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Five Great: (Very) Personal Care Products Under $12

Aside from Catherine Zit-a Jones, my monthly pimple pal, I’ve had relatively unearned luck when it comes to the body’s largest organ.

It seems along with her pointy chin and penchant for morning martinis, my grandmother –who subscribes to the Keith Richards school of nicotine and alcohol consumption and looks a full twenty years younger than she is (which is forty years younger than she has the right to)– bestowed upon me her preternaturally good skin.

Unfortunately, stress and a complete environmental change have let slip the dogs of clogged pores and your previously porcelain pal Plummy has found herself in need of some serious skin care.

So too has Hot Latin Boy, whose flawless smoldering face has gone all Vesuvius.

He insists he never had so much as a blemish before he met me.

I assured him it was probably a result of his hormones going into hyperdrive from all the sweet, sweet lovin’ he’s been getting and the best course of action would be to cut way back on the international relations. He backpaddled so hard he nearly tripped over my dog.

Despite evidence to the contrary –last night I plucked an unusual yellow fruit the size of a jumbo olive from a neighbor’s tree and blithely popped it in my mouth before realizing I had no idea what that particular morsel was or whether in fact it was edible– I’m not much of a risk-taker when it comes to my health so I opted to order from drugstore.com where I knew my potions would be approved under the boring-but-important FD&C and FPLA (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, respectively).

For all I know, Mexico could be just as strict as the US when it comes to their equivalent of the FDA, but I don’t especially want to take that risk quite yet.

Nivea Creme Travel Tin

I think I’ve mentioned these pocket-sized wonders before, but they deserve all the praise my freshly moisturized hands can throw at them.

I buy them by the dozen and stash them everywhere.

There’s at least one in every handbag, in all of my coats, a few in the car and one by my bed. What makes them so brilliant is their portability. They’re slim enough to keep in your pocket or bag without taking up much room, and since it’s a tin and not a tube, it’s virtually leak proof.

Recently I’ve been using it when I go to the beach to protect my face against chapping in the wind and to replenish the moisture lost in my hands from all the salt air. They’re also dead handy to have around when I want to partake in street food and either have to use my own disinfectant wipes (harsh) or the combination powdered hand and dish soap (harsher) provided by the taco joint in question.

That way I can have clean hands and still enjoy my taco without my cuticles painfully turning into papyrus. Plus they’re dead cheap and seemingly last forever. What’s not to love?

Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads

I’m a little sensitive to both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, two of the most common active ingredients in OTC acne treatments. Nothing especially terrible happens, I don’t develop leprosy or break out in hives, just a little peeling, but I still try to avoid them when possible.

Tea tree oil has always been good to me as has witch hazel; these little astringent pads contain both.

They are outstanding.

What they’re not, however, are cleansing pads. I always think of cleansing pads as something to replace your face wash. These are more like Oxy pads for grown ups, and I’d use them in place of a toner or astringent.

I really like the pads themselves, which are just scratchy enough to feel like you’re getting a good rigorous bit of exfoliation, and although the witch hazel/denatured alcohol/tea tree oil does tingle, it feels reassuringly strident without making my skin peel or go red, even if I forget to moisturize after.

It’s pretty good bang for your buck too, 50 pads will set you back just over five smackeroos and they can be used as middle-of-the-day skin refreshers too.

Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Anti-Wrinkle Creme

Man this is great stuff.

I remember back in the day you could go to Walgreen’s for your middle-of-the-night PMS run (spice drops, Coca Cola and beef jerky) and get a nice-sized vat of Alpha Hydrox creme for like six bucks on sale.

I would slather it all over my body and then do a dry brush/salt scrub whenever I was feeling particularly crusty and gross.

It worked like gangbusters and I’d emerge from my bath looking just as fresh and pink as a pig in buttermilk.

They’ve either discontinued or reformulated that particular product, but this moisturizer with 10% pure Glycolic Acid –an alpha hydroxy acid naturally found in sugar cane– holds its own when it comes to gently reducing fine lines, spots and improving the tone and texture of your skin, even on delicate petals like me.

HLB has been using this in combination with the tea tree wipes for two weeks and his complexion has almost completely cleared, plus the dark spots blemishes leave behind for a month after a breakout have faded considerably.

I’ve mostly noticed an improvement of tone in my skin and the few fine lines that appear in my forehead whenever I’m particularly stressed or dehydrated have vanished.

I’ve put these last two products behind the jump because they’re a bit intimate in nature, but I get a surprising number of emails about products like these, so here we go.


Pssst…Free shipping on wide calf boots from Duo!

I’m working on a big post for tomorrow, but I wanted to let you all know right now that DUO Boots, those wonderful British purveyors of boots made to fit your calf– is offering free international shipping for a limited time. How limited? They’re not saying, and since shipping can set you back over $100 for just a few pairs, now is the time to stock up on your wide calf boots.

I’m a tough critic and their Tulip boots were knockouts for me last year, so go get while the getting is good!

Your Weekly Humpletter: Neither Weekly Nor Humply, Discuss

Over at Ashley Stewart they’ve got some interesting takes on linen, including this wide legged pant (note: it’s a ramie/rayon blend, not actually linen) which, while admittedly not effortless to pull off, could be a fantastic option for the statuesque big girl when paired with a slim bateau-neck knit top and either a foulard (if you’re a scarf-type person) or just the right statementy necklace.

Also piquing my interest is this fantastic striped linen-blend dress. Classic, not boring and sharp sharp sharp. Wearable now and all through the summer, layer it over a black 3/4 sleeve knit shirt and it’ll take you straight through fall.

The Avenue is giving you $10 off for every $40 you spend using the code AV111101. The Mini-Ottoman Seamed Dress is currently my front runner for Easter Sunday but I am really fixated on this Border Print Sheath Dress.

I know it would be great on apples, but I’m going to give it a go on my pear shaped frame, because if it’s good I think it will be very good.

For our fashion-forward sweet young things Dorothy Perkins offers 25% off your entire purchase with code DPVIPD. Sure Dorothy Perkins is across the pond to most of us, but they ship to the States for just about ten bucks. This charming open-backed ivory and black number might be a bit precious for those of us whose prom and pledge days are long gone, but women of any age can carry off the Red Brushstroke Belted Dress, highly reminiscent of both Prada and YSL in recent seasons.

Remember to check the size chart to make sure you’re getting the perfect fit.

Finally, from the “They Only LOOK Murderously Painful” files 6pm.com provides plenty of incredible discounts on high end shoes. If you’re making your first girlish (or boyish) foray into the world of high heels, let me suggest Pour la Victoire and Stuart Weitzman.

PlV makes some of the most comfortable shoes I own, including the Atman mary jane in gray patent leather, an exceedingly hot tribute (ahem) to Yves Saint Laurent (seriously, they have the best padded footbeds in the biz) and the Femina from Stuart Weitzman. I don’t know how Stewie makes a 5″ heel feel like walking on air, but he does. It’s magic.

Your Weekly-ish Humpletter: Now Almost Never on Wednesdays!

Happy Friday everybahdy! I have been remiss in letting the weekly sales slip through my elegantly sausage-like fingers. Well no more!

At Lane Bryant you’ve got 30% your entire order until March 25th using code 000300384. I’m a big fan of the cargo jegging which is really more of a riding pant with cargo detailing than a legging. It’s surprisingly well-made and makes my legs look like ten miles of very good road.

I’m also digging the tissue-weight striped sweaters they’re practically giving away. They’re low cut but If you’ve got a defined waist and a good bust, this will be all about Brigitte Bardot on you.

From One Stop Plus you’ve got your choice of sales codes.

Use OSPCOUPON7 for 40% off a single item or OSPCOUPON8 for $20 off your $50 purchase, $25 off a $75 one and $30 off $100. Have you stocked up on slips? If not, now is the time. Whether you prefer shapers or full slips, get your underpinnings in order before those light spring dresses come out of the closet.

At  Avenue you can take 50% off your highest priced item using code JLE4473 and take 40% off your entire clearance purchase if you use code AV111081.

That’s right, you can double up on coupons. I’m liking this mini ottoman dress (get a better belt though, I’ve seen it in person) for your full-priced item and then clean up on denim with your clearance coupon.

If you’ve not been turned on to Amazon’s monthly $5 album downloads, you’re missing something good. There are some killers this month including The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed,( featuring two of the most iconic album covers of all time. Everyone knows Andy Warhol’s “peel slowly and see” banana for Louie Blue and the VU, but far fewer people know the woman responsible for Keef’s cake was none other than Delia Smith)  OK Computer from Radiohead, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and The Score from the Fugees.

Your Weekly-ish Humpletter

Hello my little heffalumps and woozles, it’s time for the return of the Weekly –by which I mean “When I can be bothered”– Humpletter (not strictly speaking ON Humpday, but it is humpy in spirit) highlighting steals and deals from the fatosphere and beyond.  There are some doozies to be had this week, so let’s get on with the show. And as always, I feel I ought to remind you that I do not Run The Internet (yet) so prices might have changed, stock been depleted, blah blah blah.

SWAK Designs are having their Pink Hanger Sale now through January 17th. Lots of trendy pieces to be had, many under $10. My picks? This shawl collar cardi and black bib necklace

The Avenue is having its Final Winter Sale with hundreds of items more than 50% off. My picks: ruched hem chino crops and a gunmetal sequined pencil skirt, both perfect paired with a slouchy cardigan and an aggressive, architectural heel.

Over at 6pm.com we’ve got a huge handbag sale, up to 80% off.  I’m digging the orange eel clutch from Be & D and the purple polished leather hobo from BCBGMaxazria, that are 76% and 70% off, respectively.

more sales after the jump!


Deals and Steals: Accessorize Beautifully and Inexpensively

Great wardrobe pieces are wonderful, of course. In the end, though, it’s accessories that make or break an outfit. The right touches make everything perfect while the wrong ones can ruin even the best look.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to have a great look.
Fashion Bug Shell Necklace This spiffy choker from Fashion Bug is simple, but it makes a great statement. Add it to a casual look for a touch of sparkle and fun. It’s 17″ long for the larger neck and comes with a 3″ extender. That means it should fit  any of us. It was a great deal at the original price of $14.00, but right now it’s $7.00 and the deal goes further to buy one, get one 50% off.

Also through sunday, buy anything from the New Arrivals section for 30% off. Discount is taken at checkout.


Deals and Steals for the Weekend

So, my little dumplings, are we ready for some great ways to save on pretties this weekend? I certainly hope so, because I’m  about to lay them on you. Here we go.

LB Linen Stripe Trouser Lane Bryant is having a great deal now through June 16. Spend $50.00, get a discount of $15.00. Spend more, save more. It goes up incrementally to $75.00 off any order of $225.00 or more. See here for details. The code to use at checkout? Is: 015002549. As for what to buy, you could do a heck of a lot worse than these fabulous pinstriped linen trousers. They come in Frost Grey (shown) or Neutral (a pretty soft beige), and talls and petites as well as regular length. The linen/rayon blend is machine washable for easy care superfantasticness, too. And at $59.50, they start off affordable and then qualify for the discount all on their own. Just add a crisp menswear shirt, a statement necklace or scarf, and a great pair of shoes to put together a classic Kate Hepburn vibe that will take over your world. Then again, they would look terrific with a simple tank, a great pair of sandals, and a floppy sunhat, too.


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