Friday, September 28, 2012

fashion friday :: falling for portland (via trip styler)


tax-free shopping. need i say more? no, but while we're on the topic, i must mention that the city of roses, famous for its culinary and coffee scene, cycle culture and offbeat tv show, has some pretty killer shops where you can spend your tax-free dollars. here are a couple of my downtown favorites...

  frances may portland 

around the corner from my favorite portland hotel, the ace, is my favorite portland shop, frances may, where you can find lines like rachel comey, lizzie fortunato, apc, suno, rag & bone, wings & horns and gitman brothers. you can also spend some quality time chatting with friendly shop girl, ashley {among others!}.

  alder & co. portland 

just up the road, you'll find alder & co., a well-curated home, accessories and clothing store. just a warning: it's almost impossible to leave without buying something! 

portland mini shopping guide {for women & men} 
- una 
- filson 
- odessa 

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

minted & boxed :: part 2

note: this post is part of a two-part series on monthly subscription services that deliver fun and fashionable goods straight to your door. kind of like the 2012 version of your dad's old time-life and columbia house subscriptions that your mum used to get angry at him for forgetting to cancel {or was that just at my house?}...

walking through times square several years ago, i was offered a sample-sized tube of mascara. [cue "yes please"] the girl giving away the samples told me no one was stopping, and she couldn't understand why people didn't want something free, so she gave me two. [cue "yes please"] she was right; who doesn't want something free? [remember this ad?] then again, don't stand in the way of new yorkers - especially when they're trying to get through times square.

also, who doesn't love samples? i'm pretty sure they're the reason i shop at sephora. and what's more fun than the drugstore aisle with all the little travel-sized products? the recent success of american beauty sample company birchbox [and its global competitors] is proof of our love of samples - even when they're not free. the two-year-old company was started by two harvard business school grads who, like me, loved a good sample. they recognized that unlike clothing or books, beauty products were struggling to find a stronghold online because of their touch and try nature. so they created a samples-only service where, if you loved the product after trying it out, you could purchase the full-size edition on their site, as well as watch how-to videos featuring the monthly samples. genius! [watch a video about birchbox here]

here's how it works: you fill out a survey and sign up for a delivery of deluxe-sized cosmetic and skincare samples by top brands. the price and frequency of the delivery varies by company. here's a snapshot of what's out there, with a focus on canada-friendly services...

$10/month + free shipping
recent samples: fresh soy face cleanser, laura geller lipstick, boscia bb cream, oscar de la renta perfume
**note: subscribers receive different items than other subscribers based on profile and they're always a surprise


recent samples: china glaze nail polish, stila mascara, mark lip stain, simple eye makeup remover
**note: samples come in a tube instead of a box

recent samples: wella ocean spritz hairspray, neutrogena sunscreen, marcelle bb cream, evian face spray
**note: bonus points for super cute packaging and lots of full-sized samples, but they seem to offer a lot of drugstore brands

recent samples: LA fresh nail polish remover pads, joico k-pak revitaluxe hair treatment, caudalie scrub,  ck one shock perfume
**note: this company serves up its samples in a reusable make-up pouch

loose button
recent samples: kerastase hair mask, essie nail polish, venus razor, pantene pro-v shampoo & conditioner
**note: formerly called luxe box and distributed monthly, loose button recently switched to quarterly delivery and doubled their price, but upped their sample count

here's what i think: these services are perfect for frequent travelers, product junkies, anyone who's searching for the next trend and anyone who needs a little guidance. and in our increasingly digital world, it's fun to get a package in the mail - especially one that's wrapped so nicely. however, you could also end up with lots of unwanted products that take up precious bathroom cabinet real estate. in the process of writing this post, i signed up for the quarterly loose button box. if i don't like something, i'll give it away to a friend or donate it (unopened) to local women in need.

let me know if you've tried any of these services!

Friday, September 7, 2012

fashion friday :: runway style (via trip styler)


september is huge in the fashion world with the spring 2013 runway shows in new york, london, milan and paris. but honestly, how am i supposed to keep up with next season's trends when i'm still trying to make a dent in my 916-page september vogue? it's much easier to focus on what's hot on the other runway for fall 2012 travel style. 

printed jeans

forever 21 tie-dye denim :: current/elliott leopard print jeans

grey sweatshirt


white blazer

boundary & co oona blazer :: madewell tuxedo blazer

slouchy denim


shawl-collar cardigan


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