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Friday, November 19, 2010

Stressless Schlep-Free Holiday Shopping + Free Shipping

Shipping Wars & Last Minute Shopping:

Why schlep when you can cyber shop for the holidays + get free shipping? With a virtual shipping war, the competition among these and other sites gives you the advantage:

Walmart: free shipping on more than 60,000 online items through December 20th, no minimum order required.
Amazon.com: they’ll meet or beat any other free shipping deal on a limited selection of items.
Best Buy: free shipping offer valid on hundreds of thousands of items, including all CDs, Blue-Ray and DVD movies, gaming software and accessories.
Toys "R" Us: free shipping on purchases of $49 or more for all items except video game consoles/handhelds, software, hardware and accessories.
For more stores, visit freeshipping.org.

Bargains get better closer to Christmas, and this year you can cyber-shop last minute with free delivery, and get your goods before Santa makes it down the fireplace. FreeShipping.org has declared December 17 as Free Shipping Day, during which 1,000-plus merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Fall's beauty buys start with best bets on Cleansers:
Perricone schmerricone. Pricey cleansers are a dumb deal. In my recent story on Bad Beauty Deals for Consumer Report's Shop Smart Magazine, I reported that since cleanser is in contact with your skin literally for seconds, don't spend much money on yours. “Active ingredients such as hydroxy acids, peptides, and vitamins are more useful in facial moisturizers and eye creams because they remain on your skin much longer than a cleanser,” says NY Dermatologist Deborah Sarnoff, M.D., senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. Dermatologists, cosmetic chemists and users agree, one of the best facial cleansers you can buy is Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser.  A 16. fl. oz. 2-pack is $21.98 at Amazon.com, with free shipping.

Monday, November 8, 2010


If you never pay full retail, you know the value of  deep discounts and you are  comfortable with borrowing or lending, I-ELLA.com is your dream come true. Browse this new fashionable/charitable online marketplace for vintage finds and one-of-a-kind pieces and designer labels including the Prada cardigan and Jimmy Choo bag, pictured here. Join for free when you're ready to  buy, borrow, swap, sell or lend new and gently used  apparel and accessories.  
More motivation to visit: 10% of each transaction fee  is donated to a charity or social venture. Plus, each week the site runs a charity auction from the closet of a different celebrity, with proceeds benefiting the celebrity’s charity of choice.

Tan Wool & Silk Cardigan
with Leather Details
Retail Price: $900.00
Buy for: $225.00

White Handbag
Retail Price:  $1,100.00
Buy for: $200.00
Borrow for: $30.00/wk or $40.00/mo


Thursday, October 28, 2010

20% Off Your Favorite Beauty and Household Goods + Free Shipping

 If you think virtual shops like drugstore.com are awesome, meet Soap.com. From the creators of diapers.com, this new site offers over 25,000 products, from beauty basics to nutritional and household necessities. What's it to you? 20% off your order if you enter the code "soapnyc" before checking out, free 1-2 day shipping, promotions and coupons including a $10 credit for referring a friend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Real Pink Ribbon Deals That Give Back 100%

In honor of the 25th anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, your pick of goods that divvy up some profits to breast cancer awareness is big. While this charitable gesture is appreciated, putting the pink ribbon on a product also stimulates sales ... so while it might seem nice when 5% of the proceeds from your purchase is donated, the other 95% is company profit. It's way more philanthropic when a company donates most or all of the profits from your purchase to help find a cure. These budget friendly buys, priced from $2 to $20, allocate a whopping 100% of the profits to breast cancer causes.

Saks Fifth Avenue Key To The Cure Tee is designed by Donna Karan. Saks sells it for $35, and 100% of the price goes to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Kohl's Cares® Simply Vera Vera Wang Coin Purse, $10.
Kohl's Cares® Simply Vera Vera Wang Multistrand Necklace, $5.

Kudos to Kohl’s for donating 100% of profits from these and other Simply Vera Vera Wang “Pink products to breast cancer research. More motivation to buy:
All items are $5 to $10 and shipping is a mere 99¢ each. 
Kohl's Cares Simply Vera Vera Wang Coin PurseVera Wang-kohls cares simply vera vera wang multistrand necklace
PacSun’s B4Bc Another Name Tote, $9.50, displays humorous names for boobs, and 100% of sales go to B4BC (Boarding for Breast Cancer).
Buy Philosophy Shower for the Cure, $20, and Philosophy sends shower for the cure shower gel100% of net proceeds to the
Women's Cancer Research Fund.

Pick up this Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet at Payless for $2 and they donate 100% of the profits (at least $1 per bracelet) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, plus you’re rewarded with a $5 off $25 coupon with every bracelet purchase.
Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet

Buy Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade Lips for Life Novelty Tote, $5, and 100% of the net profits go to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Click for details, or contact your Avon Representative.

Coming soon to an Avon Representative near you: the Marimekko designed Crusade Tote, $10.
Avon Crusade tote, $10


Sunday, October 17, 2010


L.L. Bean was avant-garde when they introduced pants that converted to shorts over 50 years ago. Since then, convertible clothing has seen little growth except for a jacket with a zip off hood or sleeves.

This season, double duty duds get their due justice, and you benefit from the options. Innovative fashions reverse, shift shapes and transform into a multitude of looks. You can pay a fortune for the privilege, or check out budget friendly ways to double your wardrobe.
3-in-1 BOOTS
Shoe Designers had fun this fall, creating boots that unzip, unbuckle or fold down, so a single pair can be worn at the knee, mid-calf or as ankle booties. Options that retail for $450 are nice, but Charlotte Russe 3-in-1 Boot has a lot going for it at $50. Wear it uncuffed, cuffed, or folded down to a bootie. Faux leather. charlotterusse.com

It’s easy to find a convertible coat for $1500, which makes the version at BCBG Max Azria, on sale for $340, a steal. Detachable option transforms it from a coat to a jacket. Detachable faux fur hood. At BCBG Max Azria.

Convertible Zip Leather Gloves … what a functional find from Michael Kors, available at Nordstrom for $150. It’s your choice: Full-length leather gloves zip down to medium and short lengths. At Nordstrom's.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Are Brazilian Keratin Treatments Toxic or Safe?

Breaking New about Brazilian Keratin Treatments, also called Brazilian Blowout:

On Thursday, Health Canada issued a warning stating the hair smoothing solution made by the California company, Brazilian Blowout, contained "unacceptable levels of formaldehyde." The brand is marketed as a formaldehyde-free, but the Brazilian Blowout solution had been found to contain 12 per cent formaldehyde. The tests and warning were sparked by six consumer and two trade complaints in June after those who worked with the product experienced burning eyes, nose, throat and breathing troubles.

Canadians would have been forewarned if they read my report on BKT (Brazilian Keratin Treatment) in the March issue of ShopSmart Magazine:

Ads for Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT), a popular salon technique, claim that it leaves hair smooth and healthy-looking for months. A chief ingredient in the product is formaldehyde, says Perry Romanowski, an independent cosmetic chemist, which is not banned in hair straighteners by the FDA, but it’s a probable carcinogen that can also cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; skin rash; and other reactions. “Some salons claim to do formaldehyde-free BKT. But if it does work as well, it probably features an aldehyde, which is like formaldehyde and is not safer,” Romanowski says. ShopSmart says Try a straightening iron. We like the Revlon Perfect Heat Ceramic RVST2001C, $30.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Power Plucker

If you're your own brow "handler," you need a Tweezerman Slant (the must-have for professional brow mavens). The Slant® tweezer has perfectly aligned hand-finished tips, capable of grabbing even the tiniest superfluous hair. You won't find Tweezerman on sale or discounted, but it’s a bargain in the long run. Tweezerman implements are guaranteed; the company will sharpen any of their tools that get dull through normal use for free, they replace damaged/dropped tools for half the purchase price and they repair bent tips for $5.00 per tool. No S&H charges. At drugstore.com, Bed Bath & Beyond and drug stores, $20. www.tweezerman.com.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Bring a friend to the Arrojo Studio in Soho and get two-for-one cuts, color and styling by big name celebrity hair pros. Mon-Thurs, 10AM-4PM
More Great Discounts at arrojostudio.com
212 242-7786
Arrojo Studio
180 Varick Street
New York, NY

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Eco Clean cleaning products made from pure Danish ingredients are the perfect way to clean green. Non-toxic cleaners for spiffing up the kitchen, the bathroom, and hand soap have a foaming option nozzle which minimizes the exposure of vapors. Unlike many bland looking green cleaners, Eco Clean packaging is stylish enough to display in your home, and each product retails for an affordable $4.49 at Alice.com and Duane Reade.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get Double the Mileage From Your Beauty Favorites

Use much less mascara: Curl your lashes first and you'll need to apply just a smidge of mascara to make them stand out. To do, using a traditional lash curler (Revlon and Maybelline sell under $5 versions at drugstore.com) firmly clamp curler pad on lashes mid way between tips and roots; squeeze curler for at least 30 seconds then release.

Stretch your foundation: Apply foundation with your fingers instead of sponge. Makeup tends to absorb into a cosmetic sponge so some goes to waste. Foundation also spreads easier and more evenly when applied with your fingers, which is why makeup artists recommend it.

Save on scent: Spot application ... spritzing fragrance on your neck, wrists, cleavage, etc ... can be overpowering. For subtler, all over scent, spritz fragrance once directly over your head, then close your eyes as the scent floats down and envelops you.

Everlasting nail file: Some experts claim that using a metal nail file can damage nails, but that's not true if you file gently and in one direction, not back and forth. A high tech metal file such as Diamancel Diamond Nail File ($28 at sephora.com) or the classic Diamond Deb Nail File ($3.99 at amazon.com) can last you a lifetime.

Cheapest/best makeup remover: Many experts, including NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, recommend Vaseline. You can't find a less expensive product, it's extremely gentle and it easily removes mascara.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Luxury Hair Products Debut at Duane Reade

Drugstores Are Going Glam! Peter Lamas Products, once only available at Fred Segal and Macy’s, are now going mass market, debuting in Duane Reade on April 29th.

While this is NY-specific news, the company is also offering a NATIONAL giveaway. To celebrate the launch, Peter Lamas himself will be making appearances at the Herald Square and Rock Center Duane Reade locations to provide free hair consultations and to announce his FREE YEAR OF HAIR CARE giveaway! From now through June, Lamas fans all over the country can enter online for a chance to win. 256 winners will be selected. For more details visit lamasbeauty.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do-able at home hair color: Save up to $2,000 a year

Coloring your hair at home is a big money saver, and it's a cinch once you get skilled at it. Benefits include no travel time or waiting time, and you can multi-task doing chores around the house while waiting for the color to set.

The experts at Consumer Report's Shop Smart Magazine ran tests of at home hair color kits and results showed that it's possible to get salon results at home. For more information, see the current issue of Shop Smart or follow this link
for my no-risk tips for how-to ... without ruining your hair or staining the bathroom.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Budget Style on a Shoestring is active again after a short hiatus (while I was guest blogging and writing about beauty in-house at Avon).
Watch for more stylish ways to save big on beauty, fashion, fun and more.
Have a beauty problem or question? Post it on this blog or email me and I'll provide free advice from a leading expert.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Girdles for Guys

Now there's a manly version of Spanx. Guys who can use some slimming can disguise their bulges without the hassle of dieting or the expense of liposuction, and they are no longer limited to boxers or briefs. EQUMEN recently launched the bulge-smoothing Core Precision Undershirt and Precision Underwear for men, sold at major department stores and at freshpair.com. Pantyhose for men, or "mantyhose," is another growing trend, but beware of males who voluntarily subject themselves to the discomfort ... and the risk of runs.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter makeup trends from Chatterberries.com

Chances are you don't want to go super trendy with your makeup, but sticking by too traditional can be a bit ho-hum. What's in season? Trend forecaster Sharon Graubard, Senior V.P of Stylesight (a leading trend forecasting provider for the style industry) reports that this winter, makeup is dramatic, with strong yet wearable looks that complement current fashion trends. "Rich, deep colors and defined eyes add drama to simple ensembles, while offbeat, ornate apparel demands a more subdued palette for the face," she reports.

True 80's

This season makeup has a retro influence. "There's a return to the bright, eye-catching makeup that was popular in the 80s," says NYC based makeup artist Gita Bass, who created Tina Fey's red carpet look for the 2009 Oscars. "With this trend, your eyes will be a main attraction, so technique is important," she cautions. "Choose shadows for the eye that pop, like turquoise, hot pink or emerald green," Bass suggests. "Next, grab black liner and blend it up toward the crease." Try a gel liner, like Buxom by Bare Escentuals Lashliner in Leatherette, and tons of black mascara - such as Rimmel Sexy Curves Waterproof Mascara--for extra definition.

Statement Lips

Classic French style, with crimson lips set against porcelain skin, gets updated for fall. The hot look is creamy red, blotted to a semi matte finish, plus there are new deep wine stained lipsticks for even more femme fatal allure, like Laura Geller Creme Couture Lipstick in Bordeaux. "To pull off a bold mouth, line the lips with a liner that matches your natural lip color and feather it all over your lips as a base," Bass says. "Apply a bright matte red over your lips, straight from the tube, then blend the color along the edges of the lip using a stiff lip brush and correct any mistakes with a pointy cotton swab. Blot and reapply, and don't forget to get the inner corners of your lips." Reds to try: Lorac Breakthrough Performance Lipstick in Leading Lady, Duwop Private Red Lipstick.

Instead of investing in different products, winter trends are right on target in Cargo's Runway Kit. The color palette includes metallics, neutrals and brights for eyes and lips, silky powder blushes and their best-selling Medium Bronzer. A $175 value, CARGO's Runway Kit retails for $49.

Wendy Korn Heppt

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Read the March issue of Consumer Reports Shop Smart Magazine for my latest feature on bad beauty deals. Lots of products out there can be a waste of money, or worse. For every beauty dilemma, there’s a product that’s claimed to solve it. But many don’t, and lots of us have been suckered into buying stuff that doesn’t work.

Want the real dish on Lash Growers sold at Sephora and Duane Read?
Did you know Brazilian Keratin Treatment is all about formaldehyde? Legend has it that a Brazilian realized that when formaldehyde was used to embalm the dead it also straightened the hair, which led to the BKT that's so popular today
Lip Plumpers don't work and nothing will eliminate a scar or firm your bust.

Read this and more at shopsmartmag.org.

Looking for more information on any of the topics? I have plenty of expert advice so just leave a comment or email wendykorn@yahoo.com.