Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Your Christmas Gift Ideas

I am inspired by the radio program I overheard from my grandma's radio this morning to write this post. Are you panicking what to get for your friends and parents as Christmas gifts? I have some recommendations for you. These are my recent favorites. I have wanted to share them on this blog. Some are already my repurchases. My friends know that I have very standard for things I use. I am pretty good at judging whether a product is good, and I am also very willing to chat with sales really long to learn everything I need to know in order to get the best product.  Today, I have learnt a lot about bras. Haha. It is a sophisticated product with a lot of functionality. I was intrigued when the sales taught me all the details. Everywhere can be your classroom!

Okay so here are some products I would like to recommend to you:

1) Sugar Lip - 2-in-1 lipstick from Mentholatum

You may call this a tinted lip balm, or a very nourishing lipstick. I bought one a few weeks ago after seeing the widespread commercial. Just like what the advertisement says, it is very moisturizing. You don't need to wear some lip balm before putting this one. It has color, but you won't be consciously aware of wearing a lip stick. Very natural. I love all the colors. It was a very hard decision to pick one. 

I started wearing more lipsticks this year, and I have gradually learnt how a good one is like. This is indeed a very nice one. Moreover, the price is super affordable too. Only around HKD 30.

2) Paper Mask from Atorrege AD+

The next one is a paper mask from a Japanese brand specialized in products for sensitive skins. Their products are available in selected Watson's stores. You may find information on their website. I used to put on a wide range of paper masks. The effect of some are questionable, and others my skins burnt after putting them on. I later found out those contained alcohol.

I use this for urgent acne care. It is moisturizing and reduces inflammation. I have used many acne care paper masks, and I think the effect of this has been the most satisfying. A few weeks ago, I had a huge acne on my forehead and my acne cream didn't seem to help. I quickly restocked this mask. After putting on the mask for 3 consecutive days (it was a very bad acne), my acne finally started to dry.

This mask comes in a pack of six, at around HKD 350. I would say this mask is not cheap, but you are not supposed to use it very frequently. I have a couple pieces available for urgent care only. 

This brand first recommended by my doctor. Their products are suitable for babies and pregnant women too.


3) Vinoperfect Serum from Caudalie

This is a brightening serum. I discovered this brand at Sephora in the Fall. This brand has received a few patents for their skin care product techniques. I finished using one bottle during Fall term. When I got home, I realized my skin was noticeably brighter. I bought a bottle for my mom. She has been using it for weeks, and I noticed her skin is brighter now too!

I have invested my whole life brightening my skin. My skin tone is relatively dark, and I had very intensive swimming classes throughout my childhood. I am most pleased with this serum among many other that I have used. 

I am currently finishing my old serum from another brand that I have left in Hong Kong. My skin is definitely not as radiating as it was in the fall. 

This is slightly more pricey, about HKD520. You just need a very small drop each time. I overused it when I first got it. One bottle could last over 3 months. 


4) Moringa Body Butter from Body Shop 

I could not even count how many cans of body butter I have used. In severely dry places like Northfield, I had to use the more nourishing ones like shea butter, and coconut butter. When it is less dry, I like to use Moringa, Olive, and Fuji Green Tea. Among them, I love Moringa the most. I have also purchased other products with this flavor. Moringa is good enough for winter in Hong Kong!


5) Retexturing mask with Rose clay from Origins

The rose clay mask was my fall term buddy. Every time I felt a little fatigue, I put on this mask for 10 minutes. It is not an exfoliator, a deep cleansing or an acne care mask, so you can use it as frequently as you want. Sometimes you just want to wear a mask, without a specific need. This is just perfect for you. I feel energized and refreshed every time after wearing this mask. 

Hope these recommendations are useful to you. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2015

How can you weather tomorrow?

(sweater and hat from mongkok/ south korea, flutter skirt from banana republic, sneakers from nike, purse from minisolife, lipstick from nars)

 I love wearing a hat with my short hair. Well, especially after wearing a hat yesterday, I sort of have to wear a hat to cover up my messy hair. I also suspect my hair has grown at least half inch longer. My hair is growing speedily. I am not sure if I am happy or excited about that. I am not supposed to have another haircut in the coming six months...so...

I am clearing my wardrobe again. It seems like I come home every time  to throw things away. This massive cleaning is never ending. At the same time, every time I look at my well-organized shelves and drawers, I am so surprised. My reaction is often "Wow, I cleaned this last time? That's very nice." I seem to have forgotten all the massive cleaning I had previously done. Memory is short. 

It is very hard for me to get rid of clothes. I don't often shop in the past, and if so, I always shopped with my mom after finals as a celebration and liberation. My mom and I set a budget, and I planned out what to buy. I have emotions with each piece I own in the closet. Clothes that I buy nowadays don't share those kind of stories. I guess it is easier for me to trash clothes that I bought in the last three years. Moreover, clothes that I bought more recently do wear off, because I am wearing them so frequently. 

How can you weather tomorrow? I find it difficult to deliberately trash a piece. I often put them on and confirmed they still fit. Then, I will put them back into my closet. There might still be a chance, I thought. Perhaps I will need a yellow shirt for certain gathering. Yeah? That still hasn't happened. I still keep at least a red, a green, a yellow, and basically one shirt per color in my collection. Perhaps someday I will wear them as a vintage piece. Sometimes, I am right. This winter, I am suddenly wearing my five-year-old black sneakers again. I also have been wearing my denim skirt which I bought when I was 14?! One out of ten pieces that I kept I match them frequently again after five years (an estimation). The remaining nine pieces sit in my closet for another five years. Someday, somehow, I would be glad I have kept them. I have hope.

That's why I can't take them out from my closet. I am not sure if this is a good mindset. My closet is jam-packed because I couldn't get rid of clothes. A lot of people would rather trash them and buy a new one if certain thing is on trend again. I guess we really can't weather tomorrow. 


(blazer from zara, top from monki, dress from abercrombie & fitch, necklace from accessorize, shoes from cheung sha wan)

We had a photoshoot for my dad's graduation in a park yesterday. I had a very hard time picking my outfit in the morning. I wasn't prepared... I would have packed an outfit from the States if I had known my parents would like to have another photoshoot. It is tricky to pick an outfit for this kind of occasion. I don't want to look too dark, especially because my dad would already be wearing a graduation gown that is all black. I also intentionally avoided any materials that look sloppy and crumble on camera. I was down to very limited choices... My mom made a smart choice in wearing a dark pink sweater which formed a stark contrast to my dad. I borrowed the blazer from my mom. She bought it from Zara in Spain. People cautiously dress to look slimmer when they are a little chubby. Perhaps surprising, we have to make cautious matching decisions when we are slim too. I realized my dress was too loose for me now, so I put on a top over my dress. That moment I deeply felt - well, you can't have everything. 

I borrowed my dad's graduation hat to take a couple pictures. Soon I will be wearing my graduation gown and hat. I still find it hard to believe. 

My feelings can be summarized by the caption I created the pictures above...
1) Raise my head and look ahead. With a great dream in front of me, I am aspired to be someone successful.

2) Feel the hat. This is real. Take a deep breathe. Here I am to step into the real world.

3) But what is really in front of me?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Moving On

(blazer from Biem, dress pants from enigma, top from A Land, bag from staccato)

This was my outfit a few days ago. I thought I was over with this kind of suit-and-tie style, but no. I still love it. I just never wear like this in college, because it seems out of place in the rural little town. Once I am back in the big city, I love wearing blazers and dress pants. 

I bought this blazer for my senior uniform in the secondary school. We had to wear blazers and shirts to school. I appreciate that I was forced have a small office outfits collection. They come in handy in some more formal occasions. When I don't actually need to dress in formal, I like to mix and match them with more casual items like my red top and clogs here.

I am clearing my old photos in the disk station because it is completely full. Revisiting old photos really gives me a heart attack. As you can tell, I love taking pictures. I also love posing for pictures. That doesn't mean that every one is a good shot. There is saying- you become an expert of something, if you put a lot of time into it. My friends know I am very good at taking selfies. I think all my old snapshots can prove that I have spent a lot time developing this lifetime skill. Sigh. There are seriously some very bad angles and terrible facial expressions. I guess this shows that a lot of skills are developed overtime. You don't born to know everything.

This is a time to review my teenager-hood, and say "okay, that's cool." Then, scrap them all, and move on. We just have to keep the quintessence. Just like I have to empty my disk station to document new events,  I also have to empty my hearts and minds to face new challenges. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Global Warming

(knitted vest, check skirt, hat from A Land, shirt from Stage of Playlord, tights from hue, lipstick from bitebeauty, clogs from boc, ring from mimosa, nail polish from innisfree, earrings from Prague)

I think I become a little more playful after getting this haircut. I am loving it! This hairstyle also goes well with hat. On one hand this short hair requires more work when blowing with a dryer. On the the other hand, I can just wear a hat and save all the work. :D

I love to catch up with fashion news every time I return to Hong Kong. I like to return to my old habit to read some monthly fashion magazines. I also love checking on stores, observing fashion trends, and production presentation trends. I always feel like I am checking my business... touring stores and observing sales performance. Well, the one big difference is they are not my own brand.

I have so much feelings while reading the magazines this time. Two biggest hits this winter - knitted vest, and big cardigan. What? You don't even need to bundle up your arms? You don't need a woolen winter jacket? Yes. That's probably right, unless you live in Minnesota. It is likely that we don't need a winter jack to survive this year's winter in Hong Kong. You see models wearing short sleeves top in the magzine. There are so many fashion pieces that mimic intense winter items with much lighter materials. I am stunned. I think global warming is very alarming. There are practical reasons that we wear long sleeves sweaters and woolen big jackets in winter. That's why they became fashion pieces. Styles evolved around them because they are essential items to keep us warm. Now we keep the style - only. 

I understand the need to at least keep the style. I had so much fun wearing winter jackets in Minnesota. When I walked in shops in Hong Kong, I didn't even bother to look at the jacket section. Layering is the most exciting part about winter matching. I guess it can be a bummer not being able to put on layers. That's why you see big coats made by cotton now. 

Global warming is affecting our lives, and our lifestyles. You may think it is not impacting us yet, but I am telling you this is seriously not true. We should all rethink how to care for our environment. Do you still want to have a choice to wear in layers in 20 years? I do. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Short Hair 4.0

(military jacket from izzue, grey top from monki, high-rise pants from bdg, clogs from boc, oxford bag from staccato, necklace from the limited, nail polish from innisfree)

I am back! I haven't forgotten my fashion blog. As you can see, I cut my hair short again! I have been doing this every winter break so that I don't have to get a haircut while I am in the States. This is now my fourth time cutting my hair short in the winter. Because of this, I haven't had a real long hair for a couple years. I think I sort of miss my long hair, so I plan to let my hair grow after graduation. Nonetheless, I was very excited to get this haircut! I love this wavy short hair! What do you think?

It is always good to be back home-  long chats with besties, good laughs at relatives gathering, and the warmth. I am less excited about the food this time. I guess that's because I have been feeding myself well. I am living in a house with my own kitchen this year, so I get to make hot rice that sticks together, and vegetables that are properly cooked. My utility level is much higher when I feed myself with good food. Suddenly I could see the meaning in life. haha. just kidding. Life is always meaningful.

Believe it or not, you can also lose weight while eating good (and healthy food). I got rid of my freshmen fifteen this term as a senior. I have gained nearly twelve pounds in my last three years of college life with unknown reasons. Possibly the food? Yeah, definitely the food. You know the feeling of walking out of the dining hall not sure of what you have eaten, but at same time feeling your body was fed up with cheese and oil? I now only go to the dining hall for social reasons, friends that I do care about. Assuming my utility of consuming dining hall food is negative, only significantly high utility of social interactions can give a positive net utility to my decision eating in the dining hall. 

This seems to be a long post. I deeply felt the need to blog today. Allow me to share my thoughts here...I might be living in denial, or too busy to realize, but today, I finally began to realize I am having a stressful time. One task coming after another. There are thousands things I would like to do. There are plans that I have to defer to the next year. I was fine during the school term. However, after being back to Hong Kong for less than a week, I notice I will not ever have a real break this time. I have to keep everything going, and I feel breathless...

Back to my outfit of the day. I think I dress differently in different places. I am back to my city girl mode, with a hint of American and British styles. I sometimes think girls in the street all look the same nowadays. The same Korean style makeup and outfit. People are losing their identities.  I specially packed my pair of clogs home this time. It is also the one and only pair of shoes I packed home. I thought it would be quite cool to wear clogs in Hong Kong. Clogs are quite popular in the States, but I haven't seen anyone else wearing it here. I feel special. haha Knowing that my hair would be cut short, I intentionally picked a cool outfit. The moment I walked out of the salon, I definitely felt I was a cool rock star.  :P As I looked at my reflection on the platform doors in the subway station, I asked myself "What are you doing, Agnes?" 

Searching for a stage in life for me to shine. I think. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Senior to be

(shirt from french connection, harlem pants from izzue, blue pouch from rebeccaminkoff, ring and flower bracelet from mimosa, guardian angel necklace from tartan angel in Edinburgh, Scotland, platform shoes from Cordeleria in Madrid, Spain, watch from vivienne westwood, nail polish from sephora, earrings from a small shop somewhere in Hong Kong)

I am flying back to Carleton tomorrow! Can't believe my Senior year is kicking start soon. I imagine there will be many new challenges ahead. I have told myself repeatedly to take a deep breathe and be brave to face the challenges.

Usually I will wear clothes that I am not bringing back to the States on my last day in Hong Kong. These are my honorably selected ones. My silk orange shirt, because ironing is mandatory for this shirt after each wash, and I am just too lazy to iron any clothes while I am at school. The harlem pants, because it is too thin. It gets chilly very soon in Minnesota, so I prefer wearing jeans there.

This orange shirt is about 3 years old now, and I blogged it in May 2012. I revisited that blogpost just now and I am surprised how vivid the orange is in those photos. Either the contrast was tuned up too hard in the past or my shirt has faded after countless washes. I think the fun in matching is to match the same piece in different ways instead of showcasing new clothes. (My mom is very glad to hear this...) 

I would like to draw your attention to my guardian angel necklace, a lovely birthday present from my bestie. She bought it in Edinburgh, Scotland. Another highlight is my platform shoes I bought when I travelled in Madrid. I stood in line outside the shoe shop for over an hour to buy their shoes. I see shoes with rope sole design everywhere this season. (I am calling it a "design" because the rope is purely there for decoration purposes.) This pair uses real rope soles. Their shoes are all handmade and fairly cheap. To be honest, their cushion support isn't the best. It is still not a bad idea to get a pair as a souvenir. ;) 

Lastly, I also would like to introduce you a Hong Kong jewellery brand that I am quite fond of - Mimosa. I toured my South Korean friend around last weekend. Hong Kong people favor South Korean fashion nowadays. My trip with her has made me realize how few local brands we have in Hong Kong. I am sure there are a lot of independent designers around, but they are yet to be celebrated by the mainstream public. Cheers to Hong Kong fashion. Wish more people would embrace local brands in the future. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Casa Mila


(borrowed my mom's hat. Hey there, I am the fifth chimney top of Casa Mila)

(checked top from KBF, skirt from urban outfitters, sunglasses from Ray Ban, t-shirt bag from grion, converse)

I finally have time to take a seat in front of my computer to go through my photos taken in Spain during my family vacation this June. I have been having fun matching outfits to work and friend dates this summer. Picking a denim skirt for a Friday office casual look; and picking a cute dress for a Monday cocktail night with friends. I noticed I enjoy matching an outfits that serves an occasion. Moreover, I enjoy reading street fashion magazines than watching runway shows. Outfits are part of my day. It is the visual representation of my day. Ah ha! That's why I named my series "match my day" in this blog.

I posted a similar outfit last August. (Check "Checked Town" from the menu on the right) I love matching this checked top with this navy blue skirt because their blues are in the same shade! It is interesting to look at my past outfit photos. One example is I noticed some periodic subtle changes in my preference for accessories. I rediscovered something about myself every time revisiting my old outfits. Sometimes I have also forgotten I had owned those items before. Like in "Checked Town", I forgot that I got a pair of red flats. I of course recalled when I saw the photos. 

I had to throw away my red flats last summer because the sole was broken. It had accompanied me many long walks around Madison, especially walking to my office. Memories stay in the photos. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

forever 21?


(dress from Zara in Spain, heels from BCBG, earrings and hair clip from iroiro, bracelet from mongkok, watch from Andre Mouche)

Judging from this blogpost title, and my rather formal outfit, you probably know this is a blogpost about my 21st birthday and my birthday outfit. It has been my tradition to kind of dress up on my birthday. Well... you have to give yourself occasions to dress up, right? I sort of cheated this year, and had my birthday dinner a few days early over the weekend. 

This birthday is quite special to me because I have to work on my birthday. hahaa. First time ever, and I am sure there will be many more working-birthdays.  For the past years, I purposely ended my internship before my birthday, so that I could fly back to Hong Kong to celebrate my birthday with my parents. Since I am working in Hong Kong this year, I would rather work a couple more days to gain more working experiences. 

After work, I am going to have my last dress rehearsal before the concert on Saturday. I am more than excited about it. This is the perfect way to spend my birthday evening. :)

I plan to write a much deeper reflection on other social media, so I guess I will keep this one short.

Do I want to stay 21 forever? I don't think so. Girl in her 21st is still a little foolish. I am excited to see myself mature.

(Hope you enjoy my lively poses in this blogpost. I posed to actions like "sucking juices from the straw", "pouring teapot"...) 21st is an interesting age. I still feel the young and fresh blood in me, but I have also gained some life experiences and matured a little. Sometimes I can sound very philosophical, and sometimes a little crazy.