Lookbook, Musings

Trying to Put a Finger On It…

Inspiration vs. Reality

There’s my style inspiration and then there’s my personal style. I can’t claim my taste is too different from that of almost every girl I see on Instagram or Pinterest. I have that one part of me that wants to be the eternal lady–classy and classic with tea skirts and fitted silhouettes worn with effortless grace by Golden Hollywood muses like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. I have that other part that loves playing dress up with colors and patterns, turning out grandma-chic (?) outfits full of cardigans, leggings and boots. Sweater weather is, by far, my favorite weather (even though Texas only has a grand total of 4 weeks for that). I find it easier to show rather than tell (read:amateur blogger) what my style is- or rather, what I would like my style to be when I have the time and resources to buy all the pretty things. Bloggers like ExtraPetite and Wendy’s Lookbook are the perfect example of my fun-fabulous-ladylike dreams.

"Elegance is the only beauty that never fades."

“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.”

Shopping Habits

As far as shopping, again, I can’t claim to have cool secret indie spots and must conform via mass retailers like Forever21, H&M and Target; Target might actually need its own post to fully articulate my love-love relationship with that store. I will say, though, that I have a distinct discomfort with a brand name obvious anywhere on my clothing. Especially in middle school, it felt like I’d be trying too hard if my clothes were screaming A.EAGLE  and A&F EST. 1872 like every rich kid at the cool table. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m going through a kind of personal style renaissance in terms of clothing and makeup. As for now, I still have a strapped budget so I don’t feel comfortable going all out designer–yes, I count J.Crew and Banana Republic in that group–for my wardrobe when I don’t have a big-girl job that requires and pays for one. However, I am beginning to loosen the white-knuckle grasp on my wallet for quality pieces that are functional enough to warrant the price tag. I’m trying to mature my closet she said wearing polka dot jeans because despite the store, one cannot remain 21 forever. Sure, I love the occasional cute graphic shirt, and sweatshirts are always welcome, but I’ll pair them with a well-fitted blazer and tucked into jeans with heels now. My Holy Trinity seems to be gray/solids, stripes, and florals. The last one especially is a problem: I love flowers on my clothes almost as much as I love them in my hands. Several loved ones have complained about my stock of solid colored tops, but I can’t get over their economy. Rest assured, I am working on getting out of that rut as well.

Style blogger Chriselle Lim always gets the most luscious peonies!

Style blogger Chriselle Lim always gets the most luscious peonies (my favorite)!

Pinterest + Instagram

Going back to my first paragraph, these social media machines have been oiling my style gears with visual expressions of my style aspirations. Tailored skirts…preppy shirts…bright blazers… got me salivating like a hot basket of seasoned French fries. Accounts like ExtraPetite and OOTDMagazine show how people can really make clothes work, 5th St. or 15th St.

A smattering of some Pin-win looks that I want to pull off--they make it look so easy!

A smattering of some Pin-win looks that I want to pull off–they make it look so easy!

Is it tragic that I get excited planning my outfit for an occasion long before the event is due? Nah, didn’t think so. 

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Lookbook

A Tale of Three Lipsticks and a Hairdo

Here’s the thing: I just want to be fabulous. Not in a glamorous, glitzy, glittery sense, but rather the chic, put-together, “I must say I love your look today” way. I am lucky to have a group of fashionable ladies as friends so it’s easy to draw inspiration and tips on how to create such looks. Of course it’s not enough to simply copy and paste these onto myself so I like to add my own twist. How would I describe my style or what I would like it to be? I’ll save that for another post when I have a good outfit on.

L to R: NYX Matte "Sweet Pink," Rimmel "Bordeaux," L'Oreal "Wisteria Rose"

L to R: NYX Matte “Sweet Pink,” Rimmel “Bordeaux,” L’Oreal “Wisteria Rose”

For this post, I’ll first focus on a dereliction I’ve recently acquired: lipstick. For most of my girlish life, my makeup largely stuck to eyeliner, mascara and foundation only because I have too many marks to go out without. Lipstick and blush were just too…much, too bold and tacky, especially on my mousy face. I thought of harsh reds or Barbie pinks. The ONLY time I would go near these things was during dance performances when I was forced to smear dreadful fire-engine red on my lips and pile pink on my whited-out cheeks so every last audience member in the last row could see me. Later on, as I was increasingly exposed to more tasteful applications, I began to get more interested in how to use them on myself. Blush color isn’t too much of an issue because I stick to subtlety so it’s light swipes of peach and pink for me. Lipstick, however, is a struggle. They’re either too bright, didn’t go with my skintone and worst of all, made me look like I had a mustache coming in (eek). Then a miracle appeared when a friend left her red lipstick at my apartment and everyone had a go at it. L’Oreal Infallible lipstick in Beyonce Red. A red that finally popped and complimented my skin and made me feel vibrant, unstoppable whenever I wore it out. Now with all this free time on my lap and seeing that it’s autumn (mine and every girl’s favorite style season), I decided to pick up the search for more colors that give me the same joy. Thanks to shameless hours of YouTube tutorials and online reviews I learned which shades and products work best with my face. Undertones–that’s a fancy new word I found out I need to look for, both in my skin (warm to neutral) and lipstick (I’m supposed to avoid blueish?). Obviously I couldn’t wait to start my collection so I got my hands on some lip candy as soon as I composed a list of fail-proof colors produced by my tireless research. Unfortunately, Wisteria Rose didn’t work out but I LOVE the other two and can’t wait to find an excuse to wear these babies out. I believe in looking good to feel good and a swipe of lipstick can instantly lift my spirits.

Pin strands from both sides of the crown, pull over an elastic headband, and tuck the lower strands into the band all the way around. Voila!

Pin strands from both sides of the crown, pull over an elastic headband, and tuck the lower strands into the band all the way around. Voila!

Now on to hair. This one’s a much shorter story, I promise. Basically, long hair got old so I chopped off about 6 inches a few months ago. People have actually told me it looks more “me” than before (hopefully that’s a good thing). Perhaps non-intuitively, I’ve become more excited about trying new hairstyles– but that seems easier said than done. Thankfully, I came across a YouTube tutorial (yet again) on a ‘do that even I can do. It looks better in person but I will definitely wear this again the next chance I get–and it works with my lipstick! Too bad I was only trying everything out so this look had to stay home. Shame. Oh well, on my way to my fabulous.

(Note: pictures were taken at two different times with different lighting–I’m not trying to fake my skin color mkay?).

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