Friday, September 4, 2009

Mad For Macy's

Just two quick products I got at Macy's (after hijacking a friend's 15% discount for the first one)...I'll be sure to update after a few days to let you know how these products are going.

1. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW 30

I've been looking for a really great full-finish concealer for a while now, because I figure that it'll be an essential for looking awake and refreshed after a long night. I've been looking up concealers for a while, and I really didn't want to spend too much, so while many fancier concealers exist, I figured this one would be a nice combination of heavy coverage with a moderate price.

This is actually the first high-end cosmetic item that I've ever purchased, and I'm so glad that I did. It looks a bit light, and I was surprised to be matched to NW 30 (since I'm kind of a golden-tan warm-skinned person, and NW is a bit on the cooler side, but I'm going to try it out and see how it goes. The little pot, by the way, is the most adorable and convenient thing I've ever seen. It's the size of a MAC shadow pot and fits effortlessly into even the smallest of clutches.

2. Lush Dark Angels Cleanser

I suppose buying the MAC concealer got me on a spree, because I decided to get a high-end facial cleanser as well. Thankfully for me, this small container of cleanser only cost around $10 with tax, so it was about as much as a drugstore cleanser. Granted, it wasn't a huge amount, but I'll get into why it's worth the money later. It's garnered pretty good reviews on MakeupAlley for girls with blackheads, which is definitely me. So, since I was at Macy's and hadn't bought much in the way of makeup for the month of August, I decided to try it out.

First of all, I'm not overly concerned with using "all-natural" products on my skin, but it's nice to know that unpronounceable ingredients will be loaded onto my face in the name of staying clean. Lush is a charmingly organic and natural store, where my personal choice of concealer was packaged almost like it came straight out of Whole Foods.

Inside, it looks like ground-up charcoal...which makes sense, as charcoal is one of the main ingredients. It looks a bit odd for a cleanser, but it's more of a scrub. What I do is remove my makeup first, dampen my nose area (which is where I mainly use the cleanser), take a little lump of the cleanser, and massage it into my nose area and around, like a scrub. I leave it there for two or three minutes, and then massage it into my nose as i remove it.

So far I'm liking the products, but in a few weeks I'll have an update post on how they've been working for me, as one can never really tell until two or three weeks have gone by.


So I mentioned this lovely light jersey top that I got from Urban Outfitters that had fake leather rosettes framing the neckline a while back. Unfortunately, when I bought it, the neckline was super-low...and I'm not really one to layer tanks a lot, I don't really like the feeling of it. It turns out that the low-cut neckline was actually the back. But with long hair, I couldn't really see the practicality of keeping the lovely rosettes on the back of my tank, so I figured I'd do a little bit of editing. Besides, fashion is an interpretive form of expression, right?

So here's the tank as it looks now...and I love it! I cannot believe it was only $10.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Navy's In For Fall

Even though it's supposed to be one of Chicago's coolest summers ever, I still dream about the brisk breezes and crunchy coloured leaves of fall...not to mention the glorious wardrobe changes that will occur.

The sweater is $20 and the shoes are $24...I'm especially in love with the loafer/moccasins, because they're in a unique colour that can still function as a neutral. The only thing I'd be worried about is how well they go with blue jeans. But with black tights? Wonderful.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Brown Is The New Black

In terms of makeup, I have my basics and my "extra oomph" products. Again, I don't own a whole pot of makeup but I still categorize my makeup into two groups. Granted, my makeup is unbelievably muted and totally neutral, so oomph doesn't mean like...a lime green eyeshadow or anything. A basic for me would be like my Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Zero (plain matte black), while a product with a little extra "oomph" would be like my Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Stash (an army green/antique gold shimmery colour). Like I said, pretty muted.

Naturally, a makeup brand that one might associate with my makeup style is Bobbi Brown, a brand that emphasizes, rather than distracts from, a woman's natural beauty. Because I usually get my basics from the drugstore, I don't usually bother buying things for the "natural" look from a high-end store. But to be honest, Ms. Brown has really been going above and beyond the call of duty with some of her new releases and I have to say, I'm in love. Unfortunately, I'm on vacation at the moment but you can be rest assured that the minute I reach home, I'm going to be swatching ASAP.

Notable Products:

1. I'm sure drugstore brands will start jumping on the chubby lip product crayon trend, but for now, Bobbi Brown seems to have her formula down pat. Her first release of these products was more like a matte lipstick, which the makeup public seemed to think emphasized lip flaws a little too much for their liking. From the looks of it, these lipsticks are glossy and juicy but also pigmented...and the pencil applicator is a godsend for my tiny lips. I'd love to try out the Dusty Nude colour, as it seems like a wearable, natural nude that doesn't move into dead lips territory.

2. Everyone and their mother has been talking about this liner, and for good reason. The Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Forest Shimmer Ink is a beautiful greenish-taupe-gold liner that a beautiful and yet subtle replacement for typical black liner. This would be a great "extra oomph" product, as it could be used not only for a liner but also a cream shadow, for a taupey green smokey eye. Once I swatch this one, it's going to be hard to resist.

3. The Metallic Collection is something I've been anticipating quite eagerly. I feel like Bobbi Brown would be able to do metallics my way, with satiny shimmer and maybe a bit of duochrome instead of large, obvious sparkles and obviously unnatural colours. Bobbi Brown's cream shadows come in a glorious-looking array of colours...honestly, Antique Gold is just screaming my name. In fact, antique gold anything in makeup is my major weakness, and since I don't really own anything in antique gold this might be my first splurge. We'll see.

All right, Bobbi Brown...I'm definitely warming up to your brand. Especially this new collection, feature the now released metallic cream eyeshadows that are meant to complement Rich Colour Glosses. Seriously? Metallic neutral eyeshadow with highly pigmented yet not glittery gloss? This is going to be a hard collection to resist.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cheaply Chic

So like I've mentioned before, I really try to stay away from Forever 21's stores, but sometimes that proves difficult when they offer particularly tempting goods.

Two examples:

This tunic/t-shirt dress is most likely totally flimsy, but if I wear a nude slip underneath and maybe belt it, I think it would make a nice relaxed summer look. Plus...$5.99? Come on now.

This item is actually in stores, and I have been so tempted to buy it on numerous occasions. It's a stylish windbreaker, which almost feels like it should be an oxymoron. I've seen it in person and it's made of swishy water-resistant fabric, which means it would function wonderfully as a raincoat, and where I'm going for college that would be a great addition to my wardrobe. Alas, it's 3/4 sleeved. If it's cold and rainy I'm probably going to want coverage on my wrists, and unfortunately this doesn't give it. I know it's kind of a picky detail, but if I'm going to spend $29 on a Forever 21 windbreaker, it had better have everything I need. Sigh...

Hold It!

While I will most likely be making good use out of my trusty black Longchamp tote in college, I've been looking for an alternative for 1. those "in-case" scenarios, like when I overload my dear Longchamp and one of the handles braeks and 2. the inevitable time that I will need to trek a world's worth of books from one end of campus to another.

I decided to scour the website of LeSportsac, my previous obsession. I honestly used to stalk their website just to see what new prints had come out and what old ones had been discontinued. Now, their designs are a bit twee for me for, say, a large tote or a backpack, but I continue to love my cosmetic cases, pencil cases, and most definitely my little Fifi Lapin lunchbox by LeSportsac.

I really wish this LeSportsac "print" was turned into a backpack...because of the nature of the design, it's cheaper to produce it (because there are no pockets), and I think the more mod style of print would be acceptable for a college freshman.

Thankfully, I was able to locate this cute little backpack from Marc Jacobs' "Special Items" collection. It's only $17! I'm definitely going to head over to Bucktown (the residence of Chicago's own Marc Jacobs store) and get one for college. Maybe in a fun, punchy colour like green! Unfortunately I don't know if these are available online, but try eBay!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Warm It Up

I really, really, really want this eyeshadow palette...

(coastal scents warm palette)

...but because I don't wear much makeup to begin with, I probably won't end up getting it. I've decided that palettes really aren't for me, just because I don't use a lot of makeup that much. I'm pretty picky with my eyeshadow colours as well. Though, it is only $24.95...

Speaking of Coastal Scents, I've actually figured out my ideal eyeshadow situation, which hasn't started yet but that hopefully will soon if I've saved up some money.

Like I said, I'm pretty picky with eyeshadows. First of all, I only wear neutral eyeshadows. The closest I've come to colour is a navy blue eyeliner. I don't know...I mean, my wardrobe is so neutral that one can hardly expect me to be daring on my eyelids. I also don't do glitter. Subtle satiny shimmer, sure. Matte? Sure. But no glitter. So I figured...custom shadows palettes are the way to go. I plan to purchase a MAC 15-pan eyeshadow palette and fill it with eyeshadows from the Coastal Scents Hot Pots collection, at only around $5 a pop (as opposed to MAC's $11). Obviously if there's a really special MAC colour, I can purchase it for the palette as well. But even before I get to the hot pots, I think I might buy a NYX 5-shadow palette or two and depot those, because those are 5 shadows for $9.

Clearly, I think a lot about neutral shadows. But I'm going to wait around for a while, because I've been doing totally fine with the very, very little makeup that I own and use currently. I promise I'll post about my own makeup soon!

Jacob's Wristlet

It's funny what fashion can do to a person. In my case, it's changed my wristlet cravings from this totally normal Coach wristlet ($68)... these seemingly ridiculous and yet totally endearing animal wristlets from Marc by Marc Jacobs ($98). The owl one is my favourite.

Tory Goes To College

I'd like to apologize in advance for the numerous posts whose topic has to do with college. I realize that college students (or soon-to-be college students) are not the only people in the world, it's just that my current mixture of excitement and anxiety about college has all but taken over my brain.

Anyway, so as you may or may not know, my current college bag of choice is a classic black Longchamp tote. It's clean, it's roomy, it can handle wear and tear, and it's fashionable. When I bought it, I was a little concerned about the idea of owning the same bag as almost every other college-bound tote-carrying student in the world, but I eventually got over it even though about 30% of my high school owns that bag.

If you're more paranoid than I and want a cute, trendy college bag that doesn't look like everyone else's, I'd encourage you to visit CUSP and browse through their selection of Tory Burch bags on sale. I was able to locate three which I thought weren't too obnoxiously logo-ed, unlike some of the things that Ms. Burch produces nowadays.

Canvas Tote, $177

Isa Tote, $146

Large Book Tote, $123

If I was a little preppier, I would totally carry around that first one. I like that it still has a little logo nameplate, but that it isn't as loud or obvious as, say, the large "T" metal plate on the last bag. But to each his or her own, I suppose.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Boom Boom Pao

I am now pleasantly stuffed with delicious food from Ben Pao, one of my favourite restaurants. My mom and I wanted to take out some family members who were in town for a little bit. I'm still thinking about that mango creme brulee...

Anyway, quick outfit post:
crazily shaggy haircut...mario tricoci (i've got bangs too, it's insane)


Just a couple of quick items I got at Target during a recent trip.

This blanket is plush and lovely and fuzzy and I love it and will hug it all the time in college. Totally worth the $9.99. I'm a shorty, so the throw size fit me, but for taller people out there, the XL Twin size is $18.

This bath brush looks kind of scratchy, but it's actually really great for scrubbing in the shower...esp. your back, which is kinda hard to reach. Think of it like the manual body version of a Clarisonic, for only $3.97.

I love love love this. It makes a great makeup remover, but can be pretty drying. I have the oiliest skin in the world, so I love using this. I do keep a travel-sized container of Lancome eye makeup remover, which I fill with this and water shaken up. I use that in the morning so that it's a little gentler. Ironically, right around the time I needed to repurchase this, they were selling 9.1 oz. sizes for only $5!

This little eyeliner brush rocks my world. I use it with my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Graphite Shimmer Ink and it makes lining my eyes so incredibly easy. Plus, it was only $5.99!

I have a huge weakness for school supplies, so when I spotted these Dror for Target folders for only $2.50 they were an instant snatch-up. So they're not as reliable as the plain old plastic ones...but at least they look pretty!

A Celebratory Anniversary

Mourning the end of Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale, which did not induce much buying, but which did induce much listing.

Love the ruching + zipper detail. Unfortunately these aren't very practical, and might get "old" after a few wears, but they're still impeccably fierce. $119.90

A nice way to wear the Tory Burch trend without that incredibly large "T" detail. It's almost as if a Tory Burch flat and a moccasin had a love child. $149.90

Perfect for that effortless, leg-baring, Whitney Port look. Try it with tights and a blazer for colder days. $91.90

Bordering on label-y, but a fun way to dress up a ponytail. $33.00

Saturday, August 1, 2009


While browsing the New York Times a little while back, I came across this lovely article written by the clothing designer Issey Miyake.

The article, translated from Japanese by members of Miyake's staff, clearly yet poetically clarifies the issue of nuclear war and what he believes world leaders can do to prevent it.

The Fashion Show Flow

Leanne Marshall has forever changed my life and the way I think about pleated clothing.

She must've somehow telepathically communicated with Anna, the winner of Bravo's P-Run ripoff "The Fashion Show," who produced this strikingly gorgeous pleated dress that mimics water almost in the way that Leanne's clothing in her final collection did. I also love that Anna managed to work colour into her dress, one thing which Leanne strayed away from.

In a dream world, I'd be tall and lithe and wear this to prom. Or, now that I'm all grown up, some sort of college formal dance...because those exist...

(photo source: project rungay)

In The Navy

I recently received a coupon in the mail for Gap's Give and Get Program. Now, I know the clothing at Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic can at times seem a bit overpriced for the basics that they're offering, but they last a long time and often feature sweet little details that are overlooked in the same basics at, say, H&M. This coupon takes a hefty 30% off of any of my purchases, and while I've been satisfyingly lazy ever since I got this coupon in the mail, I'm seriously considering these items from Old Navy:

This is the kind of thing that I hope to be wearing in college. I can throw it over jeans and a tank and it looks pretty casual, but kind of in that effortlessly comfy-casual with a hint of style way. $10.99

I'm kind of obsessed with textural floral details, like the rosette designs that have been everywhere or these types of cutout designs. This tank would be great to wear under a cardigan with jeans for a typical college day as well. $7.99

This ruffle-neck cardigan is yet another college friendly piece, just because it's a simple thing I can throw on over anything, but yet it has a little bit of flair. $12.99

I already have a black jersey T-shirt dress, and it's so comfy and easy to accessorize that I find myself wearing it all the time, every season (it's great with tights for winter!). I think this slubby grey one would be another nice college basic, just because it's so easy to throw on but it kind of looks put together. $11.99

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grey In And Grey Out

I (and the rest of the fashion world) have really been into grey right now. I mean, given my limited colour spectrum it would make sense that I was into grey, but it's become a huge part of my wardrobe.

Of course, it's become a large part of my makeup routine as well. And this little pot of wonders, a.k.a. Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Graphite Shimmer Ink, has become one of my greatest loves ever.

Usually, I wear Urban Decay's 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero (and when I get around to my "basic face" post, I'll talk more about that). But I've realized that I can try out other colours without looking too wacky or out there...and that's opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

This liner in particular has been wonderful. It's not miraculously long-lasting, but with my trusty Urban Decay Primer Potion, it lasts a day without getting all over my eyelid. The colour is not as vibrant, but it's still there. The gel formula is so great to apply, especially with a bent eyeliner brush (more on this later). And the colour...though this may not show up as well when I use it as an eyeliner, it's a beautifully multitoned-shimmery grey. It's almost a light hematite colour. I think it's positively lovely, and is great for people who want a line on their eyes but want a change from black.

(in natural light)

(with flash)

Plus, it pairs beautifully with my NARS shadow in Kiki.

I bought this from Bobbi Brown's website a little while back when there was a discount running, so I got it for a small bit cheaper, but this eyeliner definitely does run on the expensive side at $21. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, get Prestige's Waterproof Eyeliner in Granite. The one downside to the pencil is that it's harder to use it as an eyeshadow base. I didn't talk about this before but the fact that this colour is really multi-dimensional makes it great for either an eyeshadow base, or even a smokey eye-cream shadow type of deal.

My next stop? Conquering navy blue eyeliner.

Pearls and Swine

This is just a quick outfit post -- I went to a friend's birthday dinner a few days ago and was puzzled as to what to wear. The dinner was at California Pizza Kitchen, which is totally not a fancy-pants restaurant, but since it was a birthday dinner I figured I'd dress up a little bit. I ended up wearing my comfy grey T-shirt, a black pleated jersey skirt from Old Navy (I know you totally cannot see the pleats in this picture), black flats from Old Navy (they were in remedial healthcare after a long and rainy night when I took this picture), and a pearl necklace from my mom.

I ended up removing the necklace though, part way through, because I didn't totally feel like it went with what I was wearing. Plus, it was way fancy-looking. I totally wish I had invested in one of those really trendy bib necklaces...but sadly, now that I'm thinking about getting one, I probably won't have much of an occasion to wear it to. Sigh.

In The Bag

Do you guys also feel the need to keep shopping bags? Not like...plastic ones (though the H&M ones often find their way into my closet), but nice paper ones. I don't know, it's just something about throwing them away that makes me squirm. I used to use them to bring my lunch to school, but now I just use my LeSportsac.

I house all of my bags in this bag from Bluefly, which previously came with my prom dress.

Oddly enough, I found myself rifling through the bags to see which stores I tended to keep bags from, and which stores I tended to shop at a lot. H&M of course is the most prominent, but those plastic bags get used so easily that I don't really keep them. There is definitely a lot of Urban Outfitters in here as well.

So while looking through my bags, I figured I'd share with you my views on the best shopping bags. If you're using them to bring your lunch, C. O. Bigelow is the definite winner. The bags are super...thick? I'm not sure how to describe it, but they're cute and really durable (but not so great if your lunch is really big).

For normal shopping bags, I'd go with Urban. I think the bag itself looks really crisp, and that girls would be happy to walk down Michigan Ave. toting this along (rather than a hot pink Forever 21 bag, for example).

The only problem with the bag is that when it begins to rain, the bag gets a sort of odd stench. I do, however, love love love paper shopping bags, so I was surprised when I came across a paper bag that didn't have that weird smell when it got wet. Sadly the store itself is not in Chicago (yet).

Yep, it's Topshop :)

I am such a sad individual that I made a whole blog post about shopping bags. Yikes!