EASY DIY Glitter Pumps!

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A DIY Project is the ULTIMATE recessionista tip! And this one is a piece of cake. Seriously, anyone can do it. 🙂

 

As I’ve mentioned, repeatedly, I’m obsessed with JCrew. That being the case, I sort of flipped when they came out with glitter pumps last year (they are often doing variations of this style shoe, and I often lust after the sparkly heels). But at around $200 a pop… I just wasn’t willing to make the splurge. I didn’t know how often I would wear these bad boys…

One day, after buying some “boring” navy Steve Madden pumps at Goodwill- I got the inspiration to try to DIY my own glitter pumps. With a little Mod Podge, and a lot of love, these heels came out perfectly!

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Allow me to tell you how you can create the same affect (I cut off the strap in order to make mine look more like the JCrew originals).

1) Obtain the Mod Podge (some people say you can water down Elmer’s glue and make your own Mod Podge, but I haven’t tested that theory yet). I like to use the matte finish, but I suppose the glossy finish would work okay- use your own discretion.

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2) Obtain your desired color of glitter. The sky is the limit at a craft store. Perhaps you are a little bolder than I am and want some Dorothy red heels. I say “go for it!”  😉

3) Pour equal parts glitter and Mod Podge into a bowl and stir until the glitter is evenly dispersed. (use a small painting brush or sponge and test the consistency. The glitter should go on smoothly without clumping. If it clumps, add more Mod Podge. It’s better to have it too thin than too thick.)

4) Begin painting the shoe. This should require 3 or so coats in order to cover the shoe completely. Allow the layer to dry before applying the next coat- like when you are doing your finger nails.

5) Admire your masterpiece and then rock your glitter pumps with a killer outfit!

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How do you feel about glitter pumps? Until next time, happy hunting!

Uptown Cheapskate- Color Me Disappointed

IMG_0003_resizedWhen I started this blog, I promised to share my fashion hunting experiences- both good and bad. So… this is a cautionary tale, to be juxtaposed with my glowing review of Clothes Mentor. Out of curiosity from hearing their ads on local radio, I wandered into an  Uptown Cheapskate in the Charlotte area (I’ll be kind and not identify which one). The staffers greeted me warmly and shared that they were only open to buy at the moment, but that I was welcome to have a look around. I perused the aisles for only moment, before discovering an armful of clearly faux designer handbags. Fake Coach purses abounded and the clothing looked a little worse for wear. My boyfriend was with me as well, and reported that he found a $15 Polo shirt, that was covered in stains.

It’s possible that this location will improve as their business is open for purchasing as well as buying, but after that initial trip- I will definitely be saving my shopping trips for other venues.

If you have a story of your own positive or negative experience with a Uptown Cheapskate location, I’d love to hear them! Maybe I’ve judged them too harshly…and if you’re looking for a cheap knock-off, this might be your place!

Here is what their website promises that you will find at their stores. (With prices this low, perhaps they just can’t compete):

Crazy Prices on the Brands You Crave http://uptowncheapskate.com/

•   Tops and Tees from $4.99
•   Colored Skinnies from $12.99
•   Denim for all  from $7.99
•   Dresses and Skirts from $9.99
•   Flats and Boots from $6.99
•   Hoodies and Jackets from $8.99
•   Bags and Totes from $12.99
•   Scarves and Hats from $3.99
•   Designer Styles from $19.99
•   and everything else you can think of from $5.99

I hope this information is helpful to all my fellow fashion hunters. Happy hunting!

Quality Sun Protection Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

With the warmer weather on the way, thoughts drift to upcoming beach vacations, bathing suits, and glorious summer tans. And though this topic may seem unrelated, true fashion is skin deep- and begins with good skincare regimens.

I’ve heard several news stories in the past week, highlighting the effectiveness of “cheap” or “generic” sunscreen. With heightened awareness of the sun’s damaging rays and skin cancer potential, many men and women are seeking to ensure that their skin is protected while they enjoy the summer sun.

It’s nice to know that proper protection doesn’t have to be expensive! It seems that sunscreen is one of the exceptions to the rule that higher cost equals higher quality.

“A July 2013 study from Consumer Reports has ranked sunscreens and found that you don’t have to pay big bucks to protect your skin from harsh UV rays.

Here’s what so funny: The highest rated sunscreen turned out to be the cheapest one per ounce they tested!

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Buy it here: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Equate-Ultra-Protection-Sunscreen-Continuous-Spray-SPF-50-6-fl-oz/14122651

Equate (Walmart) Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50 got a score of 77 from Consumer Reports and costs only 47 cents an ounce.The only sunblock to score higher was UP & UP (Target) Sport SPF 50, which got an 80. But the Target brand, which is a spray, costs $1.16 an ounce.” http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clarkhoward/travel/cheap-sunscreen-works-best/nC2GS/

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Buy it here: http://www.target.com/p/up-up-continuous-spray-sport-spf-50-6-oz/-/A-11982773#?lnk=sc_qi_detaillink

I, for one, am excited to hear that I can skimp on the sunscreen- which means more $ for the bathing suits! 🙂

 

 

Need Some Quick Cash?- Tips on Selling to Clothes Mentor

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So, if you’ve been following my blog, you already know that I’m newly obsessed with Clothes Mentor. They offer the best brands in like-new condition at amazingly low prices. Last time I focused on the great purchases I’d made at Clothes Mentor, but I wanted to provide you with tips on selling to Clothes Mentor as well. We women are notorious for buying things we just don’t seem to wear. This is where Clothes Mentor can help you avoid that nagging buyer’s remorse about those items that just linger in your closet unworn.

The owner of Clothes Mentor was gracious enough to write down the best practices for selling to their store. I will share his tips with you to ensure that you make the most of your time when you stop by to sell. Here are Shawn’s tips:

“To sell to us you never need an appointment, we ask that you bring your items in either a laundry basket or bag, for apparel the items to be off hangers to help expedite the process.

 
We will check customers in, and process each “buy” on a first come first serve basis. For each customer, we will give them a time frame on how long it will take us to finish their “buy”. We finish each “buy” the same day that it comes in. We do however stop buying one hour before close each night to get ready for next days business.

 
We buy items that sold in stores 1 to 2 years ago, The amount we pay is based on brand name, condition, style and current demand. We buy all seasons all year long. We purchase women’s clothing in sizes 0 – 26, accessories (i.e. costume jewelry or higher end like Tiffany  Co.), shoes & purses (designer or non) and maternity wear.

 
We ask that the items that are brought in to sell to us be in good condition, freshly laundered, and in current style. (Free of stains, fading, holes, broken zippers, missing buttons, etc.)

 
We may pass on purchasing certain items based on condition, age (2 year window), style, real fur or juniors brands just to name a few.

 
For anything passed on, we will separate back into that customers basket and give all reasons as to why we passed on them for future selling to us.

 
For any items that we are able to purchase, we enter into our computer system which prices everything out for us. We sell everything in our store roughly 70% off mall store pricing, and the customer would get 1/3 of the price that we sell each item for. This is always only an offer, but if accepted, we give cash on the spot for their items. No consigning, or waiting for the item to sell to get a percentage.

 
This is what makes us a totally new kind of RESALE store for women.”

I appreciate Shawn’s taking the time to share this with us, and I hope you all do as well!

I have to tell you, I’ve been more than impressed by the staff of this store- their professionalism and customer service are top notch. You won’t be disappointed when you make your first visit- whether you’re buying, selling, or both!

Just to give you an idea of the awesome things they get in stock, here are some of the things they’ve had for sale recently. “Like” Clothes Mentor Charlotte on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ClothesMentorCharlotte) to keep informed of their latest finds. Happy Hunting!

(I’d love to hear your stories about visiting a Clothes Mentor store!)

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Kate Spade- $150

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Tory Burch- $100

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Michael Kors- $75

New App! Swirl- Your Personal Shopping Assistant

Okay- apparently fashion apps are hot right now. Because I’ve stumbled upon another AMAZING one.

I took the explanation from their website,http://www.swirl.com/welcome.html,  – because they’ve articulated their mission so well. But I’ve tested the app and it is SO COOL! Choose to follow your favorite retailers to stay on stop of their offers and deals. In addition- read about the in-store feature as well, which enables you to find relevant deals just by walking into the retail store!

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What is Swirl?

The new way to shop for fashion at your favorite retail stores. It’s like having your own personal shopping assistant in the palm of your hand. Whether you’re looking for a bit of fashion inspiration, need help locating your favorite styles at a nearby store, or want a source for exclusive content and offers while you shop in the store, Swirl is your ultimate shopping resource. It’s fun, easy, and free.

Swirl gives you access to styles and offers from over 200 top fashion brands, and with the new Swirl In-Store feature, you’ll get exclusive content and offers delivered right to your smartphone when you walk into participating retailers. Manage all of your fashion inspirations in one place and then locate them at the nearest retailers. Keep up with the latest styles and make the most of every shopping trip. With Swirl, you’ll never miss out on a great fashion find.

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Enhance Your Retail Shopping Experience
Imagine walking into your favorite fashion retailer and instantly receiving exclusive offers and style recommendations in the palm of your hand. With Swirl In-Store, you can. It’s now built into the Swirl app and it activates automatically once you enter a participating store. Just bring Swirl with you when you go shopping and you’ll be notified when you enter a Swirl-enabled retail store

You can still use the Swirl app to track the latest styles and offers from wherever you are… And you’ll still receive alerts when one of your favorite styles goes on sale. Now, with Swirl In-Store, the Swirl App automatically transitions to a custom experience when you walk into a participating retail store. With Swirl In-Store, you’ll have instant access to the latest styles as well as exclusive, limited- time offers tailored to the store you’re in. Your personal shopping assistant just got a whole lot more personal!

How it Works

Swirl In-Store leverages mobile positioning and Bluetooth technology that are already built into the latest smartphones. When you enter the store of a participating retailer, Swirl’s proprietary in-store sensors connect with your Swirl app to deliver exclusive offers and content. It’s easy and automatic.

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What’s Required

Swirl In-Store is a feature that is available to Swirl users (with iPhone 4S or 5 models) who explicitly choose to participate. Once you have enabled this feature (found in the settings tab of the Swirl app), simply walk into any participating retail location and launch the Swirl app. The app will automatically transition to Swirl In-Store and display relevant content and exclusive offers made available by that retailer.

Protecting Your Privacy

Swirl is committed to protecting your privacy and as such, your location is only used to trigger the Swirl In-Store experience and deliver exclusive offers and content that are relevant to the store that you are in. Any data shared with retailers is aggregated for the purposes of creating more relevant content and offers.

You can disable location tracking at anytime by turning your Location Services to OFF or by disabling the Swirl In-Store feature from the settings tab of the Swirl app. If you do this, Swirl will no longer have access to your location and will be unable to deliver offers and content to you based on the stores you are in or near. The basic features of the Swirl app can still be used, but Swirl In- Store will be disabled if location tracking is off.

Trendabl- Finally, an Instagram I Can Get Behind

For me, instagram wasn’t the instant sensation it was for the rest of the social media world. For some reason, photos of people’s Chinese take out and their dog sleeping next to them on the couch just weren’t things I felt compelled to scroll through. Enter Trendabl- a fashion only app that allows you to share photos of your latest wardrobe additions, filtered through those cool instagram like lenses.

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Not only can you upload your own photos, but you can search items based on brand name, color, or style. This means that if you decide to splurge for those great Kate Spade glitter pumps but are unsure of what to pair them with, you can see how others are wearing theirs and decide what option is right for you. In addition, many brands choose to upload their latest looks, so you’ll never be unsure of what your favorite designer is doing in the current season.

For the fashion followers, Trendabl is a dream come true! And if Refinery29 approves, you know it’s good! Just visit the app store to download this awesome site and start scrolling! Happy Hunting!  🙂

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Men- Just Say “NO!” to Skinny Jeans

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There is absolutely nothing alluring about a man in a pair of skinny jeans. In fact, I’ve found that my natural and immediate response is something akin to the gag reflex you get when the doctor uses his long Qtip looking thing to examine you for strep throat. If a man ever hopes to attract the affections of the fairer sex, he will undoubtedly need to stay clear of the skinny jean fad.

However, to be fair, in my body of research I’ve found that there are some instances in which skinny jeans are the absolute correct answer. These are the only cases in which skinny jeans on men are permissible.

Case #1: If you are Emo

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If you are emo, it is pretty much your goal to let the world know how moody, sad, and introspective you are. What better way to let people know that you are completely pitiful than to wear the most hideous looking pants on the face of the earth? Also, it shows that you are way in touch with your sensitive side and could quite possibly break into tears at any given moment. In the case of the emo boy, skinny jeans are almost a courtesy to society at large, warning the rest of us to steer clear. Thanks for the warning.

Case #2: You are a living stereotype

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If your favorite past times are comic books and star trek, you are over 30 and still live at home with mommy, and you are completely incapable of carrying on a normal conversation with a woman- wear the skinny jeans. Again, you are doing us all a favor! And I’m not saying there won’t be a woman for you- but she will enter the relationship understanding what she is getting herself into. And that will be a best case scenario for both of you. Bravo, geek, you’re doing it right.

Case #3: You are an aging Punk band

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I think it might be law that aging, sell out, Punk bands wear skinny jeans. I think it is in the contract that they sign in blood when they agree to stay angry and produce music expressing this anger at everything and every aspect of society whenever possible. Therefore, we can’t ask them to change.

Case 4: You are Justin Beiber

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If you are Justin Beiber, you are already pretty much as disgusting as you can get, so every clothing option is wrong. Why not be the best of the worst? And really? You took a monkey overseas and didn’t have the decency to bring it home with you? Yeah, these pants really deserve you.

Case 5: You are making fun of the skinny jeans

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If you host a late night talk show, are going to a Halloween party and want to scare people, you are making a statement to a male friend who wears skinny jeans, or you just really really want to make a friend laugh- YES, please wear the skinny jeans. The more comical you make them, perhaps, the more often poor, misguided men will throw their skinny jeans in the trash.

So in conclusion, if you are not emo, you are not a living stereotype, you are not an aging punk band, you are not Justin Beiber, and you are not making fun of the skinny jeans- JUST SAY NO!

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I hope this has been helpful. Please share this important Public Service Announcement with anyone who needs this message.

I Found Your Fairy Godmother

I can’t be the only one who jumps on the internet the day after an awards show to drool over the glamour. As I click through the photos of the “best dressed”, I can’t help but wonder what it feels like to wear a disgustingly expensive designer dress. Don’t we all want to be Cinderella for one evening. relishing every moment before the clock strikes midnight?

Well… we can. I was so thrilled to see a news highlight this weekend explaining exactly how this can be accomplished in a budget savvy way. http://www.renttherunway.com is our fairy godmother. This site features exactly what it’s name implies- the ability to rent designer gowns and accessories for a special occasion for way less than the purchase price. And let’s face it, my life is in no way glamorous enough to justify a Badgley Mischka hanging in my closet.

The site even offers customer testimonials with photos of how these designer outfits actually look on “real” women. Let’s look at a few examples.

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This $650 gown rents for 4 days at only $160, allowing you to be the star of your special event, without anyone having to know you can’t actually afford to look as fabulous as you do.

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And after browsing through the online testimonials, you can rent with confidence, realizing that this dress flatters a wide variety of body types.

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And they don’t only offer extreme glitz and glamour, they have a variety of looks for you to choose your favorite depending on the formality of the occasion.

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Not only do they offer the clothes for your event, but they have to-die-for accessories for rental as well.

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Next time you have a formal occasion, take the opportunity to be Cinderella for an evening without experiencing the next day buyer’s remorse. After discovering this amazing site, the only thing I’m looking for is an invitation to a stellar party. 🙂

Until next time- Happy Hunting!

Target Follows Fashion

I had a lot of fun putting this entry together. I’ve always wanted to do a side-by-side comparison of Target’s fashion line and the major fashion trends it borrows from. I notice that Target typically does a pretty good job staying on top of the trends and attempting to give customers an “in” look at a lower price. I scavenged from Piperlime.com, Jcrew.com, and Anthropologie.com to find some cute items I felt were representative of some current trends for spring, to see if I could find their less expensive counterparts on Target.com.

I think I was pretty successful. I’ve taken shoes, earrings, and clothing samples to show you how you can get a trendy look for a great price if you’re ever in a pinch.

(Don’t forget to hit “follow” to receive my blog updates!)

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Target take on a Steve Madden

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Target does Cole Haan

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A Target Drop Earring- Much cheaper than its Anthropologie counterpart

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Another Anthro Style Mimic

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A Simple Maxi

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Target copies the exact color palate of this new Jcrew Spring Popover

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Target clearly understands that Peplum is so in right now

I hope this has helped you realize you can get creative with a small fashion budget. I like mixing target basics with my more expensive clothing, no one can tell the difference, and I take pride in telling them “thanks! I got it at Target!” 😉

Till next time, Happy Hunting!