Saturday, February 18, 2017

Laced Up and Out to Sea

I've been enjoying my "Out to Sea Lapis" Ringly so much, I purposely put together this outfit to match my ring:

1. Residual Trend: Lace-up neckline.
All of 2016, I spotted the lace-up neckline everywhere from tees, sweaters, and dresses. Personally, I cringe a little at the sight of them because my aunts use to buy stockpiles of lace-up ribbed tees with the shoelace strings on clearance for $1 to $2 each and passed them down to me as a teen (when they were no longer in fashion). The metal button holes irritated my sensitive skin, and the shoelace strings always went missing after a few washes. I made note to never buy clothing with the annoying lace-up details, ever.

Yet, last summer another aunt from Canada came to visit me, and gifted this Katherine Barclay chiffon lace-up tunic (worn above). Upon blog photo inspection, it's not too bad. The lace-up details do give a visual pizzazz like a necklace. Verdict: lace-up tops are not for life, but more for editorial and attention-grabbing purposes.

2. Outgrown Item: This is probably the last time I'll wear my gold sequin mini skirt. Oh how I remember the glory days of the J.Crew City Mini (2011-2013, as seen here, here, and here.) Suddenly, this style seems too young for me now, much better suited for someone in their twenties or younger. Maybe my days of mini skirts are over?

3. Quick Review: Ringly Out to Sea Lapis ring. Continuing my rave on this! The size 6 fits well on my middle and index fingers (maybe a tad loose, but makes it easy to slip on and off). My workplace doesn't allow employees to put cell phones visible on our desks, so I tend to miss personal calls with my iPhone inside my purse on silent/vibrator. When I'm off from work, I always forget to turn the ringer back on, missing further calls. Thus, this Ringly has been useful in alerting me of incoming calls in an incognito way.
I love that the Lapis Lazuli stone appears a dark navy indoors, but turns cobalt blue in the sunlight. However, I wish they made a style where the whole stone itself glows dimly as the alerts come through (hopefully someone will create that in the future), but instead the light emits from a tiny diamond on one side. But don't be fooled by the diminutive nature of the diamond, the light shines very bright from it, sometimes distracting in a dark room, particularly the blue, red, and pink lights. Therefore, I find the vibrator modes more practical than the alert lights.

Overall, this Ringly makes me feel like a real life wizard or a 007 secret-agent, as it warns me of incoming calls/text (or anything I want to be alerted on from my iPhone). It also doubles as a pedometer. A few qualms with this ring is that it is a bit bulky, especially for a person who does not normally wear costume jewelry. The ring metal and stone gets scratched easily, so be gentle with it. The "connection taps" can be annoying as the blue light flashes every time I move my hand actively (like when pulling clothes from a rack while shopping). Luckily, you can turn off the connection taps from the Ringly app settings to resolve that problem. Even though it is pricey (almost $200), it's worth the splurge if you are into this kind of geeky jewelry. I will definitely buy again, especially if they make more unique designs or the main stone glows like magic when sending alerts (hint!)

See more photos of my ring on Instagram: while charging and the bright pink light.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

V Day is for Velvet

Hello, I am back in fashion! Or at least back on this blog. It has been a long time. Here's a quick update of my superficial world lately:

1. Still Trending: Velvet.
I will be dating myself as this crushed floral velvet top is old from Casual Corner (remember them?) This shirt has been in hiding for over 15 years in the deepest part of the ocean floor, and now it resurfaces to the top as velvet is back in mode, and perfect for Valentine's. I tried to make it look fresher by styling with a metallic mini from H&M (wearing size US 4, similar here and here), and a cute clutch and heels (pardon the pasty legs that have not seen the sun for many months). 

2. Current Splurge: Ringly Out to Sea Lapis ring. An early birthday gift for myself. I've been wanting something with "lapis lazuli" since the Epic of Gilgamesh or something. Also growing up reading fantasy books, I dreamed of having magical jewelry, and this Ringly ring is the closest I get (besides the mood rings I adored in my teens of course).

3. Current Favorite Beauty Trick: Exfoliating with sea salt. I've been using the Morton Fine Sea Salt, sprinkling a bit into my Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser and gently scrub away. This may not be for everyone (read this article), but it works for my huge pores and dry flaky skin. I am thinking of experimenting with the Pink Himalayan salt this year, will update on that if successful. 

4. 2017 Beauty Goals: 
     a. Need a strong hair gel - I have a huge forehead so I've been sporting the Zooey Deschanel bangs (but not as cute) for quite some time. I'm finally tired of the bangs, especially after reading an article that Genghis Khan once ordered all women in China to cut their hair and wear bangs to keep them timid and more easily controlled. The belief was that sunlight absorbing through the forehead helps brain activity, thus when covered, it impedes one's intelligence. True or not, I certainly do not want to be controlled by men like Genghis Khan, so no more bangs! Need a good hair gel to keep the bangs aside. 
    b. Need a travel-friendly blusher - yes, I still look horrible in travel photos because I pack light and refuse to bring all the bulky makeup products. Where can I buy a quality but tiny compact blusher with a tiny brush included, for the pallid cheeks?

5. Current Favorite Snack - Hokkaido bread. Ever since my sister introduced us to homemade Hokkaido bread rolls for our family New Year's dinner, we cannot stop eating them for dessert, for snacking, and for breakfast! It is so soft and heavenly! I am oozing at these pictures from Cleobuttera if you want to try a recipe.

6. Current Favorite Music - The string quintet ALKALI's rendition of All Of Me is AMAZING! This song is like potato chips, once I turn it on, I can't stop listening to it more on repeat.

7. Current Life InspirationRandy Pausch Last Lecture. One of the reasons why I've been missing in action on this blog, is because I've been using my spare time to play with toys. Sounds ridiculous for my age, but I've always wanted a Barbie doll growing up...not any random Barbie doll, I wanted an Asian complexion doll that I can relate to. That did not exist until NOW! I was beyond excited when these new "Lea" Made To Move dolls came out. Finally, one of my childhood dreams came true, and now I'm living that dream! I even made an Instagram account for my dolls. Follow them here.

My caramels, what have you been up to?