Free Shipping on Shoes at Urban Outfitters

The tear-inducing prices at the gas pump aren't the only reason to cry these days. It seems the cost of pumps (the kind you wear, that is) has gone up as well! A recent article in the L.A. Times notes the amplified prices of premiere designer shoes, including a $1,o45 Lanvin flat (!!) and a $1,400 satin pump from Versace (!!!), and goes on to discuss the familiar ritual of shopaholics everywhere who "pick up a sandal and sigh with relief when it costs less than your monthly car payment."

Thankfully, Urban Outfitters not only offers so-stylish and equally affordable footwear, but now through April 6 you can get free shipping on any online order that includes regularly-priced shoes. Choose from dozens of styles for spring and summer, and even pick up a pair of boots for fall (who knows what shoe and gas prices will look like then), then just enter promotional code FREE08 at checkout.

Strappy like a Hurrache, but updated with side cut-outs and a peep toe. At a mere $38, this Starcrossed Skimmer is far less than the cost of a full gas tank! Also available in Black and Mustard.
Wear the 80s-inspired Sunburst Shortie Boot ($68) now with a floral-print minidress, or save it for the fall and pull over skinny jeans or must-get sheer tights and sweater dresses.A classic canvas shoe in bright, summer-lovin' colors. The Overdyed Canvas Skips ($16) could be the go-to shoe to pull on and take a walk in this season--a great way to look cute and save petro!
Fringe is the "something special" that's so cool for summer. These Suede Fringe T-Strap Sandals are fashionably ironic (suede fringe mixed with a T-strap and a flat sandal!) and at $28 are surprisingly affordable.


Vogue Under Fire

The April cover of Vogue, with basketball virtuoso LeBron James and supermodel Gisele B√ľndchen, is stirring up quite the controversy and is being compared to images of King Kong clutching damsel in distress Ann Darrow.

I didn't care for this cover the moment I saw it and I quite agree that there is nothing glamorous, sexy, or "Vogue" about it. It looks as though Gisele is about to trip over LeBron's feet and he looks positively frightening. Now I realize that he is the first Black man to be featured on a Vogue cover, and I applaud the magazine for finally making the move. But for such a landmark issue, I would have much rather seen the suave Mr. Washington, or even P. Diddy (minus the toothpick, please Puff!) grace the cover.
What do you think? Racist undertones or just an unfortunate photo?


Benetton Goes Soft

Remember the racy (and sometimes controversial) ad campaigns United Colors of Benetton ran in the 90s?

Well now they've softened things a bit and have an equally stunning, but much prettier campaign, with a sort of rag doll theme. Sweet, no?

Minerals and Good Old Mary Kay

Okay, this is hard for me to admit, since I am a fashion and beauty writer, but I have to get it off my chest. Here goes...I don't wear foundation. I know, I know! It provides (much-needed) coverage and blocks free-radicals blah, blah, blah. But the truth of the matter is, I have this phobia that my skin can't "breath" under foundation. Weird? Perhaps. Well you can imagine my utter annoyance when I learned that the makeup artist who's glamming us up for my girlfriend's wedding wants to do a trial run next month and we're each required to bring our own foundation. Hmmm...

Luckily, I spent Easter Sunday at my aunt's house, where she pulled me into her boudoir and proceeded to powder and blend and brush my mug until I was transformed into some flawless, fresh-faced goddess! Transfixed by my renewed, glowing skin, I managed to ask her what on earth this miracle product was. "Minerals," she said. "MAC?" I asked. "Mary Kay!" she replied. Shocking? You bet! Worth the $30 for the powder and brush? Absolutely!!!! The light-as-air formula was actually light as air. Plus, she swore that the foundation would last and last, since a little goes a long way. Sold, to the foundation-phobe in the front row!


Spring is Here!

Happy 1st Day of Spring, girls! An article in WWD reported that, despite whatever is happening on Wall Street, there are two things that won't see a slouch in sales this season - printed dresses and colorful trenches. Makes sense to me, so I'm adding these to my wish list:

It's no secret that I'm really feeling green this season! I want to adds tons of pieces to my wardrobe, including this coat with its lovely, loose fit and sweet bow at the neck.
This dress is so utterly girly I can barely contain myself! I love that, instead of the ubiquitous spring floral or butterfly, the print is little fairies.

The cobalt hue of this cropped trench is deeply gorgeous and a bold addition to jeans and tees. Plus it's affordable but looks like its not!

Tulle Textured Canvas Cropped Trench, $100

There is nothing I don't love by Voom so this dress caught my eye immediately, natch. I adore that it has little epaulets and buttons on the shoulder.

Voom Tritan Smock Dress, $290


Deals at The Body Shop

Head to The Body Shop now because they're offering up three of their so-yummy mini body butters and scrubs for $20! You already know I'm stocking up on Pink Grapefruit! They've also got deals on their soothing lip butters and balms (3 for $14), glycerin soaps (5 for $12), and their mix-and-match Invent Your Scent fragrances (2 for $26).


Sandal Lust

It felt like summer a week ago in L.A. but the past few days have been much chillier with cold, tormenting winds threatening to blow the curls right off my head. But no matter how cold it is I'm still hot for these strappy, warm weather staples:

These Warrior Gladiator Sandals from Faryl Robin ($190) are so downtown! I can just see myself pairing them with little, cotton dresses. They also come in a beige hue that's equally divine.

Striped canvas gives the L.A.M.B. 'Dominic' Platform Sandal ($320) a nautical vibe that's insanely sexy at the same time.

The Bali Patent Sandal by Dolce Vita ($115) is appealingly girlish, conjuring up memories of melting popsicles and the sweet, little sundresses I wore as a child every summer.

I simply can't imagine wearing vintage dresses without these Rachel Comey 'Aster' Crisscross Sandal ($300)! The grey and sand color combo is modern and fresh but the suede-covered heel looks so retro.

I'd have to tackle a ton of freelance projects to afford these Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Strappy Patent Sandal ($660) but the delicious, Skittle color is worth it, no?

Multiple buckles and a rich tobacco hue make the Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent 'Harper' Gladiator ($405) the perfect sandal for must-get wide leg jeans and flouncy, floral tops.


Fresh Greens

You know how I feel about pink things but there is no color more perfectly pretty for spring than crisp, lovely, kelly green.

Alice + Olivia nailed it with this so sexy Blouson Sleeve Dress - it's versatile enough to pair with flats for Sunday brunch with the girls, or heels and a stunning bag for date night.

Belted or tucked into high-waisted, wide leg jeans or trou, the Corey Lynn Calter Porsha Poet Blouse is a real eye catcher!

We're so glad Cynthia Vincent ventured into footwear because the result is always flawless, like this Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent 'Sophia' heel.

The black, abstract print on this Ali Ro Crosshatch Shift Dress keeps the playful silhouette and sweet flutter sleeves from looking too precious.

Drapey and textured with voluminous dolman sleeves, this Graham & Spencer Blouse is actually gorgeously soft silk and so luxe!


Natural Beauty

As far as jewelry goes, statement necklaces seem to be dominating, leaving delicate fingers and wrists cold and empty. This season, let your hands do a little talking with natural wood, mineral, and stone rings and cuffs from artist and jewelry designer Christine J. Brandt.

Nothing short of spectacular, Brandt's hand-carved jewelry gives new meaning to the words "wearable art" - beautifully sculpted with interesting curves and breathtaking brilliance. Besides their obvious pulchritude, the line is environmentally friendly - instead of varnishes and stains, Brandt hand rubs natural Danish oils to bring out the wood's natural grain and color, and she never cuts or dyes the semi-precious stones and minerals, opting instead to leave them in their natural, gorgeous state. The result is truly one-of-a-kind, stunning creations that are uncommonly alluring. And for those who simply cannot ignore the de rigueur, Brandt, of course, includes statement necklaces in her collection, each one a gorgeous manifesto of artful elegance and uniqueness.
To see more styles (including bridal!) head to www.christinejbrandt.com.


Who, What, Where?

Los Angeles - Girly girls of L.A. rejoice! Nanette Lepore has landed on trendy Melrose and it is beyond divine! The 2,200-square-foot boutique is double, yes double the size of the Robertson Blvd boutique, which means there will be much more merchandise to love, natch! Located near Diane von Furstenberg, Theory, and BCBG, the store features rose-tinted marble floors, high ceilings, custom Lucite chairs, and white lacquered chandeliers - tres chic! Expect to find her signature fabulous frocks, as well as more jewelry (at higher price points) and an expanded footwear area, not to mention the requisite Hollywood back door for celeb shoppers and a huge, private dressing room.

New York - And on the opposite coast, another girly label is setting up shop. Lilly Pulitzer is bringing pink and green, Palm Beach prep to Manhattan this May. The 3,700-square-foot flagship store will be located at 1020 Madison Ave, between 78th and 79th. The space will be neighbored by an Intermix and a J. Crew collection store, which will also open this spring.


Keeping It Simple

This summer I vow to look flawless everyday, but not overdone. I pledge to keep it simple with unfussy, effortlessly cool frocks and tops that are easy and chic and completely affordable. I promise to never worry if I'm running late because I will always have something fabulous and low maintenance waiting in my closet. This summer I will undoubtedly be wearing Lewis Cho...

...to brunch with girlfriends
...to interview a designer for work

...shopping at the Fairfax Flea Mart

...spending time with my darling boy
Head to LuvCharlie.com or RevolveClothing.com for more Spring/Summer styles!