Tips for fashion

/ Wednesday, July 31, 2013 /
There are a bunch of websites that talk about flattering types of clothes for different body types. However, these body types are pretty generalized. For example, they will give particular tips for straight body types, hourglass, triangle, pear, apple, etc.

However, I have yet to come across any complete websites for specialized body types like mine.

My body type is an amalgamation of shapes. I am sort-of like an hourglass in that my waist and chest measurements differ by about 8-9 inches, yet I am not the designated "hourglass shape" because I have yet to reach the ideal 10 inches. I am a petite 5' 2'', yet at the same time, I am definitely not flat-chested  like how most sites that talk about petite clothing discuss clothes that should fit for those body types.

I noticed over the years that I've had to discover for myself what types of clothes fit well, which types of clothes looked better on me, etc. Back in grade school, we had dress codes, and as a result I always looked pretty frumpy and could not dress the way I wished to. It was only during and after college when I was able to finally express myself fully.

Thus, without further ado, here are some outfits from my previous OOTDs and my critiques of them. I definitely do not claim to be a fashion guru and definitely have made a bunch of mistakes in clothing. However, here are some tips that one can learn from my mistakes!

Tip 1: Make sure clothes fit properly.


I wore this outfit to class sometime last semester. I got this shirt from a friend in college, who was moving away and gave me a lot of her clothes. Even though I really liked this shirt from Banana Republic, it did not fit well. This shirt is pretty large and was made for a person who is a lot taller than I am. My friend is 5' 10'' (at least) and so could pull this off, but I certainly could not. Also, this shirt was a size M - definitely a bit too loose for me. Even though this shirt provides a lot of coverage, it is too large and looks pretty frumpy on me.

Tip #2: Create a contrast.

The one thing I can comment that worked out ok was the contrast between my top and bottom: while my top was very loose, my bottom made up for it by being more fitted in the form of tights. The black tights and black shoes created a longer-appearing leg. The pop of color was provided by the necklace, accented by the red trimming of my cardigan. Color matching/accenting is important too!


Tip #3: Create a waistline. As you see in the outfit above, I definitely went for a biker chick-esque look. Without the belt, I would've looked very disproportioned, but the cinch definitely added a plus bonus. I was not going for anything particularly "fashionable" here - it was more of a rebelling mode.


Tip #4: Shake things up. As you see in the outfit above, there are several factors that pop out. The cinched waist, layering with the long shirt and hoodie. The animal-patterned tights definitely make a statement that gives somewhat of a "I'm interesting and dangerous" feel, in a way. The top half of the outfit looks pretty innocent, accented with a popping bracelet and a subtle necklace, but the bottom half  boldly states "I have another side" as well. Definitely a popper.


Tip #5: Make sure your skirts are of appropriate length. I definitely cannot wear long skirts - they make me look like I am a Puritan from the 1700s. However, this layered mini-skirt fits quite well. With the accent of the necklace it looks pretty well-proportioned. Hey, small things for small people (in a way), right? XD


Tip #6: Layering is really fun. As you can see in the picture above, I have a large jacket on top of a belted cardigan on top of an orange undershirt. The orange brings out a pop of color that contrasts with the rest of the colors. Without that pop, the outfit would look quite drab. On the other hand, the pop is in moderation due to the layering effect. With more layers, there are more interesting colors to play with, right?


Tip #7: Add pops of color! As you can see, the outfit above is pretty drab with just a few tones of color. The interesting thing though, is the collar of the purple cardigan - definitely very wide and open, suggesting a kind of "I'm put together" style.

Contrast that with this:


See what a difference a pop of color (this time in the form of a scarf) can bring? The contrast draws more attention to my face, in a way, and would emphasize my cheeks (well, you can't really see that because my camera's in the way). At the same time, the black booties are similar in color to my pants, creating a single long-length of color, elongating my legs in a way. Of course, the cinched in waist. The hat brings a knitted feel that is different in texture from the rest of m clothes and evokes that "I'm home" feeling.

Tip #8: Accessorize!

Here are some other OOTDs where I've accessorized (accessory close-ups):








There you go! Hope these helped~

Tag: Confessions of a shoeaholic

/ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 /

1. Heels or Flats?
Low, comfortable heels (flats are painful!)

2. What are your go-to shoes?
It depends on the day. On days with lab and in the hospital, sneakers. On nicer days, loafers.

3. What's your favorite shoe trend at the moment?

4. What's your least favavorite shoe trend?

5. What's your most expensive shoe?
Leather boots, $100

6. What are your most wanted pair?
Wanted? Probably by sneakers. They're the most useful.

7. What's your most embarrassing shoe story?
Wearing my flip-flops into a lab and actually performing experiments with them - highly highly dangerous!

8. Pick a shoe and share a story.
This past Black Friday, I was wearing a pair of Journeys loafers. Unfortunately the pair was old and the heels broke into pieces while I was walking around. I ended up tearing off the other pieces of the shoes' heels and had to walk in these newly formed makeshift "slippers" instead XD

9. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Oh, perhaps 30-40.

10. When was the first time you wore heels?
I think in the 5th grade for an orchestra concert.

11. How much do you spend on shoes?
Hmmm... default price goes around a $40. More for boots. DEFINITELY less for flip-flops.

12. Where are your favorite places to buy shoes?
Famous Footwear, Dillard's, Macy's

13. Do you have a pair of shoes you regret purchasing?
Yes. This pair of platform wedges - they were really cute but the angle was just too weird for my foot to walk in them!

14. Show your favorite pair of shoes.

Sources: 1

Review: Eucerin Professional Repair Extremely Dry Skin Lotion

/ Monday, July 29, 2013 /
Eucerin Professional repair extreme dry skin lotion
Photo source

  • FTC: Free sample from mail, but I am not paid or sponsored for any anything
  • States it has a "gluco-glycerol enhanced formula" - very hydrating

Ingredients: Water, Urea, Glycerin, Isopropyl Stearate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glyceryl Glucoside, Sodium Lactate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Nylon-12, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Arginine HCL, Sodium PCA, Lactic Acid, Carnitine, Mannitol, Serine, Sucrose, Citrulline, Glycogen, Histidine HCL, Ceramide 3, Alanine, Threonine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine HCL, Sodium Chloride, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.


  • Very emollient
  • Very hydrating
  • Didn't clog my pores
  • Did have a slight "fresh" fragrance
  • Has glycerin as its 3rd most prominent product (hence hydrating effect)
  • Contains alpha-hydroxy acids
  • Relatively affordable price (on, is $8.39 for 6.8 oz)
  • None
Overall opinion? Really good lotion. Would recommend for winter protection from dryness. Would probably be too hydrating for oily skin (e.g. on face for people with oily skin). Would I purchase the full-sized version of this? Most likely yes!

Products I've used up (pictures only)

/ Saturday, July 20, 2013 /

Brighter By Nature™ SPF 35 Skin tone correcting moisturizer
Lemon Pomegranate Lemon & Pomegranate Lip Cream - C.O. Bigelow - Bath & Body Works

 BioInfusion Critical Care Hair Serum

Photo sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 

The Sunscreen Project, Part 32: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++, No. 23

/ Thursday, July 18, 2013 /
I've always been fascinated by Asian cosmetic, skincare, and beauty products in general. It may seem ironic, but despite being Asian, I haven't used a lot of Asian skincare products. Perhaps it's something about me being in America, perhaps it's me not being exposed to Asian brands other than perhaps Shiseido and Dr. Jart+, but anyway the mystical East has always been a fascination.

I had been looking for a BB cream, and I knew that after the couple I tried from Sephora, I wanted to try one directly from Asia. One that wasn't told at Sephora.

Thus, voila!

FTC: I purchased this product with my own money. I am not compensated for any reviews.



Missha is a Korean company that specializes in beauty products. The Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream was touted to be best offered by the company. Seeing rave reviews across most of the entire WWW made me even more inclined to get it.

It was $30 for 50 ml on the site, but I decided to get mine on Ebay instead. $15, including shipping!

I got shade No. 23 because it seemed closest to bloggers and YouTubers with a skin shade similar to my own. This was especially because it seemed that No 23 was also good for yellow skin toned people (and I believe, as of right now, that my skin tone is yellow).

Of course, here's the ingredients list, from MakeupAlley

Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEF/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Zinc Oxide, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Arbutin, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Hydrolysed Collagen, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane, Caviar Extract, Adenosine, Algae Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide 3, Chamomila Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol. MAY CONTAIN [ /-; Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]

A cursory glance shows that there are a lot of silicone-based ingredients that provide a silky finish. Skin protectants such as dimethicone are also present. There isn't a separate part of the list for the "active ingredients" but I can see on the list that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are present. Yay for zinc oxide!

Thus, every morning for 1.5 weeks, I applied two squirts of this product (that came with a pump). What did I find?

  • Provides high UVA and UVB ray coverage (SPF 42, PA+++)
  • Fit my skin tone very well, even better than the Smashbox, Shiseido, and Dr. Jart+ ones I tried earlier
  • Provides medium coverage
  • Lasted 8 hours
  • Did not make me break out
  • Since it is a physical sunscreen (with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), you will start receiving UV ray production immediately upon application (do not need to wait ~25 min for protection to start like you do for chemical sunscreens)
  • Originally had a more grayish tint upon initial application, but then blended in my face well
  • Has a light scent, which may be a turn-off for some folks
  • Has a lot of oils and plant extracts that some people may find irritating
  • A bit thick for my taste, being thicker than the other BB creams I've tried [feels like a zinc oxide sunscreen (which it basically is!)]
  • Slightly drying to my skin (which has become more dry throughout this past 1/2 year)
Bottom line? This is the best BB cream I've used yet. I think I'll probably buy 1 tube per year or something to use. I definitely recommend this to people of all skin types who aren't allergic to the plant extracts in the ingredients list. I hope that starting in MS-2 year (2nd year of medical school) I won't have to go into Gross Anatomy lab as much (perhaps 1x/week instead of 5) so hopefully my skin won't be as dry for this. Yahoo!

The Sunscreen Project, Part 31: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

/ Monday, July 15, 2013 /
Photo source
FTC: I received a sample of this product from Sephora. I am not compensated for any reviews.
During a recent trip to Sephora, I received several samples of BB creams. The nice lady at Sephora told me that this was her second favorite BB cream, other than the one from Dr. Jart+. She gave me a hefty sample and told me to try it out to see how I liked it.

-Octinoxate 7.5 %
-Octisalate 4%
-Oxybenzone 2.5 %
-Titanium Dioxide 1.10%
Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Peg-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract (Extrait D'Orge), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Trehalose, Oryzanol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Urea, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sucrose, Glycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Lacylate, Caffeine, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Squalane, Sodium PCA, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Laurate, Xanthan Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silica, Disodium EDTA, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]

A cursory glance reveals that the SPF products here are octinoxate, octsalate, oxybenzone, and titanium dioxide. Other than that, there are several skin protectant (-methicone ingredients), silicone-based ingredients for a silky finish, as well as a bunch of other stuff in smaller concentrations.

So what did I find?

  • Relatively high SPF for a Western BB cream (SPF 35)
  • Did not break me out
  • Light-to-medium coverage
  • Lasts 8+ hours in humid air and high temperatures
  • Smashbox in general is touted to be a good brand (originally created by a makeup artist)
  • Only partial UVA ray coverage provided by titanium dioxide
  • Controversy w/ oxybenzone
  • Price ($39 for 1 fl oz)
Bottom line, I wouldn't purchase the full-sized version of this product because of its lack of complete UVA ray coverage. I seriously wonder why a lot of BB creams and tinted moisturizers use only TiO2 for UVA ray coverage instead of the more potent zinc oxide. Perhaps it has less of a "white streak" in the tinted formula?

My night routine (requested)

/ Friday, July 12, 2013 /
One of my friends requested that I do a "Night Routine" post - namely, all of the products I use to prepare for the night, before bed. All righty, so here we go!

Note: These products are what I use nightly as of this post. I sometimes change up products depending if I'm testing something or otherwise. This post includes both my face and body routine (namely, my entire shower routine)

1. Remove eye make-up: Typical cotton rounds + 1:1 olive oil:witch hazel. Cotton rounds = $2.50 for 100 pack, while olive oil is $5 for 25 fl oz (generic brand) and witch hazel is $3 for 16 fl oz.

Now into the shower I go!

2. Tresemme Luxurious Moisture Shampoo - this has been the same shampoo I've used for quite awhile now. It's cheap and effective. I'm hoping to start using one soon that doesn't have SLS or SLES in it, though. This is a very cheap shampoo - $3 for 32 fl oz.

3. Nature's Gate Papaya Body Wash - Papaya is a very good desquamator/exfoliant and naturally lightens the skin. I really enjoy this body wash, even though it is a bit pricey, at least according to drugstore standards ($7 for 18 fl oz)

4. Missha Near Skin Extra Renew Cleansing Foam - this is one of the first Asian skincare/cosmetic products I have purchased in full-size (other than the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream). So far I have really liked it. Its original price is $18 for 150 ml (approximately 5 fl oz) but I bought it 50% off for $9. Thus, the price is a bit steep but I thought it would be worth the try. It has proven so far to be pretty good, and I'm pretty pleased with it. It's awesome for sensitive and sensitized skin types!

5. Tresemme Luxurious Moisture Conditioner - this is also a very budget-friendly conditioner that actually works very well. It costs $3 for 32 fl oz. Quite nice.

6. Brush teeth - I like to brush my teeth in the shower while I let the conditioner sit in my hair. This way I can "deep condition" the hair better and let the conditioner sink further into the hair. Toothpaste is whatever type of Crest or Colgate I can get my hands on, and toothbrush is whatever Oral-B or whatever I like. Prices are drugstore-variable.

7. Floss - Flossing is a very important part of dental hygiene. I really recommend the Oral-B Glide Floss - I've tried so many kinds over the years and so far this has proven to be the best. Sells for $7 for a two-pack at

Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Floss, Original - 1 ea

8. Mouthwash - I like Listerine a lot. Prices vary depending on if you go to the drugstore vs. supermarket vs. Costco/Sams.

9. Earth Therapeutics Foot Scrub - I actually use this product to desquamate my underarm areas in order to get rid of dead skin cells. This prevents ingrown hairs. Ironic how a foot scrub is used for this, huh? Lolz. $7 for 4 fl oz.
Earth Therapeutics Refreshing Foot Scrub
And now, out of the shower I come!

10. Nature's Gate Deodorant in Autumn Breeze w/ Witch Hazel - I like this natural deodorant because it doesn't have aluminum in its ingredients (which has been controversial in its effects on breast cancer). I also like the fact that it makes me feel clean because it has witch hazel. $6 per stick.

11. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream - I've been using this retinol every night for a few months now. While it is a relatively expensive facial product for a drugstore product, it is relatively affordable as a retinol, and has proven very helpful with smoothing out my skin and promoting skin turnover. I bought mine for $13 on Ebay.

12. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion - I actually use this product as an eye cream. Ironic huh? In reality, I've found that it works just as well as some of the eye creams I've used, and it doesn't make me break out. Plus, it's perhaps 50X cheaper than some eye creams that work to the same ability. Lolz. I bought 2-pack of  the full-sized product (two 18 fl oz bottles, aka 36 fl oz in total) for about $15 at Costco. Super affordable.

13. Body lotion - Curel Intensive Healing - lately my skin has become pretty dry, and my arms and legs are no exception. I'm currently trying out several Curel lotions due to their touted effects of being very effective and hypoallergenic to many skin types. In my opinion, this brand is very comparable to Eucerin and equally (if not more) affordable. The only thing I don't like about this product is that it is in jar packaging (more likely to get bacterial contaminants in) but I guess this is the one downside I've found so far. I believe it's sold for slightly under $10 for a large jar (16 fl oz) at any drugstore.

14. Hair serum - Bioinfusion Critical Hair Serum - I've used this product for a couple of months now and it's really helped me preserve my hair's health and helped prevent split ends. Yay!

15. Dermstore Lip Quench Lip Treatment - I recently finished my C.O. Bigelow Lip Cream from Bath & Body Works, so this is the next product in that I found to replace it. This product is much thicker than the BBW lip cream, but it still works very effectively and definitely is incredibly moisturizing.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my night time routine! Yes, very long and very many products, but it's helped me (1) establish good hygiene habits and (2) preserve the health of my skin, teeth, and hair. Yep yep!

Photo sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14


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