December 30, 2012

New Year's Eve Lookbook

I put together 5 looks for New Year's Eve to inspire you on what to wear. I wanted to show outfits that are adaptable, but definitely add on accessories and glamour! As Nina Garcia says, New Year's is the time to go all out. More is more on NYE!


Hope you all have a happy New Year! May 2013 be the best yet!


December 28, 2012

Naked2

I hope you all had a lovely holiday! I thought I would do a product review today since I got some goodies from Santa that I would like to share with you. Actually I didn't even receive this one from Santa, it was from my best friend, but I bet you can guess what it is from the title of the post.
Yup! It's the Naked 2 palette! I've had my eye on this beauty since Urban Decay released it last year. The original Naked palette and the Naked 2 are the same in price at $50. As their names suggest, they are each filled with twelve eye shadows in natural hues. Even though I have relied on the first Naked palette for the past year, I personally think that the Naked2 palette outshines the original by lightyears.



The new formula that Urban Decay is now using for all of their eye shadows is much more soft and silky on application and loosens up more than their previous formula. The colors themselves are quite pigmented, but not too much so. It is easy to build and blend the colors to your desired saturation. In comparison to the first one color-wise, Naked2 has a cooler tone to it. In the first one there are warm golds, bronzes, and browns and a couple of almost pink/purple eye shadows. The second one has a few of the same gold and bronze colors, but it includes some stony, slate tones as well. I swatched all of the colors on the inside of my arm so you can see them for yourself. *Note that the lighting affected the way that some of the colors show up. Also for your reference, I have a medium-fair skin tone with yellow undertones.

*I would like to mention that the first color in the palette, Foxy, barely showed up in the photo, but actually is quite noticeable in person. It is a light cream in a matte finish that makes a good base color.

Anyways, another aspect that I like about the Naked2 palette is the packaging. The metal case snaps shut and seems quite durable. The first Naked palette has a velvet case that has collected spots of eye shadow and makeup over the past year and closes with inset magnets that don't always keep it shut. The mirror on the Naked2 is larger than the one in the original Naked palette, but I never use the mirrors inside of palettes anyways so that doesn't make a difference to me. Both of them come with brushes, but I actually don't like either of them. I lost the one that came with the first one and the double ended brush (one brush for basic application and a crease brush) that came with the second one doesn't pick up the eye shadow very well.
So overall, the Naked2 wins on pigmentation, blendability (I just made that one up), and packaging. Plus, I have a personal preference for the more stony toned colors in the Naked2.
Hope this review helped you gain more info on the two Naked palettes! If you want to see some of the other things I received for christmas click on my YouTube link.





December 22, 2012

Gift Guide: Last Minute Presents

This is probably going to be my last Gift Guide since Christmas is only two days away! Like I said in a previous post, my family always leaves Christmas shopping until the last minute. I actually got most of it done yesterday (Dec. 22), but I still have a few stocking stuffers and minor things to get. If you're in the Christmas Crunch Time too, these are some small presents you can get super fast:
Stocking Stuffers
1. Gift cards: My family has dubbed gift cards as a last-resort kind of a present, just because there is a lack of effort on the giver's part, but I actually really like getting gift cards because I enjoy picking out my own things.
2. Phone Cases: See my post about it here.
3. Nail polish: Ooooh, one of my favorites! I'm a nail polish junkie, so a new bottle is always appreciated. They don't have to be really high end like Deborah Lippman, either, a nice bottle of Essie or OPI makes me just as happy.
4. Hair accessories: This takes me back to 8th grade at the height of my Gossip Girl craze... Headbands à la Blair Waldorf were a daily accessory. I don't wear headbands that often now, but cute bobby pins can add a little touch of sparkle and fun to an otherwise boring 'do.
5. Socks: I feel like this is always a joke among my friends, or maybe it's just me. Whenever I ask one what they want for Christmas and they say "idk" I'll just tell them I'm getting them socks... okay I guess that would just make it my joke. Anyways, socks could actually be a really trendy gift if you pick out the textured, colorful, or crocheted kind that can peek out over boots/booties.
6. Home decor: Accent pillows, candle holders, bookends, etc... the options are limitless. 
7. Books: Again, the options are limitless. If you have a fashionable and literate friend consider looking at my videos about fashion/style books here for ideas.
8. Makeup: This one can be very budget friendly (or not, I suppose). One item from Sephora , or two or three drugstore items are both good options.
9. Jewelry: A small piece of jewelry, like earrings, can actually be a great addition to someone's wardrobe! If you decide to go for jewelry I would recommend getting something that is good quality, even if it is a tad more expensive. If you purchase a few pieces from somewhere like Forever 21 they will probably break within the first few wears, but if you get it from a more reliable place the money spent will actually be worth it and if the person doesn't like it they can actually return it. (Does anyone else think that Forever 21 has ridiculous return policies?)

Happy holidays! xxx



December 20, 2012

Gift Guide: Guy Edition

Why does it always seem so darn difficult to find the right gift for a guy? If you've only known them for just a bit, or even for your entire life, they're usually tricky to shop for... I don't even understand the dynamics behind it. It doesn't seem like guys are very picky about what you get them, but there seems to be an element of stress on getting them the perfect present.
I am an especially thoughtful gift-giver and I probably over-analyze what to get someone. The receiver's interests, hobbies, personal style, etc. are all taken into account before I even start brainstorming what to get them. That said, with guys I go about it the opposite way. Instead of thinking about what they would want, I think about what I would want to see them in or what I think they need. I'm actually surprised at how well this method has worked out for me...
So here are some items that I think guys would appreciate receiving:
Gift Guide: Guy Edition

1. Sweatshirt: This is probably the easiest thing to get a guy because it can be completely casual. You can make it more personal by giving them a hoodie or crewneck for their favorite school or team.
2. Snapbacks: I actually don't know that many guys who wear these, but I've noticed that they have become quite popular elsewhere. Again, you can personalize it to whatever team your guy supports.
3. Nike: Maybe this is just a thing around here, but all of the guys at my school are obsessed with Nike. I'm sure that if there was a survey 99% of them would proudly admit to owning Nike Freerun's and Nike Elite socks.
4. Wallet: What guy doesn't need a wallet? You could even add in some gift cards or some extra cash for a surprise.
5. Music/tech related stuff: An iTunes card is always a good one. If you're willing to splurge, the Beats by Dre headphones and earbuds are super nice. If not, there are plenty of other headphones out there that would be sufficient. Concert tickets to a band you both enjoy would make a great present too. Other tech related things like phone or iPad cases are easy gifts as well.
6. Movie night: Put together a package including a favorite movie, some popcorn, candy, and a blanket/Snuggie for a thoughtful and fun present. 
7. Cologne: Picking out a cologne for a guy might be difficult if you're trying to figure out what kind he would like, but if you go off of your own senses at least he will know that you like how he smells! (P.S. Bleu de Chanel is what Harry Styles wears).

Again, I hope I helped you get some ideas to get some presents checked off of the list! Happy holidays! xxx

December 18, 2012

Gift Guide: Fashion Literature

Since my Winter Break starts on Thursday I've had a generally less-demanding workload and have been able to do more blogging than I am normally able to! Yay! This Gift Guide comes to you in video form because I had so much to say and share about the books, so I thought it would be best to make my review into a video. Somehow I managed to film half an hour of me just talking about my books, so I had to majorly edit it and split it into two videos! What can I say... I'm an avid reader with a passion for fashion.
Anyways here's the videos! Please "like" and subscribe to my YouTube channel, it would mean a lot to me. Oh, and they look way better in HD!






Happy holidays! xxx

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December 14, 2012

Gift Guide: Phone Cases



Last week this happened:

Luckily, it turned out not to be so bad after all, because I had an upgrade coming up soon and was able to get the iPhone5!
As soon as I had my iPhone in my hands I got a case for it. A phone case would make a lovely stocking stuffer because they can be so personalized to the owner's style. They're also an easy way to get something designer for a relatively reasonable price. Some of my friends who have had iPhones way longer than me have whole "wardrobes" of phone cases. And you don't have to have an iPhone to get a cute case! They have lots of choices for a variety of phones on amazon.com or at those kiosks in the mall (or maybe that's just in the malls around here?). I've also heard of websites where you can custom order a case with your own image on it. There are so many options! 
Just because I'm on team iPhone now and they're the most common kind of phone case at stores, I've picked out a selection of some iPhone 4 cases that would make your phone a fashion statement:
Phone Cases
I especially like the Kate Spade ones, and she has at least five other designs than the ones shown above. 
Another thought is to look for laptop/iPad/tablet/Kindle cases for a present. Like I said, amazon.com has tons of choices for all of those tech accessories.

Happy holidays! xxx

December 12, 2012

Trend Report: Peplum

I have some news for you straight from my B.P. Fashion Board meeting: Peplum is here to stay! The flirty and figure flattering silhouette will be sticking with us all the way into the 2013 spring/summer season. I actually haven't been able to commit to purchasing a peplum piece yet, but I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for one now.

Here are some ways that I enjoy peplum:

Olivia Palermo in Dior: I love the juxtaposition of the leather and the femininity of the peplum. A more affordable option is available at Urban Outfitters.
I love the concept of the lace and peplum, but I think a different color than the dress above would be more seasonally appropriate. It would look lovely in oxblood or black for the holidays.
This look is so fresh and effortlessly chic. I especially like how the peplum is more structural with pleats, instead of a ruffle. 
This skirt from Topshop is made out of "scuba" material so it gives the peplum more weight and body while creating really sleek lines down the skirt.























These two tops combine the peplum trend with the leopard print trend, which I love. The one from B.P. Nordstrom (left) is younger and flirtier, while the Topshop version (right) is more abstract, structured, and sophisticated. I'll take one of each, please!











December 9, 2012

DIY Aspirin Face Mask for Acne

Sometimes I'm a bit skeptical of the effectiveness of DIY face masks, but I just tried this one and I can actually see and feel the difference! My skin is smoother and the blemishes that were irritating me are noticeably less noticeable! Plus it only takes two ingredients and two minutes to whip up.
Here's the recipe:

  • One or two non-coated aspirin tablets (coated is fine too, though)
  • A drop or two of water (or lemon juice for a more aggressive treatment)
Directions:
  1. Put the aspirin in a small ziplock bag and crush using a rolling pin (or a spoon) until it is a powder. 
  2. Add a drop of water to the bag or just enough so the aspirin becomes a paste.
  3. Apply this to just your problem areas or your whole face.
  4. Allow it to dry and sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse off with warm water.
  6. Don't forget to moisturize! The acetylsalicylic acid will cause your skin to dry out.
Why it works:
Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, a close relative to salicylic acid which is found in many acne treatments. It works efficiently to reduce the redness and swelling of larger blemishes, as well as gently exfoliate away dry skin. I would recommend pampering yourself with this once or twice a week if you have acne-prone skin, or just as a spot treatment if you get those occasional pimples like me. 
If you try it out, I hope you get as great of results as I did!

December 7, 2012

OOTD: Seattle Shopping

I took a day-trip up to Seattle yesterday to do some shopping and of course the forecast was 46° F at best, with a lovely blanket of clouds tucking in the Emerald City. In an attempt to keep warm I decided to layer some heavier pieces on top and keep the bottoms simple.
Denim Shirt, Rubbish Chambray Boyfriend Shirt purchased at Nordstrom / Sweater, Cotton Emporium Oversized Cardigan purchased at Nordstrom / Pants, Jolt Ponte Knit Skinny Pants purchased at Nordstrom / Boots, ECCO Hobart Harness Boot / Mid-Finger Ring, Mayan Knuckle Ring purchased at nastygal.com / Other rings, purchased at local & vintage stores




December 5, 2012

Gift Guide: Boots & Dupes

Boots are a must during the autumn/winter season, so naturally they make a wonderful gift! Upscale boots aren't very friendly to a budget, however, so I have put together some very promising alternatives to my favorite boots of the season. And yes, they are all black just because that is my personal preference.

Best Boot Dupes

Click on the picture to go to my Polyvore where you can find the links to purchase the boots or if you are interested on getting more information.

1. Jeffrey Campbell "Lita" Bootie- $160, These boots are an easy way to achieve high-fashion. Project Runway Season 10 finalist, Fabio Costa, paired these with his collection for Fashion Week. I can just imagine all the ways to style these babies.
          Dupe: Trouv√© "Blakely" Bootie- $80
2. Frye "Lindsay Plate" Boots- $329, These are my ultimate sell-my-soul-to-the-devil-for-these-boots boots. Frye boots are the epitome of riding boots, always have and always will be. I particularly love these ones because of the clean lines, the simple, thin strap, and the decorative silver plate at the back.
          Dupe: Franco Sarto Riding Boot- $200
3. Michael by Michael Kors "Lesley" Bootie- $200, Who doesn't need a pair of suede booties? These heightened beauties are simple, sophisticated, and versatile.
          Dupe: DV by Dolce Vita "Dakoda" Bootie- $119
4. Acne "Pistol" Boots- $570, Acne's shoes have the perfect balance between a classic idea and ingenious style. Last year, their "Atacoma" wedges were spotted all over Tumblr and fashion blogs. I discovered the "Pistol" boots on Tumblr as well. Unfortunately, they come at a steep price. Fortunately I've found a fantastic dupe!
          Dupe: Topshop "Ambush" Boots- $150 *These may be out-of-stock on topshop.com.
5. Hunter "Original Tall" Gloss Rain Boot- $135, The classic rain boots that you imagine wearing while jumping and splashing in puddles on lovely fall day...  but practically, these boots are essential for a Washingtonian like me. The rainy days last most of the year, so these boots would definitely be worth the money!
          Dupe: Sperry Top-Sider "Pelican Too" Rain Boot- $78

***The dupes are still pretty pricey, but I believe that quality is key. I would much rather splurge on a pair of boots that I know will last me through a few winter seasons, than save some money that I will end up spending later trying to save a cheap pair of boots.

I'll be posting more Gift Guides and Dupes as we head into the pre-Christmas crunch time. I hope this one gave you some ideas to put on your Wishlist or to give to a loved one!

Happy Holidays! xxx



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