Memosne: June 2015

& Other Stories Haul

I need to diversify my wardrobe. Everything I own is either black, navy. from Club Monaco, Zara or Uniqlo. I'm pretty conservative with my purchases, but I do prefer to save and buy "quality pieces." Ideally, I'd love to be dropping dollars on Valentino and Chanel, but for now I'll settle with my holy trinity. While visiting my sister in New York she introduced me to one of her favorite shops, which in turn...became one of my favorite shops.

I got an email notification last week that their summer sale started and I couldn't help but buy a couple of weather-appropriate staples at their discounted prices! I was bad though, because I bought some full priced items as well...

Wrap Skirt,  $60 $30

A definite keeper. I loved this skirt at first sight, but I was a little afraid when I added it to my shopping basket. Previously when I was visiting the "& other stories" flagship store in New York I wasn't the luckiest in finding bottoms that fit me. I ordered the smallest size on the website, a 4, and it fits around my waist perfectly. Just for comparison, I'm also a 00 to 0 at Club Monaco. The skirt is made out of a thick Viscose and feels well constructed. It fastens with a hidden button and another set of hidden double hooks. Definitely worth the $30!

Stand Up Collar Blouse, $75 $37

I have mixed feelings about this particular blouse. I was really woo-ed by the model wearing the blouse on the website. I've also always been a fan of wearing a black bra with a sheer long sleeved top. It may be too scandalous for some, but I think it screams Pepper Potts...and really, who wouldn't want to be like her?

My problem is that this shirt wrinkles very easily and that I'm not a model. Where the model's arms fit this blouse perfectly, my shorter arms make the blouse's fabric scrunch up awkwardly around my wrists. I ordered this shirt in a Size 4 and it fits everywhere else except the sleeve length. It's very well constructed and I like the combination zipper and button closure, but I'm really undecided about the fit. I could probably make this work, but at the time I'm posting this I'm undecided on whether I should return it or not.

Graphic Top,  $90 $45

I thought this blouse looked really adorable on the model in the photograph. I expected it to be a little boxy and "large", but this makes me look like I'm a little kid pretending to be a robot. Way too boxy. The fabric is thick, stretchy, and feels great, but the shape is just so unflattering. I can't.

Definitely going to return this guy once I head back to New York.

Font Pleat Midi Skirt, $85

I felt like I needed more color in my wardrobe, especially spring/summer colors that aren't navy or black, so I wanted to invest in some cute skirts. I'm a sucker for mint and this skirt looked so clean on the model on the website I wanted to try it out.

Again, much like the wrap skirt above, this skirt just feels good. It's well constructed, the fabric is thick, and it has a quality combination zipper-button closure. I'm 5'3 and was partially afraid that this skirt would hit me mid-shin and make me look shorter. Thankfully this hits just above my knee and looks very ladylike. I'll have to steam it to get the wrinkles out, but this skirt is a definite keeper.

I'm obsessed with lace. All of my summer clothes are lace and silk. When I saw this top paired with their cute scalloped shorts, I just had to have it. Again, another definite keeper. I like the lace's design and I think it's cute and cheeky with the see-through back. It fits well, the quality is very tangible, and I just really like it! 

Another huge bonus for me is that all these clothes are machine-washable, although you do have to hang them to dry, and that is so convenient. All the clothes I purchase from Club Monaco are the dreaded "Dry Clean Only."  This really just shows my lack of foresight, but cute, well-made clothes that are easy to take care of are my ultimate holy grail. 

I think "& other stories" is quickly moving up to be my favorite shop. I think their quality for their price is amazing and I always feel like I'm getting well-constructed, timeless pieces that not many people have access to. Their prices are somewhat similar to Zara's, but the construction on their items far surpasses that. 

If you're looking to spice up your wardrobe, I highly suggest giving "& other stories" a look. 

Tatcha Cleansing Oil - A Review

I've long heard of the numerous benefits of using oil to cleanse your skin of impurities. It moisturizes, it doesn't strip all the oil from your face, and it'll improve your acne so you'll have that fabulous skin you've always dreamed of. What? Balance problem skin? Benefit acne? Sign me up!

Shu Uemura
My first experience with oil cleansing was with Shu Uemura's "Skin Purifier." This was the predecessor to the new Porefinist Anti-Shine Cleansing Oil. It was a disaster. After I was lured in by the beautiful, porcelain doll of a sales associate I took my translucent pink pump bottle home and proceeded to cleanse my face with it. HORRIFIC. I broke out instantly. I convinced myself it was just my skin's purging phase and that after my skin got used to oil cleansing, it would turn around and I'd have flawless skin.

Shu Uemura
A couple weeks later it didn't seem like the breakouts were stopping or healing over. My face was getting worse and worse. My sister, who had also started oil cleansing, also broke out with the the "Porefinist Anti-Shine Cleansing Oil", but had a wonderful reaction when she switched over to the "Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil." Seeing her results I tried to switch, but broke out again. I wasn't having it. I was off cleansing oils forever.

Queue Tatcha Camellia One Step Cleansing Oil.

I admit I'm easily "Jedi Mind Tricked" when it comes to marketing. Tatcha not only has an absolutely beautiful aesthetic, they also have a compelling story that blends "old rituals" with new technology: Luxury Skincare Inspired By Geishas. Who could say no to that? Geisha's are beautiful...I want to be beautiful. LET'S TRY IT.

First off, the packaging is very pleasing. I love the detail that's been put into all aspects of the package. There's a ribbon to pull up your new product, rice paper with a note from the CEO delicately wrapped around the tube, and it comes in a elegant ivory pump bottle that has an optional "lock" mechanism so you can (in theory) travel with it.

I've been using it for the past month and I haven't broken out. I've broken out due to the normal ladies week and an odd spike of stress now and then, but this cleansing oil has also seen my skin when it was at its best. Tatcha Cleansing Oil is a mix of camellia oils with rice bran oils that is free of minerals, parabens, sulfates, colors, synthetic fragrances and all that other bad stuff.

It also easily removes my toughest waterproof mascara when my beloved BioDerma couldn't. The oil is just how you would expect oil to be: translucent, slightly viscous, and...well...slightly oily.

My skin doesn't feel "stripped" or dry after cleansing. Instead the Tatcha's oil just leaves my face devoid of makeup. Although, according to Tatcha, you don't have to wash your face after using its cleansing oil, I still prefer to "double cleanse" with my La Roche Posay acne face wash.

Although everyone's skin is different, I have very sensitive acne-prone skin and Tatcha's cleansing oil has made it's way into my facial routine seamlessly. It is expensive, but I think you get what you pay for with this product. Quality, luxury, and most important, charity! Tatcha is proud partner of Room to Read, where every product purchased equals one day of school for a girl in Asia or Africa. As of January 2015 they've given girls in need 238,174 days of school. So feel good about the products you're buying! 

I highly recommend Tatcha's Camellia Cleansing Oil. I've included some purchase links below to Tatcha's Direct Site and Sephora. The only gripe I have with this product is that even when I "lock" the pump to travel, a small amount of oil still leaks out. Always put your liquids in plastic bags when traveling! It'll save your clothes and your money! 

My friend Sandy Young who runs Styled by S, an incredible beauty blog that's just getting started, has an exclusive interview with Tatcha's Founder: Victoria Tsai. I highly encourage you all to check her out! 

Clean Face

Club Monaco - Paget Silk Dress

Club Monaco is like a bad boyfriend. Every time I go, I find something in it that I love, but it just treats me horribly either in terms of service or price. It's a mixed bag really.

I always get complimented on my wardrobe pieces from Club, for good reason! They're beautifully designed, unique, and good quality. Their silhouettes and colorways are always spot on for the season and I find that their clothing fits me so well. I'm quite petite and their 00 size fits me like a glove.

Their attention to detail is phenomenal. The Paget Dress caught my eye because of its cute pattern, material, and unique pleating. I purchased this dress in a size 00 and, like I mentioned before, it fit perfectly. My sister tried on the same dress in a size 2 and it also looked phenomenal on her despite our different body shapes. She decided not to purchase hers (she's more financially responsible than I am).

That awkward moment when you're shooting your OOTD and someone asks you for an OOTD
I find that this dress can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and I've been wearing it regularly through the Spring and the Summer. Club Monaco currently has two version of this dress for sale, one all black version and a terracotta print version. If you're looking for an effortless way to add an elegant piece to your wardrobe, this is it!

Also, to make this dress even more awesome, Lucy Liu wore it. SO THERE. YOU NEED IT NOW. YOU'RE WELCOME.