(1) I haven’t looked through all of Shopbop’s sale (and really just shop through my wishlist), so am only highlighting this item. I’ve reviewed this Love Sam lace blouse before. Why am I buying another? Oops, I put it in the dryer and it shrunk. $60 is an amazing sale price for this Etoile Isabel Marant doppelgänger and it’s fully stocked in both black and white and most sizes.

(2) 40% all Baggu leather through tomorrow midnight PST. And they really need to restock some of their new Nylon baggus. Their mesh styles are a reinterpretation of something they carried many years ago. NYCers, their next warehouse sale should be coming up but what will be on sale is hard to say.

(3) 30% off Birchbox Beauty Deals (no code) — it’s a mediocre sale, but you might find something you like. ACEs get 40% off.

(4) The Amazon Paperwhite is on sale for $99.99. I love how small it is — it can fit into my winter coat pocket and some of my smaller purses — and read many free NYPL ebooks on it. I use this case.



All images in this post are from the respective sites.

I’ve been using the Mansur Gavriel bucket in saffiano leather pretty often since I got it in late October. (Second runner-up is the APC textured half moon crossbody.)

What I really like about it:

  • The simple design and almost invisible branding.
  • It can fit a lot — including a work folder full of papers — and is great for traveling. I used it for a recent overnight trip and it fit my electronics, toiletries, and a change of clothing.
  • The exterior saffiano finish is super durable. I can’t find any signs of wear. I rarely baby it — I wiped it down after a rainstorm (the umbrella was useless) and I wrap it in a regular Baggu nylon bag before I shove it overhead or under the seat on the plane. I don’t mind putting it on the floor in certain places (but would never do that with many bags).

  • I hate zipping/closing bags in general. There’s comfort in its depth.
  • It’s lightweight. I really hate when empty bags are heavy and excessive hardware.
  • I can carry it comfortable on my shoulder and crossbody.

What I don’t like about it:

  • It’s a cave. I have some pouches and a purse organizer at the bottom, but sometimes I have to use the flashlight on my iPhone to find something, and sometimes I have to sit it down and empty out almost everything.
  • You still have to protect the matte interior from sharp edges… once I threw in one of those hinged, clear deli food containers, and it made a very small dent. I now carry a baby Baggu in the bag for that reason.
  • I have the strap on the shortest setting and wouldn’t mind if it could be shortened another notch or two (for my 5’3″ height). The holes can’t be easily replicated by a cobbler from what I read online, but it’s not like I’ve seriously looked into it.

What I feel neutral towards:

  • It takes time to break in, and it only breaks in a little. If you look at reviews of the other MG buckets in non-saffiano leather, especially the vegetable tanned one, you’ll see that it gets a lot softer and the patina. I can say it finally softened a little after two months of steady use, where I am in a happy place with the drawstring ties (and can somewhat easily tie and re-tie to my liking). It was really slippery, grip-less when it was new. So for those looking for smushy leather, look elsewhere.
  • The detachable pouch. It’s a flat pouch and I’ve grown to not care for flat pouches that much because there’s barely any give. It makes no difference to me.
  • The red interior. The black/flamma red is MG’s signature color, however, I would’ve much preferred a ballerina pink on the inside. Unfortunately, the black saffiano bucket only comes with a red interior (and maaaybe a royal blue interior?).

Conclusion: I’m very happy with the saffiano bucket and think I’m set, bucket-wise. At $625, it is slightly cheaper than the calf coated monotone buckets ($695). It is by no means a cheap bag, but I do find it very reasonable priced for the quality and more palatable than the typical designer bag. I haven’t seen another bucket that’s come close to its aesthetics.

I also checked out the mini saffiano bucket in rosa pink and concluded that the mini size is way too small for me.The mini bucket can comfortably fit inside of the larger bucket. My APC bag already serves a similar purpose. Additionally, rosa is very pink and not a neutral for me. It went back to Barney’s.

Unfortunately, the saffiano MG styles are currently exclusive to Barneys (excluding the white saffiano bucket that Opening Ceremony carried at some point). I’ve never seen the buckets available for sale, I’ve only seen it available for pre-sale . Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, if you check the Barneys site often enough, you might be lucky enough to find a saffiano bucket in-stock for pre-ordering. The black bag was in-stock for pre-ordering as of press time. Your credit card is only charged when it’s shipped.

Mansur Gavriel in saffiano leather at Barneys

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, which means a long weekend (for me) and more sales on top of end-of-the-season sales.

  • Amazon Prime (look for banner on top of page) is discounted from $99 to $73 for new subscribers through Sunday night in celebration of their awards at the recent 73rd Golden Globes Awards. I use Amazon Prime quite often for expedited shipping, Amazon Prime Music (download music offline and organize into playlists), Amazon Prime Video (download offline for the plane or I watch it like Netflix), Kindle lending library, etc. I also share free shipping with my mom and she loves the free shipping. Some existing subscribers have had success getting the discount through online chat with CS.
  • Uniqlo has been having sales for a while (when do they not have a sale?). They are clearancing out their Carine collection and the Ines de la Fressange collection is mostly gone. Inventory fluctuates constantly. IDLF is mostly sold out but Carine still has a ton of stuff left – their blazers and coats (which I like the most out of the collection since I’m not a ruler) are a STEAL at ~$40 (75%+ off) each. And you can always return it if it doesn’t work out. The collection runs TTS to small.
  • Anthropologie additional 40% off sale with code XTRA40.
  • Clare V up to 30% off seasonal styles.
  • Repetto (refer to my recent post)


  • Cerave has a new product, healing ointment, and you can print a $4 coupon here. Note: it’s not available at all stores yet. The ointment has yummy ceramides.
  • Memebox. Get $5 Memebox points for every $25 that you spend. On top of that, get 20% off your first order of $25+ (referral). They’ve been adding a lot of good stuff. I will be getting the dynasty cream. I’ve been lazy about blogging reviews, but here are some recs:
    • The Cosrx rice overnight spa mask is amazing for the windy winter days — I actually use it on my cheeks as a day cream and the moisture level of my cheeks are incredible.
    • The Cosrx pimple stickers are also great. I’m not pimple-free yet. They do come once in a while.
    • I rotate between 4 cleansers (and sometimes use 2 back-to-back). The Banila Clean It Zero is a staple solid oil cleanser that melts into oil upon contact. The SU:M37 rose cleansing stick looks like a giant chapstick and is perfect for traveling.
  • HKCPlaza 60% off site-wide. The Korean skincare regimen has many steps. You don’t have to do all of them if you don’t want to — I certainly don’t. But if you were to invest in any steps, it would be cleansing and the layering of essence/serum/ampoule (you can use one or a few). And since the latter has a higher concentrate of the ‘good stuff’, it tends to get pricey. The LJH tea tree essence is great — it feels like water and moisturizes, soothes, and brightens. Folks on Reddit also recommend layering it under sheet masks. This particular essence is usually $45 but HKCPlaza in Singapore is running a 60% off Chinese New Year sale on their entire site (code: CNY60%) and international shipping is always free. Your order shows up a few weeks later. To get the discount to work, sign in first. If you have a foreign fee free cc, make sure you select SGD as your currency and if prompted on PayPal. I can’t speak for the other LJH items yet but have placed another order for the propolis ampoule and cream.

Image: Repetto

Published: January 15, 2016

Here’s a full directory of where you can find Repetto on the internet. It’s been a while since I did a post on Repetto. Overall, less places carry Repetto and sales aren’t as tantalizing as they used to be. Repettos are still one of my favorite ballet flat brands — it wraps my foot the best, but I will be comparing to Porselli shortly. 

Repetto recently opened a boutique in the US (Soho, NYC) and has a L’Atelier for customized shoes. I haven’t stopped in yet. You can also shop from the Repetto US website, however, all items ship from France via express mail and are priced at US retail, and they are not partaking in the soldes that their French counterpart is. In addition, you also have to pay international duty which appears to be collected at point of sale by Repetto. At least you can return via mail to its NYC office… I can only see myself purchasing straight from Repetto if I’m desperate for a style that the other stores don’t carry and this is highly unlikely!

Sizing advice: Size up one full size for best fit (e.g. US 8 = FR 39) for most Cendrillon and Brigitte. For patent styles, I sometimes size up 1.5 sizes. I’ve found the heeled styles to vary a bit.

(*) denotes non-US stores.
(**) denotes a current sale (when this post was initially published)

This is periodically updated. If you have any updates, please leave a comment.

In celebration of Muji US reviving its online store, here are my favorites from Muji. And yes, I cheated a little and grouped a few together. Please note, not all items are available in the US online store.

[1] Beige porcelain dish for curry and pasta // Ash wooden tray (in-store only at this time)

The older I get, the more attention I pay to Muji kitchenware. A Muji Taipei store was promoting this curry dish and the packaged curry when I stopped by — I ended up grabbing a couple dishes. It’s the perfect size for a meal and I think it makes almost everything look yummier. And it looks so lovely on Muji’s ash wooden tray, which I also often reach for. The tray is the second to largest size and is often sold out in the NYC stores. I’ve been looking for more of the similar sized PP tray to no avail. (By the way, this tray was styled by the mister.)

[2] Nylon mesh hard cases // Soft case

I have these nylon mesh hard cases in various sizes and a large soft case. I picked most of them up at Narita Airport, so they were pretty cost effective. While they aren’t the prettiest, they are semi-clear making it super easy to find things and the material is super durable. You see, my Mansur Gavriel bucket bag is spacious but a bit of a black hole and I use that iPhone flashlight function more often than I’d like. I also have one of these purse organizers in black nylon mesh at the bottom of the bag. I’m not sure if it’s still sold — I got it many years ago. I have a small hard case for non-immediate credit cards/gift cards/lip balm/bus tickets that I can find by feel. The large A4 soft case (pictured right) fits my MacBook Pro 13″ as a sleeve. Overall, these cases are super convenient for travel, herding things in your purse, and easy on the eyes and wallet.

Photos: Muji

[3] Mini chicken ramen (in-store only, don’t pay exorbitant Amazon prices)

Yes, ramen is so unhealthy but once in a while I indulge in a brick or two of mini ramen. I cook it the old fashioned way – boil water, pour over ramen in bowl, cover bowl, and wait a minute or two. Voila. They were sold out in the NYC area for a while.

[4] Cleansing oil for sensitive skin (in-store only)

I don’t have sensitive skin, but this cleans my combination (going towards dry in this cold weather) fabulously. What I love most is the gel-like weight and how well balanced my skin feels after it washes off (whether I double cleanse and chase with Cerave foaming afterwards). It is super affordable. Note: Both the normal and sensitive cleansing oil have ‘OIL CLEANSING’ on the front of the package and may be placed side by side at stores. The oil for sensitive skin has olive oil as a leading ingredient.

[5] The super practical items.

    • Black q-tips. They look so much cooler than white ones.
    • Soap case and soap sponge. Pet peeve: soap dishes that leave the bottom of the soap in a puddle. Separately, I also like this sponge that goes under the soap for the corner of the shower. It prolongs the life of the soap.
    • Travel containers. A must-have if you want to travel light and/or avoid check-in bag fees. The cylinder spray bottles are perfect for facial mist, toner, and watery hair products. I’m a fan of the PE tubes for face wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc. Heavier face cream, hair products, and solid facial cleanser go in the cream case. Muji also sells mini cleaning devices.
    • Pump bottles. I have a rectangular pump in the bathroom for hand soap and more in the kitchen for more hand soap and dish detergent. Sometimes I’m tempted to get it for my shampoo and conditioner, but I switch around too often.
    • Pill case. I use these for my earrings. You can disconnect/connect each case as needed.
    • Toilet brush. The most aesthetically pleasing, budget conscious toilet brush.

I could go on but have to cut it off here.

A short list of what-not-to-buy:

  • Their tape measure now only comes in metric mm.
  • Towel hanger. I got something similar to this and the suction cup would not stay on on my shower wall.
  • While many people have raved about the cotton pads, I’m not a fan. I think they still absorb too much product. I’m still loyal to Renee Rouleau.

What are your favorites?

Big Sur Coast

Due to user request, here is a round-up of current end-of-the-year sales! I’m keeping this post to 30 minutes and under ;)

  • I can’t remember the last time Uniqlo did not have a sale and a site-wide code posted on top of their mainpage. I really like their new arrivals. Like this parka, their mariniere striped top, striped dress, I also like this fleece blanket that can be converted to a cape (that sold out while I was posting…). Carine is on clearance.
  • Everlane has a choose your own price sale. The lowest price covers their cost. I’ve never purchased from Everlane, but read good things about it.
  • Somme Institute has 40% off site-wide with code LASTCALL.
  • Not a sale but if you’re looking for an oversized 2016 Stendig calendar, they are pretty much sold out in the US. But you can find it here or here.
  • Anthropologie has 25% off sale with code TAGTIME.
  • I really like this robe (that is selling out quickly) and funnel neck activewear jacket from Old Navy.
  • 40% off sale at Madewell and J.Crew.
  • Up to 50% off at COS for women’s and men’s. I already ordered from here =P
  • Japanese Fog Linen is having a sale.
  • Gorgeous handbags and accessories on sale at Roztayger.
  • Lots of goodies on sale at Korean beauty Memebox. Get 20% off with my referral link. (I’ll have to do a more thorough review later on my recent purchases…)
  • IKEA also has some great storage sales going on. If you don’t have IKEA Family membership, sign up for it… we need to swing by to get a price adjustment this weekend! 90 days price adjustment for FAMILY members.

Merry Christmas Eve! I’m not a big giver of Christmas presents – I like to give thoughtful and practical presents and prefer to give when I find something worth giving than for the purposes of a holiday. I get more excited with good discounts on almost everything from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

One discount to note:

Texture is the Netflix of magazines! Next Issue was rebranded to Texture and has a bunch of enhancements, such as saving articles and searching across magazines. I have an older review here. Through midnight tonight, gift 3 months premium for $10 (originally $44.97). Premium has all of the weekly magazines for those of you who like People. It’s perfect if you’re going on a trip and don’t want to lug around heavy magazines or if you want to catch up on back issues or if you just want to read more without paying for the cover price. You can bookmark articles but you can also easily save any page as an image to your gallery. It works on on iPad®, iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad mini™ using iOS 7.0 and up, devices using Android 4.0 and up, and Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets. I use it on my iPad mini and can’t imagine taking up precious iPhone memory on magazines. Some of my favorite magazines like Domino, AFAR, and Real Simple are on it.

I don’t intend to support Starbucks over small, indie coffee shops, but there is only one on my way to work, has a long line, and is cash only. Enter Starbucks mobile ordering. I order my joe before I get on the subway, making my in-store experience easily <1 minute. I’m back on Team Starbucks and love all those extra stars/promotions.

Currently, when you send a $10 e-giftcard to someone else, Starbucks sweetens the deal and they get $15. All you have to add a $10 eGC to your cart (to another email address), log into your Starbucks account and pay with a Visa. The deal will die eventually (check here or here). My guess is some time today.


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