Archive for June 2014

Through My Lens : Recently

June 30, 2014
Laduree  Macaron Box, Nina Ricci La tentation de Nina
Life lately as seen through my camera. I finally stopped by Ladurée in Soho. Picked up some macarons and couldn't resist this vivid pink Nina Ricci La tentation de Nina box. Too bad I missed out on the accompanying special edition macarons but the seasonal cherry blossom (second left) one was quite yummy as were the rest. I'll have to go back for tea or lunch to review the cafe.
Picked up a few things that were on my wish lists and loving them.
This Albeit nourishing rose lip balm is as lovely as it looks and the packaging feels quite luxe for $12.
The RMS Lip2Cheek in Demure is really perfect for creating a rosy summer flush.

Style Crush : Diane Kruger

June 27, 2014
Diane Kruger, Diane Kruger Style, Diane Kruger Red Carpet

Diane Kruger is always one who impresses with her impeccable style. The gorgeous, statuesque actress wore a Roland Mouret Resort 2015 ensemble of a polka dotted crop top and coordinating pencil skirt to the season two premiere screening of her FX series The Bridge at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills earlier this week. She accessorized the outfit with a striped Pierre Hardy clutch and lemon yellow Stuart Weitzman pumps. Her mint nails and wavy lob hairstyle provided the perfect finishing touches. The subtle pattern mixing and bright shoes gives this modern feminine look such a fresh and playful vibe. What do you think of this look? Are you a fan of Diane Kruger's style?

Photo: Rex Features

On Photography

June 25, 2014
Sam Haskins Quote

I try not to take it personally since I get this alot but when someone praises my photos and immediately follows up with a question about what camera I use, I can't help but feel like it's a backhanded compliment of sorts. Of course some people are just asking because they just want to know but there are those who ask because they think that the camera does all the work. Some people are just genuinely curious but there are also those who actually believe that if they had the same camera/lens as someone, it would magically make them take the same photos. Oh if only it were that easy! That's why I love this story since it perfectly illustrates the absurdity of this notion. Having a good camera is fantastic but it's just a tool and there is so much more that goes into a good photograph like composition, lighting, perspective, etc.

For the record, I take all my photos either with a Fuji X100 or Canon 7D.  My most used lenses are a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM. Both cameras allow me to shoot in manual mode which I do about 90% of the time because I don't like to have to post-process my photos. I worked in the photography industry for a number of years in various capacities including as an assistant, production manager and editor. Now I'm on my own as a freelance photographer with a penchant for doll photography. I learned how to shoot on a Canon AE-1 35mm SLR (Canon all the way!) and I'm still constantly learning. I've been tempted to revisit my old camera since I actually miss analog photography at times. Here is some of my old film work which I also styled as well.

Story Image Source: Framingham Camera Club

Currently Coveting

June 23, 2014

Some pretty items that are currently on my radar and wish list.
What are you coveting lately?

1. Boden Palma Sandals 
{Such a lovely color and design! On sale and comes in some other fab colors too!}

2. J. Crew Ceramic Jewelry Tray 
{Would be great for my growing collection of bracelets and it's pretty as well}

3. Ray-Ban Cat Eye Wayfarer Sunglasses 
{A fun feminine spin on a classic style}

4. Forever21 Paisley Infinity Scarf 
{Because I always carry a scarf during the summer for places where the AC is too strong}

5. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist 
{A luxurious hydrating mist to cool and refresh}

6. TopShop Moto Embroidered Chambray Midi Skirt 
{Looks breezy and versatile and midi is my favorite length!}

Links à la Mode : The IFB Weekly Roundup

June 22, 2014


My post on Sun Safety Facts Everyone Should Know was selected for IFB's Links à la Mode this week!

Wardrobe Essentials

    When it comes right down to it, what do you REALLY love to wear? Not the stuff you think you're supposed to love, but the things you really love and actually do wear. Hmm... In this internet age we've gotten carried away with the lightning fast trends, and somehow need to find a way to get back to what's real. What we really love. This week, it's all about getting back to the essentials. What we really want from our wardrobes. That... and a couple of trendy things just to keep ourselves in the know.

Links à la Mode: June 19th

SPONSOR: Shopbop Bottega Veneta, Volley Australia, Jennifer Behr, Hipchik, Les Coquines, Chie Mihara, Kurt Geiger, Phaidon, Puma Select, Men's Sneakers & Fashion 

Color Love : Coral

June 20, 2014
coral shopping guide

While transitioning my closet for summer, (those who live in city apartments know what that's all about) I realized that I don't really own anything in coral. This is surprising since it's a color I actually quite like and find almost universally flattering. There's something about this punchy vivid hue that makes it so right for the warmer months. I like how it ranges from a pretty muted pastel to a fun bold bright. It looks amazing with white, mint and blue. Are you a fan of coral? What do you like to pair it with?

Dine Out : Cafe Mocha

June 18, 2014
cafe mocha new york review

Cafe Mocha is an East Village find that has a little something for everyone. The cafe which also serves as a coffee house and wine bar has a comfortable relaxed atmosphere that invites you to hang out and enjoy your food and drinks without ever feeling rushed. You can dine al fresco and people watch out along their sidewalk cafe or chill inside the cozy bistro style dining room that also has a bar along one wall. The extensive New American menu offers everything from tapas to salads, pastas and sandwiches with a section devoted entirely to crepes which you customize any way you want. We really enjoyed our food which was tasty and flavorful. The portions were generous enough that we couldn't even finish our entrees. That did leave a little room for a dessert of yummy crepes which I'd recommend if you ever visit. We got ours with banana, nutella and whipped cream. I found the service to be both pleasant and knowledgeable and the entire staff was actually very friendly. If you want to catch up on sports, they have 3 tvs at the bar and there's free wi-fi if you need to check your email. They're also known for their exceptional specialty coffees which I didn't try on my visit cause it was past the hours I could have caffeine. This is an ideal spot for meeting up with friends any time of the day.I wish there was a place like this in my neighborhood.

Cafe Mocha Espresso & Wine Bar
116 Second Avenue (7th Street)
New York City
$ - $$

21 Sun Safety Facts

June 16, 2014
Sun Safety Facts, Sun Safety, Sun Protection, Sun Protection Facts, Sun Care, The Importance of Sun Protection, How To be Sun Safe

Proper sun protection is important all year round but during the summer when harmful UV rays become more intense, it should be even more of a priority especially considering most people don't even think about sun protection unless they plan on being outdoors for an extended amount amount of time. Prolonged sun exposure not only increases your risk for skin cancer but it is also a leading cause of premature aging and dull and sagging skin. Get the facts and be sun safe.

  1. Sunlight consists of two types of rays. UVA rays are prevalent all year round and make up 95% of the earth's UV radiation. They can contribute to signs of premature aging such as wrinkles and sunspots. UVB rays cause sunburn and damage to your skin. It should be noted that exposure to either can lead to skin cancer.

  2. The sun is at it's strongest and most harmful between the hours of 10:00am - 4:00pm.

  3. UV rays are always around, not just on sunny days. Up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can pass through clouds.

  4. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every day you are outside.

  5. SPF (sun protection factor) is a measure of the ratio it adds to the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning. So if you normally burn after 30 minutes of exposure, an SPF of 15 would protect you for 450 minutes.

  6. Traditional sunscreens usually only protect against UVB rays so always look for broad spectrum protection which will also shield against those deep penetrating UVA rays. There are two kinds.

  7. Physical sunscreens also known as mineral or inorganic sunscreens work by sitting on top of your skin to deflect or block UV rays. The most common physical sunscreen ingredients are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. Physical sunblocks tend to be opaque and feel heavier but are usually better for sensitive skin though Titanium dioxide can cause some people to break out. They don't have to be absorbed and start working immediately when applied but they also need to be reapplied more often as they tend to rub off easily.

  8. Chemical sunscreens also know as organic sunscreens work by absorbing the sun's rays via a chemical reaction and dispelling the excess energy as heat. Common chemical sunblock ingredients include Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Homosalate, Helioplex, 4-MBC, Mexoryl SX and XL, Tinosorb S and M, and Uvinul T 150 and Uvinul A Plus . Oxybenzone has been cited as controversial because it can penetrate the skin and disrupt hormones. Chemical sunblocks may offer more consistent coverage against UVA and UVB rays but they're can also more likely to be potentially irritating. They're often colorless, odorless, and have a watery texture. It is recommended to apply chemical type sunscreens at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.

  9. Those seeking a natural sun protection solution can try an oil. Carrot seed oil for example has a reported SPF of 30 while coconut oil has an SPF of 10.

  10. No matter what you choose, make sure you wait at least 20 minutes before sun exposure post application.

  11. A higher SPF doesn't necessarily equate to more protection. An SPF of 30 blocks about 97% of UV rays. Any number higher than that actually only increases the protection by one to two percent. No sunscreen currently on the market can block 100% of UV rays.

  12. Reapplication and coverage are the real keys to sunscreen effectiveness. Regardless of the SPF, you should reapply your sunscreen every few hours when outdoors and especially after swimming or sweating.

  13. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends for people to use an SPF of at least 30 on both the face and body.

  14. You can't just rely on the SPF in your moisturizer or makeup for protection. Most people just don't wear enough to get the actual SPF on the label.

  15. To get the level of protection listed on your bottle, you will need to apply 1/4 - 1/2  teaspoon worth of product to your face and neck and one ounce (a shotglass) to your entire body. With sunscreen more is literally more. And don't forget about your ears and scalp.

  16. Most experts agree that suncare products should always be the last step of your skin care/makeup routine since any product applied over it can reduce their effectiveness.

  17. There is really no such thing as layering SPF. You will usually just get the SPF from the higher numbered product.

  18. Pay attention to the expiration date on your sunscreen and don't use it once it has expired. The active ingredients will break down and become deactivated over time.

  19. Store your sunscreen in a cool place. Heat and light can also lead to a loss of efficacy.

  20. Sunscreen is not enough. Protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and seeking shade offer even better defense.

  21. Beware of reflective surfaces such as water and sand as they can reflect up to 85% of the sun's damaging rays.

If you have concerns about sunscreens causing cancer, read this and this. For more information about both physical and chemical sunscreens, check out this helpful chart. 
No matter what level and type of protection you choose, just make sure you choose to be sun safe.
How do you practice sun safety? I've recently starting using a UV umbrella.

Information compiled via The Skin Cancer Foundation, Prevention & Paula's Choice 

Photo: Models in Red Swimwear on Beach by Louise Dahl Wolfe, 1959 via Vogue

Review : Amarté Ultra Veil SPF 50

June 13, 2014
Amarté Ultra Veil SPF 50, Amarte Sunscreen, Sunscreen Review

As summer soon approaches, I've been looking to step up my sun protection. Since Amarté skincare products like their Daily Wonder Cleansing Foam and Natural Finish BB cream have worked well for me, I was curious to try their new Ultra Veil Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50. 

About the Brand: The word Amarté means "to love you" and the motto of the brand is "Love yourself. Love your skin." which is at the forefront of the products they create. Amarté marries the philosophy and heritage of Korean skincare with American dermatology and innovation to deliver a premiere luxury skincare line which is dermatologist tested and approved.

Key Ingredients: Ultra Veil offers broad spectrum protection through a unique formulation that blends physical (titanium dioxide & zinc oxide) with chemical (octyl methoxylcinnamate & octyl salicylate) sunscreen agents to create a physical aesthetic veil to protect skin exposed to sunlight. It also adds gingko biloba nut extract and five other botanical extracts to provide conditioning antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote positive collagen and elastin balance along with caviar to nourish and purified elemental sulfur to calm and heal irritation, decrease sebum production and brighten skin.

Packaging: A lightweight buttery yellow plastic bottle with a twist on cap that feels secure enough that you wouldn't worry about tossing it in your bag. The product is dispensed through a nozzle tip which makes it easier to control and minimizes mess.

Price: $45 for 2.4 fl. oz. / 70 ml.

Honor Resort 2015 Look Book

June 11, 2014

Giovanna Randall's Resort 2015 collection for Honor took inspiration from the Old West and desert blooms. Pretty floral prints and appliqués adorn the distinctly feminine and modern silhouettes in sumptuous lace, satin and organza. Delicately subtle western style details like leather trim and black ribbon ties embellish the mostly neutral color palette accented with occasional touches of bold color. A current of understated elegance pervades these stunning looks with the dresses being the real highlights in my opinion. What do you think of this collection?

Eye Candy : Won Bin for Elle

June 9, 2014
Won Bin, Won Bin Elle, Won Bin Biotherm Homme

If there's anyone who should be representing a male skincare line, it would be Won Bin. The dreamy 36 year old actor who has a perpetually youthful glow makes an appearance in Elle Korea as the face of Biotherm Homme. He shares his skincare routine which includes cleansing followed by toner, essence and lotion. He also mentions drinking plenty of water and applying sunscreen before heading outdoors. Pretty basic but I'd say it's working out quite well for him. Winning the genetic lottery probably helps too.

Won Bin, Won Bin Elle, Won Bin Biotherm Homme

Links à la Mode : Style Surfing

June 8, 2014


My post on Double Cleansing has been selected for this week's IFB's Links à la Mode!

Style Surfing

Summer is officially here. Well, not technically... but it's still here. Headed to the beach this weekend? Going on holiday? Have you broken out your sandals and sunscreen? Yeah, summer. What to wear? How to take care of your youthful skin? Wedding season's here... do you know how to dress for the occasion? Well, if you're looking for inspiration, you've come to the right place. This week, we have a wonderful roundup of great summer themed fashion posts and a couple of other fun (and a few serious) tidbits. So grab your iced tea, and sit down for some good summer reading.

Links à la Mode: June 5th

East Dane Sale, Watches, Loake, & Weitzman, Mcpherson, True Religion, Lolli Swim, Men's Minkoff, DM Art, Apolis & Havaianas

Floral Friday : All About Foliage

June 6, 2014
Nature Photography, Floral Friday
and the leaves were telling secrets to the wind...

Leaves are often overshadowed by flowers but they can be just as interesting if we just take the time to really look at and appreciate them. Their time to shine is usually during the fall as they change hues but they're also quite pretty in their verdant glory when the weather is warm. Do you take notice of leaves when you admire the flowers?

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 Floral Friday posts.

quote via Pete Mulvey

Dine Out : ABC Kitchen

June 4, 2014
ABC Kitchen Restaurant Review

Jean-Georges Vongerichten's popular ABC Kitchen is probably known as much for being a happening dining spot as it is for it's award winning fresh and organic cuisine. Adjacently located to ABC Carpet and Home, the open space has an eco-chic vibe with homey rustic touches and decor crafted from salvaged materials. The atmosphere is trendy yet laid back and inviting. The seasonal and locally sourced sustainable menu impressively offers a expansive variety of dishes and the food itself was equally impressive. Everything we ordered tasted incredibly fresh and well seasoned with the exception of an artichoke dish that just missed the mark on flavor. The toast options are a signature of the restaurant and the crab toast did not disappoint. The roast carrot and avocado salad with crunchy seeds, sour cream and citrus sounded simple but the texture and taste was unexpectedly flavorful and refreshing at the same time. Our table shared the sundae with salted caramel ice cream candied peanut, popcorn, whipped cream and a rich chocolate sauce. It was such a decadent treat and satisfying at just a few bites. That said, I'm not a dessert person at all. The service was friendly and attentive without being overbearing. I'd heard great things about this place and it lived up to them. This was a very satisfying dining experience overall. One negative against this restaurant is that scoring a reservation can be challenging as you have to make it pretty much a month in advance to the day before you want to dine there. A last minute reservation may be possible if you're willing to dine earlier or later. Another option is to take a chance and walk in and you might be able to get a seat in the bar area which was bustling when we were there.

ABC Kitchen
35 East 18th Street (Park & Broadway)
New York City

Double Cleansing For Better Skin

June 2, 2014
How to Double Cleanse, Double Cleansing Benefits, What is Double Cleansing

I've been double cleansing my face every night for over a few months and I've noticed that it has had a really positive effect on my complexion. I first learned about the process when watching a show on Park Shin Hye who I featured last week. She shared that this was an indispensable step in her nightly beauty routine and her skin is radiantly beautiful. After doing some research I learned that this has long been a common practice in Asian skincare regimens.

This process usually involves using an oil or balm cleanser followed by a round of cleansing with a traditional creamy or foaming cleanser. The first step will gently remove makeup, dirt and excess sebum on your face while also exfoliating your dead skin cells away. For the second step, you will want to address the specific needs of your skin so you can choose a cleanser based on whatever that may be to balance, purify and replenish it. Cleansing your face in this manner not only ensures that your skin is completely clear of impurities but will also optimize the effectiveness of the products you apply onto your face afterwards.

Double Cleansing Method, Double Cleansing Process, How to Double Cleanse,  Double Cleansing Benefits, What is Double Cleansing

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