Friday, May 31, 2013

Milly x BR Collection

I was really excited to check out Milly x BR Collection as I love her use of bright colors, bold patterns and stripes. The collection definitely has a resort feel and many pieces that could be nicely incorporated into one's summer wardrobe. I normally love neutral colors and solids, but ever since I started doing DIYs, I've been very intrigued by things on the opposite spectrum. It's actually more fun and inspiring to work with bold colors and prints and that's why I was particularly excited to try out this collection!
 Milly Collection Sleeveless Chevron Stripe Dress. 00P
I love the chevron print and the color combo of this dress. Normally most retailers don't take the time to line up their patterns, but everything is pleasantly aligned on this dress. So bonus points for that aspect as I know how time consuming it is to match up all the lines (after making my chevron maxi!). As much as I wanted to love this dress, the fit was just mediocre.
My dislikes: baggy, shapeless, big armholes and hefty price tag! I don't mind retailers charging over $100 for a dress, but the least they can do is fully line it.
I wanted to love this dress too, but feel that the stripes and color just don't work together. The stripes are too wide and not particularly flattering on a petite frame (not sure if it will be flattering on any frame!). I'd normally love the illusion of a fuller bust, but this just made me look wide (& not busty) in the chest and waist area. The pink color was also a little pepto bismo-ish. Heehee sorry!
I do love the fit of the dress and it fits the bust and waist area very well. It is very true to size with a good length. I also have to comment about the back zipper -- it is very short and only goes down a little past the waist. I worked up a sweat wrestling with the dress to get it over my "big chest"! I almost forgot to mention that this dress is partially lined.


The fit is same as the dress above, but I think I prefer the solid color over the stripes. I feel like the dark navy solid color is very slimming and lengthening! I probably still wouldn't purchase due to the short zipper issue.

Milly Collection Sleeveless Jacquard Dress 00P.
This is my favorite piece out of the collection! I love the bold neon color with the subtle jacquard print -- a winning combo. The color makes this dress very youthful and fresh while the silhouette is conservative, so I could see this being worn professionally to work and then transition to a happy hour/cocktail attire. The fit it quite nice in the bust area and the arm holes, its comfortable and not too big or small. The waist and hip area are a little roomy, but definitely not a deal breaker! The dress is fully lined with an invisible back zipper. I would definitely purchase on a good discount! ;)

Milly Collection Eden Rock Printed Dress. 00P
I like the bright turquoise color, but I'm not too crazy about the print. It's very bold and reminds me of a man's Hawaiian print shirt. The sizing is very off and pretty baggy all over. The positives - it's fully lined and at a good length.

 I also have comment about the feather printed skirt that is not lined with an elastic waist. It comes with a hefty price tag of $89. Really?! Sorry I'm being totally harsh, but it's really not worth that much.

If you are interesting in purchasing, BR is currently running a promo for 30% off their full priced items. Use code BRFresh30. Ends 6/1.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Easy Shopping Outfit Requirements

I wore this over the weekend during my outlet shopping trip.
When I'm serious about shopping and anticipating on trying on lots of things, I always make sure whatever I'm wearing is no fuss and is easy to take off & put back on! I avoid clothing items that requires lots of tucking in, lacing up, buttons, layers and hosiery. Items with zippers and cross-body bags are always recommended in my book.
Wearing:
Free People Dress.
H&M Denim Jacket. (similar here - only $29 + in petite sizes!)
F21 Bag. (similar here)
F21 Star Necklace. (similar here)
  BP.  'Trolley' Ankle Boot. Size 5. Cognac leather. Read my review here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Running...

...errands that is! A casual comfy outfit I wore over the weekend to run around in.
I blogged about these pants a few posts ago, but here's a better view of what they look like when standing! The 00 fit very fit similar to the J.Crew Minnie pants in 00P, except they do not stretch in the butt or knee area with wear throughout the day. I actually had these pants since last year, but just forgot about them. Glad I discovered them in my closet as they've been a go to pant for the last couple of weeks. They're also a nice color for the summer!
Wearing:
Aritzia Elliot Pants. Size 00. (similar here, here & here).
J. Crew Factory Sweater. Size XXS. (similar here & here)
Pour La Victoire Mai Wedge + other colors hereGifted. Size 5.5. RTTS.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Parting With These Sandals

I bought these Zara dupes awhile ago and decided to keep them against my better judgement! I've had these sandals a month or so and never wore them because they are a tad big for me. I decided it's time to let them go even though they do look so good on! LOL. If anyone is interested, I am selling these sandals for $40  (includes shipping for US readers). For Canadian readers, please add an additional $5 for shipping. They are brand new and have never been worn before. I tossed out the original shoe box so the sandals will be shipped with it.
 
These shoes are by Wild Rose and the size is 5.5. I normally wear a size 5.5 and these are about 1/2 size too big. The length of foot bed is 9" long and the widest part is 3". Shoot me an email if you have any questions and I accept paypal payments. Thanks!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Couldn't Wait

I was going to save this dress for a friend's wedding, but decided I couldn't wait that long. I will just have to style it differently so it feels like a brand new dress again. For the wedding, I think I'd like to wear this with strappy sandals instead of close toed pumps!
 
 
Wearing:
BR Printed Halter Dress. 00P.  If you like this silhouette, this dress also comes in a color-blocking and a solid yellow version. According to their site, BR is currently running a promo for 35% off everything for online & in-store purchases with promo code BRDIVEIN. I passed by BR today and think I saw a 40% sign outside their store?
H&M Blazer. Size 2. (similar here)
Ann Taylor Pumps. (similar here)
F21 Necklace.

Here's a couple more items from BR that I tried on.
I love the print of the blouse, the color combo, and the way it drapes against the body. It's a fun top that can be worn casually or dressed up for a date night. I wish the straps were a little shorter so the neckline wouldn't be so low. The armholes are pretty big and I'd recommend sizing down 1 size if you are interested in purchasing.
This is a twofer piece because you have a tee and a necklace together!  I picked up this top mainly for the jeweled neckline and thought it made the top really cute and interesting. Unfortunately it was way too roomy in the torso area and was quite long for a petite length. I actually don't mind boxy sometimes, but the fabric was very stiff, causing the top not to drape nicely against the body + giving the illusion that I have a big tummy. Pass!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend and finding some amazing deals! I went outlet shopping, but I didn't purchase much besides a bikini top + bottom. I also picked up a bandeau bikini top from Asos (thanks Sydney for the suggestion!). Use code Take20 for 20% off.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Apricot and Burnt Orange

Aritzia Elliot Pants. Size 00. (similar here, here & here).
For those who haven't shopped at Aritzia before, they have size XXS & 00 which fits like a 2 at H&M.
F21 Blouse. (similar here)
BR Necklace. (similar here)
Nine West Flax Leopard Pumps . Size 5. Sized down 1/2 size. One of my favorite pumps and I get complimented on them all the time. If you are in need of a reasonably priced and comfortable basic pump, I'd highly recommend these. They are also available in colors like: black, nude + a very pretty yellow!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Makeup Tutorial: Part 3 (Eyes + Lips)

  • 1) Prime lids with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. My eyelids are really oily and this primer helps my shadow stay put all day!
  • 2) Using a blending brush, I softly apply a shimmer shadow all over my eyelids and pass my crease. The shadow I'm using is called Onyx by Bobbi Brown (no longer available), but a similar color is fawn.
  • 3) Apply shadow that is fewer shades darker on the lower eyelids using a eyeshadow brush. The color I used is called Midnight by Bobbi Brown (no longer available), but a similar color is velvet plum.
  • 4) Blend the shadow lines together (using blending brush or smudge brush) until it diffuses and become gradated. If your shadows don't blend together, dip your brush back into the lighter eyeshadow (from step 2) and go over the area a few times where the 2 shadow overlaps.
  • Helpful tip:If you have puffy eye lids (aka hooded eyelids) like me, pick darker eye shadows. Keep in mind that darker shadows will make the eyelid recede and bright/frosty shadows will deflect light and make the eyelid appear puffier. I'm also not a fan of most pinky/reddish shadows because it can give the illusion of pink eye or tired eyes.  
Like I mentioned before, I have really oily eyelids. I have experimented with numerous liners and most would fade, smear or transfer under my eyes, but the one that smears or transfers the least is Bobbi Brown Gel liner. It will stay on until you take it off with a waterproof makeup remover (I use Lancome Bi-facil).
  • Apply the black gel liner using the ultra fine liner brush. Start from the (1) inner corner of the eyes and extend a line to the (2) outer corner. If you have shaky hands and can't draw one straight line, you can draw little lines (line I have in the illustration) and then connect them all.
  • To wing your liner : From the (2) outer corner, draw a small line at a 35 degree angle. Connect the tip of that 35 degree line (3) back to your liner (4).  
  • Helpful tip: The key to getting your liner to look "natural" is to draw the line as close to your lash-line as possible. If you have issues doing that, simply lift up your eyelid up (like I have in the illustration) and fill in the "blank" area. 
  • Lining the lower lash line is a judgement call. Some say that it makes their eyes appear small, but I think it important for me to line my lower lash line because I have hooded eyes. As you can see below that once I open my eyes, my top liner disappears quite a bit.
 
Lashes are optional, but I always like them for special events, date nights or anytime I'm taking pictures. I feel like they really open up the eyes and make them appear bigger. The lashes I'm wearing are Ardell Demi #101 and I like these a lot because the band of the lashes fit my eyes and I don't have to shorten them like other lashes. I apply my lashes with a tweezer because my hands are too clumsy. After my faux lashes are securely glued on, I will curl my own lashes and the faux lashes together so they are flipping in the same direction. 
 Wearing: Bobbi Brown Pale Pink Lipstick & Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss in pink pop (recommended by Jean)
I always like to keep my lip color pretty light and natural since my eye makeup is on the heavier side.
If you are wear a dramatic lip color, then go easy with the eye makeup. A helpful tint is to keep your lip color similar to your cheek color. They don't need to match exactly, but if you're wearing a coral blush then stay with a coral lip or else you will have too many colors competing against each other on your face. I also skip lip liner because my lips are pretty full and do not have to emphasize them any more.

This is the final post to my makeup tutorial. I hope you have found the tips to be helpful and please let me know if you have any questions. Also remember everyone has different features, skin type and coloring and the products/suggestions I mentioned have worked well for me and may not be for everyone.

Also check out:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

BR Fitting Room Reviews + 30% off purchase of $150+

 
I've been stalking the BR site for coupon codes because I really wanted this printed halter dress! I got an email today for a one time use 35% off coupon and couldn't have been more excited to go purchase this dress in store. I'd normally wait for a 40% discount, but was worried they would sell out of 00P. LoL, yes I like this dress that much! The silhouette is quite simple and something I could DIY, but I knew that the print would be impossible to find. The mirror print is so unique and I also love the color combo. The dress is a loose fit and drapes over the body beautifully. The material is silky and lightweight which will be perfect for a wedding I'm going to in hot SoCal this July. I almost forgot to mention the dress is fully lined and very comfortable to wear. I'm really happy with the purchase and would highly recommend it!! PS - I don't remember the last time I was this excited about a dress and especially one at BR.
The double strap and the print is very cute. The length is also nice for a petite. It's one of those dresses that looks great on the hangar, but kind of underwhelming on the body (on me at least). I also didn't like the elastic at the waist and thought it cheapened the dress a bit. The elastic also caused the fabric to billow above the waist, giving the appearance that I have big odd shaped boobs. Definitely passed on this dress.
I chose to try on this top because I really liked the neckline with the pleated details and the gold buttons. I love this jade color and think it would be flattering on pale or tan skin. The length isn't too long and hit right below the hips. My only issue is that it gapped in the chest area and it's a little low cut (definitely not a work top). I'm passing for now, but might consider purchasing if it goes on clearance though.

I didn't see an XXSP in store, but it is available online! The XSP I tried was quite blousy and wide and I'm not sure if XXSP would be small enough for a better fit. The print and color is quite beautiful and I agree with the reviewer that this blouse looks better in person. I'd be interested to see how an XXSP would fit. It's not worth buying at full price so I'm passing for now and waiting for the right size and price.

For 30% your purchase of $150+, use coupon code BRTAKE30.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Makeup Tutorial: Part 2 (Eyebrows)

I thought I'd be able to fit the makeup tutorial into 2 parts, but all the eye stuff was getting too long so eyebrows is getting its own post. :)
For me, filling in the eyebrows is so important because my face looks naked without it. I have lots of hair on my head and it's also very dark, but not sure why my eyebrows are so sparse, thin, and light in color.
 To fill in my brows, I use Brun eyeshadow by Mac (this is a nice color for someone with really dark brown hair). The brush I use is  Mac #263 (good for filling in sparse brows).  For thick brows, use Bobbi Brown Brow Brush instead (will deposit less powder for a more natural look).

*The key to finding your eyebrow color is to go a couple shades lighter than your hair color. You never want to match it because it will be way too dark and make you look scary. If you're unsure about what color to use, below are some recommendations:
For black hair: use espresso shadow
For blonde hair: use grey shadow
For red hair: use taupe shadow

Instructions:
  • (1) Draw a line from the bottom of the arch that connects to the (2) tip of the eyebrow.
  • (3) Then draw another line from the crown of the arch to the (2)tip. Then fill in the rest of the tail area with short small strokes. 
  • (4) Draw a line from the bottom of the start of the brows to the bottom arch.
  • (5) Then I fill in the rest of the brow with small upward strokes. 
*Also remember to tap off excess shadow before application or else you'll end up with traces of shadow on your face! 
If you are not good at filling in your eyebrows, not to worry because you can easily fix it or erase areas that you want to get rid of. This is also a good method I use to create really clean crisp lines under the brows.
  • (6) Take a small concealer brush (I use Mac #195 brush) and dip it into your foundation. Paint over the areas that needs to be erased.
  • (7) Take Q-tip and wipe off the foundation.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Splash of Mint & Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Stella McCartney inspired DIY dress is Jen K. Congrats girl! Shoot me an email to claim your prize. Thank you so much to everyone who have entered my giveaway!
Out of all my DIYs, I wear this nude skirt the most, not because it's my favorite item, but because it's such a versatile piece that goes with everything in my closet. When deciding what to make for my DIY projects, I often struggle with the question: should I create something that I can wear everyday or make a piece that is unique and spectacular? I've been wanting to make a long gown with an open back just because the idea sounds awesome and it would be a showstopping piece. Then I think about it again and decide not to because it'll just end up hanging in my closet because I have no occasion or event to wear this dress. 
Wearing: 
H&M Mint Blouse. (similar here
Aritzia Blazer. (similar here for under $80)
DIY Pleated Skirt. (similar here)
Forever21 Earrings. (similar here)
Pour La Victoire Mai Wedge + other colors hereGifted. Size 5.5. RTTS.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Makeup Tutorial : Part 1 (Skincare + Face)

Hi everyone and happy belated Mother's day!
I have a tutorial for you that was requested by a reader who wanted to know how I do my makeup. My daily routine is pretty simple and I wear basically the same thing everyday (maybe sometimes different color eyeshadow color or sans the lashes). I used to experiment with many different skincare + makeup, but I finally found products I really like and have been using them for a few years.
 
Before I start on the tutorial, I want share with you the skincare products I use in case you're interested. I also want to stress that it's really important for you to have nice smooth hydrated skin or else your makeup will not sit well. If you have dry flaky skin, makeup will only emphasize that and will not cover that up.

My Simple Skincare Routine:
*For reference: I have oily/combination skin 

    I love my foundation + concealer because I'm a picker (can't help it!). 
    I have gotten so many compliments about how nice my skin looks and sadly it's not because I have nice skin. It's because my foundation does a wonderful job with making my skin look dewy and blemish free!
    1) I apply my Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra 24H (color 210 buff) foundation with a large Bare Escentuals concealer brush because it's small enough to get into the crevasses by the nose area. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, you can also apply foundation with clean fingers.
    2) I then buff the foundation into my face with the Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Heavenly Face. This will make your foundation look so smooth and airbrushed! I never skip this step.
    3) I use the same concealer brush to apply the Bobbi Brown Corrector (color light bisque) under my eyes to cover up dark circles. The key to applying concealer is to get very close to the lash line and then gently pat down the concealer with your ring finger.

     I don't use a setting powder because both products sit really well throughout the day for me.
    4) I apply bronzer around the perimeter of the face and under the cheekbones. Instead of using a bronzer brush, I use a powder brush for a more natural look. I feel that when I use a bronzer brush, it deposits too much color onto my skin and it doesn't look as natural. I use Bobbi Brown Bronzing powder in golden light color. A helpful tip to finding a natural looking bronzer is looking at the undertone and making sure it has the same color as your tan. For example, if you tan yellow (like me) then find a bronzer with a golden undertone. If you tan red, then find a bronzer with a red undertone.
    5) For blush, I like a very soft pink color to compliment my pale skin. I use Bobbi Brown's pale pink blush and it's been my favorite color for years! It's a very bright pink color, but has a clear base so it's actually not as pigmented as it looks. Apply blush on apples of the cheeks with a sweep upward and then blend down.

    I will cover eyes + lips in another post. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below.

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    (Not) Your Basic Heels - From $42

    From Bottom to Top:
    Nude | Gray | Silver | Yellow | Tomato | Blue | Black
    Use Code ASOS10RMN for 10% for orders over $100

    Thinking about picking up the Sonic Heels in black & San Diego Heels in gray. I can't decide if I should get it now or wait for a 20% discount code.
    Have a great weekend and happy shopping everyone!

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    Hard To Come By a Good Eyelet

    Lately, I've been in search of a pretty eyelet material and discovered that they are very hard to find and can be pretty expensive. My local discount fabric store carries a very small selection and the patterns are plain and generic. I decided to stop by Britex fabric store because of their incredibly large variety of fabric offerings. The online store has more affordable options, but their selection is very small compared to the 4 story store in SF. When I walked into the B&M store, I felt like I was walking into a Neiman's filled with high end fabrics. I did end up finding a number of really pretty exquisite eyelet materials (they were in a glass case!), but the pricing was more than $100/yard. My mouth just dropped when I saw the price tag. 
    In order to make a dress, I'd need to buy about 2 yards of material. For that price, I'm thinking that I'd be better off just buying than DIYing! I scoured the internet for pretty eyelet dresses and realized that they are pretty hard to come by and the pricing was  as outrageous. A cheaper alternative would be buying white cotton material and attaching lace eyelet trim to the edges, but I'm not sure if that would produce the same effect as using eyelet material all over.



    Out of all these eyelet dresses, which eyelet material do you prefer?

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Mini

    Currently loving this Free People high waist mini
    An easy to wear skirt that goes with anything casual. The length is perfect for a petite and hugs the body nicely without being too fitted. The fabric is thick and the ruching also helps avoid VPL. It also comes in 3 other colors. I hate buying doubles, but I really want the taupe color too.
    Wearing:
    Aritzia Tee. Size XXS. It's quite big for an XXS! I also paid $40 for this and normally I wouldn't pay this much for a tee, but it's really really soft and comfy.
      BP.  'Trolley' Ankle Boot. Size 5. Cognac leather. Read my review here.
    F21 Bag. Similar here.

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    Easy Hair Tutorial: Soft Waves

     Hi everyone! I have a very simple hair tutorial for you today that was requested by a reader who wanted to know how I curl my hair. This is one of my favorite ways to wear my hair because it's quick and simple and makes my hair look instantly "done"!
     
    The before picture is what my hair looks like after I blow dry it. I like lots of volume because my hair is very heavy and can look flat at times. So normally when blow drying, I like to flip my head sideways or upside down. When I'm done blow drying, I will clip it up in a "poof" (like I have below) to create even more volume on the crown of my head. Let your hair stay clipped for about 15 minutes while the volume sets in, and you can do something else (like your makeup) during that time so you're not just sitting there waiting.
     
    The Conair curling iron I'm using below is 1.25" in diameter. You can use smaller or bigger curling irons, it doesn't really matter and it's your personal preference. If you'd like to see what size waves other diameter curling irons produce, see this post for hair curled with .75" diameter & see this post for hair curled with 1.5" diameter.  I also prefer to wrap my hair around the curling iron opposed to using the clamp. Using the clamp will give you uniform curly ringlets instead of soft messy waves.
    I have to say I have been using my cheapie Conair curling iron for years and it's as good as any expensive curling iron. A few months ago, I was at the mall and a SA at the kiosk suckered me into buying a $150 clamp-less curling iron. He really pressured me into buying the thing and I told him I'd buy it under one condition: if I can return it in case I didn't love it. Surprisingly he agreed to it even though they have a no return policy. I went home and played with my new clamp-less curling iron and actually noticed no difference between the expensive one and my cheapie Conair curling iron. I'm so glad I made the SA (might have been a manager?) agree to allowing me to return the curling iron or else I'd have wasted $150! So ladies, don't let those kiosk people play you for a fool.
    Helpful tips
    • Grab 1-2 inch sections of hair and wrap around the curling iron in the direction away from the face (this is most important for hair around the face and bangs).
    • When holding handle, point tip of the iron towards the floor.
    • Wrap your hair in a graduated spiral so your hair doesn't overlap, allowing for even distribution of heat.
    • I leave my hair wound around the iron for about 10-15 seconds, but that is really up to you depending on the texture and thickness of your own hair.
    I also don't use any type of heat protectant or styling products in my hair in case you're wondering. I like my hair to feel really clean and don't like products in it. I also feel like styling products weigh my hair down--even the ones that say weight less, non-greasy or oil free. Luckily, my hair will hold the curls throughout the day without hair spray.

    This is what your hair should look like when you are done. If not, that is okay too. ;)
    Let me know if you have any questions!
    Wearing:
      J. Crew Featherweight Cotton Cardigans. Size XXS. Currently 30% off with code SUNSHINE
    Free People Tiered Dress. (similar here)