Culture of Cute Dedicated to all things fashionable http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute <![CDATA[ My fast track to va-va-voom lashes!]]> Three things about me:

  1. I don't own very much makeup.  My makeup bag consists of three things: eye shadow, eyeliner, and pressed powder.  Lip balm would be a fourth if you want to count that.
  2. I've never been one to be tempted by the goods on display while I'm waiting in line in stores, and aside from the occasional pack of gum or mints, don't really buy anything from there.
  3. I'm not an impulsive shopper.

So it's saying something when I felt compelled to seek out a sample of Benefit's They're Real! Mascara after I had spotted it in one of the bins while waiting in line at Sephora.  Not only that, but when I sampled it, I grabbed a tube and immediately made a beeline back to the line and plunked down $22 for it.

Why?  Because it was the best friggin' mascara I've ever used.

Here are the results that they claimed to have received from consumer panel surveys:
  • 94% saw dramatic length and volume
  • 90% saw base-to-tip curl
  • 94% saw visible lift
  • 100% saw long-wearing results

My reactions to numbers like these in ads are typically, "meh, whatever", because I feel like most marketers just throw out randomly high numbers, but after trying out their mascara firsthand, I can see why these numbers are so high.

The box came with short, but descriptive directions on how to apply.  Hold the wand horizontally and wiggle it side to side from base to tip to plump them up, then hold it vertically and apply from base to tip to separate and curl.  I've never applied mascara in such a way before, but it works.  It delivers great results and my lashes have never looked so fabulous.  Its been a while since I've gotten this excited about a beauty product. 

Based on my experience, this photo below is no exaggeration:

http://blog.benefitcosmetics.co.uk/files/2011/07/theyre-real-before-and-after.jpg

Needless to say, love this stuff.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Benefit_They_re_Real_Mascara-90-1788767-216306-My_fast_track_to_va_va_voom_lashes_.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Benefit_They_re_Real_Mascara-90-1788767-216306-My_fast_track_to_va_va_voom_lashes_.html Tue, 13 Dec 2011 07:07:43 +0000
<![CDATA[Spanx Quick Tip by djevoke]]>
I have friends that LOVE Spanx and wear them as underwear, I can't think of anything more uncomfortable in my life. The Spanx seemed to act as control top on my belly (and didn't control anything) but, suffocated my legs and didn't hide my belly. I went without the Spanx with my dress and sucked it in, which ended up working just fine because luckily for the most part I was sitting at a dinner table lol. Suffice to say, I don't agree with my friends love of this product. I really don't think it's worth the $35 it often retails at in most stores.I think you could probably get the same smoothing quality in a regular control top pantyhose.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Spanx-90-1332604-216303.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Spanx-90-1332604-216303.html Tue, 13 Dec 2011 05:00:11 +0000
<![CDATA[Chanel Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/cosmetic/UserReview-Chanel-1394407-206606.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/cosmetic/UserReview-Chanel-1394407-206606.html Fri, 29 Apr 2011 17:32:32 +0000 <![CDATA[Christian Dior Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/cosmetic/UserReview-Christian_Dior-1383668-206601.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/cosmetic/UserReview-Christian_Dior-1383668-206601.html Fri, 29 Apr 2011 17:22:37 +0000 <![CDATA[ Healthy Hair with New Kerastase Formula]]>

If your locks are looking a little lackluster, or time spent in the sun has taken them from soft to stiff, step inside any of participating salon for the brand-new Kerastase Chronologiste Treatment, designed to restore dull, lifeless hair to a much healthier, shinier, softer version of itself. Inspired in part by the structure and properties of caviar, the treatment’s essential ingredients resemble the culinary delight, comprised of shiny gray pearls packed with vitamins A and E, water from the Pacific Ocean, and fatty acids.

The is the finest haircare treatment ever created by Kérastase and this is a treatment that can be applied in salon or at home! The at home treatment is very simple and goes something like this:

After shampooing with the appropriate bain, add the pearls to the Chronologiste bowl and blend smoothly into the cream using the spatula. On towel-dried hair, part the hair, apply and massage the treatment section by section to the scalp, length and ends. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, then add a small amount of water to create a lather and massage through the hair. Rinse thoroughly, so that all product is rinsed out completely. Recommended to be applied once a week as a treatment booster in addition to your current regimen.

Buy It: Kerastase
Cost: $145.00

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Kerastase_Chronologiste-90-1548186-204562-Healthy_Hair_with_New_Kerastase_Formula.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Kerastase_Chronologiste-90-1548186-204562-Healthy_Hair_with_New_Kerastase_Formula.html Thu, 24 Mar 2011 19:54:14 +0000
<![CDATA[Stripper Heel Quick Tip by LandyLin]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Stripper_Heel-90-1333485-204504.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Stripper_Heel-90-1333485-204504.html Thu, 24 Mar 2011 04:15:19 +0000 <![CDATA[ Green with Envy]]>

The autumn season always brings an influx of cozy wardrobe changes and fun, new cosmetic colors. This Fall, Green Eye Makeup is a great neutral for brown and hazel eyed girls. “I consider green a neutral eye shadow, but it’s important to be very measured when you use it,” says makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who works with Jessica Biel, Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. Green eyeshadow has a magical way of bringing out the golden flecks in your eyes, as shown on Demi Moore and Freida Pinto.

Keep the shade below the crease of the lid to avoid looking overdone, and reach for a brown liner for definition. A smudge under the bottom lashline can also have subtle impact. An emerald twist to the classic smoky eye is always a great way to change up your outfit and look.

Here are some of my favorite Greens:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Peacock Green $17.00

L’Oreal HIP Shocking Shadow Pigments in Striving $12.00

MAC To the Beach Eye Shadow in Humid $14.50

TokiDoki Punk Lash Mascara in Mad Rocker Green $18.00

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Green_Eye_Makeup-90-1625510-204502-Green_with_Envy.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Green_Eye_Makeup-90-1625510-204502-Green_with_Envy.html Thu, 24 Mar 2011 02:47:07 +0000
<![CDATA[Lilla Rose Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> every hair accessory I've ever tried! I find myself adjusting my hair-do all day, even if it is just a pony tail. I've been wearing this Flexi clip for the past five hours in a French twist and haven't had to think about my hair at all! I love it, I'm really impressed. My hair is finally neat and looks amazing even though I only spent 2 minutes on it. It's good enough for going to a wedding or other special event. This is definitely not the last Flexi I will have, I want to get the mini one for my daughter!]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Lilla_Rose-90-1715279-203284.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Lilla_Rose-90-1715279-203284.html Mon, 7 Mar 2011 23:21:13 +0000 <![CDATA[ Cute, colorful, comfy,]]>
Not only do I like the way this case feels--firm in my grip--I also like the way it looks, especially in the showy red color. The thickness is reassuring because I have been known to drop my phone and I think this case is thick enough to absorb the shock.

I have always been a fan of the distinctive Apple logo and am proud to display it through the cut-out in back, so that's another plus.

All in all, I'm pleased with this product and will recommend it to my friends. In fact, a friend who has lost feeling in his hands due to nerve loss from MS, tried it and he adds his praise to mine. He likes the fact that it's not constantly slipping from his grasp like his black plastic case does.

The only thing better, in my estimation, would be if it came in a black-and-white zebra print. :-)

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, February 24, 2011
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-amazon_basics_silicone_case_for_iPhone_red-90-1713294-203017-Cute_colorful_comfy_.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-amazon_basics_silicone_case_for_iPhone_red-90-1713294-203017-Cute_colorful_comfy_.html Thu, 3 Mar 2011 05:28:09 +0000
<![CDATA[ Stylish shades go great with my zebra bag. More California bling...]]>
Then I saw these DG sunglasses and it was love at first sight! I couldn't resist the black/grey zebra stripes and retro styling... Too-ooo cute... That, plus the fact I have a new zebra bag, made it an easy decision.

Since the price is so reasonable, I decided to take a chance that they would cover my current frames adequately. And for once I lucked out! These shades fit over my regular glasses perfectly. But before deciding for yourself, check the sides on the Amazon photo closely. Mine happen to be very slim, so if yours are too wide this style might not cover them.

In addition to going nuts over the zebra stripes, I also like the stylish, silver DG logo. It reminds me of the Gucci label, in a way. :-) (I took the 100% UVA and UVB blockage for granted.)

Love my new shades and am very pleased that I got a good "bargain."

This review is dedicated to Amazon reviewer NyiNya, a stylish woman, to say the least. (And NyiNya, check out their rhinestone frames. Those are next on my list of "Necessary California Bling.")

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, February 5, 2011
Author of "Dream Reachers: (with Chase Von) and other books]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-DG_eyewear_black_zebra-90-1713293-203016-Stylish_shades_go_great_with_my_zebra_bag_More.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-DG_eyewear_black_zebra-90-1713293-203016-Stylish_shades_go_great_with_my_zebra_bag_More.html Thu, 3 Mar 2011 05:23:21 +0000
<![CDATA[ Why the Success of the Kinect is Important... and Why Hardcore Gamers Shouldn't Be Bashing It]]>
I came across one post that was a rant about how motion control was destroying gaming and how the Kinect was going to be the start of a horrible, bleak, future for gaming.  Such is the case whenever gaming has progressed.  When the Playstation came out everyone thought the CD based format was going to be the death of gaming... turns out it was one of the best things for gaming.  People screamed in terror at the thought of Microsoft entering the arena because it would take some of the development away from Japan... turned out that having more Western and European developers wasn't such a bad thing at all. 

With the release of the Wii motion gaming took off.  What gamers forget is that in spite of the Wii's initial success, the controller is not dead.  Nor is it dying.  In the first place, the Kinect is an add-on.  Something you don't actually NEED to enjoy your XBOX.  It's something you'll need for certain games, but not to play something like say... Halo Reach. 

The part that caused me to actually jump onto the thread was when he talked about how he hopes the Kinect fails because there are already "too many casual gamers."  Let's forget WHY it's important to have casual gamers at the moment (the "hardcore" vs. "casual" gamers argument is the worst thing to happen to gaming since G4 decided they had to be SpikeTV junior).  Let's focus on why hoping for the failure of the Kinect is bad for gamers of any breed, and why it REALLY affects the Hardcore market as well.

When the Kinect was being conceived it was probably during the time when the Wii was more scarce than a grizzly bear in winter.  Where you had to basically be at the store when the Wii shipment arrived.  Nintendo was selling somewhere around 500,000 Wiis A WEEK when it was at it's peak.  And selling nearly double that come Holiday season.  That Wii shortage lasted from the time it launched to pretty much sometime in 2008.  And the only reason the shortage stopped was because it had sold so many.  No one needs two Wii consoles, for instance.  And when fifty million sell it means fifty million people have one.  So Nintendo was eventually able to keep up because their product was satisfying consumers.

Of course, by the time the Kinect was finally announced and actually completed, Wii sales have dipped.  It still outsells the 360 and PS3 every month but it's games are often terrible.  Hardcore gamers think this is absolute proof that the Wii is a bad console.  The games are terrible.  They forget that those terrible games are still selling.  Now, A LOT of Wii games really are terrible.  Even the ones that sell are pretty bad (the first Red Steel has sold over a million copies).  So the quality of the game usually doesn't make a big difference in the quantity it sells.  But the bigger thing that hardcore gamers ignore is WHY those games are bad.  It most certainly isn't because they have motion controls.  If that were all the Wii would've eventually stopped selling.  Bad controllers have impacted the sales of consoles a lot (The Nintendo 64 may have been a success, but a lot of consumers didn't want one because it had an awful controller, and the Sega Genesis had software sale dips because the Super Nintendo version had a far superior controller).  It's true that SOME games have horrible motion controls.  Mario Party 8, for example, mostly has you tilting it to the left and right.  It's not intuitive enough.  But the bigger reason most games are bad is because developers aren't really trying very hard when it comes to developing them.  Because right now they're taking advantage of the new gamer.  That "casual" gamer, as it were.  They haven't been gaming long enough to know a good game from a bad and Wii games like that are cheap to make.

This is in part why the Kinect exist.  It appeals to the casual crowd.  They're eventually going to try and bring it to that hardcore crowd too.  It's not like it can't happen. 

We seem like we're getting away from why the success of the Kinect is important, but we haven't really.  There's just a lot to cover before we get into why Hardcore gamers shouldn't be bashing it.  The success and failure of the Kinect affects them greatly.  They just haven't considered how. 

We're going to jump into that now.  Let's start with the obvious.  The first being it's a ploy to steal some of the Wii's market.  This is actually where I think Microsoft is making a mistake with their Kinect.  Imagine, if you will, that you walk into a bookstore and you see two books.  Both of them are the same.  Same words, same title... same version.  They're both paperbacks with no real distinguishing differences.  But one of them cost eight bucks and the other cost sixteen.  Again, they're both the EXACT same book so please save your smart ass, "One is a trade paper back and the other isn't," kind of comments to yourself.  The point is... it's the same book, but one is double the price.  Which one would you buy?  No one is going to pay for the sixteen dollar book.  Not if they're both the same. 

This is what Microsoft is doing.  Sure it's not the same thing exactly, but the games on Kinect so far are mostly better looking versions of some of the games we're seeing on the Wii.  If this is the casual crowd... you have to market to them by giving them more than just a prettier version of the same game.  The Wii is cheaper.  Sure it doesn't look as good as the 360... but money talks.  Now, the Kinect has seen some moderate success because they actually are putting out different types of games and because you do more than just waggle a controller... you actually use your whole body.  That's the genius of what Microsoft is doing.  They're taking Nintendo's product and making it better.  But that's not exactly enough for the casual gamer.  Remember, the biggest reason the Wii is ridiculously successful is that it holds firm to what so many hardcore gamers forget works: simplicity.  Anyone can get into it and play.  There's no worrying about whether or not you've got a great television to play on or anything like that.  The setup is also self explanatory.  With the Kinect you're asking those same gamers you're trying to steal to spend money on the 360 itself... and then spend MORE money on the Kinect.  The 360 is already around 300 bucks.  The Kinect is 150 on top of that.  Why would the casual gamer want to spend 450 bucks when they could spend 200?  Different games... check.  Different setup for the controller... check.  Simplicity?  Almost check.  Money Management... big minus, there.  Using your body as a controller is great, but it goes a little too far in the sense that the casual gamer needs to have a simple way of setting it up.  And HD is also something that may not make a difference either.  A casual gamer is probably not going to care so much whether or not they're bowling in HD.  We're not watching a Blu-Ray, here, or plowing through fantastic, hyper resolute environment.  You're dancing... or bowling... or something.  You're playing a game where the graphical presentation doesn't really matter so much as the fun factor.  With that in mind, advertising HD for Kinect games is a waste of the casual gamers time.  A Hardcore gamer might like this, but if the assumption is that Hardcore Gamers don't care for Kinect (a great deal of them actually do) then looking good doesn't matter as much as playing well.

Likewise, the hardware of a console has NEVER been successful on their own.  The software has always decided the fate of a console and how well it does.  This has been true since the beginning of gaming.  Remember, that video game crash didn't happen because the consoles were no good, it crashed because the GAMES were terrible and eventually stopped selling so well.  The Kinect will be a success if it has good software.

The good news is that casual gaming is widespread.  Regardless of what Hardcore gamers think, we'e ALWAYS had casual gamers.  This is why even your precious 360 and PS3 you sometimes see games like Bejewled or Tetris or Portal on them (people don't think of Portal as a game that was made to appeal to casual gamers... but it really was... it holds onto simplicity to really make it work and even Hardcore gamers love the hell out of it as a result).  Again, sometime Microsoft is getting right with the Kinect.  But to pretend that we're in the middle of this "rise of the casual gamer" is ludicrous.  They weren't under a rock or keeping themselves independent of the Hardcore crowd... you just didn't have a big corporation like Microsoft or gaming journalists at places like Gamespot, IGN or Game Informer giving them a label before.  In fact, until then most of us never really thought about it.  It only recently became important to distinguish the two crowds.

So we've made it clear that the Kinect is more expensive and that can harm it... but hasn't really done so at this point.  The thing is selling relatively well.  This is a good thing.

But Hardcore gamers say otherwise.  They say this is a bad thing because it's going to change the face of gaming forever.  Two things to consider.  The first is that the industry is always changing.  It's inevitable.  Many of these screaming Hardcore gamers are too young to remember when cartridges were the thing to play games on and people were afraid of what going to a CD based format would do.  The argument was that load times would interrupt your playtime (because gamers are clearly notoriously impatient), that cartridges had an internal battery to save directly to the game, and that we were already familiar with that technology.  When Final Fantasy VII came around we understood the importance of doing this.  You could develop a game at a cheaper price.  You no longer had to come up with 70-80 dollars to buy a game.  When the Playstation launched only having to spend 50 bucks on a game to purchase it was a Godsend.  It was 20-30 bucks cheaper to do so (and consider that the gaming industry isn't hit nearly as hard with inflation... when movie ticket prices were rising... gaming prices were DROPPING).  It was all around cheaper.  But most important... it allowed developers to really experiment with gaming.  They could afford to take risks and try new things.  The result of this were games like Resident Evil, Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX, Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, interactive movies like Wing Commander, etc.  Sure, the Sega CD had already done some of this before and the PC was certainly capable of it... but at the time we all thought cartridges were better.  And yes, there was a divide.  "Real gamers play their games on cartridges and will buy an N64."  Gamers are like any other medium.  When something becomes popular they like to try and avoid it... even when the popularity is actually a good thing.  Yes, Wii Bashers... if you wanted to prove you were "Hardcore" at one point... you played the Nintendo console!  Final Fantasy VII made the landmark difference (Along with Wing Commander III) by showing that you could also make a game as long as you needed to.  Cartidges were limited.  If you wanted to make a game longer you had to design a custom cartridge.  Final Fantasy VII, of course, was going to be an N64 game first.  But it was going to cost well over 150 bucks to play it if that was the case.  The CD?  When you used up all the data on one disc you could continue onto another disc without having to charge the consumer more. 

How does this relate to the Kinect?  Easy... you're looking at a point in time when developers have a chance to really experiment with video games again.  It's our chance to break away from the tired First Person Shooter genre that has populated the advertising and the sales (there was a time when Platformers were the big thing... and later JRPGs, they all grew stale because you just couldn't do a whole lot of new things after a while... the same thing WILL happen to FPS's if they all insist in trying to be Call of Duty).  Developers have a chance to create and experiment with brilliant technology... for cheap.  This means that even if they make a terrible game... they can AFFORD to make it, realize it doesn't work and try again.  Part of the genius of Nintendo (we've talked about the genius of Microsoft already) is that they make sure they can recoup their cost.  They developed the Wii in such a manner they can afford to sell it for two hundred bucks and STILL make a proft.  This means that even if they make a horrible game, they recoup costs because their console is selling.  Microsoft and Sony can't do that.  I'm not sure if they're turning a profit off of their consoles yet (everyone knew that when their systems launched they were both selling at a loss) but they can't afford to make a flop just yet because there's nothing that will cover that cost.  Kinect has a chance to save them money.  Money they can use for another project.  And that project DOESN'T have to be another Kinect game.  It could go toward making the next awesome FIrst Person Shooter, Platformer, Adventure or Puzzle game or something like that. 

This is the importance of Kinect.  Whether you like it or not is insignificant.  The important thing is that it allows the industry to stay afloat and allows developers to experiment with what they have now.  What's more their game won't have to sell millions of copies.

But it gets bigger than that.  It's always bigger.  Here's where Hardcore gamers (that original forum poster especially) forget... Major Gaming studios are taking a gamble on Kinect.  Major Game studios that produce games that YOU love.  Games that you invest your time and money into.  They're gambling on the Kinect as well.  Why is this important?  If the Kinect fails it has the potential to take A LOT of the industry with it.  Because studios and developers are investing millions of dollars into it.  If the gamble doesn't pay off the studio could go under, thousands of people lose their jobs and YOU Lose out on some games.  The keyword is "potential."  If the Kinect fails it doesn't mean it'll take a studio with it.  If Infinity Ward invested a lot of money into Kinect they might survive if Kinect doesn't.  They'd have a huge loss of profits, but that's really it. 

But even a huge loss of profits is not such a good thing.  If a major studio doesn't go under... but loses profits instead it means they have to cut back on Game Development because they don't have the money to do it.  Meaning they can't give you the full experience they want.  You never know, one of the things that might have to be cut might be an incredible multiplayer experience.  Sure they could recover, but it would still mean you'd have to suffer through years of mediocre games before you got a good one.  The gaming industry could definitely survive a dark period like that (the limitations might even make developers experiment with their newfound limitations), but why  go through it if you don't have to?  And you could still experiment without having to be forced to do so. 

The point is simple: You don't have to hope for the failure of a system just because of your own selfish desires.  No one will force a Hardcore Gamer to BUY a Kinect, but the Hardcore gamer probably shouldn't stop someone from buying the Kinect.  In the first place, it isn't your money.  In the second place, there is a way in which it can harm the industry and punish the Hardcore gamer.  We're not saying this stuff WILL happen if the Kinect fails, only trying to get the so-called Hardcore Gamer to realize that success has an impact on him as well.  And that the failure also does.  The Gaming industry isn't "too big to fail," if you want a mediocre reference, but there is something about the potential of the Kinect brings to the table that Wii simply can't.  And I don't think it would be such a bad thing to encourage it.  You're going to get a lot of crap.  Every game system has more crap than it does actual awesomeness.  The only reason it seems like it's the other way around is because the race isn't over.  Sure we fondly remember the Playstation now... because the good games stand out while we let the crap it had slowly die.

The Kinect is still in its infancy and at the moment is in the perfect moment for developers to take advantage of its capabilities.  In a few years we can re-examine the Kinect and rule out whether or not it's worth it.  But for now, we can't exactly say, "I sure hope the Kinect fails," because if it does it can be a disaster.  Once people sort of grasp whether or not it was worth investing in and pull out if it isn't then we can hope for the failure of the Kinect.  But if the Kinect turns out to be successful--as it so far has been--then Hardcore Gamers would do best to simply let bygones be bygones, continue to enjoy their video games, and be content that their favorite developer is still able to develop for them.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-201720-Why_the_Success_of_the_Kinect_is_Important_and.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-201720-Why_the_Success_of_the_Kinect_is_Important_and.html Sat, 19 Feb 2011 00:00:58 +0000
<![CDATA[ Luminous Skin]]>

Beauty junkies, dermatologists, and cosmetic chemists all rave about Le Métier de Beauté ‘Peau Vierge Anti Aging Complex’ Tinted Treatment SPF 20 treatment foundation, which blends into any skin tone for a flawless finish. The best part is what you can’t see: a pharmaceutical-grade delivery system that transports retinol deep into the skin. This luxurious tinted treatment fluid stimulates collagen production, increases blood flow, lessens dark circles, smoothes fine lines, blurs blemishes and tightens pores within a week of once-daily use.

The anti-aging powerhouse retinol, known for its ability to smooth and plump wrinkles from deep below the skin’s surface, stimulates collagen cell rejuvenation and bringing elasticity back to skin. Retinol is delivered through a patented and proprietary delivery technology called Syntoc Actif, which encapsulates the retinol and allows it to safely and effectively penetrate the skin. Syntoc Actif provides 20 times more retinoic acid than traditional over-the-counter products and is absorbed into the deeper skin layers, making it the most effective cosmetic retinoid treatment on the market.

*Winner of InStyle magazine’s Best of Beauty award, May 2010

Buy It: Nordstrom
Cost: $125.00

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Le_M_tier_de_Beaut_Peau_Vierge_Anti_Aging_Complex_Tinted_Treatment_SPF_20_treatment_foundation-90-1693379-199893-Luminous_Skin.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Le_M_tier_de_Beaut_Peau_Vierge_Anti_Aging_Complex_Tinted_Treatment_SPF_20_treatment_foundation-90-1693379-199893-Luminous_Skin.html Thu, 27 Jan 2011 18:59:10 +0000
<![CDATA[ Girl Interrupted…to put on lip gloss! Angelina's Golden Globe Lip Gloss]]>
My first thought when I saw this unusual celebrity sighting was, “What lip gloss does she use?”. Jolie’s makeup artist Toni G. told UsMagazine.com that she makes her lips pop with Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Love — a brand she’s frequently used on-set and on countless red carpets. Hello! Sign us up. If this stuff is good enough for Jolie’s pout, its good enough for ours.

Buy It: Neiman Marcus
Cost: $28.00]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/actor/UserReview-Angelina_Jolie-90-1009142-199602-Girl_Interrupted_to_put_on_lip_gloss_Angelina_s.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/actor/UserReview-Angelina_Jolie-90-1009142-199602-Girl_Interrupted_to_put_on_lip_gloss_Angelina_s.html Fri, 21 Jan 2011 00:14:22 +0000
<![CDATA[ Real silk lingerie as a perfect Valentine's gift!]]> I am a big fan of Elle Macpherson maternity/nursing wear as it is one of the few companies that makes motherhood lingerie that is actually attractive! Shortly before Christmas a little package arrived at my doorstep. I wasn't expecting anything so I was a little surprised. It was a gift from the Elle Macpherson Intimates line. They had my size and contact info since I reviewed the Bendon Motherlove Nursing Bra. It was a pleasant surprise! I was not obligated to write a review, but I really wanted to share this. 

I received a ruby red (burgundyish) slip. Bingo! My husband's favorite color (be it a car, a shirt, or women's lingerie). It was also the day before my husband's birthday, great timing! After the initial surprise, my next one was discovering that it is made of silk. The moment I took it out of the package and touched it I knew it wasn't one of those cheap polyester slips - you know, the static ones that will make your hair stand on end. This one is 91% silk and 9% elastane, which gives just a tad of stretch for a nice fit. It feels very luxurious! I really can't think of anything I don't like about it. It has comfortable, adjustable straps, perfect length and fit, and high quality tailoring. 

Speaking of the fit... I have the size small which is perfect for me with just a little bit of extra room. Usually I have a really hard time finding lingerie that fits me well, I am 5'2" and 95 pounds. Everything that is 'small' in the women's department is always too big on me and things in juniors sizes are mostly not up to par and always on the cheap side - good luck finding something that's silk.  

Since I received this as a gift and this particular style is part of a new line up not for sale anywhere yet, I am not sure of the actual price. Similar Elle Macpherson chemises are in the $60 to $90 range, so that is the price range you should expect. 

I was just browsing everything else Elle Macpherson Intimates has in the lineup and I really like what I see. I love tasteful designs ranging from classic, to flirty, and all of it being functional!


 

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Elle_Macpherson_Intimates-90-1688225-199332-Real_silk_lingerie_as_a_perfect_Valentine_s_gift_.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Elle_Macpherson_Intimates-90-1688225-199332-Real_silk_lingerie_as_a_perfect_Valentine_s_gift_.html Sat, 15 Jan 2011 05:30:37 +0000
<![CDATA[ Ultimate Hair Elixir]]>
The Kerastase Elixir Ultime delivers a powerful cocktail of emollient and anti-oxidant active ingredients for ultimate shine and suppleness while promoting cellular renewal. The elixir brings shine, nourishment and deep conditioning to the hair while smoothing the hair fiber, resulting in incredible shine. The multi-use elixir also helps restore strength to the hair and protects it from external aggressors.

I've been using this product for a couple of weeks now and I love it! I put it in my wet hair (fine dark hair) after a shower and it instantly detangles my locks and leaves them smelling deliciously nutty and fragrant. Don't use too much of this product because it will attract dirt and oil — leaving your hair in desperate need of a washing by days end.

Buy it: Kerastase
Cost: $50.00]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Kerastase_Elixir_Ultime-90-1685149-198560-Ultimate_Hair_Elixir.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Kerastase_Elixir_Ultime-90-1685149-198560-Ultimate_Hair_Elixir.html Tue, 4 Jan 2011 23:17:09 +0000
<![CDATA[ An Effective Way To Get Rid of that Unwanted Hair]]>
I was introduced to laser hair removal in college by none other than my dear mother.  She knew about my annoyance with having to wax and shave, so she decided that once I was in college, I was ready to be introduced to the trusted staff at her go-to medspa.  My mom treated me to several sessions of a treatment area, but due to the cost, I hadn't gotten any laser hair removal sessions since then.  

However... my interest in laser hair removal was recently reignited when Groupon, my latest shopping obsession, started offering unbeatable deals for it.  Since discovering these deals, I've had treatments on various parts of my body.  If you can tolerate waxing, I would say that the pain is comparable to waxing and you'll be fine.  In each treatment area, there will be spots that might sting more than other spots.  The underarm was like a walk in the park.  Other areas, such as the Brazilian zone, may be more painful though.

If you have low tolerance for pain, you have several options to ease the pain, including icing and numbing cream.  One place that I went to even had a cool device that blew out super cold air as the laser went off, which really helped.  Some medspas charge for the numbing cream, while others include it as part of their treatment.  All places will put some sort of cooling gel on beforehand.

Expectations
Here are a few tidbits that I found the most interesting and important when doing my research on laser hair removal prior to my treatment.  This information helped me shape realistic expectations for the results.
  • Laser hair removal is actually a misnomer and a more appropriate name is actually laser hair reduction.  If treatment is done correctly, and the patient follows instructions and is a good candidate for it, then these treatments can greatly, greatly reduce the growth of hair.  You might still have a few strays here and there, but a few weeds is better than a whole forest, right? ;)
  • Laser hair removal isn't just a one time thing; it has to be done over several sessions.  The general consensus seems to be that five or six sessions is the average that it takes to reduce over 90% hair growth in any given area, and many medspas offer packages of five or six sessions that are heavily discounted versus paying for each individual session.  I highly recommend purchasing the package deals.
  • The darker the hair, and the lighter the skin, the better the results.  If it's a combination of the both, even better.  Various combination of shades of hair and skin color may have differing results.  Some may need more treatments than others.
  • The more coarse the hair, the more likely it is to be effectively treated.  So hair in the underarm and Brazilian area can be more effective zapped than say, thin hairs on your face, arms, or legs.

Tips
  • This one's very important: do not wax, pluck or epilate your treatment area for at least two weeks prior to any of your sessions.  The roots need to be there in order to be zapped.  I actually suggest not doing any of that at all during the duration of your treatment because why mess with it?  Just shave.
  • Shave the hair of the treatment area just a few days prior to each session.  That way, the laser technician can see just a bit of where the hair is still growing and concentrate on zapping it.  If you leave the hair as is, you'll likely receive a dry shave from the medspa, which hurts!  Trust me, it sucks to lift weights when your underarm feels like it's burning from a bad shave, and it also sucks to look like you have herpes for a couple of weeks in the Brazilian area.  It's best to just take care of it at home by yourself comfortably beforehand.  On the contrary, if you don't receive a dry shave from your medspa and they just zap you with the hair unshaved, you'll smell burning hair during the session.
  • Request something to numb your skin if you have low pain tolerance.  You should let the receptionist know if you want some numbing cream or ice, etc.  You can also take Advil or Tylenol beforehand.

Overall, I've been pleased with this treatment.  I'm only disappointed that I can do this on my eyebrow area as it's too risky around the eye, but I've been really satisfied otherwise.  If you've got hair that you're just dying to get rid of, you should really consider laser hair removal to permanently reduce the growth.  You wouldn't regret it!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Laser_Hair_Removal-90-1388533-198246-An_Effective_Way_To_Get_Rid_of_that_Unwanted_Hair.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Laser_Hair_Removal-90-1388533-198246-An_Effective_Way_To_Get_Rid_of_that_Unwanted_Hair.html Fri, 31 Dec 2010 01:20:38 +0000
<![CDATA[Ashley Junior's faux fur neon zipper vest Quick Tip by bettydravis]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Ashley_Junior_s_faux_fur_neon_zipper_vest-90-1683142-198097.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Ashley_Junior_s_faux_fur_neon_zipper_vest-90-1683142-198097.html Wed, 29 Dec 2010 03:17:06 +0000 <![CDATA[ Gorgeous... absolutely gorgeous!]]> I was looking for a new faux-fur-trimmed vest and fell in love with this one. I think it's very attractive and was pleased it had colorful, neon-blue zippers. It would be the perfect complement to my elbow-length designer gloves that a friend knitted for me; they're black with bright blue and gray stripes along the inside. Superb creations!

But that was not to be because this style only comes in junior sizes. Grrrrrrrrrrr...

I reluctantly departed the site. However, I couldn't get this vest out of my mind: I kept picturing the little blue zippers against the black faux leather and the extra bonus of the fur collar. This vest had it all, so I went back to order it as a Christmas gift for one of my granddaughters.

I had it delivered to her, so I haven't seen it on her yet, but she says it's gorgeous. She couldn't wait to wear it, so she wore it with a long-sleeved royal blue sweater to a Christmas Eve party. It was such a big hit with her friends that she wore it again on Christmas Day. Needless to say, I'm pleased she likes it so much that she's wearing it already. :-)

Well, if I couldn't enjoy it, I'm glad someone in the family did! I made my granddaughter happy with this gift and that's what the season is all about.

Very highly recommended...and don't forget, you get a choice of color for the trim: blue, white, yellow or pink. Check it out!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Ashley_Junior_s_faux_fur_neon_zipper_vest-90-1683142-198096-Gorgeous_absolutely_gorgeous_.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Ashley_Junior_s_faux_fur_neon_zipper_vest-90-1683142-198096-Gorgeous_absolutely_gorgeous_.html Wed, 29 Dec 2010 03:14:56 +0000
<![CDATA[Ugg boots Quick Tip by Savvygirl]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Ugg_boots-90-1333442-197789.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Ugg_boots-90-1333442-197789.html Sat, 25 Dec 2010 23:44:34 +0000 <![CDATA[ Works as advertised and looking forward to its potential]]> When Project Natal was announced in last year's E3, I was intrigued by its technology but was skeptical on whether Microsoft can pull it off, fast forward to this year, Project Natal is now officially named Kinect, and after spending a few days playing it, even though it didn't fulfill all of its promises, it did live up to the lofty expectation.

Kinect is easy to setup, basically you plug it into the XBox 360's USB port and plug in the power (if you have the newer "S" model, you won't even need the power), and once it's set up, it's ready to go, I was surprised on how simple the setup was, it's basically plug-and-play, and it recognize me right away and I can navigate the menu with Kinect without any problem (and yes, it does work sitting down, although all the games I tested are programmed for playing standing up). The only thing that takes a while to set up is KinectID, basically you can set up auto-login based on facial recognition, and that involves making different poses in different position, which my 3 year old son has a hell of a time doing (he just can't stand still to hold the position for Kinect to recognize him), but for us adult, it works pretty well.

I was pleasantly surprised on how accurate Kinect is, and it seems to be able to pick up who is playing even with multiple people in the background.  As you can see from the tracking image, Kinect is able to map out and track your whole body with its built in infra-red cameras.

As for the games, I mainly played a lot of Kinect sport, and it's a pretty fun game, and since Kinect can read your whole body, you can't "cheat" your way through the games like you can with the Wii, and it's a lot more accurate then I imagined, when I played Bowling, you can motion your arm across your body to indicate spin move, and your position and arm motion will determine the path of the ball, it's pretty impressive, and after playing through some sports (Bowling, Ping-Pong, Beach Volleyball, Soccer, and Track and Field), I was actually pretty sore the next day, so you can actually get a fairly decent workout from this.

As of right now, what the Kinect offers is good, but not great, but I think the technology can do so much more, some examples are what some people are doing with Kinect connected to PCs, it's pretty amazing what it can do, and I am looking forward to the next wave of games that taps into the potential of the device more.


Kinect "Minority Report" control on PC (with the open-source driver)
 

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-197701-Works_as_advertised_and_looking_forward_to_its.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-197701-Works_as_advertised_and_looking_forward_to_its.html Thu, 23 Dec 2010 06:12:44 +0000
<![CDATA[Kinect Quick Tip by zephyr2050]]> http://www.lunch.com/Destructoid/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-673-1479378-197157.html http://www.lunch.com/Destructoid/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-673-1479378-197157.html Thu, 16 Dec 2010 17:41:24 +0000 <![CDATA[ Shake Your Booty]]> With all the baked treats at work, holiday meals and parties, and traveling, your healthy diet may take a backseat the next few weeks (or more)!

Don’t wait until New Years to make your get-fit resolutions. Start now, by watching your portions of desserts and treats and getting some fun exercise in. Fun exercise? I know that sounds like a oxymoron but it’s actually a reality.

Dance off the pounds with the new Xbox Kinect Dance Central game or Zumba Fitness. This amazing new video game technology brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways without using a controller. The video game actually uses your body as the remote control! As you dance and move around your living room floor…so does your game avatar. This is one fun way to shake off the pounds.

XBox Kinect
Buy It:Best Buy
Cost: $299.99

Xbox Kinect Dance Central Game
Buy it: Best Buy
Cost: $49.99

Xbox Kinect Zumba Fitness Game
Buy it: Amazon
Cost: $39.96

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-197105-Shake_Your_Booty.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-197105-Shake_Your_Booty.html Wed, 15 Dec 2010 23:07:46 +0000
<![CDATA[ Budget Beauty]]>

You might recognize Borghese from the beauty counter at your favorite high-end department store. Did you know
Costco (one of my favorite retailers on earth) and Borghese have partnered up to create a beauty line?

Still made with quality Borghese ingredients, the simple array of products available at Costco are super affortable and packaged with bonus products galore!

This dynamic trio gives you kind-to-the-skin color, flawless coverage and a better-than-natural look. All are formulated to feel soft and light on the face, yet provide flawless coverage. What’s better is that the liquid foundation is paraben-free, fragrance-free, and mineral oil-free. Also free with the foundation is a skin-perfecting concealer and mineral face finishing powder.

You’ll love the dewy feel of the foundation, and how the shades blend with most light to medium skin tones.

Kirkland Signature by Borghese Sheer Foundation SPF 20
Buy It: Costco
Cost: $21.99

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Kirkland_Signature_by_Borghese_Sheer_Foundation-90-1676986-196029-Budget_Beauty.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Kirkland_Signature_by_Borghese_Sheer_Foundation-90-1676986-196029-Budget_Beauty.html Sat, 11 Dec 2010 00:18:06 +0000
<![CDATA[ Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe]]>
Since the 2009 E3 Conference, I had been telling myself over and over again, "You don't need the Kinect... That's not your type of game... You don't need the Kinect..."  Fortunately for me, @trailblazer wasn't in my head, and she very generously purchased one for me as a gift.

Setup was simple enough.  Depending on your Xbox, either plug the proprietary USB-looking end directly into your Xbox, or plug that cable into the included power adapter which then connects one end to a USB port on the Xbox and the other to a standard power outlet.  Once you're connected, the Xbox walks you through the rest of setup to make sure the Kinect device is positioned appropriately aligned with your TV and that you have enough space to move around.. more on that later.  The Kinect will also try to calibrate the sound settings for the built-in microphone, but I was too impatient for that.

I immediately jumped into the games.  The Kinect comes with Kinect Adventures, but I also received a copy of Kinect Sports to start off my motion gaming library.  Kinect Sports was in the console.  To get you warmed up, they have a number of mini games including among others bowling, table tennis, soccer, and track and field.  Bowling seemed the most accessible and it had a very similar feel to Wii Bowling.  However, without having to hold a controller, I thought the bowling motion was much more natural.  From the early tests, bowling was very accessible for everyone, but it was a little frustrating trying to figure out what motions would cause "spin" on the ball.  My favorite of the initial batch was playing soccer goalie.  Remember when I mentioned making sure you had enough space to move around?  I have a feeling that Kinect is going to cause a flood of new YouTube videos of over active players taking out all manner of furniture and sliding-glass doors.  As goalie, the screen shows you where the ball is being kicked to and you have to move your body in position to block the shot.  While the initial shots required only moderate movement, after a while, I found myself nearly diving left and right to get to the corner shots.  Might not want to set up the Kinect in the same room as the china cabinet.

Rather than describe the different games and challenges in Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports, it probably makes more sense to discuss the overall pros and cons.

Pros:
  • No controller
  • Movement in both arms and legs are tracked and can be used in most games giving a greater sense of immersion
  • One controller can be used to track two players (in some games)

Cons:
  • Initial launch library is thin
  • There is some lag between your motions and the motions appearing on screen.
  • 3D tracking doesn't seem as precise as PS3 Move's offering
There's plenty to like about Kinect as well as plenty of untapped potential.  Playing alone, the current crop of games don't offer much for an in-depth gaming experience.  But once you have other people to play with, it's really hard to NOT have fun with the Kinect.  If you occasionally host an impromptu game-night, the Kinect would be a worthwhile purchase.

 
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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-195761-Kinect_The_Gamer_s_Thumb_was_just_replaced_by.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-195761-Kinect_The_Gamer_s_Thumb_was_just_replaced_by.html Tue, 7 Dec 2010 07:04:53 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Cookie Facial]]>

Would you rather wait for six months for one of Scott Vincent Borba’s high-definition hybrid diamond peel facials in Los Angeles or eat a cookie that makes your skin glow like a facial? If the answer isn’t clear to you, let me tell you about these ‘facial cookies’.

Scott Vincent Borba has teamed up with DeLuscious, the Los Angeles-based gourmet cookie shop favored by actresses Renée Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon, Borba is infusing small, artisanal batches of select recipes—oatmeal raisin and chocolate with white-chocolate toffee—with skin-, hair-, and nail-healthy vitamins (A, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, E, and zinc), as well as extracts of the antioxidant-rich Brazilian superberry, açai. Because if you’re going to have a cookie, says Borba, “It might as well be good for you.” No guilt—and no wait list—required.

Buy It:DeLuscious Cookies
Cost: 24.95

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-DeLuscious_Cookies_Milk-90-1449999-195725-The_Cookie_Facial.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-DeLuscious_Cookies_Milk-90-1449999-195725-The_Cookie_Facial.html Mon, 6 Dec 2010 19:11:59 +0000
<![CDATA[ Ladies, if you've had it with your hair, a Brazilian blowout may be the way to go!]]> messy.  I don't know if it's my diet, or the way that I take care of my hair or what, but I haven't had healthy feeling and looking hair since I was in my teens. 

I've tried many things to make my hair look and feel better, including different products and treatments over the years, and though they might have improved my hair temporarily at best, the constant usage of products and those super short term treatments actually began to take a toll on my hair. 

...But enough complaining about my hair :)

So as you can probably imagine after reading about my very tragic hair saga, when I found out how gorgeous the magical Brazilian blowout could make hair, and the fact that it could last for about three months with very little maintenance, I was intrigued.  I mean, it can do this to hair:

http://newsoholics.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Brazilian-Blowout.jpg

I read up on the treatment and thought about it for a few months.  I had to decide on a salon, take into account the cost (anywhere from $175 to $500 plus the cost of special hair products) and I also had to think about some of the health concerns that were brought up in the news about the Brazilian blowout.  I figured just trying it once, though, wouldn't hurt, so last month, I bit the bullet and finally scheduled an appointment since the cold weather was coming in and winter is not kind to my hair.

I set aside three hours for the Brazilian blowout, but I ended up getting it completed in an hour and a half.  During that time, my hair was washed with clarifying shampoo to make it more porous for absorbing the product.  Once my hair was washed and blow dried, the Brazilian blowout product was applied and my hair was flat ironed.  Finally, my hair was washed again, then blow dried and styled.  When I saw my new hair in the mirror, I was amazed at how shiny and sleek my locks looked.

It should be noted that the Brazilian blowout is not the same as the Keratin Complex Smoothing System.  Though they have very similar results and have the same steps for application, they're actually different brands with different maintenance instructions.  For the Brazilian blowout, your hair can be washed, styled, pinned up, etc, the same day that you get the treatment.  For the Keratin Complex treatment, you have to wait three days before you can do any of that and you can't wet your hair during that time.  For both treatments though, you would need a special shampoo and conditioner, which your salon will recommend to you.

Before my hair treatment, my hair was really clumped up with constant tangles.  Now I wake up with smooth shiny hair every day, and after washes, it drys beautifully shiny and frizz free.  Air dried, I might add.  Having manageable hair also makes styling a breeze.   Furthermore, if it's ever messy now, all I have to do is part it, run my fingers through it and it's all good.

My hair was really stick straight and stuck on my head for a couple of days after the treatment, but after a few washes, its gotten its volume back.  Apparently, in a few weeks, I'll be getting my natural waves back, except in shinier, healthier Brazilian blowout form.  I can't wait!

Here's a before and after shot of my hair, the latter taken a couple of days after the blowout:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5286/5230241440_4d390b34c7_m.jpghttp://farm2.static.flickr.com/1420/5229653655_c3c1606194_m.jpg


If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, I recommend Farzana's Hair Design & Makeup Artistry in Palo Alto.  She did a fantastic job on my hair, and at a great price, too.

If you've had any Brazilian blowout experiences, please do share in the comments! :)]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Brazilian_Blowout-90-1453010-195334-Ladies_if_you_ve_had_it_with_your_hair_a.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Brazilian_Blowout-90-1453010-195334-Ladies_if_you_ve_had_it_with_your_hair_a.html Sat, 4 Dec 2010 01:06:24 +0000
<![CDATA[ Big Budda Bag]]>

In an early preparation for spring fashion, this Big Budda Mia Bag is the most fabulous accessory (when striking a pose)! The large flowers screams statement bag and adds instant femininity to even the drabbest outfit. This bag comes in Fuchsia, Gunmetal Metallic (snake print) and black patent. The best part about this bag is that while it’s a statement piece, it’s not an investment piece! You won’t have to save 2 months rent to get this bad boy.

Add a splash of femininity to your world with the Big Budda:

Buy It: Piperlime
Cost: $85.00

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Big_Budda_Mia_Bag-90-1673362-195039-Big_Budda_Bag.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Big_Budda_Mia_Bag-90-1673362-195039-Big_Budda_Bag.html Fri, 3 Dec 2010 19:51:04 +0000
<![CDATA[ Winter 2010 Bomber Jackets]]> You’ll look forward to chilly Fall days when you have the hot jacket of the season in your coat closet. Bombers and shearling are in, and they’re available at every price range. The Bomber Shearling Jacket is a huge hit this Fall/Winter 2010 (as seen on Halle Berry and in the Philip Lim Show).

Look stylish but tough in your Alice + Olivia cropped bomber with skinny jeans and boots.

If you’re not ready to make the plunge for Juicy, trendy chain Love Culture’s version of the aviator sells for less than $60. It’s lined with shearling and has a waist belt to show off your curves.

Or head over to your nearest Target to get the Xhileration Faux Shearling Bomber. It’s available in camel or dark brown.

 

Alice + Olivia Bomber Jacket:
Buy It: Bergdorf Goodman
Cost: $994.00

Target Bomber Jacket:
Buy It: Target
Cost: $35.00

Love Culture Bomber Jacket:
Buy It: Love Culture
Cost: $54.90

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Leather_Bomber_Jackets-90-1380372-193837-Winter_2010_Bomber_Jackets.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Leather_Bomber_Jackets-90-1380372-193837-Winter_2010_Bomber_Jackets.html Wed, 17 Nov 2010 21:46:54 +0000
<![CDATA[ Microsoft Kinect - 10 Things You Should Know]]>
In a nutshell, this is what you should know about the Microsoft Xbox Kinect:

1. The Kinect plugs into the Microsoft Xbox video game console. Players can then play all Kinect games without use of controllers. The Kinect has microphones, cameras and sensors which can take in everything happening in the room. You control the games just by moving.

2. Many more games, especially sports, can be made for the Kinect, than for the Wii, because the Wii was limited to what could be monitored with one hand. Try downhill skiing for great fun.

3. You can also control the Microsoft Kinect through voice commands. This includes not only the video games but everything else you do with Xbox 360 Live, such as chosing a movie to watch. Very cool.

4. The Microsoft Kinect games only work when you are moving. What an incredible way to get exercise. I don't have my own yet, but I've been to a few demo parties, and there was a great deal of sweating going on. The new saying will be, "The family that plays together, sweats together".

Continued at Microsoft Kinect - 10 Things You Should Know]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-193276-Microsoft_Kinect_10_Things_You_Should_Know.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-Kinect-90-1479378-193276-Microsoft_Kinect_10_Things_You_Should_Know.html Sat, 6 Nov 2010 19:32:49 +0000
<![CDATA[CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara Quick Tip by aquagore]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-CoverGirl_Lash_Blast_Mascara-90-1333759-192016.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-CoverGirl_Lash_Blast_Mascara-90-1333759-192016.html Wed, 27 Oct 2010 08:07:39 +0000 <![CDATA[Three Dots Quick Tip by aquagore]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Three_Dots-90-1442352-192014.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Three_Dots-90-1442352-192014.html Wed, 27 Oct 2010 08:03:26 +0000 <![CDATA[Forever 21 Quick Tip by aquagore]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/corporation/UserReview-Forever_21-90-1333880-192013.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/corporation/UserReview-Forever_21-90-1333880-192013.html Wed, 27 Oct 2010 08:00:10 +0000 <![CDATA[ Venomous Vixens]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-MAC_cosmetics_-90-1010643-191949-Venomous_Vixens.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-MAC_cosmetics_-90-1010643-191949-Venomous_Vixens.html Tue, 26 Oct 2010 00:04:26 +0000 <![CDATA[Tarina Tarantino Cosmetics Quick Tip by Caprig]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/cosmetic/UserReview-Tarina_Tarantino_Cosmetics-90-1441610-190223.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/cosmetic/UserReview-Tarina_Tarantino_Cosmetics-90-1441610-190223.html Mon, 18 Oct 2010 15:48:51 +0000 <![CDATA[Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss Quick Tip by Caprig]]> http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Victoria_s_Secret_Beauty_Rush_Lip_Gloss-90-1300391-190222.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Victoria_s_Secret_Beauty_Rush_Lip_Gloss-90-1300391-190222.html Mon, 18 Oct 2010 15:46:52 +0000 <![CDATA[ Gimme Some Sugar]]> I sometimes wish for a time machine that will transport me back to a time when life was less stressful and more carefree; a time when my biggest concern was who I was going to ask to Sadie Hawkins or go with to the town fair on Friday night. Luckily, we can take an olfactory time warp backwards with Pink Sugar, a delicious body spray that tantalizes the senses with cotton candy and carefree times.

This spunky, sweet eau de toilette has notes of Bergamot, Sicilian Orange, Raspberry, Fig Leaves, Lily of the Valley, Licorice, Strawberry, Red Fruit, Cotton Candy, Vanilla, Caramel, Musk, Wood, and Powder in it. Whenever I don this fragrance, people will stop me on the street and ask me what I am wearing! Outside of the the ear to ear grin on my face, I tell them I am wearingPink Sugar!

Buy It: Nordstrom
Cost: $45.00 (1.7oz.)

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Aquolina_Pink_Sugar_Eau_de_Toilette_Spray_Perfume-90-1427263-185352-Gimme_Some_Sugar.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Aquolina_Pink_Sugar_Eau_de_Toilette_Spray_Perfume-90-1427263-185352-Gimme_Some_Sugar.html Mon, 11 Oct 2010 21:32:19 +0000
<![CDATA[ All Hail Thigh Highs]]>  

Thigh high boots are the hottest shoe trend in Fall fashion and Tommy Hilfiger is taking the lead with their Bennington High Duck Boot, a fashionable tribute to outdoorsman. These boots are casual enough for daywear, but with leather laces and a five inch heel, wear these sexy boots in the evening while hunting down the best in nightlife. To be added to the waiting list (the duck boot is still currently sold out), contact Tommy Hilfiger Customer Service at 1-888-TOMMY-4U.

Buy It: Tommy Hilfiger
Cost: $398.00

 


 

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Tommy_Hilfiger_Bennington_High_Duck_Boots-90-1635704-173092-All_Hail_Thigh_Highs.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Tommy_Hilfiger_Bennington_High_Duck_Boots-90-1635704-173092-All_Hail_Thigh_Highs.html Mon, 4 Oct 2010 20:43:45 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Luxe Finish - Faux Fur Vests]]> Our newest obsession — the perfect little (faux) fur in the form of a long vest. Faux fur is back and its hotter than ever. Gone are the over the knee fur coats that PETA activists throw paint on….in are the imitation — but look real–fur vests which add luxury and practical warmth to our winter looks. The weather is finally cooperating and we can start to rock these Russian-Diva inspired vests. Just remember to not go to cheap when buying this trendy item. Cheap looking, faux fur is never in style.

Here are some of my favorite Faux Fur Vests:
Halston Heritage Faux Fur Gilet $375.00

Michael Kors Faux Fur Coyote Vest$130.00

Rachel Zoe Faux Fur Vest $79.80

Rebecca Taylor Silk and Twill Faux Fur Gilet
$395.00

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Halston_Heritage_Faux_Fur_Gilet-90-1631114-169789-The_Luxe_Finish_Faux_Fur_Vests.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Halston_Heritage_Faux_Fur_Gilet-90-1631114-169789-The_Luxe_Finish_Faux_Fur_Vests.html Wed, 29 Sep 2010 22:57:44 +0000
<![CDATA[ Mane Attraction]]> Are you pressed for time when creating the perfect hair do in the morning or before date night? Try using a clamp-less curling iron and wrapping your hair around the heated barrel for fast, flawless results. Goodbye misshapen curls and smoking hair, hello Sultra Bombshell curling iron . The Bombshell curling rog gives you natural looking curls in half the time of regular curling irons. With its unique clampless feature, you can simply wrap strands of hair around this heated iron and attain the wavy beach hair effect. Create youthful spiral curls, like Taylor Swift, to sophisticated relaxed waves like Kate Hudson or Sarah Jessica Parker!

Check out this How To Video to learn how to create sultry curls!

Buy It: Sephora
Cost: $130.00

 

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Sultra_The_Bombshell_Curling_Iron-90-1627395-166545-Mane_Attraction.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Sultra_The_Bombshell_Curling_Iron-90-1627395-166545-Mane_Attraction.html Mon, 27 Sep 2010 17:49:36 +0000
<![CDATA[ Green with Envy]]>

The autumn season always brings an influx of cozy wardrobe changes and fun, new cosmetic colors. This Fall, Green Eye Makeup is a great neutral for brown and hazel eyed girls. “I consider green a neutral eye shadow, but it’s important to be very measured when you use it,” says makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who works with Jessica Biel, Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. Green eyeshadow has a magical way of bringing out the golden flecks in your eyes, as shown on Demi Moore and Freida Pinto.

Keep the shade below the crease of the lid to avoid looking overdone, and reach for a brown liner for definition. A smudge under the bottom lashline can also have subtle impact. An emerald twist to the classic smoky eye is always a great way to change up your outfit and look.

Here are some of my favorite Greens:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Peacock Green $17.00

L’Oreal HIP Shocking Shadow Pigments in Striving $12.00

MAC To the Beach Eye Shadow in Humid $14.50

TokiDoki Punk Lash Mascara in Mad Rocker Green $18.00

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Green_Eye_Makeup-90-1625510-165250-Green_with_Envy.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Green_Eye_Makeup-90-1625510-165250-Green_with_Envy.html Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:54:06 +0000
<![CDATA[ Coveted Cargo]]>

Don’t miss out on the most coveted look this season, Cargo Skinny Pants. Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Hudgens, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna, Kate Bosworth and Jessica Alba – have been seen wearing the J Brand Houlihan Skinny Cargo Pants and I haven’t even gotten to half of them yet. These pants are so-in and so now!

Incorporate military-chic into your wardrobe with these J Brand cargo pants — a wardrobe must-have. Pocket and zip detailing add edgy appeal, so pair with sleek, simple pumps or chunky leather sandals. Top with a long cardigan, T-shirt or sequin top (for more dressy occasions).

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-J_Brand_Houlihan_Skinny_Cargo_Pants-90-1623636-163474-Coveted_Cargo.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-J_Brand_Houlihan_Skinny_Cargo_Pants-90-1623636-163474-Coveted_Cargo.html Wed, 22 Sep 2010 23:05:03 +0000
<![CDATA[ Gossip Girl Style - Haute Hippie]]> Blake Lively aka Serena van der Woodsen, bronzed and beautiful in Paris rocking that certain je ne sais quoi that keeps her young, fresh, and more beautiful by the day. How does she achieve that perfect, effortlessly stylish look? Haute Hippie. I’ve loved the line for years, but leave it to S to take it to a whole new, boho–chic level. Give your fall wardrobe a boost with this luxe collection of dresses, jackets, tops and bottoms, full of sequins and fringe and everything we love – and you’ll have one more thing in common with that perfect Serena.

While this dress is uber-summer, here is an option (in blush-pink silk) to rock it all winter long. Just throw on the right chunky sweater and suede stilettos and you’re in business!

Buy It: Net-a-Porter
Cost: $475.00

To get this Kelly Green Ruffle Dress by Haute Hippie, buy it here. ($284)

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Haute_Hippie-90-1616260-157965-Gossip_Girl_Style_Haute_Hippie.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Haute_Hippie-90-1616260-157965-Gossip_Girl_Style_Haute_Hippie.html Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:24:38 +0000
<![CDATA[ Hair CPR - bring your hair back to life!]]>

Motions CPR Protein Reconstructor is a magic potion that rebuilds weak hair from the inside out, says Hype Hair editor-in-chief Adrienne Moore. In addition to restoring brittle locks, it maintains your hair’s health while preventing future damage. Think of it as hair insurance in a bottle.

With all of the blow drying, flat ironing, harsh shampoos and even harsher hair dyes, we need a little R&R for our hair! Treat yourself to Motions CPR Protein Reconstructor and get gorgeous locks again!

Buy It: Amazon
Cost: $12.95

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Motions_CPR_Protein_Reconstructor-90-1615617-157295-Hair_CPR_bring_your_hair_back_to_life_.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Motions_CPR_Protein_Reconstructor-90-1615617-157295-Hair_CPR_bring_your_hair_back_to_life_.html Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:35:04 +0000
<![CDATA[ iFitness - the must have fitness app]]> Fire your trainer and go buy an iPhone (if you don’t already have one). iFitness is one iPhone app we can’t live without because it is the personal trainer in your pocket (24 hours/day). This, #1 in the world fitness, app designs a workout for you based on your goals and shows you how to do the exercises with video and text instruction. It saves you thousands of dollars that you would have to spend on a personal trainer to get the same info.

It can also be thought of as a workout encyclopedia. It is a collection over 200 exercises, all with photos and easy to follow instructions. So the next time you are shelling out $100/session for your personal trainer, download this app and see if you can’t achieve the same results!

Buy It: iTunes
Cost: $1.99

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-iFitness-90-1615616-157294-iFitness_the_must_have_fitness_app.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-iFitness-90-1615616-157294-iFitness_the_must_have_fitness_app.html Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:33:10 +0000
<![CDATA[ I love, love, love my new purse!]]> I have some cool turquoise sandals and was browsing the Net, looking for a matching purse. I had no intention of buying a zebra print, but when I saw this one, I had to have it! Even though the description says blue, it looked more turquoise to me, so I took a chance on it because I love the cheerful style and the shape.

New Blue Large Vicky Zebra Print Faux Leather Satchel Bag Handbag Purse arrived last week and I am more pleased than I dreamed I would be: The trim is turquoise--just a shade brighter than the shoes--so my gamble paid off. (It wasn't much of a gamble, since I could also carry this bag with black shoes. :-) But what really surprised and delighted me more than anything is the way it hangs--in cute little puckers that are hard to describe--and the material is something I've never seen before. It's faux leather, but has a rubbery texture that's quite pleasant to the touch and will be very easy to keep clean.

All in all, it's a very attractive bag with a top zip closure, silver-tone hardware that complements the turquoise, just the right amount of interior pockets, and at 16w x 11H it has plenty of room for all my "girly" things, including my water bottle. All that and the price is right! What a bargain...

As you can tell, I love, love, love my purse!

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, August 15, 2010
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-New_Blue_Large_Vicky_Zebra_Print_Faux_Leather_Satchel_Bag_Handbag_Purse-90-1609828-151618-I_love_love_love_my_new_purse_.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/product/UserReview-New_Blue_Large_Vicky_Zebra_Print_Faux_Leather_Satchel_Bag_Handbag_Purse-90-1609828-151618-I_love_love_love_my_new_purse_.html Sat, 11 Sep 2010 07:57:07 +0000
<![CDATA[ Power Pumps]]>

Alexis Bledel looks chic and sophisticated at the ELLE’s Fashion Next Runway Show at New York’s Fashion Week on Thursday. She rocked a simple, high-waist skirt with a slim white blouse. The best part of her outfit was her rocking red heals!

Autumn is the perfect time to wear bold, ‘look at me’ heels at work and then transition the outfit to night!

Try these Red Heels to jazz up your outfits:

Christian Louboutin Patent New Simple Pump $595.00

Steve Madden Kattrina $99.95

Gianni Bini Regal Pump $69.99

 

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/fashion_designer/UserReview-Christian_Louboutin-90-1398383-151232-Power_Pumps.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/fashion_designer/UserReview-Christian_Louboutin-90-1398383-151232-Power_Pumps.html Fri, 10 Sep 2010 22:30:17 +0000
<![CDATA[ Red Haute Lipstick - flattering reds for every skin type]]>  

Red Lips are so sexy and such a statement, I kinda wish they never went out of season. However, autumn is back and we don’t need to worry about when red lips aren’t in season. There are so many red lipstick colors to choose from too! Blue-red, orange-red, red-red, purple-red…there is a plethora of reds to match to your skin coloring.

Here are some of my favorite for each skin tone!

Fair Skin (blue or brown undertone):
Yves St Laurent Rouge Volupte Red Taboo $34.00

Kate Von D Painted Love LipstickCathedral $18.00

Medium-to-Dark Skin (deeper reds with brown or tawny base)
MAC Lipstick Spice it Up!
$14.50

Urban Decay Lipstick Gash $22.00

Dark Skin (pinkish reds, fuchsia or orange undertone):
Tarina Tarantino Conditioning Lip Sheen Fuchsia Lining $22.00

Chantecaille ‘Lip Chic’ Lip Color Amaryllis $30.00

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Red_Lipstick-90-1440440-148738-Red_Haute_Lipstick_flattering_reds_for_every.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Red_Lipstick-90-1440440-148738-Red_Haute_Lipstick_flattering_reds_for_every.html Wed, 8 Sep 2010 18:20:57 +0000
<![CDATA[ The best seamless underwear on the market]]>

Lacy, beaded, leopard print négligée are the items that catch our eye and wind up in our drawers (on both accounts) but what happens when you just need a nude thong to wear under that perfect white sweater dress? You never want to go commando — because thats just sloppy, especially if the unmentionable happens and someone discovers you are going commando. Equally as embarrassing are panty lines. You never want to have bubbled, too-tight panty lines. The key to the perfect Naked Thong is a seamless stretch microfiber and “naked” construction with laser-cut edges and no elastic or trim. The result is a smooth, comfortable, flat-to-the body fit and no visible panty lines.

I have hunted high and low for the perfect “Naked Thong” and here’s my list:

La Perla Seamless Thong $45.00

Commando Low Rise Thong $20.00 *As seen on Oprah

Calvin Klein Naked Thong $16.00

Victoria’s Secret Seamless Thong $12.50 or 3/$30

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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-La_Perla_Seamless_underwear-90-1607116-148737-The_best_seamless_underwear_on_the_market.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-La_Perla_Seamless_underwear-90-1607116-148737-The_best_seamless_underwear_on_the_market.html Wed, 8 Sep 2010 18:18:27 +0000
<![CDATA[ Passchal Handbags]]>
There is the authenticy rule. No fakes. No knockoffs. No purse party bags. I am cheap but I draw the line on stealing from a designer or the slave labor issues involved in the making of some of these bags.

There are also material rules.  In the past I've stayed away from any type of leather that is embossed to look like snake skin.  We had a pet Python and I made a promise to her never to carry anything that looked like one of her friends.   

I don't like to carry the same bag that the rest of the world has. For example I love Coach leather but it seems like the majority of women in the Detroit area carry some type of Coach bag or a knockoff of one and frankly I don't like to be like everyone else, cool bag or not.  

I also try to avoid any bags that are easily recognized.  Especially those that are easily faked.  I don't care how much I saved on the price of a bag...if it is something that most people can associate with the normal retail price...I stay away from it. I don't want to be a target for someone to steal the bag thinking they will find something equally impressive as the price they think it cost. Thank you, I'll pass because you will be disappointed and shoot me anyway. Might as well not target me at all.  Right? Since I can't control that aspect I try not to make myself a target at all.  I've got kids to take care of. I can't be shot over a bag. 

Now, although I love leather, I'm trying to be more socially responsible and go green. I just can't do leather lookalikes though.

I was introduced to Passchal through another blog. They make their handbags out of recycled innertubes, vegetable dyed byproduct leathers and store sign banners.  

Of course they aren't in any stores and I wanted to check them out (smell them) before I saved for the style I liked the best. I bought a cosmetic case that was made out of a store sign banner and recycled innertube. It is so cool!! It's unique. Mine is in warm earth tones.  I love the smoothness of the innertube and it didn't smell particularly nasty to me.  It's made well. Great stitching and the material is durable.

I will be stalking the bag that I want and waiting for it to be lowered into my desired price range. And then hope that I have the money to buy it once it gets to that price before the bag sells out and I have to find another style to obsess over.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Passchal_Handbags-90-1602930-146960-Passchal_Handbags.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/d/UserReview-Passchal_Handbags-90-1602930-146960-Passchal_Handbags.html Sat, 4 Sep 2010 19:34:47 +0000
<![CDATA[ H&M hearts Lanvin!]]>

H&M’s next designer collaboration will be with Lanvin, one of the most influential brands worn by celebrities on and off the red carpet. Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman to Katie Holmes and Jessica Alba! Lanvin is the latest brand to collaborate with H&M, with previous collections designed by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons and Sonia Rykiel.

The collection of both womenswear and menswear will go on sale on November 23rd in around 200 H&M stores worldwide. The collection of both will be revealed to the world on November 2, just three weeks before it hits stores!

I already ADORE H&M…this is just more of a reason to obsess over it! Here’s a video on their designer collaboration!

Buy It: H&M retail location on November 23
Cost: H&M prices :) maybe a little bit more

 
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http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/corporation/UserReview-H_M-90-1333616-146848-H_M_hearts_Lanvin_.html http://www.lunch.com/CultureofCute/reviews/corporation/UserReview-H_M-90-1333616-146848-H_M_hearts_Lanvin_.html Thu, 2 Sep 2010 23:11:52 +0000