Monday, 19 March 2012

Online Fashion Shopping: A College Girl's Guide





I was always the one who believed that online shopping would never take the place of in-store shopping. But because my college campus is located far away from a shopping mall, and I obviously need my retail therapy at times, I decided to take the plunge and dive into the exciting, but scary, world of online shopping. Since my first purchase, my views on online shopping have completely changed. I can't live without it! The process can be really intimidating at first, so here are some tips to follow.


Know your body shape- The models can give you a great idea of how a garment may look on, but don't completely rely on this. Have a good idea of what styles and cuts compliment your body shape, and which do not.

Know your size- Take the time to measure yourself with a measuring tape, and write down the specific numbers for future reference. Check for sizing charts on the websites. They can give you a good idea of the sizes, but are not always reliable. Do the best you can, but it would be beneficial if you go into the stores you like and try on lots of items to get a feel of where you are in their sizing system. This is particularly necessary for pants items where sizing can change greatly. In addition, remember that your size for tops and bottoms may be different. Consider the cut and style when determining the size. For example, if a baby doll dress is the item in consideration, you should think more about your bust size than your waist size.

Check item specifics- Make sure you take note of the materials and what percentage of each material type is used for the garment. Is it lightweight or heavyweight? Is it tight or loose-fitted? This can help you determine size and whether it is worth the price or not.

Check for reviews- If there are user reviews of an item that you are interested in, definitely read them! They can give you an idea of sizing, and information about the practicality and the caring of the good. If the actual website doesn't have user reviews, do a quick Google search for potential reviews on the net.

Check shipping/return policy- Unless there is something you just have to have, you always want to get free shipping. Free returns are also preferable, especially when online shoe shopping. Shoes which are too small or too big are useless and hard to alter unlike clothing. You can take advantage of free returns by purchasing two sizes of an item if you are uncertain. Just keep the one which fits, and return the other! On that note, take care when you open your package if you think there is any possibility that you will return an item, because the retailers will usually ask you to return goods in the original shipping packaging.

Check for discounts- Always make sure you look online for discounts and coupons before pressing 'Confirm Purchase'. You wouldn't have wanted to miss out on 10% discount just by typing in a code right?

Shop at the right times- Find out when your favourite retail stores update their sale sections to get the best selections. This can be daily, weekly or even monthly. Signing up for the online newsletters is a great way to find out about deals. Take advantage of big online shopping dates such as Cyber Monday. Online sales usually coincide with special dates in the yearly calendar like the in-store sales.

Use the 'Wish List' function- Since you're not able to see items up close, it is hard to resist adding more and more items into your online basket. You can end up regretting a lot of purchases this way, with high shipping fees. Instead, add items to your wish list so you can think about whether you really need them.

Be savvy with your payment methods- Most online retailers are reliable but you can never be too careful. Set up a PayPal account to be extra safe. It is accepted widely.


Remember there is a lot of experimenting when you first start online shopping. As you buy more regularly from the same store, you will have a better idea of their cuts and how it will suit you.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Essie Luxeffects

Essie Luxeffects Holday 2011 Collection

These pretty bottles of Essie polishes called out to me when I was strolling through CVS the other day. The polishes (L to R) As Gold As It Gets, Shine of the Times, A Cut Above, Set in Stones and Pure Pearlfection are designed to be layering top coat polishes which can instantly change the look of another shade. I definitely like the look of the first three, but at $8 a bottle, I think I'll try resisting a little longer or turn to an e-tailer.



Essie.com Transdesign.com

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm- Natural Mint

Jack Black how I love thee. I only found you recently but you just leave me wanting more. Smith's Rosebud Salve, Burt's Bees and eos, I'll have to push you guys aside for at least a little while as this love affair continues (eos I may just rekindle our relationship soon since our fling didn't last long enough cause you melted in the washer).

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 retails for $7.50 which is a bit more expensive than the average balm, but it's a must try. I have it in Natural Mint which leaves my lips feeling cool and tingly. Like you just brushed your teeth! It also comes in several other flavours for you to try. I'm going to stick with Natural Mint though cause I'm addicted to the cooling sensation which hangs around for a while. Oh, and you can share it with the boy! It was targeted to men in the first place after all!



GetJackBlack.com Drugstore.com Sephora.com

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Runway Spring Florals: 6 Ways

When I think of Spring fashion and florals, I am always reminded of Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada.
'Florals? For spring? Ground breaking.'

But it truly seems like florals are completely re-invented every time Spring rolls around. Here are some looks that caught my eye from Spring 2012. Definitely check out the collections at www.style.com. All the shows are so inspiring!

Erdem

A classic trench is completely re-vamped with floral motifs. It reminds me of a Japanese kimono.

Rodarte

Many looks were heavily inspired by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.

Mary Katrantzou

A more graphic take on florals. The pantsuits are stunning too.

Vera Wang

The floral watercolour peplum layer complements the rest of the dress which is whimsical yet futuristic at the same time.

Nanette Lepore

The dress that started this post... I am in love with this contrasting colour combination!

Alexander McQueen

And to top it off, a stunning floral shaped gown by McQueen. This collection designed by Sarah Burton was particularly inspiring and it covered several different styles so make sure you take a look!


It's hard to believe we're already getting ready for Fall 2012!

Monday, 12 March 2012

St.Ives Apricot Scrub

Apricot Scrub Blemish & Blackhead Control by St. Ives

For guaranteed baby-soft skin, I turn to this award-winning drugstore cheapie. No matter what else I try, I always go back to it! It is really creamy and the exfoliating granules are not too harsh. It smells amazing too! Use it all over your face, and even your body.

Drugstore.com

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Classic Trench Coat

Shopping at Forever21 is either a hit or miss for me. Thankfully there are usually more hits than misses, but only when there has been a lot of consideration put into the potential purchases! I almost always buy online over buying in store because
1. I don't have a shopping mall close by
2. Walking into a Forever21 store makes me want to tear my hair out and run out immediately because of the chaotic mess that I see every way I turn. No room to move, massive queues at both the dressing rooms and cash registers. No thank you!

However I managed to grab this beauty at one of my rare visits to an actual F21 store yesterday (I made several visits to the store during my shopping trip hoping that the crowds would die down).

Classic Belted Trench Coat
The pictures really don't do it justice in my opinion. It retails for $32.80 which is on the more expensive side of F21, but it is definitely worth it as the quality is impressive. I love how the top of the sleeves are slightly puffed for an interesting detail, yet it balances out the classic, streamlined silhouette of a trench coat. This coat also comes in a beautiful navy blue but I went with the more traditional option. I'm looking forward to wearing this as we transition from spring to summer!

This really proves that you need to be patient with stores like Forever21. Sometimes you need to be in store to catch the gems, cause you can pass over them when browsing online.

Forever21.com

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Romantic curls


Leighton Meester's and Juliet Martin's curls can be yours with the Remington T-Studio Pearl 1"-1 1/2" Ceramic Curling Wand!


This tool gets to work straight away, heating up under 20 seconds. My uncurlable hair stays curled for days, not hours, and it can all be done in 10 minutes! Second day curls are looser, but still bouncy. To save time, you can curl your hair the night before and it will look fresh in the morning. Its big sister, the 1 1/2"-2" wand, which will produce a wavier style, is definitely going on my wish list!

Target.com Drugstore.com Amazon.com

Monday, 5 March 2012

Ringer's Juliet Martin

Move over Blair Waldorf, there is a new brunette out to rule NYC! Zoey Deutch plays rebellious Juliet Martin in the CW's Ringer which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar.

In the show we see SMG play twin sisters Bridget and Siobhan. Bridget, who is running from the FBI, masquerades as her wealthy socialite sister, while Siobhan is somewhere else doing who knows what...

Juliet is the stepdaughter which Bridget, as Siobhan, gains overnight. Although there is more focus on the drama (which is never-ending), the fashion should be admired too. Here is a breakdown of Juliet's look. Oh, and the expressions... remember it is a drama.



Black and white ensembles don't need to boring by combining patterns and textures. Knit vs leather. Circles vs stripes. Contrast is key.



Juliet's style is lady-like with details such as Peter Pan collars, boucle jackets, preppy tartan, and lace and bows.



These two ensembles which rely on basics are anything but basic. The texture and pattern of the skirt livens up the outfit, while the shades of grey and the leather bag make the monochromatic ensemble on the right look interesting and not dull. 



Juliet wears flattering waist-defining dresses in trendier silhouettes.



Juliet wears a lot of dark shades so it is refreshing to see some bright colour! Again, she favours feminine details such as florals and bows.

Tune into the show for more style inspiration! SMG's characters have pretty enviable wardrobes too!


Credit to zoeydeutchfan.com

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hoola

'Hoola' by Benefit









Loving this for just the perfect hint of colour! Not too light, not too dark, and without a single hint of shimmer. Great for subtle contouring for pale girls like myself. This bronzer came in a trio set with the blushes 'CORALista' and 'Bella Bamba'. A repurchase for sure.

Sephora.com  BenefitCosmetics.com