29 December 2010

Post Vacation Thoughts

Well, people may or may not know I went on vacation two weeks ago to New York. It wasn't my first time there... the first time I went there was long long ago and it was part of an "east coast" tour. But that's really different from exploring the city on your own and doing what you want to do! The main goal of this trip was to have fun, go to museums, shop, and eat.

Even though I spent a week there, I couldn't possibly shop at all the stores I wanted to shop at nor go to all of the foodie places (haha)! I plan on writing a post about the food I ate and another post about the shopping I did. This post is for overall impressions about NY.

City of Trash?

My brother lived in NY over the summer and he called NY the "city of trash." I laughed at the time, because it was funny. However... it is also true. There is trash piled on the sidewalks and I saw the piles grow in size slowly day by day. At one point, they were as high as the parked cars! GROSS! No wonder they have rats and roaches there! I can't even imagine the stench of garbage in the humid summer heat.

How do I throw away my trash?

I'm not joking here. Here in California we are hippie-tree-hugging-sunscreen-wearing-mother-earth-worshippers. Uh, kind of. What we do have is: sorted trash bins (paper, trash, compost, recyclable cans/bottles) at home, public transit areas, and schools.

In NY, people just seem to throw everything in the trash (even cans/bottles). Maybe it gets sorted at the plant? I don't know. But I only saw one business that separated their trash. For those who are curious, it was a bagel shop owned by Thai people.

Anyway, imagine the poor California girl who was confused about trash disposal. "Where should I put this bottle?" No choice but the trash... :*(

No ecotainers? :(

I first saw ecotainers (ecological containers) and biodegradable disposable utensils made of soy, corn, potato, etc. at my workplace. I thought it was a funny idea... but the reality is plastic can only be recycled once. That is why plastic containers are not made up of 100% recycled material. Lately, I have noticed more and more local businesses using these ecological products... from fancy organic ice cream shops to cheap Chinese restaurants that sell plates for $5. Perhaps they are getting a subsidy from the state of California? I wouldn't be surprised.

But anyway, back to NY. I saw so much styrofoam and plastic there that I missed those damn ecotainers in California!!! LOL... there must be something wrong with me I sound like this tree loving country bumpkin. Maybe I am one... ;)

The streets are chaos!

What's the point of having traffic signals and laws... if NO ONE abides by them? Pedestrians jay walk like mad. I saw a rich lady in a mink coat just step out in the middle of the road. Her chauffeur held her shopping bags and held up his hand to stop traffic. Um really? Unbelievable. Not just that... but pedestrians start crossing the street before the signal light changes to give them the right of way. And they step out onto the intersection to "wait" for the signal. Errr... Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that NYers jaywalk because their traffic lights are inefficient. There is a slight lag between light changes... and they simply can't abide waiting that extra 10-20 seconds...

Cars run red lights all the time. Also, when they are turning and a pedestrian is crossing the road... they don't actually stop! They just slow down a touch and assume you'll keep walking. It is really disconcerting!

Cyclists also do not follow the road rules/laws. I saw a cyclist hit a woman and that cyclist almost did a "hit and run." He only stuck around because other people saw what happened and told him to "At least see if she was okay." :X

I don't really see how there aren't accidents everyday. Every city has a "flow," I guess NY's is just more chaotic? -_- I suppose I might sound like a country bumpkin again... but the reason why we can't do these things in California is because of TRAFFIC TICKETS.

You can get a ticket for jay walking... not yielding to pedestrians... blocking the cross walk... not wearing your seat belt... talking on the cell phone whilst driving... etc! Perhaps NY should start doing the same? It would make things a little more orderly and generate some revenue? I can't believe I just wrote that. :X

Night schedules for subway?

Well NYC is the city that never sleeps .. and it has 24 hour subways. Wow. nekoball and I were worried about the lines changing for the "night schedule." But as we found out "night schedule" means 1AM-5AM. COOOL!

30 November 2010

A First Look at All Saints San Francisco

I have been looking forward to the opening of AllSaints for a few reasons:
1. we didn't have one in SF
2. I love asymmetrical clothes, which they have plenty of
3. I wanted to try these items on, not just blindly order the smallest one online and hope it would fit my flat chested self (yeah... I know that's sad)
4. They clearly rip off a lot of avant garde $$$ designers (Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood, Ann Demeulemeester, etc.). Not everyone can afford to buy those pieces!

I had not realized the shop opened around Halloween so imagine my surprise as I walked down Geary and spotted a store window chock full of vintage sewing machines and then seeing it was actually AllSaints! (I LOVE vintage machines btw). The store was closed at the time, so I vowed to return.

I returned... and I was overwhelmed to say the least. This store ranks up there with Forever 21 in terms of horrible store layout and overly cluttered merchandising. There's just so much stuff everywhere in a tight space that I didn't even want to browse that much! It was really a shame because I had been looking forward to it too! I was out of there in about 5 minutes. I will give it another try when I am well rested.

I was greeted by a couple employees, so service seems ok.

As far as the clothing goes, everything is in UK sizes (as expected) and everything was neatly folded and on the appropriate racks. I tried on an asymmetric leather jacket (maybe it was called the Lana?). The leather was soft, but somehow the cutting/sewing was not very good. One arm hole was clearly tighter than the other and the zipper had multiple "waves" when it was zipped up.

Yes, I know they are cheaper than the afore mentioned brands. But it is also not cheap. For those that are buying clothes here, I suggest to check the quality of its construction and try on multiple garments of the same size to ensure you get the best one.

22 October 2010

Je Reve Encore photos

Here are some photos from the show :)

I loved the silly models :)

He was a fun model :)

Looks better with sunglasses? :)

Guys... don't look at me like that =_=

This is my second favorite item I created. This is backstage!

This is the my favorite ensemble that I created. There isn't a good photo of it on the runway

I need to pose with the models I picked :)

One of my favorite models... I did not make this outfit :P

Pic from finale

Designer team photo :D

17 September 2010

Liberty of London Wishlist

While I do have a lot of fabric... these Liberty of London prints are pretty fabulous! I want some... maybe for a dress? :)

Je Reve Encore ... Photoshoot Results

I'm working on a fashion show with two friends. Here are a couple images from our photoshoot. When the graphic designer comes up with the final image I'll post it here!

I made the male model's boxer briefs and did his makeup. :)

17 August 2010

Being Short is Rather ... Unfortunate

It's rather sad sometimes when clothes don't look the same on me as on the model. It's not that I'm fat.. but I'm just not a six foot tall Amazon with super long legs. The dress that hits the model above at mid calf... is down to my ankles. :(

Such is the pain of being short. But I still like this dress. I think I'll wear it on my birthday.

02 August 2010

New Glasses YAY

I decided on SALT. optics frames instead of Mykitas. They cost a lot less and the color is pretty cool! The frames have these sparkley bits in the front. I don't have any cat eye frames... so these fill a hole in my glasses wardrobe. I also haven't done black frames for three years... so it'll be nice go to back to them. <3

Too bad my wallet is bleeding now.

30 July 2010

Barneys Warehouse Sale : Day 1 Review

My thoughts on the sale :

Shoes: Sucked, the selection was really small. Only ugly ones had additional 25% off. I might get the CL miss chief if they go on further markdown. I already knew from last year the beginning of the sale would have markdowns equivalent to final cut at the store.

Designer items: Not too bad... I found things i liked. Not ALL designer items had an additional 25% off. Only ones with the "WHSE" stamp on the tag. Too bad the things I liked were 300, 600, 1700 respectively (and they didnt have the WHSE stamp). -_- I have my eye on some Alaia, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester items. I can certainly live without them though... so I'm waiting for ADDITIONAL MARKDOWNS!

Ready to wear/co-op items: There's a lot... but prices weren't low enough for me. It was also not very organized and annoying to look through

Denim: Seems like an okay selection, but I didn't look too closely since I own too many jeans. I randomly picked up a pair to check out the price and it was $89.

Outerwear: There was a lot of it, not many small sizes. Mainly co-op items.

As-is items: Some items are barely damaged (e.g. strap unattached, button loose at cuff). However the prices weren't super low for damaged goods! I saw a cute "stained" Moncler windbreaker for $350. It was super cute and I couldn't see the stains, but maybe I was in a state of delirium as I went after work?

Bags: I saw the teal PS1 but it damaged somehow from cleaning. It didnt look that bad to me? but it was only $95 off, what the hell? I also saw a Givenchy nightingale... but didn't look to see what was wrong with it. There were also some ugly sissi rossi bags and many other ugly things no one would ever buy even on sale.

Hosiery: It's all mixed up.. didn't even want to look in the bin but I spied some Balenciaga tights for $60.

Sscarves: Saw virginia johnson cotton ones, I wish they had the merino wool ones. There were various random silk scarves. I almost bought a funny cotton scarf for $40... but decided I wanted to wait for a markdown.

Mens: Seemed like a good selection, more than last year. I liked the selection of mens hats.

My purchases: A purple wool co-op branded swing coat for $109. It's super cute and fairly light. I would've waited for further markdown, but I didn't see many others in this style. Since I saw some other girls trying it on and not returning it to the rack, I decided I liked it enough to pay $109.


Verdict: I shall return at the end of the sale for leftover designer items. ;) I don't think this sale was all that great. In fact I'd rather buy the co-op brands I'm familiar with online since I can get better deals a lot of times (and the ability to RETURN!). So perhaps it's not really worth a trip right now unless there's something you're DYING to have. And nobody should die for clothes these days right? :)

23 July 2010

Model Casting Today

Finished up the model casting for the fashion show. I know, I know... my other entry said I was no longer on the production team. I was tying up loose ends... the casting had already been agreed upon and set up. I also already pre-screened all the models, so I might as well check them out.

It turns out I liked one model a lot. Ironically, I initially dismissed the person due to poor webcamera photos. In my defense, the photos made him look like a serial killer (a la Vitaly Petrov). If Samuel and I start a production company, I'd like to use this model.

Overall, casting was fun today. It's always fun to check out models. The only thing is, working with amateur models is sometimes difficult if they are inexperienced. Inexperienced models need a lot of coaching. I usually test the models using different music. The most important thing is to tell them what you want to see since they are not professionals. I think I'm fair... I try to see if there are any small improvements after the quick coaching. The ones that have potential usually do get better. :)

20 July 2010

New Glasses... Maybe

I'm thinking about getting these Mykita frames... the only problem is that they're horribly expensive! I might go with a cheaper frame due to budget constraints.

No More Fashion Show

Well, I am pretty sad about this. Samuel and I are no longer planning the fashion show. There are a lot of reasons behind it and it was a difficult decision to make. I think this could have been avoided with better planning and communication. But sometimes things don't turn out as well as you hope. We are still teaching the youth workshops though.

19 July 2010

Barneys Warehouse Sale Again

2010's SF dates are:

July 29-August 8

The hours of operation are:

July 29-30 8am-9pm
July 31 9am-7pm
August 1 10am-7pm
August 2-6 10am-8pm
August 7-8 10am-7pm

15 June 2010

mewmew shoes

Stopped by Barney's today... I wasn't really looking to buy anything as Barney's doesn't have the best sale prices... but I happened to see these shoes. And they were on sale... they are about a half size too big... but because they are a little big, I can wear them with my orthotics. The sales guy claimed they were the last pair in the company, but I don't know if that's true or not.

The Barney's warehouse sale is coming again... so I've got to restrain myself from further purchases until then. :)

09 June 2010

Fashion Show Budget Approved

YAY! Designer/venue/model scouting needs to begin very soon now!

Tentative show date: 05 August 2010

07 June 2010

More Fashion Show Stuff

Well, I know a few more details. The fashion show will be a collaboration with the Asian and Pacific Islander Health Center and I will be working with a budget and a stipend! YAY!

I don't really care about my stipend much, so I will probably put the money back into the show or the workshops Samuel and I will be hosting. The show is going to be the "final project" of a local youth gay/lesbian youth group. There will also be workshops... the whole thing will serve to empower the youth, teach them some skills, spark interest in fashion, and of course to spread the message of HIV awareness. Cool, right?

Samuel and I will be in charge of teaching three workshops... we are throwing around a lot of ideas right now... and it's all going to be really fun and exciting. I can't wait to plan this out some more!

02 June 2010

Almost Pulled a Liuzzi

I have to say... despite ragging on Liuzzi so much due to his bad harem pants.... I almost bought a pair myself. They were only $6 USD! I could've used them for lounging around and stuff. But wait... I have so much stuff anyway. And did I really want to be like Liuzzi? The answer was no. So I stepped away from the bargain.

Thank god... that was a close one?

26 May 2010

Fashion Show Possibility

I might be producing another fashion show with my good friend Samuel. The two of us have been approached to help with the show by a friend of a friend. It will probably feature student designers that I know personally... I'm not sure if I want to approach boutiques to borrow clothes again.

I think the two of us will have our hands full with planning. Hopefully it will be kind of chill since we are all cool people... but fashion tends to bring out the queens in everyone. We'll start planning soon.. I'm super excited about the whole vision of the show and who will be doing what!

I doubt I'll have time to construct garments for the show though. There's just so much to do.. from lighting, music, promo materials, model selection, styling the garments, etc. I should try to put one look together at least though. hmm.

I can't wait to find out more!!!

25 May 2010

40% off all fabrics @ Fabric Outlet

Hey people... Fabric Outlet located in the Mission District of SF is still having their 40% off deal. The designer silks happen to be 50% off (a nice time to buy some taffeta or dupioni)... anyway this sale is only good till the end of the month, so go already. :P

Another 49 square miles sample sale


333 Bryant Street (near 2nd St.)
Suite #350
San Francisco, California 94107

Wednesday 6/02/10 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Thursday 6/03/10 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday 6/04/10 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

For those that are unaware, 49 Square Miles is a local "private label" brand. They make the leather goods for many brands including Gap, Banana Republic, Abercrombie, Ann Taylor, and more. They also sell goods under their own brand, "49 Square Miles" and are carried at boutiques such as Muse Ten.

The last time they had their sale, the belt prices remained the same (2 for $5 or a single belt for $3). But I didn't find the price of the bags to be so attractive. I'm not sure if I will drop by or not... afterall I am going to be selling the two 49 square miles bags I do own. ;)

03 May 2010

About Britex Sales...

Britex Fabrics is kind of like "Mood Fabrics" of San Francisco. Sort of. It is a high end fabric store with four levels located in Union Square. A lot of the fabrics ARE overpriced, I have seen some of the same fabrics at Satin Moon for about 20% less. But of course, Satin Moon is a well edited store and Britex is.. well, Britex. The prices they charge are for their Union Square location rent, the selection (literally mountains of fabric), the "experience" of Britex, the somewhat more knowledgeable workers (only some of them though, buyer beware!!!), and the fact that they do carry some "designer" fabrics.

I learned a bit about their sales from a sales person there today and I shall share it here on this blog.

30% off all items occurs twice per year (all fabrics and notions, including remnants): President's Day and Columbus Day.

50% off remnants occurs once a year: typically in May or June.

The 50% off remnant sale was today and the last day will be tomorrow. This sale is great, it brings Britex's sky high prices to a somewhat reasonable amount. I spent a good chunk of cash there today... now all I need to do is make more garments. :)

P.S. The 10% student discount is never applicable to remnants and cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts.

P.P.S The loyalty card is not valid on remnant day.

28 April 2010

Gustto Does Not Stand Behind Their Bags

On April 16th, I sent Gustto the following query using a form on their website:

I have a Gustto Cokera bag I originally purchased from Revolve Clothing. I
have not used it in awhile, but it was stored away. When I brought it out to
use, I discovered the shoulder straps are completely different in texture.
The leather is fine, but whatever was used on the inside as interfacing has
hardened. The strap is no longer supple and there are slight "cracking"
sounds when I handle the strap. This is not how my bag was before. I was
wondering if anything could be done. Thank you.

I received a reply on April 19th:

We advice to see a shoes maker and check w/ him. We can direct you to some
good ones in NY. Unfortunately we can't help, the bag is from 5 seasons ago.
Let me know if you have any question.
Best Regards,

Senior Account Executive

I am disappointed, because I do like my bag. It's a nice size with soft leather. Despite being sort of a slouchy/hobo type bag, it has a zippered top so I can use it while traveling. It is also fairly light.

But, Gustto bags are not cheap at all (though I bought mine at a hefty discount). So what if it was from five seasons ago? Does it matter? I have owned the bag for less than one year, I bought it in June 2009! It's not really that old! I probably will not buy a Gustto bag again.

I sent the customer servcie rep the following email just now:


Thanks for your reply. I have to say I am disappointed in Gustto's commitment to quality. While the bag is from five seasons ago, I do not really see why this should matter as the bag is not very old at all. I am looking at my customer invoice and I actually bought the bag in June 2009, so I have had the bag for less than one year. I am surprised that a bag that was owned for less than one year has lost some sort of integrity to its strap, especially for the retail prices Gustto charges.

I appreciate your reply and I simply mean to voice my disappointment in the overall quality of the bag and the company policy regarding quality issues.

I'll see what they have to say. I don't mean to "get anything" out of the email... the bag is usable, but I really am super disappointed in it and the service from Gustto.

21 April 2010

uhh what???

I stopped by Joann's yesterday because I needed a new pair of fabric scissors (I misplaced my gingher shears boohoo). As I was waiting in line (for a very long time), I noticed that a lady in front of me was returning cut fabric.

I just thought to myself... um really? You can return cut fabric here? Apparently you can, because the store manager did not have any problems with it when the cashier asked about it. I don't know... all the "real" fabric shops I've been in do not take returns on cut fabric. All sales are final. If picked the wrong color, bought too much, got the wrong material, or just don't want it anymore... well it's too bad. Once scissors cut the fabric it's YOURS. Honestly cut fabric should be non-returnable... (unless it is damaged or off grain etc)

So there you go. Top tip... cut fabric can be returned at Joann's (as long as you have the receipt and do not use it). But I don't think I really need anything from Joann's besides muslin or some fun printed cotton. There are other stores that I go to for finer fabrics...

07 April 2010

ahoy miss marc

These are so fun! I want them, but I'm not sure which one I will get. But these are on the top of my "to buy" list. I think I will get it from Nordstrom. Hopefully I can get them to pricematch a Bloomingdale's sale :)

06 April 2010

Concrete Rose Video on YouTube

The informal fashion show which I helped to produce last year may be viewed online @ youtube. Unfortunately I was not in any "interview" segments because I was moving the merchandise used in the show... oh well? I know I did tons of work for the show and I'm glad the result was excellent! I met many talented individuals on this project and it would be fun to produce another show in my spare time (haha... do I even have "spare time"?)

30 March 2010

Shu Uemura Closing USA Operations

What the fark? My favorite brand is going away? Well, almost. Products will be available online, but I mean, sometimes you have to TEST things for texture and color payoff. They're closing all the counters and free standing stores. OMG... I remember when the Shu store first opened, I wanted to LIVE THERE!!!

And now they're closing it. Ugh. What the hell.

Thanks L'Oreal for getting rid of Shu Uemura in USA but keeping other staid brands instead. Does that mean a lot of stock will end up at the outlets? hmm

Link to story on WWD.

18 March 2010

Shopping tip

As a Bloomingdale's card holder, the rewards are cashed out in terms of gift certificates to be used at Bloomingdale's. Unlike the Nordstrom rewards, Bloomingdale's sticks by its expiration date. Kind of. The expiry date is pretty generous, about 6 months after issue date. But, if by chance you forgot to use it (like me), they may be reissued by Customer Service.

However, the re-issue is not instant. It will be mailed with your next statement... but here's a tip... the Customer Service rep can apply your reward amount to your account... yay, that's even better in my opinion. :)

17 March 2010

Mousey Bling Bling

I spotted a blinged out mouse shoe at Bloomingdale's. I'm not sure how I feel about these... I like mouse shoes, but the crystals are maybe a little ghetto fab?

13 March 2010

It's Not the Same!

Today I stopped by the Shu Uemura boutique for a makeup application. I didn't have any intention of stopping by since the spring makeup collection did not interest me, but I felt like just going to the store. Since I didn't make an appointment, the artists were a bit busy... but I received an application of foundation, blush, and lipgloss. It was fun since I haven't done this type of thing for a long time.

The artist who worked on me was helpful and was not overly aggressive about sales. If you are in the SF area, try her out... the SA's name is Katerina.

Products the SA applied:
- Shu Architect Liquid Fdn - #764
- Pro spot concealer - #3 YR Medium/Light
- Glow On - P Pink 34
- Gloss Unlimited- 325m

I really liked the finish of the foundation, and I remember that I liked the way the foundation looked at my last Shu makeover two years ago....so I purchased it despite not needing any foundation haha. I'm not convinced about the concealer... I think it made my undereye area look a bit crepey... but my skin is pretty dry. The glow on and gloss were really cute., both colors are vivid pinks, especially great for spring! But I couldn't justify the purchase as I have so many blushes and glosses already.

Since the artists were kinda busy, I played with the eyeshadows myself. I did a bright look using ME Gold 335 (lid), P Green 430 (mid crease), M Blue 695 (outer V), M Beige 821 (crease for blending), and M Beige 800 (highlight). Since Shu's numbering system doesn't make sense for most people, here are my descriptions of the colors I used:

ME Gold 335: shimmery yellow. A replacement for the old shade ME Gold 330.
P Green 430: pearly grass green
M Blue 695: matte dark blue-green
M Beige 821: matte warm beige, a little peachy
M Beige 800: matte ivory

The result was nice... I already own similar shades at home, I was just trying to do a cute look to go with the pinks done by the artist.

I also tested some other beautiful eyeshadows that I didn't own yet (haha~). The ones that caught my eye were ME Olive 471 and P Purple 781. I bought ME Olive 471 which is a wonderful silvery green taupe-ish color. I hope that it will show a bit of the green color on my eyelids. I didn't test it on my eyelids since I already finished a complete eyelook at the store. ME Olive 471 pairs wonderfully with P Purple 781. I think the two would make an awesome smokey eye. I didn't purchase P Purple 781 because purples are hard for me to wear. I'll try this at Nordies next time I am there. If it looks nice I'll buy it with my rewards certificates. :D

I also tried the new UV Underbases. I tried both the medium beige and beige colors. There isn't really a big difference between shades on my skintone despite one being much more pink based. I think people with really good skin could get away with using this product as a type of tinted moisturizer. However, today I had some redness to my skin today and neither product truly neutralized it. I know, these bases aren't meant for that... the green base corrector is. I don't like to layer a million products on my skin and it would have been great if this product could have acted as a color corrector too. I found that this product did make my skin appear smoother and paired with moisturizer, application of foundation was a breeze.

All in all... it was a fun trip to the Shu Uemura boutique. But I do have to say I was disappointed in the plain black shopping bag I received from the store. Part of the bonus of shopping at the boutique is the nice Shu Uemura shopping bag! I like the way the logo looks on the bag (and the Shu by Ai promotion shopper bags were the absolute best!!!) and I'm sad that they don't give those out anymore. It just ain't the same without getting the bag... ya know?

07 March 2010

Sometimes it's Too Good to be True

Since cosmetics rarely go on sale, I find that many people love it when they can find a deal on them. Cosmetics can be purchased at a discount at certain department stores during "friends and family" sales or warehouse sales held by the brands. Older products, often limited edition/seasonal products can be found at authorized outlets at your local outlet mall. L'oreal brands are sold at "designer fragrance & co" stores while Estee Lauder brands are sold at "cosmetic company outlet." The names of these stores sound shady, but they are the official outlets for the brands! I enjoy going to these outlets when I am in the area myself and have found very good deals there before. For example, I have purchased Shu Uemura eyeshadows for $5 (retail $18).

Nowadays, there are also many websites that sell older makeup stock at a significant discount. An online "cosmetic company outlet" so to speak. Among the most popular ones are: beautycrunch.com and beautyticket.com.

I am a big fan of Stila cosmetics and beautycrunch is authorized to sell Stila's older seasonal makeup lines. The prices are very cheap, especially when compared to the retail prices. In fact, since so many limited edition items made it onto beautycrunch, I am hesitant to purchase Stila limited items at regular price!

I have ordered from beautycrunch a few times, and I've never really had problems with my orders... my items arrived in a timely manner and well packed. I have never received rancid items either. Beautycrunch also stocks items from TooFaced, Pop Beauty and others.

Since I have had such good luck with beautycrunch, I was eager to order from beautyticket. Beautyticket also runs codes sometimes, so you can save an additional 10-20% off the already low prices! Beautyticket stocks many brands, from YSL, Molton Brown, Sue Devitt and more! For my first order, I ordered a blue liquid YSL eyeliner, a copper liquid YSL eyeliner, Bumble&Bumble deep hair conditioner, Molton Brown "eye rescue serum," and a Molton Brown body lotion. The prices were all excellent and I was very excited for my order to come.

Beautyticket shipped out of Los Angeles, CA and used priority mail, so I got the items very quickly. The items were well packed and they used cute pink paper strips too. As for the products themselves.... what I got was mixed. I'll explain.

My blue eyeliner was in new and unused perfect condition, but the bronze one was not. The bronze one had clearly been used (there was liner all caked around the plastic stopper... and the formula was thickened on the wand... this only happens on opened and used liquid liners). I had founds a Barneys New York sticker that was half peeled off on the box of my bronze liner. I can only surmise that beautyticket acquires some of its merchandise from old department store stock. This is probably fine 95% of the time. Sometimes the stores just order too much, or the limited colors just don't sell out. But the problem is... what if these items come from department store returns? If these items are not checked by the stores, there is the possibility of receiving used items like I did.

The Molton Brown lotion, while new, was a bit rancid. I have not tried the hair conditioner yet.. but maybe I should? The eye serum was ok, but probably due to the age of the item.... the bottle was not as full as it should have been. Overall, for the prices, I guess it is ok. Buying older stock can be risky (i.e. rancid items).

However, when I emailed beautyticket about the used liner, they were willing to refund me as long as I returned the item. I thought that was pretty good customer service. They also sent me a prepaid label to return the item via USPS. However, since I live in California, they should have also refunded the sales tax I paid on the liner. I think if I emailed them about it, they probably would have. But at this point, I didn't care that much about the $1.60 I paid in tax since I got most of my money back already. However, when issuing the refund, I believe that beautyticket should be more careful and look into the order to see which customers have paid the sales tax. However in their defense, only California residents pay sales tax and we are probably only a small percentage of overall customers.

So in the end... I have to say that sometimes things are just too good to be true, especially when buying online. Purchase older stock items at your own risk. The discounts are heavy and attractive.... so the best thing is to know what you are buying. Find out what collections those color items were from so you know how old these items are. If you don't know, try looking up reviews for the product at MakeupAlley. For items that weren't limited, try the products when you receive them. That way if they are rancid/old/used you can get a refund.

:) Hope that helps someone who is considering using these types of websites. My experience has not deterred me from purchasing from them in the future. However, I think for beautyticket, I will only buy items that show their usage clearly (e.g. lipstick, eyeshadow, etc).

03 March 2010

It's a Relief it's Gone~

I know that Hollywood celebrities have made the bbag (Balenciaga "motorcycle bag") an "it bag" that won't go away. And for the longest time, I couldn't understand the appeal of them. They had all these long fiddly tassels and I thought they were pretty ugly... until I actually a held "first"* at Neiman Marcus.

Haha. So the bag that I thought was "soooo ugly" was actually kind of... cute, except for the price that is. And being a color lover, the fact that the bags came in all sorts of fun colors won me over. About two years ago I took the plunge and purchased my first bbag off Ebay... a giant gold hardware City in French Blue. (Don't worry... it was authenticated by the fab ladies of TPF :P)

I can honestly say that I liked it. Since I favor hand-held bags and bowler bags, I liked the double handles. The strap was convenient too when I needed my hands to be freed up.

But...what I didn't like about the bag was that the color faded. WHAT THE HELL BALENCIAGA?! The primary reason why I bought this bag was because of the beautiful saturated cobalt blue color!!! And it faded! I then looked at threads in TPF's Balenciaga forum and found that fading was actually a common issue, especially for blue and purple colors. The members hypothesized that these colors had issues due being partially made up of red pigment, which is a notoriously unstable color (e.g. in hair dye). Others hypthesized that the bags were not colorfast because of the soft "unfinished" leather Balenciaga is known for.

I thought to myself, what a bunch of bull. These bags are not cheap and they can't even maintain the color which they are famous for. It's probably some kind of scheme to get you addicted to buying them, only having to replace them once they get kinda icky/discolored/old.

By the way... that's not my only grievance with the bag. The leather on the bag is EXTREMELY fragile and delicate. After a few months of use, my bag started to look a little worse for the wear. And now, two years later after my purchase, the bag looked kind of beat up.** I'm one who takes pride in their possessions. Just look at the condition of my makeup. I use everything meticulously and keep it neat and clean. I am an anal person about certain things. I do not treat my things like trash. Yet... despite all this, my bag was starting to kind of look like trash!***

What the hell? I just couldn't deal with it. So I sold the bag on ebay... and I can tell you I'm relieved. This bag was high maintenance and heavy. Even nekoball commented on the weight of the bag. He asked me what I put in my bag. Sadly... at that moment my bag only had my wallet, keys, cellphone, and makeup bag. I estimate the bag to weigh about 2.5 - 3 lbs when empty.

So here is a parting photo of the bag. Look at me shake it in anger. Haha. Just kidding. I will kind of miss the bag... it is still a lovely color, despite having faded.

* "First" is a style/model of bbag
** In the bag's defense, I did not spray the bag with leather protector. I have not used a leather protector on any of my other high end bags and those other bags are fine. It should be noted that bbags are more delicate.
***I actually own another bbag. It is a City with Giant Silver Hardware in the color Sapphire. However, I have not even used it due to my fear of damaging the bag. I will acquire a leather protector before even attempting to use the bag.

23 February 2010

The Chicken Ran

Ooooooh man I'm SOOO sad I couldn't pay such a low price for MY cage booties!!! I paid a lot more (but I have the anthracite color which is much better anyway). Sniff. Oh well. I still have the cage sandals which I have not worn yet anyway.... =x

20 February 2010

Wearable Art Competition

The Silicon Valley Red Cross is having a wearable art design competition. The theme is emergency preparedness prevention and response. I submitted my design today at the very last minute (literally...). I hope it's ok. My designs aren't really super "out there" so I don't know if my design will be selected. But I'll know pretty soon... the results of the selection will be out by February 19th.

I submitted the following two sketches:

08 February 2010

Outfit of Two Weeks Ago

Here's an outfit I wore a couple weeks ago during the stormy days we had. There were a few patches of sun here and there and these photos were taken during a break from the rain.

I was wearing a coat, but I took it off just for these photos. I'm not actually brave enough to wear an outfit like this without a coat haha.

And here's a photo of nekoball for fun:

02 February 2010

My UO Knockoff

A few years ago I bought a cotton dress with various prints reminiscent of European country prints. In fact my brother calls it my "Russian Milk Maid Dress." But at the clearance price of $5 or so, I couldn't resist the deal so I bought it!

Today while browsing the "just in" area of theoutnet.com, I came across an Anna Sui silk dress that looked exactly the same. I've always loved Anna Sui's designs... the printed fabrics she uses are FABULOUS. My UO dress is most definitely a knockoff of this dress from the Spring 2007 RTW collection (retailed $497). If you are so inclined, you may still purchase this dress here on sale for $197! View the dress in action on the runway (slide 5).

The only differences: my dress has brown cotton lace instead of the blue fabric and my dress is a palette of pink, light brown, and cream. My dress has patch pockets on the skirt instead of the panels of green patterned fabric. The sleeves of my dress are also poufier and utilize a bubble hem... but the similarity is unmistakable.

I will post a photo of my dress later, but for now, here is the picture of the Anna Sui dress

01 February 2010

A knock off of a knock off

I've had my plaid jacket from Zara now for about two years. Of course, being Zara this jacket IS a knockoff of something. And now, I've found a knockoff of a knockoff! Haha.

A verrrry similar jacket can be had from some place called Soft Surroundings. They call their jacket the "plaid riding jacket." Of course, the material is even worse than my Zara jacket (hah!) but the cutting is pretty much the same. The only difference is that the color scheme of my plaid jacket is better and the collar on mine is assymetric. But other than that... it's a clone. :P

19 January 2010

Dress forms

I took these photos last year during my trip to Barcelona. As an aspiring designer, I just had to visit the textile museum as it contained a "Balenciaga Lab" featuring dresses by Cristobal Balenciaga!

However, all the things in the museum are great, including these old dress forms! Look at the ones that have extra padding for bustles and the giant hooped skirts...


15 January 2010

belted cardigans .. not really a fan

I know why so many people belt their cardigans, it is for definition in the waist. But I'm just not a fan (kind of). Let me explain.

I do like oversized, chunky, or long cardigans belted. It gives them a bit more shape, and sometimes, these cardigans have no closures, so the option of belting them is good. Belting either of these while open or closed is ok for me.

However, I'm not a fan of belting short fitted cardigans. I just don't like how it looks, there's something off in the proportions for me. Belting a short fitted cardigan is somewhat tolerable if it's unbuttoned... but the worst for me is the buttoned, short ones.

Sorry, I just can't stand it. I'm not sure why.

13 January 2010

cheaper than cheaper cigs

Apparently there's a Loehmann's outlet in the Bay Area. I wonder if it's worth the drive.

128 Ranch Drive
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 935-8001
M-S 10-9 SUN 11-7

07 January 2010

Oh the irony...

Spotted... a woman carrying a fake Coach purse at the Coach store. I hope she has bought herself something nice so she can get rid of that thing on her shoulder.

I am not condemning people who carry fakes, that is their decision. But I do find this terribly ironic.

Boots I Settled for...

While I was in love with the Alexander Wang moto ankle boots of this season... I ended up settling for equally lovely Balenciaga moto boots!

And the best part? They were cheap! Thank you DSW!

The AW boots ended up going on sale this week on gilt for 375-ish... but that was more than I was willing spend especially since my Balenciaga beauties were under $100. yipee

Now... if only my toe was healed so I could actually WEAR them :/


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