Feb 20, 2012

Weekend Update

This President's Day weekend I went to visit Ryan's sister, Jenny, who lives in Santa Rosa.  She also happens to be engaged and her fiance (who lives in Virginia) surprised her by visiting us!  (For the record, he knew I was in town before he bought his plane tickets, so it's not like I crashed his romantic plans).

We went to visit a few wineries, which turned into an impromptu engagement photoshoot for them.  I only had a simple point-and-shoot camera, so it's not like these were going to be PROFESSIONAL quality, but I'm pretty happy with quite a few (if I do say so myself):

Admittedly, I was like, "Heyyy, I want pictures too!" so her fiance was nice enough to take a few photos to prove that I too, was there (this is probably why I am not a professional photographer).  Some of my favorites:

This week I'm back to the Bay Area for a few days, then back home, then to Chicago.  That probably means more picture of me in a hotel room (NOT LIKE THAT...that'll cost you).

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Feb 16, 2012

The Bird's Nest

As you guys know, I'm a huge fan of Portlandia, though I haven't been up to date on their 2nd Season - I blame the fact that I don't have IFC and have to buy the season pass through Zune.  Last season, they did a spoof of Wieden + Kennedy, an well-known advertising agency with such a "creative" and free-for-all vibe that it's nearly impossible to go from one room to another without being bombarded by frisbees and exercise balls or find yourself on the wrong floor without taking the stairs or elevator.

Most advertising offices have a more "industrial" feel to them - think exposed ceilings and  pipes, and large floors with desks scattered about.  Not really your typical cubicle set-up.  Now, my offices in LA are different because we're so small that we all get our own office and because having simultaneous conference calls is nearly impossible, but when I visit the San Francisco offices, I get that TRUE "advertising agency" feel.

Here are some stalker photos I took around the office.  I mean, there's even a BIKE here.  I KNOW I'm in SF when people bike to work, lol.  WHERE ARE YOUR CARS?

Since being on a "wedding budget" (I don't know why I quoted that, it's like it's not real or something), I've been doing good about not buying unnecessary stuff...except when it's on a sale and I can't stand not to have it.  Obviously.  These Gap promotional codes can help save money, even when you aren't on a wedding budget!

Club Monaco sweater dress and belt, Hue tights, Coach oxfords
Steal of the month - I was admittedly looking for a birthday present for my friend at Bloomingdales when I saw these fabulous Coach oxfords on sale...for $160...then an ADDITIONAL 50% off. I mean, I had to buy them.  Isn't it like, against the law NOT to?  When Ryan caught me trying on these shoes, he immediately said "Oh I didn't realize that you and [friend] wear the same size shoe."  My response: "We don't."

I'm also wearing Revlon's Lip Butter after every person in the world either asked or raved about them.  I have slim pickins at my local Target but found one in Sugar Plum.  I actually really like it for everyday office wear.

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Feb 15, 2012

The Devil's Tool

I'm in SF for the week - surprised?  So am I!  I got the call on Monday afternoon with the request to be up here ASAP, but was able to come up on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, whew.  Enough time to do laundry and pack.  Oh, and celebrate Valentine's Day.

With the insistence of some readers, I caved and bought myself an epilator.  Everyone's like, "I can't believe you still tweeze your armpits, that is so 2000-and-late!"  I'm like, mind yo business about my hairy pits!  So I recently bought a Braun 7681 Silk-Epil 7 Xpressive Pro Epilator (what a mouthful) from Amazon.  I got it a few days later and though the box looked like it was in the mouth of a rottweiler, the actual tool itself wasn't touched.

So I read the instructions.  Yup, I actually read the instructions for this one.  The main reason?  When I took one look at the epilator, I wanted to run it over with my car.  It was SO SCARY looking.  WTF...are those RAZORS?  How are those tweezers?  They're all sharp...and edgy.  And not the "cool high school girl who wears all black and smokes cigarettes behind the bleachers" edgy, it literally has SHARP EDGES.  The battery was already charged and so when I turned it on (low), all those RAZORS started spinning all sorts of crazy and I was expected to put that on my skin?!  Bitches be crazy.  This thing is literally made by the Devil.

amazon's stock photos. mine looked exactly the same.
The epilator had like, 10 different adapters.  It had interchangeable heads, a shaver, and some other things I had no idea if it even belonged with the product.  I read the instructions first so I knew which way to hold and move it.  (Btw, it doesn't even matter because hair grows in all sorts of directions)

I finally mustered up the nerve to try it - on my arm pits first.  Most people have really sensitive skin under their arms as it's pretty thin, but after years of plucking and/or waxing, I feel like I have a pretty high pain tolerance there.  After sucking in a deep breath and holding it, I tried it.  And you know what?  It was fine.

I know.  Anti-climatic.  This thing looked like a portable paper shredder, but when I actually used it, I could feel the vibration from the motor more than the plucking.  If you can get over how scary it looks and how loud it is, it's actually a very efficient hair removal process.  I can see why girls get addicted.  It takes as long as shaving, hurts less than waxing, and you don't have to wait as long between sessions.

I will say that for some reason, I did start to bleed, but I didn't feel it, I just saw it.  Gross.

A few days later, I decided to epilate my legs.  That wasn't as smooth (excuse the pun) going, I feel like my legs didn't feel as hairless as shaving and it was a little bumpy.  I'll give it another shot, but so far, I'm pretty happy with this purchase.

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Feb 14, 2012

Funny Face

So if you read on my wedding page or follow me on Twitter, you know I got a hair cut last Sunday.  And trust me, I NEEDED IT.  My hair was so long.  Like, uber long.  Like, super-duper long.  Long enough that when people saw pictures of me, the first thing they would say is "Wow, your hair is like, really long."  I mean, is that a good thing?  Is it a bad thing?  Pretty  neutral, I guess.  But it was pretty stringy and lifeless.  Just kind of...there.  Growing.  Always growing.

But my hair is also my security blanket. Which is why I cut my bangs myself.  That seemed like a big enough change without having to really change anything.  I didn't hate the bangs, but I didn't love them.  I took these pictures the day before I got a haircut.
hinge sweater, kirkland signature cami tank (from COSTCO), lululemon tights, f21 boots
i would often pretend i'm a mermaid and put my hair over my boobs
I also recently bought a new NARS lipstick called Funny Face.  It's probably one of my favorite go-to lipsticks right now.  Consistency-wise, it's a little dryer than Revlon but more moisturizing than MAC. It also is pretty pigmented so one or two swipes and you're good to go.
I took these photos in my room (hence the weird lighting) because I could not find my tripod and it was too cold to go outside, LOL.  (By cold, I mean it was like low 60s...MAYBE high 50s).  Brr!!

I cut about 4" off the bottom of my hair (so might lighter!) and added a few back layers.  The lady also texturized my bangs.  I set my next appointment for the beginning of April to get a...gasp!  Texture perm!

Feb 13, 2012

Bronze Panda

Tramanh and I have a running inside joke about how some makeup artists and celebrities OVER-wear bronze makeup and end up looking like bronze pandas.  Imagine just smudges of browns, bronzes, and coppers all over and under their eyes, plus bronzer on their cheeks. I thought, "There HAS to be a way for us to wear these colors without looking like a bronze panda."  I was also looking to do a "softer" look, normally my makeup can be pretty harsh (dark eyes, bright lips, plus cheeks), so in lieu of Valentine's Day, here's a softer version of the smokey eye.

And on a rarer note, this is one of the first makeup posts (in a long time) that I'm not wearing liquid eyeliner - I have to admit, it took some getting used to...it felt so...un-precise.

What I used:
+ NARS Mykono cream eyeshadow
+ MAC Mulch eyeshadow
+ MAC Glamour Check eyeshadow
+ MAC Honey Lust eyeshadow
+ Kat Von D black eyeliner
+ Stila Brushed Gold loose bronzer

Working with just bronze eyeshadows, I focused on gradiating the eyeshadow - from lightest to darkest starting from the inner eyelids to outer.
+ With your ring finger, apply NARS Mykono eyeshadow to the crease of your eye, it won't be too obvious, since the pigment isn't very much, but it does create a nice base for your eyeshadows:
+ Next, apply MAC's Mulch over the same area:

+ With MAC's Glamour Check, apply the darker brown to your outer edges, along your crease, and against your lashline - it should create a "V" on your outer corners:
+ Honey Lust is a VERY shimmery (almost glittery) gold eyeshadow, so be careful when applying because it tends to fall on your cheeks and everywhere else.  Apply to your inner corners of your eyes but make sure to PAT down, versus sweep as the eyeshadow is pretty messy.  I'm pretty comfortable with extending the inner-corner eyeshadow high, because I think it makes my eyes look bigger but I know that some girls prefer to "color in the lines," so do what's comfortable for you:
+ Using a thin, straight eyeshadow brush, apply Glamour Check to your lower lashline:
+ To keep this look softer, I opted for pencil liner instead of liquid liner and I think it makes a pretty big difference, especially if you smudge it a little with a stiff angled brush:
+ I skipped out on mascara, though if I was going out somewhere nice, I definitely would have applied 2-3 coats:
+ Applying a light layer of bronze (to not over do it), the Stila bronzer is great - although it's loose, it's still really pigmented so a little goes a long way:

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Feb 10, 2012

What a Faux Pas

Earlier in January, Ryan and I had a small engagement dinner where our two families could meet and socialize.  My family from Ohio happened to be in town so it worked out perfectly - we didn't want our families to meet at the wedding for the first time, so my family hosted Ryan's family at Brodard Chateau, a Vietnamese restaurant in Garden Grove.

I'm an avid photo-taker at events, so is my sister, Christine, but I didn't want either of us to worry about taking pictures of the night that we would miss out on the real fun.  So we asked Ryan's cousin, JD and Jeck of JD Fauxto to document the night for us.  Now, I may be biased because these two kids are my future cousins-in-law, but admittedly, I was really impressed with the work that they did.  Check out some of my favorite pictures:
But also, can I just say that my favorite part of the night was my retro-inspired red dress?  I got it from a Bettie Page in San Diego.  I actually bought it in the summer, but finally found the perfect occasion to wear it.
JD Fauxto also has a photobooth for events, they recently set one up for their cousin's congratulatory party for passing the bar...and YOU KNOW I had to take a couple.  The graphics (of the Ace Attorney videogame) are all customized, so they'll change based on the event and your style, pretty sweet.
So if you guys are in SoCal and need up and coming photographers to take photos for yourself, for an event, or a photobooth, check out their stuff (and tell them their most beautiful cousin-in-law sent you).

Feb 9, 2012

Spring 2012: F21 Picks!

I normally don't put my "picks" for Spring or whatever season, normally because it's not the same seeing it on a model or a collage than it is on an actual HUMAN BEING with a normal body.  But Tramanh and I were recently asked to post our favorite picks for F21 as well as our spring trends, so I thought I would do it here!  I mean, just because I have to save for a wedding doesn't mean I can't browse?  All look...no touch.  Much like strip clubs.

This year, spring is all about being feminine and flowy, and this year, about prints and sheer materials.  I love Fall/Winter for structured skirts and dresses, but when the flowers start blooming, don't you want your dress to do the same?  Or your onion (aka: the bloomin' onion...you guys know what I'm talking about).
Abstract Leaf Dress, Flutter Sleeve Dress, Flutter Sleeve Chiffon Dress, Zig Zag Ikat Print Dress, Tiny Umbrella Dress, Forrest Floral Dress
Spring in LA is weird because sometimes it feels like winter (aka: high 60s) but sometimes it feels like summer (low 90s), WTF am I supposed to do with that weather?  A combination of skirts, shorts, and jeans is clearly my only solution.  I know that everyone is on the colored-jean wagon, but I don't know, I don't see myself wearing hot-pink skinny jeans...just so...not me (and kinda gross).  Instead, I chose loose skirts, some shorts, and of course, BOYFRIEND jeans.  I hope this trend never goes away...I'm just too lazy to have muffin top.
Petite Stretch Skinny Jeans, Suedette Shorts, Pleated A-Line Skirt, Destroyed Skinny Jeans, Destroyed High Rise Denim Hot Shorts, Flowy Cascade Skirt
For tops, I like effortless tops that drape across your body and that allows you to eat said bloomin' onion (man, I need to go to Outback Steakhouse).  The thing about F21 shirts is that while I think they look great on these models, I'm skeptical on how they'll look on my long-torso, especially since some shirts look on the shorter-end.  Either way, I just bought an epilator so I'm excited to wear more tanks! And that cat sweater-shirt made me laugh so I'm adding it.
Sleeveless Shirt, Sequin Scallop Top, V-Back Top, Contrast Collar Tank, Draped Shirt, Kitty Drawing Top
Surprisingly, F21 didn't have that many shoe choices online though I think in-store, they're expanding their shoe collection.  Here's my gripe about F21 shoes - I have a few pairs, but the heels have broken OFF (like completely off) on two of my heels!  Though I did get them fixed at my local shoe repair, it cost me another $25 to do so and honestly, the whole point of F21 shoes is that they're affordable.  When I end up paying another $25 to get them fixed or reinforced, it kind of defeats the purpose of finding the deal.  Hopefully the chunky heels I chose will fair better.  That, or I need to stop walking like an elephant.
Scallop  Lace Ballet Flats, Braided Metallic Toe Sandals, Open Toe Platforms, Lace Up Tennis Shoes, Abstract Oxfords, Chunky Ankle Strap Heels 
Miscellaneous stuff.  Now who hasn't gone to F21 and was like "Ooh, nail polish!  Ooh, bracelets!  Ooh!  A hat!" - it's no different online either.  They have over 37 pages (at 100 products per page) full of accessories.  Talk about @__@.  Here are some random accessories/things that would be cool to have, including a chip clip that makes an "oink" noise every time you open it.  That's a total deterrent (no it's not, nothing gets in between me and my chip addiction).  Speaking of great miscellaneous stuff, Target has a great selection - here is a Target coupon for my readers.  Now back to my F21 picks: 
Mixed Print Headwrap, Buckle Trim Hat, Suede Fringe Crossbody, Contrast Strap Belt, Looped Hinge Bracelet, Talking Pig Bag Clip
There you have it - some trends, some picks, and some secrets (now you know how much I love the blooming onion).  After browsing for so long...maybe I CAN squeeze in a few new items in my wedding budget.  I mean, I gotta look good to go check out vendors and venues, right?  RIGHT?

Feb 8, 2012

Holiday Wrap Up

I know I've been MIA lately because of the ENGAGEMENT, holidays, and travel, but one of my favorite things to do as a stalker is look at everyone's Christmas and holiday photos....and really, who isn't a voyeur?

So without further ado, here is a quick wrap up of the past few weeks!

Christmas Eve at Ryan's (our first as an engaged couple!).  And YES, Ryan is totally wearing an ascot.  I bought it for him, lol.
This is Dallas, she hates her life.

That night I flew to Ohio (the lovely red-eye flight) for Christmas with my family:
 New Year's Eve was family-filled, like our Christmas, except this time, I totally got my sister wasted (like THROW UP WASTED) and blamed it on under-cooked eggrolls.  And you know what?  PEOPLE BELIEVED ME.

As soon as I got back from Ohio, Tramanh, Tu, May and Calvin came to visit...and YOUKNOW how that goes:
So now the part of catching you up is done, I can start blogging, regularly, right, RIGHT? 

Here's what I'm having a hard time with - I'm on a tight budget with the wedding (I mean, I've looked at prices per head for open bars and I nearly shit myself), and don't even get me started on wedding dresses!  So I'm out of a budget for shopping for new clothes, unless you know, it's like, super cute and die-worthy.   Maybe I'll back to how I started - random thoughts, my outings, and of course, beauty stuff. 

On a side note - thanks to all of the Ask Phivy readers who haven't forgotten about me and my blog.  I promise to upkeep this...STARTING...NOW!