Reds Never Stay ;_;

Since my post on the Garnier Nutrisse: R3 Light Intense Auburn had become really popular over the past two years, I figured that I’d become a redhead again. Easier said than done. My first attempt with Garnier Nutrisse: #56 Medium Reddish Brown (Sangria) last month resulted in a very dark burgundy brown that only looked red in strong sunlight, and faded almost immediately within 2 or 3 washes. I’m not even going to provide photos; not worth it.

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Thankfully, my second attempt the other week with L’Oreal Féria: R57 Intense Medium Auburn (Cherry Crush) was a bit more successful. Although not as vibrant as I would like, it came out more of a deep mahogany. Again, the color didn’t stay for very long. Now it’s faded to a very warm dark brown with red undertones, getting lighter towards the ends. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

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My new endeavor is to find out how I can manage the dip-dye hair trend at home. Sure, there are plenty of excellent DIY tutorials on YouTube and several of my favorite blogs. But if done wrong, I can seriously look like a ratchet mess. Which is why I’m considering getting it professionally done at a salon come mid-Spring. Here are some photos of Jamie Chung rocking her beautiful ombre locks. I’m still deciding whether I want my gradient to go from black to brown, or brown to blonde. What do you guys think?

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And while we’re on the topic of red, I was invited to a wedding this May and was perusing around the interwebz for a fancy dress. Although a little too formal for the occasion in question, I came across this high-low gown that is definitely drool-worthy! I’m a sucker for bold, contrasting underlay fabric that tastefully peeks through. I can actually imagine myself wearing this while working some Latin ballroom magic of the dance floor. *sigh* It’s a shame that it costs upwards of $300. x_x So my search continues for something less extravagant, but equally as stunning. Until next time! ^.^

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Trend Alert: Bralettes

A few weeks ago, I attended my first large-scale rave: Naughty Neon 3D. And to be honest, it was one of the best nights of my life. Why? Because it combined three of my favorite things: music, dancing, and good vibes. I can’t even express how infectious the energy was from the crowd. <3

Unfortunately, I have neither the body or bravery to dress up like the typical raver girl. Half of them were literally only wearing bikini tops and hot shorts, and it was the middle of February! D: All the power to you if you do, but personally it’s not for me. At dance clubs, I prefer to be a little more practical and conservative.. which is why I rock the popular new bralette trend.

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Wearing a bralette is a great alternative to wearing an itty-bitty piece of clothing that shows off your entire midriff. Unlike boxy crop tops, these fit snugly around your figure instead of draping loosely and end right above your belly button. If you don’t have the flattest stomach, they pair excellently with high-waisted skirts! Not only is your belly concealed, but your torso is elongated by the small sliver of naked skin in between. Less can be more, in the right situations. ;)

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In the case that you don’t want to wear a high-waisted skirt, bralettes can also look fabulous with a simple pair of skinny jeans. Just remember to balance your top half by layering something more modest on top. Disregarding the terrible camera phone quality, below are two examples of outfits I’ve worn out recently on weekend nights. Pairing the same two boohoo bralettes pictured above with denim leggings, I kept it classy with a structured blazer and a semi-sheer tie blouse on top, both in black because it’s slimming. :D

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While we’re on the topic of looking slim, I’m proud to say that I’ve lost several pounds over the last month! :) My secret? Eating healthy and working out. I never realized how much of an effect going to the gym three times per week actually makes. I’m more well-rested at night, and it puts me in a good mood if I’m having a particularly bad day. If you guys are interested, my friends at eMeals provide some really useful resources on a clean eating meal plan. I’m more motivated than ever to get in shape – so much so that I even rewarded myself with a spontaneous new piercing this past weekend. ;D Until next time!

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The Bustle Skirt

After seeing the lovely Emilie Autumn perform at Gramercy Theater last Friday, I was inspired by her dark twist on Victorian fashion. Somewhere between Gothic and Burlesque, she and her backup dancers wore beautiful costumes that made the concert seem more like a Broadway musical. While corsets have always had a special place in my heart, I was more fascinated by their modern-day bustle skirts.

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Condensed from Wikipedia:
Bustles were originally designed to expand the fullness of the back of a woman’s dress during the mid-to-late 19th century. Typically a Victorian fashion, the shape created by the combination of a bustle and corset accentuated the rump, waist, and bosom – resulting in highly idealized representations of female sexual identity, simultaneously exaggerating and concealing the body’s figure.

If I owned a bustle skirt, it would render the illusion of my narrow hips looking fuller and my thick waist appearing more slender – even if just for costuming purposes. I’ve always yearned for an hourglass figure, but genetics have proven it impossible for me. Regardless of how much I work out or diet, the rest of me shrinks while my middle stays the same. ;_; (If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend my fellow blogger Christal’s post about apple-shaped bodies.)

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Over the years, the burlesque industry has adapted the once-conservative fashion trend into something more risqué. Instead of being worn under a dress, modern bustle skirts are typically short and worn alone over lingerie. The fabric can range from sheer organza to dupion silk, depending on the quality. Personally, I’m completely in love with this elegant piece from Lovechild Boudoir, appropriately named Lady Lovecraft.

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But as with most things, excellence comes with a price. And I’m not about to spend $100+ on something I may only wear a handful of times. I can definitely see myself frolicking about in one of these at conventions, raves, Halloween parties, and Renaissance Faires.. but I currently have financial priorities. :< Thankfully, there are some cheaper alternatives! Leg Avenue carries a burlesque line of clothing, which includes these adorable striped bustle skirts which go for as low as $14 on Amazon. Flimsy and thin, yes. But practical for the amateur costume enthusiast? Absolutely. :3

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While we’re on the topic of burlesque, I really wish it hadn’t died out as an art form. It emphasized that curvy women are downright gorgeous, and we really don’t get enough of that in the media nowadays. Rarely am I ever impressed by current society’s standard that “anorexic” is “sexy”. In fact, I am awestruck by the beauty of buxom pin-up models like the legendary Dita Von Teese. So much so that last month I purchased this chemise inspired by her iconic look, courtesy of Wicked Temptations.

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Maybe one day I’ll even muster up the courage and confidence to take one of those burlesque classes in the city so often featured on Living Social. ;D

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Trend Alert: Leopard Print Fur Coats

Hey, guys! Remember my post about different winter outerwear options? Well, since this season is coming to a close soon, I finally gave in and purchased a leopard print faux fur coat. :3 There’s just something so glamorous about them when paired with a simple outfit underneath. It’s definitely a piece that needs to be worn with confidence, though.

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Personally, I’m a firm believer that leopard print should only be worn with black and muted shades. And denim is entirely a hit or miss, depending on the wash. Mixing it with other prints and bolder colors can be be distracting, but all the power to you if you can rock it with the palette of your wardrobe. :P

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I’m the kind of girl who won’t spend a fortune on something trendy, since I’d rather invest in items that I know I’ll be wearing more often. Therefore, I placed my very first bid on eBay the other week with my new iPhone app and won this lovely cropped jacket for only $10. :)

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When it arrived in the mail, I was a bit surprised by how short it was. I know the description in the listing had mentioned it was a cropped coat, but the photo made it look deceivingly longer. The seller said it’s a size S in junior’s, but to be honest I think it’s an XS – so it was a bit too snug around the bust, and the sleeves could be a little longer. Otherwise, I’m quite pleased. Mostly because the color has a gradient to it, unlike other coats that have a consistent shade and pattern all over. In my opinion, this just makes it look more natural and toned down.

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Like my style? Hype it on Lookbook! ~ Heads Will Roll

In other news, I’ve been thinking about filling out applications to larger fashion websites who are looking for a part-time blogger. (The extra income would be incredibly useful in paying off my student loans quicker.) Thankfully, my friends at Loka provide a service that transforms any boring resume into a head-turning piece of graphic design, definitely useful for more artistically-inclined professions. So be sure to check out their website to find more information. Until next time! ^.^
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When You’re The One Who Loves Less

In light of Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, I just wanted to reflect briefly on my identity as a lover and how it’s changed over the past few years. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend the Thought Catalog article When You’re The One Who Loves Less. I can relate so closely with the author, it’s almost terrifying.

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When you’re the one who loves less, you take the other person for granted. They try so hard to make you happy, to make you feel complete, to prove that they deserve your love – as if it’s a privilege that must constantly be earned. But no matter how much time or effort they put into making the relationship work, the inevitable truth is that you can’t give them what they want or need. But why do you stay? Because it’s comforting, convenient, and familiar. Because you’re afraid to be alone. Because you have this hole inside your heart that you’re trying so desperately to fill with the first person who is willing to devote themselves completely to you.

And when you finally have the courage to leave them, you ruin their lives. Not forever, but long enough. You think about single instances where you could have been more considerate, more affectionate, a better human being to them. You feel selfish. You ask yourself if you’re even capable of commitment anymore, even though it’s the only thing you’ve ever truly wanted. Months go by and you wonder if you had made the right decision. What if you had taken the risk, packed your bags, invested yourself fully in that person, and never looked back? Regret starts to sink in.

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But then it suddenly hits you: This isn’t the first time you’ve been here. You scrutinize every relationship you’ve ever been in, regardless of how serious, and realize that you were always the one who loved less – and it’s shameful. So when someone new walks into your life, no matter how wonderful they may be, you’re perpetually second-guessing yourself. Wondering if you’ll get it right this time. Hoping that one day you’ll finally become the one who loves equally.

Until one night, as if reading your mind, they tell you what it’s like to be the one who always loved more. How they were left feeling insufficient, abandoned, and so easily replaceable in past relationships. And when they confide in you the single most intimate and devastating moment in their life, it dawns on you that this is it. This is the most vulnerable part of them, and they were entrusting you with it. As if to hand you their still-beating heart and tell you, “Do whatever you want with it.” And it hurts so much that you’re guilty of being the villain in a tragedy too similar. But there’s just something so sincere about this kind of intimacy that you have no time to think, just feel. And for the first time in too long, you’re optimistic.

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Nico Lang couldn’t have worded it better:
“Love doesn’t happen all at once; love grows inside of you; love is built through trust, communication and respect and that takes time and openness. If you want to be the one who loves, you need to stop focusing so much on the end goal and enjoy where you are at now, and if you can’t, that’s when you get out. Because you might wake up one day and discover that the life you have now — that life of shared dishes and Christmas stockings with their name on it — is love. You might not be able to call it that yet, but it’s there waiting for you — whenever you’re ready for it. ”

I can now recognize that my major flaw was being impatient – wanting life to breeze by too quickly, and fast forward to the “good parts.” But I’ve learned that it doesn’t work like that. Expecting too much too soon will inevitably lead to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go the way you planned. It’s the journey to the final destination that makes it more meaningful and worthwhile, after all. I admit that I’ve made mistakes in the past, but I also think I’ve developed into someone who can now appreciate relationships for what they are instead of what I can get out of them. With that said.. I am truly grateful to be able to say that I couldn’t be happier with who I’m with right now, and I look forward to spending a fulfilling future with them.signature3signature5

Miss KL Haul

I can’t resist a good sale. Especially when already discounted items are 33% off. I’ve always been a fan of the urban chic style on Karma Loop and ever since they released their ladies-only website Miss KL, I have been lusting for their amazing collection of clothing and accessories. Since everything is usually too pricey for me, I jumped at my chance to order while the promotion was still available. ;)

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The Bangle Set, $22.00 $8.54 // The More Action Necklace, $20.00 $8.54

I’ve finally accepted that gold and bronze jewelry compliment my skin tone better than silver. (About time, huh?) And since I already have slim wrists, I figured that these thin bangles would make them look even daintier. Shortly after opening my package, though, I found they were a little loose around my wrists. It’s not too inconvenient, but I can always wear them as armbands like those exotic depictions of Greek Goddesses and Egyptian Queens in older films. ;D

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The bullet necklace was exactly what I had been expecting, but I was surprised that the chain can be adjusted into a headband as well! :o Definitely need to try that out sometime. :P And I was able to score this Betsey Johnson ring for 75% off because there was only one left in stock. I was hoping that “one size fits all” would be accurate in this case, since the band is stretchy. But it’s a tad too loose on my middle finger – not enough to fall off completely, though.

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Betsey Johnson Ring, $45.00 $11.85 // Feather & Lace Headband $8.00 $5.28

I do admit that this headband was purchased purely on a whim because I thought it looked fancy. >.<; Excuse my derp face, but I was a little uncomfortable with how stiff the lace on the headband is. I suppose it helps keep the shape, but since it hangs down onto my face a bit, I find it a little itchy. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent accessory to spice up an otherwise plain outfit. It reminds me of femme fatale inspired fashion, you know? I actually plan to wear it to a rave this upcoming weekend, if I can put together a killer outfit to match! :D

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Next up.. some of you already know from my previous posts that I’m a sucker for sexy lingerie – especially when it can double purpose as a cute top underneath a cardigan or blazer. I tend to only purchase pieces with underwire, since my figure isn’t very cooperative with flimsier styles like babydolls. Appropriately, while I was adding this bustier to my shopping bag, these tights showed up in the “Recommended For You” sidebar and it was love at first sight. :3

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Vintage Mix Bustier, $34.00 $13.17 // Black Chain Tights, $14.00 $9.24

I ordered the bustier in Medium, and it fits like a glove. My favorite part about it? It has amazing push-up abilities. I swear my cleavage looked a whole cup size larger! >.<; There are several rows of tiny hook-and-eye clasps running up the back like a corset to adjust the sizing, and the fabric is actually more vivid and less sheer than suggested in the photo. It doesn’t feel cheap at all, and the garters are removable. :D

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No photoshop, I swear. I think I’m actually getting more toned? :o

As for the tights, they’re a bit inconvenient to pull on because you need to be careful not to accidentally poke holes through the sheer part of them. The opaque part of the tights are actually really thick and feel like leggings. I think it’s cute that it looks looks like you’ve layered thigh-highs over the stockings. Additionally, the chain-garter illusion and ribbons are a nice touch. :P

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The Black Deck, $10.00 $6.60 // Tokidoki Polpettina Vinyl Toy, $12.00 $5.25

And just because I’m a spontaneous online shopper, I bought my boyfriend the coolest pack of cards. We often find ourselves at a friend’s house wanting to play Crazy Eights but can never find a deck, so at least we’ll be prepared next time. XD Lastly, I thought this tokidoki vinyl toy would make a great addition to the others that I’ve received as presents from friends. :)

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Overall, I’m impressed with how fast Miss KL ships. My package arrived in only four business days after placing the order, and all items were true to the photos on the website. I would definitely recommend shopping here if it’s your kind of style, but only when they’re having sales like this one. Until next time! ^.^
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