Fashionable Halloween Clearance Rack Steals

As you probably know, the day after (and sometimes day of) Halloween is when stores pull all of their theme items and throw them on a clearance rack for 50-75% off. There's not much you can do with a ceramic jack-o-lantern past it's sell-by date, but there are a few style items worth snatching up at a discount for year-round usage.

1.) Black, purple, glitter and other wild nail polish. Since when do those not work in January?

2.) False eyelashes - even some of the crazier sets can be fun around the holidays and for parties or going out. Falsies don't have to be expensive to look amazing.

3.) Stripe, fishnet and fun colored tights. Also not a halloween-only accessory.

4.) Skull jewelry (but leave the spiderweb and pumpkin earrings on the shelf, please)

5.) Glitter.

6.) Novelty socks. Does anyone see what's under those snowboots in the winter? If you find cuddly ones for 99 cents, stock up.

7.) Next year's costume. Like any end-of-season purchase, stash it away in a box for next year and be so excited when you realize you don't have to fight the crowds and pay full price next October. Suckers!

PS: Two notable Halloween free shipping deals from sweet websites:

- (UK) is offering free shipping to the U.S. this weekend on EVERYTHING.

- MAC Cosmetics is offering free shipping on any purchase during "the witching hours" between 6PM and 3AM tonight.


Olsonboye Is Definitely No Elizabeth and James

The Olsen twins' line "Elizabeth and James" is overpriced, but usually pretty sweet design-wise. Same goes for rock-spawn Charlotte Ronson's namesake clothing label. So WHY IS IT that when they decide to do a normal-priced line for JC Penney they let their design staff go on vacation, sketch juvenile garbage and send it into production? (My hypothesis: JC Penney brings out the bad outfit in everyone.)

Starting Nov. 6, you'll be able to purchase Olsen garbage under their new JC Penney-exclusive label Olsonboye. It's their "ancestral" name but totally makes it sound like the clothes are for male children. Marketing geniuses, those gals! Here are three "outfits" from the Olsonboye line. If I see you in any of them, don't act like you know me.


Good Girls Need Badass Boots

Combat boots are definitely back, clearly obeying stylist's orders to subdue the explosion of floral tea dresses and tulle that have cropped up the past few seasons. Dr. Marten definitely wins the combat boot popularity contest, and it is for this reason I'd prefer to see my stylish minions in anything but. My choice is among the boots above - each pair puts a different spin on the style and won't leave your bank balance in the trenches.

Forever 21 "trooper" boot, $29.95; GoJane combat boot, $32; Seychelles "meteor shower" boot, $149.95; Steve Madden "axee" boot, $159.95;

Why I Love/Hate Alexa Chung

In case you live under a very unfashionable rock, you've probably heard the name or seen the face of 25-year-old model Alexa Chung. She's the new half-Chinese Agyness Deyn, basically. Dresses a bit kooky, screws stinky musicians, makes awkward faces and pretends to be totes fer-real even though she's been raking in mega-cash for 10 years (for the hard job of hitting the genetic and societal aesthetic jackpot) and doing classic Stephanie Seymour shit like living with grossly senior photographer boyfriends.

If it sounds like I resent her, of course I do. I find loaded people who purposely dress high-low to be oh-so "Common People." But at the same time a strong sense of closet envy - a little bit of "that's how I would dress if I stole your wallet" - endears her to me. I covet her expensive shoes and sold-out Topshop exclusives, and even more so, her access to them. I check the MTV Buzzworthy blog for "What Was Alexa Wearing Today?" updates on a weekly basis. No, I can't bear to watch the show she hosts (I dare you to sit for 5 minutes and not want to be shot in the ears) but still, I obsess. Feel free to join me.


Rodarte Target Collection Pics!

The official press kit for the Rodarte for Target collection (due Dec. 20th) is not yet up on, but unofficial preview pics have been leaking since early August, when the above snap was taken on the sly by a Paper magazine reporter.

From what I see so far, it's vintage budoir with a side of grandma's attic. Any female who came of age in the early 90's knows that good old fashioned GRUNGE is the intersection of those sartorial avenues! Maybe it's nostalgia (I finally got rid of my huge "kinderwhore" vintage leopard coat from a 1994 the other day... maybe just in time for a new one?) but I'm loving these looks. Top of my list is the yellow version of the bow-shoulder slip dress. The line will run you from $9.99 for the knee high stockings on up to $79.99 for the catty coat.

P.S. - As for the up-to-your-tits tights with the bow... the only way I can imagine rocking those is layered over leggings or opaque tights and worn as pants. Under a dress that bow would appear to be the most fucked up outie belly button ever seen.

Review: Clinique Deep Comfort Hand Cream

After my research into who's animal testing and who isn't, I was wondering where to turn once my former go-to winter hand cream (by bunny-beaters Neutrogena) runs out. Leave it to my friends at Clinique to save the day! I've had the opportunity to test out Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream ($17.50 for 2.5 oz.) which becomes available in November 2009, and I can't recommend it enough.

At that price point, I might call it a luxury for "just a hand cream" but I put literally a pea-sized amount in my palm and it did the job for both hands, so I think you could stretch one tube for almost an entire winter. It's extremely rich and thick but absorbed almost immediately. My skin felt really soft, not just surface-soft, and there was no heavy fragrance to it at all.

Verdict: Worth it! Try it at a Clinique counter next month and see for yourself.

P.S.: There's already a Deep Comfort Body Butter and Body Moisturizer out now. In November, a Body Wash is also set to be released.


Jean Paul Gaultier for Target Coming March 7

[Looks from Gaultier's spring 2010 RTW collection via]

Target seems to be reaching higher up the fashion heap every time for their collaborations as time goes on, and I'm completely loving it. Shouldn't all designers have a line for broke people? French legend Jean Paul Gaultier is designing a capsule collection set to launch March 7, 2010. It is said to be "inspired by American women and pop culture from the past and the present."

[Image from "City of the Lost Children"]

You may know JPG best for the conical Madonna bra, but what comes to mind for me is the costume design he did for the 1995 film "City of the Lost Children" - all nautical notions and breton stripes. With Chanel's 2010 resort collection bringing the nautical look back full force, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Gaultier to deliver something in that genre. However, judging by the stated inspiration, I'm concerned we might get smacked in the face with more 1980s-90s throwback trends.


Is Your Brand Tested on Animals?

Do you buy beauty products that are needlessly tested on animals? You might be supporting one of these asshole companies, and have no idea. Check out PETA's page where you can search for animal-loving companies by product category. If you're too lazy for that, here's a little guide I made:

Going to Target for Makeup?
DO buy:
- Almay
- Revlon
- Physician's Formula
- Burt's Bees
- Bonne Bell
- Wet n' Wild
- Yes to Carrots
Don't buy:
- Cover Girl
- L'Oreal
- Max Factor
- Maybelline
- Neutrogena

Going to Sephora/Department Store for makeup?
DO buy:
- Bare Escentuals
- Bobbi Brown
- Clinique
- Clarins
- Origins
- Stila
- Smashbox
- Too Faced

- Urban Decay/ Hard Candy

Don't buy:
- Lancome
- Shiseido

Buying perfume or cologne?
Calvin Klein
Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani

Use 99 cent shampoo?
White Rain

Going to Target for hair products?
DO buy:
- Kiss My Face
- Burt's Bees
(Target also often carries some of the salon brands listed below)
Don't buy:
- Aussie
- Clairol
- Dove
- Garnier
- Head & Shoulders
- Neutrogena
- Pantene
- SoftSheen
- Sunsilk

Going to the salon for hair products?
DO buy:
- Aveda
- Bumble and Bumble
- Pureology
- Rusk
- Paul Mitchell
Don't buy:
- Matrix
- Redken (Note: In the past I have reviewed and recommended Redken. I love their products but in this day and age, animal testing is unforgivable and I am boycotting the brand until they stop.)

Going to Target for skin care, personal hygiene and hair removers?
DO Buy:
- Burt's Bees
- Calgon
- Kiss My Face
- Nad's
- Tom's of Maine
- Yes to Carrots
Don't Buy:
- Aveeno
- Clean and Clear
- Dove
- Gillette
- Ivory
- Johnson & Johnson
- Lubriderm
- Nair
- Olay
- Ponds
- Secret
- Soft & Dri
- Vaseline
- Veet
- Zest

Going to the Mall?
L'Occitane, LUSH, The Body Shop, Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret all offer cruelty-free personal care and fragrance products.

30% Off Friends and Family Sale at Nine West

The Nine West Friends and Family Sale is 30% off full price, 20% off sale price shoes with code NWFRND6. Expires Sunday, Oct. 18th at midnight.
My picks:

Boutique 9 Charissa $285 $199.50; Lunia $139 $97.30

Demode (pre-order) $89 $62.30 ; Ambelu $79 $59.99 $47.99

Deanna $160 $112 ; Nyek $79 $55.30


ASOS Mid-Season Sale is ON

ASOS Mid-Season Sale opened online today. Get that holiday party frock early so you're not picking at stretched-out XXL leftovers with sequin bald-spots by November. Just be sure to go up in the right hand corner and switch the currency to USD so you're not unpleasantly surprised at your sudden drop in funds. That exchange rate is a bitch.


Where Do You Get Your Panties?

Where do you buy your panties?
Victoria's Secret
Department Store
other mall store (Aerie, HM)

I have a serious panty purchasing compulsion. I have like 90 pair - some with the tags still on - and yes, I throw out my old ones with regularity. I get mine pretty much everywhere: Marshall's/T.J. Maxx, Forever 21, Macy's, Aerie, and of course Victoria's Secret. My favorites used to be the VS cotton low-rise bikini, but the did away with the cut and introduced a new VS cotton bikini that was supposed to be a lower-rise version of the regular bikini. I got a coupon for a free pair the other day so I grabbed one to try them out. Holy Baywatch Bathing Suit. How anyone can wear these with a low rise pair of pants is beyond me, they're cut up to your tits with a hi-leg opening and suited for the longest ass in human history. Horror. Where should I turn to find great panties now? Help.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream

Origins GinZing
"Refreshing eye cream to brighten and de-puff"
Cost: $29.50
Worth it.
Why: It de-puffs and leaves behind a subtle light-reflecting shimmer that works well under concealer to hide dark circles.
Details: GinZing goes on light and has a cooling sensation. Typically de-puffer products cause your eyes to water - this does not, yet it's still effective. The active ingredients responsible are caffiene and ginseng. The soft shimmer it leaves behind helps refract light and detract attention from your dark circles. This is a great double-duty product (maybe you can toss that highlighter pencil?) and reasonably priced.
PS: Any product claiming to erase dark circles is bullshitting you right to your face - dc's are hereditary and have to do with the thickness of the skin under your eyes. The best you can do is a product like this, which helps sooth the skin and camouflage the darkness.


Sonia Rykiel for H&M

H&M Divided Exclusive Collection
[Images via H&M Magazine Autumn 2009]

I have to give H&M props for their stellar stock this season (Autumn/Winter '09). It's a massive wash of black and sequin with splashes of deep berry, emerald green and burnt gold, ravaged denim and exaggerated shoulders. I want so many things I'm finding myself eBaying for items just to be sure I can afford it all.

More H&M Divided Exclusive collection
[Images obviously via]

To ice the cake just a little bit thicker, December 5th brings an exclusive collection of knitwear, accessories and lingerie from French fashion legend Sonia Rykiel. There is nothing on the H&M website but a wordy press release and a portrait of Sonia, and google search for leaked images only produced this:

If the Sesame Street inspired sweater/scarf on the right is in the collection, call me Big Bird cause I'm totally rocking that shit.