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Welcome to Shopping Journal, a new weekly feature where Racked editors share what they're buying and where.
Last weekend I did one of the most boring things human women do: I got my hair cut and colored. I hate spending hours every couple of months sitting in a chair just to get to a really normal-looking baseline where I don't have inches of gray roots (what the HELL going gray in your 20s) or wildly dry split ends. The only thing that makes the whole thing bearable is that I've finally, after living in New York for six years and several summers before that, found my forever hair place.
It's called Sei Tomoko, and there are a few different locations, but I go to the one on 13th Street near Union Square. Japanese hair salons get my thick, dark, chemically-straightened hair more than most, and the price at Sei Tomoko is very right — just ("just") $135 for a cut, single-process color, and blowdry. There's even a bonus mini shoulder massage thrown in there in the middle, and they'll serve you all the green tea you want. — Julia Rubin, Features Editor
I've been feeling particularly spendy lately, and most of my quote-unquote disposable income has been going toward shoes. I bought not one but three pairs of Mansur Gavriel sandals the day they launched on Net-a-Porter out of fear that they would sell out. They have not.
I went to Fivestory last weekend after checking out the The Met Breuer (of course I did), and tried on these Aquazzura pom-pom sandals. I want them so much it hurts. They are basically perfect, and the heel height is exactly what I want and need it to be. In a dream world where I don't owe $1,600 in back-taxes, I'd buy them and wear them with these wacky 3x1 jeans. — Tiffany Yannetta, Managing Editor
I am on a spring cleaning mission so intense that it's going to take me the entire season to finish it. Small space wizard Mary Helen came over the other night to help me go through a collection of beauty products in desperate need of purging and suggested some better ways to organize what was left, which is how I found myself at Muji Fifth Avenue the following night.
I resisted the urge to pick up a succulent and went downstairs to find the bathroom accessories, shelves filled with frosted plastic containers of various widths, heights and stacking variations. They didn't thrill me, so I turned to the acrylic containers, trying to imagine what my collection really needed. I wasn't ready to spend $40 on fancy plastic to hold my makeup when my current shoddy-but-already-paid-for method was working okay. Instead, I picked up four of these stacking boxes at $3.30 apiece.
Told I could return them (as long as they're in new condition, with the packaging stickers still attached), I'll be testing them out this weekend — yet another step in this ever-extending spring cleaning project that'll undoubtedly stretch into a New Year's resolution. — Laura Gurfein, NY Editor
I will keep this short and sweet: Bergdorf Goodman has an enormous inventory of Mansur Gavriel right now — yes, including bucket bags. When I was there Monday, I spotted the bucket in bright blue, navy, and black, in both sizes (for the record, I own both sizes and find the smaller one to be sufficient in size for nearly all occasions and the larger one a bit too big).
I also spied the crossbody in black, blush, blue, and camel; the ‘Lady' bag in red, blush, and blue; and plenty of the circle bags and clutch styles. The shoe department had a selection of the 40mm crossover and the 90mm mule, which I can attest are very comfortable. — Nicola Fumo, Senior Reporter
The only shoes I ever wear finally came to my neighborhood in the form of the new Doc Martens store in Williamsburg. The space is relatively small, but that's par for the course for Bedford Ave stop-adjacent stores (unless your name is Whole Foods or Apple —even J Crew had to settle for a few avenues over).
The staff, however, more than made up for it. While one of them acted as my style therapist while carting no less than five kinds of white oxfords out to me, the others were busy complimenting not only my potential shoes, but also my entire outfit (I know they're salespeople, but let me have this, okay?). I left feeling positively delighted about my new shoes: all-white matte 1461s that will be completely ruined by NYC streets in about five seconds. But again, let me have this. — Rebecca Jennings, Entertainment Writer
The Saga of the Céline shoes came to an end this weekend, when I took the plunge at Barneys. I'd already taken the plunge, at Bergdorf Goodman (and yes, okay, almost one other time before that, at Céline Soho, not Madison Avenue).
My love of platform shoes probably dates back to age 5. Since then I've had them covered in cherries and polka dots by Miu Miu, a patent leather Marc Jacobs sandal, there was a pair of cork-soled Chloés. The Célines feature a wooden heel, with a layer of suede above, and a leather strap across the toe and ankle. There's a gold buckle, and they are preposterously comfortable given their height.
First I tried them on at Céline, then I thought about them for a week, then I tried them on at Bergdorf, where I bought them in black. The next weekend I returned them, because I felt like an asshole for spending that much on shoes. Then I thought about them for another week. Then I went back to Céline, and this time I tried on the brown ones. But you can't return things at Céline — store credit only, and the last thing I need is to start racking up designer store credit — so I went back up to Barneys and bought them in brown.
I still haven't worn them, with the whole April showers thing, but I think they're here to stay. Really this time. I mean it. — Britt Aboutaleb, Editor in Chief
I just got back from my first trip to Hong Kong, and while the food was a definite highlight (Hello Kitty dim sum!!!), the shopping was just as top-notch. I went a little bit crazy at the Bread n Butter boutique at PMQ — though actually a French brand, it's got a major presence in Asia, too. Decor-wise, the store basically looks like a cross between Versailles and the inside of Zooey Deschanel's brain: all pastel-tufted couches and ornamental birdcages. There's even an in-store cafe that serves tea and cute little pastries on fancy china.
After much deliberation, I picked up some high-waisted black shorts with lace trim — very Taylor Swift and thus very me — and a pale blue A-line dress with gold buttons and a white pleated underlay that looks way more expensive than it was (about $130 USD). I was really excited to wear the latter on my first day at Racked — but alas, it was 30-some degrees and raining on Monday. Yet another reason I can't wait to go back to always-balmy Hong Kong. — Elana Fishman, Entertainment Editor
I was slow to hop on the Korean beauty train. I'm African American, and to me, all of the products needed for the million-step routines I'd read about seem to glorify pale skin, so I just assumed this was just not a trend for me. But I tried it out when a PR rep mailed me a goody bag with Charlotte Cho's The Little Book of Skin Care and enough loot to follow along with the 12-step routine.
After one week, I noticed that my face was slightly brighter, its texture was beginning to change for the better, and dark marks from old acne scars were starting to fade. This week, I ran out of the Banila Co. Clean It Zero, so I headed to Queens and replaced it at Peach & Lily without hesitation. — Channing Hargrove, NY Associate Editor