Friday, August 31, 2012

Time to MAKE-UP for all those gifts you didn't get

We've all been there: standing in Sephora during holiday season staring longingly at gift sets crammed with 40 eyeshadows, 12 lipglosses, and 8 blushes.  You know that half of the eyeshadows are unwearable neon shades or tacky glittery messes, you know that only one of the blushes will actually look good with your skintone, you know that the lipglosses are half the normal size and probably a tad wonky...but that little voice in the back of your head keeps insisting "why wouldn't you buy that pea-green eyeshadow?  It would look so badass with the metallic eggplant eyeliner from that other gift set over there." Most seductive of all is the price tag, proudly stating something along the lines of "$49.50--A $2,000,000,000.00 VALUE!!!"

Well, if the thought process above sounds like yours, your moment has come: holiday makeup gift sets have officially hit Nordstrom Rack and it's time to strike.  Today I picked up this Stila set that I have been lusting after since Christmas for $10.00.  Yes, I said $10.00.  It originally retailed for $40.00 and is allegedly worth $366.00.  No need to feel guilty over that.  I can even get away with wearing 6 of the 7 blushes.  

There was a great selection available--mostly Stila, Urban Decay, and Smashbox.  Here are a few of the other items I saw at the Lakewood, CA location: Stila Daydream Palette ($8!!!); Smashbox Click You're It Gift Set ($22).  There were many more amazing new cosmetics arrivals, but I could not find good images for them and think they might have been one-offs for Nordstrom.

If you're a makeup fiend, I would hit this sale up ASAP before the other addicts find out about it.  Happy hunting!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gilty Pleasures

Gilt alert!  Gilt alert!  This members-only website is having some awesome sales today.  I was able to pick up two amazing dresses by Corey Lynn Calter, one of my favorite designers, at well over 50% off.  This site has amazing deals but in order to make a purchase, you have to be a member.  Membership is by invitation only, so if anyone needs to be invited, comment on this post or contact me via facebook (if we're real-life friends) and I'll take care of you!

Be sure to check out the Summer Dress Series Sale, which includes picks specifically for brunch, the beach, nice dinners, and fancy cocktails.

From the dinner section, I snagged CLC's Victoria Strapless Dress, which I've had my eye on since this Winter.  Originally priced at $205.00, I picked it up for $79.00.  Considering that I first fell in love with this dress when I saw my idol Zooey Deschanel wearing it on New Girl, I think I got a pretty good deal.  In fact, this find borders on miraculous since everything Miss Deschanel is seen wearing sells out pronto.

My second pick of the day was CLC's Sweet Pea Eyelet Strapless Dress.  I was majorly depressed when this sold out on the CLC website way back in the Spring.  Finding this dress on Gilt today was an incredibly pleasant surprise!  I scooped this little darling up for $85.00, marked down from the original price of $216.00.

Gilt provides daily access to sample sales which feature shoes, accessories, and every article of clothing you could imagine--they even have discounts on gourmet food items and luxury vacation packages.  To this they add cheap shipping and consummate customer service.  All of their items are 100% genuine.  Don't ask me how they do it, but Gilt is simply the most well-rounded and reliable flash sale website around.  For a similar experience, check out Ruelala (high end), Ideeli (middle-to-high end), and Hautelook (mid-low end).

Here is the link to my favorite sale of the day, possibly my favorite sale ever (although you should check them all out):

Happy Hunting and don't hesitate to ask for an invite if you need one!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


So I've been on a crazed boot quest for a few weeks.  My favorite pair which I've been wearing a few times a week for four years has finally given out (we're talking holes in the leather, heels worn down to the sole, etc).  They were perfect...they hit at the upper calf, not quite the knee, pull on construction, no ornamentation, the richest cognac color in the softest short, the boots that dreams are made of.

But when it comes to shopping, I am a pragmatist who has no time to mourn lost loves of seasons past: it was time to move on.  Months ago, I found the ideal replacement: Steve Madden's Frienzzi boot.  It was the perfect height and color, with the perfect amount of edge.  So I bought it and Steve Madden cancelled my order because apparently, they sold more than they actually made.  Thanks, guys.  Aaaaanyway, for days on end, I've been scouring the internet, blogs, sample sales...I called a Macy's in Illinois to force them to search for my dream boots.  This is how bad it's gotten.  

But on a random trip to the mall, I was struck by inspiration.  I had parked outside of Marshall's on my way to check out the schmaschmazing Anthro sale I posted about last week and on my way out to the car, I figured...why not check it out?  I opened the doors and immediately, far in the distance, I spied one lone boot shaft towering amidst a battlefield of pumps, wedges, and ballet flats.  Needless to say, I made a bee-line for it was picture perfect.  The Lucky Brand Angel boot in Amaretto.  It debuted in Fall 2009--way out of season.  But it's brand new, gorgeous, and I really couldn't care less that they're out of season.  I dare you to find these boots in your size for less.  I double-dog dare you.  Anywho, I snagged these $200.00 boots for $100.00.  100% authentic leather, fully lined, adjustable double buckles, knee-height...dream come true!  Btw, I also found a darling baby blue Chi straightener for $60.00 and the new Kate Spade Twirl fragrance for 75% off!  I only bought the boots but what I'm saying can't afford to be snobby when it comes to bargain hunting.  Check out Marshall's!  (author's note: not all Marshall's locations will have these boots--if you have a larger-than-normal, nicer-than-normal Marshall's in your area, that's where I would check first; I would recommend calling ahead)

Some further avenues to check out in your own quest for the perfect Fall boot: NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE!!!  Nordstrom credit or debit card holders can start shopping the sale now, and the rest of us peons can check it out starting July 20th.  This is an awesome way to get amazing prices on in-season footwear as well as accessories, cosmetics, and apparel.  They have the brand new Fry and Steve Madden boots for the Fall at major discounts that won't last, so check it out!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Hey all!

For fans of everything girly, retro, boho, or indie: Anthropologie (fondly known by the initiated as "Anthro") is the place for you.

As a devoted Anthro fan, there are a few things I've learned over the years (and within the last couple minutes  Breaking news!!!).

1) Anthropologie generally adds new items to the sale section on Tuesdays, but does not add new items every week.

2) If you cannot find the item you want in your size online, you can call their customer service number: (800) 309-2500.  They will locate it in a store for you and the store will ship your item FOR FREE because you couldn't find it online.  Nice.

3) The first cut they take is 50% off original price, rounding up to the nearest multiple of ten.  A 50% discount right off the bat is more than, like, anywhere.

4) Today, I woke up to discover that Anthropologie had added a gargantuan number of things to the sale section!  More than ever before.  And it's all an additional 25% off.  Discount will be reflected at checkout (no code required)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never buy online from Anthro due to that whole free-shipping-from-stores thing, so I just called up my local Anthro and put my dream shopping cart on hold!  My personal favorite?  The Swallow Dive Halter by Girls from Savoy.  $49.95, which will come to about $40.00 after the additional discount and tax. 

Happy Hunting, everyone!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Benjamin Button Disease: or, My Love of Teen Stores

Today is a day for confessions, and let's be real: this one is pretty embarrassing.  Truth be told, the older I get, the more inappropriately attracted I am to teen stores.  This probably has less to do with some deep-seated psychological problem than it does with my pint-sized mini-structure.  My entire life, I've been a step behind.  In middle school, I didn't fit into the clothes from the junior section like all my friends so...I was still wearing Limited Too and Rave Girl (yes, I fell victim to that embarrassing pleather pants trend).  In high school, I remained too flat-chested to wear anything remotely resembling cute or trendy.  I still buy all of my jeans at abercrombie (i.e., the kids' version of Abercrombie and Fitch).  So there you go.  I'm just lying in the bed that nature made for me.  Now that I'm taller and very slightly less flat chested, I'm just making up for lost time.

Like all good addicts, I'm pretty darn good at justifying my behavior.  And there are actually a lot of really, really great things which some teen stores have going for them.  

1) They have a reliable standard for fit.  Most teen stores carry exclusively their own brand.  Unlike department stores or boutiques, the Abercrombies, Hollisters, and American Eagles of the world have fits you can rely on.  Once you know a certain cut of jean looks good on you, you can explore different washes with confidence.  

2) A quick turn-over.  Because these chains tend to focus on one aesthetic, produce their own merchandise, and have storefronts nationwide, they carry immense amounts of stock.  Thanks to that, you can count on finding that one little piece that you've had your eye on in the sale section before long.  And that brings us to...

3) SALES!!! These chains have sales and deals going on pretty much constantly.  They know that their customers (supposedly of the teenage persuasion...supposedly) probably don't have all that much to spend.  How many 14-year-olds do you know who can go to Abercrombie and casually pick up a couple $120.00 dresses?  How many 13-year-olds spend their weekends at AE filling their wardrobes with $40.00 pairs of shorts?  So in order to get rid of these massive stockpiles of identical garments, these stores need to make them available to their demographic.  The only way to accomplish that is to make them cheaper.

**BUT BEWARE** All is not as it seems.  For instance, as we speak, Abercrombie and Fitch, abercrombie (A+F for the young'uns), and Hollister are all offering "An Additional 40% off Redlines" (redlines=clearance items, by the way).  But hang on a second...they raise the prices of the items in the clearance section before they apply the discount.  So you might as well just buy them at the original clearance price.  That said, this is a common trick which many, many stores are guilty of playing on their customers.  It is by no means isolated to the teenage sector.

In parting, I'd like to offer this pearl of wisdom: never rule out an awesome article of clothing simply due to the store you find it in.  To do so is snobby, and it also rules out an entire universe of clothes which might have become your new favorites if you had given them a chance.  For example, the clothing I've bought from Abercrombie over the years has consistently outlasted things I've purchased from  other stores, including up-market, "adult" stores.  American Eagle's dresses and tops are incredibly flattering.  I've worn American Eagle dresses to semi-fancy events before and gotten compliments--people literally could not believe that I had purchased such pretty dresses at a store marketed toward teenagers.

Moral of the story: think of your clothes like you think of your friends.  If you didn't want to be friends with a totally awesome person simply because they came from a neighborhood you wouldn't personally want to live in, everyone would think you were a total beezy.  By the transitive property, shop at teen stores and everyone will think you're awesome.  If someone likes your outfit, asks where you get it, and gets an unexpected "Hollister," they're not going to decide that they don't like your outfit.  They're just going to be jealous that your open-mindedness has made your wardrobe so much cuter than theirs.


40% off redlines at Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister (discount already reflected in price):  (Hollister is offering 50% off clearance items bought in-store)

25% off regular priced items at Abercrombie and Fitch:
use coupon code 11841 at checkout

Additional 40% off all sale items (excluding bras) at Aerie.  Unlike the 40% off at Abercrombie, this one is straightforward and absolutely real.

Semi-Annual Sale at American Eagle:

AE also tends to have a lot of random deals.  For example, if you buy a pair of shorts for full price right now, you can get another for ten dollars.

Inspiration Board!!!

The sundress of my dreams from AE for $30.00--I'm going to wear this one to Boa for some of those nummy cocktails that they garnish with orchids!  I've been imagining it since the day I first met this little gem at full price. <3

I got this top from A+F for $24.00 (marked down from $88.00!!!, not to brag or anything).  Picture this under a sharp blazer with jeans and wedges and you've gone from juvenile to date night chic in a flash!

Aerie is my consistent destination for all of my activewear needs.  I picked up this sports bra in two colors.  They were originally $25.00 each and I got them for $9.99!  Save your pennies and stay healthy in style!

Happy hunting, ladies!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I like my money right where I can see it. Hanging in my closet.

As all who know me know, I am a card-carrying shopaholic.  And by card, I mean Visa.  With my habits, the AmEx will probably be a long time coming.

How did I get this way?  I attribute it to a childhood replete with stirrup leggings, animal sweaters, and glitter-penned overalls (thanks, Mom).  My mumsie had wonderful intentions and is a snappy dresser herself.  To be fair, my wardrobe probably wasn't much of a shocker for the early '90s.  It was a dark time.  But let's just say that by the time I was old enough to dress myself, it was time for a change.

I've left the overalls and leggings in the past (the leggings made a brief return in 2007, but luckily I sobered up quickly and they're now exiled to my gym-and-pj drawer).  Nowadays, I'm about as girly as they come.  I'm all about retro dresses and flowy silk tops, eyelet and lace and blue satin sashes.  If I'm feeling rebellious, I might wear a black accessory.  Maybe.

Yes, I like ruffles and kitten heels and party dresses...and I have a lot of all those things.  I probably have too much of all those things ( "too much" a thing?).  But I'm not all bad.  I almost exclusively buy on sale. This habit, combined with my obssession with (eventually) obtaining every single thing I fall in love with, has made me an extremely vigilant shopper.  I'm pretty much a clearance ninja, and the purpose of this blog is to share my ill-gotten expertise with anyone who wants it.  I'll share it all, and hopefully my little habit will save you guys some cash.  I'll be sharing all of my sales news and a few of my clothing love affairs.  Expect some rants and raves too (ick, bubble hems).  Check back on the daily! ;)

Now that I've introduced myself, here is my shopping parable of the day.  JOIN IDEELI!!!  I command you to click on this and sign up:  Ideeli is a free, subscription-based sample sale website which has several new sales everyday.  They offer everything from Betsey Johnson to BCBG to BB Dakota to Vince Camuto to Steve Madden to basically every label under the sun.  Other sites I recommend are and  Gilt and RueLaLa tend to have higher-ends brands and designers on sale, whereas Ideeli offers a broader range or price points.  I recommend Gilt for investment purchases--I got my fave Hunter rain boots through Gilt for nearly half price.  

Basically, two weeks ago I saw this dress on ideeli and snapped it up for $50.00 and today it appeared on Modcloth in the new arrivals section for...$100.00 (  So I pretty much got this dress two weeks early for half price.  Sign up!!! Jes-13hsq-002-1_550x550