Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cheap thrills and deals at Costco

For the first time in about 3 years, I went to Costco yesterday with my mom. We were absolutely mesmerized by everything in the store. Don't get me wrong- Costco having fun merchandise at low prices is nothing new...but I had no idea just how exciting some of my findings would be, especially in the beauty area.

   My first thrill came when, out of nowhere, displayed before me were Betsey Johnson makeup bags, 3 for $19. A small one, medium one and large one. Perfect! I had been needing to buy a new makeup bag or two but wanted to wait until I found one I liked.


Betsey Johnson 3 piece makeup bag set $19.99

Not the best picture, I took this on my iphone. But you get the idea. I love her rose pattern, very cute. The medium size bag is glossy black, very chic. Behind the black bag is the largest bag, which is the perfect size for me. I like having a larger makeup bag with me at all times. I think the smallest one is perfect for keeping lip products in, lip liners and lipsticks are easy to loose so I like to have them in a smaller bag.

My next thrill came when I saw the Fekkai shampoo they sale...I wasn't aware that Costco was selling Salon brand shampoos. I've used Fekkai before, which I thought you could only get at Bath and Body Works.

Fekkai set $29.99

                           This Fekkai set sales for $29.99 at Costco- each individual product is at least $25 at Bath and Body Works

   I think the biggest thrill came when I realized they carry some products by Stila and Smashbox cosmetics, which are 50% less then what they go for on the Stila and Smashbox websites.

                                                         Still palettes     $19.99

                                         Stilla duo eyeshadow kit-   $19.99


                                                     Smaxbox set-       $19.99

    I have also heard that Costco carries Mac eyeshadows. I have yet to see this but I don't doubt it's true.

                                     Costco also has a great electronic department

      With all the excitement over the beauty/electronic merchandise, I almost forgot that Costco has food. Seriously, they have everything. I didn't even talk about the cool toys for little kids. Soo...I will definitely be doing more shopping there in the future.  Possibly some Christmas shopping if I make it back in time. I haven't had that much fun shopping in I don't know how long.

Now, I do remember seeing these on my last trip to creeped me out three years ago and still creeps me out now.

  Do they have everything or what?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Park Avenue Princess


No, I'm not talking about that kind of Park Avenue Princess. I'm talking about a bronzer.

In fact, this bronzer, which is made by  Tarte, is my new favorite. Tarte happens to be an organic makeup company. Everything is natural and better for your skin. Also, they do cruelty free testing which always makes me happy as a consumer.  I had never tried anything by them before but when I was at Sephora the other day looking for a new bronzer, I saw Park Avenue Princess by Tarte and immediately loved the color. The bronzer has just the right amount of shimmer to it and I love the texture of this particular bronzer. It is supposed to be good for your skin. To read more about it, visit

                                 Tarte bronzer in Park Avenue Princess $29



        I had been using MAC before and the bronzer I used by them doesn't even come close to my love for this one by Tarte. It goes on so smoothly, I highly recommend looking at the Tarte brand if you haven't before.

        I will definitely be trying more Tarte products in the future. Have any of you tried any of their products before? If so, which ones and do you recommend them?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Winter layering 101 : Part 2

In the previous post I skimmed over all the basic pieces for your wardrobe that you will need for layering. In this post I put together a few outfits, combining the basic pieces with the outerwear pieces.

   Layering   basic pieces with the blazer

              As you can see, I have taken basic pieces and paired them each with a blazer to show different ways to use your basics with classics (classic being the blazer). The white collar shirt under the blazer definitely gives it more of a professional look. The t shirt and cami are more casual but can still be dressed up.

In the first look, a  basic piece with the poncho/ In the second look, a basic cami with a cardigan


            I mentioned earlier how I enjoy having basic pieces such as long sleeves in bold colors from time to time. I love the yellow long sleeve crew neck under the black poncho. In the next look, a white cami works nicely with rich red cardigan. Of course, on a colder day, you could wear something heavier under the poncho or cardigan.

The next look is an example of dressing for super cold weather by optimizing the number of layers you use. Here I paired a simple long sleeve and a cardigan  with a trench.


Next is a tunic paired with a cardigan and scarf

This last image is an overall look I created to illustrate layering. I used a white shawl to go over the red blouse; over that goes the trench and scarf. For the bottom half, I used red socks, which go past the boots by a few inches. The red socks are layered over black leggings, giving extra detail to the outfit.

PS - anyone notice a color combination that I'm into?

Also- do you have any neat layering ideas? I'd love to see them!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Winter layering 101 - part one

Winter layering

The great thing about wearing layers is you can always stay comfortable weatherwise. You can eliminate or add pieces to adjust to the temperature. To start off, let's talk about the basic pieces you will need so that you can mix and match and layer away.

The basics/ Plain camis and shirts

  T shirts and camis (or sphagetti straps, preferrably the longer stretchy ones) are necessities if you are wanting to easily layer and change your look. This time of year, I use camis and basic tees like crazy. I wear them constantly under cardigans, jackets, and blazers - which are all also winter staples that I will discuss in a moment. I like to have my cami's and shirts in all of the basic solid colors (white, gray, black) and also I like to have a pop of color as well, usually red.  I also included a white collar button up shirt because those come in quite handy as well and always add a sharp look. Basic pieces offer you endless possibilities as far as what you can mix and match them with / accessorize them with. Forever 21 and Target are great places to get cami's and tee shirts . Forever 21 has a great basic section with a lot of variety.

The reason I mentioned camis and tees as winter basics is because they still work for days where it isn't super cold; they are great for under your jackets and cardigans because they will not give you a bulky look.  For colder days you want to turn to your long sleeve basics to wear under your heavier pieces. The pieces below are thin enough to wear you won't look bulky.


It is handy to have thin, long sleeve/ crew neck type shirts in different colors as pictured above. I also find turtlenecks are good to have on hand, although I am picky about the material and how tight the neck is. Having said that, turtlenecks look good alone but also look great under jackets, especially the trench.

Moving on to the outer layers- below is a collage of different types of outerwear pieces. Blazers, leather jackets, fur jackets, ponchos, cardigans (long sleeve and sleeveless), vests, military jackets, pea coats, and trench coats. These are all great pieces that can be worn over and over throughout winter.

Of course which outer layer you wear depends on the weather for that day. A trench coat would be way too heavy/hot for a place tha doesn't get all that cold in winter, yet it is perfect for a windy city. Cardigans can be light or heavy, so I find they come in handy on almost a daily basis.

The accessories

               Of course, scarves are always a huge winter accessory so I included two images of different style scarves.. I am loving gloves for this fall, the pink and black ones in the picture are by Betsey Johnson. Beanies are great not just for cold weather but also for bad hair days. Last in the picture I included two images of knee high socks. What I love about these is you can wear them over your leggings-  ie wearing a red pair of knee high socks over black leggings is a nice extra touch and pop of color to your outfit. They also add a thin layer of warmth.

            Now that we have briefly discussed all the winter essentials, I will be posting images of outfits I have put together using the pieces above. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Poncho, Two Different Looks

In my last post I talked about how great cardigans are for winter because you can do so many different things with them. Well, moving on to another great staple for winter, it's time to talk about the poncho. One of the reasons I love the  poncho is the same reason I love my favorite type of clothing, dresses: They are easy to wear! You throw them on and out you go.  And also- they are loose fitting, so they are perfect for days you may be feeling a little bloated or what have you. This morning it started to rain, and while I was rushing late for school, I knew I wanted to be in something "comfy" to wear .  I remembered a creamy colored poncho I had been waiting to wear once the weather got cooler. I decided to pair my poncho with leggings and moccassins, which was perfect for the weather and the mood I was in.

Yes, ponchos are great for when you are in a laid back, no fuss mood...but make no mistake about it, they can also be dressed up. For the second look, I wanted a night look- so I paired my poncho with dark leggings and tall boots.

I appreciate the snake detail on the platform and heel- nice extra touch


Cream poncho- Mudd, available at Kohl's
Grey leggings- Target
Black leggings- Forever 21
Gold necklace- Forever 21
Beige moccasins-  Kohl's
Grey boots- Baker's (last season)

The most expensive piece in the outfits above is the gray boots, which  I found on sale for $70. Not bad!


When it comes to which look I like better- I am torn. Both were fun to wear, although my moccassins are definitely easier to run around in then those boots...