Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why you should put this blog down right now and go buy something at Sephora

(cross-posted from my main blog.)

Hey everybody! Jen Lancaster sent me a Sephora gift card for my birthday! That is so amazing and cool that you're imploding with sheer envy, right? I got a gift card from Jen, and YOU did not. Probably. Unless she likes you, too.

So anyway, what with one thing and another, Christmas and condo fires and such, I didn't get around to actually spending it until today. I already knew what I wanted: the Sephora-only Philosophy Winter Escape gift set, consisting of a bottle of Peppermint Hot Cocoa bath gel, Melting Marshmallow body cream, and a tube of Marshmallow lip gloss.

That would be $25, and with the rest, I could get a bottle of Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion.

I don't know whether you're any kind of makeup maven, but if you check even one Youtube makeup guru, you'll find they all use this stuff before applying their eye shadow. So I wanted some. Even though I can't usually be bothered to wear eye shadow. I just wanted it, OK?

OK. So I head to, and discover that my Philosophy Gift Sets are marked down from $25 to $19. So I ordered two of them. And then I put the Urban Decay potion into my shopping basket. Oh, and since it was my birthday month, I got my choice of some cute freebies, so I picked out a trio of lip glosses. As well as the usual samples they like to add. Sephora was also offering free shipping. That's pretty cool, right? Two of my items were marked down, free birthday gift, free samples, free shipping.

I was all ready to check out when I remembered to google "Sephora coupon code." Sure enough, had a code for an extra 20 percent off any sale item. Which knocked down the price of the Philosophy gift sets yet again.

You know how when you use a gift card, you always go over because of sales taxes or shipping? And you think, "hey, this gift card is costing me a lot of money." Well, when it was time to check out, I needed to put a total of thirty-six cents on my credit card. Score!

So then I went to twitter to brag to the internet about my super-fun Sephora shopping spree. And discovered that in a repeat of Maytaggate, dooce might be about to take on Sephora for some unspecified-but-cryptically-alluded-to crime. And I trembled, because I had just publicly sided with dooce's enemy, Sephora. The Goliath to dooce's David.

But then I realized that Sephora is the puny little weakling here. Because I checked their twitter pages, and dooce has 1,558,511 twitter followers, whereas Sephora only has 39,522. Which makes dooce the Goliath, and Sephora the David.

Well, I'm always glad to root for the underdog. After all, I'm a Red Sox fan. I'm glad I tweeted about today's sale (which is good until December 31.) I'm glad I'm providing Sephora with free PR in this blog post. If dooce is going after them, Sephora needs all the help it can get.

But I'd like to take this further. I'm going to make this my new cause. You can't be a serious blogger until you have a cause. You write an impassioned post (i.e., this one.) Then one of your blogging buddies designs a widget, and your other blogging buddies put your widget in their sidebars, and you feel that you've made the world a better place, oh lord, kumbaya.

But your cause has to be something specific. You can't just be green or recycle or against poverty. I mean, I am, I do, and hey, who isn't?

No, a blogging cause needs to be something you feel passionate about. And I do. I am extremely passionate about makeup. And so, I want--no, I need lots of people to shop at Sephora. Please, if you have any spare money at all, spend it at Sephora. Do it for the children, and if you don't like children or can't see what they have to do with a luxury makeup chain store, do it for me. I need Sephora to stay in business so I can continue to put my uncanny internet shopping skills to work during their sales. I need to continue to take advantage of their special offers. I need to keep on raking in free birthday lip glosses.

So remember. Do the right thing. Shop at Sephora.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In which I become the Dominotrix

Internet, you'll never guess what foolishness I'm indulging in at the moment. It's insane.

Remember Domino magazine? Of course you do. It was Lucky for interior decorating.

I was never in love with Domino the way some of you were. Like Lucky, it frequently went off the deep end of quirky. And sometimes an entire issue would leave me cold.

But, as with Lucky, one magazine gave me instant access to super-cool secret insider sources. All of a sudden it was easy to find out how to get my mitts on great stuff. I didn't have to climb into a time machine, become 23 years old, move to New York, and get a magazine internship to do it. I could make all those underpaid 23 year old interns do it for me.

So when Domino stopped publishing, I mourned a little bit. And bought the Domino decorating book. But that just frustrated me. After all, a book can't provide the same kind of source information that a magazine can.

So I did what I always do in these cases; I went mental. I bought the entire run of Domino, from the Spring/Summer 2005 to March, 2009.

Right now, I plan to read through every issue and bask in the quirkiness. I'm also going to go through it methodically, and when I see something that looks great, I'll check out the website.

And then ... well, I haven't figured out what comes next. I plan to do something about what I find out, like post the link, or write up a separate entry for each source--I haven't figured it out yet. But for the time being, I'd like this blog to become one-stop shopping for Domino-flavored interiors ... as filtered through my admittedly preppy, traditional aesthetic.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review: that Olay Professional Prox Pro-X crappe

Olay Professional

I posted a review of the sunscreen pictured above on BlogHer's Beauty Hacks, so this will be the stripped down, factory-settings version.

Olay's Professionals (or ProX or Pro-X) (and it does seem pretty stupid to me to come up with a whole new line of products and give them such a lame name) is by far the most expensive drugstore line. I mean, the starter kit sells for $67. So whatever you call them ("the Olay stuff in the red containers" works for me) the point is, are they actually worth that much money?

Now, I'm assuming you aren't the kind of skin-care fanatic who haunts's skin care board, haunts Ulta and Sephora, and drops $250 a month on the latest, greatest dermatologist-developed/organic/imported products, because if you are, you have no business reading me. I have a passing acquaintance with all of that, but I have a life. And pretty good skin. And I don't expect miracles. Or need them.

That being said, if you're over 40, have dry skin, or can't tolerate titanium dioxide, I think you might like these products. They have niacinamide, (a vitamin B3 derivative) to shore up your stratum corneum, pro-retinol to aid in exfoliation and cellular turnover, glucosamine, and a cocktail of chemical sunscreens, all wrapped up in a light-reflective, unscented lotion that doesn't make me break out, leaves me with a matte finish, and a very slightly opalescent glow. There's a slight sunscreen reek when I first apply it, but it dissipates almost immediately.

I also got the Wrinkle Smoothing Cream ($47) and love it because it's rich, sinks right in, and has no fragrance. Maybe there's a masking fragrance, but I don't detect it. Thank goodness, because the last night cream I bought had ylang-ylang in it, and it drove me crazy.

No break-outs, no milia, no stink, and right now, Olay is offering a $25 rebate off any $50 purchase from the line, which makes the three-piece starter kit a real bargain.

I feel like Mikey in the Life cereal ad--I like it!

Friday, April 03, 2009

An open letter to the PR flaks out there

Dear Idiot:

You recently sent me an email suggesting I might want to post about the Easter dresses available on a website you're representing. It's a slow news day, so I checked out the pictures.

Now, I don't know what universe you live in, but the last time I checked, Easter is the only major celebration that takes place during the day. Sure, Halloween, New Year's Eve, and Fourth of July celebrations take place at night, but Easter celebrations are pretty much limited to church services, Easter egg hunts, and Easter brunches. As a result, Easter celebrations tend to be over by the middle of the afternoon.

Now, there are times where looking frisky and sexy is perfectly appropriate--for example, when offering strange gentlemen sexual favors in exchange for money. Or at a summer cocktail party.

Or at the Ascot races, where you can be as much of an exhibitionist as you like, as long as you're also wearing a huge, preposterous hat. But--just so you know--very tight, low-cut strapless mini-dresses are not usually worn to church at any time. Even if you're going to brunch afterward.

So let me give you a hint about daytime events that include religious services, like weddings, Christenings, and Bar Mitzvahs. The idea is to look "ladylike." Please acquaint yourself with the concept before sending me another email.

To sum up: the Easter bunny should never be confused with the Playboy bunny.

You're welcome,


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Can you celebrate St. Patrick's Day with style?

My latest post at BlogHer Beauty Hacks--featuring sale items from Cut + Paste, J. Crew, Old Navy, and unique crafty items from Etsy and Bondi Forest says yes, yes, yes!

Erin go braless!

Friday, February 20, 2009

This just in: Martha Stewart is on Twitter

Honestly, there's no place to hide from that woman.

Follow her @marthastewart. If you must.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My moment of glory, frugally speaking

I've mentioned before how I was trying to get up to speed with the (amazingly complicated) CVS ExtraCare Bucks program.

Well, I've been working at it pretty assiduously over the past couple of months, and I've gotten pretty good with it.

And over the Christmas holiday, I had the opportunity to show off for my entire family. We went to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook on the table right in front of you ... a crowd-pleaser if there ever was one, especially when you have kids with you.

Dear Lord, please keep those chopsticks out of her nose ...

Also they had silly rum drinks, which pleased me.

Want to feel no pain? Have a Suffering Bastard!

But these places are not so big on dessert (which, duh, they should offer Bananas Foster, or some other flaming dessert. But nobody asks me.)

So we decided to leave and buy dessert and take it home. And there was a CVS in the same strip mall.

So we went in and picked out dessert. Edy's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. It was $6.99.

I said I'd pay. First I had the cashier swipe my ExtraCare card.

Then I used $5.00 in ExtraCare bucks to pay for the ice cream. So it was $1.99.

Then my ExtraCare bucks for my fall spending printed up. So I got $8.50 in ExtraCare bucks.

So basically, CVS paid me to buy ice cream! And my whole family witnessed it! Woot!

(Next time I'll make sure to have a coupon, too.)