Monday, December 27, 2010

Bodycon, M.D.

Ann Taylor white fitted blazer (00P) // Pitaya cutout bodycon dress (S) // 
Merona black dotted tights (S/M) // Fioni for Payless strappy heels (5) //

Photography: JJ using Nikon D70

Way back in September, I ventured into Ann Taylor for the first time and came out with my first nice piece of clothing. Though it was after Labor Day, this stark white fitted blazer still caught my eye from the sale rack. To my surprise, a 00P was even slightly too big on me in places. The sales associate told me the back needed to be taken in a little and the sleeves shortened. It was originally something like $180 originally but had a sale price of $60 but in the end after some more discounts for a few dirty spots I found it came out to be $32. Not bad at all! From pictures, it seems like the fit is pretty good though not perfect. 

Bodycons really do make me body-conscious, or rather body self-conscious. All those steak phillies are finally catching up to me d'oh. I like the cutout of the back and this is probably one of the most skin-showing pieces I own. I definitely went out with the blazer on so that I didn't feel naked at the fashion show. 

I am SO STOKED to be leaving on a 14-hour flight to Taiwan in 3 days !!! This is my first time out of the country and back in Asia in 7 years. These next few days are going to be full of writing scheduled posts of reviews and some leftover outfits, packing and packing, trying to figure out how to avoid jetlag. My poor body is in need of some healthy vacationing, with amazing food and depending on my legs for transportation instead of firmly planting my butt in a hard chair and keeping my eyes glued to books or a computer screen. I want a true vacation away from the internet (gasp!) so I'm going to blog a ton beforehand and get my fair share of adventure and relaxation during. See you on the other side of the world!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Review: Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Nude

There are a few lip product staples in every woman's makeup bag, and nude lipsticks are becoming increasingly popular, rivaling the classic red lip at the opposite end of the spectrum. Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Nude (070) has been one of 2010's hot lipstick shades and I finally pulled up some photos I took in the summer (yikes) for a review. The sleek, square Chanel-inspired packaging immediately drew me to this lipstick to try and I was left without regrets. 

In contrast to many nude lipsticks, this colour is pale and peachy, but not like ghastly dried-out concealer that makes you look like a zombie. The consistency feels almost waxy on the lips and it seems to adhere as you apply so that by the time you're done, you only have a paper-thin layer on but it's very full of colour. You may need several swipes to get the entire lip, but it won't slide around or feel goopy.

I find that if you moisturize your lips beforehand (my favourite method: apply chapstick, hop in the shower and let the steam soften your lips) and exfoliate the dead skin off before applying this lipstick, it won't dry out your lips after many hours of wear, unlike most lipsticks. I have also discovered the perfect lipstick for layering - I tried Revlon's Coral Reef lipgloss over this and it popped like the vibrant colour in the tube, so Soft Nude is great as a lip concealer too. Before, I was trying to use Revlon Matte Nude Attitude and it was really dry and cakey and not so great as an under-layer. 

The thing I am most obsessed about is obviously the packaging. For comparison, here is the packaging for Chanel versus Revlon (photo credit). Great dupe, right? The cute quilting and black square matte tube complements the engraving on the lipstick itself. Also, the colour on the cap is true to the product, so for once we have a good indicator from the packaging. My only complaint is that you have to be careful with this one - mine already melted a bit and is tilting inside the tube. 

Price: $7.98 at Walmart for 0.13 oz (3.69 g)

What the product claims to do (from Revlon site):
-Instant burst of rich, true color with a featherlight feel-Elasticolor™ technology provides immediate color release and hugs lips with a burst of weightless color that feels like a second skin
-Available in range of 20 gorgeous shades

Ingredients: Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polyester-4, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg 10/1 Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina ((Microcrystalline Wax) Cire Microcristalline), Polyethylene, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Cetyl Peg/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Squalane, Sorbic Acid. May Contain [+/-: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, 77492,77499), Red 6 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850:1), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090)] 21871

Packaging: Sleek, matte, black quilted pattern
- Chic packaging
- Nude shade doesn't look chalky
- Thin layer application
- Great for layering with other vibrant shades
- Moisturizing

- The stick melts easily so be careful
- Could be cheaper

Verdict: I am really impressed with this multi-purpose nude lipstick. I want to try the other shades as well because I like the formula of the Revlon Colorburst series - thin layers, long-lasting, moisturizing when you exfoliate and use chapstick beforehand. Classic nude lip made simple and flattering.

- Moisturizing 4/5 ♥♥♥♥
- Pigmentation: 5/5 ♥♥♥♥♥
- Long-lasting: 4/5 ♥♥
- Texture: 5/5 ♥♥♥♥
Packaging: 5/5 ♥♥♥♥♥
Price: 3/5 ♥♥♥♥

Would I buy it again?
I would definitely repurchase this lipstick in other shades (Carnation, Blush, Rosy Nude, Peach) when the price drops for these.

Here are some looks from past FOTD's using Soft Nude:
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all! I hope you get plenty of rest with your family and eat tons of delicious food. Of course, appreciate all your presents but count your immaterial blessings too : ) I am looking forward to the new year and have high hopes for 12 whole months of motivation, curiosity, and inspiration.

I was not paid in any way for this review; these are my opinions after use. This product was purchased with my own money. Results may vary from person to person. 

Fitting Room Review: H&M 2010 Holiday Sale

2 days until Christmas! It seems like procrastination finally has its merits, at least when it comes to Christmas shopping. Today I hit the mall with my Dad and brother and I spent all my time mesmerized by H&M's endless store-wide sale. Literally EVERYTHING had a red tag on it, which makes me really happy that I didn't spend too much a few months ago on things that I nabbed now for 50% off at least. I have a bunch more H&M fitting room reviews lined up but I wanted to post the most relevant one today in case any of you ladies have some last minute shopping to do : )

I literally freaked out when I saw the sea of red sale tags so I picked up much more than I could handle and dropped the cute fur scarf that Jean has been rocking. It was still a bit pricey so I don't regret waiting a little more.I also passed on the Camel Pencil Skirt all the petites have been craving and I found a size 2 as well, but the belt was gone and they would only give me 10% from $15. St. Louis Galleria cannot compare to California malls in sale caliber nor stock. This haul was a Christmas present from my Dad (thanks so much!). My waistline and bustline I think all grew (nay ... yay?) with all this excessive consumption of delicious food, so size 2 and I are having a love-hate relationship right now. I could not zip up those dresses and size 4 was still too loose in many areas. I'm not about to give up my food baby for the sake of being a stick in Taiwan though. I'm going to night market until I pass out. Salads and treadmills are for when I return to the States xD

1) H&M Red and Black Party Dress, Euro size 2 // sale $20
This is so cute. I'm obsessed with H&M's red and black holiday theme this year and I like that this dress has spaghetti straps. Unfortunately the price deterred me and I thought the bottom didn't adhere well to my body. I couldn't zip the size 2 up so either I gained a lot of weight or this is great for petites. There are pockets too. This dress comes in many other colours too.
- Verdict: Pass
2) H&M Leopard maxi dress, Euro size 4 // sale $20
When I saw this on Suzy, I nearly fainted because it looked super gorgeous on her and she looked so powerful. This is actually a great length for people my height (5'3") because I don't trip and it just hits the floor. The front is a bit loose as it's a size 4 but this was the smallest size I could find.
- Verdict: Purchased
3) H&M Military cropped blazer, Euro size 4 // sale $20
I never would have expected snakeskin to go with the military trend, but I think it's oddly cute if I put my hair into a high bun. I think the fit was pretty good for this blazer but it wasn't mind-shockingly amazing that I kept it in my basket.
- Verdict: Pass, due to price

4) H&M Faux snakeskin mini skirt, Euro size 2 // sale $10
This tight-fitting mini actually really piqued my interest and I almost got it. I like how it fits and stretches a bit (faux leatherish material).
- Verdict: Pass, too clubwear
5) H&M Zebra print harem pants, Euro size XS // sale $15
This did not fit like an XS whatsoever ... it fit more like a size 6. I also look insane - definitely not for me and is reserved for tall people.
- Verdict: Pass
6) H&M Tribal print harem pants, Euro size 4 or 6 // sale $15
I think they messed up the sizes between these because this fit more like a size 2 ... I am scared looking at those pants. They remind me of the freakish clown thing in the Digimon Movie. I'm terrorized by clowns ...
- Verdict: Pass
7) H&M One shoulder chiffon tea dress, Euro size 2 and 4 // sale $20
I love the asymmetry of how this dress falls but I didn't like the colour on me. The one shoulder chiffon strap is so elegant! I couldn't even zip up the size 2, hence the danger edit xD Ignore the pink bra strap too.
- Verdict: Pass
Size 4 is much better but it felt slightly loose around the chest area.
8) H&M Cropped beaded blazer, Euro size XS // sale $20
This is so gorgeous and it so elegantly turns a cocktail dress into something I could wear to class or a tea social. I plan on wearing more dresses now that I have this little jewel.
- Verdict: Purchased
So what did I end up getting? This bunch. You might notice that the white poncho that I returned earlier (I had it in a brownish colour) is now on sale for $20. It's too pretty and dolly to pass up so I picked it up as a gift. Also, that khaki green skirt I tried on in September is finally marked down to $7 from its original $30 woohoo! I picked it up in size 2 so I will wear it when I slim down in the spring xD I saw these leopard strappy wedges a long time ago on another blogger's site and I wanted them so badly. Unfortunately these size 5's fit like 6's. They were $25 (if you want to buy these from me, send an email). Last but not least, I spied a cute nautical top for $13 when I got in line so I nabbed it without trying it on. Can never get over my sailor obsession xD
If you're still looking for Lanvin, the Westfield Mall in Escondido still has a rack full! I didn't get to check the sizes and price tags because I only saw the poor lonely group in a sea of sales when I finished up at the register.
Also, what do you think about the Disqus commenting system? Would this deter Blogger people from commenting? I realize that I can import old comments, which is a plus, and I would definitely be able to reply more and promptly. Hope you like my new layout too - JJ and I spent forever tweaking it from scratch (Minima Stretch template). I want big fat pictures and a sidebar that I can use for sponsors because I have loads of big plans for 2011. 

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