Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Casual Day

Just a quick outfit from a while back...I realize that this isn't particularly interesting, but I'm trying to get into the habit of more regular outfit posts.
shorts...forever 21

I really like this tank top -- I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but there's a semi-embroidered flower on it...I love wearing it with high-waisted skirts or skinny jeans. The shorts are a staple for me; they're almost like my take on the "nude" trend I posted about earlier, because they're relatively close to my skintone (though tanner). I think they're a nice alternative to, say, black shorts, and they help a petite girl like me lengthen my legs.

I suppose I could mention the flats, but they're just this simple, comfy, nondescript pair I got from Old Navy a little while back. This is something every girl needs; a pair of simple flats in a neutral colour that you can just slip on when you're in a hurry.

Make Your Marc

Just some bright and punchy Marc by Marc Jacobs pieces from the Net-A-Porter sale.

Fiona faille dress, $180

Peep toe pump, $261

Flap patent clutch, $108

The New Nude

When I was little, I used to claim my favourite colour was "clear." That's when I knew that bright colours were really not my thing. But recently, the hottest colour to wear is "nude," until you think really hard about it and realize that nude can technically be anything from the palest white to the deepest ebony.

I suppose that in fashion terms, nude is a colour that's a little bit tanner than your typical caucasian. I, personally, am absolutely dying for a pair of nude pumps, because their leg-lengthening abilities are quite extraordinary. It seems as though the Cannes folk have caught on to this trend as well. I really like how this colour translates to a cocktail dress + pumps ensemble, as shown below by Penelope Cruz and Myleene Klass (who is apparently a popular TV presenter in the UK).

In their cases, the "nude" shade is just a touch lighter than their own skintone, which I think makes for a beautiful look. I actually like it better than white, because it's less stark. Also, I think the fact that they both accessorized with nude pumps is really makes for a lovely, pulled together look that has a hint of trend to it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Off The Wall

When I was younger, I went through a phase where I expressed myself by decorating my room. I covered it in black-and-white pictures of different destinations around the world that I wanted to visit because we lived (actually, still live) in an apartment and I couldn't paint the wall.

Now, I've been trying to think of more sophisticated ways to decorate my room lately, and haven't really come up with anything. Except for one day, when I took down some pictures while I was cleaning my room and temporarily hung some clothes on the nails left. It ended up looking quite cute. So now, I have two nails on my wall, where I interchange dresses, skirts, purses, and tops to fit my mood. It's quick and easy, and it's always nice to look at my wall and get a glimpse of something pretty.

Here's what's on my wall right now:

a thrifted purse ($4.00) which I love and adore...I don't know if you can tell in this picture but the purse is pleated black satin.

a lace dress...this is from Forever 21, back when I used to shop there all the time. I've recently made an effort to stop shopping there, and it's been much easier than I thought. Now, I find so many pieces at places like H&M, or even at my nearby thrift store, that are both cheaper and more resilient. That said, this is one of my favourite Forever 21 purchases...I love necklines like that, with a lace top and a tank underneath.

Dita in Jean

Okay, so I have a confession...I have been in love with the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2009 Couture collection ever since it came out. Like, serious love. I mean, all the collections were beautiful but the Jean Paul Gaultier collection was just like a series of art pieces. And, to top it all off, black and white were mainstays in the collection. Honestly? He must have been going after my heart.

Actually, because I love the collection so much, I'm going to share pictures even though the collection itself is terribly old.

First, the makeup was impeccable. This is just one example of how the models almost looked like they were in a painting.

And the clothing was so artistic...perhaps not that wearable but beautiful to look at.

Anyway, so the reason I wanted to mention that is because I was reminded of my love for this collection by a stunning picture of Dita von Teese from the amFAR against AIDS benefit. She's wearing a dress from the collection that I thought was amazing.

Looking at this shot, the dress seems pretty hard to wear. I mean, for one's sheer. But even after that, the dress itself is very sculptural and might not have translated well to the red carpet. But then, Dita von Teese wore this to amFAR and looked amazing. I am so happy I got to see this...and honestly, I'm kind of happy she kept the sheer skirt. Somehow it wouldn't have looked the same with a lining, though I'm sure many will complain about her indecency.

Dita, I love you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cannes You Do The Cannes Cannes

Cannes this year has been would be impossible for me to repeat my Met Gala stint and write up gargantuan posts detailing my thoughts on nearly everyone's dress.

But, just for starters, here are some outfits I thought were spectacular.

Actually, about a person. I personally think that Rachel Weisz is one of the most stunning people in the world. Sadly, at the Costume Institute Gala, she was dressed unjustly in Vera Wang, but she's definitely coming back with a bang at Cannes.

I thought this was a beautiful, classic, red carpet look. If I could look like that at prom, I would be set for life (okay, I promise the prom references will go away soon).

This is another green look for her, but I love's just the right formality for a photocall. She is definitely making up for her gala look.

Also, Tan Zhuo, I don't know who you are but I love your Roberto Cavalli dress. I like the fish-scale detailing, crossed with the slightly flapper theme. Plus, the minimalist accessories really set all eyes on the dress.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Arms Race for Paleness

I recently acquired something after a visit to my nearest Walgreens. Surprisingly, it was not a new bottle of nude/light pink nail polish, and it was not a pair of false lashes by Ardell (which I always eye when I go to the drugstore, but never have picked up). No, it was a nice, little bottle of sunscreen by Neutrogena. For a while, I've been using up some SPF 50 generic sport sunscreen that my darling mother got me a while back because she knew what a sunscreen fiend I was. But that supply has been coming to an end, and I decided to splurge on a newer sunscreen. After I run out of this, I might make the leap into, say, a Shiseido or Clinique sunscreen (the former of which is supposed to have great mattifying properties), but for now, this is quite the find.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Neutrogena's new SPF 100+ sunscreen. I had heard about the Neutrogena brand of sunscreen before, and while I had heard that it left somewhat of a white cast and that it caused makeup to pill, I let my more rash side get the better of me and purchased the sunscreen. And I'm quite glad I did.

Then, I got home, and began to think. If this sunscreen was just as expensive as, say, the SPF 85, while all the other sunscreens increased in price as the SPF got higher, was Neutrogena just scamming me and pretending like this provided me extra SPF when really it didn't? Did I really need SPF 100 or would anything above 50 be okay? After doing some Internet browsing, it seems like I didn't make such a bad purchase after all. According to this article from Allure, anything above SPF 30 is for those that burn quite easily, indicating that while the differences may get smaller as the SPF gets higher, there's still a difference. And me and my unquestionable love for sunscreen will pay for an extra little bit of help...I am, after all, familiar with the concept of diminishing marginal utility.

So my recommendation? I'd say give this a try. The SPF 100 makes me feel good, and probably helps me stay nice and protected from the sun at least somewhat. I haven't found that it causes makeup to pill or anything, but I don't really use a lot of products. I put this first, and then just a really really light dabbing of foundation in areas that need it and then some concealer. Sometimes I add some smudgy eyeliner. So if you wear more complex makeup you may want to be more cautious. Other than that, this was worth the $13 for me.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Promenade Attire, Part Seven In Person

So while a picture of my dress on a mannequin is telling and's a real-life picture. Please note...I am slightly yellower in this picture because I had to mess with some of the colours so that the picture would give an accurate representation of the dress.

I don't need to hem it, right? I'll probably be wearing higher heels than I am in this picture (not that you can see them...)

A DIY Fantasy

I would love, love, love to be able to sew like a pro.

In particular, I am dying to DIY one of my plain old skirts or tees and scallop the edges after seeing this adorable Chloé scallop skirt.

Chloé Scallop Skirt, $689

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hold Your Money

My latest obsession? Cute money holders from Urban Outfitters. My only wallet at the moment is a kate spade zip-up, and I really want a "real" wallet for college.

These hinge wallets have been everywhere. Forever 21, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Wet name it, they've got a wallet like this one. I personally love this watercolour style print, because it reminds me of a Monet painting. For me, personally, I'm looking for a kiss-lock wallet, and this has more of a hinge-style closure. $20.00

I really like this wallet. It's a full wallet size, the colour is fun and punchy, and the twist lock on it is just a great added detail. I love closure details; kiss locks, buckles, and twist locks are always fun for me. $14.99

I would get it, but...isn't this cute little coin purse tempting? I love the contrast between the girly pink and the zipper flowers. Sigh, if only this was a full size wallet. $19.99

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do The Wang Thang

While I was doing my usual bout of online browse-shopping, I happened upon two bargainous finds from a fashion favourite, Alexander Wang.

Alexander Wang blush crepe gathered babydoll dress, $197.99

Alexander Wang keyhole dress, $196.80

Though these may not be the most frugal finds in the world, they're quite cheap for Alexander Wang.

You can see the lovely Sea of Shoes wearing the latter dress here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Zac Attack

One of the designers who I didn't think got enough credit at the Costume Institute Gala was Zac Posen. Sessilee Lopez looked lovely in his design, but he mainly walked the carpet with Helena Christensen, who looked incredibly tacky in a custom design he did.

Which I think is odd, because look at all the beautiful designs he could have sent down that red carpet:

I think the second and third ones are more suited to the gala, but if he really wanted to do a shorter dress he completely could have done the first one. And even if he wanted to save these dresses for more "common" red carpet occasions and try and go crazy with this one, I think he should have put this dress on Helena.

It's not too crazy, and yet crazy enough to be a fashion statement.

Oh well, maybe next year will be Zac's year...

Prom Queens

Okay, so I know my posts about the Costume Institute Gala were huge, so I'll just provide a brief list of my personal favourites, complete with the notes I took when I was looking at the pictures.

Can you read that? My handwriting is pretty miniscule, but if you can't read it, my picks for long dresses were Lou Doillon, Claudia Schiffer, and Claire Danes, my pick for "medium length" dresses was Nadja Auermann, and my picks for short dresses were Alek Wek, Jessica Stam, and Kate Moss.

One Happy Family

So I've got a bunch of little products lying around, and I figured I'd just review this whole little product family at once, going left to right.

1. Okay, so this isn't actually a product review...I just got this set of Bobbi Brown empties for $10.00 and they're so useful!

In the picture, I put the smallest one...I just wanted to give it a little mention because it is absolutely the cutest little concealer container ever! I have this old thick foundation from L'Oreal, which was too dark for me, but I mixed it with some lighter foundation and got this beautiful colour which made for a perfect concealer. Now, I keep the mixed colour in this little container and it looks like a bona fide Bobbi Brown concealer. I'd highly recommend these empties...they're great for lotion, foundation, concealer, pigments...pretty much anything. Plus they're only $10!

2. This is a little sample container of Lancôme's 'Rénergie' Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Cream. It came in a Gift With Purchase, and I'm actually quite liking it. The texture is a smooth hybrid of lotion and gel, and the lotion is definitely moisturizing. I usually wear sunscreen as a moisturizer under my foundation, but if I'm going out at night and don't want to bother with sunscreen, this is a great alternative because it provides for a nice base. I may just be gushing about this lotion because I never ever shell out big bucks on lotion, unless it's Shiseido sunscreen. My little container is .5 oz, which has actually lasted me quite a while. However, I don't like it so much that I'm going to shell out $80 for 1.7 oz. or $95 for 2.5 oz.

3. This is another's a little bottle of Bobbi Brown's Soothing Face Tonic I got when I purchased an eyeliner from Bobbi Brown online. I feel exactly the same about this as I do with the Lancome lotion. It's nice, but I wouldn't repurchase it. I don't really use toner, and this is more of a soothing version of a toner. I've tried it a couple of times, and I feel my skin tightening a little bit (like right after you wash your face with strong cleanser), but that's about it. Unlike the Lancome lotion, I didn't have much use for this, but it's nice to use occasionally.

4. This is not a's actually a tube of Maybelline's Moisture Extreme Lipcolor in Chestnut. I got this at Jewel recently, where all of the Maybelline lipsticks were 50% off. It's a pretty nude colour, but it's a little on the brown side so I would not recommend this for fairer girls. I usually don't wear much in the way of makeup, but if I dab a little bit of UDPP on my lips, spread it on, and then put on some of this lipstick, it's a nice natural look that wears for a pretty long time. I don't think I'll repurchase this lipstick, because I usually like to experiment with new colours (and I probably won't finish this tube), but it's a nice handy little thing to have around. Here's a swatch on my hand (Urban Decay Primer Potion is the stuff on top)...

...and a lip swatch.

5. Urban Decay Primer Potion is totally worth all the hype. I have the oiliest lids in the world and this totally prevents creasing. I love it! For everyday, I usually don't wear eyeshadow...instead, I wear a semi-thick, smudged line of eyeliner. I'm going to be starting an internship soon, so I might start experimenting with a light wash of colour and a thinner (still smudged) line of eyeliner, so this will be really helpful for that. Even besides eyeshadow, this makes a nice lip primer and undereye concealer primer, but more for wearing ability than smoothing ability.

6. I got this Philosophy Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion when I purchased my UDPP, and it's a nice thing to have around that I am slightly considering repurchasing. The lotion feels nice, and has been great for the warmer days to prevent my legs from reverting back to their dry wintry state. It's not particularly revolutionary, though it has some really good moisturizing properties without being too oily. Plus, the smell is really nice. I'm thinking about repurchasing, but there are a lot of other cheaper lotions that smell just as nice. I'm definitely keeping the bottle though, it's really cute!

Met Gala, Part 3

The "In-Betweens"

I put all the people that I felt were in between "safe" and "risky" here. I'm sorry if you don't agree with where I put people...but to be honest I've spent most of the past few days just blankly staring at Gala I'm a bit out of it.

Anna Wintour

I really like this look on her. It's simple and classy, and yet still a bit modern. Plus, who can go wrong with Chanel? Though I am surprised she's not wearing Marc Jacobs...then again, his collection is a bit daring for Miss Wintour.

Diane Kruger

Another Chanel-clad attendee...and I'd say I get just about the same vibe. It's a cute, youthful dress but it's so classic that she manages to not look too much like a teen star. I'm surprised she's not wearing something more daring, but I guess Chanel decided to play it safe this year...and I wouldn't blame them, it's turning out quite well so far.

Elizabeth Hurley

I know that some may think that this belongs in the "risk" section, but I think this dress' similarity to a really elaborate bridal gown makes it a bit safer. Personally, with my weakness for pretty, flowery details, I happen to be a fan of this look. It's crazy how far Liz has come from her Versace safety pin dress once upon a time.

Victoria Beckham

I have all the love in the world for Victoria Beckham, but I can't completely get behind this look. I really don't think the whole short-front long-back thing works, nor does the short-dress long-train look. Though I agree that she has the most attitude to pull this dress off, I really wish she had worn something from her own collection instead, which I think she looks amazing in. The shoes, I will agree, are amazing.

Kate Beckinsale

If anyone were to wear a massive ballgown, it would be Kate Beckinsale. I think she wears her poufy princess dress much better than Liz Hurley, though it could be because the dress itself has a bit more edge. Yeah, it's kind of over-the-top, but it's a Marchesa ballgown and it's the Costume Institute Gala. There's really no better place to go wild. The Marchesa ladies, by the way, are looking stunning. I usually feel bad because Georgina Chapman tends to overshadow Keren Craig, but I think here she does rightly so; her dress and shoes look absolutely splendid. They're a great compliment to Kate's gown.

Jessica Biel

I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan. This dress was absolutely indescribably gorgeous in the Atelier Versace promotional photos, and I don't think that Jessica Biel is the right person to pull it off. I mean, she looks pretty, but this gown could have loooked outstandingly gorgeous on someone else. I think that Jessica pulls off more of the Calvin Klein look really well. Also, you can't really tell in this picture, but in a lot of the pictures of the night it was obvious that Jessica had somewhat overdosed on the self-tanner...definitely not a look I'd approve.

Lou Doillon

This look pains me so much. This is by far one of the most gorgeous dresses of the night. It bears a lot of similarity to Jessica Biel's dress, but I actually like this version better. I think Lou Doillon is the perfect person to pull off this dress, and that her lack of accessories really let the dress shine. The one thing I'd change? Her hair...I know she's going for an effortless chic look but I really think she should have just slicked it back and given the dress a full-on mod vibe. But I have to let myself get past that, because this is really a beautiful look.

Claudia Schiffer

I love this. To begin with, this was one of my favourite dresses of the Atelier Versace gorgeous-a-thon that was their latest collection, and I've been waiting with anticipation for the first time it appears on the red carpet. Claudia Schiffer was a great choice for this dress, and she pulls it off beautifully...but one thing I would ask is that the hair be more sleek or's just doing a disservice to the dress.

Cindy Crawford

I just really am not a huge fan. Yeah, the dress is pretty, but...I don't know, maybe I'm just not one for the super-sexy Versace dresses. Doesn't this seem kind of prom-ish? Not that the matching eye makeup helps her case at all. I don't absolutely hate this look, but I am definitely not a huge fan.

Jessica Alba

This was sort of on the fence for me...I think she looks cute and pretty and that her hair/makeup/accessories work well with the dress, but the tights are really not that great with the whole look. The dress itself is cute, but not particularly groundbreaking...and I would think that someone with the First Lady's endorsement would think to pull out all the stops at a grand occasion like this one.

Blake Lively

Like Cindy Crawford's dress, this really isn't for me. I will say that I think this dress is better than Cindy's and looks a little bit more fashionable, but this was kind of in-between. I think that Donnatella Versace picked a great spokesmodel, as Blake Lively is a great person to carry off the Versace-style dresses, but...this isn't one of my favourite looks. Plus, it seems like every single picture I've seen Blake in, she's posed like this...and I mean, she's already really hot and the dress is a Versace one, so I don't think there's any need for over-the-top posing.

Kate Bosworth

I was really expecting Kate to go with a daring, drastic look for this event...but she seems to have fallen through, wearing a relatively basic Stella McCartney gown. I remember once she showed up in this beautiful multicoloured sequin minidress on the arm of Karl Lagerfeld...hopefully she will return to those days. I've seen her pull off so many off-kilter looks that I'm kind of sad she didn't try for one here.

Tyra Banks

So very, very close...I was just about to give her the seal of approval until I saw her hair. I can't imagine how painful it was to style her hair like that.

Doutzen Kroes

First of all, I think that Doutzen Kroes is one of the most beautiful women ever. Though I've never seen her in this type of retro style before, I think she pulls it off really well. The dress is cute, but the long sleeves make it less teen-star-style, and the shoes are the perfect topper. The one thing I'd change is those sheer black tights...I would have just nixed them if I were the stylist.

Ivanka Trump

This, though it may be on the slightly boring side, was a really great look in my eyes. It's got the glamour for a gala, but is still sleek enough to not be over-the-top. I was surprised, actually, that one of the prettiest dresses of the night was given to Ivanka Trump and not to one of the numerous models that attended. I suppose that designers probably wanted their more daring designs to be carried off by models.

Jessica Stam

This is one of the best minidresses of the night. Her shoes and makeup really pull this together, and I think the dress itself is a beautiful exhibition of Rodarte's clothing. I wish that they had displayed one of their more wispy, flowing gowns on Jessica, but she pulls this off beautifully.

Ashley Olsen

While some may think this is too oversized and boring, I think this look is actually quite nice. Oversize is the Olsen's signature, and she wears it well in evening dress form. Plus, her accessories and polished hair and makeup really pull this together. I think that if she wore this dress with the Olsen's usual undone look, it might not have worked as well.

Lakshmi Menon/Rachel Roy/Joy Bryant

Yay for women of colour! I think all three women look lovely. Not the most standout looks of the night, but definitely great looks on all three parts. And it makes me so happy to see an Indian high fashion model! I think that out of all three of these looks, I like Joy's the best...but again, they all look beautiful.

Sessilee Lopez

Helena Christensen totally got ripped off. This is a beautiful Zac Posen dress. I actually am glad that Sessilee's wearing this, because I think it looks unbelievable with her skintone. I'm also glad Zac Posen had a chance to redeem himself...though if I were him I'd be walking with Sessilee, not Helena.

Emma Roberts

I think she looks cute, and it's nice to see fashion brands reaching out to youth. This was a great choice for Emma, and I think she looks very nice in the dress. This is another piece from the wondrous Atelier Versace collection, and Emma is so close to doing it justice...I just really wish she had styled her hair in a less casual way. I would say pulled back, but even if it was sleeker it would have made the whole look a lot more polished.

Agyness Deyn

Okay, so she kind of looks like a plastic mannequin...but I think it works here. At such a high-fashion event, it's okay to go a little crazy with your look. In this case, I don't think it looks too tacky. It's also one of the best looks on Agyness I've seen yet. I wouldn't suggest that she stay solely with this style (not that she would anyway), but I think it's a nice change.

All pictures are courtesy of