2. A nickname.
Even if you have to give it to yourself. I decided I wanted to be called Sparkle, and that’s what one of my best friends, Michael, calls me. I also danced burlesque for awhile and am still known in some circles as Kitty Valentine. Choose it and own it, if no one’s given you one you like. It’s like having an alterego. (And also along those same lines, pick your bar name – the name you give to dudes at bars you don’t ever want to see again. I am Violet. If you decide on it ahead of time, it’s way easier to remember when they force you to introduce yourself.)

1. An opinion.
On something. On anything. Even if it’s just an Allure column that drives you crazy. And hand in hand with that opinion should go an idea of when and where the right time to discuss it is. You don’t need to cram it down people’s throats, but keep it there, inside of you. It will give you confidence, and that is something other people notice. And respect – much more than an atrocious $2,000 rug.

Another contest?!? Say WHA???

1 Sep

I have been horrible about updating lately BUT not horrible about getting awesome prizes for the Kate’s Favorite Things Giveaways!

August’s winner of the Caudalie gift set is Mari H. – congrats, Mari!

September’s giveaway is another set of my favorite things: BUXOM’S Big & Healthy Lip Polishes & Sticks!

This set could be yours! Enter before midnight on the last day of September and maybe you’ll get a chance to try out Buxom’s awesome lip lines for FREE!

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20

19 May

Those of you who know me know I am not a small person. I never have been. I was born weighing in at over 10 pounds, and I’m now 6′ tall with Amazonian hips and bountiful bosoms. I’m not fat, per se, but I am certainly “womanly,” “voluptuous,” and “curvy,” and even when I am as thin as I can get without looking sick, I’m not blowing over in a strong wind.

I recently read an article about shoes (another love of mine) and how plus size women love shoes because shoes don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5’10” and 110 pounds or 5’2″ and 180, if you’re a size 8, you’re a size 8, and you can walk into any department store or shoe store in the world, pick out a pair in your size, and know they’re going to look fabulous. Those of us who wear larger-sized clothes (again, even at my thinnest, I am squeezing if I wear a 12) will never know the pleasure of buying off the rack. I don’t even bother with vintage clothing stores, much as I love the styles of the 40s and 50s, because they NEVER have anything in my size. To make matters worse, I am ALSO screwed in the shoe department – at a size 11, sometimes 11.5, I can’t usually buy off the rack for shoes, either. 9 times out of 1o – nay, 99 times out of 100, I will fall in love with a pair of shoes only to find out the largest they come in is a 10. And usually they don’t even have those in stock. And vintage shoes? Pahahahaha, right. Apparently women in those days maxed out at an 8, or they wore the boxes.

Now I have managed to amass quite the shoe collection in spite of (or maybe because of?) this disadvantage. I have found brands – Naturalizer, Aerosoles, Nine West – that make a large variety of shoes in my size. And I buy them with gusto and the satisfaction that I DESERVE these shoes because I am not like other women – I have to take them when and where I can find them! Still, it’s not always easy, and I can’t usually see a pair of shoes on a friend and ask where she got them, feeling I could go pick myself up a pair. Because they more than likely don’t even make them in my size.

What does that leave me with? PRODUCT. Product really and truly does not discriminate. One size blush fits all. A tube of mascara, used normally, lasts every woman the same amount of time. Lipgloss is lipgloss is lipgloss. You can have fat lips or thin lips and that lipgloss looks the same.

Okay okay okay. So getting to the point, which I am sure by now you thought I’d never do. I present you with Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20 in Glow (ain’t that a mouthful).

I love me some lotion, and I moisturize every day after showering. I got a generous sample size of this with my May Birchbox, and was stoked to try it. It’s a tinted, slightly sparkly moisturizer WITH SPF – what a great idea. So basically, it evens your body skin tone, protects from the sun, and gives you a nice, summery sheen. Love it! The sample was 0.5 fl. oz., and it took the entire thing to cover my body. It didn’t seem to come off on my clothes, gave me a really nice glow, and seemed to moisturize well. You may consider this a plus or a minus, depending on your proclivities, but it hasn’t much of a smell. I personally prefer lotions with a yummy, gourmet smell, but I don’t really like lotions that are too perfumey, so having no smell at all is really probably okay.

I liked this moisturizer/bronzer/suntan lotion SO much that I promptly bought a full-size bottle of it from Amazon. If you click above, you will note that it does not clearly say the size of the bottle, but since the sample size was half an ounce, I figured the full size would be quite large, especially for $34. I received the lotion yesterday and was surprised and more than a little disappointed to discover the full-sized product is – get ready – 3.38 oz. REALLY? I used half an ounce in ONE application! Please tell me if I am being crazy here, but that means there aren’t even seven full uses in this full-sized bottle! Not even a week’s worth of applications for THIRTY-FOUR DOLLARS? I mean, okay, yes, I am impressed by this lotion – its multi-functionality is unique and awesome. But $10 and ounce??? IS IT MADE OF LIQUID GOLD????

This brings me around to my opening. If you are short and thin, hey, this may last you a month. But if you’re 6′ tall and of ample body, it may be a waste of money. I’m so disappointed – even the product sphere has found a way to make me feel awkwardly large. Thanks, Sarah McNamara. Thanks a lot. :/

Social Media-ing

11 May

I don’t tweet too often, but I’m trying to learn how. If you want to support my effort, please follow me at http://twitter.com/kate78.