Monthly Archives

April 2016

Fashion, Home

Good Weather & Good Sales!

Dress: Artizia Talula Tartine Dress
Shoes: Sam Edelman Emmie Sandals
Bag: Ferragamo Clutch Wallet

The weather is finally nice enough to ditch the tights and break out the sandals!

I want to share one of my favorite and most worn dresses this past winter: Artizia Talula Tartine dress. Although it is not currently in stock on Aritizia’s website, I’m sure it will be re-stocked because I’ve seen it on Artizia’s website every year. My favorite part of this dress is the soft and stretchy fabric (66% rayon, 29% nylon and 5% spandex). This dress is my most worn dress because it is versatile and can be worn at the office and on the weekends! The pleats give a natural puff to the skirt that helps to visually make you look skinner and taller. The one downside to this dress is from the side view, it is not very flattering on the hips! The full retail price for this dress is $165 but it does go on sale and I was able to score this burgundy color for $65 during Aritizia’s winter sale!

My other recent love is this Sam Edelman Emmie Heel! This sandal is honestly the most comfortable pair of heels I own because the leather is so soft! Plus the 3-inch block heel is very manageable. I got the summer sand color, which is your basic nude. Since the leather comes up quite high on the ankle, I didn’t want to get a solid color to “color-block” my legs and make them look any stubbier.

1a. Happy Pursuits-1 1b. Happy Pursuits-1 2a. Sam Edelman Emmie Sandals-1 2b. Aritizia Talulua Dress-1 3a. Happy Pursuits-1

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Beauty, Home

Sephora F&F Sale! (Plus: How to Get Additional Discounts)

Sephora Friends & Family spring sale has started with VIB rouge and VIB members receiving 15% discount and BI members receiving a 10% discount on all products. The VIB sale runs from April 8th to April 13th.

Throughout the months, I keep a list of products I want to get from Sephora. I always wait until the Friends & Family sales in April and November to 15% – 20% discount on skincare and makeup products! The F&F discounts are a great way to save money but there are also a few additional ways to get more bangs for your shopping bucks that I want to share!

Shop Through Affiliate Programs
In addition to the 10% – 15% discount directly from Sephora, you can shop through your credit card company’s affiliate programs to receive additional cash back / points. You can click a link from the credit card company’s website which brings you to websites such as Sephora.com. You can shop normally and check out! I personally use Chase and Discover and they will send me a confirmation email with the specific amount of extra cash back earned through this transaction.

1. Earning Additional Cash Back at Sephora

Please read my post here for more details on how to shop through these programs. It’s definitely worth going through the extra steps to get the additional 5% cash back. From my experience, products don’t run out just because you took the extra few minutes!

I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom and the Discover Cashback Bonus cards and have included the additional cash back details. If you don’t have these three specific credit cards, check with your own credit card company’s reward center for details. It is unlikely for any major credit card companies to not offer an affiliate program that doesn’t include Sephora! If for any reason that is the case, you can always use Ebates, which offers 4% cash back on Sephora purchases! I personally have never used Ebates but I’ve heard many great reviews.

Instead of Cash Back, Get Gift Cards
Another quick way to get some savings is to redeem your credit card points for gift cards instead of direct cash back. For example, I always save my Discover points to redeem Sephora gift cards. Instead of using $50 in points for $50 cash back, Discover enables you to use $45 in points to redeem a $50 gift card at Sephora! This again translates into a 10% savings.

Maximize Total Savings: F&F + Extra Cash Back + Gift Card Program
Say the total amount of money you plan to spend at Sephora is $100, if you use combine the F&F discount, extra cash back and gift card programs, you will end paying $75.25, for a total discount of almost 25%:

  • F&F sale: -$15.00
  • Credit Card Company Cash Back: -$4.25 (5% on $85.00)
  • Credit Card Company Gift Card: -$5.00 (use $45 for a $50 gift card)

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Beauty, Home

How Complexion Can Alter Results of Skin Tightening Treatments

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

In the battle against aging, each of us considers many of the methods of skin tightening. Our skin sags as we get older, which is a big indicator of our age. We defy that by seeking treatments. Exactly which treatment depends entirely on our complexion. Information is the best weapon to defeat the enemy. In this particular case, the enemy is wrinkles.

The First Step to Treatment is Understanding Your Skin
Everyone has skin, obviously, but do you understand what it does? The outermost layer is the epidermis and provides our body protection from infections. It also contains cells that produce melanin, which gives us color. The more melanin we have, the richer the skin tone. We can also obtain darker tones by external factors such as sun exposure.

The second layer is the dermis, which produces oils that makes our skin waterproof and keeps the skin from drying out. Some people have problems with the overproduction of those oils, which generally results in acne pimples.

Other conditions can also change the condition of our skin. Allergies resulting in hives, overexposure to the sun causing sunburns, and diseases or disorders resulting in blotchiness are some examples. Any of those conditions (and many more) can provide challenges to finding the right treatment.

1. Skin Anatomy

Abrasive Procedures and Sensitive Skin
If you have a skin condition that makes your skin sensitive, you need to steer away from any abrasive or harsh procedures as they will worsen you condition. They may tighten the skin, but not without noticeable side effects like reddened, angry skin. A chemical peel is a prime example of an abrasive treatment. It uses chemicals to exfoliate the dead cells from the outermost layer of skin and will definitely irritate the skin.

Sound Therapy as a Choice
One option is to use sound therapy to heat up cells that produce collagen. This ingredient is essential to filling and smoothing the surface of our skin, tightening it to look younger. While children have plenty of this protein in their skin, we stop producing it as we get older.

There are different forms of sound therapy available too. Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology to heat the collagen producing cells while radio frequency therapy utilizes sound waves to do basically the same thing. Both methods are safe for all tones of skin and neither one irritates the outer layer of skin, making it a great choice.

Light-based Laser Treatments and Color Tones
Many laser equipment use a specific spectrum of light to target collagen producing cells. The problem for people with dark skin tones is that the skin absorbs the light differently from those with lighter skin tones. Regardless of whether the skin is naturally dark or due to sun exposure, it can be risky to use this type of procedure. It can easily burn the skin and is risky.

Make an Informed Decision
If you know how various treatments can affect your skin, you can make a better choice. You can always consult your dermatologist before settling on a treatment and get their recommendation. Just knowing your complexion is half the battle in the war against aging.

Fashion, Home

New Handbag Crushes!

Some of my most read blog posts are about handbags! It’s exciting (and scary in some sense) to know that so many people are just as obsessed with handbags as I am! Today, I just want to share a few of my new handbag crushes. Thank you for letting me share, sometimes it feels so good just to let all the handbag love out =D

 

1. Hermes Kelly Cut (HP)

1. Hermes Kelly Cut
Recently the Hermes Kelly Cut has been super popular on Instagram and a new handbag crush of mine. Between the Birkin and the Kelly, I actually prefer the Birkin but the Kelly Cut is a whole another story. The Kelly Cut is such a cute and chic clutch! According to BragMyBag, the Kelly Cut retails for 3,300 euros; a pretty good price for a Hermes handbags. However, true to Hermes, this bag is likely extremely hard to find / get your hands on because the price of a Kelly Cut on the resale market is over $10K! Love the Kelly Cut but for now I can’t afford the clutch.

2. Gucci

2. Gucci Interlocking G Leather Shoulder Bag
I am not a big fan of Gucci handbags mostly because I find Gucci bags to be too “busy”. However, this Gucci Interlocking G Leather Shoulder Bag on sale on Gilt stunned me. The shape and double chain remind me of the Chanel classic flap and the leather and closure remind me of the Celine Box. Both classic and beautiful handbags that are right up my alley!

My only concern would be the leather. I love the glossy look of the leather but I wonder if it will be easily scratchable. If the leather is similar to the glossy Antigona calfskin leather that is pretty scratch resistant then I think this bag will be perfect. However, if the leather is similar to the Celine Box and can be easily scratched then I would be somewhat hesitant. I also love this shade of pink and the $1.5K price tag is good deal relative to other designer bags!

3. Luana Anais3. Luana Anais Shoulder Bag
I have never heard of Luana Italy until I was browsing on Nordstrom Rack one day and found the Luana Anais shoulder bag. I love the simple design and the unique chain! The price tag is also much more wallet friendly at ~$300 but I’ve been both the mini and regular shoulder bags on Nordstrom Rack and Gilt for around $150!

The silhouette of the Anais bag reminds me of the Celine Box and the closure reminds me of the Phillip Lim Pashli bag. I am waiting for a blush or white Anais to re-appear on Nordstrom Rack or Gilt for ~$150!

4. Diorever4. Diorever
Dior has been heavily promoting the Diorever, I have seen ads for this bag everywhere! At first, it didn’t catch my eyes but the more I saw the ads the more I liked the bag. Guess the campaigns are working! I like the metallic versions of this bag but realistically I would get a more neutral color.

I see a combination of a few bags in the Diorever. The flap closure reminds me of the Birkin, the circles and the half ellipse shapes somehow remind me of the YSL Sac de Jour, and the hardware tab in the middle actually reminds me of the closure on the Valentino Rockstud Double Handle bag. I like the design of this bag but if I were to buy a Dior bag, the Lady Dior or Diorama would still be on top of my list!

5. Chloe Faye5. Chloe Faye
The Chloe Drew and Chloe Faye came out around the same time and you were either in the Chloe Drew camp or the Chloe Faye camp. For the longest time, I was on the Chloe Drew camp and barely registered the Faye. However, recently I found myself completely shifting to the Chloe Faye camp. My favorite is the dark brown leather with the lighter brown suede flap!

I love the mixture of leather and texture on the Chloe Faye bags. Also strangely, I really like the large circle hardware with the magnetic closure. Out of the two sizes, I like the medium size Faye more but the small size is also super cute! I think one day I will get the Chloe Faye but for now, I will work on getting other handbags on my wish list with higher priorities!

If you are looking to buy Chloe bags, get them from Harrods or Selfridges; you can save a few hundred dollars by purchasing from a European retailer!

 

 

As always thanks for reading, let me know if you have any recent bag crushes and please share with fellow bag lovers!