Knock it Off: Ebay "Celebrity Style Stud Bottom Duffel Tote Bag" AKA "Focco" vs. Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel Bag


Sometimes knock offs are close enough to the real thing that you don't have to shell out hundreds just to get the style you want.

This is not one of those times.

I'm here to break your heart and tell you that the infamous ebay "celebrity studded" "focco" knock off of Alexander Wang's Rocco does NOT match up to the original. Not at all. Did I need to though? I mean, duh.

I bought this "Focco" a little over a year ago after stumbling upon Laura's post (Buy Now, Blog Later) about her recent purchase of one. At that time, I had seen a lot of UK girls discussing this bag (most notably, the smell -- more to come on that later) and felt confident that it could be a pretty good knock off. I was apprehensive though -- I've never bought a knock off bag before and don't tend to buy much of anything off ebay. Since I had never seen any posts on a version of this knock off sold in the US, I went with the UK seller. I knew exactly what I would be getting from them and I didn't want to risk losing money on a terrible knock off from the US and then go back and get the UK one later. Because of that, it came out to be about $70 after conversion to USD (the only shipping option was $25 overnight British Royal Mail... hardly beneficial to me in PA.) I have since been told in YT comments that people were able to find the same bag from American ebay sellers for about $30. No clue who those are though, so don't ask me!

So. How do they compare?

1. Price. Even a small child can do the math on this one. $30-70 < $900. Savings.

Point, Focco.

But... you get what you pay for...

2. The "Focco" smells, excuse me.. smellED, like shit. That's one thing. When you first get it, it reeks of rotten fish... or a septic tank.... it's seriously gross. I aired it out in the bathroom for a few days before I even tried using it. The smell is gone now, but it really makes me wonder what chemicals are all over this thing.

Rocco, 1. Focco, 1.

3. The Focco is really lightweight, which is great for carrying around, because the Rocco is heavy as all hell and my back definitely aches when I tote this around all day. While this may seem like a point for the Focco, it's not really. The material and the construction is what makes this bag heavy and the lightness of the Focco feels extremely cheap. It's not made of leather, the pebbled texture is laughable, and the studs on the bottom are hollow and cheap feeling.

Rocco, 2. Focco, 1.

4. My Focco is much larger than my Rocco. I think it's too big. Don't like it. Much prefer the smaller size of the Rocco. Plus, the Focco is floppy and doesn't hold shape. Boo.

Rocco, 3. Focco, 1.

5. The "brass" studs on the Focco are tacks and do not feel sturdy. I barely used this bag; so if you were planning on using it a lot, I fear you may have some stud casualties. For me, an anal person, that would be really irritating to see a stud missing. It would drive me nuts. The Rocco studs are sturdy and I don't foresee them ever falling out.

Rocco, 4. Focco, 1.

6. They both come with straps (though I purchased the strapless option, at the time the site was out of strap versions and I was none the wiser -- I've seen and handled a strap version in the flesh though.). The Foccos that come with a strap have one that is long and easily adjustable, while the Rocco's is a little short for my taste -- no crossbody action happening unless you are a small child. Rocco strap length options can best be categorized as "short" and "way too short." I'm actually thinking about taking it to get another hole put in on the end of the strap to give it just a little more length. I'm 5'4, so the fact that it feels short on me should say something.

Rocco, 4. Focco, 2.

Overall, this knock off captures the esthetic of the studded bottom bag. If that's all you wanted, go for it. I, personally, don't like cheap feeling things, so it would never suffice for me. I've got the real deal and I'm never turning back. If you want the Rocco BAD and have plans to get it one day, don't waste your money. Put the $25 or $50 you were going to spend on any knock offs in a jar and start saving.

I recommend purchasing from SSENSE (where I got mine) because they do not charge sales tax for US customers -- saves a bundle compared to Shopbop. I've said it before, but 2013 is the year of quality over quantity for me, so I can safely say a one night stand with a knock off designer bag will never happen again. Carrying this around anyone who knows a real Rocco is truly a walk of shame.

I obviously don't need my "Focco" anymore, so if you're in the US and have $20 to spare, just shoot me an email (chelseawears [at] gmail [dot] com) and it can be yours.

FACE: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation in 00 - Alabaster + YSL Rouge Volupté in #2


For a full product list and to see how I did it, watch the video.

Battle Scar


The first time I saw my scar I cried -- I felt mutilated. Now, I'd feel naked without it.

Acceptance is very freeing.

What I Wore: 1.20.13


This is pretty much my everyday uniform -- loose top, tight jeans, booties. 

Necklace: Topshop

Essie - Over the Edge


Essie's "Over the Edge" is a rich gunmetal polish, with a subtle shimmer. It's not my favorite, but it's nice. Another nice guy polish -- not a polish I run to put on, but it's harmless enough that I'll keep it around to wear if an outfit calls for it. Besides saying that its lasting power was on par with all my other well performing Essie polishes, I really have nothing more to say about it colorwise.

How boring!

A bland review for a bland..ish polish.

Lest I leave you with that sad excuse for a review, just check out how long my nails are! Peace out, short nails! When I look back on old photos of my nail polish now, I cringe at my stubby little nails. Geck! Thankfully, they are currently long and strong thanks to a better diet and various health supplements I'd been taking. Although, I am suspicious the biotin in my woman's daily and hair/skin/nails supplement may have been one of the culprits behind my perpetual chin acne (in addition to the other speculated culprits: hormones, toxin cleansing, and not drinking enough water), so hopefully my nails will stay strong now that I've stopped taking anything with biotin in it.

You know what else I'm going to stop doing now? Typing. Because this post is going nowhere, fast!

What I Wore: 1.7.13


Loving the bright pink lip in general, but especially with my new blue beaded necklace from H&M.


Shirt: Zara 
Blazer: Zara
Necklace: H&M

Forever 21 Duo-Toned Moto Jacket


Is this jacket the best $40 I ever spent? Probably.

Monthly Beauty Favorites: December 2012


Another month, another favorites videos...

And.... if you love "Empties" videos too, here ya go!

Of a Kind x Clare Vivier Cheetah Coin Purse


If you've never heard of either Of a Kind or Clare Vivier, then you are truly missing out (and perhaps living under a really unfashionable rock? JK, no judgement.). Let's fix this. Clare Vivier is my past and current handbag obsession, as evidence by appearing in recent posts and some from years prior. Of a Kind is a website that sells limited and exclusive editions of clothing, jewelry, etc.. from talented independent designers. I've had my eye on them since their launch a few years back (NYC tumblr-ers always keep me so "in the know") and desperately wanted to splurge on this green Veda Garde jacket with leather sleeves. Ah, Chelsea + Veda wasn't meant to be, just yet... but I did splurged on this irresistible coin pouch.

Here's a simple formula for you: Cheetah + Clare Vivier + Tiny Coin Purse = Done Deal

Just a few days after my manic excitement over getting the last one they had [ side note: they are super sweet on Twitter ], a knock on the door from my overworked (my fault, totally) delivery guy brought me this much awaited package. I especially love that they sent it with a personalized and handwritten thank you note, cute wrapping, and a certificate of authenticity -- little touches like these mean a lot to me as a customer and I love shopping from companies that treat orders with care.

It goes without saying that the coin purse is absolutely gorgeous and I'm really happy with my purchase. I can't wait to bust this little guy out in multiple ways -- as a coin purse, mini wallet, lipstick case, laptop case, the options are endless! ;)

Have you ever bought anything from Of a Kind? Clare Vivier? Do tell, I'm always curious!

Olie Biologique Huile Moderne 004 Hydrating Oil -- Holy Grail Facial Oil?


Oile Biologique's Huile Moderne 004 Hydrating Oil might just be the one. This is a very bold statement to make, but I'm going there. Screw moisturizing creams,  y'all can go kick rocks! I'm a complete facial oil convert (see this previous post for my initial dabblings). 24/7, 365.. me + facial oils - creams. In the previously mentioned post, I discussed my usage of  Dr. Hauschka's Normalizing Day Oil and Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil. These are by no means bad oils, but I just wanted something with less ingredients than Dr. H's and something with more types of oils than Josie Maran's single oil formula -- plus my volcanic chin reacts best to Olie Biologique's 004 blend. So, that's a deal maker. Signing on the dotted line. In this for the long haul. I do. You may now kiss the bride.

Like any new relationship, I assume you will ask "So, how did you two meet?" to which I will answer in the same manner I would answer for any of my relationships... "Through an online service!" Just kidding.. sort of? I discovered this oil through a past Birchbox, hence why I still stay subscribed -- I have truly found many beloved products through them. I must admit, when I first got this sample, I stupidly used half of the tube on my hair and didn't touch it again for months. A true waste, because this stuff is liquid gold to me. The Olie Biologique website describes this oil blend as
Hydrating, healing, wrinkle smoothing and mood lifting. A light, subtly scented blend of powerful organic and essential oils that is excellent for skin [...] Fast-absorbing [and] packed with anti-aging goodness and hydrating properties. Protects against environmental exposure...
The 004 blend is made from 100% natural and pure ingredients -- the only things you'll find in it are 100% USDA Certified Organic Argan and Rosehip Oils, Natural Vitamin E, and Bergamot, Neroli, and Frankincense Oils (check out their product page if you're curious about the individual benefits of each ingredient). It's got a very "natural" smell, which I love and find to be incredibly soothing and relaxing. Mind you, I love the smells of oils. They evoke rich, luxurious, and ornate vibes for me... like I'm some Egyptian princess getting my oil on on the banks of the Nile, chillin' with tons of papyrus and all my scribes (historically accurate information brought to you by my 6th grade history class and an unhealthy addiction to the video game Pharaoh). A hidden camera in my bathroom would catch me frequently opening the bottle throughout the day just to take whiffs of it.. but would also record me going to the bathroom. Which I would never want captured on a hidden camera. Hidden cameras in bathrooms are a terrible image to summon up and an awful way to make a point, my apologies. *shudder* Basically, I like the smell. A lot.

Most importantly, my skin loves this. After soaking in, my skin feels plump and remarkably smooth. I don't want to use tons of harsh chemicals on my skin, even when problematic, so I'm really trying to stay as natural as possible. This oil, combined with a cleansing routine featuring Emma Hardie's glorious cleansing balm, has really improved my skin. It's still not perfect by any means, but it's improved a great deal since integrating those two products into my regimen. I'm jinxing myself right now, but I have no active breakouts at the moment! To boot, this interacts well (I really wanted to write "swimmingly" here to add a little pizazz, but I restrained myself) with any foundation I've worn atop it, even when applied freshly after the 004 and before it had fully soaked in to my skin.

For the low, low price of $56, a 30 ml bottle and some facial happiness can be yours (also for sale at Birchbox)
(can you tell I've been watching JewelTV lately -- guilty pleasure, those salespeople crack me up with their antics)

Beauty, Fashion, and Self Resolutions


I'm not making any New Year's resolutions, per say, but it's nice to feel like you've got a clean slate and a chance to start fresh in a new year. Regardless of how cheesy and quickly forgotten most New Year's resolutions are, I wanted to take the time to bring myself and my makeup, skin care, and hair care collection in for a huddle and figure some shit out.

2012 was a year where I explored, experiment, and figured out a lot about myself sexually. Just kidding. I explored, experimented, and figured out a lot about what I loved in beauty and fashion. I came into my own style-wise (though that will forever be evolving) and learned a lot in regards to makeup, skin care, and hair care. Probs my cutest year, minus the annoying chin acne. Kidding about the first part, but not the last. Fuck you, chin acne. I spent a majority of it lost, not knowing what I wanted to do with myself career wise, and ended it with a five year plan on a white board, Ren Stevens style. Hint: I'm going to be launching an online shop of my very own (every item handpicked by yours truly) in the coming months. No joke! LLC papers being filed with the state and all that official stuff. Stay tuned if you care, updates in the coming months.

Since I am moving across the country and back to the Bay Area in a few months time, I feel an overwhelming sense of weight and heaviness on myself from beauty and sartorial clutter. It's sure fun to buy it all, but moving it all sucks. Couple that with my rather introspective nature as of late and I've landed on a couple of resolutions (or guidelines) I'd like to adhere to in 2013 and beyond. Some I already follow with ease and some I hope to get better about:
  • Wear what makes you happy. I've made the mistake in the past of trying to dress how I thought people would want me to instead of how I wanted. Exhibit A: a boyfriend casually remarks he loves sundresses and suddenly I have a closet full of them. Perhaps because I didn't even know how I truly wanted to dress then, but I do now. I like a bit of everything. Because I'm a bit of everything. Sometimes I want to be minimal and modern and sometimes funky and bold. Sometimes I want to be boho or all natural. And sometimes I want to wear pajamas to the post office with a greasy top knot. Scratch that. I don't ever actually "want" to do that, it was more of a "had" to that day. Nevertheless, I wear what I want and it gives me confidence. If people poke fun at or comment on what I'm wearing, it really doesn't bother me. If someone says that lipstick looks bad, so what? I'm not dressing for anyone but myself. This isn't even a female empowerment "don't dress for men" type diatribe, but rather rather an overall "have confidence and conviction and don't worry about other people think" type rant. That's relevant for everyone. What level of cheesiness am I at now? Shredded Cheddar? Imported Swiss? Really it's just that I'm getting older and just seeing everyone for who they are. We are all just pooping, farting, stupid people. Who cares! Enjoy your time on earth because it goes quickly and there is no rewind button. I was literally at dinner last night talking about college with Ryan and then I panicked in my head, thinking about being 21 and how I will never be that young again. It freaked me out. And as I wrote this, it still scares me. I'm only 24, but it makes me feel like I've lost something I can never get back. Anddd this bullet point has taken a turn for the worse, so I'm just going to move on. Summary: Life is too short to worry about people liking your sweater. This blog isn't about wanting people to say they like my outfit; I don't need validation. It's about sharing style and shopping inspiration with those who want it. And because I like it. And I think someday it might be really interesting for my daughter or granddaughter to read.
  • Have fun with everything you do. Never take yourself too seriously. Clothes and makeup are dress up. Put on your crazy pants and feel the vibes they give you. Laugh a little louder in them. Feel like the HBIC in your Lady Danger lips. Walk with a little more umph in your step in your blue suede heels. Every item of clothing I own evokes a feeling in me when I wear it and I want to continue to embrace the characters/outfits I create, in the least multiple personality disorder way possible.
  • Less is more. Unless you're going for more. In which case more is more and less is less. Don't complicate your skin care routine. The less ingredients the better. You feel stressed with clutter. Clean out your closet frequently. You don't need to have 10 hair oils in your cabinet at once.
  • Be thoughtful with your purchases. You don't have to try out everything, stick to the good stuff. Read reviews and be thoughtful when shopping. You don't need 20+ blushes, you just WANT 20+ blushes. If you want to do it, fine; but keep the compulsive feelings in check. Deny yourself sometimes. Only buy what you love and only keep what you love. Don't buy items you can't wear in various ways and outfits. Versatile pieces. Quality over quantity. Buy less and save up for the better quality things. And don't be afraid to use said high quality items for fear of something happening to them. You'd waste more money never using it then using it freely and some stain or scratch appearing. Relax.
  • Be proud of what you put out there. Don't blog or make a video because you feel like you have to or because you want to have a certain video released at a certain time of the month. Who cares. This is your weird little hobby and you're meant to enjoy it. The second you aren't, take a small break and walk away from it. If you aren't into it, it will come across. Don't force it. Let it flow naturally.
  • Play with chance. Let the universe give you gifts instead of jumping ahead. This probably sounds way deeper than I mean it to be. I mean it as "stop buying shit at full price and wait and see if those Topshop trousers you've been coveting will go on sale at Nordstrom for over 50% off." Inspired by true events. $19.99 instead of $78.00!! If they do, what joy! If they don't and you miss out, you'll live.
  • Be proactive. If you don't like something about yourself, change it. Grow. Learn. Be active. If you want to do something, do it. Put yourself out there more. Challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well. Wash your face day and night, no matter how tired/drunk you are. Go to the dermatologist every 3 months for a while. Keep an eye on your skin. Keep up with those scar patches so your arm doesn't look so ravaged. Exercise -- use those cute running shoes you just bought! Get more small doses of sunshine. If you catch yourself getting isolated, go somewhere. Positive thoughts. If you're feeling shitty, you'll feel better if pick yourself up, slap on some face, and get an outfit together. Even if it's just to walk around the city or the grocery store.
  • Treat yo' self! Not monetarily, I do that enough. In fact, I already have resolved to do that less. I just really want to get into the groove of keeping up a relaxing pamper day once a week. I think it would be good for my psyche and would make me feel like I have a fresh head start on each week. I like routines.

As I said before, some of these I'm ace at and some I really need to work on. I should also put getting to bed at a better hour because Ryan just rolled over and said, "It's almost five in the morning, don't you think you should pack it up?" I can't help that I am the most productive at night, my spirit animal must be a raccoon or an owl. Please God, not a possum. Hisssss.

Last resolution is to be in bed, lights out, no later than 1:30am all nights when I'm not out. This probably sounds crazy to some but I can stay up all night doing random stuff, like this blog post.


Essie - Sole Mate


And the award for longest lasting, non-gel manicure ever in the history of the world is.... drum roll please.... Sole Mate by Essie! I'm not one to get profesh manicures, but I got this one done with my mom on a family vacation in the hotel spa. Luxury, baby. And here's the kicker: it lasted over 2 weeks before chipping. Boi-oi-oi-oing!

It might have been the OPI Nail Envy she used as my base coat or perhaps the Seche Vite top coat, but this polish was on lock. I was incredibly impressed by this trifeca, perhaps enough to splurge on Nail Envy someday... but I feel like I've read stuff about Seche Vite having super harsh chemicals in it (well, worse than other normal nail products), and so I'll probably steer clear of that one. Feel free to inform me if that is not the case, as it's late at night as I write this and I am so not in the mood to google. Besides for the lasting power of the manicure, I liked the deep maroon color and it put me in the fall mood (mind you I was in sunny Half Moon Bay, CA exploring super pretty and super un-fall like beaches -- you can see how I needed the reminder that it was, in fact, fall.). All in all, A++ for lastability, A-/B+ for color likeablity, and a big fat F for my category naming.

So, love it or hate it? Perhap this polish is your... sole mate...? ;)

Clare Vivier Messenger Bag


I'd had my eye on this Clare Vivier Messenger Bag (in black) for a longgg while (Exhibit A: blog post from over a year ago), but f*%! that! Lusting over. Bitch. been. bought. It's mine, all mine (praise Jesus for Shopbop discount codes!)!

It's a beautiful, slouchy bag that looks cute hanging on your shoulder or across your body, but also looks great in that bitchy sitting in your elbow crotch look (HBIC status). It's very flexible and doesn't really hold shape, which I love, but I know frustrates some about bags. One of my favorite things about it is that it comes with a cute little pouch that can be detached from an inside leather strap via a hook. I find the matching leather pouch to be perfect tampon size, but feel free to designate it to keys, lip gloss, or spare change if you're one of those freaky people who haven't had a period in ten years and obviously needs to see a doctor about it or stop exercising so much. Dr. Steve Brule, for your health. Okay, what else do I like about the bag. Well, when watching Jesse and Celeste Forever I saw Rashida Jones had this bag too and I was like, "Twinsies! Oh, Rashida.. we're just meant to be best friends, huh?!" I don't even really want to be best friends with Rashida Jones, so not even sure what that was all about. It's a bag thing, you wouldn't understand, I guess... I really like the bag.

One thing to be aware of about this bag that I actually didn't anticipate, having never seen one in real life prior to ordering online, and have heard others complain about is that the leather finish is not probably what you expect. Or at least not what I expected. First off, fairly fragrant raw leathery smell, and not intoxicating Wilson Leather store smell. A little grittier and more dead animal parts-esque. I described that far more awful than it is. It just has a bit of an odor to it that hits ya pretty hard if you stick your head in the bag and take a big wiff. 

Which I did. Not sure why. 

But back to the point at hand.. buyers' expectations of the leather.. it's not like a finished smooth leather, it's more raw, but not exactly suede. In between the two? Luede? (It's cowhide, for those that actually are curious.) This leaves it really susceptible to damage (watch out for rain!) I'm thinking, as it can scratch pretty easily. Also, you can't adjust the strap, which somewhat bothers me, as I'd like it to be a tad bit shorter AND I'm thinking as the leather stretches, the strap with lengthen, if only slightly. Maybe it won't? Only time and use will tell. 

Also, it was smaller than I imagined in my head. I don't count that against it because that's my own mental shit. It annoys me when people review things and they are all negative and say something along the lines of, "Oh, it didn't live up to my expectations," when their expectations were of their own building. That is not the fault of the dress that you mistook it for the second coming, honey, so don't take your disappointment out on it. /rant. I only say honey when I'm being bitchy. So hunty of me. Hey hey, RuPaul.

Final Verdict: I really like the bag. So much so that I want it in tan/cognac, grey, and the red version too. Only real beef, wish there was an adjustable strap. I'm happy I got it, and I'm super happy it was on sale. It's pricey, so if C.R.E.A.M dolla dolla bills y'all are of no worry to you, get it. If you're a penny pinching Forever 21 faithful, don't waste your rent on it. If you love it and and you want it, do whatever the fuck you want. I don't care. ;)