Archive for August 2015

Commune and Memoir NYC In A Word

August 31, 2015
T-shirt and jeans

How to describe NYC in a word... 
Commune and Memoir makes t-shirts that communicate the story of New York City through 8 different words: Galvanic, Spectral, Idyllic, Abrasive, Pervasive, Inexhaustible, Fervent, and Elusive. Seeking to elevate the city as a work of art that can be observed, interpreted and described through curated words, these t-shirts offer an alternative to images as a trip memoir. These words are derived from a vast "word collection" that the New York based brand has been assembling for years. The t-shirts are made in Peru from the highest quality Peruvian pima cotton in a factory that practices safe environment and fair labor standards. Shop the collection.

From Latin eludere 
1. Hard to comprehend or define 
2. Difficult to catch, find, or achieve

I chose elusive because I've always liked the sound of the word and I think that it accurately speaks to how the city is ever changing  and can continually surprise you no matter how well you think you know it and when you think you do, there is still more to discover. NYC really has such a unique energy in this regard. This t-shirt has a modern, minimalist graphic feel so I choose to go simple and classic with my styling, pairing it with lightly distressed jeans, sleek neutral sneakers, cat eye tortoise sunglasses and a rose gold wood chronograph watch. So what do you think of this look? Is there a word you would use to describe where you live?

T-shirt:  c/o Commune & Memoir // Jeans : Gap Girlfriend (I love this fit!) // Sneakers: New Balance for J. Crew  620 // Sunglasses: Sedgwick c/o Classic Specs (review) // Watch: Sidney c/o JORD Wood Watch (review)

Disclosure: A shirt was gifted to me for editorial consideration. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Eye Candy : Ni Ni for Condé Nast Traveler

August 28, 2015
Ni Ni Paris

Ni Ni looks like she travels in fine style in this glamorous editorial for Condé Nast Traveler China that was shot while she was in Paris for Fashion Week. I haven't seen much of Ni Ni's work but she always exudes such a bright and effervescent energy in her photos. The pretty Chinese actress was recently cast opposite Adrien Brody in the romantic comedy Manhattan Love Story which begins filming next month in NYC.  She is best known for starring in Zhang Yimou’s 2011 epic The Flowers Of War alongside Christian Bale.

Ni Ni Paris

Style Crush : Alexa Chung

August 26, 2015
Alexa Chung Street Style, Alexa Chung Style

Leave it to Alexa Chung to make a style statement in this effortlessly chic summer look. Luckily for the rest of us, this classic and simple outfit is really easy to replicate. It starts with a black and white striped tee, a timeless wardrobe staple most of us likely already have in our closets. This gets paired with a pair of dark wash skinny jeans cuffed at the ankle. The look is finished off with black lace up espadrilles, a floppy straw hat and a chain detail shoulder bag. Would you wear this outfit? Are you a fan of Alexa Chung's style?

Join the fight against frizzy hair and enter my VO5 haircare giveaway!

Photo Source: WhoWhatWear

VO5 Anti-Frizz Haircare Giveaway

August 24, 2015
Alberto VO5 Haircare Giveaway

There are many great things about summer but one not so great thing is how the heat and humidity can draw out the frizz in my hair and make it look like I'm wearing a helmet at times. This is not attractive since my hairstyle is an a-line bob which just calls for sleekness. I've pretty much learned to accept my hair's natural wavy texture cause it just sneaks out anyway but frizz is something I refuse to abide by.

Established hair care brand Alberto VO5, trusted by consumers for 60 years, has declared August “National Anti-Frizz Month,” with a mission to help women fight frizz and I'm totally on board. Did you know that 62% of women indicate frizzy hair as their #1 dreaded hair malfunction? And that 80% of women suffer from frizzy hair?

Step one in taming frizz is to understand how it happens. “Frizz occurs when moisture from the air’s humidity infiltrates the cuticles on the head causing hair to literally spring out of control,” said Nina Riley, VP of Marketing for Alberto VO5. “Pre-treating the hair before shampooing with products like VO5 Hot Oil Treatment helps to smooth out the cuticle, while VO5’s Shine, Glow and Go Beauty Oil helps to maintain the rest of your hair, even on the hottest, stickiest days.” Known for its Five Essential Vitamin formula and outstanding value, VO5 continues to make strides in the fight against frizz by creating an easy and simple 3-step process with products under $5.

Hot Oil Treatment ($4.79): Moisturize and condition hair before shampooing from roots to ends with VO5’s iconic Hot Oil Therapy treatment which helps restore shine, strength and silky softness. Use once a week.

Smooth + Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner ($2.49 each): Formulated with a unique smoothing complex that helps manage unruly hair, use the shampoo and conditioner together three times a week for best results in helping eliminate frizz, pronto!

Shine, Glow and Go Beauty Oil ($4.99): Light, natural oil blend for both hair and body. This new innovative oil that’s mineral oil-free, quickly helps replenish dry hair and skin to help you feel soft, silky and look radiant. Apply once a day.

I normally use a combination of products to smooth my hair. I tried out this VO5 system alone without using any of my usual products so that I could give a fair assessment on how well it works to calm frizzy hair and you can see the results below.

Dine Out : Buvette

August 21, 2015
Buvette Restaurant Review

Buvette is a cute cafe just west of Seventh Avenue on Grove Street in the West Village which you can easily locate by spotting the bicycle with the basket filled with wine corks sitting outside. The concept is modeled on Parisian bistros and the menu from chef Jodie Williams features a number of French food staples. A long marble counter runs along the bar and closely set small tables and chairs fill up the 1,000 square foot space which is decorated with flea market chic knick knacks. There is a dining room with a long table for large groups situated in the back adjacent to a narrow outdoor garden area. They're known for their steamed eggs which are cooked with the steam wand of an espresso machine. We got the one with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and capers. These had to be the softest and fluffiest eggs I've ever tasted and the flavor was totally on point. We also had the Salade De Poulet with roasted chicken, haricots verts, butter lettuce and potatoes in mustard vinaigrette and beets with a horseradish creme fraiche. Both of these dishes were delicious. This is definitely a place where you go for the food but I would note that their portions are not meant for hearty eaters. The cozy space is somewhat cramped and the tiny tables and chairs actually made me feel like I was oversized. Our service was good and the members of the wait staff that I interacted with were all pleasant. They don't accept reservations so expect a wait if you arrive during meal rushes. They are open late until 2am and have also opened up a branch in Paris. There were some menu items that I wouldn't mind returning to try. I'm a little behind on my Dine Out posts right now since it was about a month and half ago that I met up with my blogger friend Andrea for lunch at Buvette. You're really never sure what to expect when you meet someone you've only interacted with on the internet and it's always a pleasant surprise when the person actually turns out to be pretty much like what you'd expect from their online persona. After settling into a comfortable conversation, it just felt like we were old friends. Andrea is one smart and cool lady. She writes about her adventures in LA having just moved there recently from NYC on her blog inBusinessandLife. Go say hi and tell her I sent you!

Are you a fan of French cuisine? What's your favorite dish?

42 Grove Street
New York City

Recent Loves

August 19, 2015
Beauty Product Review

This is where I share a few products that I have personally used and think are pretty fantastic.

Philip B Shampoo Review, Clarifying Shampoo

Unboxing My First 3B Beauty Box

August 17, 2015
3B Beauty Box, 3B Asian Beauty, 3B Subscription Service

Considering how long I've been married, it's not like I have a fear of commitment but somehow I've never been able to commit to a subscription beauty service until now. I just received my first 3B Box and thought it'd be fun to do an unboxing to commemorate the occasion. 

3B which stands for Beauty Beyond Borders was started by a few friends who wanted to make Asian beauty products more accessible overseas. The Asian beauty industry is a hot topic in beauty right now and is recognized as being at the forefront of a number of innovations and trends. 3B sources products from Korea, Japan and Taiwan and delivers them monthly for just $12. Each box contains 4 -5 deluxe samples from well known brands like Etude House, Skinfood and Liole to high-end premium brands like SK-II, Kanebo, and Sulwhasoo. The products are supposed to be "new or popular in Asia but hard to get your hands on" and a card that introduces and explains in English how they work is also included. I would say that 3B is like an Asian beauty version of Birchbox or Ipsy.  And even though it's delivered in a postal box, the products are actually contained within a mesh pouch. I received 4 products in my first pouch and I'll just share a few thoughts about each of them.

3B Beauty Box, 3B Asian Beauty, 3B Subscription Service

Eye Candy : Yoon So Yi for Sure

August 14, 2015

Yoon So Yi is the picture of glamour in this playful Sure editorial photographed by Kim Eo Mil which highlights a few different makeup looks. This first one if my favorite! The gorgeous actress was very toned down in the makeup and wardrobe department in her recent role as a detective on a special investigative team in the drama Hidden Identity. And this is believable as I always have to roll my eyes when I see female cops on TV with perfect hair and makeup, immaculate wardrobes and high heels. Yes I'm looking at you Kate Beckett from Castle. I think So Yi has a refreshingly vibrant energy that comes through in her performances and is such an underrated actress. She seems to continually get cast in action roles and I'm guessing that might be because she established herself as a believable action heroine early on when she made her film debut in Arahan. I'd love to see her work with Ji Chang Wook again. I liked their chemistry in Warrior Baek Dong Soo and their characters really should've ended up together.

Derma E Evenly Radiant Brightening Serum

August 12, 2015
 Brightening Serum, Natural Skincare

I usually have at least a few serums in rotation at any time in my skincare routine because I truly believe they're the best when it comes to tackling specific skin concerns. My skin concerns probably vary based on the time of year but one ongoing battle I'm always fighting is fading the freckles on my cheeks and keeping new ones from forming so I'm always on the lookout for brightening products that address this concern. Recently I started using this derma e Evenly Radiant Brightening Serum.

About the Brand:derma e is a family owned and operated company of 30 years that has pioneered the development of vitamin-rich, high performance antioxidant skincare solutions. Their award winning line features a number of doctor developed, clinically tested products that are formulated without parabens, phthaltes, sulfates, lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum. derma e products are also cruelty-free, gluten-free, GMO-free and 100% vegan

Product Claims: An intensive skin brightening treatment that targets uneven pigmentation and age damage for a visibly brighter complexion.

Issa By Foreo

August 10, 2015
Foreo Issa Review, Silicone toothbrush

I reviewed the Luna by Foreo awhile back and I really liked it. I'm actually still using it regularly. So when I had the chance to try out the Issa by Foreo, I readily accepted. The Issa is unique in that it is the world’s first electric toothbrush made completely out of silicone. Through the revolutionary combination of high-intensity pulsations with silicone bristles, it delivers complete oral care that removes plaque, prevents cavities, breaks up stains and cleans the gums in a uniquely gentle way that does not damage tooth enamel or cause gum recession.

The Facts: The Foreo Issa is uniquely modern and cool looking as far as electric toothbrushes go. It is constructed of non-porous and bacteria resistant silicone and is completely waterproof. It features an ergonomically designed handle and a 3D flexible brush head that adjusts between 8 speed pulsations to your preference. The Issa requires no charging dock and can be used about 365 times per charge. The silicone brush head only needs to be replaced once a year.

Foreo Issa Review, Silicone toothbrush

Usage: Per the instructions, the Issa should be used like a manual toothbrush with your regular toothpaste. You apply toothpaste, turn it on and adjust the intensity using the + and - buttons. You're advised to use wide, circular movements from the edges of the teeth to the gums on the inner, outer, biting and chewing surfaces, going back and forth horizontally. I'm currently a Sonicare electric toothbrush user and employ a quadrant method when brushing my teeth.  My brush pulses every 30 seconds for a duration of 2 minutes and the Issa does the same thing. The sensation of the silicone bristles is definitely quite a different experience than the bristles of a traditional type toothbrush and can take a little getting used to since they just softly rub up against your teeth. The trick with the Issa is that you don't have to apply much pressure when using it because of the sonic action. The first few times I used it, I was left with a feeling like my teeth were clean yet unbrushed at the same time if that makes sense. Interestingly the instructions of the Issa directs that flossing be done after brushing which I was thought was a bit odd since my dentist has always told me to floss first. 

Eye Candy : An Editorial Roundup

August 7, 2015

There haven't been any complete Asian celebrity editorials that I've been impressed with lately but there have been some eye catching single shots so I thought I'd just round them all up in one post here. Kim So Yeon is one of those actresses who looks equally good in long and short hairstyles and she plays with a variety of hairpieces for W magazine. She looks quite ethereal in a red bob with heavy fringe and I just love how the light catches and frames her face. 

Jung Woo Sung  Esprit Dior
Jung Woo Sung wasn't looking too hot for awhile mainly cause man bangs don't work for him but he's back to his handsome self with his hair slicked back and rocking a suit at the Esprit Dior exhibit in Seoul.

Currently Coveting

August 5, 2015

A few items currently on my wish list. I seem to be in a pink mood this month.
What are you coveting lately?

1. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Perfector 
{This product is supposed to perfect the skin while adding a luminous glow. And how stunning is the compact it comes in!}
2. Gorjana Orbit Shimmer Cuff Ring
{I love how this rose gold ring looks delicate and makes a statement at the same time.}
3. Rebecca Minkoff Sunnies Pouch
{A fun and stylish sunglass case.}
4. Eberjey Retro Bralet
{A lovely bra in a lovely color.}
5. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
{This limited edition bottle caught my eye in Sephora and the mist smells just heavenly as well. I would probably spritz it all the time just for the scent.}
6. Ted Baker Portable Speaker
{Just a seriously sleek and cool looking speaker and the color is fabulous.}
7. Truffle Clarity Clutch
{I've been eyeing this clutch for awhile trying to settle on a color. I think this may be it.}
8. Melissa Jason Wu Jean Flats
{An elegant take on jelly flats and the cutout styling is really cute as well.}

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

August 3, 2015

Another month has passed and summer seems to be flying by so quickly. Here are some highlights from July as seen through my lens and posted on Instagram. To see more, click over to my Instagram feed and you can also follow if you'd like. There may have been more food pics than usual. I don't actually take photos of every meal - just the nice looking ones. There are some foods that just aren't photogenic. This GQ article that breaks it down is a must read. The only one I would disagree with is ramen. 

These are the items I'm reaching for the most this summer. Sun Bum Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 - sunscreen is so much easier to apply and re-apply in spray form and I love how light this one feels and how it doesn't smell like sunscreen. Sun protection for the hair is just as important and when I'm not wearing a hat, I make sure to use this Fekkai Pre Soleil Hair Mist. It adds shine and tames frizz as well. My JORD watch has been my go-to because it's so lightweight. My wardrobe has been a little more neutral this summer so I add color with my accessories like these blush pink Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses with bubble arms. Since I tend to use smaller purses in the summer I switched to a more streamlined wallet. I picked this one up on super sale from Madewell and added a touch of personalization to it.

I'm a big fan of Alterna haircare because their products are natural, sulfate and paraben-free and most importantly, they work really well. Their Caviar Repair RX Instant Recovery Shampoo and Caviar CC Cream are seriously the best and make my hair super soft and manageable.

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