Month: September 2012

My eight favorite pieces from the new Lana Del Rey H&M collection

The new H&M fall/winter collection starring Lana Del Rey is finally here, and I’m obsessed! I think it’s safe to say that I would wear almost every single item in this 46-piece collection, but since that’s obviously not feasible, I thought I’d highlight my eight personal favorites!

1. The long white coat with faux-fur trim. I love everything about this piece, from the faux-fur detail to the asymmetrical zippers. If I had to buy just one piece from the entire collection, it would probably be this one! Coat, $49.95.

2. Everything Lana is wearing in this picture below is awesome. The metallic boucle moto jacket is such a hip fusion of business and party and I could see dressing it up or down. Jacket, $29.95.
3. A peplum top? Yes, please, when it’s this pretty. Blouse, $17.95.
4. How about that fuzzy white miniskirt? It would be my party-worthy fun buy for the season. Skirt, $34.95.

5. I love this twist on traditional shift dresses; I think you could make it very ladylike or very femme fatale, depending on what you added to the outfit. This one has a tweedy texture with faux-leather detail. Dress, $19.95.
6. This sweater is another not-so-basic basic; it’s a cable-knit sweater, but the peachy hue and slouchy fit make it very modern at the same time. Sweater, $19.95.

7. Okay, what would a collection be without some shoe candy? I think these burgundy pumps could be your jewel-toned go-to party shoe for the rest of the season. Shoes, $49.95.
8. Remember when I said that every girl needs a pair of nude pumps? Well, here’s that pair. Shoes, $34.95.

Unfortunately for me they STILL haven’t opened an H&M store in my town–one has been under construction in the mall for the better part of the summer, and last I heard it was due to open this fall, but I haven’t heard a firm date. I’m hoping it opens up by the end of the month and will stock this full collection, because I just can’t wait to see these pieces in person!

Fall trend: cuff bracelets

Loved the cuff bracelet trend that dominated spring and summer? Good news: it’s hot for fall, too. Check out these tough-to-sweet options for your fall wardrobe.

1. Pyramid Leatherette Cuff, $9.50, Wet Seal
2. Linked Stamped Cuff Bracelet, $9.80, Vanity
3. Feathered Cuff, $6.80, Forever 21
4. Patterned Cuff, $18, Maurice’s
5. Zad Are You Up For It? Silver Cuff Bracelet, $19, Lulu’s
6. Chain Magnetic Premium Bracelet, $12.80, Vanity
7. Rock Collection Silver Cuff Bracelet, $11, Lulu’s
8. Ornate Filigree Stretch Bracelet, $6, Charlotte Russe
9. Gem Stone Bracelet, $9.50, PacSun
10. Cutout Damask Cuff, $4.80, Forever 21
11. Hammered metal cuff, $5.99, Wet Seal

Have you tried Julep Maven? (Join now for a penny!)

Have you guys tried Julep Maven yet? Julep is a Seattle-based boutique nail salon that offers trendy nail polishes in-store and online. Julep Maven is their subscription beauty box service; and right now, they’re offering a promo code that lets you try out your first month’s box for a penny! 

I couldn’t pass up such an amazing offer, and obviously I wanted to make sure the code worked before I recommended this deal to you, my readers. Before I signed up, of course, I took a moment to e-mail them and ask about their animal testing policies. Here’s what they told me:

We ABSOLUTELY DO NOT test on animals! Never have, never will! We only test on humans. One of the great things about Julep is we have 4 Nail Parlors and amazing customers that let us test and try products on them all the time! Some of our products do contain animal derived ingredients (ei: milk and beeswax and etc.) Here are some products that are completely VEGAN: Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub, Our famous Julep Essential Cuticle Oil, and any Non-Red nail polish. Another great thing our products are “4 Free”, we use NO paraben, NO sulphate phthalate, NO  DBP, and they are tolene and formaldehyde free. We like to say, we took out all of the nasty carcinogens that are found in so many other products.

That’s awesome! Now, on to Julep Maven, how it works, and that awesome penny code:

Like other beauty boxes, Julep Maven starts by having you take a quiz; you’ll get one of five style profile results: ‘American Beauty’, ‘Boho Glam’, ‘Bombshell’, ‘Classic With a Twist’, and ‘It Girl’. I got ‘Boho Glam’, and I’m pleased with how well this fits my personal style.

This is Julep’s idea of boho glam. I like it!

Every month, the team at Julep puts together a beauty box based on your style profile; you can log on and view the items they’ve selected on the 20th of each month. Each month’s box costs $19.99. You receive $40 worth of polishes and treatments, a surprise product in each box, 20% off orders from, and free shipping on your purchases. There’s also a referral program that lets you earn a free month of Julep Maven for each two friends who sign up using your referral link.

But here’s the really awesome part! If you don’t like the box they’ve selected, you can choose a box from a different style profile, or elect to skip the month entirely. (You can find the full details on their FAQ page.) How awesome is that? To my knowledge the ability to skip months is rare.You just have to log in to your account between the 20th and 24th and select “skip a month”, or call them to cancel by the 24th, to avoid being charged.

Now, I’ll move on to that aforementioned promo code. I was really skeptical when I heard that you could get your first month for a penny, so I decided I had to try this service simply to verify the code. Well, it worked for me…my first box is shipping out for just one cent! I used code “COLOR2012” at checkout. I don’t know how long this code will stay valid, so if you’re interested in trying the service, I’d suggest you hop on over there ASAP. Codes have a way of expiring in a hurry, and often mysteriously as soon as you’re ready to use them! (Or at least, that’s been my personal experience.)

Update: Julep is now also tweeting out a code to use, “TWITTER1”, so if the first code doesn’t work for you I would definitely try this new one before you give up!

One more thing: if you do sign up, I’d love it if you use my referral link. (Pretty please!) And make that if you tell your friends about this offer–or re-post it on your blog–that you give them your referral link, too! 

Here’s what I’m apparently getting in my introductory box…

According to the website, my first order includes:

  • Toni – Boho Glam: Greige with a hint of lavender crème
  • Sasha – Boho Glam: Fresh cantaloupe melon crème
  • Best Pedi Crème Ever! exfoliate, hydrate, and nourish your feet

I’m so excited! It looks my polishes will be vegan, since they aren’t red. And this is a pretty pricey deal for a penny–the polishes retail for $14 apiece, and the pedi creme is $22. Yikes! That’s a $50 value!

I’m not sure that I’ll stay signed up for this service–it’s kind of pricey per month, at least for my budget, though I do love that the products are chemical-free. I guess it will depend on how much I love the polishes they send, and of course, what polishes they pick for me each month. The beauty of it is that you can skip a month without obligation, so I might stay signed up for a while and just skip months I don’t adore, and see how it all works out before I cancel altogether. 

Once I get my box I’ll be sure to post swatches and reviews, so watch for those! And let me know if you decide to sign up for Julep Maven, or if you’ve tried them in the past. I’d love to know what other beauty junkies think of them!

Something different! Boyfriend (husband!) Q&A post

I thought it’d be fun to try something a little different today! This lifestyle Q&A post has really been making the rounds on the web–I found it on Nykki’s Mane Blog, Nykki borrowed it from Jessica at GirlBooklet, and Jessica tried it after seeing it on All Things Pink & Sparkly.Whew!

The goal is to ask your BF a series of questions to see how well he knows you. I tried it with my husband–see how he did, after the jump!

Q: She’s sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?

He said…Ellen Degeneres.
I said…Yup! That’s the only TV show I watch anymore.

Q: You’re out to eat, what kind of dressing does she get on her salad? 

He said…Italian.

I said…The only kind I ever get!

Q: What is one food that she does not like?

He said…Broccoli.
I said…Ham. Yuck.

Q: You go out to eat and have a drink, what does she order?

He said…It’s that fruity alcoholic drink…
I said…Yes! Strawberry daiquiri!

Q: What size shoe does she wear?

He said…Nines!
I said…Yes!
He said…I remember because I’m always buying you new shoes! And you always complain about your feet being too big.

Q: If she was collecting anything, what would it be?

He said…Cats. (He says flatly)
I said…I was thinking nail polish or shoes, but cats is a good one also!

Q: What is her favorite type of sandwich?

He said…Tuna melt.
I said…If it’s homemade, yes.

Q: What would she eat everyday if she could?

He said…Pasta.
I said…I do eat that a lot. I would say pizza or chocolate.

Q: What is her favorite cereal?

He said…The flake stuff.
I said…Wheaties?
He said…Yes. Whatever is in the cupboard right now.

Q: What’s her favorite music?

He said…Coldplay.
I said…That’s in the top five. I can’t pick just one! I’d love to see them in concert.

Q: What is her favorite sports team?

He said…Green Bay Packers.
I said…I don’t have one, actually.
He said…You always ask how they did in a game.
I said…That’s because I grew up in Wisconsin. Cheese head country!

Q: What is her eye color?

He said…Brown.
I said…BROWN? They’re hazel!!

Q: Who is her best friend?

He said…Jaidyn.
I said…Yes.

Q: What is something you do that she wishes you wouldn’t?

He said…Yell.
I said…Or mistake my eye color.

Q: What is her heritage/where she is from?

He said…Italy.
I said…Yes. Also German and Scandinavian.

Q: You bake her a cake for her birthday, what kind of cake is it?

He said…An ice cream cake.
I said…You do know me well!

Q: Did she play any sports?

He said…No.
I said…No. I’m not athletic.

Q: What could she spend hours doing?

He said…Reading and writing.
I said…Reading and writing. I can lose track of time with a book.

Q: What is one unique talent she has?

He said…Putting up with me.
I said…I don’t think I have any!

That was a lot of fun! I’d say he did pretty well…though I’m surprised that he got my shoe size and not my eye color! LOL!

Product review: Nail-Aid Ultra Rapid Growth

I’ve always had issues with peeling, splitting nails. Part of this, I suspect, is an unavoidable side effect of working at a manual job and basically abusing my digits all night long; I have to keep my nails very short, and it’s tough to make a manicure last. Still, the promise of stronger nails is always tempting, and I needed a new base coat anyway, so I thought I’d give this one a shot.

Product: Nail-Aid Ultra Rapid Growth, $7; drugstores

Claim: “Longer Nails In Just 5 Days. Harder, Thicker Nails Instantly. Powerful Protection Against Splits, Peels And Chips. Fills In Ridges For Smoother Nails. Dries Fast To A High-Shine, Hard Finish.”

I tried it: You can wear this clear coat alone or as a base/top coat with colored polish. As a base coat, I have nothing but praise for this product: it creates a smooth base for the polish, makes removal easier, and seems to help protect against staining as well as any other base coat I’ve tried.

The brush is medium-sized, not thick and fat but not so skinny that you have to stroke and stroke to cover the nail. The formula is also a nice density, not too thick or too thin. I should also note in parting that this formula seems to dry fairly quickly, which is always a nice attribute in a base coat.

As a top coat, I’m a little more iffy. It does protect the color against chipping, but it just isn’t as shiny and glossy as I’d like it to be. However, it won’t “streak” your manicure like some cheap top coat formulas, which is a huge bonus. I tried it as a top coat over nail art to protect and prevent streaking, then finished with a coat of cheap clear glossy top coat for a shinier finish. It’s a two-step process, but I always apply two coats of top coat anyway, so I’m happy enough with it until I can find a different top coat to suit my needs.

As far as growth and strength: I would say that my nails are a bit stronger after using this product for a few weeks. A couple are still peeling, but they’re much stronger overall and do seem to be growing a bit faster.

My vote: A winner! Non-toxic base coats are hard to come by, and when you do find them, they’re typically rather expensive. This is a lovely formula that I’ll definitely purchase again in the future.