Saturday, February 6, 2010

Knock It Off Girl!

The worst of ALL fashion crimes is to be caught with or purchase a 'knock off'. Crimes of fashion are taken very seriously by fashionistas and bag hoarders alike. While some of us can spot a knock off a mile a way, others are left unsuspecting of the tragedy. What exactly is a knock off? Well according to it is "an unlicensed copy of something, esp. fashion clothing, intended to be sold at a lower price than the original." So basically it's a fake item, trying to pass like the real thing. This is a big fat "Unt Uhhhhh!!" So if this is you, or you...knock it off!

I'll admit, in my younger pre-fashionista days, I didn't know any better. I gladly purchased a 'knock-off' LV (Louis Vuitton) bag in downtown Los Angeles. I thought to myself, hey it looks like the real thing, what's the big deal? Well a few weeks after having the bag, the handles started to come apart. They were glued together. Also the bag started to peel at the bottom. I am bearing my soul here people. Please do not judge me. I can't believe I committed the most heinous of all fashion crimes. I surely learned my lesson though.

Not only are you walking around looking like boo-boo the fool to all who know you're carrying a fake bag, but you are most certainly contributing to the sweat shop like factories that make these bags and you're getting terrible quality. What makes an LV bag is it's quality and craftsmanship. Also in addition to having a crappy bag, it is also ILLEGAL. So just save your money, work overtime, build a lemonade stand if you want a designer bag. Don't support people who are committing the illegal crime of copyright infringement.

I was finally able to purchase a real LV Bag. My first LV bag was a Lv Damier Canvas Speedy 35 (pictured above). I immediately felt the difference. Never again will I commit that crime of fashion.

Now we all know designer items are really expensive. Let's just face it, everyone can't and won't be able to afford anything designer. Some people dream of it while it doesn't really matter to others. If it matters to you however, I have an alternative for you. 
Designer "Inspired".

Designer Inspired means the creator of whatever bag or merchandise took elements of said designer and applied its "likeness" to the merchandise. So for example, Chanel has a quilted bag that they are known for. I seriously want one, but I just can't see myself spending over $1,000 on a bag. I just can't do it right now. I have other priorities. One day maybe, just not today. Because I need a bag more within my budget, I've just found bags with the same things I like in the Chanel Bag. You too can do the same. Just avoid the blatant knock offs.

Here is an example. Below is the coveted Chanel bag. Every serious fashionista wishes to have a Chanel bag grace her shoulder:

 Here are some Designer 'Inspired' Pieces. I actually purchased the one below from Aldo. 


So you get the idea right? You see the difference right? Knock Off bags would have the Chanel Logo on the front, while these take the quilting and the chain handles. The line is thin between the knock-off and the original, however these aren't trying to pass off like the real thing. That's where the illegal part comes in. Stores like Aldo, Bakers Shoes, Forever21, and just about any other fashion line, "borrow" or get "inspired" by the top designers like Chanel, Gucci or Dolce & Gabbana. They set the trends, however no regular person can afford those items. These are a great alternative for those of us that LOVE fashion, but just don't have Diddy's bank account. 

Also just an added tip. You know those web banners or ads you see when visiting websites saying how they are selling Christian Louboutins or LV bags on 'sale' or at a 'discount', they are ALL fake. ONLY buy Christian Louboutin or LV merchandise from authorized sellers.




Make-Up Essentials

I get a lot of questions from my girlfriends about make-up. I am NOT a make-up artist whatsoever. I have no clue what the terms they use mean, or what is supposed to go where. I only know what looks good on me and if your make-up looks a hot mess. I can tell you how your make-up should look depending on your ensemble and the rest is up to you. That's as far as it goes. I probably couldn't even freaking sell AVON.

Oh yeah, this post is LONG. I've broken it up into sections, so you can just read the part you want and skip the ones you don't. I'm working on not being so long winded. LOL. Please NOTE that below are the brands I LIKE. I'm aware there are other brands, however these are the ones I LIKE. Thanks. 

Anywho, I'm a firm believer in just learning by watching others. Since I'm a right brained kinda gal, I'm strictly visual. I learn from trial and error, and by the hands on approach. I ask about 458 questions when I want to know something, and that usually does it for me. 

Make-Up Application

I learned to do my own make-up by frequent visits to the MAC counter, playing in my make-up (and no you're NEVER too old) and watching Youtube videos. Yes Youtube videos. Since you have to purchase MAC usually to get them to do a whole look, youtube is the best inexpensive way for you to learn how to apply make-up. 

What make-up do I use? Where can I find tutorials? I've done this legwork for you. I've tried ALL types of make-up, trust me. I was seriously obsessed with MAC until I realized that MAC isn't the end all be all when it comes to make-up. A MUA (makep-up artist) friend my mine Monique, (hey boo!) let me know that there are other GREAT brands of affordable make-up... and if you're make-up SNOB and ALL you wear is MAC, read on:

Eye Shadow:

Urban Decay - Freaking O-Mazing make-up. I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago, and I'm HOOKED! They aren't cheap, however if you try their little palettes, you get a lot for your money. Also PLEASE see the "Eye Shadow Primer" section below for my thoughts on their primer. 

Make-Up Forever - Freaking PIGMENTED eyeshadows galore.  I haven't officially purchased anything from this line yet, but from what I sampled in Sephora, this will be apart of my make-up collection soon. The colors are vibrant and amazing; the color selection is also amazing.

NYX - Now before you go and start acting like a make-up snob, for a lower end line, they have some GREAT colors. At only about $4 a pop, this is a great way to be introduced to eye-shadow if you're just beginning to wear eye shadow or if you just want to use a color you won't use all the time. I love these eye shadows. If used with a good primer, they look amazing. 

Cover Girl - Don't hate because it's from your local drug store. I actually love their eye shadows. If used with the right primer, the colors will look amazing for any budget.

Coastal Scents - Now where else are you going to try every rainbow of color known to man for less than $25 bucks? I haven't purchased these, but a few friends of mine have, and let me say that these are the perfect shadows to start with if you're new to make-up. 

Loreal - Did you know that Lacome which is sold in the department stores is also the maker of Loreal? I sure did.  I love their eye shadows as well as their mascara. Ladies on a budget know what I mean.

    Eye Shadow Primers

    This is debatable. However NOT on my blog. I am so not the one to have a full on make-up war on which is the best eyeshadow primer because it's just not that serious. Haiti is a more important topic of discussion. Here are a few choices. You MUST always use a primer if you want your shadow to "Pop",  stay on your lid, crease free ALL day. Here are some suggestions: 

    MAC Paints - I've tried ALL their primers or whatever they have that can be used as a primer. I personally like their paints best. My shadow doesn't 'move' and it stays on ALL day. 

    Urban Decay Primer Potion - I'm biased against this because it's my favorite. 

    Concealer - Yes plain ole' concealer works. This was a beauty must have when I was on a serious budget, and just couldn't afford MAC or anything else over $5. Maybelline makes a great concealer that can be used as a shadow base/primer.  


      MAC - I have a few of their blushes & bronzers I use regularly. I mainly use them for contouring my face and they offer a wide variety of colors. 

      NYX - They have this Barbie pink blush I ADORE. It's only $5, and has great pigment. 

      Loreal True Match Super-Blendable Blush  - I LOVE their blushes! They run about $8-11 and are very pigmented. They are just as good if not better than MAC. 

      Wet 'N Wild - LOL. Yes even they have decent bronzer


        Just because something is expensive, doesn't mean it's the best. I've found plenty of mascara in the drug store that work just fine. Here are my suggestions:

        Mabelline Great Lash - Hands down the pink and green tube of mascara is all you need. It's less than $4, and it's a great everyday mascara. 

        Mabelline  Volum' Express Turbo Boost® Waterproof - I LOVE my lashes to look full and have volume, with NO clumps. This does it for me. 

        MAC Pro Lash & MAC Pro Long Lash - I like these. I just like them. They are a little overpriced, however they do give you the volume and length you need. I just don't like that they can leave you with clumps. 

        Loreal Voluminous - This is also a great one to use for everyday wear

        Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Technology Mascara - LOL that name is ridiculous, but these are like lash extensions in a tube. It's a double-sided mascara tube. One has the stuff that adds this crap to your lashes to make them longer. The other half has the mascara that actually goes over it, to make your lashes 'Pop'. I've tired it and it works great, however it just feels weird when you wash it off. :/ 


          Use what the heck ever works for you. LOL. These are what I use or have tried and just some added suggestions:

          Everyday Wear Foundation [Light Coverage]

          • Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Foundation
          • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural 

          Night on the Town [Full Coverage]

          • MAC Studio Tech Foundation (For Combination-Dry Skin)
          • Precriptives Virtual Skin Super-Natural Finish SPF 10
          • Clinique Super Balanced Make-Up (For Combination-Dry Skin) 

          Lip Gloss

          This is a HARD one. I've tried ALL types of lipgloss. Here are my favs and just suggestions:

          MAC Lipglass & Dazzleglass - These are expensive but I love them. There is a huge color selection and I love how they make my lips feel

          Lancome Juicy Tubes Ultra Shiny Lipgloss - These are a great alternative to MAC.

          Loreal Colour Juice Sheer Juicy Lipgloss - This is the counterpart to Lancome. I LOVE these when I can find my favorite color. 

          mark. Juice Gems. - I think they tried to knock off Lancome, but they did a GREAT job. I love these BETTER than Lancome. They are only $6.50 and now you can purchase them online. I hated trying to track down the Avon lady. Thank GOD my friend Mylah sells it. Visit her store here to try!!

            Make-Up Tutorials:

            Here are some great MUA on youtube that can give you great tutorials on everything from contouring to eye shadow application. You can find them by searing on youtube by whatever your make-up needs are. Here are a few of my favorite MUA's and Tutorials. You can subscribe to their video and get updates on when they post next:


            This is also debatable. Just not here. Some folks say MAC others say it doesn't matter. What matters is, you need good brushes to apply all of your make-up. I've tried all brushes, cheap and expensive and here are my picks:

            MAC - I've had some of my brushes for 10 years. These were a great investment. I buy them little by little and pretty much have all the essential brushes

            Sonia Kashuk - I like her brushes. I have a couple and I use them frequently. I would say these are a cheaper alternative to MAC

            Sephora - They have great brushes also. Not as expensive as MAC but moderately priced.

            Essence of Beauty - Yes these are the brushes they sell at CVS. I bought them when I just couldn't afford to spend money at MAC. These brushes are surprisingly good. I was actually impressed. Yes I still use them. 

              Well those are my Make-Up Essentials! Let me know if you've tried any or if you have any that you would like for me to feature here.