Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Rave: Sonia Kashuk's "Red" Lip Crayon

'Tis the season for festive red lips to wear to your holiday parties and events. The problem is finding just the RIGHT red for your skintone. So when Sonia Kashuk blogged about her perfect "red" lip color - actually called "Rosey Nude" - I was skeptical. The first thing that threw me was the name, because there's nothing "red" about it. Second was the formulation, which was a matte crayon vs. a traditional lipstick.

But I tried it nonetheless, and was immediately sold. Don't get me wrong: I'm not an "everyday red" person. But for special occasions, this lip crayon is perfect. The texture is actually more velvet than matte, and you can either dab it on with your finger (or a lip brush) for a softer stain or swipe the crayon directly on your lips for a bolder look.

The only bummer is that this color isn't sold online, so you'll have to head to your local Target store to find it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Proof that different Targets have different pricing...

WestHollywoodPatch conducted a recent survey of 3 Los Angeles area stores, and found prices at the West Hollywood location up to 20 percent higher on some items, compared to the prices at the next two closest Target stores.

On Nov. 20th, Patch surveyed 50 items in all departments (grocery, healthy/beauty, clothing, baby supplies, pet supplies, housewares, electronics and toys) at three Targets — the 7100 Santa Monica Blvd. location in West Hollywood, the North Hollywood store at 11051 Victory Blvd. and the Culver City location at 3535 La Cienega Blvd. Patch looked at a range of products, from high-ticket items like video games and small appliances to everyday items like pet food and dish detergent. This non-scientific study found that the West Hollywood store had the highest prices of the three stores.

A Radio Flyer plastic wagon was $12 higher in Weho. A box of Pampers disposable diapers was $3.50 higher. A bottle of Advil ibuprofen was $3.40 higher. Tide Ultra laundry detergent was $2.10 higher, Purina dog food was $1.50 higher, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran cereal was $.55 higher, and Chips Ahoy cookies were $.50 higher than the other two stores.

When contacted by Weho Patch, the Target corporate office in Pasadena acknowledged they do have different prices in different stores. A corporate spokesperson released this statement:

Target strives to offer the best selection at the best price and our goal is to be competitively priced in each trade area. Target accepts price-match on items in the same store where the item was purchased. Competitive pricing is based on the retail environment for each individual community and can vary between Target stores. This is a common practice among retailers.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Target's history of high/low fashion

Target's company blog, A Bullseye View, has a fascinating look back at their long history of mixing high/low fashion. Back in the 80's, the discount retail landscape was "packed with affordable basics and casual wear." Target realized this, and instead of just wanting to fit in, wanted to stand out.

So in 1987, Target decided to "change strategy and become a store where people wanted to shop and experience – not just a store on sale filled with big brands and low prices." Years before offering up luxury design talents like Missoni and Zac Posen, Target built a foundation on beautifully-designed basics. Wardrobe staples like crisp white tees, stirrup pants (remember, this was the EIGHTIES!) and dress shirts could complement designer clothing already in shopper's closets. And thus their "What to Wear" ad campaign was born, running from 1990 to 1992. This was Target’s first step to epitomize both high style and high-low fashion, offering styling tips and explaining how to “trade into Target” by pairing affordable finds with designer wear – like basic stirrup pants with an Adrienne Vittadini sweater, or a plain dress shirt under an Austin Reed suit.

What I find MOST fascinating about this ad campaign, however, are the prices. The stirrup pants are $19.99, and the dress shirt is $24.99, which is pretty much on-par with today's prices. A quick scan of Target's site finds Mossimo leggings anywhere from $8-20, and Merona poplin shirts averaging $23. You can check out many more ads from this vintage campaign here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Target's Cyber Sale has begun...

Target was reportedly going to start their Cyber Monday sale a few hours early, but it looks like they've decided to kick things off a whole DAY early. You can check out their sale here, which they dub the "Cyber Sale", as the deals last the whole week (ending Dec. 3rd).

Yesterday I also checked out Target's glossy Christmas catalog which came in the mail... to my mom, not to me. This is like the 3rd year in a row that I - a longtime Target RedCard holder - haven't received the catalog. But my mother, who's never been a Target cardholder, still gets one. Go figure. Anyhow, it's pretty standard fare: nothing cute or clever like Target used to produce in the past. In the middle of the book, however, there's a bunch of coupons for a variety of items, from $50 off an HP printer to 10% off an Apple iPod to 20% off any jewelry item (including the Dana Kellin line). The catalog also includes a card to get a free $15 Target gift card with your purchase of $150 or more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Did you shop Target on Black Friday?

Did you venture into Target the day after (or should I say, mere hours after) your Thanksgiving feast? I, for one, did not. Black Friday is the one day of the year that I AVOID going to Target at all costs. But plenty of other people went, as Reuters is reporting that the earlier opening was a success, and that the midnight-start to Black Friday will become the norm.

Target is continuing the "earlier is better" trend by planning to post their "CyberMonday" deals several hours earlier, on Sunday night. But buyer beware when using Target's new web site. The site is still problematic, according to ConsumerAffairs. They report a Black Friday incident where Kim (from Wilmington, Mass) placed an order from in part, she says, because the site said there would be no charge for shipping on orders over $50.

"My order was a $400 order, and only after I placed the order, did it jump to over $600," Kim told "I was charged for shipping, which cost more than the most expensive item in my cart." Luckily, Kim realized the error in time, and added "I was able to cancel the order within my 30 minutes."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Couple to wed after meeting in Target's Black Friday line

According to Indiana's NBC affiliate 14 News, a Texas couple is getting married after meeting three years ago while waiting in Target's Black Friday line.

Trevor MacDonald and Jesse Pier-Felice were looking for a lot of things while sitting in the rain outside of a Hurst SuperTarget three years ago, but the one thing they weren't expecting to find was each other.

"He had this hoodie tied tight, and my mom dropped me off, and I was like, 'You're not leaving me here with this guy. He looks like a bum,'" Pier-Felice said.

After realizing the "bum" was actually a hard-working college student, Pier-Felice decided to give him a chance. The pair found themselves wrapped up in conversation for the next several hours and, when the doors finally opened at 6 a.m., they exchanged numbers.

"She text-messaged me the next day saying, 'Hey, Target Boy,'" MacDonald said. "That's what she used to call me -- 'Target Boy.'"

The couple's relationship began with casual phone calls and then a few dates. Two years later, MacDonald proposed. "After I proposed to her, the first place we went was Target and took some pictures of our engagement," he said.

MacDonald and Pier-Felice said what they found that cold November morning was better than any bargain they could've asked for. "Yes -- the ultimate Black Friday present; I got a good deal," MacDonald said.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guilty plea in Target cart assault

In an update to my post earlier this month: one of the 12-year-old boys who recklessly pushed a shopping cart over a rail at the East Harlem Plaza Target in October has plead guilty to the assault. According to, the boy's name is being withheld due to his age, and he is currently in ACS custody. He provided a brief statement in court, via DNAinfo: "Uh, I helped throw the shopping cart over it and I knew the people was down there. I knew somebody could have got hurt." He is currently facing facing up to 18 months in a juvenile detention center for second-degree assault, but the sentence could be extended indefinitely until he reaches the age of 18.

The other boy involved did not plead guilty; his case was adjourned, and his attorney said, "We want to continue having conversations with the [the boy's family] about potential resolution." The victim of the attack, UWS philanthropist Marion Salmon Hedges, who was there with her son buying Halloween candy for underprivileged children, is reportedly stable but still unconscious.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fab Find: Merona Sweater Dress

In the Fall/Winter, I adore wearing sweater dresses. Nothing could be easier than throwing one on with tights and boots. The problem is that I'm allergic to wool, cashmere, mohair and angora... which are usually added to sweater dresses to make them "warmer". So I'm constantly on the hunt for cozy sweater dresses minus these offending fibers.

I've seen this Merona Cowl Neck Sweater Dress on the Target racks for several weeks now, but didn't bother to try it on until this weekend. It fits like a dream, and its blend of cotton/rayon/nylon makes it super-soft without being bulky. Target's web site only has it left in Charcoal Gray (as shown, which is the color I bought) and Hunter Green, but it also comes in a Camel color. If you're interested, check for it in stores, as I got mine for 30% off (whereas the web site still lists this dress as full price). Also: disregard Target's note that this item is "not available in stores". This is probably my BIGGEST gripe with Target's new site; they tag almost EVERYTHING with this disclaimer, and it's simply not true.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Target's pre-Black Friday sale

While Target blames Walmart's layaway program for their holiday sales slump, they've now upped the ante by providing Black Friday deals before Thanksgiving. That's right: in addition to their "2-day sale" after Thanksgiving (which starts at midnight on Thursday) they've now announced their "4-day sale", running now through Wednesday. The deals are available both online and in-store, with Target encouraging you to "beat the rush and save with pre-Black Friday deals".

Now I have to admit: I am no longer a huge holiday shopper. I don't shop Black Friday, and at this stage in life, we don't buy many gifts. To that end, I haven't comparison shopped, so I have no idea whether this 4-day "pre-sale" is worth it or not. What about you, dear readers? Will you be shopping even earlier this year - prior to Turkey Day?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Missoni score...

After looking hopelessly for weeks for a "customer return" on the Missoni for Target votive candle holder to match my glass vase, I FINALLY found one at my local Target today. SCORE! I couldn't believe it at first; there it was, all by itself on a lonely clearance endcap in the bedding section of all places (??!). Even more amazing: it rang up at a paltry $5.99 (reduced from the original $9.99 pricetag that I believe it originally had).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Missoni for Target items restocked online...

According to Madison Avenue Spy, Target has been quietly re-stocking some Missoni items online, like the coveted bicycle (shown here). A quick scan of the online offerings shows a good selection of infant, toddler and girls' clothing, iPhone and iPad covers, bedding sets, poufs, shower curtains and bath rugs.

But here's the rub: most of the prices online aren't reduced yet, like they are in-store. And Target's website is still a mess to navigate; when you look up "Missoni", some items seem to be in stock, but then when you click on them to select a size or color, it states "sold out online". And in other cases, the pictures are all wrong; for instance, the "purple" Missoni tights shown are actually blue, the "black" ones are purple, etc. I almost ordered some this morning, but then didn't, out of fear I'd get the wrong color.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bakerella's Bullseye Pops

I'm not sure even I - the Target Addict - am THAT obsessed with Target to make cake pops in the image of Target's adorable mascot, Bullseye. But Bakerella is, so I don't have to bother. Check out baker-blogger Bakerella's (aka, Angie Dudley, out of Atlanta) complete instructions on making your own Bullseye cake pops here. It also serves as a great primer on how to make cake pops in general.

Target's response to the Black Friday backlash...

In Monday's post I told you about the Target employee who started a petition (now with over 90,000 signatures) to protest Target's earlier opening this year at midnight on Thanksgiving. Target issued this statement yesterday in response:

“Black Friday is one of the busiest and most competitive shopping days of the year. We have heard from our guests that they want to shop Target following their Thanksgiving celebrations rather than only having the option of getting up in the middle of the night.”

Target then released another statement on Tuesday afternoon specifically about the employee who started the Facebook petition:

“The team member you are referencing is not now, and has never been, scheduled to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday at Target. Our understanding is that this team member also works full-time for another retailer. In early November, he informed his Target managers that he was scheduled to work at his other job on Black Friday and indicated that he needed the day off from Target. We honored that request.

Target does our best to work around the schedules of all of our team members, making every effort to accommodate their requests. Target will offer holiday pay to all hourly team members who work on Thanksgiving Day.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coming soon to Target: PixiGlow

Petra Stand's Pixi beauty line (available at Target) is spawning a new collection inspired by none other than Peter Pan's fairy friend, Tinker Bell. In collaboration with Disney, Petra has created PixiGlow, which will debut soon at Target.

“Disney approached us saying we were all about a touch of magic and they have the most famous fairy in the world and let’s figure out a way to work together,” Strand told WWD of the collaboration, which will launch exclusively at Target, Boots, and Pixi's U.K. flagship store in Spring of 2012.

True to its name and muse, the whimsical line will pack plenty of sparkle via products like Fairy Dust (shown here) - a shimmering powder encased in a pale green wand decorated with roses.

Priced from $14 to $34, the line also includes a Magic Tink Tint gel lip crayon, the Straight on Til Morning Liner, the Fairytale Face Palette, and Chasing Shadows Crayons for eyes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Target employee protests Black Friday midnight opening

As I told you last month, Target is planning to open even earlier this Black Friday - at midnight, to be exact. Well now, a Target employee has launched a protest against the idea, saying the demand on its employees is going a step too far.

Target said it would open its doors five hours earlier this year for Black Friday shoppers. Shown here are shoppers waiting for the Ann Arbor, MI Target store to open on Black Friday last year.

But Target employee Anthony Hardwick says that's unfair to employees who want to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. More than 6,700 people have already signed his petition on advocacy website, calling for Target to reverse its decision. Hardwick, who works for a Target store in Nebraska, hopes to get 50,000 signatures.

"With the midnight opening, employees like myself will have to leave for work right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner," Hardwick said in a statement. "We don't mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far."

In response, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said the retailer will pay employees who work on Thanksgiving with holiday pay and its store leaders each year work with employees to accommodate personal scheduling needs. "Target cares about the well-being of our team members throughout the year," Snyder said.

I personally think Target - as well as other retailers opening at midnight, and especially Walmart announcing they'll open at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day - have gone too far with this one. Black Friday has merged crossed the line into the holiday, and this is starting a dangerous trend of stores not closing at all on Thanksgiving in future years.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Product Review: Harajuku Mini for Target

I happened to be at my local Target this morning bright and early (as I like to avoid crowds) and I noticed a woman a few yards away with at least a dozen plaid girl's dresses in her cart. I thought "hmmm...that's odd," and then remembered that Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini line launched today. I then spied another woman "hording the Harajuku", but by the time I made it to the kids' department, there was still a good selection for me to wade through.

Alas, both my boys - as well as my niece and nephew - are WELL beyond the target age for this line, so I have no one to buy it for. Which is a shame, because this line is so darn cute! The line comes in boy & girl sizes for baby through toddler, as well as girls' sizes 4-16, and it's broken into 3 themes: Animal Collective, Nerd Rock, and Girlie Glam. I have to say that the only piece I really didn't like from the line was the tarty red Bubble Dress, because it has a sheer panel at the top of the chest that I found far too provocative for little girls (but perhaps that's "just me").

Unfortunately, a quick eBay search finds there are already over 350 Harajuku Mini for Target items up on eBay. Not as many as the Missoni madness, of course, but this line also has far fewer pieces. So my advice would be to snap this up quick and buy NOW for Christmas before it's all gone. And to note: Harajuku Mini is sold only in stores, not on

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kirsten Dunst hearts Target

In a new interview in USA Today, Hollywood starlet Kirsten Dunst reveals that she loves home decor and beauty products and wouldn't rule out doing her own line someday. And, she throws out the possibility of partnering with Target on the endeavor. "I see all these people making so much money off the weirdest things! I just feel like [branded products are] a smart way to make money for doing independent films. I am someone who really cares about the products I put out. Even if it was inexpensive, I'd want it to be really well done. I feel like Target does a really good job with that."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Better than Missoni for Target...

More expensive than Missoni for Target, to be sure, but for a worthy cause: Margherita Maccapani Missoni has created M Missoni OrphanAid Africa, a capsule collection of ready-to-wear and accessories that supports families and foster care in Ghana. According to, Margherita wanted "....these to be pieces that are easy,” which is why the T-shirts, bags, and dresses of the collection all come in red-and-pink signature zigzags. “The shapes,” she continues, “are taken from some of my favorite things.” And if there’s one thing Margherita might have learned from the runaway success of the Missoni for Target collaboration, it's that there are plenty of women interested in emulating her style.

The collection hits M Missoni stores in the U.S. on November 16th.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sonia's Splurge vs. Steal

Sonia Kashuk has posted a helpul primer on her blog this week about getting the "Tom Ford" look for less. Tom Ford's new beauty line has been getting a lot of buzz lately, but it's pretty pricey: his nail polish is $30 a bottle, and a lipstick will run you almost $50! So Sonia put her products head-to-head with Tom's, and shows how you can get an almost identical look at just 1/4 of the cost.

Monday, November 7, 2011

New at Target: Nip + Fab

Target now carries the full collection of Nip + Fab, a skin and body care line from U.K. beauty expert Maria Hatzistefanis. The collection ranges in price from $5.95 to $18.95, and can be found in select Target stores and here on

A quick scan of the line reveals that these offerings provide a "fast fix" to problem areas, as is evident by the product names: Leg Fix, Frown Fix, Tummy Fix, Eye Fix, Moisture Fix, etc. You can read more about Nip + Fab and their philosophy on skin care on their official site.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Target price-jacking continues...

This eBay post post made me laugh, but it's not a joke; that's why I'm both linking to it and have posted a screen capture to prove it's for real.

I guess some people seem to think that the "Missoni Madness" is sure to catch on with ALL Target designer collabs. That's why this crazy seller is trying to sell the Josie Natori for Target PJ set (which retails for $34.99) for a whopping $115! Unbelievable.... even more so as this set isn't even sold out online and in stores (nor is it likely to be). A quick scan of this sellers eBay store shows many Missoni items (surprise, surprise!) also at jacked-up prices, like the glass votive holder (which retailed for about $10) at a highly inflated buy-it-now price of $45. Disgusting!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Product Review: Josie Natori for Target

I also saw a sad little display for the new Josie Natori for Target collection yesterday. It was shoved to the far end of the intimates section, almost overlapping into the maternity department, with no signage to speak of. I really had to hunt to find it!

Perhaps this particular store didn't put up any signage because of the lack of Josie stock they received. The collection only has 15 pieces to begin with, and this store only carried the red printed knit PJ pants (with no matching tops), the red hipster, the jersey printed chemise, the black wrap robe and the printed silk-look PJs. From what I saw, I was pretty underwhelmed... but I'd like to see MORE of the collection to be able to really weigh in. I did buy a pair of the printed PJs (shown) for my mom as a birthday present, but other than that, I didn't find anything for myself.

UPDATE: as noted by reader Judy C., this line tends to run small. I'm about the same size as my mom, so I tried on the PJ pants to ensure they'd fit, but alas, they do not. I'll be exchanging them for a larger size today, and if my store doesn't have it, then I'll just return them.

Product Review: Albertus Swanepoel for Target

On Monday, I told you that the Albertus Swanepoel for Target hat collection had hit stores, but that I hadn't yet had the chance to see them up close and in person. Yesterday, I had that opportunity, and I really liked what I saw. The Target store I went to had a small endcap with Albertus Swanepoel signage clearly marking the display, and there were 4-5 styles stocked about 3 deep each.

For the price (just $19.99 each) I think the quality is definitely there. Of course, you have to like "classic" hat shapes like the fedora and cloche. I fell in love with the funky leopard print hat (shown here) and was just about to buy it...until "sniff, sniff...wait, why am I sneezing?". Then I realized that this particular hat is made of approx. 40% rabbit hair, which I'm allergic to. So sadly, I had to pass on it.

Bottom line: I give the Albertus Swanepoel collection a big thumbs up, if hats are your sort of thing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Product Review: Dana Kellin for Target

I finally made it to Target (for the first time in almost a week) and was able to view the three new designer capsule collections. First up is Dana Kellin for Target, and I have to say, I was pretty disappointed. While the items looked pretty enough in the case, there were a couple of pieces out on the counter that I could hold and touch, and I felt the quality didn't justify the price.

Case in point: the necklace at far left is one I that own from the Dean Harris for Target collection from 2008. I think I paid about $45.99 for it, and it was worth every penny: the stones (and chain) feel substantial, and the gems seem real (meaning, semi-precious). The necklace to the right is from Dana Kellin for Target, retails for $49.99, and felt like lightweight plastic in my hand. It neither look - nor felt - anywhere near real. To note: the Kellin necklace has many more gems on it, but this is the only picture I could find on Target's crappy web site.

Bottom line: this collection gets a thumbs down from me. The only thing I might buy - once it goes on clearance, that is - are the earrings, since that's one piece of jewery I favor when it's featherweight.

Experts warn "don't buy into the hype of Midnight Black Friday Sales"

According to TheStreet, consumers shouldn't buy into the hype of early morning Black Friday sales, such as the one recently announced by Target.

"Early sales are media events more than anything else," says Steve Schaffer, CEO of "You don't need to get to a store at midnight to find good deals."

In fact, the only thing the early bird may actually be getting a jump on is holiday debt, as the longer hours decrease a consumer's odds of actually scoring the limited number of doorbuster deals retailers use to hook them.

"Stores seem to be just pushing the early envelope to create an urgency, hoping people will buy early before realizing they've spent too much," says Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert with She says retailers aren't likely to add extra doorbusters just because they are opening up earlier. "There are lots of big sales out there, but it doesn't seem there are more of them than in the past," Woroch says.

All experts suggest consumers increase the odds of scoring the lowest prices by researching beforehand. Schaffer says consumers may even want to consider sticking to online shopping because it enables them to compare prices rather than succumbing to impulse buys in person.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tossed Target cart hits Manhattan philanthropist

I heard about this tragic incident from a co-worker yesterday, but didn't realize until this morning that it involved Target. Two 12-year-olds shoved a Target shopping cart over a railing at East Harlem Plaza this past Sunday, hitting an Upper West Side real estate agent four stories below. Marion Salmon Hedges remains in critical condition at Harlem Hospital, while the boys have been arrested and charged with assault as juveniles in Family Court.

According to the New York Post, Hedges was at the mall with her 13-year-old son to buy Halloween candy for underprivileged kids. The two were standing outside Costco paying at the parking kiosk when the suspects started pushing the cart, which initially stuck on the railing. Ignoring the advice of an older friend who told them to stop, the kids shoved the cart free, sending it down onto Hedges, who collapsed in a pool of blood.

Even more disturbing are reports that this wasn't the first time the two juvenile delinquents got into trouble that day. Susan Mahoney, whose husband Gaurav Patel was the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital resident who helped revive Hedges, said a Costco employee at the scene was upset because an earlier call made to Target about the boys throwing Slurpees onto customers was ignored. "Target security told her they did not handle anything outside of their door," said Mahoney.

And according to eyewitnesses, the boys were smiling, telling jokes and laughing with each other after they were taken into custody. IMHO, these pint-sized perps should be booked and tried as adults. Let them rot in jail!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New at Target: Dana Kellin

I haven't had a chance yet to check out the Dana Kellin for Target jewelry collection in person, but the pictures on Target's site look beautiful. You can view the collection here; I've posted the link since like the Albertus hat collection, the landing page isn't prominently displayed on the site. [Way to promote your design collabs, Target!]

Note that there are some items that are available online only. While the collection looks pretty online, I'll have to inspect them up close to give them my thumbs up or down. It does strike me that this collection seems like a "mashup" of two past Target designer jewelry collabs - Temple St. Clair and Dean Harris - and since I already own pieces from both of those collections, I will probably pass on buying any Kellin items unless I really fall in love with something.