Stories for: Shopping

Bags, Fashion, ShoppingThe Alice.D Milano Tote

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The perfect tote shouldn’t be an It bag, it should be an it-can-be-used-anywhere-anytime bag. It doesn’t need to make a statement or scream “Look at me!”, but it does need to make you look good, even if you’re schlepping around your entire office in there. And since I’m quite the schlepper, I spent the entire summer searching for the right bag that would still allow me to feel chic doing it.

I debated the usual suspects: the Louis Vuitton Neverfull (too matronly), the Céline Cabas (too marked up), the Mansur Gavriel tote (too stiff), and the Longchamp Le Pliage (too many 13 year old girls using them as schoolbags on the Upper East Side). I checked out the new wave of “luxury start-up” fashion brands: Everlane (too practical looking) and Cuyana (too business-casual). And then I browsed all the pages of search results for “tote” on BergdorfGoodman.com and other Internet shopping destinations and still came up empty handed.

For a bag that’s supposedly so simple, it was anything but simple to find. The problem is, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi factor to the perfect tote, and it’s difficult to describe and even more difficult to achieve.  The leather has to be just the right mix of structure and slouchiness to look effortless instead of serious or sloppy. And the proportions of the top, bottom, and sides have to meet some magical mathematical formula so it looks youthful, stylish and fresh.

I had almost given up the search and given in to carrying whatever canvas bag was in my closet, when I stumbled upon this Alice.D creation. The width and height looked just about right and it didn’t scrimp on functionality even though it was clearly focused minimalist design. It comes with two different strap options so you can alternate between holding it on your arm and shoulders and features a large interior pocket for safekeeping wallet and keys. And best of all, design and function came at a price that was pretty palatable: under $500.

Alice.D Leather Tote in Beige / Black

Beauty, Gift Guides, Makeup, ShoppingTarte Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection: One-Day Sale

Tarte QVC One-Day Sale

Yes, this is happening! I’ll make this quick …

For those of you who have never been in my bathroom, I have an entire drawer full of Tarte Cosmetics — and I wear their eye shadows almost every day. So you can imagine how delighted I was to receive a sample of their Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection, three gorgeous gift boxes filled with full-size, vegan-friendly, cruelty free products. The set includes a box of Amazonian clay eyeliners and Lights, Camera, LASHES mascaras (two each), a box of four LipSurgence Lip Cremes and a box of 16 Amazonian clay eye shadows.

And get this, for today only, they’re available at QVC for only $49.98. That’s, like, almost a $200 savings. (What?!? Is the world ending?!?) I suggest you get over there and buy at least one before the price goes up. They make great gifts — and since there are three boxes, you can keep one for yourself. (The hard part is choosing which one!)

Accessories, Fashion, Mom & Kids, ShoppingRo.Sham.Bo

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What baby can be without a pair of cool shades? I love hearing about parents who notice that they can’t find those perfect baby products- and go out and create them! Ro Sham Bo, which is the Japanese name for the classic rock-paper-scissors game, is the brainchild of Scott + Julia, a couple from California. They were at a loss trying to find cute high-quality kid sunglasses, so instead of settling, figured they’d go to work and benefit autism research in the process! I couldn’t resist a pair of the lavender Roshambo shades for my little one, called Punky Brewster (what a blast from the past!). As soon as I pulled the sunglasses out from their clear carry case, I was impressed by their lightweight flexibility. My mind always runs to safety, and fortunately, the arms of the glasses are made of strong but soft bendable plastic to prevent any freak accidents with running toddlers. The lenses are shatter proof and small parts have been tested for safety. Considering another view of safety, pediatric optometrists warn that most of the lifetime ultraviolet damage done to a person’s eyes occurs during childhood and the risk for retinal damage from the sun’s rays is greatest in children less than 10 years old. Damage doesn’t necessarily appear until later stages in life- but why risk it? Roshambo shades aren’t just cool, they have 100% UVA and UVB protection.

So the glasses are great in theory, but the big question is- will kids actually wear them (without a screaming fit)? I am a big believer in comfort in conjunction with fashion, whether for me or my daughter. Roshambo is designed to be fun and feel great, too. All I had to do was show the munchkin how cute she looked in the mirror with sunglasses on and now she wants to wear them, sun or rain! Roshambo has the best full damage replacement guarantee for their shades, if your frames break or get damaged in the first year of their use. If one lens pops out and is lost, no problem- they’ll replace it. Little people deserve big shades!

Accessories, Fashion, Hair, Mom & Kids, ShoppingChic Tots: Hats n’ Hair

hairclipsEven though my lil’ girl has a while before she has enough hair for braids and ponytails, I adore finding mini bows for her hair to complete an outfit (and make sure that no one thinks she’s a boy!). One of my favorite sites to find the cutest accessories is Lil Sugarplum. Started by a creative mom who dreamed of making hair accessories for her daughter, she named the company “Lil Sugarplum” after the nickname her father gave her when she was young. Any imaginable shape, bow, and animal, and even fruit (think cherries!) can be found on the seemingly endless pages of Lil Sugarplum. The clips will actually stay in baby hair, even if there’s not much there! The baby hairclips are small and cute as a button, and stay in with a snap of the clip. The alligator clips are larger and work perfectly on a toddler, and are lined with velcro to ensure they stick. My favorite design is the little pink butterfly, which goes with pretty much any outfit and comes in two sizes, the alligator clip for a more dramatic look, and the adorable baby clip. The clips are top quality and won’t end up losing tightness after a few wears. The vibrant colors and fabrics are even better looking in person, which is a rarity! Even for newborns, Lil Sugarplum’s stretchy-soft headbands add a splash of color and girliness to any outfit, perfect for meeting grandparents or getting portraits done. Just be prepared for lots of “ooohs” and “aaahs” and other moms asking where to find the clips. I’ve got my eye on a Hello Kitty clip- just irresistible! READ MORE

Fashion, New York, Obsessions, San Francisco, ShoppingObsession of the Moment: Uniqlo Women Stand Collar Long Sleeve Blouse

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Fashion, Jewelry, Shoes, ShoppingWhat to Wear & Drink to Your Emmy Awards Party

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You are having an Emmy party, right? If not, start planning! The folks over at The Savory alerted us to this handy drinking game and I couldn’t resist reposting. Of course, I put our own spin on it, so here’s my reco on how to look stylish as you sip (or gulp) your way through the night:

1. Wear this J. Crew Duchess Stone Bracelet. Buy a few and stack ‘em! They go perfectly with The 30 Rocktail. And, from now through September 25, 2013, you can save 25% off your purchase!

2. Slip on a pair of J. Crew Collection Valentina Calf Hair D’Orsay Pumps in Hazelnut Leopard or Dark Aubergine. I am obsessed with these. Obsessed, I tell you. They’re mostly backordered online right now but if you head to the store, they might have them! (Sale applies, of course.)

3. Get into an AllSaints Lewis Dress in Black. It’s flattering. It’s silk (read: comfortable and glam). It works day or night. What’s not to love?!?

Enjoy, Emmy lovers!

Accessories, Celebrities, Fashion, ShoppingObsession of the Moment: RoviMoss First Class Mini Square Crossbody

RoviMoss First Class Mini Square Crossbody, Red

Fashion, Intimates, ShoppingFrederick’s of Hollywood Beauty Sleep Collection

Fredericks of Hollywood Beauty Sleep Collection

Once upon a time, I left one of my favorite slips — a black cotton Calvin Klein number — at an ex-boyfriend’s house after a bad breakup. To this day, I occasionally think of that slip and wish I had gone back to get it. (Figures I’d be more upset about the slip than the boyfriend.)

Now, I can finally let that little regret go. Thanks to the Frederick’s of Hollywood Beauty Sleep Collection, I have two new black numbers that are even softer and sexier than my old “flame”: the Beauty Sleep Romper and the Beauty Sleep Robe.

Each piece is $48 or less, made mostly of rayon and cut to flatter. Details like lace trim, lace paneling and peekaboo cutouts make them hotter than your average intimates. Best of all, I feel super comfortable in them and my husband finds them way more attractive than my usual getup (a tank top and pajama pants).

To browse the collection and spice up your sleepwear, visit fredericks.com.

Photo by Steve Rousseau

Beauty, Makeup, Nails, ShoppingReturn of the Cult

On your mark, get set … buy! I am pleased to announce that I am now a delighted owner of Les Vernis Couleurs Culte de Chanel, five cult nail colors brought back from the past by Chanel for a limited time.

In line with its recent brand heritage films (perhaps my favorite bit of advertising this year), Chanel’s nostalgic turn means we get to experience Black Satin (true black), Beige (warm neutral), Rouge Noir (deep red), Particulière (taupe) and Pirate (true red) once again in all their glossy glory.

If you love these cult shades as much as I do, watch the hip little film above to get into the mani-pedi mood, then click your way over to Chanel.com and stock up before they sell out.

Oh, and while you’re there, check out Chanel International Makeup Artist Lisa Eldridge’s tips on how to get their Summer 2013 Beauty look. It’s inspired by butterflies!

 

Fashion, New York, Shoes, ShoppingCoye Nokes … In the Flesh

Coye Nokes Kai Sandal

Welcome to Part Two of my nude shoe obsession.

As I’ve searched for nude pumps, ankle strap sandals and the like over the years, I’ve noticed that it’s really — really — hard to find the right shade of nude. To truly elongate the leg, I prefer a shade that matches my skin color as closely as possible. But too often, the leather is almost brown (too tan) or almost white (too light). Once in a while, I find a near-perfect match. This time, it’s in Coye Nokes Spring–Summer 2013 collection. READ MORE

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