Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Black Friday!!



For everyone who is brave enough to venture into the malls today, I hope you get some super deals (and don't get trampled)! Oh and bring your man with you so he can carry your bags. He won't mind, I promise!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pretty Studs for Every Girl on Your List!

One of the most important things that all ladies need to own is a pair of diamond (or faux diamond) studs. I've actually written about it a few times in the past.

There's just something classy and glamorous about them--and you can literally wear them with anything, from a sweater and jeans to your fave LBD!

Getting a pair of good quality studs is always a top priority, but it can be pricey. So I found an amazing deal that's only going on until Friday night. Szul is offering up these gorgeous 1/4 Carat TW Round Solitaire Diamond Stud Earrings in 10K White Gold for 85% off of the original sale price!! Originally, they were $500, but just for the next two days, each pair is selling for $77!

It's really an incredible deal and I can't think of any girl who wouldn't absolutely love a pair of these for Christmas. It's the perfect gift--they're made well and are of the best quality, but won't cost a fortune. I might get a pair for myself!

Send your main squeeze this link if you want to give him a little hint ;).

Happy Shopping!

This post contains affiliate links. My priority is to you, and I honor that commitment by being honest! If you have any questions, please email me at sassyalana@gmail.com.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Control Your Crazy Curls with Ouidad!


Ouidad is my go-to product line when I decide to wear my hair in it's natural state--crazily wavy, curly, and frizzy to the max. Their products definitely help tame my curls and magically make my hair look gorgeous!

Needless to say, when I received this Winter Wonderful Curls set, I was super excited to try it out.  The kit contains 8.5 oz sizes of Climate Control Shampoo, Conditioner and Heat and Humidity Gel.  I don't know about you ladies, but I have a LOT more "bad hair days" in the Winter. That said, the kit could certainly be used year-round as well.

The shampoo and conditioner were great. They're both very lightly scented--almost like a fresh, clean scent. The shampoo did a fab job of washing my hair, but I really loved the conditioner. It's thick and creamy, so it's easy to apply to your hair. What I usually do is shampoo my hair, move my shower head out of the way, twist out a bit of the water, and apply conditioner starting a couple inches or so away from my scalp and down to the tips. Why? Because, at least for me, conditioner can make my scalp oily. I let it sit for about five minutes, then rinse it out. It seemed to work well with this conditioner. The longer you wait to rinse, the more soft, and manageable your hair gets! I also took this opportunity to use a wide-tooth comb to detangle my thick hair.

After washing, my hair felt super silky and healthier right away. It was definitely more manageable than it had been with other products that claim to do the same thing. The gel is a nice touch to the set--it works well and holds your curls in place for quite a while. It isn't sticky at all, and a little goes a long way.

I'll be using this set throughout the season. I hope some of you do the same.

Each set is $46. This is the type of thing that I'd buy a few of--one for me, and some for my friends as gifts. All of my curly-haired friends will be happy this year!

Disclosure: This post contains products sent for review consideration. My priority is to you, and I honor that commitment by being honest! If you have any questions about this, please email me.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sneaky Ways Bacteria is Getting into Your Makeup

It sounds scary--and it is. Most ladies aren't even aware that bacteria can settle into your beauty products. Even though you may be aware that you need to clean your makeup brushes once a week, and that you need to toss out products once they've expired (you can pat yourself on the back for that!) You can still end up having bacteria-laden products. Bacteria is super sneaky and can get into your makeup easier than you think. And once it gets into your makeup, it can cause oodles of skin problems like acne, redness, and even infection. Not fun.

Here are some ways that bacteria is getting into your makeup, and how to avoid it!

Mascara pumping: We've all done this. Mascara pumping is when we try and get more product on to the brush. What we’re actually doing is drying out the mascara, creating a dry flaky product to form at the top, which becomes breeding ground for germs. We then put that on our eyes, back into the tube and then back onto our eyes. Instead of pumping the brush into the mascara, swirl it inside and never use the same mascara for any longer than three months.

Tubes vs. Jars: This is a no brainer. Jars tend to collect tons of germs as you put your hands into a product multiple times. If possible, go with a tube where you can just squeeze out the product, if you can’t do that, then make sure to use the product with a brush or sponge instead of your fingers.

Reapplying Lipstick After Eating: This goes for any lip product, but when you reapply your lipstick directly after eating, you’re pressing left over food particles into your lips, and into the product itself. Bacteria can then live on the surface of lipstick, or inside the tube of lip gloss, which will spread onto your lips in the next application. Make sure you fully wipe off any food on your lips and if possible, and try to brush your teeth before applying lip color.

Not Cleaning Your Makeup Bag: This is a big one--I've even been guilty of this myself! If you think cleaning every one of your makeup products is enough, it isn't. Your makeup bag also needs to be cleaned out. If it’s a canvas bag, you can throw it in the washing machine with your towels or in the dishwasher to get any loose bacteria out of the bottom of the bag. If it isn't a canvas bag, you can use disinfecting wipes to wipe out the inside without ruining the outside of the bag.

I hope that helps! Good luck ladies, and stay germ-free!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sniff This: Victoria's Secret Angel Dream (And a GIVEAWAY!)


Per usual, Victoria's Secret has come out with a new, fabulous fragrance for the Winter season. And of course I absolutely love it!  Their latest concoction, Angel Dream, smells simply amazing.

Angel Dream is a very unique scent. It captures the glamour and thrill of the runway by combining yummy-smelling notes of lace violet, iridescent currant and sheer sandalwood. Even though the fragrance is mostly a vibrant floral scent, it isn't overpowering in the least.  This is a scent that you can sport for nearly any occasion. It can easily be worn for day or night, and doesn't have that horrid "grandma smell" that some floral perfumes tend to have.  The fragrance manages to be light and playful, while being dazzling and captivating at the same time.

The scent is also officially boyfriend approved! I spritzed a bit on and my main squeeze immediately asked me what scent I was wearing and said that he loved it.

And of course, I have to mention how cute the bottle is. As most of you know, I have a table in my apartment that is dedicated to pretty perfume bottles, and this one would make a beautiful addition. It's a simple and classic bottle with pretty, dainty wings on the back side.

Now for the best part--Victoria's Secret has teamed up with Sassy Fashionista for an awesome giveaway! I have one bottle of Angel Dream Eau de Parfum (1 fl oz) to give to one very lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, send an email to sassyalana@gmail.com with the subject line reading "DREAM".  The giveaway ends 11/29 and the winner will be alerted via email.

Good luck!

If you want to purchase the perfume on your own (which I highly suggest), you can get a bottle from $45-$59. The perfume is actually perfect to give as a gift--but be sure to pick up a bottle for yourself too! In addition to the perfume, they've even got a great Dream Gift Bag that includes scented lotion, body wash, and fragrance mist. The products work together so that you can layer on the scent and make it last all day. The set is $39.50, but is a $75 value. Definitely a fab deal!

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent for giveaway consideration. My priority is to you, and I honor that commitment by being honest! If you have any questions about this, please email me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Brr...

There aren't a lot of things that I like about Winter in New Hampshire. But I do enjoy all the cute accessories that come with the chilly time of year.

I'm loving these adorable Sweater Knit Gloves from Old Navy. They come in a bunch of different colors, but the winter white hue is my favorite. Why? Because it has some bling on it that says "brrrr".

I don't know why I think they're so cute, but I'm honestly obsessed with them! I've always loved fingerless gloves (I can even type blog posts while wearing them!), and they're amazingly comfortable.

Each pair is a mere $2.50. Grab a pair for yourself, and get a few for your fashionable friends while you're t it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shop it to Me GIVEAWAY: Win Valentino, Gucci or Coach!


If you haven't checked it out yet, Shop It To Me is an incredibly fabulous website that personalizes your online shopping experience. The site finds things that it somehow magically knows you'll love, and everything they find is on sale! You don't have to do any work, other than simply looking through the pieces they've picked out especially for you! Honestly--what's not to love about that??!

Right now, the site has an amazing giveaway going on. Holiday glamour has inspired Shop It To Me to give away three different, and very gorgeous, items: Valentino pumps, a Gucci Wallet, and a Coach Bag. Each prize is going to one lucky Shop It To Me member. So if you haven't joined the site, do it now!

Once you're  member of this awesome shopping site, you can enter the giveaway. All you have to do is invite friends to join Shop It To Me as well. You'll get one entry for each friend who signs up.

The contest ends at 11:59 PST on Friday, November 22, 2013. So get to work!

Important notes: US residents only, must be 18+ years old to enter.  See the official rules.

Good luck, ladies!

My Latest Obsession: Yes to Grapefruit CC Cream



I've been using different BB creams in place of foundation for a while now, and I really like the end result. So when CC (color correction) creams started showing up all over the place, I wasn't really in a rush to try them out. But after trying out the new Yes to Grapefruit CC Cream, I've totally changed my mind.

The cream is absolutely incredible! Much like the rest of the Yes to... products, their CC cream works wonders and has successfully earned itself a permanent spot in my makeup bag.

Like most of their products, the cream is cruelty-free and is made from 95% natural ingredients, which is always a plus. It's actually the very first natural CC cream on the market! Natural skincare products tend to work better on my crazily sensitive skin, and doesn't even really feel like makeup. I've been applying it instead of foundation (or my coveted BB cream). The formula is very lightweight and it leaves my skin feeling fresh and looking gorgeous.

Here's a quick run-down of the incredible benefits the cream has to offer:

  • Provides instant and natural coverage with natural pigments
  • Helps correct skin tone with its light texture
  • Increases luminosity and radiance with evodia fruit
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protects with SPF 18 broad spectrum
  • Moisturizes and keeps skin supple and fresh
  • Promotes smoother and softer looking skin with grapefruit

This fabulous cream comes in two colors: light and light-medium. Even though there are only two hues available, they seem to adjust to match your skintone perfectly, so having oodles of shades simply isn't necessary.  The light shade has a little hint of ivory-color, petals, and honey. The light-medium shade has a touch of latte-esque color, caramel, and hazelnut. Both hues result in a flawless finish your skin will love.

Each bottle of CC Cream is $15.99 and can be purchased on the Yes to Carrots site, as well as in select stores.

Disclosure: This post contains products sent for review consideration. My priority is to you, and I honor that commitment by being honest! If you have any questions about this, please email me.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fancy a Fan? Enter This FANCY Hand Fan Giveaway!


No matter what time of the year, there's always a good reason to have a fan on hand. Think about it: not only are fans the ultimate classy accessory; they're also a glam way to stay cool.

To be honest, keeping a fan on-hand didn't even occur to me until recently. But I'm always looking for fun accessories, so when I found FANCY Hand Fans, I was super excited to try them out. I just love the idea of keeping a fan in my purse--they're amazingly ladylike and useful at the same time. And it doesn't exactly hurt that Christina Aguilera is a FANCY Hand Fan user herself! How cute does she look with the Victorian Roses fan in the picture to the left??!

I think what I like most about these gorgeous fans is that they give off a look of elegance, yet because the company has countless fans to choose from, you can also express your own personal style and pick the fan that's perfect for you! Trust me--whatever type of fashionista you might be, there's a fan just waiting for you to use!

Additionally, the fans are incredibly environmentally friendly. They're made of top quality cherry wood and cotton, and are very lightweight--perfect for keeping in even the smallest handbag.



The best part? FANCY Hand Fans has teamed up with Sassy Fashionista for an amazing fan giveaway! I have three gorgeous fans to give to three lucky readers! The fans are pictured above and, because they're each so different, I'm sure that there's one that tickles your fancy! The fans I have are: the Look Hot fan, the Victorian Roses fan, and the Zebra Chic fan. I absolutely love them all!

To enter the giveaway, send an email to sassyalana@gmail.com with the subject line reading "FANCY" and specify which fabulous fan you'd like to enter for. You can only enter once, for one fan, so choose wisely!  The giveaway ends 11/21 and the winners will be alerted via email.

Good luck, ladies!

If you want to purchase a fan on your own (which I highly reccomend!), you can do so online at www.fancyhandfans.com or www.etsy.com/shop/FANCYHandFans. Each fan is $23 and shipping is free worldwide (Huzzah)! The price is perfect, actually a bit less expensive than I'd expect for fans of such great quality. They also make great gifts--personally, I'm planning on stocking up on a few for the holidays! What gal wouldn't love a fan?!

Each hand fan is sold in a pretty organza pouch with a matching gift bag and a brochure illustrating FANCY's Urban Fan Language, which gives you some fun ideas of how to use the fans to flirt and silently communicate a messages silently and discreetly to a hopeful admirer… or two…!! 

Disclosure: This post contains products sent for giveaway consideration. My priority is to you, and I honor that commitment by being honest! If you have any questions about this, please email me.

[Image Credit: Standalone pics by Benny Doutsh, Aguilera pic by Trae Patton/NBC]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You're Never Too Old For...

Julianne Moore always looks gorgeous. There's just something about this fifty-something lady that works.

A lot of women simply give up on makeup when they reach a certain age. But the truth is, regardless of how old you are, you can still look fabulous.

You want to look for timeless looks (note: glitter eyeshadow is not for you). Trendy makeup looks aren't really something to go for either.

Here are a few things you can do to beautify yourself at any age:

Red Lipstick
Whether you’re 20 or 40, you’ll never be too old for some bold red lipstick. According to a study, red lips actually make you look younger, so you indeed have proof that you’ll never be too old for bold red lips. Take some time to find your favorite shade and formula, then buy out every stick you can find in preparation of a company discontinuing your favorite, because that is a legitimate issue (trust me--every time I find a product I love, it is almost immediately discontinued).

Balayage Highlights
Giving your hair a sun-kissed, natural look, balayage (painted-on) highlights are the perfect way to look polished without looking like you tried too hard. Plus, they’re incredibly low maintenance, so regardless of how busy (or broke) your life may become, your highlights will never be a source of stress.Woo hoo!

Dark Nail PolishIt doesn't have to be crazily dark black nail polish, but darker hues look good on any set of fingers. Don't get me wrong--I love a good ballerina pink manicure, but a deep ruby or purple always commands attention and let’s people know you’re anything but a wallflower. Keep your nails shorter so that the polish will last for minimal chipping, and wear that dark lacquer proudly and confidently!

Nude LipsI'm not taking nude as in completely bare, ladies. I'm saying that the perfect nude lip gloss or stick will always go with your boldest eye makeup. It also works on the days when you’d rather skip makeup altogether. Nude lip color balances out the rest of your makeup and gives you a gorgeous finishing touch on errand days when you decide to go bare-faced. It's the one thing you should swipe on, even if you decide against everything else.

Top KnotsTop knots are the hair-styling gods’ gift to second day hair. Plus, they instantly dress up whatever you’re wearing, whether it be comfy jeans or a cocktail dress. Any woman can pull off the top knot.

Matte MakeupGiving your skin a smooth, velvety appearance always makes for a gorgeous look, especially if you’re naturally on the oily side. The key to making matte makeup look consistently good over the years is proper exfoliation and moisturization underneath the makeup, whether it’s eyeshadow, foundation or lipstick.

Of course there are oodles of other options for middle-aged and older women to sport, but I think these few tips are a great starting point.

Good luck, and stay fabulous!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Garter for Gals on the Go!


I usually don't obsess over products that I've seen infomercials for. But I have to admit--the GirlyGoGarter looks ridiculously amazing!

The garters are perfect for times when you really don't want to have a purse with you, but still have stuff that you need to keep with you at all times. Personally, I used to just shove my cell phone, license and a lip gloss in my bra for these occasions, but this fabulous garter is definitely changing that!!

This is no normal garter--the GirlyGoGarter is a sexy, lacey garter with actual pockets that adheres to your upper thigh with patent-pending GentleFlex Grippers.  There are two types of pockets on the garter: easy-access (on the outside, just within the lace) and lock-flap (on the inside, against your thigh). Both types of pockets keep your money, I.D., lip gloss, mobile phone, keys, passport and all of your essentials safe, secure and right at your fingertips. How awesome is that??!

The lace is super stretchy, so you really can fit a bunch of stuff in there without having to worry about anything falling out, or having the entire garter break. In fact, you can fit more on this garter than most clutches can hold--each garter can hold up to 3lbs! Plus it's safer, and less annoying, than carrying around a bag. It's the perfect accessory for a night on the town.

Enjoy your sexy freedom with this kick-ass product! Each garter is $35 and they come in a range of colors--of course the hot pink hue is my fave! They also offer a special blue garter for brides that has extra beading and is simply gorgeous (plus, it can be your "something blue")!

The GirlyGoGarter is currently on my wish-list, but I'm pretty sure I'll be ordering one in the very near future!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fashion Faux Pas: Return of the Man Purse



Guess what??! The man purse is back--and more horrifying than ever.

A few years ago, I wrote about my hatred of man purses. And later on, I wrote about it again. But somehow, men all over the place are still buying ridiculous man purses.

It doesn't help that Fossil, usually one of my fave retailers, has an ad in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan featuring a man (I'm 99% sure, at least), carrying their very popular Sydney Satchel.

Honestly, I love the bag. I want it. But seeing a guy carry it? Well, that makes it a little less than desirable.

Okay, so there's a small chance that the model is just a very masculine-looking gal. But everyone I've shown this ad to has immediately said that it's a man. And to have a man carry around such a chic, lady-like bag is just awful. It makes me second guess my own fashion sense. I mean, is this a cool look?? Did I miss something? Like a huge fashion meeting that came to the conclusion that guys can carry women's purses and still look normal? Possibly. But I highly doubt it.

The only good thing that's come out of the ad is that I've had my magazine open to the same page, and have been studying it like crazy.

So, if you're a WOMAN and would like to purchase this WOMAN'S BAG, it's selling for $208 and also comes in black. Guys need not even look at it, unless they're shopping for their lady friend.

That is all.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How to Wash Your Hair -- The Right Way


It sounds kind of weird to write this; we all wash our hair and have been doing so, somewhat successfully, since we were little. But the thing is, you can actually harm you hair by washing it incorrectly. Or you can simply wash it in a way that totally deflates any bounciness, or volume you might have been striving for. Whatever the case, it's always a good idea to go over the steps.

1. Start with a rinse.
Just like your laundry needs a rinse cycle before you add detergent, hair should be thoroughly wet before you add your shampoo. Hot water will open the cuticle, which is good for removing any dirt or product trapped in the hair. Another bonus: When your hair is rinsed in warm water, it loosens the oils through the scalp and opens the cuticle so it is able to absorb the oil in your conditioner.

2. If you have long hair, condition first.
Yes, really! I've been doing this for a while now, and it has helped me out a ton! If you have hair beneath the shoulders, protect fragile ends from drying out and further damage by running a small amount of conditioner through them and lightly rinsing, before any shampooing. Shampoo harms hair more than any other product.

3. Lather up (only at the scalp)
The best way to lather up is from roots to ends. The hair closest to the scalp is the youngest and will inevitably be the oiliest, while the end of the hair is the oldest and usually driest, most fragile part of the hair.

4. Be gentle!
Friction can permanently damage your hair’s cuticle, leading to breakage and frizz. Think about washing your hair like you hand wash your lacy lingerie--very carefully.

5. Don’t rinse and repeat.
We've all heard it before. But the truth? The whole "lather, rinse, repeat" thing? It's a no-go. Despite what the instructions on the back of your shampoo bottle may say, there’s no need to wash your hair twice. In fact, it actually hurts your hair, because the extra shampoo strips essential oils that your hair needs to look healthy.

6. Add conditioner from the mid-lengths to the tips.
After you've rinsed out your shampoo, squeeze some of the water out of the hair before you put in the conditioner. Then apply conditioner (only on the shaft and tips of your hair). The longer the conditioner stays on your hair, the better it absorbs. Another tip? About once a month, do a hair "mask": Apply conditioner as you normally would, but don't wash it out. Wrap it in a towel and let it sit overnight. Trust me--when you rise it out the next day, it'll be silkier and more smooth than ever!

7. Finish with a cold water rinse.
Cold water will shut the cuticle tight, sealing the outer layer, which will cause it to reflect the most light and give off the most shine possible.

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Why Do Your Eyes Look So Awesome??!"


That's a question I've been getting a lot recently...well, okay. Variations of it. And mostly it might just be me talking to myself in the mirror. But still--this eye-brightening tip does make eyes look fabulous.

If you haven't tried out Flirt!, available at Khol's, you seriously need to. The entire makeup line is stock full of gorgeous products that every makeup lover lusts after. Particularly, I happen to love the mascaras that Flirt! has to offer. They always do what they say they'll do (lengthen, curl, add volume, etc), plus they usually come in a few fun colors.

Out of all their mascara products, my fave is All That Lash. All of the colors are super pretty--I wear the black one on a daily basis! But the blue hue is the real winner.

I've tried out blue mascaras in the past, and just never really found one that worked for me. They were all either much too bright, or clumped up, or just made me look like a stupid prostitute-clown hybrid. Not good.

But for some reason, All That Lash's blue color didn't do any of those things! The blue isn't really true to what shows up in the picture. It's much darker, and has a bit of a purple tint to it.

You can wear it on its own, which of course makes the blue a bit more obvious, or you can do what I've been loving lately--wearing one coat of it to finish off your mascara routine (which for me, can mean 5748359 different mascaras with a brush going through my lashes between layers. Don't judge).

I absolutely love the effect that the blue has on my already done-up eyes! And because I'm only adding a touch of color, I don't have to really go wild as far as matching my shadow to my lashes or anything. In fact, I find that it looks best with a nice, simple brown smoky eye.

While sporting that look, I have gotten legitimate compliments. Most people don't know what it is about me, or my makeup, they just know that I look great and my eyes look brighter.

Blue is proven to make the whites of eyes look bright, so that's a nice tip to have.

So, if you're scared to try colored mascaras, don't be! You can layer it on as thin (or as thick) as you want! And this brand is the perfect one to start with. I promise, compliments will be coming your way in no time!

Each tube is $15. Grab one in the blue, and also grab a black one just for the heck of it. Yes, it's that good.

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