Big Bags are Fun

January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! Hopefully, 2010 is going to be a great one!

I’m still enjoying some time off from work and wanted to catch up on some much needed blogging. First case of business, say hello to my new friend:

I picked up this Morning After Bag at the RM San Francisco sample sale and it’s quickly become a favorite! Slate greyish, with a tinge of green, I was hoping to grab a more colorful piece while there. However, despite getting there around 10:10AM (minutes after the sale started), the girls were already roaming around with multiple bags on their arms! I have to admit I didn’t love this when I saw it right away, but now I actually really like that it’s such a muted color since the bag is kind of humongous. Yes, the bag is pretty heavy–especially since I manage to fit a plethora of random bits and pieces in there, but I really love it! In addition to it amazingly allowing space for my 12′ work laptop, the trio of interior pockets is awesome for a girl like me! Spots reserved for keys, iPhone, and index cards (yes, I am a nerd), so I don’t have to dig around for them. What could be better? I’ve been wanting a new bag for work, but this has become a quick and easy go-to for everyday errands as well.

Minkoff sales seem to be all over the place, so I’m happy that her bags are so cute and affordable! Regular seasonal sample sales in NY/SF/LA and online sales? Pretty awesome way of getting her bags into the hands of the regular consumer. Plus, how genius is the “Vincent” card inside the morning after’s?


Rose Champagne Lovin’

December 11, 2009

I’m convinced that shopping is a bad, bad addiction in all sorts of ways. When forgotten, you almost convince yourself you can live without it. When wrapped up in the essence of it, you can’t even begin to imagine life without the rush. That may be a little over the top, but I’m constantly finding myself caught up in huge waves of buy, buy, buy. I picked up a bevy of fun, fun goodies while visiting Norcal and have to share them all with you over the next few days!

Rose Champagne. So pretty. I’ve always loved Reiss–their pieces are stunningly beautiful and painfully pricey. I picked up this gorgeous Alonsio Weave Fold Over Clutch while shopping in SF this weekend and I’m absolutely in love with it. I’ve been looking for a going out clutch/wristlet and this doubles up as both! The detachable strap allows for easy transitioning between classy dinner dates and ridiculous nights out (we have to have some way of holding onto our bags while juggling those drinks, right?). The weaving is also a sweet contrast to the more standard clutches I’ve seen and the ones I already own. The best part is that the color is seriously unlike anything I’ve seen (it even photographs nicely!) and will be a perfect pop against a LBD or even as an addition to a bright colored frock! I picked this up at the Reiss store for $240, but ASOS has it for only $203!

If I hadn’t already done so much damage to my bank account last week, I would’ve desperately wanted to buy this pretty little skirt as well:

Reiss Silk Selena Twist Skirt ($186.97)

It reminds me of the Aaron Ashe skirt from The White Dress Shop I’ve been eyeing! Oh well, maybe next time… For now, my pretty little clutch will have to do. I’m so disgustingly in love with it that I might try to pull off taking it out on casual outings here and there.


Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale GOODS

November 20, 2009

Please follow link!

Moved

This page has moved to www.coastalpolitan.com.

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.

melissa

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.

paige

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 

I Buy Impractical Things

November 6, 2009

Fred Flare has some of the CUTEST, quirkiest, whimsical-est things, and luckily for us, they are having a 30% holiday preview sale off the entire site! The Christmas counter on the website handily reports that indeed, there are only 49 days left until our favorite green-and-red holiday, so it’s a great time to stock up on gifts for your loved ones. Or if you’re like me, it’s a marvelous excuse to buy things I needed anyway so why not get some with serious cute factor?

30off

First, I needed mugs. Yup, boring old ceramic mugs. But then I found these upside down animal mugs ($20 each)!! When right side up, they are normal looking drinking cups, but I’m motivated to finish all my liquids so I can turn the mug upside down and stare at the cute faces on the bottom! I received the panda and cat ones yesterday, and as a disclaimer, just want to say that these are super adorable BUT tiny, almost like shot mugs. Maayybe it can hold a triple espresso, or 6 sips of tea. But they’re too cute to ship back so I’m keeping them!

mug

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Real life comparison. Mugs are teensy compared to my roommate's grown up sized tinkerbell mug

These Russian doll measuring cups ($16) are cute and practical!! Although I don’t really bake or cook or do anything in the kitchen besides make Ramen, so maybe these aren’t that practical. Well, if in the future, I suddenly get an itching for baking, these will definitely be useful.

russian cup

After doing some research on these, I found that Anthropologie Russian Doll measuring cups ($28), are exponentially higher cute factor, but also a lot more impractical. They’re made of stoneware for goodness’ sake, I’d probably just stare at their prettineses, but would be too scared to actually use them.

I also got heart shaped earbuds because why should we be stuck with normal earbuds? Why NOT have fun with the everyday usage products in your life, and get some super duper cute ones while you’re at it? Okay, so my bf laughed at me while I had them in my ears, but they give me an extra kick in my step, and that’s what matters.

Other awesome suggested buy from Fred Flare:

sleep

Holly Golightly sleep mask

umb

Mini umbrella friends. Love the feet/handle

usb

USB drives. Favorite is the turtleneck guy!

Don’t be fooled, Fred Flare also has lots of clothing and jewelry options in addition to these accessories and small pieces, but I haven’t yet tried them. This was my first time shopping with FF, shipping was super quick, mugs were packaged with plenty of bubble wrap, consider me a happy customer!


LUSH Brazened Honey Mask

November 2, 2009

I love Sundays! Besides the fact that they’re officially dubbed my “lazy days”, they’re also my beauty “freshen-up” days. After slacking off on my regime during the week due to fatigue, I always make sure to save some time on Sunday to tend to what I’ve missed out on. One of the essential skincare items that I absolutely cannot (and should not) do without is a face mask. After a tough past few weekends, I’ve missed a few Sundays here and there and have definitely seen the difference. Applying a face mask is unlike any other way to pamper, soothe, and treat one of our most important features!

I actually ran out of my Fresh Umbrian Clay mask and have been debating whether or not to repurchase it. It’s been great at controlling my breakouts and calming my skin, but not great enough to warrant the $48 price tag. Always on the lookout for a fun new mask to try, I figured I could definitely find something else… and something else I did find!

L2753_lrg
I stopped by the Beverly Hills LUSH store after grabbing brunch today and stumbled upon their fresh bar of concoctions. LUSH offers tubs of freshly made face masks aimed at a variety of skin remedies. I felt like each mask spoke to me in a different way and it took quite a while to decide on the Brazened Honey mask. Aimed at exfoliating and brightening tired skin (goodbye dull skin!), the added promise of tightening pores was just a bonus feature that sold me. This product reminds me a lot of the Mario Badescu Almond & Honey Scrub (which I LOVE) that I have so often dabbed on as a calming mask. However, since this is actually formulated to act as a mask, it also had the kick of really cleaning out my pores. Like with the MB scrub, I scrubbed my face beforehand while applying it and then again, by mixing the dried mask with warm water while removing it. After a quick 15 minute application, my face felt soft, smooth and balanced (not too dry and not too oily). Some people have said that the thick consistency of the product has made it difficult to apply, but I didn’t find any problems with this at all. It was a little tough to remove since it’s so chunky, but I like that I could really massage it around my face while taking it off.

Since they’re made free of preservatives, each $5.95 tub is supposed to last 2 weeks. I’ve been reading reviews and customers claim that they’ve been able to use the masks up to a month since the products are kept refrigerated. This makes more sense since there’s way too much product to use up that quickly so we’ll see how good it stays into the month. Since I picked up the BB Seaweed mask as well, I’m probably in for some trouble in finishing both up within the month–I got too excited and didn’t think this through at the time.

As an added plus, for every 5 containers you return to the store for recycling, you get one free mask of your choice! I think this will definitely keep me coming back for more. Other notable items to purchase (per my best friend who’s obsessed with LUSH): Coalface Cleanser, Ocean Salt Cleanser, and any of their solid shampoo bars (which are equal to 3 bottles of 250ml shampoo bottles!). I’ve officially discovered another beauty obsession. Eeeeek.