The World’s Shortest Skin Care Routine

I promise. It’s just 3 steps.

In early 2017 I had theeee worst breakout of my life. Cystic acne. Cystic acne everywhere. Chin, cheeks, nose (not the nose!!), you name it. I tried every method out there to get rid of self-esteem killer–and little did I know that my diet was the real culprit of my face freakout.

So in addition to being non-dairy for a year now (yes, dairy is probably the culprit to your lifelong issues with acne but doctors don’t want to tell us this!)–I’ve incorporated a simpler skin routine that is less costly and for the lazy inclined.

Step 1: Cleanse

step 1

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser is the best facial cleanser I have ever applied on my face. It’s so luxurious to the touch and even though my face is oil-prone, I feel like it melts away all the layers of dead skin and makeup built up throughout the day. When I’m in the shower, I allow for steam to open up my pores before I pump the product into my palms. It leaves your face feeling clean but properly moisturized. It doesn’t feel stripped. Never going back to over-drying chemically-heavy drugstore cleansers.

Step 2 (ish): Face Mask

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nobody told me that face masks are a game changer in skin care so when I snagged this from my local CVS and started to use it three times a week I was, as the youngins’ say, “shooketh”. I would apply the mask immediately after I showered and waited for 20 minutes while perusing Instagram. Not only was it therapeutic to have a mini spa session right before bed, it left my skin feeling plumper and detoxed. It does have a tingling sensation that could be interpreted as burning though. I don’t mind and it doesn’t have any negative effects on my skin, but it’s important to always check in with your skin so that you’re not putting unfavorable products on it. (Included in the slideshow is also the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack–facial mask. This also gave me the same results, but I know that this CVS brand is $10 as opposed to $22 if you’re trying to save a buck.)

Step 3: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

step 3

This last step was probably another reason why my cystic acne was off the charts. I wasn’t properly moisturizing. The truth about acne, aside from diet, is that an over-production of oil on your face can eventually seep into your pores, become infected and voila! You got a nasty one forming. BUT, if you properly moisturize (especially at night when your body is doing all it’s repair work) your skin won’t have the need to overcompensate with oil! I learned this from watching Liah Yoo’s Youtube channel dedicated to all things acne and skin care. She warns against moisturizers that just “sit on top of the skin.” With the Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich, it didn’t “sit” on my skin. How did I know that? When I woke up in the morning, I felt like my skin had some bounce to it. Try it yourself–you’ll thank me later.

I know, I sound like a talking billboard for Glossier–and I honestly wish I was and that they would pay me to promote them. They changed my skincare routine for the better and I think EVERYONE needs to have the answers. Granted their products aren’t drugstore prices–can you really put a price on healthy skin?????

xx

-A

Advertisements

Let’s Talk About Body Lava

And briefly why I’m so late to the game.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been moving for the past two weeks or that I graduated with a Master’s degree. Perhaps those are the reasons as to why I didn’t catch on to the amazingness that is Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava.

My interest was first piqued when I saw someone on Instagram (of course) buffing the dewy concoction on their collarbone in a short 5-second video. I was then led to the 10-minute Vogue video of Rihanna guiding us viewers through her makeup routine (which was really pleasant to watch because the girl’s personality is so surprisingly disarming–whatta gift!) and then towards the end you witness her slathering a generous amount of Body Lava on her chest and shoulder.

body lava

It was then that I decided that I MUST have it. I don’t know about you but ever since the dewy trend (spearheaded into the mainstream by Glossier I think) has taken the beauty-sphere by storm, I have had a grand ol’ time reveling in the fact that I have been on the “dewy”, borderline sweaty, train the day that my facial sebaceous glands started overreacting during puberty. Now when people ask, “Are you oily?” I can respond, “Nah fam, I’m dewy.” What a time to be alive! And to also give proper credit, my mom (the most moisturized female I have ever met. I have never once seen one streak of ashy on her in my 24 years of living) has been on the dewy tip circa 2000 when she taught me and my sister to put baby oil on our bodies immediately after we jumped out of the shower (thank you, Johnson & Johnson).

highlight-le-poppin.gif

Now with Body Lava, inspired by Rihanna’s Barbadian roots, she has made it totally cool to be a glowing light bulb all over. She is making oily great again and I’m livinggggg for it. Who said that highlighter is limited to the cheekbones? Some might find the whole thing preposterous. To that I say, come over here and let me dust some Killawatt on ya cheeks.

xx

-A

Mindful Minimalism

Minimalism is 90% the mind.

I’ve begun to take the practice seriously for this year by culling my closet, old paperwork, and other miscellaneous items that I had been storing up for a year now. But I began to run into problems. I unearthed old papers that I wrote in undergrad and didn’t want to throw them away. I began to read old Christmas/birthday cards and felt my attachment to these cards grow. I would pull out an old unworn jacket, put it on and convince myself that I should give it 3 more months in my closet. That was when I realized that minimalism is 10% of getting rid of stuff physically, but you got to do the 90% work of psychologically letting go.

If you type minimalism on YouTube you’ll find hundreds of tutorials and how-to’s. The first thing they always tell you to do is to make three big piles of 1. stuff you want 2. stuff you don’t want 3. and the “eh we’ll see” pile. They never tell you how to properly handle the “eh we’ll see pile” and perhaps that is due to the fact that before you become a true minimalist you have to do some deeper work to find out why you are so attached to certain items, find a way to make peace with it and eventually let it go. No minimalist guru on YouTube can teach you how to do this deeper work.

For example, despite the fact that my Christmas/birthday card box is taking up way too much space in my closet, and it’ll be one of those boxes that will annoy me when I eventually move out again, the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I read other people’s notes to me continuously prevents me from throwing them out. The notes remind me that I’m seen and loved. Do I need to keep those cards to remind myself of that? No. But nonetheless that’s the barrier I’m running into.

benefits-of-minimalism

Of course there is no hard and fast rule to minimalism. If birthday cards (or anything else for that matter) are an absolute must for you to keep because it genuinely brings you joy then by all means keep it. But you surely can tell the difference between something that gives you joy and an unhealthy attachment.

In all, I’m learning that minimalism is a process. I’ve witnessed the finished products of other minimalist’s lives, but I got to remember that they didn’t cull their life in one hour. It took time to get to their place of satisfaction and ultimately, I have to figure out what level of minimalism I’m comfortable with. Because minimalism is not about arbitrarily throwing things away–it’s about creating more space to include the things you truly enjoy and implementing the lost art of discipline in all aspects of your life.

I spent a few hours this week watching tiny home tours for inspiration. Here is the channel I follow for your viewing pleasure.

xx

-A

Follow me on Instagram! 

New Beginnings

Welcome back to my space.

It only recently made sense for me to create a list of new year resolutions. I feel like as I get older I become a lot more reflective and with reflection, you’re able to notice things that you’d like to change about yourself. And boy, do I want to change a lot of things.

But this post isn’t about what my resolutions are. This post is about getting back to the heart of what I enjoy. And that is writing and documenting. I was reading my old blog posts in 2014 (when I started this blog) and I was surprised at how dedicated, thoughtful, vulnerable, and optimistic I was. Life really has the ability to harden you and I think with that territory comes a natural tendency to shrink back. It’s not that I stopped thinking–it’s just that I stopped sharing.

I’m going to go back to sharing. Of course, I do so with a bit of apprehension and wariness because I am now fully cognizant of the foils having too much of a digital footprint. Nonetheless, I will give it a go.

Today I had brunch with a few friends from my church, wandered around Little Tokyo for a bit (this is becoming my favorite spot and past-time where I got a PB&J vegan donut and then went to go see Lady Bird in a small vintage theater in Los Feliz. A little surprised at the fact that all these years I’ve lived in LA and I haven’t properly explored Los Feliz. It was a two hour occassion that pleasantly turned into an all day one. Don’t you love that in life? When things go longer than planned because you’re genuinely enjoying yourself?

It’s important to spend more time in your present. Keyword: your. Because we do spend time in the present, but when we’re focusing on everyone or everything else but ourselves, those things begin to consume our livelihoods. So spend time in your present–and don’t succumb into the temptation to run on autopilot.

Some pictures of the day below:

IMG_2621

IMG_2634

PB&J Donut!

IMG_2635

xx

-A

 

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful.

Hello and welcome back to my little corner on the internet.

I got some looks and a few thoughts to share per usual.

Some of my favorite style icons lately include Jeanne Damas (whom I recently have been stalking), Julia Sarr Jamois, as well as Freddie Harrel. What do all these women have in common? They are French yes, but what really intrigues me most about all of them is how effortlessly they dress, walk, and carry themselves.

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly contributes to their blithely posture, but my best guess is that French culture highly values women who display elegance through natural beauty. Or as the French say it, je ne sais quoi. 

They don’t let their clothes wear them. They make their clothing fit their lifestyle however hectic or lackadaisical it may be, always incorporating a signature look that remains classic to their name. When I think of Julia, I think about how her cheetah print boots go hand in hand with her voluptuous fro. I think about Jeanne Damas’ impish eyes crowned by mascara and her finger-applied red pout when I see her wearing Prada pumps and a canary yellow sundress. I picture Freddie Harrel’s cheshire smile while posing in an electric blue jumpsuit reminiscent of the American 80s.

It’s about the woman in the clothes. It’s not about piling on embellishments for the sake of it.

When I think of natural beauty–the first image that comes to mind are flowers. When I bought these flowers and brought it to my office, people were gushing about how beautiful they were. Yet–they didn’t primp and pamper themselves. They just grew like dis. Luke 12: 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

In fashion blogging where the emphasis on being beautiful is constantly advertised by burning through dozens of makeup palettes and buying new clothes every season, sometimes I have to remind myself that just being the person I am is enough and is beautiful enough on my own without the need for embellishments. It’s about the woman inside the dress. Besides, if God created the flowers of the field so beautifully, how much more me?

Yellow Dress: Thrifted.

Choker: Boutique shop.

Shoes: Doc Martens.

All Photos taken by : Ryan Jirapong + Edited: Yours truly.

FOLLOW ME ON INSTA! 

Ethics + Aesthetics

Two posts in one day! Woo, I’m on a roll here. But I felt the need to explain a few things.

For one, I am changing the way that I view fashion and how I want to use this platform that is called my blog. Aside from styling being a hobby, I want to become more intentional about the messages I send, since I am a “fashion blogger”. I don’t want to be the messenger of over-consumption, unsustainable habits, and unreal, manicured depictions of who I am.

So what does this mean for my blog? Not sure yet. But as I go along, the ideas will keep coming to me. I’m learning to trust the process.

the true cost

For one, I have a resolution that I silently made many months ago, but was afraid to publicly come out and have my audience hold me accountable. And that is to no longer being a shopper of fast fashion retailers. I watched a documentary called The True Cost and I was really challenged to think about my spending habits and what sort of industry I am supplanting. As a believer of Christ, my views are that people are made in the image of God and therefore deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. From what I could understand in the documentary, my cravings for a new pair of shoes from Zara, directly affected the lifestyles of a many poor citizens in Bangladesh and other countries these suppliers outsource to. So if anyone knows a bit about this interesting journey with Christ, you know that “dying to your flesh” is a major key alert. And I had to implement it in this area of my life so that I can learn to built more sustainable habits when it comes to purchasing apparel.

Hows it been going? So far, so good. I’ve been an avid thrifter since high school so it’s not as difficult. Although, I’m little nervous about how I’m going to be shopping for shoes, not a fan of used shoes…but luckily I already have 20 pairs to juggle and style around. What would be really wonderful is if you guys could comment below or message me with amazing thrift stores in LA. Now that Depop and Poshmark will be my only “online” stores I will be shopping at, I need some in-person stores to balance it all out!

xx

-A

Follow me on Insta && Twitter!

 

Take Note.

edited 1

_MG_6747

_MG_6725

 

_MG_6760

 

 

If I’m in a rush or am too lazy to style at 8am, I rely on my high waisted denim jeans and build around that. Paired with my white crop top and white sandals, it levels out and balances this outfit giving the illusion of me trying extremely hard to be put together when it literally took two seconds. And of course, I had to add a touch of grunge to the mix because I am forever a 90s baby. This is an outfit that I would wear on a casual day out, to class, and even the beach! The flannel shirt is perfect as a lightweight cover up when the night gets a bit breezy.

I also decided that I would share some of the music I’ve been listening to non-stop in the past month. It has heavily inspired some of the style choices I’ve been making–thinking about breaking out my burgundy docs again (been a while). Message or comment below if you have any recommendations for new bands to listen to. Constantly on the search.

Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

The Kooks: Listen

Klaxons: Myth of the Near Future

Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly

Two Door Cinema Club: Tourist History

 

xx

-A

Noise.

Ever since school ended, which was about 3 weeks ago, I’ve been revisiting some of the reasons why I started this blog. It originally was an outlet that I wanted to use to showcase my passion for clothing in various ways. I didn’t want it to become a generic fashion blog that showed OOTD’s that everyone/no-one would wear, with boring editing and boring photos (we all know we’ve run into those blogs here and there). Not that I am saying my blog became those things, but I felt like my photos were too commercial. So this time, I wanted a shoot that was darker, something raw, something altogether interesting. My closet palette consist of dark hues with the occasional pop of color just so that people won’t mistake me for a goth/emo child. What can I say, black goes with everything.

_MG_5763

_MG_5785

 

_MG_5759

_MG_5816

_MG_5825

_MG_5836 b&w

_MG_5838

_MG_5840

_MG_5859

 

_MG_5896

_MG_5922

_MG_5943

_MG_5950

_MG_5962

_MG_5974

_MG_5981

 

Jacket: F21

Lips: Mac-Sin

Harem Pants: Cotton On

Sandals: Urban OG

Necklace: H&M

Choker: Ebay

xx

-A

Warby Parker’s Half Decade Collection

Warby_Parker_Half-Decade_Collection_3

To be honest, about 80 percent of the time I have glasses on. Contacts are a luxury that I use for those days when I want to throw shades on or when I have a particular outfit in mind. Other than that, I usually feel most comfortable with some frames settled on the bridge of my nose. But often, my problem is that the frames that are the most trendy and fitting for my face end up being way over budget for me–leaving me with less options. So when I first heard of Warby Parker a year ago, I was extremely excited.

I was even more excited when someone from the communication team reached out me, wanting me to promote their brand and talk about their new Half-Decade Collection. They just had their smallest (biggest) parade celebrating the 5 years that they have been in business, and they’re kicking off the celebration by releasing their new limited collection of glasses. Although I’m not modeling their new Half Decade Collection, I would urge you to go and check it out!

What I ended up doing was taking advantage of Warby Parker’s Home Try On program where you can order 5 frames off their website and have it shipped to you for free in order for you to try on some glasses to see the best fit. From there you can buy the frames of your liking. If not, send it back for free again. Literally, I had nothing to lose so I went ahead and got a couple of frames that caught my eye.  I will include all the information for the ones modeled
as well below along with the outfit details.

First frames that I modeled were Burke Tennessee Whiskey

IMG_9428 IMG_9433 IMG_9429 IMG_9440

Second frames: Baxter Striped Sassafras

IMG_9483 IMG_9454 IMG_9494

Hat: Target

Dress: Thrifted

Boots: Boohoo.com

Earrings: Gift

It’s also worth mentioning that Warby Parker is one of the few companies that actually believe in everyone’s “right to see.”  For every frame bought, they donate a frame to someone in need. Not everyone has the luxury of buying eye glasses frames when they need it, so kudos to this brand that is dedicated to style and social justice!

xx

-A