beauty, health, product review

in which we read an article about skin cancer, go to the dermatologist, and create a roundup of suncreen products

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So I get my May Lucky Magazine and I’m all happy, just lying around reading it and then I read an article about a black girl who got cancer. Hello? Crisis mode. My mom was a registered nurse and I was born a hypochondriac. Black women get skin cancer? Nah, not this one.

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I proceeded to look at every inch of skin that I could see and decided that this spot on my breast, which has what to me are irregular edges and has doubled in size over the course of a year, was a melanoma.

I. Was. Convinced.

Then began the comedy of trying to schedule a skincare screening. For some reason their computer system was down (for 8 hours? I could be dying!) and then they were really snotty and gave me an appointment in JULY. No- I might be dying of skin cancer, so this is me filing a complaining and letting Lutheran Medical know that even a hypochondriac has feelings. My appointment was rescheduled for the next week.

Sorry, but I’m dying if I don’t have to. What would the world do without me?

I went in, checked in, and when I saw the doctor I showed them the article and asked for a skin cancer screening. This consisted of being gone over by eye and with light up magnifying glass, including my back and the soles of my feet. I showed her the thing on my breast, and she said it was nothing, but to make sure to make a skin-cancer screening a yearly addition to my checkup list.

So now that I wasn’t dying, I needed to do something about my situation. Meaning? I ransacked every drawer of skincare products and found no sunscreen anywhere in my house. Um, that’s not happening. So I reached out, did some emailing, did some nagging and voila! The Sunscreen Roundup is a thing!

That’s how I roll.

Sunscreen:

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So this was my haul, not bad, right? I love PR ladies. Let’s do this!!

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Equitance Sunscreen SPF 36 ($30) safeguards against UV rays and free radicals and also acts as a makeup primer. Goes on light and sheer, dries quickly.

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This h20+ Green Tea Antioxidant Lotion from the Marine Collection ($42) is an SPF30 broad spectrum suncreen that tingles like fire when it first goes on. It feels like someone’s building a firewall on your face. Also lightweight, dries clear, and I love the scent.

Ok- I have to admit that h20+ is one of the first skincare brands that I spent money on. I felt so grown up. My bathroom smelled like the beach, which is ok because I lived in Far Rockaway (Coney island land) as a kid.

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UPDATE: This one came in a little late, but I still wanted to reccomend it. Elemis Liquid Layer Sunblock SPF30 ($41.50). Elemis states that Liquid Layer ‘guarantees reliable sun and pollution protection’. I got it last night and smoothed some on this morning, 6/5/2015, before my workout. It doesn’t absorb into the skin, but sits right up top acting as a barrier to UVrays. It doesn’t feel greasy or anything, so even though it makes me look like a zombie because of the white Ttaniam Dioxide in the formula, I bet it could be covered with makeup like a primer without messing up my skin.

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The Obagi Medical Professional-C SPF30 ($42) sunscreen comes out in a thin, almost powdery stream, so be prepared for that. I guess that you could use this anywhere, but I put this in the face category along with the Equitance and h20+ suncreens. I used all three of them in rotation, applying 15 minutes before going to the park for my morning workout. My skin feels soft, and I haven’t broken out, so there’s no downside so far.

The Obagi Medical Sun Shield (approx $30) is a thicker lotion that contains zinc oxide and left white smears all over my skin. It sticks, even after taking a shower, I still had white smears on my ankles.

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This is so cute! Australian Gold has a Hello Kitty line, featuring this Mineral Sunscreen Lotion in Sweet Starfruit scent ($9.99). The Butterfly Bush Extract a native Chinese shrub is supposedly  providing the photo-protective activity. I slathered this all over my arms before hitting the track (all of these products ask that you wait 15 minutes before going out in the sun, so plan accordingly). About halfway through my workout, I had to stop and re-smooth the lotion over my skin because it had caked in the creases of my inner elbow.

I will continue to use this and the Obagi Medical Sun Shield for exercising, but I might just make sure to wear long sleeves for days when I feel that I need this much protection. I can use these products to protect my neck, the back of my hands (sun is so aging in that area!) and on my ankles if I have on cropped leggings or rolled up sweatpants. For those who run in Teva style sandals, I would use this on exposed feet.

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This Austrailan Gold Lotion Sunscreen with Kona Bronzers ($8.99) is actually my favorite for body, since it enhances my skin color. I received SPF15, but it’s also available in SPF30 and SPF50. It’s thinner than the other sunscreens, goes on like a moisturizer and I’m probably going to end up buying the higher SPF formulas to use when I’m wearing a bathing suit, simply because it doesn’t leave the white smears.

Cooling lotions:

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In case you do get a burn or start to or just need to cool down after being out in the sun all day, here are three cooling lotions you may want in your beach bag:

1. Red Door Professional Olive & Mint Cooling Gel- smooths on like lotion, creamy and luxurious.

2. Australian Gold Hello Kitty Frozen Aloe After Sun Cooling Spray ($7.99) is supposed to spray on like snowflakes, but maybe I just haven’t practiced enough to make that happen. Either way, it cooled me down after an hour and a half of running around outside, so I know I’ll be glad to have it when it gets really hot at the park or beach.

3. Aubrey Pure Aloe Vera ($7.95) the person who sent this over recommended leaving it in the fridge, so that’s a thought. You really can’t get much better than pure aloe vera for skin care or burns, so this is an instant win.

I’m hoping that you’ll take the hint that I did and make sure to use sunscreen, no matter how dark you are. Skin cancer is an equal opportunity disease, don’t forget,

Next up: Finally looking at those Closet re-organizing tips from Jennifer Eve Eisner and going to the Container Store (so many shoe boxes!!!)

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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beauty products, beauty storage, decorating, diy, furniture, home, organization

in which we go to Ace Hardware and start a DIY project, finally use my Cree Bulb #kloutperk and Hallmark sends pretty cards

 Bathroom: tower of towel

So far, my redecorating project has been building the tower of towel in the bathroom. Since then, I got distracted and then realized that it was MAY and I hadn’t done anything. So I decided that it was time to start my DIY project in the bathroom- a beauty bar out of the two storage tubs that I found in the street I think in January?

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I had washed and disinfected the tubs and the loaded all of my beauty products into them. Four drawers of beauty products. I also got a net laundry hamper for 99 cents and put my laundry bag in it. While this was better than the stuff being all over the place, it looked way too basic. My storage needed a come-up.

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I had seen an Ace Hardware sign while I was out walking and I decided to go over there and see if they had boards to lay on top of the tubs to make a table. Turns out? There was a whole lumberyard situation attached to the store! I wandered around in the store trying to figure out what to buy, then someone finally rescued me. It was real in there- they had everything that you could possibly need to do pretty much anything.

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I was gratified to find out that paint costs the same as a fast-food meal- because now I can lecture people about that. ‘Fix up your place! Just go without that venti caramel machiatto! That’s paint money!’.

I plan my rants and lectures far in advance, thank you. 
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I got a tiny paint roller with the tray built into the packaging, a paintbrush, a screwdriver with interchangeable heads (get this!!! it was about $5), and the paint. Then they cut the board to my specifications. All of this cost me $28.50. That was exactly how much I budgeted, and I think it was totally fair; I mean that screwdriver is forever. 
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When I got home I put the board on to of the tubs and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I put all of the beauty stuff on top and it was definitely an improvement, so I took the stuff back off and decided to start painting. I guess you have to do a primer or something, but I just went straight to painting. I figured I could call it a rustic look. 
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I put the paint in an empty plastic bottle, a trick that I remembered from when my Mom got our house painted. I actually started with the paintbrush, and I was kind of ok with what was happening, which was a veil of color that you could see the wood through? I decided to completely coat one side and if I didn’t like it I could always do the other side with a lighter coating of paint. ace8

I ended up loving this blue glossy paint and did both sides to build up the shine and the saturation. I mean, I love it. When you pay for the board, even if they cut some off they give you the extra board. I’m going to paint that a contrasting color and I think I’m going to paint the tubs as well. I’m hooked. I do want to see if there’s some kind of sealant for the pain, because I feel like my beauty products are sticking to the paint a little bit.

Otherwise? I love the fact that I got this far with my project. I love the idea that I’m building a table! and I can shove the laundry under the board so it looks way more organized.

Living Room: 
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The reason that I got the screwdriver was to change the lightbulb in the livingroom. Weirdly enough, the bulb had burned out and then Klout emailed me that I had earned a perk- and it was a Cree LED lightbulb. I wanted to get this done myself and not ask the super since this is my apartment and I’m responsible for it. It took about ten minutes to get the bulb changed.

hallmark Then I got a cardpack from the Hallmark Signature Collection– which was hot because I love fancy greeting cards as decor (although I did send one of them as a birthday card). I put the sequined floral card on the desk, and the sugar skull cutout card is over by my leopard skin accessories case. I’ve always been into Hallmark, I mean who didn’t know that a Hallmark card meant cash as a kid?, but I drifted towards another card company because they had all the fancy, artsy deigns. Now that they have they Signature collection, I can feel happy buying from them whenever occasions, or decorating opportunities, come up.

I still have more DIY decorating projects coming, so stay tuned!

Next up: We talk about sunscreen.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Way

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On the way to the grocery store…

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On the way to the restaurant supply store…

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On the way to a fashion event (detour through Madison Square Park)…

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On the way into my building (the landscaper came!)…

exercise, Fashion, fitness, nutrition, skincare, weight loss

in which we go to Crunch Gym and mess with that personal trainer stuff

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So, not too long ago I managed to get my hands on a Samsung GearFit bracelet, which works with your phone to monitor your fitness progress. At the same time, 3-Day Passes from Crunch Gym magically appeared in the computer room at my building. I took it as a sign. After six months of gradually building up to walking three miles a day, and doing exercises in the house (situps, leg lifts, etc) I felt that I needed a step up, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to join a gym. Now? NO EXCUSES!!!

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I emailed Courtney at the 54th Street location and arranged to come by and work with a trainer just to see how I liked it. I grabbed my sweats and my SUPRA sneakers and took off- well, I ran some errands then headed over there afterward.

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After signing a waiver and stuff, I went up to the workout area and met with my trainer. Then we talked about my nutrition (mostly good except the bacon incident- I ate half a pund in three days), then I got weighed, then he actually pulled out some callipers and measured my fat and then we looked at everything on www.NutritionData.com. We also talked about my best friend cracked bulgure wheat and compared it to qiinoa. I won- but everyone wins when you eat right.

Moving on…

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This was my trainer. I’m not into young guys, but he is super cute, so having my fat measured wasn’t as bad as if it were an ugly guy. His name is Nate and he’s an Elite Trainer at Crunch Gym on 254 West 54th Street. Yes, we get ELITE trainers on this blog. I am not a people person, especially when it comes to doing something as intimate as exercising, but I liked hanging out with him and having all this attention focused on my fitness. Funniest moment? he asked me if I took vitamins and I was like ‘Why would I do that?‘. It just came out, ok?

Anyway, back on topic, we did burpees and jumping jacks, and then boxed. I boxed!! It was actually a lot of fun. If I had money? I would pay Nate to hang out with me two days a week to exercise and talkk about stuff. He was really cool. I can honestly say that their ‘no judgements’ policy was upheld, and that he treated me with the respect that you give any human being that you’re interacting with. He did his job, and he had great manners. He’s

Did I mention cute? Oh yeah, that, too.

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Afterwards, we went downstairs to and Nate dropped me off with Courtney (she’s the membership Advisor at that location and she’s super nice) and we went over the hows and whys and therefores of being a Crunch member. basiaclly- if you email her (Courtney.Henry@crunch.com) she can give you the lowdown on that location. Then she gave me a goodie bag.

Yes. I went to Crunch Gym and they gave me a goodie bag. What can I say? It be’s like that sometimes. crunch6

On the way out I made a point t snap the items in their little Crunch Gym boutique. If you forget your stuff, they have shorts, sport bras, tshirts, tank tops and lots of other stuff. You can also get cups, locks- all of that. And I found out that they have Bliss products in the showersat all New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington DC.   crunch7

Once I got home, I investigated my b=goodie bag thoroughly. It wasn’t just a personal present- they give this to everyone who joins at the 54th Street Crunch Gym. I got a dotFITkit containing a bottle of multi-vitamins, and four nutrition bars. I ate one on the train home.  there was a $40 giftcard to HelloFresh.com, they help with nutritious recipes and they shop for the ingredients then ship it to your home.And I got this most awesome and official Crunch Gym duffle bag to carry my schweddy clothes in.

I also got a slew of 3-day passes, and 1-Day Guest Pases so once you join, you can hook up your friends. In fact?

I’m gonna hook you guys up righ now- click HERE for a free 3-Day Pass + 1Training Session courtesy of the nice people at Crunch Gym. That’s right- just click the link and you’re in. Have fun!

Things I learned from Nate:

It’s been a week since my session. Did I learn anything? Yep!

1. Nate mentioned going on www.MyFitnessPal.com to check calories in food items, also to keep track of my meals and work on a meal schedule. I’m working that in, and keeping track of meals on my Samsung Galaxy S5 Active with the S Health App.

2. Nate said that it is not a good idea to skip meals, and that I should make sure that I get 104 calories in proten per day- like chicken, fish, etc. You can divide the number of protein calories vs the number of meals and that will give you a guideline to planning your meals.

3. Eat approximately two hours before bed.

4. I added burpees and jumping jacks to my workout at the park. I’m following his advice to start with ten of each, then add another set with one less, and so on until you get to one. I feel like it’s making a difference.

The funny thing about exercise is that you will see a difference. Even if you backslide, you can work the damage back off- and that will give you swagger.

Skin care corner: 

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I don’t have Bliss products piped out of the faucets at my house, but I am trying something new that I think is perfect for those of us who are regularly working out and sweating all over the place. It’s a skincare line called Mirai Clinical from Japan. The idea behind these products, in addition to the usual anti-aging and beautifying, is that they are designed to combat body odor. Technically the odor that comes from older people, but let’s not split hairs.

The Purifying Body Wash ($29) is paraben free and contains exclusive Japanese persimmon extract, which is a natural odor eliminator. That means that you can shower after a workout and know that you don’t stink. The Purifying & Hydrating Face Wash ($25) will help wash away the bacteria in sweat that’s going to cause breakouts. The Purifying Body Serum ($29) smoothly moisturizes your whole body aand their 3-in-1 Multi-Tasking Face Serum ($45) tightens and smooths the skin and can work as a great makeup primer if you’re going to layer on cosmetics. There’s also a Purifying Body Spritzer ($14) that immediately kills odor. Keep it in your bag for freshen-ups.

*Hint- a tiny amount goes a long way! You get heaps of lather and bubbles from the cleansers- so don’t overpump.

Here’s a 10% Discount Coupon for you if you decide you want to buy anything:

Coupon Code Mirai Clinical

Next up: We take a trip to Ace Hardware and decorate with Hallmark Cards.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

event, Fashion, Style

You’re invited: I’m giving a talk about styling at the International Fashion Interest Meetup!

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Yes- it’s happening! I’ll be giving a half hour presentation on How To Style Yourself for a Work Event on Thursday, May 28th right here in NYC from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. You can sign up for the meetup here:

http://www.meetup.com/New-York-International-Fashion-Meetup/events/222305927/

There will be another stylist on hand to do one-on-one consultations, and there will be an hour for networking. Refreshments will be served.

The meetup is conveniently located in Manhattan, so you have no excuse not to come and say hello.

See you here!

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

Fashion

Artist Richard Prince Sells Other People’s Instagrams For $90,000—Without Them Knowing

StyleCaster

2014-09-30-Princeinstall3 Installation view of Richard Prince: New Portraits, September 19-October 25, 2014. Gagosian Gallery 976 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075. © Richard Prince. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

How would you feel if a well-known artist took one of your carefully thought-out Instagram photos, blew it up, then turned around and sold it for $90,000? Probably not so happy.

Well, that’s exactly what happened this month when painter and photographer Richard Prince displayed giant six-foot screenshots of other’s people’s Instagram photos as a part of the Frieze Art Fair in New York–without notifying anyone, or getting their permission. It was a not-so-subtle reminder that nothing you post on the Internet is private and—thanks to the flexibility of copyright laws—what you post can also be shared (and sold) by just about anyone.

For “New Portraits” Prince didn’t alter any of the visuals or the usernames of the photos he chose, but he…

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Accessories, aw2015, event, Fashion, hats, jewelry, press day

in which we go to the KB Brands #pressday and see our old friend Oba Asia’s aw2015 coat collection!

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So this was exciting because I sent out an email looking for stuff to talk about and heard from Brooke Mueller (who reps Dee Hutton, a wonderful designer that I wrote about when I was a NY Fashion and Trends Examiner ) who came by my first anniversary celebration at Caravan Stylist Studio last year. She was having apress day, and lo- it was on a day that I was planning to go into the city, so everything was perfect.

No mercury retrograde here.

Brooke’s company, KB Brands was presenting an eclectic group of designers, including on old friend, Oba Asia, who I met tons of ages ago at Fashion Group International event.

Oba Asia:

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A rack of shapes awaited me when I entered the showroom. The first thing that grabbed me about Oba’s new collection was the use of shearling, especially on the pastel blue jacket on the front of the rack.

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My picks were this furry jacket, a lovely a-line ivory coat with perfect pale pink lapels (so princess), and this mulberry wool coat with leather cuffs. There were also padded coats, deeply inspired by designer Joanna Lim’s Chinese heritage. This collection isn’t available as yet, but check out the DRA/WN for Oba collection created by Joanna and creative Kendra Wan.

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Yes, I tried on this printed wool cape, even though I’m not a cape fan and was having a chubby day and was dressed for my visit to Crunch Gym. It kinda goes, though…right? With the headwrap, grewy sweats and Cuttler sneakers from SUPRA? Huh? Right?

Ok.

Gypsy Sport:

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This was a brand new hat and fashion brand to me, but I heard tel that they’re big at the Paper and Nylon magazine offices. Gypsy Sport is fashion with a sense of humor. From what I unserstand, they are deeply influence by their grandmas- which is a good thing, in my opinion. Grandmas know what’s up.

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Lots of hats. I was partial to the leather beanies, which were so MTV Raps 80s. Also embellished bucket hats- like, fringe, then some fabric, then denim bucket hats. Like bucket hats that make you think people will laugh at you, but you’re so drawn into how no-one else will have one that you desperately want them bucket hats.

I am having a thing for the Gypsy Sport bucket hats.

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This collection left me confused, curious, and interested. I didn’t realize that this was men’s clothing until I started researching links- but I think women can safely wear these- but really fashion conscious women. You have to know what you’re about with Gypsy Sport. These were my absolute favorite pieces, especially the jogging pants with half a plaid skirt. It’s love, but that love that makes you wonder about yourself.

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So Miley Cyrus… dodn’t you think? The whisper thin fabric is washed with denim hinting at a country fetish, but thoroughly weed-tastic trashy.

Tarin Thomas:

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I love meeting new jewelry brands. This one, tarin Thomas, is a sweet collection of delicate pieces that lightly embellish. Brook showed off her custome Signet ring from the Thomas Collection ($128-$228), and I tried on some stackables (starting at $128)with tiny semi-precious stones.

A really interesting and different piece was the Jordana palm cuff with onyx stone ($198) – a piece that you would think was uncomfortable, but wraps around your hand weightlessly.

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These stackables are too die for. make sure you check out Tarin Thomas on instagram- super addictive because…jewelry.

Dee Hutton: 
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Yum…cascading, flowing, sensuous layers of gorgeous fabric made into the ultimate gown. It’s Dee Hutton!

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Nedenia Hutton Craig is the granddaughter of grand old Hollywood legend, Dina merrill- who was also a socialite, so these pieces are designed by someone who grew up surrounded by the fashion that fuels our dreams of elegance and beauty. each of these pieces is handmade, and every customer is empowered to pick the lining of their garment- so you can have a scinitillating blue lining next to your skin, hidded as you dance in the pleated chiffon Juliet dress.

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In addition to the most perfect dresses ever, there are fun, sassy separates that are just outside of being trendy. These navy lace Whitney short is a classic, so perfect that it makes any knockoff wither away with envy. And I am swooning over this lazer cut leather crop top, or the sexy, flirty Deville skirtkbb8

How devastating is this wide-legged Jameson  jumpsuit? can’t you hear the fabric gently swooshing around your legs as you perch on some fabulous wedges and pretend you’re in St. Tropez with the jetset?

Comes with Baggage: kbb95This is an interesting concelt- Comes With Baggage somehow acquired a huge stock of vintage clutches and printed sayings and doodles on them. I’m not in love with these- I love vintage accessories and I think this doesn’t do the supple leather pieces justice. However, a lot of celebrities have them, so maybe I just don’t know anything.

Next up: in which we visit Crunch Gym

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian