Monday, May 31, 2010

An interview with Sonia Kashuk...

Check out the Q & A session that The Recessionista has posted with makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. While I knew that Sonia had been with Target for quite some time (11 years) I had no idea that it was she that initiated the first contact with Target and suggested the partnership (vs. the other way around). She also states that the one essential product that she recommends for women is foundation... which is ironic, because I have fallen in love with her new Perfecting Luminous Foundation and will be "raving" about it later this week.

Another revelation is that Sonia keeps a blog, which you can check out here. It's full of makeup tips & tricks, and insights into working behind the scenes at fashion shows and events.

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. First, a little background on this week's pick... the other day we were at a BBQ at a friend's house. A very WELL OFF friend, who lives in like a 10,000 sq. foot mansion with a huge sprawling backyard. This friend recently updated their patio furniture, and it looked like this. Literally, because the set was from Restoration Hardware, and they bought the entire collection (down to the throw pillows, lanterns - all the accessories).

So inspired by their outdoor living space - but not having my friend's unlimited budget - I headed to Target to check out this collection (shown) which was featured in this week's ad. And I have to say, I was impressed; the Siesta Wicker collection looks good and feels comfortable to sit on. The chairs feel sturdy and supportive, and the cushions are very plush. And after studying the rust & weatherproofed wicker material up-close, it doesn't look "cheap" or plastic-y.

And best of all, the entire Siesta collection is on sale this week at Target at a huge discount. The chairs are normally $239 each, and now are $100 off! Since our patio space isn't anywhere near the same size our friend's, we'll probably only be getting a set of chairs (just $278 this week for both) and the accent table to go with them for $69.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Double-Take: Banana Republic vs. Xhilaration

It’s time for another double-take, folks. Now these two ruffled tanks look pretty darn similar, don't they? The difference is that one is from Banana Republic, is made of pure silk, and comes with a hefty $69.50 price tag. The other is from Xhilaration at Target and is made of rayon; hence the more wallet-friendly price of just $17.99. Can you guess which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sneak Peek: Pure Energy at Target

Did you know Target has an amazing plus-sized line called Pure Energy? For Fall 2010, the brand focused on key trends -- ranging from military-inspired garb to edgy ballerina pieces, Army jackets, faux-fur vests, camo-print leggings, and denim -- all designed to "compliment curvy bodies".

Check out pics of America's Next Top Model alum Whitney Thompson along with another beauties showing off the brand's array of flirty knit tops, skinny jeans, and dresses here on Fabsugar's web site. The new Pure Energy Fall collection will debut in stores and online on July 1.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday's Rave: this Mossimo cardigan

Sorry folks... I'm a bit behind in my posts this week, which is why my "rave" is a day late. As mentioned yesterday, Summer has yet to hit my part of the country. But even in warm weather, you often need a light layer to ward off the cool evenings (or the over air-conditioned chill of the office).

Enter this perfect Mossimo cocoon cardigan. Made of a soft cotton/acrylic blend, it hugs the body closely to add a light layer of warmth without any added bulk. Besides Charcoal Gray (shown) it also comes in Basic Black, Coral, Cream and Pure White (which is the one I bought). I'd love to get it in other colors, but it seems I've waited too long as this sweater is no longer available on Target's web site. The good news is that if you can find it in store, it's now on clearance for $12.98 (regularly $19.99).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Target's sunscreen gets top rating from Consumer Reports

Alas, it is still unseasonably cool & rainy here in Northern California, so at the present time we have no need for sunscreen. But for those of you in parts of the country that do need sun protection, some good news: Consumer Reports just rated Target's in-house brand of Up & Up Suncreen as a "Best Buy".

In rigorous testing, Consumer Reports found that Sport Continuous SPF 30 by Up & Up (at Target) provided very good UVA protection and excellent UVB protection and met their SPF claim even after treated skin was soaked in water for 80 minutes.

In addition to testing the sunscreens' overall performance, Consumer Reports also assessed the smell, feel and absorption of the products, because if you think your sun protection stinks or feels greasy, you're less apt to use it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost-themed Target commercials

If you were among of the millions of Lost fans who watched the series finale last night (as I was) you probably caught one of the three tribute commercials by Target. This one spoofed the hatch alarm by pitching computer keyboards. I thought the commercials were awesome, and it was brilliant of Target to tie popular themes of the show (the hatch, the wild boar, and the smoke monster) to their ad spots during the final episode.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Clearance Alert: Liberty of London

About a month ago I reported that some of the women's clothing items from the Liberty of London for Target collection had gone on clearance for 30% off. Well now, there's been further markdowns... which enabled me to snag this Ruffled Halter Dress (in the Martha Grace print) for 75% off! That's right: I paid a mere $7.48 for this beauty! Online this dress seems only to be available in petite sizes, and is still at full price ($29.99) so I nabbed quite the deal indeed.

I've noticed other Liberty of London items on clearance in stores as well, particularly the scented candles and the stationery. The inventory seems to be going fast, so now's the time to buy before Target completely sells out.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Target and Coach settle lawsuit over look-alike handbags

Several months ago, I ranted about Target copying Coach's handbag designs. Well earlier this week, Coach Inc. annoounced that it has settled its lawsuit against Target seven months after accusing the Minneapolis-based discounter of ripping off some of its luxury handbag designs. Exact terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Coach filed the case in October, claiming that handbags "bearing exact and/or confusingly similar reproductions" to its Ergo and Signature Patchwork design (shown) began showing up on Target shelves last Summer. Coach launched the popular designs in 2008.

In a joint statement, Coach said that all parties, including consumer goods sourcing company LF USA, which made the handbags sold at Target, have "amicably resolved the recent lawsuit." Target did not comment about the agreement.

Coach sued Target over a similar handbag design issue in 2006, which also resulted in a confidential settlement.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Liberty of London to make more Menswear

Hot on the heels of their successful capsule collection for Target, Liberty of London has inked a deal with the Italian Slowear Group to launch a line of contemporary menswear.

The collection - including shirts, trousers, outerwear, and knitwear - will first debut in June at men's fashion week in Milan, and then be available at retail in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, and Asia for Spring 2011.

It's all part of the move to get the dusty but beloved company's image into the future. After the smash hit Liberty had with its menswear items selling out at Target, the British brand knows there is an appetite for cool, floral prints in contemporary men's fashion circles.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On

The Budget Babe published this cool post last week and it's too good not to share. She blogs about Target's capsule collection around the mantra "Keep Calm and Carry On". According to Wikipedia, the popular phrase was originally a propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of World War II, but it was never used. Then in 2000, the phrase was rediscovered and subsequently re-issued by various companies and used as a decorative theme for a range of home products. Now, Target has jumped on the same bandwagon with a series of affordable home decor items that feature the phrase, including pillows, a tray and wall art. I have seen the wall art in stores, but not the pillow or the serving tray (which actually has a cute twist on the phrase with "Keep Calm and Snack On").

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. I must still be on a lighting kick from last week, because this week's pick is a selection of lamps from Target Home. This week, lamp bases are on sale for just $20, with mix-and-match lampshades on sale for just $7. That means you can spruce up your decor with new illumination for under $30. [Note: available in stores only].

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. Today's pick is a selection of Target Home string lights, on sale this week for just $10 each. The sale includes a variety of styles, from metal lanterns and flowers to clear and frosted globes. I just love putting up string lights outdoors; to me, it heralds the arrival of Spring, warmer weather, and outdoor living. Of course, there's no rule that you cannot use them inside as well, to brighten up a doorway or otherwise dark corner.

And now a programming note: I'll be traveling on business this week (yes, I truly do have a REAL job!) which will prevent me from blogging all week. I'll catch y'all later with a new Pick of the Week next Sunday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sonia Kashuk's Natural Collection

Sonia Kashuk's new Limited Edition Natural Collection has hit Target stores, just in time for Spring. The brushes and cosmetics cases have an organic vibe, and are made from natural materials like bamboo, cork and wood. Shown here is the "Straight from Nature" bamboo brush set (left) and the "Knock on Wood" wooden brush set in a cute zippered cork case (upper right). There's also a fabulous eye and lip palette called "Spring Awakening" (lower right) with three eye shadows and three lip gloss shades perfectly housed in an eco-friendly cork compact.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Keepsake Keychain

Here's a fun (and frugal) Mother's Day gift idea: this color 1.8" LCD keychain by Digital Decor. It holds up to 48 photos, and to really impress mom, you could pre-load some of her favorite pics of the family. And this week, it's on sale for just $9.99 at Target.

Note: available in-stores only, not online. Styles and colors may vary by store.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sale Alert: Caldrea Essentials at Target

The entire selection of Caldrea Essentials home scents and cleaning products are on sale this week at Target for 15% off. If you've been holding out on trying this new line, now's the perfect time to test it out while it's on sale. And the 3-pc. kitchen sink set with caddy, dish soap, stainless steel spray (shown here, just $16.99 this week) would even make a nice Mother’s Day present.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Double-Take: Pierre Dumas vs. Merona

Since yesterday's post, I must still have "sandals on the brain", which led me to today's double-take. These two pairs of gold ruffled flat sandals look awfully similar, don't they? The difference is that one is from Pierre Dumas on Piperlime, and is $39 (which, admittedly, ain't a bad price for Piperlime shoes) and the other is from Merona at Target and is on sale this week for just $12. Can you guess which on is which? The answer appears in the comments section. And, for what it's worth, I actually like the styling of the Merona pair better.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. I still have sand in my toes from a weekend away at the beach, so that's probably why I honed on on this adorable assortment of sandals from Merona. I'm having a hard time deciding between the dark silver Effia style (with a cool metal ring ornament on top) or the Erina thong (in an eye-popping coral color). And at this week's amazing sale price of just $15 a pair, perhaps I'll just have to get both of them.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Recycling in Style

I found this nifty item on Target's Red Hot Shop this morning. It's a stylish set of recycling bins by Recyclebags for plastic, paper, and glass. Now admittedly, at just under $80, this set isn't exactly cheap. But for folks in cramped spaces (like apartments) that don't have room under the sink to store recyclables - nor have a garage or outdoor space to stash them - it might be worth the investment. These easy-on-the-eyes bins with magnetic closures and rope handles allow you to stow your recyclables away in a fashionable way.