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Spring Fever Shopping

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by Andrea Lara

I have spring fever and it is pouring buckets outside today in Boston. The sky is black, I need an umbrella, a coat, my Hunter boots, and a knit winter hat. Just when I was ready to scream for help, call 911, and stick my head in the fireplace, I happened to receive some exciting fashion news that turned my depression-fest around. So whether you are experiencing gorgeous spring weather or the dreaded storm that I have on my hands, I hope that you will find something here to strike your fancy. Enjoy!

One of my dear friends and colleagues has a unique and steadfast accessories rule that I believe is the opposite of Miss Coco Channel’s. This said friend and colleague, Jeannie,  always says “Before you leave the house, take a look at your accessories and add one more!”

In the spirit of this fabulous statement accessories, and adding one more to my collection as well,- take a look that these babies! They are the “Byzantine Nights” earrings designed by elementsinspired. Made of citrine, topaz, and peridot, these gold hoops will set you back a mere $21, make you want to throw on a smoky eye (see the Real Life 101 video for further instruction ;)), eat fabulous food at a great roof top bar, and dance the night away.

I almost had a heart attack when I heard that Calypso St. Barth was designing a line for Target-literally, a heart attack. But when I received the exact date that it was going to be launching in the stores I was thankful that I was sitting down so I didn’t smack my head on the hardwood floor as I passed out. May 1st ladies and gents, May 1st. Do you recall the “open, open, open..” ads of years past? Well, that is going to be me at 7 a.m. on May 1st (did you get that May 1st is the date?). The line will include woman’s and children’s clothing, as well as home goods for $1.99 – $79.99. Amazing!  While I haven’t seen the entire lookbook, I am a long time Calypso lover (even the bridesmaids at my wedding wore belts designed by Calypso) and what I have seen is stellar, beachy, and classic Calypso.  My husband asked what I was crossing days off the calendar for and I told him that Christmas was coming early this year for our family – he looked at me, nodded, and walked away (it’s ok, he knew I was nuts before he married me). May 1st people!

I have been hearing for over a year now that I need to be cleansing my face using the Clarisonic . Those on the band wagon; Tim Quinn (Armani’s celebrity face designer, and Allure Magazine’s “Mr. Perfect”), Fresh, and our own founders of Real Life 101, just to name a few…none of these people/companies sell the Clarisonic incidentally). Reluctantly, I broke down and purchased one. Well folks, it was the best decision regarding my skin that I have made in quite some time. I have only been using it for a week and my skin is glowing, clear, and my foundation has never looked better. It is also quite convenient that it allows you to use whatever cleanser you want with it, that is a huge advantage and money saver. I know that it is an investment but from what I have seen and experienced, it is worth it. After all, we only get one complection, so we need to keep it looking as good as it can for as long as it can – oh and the Clarisonic is completely pain free (aside from the initial purchase).

Orange! The color of the sun, it stimulates creativity, vitality, and enthusiasm. Orange is Lady Luck’s color, as well as my mother’s and Tory Burch’s. I adore that orange is alive and well for Spring/Summer 2011. One of my favorite orange pieces of the season is the Michael Kors Orange Silicone Watch. While this is not the cheapest trend around priced at $160, it will be with you for years. I am the lucky owner of two Michael Kors time pieces, and I have nothing but great things to say about their durability (I’m not very nice to my watches; I’m forever banging them around). What I love about this trend is that it looks good with just about every outfit conceivable- whether you are in your swimsuit (the watch is water resistant to 5 ATM), lunching with the ladies, or out for the evening in your LBD, this watch is going to look rockin’. If orange isn’t your color, fear not, it comes in three other colors – the blue is my second favorite.

I am usually not a fan of the “celebrity fragrance”;  they can be trite, overly indulgent, and created for silly reasons. However, Jennifer Aniston’s new fragrance is everything that she promises it to be – beachy, sexy, and clean. It was such a pleasant surprise to pick up the bottle, take a whiff, and deem is worthy of a trial spritz. After a few hours I loved it just as much if not more than when I first sprayed it, therefore leading to my purchase – only $39. Can’t beat that price for a new fragrance, I’m used to the $60 minimum. In the spirit of Ms. Aniston’s work with St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, she is donating $1 for every “Like” that the fragrance receives on the Sephora: Jennifer Aniston Jennifer Aniston: Women’s Fragrance. Good for her!

I will try to remember that “April showers bring May flowers.” And as always, happy shopping!


March Madness Shopping

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by Andrea Lara

While my husband is completely engrossed in March Madness and “bracketology” (which I somehow manage to misspeak and always call “bracketeering,” followed by much ridicule), I become enthralled with all of the new spring fashion and beauty products: this is what I call a “win/win” situation! My list was extremely difficult to narrow down as the Spring 2011 collections are FAB-U-LOUS! Not to mention the never ending accessories, shoes, and color, color, color! I hope that all of you have more self control than I seem to have lately.

I have always been a fan of the NARS Duo Eyeshadow, it is well pigmented, has interesting and flattering color combinations, and wears extremely well. That being said, their new Spring 2011 Duo Eyeshadow in color: “Nouveau Monde” is absolutely to die for. It is a color combo that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as an everyday “go-to” pairing but if you give it a try you will discover the most beautiful, flattering, fashion forward look that can be worn with just about any day or evening look. It is a combination of a periwinkle purple and an olive gold and truly, truly stunning. I have one in my kit for clients and shoots and another one just for my own personal wardrobe. Gorgeous!

I adore scarves, all scarves, cashmere, cotton, silk, linen…. you get the idea. Usually a good quality scarf is going to run you a pretty penny, or so has been my experience until I found the Nordstrom Oversized Tonal Stripe Wrap; it is a mouthful but for a scarf like this priced at $28, they can call it whatever the heck they want! What I love about this scarf is its versatility, color variety, and the fact that it keeps its shape even after it has been shoved in my handbag for two days. It is light weight making it perfect for spring and summer; speaking of summer, I am planning on making it my new sarong come June – and as my husband (who is as corny as Kansas in August) would say, “What’s sarong with that?”

Since Tom Pecheux has become Estee Lauder’s new creative director, we have seen this tried and true American brand turn in to a company that is designing and executing the makeup for Derek Lam’s show during New York Fashion Week. With edgy new colors, the reformulation of almost all of the color in this line, including 30-some new lipstick and gloss shades, the product that grabbed my attention the most was the new Pure Color Nail Polish in Purple Passion. Perfect for spring toes or in my case fingers! I truly can’t get enough of this color, and the added bonus is that I have not had any chipping yet and it has been on for about four days – that is pretty darn good considering I am constantly washing my hands, using eye makeup remover and makeup brush cleaner.


With Spring upon us comes warmth, beautiful blooms and scents. Here in Boston it is still a bit chilly to have the windows open, but I still want that Spring aroma. Well folks, I have found the answer to that problem – the Bellini Candle from Calypso St. Barthe. The notes that jump out to me are grapefruit, white peach, coconut and sandelwood – a.k.a heaven. It is subtle but manages to fill my home with it’s sublime scent. Not to mention the fact that it is hot pink! It also makes me want to throw a few Bellinis back – which I may or may not be known to do.

Keeping with the theme of great scents, I’m sure you are all acquainted with fragrance maven Jo Malone. Well, this scent genius has teamed with celebrity hair colorist Beth Minardi to bring us Luxury Color Care Products. As you can imagine the scent alone makes picking up a few of these babies worthwhile, but the kicker is that they actually do what they say they are going to do! Whether you have hair that is treated with permanent or semi-permanent hair color, highlighted, bleached, or hair that is basically a brillow pad, Minardi has something for you.

My final spring love affair is with the most flattering, comfortable, versatile skirt I have ever had the pleasure of putting on. Designed by Bailey 44 this amazing creature looks fabulous (if I do say so myself) on me, (I am 5’9 and have a curvy/athletic build), a client who is 5’1 (and smack dab in the middle of menopause and fighting the extra weight that comes along with it), and another client who is 5’4 and has a classic boyish shape. It comes in black and taupe, sizes extra-small through large (I have the medium), and although it is $108 it has already paid for itself with the amount of compliments and “please tell me where you got that skirt” – I always share.  My clients…not so much (and that’s okay too). This may be the only skirt that I buy all season – I love it that much.

Enjoy the Spring sunshine (while wearing your favorite sunblock of course) and as always, Happy Shopping!

3 NEW Gift Ideas

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It’s the most wonderful time of year, and we all want to look like gift-giving Gods and Goddesses.  Have you found the perfect gifts for your friends and family?  We are here to help!   Here are three gift ideas we love that many people don’t know about.  Check them out, and let us know what you think!


What it is:   A darling pink box of 4-5 luxe beauty samples delivered to your door once monthly.  In the box, you’ll find corresponding directions for how to use the products, and online there are free tutorials as well.

Why we love it:  Words cannot express the pure joy we feel when we open this box to discover what treats are inside.  The samples are high quality and fun to try.  Plus, we save if we want to purchase full-size products.

Cost:  $10 per month or $110 per year


What it is:  Replenishment combination packages of underwear, socks and shirts which are automatically sent to you every three months.  You decide the quantity of each, and you confirm the purchase via email every three months.

Why we love them:  We love our guys, but sometimes they don’t like to shop.  So their socks and underwear get, well… gross.  This way, the nastiness is kept at bay and our guys always have what they need.

Cost:  $14 and up for a package of three items

Whomp Charmz  

What they are:  Collectible charmz that easily connect (or clip) to Silly Bandz™, rubber bands, necklaces, earphones, shoelaces, key rings – just about anything!  Some can even be used as erasers.

Why we love them:  These charmz are so fun to collect.  They are so cute, affordable, and practical.  Best of all, kids love them!

Cost:  $5.99 for a package of 8


Happy Shopping Everyone!!

Written by Real Life 101, Inc.

December 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm