Inspired by: Valentino S/S 2015


I can't think of another word that perfectly sums up the newest Valentino campaign. Naturally, the clothes are gorgeous, because hello, Valentino. But to me, the best part of the collection are the strappy starfish sandals. They're shoes fit for a mermaid (if they had feet a la Ariel.)

The first photo in this post is hands down my favorite because it reminds me of one of my favorite paintings, Ophelia by John Everett Millais. There's just something hauntingly beautiful about it. The styling and photography of the series as a whole reminds me of the nymphs from Greek mythologies-- forest nymphs hiding in the trees, sea nymphs resting by the shore.

Ps. Not to be a super cheeseball but thanks for all the well wishes on my last post! I'm still sick as a dog, but the comments and suggestions cheered me up :)

source: Valentino

Ms. Grouchy

I don't feel like saying much cause I'm feeling grouchy at the moment thanks to my impending cold. It hasn't fully hit me yet, but my throat is a bit scratchy, my nose a bit runny, and my head a bit achey. Oh the joys of being sick.

I hope you're having a better Monday than I am.

coat: asos (similar), dress: urban outfitters (on super sale), shoes: superga

weekend musings

1. Mismatched sandwich cremes
I was beyond elated when I came across these cookies in Whole Foods, or as Ron Swanson would call it-- Complete food. Like 95% of the population, I love Oreos. And with these half vanilla, half chocolate cookies you get the best of both worlds, Hannah Montana style. They're also made without over processed sugars and preservatives, which means they're healthier than normal Oreos. I think.

2. Madewell chambray popover shirtdress
This madewell denim shirt dress has been on my mind since I first saw it mid-December. It's 100% cotton and feels so ridiculously soft. The plaid lining is the perfect next-level kinda detail. And it actually fits me! Madewell dresses are usually way too long for me to consider, but this one hits mid thigh, just the way I want it to.

It's also pretty pricey. Even though it fits in perfectly with my buy less but buy well philosophy I'm probably still going to wait for some sort of sale. While I'm waiting, I couldn't help eying this forever 21 dress, which is actually also 100% cotton. But the wash doesn't look as natural as the madewell version, the buttons weirdly blend in, and of course it's missing that plaid lining.

3. Forever 21 accessories + shoes
Speaking of forever 21, lately they have been on point as far as accessories and shoes go. I've resisted so far but those gel pens are calling my name. Ah, 90s nostalgia.

scented gel pens, embroidered clutch, grey open toe booties, glitter flatforms, two strap sandals, black clutchpink bow, black open toe booties, espadrille flatforms 

4. Secret State of North Korea on Netflix
I admit I'm not usually one to watch documentaries because they're typicallyy snooze fest central as far as I'm concerned. But after watching The Interview over winter break, I was curious to learn more about North Korea. After skimming through numerous wiki articles, I somehow ended up watching this documentary which gave me a glance at what's happening in one of the most isolated countries in the world. The stories and clips portray heartbreaking stories told by defectors, but the documentary still leaves you with a small glimmer of hope. Overall, I'd say the film is worth the hour break from binge watching Friends.

5. Favorite Outfit
My favorite outfit of this week is hands down this one by Peony Lim.

If you're reading this, I hope you 're having a good weekend!

recent beauty buys

December/ the end of November was a time of many, many, beauty sales. As a result I got the chance to try a bunch of different products without feeling too guilty about indulging. I haven't even gotten around to playing with all of the products yet, but here are the ones that I've used enough to be able to form an opinion on them.

Klorane dry shampoo with oat milk: The hype is definitely worth it for this product. It's a lot pricier than any other dry shampoo I've tried, but I find it worth the price. In comparison to Batiste, I use a significantly less amount of this product to get similar results. This also means that my hair doesn't feel as weighed down with product. 

Wet n' Wild nail polish in black creme: Wet n' wild reformulated their polish for 2015, so I decided to give it a try. I own 1 black polish by Orly, and this $1 guy blows it out of the park. I've only worn it once, but I'm already impressed. Paired with my Orly bonder base coat and Seche Vite top coat, my nails were almost chip free for a week. 

Butter London polish in la moss: One word to describe this polish: disappointed. The color, a deep, deep, wine colored red, is gorgeous, and when I first painted my nails, I spent a decent chunk of time staring at my nails and admiring them. But sadly, its lasting power is laughable.

Make Up For Ever HD invisible cover foundation: The verdict still isn't out for this foundation. On one hand, they have a really expansive color range and the shade I have really matches my skin tone. When my skin is dry, it doesn't cling onto any nasty dry patches. On the other hand, at the first sight of oily skin it oxidizes into an awful pinkish color that makes me look like my entire face is flushed. It isn't described as long wearing, but nevertheless I wish it had better staying power. 

Phyto 9 ultra-dry hair nourishing day cream: The ends of my hair tend to get really dry, specially when I get too lazy to properly take care of it. After I wash my hair, I run this through the bottom half of my hair to add in that extra bit of moisture. When I do use it, as opposed to the times where I simply forget, I notice the difference as my ends feel less brittle and don't tangle as much.

Sephora oil-free instant moisturizer: This is the best oil-free moisturizer for dry skin I've tried so far. The price for this teeny tube is more than what I would pay at the drugstore, but still significantly less than most of the brand names carried at Sephora. It's effective in keeping my skin hydrated, is oil free, doesn't have a strong scent, and doesn't break me out. I just wish it came in bigger size tubes since I used this up in less than a month.

Philosophy purity made simple: Basically, this is a face wash that hits the sweet spot of being able to properly clean my face but not strip it of all moisture. 

Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herb, and rose water: This is another helping hand in remediating my dry skin problems. On its own it doesn't do much. Some use it as a setting spray, which I find doesn't do much for me. But if it's the middle of the day and my skin is feeling a little dry under my makeup, a few spritzes of this stuff helps bring in some moisture. 

Maybelline clean express waterproof makeup remover: Removing waterproof eye makeup can be a real b*tch so I prefer using a product specifically made for eye makeup removal.  I like this product because a) it's cheap b) it's effective c) it doesn't leave any sort of stickiness or residue behind. 

Nars audacious lipstick in Audrey (center swatch): The audacious lipsticks were probably the most talked about lip product in the end of 2014. In my eyes they deserve all the hype. I think Nars hands down makes the best high end lip products, and the audacious line is the best of the best. It's hydrating, long-wearing, and has the prettiest matte packaging with a magnetic lid. In price it's comparable to Chanel or YSL, but superior in quality in my humble opinion. The color I got, Audrey, is a dark purpley-pink.

Wet N' Wild silk finish lipstick in dark wine (right swatch): I bought a few wet n wild lipsticks a few months ago and hated every single one of them. I saw that they had reformulated and repackaged their lipsticks, and while the packaging is bland and cheapo looking, the new formula is awesome. I do have to wear this lipstick with a lip liner since it does bleed, but if that's the only con for a $1 lipstick I'm not going to complain. 

Nars velvet matte lip pencil in bahama (left swatch): This is the perfect nudish mauve, my lips-but-better lipstick for someone with brown lips (aka me.) I don't like flesh toned lipsticks (because concealor lips are a no no) and I don't like light colored lipsticks (on myself), and this color is about as close to a light, flesh toned color as I would get.

Nuxe reve de miel lip balm: This is the dream lip balm. I didn't know that lip balm could be so moisturizing until I bought this product. When I slather this on before I go to sleep, the cracks in my lips vanish by morning.

Jordana best lash extreme volumizing mascara: In comparison to most people, I think I have a conservative taste in mascara. What many see as omg so long and voluptuous, (do people describe eyelashes as voluptuous?) I consider clumpy and reminiscent of spider legs. This mascara is not only ridiculously affordable, but also works in adding length without the clumps.

Tweezerman lash comb: I don't usually wear a lot of mascara, but on the days I happen to, I run this through my lashes after to de-clump so I can avoid falling into the "clumpy and reminiscent of spider legs" category.

Anastasia brow wiz in dark brown: I'm a brows noob so this pencil makes shaping my brows and filling them in easier. The spooly comes in handy to direct all my hairs in the right direction. The pencil end isn't that pigmented so if you don't have the lightest of hands, like me, it makes doing your brows more feasible. The softness of the pencil helps in avoiding noticeable, drawn in lines.

Anastasia tinted brow gel in espresso: As mentioned above, I'm a brows noob. Buuuut this brow gel gives me an easy way to fill in my brows in a jiffy. No matter how many times I swipe it across my brows, no harsh lines are made.

pima cotton love

This is me breaking out of my current black on black on black lifestyle. I was really living on the edge when I put on this white t-shirt and oatmeal cardigan. C'est la vie. A note on said t-shirt; it's the softest freaking t-shirt I have ever had the pleasure of wearing. I've been working on being more critical of what material my clothing is made of and it has definitely paid off with this t-shirt. 100% pima cotton. I have no idea what pima cotton exactly is, but as far as I'm concerned it is what soft and stretchy, dream, white, t-shirts are made of.

jeans: forever 21, t-shirt: theory, cardigan: urban outfitters (similar also from UO), boots: on the brink of death and need to be replaced ASAP

FYI, I have no idea what fascinated me into staring at the ground.

the Friday five

1. The Asos sale on sale

In case you didn't know, Asos is offering an extra 10% off any sale items until the 12th. Soo many items that I have been eyeing for the past few months have gone on sale. But as I mentioned in my "new year, new boots" post, I'm trying to be a smarter shopper this year. In the past I might have just gone for it, but now I'm pausing to consider how practical of a purchase these items are.

I've been eying the blue coat ever since I saw Kylie Jenner wearing it last spring. It's just been sitting in my cart for months, and I've almost caved a few times cause it's so pretty and as I've said numerous times, I'm all about the maxis. Now that it's 50% off, I'm so tempted to just buy it but I'm trying to be a smarter shopper in 2015. It's a trendy item so the fact that it isn't of the best materials doesn't bother me too much. I do want to make sure that I can envision myself realistically wearing it in multiple outfits before I go for it.

turtleneck sweater, blue duster coat, striped midi skirt

2. Simple micellar water

I use bioderma on the daily, but it is expensive! The new $7 Simple brand micellar water is a much more affordable option. If you've never tried micellar water before, you're missing out! They're very gentle and effective in removing makeup and cleaning your face, without leaving any sort of residue behind. I'm going to take a peek at the ingredient and pray that it compares to Bioderma, and if all goes well order it from I've never tried any simple products before, but it seems that they're marketing themselves as making "natural" products-- which I'm wary of since 50% that's a bunch of phony baloney. My skin's superpower is being able to breakout in .5 seconds so my hesitance is well warranted. I have heard good things about their face wipes though, so hopefully this is also a success.

It's currently being sold on You can also find it in stores at Target according to nouveau cheap.

3. Penne alla vodka by Ina Garten

recipe: Nick & Toni's Penna Alla Vecchia Bettola, photo via Alexandra Cooks

Nom nom nom, I'm already drooling from just thinking about making this dish. I've been wanting to try cooking a vodka sauce since this summer, and I've finally found the perfect recipe for it. Thank you, Ina!

4. Season premier of Pretty Little Liars

This show. To be honest, I don't really remember what's even going on because they start and stop and start so many different story lines. I do have to say I'm on board with the whole evil twin theory. If you have any interesting theories (or links to other people's interesting theories) please share!

5. This outfit

I know in the last post I said I like to keep it simple, but I would wear the hell out of this outfit. It's worth going out of my comfort zone. Shini is one of my top 5 fav bloggers so it's no surprise to me that she knocks it out of the park. Plus she's wearing my favorite boots ;)

source: Park & Cube

minor details

Like many people, I'm all "don't put me in a box," and "b*tch, you don't know me" when it comes to my personal style. But in reality, if I had to boil it down to one word, I would say it's simple. I can appreciate pattern mixing and heavy jewelry and all that jazz on others, but when it comes to dressing myself in such a way I just feel awkward, clumsy, and tacky. If I'm ever unsure of what to wear, an all black outfit is the perfect go to.

That being said, that doesn't mean I can't spice things up in my own way.

Minor details can make an outfit less boring in my eyes. Replacing a crew neck tee with a mock neck top, adding an embellished clutch, and wearing white sneakers for a contrast are all small things, but I like to think they make a bigger impact. Last but not least, my maxi cardigan. I dedicated an entire post to all things of longer lengths a few months ago, and I'm still not over my infatuation with the trend. A maxi cardigan is one of those things that can take any boring old outfit and instantly make it 10x cooler.

top: asos, cardigan: cheap monday, shorts: vince, clutch: urban outfitters, shoes: superga

p.s #restingbitchface

new year, new shoes

A pseudo-resolution of mine for 2015 is to be a less impulsive shopper. I admit to having more clothes than I need, partly because I have so many clothes and shoes purchased because they were cheap or good deals. Then said clothes end up being worn once or twice and eventually end up forgotten in the corners of my closet. But this year I'm going to be more discerning about my purchases.

On my current wish list is a pair of over the knee boots. I've already dedicated a whole post to my undying love of the Stuart Weitzman Lowland boots, but before I make an investment like that I'd like to exhaust the more affordable options. Most of the boots I found were more similar to the Stuart Weitzman 5050s with their elastic backs. I'm not sure how I feel about this since I think elastic backs can look somewhat matronly. In addition, if I'm paying over $100 for a pair of shoes, they better be of good quality. When a boot is half elastic rather than leather or suede, I'm getting less bang for my buck. A fitted shaft is another must-- not too tight that they look painted on, but not too loose that they end up scrunching down, specially around the ankles. Of course some scrunching is inevitable, and I think suede hides that better than a smooth leather.

In an ideal world, all of these shoes would be available in my size at one retailer, so I could try them on consecutively, and make a decision. If you've tried any of these on or have any other OTK boot suggestions, please share!

1. Chinese Laundry (on sale)-- pictures of them worn on this blog
2. Urban Outfitters
3. Tommy Hilfiger (on sale)
4. Stuart Weitzman (~30% off in other colors)
5. Stuart Weitzman Lowland <3<3<3<3
6. Via Spiga (on sale, out of stock online but you can use live chat to find them in stores)-- tried these on in store and I felt like I was wearing superhero shoes. While they are made out of suede, they look like neoprene :/
7. Steven by Steve Madden (on sale)
8. Free People

P.S If you're reading this, I hope you had a wonderful start to 2015!

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