East Coast winters have a knack for being harsh on the lips, and mine are no exception.  I spend most of the season avoiding any lipstick that isn’t high-moisture, but that doesn’t mean I want to do nude color lips all winter long.  I need options to keep the dreary days ahead nice and bright!

These are my 5 must-haves for high-moisture lipsticks that camouflage and heal chapped lips while offering the best sheer to bold color coverage.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll love having these options in your cosmetic bag.  And of course, their budget chic too!

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  1. Neutrogena’s Revitalizing Lip Balm, $8.99 – A sheer-tinted balm with a moisturizing complex that creates fuller, softer, smoother, rosier lips even after you take it off.  Expect to see improvement in lip texture and color within 7 days.  Bonus, SPF 20 helps to keep your lips looking healthy!
  2. Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, $14.50 – Sheer with a hint of gloss.  This dark color turns into a light violet/pink shade when applied.  It’s a universal, every day color that works for anyone; the color changes slightly for each skin tone.
  3. bareMinerals 100% Natural Lipstick, $15.00 – This all natural, long-lasting lip color offers the best in moisturizing and nourishing your lips; pure bareMinerals, natural waxes, exotic oils, and plant extracts.  The naturally infused lavender scent is an added bonus!
  4. Sephora’s Rogue Cream Lipstick, $12.00 – Hydrating lipstick that plumps your lips with bold color.
  5. COVERGIRL LipPerfection LipColor, $6.99 (when purchased through Ulta) – Bold, saturated lip colors with a silk moisturizing complex to keep lips moist all day while improving the overall softness/smoothness of lips in just 7 days.

Guest Blogger, Colin, Shares His Top 15, Guy Approved Gift Ideas for This Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner gals and I’m sure the men in your life have left plenty of hints for presents they’d like to see under the tree!  But just in case you need a few more, my boyfriend turned guest blogger, Colin, has used his retail experience to come up with a Christmas list that is 100% guy approved.  And yes, he’s keeping it budget chic!

Working for Wilsons Leather has put me in contact with a lot of male customers on a day day basis, making me the perfect holiday guide for loved ones looking to purchase the perfect gift.  These are my top 15 gift ideas for the men in your life.  Whether it’s a pair of designer gloves or  a sporty watch, these items are sure to “wow” him Christmas morning. These are the gifts that guys are asking for and women are trying to track down this holiday season. Not a day goes by without a customer saying, “I just can’t believe these prices!” Not only are the prices amazing deals, but the gifts are designer quality! It always makes me chuckle when a customer returns an item to another store because we have the same exact thing for half the cost. Why spend $500 on one coat when you can purchase the exact coat, two other coats and three accessories for the same price? There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking great and saving money too. Take not ladies, I promise neither of you will be disappointed.

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1. Marc New York Graham – Lamb jacket w/stand collar, $199.99 (+ 30% off) Org. $500

2. Marc New York Prince – Wool jacket w/attached storm collar, $229 (+ 30% off) Org. $305

3. Kenneth Cole Wool Toggle Close Car Coat w/hood, $129.99 (+ 30% off) Org. $300

4. Kenneth Cole Wool Car Coat w/buckle collar, $129.99  (+ 30% off) Org. $260

5. Men’s Black Rivet Diver Watch w/rubber band, $24.99, Org. $50

6. Men’s Black Rivet Matte Metal Watch, $24.99, Org. $50

7. Black Rivet Canvas Messenger Bag w/leather trim, $49.99, Org. $60

8. Pelle Studio Vacqueta Leather Day Bag, $79.99, Org. $160

9. Kenneth Cole Leather Shave Kit, $29.99, Org. $80

10. Kenneth Cole Leather Travel Kit, $39.99, Org. $80.00

11. Men’s Black Rivet Faux Fur Trapper Hat, $29.99, Org.  $60

12. Marc New York Chunky Knit Cuffed Hat, $29.00, Org. $50

13. Black Rivet Wool Military Hat w/knit ear flaps, $29.99, Org. $60

14. Marc New York Leather/Shearling Glove, $49.99, Org. $100

15. Men’s Leather Cashmere Blend Lined Dress Gloves, $34.99, Org. $75

*All items can be found online or in a Wilsons Leather Outlet near you. Rumor has it that if you visit a store there’s a possibility that the savings could be even greater!

Who Said Fashion-Sense was a Girl Thing???

My journey of small town American fashion continued with a search for what the guys are saying, or in this case showing.  Meet John, Jay, and Matt, three small town guys sporting the manly side of fashion.

Name:  John Barnett

Occupation:  Retail Assistant Manager

Location:  Chocolate Avenue in downtown Hershey

Define your personal style…

I like to mix and match styles. Expensive and shabby chic and make it my own. My style is edgy.

Define fashion…

Fashion is an expression of someone’s mood. An expression of where you are from.

Name:  Jay Ralston

Occupation:  Stylist and salon owner

Location:  Outside Jay’s salon and spa, Designs on Mane in Manheim, PA

Define your personal style…

I have two styles really.  I can be very casual with jeans and a fun, trendy slim fit dress shirt that might be a little funky.  Or I can do the professional look – a dress pant paired with a slim-fit button-down and tailored vest which I love too.  I have 3 signature looks that you’ll always notice when I’m going out…I love collared shirts with a popped collar, I love wearing blazers, and I wear my own handmade necklaces with my signature design feature.

Define fashion…

Fashion is a total expression of one’s self.  As our moods change and the seasons change so does our fashion.  If it didn’t we would be stuck wearing the same thing day in and day out…boring!  Someone once told me that we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.  I honestly think there’s something to be said for that…you have your go-to favorites.  

Name:  Matt Hammond

Occupation:  Body piercer/Musician

Location: Near the square in downtown Lancaster City, PA

Define your personal style…

My personal style is focused on body modification mixed with an urban rock style.  I like to be well-dressed with a strong musical influence.

Define fashion…

Fashion is whatever you want it to be.  It’s something that is based on the individual and not on what society wants you to be.

*All photos by MomentsInTheSeam*

I’ve received some requests in the past few days to feature some men’s wear trends and budget chic ways to achieve the same look. I’m thrilled to oblige, but before I begin my hunt I want to know what my readers think, especially you guys.  Apparently, men’s fashion, suiting specifically, will be going through a major overhaul this coming fall (2012). You’ll be tossing out your well-loved traditional suits in favor of a more modern, form-fitting silhouette with narrow lapels and sleek, defined shoulders.

I am loving the much needed makeover to men’s suiting, but do you?  Before you say no, take a look at these sharp suits, and then decide if you’re game.  And if you’re thinking you have nowhere to wear it, ask your girlfriend, mom, sister…anyone of the female gender so they can remind you of the infinite ways to mix and match a suit for optimal use!

All photos courtesy of  Rodolfo Martinez for WWD.  To read the article at WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) click here.

One Gal Shows Just How Big Small Town Fashion Can Be

Barns, corn fields, and cows….lots and lots of cows.  It’s the typical image most often associated with small town America.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad image; it’s just a hugely limited one.  There’s this misconception that quiet towns like those in Pennsylvania are the places where fashion refuses to tread or if it does, it treads incredibly lightly.

Contrary to popular, misguided belief small towns aren’t all about overalls and plaid shirts.  There’s more fashion substance than we give these places credit for.  Some of which comes in the form of small town style maven, Amanda MacIntyre.  She walks to the beat of her own fashion drum and is doing what she can to change the misconception.

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Name:  Amanda MacIntyre

Location: Palmyra, PA

Occupation:  Marketing student and sales associate at COACH

Define your personal style…  

My style is about comfort and versatility. I embrace color and love to mix and match. Some people have told me my look is urban-chic with an expressive edginess that isn’t contrived.

Define fashion…  

It’s art in self-expressive form. It says a lot about who you are and what you want people to know about you.

*All photos by MomentsInTheSeam

Alice + Olivia for the Budget Chic Gal

I am a firm believer that great fashion should not cost a small fortune.  What’s the fun in looking great but having nowhere to go because you spent all your hard earned money on that pricey, albeit great outfit?! There you are looking fabulously chic…in your kitchen…with your cat.  Not exactly what you pictured when you were shopping, right?

Believe it or not, you can have your cake and eat it too.  Fashion, even the ready-to-wear, right off the runway kind, is absolutely accessible!  Don’t be intimidated by the designer name or matching price tag.  With a little patience and willingness to hunt, you can find a runway look at a bargain chic price.  Don’t believe me?  Check out my Bargain Runway look inspired by Alice + Olivia’s fall 11’ collection.  I’ll share all you need to know about where to go and the price you’ll pay to create the same look for less.

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Alice  + Olivia fall 11′ look – estimated price $1118, excluding jacket

Inspired Look for Less – $141.57

– 7th Avenue ankle pant, $20.00 – New York Company

– White cotton/stretch button-down with accordion pleated detailing, $39.95 – New York and Company

– Jessica Simpson black patent, pee-toe platform heels, $40 – Marshalls

– Striped acrylic/wool blend sweater, $10.42 (clearance) – Ann Taylor Loft

– Croft & Barrow long strand pearls (2), $15.60 ea – Kohl’s

Are you inspired yet? Grab your purse and let the hunt begin!

* All photos by MomentsInTheSeam

The other day I was scouring retailers for key pieces for my Bargain Runway weekly segment; it debuts this week so stay tuned!  My boyfriend, who willingly (I know what you’re thinking…but I did not force him!) offered to assist my hunt  was a trooper in helping me locate the perfect cream coat for my Antonio Berardi Fall 11’ runway look for less; check back soon for the complete look!  We did not get very far in our search when I was unexpectedly derailed by the alluring name of MICHAEL Michael Kors and a blue sale sign advertising $99.99 and up!!  My suddenly selfish, one-track mind, and feet made a beeline for this rack of coats.  Antonio who??  White coat what??

I had completely forgotten why I was there as I pulled on the cutest long down coat I had come across in a long time.  I tend to steer clear of these coats because the last thing I need is a little extra padding to make me look like a walking marshmallow on nubs, but who wouldn’t try it on at that price!  So, I did…and I LOVE it and know you will too.

MICHAEL Michael Kors Long Down Coat - Grey, Espresso, Black, $99.99 (Burlington Coat Factory)

As far as long down coats go, this is the most flattering one I’ve come across.  It’s not bulky or too “puffy”.  It even comes in at the waist just enough to keep your figure visible under all that down.  The length is perfect, – even for a gal on the short side like me (5’3”) – falling slightly below the knees and it has a soft faux-fur collar with detachable hood.  I was getting ready to finalize my color choice (black, espresso, or light grey) when the voice of reason, aka the boyfriend, pointed out that I’ll only be able to wear it this season because as I mentioned that morning, I was still losing some weight.  Darn it, he was right!  I know I wouldn’t have been happy had I only gotten a couple short months to wear it. So, I sadly and painfully put it back on the rack, cringed at the great price I was missing out on, and began the hunt for the white coat again.

This is the coat to add to your outerwear wardrobe, gals.  The price is phenomenal; $99.99 compared to the original $260 ticket price (that’s a 62% savings) is definitely a bargain in my book.  Check out your local Burlington Coat Factory or Burlington Coat Factory online to take advantage of this great deal!  Maybe I’ll get to live vicariously through you.  Or, if my gal pal, Heather works her persuasive magic, I just might go back and get it myself…shhh….don’t tell the boyfriend!

Are you going to take the plunge into this cozy down coat?

Photo courtesy of burlingtoncoatfactory.com

Attempting the cat-eye look is no easy fete.  Even for me it’s hit or miss.  And there is nothing more annoying than attempting that swooped line only to have it turn into horrible black globs around your eyes.  But I have great news! No more throwing your eyeliner brush, pencil, or liquid in frustrated defeat.  Jane Marie, of Hairpin, has created the quickest, albeit unconventional way to ensure you’re getting the perfect line every time.  What’s so unconventional about her approach?  She uses scotch tape!  Seriously, I’m not pulling your leg!  It’s easy and foolproof.  You’re one video tutorial away from the perfect swooped line – so what are you waiting for?

Her choice of tools is this brush, gel liner, and tape.  If you’re looking for a more budget chic option check out my choice of brush and gel liner at Ulta.com.

To check out the original article at Refinery29.com click here.

Dress Up Your Hair With This Perfect Accessory

I recently took the plunge and changed my usual side part into the most fabulous brow grazing bangs!  It was a battle beating my slight cowlick into submission, (fear not ladies, it is possible!) but with a couple practice blowouts and great hair taming products I have mastered the bangs.  Now, I’m obsessing about the perfect hair accessories to dress them up!

For the moment I’m all about headbands.  They’re the perfect way to add a little jump start to your Monday morning, slightly sluggish, “I can’t believe the weekend is over” beauty routine.  It’s quick, easy, and requires minimal alertness!  If you’re anything like me, fun and flirty options like these make it a tad easier to scoot out of bed in the morning.  But don’t limit your headbands to just day wear; they’re the perfect accessory to glam up your holiday outfits too.  Click through the images to see my top budget chic picks and where to find them.

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Do you have any favorites that I’ve missed?  Let me know in the comments!

Plus, if you’re looking for an even more budget friendly way to dress up your hair, click here.  Martha Stewart’s in-house crafter, Hosanna Houser, shows how easy it is to create your own glam headband!

Deck the Halls and Buy Your Presents, Fa la la la la…

Every other Christmas my family and I switch up our gift-giving protocol.  One year we did Secret Santa (the element of surprise really doesn’t exist with 5 people), the next year we did presents all around, and this year it’s a family cruise to escape the East Coast cold!  I have to admit even though I love, love, LOVE Christmas,  it’s been relaxing not worrying about finding the perfect gifts for my family this year.  But, this doesn’t mean I haven’t kept my eyes and ears open for ways to have a stress-free, budget chic Christmas!  No more pushing your way through crowded stores, fighting for a parking spot, or cringing each time the cashier shares your total with you and every customer in line.

Instead, follow these simple rules for stress-free, budget chic Christmas shopping….

1. Wear your coziest pajamas (like these)

2. Have a mug of peppermint hot chocolate in sipping reach (Williams-Sonoma has the best, trust me)

3. Grab your laptop or get comfy in front of your desktop

4. Go to LivingSocial.com for all your unique and special gift-giving needs

5. Take a deep breath….your shopping is done!

LivingSocial is this fantastic social network that offers daily deals with discounts up to 90% for places like spas, restaurants, theaters, boutiques, outings, escapes (vacations), and more.  By signing up you can search for amazing deals in any town, anywhere.    So, if you’ve got friends in California and family in Pennsylvania, you can find amazing gift deals for both.  Who knows, you might even find something for yourself!

It’s easy to sign up and navigate. I used LivingSocial to buy tickets to the symphony for my boyfriend and I; and because we saved so much we’re going somewhere special for dinner! Holiday date night here I come!! The amount of money you save is worth looking through their endless options.  And new ones are added every day.  With themed collections of “Gift Boxes” there’s no need to worry if you can’t decide on a gift.  Simply send your family and friends the box of hand-picked local attractions with a voucher so they can choose for themselves.  The best part is that you’re giving incredibly, unique gifts to the people you love most.  What’s more important than that?

Raise your mug to a budget chic Christmas and start your shopping!

 Click here to signup and find great deals in your town today.