Saturday, December 31, 2016

Aesop's Approach: Decluttering and Minimizing Skincare and Makeup Products

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that I would never be able to maintain a capsule wardrobe. However, with the philosophy of Aesop in mind, I'm attempting to declutter my top shelf of skincare and makeup items. 

I am a bit of a skincare hoarder. I have plenty of masking products, backup products and I stock up on products I know I move quickly through. The same goes for makeup, especially lip products. I have a lot but I have been working on reducing that amount. So far, I think I've done well. I'm attempting to move through the supplies I still have before purchasing anything new. And if for any of the products that I do run out of, I'm looking to Aesop to fill that product shaped hole. 

Aesop has always garnered my attention. I love everything the company stands for - an affinity for good design, quality, and the arts. Though, I've always hesitated because of the price tag - could it really be worth it? In this blog post, I investigate just that. In doing so, I've decided to change up my beauty routine and primarily delve into Aesop products. 

Aesop has a three-step approach to skincare; cleanse, tone, and moisturize. This was very attractive to me, not only because this is a routine I already practice, but that it meant there wouldn't be a superfluous amount of products to choose from that can sometimes be overwhelming and gimmicky. 

Disclaimer: I would like to note that Aesop's products are very prescriptive and seasonality is taken into consideration. What works for me might not work for you, I highly recommend going to an Aesop store and receiving help from one of the consultants. They know the products very well! 

*My skin type can be described as sensitive and blemish-prone, oily all over in the warmer and temperate months and dehydrated/normal/combination in the winter months. 


I begin by using Bioderma's Micellar Cleansing Water. The Aesop equivalent is the Remove oil, while I have tested and liked the product, I have held off on purchasing the product as I still have a few large bottles of Bioderma left. To note, The Remove oil isn't a micellar cleanser but works to dissolve the makeup on the skin. For whatever reason, I don't like the feeling of the oil and I'd rather use the micellar water because it doesn't leave the feeling of a residue on the skin. 

I then move on to a gentle cleanser. I'm finishing up my Eucerin Redness Relief Cleanser that I have repurchased time and again. It's really an amazing drug store product. My friend also gifted me Shiseido's Ibuki Gentle Cleanser that I have yet to try out. However, my skin has been acting up recently and I'm thinking that for fall and winter, I will need something a little more heavy duty. 

Since finishing the Eucerin Cleanser, I have been using Fabulous Face Cleanser in the fall and moved into the Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Cleanser. The Parsley Seed Cleanser is perfect for a little bit of gentle daily exfoliation. It has lactic acid that helps to leave your face feeling squeaky clean. I still use the Bioderma Micellar Water as I am a big fan of double-cleansing and I do see a difference when I don't use the micellar water.  


I've been using Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner for a few years now, I can't say that it's improved my skin or really helped with anything but I love the sensation on my skin when I apply it. Since switching over to an Aesop toner, I have found a major improvement in my skin's tone and oil production. I find it is necessary to use a toner if you have an imbalance of oil production across the face or oily skin altogether. The B & Tea Toner is very calming and lightly hydrating. I find my moisturizer goes on better as a result. This is, by far, my favorite step of the skin care routine. 


This is where I've had some trouble in finding what kind of moisturizer I like. I've tried a range of oils, gels, and creams. I've found that for winter, I definitely need something heavy for night time. I've been switching between Aloe Vera (straight from the plant), Andalou Naturals Probiotic + C Cream, and Chanel La Solution 10. With the Aloe Vera, I add in a drop of Fabulous Face Oil from Aesop for extra hydration. I do like the Aloe Vera but I don't like that it spoils so quickly and the residue it leaves on the face. I would like to find an alternative, but preferably one that isn't just a bottle from the drugstore. 

I started this fall by using the Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum when the days were still hot and well over 80 degrees. However, as it is progressively getting colder, I've been using a combination of Dr. Jart's Ceramidin Serum to start with and then following up with a combination of either the Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator, Fabulous Face Oil and the Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Cream. 

Additionally, I use the Elemental Facial Barrier Cream only during the day, when it is particularly cold and windy outside. It's a very thick cream that isn't normally suited for my combination skin and is best to protect the skin from harsh winter weather. 


The simplicity and the garner of high quality products from Aesop has improved my overall complexion so much that I have stopped wearing face make up. My routine for make up is simplified as possible, I use a Bobbi Brown under eye color corrector and then followed up with my Maybelline FitMe concealer. My eyebrows are lightly filled in with my L'oreal Brow Stylist and then I curl my lashes and follow up with a Volume de Chanel mascara. Truly simply. My lip care routine is moisturize with my carmex lip balm and then followed up with whichever lip color I gravitate towards that day. My skin looks great and even when I do get hormonal blemishes, I still don't feel the need to cover it up. 

I know the best result is when others notice the improvement as well. Those closest to me have commented on my skin and even strangers every now and then. It's really wonderful to hear that after my teenage acne struggles, I have come such a long way with my skin. I will continue using Aesop products as they not only look and smell divine, but they are effective too. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mid-Year Wardrobe Review: Oops...I did it again/ Old habits die hard

Mid-way through July and I have found myself cleaning out and reorganizing my closet again. Going over the purchases over the last few months, I have improved but I've also made several blunders yet again. 

To start, I purchased some really great vintage pieces that I've loved and worn repeatedly. I strayed away from thrift/vintage particularly when shopping online because I've typically found that it isn't how its pictured, or the fit just isn't right. I rekindled that flame when I was on the hunt for a vintage pair of Levi's. However, I did get carried away - I found myself purchasing items on a whim because they were cheap and one of a kind, so I felt the need to get it before someone else did. This lead to seem very impractical purchases, for example, vintage heels.

I'm still having trouble in figuring out what pieces are better to purchase high end vs. low end. For example, T-shirts, is there a noticeable difference in purchasing a $100 t shirt compared to a Madewell one or a pack of men's t-shirts from Hanes? Yes and no. Madewell, though the name implies great quality, is most often not. I do love their denim, leather jackets, and the t-shirts that are not part of the whisper-cotton collection. Those t-shirts compared to Hanes is significant, especially when it comes down to washing the items. The poorer quality shirt doesn't hold up well. So while a $100 t-shirt may sound ridiculous, it can be worth it in the long run. Especially so if well cut items and the quality of material is taken into account. 

I forget what is in my closet. I know this one is a repeat but it's something I'm really having trouble with. I'm trying to rearrange my clothes so that they are more visible and choosing outfits because simpler. The example, my Uniqlo and Monki trench coat. Two different silhouettes, though a trench nonetheless. The Uniqlo falls mid-thigh, a-line, with a single line of buttons. The Monki falls mid-calf and is  double breasted. Both are beautiful but for whatever impulsive and unnecessary reason, I purchased them without remembering that I have the perfect trench coat already - the classic Burberry Kensington trench coat. I'm considering setting up a selling page to list the superfluous items to my wardrobe. 

The other thing I've realized is that I will never be capable of having a capsule wardrobe. I've always loved the idea of simplifying my life and having less items but for clothing, it's become very difficult. I love clothes too much to resign to having a few items to wear. I like the theatrics of jumpsuits and overalls that ideally, wouldn't have their place in a capsule wardrobe. I've never attempted to live by a capsule wardrobe for real, though I have attempted to curate my closet so that every piece can worn with another. This is also an impractical idea for myself. My wardrobe can be curated but the idea that everything can be worn with another is not always practical. 

On the flip side, I've reached some break throughs with my wardrobe. 

I've invested in tailoring pieces. I've purchased several vintage/thrift items that I saw great potential in and had them reworked to fit my body. The pay off has been fantastic. Those are the pieces I opt for everyday. I've reworked several shirts and pants. Currently, I'm having a beautiful vintage Giorgio Armani black long jacket that is a replica of this Lemaire jacket. I'll have to post it when it's done. 

I've invested in designer. More so than I have before, I've had some luck in scoring some really great designer pieces for a fraction of the price. Having these pieces, instead of looking for alternatives to them has lead to a greater satisfaction in my wardrobe. My wardrobe feels that much more completed, though, it's never really complete, is it? I'm excited for fall to come, and while I always jump the gun when it comes to purchasing clothing for the season ahead, I'm trying very hard to hold off. Until then, I'm going to try and post some pre-fall wish lists in preparation. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

My Purchase History, A Year In Review

One of my favorite bloggers, Dead Fleurette, in one of her last blog posts before she closed up shop, reviewed her hit and miss clothing purchases throughout the year. Since I've been through quite a few purchases this year - I thought it would be really great to go through what I did and didn't like about 2015's purchase history.

To start, I would like to note that I purchased a lot this year - so much that I feel a little sick thinking about it. I'm not going to post every item I have purchased because I'm not sure I can remember purchases made from January of last year. 

I want to break down the things I have noticed in the pieces that didn't work well for me can all be categorized in either one or more of the following: 

1. I brand-whored. I could definitely use another word for that, but I find that's the simplest way to get my point across. Whether it was something more affordable like Madewell, or even my go-to brand A.P.C, I found that certain pieces just didn't work very well with my wardrobe. From Madewell, the purchase I probably regret the most is the Billie boots in English Saddle. They were too preppy for me, though I liked the idea of them - I wanted something similar to the Rachel Comey ones that I was considering buying - in the end, I sold them and I'm glad I never purchased the Rachel Comey ones in the tan color. From A.P.C. the piece I regret purchasing is the Cowboy boots in the beige suede. Online, these boots looked more white in tone than yellow and while I was disappointed when I received them, I tried to make them work but unfortunately, I'm going to sell those too. They're also a half size too big. 

2. I have to many different style personalities that I want to try out and it just didn't work. Like the Madewell Billie Boots mentioned earlier, I wanted something very Rachel Comey and I was really into her pieces. While I could've made a purchase from her collection with careful consideration of what would work well with my wardrobe, I instead went for a piece that was similar (never again) and with a color that I thought would pair well with clothes I didn't already have. 

3. I didn't take the pieces well into consideration/didn't know how to(?).  The above two reasons can also fall under this category. 

On the other hand, the pieces that did work for me...

1.  Complimented the existing color palette of my wardrobe
2. Were non-complicated pieces that could be worn everyday.

The main thing I need to consider when making purchases for 2016 is how these pieces work with my wardrobe that I already have, part of the reason that I feel that I've made such terrible purchases this past year is that I don't have an idea of whats in my wardrobe already. This is probably due to the lack of organization in my wardrobe. I need to reconfigure how I set up the pieces so that I can wear them more often and have an understanding of what my wardrobe needs, rather than what I want.

My new years resolution is to consume less of what doesn't benefit or better me. Though, this is nothing entirely knew and something I have been really working on for already a good two months or so. As general as it is,  I do find myself wanting to cleanse each time the new year approaches. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


As someone who was franticly searching for reviews on Glossier's products, I thought I would take a leap and make a post.

I feel the most appropriate (and helpful) element to include in a review is to understand the reviewer's skin background.
I got off a 5 month treatment of Accutane in early August. Since, I've been recovering from my acne scars (read: lots of redness). I've had a hick up hear and there with acne since my treatment ended, but luckily I've been able to treat them early and they go away a lot quicker then pre-Accutane skin.

My skin is very sensitive, it reacts to products quickly. It's on the normal side in terms of oil production (thank you, Accutane!). When I first heard about Glossier, I wasn't looking for any new products. After a failed attempt with Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, I was happy using just my go-to products: Maybelline FIT concealer, BareMinerals foundation, and a coat of mascara. However, the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint claims caught my attention and that was it for me. I wanted it. Non-comodegenic? Hypo-allergenic? Paraben, alcohol, and fragrance free? Are you serious?! I ordered right away and mentally cursed the good people over at Glossier for knowing how to get me to give in.

The next day, I found myself on their website and concerned about the redness on my cheeks and the expectant sheerness of the makeup. I felt I had just bought makeup again for a version of myself in the distant future. So instead of canceling my order, I decided to purchase the primer as well and try it out.

Then it came, like a shining (albeit, trendy) beacon of hope. I felt cool, it was worthy of an Instagram post -- and I never post. Packaging aside, the product itself felt as lightweight as the YSL Touche E'Clat foundation that I've always wanted to try. It's as sheer as I expected it to be. Seriously. But the idea is to let your skin breath while still adhering to some cover up, right?

The Perfecting Skin Tint works best with the primer. It's moisturizing but doesn't feel oily at all. I haven't seen any improvements with my redness but I will let it slide just because it's a great makeup base. 

While I use the primer everyday, I'm only using my the Perfecting Skin Tint for weekends. I'm not entirely comfortable going out with a bare look every day just yet. 

Ideally, Glossier is best for someone who already has decent skin and whose primary make up concern is discoloration or evening out the skin tone. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Perfect White Shirt

Sofia Coppola in a collarless white Hermes shirt
Protagonist  Shirt 01, Shirting – White, Pallas Venus Trousers – Noir
Protagonist Shirt 01

I absolutely love the look of a collarless crisp white shirt. The one Sofia is wearing is a lovely Hermes that's way out of my budget. Luckily, I found a similar shirt from Protagonist that emulates the interior seams of the Hermes shirt. I'm only worried about what the shirt will look on myself completely buttoned up. I guess I'll have to purchase and hope for the best!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


photos via Refinery29/LaGarconne
I can't believe I'm just now coming across the source of this pictures. I have long searched for where these pictures are from and they are from La Garconne's in-house label , Lou. I would love the crew-neck sweaters in dark camel and taupe. I've been searching for a basic cashmere crew-neck sweaters all winter and I haven't come across anything quite like these. I wish La Garconne would bring Lou back!