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Lazy Friday | Stripes and Beau Bag

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12:00 PM
Fantabulous Friday!
This morning, the song that played on my radio, and thus set the tone for the day, was The Lazy Song, by Bruno Mars. I really love how easy and care-free the song is and for a Friday afternoon, like today, it's a perfect song to hum as I get ready to start my day. 

Have a great weekend!

Top: H&M 
Bottoms: H&M
Accessories: Kate Spade Beau bag, Forever 21 sunnies (similar here) H&M necklace, gifted necklace (similar here)
Shoes: Forever 21 (similar here)

Book Club: 1Q84

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12:00 PM
Guest post by Jen Muller

My quick review of this book is that it was thrilling to read. The story never took me in an expected route and the characters were utterly fascinating. Harukami Murakami is truly a master of metaphors and he uses his unique writing style to immerse the reader in the world he has created.

Murakami is one of those writers people either love or hate. I am personally in the group that love him and I have read a couple of his other books and short stories, so I am not surprised by the odd plots or unique writing style, though I know a few other people who call his style jarring and too unconventional for them. Before I recommend this book I would say that it was originally written in Japanese for a Japanese audience, and I am not sure if every the style translates universally. That being said I truly enjoyed this book and the journey it took me on. I would suggest giving it a shot if it at all seems like something you'd enjoy. 

The plot follows Aomame, a fitness trainer/assassin living in Tokyo, Japan, in 1984. While on the way to an assassination, she gets stuck in traffic and takes an emergency stairwell off an expressway to save time, which takes her into a parallel world, which she calls 1Q84 (Q standing for "Question). Her reality and understanding of time seems to have altered slightly. The plot also follows Tengo, an aspiring writer. Tengo is rewriting a short story "Air Chrysalis" by seventeen-year-old writer Fuka-Eri. Tengo's committal to rewrite the story to make it acceptable for publication also plunges him into 1Q84, which is what Fuka-Eri wanted. Fuka-Eri herself is a msyterious person, whose family is involved with a religious cult called the Sakigake. The Sakigake believe that their leader hears voices from beings known as the Little People. Fuka-Eri's father is the leader and is Aomame's next assignment for having raped Fuka-Eri when she was younger.Tengo and Aomame search for one another, for they realize they are connected in the plot of the Little People, and they both return up the ladder to the expressway (with Tengo holding onto his own novel in manuscript form) and leave 1Q84.

While the plot and the characters kept me intrigued long after I finished the book, I am most drawn to Murakami's writing style. His use of metaphors has a way of personifying a character's experiences in a way that immersed me into this book's universe. For example, when describing one character's consciousness being overwhelmed by a memory he compare the experience to being swept away in a tsunami. As Murakami describes the sensations that this character goes through in the scene, I felt my heart start to race and could almost picture myself being swept away in this scene as well.  

In my opinion, this book is known as a modern classic for a good reason and it is worth checking out. 

Spring Awakening | Scallop Dress and Denim Jacket

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12:00 PM
Wonderful Wednesday everyone!
I was originally going to wear a floral dress for this post but at the last minute I pulled out this scalloped hem dress instead. Something about scallops just makes me think of warm weather.
I also decided to change up my background for this post as well. I actually take my own photos and I get a bit self-conscious when I take my camera and tripod and posing by myself. I snapped these photos really quickly because I loved that the flowers were blooming and I wanted a few pictures in front of them. This post is called "Spring Awakening" after all. 

Thanks for reading!

Jacket: H&M (old, similar here)
Dress: J Crew (old, similar here)
Accessories: Tory Burch bag, Lilly Pulitzer belt (similar here), gifted necklace (similar here), Milani nail polish in "Lady-Like Sheer"
Shoes: Michael Kors (similar here)

My Everyday Makeup

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12:00 PM
Terrific Tuesday beauties!
Today's post is all about my makeup routine. Before entering the workforce, I almost never wore makeup. It just wasn't my thing. Once I graduated college, I realized that like clothes, wearing a bit of makeup and looking like you put in some effort because you actually care about how you present yourself on the job is important. In fact, studies show that women who wear a some makeup (not overdone, just an enhanced version of yourself) is beneficial to women in the office. 

  1. First thing I always do is moisturize. I don't like wearing a lot of makeup outside of my blog so I opt for taking really good care of my skin instead. Moisturizing is key. I use Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer. This is all I use to prep my face.
  2. I used to not wear BB creams because the Asian ones I tried in the past felt way too heavy. I find most foundations too heavy and BB creams were heavier than that so I would stay as far away from BB creams as I could. I'm still usually a tinted moisturizer kind of girl as I honestly don't need the coverage. Recently, however, my good friend recommended the Philosophy Hope in a Jar A-Z cream and I decided to give it a try. This is the most lightweight and airy BB cream I have ever tried in my life!! It seriously feels like there's nothing on my face! It gives a sheer to medium coverage that is buildable. It's not quite matte, but it's not dewey either, it's in between. Just like natural skin. I definitely recommend this to everyone who likes natural, lightweight makeup. I usually apply this with my EcoTools foundation brush. Other days when I really don't need the coverage, I just lightly dust this Etude House Compact BB Cream. I will do a review on this product soon because it's been one of my favorites lately. Finally, I swab a bit of concealer in areas I really need it. I put on concealer after BB cream because that way I can see where I need more coverage. I've been loving my Benefit Fake Up for my undereyes. 
  3. I think rosy cheeks are the cutest! To achieve this, I like to give my face a little help with my Nars Multiple in 'Portofino.' I feel like this shade is a hit or miss with people but I like that it gives a warm glow to my cheeks. I like to use this cream blush because I find that it stays on longer than just using blush. On other days, I go for my Milani Baked blush in 'Rose D'Oro.' It's a pretty shade and costs much less than the Nars Multiple. 
  4. I work on the eyes at this time. I love this Naked 3 palette because it's very versatile and perfect for both neutral and dramatic looks. For most days, I sweep the shade "Burnout" on my lids and and a mix of "Nooner" and "Factory"on my crease and outer V. I use "Strange" as a highlight shade while using "Blackheart" as an eyeliner. I use my NYX super skinny eyeliner over "Blackheart" for a three-dimensional look. I am extremely ungraceful with liquid liners so I like these felt tipped ones. I do a small and simple cat-eye as I find that shape the most flattering.
  5. As for my lips I like to use this Dior Addict Lip Glow. This thing works with the pH on your lips to revive the color so how it looks on my lips will not be the same as how it looks on others. It is perfect for those "natural' makeup days which I'm always all about!
  6. Finally, I swipe on two coats of my Maybelline Cat-Eyes waterproof mascara. I have non-existent, sparse, sticks-straight-down eyelashes that could always use some help. This is the only mascara I have tried that will not weigh it down.

Tell me about your winter makeup routine - do you guys use more or less products? 

Angelina Jolie's Leg | Rose Maxi and Pop of Cobalt

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12:00 PM
Hello beautiful readers!
When I first saw this dress, I was instantly reminded of Angelina Jolie's dress from the academy awards in 2012. She wore a stunning black gown with a long slit on the side where she showed off her leg. I remember that being such a big deal at the time so I chuckled a bit at the memory while looking at this maxi. 
I'm definitely no Angelina Jolie but I kind of like the side slit here. It really adds a romantic element to the dress. 

Thanks for reading!

Dress: Forever 21 maxi (similar here)
Accessories: Forever 21 bag, gifted necklace (similar here), Milani nail polish in "Mint Crush," Sally Hansen nail polish in "Celeb City"
Shoes: Forever 21 pumps (similar here)

Currently... (Vol. 14)

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7:36 PM
Superb Sunday everyone!

This was quite the week on the blog - I had a post every single day! I haven't done that in a while. This month's goal was to get organized and diligent and I think it's safe to say that I'm on track! Anyways, let's get on with this week's post on the things I've enjoyed:

  • Drinking: Quartermaine Coffee - I wrote a review this past week about this amazing local coffeehouse. 
  • Watching: Daredevil on Netflix - I heard amazing things about this new Netflix series so of course I had to watch. This series was amazing! This may be one of my movie night reviews at some point. 
  • Wearing: Dior Addict Lip Glow - another item that I reviewed this past week. Despite my hesitation to repurchase this, I am sooo happy that I have it right now because it seriously is lovely on the lips and works perfectly with most makeup looks
  • Eating: Yogurt and granola - I'm actually really bad at eating breakfast but I bought a bag of granola that I've been mixing into yogurt. It's a great quick-breakfast for those moments where you're in a hurry. 
  • Listening: Acoustic Covers - during work, I like to open up Spotify and find the playlist called "Acoustic Covers." I don't know what it is about quietly played pop songs that I find perfect for my workday but it really helps me get into a productive mood.
  • Reading: Bossypants - I believe that Tina Fey can do no wrong. I loved reading this book and it had me laughing out loud so many times! I highly recommend this and I will be reviewing this book at the end of this month
Thanks for reading!

Product Review: Dior Addict Lip Glow

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6:55 PM
I wanted to share a quick review on something I've been using for a while now: My Dior Addict Lip Glow.
I bought this because I got a gift card for Sephora. It originally costs $32 which is quite a hefty tag. Is it worth the price? Well... it's hard to say. I usually look at three criteria before I determine whether or not a product is worth a repurchase: Packaging, Formula, and Price.

Packaging: I'm a huge fan of Dior lipsticks' packaging. There's a very clean and classic look about them that I absolutely love. This product is no exception - I like the round end and the top feels secure when I close it. The color of the cap is also very pretty as well. 5/5

Formula: Now, onto the most important thing - how well it works. Not gonna lie, the formula actually shocked me! I wasn't really sure what to expect but it really does enhance the natural pigments of your lips and just... makes them glow! It's pretty amazing. That said, if you're looking for something dramatic, this may not be for you. the Lip Glow will make your lips glow but naturally so. It's better for every day but it won't be the wow factor of your makeup look. It's very subtle (I'm not sure if you all can really tell in the photos but trust me, the effect is very pretty in real life). Also, I don't find this lipstick to be very long-lasting. I think it came off my lips after about 3 hours or so. I will give this product a 4/5 because it does exactly what it says it will but the staying power is not good enough for me. 

Price: At $32 a pop, these things are definitely a huge splurge. Especially for the amount they give you and the low staying-power. Can't say it's exactly worth it. I give this at 2/5.

I think if you can manage to get this for free or at a discounted price somehow, you will love this product. That said, I wouldn't exactly repurchase this right away. It's great and all but there are better lip products out there, lip colors that are "my lips but better" that last much longer. The glow effect is cool but not cool enough that I would say it's a "must have." 

Coffee Break: Quartermaine Coffee

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12:00 PM
Welcome to the newest series of my blog: Coffee Break - a column dedicated to reviewing coffee shops in the DC area and beyond. With a blog called "Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes," it's only natural that I would have a section dedicated to coffee, isn't it?
I'm going to kickstart this series with a place called Quartermaine Coffee in Bethesda, Maryland.

As someone who likes to support her local businesses where she can, I chanced upon this coffee shop one day while wandering the streets of Bethesda Row. I'd never heard of this place before but the aroma of the shop was enchanting and I followed my nose inside the shop. I talked to the barista and found out that this was a family-owned coffeehouse with one other location also in another part of Bethesda. Heavenly smells and family-owned? I'm sold! I've been frequenting the place ever since. 
I think what I really love about the place is how under-rated it looks. Bethesda Row is a very expensive neighborhood to run a business of any kind and this coffeehouse is a place that just looks like people would pass by and not even notice. The people I encounter when I get inside, however, remind me of a scene from the film A Few Good Men - where Tom Cruise's character is a regular at his newspaper stand and has a rapport with the owner. This place makes me want to be a regular here and have a fun dialog with other regulars or the baristas before going about my day. 
If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend you check this place out - the coffee is delicious, the atmosphere is fun, and the pastries are divine! 

I'm curious as to what you guys think of this series - would you like to see more coffee shops reviewed? Let me know!

Let's Get Organized: Makeup

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12:00 PM
I finally cleaned out my makeup collection for the first time this past year! I had just waaay too much makeup for my own good, most of which I didn't really use. The process inspired me to create a post on organizing makeup. I don't think I can stress enough how important it is to keep your makeup organized because a lot of times bacteria can build up on our tubes of mascara, lipgloss, etc. Here are some things to keep in mind if you go on an organizing spree: 

  • Throw out old makeup: Like I said earlier, bacteria and germs can build up inside the containers. Putting that on your face? Not a good idea. Remember, you can keep eyeshadows and powder foundations for two years, liquid foundations for one year, lipsticks and lipglosses for 18 months, and mascara, with the shortest shelf-life, for four months. 
  • Invest in Containers: I DIY'd a lipstick and brush container by using a hot glue gun to glue clear plastic cups from a grocery store. I put my nail polishes in small mason jars that I decorated with ribbons for a pretty aesthetic. Finally, I got this awesome makeup dividers at TJ Maxx and they've been fantastic (not to mention aesthetically pleasing). Find containers and invest in them! The Container Store is a great place to find items to store your makeup if you don't want to go through the hassle of a DIY project. Storage is personal and dependent on the amount of space you have/want. Play around with your options.
  • Find a system that works for you: I keep the makeup items I use every day on the very top and the items I use less frequently on the bottom. That way, I don't have to rummage around an organized space to find what I need. What works for me, however, may not work for you. Experiment for a few days and figure how where to put your makeup so you're not de-organizing yourself. 
So that's it. Let me know if you have other tips for keeping your makeup area organized!

Shine On! | Zara Tee and Asymmetrical Stripes

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12:00 PM
Wonderful Wednesday lovelies!

Nothing like a good ol' fashioned black and white outfit to start off the weekend! I've been really liking the "wow" factor of this skirt lately - asymmetrical hems are my jam and the stripes are a classic touch to an trendy silhouette. 

Thanks for reading!

Top: Zara (similar by Forever 21)
Bottoms: Zara skirt (similar here)
Accessories: J Crew clutch, Revlon lipstick in "Cherry Tart"
Shoes: H&M (similar here)

What's on My Bedside Table

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12:00 PM
On the weekends, I spend a good portion of my time in my bed. I'll put on my super comfy PJs, grab a book or my laptop and just stay in bed while I just chill. Because of this, I try to keep the table next to my bed organized and clean while maintaining all of my weekend essentials:

  • Power strip: I always plug my phone in at night and oftentimes I plug my iPad or Macbook as well when I'm watching a movie/getting some work done in bed. I need access to a power source at all time. 
  • Aveeno facial wipes: So I try to be good and wipe off my makeup before I go to sleep but sometimes I get so tired when I come home, the last thing I want to do is go to the bathroom and wash my face. I keep these face wipes by Aveeno next to my bed so it'll be easier to remember to do that. 
  • Books: I always keep a stack of books next to my bed that I plan on reading. Some people I know are able to read multiple books at once but I can't do that - it gets too confusing! I just keep a collection next to my bed instead. Right now I have A Storm of Swords, by George RR Martin, Bossypants by Tina Fey, A Cuckoo's Calling by George Galbraith (aka JK Rowling), and Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman, 
  • Hand sanitizer: I like working on my manicure at night before I go to bed and doing touchups/reapplying topcoat before I go to sleep. Before any of that goes on my nails, I like to make sure my hands are clean with this hand sanitzer.
  • Hand lotion: After cleaning my hands, I make sure to moisturize because the alcohol in my hand sanitizer can be drying. I use my old Victoria's Secret lotion. 
  • Cuticle Butter: I recently discovered this Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and it's worked m
  • Seche Vite topcoat: Finally, I apply my topcoat - I've used Seche Vite for years and it's fabulous!
What are some things you like to keep handy on your bedside table?

Lacey | Crop Top and Skater Skirt

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12:00 PM
Lovely Monday everyone!

Can you tell I'm really excited about spring from all the colors I've decided to incorporate into this outfit? I personally love how romantic this outfit is - the double lace makes a statement but the oversized cardigan tones it down a bit. 

Top: Forever 21 top, Forever 21 cardigan (similar)
Bottoms: Forever 21 skirt
Accessories: Tory Burch bag, gifted necklace (similar here)
Shoes: Michael Kors (similar here)