GENTLE MONSTER:: Sunglasses & Wishes

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today I want to share a wishlist of sunglasses that I picked out from the brand GENTLE MONSTER. This is a Korean brand that makes sunglasses well-suited for Asian faces. One of the problems that I struggle with when I shop for sunglasses is that they tend to rest on my cheeks. After hearing Youtubers and friends rave about these sunglasses, I decided that I’m going to invest in a pair of GENTLE MONSTER sunglasses.Since I’m going to LA soon, I might stop by Eye Holics to try on a couple of pairs since I’m still a bit hesitant to order online. Nordstrom carries GENTLE MONSTER and has a hassle free return policy but I can’t decide which one I want and I know that I can’t buy all 5! Sadly, I missed my chance to try them on when I was in New York!

However, I can redeem myself when I travel to Korea next summer. Based on the pictures, each branch in Korea is designed differently and incredibly uniquely, making it one of the stops on my list of places to visit when I go to Korea next summer.

My Wishlist::

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:Tilda Swinton X GENTLE MONSTER | Newtonic 60 mm Rounded Sunglasses:
I love black sunglasses with gold detailing. The polished double bridge combined with the cutout temple tips creates an edgy look. 
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:GENTLE MONSTER | Moon Cut 55 mm Sunglasses:
This pair is more of a retro round frame with gold detailing. 
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I like how this pair is slightly see through. The detailing on the temple tips is cute too. 
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This pair is in my top two. I love oversized sunglasses for running errands aka hiding from students. 
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Another full coverage frame is on my list. I feel as if this one is more chic and elegant than the Zeiss lens. 

Comment below on which pair is your favorite.Thank you for reading!

April 2017 Favorites

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I still can’t believe it’s MAY! I feel as if this year is flying by and I’m almost 25. Here are all my favorites for the month of April.

Book::

This month my favorite read was, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi. Technically it is a reread since I first finished the book in June. While reading this book, I cried, hoped, and found some peace.
The first time I ate alone in a restaurant was when I was reading this book. I wanted to get out of my apartment, out of the city and kept driving. All I knew was that I wanted to go where I wouldn’t be recognized and left alone. About 1.5 hours later, I ended up in Gilroy. Ironically I drove myself to the very person I was running away from. It was as if fate was toying with me.
Rereading the book in April, allowed me to reflect on where I am going and where I’ll be. I’m healing, reopening old wounds and watching the scars slowly fade, but I am at a good place. In these moments, I realize that I forgive you and I forgive myself.
“What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to future a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir” -excerpt from the  inside front cover
*

Beauty & Fashion::

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As I get older, I find myself drawn to the basics. My nude Steve Madden sandals are one of my essentials and favorite pair of shoes. They go with everything and the low heel is super comfortable. Roses de Chloe is one of my favorite scents, it’s a rose based perfume that doesn’t scream grandma perfume. Well even if it did a little, I wouldn’t mind too much since I love roses.
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I always try to apply sunblock daily and one of my favorite sunblocks is made by Shiseido Anessa. Anessa is a sub-brand of Shiseido that is found exclusively in Japan. Instead of a creamy base, it is more of a milky sunblock. This makes it more waterproof and less thick thus I am more likely to reapply over my freckled skin. I would totally recommend this if you live in a hot environment.
In my skincare post, I mentioned this TATCHA moisturizer, a relatively new addition to my skincare. TATCHA’s water cream claims to release a burst of skin-improving Japanese nutrients, powerful botanicals, and optimal hydration for poreless-looking skin. The packaging is super cute as the cream is encased a Tiffany Blue tub with a gold bow on top. The bow holds the tiny gold spatula that I use to scoop out my moisturizer. Inside the blue tub, is a jiggly white cream. I tend to use a cream over a lotion moisturizer as my skin is dry. This helped heal my dry patches caused by allergies and I notice a brightening effect as well. I’ll update with a review specific to this moisturizer soon.
Even though I own a plethora of makeup, I don’t wear a full face of makeup to work every day. Honestly, I’d rather sleep in. I’ll just fill in my eyebrows and use my cushion foundation. I prefer cushion foundations because it allows me to reapply SPF to my face. Dior Capture DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion foundation has an SPF of 50 and comes in 4 shades- I use shade 10. This foundation has light coverage so it’s perfect for the no makeup look.

:Items Mentioned:

Paul Kalanithi When Breath Becomes Air
Shiseido Anessa Whitening Skin Protector SPF 32 PA ++ (Pink one discontinued)

 

How to Create a Flat Lay Background

FlatlayDIY How to Create a Flat Lay Background DIY
I got bored of using my desk and bedsheets as my flat lay background. So I decided to create my own flat lay backgrounds to switch it up a bit. This is a pretty project to do! I would recommend grabbing a partner though as contact paper is super spiky and you don’t want to have any mishaps.

Materials:: 

Contact Paper
Foam Poster Paper
Credit Card or Gift Card
Scissors

Steps:: 

1. Cut contact paper to size. I leave excess so that I can wrap it around the back but that is optional. If you want to make a two sided board you can cut it exact so you can use the other side as well. That is more difficult so I opted with one-sided backgrounds.
2. Peel backing off and carefully place on top of the surface.
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3. Use the card to smooth out air bubbles. Go in one direction!!!
4. Flip the board over and press down the excess.
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I ended up making 4! I can’t wait to use them. Thank you for reading.

What to buy During Nordstrom’s Triple Point Days

Nordstrom’s Triple Point Days::

From May 3-7 Nordstrom Rewards Members and cardholders earn 3X the points on net purchases made in stores or online at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook. Mother’s day is just around the corner so pick up a gift while shopping for yourself.

Candles::

Right now my favorite candle is Baies by Diptyque. It’s quite a splurge for me but I adore the packaging and the scent. I have a dull nose so I opt for stronger candles that I can actually smell. Diptyque candles have a strong throw and the scent can fill up a large room Baies features the scent of a bouquet of roses and blackcurrant leaves. Rose scented candles with a little something extra are the type of candles that I adore. There are three things that make me happy: roses, wine, and makeup. Plus the packaging is beautiful and when the wax is all used up the container can be used to store makeup brushes.

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Other scents that I would recommend:
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show?id=3YpKoERaXDM&bids=357944 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP
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show?id=3YpKoERaXDM&bids=357944 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP

Makeup::

I recently bought NARS blush in Impassioned as seen in this post and would pick up the shade Threesome. Light matte blushes layered over cream blushes give off a watercolor effect seen on a lot of Kpop artists.
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Accessories::

For handbags I tend to opt for a saffiano leather because they are easier to take care of and scratch resistant. I’m a bit rough with my handbags. I currently love my clutch from Rebecca Minkoff featured in my outfit post here.
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Ballet Slippers:: Pastels & Tutus

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This outfit consists of a long sleeve top with a tulle skirt. Since it made me feel like a ballerina, I took pictures in my satin ballet slippers. Gives me an excuse to take them out outside of my barre exercises. I love how this clutch is shaped like an envelope! The zipper edging adds additional texture to the outfit. The tulle and satin balances out the edgy cutout top and zippered clutch. Feminine with a dash of spice just how I like it.
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 Outfit: Long Sleeve Top (Sold out) One Size, Tulle Skirt S, Clutch & Ballet Slippers
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Since I moved back to Fresno, I enjoy finding cute spots for pictures. This a bike tunnel that is part of the  Old Town Clovis Trail off of Clovis and San Jose. What are some other hidden gems in the Fresno/Clovis area?

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Stay tuned for more outfit posts. Thank you for reading!

:Photography: Victoria Chang

Sneak Peak:: Mikasa Brush First Impressions

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My package from Mikasa Beauty just arrived from Canada! This a relatively new brand that reached out to me to offer my readers a 25% off discount code. The brushes arrived about a week after I ordered and each brush was packed in individual boxes.

Pictured above is the Complete Eye Set that consist of ten brushes:

  • 1 of Mikasa E100 – Angled Liner Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E110 – Eye Liner Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E200 – Angled Shadow Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E230 – Eye Shader Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E240 – Short Eye Shader Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E300 – Blending Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E310 – Pencil Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E320 – Tapered Blending Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E330 – Large Blending Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E400 – Double Ended Brow Brushes

 

Mikasa Brushes are comparable to brushes from M.A.C. and have a hard time saying no to trying out makeup brushes. Personally, I tend to lean towards MORPHE because of the affordability. I’m kinda bad and buy multiples of the same brush so I can hold off on washing my brushes. I’m not known for my minimalist tendencies.

I am still playing around with brushes so that I can give an in-depth review on each brush. So far I like how soft the brushes feel on my skin and the simplicity of the design.I have a feeling that I will be reaching for these brushes often.

If interested in purchasing brushes, you can use my affiliate code CAROLCHANG25 at the checkout for 25% off.Thank you for reading and stay tuned for a complete review.

My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC

Cronut2 My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL

Dominique Ansel 

189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 |  (212) 219-2773
Dominique Ansel is a world famous pastry chef that created the Cronut! Image a croissant and a donut having a baby. There is usually a line out the door of the bakery in SoHo and I wanted to guarantee that I would be able to grab one during my short trip to NYC. I usually base my travel itinerary around 2 things: food and picturesque locations.
Just a tip: there is a strict 2 cronut limit per person and they usually sell out before 11 A.M. However there is a way to ensure that you get the delectable pastry in your tummy by preordering! Pre-orders have to made 2 weeks in advance and you get a box of 6 cronuts. A lot of locals were extremely envious of my huge box of cronuts.
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Only 1 flavor is released every month and April’s flavor is blood orange cream almond cream!  I love the little garnish on top of the glaze. In the picture below you can see the cream oozing out of the cronut. Now that I’m back in Cali all I want are cronuts but I won’t be satiated by just any cronut out there.
Cronut My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL
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Alpha Fusion

365 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001| (212) 279-8887

I love trying Asian Fusion Food and Alpha fusion was just the right pick. Pictured above is a sushi pizza topped with spicy tuna, seaweed salad, avocado, jalapeño, peanuts, and fish egg with spicy aioli. Salmon can be added on for an extra charge.
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Joy Luck Palace

98 Mott St, New York, NY 10013 | (212) 219-2828

At Joy Luck Palace, I was thrown off by the communal seating but rewarded with great tasting dimsum. It was also a nice treat to have a couple of them in cute animal shapes. The piggy bun is filled with custard while the bunny bun is filled with a red bean paste. They were so adorable! I hesitated a little bit before eating them.
BunnyBuns My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL
The next time I go to NYC, I’m going to take more days to fully enjoy more food the city has to offer. Thank you for reading!

Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver

km-03271 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS
This outfit post showcases the first Hmong outfit that I made by myself. Growing up my mom would sew me outfits and this year she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel. This made it difficult for her to hold a needle and made me realize it was time for me to learn. For a month my cousins and sister would meet at my house and learn from my mom so that we would have matching outfits for Hmong New Year.
All of the Hmong clothes that my mom and grandma have made me will become part of my dowry when I get married. I always joke that I will have to make multiple trips because I have too much stuff. In fact the plastic container that stores all my Hmong clothes needs to replaced because it’s too full.
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For the outfit I made everything except the skirt, necklace, and silver belt or siv. I was inspired by Batik for this outfit and incorporated Batik print throughout the outfit. Paired with a white skirt the focus is on the batik. Batik is a resist dye technique where wax is applied to the fabric in a design and then dyed with indigo. After the dye, the wax is removed and a white design is left behind. This is typically done on yards of fabric then pleated with hundreds of accordion pleats onto a skirt. Instead of usually actual batik, I used a fabric that had a batik print. I am still in the search for my very own batik skirt though.

Rosely took beautiful shots of the outfit! I posted a couple of my favorites. Stay tuned for tutorials on pattern drafting for a fitted Hmong shirt and for a traditional Hmong shirt. Let me now in the comments if you want additional tutorials on how to make Hmong clothes.

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Please like, share, and follow for more sewing posts. Thank you for reading!

Photography by:: ROSELY VUE PHOTOGRAPHY
Email her at roselyv09@gmail.com or direct message her Facebook for booking information.

Black and White:: Sweater & Scalloped Hems

File_001 Black and White:: Sweater & Scalloped Hems OUTFITS
Happy Monday everyone! Recently I’ve been into styling monochromatic outfits. I feel as if black and white is a classy yet difficult to style. By mixing different textures and structural elements, the outfit has some unique elements. I love this scalloped skirt and added a leather jacket to make the look more edgy. While I was walking around New York I was stopped and questioned multiple times about whether or not I was cold.
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Outfit Details: Top Loft Sweater XS (Old), Express Vegan Leather Jacket XS(Old), Topshop Scalloped Skirt 00 (Old), Old Navy Scarf, and Steve Madden Sandals.
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Stay tuned for a travel tips and my foodie adventure in New York City!

 Thank you so much for reading.

 

Photography:: Victoria Chang