Category Archives: Bling on a Budget

High style bling for little money

Vintage Martini vintage pink dress with crystals

Vintage Bling Still Shines Bright

The kind gentlemen who own the Vintage Martini boutique in downtown Carrollton, TX allowed me to preview new inventory before it made its way to the store. Whether you are in search of clothes, jewelry, shoes, hats or handbags, they have wide array of amazing vintage items. Don’t worry… I only bought one necklace, so there’s plenty of goodies waiting on you.

Vintage Martini vintage pink dress with crystals

Vintage pink dress with crystals at Vintage Martini

Take a look at this insanely cool Chado Ralph Rucci jacket over a pink and orange beaded vintage gown. The jacket still has the original Neiman Marcus tag for $18K.

Chado Ralph Rucci jacket

Chado Ralph Rucci jacket originally sold for $18K

Luckily for my wallet, these Jimmy Choo crystal sandals were not my size. *sigh*

Jimmy Choo crystal sandals

Jimmy Choo crystal sandals

I wish my coffee table looked like this… covered in jewels from Kenneth Jay Lane, Givenchy, Stephen Dweck and more. Naturally, I spent most of my time around this table. I have been in search of a bold gold necklace and found a beautiful, hammered, 80s-inspired one. Love it!

Table of jewelry at Vintage Martini
My new gold necklace from Vintage Martini
Vintage Martini ring

I have a huge noggin’ and tons of hair, so I am rarely able to wear hats. That doesn’t stop me from looking and dreaming though. I have never seen so many stunning feathered and embellished hats in one place! I tried to convince Elissa from @DressCourage to buy a Christian Dior hat covered in fiery feathers of orange and red. (Still working on her)

Feathered and embellished hats at Vintage Martini

I can’t believe it’s taken so long for me to get into vintage shopping. I had so much fun! If you are in the Dallas area, take some time to see for yourself. Follow Vintage Martini on Twitter at @VintageMartini1.

BCBG Rhinestone Knot necklace

Bling Abounds at BCBG

BCBG Rhinestone Knot necklace

BCBG Rhinestone Knot necklace $168 (Sold out online, may still be available in stores)

My secret to stand-out style is statement jewelry pieces. I have two uniforms — a knit top and jeans or an LBD — and both rely on a few well-placed conversation-starter pieces. “Statement” pieces are nothing new of course, but I just can’t get enough of them.

When accessorizing with statement jewelry, I suggest choosing one focus for each jewelry zone.

  • Tiara Town (head and neck): If I wear a large necklace, then the earrings will be small and not matchy-matchy. If I wear large shoulder-duster earrings, then I forgo the necklace altogether. Note: If you actually wear a tiara in public (rare but I have), then you might as well wear the whole she-bang. Why not? :)
  • Jewelry Joints (fingers and wrist): If I wear large rings or multiple rings, I keep it simple on the wrist or forgo bracelets entirely. If I am stacking bracelets for an arm party, I will choose just one ring on that hand.

There are many statement jewelry options these days, and some of my favorites are at BCBG. With a gift certificate lingering in my wallet since Christmas, I recently took a trip to the BCBG store in NorthPark Center mall in Dallas, TX. I showed more restraint that I would have liked, but not as much as I should have… I came home with both the Rhinestone Knot necklace and the Fringe Collar necklace. Here are some of the blingy lovelies we visited at BCBG.

BCBG Fringe Collar necklace

BCBG Fringe Collar necklace $88 (Sold out online, may still be available in stores)

BCBG Three-Finger ring

BCBG Three-Finger ring (Sold out online, may still be available in stores)

BCBG crystal knuckle-ring clutch

BCBG crystal knuckle-ring clutch $118 (Sold out online, may still be available in stores)

BCBG insider notes: All jewelry sales are final. Good to remember before taking the plunge. Also, if you see a piece that is sold out online, check the site periodically or call the stores. It takes some time and research, but I have tracked down some sold out pieces by being persistent.

Miss America collection by OPI

Crown Me Already by OPI

Miss Universe 2011 collection by OPI

I’ve always had this secret – let’s call it a “feeling” – that I am a queen who was unjustly dethroned and will one day be crowned again. I even have a collection of tiaras, training size to Miss America, in my closet to attest to this fact. You can then imagine my delight that upon my latest trip to the nail salon, I discovered the 2011 Miss Universe collection of nail polish by OPI. OPI, and Nicole by OPI, are my favorite nail polish brands, and they never disappoint.

This particular collection is unsurpassed in shine and wow-factor. The one I decided on is a divine clear polish containing silver glitter & flecks of silver foil “confetti.” When applied over a coat of the solid bright silver color called “Dazzle,” the effect creates a look like Minx nails but without the high price tag. The color is called – get ready – “Crown Me Already!” I not only loved the fact of the name containing the word “crown”, as the mere mention of the word makes me tingle, but that the lady it was named for is apparently impatient to be crowned. I can relate. ;) Just from the title alone, it seemed we were destined to be united, just as I am destined to one day be reunited with my throne. *Sigh* Until then, I will console myself with having the coolest nails in the kingdom.

Sally Hansen Gunmetal Polish

Heavy Metal: Sally Hansen Gunmetal Polish

Metsy & I are always on the hunt for the perfect nail colors to complement our ever-growing collection of cocktail rings. One afternoon while out running errands, we came across this slightly-rocker, decidedly chic take on the grey trend for this season.

Sally Hansen Gunmetal Polish
I picked up the bottle and was mesmerized by the fabulicious combo of metallic, and blueish-grey liquid calling out to my fingertips. I have tried a couple of grey shades before, but usually my hands looked like they had just been pumped full of formaldehyde and were just waiting for the Lily bouquet to be placed in my rigor mortis grip. This, on the other hand, (pardon the pun;)), is very flattering to most skin tones, and would look ah-mazing with the BCBG knuckle rings we love. This is one of my picks for the season, and will be as much a staple as my signature colossus cocktail rings.

Sally Hansen Gunmetal Polish
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails X-treme Wear Nail Color in Gunmetal. Available at Target or online at CVS.com ($2.24). (PS – The ring is from Target too!)

Stein-Mart Pendant Necklace

My Not-So-Secret Discount Jewelry Place

For trendy jewelry, I prefer not to spend a small fortune. We all know that Target has great, inexpensive jewelry lines, and here in Dallas, we also have Sam Moon for cheaper jewelry. But it’s good to have an out-of-the-way discount treasure trove that no one knows about. I’m about to share one … Once a month, I go to Lewisville to get my hair done (30 minute drive and totally worth it), and I always go to the Stein Mart on Main Street in Lewisville. For some reason, this particular location has 4 times as much jewelry as other locations, so I usually find a lil something for me or Shannon or one of the Glossy Posse girls.

This last trip, I found lots of pieces with a lady-like retro vibe which would be fun for the Mad Men trend this Fall. All of the pieces below are under $30 each. They are a lil too prim and proper for me, but maybe I should branch out? Which piece do you like?

Stein-Mart Pendant NecklaceStein-Mart NecklaceStein-Mart Ring

Stein-Mart Bracelet

Renee Rouleau Ring

Fellow Blingista: Renée Rouleau

Renee Rouleau RingLast night, Shannon and I attended the F2 TALK with Renée Rouleau (pronounced roo-LOW) held by The Fashionistas. Not only is Renée a trusted skin care expert and celebrity esthetician… she wears bling! While she was detailing her top 5 skin care myths, tips for handling brown spots and acne, answering Q&A and much much more, we were mesmerized by her ring pictured above.

I have followed Renée’s tips on her Renée Rouleau web siteFacebook and Twitter for over a year and find the information to be extremely helpful. I am a tell-it-like-it-is (perhaps in a sweet Southern accent) kind of gal, so I appreciate her straight-forward approach to answering skin care questions — focused on helping each individual attain the best skin possible. I will be booking a facial soon (a generous gift to attendees of the F2 TALK) and asking lots of questions about handling my particular set of skin issues. She has inspired me to pay more attention to my skin… we all need the best canvas possible to showcase our bling, right?

Bling on a Budget: Interested in your own large bling ring? She couldn’t remember the designer of her ring, so I have made some suggestions below.

Juicy Couture Midnight Swag RingJuicy Couture ‘Midnight Swag’ Pyramid Cluster Ring ($88) at Nordstrom.

Tarnish Statement RingTarnish Statement Ring ($38) at Nordstrom.

September is Skin Care Awareness Month! Learn more about caring for your skin by visiting her Renée Rouleau web siteFacebook and Twitter.

Z Gallerie Home Decor and Accessories

Z Gallerie Accessories Fun

Tonight we went to Z Gallerie in Uptown Dallas. My fave accessories store and tons of bling items! Here’s a taste…
Z Gallerie Home Decor and Accessories
Here is the “Quadrato” bath container set that went home with Shannon tonight! ($99.95 for the 4 piece set)Z Gallerie Bath Decor
The “Bling” (that’s literally what they are called) hurricanes are $99.95 for the 10″ and $49.95 for the 7″. Votive also available for $9.95.
Z Gallerie Hurricane Candleholders
The “Allure” lamps collection: table lamp is $199 and floor is $279.Z Gallerie Lamps

Mawi Red Teardrop Skull Earrings

Can Skulls Be Dainty? Mawi Red Teardrop Skull Earrings

Mawi Red Teardrop Skull EarringsThe Red Teardrop Skull earrings by Mawi are a fab way for a rocker-chic fashionista to work in this Fall’s ladylike jewelry trend. At first glance, these are pretty classic earrings featuring pearls, CZs and crystals… but then up close… boom!… you see small silver skulls at the top of the red crystal drops.

In the picture, the crystal drops look bright pink instead of red, but either way they are worth a try if you are a rocker girl (or want to unleash your inner rocker girl). Available on Charm and Chain ($156.75). Earrings also available in blue. Necklace versions available as well.

Bling on a Budget:

Ruby Chandelier Mizdragonfly EarringsHow cute are these?!?! Ruby Chandelier Earrings ($45.00) by Mizdragonfly. Available on the Mizdragonfly Etsy shop. Pendant version also available.

Marc Jacobs Tweed Sequin Stam Satchel

Multi-Colored Sequins: Marc Jacobs Tweed Sequin Stam Satchel

Marc Jacobs Tweed Sequin Stam SatchelLast year, I was in love with the multi-colored sequin handbags from Miu Miu, so I am happy to see the pretty pretty Tweed Sequin Stam Satchel from Marc Jacobs. I admit that I prefer the rectangular shape of other Sequin Tweed handbags in the collection, but the Stam Satchel does not have the leather flap which visually breaks up the sea of sequins on the other bags. I also wonder if silver-tone or gunmetal hardware would better compliment the multi-colored sequins? Nitpicking aside, I would be thrilled to carry this lunching-lady-meets-bling-queen sequin handbag – day or night!

Ride the sequin waves: Available at Bergdorf-Goodman ($2,350). The satchel is trimmed in black leather with black satin interior lining. Handles have a 5.5″ drop and overall size of bag is 9″H x 15″W x 4″D.

Bling on a Budget:

Menbur Dazzling Blue ClutchDazzling Blue Menbur Sequined Clutch ($65.55) available on Endless.com.

SANTI Sequin Clutch SANTI CPM4462 Clutch ($158.00) available on Endless.com.

Twitterati – Many retailers are trying their hands at Twitter. Follow @Bergdorfs and @MarcJacobsInt on Twitter to see two retailers who “get it”.

Swarovski Blue Hyacinth Pendant

Swarovski Autumn/Winter 2010-2011: Hyacinth Blue Pendant

Swarovski Blue Hyacinth PendantThe new Swarovski collection is amazing… and no, it’s not just because I am in love with all things Swarovski. Creative Director Nathalie Colin was “inspired by Nordic landscapes, icy horizons and frozen expanses” for the Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 collection. (See the collection overview.)

Doesn’t the Hyacinth Blue Pendant look like a sparkling block of ice sitting in a frozen lake? Yep, my brain really does think that way. The large Barock-cut Moonlight crystal is surrounded by a pave gradiation of crystals from black to blues to clear. The pave effect is achieved using a Swarovski-exclusive Pointiage® setting where crystals are set into epoxy resin by hand.

The Hyacinth Blue Pendant would be beautiful with a navy cocktail dress or even a more casual look like a charcoal button-down blouse and blue jeans. The pendant is available on Swarovski ($220.00). Also in the Hyacinth Blue collection: Necklace ($550), Pierced Earrings ($90), and Ring ($240).

KJL Cutting Edge Pendant Bling on a Budget:
When I review a pricey item, I try to provide a lower-priced item that is comparable in style — see the KJL Cutting Edge Pendant (picture to the right) by Kenneth Jay Lane. The Cutting Edge Pendant is available on QVC ($79.50). While this pendant doesn’t have the color gradiation of the Swarovski, the shape is very similar. Kenneth Jay Lane’s pieces are usually stunners and full of sparkle.