Deal Divas

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

Everyday items that jazz up your seaside swagger

Want to look super chic at the beach this summer? Go Jackie-O with a scarf and big sunnies.

Pinterest

Want to look super chic at the beach this summer? Go Jackie-O with a scarf and big sunnies.

We've blogged a lot in recent weeks about getting beach ready: Sunscreen. Check! Immaculately-coiffed hair. Check! Choosing the perfect pair of shorts and slathering on even more sunscreen. Double check!

But what about a few unconventional ways to jazz up your seaside swagger?

Our friends over at local fashion, food and life blog The DoubleCLICKLife recently chronicled ways to re-purpose streetwear items that many of us already have in our closets into beachwear.

*Belts. Just as with regular clothes, they're great for adding interesting detailing to your favorite swimsuit. And many styles feature belts and buckles anyway, so why not add your own?

*Dare to be different and ditch the usual floppy hat for a long silky scarf. Very a la Carrie Bradshaw.

*Or, my personal favorite: Tantoos. Instead of heading to the ink parlor, use things like stencils, stickers or even photo negatives to create body art out of untanned areas of skin. Little commitment for lotsa cute!

Click here for even more beach fashion ideas, photos and how-tos. …

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Deal alert: Shoes 60 percent off at Payless

Don't let anyone step on your blue suede shoes, because that would be super rude. These are on sale for $14.

Payless

Don't let anyone step on your blue suede shoes, because that would be super rude. These are on sale for $14.

A little dollop of shoe love for you on this Tuesday (Wednesday, Jr! Which means the week is almost half over!): Payless clearance shoes are up to 60 percent off right now, which means you can snag these nifty blue suede shoes for $14, these mushroom-colored lace-up boots for $24.99 and these fancy silver laser-cut loafer for $11. Or perhaps all three?

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My Outfit Monday: Spending very little green for lots of green

The deep discounts at Dillards Clearance Outlet make me dance with joy! Click through the slideshow for deets on my accessories.

Jamaal McKnight/Studio 94 (Tampa)

The deep discounts at Dillards Clearance Outlet make me dance with joy! Click through the slideshow for deets on my accessories.

So, today I decided to take a page out of Deal Diva Keeley's book and go a little 2000-and-late.

Lately, I've really been feeling 2013's color of the year: Emerald green.

Fine, so the pieces I'm wearing aren't an exact match. But I'm happy to say that, in true Deal Diva fashion, I was able to score all this here green for very little green!

I'm sure you all remember when I was a bad Diva and kinda, sorta thought about holding back on the great deals I scored at Dillards Clearance Outlet at Tampa's University Mall?

This Marc New York by Andrew Marc shift dress is among finds from that great shopping spree of 2013. Originally $138, I took it home for a deep discount of $17.92.

It's quickly become one of my go-to professional dresses. I don't know if it's the color, the fit or what. But from work meetings to networking events and more, it's helped me exude the confidence I need to tackle anything. It's that rare dress that looks perfect with a blazer or without, with heels or flats. And that is enough to make even myself green with envy that I didn't discover it sooner!

Check out the slideshow for deets on my accessories. What'dya think: Is this outfit a deal buster or total color fluster? …

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Can you exercise your way into high heels?

I bought shoes like this (but in nude) from Shoedazzle a while ago, but never mastered the art of walking in them without almost tipping over.

via Shoedazzle

I bought shoes like this (but in nude) from Shoedazzle a while ago, but never mastered the art of walking in them without almost tipping over.

Last spring, I went out with some friends for a girls' night in downtown St. Pete. I wanted to feel fab so I threw caution to the wind and donned my highest heels. Then I thought, ehhhhh, maybe I shouldn't toss caution out that quickly and stuffed a slim pair of flats in my bag, just in case.

It was a good move because the heels lasted all of a block before I just couldn't take it anymore. I've worn heels maybe a handful of times since. Much as I love them, the idea of wearing them makes me feel tired and cranky just thinking about it.

Which is why I need to point out this post from Cosmo: 8 Easy Exercises to Strengthen and Stretch Your Way Into Any Pair of High Heels. Could it really be that easy? Can I just add these exercises to my work out and then be able to strut around like I'm in a never-ending episode of Top Model?

The training manager at some fancy New York City gym seems to think so, and who am I, couch connoisseur and habitual person-who-sits-a-lot to argue?


 

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Fab Friday: Michelle Bremer

Michelle elevates this summer's jumper trend to a new level by adding sky-high sky blue heels and gorgeous jewelry to the mix! Click through the slideshow for more fun looks. All photos taken at Schiller Salvage in Tampa.

(Tasia Hron for RunwayTranslator.com)

Michelle elevates this summer's jumper trend to a new level by adding sky-high sky blue heels and gorgeous jewelry to the mix! Click through the slideshow for more fun looks. All photos taken at Schiller Salvage in Tampa.

Happy Fourth! On today's installment of Fab Friday, we bring you blogger Michelle Bremer, who is helping us ring in the holiday with her own very fashionable blend of red, white and blue clothing pieces and accessories.

Michelle -- whom I first met at a Macy's fashion show hosted by the Deal Divas -- is a fixture at local runway events where she can often be found flitting about with a camera in hand, snapping photos for her blog Runway Translator. There, she has documented the local fashion scene and offered commentary on new trends, boutiques and more since 2011. All that expertise recently landed her a gig as a judge for the Eye on Fashion wardrobe stylists competition.

We'll let Michelle take it from here. But don't forget that you could be featured, too! Tweet us @DealDivas or email us at the addys to the right.

Name: Michelle Bremer

Age: 39

City: Tampa, Florida... born and raised

Blog: Runway Translator

Day Job: Personal Stylist and Social Media Strategist …

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July 4 weekend deals to light your fashion fireworks

Shopping shoes? On the 4th of July, anything goes. These beauties were snapped in 2012 for the Times by Daniel Wallace.

Shopping shoes? On the 4th of July, anything goes. These beauties were snapped in 2012 for the Times by Daniel Wallace.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm officially on mini-vacation in T-minus four hours, but I'm sporting a very patriotic outfit today, two days before our officially-sanctioned Independence Day of gaudiness and sparkle. I'm a festive burst of navy blue and white dots with red nails and lips, a regular Alex P. Keaton in a dress. Patriotism!

We know you're all gearing up to enjoy your long weekend, too. And if you're a regular around these parts, we know your long weekend plans probably include shopping. We found a handful of deals to get your holiday hauls started. Add any other good sales you know about in the comments or on Twitter @dealdivas. Have a safe and happy 4th, and for the love of Katy Perry, do not blow off any fingers this year.

To the sales!

Amazon’s membership-based brand name shopping site MyHabit offers an extra 20 percent off with the code FIREWORK. Check for reductions on Isabella Fiore, Jay Godfrey and Eva Franco, made in the U.S.A.! …

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Peek-a-boo midriffs -- trashy or kinda classy?

The outfit that jumpstarted today's conversation. Get this sweet look here: http://bit.ly/1xcBjA8

Express.

The outfit that jumpstarted today's conversation. Get this sweet look here: http://bit.ly/1xcBjA8

Let's talk about the barely-there midriff. No, not the bikini blouses that have roared back anew, much to the dismay of shy girls like me.

I mean outfits that reveal a thin band of skin between the shirt and skirt, and maybe a little more skin if you raise your arm for a stretch or a drink. Our fearless BFF Mindy Kaling wears them. Why can't we?

I've never tried on a peek-a-boo style, but it seems a little more safe than the Belly For Days alternative. A classy acknowledgement of the resurgence of belly shirts, but not an outright embrace.

On the other hand, is it really just more of the same, and we're too old or basic for that, and what am I even thinking? There's celeb-employed and there's normal-employed, and our wardrobe tricks are not interchangeable. Plus, like sweet and fun Mindy, there's the fear of raising that arm just a little too high, pulling the shirt into unflattering territory.

What do we do?

You tell me.

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Your new fall work wardrobe? It's handled.

The collection MUST include a hat, right? It'd just be wrong if it didn't.

Pinterest.com, pinned by Women's Health Magazine

The collection MUST include a hat, right? It'd just be wrong if it didn't.

Let me start this by admitting that I'm not fully caught up on the most recent season of Scandal. It just got to be too... much for me, and I haven't caught up yet (well, I haven't caught up on watching the episodes yet, but I'm fully caught up on where the season ended because I'm one of those horrible people that greedily searches out spoilers on the Internet before an episode even airs and then has to forcibly keep my mouth shut around spoiler-free people. I know, I'm the worst).

Even so, the news of a Scandal/The Limited 42-piece collection sounds preeeeeetty awesome. Check out more about it on Glamour and Women's Wear Daily, but basically Scandal AND The Limited AND Kerry Washington AND the show's costume designer have all teamed up to come up with the collection (you can see a couple sketches at both links, plus WWD has some examples of some of Olivia Pope's awesome looks from the show).

It comes out in stores and online in September, and the pieces will apparently start at $49, meaning most of them will be out of my price range but hey... it's never too early to keep an eye on when things go on sale, right?

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My Outfit Monday: 90s album cover

Revolve has been a handy place to meet all of my recent '90s-esque needs.

photos by Ren LaForme

Revolve has been a handy place to meet all of my recent '90s-esque needs.

I wore this to brunch a few weeks ago. It feels to me like something Monica would have worn in the early seasons of Friends, and since every Buzzfeed quiz I've ever taken on the subject has told me that I'm definitely a Monica, I figured it was appropriate. I was just a bit too young and too not yet into pop culture and fashion in the '90s to truly appreciate them while they were happening, so now that '90s fashion is officially vintage I find myself appreciating all its plaid and floral glory that much more.

I got the dress at Revolve for $14. The shoes, belt and purse are all from Target. The necklace is from The Trunk Stylists.

And of course my boyfriend took the pictures in front of the brick wall around the corner from Red Mesa Cantina (the location of the aforementioned brunch -- churros and hot chocolate; don't ask questions, just say yes) in downtown St. Pete because this dress just cries out to be worn on the cover of my melancholy guitar-based singer-songwriter album, which will naturally have a hit song that goes straight to the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack. …

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Summer Beauty Review: Maybelline foundation stick

No.

ulta.com

No.

What's that saying? If at first you don't succeed...?

Well guys, I didn't immediately succeed when I grabbed the Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Stick earlier this week. So, I tried again. And again. And again. 

Let's begin with my intentions. I'm traveling this week, and the good (great) news is that I've embraced the “pack light” mantra. A big part of that was trying to reduce the amount of liquids I'd be carrying on my carryon. That means being picky when it came to makeup. I don't feel like I've mastered powders yet, so I figured a solid foundation stick would be cool. 

And it was.

The Fit Me stick comes in a cool tube. It's two-tone look (the main gel foundation surrounds a powder center) is intriguing. It goes on smooth. You don't need a lot. And it won't require a trip to a fancy makeup store. I picked mine up from Walgreens afterall. 

But. 

It made me green. No seriously, it had a greenish tint when I put it on. It was so ridiculous that I laughed out loud. It was so ridiculous I didn't bother taking a picture. (Yes, it was that bad).  …

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Summer beauty review: Freeman's Blue Agave Hydrating Facial Paper Mask for dry skin

Fighting sun and age, one mask at a time.

freemanbeauty.com

Fighting sun and age, one mask at a time.

I've confessed before that when it comes to putting foreign substances on my face, I'm a wuss.

Part of it has to do with the fact that I have dry skin, and sometimes makeup or products other than petroleum jelly tend to bring on more zits than a high school prom.

To combat this, I've for years shunned putting harsh oil-stripping soaps on my face in favor of lightly scrubbing with a washcloth and warm water or Ponds cleansing towelettes. It appears to have worked. Aside from occasional dry patches, typically in my eyebrow and nose area, my skin has always been fairly smooth and blemish free.

But alas, I've already celebrated nine anniversaries of my 21st birthday and I live in the Sunshine State: The lil' old ladies at the makeup counter have warned me more than once that I'm well overdue to start taking skin care seriously.

So, divas, here we are today with my review of Freeman Beauty's Blue Agave Facial Hydrating Paper Mask and its promise to "transform skin from dry to dewy!" …

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Summer beauty review: Model in a Bottle makeup setting spray

Model in a Bottle setting spray

Via Model in a Bottle

Model in a Bottle setting spray

Florida summer scenario:

You sit in your cool, crisp, air-conditioned home carefully applying your makeup, the soft brush stroke of the blush brush dancing up and down your cheeks, the mascara wand carefully coating each lash to a perfect proportion, French music frolicking out of your iPod, not a care in this temperature-controlled world. You are perfect!

Then, you open the door. You step outside.

AND SUDDENLY YOUR FACE IS MELTING OFF LIKE THE FACE MELT SCENE IN INDIANA JONES RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK AHHHHHHH. Your makeup is sliding, your cheeks are full of thumb prints, your eyeliner is melding into the corners of the sweaty, puffy face holes where your eyes once were. You wonder, what is even the point? Why wear makeup if I'm only going to end up a tragic sweatmesss sweatface no one wants to look at? You decide to move to Nuuk, Greenland, temperature currently in the 40s. …

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Summer beauty review: IT Cosmetics lip gloss and bronzer

CC+ Lip Serum Color-Correcting Liquid Creme Gloss in "live."

Image via IT Cosmetics.

CC+ Lip Serum Color-Correcting Liquid Creme Gloss in "live."

I like to keep my beauty routine simple and fresh in summer while leaving some room for new product adventures -- beauty vacations, if you will.

My jaunt with IT Cosmetics, which sent us a couple products to review, was a nice one.

The IT stands for Innovative Technology, which means they emphasize ingredients and healthful benefits. It also gives them license to make their product names a lot more complicated. It's not lip gloss but CC+ Lip Serum Color-Correcting Liquid Creme Gloss. It's not bronzer, it's a "color correcting and anti-aging waterproof bronzing veil."

Lip serum

The lip serum is up first because I've used it the most. IT says it was developed with plastic surgeons and contains collagen and shea butter to improve your mouth. It comes in the shades "live," "love" and "laugh." While that might be a cute idea for a limited product line, if you're into that kind of L-L-L lifestyle approach, it really doesn't give anyone any sense of how it will look. …

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My Outfit Monday: Whatever's clean and closest wins

Hey it's me. Hey it's Monday. That is all.

Hey it's me. Hey it's Monday. That is all.

Sorry I'm late guys. I'm working the night shift tonight, and have been running errands all day. In fact, I'm not going to say I'm cranky or anything, but ... It's Monday. And not a fun, "I-have-so-much-joy-and-energy" kind of Monday, but a "Leaving-town-in-a=couple-days-must-get-everything-done-now" kind of Monday.

So yea. The name of the game today was finding something A) clean B) quick and c) presentable

How'd I do? Pretty sure you've seen all these pieces in one form or another. The blouse is breeze and has the best, most forgiving sleeves (Michelle Obama who?). And the skirt is neutral and fits me (that's what we call a "win-win" in busy-lady speak).

The shoes are comfortable. Can you see a pattern here? (Come on, I DID put a necklace on. Give me some credit for that. 

What else? Hmm. all done. Great. Gotta run!

--Signed, I'll be better next time...

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Summer beauty review: e.l.f. HD Blush

e.l.f. Studio HD Blush in Headliner. The color I bought is called Superstar.

e.l.f.

e.l.f. Studio HD Blush in Headliner. The color I bought is called Superstar.

Last week I admitted to taking a completely (un)necessary trip to Target where I discovered the wonderfully priced world of e.l.f. makeup. I'm back to report that the blush I bought is indeed worth every penny. Plus, if you recall, it was only $3. So yay on all fronts.

I bought it without knowing if I'd actually like the color or the whole concept of cream blush, but I'm happy to report it was indeed a sound purchase. I like wearing blush and usually just buy the powder kind because it's like a comfortable sweatshirt that I wear all the time and know how to pick the right color for. But I wanted something I could wear in the summer and not have it feel heavy or cakey or gross.

I got a color that's maybe a little more vibrant than what I'd usually go with, but that ended up being a good thing because it means I only need to use the teeniest dab of it to get a nice stain kind of thing going on without looking like I've got a ton of stuff weirdly caked on my face in million-degree weather, stretching out that $3 purchase as long as possible.

What are your summer beauty essentials? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter @dealdivas!

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