Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Favorite Accessory


I love, love, love Betsey Johnson jewelry. Somehow it always manages to strike a perfect balance between gaudy and glamorous. 

I went shopping at the mall with my mom a few weeks before last Christmas. I remember passing a case at Boston Store and gazing in awe at the rhinestone laden watches on display and possibly salivating a little bit. In case you couldn't tell, I really like sparkly things. 


I was genuinely surprised when one of the watches ended up being one of my Christmas presents. It's so amazing when a gift reflects how the person who bought if for you really pays attention to what you like. I'm especially happy that she bought if for me in the cream color scheme rather than the pink (which is what I would have chosen) because the neutral color goes so well with virtually everything. 


I get lots of compliments on my obnoxiously sparkly watch, and it's become my go-to piece to jazz up any outfit that looks a bit dull. I somehow even think that this watch is a perfect reflection of my personality and style; a little quirky and gaudy, yet classy. 

What's your favorite accessory or go-to piece? Tell me in the comments!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Soft Cat Eyes

I haven't been wearing eyeshadow as much as I used to, and when I do it's been mostly neutrals. When I was in high school I used to love experimenting with color on my eyes, I think part of it was because I felt like I was too big to dress up nicely so my way of expressing myself was through makeup. Now that I've gained more confidence with my body though, I've stopped experimenting so much with my makeup.

I'm trying to ease myself into being more bold... it's so easy to fall into a rut when you find a perfect look that you just love. I decided to do some soft eyeshadow today to match my usual winged eyeliner though. it may still be neutrals, but it's a step! 


Eyeshadow: (MAC) Yogurt, Soft Brown, Gesso, Copperplate
Eyeliner: (Hard Candy) Little Black Dress
Blush: (MAC) Stark Naked





Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How to Get Perfect Skin

A few weeks ago, someone commented on one of my Facebook photos and said I had "gorgeous skin." Of course I was flattered, but it came as a shock to me to be complimented on my complexion. Through my tween's and early teenage years I had a horrible, terrible war with severe acne. There were times when my entire forehead was virtually one gigantic zit, with little colonies of pimples scattered elsewhere on my face. And being a melodramatic teenager, this of course meant that no one would ever love me and I would die alone.

The only remaining evidence I have of this dark period in my life is a picture that someone tagged me in on Facebook, which I will post for your amusement.


This is actually pretty mild for how bad my skin used to break out. But alas, this is me about six or seven years ago with frizzy hair, an ill fitting bra and what appears to be a pimple mustache.

I eventually went to see a dermatologist, who prescribed me a topical cream and some anti-inflammatory medication. Also, he squeezed a lot of my blackheads out, which I couldn't believe people actually did for a living.

My skin slowly got better through High School, and now finishing up my second year of college I'm actually very happy with my complexion. Part of it was definitely finishing puberty, but I think a large portion of my skin success story was finding the right skin care products and routine.

Here's what my skin looks like now.


Obviously I have makeup on, but this photo isn't airbrushed at all. If you look closely you can still see some scarring on my chin from popping zits (don't pop them! I know it's strangely satisfying, but don't do it) other than some left over scarring though, I generally have smooth and even skin and rarely ever break out anymore. So, fret not my friends. It is well within your power to fix any skin problems you may have.


 Here are the best tips for taking care of your skin that I've learned from my experiences: 


1. Find Your Perfect Facial Cleanser
I highly suggest Lush's cleansers. I've used Dark Angels for years and I can't imagine life without it. There are different cleansers available for different skin types so there's something to suit everyone. I love their skin care products because they're all natural, you're not putting any icky chemicals on your face and believe me when I say you can tell the difference between natural products and the drug store bottled variety. It looks pricey, but in stores you can request a certain size or dollar amount to be weighed out for you. I usually get about $15 worth at a time, but it lasts me months. 

2. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Seriously, moisturize constantly. At least twice a day, and especially before putting on makeup. It might take some experimenting to find the right moisturizer for you. I use Lacura which is super duper cheap, but I've had great results with it. 

3. Always Take Off Your Makeup at Night
One of the cardinal sins of skin care is forgetting to take your makeup off before bed. DON'T. DO. THIS. Makeup clogs up your pores and interferes with your skin's natural rejuvenation process. Give your skin time to breath. I use Neutrogena cleansing towlettes. Wipes make taking your makeup off super easy, you can do it in front of the computer or TV. No excuses!

4. Try a Toner
I wouldn't say it's a necessity, but if you're really trying to take good care of your skin a toner can be very helpful. Again, I like to use Lush products for this. I'm currently using Breath of Fresh Air but when it runs out I think I'm going to try Tea Tree Water. Toner took a while to grow on me as a part of my routine, but I love getting out of the shower and spraying some on my face. It's nice and refreshing and make your skin feel nice and tight. 

5. Use a Primer Under Foundation
Using a primer not only creates a smooth base for your foundation, it also creates a barrier between potentially pore-clogging makeup and your skin so you're less likely to break out. I suggest Smashbox Photon Finish Light or Too Faced Primed and Poreless

6. See a Dermatologist 
If you have a severe skin issue, see a dermatologist. Seeing one when I was younger didn't magically resolve my skin issues, but it definitely helped me reset some of the damage and give me another chance at having a good complexion.


Discovering what skin care products work for you can take some time, but once you develop your own routine it's entirely possible to get great skin.

Have you had any skin care success stories? Tell me in the comments!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm Very Banana Today

This is what I'll be wearing when I head off to work in a few minutes. I'm starting to experiment with photo locations, I know that photos outside of a dormitory bathroom with a garish billboard in the background isn't very aesthetically pleasing.

I was making smalltalk with a sales associate at Banana Republic on Saturday and out of curiosity I asked if she always had to be wearing something from the store while she was at work. She said, "No, it just has to look Banana." 


Necklace, Earrings: Express
Cardigan, Shirt: Banana Republic
Pants: New York & Company

The point being that my top and sweater are both Banana Republic, so I guess I look very "Banana" today. I'm really loving beige and gold right now, I'm anticipating wearing that combination quite a bit for spring. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blue and Floral


Finally jumped on the bandwagon of adding vintage-y filters to my pictures. It kind of feels like a cop-out, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love the way it looks. Of course, everyone looks pretty in soft-focus and without an unsightly nose in the way.


Top: Ann Taylor
Scarf: Rue21
Necklace: Vintage
Pants: New York and Company
Shoes: Madden Girl

Wore this to work on Friday, I literally worked the entire weekend so I hope yours was more enjoyable than mine. The boys at the store love to comment on my outfit, and I ended up having to give a much more detailed explanation of the difference between three-quarter sleeves and half-sleeves than I ever thought would be necessary. This was my first time wearing one of my new Ann Taylor tops from my latest shopping excursion. I'm usually not very comfortable wearing color because I think it makes me look bigger, but I think the draping of the fabric is pretty flattering for my waist and tummy. My only complaint is that I ended up with a itsy-bitsy sweat stain under one arm midway through my shift, and I literally cannot remember the last time that happened to me. I'm not sure if it was a fluke or something about the fabric.





Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Current Obsession

Swan, $8.80 (Forever 21) Dragonfly, $20 (1928) Red Parrot, $20 (Avalaya London) Blue Gems, $30 (Macy's) Butterfly, $29 (Alilyang Fashion) Black Lips, $205 (Sonia Rykiel Vintage) Chameleon, $20 (Alilyang Fashion) Crystal Cluster, $30 (Juicy Couture)  Roses, $182 (Forzieri)
I did some research on the toucan brooch that mysteriously came into my possession a few months ago, and discovered that it's a vintage piece by Kenneth J Lane, which certainly adds some value to it. And while traversing the Google trying to find my exact piece, I stumbled upon so many gorgeous brooches and I got to thinking about how they aren't really in style anymore. I suppose brooch conjures up images of old stuffy ladies going to church, but I can't help thinking how easy it would be to add interest to an otherwise boring outfit just by adding a statement pin.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Shopping Haul


I realized a few days ago that I've been cycling through the same handful of outfits for work the last few weeks, that combined with Spring being my favorite season trend-wise I headed to the mall after class today. Here's what I got!


I made a beeline to White House Black Market. I've been salivating over this cardigan since I saw it online. It has roses AND rhinestones, which makes it two of my favorite things in one thing. The skirt was on sale and I thought it would be pretty versatile and a great way to do some subtle colorblocking. I ended up chatting about the "geek stigma" in video games with the sales associate, apparently she takes her sons to GameStop quite a bit so that was certainly an interesting conversation.


One of my goals for this trip was to pick up more tops. Finding tops for my body has always been a struggle, since I'm pretty busty but have a relatively small waist. Anything that isn't fitted tends to make me look chubbier than I actually am. I've never bought anything from Ann Taylor before, but the sales associate helping me was very friendly. I went to the fitting room to try on one top, and when I didn't like it she came back with at least 10 more for me to try on. I was a little overwhelmed, especially since I knew a couple of them weren't my style. But, I tried them all on none the less. I have to say that I'm glad I let someone else pick things out for me since a few of the shirts I would never have given a second glance to were actually quite flattering. I ended up picking out two solid colored tops with three-quarter sleeves that I know I can pair with a few other pieces already in my wardrobe.


Another revelation I've had recently was that I have several fancy, lacy bras but no neutral colored bras to wear under sheerer tops so I used my Secret Rewards Card ($10, no surprise there) and picked up a basic beige cotton bra. Not the sexiest thing in the entire world, but it was a basic piece I was lacking.


And lastly, a few basics from the lower-end stores. Camisoles have been a staple of my wardrobe lately, I like being able to put a cardigan over one and go if I don't have time to get dressed up. I've been looking for a opaque lace top for a while now too, and I got this beige/black one after trying on three different sizes since it refused to fit my boobs correctly. The three camis on the left are from Vanity, and the lace top is from Wet Seal.

One of the reasons I had such a successful trip is that I planned out exactly what I was looking for ahead of time. I knew I was mostly looking for tops that I could wear to work, and I made sure to stick to that plan. A helpful exercise I did a few days ago was to pick my favorite pieces from my wardrobe that I already own and write down exactly what it was that I liked about them to help me when I'm picking new pieces out. A few things I didn't realize I liked until I actually thought about it. For instance, one of my favorite shirts has three-quarter sleeves and I found I gravitate towards wrap-style tops.

Of course, there are a few trendier things I'd like to get for spring still. A lace pencil skirt comes to mind, and you can never have too many sun dresses.

What did you get on your most recent shopping excursion? Tell me in the comments! 









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