Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Anatomy of a Bag and a Clinique Conversation

Well, ok, so I decided to keep the J Crew canvas boardwalk city tote in the tennis-ball-bright neon yellow. In the end, the color made me happy and I was dying to pull it out and use it with many of my neutral ensembles. And the color reminds me of summer because of how much my mom played tennis when I was growing up. I never caught the bug but my sister did.

Now, this is a wide open bag with 1 zip pocket, so the question naturally arises, how do you keep it organized? Rather, how do you find anything and prevent it from becoming a jumbled mess? I know some people swear by those pocket systems that you move from bag to bag, but I like my stuff in the middle where I can see it and get to it.
Here is the inside of my bag. I picked it up Saturday morning and didn't even try to neaten it, I swear. My sunglasses were, I believe, sitting on the counter, so they missed the pic.

How To Make It Work:

Key decision - what to put in the zip pocket. If you put too much in, you won't be able to find a thing. I have my BlackBerry, an all-purpose -works-with-every-look lipstick, blotting papers (seriously, these from Clean & Clear are the greatest!!), and my keys.
Key item #1 - The plastic-Velcro envelope. I use clear for coupons, red for receipts, and purple for prescriptions to fill or other lists. (Get the alliteration? I'm such a geek.) They are easy to get into, thanks to the Velcro. And because they are translucent, you can even see what's inside the red or purple ones. I got mine at Target, who unfortunately doesn't seem to carry them any more, so I'll have to check Staples or Office Depot for a replacement. This saves a lot of miscellaneous pieces of paper floating around. And the receipt envelope saves on weight & width of the wallet.
Key item #2 - Mini-purse catchall. For mints, band-aids, tissues, additional lipstick/balm, brush, lotion, pill bottle (OTC of course), pen, market, head band...basically all the stuff that is usually rolling around loose in your purse. With a bag this size, you can't have all that little stuff just littering the bottom.

Here's the outside. Yep, it's the Trina Turk bag from the current Nordstrom's Clinique bonus. What I really love is that it is a bit bigger than your standard makeup bonus bag. Plus the colors - yummy, they scream summer.
And the products seem pretty good, too. I don't love the lotion, but I always love trying their colors.

- Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes and Lips (1.7 oz.)
- Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (1 oz.)
- Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy
- Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Sun Burst
- Lash Doubling Mascara in Black (0.14 oz.)
- Different Lipstick in Tenderheart
- Superfit Makeup (0.5 oz.)

Just in case you are wondering what to get to qualify for the bonus ($25 purchase), I have a few suggestions:

#1 - Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick ($14). I love this lipstick. I am just not a lipgloss girl. Too sticky. This gives me the best of both lipstick and gloss - sheer color, shine, not too sticky. Great colors to boot. I have Ambrosia (great summer orange), Poppy Love (a nude-y pink they don't seem to have any more), and Raspberry Rush (yummy raspberry for summer that I just got). I also tried Fresh Watermelon - another great summer color.

#2 - Lash Power Mascara ($14). I have been a fan of this since last spring. It's my standard summer mascara. I also use (per GingerSnap's excellent recommendation) the L'Oreal Beauty Tubes Double Extend Mascara. But this one is just a little easier, with 1 formula to apply. It's not as volumizing, but just so summer-appropriate for me. (still keep the tubes for the vavavoom lashes, though.) The new Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Mascara, which I tried at $23 for a tube was so similar I was amazed, except that the Clinique mascara was better. Bobbi's formula was a little too wet for me and I looked like I had black dots on very weird places around my eye. Big, huge fan of the Lash Power. The tube is nice & skinny, so it packs easily, too.

#3 - SPF 45 Targeted Sun Protection Stick ($17.50). I had the previous version, in SPF 30 from 2 summers ago, so it needed to be replaced. I use this religiously on my lips - and on my eyes, which often sting from sunscreen. It's easy enough to take a quick swipe. This newer version is oil-free, so I will probably start using on my nose since I feel like the sunscreen slides off there first. I love love love this. And if you haven't seen my sun safety rant from a couple weeks ago, you should. Ok, off soapbox.
UPDATE - I just got an email that says the promotion runs through June 6.


Stylestance said...

Great bag (I'm so into yellows and oranges lately!) and great tips, esp that little velcro envelope! The Trina Turk bag is Clinque's best EVER. If one can be chic AND organized ... well, that's the icing on the cake!

Have a great day!

ashley said...

oh now you make me want a bright tennis ball colored canvas tote! you're so smart for putting little pouches inside to keep it organized. I would have just thrown it all in there. OOoh and that Trina Turk bag is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cute.

Summerilla said...

I love the Trina Turk make-up bag. I probably won't get to the mall until this weekend, I wonder if they will still be offering them.

I am also interested in the clear velcro envelopes, definitely useful. Let me know when and where you are able to locate them! I'll keep my eye out too.

GingerSnap said...

That bag is super cute! :)

Anonymous said...

I have this bag in the minty color and I was on the fence, but I think it's a keeper. Thank you for the great organization ideas! I like bags with lot's of pockets so this will be an adjustment.

I also love the Buttershine (I like Berry Blush) and the mascara. I wish there was a Nordstroms close by, I want that bonus!

Lady Buttons said...

I love the tote, and thanks a million for sharing the organization tips! I never thought of using little poly envelopes to keep things sorted -- positively inspired! (and how I admire your alliterative ways!)

Starfish and Sundresses said...

I love that trina turk bag! I must head to the nearest Clinique!

Patina Cabachon said...

i love that tina turk bag. it was the second thing i saw at nordstroms on Sunday and I oh so wanted to get it. As you know, it would be the perfect match for my new bag that i am insane about. it goes well with you bag also...so cute. Heidi, all of my crap is thrown in my bag and i can never find anything. i am so lazy and unorganized. woe is me

HeidiG said...

Stylestance - thank you!

ashley - I don' think they have them in the sale section any more, but I'm sure there will be a popback at some point!

Summerilla - I think Dina is planning to hit Nordie's Clinique counter as well on Saturday. I'll let you know if I do find the envelopes elsewhere. I can't believe they weren't at my Target!

GingerSnap - thank you!

Stephanie - I love the mint color, too. I am used to lots of pockets, too, but I love how much this bag holds without being too heavy. And the TT bag and envelopes are basically functioning as my pockets. I did notice that Nordstrom has $5 shipping if you spend $50 on beauty (code is BEAUTY). Not sure if that matters, but fyi.

Lady Buttons - thank you, and glad you appreciate my alliteration. It was unintentional, but did crack me up as I was typing.

Starfish & Sundresses - yes, you must! you must!

Patina - I bet it would look fab with the new bag. But lady, get thee a little organized - makes it much easier to swap out the bags. ;)

3-Penny Princess said...

I had to laugh because I used to have to make that decision daily: what to put into the previous single pocket. Now, I've resigned myself to only carrying bags with dozens of pockets. I mean serious, I cannot get enough pockets. God bless Coach and Kate Spade (and sometimes Cole Haan).

On a different note, I too sprung for the pretty Trina Turk pouch filled with goodies. I have to admit that I'm back on a Clinique kick, after swearing it off for about the 8th time. While I do love my Estee Lauder lipsticks and Lancome cleanser/eye cream/day cream, Clinique does make up the rest of my regiment. I also highly endorse the Color Surge Shine Butter lipstick and my favorite mascara, the High Definition (with the curved brush).

But really, the pouch alone is worth is - so cute!

Emily said...

I am so glad to know that I am not the only one to carry the clear velcro envelopes! I use them for my coupons. I am loving the Clinique bag! I think it is so cute with the "tennis ball" tote.

dinagideon said...

Thanks for the advice...I totally need to take it. :) With the two tiny ones nipping at my ankles it may be some time before I can completely, but I will...

LOVE the clinique bonus. Must get it on Saturday night!!!

Paper Bag Princess said...

Wow, you are organized! Geez, I'm lucky if I actually get around to cutting the price tags out of the inside!

Petunia said...

Great post! I love any organizing tips!! ;-)

I am going to check out that Clinique lipstick that you recommend!

HeidiG said...

3-PP - I agree - that bag alone is worth the bonus. I use a lot of Bobbi Brown, and do like her lipsticks, but esp for summer, love the CSBS line.

Emily - where do you get your clear velcro envelopes? My regular Target doesn't have them anymore. :(

Dina - When my 2 were that age, I actually had a different system. I was all about my Vera Bradley with the 6 interior pockets & 1 on the outside - the Villager (I think that was the name). So the pockets functioned as my "purse", and I kept all of the kiddies' stuff in the middle along with my wallet. It was a pretty good system during the time of sippy cups, bottles, diapers, etc.

PBP - hehehe. With your "Math" skills, I would have thought you were more organized. ;)

Petunia - thanks! hope you love the lipstick!!

JGIWC said...

Bought the Clinique stick at Sephora last month - big fan.

HeidiG said...

JGIWC - I was going to get it at Sephora (love those Beauty Insider points) but I was waiting for the Trina Turk bag. I love that Sephora carries Clinique. If they would only carry Bobbi Brown, my world would be complete.

Slastena said...

I am ashamed, but I haven't picked my bonus yet! Tomorrow! Past week was incredibly busy!

HeidiG said...

Slastena - Enjoy your outing tomorrow, then! I will be at home trying to schedule a dr appt for 1 sick girl and a vet appt for 1 sick puppy before a 2:00 phone call for work.

HeidiG said...

UPDATE - I just got an email that indicates the Trina Turk Clinique bonus is through June 6 (assuming supplies last).