Some days are just bad. You know which ones I'm talking about. I had one yesterday that was too horrific for just one day and so of course it spilled over into today. Let's just say that the highlight up until this point was that I got some cavities filled. Without enough Novocain... ouch. Put things in perspective? You can't let bad days get you down for too long though. I decided to put on a new dress and some lipstick and have a treat yo'self moment in the form of a triple grande soy mocha-- with two of the pumps of mocha replaced with hazelnut. It's a pretty severe deviation from my normal Americano, (black, of course.) but sometimes completely necessary. Going along with the general theme of the day, my camera battery died and... of course the charger is nowhere to be found. I had no choice but to laugh it off and be thankful for the one photo that I got being actually usable. It's the little things.
Gather 'round readers, I didn't bring this inspiring old Instagram or this picture of my bookshelves in their former glory out for nothing. I had a bad day. A really bad day. A life-chaingingly bad day. The kind of day during which you sit in your car and after crying over the steering wheel for ten minutes and come to the realization that if you don't laugh about something, you're going to go mad. I also realized that I've been leaving you out of all of the hilarious situations that occur in my life on a daily basis. No lie, I could write a sitcom based entirely on funny things that have happened to me over the course of my life. Actually, becoming a sitcom writer is definitely one of my tentative future plans. Somewhere along the road. For now, I'm content to share with you all, and I know the perfect first story.
If you didn't know, a crippling ice storm slammed the Northeastern coast a few weeks ago. Philadelphia and its outlying suburbs were the hardest hit and, in a similar vein to that of Superstorm Sandy, we were without power for an extended period of time. When that happens, the best you can do is to try to live life as normally as you possibly would, even if it means going to the gym for nothing else than a warm shower and making multiple Wawa trips a day for coffee. (Side note: If you're not from the area, chances are that you don't know what a "Wawa" is. All I can say is that I feel bad for you because Wawa is one of the greatest things to ever happen to mankind.) Despite the lack of power, I had made plans to hang out with Kira-- plans I intended to keep. I threw on jeans, a sweatshirt and a North Face, I threw my hair up in a messy bun, cleaned off my glasses instead go changing into my contacts, grabbed a bottle of Prosecco and we headed to this great Asian-fusion BYOB. I'm going to say this right now because it sets the mood for the rest of the story: I didn't look great. I didn't look terrible but I definitely did not look like my normal prim and polished self. If you know me in real life, you know that I spend a lot of time to look just right and leaving the house in such an unattractive state is something that only happens in times of extreme distress.
Dinner was wonderful. It was also so filling that neither of us could finish it. We asked the waiter if we could have the leftovers boxed, a request he hastily fulfilled. He placed two nearly-identical brown paper bags on the table along with the bill. After taking care of the tab and leaving a generous tip to our seemingly hospitable waiter, we each grabbed our bags. Upon doing so, however, my ever-observant and detail-oriented mind realized that the bags had something different written on each. It was written in Chinese. Once again, if you know me in real life, you'll know that this is one of those things I'll ask questions about and not stop until I have a proper answer. Luckily, (or unluckily) I just happen to have lived in China and have English-speaking Chinese friends. I snapped a photo and sent it to a good and trustworthy friend.
Here's an incriminating iPhone photo of the bags in question, by the way.
I wish I was the kind of person who isn't moved by simple moments like this but my fatal flaw is that I have an overly inquisitive mind. While awaiting a translation from my friend, this nonsense kept me awake at night to an extent. I admittedly obsessed over it a little too much. Part of me was afraid that this guy was an evil-genius-type serial killer and this was his way of telling his victims that they are next. Laugh all you want but in the moment, it was incredibly unnerving. Finally, a day and a half later, my friend got back to me with the translation. She told me that the bag on the left, Kira's, meant "beautiful." Not as bad as I thought! I said to myself. Until I read the next sentence. "And the one on the right can be translated as 'girl with glasses.' It's not a very nice thing to say." Rage overcame me.
In that moment, the anger was too real. A large part of me wanted to get all dolled up and then throw my hair up and my glasses on, go back to the restaurant, hopefully get the same waiter, and when he asks what I want to order, to stand up, dramatically whip my glasses off and let my hair down with a sassy flip and say in Mandarin, "WHO'S WEARING GLASSES NOW, HOMEBOY?" Incredibly corny and absolutely absurd. I know. But it also would have been strangely satisfying. In my daydream, my antics would have been met with applause from the other restaurant patrons and a standing ovation by the ones who have ever been called "ugly." I would be a beloved saint sticking up for the unfit in a world where standards of beauty are unattainable. Yes indeed, I got very self-righteous very quickly. Good thing that didn't last for more than a couple minutes before I realized that it's just one of those weird Seinfeld-esque situations in which a laugh is the only option.
Although I shared this story for nothing more than a laugh, I feel that I should attach some kind of lesson. Other than "and this, my friends, is why you shouldn't take yourself too seriously," I'm coming up dry. Take it for what it's worth. If you guys enjoyed this story, there are plenty more where that came from because my life is a circus of strange. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day/evening!
A lot of you have been asking for makeup videos. Well, you got it dude! Here's how I contour. I exaggerated it in the video so it would be easy to see. Hopefully I'll get better at this video stuff because it's actually kinda fun!
I've had this blog for almost two years. Insane, no? Over these past couple of years, I've learned a lot everything under the sun but more than anything, I've been discovering my personal style. It's not something that happens overnight. In fact, it's a journey. Style is something that's always changing and evolving. Aesthetic is fluid and trends are always coming and going. It's difficult to find a signature look amongst the constant ebb and flow but it is possible.
Find a piece that you love and wear it probably too much. I own quite a few felt hats. Brown, olive, rust, red, maroon, and this black one that I end up wearing constantly. This is a look that I adopted from the likes of Françoise Hardy and Anna Karina. I tend to look to fashion icons from the past. They're timeless. In addition to a few signature pieces, find a few silhouettes that look good on you no matter what. My sweet spot is long, flowing tops, (I swoon for kimonos) tight pants, and high heels or wedges. For dresses, this translates to smocked or skater-style. Once you find your favorite shapes and constructions, the possibilities will be endless. And all of that nonsense about "dressing for your body type?" I say no. Wear what you want and wear it with confidence.
Don't underestimate the power of a solid makeup routine. Spend some time to figure out how you like your face. Features can be augmented or downplayed. My bangs used to be "my thing." I had them for... forever... and they were iconic among my group of friends. When I grew them out, my face looked empty so I decided to let my eyebrows grow in a little thicker. Now, my eyebrows are "my thing." I also make use of liquid eyeliner and often exaggerate the little cat eye wings. If you don't know where to start, those are two very good places. Use your free time to play with makeup and with your hair and decide what works for you. Streamline it so that it'll be painless to get ready in the morning.
Don't be afraid to "break character" once in a while. Wear what you wouldn't normally wear, I promise nothing bad will happen. I wear a lot of black and other neutrals. Every once in a while though, I'll wear bright colors. If I wear jeans, they're usually very tight, dark jeans. I do love my distressed boyfriend jeans every so often as well though. If you like something, don't be afraid to buy it even if it doesn't fit into your usual aesthetic. Variety is the spice of life and changing things up is a challenge that usually leads to more inspiration.
Remember that in the end, your style is your style and you need to own it. There are times when I'll be walking down the street and I'll get weird looks because of what I'm wearing. It happens. It's very cliché but confidence is the most important aspect of personal style. If feel uncomfortable, you'll look uncomfortable. Never leave the house in something that you're constantly fidgeting in or trying to fix. Wear clothes that fit you. If you feel good, you'll look great. And that's the point, right? Looking great? Thought so.
Pt. 3 of my diary is the crown jewel of my trip-- the fashion show. It was the first that I have ever attended and hopefully not the last. I attended Andres Aquino's Mon Amour show. The pieces certainly lived up to the name-- elegant, romantic, and timeless.
My favorite part of the show was the formal wear. I was swept away by the bell-shaped ball gowns. They were truly stunning. If I attended elegant galas on the regular, I'd be asking Mr. Aquino to make one for me. (Maybe someday?) The elegance was not limited to the beautiful dresses though. Even the suits featured delicate and romantic silhouettes. I was a fan of that of course, because I will always have a soft spot for a well-constructed blazer. (Never underestimate the power of a great jacket.) Florals dashed their way into the mix, which is of course expected for spring, but Aquino did so in an unexpected way. May of the looks featured intricate floral appliqués which added dimension and depth in an unexpected way. This show stuck to a lot of the trends that have been coming out for spring-- strong silhouettes, juxtaposition of menswear with feminine touches, and bold colors-- but did so in a unique, almost baroque way. As minimalistic as baroque could possibly be, that is.
Once again, a huge thank you to Emirates for letting me be a part of Couture Fashion Week. Check out their new route between New York and Milan as well as pt. 1 and pt. 2 from my trip!
If you've been following along, you may know that I was in New York this past weekend to celebrate Emirates' new route from New York to Milan and experience some Couture Fashion Week shenanigans. Now, what would fashion week be without a gratuitous outfit post?
I get a little intimidated dressing for New York trips. New York is a wellspring of well-dressed people. It's not so much of a "who can be the best-looking?" contest (I'm looking at you, L.A...) but an overflow of creativity. Between some of the fantastic ensembles at the fashion shows and New York's superb street fashion scene, I've got a lot of fresh inspiration. More than anything though, I believe the key here is to feel confident in what you're wearing. In other terms, just own it.
p.s. If you haven't yet, check out pt. 1 and stay tuned for pt. 3 tomorrow!
If you've been following along on Instagram, then you may know that I've been in New York for the past few days. To celebrate Emirates' new route between New York and Milan (perfect for Fashion Week attendees) they sent me to Couture Fashion Week. I love fashion, I love New York. Boom, perfect weekend. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing a little diary of my trip.
One of my favorite moments from this weekend was watching the snow. There is nothing more beautiful than an overcast, snow-laden New York City. If you can look past the grey slush on the streets, it's actually quite breathtaking. Freshly fallen snow is especially stunning. Everything seems to slow down and grow quiet. A soft, ivory blanket is draped on anything and everything. Some avoid it. I welcome it. The once-busy streets are empty and if you're brave enough to face the chill, you'll find yourself alone with only some yellow cabs for company. Despite the snowflakes that will inevitably entangle themselves in your eyelashes, you can't help but to look up at the monstrous skyscrapers. Bold giants standing strong while snow dances and swirls around them in intricately woven patterns. The patterns are illuminated by the lights that line every street, making you feel as if you're a tiny citizen in a snow globe. When it stops falling, the rest of the world emerges from its hibernation. And they explore. And we all take pictures. It's far too beautiful not to.