fashion and makeup style

08 December 2012

UK High Street Online Shopping

UK high street clothing companies do make clothes that are more "out there" than their American counterparts.  Perhaps part of the reason is that there are many types of style tribes in London (and maybe the UK in general? I can't say as I have only been to London...)

So how does one get the "London Look"?  Part of the London Look is being individual, but access to their high street brands is available through the magic of the internet!

free shipping/returns to USA

Dorothy Perkins: A little less trendy than Top Shop, but the clothing is still cute.  DP targets a wider age range and there is something suitable for everyone.  The prices are lower than Top Shop, especially on sale. The prices are listed in US Dollars on the USA website.  The retail prices of items are a bit higher than the GBP price (after conversion).

flat rate shipping to USA @ 75USD

New Look:
flat rate shipping to USA @ 7.50GBP

free shipping for orders $40+, otherwise $5 fee applies.
next pays the duties on all goods.

River Island:
flat rate shipping to USA @ 10GBP

Top Shop: Highly trendy clothes with questionable quality. Most items are Forever 21 quality with Banana Republic prices. Overall shoes and coats are of acceptable quality. Items on the USA site are priced in dollars, so there will not be foreign transaction fees. However the prices are the elevated USA prices despite the fact that the goods are shipped out of the UK. :(

flat rate shipping to USA @ 10USD

There's a few other stores... but these should have the 'big names' covered, no?

Addiction by Ayako

I have a thing for acquiring cosmetics, especially hard to find cosmetics. Discontinued? Not sold in America? SIGN ME UP!

Recently a friend went to Tokyo and although I am really not supposed to acquire more, I had her purchase a few things for me to try out.

After I test them out, I'll do some reviews... but for now, here's a group photo:

13 March 2012

Wallpaper Chic :p

A basic pencil skirt pattern that I drafted from scratch. I used a size 4 mannequin, but made it to fit me. To save on fabric I made it extremely short since it was just a basic silhouette. Things like hem length are really easy to alter. Since I had made the mockup in a semi-wearable fabric... I decided to add a panel to make it wearable for myself in real life.

The result is this wannabe Jonathan Adler wallpaper colorblock skirt. Well, it's on trend at least. Heh.

15 February 2012

Bumble and Bumble Damage Therapy Masque

This product has been discontinued, so you may find it at outlets or discount places such as TJ Maxx. In fact I bought the 5oz tube on for $13. I thought this was a reasonable price at the time. The discontinuation of the Damage Therapy Masque is not surprising to me for one reason: it doesn't work.

Perhaps it works if your hair is not as damaged as mine. But my hair has been bleached twice with multiple dye treatments on top... and as a result it is quite dry. While my hair has not melted nor broken to pieces, it is slightly elastic when wet. I apply this mask after shampooing my hair in lieu of hair conditioner and I use it 1-2x per week. This mask does not add much moisture, shine, nor manageability to my hair. Following rinse, my hair is just as tangled and twisted as before... with that slippery feeling of conditioned hair. After blow drying my hair, my hair does not look any better when using this product.

Overall, a product that simply does not work nor deliver.

Pros: Smells good. Easy to dispense with the tube.

Cons: Expensive at full price (~$30), discontinued (perhaps trying the "Mending Masque")

14 November 2011

American Apparel Sample Sale

Haha. The review of this sample sale is really late, the sale took place on 05Nov2011 at Herbst Pavillion. It was the first ever AA sample sale in SF and it advertised prices "up to 90% off retail."

Let me tell you, I really hate shit like that. "Up to 90% off" means only a couple items are truly marked down to sample sale prices. Despite that, I went to check it out based on the review on Refinery 29.

So how was it?

Beyond lame. Seriously, things were not even cheap. A regular plain hoodie was around $40. The hosiery was even more expensive than the prices I paid at the outlet (granted, there was a special 80% off promotion going on at the time). Oh and they didn't even stock the winter leggings which I was interested in buying. They had all kinds of basics and tacky leggings... and an ugly vintage clothing section.

Since parking in Marina is a f'ing nightmare, I felt that I needed to buy something to justify the trip there. I ended up buying one item: a thin sheer navy cotton lawn shirt. I think this shirt has potential to be cute layered in the spring. I was interested in the houndstooth or striped jacket... but it was more than what I wanted to pay (~$50 maybe).

I believe I went on the last day (or second to last day), and I was surprised the prices were essentially the same as what was reported by R29. There was however an additional 10% off for some reason... which was not advertised anywhere. Strange.

Basically... American Apparel is one sample sale you may skip out on. The prices are not cheaper than the outlet, so why bother? I can't believe there was a riot in London over this type of sale. Lame lame lame.

10 November 2011

A Forgotten Hair Product

I used Redken's Crema Care in combination with Redken's Fresh Curls Curl Boost spray gel when I had a digital perm 3 years ago. That was a winning combination for my hair at the time. It moisturized the permed hair and held the curl after heat styling. These two products helped me maintain my permed style for one year.

A coworker liked my hair so much she got a digital perm as well. Unfortunately, she thought a digital perm was some sort of magic bullet for looking like a JJ model. HAH. It's not, that's a myth! Digitally permed hair still has to be styled to get the magazine-like results. Without proper styling, hair can look messy... or even worse... like it wasn't even permed! My coworker asked me what I used ... but I didn't tell her... I duno... I felt like a copy cat like her should at least try various products and figure it out herself. That's what I did~ ;)

Anyway... I think I have successfully gone to ash blonde hair myself. Yes, I did it myself (with the assistance of my boyfriend). Since bleach and multiple dyes were involved, my hair suffered quite a bit of damage. I don't have elastic hair nor excessive breakage... which is a testament to how much abuse my hair can actually take (it was already damaged from previous dye jobs ^^;;).

I have had to make a few changes to my hair routine to preserve the health of my hair (and the dye job as well). The changes I made were:

1. Switched to sulfate free shampoo
2. Blow dry on low heat setting or cool.
3. Resume hair treatments once a week.
4. Try to wash hair 2-3x per week only.
5. Shampoo once in awhile with purple toning shampoo.
6. Spray hair with Aveda brilliant protecting spray prior to blow drying

Despite all these things, my hair still had a dry texture due to the porosity. I was using rich conditioning treatments (Bumble and Bumble damage therapy), but they seemed to be ineffective. My hair would always feel dry, although it was partially from my styling products (ie volumizing sprays).

The other day I decided to dig out my Redken Crema Care... and I'm so glad I did! This leave in product makes my hair so easy to manage! The problem with dry hair is that it tangles terribly... even my conditioners couldn't really take care of the tangles. But working Crema Care in damp hair after a wash was like magic! I could separate the tangled sections much easier. After blow drying, my hair was voluminous... yet smooth (no frizz!)... and soft! WOW!!! Why didn't I use this earlier? I guess I forgot about it.

I'll continue styling with this product... I'm so glad I took it out of the graveyard of haircare products ~_~;;;