Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mall Haul: Forever 21, Coach & Camo Pants

I was at the mall earlier this week with one of my besties for lunch and shopping - best combo ever! We went to Forever 21...I didn't want to shop TOO much because I'm trying to streamline my closet - but we definitely found a lot of lovely things!


I loved this cream blouse (although it's not very photogenic & needs to be ironed!) it's soft and drapey - and perfectly complements colored & patterned denim. Speaking of which - I finally found some camo pants! They're more grey than green - but they fit perfectly and were on sale for only $20 at Garage!

Forever 21 Studded Gladiator Sandals

My favorite purchase were these BEAUTIFUL studded heels. As you can tell from my outfits, comfort is key so I favor flats - but these heels are SO light & easy to wear! And all the gorgeous studding reminds me of the Valentino Rockstud Heels. They're not perfect dupes - unlike these flats I spotted:

Valentino Rockstud Flats & Forever 21 Studded Flats

I'm not a fan of the pointy toe so I didn't pick them up - but I definitely admired the gorgeous color & studding detail. And how identical are they to the Valentino flats?

Forever21 Rhinestoned Tulle Necklace

I think it's physically impossible to leave Forever 21 without purchasing a statement necklace - so this cream & pink chain necklace came home with me this time!

Coach Waverly Cherry N/S Universal Case & Forever 21 Forever in Love Metallic Cosmetic Bag

My last Forever 21 purchase was a black & gold makeup bag - it's quite roomy and I plan on using it to store my toiletries on overnight trips. The Coach wristlet was a recent gift from my mother - it's sized for an iPhone with a few slots for credit cards - prefect if you're just running out for a few errands. And how cute are all the hearts?

Here's a quick OOTD from last weekend:

Sweater - Old Navy
Shirt - Gift from my Aunt
Necklace - J.Crew Factory
Jeans - Target
Flats - Old Navy

Have you tried Forever 21 shoes? Do you like the Valentino Rockstud heels?

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Comparing Hand Creams: Soap & Glory, Curel, Fruits & Passion and Live Clean

When it comes to hand creams, I'm a demanding consumer. I have very dry hands with flaky patches and peeling cuticles, so I'm constantly looking for THE CREAM that will magically address all my issues and leave me with plumped & glowing skin.

I've tried popular favorites such as Kiehls Hand Salve & L'Occitane Shea Butter - but they are not strong enough to address my dry skin concerns. I've previously reviewed my hand cream collection in this post. I've used up most of those creams and am now switching between these 4 tubes:


Live Clean / Soap & Glory / Fruits & Passion (Cucina Range) / Curel

I thought it would be interesting to create a chart to compare how they ranked in the qualities that are most important to me. (My indicator for the "Present After 1-hour Test" was if my dry & whitish patches reappeared or not.)



MY THOUGHTS: 

In terms of fragrance, nothing comes close to the AMAZING citrusy grapefruit scent of the Fruits & Passion Cucina al Fresco hand cream. If this came in perfume form I'd wear it ALL the time! However, for my dry hands I prefer the Fruits & Passion hand butter range (their Avocado Hand Butter is my most favorite hand cream EVER!).

The Live Clean range is famous for their eco-friendly products: paraben/preservative/phthalate-free, completely vegan, 98% plant ingredients with no animal products or testing. I used their Baby products A LOT for my kiddies. This cream is the perfect choice if you apply hand cream constantly and worry about absorbing harmful chemicals.

The Curel and Soap & Glory creams both perform EXCEPTIONALLY well. Their hydration levels are SO high that they manage to moisturize the dry skin on my knuckles and make them appear lighter. And their effects are long-lasting - I only need to apply the cream 3x a day to keep my skin smooth and my cuticles healthy. If I had to choose between them, I prefer the packaging and scent of the Soap & Glory - and although the Curel is 50% cheaper, a little goes a long way with both creams so they'll last you a long time.

Have you tried any of these hand creams? Which one is your favorite?

DISCLAIMER: The Live Clean and Fruits & Passion hand creams were sent to me for review, the Curel came in a Glossybox and I purchased the Soap & Glory cream. As always - when I review a free item, I consider it as if I paid the retail price...and evaluate it objectively. Gifted or not, I blog to share my true feelings and help my readers

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Monochromatic OOTD & Flipping Through: Stylewatch May 2013

Here's an outfit I recently wore to a birthday party. I've read that Monochromatic/Black & White outfits will be very popular this Spring. While this is an easy trend to participate in (as most of us own black & white clothes) I'm always worried that I'll end up looking like I'm wearing a uniform!


Shirt - Express
Black Denim - Garage
Ballet Flats - Wanted (similar from F21)
Necklace - Joe Fresh Alhambra dupe


Don't you love flipping through a magazine with friends: pointing out your favorite looks and wishlist items, then tearing out pages for future inspiration? Grab a mug of Green Tea and see what caught my attention in this month's Stylewatch magazine:


I love Nicky Hilton's pale pink cross body bag - and the relaxed vibe of her whole outfit. Alessandro Ambrosio's skinny jeans look so stylish - especially with her neutral shirt and flats.




Kate Bosworth's style reminds me of an earlier Kate Moss - always chic and understated. Also - I have major hair envy - seeing her pic in the black & white dress makes me want to cut my hair.



Gwyneth Paltrow is a permanent style crush - I know she's controversial but I've always loved her - especially since I read this quote: "It's easier to not change, not do something good for you, not work on your relationship, not make yourself a meal, not work out. Everything in my life that's good is because I worked my ass off to get it and to maintain it." (source) Pretty inspiring, huh?



Although I'm not familiar with her acting, I think Ashley Madekwe always looks gorgeous - love her hair, brows & glowing makeup. And since she's a fashion blogger, she's always perfectly dressed too!


I'm so glad I purchased my American Eagle Denim Jacket - I can't wait to pair it with lace dresses in the summer - Nicky Hilton's outfit is such a classic! It will also look great with maxi dresses - I'd love to find a coral one like Jamie Chung's.


This issue definitely has me excited for summer already (!). I don't know if I'd ever purchase a denim vest, but I love the pink pants. And the shirt dress with metallic accessories seems like the ultimate vacation outfit - perfect for lounging by the pool or sight-seeing.

Will you be wearing Monochromatic outfits this Spring? Do you love or hate Gwyneth?

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adding to my Colored Denim Collection

When colored denim first started getting popular, I wasn't sure how practical or long-lasting the trend would be. Yet somehow over the past year I've managed to acquire 4 pairs!

Mint, Red, White & Olive

Since I wear a lot of cream/white tops, I've found it easy to integrate these jeans into my wardrobe. I think the Olive & White pairs are especially timeless - they'll be wearable even after the colored denim trend fades (whenever that may be!). My newest addition was this mint pair that I featured in my US haul:
 
Bubble Necklace (H&M version), Shirt (gift from aunt - no label), Mint Jeans (Target) Flats (Old Navy)

I also visited my local Target (which recently opened - I'm LOVING it!!!) and purchased these floral jeans. I'm not sure if I should keep them...I worry that I'm drawn to them because they're trendy - and not because I really like them LOL!


There are several other printed/colored jeans that I wouldn't mind trying on - loving both the styles & the prices! I think the camo pair will be particularly versatile - I'd love to wear it with an oatmeal sweater & nude booties.

Camo (GAP) / Pink (Forever21) / Star (Forever21)


Have you been drawn in by colored/printed denim? What colors do you own?


P.S. Since Google Reader is closing in July - if you follow me on Google Reader, please click here to add me on Bloglovin. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Inside my Travel Make-up Bag...

Packing for a trip really makes you re-think what make-up you need/use on a daily basis.

I wanted to keep my toiletries simple and easy-to-carry for our 10-day family trip...here's what I took in my make-up bag.


TOP ROW:

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer - as described in my acne-covering post, I use this heavily pigmented concealer as a foundation. One tip - store this little glass bottle in its cardboard box, it shatters very easily (I only had to drop 1 bottle to learn this lesson!)

MAC Fluidline in Dipdown - super long-lasting gel liner. I didn't end up using this...washing & drying the liner brush everyday was too much of a hassle.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer -  my HG under-eye concealer. Super-pigmented & thick - it covers EVERYTHING! Just make sure you moisturize with an eye-cream before applying to prevent caking & unevenness.

L'Oreal Collagen Waterproof & Voluminous Power Volume 24-Hour Mascara - I didn't use the Waterproof one, but I always pack it when I'm traveling to potentially humid locations. I'm testing out the Power Volume mascara - and really enjoying the lash-thickening effects.

Marcelle Liquid Eyeliner Pen - this felt-tip liner was much simpler to use on the go than my regular Fluidliner liner. It ran out halfway through my trip so I purchased an alternative (details below).

CHEEK PRODUCTS - Covergirl Simply Ageless Blush in Lush Berry, Rimmel Natural Bronzer & Tarte Blush in Amused. I've reviewed ALL my blushes in this post. As usual, I layer powder & cream blush for staying power.  I did miss my Tarte Blush in Exposed - it's such a gorgeous bronzy & glowy blush. The Rimmel Bronzer is a new favorite. I tried NARS Laguna but it didn't show up on my skin - and the next shade (Casino) is too dark.

BOTTOM ROW:  My custom-made palette (more details in this post) containing my eyeshadows & highlighting powder. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Pink Pop - a fresh lipcolor that went with everything. And I never apply mascara without first curling my lashes with my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler.

Here are the make-up/beauty items I purchased on my trip:


Target version of Emi-Jay hairties. Nivea Lip Butter (seriously AMAZING - I LOVE it!). Tweezerman Straight Edge Clipper (surprisingly hard to find straight-edge clippers - they make shaping nails SO much easier!). Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Black Brown (very pigmented & easy to use). MAC 224 Eyeshadow brush (an impulse purchase from the Cosmetics Outlet - it was $10 cheaper than the store price). Teasing Brush - I'm not very good at teasing my hair, so I'm going to try and see if this helps.

Do you carry a lot of make-up with you when you travel or do you keep it simple?

P.S. Since Google Reader is closing in July - if you follow me on Google Reader, please click here to add me on Bloglovin.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

How my style has changed & Monthly Must-Reads

Question of the month from Alison & Noelle: How would you describe your own personal style? How has it evolved over the years?


THEN (Pics from 8 years ago):
  • Delicate jewelry, floral prints, cheap & cheerful bags


Outfit details here: Navy Polka Dots / Sequin Top / Gingham Shirt  / Chambray Shirt / Blazer / Lace Dress

NOW
  • Statement necklaces, polka dot or gingham prints, lots of layering, luxe bags

 UNCHANGED:
  • Simplicity & comfort - I'll always wear jeans + flats.
  • Making an effort to look well-groomed...I'm not really into sweats and I ALWAYS do my hair & make-up before leaving the house.
  • Loving my handbags and switching them out frequently.

Has your style changed over the years? What do you wear now that you never thought you would?


P.S. Since Google Reader is closing in July - if you follow me on Google Reader, please click here to add me on Bloglovin. 

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