Deal of the Week: Le Sportsac by B. Free

Gilt Groupe has the Le Sportsac Field Trip Duffle featuring French graffiti artist B. Free for $36 (marked down from $75). You need to join the site (it's free) to shop, but who hasn't already?!

There are more bags, totes and backpacks from this collection for more than 50% off, only one style has sold out so far.

P.S. The sale ends at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!

It's On: Project Runway vs.The Fashion Show

Season 6 of Project Runway will premiere at its new home on the Lifetime Network on Thursday, August 20 at 10PM. The core cast of judges will all be there (Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia) despite speculation about Nina's return. This time around Nina isn't repping ELLE Magazine though -instead she's pimping Marie Claire, where she is now fashion director.

The show will be followed by an hour long spinoff called Models of the Runway, a.k.a. Project Runway but from the models' perspective. None of those mannequins seemed all too fascinating, so we'll see how that works out. Worth the production costs? I doubt it!

Clearly Bravo lost the legal battle over P.R., but they aren't out of the fashion reality TV game yet. Their new show "The Fashion Show" (OMG so creative) premieres next Thursday, May 7 at 10PM. Yes, THE SAME TIME SLOT! Guess they want to kick P.R.'s ass in the most direct way possible. It's hosted by adorable designer Isaac Mizrahi, and Destiny's Child backup bitch Kelly Rowland, who so far as I know has no experience in the industry beyond donning Beyonce's mom's awful designs.

The other similarity? Tim Gunn is the Chief Creative Officer for Liz Claiborne. Where does Isaac Mizrahi work? Liz freaking Claiborne! He's the Creative Director (so he's totally Tim Gunn's boss, right?) Hope they don't have to share a cubicle.

25 Percent Off Sales: Macys and Origins

For 25% off at Macy's, download the printable coupon by clicking here, or use online code MACYSFRIEND. Sale ends Tuesday, May 4th.

For 25% off at Origins, use coupon code FFMAYDM. Sale ends Wednesday, May 5th.

(Thanks Erin!)


Sun Saviors for a Burnt Babe

The Boston area got its first serious beach day this week, so I took advantage and drove up the coast to Maine for a little outlet shopping and sunbathing. When I arrived home, I was totally sunburnt and my hair looked like dried seaweed. Enter the great new summer products I just received for testing!

Clinique just put out a great new batch of sun care products, including After Sun Rescue Balm ($20 for a big tube), which is saving my back quite literally at the moment. The balm is rich and soothing and so far has kept me from peeling. It also absorbs easily and doesn't leave a weird feeling residue like plain old aloe gel. I'm also digging the super-rich, unscented SPF 30 Face Cream ($17.50)for it's non-greasy moisturizing power. At that price, I'm ditching my Neutrogena SPF 20 Anti-Wrinkle moisturizer, which actually costs more.

I washed the sea salt and sand out with Redken's new Color Extend After-Sun Shampoo ($13)and After-Sun Mask ($15). Together they restored my hair to it's silky self after just one shower, and left it with some UV protection to boot. All the products in this line contain mango oil and have a very flowery scent. (If you're scent-sensitive they may not be for you.)

If your hair is medium to thick, the Sparkling Shield ($16) spray on color protector adds intense shine (it's full of miniscule gold glitter particles). Fine hair should be tied back first if you plan to use this product, as it can make it look thinner and oilier.

Clinique also just released a new line of sunless tanning and bronzing products - I haven't tried the airbrush spray or tinted lotions yet, but the dual-colored Almost Bronzer SPF 15 ($28.50) has prompted me to toss all my cheapo Maybelline (too dull) and Bonne Bell (too sparkly) powder bronzers. This one is PERFECT and worth the markup! It goes on very sheer and has just a tiny hint of shimmer in it. This coming from a fair skinned girl who has never found a shade that looked human before.


Madison Harding Spring 09 Hotness

I first noticed Madison Harding last fall when I started sweating these motorcycle boots. I couldn't find them anywhere and when I emailed their customer service girl Jill was totally sweet and gave me the lowdown when and where they'd be restocked. So, aside from staffing cool people, they seem to be on a roll design-wise. Their spring 09 collection is just as fierce and you can buy them all here.

My faves:

The Bowery, $189

The Baxtor, $198

The Stanton, $143


Kiss of Fire

My latest cosmetics obsession (after spotting the look on a Zac Posen model for his Fall 2009 collection show -check the pics below) is orange lipstick. No, I haven't lost my mind. I'm just bored of true red, and nothing lights up the eyes and the complexion like a gash of color on the mouth.

M.A.C. Cosmetics cult classic shade "Morange" is what Posen's ladies were rocking, but I'm pretty broke and $14 on a lipstick feels steep, so I hit the drugstore today looking for something similar. The winners:

Revlon Super Lustrous in Kiss Me Coral (the web image looks dull but it's near neon in real life) $7.99

L'Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic $8.95

Models at Zac Posen Fall 09 wearing M.A.C. Lipstick in "Morange"
[Images via]


Deal of the Week

Well what do you know? It's another Target item: The Paddington Coat in "Sun Yellow" by Merona, $34.99. I swear they are not paying me (in fact they won't even advertise on this blog... haha).
By this image alone, you might be asking if I am f*cking kidding you. But I'm not. I tried it on in a local store (yellow is sold out online, and the other colors look wrong) and it is FAR more flattering and much more vivid than the image lets on.

It's lined with a cute cotton floral print that gives it more of an Anthropologie feel, and the front is adorned with shiny metal toggles. Details like this, paired with a great cut, make this number look much more expensive than it is. Go try one on.


Review: Redken Color Extend Haircare

Redken's new, reformulated Color Extend product line was released this month, and I've been exclusively using the entire line since I had my color and highlights done on Monday. So far, so good!

First Impression: Every product in the line carries a common, very understated scent that is definitely unisex - nothing fruity or flowery about it, but no stinging chemical scent either. I had to really concentrate to notice it. It's a "warm" fragrance.

Cleanse and Condition
Color Extend Shampoo ($13) and Conditoner ($14):
The shampoo is gentle, and the conditioner is rich, but not heavy. Both are perfect for regular daily use -though I wish the conditioner did more in the way of detangling. Like most of the products in this line, they contain cranberry oil for shine and vibrancy, UV filters to protect color against fading, and a ceramide complex to strengthen hair that has been weakened by chemicals in the coloring process. I noticed a reduction in breakage over several days, which is cool.

Total Recharge
($16) is the spray on strengthening treatment made for use after shampooing, soon after a salon color is applied to help lock it in. It was a pain in the ass trying to cover my long hair with spritzes in the shower, but it at least detangled my hair a bit. This product can also be used as a leave-in conditioner, and I suspect it would be more easily used as such.

Rich Recovery ($15) is a weekly deep conditioning treatment for color treated hair, and really does the job as far as damage control. Most colored hair has survived some degree of damage and needs to be treated at least once a week to restore moisture and shine lost through heat styling and general wear and tear. It serves as a replacement for a retired Redken product called Highlight Fuel - so if you were a fan of that, give this one a go.

As I said, the conditioner does not help a great deal with detangling - but a dollop of the Shine Enrich ($16) serum did the job while adding a glassy shine to my hair. It is lightweight enough to use on my baby-fine hair without pulling it down.

NOTE: Redken also has a line called Color Extend Sun, with a shampoo and a mask for post-sun exposure (I'm hoping to try these on my beach vacation this summer!) and a water-resistant sheilding serum meant to protect hair from chlorine and sun-damage.

The Has Launched!

Check out the new bargain sister site (as in up to 80% off) of - they just launched this morning and are selling out like crazy. Word via The Outnet's Twitter is many new items are on their way, so not to fear.

P.S. - While you're checking Tweets, feel free to add Hearts Like Stars to your list - we're on Twitter now too.

One In Every Color

While some 80's trends have been a little hard to swallow, the return of vibrantly colored accessories is one that seemed long overdue. Check out this little rainbow of cute bags we spotted on Lulus and ASOS today:

[Clockwise from top left: Pure Vintage bag, $69.55,; Melie Bianco consort bag, $86,; Daisy chain handbag, $72,; Palmetto handbag, $34,; Turquoise fringe bag, $62.52,; Marc B quilted snake bag, $54.71,]

What style of bag are you carrying lately?


America's Next Top Model Cycle 12 - Midseason Recap

So - has anyone been watching America's Next Top Model Cycle 12? Or am I alone in this shameful habit?

If you're familiar with the show's formula, this will get you up to speed on this season: So far we've gone past the makeover episode (aka the crying episode), the Benny Ninja appearance, the awkward fashion show, the acting class and the television commercial shoot, not to mention the return of last season's winner (in this case, the awkward McKey) with scripted words of wisdom from her past year of "being a working model." (Outside of her Cover Girl contract - entailing a string of poorly delivered commercials - and the Tibi show the commercial claims she walked in, I'd love to learn what other "work" she has been doing...)

Last week the burn victim with the soccer mom face, Tahlia (pictured above), was eliminated, just as all of the models who are admitted to the competition mainly to promote a cause or bust a stereotype tend to be about halfway through ("I'm bi-racial" "I was brutally circumcised" "I have a dick" etc.)

What anyone who knows anything about modeling will have noticed is the fact that every season, the judges are grooming the models for a vein of the industry in which they will ultimately not be performing in. Catalog and commercial models are an entirely different species than runway and editorial high fashion models. And what job do America's Top Model winners land? Spokesperson for a company that sells makeup at Wal-Mart!!!
Of all of the remaining contestants, Teyona and her freaky alien head, Allison and her freaky gigantic eyes and Celia with her uber-angular face are the only ones who could viably exist as high fashion models - however, Allison is probably too short to do runway.

London and Fo are the most consumer-friendly faces/personalities (despite London's burning passion for Jesus) and are my bets for the final two contestants. They look like commercial models, and are well suited for Seventeen Magazine and Cover Girl.

Natalie has been a strong competitor since the start, and while she too is a catalog model, she looks older and more suited for Victoria's Secret type jobs. I though the same thing about Kortnie (who was eliminated a couple weeks back.) P.S. Does anyone else think Kortnie had a nose job? Click the image to enlarge - looks a little pinched, no?

Tonight Ciara will visit the girls and put them in a music video. My bet for elimination is Allison or Aminat (above). Aminat looks like a cartoon alligator and has no place in the competition outside of her height and alarming thinness.

Update: They gave London the boot tonight for her "major weight gain." Supposedly she packed on 10-15 lbs. since tryouts. WHAT? The girl was as thin as a floorboard. If the aim of the weight subplot was to make the hoards of teenaged girls who make up ANTM's audience understand how totally whack the modeling industry is, fine. I'd argue that making and issue of London's weight when she was already unattainably thin was irresponsible.

Whatever. So now I'm like 80% sure Fo is going to win the whole thing.

Next week the remaining 6 actresses contestants go to Brazil.

Hair Trend Alert: Little Braids

One hair trend I'm loving this spring (especially since my bangs are at that totally obnoxious stage of growing out where they poke me right in the eyes) is the tiny braid. It's popping up on women with really expensive hairstylists all over Hollywood.

How to do it:
I first noticed the mini-braid trend on Jen Aniston at the Oscars. This headband-esque, medium-small braid, also featured on Nicky Hilton, can be worn when hair is up or down. You'll need a way to secure it unless you have very textured hair. Use bobby pins or a clip if hair is down - just make sure it is nondescript as the end of the braid is hidden under the hair. A visible barette or clip will make you look like a 6th grader. If hair is up, make sure the end is pinned or tied in with the rest of the hair, and mist a bit of hairspray over the base.

The braids featured on Mary Kate and LC are skinny enough that they should stay intact on their own, whether hair is worn up or down. I would pinch a dab of gel on the end of the braid just to be sure. These braids can be strategically placed, but I prefer them sort of haphazardly strewn about the hair - especially when it is worn down and wavy.

Keys This Pricy Usually Go To Something Else

Tiffany & Co. has come out with a new line of key pendants that I can neither afford nor stop drooling over.

I don't know why, but I've always had a thing for keys - especially old skeleton keys. Maybe it was from reading The Secret Garden 9,000 times as a kid?

Regardless, I adore these insanely expensive versions, which are an interesting departure from the very basic charms and bands Tiffany has always sold.

The cheapest start around $100, and go well into the thousands as the keys become more ornate. Sigh.

[Photo via]
From left: $250, $1050, $6825, $1150, $225, $5825


A Magazine Gets Real (For Just One Issue)

Whoa - ANOTHER post about a fashion mag breaking the mold. Is the speedy decline of print publishing creating a byproduct of awesome? Did budget cuts mean they had to lay off the photoshop staff?!

This Saturday's new issue of French ELLE features a huge spread of stars who agreed to be photographed with NO MAKEUP and NO RETOUCHING. Not only that, but Eva Herzigova appears on the cover au naturale - under eye puffiness, asymmetry and all. (And still stunning, I might add.)

Man. If "real" were ever to become a trend in fashion publishing (and it won't - cause their advertisers WANT you to feel inadequate. Don't you watch Mad Men?), can you imagine the impact on the self-image the average woman? How many syringes of Botox would go uninjected! Tubes of Proactiv unsqueezed! Healthy lunches un-purged!

What I want to know is how the f*ck ELLE got away with this? Weren't the beauty advertisers pissed? Or are things that different in Europe?


Glamour Puts a Little Meat on the Bones

Look at the realness (aside from airbrushing, of course) of Glamour Magazine's most recent swimwear feature model. She looks like someone I'd actually see at a beach in real life, and she looks fabulous and not malnourished. And she's the sole model on a multi-page spread shot by Patrick Demarchelier - and the spread is not entitled "Swimsuits for Curvy Gals" featuring Lane Bryant styles.

I'm not the first whose gut reaction to this spread was not only to be impressed, but also to be relieved. How often is it you look at a swimsuit ad or a feature on beachwear that you don't feel the urge to starve for four days, even if you're rockin a BMI of 19? Can you look at THIS and eat your lunch afterward?

Do tell:

Do ads and magazine spreads featuring swimwear affect your self image?
Nope, I'm hot and I always feel hot
Sometimes - like if I'm PMSing or something
I know I'm hot but I feel a little fat when I see them
They almost always make me feel like a fat cow

Nicole Richie: Jewelry "Designer"

Nicole Richie has launched her new jewelry collection "House of Harlow 1960" - complete with a lookbook starring... herself! Gotta love that celebutante modesty.

Surprisingly it's more reasonably priced than even Heidi Klum's collection -although to be fair, Heidi does tend to use higher quality materials. Prices start at $18 for a 14K gold plated ring and go up to $170 for a crystal faceted headpiece.

You can find the collection at - which incidentally has a sale going on until Thursday. It's only good if you're planning to blow at least $200 though (one pair of jeans on this site can get you there) - you'll then get $25 off. Use code: TAXBREAK09


April Showers Bring Cute Accessories

"Ugh - it's raining... AGAIN!"
Most of us will probably say that aloud about 20 times in the next month or so, but there is a way to lessen the pain: buy yourself a cute new accessory! Here are some great pieces of rain gear that won't leave you looking like the Gorton's fisherman:

SPLURGE: Guy de Jean can-can umbrella - $157.49,
STEAL: Pink ruffle umbrella, $10,

SPLURGE: Jean Paul Gaultier umbrella, $145,
STEAL: Marc Jacobs umbrella, $58,

SPLURGE: Hunter original rainboots, $114.95,
STEAL: Rampage rainboots, $16.88,

SPLURGE: Chooka tokidoki boot, $89.99,
STEAL: Plueys origami me boot, $60,

P.S. - We hope you enjoyed this! This is one of many more Splurge vs Steal features on Hearts Like Stars. Unlike many magazines, we will NEVER call a $500 purse a f*cking steal. (Seriously, how many people spend $80 on a tank top, even when we're not in a recession? Fashion editors should know better - we all know journalism doesn't pay the big bucks...)


Around Your Neck

If you love cutting edge design, Etsy shouldn't be the only bookmark on your toolbar. Observe the wares offered by my new favorite discovery, Stars and Infinite Darkness, an online store carrying apparel, jewelry, gifts and housewares, all by small brands who for the most part create their items by hand.

These are a few of my favorite jewelry items:

[Click image to enlarge]

Hint: Join their Facebook group to score special deals and discounts.

Cover Girls - Do We Care?

WWD posted an article today listing the cover girls that sell the most magazines. It made me wonder - when you're dropping your $3.99 at the newsstand, does it really matter who is on the cover? Tell us:

What makes you buy a magazine?
I'll buy any issue if I like the mag
Enticing cover headlines
Cool cover model
Thickness or size
I have no idea

The top selling faces were no surprise - Jolie, Lohan, LC, Beckham and Jessica Simpson (drama queens!) Celebs with relatively low gossip quotients like Rachel Weisz, Katherine Heigl and Drew Barrymore didn't move much paper this year. The other question I have - have you ever NOT purchased a magazine because you hate the person on the cover?


Jane Cosmetics Bellies Up

Cheapie drugstore makeup brand Jane. has filed for Chapter 11, according to WWD.

Bummer - I never really wore anything but this one coral-colored blush that they made (finding an oil-free blush is daunting), but it was a damn good blush before I lost it in my car.

I guess if you were a fan, it might be a good idea to hit Rite Aid and clean them out right about now.


Amazing Tip from Lancome

If you haven't already hit the official (and brand new) Lancome Blog link we list as one of our faves, today is a good day to do so. They have an amazing tip regarding highlighting that you've probably never heard about (I hadn't even heard of it, and I'm a makeup slut.)

I'm totally impressed with a company as major as Lancome for launching a fun and unpretentious blog. So far it has really been the smaller hipster brands who've gotten on the blog-wagon.

NARS Reveals Summer 2009 Products

NARS is one of the few brands that is not a bff of Hearts Like Stars yet (We've reached out a few times... maybe they're just not down with bloggers?) so I can't give you the skinny on the texture and lasting power of the colors they released today. What I can say is that the look is bold, but at the same time, sophisticated. I'm a big fan of the upcoming orange lipstick trend.

The model is wearing new single eyeshadow in Tropic ($22), lip liner in Tonga ($20) and lipstick in Outsider ($24). The entire summer 2009 collection is pictured at left. Notice there is no blush? Don't do it if you're wearing eyes and lips this bold! A dusting of bronzer is all the color you need.

(Product and model images via Click to enlarge.)


To Gel and Back

The product Gods at Bumble and Bumble recently released two new gels (yes, GELS!) While I haven't had much use for the Gellac so far (gives you that hard, slick wet-look hair - great for extreme hairstyles, updos and graphic runway looks), I've got rave reviews about the Bb. Gel "The multi-talented sculpting medium" that works more like a texturizer and leaves hair in a moveable, brushable state. (Don't let traumatic flashbacks of that big pink jug of L.A. Looks deter you - it's called "gel", but it's not even the same species.)

Sometimes the best reviews come from the mouths of dudes, so I'll share my dude's succinct assessment and be done with it: "It makes your hair as sweet as it is when you don't wash it for a day, except without the dirtiness. Bumble and Bumble just doesn't make bad products."

Agreed. You can pick either product up for a reasonable $24. (Free shipping on orders over $50, as always.)

Deal of the Week

You can spend a million on expensive makeup, but without the right brushes you're still going to look a mess. After years of using cheap drugstore brushes that constantly shed bristles all over my face, I started to consider dropping the big bucks on some prestige brand brushes. Then I came across this set by EcoTools ($10.99 at Target) and have since been deterred. The quality and texture of the brushes are really (I hate to use this word, but it's the only one suitable) luxurious, and gave a much softer application visually. No more streaky blush or blotchy bronzer for me!

PS - If you do go drugstore for brushes, the concealer and shadow brushes by Essence of Beauty are also good - just steer clear of their black-bristle brushes.