2018 thoughts on bags

Updated: Bao Bao Issey Miyake added

Every year I intend to write ‘year in review’ posts. Somehow time escapes me, so let’s see if this works this year. I plan to write on different topics. First up: bags.

I go through periods of times of buying no bags and then bam! I get a few. I bought a few recently, mostly black bags.

($$$$ to $)

  • The spendiest purchases were driven by Hedi’s takeover of Céline. I couldn’t get myself to Europe soon enough, so I managed with duty free shops in Seoul. Prices are comfortably below US prices and the # of stores are somewhat plentiful. I went to 4 duty free boutiques – 3 in Seoul and 1 in the Incheon airport! For the most part, what I purchased is what I have wanted to purchase for years but the opportunity and urgency never arose. I have no regrets with my purchases, although I have yet to use all of them. I have invested in Samorga inserts for most of them.

I am hesitant to buy Céline secondhand online. It’s hard to assess the structure of a non-super structured bag on the internet. Or for example, the Trio was quietly redesigned in recent years where the straps that connect to the purse were reinforced. This isn’t apparent in most online listings. I wouldn’t want to buy an older Trio. I haven’t sold any of my Célines, but the resale of some of them look roughly the same as duty free. It’s a no lose situation, in my opinion. Some of the classic Phoebe Philo designs are still around but now don the new Celine logo (no accent over the é) and new colors.

Image: Celine

  • (Updated: Can’t believe I forgot to include Bao Bao!) My friend Pam got me into Bao Bao Issey Miyake bags. At some point, they were super hard to buy in Asia. Almost everyone and their mom has one, it seems. They are popular with the older crowd. The brand is Japanese, but I found these bags much better stocked in the US and sometimes on sale/discount! I have four of the totes in different sizes (Prism or Lucent) and got the last one when I was in Tokyo. I highly recommend these for its lightweight, low maintenance, easy to pack (flattens), and uncommon style (at least outside of Asia). I think I’m done for now!

Prism Tote in a Japan-exclusive color

  • The APC Meryl in quilted black leather is a nice APC alternative to my favorite half moon bag. Slightly smaller, softer yet not delicate. Compact enough to throw into a tote. The strap is also thick and comfy. I really like wearing a crossbody to work when I don’t have too much to carry!

Image: APC

  • I purchased the Mansur Gavriel tumble small tote in black during the first online sample sale. It took me almost half a year to unbox it. I love the size, the slouch, the light weight, and the price. I find the “large” MG tote to be way too big. Tumble leather is very nice and different than the more popular vegetable tanned, calf leather, or saffiano. I wouldn’t have given tumble a second glance if I hadn’t seen it in person. It gives a different vibe for the same style in another bag. The only thing that is slightly off-putting is the smell of the leather. Most of it has aired out but there is still a whiff (and this happened to my new Céline bags too). I sometimes use this bag for work and throw the Meryl in when I don’t have time to switch bags. It’s perfect for papers, but I wouldn’t weigh it down with a laptop.


Image: Mansur Gavriel

  • Clare V perf/perforated leather. I really like most of the items in this leather, especially the SLGs. The patina on this simple tote is incredible, but I rarely use something that big nowadays. I need a key wallet and really want one of the Clare V perforated wallets in a lighter brown (cuoio), but they seem to sell out so fast. I got the Bruno sans strap. It’s a nice, casual summer/fall bag. Slightly bigger than a crossbody. It’s CV’s 10 year anniversary, by the way.

Image: Clare V

  • J.Crew has these super affordable camo print everyday totes and you can monogram them! (Thanks to the stranger sporting a bag at EWR arrivals.) I’m typically not one to personalize things, but I couldn’t resist ordering these with an orange monogram over Cyber Week — the 50% off promotion applied to the bags and monograms. Great for gifting. Do note their processing time, I’m still waiting for my order. (Similar is the LLBean Hunter tote, however no monogram. Previously mentioned here. Mine is going strong and so practical.)

Image: J.Crew

  • The Momofuku Milk Bar book pre-order came with this tote for free. I love their cake and the tote is perfection. The tote has since sold out but it’s available in this set. (Sidenote: the book is surprisingly OOS on Amazon. I don’t plan to bake cake, I got it for the eye candy.)


Image: Twitter

I sold some bags this year – bags that no longer spark joy (like the MG saffiano bucket bag and the Ecco Derna lady bag) and plain ol’ shopping regrets (such as the another MG sample sale purchase and the Clare V Le Big Sac!). Resale value is something I think about when I buy a more expensive bag. There are some more bags to clean out once I have time!

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to pamper / sephora holiday beauty insider event

It’s that time of year again for Sephora’s annual sale. Sephora did push up the dates a bit. When you can shop depends on your Sephora Beauty Insider status. The discount applies in US, Canada, and JCPenney.

Rouge: Code ROUGEBONUS for 20% off from Oct 26-29 and Nov 2-5. Fine print for Rouge.
VIB: Code VIBBONUS for 20% off from Nov 9-12
Insiders: Code BIBONUS for 15% off from Nov 16-19. Anyone can sign up for Insiders.

I read that Rouge can use their code during the VIB/Insiders weekends as well. Also, the VIB/Insiders code is one-use only whereas Rouge can place unlimited orders. Sephora has been doing these annual % off sales for the longest. Now, there are other retailers that run similar promotions, however they don’t have all the value sets that Sephora has!

My picks:

Drunk Elephant. In the US, you can buy Drunk Elephant from their own site or Sephora. I quite like Drunk Elephant (old posts). My favorites are the vitamin C serum and the lip balm, then the eye serums, moisturizers, and marula oil. I don’t like the jelly cleanser or SPF.

(1) The Trunk 2.0 comes with 10 full size products, a snazzy acrylic case customized to hold the products, and 28% off. With the Sephora discount, it comes to 42% off. Of course I bought it (with some gift cards I’d been saving). This has since sold out on Sephora, but it’s hard to say whether it will be restocked before the sale ends. It’s also available on Drunk Elephant. Note, it does not include all of DE’s products. Missing: D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, Lala Retro Whipped Cream, Shaba Complex Eye Serum, Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, Juju Bar, or Pekee Bar.


Images: Drunk Elephant / Sephora

For the remaining kits, they contain at least one full size product that is priced close to the kit price. It is a no brainer to me.

(2) Agent Ellie Day Kit – I’ve been through about 4 bottles of this vitamin C serum. It’s my favorite and since vitamin C oxidizes, their packaging is 5 stars. The smell does take some getting used to but the cons outweigh the pros. I tend to stock up on products, but this is one serum that you should not stock up on as it has a shelf life of 12 months unopened (from manufacture date, not purchase date). If you do have problems with a bottle, email Drunk Elephant directly. They stand by their product!

(3) Inspector Drunk Night Kit / (4) Out of Office. The pink Framboos serum is a nice AHA. It’s certainly not the cheapest night acid serum but it is nicely formulated and works well for my skin. I like the Lippe lip balm (I’m on my 5th?), especially the larger surface to get into the corners, and it’s nice to get some minis out of the purchase.

Sephora x Clare V

Image: Verge Creative Group

This was an old early 2017 collab, so I’m surprised to still see them in stock and on sale. This Penelope Pencil case has CV’s signature spots and the unpictured Agnes clutch is double sided with a signature stripe.

Others

  • AMOREPACIFIC Vintage Single Extract Essence. No review yet, I am going to start using this highly rated essence soon. I picked it up at Lotte Duty Free for a good price.
  • AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Enzyme Peel. I’ve gotten a few of these over the years in beauty boxes or as a sample. A little goes a long way. This is great for gentle exfoliation when traveling.
  • Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask Limited Edition.My favorite Tata products are her cleansers and masks.. This is a limited edition jumbo size of my favorite Tata mask of hers. Not sure if I care for the brush though.
  • CAUDALIE Brightening Heroes. I really like Caudalie products and have been using a sample of the brightening serum.
  • Sephora Cuticle Nippers. I misplaced my existing pair so am picking up a new pair.
  • Christophe Robin Volumizing Gift Set. The volumizing paste smells so lovely and a little bit goes a long way for good volume. A tub of this has lasted me a long time. Pick it up here if you want the shampoo or conditioner. This is often OOS elsewhere when there is a sale.
  • Fresh Mask for Miles. I love Fresh wash off masks and this is a very nice of well sized minis. They have a few value sets but this is the only one that is all masks.
  • GrandeLASH – MD Lash Enhancing Serum. I am a fan of their serum and it comes in this PLAY! set on sale. It is much better value than buying the full or jumbo size.
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Jelly Tote Set. More millennial pink in a cute bag. I’ve never tried the watermelon products before.
  • Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool. Gua sha increases blood flow and stimulates the lymphatic system. I got one recently and need to look more Youtube tutorials to figure out how to use it.

to shop / {sale alert} clare v la tropezienne in white and black

My favorite Clare Vivier style after all of these years is still the La Tropezienne (previously reviewed). There are two colors (white and black) in the short handle length (the OG) that is currently on super sale. Rare, considering CV’s own site no longer carries them.

Note: If anybody else loves the original La Trop luscious, thick, durable leather as much as I do, they refer to it as “Old Fashion” and I think “Rustic”. They are using this leather in the new Le Big Sac on Clare V and Anthropologie. They also used it for the black Frances shoulder bag, which is now sold out (Edit: Found it here). I got both bags in black in late 2017 and they had both sold out quickly. Le Big Sac just came back in new colors. I may eventually post a review of both. If you see either sold on Garmentory, proceed with caution.

Without further ado, a mini ode to the white La Trop:


Images: Clare V’s blog and Instagram

to shop / {purse diaries} clare vivier petit simple tote review

The new Clare V petit simple tote in perforated leather is trim, structured, and chic. (And it’s included in the Shopbop site-wide up to 25% off promotion.)


Continue reading “to shop / {purse diaries} clare vivier petit simple tote review”

weekends / saturday six (2016.02.19)

Six things I liked this week

(1) The new Hulu original show, 11.22.63. James Franco plays the protaganist and travels back in time to before the JFK assassination. Episodes drop once a week and it’s week 1. We’re learning patience.

Image: Hulu

Continue reading “weekends / saturday six (2016.02.19)”