Rebecca Minkoff West Coast Sample Sales

November 30, 2009

For all us West Coasters who are lusting after some Rebecca Minkoff goodies after reading Janice’s post on the NY sample sale, we’re in luck!

I’m going to be out of town this week so I won’t be able to make it out there until Saturday, but hopefully everyone else will be able to snap up some great finds before they’re all gone. I am reaaalllyyy hoping for a Morning After Bag so am super excited for this!!

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

November 28, 2009

My heart is officially broken. After having a great week off from work and catching up with the family on Thanksgiving, I received a somber letter from Nordstrom yesterday. The news? That my beloved Prescriptives was being discontinued in January 2010! It all makes sense now why the counter at my local mall looked like a deserted mess when I went to pick up some foundation last month. After googling the news, I realize that everyone else has known about this except for me! Where the heck have I been?

My devastation stems from the fact that I thoroughly believe that no other foundation was made better for my skin. I love that it’s light, provides great coverage without being greasy, has SPF, and doesn’t break me out. Probably the best and most important thing is that it doesn’t result in that ghastly “white-face” in pictures! True proof of its awesomeness lies in pictures taken recently of my best friend and me–she in gorgeous Chanel and me in my Virtual Matte. In person, her skin was flawless with the perfect tone. However, when we reviewed the shots we had snapped from the night, there was no denying the white sheen cast over her face. I, on the other hand, did not have this problem–and never have since discovering VM in college!

Buzz on the streets points to lack of brand positioning and marketing to the downfall of this Estee Lauder brand. With the huge lot of beauty brands owned by EL (which include MAC, Bobbi Brown, Origins), it’s a shame that not enough attention was focused on Px. With limited visibility and an unclear target demographic, it’s not hard to see why the brand struggles despite the high-quality products it offers. I, myself, admit that I don’t turn to Px for any of my beauty staples besides foundation because the company has never done a great job with advertising. Make-up artists at the counters usually multi-tasked with other brands and only came by when I waved them over to get me my foundation. I once decided I’d ask the MA for some bronzer suggestions and she had difficulty offering me advice on contouring. After stumbling to wow me with any real product recommendations, I left with nothing more to add to my bag. As mentioned last year, the brand also never really took advantage of consumer shopping seasons, such as Christmas. Alas, so many areas that could’ve been fixed to save the brand. I wonder if the “thorough analysis” was only conducted after plans had already been made for the brand’s demise. It’s a shame that the economy claims another victim.

Pick up your last minute buys before all counters shut down in January! The website will stay up until all stock is officially sold out. Bye bye, VM. You will be terribly missed.

Playing Dress-Up for the Holidays

November 24, 2009

The temperature in LA has dipped low enough to keep me snuggled up indoors for the majority of the day. Despite the chilly weather, I’m excited for the coming holiday season! I love seeing all the stores decked out in Christmas decor and it reminds me that it’s a good time to start thinking about picking up some fun holiday dresses.

BCBGMAXAZRIA One Shoulder Satin Dress ($248) BCBG dresses were always a staple at my college banquets and this one is absolutely perfect. It’s clean-cut enough to wear to office holiday parties, but still offers a sassy kick with the gorgeous zipper-lined shoulder bow and pockets (still loving pockets oh so much!). One shoulder anything reminds me of this horrific red one shoulder shirt I wore back in high school and  as such, I haven’t been able to bring myself to go back to that style ever again. However, this dress just might be enough to quell that memory. Being that 20-something in the office means we have to walk that thin line between classy and youthful–this dress manages to promise both!

Arden B. Taffeta Ruffle Front Dress ($78) The strapless mini is my fallback for all my evening wear dilemmas. The silhouette has never failed me in presenting a fitted, slim, and mature look… even when I feel like over-indulging at those holiday gatherings. The added touch of the pleated ruffles (for that GORGEOUS neckline) and banded high-waist also sets this dress apart from the other strapless dresses I already own. This is my favorite must-have for the season based on look and price. Can’t wait to see how it looks on!

Despite how much I love my dresses, it’s a shame that us girls can’t wear them (usually) to more than one main event. That leaves me thinking twice before spending too much on a dress I’ll never see again. Luckily, I found some more affordable options for the social butterflies out there who need a few options for the season.

66586327-02Forever21 High Sheen Dress ($22.80) It’s easy to think of red as being the go-to color during this time of year, but this deep violet dress would be a great contrast on anyone’s skin! The sweetheart neck and layered skirt are fun and flirty. Pair this up with some gold strappy heels and a long strand of pearls for a dressed up and sophisticated look. My only concern about this dress would be that sometimes F21 tends to make their frocks awkwardly too short, so hopefully it’s not the case with this one! I suppose we must give up something for not paying $322 for the Foley + Corinna version.

Forever21 Sparkling Tiered Dress ($24.80) This is another take on the tiered skirt, but the high waistband and sequined layers are perfect! This dress mimics another dress I have from the summer and I’m loving that this would be a comfortable choice for dancing the night away. Since it’s black, I wouldn’t have to worry about the sequins looking tacky as long as I don’t over-accessorize. The key would be to balance out the dress with some colorful heels and a simple long necklace.

Happy dancing, ladies!

Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale GOODS

November 20, 2009

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Tuesday was VIP night of Rebecca Minkoff’s much anticipated NYC sample sale. I went after work and thought maybe just maybe if I go at 830 the line wouldn’t be so bad. Yes and no – it was really easy to get into the sale (no line) but once in, the checkout line snaked around the room, crowding around the tables with all the purses on them, making it an extreme workout to fight your way through people with your coat and bounty of bags. Nonetheless, I discovered my inner endurance and stuck it out, and ended up with a few yummy purchases:

Newest additions to the fam

From left to right: Matinee (unknown color, think this was made just for the sample sale. Similar to taupe but texture is different), Saddle Morning After Clutch (hereafter referred to as “MAC”), Plum MAC.

Matinee in mystery color

This is my new work bag to alternate with my black HH Conrad. I like how this is a cool tan/beige color with to the silver hardware so it feels more versatile than a more yellow/gold palette. It’s very chic casual when paired with mostly blacks, but still dressy enough due to the structured shape. The Matinee is probably my favorite RM shape.

I’ve always wanted a dark red purse, eye-catching but not too loud (i.e. not tomato red), muted enough to be classy yet still pops against a dark monochrome outfit. First I followed around a girl with the plum MAC draped on her hoping she would put it down, then I felt like a sad little puppy so decided to go find my own color MAC instead. I picked up the warm brown MAC since I don’t have any purses to carry when I’m wearing my cognac boots, then magically at the end of the night I saw not one but TWO plum MACs, and of course they came into my hot little hands to compare. The one I ended up choosing has this beautiful pebbled leather *drool*! Love love love it.

Bathroom shot

The strap on the MAC is longish, and being a petite girl, it dwarfs me if I use it normally. But after reading forums I picked up a few tips on shortening the length and this is my favorite style. A little Chanel-esque =P I can also double up on the strap and make it even shorter.

Plum on left, Grape on right

Earlier this spring, I went to the sample sale and scored my first RM – a grape Morning After Mini. The color is gorgeous, but I just don’t find myself giving it the love it deserves since it’s a hard to match color, and the bag is heavy due to the size and hardware.  I’m actually thinking of selling the Grape since the Plum is so similar in hue. Also, just have to point out the pebblyness of the Plum leather vs. the smoother Grape.

The best part? Rebecca herself was there at the VIP night and I asked her to sign the Plum MAC!!! She’s so pretty too, tall and skinny, very put together looking. I also got rung up by her brother, the CEO of the company, haha. I like that it’s a family business!

MACs in different colors.. that's okay right?

The MAC in front is the Grey Skies color, it’s my roommates, I just like seeing all of them together =P

All in all, I’d say it was a successful sample sale. AND I mentioned it to a coworker and a friend and they’re both dying to go this weekend! It’s so fun to spread the excitement of sample sales and love of purses!!!

Boots Loot

November 20, 2009

They arrived! The boots I posted about below are finally here! Today we’ll be discussing the case of Melissa Button v. Paige (harhar, remnants from my Legal Studies days)

When I first pulled both pairs from their boxes, I could feel my boyfriend rolling his eyes without even turning around to see his face, since I also thought what must’ve been going through his mind, “They’re the SAME!” But the great differentiator between males and females are girls’ attention to minute detail and the ability to build pro and con lists very quickly to convince herself of one boot over another. So here goes:

– Leather on the Melissas felt more raw and wet, I don’t know how else to describe it. The Paige Tall riding boots felt very smooth, and right away I could tell this was why the Paige’s were more expensive. It could just be a preference thing, and not an objective quality issue, since my roommates both preferred the “more real leather” feel of the Melissas

– Flap on the Paiges definitely made my calves in front look wider, but the clincher was the back dip that even more so emphasized my big calves. Ew. I did like how the Paige flap looked in theory just not on me, gives an updated look to classic flat boots.

– Sidenote: Piperlime’s circumference disclosure was off! It lists the Melissas as 13 inch around, but I’m definitely bigger than that and they still fit! Think they’re around 14 or so, but I probably can’t wear thick socks and thick jeans.

– Sizing on the Paige was funny. I wasn’t wearing socks so that could the culprit but every step I took with them on exhaled a small but distinctive farty sound. Maybe there was a tiny whoopee cushion in each foot or it could have been excess air, but I didn’t want my shoes to come with sound effects.

So in the end, I chose the Melissas! SCORE they were also the cheaper of the two.

And some pictures!

Exhibit 1. Paige on left, Melissa on right

DROOL at the luscious leather.

I’m super happy I can check off Flat Black Boots from my Necessities list. I’ve sprayed these with rain protectant so hopefully I can trot down the street with these rain or shine and these babies will last forever.

Have Your Boots On and Be Ready To Go

November 12, 2009

In building a wardrobe (including accessories and shoes!) appropriate for the cold and approaching winter, sometimes I get caught between practical and pretty choices. Yes I need edgy black strappy heels for nights out, but I’d really get more mileage (literally) out of some flat black boots. This time, mind wins over heart and I decided I needed to invest in a good pair of boots that would last hopefully several seasons.


Banana/Gap/Piperlime is currently holding their Friends and Family event, so it’s a perfect time to choose a few pairs and score the perfect one at 30% off. With Piperlime’s free shipping and returns policy, it’s also no-risk shopping! I’m not usually a fan of buying multiple pairs of shoes (sizing up/down, different colors, etc) but the site makes it easy to try and try again. I put in my order this morning for some Frye’s that I’m crossing my fingers will turn out to be the One(s).

Frye Melissa Button ($298) . The side buttons are cute and give the something extra I’m looking for. These look a little more Western due to the dips in both the front and back, but I’ve read that they don’t look too severe in real life.

Fryes have great reputations for their soft, supple leather and durable quality of the boots that lasts throughout the years. One concern I have about these is the circumference. At 13.5 inches, they might be squeezing tightly on my larger than average calves. Usually, I target 15-16 inch circumferences for boots (to allow for jeans as well), so we’ll see if these stretch a bit.


The second pair are the Frye Paige Tall Riding boots ($348). A little bit more pricey but these have a wider circumference (aah, much more roomy!), and look more sophisticated with the front flap styling. Still has the same round toe (makes feet look smaller!) and flat heel that I like.

While looking around for boots, here are the features I looked at and might be useful to keep in mind:

  • Shaft – up and down length of the boot. Depending on your height (I’m 5’2), I like them to go right under to my knees, so usually I look for 14-15 inches. Any taller and boots would make me look stumpy. Conversely, I’ve been looking at ankle boots to wear with skinnies and tights!
  • Circumference – the widest part of the calf area. Most people are between 13-16 inches, and I’m on the larger side. This is also what I look at when shopping for skinny jeans (though most measurements given for skinnies are the ankle opening circumference)
  • Heel height – This time, I knew I wanted flat boots, and was okay with going up to 1 inch on the height. A great compromise are the hidden or wrapped wedge boots (like these Steve Madden Idens) which still give a boost but have the comfort and look of flats
  • Smooth vs. slouchyness – Here it depends on personal preference. Some friends prefer the more casual/effortlessly cool feel that ruched/slouchy boots evoke, and opt for those. I, on the other hand, don’t like calling attention to my calves, and like my boots to have smooth sides. Slouchy boots are cute, but it’s about knowing what works for your body type
  • Durability / leather quality – Since flat black boots are such a wardrobe staple, I was prepared to make an investment into this purchase, and researched top brands in boots. Frye’s came highly recommended: stylish and built to last. Of course, how you care for your shoes can make a difference in their lifespan, but to some extent, the quality of the leather used and workmanship goes a long way. If I were looking for more casual, trendy pieces though, I’d be okay with a cheaper pair, but be prepared to buy another pair next season 

Shu Uemura Hautelook Sale Alert

November 8, 2009


Hautelook is hosting a sale on one of our absolute FAVORITE make-up brands tomorrow at 9AM! This is such exciting news!! What products don’t we love from the brand?! However, some absolute staples you may want to get your hands on include:

-Eyelash curler (nothing compares!)
-Cleansing oil
-Glow On Blush (especially M Pink 30)

Don’t have an invite for Hautelook? Click here! Happy shopping!!!

Nick & Mo Tessa Coat

November 7, 2009

9_4_09_2_largeAs mentioned in Janice’s winter coats post, I’ve been wanting to buy the Nick & Mo Tessa Coat from The White Dress Shop, but it’s been sold out for a while now (probably because, like it did for me, Tiffany’s recommendation really won everyone over). Well thankfully, the store has such amazing customer service that not only did Bola email me back last month to say they’d be getting more of these, she emailed me again yesterday to share the great news that it was finally available again! For only $149, this is a perfect white jacket for the coming winter months. The mock collar and buttons are cute and simple! This will be much more fun to throw on for my holiday outings. No more covering up those cheerful dresses with the same boring black coat this season!

The site is also offering free shipping on orders over $100, so this makes the purchase even more of a must. White is one of my favorite colors to wear because it’s the simplest go-to color so I will definitely be checking back with the site to see what other goodies they’re going to offer in the future.