Saturday, December 31, 2011

NYE: au casual

H&M silver tinsel/sparkle light sweatshirt (XS) // H&M deep blue satin button down top  (Euro 6) //
H&M Pants Collection dark green slim fit colored jeans (Euro 6) // H&M multicolour bracelets (XS/S) //
Merona calf hair leopard print flats (5.5) // Wet n Wild lipstick in Wine Room //

Photography: self-timer/remote & tripod ; Thanks Dad for helping with the photos

TINSELTOWN & JEWEL-TONED. My subtlely sparkling silver top, thin as can be but still with a bit of weight to it - reminds me of mithril, for fellow Lord of the Ring fanatics out there.  The annoying thing is it started falling apart before I put it on, but for $10, who can complain? It reflects light beautifully but my camera doesn't want to capture it properly. Wore this over a satin sapphire button down and some emerald skinnies out to Red Lobster with the fam a few days ago and finalized it for a New Years Eve-Eve (NYEE, pronounced knee, or like the Knights of Ni?) on 12/30/11. Also felt effortless and channeling Alexa Chung while walking my dog, if only she wore more messy buns.

Since I have nowhere to be, I figured as much as I want to get dandied up in my sequined and posh best - the glitter's best left on the dance floor. Someday though, I will count down in Times Square (think of the potential riffing: NYE in NYC). Someday I will attend opulent holiday parties and be decked in boughs of sartorial awesomeness. Reality check? Bumming at home with my parents, watching the ball drop a whole three hours early. At least there is White Zinfandel and a trunk full of hope for 2012 involved. Happy New Years, everyone! (Am I the only one who only feels comfortable when it's an even numbered year?)

The two winners for the UNESTABLISH giveaway have been selected and announced here. Congrats!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Rent the Runway Review: Erin Fetherston Dress

mr handsome and me gold dress trio tropical sunset
Erin Fetherston gold strapless mini dress with ivory sash (0) // Aldo nude pumps (5) //
Makeup: Coastal Scents 88 Shimmer Palette (light yellow, gold, rusty bronze), ELF Natural false eyelashes, Stila stay all day eyeliner, NYX Lipstick in Snow White

Finally, my belated review of renting a beautiful gold designer dress from Rent the Runway for free (thanks to winning Jean's giveaway a year ago). Mind you, these pictures were taken after 4 hours of crazed dancing and sweating, so the dress is wrinkly and I'm surprised my makeup/hair even held up this well. Read about the magical evening here and see tons more photos of the food, fashion, and fun. Thanks to JJ for snapping these after the event and to Jeremy Lai for the official photos.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to Get Clean & Smooth Underarms: Emjoi Light Caress Epilator Review

IMG_8294 copy
Today we're going to talk about armpits [initiating humour]. This review should really be titled "The Real Deal about Epilators (A Comedy)" or "My Fight with 30-something Tweezers." If you're like me and you're absolutely tired of irritated, red bumpy underarms from shaving, epilators might be for you. I also have dark hair, so even after shaving there's this dark patch that's unsightly even from a distance. It prevents me from raising my arms to the sky when wearing tank tops and t-shirts. I've even resorted to trying to tweeze everything out before and lemme tell ya - you get super dizzy super fast looking down and into your armpits for over 2 minutes. There is such a thing as a girl's underarm 5 o'clock shadow and the more I shaved, the more that monster reared its ugly head.

I first thought about getting an epilator maybe half a year ago when I first heard of it. But I kept dragging my feet out of fear of pain and because they're pretty expensive. Over the summer, I deliberated over which one to get, but finally at the beginning of September I bit the bullet and chose the Emjoi Light Caress epilator, corded because I would forget to charge the battery on a cordless one. Honestly, this one-time purchase makes sense because razors constantly need to be replaced and those Venus ones are a mighty price to pay just to be a goddess every time you want to wear a mini skirt.

It sounds like death when you turn it on. I was standing there in the bathroom giving myself a pep talk and having a psychological dilemma. When I finally got the nerve to put the rapidly rotating thingamajig to my underarm ... oh yeah it hurt like hellfire. It's more of a quick and sharp pinch, but I've heard that pulling the skin taut helps reduce the pain and get the hairs more easily. To get everything, you might have to glide the epilator upwards, downwards, side to side and get the couple of stragglers with some tweezers if you're OCD. My plan of attack was to say "oww" out loud every time it pinched to divert my attention and rest every once in a while. But after 7 minutes or so, all was said and done - really freakishly smooth underarms ... this lasted for two weeks plus. When the hair slowly grows back, it will be a lot more sparse and usually thinner and lighter (mine were super soft and almost invisible). Also, you're going to have to grow out your hair for 3-5 days initially, so wear a long-sleeve shirt (won't be so hard since it's winter).

I have to admit ...  I was a pansy/lazy and went back to shaving for a while and of course, all the previous grotteyness came back. Once I tried again, it hurt like hell again. I'm going to man up and keep using this until I'm desensitized, and it's supposed to get a lot better after a few uses. Call me a masochist, but overall, this is one of my most worthwhile beauty-related purchases of the year. Now I can pretty much forget about shaving altogether for weeks at a time. When Christine of Xteeener posted her video, I thought that if a sweet and sensitive girl like her can survive this, so can I!

What it promises/features is to the right: There is a cool little light and you can use speed 1 for upper lip and speed 2 for underarms, legs, bikini area but I haven't tried the latter two.

Cost: $44 on Amazon

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dressed in Berry Creme & Wine

berry pink cream love takes many forms shapes and curvature budding love to olympian heights
H&M pink blazer w/ side ruffles (Euro 4) // H&M light pink lace shoulder top (S) //
Forever 21 lace/tulle scallop hem skirt (S) // Forever 21 burgundy leggings //
H&M small black purse // Xhilaration cognac oxford flats/wingtips (5.5) //
Charming Charlie pink bauble and gold chain statement necklace // 
Taiwanese brand red frame glasses // Urban Outfitters double face watch //
Wet n Wild lipstick in Wine Room //

Photography: self-timer/remote & tripod

CONFECTION CONFESSIONS. My last-minute holiday mall-hunting outfit (12/22) coloured in ROMANTIC PINK + BERRY, taken the day after because it gets dark so fast. Don't let the warm temperature and palm trees fool you - it is still the dead of December. This colour palette was inspired by burgundy, which goes well with pink and cream, satin and lace textures. Burgundy is like a fine wine - complements well, not ostentatious. Been wanting a pair of these in my cold weather wardrobe for a while and their fuzzy lining will ensure lots of wear to come.

This lace/chiffon skirt is a perfect length and I got it for $4.75 from easypetitelooks' blogsale. It's a very tiny small and the wide elastic band makes it fit like an XS so I folded it in to prevent unsightly bunching. With raised floral patterns embroidered onto the tulle and a thick opaque underskirt, it's ladylike and girly at the same time. My favourite thing about this light pink top is that it balances out the skirt with a tinge of lace modestly placed at the shoulders. It's sexy in a subdued and elegant way. With my trusty H&M pink blazer over the bunch and my favourite pair of shoes (honest to God, wear them almost every day), mix in a heavy bauble and gold necklace in a matching rose pink shade and my med school interview purse - utilitarian, unobtrusive, and still fashionable.

At the mall, I did some major damage perusing the racks at H&M in their convenient pre-Christmas sales. All the best fall/winter items are leftover in sunny San Diego, where there is never much need for major Midwest cold weather staples. Forever 21 was also very well-stocked but as per usual, I tired of the long lines and visual overload and run clawing at my eye sockets and screaming. Meanwhile, the rest of my break thus far has been spent marathoning Psych and reading countless ebooks on my Nook Tablet (read my picture-filled review here).

Day 11 of the 12 Days of Fabulous (almost done!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cable Knits and Sequins

off with your glasses boots and bracelets makeshift mantle happy holidaying hand on hips
Ralph Lauren cream white cable knit sweater (S) (gift from aunt) // 
Forever 21 black and gold sequined mini skirt (M) // 
Charlotte Russe? heeled boots with strappy detail (5.5/6?) (old) // Forever 21 burgundy tights //
Claires wreath and stocking earrings // H&M multicolour bracelets //
Wet n Wild lipstick in Wine Room //

Photography: self-timer/remote and tripod

BIKINI WEATHER!? What I wore for Christmas Day, after my just-crawled-out-of-bed morning mess (12/25). My aunt and her family loves Ralph Lauren, and always shower me with gifts when they visit. This sweater is just the right thickness for layering or wearing by itself. In my recent sequin and everything-shiny craze, I finally found a cheap $14 black-and-gold sequined mini at Forever 21 in St. Louis before I left for home. The only sizes left were mediums, which drop down low past my waist, but probably help with the skimpy length issue. The other option was rose gold, which was very pretty but simply too bright and in-your-face to wear in public (as much as I love the idea in my head). The most amusing part of this skirt is that it's 3+ in 1 - scratch the sequins one way, the skirt will turn all gold; in the other direction, they're black. AWESOME. It also blends in well in bright daylight (bedazzling) and nighttime/shade (a more subtle sparkle).

I also picked up these burgundy tights in a perfect shade (not too dark, not too bright, not too purple) and was very happy to find that the inside was lined with a thick soft and slightly furry material, making my legs extra warm. The fact that it's footless causes some concern and calls for socks, but all this goes without to say because it was 78 on Christmas this year in San Diego. Holy crap I will never, ever get used to this (and yes this outfit was too hot). I can't even remember where the boots are from, since my swordfighting days meant hunting down cheap pairs of black boots at the mall and medieval fairs to berserk in style. To top off the holiday look, I added one of each of two pairs of holiday earrings from junior high and my Claires obsession days. One is a little tinsel wreath complete with fake mini bell and the other is a red stocking adorned with baubles and holly. Finish with berry lipstick and we are ready to jingle bell rock in le CABLE KNIT SWEATER + SEQUINED SKIRT.

Bonus: cute little gif animation of me being uber excited below.
P.S. It is obnoxiously hard to take self-photos with an SLR.
P.P.S. 10th of the 12 Days of Fabulous!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

brother and me o trippy xmas tree miso yummy o tannenbaum it's a pot and it's hot kinder bar, muy bien thanks santa doe foo pre colour change pretty lights
OF FAUX TREES AND HOT POT. Belly full of hotpot and lights on the tree a-twinklin' ... Merry Christmas to one and to all :) It's 78 degrees in San Diego today. I can kiss dreaming about a White Christmas goodbye! My outfit involved sequins and sweaters, only one of which is appropriate for a beautiful SoCal holiday - stay tuned tomorrow for pictures!

Readers - how was your Christmas?
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Nook Tablet Review

pose with le nook blessed butterflies model that nook unboxing
MERRY CHRISTMAS! I used to be such an avid reader. In fact, I have records of every book I read since late elementary school. While the library is great and free, sometimes fighting over reserving popular books leads to procrastinating on finally tackling those great reads. Buying hardcovers can add up and as much as I love physical books, they become a hassle in this mobile stage of my life (think multiple boxes of 50+ lbs ... filled with books). Now, I happily can say I read for pleasure before I go to sleep every night.

At first, I thought that tablets like the iPad were half-dismembered version of computers, and a little bigger screened than smartphones. At $500+ a pop, such a big purchase didn't seem worthwhile when I already have so much technology. Randomly, during Thanksgiving Break, JJ and I ventured to the Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa. There was a central station featuring book covers on vertically displayed TV flatscreens, many Nooks to play with, so many amazing covers for these eReaders.

After tinkering with the zippy interface and cute "me-sized" screen (it's the size of a paperback book, suitably) of the Nook Tablet, I became enamored. At $250, it was a pricey impulse buy but I have been using my Nook every single day. Extra plus: the excitement of having a new piece of technology less than a week after its release. After a whole month of use, I'm loving it. It's a more productive entertainment gadget than my laptop, where I'm easily distracted while being distracted.

I think the only downside is when B&N has sales and coupons, they never apply to Nook products (that makes sense), including the apps and ebooks. The app store does cost more than comparable markets. Initially there were some problems with it shutting off by itself, but recently nothing buggy has happened. You can also "root" it and do all sorts of other DIY adjustments, but I'll leave it at that ; ) P.S. Day 9 of 12 Days of Fabulous!

It does everything I need a tablet to do:
  • Small and thin, easy to slip into a purse or backpack
  • Wifi-enabled for instant searches and my blog-ogling needs
  • Fast. SO FAST.
  • Clear IPS screen - this is intense resolution, folks
  • Battery lasts foreverrrr. I didn't charge mine for 3 weeks and it was still alive (only reading)
  • Reads pdfs, research articles, ebooks in epub format too - downloaded straight from its web browser
  • You can read in the dark with black background, white text. Great for reading to sleep
  • Angry Birds and other apps (though it costs more than Android Market)
  • It has a microSD slot for additional storage (16GB+)
  • Cute covers available (feat. in a post soon), gives it more of a bookish feel
  • You can lend an ebook to a nook friend for 14 days - access disappears on your Nook for the time so it's really like borrowing. Sharing is caring!
Amusing feature: some children's books have a "read to me" or "read and record," so that you can record your own voice telling your precious darling's favourite stories and they can listen to it any time. I would very much like an ebook copy of Samuel L. Jackson reading "Go the F*** to Sleep" for my toilet humour ears only, of course xD
read to me! blog ogling on nook the back
Haha already using the reflective surface as a mirror xD
lol mirror
Readers - did you get new tech for Christmas/the holidays?
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This review is 100% my honest opinion and the product was purchased with my own money. I am not in any way affiliated with B&N.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Olives and Black Roses

shy shrug gunmetal gold green modern renaissance demure flare
Forever 21 black sheer top w/woven neckline (S) // H&M tan tank top (Euro 4) (as undershirt) //
H&M olive green A-line skirt (Euro 2) // Forever 21 black rose print tights (M/L) //
Wild Diva peep toe suede booties w/ bow accents (5.5) // Jewelmint Astoria necklace (worn as bracelet) (c/o) //
Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Nude // Coastal Scents 88 Shimmer Palette gunmetal, gold, forest green eyeshadow //

Photography: JJ

THE LATTER IN MY DRINKINI. Day 8 of the 12 Days of Fabulous! (This is like running a freaking marathon, blog-wise.) It's Christmas Eve in all its excitement - there are presents under the tree and candy cane on the faux branches, but most importantly there is delicious homecooked Chinese food on the table and my family gathered around it. Home is the best. I wish that they wouldn't ever stop playing Christmas music, year-round. I will always be the idiot singing out loud in the supermarket to "offer you a simple phrase, for kids from one to ninety-two ... Merry Christmas to you." This was what I wore to Styleta Fashion Night Out 2011 (12/10) to enjoy the on-campus fashion and photograph the runway (the post soon).

SHEER + A-LINE SKIRT. I always had trouble styling this top because it was sheer, long and flowy and generally boxy. Sometimes I wore a belt around it but it never quite felt right. With something black underneath, it kind of lost its sheer charm. So luckily I finally figured out a way to accentuate the sheerness without baring uncomfortable amounts of skin (which for me is any amount of midriff I realize) - layer a nude coloured shirt underneath. Voila! Also finally glad to bring out this skirt, something that finally went on sale for $7 last Christmas and I snatched up a Euro 2 versus the 6 thinking that if I became fit enough, it'd be fine. Hahaha, self, time to exercise and eat healthy ... what were you thinking? Either way, the back would not zip up so I just hid it under the shirt's loose material. LOVING the feminine A-line flared shape and olive green colour.

Another wise discovery: buying M/L tights instead of S/M has saved me a lot of ripping. My mondo-thighs just seem to hulk out of any normal dainty pair, so sizing up has greatly helped. You might remember this grey pair of the same F21 rose print tights - of course now they're ripped and questionable looking. Too finish off with some ingenuity: my Jewelmint Astoria necklace (read my review) wrapped thrice around my little wrists to make a cool chunky brassy/golden bracelet. Hurray for arm candy!

black roses and suede tuck behind ear to show arm candy close up deets chunks of aztecia the beginnings of the sprinkler olivia baby got back
Readers - how do you wear sheer?
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