Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chanel-inspired Jacket: UNIQUEEN's Malang Jacket

Had you ever pictured yourself wearing a look - and found out that it didn't suit you in reality?

This happened to me recently with the tweed jacket trend. I've always had problems wearing jackets/blazers/anything with shoulder pads - being a child of the 80s, I have a horror of anything that makes your shoulders look bigger. However - I couldn't resist the look of the Chanel tweed jacket - I love how pairing it with jeans brings structure and style to a casual look:
Penelope Cruz, Kate Moss and Cameron Diaz in Chanel jackets

There have been several affordable interpretations of the Chanel tweed jacket at stores like Zara, H&M and Forever 21. One version that's been spotted on several fashion bloggers is the UNIQUEEN Malang Jacket (sold online over here - although my one is no longer in stock). I believe the jacket was sent by UNIQUEEN to some of the bloggers, while others purchased their own (full details are on their blogs).
Jean from Extra Petite:
Wendy from Wendy's Lookbook:

TIffany from I am Style-ish:
I had the UNIQUEEN jacket in my online shopping cart for MONTHS while I deliberated over whether I should purchase it or not. It was nerve-racking purchasing something sight unseen from a shop with limited return options. I finally gave in and purchased the jacket...and I'm still not sure if I'm happy or not.
Left - original version, Right - with my modifications
CONS:
-I don't like how the jacket looks on me when the top lies flat - I prefer it folded back into faux-lapels
-there are no buttons/fastenings - it just hangs open - which makes it look boxy
-the lining is WARM - it's thick enough to be outerwear in spring or fall
-I'm not sure if it is the right size for me (seems short on the sleeves but big through the shoulders)

I don't think I can return this item - so I'm going to modify the jacket to make it wearable. The fixes should be simple enough to do  myself:
- sew hook-and-eye fastenings so that I can close the jacket
-  press and sew the top into faux lapels

This is probably not the wisest purchase I've made - but I still have a soft spot for this jacket and hope I can get some good wear out of it.

Have you ever purchased a longed-for item and realized that it didn't suit you?

EDIT:  I returned the Malang jacket to Uniqueen and am still looking for the perfect fitted tweed jacket. Love the design of this one.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Valentine's Day Present - Alexander McQueen Skull Scarf in Peach/Coral

The skulls may not be very Valentine-themed but the color certainly is!
Peach Skull Scarf
When hubby asked what I wanted for Valentine's day - I chose this wishlist item of mine - an Alexander McQueen Skull Scarf. While I would NEVER describe my style as "Rocker Chic", I believe these skull scarves have stood the test of time and are now classic instead of trendy. I love how this scarf is subtly rebellious - the feminine colors soften the edgy design.

I have always admired skull scarves on celebs like Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian:
Ways to wear a skull scarf
Nicole Richie Skull Scarf
Kim Kardashian Skull Scarf
...the person who really demonstrated how elegant and wearable the scarf can be, is fashion blogger Wendy from Wendy's Lookbook - I LOVE her style!
In her famous "25 Ways to Wear a Scarf" video, she shows several looks featuring a classic Mcqueen Skull Scarf. This video is a must-watch - even for new ideas on how to wear your existing scarves (although it may leave you wanting a McQueen scarf and an LV leopard stole).
I've tried out a couple versions with my own scarf:
The Modern One Loop and The Bunny Ear
The Infinity and The Classic Drape
Apparently Balenciaga bags and Skull scarves go hand in hand - here's Nicky Hilton's collection:
Here's my skull scarf making friends with my Balenciaga First bag in Sahara
Balenciaga First Bag in Sahara
Do you like McQueen Skull Scarves? What would you wear them with?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Make-Up in the Mail: Glossybox, Kiehls & Bobbi Brown

I had read about Glossybox on a lot of my favorite UK beauty blogs - so when a representative from Glossybox asked if I would like to review their box, I eagerly agreed. (When I review a sent item, I will view it as if I paid retail price for it...and discuss whether it was worth it or not. This can be risky as companies may want unwarranted praise instead of honest criticism- but I'd rather help my readers than sell out for any company. I blog to share my true feelings not to receive free products.)

Glossybox is a luxury sample subscription box founded in Germany. They already operate in 8 countries and are now expanding to 20 more, including Canada. As with other luxury sample subscription boxes, you pay a monthly fee ($15 CAD) and receive 5 deluxe beauty samples.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE CONCEPT OF GLOSSYBOX:
PROS:
-comes packaged in GORGEOUS materials. You feel very pampered and special when you're opening it.
-the pink box is SO beautiful and sturdy, I'm going to use mine to store necklaces. A series of them would make elegant storage for make-up, jewelry or stationery.
-You definitely get your money's worth in terms of value of the items sent - the items are from well-established brands and appeal to most people (I'm always open to trying new hand cream, lip balm and nailpolish)

CONS:
-it can feel wasteful - I don't like clutter but I feel bad throwing "new/usable" things away - so if I don't use something, I'll have to find someone who will. Not a problem with one box - but with a monthly service, your "unwanted pile" may grow rapidly!
-If there are a lot of items you don't use, you may feel like you're not getting your money's worth.

CONTENTS OF MY BOX & MY INITIAL THOUGHTS:

Ahava Skincare Mineral Hand Cream -  Love the shape and size - perfect for my handbag. A little goes a long way - it softens hands and is non-greasy but leaves a filmy "silicone" barrier. Doesn't plump up my dehydrated skin. Will use it up but won't repurchase.

Oscar de la Renta Live in Love body lotion - Strongly fragranced and not very moisturizing. The scent is very 90s. Would be good to wear for a special event/night out. Will use it up but won't repurchase.

Elizabeth Grant Moisturizing Stick - Uses honey, avocado oil and other natural ingredients. Smells like Watermelon. Feels amazing when you apply it (moisturizing and thick, not waxy) but it disappears within an hour. I prefer my Nivea Milk & Honey lipbalm to this - it's more synthetic but it leaves a lasting moisturizing barrier on my lips. Will use this up but won't repurchase.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Night Anti-Aging Restorative Cream - this contains 2 types of shea butter and a cocoa butter - so I don't dare try this in case it breaks me out. Will be giving this to my mother.

Essie Nailpolish in Neo Whimsical -  Pink with lavender undertones - this is a fun nailpolish to wear. The formula is thin and a bit streaky - but I'm definitely going to get good use out of this - especially as a pedicure color in the spring.
Essie in Neo Whimsical
Bonus item: Beauty So Clean Sanitizing Wipes and Mist: I prefer regular hand-washing instead of antibacterial products - I don't believe that creating a super-sterile environment is healthy for building your immune system - so I'm not going to be using these products excessively - but they'll be good to keep around to freshen up my product surfaces once in a while.

BOTTOM LINE:
I honestly believe that this would be a great pampering gift to give someone you love - perfect for Mother's day or Valentine's day. For me personally, I don't think I'd sign up for a subscription right now. However...if my stockpile of beauty products ever ran low, I may sign up - it's so amazing receiving surprise luxury products in the mail!
I took advantage of a recent Kiehl's promo (free shipping PLUS 3 deluxe samples PLUS 3 regular samples). I stocked up on my Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream (I'm on my 3rd pot) and was so happy to get all these other Kiehl's goodies to try - they ended up sending 4 deluxe samples: a body butter, a shampoo, hand cream and clay cleanser. I will update if any of these products stand out. I also recently purchased Bobbi Brown's Pale Pink blush (apparently Kate Middleton wore it on her wedding day) and a Blush brush (it was $50 - yikes! My most expensive make-up brush ever - but it's SO soft and applies blush beautifully). I LOVE the color of the blush - it doesn't look neon pink when you wear it - it just makes your cheeks look very flushed and healthy. I layer it on top of my Covergirl cream blush in Lush Berry.

Have you tried any of these monthly beauty boxes? What are your favorite Kiehl's products?

Disclaimer: I purchased the Kiehl's and Bobbi Brown products. I was sent the GlossyBox but was not under any obligation to provide a favourable review. As you can tell, I wrote my honest unbiased thoughts (as always!!!).

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Statement Necklaces

I used to only wear delicate jewelry pieces, but I've recently grown to love the effect and impact that a statement necklace adds to an outfit. A statement necklace can add a bold pop of color that makes you look like you put thought and effort into your outfit. Here are a few I currently own - I'm definitely looking to add to my collection!

JCREW
My latest acquisition - I love how there are a jumble of uneven lengths and sizes in this necklace - it adds an informal elegance to simple outfits.

H&M
The infamous JCREW bubble necklace dupes from H&M - they cost a tenth of the price of JCREW ones ($15 rather than $150) - and are my most favorite statement pieces EVER. They are so light and easy to wear. I lived in my red necklace during our recent trip to Florida. I someday hope to purchase the JCREW original version as well.

FOREVER21
My second favorite statement necklace - love the milky turquoise beads in this necklace - it matches nearly any summer outfit. This was a popular necklace - I've noticed it on MANY people. I purchased mine 2 years ago.
This pink and gold necklace works well with evening outfits - especially with nude or blush colored tops.
These pale pink beads are very pretty - but I find this necklace can be tricky to wear as the beads get twisted instead of lying in place.


AMRITA SINGH NELLO NECKLACE
I wanted a Nello Necklace after reading about them on Jean's blog. This style is no longer being produced, but is often featured on sample sale sites (like Beyond the Rack and Hautelook) or eBay. I'm so glad I was able to get the white Jade version - this necklace adds the perfect amount of sparkle and fills your  neckline, but it's so light and flat, you don't even feel like you have anything on. I'd love to get a yellow or coral version someday.

F21 rings:
Just thought I'd add a quick pic of my 2 statement rings - both are from Forever21 and were under $5 each. I *LOVE* the white flower ring, it's so well-made - when I was purchasing my Chanel WOC, the SA told me that he loved my ring and said it reminded him of the Chanel Camellia flower.

Do you like wearing statement necklaces? Describe your favorite ones - I'm always on the lookout and have my eye on a few more Forever21 and JCrew necklaces.

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