Monday, May 30, 2011

How to Get a Sunless Tan - the Safe Way!

Happy Memorial Day! This weekend is the unofficial start of the summer  which means it is time to start baring your legs, wearing tank tops, and of course making sure your body is beach-ready. Unfortunately it has been raining a lot in NYC and we've only had a few sunny days, therefore my skin hasn't been exposed to much sunlight. If you have pale skin like I do then and you need some color before you can wear your favorite little white dress

So what's a girl to do? With the way my schedule has been, it will most likely be weeks before I make it to the beach (I always wear sunblock. You should too!). Although I've used tanning beds in the past, in recent years research has proven them to be much more harmful than actual UV Rays from natural sunlight! There is the option of a spray tan, but on top of it being expensive there are also annoying things involved such as not being able to shower until hours later. Then there are the drugstore options such as self tanners (we all know how bad those can turn out) and moisturizing lotions. When the tanning moisturizers were first introduced I was excited to try them, but quickly found that most of these products either don't work as they promise or have some other downside. For example, in my experience Jergens Natural Glow works very well but after a few hours you are left with a somewhat strong and strange smell on your body. Although I loved the results I received from using it, I felt dirty and wanted to shower more often than usual.

photo via Nivea
With that being said, I'd like to introduce you to a new product that promises to give you a glowing, natural looking tan simply by using it as your daily moisturizer. I've been selected by Bella Sugar's Sample Squad to test out and review Nivea’s Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin Gradual Tan Moisturizer. I thought it would be beneficial to you ladies if I shared my review here as well. I'm hoping it works as well as the product I mentioned above - without the weird after-smell.

This product is proven to give you a base tan in less than a week. The product page on Nivea's website states, "Get a glowing, naturally looking tan and touchably soft skin with NIVEA Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin, proven to gradually tan your skin within 5 days". This sounds great, but I am skeptical that it will give me a tan in such a short time period. I am not at all skeptical that it will gradually tan my skin, but I am going to guess it will take anywhere from one to two weeks before that happens. You may be thinking that this just another product that will give you a fake/orange-y look but I assure you it will not! Because the products work by gradually changing your skin color, using it will give you a completely natural look. Plus if you don't like the way it is working you simply stop using it and all the color you gained from it will disappear in just a few days. To watch a short video with additional information about the product see BellaSugar's dedicated post.

Nivea’s Skin-Kissed Radiant Skin Gradual Tan Moisturizer comes in two skin tones - "Fair to Medium" and "Medium to Dark". I obviously chose the fair to medium option. This product can be purchased at retailers such as CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, Walmart, and almost every other drugstore and mass-merchandiser for about $8. You can also find it on Amazon for less. If you plan on purchasing in-store visit Nivea's Facebook for a printable coupon to save $1.

I began using the product just a few days ago. On the 5th day I will take photos of myself. I will post these photos as well as photos of myself before using the product for comparison. That way you can see what my skin looked like before using it, as well as what it looks like by day 5. I will also include a full review of the product. Several days later I will do a follow-up post with additional photos so you can see the final results.

Although this is a brand new product, has anyone tried it? If so, I'd like to hear what you think about it.

Just a friendly reminder to please take a second to vote for Mia! << This link will take you to her entry on Facebook where you simply click "VOTE NOW" next to her photo. If you voted already you can still vote again as long as 24 hours have passed. Please help bring her to NYC!!! I would love for her to win so we can hang out at the JustFab event. I truly appreciate all of you who take a second of your time to vote - as does Mia! Thank you, thank you!


Have you entered my giveaway? 
For more information and to enter please see my giveaway post: It's Giveaway Time!
Contest closes Wednesday, 06.01.11 at 11:59pm EST.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Exciting News from JustFabulous

Photo via JustFabulous

A few days ago, I received a phone call from JustFabulous with exciting news: I have been selected to become part of their Elite program! Elite members receive great perks such as receiving their boutique 24-hours in advance, a dedicated phone line, a cute watch, and premier access to just about everything JustFab. When JF first rolled out this program several months ago they had a computer randomly generate a list of members that were invited to join and test out this new program. Naturally, everyone who didn't get selected inquired about how they could become an Elite member. JustFab let us know that it was a trial period only and they would, in the future, select additional members to join. They would select these new members based on purchases, referrals, Facebook and Twitter interaction, contests and more. I definitely fit the bill for what they are looking for in an Elite member - I've made tons of purchases, referred a phenomenal amount of ladies, tag JustFab on Twitter often, and chat on and upload pictures to their Facebook page all the time. The only place I think I am lacking is in the contest area (I enter some but not all).

On top of my new Elite status, I've also been invited to attend JustFab's Style Night which is an event that will be taking place on June 15th in NYC. There will be a fashion show featuring their new collection, drinks and appetizers, and more. I will be attending and of course taking pictures which I will share with you. I will possibly be meeting some of my "shoe friends" for the first time at this event which is the most exciting part about it - Lisa, Mia, Esther, Chanda, and Lori. As I've mentioned in the past, over the last 2-1/2 years I've become close friends with many of these girls. The only problem is we are all in different parts of the country so we have never met. Luckily, JustFabulous is hosting a style contest in which three grand prize winners will win a trip to NYC and get to attend the event! I am hoping, wishing, and praying that three of these ladies are the winners. I would love to get a chance to finally hang out with them.

On that note, please take a second to vote for Mia! << This link will take you to her entry on Facebook where you simply click "VOTE NOW" next to her photo to cast your vote. Please help bring her to NYC!!!

It took me a little convincing to get Mia to enter the contest, so I wanted to show my full support and promote her entry! I truly appreciate all of you who take a second of your time to vote - as does Mia! Thank you, thank you!

Have you entered my giveaway? 
For more information and to enter please see my giveaway post: It's Giveaway Time!
Contest closes Wednesday, 06.01.11 at 11:59pm EST.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Giveaway Time!

If you have been following my blog from early on, you may remember that I mentioned a giveaway once I hit a certain number of fans. Although I haven't hit the 250 Facebook fans that I was waiting for (I'm up to 205) I decided to do one anyway...

Remember the gorgeous silver heart clutch that I won through JustFab's 100K Fan Giveaway? Well it only made its way out of the box one time - when I took pictures of it for the original blog post. Since I have it for two months now and haven't attempted to wear it yet, I realized that I will most likely never wear it. Then I thought about all of you ladies who entered the contest (or didn't enter) and wanted it. So I decided that it deserves a new home.. a home where it will be put to good use!

 You can check out additional pictures of the clutch here.

There are several ways you can enter:
1. Like Shoes and Jules on Facebook and leave a comment below - be sure to include your FB name.
2. Follow me on Twitter via @oxJuelz and leave a comment below - be sure to include your Twitter username.
3. Subscribe to Shoes and Jules via e-mail (top-right on the homepage) and leave a comment below - include the e-mail address you subscribed with.

You can enter as many ways as you'd like. For each entry you must leave a separate comment below with how you are entering. For example, if you entered by following me on Twitter, liking me on Facebook, and signing up for an e-mail subscription you would leave three separate comments below. 

You have until Wednesday, 06.01.11 at 11:59PM EST to enter. I will use to draw a winner from the comment box. 

This giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorry my international friends, but I do plan to have future giveaways in which you can be included.

Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win (either leave an e-mail address in your comment or make sure I can link through your Disqus username). All entries without any contact information will be disqualified.

I know that some of you also won JustFab's 100K giveaway and already have this clutch, so if you are one of those ladies and therefore don't enter my giveaway I'm sorry! ...but I do promise some amazing giveaways to look forward to! :)

*This is not a sponsored giveaway.*

Monday, May 23, 2011

My "Closet" Featured

I was notified by one of the lovely JustFabulous members (thanks again Amanda!) that part of my JF collection is featured in their latest newsletter - The JustFabulous Report

My mini-JF collection actually looks kind of sad when you see it nestled in between the amazing collections of my two friends Mia and Lourdes. But that's okay - I'm still proud! :)

photo via The JustFabulous Report
Click to view larger.

I hope the photos of our collections inspire more "Fab-shionistas" to accumulate their own coveted collections!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Black Pumps: Dash from Sole Society - Part 2

There are a few basic items that every girl has in her closet (or needs to go get if she doesn't already have!). These keys pieces are the foundation around which you build your wardrobe. I think of black pumps as one of these wardrobe necessities. Whether you are dressing for the office, a date, funeral, wedding, or even a casual lunch with your girlfriends, chances are black pumps will work with what your wearing and can often be the final touch that pulls your outfit together. Because they are so versatile, black pumps are often one's go-to pair of heels. The only problem with this is that you wear them extremely often and usually need to replace them sooner than expected.

Photo via Sole Society

What I am trying to do is convince you that you need to order Dash in black from Sole Society. These faux patent leather pumps are perfectly crafted with no dents, scratches, or "nipple/elf toe" (A frequent pump problem at one of the other shoe clubs - not at Sole Society). The heel on Dash is about 4" with a 1" platform which makes them feel like they are much lower than they are and therefore practical for everyday wear. All of the Sole Society / Marco Santi shoes I've ordered have an extra bit of cushion on the ball of foot area, which also gives them an advantage in the comfort department. 

If you've read my blog before, you may already know how much I love my nude Dash. Since that pair is just so perfect to me, I figured it would be smart to order the black ones as well. The nude sold out very quickly in many sizes, so I figured if I didn't order right away these would sell out too. Then I would see everyone else's pictures and regret not ordering them. So I went for it, and I am extremely pleased that I did!

Are you lacking this closet staple? Is it time to replace the black pumps you already have? If so, head over to Sole Society and order Dash before she's gone. You can never have too many black shoes!

If you are not yet a member and would like to sign up for Sole Society you can do so here. If you are not familiar with shoe clubs please read my post on how shoe clubs work before heading over to their site.

* Sole Society is brought to you by Hautelook - a private sale site for luxury brands. All shoes from Sole Society are designed by Marco Santi.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Getting to work on time = free shoes for a year!

Little Miss Late
I have somewhat of a problem. Okay not somewhat, I have a huge problem. I cannot get to work on time. Ever. I was not always like this. Believe it or not, most of my life I was one of those people who was always early. For everything. Some time about three years ago I gradually become a chronically late person. When I was hired for my current job my hours were 7am to 3:30pm. For the past three years I've had somewhat of a flexible start time. I would come in anywhere from 7:30am to 9:30am and stay until anywhere from 4pm to 6pm. I didn't see this being a problem for a few reasons: 1) For the most part, I worked a full day. 2) One of my bosses has a habit of giving me projects to start at 4pm (that he needs back that day). So I figured they needed me there later. 3) My class schedule was often a determination of my work time. I would go in to work earlier in order to leave in time to get to my night classes, but I'm currently not taking any classes.

Tuesday morning upon my arrival at the office, my bosses called me into their office. The boss who requested me had a somewhat excited, yet strange look on his face and my other boss had a stern, yet strange look on his face. If you know me, you may know that my bosses aren't your average bosses, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this little meeting. They are the most amazing bosses I could ask for! On the other hand, I am often cursing them because they play jokes* on me almost every day.
* [Example: When I was having issues with Shoedazzle and was waiting extra long for one of my packages, they made me think it was delivered. They went as far as getting another woman's shoes and putting them in a Shoedazzle box and then a brown box. That way when I opened the package I got mad when they were the wrong shoe. Although I was ready to kill them both, I have to admit that it was pretty funny. The best thing about this situation is that they caught the whole thing on video. I haven't been able to get my hands on that video but if I do I will be sure to post it.]

It turns out that the two of them were trying to figure out a way to get me to come in to work on time, without reprimanding me. Something that will actually help me get to work on time. 

High Heel Wall Clock
To my surprise, I was told they decided to launch an employee incentive program. It works like this: If I get to work on time, every day, for one week, I get a free pair of shoes. This program will be in effect for one year, meaning I have the chance to receive 52 pairs of shoes compliments of my company!  

Some of you may think this will be easy, especially because I love shoes so much. The thing is, since my schedule has been this way for several years now I have grown quite accustomed to it. It works for me. I have no problem adjusting my work hours to better suit the company, but it is definitely going to take some time to get used to. I just don't know how to get to work on time anymore! Notice how I did not use the words "wake up". This is because getting up is not the problem. My alarm goes off at 5:45am every morning and for the most part, I get up. The problem is that I put on my WPIX11 news girlies, drink coffee, check e-mails, Tweet, Facebook, write blog posts, respond to comments and do every other imaginable thing (clean my bathroom, rearrange my room, you get the idea - I'm nuts!) while I should be getting ready for work! I can't help it, I get home too late to do much of anything at all after work. The only time I have for my personal life during the week is in the early morning.

Although the program starts on Monday, 05.23.11 I figured it would be a good idea to try and start getting to work on time immediately. Did I succeed at all? No. :(  Day #1 I was about 20 minutes late and day #2 and #3 I was about a half hour late. 

P.S. - I slightly tweaked the program. Instead of "one free pair of shoes every week". I turned it into a $50 credit every week. That way I am not only limited to shoes. I also worked it out so that I can combine the credits and purchase a more expensive item. If I could somehow extend this program for another year, I was thinking that I could maybe bank up the credits for a Chanel 2.55 bag. I can still do this now, but I've been working on getting myself out of debt so I think having them reward me with shoes, clothes, and accessories is a better idea for the time being - they way I won't spend as much of my own money.

How many $50 "credits" do you think I will receive by my company through this program over the next year? I hope it's a lot! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Current Obsession: Lauren Conrad

Being a fan of the MTV reality shows Laguna Beach and The Hills, I have always loved Lauren Conrad. She has definitely come a long way from her days at Laguna Beach. Her style quickly evolved from California-casual to just the right mix of classic girl and trendsetter. Not only has her fashion sense changed, but she has also grown a lot career-wise. We could all learn a thing or two from this chick! Below are three of my favorite LC "projects":

Barnes & Noble - $11.10
1.  Lauren wrote the book Lauren Conrad Style in October 2010. I'm reading it now and wondering why I hadn't picked it up sooner. LC shares loads of amazing fashion tips and how-to's in this book: from organizing/cleaning out your closet and building a wardrobe, to topics such as altering your clothing and DIY jean washes. There is even a section dedicated to beauty with separate chapters on makeup and hair. I haven't yet made it to the last section on lifestyle, but I am sure it won't disappoint! I recommend this book to anyone who loves fashion, needs to revamp their closet, or simply needs a little guidance in creating their own unique look.

2.  Lauren's latest endeavor is The Beauty Department, which is not only a blog but also a community with lots of great information, tutorials, and much more. Below is their very first post. 

If you love talking about fashion, makeup, and hair this is a site that you definitely want to join. You can follow The Beauty Department on Twitter via @TBDOfficial and like them on Facebook here.

3.  I am loving the LC by Lauren Conrad collection sold exclusively at Kohl's. If you haven't checked it out yet you should - like right now. I won a Kohl's giftcard through a blog giveaway back in March. You can guess what I spent it on! I recently placed the order online and I'm impatiently awaiting the items to arrive. I will be sure to post pictures when they do!

I can't wait to see what Lauren has in store for us in the future. She is a stylish, talented, determined, and successful young woman with lots of potential, so who knows what she will accomplish next. Like I said we could all learn a thing or two from her!

I haven't checked these out yet, but if you are into chic-lit...

LC's series of novels - The L.A. Candy Series:
                         [ L.A. Candy ]                         [ Sweet Little Lies]                    [ Sugar and Spice ]
               L.A. Candy               Sweet Little Lies: An L.A. Candy Novel               Sugar and Spice: An L.A. Candy Novel

Friday, May 13, 2011

Office Supplies and Shoes

My boss tells me that I am obsessed with two things: office supplies and shoes. He sees countless shoe deliveries to my office, knows about my blog, can tell you about all the shoe clubs...all because he has been dealing with me and my obsession for years now! The office supply thing he sort of came up with on his own...since I'm the Office Manager, I am in charge of ordering office supplies and well..we use a lot of them so I order a lot!

Anyway, he was out shopping and saw something he just had to buy for me. He said it feeds both of my obsessions...

Isn't it cute? It looks adorable on my desk next to my pink mouse and pink clipboard. Maybe I do like cute office supplies just a little... hehe! :)

If you are interested in purchasing, you can find it on in pink for $15.96 or in red for $9.06.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nude Pumps: Dash from Sole Society

Finding a nude pump is easy, but finding the perfect nude pump can be very tricky. For starters, you need to rule out any styles that you know you hate, anything you feel uncomfortable walking in, and anything that isn't along the lines of your normal shoe preferences such as heel height, open toe or closed, material, etc. Maybe we're not all that picky when it comes to our shoes, but I sure am! 

On top of everything on the checklist above the most important thing to me when shopping for nude heels is shade. I've been on the hunt for the most beautiful nude pump under $100 for a long time now. While I did come close to settling for a pair I wasn't completely in love with, I'm happy I decided to keep searching. Almost a year later.. the hunt is over!

Dash from Sole Society comes in just the shade of nude that I've been looking for! ..although the color is described on their site as "Lunar Grey". Below are some of the same shots with and without the flash (Left = Flash / Right = No Flash) so you can get a better idea of the true color.


The one thing that I was slightly unsure about before receiving these pumps was the toe design. It looks like a rounded toe, but it is actually somewhat square with two seams going down the front. 

After putting them on I quickly realized that despite the square toe being new to me, I love Dash! On top of them looking great, as you can see the squareness is hardly noticeable. As expected, these Marco Santi shoes from Sole Society are very comfortable. There is some extra padding in the ball of foot area which certainly helps. I haven't worn them yet so I can't tell you about long-term comfort, but I already know that because they are faux patent they are going need some breaking in. :)

This shoe also comes in black which I think I may just have to order as well. They are a great go-to pump and are perfect for work and play! If you are interested in the nude I would act quickly because I noticed that it is already sold out in size 7.5.

Dash is currently available from Sole Society during the month of May. If you are not yet a member and would like to sign up for Sole Society you can do so here. If you are not familiar with shoe clubs please read my post on how shoe clubs work before heading over to their site.

* Sole Society is brought to you by Hautelook - a private sale site for luxury brands. All shoes from Sole Society are designed by Marco Santi.