Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Shelley Rossetter, Kameel Stanley, Keeley Sheehan & Keyonna Summers

Stephanie's Desert Island Product: M.A.C. eyebrow pencil

My baby. M.A.C.'s eyebrow pencil, $16. Never leave me.

M.A.C.

My baby. M.A.C.'s eyebrow pencil, $16. Never leave me.

I feel like we keep doing this for Desert Island Week: "I WAS going to tell you about this, but instead..."

Here I go, too. We just love so many products, it's hard to choose! I was going to tell you how Retin A changed my life, freed me from having acne in my 30s, rebuilt my skin from the ground up leaving it clear and smooth. However, it's prescription and not readily available to everyone. And then I thought, "Maybe we can have a skincare week and I'll ramble on then!"

Plus, really, I CAN go without it. If for some reason, someone stripped the Retin A from my cold grip, I would not be thrilled, but I would be able to persevere. What I really can't go without is my M.A.C. eyebrow pencil. So let's talk about that. …

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Kameel's Desert Island Product: Clinique moisturizer

If I were stranded I'd want this with me: Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. Works like a dream.

Product shot from Sephora.com

If I were stranded I'd want this with me: Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. Works like a dream.

This morning I was joking with Deal Diva Katie that if I ever got stranded on a (hopefully) tropical island, all I'd really need was a hand saw.

I'd use it to crack open the coconuts, naturally. And not to drink the milk or eat the fruit, but for the oil -- which quite possibly may be the best thing in my beauty routine these days.

I'll have to tell you about my love affair with coconut oil some other day, because when I got back to my desk, I realized there was probably a different item better suited for this exercise: Clinique's "Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief."

Don't let the long name turn you off. This stuff is no joke and it WORKS. (It's also expensive as heck, but we'll get to that later.)

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Keeley's Desert Island Product: Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara

Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara, snagged for about $5 at Target.

iPhone pic

Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara, snagged for about $5 at Target.

I have a theory about Lost. It does not involve lotto numbers, monsters or semi-parallel-next-door universes. I haven’t actually seen much Lost, but my boyfriend recently binge-watched it on Netflix and I was near the living room for some of it, so I picked up a plot point or two.

One of the things that stuck out to me the most was the fact that all the women on the island always looked awesome no matter what. Even dirt-smudged with gross island goo, they still had perfect eyebrows and their hair was always more beachy waves than tangled mess.

So my theory. I think there was an episode that involved the blonde con man hording useful supplies found in suitcases. They probably had the same thing going on with beauty supplies from abandoned luggage.

If I’d been on Lost I think I would have done okay for myself setting up a buy-sell-trade beauty supplies station under a palm tree or something. I would, however, horde my favorite mascara all for myself – Rimmel Scandaleyes. …

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Our Outfit Monday: All Business at Birchwood

All of us on the rooftop at Birchwood, photo by a nice lady whose name we do not know. Thanks, miss!

All of us on the rooftop at Birchwood, photo by a nice lady whose name we do not know. Thanks, miss!

Happy My Outfit Monday!

Last week, the Divas got together for a very intense, high-stakes business meeting at the Canopy at the Birchwood, the rooftop bar overlooking the water in St. Petersburg. Over elderflower cocktails, we discussed ways to make the blog better, more engaged, and threw around some new features we hope to introduce, including more themed weeks. More on that in a minute.

First, our outfits! …

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In search of perfect brows

These are not my eyebrows, but they do look expertly done.

istockphoto.com

These are not my eyebrows, but they do look expertly done.

Do you ever look in the mirror and realize with horror that there are two caterpillars crawling across your forehead? It's like one day your eyebrows are totally fine, shaped just the way you like them and then BAM! they are out of control.

I had one of those realizations the other day and needed a fix fast.

Tweezing was an option. But, besides cleaning up a few strays, my brows also needed some shape, something I'm not comfortable doing myself. I fear I'll get too zealous and be left with nothing.

The option of threading has been off the table since a painful experience a year ago. Some people swear by the ancient method of hair removal that uses strings to pluck several hairs at a time. But, I'm apparently too big of a wimp -- I cried the entire session.

That leaves waxing. But, where to go?

Sure, you can get your eyebrows waxed at the hair or nail salon, but I wanted to try something new. Ulta's Benefit Brow Bar seemed to fit the bill

Housed in select Ultas (including the Brandon and Clearwater locations), the Benefit Brow Bar is staffed by professionals trained in the art of eyebrow shaping. At least, that's what the website says. …

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Try this look now: green eyeshadow

This spring, go green.

This spring, go green.

Confession #1: I've always been a little in awe of women who rock really bold eye makeup.

Confession #2: I'm almost always not that girl.

Are you thinking yet, Well then why am I staring at a picture of you with green eye shadow? Settle down, I'm getting there.

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Kate Moss for Topshop for Nordstrom debuts this month

Kate Moss for Topshop for Nordstrom

Via Nordstrom

Kate Moss for Topshop for Nordstrom

I'm an avid oggler of 1990s supermodels (in a fashion way, not in a creepy way). I love the glamour, the devil-may-care attitude of Naomi Campbell throwing cell phones at people, the unashamed lips of Christy Turlington, the snobby snootery of Linda Evangelista. It all spoke to a very gold chain, Versace time in our sartorial history. Kate Moss was always there on the fringes being alt, but I was never a huge fan in the same way. She was not a glamazon, but rather, a waif, a dressed-down girl in jeans and Converse. But lately, when I scan through Pinterest, I am totally drawn to her rumpled aesthetic. Maybe I'm just older, but there's something cool and accessible about Miss Moss, and she's landed on my People pin board more than once.

So maybe I'll also like her new collection for Nordstrom, too. It's in the store's Topshop collection (this is a lot of layers -- Kate Moss for Topshop for Nordstrom). Per the press release: …

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Rent the Runway: Temporary glamour at a realistic price

CLICK FOR SLIDE SHOW | Oh, this dress? NBD, it's just a $1,000 Badgley Mischka dress (that I rented for $30).

Photo via Rent the Runway.

CLICK FOR SLIDE SHOW | Oh, this dress? NBD, it's just a $1,000 Badgley Mischka dress (that I rented for $30).

My group trip to Vegas was months in the works, giving me plenty of time to shop for good deals on going-out dresses. Even better, I got a complimentary checked bag on the flight there, so I arrived with a roller stuffed with seven dresses. I wanted to be prepared for anything.

This isn't the story of how my final-sale finds from Piperlime and Express served me well in Sin City. It's about how I abandoned them for the allure of temporary designer glamour and have zero regrets.

My friend Ileana (of hair-tuck tryout fame) wasn't finding what she wanted to wear in Vegas in stores around Tampa Bay. She decided to reserve a flashy silver dress from a Rent the Runway boutique in Las Vegas.

Rent the Runway, as you may know, is an online store that allows customers to borrow designer dresses for a sliver of the cost. Normally, you pick out what you want from the store and they ship a dress to you in your size (plus a size above or below it, just in case). Vegas and New York City are the only places with stores.

The four girls of our trip decided to join her in picking up the dress. We figured, hey, maybe we'll try on some dresses too, just for fun, it'll be silly. Sure. …

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Our Outfit Monday: Deal Divas and BonBon Rose Girl take on Macy's

Katie, Stephanie, Keyonna and Kameel ready to go backstage at Macy's in Westfield Countryside!

Katie, Stephanie, Keyonna and Kameel ready to go backstage at Macy's in Westfield Countryside!

A funny thing happened while we were getting ready to host our latest Macy's fashion show.

I elected to wear a breezy shorts jumper, and Katie and I were discussing how I should wear my hair with it. I got that crazed look in my eye, as if I had just eaten a handful of espresso beans, and exclaimed "A BIG BUN!" Katie got that look in her eye, that look of reason and sense, and said, "Maybe just do something more simple." I relented.

On Saturday, when I sat in the hair chair, I kept my mouth shut. I showed the nice Aveda stylists my jumper, and immediately they were both like, "A BUN!" And so commenced the largest Kardashian bun of my life. Yes, it was all my hair -- a giant teased ponytail twisted in a coil and messily pinned. And I loved it. Katie did, too.

We had yet another successful fashion show, this time at a new mall, Westfield Countryside. We had a blast hosting with Kristin Swenson of BonBon Rose Girls, who is always such a fun, down to Earth gal to hang out with. Kristin wore head to toe Michael Kors, including a hot jumpsuit (jumpsuits all summer long!) and snake print heels. …

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Why say it with words when you can say it with Karl Lagerfeld?

Just one of the many thoughtful messages you can create.

emotiKarl/iPhone

Just one of the many thoughtful messages you can create.

You know how some apps are super useful? Like the ones where you can do your banking straight from your phone, or go thrifting without leaving the house, or keep your various to-do lists organized?

emotiKarl is not one of those apps. But it's fun!

You can type out messages using lots of little Karl Lagerfeld faces (or with little icons of the designer/artist/photographer/Pippa Middleton shade thrower's sunglasses), and his cat's face, of course, because Internet, etc. You can save the messages like images and text them, tweet them, Instagram them, Facebook them... you get the idea.

And who knows, maybe it can be useful. Let's say your friend sends you a picture of, I don't know, the denim overalls, neon orange turtleneck and socks-and-sandals combo they plan on wearing. They'd like your opinion. You're not feeling it, but you don't want to seem rude, so just send a sad face Karl. Let him break it to them.

In case you're feeling inspired, emotiKarl is free in the app store (as it should be).

 

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The skort that got away

Nasty Gal's Courted Skort in gingham is the same shape and style as the skort I fell for at TJ Maxx but I'm not really into the pattern. It's on sale for $29.

Nastygal.com

Nasty Gal's Courted Skort in gingham is the same shape and style as the skort I fell for at TJ Maxx but I'm not really into the pattern. It's on sale for $29.

While shopping at TJ Maxx recently, I came across a blue asymmetrical skort.

My first reaction was to question whether adults are allowed to wear skorts. My second was to try it on. I mean, what's not to like? There's freedom in wearing shorts but a ladylike appeal to a skirt. Combining both seems genious.

I remember wearing them in my youth. In fact, I wore a skort for my senior portraits, a light tan corduroy pair that blended with the sand on the beach.

Sadly, the blue pair didn't fit. I liked them so much, though, that I played that mind game where you try to rationalize purchasing something totally wrong for you anyway.

I'll lose a few pounds, they're not that tight, that seam probably won't rip right down the back when I bend down.

But, I resisted and put them back on the shelf.

Now, days later, I'm still imagining outfits I could have created with them. And I'm on the search. I have yet to find a suitable comparison but the internet is vast so there is still hope.

I know I'm not alone. What item do you regret not buying or finding in your size? What got away?

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Deal Divas hosting free spring fashion show at Macy's Saturday!

Lil' floating Deal Diva heads on the event poster.

Via Macy's

Lil' floating Deal Diva heads on the event poster.

You knew it was only a matter of time before you stumbled into Macy's on a Saturday to pick up a pair of leggings and saw our festive faces staring back at you, announcing trends into microphones. Friends, that time is upon us.

The Times Deal Divas are BACK, live and in person, hosting another fabulous fashion show this weekend at Macy's. This time, we're taking the show on the road to Westfield Countryside, 7001 US Highway 19 in Clearwater. The fun starts at 2 p.m. on the second floor in the Impulse department.

Making things even sweeter, we're hosting this show with our fashiony friend Kristin Swenson from BonBon Rose Girls (follow this awesome blog if you don't already). We can't wait to induct her into our Macy's backstage hijinks, slathering on eye shadow while we practice saying "PALAZZO PANTS" without popping our p's. Relive our past Macy's shows here and here. …

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Today's question: You found $200. Do you splurge?

This banana scarf dress by Clover Canyon, Deal Diva Shelley's latest clothing obsession, is everything. And $172, so, everything but ours unless money pile appears.

Photo via Revolve Clothing.

This banana scarf dress by Clover Canyon, Deal Diva Shelley's latest clothing obsession, is everything. And $172, so, everything but ours unless money pile appears.

A hypothetical money pile is on the ground. It didn't fall out of anyone's wallet. There's no one frantically searching for it in the park who is likely to say "bless your heart" for returning it.

It just appeared. For you. Now are you going to splurge on something or what?

I started thinking about this question when I spied a gorgeous rose gold Michael Kors watch with a cobalt blue face for $195. I would never buy a watch for that price. One, I don't wear watches. And two, the colors are trendy now but bound to go out of style, making it hard to write off as a classic buy I will have forever (not that we do that, no, never).

Still... If I just happened upon the money I needed to buy it, and I wasn't allowed to consider saving it or donating it or doing anything other than splurging, I'd totally go for it. 

What would you buy?

I was telling Stephanie about my idea for this blog, and she said, "That is so weird. I am preparing to buy a Michael Kors watch." I jumped to some conclusions and said some not-nice things, thinking she was going after the one thing I want. Good news! It turns out she has a gift card and is only eyeing a similar style. Phew. …

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My Outfit Monday: Making sneakers work

Me, my mirror and my selfie skills.

iPhone pics

Me, my mirror and my selfie skills.

Sometimes it's all about the shoes.

This is an outfit from a week or so ago. I'm working the late-ish shift now, so I've found that looking more or less pulled together but also being comfy is a must, because I'm not naturally a night owl, and when I'm going into work late in the day and walking out of the office at 11 p.m., I just can't bring myself to do the pencil skirt thing.

I scooped up these shoes at Target on sale for about $14. Admittedly, they're just sneakers, nothing special. But I like the simple black and white, with no logos. I've been starting with the shoes and building around them what I think are nice, simple looks with cords or dark jeans that look appropriate enough for work. …

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Friday style inspiration from Instagram

Mindy Kaling (mindykaling) is not afraid to wear bright colors and bold patterns, making her one of my favorite Hollywood fashion follows on Instagram.

Instagram

Mindy Kaling (mindykaling) is not afraid to wear bright colors and bold patterns, making her one of my favorite Hollywood fashion follows on Instagram.

Though we'd love to take credit for it, the Deal Divas are not the first to discover the flattering effect a good Instagram filter can have an on an outfit of the day. Celebs, too, are using the social media platform to share their favorite designers, latest styles and looks.

Sure, celebrities often get their clothes loaned or gifted to them by some of the world's top designers. But, just because we can't afford to duplicate the looks doesn't mean we can't follow along for a little style inspiration.

Check out the photo gallery above for a look at a few of my favorite celeb style Instagram accounts and feel free to chime in with suggestions of your own.

Bonus tip: If you want to discover a few non-celeb fashionistas to follow on Instagram, search #ootd.

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