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Fashion Lifestyle

Spring Transition Essentials

March 1, 2019

Spring Outfit Madewell Jacket, Whisper Cotton Tee, STS Blue White Denim Shorts, Converse

It’s been two years now since we’ve moved to Florida and I cannot believe how fast time flies! It seems like it was just yesterday we drove across country from San Diego to Tampa. It’s been quite a transition for us but we’ve really fallen in love with everything here. We love the beaches, the people and the casual relaxed vibe. Every week I get questions from readers asking what to pack for vacation trips to Florida and my answers usually depend on what time of year they’re visiting and where they’re going. Florida is a big state and the weather varies depending on how far north or south you’re visiting (it’s more humid and hotter the further south you go). There is a long distance between Tampa, Orlando and Miami so temperatures and humidity changes depending on how close you are to the coast. Weather is also fairly unpredictable depending on what time of year. Right now the weather is mild in the Tampa Bay area with temperatures ranging from low 60’s to low 80’s. Last week weather was in the high 80’s! I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my go-to warm weather essentials for South Florida.

Madewell Denim Jacket, St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market

Madewell Denim Jacket, Chloe Mini Marcie, White Denim Shorts

My favorite layering piece is a good denim jacket. For me the best ones are from Madewell because they come in a wide range of washes and fits whether you want something classic, loose or cropped. Temperatures can change from morning to mid-day to night. Also indoors they love to put the AC on full blast making it icy cold. I like that you can dress up or dress down any outfit with a classic denim jacket. I typically size up for a more slouchy relaxed look.

Good shorts are absolutely a must in Florida. Since moving here I’ve tried so many different brands and styles. For those who want a true mid-rise with a casual look I highly recommend checking out the STS Blue Raw Denim shorts. They’re the best affordable denim shorts I’ve found. Even the light blue distressed ones hold up remarkably well after lots of washes in the washing machine. I also love these ones from 7 For All Mankind and Blank NYC.

A simple small crossbody bag is perfect for just carrying the essentials. When it’s hot and humid out it’s nice to have something light and small that you don’t even notice is weighing you down. I splurged on the Chloe Mini Marcie and love it to death. The Tory Burch Marsden Crossbody is a less expensive alternative and I have also been contemplating the Madewell small crossbody as well for something simple.

Spring Outfit Favorites Chloe Mini Marcie Tan

Spring Outfit Favorites Chloe Mini Marcie Tan

The tees and tanks I pretty much live in are the Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tank, V-Neck Tee and Northside Vintage Tee. They’re lightweight, super comfortable and come in so many different colors. I am a little embarrassed to admit how many of these I own. They’re great as a casual tee by itself, layered with a sweater or jacket, nice for the beach, also perfect for at-home lounging. They’re not really designed for workouts but sometimes I’ll wear the tank during a run or at home when we’re lifting weights too. I also have and love the Stripe Version.

Spring Outfit Favorites Chloe Mini Marcie Tan

Madewell Denim Jacket, Chloe Mini Marcie, White Denim Shorts

Madewell Whisper Cotton White Vneck Tee

For shoes I live in the Tory Burch Miller Sandals and Converse Sneakers – they go with everything! I find the classic Converse Chuck Low Tops to be among my favorite and most comfortable sneakers. They don’t give me blisters and are nice to walk in for extended periods of time. I think they’re a super cute sneaker even for the girls who feel like they aren’t really sneaker girls.

One last essential I have to mention is sunscreen. We have tested dozens and our favorite that isn’t heavy, doesn’t smell like sunscreen, has no flash back, is lightweight, easy to apply and also is the best at preventing burn is the Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen. No matter what we try, this is the one we keep going back to.

Outfit details, for sizing reference I’m 5’3″ – petite!

Hope you enjoyed this post! More of these to follow since I’ve been getting so many questions about my everyday basics. A few other favorites linked below.

 

 

Sponsored by Nordstrom.

 

Fashion Hauls Lifestyle Lips

Best Red Holiday Lips + Cozy Sweater Try On Haul

December 17, 2018

Best Red Lips + Cozy Sweater Try On Haul Everlane, Loft, 1State | The Beauty Look Book

I’m so excited it’s finally sweater weather here! We have hot humid weather almost year round here in Tampa making it too hot to even wear denim jeans most of the time. While I love the sunshine I’m thrilled that it has cooled down enough to haul some cute sweaters. By popular request I’m combining two topics today that many of you have been asking for: best holiday red lips plus a sweater try-on haul.

I’m a neutral lip lover so I was actually really surprised to find how many red lip products I own. I sorted through around 35+ colors and formulas to narrow down my absolute top picks for the best color, pigment, lasting power and a few budget friendly options. I’ll discuss each color with the sweaters I paired below.

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Everlane Cashmere Crew + L’Oreal Color Riche Shine

Everlane Cashmere Crew Light Oatmeal XS, L'Oreal Color Riche Shine in Enamel Red

I did my first Everlane haul and picked three styles to try out. I haven’t tried the line before so I relied on online customer reviews for height and weight to decide on XXS and XS depending on style. I lucked out because I’m really happy with what I ordered. For sizing reference I have been losing weight but also gaining a little bit of muscle with our weight training. I’m 5’3″ and currently 114 pounds. I usually wear XS in most sizes, sometimes XXS because I’m on the shorter side.

It’s been a long time since I’ve invested in anything cashmere (again because it’s simply TOO HOT to wear here) so I can’t compare to current styles of other brands. I have tried J.Crew, Vince and Theory to name a few which I’ve loved in previous years. I think the styles I ordered from Everlane are just as good. For the Everlane Cashmere Crew ($100) I picked Light Oatmeal in XS and it’s a PERFECT fit. This is my favorite one of my purchases. It’s soft, lightweight but not tissue thin. I plan on getting a couple more colors. Denim worn are the Paige Verdugo Ankle (for me ankle jeans are the best because I usually don’t have to hem them!).

I’m wearing the L’Oreal Color Riche Shine in Enamel Red which is one of the best medium glossy lipsticks I’ve ever tried. I swatched all the colors of this formula in this post here.

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Everlane Cashmere Rib Round Crew + NARS Powermatte Pigment

Everlane Cashmere Rib Round Crew Grey NARS Powermatte Pigment in Starwoman | The Beauty Look Book

Up next is the Everlane Cashmere Rib Round Crew ($145) in Heather Grey in XXS. I would have bought XS but one of the models on the website was wearing that size and quite a bit taller than me. I’m happy with the fit of XXS. This is a nice soft semi thick ribbed sweater. It’s one of the ones I was wearing on stories.

I paird this one with the NARS Powermatte Pigment in Starwoman. There are a lot of reds in this formula this one seems the most classic to me (Vain is warmer, Light My Fire is brighter and there are options with either more blue or deeper tones too). This is one of the nicest liquid matte lipstick formulas that is matte but doesn’t shrink my lips to look like raisins. It has excellent staying power and doesn’t transfer on my teeth. (If you want a neutral option American Woman is the best chestnut neutral rose out there.)

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Leith + Everlane with Tom Ford Dylan

Tom Ford Lips and Boys Dylan isn’t a new color but remains a favorite for a semi-matte finish. It’s a classic bright bold red with a warm undertone. I’m wearing it below with two sweater colors. A soft nude pink fitted Metallic Pullover from Leith ($49, XS is pretty fitted) that I bought at Nordstrom and the Everlane Cashmere Waffle Crew in Black ($150, XXS) which is boxy but I think has a nice hang to the sides. I like the side slit detail too which makes for a little more interesting sweater.

Tom Ford Lips Boys Dylan, Leith Metallic Pullover, Everlane Waffle Knit Square Crew Sweater

Another look at the Everlane sweater so you can see the neckline, it’s hard to see the detail but check out their website for close ups which you can see better.

Everlane Cashmere Waffle Square Crew Black XXS

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1.State + Pat McGrath Lip Fetish in Wild Cherry

Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Balm Wild Cherry and 1State Convertible Sweater

In terms of red lips I don’t think it gets better than Pat McGrath. I could have done an entire dedicated post to swoon over all her lipsticks but wanted to give some other brands and formulas some love. If you feel like you can’t wear full on red lips, opt for a sheer gloss or balm. The Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Balm in Wild Cherry is a great sheer but buildable red. I reviewed it in this post here.

In looking through my closet I find that I own a lot of white tops and sweaters. It’s funny because in San Diego I used to wear all black and grey, or stripes. Since moving to Florida I’ve suddenly found my closet has changed. So many of you have been asking about all the white tops I’ve been wearing. This is a cute one from 1State Convertible Zip Neckline Sweater ($109). This is an XXS and runs big but slouchy. It’s cute to tuck in or belt. I’m not 100% sure I love this style. The zipper is adjustable which makes it so you can wear this a number of ways. A similar option that I have really liked in a tee form is the Free People Nikala Tee which I find has a better fit.

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Frame + NARS

Frame Stripe Crewneck Sweater and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Rebel

My favorite purchase is the Frame Stripe Crewneck Merino Wool Blend Sweater ($235) and it’s one of my most expensive sweater splurges in a long time. I’m a huge sucker for anything with stripes, so much so that I tried to ease up on wearing and buying them. This was too cute to pass up. It’s soft, thin and I love the fit. I really love everything I’ve bought from Frame. Prices prevent me from splurging more. I paired it with the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Rebel from the holiday collection from the Riot Lip Pencil set. Unfortunately it’s sold out but Pat McGrath MatteTrance in Elson is close (reviewed here). Denim worn is also from Frame Le Skinny.

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Loft + Pat McGrath

Loft Textured Button Cuff Sweater and Pat McGrath BlitzTrance Lipstick in Rebel Red

For affordable sweaters that aren’t itchy or scratchy I’ve found some amazing deals from Loft. They have cute cable knit basics. I tried two styles. One is the Loft Textured Button Cuff Sweater in XS ($49.50 but I got mine 50% off, they have online holiday sales so check their site for current code). At $20 it was a steal. This one is a little long for me but on most people I think it will be just the right length. I’m wearing it with the Pat McGrath BlitzTrance Lipstick in Rebel Red which is one of the most fun sparkly blue red lip colors I’ve tried. Full review here.

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Loft + Em Cosmetics

Another Loft find is the Cable Knit Trim Sweater in Silvered Heather Grey (XS, $49.50). I could have sized down for a shorter fit but this one is super cute and easy to wear as well. I paired this with the Em Cosmetics True Gloss in Scarlett Knight which is one of the best red plumping glosses I’ve tried. I need to review this formula for you, I have been sitting on all the colors for a while now. It’s been on my to-do list! They have some cute sets for the holiday I think are worth checking out. I have all the colors individually otherwise I would have ordered one.

Tucked vs. untucked

Loft Cable Knit Sweater and Pat McGrath BlitzTrance in Rebel Red

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BP + MAC Grand Illusion Glossy Lip

MAC Grand Illusion Glossy Lip in It's Just Candy

MAC Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lip in It’s Just Candy is a nice blue-based red shimmer. It’s called a liquid lip but is more along the lines of a full pigment gloss. It has great lasting power and a really pretty sheen. Full review on all the colors in this formula here. If you want a matte metallic long-wear version try the Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color in In Retrograde instead.

Sweater worn is the BP Heritage Stitch sweater in XXS. It’s so soft and plush. Unfortunately it just sold out online, but you might want to check in stores to see if they still have some near you. It does run on the large side, I ordered an XXS and it’s very roomy!

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Lipsticks worn/featured in this post (all shades are press samples):

Best Red Lips Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, NARS

Swatches alongside a few other options:

Best Red Lipsticks: Hourglass, L'Oreal, Pat McGrath, NARS

Pat McGrath and Tom Ford options swatched next to two of the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution colors. I used to think the Charlotte Tilbury formula was the best, I still think it’s very good, but Pat McGrath’s formula wins 100%.

Best Red Lipsticks from Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury

Makeup breakdown worn in all other photos include:

Best Red Lips + Cozy Sweater Try On Haul Everlane, Loft, 1State | The Beauty Look Book

I hope you enjoyed this sweater try-on haul and red lip roundup! If you love a good red lip let me know what your favorites are in the comments. I love cozy sweaters and I would haul more if we had cooler weather in Tampa.

I didn’t have time to post yesterday but did not forget my giveaway for the week! One reader will win four Pat McGrath lip products including: Opulence 1995, Opulence Flesh3, winner’s choice of two other lips formulas. Not sponsored or affiliated. Open internationally to those 18 years or older. Simply enter via the widget below. Giveaway runs this week and I’ll pick a winner within 48 hours after giveaway ends and contact via e-mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I’ve linked all the details in this post above, but you can also shop the post below:

 

Lip colors featured are press samples. All sweaters purchased by me.

Fashion Lifestyle What's In My Bag

Senreve Mini Maestra Review

November 11, 2018

Senreve Mini Maestra Review | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Sunday! I have another fun bag review today featuring a detailed look at the Senreve Mini Maestra in Sand ($695). This is a relatively newer brand and I love the entire look and aesthetic of their edited line. As a petite person it can be challenging to find purses proportional to my height and the Mini Maestra is perfect for me. It’s small enough to fit my petite frame but also roomy enough inside to hold day-to-day essentials. When they reached out and asked to work together on a feature I was thrilled to put one to the test. Not having seen these in person yet I did not know what to expect but after trying it out I can say that it exceeded all of my expectations. Their line is primarily available on their Senreve website but they do have a few pop-ups. However, if you’re like me and don’t have a location near you, I think you can safely rely on their website descriptions and photos to give you an accurate shopping guide.

Senreve Mini Maestra in Sand

Wearing: Senreve Mini Maestra in Sand (c/o), BP Rib Knit Henley, 7 For All Mankind b(air) High Waist Skinny Jeans, Hermes Oran Sandals (similar budget alternative here), for height reference, I’m 5’3″

The Mini Maestra comes in a wide range of colors and finishes. Prices depend on material and color. The one I have is Sand which is a beige tan nude color. This one comes in the Pebbled finish which is a stiffer and very durable finish. It’s supposed to be scratch-resistant and so far it does seem to be very sturdy and structured. I truly appreciate their detailed descriptions of all their finishes on their website. It makes the decision process of picking one so much easier!

The bag is small enough to not overwhelm my frame but roomy enough inside to hold a lot of things. The design is really versatile and you can wear it in a number of ways: over the shoulder, over your arm, as a crossbody and even as a backpack. Dimensions:

  • Width at base: 8.625”
  • Width at top: 11.875”
  • Height: 7.5
  • Drop handle: 1.75”
  • Adjustable straps: 18-23”
  • Depth: 7.25”
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs (2-3 pounds lighter than similar bags)
  • Central compartment fits iPad

Worn as a backpack:

Senreve Mini Maestra worn as a backpack

A closer look at the details. These bags are made of genuine Italian leather and the quality and craftsmanship are truly excellent! The front has a magnetic clasp which you slip through a loop to close – double closure to secure everything. The interior design is what I’d consider the BEST part of this bag. They’ve included pockets that are actually functional and I am beyond obsessed! There’s room enough for my phone, phone charger, sunglasses, card cases, perfumes, small items, etc. There is even a loop with a key holder inside. Front:

Senreve Mini Maestra Bag review, front

Side:

Senreve Mini Maestra Bag review, side

Back:

Senreve Mini Maestra Bag review, back

Base come with little feet:

Senreve Mini Maestra Bag review, base

Details:

Senreve Mini Maestra

What I can fit inside with room to spare below. Interior is made of micro-suede, it’s soft and really pretty inside!

What's Inside My Senreve Mini Maestra, interior

For those who don’t want lipstick + gloss floating around, there is enough space inside to hold a smaller makeup pouch. I can easily fit a couple of the Truffle Mini Clarity Clutches inside. Also shown below (press samples have a *):

  • Sunglasses, iPhone, Away Charger (from one of my suitcases), Gucci Card Case
  • Lipglosses: Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Sparkling*, Lawless Matte Liquid Lipstick, NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Roseland (review here), Dior Addict Lip Glow (swatches here), Cle de Peau Radiant Lip Gloss (review here), Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Lips (my picks here), Pat McGrath Lip Fetish* (swatches here)
  • Other makeup: Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel (review here), Chanel Hand Cream (review here), Byredo Travel Atomizer*, Supergoop! Sunscreen Spray, Byredo Mini Perfume Vial in Blanche, MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation in NC35, IGK Dry Shampoo Mini

What's Inside My Senreve Mini Maestra, interior

Another look at the detailing – they have clasps and closures to help keep the straps in place after you adjust them. This is something I don’t often see in a lot of purses.

Senreve Mini Maestra straps

Shown how I’ve been wearing it a few more ways:

Senreve Mini Maestra in Sand

OOTD Senreve Mini Maestra, BP Henley, 7 For All Mankind High Rise Jeans

Senreve Mini Maestra Review

Senreve Mini Maestra Review

Overall I’m really impressed. The mini is perfect for me although the same design comes in two larger size options in the Maestra and Midi Maestra for those who prefer bigger purses. Quality is excellent and I highly recommend it! So many of you asked me on Instagram how it compares to the Celine Belt Bags. I do think it has a similar shape to the Celine Belt Bag that I used to own. When I bought mine years ago I had the smallest size option called the Mini Belt Bag (reviewed here). One photo of me wearing it in this post here. It was still on the big side for me, but I really did love them! A few years later they came out with smaller options called the Micro and Nano. I’ve been wanting to buy one for a while now but wanted to buy them in person and just haven’t had a chance to go to a store yet (there aren’t any near me!). As soon as I decided I wanted to smaller ones I decided to sell both my Black and Light Taupe via a few blog sales so I no longer have them to compare. Off the top of my head, other than size and design difference, the Senreve is more structured and square-like while the Celine had a material that was softer and thinner, shape was also not quite as square. I want to say the grained finish is similar but since I don’t have the Celine anymore I can’t do a side by side. If I still end up buying the Nano or Micro I can do a comparison if you’re interested.

A few other notes and thoughts. A lot of you want to know about color transfer. Living in Florida the weather is HOT! I can count the number of times I’ve worn dark jeans and pants on one hand this year. Most of my denim has been washed several times over so I have not experienced any staining or color transfer even though Sand is on the lighter side. That being said I have not tested it against brand new dark denim.

On shape/structure with other bags, if you add product inside it can be prone to sagging a little. The Senreve has enough structure and stitching to keep its shape. No sagging with this one! At least not yet.

I hope you found this review helpful! I’ve really been enjoying the Senreve Mini Maestra. Even Andrew approves and he doesn’t always like my taste in handbags (he did not like the way the Celine looked on me because of the size, but that did not stop me from loving them, lol). If you’ve been wondering about these bags but aren’t able to see in person I hope this gives you a good idea of size, shape, how to wear etc. The quality is really really well made. Let me know if you have any questions!

You can find these available online at Senreve. There are so many colors to choose from!

Many thanks to Senreve for sending a bag for review.

 

Fashion Lifestyle What's In My Bag

Chloe Mini Marcie Bag Review

September 24, 2018

Chloe Mini Marcie Bag Review | The Beauty Look Book

Today I have a purse review of the Chloe Mini Marcie Bag. I featured it in a few travel/packing posts and received so many questions about it asking for a review. As much as I love having a good medium sized tote to carry daily things, I’ve found myself wearing smaller bags more often for their convenience and style. Since I’m on the petite side, smaller cross body bags often are better suited for my short frame. The Mini Marcie style has been around for a long time but I think it’s still one you can wear today. I love the casual look it has. There are so many good colors – it was tough to pick one, but I narrowed it down to the Tan (medium warm golden brown) color and find it really versatile for my wardrobe. My next two picks would have been either the Black or Abstract White.

The Marcie Bag comes in a few size options, the mini one is the smallest option that I picked. It’s currently priced at $890 and it comes with an adjustable strap. I have it set to the shortest option which works well for me (I’m 5’3″). The bag is made of grained calfskin leather. It’s soft but pretty sturdy (so far). It’s also retained it’s shape well as I haven’t seen any sagging. It has an open interior with two small flat pockets which I haven’t made use of, but I like that they’re there. The bag has a rounded but flat base so it will stand up on it’s own. Measurements are approximately 6 inches wide by 7 tall, depth of the base is 3.5 inches. There’s an open ring at the base to loop the strap at the bottom in. I really like the design features because it’s super easy to access the contents inside, but the flap keeps everything pretty secure. The only thing I would change is the strap design. The end kinda hangs loose if you adjust it to the shortest measurement. I wish there was some kind of clasp to keep it in place/secure.

Chloe Mini Marcie Bag Review Tan | The Beauty Look Book

A look at the details, the front has a pretty saddle shaped front flap:

Chloe Mini Marcie Purse Review | The Beauty Look Book

A look at the side and back, I like that it’s flat so it doesn’t feel like it’s poking your sides when you carry it:

Chloe Mini Marcie Bag Side and Back View | The Beauty Look Book

Inside the bag and a look at the base clasp:

Chloe Mini Marcie Bag Interior Poclet and Clasp | The Beauty Look Book

Here’s what I was able to fit inside my bag over the weekend. I can switch things out of similar sizes – if I skip the hand cream, I can fit a small dry shampoo inside. If I opt for a flat card case I can fit my sunglasses inside (without the case). It is small inside but not too small for me. In an effort to edit my closet and accessories I sold almost all my small wallets and accessories in a blog sale earlier this year. I slowly realized as I started carrying smaller bags that I would need to repurchase a small wallet. I did a lot of research and opted for the Gucci Marmont Card Case again. I had this in an older style in the quilted pattern. Out of all the leather goods I’ve had I find Louis Vuitton and Gucci to be the sturdiest regardless of leather type. The smooth leather of my older one held up really well. This one has a grained surface which I like more in general. The case has enough slots for my ID and cards that I carry. The current version has a zipper for small change and a compartment for cash. It fits my iPhone X.

What's Inside My Bag Chloe Mini Marcie | The Beauty Look Book

What’s inside my bag:

All tucked inside:

What's Inside My Bag Chloe Mini Marcie | The Beauty Look Book

For those curious, a closer look at the Gucci Petite Marmont Leather Card Case, I bought mine from Nordstrom but this particular style has sold out several times. A few places have it on backorder online, but you can also find it at Gucci and Saks Fifth Avenue right now. It has four card slots, zipped coin compartment, and slot for cash.

Gucci Petite Marmont Leather Card Case

A few outfits with the purse, below at the Aesop store inside Oxford Exchange in Tampa (one of my favorite places!). Top from Madewell, shorts from 7 For All Mankind, sandals by Tory Burch.

Tampa, Florida Oxford Exchange

Earlier this year in Miami, top by Joie, shorts by Blank NYC (old style), sandals by Tory Burch.

Chloe Mini Marcie Bag, Joie Top

One last look with a side by side of two other small cross body bags. The YSL Wallet on Chain is one I’ve had for many years but the interior and flat design makes it hard to carry anything except just cards and small items. It’s a great going out purse or one if you just want to carry a few lipglosses or keys and phone and the quality is excellent. The Tory Burch Marsden Leather Wallet Crossbody Bag is something I bought during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale over the summer but they still stock it. It’s a great simple pouch. Inside there are slots to hold cards if you don’t want to carry a separate wallet. It’s on the pricey side for the design but still a more affordable option compares to the other designers.

Small Crossbody Bags: Chloe Mini Marcie, YSL Wallet on Chain, Tory Burch Marsden

That wraps up my Chloe Mini Marcie bag review. I really like it! I’m really happy with everything: size, shape, design and the tan color. You can find the Chloe Mini Marcie at a number of places online and in store. I bought mine from Nordstrom. Also available at Chloe, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York.

Fashion What's In My Bag

What’s In My Celine Belt Bag Mini

January 4, 2017

What's In My Celine Belt Bag Truffle Pouch Jcrew Sunglasses Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have the first what’s in my bag post of the year. Lately the purse I’ve been carrying the most frequently is the Celine Belt Bag in the mini size (review of what fits inside plus thoughts on style in this post here). I own two of the same style, just in different colors. I alternate between the Light Taupe (shown) and Black. For the spring 2017 season they added another size called the Micro which is smaller, has a longer removable strap and can be worn as a crossbody. I took a quick peek while in LA at one a couple months ago and promptly walked away so I would not be tempted – but I will say it’s really cute!

I picked up some new sunglasses from J.Crew called the Irving Sunglasses in the Smoke Olive color. I love the ones that come in lighter colors because they’re fun and different. These frames are small enough for my face size and shape so I could not resist! The store near me only carried it in two colors otherwise I would have probably bought the light clear pink ones.

I’m currently carrying multiples of the Clarity Clutch in the mini size from Truffle. I ordered the Nude and White last fall during one of their sales and like that they are small enough to throw in most of my purses. They’re just the right size and proportion to fit what a few things and keep contents edited.

As usual I have one too many lip products carried with me. I have my two favorite balms of the moment the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade and Lanolips in Strawberry. I’ve used them repeatedly for weeks now. The weather has been on the cold side so we’ve cranked up the heater in our place which makes everything dry. Plus I’ve still been trying to get over a cold so my lips have been extra dry. These have kept my lips from peeling and cracking – I’ve been sure to apply on clean fingers instead of directly on the lips to keep them clean and free of germs.

Other staples for lips include NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight which I like to layer with MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare, Whirl or Dervish (neutral nude lip liners swatched and compared in this post here). The Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme (c/o) in Truth or Bare and Slow Burn have been worn frequently the past week. The Chanel Gloss Volume is pretty basic but it’s one of my favorite clear lip glosses for the pretty shine it gives and cushiony feel.

For fragrance I’ve been reaching for Byredo options a lot, I’ve been loving Oud Immortel although I probably need to switch things up to something a bit lighter and more cheery to lift the mood. I’ve still been dreaming about splurging on the Unnamed Perfume. It’s one of those scents I spritzed at the counter back in August and it still haunts me even months later. However I have promised myself to save up for the Creed Virgin Island Water before I buy any other perfume. Right now I don’t think it’s quite appropriate for the current weather or season, but in a couple of months I think it will be perfect and by then it will be mine! It’s the ultimate dreamy tropical vacation kind of scent I want to wear all spring to summer.

Last but not least I can’t help carrying the Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette. It’s not really all that practical to carry around but I love the sturdy compact and large mirror makes reapplying lipstick so much easier compared to the tiny mirrors you get in most compacts. If you haven’t checked them out I recommend you do (review on both colors here). They are both 100% worth the splurge.

Hope your first week of the new year is going well! I’ll have some reviews on MAC Shadescents and the Louis Vuitton perfumes coming up next! They’ve been on the to-do list for weeks now – I know many of you have been waiting so thanks for your patience!

What’s in your bag right now?

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Fashion What's In My Bag

What’s In My Bag / Céline Mini Belt Bag Review

October 30, 2016
The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag Celine Belt Bag

 

I have a what’s in my bag and purse review today! Many of you have asked for a review on the Céline Mini Belt Bags that I have and I’ve finally feel ready to provide my thoughts about it today. To date there are two sizes of the Céline Belt Bag and I have the smaller version called the “mini” size. It comes in a variety of material finishes, I bought two of the grained leather earlier this year in February in the Light Taupe and Black. It’s one of my larger purses but it has good proportions so it doesn’t overwhelm my petite 5’3″ frame. Full dimensions and current color options can be found on the Céline website by season. Price will vary depending on material, size and season – mine were $2,400 each before tax. They were indeed very expensive purchases and I had thought long and hard about buying them for over a year before splurging. I could not decide on a color so I did what I usually do with clothing and shoes – I bought multiples. I did think the style would be classic enough even though it’s on the trendy side. It seemed like a versatile kind of purse for my lifestyle and taste so I decided it was worth the splurge.
The Clarity Clutch Mini is shown in this post and it now comes as a standalone item (without the gold card case). Click on the Truffle tag at the bottom of this post to see other features and reviews of their products. They really help with organization and also make cute gifts!

 

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag Truffle Clarity Mini

 

Both of the Belt Bag I have has a grained leather which is very sturdy. It comes with gold hardware, a removeable strap, outer zip pocket and interior pocket. I usually take very good care of my purses as the ones I buy tend to be on the expensive side so I want them to stay in good condition and last as long as possible. I had placed my light taupe bag (seen here) on one of our sofas and our cat had a spurt of energy and went running and jumping over every surface he could reach in the house. He decided the bag on the couch would be something good to pounce on/attack. It survived and there is a slight noticeable scratch on the bottom front corner that you can only see if I point it out. I have since stopped putting them in areas where the cat can jump to.

 

The bag comes with protective studs/feet on the base so it helps keep the bottom corners looking better than if there were no studs. There’s still some contact from the way the leather bends at the base but the studs really help. The base measures about 12 inches wide by 7 inches deep so it can fit a lot of things and therefore can be easy to overload. The straps or handle are sturdy so it will carry a lot. Since I want to make sure this lasts as long as possible I try to limit what I carry so there’s not too much strain on the bag.

 

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag

 

Mine looks slightly navy in some light, although it’s a black bag. One of my biggest concerns with bags is wear and sagging. I prefer bags that are flexible but don’t want them to lose their shape. Some bags like the Goyard St. Louis and Longchamp totes just aren’t designed to hold a structured shape so that’s understandable. But with bags like this I was worried it would lose it’s shape with wear. So far I have to say it’s held up remarkably well. It’s softened slightly after months of use but still retains it’s structure and the base is still solid without any sagging.
The one thing that took time to get used to was the clasp. The way the bag is designed there’s a round knob on the flap which latches onto a buckle as you can see below. To unlatch and latch it requires you hold the base of the bag with a hand, set it down on a solid surface or use your hip or knee to prop it open. At first it was extremely annoying as it’s not an effortless kind of bag to open/latch. I do think keeping it latched/closed keeps all your contents safe and prevents items from falling out so it’s necessary. Eventually you get used to it and for me it’s not a dealbreaker.

 

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag
A look at the interior. It looks like the lining is velvet and leather. Mine is more on the navy side of black. Hardware is gold but the lighting here is a bit off due to the sunlight shining through tinted glass windows so it looks a bit greenish here.

 

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag

 

What’s inside my bag: Tory Burch Makeup Bag, Truffle Mini Clarity Clutch in Black, Coach Clutch in Glovetanned Leather used as a wallet, Jo Malone Geranium and Walnut Hand Cream, baby Oribe Dry Shampoo

 

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag

 

Onto what’s inside my bag. I mentioned the Coach Glovetanned Leather Clutch in a roundup a few weeks ago after spotting it in store. I decided to order it in the Black Copper/Black color and it is exactly what I had hoped for! For years I’ve had the Goyard clutches that come with the St. Louis totes but they only have one interior pocket and because of the stitching there isn’t much room for a lot inside. The Coach Clutch is part of their 1941 Collection and comes in a soft plush Glovetanned Leather. It measures about 7″ long by 4.25″ tall. There are plenty of pockets inside: a front pocket, a larger pocket behind to fit your cell phone, a smaller pocket behind in between the front and zippered section, a zippered pocket, a back pocket, two card holder slots inside and also one opening pocket in the back. There’s a removable wristlet strap (I removed mine as I usually don’t like those). I love the sleek simple design and the size is perfect. It’s a great wallet/clutch that you can use to grab essentials if you don’t want to carry your entire purse somewhere.

 

The leather is soft and smooth – at this time I don’t know how well it will hold up – but in my experience I’ve bought a lot of the smooth leather Coach wallets for my husband in the past and they’ve worn really beautifully.
The Clutch in Glovetanned Leather that I bought in the smooth leather has sold out in most of the colors, but is still available in Black, Denim Teal and Grey. It’s also available in a new Colorblock version for preorder. The Bordeaux color looks really pretty and on that product page you can see the side interior view.

 

The Beauty Look Book - Goyard Clutch vs Coach Clutch

 

For the beauty items in my bag, I had three of the baby sample size Oribe sprays in the 1 oz size. I don’t carry a lot of hair products with me but I had toted 3 with me to give to a friend. To date they are usually only found in sets like the monthly Birchbox subscription boxes or as gift with purchases but you can now buy them online at Birchbox in their Oribe Styling Kit (contains 5 minis!!). I photographed 3 next to the Travel Size (size you can buy individually) for reference. I’ll have a more detailed review on the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo but first impressions are WOW. It’s really good and leaves no white residue or dusty matte looking finish like most others do.

 

Next I have a mini First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream inside my bag that I use for quick fixes on dry patches. It works really well for dry sensitive skin and it’s been a long time favorite. I should review their line in more detail because it’s a great one. I’ve neglected featuring it because makeup has pretty much taken over my life. It’s a favorite among friends and family. Right now they have a super cute Ultra Repair Cream Minis Kit for holiday which has two 2 oz minis. They are small enough to carry one in a makeup bag. They also recently launched it in a Vanilla Citron (c/o) scent which is amazing!!
For hands and lips I’m always carrying way too many of these in my bag. I throw one in here and there every few days and before I know it I am carrying a ton of things with me. From left to right is the Dior Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive System. It’s a travel-size nail care oil which is easy to apply without getting messy like their regular Creme Abricot. Since it’s a gel-like oil it won’t drip like regular oils and it has a brush tip applicator to control how much you dab. I’ve found it’s great for just the cuticles, especially in this dry weather. It’s expensive for the size but 100% worth the splurge.
For hands Jo Malone launched a Geranium Walnut Hand Cream for holiday and it’s incredibly emollient and hydrating. There is some slip and moisture so if you need a dry down, you may have to wait a few minutes with this one. The scent is to die for like a mini spa. The size is perfect for the purse.
For lips, my three go-to’s right now are the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade, Armani Him Her Lip Care (swatched here) and the Lanolips Strawberry Balm. All three are great for adding hydration and moisture for my sensitive lips. If I had to pick one it would be very difficult – I’m beyond impressed with the Lanolips and just ordered the Strawberry Peach Duo from Net-A-Porter.

 

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag Oribe, First Aid Beauty, Laura Mercier

 

For the face, I’ve been putting the Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (c/o) and Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter (c/o) to the test. I’ll have a full detailed review soon but I will say right now the powder is amazing. (Shade #2 shown for powder.) Also two other staples I carry frequently with me are the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Duo and short handled MAC brushes (168SH Large Angled Brush shown).

 

Last but not least, a collection of lip products I’ve accumulated in my bag:
MAC Liptensity in Gumball and Toast and Butter (swatched here) – c/o
MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl (swatched here)
Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in Script (review) – c/o
YSL Rouge Volutpe Shine #47 Beige Blouse (swatch here)
Rouge Dior in Bal (review here) – c/o

 

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag

 

That’s a wrap for my for my Céline Belt Bag review plus a peek at what’s inside my bag. On a few sale notes, the Space NK Explore Promotion ends today 10/30 (use code EXPLORE30 for $25 off orders $125 or more). The Sephora VIB Rouge 20% Off sale starts next week on 11/4 through 11/7 with code 20ROUGE 🙂

 

Hope you found this review helpful and enjoyed taking a peek into my frequently changing hand bag.

 

Press samples featured indicated with c/o next to the product names.
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