Do we want it because we can’t find it?

WET n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder – Precious Petals

WET n wild has been around for a long time. And it’s always been a cheap-ish brand.– that is compared to the other drugstore makeup brands. I remember in the 90’s buying a lipstick and the quality was just not there… it was hard and drying on the lips. Fast forward many years, and WET n wild has definitely stepped up… proof being in that it is still a staple in many drugstore makeup aisles. I haven’t owned anything from WET n Wild in a long time. Every since the days of Sephora, I love higher end makeup. It’s the quality, it’s the options, its the walking into a makeup wonderland and swatching everything, it’s the days of youtube makeup gurus. I was recently looking up reviews for great highlighters and WET n Wild Precious Petals came up–it was amazing, sold out everywhere, great reviews, etc. So of course I NEEDED it. Three drugstores later, and a moment of makeup-high after finding the last one at my third drugstore… I can say it is beautiful and for 5 bucks, worth every penny.

precious petals precious petals

Every girl needs a good tote, right?

Mansur Gavriel Tote Bag Review

I personally love totes. I love the simplicity of a good tote bag. You can “throw” all your essentials in it without worrying about pockets, snaps, fitting it between things, etc. I was using the Longchamp Le Pliage for many years, and I absolutely love that bag. It is lightweight, classy, functional, as well as very affordable. But I wanted something a little more high-end–ie: more expensive, because who doesn’t love fancy, nice things..? I looked at many brands and although I love the style of the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, it is just a bit too ubiquitous for me… I also wanted something a little less “flashy”. My new tote bag was going to be my work bag, and I wanted something nice but understated. So when I saw the Mansur Gavriel tote bag… it seemed pretty much perfect. I ordered my bag in December 2015 after waiting for about a month for the restock.

I ordered the small tote in black vegetable leather. It was listed for $525.00. It came to $582.48 after the shipping and taxes. Pricey for a bag-yes, but very reasonable when compared to many high-end designer bags. In hindsight, I would have ordered the larger tote, as well as either in the calf coated leather, or the tumble leather.

When I was deciding which to order I looked up many reviews, and it affected my decision making. So my goal now is to add to that and share my own experience so it will help someone else. So I am going to discuss 2 main factors worth considering: the leather and the size.

So first lets talk about the leather. My leather has scratched considerably. I knew that this would happen, the company specifically states that it will not stay “pristine and sleek”. And although it doesn’t bother me very much, if I could go back in time, I would have gotten the calf or tumble leather. The bag is very structured, and I feel that the scratches on this particular shape of bag, makes it look off. I think the look of “wear” and scratches might be more suited for a slouchier look in a bag. For example, I love the “wear” that my Balenciaga City bag has accumulated over the years, but not quite so on the Mansur Gavriel tote.

Next is the size. I am 5’1, and average sized. Large bags tend to look overpowering on me, so I tend to always go for smaller/medium sized bags. Although the size of the bag itself is a good fit for my needs, the straps are just too short. I would almost consider it a top handle bag. With a winter coat on, it is almost impossible to wear on the shoulder. It is so tight that it is uncomfortable. So for that reason I wish I would have gotten the larger tote, even if the actual size of the tote was a bit bigger than I would have liked, it would have been worth it to have the longer, more functional shoulder straps.

So do I regret getting the bag? I don’t like to have regrets in life. It is a beautiful bag, and its black and timeless, so no. But do I wish I would have gotten the large tote in calf leather?–I would have to say yes.

Hope this review was helpful. Although it is my personal opinion, I hope that it makes light of some things that you may want to think more about when deciding on your purchase.

mansur gavriel totemansur gavriel totemansur gavriel tote

Links to buy your small tote, or if you feel so inclined, the large tote.  

I trust all things Kandee

Review: Burt’s Bees Citrus Facial Scrub

This is a highly recommended product by one of my favorite bloggers, Kandee Johnson. I trust her reviews and recommendations so I had very high hopes for this product. Like all things, everything is not for everyone. Something that works well for person may not for someone else. This was the case for me with the Burt’s Bees citrus facial scrub. The first time I used it, not only did it make me break out on my cheek but it also left my skin dry and irritated.
When you first put it on, it feels smooth and gentle. It does not feel like you are using a “scrub”. I think due to this, I used a little too much pressure when massaging it on my skin. If the texture were harsher, such as with the St. Ives apricot scrub, I would not have used as much pressure. So please keep this in mind. After you wash it off, your skin feels smooth because it has absorbed a lot of the natural oils that’s in the product. I think this was the cause of my skin breaking out. I washed my face again afterwards with my Cetaphil cleanser because I did not like the “oily” residue that it left. The next day, my face felt dry and irritated, I had some small dry patches on my skin and my cheek had two break outs. Overall, I would not recommend this product if you are like me, where you like your face to feel completely clean after using a cleanser with no product left behind, even if it is meant to be moisturizing. I would use caution with this product because it’s definitely not for everyone, especially if you have sensitive/oily skin.
Burt's Bees Citrus Facial ScrubBurt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub

NYC equivalent of London’s Fortnum and Mason?

NYC Afternoon Tea

Lady Mendl’s: I had high hopes for Lady Mendl’s because of it’s great reviews. The tea salon is situated in a brownstone building just off of Union Square with beautiful décor. I had the “Lady Mendl’s” tea which was delicious. But towards the end of the pot, the tea got cold very quickly. The food was good but nothing to rave about. The sandwiches were average. The scones were warm and scrumptious with clotted cream. I wasn’t a fan of the signature cake, and the cookies tasted store bought. I did however enjoy the chocolate covered strawberry. I wouldn’t go back for the food, but I would for the tea and the overall atmosphere. The service was friendly and attentive and I never felt rushed. So overall, I had a nice, enjoyable afternoon tea in a beautiful atmosphere.

Lady Mendl's
Lady Mendl’s
56 Irving Pl
New York, NY 10003
$40, plus tax and gratuity

The Palm Court: When you think of afternoon tea in NYC, the luxury hotels seem like the quintessential place, but The Palm Court inside the famed Plaza Hotel was a complete let down. Overall, the place felt very touristy, and the service reflected that. When we sat down, my friend did not have a plate, and even after the food was brought out, it was difficult to find our waiter to bring her a plate. There was no apology either for the inconvenience. The sandwiches were barely edible. They didn’t taste fresh. The scones were warm and good. I did not like the desserts, and only had a small taste of each. I did enjoy the tea. I won’t be returning here, not for the food or the atmosphere.
The Palm Court
The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
New York, NY 10019
 $50-$60, plus tax and gratuity

 

oh, LUSH

Helpful tips to make the most out of your LUSH products.

 

  •  Split your bubble bars in half and store them in ziplock bags. Most are big enough to last two full baths!
  •  With the purchase of two massage bars, you get a free tin, or you can purchase one for $3.95. A must have to keep massage bars clean and without melting everywhere.
  •  Fill your sink with a little bit of warm water (only about an inch), place your tin on top of the water with your massage bar inside (It will float on top of the water). This will heat up the tin and melt the bar just enough to apply onto the skin.
  •  I don’t recommend cutting the soaps into pieces. The smaller the piece the harder it is to hold onto in the shower. Instead, rub it on a washcloth or loofa. It creates a wonderful lather like a shower gel and won’t melt away quickly.

vacation starts with the flight

Flying can be fun or a nightmare. Lets make it as fun as possible.
london olympics
London Olympics 2012

I used to think of flying as the scary part you have to get through to begin your vacation. But I’ve come to enjoy it as part of the vacation.

1) Use a purse with a zipper. The airport can get crowded and you don’t want to make it easy for someone to reach into your purse. As you go through security, you don’t want anything falling out onto the bin as it goes through the x-ray. Also, you are required to store your bag underneath the chair in front of you on the plane, and you don’t want something unknowingly falling out.
2) Get a travel wallet. It’s a good idea to keep receipts to check for discrepancies when you get home. I know not all people like to do this, but if you are one of those people, getting a large travel wallet is a must-have. You can easily fit all receipts, credit cards, ID, passport, change, coupons, ticket stubs, etc in your wallet neatly. No need to stuff receipts in your purse or try to find and organize them later on
3) Charge everything to full capacity. Whether that be your iphone, e-reader, camera, laptop, etc. You never know when there might be a flight delay. Even if you have a charger with you, there may not be an outlet for you to charge your device. Boredom will make the delay seem 10X longer.
4) Download new songs. New music is always a delight. Many airlines now have internet access (but most aren’t free) 
5) Always carry a sweater and never wear shorts. It could be 100 degrees outside, but it can get very cold on a plane. You’ll be glad you brought a comfy sweater when the chill hits.

Winning tickets to see SNL!

Fun tidbits from the show  

Every August, SNL holds an e-mail lottery for tickets to a show, either the dress rehearsal or the live broadcast. You send your contact information but you cannot request a specific date. I applied this past August and was contacted via e-mail that I had won two tickets on September 14 for the September 15 season premiere! My tickets were for the dress rehearsal which is the exact same show plus 30 minutes of extra material. It’s definitely worth entering the lottery, especially if you live in NYC–very fun experience. 


SNL ticket

• The overall set is fairly small, giving it a very intimate feel. There were lots of overhead lights,although most of the time the set was dark with only the area of the current skit being lit up. There were probably around 10-15 big flat screens with the show airing as it would on live TV overhead for us to watch.

• During commercials, the cast and crew move very quickly. It is so well organized, there was very little verbal communication, everyone just seemed to know exactly what they had to do. It’s a large crew with people everywhere. Because it’s a fairly small space, sets have to come down and new ones have to go up often. A lot of times the set would remain dark and the crew would use flashlights.

• Pictures are not allowed. There were people standing above the aisles making sure the audience adhered to this rule. Occasionally you would see some people in seats getting approached and reminded of this fact.

• The band was great and would play during the commercial breaks/set changes.

• During one scene, there was fake blood used which got on the set floor…and it took quite a while for it to be cleaned up. There was o guys just using paper towels until someone finally came with a mop.

• During the news scene with Seth Meyers, he made a joke where very few people laughed, he then says “i’m going to have to fight to keep that one in”. One perk of attending the dress rehearsal, you get a little something extra not seen in the final airing.

• There’s no signal for us to laugh. The audience was naturally laughing. The only alert they had for us was the applause. At one point toward the very end, the sign for applause lit up but no one was applauding… I think everyone was too focused on watching the stage and taking in the final moments.

 

London: Fortnum and Mason

Afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason.
Experiencing afternoon tea is an absolute must when visiting London. Fortnum and Mason came with high recommendations, and it exceeded them all! From the delicious sandwiches to the warm crumbly scones, and finally the savory desserts. Everything was absolutely delicious, including the rich, hot tea.
The service is impeccable, everyone is polite and professional, which made the overall experience that much more enjoyable. Afterwards, don’t forgot to check out the other floors (there are 5 in total) selling everything from tea and desserts to kitchenware.

 



Fortnum and Mason Fortnum and Mason

Fortnum and Mason