to pamper / barneys love yourself beauty event

It’s well known amongst friends that I’m a bit excessive with beauty products (moreso skincare than cosmetics). I love minis and freebies. Especially high-end ones like Barneys, where it’s hard to find samples for many of these brands.

I normally wouldn’t post this because I’m a slow updater, but Barneys seems to have extended their September 5-9 semi-annual Love Yourself beauty event for a few weekends now. Spend $200 and you get a big bag of high-end cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and fragrance deluxe samples. (A few days ago their spend x and get y gift card promo ended.) Pre-order items don’t count. They have a nice curation of brands, including niche ones like True Botanicals (my favorites are out of stock), Surratt Beauty (my current eyelash curler), Hanacure (this is on deck for me), their own value beauty boxes, Peach & Lily masks (great for fillers), Shu Uemura Art of Hair, etc. They also have more mainstream brands like Tatcha, Chanel, etc. I think the Barneys gifts with purchase are nicer than Space NK.

And for those living in the NYC area, Barneys’ warehouse is in NJ; you get your order within a day or two!

The contents of the men’s and women’s bags:

(Image: Barneys)

I periodically go through my stash and either give away or sell anything I don’t use or like. This includes samples. While $200 is a high threshold, I was able to find some items that are easy to sell to meet the threshold.

to shop / notes on summer sales

The summer sales are on its last legs.


Photo credit: Jcrew.com, Theory.com, and Gap.com

  • J.Crew currently has 40% off sale items and free shipping on any order, which is pretty much unheard of.
    • Not all sale items are final sale – check your cart to see if there is a final sale notation. Even if it is final sale and you’re not happy, try your luck returning in stores. Be honest. I usually return items at the J.Crew near my office. The manager there processes my online returns often, so the second time I asked to return a final sale item, he offered credit (which works online too). It’s better than nothing and I shop there often enough.
    • They refresh their inventory every day. I won’t tell you when… but if there’s something you thought you missed out on, keep on checking and have fast fingers!
    • If you are wondering how something fits, google “exact item name” + j.crew review. You can also try “exact item name” + jcrewaficionada. More often than not, something will pop up.
  • Theory has an 70% off sale on their website (and I’m sure it’s in stores too, but hey, I’m lazy and like non-store handled merchandise). I was drooling over the blue Landon blazer in regional fabric for a while. I saw it at the outlet in Woodbury in the wrong size, so I was ecstatic that they marked prices down this much on their website. The sale is final sale, so luckily I have a sense of what my Theory size should be from prior experiences.
    • For the longest time, the pants that match the blazer were sold out in my size. I even called their fabulous CS, who has the ability to search inventory across all retail stores and outlets, and was told it was sold out and that they weren’t going to have much new inventory. So, imagine my surprise when my size popped back up. Moral – bookmark and check in periodically.
    • I think they may be pulling the sale soon because all sale prices have disappeared from the website.
    • Sometimes retail store final clearance sales are cheaper than outlet sales. If you are sad about missing the sale, Clothingline is hosting a sample sale for them soon (and their sister brand, Helmut Lang).
  • Bergdorf Goodman is a subsidiary of Neiman Marcus. They share inventory (as in BG has a subset of what NM has and some BG-only items), but their sale promotions are not aligned.
    • Sometimes items are significantly cheaper on one site. E.g. A Marc by Marc Jacobs’ dress is $114 on BG and $164 on NM (inclusive of their current 25% off sale promotion). If one site’s price drops dramatically, you can also ask CS to pricematch for you if you’re within a certain timeframe. Their online CS is very helpful, especially since I like to minimize human interaction ;)
    • NM runs free shipping promotions way more often than BG. If you paid shipping on your BG order, and you wouldn’t have had to on NM, ask CS for a refund.
  • If you like Spanish shoe brand Chie Mihara, Simplysoles is having a great sale. I’ve had the Chie Mihara Lara shoes bookmarked since my March Barcelona trip. It is unfortunate that many of the styles and colors on Chie’s website never make it stateside. A visit to the Chie Mihara outlet in Spain is on my list of to-dos…
  • Gap is having 40% off promotions again (*shakes fist*). They were in-store for a bit (and may be again – signup for emails and their FB page to stay updated). I got a targeted email again for a 40% off online promotion.
    • I love Gap for their workout gear, basics, and GapBody. (On a related note, I am also a fan of Old Navy’s new compression workout bottoms for the warmer summer months and there is currently a 30% off promotion – never pay retail at Gap/BR/Old Navy!.)
    • They have been known to pull promotions before its official end-time, so don’t mull on your shopping cart too long. On the flip side, Gap stores don’t mind online returns because it doesn’t hit their store margins.
    • More often than not, the online reviews steer you in the right direction. I love reading online reviews for anything I buy!
  • Barneys was one of the first department stores to markdown. They refresh their inventory continuously but the updates have gotten less exciting. On the plus side, they have free shipping for any order… and 33% off Marc by Marc Jacobs designer moleskines.