Friday, February 24, 2017

Beauty Update: Armani, Pat McGrath & Marc Jacobs

I absolutely love beauty products and test new items all the time.  You don't get to hear about most of them because I won't make any recommendation unless I buy and replenish a product the product. That's when you know a beauty product is really good.

For the past several months I have been using lots of new items but there are three in particular that I absolutely love:

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($62)
There is a reason why this foundation has won just about every award in the beauty industry. With just one pump, it delivers a radiant and silky finish. To start, the pigmentation is like no-other. The color we chose has a lovely rose tone and looks completely natural. The coverage is light but lasts all day. This product isn't oily and the finish causes the skin to glow.

Bottom line, Armani foundation is head over heels better than the Saint Laurent Touche Éclat. Get it. Try it. Let me know if you love it as much as I do.

Marc Jacobs Ultra Skinny Blacquer Gel Eye Crayon ($24)
There are few things I hate more than sharpening an eye pencil. The liner always breaks and the shavings get all over. This Marc Jacobs liner is so skinny that it never needs to be sharpened and is replenished with a twist and a click.

In addition to the convenient packaging, the gel-like liner applies easily and, yes, stays on all day. Everyone I have recommended it to has thanked me. I hope you will too.

Pat McGrath Metalmorphosis 005 Kit ($60)
It's hard to scroll through Instagram and miss Pat McGrath's limited edition products. The pictures are mesmerizing but the speed at which the items sell out is equally as remarkable. Somehow we were able to snag an eye kit at the Union Square Sephora. The kit contains pigment, eye-cream, a black dual-ended marker and Mehron mixing liquid.

Before I get ahead of myself, I should make it clear that I purchased this as a novelty item. I never anticipated that I would be able to integrate bronze shadow and eye liners into my normal rotation. Granted, Metalmorphais is not part of my daily routine but I do find myself reaching for the glitter and gold when I want to add pizzazz for a special event. Its really a wonder how a little bit of blended gold can transform an eye.

I'm still experimenting a bit with this one but I don't regret buying it for even a moment.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Private Designer Handbag Sale: Chanel, Hermes & Vuitton

Nobody plans to become a collector of great fashion--it just happens. Before you know it, your closets are overstuffed. That's when you need to start making tough choices. You can either stop buying or begin to 'recycle'.

Hanna Kim, the founder of A Modern Take, began accumulating so many bags that she made a rule that she needed to sell a bag in order to buy a new one. If Hanna sets her eyes on the newest style Chanel, Vuitton or Hermes, she says good-bye to an existing member of her expansive collection. This tactic has turned into a full fledged business and others have followed suit and asked her to sell their bags too.

"As a vintage Chanel collector, I found the experience of buying preowned designer bags from online shops and consignment shops to be very different from buying new bags at boutiques," Hanna says. "It did not feel as special as buying a bag at a place like a Chanel boutique. I wanted to create a more personal and luxurious experience that would match the high end bags that I am selling."

Once or twice a year, Hanna holds a private Chanel and Vintage Designer bag sale. This year, the sale again will take place at the Bowery Hotel on Friday, February 24th. The sale is by appointment only.

Shoppers can expect to find lots of vintage Chanel with a focus on classic flap bags. Aside from Chanel, there are also bags from Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Celine, Chloe, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Saint Laurent. We are also told that there will be a small assortment of wallets.

To request an invite, email A Modern Take with your preferred shopping time. They will reply with a confirmation. Everything at the sale is fully authenticated and in excellent condition. You can check out A Modern Take's Instagram to get a sneak peek of what can be found at the sale.

A Modern Take Designer Bag Sale
Friday, February 24
Fri 12pm to 8:30pm
The Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery
Please email for an appointment:
Cash & Credit Cards Accepted

Sponsored Post

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What You'll Find at the Gucci Outlet in Secaucus

Alessandro Michele has taken Gucci from nearly extinct to an Italian stallion. Right now, Gucci is the queen bee, spectacular serpent and king of the luxury fashion jungle.

As with any top banana, or in this case, a crowned pineapple, Alessandro Michele didn't want his highly prized collections discounted. This past season, sale season was limited to select group of top Gucci clients. If you weren't on the list you couldn't access the sale merchandise online or in boutiques.

Gucci's warehouse in Secucus, NJ has traditionally been the home to the under-the-radar Gucci Outlet. It had been years since we have taken the outlet trip through the tunnel but the seductiveness of this pas sale season piqued our curiosity, which resulted in a recent road trip.

Over the holiday weekend, the outlet store was not very crowded, which was a good thing. Upon entering, we went straight to the back to browse the selection of shoes for both men and women, Unfortunately, there were no iconic styles available. As a matter of fact, the selection looked more like the discount assortment found DSW than a Gucci boutique.

Among the most reduced merchandise was a table of boots, shoes and sandals that were an additional 50% off or a total of 80% off retail. We found several horsebit style high boots that were priced at about $600. A version in python was $800 from $3500 and pointed-toe booties were $450.

Other outlet shoes were discounted just 50% off retail. The selection includes, various styles with the the Shanghi Blooms print from Cruise '16 and toile print espadrilles. There were also a variety of shoes with an oversized horsebit and metallic sandals with a heavy stacked heel. Click here to see pictures of the shoes at the Gucci outlet.

The clothing assortment was much better but the discount is the same 50% off as the shoes. We found  a pink coat with green fur cuffs that is priced at $2850 from $5700 and a pink tweed and mink jacket is $2500 from about $5000. Both are from the 2016 cruise collection. There are also items from fall 2015 but the discount is still just 50%. You can click here to see pictures of some of the best clothing items at the outlet.

Now, to the unfortunate story of bags. The discount is less than than the first markdown at most stores and the selection isn't very good. There are blossoms, double-Gs and Arabesque style bags. There are also some older styles that are classic to the Gucci brand but still not very desirable. Here are pics.

We can't say that the shopping trip was very fruitful. As a matter of fact, we didn't leave the store with any shopping bags. On the bright side, the Gucci warehouse outlet is still alive and kicking. We might try again in a few seasons when Gucci mania dies down and the warehouse begins to fill with past season merchandise.

Click over to see pictures from our shopping trip or scroll above to shop past season merchandise online.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Neiman Marcus Shipments Hit Last Call

If you've ever wondered what happens to all that wonderful merchandise at Neiman Marcus that goes un-purchased, we have the answer. In just a matter of weeks, it pops up at the brand's discount store, Last Call.

Neiman Marcus Last Call stores have received new arrivals direct from Neiman Marcus. The discount usually starts at about 65% off original retail. Keep your eyes open, we have heard recent reports of Moncler coats and in past years we've spotted Chanel clothing discounted almost 90% off retail. We've also heard that the discounter receives Chanel bags from time to time but doesn't display them. We suggest asking a sales manager if you're on the hunt.

Last Call online also has plenty of good finds. A Suno skirt is $97 from $700, a Wes Gordon floral dress is $1200 from $5000, a Stella McCartney tunic is $460 from over $1600 and Alexander McQueen leggings are $300 from $1000.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Best President's Day Sales

Hurray! It's a happy holiday Monday. That means there is more time to rest, stalk the London fashion shows and, of course, shop. Taking the warm temperatures into account the perfect time to get out and enjoy actual shopping. Otherwise, you can shop on line and spend your day at a elongated boozy brunch.

 Here are some of our favorite online sales for post-Valentines Day and past Presidents:

ASOS- Save an extra 20%
Code: PREZ20
Favorite item: Moschino denim dress 
Note: Sale runs till February 21 at midnight

Bloomingales- Take 20% off select full priced merchandise and a $25 reward card for every $125 you spend
Favorite item: Contrast denim jeans
Note: Through February 20

Gilt- Extra 20% off everything (including GiltCity)
Favorite item: Exhale Core Fusion classes
Note: Promotion ends February 22

Intermix- Up to 75% off
Favorite item: Carolina Consatas ruffle blouse
Note: There are lots of new items that have been added to the sale mix

JCrew- 30% off purchases
Favorite item: Moto Jacket
Note: Ends February 20

Neiman Marcus- New items discounted up to 70% off
Favorite item:  Aquazzura sandals
Note: New markdowns started on February 18

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fashion Week Trends: The Pantsuit

Fashion week is heating up. We are serving up all the smoking hot trends while we get through a marathon of shows. These top trends are what you can expect to see on the street and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazines next fall.

Remember how positive everyone was in the way-back days of last Winter? The primaries were fantastically entertaining and many of us were anticipating the first female president. Fashion designers were clearly the most excited and were looking to celebrate the moment by showcasing strong women in pantsuits.

The political outcome was not the most desirable to some designers but the powerful female takes the spotlight all over this season's runways. Altuzarra showed models wearing velvet suits in fiery red. Victoria Beckham, who has earned a reputation for her powerful female style, showed various pantsuit suiltutes that ranged from slouchy to tailored.

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia debuted as the new creative directors of Oscar de la Renta and showed more pant options than we can ever recall seeing on the legendary designer's runway. Our favorite was a ultra-structured version in peony pink with an wide silver obi belt.

Pantsuits clearly have taken over the maxi skirt. We suggest you browse winter sale merchandise and try to snag this look before the novelty wears off.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fashion Week Trends: Politics

Fashion week is heating up. We are serving up all the smoking hot trends while we get through a marathon of shows. These top trends are what you can expect to see on the street and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazines next fall.

The world has gone crazy. The socio and geo-political climate is like none we have seen in generations. Fashion designers, like true artists, refuse to remain passive. This season, we've seen many designers use the runway to share political statements.

Public School shot an uppercut to the Trump administration.  "Make America Great Again" slogan hats were refashioned as their own version that read: "Make America New York." The number "44 1/2," was embroidered on the side to add a sprinkle of salt. Models also showcased sweatshirts with the words "We Need Leaders."

At Prabal Gurung the finale stole the show. Models took their final walk each wearing a different slogan on their T-shirts. Slogans included, "The future is female," "We will not be silenced," "Yes. We should all be feminists," and "Girls just want to have fundamental rights."

Raf Simon’s debut collection for Calvin Klein, presented a model wrapped in an American flag and show attendees recived bandannas, accompanied by a note that read, “Unity, inclusion hope and acceptance: Join us at Calvin Klein wearing the white bandan[n]a #TiedTogether.”

Christian Siriano’s runway featured a model in a pink silk, floor-length skirt and a black t-shirt emblazoned with the message, “People are people.” The crowd cheered. We are confident this trend will continue as fashion week takes over Europe.

Politics and slogan tees are not essentially new to fashion. If you're fashion is politically inspired you can wear your platform before these fashions hit stores in the fall. For Spring, Chloe offers a tee celebrating "Superwoman," Ann Demeulemeester's Tee is printed in rock 'n' roll style with "I am red with love" and Dresscamp has a style that says, "We can be heroes for one day."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hotel Deal: 30% Off at The Betsey- South Beach

Is New York cold enough for you? Even Fashion Week can't warm out hearts enough to enjoy the city. We can't think of anything but getting away. The good news is that The Betsy, in South Beach, Florida just made Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List. To celebrate, the hotel is offering a 30% discount for reservations made before February 28.

The Betsy is located in the heart of the Art Deco District, on famed Ocean Drive. This historic boutique property offers incredible ocean views, amenities and art and culture that invites travelers to relax, refresh and renew. The Betsy is within walking distance to great shopping and nightlife too.

Applicable travel dates run through June 30. For example, a weekend jaunt from February 3 to February 5 is discounted to $382 per night for the Art Deco Classic Room. The normal rate is $575. No code is necessary, just look for the 'Golden Offer' rate.

It appears as if these rates are only available through the hotel's own website. Of course, there are black-out dates and the discount is subject to availability.

Enjoy the beach and sun!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fashion Week Trends: Denim Demands

Fashion week is heating up. We are serving up all smoking hot trends while we get through a marathon of shows. These top trends are what you can expect to see on the street and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazines, next fall.

Denim has been hot for several seasons but designers are showing no sign of letting go of dungarees. The trend is usually reserved for transitional seasons but this runway season we are taking it all the way through the coldest fashions for Winter.

Adam Selman says he was inspired by the book American Denim and its colorful illustrations of the craftsy world of ’70s denim art. One of the highlights of his collection was a denim trench tied with a wide contrasting belt. Tanya Taylor added ruffles and rabbit trim to her denim creations, which added a twist of luxe to the standard issue. Simon Miller, started  as a just traditional jeans cmpany, but the brand has gone on to create a full ready-to-wear collection that is so much more than the standard pantalones.

It's no surprise that for Spring you can find enough denim to swath an entire fashion show audiance. Obviously, some items are more interesting than others. From Carolina Herrera's denim ball gown to Vetements collaboration with Levis, there is no shortage of ways to achieve your American denim dreams right now. (Special note: Asos is always a good resource for less expensive denim fashions.)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snow Day Shopping: Spring Items Selling Out

When there is snow on the ground it's hard to think of anything but getting out of the cold. For this reason, we are fantasizing about warmer weather and dressing for Spring.

The newest collections have just arrived in stores and the hottest pieces are already selling out. in the name of 'research' we are highlighting what's sure to be the biggest hits of the season.  Waitlists are always a bummer. We suggest you snatch up anything on this list as nothing begets demand like the lack of supply.

Gucci loafers (full size run back in stock!)$695
Off-White painted biker jacket $2475
Saint Laurent logo pumps $995
Loewe Hammock bag $2450
La Mer au Mumure Endormeur lace embroidered mini dress $2014
Aquazzura Madagascar embellished ankle-wrap flat $995
Gucci logo tee $590
J.W.Anderson's 'Pierce' bag $1690
Prada floral-appliquéd sandals $1125
Carolina Herrera strapless denim ball gown $5590