white heels

shopping my closet has proven to be a pretty fun thing. 
i'm pulling out pieces from all the deepest recesses of my wardrobe and breathing new life into them. 
this blouse was purchased years ago because something about it reminded me of ancient east asian art.
after wearing it once, i stuffed it in the back of my closet because i didn't like how it reminded me of ancient east asian art.

black + olive

nothing like snapping a picture to help you realize just how gosh darn wrinkly your trousers are.
thank God I caught that before I left the house.
also, these Dolce Vita wedges are my new favorite things. 
i have worn them everyday since i bought them last week. 
nothing, and i mean nothing, beats a well-cushioned insole.

just a little sparkle

played with a little bit of lighting (or lack thereof) today.
and wore a classic work look - blue button down and black a-line skirt.
silver shoes added a bit of sparkle.

raise your hemline. show a little ankle.

while womenswear designers have traditionally always played with the hemlines of skirts, dresses, and pants, these past few years have brought an interesting twist to the norm. now, menswear designers and tailors are also playing with hemlines - by raising the hem men's pant legs. whether hemmed shorter or rolled-up/cuffed pant legs, this look is definitely here to say. and i do admit that i am enjoying the cleaner silhouette that this trend brings.


the most purple outfit ever

purple is my favorite color but i rarely ever wear it because i've always thought the color looked nice with my complexion. 
i have no clue why i think that.

i also have a lot of purple clothes that i buy but am afraid to wear because of that mindset. 
so i decided to wear some of my purple and conquer the fear. and even threw on on some purple lipstick for good measure.

i'm a chic barney minus the green. 

the benefits of witch hazel

Witch hazel has many, many uses and what I like most about it is that it’s eco-friendly and cheap! I’ve actually never used a toner but noticed a few years back that my sister used Thayer’s witch hazel. She sorta kinda really has the most flawless, blemish-free, and even toned skin - which is what prompted me to give it a try in my regimen this go round.

Among all its many uses, one of the main things witch hazel is known for being a natural astringent. It can help with acne control by reducing inflammation and decreasing oil. It is also known to tighten skin - which can help de-puff or reduce under eye baggage. And it helps tighten pores for a smoother appearance of skin.

You can use witch hazel to freshen up your skin - dab some on a cotton ball or pad and get rid of all the impurities in seconds! Also, while witch hazel does get rid of excess oil, it helps to eliminate water loss and improves hydration to the outer layer of skin. So, it’s an ideal moisturizer to use right after you get out of the shower to seal in moisture and fight dry skin!

I’m sure there are many other brands of witch hazel on the market but I decided to go with Thayer’s because its the one brand that everyone I know who uses witch hazel uses. And almost all of them use the Rose Petal one (but you can also purchase in OriginalOriginal-UnscentedLavender, and Cucumber).

To read up on all the other benefits of witch hazel, click here.


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a little beauty. a little fashion.

i love incorporating menswear pieces into my wardrobe. 
most of my button down shirts are men's (or little boy's)
paired it with a leather midi circle skirt and some snakeskin sandals.

Aveeno's Clear Complexion line has always been great to me in regards to keeping me blemish free (and getting rid of dark spots) but i wanted something more organic/natural that could also work on brightening and toning my uneven skin. then i randomly saw a tumblr post from Cassandra discussing her beauty regimen consisting of Shea Moisture products and sweet almond oil. did a little bit of research and decided that Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus facial wash seem like the best thing for me. decided to get sweet almond oil because, apparently, it's one of the oils that can be used as a great makeup remover & moisturizer (chamomile oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are also on the list). and classic thayer's premium alcohol-free witch hazel as my toner.

today was my first day using this regimen and... my skin has this glow that no amount of powder could dull down.


front slit skirt

remember when i talked about buying things and being excited for them...
..all to be distracted by that next shiny penny and forgetting all about that first initial excitement?

i bought this skirt from ASOS in august 2012 - one of my first purchases from the site.
i just took the tag off and this is my first time wearing it.

and this is why it's important that i don't buy anything else and just "shop" my closet.

flannel plus purple

didn't wear my throwback thursday outfit but i found a flowy skirt nonetheless.
and, yes, i know the sandals are ugly but they're so comfy that i can't stop wearing them.

throwback thursday

never been much of a throwback thursday gal but i
found this old thing sitting in my drafts.

it was dated july 2013.
not sure why i never posted it.

blouse, skirt, and necklace from h&m.
vintage croc leather black belt.
watch is marc jacobs. the only shade of purple i enjoy on my skin.

on my feet are the first ballet flats that i have ever found to be truly comfortable.
thanks, payless.

stank face for the win.

maybe i'll dig this old look up and wear it to work tomorrow.

don't judge me.


stories from a recovering shopaholic

I want to use the word "recovering" very loosely because I just bought a flannel crop top, denim midi circle skirt, and faux leather midi circle skirt a few weeks ago. Actually, scratch that. Relapse is part of recovery and I'm trying to learn to be kinder and more patient with myself. I just have to be more mindful of what my triggers are.

Anyway, that's not the point. Let's realign the focus.

Its really easy to get trapped into the spending lifestyle. "Sign up for 20% off your first purchase" turns into daily emails announcing new items and secret sales. I had nearly 20-30 emails DAILY from various retailers advertising their items and sales. I was spending so many hours of my day online window shopping. I probably could justify an ASOS purchase everyday because my closet "needed" it. And that "Save For Later" feature didn't help because I just kept a collection of things I was saving to buy every pay period. I was actually pretty embarrassed when my neighbor across the hall commented on how many packages I get on the regular. He only moved in about 3-4 months ago.

Clicking on Zara's announcement of their semi-annual sale makes me want to spend money on "discounted" shoes that I probably will only wear once or twice because I'll get annoyed with seeing everyone else wearing them and/or will buy some other shoe and forget they exist (the latter being the most likely outcome). ASOS reminding me that I can get an extra 20% off all items makes me want to justify buying that dress that will probably sit in my closet for 3 months before I finally wear it once then eventually donate it to my local thrift store.

One thing I am trying to do is to re-train my brain about shopping. Over the past few years, shopping has become a bit of therapy for me. New shoes and dresses where used to help lift me up out of morose moods. A new leather handbag won't hurt your feelings like people do. Feeling and looking beautiful just helped to take the edge off any anxiety or sadness I was dealing with. But, when shopping becomes your crutch, it only leads to downward spirals in other areas of your life. Struggling to pay bills and having to borrow money to live just because you wanted a couple new pairs of shoes just really isn't the move. And I soon realized that I would rather spend money travelling instead of buying items that I would wear thrice - and it didn't matter if the item was "only $7.99". I realized that I would rather buy one $200 bag that I would wear almost every single day instead of 20 bags ranging from $9.99-$49.99 that will only get worn a handful of times (if even that). I mean... I have this gorgeous fur clutch that I will wear..... where?! Sure, collecting clothes is a hobby for some but I'm, honestly, not on that level of living yet. And I cringe thinking of all the times I have "cleared junk" from my closet and donated it to thrift/vintage shops just to refill my closet with more things that won't get much wear. Its a cyclical process that has me losing way more money that I should be.

I think its extremely important to re-gain my self-control. Sure, I've tried to "pray away" impulsiveness but I'm sure God believes that learning to be disciplined on my own would be far more useful. Because learning how to establish that practice in one arena of life will surely lend to developing that habit in other areas. So, ya girl is working on some serious baby steps. Yes, I will relapse and it will suck and I will be upset and disappointed in self but... I will just take a deep breathe, put on my big girl panties, and push myself to do better. I'm still going to be proactive in managing this because it is a bad habit that I want to be rid of.

These awesome tips from My Fab Finance have really helped me to prioritize and better control spending. Unsubscribing from emails alone has been a tremendous help. Ignorance, as it turns out, is completely bliss. I'm also slowly trying to get into the cash-only lifestyle.  I've decided to leave my credit cards at home (i gotta pay off those balances and save them for emergencies/big purchases ONLY). I've cut up my debit card and now only carry an ATM card. Because ATMs for my bank aren't readily found here and those non-bank ATM fees hurt so bad, I'm less inclined to just withdraw money to perpetuate my silly spending habits.

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit so ...let's see what new ways I can add to my existence by the time August  rolls around. Here's to self-improvement!


summer style

i recently got a request to post some summer inspiration styles on my Tumblr so i dusted off the old Polyvore account and get to work. 
Check out some of my favorite summer looks below :)
summer style
summer to me is all about loose easy fabrics. looks that can transition from lunch with friends to happy hour with new(er) friends. i paired this leather + lace bralette with this loose fit drappy white tank. i think the peekaboo bra look is so sexy and fun. d'orsay flats, scallop-hemmed polka dot denim shorts, and a fringe bag come together to make the simple "tee and jeans" look not so simple.

Co-Ordinated Sets
boohoo is one of my favorite UK retailers, especially when it comes to well-priced co-ordinated sets (all three of these from from the shop!). i think all three of these sets would look awesome with a classic nude heel and a popping purple lip. Revlon's Colorburst Matte Lip Balm in Shameless is my current favorite shade - it keeps lips moisturized while still giving a nice bold color.