Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Target - Merona shawl collar fleece sweatshirt

Another winner from Target. Me loveth. It's by Merona.

Size XS - $19.99

I did a search on Target for this item. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the 10 color options.

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J Crew - perfect pencil skirt (wool)

J Crew's perfect pencil skirt (17444 regular, 18630 petite) retails for $118. The color options are black, fresh plum, dusty blossom, pearl grey, light blue & cinnamon stick.

J.Crew at ShopStyle

Size 2 or 4 - Sorry about not being sure. It could possibly be a 2.

J.Crew at ShopStyle

Size 4 - For sure. I had a pic of the tag.

Check it out J Crew's perfect pencil skirt on Lindsey B and on Dina. And Lindsey B has posted some outfits on her blog. Check out Cari, too and DaniBP.

Also check out the brilliant blue on Huddyma.

While we're talking about skirts, I saw this product called Waist Snug on Midwestern Cliché's blog. Midwestern Cliché said she sewed it on by hand.

"Sew Waist Snug inside your waistband to keep your shirt tucked in. Is made from a beautiful soft ribbon from a leading ribbon company. Product available while supplies last." ~ The Sewing Place

Click here to purchase from The Sewing Place.

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Urban Allure - skin care

I am happy to stray a bit from the topic of clothes, as I have a few times, and discuss skincare. I'm super duper into clothes and I don't always think of my face, unless I have a flareup. After my experiences with Urban Allure, I now feel very different about my efforts in this area.

I have had facials by at least 4-5 different skin care professionals. I was happily loyal to one particular woman, despite the fact that she sold me hundreds of unneeded skincare products. I was using the Skin Ceuticals line, but highly doubt that I needed the 8 or so products she had me on. I prefer a number like 4 or 5 (including PM care) in the way of things I’m putting on my face. All that other is just too much work. I have combination skin, but was really having a difficult time with those painful, recessed zits that cannot be helped by over-the-counter products. I was really relied on the advice of that esthetician because I was seeing some results with the products I was using. I stayed loyal to her until I was at a Shecky's event and met Erin & Rocio of Urban Allure. My friend purchased Obagi products from them and because she looooves to talk, I ended up sampling the Nia hand crème – which I purchased and give a big thumbs up to. I have the driest hands and this stuff is awesome.

A few days after the Shecky’s event, I looked up this...'Urban Allure' online. Who were these people who seemed so nice, real and sans pressure? Nice is good, but usually there is motivation and pressure behind it in the skin care industry (sell, sell!) Urban Allure relies on worth-of-mouth for advertising and the choice/strategy has proven to be successful. Can I just say once again…who gets 5 of 5 stars on Yelp? Yelp hands down convinced me to give the Allure a shot. I booked an appointment for a facial. After I was settled in for my visit, Rocio asked me what my skin care goals were. What? My skin care goals? Whubba whubba? I had never thought of such a thing. Gigi was silent, which is a rarity. The question really appealed to my Type A senses, but I still couldn’t come up with anything besides “clear skin.” Yah. I’ll take that. Rocio was easy to talk with, giving a perfect balance of information (not too much), personal chat (not too nosey or too revealing from her end) and silence (comfortable, not awkward at all). The facial was great and my skin felt refreshed. I believe I got the Prescription Facial. There is a lower priced, perhaps more ‘introductory’ facial, but I wanted something that would be more in line with…well, that’s when I discovered I *do* have skin care goals after all. At the end of the facial I asked about microderm abrasion and peels. I knew I had to try me one of them. ;-)

Rocio -- with her beautiful eyebrows and great way about her -- has a C.I.D.E.S.C.O. license. I believe you need 1200hours of education + 600 hours of salon experience to receive this diploma -- which is more than the California state requirement donotquoteme. Prior to becoming an esthetician, Rocio was an engineer major (science! math!), has worked in advertising and sold for higher end cosmetic lines. She has applied for R.N. school to further her education and to allow her to work with lasers. Go Rocio! Let's just say I completely trust her with my skin. Here is a summary of suggestions/tips/thoughts I took from my conversation w/Rocio.

1) Department store brands can be way overpriced. Like way. There are fillers and perfumes, which do not help the skin. You're paying a huge markup for marketing, the salespeople, service, leasing costs, etc...

2) Drugstore brands can be very effective. Bottomline -- don't let price indicate worth.

3) Going green is good. Homemade masks and cleansers may be good enough

4) Sunblock. Sunblock. Sunblock. Not sunscreen. Sunblock. What you try to correct & maintain by way of facials & laser treatments will be dimished over time if you don't use sunblock. Block it up, glaydies.

5) It's a lot easier to maintain what you have than to correct. And I'm sure quite less expensive to do the former than the latter. It takes awhile for damage to show up, so start using sunblock for preventive care.

6) Exfoliation is necessary, but do not over-exfoliate. Once/week is good. You may overstrip & dehydrate the skin, which will disrupt the balance. Your skin will then produce more oil, which = zits. Your skin exfoliates itself on approx a 28 day cycle. Once/week may be good for you, or fewer times/month.

7) Be consistent. Don't go overboard with products. You don't have to have a complicated routine to have good skin. Find the key products for your skin and be consistent. Keep it simple, making sure your routine effective.

8) Did we mention sunblock? Bears repeating. Remember that many face creams now have sun protection in them. Just remember that you want a sunblock not sunscreen.

For my own personal routine, I use Murad acne products. I switched for a bit to La Roche Posay and it didn't work as well for me. I got a few zits, so I went back to the Murad. My introduction to Murad was through their $35 starter kit. Highly recommend their mini kits as a way to introduce yourself to the brand. Once I saw Rocio and had the Prescription facial, my skin started to balance it out. I no longer zits on a regular basis. I have only had 1 incident of a deep seated zit (not sure the tech term) and that was my fault. The minute I feel my skin tingling in a certain area, I should know to wash, use toner and then apply a zit creme to prevent them for setting up camp.

Last Dec I got a Vitalize Peel. At Urban Allure, of course.I scheduled it a couple days before the new year, when I knew I wouldn't have to be out and about too much. I didn't know what to expect. Rocio told me it would sting a bit as she applied it. It only did a little. Completely tolerable and I was comfortable the whole time. Nothing happened until about 2 days later and then I began to peel -- like a sunburn. I washed my face as usual, taking care not to rub off or pick at the peeling even though it was tempting.

The reults? I love, love, love, love, love the Vitalize Peel. It was like a clean slate. I had to get new makeup because the shade I had no longer worked. For awhile after the peel I just wore sunblock because I didn't need my usual MAC Studio Fix. That's how good it was. I admit that I had a good 'canvas' to work with in that I didn't have acne scars. I had some pigmentation issues that I wanted to say goodbye to -- dark spots and marks from my zits, but no deep scars. I was lucky. Therefore, one peel did wonders. I am looking forward to getting another and it's definitely going to be something I do annually. I got the peel because I just wanted to feel good and, most importantly, for my makeup to go on smoothly. I get so many compliments on my skin -- which was never my intent, but definitely a great side benefit.

For SF Bay Area readers -- A reminder that Urban Allure is offering the following promo in conjunction with Gigi's Gone Shopping: -- 15% off any services (laser, facials & other skincare) -- 10% off any products purchased at the time of service. Urban Allure sells Obagi, Skin Ceuticals, La Roche-Posay, Nia (great hand creme!) among others. If you miss this special, be sure to check the Urban Allure website for their monthly promos.

Click here for the clinical skin care menu.
Click here for the price list.
415.399.1300 - just mention the blog

Chime in with your favorite skincare products, experiences, tips you swear by, and so on...

J Crew - cashmere Chérie crewneck

J Crew's cashmere Chérie crewneck (17858) retails for $158. The colors are navy & dusty blossom, in sizes XS-L.

Size XS - Fit is good. It feels soooo soft on. Too bad there are mixed feelings about J Crew cashmere.

The bow is attached in a few places on the sweater; not just at the actual tie part. If you look to the right, I tugged on it so you can see the 2 places that are stitched.

I love that the reverse is very, very clean in the area the bow is stitched to. This looks really good.

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p.s. Today is GAP's last day to use SAVE25 for 25% off your entire online purchase. Wow. That just sounds so sexy when I think of Other Retailers Who Give Few Good Codes. I ordered the wool shorts (676330) in black tweed...

...hoping it will work for this look.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

J Crew - dream cadet funnelneck cardigan

J Crew's dream cadet funnelneck sweater (17853) retails for $98. The only size available at the time I create this post is L. I don't recall seeing in b&m lately either. Either it has sold very quickly, or the remaining stragglers haven't caught my eye.

Heather pebble

Check it out on Ashley and A Bigger Closet.

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p.s. For a change from J Crew, check out AudreyBella, who tried on some Anthro items.

Urban Allure - final 3 days

Here's more info about laser services & Urban Allure, a medispa. Click here to catch the earlier part of this interview.

More stuff than fluff…
Erin -- one of Urban Allure’s office managers, R.N., laser operator and all-around cool chick -- was great to talk to about the laser process. Before becoming a skin tech (as I like to call them), Erin’s initial perceptions were that laser treatments were more on the vain side and the skin care world was potentially a bit “fluffy.” I also thought lasering as a way to avoid shaving was a bit lazy. That’s the only way I had seen it marketed. Well, it turns out that yes, there is the vanity client. Let’s keep it real. However, there are also clients with hormonal balances that seek treatment. Erin spoke of a woman that came in for a series of treatments. The hair on her face was as thick as a man’s beard. After a series of laser treatments, the woman came in one day for another treatment -- this time with her hair pulled in a ponytail and her posture straight. Erin realized then that she is making a difference in people’s lives both externally & internally. I am sure the same can be said for clients whose acne scars are helped by the IPL laser.

Urban Allure’s IPL laser is used for skin rejuvenation. Clients start as early as their late 20s. Treatments are sought for broken capillaries, acne scarring, pigmentation from sun damage, redness and rosacea. I asked how many treatments it would take to heal redness. Erin said anywhere from 1-4 treatments, however, it is a case-by-case basis. Thank GOODNESS I didn’t get suckered last year. I went to a dermatologist for bumps on my chest. She tried to sell me a 10-package series of laser treatments for my face. I still get irritated when I think of the experience. I’m so glad I found Urban Allure because they are *so* not sales oriented, although that is standard operating procedure in the industry. Be sure to ask to see before & after pictures so you can get an idea of results that have been achieved by others have experienced. And never feel pressured by any office to make a decision. I think another thing to know is that the office you choose may not have a laser that is appropriate for you. If you have any doubts, ask for a referral to another office or begin your search again. Yelp is such a great place to find service providers. Urban Allure has 50 reviews on Yelp with a solid 5 of 5 stars!

Do your part…
So let’s say you decide to begin a laser treatment. Depending on how your skin respond, you may need more or fewer treatments. I suspect you need to be a bit open. Most importantly, how you care for your skin in between treatments will dictate how successful the treatments are. Each person’s case is different. Erin explained that you simply cannot lump everyone– say, w/red skin – into the same category. She also gave me some good advice, which I strongly believe. If you want good looking skin it’s 30% skin care professional, 70% you. So remember the little things like taking your makeup off before bed and wearing sunscreen. You will thank yourself later.

For SF Bay Area readers -- A reminder that Urban Allure is offering the following promo in conjunction with Gigi's Gone Shopping: -- 15% off any services (laser, facials & other skincare) -- 10% off any products purchased at the time of service. Urban Allure sells Obagi, Skin Ceuticals, La Roche-Posay, Nia (great hand creme!) among others.

Click here for the clinical skin care menu.
Click here for the price list.

415.399.1300 - just mention the blog

J Crew - felted wool bistro mini

J Crew's felted wool bistro mini (17250) retails for $88. The color options are black, ivory, heather graphite & olive, with sizes 00-12.

Size 4

Toooo short for me. How short would this be on someone tall? I know, I know...wear it with tights & boots, but I would be self-conscious...wondering what I might be sharing with the world at various points of the day.

So proud of myself that I got a good reverse shot. These are not easy.

How do you feel about J Crew minis? Did you get this one?

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Gigi falls into the Crewlade...again

Dang Crewlade. I didn't even get a FS code when updating my Crewcard info. That didn't stop me from ordering...

1) Metallic-linen strapless dress (12105 regular, 12106 petite) - $59.99, down from $148 - I ordered a size 6P - There was only one left. I've been watching it popback a few times and refrained. I can't say I'm a huge fan of strapless because I'm more self conscious in them, but I'm such a sucker for pockets. I tried on the strapless linen constellations dress, which is the same silhouette. I haven't forgotten that the pleats add weight to stomach but I liked it anyway.

This sucker better fit. I got measurements via email , confirmed them by email & also called in to have them told to me. A 37" waist on a 6P sounds odd. We'll see. I have another swiss dot by J Crew in a 6P and it fits great. Banking on that for this.

I'm thinking of that dress with a belt -- similar to this J Crew equestrian (19170) -- to add some color and break up the dress.
2) Strapless swiss dot Maya dress (14844 regular, 15499 petite) - $39.99, down from $135.
3) Deco patent-leather belt (18965) - $42.50, now down to $24.99 - I love the antique stone color and ordered S/M. The ripe avocado is also on sale. Black patent is not. J Crew belts are my go-to now. I recently paid FP for the skinny metallic leather belt (18964). I find myself wearing the gold one once or twice/week. Well worth FP.

Check out FFM's polyvore -- one of her sets includes the J Crew's serengeti belt, which I own, love & highly recommend.

Did you receive a FS code as a Crew cardholder? Did you use it? Any luck w/final sale lately?

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J Crew - tiered silk chiffon cami (irl pics)

First up...

For the expectant moms...check out
Slastena's recent J Crew purchases.

J Crew's silk tiered cami retails for $88. There are only regular sizes 0-14 (no tall or petite) and the colors are bright papaya, toffee, autumn sun, deep aubergine, black and antique stone.

Antique stone pictured w/the flutter bow cardi.

Size 2 - The SAs should have been all over this w/the steamer as they were putting it out. Sad.

I like the buttons at the top. I know they're plain but it's the only thing I liked about the cami.

Notice how the cami is sewn in varying tiers. So there are 4 in the front and 3 in the back. I think it would have been cuter if all 4 tiers went all the way around.

Styled w/a cardi & necklace. Still not exciting.

Deep aubergine ETA: Black - size 0 - I definitely need a 2 to be completely comfortable in the bust (34C).

Tried it w/a belt, too. This particular belt doesn't work, though I'm not sure if a belt will work at all. The tiers are too short to be secured by a belt -- at least on me. Perhaps it would work on someone else whose waist/shape are different. And the tiers are, at the same time, too long and hide the belt. I tucked it to reflect otherwise. If I moved around, the belt would be covering half of a tier or be covered altogether by another tier.
Today I noted that the tiers do not have finished seams. I don't know if silk unravels easily or if it depends on the weave. A thought occurred to me that the tiers might be 'irritated' by a belt.

Check it out on Kathryn. It's so cute belted on Debye. Oh my goodness, you have to see how cute it looks on onefashionistadiva with J Crew's bubble necklace. And the beautiful yellow color on Gingergirl. I had high hopes for this top. Not a match for me. Oh well.

Likey? No likey? Chime in...

J Crew - silk trim long cardi

First up... use SAVE25 to save on your ENTIRE PURCHASE at They are inviting us to peruse their new arrivals. Entire purchase. What a concept. Offer ends 9/30.

Ok -- I totally made this name up. J Crew's silk trim long cardi retails for $98. I am pretty sure I saw it on sale in-store. This one came & went pretty quickly, I believe. I don't see an online image of it, so I'm not sure if it was b&m only. Sorry I cannot tell you about other colors that were offered.

Size XS

Meh. This one is almost pointeless, esp since we cannot see it online. However, I still post in the event you walk by it in-store it may catch your eye and you'll know if you want to try it on for yourself or not.

Chime in...

p.s. If you're wondering about J Crew's cotton cashmere ruffle cardigan that's been on FS for awhile, you can check it out on Chloe.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gigi visits Banana Republic

This weekend Banana Republic had a Buy 2-Get 1 Free offer on their clearance merch. I had to walk in and try on a few things.

1) Multi ruffle shirt (670992) - Original retail $70, down to $44.99 online. I can't recall the in-store price. I think it was the same.

Size XS - This top reminds me of J Crew's Lombard cardi.

2) Chevron striped sweater - Size XS - $54.99, down from $89.50 - 50% lambswool/35% modal/10% nylon/5% cashmere. I don't see this one online. It's still a bit big, but it's a wrap-type sweater, so I get it the idea. It's very cozy.

3) Slub cotton dress (671926) - in-stores for $19.99 - it came in black, white, a purple color and a teal green. The original retail was $70. Far too much for what it is. This dress doesn't even have pockets. It's still $39.99 online, w/limited sizes left.

Size XS - The S didn't hug the posterior as much (not pictured).

I only visited in the sale section. I'll try to go back another time and try on some of the new arrivals.

Did you hit this sale? What do you think of BR for fall if you've been in there lately...

Chime in...


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