Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Vol. V, No. Twelve

We have a jam packed Ask the Edit.  From promotion handbag purchases, to removing hair from your upper lip, and products to fight wrinkles, you’re asking questions and I’m answering.  Let’s get to the game!

Abra –

I just got a promotion! I’d love to treat myself to a new work / everyday bag. I currently use a Cuyana black leather tote, which I love, but I’m looking for something special and bold that I can trek on the metro with daily and that holds my life. $500 -ish budget. What would you buy?

– Allison in DC 

Congratulations on your promotion!! I always love these questions, come let me live vicariously through your successes.  Let’s go bag shopping.

Of course, my eye first went to this snakeskin print Tory Burch.  I have a snakeskin bag from Rebecca Minkoff and it has 1) aged beautifully because the pattern conceals imperfections, and 2) goes with everything.  Wear it with colors, wear it with neutrals, wear it all the time.

This Rebecca Minkoff bag keeps winding up in my cart.  Eventually, she will be mine.  This Furla Metropolis satchel has a real classic look to it.  I also love this Furla dome satchel.  For something more casual, this Anabelle Ingall tote is fantastic.

Hey Belle,

Since I’ve come to rely upon your expertise regarding clothing etiquette (is that a thing?), I thought I’d send an SOS your way: I’m meeting my boyfriends parents over Easter, and I need help finding a cute, conservative dress that isn’t too matronly. Any ideas? Your guidance, as always, is much appreciated.

– Caroline

I like this layered wrap midi-dress in a cool mauve color.  If that’s edgier than you’re looking for, this printed flare dress from Charter Club is nice.  This Ann Taylor ruffle hem dress is covered up but in a vibrant, eye-catching color.  This botanical BR dress just screams Easter.  Plus-size? Try this mint dress from Coast.

Hi Abra,

I think you’ve touched on this before, but what anti-wrinkle face products do you recommend? I wear no makeup (unless it’s a special event) and my daily routine consists of washing my face with water and using a light lotion with SPF, so my friend’s suggestion of The Ordinary overwhelmed me. Thank you so much for all the advice you give everyone, you’re one of the only bloggers I would trust to answer this question honestly.

– Michelle Wei 

Over the years, my bathroom counter has seen more serums, creams, and gels than an end cap at Sephora. Some I liked.  Some I loathed.  Some I obsesses over.

My go-to picks are Aphorism The Night is Young oil, Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment, and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum.  I alternate the first two because I can’t decide which one I like better.  I use the third during the daytime.  You can buy both Ole Henriksen products in this discounted set.

As for The Ordinary, it’s a great brand, but the variety of products can be overwhelming.  The Ordinary’s Granactive Emulsion would be my number one choice for wrinkles.  My second choice would be Matrixyl.  But why take my word for it, when you can consult their regimen guide or ask The Ordinary directly.

Hi Belle-

I’m trying to get a jump on prep for all the weddings and events this spring and summer. Normally the dates sneak up on me and I end up pulling something together out of my closet the day of and getting annoyed when I see the pictures of me in the same dress.

I bought this dress from Banana Republic and I love it.  I was hoping for some suggestions for shoes and accessories for a few of different events: 1) Late spring church/ballroom wedding and reception, 2) Nephew’s baptism, 3) Fancy dinner for Mom’s 60th b-day, and 4) August vineyard wedding.

I love your style and I’d love your input! Kate

One. Sexy heels + a Wrap + Bangles.

Two.  Cardigan + kitten heels + cluster earrings.

Three. Cool shoes + Big Hoops + A moto jacket.

Four. Block heel sandal + Statement earrings + Lipstick.


My niece loves your blog and her birthday is in a few weeks.  Can you help me find a ring, preferably less than $75 that’s suitable for a young professional.  She trusts your taste and our styles are very different.  I’d be so grateful for your ideas.


Well, I think the best I can do for you is to show you the rings I would buy for myself.  So let’s start with this Ssense enamel ring with a cool spiral.  I love the ethereal quality of the stone in this Rivka Friedman ring.  This crisscross pave ring and this malachite ring also caught my eye.

Long time reader here and I feel like you’re the only person that I can A) ask this question to and B) get a helpful answer from!

I don’t know if this is a byproduct of getting older or if I’m just more self-conscious about it now, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to do something about the hair on my upper lip. Do I shave? Wax? Bleach? I have very sensitive, fair, and acne-prone skin, so I’m so nervous that doing anything will just result in trading my facial hair for red, angry skin in that area (not sure which is worse!). Do you have any suggestions?

– M.w. 

I don’t bleach; I don’t find it actually helps anything.  Waxing is very effective, but it can irritate the skin something fierce.  Shaving isn’t a great option either because it can spread acne bacteria.  I prefer to epilate.

I own this Finishing Touch hair remover.  I like it for my upper lip and chin.  But I have some tips.

First, exfoliate prior to get that dead skin off.  Then, swab the epilator with alcohol to kill any bacteria.  Use the epilator in a circular motion for best results.  Lastly, use an anti-acne clear pad from Cosrx to treat the area to prevent acne.

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  1. Emily says:

    I bought the Finishing Touch tool last year after you first recommended it – such a game changer! I can’t imagine life without it now.

    March 15, 2018/Reply
  2. Leigh says:

    I have very sensitive, fair, acne-prone skin and I love the Finishing Touch hair remover for facial hair. I bought it on Belle’s recommendation last summer and was impressed by how well it worked and how little it cost. I have the older version that uses a AA battery (newer one is rechargeable), but I haven’t had to replace the battery or the heads in the six months I’ve been consistently using it. For less than $20, I’ve had control over my facial hair daily, which completely beats paying $20 a pop for a lip wax. It’s cheap, painless, and produces great results. Thank you, Belle!

    March 15, 2018/Reply
  3. Eliza says:

    For the hair removal question, I highly recommend Tinkle razors from Amazon. I used to wax my lip every month, but it felt so silly to spend $15+tip on a lip wax. Tinkle razors are the answer! They are super cheap so you can use once (I do my whole face, but don’t have major acne issues) and toss to avoid acne or wipe with an alcohol wipe and reuse!

    March 15, 2018/Reply
    • Maria says:

      Ditto! I had to stop waxing when I began using a retinoid, and had heard a lot about the Tinkle razors from various skincare gurus. I use it on my whole face every 1-2 weeks and I love the results. It also helps my makeup go on more smoothly.

      March 15, 2018/Reply
      • Allison says:

        Yes to this!! I have fine blonde hair all over my face so using the razor on my cheeks and forehead helps my foundation go on smoothly (and also does some serious exfoliation at the same time). I do it maybe once or twice a month when I remember (i.e. when I have a date and notice last minute that I have a touch of blonde five o’clock shadow).

        March 15, 2018/Reply
  4. LS says:

    Not sure what you do with your eyebrows M.w., but I get mine threaded so I just get my upper lip done at the same time. It’s much gentler than waxing – I can run errands after and not have it be super obvious that I just got my mustache removed haha.

    March 15, 2018/Reply
    • Coco says:

      Ditto on threading. I’ve been doing it for 11 years now and find it way better than waxing. It doesn’t hurt unless the threader doesn’t know what they’re doing or I’m about to get my period. I get my eyebrows and upper lip done every couple of weeks or so.

      March 15, 2018/Reply
  5. CM says:

    I bought that green Ann Taylor dress for a rehearsal dinner and it is awesome. Very flattering and sophisticated. Also I LOVE that Minkoff bag…I need it!

    March 15, 2018/Reply
  6. ANdrea says:

    Regarding the Easter dress, I was in this exact situation last year. Depending on your budget, Club Monaco has lovely options. I ended up wearing an off-white sheath (fitted but not tight) that hit below the knee with a silky pink wrap to cover my shoulders.

    March 19, 2018/Reply