Archive for August 2014

Hair Envy : Emma Stone

August 29, 2014
Emma Stone Hair, Emma Stone Bob

Emma Stone never seems to have a bad hair day. She is also one of the very few who can actually look amazing with blonde, brunette or red hair. In fact she's so striking as a redhead, it's easy to forget that she's really a natural blonde. She pulled off another enviable hair look when she debuted this bob haircut at the 71st Venice Film Festival. The below the chin length chop with blunt ends and side-swept bangs is just perfection. I mean it looks so fresh and effortlessly chic. Okay I've had a bob for awhile and I may be kind of obsessed with them. What do you think of Emma Stone's new hairstyle? Would you cut your hair into a bob?

Don't miss out on this amazing giveaway for a $270 gift card to your choice of Etsy, Amazon or Sephora!

Photo: David Fisher/Rex Features

Valentia Even Glow Serum Review

August 27, 2014
Valentia Even Glow Serum, Vitamin C Serum, Natural Vitamin C Serum

I'm a big believer in serums as an integral step in my skincare regimen as they usually contain a higher concentration of active ingredients to help address certain skin concerns. I was thrilled when I had the chance to try out this Valentia Even Glow Serum which claims to repair, refresh, renew and restore evenness to your skin.

About the Brand: Valentia Skin Care aims to provide consumers with a greater level of overall happiness with their appearance by creating strategic formulations with powerful natural ingredients that have been scientifically proven to succeed in giving skin a natural and radiant glow that contributes to a youthful look.

Key Ingredients: 20% Vitamin C to promote and protect the skin's natural processes, Organic Rosehip Seed Oil for anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil to provide potent healing antioxidant effects, Resistem (Plant Stem Cells) to reduce inflammation and promote faster skin tissue regeneration, Hyaluronic Acid (Botanical) to promote and help moisture retention, Green Tea Extract to contribute to the overall antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Packaging: A dark amber glass bottle with an elegant looking white and gold label and box. The product is dispensed via a dropper which I love because it's easy to control and hygienic. 

Price: Usually $85 but currently on sale for $35 through Amazon for 1.18 fl. oz./35 ml.

Valentia Even Glow Serum, Vitamin C Serum, Natural Vitamin C Serum

My Impressions: I've been on a lucky roll with not having any reactions with new skincare products lately so this serum had a smooth transition into my routine. It is a yellow orange color with a light natural citrus scent and the consistency of a viscous lotion. I've been applying it twice a day in between my toner and moisturizers. The product absorbs easily with a smooth finish and wears just fine under my moisturizer, BB cream and sunscreen during the day. After a little more than a week and a half of use, I can already see a slight improvement in the smoothness and clarity of my skin. However I was most impressed by how this seemed to help clear a breakout that I was on the verge of getting. It kind of just went away and that was pretty cool. Given the results I've experienced so far, I plan on continuing use of this serum. I can feel good about using this as an antioxidant treatment knowing that the natural ingredients are positively benefiting my skin and I wouldn't mind some continued improvement as well.

Valentia Even Glow Serum is sold exclusively through Amazon and it evens comes with a 90 day money back guarantee. To learn more about the brand and their products, visit Valentia's website.

Do you use serums in your skincare routine?

Disclosure: A complimentary product was provided for the purposes of this review. There was no other compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.

$270 Gift Card Giveaway {Etsy/Sephora/Amazon}

August 25, 2014

I have something fun for you all today! We're celebrating Maru's birthday along with Fashiony Fab's first blog anniversary! I'm partnering with the birthday girl and a great group of bloggers to bring you an amazing giveaway for a $270 gift card! And the winner will get to choose from Etsy, Amazon or Sephora. This is an international giveaway which runs until Sunday, September 7th. There are many ways to join and you can enter as few or as many times as you wish to below. Of course more entries will increase your odds of winning. Good luck!

Eye Candy : Song Hye Kyo & Kang Dong Won for Vogue

August 22, 2014

Dating rumors quickly sparked when Song Hye Kyo and Kang Dong Won were spotted together in Paris back in May. Their agency denied them and issued a statement that they were just there for work. Now all is revealed in this visually stunning editorial entitled One Fine Day photographed by Hong Jang Hyun for the September issue of Vogue Korea. This ridiculously gorgeous pair are both decked out in Dior throughout. I'm loving Hye Kyo's sixties style hair and makeup and only Dong Won can pull off some of these looks with his lanky frame, handsome face and quirky cool charm. Some of the photos look like they could be stills from a stylish caper film. Their remarkable chemistry is very apparent here and they look really good together.

These A-list stars are currently promoting My Palpitating Life which marks their second time working together. Based upon the novel of the same name, the movie tells the story of a young couple who are raising a child with progeria syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes premature accelerated aging. From the press I've seen, this adaption sounds like it will have plenty of heart with touches of humor and it looks to be a bit of a tearjerker as well. The heartwarming looking movie posters can be found at the end of this post and here is a link to watch the trailer. Be sure to click the cc button for English subtitles.

Kang Dong Won and Song Hye Kyo in Paris for Vogue Korea September 2014

Birchbox BYOB Review

August 20, 2014
Birchbox BYOB, Birchbox Build your own Birchbox, Birchbox, Birchbox Beauty Box

Following up on my shop tour of the Birchbox SoHo store in NYC, here are the details on the products I chose for my BYOB. The Build Your Own Birchbox feature lets you select the color of your box along with five samples from these categories: body &nails, skincare, fragrance, hair and makeup for $15. Yes it costs $5 more than the subscription Birchbox you receive in the mail but you get the products of your choice and it's instant gratification, not to mention it's a fun experience. From a value standpoint, I think it's definitely worth it as the Klorane Dry Shampoo I got sells for $9 on it's own and you still get the benefit of trying before you buy. Now onto the products...  I think may have discovered a few gems. Have you tried any of these?

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner

Shop Tour : Birchbox Soho Store

August 18, 2014
Birchbox Soho, Birchbox Store, Birchbox New York, Birchbox New York Store

Birchbox which is known for their monthly subscription beauty box service recently opened their first retail store in Soho, New York. The spacious and well lit two level shop is a veritable haven for any beauty lover. They offer a wide selection of brands including a range of natural and organic ones as well as a number of products which are exclusive to Birchbox. There are testers provided for everything and the products are organized by type rather than by brand making it easy to navigate and shop. It's really helpful to see all the offerings in one category grouped together and makes it simple to do quick comparisons if you're trying to decide between two products. There's also a section devoted to Birchbox Man for the guys. And it doesn't stop with beauty as I noticed that they also carry a nice selection of lifestyle products.

They have a Try Bar that lets you sample current hot trends. The Beauty Workshop on the lower level offers hair, makeup and nail services with manicures starting at just $10. My favorite area of the store had to be the BYOB (Build Your Own Birchbox) area. With the help of Reena, an extremely friendly and knowledgeable consultant, I was able to custom build my own box for $15. You get to select the color of your box along with five samples from these categories: body &nails, skincare, fragrance, hair and makeup. And you get to take it home right away. Reena was great about helping me make my choices and also gave me advice on how to use them. She even gave me her email there in case I had any follow-up questions on the products. Now that's service! You can peek it at the end here and in my next post I'll be reviewing the products I got in my custom Birchbox.

I found the Birchbox experience to be quite chill which is a refreshing change from Sephora where the atmosphere can really be a little frenetic at times. The environment definitely encourages customers to shop, sample and learn at your own pace. I like how you can explore on your own and help is also readily available. This store is a fantastic addition to the NYC beauty scene and I definitely plan to visit again and maybe try out the beauty services. I also now have another store to drop by when I happen to be in the area. For Birchbox subscribers, you can use your points when you shop here.

Do you subscribe to Birchbox or any other subscription beauty boxes?

Birchbox SoHo
433 West Broadway (Prince & Spring)
New York City

Style Crush : Jessica Alba

August 15, 2014
Jessica Alba wearing Antonio Berardi Pink Dress, Jessica Alba wearing Katherine Kidd

Jessica Alba has had a busy week in New York City promoting her movie Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and she has sure looked stylish while doing it. The actress wore the prettiest pastel pink dress for an appearance on Good Morning America. The patterned Antonio Berardi Resort 2015 midi length frock was both figure flattering and summer perfect. The ultra feminine look was completed with a pair of metallic silver Brian Atwood platform sandals. She dropped by 106 & Park the day after in a burgundy Katherine Kidd Fall 2014 high waisted skirt paired with a black bustier and satin trimmed blazer. Her Giuseppe Zanotti Safety Pin sandals gave the fall-like outfit a bit of an edge. I really like how her ladylike and polished sense of style translates through these decidedly different looks and that she carried the same Saint Laurent graphic print clutch with both. What do you think of these looks? Which one do you prefer?

Photo: Getty/TNYF

Sephora Giftcard Giveaway

August 13, 2014

A few items currently on my wishlist from Sephora...
Bite Beauty BB for Lips || Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con Plush Shadow || Urban Decay Naked Flush || Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder || MD Perricone No Blush Blush || Formula X Dry Nail Drying Drops || tenoverten The Foundation Base Coat || Sephora Super Smoothing Lip Butter || Supergoop Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil || Ren Rosa Centifolia No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm || Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask || AmorePacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System || Dr. Jart Pore Medic Pore Purifying Masks

If you're also wishing for some things from Sephora, I have the perfect Sephora giveaway for you today. One lucky reader will have the chance to shop and stock up on their favorite beauty essentials with a $300 Sephora 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 8/26/14. Enter via Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

My Summer Style

August 11, 2014
Summer Fashion, Summer Style

I talked about my ideal summer style a few weeks ago. This is one variation on the type of outfit I've pretty much been living in for most of the season. The idea of it is simple enough just as the components are easily interchangeable. I own two vintage denim midi skirts and this one gets the slight edge because it has pockets. And I may need an intervention when it comes to striped shirts but I can't get enough of them. This Gap top actually combines my love for stripes and polka dots at once. Most of my sandals are metallic as I consider them neutrals. These Worishofer's are quite stylish for German orthopedic sandals. The Louis Vuitton crossbody was my Mom's. She gave it to me years ago but I only started to actively use it more recently. I find jewelry uncomfortable when it's hot so I just pare it down to a necklace and it doesn't always have to be a statement one. The sunglasses and hat are a no brainer for sun protection. Some of you have asked me about outfit posts and this is probably as close I'll get for now. They're just not my thing which explains why I've done exactly one since the start of this blog. Do you have a summer uniform?

I've started posting Eye Candy Single Shots on my Facebook page. This is for when only one photo in an entire editorial catches my eye. Since I wouldn't devote an entire post to a single image and still want to share these, I thought this would be a good way to do that. The first one features a totally glammed up Park Shin Hye.

Shop Tour : TonyMoly New York Store

August 8, 2014
Tony Moly New York Store

New York Asian beauty lovers rejoice! We have a TonyMoly store in our midst. The popular Korean beauty brand brings it's makeup and skincare products to Koreatown so you can now get your Korean food and beauty fix all in one trip. The well organized shop is broken down by beauty categories with an entire wall devoted to BB and CC creams and a dedicated Lash Styling area. They also have a great selection of sheet masks as well as mask packs. You can find all the cult favorites including their Bunny Gloss Bars, Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm and Backstage Gel Eyeliner. There is plenty of adorable packaging and the prices start at just $3. I showed enormous restraint and only purchased 2 things on my visit but I'll definitely be back. See what I got at the end of this post. Yes I'm a grown woman who's drawn to beauty products in cute packaging. Have you ever tried TonyMoly products?

For those who don't live in NYC, TonyMoly is sold at Urban Outfitters and the brand looks to also be launching their own sale site soon.

316 Fifth Avenue Store #5 (entrance is actually on 32nd Street off Fifth Ave.)
New York City

Through My Lens : Recently

August 6, 2014
I'm technically supposed to be on a shoe ban but couldn't resist these sole sense(ability) sandals that were on sale from Kohl's. $15 down from $49.99! They're really comfortable and the blue is so fun. They come in two other colors and are still available online.

Detail Love : Scallops

August 4, 2014
Scallop Detail
Scallops have always been one of my favorite details in fashion and decor because of how they effortlessly add a feminine touch without being too frilly. My Club Monaco scallop trim blouse and scallop edged crop trousers have been getting alot of wear this summer and I'd love to add a pair of shoes or bag with this lovely detail. Are you a fan of scallops?

Eye Candy : Gao YuanYuan for Elle

August 1, 2014
Gao YuanYuan Elle 2014

There is a sense of relaxed ease and naturalness to this Elle China editorial with the lovely Gao Yuanyuan that is very refreshing. I actually come across a good number of Chinese editorials but don't feature all that many because I find alot of them to be overdone and over-Photoshopped but that isn't this case with this one. I really like the simple styling and how Yuanyuan's charm and beauty just radiates through the images. The 34 year old actress who recently registered her marriage to Taiwanese actor Mark Chao will next appear opposite Nicholas Tse in the film But Always (一生一世). The love story about childhood friends whose lives are continuously intertwined takes place across three decades in Beijing and New York. The movie stills which have been released certainly look romantic and promising. I included the poster at the very end of this post and here is a link to watch the trailer. This looks like one that I may want to watch.

Good things should be shared: My talented friend Mary Jo Matsumoto is having a special 3 Days of Happiness Flash Sale on a selection of her stylish bags and accessories starting today. She is also offering an additional 50% off some already reduced prices and free shipping on all US orders. For international shoppers, Mary Jo will work with you to get the best shipping rate possible. This doesn't happen often so be sure to check it out.

Gao YuanYuan Elle 2014

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