Get the Look: 30 Cute Cosmetic Cases

Last week I pulled together a collection of cute cosmetic cases, “Kiss & Make Up” in the Boston Globe. I generally like to do a travel-related roundup in the summer, and I had already done weekend bags last year.

Mostly, though, I was inspired by a particularly cute cosmetic case by Deux Luxe, that the publicist had sent me back in the winter—the Anguilla cosmetic case in jade green emblazoned with exotic birds. I love the look. Unfortunately it didn’t make it into the Globe, but I’ve included it here (#17), along with 29 other cute cosmetic case finds.

Bostonians, pay attention to #1, #9, and #18 by ultra preppy, Brookline-based design label Ame & Lulu. I’m kind of attached to #2 from Catseye London. Adorable, though maybe channels too much of a crazy cat lady vibe? There’s a doggie one as well (#21). And if you’re more of a boho girl, Target has a couple of great Coachella-worthy makeup bags (#5 and #8).

Browse through for a new one; you know yours is smeared with gunk. Me? I still use the iconic brown & white striped cosmetic bags and toiletry case from Henri Bendel, a long-ago gift from an ex boyfriend’s mom. And yeah, it’s a bit worn.






Shop cute cosmetic cases from StyleCarrot partners and other favorite brands.


1 Mercer Floppy Cosmetic Bag, $38 at Ame & Lulu.

2 Catseye London “Kitten” Cosmetics Case, $25 at Nordstrom.

3 Trina These Are the Days Clutch, $24 at Ulta.

4 LeSportsac Striped Cosmetic Case, $42 at Macy’s.

5 Geometric Print Toiletry Bag, $9.95 at Target.

6 Renny Drive Annabella Cosmetic Case, $68 at Kate Spade.

7 Rebecca Minkoff Floral Izzie, $85 at Bloomingdale’s.

8 Striped Coral Toiletry Bag $9.99 at Target.

9 Cosmetic Bag with Mesh, $56 at Ame & Lulu.

10 Adidas by Stella McCartney Transparent Case at Farfetch.

11 Catseye London Lips Cosmetic Case, $44.56 on eBay.

12 Trina Soak of the Rays Clutch, $24 at Ulta.

13 Rip Curl Aloha Spirit Clutch, $29.50 at Nordstrom.

14 Ted Baker Floral Cosmetic Case, $50 at Bloomingdale’s.

15 Lee Coren Ciclo Flat Clutch, $54 at Pod.

16 Steph & Co. Tahiti Viveca, $22.50 at Nordstrom.

17 Deux Lux Anguilla Cosmetic Case, $38  at Nordstrom.

18 Ranger Floppy Cosmetic Bag, $38 at Ame & Lulu.

19 Tropicana Cosmetic Case, $9.99 at Nine West.

20 Let’s Makeup Lil Zip Bag by Dogeared, $24 at Zappos.  

21 Jack Russel by Catseye London Cosmetic Case, $15 at Nordstrom.  

22 Hudson+Bleecker Marrakech Avion Cosmetic Case, $66 at Bluefly.

23 Fendi Roma print make-up bag, $250 at Farfetch.

 24 Rockstar Cosmetic Case, $28 at Saks

25 Izzie Snake Cosmetic Case, $85 at Rebecca Minkoff

26 Chanel Preowned Cosmetic Case, $399 at Luxe Designer Handbag.

27 Marc Jacobs Smiley Face Cosmetic Case, $98 at Shopbop.

28 LeSportsac Tuileries Cosmetic Case, $31.50 at 6pm

29 Charlotte Tilbury Canvas Cosmetics Case, $20 at Net-a-Porter. 

30 Vera Bradley Luggage Lighten Up Travel Cosmetic Case, $34 at Zappos.

Designer Spotlight: Visiting Sea Bags In Portland Maine

Earlier this summer I visited Portland, Maine on a press trip at the fantastic new (and first) boutique hotel  in Portland, The Press Hotel (blog post coming soon). During my free time wandering the streets of this charming seaport city I saw a sign down by the harbor for Sea Bags Maine.


I had forgotten that Sea Bags, which makes colorful totes from recycled sails and rope handles is based in Portland.


I wandered down a dusty wharf road replete with pick up trucks and fishy smells.


Abandoned building with boarded windows and peeling paint has a great patina.

The Sea Bags shop and studio at Custom House Wharf, Portland, Maine.


The front section of the building offers lots of different styles of Sea Bags for sale.


I find the rope handles a bit too clunky, but they’re sturdy and authentic.

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Behind the racks of Sea Bags I spied sewing machines and supplies.


Women at the machines were constructing Sea Bags from sailcloth.


And sewing sailcloth appliqué designs, like this sailboat.


You can trade used sails for bags through the  Sea Bags recycling program.


A metallic gold star Sea Bag design.


Industrial size spools of New England ropes in natural and navy.


And more ropes.


Bins of materials


More Sea Bags accessories.

Read about Sea Bags’ newest retail stores in Rockport, MA and Cape Cod in The Boston Globe.

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ARTmonday: The 50 Best Paintings in New England

This Sunday, The Boston Globe art critic (and handsome Australian) Sebastian Smee put forth his picks for “The 50 Best Paintings in New England.” He speculated, if disaster strikes, which would he salvage? He gave himself some rules, like no more than three paintings per artist, no murals, and just paintings. Having to choose sculpture and the rest would be too Herculean a task. He likens the exercise to that which curators face routinely, pointing out: “Only a fraction of their collections (at the Museum of Fine Arts it’s around 4percent) are on display at any given time.”

I’m not intimately familiar with the MFA’s collections (I must must must make it there more often), and embarassingly ignorant when it comes to works in the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, Yale University Art Gallery, and Worcester Art Museum, so I won’t critique Smee’s choices. I understand them, though my knowledge on early religious work is little to none. (I audited a 17th century European art class once and was baffled by all the church terms.)

The only piece of Smee’s 50 picks I actively dislike is Paul Cézanne’s “Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair,” c. 1877. It’s creepy, and she looks like a strained wax figure to me. Maybe Boston doesn’t have other, better, Cézannes? Probably I’m just in the minority of appreciating what is probably considered a masterpiece.

I pulled my dozen favorites from Sebastian Smee’s 50 Best Paintings in New England, below.


“Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk”  •  1100s  • China
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
I studied Mandarin in undergrad, and a bit of Chinese art in grad school, so the image is somewhat nostalgic for me. Nevertheless, these ladies from the Northern Son Dynasty, are supremely graceful. 


Nicolas Poussin  •  “Mars and Venus ”  •  c. 1630  •  France
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

This is an early mythological work based on the poetry of Lucretius. The landscape is lush, and the scene almost divine.


John Singleton Copley  •  “Paul Revere”  •  1768  •  United States
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I studied colonial American painting in grad school with Barbara Novak, one of the country’s premier art historians. I learned to appreciate what I once thought was dry portraiture from her (we certainly studied this masterpiece), as well as how to travel through the landscapes of the Hudson River School painters.


Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun
“Portrait of a Young Woman (Countess Worontzoff?)”   •  c. 1797  •  France
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I don’t know anything about this artist. Smee mentions she is self taught. Her depiction of this woman is exquisite. The crispness of her clothing looks as though it was sharpened in PhotoShop, accentuated even more so against the Impressionistic clouds in the background. Her eyes and lips so expressive, with the sunlight making her skin simply luminous.


 Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres  •  “Odalisque With a Slave”  •  1840  •  France
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge

Ingres’ “La Grande Odalisque” became an immediate favorite of mine when I learned about it in a summer art history class at NYU. While this odalisque (an odalisque is a concubine, by the way), is not quite as arresting, her body is painted beautifully, and I like the detailed depiction of the textiles and decor.


John Singer Sargent
 “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit”  •  1882  •  United States
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Of course I chose this, not just because it is painted by John Singer Sargent, but because it portrays young girls, one of my favorite subject matters. I actually wrote a paper for Barbara Novack in grad school on the depiction of women and children in colonial American painting, and what could be deduced from their frocks and props. This painting dates to much later, thus is more playful and decorative. Smee mentions that the MFA’s Erica Hirschler wrote an entire book, called Sargent’s Daughters, about this painting.


Pierre-Auguste Renoir  •  “Dance at Bougival”  •  1883  •  France
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A universal favorite by Renoir. A life size Impressionist piece that is just magical.


Vincent Van Gogh  •  “Postman Joseph Roulin”   •  1888  •  Netherlands
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

While I’m not much for uniforms, the color and movement (especially in the brushstrokes in the beard) of this painting is so distinctly Van Gogh. This was his postman in Arles. Delightful.


Paul Gauguin  •  “The Brooding Woman”  •  1891  •  France
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester

A woman lost in thought, another common theme of my ARTmonday blog posts. But this is a Gaughin, as you can tell by the woman’s robust form. Something seems amiss about that straw hat. This may be worth going to Worcester to see.

Summer Night's Dream (The Voice), 1893, Edvard Munch, Norwegian, 1863Ð1944

Edvard Munch
“Summer Night’s Dream (The Voice)”   •  1893  •  Norway
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I love the almost unfinished quality of this almost scene, which evokes thoughts of fairytales for me.  Smee calls it “the greatest Munch in any American collection.”


Edward Hopper  •  “Rooms by the Sea”   •  1951  •  United States
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven

This is one of my favorite Hoppers (the list is long). The fields of color are spectacular, the sunlight, the water, all of it.


Mark Rothko  •  “Untitled” 1954  •  United States
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven

And Rothko. Love most of his work. That this is lilac and orange makes it even better.

Shopping Trip: Brimfield Antiques Market With Abby Ruettgers of Farm & Fable

Back in May 2009, I went to Brimfield for the first time after reading about it for years in Martha Stewart Living. That it took me six years after moving to Boston to get there is kind of ridiculous, but finally, prompted by an assignment for Boston Globe Magazine, I trailed interior designer and shop owner Jill Goldberg of Hudson. You can see Jill Goldberg’s top ten Brimfield vendor picks here.

This year, Boston’s most darling publicist Nicole Kanner suggested I trail Abby Ruettgers, who owns the new South End boutique Farm & Fable, where she sells culinary antiques, vintage cookbooks, and new tabletop items. (She also hosts cooking & drinking classes in the basement and has two enormous friendly dogs.) The Boston Globe’s Food & Dining section editor thought it was a great idea, so I went with Abby and Nicole’s sweet assistant Liz Greene to Brimfield in May.

Today, the article In Brimfield, Hunt is on for Culinary Collectibles appeared in the Boston Globe. Be sure to click through to read it to learn her strategies and tips for successful hunting. Here are my photos from the day.


Abby Ruettgers of Farm & Fable
































For: Wooden crates, lockers, scales, and lanterns.
Shop: Bill Ziobro, Found Again Treasures, Sturtevants North.

For: Jadeite, Fiesta ware, cocktail glasses and shakers.
Shop: Joe Keller and David Ross, Keller & Ross, Quaker Acres, Booth L3.

For: Vintage advertising pamphlets, magazines, and books.
Shop: Joseph Prior, Quaker Acres, Booths 25 and 26.

For: Culinary antiques including Pyrex and kitchen tools.
Shop Nancy and Richard Lucier, The Good Home, Quaker Acres, Booth 82.

For: Wooden bobbins, spools, and such from textile factories.
Shop: Dennis and Judy Perry, The Meadows, Booth 50.

If you’re in Boston, stop by Abby’s boutique Farm & Fable,
located at Shawmut & Milford in the South End.


All photos by Marni Elyse Katz for StyleCarrot

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Design Diary: Andrew Spindler’s Magic Garden

birdseye-and-ext1Back in the fall I visited Andrew Spindler at his Cape Ann house. It is absolutely spectacular, inside and out. The assignment was for the the “Outdoor Living” issue of the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and the piece, “Magic Garden” ran yesterday. Spindler is an antiques dealer with a shop in Essex, Mass (you can also find him on 1st Dibs). The Globe story focused on the terrace and incredible garden, but the inside of the house is amazing too. (Above photos: Eric Roth)



Can you believe that when they bought the place, which was built in 1937, it was wholly unimpressive, and a bit of a wreck? Spindler and his partner added the stone terrace at the back of the house, the second floor balcony, and the widow’s walk. There’s Spindler walking out one of the sets of French doors, which they also added. Originally there were just some dinky windows and an aluminum door that opened to a few concrete steps into a yard. They built up the land about seven feet to create the granite terrace. Spindler describes the building as one done with “old-fashioned brute strength.” I can imagine lounging there all afternoon.


The teak furniture is by Henry Hall. The stone table is a found slab of stone. The sculpture; how I adore the sculpture. It was conceived in 1947 by Walker Hancock, who created Prometheus at Rockefeller Center. Spindler and his partner found the plaster cast Hancock had modeled, and then had it cast in bronze in upstate New York. It’s the only bronze cast of this work. They own the original model for this work as well; it sits on the mantle in the living room.

globe-spindler-view-to-ocean-2-copyPhoto: Eric Roth

The original owners were avid gardeners, but by the time Spindler and his partner took up residence the grounds were pretty much in disarray. Now, the grounds and gardens are unique, with all sorts of rocky paths, water views, places to sit and lots of charming natural features.


Top left: Stone orb from an architectural salvage shop at the top of the stone steps that lead from the terrace to the garden (Photo: Eric Roth). Top right: Pyramid-shaped Euonymous bush is a very classical element in this otherwise wild wonderland. Middle left: A wall of granite with a bench fashioned from found slabs of stone. Middle right: Petra, an outbuilding that Spindler likens to a “little Hobbit house,” that was part of the original property, sold off, then reunited by a recent purchase. There’s an outdoor fire pit, perfect for “Survivor”-esque gatherings. Bottom left: A dramatic gnarled (and dead) Japanese white pint tree that has grown around the boulders, conforming to its shape. Bottom right: A fragrant juniper tunnel makes a lovely secret passageway.

japaneseThe garden tour ends with a Japanese garden that includes a bridge between two man-made ponds. Plantings include Japanese maples, Japanese umbrella pine, dwarf juniper, a pear tree, a crabapple and white azaleas and peonies that bloom in springtime.The owl, mounted outside the kitchen door, has eyes that light up.

globe-spindler-kitchenPhoto: Eric Roth

The kitchen opens onto the Japanese garden. It’s painted a deep aubergine. Spindler says this about the effect: “The dark color puts outside in high relief. It’s almost as though you are in a darkened theater looking out.” The light fixtures are outdoor lanterns from a property in Palm Beach.

kitchen-cabinets The stained glass panels of the kitchen cabinetry were found at an architectural salvage shop.

drThe dining room paneling is recycled chestnut church pew backs ; the floors are salvaged wide plank chestnut. The Prarie glass windows have a strong affinity with Japanese design and Frank Lloyd Wright, as do the Arts & Crafts style furniture. The tapestry is a petit point landscape made in 1972.


Photo: Eric Roth

Isn’t the chaise longue in the living room divine? It’s an Anglo-Indian teak and inlaid ivory piece. Spindler says, “The house is about experiencing the nature the light, water, air.” This is indeed the perfect spot for such.

You can see the garden room in the background. They painted the furniture the same color as they painted the outdoor trim, a sort of sea foam green.

The tiles on the floor were made by the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works in Doylestown, PA. There are similar specimens in the European galleries at the MFA and at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The frieze (c.1910) is by Jonas Lie, an artist with a strong Gloucester connection. It was originally made for a Viking-themed room in a lodge in the Adirondacks, which was apparently all the rage in the 19th century. Below is a photograph of this very frieze, in its original Adirondack installation.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!