Every Lady Needs Three Kinds of Pants

I love skirts and dresses. There’s nothing better than to feel feminine whilst wearing those items. However, during the cold winter, pants are a must, and I believe there are three certain pants that belong in every woman’s closet.

They are: the black pants, the gray pants, and the pinstripe pants.

We all know black pants are a must, but gray pants are essential too in case you have a black top to wear. Never wear gray on gray, though. You can wear black on black, but never other colors. It just doesn’t look right.

Unless, of course, you have pinstripe pants. As in, black pants with white or gray lines going vertical. These pants allow any tops, including black, gray or white. I recently wore a gray button down top with the above pinstripe pants, and I have to say, I rocked the outfit!

So there you have it: black, gray and pinstripe. All other kinds of pants – beige, dark blue, red, etc. – are just nice little extras.

 

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Finding the Perfect Lipstick

Earlier this week, I posted a photo on Instagram of me wearing Maybelline’s Untainted Spice. I had bought the matte lipstick because it resembled my Laura Mercier Dulce de Leche lipstick, which is running low, and also because with my tight budget, I couldn’t afford the Laura Mercier kind (sob!).

Anyway, I have been wondering if I wear the right color for my lips. I was once told that I have the perfect skin tone to wear red lipstick – the bright, pinup style. So, I wore that kind of lipstick often, only to be told it didn’t look good on me.

I even have a Mulberry Luster Matte lipcolor from Sephora that gives, well, a mulberry color, which I’ve received quite a few compliments on. It’s a bold color, and when I bought it, I was in the mood to be bold.

But I’ve been debating lately what looks best on me. It looks like some of the lip color that I own don’t look too good on me. I do like dark red colors, so I hope to find the right lip color for my complexion and hair.

Finding the perfect lipstick feels like a pain. Heck, finding all makeup that looks good on you feels like quite the hunt. It is all trial and error.

Yes, that’s it: trial and error. Finding the right lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, etc., is all trial and error. Sometimes you pick something that looks right, only to realize some time later, it never looked good in the first place. Other times you put something on, unsure if it actually looks good, only to receive numerous praises.

Trial and error. That’s how a woman tries to look good.

 

I Finally Did It!

I did it! I finally did it!

Took me 14 days, but I finally did one of my New Years’ resolutions: exercise regularly.

After days of saying I need to exercise more following the holidays, while also stuffing my face with too many snacks, I finally set some time aside today and worked out. I did push-ups, squats and sit-ups. All 25 each, which is the most I can do with my weak body (I’m not really weak, just quite out of shape). Hopefully as time goes on, I bring that number up to 50, 75 and even 100.

I have gained a little weight this past year. Thanks to the meds I am on, my metabolism is slower. I also have been eating the wrong foods lately. This is all deja vu from when I first became overweight, back in 2010. It was then that I topped my heaviest at 210 pounds. I do not want to weight that much ever again, so I am making an effort to slim down, firm up and also get my heart rate going.

In case you are wondering, I joined Weight Watchers and then moved to Brooklyn and did tons of walking. I then slimmed down to about 165 pounds. But I still wasn’t really slim. I have – and always had – heavy thighs and a flat tire. Even though I used to squeeze into a size 6 pair of pants, I still had some flab. Imagine if I lost enough to go into a size 4?

Right now, my scale tilts at 178 pounds, which leaves me in dismay. One of the reasons why I started this blog was to keep tabs on eating healthy and living healthy. The fact that I typed this post up is a way of committing myself to living a healthier life.

Monday is a holiday, so I’ll be off from work then. I’ll exercise that day as well, and possibly Wednesday or Thursday. I want to start by exercising three days a week for a few minutes before moving it up to a half hour.

Maybe if all goes well, I’ll look super amazing this summer.

 

Review: Blue Lagoon Iceland Silica Mud Mask

A former roommate gave me a sample of Blue Lagoon Iceland Silica Mud Mask that she simply wanted to get rid of a few months ago. I kept it around all this time, promising to try it, until tonight. I decided to give this mus mask a try, since I have been experimenting with masks lately.

In case you don’t know, Blue Lagoon is a famed geothermal spa in Iceland, and this mask comes from the mud around the location. Here’s an article from Bustle and another from We3Travel about this spa.

As I applied the white mud, the skin on my cheeks started to sting. I got concerned that I was probably allergic to this, and wondered if my face would be left with red irritated spots – or worse.

The stinging continued and it felt a bit like my skin was being burned. Slowly, though, it subsided. Once the white mud mask hardened after about five minutes, I was able to remove it.

The results? My skin was glowing a little, and felt softer. But not as soft as the time I tried putting avocado on my face, and my skin has glowed even more before. So I give the Blue Lagoon Iceland Silica Mud Mask an so-so, like a B- rating. The stinging was not necessary but at least my face was not red or anything afterwards.

 

Letting Go of Grudges

As 2017 gets underway, I am aiming to do better than I did last year, and this time, I am determined to do so. There’s a lot that I do want to repeat from 2016. Among these are bearing grudges against those who harmed me.

Last year, I carried a lot of weight from previous years around, and it took a toll on me. I ended up suffering from deep depression, angry outbursts, and cynicism. While I knew I was better off letting go of what was done to me, rather than holding on to it so tightly, I simply couldn’t let go of the grudges. I felt it was justified. After all, I had been slandered, bullied and harassed. I was scorned for things I did not do. I suffered a severe mental breakdown as a result.

So why not carry around a grudge? I had every right to be angry at those who hurt me.

But as the clock struck midnight this Sunday, I was beginning to realize that if I wanted a better year and better me for 2017, I needed to let go. I needed to let go of all the anger I had. That anger was not doing me any good, and it certainly was not hurting those who had hurt me. They went on with their lives, unharmed and unaffected by what they did to me. It sucks, but that’s reality. Karma is supposed to be a bitch, but sometimes it is unreliable.

As for me, I was turning into a moody, angry and/or depressed person. You know the saying, “refusing to forgive is like swallowing poison and hoping the other guy gets sick”? Yep, that was what I was going through. And if those who had hurt me were to know I was still suffering, I’m sure they would’ve laughed.

So, I am taking steps to let the hurt and anger go. It is not doing me any good. It is not making me healthier. It is not making me happier, more confident, or more nicer. It is making me unstable, unreliable and unhappy. I’m still letting those who hurt me have power over me.

It is good to know that forgiveness is not about trusting someone or willing to be friends with them again. I think Lauryn Hill said it best with this song:

It is not easy to let go of grudge, but I think the key is to soften up one’s pride and ego, and stop playing the victim. Of course, we were all victims once of someone’s malicious ways, and we have a right to be angry. But after a while, that anger turns into victimhood and it doesn’t turn you into the best of human beings. And honestly, do you want to be as bad as those who had hurt you?

Sometimes Jesus Christ’s teachings about forgiveness sounds absurd, even to this Christ follower, but in the end, holding grudges no longer makes sense.

One day at a time, I’ll be letting go. I want this year to be so much better than last year. And I can’t have that if I carry my grudges.

I’ve learned that carrying grudges ruins your self-respect because you’re allowing those you don’t even like to have control over you. I remember one church sign that read: “He who angers you controls you.” If you don’t like someone, why give them control over you? And turn you into a mess?

Let it go…

 

Good-Bye Caffeine, Hello Smoothies!

Before 2016 even ends, I am taking steps to reduce my caffeine intake and replace it with more nutritious drinks. I’m not even waiting until the ball drops on Saturday night. I’m starting today.

I am a coffee addict. I could drink three or four cups a day. I like mine with milk and sugar (two spoons), and I adore that sweet aroma. Like many, I also cannot start my day without coffee.

I’m also a coffee shop enthusiast. I’m also on the lookout for a new coffee shop to check out. I’m one of those freelancers who likes to find a place with outlets, so I could drink my caffe while doing my work.

I also like to meet friends over coffee. Bars just don’t do it for me. Occasionally, they do. But I prefer chatting with a friend over the steaming smell of coffee.

Unfortunately, I have been noticing that downside of being a coffeetarian. It really has negative effects on me. This year, in 2016, I’ve experienced a lot of emotional roller coasters over basically nothing. Things that weren’t a big deal spiraled me out of control. This past week, I finally realized why: the caffeine has a negative effect on me.

My therapist once pointed out to me that I needed scale back my coffee intake after one breakdown. And I did, briefly. But soon I was again knocking back the java nonstop.

Well, it is time for me to stop. I can’t be this emotional mess anymore. I need to reduce my caffeine intake.

So what do I substitute coffee with?

Smoothies!

I’d been considering making smoothies as a way of maintaining a healthier diet. But now, with my need to fill the void that coffee will soon leave, what do I drink? Sure, there’s always decaf. But I want a healthier diet. Plus, I like to experiment with recipes.

So, I am now on a mission to make smoothies. Today, I completed my first smoothie, and it was a success! It was the mixed berry smoothie, inspired by a coffee shop I briefly worked at.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup full of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries

1/2 a ripe banana

1 cup of plain yogurt

1/4 cup of orange juice

a drop of milk

Blend it all up, and voila! You’ve got yourself a satisfying, delicious smoothie!

As I move on from here, I am going to try – try! – to maintain a healthier diet by eliminating foods and drinks that wreak havoc on both my mind and body. For me, it is not just about being physically healthy. Mental health is very important to me, so I want to do everything I can to make sure my mind and brain are well-taken care of.

Long Time No Blog! – My Style These Days

Well, hello there!

It’s a long while, right?

Well, I am still here, and I’m still loving fashion and evolving my style. I’m still photographing my style on Instagram and I recently restarted my Poshmark account, where I am selling items to clear out my closet, as well as start some kind of a business.

As for my style, I’m starting to get more comfortable with it. I still am drawn to dark colors, such as black, black, and black! LOL. But I still like dark red, gray, purple, dark blue and so on. The only lighter colors I enjoy are cream/ecru/ivory/what-have-you, and some shades of red. I enjoy the former because I believe in personal healing, and that color to me represents healing. I like red because I’ve been told that I look good in red, and I have to admit some shades look amazing.

Does that mean I’ll be back wearing pastels and medium colors anytime soon? I doubt it. The other day I work a pale blue turtleneck, and it felt so odd. I don’t think it was because I hadn’t worn such a pale color in seemingly eons; I think it was because it simply is not me. I feel at peace and in my skin with darker colors. And that’s that.

Am I still exploring my gothic side? Not really, not anymore. It is mainly because that’s a phase that I missed out on in my teens, and now in my mid-30s, it doesn’t make much sense to explore that part of me. However, I do adore gothic jewelry and some goth fashions. So I consider myself a semi-goth. I believe being goth is a lifestyle, and it is not a lifestyle I can do, at least not now. The reason why I felt so interested in exploring the goth lifestyle previously, was because I was going through a dark, hellish period in my life. I was also getting to know my inner demons and inner darkness. But now I’m at peace with all of that and don’t feel a need to indulge in them.

That being said, I do love the Corp Goth style, and seek to emulate it. I’ve always liked the sophisticated, professional look, so by adding dark colors and some gothic jewelry, I guess you could call me a Corp Goth or a mature goth.

But what about my other style sense? I mean, I love the boho look, even though I’m not entirely carefree and could never wear certain colors. For me, the boho style represents inner peace which I strive for. So by combining Corp Goth with Boho, I’ve got my own style coming on.

And let’s not forget vintage! I’m starting to really like vintage jewelry and some clothing. It’s a good thing that the 90s are considered vintage these days, LOL!

So what is my style? It is Boho/Corp Goth/Vintage.

Yeah, that’s it! 😁

My Interest in Goth Subculture

My first exposure to the goth world was when I was in junior high. There was a this lone, quiet girl who didn’t seem to have too many friends. But she drew a lot of attention because of her unconventional outfits. She wore black everyday, for one. She once wore red velvet pants, and another day, wore pants with white skulls on them. She also wore thick dark eye makeup and dyed her hair black. This was all in eighth grade.

When I first saw her, like many, I was scared and repelled by her. She was a freak to me, and I wanted her to go away. Yet, at the same time, I was intrigued by her and her outfits. I found myself wondering what she would wear each day, and sometimes I liked what I saw – such as a lacy black top or a fuzzy off-shoulder top. It was unusual and daring, and I slowly was fascinated with that type of style.

I could never dare to dress like that, though. This was junior high, the epitome of childhood bullying. Dressing goth like that was like social suicide. I could never dress so differently from everyone else. Plus, my parents were rather strict and wouldn’t support me expressing myself in such a way. You can say my self-expression was repressed. It would be for quite a long time.

A year later, a few more kids began dressing in that “rocker” type of style. Only they were more grungy and Marilyn Manson-like. Meaning, they either looked dirty or downright scary. There was no way I was going to emulate them. Besides, Marilyn Manson was huge with this crowd, and I was not interested in the music. Too loud, too hateful, too scary, too much of a lot of things. I was turned off.

However, I became so-so friends with one of the girls in this crowd. She was cool, in the sense that she literally did not care what other people thought of her. Totally. Honestly. And it was really amazing to witness her brush off, or even laugh off, verbal and physical harassment from the other kids. Adolescence is such a difficult time, and wanting to be accepted is a major part of the period in life. Many at that age wants everyone to like them, so to see someone bold enough to laugh off brutal comments was admirable.

I moved later that year, and at my new high school, there were some goth types, though they were more like metalheads when I look back on them. There were a few who were genuine goths, and I met a few of them. Again, they were so cool in their insistence on being different. But I was far from ready to not worry about what other people thought of me.

Still, my interest in the goth subculture was there. I remember when Madonna’s “Frozen” video came out, with her in that goth attire. I watched and rewatched that video so many times because I was so intrigued by her outfit. I knew then I was drawn to the romantic, mysterious side of goth. I wasn’t into the vampirish, dark metal kind of goth because it seemed too hard for me. But the other kind? Wow, I used to daydream about dressing like that.

But I was having low self-esteem issues, and suffering from depression for most of my teen years. In fact, all of my teen years saw me having low self-esteem and depression. I had zero confidence and a poor sense of self. Years of being bullied and given poor guidance in life led to deep confusion and self-hatred. I started to dress in a way that shaped an image of what I thought I should be. I wore pastels and bright colors. I wore outfits that had sequins, glitter, and lace on them. I wanted to feel pretty because I felt so ugly inside.

I would have this mindset, and dress like this, during my teens and my twenties.

Then, when I turned 30, things started to change for me, as it wonts to happen when people turn 30. I began to discard my pretty clothes, and began focusing inward. I began dressing plainly and simply. I became more self-aware and more self-confident. My self-esteem improved.

With that, my interest in dark clothing and even goth fashion began to spark in me. I was becoming more honest and more comfortable with myself. And I had to be honest that dark colors were like a bright light for me.

During all this, however, I would face challenging moments and dark situations that exposed to me a different side of me. I began to understand that my mental issues would never leave me, and I would have to manage them rather than try to banish them. I began to make peace with my inner darkness, which included depression, mania, anxiety and pessimism. As I did, I felt more drawn towards goth attire. It was as if dark clothing, especially black clothing, helped me embrace my own inner darkness. Wearing black was a like a filter for my darkness so it could come to surface for the rest of the world to see. I could not go on wearing pastels or bright colors. Dark clothing was it. Whether it was black, gray, burgundy, purple, dark blue or red, I felt at home in my own skin finally.

But not all the colors I wear are dark. Because I believe in healing and inner peace, I also wear ivory or cream colors. I could never wear actual white, so I stick to something a couple of shades darker. Maybe someday I’ll wear magenta, but not yet.

As I explore my goth side, I find myself enjoying the jewelry, the clothing, the music most often liked by goths, and some of the entertainment. However, I realize there is so many facets to goth subculture. There’s literally dozens of subcultures within the subcultures. There’s corporate, bohemian, punk, cyber, vampire, and so much more! It’s a bit tough to find where I place. You could say I am corporate goth because I have a professional job. There’s also a good chance that I’m boho goth because I love boho clothes, though in dark shades! Then there’s the Victorian-romantic look…

Either way, I will find my path into the goth world. I’ll soon figure out what it means to be a goth – for me, at least. All I know is that I have been drawn to this world for a long time, and I’m finally embracing that fact. I am exploring myself and learning more about myself. As I develop, so does my personal style.

To be continued….

 

Makeup = Warpaint

“I wear makeup not to attract but to repel.” ~ Shirley Manson

That is what the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Garbage, said in a recent interview with Billboard magazine. Shirley Manson has always worn edgy makeup (though she has clearly lightened up – pardon the pun – over the years) and I always thought she looked fabulous. I remember admiring her makeup from Garbage’s classic videos Only Happy When It Rains and Stupid Girl.

So, to read about her reasons for wearing makeup, I felt like a lightbulb went off in my head. I have been exploring my own personal makeup style over the last year, and I couldn’t figure out the philosophy behind it. Well, OK, I could to some degree. After being harassed and hit-on by repulsive men, I decided to wear black eyeliner as a way to claim my looks. The eyeliner became like warpaint as I went on each day and faced a world filled with men with no respect for women. Me wearing eyeliner was me saying, “this is mine, not yours.”

It’s funny how some men think they own women. No matter how liberal and secular they are, some men really do treat women like property. Our faces are theirs to own. Our bodies are theirs. Our sexuality is theirs to taunt or play with. It’s scary and repulsive. So, for me to put on black eyeliner is me saying, “This is mine. I’m ready to fight for what is mine.”

Lately, I’ve been getting into lipstick. For a while, I wore pink colors and some red, but wasn’t fully comfortable with the colors. But when I read Shirley’s comment, I realized a good a reason to wear lipstick. I’ve been leaning towards bold colors as a way of being bold about my face. It’s mine, not someone else’s. It gives me more confidence in facing the world as it is.

Behold my pics from Instagram…