to shop / 2020 cyber week deals

Have you been shopping? I have shopped way less than prior years because:

  • I’m tired and didn’t plan, which is a good thing.
  • Certain items/purchases are not needed because I’m not leaving home often… or it doesn’t show on Zoom.
  • There were good sales during the year and I’m well-stocked.
  • I’m less brand loyal and exploring other brands.

What I am checking out

1 / Baggu

Images: Baggu (wallpaper!)

25% off the entire site. I had just placed an order in early November… They have so many new designs and that’s what keeps me coming back. There is a The Simpsons collection (I like the donut), one bag left from the collab w/ the Met Museum (dragons), a new mini size, and wine size!

2 / Boka Toothpaste

I have sensitive teeth and typically use Pronamel. I started using Boka, which has n-Ha instead of fluoride. It also ‘tastes’ better than Pronamel. Boka didn’t have a sale on toothpaste this weekend, but Urban Outfitters did (and has a lower price on it in general with a sitewide discount). Sometimes Bloomingdales has it on sale. Amazon also carries it. 

3 / Beauty

  • Mighty Hero pimple patches from Anthropologie. I’m going to give their dark spot/blemish stickers another go. Anthropologie’s 30% off is generous and they have a great curation in general, but their shipping can be painfully slow.
  • Nodpod weighted eye mask from Anthropologie, but it’s sold out since.
  • Beauty of Joseon serums and Acwell toner from Sokoglam. Some more Beauty of Joseon and Cosrx items from Jolse when they had a free shipping promotion.
  • J.One jelly pack and overnight mask on clearance at Costco.com. I think they may be available without a membership. I stocked up on the overnight mask — it worked great under a cream moisturizer. The primer was so popular a few years ago.
  • Christophe Robin rose hair products have an intoxicating rose scent. I recently picked up the shampoo and conditioner during the GMA deal. I like the performance of the paste the most but the shampoo/conditioner are equally fragrant. 
  • Necessaire does not have a discount but is including a full size body serum ($45) with purchase. They also have Bergamot which is limited edition and doesn’t seem to be sold elsewhere. I like their scrub.
  • Tula has 25% off. I haven’t tried their products since they rebranded. I heard good reviews on the eye balm, so ordered the holiday set
  • St Regis Remede hair products. My hair really likes their shampoo and conditioner. I typically get a ton of minis from the mister’s travels, but like a larger container. 

4 / Fashion

Images: H&M, Mango

  • Hill House Home annual 20% off sale (nap dress review). I also ordered some pillows and am still recovering from the heavenly Annie Selke pillows from vacation.
  • H&M – I’ve had good luck with vases, marble, waffled bathrobes, and this puff-sleeved dotted dress. Things pop in and out of stock and I’ve found their notifications to work (ahem, Uniqlo). The slow processing time is painful but at least shipping and returns are free if you sign up for their rewards program.
  • MZ Wallace small Crosby crossbody purse. I’m quite sad to see that it’s discontinued! I have this in navy blue and maybe this is a sign that I’ve gotten boring. I like all the pockets and find it to be super convenient and light, as well as the navy/black/gold color combination. It comes with three different crossbody straps – I like the webbed one.
  • Clare V’s Black Friday sale isn’t exciting, consistent with prior years, but her 20% off best sellers promotion from earlier in the week is still active with code CHEERS20. This includes all her classic styles including my favorite La Tropezienne (review). You can also click around to see if other colors are included. I’ve been waiting for the perforated items to come back but am not feeling the grande fanny. 
  • COS Stores 25% off. I have stayed away from COS

7 / Home

Images: Bloomingdales

  • Graf Lantz felt coasters and trivets. I have their coasters and small trivets in granite or heather white, and picked up some more. They clean beautifully. 
  • Staub baby wok. I don’t anticipate this to be very useful, but it is so cute. (This mini cast iron pan is similarly cute but not on sale – thinking about it…)
  • Cordless Waterpik. I plan on using it in the shower.
  • See above for H&M. I’m a big fan of their Home selections!
  • Uchino waffle towels. One side is waffle and the other is cotton pile. I got the color “Linen” which is a lovely, warm gray. I’m pretty satisfied with its performance and care (washer/dryer). I’ve been using them since August and recently got a few more pieces. In comparison, I really hate the waffle towels from Parachute that I got last year. We kept one set and it looks so ragged.
  • Workspace edition

8 / Other

  • Goldbelly. They are having a 20% sale and in these unusual times, we get out less than we used to and food is one of comfort to look forward to. If you have Amex, check for offers on your card.
  • LastPass Premium is 40% off.
  • WSJ’s Black Friday sale of $4 month for digital is still active.

to shop / uniqlo +J and the curated

Uniqlo +J Collaboration

Images: Uniqlo

The last Uniqlo +J collaboration was roughly around the time that I started this blog. Uniqlo didn’t have e-commerce and in NYC, there was only one place to go – the Soho store. I still have a few pieces in my closet from that collection, but sadly some of the nicer pieces no longer fit.

I totally underestimated this launch and my own memory; I should’ve set up a reminder. By the time I got on, it was 1+ hour after the US launch and most of the women’s collection was sold out. I haven’t heard of any more major restocks but have been checking daily. If you are interested in any pieces and can’t get to a physical store that has it, best to be quick about purchasing online. I’ve linked the specific pieces below of most interest. I’m not sure yet whether something could be in stock but not show up at the above link for the entire collection. The lookbook is here. 

  • WOMEN +J ULTRA LIGHT DOWN HOODED COAT (middle) – I got this in blue in my normal ultra light down size. I love it. I’ve very happy with the dark shade of blue, cut (it is more tailored), stylish sleeves and hood, longer length, and lining. My biggest problem with ULD in recent years is that feathers poke out of the lining and are so hard to clean off of my mostly black/blue clothes. Fingers crossed that it won’t happen here. Around the same time, a H&M quilted coat arrived and its quality and shapelessness paled in comparison with this coat. It was a no brainer.
  • WOMEN +J DOUBLE FACE STAND COLLAR JACKET (unpictured) – I sized up because that was all that was available, and it’s too boxy. I haven’t seen this pop back at all. It is nicely made but I am lukewarm about it, maybe the right size would help. It goes with the next item.
  • WOMEN +J EXTRA FINE MERINO TURTLENECK SWEATER (not pictured)- I sized up in this as well and it was perfect as I wanted it to be less fitted. I don’t often wear sweaters. I thought it was cut well and of good quality, which can’t be said for knits for other collabs.
  • WOMEN +J HYBRID DOWN JACKET (Short) (right) – I haven’t seen it in person yet. I sized down. Reviews said that it runs large.
  • WOMEN +J HYBRID DOWN COAT (Long) (not pictured)
  • WOMEN CASHMERE BLEND COLLARLESS COAT (left)
  • WOMEN +J SILK JERSEY TURTLENECK LONG-SLEEVE T-SHIRT (not pictured)

The Curated Outerwear

Images: The Curated

The Curated is a direct to consumer women’s brand for mostly outerwear. I recently got the Classic Coat in camel. If you are in the market for a quality coat without a hefty price tag, check them out. There is no instant gratification — I had to pre-order, exchange sizes, and wait for restock/shipping. They also recently added free exchanges and affordable returns in the US. Prior to this, the PayPal return shipping program was really useful.

I tried the Classic Coat and had to size up so that it was less tight around the hips. I most likely won’t tie it because I don’t like how it looks even with the sizing up. It is warm but for when it is colder, I can fit a collarless Uniqlo ULD coat underneath it. The material is so so soft. 

I also tried the London Coat in black and ended up returning it. That has a much more oversized fit. The Uniqlo coats arrived around the same time, and got the love that was meant for the London. One thing to note is the color of the buttons on the London, which can be distracting for the lighter colored coats.

There is supposed to be a new style coming next year that is similar to the Tailored Coat (more hip friendly) but shorter, which I would seriously consider. 

They don’t have a Black Friday promotion.

to shop / last minute splurging at sephora f&f

Sephora’s annual Holiday event is ending tonight! The tiring year makes me want to splurge on myself (more than usual). I would’ve posted earlier, but encountered technical difficulties. What I got:

  • Tatcha Pure & Glowing Trio. This holiday set has a full size dewy skin cream and a travel size of the rice wash and silk peony cream. Of the Tatcha creams, I like the dewy cream the most and have been using it every morning. This set has been popping in and out of stock. I am looking forward to trying this rice wash. (Through 11/11, Tatcha has a great deal on their site – code SINGLES20 for a full size Violet C mask and sheet mask ($80 value) for orders over $100. They have a bunch of new holiday sets. I like the Purifying & Plumping set that has the dewy skin cream, the cleansing oil, and the rice wash.)
  • Fresh Mini Rose Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask. I love how there is a mini size. I have never tried this, generally like Fresh, and heard good things from my favorite, discerning Chinese vlogger.
  • Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++. I’m always looking for a better SPF. You still need SPF for working from home. This is pretty expensive… I will see how it compares to Anessa.
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All is Bright FaceWare Pro Set. If you really want to splurge… I didn’t get this because I already have it, but it’s a good deal for the Spectralite face mask and products. I’ve been using this with the Nuface and it’s definitely gotten me out of a self-care funk.
  • Sephora Collection Facial Cooling Globes. Reviews seem split with many of the low ratings coming from people who didn’t follow directions and put it in the freezer. Worth a try. I also like this mask applicator.
  • Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub. They had me at acid on the scalp.
  • Nécessaire The Body Exfoliator, The Body Wash, The Body Serum. I’ve tried the eucalyptus body exfoliator so far and I really like it. I also got the body serum, body washes, and exfoliator in eucalyptus and sandalwood. I like the woodsier scents.
  • Nest Holiday diffuser. Now that I’m home all day, I’ve been looking for diffusers for my work/living space. This seems perfect for the season. My last diffuser was the Jo Malone Red Roses, which was delicious.
  • Otherland Rose Daybed Candle. I can’t speak to how it burns, but can say that it smells lovely. I like cleaner, simple rose scents.

hill house home nap dress

I love Hill House Home nap dresses. What is a nap dress? A comfortable, stylish house dress that some wear out (I do not, yet). I picked up a few pieces since their July release. Prints vary in each release. They have expanded its styles but I still like the original Ellie and Caroline. They are my post-work uniform of late. Generally I machine wash on delicate mode and tumble dry low.

Mini-reviews:

  • Ellie – sleeveless dress with ruffled shoulders. Most bras should fit under the straps. I took my normal size and found it to be still very roomy. One print I wanted was no longer available in a smaller size so I kept it in the larger size. Your bust size and distance between your bust and shoulders should drive whether to size up or down. I’m looking forward to the darker prints and layering with shirts.
  • Caroline – short sleeved long dress. I have it in green gingham, semi-sheer Swiss Dot, and the recent botanicals. It’s super comfy. While sizing is somewhat TTS, your shoulders/arms would drive whether to size up or down. I prefer the TTS in the opaque materials.

They have their next drop on Wednesday, October 28 at noon EST. I am personally really excited for the tartan prints. (Edit: the most popular styles sold out very quickly. You have to be logged in and have your account setup ready to check out. I found the phone to be faster than the desktop.)

New customers can get $20 off $100 with my referral link.

Caroline in Rose Botanical
Prior season Ellie in tartan (as seen on the founder)
Prior season Ellie in plaid

Photos: Hill House Home

general / lately


What I read about:

  • Alison Roman going after WOC (Chrissy Teigen, Marie Kondo). Here’s a recap and her apology. (Sorry, I’m a week behind on posting, not reading!)

What I made:

  • Dominique Ansel Gâteau au Yaourt. I made it with strawberries and in a muffin tray. (Recipe here but also recommend watching his Instagram post.) I didn’t love it.
  • DIY Meet Fresh grass jelly signature. I made grass jelly (grass jelly powder and Knox gelatin) and boiled frozen sweet potato and taro balls from 99 Ranch. Way cheaper and healthier (less sugar) than the real thing! If I had made grass jelly ice, it would’ve been more authentic.
  • Trader Joe’s ube mochi waffles (as pictured above). Their new seasonal pancake and waffle mix has been so popular that it dragged me to a TJ after not going for months. If this is the only item you want, I recommend calling ahead and asking because I heard the Bay Area locations are sold out. My location was sold out of the ube ice cream. Tip: if you love the mochi texture, make the waffle even more ‘q’ by substituting half of the recommend ube mix for tapioca flour. I also added a pinch of baking soda, even though it’s in the mix.
    • Waffle maker recommendation: I love waffles but never made them before. I bought the Dash mini waffle maker in mint green. If you aren’t familiar with Dash, they have many super affordable kitchen electronics in a rainbow of colors. This is perfect for my household as I’m the only one into waffles and the machine is so tiny and easy to store. (Purchase at Target, Amazon. It’s been selling out!)

What I’m watching or watched:

  • I finished Homeland (series finale), Outlander (season finale). About to start on Westworld.
  • Chinese drama series, 鬓边不是海棠红 (Winter Begonia). It’s on Youtube with subtitles. 49 episodes. Set in 1930s Peking, much of the story is related to Peking opera. I still don’t like Peking opera, but feel like I have a better understanding and appreciation for it now. This series has the same producer (and some of the same actors) as the very popular Story of Yanxi Palace. The cinematography is gorgeous. The male lead is played by Huang Xiaoming (so good looking). There is another popular show (清平樂) that my dad is currently watching — but I’m usually multitasking and this one is harder to comprehend.

What I bought:

  • Fresh flowers from Whole Foods on the Amazon app. It’s peony and tulip season!
  • Estee Lauder had a BOGO for their ever popular Advanced Night Repair serum last week ago. I stocked up. It was at a few places and sold out pretty quickly. Estee Lauder is such a mainstream, older lady classic brand. I didn’t think to start using it again until I saw how popular this serum was in China.
  • Shopbop is having a sale. It’s strange buying things to wear in public, when I don’t know when I will spend time in public again. I’m not sure if I will keep everything. I ordered Adidas x Missoni sneakers, a Ferragamo bag, and a dress (potential for a wedding). Generally, I add what I like to my hearts or wishlist and check back when there is a sale.
  • Brooks Brothers flash sale. Similarly, I also add what I like to a wishlist and check back when there is a sale. If you miss the old J.Crew quality, check BB. Their collections are smaller than J.Crew, quality is typically better, and markdowns are not as aggressive but also because the style is less trendy. It is not uncommon for something from a few years ago to languish in the sale section because it’s not clearance prices. They also use Shoprunner 2 day shipping, which is easy to get for free as an Amex cardholder. I do have a high rate of returns with them, so won’t recommend anything until I’m sure I’m keeping it.
  • Allure Beauty Box for May. I got the box that I posted about. Just as advertised. The June and July boxes (pictured below) have already been announced. If you want the Purlisse watermelon cleanser or the Peach and Lily glass skin serum, definitely check it out. I’m stocked up on the glass skin serum from the Ulta sales. As I mentioned, it’s easiest to order the Allure Beauty Box on Amazon. Order within the month you want (i.e. order the May box during May) and cancel the subscription once the box you want ships. Subscribing directly with Allure gets you some freebies, but it won’t be as easy to cancel.

June 2020 / Full size Purlisse cleanser, lip oil, Dashing Diva gels; variation between the Shangpree eye masks and LRP Vitamin C serum:

July 2020 / Full size Peach and Lily glass serum, lip and cheek balm, Clio eyeliner in purple; variation between the Dr Jart tiger grass gel cream, Dr Jart sunscreen, OR Sunday Riley Ice:

(Images: Allure)