Wednesday, September 9, 2009

To Buy or Not to Buy: Satin, Suede Shoes

After a day of heavy cleaning in my mom's house yesterday, I spent a couple of hours today at the huge Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, NY. I got some jeans I'd been lusting after for a while from Delia's, finally got my skin color-matched at MAC (NC 20), and found a killed pair of shoes I'm still debating whether to buy or not...

Steve Madden's LAADY shoes in purple. Regularly $100, but there's a promotion ending tomorrow in which you spin a wheel in the store to "win" a percent discount off your purchase....So I could probably end up getting them for around $80.

The shoes are pricey, but it was love at first sight. On one hand...where am I going to wear them? Not to my new job! On the other...they are so awesome looking.

What do you think?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crazy Awesome Couple of Days

Quick status much to post, so little time to get everything in my life done! I'm still in New York vacationing with my family (well, staying with them in my childhood home) and I've had a great week.

After dropping my sister off at school in Vermont, I paid a quick visit to a friend up in New England. Back in NY I went to the beach, walked around a cute little local town and had dinner with my best friend, who is in for a few weeks from her Peace Corps assignment in Zambia.

Last night I had a crazy night with another friend who is about to move to Pennsylvania. We went to a huge Korean club in Manhattan and were initially rejected...most likely cuz I'm white. (Yes, seriously! I was sooo pissed since I'd been looking forward to seeing this place for months. Of course, we ended up there on the day there's some obnoxious new lady working the door.)

But a few hours later her friends who are regulars there showed up and we got in...and wow, it was something! I've never seen a club with a live saxophone player jamming along with the DJ. There were fog machines and fake snow and strobes and thumping music and tons of people having fun. (Once I was in the club, none of the patrons seemed to care that much that I wasn't Asian. Plus, my friend's friends were really cool and made me feel totally comfortable, which doesn't always happen when you're out with people you don't know.) We danced until 4:30 am, then went out for Pho in Ktown, and the friends went uptown while my friend and I hopped the rail road back to Long daylight.

Yesterday I also went out to lunch with my Dad, and it was good to spend some quality time with him. The day before I took my Boston Terrier to the vet -- she's got allergies that are making her paws itch! And on the way back home, we passed my grandmother's house while she was sitting on her porch. So Bon Bon and I paid a visit to Grandma, which she appreciated very much.

In beauty skin is finally clearing up, thanks to cutting back on harsh detergents and treating it with more care. I've started using a new facewash and moisturizer that I am very happy with. I've also been trying out a new mascara, which is going well so far. And after my vacation and a trip to the hair salon, I'm a bit tanner and blonder than I had been before.

It's also been good to indulge myself in good food. It's nice to not have to go food shopping for myself all the time or cook dinner every night. Among the meals my mom has prepared has been lobster....mmm...for a dinner and for lunch, cooked perfectly on our gas grill. I don't know how or why people go out to restaurants to get it because it's such a messy food and expensive to eat out...but our local supermarket sometimes has it on sale for $4.99 lb., which makes it a luxury within reach.

Tonight I'm hanging out with another best friend of mine, the girl I stayed with in Boston, who is back in NY for the Labor Day weekend. I hope you're enjoying the long weekend too!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nails: Bewitching Polka Dots

I was restless painting my nails last night. I tried several different colors and designs before settling on this black and silvery-purple polka dot pattern....and I've decided I'm definitely a fan on polka dot nails.

Polka dots are a particular favorite of mine to begin with, and they're very easy to do free hand on your nails. I started with a base coat, followed by one coat of Zoya's Raven -- a dark black with very subtle shimmer to it. (This is the first Zoya polish I've ever tried, actually. I ordered three bottles during a promotion the company had a few weeks back, and I'm sure I'll get to reviewing them all at some point.)

The dots were made with Orly's Spellbound, which is more silvery than the picture of the bottle bellow illustrates. It's also very shimmery.

I started my dots by the base of the nail (just by dotting the regular polish brush, not using a special one) and worked my way up to the tip. The dots aren't all uniform in size, but I kind of like it that way, I think it looks visually interesting.

After hearing so many great reviews, I also decided to splurge on a bottle of Seche Vite dry fast top coat. While I'm happy with how it's kept my nails from getting dents or accidentally being imprinted by fabric textures, so far I'm not super impressed with the shine or keeping my nails from chipping. Maybe I'm doing something wrong in my application?

I've been having problems lately with my nail polish chipping or peeling at the tips very shortly after application. I think it might be a basecoat problem....that I need to find a good one, other than the sever year old bottle of Jordana base coat I've been using. Anyone have suggestions?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Help Me Find a Place to Live in Northern Virginia!

Exactly what the post title says -- anyone have advice on moving to Northern Virginia?? I'm looking for an apartment or houseshare there beginning in mid-September.

I'm very easy to get along with...willing to live with guys or girls...I'm no neat freak but I keep common areas clean...I work an office job so I want somewhere that's relatively calm on weeknights...I don't smoke or own pets...I do own a car.

My ideal roommate situation is one where I can come and go with freedom and live my own life, but be around friendly, laid-back, upbeat people who want to hang out sometimes.

Needs: Available parking space; within .75 miles walking distance of an orange line Metro; no drugs or cats in the home.

Budget: $900 maximum.

Drop me a line if you can help! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Food + Masks from the Asian Supermarket

I'm staying with my family on Long Island, NY, and took a trip to a local Korean supermarket this afternoon to feed my Asian food craving. The store, H and Y Supermarket, isn't as charmingly sketchy as the Asian groceries I frequent in Maryland, but it was alright. I got two containers of sushi, miso broth, Concord grapes (tart black grapes with seeds, yum), kiwis, a salad and...these good things:

Chapagetti. Strange name, tasty instant noodles. Ever since my Korean friend made some for me in Maryland I keep getting the occasional craving for it.

"Men's" Pocky?? I didn't know biscuits could have a gender! I guess it's more masculine than those Lotte cookies with strawberry koalas on them, but still...these are covered in bitter chocolate and taste very good.

Korean face masks. (My poodle Chestnut felt this would be a good time to hop on my bed and get in the shot, hehe.)

Five of them are made by Dermal, one is made by Tundisi. I've seen other bloggers use them so figured it can't hurt to try one myself. I've highlighted the different varieties below:

I don't know what "charcoal collagen" means...or how my skin will react to any of these...I'll post a review once I try one.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Casual Mens Clothes Shopping Adventure

I recently went clothes shopping with a male friend who has little (read: almost no) interest in fashion. Sure, he cares about how he looks -- something he lacked when we met as teens, though has happily grown into in his 20s -- but he was clueless about where to get clothing or what to try on.

Thankfully, he was an eager and willing participant when it came to trying on plenty of clothes during our shopping adventure.

Over the course of two days, we went to several affordably-priced retailers with heaps of men's clothes. We saw it all -- from shirts labeled "medium" that looked more like XXL at the regional department store Bon Ton, to turquoise, acid-washed men's skinny jeans at Pac Sun.

Despite its poor size selection, Bon Ton was still the first place he made a purchase: a pair of Calvin Klein jeans with a low-rise waist, straight leg, medium wash. The pants have a grayish/rusted wash which is stylish but subtle. And they are cut much less baggy around the hip area than most of his other jeans, making them significantly more flattering to his physique.

The next day he got a black button down shirt and a plaid short sleeved button down at Sears. Pretty standard fair, but keep in mind we were looking for additions to a wardrobe largely comprised of polo shirts purchased by his mom and screen print tees that went out of style after high school.

The patterns on these shirts look more subtle in person, I took the photos in a dark room so the colors are skewed.

(This would look great with a suit jacket and jeans.)

(Dark jean friendly -- didn't look as good with the new CK jeans, since it was too gray all over.)

Finally, we hit the jackpot when it came to our main quest for the trip -- t-shirts. My friend wanted casual t-shirts he can throw on to go to school instead of wearing one of the aforementioned polos every day. (He says his screen print tees are relegated to in-house wear and don't see the light of day. Probably a wise move.)

And we found them at (drum roll please)...Old Navy. Five dollar tees that look awesome and feel awesome.

For $25 he left with five well-fitting, attractive, versatile shirts. In black and light gray he got this classic tee with a round neck, though it's also available with a v neck.

My favorite shirt though was this ringer tee with contrast trim that he got in greenish turquoise, charcoal gray and navy blue. It feels soft and really makes the shoulders look broad. I think it's one of the most flattering, effortlessly cool things I've ever seen my friend wear.

And to think he was relucatant to go into Old Navy! It typically isn't the first store I hit either, but from what I recently saw, I think their quality has significantly improved in the past few years.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nails: Make Mine Mango

I finally got tired of Shrimply Divine after retouching it a couple of times over a week or two. So on a whim I picked up three bottles of Revlon polish on sale for $3 each at a Target. I picked these colors because they were bright, summery and I think they're appropriate enough to wear to work. :)

I also got some polish removing pads, figuring they'd be more convenient than getting a bottle of remover and cotton balls while traveling. I was wrong! These felt pads precoated in acetone remover were AWFUL -- first, because I prefer using non-acetone remover since it's more gentle on my natural nails, and second, and most importantly, they didn't work.

Each pad said it would do ten nails. I barely got through two or three. I held them on each nail for a minute or so and they still didn't work well. The pads dried out very quickly. I ended up going through five of the six packets in the box to do both hands. :( Maybe other people have had better luck with pads like this?

Anyway back to the goods:

Make Mine Mango, Red Hot Tamale and Cherry Berry. I packed these with me and brought them to Maine, where I am currently on the second leg of my trip.

Though orange is my favorite color, it doesn't look particularly good on my skin. But Make Mine Mango has a lot of peach and persimmon undertones that I think make it versatile for a number of complexions, including pale, rosy ones like mine.

I also like that it's tropical yet understated -- not a loud, brash orange, but a soft, gentle, breezy and relaxed color, in my opinion. Something that says "I'm having an effortlessly fun vacation and enjoying sunshine"....which, well, I am!