Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm finally getting Invisalign!

I have exciting news that I've been waiting to share: I'm going to be an Invisalign spokesperson! Full disclosure: I'll be receiving complimentary services, in exchange for sharing the ins and outs of my treatment. I'll be checking in once a month to give updates on my journey and progress, and want you to know that my opinions are always my own - I'll share my honest experience of it all. But before I start my treatment, I'd like to share why I decided to straighten my teeth.

With a handful of [post-braces] golden years as an exception, my teeth have always been one of my biggest insecurities. As a toddler, I ran into a wall and killed one of my front teeth, leaving it a dull shade of grey. It wasn't cute, and I couldn't wait for it to be replaced by a shiny new adult one. Much to my dismay, my permanent tooth decided it could no longer wait for the other one to leave, and grew in behind it. My bottom teeth soon decided the same plan of action, and thus began my life with crooked, overcrowded teeth. From freshman year of high school through most of college, I experienced those previously mentioned, darling golden years of a perfect smile. But slowly, in a process so gradual that I hardly knew what was happening, my teeth shifted back to their pre-braces state. Ever since, I've been eager to get that smile back. Friends (with perfect smiles - they probably wore their retainers) would say to me, "You don't need braces! Your teeth give you character," and I would normally be right there with them, cheering on imperfections. But this is not about how the world perceives my smile, it's about how it makes me feel. To be honest, my teeth are one feature I've never been teased about - not even as a child, when they were at their worst. But this one little thing is a pretty big deal to me - and I can feel and see my teeth shifting, becoming more and more crooked with each day. I often go through many portraits on Makeup Monday, choosing the ones where they aren't as obvious, and I've learned how to shift my head to get the best results - but in video, it's all I can focus on, and I can't help but let it get to me. I want to smile without any resignation, without diffidence.

After having braces for over three years, I didn't want to relive the traditional metal brackets and multi-colored rubber bands, which I used to change to match each season. I feared that, like Miranda Hobbes, I would never be able to re-commit to a mouth full of metal. I paid my dues; I have the scars from my frequently too-long wires to prove it. I just didn't wear my retainers long enough, because I thought there was an expiration date on those things. Several of my friends in similar positions ended up going with Invisalign, and had amazing results. They encouraged me to look into it. That's when I started asking around about Invisalign and researching it for myself. For those of you who are not familiar with Invisalign, it’s a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners that are used to gradually straighten teeth without brackets or wires (and colorful rubber bands to match the holidays - you win some, you lose some). I love the fact that it's not only discreet, but also removable! My friends told me they saw a noticeable change in their smiles within just a few months, so I'm beyond excited to get the process started and see for myself.

Though I waxed poetic about my desire to get it, in my typical form of procrastination I kept placing it in my "Future Wants and Needs" folder. That's when Invisalign stepped in and asked me if I wanted to be a spokesperson, and receive complimentary treatment in exchange for sharing my experience. My "Future Wants and Needs" filing promptly went to "It's Happening!! Everything Is Happening!"

It's pretty great to think that last year, I had two big things on my wish list: straighten my teeth, and go to Paris. And just like that, I'm ready to mark both of them off - done and done. Here's to the journey ahead; I'm so excited to share my experience with you all!

p.s. If you are interested in Invisalign treatment, you can request more info, here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Nashville Trip, on Instagram.

Our unexpected detour made updating the blog a little more difficult than I intended; I haven't even taken my camera out of its bag. It's a little easier to update my instagram, since it's, you know...instant. We made the best out of our 36 hour stay in Nashville, which is easy when you have the company of people you love. I didn't get to see everyone, but I did get some quality time with a few of my cousins - and that made the trip worthwhile. Here's some insta-moments from our trip, from left to right and top to bottom:

1) Hello. Jonathan Adler "Hello / Bye-Bye" pouch.

2) Presley greets Bobby.

3) Cat sweater, Greylin skirt, Modern Vice spectator oxfords.

4) Presley, in one of her many hats.

5) At my cousins' house, where Presley showed us how she plays the piano.

6) Okay, so we clearly just came to Nashville to see Presley. Wearing a vintage hat, and a vintage dress over my favorite Harlyn blouse.

7) With my cousins: Mark, Claudia, and Jeremy. Psst...listen to Jeremy's single!

8) Bobby bought this monkey for me, at a gas station. If that's not true love, I don't know what is.

9) If you're going to stop and stretch your legs, you might as well do it at an antique store. Wearing Miu Miu round sunglasses (also available in Spring colors), Topman sweater, Something Else by Natalie Wood top, thrifted skirt, and Coach Borough bag.

10) Bye-bye.

p.s. Have you created your eBay collections to benefit the March of Dimes? March 31st is the last day. Create your collections, here and not only will they will donate $1 for each collection created, you will also be entered to win a $5k shopping spree. #imbornto

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That 70s Flair


For outfit details, see the original post on Westfield Style.

Bobby and I just got to Nashville, and we already have to leave (unexpectedly). I'm sad we had to cut our trip short, but we will be back! I'm also grateful I got to spend the day with cousins. We're about to hit the road for another long car ride (and an even longer one, after that) - but I wanted to pop in and tell you to check out my latest post on Westfield Style, featuring a very 70s look (and the coat and sunglasses I've been living in).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Makeup Monday: Urban Decay Electric Palette Tutorial

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay, so when they asked me to put together a couple of looks with their new Electric Palette, I jumped at the chance. Here's the first look I created: Electric Heart. It's a simple look to recreate, because the products do all the talking. Plus, I got to use my favorite makeup helper: scotch tape. Steps are below. I'll be back next week with a second look, but in the meantime, check out all of the blogger looks here!

Left to right, top to bottom:

1) Apply Primer Potion all over lid, and place a single piece of scotch tape going from your outer corner and then up and out.
2) Apply "Savage" to a little more than half of your eyelid.
3) Finish with "Slowburn" and extend it all the way out to the tape.
4) Blend the two colors together, and blend, blend, blend the outer edges.
5) Use 24/7 Liquid liner in "Woodstock" for a monochrome cat eye effect.
6) Remove tape.
6A) This is what it should look like - a stark edge.
7) Drag "Woodstock" pencil on the inner part of your lower lashline.
8) Finish with "Black Velvet".
9) Apply mascara. Done!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Spring!

(photo taken from my instagram)

I meant to post this yesterday, but I got hit with a stomach bug and was dead to the world (this seems to happen to me a lot, which is making me wonder if it's something in my diet). In fact, we were supposed to leave for our road trip to Nashville this morning, but I am only just now starting to feel able to sit in a car. So, apologies for the late link roundup - but yay, Nashville!

- It's the last day to preorder Vivetta on Moda Operandi. Or window shop and pretend you are preordering all the Vivetta (points at self).

- Red is my favorite color to wear, so I dedicated my newest eBay collection to it. eBay will donate $1 to March of Dimes for each new collection that's made, so start creating your collections, now! Plus, one random person will receive $5000 to shop their collection. #ImBornTo

- They're making a live action Jem and The Holograms movie, and anyone can audition. Remember when Kimbly was Jem for Halloween? Thanks for the tip, Charlene and Lauren!

New Darlings (Robert and Christina) are a really, really, ridiculously cute couple.

Kurt and Courtney and 90s grunge dreams. #followitfindit

25% off everything at J.Crew with code "HEYSPRING".


Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

It's Bobby's birthday, so please wish him a happy one! It also gave me a good excuse to post these pictures of Bobby and my nephew Ryder (with niece Roxy and brother in law Jon in the background!), from our recent family trip to Disney World. Happy birthday, Uncle Bobby!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Brooklyn Museum's Brooklyn Artists Ball

(photographed at Brooklyn Museum; painting by Kehinde Wiley)

Outfit Details:
American Apparel crop top
ASOS Premium Full Midi Skirt
Seychelles "Tell Me A Story" heels
Bauble x Anthropologie necklace (c/o)

Though I admittedly know very little about art in a technical sense, I've always valued its importance and direct impact on my life. From a very young age, I sought out art in all its forms: I gravitated toward theatre, drawing, and writing, but tried out every vessel I saw fit - even if I lacked the talent (ahem, dance). Artistic expression - whether mine or of one I admired - made life tolerable, colorful, even powerful. That's why I'm excited to announce that I'm serving on the Dance Party Committee for Brooklyn Museum's Annual Brooklyn Artists Ball. I may not be a great dancer, but that doesn't mean I don't love a good dance party.

On April 16th, I'll be co-hosting (along with Bobby and Helena) the dance party from 10PM - 1AM, and you're all invited! Proceeds from the Brooklyn Artists Ball support the education programs and exhibitions of the Brooklyn Museum, whose role is a vital cultural resource for all of New York City's inhabitants and visitors. You can buy your tickets here. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shopping Guide: Francophile Favorites

(photo from my instagram)

Remember my dream of going to Paris? Well, it's actually happening! My friends and I recently booked our flights for a trip in May, and I'm over the moon with excitement. With Paris on the brain, I couldn't help but put together some of my favorite Francophile clothes and accessories from around the web. In the meantime, if you have any Paris tips or must-see places you'd like to share with me, please do!

1. J.Crew L'amour Triomphe t-shirt

2. Topshop Oui Non shirt

3. Madewell Bien Fait Sweatshirt

4. ASOS Paris Skyline Tights (also available in their Curve line)

5. Anthropologie Francophile tee

6. Sheinside Team Paris Ruffle Blouse

7. Forever 21 Paris Je T'aime tote

8. Kate Spade Paris and the Single Girl clutch

9. Rifle Paper Co Streets of Paris iPhone case

10. Kate Spade Je Ne Sais Quoi iPhone case

11. Modcloth Le Petit Prince sweatshirt

Monday, March 17, 2014

Makeup Monday: Flawless Skin With TEMPTU

Products used: TEMPTU Warm Ivory Foundation, Washed Rose Blush, and Champagne Highlighter. Get 25% off with code KEIKO25.

I've always been fascinated by airbrushing, so I was excited when TEMPTU asked me to try out their at-home airbrush system and share the results with you. My sister has it, but I never got around to trying it. Since I'm new to the technique, I stopped by the studio to get a quick lesson on the basics of airbrushing. After a brief tutorial by one of their talented artists, I headed home to try it for myself. To my surprise, it was incredibly easy to use; the only learning curve (for me) was how much to pull back on the trigger. I liken it to learning how to sew or drive: you have to get a feel for how much pressure to put on the pedal. Turns out, my magic amount was about halfway, and the trick is to keep your hand in continuous motion to avoid any streaks. Once you have that down pat, it's easy breezy. For this post, I kept things super simple: taking my bare skin up a notch with a flawless finish, added dimension, and a little bit of color.

(Before and after using TEMPTU makeup)

In the before photo, I'm wearing liner and lipstick, but no foundation. You can see that there are some minor blemishes, blotchiness, and shine that need to be taken care of. With TEMPTU's airbrush foundation, I can perfect the look of my skin - but without anything else, it would still fall a little flat. By going back in and adding color to my cheeks and subtle highlights, I created dimension and helped sculpt my face. Even without contouring, it made a huge difference in defining my facial structure, don't you think?

With the dial turned to 3 o'clock (their recommended flow for foundation) and the airpod about a hand's width away from my face, I pulled the trigger halfway to get a steady stream of foundation, moving in continuous circular motions. Here's what I learned: It's best to start with a sheer layer, and build as necessary. If you have any blemishes, dial back to 12 to get a concentrated flow, and aim at the blemish (closer to your face). Then go back over it with the dial at 3 o'clock (pulling back at a hand's length, again) to blend seamlessly.

I wanted a wash of color on my cheeks, so I chose an aptly named blush: Washed Rose. Using the same method as foundation, I concentrated the color on the apples of my cheeks and pulled upward, in the direction of my cheekbones. (Tip: Make sure you shake the pod and remove the plug before use. I was wondering why no color was coming out, and realized I had forgotten to unplug it!)

I applied Champagne Highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones, and with the dial back at noon, concentrated on my brow bone and the inner corners of my eyes. I then decided to airbrush Champagne on the center of my lips, to give them more dimension. And that's all! Here's the final look, completely in a few easy steps:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve.

Kate Spade "Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve" coin purse. Photo from my instagram.

- How cute is this lips cross body bag? Also, check out my Hot Lips collection for more lip themed items! #followitfindit

- Any news that starts with "Florida man" (or woman, for that matter) is going to be super weird or awful...or both. Further proof.

- My talented cousin Jeremy Groves released an amazing single, Stay The Night. Give it a listen!

- I've never been fond of wearing bathing suits (bring on the kimono and sun hat, please!) but this retro inspired suit might change my mind.

- Lipstick Affirmations. Yes.

- Bobby and I are taking a road trip to Nashville, for his birthday! Any stops we should make, along the way? Recommendations for once we're there?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Stripes and Chambray

Outfit Details:
Free People hat
Urban Outfitters BDG Chambray Jumper Dress (on sale for $19.99!)
Anthropologie striped sweater with detachable collar (on sale) and leopard coat (see more of my favorites in my "Statement Coats" collection #followitfindit)
Seychelles Platforms
Topshop socks
Lookmatic "Jesse" frames
Lancaster Paris "Betty" bag

We had a glorious day of Spring-like temperatures, which called for a leisurely lunch and boutique hopping with Bobby and his brother, Ben. I'm grateful for any day that allows me to shed my coat for the day, even if I have to put it right back on when the sun falls. Spring is just around the corner, and I'm tempted to pack up my coats and hide them away!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fairytale Flower Crown.

Oasap lace dress (originally seen in this post)
Seychelles platforms
flower crown by Kimbly
First photo originally seen on Westfield Style

Here's what I love about dresses: beyond the initial decision at the point of purchase, they take absolutely no thought. I can just throw one on and run out the door, and I look pulled together. When packing, I often grab one pair of jeans, a few random tops, and then an easy dress for each day. The best thing about this particular dress, however, is the fit...because when I'm traveling, I'm treating myself to whatever the heck I want to eat. And the best thing about flower crowns? No matter how bad my mood may be, they make me feel like I belong in a fairytale...and is there any better mood lifter than that?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Makeup Monday: It's Electric!

It's coming: Urban Decay is releasing their Electric Palette on March 18th! As much as I love their Naked palettes (see my Naked3 tutorial, here), I've always turned to Urban Decay for their bright colors. They're one of my go-tos for colorful makeup, whether it's shadow, liner, lipstick, or their glitter liners. The Electric Palette brings me back to my earlier days, when I passed over lipstick for statement eyes. Every day was a new color of the rainbow...or a full rainbow, if I felt like it.

Since the palette hasn't even been released, yet (mark your calendars for March 18th!), this is just a peek at what's to come. I have a couple of full tutorials prepared for the release, so make sure to check back and get the full run-down on the Electric Palette.

p.s. I'm wearing Melt Cosmetics lipstick in Stupid Love.