Monday, February 28, 2011

February Favorites

As my blog continues to grow and evolve, I want give my wonderful readers opportunities to get to know me on a more personal level.  One way in which I hope to make this possible is through a monthly posting of my current favorite things.  By reading about what I love most, I hope that you walk away with a fuller sense of who I am.  For example, after this initial "Favorites" posting, you might begin to see that I am part raccoon!  I love anything that sparkles and shines!

Another goal of these posts is to have all you gorgeous gals tell me what you currently love most!  I really enjoy getting to know people and making new friends, so don't hesitate to comment and interact!  I love having all of you as followers and am always excited to hear your thoughts!

So now, without further ado, I bring you my first installation of my monthly favorite things!

Right now (and always) I'm loving all things shiny and metallic.  I particularly love my Oh Deer! silver sequin heels!  These shoes really make a statement and I get so many compliments no matter where I go!  I love to wear these to parties and will occasionally throw them on during the day to take a simple outfit to new levels!

I also absolutely adore my Treesje studded satchel!  This beautiful handbag is made of super soft Italian leather (yes, that is actually leather) with silver thread stitching.  The studs and hardware on the handles give this bag a bit of a funky feel, and it's big enough to fit everything I need to carry with me for the day!  This bag is so unique and has quickly become my favorite handbag to carry on a regular basis!

My other favorite accessory at the moment is my Michael Kors "Madison" watch.  This watch is made of clear resin with rose gold plating and sparkling crystals.  I love the chronograph dial, which is also adored with crystals, and was surprised to find out how light this watch was to wear (apparently resin doesn't weigh much).  This was a gift from my boyfriend that was definitely much appreciated!  This watch is another unique piece that I'm constantly receiving compliments on.

Although these first three items are all shiny and sparkling, my next fave is a product that aims to remove shine.  Philosophy's Never Let Them See You Shine Primer is a wonderful, mattifying primer that keeps my forehead and cheeks shine free all day long!  It is also super lightweight and reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines.  I have a few primers that I really enjoy, but this is currently my absolute favorite!

My favorite makeup right now is Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Plum Mascara.  This burgundy/plum colored version of Benefit's bestselling mascara provides all the length and volume you would expect from BADgal, but really makes my green eyes stand out!  It probably looks great with brown eyes, too.  I love to wear it with neutral eye shadows that way it really pops!

My favorite hair product right now it is Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Penetrating Oil.  It provides softness and shine and helps prevent breakage.  It also smells fabulous and isn't overly greasy or heavy.  Other argan oils I've tried cost much more than Organix, which makes this a great budget buy as well!  Also, this bottle is much larger than many other argan oil products, so it last a loooong time!

Korres Shower Gel made my favorites list because it provides a luscious lather and helps keep my skin moisturized even through this dry winter weather!  Korres only uses all natural ingredients, which is great for sensitive skin!  I've definitely noticed that my skin has been silkier since I started using this shower gel.  The Jasmine scent gel also smells nice, but isn't overpowering.

As for fragrance, Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy has quickly become one of my favorites.  It's the newest addition to my collection, but I have completely fallen in love with the playful scent.  It goes on with notes of berries, jasmine, and honeysuckle and finishes with deep notes of amber, vanilla, and sandalwood.  My boyfriend also really enjoys this perfume, which is a big plus!

This brings us to the last of my favorite things for February, and one of the most important.  It is the thing that keeps me connected to all of you when I'm one the go- my LG Vortex Android phone. It also comes in purple (which is of course what I got)!  I love all the applications and widgets available on the Android market, and this phone allows you to quickly access all of them!  The operating system is very easy to navigate, and I can connect to my email, twitter account, facebook, and even update this blog with a few simple clicks!  I am so glad I finally upgraded to an Andriod phone and don't think I could ever go back!

So that's what I'm loving right now!  Again, I'd love to learn more about you all, too, so help me out by telling me what you are loving right now!  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekly Preview: Sales on Beauty & Fashion

Good afternoon, Gorgeous!  It's the end of the weekend, but the beginning of an amazing week of sales!  Here are my picks of the week for beauty and fashion at unbeatable prices:

Free People - Monday, February 28th @ 10:00am CST on Rue La La

I absolutely adore the flirty, feminine features of Free People tops, tunics, and dresses.  The bohemian style is perfect for a casual day look, and the collection going on sale tomorrow will feature many pieces perfect for Spring, with gauzy fabrics, floral prints, and lace.  This is sure to be a popular sale, so hopefully I can snag a great top before they sell out!
American Apparel - Tuesday, March 1st @ 8:00am CST on Enviius

American Apparel is one of my go-to brands for wardrobe basics.  This Los Angeles based company makes great fitting knits that are both stylish and comfortable.  Everyone needs t-shirts and tanks, and American Apparel makes some of the best!
Lash Food - Tuesday, March 1st @ 10:00am CST on Gilt Groupe

Lash Food makes lash enhancing, all natural mascara, eyeliner, and conditioner that provides lashes with the nutrients they need to grow thick and long.  Their products can be very expensive, but promise dramatic, clinically proven results.  They even have a 60-day money back guarantee.  Check out this sale to get these new, revolutionary products at a great price!

Cole Haan Accessories - Wednesday, March 2nd @ 10:00am CST on Rue La La

Cole Haan is an iconic American brand with timeless appeal. The understated luxury of Cole Haan accessories makes them easy to pair with any outfit.  Check out this sale on Wednesday for beautiful leather handbags, wallets, belts, and sunglasses!  Shop early, because these pieces are sure to sell out fast!

Gucci & Narciso Rodriguez Fragrances - Thursday, March 3rd @ 10:00am CST on Biva

Gucci fragrances have many floral and fruity notes, making them perfect for day wear and the upcoming Spring season!  Narciso Rodriguez fragrances have more amber and woody notes, making them slightly more masculine, and a better choice for evening wear.

Let me know what you're looking forward to this week!  Leave a comment below- I love hearing from you!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to Properly Apply Perfume

Hanae Mori Butterfly- One of my faves!
Perhaps you've never put much thought into how to apply your favorite perfume.  I will admit, this seems like something that shouldn't take too much thought.  However, a random spritz here and there doesn't get the best bang for your buck.  Instead try these helpful tips to make your perfume shine all day long.
  • Before applying perfume, moisturize your skin.  Applying lotion or other types of moisturizers to your skin before applying your perfume provides a base that helps perfume last longer than applying it to bare skin alone.
  • Do not apply perfume to clothing.  While perfume can stain certain fabrics, this is not the main reason to avoid spraying your clothes.  Perfumes have various layers to them (top notes, middle notes, and base notes), and for each layer to fully develop, the fragrance needs to be applied directly to skin.  Spraying perfume on clothing will only allow the top notes to come through (the initial scent).
  • Spray perfume strategically.  There are certain places on the body that allow your perfume to develop better than others.  Spray perfume onto the inside of your elbows, between the breasts, behind the ears, and behind the knees for the best development and staying power. You can spray your wrists, but often you will quickly lose the fragrance here due to washing your hands throughout the day.
  • If you do spray your wrists, don't rub them together.  This will crush the molecules that make up the fragrance and remove the complexity underlying your perfume.
  • Avoid reapplying perfume too soon.  If you reapply your perfume before the base notes fully develop, you are robbing your perfume (and yourself) of some of the deepest, most complex notes of the perfume.  Your reapplication will also not smell the same as the first application due to the reaction with the initial application.
  • If using a splash bottle, do not use your fingers to apply perfume.  Instead, use the stopper to apply.  Oils from your skin can interact with the perfume in the bottle if you apply with your fingers, causing your perfume to breakdown prematurely.
So the next time you're about to apply that $100+ perfume, remember these tips to make your fragrance and your money last as long as possible!

Do you have any other tips?  Please leave them in a comment below!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Face Powders That Do Double Duty

In the last few years a lot of great cosmetic companies have been coming out with innovative face powders that double as foundation and cover-up!  I love the idea of not having to use foundation and still getting great coverage that makes my complexion smooth and flawless!

The first of these dual action powders that I tried was Benefit's "Hello Flawless!"  This powder comes in nine different shades (I used "never settle: fair petal) and can be used as a powder or cover-up.  One of my favorite things about this powder is that it also protects your skin from the sun with SPF 15!  The compact comes with a small brush and a sponge.  The brush give a light, sheer coverage, and the sponge is for applying as a cover-up or for full coverage all over.  Overall, I found this powder to be fairly light, but when using the sponge it felt a little heavier than I would normally prefer.  I also noticed that I had an increase in breakouts while using this powder.  One other negative is that this powder doesn't last as long as other powders I've tried, especially when using the sponge regularly.  Overall, it provided a nice, matte finish and made my skin very soft, but I would hesitate to spend $34 on this powder again.

Haute Lunch Rating: 3 out of 5 trays

Another two-in-one powder on the market is Lancome's Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup ($35.50).  This powder comes in a whopping 25 shades, making it possible for anyone to find the perfect color!  I purchased Matte Buff II, which matched my skin better than any powder I've tried before!  In this compact you get a sponge as well as a puff.  To use this makeup as a powder, the puff is used for a light, sheer coverage.  To use as a foundation, the sponge can be used dry for a sheer, soft matte effect, or damp for full coverage and a flawlessly matte finish!  I prefer to use the sponge dry, but have found that this powder works well no matter which way you apply it!  Unfortunately, there is no sun protection in this makeup, but I still love this powder because it is light, satiny soft, and blends perfectly into my skin.  It also has a sweet scent that I really enjoy.  This is definitely one of the best powders I have ever tried, and I highly recommend it, especially for you gals with oily skin!

Haute Lunch Rating: 5 out of 5 trays

If you have tried either of these powders, let me know how they worked for you!  I'm always happy to hear from you lovely ladies!

Nothing Better than Waking Up a Winner!

This morning I woke up to some fabulous news!  I won the BareNecessities giveaway! is one of my favorite blogs (as you can see on my links page) and today I love it even more!  :)  Now I just have to decide what to spend my $100 gift certificate on!

Seeing as I love shopping for lingerie (and well, anything for that matter), I already have a few things in mind.  For starters, I love Hanky Panky Panties!  These signature lace low rise thongs are super cute and sexy and just $23- leaving me with plenty of loot to spend on other gorgeous items, such as...

These Givenchy Lace Pattern Sheer Tights!  These gorgeous patterned tights are straight off the runway, but only cost $18!  What a steal!  I love that the pattern alternates down the leg, which will really provide that extra something for any evening ensemble!

Now, if I left the choice up to my boyfriend, I'm sure he would suggest I get some sexy sleepwear, such as this flirty babydoll from Jezebel ($49)!  I love Jezebel lingerie because it's fun and girlie, but still super sexy!  I've always found Jezebel lingerie to fit well and flatter my body more than other comparably priced lingerie brands.

Of course, I could just forgo the lingerie all together and gear up for spring with this Freya bikini for $110!  Freya bikini tops offer great support, and the fold over bottoms keep muffin top (ick) at bay! This might not make my boyfriend too happy for the moment, but I'm sure he'll get over it by the time beach season arrives!

I'm so excited to be the winner of such an amazing giveaway! Let me know what you think I should spend my gift certificate on or what you would buy if you had $100 to spend at!  Thanks again to for this great giveaway!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blemish Busters and Acne Attackers!

Waking up to a blemish can really put a damper on your day.  Waking up to several blemishes is even worse! Luckily there are several options to help keep your skin bump free and absolutely radiant!  To start, there is the acne system that everyone has heard of: Proactiv.

Proactiv Acne Solution has been around for over 15 years and is definitely a good option for people with troublesome acne.  The 3-step system quickly clears up existing blemishes, prevents new blemishes from forming, and helps lighten scars and red spots.  I used Proactiv for nearly 5 years and was really happy with the results until recently. As I got older I found that the products began drying out my skin and thus I had to change my skincare routine.  If you have sensitive or dry skin, Proactiv may not be for you, but if you have serious acne issues, it's definitely worth a shot!  The starter kit is available for just $20.

Haute Lunch Rating: 4 out of 5 trays

Currently I'm using Philosophy's Makeup Optional for Congested Skin Kit.  So far, I'm really in love with all the items in this set.  Purity Made Simple is a creamy face wash that is gentle but highly effective.  I haven't had any drying so far, and my skin doesn't feel tight afterwards.  After cleansing, I use Hope in a Bottle, which is the real acne fighting agent in this kit.  This oil-free moisturizer is made with salicylic acid and helps reduce the size of pores and control oil production.  I finish up my routine with When Hope is not Enough and Hope in a Tube, which help eliminate fine lines and restore radiance to skin.  I really love this kit because it keeps my skin blemish free while also providing great anti-aging benefits.  I have definitely noticed that my skin is more radiant and showing less signs of aging than it was a few weeks ago when I first started using this kit. Philosophy also has kits available for normal and dry/sensitive skin if you don't have much of an acne problem.  It's definitely a better value to buy the kit instead of the individual items ($78 vs. $129), but keep an eye out for sale as you can find this kit even cheaper if you shop around.

Haute Lunch Rating: 4.5 out of 5 trays

Too late for prevention?  Time for some spot control!  Kate Somerville's EradiKate Acne Treatment is an excellent sulfur spot treatment that drys out blemishes overnight.  This solution contains the highest amount of sulfur allowed, so it should only be used once a day.  I typically use it at night after I've washed my face anywhere I feel a blemish coming on.  The sooner you apply it, the better it works.  Unfortunately, it costs $22 per 1oz. bottle.  Luckily there are other cheaper options out there, such as Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion ($17) or Bye Bye Blemish Drying Drying Lotion ($11).  These alternatives are essentially the same thing as EradiKate, thus I can't give this product a rave review.

Haute Lunch Rating: 3 out of 5 trays

Have you had good luck with an acne treatment (or really bad luck)?  I'd love to hear about your most and least favorite products.  Leave a comment below and share your experiences!