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One-armed Style: What I’m Wearing

Man it’s hard to look stylish with only one working arm! The cast is too thick to work with any blouse, shirt, coat, blazer, or many sweaters and knits in my wardrobe. Dresses ride up with the sling or when brushing against the cast. I can’t button jeans or pants that are fitted, can’t maneuver a belt or sash or shoe laces, and can’t tuck or blouse a top without looking as though I got caught in a tornado. Yeah, all of these things are standards in my wardrobe.

After a couple of weeks of just trying to function and heal, I began to care about my looks. Here’s what worked:

Bottoms: I bought NYDJ ponte pants and the NYDJ Hayden straight jeans in petite (to work with flat shoes) and a size larger than I need (extra fabric to be able to zip and button closed on my own). I also have worn my Spanx Star Power leggings quite often; pants with built-in slimming features help me look a bit more pulled together (literally and figuratively).

Tops: Boatnecks with elbow-length sleeves have been perfection; the longer sleeve covers the top of the cast, keeping it from riding up into my armpit or having the entire shirt twist. Lightweight v-neck tees have also been great and regularly worn as a base layer. A simple black ribbed tank is a lifesaver, especially when shirts shift and ride up and necklines get stretched. I have two sweaters – a slouchy black merino and a slouchy marled gray tunic that fit over the cast; both are oversized so they work with leggings and jeggings and also fit over base layers.

Dresses: 99% of my dresses are unwearable, but I do have a bracelet-sleeve stretchy black and white dress from Ann Taylor (seen here) that fits over the cast. It is fully lined which helps prevent riding and shifting. I wear it with leggings and tall boots or flats.  Not pictured but terribly awesome has been a brightly-printed caftan I thrifted; one-piece dressing and far more cheery than faded stretched out sweats!

Outerwear: It’s darn cold outside, too cold to throw a coat over my shoulders. My mom made a thick wool cape back in the late ‘60s and loaned it to me during this time. I also have a black packable down vest that I wear over tees inside or under the cape for extra warmth.

Shoes: Shoes should to be flat for security and balance, have decent grip, easy to slip on but unlikely to slip off. I’ve been wearing tall boots with dresses, jeans, leggings, and jeggings, but recently got these stretchy Mary Janes that aren’t subtle and don’t really match, but will work this spring and summer after the cast is removed.

Accessories: A pashmina is excellent as a wrap to ward off chill, especially since I can’t fit a lot of sweaters. I then loop it around my neck to make my winter scarf. A beanie traps body heat… and also hides bad hair days. There’s no way I can lug around my heavy day purse; I switched to my Rebecca Minkoff purse which is light and is a crossbody. Finally I recommend a bold lipcolor which makes all the cozy knits look cohesive and shows you’re stepping up your style!

One of my favorite accessories are my two CastCoverZ, they hide the grody cast and show my personality.  Also great for sleeping since a cast can be scratchy.   Get two so one can be in the wash; I got leopard and a sparkly gold but sort of wish I also got something more subtle to blend in when I’m wearing a print or don’t want strangers to ask about my injury.

Tips:

  • A molded cup bra is easier to get on by yourself.  For the first couple of weeks  I had Karl help me with my bra, but I hate feeling helpless so I figured out how to do it myself.  Using a piece of furniture about hip height to hold one side against your body, wrap the bra below your breasts, hook in front.  The furniture holds that side in place, and then use your good hand to do the hooks (you’ll get better with practice).  Then rotate, pull up the straps and wiggle breasts into place.
  • Necklaces are a pain in the neck… literally.  With a sling, necklaces get tangled and dig into your skin.  Scarves are a great alternative to add interest and not sacrifice comfort (or a delicate chain).
  • Go up a size.  Be it a dress, top, pants or underwear, extra fabric means more give over a cast, less riding up, and easier to put on and take off with your non-dominant hand.
  • Consider a caftan.  A couple weeks before my accident I bought one but never wore it.  Then I broke my arm and wore it all the time.  It’s easy to pull on and off alone, you can get away with going bra-free, it’s easy to slip up when you use the bathroom, and doesn’t stick to the cast.  It was the BEST right after the surgery when I spent most of my time on the couch.  There’s plenty on eBay and at thrift stores; choose a heartier fabric like polyester or cotton so it doesn’t cling, won’t snag on the cast, and can be tossed in the washer and dryer.  Go shorter than you think (calf to ankle bone, not a true maxi), you don’t want to trip or have it tangle around your ankles. 
  • With this, a kimono-style robe is also nice to have.  The only robe that fits me now is a shortie, I was super temped to cut the sleeve off my terry robe so I’d have SOMETHING since I can’t even wear a cardigan or sweater coat.  Someone wants to buy you a get well soon gift or want to give one to someone who broke their arm?  Simple jersey calf-length robe with wide kimono sleeves will make their month!
  • If you have long hair and want to tie it back, I got this tip from my neighbor who broke her wrist shoveling snow this summer… take and old-fashioned scrunchie and loop it around your hair.  Then stick a pencil in the middle and twist around and poke into the new knot to keep it in place.  Not terribly elegant but times like this you gotta do what you gotta do!

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Winner – CSN Stores Giveaway

Winner – Shopbop Giveaway

A Sweet & Spark Giveaway

sweet and spark curated vintage jewelryJillian Bremer and her father Howard travel the United States seeking the best vintage jewelry for their online shop, Sweet & Spark. With her dad’s thrifting skills and Jillian’s experience in merchandising, the two have created a successful business offering a gorgeous curated collection of pristine accessories. While many stores offer vintage-inspired jewelry, Sweet & Spark’s vintage collection is the higher quality real deal, and the company gives a second life to beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more. I am a new fan of Sweet & Spark, but I find that I reach for my pieces from the line more often that most anything else in my jewelry armoire. My gold pendant from Sweet & Spark has been featured in two outfit posts already and seen even more on my Instagram feed. Same with my white and silver necklace, which seems to complete so many looks in my closet. Just this week I featured this awesome silver tassel necklace from Sweet & Spark on Instagram; expect to see it on the blog in the near future.

sweet and spark vintage jewelry giveawayJillian has been kind enough to offer one Wardrobe Oxygen reader a $100 store credit to Sweet & Spark so you too can enjoy their gorgeous curated vintage collection. Just enter below, good luck!


Review and Giveaway – Karen Kane

How would you like to win a $200 shopping spree and personal styling event with Karen KaneClick here to hear about my experience with Karen Kane fashion and how you can win!

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Exploring LiveTheLook (and a Giveaway!)

A fun thing about working with new companies is you can see them grow and change with customer feedback. It’s been cool seeing LiveTheLook change and adapt as they grow and become more popular. LiveTheLook is a site that curates fashion and accessories from independent designers according to your personal style; I’ve written about them before but they’ve recently updated their site with a cool new style tool.

When you visit LiveTheLook, you’re asked to complete a three step quiz to give a peek into your current closet. From that quiz, a personal shopping page is created just for you that reflects your preferences in every product available on LiveTheLook. This helps you buy with confidence, knowing what you choose will work with your existing closet.

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On top of this, LiveTheLook has introduced a category titled My Look. Reminiscent of mood boards, My Look creates a story and recommends products just for you based on your existing wardrobe and style preference.

livethelook

When visiting my account in LiveTheLook.com, I saw Looks to suggest merchandise to style with blue jeans already in my closet, pieces to fit with my Bohemian side, my Casual side, and my Glamorous side of my style (based upon the three step quiz at login). If I click “View this Look” below the Look, I’m brought to a page that provides detail on the pieces in the Look and links to view them in more detail.  The My Look feature is in addition to the other existing tools on the site, it just gives you another way to envision pieces in your existing closet.

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LiveTheLook is also using social media to connect with their customers, and in a pretty cool way.  Want personal styling advice? Take a photo of a piece in your closet that has you stumped and tag it with #LTLStyleMe and the LiveTheLook team will provide you with personal recommendations!

Giveaway

If this all sounds great to you, then this giveaway is right up your alley! Three Wardrobe Oxygen readers will win a $100 shopping credit to LiveTheLook to buy that perfect something (or somethings) that works with your personal style and existing wardrobe, while supporting independent brands and artisans!

How to Enter: Visit LiveTheLook.com and take their three-step quiz and create an account (don’t worry you don’t need to provide a credit card number, just your email). Explore the Looks that were created for you, and come back and comment with what item you want most from your Looks section!

Three winners will be chosen by random.  Your email address must be used when commenting (either in your Disqus profile or when entering as a guest); if you do not reply within 48 hours another winner will be chosen.  Giveaway open to residents of the United States only.  Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

Winner – Perricone MD Giveaway

Contratulations to reader Liberty Belle who won the Perricone MD contest

Hope you enjoy the Firming Face Activator as much as I do – be sure to cvome back and give us a review!

Thanks everyone for entering – I will be having another giveaway in the near future.  In the mean time, head over to my other blog, My Wardrobe Today and enter for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Walmart!

Review and Giveaway – Foxcroft Apparel

When Foxcroft found out how much I liked this shirt, they sent me this Mixed Media Cotton Shirt to check out. Utterly brilliant – it’s crisp cotton in front and on the back, but the sleeves and side panels are stretchy jersey. No gaping at the bust, no pulling at the shoulders, no binding on the upper arms, yet a crisp button-front look!

 
This giveaway is now closed.

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Review and Giveaway: Reebok #Skyscape

I gotta admit, I’m not a big fan of traditional sneakers. While I need such a shoe for exercising, I hate how they look. I’ve always desired a shoe that’s great for walking and the gym, but can also look great with weekend clothes while running errands. Enter the Reebok Skyscape, a shoe designed for the 23 hours of your life not spent in the gym. Commuting to work, taking the dog for a walk, or relaxing on the weekend, this shoe is perfect for that as well as your exercise routine.

Not only that, the Reebok Skyscape is a great travel shoe. This shoe is crafted borrowing the materials and soft molding process used to create lingerie, which provides all-around comfort and creates a shoe so lightweight that it weighs only 5.0 ounces. They will tuck into your carry-on luggage easily to be your travel gym shoe and a cute sight-seeing shoe. Skyscape’s motto is, “So comfortable you’ll forget they’re on” and it’s true.

Once I received my pair of Reebok Skyscapes, I’ve worn them every day. In the morning they’re easy to slip on with yoga pants and a sweatshirt for a morning walk. Later they’re fantastic for the commute, taking up less space in my work tote than my office shoes. On weekends, they look cute with cuffed jeans and a striped tee. All this, and Skyscapes are machine washable! Check out the Skyscape at Reebok and even customize a pair for yourself!

Giveaway

Would you like a pair of your own Reebok Skyscape shoes? One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win $65.00 from Reebok to purchase the pair of Skyscapes you want!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And be sure to enter the Escape with SkyScape Sweepstakes for a chance to win an all-inclusive spa weekend for two! Learn more by following Reebok on Pinterest and Facebook.



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Reebok Skyscape via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Review and Giveaway: LiveTheLook

Here at Wardrobe Oxygen, I write about personal style instead of fashion trends. I believe in dressing for who you are, not what is on the runways. Usually, this goes against many of the fun promotions, shopping programs, and sample boxes that are popular right now. So when Live The Look contacted me and told me how their site lets you shop by your personal style, I was very intrigued.

When you visit Live The Look, you’re asked to complete a questionnaire. What wardrobe staples you’re looking to style, what style aesthetics you gravitate towards, what size you wear. From this information, Live The Look creates a collection of items that should appeal to you. But don’t worry, you’re still able to easily shop from any of the style aesthetics. As for what Live The Look offers, it’s also different from similar sites. Live The Look carefully curates collections of artisanal, unique, and quality accessories and separates, most made in the United States. Necklaces that will ask people where you got them, sunglasses that stand out from the crowd, novelty tee shirts that are mini works of art, pieces made by indie artists, and unique yet very wearable clothing.

As someone who is on the cusp of plus size clothing, I was disheartened to see the sizing stopped at XL/12, but was pleased by the extensive amount of accessories available. Live The Look offered me a credit to take their program out for a spin, and I chose to use it for The Destroyed Denim T-shirt (which I envisioned with my leather pleated skirt now, and with white jeans come spring), and the Flourish Sterling Silver Initial Necklace (I’ve always wanted one, and I loved that it came in silver and was a fancy yet readable letter). I loved that each product page gave a story about the brand, showing how LiveTheLook isn’t offering cheap mass-produced pieces, but quality crafted artisanal pieces from indie designers. I also loved how most of the designers and artists were based in the USA, made their products in America, and some even donated a portion of their profits to charity.

My pieces came quickly, shipped directly from the designers. The necklace came first, and it reminded me of an Etsy purchase, packed in a cute little gift box and tied with a red ribbon. I’ve worn the necklace by Juan Pablo Arango Cano almost daily since receiving it, you can see it on my Instagram and in this outfit post. The tee shirt from The Squad came a couple days later, and to be honest, I was half expecting me to hate it and not know how to write this post. Oh I was so wrong, this tee shirt is UH-MAY-ZING (see here on my Instagram account). How they can make a tee shirt heavy yet silky and drapey is beyond me. And it doesn’t look like acid washed denim, but is a dark gray-blue color that is perfectly distressed and perfectly drapey and makes me understand why some tee shirts cost so much. Not only that, it even came with a little evil eye pendant as an added gift. Again, it was packed in a small business-like way with tissue paper and personal touches like a notecard.

You can learn more about Live The Look by visiting their site (go ahead and sign up with an account, you won’t have to enter a credit card or anything, but take a tour around), visiting them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Fancy, or visit their blog.

Like what you read? Well one lucky Wardrobe Oxygen reader will receive a $150 credit to Live The Look!

Giveaway
One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $150 credit to LiveTheLook.com.  This giveaway is open only to residents of the United States. You must be 18 years old or older to enter. Giveaway runs from January 20, 2014 to February 2, 2014 at 11:59pm ET.

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Winner – Boscia and MISSSION Skincare Giveaway

Thursday: Coffee and Cream (and a Giveaway!)

Sweater: Gap (similar) | Skirt: eBay | Shoes: Halogen (similar) | Necklace: c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Bag: c/o Fossil

Glad to have the weather cool enough to bring back out this skirt! I think it’s so much fun (though it’s a bit sheer so I got a slip off eBay for $2 to make it more wearable), and I love figuring out ways to make it look appropriate for the office!  And this bag… oh how I love it! And if you love it too, I’m offering a way for you to win a Fossil Vintage Revival bag of your own! Click here to read more and learn how to enter the giveaway!

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Giveaway: Already Pretty Book

One of the best things about blogging g is the friends you make, and one of the most dear of friends I have made from this journey is Sally McGraw. Sal offers personal style advice and body image inspiration at Already Pretty, and each post she has gives me food for thought. I have always thought she should write a book, and now she has!

Structured as a fun and accessible self-guided makeover, Already Pretty is the antidote to cookie-cutter style guides. Instead of dumping you into a body type category and restricting what you can and cannot wear, this friendly, funny, body-positive book presents a highly customizable regimen to help you define and hone your own personal style.

Packed with enlightening exercises, mix-and-match figure flattery techniques, and effective tutorials, Already Pretty illustrates how personal style can foster self-love and self-respect. After determining your current personal style and evaluating pieces from your existing wardrobe, you’re taught to define your ideal style – a process that includes identifying personalized figure flattery priorities. These priorities are tailored to your preferences and your unique body, and may be quite different from the style mandates parroted by fashion industry insiders. Working through this process moves you closer to your fashion aspirations, ultimately allowing you to merge your current and ideal styles through careful culling of your current wardrobe and targeted shopping for new, key pieces.

Already Pretty reveals the fundamentals of fashion and figure flattery, but also encourages you to create a style that is both expressive and unique. This book is judgment-free and reader-centric in every way. A true guidebook to crafting personal style, Already Pretty teaches women to love their bodies, dress impeccably, and embrace the philosophy that dressing well is key to living well.

Speaking of blogging friendships, Sally’s new book, Already Pretty also features contributions from fellow bloggers like Fashion for Nerds, Addicted 2 Etsy, Une Femme de un Certain Age, The House in the Clouds, Fashion for Giants, Headlines & Hemlines, Barking Dog Shoes, Respect the Shoes, Weesha’s World, The Snug Bug, Minnchic, and Stacyverb.

You can purchase your own copy of Already Pretty at Amazon, Amazon Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain), or CreateSpace (for non-European international readers). Also, one of you Wardrobe Oxygen readers can win a copy!

This giveaway is now closed.

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Review and Giveaway: bodycology

I often catch myself getting into a beauty rut. I keep using the same products, even if I am not completely satisfied with the results. That’s why I was excited to be able to try out the new bodycology rich&creamy Body Lotion and Body Wash. While the body wash and moisturizer I was using was fine, I felt that my skin was still dry and looking dull. The new bodycology rich&creamy line states that it is proven to lock in moisture for 24 hours, which sounded just like what I was lacking in my beauty routine.

I received the bodycology rich&creamy Hydrating Body Lotion and Body Wash in the mail and was so excited, I immediately decided to take a shower and try it out. The Body Wash was a thick cream consistency that lathered easily, washed away clean, but left my skin feeling so much softer than with my standard body wash. I also liked that the bodycology Body Wash didn’t have a strong scent; it just left my skin smelling clean. After my shower, I applied the bodycology rich&creamy Hydrating Body Lotion to my still-damp skin. The Lotion isn’t really thick, which I was happy to see. While I have dry skin, I find a really thick lotion leaves a greasy feeling in the summer. The bodycology Body Lotion absorbed quickly, leaving my skin soft and silky and not at all sticky.

As the day progressed, I was impressed at how my skin continued to feel soft and hydrated. While many products will make my skin feel soft at first, they usually wear off within an hour or so requiring me to “touch up” with additional applications of lotion. Not so with combination of bodycology rich&creamy Body Wash and Body Lotion. It really stood up to its claim of locking in moisture for 24 hours!  It also seemed each time I used the Body Lotion and Body Wash my skin got softer, felt more hydrated, and looked younger.

The new bodycology rich&creamy line is available in six different formulas such as Skin Softening, Hydrating (the formula I tried), and Advanced Healing. Each formula comes with subtle specialty fragrances that treat the senses without being overwhelming or competing with your perfume. All of the bodycology rich&creamy products are formulated with aquation Hydration Technology, an exclusive moisture complex of essential nutrients including:

  • Glycerin to add silky, all-day hydration
  • Jojoba Extract to improve skin’s texture
  • Petrolatum to act as a barrier to harsh elements

The Hydrating formula that I tried also has the combination of Aloe Vera and Vitamin E which gives rich moisture and quenches skin’s thirst throughout the day.

Sounds pretty fabulous, yes? Well BlogHer and bodycology would like you to also experience and fall in love with the new bodycology rich&creamy line! One of you will win a bodycology gift basket worth $100!


How to Enter:
Visit www.bodycology.com then leave me a comment here sharing which rich&creamy formula is right for you and you’ll be entered to win. Also be sure to check out bodycology on Facebook for hydrating tips and a hydration quiz.  Giveaway runs from August 1 – August 14, 2011.

Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
* You must have a valid email address in your comment or Blogger profile to win.

Be sure to check out check out BlogHer’s Promotions & Prizes page for other reviews and giveaways!

Good luck!

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#SavedBySkimmies: Jockey® Skimmies® Slipshort Review and Giveaway

A couple weekends ago, I attended an outdoor wedding. Our friends’ Big Day was hot – extremely hot, and extremely humid. There was also a chance of rain. Not only was I an invited guest, but Karl was the hired photographer and I was to assist him in organizing guests for posed photos. Emerson was also invited, so I would also be chasing after her. I knew I had to dress in a way that would keep me comfortable, mobile, yet festive. I chose a floral print silk maxi dress and flat sandals but knew my underpinnings would be just as crucial. The Friction Affliction, we’ve all been there. That bow-legged stride that aims to keep a dreaded thigh fire from ruining your day. Heat and humidity, sweat and running around plus curvy girl chub rub can quickly make a gal miserable. There was no way I was going to experience Friction Affliction at this wedding. And the Shake Down. You know when you wear a silk dress and it rubbing against your undergarments causes static cling? I had no time for the one part wiggle, two parts tug dance on this day. Thank goodness for Jockey Skimmies®. I’ve written about them before, I think they’re pretty darn fantastic and they literally saved my skin all last summer. So when Jockey reached out and asked if I’d like to try another pair this year and share how I was #SavedBySkimmies it wasn’t hard to say yes. And for this wedding, I wore my new Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts.

PicMonkey Collage

Some Instagram photos of the wedding: the hazy humid ceremony, me dancing between the ceremony and reception, with my sweaty daughter during the ceremony, my daughter and I taking a silly and very sweaty and rain-soaked selfie after the reception

No Friction Affliction, my thighs were happy campers all day and night, through humidity that felt like pea soup, sweat that rolled down my back and legs for hours, a torrential downpour I got caught in on two separate occasions, and all the dashes I did to help Karl, tend to Emerson, and enjoy the event. As for The Shake Down? The only shaking I did that day was my booty as I danced to live music from afternoon until dark. Jockey Skimmies aren’t control garments so there’s no muffin top, no gas pains from being squished for hours, no tell-tale thigh dents, and the shorts don’t roll or sag or ride. Honestly, with the combination of the dress and my Jockey Skimmies I didn’t have to think about what I was wearing all day. And honestly, if I didn’t receive these Skimmies from Jockey the week before the wedding, I would have worn another pair of them because I know they’re the best to wear for such a situation. Learn more about Jockey Skimmies by visiting jockey.com/savedbyskimmies or visit Jockey on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Do Jockey Skimmies® sound awesome to you? Are you ready to be #SavedBySkimmies this summer? One Wardrobe Oxygen reader is going to be Saved by Skimmies thanks to Jockey!

Giveaway

How would you like to be Saved By Skimmies? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Jockey.com gift card.

Entry Instructions: 

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 6/10/2015 – 7/31/2015

Be sure to visit Jockey’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


Review and Giveaway – Scarves by Maria

As you know, I love a good accessory. If you have a basic wardrobe of clothing staples, you can add variety and personal style with an amazing scarf, necklace, or belt. My mom has an amazing scarf collection – pieces she has picked up on her travels around the globe, gifts from friends, pieces she has inherited or found for a fab price at places like TJ Maxx. I learned from her, and have been collecting scarves over the years.

I love how a great scarf can transform the silhouette and neckline of a blouse, transform the look of a dress by being a belt, even add color to a purse when tied on the strap. One of my favorite styles of scarves are silk oblong scarves – they can be doubled up at the throat, worn as a belt, looped at the neck for a casual look, make a great headband. So versatile!

I recently learned about Scarves by Maria – Maria Vonderheide is a fashion designer who designs handpainted silk scarves. She paints all the scarves herself from her studio in her basement. The prints are utterly gorgeous, the scarves so soft. I was lucky to receive one, and one of you will be lucky enough to have one for yourself!

Click here to continue reading and to enter the giveaway…

Review and Giveaway – Olay

I’m not afraid to admit the behind-the-scenes actions I take to feel feminine and beautiful on a daily basis. The steps I take to prevent sweat, smell, and yes, unwanted facial hair. Every two weeks I pull out my tube of smelly white cream and slather it over my upper lip. I hate it; it stinks, it often causes redness and breakouts, and usually leaves that part of my face numb for the rest of the day. Not an enjoyable act, but it gets the job done.

So when BlogHer contacted me asking if I would like to try the New Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo, I jumped at the chance.

I read that New Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo is a uniquely formulated two-step system designed to gently, yet effectively remove unwanted facial hair, leaving skin smooth, conditioned, and visibly hair free. This gentle hair removal system contains a Skin Guarding Balm, applied before the removal cream, that hydrates the skin to minimize irritation, redness, and other tell-tale signs associated with hair removal creams. It sounded like perfection!

This weekend I tried it out. The box comes with two products: a tube of the Skin Guarding Balm and a tube of the Hair Removal Cream. The balm is a stick, similar to lip balm; I applied a thin layer to my upper lip and rubbed it in completely. Then I applied the cream for six minutes. After six minutes, I removed the cream with a washcloth.

After those six minutes, I was a New Olay Smooth Finish Hair Removal Duo convert.

I have used many different drugstore depilatories, and they all were the same cream in different boxes. Olay is the first one to be drastically different. The Skin Guarding Balm really does work; it ensures that the hair remover doesn’t touch and irritate your skin. As for the actual hair removing cream, the scent is hardly noticeable.

New Olay Smooth Finish Hair Removal Duo didn’t cause redness, irritation, breakouts, or numbing of the skin. It just left smooth, happy, hairless skin. As a busy working mom I find this awesome; now I don’t have to block out time on the weekend so I can heal in the privacy of my home, I can do it in the morning while getting ready for work. Gentle on my skin and it simplifies my beauty routine? Who could ask for more?  How about getting this product for free? Today is your lucky day, BlogHer and Olay are offering one Wardrobe Oxygen reader a $50 gift card!

How to Enter:

To be entered for a chance to win, please leave me a comment explaining how you express your inner beauty through your beauty routine!
Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You can enter to win up to two (2) times, using any combination of the following methods:
  • Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  • Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  • Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  • For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

The sweepstakes runs from 1/3/2012 – 2/3/2012. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.  Also be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! Good luck!

While we’re on the subject of looking good, you might want to check out the “Looking Your Best” posts in the Life Well Lived section of BlogHer.com. There are some great tips and expert posts!

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Review and Giveaway: Mary Kay

As a blogger, I have the opportunity to receive free products for review. While this can seem pretty nice, it’s hard when the free product I receive underwhelms, and that happens more often than not. And then there’s Mary Kay, who impresses me on a regular basis. I must admit, growing up I felt Mary Kay was a bit cheesy. And then they sent me some products to review through BlogHer, and not only did I like them but I liked them so much that I’ll continue purchasing some of the products. Each time I am asked to review Mary Kay, I jump at the chance because I know I am going to be impressed and very well may find a new favorite beauty product.

Recently Mary Kay sent me a box of goodies – a collection of their best sellers as well as some new products. And let me tell you, I have some new favorite Mary Kay products because of this.

Mary Kay® Ultimate Mascara™ in Black
I had been a DiorShow mascara girl for years. When Mary Kay sent me their Ultimate Mascara a while back, I was shocked to find that I liked it BETTER than DiorShow. Mary Kay’s Ultimate Mascara has a wand that looks quite ordinary, but it does a phenomenal job of separating and lengthening. The wand makes it possible to do multiple coats without creating spider lashes, and the final result rivals false lashes. As someone who wears contacts and has seasonal allergies, I love the fact that while Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara washes off easily at the end of the day for me, it stays put through the day. This mascara is as close to perfect as I have ever found. Seriously.

Mary Kay® Lash Love™ Waterproof Mascara in Black
Mary Kay sent me my beloved Lash Love mascara in a waterproof formula, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. The formula dries very quickly, feels soft on the lashes, and will not budge. I wore it swimming, photographing a wedding on a very hot and humid day, and hiking without a single smear or flake. However, it came off quite well with some makeup remover wipes. Many waterproof mascaras fall short in delivering volume and length, but Lash Love Waterproof is almost as fabulous as the traditional formula. I’m quite a fan and will be buying it again.

Mary Kay® Lash Love™ Mascara in Black
Lash Love is a pretty awesome mascara for those who like long, fluttery lashes. The wand really separates and coats every side of your lashes without any clumping. My lashes looked really long and felt soft and natural. This has become my go-to workday mascara because it’s not as pumped up as the Ultimate Mascara, but it still makes my lashes look long and lush and natural. The other day I was in the bathroom with a coworker and she said I was lucky to have long eyelashes. I told her I had pretty average lashes but a fabulous mascara. Have you ever had a mascara so good that it starts a conversation? If not…seriously…check out Mary Kay’s line.

Mary Kay® Lash Primer
When lash primers came out a few years ago, I tried them out and hated them. They were heavy, hard to use, and didn’t make my lashes look any thicker or longer. I like the Mary Kay version, though. It’s as if they took all the negative feedback from traditional primers and made something that actually works. The spiral brush makes it easy to lightly coat each individual lash. I had the best results when I would curl my lashes first and then do a gentle wiggle of the primer brush through my lashes. While still damp from the primer, I would apply mascara and then use the mascara wand to bend up the lashes until they dried. This way, my lashes maintained curl under the weight of the products, plus they got all the plumping and lengthening benefits of the Lash Primer. While this isn’t something I would do on an average day, I have liked using the primer for nights out because it really amps up the lashes!

Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus™ Lip Gloss in Mango Tango, Rock n Red, and Café Au Lait
I like the packaging of these lip glosses – short, fat tubes that can easily fit in a tiny coin pocket or clutch purse. The formulas are creamy, smell a bit like birthday cake, and feel good on the lips. Café Au Lait has become my go-to day gloss; it is a hair darker than my natural lip color, shiny without sparkle, and can be applied without a mirror. Rock ’n’ Red was a bit too bright for my taste, but I did like it as a layer over a darker burgundy lipstick. Mango Tango was a fun color for summer, with just a hint of tan and since then has become a fave with a fresh face and my fair skin. Like other glosses they would wear off with time and eating, but they kept consistent pigment (no ring around the lips), and kept my lips feeling soft and conditioned.

Mary Kay® Compact Mini
I received one of these compacts from Mary Kay in the past and I think it’s brilliant. The compact itself is attractive, and it has a good clasp that will stay shut in your makeup bag, a big mirror, and a compartment to hold brushes. The compact is magnetic so you can put your favorite combination of products in there – six shadows, two blushes, or any combination of these. For the compact, I received Mary Kay’s Mineral Eye Color in Golden Vanilla, Truffle, Lavender Fog, Midnight Star, Sweet Plum and Black Pearl, as well as Mineral Cheek Color in Shy Blush. The shadows have a lot of pigment and last a long time, but I wasn’t a fan of the slightly crumbly formula (which is quite typical for mineral shadows). Shy Blush Mineral Cheek Color is very similar to NARS Orgasm, my daily blush; I put one on each cheek and couldn’t tell the difference. Since it’s a mineral product, it has high pigment (a little goes a long way), and lasts all day. The only negative is the size of the blush; while I appreciate it being able to fit into the compact, the blush was too small to get proper coverage on my blush brush, and therefore, without some finagling, I wasn’t able to get even color on my cheeks.

TimeWise® Microdermabrasion Set
Since I am closer to 40 than 30, I have been checking out a lot of products that will keep my skin looking soft and young. I have tried a few microdermabrasion kits – some fabulous, some meh. The two-step Mary Kay TimeWise® kit is fabulous. You start with the exfoliator, which has tiny crystals that feel a bit like sand, and you massage it on wet skin for 1 to 2 minutes. You can feel it working without scratching. Rinse (and it did rinse quite easily – no crystals in the eye or stickiness), and then apply the replenishing serum. I LOVED the serum. It didn’t make my face greasy or sticky, just smooth and hydrated and happy. This kit really did make my face glow, but didn’t make it red or irritated. This is a combination that is effective yet gentle enough that you could use in the morning before heading to work. I have only used it twice, but I do feel that with repeated use it will improve my skin texture.

NEW Mary Kay® TimeWise Repair™ Volu-Firm™ Eye Renewal Cream
I faithfully use eye cream every morning and evening and always wonder if it’s making any difference. I have dark circles, bags, fine lines, puffiness, and I rub my eyes a lot. I always hope that an eye cream is at least not making things worse, but I also never see it actually improving anything. That is until I used this eye cream. Within three weeks I saw an improvement in the appearance of under-eye puffiness and sagginess and not only did I notice but my husband noticed too. The product comes with a slanted metal applicator to apply the cream, but I found that a bit awkward and have been applying it with my ring finger. I love that it really absorbs; there’s no greasiness, and I can put my makeup on soon after without it slipping or fading. There was no irritation, no heavy fragrance, and it feels good on the skin. This is a product that I will surely buy again.

If you’d like to learn more about Mary Kay, visit their website, Facebook page, or their YouTube Channel. Also, you have the chance to win some Mary Kay products of your own!

Giveaway: This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified.  Thank you all for entering!

I was provided with Mary Kay products to use and review, and was compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own.

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Revlon ColorBurst™: Review and Giveaway

Recently I shared with you one of my beauty secret weapons – having a face uniform and switching it up with one single beauty product. It was the end of the summer and beginning of fall, and I was feeling soft glossy lips and a more subtle look. But now that the weather has gotten downright chilly, Daylight Saving Time has happened and it seems to be dark all the time, it’s fun to add a punch with a bright or bold lip.

My face routine has changed a bit for the colder months to include more hydration and a CC cream to add color and evenness to my winter pallor, but it is still a uniform. When it comes to a favorite lip product, for a year it has been the Revlon® Just Bitten Kissable™ Balm Stain. Romantic is a soft red that makes me feel like Snow White when I wear it (I reviewed it here), and Crush Begun is a perfect dark berry shade that is perfect for this season’s fashion trends (worn here). I love these chubby crayons because they are easy to apply even without a mirror, they stay put without being drying, no need for a fancy sharpener, and they fade nicely without looking as though I ate off my lips.

I guess I am not the only one who adores these lip products, because Revlon® has come out with two amazing products – the Revlon ColorBurst™ Lacquer Balm and the Revlon ColorBurst™ Matte Balm. And yes, I am just as obsessed with these products as I am with the Revlon® Just Bitten Kissable™ Balm Stain.

Both of these new products are in the same convenient container – a cap that actually stays put, a retractable point that never rolls up when in your purse, causing the product to smash into the cap. Both products wear as nicely as the Revlon® Just Bitten Kissable™ Balm Stain, and have just as wonderful of pigment. However, these products give a completely different and very on-trend effect to the lips:

The Revlon ColorBurst™ Lacquer Balm provides a lacquer-like high shine finish with balm-like moisture. Infused with a triple butter complex of shea, mango and coconut butter, these chubby crayons are kind to winter-chapped lips. I received Demure and Vivacious; Demure is a very pale pink with a hint of shimmer which looked a bit chalky on me when worn alone, but makes for a lovely sheer topcoat over matte lipsticks and stains (you can see it on me in this outfit post, worn over the Revlon® Just Bitten Kissable ™ Balm Stain in Crush Begun). However Vivacious is my new love, and holds a place of respect in my purse with Romantic and Crush Begun. A gorgeous hot pink that would make Barbie jealous, it’s a fun color that will jazz up your holiday LBD or make an otherwise fresh face look cheerful on a cold winter day. You can see I wore it in this outfit post and it gave a fun pop of color to a neutral look without looking too extreme for work.

The Revlon ColorBurst™ Matte Balm, like the Lacquer Balm is infused with that triple butter complex. The difference between the two is the Matte Balm is just as it is named, a matte look, but has a soft and non-drying balm finish. I received Audacious and Striking and I have to say I am a mega fan. In winter, it’s hard to carry off a matte lip without looking like death warmed over or having your lips crack and flake. With the hydrating ingredients in the Revlon® ColorBurst™ Matte Balm, you can achieve the matte look and still have soft, supple lips. I love these two colors, they really brighten a tan-free winter face without looking extreme, I think they look great with a bit of flush to the cheeks (still rocking the Revlon® PhotoReady™ Cream Blush in Coral Reef), and lush lashes. Audacious looks like a terrifying orange in the package, but on it’s a surprisingly wearable mango shade that I think would look fantastic on many skin tones. Striking is a bright red with almost a neon tinge that reminds me of a very popular orangey-red lipstick work by a certain bespectacled style icon, but at a nicer price and an easier application. Both can be made more intense of a color with stronger application; a quick swipe will give a sheer layer of color.

My beauty secret weapon remains the same – keeping it simple but making it look more complex with a quick change of one product. And this fall and winter expect to see that product be Revlon’s ColorBurst™ Balms!

Giveaway
This giveaway is now closed and the winner notified.  Thank you for entering!

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Review and Giveaway: Dove® VisibleCare™

The older I get, the dryer my skin becomes. I am always searching for a product that will keep my skin feeling hydrated and looking soft and supple. I have used Dove® body washes with NutriumMoisture™ and am impressed by how they keep my skin looking soft and dewy all day long.

Well Dove® has come out with Toning Crème Body Wash, a body cleanser designed to help promote skin’s elasticity and strength. Built on the brand’s heritage in cleansing and caring for skin, Dove® VisibleCare™ Toning combines the best of Dove® technology into a luxurious experience for beauty seekers. With the highest concentration of NutriumMoisture™ of all their products, Dove VisibleCare Toning actually improves the look of your skin. The body washes are available in three variants each of which cue different skin care needs, thanks to BlogHer I was able to try out Dove® VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash.

Dove® VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash is designed to promote skin’s elasticity and strength, which is important to me as I get older and see the lack of elasticity in my skin. While it contains a mild cleanser, this body wash also includes glycerin, stearic acid and Vitamin E to heal and hydrate the skin. The scent is a blend of ylangylang, wood, mandarin and bergamot which I honestly found a bit overpowering. Some like their body products to be fragrant, I prefer a more subtle scent so it doesn’t compete with my perfume. I love the rich lather, and that the product rinses clean, leaving my skin feeling fresh but still soft and supple. And VisibleCare™ is the proper name for this product – after one use I saw my skin looking softer, plumper, and all over happier (which does make it look younger and firmer). On days where I was in a rush and forgot body lotion, my skin still felt and looked soft and hydrated thanks to Dove® VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash.

Dove® has three versions of their new VisibleCare™ Body Washes:

  • Dove® VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash – the one I tried, which promotes skin’s elasticity and strength
  • Dove® VisibleCare™ Renewing Crème Body Wash – this wash nourishes and replenishes skin
  • Dove® VisibleCare™ Softening Crème Body Wash – this formula softens skin and gets rid of dry spots

This new line of body washes from Dove® helps you be proud to show off your skin this summer! Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

This giveaway is now closed, thanks to all who entered!

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