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“Four Truths and a Dare” at SEPHORA! Plus, a special treat with purchase for 10 people

14 Jan

Forget about Truth OR Dare.

In this case it’s Four Truths AND a Dare and refers to a collection of oils for your skin at Sephora.

Let’s start with the Dare — “Dare to Oil.” If you have oily skin, you may assume that you could never use oil on your skin. That’s one of many misnomers about oil, reports manager, Amber Wilhelm.



A number of cultures around the world have used oil for centuries, shares Amber. When you walk into Sephora, you’ll find a display touting four truths about oils.

Truth #1  — you can cleanse with oil.

Truth #1

Truth #1

It never would have occurred to me that you can wash your face with oil. I had only heard about its moisturizing properties (we’ll get to that later). I took home a sample of the Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel and am hooked. It’s gentle and has a subtle refreshing scent. A tiny bit goes a long way.


Oil Cleanser

“It isn’t going to strip the skin of the natural oils. It’s especially great for someone on an acne medication, someone who has really sensitive skin, or someone battling winter dryness,” describes Amber.  This oil not only cleanses but also serves as a makeup remover and is hydrating.

Truth #2 – “You can fight oil with oil.” Amber admits that because she has oily skin, she was afraid to try oils at first. She explains that our skin recognizes the oil products as being its own oils. If you have oily skin, she says the oils can help make your skin less oily and can help fight clogged pores. If you have dry skin, it can help hydrate. The oils serve as a balancing tool, depending on your needs.

Truth #2

Truth #2

When I mentioned to a few people that I was trying out oil products, the first reaction tended to be “Will it make your skin greasy?” That’s the subject of Truth #3. I confess I had the same concern. Sure enough, my skin seemed to inhale each of the oil products I tried without any greasy shine.

Truth #3

Truth #3

One friend even asked if I started doing something different with my makeup. The only shift I made was adding in oils to my routine.  I think it’s the glow I received from trying out the fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, which contains a number of oils including Seaberry, cranberry seed, camilla seed, grape seed and sweet almond. Seaberry oil, which is from Siberia, has long been used as a natural cure. In fact, the co-founder was treated as a young child with Seaberry oil to help heal a burn.  

Boosts Radiance

Boosts Radiance

Oils also have anti-aging properties. Some products are more geared in this direction and are packed with anti-oxidants to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you are looking for an anti-aging oil, be sure to specifically mention that to a Sephora skincare consultant. That’s Truth #4.


Truth #4

Amber reports that she noticed that the oils have helped to soften the appearance of fine lines. She also shares that the Josie Maran line of oil products was inspired after the model met a woman in Morocco who was in her 70s but looked three decades younger. It turns out she was using oil based products.

Josie Maran’s Argan Oil can be used on the face, hands, body (try adding a few drops to your bath) and even scalp. It comes in a light and regular formula.

Available in regular and lighter formulations

Available in regular and lighter formulations

GURU TIP: You can use the oils on their own or you can add a few drops to your current moisturizer or face wash. It’s all about experimenting to see what works best for you.

If you take up Sephora on the Dare to Oil challenge, a skincare consultant will help you figure out which ones will be best for you. You can pop in and experience a Skincare Consultation Service with oils and other skincare products and take home a sample.

Plus, the first 10 people to mention the GURU when making ANY purchase at Sephora will receive a deluxe sample bag of oil products. Must be 18 or older. Good while supplies last.


GURU Spotlight: Boxy Styles

13 Jan

Boxy silhouettes are an emerging trend! We’re seeing this cut for winter and it is sure to springboard into warmer weather (yes, it’s not that far off in the future!).

Have you seen the Pretty Little Liars Collection at Aeropostale? This collection, inspired by the hit show, features several boxy jackets.



The styles in the collection are created with different characters from the show in mind. This navy cropped jacket, with white piping, can take you through the rest of winter and into warmer temps. Wear it casually with a plaid or other patterned button-down, a sequined tee, or put it to work with a more conservative top for a casual Friday. It has a boxy shape when worn open. Or, button up for a more fitted silhouette.

Boxy & Cropped

Boxy & Cropped

Neutral is nice, but bright is bold! A boxy faux leather jacket, like this one, is a fun accent piece and can pair with more colors than you may first imagine. Turquoise plays well with neutrals along with many brights! Think canary yellow, orange, even red.

Faux leather is hot in colorful hues!

Faux leather is hot in colorful hues!

Check out this fun topper. It plays well with just about any dress or top.


Alternative to the classic cardi

Forever 21 is also featuring the boxy silhouette. An animal print jacket like this one can take any outfit from ordinary to standout. Wear it now in place of a sweater and as outerwear as we get closer to spring.

Statement Jacket

Statement Jacket

Cheers to three trends in one — boxy shape, animal print and sequins. Wear a cropped sweater like this one from Forever 21 with any color long sleeve fitted tee.

Fun layering piece

Fun layering piece  

The boxy trend is also turning up at Gap. Note the cut on this casual colorblock sweater. It’s available in multiple hues.



A touch of grey adds a softness to your wardrobe. Like some of the other jackets, one like this can be used inside now and outerwear later.


Some of the boxy styles are more form fitting than others.

GURU Tip: If you’re doing a looser boxy top, balance the style with a fitted bottom.

What do you think about this trend?

Eye on Embellishments!

10 Jan

Embellishments are EVERYWHERE!

I’m not talking about fictitious additions to statements made in conversation, but the sequin and stud kind.

If your winter wardrobe and accessories could use a makeover, try mixing in some embellished pieces. You can take on this trend full force, as seen on the denim below, or if subtle is more your style — there are also toned down takes on the trend.



Jeans with embellished back pockets are hot sellers at Buckle!

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You can schedule a free appointment to have a Buckle stylist help you find the most flattering denim fits for you.  After you share your style and sizing, you can arrive to a dressing room full of possibilities — including tops and accessories to mix in with your jeans.

At Buckle, you’ll find sequins sprinkled everywhere — on shoes, belts, and tops!

Traditional with a Sparkly Twist

Traditional with a Sparkly Twist

Check out these belts! The key is to not go overboard. If you do a sequined belt, I would save the sequined top or shoes for another day.



One of many sequined tee styles at Buckle

Sequins instantly elevate a tee. The sequined tee trend continues at Love Culture. This top takes on two trends. Animal prints, as in the animals themselves and not just leopard print, are IN this winter. They’re popping up on tops and sweaters.

Show your wild side

Show your wild side

Embellished tees pair well with leggings.


Go geometric!

Feeling adventurous? Try out an embellished mini. Add on a simple top, opaque boots, boots and you’re good to go!

Pair with a solid top

Pair with a solid top

If you want to go for a more subtle take, how about a studded handbag or clutch. I spotted these two in the sale section at Love Culture.


Simple & Studded

Love sequins? Head to Express. 



GURU Tip:  Take your outfit from desk to dinner by starting the day in black pants and cardi or blazer. Shed the work style tops for the evening and rock a standout sequined or studded top. No one will know your wearing the same pants.


Embellished with mini mirrors

Embellished with mini mirrors

If you could add any of the pieces from this post to your closet, what would you pick?

Gifts for under $30 for the Kids as shared on WBAL-TV

22 Dec

Still looking for some gifts for the kids? I took Sarah Caldwell from WBAL-TV shopping at Towson Town Center to show her 5 hot finds for under $30.

Click on the image below to watch.

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As we near the holiday shopping finish line, feel free to leave me any questions in the comment section. I’m happy to help.

Pamper HIM or HER at L’Occitane

18 Dec

This is THE time of year to score gift sets at L’Occitane. 

Whether you’re looking for a gift for him, her or to treat yourself, you’ll find special savings at L’Occitane right now. The savings add up fast when you buy a gift set instead of individual products.

Take the popular Ultimate Gift of Youth, starring the immortelle flower ($182 with a $209 value). The set features Divine Cream for your face, Divine Eyes and the Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam. It’s all part of L’Occitane’s anti-aging skin care regimen. The products are designed with your skin’s radiance and rejuvenation in mind.


The Ultimate Git of Youth

The Sparkling Verbena gift set ($68 with a $100 value) includes products with the citrus infused Verbena scent. The set comes with shower gel, hand wash, body lotion, hand cream, soap and a Verbena sachet for your drawer.

Sparkling Verbena

Sparkling Verbena

L’Occitane is famous for its Shea Butter Hand Cream with triple powers to protect, nourish and moisturize the skin.

Shea Butter Hand Cream

Shea Butter Hand Cream

Here’s a great way to sample various scented hand creams. Or, divide up the package and use for stocking stuffers or add on gifts.

Sampler Set

Sampler Set

Plus, you’ll find many more hand cream options in store.

L’Occitane also features gifts just for him.

Gifts for him

Gifts for him

This is the Men’s Luxury Shave Set ($155 with a $189 value). Treat him to a razor and shave brush by a French company that has created shaving products for men since 1808. He’ll also receive shaving cream and after shave balm.

Luxury Shaving Set

Men’s Luxury Shave Set

Or, how about the L’Occitan Collection? Yes, in French fashion the “e” at the end gets dropped for the guys. He’ll enjoy a new fragrance, after shave balm, shaving gel, shower gel and soap ($78 with a $114 value).

Love Lavendar?

L’Occitane Collection

Plus, when you visit the store, you can always take a moment for some pampering. Enjoy a complimentary skin-care consultation and try out any of the product lines. I will admit that my bottle of toner sat rarely used until the manager showed me the difference it can make by applying toner before moisturizer on one hand and just moisturizer on the other. You can also have a complimentary skin hydration test.

Pamper Yourself

Pamper Yourself

If you could take home any gift from L’Occitane, what would you choose?

Here are links to more gift ideas:  gift suggestions from Johnston & MurphyTiffany & Co.teacher giftsoffice giftsgifts for your girlfriends from Vera Bradley, and presents for the kids from Marbles: The Brain Store.

Gifts for the KIDS from MARBLES: The Brain Store

13 Dec

It’s not often that you get to walk into a store and start playing! At MARBLES: The Brain Store, the associates are always happy to engage you (and the kids) in one of the hundreds of brain boosting games or activities.

Although the kids won’t know it, everything at Marbles is about giving your brain a boost. I recently gave Squigz to my little niece. You can connect the pieces in endless combinations. They stick to each other and to flat, non-porous surfaces. Parenting Magazine designated Squigz with the “Best in Play” title. The deluxe set comes with 50 pieces. There is also a starter one available.



How about a game of the Marbles edition of Goodminton? The feathered birdies slow down as they spin, which helps make volleying easier. Goodminton helps with hand-eye coordination and according to Marbles, those skills can also help kids learn to read. Marbles is offering a 1-day promotion on Goodminton. If you spend $100 or more tomorrow (12/14), you’ll receive Goodminton as a gift, while supplies last. That’s a $24.99 value.


Credit: Marbles.com

Here’s another hot item this season. Meet Rock Me Archimedes. The goal is to get your four marbles to the ends of the board without it tipping over and touching the table. The game uses critical thinking and visual perception skills.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.45.33 AM

Rock Me Archimedes

Goldie Blox and the Parade Float puts a spin on your traditional princess toy. Your little engineer gets to build a parade float and exercise her spatial and problem solving skills.


Goldie Blox and the Parade Float

Idiom Addict is designed for the 10 and up crowd and also makes a fun gift for the kids at heart. You present a clue and your opponent has to come up with the corresponding idiom. Here’s an example of a clue — “View you at a future time, large swamp dwelling creature.” The answer is “See you later alligator.”


Idiom Addict

And there are many, many more options in store!


Give their brains a boost!

The countdown to Christmas is moving fast. Still have people to cross off your gift list? Here are links to some more ideas: teacher Giftsoffice gifts and Gifts for your girlfriends from Vera Bradley.

GURU Style Star: Katrina Brock

12 Dec

If this is what Katrina Brock is wearing on a “rushed day, with the snow throwing her off,”  I can’t imagine what she would put together on another day.

Meet this week’s GURU Style Star!

Meet Katrina Brock

Meet Katrina Brock

Katrina scored her leopard print dress at Bebe, where she works. Her boots are Aldo. Her bag is from Louis Vuitton.


Katrina describes her style as “very feminine and girly.” She loves prints, colorful and glittery styles and says she goes for clothing that is “just over the top, without being cheesy.” While at work, where she is on her feet, she opts for tall flat boots over heels.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 8.49.56 PM

Once up a time ago, Katrina would save certain outfits for special occasions. Now, she wears them when the mood strikes.

Here’s more of her take on style…. 

What is your fashion advice for others?

Stay true to yourself.  Don’t be afraid to express yourself with clothing. My mom told me that.

What trends are you excited about? 

Honestly, I don’t really follow trends If I like it, I get it. I always wear tall boots. I always have.  I love anything with faux fur, anything with sequins.

What do you enjoy about shopping during the  holiday season?

Everything! The glitz — I wish it was like this all year long with the satins, the deep colors…

If I gave you $2000 and sent you on a shopping spree at Towson Town Center, where would you go and what would you buy?

A Louis Vuitton bag.  It’s  my absoute favorite store and I would purchase another handbag.  I try to get bags that don’t go out of style.  Or something from my store (Bebe)  — not just because I work there. They have everything that I love.

Check out the full gallery of GURU Style Star posts here.  Scroll down for links to see recent Style Star features.


12/5 Samantha Kosmas



11/21 Sam Armstrong, 11/14 Maria Stauffer

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11/7 Madison


October 2013

10/31 Eliza Bulley, 10/24 Colleen Fraser,  10/17 Amanda Nelson


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10/10 Kristy Toney, 10/3 Paige Henson

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A Winter Wonderland at Pottery Barn & Crate & Barrel

3 Dec

Wait until you see the festive flair at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel this holiday season! Take a walk around the stores to get design inspiration. Here’s a peek of some of the standout holiday décor and serving pieces.

Check out this snowy scene at Pottery Barn and all of its animal residents.


Whether you’re looking for a complete table setting or a few accessories to brighten up your table, Pottery Barn is stocked with Santa themed suggestions. Note the “Ho Ho Ho” plates, the Naughty and Nice sugar bowl and creamer, and the adorable Santa shoe snack bowls.


Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 4.57.20 PM

There is even a Santa suit salt and pepper set.


You’re also invited to give back to those in need at Pottery Barn by making a contribution to St. Jude Thanks and Giving. All donations go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help children with cancer.

On the weekend of 12/14 and 12/15, Pottery Barn is hosting a special fundraiser for St. Jude. Stop into the store with the kids between 4 and 6 pm on Saturday, the 14th, and 10 and 1 pm on the 15th  for face painting, hot cocoa and cookies. There will be crafts on Sunday as well. Plus, there are DIY holiday projects and more! Pottery Barn is asking for a $5 donation per participant. Please call 410.821.3494 to RSVP.

Over at Crate & Barrel, say “Trees” and pose for some pictures in the Tree Lot.


Add comfort and joy to your home with a few strategically placed festive throw pillows and other décor pieces.


Plus, Crate & Barrel features an adorable Yule Town collection of small plates, mugs, platters and more.


That’s just a peek at the many holiday items you’ll find at Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. Look forward to hearing about what you find!

I also featured Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel on WJZ-TV this past weekend. Here is a link to the segment. 

Coming up tomorrow, we’re headed to Macy’s for hostess gift ideas and more finds for your entertaining needs.

Thanksgiving Entertaining Finds from Harry & David

22 Nov

I had no idea that you can purchase a Thanksgiving Turkey at Towson Town Center…

Choose from oven roasted or smoked

Choose from oven roasted or smoked

Harry & David (Level 3) carries pre-cooked smoked and oven roasted turkeys. If you pre-order one, you’ll save $15 off your purchase. Since it takes 48 hours for thawing from the delivery date, it’s recommended that you get your turkey by Monday.

Save a few more steps with a turkey gravy starter kit. Need the boat too? You’re covered.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 10.40.04 PM

Plus, whether you’re craving sweet, salty, savory or a combination of flavors, Harry & David has temptations to fit the bill. The snacks, dips, desserts and other fun finds will add to the festive feel of your Thanksgiving and can make memorable hostess gifts. I’m eying up the pumpkin cheesecake. The cheesecakes are buy 1, get 1 50% off for a limited time.


While we’re taking pumpkin, how about some pumpkin pecan butter?


In the freezer section, I spotted these two baked brie picks. Choose from caramelized onion or cranberry.


If you’re looking for a unique hostess gift, how about the Gather platter or a turkey shaped one. Add to the gift by serving it to your hosts with an appetizer or dessert ready to go. The word “Gather” will remain a surprise until the food is gobbled up.

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Along with the platters, you’ll also find adorable turkey and pig themed appetizer plates, mugs and more…


Hostess Gifts

Looking for a little treat for the kids? These Thanksgiving themed pops can be take home swag for your little guests. Or, display them on the table in bud vases and serve them up with dessert.

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Thanksgiving themed treats

Treat your hosts to coffee for the morning after the festivities in such flavors as Caramel Apple and Spiced Butter Rum.


Give your hosts a boost for the day after the feast…

What is the best hostess gift you’ve ever given or received? Please leave me a comment. If you’re searching for anything specific for your Thanksgiving gathering, just ask. I’m here to help.

Did you catch my post on family games from Marbles: The Brain Store to play at your gathering? Here is the link.

Holiday Looks at Lilly Pulitzer

19 Nov

We’ve all been there. You’re racing around trying to find a dress at the last minute to wear to a holiday dinner or party. Think about all the times you may have settled for something that you wouldn’t have purchased if it weren’t last minute.

With so many holiday looks already out, now is the time to get a jump on things and stave off the stress of last second shopping.

I hit Lilly Pulitzer (Level 2). You’ll find festive styles to wear next week to Thanksgiving dinner (can’t believe it’s already next week) and looks that will take you through the holiday soiree circuit.

A dress such as the Kariana Sweater Shift Dress can take on multiple looks, depending on how you wear it. Pop on different statement necklaces such as the Sweetheart Necklace in black or the turquoise Bubbly Necklace.


Karianna Sweater Shift Dress and Sweetheart Necklace


Topped with the Bubbly Necklace


In a Twist Belt

Or, you can accent the Karianna with a belt, such as the In a Twist Belt in gold metallic above.

The Tropic Top in Metallic Vintage Brocade adds instant festive flair to a black pant, pencil skirt or even skinny jean. Dress it down with a cardigan, keep it more business with a blazer or wear it on its own.


The Tropic Top

The Deanna Maxi Dress in Bamboo Geo Lace is one of those rare dresses that you can bring out all year long! Here, this navy number is paired with a gold metallic Murphy Wrap in The Swims Jacquard and the In a Twist Belt in True Navy. You can also top it with a cardigan to make the look more casual.

The Deanna Maxi Dress

The Deanna Maxi Dress

I first spotlighted The Barbara in Two Tone Truly Petal Lace in a summery pink and green version last summer. Here it’s done in True Navy.

The Barbara

The Barbara

For a dressier look, consider The Selassie Dress in Va Voom Purple, Bamboo Geo Lace. 


The Selassie Dress

Lilly Pulitzer also has sweet picks for your little girl. Meet the Adele Sweaterdress in Take off Stripe and the Rue Sweaterdress in black Skippy Scallop Intarsia. Note the adorable purple bow on the back of the Rue Sweaterdress.

For your Little Lilly...

For your Little Lilly…

Coming up tomorrow, I’ll have game suggestions that you can play at your family holiday gatherings from Marbles: The Brain Store. 

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