The World’s Atwitter

February 27, 2009

As children of the Internet, our generation has taken advantage of platforms like AIM, facebook, and Skype to bridge geographical gaps. We’re luckier than people used to be – homesickness can be cured with just a phone call, text, or instant message. Now, the cyber-verse has expanded with another social medium called Twitter, which gives us an additional method to keep updated with friends but it also offers an endless forum of learning and information exchange.twitterI liken Twitter to Facebook’s status feature – except on full blast, and added steroidal enhancement. The original premise of Twitter was to answer the question “What are you doing?” but it has since broadened into a blank canvas for whatever you want to post. Individual twitter comments, aka tweets, range from the trivial (“I want girl scout cookies”) to informative (“Plane lands miraculosuly on the Hudson!”).  People share the minute details of their day as well as finds they come across while browsing the Internet.  Personally, I love clicking on stories that my friends share, they find what’s happening and relevant and bring it to me!

Beyond a social tool, Twitter can also expand your professional horizons. It lets you follow people in fields that you’re interested in – in particular, journalism and media are industries where a huge number of people are Twitter users, but I’m seeing this spread to sports, fashion, entertainment, and business.  In fact, my latest obsession, Hayden-Harnett, has held recent sales exclusive to Twitter members! It’s a smart marketing move – Twitter reaches a huge audience through networks, reTweets, and @replies.

If asymmetrical/lack of information leads to disadvantage and inequality, then Twitter is the answer that can level the playing field. Now we have the latest updates at our fingertips, literally – not just about friends, but any topic that we find interesting. We’re ready to keep up with the techy/social media version of the Jones’.

Cutesy Couple Gifts

February 26, 2009

Valentine’s Day came and went, coinciding with a long weekend thanks to Presidents Day, and was the perfect excuse to take a short trip out to Boston.  Besides picking up the tab for two nice dinners, the boyfriend scored bonus points for 2 additional gifts: 1. Hello Kitty MAC (beauty powder and lip glosses, love the packaging and colors) and 2. a supercute/corny body pillow case from BoldLoft that I’ve eyed for awhile.


BoldLoft carries adorable and unique gifts for when you’re in the mood for a little playground romance – their illustrations are of simple black and white stick figures with a splash of red for decoration that capture an almost child like, sweet moment between couples.  The designs are repeated on different products; personally I think the pillow cases and his-and-her mugs are great as a “gift for you, gift for me”.  Not so sure if I’d wear matching T-shirts, and shot glasses take the innocent-love feel away (what? alcohol isn’t romantic?!)

My interest in this company started when I was looking for gifts appropriate for a long-distance relationship. I wanted two parts of an item, to have something to remind each other of the missing half; a gift not unlike the “Best Friends Forever” necklaces I used to love in elementary school. Here are other ones I like!



 A sassy one:


Celebrity Endorsements Overload

February 20, 2009

Even in this ever slumping economy, companies pay big bucks for their celebrity endorsements. Working on a client of mine, I’ve come to learn that something as little as a guest appearance at an event can earn a celeb as little (or as much) as $200k!!!

As someone who *loves* to read advertisements–and really believe them–I can’t say that I’ve ever really been that impressed by seeing a celebrity proclaim their love for a mascara in the many pages of my magazines. They just become another page I have to flip past to get to the articles I want to read because they all look so similar. I don’t remember who’s associated with which brand and I don’t gush to my girlfriends that I saw so and so on TV “using” L’Oreal‘s latest creation.

I for one, like many, am actually pretty tired of seeing celebs on EVERYTHING. I love celebrity gossip blogs and would be quite happy to look like some of them, but I just don’t understand the point of overdoing it as much as it’s been done lately. Let’s pay them for what they do and make our beauty decisions based on the actual product. It’d be great to actually see ads that focused on the product and the brand.

The things that really matter to me when I decide to try a product are: (1) purpose of the product, (2) unique characteristics that set it apart from something I already use, (3) reviews by peers, and (4) brand reliability. With the amount of products I shuffle through each day, I want to be presented with as much information as possible regarding a new one that I might add to my regime.

I love you, Drew, but I don’t need you to tell me that I should love LashBlast (and I actually do!!). From looking at the ad above, I would’ve thought these things: I love LashBlast already, maybe I will try this version of the product! I love how Drew looks (knowing that she’s most likely not even using CoverGirl make-up)… I would purchase the product based on my own knowledge of the brand and product. My opinion on Drew’s make-up here is no different than if I saw her looking like this in a separate photoshoot–I see no real correlation between what she looks like and the product that is “attached” to her image on the ad.

Celebrities can serve as great inspirations for style and make-up looks, but when considering the credibility of a product, I don’t need to see their beautiful faces on every page of my magazines to convince me to run out and buy something.

Recession-Friendly Tip

February 12, 2009

Do you shop online? Do you love getting packages? Are you human? I am positive everyone in my generation buys clothes/shoes/electronics/everyday items from the Internet, particularly if you are part of the working world (*plays “Miss Independent” track!*) and don’t have time to browse in-store. If you said yes to the above questions, I hope you’ve been using a rebate system for all those online purchases, like Ebates or FatWallet.

How they work: you have to click through the site to get to the desired retailer and make your purchase from there. The sites track the clickthroughs and will automatically post rebates to your account after a successful checkout. A surprising number of companies offer discounts through these two sites, you just have to check which one is higher – ex. Nordstrom (6% at FW vs. 3% at Ebates), ShopBop (6% at Ebates), and my latest obsession – Hayden Harnett (4% at Ebates, not at FW).  It takes a little time for the cash back to be approved and processed, but hey, it’s as good as finding money in your pocket after you’ve forgotten about it!

I signed up for these services years ago, but didn’t fully utilize them ’til now. Back in the good ol’ college days, I had classes three out of the five weekdays, and enjoyed something called Leisure Time to take many a shopping trip. Now, I prefer checking out online and looking forward to receiving packages. Something about the anticipation of deliveries makes me happy, even though I know exactly what is coming =P Before I pull the trigger though, I check both rebate sites to see if there’s cash back available. If anything, it helps with shipping. I was reminded about these sites today because I got a notification that I’ve accumulated $40 from the past few months’ self-gifts.

Hope this puts some dollars back in your wallet while doing your parts to contribute to an economic upswing!

Can’t Save, Must Shop!

February 11, 2009

Yesterday, a messenger harked the coming of another Theory sample sale. Yay! I cheered. Cry! went my credit card. It’s gotten a lot of exercise this month and wants to rest, but I couldn’t pass this up. Not when last time I had such success, not when I need more work clothes, not when it’s Valentine’s Day!!! Ok I convinced myself.

I found two pieces I liked – the Suneeta dress, and the Debra skirt. The boatneck and shape of the dress is great! It slightly bows inward from the hips, creating a small bubble effect. And I love the pockets and the skinny patent belt. The pockets-on-skirts trend has always appealed to me as functional, and looks cute when your hands are feeling awkward. Now I want more pocket-dress options!

The Debra skirt is high-waisted, and in a nice teal color that’s not often found in my closet. I grabbed a size 00, and it is really tiny. Like, almost can’t breathe tiny. I thought it would sit lower on my waist, but nope, it’s right up there. Definitely not a skirt to wear if I’m planning on chomping down on a big lunch.

The Suneeta was a stock piece, and priced at $99. The skirt was an irregular, and much cheaper at $40. Last time, when I went on the 2nd to last day of the sale, there weren’t any sample or irregular pieces left. This time though, racks upon racks awaited! It was a scavenger hunt rummaging through unlabelled pieces, avoiding items with rips and tears, and emerging with a piece that actually fit and was in decent condition. If you can find it though, the prices are much more reasonable – $60 for dresses, $40 skirts, $30 tops, etc.

The fitting room line was waaay long, so I took a gamble and bought both pieces without trying them on (hey, there’s always Ebay). I got lucky, because the Suneeta fit great, and the skirt I can wear higher up and still get away with it because I’m short =P I knew there must be something good about being petite.

Less ‘Poo

February 10, 2009

Today, my hair is happy.  Why?  Because it is Wash day in the 4th cycle of a self-imposed wash-hair-every-other-day routine.  Today my hair is clean, shiny, voluminous, and soft.  I feel like a Pantene commercial… yes! yes! yes!  But yesterday it was oily and clumpy where greasy hair coagulated.. mmm is that hair you want to run your fingers through or what?!  I’m trying to train my hair to be less greasy and encourage voluminous, healthy hair on its own. Counterintuitively you may think, I am washing my hair less often. I have naturally oily hair, and usually shampoo every day.  If I skip a wash, the next day my strands becomes a slick, smelly mess (the funky old hair smell is probably the worst part).  The catch though, is that in the dry winter I’m finding that my hair gets too dry and staticky since I wash it so often.  If there’s one annoying thing in an already windy environment, it’s clingy hair.  Haate it.  I’ve tried adding moisturizing conditioner, but that lands me right where I don’t want to be, in a grease trap. And it cycles on and on.. After doing some research, I’ve learned that washing hair every day strips it of its natural oils, thus provoking follicles to overproduce.  The solution to getting out of the rat race then, is to stop suds-ing up daily.  Some very brave people actually go all out in the No Poo Method (can be as gross as it sounds).  As your scalp gets used to the new routine, it actually produces less oil, resulting in nice hair as well as time saved in the shower!  This probably appeals to me moreso than beautiful hair, because I loooove those extra snooze minutes in bed. Usually it takes a few weeks for the oil production centers to right itself and balance, so in the meantime, here’s what I’ve tried doing to make more pleasant the yucky oily and smelly transition period: 

  • Use less shampoo.  I used to love dumping a whole palmful onto my head and working it into a super lather atop my hair but this only dries out strands more.  Along the same lines, less products in general (including conditioner), since it adds gunk and weight, compelling you to wash it out at the end of a long day
  • Air dry, or if you must use a blowdryer, put it on low heat.  I try to shower at night for this reason. Well, that plus I like sleeping (I always take longer in the morning than if I shower at night, for some reason). Blow-drying for me equals dry, frizzy hair, which means I have to put products in it to weigh it down, leading me quicker to Oil City!
  •  After a wash, part hair in the middle to dry initially, and then re-part to the side for instant volume! This eliminates the flatness of hair that tends to settle throughout the day. I just learned this yesterday, and I am loving it!
  • Use a dry shampoo in between washes.  Spray on at night, rub it throughout your hair, and it’s supposed to magically eat up the extra oilies and refresh your mane.  That’s the commercial at least. I bought a mini version of Ojon Rub Out Dry Shampoo, and was disappointed that the magic didn’t work for me.  When I lightly coat, my hair ends up still greasy the next day. If I spray more, the smell is OMG STRONG.  I used it while studying for the Series 7 (my Berkeley education has conditioned me to choose study over hygiene), and it definitely overpowered the room we were using.  Sorry, study mates! It didn’t work for me, but lots of other people like it, so maybe my hair is just so greasy nothing can cut through.  I do like the idea of a colorless dry shampoo though and will try other alternatives.  I’ve heard baby powder works also – but lightly sprinkle it, unless you like the gray hair look (assuming you have dark tresses). 

It has now been over a week of this, I’m foreseeing another two weeks or so of this up and down cycle, and then hopefully it’s easy non-greasy hairrr! All in all, if this doesn’t work, it certainly makes me appreciate the days when I get to shampoo! I woke up this morning super excited that today was Wash day.  And when I came to work, I kept parting and re-parting my day for that bounce. Probably not smart, since that stimulates the follicles, ugh.

ASOS: As Seen on Stars

February 8, 2009

I love weekends. Besides being an oh so much needed break from the struggles of the work week, I get to go home. This weekend I came home to a nice surprise: my ASOS order that I’d totally forgotten about!

ASOS is an online store I’ve often checked out, but been hesitant to order from since it’s based in the UK. ASOS, which stands for, as seen on stars, specializes in just that. You can easily search the site by celeb and grab your own version (or even the real thing) of something that Posh, Alexa Chung, or Nicole Ritchie have been seen wearing (and who doesn’t want to look as fabulous as them?)! I love finding the weekly Style Update emails in my inbox as they offer some great tips and style choices (seriously, you need to subscribe to this).

After having absolutely no time to shop and being in desperate need of some new clothes, I finally decided to place an order. I’ve read mixed reviews online about the quality of the clothes, but thought I might as well give it a try. The items range from designer must-haves to more affordable ASOS-brand pieces–there is plenty to choose from! The site even offers a spiffy video of the item on the runway. Shipping was only $6 despite being sent all the way from the UK and I’d say my package took about 2 weeks to get here.

I picked up a shirt, high-waisted tulip skirt, leather work tote, and a bunch of necklaces. Overall, the items were pretty true to site-image and description. The shirt has an odd sizing and didn’t turn out as cute as it looked on the model, but hey I guess I’m no model… The necklaces are as fun and versatile as I hoped they would be! I will defnitely be purchasing from ASOS again. For now, those style updates will have to do! See below for my favorite pieces from the order: