Mar 31, 2011

How To: OPI Shatter

I do love doing tutorials (or how-to's); whether they're picture-based or a video, I always find a step-by-step process easier to follow than a shot of the finished product.  But for this particular tutorial, I literally felt I was doing this:
I decided to use a bright yellow for the increased contrast (though I wanted to do a teal...maybe next week!).  Look how cute this Bonita nail enamel is - it's a mini nail polish!  I got it from Francesca's Collections awhile ago & like eyeshadow palettes, I really like these small nail polish bottles for colors that I wouldn't wear often (or that could be trendy).  Why spend a good amount of money on a full bottle of nail polish when the color is seasonal & you'll only end up using like half of the bottle before it gets gooey?

Everyone knows how to paint their nails...but I got so many nice compliments on my nails in my this post, I thought it'd be cool to show the process of OPI's Shatter.  This definitely seems overly obvious, but enjoy anyway!

What you'll need:
+ a base coat {seche clear}
+ a base color {bonita nail enamel in yellow}
+ OPI Shatter
+ a top coat {sally hansen dry instantly}

+ Start with clean nails - I have the worst cuticles, so I use Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover to help push them down & cut them (I KNOW it's not good for you to cut your cuticles...I can't help it!)
+ Apply a base coat - I never used to use a base coat before but I really notice the difference in the color application by using it - it also has allowed the color to stay on longer.

+ Apply two (2) coats of a base color
 + The trick is to allow the base coat to completely dry before applying Shatter
+ Then apply one coat of Shatter - it should be relatively thick to cover the nail in a couple of strokes.
+ Be warned: this stuff dries fast!  Apply a single black layer & within seconds it starts to dry & crack.  To give you a sense of how quick it dries, by the time I finished painting my ring finger, my pinky finger was already dry.
+ Allow a few minutes to dry (doesn't take very long)
+ Apply a top coat
And you're done! Oh! To clean up any mistakes, I simply dip an old concealer brush into some acetone and brush along the sides.  Very easy & super effective - much better than using a q-tip that can leave cotton strands behind.

Now draw the rest of that fucking owl.

Mar 29, 2011

The Burning Man Project

Which, by the way, I had no idea what that was.  Maybe because I don't do acid...but apparently I dressed the part today as the first thing my colleague said to me was, "What time does your drum circle start?"  But to be fair - I've been on the hunt for maxi skirts for awhile...and since I haven't found one, I transformed this old maxi dress into a skirt MAGICALLY.  And by magically, I mean I put a sweater over it.
martin + osa top, style xpress maxi dress, f21 belt, various bangles
I'm off to Chicago the rest of this week, I'm totes excites...except it's like 20-degrees.  Luckily one of my most practical purchases (a North Face down jacket) has now quickly become one of my favorite purchases.  I'll definitely be posting throughout my stay in Chicago, though hopefully it won't be of the same thing (e.g. my North Face down jacket).

You guys, you should have seen how big my KOOL AID SMILE was when Francesca's Collections, one of my most favorite stores, featured me on their newsletter!  Am so excited & honored to see my mug on it!  Check out the full newsletter here or sign up yourself for updates!

Mar 28, 2011

Back in the 714 Days

Even though I live in LA now, a lot of you guys know that I'm from Orange County (a quick 40 minute drive south) & love going back on the weekends.  I don't know - maybe it's nostalgia, the free parking, or the less douchebaggyness that brings me back; either way, I always find it a treat when I go down on the weekends (twss).  What's funny is that I sometimes feel I do have an "OC-style" ingrained in me.  In my opinion, OC is definitely more laid-back, girls in tshirts & Chucks, guys in Rainbow sandals.  When I wore this to go down to South Coast Plaza & I saw three other girls wearing jean shorts & tights, I was like, "MY PEOPLE!"

I love this men's shirt but totally forgot what brand it is; though I did get it at Fred Segal in Santa Monica, if that helps at all (probably doesn't).  The kind folks at Wanted Shoes were gracious enough to send me a pair of these Oxfords & I love them!  Though I'm pairing them up with something more casual, I can't wait to wear them with floral dress & tights.
fred segal men's top, american eagle jean shorts, f21 belt, hue tights, wanted oxford shoe
I've been wearing OPI's Black Shatter nail polish pretty religiously over the past 3 weeks (since purchasing it).  It probably is one of my favorite purchases this Spring!  Yes, trendy.  But for $8.50, I am going to wear the CRAP OUT OF IT until it goes out of style.  My friends like it with a light background color (e.g. gold or white) because of the dramas it brings...but I like more rich & bold colors as the base (e.g. teal or greens).  Here, I'm wearing it with Confetti brand nail polish in White Knight - it's literally $1.99 per bottle from CVS. BEST FIND EVAR.  They have really nice, muted colors - I'd totally recommend (though I can't find the link to it).
Also, after a month of searching, I found a primer & foundation that I like!  I went to Sephora at South Coast Plaza - did you know they have a sub-store just for Makeup Forever? AMAZING.  There, I tried on their All Mat Primer (purchased), HD Foundation in 128 (purchased), Sculpting Blush in 8, and topped it with their HD powder (next purchase!).  I'll have to pace myself when it comes to buying new makeup - I tend to go a bit overboard.  I wanted a foundation that would give me full coverage, yet not looked CAKED ON in-person.  Such a delicate balance.  This is how it looked in the car on the way back to LA:
Not too bad, right?  This weekend I also got my (early) birthday present from Rye Bread!  This is how it went down:
Rye Bread: "Want to look at L.A.M.B purses?"
Steph: "Duh."
Steph: "OoH this one is nice!  Feel how soft it is! And it's a crossover bag! Awesome."
Rye Bread: "Happy Birthday!"
Welcome to the family.  Also, here's a picture of EZ E.
questions? ask here ! | twitter tracker

Mar 25, 2011

Put a Bird on it

Does ANYONE have IFC or am I the only one missing out on the delciousness that is Portlandia?!  I've only been able to watch snippets on Hulu & on IFC's site, but it makes me so sad knowing there there are FULL episodes of these sketches I'm missing.  Fred Armisen cracks me up.

Anyway, isn't it weird when one little purchase can set off an entire inspiration?  I'm pretty obsessed with this big bow clip & have decided to find new ways to do my hair with it.  I was in a rush this morning & so I took my pictures in my office conference room.  Resourceful, I am...though the lighting wasn't the greatest.  Sorry!
While my friend was in town last weekend from Chicago, we decided to have BESTIE-VILLE 2011, where we did the girliest things possible.  One of these activities included me doing her nails where tried to do the opposite french manicure on her, adding glitter to be fancy.  It turned out...AIIGHT. She asked if I wanted to take pictures of the process but I was fearful that it was going to turn out horrible, but now I regret it because I know I can't do a tutorial on myself!  I then decided to do glitter on my own nails to be fancy & it was the WORST idea ever.  First of all, it only lasted for 2 hours before the sequin & glitter started falling off...and second of all (and worst of all), I CUT MY FACE while washing it!  That mother effin' sequin...

questions? ask here! | twitter tracker

Mar 24, 2011

Northern Exposure

Last weekend, I swear I've never seen it rain so bad in LA.  It was a constant pour - to the point where it was incredibly dangerous to drive.  Rye Bread & I drove down Sepulveda (that runs alongside the 405fwy), and a passing car had so much backsplash that it covered the entire windshield & we had to brake to a halt.  I was scurred mang!

Then it cleared up for a few days.  And now it's raining again. My mom (who lives in Ohio) is worried about a "SuperStorm" heading towards California that's supposedly going to wash away the entire west coast of the United States, taking the entire state of California with it.  My parents are so worried that for my upcoming birthday, my Dad bought me an emergency kit.  Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like some canned food and blankets.  I'm pretty sure it  also comes with a life case California DOES fall off into the Pacific Ocean, I'll have a life vest to keep me afloat.  All joking aside, we should all be prepared for any sort of emergency & it's definitely better to be safe than to be sorry.  So I'll use my Emergency Kit...even though I really wanted a watch for my birthday. Ha.

Since it's so cold & rainy, all of my Spring clothes are put on hold.  Instead, I grabbed this sweater that keeps me incredibly warm without being itchy (don't you hate wool sweaters that you buy only to NOT be able to wear it because it makes you claw your skin off?)
columbia sweater, martin + osa shirt, f21 jeans, toms shoes

Oh yeah, a word to the wise...if you have a teething puppy, it's not the best idea to leave your Toms out...just saying.

questions? ask here! / twitter tracker

Mar 23, 2011

The Farfalle

Whenever I feel like I don't quite have the money to buy new clothes or makeup, I often look to accessories for some inspiration.  And while I go through phases of what I enjoy wearing (one month is full of bangles, the next is necklaces & scarves), every once in awhile something new will come my way & it'll give me a new sense of inspiration...aka: start a new obsession.  I came across this clip-on bow & fell in love. I wish there were more than the one that I bought, I probably would have added 5 immediately.  Oh, I also dyed my hair a true black.  I was getting tired of how two-toned my hair was looking...I'm still getting used to it; I still insist it makes me look like a Disney villain.  With my grown-out bangs pulled back, I kinda am diggin' this retro look.
varga bow, banana republic jacket, cotton on scarf

Mar 22, 2011

Hot Lips {& Shabby Apple Winner!}

So while at SXSW, my good friend & coworker, Sarah, asked me how I apply my red lipstick.  And I was like, "Durr, there are like 100 tutorials out there...why are you asking wittle ol me?" but then I realized that she's not scouring the interwebz & magazines like I am to figure out how to apply red lipstick; so I thought it would be great to post my personal steps to achieve long-lasting red lips.

Of course, just like with anything, everyone has their own go-to methods, but this seems to work for me - having a base, blotting & reapplying ensures that my lips are still intact while I eat...though I wouldn't recommend eating a burger or something where it could potentially get on the sides of your face.  NO it's never happened to me (yes it has).

Also!  I would like to say that the movies are LIARS & if you DO start making out with your bf while wearing red lips...unless it's a lipstain that does NOT move (even as you scrub your lips with every makeup remover possible), both you AND him will end up looking like...well...this.

How To: Long-Lasting Red Lips from hoisinivy on Vimeo.

What you need:
+ Foundation / Concealer (I used L'Oreal MagicSmooth Souffle in Buff Beige)
+ Loose powder (I used Physicians Formula Mineral Loose Powder in Translucent Medium)
+ Nude lipliner (I used Nars Lip Pencil in Tortola)
+ Red lipstick (I used Sephora Lipstick in Rouge R04)

Also, the winner of my Shabby Apple giveaway has been chosen!  W00t.  I've collected everyone's names, added those who were already followers (hey, I want to rewards those who have always been followers in addition to those who just started)...and the winner is...
Miss Kat from Dallas, TX!  So Kat, please email me {stephthuynh [at] gmail [dot] com} so I can collect your information (like blood type, social security number, and first born) & send along your fabulous Shabby Apple dress!

Thanks to everyone who entered - even those who didn't, I added you.  NO CHOICE.

questions? ask here / twitter tracker

Mar 19, 2011

For Japan {Corter Leather Bracelets}

While I was in Austin about to embark on SXSW, the devastating news of Japan hit the news waves. There was definitely a sense of "What do we do / how do we feel here?" feeling at SXSW - afterall, we were there to explore the best & worst of film, interactive & music, but it was hard to not have that heavy feeling in your heart for those who have lost so much.

While I know everyone is doing what they can - donating to the Red Cross, the blogger's Day of Silence, etc. I saw a post from Becs of Style with Benefits of this amazing bracelet with all proceeds going to The Red Cross.  Corter Leather, based out of New England, noted that as of March 17th, they raised over $14,000 for The Red less than 72-hours.  Now that's some purchasing power.  My sistar, Rye Bread & I got one to show our support.

Of course I encourage you to do what you can - donate via text or online to help those in need.  Aside from the Red Cross & Corter Leather, there are other companies incentivizing people to donate. has a "deal" where they will donate an additional $5 for the $5 you donate ($10 for $5) - they already raised $2.1M. And American Airlines & United Airlines will award you frequent flier miles for your donation.

Mar 18, 2011

Call Me Capt'n {& SXSW Recap}

6 hours after I landed in LA from Austin, I flew out to SF for a day trip. LIKE A ROCKSTAR. On top of that, my flight back home was delayed over 2 hours, so I didn't get home til midnight...needless to say, 5 days in Austin plus a turnaround trip to SF & back meant 12-hours of sleep the next day. HEY, BODY NEEDED IT MAN.

My favorite part of this outfit is the color combination between the coral of the trench & the navy blue of the sweater. Add a crisp button-down top under & I am looking mighty nautical. Somehow "nautical" & "radical" are always interchanged in my I guess I'm looking pretty radical here too. A messy bun is great for the hair-out-of-the-face look, but to avoid looking like I'm going to the grocery store, I added a bow. Unsure if it worked.
martin + osa button-down, evie sweater, h&m trench, citizens jeans

To avoid the LONGEST POST EVAR, click {read more} to find out my 2cents on my trip to Austin for SXSW.  Read about some of the panels I went to, some personal experiences, and my blogger meet-up with IRL frands.
**UPDATE: I just added an amazing 4 second video that cracks me up***

Mar 17, 2011

How To: Scarf Braid

This is my 3rd video tutorial & I realize that all three have been about BRAIDS. I apparently do nothing but braids. BRAIDS HUNGRY. This tutorial though involves a scarf...ESCANDALO!

Seen here, I've been meaning to do a tutorial for this for awhile now. It's super fast & easy...all you need is: your hair, a long, thin scarf, and an elastic tie:

I absolutely love this scarf - my good friend Rhona gave it to me as a "get well" gift when I was sick last year...and I find every way possible to incorporate it into my wardrobe.

Hopefully you'll try this look for Spring & Summer! Don't forget to enter my dress giveaway! It's really easy & if you don't enter, I will take the dress myself. More of a promise than a threat.

Questions? Ask here!
/ Twitter Tracker

Mar 15, 2011

Not Too Shabby (Apple)

Hey ya'll! YES, now that I have spent 5 days in Texas, that is how I speak. Just kidding. So without this being my official recap of SXSW Interactive & Film, I wanted to let you know I have an awesome giveaway that I want you (yes YOU...and maybe your friend) to sign up for. I'm actually so totes excites for this that even before I touchdown back to LA, I wanted to post about it. Thank you wireless interwebz on planes.

I've partnered with the great folks at Shabby Apple & they requested I pick out a dress I'd like to give away to one lucky reader...HARD JOB MAN. They had a lot of great women's dresses, but when I saw this one (Cider), I was like, I need this...yesterday. To me, this simple dress is perfect for Spring; also, the orange color is unexpected but still pretty fab. Somewhat fitted with a detailed collar makes this dress easy to dress up or dress down..imagine belting it with flats or wearing textured tights & heels. I put some serious thought into this! Maybe because I was imagining myself in it.

So, what do you have to do to make me totes jelly? Here are the rules...SO SIMPO MAN. Each of these counts as one (1) many as four (4) entries total. I am that nice.
***UPDATE*** I've added a simple 5th way to enter:
1. Become a follower on my blog
2. Follow me on Twitter
3. RT or tweet about the giveaway! (THIS is the 5th way to enter)
4. "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook*
5. Leave a comment on this post with your name & how beautiful I am (jk about the latter)
**Sorry, we can't ship internationally. :(

I will pick the winner next Monday, March you have a full week to DO IT TO IT.

*Note: It actually is advantageous to "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook because they give some pretty sweet deals & coupons there only. I really have become a fanboy of their stuff & have a few things in my I just have to wait for payday...and for Rye Bread to look the other way so he doesn't see a big box of new things. "Wut? I already had this dress...You never pay attention to me!"

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I was just in Austin, TX for 5 days for the SXSW Interactive & Film as well as the Texas Style Council panels. As a hint as to what my next post will be about (sorry, not a FASHUNS post), this is one of my favorite picture of the trip:
me, sarah, lynn, & caroline -
the female denuologists WERKIN' our free Groupon headbands.

questions? ask here! / twitter tracker

Mar 9, 2011

Tomorrow's Outfit...Today

Do you ever put on an outfit & you think, "Shieet, this would be perfect for TOMORROW...but I'm wearing it NOW...but I'm too lazy to change...who will I see tomorrow? Will it be the same crowd? I'll just wear it twice in two days. No one will notice, right?"

No? Anyone? No? Just me? That's totally what happened today when I put on this casual (and comfortable!) outfit & realized this would be great for the airport tomorrow. It has layers to keep me warm, stretchy jeans to keep me comfortable (e.g. the button doesn't stab my stomach), and just a little of style so I don't look like I just put on sweats to go (p.s. I really do wish I could wear sweats to the airport but everyone frowns upon it). If you see me at LAX tomorrow, do not judge my copycat outfit okay!
b.d. foundry men's button-down, fruit of the loom men's wifebeater, f21 jeans, j.crew belt, toms shoes

I'll be heading towards SXSW in Austin, TX this weekend & I'm chompin' at the bit to go! Unfortunately I won't be staying for the music section (which has eclipsed the rest of the conference), but will be staying for the Interactive & Film portions. If you're interested in what my team & I will be doing, head over to our Denuology post for some tentative stuff we'll be hittin' up. Of course I'll be going to some fashuns stuff (like the Texas Style Council Clothing Swap) & also some interactive panels (MY JOB).

Feel free to tweet me or reach out to me via email if you'll also be at SXSW & want to do a meet-up! MOAR FRANDS MAN. I'll be meeting with Phi-Style for the weekend, though with her technology fast, she won't be posting any pics until like a month later. /tear.

I will be sads to be leaving this guy for 5 days:
Oh whoops, was I supposed to put a picture of Rye Bread? Yeah, him too.

questions? ask here! / twitter tracker