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Monday, May 30, 2011

Tip #81: Learn Lipstick Lingo

I am not much of a lipstick connoisseur because I am allergic to most brands :(  
Knowing which lipstick colors look good with your skin tone is very important (but that is a whole other blog tip or you can buy a Color Booklet from :))

Right now, let's concentrate on the glossary (no pun intended) of old and 'new' lipstick lingo:

This classic texture is especially pretty in neutral shades. 
Frosty lipstick is new again thanks to tiny light-reflecting particles that impart sheen.
GEL:  Full-coverage formulas tend to be thick and sticky. Gel lip color is less waxy.
GLOSSY:  A range of finishes and hues makes gloss a favorite. Just be prepared to reapply often!
MATTE:  An extremely pigmented formula that offers total coverage but shows every little mistake. Make it neat by applying it with a lip brush.
MIST:  Burberry makes a 'Mist' lipstick that delivers a soft, silky wash in one swipe that is supposed to last up to 3 hours.
The color only looks intense; this semiglossy formula is a fresh way to wear brights.

SHINE:  Equal parts high-shine gloss and creamy lipstick.  It goes on light but can be layered for more intensity.
STAIN:  Its water-based formula dries quickly, tinting lips with a transparent wash of long-lasting color. 
CANDY:  Yves Saint Laurent makes a Sheer Candy that gives lips a stain with a pop of pigments in a balm-like base (what ever that means.... haven't tried it)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tip #80: Prints can Flatter

A pretty all-over pattern can do far more for your figure than a simple solid.  It creates an optical illusion, obscuring unwanted lumps and bumps by keeping the eye moving. 
The following pictures are all Plus-Size models and they look amazing!  
If you have nice legs,
try a shorter dress.  
Zebra Print!
Go for that hourglass figure!
Love the shoes,
but be careful they don't make your legs look shorter.

Maxi Dress. Cinch at the slimmest part
of waist to create hourglass

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tip #79: Hip Bargain Chick Travels to NYC

It has been a week since my last Tip and I apologize.  Last week was frenzied with preparations for my girl weekend getaway to the Big Apple.  A special thank you to my Le Moyne College girls for making it so much fun!  Helene, you will always be the best 'Julie, Cruise Director' :)

Lots of people watching (and walking - my feet were telling me we walked most of Manhattan).  It was a beautiful day in the city and we saw a lot of Maxi dresses with scarves.  Gladiator sandals were definitely out in force.   Horizontal stripes were on shirts and dresses.

With 6 of us girls embarking on a 1 day trip into the city, it was hard to decide on where to go.  But, I did get to walk into a few thrift shops in the East Village.  The prices were higher, but there were definitely more designer vintage clothing.  I didn't buy anything.... didn't find anything worth lugging around the city with me all day and all night.

The BEST DEAL of the trip was the bus fare.... my girlfriend and I traveled on the Tripper bus (  She paid $8 for her round trip ticket ($1 going and $5 coming home with $1 convenience charge per way) and I paid $13 ($10 going and $1 coming home with the convenience charge).  At exactly 2 months from the day you want to travel, the tripper bus offers fares from $1.  The cost increases as more people buy until it hits the maximum price of $25 each way.  Comfy seats, electrical outlets and WiFi made the trip easy and uneventful.

I am DEFINITELY heading to NYC more often!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tip #78: Mall Adventures and the Victoria Secret's Miraculous Bra!!

Hope all you mom's had a wonderful Mother's Day!  My weekend was awesome... massage on Saturday, shopping (by myself) on Sunday.  I hadn't gone to the mall in SO long!  Which is totally unacceptable for Hip Bargain Chick :)

I had a $10 off coupon at JC Penney (with no minimum purchase).  My goal was to find something for $10 and not pay anything, but THAT didn't happen (which is what JC Penney is banking on - and I fell right into their trap).  I perused the clearance racks and found 2 shirts and 1 sweater to buy.  The total came to $19 - $10 coupon ($9 total).  Not bad!!!

Then I headed over to Victoria Secret.  I read a Consumer Reports article that the new Miraculous Bra that claimed to increase your bust by 2 sizes looked natural.  Since my breasts are now shriveled from breast-feeding, I wanted to regain some of their former glory.  I ended up trying on every bra they had to see what fit best.  I am SO glad I took the time to do that.  The salesgirl was SO helpful and patient.  Let me tell you.... the Miraculous Bra IS truly miraculous!!!  Hip Bargain Chick couldn't buy a bra for full price, though :)  So, I went home and won an eBay bid (and got 3% cash back from  I got the Multi-Way that you can wear strapless, regular, or criss-cross.  The thick band helps with back fat.  The 1 drawback is that you definitely have to hand wash it.

My new $24 coat!!
A trip to the mall wouldn't be complete without a stop at Forever 21.  I stocked up on cami's in every color for $2.50 each.  I also found a new winter coat!!!  SO EXCITED!  $24.00.  Still need to try on the coat with my new bra to make sure I can still button it (heh, heh).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tip #77: Check out this Entire Outfit for Less than $30!!!!!

My girlfriend, Rachel, leaves for Hawaii on Tuesday (I know, I wish too).  She needed a few more outfits to bring with her.  So, we went shopping!  Love shopping!  And I definitely loved what we put together (in less than an hour:)).

Forever 21 Dress
is a Coral color.
The DRESS is a beautiful Coral color, which is totally in for the season.  It is going to look amazing with her tan!  Another plus?  COMFORT!  It is super comfy.  AND easy to pack.  Low maintenance - it won't wrinkle.  Wear just the dress with flip-flops for day and dress it up with platform shoes and jewelry for night.

Forever 21 Gold Bangles = $4.80
Forever 21 Earrings = $3.80
The EARRINGS we chose were a little out of her comfort zone.  Rachel does not usually wear big earrings.... but with gold bangles on her wrists, her hair down and no necklace, they are a perfect compliment to her dress.  The round earring also compliment her face.... Rachel has a long, oval face.... round earrings balance her out.  Rachel could also wear her her up with a flower in it, simple earrings and a simple necklace.  SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!!!

Forever 21 Shoes
are neutral platform wedges.
LOVE the shoes.  $7.50!!!  AND she says they are comfortable.  I just wish they had them in my size.

Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary to Rachel and Greg.  Rachel - you are beautiful and radiant!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tip #76: Save BIG with Mystery travel Site

What are Mystery Travel Sites?  They are the sites that don't reveal the names of the travel providers until after you pay.  Scary?

Who are they?  The big ones are,, and Travelocity just came out with Top Secret Hotels.  According to on-line analysis, is definitely the cheapest of the cheap.

How do they work?  Travel providers look to unload inventory on the cheap.  But, they mask the identity of those travel companies so as not to scare away full-price customers.  To make the blind process less blind, the sites post (incomplete) lists of participating travel suppliers.


  • Car rentals are a safe bet with Hotwire and because only major brands participate.
  • Airline bookings are more of a gamble with hidden fees and lesser-known carriers.
  • also offers the option to bid on travel deals.  One good strategy is to check out prices on Hotwire and then trim 10 or 20% off the best price to make a bid.  Or check out for tips.
  • Don't use these sites if you might need to change your travel plans.  All sales are final.
  • Plan to pay booking fees.  These charges are usually more than offset by savings.
  • Print a copy of your receipt or confirmation as proof of purchase and take it with you just in case.
  • Go to aggregator sites like and the sits of travel providers to check rates before you book on discount sites.