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I love Ines, but the Uniqlo x IDLF fall/winter collections have been getting a bit boring. It’s not totally my style or if it’s a repeat style, I already have it and mine is in great condition. Not to say I didn’t get anything, but most of what I bought in person is going back — those dressing room lines in Soho are crazy. There are items that are in-stores but were launched days later online. There are also items that are not launching until October. Some styles are selling out.

Overall, the quality of Uniqlo collabs is better than their normal collection and some “basics” are worth getting. I like the quality of the flannel shirts/dresses. I like the style of this ultralight down jacket. But for something like a velvet blazer, I’d go to J.Crew. You can’t compare the velvet blazers between the two. This season is also the first men’s IDLF collection.

Images: Uniqlo

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In the summer, my work uniform is usually a dress (often COS) with a cardigan. The cardigan is a necessity — the a/c is blasted on the bus, ferry, and in the office and I also prefer to cover my arms if I’m wearing a sleeveless top. I fell in love with the Uniqlo lightweight cardigan last summer and was sad that the long version didn’t return this year. I did, however, end up buying this Uniqlo light v-neck long sleeve cardigan in black and then returned to get the blue and white. It’s sheer, made of a tencel/lyocell blend, hopefully blocks some UV rays, and is super affordable. I wash it in the machine on delicate. It runs TTS. Uniqlo also says it has a cooling touch and is anti-microbial. Sizes online are scant, but were plentiful when I stopped by the Fifth Avenue store.

Images: Uniqlo JP

What I bought in the second round. The anniversary sale ends on Sunday.

(1) Fresh Eye Cream. I recently read that wrinkles take 6 years to surface. Maybe I should be more diligent with using eye cream (I have not been)… As I mentioned last time, the Nordstrom anniversary sale has a ton of beauty deals and gifts with purchase (gwp), which in my opinion is the best time to buy beauty products in lieu of a site-wide 20-25% off. I get really excited when you can stack gwps for a brand like Fresh since they normally are not that generous with deluxe samples. I got the Fresh Creme Ancienne eye cream, and with it came 7 minis (along with 5 beauty samples from Nordstrom).

  • The 5 minis on the left are auto-added with any $125+ Fresh purchase ($83 value).
  • The 2 minis on the right above the eye cream are through code DMFRESH (exp unknown) for a $50+ Fresh purchase ($60 value). If you don’t care for these minis, you can get an 17 piece sampler with code DEALMOON (exp unknown) with any beauty/fragrance purchase over $125. You can see its details once you add the code at checkout.

(2) Cubic zirconia stud earrings. I want a pair of diamond studs, but I’m not sure how much I want them. So, these are a low stress experiment to avoid a financial regret! They also come in other sizes.

(3) Gehwol foot cream. I love everything from this German brand.

I looked at the Nordstrom anniversary sale a few days too late and know I already missed out on stuff I don’t really need. What’s nice about the anniversary sale is that they mark down Fall merchandise or what normally does not get marked down. The sale is open to cardholders through Thursday, July 20.

These days, I don’t workout often but I do love wearing Zella leggings on occasion, especially when flying. Zella is a Nordstrom house brand that I would buy at full price in black as it frequently sells out. I prefer high waisted over regular, black over blue, and midi over full length. The Keep it Cool leggings really do keep you cool — I could wear them in balmy Taipei weather. Also, if you need hemming, you get a $100 alterations allowance with the basic, fee-free Nordstrom card. I have yet to try it since I’m not super close to a Nordstrom.

‘Live In’ Midi Leggings (not on sale) | Live In High Waist Leggings | ‘Keep it Cool’ Crop Leggings

I also ordered some other stuff — the search function doesn’t work for showing anniversary items, you have to navigate through the anniversary sale menu. I did some restocking. If you’re a fan of J.Crew or Madewell, they are included in the sale. There are a ton of beauty deals (including lots of gadgets). I prefer to buy electronics through Nordstrom, so I highly recommend checking out the sale if you’re looking for e.g. a new Clarisonic.

Amazon Prime Day has started as of 9pm ET. I’m quite sad my friend missed out on the $45 Instant Pot 9-in-1 deal by minutes, but hope Amazon revives it even for the original $90 deal!

While you need to be a Prime user to partake in most of the deals, here’s a deal for all Amazon users – $5 off $15 any book sold by Amazon.com with code PRIMEBOOKS17 (it didn’t show up when I applied it the first time, I had to return to my cart and re-checkout for it to show). I normally save books I want in the “saved for later” part of my cart and finally ordered the Yayoi Kusama illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland book:

Image source: Amazon

I have too many striped tees. This one by Maison Labiche is a favorite (tied with Petit Bateau x Kitsune collab). It’s a heavier material (not for summer), but it has a flattering fit and is soft. The sleeves are also not too long on my arms which typically align with petite sizing charts. I think it runs slightly big, yet tailored and neat. They come with an embroidered message on the chest, sometimes cheeky. You can also make your own (if you order from Paris or go to their Paris store). In comparison, Petit Bateau’s classic marinieres cut is boxier, the length/sleeves too long, and made of a stiffer material. And I never was into the classic Saint James tees either for similar reasons. This Maison Labiche top is of better quality than the striped tees that you’d find at J.Crew, Gap, etc. made of thinner material.

Currently Anthropologie has some styles on sale (long sleeve, short sleeve). Also find it at ASOSFarfetch, Shopbop, East Dane (for him).

Momofuku Milk Bar is dear to my heart. They recently added birthday cake soft serve to the menu, replacing the crack pie soft serve which was tasty considering I don’t like crack pie. It’s amazing how Tosi got the flavoring of a boxed birthday cake mix so right. I love the birthday cake soft serve with the crunch topping (the complimentary sprinkles were too hard), which they also hide at the bottom of the cup.

And then Milk Bar collaborated with Glossier* on a birthday cake scented lip balm. I had to get it! The balm is sparkly and the smell is fantastic. It does not taste like birthday cake.

 

 

*Referral link: 20% off first purchase.

I returned the two pairs of Birkenstock Arizonas I wrote about last time. The rose gold upper leather was too stiff and I wasn’t in love with the rose gold. The white pair was just too white.

Verdict: I love the Birkenstock Arizonas in EVA in black. I tested them for warm weather for a week in rainy Taipei and heartily give them two thumbs up.

Pluses:

  • Price point
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • The non-leatherness is not that obvious (for the black color; other than white, the other colors do not have matching buckles)
  • Arch support is softer than the leather/cork version and breaks in easy
  • Leather-free for those who do not like animal products

Cons:

  • If the straps are on too tight and it’s hot, your feet won’t be able to breath.
  • The strap material doesn’t look that durable in that I wouldn’t change the strap holes often.

Sizing: I am normally a US 8 and wear a 38 Narrow in Birkenstocks. I could get buy with 39 (what’s recommended for US 8) but I like 38 more.

Where to Buy: Nordstrom (women, men), Birkenstock, Dick’s Sporting Goods. Amazon is not an authorized seller due to counterfeits — I would avoid Birkenstock. If you are going to Europe, they are cheaper there and have more styles. Birkenstock is a German brand.

I also got the Arizonas in dress blue patent/red bottom. Those need breaking in. I’m not sure if it’s a seasonal color, but only Birkenstock carries this color combination.

(1) New Balance 696 Reengineered Polka Dot Running Sneaker – I like polka dots. They come in navy or brown (looks very brown here but reads warm/burgundy to me). I found the brown ones on super sale and went with that, but won’t be using them as running shoes. Available on sale in very limited sizes at Urban Outfitters and Bloomingdales and in more sizes at Free People. I sized 0.5 size up.

(2) Old Navy Laser-Cut Peep-Toe Sandals. These have been semi-restocked. They run wide in the front and slightly long. I’m going to see if sizing down works. I love the delicate lace look but don’t intend for them to last past a season or two. Reasonable for $15 (on sale) and synthetic material. They come in gold, black, coral and white/nude. The nude is out of stock.

(3) My feet are craving some arch support. I haven’t worn Birks in a while (and actually sold my old ones), but it’s time to get some again. I’m not sure if I love these Arizonas in rose gold or white (too white!). You can find them at Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Zappos. I sized down, but was on the border of going TTS and take the narrow width. I.e. I’m a US 8 and should be EU 39 but went with EU 38.

Good news. The new Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil is now available at Nordstrom and Sephora.
Bad news. The price is going from $48 to $68! Packaging update aside, a 40% price increase and no changes in size (30ml/1fl oz) or ingredients is a bit ridiculous!

The oil was previously only available on Tata’s own site, where it is still available for $48. (Referral link for $25 off $100). It is squalene based, I love the smell, and it’s quite lovely, but it’s not life changing. My bottle has lasted a long time since I don’t use it all the time. You can use the push method for a glow (I’m currently tampering down my glow).

 

Image: Tata Harper; Sephora