Hawaii: hauled

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Until you’ve been to American Sephora you don’t know what make up heaven looks like. I laugh whenever I hear someone who’s been to the French/Italian/Singaporean iteration talk in raptures about it – bitch, you ain’t seen nothing. And to complement the US’s abundant charms when it comes to cosmetics, they’re also home to some of the best drug stores in the world. CVS, Walgreens, Duane Read and Rite Aid have all taken their fair share of my hard earned.

Don’t even get me started on US Target.

Hawaii has it all and more – Sephora, drug stores, department stores and massive retailers such as Target and Walmart that carry an equally massive array of wonderful things. I’m not kidding nor overstating when I say I spent probably close to $1000 on make up, skin care and hair products during my 11 days away. From $2 lipsticks to high end fragrances, I was in my element. There’s nothing I wouldn’t try or buy. Sephora even upped me from a Beauty Insider to a VIP Beauty Insider because I spent so much time and money there (admittedly though there were presents and quite a few things bought for other people on request there).

I did go a bit mental and it was all a bit over the top really. There was definitely panic when I realised how much it all weighed and I would have to bring it back! I took care of my pre-prepared wish list on the first day and after that it was just carte blanche. I would definitely be more concerned about prices and budgeting etc if I was at home but let me tell you, that holiday mentality kicked in and I was throwing stuff in baskets like I was a contestant on a supermarket spree. That never happens at home – every purchase is generally carefully assessed and researched.

I still haven’t figured out an appropriate way to post on everything and part of me is reluctant to until ‘ve actually tried stuff out, but then I’d be posting until Christmas. So what I’m going to start with is just writing it all down and if there’s anything that catches your eye and you want to know more about, just ask.

Make up:

Almay Color and Care Liquid Lip Balm in Pink Pout / Bare Minerals Lash Domination Mascara / Benefit The Big Easy in Medium Light / Benefit Gimme Brow / Blinc Mascara in Black / Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Berry Pop / Cover Girl Bombshell Shine Shadow in Copper Fling / Cover Girl Tru Blend Fix Stick Concealer in Medium Light / elf HD Blush in Headliner / elf Lip Stain in Berry Blush / elf Long Lasting Lustrous Eye Shadow in Purple / Hard Candy Shadowholic Pencil in Blondie / Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Lighting / Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Boundless Berry / Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise / Lanc√īme Hypnose Mascara / L’Oreal Color Riche Balm in Heavenly Berry / L’Oreal Extraordinaire Lip Color in Orange Tempo, Rose Melody, Rouge Allegro, Ruby Opera and Scarlet Concerto¬†/ L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara / L’Oreal Nail Polish in Sexy in Sequins / MAC Lipstick in Impassioned / MAC Paint Pot in Painterly / Make Up For Ever Aqua-Matic Pencil in M 50 / Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser / Maybelline Color Show Street Art Nail Polish in Blue Beats / Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots Nail Polish in Pretty in Polka / Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Gloss in Radiant Raspberry / Maybelline Master Hi Light Highlighting Blush in Nude / Milani Baked Blush in Berry Amour, Rose d’Oro, Red Vino¬†/ NARS Lip Gloss in Salamanca / NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg / NYC City proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Ballroom Blush / NYX Cream Blush in Red Cheeks / OCC Lip Tar Stained Gloss in New Wave / Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara / Revlon Highlighting Palette in Rose Glow / Revlon Lipstick in Carnival Spirit / Revlon Shadowlinks in Cocoa / Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Polish in Water-Melon / Sephora 12HR Eye Pencil in Cappuccino / Sephora Luster Matte Lip Color in Magenta Luster / Sephora Rouge Shine in French Kiss / Sonia Kashiuk Highlighter Stick in Persian Sunset / Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara / Wet n Wild Lipstick in Purty Persimmon

Skin care:

Bonne Belle Lip Smacker in Dr Pepper / Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black EDP / Elizabeth and James Nirvana White EDP roll on / EOS lip balm in Honeydew / Freeman Blue Agave Paper Mask / Jergens BB Body Cream / Jovan Musk Oil / Kate Somerville Exfolikate / Laneige Water Sleeping Mask / L’Oreal Youth Code Foaming Gel Cleanser / Vaseline Rosy Lips / Victoria’s Secret Pink Lost in Love Body Spray

Hair products:

Alterna Bamboo 48-Hour Volume Spray / Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder / L’Oreal TXT It Tousle Waves Spray / L’Oreal Volume Filler Fiber Amplifying Concentrate / Pantene Weekly Rehab Creme

Hawaii: hauled

#pricelinehaul

Priceline Haul

Firstly, I think I ripped that headline off someone else but can’t remember who. Apologies.

I just couldn’t get excited about this round of 40 per cent off. Maybe because I’ve just come back from merciless wandering of the aisles of Boots and Superdrug but there wasn’t a lot I wanted. And believe me, I tried some merciless wandering here, weaving through school girls in uniform putting tester make up on their face and those inconsiderate people who stand in front of you at a display. Still couldn’t raise a lot of interest.

I picked up the Cover Girl Clean Glow Blush in Rose because I’d been intrigued by it, not out of some desperate need for more blush. It also came in a peach and bronze version but the rose was my pick. I wore it today and it’s quite lovely and surprisingly subtle. You really couldn’t muck this one up.

I also grabbed the Essie polish in Turquoise and Caicos because a) I’d wanted it for a while, b) that’s one of my favourite colours and c) they came down to $10.17. Again, not out of any desperate need for more nail polish. Not even more aqua nail polish.

What did everyone else buy?

#pricelinehaul

All the way back from Japan

One of my favourite parts of travelling is shopping and discovering new things. I remember the excitement of walking into H&M and Topshop for the first time in London, places I’d only ever read about. The first time I ever went into a Sephora, which was in Paris in 2007. And being able to actually browse a J.Crew instead of just lusting over catalogue images when I was in New York.

I wasn’t expecting much in the way of clothing in Japan although any opportunity to visit somewhere with an H&M or Zara (Australian Zara tries hard but it just never seems the same) is still exciting for me. The Japanese drugstores on the other hand… my limited Google research prior to flying out in no way prepared me for how awesome these are. Often there would be two levels, one for make up and one for skincare. I could have spent hours in there playing around despite not being able to read two thirds of the labels on things! Matsumoto KiYoshi was my favourite and seems to be a chain much akin to Priceline in Australia – low to middle end cosmetics and toiletries.

In terms of price, Japan is pretty much on par with Australia so don’t expect the huge discounts like you get in the US. You can get plenty of things at supermarket prices, like $7 cleansers or $10 lipsticks, but the range of brands available is huge. I was also excited to see some of the Japan exclusive ranges from companies like Shiseido and Kanebo as well as other¬†things I’d never heard of. Maybelline, Rimmel and Revlon are also stocked in a lot of places there but with different Asia-only lines so even those brands are good to look at.

I’m undecided about whether I bought a lot of stuff. I don’t think it’s as much as I got in the US but it’s still a decent haul. I didn’t get much in the way of hair care or body wash/lotion because those things were actually quite expensive in Japan. Not to mention heavy – one body wash = 10 lipsticks. Remember that. The makeup over there tends to be in pale and pretty shades (not a lot of vibrant colours) and to say the Japanese are obsessed with lashes would be an understatement. They also love their skin care regimes and cleansing oils, which suited me perfectly. Pretty much everything I got was from drugstores and I didn’t really pick up any high end stuff from the department stores, although there is plenty there if that’s your thing.

Here’s a look at what I bought. To put it in context I think it’s all worth a couple of hundred bucks but I can’t be totally certain. All I know is when I was in Kyoto I realised I still had a lot of money on my travel card so naturally that was the opportunity to tell myself to buy more stuff! Plus when you are overseas there’s always that little voice constantly whispering “you may not come back here for a very long time so buy it noooooooowwww…” I haven’t had a chance to use a lot of¬†this yet but will take any questions from the floor should anyone want to know more about something.

Japanese makeup haul…

Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara with eye makeup remover, Maybelline Lashionista mascara, Shiseido 131 brush, Mavalia nail polish in Tokyo (and bought in that very same city) and Lagoon, Shiseido eyelash curler, Ettu Sais Lip Essence (because what every Asian girl wants is lips like a blonde haired, blue eyed baby?! The packaging kills me), Maybelline Pure Mineral BB Cream, Canmake Perfect Serum BB Cream, Canmake Whip Mousse Lip in 01, Lip Fondue in Honey Rose (smells and tastes just like turkish delight), Nivea Natural Color Lip in Pink Veil, Majolica Majorca Honey Pump Gloss, Kose Visee Mineral Liquid Cheeks Baby Finish and Shiseido Maquillage Eye Color in BL737.

And the skin care…

Gingerer Body Scrub and Bath Salt, Shiseido Aqualabel Creamy Oil Cleansing, Shiseido Perfect Oil, Shiseido Perfect Whip, Nivea Happy Time Sweet Happy body lotion, Ponds Black Clean Facial Foam, Tokkuri Ichigo Juicy Mask, Shiseido Aqualabel mask, Shiseido Honey Cake soap, Perfect Watery Oil sample, Kniepp¬†bath salts in Rosemary, Orange and Linden Blossom, and two others I don’t know (because my German is as good as my Japanese) and a¬†Konjac sponge.

All the way back from Japan

Haulin’ USA – Part Seven

Geebus. I’m sure this feels like it’s taking forever to everyone else too and it’s a sign of how much stuff I actually bought in that it’s probably going to take 10 posts just to show and tell it all. This time it’s all about the clothes. I have to admit, a lot of them have been sitting in a pile on my floor waiting for me to write this post, instead of being worn and admired. There’s also quite a bit that’s more winter based so I haven’t been able to give it a run yet.

Looking through, I can’t decide if I bought a little or a lot. I thought I bought a lot of clothes but laying them out like this makes me feel like there isn’t as much as I first thought. Hard to say. Anyway, here goes…

Not so tough.
  • Zara cropped leather jacket – I saw this in LA but my size had gone (gotta move quickly in Zara), then luckily I spotted one in New York and snapped it up. It was a $130 bargain. Collarless, cropped and¬†zip front in the softest leather¬†with knit on the underside of the sleeves to give them some stretch. I’d been looking for a black leather jacket for ages and this will be great over evening dresses or casual with jeans.
Call of the wild.
  • Zara leopard print shirt – I love me some leopard. This is a silky shirt in leoprad print with black trim and tiny epaulettes. It is quite loose fitting with a slightly bell sleeve. I think you could dress this up for a night out or wear to work tucked into a black skirt or pants.
  • Gap long sleeve cotton tops in neon yellow, blueberry, navy/white strip and neon pink – Gap make some of the best cotton basics going. Because it was autumn in the US they had predominantly long sleeves but they were such a good bargain I picked up a few to wear on cooler summer days or in our colder months. Because they’re a staple they won’t date and I’ve already worn the striped one so many times. Gap had 30 per cent off on the day I bought these so they cost something ridiculous like $15 each. I also bought a pair of Always Skinny jeans in a mid blue wash and they are probably the best jeans I’ve ever owned in my life. Comfortable, great colour and look good. They are more like a straight jean and not overly fitted in the leg so they make the perfect weekend jean. I bought them at Woodbury but didn’t try them on until¬†I got back to NY otherwise I would have snapped up a couple more pairs in the style.
  • J.Crew liquid silk skirt in bright dahlia, Jenna’s v-neck cardigan in deep purple, long sleeve t-shirt in teal, navy t-shirt with gold and blue sequin stripes, mid blue oxford shirt, singlet in periwinkle – I could have bought J.Crew out in total, I absolutely loved it. All of those pieces I picked up on sale either in NY or Woodbury. The silk skirt was a particular bargain, down from about $150 to $36 and the cardigan is such a dream, the perfect fit and the colour of the Imperial Purple Derwent pencil for about $40.
I'll never grow up.
  • H&M gold sequin top (as seen here), gold sequin skirt, plum singlet¬†and black and white Peter Pan collar t-shirt – I love H&M, it was my favourite store when I went to London and Paris a few years ago and it was still up there when I shopped it in New York. Such a great big range at mostly tiny prices. I’m still stunned by how cheap that gold top was for the excellent quality it is, same with the skirt. The t-shirt was too cute to pass up and is another versatile buy for work or weekends. The singlet is a great reddish purple with a loose fit – would look great with the gold skirt.
  • Lauren by Ralph Lauren plum jersey dress – I went to Macy’s full of excitement after a colleague told me she bought hundreds of dollars worth of clothes there. Seven long levels later I was disillusioned and hadn’t found a single thing I liked enough to buy, aside from some Chanel makeup on the bottom floor and Maccas for lunch a few floors later. There is an overwhelming amount of stuff there and by the time¬†I got to the top and battled all the other shoppers, I’d had more than enough. As I was leaving I spotted this plum coloured jersey Ralph Lauren knee-length dress, sleeveless¬†with a cowl neck and ruching/gathering across the torso. I tried it on and it was love, plus it was only $140. It’s a real event dress, not a work dress or a going out dress, but for an occasion like a wedding or formal dinner. The heavy material and gathering hides any number of sins and makes me look like a genuine grown up. I tried several times to take a pic but I couldn’t get one that picked up the detail and did it justice. I’m going to be wearing this for years I reckon.
  • Mossimo at Target red checked shirt and mustard v-neck t-shirt – The red check shirt is a winner, for about $14 it is such a good fit and looks good open over a white tee. The mustard top I bought when¬†I forgot to bring a pyjama top and the cotton is amazingly soft. The Mossimo range is a really good buy at Target in the US – it’s cheap and good quality.
  • Banana Republic grey ruffle sleeve top – I was a bit disappointed with BR’s clothes and I’d had such high hopes. Their accessories are amazing but I found the clothes very straight-laced and a bit too grown up for me. Like a preppy mum whose hipper daughter wears J.Crew. This top was $10 on sale and the only clothing item I bought there.
  • Lee Riders jeans – I bought mine from Kmart for a massive $23. The Kmart down near 34th St has an incredible range of jeans at amazing prices. My pair are a super dark denim straight leg with on ly a touch of stretch. Good going out jeans.
  • Old Navy Sweetheart jeans – Old Navy is like the Cotton On of the US – super cheap but you get what you pay for. That said, they do have a huge array of jeans as well. Because I tore a pair of mine on my second day in NY, I popped around the corner and bought a pair of the Sweethearts (skinny leg) in a dark wash for $30. They didn’t need any breaking in and were good to go; my only gripe was that they only has the regular length left which are slightly short on me.
Go Jets!
  • New York Jets t-shirt – I wanted good souvenirs for my brothers rather than just trash they’d throw away so¬†I bought them these great t-shirts from the NY Jets shop. Because green is my favourite colour I thought I’d get a souvenir for myself too, and it’s turned out to be one of the best things I bought (even though I know nothing about American football). The fit is absolutely perfect and it’s so comfortable. Plus the guy in the store was incredibly lovely – when he heard my accent we started talking about Australia and he told me he loves soccer, especially Tim Cahill. Then he gave me a 30 per cent discount so it was a win all round!
  • Aeropostale t-shirt in aqua, Disneyland t-shirt, I heart NY t-shirt¬†– Ah my other souvenir buys. It’s almost impossible to go through Times Square and not snap up one of Aeropostale’s cheap basics. They have the biggest range of brightly coloured tess, hoodies and trackies I’ve ever seen, all for under about $40 and mine has ‘Times Square’ on it. I’m sure they’re never worn by actual native New Yorkers. The Disney tee was my souvenir from visiting there and it’s pretty much a given that you have to get an I heart NY tee when you visit.
Haulin’ USA – Part Seven

Haulin’ USA – Part Five

Another thing I realised weighs a lot when I was overseas is nail polish. Probably something to do with those little glass bottles. I didn’t indulge too much luckily but I did get some shades I’d been coveting for a while. Because I’m not a swatcher I’ve tried to link to some great polish blogs (and you might find a new favourite!).

For fancy fingers and toes.
  • Orly Rock-It from the Mineral FX collection – I’d wanted one of these shades for a long time. This is a great berry/red with gold duochrome.
  • Essie Dive Bar and Bobbing for Baubles – DB is to the left in the pic and is a great dark navy with petrol/purple duochrome, while BFB is a dusty grey/navy.
  • Revlon Facets of Fuchsia, Desire and Starry Pink – God damn I wanted Facets of Fuchsia baaaaaad. I hunted through so many drug stores and ended up finding it in Target in Brooklyn (just like my lip butter hunt). It’s a black jelly with purple glitter fashioned much like the Deborah Lippmann polishes. I also picked up Starry Pink at the same time, which is a sheer pink with silver glitter. Desire is from the Just Tinted range and is a sheer rose pink.
  • Essie Minis in Brazilliant, Meet Me at Sunset and Smooth Sailing – I bought these for $10 at Century 21 in one of the cubes Essie often has on sale, however I left the fourth polish (Super Bossa Nova) behind as I already own the full size and yes, I was really trying to save every gram I could. I think this is the collection from the last US summer. The first two are both corals, however Brazilliant has some shimmer, while SS is a silver flecked lavender. All good for our summer now.
Haulin’ USA – Part Five

Haulin’ USA – Part Four

Let me tell you, this might be part four already but there’s still a hell of a lot more to come. I haven’t even touched clothes. Or the majority of make up for that matter. I bet you’re all thinking, “what did we get ourselves into here?!?!” However I digress.

This part is all about what I could loosely describe as toiletries or hair/body products. I have to admit something here – as much as I love make up, it doesn’t even begin to compare to my obsession with toiletries. Shower gels, body lotions, scrubs, soaps, masks, etc are really what get me excited. Let me tell you I could have just bought every different scented shower gel pack Philosophy had out for the holidays and that alone would have been worth the trip to New York. The biggest problem though is that that shiz is heavy. As in you’ll-never-get-that-suitcase-through-check-in heavy. Oh the devastation.

If you read my November empties post you’ll see that I tried a few things over there and left them behind, so this stuff is really just what made the final cut. I can assure you that in a dream world where every passenger can bring back 50kg of luggage, there would have been much much much more…

Meet my new bathroom friends.
  • Terax Crema – After hearing at least Jess and Dee¬†and Tara¬†rave about this, I picked up a tube at Ricky’s for $15 to give it a go. It hasn’t had a chance to meet my follicles yet but I’m hoping it’s good.
  • Aveeno Daily Detoxifying Scrub – This Aveeno range isn’t available here in Australia yet and it caught my eye when I was looking for a new scrub to bring back. It has a florally kind of scent that is exactly like something else I can’t put my finger on, and the particles are small like a more micro-exfoliant type product. I love scrubs and they are always part of my cleansing routine.
  • Organix Light Moroccan Argan Oil – I’ve seen this range here and been intruigued but I don’t think Australia has the light version of the oil. I used it in the US and it was nice but I didn’t notice my hair was any softer or shinier than other serum/oil products.
  • Philosophy Happy Birthday Beautiful! Vanilla Birthday Cake shower gel – I got this free from Sephora as I have a beauty insider card and it was close to my birthday when I was in New York. It’s not overpowering vanilla and I can’t wait to use it.
  • c.Booth Ginger Sugar Body Scrub – Anything ginger and I’m there. This smells like a pile of yummy uncooked gingerbread mix, with nice tough sugar particles to exfoliate without being harsh on the skin. It has quite a bit of essential oil in it and does leave a lot of that on your skin, so it’s quite moisturising. The scent is also very strong and lingers for quite some time. I would have loved to have tried more of this range, most of it was well under $15 at drugstores.
  • Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque – Oh look at that tiny tube. So sad. The Ricky’s I first spotted this in only had little tubes left, so I picked up one for $2. Then later I came across it at CVS and bought the full sized one, but man oh man that stuff is heavy. It felt like it weighed a ton so when doing the panicked cull when packing I decided to leave the big tube behind. It is lovely stuff though and soaks up oil like there’s no tomorrow, despite feeling like you are slathering toothpaste on your face. You look fresh and radiant when you take it off though so anyone with normal oiliness and up will love it. Suzanne did a great review here – it totally deserves its cult status.
  • Philosophy Purity Cleanser – Sephora have a lot of great tester sized products and this was one of them. Nothing fancy, just something I’d wanted to try for a while and only $10.
  • Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap – I was curious about this and it smelled fantastic so I bought one. The Shea Moisture range had a heap of other nice stuff that again, I would have liked to bring home. This one came from Target.
  • EOS Cucumber Hand Cream – I never ever ever ever ever ever use handcream and I hate cucumber like I hate sneaky pumpkin but by God I had to have this. It’s so cute and EOS stuff is just the bomb.
Haulin’ USA – Part Four

Haulin’ USA – Part One

I always feel funny about haul posts. On one hand, they seem a bit greedy and show-offy, like you’re screaming out to people¬†“I’M A CONSUMER, MOTHERF***ERS!!!” But at the same time, I absolutely love reading other people’s haul posts and seeing what they’ve chosen to spend their money on. I can’t say I’ve ever felt uncomfortable reading about someone else’s purchases so it’s odd I suppose to feel this way. Plus if you work hard for the money then I believe¬†you are entitled to spend it as you wish without fear of judgement. Every single thing I bought during my time in the US was paid for with my own money. Money I earned working overtime, working interstate, working public holidays, working weekends, working afternoons and working on shitty late night call outs to jobs. I don’t have a mortgage or family to take care of. So Beyonce, Michelle and Kelly, I’m throwing my hands up at you.

This really is the start of my haul. I bought a LOT. It’s almost impossible to spend time in America with disposable income and not get rid of it all because there is such great selection at cheap prices in their stores when compared to Australia. I mostly bought clothes, accessories and make up, and I’m going to break it down into smaller groups for posting because it’s easier – and¬†I also haven’t bothered unpacking everything in order to take a full inventory of purchases. As I said previously, I haven’t photographed everything but if there’s something you want a picture of then I’m happy to oblige so just let me know in the comments. I also haven’t put a price on everything unless I’ve thought it relevant because let’s be honest, no one cares to know how much your Gap t-shirts cost but they might like to know how much that Zara handbag was.

I’m not a fancy shopper. There’s a couple of things I spent some decent coin on but for the most part everything comes from US chain stores such as Gap, J.Crew, Banana Republic and¬†Zara or big retailers such as Sephora or Target. That means if there’s something you particularly like, there might be a chance you can pick it up online… A word of warning – this post is long because I’ve written notes next to each item and there’s a few pictures. If this isn’t your cup of tea then you may wish to skip it. Otherwise, hope you enjoy.

ACCESSORIES

What a shoe in.
  • Zara crystal studded ballet flats – I saw these on my first day in LA and no joke, ended up having to visit about seven stores in order to get my size. I was obsessed and they were the last thing on my list that I really coveted that I ticked off buying. They are a nude material covered in clear and bronze crystals and the pic above does them absolutely no justice. So gorgeous.
  • J.Crew leather ballet flats in African Violet – The J.Crew flats are pretty much exactly the same as the ones you can get in Country Road here, so¬†I wasn’t too fussed. They had some nice glitter pairs but at around $125 plus tax they weren’t super cheap and¬†I decided not to partake. The only ones that really caught my eye were this purple pair because the shade is so unusual. Then¬†I happened to see one single pair in the sale section in the Flatiron store and guess what? They were this colour and in my size, plus they were taking 30 per cent off all sale items meaning I got a $42 bargain.
  • Banana Republic pony skin leopard print flats – I bought these at Woodbury Common (like a posher DFO) and again, the last pair in this style and in my size. They were marked at $69.99 and scanned at $26.99 so¬†I wasn’t complaining!
  • Nine West pink suede flats – Yes, I’m obsessed with flats. I’m about a millimetre under five-feet-ten in the old system so¬†I don’t need height and therefore don’t need to put up with heels unless it’s a special occasion. Nine West is so cheap in the US with most shoes well under $100. I got these ones on sale for about $36.
  • Nine West leather studded bow flats – This was my one and only Century 21 purchase (a wholly overrated store) and I got them because I liked the off-kilter bow and a girl can never have too many pairs of black flats.
How studly.
  • Zara black leather studded handbag – I was so not in the market for another handbag but I couldn’t resist this. I initially saw the clutch version in LA but the only one left had several of the gold studs missing. Then¬†I saw this bag version in NY and decided it had to be mine. I really love studs at the moment and this is a great size with plenty of room for work or weekends. The shape is rectangular (hard to tell in the pic) but the sides tend to fold in as the leather is really soft. It cost me $189 plus tax, which¬†I thought was reasonable and I’d be interested to know if it was available in the Australian Zara stores.
  • Zara gold sequin clutch – I was obsessed with this before I even left Australia and had scouted it on eBay a number of times. It seems like every blogger in the world has already posted it but I absolutely don’t care if i’m the last person in the world to buy one. Very happy to have it. I posted a pic on Twitter but here’s a great run down of other people carrying it.
You've got mail.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Y-Mail wallet – Something else I’d been obsessing over for a while. I loved this YSL clutch and had planned on buying one in the US as a treat, and had money specifically put aside for it. When I went to Woodbury, they had a YSL store there and the wallet and tote versions were available but not the clutch. Both were $399 plus tax, which is a significant saving against paying full retail at a regular YSL store. I had a look at the wallet and tested it with my phone and a lipgloss and decided it was more than adequate to use as a clutch. It doesn’t bulge and in some ways the zippered compartment makes it a safer option for carrying money/cards than the regular clutch. It’s about 25cm wide by 15cm high so a good size for taking out.
  • Tiffany Frank Gehry silver ring – The US branch of the Tiffany & Co website always has such beautiful things on it. I had decided to buy myself a treat to remind me of New York and did some research before I left, coming up with two options. The first was a Tiffany Key and the second was this unique ring. When I got to Tiffany, none of the keys really did it for me but I loved the ring. It is simple and elegant but with a twist, which is just how I’d like to describe my own personal style.
A bowl of goodies.
  • Aldo purple crystal hooped earrings –¬†One of my favourite purchases of the trip because they are just so pretty. Perfect for Christmas parties.
  • Gap triangle stud bracelet – This is a little bit tough and cool, plus I love triangle studs. The mix of silver and gold makes it quite versatile too.
  • J.Crew Ice Cube ring – I saw this in the jewellery cabinet in store but couldn’t see the price. The salesgirl told me it was $39 and when¬†I tried it on, I just adored it and decided to make a purchase. The glass/crystal is just¬†like a little ice cube and it sits quite high off the band, I’ve not seen anything like it before in an Australian store. However when they scanned it at the check-out it came up as $19.95 on sale¬†AND then they took another 30 per cent off. That’s good shopping karma for you.
  • J.Crew gold and neon orange beaded necklace – I was on the lookout for something neon to pop against neutrals for summer and this was a good pick.
Nothing like a bit of bling.
  • Banana Republic floral crystal cuff – This is waaaaaaaaaaaay OTT. I initially only tried it on for fun but that stupidly made me fall in love with it. I walked past BR the next day and all full priced jewellery was 40 per cent off so in I went and picked up this baby for $60. It really is bling at its best but I’m going to rock it casually, with t-shirts and jeans or pants I think.
  • Banana Republic crystal bracelet – This is the less OTT option. It is a row of differently shaped crystals each about a centimetre across and set more like a tennis bracelet. Will be good for wearing at events.
  • Banana Republic blue crystal chandelier earrings – Another purchase on the 40 per cent off day. BR have fantastic, good quality costume jewellery.
  • Belle Noelle malachite bracelet – I love malachite and the deep green is so pretty. This is one of those stock standard stone bead bracelets but I just really loved the colour. Belle Noelle is also Kim Kardashian’s jewellery line, but that’s neither here nor there.
  • Gap purple plaid scarf – I adore this scarf and it’s checked in a range of purple and violet hues. It’s really wide and perfect for wrapping, just a shame¬†I won’t be able to wear it for another seven or eight months!
Haulin’ USA – Part One