Best of Chloe

Chloe. A French luxury fashion house founded in 1952 and sold in high end stores like Nordstrom, Saks (best collection) and Neiman Marcus. I absolutely LOVE this designer’s sophisticated pieces and clean lines – mostly their accessories like handbags, shoes and jewelry. Chloe has the absolute PERFECT shade of gray and THE prettiest pink for Spring. The calfskin leather is also amazing. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from their current collection. #wantitall 😩

Consider Chloe’s most popular handbag, The Marcie Medium Satchel. It comes in 12 colors (red not shown) and I can honestly see myself carrying most, if not ALL of them depending on the time of year. Pick ANY color… you can’t go wrong!!!

While we’re at it, take a look at Chloe’s 2017 Fall/Winter Runway on YouTube 😍 or check out #chloegirls on Instagram for the latest fashion trends.

#PackWithMe

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Most bloggers share this kind of information on YouTube. I’ve watched many videos and I’m completely #over watching people take things in and out of bags. 😕

Over the past five (5) years I’ve taken at least fifteen (15) international trips and have had many more domestic excursions. Over time I have PERFECTED MY TRAVEL TECHNIQUE. It’s actually a fun experience for me! So I thought I would share all the fabulous items I take with me on trips (or on holiday as our European friends would say 😘). Before we start, let’s get one thing out of the way: I NEVER CHECK BAGS no matter where I’m going or for how long. I’ve made a carry-on suitcase and a tote/backpack work for two-week trips to Europe so I know you can do it for a weekend getaway or even a week-long trip (with a little a lot of planning).

Travel mantra: Organize! Everything has a place and every place has a thing.

img_0417This is my PERSONAL ITEM (something that will fit underneath the seat). I am currently using the Henri Bendel Jetsetter Backpack. I absolutely ❤️ it and it holds SO MUCH! How much? Everything you see in the picture above! (click the image to zoom in)

gold macbook, gucci zip around wallet, rayban aviator sunglasses, sessa vee pen, marshall headphones, l’occitane hand cream, iPad mini case, louis vuitton pouch, treat yourself pouch & earbud holder (sold out).

from target: gold glitter journal, emergen-c, colgate wisp, glide

in the small black quilted steph & co makeup case: gucci lipgloss, tom ford lips & boys lip color, crem de la mer, dior lip glow, anastasia beverly hills lipgloss, tweezerman tweezer, tom ford perfume

_13475545img_0441Now, let’s move on to the SUITCASE, also known as the meat & potatoes of travel. I use Bric’s Belagio 21″ Roller.

On one side I pack all of my clothes. Mostly solid/plain pieces that I can mix and match. For every 1 pair of pants I will take 2 shirts (remember to count the bottoms you are wearing!) The trip I’m currently packing for is only 3 days (Saturday – Monday) so I packed 1 additional pair of pants besides the jeans I wore on the plane, 2 shirts and 1 jean shirt. See below for the 3 outfits I made from this combination. (see also Meaningful Holidays)

Side 1 of my suitcase was pretty easy. Side 2? Not so much! 😩 This is where my mantra REALLY comes into play (O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E❗️). Take a look at side 2 below. This is where I pack everything else:

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Looks nice and neat right? That’s because it is! ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE! On the left hand side:

On the right hand side is:

  • Get ready for this super travel tip: my Gucci Soho Disco Handbag serves as storage for all of my underwear, socks, comb, hair bonnet and my prescription glasses! (GREAT way to help the bag keep it’s shape while on the go!)
  • The Anya Hindmarch In Flight Case has all of my liquids: makeup, skin care, etc. ❤️❤️❤️ this bag and the contents EVEN MORE! This case has two sides: Take Off (deepest) and Touch Down (more shallow). I ALWAYS buy smaller sizes of the products I use everyday to take with me. #justsayno to those clear plastic containers that can all contain what can appear to be  mystery liquid. #nobueno 👎🏽 I absolutely love all of my things and I want to see them in as close to their original form as possible!!! 😍
  • Finally, I have a Tory Burch umbrella (no longer available ☹️).
  • Did you notice there’s no jewelry mentioned? That’s because I don’t wear much. I usually take 1-2 bracelets and it’s on me at all times: a dainty necklace, my pandora thumb ring, michael kors watch, some form of  studs for earrings and my wedding ring – that’s it!

take off side (deepest): first aid ultra repair cream, amazing grace (travel size at ulta), purity made simple (1 oz at ulta), clinique take the day off, lancome eye makeup remover, SK-II facial treatment essence (night only), SK-II facial treatment clear lotion (daytime only, great for oil control), makeup forever matte primer, urban decay b6 spray, l’occitane almond shower oil (travel size at sephora)

touch down side (shallow): toms deodorant, la mer lip balm, dior nail polish, toms toothpaste, jo malone fragrance, la mer hand cream (night only), crem de la mer moisturizing cream (night only)

Whew!!! That was fun! ☺️ And I still had enough space left to pack Christmas gifts for the kiddos! 🎁🎄 Happy packing!!!

 

see also #pampermesunday and #favoritethings2016

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Amazon Go

The future of shopping, according to Amazon, includes no lines, no waiting and no cashiers. For the past 4 years, the company has been working on technology that will allow customers to walk into a store, grab what they want and simply walk out – no checkout required. Amazon’s version of this tech-enabled brick-and-morter store, Amazon Go.

How does Amazon Go work?

Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt.

All you need to shop at an Amazon Go store is an Amazon account and the free Amazon Go app on your smartphone. Employee’s at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters are testing out the first store as we speak. It will open publicly to consumers in early 2017.

Take a look below.

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Friends & Family Purchasing Strategy

I’m going to make this short and sweet. Let’s start with a couple of facts:

The strategy I will explain below only works if Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s have the exact same product available at time of purchase (includes sizes, colors, etc.).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find an item you want to purchase (DUH!).
  2. Add the item to your cart on Bloomingdale’s website and apply the promotion code to be sure it’s applicable.
  3. Purchase the item from Nordstrom online and note your order #.
  4. Call Nordstrom customer service, give them your order # and ask for a price match. Tell them the competitor and promotion code you used.
  5. The customer service rep will confirm the promotion on the competitor’s website.
  6. Your order total will be adjusted/reduced.
  7. Wait for your credit to appear on your statement (usually 2-3 business days).

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-11-13-51-amSo what does this mean? When it’s Friends & Family at Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s or Lord & Taylor or Dillard’s, it’s also Friends & Family at Nordstrom! Use this approach with ALL competitors, large and small! #shoppingqueen #winning #thatisall

Tech-assisted Black Friday Makeup Haul

I spent a couple of hours on Black Friday in a single store, Sephora. If you’re a girly girl this place really can feel like heaven on earth and it is EASY to spend HOURS mulling over the thousands of beauty products at your fingertips. My goal here is to not talk so much about what I purchased (although I will share that); rather, I want to explain the PROCESS I use to identify and select my items BEFORE I even step a  foot into the store. So, let’s get started!

top-cosmetics-brands-in-pakistan-their-product-rate-price-imagesThere are so many makeup lines and products out there. Some great, some not so great. My theory is that every brand is not good at everything. So when shopping for makeup, my strategy is ALWAYS the same: identify the brand with the best concealer, the brand with the best foundation, the brand with the best lipsticks, and so forth. At the end of all this identifying, the result is a diverse makeup portfolio from many different lines. I never go all in with one makeup line, it just simply is not always the best choice.

My first step is RESEARCH. I will go to (mainly) saks.com AND sephora.com, search for a keyword and then sort the results by Best Sellers. You can search for “concealer” or “lipstick” or “face wash” or “foundation” or “blush” or “lip liner” or “eye liner” or “eye shadow (palette)” or whatever you need. This method is tried and true and you can VERY EASILY find out what most people are buying. Take note of each brand. I mean like literally, write it down in your planner or start a note on your phone and call it Beauty. Also read the reviews (from multiple sites) to gain maximum insight. If you REALLY want to be thorough add in searches on additional sites like beauty.com and amazon.com <== comments are most valuable!!!!!

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-7-25-03-amNow you have a list of brands to investigate. Step two is YouTube. If you determine that lip gloss by Anastasia Beverly Hills is something you want to try, search for “Anastasia Beverly Hills lip gloss swatches” or “review of Anastasia Beverly Hills lip gloss”. There are TONS of videos with people demo’ing each and every shade 😳 for every company and talking about the product itself. I’m not joking here – Urban Decay has 100 shades of lipstick and Youtuber sonjdradeluxe has a 7 minute review of them all, watch here. Urban Decay also has an awesome app to try on all 100 shades (iOS). This is NOT uncommon! You can find swatch videos for Nars, Kylie, Urban Decay, Kate Von D, MAC, Bite and many more brands. This an important step as it will allow you to get a quick preview of all the shades in a collection to identify ones that tickle your fancy.

By this time you will have a narrowed down list of list of potentials (brands, products, shades/colors). Head on over to the Virtual Artist on Sephora’s app (iOS only). Snap a pic of yourself and try on the shade(s) you picked. This is the fun part! and time can get away from you while you’re at play. (check out the app in action below).

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screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-7-44-37-amNow it’s time to hit the store and you, my friend, will be on a mission to try out, in person, the brands and shades you selected. There will be no wondering around the store aimlessly because you have done your homework and will have a better chance coming out feeling like a #winner. Why? Because it’s in the store that you will (in) validate what you think you like. While you’re there, get one of the workers to find your ColorIQ – it will recommend foundation, concealer, lipstick and more all based on your skin tone! You can even view recommendations on the Sephora app! #trulywinningnow

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Few additional tips (sorry so many, I got excited 😩):

  1. If your budget does not support a particular brand, there’s an easy fix for that. Simply Google the Brand and color followed by the word dupe. You’ll find lost of suggestions for a color that will give you a close match at a fraction of the cost. Here is one of the results that came up when I searched for “MAC lipstick dupes”
  2. I mostly stay away from product placements in magazines, like this one in InStyle. (I believe) They are almost always paid advertisements and thus, may not be your best bet. If you take a suggestion be sure to also do your homework.
  3. You can and should use this approach for any product: shoes, refrigerators, clothes, makeup, handbags, cars, you name it! Go into a purchase, especially an expensive one, as an informed shopper.
  4. If you go into a department store (i.e. Macy’s, Dillards), find the the makeup artists who DO NOT work for a particular brand, like MAC, and ask for their opinion/suggestions. They have no allegiance to a particular brand and all they need to do is sell (anything). From personal experience, they are the most objective. I know Macy’s and Dillards have these type of in-store pop-up like shops.
  5. Instagram, like YouTube, is your friend. Do watch other people trying on and talking about the thing you want to buy. You may save yourself time and money by finding out (in advance) that a lipstick is super sticky or the opening on that handbag is super small.
  6. If, after doing all your homework, you’re still unsure, ask for a sample. ESPECIALLY WITH PERFUME at Department stores.
  7. Know the store’s return policy for beauty products. In many cases, if you’re unhappy with your purchase (just like with most other items), you can return/exchange it for something else. This is why I almost always prefer to shop at Nordstrom. I know their return policy like the back of my hand!
  8. Finally, even if you have not done your homework, don’t be afraid to still hit the store anyway! Find people who look like you and ask“what brand has the best foundation?” Or whatever other question is on your mind. It’s their job to know these things!

img_0198So now on to what I bought during my Tech-assisted Black Friday Makeup haul at SephoraA grand total of 4 items: 2 lip glosses from Anastasia Beverly Hills, 1 lipstick from Urban Decay and 1 concealer from Nars – all after doing my research and all of which showed up on my ColorIQ #proudmoment. Earlier in the day I also purchased Philosphy’s Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser to be used with my Clairsonic. Philosophy was 40% off! and Clairsonics are still 20% off, including free engraving.) #thatisall Happy researching and trying on and testing and shopping and #winning. 💁🏽💄