#LoveLocal: Budget-Friendly Local Brands Where You Can Get Great Gifts

It’s officially the start of the holiday season, which means it’s time to start shopping for gifts! That also means braving heavy traffic and overcrowded malls. Fortunately, many of our favourite brands are now available online, so you can shop for gifts at the comfort of your own home—even in the office! To help you out, I have compiled a short list of local brands where you can find amazing deals and unique gift ideas.

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If you have a friend who has sensitive skin but is a beauty addict, get her items from One Earth Organics. This is a skincare company that sells beauty products made from organic ingredients. I am currently in love with their undereye serum infused with argan oil.

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No Pinoy is not familiar with Bench. I still remember seeing their old commercials on TV as well as their eye-catching ads. Aside from that, they offer high-quality apparel and body care products at affordable prices. Your stylish pamangkins will love you even more if you surprise them with Bench’s figure-flattering jeans and shirts. Bench is now available at Zalora Philippines.

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Is your inaanak into arts and literature? Check out Sune and you will find a wide selection of hard-to-find books about the arts. They also sell prints as well as basic swimwear that flatters any body type.

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Get your boyfriend or girlfriend a magnetic poetry kit and they will love you forever! This is a perfect gift for voracious readers and poetry lovers who love playing with words. My fiancé and I bought ourselves kits from Magnetic Poetry MNL and share our creations on our joint Instagram account Tin Can Beatnik. It is a great bonding tool, especially for couples who are in a long-distance relationship.

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Electromagnetic Tentacle is the perfect spot for individuals looking to buy their geek friends and officemates cool merchandise this Christmas. They offer parody shirts that combine pop culture and Pinoy humor.

Where do you usually shop for Christmas gifts? Share them in the comments section below!

#IXUSStyleSelfie with Canon

The earliest known photograph was captured in early 1800s. Us millennials think we owned the ‘selfie’ trend, but our forefathers actually beat us to it. It was them who demanded for portraiture in the 1830s, which lead to mass production of the daguerreotype—paving the way for further development of photography. Cameras back then were huge, and we’re quite lucky that we are living in an era where everything is just the size of our palms.

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And I’m quite thankful to companies like Canon for producing cameras that are not only high quality but also ergonomic. I have really small hands and it’s very difficult for me to use DSLRs that are twice the size of my hands. However with the Canon IXUS 265 HS, capturing moments and portraits has become so much easier. This camera has an Image Stabilizer and Intelligent IS preventing photos from looking blurry. It’s also light on the hands (a major plus for me) enabling my fingers to easily position it and click the capture button. If you like taking ‘selfies’, I’m certain you would appreciate IXUS 265.

You guys know that I’m not currently allowed to bring heavy backpacks. This camera is so small, it doesn’t take much space in my already tiny shoulder bag. I brought it in a restaurant a couple of days ago; also took a photo in the office yesterday:

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One of the problems I often encounter when using cameras is how to set them up. Talk to me about exposure and aperture and I would immediately explode. I have difficulty absorbing technical information, I just rely on instinct (and luck) when taking pictures. And most of the time, most of my photos especially the indoor ones would end up either blurred or so gloomy that even Photoshop cannot repair them. So while I was checking out the features of the camera yesterday at my favorite steakhouse I took a few shots to test its indoor, lowlight capabilities and these are the results:

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Apparently, the Canon IXUS 265 HS has a Smart Auto feature that allows amateurs (like me) to just point and shoot and not worry about the settings. My pictures turned out to be really clear and un-pixelated even though the place was not well lit.

Having a camera that captures moments clearly is important for me as a blogger. When people visit blogs, they expect that posts contain well-taken photos. I’m not the best blogger out there but here are a few things I do in capturing the best portraits:

1. When I take selfies, I make sure I look good but not too made up. I just want to look fresh and clean, like I just woke up. I put on some translucent powder and my baby pink blush and lipstick and I’m good to go.

2. Next, I check which side of my face is my best angle. I like showing my full smile so most of my photos are taken from the front.
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3. And lastly, I find a well-lit place. In this case, it’s my kitchen and I snap away with my camera! Make sure you use a quality camera like Canon IXUS 265 — it comes with a selfiepod too!
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Don’t forget to have fun with your camera!

Thank you Canon for giving me the perfect selfie companion, Canon IXUS 265!

How to Choose a Flattering Neckline for Your Wedding Dress

Apart from the silhouette of wedding dresses, it’s important to pay attention to one detail of a dress: the neckline!

For many brides, the neckline is usually not a priority. However, the neckline is important because it holds the chest and provides comfort. A wrong choice of neckline can bring discomfort during your big day and an unbalanced silhouette, as well as affect the dress’s visual appeal.

To select the best neckline for your body type, consider the size of your bust and the ratio between your hips and shoulders. The following are some examples of necklines from Rosanovias.com.au.

Heart Neckline

The heart neckline is the most popular among the ladies. It is sweet and romantic, the reason so many brides prefer this type of cut. It emphasizes the chest region, making it perfect for women with small to medium bust size. Chesty women should avoid this neckline as you run the risk of pulling the dress up all the time.

That annoying armpit flesh? If you’re one of those brides who do not like it showing, consider having sleeves or wide straps to hide that area.

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Straight or Round Neckline

The straight neckline suits women with large bust because it reduces the visual weight in that region and provides good support. However, you must be careful of not making the cut too low or it beats the purpose. Women with small breasts should avoid this cut since it further reduces the bust size. But if you really want to have a straight neckline, make sure to add volume to the bust area using drapery fabric, pleats, or ruffles. Firework beading also adds to the illusion of a larger bust.

TIP: Chesty women must be careful not to “close” the neckline too much as it further enhances the bust.

The distance between the shoulders and hips is also a thing to consider. Women with broad shoulders and small hips should opt for necklines that narrow the shoulders. Straight, canoes, or shoulder-to-shoulder necklines increase the width of the shoulder and are only advisable for those who have narrow shoulders.

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Cleavage Canoe

The boat neckline is very similar to shoulder-to-shoulder (see below). The difference is this type of neckline is very close to the neck and has a deep cut. This cut reduces the neck and silhouette (petite women avoid this style). It increases the neckline and shapes the breast, making it perfect for women with small bust. Those who have medium bust should exercise caution in choosing this cut.

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Shoulder-to-Shoulder Neckline

The shoulder-to-shoulder neckline went missing for a time in bridal fashion. Today it’s again one of the most popular choices among women. Like a deep canoe, it also increases the bust area, ideal for those with small to medium breasts.

Brides with wide hips who want a balanced silhouette must choose this neckline. If you have an hourglass figure, you can play with this neckline at will, unless you have a large bust.

This is an excellent neckline for brides with boho-chic style. This design creates a modern and sophisticated look.

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V-neck

The classic V neckline is fitting for women of all sizes, but tends to flatter chesty women. If you have a small bust and want this kind of cut, consider adding some pads beneath the fabric or wearing a padded bra. It helps elongate the silhouette and make you look slimmer. The best part is, a slit complements this cut.

TIP: Some institutions may not allow low-cut wedding dresses so remember to consult your local church regarding this matter.

Click here to view more designer wedding dresses.

Shop Wedding Dresses Online Now – worldwide shipping

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 Guest post.

Sunshine State

How is your community doing after the #GlendaPH typhoon? My area only got power back yesterday so now I can finally begin catching up on some backlogs. Some of us are lucky enough to get back on our feet, but we all know many towns are still reeling from the damages Glenda has caused, especially my hometown Bicol. There are many ways we can help. If you’re on Twitter, type the hashtag #ReliefPH and you’ll instantly see ways on how you can lend a hand.
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Filipinos are the most resilient people I know. Our country is visited by an average of 20 typhoons a year and they always leave billions of destruction and hundreds of lost lives, but we always bounce back from every tragedy. And that’s what matters. Unfortunate events are a fact of life, and while they cause us so much grief and heartache, we must continue to live our lives the best way we can.
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I lost my father when I was 15. I was a daddy’s girl and losing him devastated me, but my mother showed us that dwelling on grief will do us no good. It took me a year after his death to finally recover emotionally. Now it only feels like my father is just somewhere, traveling the world, watching over me.
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If you would like to help #GlendaPH victims, here are some ways:

  • Volunteers are needed at DSWD’s National Resource Operations Center (NROC) at NAIA Chapel Road, Pasay City. You may contact: 02-8528081 or 02-8512681
  • Naga City, my hometown which was badly hit although recovering, is in need of volunteers who will pack goods. Donations are also accepted. Please call 054-4725462. You may go directly to the Congressional Office of Leni Gerona Robredo at Naga City Hall Compound, in front of Commission on Human Rights and Camarines Sur Medical Society.
  • If you have a phone and load, you can also send monetary donation via Red Cross by texting RED <space> AMOUNT to 4143 (Smart) or 2399 (Globe). You can donate the following denominations: Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000; Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000.

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It has been raining since July began and it’s a must that we’re always ready. My sweaters and long-sleeved tops have overtaken my entire closet. Knit sweaters can be quite expensive so I always look for preloved ones on Instagram. So far I’m loving my purchases. I find them by searching the hashtag #knitsweaterph by the way. 🙂
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Thrifted dungarees and knit sweater | Loafers from World Balance

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Hype this look on

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Must-Haves to Up Your Accessory Game

If the polar vortex has wreaked havoc on your personal style this winter, you’re not alone. Even the most debonair gentlemen had to go Eskimo at times, sacrificing style for clunky boots and full-body long-johns—anything that would bring some semblance of warmth. Now that the polar vortex is (hopefully) on its last legs, it’s time to thaw out and look ahead to some of the upcoming spring and summer trends.

When it comes to fashion trends for 2014, the devil is in the details. Once you’ve emerged from your puffy parka cocoon, you can focus on letting those details shine. Accessories are the perfect way to add personal flair to your outfit, especially in warm weather, and can serve a practical purpose as well. If you’re looking to win the accessory game this year, here are a few must-haves to consider.

military-watch-boxsetWatches

Unless you’re a Luddite, chances are your cell phone (or computer, or tablet) does a perfectly good job of telling you the time. So why invest in a watch? A bare wrist is like a blank canvas. You could leave it blank and call it art, or you could use the opportunity the canvas presents to make a statement about your style. It’s one of the few pieces of jewelry that a man can wear without looking like he’s trying to win a bling competition (Unless you’re wearing a diamond-studded watch that takes up half your arm, but we’ll leave that up to your discretion). You don’t need to break the bank to find the right watch either. A Rolex is great for some, but unless you have thousands of dollars to spend, consider a cheaper alternative. Look for something that matches and complements your personality. Smart Turnout is a British company that sells a variety of colorful, affordable watches and watch straps. Purchase a collection of watch straps and you can switch it up depending on your outfit. For a classic, non-flashy look, consider a vintage watch, even if it isn’t the most accurate time-keeper. Watches are more about style than function anyway. A unique, old-fashioned timepiece will be an elegant change-of-pace from your brethren who demand the newest brands. Heck, be bold and wear a pocket watch if the spirit moves you.

Socks

There’s no need to let your sock drawer turn into a quagmire of whites, blacks, and grays. First of all, those socks are drab. The only statement they make is that they’re utilitarian and plain. Not to mention that a pile of similar white socks is harder to match when folding laundry, and you have better things to do with your time. Dark solids are already well-represented in your wardrobe, so why not spice up your outfit with a dash of bright color, such as Nice Laundry’s collections? Robert Griffin III rocks some crazy socks, and you should too. Even if you work in a conservative setting, show the world that you’re not afraid to let your personality shine. A little uplifting color never hurt anyone. Build up your sock drawer with a range of patterns and colors. Polka dots, stripes, and bold patterns can match a range of outfits and will add panache wherever you go. Don’t let your otherwise chic style be brought down by boring socks. Take back this oft-forgotten frontier by being that style pioneer with crazy, cool socks.

urban-messenger-01Man Bag

Despite the fact that technology has consolidated most of the paper products of the world, it seems like we’re now inundated with an endless supply of high-tech gear to lug around.

Computers, tablets, cell phones, MP3s, and an endless supply of chargers and cables must be transported. These expensive items are certainly not something you want to lose or drop, so investing in a good man bag is a worthwhile investment. The Leather Shop makes a variety of high-quality laptop cases, briefcases, and messenger bags that can handle all your transportation needs. The leather bags look sleek and elegant so you won’t look like a college TA toting around a backpack. If you’re looking for a great way to organize all your chargers and gadgets, consider the Cocoon Grid-It. These cases feature a network of elastic bands that will hold any size gadget in place, and the entire organizer will easily slip into your new man bag.

Please feel free to contact Ella Gray at ella.l.gray@gmail.com with any questions.

Photo sources: Smart Turnout and Leather Shop

Prom Perfect

I had my first prom in 2004. Like any other girl, I was excited to prepare for the event. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best experience. My dress was bland and my gay neighbor took it upon himself to shave my thick eyebrows until there was almost nothing left. Oh the horror! However, because of that awful experience I learned a few things and tricks. The next year I made sure I planned everything—from the dress to makeup. When the day of my senior prom arrived, I looked okay but it was a vast improvement from the previous year. I enjoyed the prom so much—partly because it was my last year and I was with friends, and I was comfortable with my look that night.

If I had a choice though, I would have had a dress made specifically for that occasion. Alas, I only came from a humble family and all we can afford is a rented gown. Butttt.. if you have money to spend, I do not see any reason why you should not plan on looking prom perfect. Since I’ve been there, below are some tips I can share on how to have the best prom evahhh!

1. Pick a dress that YOU LIKE. You cannot go to a party wearing your pajamas, so make sure to pick or design a dress that best suits your personality. There are a lot stores online that offer affordable and trendy dresses, like JenJenHouse and DressFirst to name a few. If I were to go to prom today, the following are the dresses I would likely chose:

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A pearl pink dress, because pink is a pretty, feminine color. Case closed. Just look at the details at the bust part. Gorgeous, aren’t they?

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A gold dress with a beautiful cut at the back. Gold, when paired with minimal accessories, can make anyone look like a queen.

2. Do not sacrifice comfort for style. Prom means a lot of dancing and “chasing” your crushes, so a dress that will let you move freely can help you in enjoying the occasion at the highest level. An empire-cut dress is not very restricting because it doesn’t hug the pelvis and thighs, enabling the wearer to move about. The empire cut is also my absolute favorite.

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3. Dare to be different. 95% of girls who go to prom wear long dresses. Be more unique by wearing something short or any cut that will show your gorgeous legs. This silver beaded dress has a beautiful mullet cut, plus the color is something that you don’t normally see in occasions like prom. Aside from that, this kind of dress is perfect for petite girls like me.

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Silver can make anyone look like the Ice Queen ready to take her well-deserved crown.

So those are just a few tips I wanted to share. As for shoes, silver heels can be paired with just about any dress. Putting on some earrings, bracelet, perfume, and a simple makeup would be great too. Just remember not to wear too much. Minimalism is key.

And finally, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. I know that sounds cliche, but if you keep on conforming to other people’s standard of beauty you will only end up unsatisfied and unhappy. Just enjoy the moment and let you inner prom queen shine! 🙂

8 Engagement Ring Shopping Rules

When buying an engagement ring for the one you love, it is both wise and correct for the groom-to-be to consult his future bride’s taste.

The engagement ring is generally not the biggest wedding expense – that’s typically reserved for the wedding reception – but for many women getting married is all about getting an awesome piece of jewelry.

But what if you are clueless as to what is the best approach to buying the perfect ring?

There is no need to panic. By following a few time-tested shopping rules, you can find a ring that is wow-worthy and a true token of your love.

  1. Become familiar with the 4c’s. A diamond ring’s value is determined by the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color and carat weight. While clarity or flawlessness is an important factor when buying gemstones, color and carat are also important considerations. A reputable jeweler should provide verification that the stone is synthetic or natural and verify the stone’s color grade using the Gemological Institute of America’s grading system.
  2. Set a budget. While the jewelry industry recommends that you spend the equivalent of two month’s salary, you can figure out easily what is appropriate for the occasion and your paycheck. According to Modern Bride Magazine, couples typically spend around $2900 dollars on average for an engagement ring.
  3. Select the type of stone that she prefers. Some brides select a traditional diamond engagement ring with a round stone. While others prefer a setting featuring her birthstone. Many women skip the diamond and choose to wear larger semiprecious stones instead of a smaller and more expensive diamond rings. Aquamarines, sapphires, topazes and transparent tourmalines are lovely colorless diamond ring alternatives.
  4. Choose the proper setting for the stone. A ring’s setting frames the stone and sets the tone for the ring’s design. Modern designs like these Shaneco.com ring setting styles include: vintage, solitaire, yellow gold, rose gold, mounted bridal, and the option to completely design your own.
  5. Metals do matter. The metal of the ring should flatter the color of the stone and the bride’s skin tone or skin sensitivities. For example, 18-karat white gold is less likely to cause allergic reactions, but is more affordable than most 14-karat white settings.
  6. Consider her lifestyle. Think about the long-term ramifications of selecting the right ring for the wrong woman. For a woman who tears her pantyhose frequently, a heart or pear-shaped ring could prove to be disastrous. For a middle manager in a large corporate company a large 5-carat diamond may be perceived as gaudy and ostentatious by her coworkers or bosses.
  7. Don’t get ripped off by an unscrupulous jeweler. As with most expensive purchases in life, you should be careful of deals that look to good to be true. Although most jewelers are credible, diamond ring swindles still thrive. A legitimate jeweler should have no problem with you having a ring checked out by an appraiser before your final purchase.
  8. Take her to the store. Sure, it sounds un-romantic. But this is the best way to make sure you don’t buy a ring she hates. Make the first visit to the jeweler alone to discuss your budget and her stone and setting preferences. Then bring your fiancée to the store so she can choose the engagement ring she likes the best.

Presented by Shane Company

Swimwear Trends for 2014: How Suitable Are These Swimsuits for Petites?

The secret is out, swimwear in 2014 is about being noticed, going out with a bang, and making bold moves. The trends sported at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim Show are refreshing in their cheeky audacity, while also bringing back the sexy of bygone eras (think Bo Derek in “10” or Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like it Hot”), with vintage/retro touches here and there. Do these swimsuit trends suit petites? Whether you’re a 32a cup or a 32d, the swimsuits on the catwalk can work for you too!

Swimwear Trend No. 1 – Black and White

Back to black was the theme of many designers’ offerings, with two-tone, high-contrast factor swimsuits, often in vintage styles (high-wasted and wide-hipped panties, etc.). From the heyday of Art Deco to its current renaissance, the pairing of black and white or pink  and other high contrasting colors has always had an enduring allure.

How does this look measure up for petites?

These styles can work for petites, if the particular woman isn’t more comfortable in a short-torso style. For petites with shorter torsos, they may not be as flattering as other styles. Style gurus say striped halter-style swimsuits would be especially flattering for petites, due to the way they elongated the form.

Voda_Corsica-String_CroppedSwimwear Trend No. 2 – Jungle-Inspired Styles

These looks are right out of a Duran Duran video – wildly 80s and not the least bit ashamed. Animals, banana leaves, and other jungle/rainforest motifs splash across swimsuits, tankinis, capes and sarongs.

How does this look measure up for petites?

In this case size does matter. Large animal figures, etc. can overpower the petite wearer, but a fetching alternative may be had in swimsuits with smaller prints.

Swimwear Trend No. 3 for 2014 – The Vintage-Inspired Swimsuit

Retro is so prevalent in fashion it could just as well be called contemporary and this is no less the case with the swimsuits coming out this year. Masterful use of retro brings vintage elements into the present, rather than merely mimicking them as they were in their original incarnations. Bows, polka dots, and other touches from the 40’s to the present are reflected in this trend.

How does this look measure up for petites?

Vintage works! Whether the woman is pixie or a veritable amazon.

Swimwear Trends No. 4 – 7 – Colorful Prints, Geometric Prints, Maxi-Length Cover-Ups, and Big Beach Bags

How do these measure up for petites?

For petites, colorful prints can work if the print isn’t too big; geometric prints that feature vertical or diagonal lines are surefire hits on petites; maxis with proportionate motifs can work for petites; and big bags are simply the practical choice when you’ve got a bunch of beach necessities – whatever your size.

Source:http://petite.about.com/od/swimweartrends/ss/Swimwear-Trends-For-2014.htm

 

Claire Pearl is a petite fashion designer specializing in petite bra and lingerie. She has collected a variety of  sources including www.lulalu.com to write her post. Feel free to connect with her over at Google+.

Create Your Own Style for 2014

Many people struggle with creating their own style. They know what they want to look like yet somehow they aren’t able to transfer that look into their everyday life. Often the reason for this is down to a lack of confidence. Going against the grain of fashion and trends can leave you feeling vulnerable. We’re in 2014 now and there is no better time to take a stand and embrace the real you. Here are a series of tips that will help you to discover the style that really expresses who you are.

Start by Buying a New Notebook

What’s a notebook got to do with style? More than you think. Your gorgeous new notebook is going to be transformed over time into your very own exclusive look book; your task is to begin collecting images of things that you love in the fashion world. It could be models you admire, clothing and make up, anything that appeals to you. Begin cutting out pictures in magazines, print them off from Pinterest and other websites and start building your ideal image in the pages of the book.

You should also do some research into fashion. Read fashion websites and hunt down several fashion bloggers that really express the way you feel on their site. Head to the library too, start looking at past fashion and photocopy any images or even quotes that you respond to and stick them in your notebook too. Finally watch through some movies and pay attention to the characters that have a style and an air about them that you’re hoping to portray through your style.

Daily Photo Habit

While working on your look book begin cataloguing your wardrobe. Take a photo each day and paste them into your notebook (this is so much cooler if you have a Polaroid camera!). If you can’t print off your photos from your phone consider starting an Instagram account or keep them private in your gallery.

Ideally you should find a way to print them so you can place them in your book and write comments next to each look. Write down what you like and what you don’t like. Write ideas on how the look could be improved – perhaps your yellow belt would look better? Then try out your ideas on another day. Photos make it easier to visualise your style. You’ll learn about the way you’re dressing and it will teach you about accessorising playing with colours, shapes and proportions.

Try New Things

When you begin to gather some ideas on your new style it’s a good idea to begin trying things out. Obviously no one has the money to buy a new wardrobe of clothes just to test them out, so you’ll need to try and work out a way to do this without spending money. The best way is to find a friend with some pieces that match your look book image and ask if you can borrow some of her clothes for a week. That way you can wear them out and about and play around in front of the mirror and it won’t cost you a penny.

If none of your friends have anything suitable you can ask on free and swap websites or stick to trying on clothes in fashion stores. Make sure you try on complete outfits, everything including shoes and accessories. If you’re going for a vintage look or are trying retro get yourself into all the charity shops you can find and try clothes in there. You can even buy a few pieces as they won’t cost you as much.

Start Building Your New Look

When you’re feeling confident about your look book and new style it’s time to start buying things. Remember to think about what items are going to work together to make a complete outfit rather than buying a top without thinking what else you have or can get that will go with it. Remember the staple items too – you’ll want down time clothing like comfortable stylish shoes like Converse you can buy from retailers such as John Lewis, as well as dressing up clothing for business meetings and nights on the town. Work out what type of clothing and accessories you will need to maintain your brand new style while still being suitable for your activities and life in general.

With time, practice and confidence you can soon become the master of your own style. There’s no need to stick to what’s hanging on the racks on the high street, be adventurous and true to the real you.

 

Courtney Harvey is a fashion blogger with her own distinct look. By working on your own style you can increase your confidence and stop being one of the crowd.

Chinese New Year 2014 Outfit Ideas

The Chinese New Year is almost here and you can see it everywhere, which is no surprise since the Philippines is composed of approximately 1.5 million people with Chinese blood. In the world, China is considered the country with the largest population, so it’s just natural that the world celebrates with them in occasions like the Chinese New Year.

What’s more exciting about this event is the outfit that people wear. We often see people wearing different shades and styles of red, as it is considered to be the Chinese’s lucky color. They believe that it attracts favorable luck and fortune. However, this year’s feng shui (Chinese philosophical system) said that red is not the only lucky color this year. This is amazing news for those who are not fans of red.

Chinese New Year 2014

Linea Italia Alysi Halter Backless Top | Chictees Leggings

According to fengshui.about.com, green and brown are also some of the lucky colors. 2014 is the year of the Wood Horse, so green and brown are great complements. For illustration purposes, I went to Lazada Philippines shopping website. Girls are usually expected to wear dresses, but if you want to be more adventurous, try wearing some pants and matching it with a nice black dressy top. According to feng shui experts, black can still bring good luck in 2014 so yay for us!

The next thing to consider are the accessories. Believe it or not, but the color of the accessories you’re wearing can also affect your luck, that is if you believe in feng shui.

Chinese New Year 2014 accessories

CELINE Eleanor Stiletto Sandals in tan | Ted Lapidus Women’s Watch | David Jones Zeva Wristlet | Vince Camuto Gold-Tone and Black Stone Geometric Double Drop Earrings

Lazada is currently having a Chinese New Year sale, so I headed there to look for some affordable accessories. Crystals and stones like black onyx, pearls, moonstone, etc. are great for 2014. It’s best to avoid Metal elements like white and gray during the festivities.

So there you have it. If you feel like experimenting with your outfit this year, you can try out the suggestions above. If it doesn’t work for you, then you can always go back to red. Hope this post helped! 🙂

Shopping Online for the First Time? Tips and Strategies for Finding the Best Deals

If you haven’t done any online shopping before, but have started to think about it, rest assured that it is a good idea. Not only are you going to save valuable time, but you are also going to have more chances of scoring a deal than you would with traditional shopping. The reason is simple: when you are shopping online, you can compare products and prices at the simple click of a button, as opposed to going from store to store. However, it can be easy to get lost among the immense number of options that the online world opens up. This article will give you some strategies to keep your mind focused so you can find the best deals out there.

Begin by Looking on Customer Review Sites

These types of sites are a life-saver because they allow you to search the product you would like to purchase, and then they give you a list of a few options for that product, with the price included. These sites also typically offer you the chance to read through comments and reviews by people who have bought the product you’re interested in from a certain online vendor. This is a great way to get acquainted with the different policies sites might have, and also to find out whether they charge an enormous amount for shipping. This is something important to look out for, because even if the product you’re getting is relatively cheap, if it’s coupled with a high shipping fee you’re not really saving anything.

Use Coupon-Finding Sites

Coupons are a great way to save, both online and offline. The only difference is that when you are making your purchases online, there’s no need for you to cut out coupons and carry them with you. Instead, you should look for them through coupon sites (which can be found by searching with Google). Then, when you’re at the checkout stage, you will be asked if you have a coupon code. Fill the box out, and there you have it! You’ve just saved some money!

Sign Up for Sites that Offer Merchandise You’re Interested In

Though signing up for sites often results in a lot of emails being sent to your inbox (and, in all honesty, nobody is ever attracted to that), there are some benefits. Often, online retailers will send you coupons and let you know about any promotions they may have going on through emails. You should sign up for these emails only if you are interested in the type of products the vendor is offering, since otherwise the only thing you’re accomplishing is spamming your inbox with unnecessary clutter. However, if you already like a certain retailer, then getting coupons from them delivered straight into your inbox is quite convenient.

Become a Member to Save More

Signing up for a site is one of the ways in which you could become a member, but there are other ways. For example, some sites ask you to fill out a survey for them, or they may have a buyer’s club available. If you see yourself purchasing products from a certain online retailer, then becoming a member is a great idea, as it will offer you exclusive perks. Aside from being among the first to know about any promotions, you might also gain access to items that are limited inventory.

If you are thinking of starting to do some online shopping, keep these things in mind to make sure you’re saving money. Though at first it may seem time consuming, after some practice you’ll get better at going through the first two tips, which will result in you saving both time and money. The last two strategies are great if you are interested in a particular online vendor, and are great ways of keeping yourself informed of available or upcoming sales.

Guest post

Prom Dress Shopping Tips for Petite Girls

A petite short girl will want to stick with a short dress for her prom. Wearing a long dress will make it hard to dance and will hide the girl’s legs. Ideally the skirt of the dress should fall either just above a girl’s knee or just below it.

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The shape most girls choose for their prom dress flatters their figure. Short girls like to wear empire waist dresses. Full skirts should be avoided by short girls. But if a girl chooses a full skirt the top of the dress should be tight. Backless dresses with spaghetti straps are a great choice for girls with a petite frame. Bateau short dresses are also a good choice for prom night.

Empire  and Tight and Long Dresses

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Backless and Spaghetti Straps and Bateau Dresses

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The ideal way to look taller on prom night is to wear a dress with matching shoes. If they want a patterned dress it should be small. Many short girls choose to wear booties with their prom dress.

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Dangly Earrings and Heels

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Short dresses that show off a girl’s shoes should never be worn with an ankle strap shoe. Many petite girls choose to wear high heeled shoes to their prom. The accessories a girl chooses with her prom dress can make or break the whole dress. It is very important that any accessories worn with a prom dress do not detract from the dress itself. Accessories such as dangly earrings should be used to add a subtle touch to a prom outfit. Earrings should complement the dress.

Hair and Makeup

Finally, hair and makeup are important also. Many girls pile their hair on top of their head or simply have it curled. Makeup should match the dress and not be overwhelming. All of these elements come together nicely to make the perfect prom style.

Guest post.

Shimmer and Shine: Ten Fashion Looks That Light Up Your Christmas

During the festive seasons, there are dinners, happy hours and get-togethers with friends and family, all crammed within a few short weeks in November and December. Of course, you cannot forget the office party, which has made a comeback after years of being shelved due to the financial crisis. With all these invitations, it’s difficult to fit them all in your oversubscribed schedule.

You also want to want to make a good impression when you attend these events. Finding just the right Christmas party dresses can be a real challenge. Fortunately you have numerous choices that allow you to stand out whether you’re schmoozing with your boss at the office party or snuggling with that special someone over an intimate dinner for two.289975501

The Little Black Dress

It’s difficult to go wrong with the iconic little black dress. The little black dress can go effortlessly from office to the club. Whether you go with bare shoulders or crushed velvet, there is an LBD that has your name on it.

The Little Red Dress

With all the gray skies and slushy snow, the winter could do with a little color. Stand out from the sea of black in a little red dress. When you wear a little red dress, you will automatically command attention – perhaps even from your longtime crush.

The Little Gold Dress

When the invitation says “festive attire” and you want to look elegant without going for a full-length ball gown, what are your options? A little gold dress could be just the ticket. Sweep your hair into an elegant updo, add simple jewelry and shoes and you’re done.

Elegant Long Dresses and Skirts

For those white tie and black tie occasions, only an elegant long dress will do. You can wow the crowd in a sweeping ball gown in black, red or a beautiful jewel tone. Or opt for a body skimming sheath with a discreet slit to show just a flash of your legs.

Shimmery Tops and Skirts or Slacks

For a festive look suitable for less formal occasions, choose a shimmery or glittery top. Pair it with a short or long skirt to mimic the look of a cocktail dress. Or pair your top with slacks and a jacket to keep away the chill while maintaining a festive look.

Dressing for the Office Holiday Party

289542593The key to proper dress for the office holiday party dressing for the office party is to remember each of the two words: office and party. It is still a work-related affair. This means that plunging necklines, too short hemlines and too-tight anything are off limits. On the other hand, it’s a party, so you are expected to dress up. Translation: a little black dress that hits a few inches above the knee is fine. A skimpy black number cut to the navel and barely covering your bum? Not so much.

Pajamas: Not Just for Bedtime

Of course, you would never roll out of bed and show up at a party wearing your pajamas. Or would you?  Beautiful gold-colored gowns with a satiny sheen, or silky pajama bottoms in black or a jewel-toned color can absolutely make their way to your next occasion, and no one would ever suspect.

Crushed Velvet

Few fabrics are as inherently luxurious as velvet. Whether you opt for a black velvet dress or a crushed velvet jacket, you instantly look dressed up no matter what else you are wearing. A velvet skirt and jacket are ideal for a sit down dinner party. While black is always appropriate, crushed velvet also looks glamorous in jewel tones like green or blue. Red or even gold crushed velvet jackets are eye-catching when matched with black skirts or pants. White velvet is a lovely alternative for daytime affairs.

Leather

For elegance with a bit of an edgy appeal, rescue your leather skirt from the back of the closet. Pair it with a silky top or a soft angora sweater and you will look sexy and elegant all at once. Dress up a leather jacket by pairing it with smooth wool slacks and a glittery top. Plain pumps or flats to match the jacket complete the look.

Ugly Sweaters

Yes, ugly sweater parties are all the rage. From reindeer-covered creations to colors that seem to have been inspired by a fever dream, the motto for ugly sweater parties is the uglier, the better.  The best part of an ugly sweater party invite is that you likely already have suitable attire stashed in the back of your closet.

Sophie West studies style design. She enjoys blogging about flattering fashion and beautiful looks.

Guest post.

Shop Branded Apparel for Less

Who doesn’t love branded clothes? They are chic and trendy, but unfortunately come with a high price tag. Brands like Forever 21, Zara, Topshop, and Mango are just some of the many in demand high-street brands in the country. However, most of their items cost a thousand pesos and above, an amount that only the upper middle class and rich people can afford. Fortunately for people like me who are always on a tight budget, there are online stores that offer authentic apparel for half the original price or less—one of them is The Overruns Store.430012_278286178910886_2105158440_n

I found out about The Overruns Store four months ago on Facebook. I’ve always wondered before where all the unsold items from boutiques go. Forever 21, Zara, and the likes may be big brands but I know not all manufactured items get sold out. Through research, I discovered that these unsold items, called excess overruns or stock lots, go to warehouses and are being sold at a very low price, sometimes at 90% less than the original price. Resellers would then buy these excess overruns and export them to interested buyers in other countries. People would often call them as export overruns as well. The Overruns Store is one of the most trusted sellers of export overruns in the Philippines, with more than 20 thousand followers on Facebook and almost 50 thousand followers on Instagram. It’s where I also got most of the high-street clothes I wore on some of my previous blog posts.

I love Forever 21 and The Overruns Store provides the prettiest Forever 21 pieces, even though they were originally released two or three seasons ago. I haven’t met the seller personally yet, but I think she’s young and knows what teens and young adults want. I mean, there are literally millions of excess overruns and those include items for mature women. If the seller doesn’t have a vision of what her customers need, chances are she’ll just sell whatever’s available. But the TOS owner is not like that. 🙂

TOS stocks run out quickly because thousands of girls eagerly await for every post of new items from the store. You will have to be very patient when waiting for confirmation of your order. Other than that, you don’t have to worry about anything else. The items are in very good condition, usually priced beginning Php 250 and above. That’s a great steal! For a thousand bucks, you can get at least four branded apparels. Not bad right?

DIY Faux Leather Racerback Crop Top

I was bored with my life again last night that I decided to make something for myself. It’s been more than a month since I last sewed something and I missed doing it. Been catching up on Project Runway episodes, too, and I got really inspired by the contestants’ designs.

I wanted to do something simple, not too ambitious, so I chose something from my Fashionary sketching notebook—a racerback crop top. I bought this faux leather at the Fabric Warehouse for 250php a yard. I bought 2 yards because I’m planning on doing lots of stuff with it. This is only the first.

Anyway, here are the things you’re going to need:

fabric (1/2 to 1 yard)

pattern paper

scissors

black thread

measuring tape

needle (if you plan on hand sewing)

sewing machine (if available)

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Next is to make a pattern that looks like this. The left photo is the left side of the front top. The length of the top depends on how long you want it. I wanted a 16-inch top and added 1 inch for the hem. My bust size is 32 so I estimated I needed 10 inches, 0.5 inch seam included. This measurement was actually quite big and I had to remove one inch on each side for it to fit perfectly. I measured 3 inches for the shoulder with 0.5 inch seam included on both sides and on top.

Please note that this is a pattern I made based on my measurements, you will have to add or deduct some inches to fit your body.

After making your pattern, fold your fabric lengthwise with the fold facing you, as shown, and cut.

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This is how they should look like after cutting.

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Next is to sew the shoulder. Flip the fabric, with right sides facing each other. You can also hand sew this if you don’t have a sewing machine.

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Then sew the waist.

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Afterwards, I would recommend fitting your top to check if the breast part is not too loose. In my case it was, so I had to make a seam to make it fit. To do this, measure 4 inches from the armpits and 7 inches from the highest point of the shoulder. Mark the point where they meet…

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And from that point, draw a small right triangle, then pin it. And sew that area, as shown below:

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Next, hemming. It is optional, but if you want a more polished output, then by all means hem away. 🙂

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This is how your crop top should look after. Trimmed the back a bit to make the cross look more pronounced. And yes, I will definitely wear this on my next OOTD post.

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What do you think of the outcome? If you have any questions, feel free to comment below! 🙂

DISCLAIMER: I don’t know if this is how professional dressmakers make things. Please note that this is MY process and therefore I cannot assure you that it works hundred percent of the time—so please follow at your own discretion. 😉

How To Wear Party Dresses With Style

Based on my personal experience, it is but safe to say that most girls love to party. Whether it would be just an occasional event or a bridal party, we just can’t simply pass off any chance to wear something stylish and show off our graceful bodies. If you wanna be informed with the proper ways of pulling off party dresses then sit back, relax, and keep on reading because today we are going to talk about how to wear party dresses with style.

Tips You Need To Follow:

1. Wear a dress that will definitely flatter and not to falter you presence on the party – Pick on a dress that’s totally in to your style and fashion sense. Don’t wear something that you think it’s “off” to your style or you might just be having an off night in the end as well. Make sure to limit your choices on the latest styles of the season so that you will look tremendously gorgeous for the rest of the evening. Try to check out some of these party dresses and see what might fit in to your taste.

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2. Wear a dress to flaunt and not to be taunted – If you don’t wanna be the talk of the town for all the wrong reason then better make everything right and wear something that will truly compliment your overall look. Okay you might have gained a little weight lately or you might have gotten a little dark, but this does not revoke you license on wearing something fashionable. Just make sure you pick on the right dress that will fit your figure and everybody will be in awe looking at you. I have found this cute homecoming bride from The Green Guide and this design might look good on you.

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Or how about this cocktail dress? Could this be the one that you’re looking for?

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Or would you rather wear a lovely evening dress such as this? This will surely make you an instant attention getter.

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3. Pull off something to make you feel happy, not to make you feel scrappy – Most girls would agree that we feel what we wear so make use of your positive intuition in wearing a party dress to go with the evening. If you feel good about your dress, then you’ll definitely look good and it all turns in cycles.

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*Guest post from The Green Guide

Movietime!

Due to the incessant rain the whole country has been experiencing lately, I couldn’t come up with a proper outfit post. My apartment is not that big that I can’t take decent shots… but I do have something exciting to show you guys in the future. I’m not telling yet because I don’t wanna jinx it (which is actually another word for I-absolutely-have-no-clue-what-to-do haha).

Anyway, I’m writing today because I wanted to share something. I’d like to think I’m a cinephile, but my knowledge about movies is not as extensive as other real cinephiles. Every now and then I discover films (some of which are recommendations by my boyfriend, Chad, who has great taste by the way) that not everyone has seen. You see, many people only depend on what is shown in the mall theaters, which are mostly mainstream ones such as highly commercialized Hollywood flicks—I know because I used to be one of those people.

Thank heavens for the internet and movie streaming sites, they’re a sanctuary for bored people like me. So the past month I got to watch A LOT of films and the three below struck me the most:

American Beauty, 1999

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I actually saw the movie poster a lot of times in the past, but I always refused to watch it; I thought it was just another cheesy teen movie. Fast forward to last month, I caved in and decided to watch it and it’s the best decision I made.

It’s a story about a father, played by Kevin Spacey, who got infatuated with his daughter’s best friend while having a midlife crisis. The lines are sharp and witty, with the right amount of darkness to it.

Garden State, 2004

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I have a bias toward Natalie Portman. I’m in love with her. She’s just weird, in an adorable kind of way. Fangirling aside, the visuals are both quirky and eccentric without sacrificing the sincerity of the story. Garden State is about a troubled young man (Zach Braff) struggling to adjust to life after discontinuing using antidepressants and simultaneously mourning the loss of his mother.

Almost Famous, 2000

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I just finished watching this a while ago. Almost Famous is not a typical teen movie, as it shows the story of a 15-year-old aspiring journalist hired by Rolling Stone to write about a rock band. The boy later meets Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and a group of girls who call themselves “Band-aids”, but are actually groupies.

They are extremely thought-provoking and I recommend that you see them. I don’t bother finishing a movie with a lame plot so I can assure you these movies are worth your time. Plus, they have really interesting lines which you could post on Facebook. 😛

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool. —Almost Famous

P.S. This is fun. I should do this every month, yes? Have you seen these films? Share your opinion below! 🙂

Designer Summer

A few days ago, I discovered this website, Harrods.com, that sells designer products. I’ve heard about Harrods a long time ago but I didn’t know it’s actually an online shopping site, which is a million times better. I can oggle at gorgeous designer stuff without feeling intimated, and more importantly, I can freely do some window shopping!

When I shop, I like creating outfits in my head first before purchasing, that way I know if I can really wear it. Many girls tend to buy things just because they’re pretty, without considering if they’re really wearable. Below are the summer-ready outfits I created using the items I liked from Harrods.

Office Girl

I’ve been part of the labor force for almost four years now, and my usual dilemma is my everyday outfit. Although I can wear whatever I please, I also have to consider that I am working in a professional environment, therefore I should always look put-together and polished. The following items are perfect for corporate offices.

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1. Etro Paisley Print Shirt 2. Mawi Crystal and Pearl Necklace 3. Chloe Leather Belt 4. Alexander McQueen De Manta Mini Tote 5. Ralph Lauren Black Label Kasey Suede Skirt 6. Alexander McQueen Roll Leather Flats

Who says office attires can’t look stylish? Even though collared long sleeve shirts and pencil skirts are the ‘normal’ outfit for work, one can still be stylish by injecting prints, colors, and accessories in the outfit. I chose this really nice paisley shirt because the prints are on trend plus the print color can be used as base for the whole look. You can see that there are hints of green so this Ralph Lauren green pencil skirt is a good match. Tuck the shirt in and wrap the paradise pink leather belt from Chloe around the waist, et voila a refreshing day-in-the-office look for summer! And of course, you should not forget to accessorize after making a clean ponytail. Although heels are more advisable for work, I like wearing flats after. They help me move faster plus they’re much more comfortable to walk in especially if you’re planning to do some mall strolling after work. These Alexander McQueen flats are perfect for us working ladies, pair them with this AMQ mini tote bag and we’re good to go.

Walk in the Park

My boyfriend and I like doing things when we’re together—we take pictures using film, we travel, we have fun. Even when we’re just visiting a nice restaurant or taking a walk I like wearing my best. This gorgeous silk dress is perfect for such activities. It isn’t too limiting, plus the colors are very in season and pleasing to the eyes. You may also opt to pair the dress with a nice bowler hat to protect yourself from the sun.

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1. Christy’s Bowler Hat 2. Matthew Williamson Silk Pixel Dress 3. Alexander McQueen Heroine Satchel 4. Alexander McQueen Button Suede Slipper 5. Bex Rox Alabama Cuff 6. Mawi Citrine Spike Drop Earrings

Simple activities do not require a lot of accessories. Personally I like accessories that do not hinder me from enjoying the moment, so I usually wear simple earrings (sometimes I don’t) and a matching bracelet or cuff. Of course, a nice bag where I can put small things is a must for me, and Alexander McQueen’s pink satchel can definitely accommodate my phone, wallet, and lipstick. I’d recommend these amazing flats from Alexander McQueen as well to prevent your precious feet from aching.

Casual Weekends

The best thing about weekends is you can catch up with friends and family. During this time, no one expects us to look extravagant. They’re our loved ones after all and they love us for what we are, regardless of what we’re wearing. However, it doesn’t mean that we can’t look stylish on such days. A simple, comfy shirt can still look fabulous by pairing it with the right shorts or skirt. Accentuate your legs more by wearing heeled ankle boots that match your clutch or purse.

Casual Weekends

1. Juicy Couture Pavé Heart Friendship Bracelet 2. Junk Food I Live for Weekends Tee 3. Saint Laurent Paris Ankle Boots 4. House of Holland Tie-Dye Denim Shorts 5. Alexander McQueen Crystal Britannia Skull Box Clutch

You know me and my love for anything British, and this Alexander McQueen clutch is a personal must-have. Plus, it’s a great match with the laid-back outfit I was going for. Tuck the front of the shirt in and let the back part hang loose, do some braids with your hair, and slip on one of those friendship bracelets your friend got you, and you’re surely on your way to a wonderful bonding  time with loved ones.

These are just some of the summer outfit ideas I had after checking Harrods.com. So guys, check out the site and I’m pretty sure you’ll find something there that will suit your taste.

What are your summer must-haves?

Block Party

I’ve always admitted that I’m not the adventurous kind of fashion blogger. I always stick to clothes I am comfortable in—after all it’s my number one priority. Sometimes, however, when I feel more bold, I do a toned down version of color blocking. Toned down because I stay away from over-accessorizing and using very striking colors. I still want to maintain that ‘me’ touch—comfortable fashion that is.

Some people who have done a lot of color blocking find it really easy to create an outfit using different hues and shades. But for noobs like me, it’s quite difficult so I use certain pointers from articles and magazines that I have read. One of which is basing the colors to be used on an accessory.

In my case, I worked my outfit around my collar necklace, which contain green, pink, brown, and white gems. So what I did is I took out my pink tie-front top and green flats and paired them with my high-waisted purple shorts. You can’t see purple in the necklace but it worked well together with pink and green. One tip I got from this article is to stick to the same saturation, meaning “to pair a bright with a bright, not a jewel tone with a pastel”. Otherwise, you might look like an 80s reject, which you should avoid.

Runway Dreams tie-front top | High-waisted shorts from Styleling | FORME collar necklace | Liz Claiborne watch | Solemate flats

I hope those pointers helped. I will definitely do color-blocking more often. I’m leaving you with a good song from Bloc Party. Enjoy!

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia!

DIY Floral Crown

A couple of days ago, Chad and I decided to shoot a Mowgli-themed set of pictures. You know, that half-naked child in The Jungle Book? Here’s a teaser:

But no, I wasn’t half-naked in the pictures, silly. Lol. Anyway, see that floral crown that I’m wearing? I made that myself and I will show you how to make your own in the following photos. 🙂

First, you’re going to need five things—a thin, bendable wire; a pair of scissors; pliers, a green tape; and a set of silk or satin flowers. You can also use real flowers; however, they wilt really fast so it’s much more practical to use fake ones. Do not use plastic ones though because they’re stiff. Here I’m using satin flowers—they look like the real deal from afar. 🙂 Also, to make things easier for you, select flowers that have wires attached in them. I bought these at a Japanese store called Daiso at Php 33 a color (80 cents).

Next, create the base of your crown, which should be the size of your head, using the wire and the pliers. Be careful when doing this, better if you let someone else do this for you.

Then cover the wire with the green tape to make it look like a stem. 🙂

Wrap the wires of the blooms tightly to the base of the crown. You may use pliers too when doing this. I selected the flowers with the lightest color and combined them with the darker ones afterwards. Please note, however, that you may use whichever flower color, type, and size you desire.

Repeat the process…

until you’ve covered the whole base. And you’re done. You can also re-tape the crown to make sure the wires won’t hurt your head (sometimes the wires tend to stick out a bit).

It’s that easy~ and cheap too! This only cost me around Php 200 ($5) and took me 30 to 40 minutes to make. Enjoy! Please visit my blog again soon, I’m excited to show you the photos Chad and I shot. Toodles! 🙂

Developing Photographs

By now I think you’ve already guessed that my boyfriend is a complete photography junkie. Chad is adept in using both film and digital cameras, but he enjoys using the former more especially when he gets to develop his own photographs. And it so happens that I’ve been wanting to do that for a really long time.

I’ve been curious about darkrooms since I saw Alicia Silverstone’s 1993 debut movie The Crush. If you’ve seen it, you can recall that Adrienne (Alicia Silverstone) had this BIIIG crush on Nick (Cary Elwes), who happened to have a photographer girlfriend named Amy. Being a complete psycho, Adrienne tried to kill Amy by locking wasps in her darkroom. Okay, I just realized that’s quite disturbing. Haha. *crickets*

Anyhoo… Last week, Chad taught me how to develop photographs and I will be sharing the stuff I learned.

Since we could not find an extra space for the equipment, we used my kitchen as a makeshift darkroom. We had to cover the windows with towels so light can’t come in and avoid exposing the film and photo paper.

Above are trays where the magic happens. The developer is the chemical that makes the image from the film visible.  The next tray contains the fixer, a chemical which stabilizes the image and makes it insensitive to light, hence the term ‘fix’. And last is the stop bath, which ends the development process and permanently preserves the photograph.

Of course, you cannot begin without your filmstrips…

negative holder…

and enlarger. The enlarger projects the image from the film to the photo paper. The photo paper is highly sensitive to light, except red light, so make sure to keep it in its folder when you’re not using it. Last week I had to cut paper in my pitch-black bathroom. I am not kidding. But I was able to do it! 😀

We wasted three photo papers before successfully printing a photo. It usually takes a few seconds to a few minutes to expose a photograph under the enlarger but our equipment’s light was a bit dim, so we had to expose the photo paper for 10 to 12 minutes.

Afterwards, we soaked the paper in the developer (1 minute); transferred it into the fixer (30 seconds); and dipped it in the stop bath (10 seconds).

Chad holding out our first product. This one was exposed for only 10 minutes, which probably explains why the background is not clear (?).

We decided to leave the next paper under the enlarger for 12 minutes, and we were so happy with the results. Here we are looking so proud. 🙂

The third one was okay but it had fingerprints on it so we decided to throw it away. Sad.

But hey, at least I got to use one as cover design for my fashionary sketchbook. 🙂

Come back soon for more wonderful photos! Finally got to print some from my Bell & Howell film camera and I’m really excited to show you. 🙂

DIY Pouty Lippies

Let’s face it, people with naturally pouty lips look effortlessly sultry. Angelina Jolie and Liv Tyler are best examples. But if you are a girl like me who doesn’t possess the same luscious lips as Angie and Liv and who doesn’t know how to do a pout, this post might help you.

Below is a technique I’ve learned (from experimenting) to achieve a natural looking pout, without the duckface.

First thing to do is exfoliate lips. You don’t have to do this,  however, if your lips aren’t chappy. To exfoliate, dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in lukewarm water, and then gently brush your lips. And then wipe with a clean cloth.

Before beginning, make sure you have two lip colors available–one very light  (nude or pale pink is perfect) and a dark red (brick red or royal red is good)–and a lip liner.

Next, create the shape you like by lining your lips with your lip liner. I wanted mine to look as natural as possible so I used Ianti‘s nude lip liner and just traced the natural contours of my lips.

Afterwards, I chose a pale pink lip color from ELF as base. Nude is too light for my lips. Apply your preferred color to both your upper and lower lip.

Third, create a line using a red on the inner part of the lips as shown. The goal here is to create a contrast and a shadow to give the illusion of pouty lips. Make sure not to stretch the line too much, keep the color in the middle.

It is best to start with the lower lip first, and then proceed to the upper lip.

When done,  carefully blend the parts where the dark and light color meet. You should get a result similar to this:

My camera is quite sucky at the moment but I’m telling you this method works, most especially if you’re using a nude color. Hope this somehow helps! 🙂

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You might have noticed that I changed my blog name from Zeros and Fives to Metamorphosis. I will explain why on my next blog post so make sure to come back soon! <3

DIY Matte Red Lips

Red lippies have been trending for quite some time now. The color makes a person look confident, but not many dare to wear it. I, for instance, only managed to pull it off last year. Red is too bold a color and catching unnecessary attention is the last thing I want. It may not be obvious, but I’m quite the shy girl. Charot, minsan lang. Haha

Aside from  the shade, matte lips are so in demand that many make-up store chains have released matte lipsticks. Matte lipsticks give a non-glossy finish, perfect for today’s season. Why you ask? Since the rainy (and windy) season has begun in the Philippines, it would be a tad bit impractical to wear a glossy lipstick when your hair is being constantly whisked. You wouldn’t want your hair sticking on your lips now would you? That’s kinda gross.

But what if you do not have a matte lipstick and the mall is a galaxy away? Not to worry, as this post is all about getting a matte red lips finish DIY-style. All you need are:

1. your favorite red lipstick

2. a powder (loose or compact, it doesn’t matter);

3. a small brush; and

4. a single-ply tissue.

When you have all the items, apply your favorite lipstick; I’m using ELF’s royal red. Once finished, blot the lower and the upper lip using the single-ply tissue. Do not remove the tissue just yet.

Second, using your small brush, dab on powder. I’m using Blush’s flat brush and Majolica Majorca face powder.

Then, pat the brush with powder on the tissue, as shown. Trace lips as if you’re putting on a new layer of lip gloss and push the powder through the tissue.

Do the same procedure on the upper lip. Afterwards, remove the tissue. What’s great about this procedure is that you’re assured that your lips won’t get the cheese effect, which usually happens when you place powder directly on the lips.

You should get a result similar to this:

Glossy no more! Yay! As you can see, the color looked richer in matte and, erm, fresher? If in case there are gaps after removing the tissue, you can apply a bit of the lip color on the gaps; a lip liner is also a great alternative. This seldom happens, however, if you have previously applied a generous amount of lip color/stick prior to blotting.

So that’s it! Just dab a bit of blush on the cheeks, nose bridge, and chin to get a natural finish. Red lippies are already  attention-grabbers, so make sure not to overdo your make-up. I would recommend some mascara and no eyeshadow. Simplicity is key.

I hope this tip helps. Remember that you don’t always have to purchase new stuff just to look good. ;P Ciao!

How to Make a Fishtail Braid (Video)

I know this video tutorial is late, and I apologize. But here it is guys! I hope you’ll like it. Making a fishtail braid is a bit tedious the first time you do it, but you’ll find it quite easy once you get the hang of the process.

My face looks squashed. I filmed this in portrait mode so I had to rotate it. Unfortunately the video editor that I was using only had two ratio options. I guess I’m gonna have  to look for more video editing software then. In the meantime, please bear with me and my amateur editing skills. At least you get a better view of the braid. 😛

If you have questions, feel free to leave me a comment below and I’ll definitely answer them when I get the chance. If you want a full text of the steps of making a fishtail braid plus pictures, I blogged about it last year here. Please subscribe to my Youtube channel! Hihi. Thank you! :3

Skin Care for the Night Owls

Health and skin care is probably two of people’s top concerns when working at night, or popularly called as the “graveyard shift.” I’m no doctor or dermatologist, but I have always been very careful when it comes to my skin, facial skin at least. This year, I accepted a job that requires me to work at night. I edit articles for a US-based company, so naturally I have to comply to their working schedule. My first month was a tad difficult, as I had to adjust practically my whole life—sleeping and eating schedule, skin care regimen, time for peers/family, etc. Before signing the contract, I already researched for the harms that my new schedule could possibly inflict on me and some ways to prevent them. Just imagine how difficult it is when one’s body clock which is programmed (for more or less two decades) to work in the day and rest at night is forcibly altered.

Okay, enough blabbing. Haha. Perhaps one of the unpleasant effects of night shifts is skin aging, and eventually the appearance of eye bags, dark circles, wrinkles, and acnes. Sad, I know. Fortunately, the maarte in me found solutions for those problems:

I have shared repeatedly that great skin always starts with clean skin. Before doing anything else with you face (yes, both before and after putting on make up), always wash it with facial foam that is suitable to your skin type.

There are five basic skin types [source]:

1. Oily– if you have large pores and frequently get blackheads and blemishes

2. Combination– if you have smooth skin, medium pores, and is slightly oily in the T-zone

3. Sensitive– if you have thin skin that is prone to allergic reactions and rashes

4. Dry– if you have tight skin that is prone to flaking and wrinkles

5. Sun-damaged – if you have tight skin with visible wrinkles

I have combination skin type so this acne oil control facial foam from Nivea is just perfect. Afterwards, tone  to further cleanse your skin.

Now the last step is quite tricky. Before, I would just wear a regular moisturizer. That was when I had a “regular” life. But since staying up all night can leave undesirable circles and eye bags and speeds up skin aging, I’m now using a special range of products from Nivea. We don’t wanna look 40 when in reality we’re just 20-something, do we?

I’ve read numerous reviews about how excellent this eye cream is, and I must also say that I’m pretty satisfied with it. I’m nearing my fifth month as a night owl worker and I don’t have dark circles yet, and I look fairly the same as last year. I now have eye bags though, but unfortunately creams can’t mend that problem (but I heard tea bags work wonders). But hey, at least I don’t have dark circles and wrinkles.

Now for the rest of the face, I wear the day cream before going to work and the night cream before sleeping. I read somewhere that the skin absorbs moisture much faster when we’re sleeping.

That’s probably the reason why night creams are thicker than day creams (as seen above).

Retaining your skin’s moisture is vital in maintaining a younger-looking skin. It’s not necessary that you use the exact same products. I just think that some night owls who complain they are looking older and stressed tend to neglect their skin’s needs. Really, the 3-step process (cleanse, tone, and moisturize) is not really that taxing.

Also, aside from the 3-step process, us people who work at night should always be wary of the food we eat and our sleeping schedule. Nothing beats a balanced diet and enough sleep. The 3-step process is just ancillary. Ciao! 🙂

How I Wear My Man’s Shirt

I’ve been wearing this shirt almost every week since I bought it last year.

One thing I love about oversized garments, in this case a shirt from Bench’s men’s department (yes, with glitters), is they are very easy to wear. I don’t have to worry about my tummy protruding whenever I overeat.

Men’s shirt from Bench| Connector ring from Stylebreak| Fabre necklace from Antler| Hair tie from Quirkyfinds

Despite this shirt being tailored for men, it does not mean one cannot make it suitable for ladies as well. This shirt could easily be mistaken for a woman’s though, perhaps due to the color and the glitters. But then again, the cut and proportions are meant for medium-built boys, so I often tuck this in or wear it with daisy dukes or skirts. Hello, Gadybee glasses and beanie!

Jeffrey Campbell Foxy-Inspired Platforms from Asianvogue

And of course, heels always make every look more ladylike.

My new job has literally changed my sleeping habits, I was up all night yesterday. Sad to say, I have noticed my eyes are looking duller. My ultimate solution for this problem, aside from eye creams and what not, is liquid eyeliner. For some reason, it always makes the eyes look livelier. I painted the upper contours of my eyes with thick black liner and voila!—no more dead eyes. I do not like putting pencil liners on my lower lids, it makes my eyes look droopy, which is obviously not gonna help with my situation at the moment.

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia!

Do not forget to join my two ongoing giveaways—SLASH and Grazie Mille! 🙂

Cheap Thrills

Perhaps one of the fears of shoppers when buying affordable items is that they might look as cheap as the ones they bought. That could happen though, that is if you’re not very careful of what you’re buying. Accessories and clothes that are priced Php 200 and below could be very tempting, especially if the design appeals to your taste. I am a sucker for cheap things and I must admit I’ve bought some that do not “live” long unfortunately. This happened many times and I have learned my lesson.

Would you believe that this whole outfit, including the accessories, only cost me Php 300? No kidding. 🙂

Cheap stuff with adorable designs are rare. When I go to bazaars, I would usually roam around the whole place and rummage through pile of clothes and hanged items. Great finds are oftentimes hidden, hence the term ‘finds’.

I always keep in mind the following when purchasing:

1. When I find the design that I want, I check the seams, e.g, armpits, edges, shoulders, neck, etc. They have to be at least properly sewn or can be easily repaired.

2. Look for discolorations, tears, and other damages. Items with damages are not worth your money.

3. Fit them. It is a must to try on the items before paying for them to prevent you from feeling any regret. There are some clothes that only look nice in mannequins or models. Sadly, most people do not possess the same physique.

All things bought from bazaars

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia!

Lastly, make sure you are comfortable in them. Sometimes, no matter how gorgeous an item is, if you don’t feel good in it, it’ll show. For me, comfort is always a must. It does not only make you feel at ease, but it also helps you think of other ways to style/wear it.

To sum this post up, always keep in mind the following, aside from price and design: textile quality, fit, and comfort. Ciao! 🙂

How To: Fishtail Braids

Today I’m going to show you how to make fishtail braids–without the help of other people! First, all you need is a toothed comb, a ponytail tie (or an elastic band will do), and something to accessorize your hair when you’re done.

I apologize in advance if some of the photos are too bright for your eyes, I needed to add more exposure so you could actually see what happens to the hair as I show you the process.

STEP 1: I wanted to do a side braid so I placed everything at the right, away from the direction of my fringe to create balance. You are free to place your hair wherever you want. Same procedure still applies to non-side braids.

STEP 2: Cut hair into two sections, by cut I mean separate. You now have a left and right section (if that makes any sense).

 STEP 3: From the left section of your hair, take a small part from the back.

 STEP 4: Place it on top of the remaining left section of your hair, BUT do not combine them.

STEP 5: Instead, combine it with the opposite (right) section of your hair.

STEP 6: Pull both sections on opposite directions to ensure that there are no stray hairs. This isn’t necessary though, but I do this all the time. Hee~

STEP 7: Just like STEP 3, gather a few strands from the back of the right section of your hair.

 STEP 8: Place them on top of the right section, then combine with the left.

STEP 9: Repeat STEPs 3 to 8.

 Continue this process until you reach the tips, or the point where you can still gather your hair together.

In the photos below, I stopped braiding at about three-quarters of my hair’s length as there were a few strands already sticking out. Fishtail braids are fun to do when you have really long hair. Hmm, if that’s the case then I shouldn’t have my mane trimmed for at least two months more. :s

STEP 10:  Hold the braids together by using a ponytail tie or an elastic band. You are free to use whatever accessories after to add more character.

Since I’m sucker for bows and florals, I attached my bow+floral hair clip to the hair tie I used. I curled the short strands at the other sides to make the look much prettier and less messy.

Then, wore a beanie to tone down the preppiness.

Below is a quick recap of what I’ve done in .GIF format. I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial!

Follow me on Twitter! Ciao! 🙂

Styling Your Basic Tee

One of the rules fashionphiles live by is to have the basics–that is, a basic v-neck tee, an LBD, a pair of heels, among others. When you got them, the only things you will need next are creativity and boldness. I used to be the t-shirt-and-jeans kind of girl; I was too scared of trying out new things and experimenting because the last thing I wanted was to solicit stares from people. But I eventually got over it, prolly because I want to be different.  With my petite figure, it’s very difficult to stand out from a crowd, so the only way to be noticed (papansin lang. haha!) is to be slightly deviant. However, I still make sure that I don’t go overboard. That’s when a mixing of the basics and a few statement pieces come into play. With this post, my basic apparel is a basic tee and I’m gonna show you the stuff I styled it with to make it less basic but, at the same time, look effortless.

Was going out to get my Philippine Fashion Week invites in Makati when Dodon and I thought of shooting outfit photos

Basic v-neck shirt from Folded and Hung | Printed skirt from NY Square at SM Department Store

STEP 1: Decide which basic piece to use. In my case, since I was commuting I decided to wear something I can easily move in, like this basic blue tee from Folded and Hung. F&H has the most comfortable but stylish shirts, I must say.

STEP 2: Pair it with a skirt (or your favorite jeans). You can go plain or be more adventurous by choosing printed ones. In this photo, since I’m already wearing a plain-colored top, I decided to break the monotony by going for an animal print skirt. Unfortunately, I’m not anymore a big fan of jeans as I have not found yet the perfect ones. Would you believe I only own a couple of pairs? *crickets crickets*

OPTIONAL: Add a little twist by using a floral printed belt. Print on print!

Fringe necklace from Antler | Bracelets from Landmark

STEP 3: Pile on statement pieces, such as the fringe necklace, to add more edge to your simple look. What are statement pieces? For me, these are accessories that a person never wears on a daily basis. Oftentimes, they come in funky shapes and from odd materials.

Connector ring from Stylebreak | Winged heart and purple bell ring from Zeros and Fives | Feather earrings from St. Francis Square

STEP 4: Last but not the least, wear heels. Heeled shoes or slip-ons always make a look less casual (well, that is if you’re going for a more feminine look). Since I am short, heels always help me look taller, longer, and more sophisticated. Not that I’m saying short girls aren’t sophisticated! I mean, short girls, and even boys, are often labeled as ‘cute.’ No one would like to be stuck in that category! 🙂

Heels from Tiffany (these are obviously my favorite!)

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia

So there you go, you can always look fabulous even if you’re just wearing a t-shirt. All you need is some accessories to spice up your look. The same thing also applies when you’re wearing old or thrifted clothes from bargain shops and ukay-ukay. Styling can make any clothing look expensive if you know what to do or if you are willing to take a risk.

A few years back connector rings or fringe necklaces were nowhere to be found. The first time I saw them I thought they were weird-looking, but eventually when you develop an eye for things unconventional, you’ll find yourself treating these statement pieces like diamonds. They are not only eye-catchers, but also additives. 🙂

Rewind to January, I told myself in a post that I should be able to score invites for the Philippine Fashion Week. And I did! Hurray!  Thanks to Connect Agencie for these fab invites!

MANGO F/W 2011 Fashion Show

Last night, I was invited by Connect Agencie to attend the MANGO Fall/Winter 2011 Fashion Show at Resorts World, Pasay City.

Prior to the event, I had apprehensions  about going. For one, Resorts World is miles away from Diliman. Second, I dunno how to get there. And lastly, I have no companion. I am yet to overcome my shyness in crowds (especially when surrounded by fashion people), so it’s a must that I bring one or few with me. Thankfully, Katt and Paolo were more than willing to accompany me to the event.  Thanks, guys! Hee~

Paolo, whose Eiffel tower bag amused everyone, and Katt, wearing a striped knit top from House of Cocco (have to say it. Haha)

The dress code for the event was luxe grunge. I didn’t know what luxe grunge is until two days ago. When I first read the invitation, I thought it was luke grunge and tried googling it and nothing came up. I tried deciphering the low-resolution invi and found out that it’s actually ‘luxe’ not ‘luke.’ Kalurkey. Haha. Below is the peg I used and my modified take on it:

Hello me! Sheer top from House of Cocco| Blue bandeau underneath| Cross necklace| Rayon knit skirt from Forever 21| Gladiator heels from Parisian

I didn’t wanna go all dark and too grungy so I decided to don a cream sheer top from House of Cocco  and gold wallet from Prada , and piled on some accessories:

Now on to the fashion show. It was hosted by model and make-up artist Bianca Valerio, whose hair and style we so loved that night:

MANGO launched their Fall/ Winter Collection for 2011, which was styled by the country’s best up-and-coming stylists — Myrr Lao To, Patrick Galang, Teej Nepomuceno, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso of Maven Magazine, and Anna Canlas of Preview Magazine. In no particular order, the following were the styles that I was able to take shots of. Pardon me for the heads peeking at the sides. 🙂

Bloggers at work 🙂

I especially adore this collection.

Animal print galore

One thing I realized from the show is that all you need to look trendy are basic pieces, such as shorts and a white top, and creativity. If you look closely at the collection, most of them can be found in any store but were given more attitude and character by creative styling. With this, I take my hat off to  all the personalities who styled the models for producing a really mind-blowing show.

Speaking of mind-blowing, I was finally able to meet Camille Co of Coexist whom I interviewed last summer. She’s really nice and sweet, and incredibly tall! I swear I looked like a hobbit. Ehe~

Aside from meeting and seeing my favorite fashion bloggers and media personalities, MANGO also gave away some goodies! Yay! Who does not want a free MANGO animal print pouch and Pond’s x Nivea items?? 😀

I am one happy blogger. Hee~

And of course, we cannot leave the venue without any remembrance, celebrity style. 😛

Congratulations Connect Agencie for organizing an awesommmmme show! Thank you for making my first fashion event coverage memorable. Until the next one! 🙂

P.S.

How do you like my fresh-from-the-beach tan? 😀

Metamorphosis

Hello. First of all, I would like to apologize for being MIA. I had lots of things going on in my life (and in my head) in the past month and I didn’t know how to deal with them. I started to question my love for fashion and if I could maintain and sustain this site with interesting posts. I had doubts and initially thought of shutting this down, but of course I couldn’t. For one, I still have loyal visitors and I can’t thank you enough guys for all the support. Two, I have this bad habit of not finishing what I started. I hated it, so I decided to fight it by keeping this site running. Change starts with this post.

Photo by Sam Lim

Make up by Ana Patricia

Before I started this blog, I had a vision of helping regular girls who have limited means like me to look decent and in style without shelling out lots of money. It saddens me a bit that I somehow forgot that vision and for that I am deeply sorry. Today though, I will begin working on that vision, hence the new tagline right above your screen: “when fashion meets the thrifty gal.”

Statistics says that approximately 80% of the Philippine population is categorized as low class (est. 2006), 27% of which lives below poverty line. Fashion-wise,  this means millions of Filipinos cannot afford to purchase designer items or spend thousands for a pair of chic shoes. I frequently encounter people saying they cannot afford to look trendy because it’s expensive. But I disagree. Since college, I’ve always believed that fashion is for everyone–that you need not break your piggy bank just to have that pretty lace top or those five-inch heeled pumps. Below are quick tips:

  1. Bazaars, tiangges, and ukay-ukays are everywhere; there are always good finds in those stores if you know how to look and if you have the patience. We have Divisoria and Greenhills that offer trendy and quality pieces that cost below a hundred. If you’ve been following my blog, then you know what I’m talking about. 😀
  2. Furthermore, malls go on sale almost every pay day. My advice though is to not be swooned by the word “SALE!” I personally don’t think that a 10 to 20% sale will make much of a difference in your receipts. I only go to mall sales when the prices are 50% off or higher.
  3. The last but not the least happy shopping tip I can give is to not spend more than what you can afford, unless you want your face plastered on the store manager’s office wall or chased by your credit card agent. Using cc’s for shopping is not advisable either. The trick is do not pass by malls and shops if you do not plan to buy anything, so you won’t get tempted. That is a tried and tested trick. 😀

So there. Hoped I helped. 🙂

I would love to know what you think about the new layout of the site and what are the things I can do to improve it. You can also send me topic suggestions. I sometimes run out of ideas. HAHA. Either comment on this post or e-mail me at dafnyduck@gmail.com. Again, to my frequent and loyal visitors, thank you! 🙂

Florals + Stripes = Happiness

Hiiii! 😀

Spamming your screen with lots of florals and stripes. The top is actually a crop top. Bought this somewhere outside Divisoria Mall. I couldn’t resist the cuteness of the heart patch so I bought it. Who would like to guess how much this costs? 😛

 Boater hat and lace bag from Cocco

The maxi skirt is actually a maxi dress. I wanted a different top so I just folded it inward and fastened it with a handwoven belt to hold the dress and make it look like a real maxi skirt. Cool huh? 🙂

I was trying to make my hair look messy here. FAIL. :-/

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia! ::)

Clogs-like heels from Tiffany

See the rings? I’m selling rings like those in my online shop. Like Zeros and Fives on Facebook to view cutie patootie accessories on sale. 🙂

 Photos by Sam Lim.  Like his Facebook page and visit/follow his website to see his other works and learn photography tips.

Make up by Ana Patricia Mendoza. Like her Facebook page to see her other works.

Thanks to Haydee Suarez for editing the last two photos!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the love and support before I am denied the chance. Recent events made me realize how precious life is, and how short it is to waste it on hatred and regret. I may have not gotten everything I wanted , wished, and prayed to God every night, little blessings still manage to find me and I am grateful for that. But somehow it also makes me sad not having to properly recognize those kind people who, in their own ways, lent their hands when I needed one. I hope I’m not too late. Thank you. 🙂

I’m planning on a new blog giveaway so stay tuned. Follow me on Twitter for the announcement!

Peace x Love

NU Skin Exfoliant Scrub and Toner Review

I live in a city where pollution is extremely high and the only way to battle it is proper cleansing. However, not all cleansers available in the market can assure a satisfying result.

We all know that our skin has pores that can be clogged by dirt, causing blackheads and pimples. Unclogging pores requires no ordinary cleansers, like the ones that have scrubs. Many people are skeptical with facial scrubs for fear of scratches on the face or any other skin damages. That’s understandable because facial skin is very sensitive and scrubs can indeed harm our skin, depending on their kind.

More than a couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to try his company’s cleanser products, NU Skin. Without hesitation, I agreed since my skin is not as sensitive as others; besides, it says EXTRA GENTLE.

NU Skin Facial Scrub

Instructions and information

It says on the label that the product should be used twice a week, but according to my friend, three times a week during your first two weeks of use is recommended.

The cleanser contains barely visible, minuscule beads, called marine diatoms, which are proven safe for the skin unlike other cleansers that have pollen-like ones. After washing, you’ll feel more refreshed mainly because of the menthol-ly stuff infused in it.

AFTER IMAGE

The skin will feel slightly tight because of the removal of the dead skin cells.

NU Skin Mattefying Toner

It is essential to use a toner right after washing. It helps remove excess dirt.

One thing that scares me about toners is that some are really harsh to the skin. If you’re not careful when choosing and using a toner, it can leave burning sensations and red patches, BUT not this one. It’s very mild and it can thoroughly remove traces of dirt.

AFTER TONING

Toner chemicals often leave the skin very dry, probably due to its intensive cleansing and skin refinement properties, so moisturizing is necessary after. NU Skin’s toner, however, will leave your skin moisturized and damage-free. Credit that to its pH-balancing and mattefying capabilities.

NU Skin is a foreign product, so it’s not yet available in Philippine stores. But if you’d like to try it and enjoy beautiful skin, you may order from Resty thru restynuegas@gmail.com or contact him at these numbers:

09238407186

09152596998

 

Toodles! 🙂

Wear Red, Wear Hope

More than a month ago, tragedy struck Japan. Millions of properties and thousands of lives were lost, and a multitude of people went and are still missing.

I feel guilty for being quiet about it. Frankly, I was really at loss for words regarding what happened and couldn’t figure out a thing on how to help. I know the delay is inexcusable, but I’d rather be late than never present.

Chictopia, an online fashion community similar to Lookbook.nu, has recently started a fund-raising campaign to help the victims of Japan tragedy–the Wear Red Wear Hope campaign. The campaign encourages Chictopians like me to wear and upload a photo wearing any outfit with a hint of red.

According to Chictopia:

The red circle on the Japanese flag represents what many Japanese children perceive to be the sun.  For us at Chictopia and many others in the wake of the recent crisis, it represents hope.

Every outfit post of Chictopia members wearing red will raise $1.

But if you’re not a member, you can still extend aid by donating through Red Cross here.

OR you can spread the news by sharing this post on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Plurk or whatnot (via the buttons below), so that all Chictopians or interested donors will be informed of this cause. Let us all join hands in helping Japan.

Arigato!

Photo by Mark Tiu| Make up and hair styling by Em Rejano

Sheer, printed top from JACOB| Nude tube top| Denim shorts from Bench| Gladiator heels from Parisian

Hype the look on chictopia and lookbook.

SUMMER STYLE TIP: Sheer + prints are a good combo for your daily walks or hangouts with friends. 🙂

 

Blue Crush: Trends to Try This Summer

When people mention ‘summer,’ what’s the first thing you picture? Beaches! They are like the mandatory places to go when the heat kicks in. So I thought, why not go for an all-blue outfit? Yeah, I know, people have been displaying their color blocking skillz lately, but I’d like to be different. That’s how weird I am. 🙂

Florals and denim are the two trends that never get old. They always provide this easy-breezy and relaxed vibe which makes them perfect for spring and summer. And I could not think of any style to go with  them other than Hippie.

I’ve been trying to perfect wearing head bands but they always end up slipping from my gigantic head.  Surprisingly, the one I wore yesterday fit just fine. Hurray! Thanks to Mark and Em, they also made sure my hair looked good, especially in the photos.

Hippie band from Vente| Denim and floral bangles from Seasons| Crop top from Areej| Floral shorts from thrift store| Necklace from aunt| Heels from Parisian

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia.

I consider myself very kuripot, I don’t buy tops or skirts that cost more than Php 300. I believe you can still look trendy without shelling out lots of money and, at the same time, not sacrificing quality. Did I mention that I only spent a total of Php 335 for this whole look? There are really good stuff in Divisoria. Some of them I’ve seen in Trinoma and SM sold at a higher price. Divisoria is not really as scary as what many people told me; you just have to look simple so as not to catch much attention from people. Just imagine how many ensembles you can create with only Php 1, 000! 🙂

 

Photography by Mark Tiu

Make up and hair styling by Em Rejano

Wardrobe styling by yours truly

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Review

I thank my parents for blessing me with not-so-sensitive facial skin. When I was growing up, I never had problems with pimples. Yeah, I do get a pimple when my period’s coming, but that’s it. I was never and still am not afraid to try every facial cleanser available in the market because I know I’m not allergic (or sensitive) to any. The worst thing a facial cleanser could do to me is give me dry skin, which I already hate.

I’ve been using Pond’s since college and it has never failed me, except for the dryness it occasionally leaves my skin. I use it night and day, so I figured that maybe I should use a milder facial cleanser to remove dirt and makeup.

I have known Cetaphil way back, but I never considered using it, thinking that it should only be used by people with grave skin problems. There’s something about the brand name and logo that’s so clinic-ky, so I never bothered. Blame it on my judgmental nature. Chos.

If not for the makeup artists I’ve met, I would have not gotten acquainted with Cetaphil’s uses. They use Cetaphil as makeup remover, using a wet tissue and spreading it all over my face. I really liked how it makes my skin feel, so I decided to get one for myself:

It’s quite expensive for a 60 mL, priced at a little less than Php 200.

CLAIMS:

Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is great for daily makeup removal. Originally formulated for dermatologists, this cleanser is gentle on your skin and sensitive to your skin’s needs. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser will not strip the skin of natural protective oils or emollients, or disturb the skin’s natural pH balance. Recommended for years by dermatologists, it is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is gentle enough for children, teens and adults.

Non-comedogenic means it does not clog pores, which somehow puzzles me because it doesn’t have scrubs or something, not that I’m saying cleansers should always have scrubs to unclog pores.

The best thing about this cleanser is that you can use it without water.

Hello, dry skin. I decided to use my unmoisturized hand to give you guys a preview of how Cetaphil would look like when used.

Just apply it on your skin and rub gently to remove dirt. You’ll need a wet tissue or a soft cloth to remove the excess cleanser.

Let the thin film dry up after rubbing and removing excess cleanser.

 

Look at the difference. Please don't mind the change in tone, I dunno how it happened. Hehe 🙂

I was pretty amazed myself after using it. My skin became smooth and soft, I need not apply moisturizer after!

True to its claims, Cetaphil is soothing, mild and fragrance-free, unlike other facial cleansers smothered with perfume (which, I believe, makes cleansers harsh to the skin).

I give the product a good ten. 🙂

Visit their site for more information about their products.

How to Add Excitement to Your Otherwise Drab and Dull Outfit

The most redundant color you can find in my “closet” is nude, brown, black, and gray. Those are the colors which I find easy to match with, so don’t stab me. Hoho. Having them is very convenient, especially when you’re too lazy to dress up. Sometimes though, those colors do not look entrancing when the heat is on or colors start to pop in your neighbor’s garden. You could be mistaken for an old hag (gee, that’s creepy).

This past weekend, most of my clothes were still in the laundry. I’m such a slacker during weekends (eww me), I had no choice but to wear my grays and blacks. But I didn’t want to look like it’s the end of the world, so I wore my red suede heels to add a punch of color to my dull Saturday clothes choice.

I think RED is the perfect party-starter. The contrast of colors is very noticeable, and I just love it.

Flats are okay, too; however, if you want to add more attitude, I say wear heels. Heeled shoes make you look confident and TALL. I’m only five feet, but heels can elongate the legs thus making the wearer look taller. Couple them with mini-skirts or shorts, and you’ll look more statuesque. Skirts and shorts that are below the knees can make height-deficient people look shorter. 🙂

Hype the look on lookbook and chictopia.

Thank you Katt Maxwell for taking my photos. 🙂

Boardwalk’s 100 Models Search

Boardwalk, one of the country’s most successful direct-selling companies, has recently announced their 100 Models Search:

 

All experienced and amateur models are welcome to join as long as they fit the following requirements:

1. 16 – 24 years old

2. Must be physically fit, tall, long-legged and lean. At least 5’8 height for females, 5’11 for males

3. Must have no existing contract in conflict with the rules of the contest/employment with any direct selling company

4. Must be available anytime for go-sees, rehearsals and show dates.

There will be thousands of applicants for sure, so Boardwalk came up with a criteria for them to choose the best 100:

1. 30%Je ne sais quoi. The intangible quality that makes a person distinctive or attractive.

2. 30% – Personality, Uniqueness, Style

3. 30% – Physical appearance. Skin, hair, eyes, body shape, extremities, overall look.

4. 10% – Ability to comprehend and follow instructions.

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

1. If you (or someone you know), dear reader, fits the above requirements and criteria, get Boardwalk 100 Models Search Application Form from any Boardwalk branch/head office OR download the application form HERE.

2. Send filled-up 100 Models Search Form with 1 close up, 1 half body and 1 full body shot color photos 4R(4”x6”) in a short manila envelope not later than March 31, 2011 to:

ONE BIG SHOW MODEL SEARCH SECRETARIAT

1508, 15th Floor, West Tower PSE Center, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

 

or email to modelsearch@boardwalk.com.ph

For those submitting application via email, photos should not exceed 1MB each.

 

3. Wait for a Go See invitation through email.

4. Attend Go See on dates and venues specified on your Go See email invite.

Go See to choose 100 qualifiers:

 

APRIL 6 & 8, 2011 at Unit 512, 5th Flr. West Tower, PSE Center, Exchange Road,

Ortigas Center, Pasig City


5. Wait for Go See results through email. 50 Male and 50 Female Models will be chosen to join the show.

6. If you are among the 100 who qualified, you will be required to attend the Final Call and Judging for TOP MODELS on April 16, 2011. Venue to be announced.

7. While 50 Male and 50 Female Models will be chosen to do the show, only ONE MALE and ONE FEMALE will be declared TOP MODELS. They will get P250,000 worth of modeling contract each.

8. Employees of Boardwalk and its sister companies including their relatives up to second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining this contest.

For more information, visit http://boardwalk.com.ph/

 

Shopping for Branded Clothes Has Never Been This Easy and CHEAP!

Ever since I got my Paypal account, I developed the habit of shopping online. I was in college that time and didn’t know how to spend the money I got for writing articles online (my bank back then didn’t know what the heck Paypal is so I had no choice but to use it for online shopping.). Anyhoo, last month, I received an e-mail from Brandsfever.

Brandsfever is an invite-only online shopping club in the Philippines and Singapore that offers international fashion and lifestyle brands (e.g., Nike, PinkSoda, A-MOD) at up to 70% discount! Holy guacamole! That’s quite a big discount, right? So, being a sucker for fashion, I accepted their invite. I am yet to make my first purchase, I’ll let you know if I have.

Upon signing up, I was immediately awarded Php 500 which I can already use for purchasing. Aside from that, I was also given the privilege to invite as many people as I want. So, as a gift of gratitude for reading this post and for (hopefully) commenting, I am posting an invite so you could also enjoy being in an exclusive shopping club and marveling at the items they have on sale. Just click the link below:

Sign up for Brandsfever here.

***

You can also try signing up for AVA. Like Brandsfever, it’s also an invite-only shopping club that offers up 70% off on designer goods such as Prada, Armani, Aranaz, among others.

And since I’m already a member, I can invite other people to join. I provided an invite link below if you want to get your hands on those lovely designer items at less than half of their original price. Quality is guaranteed so no need to worry of knock-offs. Their items are 100% authentic! 🙂

Sign up for AVA here.

Make sure not to remove my name as the referrer or your registration will not be processed. Remember, it’s invite only.  🙂

Thank you! Enjoy shopping!

***

CREDITS:

http://www.youngupstarts.com/2010/07/26/private-invite-only-online-shopping-with-brandsfever/

http://welovejenni.blogspot.com/2011/01/online-shop-ava-is-here.html

Spring This Look for Spring

This year’s spring and summer look is all about florals and prints and lots of colors. Spring is about to start in foreign countries while we Pinoys are getting ready for the summer. Yes, it may be kind of redundant wearing florals and other colorful pieces in spring, but you cannot wear dark, heavy colors while soaking yourself in the heat and fun, could you?

Floral dresses, as I have noticed, are the easiest items to wear. Why you ask? Because it needs minimal styling. You don’t have to pile up tons of accessories because the dress itself is already an eyecatcher. With all that print, accessories are not required; slip in some flats and you’re good to go.

Check out how Zuzi wore her floral dress:

Or if you can’t live without any accessory, try donning a hat and a thin belt like Elle Ribera‘s style:

Wearing those heels with socks will give your look more attitude.

I’m more of a minimalist though when it comes to styling, so I just chose a pretty floral dress with pockets for a younger, go-getter vibe:

Since I wasn’t wearing any accessories, I added flair by curling my hair instead:

Katt Maxwell, a friend/colleague of mine who's been very kind and helpful to me today, told me that this was my signature pose and expression, which, unfortunately, I couldn't perfect when we took this. *sobs*

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE.

They say shoes can make any bland outfit fabulous. And I couldn’t agree more.

Floral dress at Cocco| Awesome Charles & Keith heels willingly lent by Katt (who was also the photographer for this post. Thank you, Maxwell!)

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia.

 

Wardrobe Switching: The Easiest Way to Create Disparate Looks

Although I love shopping and I always see to it I buy something new each payday, I cannot wear the same thing everyday or every week for that matter. Buying another dress, skirt, or tank top just for the sake of having a different look every single day is just very impractical and, not to mention, expensive. So what I do instead is recycle clothes and “wardrobe switch.”

Sometimes when my dress is too short for the office, I use it as a top. I have also visualized using skirts as a top but I wasn’t sure if it would fit my torso. Luckily, my hip is the same size as my bust!

Below are photos where two of my skirts were interchangeably used as a tube top and a skirt.

This one looks a little bit sexy and sensual to me.

And this is a more innocent, girly look. (Forgive me for the lack of accessories. )

It’s indeed surprising how one ensemble could create two distinct looks.

Hype the look on lookbook and chictopia.

How to Wear Crop Tops With Style

The Philippines is quite a conservative country. Any outfit that shows more skin than the usual would elicit lots of stares from people–from admiration to disgust–depending on their fashion awareness. The summer season, however, is the time of the year that it’s almost excusable to wear anything short and revealing, except in schools, churches, offices, and even malls.

Karlie Kloss for Vogue

Swimsuits are like the beach uniform, but if you’re a little more conservative, crop tops are the best summer outfit option:

PHOTO CREDIT: Julia Monson at http://lookbook.nu/look/703891-CROP
PHOTO CREDIT: Lindsey Lugrin at http://lookbook.nu/look/1345225-Its-been-a-warm-winter

SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO WEAR THEM

1. Crops tops can be worn with shorts (denim, preferably) or fitted jeans.

Kryz Uy of http://thirstythought.wordpress.com

2. Accessorize them with belts and necklaces to add some attitude.

Tricia Gosingtian of http://triciawillgoplaces.tumblr.com

3. Or pair them with harem pants and classy or statement heels.

4. But if you’re not into showing your tummy, you can wear a tank top, a bandeau, or any garment under it.

I tried wearing one today. I was slightly worried and scared that I might not pull off the look:


If you got Lookbook and Chictopia, you can hype the look here and here respectively.

My crop top is sheer so I wore a lace top under it. I accessorized by layering a couple of necklaces and putting on a handwoven belt for a more relaxed feel.

I also tried to add some cutesiness by wearing the accessories above. 🙂

For more ideas on how to wear crop tops, go here.

Revlon PhotoReady Compact Makeup Review

As I have shared in my previous post, I always consider performance and cost in purchasing makeup. The case is different when I buy foundation, (although I never bought one in my life until this past Saturday) it’s the base for your makeup and it covers the entire face so you can’t risk buying a defective one.

I’m a compact/loose powder type of person and never liked wearing foundation (be it powder or liquid) in my ordinary everyday life. But since Saturday’s events required me to buy one, I headed over to Revlon. I have heard good reviews about it so I decided to go for it. With eyes shut, I pulled out Php1,000 and paid for Revlon PhotoReady Compact Makeup:

The Revlon PhotoReady Compact Makeup is different from the Revlon PhotoReady Makeup. The latter is only liquid, while the former is like a compact powder and liquid foundation in one.

What’s inside is a cream-like substance that turns to liquid when you push the screen. The compact comes with a sponge. Sorry if it looks used already. Couldn’t wait to try it:

CLAIMS:

-Perfected, poreless airbrushed skin in any light
-Liquefying screen turns cream to liquid, then dries to a soft powder finish
-Photochromatic pigments bend and reflect light to help erase every flaw
-SPF 20
-Oil free, fragrance free.
-Complete, yet virtually undetectable coverage.
-Soft luminous finish

(Source)

Below are a Before-and-After shots.

BEFORE: Bare-faced me

It’s not obvious here but I happened to have red spots on my cheek. I dunno how I got it, but I tried Revlon nonetheless.

AFTER: With Revlon PhotoReady Compact Makeup

I only applied a few strokes and the skin tone evened out. Unlike other foundations, Revlon PhotoReady gives very natural coverage, true to its claim above. It doesn’t clump either, even when you perspire. There are also some silverdust-like thingies when it’s applied. That’s probably what Revlon calls as photochromatic pigments which help give that flawless finish when photographed. I used it for an afternoon photo shoot here along with this one.

The best thing about it is that it has long staying power, that if you plan on wearing it until midnight, you need not worry about reapplying. Below is a photo of me after the photo shoot:

I'm the one at the middle. I still looked fresh (minus the eye bags. HAHA) even if it was already 11 in the evening. No re-application was done, honest. (Photo credit: Aiza Labios)

Revlon PhotoReady Compact Makeup comes in 7 different shades–ivory, vanilla, shell, natural beige, middle beige, cool beige, and rich ginger–so you can identify easily and correctly the most suitable shade for your skin. I used natural beige. 🙂

No wonder it costs so high. It delivers.

Have you tried it, too? What do you think of it? 🙂

Conceal That Spot: Basic Beauty Concealer Review

One thing I learned about shopping for make-up is to try the testers AND that you are never required to buy an item after testing it. The tester is there to give you an idea of how it looks and feels–if it’s what you need or if you’re not allergic to it. Another thing is to not buy at the same day of testing. You wouldn’t know if you’re allergic to that product if you buy it rightaway; the best thing to do is to let it stay on your skin for a few hours, or minutes.

With these learning in mind, I went to every make-up counter at Landmark and tried the stuff I needed for a photo shoot the next day (obviously, I was tasked to be the make-up artist). I started from Revlon, CoverGirl, Fanny Serrano, Nichido, Ever Bilena, Basic Beauty, to Ianti. I’ve been looking for the best concealer in malls, and by best I consider performance and cost. Yeah sure, Revlon, MAC, CoverGirl, and other make-up giants may be one of the best performing ones out there, but their cost are too hefty for students and even for average wage earners like me. Nichido was my best friend for years, but I constantly had trouble with it whenever the room temperature gets high. It sort of melts and looks eeky, it starts to stick on its cover and case. I never wanted that kind of trouble, very untidy.

So I headed to Basic Beauty. I was a little skeptical testing their items at first. Their packaging is not as impressive as the others, you know. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a new brand:

But since the sales person was very nice, I let her introduce to me the product. I asked questions after (if the brand is new, if it melts in high temperature, blah blah blah). It’s the brand’s best seller, she said, even if it was just recently launched. Below are the other claims:

  • It’s hypoallergenic.
  • It’s dermatologist-tested.
  • It’s fragrance-free.
  • It’s doesn’t clump nor chalk.

Sorry, I used it already after taking this shot that’s why it looks a little, uhh, used. 🙂

True enough, I didn’t get any uncomfortable feeling when I tested it. It blends really well on my skin, plus it’s a little dry so there was no sticky feel either. It’s like a compact powder with concealing abilities, you know what I mean? It looks very natural!

BEFORE

I don’t know if you can see them, but I have thin lines below and at the corner of my eyes. The color of my eye area is also uneven with the rest of my facial skin.

AFTER

Lines are gone. And the skin is toned and even. (The After photo’s brightness changed a bit, one light in our office got switched off while I and my friend was taking this. Sorry, but I assure you, there were no manipulations.)

The product has three variations–light, medium, and dark to suit every skin tone. I used light, I have a pale face. Anyhoo, this concealer costs a meager Php179.00. Slightly pricier than Nichido, but it’s worth the extra pesos. I found Basic Beauty in Landmark, Trinoma, so I believe it’s available in all Ayala Malls. Like their Facebook page to get updates on their products.

Check here for studio shots where I used the concealer.

On a totally unrelated note, I know this Before-and-After photo might freak you out a bit. I was. HAHA. Reminds me of The Ring. Creepy. Bye! 🙂

Getting Ready for Prom: The Vania Romoff Prom Collection

22 years old and I’m still obsessed about prom. It’s one of the most exciting events in high school, and when I was young I never got the chance to wear my dream prom dress. You are probably here to know the best style for your upcoming prom (or I indirectly forced you to read my entry for traffic’s sake. Lulz.).  Anyway, we are so used to seeing floor-length dresses and gowns during that special night, but many of us fail to consider other cuts and style that can also be fit for prom.

Vania Romoff

Young designer Vania Romoff, one of Preview’s Designers to Watch for 2010, has recently collaborated with The Ramp for the prom season. Her designs were all cut short into dresses, accentuated with huge details like gigantic bows, flow, and color play.
White and candy colors + ribbons = chic and youthful

If I were a high school student myself, I would prefer dresses rather than gowns. They are something you can definitely wear for the prom after-party!

Forever 21 + St. Francis Square = A Must-Love

Ali and I usually have lazy weekends together. We just normally eat, sleep, watch movies, and surf the net on those days. So today, to spice things up a bit, we decided to go outside Quezon City. She’d been urging me for weeks to visit St. Francis Square for there are lots of goodies there. And since it was just right behind Megamall, I asked her that we pass by Forever 21.

Whenever I go to Megamall, I always make sure to visit Forever 21 even if I do not have intentions of buying. Just looking at the store and its incredibly fashionable items makes me blissful!

Forever 21 has the most amazing pairs of shoes 🙂

Yep, that’s me trying on some nude wedges. I know what I want next time. Hee.

Read more.

How to Make a Customized Widget

I am not an expert on computer programming and all those HTML voodoo. But one thing I like about myself is my love for explorations and experiments. And they have become easier through the help of the world wide web.

Yesterday, I was able to make my own Bloglovin’ widget using my own picture. Huzzah!

I already got bored of having the same widgets as everyone else’s. Aside from that, widgets provided by varied social networking sites are very inflexible, makes it difficult for users (who do not know anything about HTML) to edit and tweak the codes to suit their preferences.

Today, I tried to make another widget for my Plurk account using only link html (or whatever it is called). I was a little skeptical at first if it will work, but I tried it anyhow. Below are the steps:

  1. Of course, you have to have first the photo you’d like to make as widget:
  2. Have the image hosted. Flickr and Photobucket are the widely used ones. But for convenience, your WordPress can also serve as the host. Just make a new post (/wp-admin/post-new.php) and upload your photo. Then copy the link (do not forget to hit “insert to post” and “save draft”):
  3. In another tab or window, open Widgets (/wp-admin/widgets.php). I mentioned that I used the link html, and inserted the image source html as well: <a href=”website“><img alt=”I dunno what to put here but I placed plurk” border=”0″ src=”image link“></a>. Choose a TEXT widget, place it on the sidebar and copy and paste the link html you see above. Insert your website link and the image source link (what you copied on step no. 2):
  4. And you’re done. To even out the margins, you can have your customized widget centered by just typing <CENTER> before and after the code:
  5. Now, you have your custom-made widget! Yay! Try experimenting them with other sites, too. One advice I have to give you though is  to always keep a back-up copy of the original codes just in case the new ones won’t work.

Enjoy! 🙂

Modeling 101: Who is a Fashion Model?

When we think of a fashion model, we imagine statuesque, thin-framed individuals. That’s understandable because that’s what we usually see in magazines and catwalks. We have to consider though that fashion modeling is not just about magazines and catwalks, although they are both means of advertising products.

A model is a person who poses or displays for purposes of art, fashion, or other products and advertising. These cover commercial, runway, painting and such. Therefore, models can be classified into two types:

    Whitney Thompson, ANTM winner, plus size

  1. High fashion models. These are the people you often see walking the runway and gracing the magazines. They are usually 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet in height, and 0 in size. (I know right. How can someone be that tall yet that small. Now we know why some models are anorexic. Being a high fashion model is a lot of stress.)
  2. Commercial models. I call them the normal people.  Commercial modeling is less restrictive than fashion modeling because it is where you can find both petite (5’7″ and below) and plus-sized persons (size 14 and higher). (Just imagine if all advertisements you see on TV are sky-high gals. That won’t be very realistic.)

So there is really truth in the saying that fashion is for everyone. Or shall I say, modeling is for everyone. If you are an aspiring model, you just have to know which department you and your statistics fit better and take it from there. It is definitely a plus if you can act and photograph well.

CREDITS: http://lafashionistabybiancazanetti.onsugar.com, http://www.apparelsearch.com

I Wanna Be a Model: The Traps You Should Look Out For

Gisele Bundchen, richest supermodel

It is every teenager’s dream to be a model. Who doesn’t when you get to wear all the fabulous clothes, get freebies, take beautiful pictures, earn a year’s income of a minimum wage worker in just one project, and of course, be recognized by everyone. It’s a no-brainer how girls are easily enticed whenever someone comes up to them and asks them to model. I must say, however, that I am not an expert on this topic. I’d just like to share some of my experiences and what I have learned through other people. I AM NOT A MODEL, but I have undergone some of the process of becoming one, and boy, I’m telling you it’s not as glamorous as how people think it is. Being part of the modeling industry means you have to invest a lot–time, hard work, patience, and emotions (well, except for those who already have the connections or happen to possess “the look” the agents are casting for). And because there are douchebags who know that there are people who are willing to sacrifice anything for a dream, they take advantage. Below are some things you have to look out for:

  1. Bogus talent/modeling agencies. Talent/modeling agencies are sprouting like mushrooms nowadays. They lure their potential victims by guaranteeing them work or by boasting their roster of talents. First, modeling agencies cannot guarantee an aspirant a project because it all depends on the demands and requirements of the client. Agencies find projects for the models, they are not the source of the projects. Second, it’s easy to copy and paste pictures from Google, you know, so you can’t be really assured of that.
  2. Registration and advertising fees (or any term similar) and upfront payments. If they tell you that you have to pay a some sort of a registration fee or an advertising fee so that you can get exposure, I say walk out the door. According to the New York City Consumer Affairs, it’s illegal. But sometimes they are a little more creative, they would schedule you for a setcard and portfolio shoot but then they’ll ask you to pay for it. Yes, some photographers may ask payment for setcard and portfolio generation, but it is the agency’s responsibility to pay for them and for other requirements, it’s their investment; anyway when you get booked for projects, they will get their money back. If your agency is asking for these kind of stuff, take a step back because it may be a scam.

What can you do to avoid all these hassle? The only answer is proper research. When someone approaches you and tells you that you would make a great model, don’t be swooned! Ask for his/her card (or at least his/her full name and agency), then verify if the agency he/she belongs to is a member of the Talent Agents’ Organization. Talent Agents’ Organization (TAO) is a professional organization of legitimate and topnotch agents in the Philippines. It’s notable members are Faces Model Agency, W Talent Management, Reco Models, Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP), Mercator Model Management, and many others. And If you decide to visit the agency, it is never embarrassing to bring along someone for your safety.

CREDITS: http://www.facesmodelagency.com/eventstao.htm, http://www.modelingscams.org

Reinventing Accessories

I preoccupied myself with lots of things today. I did the laundry, organized our room, and fixed some of my stuff. While doing the latter, I realized I have tons of accessories already and that I need to stop myself from buying more. My jewelry box is oozing with them and yesterday, I had to buy another box to place the excess ones. As I was grouping them, I found this cute black bracelet which I haven’t worn in ages:

Unfortunately, it’s broken. It could have been a cool statement accessory; the buttons have really nice details (with the floral and stripe designs and all), it’d be such a waste to just throw them out. So I thought, why not make them into rings? I’ve been drooling over those connector rings from Forever 21 but their prices just don’t suit my budget, but hey I can totally make my own, right, without having to spend thousands of bucks. Read more.