Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cailyn Cocoon Lip Stain

I  am curious by nature. Makeup and new products from other cultures intrigue me sometimes. The Asian countries -- Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia -- are very beauty centric and come up with some brilliant cosmetics, as well as, skin serums and moisturizers.

Recently I heard about Peel-Off Lip Stains from Korea, which I will feature today. (I first read about them on They are a little pricey, ranging from $22 - $30 for a 1.6 ounce size. Applied to your lips wet and sticky (like lip gloss), reportedly, the liquid has to set for ten minutes, then it peels off your lips in one solid piece, leaving a stain. What results is a natural pop of color that the manufacturer says lasts for up to 10 hours.

But is it worth the extra time, money and effort? Frankly, I don't know. It isn't cheap, and it takes more steps to color than lipstick, gloss or regular stain, which doesn't have to set, or be peeled off. And, what about the "up to 10 hour" staying power? That would be a winning selling point, if indeed, it turns out to be true. Usually though, such a claim is exaggerated. Regardless of the consistency and quality of lip color, I always have to reapply it during a day. So if a Peel-Off Lip Stain doesn't do something better, why would you buy it?

Nonetheless, since it exists, I'd try it in a heartbeat. Research! How about you?

Without an open mind, we'd never discover all the fantastic, "how did we not know about these," new products, right? 
According to credible beauty sources, lip stain is the next big thing. 

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis In The USA

Photo: ABC News
I have lived in Manhattan during the visits of the last two Popes: Benedict XVI and Francis I. Fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time to see both ... and without waiting in 3-hour lines. They each traveled up to my Upper East Side neighborhood on their way to East Harlem, or the Bronx. Pope Benedict was on his way to say Mass at Yankee Stadium (2008), while Pope Francis visited a school in East Harlem (2015).

The streets where the Popes drove by were narrow, and I got a close look at both of them. Pope Benedict was absorbed in thought, perhaps thinking about his sermon, while the People's Pope, Francis waved at us. We were delighted!

Like many people, I am very impressed with Pope Francis. He seems to possess the right combination of intellect, compassion and humility. His order, the Jesuits, are smart and educated, requiring advanced university degrees to enter. At times in history, the papacy was at war with the Jesuits (not combat-wise, but out-of-favor-wise). Now a Jesuit is the Pope! 

Pope Francis sets an inspiring global tone and nails what is truly important: Treat all people as you want to be treated. Never forget that the poor, the migrant and all people with differences have something in common with you. They have a human face. Be true; and have tolerance and compassion for everyone, is the Pope's emphasis. (He is much more eloquent then I am. He has a bigger brain!)

Pope Francis is the first pontiff to address an American Congress. Wow, was it ever an impressive speech! The Pope is not afraid to shake things up and tackle political matters. He doesn't depict problems using philosophical rhetoric. His Holiness is a practical man, clear and precise. He gets political without overstepping and becoming political. I am linking the Pope's entire speech for everyone to hear. It is worth the time of a listen!

Pope Francis' visit to America is turning out to be like none other. He really took New York City by quiet storm! I have never seen such excitement in this town for another luminary. Personally, I think the Pope is a radical. He is not afraid of change, nor is he afraid of the status quo. Because he talks about a fair distribution of economic wealth, as well as, sustainability while acknowledging global warming, I think the Pope is progressive; but he will surprise both conservatives and liberals alike. He often goes in a direction, no one expects, like opposing the death penalty and supporting the US - Iran Nuclear Deal. His mind is big; his concerns expansive.

Lucky me ... for walking down the right avenue at the right time on Friday afternoon to get a glimpse of this historic figure, a special man, the People's Pope.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Sample Sales Of New York City

Photo: Mickey Sery of 260 Fifth Avenue
New York City has sample sales galore. It's a must stop for fashion forward shoppers who like to save up to 90% off of retail prices on designer goods. When visiting Manhattan, check Time Out's link for the Best Sample Sales In NYC This Week, as well as,

Two excellent sample sales in Manhattan include ...

1. The Flat-iron District's 260 Fifth Avenue - for clothes, home goods and workout gear.
J Crew

2. Soho's 151 Wooster Street - for edgy apparel and accessories.

What's more, here are six rules for shopping the sample sales:

1) Bring cash. Some warehouses don't accept credit cards.

2) Wear comfortable shoes and non-bulky clothing. Shopping the sample sales requires lots of standing and walking; and sometimes showrooms lack dressing rooms to try on clothes. You may have to slip a dress over your head in a public area to see how it fits.

3) Know the value of merchandise. Not every offering is a good buy.

4) Stick within your budget. Determine what you can spend before shopping. You can still go broke by spending thousands of dollars on dresses, shoes or coats marked 70% off.

5) Arrive early for the greatest selection of goods, or late for the lowest prices.

6) Understand that all sales are final. Check the merchandise carefully. If you find imperfections, you might haggle to take a few more dollars off, or you might not want the garment after all.

Looking is half the fun, so shop with an adventurous spirit! You could leave with a great find and an experience that is unique to New York City.
Michael Kors in Elle

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Maybelline's Nude Shadow Palettes

Angie S., friend and reader of THE SAVVY SHOPPER, wrote to share glowing reviews for Maybelline's Nude Shadow PalettesShe advises, "Forget about laying $53 for Urban Decay's palette, these are $11 and magnificent!"

Maybelline offers a choice of 3 palettes: The Nudes, Blush Nudes and Rock Nudes. Angie likes the creamy consistency and finds they don't "flake off, nor fall on your cheeks" when applying them.

Here's what you get in a palette: a 12 shade collection to create a variety of looks with sultry beiges, sexy sands, shimmery bronzes and neutral taupes. You can color the entire eye area with taupe, then shade the lid, contour the crease and line around the eye with the different colors to create an altogether new look for each day of the week. Be subtle, or natural one day, then bold, or dramatic the next.

The Maybelline tag line says, "Dare to be nude!" An equally true, yet less risqué slogan could be "Cheap, but rich."😊 Look for the palettes at your local drugstore for savings. Our friend, Angie, scored a 2 for 1 deal at Walgreens, which is a steal! Thanks for the palette tip, Ang'.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Red Dress Boutique

An online retailer with the most adorable, ladylike style is about to explode. The Red Dress Boutique just partnered with two entrepreneurs from the television show Shark Tank, so their business will expand soon, going to the next level. Hopefully, the move will benefit customers. I wonder if they will open brick and moltar stores, or perhaps their website will grow to worldwide distribution. An exciting development, so stay tuned!

The Red Dress Boutique offers lots of fashion for the buck. Dresses, trousers, shoes and accessories cost well under $50. The clothes are cozy, wearable and have that extra pizzazz. If you need a little styling help, the website will suggest coordinating pieces to complete your outfit. Completed ensembles often tally for under $100.  So the Red Dress Boutique specializes in feminine fashion of merit that won't break the bank. Nice!

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Fall Fashion Trends: Hats And Sunglasses

Photo: Getty - Marc by Marc Jacobs show beret hat
As we approach the end of summer, fall is in the air. Already days are getting shorter, and nights are getting breezier.  

Salt City Optics invited me to put together a blog to showcase my favorite fall hats matched with sunglasses. I am not obligated to use their perscription sunglasses as examples -- but take a look at their website -- the eyewear is right up THE SAVVY SHOPPER's alley. The optical company offers a variety of all the latest eyeglass styles at prices you would expect to pay for prescription sunglasses, plus there is a 20% discount onlineUltra stylish and affordable, so after you take proper care of your eyes with new prescription sunglasses, you will still have money left in your wallet to buy that fashion forward fall hat!

I see more people out and about wearing sunglasses these days, and it's good thing. Here's why: Sunglasses shield our eyes from the sun's harmful ultra-violet rays, which helps to prevent the development of cataracts as we age. But let's admit to wanting to look celebrity chic as we protect our precious peepers. Are you with me? 

Here are my pairings of swanky hats with sunglasses to transition into the fall. What are your favorites?:

Kate Spade Darryl sunglasses
Cloche hat

Tommy Hilfiger, a classic knit hat

Oakley Changeover sunglasses

Ray-ban sunglasses

Wool Rose Applique hat

Red cloth or leather brimmed hat

Nike Ignition Rx sunglasses

Elizabeth And James Filmore sunglasses

Tommy Hilfiger fur hat

The last image of a Tommy Hilfiger fur hat is super trendy. Faux fur will be huge this fall and winter. Take a look around: There are racks of faux fur bags, shoes, vests, jackets and hats. Designers are putting fur on everything. Hello autumn!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Do You Have A Germ Phobia?

Recently, a reader asked The New York Times a question: "What diseases can you get from a water fountain?" The article says, it's very safe to drink from a pubic water fountain. Communities filter and treat their water, and even if a child puts his month on the spout, it gets rinsed often, so you don't have to worry about contamination.

Personally, it doesn't bother me to either consume tap water, or drink from a water fountain. Moreover, I usually wash dishes by hand; hot water; and dish soap, forgoing a dishwasher. I think soap and water kills harmful germs, plus we need exposure to everyday germs to build up our immunities. (Read a scientific study to support the notion here.) While I'm not going to get crazy and eat food that has fallen on a sidewalk, if a friend asks me to taste his drink, or food off his plate, I'm fine with it.
Mostly we have to worry about germs anywhere hands touch common surfaces, like the handle to turn on a water fountain, as well as, doorknobs, computer keyboards or subway poles. That's where dozens of bacteria or viruses can be transmitted by feces, mucus or coughs. Oh, it sounds like some people could do a better job of handwashing! (Tip: Mentally song Happy Birthday twice to lather and wash long enough.)

After surviving a winter with several wicked head colds, I have tried not to touch public doorknobs, railings, computer keyboards and touch screens. With the latter, I'm thinking of you, Apple Stores, with your cool laptops, iPads and iPhones. OK, I still pop in to play with all the latest toys, but I avoid touching my face until I wash or sanitize my hands. I started carrying a slender hand sanitizer in my purse after that unfortunate season of viruses.

I don't think of myself as overly germ phobic, but I have to know where something has been. For that reason, I don't sample the eye makeup or lipsticks at Sephora, except on the back of my hand. Many religious people believe God will protect them when drinking wine from a Communion cup during a Mass. I am not one of those people. I will not drink consecrated wine from a communal chalice. The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with it. Too many lips, I don't know!
Sanuk yoga sandals

When I was a child, my mamma had a phobia against letting me walk around barefoot. If I removed my shoes in the house, she immediately got my slippers (or nagged me to get them). She would've had a heart attack had I stepped barefoot outdoors. I obeyed her on this issue since my mom did not like barefooted children.😊 Everybody has a quirk, I suppose.

Do you have a germ phobia?

Here's a lesson from history that may cure you of it, an account explaining why polio became a serious epidemic in the 20th century. In short, outhouses and open sewers gave prior generations a chance to develop immunities against polio that the more sanitary flush toilets removed. Scientists also theorize that children have more serious allergies today because dishwashers kill germs more effectively than did hand washing dishes in earlier times. Wow! There seem to be benefits to living with everyday germs.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sonia Kashuk At Target

A five piece brush set is $17 -- a steal!
Before creating a makeup line that is sold mainly at Target, Sonia Kashuk was an award winning makeup artist who worked with super model Cindy Crawford.

The Sonia Kashuk collection includes a full array of cosmetic tools, face premiers, foundation, face powder, brow pencils, eyeliners, cheek blush, eye shadows, lip colors, nail polish and more. Her brand also has moisturizing bath and body lotions, butters and oils. Her aim is to offer department store luxury at mass market prices.

Quality for less is always music to a savvy shopper's ears. The beauty brushes are top-notch, and it's certainly worth trying the makeup, which has a stellar ingredient list.  Customers especially like the face premiers, eye shadows and lipsticks. Her face foundation is popular with beauty mavens also.

High end packaging, lots of colors and ultra low prices. THE SAVVY SHOPPER says, keep the beauty finds coming. Sonia Kashuk makes it fun to be a girl at Target!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Homemade Apple/Spinach/Ginger Green Juice
Frankly, I would rather bite into an apple and chew spinach, so I haven't jumped on the juice bandwagon. Aside from orange and the occasional pineapple or cranberry juices from the supermarket, I don't buy them. Besides, it's a pricey craze, no?

However, recently I ran out of orange juice and decided to make my own morning beverage with what was in my refrigerator. It's more of a smoothie since I don't have a juicer and used my blender. The result is a delicious change from orange juice with the benefit of fiber. If you like green juices, this recipe will hit the spot without taking the green out of your wallet:

Apple/Spinach/Ginger Green Juice


1 large granny smith apple
5 ounces fresh or frozen spinach
a few slices of fresh ginger
1 stalk of celery
1 cup (or more) of water

Optional: If you wish, toss in cucumber, turmeric and/or honey or Stevia. If you have guests, add a little alcohol like rum. (I just put a shake of Stevia in mine.) Another idea, add a slice of ripe mango. 


1. Core the apple, slice and toss unpeeled into the blender.
2. Toss everything else into the blender.
3. Blend.

Couldn't be easier, right? Makes two (big) or four (small) servings.

As stated, I sweetened my juice with Stevia to taste. If you're a real health nut, skip the sweetner. Chilling the juice brings out the flavor. If you haven't thought ahead, just pour the green juice over ice cubes and serve. Healthy and inexpensive, a glass is packed with vitamins A, C, K, chlorophyll and fiber. 

Ahh, refreshing ... bottles up!

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