Archive for July 2014

Currently Coveting

July 30, 2014

A few items currently on my wish list. I'm feeling the metallics this month.
What are you coveting lately?

1. Slanted Stripes Midi Dress 
{Colorful fun stripes + a breezy modern silhouette make this a summer must}

2. Doll Face Triple Action Facial Cleanser 
{A natural clean formula in a very pretty package}

3. Daame Amelia Mini 
{A chic, versatile crossbody and fanny pack in one with every purchase supporting education for girls}

4. Russell+Hazel Acrylic and Gold Staple 
{Would make such a sleek and stylish addition to my desk}

5. Diana F Honeycomb Camera 
{The iconic camera gets a fresh design that raises awareness for the plight of the honeybee}

6. Dwell Studio for Stelle Audio Pillar 
{Form meets function in this elegant and gorgeous bluetooth speaker}

Anjolee, The Art of Jewelry

July 28, 2014

When I got engaged, I had my ring custom made by my aunt's jeweler friend in the diamond district of NYC. I selected a princess cut diamond with a platinum band. There was a particular setting from a certain popular jewelry retailer which I loved that they were able to recreate for me. I was really happy since I got a one of a kind ring with a quality diamond for a very reasonable price. We had our wedding rings made at the same time while we were at it.

Since then I've been a fan of custom jewelry. When I was introduced to Anjolee, I was impressed by their selection of diamond engagement rings and jewelry in an array of classic, vintage and modern styles. Their unique customization system allows you to design your own jewelry based on your taste and budget. You can easily personalize any item by specifying the metal type, diamond size and quality. They only sell conflict free diamonds which are guaranteed with a certificate of authenticity. If Anjolee had been around back in the day, I would've considered getting my engagement ring from them but for now I'm pondering an anniversary ring. Hubster actually wanted to buy me one for our 10th wedding anniversary a few years ago but I wanted a camera instead. He still says I can have both.

What do you think of customized jewelry? Is there a story to your engagement ring?

To learn more about Anjolee, the art of jewelry, you can visit their site or connect with them on Facebook.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Anjolee but all words and opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Eye Candy : Kang Dong Won for High Cut

July 25, 2014
Kang Dong Won, Kang Dong Won High Cut, Kang Dong Won High Cut 130

Kang Dong Won finally makes a return to the big screen following his military service with the historical action film Kundo: Age of the Rampant. This also means a return to editorial features like this one for High Cut Korea. The stylish pictorial photographed in picturesque Catalonia, Spain is both playful and smoldering at the same time. He's a favorite because I really admire the the way he challenges himself as an actor. Okay he's also seriously good looking and has a really attractive deep voice. In Kundo, Dong Won portrays a villainous swordsman opposite Ha Jung Woo's protagonist, a butcher who forms a band of thieves to rebel against the corrupt nobility. This movie sounds interesting and Ha Jung Woo is usually so good but the one I'm really looking forward to is his forthcoming project, My Palpitating Life with Song Hye Kyo which looks both heartwarming and bittersweet. The two genetically gifted stars were spotted on location in Paris working on a photoshoot for Vogue Korea in May. Can't wait to see that as well and it will likely be a future eye candy feature.

Kang Dong Won, Kang Dong Won High Cut, Kang Dong Won High Cut 130

Pinteresting Things : Summer Style

July 23, 2014
pinned here via source

Since summer in in full swing now, let's talk about summer style. My idea of summer dressing is definitely all about being effortless while trying to stay and look cool with a degree of modesty. That means falling back on classics and living in midi length dresses and skirts. I still wear pants and jeans and occasionally bermuda length shorts but never flip flops. I don't even own a pair as I find them massively uncomfortable and a magnet for dirty feet. The outfit above could be my perfect summer look and uniform as it translates my love for striped tops with skinny jeans. I swap in striped tanks when it's warmer and flat sandals to accommodate my rehabilitating ankle. These pins from my Style Files board on Pinterest are other types of looks that I personally wear and like. What's your summer style? Do you have a go to outfit?

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives

July 21, 2014
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives

In case you haven't heard, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is happening right now. It's a great chance to score some incredible deals for a limited time and all orders qualify for free shipping and returns as well. I don't really need to shop for clothes right now so I'm focused on their Beauty Exclusives. There some really covetable items like the Chanel Illuminating Powder with a gorgeous lace design and the NARS cheek palette. Some of these sets would make terrific Christmas gifts and now is not too early to start your holiday shopping. To take advantage, be sure to shop before 08/04/14. Have you shopped this sale? What do you have your eye on?

1. Yves Saint Laurent Essential Collection $75 ($127 value)  2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Set $129 ($150 after sale)  3. Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Set $85 ($208 value)  4. Lancome Mascara Wardrobe $39.50 ($94 value)  5. NARS Cheek Palette $49 ($73 value)  6. Clarisonic Mia 2 Cleansing System $149 ($221 value)  7. Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Powder $80  8. Ciate Sundae Best Paint Pot Trio $25 ($45 value)  9. L'Occitane Shea Butter Softness Set $48 ($86 value) 10. Voluspa Maison Jardin Candle Trio $29.50 ($40 after sale)

Style Crush : Ashley Madekwe

July 18, 2014
Ashley Madekwe, Ashley Madekwe Style, Ashley Madekwe Fashion

Ashley Madekwe attended the Dior and Maxfield party in LA celebrating the debut of the Dior Fusion couture sneaker collection wearing a lovely Dior Resort 2014 dress. The sheer grey floral lace sheath is splashed with yellow and pink accents. Her neutral toned accessories included strappy Giuseppe Zanotti sandals and a white clutch. Her polished hair and makeup was finished off with vibrant pink lips. The chic actress who has her own fashion blog is known for her modern sophisticated, feminine sense of style and this look is no exception. I really like how fresh and ladylike it is at the same time. What do you think of this outfit? Are you a fan of Ashley Madekwe's style?

Photo: Donato Sardella/Wire Image

Faking A Summer Glow

July 16, 2014
Faking A Summer Glow

I look better with a little color on my body during the summer but with the talk about sun safety, I definitely wouldn't tan myself under the sun so I just fake it. Finding the right mix of products to achieve a natural looking fake tan has been a challenge for many summers but I'm seeing an end to my my quest this year with these three.

Karora Express Bronzing Mousse ~ Supreme Bronzette
haven't used any self tanners in a few years but was excited when I read about this award winning botanical based line from Ireland. The chemical and paraben free mousse formula which dispenses via a pump has a subtle touch of color and smooth texture that makes it easy to apply which I do with their application mitt. It dries quickly allowing me to get on with what I have to do without worry about trailing any residue. This is the first self tanner I've used which you have to rinse off. I usually leave it on for an hour and a half and the color which develops is believably bronzed and natural looking without any hint of orange. I really liked the pleasant and very light citrus scent which wears off pretty quickly. The color lasts for about a week during which it gradually lightens.

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream
I use BB cream on my face so why not on my body. This product works well on it's own and also helps to extend the life of my self tan. The lightly tinted cream hydrates my skin and imparts a luminous glow with a slight touch of color. With continued use I've noticed that it does actually enhance and improve the look of my skin while minimizing the look of imperfections like that bug bite I got last week while sitting out on my terrace.

Boots No7 Silky Leg Oil

This oil effectively moisturizes and smooths my skin leaving a soft glowy sheen which nicely compliments to my enhanced color. The vitamin E enriched blend of grape seed, jojoba, sweet almond, argan and evening primrose oils is emollient without being greasy and a little goes a long way. It absorbs well. I use this on my arms and shoulders as well as my legs. I think I might be using this one during the winter months when my skin is drier as well.

Do you fake a summer glow? What products do you swear by?

Sprinkles Cupcakes Cupcake ATM & Bakery

July 14, 2014
Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM, Sprinkles Cupcakes

Buying cupcakes is already a happy event but to be able to purchase them from an ATM that exclusively dispenses the baked treats is a uniquely fun experience. I stopped by Sprinkles Cupcakes Cupcake ATM after a doctor's appointment uptown recently to try it out for myself. First of all, it's pink and adorable! The Cupcake ATM is sandwiched in between Sprinkles Cupcakes and Sprinkles Ice Cream at 780 Lexington Avenue which is right by Bloomingdales. The Cupcake ATM is continuously restocked with a variety of cupcakes and operates 24 -7 so you can satisfy that cupcake craving anytime. You touch the screen to begin and are presented with a display showing all the available cupcake and frosting options. You make your picks, pay and then your cupcakes appear momentarily from behind a sliding door. You do pay 50 cents more per cupcake for the convenience and novelty but it's definitely worth trying once. Sprinkles Cupcakes are usually $3.75 each. They also carry minis for $2.00 each and smaller doggie cupcakes which are sugar free with a yogurt "frosting" for $2.50.

I picked up a dark chocolate for hubster and a sugar free red velvet for myself cause we're kind of boring like that but Sprinkles does have quite an impressive selection of flavors including special monthly ones. I don't actually eat cupcakes all that often so I'm picky about them. I was impressed with the freshness and natural taste of these. The texture of the cake was light and moist and the cream cheese frosting was mild in flavor and creamy but not gooey. I can't do gooey frosting. The sugar free red velvet cupcake was very yummy and did not taste like a sugar free treat. They also offer gluten free and vegan options on their red velvet cupcakes. The dark chocolate cupcake had a nice rich dark chocolate flavor and wasn't overly sweet. There are some places that just make their cupcakes way too sweet. Sprinkles Cupcakes are a good size as well. They're known for baking their cupcakes in small batches and using premium ingredients and that is apparent in how their products taste.

The best time to visit the Cupcake ATM is definitely during the weekdays before noon which is when I went. If the line for the Cupcake ATM is too long, you can always drop into their shop for your cupcake fix. It's a bright and cheery space with cupcake seats and a flavor "walk of fame". The staff is quite friendly and helpful. If you're looking for a frosty treat, there's always their Ice Cream shop which recently sponsored a charity initiative featuring a special ice cream flavor developed by Michael Strahan and his mom for which 100% of the proceeds benefited the St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. Now that's pretty cool. Sprinkles recently debuted a new downtown home in NYC at the newly opened Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place. The California based chain also has a number of other locations around the US, some with their own Cupcake ATMs.

Have you tried Sprinkles Cupcakes? Would you purchase a cupcake out of an "ATM"?

Sprinkles Cupcakes/Sprinkles Ice Cream & Cupcake ATM
780 Lexington Avenue (60th & 61st Streets)

Sprinkles Cupcakes at Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place
225 Liberty Street

Eye Candy : Unspoken Desire

July 11, 2014
 Vs. Magazine SS 2014, Wong Kar Wai In The Mood For Love

This atmospheric editorial inspired by Wong Kar Wai's  In the Mood for Love pays an elegant tribute to the deeply stirring tale of love and longing portrayed in the film. Models Li Xiaoling and Zhao Lei stylishly channel the roles played by Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu Wai while showcasing looks from Jason Wu,Yigel Azrouel, Rodarte, Armani and Tom Ford. In the Mood for Love is one of my favorite movies that I'd totally recommend watching if you've never seen it. It is an absolute visual and cinematic treat. There is also a gorgeous short fashion film that accompanies this editorial.

Unspoken Desire // Vs. Magazine SS 2014 // Photography: Laspata Decaro // Art Direction: Jakob F.S.
Models: Li Xiaoxing & Zhao Lei // Styling: Vibe Dabelsteen// Makeup: Brigitte Reiss Andersen // Hair: Renato Campora

Wong Kar Wai In The Mood For Love

J. Crew Gift Card Giveaway

July 9, 2014
J Crew Gift Card Giveaway, J Crew Outfit, J Crew Wish List

A few things on my wish list from J. Crew...
Linen Baseball Tee || Linen Drapey Drawstring Pant || Vintage Denim Jacket || Open Weave Trilby Hat || Sophie Crossbody Bag || Nike Air Pegasus 83 Sneakers || RayBan Original Aviator Sunglasses with Flash Mirror Lenses || Golden Plate & Crystal Earrings || Double Arrows Cuff || Bandanna Print Scarf

If you're also wishing for some things from J. Crew, I have the perfect J. Crew giveaway for you today. One lucky reader will have the chance to shop to their heart's content with a $300 J. Crew gift card... and it just might be you. You can enter daily over the next two weeks and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. This is an international giveaway that ends on 7/23/14. Enter via Rafflecopter below. Good luck! 

Pan Seared Drum Fish and Tomato Jam Recipe

July 7, 2014
Blue Apron Recipe, Blue Apron Review, Fish Recipe, Drum Fish Recipe

I recently tried out Blue Apron. They're a cook your own meal delivery service that's fairly similar to Plated which I had previously reviewed. I'm not going to do a full scale review since it's pretty much the same concept. I will say that I wasn't really impressed mainly because they sent me the dirtiest head of lettuce ever and yellowed cucumbers that weren't even usable. Also their meals took me double the time it takes me to prepare my usual recipes. They turned out pretty well despite that but these two strikes along with the fact that you can't actually make specific meal selections is enough that I probably wouldn't cook with Blue Apron again. 

My favorite out of the 3 dishes we received was this pan seared drum and tomato jam with Himalayan red rice risotto. I liked that it introduced me to a new fish, drum which is a mild flaky white fish and a way of serving fish that I don't normally do. I did have to made some adjustments to the recipe on the fly while cooking. Two tablespoons of sugar seemed like an obscene amount so I reduced it to two teaspoons and subbed coconut palm sugar which I generally use in place of white sugar. The tomato jam was still plenty sweet. Also the description for the Himalayan red rice as a risotto was completely off. Texturally it's actually more like brown rice and required more water and about triple the amount of time suggested in the recipe to fully cook. I also found that one cup yielded more than two servings, for us at least. Still I did like the concept enough that I would make a variation on this again probably with tilapia in place of the drum cause I'm not sure where to find it and use forbidden rice instead of Himalayan red rice. Here is the adapted recipe.

Pan Seared Drum and Tomato Jam with Himalayan Red Rice Risotto & Asparagus 

Floral Friday : Flower In Focus

July 4, 2014
Peony Flower, Pink Peony, Red Peony, White Peony, Peonies, Flower Photography
One flower takes the spotlight for this month's Floral Friday and I chose peonies which happen to be my favorite for their delicate beauty and light sweet fragrance. What is your favorite flower?

Floral Fridays is a monthly photography project with different themes each month. This series is about fun and taking time out to smell the flowers. To play along, please email Trishie for next month's theme. And please visit my fellow participants below for more inspirations. See more of my Floral Friday posts.

Happy Independence Day to all my friends and readers in the US! I'm so excited the fireworks have moved back to the East River in NYC and we can watch them from our terrace again. Be safe and enjoy a wonderful weekend everyone!

Recent Loves

July 2, 2014

Lashfood Conditioning Instant Eye Makeup Remover : This is a little pricey but it's by far the best eye makeup remover I've ever used and that includes Lancome Bi-Facil. The paraben, cruelty and fragrance-free dual phase formula is unbelievably gentle yet it effectively and effortlessly removes all traces of my eye makeup including my waterproof mascara while leaving my lids and lashes feeling cool, conditioned and free of any residue.

Physician's Formula Super CCC + Correct + Conceal + Cover Concealer SPF 30 : I picked this up on a whim cause it was on sale and was pleasantly surprised by how well it works. The brush dispenser reminds me of Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Éclat. The product is like a hybrid highlighter/concealer with an easily blendable lightweight and brightening coverage. I use it on my under eye area for an illuminating awakening effect. I should mention that it's slightly sheer so it's not a full coverage concealer.

Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Zygomatic : This pinkish brown wonder has become my favorite neutral blush. The creamy and highly pigmented formulation creates a healthy looking glowing flush that's perfect for that no makeup look. The color is almost foolproof to over apply. It also blends like a dream to a creamy finish that lasts for hours. I've found it also works well as a powder blush primer.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your recent loves?

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