Friday, May 29, 2015

My 6 Product Minimal Makeup Bag

Recently, I trimmed down the makeup that I use from day to day! I haven't thrown any of it away and instead just put it away so that it's not so busy. All the makeup that I own fits into a 6x6x2" bag. BUT - I don't use every single piece that I own every day. I still want to keep the one blush that I own (NARS Dolce Vita) and my lipsticks for special occasions and winter time.

The inspiration to do this came while I was packing my things up to move and found a makeup bag I used to use in the days when I was makeup noob. I sat down and thought about what was most important to my daily routine - as in, if I was running late (which I often am), which steps did I absolutely need to do? It boiled down to the following things. 

Conceal dark circles
Fill in eyebrows
Curl eyelashes and put mascara on

Everything else - evening out skintone, concealing blemishes - was optional, but strongly encouraged. Doing those 3 things takes around 5-10 minutes for me, depending on how my eyebrows cooperate. 

The bag it all fits in.
So I've been using these 6 things for about a week now, and I think this is the right mix of pieces that work. They're portable and multi-use, so I can throw the bag into my backpack if I'm truly in a bind and do my makeup on the train. Something that I love is that the bag is not full at all. And it's a small bag! It's perfect because I can throw in a statement lipstick if I need to go somewhere in the evening. Here's what's inside: 

I picked this up at Target and was nervous about the shade, but it ended up being a perfect match! I'm not sure how to contextualize my skin color - but I'm a shade Golden Beige in bareMinerals if that's helpful at all. I love that this has SPF in it, so if I'm running really really late and don't have time to put sunscreen on, this will take care of that. The coverage is semi-sheer, but buildable. The finish is dewy and I wouldn't recommend it without powder on top if you're oily! I love it as well because it's like a super portable liquid foundation and is quick to put on. 

This has been my undereye concealer for about 2 years now. It's a creamy consistency and the peachy shade cancels out my dark circles beautifully. It doesn't crease on me and it doesn't dry my undereyes out either. 

I use powder to fill in my brows, since I'm uncomfortable with pencil. I don't know - I've never been good at getting a natural look with pencil! So I use this with a Real Techniques angled brush, and this takes care of my eyebrows. I also use the darker side of the duo to stamp along my eyelashes - almost like a really subtle liner. 

This, I actually rarely use. And it's usually once a month when I start to get hormonal breakouts. I use it as an all-over-the-face concealer and around my nose if it's looking extra red. I'm ambivalent about it - not too loyal, but it does the job and is precise because of the doe foot applicator. 

This is my holy grail mascara. I've used it since the day it came out, and before that, didn't use anything. It's my main B. It's the only mascara that I've used that lengthens and does not clump. Before putting this on, I'll curl my eyelashes with the Sephora eyelash curler. 

Nivea do a lot of different lipbalms - I think I've tried the olive oil one, but I didn't like it too much. It was too slick? Anyway, this is the best one. Moisturizing, slick but not too slick. I use it under lipstick. Perfect for winter time as well! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Wardrobe Updates & June Planning

I was frivolous this month - and went a little overboard on the shoes. I do love the ones that I bought, but let's be honest, I don't need anymore shoes. I'm on a shoe no-buy from now until the Fall. As always, linking up with Fran from franish :)


1. Aritzia Kent Blazer - $85 - on sale now for $80
2. Sperry Harlow booties - $60, but paid $0 because of credit card rewards :)
3. Old Navy Gladiator Wedge Sandals - $24
4. Old Navy T-Strap Sandals - $5 on sale!

TOTAL: $114 
Still under budget, but more than I would have liked to spend ideally! 

I'm really enjoying the Aritzia blazer. It's a longer, looser fitting blazer than something I'd normally wear to an interview. This might sound silly, but I feel really edgy when wearing it! I wasn't sure about the purchase when I received it though. The sleeves are really wide, and I would never wear it without the sleeves rolled up.

As for the shoes - like I said, I love them. Really, I love any pair of shoes that I buy, but I really shouldn't be buying shoes. The t-strap sandals are really lightweight and great for when I'm running out of the house since they're so easy to slip on. They're also perfect for throwing in my bag for a day that I need to wear heels.

The strappy gladiator sandals are another love. I've worn them in several outfits so far, and they're proving to be quite versatile. I love that they've got a slight heel to them, which lengthen my short legs. It's a touch more grown up than if I had purchased a flat sandal.

The desert style wedge boot I bought from Amazon were really just a purchase I had been mulling for a while. I really like the style, even though I think (?) they were trendy a year ago? They were tough on the feet the first day I wore them, but they're quite comfortable now and perfect for colder days. They'll be a workhorse this Fall. I'm glad I got them in the grey, since I think they'll show less dirt and go along with more of the clothes that I have.


I'm listing them here as wants because I definitely don't need these things. But I've been thinking about Everlane all month and they've come out with so many different lines of clothing lately. I don't particularly want any of the new lines, but having come to the site for them, I browsed and have my eye on a few things. These will probably be spread over two months and spill over to July as well. 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Yet Another Striped Dress

dress (old from F21) - shoes - necklace (old from banana republic factory)
A little Memorial Day OOTD quickly before I jet off to work. I got this striped dress in Seattle last summer when I visited for a short vacation. I love that it's made of jersey and has pockets. I love this dress for the transitional season. The longer sleeves are great for when it's not too hot out, but warm enough that a sweater isn't needed. The shoes were an impulse purchase from Old Navy - for $5 no less! I've been looking for a T-strap type sandal, and these fit the bill. I'm awful on my sandals in the summer, and so these made a lot of sense.

Four day week today, because of the holiday, and tomorrow I'm working from home to run some errands and do adult things like pack up my stuff and clean. I'm starting to feel a little nervous, like what if the apartment I signed for isn't actually what I remember? I'm afraid I'll move in and start to see everything wrong with it. Searching for and finding an apartment to live in is much like finding a significant other. Except, you're stuck with it for a year because of the lease. Welp. I guess I'll find out in 6 days. Then I think I'll buy a couch.

Off to work now!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spring in Chicago

Stepping out for a quick lunch! View from just outside of my office building.
A few photos from the latter half of my week! I've been so busy getting ready for my move and juggling a few big projects at work. I always get really stressed out when I need to displace myself. Next week will bear the brunt of all the moving work, so I think I'll work from home on Wednesday to get everything cleaned up and packed for the most part. 

Here's a shot of the terrace that the party was at.
The party was pretty low key - I wore a black shift dress with a statement necklace and some wedges. If you're truly curious, you can see some photos of what I wore on my instagram! The venue was right on Lake Shore Drive, and had some pretty spectacular views of the lake. Fortunately, it was a nice day, after some 50-60 degree rainy and cloudy days that we'd been having. 

You can see a bit of Lake Shore Drive here, and a lovely view of all the harbors that we have.
Hope you all have a relaxing long weekend for Memorial Day! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Same Old, Same Old

jacket - shirt - necklace (banana republic factory) - jeans - shoes - bag
I will never feel more me than when I wear jeans and a striped tee and this jacket. It's one of my favorites - I love the quilting and the fact that it's wind/water proof. It's cold again in Chicago, and this is my "light" jacket, even though it's made with down. I also wore the desert wedges that I got this month. I've been slowly breaking them in and they're at the point where it's quite comfortable now! I wish I could wear heels all day, err day, but alas - they're terrible for your feet apparently. I love the way my short legs suddenly look much more proportional to my long torso! 

Right now, I'm trying to wrestle with my self control to not put in an Everlane order. This is what I get when I online window shop I guess. I think I want to buy their Ryan tank and one of their sleeveless cotton shirts. The tank because it's so loose and drapey, and I think it might be cute under a blazer or half tucked into cropped jeans or cropped dress pants.

Tomorrow, I will be going to a party! It's being thrown by a local magazine to honor Chicago entrepreneurs under 40, and my CEO is one of them. It's so well deserved and I'm excited! I think I'll be wearing a black dress and some minimal jewelry, but it's nice to dress up every once in a while. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Silhouettes

shirt - maxi dress - shoes (old navy) - bag
I'm continuing to experiment with new silhouettes that are different from my skinny jean + drapey t-shirt combo that I love so much. I'm not sure this one worked out as well as I had envisioned? Let me know. I was going for an all drape look and I think I like it. But I think it would have been a little better if the shirt were a little more cropped. I'm trying to figure out some new ways to wear this maxi dress. It's actually grown on me quite a bit since it's so comfortable. I was really contemplating buying another one in a color... but we'll see.

Anyways, I wore this to work yesterday and it was super comfortable. My entire outfit was made of knit viscose from head to toe, so you know how that goes. I was definitely thinking, "maybe I shouldn't have chosen this outfit to wear to work" on my way to the train. I felt a little ridiculous, but I'm lucky I work in such a casual place still. I was thinking about this the other day as I reflected on the time I was looking for a job, and realized that if I had to take a job where the dress code was business professional/casual, I would have nothing to wear.

On a side note - I'm starting to stress out about my move on June 1! I haven't even started to pack yet and am only now realizing how much stuff I have. At least this will give me a chance to edit a little. I need to get my plastic moving boxes from my parents house this weekend. Three day weekend for Memorial Day though!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fruff Pants

tshirt - pants - bag - shoes (old navy)
My boyfriend calls these linen pants my "fruff pants." I don't know what fruff means, but he says they remind him of genie pants. Admittedly, I think they look a bit weird on me! Maybe it's the silhouette that I'm not used to or what, but they are very comfortable and cool in the humid weather we've been having in Chicago. I feel like spring doesn't exist in this city - it goes from winter to a week or two where it's either super hot or super cold, and then summer. 

This weekend has been SO relaxing. On Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to Green City Market in Lincoln Park and then the Museum of Contemporary Art. As long as I've lived here, I've never been to this museum. The exhibits were really interesting - but some of them made me feel really anxious, haha. Here are a few photos of my favorite exhibits - the happier ones!
This one is by Kris Martin T.Y.F.F.S.H. It's the balloon part of a hot air balloon, inflated into a room at the MCA by a couple of electric fans. Really cool - it reminded me of when I was a kid and we'd play that parachute game in gym class. Imagine that, but at 2 or 3 times the scale, since it's so much larger.
The other exhibits that I liked were the Doris Salcedo ones - the MCA has been advertising this all month. The one above actually gave me a little bit of anxiety looking at it - I'm not sure why. It's a little violent and ghostly looking. I didn't take photos of her other exhibits - there was one of old hospital furniture that reminded me of a horror movie. After having looked up Doris Salcedo, I've read that a common theme of all her works is the absence of the human body and the social and political atmosphere of her home country, Colombia.
The one below I enjoyed more. Zoomed out, you would have seen two tables, one flipped over on top, separated by a layer of soil. And what you see here are the green shoots of grass growing up through the table top through little holes. It's actually real grass and real soil - which I found out by touching... which you're not supposed to do, as I realized when the security guard yelled at me for doing so, ha. 

Anyway - if you're a local, I definitely recommend visiting! It's a very non-touristy spot and filled with really cool exhibits that really invoke an emotional response. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Smylie Brothers Brewing Co., Evanston

Ate at Smylie Brothers Brewing Co in Evanston for my 6 year anniversary with my boyfriend. I've only just now edited the photos and finally have the chance to post a quick review. He and I love BBQ and almost every anniversary, we have a BBQ lunch or dinner. When we were in school, it used to be Black Dog in Urbana, IL. But I think Smylie is going to be our alternative if we want to stay around the Evanston area (where he goes to school) - if not for the food, but for the beer.
One of many highlights of Smylie's is that they brew their own beer here, and sell it at a slight discount compared to the commercially brewed beers they had on the menu as well. A 20oz glass for most of their brews was $6. I definitely recommend it. I had the pale ale and it was very light and fresh tasting - really drinkable and great with the food. My boyfriend had the IPA, which in my opinion was really strong and hoppy. I'm usually always on the fence whenever it comes to IPAs - I either really love them, or I can't drink them at all. This one was the latter, and I much preferred my pale ale instead.
I had the Company burger with a side of mac and cheese. The burger itself was good. Not too greasy, substantial, and well cooked. The menu description included "IPA soaked onions" and "house made pickles." I definitely could taste a hint of the IPA in the onions, but if you're not a fan, I wouldn't worry - it doesn't come off too strong. I really enjoyed the pickles, which I think were a quick pickle, since they were sliced so thinly. The mac and cheese was good along the top, where there wasn't too much cheese, but at the bottom, it was a cheese and noodle soup. I'm pretty picky about mac and cheese and generally prefer light cheese than heavy cheese - but if you're a cheese lover, I think this may be right up your alley!
My boyfriend had the brisket sandwich, which I was nervous about. I had read Yelp reviews that the brisket was too fatty, but I didn't get that at all. It was moist and flavorful, and I think the next time we go here, this will be what I order. He ordered fries along with his meal and they were nice and crisp and we shared them, eating it with the BBQ sauces they had. 
BBQ sauces. Other places that we've been have had a wide selection of BBQ sauces, but Smylie only has two. I wouldn't say that this is a detraction, because the two that they have are pretty solid. The Texas Mopping Sauce was our favorite though, and we ate our fries and the remnants of his brisket sandwich with them. Mopping sauce is a fitting name too, since it was a looser, more liquidy sauce compared to the sweet BBQ sauce they also had. 
Overall, definitely would eat here again! I think next time, we'll go for dinner since they have poutine on the menu as an appetizer. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get any for lunch :( 


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Loving Lately

Here's a collection of things/people/places that I love so much, I feel the need to write them down. I don't think this will be a monthly thing, since I really don't go through many new things in a month, but this post will go from the beginning of the year until now.


Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen
I've been meaning to start wearing sunscreen, but haven't been able to find one that is lightweight enough to wear underneath makeup... until now. I either put a couple drops in my hand and dab onto my face, or mix a couple drops in with my moisturizer and use it as a base. It's very lightweight and the consistency is like water. It dries to a very smooth, non greasy finish and feels great. Start wearing sunscreen people. There are so many benefits - slower aging, limit sunburn, and prevents skin cancer caused by UV rays.


Jane runs a Sydney based lifestyle blog. It's a beautiful website and I ran into it this month and have been trying to catch up! I love her outfits and her clothes. I feel like every single outfit I scroll through on her blog, I'm constantly thinking - I have similar pieces, I should wear it like that. Her style ranges from quite girly to quite edgy

Kristina's blog is also another recent discovery for me. Her outfits are just so damn cohesive. Her blog is a huge source of silhouette inspiration for me - especially this post. And I love seeing repeat pieces of clothing that she owns worn in different outfits as well. Her blog reminds me a lot of Dead Fleurette!


Where has this been all my life? Goodbye iron, hello steamer! This is so gentle on your clothing and gets rid of wrinkles without the pain of having to lay out your clothing flat and iron it. And also without the iron crease lines too. This one is just $30 dollars and is even smaller than the iron that I have. I'm obsessed with it. The first day I received it, I steamed every single dress in my closet.

I picked one of these up at Whole Foods in the produce section, and it has stayed with me since then. It's a string bag, sort of like a loose knit mesh. I use it to hold groceries, lunch, boots, anything. I love that it compresses up super small and is portable, but has the stretch to it to hold a lot of stuff.


The outdoor season for GCM is officially started! I love farmer's markets, and this is one of the largest in Chicago. It's located in Lincoln Park, right in the park. I'll be visiting next weekend and am excited to eat some good food. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lake Michigan and My Thoughts on Blog Monetization

dress (old from old navy) - shoes (old from dsw) - bag - sunglasses - necklaces (old from h&m)
I'm switching up the scenery here on the blog! Here I am at Northwestern, where my boyfriend lives and goes to school. Because he's here, I'm in Evanston a lot, which is just a 20 minute train from where I live in Lakeview. One of the perks of living in and around the Chicago area is the proximity to Lake Michigan. His campus is actually right along the lake. When it gets warm, it is such a treat to have the cool lake breeze and dip your feet in. We were on Periscope during our walk, and were asking people to guess where it is we were. A lot of people said, west coast, east coast. And I answered mid coast! It's one of the best things in the midwest. Of course the water is freezing right now, since it hasn't warmed up to the surrounding temperature. But come July, I'm definitely going to hit the beach! This is one of the few dresses that I own. I actually wore this outfit to work. With the right shoes though, you can definitely dress it down. I wore this dress in this post as well.

Anyway - now to the second part of my post: blog monetization. I post a lot of outfits that I wear to work and on the weekends. But let's be honest, I don't own a lot of clothing. The clothing that I do own, I absolutely love and wear to death. I dress quite plainly and I really enjoy doing so. With that said, I do shop. And I do affiliate link the parts of my wardrobe that are still available for purchase via ShopSense. I work a full time job in a completely opposite industry to this and I actually started this blog as a hobby.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with monetizing a hobby. But today, I was reading through some of my favorite larger blogs and saw some affiliate linking practices that just really turned me off. Huge posts full of affiliate links for similar items that they don't even own. And I just wanted to talk about it here because it's one thing to link to the exact item you own, and maybe one that you tried on but didn't fit you right. And it's an entirely different one when you make a post dedicated to items that are available for purchase at X store. There's no value to that.

So with that, I solemnly swear that I will only link to the exact item that I own in my outfit/product posts. I don't like to suggest similar items unless I either own or have personally tried that product. I cannot speak to the quality otherwise. Adding onto that, if I am recommending or not recommending something, all opinions that I write on here are my own true opinions.

Linking up with Style Elixir 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sunshine and Doing What You Love

hat - dress (old from H&M) - shoes (old from DSW) - chambray (old from h&m) - bag
We've had a little bit of a heatwave in Chicago the past couple days - so that means breaking out the dresses and training myself to feel comfortable in them. I've always felt a little uncomfortable in dresses. I think it's a combination of feeling like I might accidentally flash someone and feeling self conscious. This one is an old jersey dress from H&M that I think I got a year and a half ago. But it's a tank dress, cinched at the waist, with very thin black and white stripes. A very common style and cut! I tied my chambray shirt around the waist for warmth in my office, and was very comfortable.

Today, my manager and I went over the projects that I'd like to complete in the next 365 days. One of them - which would take up 10% or less of my time - is literally just doing fun little analyses with publicly available data - something relevant to our industry and our brand and something PR worthy. I love exploring data and just generally pursuing curiosity - and to have explicit permission to do so, and even being encouraged to, is so refreshing.

Chicago actually is quite transparent with city data. A lot of it is available through a consolidated data portal that the city hosts at Every topic under the sun, from most hated landlords in the city to average daily traffic counts all over the city, is available through here, and more are constantly uploaded. The cool thing about this is you can export it for your own use, or if you need a quick visualization, the portal does this as well.

Another source that I use frequently is Google's public data repository: Same type of features - visualization right on the website, but they also link you straight to the source of the data where you can then download for your own purposes. And then you just can't go wrong with plain old census data - the last one was taken in 2010, so we're right in the middle of a cycle.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

dressed up casual

First of the May purchases came in the other day - this loose black blazer from Aritzia. I like that it's longer and looser, so I can look put together, but not too put together! The blazer itself is quite thin, so it'll definitely be light enough to wear in the summer, and will keep me warm in over air-conditioned offices. I wore this outfit to work - pretty low key. As per usual, a striped shirt - hopefully you caught my last post about breton stripes, but they're a huge staple in my wardrobe. I love to wear visually simple clothing, which sometimes can get really boring when you're blogging about what you wear. But stripes are my "color." 

Life-wise, nothing really new. My boyfriend and I celebrated 6 years together last weekend. We've been dating since high school and then went to the same college. He's always been supportive of all the things that I do, whether it's job wise or hobby wise! Shout out to him for always being up for taking my outfit photos. Love you :* 


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Wardrobe Staple #3: The Breton Striped Shirt

I think by now, if you've scrolled through my blog, you've realized that I wear a lot of stripes. Breton stripes, normal stripes - my only caveat to liking a stripe is that it has to be a horizontal stripe. It's such a staple in my wardrobe that I have 5 striped shirts that I wear all of them at least once every two weeks. Ideally, it would be one a week, but I like to space them out so nobody notices that I just wear stripes everyday. In addition to that, I have 3 striped dresses that I wear in the summer on rotation. I hate dresses and have always felt uncomfortable in them, but for some reason, a striped dress makes me feel at ease.

They're bright, crisp, versatile, and instantly pull a look together. I never feel more chic than when I'm wearing a striped shirt, black jeans, a gold bar necklace, and black loafers.

Here's a round up of Pinterest photos that I love of Breton Stripes!