to pamper / {sale alert} 30% off peach and lily collection at ulta

The beauty sales are so aggressive in Q4. I think it’s been worse this year than last year with Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom joining the ring. Sephora has one more weekend left of their annual sale and is welcoming all status levels (after last weekend didn’t go so well).

Ulta nonchalantly dropped a Cyber Fundays event as a precursor to Cyber Monday. The event is through Saturday and I was surprised that the entire Peach and Lily collection is 30% off and they had trouble keeping some items in stock. While Peach and Lily will probably have 30% on their site next weekend, I rather buy from Ulta and build status, and I had gift cards. Don’t forget to add a free beauty bag.

I resisted this collection when it was released. It wasn’t too hard as some things flew off the shelves. I waited for real, non-sponsored reviews. General feedback is good. They’ve done a great job formulating the products. Toxin and irritant free. To date, I have tried:

  • Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask, great for degunking your pores. I use a mask like this about once a week and follow with a moisturizing (wash off or sheet) mask. Since I love variety, I rotate this with the Tata Harper resurfacing mask. This one has a jellier consistency and does not dry matte. If you have sensitive skin, you will need to patch test.

Image: Peach and Lily

  • Glass Skin Refining Serum. A very pleasant serum to use. It has a nice weight, texture, absorbs well, and plays nice with other products. I don’t think it gives a glass skin look though and I’m fine with that. It is well priced given the ingredients (not just for hydration), sleek packaging, and the sale makes it a smart buy.

 

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to shop / halogen x atlantic-pacific

Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific is one of my favorite style bloggers – yes, she actually still blogs in addition to Instagram. I visit her actual blog, which is not that common versus reading it in Feedly, because her Notepad and Edit & Etc pages aren’t captured in my RSS feed. I love her style. It reminds me of a time when J.Crew rocked and when I dressed less basic. I also like how she keeps her social channels professional.

Blair just launched her collection with Nordstrom’s Halogen house label on Monday. My favorites are the jackets and blazers. There aren’t too many pieces and surprisingly, she didn’t shoot each piece styled. Many pieces have sold out.

Bow Detail Tweed Jacket – although I don’t love this bow, the rest of it is a solid tweed, slightly cropped jacket without any metallic embellishment.

This double breasted blazer came in pink and black. I have been actively staying away from pink after acquiring one too many millennial pink accessories and a chair that has since been dismissed from the home. The pink flew off the shelves, the black is still around.

I love this lace trench. It has lace and a black/navy combo. A good black/navy coat has eluded me since I passed up a Massimo Dutti coat in Florence in 2006. (Lesson learned: don’t ask non-fashion minded friends for their opinion!)

Reminder: if you have a Chase Freedom card, department stores are 5% cashback this quarter!

All images from Blair’s blog or Nordstrom.

to shop / uniqlo lately (oct 2018)

I found myself in Uniqlo over the weekend, which is rare as I am much more of an online shopper. The Columbus Day long weekend sales are in full swing.

Blocktech Soutien Collar Coat


I love outerwear pieces and Uniqlo is great at nailing practical, affordable options with their Heattech/Blocktech/Airism technology. I saw this one in the store. The material was softer and lighter than I’d expected (from prior Blocktech purchases). This coat reminds me of something I had from Gap circa 2002, minus the hood (which can be removed) and the nifty Blocktech.

The Uniqlo store didn’t have the size/color I wanted, so I checked their online store. I don’t understand why Uniqlo likes to do this. There are two products named WOMEN BLOCKTECH SOUTIEN COLLAR COAT with different SKUs, prices, same content, and some overlapping colors. That is a challenge with buying online – you can have the same fabric content but very different weight/feel.

Extra fine cotton A-line striped 3/4 sleeve dress which I posted is on sale along with the shirt version.

Fleece coatigan and Fleece Collarless Jacket looked great in person, especially the lighter colors. The pockets on othe coatigan do add bulk if not laid flat. Although the fleece “cardigan” coat from the Uniqlo U collection last fall/winter still wins in style.

Images: Uniqlo

to shop / amazon prime day review (sonos, wifi extender, ecovacs deebot)

Prime Day this year was more exciting than prior years due to the extra discounts for Amex cardholders. (This may have been a coincidence.) Review of my new toys:

(1) TP-Link AC750 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, Repeater, Access Point
I’m the tech support person at home. My Verizon FIOS modem and router is tucked away in a metal cabinet in a closet. While this is easier for the eyes, this is horrible for the wifi connection from the furthest ends of home. This device was a Prime Day flash deal and I happened to check Amazon at the right time of day, but I’d happily pay their current price for this useful device. It was by coincidence that this was also well rated by Wirecutter. FWIW, TP-Link is a Taiwanese brand and I’ve purchased multiple products with no issues.

(2) Sonos One Speaker
Works well with Pandora, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, etc. Love the sound quality and I can control it from my laptop or phone app. Packaging is as beautiful as any Apple product’s. I didn’t enable Alexa.

(3) ECOVACS DEEBOT N79S Robot Vacuum Cleaner
This is my first robot vacuum cleaner. I have yet to schedule it to clean when I’m not home but there is an app for that. It’s super easy to setup and navigates my mostly hardwood floors and rugs seamlessly. When I saw it go under my vanity, bed, couches, tv stand to access areas that would require moving of furniture to vacuum, I was pretty sold. It picks up hair extremely well. It is pretty easy to clean and gross to see how much random dust accumulates! Time is limited so this is one area of my life I happily will defer to bots for. This is a fair priced vacuum. There were additional discounts on Prime Day, but the price today isn’t that far off.

to shop / {sale alert} labor day sales

  • beautytap 25% off Sulwhasoo and COSRX. Get additional 15% off with code beautytap2018 (unsure of expiration). Formerly known as w2beauty. They also have 3-5 day shipping in the US now, which is great considering these prices! Without a sale/discount code, the prices are considered on the higher end of Korean sites. (Note their search function is not very good. Better to use Google.)


Sulwhasoo: I have some Sulwhasoo products (the two overnight vitalizing and radiance energy masks and the clarifying mask) but recently got more products. I’m a big fan of the First Care Activating Serum EX in the limited edition plum blossom (review) and the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Emulsion (light moisturizer with a ginseng hanbang smell). These two products achieve that elusive glow.

I tried samples of the Snowise serum (love but the price!), cleansing oil and cleansing foam (meh primarily due to smell and I have tons of cleansers), Bloomstay line (verdict is out, the entire line smells amazing, but the serum is too sticky, the water and cream seem ok). I love gifts with purchase and I had maximized the samples or free minis through my purchases from Korea (or got a really good price). I think samples are the best way to test before diving into a pricey purchase.

I also refer to this very comprehensive overview of the Sulwhasoo products from a Redditor and for Korea airport duty free prices as a baseline.

COSRX: A budget friendly, no frills brand. Sadly many of these products are out of stock and beautytap doesn’t filter them out. (Dermstore has 20% off all COSRX and ends up being a teensy bit more expensive, Ulta has some products. Otherwise I occasionally place a large order at SweetCorea, where the collection is complete but you will need to pay overseas shipping.) I currently don’t use any of their products every single day. I recommend the overnight masks (rice and honey) and use them in the cold winter days as a moisturizer. I also like the Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence for repairing skin or extra moisture. Their pimple stickers, A-sol, and centella cream are for pimple maintenance, which is rare but still necessary. The mister on the other hand uses the One Step Moisture Up Pad in his daily routine and it’s gotten rid of all his flaky skin.

  • J.Crew 40% off almost site-wide sale. It works on beauty (which is full of cleaner beauty), unfortunately the only Megababe product left is the bust dust (their thigh rescue product is great if you avoid skirts in warmer weather!). As for the clothes, I’m waiting for their comeback. Although the sweater blazer always look tempting.