The Broke Girl’s Guide To Handbags

Designer handbags are the one accessory that as you get older, you start to appreciate more and more. I remember when I was a young, struggling University student and all I ever wanted was a Herschel bag pack that could carry my laptop and the thousands of readings that I had to lug from class to class. I would see some girls carrying their Louis Vuitton Neverfull to tutorials and scoff at their vain impracticality.

 

As I get older, I realise that handbags aren’t just a practical accessory to hold all the crap I need day to day. There are nuances to these fashion objects.

As Karl Lagerfeld would say, ” Luxury bags make your life more pleasant, make you dream, give you confidence, and show your neighbours you are doing well.”

That last bit hit the nail on the head. It’s not so much a parade as a subtle indicator to the public that you are doing well. At first I was turned off by this, thinking that it was justifying showing-off and shoving your wealth in people’s faces. Though I think some (tacky) people do that, what Lagerfeld meant wasn’t a parade of wealth or even a status thing. Taken in moderation, it just means that you have worked hard and reaped the benefits. To me, it represents how you have taken adulthood by the horns and won.

With this new outlook, I too decided that a good quality, designer bag is something I would want to look into. Not just for their gorgeous aesthetics, but also for the designer’s promise of high quality and getting what you paid for. But if you are like me, a semi-broke freelancer, it might be tough deciding exactly what to save for and what is worth the hard-earned money.

I thought I would share my insights on the handbag world, with its overwhelming amount of choices.  But go into this post knowing that designer handbags are NOT AT ALL an essential. I have known that all my life. To me, designer bags are milestones in your career. It’s all dependent on the amount of disposable income you have in that moment. Sometimes you have more, sometimes you have less. However, “disposable” is the operative word here. Designer bags aren’t worth debt or starving yourself for.

Here are my tips:

Get The Best Of What You Can Afford

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Photo: LeHappy.com

There are different tiers to designer and not all are created equal. We look to Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton as the holy trinity in the designer handbag world. However, not everyone can or want to spend 7000 to 20,000 dollars on a handbag. There are other brands for you to consider that are equally great in quality and design, though less “prestigious” in the eyes of others.

Instead of getting the lowest “entry” bag to a maison that you like, get the bag of your dreams. If that bag is way beyond your means, then get the best of what you can afford. That was advice that I found extremely helpful for me. No point getting the cheapest bag that might not be the best quality just because it’s from Chanel, Dior or whatever. What’s the point? It’s no different from any other bag. Get the best of a mid-range or mid-tier designer brand instead. Don’t discount and disregard mid-tier brands like Coach, Tory Burch or Longchamp Even though these bags aren’t extravagantly expensive or have prestige attached to their name, their bags and leather goods are well-made and stand the test of time. For the price, their bags are well-worth it, made of quality leather. I recently invested in a Coach Swagger bag and I’m beyond happy with the wear I’ve got from it.

 

Stick To The Basics

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If you are, like me, more adventurous when it comes to accessories and more understated when it comes to clothing pieces, it’s tough to not fall for an amazing graphic print, a unique bag shape or bright saturated colours. Anything cobalt blue or forest green, I instantly fall for. As boring as it may seem, your first investment should be the most versatile colours, so that they compliment every outfit you choose to wear it with. Hence, it’s probably safe to stick to monochromes.

 

Don’t Fall Into The Hype

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This is something I need to practise myself. I am awful at not falling for the hype and trends. The most important thing to consider when you are planing to purchase a solid handbag staple is, especially if it is your first, is to keep it classic. Just because the trend is to own a flashy bag with crazy appliqué designs, know that these trends will come and go. The crazier the design, the more likely it is that you’ll grow tired of it.

However, if that particularly design is totally in your aesthetic, then by all means! The point is to listen to your heart and stay true to your own aesthetics, despite whatever that’s trending at that time. If you know that gold hardware is not your cup of tea, then stick to silver, even if the white-and-gold combo is so in these days. If you prefer a more clean-cut design, then stay away from elaborate floral prints, even if all the fashion bloggers are hyping the latter. When you do that, you are more likely to use the bag for longer as your core style won’t change as frequently as trends do. Furthermore, the bag will most likely compliment the rest of your wardrobe well, if you consider your own style and nothing else.

 

Bags Are Just Bags

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At the end of the day, they are meant to be functional. Consider this when you are looking at sizes and pricing. Some expensive bags are so damn tiny they can barely fit an iPhone 6 Plus, let alone all your other crap! I mean, if it cam only carry your lipstick *ehem*Valentino*ehem*, that’s what pockets are for! For me, personally, I prefer a medium sized bag for every day and one smaller “special occasion” bag. So if I can only afford the smallest version of a certain bag, and it’s something I’d prefer to use everyday, then I probably won’t get said bag even if I think it’s so darn gorgeous. Design aside, ultimately the functionality and practicality of the bag matters more. It’s what separates a good purchase from a regretful one.

Material plays into this category. Do I want leather or PVC? What kind of leather? If the bag is made of suede or lambskin, you would have to baby the bag as it’ll be more prone to scratches and stain. Is a white bag practical? Will future stains be easy to wash off? My suggestion is to pick a sturdier leather (probably cow hide) that has been treated such that it won’t be too damaged by water and is relatively scratch proof. You want your bag to age gracefully, just as you would yourself.

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There you have it!! The biggest tip for a broke girl who wants to have her first foray into designer bags is… Don’t spend beyond your means. I know this is a super naggy and obvious thing but I find it very hard to stick to this primary tip. Sometimes I think that having that gorgeous shoe or bag can make me feel like a million bucks and give me a major confidence boost. It makes me think, “I MUST HAVE IT” because I am addicted to that feeling of confidence. However, that feeling is temporary. It’ll evaporate once you wear that item more and more. And then we set our eyes on a new thing to get our fix.

So awful! It’s something I am working on. To invest my money in a piece that I KNOW I will love for a long time and get the wear it deserves. Ultimately you don’t HAVE to get a fancy bag, but I hope this helps if you are looking into making a bag investment.

 

Lookbook #2 : Spacey James Bay

I’m back at it again with a different type of fashion post. Is it bad that I still reference the ‘Damn Daniel’ vines? It probably is. Though I can’t promise that it’ll be the last you’ll hear of it from me.

For months now, I’ve been trying to switch out my wardrobe and wear outfits that are more mature and sophisticated. My aim this year was to look chic and put together. Unfortunately, I failed miserably because I couldn’t get away from sites like ‘Lazy Oaf’ or ‘Stupkid’ that has insane clothing that speaks to my soul.

I am in love with the patch trend and feel the overwhelming need to add iron-on patches to everything I own. Of course, this is far from the initial look I was going for. Lazy Oaf was a brand that I’ve been pining for. However, their prices are slightly insane in my opinion and they are a UK based brand. Hence, it’s really difficult to try and shop their products. Most of them will have to be blind buys, in terms of sizing.

Enter Stupkid, an Indonesian brand that has made its way to Singapore shores. Their clothing line is quirky and fun, but great quality. Their collection is sold at Orchard 313, but they also have an online store. It’s for people who are loud and don’t take fashion so seriously.

Needless to say I love their stuff.

So far my favourite purchase is this oversized baseball jersey jacket that looks like it came from outer space. I decided to pair it with other crazy things that I don’t really wear in Singapore, for fear of people staring at me. Such as, my awesome hat that I got at the Jewish quarter in Paris. It reminds me of James Bay. So much so that whenever I put it on, “Let It Go” is absolutely stuck in my head all day.

Also I threw on a homemade choker, because why not.

 

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The makeup look I went with is a purple shadow. You can’t really tell in these shots but I went all out.

Here is the breakdown of the makeup worn.

 

Base : Givenchy Eclat Matissime foundation, Make Up Forever Step 1 hydrating primer, Nars Laguna bronzer

Eyes : Max Factor Excess Shimmer in ‘Pink Opal’, Bare Minerals Ready eyeshadow quad in ‘Happy Place’, KIKO eyeliner in ‘Dark Tide’, Maybelline One by One mascara, ELF Instant Lift Brow pencil in ‘Neutral Brown’, ELF clear brow mascara

Lips : Mac Velvet Teddy

 

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Top : Stupkid Space Baseball Shirt, basis white tee

Bottoms : Abercrombie & Fitch black leggings

Shoes : Converse all black high tops 

Accessories : Black fedora & handmade velvet choker

 

Not the most practical thing to wear. But it was nice, pulling out stuff in my wardrobe that I thought were bit over the top for everyday and wearing them out. We all have that piece of clothing that we bought cos we thought was cool and then rarely wear for one reason or another.

 

I say, screw what other people think. And do what makes you happy.

 

 

Photos by Josh Magbanua

Lookbook #1 : 90s

I’m still as obsessed as ever with the 90s trend. We are at the tail end of the trend, where things are tapering down. Summer looks are starting to gain popularity. People are getting into bronzed skin and heavy looks are taking a back seat.

So, I’m milking it for all its worth. Clinging to the 90s for dear life. I feel there is a deeper, peter pan issue here, but we are going to skirt past that heavy stuff and talk about clothes!

90s fashion is a plethora of styles. From the “Clueless” preppy look to grungy rock, there so many styles in between that include lots of denim, plaid, baggy shirts and crop tops. The interpretations are endless. The trend is to opt for a combination of the grunge look with chokers and band tees, along with brown toned makeup. Crop tops are a huge thing currently with the kids, but again, it’s not about going full-on 90s. It is more of a case of taking inspiration from it.

I’ll be incorporating more Lookbooks into this site in the future. Even though I am not a fashionista by any means, I  like translating current trends into my own daily looks as well as celebrating clothing pieces I own that I’m absolutely obsessed with. Everything that I own is pretty much high-street or dirt cheap, which I think is wardrobe of an average woman. Designer pieces are amazing and desirable, but not absolutely necessary in formulating your own style.

 

Look #1 : Black Denim and Cold Shoulders

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Top – Random outlet store ; One piece – Jack Wills 

 

Dungarees are so incredibly 90s in my opinion. I remember wearing them when I was a little kid and I never would’ve thought that I would go back to them as an adult. But I think its a cute way of wearing denim. The one I’m wearing is from Jack Wills and it’s black denim, which does give it a more modern twist. I’ve paired it with an off-shoulder striped top. Off shoulder tops seem so Beverly Hills 90210 to me. This trend is not specific to the 90s. The 80s was when showing off your shoulders became the “in” thing to do. But it has definitely transcended since then.

Now, off shoulder tops are often frilly and girly. Synonymous with summer and a bronze tan. I ended up really loving this outfit. It’s young and feminine, but still quite sophisticated; Thanks to the monochromatic colours. I’ve chosen to pair this outfit with a classic pair of Chuck Taylors, withstanding generations of fashion.

Nothing like good ole’ sneakers.

 

Look #2 : Grunge School Girl 

 

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Top – Forever 21 ; Skirt – Jack Wills ; Choker – Home made 

 

This look is bit more of an actual “look”. Meaning, it’s more of a statement and we are taking elements of 90s fashion more literally. I’ve taken the preppy checked plated skirts that were everywhere in the 90s and thrown on an old-school band tee, that is cut into a muscle tank. As the top is rather oversized, I’ve tied the excess around the waist, which was a super popular thing back then. Instant crop top! Super casual vibe. To complete the look, I’ve added a black choker, making it grunge quite instantly.

 

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If this is still too tame for you, do that double-bun thing I was banging on about here and here. Turns the look into a “bad girl gone cute” kind of vibe.

And yes, that was a Rihanna reference.

 

More to come, I feel like playing around abit more. I feel this trend will only really die off end of this year. But who knows? We might experience a second coming. I, for one, will support that 100%. Mainly because I felt that the 90s was all about expression, you can really mix and match any way you want and you don’t have to focus so much on looking polished or “done”.

Takes the pressure out of picking your outfit of the day that morning.

 

 

Photos : Josh Mabagnua

Slayin’ the 90s like Buffy

The 90s trend has been going strong since last year and the popularity of brown lipsticks, thanks to Kylie Jenner. I have been using brown lipsticks for ages, because I can never let the 90s go. Clinging on to youth for dear life. Personally, I thought that the trend would die. But it is now at its climax with not just 90s makeup trends making a comeback, but also 90s style clothing and fashion.

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I’m all for that. I know that trends come and go but this one is one that refuses to go away. As with everyone else, I love the 90s makeup look. There are several that were popular within the decade. From super model bombshell looks like Cindy Crawford to grungy, undone looks by Winona Ryder, there are many routes you can take with this trend. Personally, I prefer the grungy look; A monochromatic brown smokey eye withbrown lips. Trust me, it looks a lot better than it sounds.

 

Let me walk you through it!

All the products I feature here are super affordable. Even though the trend is going strong in Sephora, you don’t have to break the bank to jump on this one.

 

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Step 1 : Let’s start with the base. Matte skin is what it’s all about. The modern take on the 90s look incorporates extremely luminous skin. But I want to pay homage to the original. To prevent yourself from looking overdone or cakey, pair your favourite matte foundation with a moisturising primer. The L’oreal 24hr Infallible foundation (£8) is great for a high coverage, flawless finish. Underneath, I’ve used the Nivea Men After Shave Balm (S$9.95) in the ‘sensitive‘ version. Made famous by YouTube as the perfect drugstore primer thanks to glycerin as a main ingredient, which helps foundation stick to it and last all day.

Step 2 : Conceal any imperfections you want to conceal and prime the lids. I don’t focus too much on have an absolutely perfect canvas. I used the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer (S$18.90) in ‘Light‘. I don’t bother concealing my dark circles too much or my pigmentation because this makeup embraces imperfection.

Step 3 : Do your brows as per usual! Brows in the 90s are either big and unkempt or thin and over plucked. I suggest defining your natural brow slightly and combing it through with a brow gel to great bushiness and that textured appearance. I used the Missha Perfect Brow Styler (S$8.90) in ‘Dark Brown’ and Milani Brow Gel (S$10).

 

 

Step 4 : Let’s start with the colour! Red eyeshadow would be ideal, but it’s perfectly fine if you don’t have any. I’ve opted for a blush instead. This bright red blush is the CATRICE Defining Blush (S$6.90) in ‘I’m a Survivor‘ from a limited edition collection. But any bright red blush will do. Pack it on the mobile lid and all the way to the crease. Start with a light hand and build the colour slowly. Bring the colour with the same brush underneath the waterline, messily.

 

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Step 5 : Grab a rusty brown shade. I chose a satin reddish brown colour from Moonshot in ‘Russet‘ (S$16) and a fluffy crease brush. Blend the edges of the red with the brown into the crease, putting the most product on the outer V of the eye. Blend the same colour under the eye with the same brush. Don’t be afraid to bring the colour lower than you are used to. If you are starting to look like a red-eyed panda, you are doing it right!

Step 6 : Line your upper lash line with a dark brown or a purplish kohl liner. Here, I used the KIKO eyeliner (£5.90) in ‘Dark Tide‘. Before it sets, use a pencil brush and dip it in a deep burgundy eyeshadow. This is from the Wet n WildComfort Zone‘ eye palette in ‘Definer‘. Smudge the line out with this colour and go on the waterline as well to smoke it out. The darker the better!

 

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Step 7 : Mascara. LOAD IT UP!! Go crazy. Top and bottom lashes. Use a jet black formula that is very volumizing like this Sephora Lash Plumper (S$22) in ‘Ultra Black‘.

 

 

Step 8 : Finish up the face by adding definition with bronzer and colour with blush. I used the CATRICE Sun Glow Matt Bronzer (S$6.90) in ‘Deep Bronze‘ at the hollows of my cheeks to enhance the bonze structure. This, I feel is crucial to the look as it really adds dimension. Then I topped the cheeks off with KIKO Soft Touch Blush (US$3.90) in ‘Mauve‘, a perfect muted colour that matches the eyes perfectly. Make sure to do a light dusting as cheek products were not a big focus in 90s makeup. You can even skip this step, if you’re in a pinch.

 

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Step 9 : Last but certainly not least, complete the look with the perfect brown lipstick. Pick a shade that goes well with your skin colour. I picked shades that have reddish undertones within the brown so that it keeps my face from being washed out. For a creamier formula that is moisturising and perfect for everyday, I have Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick (S$21.90) in ‘Crazy for Coffee‘. For that super 90s feel, opt for a matte formula with the NYX Liquid Suede Lip Cream (S$15) in ‘Soft-spoken‘. A stunning mauve shade that is slightly cool toned, but incredibly flattering. This is supposedly the cheaper dupe of Kat Von D’s ‘Lolita‘.

Throw on a choker and BOOM! It’s as if you time travelled.

 

 

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I’ve been using this look on almost a daily basis, even with regular clothing, that might not be in the 90s style. The grunge look is very versatile, bold and feminine at the time. It’s incredibly easy to execute too.

Try it for yourself and let me know how it turned out for you. Hop on the bandwagon, y’all!

Smokin’ in Spring

Spring has sprung and it’s all about dewy, luminous skin. It’s hard not to think about light pastel shades and a flush of pink when we think about Spring. Not to mention, the highlight trend that is not dying down. Everyone is practically bathing themselves in glitter. Slowly but surely, we are all becoming part of Edward Cullen’s crew, sparkling in broad daylight, glowing even at night. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

But the thing about living in Singapore is that, it’s constantly Summer.

Constantly one season all throughout the year. So I never thought it made much sense for us to be following the trends set by fashion designers and influential makeup artists. Even more so for us, we should make our own trends. Disregarding whatever “season” it technically is for the rest of the world.

So I say, SMOKEY EYES in Spring! Why the hell not!

Smokey eyes are a classic. It brings attention to the eyes and it’s perfect for a night out. Yet it’s still daytime appropriate depending on how dark you make it. It screams sexy sophistication. While I do enjoy the precise quality of Kim Kardashian’s famous smokey eye, the smokey eye I tend to go for is a more relaxed one. It’s meant to be messy, perfect for beginners. I have always felt the messier the application, the edgier the result.

 

 

This is my Two Step Smokey eye! Sexy and Sultry in two minutes flat.

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You will need two things for this look; A dark brown eyeshadow and a black eyeliner. Depending on the look you are going for and the undertone of your skin, you can opt for a warmer or cooler brown shade. It doesn’t matter if you choose a matte formula or a shimmer. What matters is that the eyeshadow has high pigment and a very blendable formula. I have chosen my KIKO eyeshadow in #132 (€6), a dark shimmery brown colour with a reddish undertone. These eyeshadows are super affordable and pack a punch.

For your liner, opt for a creamy formula that is easy to smudge and play around. Kohl liners are the obvious choice as they are made for smokey eyes. However, if you are looking for a longer lasting formula, or if you have oily lids like me, you might want to opt for a waterproof gel formula in pencil form. I went for the SANA Super Quick Melty Gel Liner EX  (S$19) in black. An amazing formula from this Japanese drugstore brand that is jet black and comes in an ultra fine nib. Very similar to the Hourglass 1.5mm mechanical gel liner (US$45) that everyone raves about. This is a fifth of the price and lasts all day in the waterline.

Other tools you will need are a pencil brush and mascara. I feel that a pencil brush is absolutely necessary for this look as it will help you achieve that smokey effect, without any effort at all. I recommend the ZOEVA 230 Luxe Pencil Brush (S$14.50).

 

 

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Step 1 : Apply the dark brown eyeshadow very close to your lash line and use the pencil brush to diffuse the colour. You should have a halo of dark brown rimming your eye.

 

Step 2 : Line your upper lash line with the black eyeliner. Opt for a thin line as it will be easier to blend and diffuse the colour later on. Use the same eyeshadow and pencil brush to smudge over the black eye liner before it sets. Do the same for the lower lash line. Line with black liner and then smudge using the brown eyeshadow.

**The reason why we use the brown shadow rather than just smudging out the liner by itself, is so that we can achieve that gradient effect where the darkest concentration of colour will be at the lash line and then it diffuses out. The brown shadow cuts down blending time and makes it seamless.

 

Step 3 : Load up the mascara!! Use your blackest, most volumizing formula and pile it on both your top and bottom lashes. False lashes are also an option, if you want to add more drama and glam to the look. There is no need to be precise with the mascara application and don’t be afraid of clumps because it just adds to the grunge effect.

 

Step 4 : Line your upper and lower waterline, making sure that everything is covered with black liner. You should not see any spot of ‘skin colour’ around your eyeball. The darker the liner, the better.

 

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And there you have it! The simplest smokey eye that anyone can achieve, even with affordable products like I have. How dark and dramatic you go is entirely up to you!  You can add more brown eyeshadow and smudge the liner lower to add more drama. You can also play with the intensity of the gradient by repeating the steps so that there is more pigment around the eye. Pair it with a sexy nude lip, no blush and a contoured face so that there is little distracting from the eyes.

I love this look!!

It’s dark, mysterious and it gives me a boost of confidence. I feel so badass, without feeling over the top. This technique isn’t revolutionary nor unique. However, that’s precisely why it’s such a go-to look and something ANYONE can achieve.

It’s the makeup equivalent of “smoking” your exams. No skills necessary!

So smoke away!!

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I’ve been wearing prescription glasses since I was 12 years old. That is genuinely decades of being bespectacled. Unlike some, I actually enjoy wearing glasses tremendously. Sure, there are times when I think contact lens are the way to go (i.e. working out, fancy dates). But for the majority, I love wearing glasses and if you invest in a couple of pairs like I have, you can consider them as fashion accessories to add to the look of your outfit.

 

I’m a big believer in having an eyewear wardrobe!

 

If you are a four-eyed person like me, it’s absolutely life changing. Being able to mix and match your outfits with your glasses will just add that extra bit to make you look 100%.

 

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The ones I am currently obsessing over are my MCM glasses from their new eyewear collection that launched September 2015. MCM is a German fashion brand best known for their iconic studded leather bags covered in their signature logo. On top of that they have done amazing footwear and their luxury clothing brand is internationally recognised, especially popular in Korea. This time, MCM has expanded their range of eyewear to include some gorgeous vintage inspired prescription glasses with their own little twist.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

I first saw these in a regular optical shop in a heartland mall. So I would assume that these are quite widely available. Their price range is similar to any luxury brand eyewear such as Burberry, Coach and Raybans. However, not extortionately expensive like Oliver People, Tom Ford and Miu Miu. So for luxury eyewear, I would consider this mid-range.

The collection features thick frames and modern twists to classic shapes. I tried on so many! Because of their thicker frames, I would suggest trying them out before purchasing as the shapes look different on than they do off. They are not as straight forward to purchase as something like Raybans that seem to have a more universally flattering shape.

 

 

Untitled-1 copyThe one I went with is the MCM2600A model (S$259).

 

It has large oversized lens and a medium thickness in frame with the most gorgeous taupe/tan gradient. This style comes in other colours too, including black, brown and even purple. These feature a more rounded shape despite being oversized, which I love! The sides are the same thickness as the frames and is accented with a long gold stud that is engraved with “MCM“. A luxurious and sophisticated touch that really elevated the look of these glasses.

When choosing your glasses, you want to think about not only the look you are going for, but also what are the undertones of your skin and how versatile the shape is for your daily outfits. This particular one is able to look casual and “fancy” at the same time and I love that about it. It suits most outfits, save for maybe a ball gown.

But once again, glasses are so highly personal. It is a definite case of “You do you“.

This sturdy piece is going to get a lot of wear from me. Though I am lusting over pieces that I saw in the Garrett Leight’s collection. Unfortunately for us, they don’t sell it in Singapore. So until I figure out how to get my greedy hands on a pair of those.

I am content with this gorgeous pair! (for now)

 

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Oh, what a Site!

The social media craze is alive and strong today and it’s not looking to die down any time soon. Just like with anything that becomes insanely popular, the capitalist nature in humans simply cannot resist monetising this venture. Social media has become such an effective marketing tool. Just when you think you can escape ads that have invaded your favourite spaces like YouTube and Facebook, it has even permeated Instagram with “sponsored” posts and product placement by influential accounts.

Nothing is sacred any more. 

But perhaps nothing was sacred to begin with. With the developments of social media, I have ironically become more selective about the types of people I would follow and the types of websites I would read. I grew sick and tired of YouTubers raving about how *insert name of product* has CHANGED their life and then literally the next week *insert another product name* has changed their life AGAIN. Scroll down and you will find that everything was a LIE and it was all a #AD. Can you tell I’m bitter about this?

With this post, I would like to share my favourite Instagram accounts and websites. I’m excluding YouTube channels because my subscription list is out of hand. We will do a separate post on that entirely.

The bulk of these are fashion and beauty inspirations for me. However, I also enjoy photography accounts and lifestyle sites. The one thing I enjoy about all of them is that they have their own stylistic integrity and they do so despite the need to do sponsored posts or feature certain places or products. I don’t feel as if they are shoving ads down my throat as they are genuine in their creative endeavour.

 

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1. Carmen Hamilton

A blogger for her own website and Vogue Australia. She is blonde, beautiful and incredibly stylish. Her style is relaxed but well-thought through. Also, she has a blogspot site that is just chic as hell. Who says blogspot is so “1999”? She also makes more flat chested ladies like me feel confident about my body image and shows me how I can look incredibly feminine, without the need to emphasise any cleavage and curves.

 

@chroniclesofher_

 

 

2. Gritty Pretty

Absolutely stunning website and Australia’s leading e-magazine. With the drop dead gorgeous Eleanor Pendleton as editor and publisher, the site oozes “chic”. The e-magazines are free for you to browse and they have quality articles and tasteful ads. I love e-magazines more and more as they are able to play around with gifs and moving images, which adds a dynamic quality to an article. Furthermore, if you are interested in any item they are featuring, you can simply click on the image to shop the product. Internet shoppers rejoice!

 

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@gritty_pretty

 

 

3. Jane Aldridge

Writer for the blog “sea of shoes”, one of the first fashion and style websites that I discovered and check religiously at the tender age of 15. Jane’s style is vintage and colourful, which is something I enjoy after a sea of monochromatic fashion shoots. I love her quirky style and her posts are simple and to the point with zero sponsorships. She genuinely loves sharing her fashion style and inspirations.

 

 

@seaofshoes

4. Weston James Palmer

A gorgeous human being with an Instagram feed and website that I am obsessed with. Weston is an artist, currently in LA (he also kinda looks like Jared Leto *yum*). His signature pink accents are everywhere in his designs, photographs and website. Its creative, inspiring and a visual pleasure. His videos are also done in the same style, with his comments handwritten on the screen. If you are having writer’s block or are experiencing a creative rut, check out his work and I guarantee it will get your creative juices going.

 

@westonjamespalmer 

 

 

5. Anna

Anna excels at everything from her blog, Instagram page to her YouTube channel. I enjoy her blog most of all the three mentioned. Her articles are the right length, relatable, witty and with good quality photos. Great and mostly honest recommendations. I love her girl-next-door personality. She feels like an old friend, which is why we are all on a first name basis with her.

 

@viviannamakeup

And it’s a wrap!

All the names are clickable for your viewing pleasure. I highly suggest you check them out because they keep me inspired and give me hope that artistic integrity is still a thing, even when my YouTube subscription and Instagram feed is drowning in a tsunami of sellouts. 

Bad(ass) is the new Black

Before you read this post, you might want to put on some rap music so that you can truly get into the spirit of things. Might I suggest some A$AP Rocky or Kendrick Lamar, who are both incredible rappers and have the ability to make me feel like I have “swag” even though I depressingly lack it.

I have mentioned once before that I love observing trends as they play out around the world. With YouTube and Instagram, it’s increasingly easy for us to catch on to trends because we will undoubtedly see them everywhere. *cough*adidas superstars*cough*

The ones we have been noticing lately, more so in the wide world of social media than in the actual streets of Singapore, are funky hairstyles. Your hair can be considered a fashion accessory as it is up to you how you would want it to be styled and it’s amazing what different hairstyles can bring to one’s own distinct look. Right now, the Royal Family (a famous New Zealand Dance group) are the epitome of the current trendy hairstyles girls are adorning. The essence of these hair looks is complete and utter disregard for subtlety and embrace your bad self.

Essentially achieving a “badass” look.

 

 

The first would be BRAIDS.

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Braids are a popular hairstyle since the dawn of time. But in terms of trends, the type of braiding and the type of makeup and styling that goes around these braids are equally important. Kylie Jenner has made this trend extremely popular, naturally. The world is absolutely obsessed with Kylie and are scrambling to emulate her style. The braids we are talking about are not childish pigtail braids but tight French or Dutch braids that start from the scalp all way down, creating two or more neat braids. The tighter the braid, the better. We are not going for the messy look here.

This look is edgy, clean and mean. Popular Instagram girls tend to pair this hairstyle with tight, sporty outfits and rather “full-on” makeup. In particular, over drawn lips coated in a 90s brown lipstick and thick, crisp brows. To be honest, it gives me major “chola” vibes and no one is going to want to mess with you.

 

The second look I have noticed is the DOUBLE BUNS.

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Think Chun Li from Street Fighters and you have an accurate depiction of what your hair needs to look like. You want to separate your hair into two pigtails and then tie each them into a bun. The messier the better. This look is such a throwback to the 90s when pop stars like Gwen Stefani and TLC would don this hairstyle with bindis on their foreheads. It’s interesting how this style has been resurrected and updated. Once again, the makeup needs to make a statement with this look to avoid looking too “cute”. The aim is ‘quirky and dangerous‘. Pair this with bold outfits in loud prints and thick, black winged eyeliner. Throw on a bold lipstick and you are good to go.

These looks are fun to try if you ever feel like experimenting with something new. It is certainly more popular in the US and more western countries but with Kylie Jenner paving the way, many more are jumping on this bandwagon.

An honorable mention needs to be made to the GREY HAIR trend that is still going strong in 2016 and is much more noticeable in Singapore. The pastel hair craze has given way to a grey haired one. Even if it isn’t specifically grey, ashy hair colours are becoming the more popular choice. We have certainly noticed a lot more silver-haired boys and girls in town, usually mistaking them for an elderly person from behind and then being proven otherwise when they turn around.

I suggest watching CL’s music video for her song “Hello B*tches” because it embodies this trend and is a good example literally all the trends I spoke off and more!

With all these looks, the key is to look like a BADASS BITCH. And I have to say, I’m diggin’ it.

 

 

 

Model : Diyanah Mustapha (@diyanahm)

Makeup : Hanan Alhaddad (@thebroadwalk)

Viral Beasts.

Daaaaaaamn, Hanan. Back at it again with the sneaker posts!

That was a reference to the viral white vans meme that’s going around social media. A guy named Daniel got his friend to film his outfits for the week, and his friend commented, “Daaaamn, Daniel! Back at it again with the white vans”. I don’t understand how this video got so viral, but it’s blowing up. I am foreseeing that I will be writing about White Vans being a new trend very very soon.

Meanwhile…

Let’s talk about this ‘hypebeast’ trend that’s slowly but surely gaining popularity. I’m talking about the ASICS Gel Lyte Series.

 

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ASICS Gel Lyte Speed ‘Stealth Camo’ (SGD$229)

Aren’t these just stunning?! I first saw a pair in Perth and was intrigued by its unique shape and design. After a month or so, I began to see ASICS Gel Lytes popping up in stores like Leftfoot and Seek. More and more people started wearing them out and it was amazing to me because I have never really looked into ASICS as a brand before this series of sneakers came out.

ASICS are well known in the sports industry, particularly among runners for their impressive support and structure. Their trainers offer lightness without sacrificing durability whilst offering support for the feet. The main reason why I have never purchased one, or even glanced at their trainers was due to their classic “sporty” design. I would argue that their previous designs were rather dated. They would not catch your eye, looks-wise when they are stacked in a shelf with other competitor brands. Which is a real shame considering how coveted they are in the sports industry.

The main problem was that their sports shoes TRULY looked like sport shoes and they could not transcend that specific look. It was tough to integrate their previous designs into outfits. On the contrary, the ASICS Gel Lyte III and its variations (ie. Speed, etc) are versatile and much more up-to-date in terms of design. Once given the nod of approval from the Hypebeast team, you know these babies are gonna blow up.

 

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A unique quality to this series is the tongue, or rather the lack there of. It’s called the ‘split tongue’ design, unique to this brand. It’s not only a cool design feature, but also very practical as it’s easy to slip your feet in and out. They have quite a substantial midsole, meaning it will give you added boost in height. Whether you need it or not, that extra inch in height feels nice. They are also rather weighted, compared to other sneakers. You can definitely feel these on your feet, but that means it is also very durable.

With its sleek minimalistic design, it is the details that make these stand out. I love the understated leather ASICS logo on the side and the cool reflective accents on the laces. This particular pair was limited edition. It has a speckled design on the midsoles and a barely there camo gloss on suede and grey mesh. Its a great unisex sneaker that makes any outfit cool.

ASICS Gel Lytes tend to be more readily available for males and I had a difficult time finding a pair in female sizes. Fortunately, as they are gaining popularity, female sizes are becoming much easier to find. Its cool, edgy and sporty at the same time. Pair them with any outfit and make people go,

“Daaaaaaamn”

Aren’t we all Superstars?

I love people watching. And I don’t mean that in a creepy, “stalker-ish” manner. I mean it in a very laid-back, observant context. Perhaps sipping on a cup of coffee whilst gazing out a large glass window in a highly “Instagrammable” cafe.

Now that I have painted the setting, let’s move along.

Trends are one of those things that are constantly evolving. It’s what I both love and hate about being in a society. I love being a part of something and seeing the trends evolve and change with the times, but I also hate the generic mass-consumerism and bland public opinion that all of us tend to be influenced by. However, I also love seeing the trends that are different in different parts of the world, even though we can all agree that trends are translating internationally quicker than ever before.

Shoe trends are the Thing. It is an easy trend to pick up on and its something that you can add to your wardrobe easily, without changing your entire look or style. Remember the time when Supergas blew up the young adult scene and everyone started wearing them? Similar things have happened with Nike Roshe Runs a few years back. Currently, the “in” thing are these babies.

 

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The Adidas Superstars!

 

Another popular one, in a similar design would be the Stan Smith editions, also by Adidas. Take a stroll around Orchard Road and you will see these everywhere nowadays. I could count at least 30 sightings of this pair or similar in a single trip to town.

These were very popular when I was in secondary school, eons ago and they are making a comeback. The Adidas Original range has been increasing in popularity again with their eye-catching designs on classic silhouettes. These Superstars are classic, sporty and chic. I’ve had this pair since I was young and it’s still going strong. The stiffer shoe material does make it a lot more durable. It’s also VERY basic. But that’s precisely why it is so popular.

An easy staple in anyone’s closet.

My favourite way to style this pair is with dark denim and a plain white T-shirt. It’s such a clean look; Presentable, even though I did not try very hard at all.

Throw on those Raybans I was talking about before in this post. And Boom!

You look like a superstar.