Happy Holidays 2013: Subscription Box Edition

After months of reading about Birchbox online and seeing friends post their latest boxes on Instagram, I decided to try the subscription service out for myself beginning in February. My first box of goodies was meh, but subsequent boxes improved after I tweaked my profile a bit more. I also began subscribing to the Coco Rocha Fancy Box and Quarterly Co’s Pharrell box – though both of these yielded interesting items, in the end the cost:value ratio wasn’t quite right for me. For now, I’ll only be sticking with Birchbox – though if something piques my interest in this now saturated marketplace (subscription boxes are becoming the new daily deals), I may still give it a try.

Subscription box favorites of the year include:

1. Coola Cucumber SPF 30 Moisturizervia Birchbox
One of the few SPF moisturizers that doesn’t smell heavily like sunscreen – which is the downside of those from brands I would otherwise favor, like Cetaphil and Philosophy.
COOLA Cucumber SPF 30 Moisturizer

2. amika Obliphica Nourishing Maskvia Birchbox
Unoffensive floral scent that isn’t saccharine sweet and light enough to use as an everyday conditioner for dry, heat-styled hair.
amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask

3. RUFFIAN Nail Lacquervia Birchbox
First experience with this brand – the formula was promising, stayed on for a week and the colors are full coverage (no watery formula here!). As a fan of green, Hedge Fund was the perfect shade to receive a sample of.
RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer

4. Moleskine XS Class Notebook in Purplevia Fancy
Can’t go wrong with a Moleskine – the extra small size can be thrown into any bag or clutch, and the purple was a nice change from my usual black.
Moleskine XS Classic Notebook in Purple

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Enfant Terrible: Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young Museum

I’ve been wanting to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young since its opening in March, but hadn’t yet gotten the chance to do so. Taking advantage of my glorious week off, I stopped by on Tuesday and avoided the worst of the summer crowds. After seeing the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit last summer, I was looking forward to another fashion exhibit at the de Young.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk definitely did not disappoint – from the intricate details on extravagantly beaded and laced pieces to those that fully embodied the irreverence Gaultier is known for, every piece in the collection was arresting, if not beautiful. Of course, there were a few pieces that had me scratching my head in bewilderment, but for Gaultier, that’s par for the course, I’d say.

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young

More photos from the exhibit on my Flickr over here.

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Refined Versace for H&M Strategy

After much contemplation, the final shopping list (must-haves are outlined in gold):
Versace for H&M Shopping List
Some of these may switch around, depending on what’s still in stock. Fingers crossed that 4AM is early enough; yes, I know my friends and I are insane.

Update: Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of the gold-outlined items above, but I still grabbed some choice items from the collection without breaking my wallet. After the break, a breakdown of events (accompanied with a dash of sleep-deprived delirium):

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