Tuesday, January 31

New Sponsors

I am hoping to make some changes to this blog to keep up with the traffic I've been getting. First of all, I am saving up to make a bid for www.closettherapy.com and I'm looking for more permanent hosting. Hence, I've added a little advertising here and there.

With the exception of the Google Ads I only advertise for online stores that I've personaly purchased from and recommend. So please, show your support and the next time you are planning to shop at eLuxury.com, Sephora.com, or a flurry of other online stores, stop by ClosetTherapy and link through. ~.~

Monday, January 30

Luella for Target

Target takes after H&M's successful Karl Lagerfeld & Stella McCartney one-time-only collections and invites Brit designer Luella Bartley for a Cruise Collection. Just the kind of thing that gets me excited. :)

You can preview the collection now on Target.com which will be available in-store in a couple of weeks.

With these prices, this is a great way to pick up a non-committal cruise wardrobe :) Great for kicks, great for gifts. Here are some of the items I will probably pick up if I can get my hands on them:

Net tote comes in a variety of colors, $29.99.
Sling bag (perfect for the gym!), $29.99.

Cherry Print Coin Purse, $14.99.
Cherry Print Clutch, $16.99.

White Oversized Sunglasses, $16.99.
Cherry Print iPod Case, $12.99.

Beaded necklace comes in black or white, $14.99.
Bracelet Cuff comes in black or white, $12.99.

White Polo, $16.99.
Puff Sleeve Tee in Rose, $14.99.

Strapless Dress, $39.99.
(Loved it in blue layered over a blue striped tank like in the Target ads!)
Tulip Skirt, $24.99.

If I happen to find any of this left at Target, I'll be back with a report/review to let y'all know about the fit & quality!

Sunday, January 29

Nautical Fun

Speaking of flats...

I want to buy a pair of these Sperry Topsider Nautical Skimmers... but I can't decide on a color. Do I go with a simple White or the Green to pair with knee length skirts and bermuda shorts for a sweet cutesy look, or do I go for a more nautical pair like the Navy or the Black for a more "Cruise" look?

Which would you choose?

Saturday, January 28

The London Slipper

The most flattering pair of ballet flats I've ever had~ and at a size 10 trust me, most ballet flats look silly. These portable ballet flats by Sue London fold in half and come in their own carrying case~ making it easy to throw them in your purse or in the trunk of your car for high-heel emergencies. They are made of an ultra-soft buttery leather and the shape just molds to your feet. The soles are rubber and have enough support for all day walking. Now they come in a match-everything winter palette. I've used my Mermaid Pink (above - right) pair all summer & fall and just reordered the Slate online. If you purchase today, January 29th you can get an extra 20% off [normally $120] @ girlshop.com by entering coupon code: MESPREE06.

They are a little pricey for ballet slippers but they are worth every penny! They are so comfortable and easy on the feet. Also, they are simple yet flattering. Some colors are subtly metallic but this actually adds the right amount of sophistication.

They only come in whole sizes and run true-to-size but because of the stretchy leather I went down half a size. I'm thinking of getting a pair in Bronze (dressy) & Navy (nautical) as well for Spring!

Thursday, January 26

Your Recommendations

I decided it's time to invest in a set of make-up brushes. I've pretty much been cheaping out and sticking to promotional brush sets, the likes of Stila and Shu Uemura. And although great quality, they are too small and too "temporary".

So this is where you come in. It'll be much appreciated if you would help me out by filling out the short survey below of your favorite brushes. You can copy and paste it into a comment below this post or e-mail it to me at closettherapy@gmail.com if you'd like to privately submit your votes. Either way I will I review all of the submissions and report back with your favorites as well as the ones I ended up choosing.

So here we go... [I've filled in below with my current set as an example]

1) Powder/Face Brush: MAC Travel Blush Brush 129
2) Bronzer Brush: MAC Travel Blush Brush 129
3) Blush Brush: MAC Travel Blush Brush 129
4) Defined Eyeshadow Brush: Shu Uemura Portable Natural Brush 10
5) Blending Eyeshadow Brush: MAC Travel Tapered Blending Brush 224
6) Slanted/Eyeliner Brush: MAC Small Angle Brush 266
7) Lip Brush: Finger
8) Eyebrow Brush: MAC Small Angle Brush 266
9) Make-Up Brush Cleanser: Soap and Water

So yes, I basically reuse the same 4 brushes over and over again. :)

Wednesday, January 25

Straight from the horse's mouth

I just realized that it's been almost a year that I've been working out with my trainer. I've picked up some great tips along the way, some that most of you have probably already heard and hopefully some will be new. So now I pass on the knowledge baton to you. :)

1) A balance of strength training and cardio is always best. First of all no machine is "better" than the other... just do what you like. Stationary bike, elliptical machine, treadmill, stairmaster... do whatever will keep you moving. On the days you strength train, 20 minutes at a fat-burning heart rate level is enough. For me, that's about 125-130 bpm. On non-strength training days, you should up your cardio to 30-40 minutes at a cardio-training heart rate level which for me is about 150-160 bpm. Ideally you should do this twice a week, which adds up to 4 times a week. Cardio has always been my weak spot~ I get so bored! I usually give up 5 minutes into a workout but now I keep my mind busy watching TV. You shouldn't bring a book to the gym because if you can concentrate on reading while you're doing cardio, you aren't working out hard enough!

2) For the fastest results (in terms of decreasing your fat percentage and burning the most calories) you want to concentrate your strength training on your legs. Your largest workable muscle group is in your legs so you'll burn the most in the last amount of time by working out your legs. Squats and lunges should always be incorporated into every workout session. Of course some will argue that the back is the largest muscle group and can burn the most fat & calories but to properly workout your back muscles you need at least 5-6 different movements so it's a little more difficult. With the legs you just make sure you're working out your quads and hamstrings evenly and you're good.

3) Keep your heart rate up doing strength training. In between sets of anything, grab a small step (just slightly shorter than your knee) and climb up and down. Start with your left foot up, bring the right one up, step the left foot down then the right foot down. Repeat 15 times. Then start with your right foot and repeat for another 15. Getting your heart rate up will help your muscles burn more fat and calories during normal strength training, even if it's something like working out your abs or biceps.

4) You hear stories about Britney Spears doing 1000 crunches a day and what not. If you're doing crunches the right way, you do not need to do that many to get the same results. First of all make sure you vary and do all the crunch positions so that you utilize all of your ab muscles. That means doing a set straight-up, doing a set of lower abs, then doing a set of twisties to target your obliques. For your regular straight-up crunches, the best position is to lie down on a hard surface and prop your feet up so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle, like a chair on its back. For lower abs, the best way is to grab something above your head, then slowly lift your butt up towards the ceiling, with your knees moving in a slow back and forth motion as you pick up your butt. Make sure you don't rock too much, you should only feel this movement in your abs and not your lower back. Obliques can be done on the floor with one foot propped up against the opposite knee, put your hands behind your head and aim your elbow for the opposite knee. I do 2 sets of 20 for each position. Also, while you're doing all of your other work outs you should keep your tummy tucked into your spine which will also help strengthen your core and tighten those abs.


1) Drink a lot of water. We always hear this but this is seriously the easiest way to lost your water weight in 2-3 days. Your body holds on to whatever it doesn't get enough of. If you're not drinking a lot of water, your body will hold on to the water it does get which will give you a permanent bloat. By drinking a lot of water (think 2 liter-sized Smart Water bottles a day) your body will realize it doesn't need to hold on to water because you will always be consuming some more and you will drop your water weight. (And pee a gazillion times)

2) Don't drastically change your diet. Starting a diet like the atkins, zone, or south beach is often a temporary thing because you can't stick with that for your entire life. There will be nights out and special occasions where you need to eat real food. Instead make small changes. Eat out for dinner often? Get in the habit of ordering a side salad with EVERY meal and eat that salad first before you touch anything else. This will make you full faster, and fill you up with veggies so that you are a healthy-full not steak-and-fries-full. You will eat less of the fatty unhealthy stuff and eat more healthy protein and fiber.

3) Also another good tip for eating out: when ordering, ask the waiter to immediately put half of every portion "to go" and serve the other half. This will prevent you from eating too much: if you're like me, your stomach is slow to give the "I'm full!" signal and you always end up overeating. This way, you still get the satisfaction of cleaning up your plate.

4) Don't skip dessert, but try choosing fruit or sorbet instead. If you skip dessert when you really want it, you might cave in to your sweet tooth when you get home and end up eating brownies, cookies and who knows what else. Which reminds me of another tip, if you get a craving, give in to it but within reason. Crave some potato chips? Grab a small serving and enjoy it while you eat it. Once I was craving a French Bread Pizza. I decided to eat some chips instead... but they didn't satisfy me. Then I added a cookie, some candy and some cheese bread. Still not satisfied. I went as far as eating 2 more servings of snacks until I finally gave in and made myself some Pizza. So if I had eaten the Pizza in the first place, I wouldn't have had to eat everything else.

Of course I'm not an expert on dieting. I mean I rarely stick to mine. I find my biggest problem is forgetfulness. As in, I literally forget that I'm supposed to be watching what I eat until I finish eating. So this brings me to my last tip. Write down what you eat. Buy a cutesy little book (I got a black leather one from Coach) and every day write every little thing you put in your mouth. 2 Mint Milanos. 1 glass Orange Juice. 4 McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. 1/2 order of fries. Make sure you write EVERYTHING you eat right then and there. The next time you're about to sneak a Lay's Baked Potato Chip, you'll skip it because you're too lazy to take out your eating book.

So what tried-and-true methods do you have for working out or dieting?

Monday, January 23


I rarely do lifestyle-related posts but I've just made some recent discoveries that I absolutely-must-need to share with everyone.

Most of my apartment is hardwood flooring and tile. I've always wanted the Roomba but since I've bought the Dyson, I never had a use for it. Well just recently iRobot came out with the Scooba... a Floor Washing Robot. ($399 at Sharper Image)

So now instead of my usual vaccuum, dust, mop & dry ritual I can clean all my floors with the push of a button. Literally. And sad to say, but it does a much better job than me.

Which of course leaves me free to do other things. So now I've converted my "housework" into "me" time. While the dishwasher & Scooba goes I plop down on the sofa, light some candles, play Jack Johnson on my iPod and read my newest book while sipping on some Chamomile tea. The perfect way to wind down after a day while cleaning up the day's messes!

Mighty Leaf Tea Chamomile Citrus
Recently at Il Fornaio I had the perfectly brewed cup of Chamomile Tea. Instantly addicted I went online looking for it... Mighty Leaf. The perfect brew for the end of the day. Relaxing and of course since it's Chamomile, no caffeine.
$8.75 for 15 packets on Amazon.com

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
Bushnell's 4th novel (Sex & the City) and her best since SATC. Smart, funny and a good read. I'm trying to pace myself through the book although the story just breezes through sometimes I'm tempted to finish it in one setting.
$16.47 on Amazon.com

In Between Dreams Jack Johnson
I know I'm a little bit late, but I just recently gave in and bought Jack Johnson's CD on iTunes. I've been listening to it all weekend (in the plane, in the car, in bed before sleeping) and I'm addicted. Laidback and mellow but light enough for background music while reading.
$11.99 on Amazon.com

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Niketown Union Square

While shopping in Union Square on Friday I noticed a line outside of NikeTown. Curious, I decided to go inside. (Heck, I need new workout shoes anyway)

Turns out they were having a private party for the release of the new Air Max 360. I didn't 'RSVP' so I couldn't buy the shoes until the following day. So I returned on Saturday to try on the shoes and they really do feel like walking on air. Air-inflated cushions at least. Always a sucker for buying new just-released items I picked up the Air Max 360 in blue:

I haven't had the chance to wear them yet to the gym but I'm sure it'll keep me on the treadmill longer. At least 5 minutes. :P

Sunday, January 22

Weekend Getaway

I've been in San Francisco since Thursday night & today is my last day. Expect some posts next week about my first time in... :)

Thursday, January 19

Borba Skin Boosts

This morning I stopped by Jamba Juice on my way to work. They have Borba Skin Boosts now! For 65¢ you can add Borba's Clarifying, Anti-Aging or Replenishing boosts to your smoothie. I love crossover collaborations.

Monday, January 16

A Faux-Glow during Winter's Lows...

Yup, it's just about the time of year when our tan has faded to a pasty white and our cheeks, throat and collarbone has somehow turned into 3 different shades of pale. It's time to stop by Sephora and stock up on bronzer.

But what's the 'right' way to put on bronzer at this time of year? You don't want an overly sun-smooched look- Donatella Versace in the winter is not a good look for anybody. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find the best bronzer for you. For the winter months, I say you only need enough bronzer to blend into the shadows and contours of your face. Forget about the faux-golden-glow... use bronzer strategically to make your face look slimmer & that should be enough. Leave the bronze sun-kissed look for summer!

Well, back to trial and error. Here are some of the products I've tried. I've learned quickly that they are all equally good, they just differ in what they are good at.

Firs of all, if you don't already have NARS blush in Orgasm, this is a great duo to get. This NARS bronzer is slightly shimmery and works as a great highlighter. Because of the strong tone, I wouldn't recommend this one for lighter complexions or for every day use. But if you are dressing up, this is a good bronzer to highlight your cheekbones and browbone. Not such a good bronzer for contouring because of the shimmer.

MAC bronzers (and anything else) tend to be much stronger. This one is matte so it's great for contouring the sides of the face. Again, not for lighter complexions but good for shadowing right underneath the cheekbone and jawline.

Use Benefit's Hoola only if you are using a neutral foundation. A tinted moisturizer or any base with a dark or tan tint to it will accentuate this bronzer even more. Again, good for shadowing under the cheekbones, jawline but be careful because this one isn't very sheer. (It's very hard to blend-in any "mistakes") Also the brush that comes with this really sucks so I'd suggest getting a very loose face/powder brush to really blend this nicely on your skin.

Dior's Girly Blossom Palette is an eyecatcher. It's adorable, comes with two retractable brushes and a matching highlighter and lip gloss. Other than those things, this palette's crap. Okay, that was a little harsh. But this bronzer will get you more orange than Lindsay Lohan on a bad spray-tan day. I'd suggest this product only for those who already have tan/dark skin and need a little bit of a golden glow. Just brush on the matte powder to blend and even out your skin and use the highlighter on your cheekbones, under the eyebrows and maybe a tiny dab on the bridge of your nose.

Again, for those with an already darker complexion, NARS Multiple in Palm Beach is a great highlighter to accentuate a golden glow. Because this is more of a cream blush, I'd recommend it only on matte foundation and/or a powder base. Also because of the shimmer I'd restrict this one to evening make-up only for the winter.

I saved my favorite for last. I was quite hesitant to use Guerlain's Terracotta bronzer for a while because it just looks harsh. Actually it is surprisingly sheer and comes on natural-looking. I use a dense blush brush to contour my cheeks and jawline, then use a looser powder brush to blend it into the rest of my face. Perfect for a casual day look-- just enough color to look healthy.

Sunday, January 15

S/S 06's single MUST-HAVE

If you haven't already, pick up French Vogue's latest issue:

The Spring/Summer '06 issue contain 324 pages of the must-have looks of this season from 160 designers-- think of it as a Fashion Bible for S/S. It starts off with a compilation of this season's "Best Of"'s and then dedicates two pages to each designer to show off their key looks from the runway. (It beats browsing through pictures one-by-one at style.com) Also included are accessory reports from each design house. The ENTIRE MAGAZINE is a pictorial... so you don't need to worry about reading in French to understand it. :)

A worthy investment for $30. I'm going to scour the pages looking for my favorite looks, pieces and accents and bookmark them with post-its. It'll be my go-to-guide for Spring. The accessory pages? Think of them as a Shopping To-Do list :)

Today I'm starting off with a look inspired from Celine's runway (pg. 70):

My version:
A creamy ruffled blouse from Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Khaki bermuda capri's by Theory.
A Kulson trench jacket in Khaki.
Louboutin brown/pink heels.
Chloe Paddington bag in tan.

Saturday, January 14

Missing in Action

There were a couple of weeks in December when I went missing... supposedly redesigning this blog. Unfortunately I only had time to work on the redesign of one site, and it was for business not pleasure.

Voilá, the unveiling of the new TheWarehouseSale.com.

Please feel free to browse, test and let me know what you think!

Friday, January 13

Angelina Jolie for St. John

St. John's campaign for a younger, fresher look started last fall with Gisele Bundchen. Angelina Jolie (photographed by the same photographer as Gisele's campaign) adds an ethereal touch to St. John's symbolic evolution.

These are 2 out of 4 shots of Angelina for this season's campaign. Notice something missing? The shot is without St. John's usual entourage of male models. A nice turn for St. John, methinks.

Thursday, January 12

Free Stuff: Always a good deal!

I was searching for some skincare items online today... okay actually I was trying to see if I could find a discount code for any online store that carries Cle de Peau. (Because of my freak obsessions of having all my skincare items "match") Anyhow, I ran into this link on Saks.com:

Complimentary La Prarie Cellular Nurturing System Deluxe Sample with any Saks.com purchase.
Coupon Code: LAPRAIRIE, Expires Jan 17, 2006 or while supplies last.

FREE is always good! Too bad Saks.com doesn't carry Cle de Peau. They did, however, carry SK-II. I am in bad need of a foaming cleanser. (3 months with Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil will do that to you) So I decided to pick up SK-II's Facial Treatment Cleanser. I don't know that much about it... I've been recommended this line countless times and the line "fine, rich lather" got me. :)

For those of you who aren't into La Prairie, Saks.com has another secret code. I call it secret because they don't tell you the code until you try to checkout. Just for TODAY, JANUARY 12 2006, when you buy from Saks.com or from Saks Fifth Avenue stores you will get about 10% back in the form of a Free Giftcard. So if you spend $250, you will get a $25 gift card. If you spend $500, you will get a $50 gift card. There are several tiers so check it out. The code for Saks.com is JANUARY5B (Enter at checkout)


Monday, January 9

Top-down weather, patio lunching and afternoon yoga...

Things to look forward to this Spring/Summer

Couture houses deviate from the norm as classic favorites are updated in whimsical printed fabrics. (Balenciaga & Chanel)

Collecting miniatures: micro-clutches and tiny totes in exotic skins. (Prada, Hermes & Marc Jacobs)

Chanel combines a soft leatherboot with a summer-ready thong.

Phoebe Philo's last collection at Chloe.

Rope details carried over from last year's Cruise Collections. (Prada)

Best-selling shapes are renewed with a certain casual chic. (Dior)

Old favorites are adorned with leather cut-outs. (Fendi Spy Bag with Wisteria details)

Sunday, January 8

Christmas Gifts!

Here's a list of some of the gifts I got for Christmas this year (In no particular order) :)

Canvas bag that says "Wow! Cute bag!" "Get your own bag b*tch!" Sums it up nicely :)

Trio of pill cases from Coach... very compact & convenient.

Yes I am a CSI addict. It is one of my many guilty pleasures. My other one is Passions. :(

Motorola H500 bluetooth headset for my cell phone, in baby blue!

I love this set of Apple hair products by Frederic Fekkai! I use it at least once a week. Well I mix around with my Kerastase & Ojon (see below), not that I only shampoo once a week. :D

My friend saw this Juicy Couture igloo charm on my blog earlier this year and got it for me... how thoughtful!

My sister got me this Cle de Peau Gentle Protective lotion. I love it! I definitely see a difference in my skin already... kind of a supple thickness. I can't wait to run out of my Shu Uemura, so I can try their foaming cleanser & clarifying toner! (I'm sick of rubbing my face with Shu Oil)

A small Benefit cosmetic bag & the perfect wear-with-anything lipgloss.

My sisters got me these 1.48 carat pink sapphire studs set on white gold from Saks Fifth Avenue. I haven't taken them off since Christmas!

"The People of Beautiful Hair" Ojon hair products are one of Oprah's favorite things and have generated a lot of praise lately. I got the shampoo-conditioner-hair restorer set... can't wait to try it tonight!

A rhodium-plated silver crystal gift from Swarovski.

Louis Vuitton Small Ring Koala Agenda with pink lining.

VS pj set with matching slippers & carrying bag.

Sudoku! My other guilty pleasure.

Panerai 40mm Luminor Power Reserve. :D :D

Also not pictured are a Chanel Tumbled Lambskin handbag, set of bronze beaded bracelets, a chunky necklace, pink leather thong sandals, pink shearling slippers, desk calendar, Best Buy gift card, Saks 5th gift card track jacket from Urban Outfitters, Frommer's Guide to Hawaii and a lot of CHOCOLATE!

I will add more as I remember them. It's been a couple of weeks so Christmas is a bit fuzzy. ~.~

Now here's a list of things I -didn't get- but were on my wishlist. I'm going to slowly hunt down each of these things this month =)

Alexander McQueen scarf in blue/white combo.

Guerlain multi-effect bronzing powder.

Shu Uemura face brush.

Chanel Aviatorspirit sunglasses in silver (S/S 2006).

Chanel 2.55 Reissue in Grey

William Rast 'Showdown' jeans in Smoke.

Gucci horsebit scarf in light blue to update my blue Guccissima hobo for Spring.