Deal Divas

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

Deal Divas live-tweeting Oscar red carpet Sunday

THESE TWO. I mean, really.

AP

THESE TWO. I mean, really.

Oh, heyyyyyyy, celebrity best friends Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis. What are you doing here? Just being famous and really good looking and super cool at the Oscars last year? Oh, right, yeah.

If you've been reading the blog this week, you know the Academy Awards are Sunday. And if you've been reading the blog for any length of time, you know it's our favorite night of the year.

The Deal Divas will be live-tweeting the red carpet starting at 6 p.m. Sunday from our account at @dealdivas, so make sure to follow us and join in the conversation. We've been known to RT a hilarious reader observation or 20. Next week, we'll have a fashion recap, but really, don't you want to be there live when Seacrest inevitably asks Amy Adams some awkward question about her two-sided chest tape? Don't you want to witness the sheer torture that is E!'s mani-cam IN REAL TIME? Dont' you want to see Tara and Johnny wearing coordinated feather ball gowns? I know I do.

For the scoop on the rest of the Times Oscar coverage, check out this handy guide from Michelle Stark. See you on the internet at 6 p.m. Sunday!

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BB Cream for your body

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream promises to instantly illuminate and moisturize while firming, evening and correcting after five days of use. While it may not have perfected my skin, I did notice improvement.

Jergens

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream promises to instantly illuminate and moisturize while firming, evening and correcting after five days of use. While it may not have perfected my skin, I did notice improvement.

I am a pale gal. And not that coveted alabaster white Nicole Kidman version. More like a see-through, freckle in the sun, bruise easily, almost sickly looking pale that exposes every flaw from blemishes to broken capillaries.

I may sound bitter, and maybe in my teens I was. But, as I've aged, I've learned to embrace my Irish roots and slather sunscreen on at the mere suggestion of sun.

But, still, I often find myself looking for the next best sunless tanning lotion or tone-evening moisturizer to try. 

That search recently led me to Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream. Available at Target and drug stores for about $12 a tube, the lotion promises to hydrate and illuminate instantly while evening, firming and correcting within five days of use. It comes in two color levels: All Light Skin Tones for me and All Medium Skin Tones for the rest of civilization.

And I'm here to say, that while my skin is definitely not perfected, I have noticed visible results. The best way to describe it is that my flaws, while not erased, have at least been blurred.

It's almost as if I've applied a flattering Instagram filter. And, really, isn't that how we all want to look in real life? …

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Our BFFs Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir take on Oscar red carpet

Tara and Johnny, looking super great per ushe.

TaraAndJohnny Instagram.

Tara and Johnny, looking super great per ushe.

We didn't need another reason to watch and tweet about the Oscars this Sunday, but this one will do just fine.

What I'm really trying to say is Squeeeeee! Fresh off the plane from Sochi, America's fiercest color commentary duo, figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, are bringing their chemistry to the red carpet for Access Hollywood on NBC.

Fans of the pair's joint Instagram account (Shoe and purse videos! Spooning in sweaters! Parking lot dancing and dramatic ice dancing at breakfast buffet! Bathtub dispatches! Teaming with Wille Geist!) should be pleased. 

I'm hopeful they won't dial down their energy for the awards show. Too many red-carpet hosts ask predictable questions that don't invite the stars to be personable and unscripted. What comes out of Johnny's mouth is often unpredictable and greatly entertaining, and Tara feeds off of it. See:

Johnny in The New York Times: "Tara and I take our work seriously. She's my work wife. And she's a slave driver, so we sit up and study until she's satisfied." …

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My Outfit Monday: Blue, magenta and the mighty midi

Midis 4 Life! (Click the slideshow for more blue and magenta goodness).

Laura C. Morel | Times

Midis 4 Life! (Click the slideshow for more blue and magenta goodness).

As you've probably guessed by the late timing of this post, I'm already at home. The PJs are on, the vegging has commenced.

It was a long work day and there was no time for pictures. Which makes me feel bad. So to make up for it, how about I do you one better and give you a twofer My Outfit Monday post!

When I first joined Deal Divas, I mentioned the need to expand my wardrobe's color palette. Update: I've been putting in #werk, yall!

Blue has always been one of my favorite colors. And, despite my initial aversion to most things in the red family, I've really been feeling burgundy, oxblood and especially magenta lately. From shoes to jewelry and even jeans, I've been rocking reddish-purple with pride.

The first outfit in the slideshow features a business casual office look that I think could also cross over into weekend wear. Loyal Deal Diva readers have seen my navy jacket (Crystal Expressions and Drew Street Bargain Resale in Clearwater), white blouse (Urban Outfitters) and magenta jeweled flats (Nine West via DSW) before. …

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Look inside the $80,000 gift bag for Oscar's 'losers'

A look at  the Distinctive Assets gift bag for the poor losers.

Photo by Gizaraarts.com

A look at the Distinctive Assets gift bag for the poor losers.

Think back to a time you lost a contest, and then think about what happened immediately after. I'll go first. One time, I lost a part in a school play and spent 4th period crying in a restroom stall while other girls stood on the toilets to smoke. By 5th period, I realized the intrinsic reward in defeat and carried on.

It's the same kind of thing when you're a celebrity. It's just a really humble world full of realistic expectations and results, of spirited competition based in gratitude for just being considered, of really just appreciating the simple HAHAHA OH, WAIT, NO IT'S NOT.

The "unlucky" luminaries who lose their Academy Award to someone else Sunday will walk away with gift bags valued at $80,000 each. That's not a misprint. It includes everything from vacations to shoes to pepper spray to condoms. Luxury ones, of course. …

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25 percent off online at Old Navy today

Skinny jeans, originally $29.50, on sale for $19.

Old Navy

Skinny jeans, originally $29.50, on sale for $19.

I saw a commercial yesterday for a deal Old Navy had going on where you could get $5 off for going into the store and trying on jeans. Of course (of course!) it was only for the weekend so by the time I saw the ad on Sunday, it was too late. Boo.

But a quick gander at the Old Navy website shows they've still got good deals on jeans going on, lots of them for $19. You can also save more (25 percent!) online, today only, with the code SAVEMORE. And as always, the other sales are worth a look: dresses starting at $15, tops starting at $10, etc.

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Summer shoe trends

I can actually picture walking in these chunky blue heels from Zara. Available for $59.90, the metallic ankle strap adds a bit of glamour.

Zara

I can actually picture walking in these chunky blue heels from Zara. Available for $59.90, the metallic ankle strap adds a bit of glamour.

I think I've bought and worn more boots this winter than any since moving to Florida nearly nine years ago.

Now, I'm not complaining. I love boots. And, really, we don't have it that bad. I've seen the photos and heard the stories of the never ending frigid snow storms up-north this year. From the look of it, boot season has another month or two to go in most places of the country.

But, here in Florida, it appears that the time for boots may be over.

And, so I say, REJOICE, for sandal season is upon us!

Except, a quick look at my summer shoe collection this week revealed scuffed heels, threading gladiator sandals and straps worn thin.

So, I took to the internet and discovered a few Spring/Summer shoe trends in the process. Details and examples are in the photo slideshow. But, here's some hints: color blocking, chunky heels, lots of straps. And, as always, if you can stand to wait a few weeks, these newest trends will be on sale soon.

What shoe style do you want to get your hands on this summer?

 

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Bring old jeans to J. Crew, save 15%

Part ways with your old jeans and allow them to insulate someone's house.

Stock image.

Part ways with your old jeans and allow them to insulate someone's house.

Here's some good news about your busted jeans.

When your hems turn ratty and your belt loops bust open, you don't have to throw your jeans away or live with them. Now through March 3, take them to J. Crew at International Plaza.

The store will take 15 percent off your purchase and send them on to a good cause.

J. Crew is partnering with Blue Jeans Go Green, an organization that recycles jeans into a special kind of insulation. Denim collected by Blue Jeans Go Green has been sent to Habitat for Humanity groups. Here's a FAQ for more info about the process.

Update: While we're on the subject of J. Crew, the store is offering 40 percent off final sale items now through Tuesday. Use code BIG40 for purchases in stores or online.

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Ann Inc. offers mentorship, money to young community leaders

Ann Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, is offering grants to teen girls who want to make a positive contribution to their community.

Times files via Bloomberg News

Ann Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, is offering grants to teen girls who want to make a positive contribution to their community.

What happens when you break out a new outfit? If you're anything like me, you feel confident. Powerful. Ready to take on the world!

Well, one clothing company is extending its reach beyond clothing and into the community, by offering teen girls with a strong penchant for service the chance to attend a leadership summit aimed at empowering them to bring about positive change in their communities.

Ann Inc. (the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT) has partnered with Vital Voices on "ANNpower," a three-day leadership training for 50 girls in grades 10 and 11. At the end, participants are eligible for $2,500 grants to help turn their community project ideas into action.

Think you have what it takes? In addition to leadership and problem-solving skills, qualified candidates must be academically successful and involved in extracurricular activities.

The winning teens will travel in mid-June to Washington, D.C. to network, learn leadership skills and - perhaps most important - soak up on knowledge, advice and some serious girl power offered by Ann Inc. executives (such as president/CEO Kay Krill) and other female mentors from the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network. …

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Local girls hit the runway for Fashion Funds the Cure

Taylor Burton takes the spotlight as her escort, then-Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, kneels at last year’s 10th annual Veredus Fashion Funds the Cure show. Taylor was battling leukemia and decided to flaunt her baldness. DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Taylor Burton takes the spotlight as her escort, then-Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, kneels at last year’s 10th annual Veredus Fashion Funds the Cure show. Taylor was battling leukemia and decided to flaunt her baldness. DANIEL WALLACE | Times

The runway is set for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's 11th annual Fashion Funds the Cure this Saturday. The runway show will feature about a dozen local girls who are all battling cancer. They'll be escorted by local celebrities, and Carson Kressley (Dancing With the Stars, How to Look Good Naked, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, general awesomeness, etc.) will host.

One of the girls in the show is 15-year-old Taylor Burton, a Riverview High School student. It's her second time walking in the show (check out the ah-MAZING photo of her above, from last year's show). She was diagnosed with leukemia about two years ago. She was at the Day of Pampering they had at Neiman Marcus a couple weeks ago, when the girls picked outfits for the show. She used to have shoulder length hair, she said, but when it all started to come out from chemo, she decided not to wear a wig because she decided she looked pretty darn good.

Taylor's words of wisdom: "If you go bald, you should flaunt what you have."

She wants to be a model, and also hopes to someday start her own non profit to help others battling cancer. You can read more about her story here. …

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$6 suits? Yep. Dress for Success Excess Inventory Sale is this weekend!

Dress for Success

On my first day as a personal shopper at Dress for Success Tampa Bay, I was nervous. My first client was nervous, too, though, so it made me feel better, like we were going to make it work together.

She talked quietly, slumped, seeming much smaller than she was. We walked together around the shop, and she shared some of the horrible things that had happened to her in a relationship, the fallout. She had lost power in her life.

She had job interview prospects lined up and needed a little help. I remembered a crisp black pants combo hanging near the back, and could picture her in it. We decided she should try it, and when she yanked back the dressing room curtain with a hand on her hip, her shoulders were back. She was smiling, but with a kind of fire in her eyes. Her body language was completely different. No more nerves, but rather, the opposite.

"I feel powerful," she said. …

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My Outfit Monday: Sister act

My accessories. The earrings were a party favor from a friend's bridal shower a few summers ago. The bracelets are my go-to from H&M. The necklace is from Lulu's. The nail polish is Pure Ice in Peony.

Picstitch

My accessories. The earrings were a party favor from a friend's bridal shower a few summers ago. The bracelets are my go-to from H&M. The necklace is from Lulu's. The nail polish is Pure Ice in Peony.

I've got a double dose of diva-ness for My Outfit Monday today. Since my mom and sister are visiting from Western New York, where it has been approximately minus one million degrees since November, I'll be doing the touristy beach thing with them today, so I'm showing you what I wore to take them to brunch at Ciccio's in St. Pete yesterday.

The jeans are from T.J. Maxx. They were about $12 so I got two pairs. I also have them in orange. They aren't the most perfectly fitting jeans I've ever found, but they're pretty comfortable. The top is from H&M. The leopard flats and purse are from Target.

Bonus! That's my sister Stephanie in the picture, too (she's the one who really likes purple, obvi). Her dress is from Delia's. The sweater is probably from the Bon-Ton, a mostly-up-north Sears-like department store. The shoes are from Payless.

So the dress. My sister tells me it was about $20 online, but she wanted to try it on first so she went to the store. She found it on the sale rack despite the store clerks telling her they didn't have it in. It was $10 on the rack, $5 at the register. BAM. Proud diva/sister. …

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Get paid to clean your closet

From the Times photo archives: Brittanie Dede, 16, of New Port Richey, center, squeezes into a size 2 dress while shopping on Thursday at Plato's Closet in Palm Harbor with friends Adrianna Jardell, 16, of New Port Richey, left, and Kelsey Belloise, 16, of Holiday, right. Dede was given $65.05 at the shop for a dozen tops and jeans, which included Abercrombie and Hollister brand names. - Plato's Closet is a unusual retail chain that buys teens' old desginer name clothes for cash and resells them as used at a fraction of the original cost.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD (2008)

From the Times photo archives: Brittanie Dede, 16, of New Port Richey, center, squeezes into a size 2 dress while shopping on Thursday at Plato's Closet in Palm Harbor with friends Adrianna Jardell, 16, of New Port Richey, left, and Kelsey Belloise, 16, of Holiday, right. Dede was given $65.05 at the shop for a dozen tops and jeans, which included Abercrombie and Hollister brand names. - Plato's Closet is a unusual retail chain that buys teens' old desginer name clothes for cash and resells them as used at a fraction of the original cost.

I recently spent an entire day cleaning my closet.

No, it was not particularly fun. But I was determined to try on each and every peice and really think about whether I needed that dress I only wore that one time then hated when I saw photos of myself in it (spoiler alert: I kept it. I have to give it one more chance to shine).

What I ended up with when the hours long ordeal was over: several garbage bags brimming with gently used items.

My first thought was to take them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill and hope someone else could enjoy the jeans that no longer fit me.

But, then I was like, wait, I paid good money for those jeans I only wore twice before realizing they did nothing for my behind and those cute boots that pinched my toes. Maybe, there's a way I can earn some of it back.

Enter Plato's Closet. The resale store has locations across Tampa Bay and buys gently used clothing in current styles and then sells the clothes to people looking for a good deal. …

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HOT MAN TREND: Lapel brooches

A Lanvin flower pin. Wouldn't this be so charming on a suit? We think so.

Farfetch.com

A Lanvin flower pin. Wouldn't this be so charming on a suit? We think so.

Man trend alert!

During the last two awards shows I attended (read: live-tweeted from the couch with an obliterated plate of Chinese delivery), I noticed a jewelry trend forming on the celebrity man-folk among us.

Brooches! Bro-ches? Guys like Usher, LL Cool J and Miguel sported, with nary a shred of male pattern insecurity in sight, delightful jewelry on the lapels of their tuxedos.

And why not? Going back through history, brooches were extremely masculine both as functional clasps and decorations for the likes of vikings. Nowadays, they're a nice accent to the male repertoire of pocket squares and neckties.

Guidelines for bro-ches? I think it depends on the person. If you're the type of guy to wear multi-colored argyle socks and pink sweaters, a blinged-out brooch wouldn't be weird at all. But if you're a more buttoned-up business type, maybe stick to something in a matte finish. Opt for geometric shapes or a petite flower cut from traditionally masculine textiles like tweed. Or, go with something that reflects your life and hobby. Pilot? How about an airplane? Hospital administrator? How about, uh... a stack of paperwork? …

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Someone wants us to just #settledown with the nail art, ok?

Are neutral nails making a comeback? Fashion designers seem to think so

iStockphoto | Times files

Are neutral nails making a comeback? Fashion designers seem to think so

If you've read this blog for longer than a week, you know we sometimes go ga-ga for our nail art. We like to experiment. We like pretty colors and patterns.We even like it to smell good.

So, I was a little thrown when I saw this story in celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe's online newsletter. Click to read yourself, but the headline sums it up nicely: "Understated Nails Are Fall's Biggest Trend."

Hold up. Rewind. Say what?

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