Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Target copies itself...

On a recent trip to Tar-shay, I noticed an awfully familiar pair of earrings.  Shown at far left is a pair of oval hoop earrings in brushed goldtone that I snapped a pic of Sunday.  And shown on the right is virtually the same pair under the Calypso St. Barth for Target brand, which debuted in May of last year. 

The only difference?  The price.  The Calypso ones retailed for $14.99, whereas the current version sells for just $7.99.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Diet Pepsi + Jonathan Adler for Target

Somehow this promotion got past me, but apparently in mid-June Diet Pepsi kicked off a multi-platform partnership with designer Jonathan Adler. And in 960 Target stores across the U.S. - and for a limited time only - consumers who bought two 12-or 8-packs of Diet Pepsi received a canister of Jonathan Adler-designed Diet Pepsi straws (shown here).  Target supposedly even had special end-caps for this promotion, but again, I must have missed it in store.  So you can imagine my surprise when I saw a boatload of these canisters on a clearance endcap at my local Target store.  A sucker for anything Adler related (have I mentioned I have an Adler umbrella in my company’s colors?) I had to nab a few.  Look for them marked down to $1.95 in the food/beverage aisle.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fab Find: Xhilaration Draped-back Top

While at Target this morning, I found this fabulous little top by Xhilaration.  Now from the front, it may look like a normal scoop-necked tee  (with a trendy hi-low hem that's longer in the back).  But then check out the back, with it's dramatic draped effect!  This top is made of a super-soft rayon/poly blend, and besides Red Wagon (shown here) it also comes in Basic Black and Jade Green (which was the shade I bought).  Best of all, it's only $14.99... or in my case, even less, since I found mine on the clearance rack for 30% off!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Target to sell Tim Gunn-styled Barbie dolls...

This just in from InStyle Magazine: for his latest styling venture, Tim Gunn is giving Barbie a makeover.  The Project Runway mentor dressed two dolls in chic separates like dark denim skinnies, colorful blazers, classic trench coats and buckled booties as part of Mattel’s Barbie Collector series.  The $30 dolls and $25 accessory packs will hit Target stores August 1st.  Make it work, Barbie!

Wild speculation about the NM/Target collab...

As I pondered a week ago, perhaps there are clues in the NM + Target promo video about the offerings in their upcoming Christmas collab.  But Racked has taken the speculation to the next level by giving a rundown of each of the 24 CDFA designers participating in the collaboration and predicting what each one might produce. You can read the full rundown here.  My favorite is the possibility that Tory Burch will create a capsule jewelry collection, which I think would be both fab and affordable.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bullseye flies First Class...

Here's a cute story for you: Bullseye, Target's mascot, was spotted in First Class yesterday on a Delta flight from from Chicago-O'Hare to Minneapolis.  A passenger snapped this pic with excitement over spying Target's spokesdog bull terrier.

Ironically, Delta has a travel ban on bulldogs.  However, in this instance the airline classifies Bullseye as a "high-profile animal," meaning he gets the A-OK to have his own seat within the cabin. Another Delta high-profile four-legged flyer? Uga, bulldog mascot of the University of Georgia.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fab Find: Mossimo "Kayanna" Riding Boots

Just in time for Back-to-School, Target.com has these on-trend tall riding boots - the Kayanna from Mossimo - on clearance for just $12.24! (down from $34.99).  They have a four-star review, and seem to still be available in a wide range of sizes.  And they look awfully similar to these "Brooklee" boots by Vince Camuto (regularly $258.95, but on sale for $169.90 right now during Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shaun White + Target Celebrate 10th Anniversary

I was surprised to learn on A Bullseye View today that Olympic snowboarder and X Games skateboarder Shaun White has partnered with Target for 10 years.  The relationship dates back to 2002, when Target sponsored the up and coming athlete when Shaun was just 15 years old.  Their partnership ramped up in 2008 with the introduction of the Shaun White for Target collection.  And next up for Shaun?  He'll be adding clothing for toddlers to his expanding Target line.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

JCP copies the Bullseye yet again…

I’ve reported several times now how JC Penney – in an effort to re-brand themselves – has “borrowed” ideas from Target.  Now in another apparent swipe, JCP has announced that Nina Garcia will be the brand's new "resident Style Voice and fashion collection curator." 

Says JCP: "In her new role, Garcia will work closely with JC Penney’s merchandise and design teams to offer trend direction and insight into the Company’s exclusive apparel collections. Garcia’s style advice will be made available to consumers nationwide through a variety of in-store activations, digital initiatives, and social media chats throughout the year."

Keep in mind, however, that in addition to her day job as Marie Claire's fashion director and her night job as a Project Runway judge, Garcia already has a side gig as style consultant at Target.  Or perhaps I should say “had” - as in past tense - as I’d assume it’s be a conflict of interest and she’ll need to drop her association with Target to work with JCP.  I just find it interesting that once again, JCP is trying to mimic the Bullseye.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Clearance Alert: The Webster on Target.com

While The Webster clothing and accessories have already been on clearance in stores for several weeks, the offerings on Target.com have remained at full price.  Until now, that is.  What's left of The Webster is now 50% off online, so if there's anything you've had your eye on, now's the time to buy. I'm a sucker for hats, so I'll probably nab this cute straw fedora (now marked down to just $9.99).

UPDATE: for some reason, the "50% off sale" on The Webster stuff was only temporary.  Thank you to The Recessionista and Shopping Celle for pointing this out.  I am wondering whether the discount was part of Target's "Black Friday in July" online promotion (held on Friday July 20th) which may have bled into Saturday (yesterday) when I first posted this.

Friday, July 20, 2012

And the winner is...

The winner of my latest blog giveaway - for the Sonia Kashuk How to Create the Bronzed Face Cosmetic Palette  - is AltaAnn! Ann's entry was picked by the random number generator over at Random.org. Congrats, Ann; your prize will be sent to you as soon as I get your mailing address (which you can send to me via email). And thanks again to everyone who entered and for reading my blog!

Target & NM release "preview" video...

Thanks to The Recessionista’s post yesterday, I found out that Target and Neiman Marcus have released a video (posted here on YouTube) hyping their upcoming Christmas collab.  “Hype” is indeed the right word, because as The Recessionista points out, this video is really just an opportunity for the two retailers to slap each other on the back and claim how “amazing” this collab is going to be withoug offering any concrete details about it.

However, after re-watching the clip several times, I wonder if there are clues contained in there about what the designer offerings might be?  If you look closely, you’ll spy a blush tweed blazer by Lela Rose, a pink boucle coat by Alice & Olivia, a black evening dress by Marchesa, a blue floral print blouse by Tracey Reese, jeweled purses by Judith Leiber and faux fur jackets by Skaist Taylor.  Of course, these may just be items from the designer’s regular collections…. or perhaps not.  If you recall, back in October of last year (well in advance of February’s Jason Wu debut) Target released a teaser video with a glimpse at the upcoming Wu line accompanying commentary from the designer himself.  This new collab video is similar – with lots of comments from the various designers – so perhaps the merchandise we see here is reflective of what we’ll see in stores in December.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jason Wu to launch "Miss Wu" at Nordstrom...

Those of you still disappointed that you didn't get what you wanted after Target's Jason Wu wipeout will be happy to hear that the designer will soon be launching a lower-priced line at Nordstrom. 

Hot the heels of his successfull Target collab, Jason Wu has decided to make lower-priced womenswear a more permanent part of his portfolio. The designer has plans for a diffusion line called Miss Wu, which will be sold exclusively at Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com next year. Shown here is one of the looks from the upcoming Miss Wu collection.

Jason explained to WWD: "Instead of just doing ‘Jason Wu-for-less,’ the idea is to explore the other side of myself. I always see Jason Wu as my aesthetic, my design sensibility. Miss Wu is my personality. It was really fun to explore that facet of who I am – slightly more downtown, and with a more relaxed attitude."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday's Rave: Giada's Tuscan White-Bean Soup Starter Mix

I've noticed Giada's Tuscan-style White Bean and & Fire-Roasted Garlic Soup Starter Mix on the shelf several times at Target, and I finally got around to trying it.  And I've got to say it's pretty darn good!  Not to mention totally easy to make: all you do is brown a bit of pancetta or bacon, add 4 cups of chicken stock, plus the soup mix, and viola! Twenty minutes later you have a hearty soup you can make a meal out of.  At the very end, you add fresh spinach just until it wilts; you can also substitute kale or escarole.  And I topped mine with grated Romano cheese for some extra "zing".  This will definitely become a staple in my pantry once "soup season" (Fall and Winter) gets here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ikram Goldman's looks for Target...

One of the guest editors this month on Target's Tumblr page OnTheDot is fashion stylist and Chicago-retailer Ikram Goldman. Ikram is the visionary who dressed First Lady Michelle Obama in a silk chiffon inauguration gown by then-unknown designer Jason Wu.  And last year, Ikram made another bold fashion move when she opened up her eponymous 16,500-square-foot flagship boutique, where she created five high-fashion looks for Target using clothing and accessories from their in-house brands.  The result is a lot more "Vogue" vs. something you'd expect from the Bullseye.

Of the two looks shown here, at far left Ikram styled Xhilaration's gray strapless jumpsuit ($19.99) under two button up shirts with Xhilaration's ruffled bustier top ($17.99). She topped off the look with a  black Mossimo hobo handbag ($29.99) plus a black patent belt and stacked watches.  And at near left, Ikram paired a Mossimo sateen blazer ($29.99) with Mossimo sateen cropped pants ($22.99) over a black lace dress.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reader Giveaway: Sonia Kashuk "Bronzed Face" Palette

I had so much fun with last month's reader giveaway that I'm offering another.  And I also have one lined up for August, so keep watching this space for your chance to win something!

This giveway is for Sonia Kashuk's "How to Create the Bronzed Face" makeup palette.  This kit is from a couple of seasons ago and has long-since sold out. I loved this kit so much that I bought a couple of extra, and now I'm parting with one of them to share with one lucky reader.  I've pasted pictures of both the outside cover and inside palette (shown) and you'll see that the set includes 3 eyeshadows, 3 lip colors, a blush and a bronzer.  Everything is new, sealed and unused.  What you can't see is that this set also includes detailed instructions (tucked inside) that explains exactly how to apply to cheeks, lips and eyes.

To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post along with your email address by midnight on Thursday, July 19th. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, and the winner (picked at random) will be announced on Friday, July 20th. Good luck!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New at Target: Scent Bar

Luckyscent’s Scent Bar boutique is launching a fragrance line at Target this month. Scent Bar is the first bath and body collection from the famed L.A. fragrance boutique of the same name. Proprietors Adam Eastwood and Franco Wright have earned a reputation as Hollywood’s fragrance gurus, guiding women on a voyage to discover their signature scents in the comfort of Scent Bar’s gem-like boutique. Now every woman can discover her signature scents with Scent Bar’s collection for Target. “Our focus was on creating truly wearable scents wrapped in great body products she could use every day – all at a great price. For years we’ve helped women discover fragrances they fall in love with, and we’re thrilled to bring that boutique experience to Target’s specialty bath department” said Adam Eastwood.  Each product will retail for about $8.99 each.

The line will include four different fragrances:
Sunswept (shown here) ~ “Summer bliss. A citrus twist. Sunswept captures the joy of a sunny day, fragranced with notes of Sicilian orange, sheer lemon and bergamot.”
Blush ~ “That playful glance. A new romance. Blush is a toast to the modern flirt, fragranced with notes of sugared peony, cassis and pink champagne.”
Cabana ~ “Your private beach. A tropical breeze. Cabana invites you on the ultimate escape, fragranced with notes of coconut, Tahitian vanilla and papaya.”
Forbidden ~ “A midnight kiss. Your secret wish. Forbidden is an ode to seduction, fragranced with notes of ruby pomegranate, blackberry and amber.”

Friday, July 13, 2012

Target's new "Music Teacher" ad...

Remember last year's Back-to-School TV ad from Target featuring the "Music Teacher" with his improv song "Denim"?  Well this year, Target has brought Mr. Music Teacher back... only this time, he's singing about BTS shopping to the 80's tune "Word Up!" by Cameo.  To watch the video on YouTube, click here.  There's even a Spanish version of "Music Teacher" that I believe uses the Jackson 5 song "Blame it on the Boogie".

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Buyer Beware: Target does not stock replacement parts

Consumerist reader “Steve” had a bad experience recently with Target furniture. He bought a Smith & Hawken patio set at his local Target store, and when he dove in to put it all together, got as far as a table and one chair when he discovered something was wrong.  It seemed that for the second chair, the box included two right arms instead of a right and a left.  So obviously, an error happened at the factory, and Steve hoped that Target would make it right.

Unfortunately, they didn’t.  First Steve had a frustrating call with Customer Service, during which he discovered that Target bought the Smith & Hawken name once they went bankrupt a couple of years ago... which means they contract out all the manufacturing and don’t keep any replacement parts on hand. Customer Service advised him that his only real option was to return it to the store where he bought it. Of course, Steve then had to take apart the table and the “good” chair so that everything would fit in his car.

At the Returns Desk, Steve spoke to the manager on duty who offered him a discount on another patio set… except that since was the end of the season, very little was left in stock.  Furthermore, the manager made it clear that Steve HAD to return the set,  and couldn't just walk out of the store with the defective set “for free”, and that the set would end up being labeled for the dumpster (which was puzzling, as Steve hadn’t asked to do this and had no interest in the defective set anyhow).

In the end, all that Steve got for his troubles was a $20 gift card. I suppose that if Steve really wanted a replacement set, he could have tried to find it on Target.com (like the one shown here).  But after this bad experience, he probably felt it wasn’t worth the effort.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday’s Rave: OXO’s Mango Splitter

Very rarely do I come across a “must have” kitchen gadget, but this is certainly one of them.  And I didn’t even know it existed until a couple of weeks ago!  I adore mangos, but have always been frustrated by trying to pit them.  You try to use a paring knife to cut around the pit, and end up with a sloppy mess.  Then on a recent trip to Williams Sonoma, I discovered there’s an actual tool to solve this dilemma!  The only hitch was that my local store was out of stock, and after inquiring, said they’d been sold out for quite a while and had no ETA on when they’d be restocking them.

Frustrated, I looked at good ‘ol Target, and sure enough, they had their own versionAnd I believe that Target’s version (also made by OXO – just like William Sonoma’s) is also a couple of dollars cheaper.  So how does it work?  All you do is place the bottom (the larger end of the mango) on a cutting board and then push the mango splitter down on top. The sharp blade cuts through the fruit cleanly, eliminating waste and mess; it couldn’t be easier!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Target + Neiman Marcus = Crazy Holiday Collab

Target announced today that it's teaming up with uber-high end retailer Neiman Marcus for a limited-edition holiday collection of gifts featuring 24 of America’s most preeminent designers.  They state that "the two retail industry visionaries" have "partnered with the CFDA to enlist designer friends to create a collection of more than 50 eclectic gifting products—from apparel and home d├ęcor to pet products, sporting goods and more."

“The holidays are a magical time of year and we know that guests count on Target and Neiman Marcus for standout gifts to make the season memorable,” said Kathee Tesija, executive vice president of Merchandising at Target. “By combining our two brands and tapping into some of the most talented designers across the United States, we’ve created a remarkable collection of must-have products that we’re confident will land on wish lists this holiday season.”

Ranging in price from $7.99 to $499.99 - with most items less than $60 - the collection boasts an impressive designer list including Alice + Olivia, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders, Brian Atwood, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Eddie Borgo, Jason Wu, Judith Leiber, Lela Rose, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Philip Crangi, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, Robert Rodriguez, Rodarte, Skaist-Taylor, Thom Browne, Tory Burch and Tracy Reese.

While I love the spirit of the idea, I'm just not sure how this will work.  It sounds like ALL the items, regardless of price, will be available at both Target and N-M.  Which is great and all, but given some of the prominent designers featured (like Marc Jacobs and DVF) I can see this causing another Jason Wu wipeout.  And ironically, Wu is included in the designer roster above.

This one-of-a-kind collection hits all Target and Neiman Marcus stores (as well as both retailer's websites) on Dec. 1st, with Target promising more specific details on Oct. 16th.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Product Review: L'Oreal Voluminous Power Volume 24H Mascara

What can I say?  I'm a sucker for endcaps in the beauty aisle pushing new products.  So when I saw one at Target the other day touting L'Oreal's newest Voluminous mascara offering - dubbed "Power Volume 24H" - I had to try it. Not only does the waterproof formula promise "24 hour wear", but the "new formula with collagen spheres" are supposed to give you "15x more impact".  Sadly, I didn't find this to be the case.  A quick look in the mirror just now (after a full day of wear) finds a few flakes and smudges, and honestly this mascara didn't give me the volume or length it promised.

A little over a year ago, I tried another new mascara - Rimmel's Day 2 Night formula - and was similarly let down.  I guess I should probably just rely on my tried and true Lashify by Sonia Kashuk, which continues to get good reviews on Target.com.  I also like Maybelline's Full & Soft Mascara, which I found out about on the Short of Something blog.  How about you, readers? Do you have a favorite drugstore mascara?

Target fully stocked with Back-to-School supplies...

Just like last year, Target has stocked their Back-to-School section earlier than usual. In fact, if you're looking for bargains on patio furniture or lawn & garden supplies, you're probably better off looking on Target.com, as most Target stores have already cleared those sections out to make room for BTS stuff.

While I do appreciate them putting out the College supplies early, I have mixed feelings on the basic Elementary school stuff. We're barely past the 4th of July, and there's a good 6 weeks of Summer left on the calendar. I say we should enjoy this season before rushing to the next one.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Target.com's "Back to College" Section

Target.com has a whole section on their website devoted to "Back to College"... which is a bit of a misnomer, as you're usually buying boatloads of stuff as your kid initially leaves for college, not when they go back to it.  In any case, this section has a whole array of stuff for the college freshman living in a dorm for the first time, including bedding, towels, furniture & decor, electronics, kitchenware, and storage & organization. There's also something called the "UStyler" where you can design your own dorm room and a handy checklist you can fill out to figure out what you need (and don't need) to bring along to school.

Just a hint, as we prepare to send our eldest off to college this Fall: it sounds like he was lucky enough to score a room in one of the newer dorms that comes with its own kitchenette.  We're trying to confirm that its already equipped with a mini-fridge and microwave, and if so, then we'll be able to cross those items off our shopping list. And if possible, try to coordinate with your roommate ahead of time and find out what he/she is bringing, so that the two of you don't duplicate items that could be shared.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Giada's Fourth of July menu...

Stumped over what to serve your guests on the 4th?  Then head on over to A Bullseye View for some yummy recipes by Giada De Laurentiis, like these Smokey Pork Burgers with Apple/Onion Chutney (shown).  Other recipes include Orzo with Artichoke Pesto and Grilled Corn, Chicken Sausage Skewers, and for dessert, Peach and Blueberry Crumb Pie.  She also shares a signature drink for the holiday, called a Ginger-Peachy Beer Cooler.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Target's Christmas in July...

Just as they did a year ago, Target is celebrating Christmas in July with "Black Friday" deals well in advance of the day after Thanksgiving. The date to put on your calendar is this time is July 20th, with Target boasting "10% off select Bonus Black Friday items, plus exclusive offers all year long” if you sign up in advance. To sign up, simply fill out this form on Target.com.

Target Kids' Giftpack Giveaway

I have another giveaway for you - this one hosted by People.com.  Target has decided to give away more than a dozen of their fun kiddie goodies to one lucky People.com Moms & Babies reader. The prize is is $140 value, and includes: JanSport Maxter Peace Icon Backpack in White/Purple ($29.99), Backpack in Black/White Camo Print ($39.99), Thermos Fire Truck Lunch Box ($9.99), Arctic Zone Ladybug Lunch Box ($7.99), Aladdin Food Storage Containers ($3.99 to $12.99), Aladdin Chill Sandwich Pack ($4.99), Aladdin Chill Snack Pack ($3.99), Slap Ruler ($2.99), Sneaker Pouch Pencil Case ($4.99), Fashion Paperboard Magnetic Fashion Paperboard Mirror ($3.49), two Yoga Dog Notebooks ($2.50) and two Twister Pencil Cases ($4.99).

To enter, fill out this form on People.com.  Entries entries must be received between 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on 7/2/12 and 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 7/8/12.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

And the winner...

...of my latest blog giveaway - for The Webster palm leaf earrings - is reader Suzy! Suzy's entry was picked by the random number generator over at Random.org. Suzy, thank you for your mailing address; your earring are on their way.  And thanks again to everyone who entered and for continuing to read my blog!