Tuesday, June 30, 2009


In my quest to update my shoe wardrobe, I have been attempting to decide what type of shoes I would like. I've been looking at a lot of nude-coloured styles lately, because I love anything that will lengthen my legs in the least. I've also been quite captivated by the edgier, more strappy sandal styles with buckles and studs and bits and bobs.

This pair from Urban caught my eye, but alas, they are $58.

So I think these will be my new summer sandals: they were $20 from GoJane. The quality of the sandals may be dubious, but I will likely use them for the rest of this summer and a bit of next summer.

Monday, June 29, 2009


The Mod Trench

Off to the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, naturally. Dinner will follow, at the cute little restaurant atop the museum.

The Classic Trench

Off to go meet the girls for a quick lunch. Then, a meeting with the boss.

The Girlie Not-A-Trench

Out on a shopping trip to find the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Stripped Black

I fell in love with this Thakoon Crepe Shibari dress from the moment I saw it. Alas, it is on "sale" for $837.20.

So if you'd like, you can head on over to Nordstrom and pick up this top for $78 and pair it with a plain black skirt.

Or, if you're like me, you can dream about DIY-ing it using some black ribbon. I'll let you guys know how that goes.

Also, update: I took the tag off both my bag and my sunglasses. And I love them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So, just two totally unrelated things that don't exactly constitute posts in and of themselves, but that can be put together to be somewhat meaningful:

1. So the makeup posts that come recently may be a bit of a change from what I've posted about before, and I just wanted to explain myself. I personally own very little makeup. I'll do a post on all the makeup that I own, but honestly...it's barely anything. I have foundation, powder, some eyeshadows, and a couple of other things. But I'm definitely not any sort of makeup collector. Instead, I like to think of myself as a makeup thinker. I feel as though I can speak with some authority about high-end makeup because I spend so much time wandering around makeup counters. It got to the point where I would see the MAC lady at Macy's almost every day. One of my favourite pastimes, especially during the summer, is wandering through shops. I, of course, love shopping with a passion, but instead of going on huge spending binges, I greatly enjoy wandering around and experimenting with things. I've swatched so many things on my hands because I just love playing around with various pieces of makeup. In any case, I've tried out enough brands and products that I can speak about makeup like I own it. So when I say that my favourite makeup brand is NARS, that doesn't mean that I own a lot of NARS, it means that if I had an unlimited bank account, I would own lots of NARS. And since I don't have one, I obsess a lot about NARS. So yeah, I just wanted to clear that up.

2. I have a really special place in my heart for the city of Chicago. I had envisioned myself going to college in or nearby Chicago, and though it's really early to be thinking about this, I definitely see myself living here in the future. I think it's because my parents made me stay at home for a lot of my childhood, so I don't feel a burning desire to leave this city...instead, with all of the outings I've been going on now that I'm a college girl (eek!), I have this newfound urge to explore every nook and cranny of Chicago.

I also saw this post on Musings of a Muse, and it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

"Chicago is possibly one of my fav cities in the US. It's like a mini Manhattan but with a quiet sophistication and calm that New York lacks. I love my city but I def have a special place in my heart for Chi-town!"

She was talking about the NARS appearance in Chicago: Check out the post here

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Though I technically do not own any high-end makeup, I am in absolute love with NARS. Therefore, when I heard that he was coming to Chicago's own Barneys, I penned in a visit on that gorgeous sunny Saturday.

The event was a book signing, and being my usual forgetful self I did not have a copy of his book in my hand...nor did I bring a camera when I walked up to the Oak Street area. Stupid, right? I know. I was pretty mad at myself. I also didn't wait in line and meet him, which I totally regret now. I was wandering up on the north end of Michigan Ave., which is a beautiful, albeit expensive area, and found my way to Barneys, where I walked downstairs to the beauty area. Now, the beauty area is a little enclosed space, nothing like the Nordstrom and Macy's beauty sprawlings that I'm accustomed to, where you can wander around and gaze at cosmetics, with a couple of "Can I help you"s and not be seen. At this place, however, various NARS employees were all eyeing me, ready to see if they could do a makeover, and most of the people in line had a book for Francois Nars to sign. So, I wandered around for a bit, got a glimpse of Monsieur Nars himself, stared at the line, and then felt so self-conscious at all of the salesgirls staring at me and asking with their eyes whether I wanted to get my makeup done that I snuck one last glance at Mr. Nars and then promptly left. I was firm with myself about not getting my makeup done because I feel so bad about not buying a product after someone demos it on me solo that I know I would feel terrible about not buying much of anything after a NARS expert did my whole face. But still, it was a lovely walk through the Oak Street area, and my first brush with a genius of makeup was quite a nice one.

Speaking of NARS...I own a NARS eyeshadow! My first one. And yes, I'm treating it like a piece of precious jewelry.

It's a NARS single eyeshadow in Kiki, a smoky matte grey. It's not a particularly intense or unique shade, but I was browsing C. O. Bigelow with one of my friends and was directed to their 75% off counter. By the way...I don't know if the sales are over, but if they aren't -- head over to your nearest C. O. Bigelow immediately! I'm not one to fall for fake good prices, but these were amazing.

Anyway, the reason I'm bringing up this eyeshadow now is that I popped it in my purse with the hopes that I could have Sir NARS sign it instead of a book. But, as you read earlier, I chickened out and now totally wish I had stayed in line and had him sign my eyeshadow. As humiliating as that might have been, it would have been nice to meet him face-to-face.

Ah, well. Maybe next time?

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Gift of Graduation

I just wanted to share two items I got for graduation. One was from my mother, and one I bought myself.

For a while, my mother had this gift card to Coach for $388, and she hadn't used it for the longest time. We had planned on getting a bag that we both could use, but recently she's found some bags that fit her needs and still hasn't gotten around to spending that gift card. Ridiculous, I know...but we're both very picky about our purchases. Then, a few weeks ago, she offered the card to me as a graduation gift -- she figured that our prior plan of sharing a purse wouldn't be practical while I was away at college (by the way, I'm still deciding whether or not to reveal my college...). I was so excited, and in typical me form, obsessed for weeks and weeks about which purse to pick. I knew I wanted a brown one, so I could wear it with both black and non-black looks, and so it would go with the various other neutrals I insist on wearing (mainly every neutral colour besides brown).

Finally, finally, I settled on a purse. I brought my most Coach-knowledgable friend to the Coach store on Michigan Ave. and selected a small chocolate brown purse. It's a good thing I came when I did -- there were only 7 of that bag left in the country!

Of course, I haven't removed the tag yet and probably won't for another week. But that's just the way I ensure I really want something.

I kind of wanted to get a special something for myself this summer, and was debating on whether to splurge on a nice pair of summer sandals or a great pair of sunglasses. I settled on a pair of sunglasses, because I figured I could wear those for more than two years, whereas a splurge-able pair of sandals might be on the trendier side, and therefore not as necessary to be reliable for more than a year.

I've been passing by the new Loehmann's on State Street, which is kind of like a bigger Nordstrom Rack. I recently discovered their sunglasses section, which is filled with a wide array of hit-or-miss designer sunnies (and an odd amount of Jessica Simpson sunglasses. Really?). I had tried on full-priced designer sunglasses, and concluded that the Ray-Ban aviators worked well with my face shape. Unfortunately for me, they were $100+. Not so good for a high-schooler. So after visiting Loehmann's for a little while, I started going back to two pairs of sunglasses: a red plastic framed pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses, and a pair of bronze Missoni aviators. Now, one of the problems with shopping at a place like Loehmann's is that you get lots of odd, cast-off sunglasses. The MJ glasses, while cute, were a little goofy. One might interpret it as kitschy in a good way, but...in general, I try to aim for older-looking things, and red plastic frames certainly did not say "older." The Missoni aviators were pretty, but again, kind of leaning towards cast-off; they had twisty curly-que details on the sides and were veering into "bug" territory with the size of the frames.

Then, one day, when I walked into Loehmann's fully expecting to have an internal debate as to what style of sunglasses I should buy, I came upon these:

Yep, those are Ray-Bans. And yep, they're $60. Granted, they're a little pricier than the Missoni glasses ($45) and the Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses ($55), but...I loved the style and I loved the frame colour and...come on, they're Ray-Bans!

I am officially in love. Of course, I haven't taken the tag off of these either and I've been having many internal debates as to whether I am being too excessive with my purchases, but today I came thisclose to taking off the tag. Maybe tomorrow I'll actually use scissors.

Sheer, Tight, and Black

I've always had a fascination with the contrast between opaque black fabric and sheer black fabric. It sounds trashy, but I think it's a totally chic way to pull together a party-friendly, yet slightly edgy look.

Way back when, I fell in love with this version by Alexander Wang...

...and then debated whether or not to DIY it with an American Apparel dress...

blue is shown because black was far too risque for this blog

...and then realized that Topshop had already come up with that idea...

...and then realized that $90 for a sheer black dress wasn't exactly a steal anyway...then came to the realization that sheer stripes were not particularly practical and desired more of a dress-with-sheer-top style, like this one on StyleStalker...

...and then realized that American Apparel already had me covered...

...and then realized that none of these were really within my thrifty budget anyway. Sigh.

But in the land of dreaming about sheer/opaque black dresses...

Leighton Meester in Emilio de la Morena

I love this girl. Blake, lovely as she is, doesn't have anything on her.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Make It Matte

So I tried out some of this at the Ulta that I visited this afternoon...

...and even now, my nose isn't shiny.

Have I really found the cure for an ultra-shiny nose that has plagued me for so many years? I'm having trouble trying to go and buy a tube of this, because it's $42 for 1.3 oz, and I just splurged on something that I'm just about to post about, but still...this is a good investment, right?

Sigh. I hate trying economic times. If only high school internships paid money.


On the way back from work today, I strolled past Chicago's newest ULTA store, and I must say...I'm very impressed. Supposedly this shop is one of ULTA's newest ventures, as it is more of a Sephora-esque beauty center (with a hair salon built in!) than a little beauty boutique.

One of the things I was most surprised by was the section for drugstore makeup. First of all, I was able to find NYX there! Granted, it wasn't the most extensive selection, but I've been hoping for an opportunity to try it out without having to pay shipping, and I'm so excited that they carry that line.

But what shocked me even more was the whole section dedicated to drugstore-priced makeup, which included testers. Usually the way I differentiated drugstore makeup from high-end makeup was that for high-end makeup, you could test it out on your skin and do trial and error with various colours before buying, but that it cost more. With drugstore makeup, you paid less, but unless you did some swatch homework or found a store with a good return policy, you were probably bound to be stuck with some dud shades. So seeing brands like Revlon available for testing was a huge surprise for me. I could see this as the future of makeup...much cheaper lines that allow people to get a great foundation without having to go to a department store. Target was getting to this point, but brands like Revlon and Maybelline aren't testable -- only lines like Boots and Jemma Kidd.

I didn't buy anything in this go-around, but I will definitely let you know when I purchase something.

What's Next?

Holy moly.

I'm not in high school anymore...

Though it may not have clicked yet, at the same time, it's all I can think about. The two nails on my wall which I posted about earlier host clothes that represent my mood; my cap and gown have been hanging there ever since graduation.

After having gone to the same school since kindergarten, it's a weird feeling knowing that I never have to go there again. I'm excited for college, but sad to leave a place which holds so many fun memories.

I've been so caught up in graduation fests and a new internship that I've hardly had time to post, but I'm basically brimming with things to share, so expect more things as I continue to be in denial about the newest chapter of my life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wingardium Leviosa

I have read every Harry Potter book multiple times and have seen every single movie. I am eagerly awaiting the latest theatre release.

I have also always secretly idolized both Hermione Grainger and Emma Watson, though I firmly believe that the former should have ended up with Harry Potter.

Emma Watson has been quite the fashion icon as well, and from what I remember was last being dressed by Chanel for her various red carpet events. It looks like she's planting a firm foot in the fashion world, with her very recent ad campaign for Burberry. I'm partly jealous and partly super excited that my favourite little wizard is making her mark on the fashion world. Though a part of me wishes that the shots were a little more...unique, at least compared to the usual Burberry fare, I love Emma Watson and I love classic Burberry, so I really can't complain.

Splurge vs. Steal: Black and White

So, while browsing Nordstrom's post-anniversary-sale-sale-offerings, I came upon this wondrous piece of bandaged greyscale goodness:

But alas, even on sale it's $116.90. Definitely not budget-friendly. Thank goodness there's this alternative at Urban Outfitters!

Though the Urban dress is decidedly less formal, I love it to pieces. It's $48, and I'm kind of considering buying it...except for the simple little fact that I don't exactly have an occasion for it and I have a plethora of other dresses that I should probably wear before purchasing a new one. But isn't the print lovely! I'm even considering getting it in a -gasp- colour!

I know, I know, potentially picking the coloured one over the plain one is pretty life-changing. But it's just a possibility! I happen to like the colour combination in this particular dress.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Here We Go A-Thrifting

Here are some quick thrift finds...

This is a plain burgundy office-y skirt. It's a bit big, but I might have it taken in because I really like the colour. It's not black, but yet still dull enough for work situations. Plus, it was only $2!

This dress was about $3, and while I need to shorten the straps I really love the fit. The print is a little on the grandma side, but I think it's nice and springy.

This skirt I absolutely love...it was also $3 and is an amazing houndstooth print. It's a tiny bit on the itchy side but I can barely feel it when I'm wearing it. I'm still debating whether it's too loud to wear to work situations.

Don't Rain On My Parade

I love the rain more than anything, but today I was supposed to do two things: scout out a nearby art fair (which is actually quite an event) and attend a little garden party esque reception to celebrate my graduation (!!!). However, the forecast was gloomy showers and perhaps even a few bouts of lightning.

Thankfully, there were some showers this morning but it became sunny enough for me to have enough time to peruse the art fair nice and slowly. I was also able to attend the reception, though there was a large white tent set up, just in case the rain did return.

Here's what I wore!

The dress is an extremely old shirtdress from the shady sale section of my nearest Forever 21. It was a bit long on me, so I got it hemmed, but I accidentally asked for it to be too short. Today, I decided to wear an old Gap skirt underneath. I'm actually thinking of hemming the Gap skirt and taking the bottom and sewing it to this dress. Judging from this picture, it might not look half bad!

The skirt was a bit poufier than it looks in the picture, but that was probably just because I was wearing another skirt underneath it. I thought it looked a little Miu Miu-like, translated into daywear. Oh, and the belt is just a random thrift find...one of the few that really cinches my waist well.