january shopping reflections

This year started off pretty well with four new purchases. Yikes! Two items were bought on sale though and the other two are beauty related acquisitions which I normally don’t list, but I really like Xin‘s monthly reflections posts and thought I would give it a go myself this year. I usually travel to Antwerp in Belgium twice a year to scour the sales racks for a good five minutes and then move on to the new collections because I can no longer stand the heat, the mess and the crowd. But every now and then I come across a marked down gem such as the Massimo Dutti ankle boots. I had my eyes on them for months but ultimately decided I didn’t need them until I ran into them with a 30% discount and I could no longer resist. I bought a pair of similar leather ankle boots at Zara a few years ago but they’re so uncomfortable that I never wear them. I’ll probably sell them or donate them to charity.

I also managed to score another scarf on sale, this time the A.P.C. wool scarf. It’s a bit larger than the Acne Studios Canada scarf (see my review here) but otherwise pretty much the same. I suppose time will tell if it holds up just as well. I clearly didn’t need another scarf but it’s a nice change from the grey one that I have been wearing non-stop for years now.

january shopping reflections

The next two things were on my beauty wish list for a while. I don’t wear a lot of makeup except for a little mascara and lipstick but I really wanted a simple all-in-one travel sized palette. After extensive research and endlessly deliberating between Urban Decay’s Naked on the run palette, Bobbi Brown’s Deluxe eye and cheek palette and Laura Mercier’s Glam to go travel case (seriously, I spent a good hour reading reviews because those palettes are so darn expensive and I couldn’t make up my mind) I decided to go with Urban Decay’s Naked on the run palette. It has everything you need for a simple day and/or evening look and it’s a great deal. If you were to buy every product separately, it would be twice the price of the entire palette. So far though, I’ve only used to eye pencil, mascara and lipgloss because I still need to get an eyeshadow brush. That’s the only downside, it doesn’t come with brushes.

And last but not least, the infamous Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-nourishing lip balm. My lips tend to get extremely dry and chapped during winter and I’ve tried so many lip balms over the years but this one does the trick. The texture feels a bit strange, gritty almost but it goes on very smooth and stays put for several hours. It’s not cheap but I do feel that you get a fair amount of product for its price.

That’s it for January! It’s a bit much, but I usually buy more things at the end or the beginning of a year and a lot less during summer. So for now, I’m not worried about going over my 10 pieces for this year. For a brief moment I thought about mentioning how much I spent in total but I’m not a budgeting blogger that wants to spend as little as possible on clothes, accessories etc. I just really like to carefully plan and review my purchases to make sure that I only buy things that I truly love and to avoid any shopping mistakes.

At the end of last year New York based designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh made headlines by accusing accessories label Mansur Gavriel (mostly known for their bucket bags) of copying one of her designs, a pair of mule sandals. Mansur and Gavriel denied the allegation and claimed that it was a mere coincidence and that they cannot claim ownership of a mule, slide, block heel or colour. 

Now, I totally get that you can’t claim a heel, material or colour but when you combine these design elements in a certain way it can be hard not to draw any similarities. When I spotted low-heel suede pumps at MANGO and H&M, they immediately reminded me of Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s very popular and hard to come by Roberta heel (pictured above). If you’re an avid Instagram user or blog reader, I’m sure you’ve come across a pair of these shoes. Of course, this could all just be a coincidence but it’s much more likely that everyone’s favourite high street stores decided to do their own version of the ‘original’.

How you do feel about items that walk a fine line between blatant copy and original design?  

the things we do for fashion

This weekend I was catching up with my favourite bag forum and my jaw dropped reading some of the stories on the Hèrmes forum. Now, I’m not even into anything Hermès (I don’t even know how I got there), so that might explain why some of the things that were discussed are completely foreign to me but still, I’m surprised by the things we sometimes do for fashion. For example, who knew that you have to spend thousands of dollars on all kinds of accessories to earn the trust and respect of a sales assistent in order to finally get your hands on the iconic Birkin bag? Or that women actually wait in line for several hours, day of after day, during their stay in Paris because maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few today that will be offered a Birkin? Admittedly though, I’ve done some silly things myself in the past.

I have done things such as setting my alarm clock at 6 in the morning hoping H&M would finally restock that coat that I had been lusting over for weeks. Another time I sat behind not one but two laptops and the app on my phone when the H&M x Isabel Marant collection launched. It was impossible to get onto the website, so I finally ordered over the phone. And let’s add the purchase of my Mansur Gavriel bucket bag as well. I spent an entire day refreshing their website to order said bag. Oh, and I paid an additional $100 for international shipping. Seriously, what was I thinking!?

The examples above are obviously shopping related, but let’s not forget the physical pain that some of us put ourselves through for the sake of fashion. Granted, that’s nothing new because women have been suffering for style ever since the early Middle Ages; foot binding, corsets, heels that are much too high etc., but it never ceases to amaze me that we continue to think that it’s okay to be in pain as long as we look ‘beautiful’ or ‘fashionable’. Personally, I think the best way to look good is to feel comfortable with yourself and the clothes that you are wearing. Nobody needs a pair of sky high heels to look gorgeous.

Any thoughts or embarrassing stories you would like to share?

the-art-of-giving

This gift guide may seem a bit early for some, but not for us Dutch people who also celebrate Sinterklaas on the 5th of December. I always enjoy the festive stuff that comes with the holiday season. The food, decorations (can I put up my christmas tree already?) and gifts of course. Above you’ll find a few things that I wouldn’t mind receiving, so consider this guide a personal wish list as well. Some items are affordable, others a bit more expensive. But you should be able to find something similar for a much friendlier price.

1. H&M paddle hair brush (€7,99). This hair brush comes in two sizes. The smaller one is perfect for carrying around in your bag in case of emergencies. If you have a little more to spend though, you can never go wrong with the iconic Mason Pearson brush ($190). 2. Diptyque Scented Oval ($45). I’m sure most of us are familiar with Diptyque’s scented candles and perfumes, but why not take it a little further to your closet or drawer? 3. Byredo Gypsy Water oil roll-on ($78). That’s a lot of money for such a small amount right? But with perfumed oils a little goes a long way. Fresh yet woody, this oil is inspired by smoky campfires and pine forests with hints of Bergamot, Amber and Vanilla. 4. Yves Klein framed art print ($236). Allposters.com (or .nl if you’re from the Netherlands) offers a wide range of posters and prints. My personal favourites are the art prints, such as the one above. It’s so easy to order a beautiful print and frame it yourself. 5. Various Projects key tag ($15), for the best selection of clean and simple key tags. You can choose from an endless amount of options but you can also customise your own tag.

6. Fashionology tiny silver hoop earrings (€10). I’ve said it before and I will say it again; I love delicate jewellery. I’ve been wearing the same silver studs for over 4 years and these hoops would be a nice change. 7. A.P.C. room spray ($35). Perfect for those of us who are not that much into candles (or are likely to burn their house down). Toumbac is my preferred scent of the four options with fleur d’oranges as a close second. 8. Smythson Panama notebook ($80). A great gift for him or her. A luxurious leather notebook with embossed gold lettering. It doesn’t get more extravagant than that, I guess. Of course Moleskine offers great and practical notebooks for just a fraction of aforementioned price. 9. Fashionology tiny tag necklace (€50). A solid sterling silver necklace for everyday wear. 10. Comme des Carçons leather wallet ($197). I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s a hefty price tag for a wallet. But trust me when I say that these are indestructible and will last you many years. I already own the one pictured above and I highly recommend it!

Do you have anything on your wish list for Sinterklaas or Christmas?