2013 | Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Friday, December 20, 2013

Topstyler review, a few Target goodies and Julep mystery box reveal...

A friend of mine got remarried last night and now that I've stopped hiding, I'm happy to get dolled up and see people again. Her wedding was so much fun. She has four young girls and he has four teenage girls - so now with eight girls, that house is going to be jam packed with estrogen LOL. Poor guy. I pulled out my $22 "new to me" Tracey Reese dress topped with a studded skinny belt ($5 Nordstrom Rack), black 3/4 Halftee, new $3 H&M rhinestone stick earrings, thrifted $7 Via Spiga metallic snakeskin clutch and my $250 Louboutin highness pumps. I was surprised that I lasted three hours in my Loubs but after getting one heel caught in the bride's train when we were dancing, I took a header to avoid tearing her dress. I'm fine and my fall really wasn't all that embarrassing but I did stab my foot with my heel in the fall and I have a 1" cut on the side of my foot. The last hour and a half I went barefoot :)

Ladies and gentlemen, your Highness has arrived

I think the biggest complement I got last night was that I look the same as I did in high school. Pretty good considering not too long ago I was getting feedback like "what happened to her?" and "she used to be your hot sister." I'm not where I want to be but I'm working on it...

At Marshalls yesterday morning I found this product called the Topstyler for $29.99. The original retail was around $140 but it's now $40.99 at Target.com so if you can't find one at Marshalls you can always snag one online pretty cheap. I quickly googled reviews while I was in the store and they seemed decent so I went for it. I had purchased a set of hot curlers at Target earlier this year and I get pretty beachy waves for around 5 minutes...and then they fall out. I always believed that if I got a better set maybe it would work better. My vanity prohibits sharing what these did to my hair - I looked like a trussed poodle. After an hour of fussing with the Topstyler curlers, I pulled a couple loose curls out in the front and twisted my hair up into a messy low bun. All the reviews (and YouTube videos that I watched) indicate there is a learning curve - and I agree. Essentially you create finger curls with your fingers or with one of the two combs provided and then clamp them down with heated tourmaline "C-shells". The clips are strong and don't fall out like my other curlers and the curls (unfortunately) held all night. It has a great travel case with room for all the little pieces and a total of 15 clips which is pretty good (I think my set came with more like 20 so I'm not complaining). I'm going to try again soon - next time not right before an event...


Pretty hair clearly not included LOL...

In the spirit of not hiding I'm going to share a pic of me and my younger sister from last night. I wish I took more pics or even a full body shot so you can see my outfit but I'm usually the picture taker and hiding from the camera has become a bad habit.


********

I quickly stopped in Target today and I picked up these polishes on the clearance end-cap. They were all around $1.50 each.



 My $25 Julep surprise box came today so this is what you missed out on if you didn't order. I got a total of nine polishes (the trio to the right was my $10 add-on), hand cream, face primer, lip gloss, eye pencil and a bunch of samples. I do like their polishes but post CVS makeup sale it does seem like a waste. The eye pencil is black on one side and a brown coppery glitter color on the other. Besides the polishes I think it's the one thing I'm most excited by. The lip gloss is a pale peachy color - nothing I would wear :(



My brand new $550 Tory Burch knee high boots just came in the mail ($10 score!) but I don't have time to take a pic. Stay tuned for next week!


Have a great weekend!
Love, Shoppinggal







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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

75% off discontinued cosmetics at CVS!!!

Amidst the flurry of designer sales I've been keeping a low profile because I don't have the funds to splurge this year :( Every time an online friend posts their new sale Chanel bag I sigh a little. Maybe next year...

Luckily there are lots of cheap things to be found so I've been keeping busy with lots of budget bargains - which after all is my specialty :)

Last week I got a tip that there were markdowns at CVS and some items had been marked down to 50-75% off. After I hit the thrift store yesterday (nothing exciting to report) I passed a CVS and I figured why not? The key is finding a large CVS with very little foot traffic - that's where you can find markdowns several days into a sale. I grabbed a basket and went a little crazy. Here are some of my finds :) Everything was under $4 - the lip glosses were $.55 each!

Oh and don't worry V - I got you some stuff too!


So yesterday I got dropped from one of my Facebook designer BST (buy/sell/trade) groups. Honestly I have not a clue what happened and the mods won't even tell me why. I only sold one thing on that group a while back and I mostly chatted and shared my bargains there. Maybe they didn't like that I shared my blog? Maybe someone got upset that I mentioned I saw the same Balenciaga bag a woman was selling...earlier that day in TJ Maxx, probably for less. I don't know, but if you're reading this please take a minute to comment below - just so I know someone out there is reading (and hopefully enjoying) my blog. On the flip side I've had more time for some of my other online groups that I've been neglecting...but maybe it's time I make my own group/page :)

Anyway, hope you find some good stuff too! Happy shopping :)




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Thursday, December 12, 2013

My pretty awsome shopping week in review :)

This time of year I tend to shop daily. The bargains are everywhere and they are AMAZING! Today was just 15 minutes (despite popular belief I do not spending every waking hour shopping) but earlier this week I put in a little more time and I scored - big time!

Monday was markdown day in the shoe department of my favorite store :) I checked every tag on every shoe in my size LOL. These are my favorites:

From L-R Valentino, Stuart Weitzman, Diane Von Furstenberg and Coach
And this is what I paid :)

Insane, right? Now check out one of my receipts - yeah, there was more than one :)
I actually returned everything and repurchased with a $5 off coupon so this total was $68 - and I saved $2,578.80!



Then I ran to Kohls to spend my $30 Kohls cash (with a 20% coupon) and got these brushes for $6 out of pocket. These are the Real Technique brushes I blogged about the other day. I used them this morning and they're really good. I plan I buying more soon.

Pretty spectacular Monday, right? And then there was Tuesday...


Jimmy Choo baby!
Yep, you're reading it correctly - $10!


They also had some makeup marked down to $1! I got a couple of these eye shadow palettes as well as a bunch of others that I stockpiled for gifts.


On Wednesday I stopped at the Rack for kids markdowns. When I got there they had a bunch of $1-5 items. Hidden in the sale rack I found these gems for a total of $.07 - they were all marked a penny!!!

I did take a bunch of $1 items and this dress was probably my best find - retail $99 :)

Then I hit the mall to visit Macy's - Clinique is giving out free Chubby Sticks :) Just tell them you saw a commercial on TV for a free Chubby Stick.

I went to two malls to get each color. At the first one I had to sit for a 5 minute consultation and I got the red. At the second mall they just handed one over - she recommended the berry and I wasn't sure but I just put it on and I LOVE it! I may be returning to get more...

At the mall I popped into H&M - they have major markdowns from $1-$20. I got a cute top for $7 and earrings for $3. I'm hoping to go back tomorrow to take another look as I only had 10 minutes because I had to leave to pick up my sick niece from school. These days the malls are such nightmares that unless you're in there when they open you just don't go. I stopped at TJ Maxx to return something this week and the line snaked thru the entire store. I kid you not - it must have been over an hour wait to check out. So I left.

In all this excitement I haven't had time to thrift. Maybe next week :)


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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Knockout dresses from Hong Kong


So technically these are knockoff dresses but they're pretty amazing IMO.

Recently when I was browsing Ebay looking for vintage cocktail dresses for an upcoming affair I came across the vendor Valuefashionshop. Based in Hong Kong, this seller has an assortment of super-cute, super-cheap dresses modeled after celeb red carpet looks.

My first puchase was their Womens Rockabilly Deep V neck puff sleeve Bodycon Business Party Pencil Dress
I googled their Ebay shop name and I couldn't find any informative reviews or sizing information so I measured one of my favorite dresses and I guessed size large based on their measurements and one Ebay feedback that mentioned they ran small. 2-3 weeks later I tore open my package...and it was too big :( It seems my T25 is working a little too well. For the $22 bucks spent I wasn't going to return it so I gave it to my SIL. I cut the tag out so she wouldn't see it was a size 12 - and it fits her so nobody has to know. I decided I was going to try again and this time I was going for broke....and I ordered two sizes smaller. I selected a size small (US 4/6) and crossed my fingers. I'm thrilled to share that I got it yesterday and it fits like a glove. It's amazing and I love it! I can wear it as is or layer it with my black 3/4 sleeve Halftee for a more modest look. Yeah, I actually pranced around in front of my mirror with my new black patent Highness Louboutins all night. And then I realized that I better find a shoe I can dance in because I would probably break my neck in those Loubs LOL. So until I can think of something else it looks like I'll be pairing this dress with my Fendi Fendista black heels that I scored for $80 at the Rack.

Now that I've got the sizing down pat I have a few other dresses on my radar:

Womens Celeb Vintage Cotton Party Cocktail Evening Sheath Bodycon Pencil Dress
I love the color and cut of this one. And the shoulder detail is amazing (and should balance my hips). Note that two of the celebs are wearing them with the CL Highness - I think it's a sign :) Now that I've lost some weight I think I'm ready to start wearing color again. As soon as I muster up the courage I'm going to hit the BIN (buy it now) button on this one.


Womens Celebrity Style Floral Ladies Bodycon Tunic Black Party Midi Pencil Dress
Hello? Who wouldn't want to look like Beyonce? I've been thinking about this one for a while but it's a couple inches shorter than my black dress which is the perfect length for me. Plus it's really trendy and I'm not going to get more than a season out of this one so for now it's sitting on my watch list.


Womens Puff Sleeve Celeb Party Long Sleeve Cocktail Evening Bodycon Pencil Dress
I REALLY want this dress but the color is too light for me. I'm 10 lbs away from wearing pastels. I actually messaged the seller to find out if they will be producing this one in other colors because the second they come out with a red, black or navy, this baby is mine! If you look at the close ups you can see the amazing seaming...and those shoulders are TDF. I love a good futuristic rock star shoulder.

So if you're looking for cheap thrills, head over to ebay and buy a Valuefashionshop dress. The material is really nice and these are way more fun than the boring dresses I've been finding at TJ Maxx for the same price. Feel free to ask questions about sizing - and maybe if I'm brave enough I'll post a pic of me in my new dress :)

As always, happy shopping!
-M
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why is my $400 not the same as your $400?

I was going to blog about my sample sale finds from yesterday but after hitting ShopRite this morning to redeem my free turkey, I was a little disturbed and just had to vent.

So here is Shoprite's ad for their free turkey promotion:



Shoprite offers their customers a free turkey if they spend $400 in groceries within a specified period. For some time now, Shoprite hasn't offered free Kosher turkey - just a roasting chicken (4 lbs average). I went to the freezer to get one and the most expensive chicken I could find was marked $13.90. Just for kicks I went to the next freezer over to look at the turkeys eligible for this promotion. You can select a Shoprite or Shady Brook Turkey up to 21 lbs. I know Kosher meats/poultry cost more than non-Kosher meats/poultry but when you look at the price of the turkey (I grabbed a 19 lbs one) the retail was $29.17 - MORE THAN DOUBLE THE PRICE OF MY PUNY CHICKEN!


So with both birds in tow I headed to customer service. I showed the rep both and said it didn't seem fair. She didn't disagree with me but there was nothing she could do. I asked for a manager - she agreed with me too but policy is policy yada yada. I want to know why the $400 I spent at ShopRite is worth less that the $400 that everyone else spends. I said that I should be getting TWO roasting chickens, not one - she didn't go for that either. I mentioned that in years past they'd offered me a $15 gift card in lieu of the chicken so she obliged and gave me one (even though I had already been told by CS that they wouldn't be doing that this year). Figuring $15 was better than $13.90, I took it.

Bottom line - shame on you ShopRite. You need to re-think your promotion. 



ETA 11/21 - I wrote to ShopRite on Facebook and this is what they wrote me back:

"At ShopRite, we are committed to equitably serving all of our customers who choose to participate in this promotion. All customers who shop in our stores and spend $400 or more between Sunday, October 20 and Thursday, November 28 are eligible for $1.39 per pound off of their holiday turkey – frozen, fresh, Kosher, Halal, organic, ShopRite brand or name brand – it’s the customer’s choice.

For the customer purchasing a ShopRite frozen turkey (which retails for $1.39 per pound) the turkey is free (up to 21 pounds). Customers who prefer any other turkey including a fresh turkey, Butterball or Empire Kosher turkey receive the same $1.39 per pound off the total cost of their turkey.

We would like to assure you ShopRite is and always will be committed to serving our Jewish customers. Our support includes making a broad assortment of products available to meet your family’s needs and supporting non-profit organizations that serve the Jewish community. Please be assured your blog post has been shared with all appropriate departments throughout our company for consideration in planning future programs.

We appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts with us and hope you will continue to give us the opportunity to serve you as our customer."


Personally I think their response was a little canned and a little lame. 

So I wrote back the following - It's been 24 hrs and I have yet to get a response.

ShopRite thank you for your reply. I thought it was $1.49 off - not $1.39. But more importantly I don't think it's fair to spend $400 at ShopRite for the honor of PAYING $15-20 for a turkey...I'd rather you give me a smaller kosher turkey worth $30. That would be fair IMO. And did you see my picture? Did you see the difference in size between the chicken and the turkey? How is a chicken for $13.90 the same as a turkey for $29.17? Why is my $400 spent at ShopRite worth less then most people's?

I THINK IT'S TIME FOR A CALL TO ACTION!

Take a minute to send ShopRite a message on Facebook and Twitter - feel free to use my picture to illustrate the huge differential between what we get and what most people get. You can't post directly on their wall but you can reply to any of their posts. Let's get heard and maybe something will happen...
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Adventures in retail

Those of you who know me know that I don't do retail. It physically hurts me to pay full price. So when I got this postcard in the mail I knew I would have to brave the retail jungle...




Yep, you read it correctly :) If you offer me $50 to buy whatever I'd like in Nordstrom - I'm coming!

It seems they randomly select Nordstrom card holders for this promotion. All I had to do was schedule an appointment with a stylist and share my agenda. I told them I wanted to try on that Ted Baker dress I blogged about earlier, see if I could find matching earrings for my new Alexis Bittar bracelet and be informed about markdowns in the designer handbag/shoe departments. This time of year nothing is on sale in Nordstrom (yet) so I figured I should ask about a beauty stylist as $50 can buy me a few things in the beauty department. I've been hunting for an under eye concealer as well as the perfect red lip for some time now. Plus I had a $40 Nordstrom Note so I essential had $90 in free money to play with :)

My appointment wasn't until 1:30 so I had some time to kill that morning. After my regular trip to the Rack and a cute $6 necklace I headed to the mall.




First stop was H&M to check out Isabel Marant's collaboration and by the time I got there they were already dismantling the displays because there was next to nothing left. All I got to see was the window display. I did find one of the dresses I wanted to try on by the changing room but they only had a size 2 and that's just not going to happen.



My picks from this collection include a couple of her dresses (I'm a sucker for a pretty dress) and shoes (as always). I wasn't going to buy anything but I just wanted to see what they hype was all about. I'll wait patiently until they turn up in the thrift store :)




I decided to take a peek in Neiman Marcus to see what was going on as sale season is approaching. I checked out some dresses on a sale rack and then headed down to my favorite spot - designer shoes and bags :) Around 15 years ago I picked up a Balenciaga in Barneys NY and made the mistake of walking away. I've been thinking about it ever since. I decided to revisit the brand and see what I would get should I happen to win the lottery this week.




Very pretty but this lovely caught my eye on the neighboring display...



Say hello to the beautiful Givenchy aubergine Nightingale. If this baby ever magically gets a crazy markdown she's coming home with me :)

But then reality set in and I left empty handed.

After those unsuccessful missions I headed to Nordstrom to do a little scouting of my own. I headed to the dresses only to find that they don't carry Ted Baker at that location and then in the jewelry department all I found was Alexis Bittar's ugly lucite stuff (not a fan). I met my stylist in the designer handbag department and she was late so I had time to discover they had 20% several designers but nothing of interest. After exchanging contact info we headed to beauty to meet my beauty stylist. Luckily my pre-shop allowed me to focus in the beauty department where I planned to spend most of my time and free money anyway.

We started with under eye concealers. I wanted to try Cle De Peau (not available at that location, ugh) and Kevyn Aucoin as they were highly recommended. I have very sensitive skin/eyes so I have a hard time wearing eye makeup in general. I probably should have mentioned that to the stylist as after several attempts my eyes teared up and nearly swelled shut. Luckily I had already purchased Benefit's Erase Paste from Sephora the week before thanks to a generous online friend who shared her 20% VIB code with me - and so far it's the best I've found for color and coverage.




Next we decided to conquer the red lip. She brought me litany of lipsticks. I tried brands I'd never even heard of before. And then she brought me Guerlain's Rouge Automatic in Chamade...the most beautiful shade of PINK. And yes, it's the perfect rosy lip but it's in the same color family that I always buy. And yeah, I got it. The bullet pops up which is great - you don't have to worry about loosing the cap. However, I'm worried I'm going to snap it off when applying so I have to be more careful than I'm used to. For $35 a pop you'd think they'd come up with a better design.




After a few more attempts I gave up and grabbed my favorite concealer, Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage in SC-2. I discovered LM years ago when I had my adult acne problem and I found that this was the only concealer on the market that would perfectly cover the mess on my face. My skin has since cleared up thanks to Murad (amazing stuff!) but I still love me some Secret Camouflage for tiny imperfections.




I also grabbed a Nars Gypsy lipstick - it was my wedding lipstick. I remembered it being red but it's actually more berry.




I really did try to find something new but it's funny how one always gravitates to what they know.

We spent a few minutes in the perfume department to try to find a new sent. I took home a sample of Valentina by Velentino and it's very pretty but it does not last very long. It reminds of me of Michael Kors which used to be my signature fragrance. I have a feeling if I can't find something else soon I'll end up back with Michael LOL.




And then it was time to pick up the kiddies. Total cost for my day: $6

Not too shabby for a day of fashion and beauty :)

-Shoppinggal
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