Thursday, September 26, 2013

Opening Week

Unless you attend a school that enforces a uniform, most students are faced with the task of appearing presentable before their teachers and peers every day in a different set of clothes. I don't know about other people but usually what happens with me is that I make a cursory endeavor to be well-dressed the first few weeks and then the attention put into my clothes slowly declines over the months as the workload piles on, until I'm showing up to class in leggings and an over-sized men's button-down. So while I'm still up to making the effort, here's a week of outfits from September:

click to enlarge!

Monday - H&M dolman-sleeve slouchy cardigan, asymmetrical crepe chiffon tank (over Forever21 cami), Charlotte Russe trouser shorts, Lucky Brand Covela sandals.

Tuesday - Forever21 criss-cross back swiss dot dress, Zara skull print scarf, Wild Diva Timberly combat boots.

Wednesday - Forever21 draped cardigan, Silence + Noise scoop back tank top, Charlotte Russe trouser shorts, Kimchi Blue ribbon tie flats.

Thursday - Piko1988 faux fur drape jacket, Silence + Noise mesh cami, Black Milk Mechanical leggings, Aldo Flomace hi-top sneakers.

Friday - Forever21 boxy alpaca sweater, Line and Dot bird-print silk blouse, ASOS burgundy corduroy skinny jeans, Doctor Marten Victorian Flowers combat boots.

Nothing fancy, as always most of my wardrobe is composed largely of inexpensive pieces from common high-street shops as I lack both the restraint and the patience to entertain the idea of a "capsule" wardrobe composed of a few well-edited pieces. Thus the majority of what I buy tends to be from stores that cater to what is generally considered "fast fashion".

There's a certain stigma in shopping at such stores, namely the notion that clothes from these stores are trendy, shoddily made, and disposable. Often this is true, but it doesn't have to be if you choose and treat your clothes with care--several of the garments I use in these outfits are ones I've owned for years, and I enjoy wearing them and incorporating them into my daily outfits just as much as some of the more expensive things I own.

Never use the word 'cheap'. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.” -Karl Lagerfed

Monday, September 9, 2013

Put Down the Tweezers.

So let's talk eyebrows. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the eyebrows are probably the curtains framing the windows and making it look nicer. Oft-neglected, your brows actually hold a lot of power over the appearance of your face, and in my opinion is one of the most expressive features. Forget eyes, who--by themselves--can be ubiquitous, enigmatic, and inscrutable. If you're interested in a quick read on someone's mood, check out their brows.

I don't usually treat this blog to many pictures of my face, in part simply because my makeup routine is not that interesting, but also because I shouldn't like to come off as vain or anything (who am I kidding). But showing a cropped picture of my brows in this case wouldn't be particularly useful in gauging their overall presence on my face, so here you are:

Because of the subtleties of brow influence on your face, I have always been an avid groomer of them. Once upon a time I was a fan of the thin shaped arch, which has all the charm of a perfectly pruned garden hedge and is usually the standard pushed by many beauty mavens. You can still see a shadow of that brow here.

Gradually over the past year though I've grown to favor a heavier, more natural brow. Arches are classically beautiful on some, but they simply don't suit my features as well as a minimally shaped brow. As of now, just well-filled brows are a strong enough look alone that I don't feel the need to wear any other makeup (although in the above photo I still am!).

Courtesy of Benefit Cosmetic's book Raising Eyebrows

Being Asian, I've inherited fairly shallow eye sockets and a high-set inner corner of my brows--point A in this handy diagram. Furthermore, points B and C are almost level with point A, since my brows run nearly horizontally to my eyes with almost no natural arch to speak of.

Since forcing a high arch is both risky and high-maintenance, I've since chosen to simply work with I have...which isn't to say that Asians can't achieve arched brows--my favorite Chinese runway model Fei Fei Sun pulls them off stunningly, but I simply haven't got the natural arch she does, and am unable to achieve a high arch without drastically thinning my brows. So I've chosen, slightly painfully at first and then later joyfully, to put down the single-blade razor and Tweezermans, and go au naturel.

Since adopting my new (old?) brows, I've received a several kindly (and a few not-so-kind) suggestions that perhaps I should shape them into arches; had I ever heard of tweezers? Luckily I'm liking this new brow look a lot--perhaps austerity suits me? Or I just prefer a little more Audrey than Marilyn. I'm pretty okay with that.