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5 Fall Makeup Essentials

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12:00 PM
5 Fall Makeup Essentials
Clinique BB cream ($37) / Wet n Wild eyeshadows ($5) / CoverGirl eyeliner ($6) / Two-Faced primer ($20) / Maybelline lipstick ($6)

When the seasons change, I find that my beauty routine must change as well. Going from summer to autumn, I find my skin getting a bit drier, needing less SPF, and gravitating toward darker colors. So, without further ado, here are some makeup items I find necessary this fall:

Tinted Moisturizer/BB Cream: I bought this tinted moisturizer last month and let me tell you, it's been amazing!!! It provides a sheer coverage without feeling cakey on my skin. I don't need too much coverage, just something to help tone down the redness of my skin (especially in the morning) so this has been perfect. If you want a cheaper option, I recommend CoverGirl BB Cream. It's more like a tinted moisturizer but I've had a good experience with it and it doesn't break me out.

Neutral Eye shadows: I think that neutral eye shadows are absolutely essential for all makeup wearers - it goes with every outfit and is appropriate for any occasion. It can be used subtly or for a night out. My favorite is by Wet 'N' Wild - their eight pan "Comfort Zone" palette. I bought this a while back and it's been my favorite palette for all occasions! I like how they're all neutral colors but they're not boring. I'm especially fond of the bottom right color - it's a burgundy-green duochrome color that looks so sophisticated and pretty! I can wear it on it's own and it looks a lot more complicated that it really is. 

Pen Liquid Eyeliner: I'm somewhat ungraceful when it comes to eyeliner. While I love a clean cat-eye look, I can't really do one with liquid eyeliners because I mess it up somehow. I usually use a pencil eyeliner and smudge it out a bit. Lately, though makeup companies came up with pen liquid liners for the clumsy (like myself) and I think it is the greatest invention evah! I really like this one by CoverGirl because it's dark, affordable, and with a decent primer, it lasts all day!

Eye Shadow Primer: Having monolidded eyes (I'm Asian - it comes with the territory sometimes), I know a thing or two about eye shadows and eyeliners creasing. Luckily for me, we have eye shadow primers! This one by Two-Face is my favorite. I used to use Urban Decay's Primer potion which I also quite liked but I find that the shelf life on that one doesn't last as long as the Two Face one. 

Rosy Lipstick: Summer was all about the bright pinks and oranges but fall the season for darker warmer lip colors. I really like this Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick in "Rose of Attraction." Subtle color with moisturizing properties. Perfect for chapped lips in Autumn. 

Denim and Lace | Chambray Shirt and Lace Skirt

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Hello lovelies!

Denim and Lace outfit

I remember when I was younger, I read a book called The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. Although I can't recall every single detail of that book (it's been almost 12 years since I've read it), I distinctly remember the main character wanting to name her future children Denim and Lace. While at the time, the only thing I could think of was, "wow, that's like asking for your children to get beat up when they get older," it was still *the* thing on my mind when I reached for this outfit: Denim top and a lace skirt. 

Glaze by Adi shoes

Have you guys given any thought to your future babies' names? Also, please excuse my leg - I've had some insane bug bites this summer that I scratched at in my sleep, leaving some scars. I'm told that they will eventually fade though, thankfully.

Top: Forever 21 tee, Forever 21 denim shirt
Bottoms: H&M skirt
Accessories: LouLou's scarf, Forever 21 coral clutch
Shoes: Glaze by Adi sandals

Book Club: The Alchemist

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To say that I enjoyed reading Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist would be the understatement of the year.

Published in 1988, The Alchemist didn't gain fame until the 1990s when it suddenly became an unexpected best seller. Seen in the hands of people like Bill Clinton, Laurence Fishburne, and Will Smith, and translated into 67 languages, this book has become one of the most influential books in the world.

Told in the perspective of Santiago, a shepherd from the fields of Andalusia, Spain, the novella tells a spiritual tale of how a boy goes in search to find treasure that he had dreamed of. Along the way, he meets various people who either help him or hinder him. He even falls in love. He learns many lessons and eventually finds that life rewards those who pursue their dreams.

I have been eying this book since I was in middle school but I never got around to reading it until recently and I'm regretting not having picked it up sooner. It has been such a beautiful, emotional and spiritual journey. There are times where I think the book would be a cheesy perseverance novel where the main character goes through struggles in a non-relatable artificial kind of way but it doesn't. All of his situations are strange but familiar - for example, he gets robbed at the beginning of his journey and almost gives up on his search. He works several years to make the money that he was robbed of back. While not all of us may have been robbed of our life's savings, the fact that the author explains he works it back several years is both realistic and serves drives a point home - When you face a setback to your dream, getting back on your feet may not be easy and may even take a long time.

I'm going to end my review with my favorite line in the book: "There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.... The soul of the world is nourished by people's happiness... And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." I recommend everyone to go read this book - it's life-changing and will encourage you to follow your dreams :]

I Accept this Award

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9:29 PM
I'm so honored that Brittney from True Vintage Love has given me a Liebster! I always saw these on other blogs and wondered when my blog would ever be good enough for one. Well, now it has haha!

The Liebster Award, I've found, is an award that's given by bloggers to other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It's a way to connect bloggers to other bloggers and build relationships and network and such. 

Here are the rules when nominated:
  • Accept the award.
  • Answer the questions set by the blogger who nominated you. 
  • Nominate 11 other blogs, avoiding repeats, and comment on their blogs to notify them of their nomination!
  • Set 11 questions of your own for your nominees to answer.
  • Paste the Liebster Badge in your post.
So without further ado, here are the questions I must answer:

1. What is the most difficult thing about blogging?

For me, it's just finding time to take pictures, network with other bloggers, and go out and look for other bloggers with great style. I love doing all of these things but I also have a full time job in the political field and my hours aren't always 9-5. However, I wouldn't trade my lifestyle for the world - I love my job and I love blogging. If I complain too much about them, I deserve divine punishment :]

2. What do you think is the number one important thing to do as a blogger?

As a blogger, I think it's extremely important to connect with other bloggers on a sincere level. I didn't really figure that out until fairly recently. I don't like when people give me half-hearted compliments in real life so I try to give other bloggers sincere and heartfelt comments. If I really like a particular post a blogger has done, I try to think about why I like it and tell them so. That's my approach to connecting with others. I always appreciate it when others do the same.

3. What is your favorite candy?

Hands down, I love Haribo gummy bears. I can munch on those things allllllllllll day. Especially the green ones. 

4. If you were president, what is the number one thing you would change?

Oh geez, ask a political person that question haha. Well, I guess the first thing I would change is dependence on oil. I think that the government should really invest more in renewable energy. Fuel is a limited resource and I'm sure we could find a better way to use it than just burn it up in our cars. 

5. What is the one thing you can't leave the house with?

A hair tie. I'm sure you all have noticed that I'm wearing a hair tie in almost all of my pictures when my hair is down. That's because I'm using it in pictures when my hair is up. It's literally always on me and it's such a life-saver! Sometimes, you just need your hair out of your face for a minute but you want it down for happy hour. I think hair ties are just necessary for every woman.

6. If you could only use one make up product for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably lipstick. I like how it can change up the entire look and feel of an outfit. Mascara would be a close second though - I have very short and sparse lashes that just need primping up daily. 

7. Do you feel you were born in the wrong era?

Yes and no. In terms of fashion, I think I'm more of a 50s or even early 60s girl. BUT then I remember how little rights women and minorities had back then and how they were treated and then I'm glad I was born now. 

8. What are your goals for your blog?

I guess my first big goal is to get 100 followers on Bloglovin. I'm not quite there yet but I'm trying to make that goal by the end of the year. My other goal is to always make sure my content is fresh - I want my readers to always read my best work, not something that I just threw together without a second thought. Finally I want my content to be readable and regular. I've been pretty good with scheduling my posts but some weeks, things happen and I leave my readers to take care of it (sorry!). I also want the people who actually do sit and read my blog to actually enjoy what I write - it's not simply pictures with me :]

9. What do you look for in a blog to follow?

I know this sounds so superficial but I'm a sucker for a blog with good images. Quality isn't everything but I've been to some blogs where their pictures are blurry and dark and I can't see what they're writing about. I'm sort of a visual person so yes, images are quite important to me. I also like bloggers who have a personality behind their fashion choices. Maybe it's because I put time and effort into writing my posts but a lot of times, blogs with no content other than pretty pictures seems a bit soul-less to me. 

10. What makes you laugh the most?

It's so easy to get me to laugh - I laugh at everything, even myself! If I really had to narrow it down, I would say the shows Archer, Parks and Recreation, and the first three season of Arrested Development make me laugh the most. In my real life, I mostly laugh at awkward circumstances (or at least looking back at them), situations I can only describe as schadenfreude, and certain people who just have that charismatic humor to them.

11. What matters the most to you in life?

I think the most important things in life are 1) being kind to everyone and especially those you love and 2) loving life. I think that simple kindness gets lost in a place like Washington, DC and sometimes people equate kindness as weakness or being a pushover but that's not true. Being a decent human being does not mean having to put yourself behind others - its about recognizing others' worth as equal to yours. It's an underrated quality, but I think it's important to stay strong and be the best person that you can be. I also think it's important to have a passion for life - after all, if you don't enjoy your life and you walk around miserable all the time, well you're not really living are you? One should always stop and smell the roses, if you will. Happiness in life is not something that just comes, one should put effort into gaining it.

Now that my looong answers are written (sorry about that) here are the 11 blogs I nominate (sorry if you have more than 200 followers)
Now here are my questions:
  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. What is your favorite article of clothing in your closet at the moment?
  3. If you could live in any decade except the current one, when would you live?
  4. What is your favorite place in the world?
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? Past or present
  6. What is the last book you've read?
  7. What is your secret guilty pleasure?
  8. Who is your icon?
  9. Is there a skill that you wish you had? If so, what is it?
  10. What are some items in your purse you can't live without?
  11. What would you like to change most about the world?
Again, thank you Brittney for nominating me! I look forward to reading everyone's answers! :]

Fall Florals | Floral Skirt and Beaded Oxfords

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Happy Monday gorgeous readers!

Fall will soon be upon us! Are you excited like I am or are you in denial about it? Haha while I will miss the sunny weather, I am done with the humidity. Autumn is my favorite season - it's crisp, warm, and cozy. Also, my birthday is in the fall so I'm probably a bit biased. DC summers are ridiculously hot and humid - no joke, the hottest it got this summer we were at 103˚ fahrenheit and 70% humidity. Can you say ridiculous?

So it was with Fall in mind that I put together this outfit. While I'm not quite ready to let go of summer fashions (as embodied by my floral tulip skirt - also, can you tell I really like tulip skirts? See this post and this post. While you're at it, see this post too). But I paired it with this lightweight bow sweater to give it a warmer feel.

What's your favorite season?

Top: Lily Pulitzer jumper
Bottoms: Zara skirt
Accessories: Bershka bag, Forever 21 bow bracelet, Francesca's bracelets, Essie's 'Mint Candy Apple' nail polish, Sally Hansen's "Mellow Yellow' nail polish
Shoes: Zara shoes

Pinterest Roundup: Organizing

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7:02 PM
It's Sunday again - that means it's time for a Pinterest Roundup:

This week, I had organizing on my mind. My brother just moved into his new dorm room and he was all about trying to maximize the small space he was given. Ahh brings me back to my old University days...

Anyways, I'm also working on reorganizing my place. I feel like I started just nesting and buying all sorts of stuff I don't actually have space for. How to organize?? Perhaps a few more pins can help me find the answer :]

Shopping Spree: Back to School

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12:00 PM
It's that time of year again - time to head back to school. Do you have your basics covered?

Shopping Spree: Back to School

Forever 21 backpack ($30) / Emi-Jay hair ties ($6.50) / Chinese Laundry flats ($60) / Lilly Pulitzer agenda ($28) / Target cardigan ($28) / Circa notebook ($29) / Pilot pens ($15)//
  1. Boisterous Backpack: I used to carry a tote bag in school but only because they didn't make backpacks this cute back in my day! I really like this polka-dot one from Forever 21 - it's cute, it's practical, and roomy! What more could you possibly want in a carry-all?
  2. Heroic Hair Ties: I always have a hair tie around my wrist, as I'm sure you've all noticed from my outfit posts. It's usually a black one to match my hair but I'm really loving these kitsch ones. They're gentle on the hair and come in all sorts of cute colors. I think hair ties are important for every woman because you never know when you're going to need to pull your hair back.
  3. Fly Flats: Trekking from class to class sounds like a nightmare in heels so invest in a good quality pair of flats! I really like d'Orsay styles so these flats from Chinese Laundry really caught my eye! 
  4. Adorable Agenda: I think the words "student" and "agenda" just go together in harmony. You almost never see a serious student without one! I like that Lilly Pulitzer came out with these cute ones. I'm no longer a student but I still got my hands on this navy one! 
  5. Comfy Cardi: Cardigans are a fall basic and are necessary whether you have a dress code or not (for those still in high school - take note!) A recurring fall trend is leather so get a leather-look two-textured cardigan! So cozy and chic at the same time!
  6. No-Nonsense Notebook: While I know the benefits of taking notes with my laptop, I like writing this down physically too. This Circa business notebook is perfect for perfectionists like myself! 
  7. Plucky Pens: When I take notes, I always use at least two colors because I'm one of those crazy color coders. If you're like me, get a full set of different colored pens and see how pretty and organized your notes look at the end of the semester. You will be ahead of the game once exams week rolls in
Good luck in the upcoming school year, loves!

Closet Strategy: Tulip Skirt

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12:00 PM
It's time for another Closet Strategy Post!

You know those items in your closet that you only wear once and then you forget about? Well today's featured piece is one of those items. I bought this skirt when it was on sale at H&M and I probably only wore it twice. I completely forgot I had it until I was cleaning out my closet and I figured in the spirit of challenging myself, I'd come up with a few ways to wear this skirt. I think tulip skirts can be difficult to pull off for some because it exaggerates the hips. BUT when done correctly, tulip skirts can be quite chic.

Outfit 1: Tulip Skirt + Chambray

My good old chambray blouse came to the rescue again! I think the details of this outfit is what keeps the look interesting, like the beaded collar necklace and the armor sandals (as my little cousin calls them). This would be a great look for lunch with friends.

Top: Forever 21 blouse
Accessories: H&M necklace, Nine West clutch
Shoes: Glaze by Adi sandals

Outfit 2: Tulip Skirt + Bold Accessories

Again, another basic look with bold accessories. I decided to pair a bright necklace with a white tee to make it stand out. Add on a bright clutch and nude shoes and you're ready to go out for happy hour.

Top: Forever 21 tee
Accessories: Forever 21 necklace, Forever 21 clutch, Forever 21 bracelet
Shoes: Steve Madden Getta pumps

Outfit 3: Tulip Skirt + Polka-Dots

I think polka-dots are the cutest prints. I particularly like this blouse because it can be dressed up or down so it's perfect for any occasion. I added on a red clutch again (because red can do no wrong), and chic cat-eye sunnies for a look perfect for roaming the streets. 

Top: Forever 21 blouse
Accessories: Nine West clutch, Forever 21 sunnies
Shoes: Steve Madden Getta pumps

Do you guys like the look of tulip skirts? Would you wear any of these looks? Let me know of any other "difficult pieces" in your closet! 

Let's Get Organized: Back to School

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I'm starting another new column to my blog called "Let's Get Organized."

Being an organization nutter, I am always on the lookout to find ways to make my life run smoothly and efficiently. I know many of my readers are going back to university or even high school. Being a somewhat recent university graduate (class of 2012), I remember my time in school with a mixture of fondness and PTSD haha. Joking aside, I remember being most excited during that first week back from summer (and even winter) holidays and starting fresh. I liked being organized in the beginning of the new school year especially because it sort of sets the tone for the rest of the school year. Now without further ado, here are some ways I organized my life to prepare for school:

  • Organize Your Closet: While back-to-school sales and tax-free weekends are going on, I'm sure many of you are taking advantage by updating your wardrobe. While I encourage buying clothes on sale, you should also take this opportunity to clean out some articles of clothing that you no longer wear. This is especially important to those heading off to university - you know you can't take your entire wardrobe with you so get rid of what you'll never wear and only take the important stuff!
  • Organize Your E-Presence: Before I even set foot at my university, many new freshmen starting friending/following each other on various social media outlets. Most of you probably got into the habit of cleaning off the bad stuff on Facebook for before you got accepted into your schools but perhaps may have been a bit more lax about it afterwards. Remember that your profiles are your fellow peers' first impression of you before they even physically meet you. Take advantage of the privacy settings and maybe hide those pictures of you that you don't want your mom to see. 
  • Organize Your Computer: While you're at it, why don't you organize your computer as well? Create a new folder (or folders) for your classwork. University projects can sometimes end up in your professional portfolio so have a folder to save all your work in. Get rid of some old pictures/documents to clear up some space. I also recommend downloading Evernote to help keep things organized as well. I highly recommend it!
  • Organize Your Finances: I think one thing I had the worst time with my freshman year of school was budgeting. Some weeks, I would spend too much on groceries, and not enough on other necessities. Or other times I would blow an entire paycheck on just clothes. Luckily, I sat down and figured out how much I should be spending on things and learned to balance the books and save money. Nowadays, there are apps that help you budget instantaneously like I recommend this app specifically because you can use it on the go to record what you spend your money on with your smartphone.
These are pretty much the basics for before getting to school. Let me know some other back-to-school organizing tips that you have in the comments! I really enjoy reading them!

A Book Lover's Pet Peeve | Tulip Skirt and Polka Dots

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Hello lovelies!

I was recently annoyed to find that a book I lent my friend was returned to me with creases in the corners. Apparently my friend didn't have a bookmark handy so she decided to doggy-ear my book. I absolutely hate when people fold pages of my book - it's so disrespectful to the book! 

Of course now with e-readers and tablets I suppose this problem will someday be a sign of the ancient days but still, I love the feeling of holding a book in my hands. Maybe that's why I don't like seeing it defaced in any way - even if it's something as (somewhat) harmless as a tiny fold in the corner. 

Am I the only one who gets irritated with people who do this?

Top: Forever 21
Bottom: H&M skirt
Accessories: Icing wayfarer sunnies, Juicy Couture clutch, earrings from boutique in France
Shoes: Michael Antonio pumps

Summer Readin' | Pleated Skirt and Tie-Front Blouse

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12:00 PM
It's finally Friday!

Most people my age complain that they have trouble finding time to get some reading done and I think I know where they're coming from - the older I get the busier I get with work, social time, volunteering, and just life in general. However I find that my commute is the best time to get my summer reading on. See, it's all about making time or using your time wisely.

I like reading on the metro - the lull of the train helps me push through, especially during some of the dull moments in a book, and it serves as a buffer against some of the characters you see. Not that I dislike talking to people on the train, but sometimes you'll encounter some strange folks on the DC metro lines (once, this guy sat next to me and randomly told me I had nice hair and he wanted to smell it. Yeah... just no). 

I'm currently reading George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series. I never found myself to be much of a fantasy novel reader until I saw the HBO series and finally cracked down and bought the first book, A Game of Thrones and I just went on reading from there. I gotta say, I like reading the books much better (although the show is absolutely amazing).

What book are you reading right now? When do you get most of your reading done?

Top: H&M bow blouse
Bottoms: Gifted from Korea (dress, worn as a skirt)
Accessories: Paper Source ribbon, Icing pearl bracelet, Charlotte Russe wallet
Shoes: Steve Madden Getta pumps

Who Do We Dress Up for Anyways?

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I was recently having a discussion with a group of friends about dressing up.

The guys in the group were convinced that women dressed up nice to impress men to which I vehemently disagreed.

"No," I said, "that's not true. If women dressed up for men, we'd just walk around naked."

That got a laugh from the group but I honestly believe that people, and women in particular, dress up for both ourselves and other women. I know that when I carry around an expensive $500 Prada bag, men generally won't be the ones coming up to me going, "Oh wow! Is it real? It goes great with your shoes!" I mean, yes I have encountered a fair share of men who were fashionable and brand conscious, but for the most part, it's usually women who are impressed with my attire and my brand-name shoes/bag/dress etc.

I think that for women, fashion can not only be a way to make a statement, but also a tool to empower us. I know the fashion world is sometime seen as superficial but as someone who lives in DC, I see examples of fashion empowering women every day. I see powerful women in Congress or law firms, kicking ass in the office while wearing a pair of sexy stilettos. It's truly inspiring to see how fashion transforms a person, especially in such a political environment where not only brains matter, but appearance as well.

I dress up for myself and for my peers. Who do you dress up for?

Workaholics Annonymous | Trousers and Mint Cardigan

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12:00 PM
Wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

If there's anything DC is known for, it's the workaholic mentality. I think everyone here is so ambitious and smart. Such go-getters from an early age. It's a good and bad thing, I think - everyone here knows what they want and won't stop until they get it. Unfortunately, sometimes this sort of attitude is a little off-putting. Imagine all your friends only talking about going to the best schools to find the best jobs, and live in the best home. Everything is a competition!

While this lifestyle can be difficult for some, it's sort of a motivator for me. I like to think I can be laid back, but I'm serious when it comes to work. I'm ambitious, but I know when to tone it down. I like to work hard and party just as hard. I don't want to live to work - I work to live my life.

Are you a workaholic?

Top: Forever 21 blouse, H&M cardigan
Bottoms: Old Navy trousers
Accessories: Prada bag, old glasses, Forever 21 earrings
Shoes: pumps