Attn: Shorties! Perfect + Affordable Skinny Jeans.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

For years I have been on a continuous hunt for the perfect pair of skinny jeans.  Skinny jeans are my favorite type to wear.  Here is my definition of perfect skinny jeans:
  1. truly skinny and stays skinny all day, everyday.
  2. must have stretch (baggy butt syndrome is the worst thing to experience mid day).
  3. something I can buy off the shelf and wear right away without alterations.
  4. will fit my butt, hips and thighs but won't effect the skinniness of the rest of the leg.
  5. nothing low rise or super low rise...I am not 16.
About me: I am 5'1" and have issues with skinny jeans because sometimes when a pair of jeans fit me at the waist they don't fit right on my short, stumpy legs.  And vice versa.  I'm always looking for something that can accommodate the fact that I'm not a stick the whole way down. 

If you are like me and have this same problem, then this might be of help (unless you already tried these and hated them)!  I am in love with these BDG Grazer Cigarette jeans from Urban Outfitters.  They are simply perfect from top to bottom.  I can wear them a whole day and they will look exactly how they did when I first put them on.  They have a lot of stretch in them but still look and feel more like jeans than jeggings.  The mid-rise works because I hate low rise and most high rise jeans don't work for me and my non-existent torso.  When shopping for these, make sure you look for the word "grazer" in the style name since they also have "ankle" styles but I can't really vouch for the fit of those.

Here are some simple outfits that I put together showing how versatile and awesome these jeans are. I have them in Smokestack and True Indigo but am probably going to pick up a pair in black.  To top things off, I've also included my new favorite bag that I've been sporting lately :)

top: Velvet for Uniqlo, shoes: Madewell sunset sandals
bag: Alexander Wang Rocco

 Shoes: Urban Outfitters

The reason why I'm sharing this now is because from now until September 6th, all jeans at Urban Outfitters are on sale for $39 in store and online.  The grazers are retailed for $54.  And if you use discount code FALLFORIT, you'll get free shipping with no minimum purchase amount.  Enjoy!

What's On My Nails? OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous

Friday, August 27, 2010

I said to myself that I wouldn't get anything from the new OPI Swiss line because overall, that collection didn't seem that special to me. The shimmery colors in the Swiss line were okay, and the opaque colors were quite dupe-able so I was like, "PASS"!

I saw the Swiss collection today in person, still not that impressed, but I noticed something special in Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous.  It was a toss up between this and Glitzerland.  I think I made the right decision. Lucerne is pure gunmetal goodness with a slight green tint and micro sparkles galore!  This color is so fabulous and yes, I've been loving a lot of colors lately, that's how it goes. This is sort of an understated glitzy color that doesn't feel too young either.  And it looks amazing even under the dimmest lights.  Futuristic nails are so now. Did I really just say that?

Application kind of sucked a bit at first, but got better during the second coat.  So what you see here is two coats.  Not bad OPI, not bad at all. 

Oh, and I apologize for:
  1. crappy cuticles
  2. crappy photo quality (I'm getting a new camera soon.)

Review: GrandeLash-MD Lash Conditioner

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lash boosting serums and conditioners are all the rage right now - from the popular Talika to drugstore brands like L'Oreal hopping on the bandwagon.  The unfortunate truth is that there is no miracle product for growing out lashes that will look like a pair of crazy falsies.  The purpose of these are to keep your lashes at the thickest they can be without being frail and eventually breaking, while also increasing growth.

I had the opportunity to review a new lash product on the market called GrandeLash-MD as a Guest Blogger for Beauty Debutante.   

Read about my experience with this product here! 

Enjoy the embarrassingly creepy close-up photos of my eyes! That's the first time I ever had to do that.  Eek.

FTC Disclaimer: I received this product sent for consideration by the company.  My opinions and thoughts on this product are my own.

Count Me In For IFB's Evolving Influence Conference!

Today I bought my ticket for Independent Fashion Bloggers' Evolving Influence Conference on September 9th!  I'm really excited - it is my first blogger conference after all. While I love my site/blog and writing in general as a hobby, I think that this event will help me learn to take that love to the next level.  The panels are fronted by various fashion favs from the interwebz like The Cut, Style Bubble, Bryanboy,, Cupcakes and Cashmere, etc.  The topics for the panels are related to making the most of your site, good content and gaining dedicated readers - perfect for budding bloggers like myself. 

It's an all day event (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and I definitely plan on going for the whole day!  I will probably be heading to this by myself because as of right now I don't know anyone else who is going.  But if you are a blogger that is attending, feel free to get in touch! 

The Sally Hansen Giveaway Winner Is...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Congrats to Kathryn for winning this stylish duo from the new Limited Edition Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear line!  Kathryn won a bottle of Mystic Lilac and one of Purple Gala.  Here's to a purple-filled autumn season!  Thank you all for entering, maybe I will do something really big when I hit 100 followers :) That would be really nice if I even get that high!  Let's work on that perhaps?

Freakin' Weekend

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I dedicated this weekend to feeling good and doing a lot of nothing along with a little something about it.  Saturday I kind of just relaxed around my apartment and just focused on some time to myself.  I totally slept in until noon.  Sleeping in is something that I really need to do every once in a while.  Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland came in from Netflix and I watched that but I didn't finish the ending yet.......because I fell asleep (story of my life. this happens often when I watch movies). Then I had a battle with a waterbug and I finally won after way too many failed attempts at catching the stupid thing.

While browsing online, I saw this "sheepskin" motorcycle jacket on Topshop and ended up getting it.  This is only my second purchase from Topshop ever, as I feel they kind of skimp on quality for the price.  However, from what I've seen and felt at the NYC store, their leather and faux leather items are not all that bad.  With this jacket, I like the black on black as opposed to the other sheepskin moto jackets I've seen lately.  The texture on the collar against the rest of the jacket is so playful and I want to bury my face in it.  Here's to hoping it fits!

Today I went to yoga which was pretty fulfilling as usual.  This might be me jumping the gun a bit, but I think I'm getting a whole lot better and stronger during yoga.  And with that comes awesome looking arms and legs and I'm all about that. 

Despite the frequent downpours today, I spent the rest of the day out with my friend Daniela.  We went to eat at 5 Napkin Burger in Astoria, which is some popular burger joint that everyone raves about.  I have never eaten there before but I thought it was really cute inside and my veggie burger was pretty intense!  It was topped off with pickles which I loved and their "5N sauce" which is similar to Shake Shack's Sauce. 

Then we went to some place nearby called Berry Lover.  This is kind of a weird place.  It has yogurt, gelato and pizza cones which are kind of nasty.  Have you ever seen pizza cones?  It's really gross, please stick to slices of pizza (especially if you live in NYC!).  I originally wanted yogurt but wasn't impressed with their topping selection so I went with Mint Chocolate Chip gelato, my go-to flavor anytime, anywhere!

I also got the best gift from Daniela from her recent trip to Croatia - a lovely bottle of homemade olive oil made by her grandparents, straight from their own olive trees. Thank you Daniela!  This will be going to a good home/stomach.  Guzzle.

I'm on Bloglovin!

Friday, August 20, 2010


I just joined Bloglovin so if you use that to follow blogs, feel free to add mine!

Links à la Mode: Before you splurge…

I'm so excited to be listed in my first IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) Links à la Mode.  Since you most likely read my post that got featured below, please check out the other stories that also got picked!  I can't wait to browse them all.  Thanks for featuring me, IFB!

Before you splurge for Fall, read a blog or two

Edited by: Marie Denee of "The Curvy Fashionista by Marie Denee" The Curvy Fashionista.

Last week, Links à la Mode fashioned a roundup of the latest fashion perspectives and trends for the anticipation of another highly anticipated Fall.  With the "September" editions landing on our doorsteps and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week right around the corner, we brace our pocketbooks for the damage it is about to endure. Whether the latest developments in plus size fashion, a Brazilian blowout, or style inspirations, this week's links act as a guide of both inspiration and aspirations to Fall fashion. Before we delve into snatching up the latest "it" items from our secret wish (lust) list, below are a few must reads from the intuitive fashion bloggers who share their insights of what to expect from fashion, head to toe.

Links à la Mode: August 19th

  • All Tumble Down- Focusing on style "best practices"; what we do well instead of what we don't
  • Amanda Lee- 6 Great Ways to Repurpose Your Clothing
  • Beyond Fabric- Tips on size and fit for menswear
  • Chic Steals- Street Style the New Determinate of Cool? The Evolution of the Girl Next Door as Style Icon
  • Dramatis Personae- Style on the Run Guest Post: Fall Lust List
  • Fashion Cents- wants to make sure you don't break any vows. Get 3 tips on what to wear to a wedding this season
  • Fashion Pulse Daily- Dana Lorenz, designer of Fenton Fallon Jewelry, oversees a blogger DIY jewelry session in her Lower East Side Boutique
  • Fete a Fete- Review of Givenchy's new Blooming Fall 2010 makeup collection
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: How Does the Coach Poppy Project Benefit Bloggers?
  • Just B- B Deceived: Handbags in disguise
  • Lovely and Lavish- Fall 2010 RTW: the Worst Accessories!
  • Manda Bear- Sally Hansen Limited Edition Xtreme Wear Nail Polishes - Reviews, Swatches and a Giveaway
  • Mrs. Bossa Does the Do- Autumn's a-comin', and brings with it our perennial love of heritage chic - dig out your sequins and tweed, ladies...
  • RetroChick- 5 ways to update your wardrobe for next to nothing
  • Return to Sender- A fabulous interview with fat acceptance advocate, and author of FAT!So?, Marilyn Wann and her view on "fashion."
  • Shoe Day Dreams- Skin Secrets - maintenance is key over the long-haul.
  • Style Eyes Fashion- Fashion bloggers and consumerism - how fashion bloggers are discouraging consumerism and encouraging sustainable style
  • Style Wax Poetic- 10 to die for shoes All Under $100.
  • The  Curvy Fashionista- Plus size indie label, Jibri gives the Curvy.Confident.Chic Fashionistas a tease with her Fall 2010 collection
  • The Coveted- Blown away by the Brazilian Blowout
  • Watch this Place- Dark, but don't let it be dreary... how to wear Autumn's dark colors without looking drab.

Sally Hansen LE Xtreme Wear Review, Swatches and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Monday, August 16, 2010

Look what I found today at Duane Reade.  A complete, untouched set of the new Sally Hansen Limited Edition Xtreme Wear polishes.  I know that some of you are on the lookout for these.  So if you live in a city with Duane Reade drugstore, definitely check there!  I also spotted these by my yoga studio at a Duane Reade in Queens but some were purchased already from the set (more like both Mystic Lilacs! - the color I was originally interested in).  Even though I saw most of the collection already I didn't make a purchase until today. Almost all of these seem to have glitter particles or a pearly sheen to them except for Concrete, an light opaque dirty grey/purple.  Don't forget to scroll down to the end for the giveaway!

I picked up Concrete, Purple Gala and Mystic Lilac, because these are the most interesting colors to me from the collection and they are so perfect for fall!  At $2.99 each, you really can't go wrong with these so if you see them and like them, just get it because they are indeed limited edition.

Concrete is creamy and very pigmented.  You can probably do a quick manicure with one coat and run out the door.  In fact, in the swatch photo here, my nails were still wet because I just wanted to snap the picture right away.  I love this color!  I was expecting to feel neutral about it, but I really like it. This one definitely surprised me.  I think I know my "greige" colors but I actually don't!  I recommend this one - it's clean, it's pretty and I'm happy to like the only opaque of the bunch.

Purple Gala is really cool if you're into the foiled, metallic look.  It's chock full of of gold and dark purple microglitter in this.  I am enjoying the muted purple shade, it's a bit on the mature side!  This color might look different depending on your lighting because of the gold glitter. I think I used two coats for the swatch, but I might do three just to cover everything completely.  It does have good pigmentation for a foil polish.  I hear that there is a dupe for a Hard Candy shade out there at Walmart.  I don't live near a Walmart, so that's about all I can tell you.

Mystic Lilac is a dulled purple with a green shimmer.  The shimmer is not too noticeable but it's definitely there.  It's really pretty in the bottle.  Out of the three here, Mystic Lilac was the most sheer.  You will need maybe 4 coats for this.  But I think in the end it's worth it for the pretty color.  And with the cheap price point in mind, I think it's unique enough to grab and add to your purple/greige collection!

A comparison shot.
l-r: Concrete, Mystic Lilac, Sephora OPI Metro Chic

Open to US residents only (sorry!)

I am giving away two of the new Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes!  These are getting hard to find because even though they are brand new, they are popping up randomly in stores and then people like me are snatching them up for blog giveaways!  Doesn't hurt to enter :) 
Make sure to read all of the contest rules below before entering.

The winner will receive:
  • 1 new bottle of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mystic Lilac
  • 1 new bottle of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Purple Gala
Contest Rules

  • You must be a subscriber of my blog to enter.  You can do so by clicking the "Follow mandabear" button on the left side of my site.

  • First Entry: Comment below to *this* post with your name and email address (for anti-spam purposes, I recommend you write it like this: "hello [at] example [dot] com").  I need to have a way of contacting you right off the bat.
  • (Optional Second Entry) Follow me on Twitter and copy/paste the following retweet:

    RT @MANDABEARcom Enter to win 2 Limited Edition Sally Hansen polishes in Mystic Lilac and Purple Gala here!
Don't forget to mention your twitter username in the comments!

 Fine Print:  No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Giveaway ends on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Open to US subscribers only. Winner will be chosen using and then contacted via e-mail before being announced on my site.  If you do not respond within 48 hours of email notification, another winner will be chosen - Sorry!  Package will be shipped via USPS. After it leaves my hands, I am not responsible for stolen/lost packages. 

 GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks for entering!

Review: Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oh Boscia, I really do love you and most of your products (especially the amazing MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil), but I don't think this one is for me.  I wanted the Luminizing Black Mask ever since it came out.  Its new black packaging drew me in first - Boscia not using its usual clean, white packaging definitely sparks a new twist on the skincare line.  It's interesting, it's different...and it looks like straight up tar?  It claims to purify, detoxify and brighten.  It also peels off and who doesn't love peeling a mask off their face? 

I just got paid on Friday which kind of made me feel a tiny bit better about my purchase at its steep price tag of $34.00.  It's not a large tube.  It's 2.8 oz and when you use it, you want to use a decent amount of product to make sure the peeling action happens easily later on.  If you are nice and try to salvage the product by putting on a layer too thin, you'll just end up peeling small, random pieces off your face. So it's going to suck when you start to squeeze out the product and you can just see your $34.00 oozing out in front of you.

When I put the product on, my eyes immediately began to start watering.  I wish I knew why.  The consistency is sticky like honey or glue, kind of like the underside of a Biore nose strip.  You spread it on evenly and wait about 25-30 minutes or until it's fully dry.  After 30 minutes, I felt like it was time to peel it off.  I started from the top and it was fun at first until I got to my cheeks.  Then I started feeling like I was peeling tape off of my face.  It hurt! I wonder if I needed to leave it on longer. Not sure, but it left my cheeks a bit red.  I also want to add that there IS an insert in the box that instructs you to try a small amount first before you put it on your entire face.  I didn't do that but woops, my bad.

As for how my face feels after? Well it does feel quite nice and smooth.  I will give it that...but I'm not sure if it's worth using again.  I will probably be returning this back to Sephora.  Sad but true.

Beary Special Presents

Many apologies for the lack of updates.  It's more like an apology to myself too at this point.  I have had a whirlwind of a shitty week and it kind of ruined my whole train of thought as far as my blog is concerned.  Not particularly a good excuse to ever stop writing.

But I actually want to share these two things that I received from my friend Danielle earlier this past week.  She went on a Euro vacay last month and picked up two lovely items for me from her trek through Berlin and Paris.  Danielle is a really good friend, one of my best friends.  And she doesn't even live in NY anymore, but she's still always there for me.  So thank you so so much for the kind gesture - it kind of saved my sanity from completely going down the drain.  Onto the goods...

Honestly, that Knut postcard she sent me a while back was thoughtful enough. So really, what's even better than a baby Knut postcard? A baby Knut plush...duh.

Coincidentally, while Danielle was staying in Paris, I had also blogged about how I wanted a Calourette paw ring so bad (because it kinds sorta really represents me and my love for bears).  It may not even be a bear paw for all I know.  It can be a cat paw, but to me it's a bear paw.  I was so incredibly happy when she offered to pick up the paw ring for me from Calourette!

Cute jewelry pouch


Calourette engraving
I like it best on my ring finger stacked with another ring like this nOir stackable pyramid ring.  On the nails I am wearing Essie Knockout Pout.

Faux Real

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Faux Real by mandabearcom featuring Cooperative

Cooperative Trompe LOeil Laptop Case, $28
Cooperative Trompe LOeil Laptop Case, $28
Cooperative Trompe LOeil Clutch Bag, $24
Cooperative Trompe LOeil Eyeglass Case, $10
Cooperative Trompe LOeil Eyeglass Case, $10 > Cooperative Trompe L'Oeil Clutch Bag, $24
Time is an Illusion Cuff, $70
Poketo! Icon Watch

I do like Trompe l'Oeil once in a while. I like it even more when it's cleverly executed. Over the past few days, I have come across some really cute pieces that I really want! I am adding the brown & black clutch (Urban Outfitters) and both watch bracelets (Mod Cloth and Poketo) to my mental wishlist. I'm a bit over the Trompe l'Oeil t-shirts and standard tote bags I see everywhere - these are really fun alternatives that also look pretty chic!

A Really Cute Sneak Peek: Poketo for Target

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Even though the Poketo for Target collection release date is August 10th, it's actually already out in most stores and online (just go to the Target site and do a search for Poketo until it has its own spot)!  Well not all of it, but most.  I was really excited about this collection.  It's cute, and I'm really picky when it comes to cute things.  Design-wise, this collection has something for everyone and what I loved about it (and Poketo in general) is the functionality of each product.  I like most of the designs, and I think that it captures Poketo's choice of whimsical artwork quite well.  The best part is that everything is really affordable!

Here's what was in store at my Target.  They had most items but zero keychains.  It seems like there wasn't a spot for them so maybe I'll keep my eye out for them online.

Wallet, $9.99

Checkbook Wallet, $12.99

3-in-1 Pouches - $14.99

Tech Pouch - $9.99

Tote in a Tote Bag - $12.99

Luggage Tags - $4.99

Laptop Bag - $19.99

Water Bottle - $12.99

Large Pocket Tote - $29.99

My Picks!

Camera case, 3-in-1 pouch set, bear print umbrella 

This bear print is my favorite from this collection.  The umbrella feels really durable too!

Monster water bottle, adorable animal wallet and bear checkbook wallet.

How funny is this bear?

Obsession: Orly Royal Navy

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wow wow wow!  I am completely in LOVE with Orly's Royal Navy.  I have been wearing pastels and neons this whole summer, but I also tend to carry them over into fall and winter because I don't really change my nail color per season (I think I might be getting a bit more into darker colors now though).

I picked this one up at Sally Beauty Supply by my house.  I don't know why I never thought about getting this one because the color is striking.  It's light enough to tell that it's blue under all lights, but bright enough to show how royal blue it is.  It has a little bit of greenish microglitter, which is nice, but pretty irrelevant as it doesn't effect the opacity of the polish.  It's perfect!  I actually really like it for summer, but this will be even better for fall and winter.  It's going to look so good with cute fall attire.  I can see it already.  Royal Navy is also the first Orly I have ever used so I am quite impressed.

My LOST Auction Wishlist

Friday, August 6, 2010

So you think just because the LOST series is over, I will get rid of my Dharma Initiative inspired logo and stop writing about it?  Well I did get rid of the logo (oops - just changing things up a bit), but I love the show too much to just stop writing about it.

The latest buzz is the Official Show Auction and Exhibit that will be taking place on August 21st and 22nd in Santa Monica, CA. For those not in California, you can also place online and phone bids, which is an option I might be taking up if I can find some affordable goods. After seeing lots of amazing props at the Vilcek Foundation back in May, I'm quite interested. Maybe I can afford a Dharma pencil or something. 

The photos of the items from the auction look so good too.  Makes me want everything!  Here is my wish list from the auction, stressing heavily on the 'wish' part.  

Swan Station Computer

Desmond's Fail-Safe Key

Faraday's Notebook (given)


Apollo candybars
Young Kate's backpack and NKOTB lunchbox

8-track tape player and Geronimo Jackson tapes

Jin's stuffed panda

Sawyer and Hurley's makeshift ping pong paddles

Just kidding.

There is a whole lot more on the auction's website but sometimes it gets really weird (like a two for one deal for Jacob's ashes AND bones) but it's really cool to look through. I am feeling a series marathon soon. 
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