Ask the Edit: Vol. IV, No. Twenty -Two

From skincare recommendations to classic watches, this issue has a little bit of everything.  It’s time for another round of Ask the Edit.

Hi there,

Thank you for continuing to be the “blog” on the internet. I hope through your thoroughly reviewed and honest commentary. Along those lines, I have a question.

What are your feelings on the Sunday Riley, SKII, SkinCeuticals, etc. lines of skincare? I haven’t seen you do too many reviews from these items.

Thanks! Sarah

Sunday Riley products don’t work well for me.  I’ve tried several of their product lines and I always wind up with more acne.  But I know some ladies who swear by them, depends on your skin type.

I’ve used the SK-II Treatment Essence and Overnight Miracle Mask.  The Essence is a great product, it just doesn’t fit into my pared down skincare routine.  The Miracle Masks are the perfect thing to take on trips when you won’t be sleeping much.  They’re nourishing, but not heavy.  They’re also great for when your skin needs a boost before a big event.

I used Skinceuticals CE Ferulic for a while to treat dark spots and brighten my skin.  It’s a good product, I get a similar effect from Aphorism’s Clear Sailing oil, which I can use at night.

Other skincare lines I’ve used and loved are Ole Henriksen (Truth Serum, Cold Plasma Mask) and IS Clinical (Active Serum).  For a more affordable option, The Ordinary makes a great products at reduced prices.  I like their Lactic Acid serum, Buffet serum with copper peptides (for anti-aging), and Alpha Arbutin (for dark spots).


Just wanted to let you know I threw the glasses in my amazon cart the other morning, then got distracted. When I went back the price had dropped to $35!


I recently purchased a pair of Obsidian sunglasses from Amazon and posted them to Instagram stories.  They’re a great buy at $99, and an even more amazing buy at $35.  They make several more pairs including these great oversized frames.

Hi Abra!

I have a bag search challenge for you. I am going on a work trip with a very high-ranking boss (I mention that because it is important I am as polished as possible) to some countries that are, let’s just say, not garden states. I am in search of a new purse (work tote) in a neutral color–anything but black–that does not have loud/obvious branding shouting “please steal me!” Would prefer real leather and a zip top, but open to your best findings — ideally under $200. Thank you!

– Maria 

This Rebecca Minkoff Bree satchel is on sale for $198; it’s a cool bag, but there’s no obvious branding.  This Cole Haan tote is another great option.  And this pale grey Milly Astor tote is a great buy at $159.

Looking for something under-$100?  This Moda Luxe Ryder Satchel is an interesting bag with some cool details.  For a vegan option, Matt & Nat makes some incredibly sleek, simple bags out of cruelty-free materials.

But if this was for me, I would pick up this pale sand Celine Dion (yes, that one) Grazioso leather satchel for $69.  Also in black for $89.

Hi Abra:

What do you think about wearing white after Labor Day? I’m in Southern California and it is hot here until December. Thanks!

– Cindi 

There are no rules.  White shoes, white jeans, white dresses, it seems everything is acceptable at any time of the year.  We’ve been slowly whittling away at such conventions, and once white ankle boots became acceptable in December, there was no going back.

If you’re looking for tips on how to wear white jeans in cold weather, I love this Zoe Saldana look from a few years ago.

Hi Abra,

I am a big fan of the blog (all the way from Belgium). I have my birthday next month and would like to treat myself to a nice classic watch. Something in the $2000-3000 price range. I am thinking of a Hermes Heure H, but would love to see if you have any other recommendations.


A+ on the self-gifting.  I prefer the Hermes Cape Cod watch to the classic Heure H.  It’s slightly sportier.  But both are excellent choices.

For the ultimate classic, the Cartier Tank was worn by everyone from Jackie Kennedy to Princess Di (I believe Meghan Markle now wears one).  It’s a choice that no one can quibble with.

For myself, I’d choose the Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger watch.  Jean Schlumberger is an inside baseball fashion icon who designed for all of the iconic American actresses and socialites of the middle-20th century.  Plus, the locking mechanism on the watch is just the coolest.

Looking in an under-$750 category?  I like my Philip Stein watch.  You can often find this brand at Nordstrom Rack and similar stores for under-$500.  Their Classic Square watch is $350.

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  1. Cait says:

    For the poster looking for a bag under $200…Kate Spade is having a 75% off sale right now. Lots of totes in there!

    August 14, 2018/Reply
    • Janet says:

      Is the 75% off sale in a special section on the Kate Spade website? I took a brief look, but didn’t see it. Thanks!!!

      August 14, 2018/Reply
    • Megs says:

      I traveled all over east Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda) with a Longchamp Le Pliage. It’s huge, water proof, but still looks nice, especially in a basic color. As a bonus, it folds up really small when you don’t need it. I don’t know how rough your countries are, but that Longchamp has served me well!

      August 15, 2018/Reply
  2. Jessica says:

    #1 – Skinceuticals
    I have been using their products exclusively for over 1 year and this is the first skin care line where i can see actual, real results from their products. Even my esthetician commented (!) on how good my skin is. My favorite product is the AGE eye cream and Reversatrol night serum. Cannot recommend enough.

    August 14, 2018/Reply
    • Mila says:

      Yes to the SkinCeuticals recommendation! I’m obsessed with their Hyaluronic Acid serum – I swear it makes my skin just glow.

      August 14, 2018/Reply
    • Paula says:

      Another vote for Skinceuticals. I have dry, sensitive skin and it is my go to brand. The Epidermal Repair is my must after a monthly facial or if I’m having a reaction to foods. I love fruit, but the acids show up on my face in red blotches the next day. When it’s calm I use the Emollience moisturizer.

      I tried to go lower price, but I keep coming back to Skinceuticals.

      August 15, 2018/Reply
  3. M says:

    Another +1 for SkinCeuticals – I got a sample from Blue Mercury and was hooked on their Renew Overnight Dy moisturizer. SundayRiley is also too harsh for my skin.

    For bags – check out Cuyana! High quality and polished but no branding.

    August 14, 2018/Reply
  4. Jenette says:

    I think Milly is such an underappreciated bag brand. I have one that I got on sale at Bloomingdale’s 3 years ago and it’s not showing a scratch!

    August 14, 2018/Reply
  5. Lindsay F says:

    I bought myself this TAG watch about 10 years ago as my first “adult” purchase. I still feel special every day when I look at it and constantly get compliments. It’s feminine but professional- two tone with a mother of pearl face (subtle) and small diamonds for the hour markers. I have to say it’s held up incredibly well over the past 10 years. I would buy it 100 times over.

    Also, as a tip- many retailers will give you a discount if purchased in person. I bought myself this one and another TAG for my husband (as his “engagement ring”) and Boone and Sons sold them to us for I believe 20% off retail. If you’re budget is $2-$3K, this would be mid-range including tax.

    August 14, 2018/Reply
  6. Mo says:

    I love the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and Invigorating Night Transformation gel (which I requested samples from my local Sephora), but couldn’t justify the price over The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% and Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%. Also, now I don’t have to cry when I spill The Ordinary products all over my bathroom counter, which I’ve done at least once in the past week. Found both brands through Abra so thank you!

    August 14, 2018/Reply
  7. jules says:

    +1 for skinceuticals and SkinMedica. In my mid-thitries, I need clinical tested and clinical strength products. I use SkinMedica chemical peels (in-office treatment) with Lytera and it has made a difference in my melasma. I use EltaMD for sunscreen. The SkinMedica Retinol did great things for my skin.

    For daily VitaminC serum, I’ve found Timeless to be a cheap and good option. ($25 for a bottle! Woo!)

    My friend is a skin care sales rep for OTC clinical grade products. She tells me that most ‘cosmetic’ brands are great for humectants, but they do not have clinical strength active ingredients to actually DO anything for the skin. They are also not as rigorously lab tested. Even Sunday Riley, Drunk Elephant, etc.

    I love SK II face mask, but I find their products generally overpriced.

    I think if you simply need moisture, or mild skin elasticity issues or milder acne/hormonal pimples, cosmetic brands may be good, but in that case, you can find cheaper alternatives.
    I feel like being a woman is so expensive, yowza.

    August 14, 2018/Reply
  8. Chandra says:

    The Philip Stein Classic Square Watch is $320 at Saks Off 5th, use code for free shipping. Done! Thanks so much for the great find. Have been looking all summer.

    August 15, 2018/Reply
  9. Michelle says:

    Has anyone tried Maelove? It looks like a dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and it $30 I think.

    August 15, 2018/Reply
    • Jules says:

      I haven’t tried Maelove, but Timeless is another good dupe with good reviews. i’ve been using it and like it so far (I’m using the Vitamin CEF)

      August 15, 2018/Reply
    • Kate says:

      I love it. I have tried a few Vit C formulations from The Ordinary and the Maelove blows them away for texture and results. I tried it first on a recommendation from Gothamista and am really glad I did. I use it in the mornings and in the evening have been rotating The Ordinary’s Buffet with Copper Peptides and the NIOD ELAN vitamin C treatment.

      August 16, 2018/Reply
  10. JamiE says:

    Cartier ballon bleu. I stretched for it but I’ve worn it almost every day for 5 years.

    August 15, 2018/Reply