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!

Papel de Orejas

When I was little, I went through this major origami phase right around the same time I went through a large crafty earring phase. To combine my phases, I made these little dangly earrings with origami cranes on them. Of course, it looked rather ridiculous on my sixth grade self, but I've recently been warming up to the idea of more delicate fabrics as earrings. It seems like a natural idea, as I've always adored floral earrings made of delicate, paper-like metal.

At first, I thought that a more durable delicate material, like chiffon fabric, would make for better earrings.

But honestly, these paper rose earrings are so gorgeous. Leave it to Forever 21 to foray into paper accessories. They're totally impractical, but...I kind of love them.

Lover of LeSportsac

I just wanted to share two large parts of my life from LeSportsac...I used to be obsessed with that brand and stalk it every week to see what new prints were up. Alas, I have sunken even further into my cave of plain neutrals and subtle prints and thus tend to ogle leather shoulder bags rather than printed totes.

Even then, these two things are going to be in my possession for a loong time. First off is a more reliable item -- a laptop case for my extraordinarily miniature Sony VAIO. I could have been logical and put a ruler next to it, but instead I put it next to a MAC lipstick so you can see the measurement.

Next is something that may seem ridiculous for a soon-to-be college freshman, but I love it. Yep, it's a lunchbox. Actually, lunch satchel, if you want to be precise. When I heard that Fifi Lapin was about to do/be featured in a print from LeSportsac, I almost died of excitement. I love Fifi Lapin. All of the other bags seemed a bit large and obnoxious, and I figured a lunch bag would be environmentally friendly anyway (no more paper bags or old shopping bags), so I plan to use it in college, despite the number of friends I may lose when they find out I carry a pink lunch sack.


So I wanted to wait until those who really knew Michael Jackson or were really, truly passionate about him made all their tributes and said all their parting words, because I feel a little bad talking about him in this way knowing that there are so many other people that are so much more attached to his music, style, and general personality.

source: uncle sam's army navy outfitters

source: the urban gentleman

It's crazy to think of how much he started...since this is a fashion blog I figured I should stick to my guns and mention the entire "band jacket" trend. Countless celebrities (Rihanna and Kanye West come to mind) have worn this sort of military-meets-drumline look, and it's definitely dribbled down to the general public, who adopt this style plenty of times.

source: persephonevintage at etsy

source: long is the day

It's even reflected in an entire line...that, of course, being Balmain. Seeing the whole cycle come full circle in this picture just puts a smile on my face.

Michael Jackson in Balmain


So I recently received an Urban Decay Pleather Lip Pencil in "O," which is this crazy fuschia-purple metallic shade that makes me think of a futuristic goth girl. Naturally, I had to try it on.

...yeah, I'm definitely more of a neutral shades girl. I'm not totally sure what to do with this, and it was so sweet of the swapper to give it to me, but I just could never see myself wearing it. I even blotted to see if it would leave a more subtle colour...

...but even after that it still looked exactly the same. Sigh. I think it's the metallic quality...there's something about excessive glitter or sheen on someone's lips that I think is so odd. I really only wear moisturizing, sheer lipsticks in nude or natural-pink colours.

Sartorially Sound

I want.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bring It, Bobbi

Another item I received recently in a makeup swap is this great Bobbi Brown Lip and Eye Basics Palette. It's a wonderful thing to have for everyday or professional situations, as it has a near-perfect array of items, all housed in an adorably petite compact.

First, there are two sparkly glosses in Pink Bouquet and Orchid, and two lipsticks in Dusty Mauve and Slopes (colours listed from the left).

Then, there are four eyeshadows. From the left, they are Bone, Nude, Stone, and Mahogany.

The palette itself originally came with a Mini Lip Brush and a Mini Dual-Ended Eyeliner/Eye Shadow Brush, but since those aren't included I had use my own tools. Thankfully, my Sonia Kashuk travel-sized brushes fit perfectly in the little trench where the old brushes used to sit...I can fit a lip brush and a shadow brush snugly, and they don't shift over to where the lippies/shadows are.

Of course, I have to post swatches of these lovely colours. The eyeshadows start with Bone at the top, and the lip products start with Pink Bouquet at the top.

The two items that I'd say I like the least are the glosses. First of all, I'm not much of a gloss girl and really dislike the look of overly glossy lips. On an everyday basis, these have great staying power and aren't super-sticky, so I apply just a dab to add some healthy shine to my lips. When I swatched the glosses on my hand, however, they seemed to be pretty glittery...another thing I hate in gloss. In fact, after I washed everything off of my hand, a bunch of glitter particles stayed on my hand, so beware if you want to load on the gloss. For my purposes, however, these glosses are fine...and it's saying a lot about this palette that these are my least favourite items.

The "in-between" items for me are the lipsticks. They're pretty and normal and have pretty good staying power, but they're not swoon-worthy. They're a tad bit dark, and I usually opt for more "my lips but better" looks, but if I dab a little bit on my lips they work out well for everyday.

The real stunners for me are the eyeshadows. They're kind of perfect for my usual everyday looks. Bone is a cream shadow that's great for highlighting the inner corners without excessive shimmer. Nude is a pretty colour that's kind of similar to my skintone on my eyelids, so it's a pretty good all-over colour. It also makes a surprisingly good setting powder for undereye concealer. Mahogany is a surprisingly rich, dark, and pigmented brown that comes out as a brown-black. I can easily line my eyes with this and feather it out so it emphasizes them but it's just a harsh line. I thought it was going to be a softer brown, but the swatch I have is just one swipe, just to show you how pigmented it is. I love it! And Stone...Stone is a beautiful taupey brown shadow. It's a "Shimmer Wash," as opposed to a matte shadow, but it isn't overly glittery and instead has a pretty satin finish. And taupe eyeshadow is really just one of the greatest inventions in the whole entire world, honestly. In a nutshell, I love these eyeshadows.

If you don't feel like scouring eBay for this least consider picking up Stone! It's so gorgeous.


I sincerely hope that other people were able to experience the true joy and happiness that was Urban Outfitters' "Sale's on Sale" event. Essentially, everything on sale was...another 50% off. Amazing, right? Things tended to run on the expensive side, like $29.99 or so, but I was able to snag two great items for $20 each...which were $10 each with the discount.

The first item is a really pretty black tank top with a leather rose trim (well, probably fake leather). I didn't take a picture of it on me, because it's ridiculously low-cut and I'm planning to shorten the straps enough that I don't need another tank underneath it. The best thing about this tank is the trim; the stiff fabric ensures that it won't droop after the first laundry run.

The next item is this great pleated dress in a basic shade of blue. It's a bit on the big side for me, but I still really like it. When worn by itself, it looks a little cocoon-like, and I would probably only wear it like this if I was trying to evoke a more laid-back, boho/indie style.

If I wanted to look a little more crisp (or...a little less poufy), I'd wear it with a belt. I couldn't find my usual thick black belt, so I opted for a satin ribbon. It gives basically the same effect...which I love! It really enhances the pleating. This dress was so worth $10.

Pink Lady

I received this cute little Stila Convertible Color in Lillium in a makeup swap, and...I love it! The little compact is so adorable (it must have come in a travel kit or something) and sweet, and the colour is so natural and pretty. It looked sort of light when I tried it out on my hand, but on my cheeks it looks really subtle. I'm really not a fan of blush, because I feel like it makes me look younger, but if I dab my finger super-lightly into the pan, dab it once on each cheek, and blend it out, there's this really subtle pink flush that looks totally natural and doesn't give off a hint of "made-up." The staying power is pretty good...not unbelievably long-lasting but it does fade away naturally.

I highly recommend! Though, after seeing the full size at Sephora, I don't know how anyone could use up all that product...this little mini size is perfect for blush-scared me!

Warding Off Evil

A family friend got me this evil eye bracelet from Turkey...

...surprisingly life has been quite hunky-dory lately, maybe those evil spirits really are being warded away. Either way, I've gotten a surprising amount of compliments on what seems to be a really simple bracelet.


Here's just a quick outfit from a couple of days ago...I'm catching up on old posts, so expect a whole slew of them right around now.

My cardigan is thrifted, my black tank that you can't see is from Old Navy, my shorts are from Forever 21, my shoes are from GoJane, and my sling bag was a gift from my mom, who got it from a Coach outlet.

I'm still trying to get the hang of these self-taken you can see my poses are rather ridiculous so I apologize. I was trying to compensate for the slouchyness of the sweater, which obviously did not work out in my favour.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Copy Cat

I've been looking and looking for a cheaper version of this American Apparel jersey pocket skirt, which is $30.

And unfortunately, I've found one for $10.90. But I feel so wrong buying an American Apparel copy at Forever 21 that I think I'll give it a pass. In fact, after reading Childhood Flames' blog, I'm almost inspired to make my own.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Illuminating The Sky

This may be belated, but I wanted to share some things from my July 3rd and 4th festivities. On July 3, Chicago holds a large fireworks show, followed by a slightly smaller one on the 4th. It turns out that the 4th fireworks show was a good deal lovelier than the July 3rd one, as they both seemed to contain the same amount of fireworks, but the July 4th show had them really spread out, whereas the July 3rd show had them all squished together in an "eternal finale."

Unfortunately my camera skills are limited, resulting in a couple of totally trippy pictures of the July 3rd fireworks.

On July 4th, I didn't even bother trying to take pictures of the fireworks...but the skyline looked so beautiful as the sun was setting I couldn't resist.

And here's what I wore: shorts are from Forever 21, sweater is thrifted, and the top was from a trip to Asia.

Here's what it looks like without the sweater. I don't know if you can see this in the picture, but there are a lot of pleats on the top, which I absolutely love. When I go back to Asia in August I'll be sure to pick up a lot of tops like's not as though clothing is extravagantly cheaper, it's just that you tend to get fancier articles of clothing with your money.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

See That Chloe

Like I mentioned before, I've been focusing my purchases on things that I'll be using a lot. One of the things that I really loved was my Kate Spade pencil case...unfortunately that was lost to the city of Chicago. I used it as kind of an "essentials" case, carrying a few pens, a pencil, an eraser, and depending on whether I was out or at school, some small makeup items or a calculator. I found myself using it a fair amount of times, and often it would basically replace my wallet.

Well, I've got a new replacement for my Kate Spade pencil case...and it comes all the way from See by Chloe. I purchased it with a friend at CUSP (she got a matching one), a wondrous store housed at Water Tower Place that carries an abundance of drool-worthy designer labels. The case was $27, which I find relatively reasonable for a piece of See by Chloe.