to shop / 2019 thanksgiving sales

Going out of the country during the Thanksgiving week is a great way to spend less! (Although I did shop in Paris…) Unlike prior year updates, I’m going to summarize what I bought and highlight any other sales that may still be around through Monday.



  • Target has 25% off beauty and personal care!
  • Dermstore for Elta sunscreen. Amazon sells it now too but their reviews about inventory don’t put me at ease. (I will be claiming reimbursement from my FSA later.)
  • Cult Beauty had a tiered 15-30% off discount, now you can get up to a 25% off code with their quiz. They are based in the UK, so best for purchasing non-US brands as they deduct VAT and have free shipping. I got the Zelens Vitamin D, Alpha-H Vitamin B, and an Oskia set.
  • Ulta has been killing it with sales. Their Cyber Monday sale is live. 40% off a few Peach & Lily items.
  • Beautycounter 15% off. I have been using their Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer. I picked up some skincare and body products.
  • Glossier 20% off. I haven’t used any of their products lately. I got the perfume.
  • Birchbox will have an additional discount on sets starting on Monday. Their holiday sets and discovery sets are typically the best deal. E.g. the hair detox kit has a full size Oribe scrub (which I like more than Christophe Robin) that sells for less than the kit, Sunday Riley, etc.
  • Sephora has special sales, some are sold out. I did not keep an eye on them.
  • It Cosmetics CC Cream on QVC — $45 for two.
  • Neiman Marcus $50 off $200 beauty has switched to a gift card promotion (I prefer a cash discount).


  • Parachute Home 20% off. I like their linen sheets. I ordered waffle towels.
  • Anthropologie 30% off. I ordered chairs for the dining table that look promising and has positive reviews. Most furniture has a $150 flat shipping fee, but some smaller items including what I ordered are shipped through ground shipping (free if you meet the threshold).
  • Brooklinen 20% off. I have multiple sheet sets, they are a favorite. Most recently in percale.


  • Polène is a French brand. Their leather handbags are made in Spain. Prices are affordable. Free international express shipping on all orders until Dec 24 with the code: GIFTFROMPARIS. You can save a bit with the VAT refund if you buy in Paris, but factor in luggage space if you want to keep the box. The Number One style is the most popular but I like Number Two.
  • Clare V hasn’t run a sitewide sale in years. Consistent with recent years, the Cyber Monday > Black Friday.
  • Ssense has a great APC bag sale. So many half moons. My recent favorite has been the Meryl, which is slightly smaller than the original half moon but is soft. I liked traveling with this the most since it stays closer to the body. I also like the new grained leather half moon and am really tempted by it now that I don’t need to worry about luggage space.


  • J.Crew had 50% off, then 40% off, and is now back to 50% off. I had put some items in my cart to wait for it to go back to 50%. I love their lace items (like this mockneck top) this season and their tissue turtlenecks.
  • Ann Taylor 50% off.

to shop / what i bought and like

Sale Alert 30% off Peach and Lily - I have tried and like the glass skin serum, resurfacing mask // 10% off COS with code COS10MT (expires Friday) // 20% off Brooklinen

What I bought

  • S’well sport cap for bottles. I haven’t used my S’well bottles in a while because I hate the screw on/off action. Well, this is a game changer! And I don’t believe the bad reviews on Amazon, you have to make sure you fully close it. To double check if it’s on tight, just turn it upside down over the trash bin or sink.
  • Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Flask. It’s not really a flask, I use it as a water mug. I’m a fan of the wide flap lid, which is also tight enough to throw into a tote.
  • iPhone glass screen protector and slim case. There are a ton of options on Amazon. I recommend both of these:
    • I’ve bought a number of screen protectors over the years and hands down, this is the best glass screen protector I’ve used, especially in terms of ease of installation and performance (it has already protected my phone once). It comes in a pack of 3 and even with Amazon Prime shipping speeds, I like having an extra one handy. I always buy my iPhones upfront and the thought of using a phone naked makes me cringe.
    • I wanted a slim, lightweight silicone case that has a lip that comes above the screen and has some grip. This was it.
  • Ines de la Fressange is back with Parisian Chic Encore
  • Muji walnut dining table. I have been living without a dining table for over a decade. After looking for a reasonably priced wood table with simple lines for the last 1+ year, I settled on this table. I’ve seen it multiple times in the local Muji.
  • Beauty Pie skincare. Specifically, the capsules and Japanfusion transforming cleanser (gel to oil to water). I will save details for another post, but let me know if you’re interested in hearing more or if you want a referral code!

What I like

to shop / what i bought and like

FYI, Everlane is currently Pop-In@Nordstrom.

I am a fan of the idea of Alex Mill, by J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler’s son. Most pieces are simple, a little boxy, and certainly too simple to pay full price. Nordstrom has some items on sale; I kept the balcamaan jacket and textured dot shirt.


COS dainty earrings on my list.

Ann Taylor seamed ponte side zip leggings may be my new go-to. I prefer the side zip and higher waist vs pull ups (like the new Spanx perfect pant line).

Clare V‘s new Fall 2019 collection, eyeing…

  • The Mirabel crossbody. Large enough to hold a mini umbrella (important criteria). This one is larger than the midi (which I’ve never tried) and the opening is wider. It looks lightweight. Being able to change bag straps is also a plus.

  • The Tropezienne (the OG and my favorite CV style) is back, unlined, with long handles for shoulder carry, and in three colors. The glossy ‘old fashioned’ vegetable tanned leather is the most substantial CV leather. Previously reviewed here and mentioned in one of my first posts ~10 years ago.

Have you seen the metallic Baggus?? Bronze is my favorite.

Apolis polka dot custom bags. Also featuring CV chic.

Heath Ceramics seasonal winter bud vases

Images from respective retailers

to shop / target: 20 years of design for all

I have much love for Target, especially their designer collaborations over the years. They are celebrating 20 years of designer collaborations and bringing back items from 20 partners (from more than 150!) on September 14. Twenty years is a long time. I had a lot less disposable income 20 years ago, but regardless, I still love these affordable collaborations.

Perusing the list of 150+, there are a few pre-2012 collaborations I never knew about or forgot about! And let me remind you that last time Target did a lookback on the collaborations’ dresses in 2011, Chrissy Teigen was the model.

  • Tord Boontje (2006), collaboration, and if you’ve followed me a long time, you will recall this curtain.
  • Richard Chai (2008), collaboration. I had quite a number of items from this collection. My favorite (and I don’t know what happened to it) was the dress in the blue/white print. There are quite a number of the dresses on Poshmark, but I feel too old for it now.
  • Thakoon (2008). The pieces I liked are all featured in the upcoming release. I didn’t pick up any items from the 2011 re-release, but will definitely do it this time. I wore the black dress enough that it was wearing out and holes formed. eBay didn’t have any good replacements. This release will also sell the skirt and tee separately in the same prints.

  • John Derian (2008, 2010). I was certainly not into John Derian back then. Tempted by this upcoming release, but I’m not big on melamine.
  • Orla Kiely (2009). Collaboration. Too bad this one isn’t coming back but it’s so close to the normal collection. My mom picked up so many pieces of this for me and I kind of regret returning too much of it. It was one of the few home collections that was not heavy on melamine.
  • Liberty of London (2010). This was a good one and there are still so many items on eBay, Poshmark, etc. This was when I could still dabble in the XXL girls’ department.
  • Tucker (2010). Collaboration.

Sadly it is hard to find lookbooks for the older fashion collections as many blogs are now defunct or publications RIP’ed.

You can click through the lookbooks for the 20 designers on Target now. Given the popularity of these releases, there is even a “How to Shop” page.

All images from Target

to pamper / amorepacific skincare

Amorepacific owns a ton of brands (including Sulwhasoo, Laneige) but the Amorepacific brand itself is not popular in Korea. My Korean friends often don’t even know that there are Amorepacific branded products!


The Essence

I love the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence. Green tea leaves are picked by hand from Amorepacific’s green tea gardens on Jeju Island, naturally fermented for 100 days, then the tea extracted through a 24 hour process. The “vintage” is from the product of a single crop and the aging process. It is full of powerful antioxidants, which protect against sun damage and is touted to promote skin clarity, texture and elasticity.

I bought mine in Seoul last October and am almost done with the 4 oz bottle after non-daily use (I alternate with a Sulwhasoo water). I am a bit heavy handed with application. I shake some into my palm and spread/pat it on my face. It is very watery. If you use serums, essence helps your skin absorb the serum and you should apply them while your skin is still wet from the essence. My skin feels hydrated, dewy from using this essence in addition to healthy despite what serums I use.

The con? It is pricey. A full size bottle is 4 oz and $145. They recently started selling a 2.36 oz bottle for $95.

The Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder

This is a very popular item for AP’s sets. Chances are if you got a set, this was in it. You mix some powder with water and then massage it into your face, and then rinse. My skin does not feel tight, the pH seems to work well. A little goes a long way. I use it occasionally for a deep cleanse. I especially like using it before a sheet mask so the sheet mask can work off of a clean slate. Since it’s powder, it is TSA friendly. AP recently changed the packaging, I’m not sure if the formula changed at all. AP has an exclusive set of the full size powder and the mid sized essence for a good price (see below).

Other Products

  • Cleansing Oil – I’ve only ever tried this in the mini size. I like the formula but not the dispenser of the mini size. My face feels so silky smooth after I use the oil. It is scented and I don’t love the scent. I like trying new cleansing oils, so have yet to commit to a full size of this one.
  • Cleansing Foam – My friend loves this. It makes my skin feel a little tight, but after I apply my normal products, it feels fine. As someone who is deeply committed to the Cerave foaming cleanser for performance and value, I will use the free minis I get but will not commit to a full size.
  • Moisture Bound collection – This is their hydration line. I don’t like the scent so whenever I get something that has minis of this collection, I immediately gift it or it goes into the reselling pile. I especially hate the hydration spray. While the scent is also in some of their other products, it’s easier to tolerate when it can be washed off (cleansing product).
  • The Essential Creme Fluid/Vintage Wash Off Masque – I’m looking forward to trying these. The fluid is made with baby green tea leaves.

Where to Buy:

If you can get yourself to Korea…

  • Go to the Lotte Duty Free stores in the city. I went to one in Seoul and they had a great value set of the essence. I got 2 full sized bottles, 2 deluxe travel bottles, and a ton of minis/a roller for $209. This was not available on the app and I didn’t bother checking the airport.
  • Order on the Lotte Duty Free app for pickup at the airport and take advantage of the coupons (maximizing this would take a separate post).

In the US…

If you order from them, keep a record of your order confirmation screen. This didn’t happen to me on this site, but when I ordered from Sulwhasoo (sister site), I never got an order confirmation e-mail.