Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Sephora Package

What exactly is Bio-performance?

I really don't know (and I doubt you want the Merriam-Webster definition.)  What I do know is that this stuff is good!

I had been using this ultra-expensive face lotion that I thought I loved, which I had ordered from  Along with that order, Sephora had sent me a few deluxe samples of products (as part of my Beauty Insider rewards.)  One of the samples was this Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizer (that seems like a lot of redundant adjectives, but who's counting.)  Based on the packaging alone, I wasn't interested, and into a drawer it went (it's the miniature version of the product shown below.) 

Vacation time rolled around, and as I was packing my hygiene bag, I started searching for small containers to put my daily products into.  I stumbled across my deluxe sample, opened it, took a whiff.  Um, yeah.  My first thought was that I think their target market is for older women (I bet my grandmother would have loved this scent.) The texture wasn't bad, so I dropped it in my bag; I found I was just too lazy to try to find any more little containers! 

Fast forward to vacation: each morning, I faithfully put on my moisturizer, and surprise, surprise!  I actually started to like it (after I got past the scent, which isn't bad, it just isn't my taste.)  I kept using it when I returned home.  I was actually disappointed when I ran out of it.  Somewhere in those two weeks, I had found a truly great moisturizer, and I hadn't even realized it!  Best of all (ok, maybe I should say least of all,) now I have this sweet little jar that I can refill for other vacations and small trips!  That's what I call a bonus!

What do I love about this product?  It's not too heavy - I never have that afternoon shine!  It really does work.  My skin looks great; moisturized, healthy, clear.  I tend to break out, and my skin has actually been much clearer since I've been using this product.  I also like that I can use a sparing amount when it's humid, and sufficiently more on dry days, and it never looks greasy (or shiny)!

Readers:  Have you ever stumbled across something amazing, purely by accident and out of the most unexpected package/place?

Married White Female seeks

The perfect hat for summer!

I will let you know as soon as I find it...............

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I found these cute sandals at for $26.80. 
I am in love with a similar pair at for $165.
Marguerite leather wedges
As much as I love the wedge heel, the $138 difference is giving me something to think about! 
I love this shoe - I think it would be great with jeans, skirts and shorts.  I love a versatile shoe I can dress up or down!
Readers:  Would you invest in a well-made, perfect shoe, or go with the cheap version you won't mind throwing away at the end of the summer?


Friday, March 25, 2011

All good things come in

Separate packages, apparently!  Can't wait to blog about anything that arrives in one of these:


April Showers

Bring May Flowers! 

I was at Old Navy, stocking up on lil' boy tees, and couldn't help but take a glance at the women's clothing.  I meandered back to the sale section and found these fun wellie hidden in the back of a high shelf:

I love Wellies!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stripes are NOT just for zebras

I was at J.Crew yesterday and they have this season's most coveted striped blazer.  I practically ran to the fitting rooms to try it on!  Oh, the disappointment.  The fit was all wrong.  So wrong I couldn't even snap a picture.  I found this cute one at Forever21, for a fraction of the cost.  It was slightly more stuctured than J.Crew's jacket, but I think I think this one will do!

Please forgive the tee underneath - I forgot to grab a shirt to try on underneath this jacket! 
That is how excited I was to find this one!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rain is falling all around

On my head and on the ground. 
And maybe on my new trench coat! 

I found this lovely and oh-so-soft one at Forever21
and I fell. In. Love. 

  It is so cute with a pair of skinny jeans
(J.Crew matchstick in premium rinse shown here.)

thanks to my lil' sis (Anna), for her help with the images.  
At the end of the day she asked, "How can you stand shopping ALL DAY??"


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brown paper packages tied up in string

Or tape.  Whichever.  Just one of my favorite things!  I will post about my Sephora purchase soon!


To tee or not to tee....

J.Crew is currently offering a Leather tee. While it isn't in my price range, nor is it really my style, it does make me crave a lush and supple leather that fits like no other. 

Imagine my shock when I found this leather tee, on clearance, at Forever21.  Granted, it's "leatherette," which we all know means some fake textile that probably still smells fishily of vinyl, and it isn't nearly as great a cut as J.Crew.  But for this price?
I would forgo the pants in this pic, though!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Olive oil on my what??

Ingredients: Olive oil
 Clay mask
My skin was both dry and oily. It felt tight and uncomfortable and yet would have a yucky oil layer over it. I washed, scrubbed, and moisturized to no avail. It dawned on me one day at the eye doctor that I had been going about this all wrong. The eye secretes tears and oil to form the tear layer. The oil mixes with the tears and prevents the tears from evaporating. Ever notice how dry and scratchy your eyes feel after you cry? It's because the tear layer has been washed away.  The eye needs both oil and water to be healthy. Oil is essential for the health of our skin too; it also prevents our environment from pulling water from our skin. Our bodies are defensive; if we strip it of oil it will strike a counter attack. So, basically the more we wash away the more it will secrete. I know you are thinking, but oil causes break outs! Well, it does when your body makes it excessively and when it gets trapped by dead skin and makeup. So, how do you wash your face without stripping it of its essential oil? You wash it with oil.
Say what?
The bottom line is your skin doesn't have to be perfectly clean.  It just needs to be free of dead skin and makeup. Oil sticks to oil and will wash away enough excess oil and make up to be clean without stripping it. It's time to put your obsessive side away (this was really hard for me, but you learn to let it be); scrubbing until we see no dirt or oil is bad! Your skin has its own defenses that when stripped bare  leaves it vulnerable to bacteria...which cause infection, aka zits!  I have found olive oil to be inexpensive and effective but you can experiment with any natural oil: almond, etc. However, no mineral oil, aka baby oil! It is a petroleum product and will smother your skin because it isn't permeable.  The next thing you need is patience. Your skin needs to start trusting you again; it needs to learn you are not going to attack it again with harsh chemicals. So, hang in there and give it a few weeks at the least.

Now, the how; wet your face and rinse off as much makeup as you can with water (and only water!), then pour a small amount of oil into your palm and massage it into your skin and eye area (it's awesome for removing eye makeup!), and rinse with warm water only. At this point you're thinking I'm crazy because you will feel slimy. Don't panic, take a towel and pat (not wipe) your skin until it's soft but not greasy. And you are done! 

Make sure you aren't using makeup products that will dry you out too!  No talc! Try blotting with tissue instead of reapplying powder throughout the day.  You might notice the first weeks that blackheads might appear or worsen. To help with this we need to exfoliate the skin. I cannot stress enough to not overkill on this step! About once a week take a small cup of table sugar and add just enough warm water to it to make it like wet beach sand. Wet your face and very gently, again very gently, massage circles on your skin (not the eye area though). Do not rub it raw! Just enough to remove the top layer which is dead and can clog pores. Do not do this more than once a week! Again our bodies are defensive and will make more dead skin to protect itself!  If you don't like the sugar you can use a body puff scrubby but again be gentle. Afterwards add oil while skin is still damp because we want to trap that water. If you get a break out, use a clay mask to help clear it but only on the breakouts or a little on large pores but do not do this too often. If you have scarring you can use salicylic toner but do not wipe it, use a qtip just on the needed spots. 

Don't forget to hydrate from the inside too; drink your water! Hang in there, this isn't an overnight cure. I have been doing this for months. My face is finally softer, more comfortable, less break out prone and not greasy!


Happy Birthday, Old Man!

Haha, today is my father's birthday. 

A few weeks ago, I was shopping for lil' boys ties at Kohls (another retailer I don't have much luck with,) when I stumbled upon a few Men's Ties, obviously in the wrong department.  I was reminded of an item on my father's Christmas wish list: a Christmas tie (insert daughterly eye roll here.)  I questioned him pretty hard about this - his only stipulation was that it be classy.  A Classy Christmas tie? 

I found one.  Two, actually.  And a third, though slightly less classy (in my humble opinion.)
My top pick?  I actually couldn't decide between the far left and the far right!

Please forgive the blur - camera phones, argh!

Which would you advise your father to wear?