Archive for Fashion & Shopping


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Black Lace Up Sandals by Schutz

27 September 2015

Schutz Sandals Black

Eager to have criss-cross tan lines on my feet this summer, I finally took the plunge and picked up these Erlina Suede Sandals by popular shoe brand Schutz.

THINKING they might make me feel like I’ve tangled my toes in a fishing net…

or stepped into a crocheted-hanging-pot-plant…

I expected the leathery ropes to feel quite bondage-y?


The laces are a bit of a pain to do up, but once they are on, they are so, so, SO soft and amazingly comfortable. I don’t think I’ve ever worn such lovely gladiator-style sandals before.

It was a heart-breaking decision between the tan and black sandals – but alas!

It had to be black, because they went much better with the rest of my monochrome/neutral wardrobe… and my strawberry smoothie!

Have a fab week everyone!


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That Pretty Cotton Cami

25 September 2015

I’m flying over to Singapore for a Girl’s Trip next month – YAY!!

I’m expecting hot, humid, tropical weather…so I’m still obsessing over this look:

A pretty, white, cotton camisole, worn with denim shorts and tan sandals.

Yep it’s simple, girly, casual, effortless… and I’m scratching my head as to why I don’t own a white cotton cami already?!

I absolutely LOVE these!

Pretty Cotton Camis from Shopbop

Left: d.Ra Sparrow Top. I think this one is my favourite because of the mix of embroidery and crochet, the adjustable straps, and the front has a slight sweetheart neckline. So pretty!

Right: Love Sam Sleeveless Lace Blouse. This one is also nice because it has a higher neckline, a very nice shape that looks a bit polished and could be worn for both day and night time.

Pretty Cotton Camis from Shopbop

Left: Ella Moss Blanca Camisole (on sale). This one looks very similar to the one above (with a prettier crochet design), but its neckline and shoulder straps are slightly wider apart and it looks a bit sheer.

Right: Raga Zuma Tunic (on sale). This top is so lovely and floaty! I love the tassels, but it’s a bit longer in length.

I’m thinking I might go for the first one?

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Everyday Styling: Camel and Denim

24 September 2015

Camel and Denim
Wearing Hello Parry off shoulder top, Jeanswest jeans, Betts sandals, ECCO bag, GAP coat.

Ahhh, with fashion week over, life has settled back to normal… and casual dressing can resume!

I actually wore this outfit and took this photo a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t going to post it because I thought it was too simple.

Turns out I’m still loving the camel, white + denim vibe weeks later – so it made the blog after all!

Other reasons I wanted to share it…

It’s such a great colour combination, the mix-and-match-ability is endless.

Camel brings a bit of colour and warmth to all the monochrome and neutral outfits I’ve been wearing.

There’s something simple, polished, yet everyday about the outfit. I guess simplicity wins!

It also turns out that you guys have been asking for me to post more “real and everyday” outfits. So I’ll remember to take a snap of what I’m wearing before I head out the door!

Have a gorgeous day!


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Fashion Week Day 1 – Outfit, Makeup, Hair

22 September 2015

TPFF Day 1 - Wearing 33Poets

During the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival, I was given some pretty amazing media tickets to many of the big shows. I felt quite honoured, nervous, thrilled, grateful and entrusted… that they chose me as one of the local bloggers to cover the shows. Eeeep!

So to show my support for the designers, producers and organisers, I figured that I’d try a bit harder and organise my outfit, hair and makeup! I rarely do that!

The first show for the festival was by Dilettante, featuring Yang Li, 33Poets and Toni Maticevski.

I have admired the label 33Poets and Rebecca Paterson’s textile work for a number of years, and I have previously borrowed a 3-way Japanese Shibori Silk Dress from her, which I reviewed here. So it was a no-brainer who I was going to contact – I literally begged Rebecca to wear something from her old collection!

She was so happy that I asked (although a bit busy prepping for her show). I popped into Tu Boutique (who stocks 33Poets) and I came away with this stunning dress you see above. It doesn’t really have a name, but it is made from the same Japanese Shibori Silk as the 3-way dress. It was amazing to wear. It was so grand and unique. I felt like a dark princess.

TPFF Day 1 - Pamper package at Generics

Next, I contacted the team at Generics, who have a brand new shop in Northbridge (corner of William St and Aberdeen St). They have expanded their products to include vegan beauty and lifestyle products, gorgeous fragrances, marble decor, express facials, and pamper packages (with a team of hair artists and makeup artists).

I booked myself in for makeup, sent them a photo of my dress and told them I wanted something DRAMATIC!

I had the ever so lovely Hanh Ngo, a professional makeup artist (who also works for MAC), do my makeup. She did a wonderful job!

I actually wanted a “Very smokey eye, with nude lips” look. But at the end, we thought I looked a bit “flat”, so Hahn gave me RED LIPS instead – which totally transformed my look for the better!

TPFF Day 1 - Hair by Game of Braids

I also booked to have my hair braided by Bec of Game of Braids.

You can get a single side braid for $35 or a full blown quadruple braid for $120! Check out the link. It is SO. COOL.

Can you believe that I’ve never had my hair braided before? My mum was never the hair braiding type. And I’ve always had such thick, long hair that no one would even attempt to braid it.

I asked Bec for my hair to be up, and for the braid to come down to one side. She did a great job, and the most amazing bit – it stayed up for the whole night!

Lisa from Generics styled me with some colourful bling earrings (I didn’t even THINK about my jewellery. I was just going to wear nothing!) which matched my red lips, my red clutch and (incidentally) my dark pink toe nails. They gave me some fragrance, organic body glow cream… all the finishing touches and more… and my goodness, I looked and felt so complete!

By the end of it, I was in a HUGE RUSH (which was my fault because I arrived 30 minutes late). I only had 15 minutes to get to the show, and I was so so SO thankful to all of them for making me look great!!

TPFF Day 1 - Sitting Front Row Yo!

I arrived and found myself a seat on the front row WOAH!

TPFF2015 Day 1 - Silly Photos with the Fash Squad

(Two photos by Ryan Ammon)

As I wrote before, the Dilettante show was stunning and one of the best I’ve seen.

After the show, I found a stack of my fashion friends and we took so many silly photos. You can have a peak on my Facebook Page.

TPFF2015 Day 1 - At home with makeup

This is me back at home. It was around 11:30pm and I was feeling tired, hungry but super pumped for another day of fashion!

(My hair came out because when I drove home, the pony tail bit rubbed against the head rest. But my makeup didn’t smudge or sweat off at all. I was so pleased with the result! Thank you so much guys!)

I have 5 more days of grooming and outfits, so keep popping by for more updates!


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Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015: Jaime Lee

19 September 2015

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 - Jaime Lee

Continuing on with my love for fashion details, I was pretty much blown away by the visual spectacle of Jaime Lee‘s Runway show for the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

Inspired by Japanese theme parks and the famous Robot Restaurant Shows in Tokyo, the show was a dazzling display of glittery unicorns, rainbows, dragon heads, purple fur, hyper-coloured prints, feathers and sequins!

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 - Jaime Lee

It was easy to dismiss all the visual kapow as a runway gimmick, but even a layperson could see the strong creative concept and the hours of handiwork that went into making these amazing garments.

It was so impressive!

The clothes were fun, cheeky, sexy and ranged from hilarious, weird, stunning and breathtaking. With the electric soundtrack, the psychedelic video loop as a backdrop and the glitter fireworks at the end, I looked around the audience and saw every face smiling.

It was a fantastic show, one that I’ll never forget!

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 - Jaime Lee

Well done to Jaimee Lee and her team for putting on such a great show.

If you ever get a chance to buy tickets to see one of her future shows, do it, you won’t regret it!


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Skinny Dip Lips Clutch

18 September 2015

Skinny Dip Lips Clutch

Tee hee! Do you like my new Skinny Dip Lips Clutch?

I bought it for my shenanigans during fashion week. And for this photo, I laid it on the rose petal covered catwalk (after the fashion show) for a bit of American Beauty action, and because the lips matched the petals so nicely!

Yes the clutch is not exactly practical or “classic”… but it screams fun and it aligns nicely with my sense of humour.

I actually knew of the brand Skinny Dip, because they do super cute and crazy clutches and iphone cases – think clutches in shapes of pussycats, Care Bear stars, baseballs, mermaid shells, fried egg and cartoon ray guns.

And so I was delighted that they were stocked on ASOS, because it meant free shipping and 5 days delivery for me.

Such a win!

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Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015: Dilettante – Beauty In The Details

17 September 2015

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 - Yang Li

Ah how quickly it comes around… fashion week season is upon us again! New York has just finished up, London is underway, soon it will be followed by Milan and then Paris.

On the other side of the world, thrown into the mix is the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival. Yes the city in which I live! We have a fashion week too.

Sure there’s no Ralph Lauren, Gucci, or Chanel, so why should the world take notice?

What’s to be gained? Aside from being told that 70’s and boho is back in fashion?

Well, I wanted to bring to you a slightly different look at my local fashion festival.

These people are creatives, who work really hard so they can keep being creative. They really are no different to traditional artists, musicians, photographers, designers, film makers, authors, floral artists, ice sculptors, chefs, or digital creatives (like me).

And if you stop and look a little closer, you’ll be able to find beauty in the details.

So sit up in your chair, come a little closer to the screen, pretend you are at an art gallery and check out the details I managed to capture on the catwalk!

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 - Opening Night Dilettante

Luxurious WA boutique Dilettante opened the fashion festival with a magnificent showcase of 3 labels from their range of international, Australian and West Australian designers. It was compelling, sublime and one of the best I’ve seen.

Yang Li is a Chinese-born, Australian-bred (in Perth!), London-based designer, who shows at Paris Fashion Week, and stocks his clothes internationally and online.

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 - Opening Night Dilettante


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Running Like A Colourful Blur!

13 September 2015

Leggings from Ciao Bella Travel

This weekend, I managed to squeeze in a 12km run!

I’m getting so much better at juggling my time, work, mummy duties and fitness these day.

I say no to a lot of things. And I make time for the things that truly matter.

I’m one happy runner!

This is the first time I’ve worn my colourful leggings out running in full daylight. They looked amazing :)

I got them from Ciao Bella Travel (my reivew here) and remember there’s a 15% Off sitewide discount which ends on the 20th September!


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This Lace Dress!

10 September 2015

White Lace Dress From ASOS

I spotted this Petite Lace Dress With High Neck on ASOS a while ago and I absolutely fell in love with it!

I saved it in my wishlist but then I forgot all about it.

However, it turned out that my sister, who is in the UK, actually bought it but decided she wanted the black one instead. So she sent over the white one to me as a birthday present.

So much sister love!

So blessed to have a sister who’s the exact same clothes and shoe size as me! With similar taste in clothes too tee hee!

Thanks sis, love you to the moon and back! Maybe when we are finally on the same side of the earth, we can be twinsies and wear black and white.

White Lace Dress From ASOS

These were a few other white lace dresses that are in my wishlist.

From Left to Right:

Vila Premium Crochet Waisted Dress

Crochet Dress with Waist Tie

Hazel Lace Midi Dress

What do you think?

Happy shopping!

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Wearing Aelkemi (With Video on Snapchat!)

9 September 2015

Aelkemi Dress

Ok so this just happened!

I popped into the Aelkemi store in Claremont to pick up dress for the upcoming show at the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival (happening next week!).

And I just snapchatted a video of me being a bit of a noob in this Aelkemi dress haha.

Aaak! The dress was amazing!

It was a bit tight to put on though. There was no zip. So I had to slip the whole thing over my head and get my head and shoulders through the circumference of the waist. I was in such a contorted tangle. I thought I would have to dislocate my shoulder to get myself out.

Now I know how babies feel. Just follow the light! Pop! Hello world!

Are you on Snapchat? I kinda just started! There’s video on my Story! Eeep!

Add me: heykarencheng


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Kate Spade Lip Stud Earrings

8 September 2015

Kate Spade Lips Earrings

I am just loving Kate Spade’s accessories at the moment!

From glittery phone cases, to little polka-dot pouches, to spotty umbrellas, to gorgeous little stud earrings…. they are all so cute and whimsical, yet so polished and stylish.

Kate Spade Lips Earrings

I picked out these Lip Stud Earrings from her jewellery collection over at Shopbop and have been wearing them non stop with my boring casual tees, knits and jeans.

Simplest way to add a bit of fun to my daily outfit!

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Betts Spring Summer 2015 Launch

3 September 2015

Betts Shoes SS15

Betts Shoes recently launched a truck load of their new season shoes with an eye-popping, tropical tea party for VIP guests.

It was all very pretty and well done. The evening featured a little styling session, makeup session, and a spread of cute lollies, cute cupcakes, cute bottles, cute finger food, cute biscuits… I just wanted to gobble everything up!

Betts Shoes SS15

The shoes? Think strappy gladiators, leather slides, lace up heels, retro sneakers, block heels and cut outs.

Everything was super stylish, very on-trend, with affordable prices. I liked it.

Betts Shoes SS15

I came away from the party with a little take home gift, these strappy, block-heeled sandals called, Bridgette-B – which I chose after long a deliberation between these canvas slippers (with burger and fries! so tempted!), lace up gladiators and cut-out gladiators.

I wanted a pair of block-heeled tan sandals (that were not too high), that looked a bit casual to wear with denim shorts for summer.

Although they’re not leather, they look and feel like leather, and they are soft and comfy to wear. Can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive.

Betts Shoes SS15

The next day, I thought I’d play with a bit of flower styling in my studio.

I bought the hydrangeas and lisianthus stalks, but the rest of the flowers were from my garden!

I had so much fun! The flowers were so pretty!

Betts Shoes SS15

Yay I loved the result!

A big thanks to Betts!

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Super-Colourful and Super-Comfy Workout Leggings

1 September 2015

Brought to you by Ciao Bella Travel

Hi everyone!

I’m working together with Ciao Bella Travel to show off their latest range of printed workout leggings from deluxe brand Abi and Joseph.

I also have a special discount code for 15% OFF the entire website (including sale items). Just enter the code “KAREN15” at the check out. Promo expires on the 20th September 2015.

Abi & Joseph Leggings from Ciao Bella Travel

So… do you own colourful leggings?

I took a peek into my activewear drawer and counted um… 6 PAIRS OF BLACK LEGGINGS!! I have soft bamboo ones, high performance ones and general ones I use for the gym/workouts/pilates/yoga. Some are a bit old, saggy and see-through (oops!!) and yes, I probably should throw them out!

I’ve been looking for some colourful and comfy leggings that I can wear for yoga and for running.

I’ve seen lots of women wearing brightly coloured ones – and while I love the look of them – they are priced around $100 to $130, eeeps. Yep, I procrastinated, couldn’t find a print that I liked and so I never dived in to buy a pair. I thought I’d rather use the money to buy a new pair of sexy sneakers?

Anyway, the team at Ciao Bella Travel sent over a few colourful leggings to test out (their bestsellers!)… and BINGO they are priced from $82 – $89.

Then with my 15% discount, they will be around $70 – $76. Amazing price for luxe workout leggings.

Abi & Joseph Leggings from Ciao Bella Travel

This pair is the Abi and Joseph Acacia Bloom Full Length Tights. I adore the print! It’s so loud, crazy and colourful. It definitely puts me into an active zone.

This is the full length style, however I tucked up the ends of the legs by a few centimeters (because I’m short). I like how the leggings taper in at my ankle, even though I’ve turned them up.

Best thing about them: THEY ARE MID-RISE! I can wear a crop top without feeling like I have to “let it all hang out”. The wide waist band is comfortable and firm on my abs and core… tucking me in all the right places.

It is made from a high performance fabric, which is quick drying and breathable. It is stretchy, strong, soft (with a cotton-jersey feel) and has a four-way stretch that allows for optimal movement. They are comfortable enough for me to wear all day (I have done this a few times!).

It doesn’t feel slinky, shiny, plasticky, rubbery or like a scuba diving wetsuit.

The manufacturers rate these leggings as: Ideal for high intensity interval training and gym sessions.

Abi & Joseph Leggings from Ciao Bella Travel

These Abi and Joseph Dreamcatcher 7/8 Tights are also rated for high intensity interval training and gym sessions.

And again they have excellent fit and feel, just like the Acacia Bloom pair.

I am crazy in love with this unique print – it’s my favourite print of the lot. It is so eye catching and whimsical. I wore it to a yoga class and THREE ladies said they loved my leggings and wanted to know where I got them! I felt like I was being stalked!

Abi & Joseph Leggings from Ciao Bella Travel

(Photo: After 10 minutes of trying to take a photo of myself holding a 3kg weight at 90 degrees, perfectly still, flexing, making a perfect wincing expression, while on my tippy toes….. my arms were jelly!!)

These tights have a 7/8 leg length, and are supposed to sit at mid-calf. But of course, they sit lower on me because I’m short. I really like this length and I think they are a much better fit for me. I already have 2 black leggings with this 7/8 length.

For all these Abi and Joseph tights, I’m wearing a Size XS, and I’m usually a Size AUS 6.

When I lifted the tights out of the bag, I was shocked by how TINY they looked. They looked like they were Size XXXS?? I groaned and thought I would have to go through the hassle of returning and exchanging them. But when I slipped them on, they stretched nicely and easily over my legs, hips and waist – without squeezing me to death. I didn’t feel like I was being eaten by a snake! They felt lovely to wear.

Oh and did I mention how much I love the MID-RISE waist?!

Abi & Joseph Leggings from Ciao Bella Travel

Lastly these are the Abi and Joseph Waikiki 7/8 Tights.

I like to think of them as the perfect “in between black leggings and colourful leggings”; when I’m neither in the mood for blending-into-the-background or fist-pumping-with-confidence.

This print is actually kind of cool and they look a bit like skinny, printed cropped jeans!

Of course, if you’re not into printed leggings, the Ciao Bella Travel store has lots of BLACK leggings, the Abi and Joseph ones are priced at $75 (so that’s $63.75 with the 15% off discount) and there are loose fitting yoga/pilates pants too.

Or pick up a versatile Sacha Drake dress (read my review here) or comfortable bamboo tops.

I hope you find something you like! Happy shopping!




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Seriously Cute Tees!

30 August 2015

Cute Tees from Shopbop

With the warm weather on its way, I’ve been trying to find some good quality, white t-shirts with a cute print.

These are my top picks:

Left: Chaser Heart Stamp Tee
Such a nice, over-sized, relaxed top with a burnout look.

This will be perfect with jeans shorts and sandals! The Chaser brand has heaps of cool punk rock tees (think lipsticks, cheetahs and Pink Floyd). Check out more Chaser t-shirts here.

Middle: Sincerely Jules Lips & Lashes Tee
LA based stylist and popular blogger Julie Sarinana (from Sincerely, Jules) has a collection of nice simple tees that hits under the US$50 mark. I absolutely adore these lips and lashes print! So simple and cute!

Her label has been going since 2013 and seems to be going strong. See more from Sincerely, Jules.

Right: Surf Bazaar Pineapple Square Tee
I like the boxy cut of this t-shirt. And you can’t go wrong with pineapples! A perfect hang-by-the-pool tee.

Surf Bazaar is a NY brand with styles inspired by the colors and symbolism of Tibetan prayer flags.

Hope you all enjoy the last of your weekend!


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Alexander McQueen Sunglasses For My Schnoz

28 August 2015

Brought to you buy SunglassesShop

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!

Today I’m talking about schnoz candy!

I have an exclusive 12% discount code for those looking to buy a new pair of sunglasses from SunglassesShop.

Enjoy 12% off your total order, including sale items – yay! Just use this code at the checkout: 12KAREN

This code is valid from 28 August – 4 September 2015. They offer FREE worldwide delivery and no fuss returns.

You might want to get yourself a pair of super popular Dior wire frames, or cult favourite Celine Audrey sunglasses, or sexy Tom Ford shades, or some classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

McQ by Alexander McQueen from Sunglasses Shop

For me, I’m reviewing some affordable McQ by Alexander McQueen sunglasses!

Affordable? Say what? Usually a pair of Alexander McQueen sunglasses will set you back an eye-watering $400 – $500.

But the fashion house has a more affordable ready-to-wear diffusion line, called McQ (hello lower price points!) with lots of good-looking sunglasses designs. Think classic styles with an injection of McQueen cool.

I picked out the Geometric Cateye Sunglasses in Havana, because I was looking for something a bit different.

Yes it’s great to have a pair of original wayfarers, classic aviators, and timeless cat-eyes; And just like shoes, it’s nice to own a pair of timeless pointed toe pumps, or a classic strappy heeled sandal…

But hey sometimes “wearing classic” can get a bit boring, you look like everyone else (or your 12 year old son), and sometimes you just want to wear something DIFFERENT!

McQ by Alexander McQueen from Sunglasses Shop

I love the look of large sunglasses with a slight cat-eye shape. I think it suits my face, much more than large round or large square-shaped sunglasses.

I like the soft-geometric angles and flat-top feature of the sunglasses. It looks feminine without being too retro. It doesn’t immediately scream 50s… it just looks modern and flattering.

Another great thing about these sunglasses is the combination of wire arms and metal temples, which makes them light to wear. They are not heavy and does not make my nose or ears hurt from the weight of all that plastic. They weigh less than my Ray-Ban Wayfarers!

In terms of returns, SunglassesShop have an local phone number and email you can use, and a 30 day return policy.  You do have to post the item back to the UK, which will cost you about $15-$20. However my sunglasses retail elsewhere for $230, compared to $191 at SunglassesShop. Then with my 12% discount, its final cost was $168 – saving $62! So in a way I think risking $20 to pay for a return is a pretty good risk for a stunning pair of Alexander McQueen sunglasses haha! That’s how I rationalise it!

Anyway, happy shopping and hope you find something you like!

Have a great weekend!


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Buy Korean Skincare Online from Aniqa Australia!

25 August 2015

Brought to you by Aniqa

Aniqa Korean Skincare - Cremorlab and Mizon

I’m so excited to introduce you all to a new kid in town: Aniqa is an Australian-based online store that stocks some of the hottest Korean skincare products around.

What makes Aniqa different?

Aniqa stocks a carefully edited selection of “boutique” Korean beauty brands – such as, Cremorlab, Mizon, Be The Skin and Caolion.

There are thousands of Korean beauty brands out there, so if you’re a Korean skincare newbie like me, and you just want the best products from the best brands… this site is a godsend!

If you’ve been reading Vogue and other online fashion magazines and beauty forums, you’ll notice that they frequently feature products by Cremorlab, Mizon and Be The Skin. Also, big names like YouTube beauty queen Michelle Phan and Olivia Palermo rave about Cremorlab and Mizon too.

The Aniqa site is run by two passionate and hard working women, who are dedicated to trying and testing out every single product; listening to their clients, finding out what works, what sells and what are creating the most buzz around the world. There’s a nice personal touch to the highly professional site.

The site is beautiful, easy to navigate, secure, and most of all, you can get your Korean beauty fix with ease – cheap and fast! No need to pay gazillions of dollars in shipping from the US or wait 3-4 weeks for your order from Asia.

Aniqa Korean Skincare - Cremorlab

But first, I wanted to talk about where I’m at.

I’m in my mid-30s and skin care is really important to me. I wear sun cream, I wear a hat, I eat well, exercise, drink water, get 8 hours of sleep … most of the time, I do all the right things :)

Over the years, I’ve leaned away from drugstore brands and have reluctantly bought into the world of expensive skincare products from global brands. I say reluctantly, because a little part of me dies when I purchase a bottle of cream for $185!!

But I can’t complain really. If I work hard in keeping up a regular skincare regime, I see results.

When I take care of it, my skin is clear, radiant, smooth and it glows.

I’d say that my skin is at its optimum level. I rarely have dull skin days anymore.

I have been using mostly SK-II products (Facial Treatment Essence, Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, Stempower Cream and face masks), Lancome (Advanced Youth Activating Concentrate), and some products from Clarins, Shiseido, Alpha-H, SkinCeuticals, Philosophy and Trilogy.

My main problem is that it’s all so expensive.

(And I haven’t done any lasers, peels, dermabrasions, injectables, fillers, light therapy, or surgery before!)

My Recent Switch to Korean Brands!

I had been hearing a lot about Korean beauty products and how they are taking the world by storm. Everyone seems to be loving them – Vogue editors, fashion and beauty magazine editors, celebrities and hardcore fans on online beauty forums have been trying them out and absolutely loving them.

It sounded good and I was curious to try. I wanted IN on beauty products specially designed for Asian skin!


1) I was reluctant because I didn’t know where to start!

2) I am aware (and possibly quite cynical) that this too is just another “trend” and “hype” in the cosmetics industry.

3) It was difficult to buy Korean beauty products in Australia.

So a couple of months ago, I got a call from an old high school friend… she and her business partner had set up an online store specialising in Korean skincare products, Aniqa. It was a nice site! She wanted to work with me and my blog and we set up a meeting. Usually I am very cautious and reluctant when working with skincare brands. Most times I just say no thanks. I have had some really bad experiences in the past. The results ranged from terrible to mediocre, and who wants to read and hear about terrible/mediocre products?? I only ever want to talk about stuff that I actually LIKE and USE.

I was trying to find a nice way to say, “Uh no thanks babe. I’m happy with SK-II and my little routine!” I didn’t want to go through that whole testing out skincare products journey again – ugh!

But she was an old friend, a lovely person, super-smart, super-genuine, self-starting, go-getting kind of person… so we met up, we caught up with each others’ lives, we talked and laughed for hours… and she gave me a box of products to try out.

That was in June.

And for the last 2 months I have been hooked on using these new products!

Now for the first time, I actually enjoy looking after my skin. I use a facial sheet mask twice a week, and I do a scrub twice a week. I bounce with excitement knowing it’s FACE MASK DAY! Or I go through the day and think, YAY I GET TO DO A SCRUB TONIGHT!

I cannot seem to express how much sheer joy and pleasure I have when I go through my routine and seeing my skin glow!

The result?

Well, I keep waking up in the morning and my skin is gorgeous!

Every day I look in the mirror and think – holy crap, er wow?!

I can honestly say that my complexion is more radiant, smoother, has less redness and is more hydrated than it’s ever been over the past few years. My skin is optimum + a few notches up.

Now whether that’s the result of ONE product, or a RANGE of products, or that I’ve simply upped my skincare regime and have now made it a positive priority in my life… I’m not entirely sure. I would say that it’s a combination of all three/four reasons.

The fact still stands, I see great results and I’m liking it.

Another result is a change in attitude: Taking care of my skin is not a boring, futile chore at the end of the day. It is seriously so. Much. Fun… and I think that inner joy and sparkle comes across in my face too :)

Yes I still get an occasional dull skin day, where my skin is not radiant and smooth. But… that is possibly connected to hormones, sleeping at 2am, eating way too much chocolate, exercising with makeup on my face, not drinking enough water, experimenting with new makeup (reviewing for blog posts) and sitting in a room with a heater/aircon on for 5-6 hours. Haha all the major no-nos!

And yes it’s probably the same amount of skincare regime work (possibly a bit more) as before with my old products SK-II, Lancome, Shiseido, etc.

So then, what was the difference? Why switch?

1) The prices.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (150ml) is about AUD$185 and Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence (270ml) is AUD$58.

SK-II Stempower Cream (80g jar) is AUD$200 and Mizon Collagen Power Lifting Cream (70ml) is AUD$55.

Ok I know I seem to be hard on SK-II. That wasn’t my intention! I DO love, love, love their products and they DO work for me. But it’s so expensive… $385 for two products?? Whereas two equivalent Korean products (as mentioned above) would set me back $113. Yes I know this is a self-inflicted, first world problem… Haha don’t judge me!

2) Using products in the same range.

Because the prices are great, I can afford to buy all the products in the same range (for example, Mizon Pore Range, Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Line) so I’d be happy to use all the toners, serums, eye creams etc. And while a small part of me thinks these ranges are just a marketing ploy, I still like to think that products from the same range should work together chemically, in terms of the right pH, active ingredients, layering and absorption.

3) The smell is simply ah-mazing!

Aniqa Korean Skincare - Cremorlab

Where to start?

The brand Cremorlab (recommended by YouTube beauty queen Michelle Phan and Olivia Palermo) has a huge cult following. Their most raved about products would be Cremorlab Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence ($58 – pictured above), Cremorlab Triple Bright White Bloom Foam Cleanser ($39 – pictured above), Cremorlab Smooth Pudding Moisturiser ($65)

And their range of amazing Cremorlab Sheet Masks (starts from $5 – $14) are often featured in fashion and beauty magazines.

Aniqa Korean Skincare - Mizon

Mizon is stocked in Urban Outfitters in the US! According to online beauty forums, Mizon’s range of Snail Repair creams and gels are JUST AMAZING. (These are not stocked on Aniqa yet!) Their serums are also really popular.

My favourite so far is the Mizon Collagen Power Lifting Cream ($55) and the Mizon Collagen Power Lifting Toner ($40).

I am hoping to try the Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100 Serum ($65) too.

Be The Skin is also another popular product, often raved about by fashion and beauty editors. I personally haven’t tried any from this brand yet, but I heard that these were good: Be The Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Cream ($58) and Be The Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Serum ($59).

I have tested out most of these products mentioned above and I’ll be posting my reviews on which worked best for me!

I’ll also be testing out a few other popular Korean skincare products… so stay tuned!

Happy shopping!


(Btw, I had a few messages about the flowers in these photographs – Yes I photographed these photos! I sourced the purple Native Wisteria and Camellia branches from my garden, the Almond Blossom from my neighbour’s garden, and the white Lisianthus flowers are from the local florist.)

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Flares and Turtlenecks

21 August 2015

Turtleneck and Flares

Tee hee, it’s been quite fun to pull out some of my favourites clothes from years gone by!

Flares! Turtlenecks! It feels like I’m playing dress ups, without feeling like a freak show.

I’ve already featured THREE of my old flare jeans on my blog (in this post) and since then, I have worn them several times… in public!

Hmmm, I don’t think I will be buying any new season flares this season. They are possibly a bit too over the top (and colourful) for me. But if you’re interested, I spotted some flares at Topshop where you can pick up some lace flares, velvet flares, patterned flares, paisley flares or even white crochet flares – wayhey!

Turtleneck and Flares

For this outfit, I tried to keep everything minimal, casual and subdued. No paisley here!

It really was just an everyday outfit with a tiny bit of fun thrown in.

As for my turtleneck sleeveless sweater (similar here), I bought it about 15 years ago, when I was stocking up on my wardrobe basics. It was around $60 from Sportsgirl, which I think was fairly pricey at the time. Interestingly enough, the fabric has kept very well, it still has a good stretch and the knit is still soft and smooth. I am very happy that it has lasted so long.

Do you keep your favourite old clothes?

I’m a bit of a hoarder and I will never make a good minimalist!

Flares in Deep Blue Similar from ASOS
Long Grey Coat from Shein
Boots from The Iconic.

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Trying Out Culottes

18 August 2015

Hello Parry Culottes

Today I’m road testing these Pin Stripe Culottes from Hello Parry!

They look quite cute right?

So… do you like culottes? Big, baggy, mumsy shorts? I’ve been a bit undecided.

It’s a tricky trend. Everyone seems to be scared or reluctant to wear one.

Did you know culottes were originally Frenchmen’s knickers? They were baggy knee trousers tucked into knee-high socks hehe! Well since then, they have been around the fashion circuit a few times, and now they’re the hottest silhouette trend for this new season.

I haven’t been too keen that culottes are a midi length (ending at my calves) which usually makes me look short, truncated and like I accidentally wore my son’s pants.

I also didn’t like the voluminous silhouette, because that style usually works against my short, petite body shape  (read: makes me look fat).

Plus I had a fear that culottes would make me look like clown or a hippy.

But hey, when I tried a few pairs of these culottes, I discovered that they’re not that bad. Quite nice and elegant actually! I really liked this one too.

I like that they look tailored, smart and polished. I liked that they looked like mid length skirt. And I like that I can wear a bit more skin up the top to balance it off.

These are just fab!

Hello Parry Culottes

I just need a tuxedo jacket and I’ll be all good.

(I’m also wearing Sleeveless Bustier from Fashion Bunker, Acne Pumps from Forward by Elyse Walker and wristwear from The Peachbox)

By the way, just in case you forgot…

** Special Discount Code **

Hello Parry are offering all my readers 10% off storewide (including full priced items and sale items).

Just enter the code “karencheng10” at the checkout to get your discount!

The code ends 30 August 2015.

Happy Shopping!!


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Schutz Sandals in Nude

17 August 2015

Schutz Sandals

After I bought a pair of black strappy sandals, after constantly reaching for them whenever I went out, after wearing them for hours and hours and absolutely loving them… I knew I wanted to get another good quality pair, in nude!

So after a bit of hunting around, I bought myself a pair of Schutz Sandals (Cady Lee Style) from Shopbop.

Schutz Sandals

It was a bit of a gamble, because I’ve never worn Schutz shoes before, so I was unfamiliar with their sizing.

But they arrived, they are beautiful, and they fit!

I was toying with the idea of getting this Zora Lace Up design, but I chose this very simple and minimal design, to ensure that they look timeless and last me years.

As for the flowers in these photos… I snipped a few branches off my hibiscus tree and when I brought them inside, I didn’t realise that they were full of baby spiders! I had to vacuum my whole living room to get rid of them eeek.

Have a beautiful week everyone! Without baby spiders!


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Rails Shirts and Stan Smiths

12 August 2015

Lately I’ve been obsessing over a few American brands. I completely love their west coast cool and kind of want everything in their collection :)

Let me share with you!

Shopbop RAILS

Rails is a LA brand with a really cool range of shirts. My friends in the US are raving about them and I’m keen to try one out.

The denim shirts and checked shirts are my favourite at the moment.

Shopbop Skirts

From left to right:
Bailey44 are also a LA label with a cool, relaxed, modern style. Their dresses are flattering and sexy! Love their collection!

Anine Bing has been a favourite of mine for a while. I love her simple and relaxed designs, with a nod of rock and roll/festival style.

Elizabeth and James has a more polished and lady-like style. Their dresses are modern, sleek and look amazing.

Stan Smiths from The Iconic

In the 1970s, Adidas created a tennis shoe and named it after the famous American tennis player, Stan Smith. They were huge in the 1980s and 90s. Apparently they sold about 30 million pairs worldwide.

In 2012, Adidas took the shoe out of production and no longer marketed it. But by 2014, they decided to relaunch the shoe and now everyone wants one!

These Stan Smiths range from $100 – $130, have a patterned – snakeskin and satin – heel tab.

(I’m still in love with my leather Converse, so I’m not sure if I want to fork out $100 for another pair of white leather sneakers! What about you?)

Happy Shopping!



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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

11 August 2015

Mecca Goodies

I succumbed to the raving online hype and bought myself an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette. It is a finishing powder that is supposed to illuminate your face by diffusing and softening the way light reflects on your skin.

I was really doubtful at first, especially since I have an olive skin tone. But after I tried it, I was SOLD!

It looked beautiful and really softened the colours of my makeup and skin.

The colours include Dim Light (a natural peach beige), Incandescent Light (a brightening opalescent pearl) and Radiant Light (a sun-kissed golden beige).

You can buy Hourglass from MECCA, Net-A-Porter (only $10 shipping), Sephora, Nordstrom.

Have you tried it?

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Rebecca Minkoff Bag + Hello Parry Sunglasses

6 August 2015

A few of my gorgeous girlfriends chipped in together and bought me this leather backpack for my birthday! (I got to choose it!)

It is a Rebecca Minkoff Backpack here from The Iconic or here from Shopbop.
Rebecca Minkoff Bag + Hello Parry Sunglasses

It makes a fantastic everyday bag! The leather is superb quality and the zips and buckles are robust, which allows the bag to survive a few knocks and bumps.

I love that it’s slouchy, casual, sporty… and a bit different.

Backpacks crept back into the fashion scene about a year or two ago and they are pretty popular at the moment. They are probably on the way out, but meh I don’t care, I have been using backpacks and drawstring bags for ages and I feel they are very my style.

Rebecca Minkoff Bag + Hello Parry Sunglasses

My Doir inspired sunglasses are also new from Hello Parry. They are nice and light so they don’t leave a mark on my face. Plus they are super affordable. I really like wearing them because they look cool and quirky, without being too weird.

They do make me look like I have a mono brow though, maybe that’s the new thing haha?

Wearing: Denim shirt Similar Cupcakes and Cashmere Shirt, Similar ASOS | Vivienne Westwood Jeans Similar | Senso Heels | Sunglasses from Hello Parry

*Oh oh, I’m actually off on a girl’s holiday this weekend!

It’s my first GIRLS-ONLY trip away and I’m super excited!

I’ll be updating my Instagram account (@karenlycheng) so do check in on me to keep in touch.


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Shona Joy Maxi Dresses

4 August 2015

I’ve had my eye on these Shona Joy Maxi Dresses since they first came out :)

I love their colours, prints and designs. I also love how, while they are “maxi dresses”, they are not TOO LONG… so they will definitely fit a shorty like me!

Now they are on sale at The Iconic at 70% off, for $88.50 – $116!

Amazing! And they still have size 6, 8, 10, 12 available.

Shona Joy Maxi Dresses

Left: Landmark Bustier Crossover Maxi Dress

Centre: Installation Bustier Midi Dress

Right: Dessau Bustier Midi Dress

I can’t decide between the one on the left and centre.

There are also lots more gorgeous designs here (short version, strap version, midi skirt, pencil skirt) that are also on sale.

Shona Joy form The Iconic

Left: Mies Pencil Midi Skirt – $51

Centre: Futura Bustier Midi Dress – $206.50

Right: The Gallery Pencil Skirt – $78.40

Happy Shopping! Or browsing!


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I need a tropical island pronto!

31 July 2015

Wheeee I’ll be jumping on a jet plane for a girl’s trip soon!!

No kids, no husband… HELLO tropical island!!

I’m bouncing with excitement, daydreaming of the warm weather and currently obsessed with the following:

Shopbop White Rompers

A White Romper (more rompers here)
Forget the floaty, patterned, summer dress… a white romper is the new summer staple! Cool and chic, the romper nods to casual resort wear on warm balmy nights by the pool. Bring. It. On.

Yumi Kim Jet Set Romper

Club Monaco Zandu Romper

LIV Allie Cutout Romper

Shopbop Shoes by Schutz

Nude Heeled Sandals from Schutz
Needing some pretty nude heels to go with white, blush and grey outfits… I can’t decide to go with a sleek/simple or statement lace-up styles, which look much cooler!

Schutz Cadey Lee Sandals

Schutz Dubianna Lace Up Sandals

Schutz Dubia Sandals

Outnet Swimwear
Discounted Designer One-Piece Swimwear
While bikinis are fun to wear, sometimes I just want to wear a goddamn one-piece, especially if I had a big meal the night before haha. This is proof that one-piece swimwear can look stylish, elegant, NOT childish (multi-coloured) and NOT boring!

Tory Burch Milos polka-dot underwired swimsuit

Missoni Crochet knit-trimmed printed swimsuit

Lisa Marie Fernandez Arden one-shoulder swimsuit


Wanderlust + Co necklaces

Triangly Necklaces
I’m trying to stay away from delicate necklaces that are too pretty or too cutesy at the moment. These necklaces have a nice edgy style to them, without being too arty or awkward.

Frame-Diamond Gold Necklace $29

Dusk To Dawn Layered Gold & Marble Necklaces $49

Tri Pave Layered Gold Necklaces $49

Happy Shopping!


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Turtleneck Knits From ShowPo

29 July 2015

Turtleneck Knit

I have to be honest… for most days of the week, I dress very simply and casually. And lately, all I ever wear are jeans, jumpers and sneakers!

This combination used to bore me to tears, but I’m actually loving the comfy fashion trend this season: BIG, CHUNKY, TURTLENECK KNITS.

I picked up this Sleeveless Turtleneck Knit from ShowPo.

It also comes in black, white and grey too.

It looks great, feels great, it’s affordable, and I like that it looks current without looking too dressed up.

Turtleneck Knit

Wearing: Grey long coat from Shein (on sale!) | Beige Turtleneck Knit from ShowPo | White jeans from Fendi (ebay) | Acne Studio black pumps from Forward By Elyse Walker.

I wore this outfit out to dinner with my girlfriends the other evening. I thought I might freeze in a sleeveless knit, so I wore a little camisole tank top underneath. Once I entered the warm restaurant, I took off my coat and the extra layer kept me sufficiently snug all night.

The knit was a lovely addition to my wardrobe!

Turtleneck Knit from Iconic

Now, in case you all think that I love, love, LOVE all the clothes that I come across… I decided to include this photo of a knit that didn’t make the cut.

I receive heaps of samples and I buy lots of items on a regular basis, but I only feature the ones that I like. I send lots of items/samples back.

This grey turtleneck knit is from The Iconic.

It looked gorgeous on the model, but I found it to be too big, baggy, and too long in a very unflattering way (it made my legs look short). It was very “meh” and I felt so frumpy. I didn’t like it at all.

In the end, I returned it. I much preferred the range from ShowPo.

Anyway, I hope you manage to take a peek and find something you like!

Happy shopping!

xx Karen

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Whimsical Kate Spade Studs

25 July 2015

Kate Spade Studs from Shopbop

Whenever I fall into a fashion rut, I always look for some new accessories to freshen up my outfits.

When I spotted these whimsical studs from Kate Spade, I practically leaped out of my chair and frantically bashed at my keyboard trying to BUY THEM NOW! BUY THEM NOW!

My first pick: Kate Spade Lip Studs
Second pick: Kate Spade Pineapple Studs
Third pick: Kate Spade Banana Studs

Other earrings shown: Glasses Studs, Eye Studs, Gorjana Palm Tree Studs.

Outfit: Stripe Tee from Seed Heritage, Paige Jeans from Forward by Elyse Walker, Converse from SurfStitch.

What do you think? Super cute right?

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What I Wore: Double Camel!

23 July 2015

Early on Tuesday morning, I made my way into the city to attended a special Program Launch for the 2015 Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

This is what I wore: A double camel outfit! I matched the floorboards!

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

I was just going to take a photo in my light studio, but the lovely Andrea from ShopGoh convinced me to take snap at the event… and she took such a nice photo of me that I had to post it up! I was so chuffed – thanks babe!

Wearing the same colour for your top and bottom is becoming quite popular these days – a step up from two piece matching suits and one piece jump suits.

Double white and double denim outfits have been the most popular so far, followed by double grey and double tan coloured outfits.

I was super keen to try putting together a double camel outfit, because I have SO MANY camel / tan / caramel coloured items, all stored away carefully in my wardrobe. I have to put them to use some how!

I also want to try out double khaki and double beige too – just for fun.
Double Camel Outfit

So the funniest aspect to this story: BOTH my top and pants are 15 years old!

My top is a beautiful crocheted knit top by Kookai and my high-waisted, wide-legged pants are from Witchery.

I bought them (separately) when I started working as a web/graphic designer.

I love how fashiong goes around and around!

With everyone dressing in monochrome colours these days, I’m hankering for an injection of colour again!

My heels are Alexander Wang from Forward by Elyse Walker, my bag is by Marc Jacobs (Shopbop).

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Hello Parry Knitwear + Discount Code

21 July 2015

Hello Parry Knit

While the rest of the world is wilting from heat waves and sweltering summer temperatures… Australia is gleefully snuggling on the couch with a fluffy blanket, a crackling fireplace, a hot chocolate, marshmallows, a book in hand and watching the rain pitter-patter on the window pane.

I am crazy about knits at the moment; Especially large, shapeless knits that feel like a great big, stylish hug!

Deciding what to wear in the morning is so simple.

Hello Parry Knit

Wearing: Hello Parry Isadora Knit | Witchery Faux Leather Leggings | Alexander Wang Heels from Forward by Elyse Walker | Marc Jacobs Bag (Shopbop) | ASOS Felt Hat

I was recently invited to check out some of the knitwear pieces at Hello Parry Headquarters and was thrilled by all the cool options!

I loved the grey cardigans, the statement knits and the light knits – which are great for layering and perfect for in-between seasons.

Here are some that caught my eye:

Hello Parry Knitwear AW15

Elle Tweed Print Charcoal Coatigan and Selita Fluffy Striped Knit Cardigan.


Hello Parry Knitwear AW15

Rosie Perforated Striped Oversized Knit Top and Julia Grey Knitted Cropped Pullover Knit.

** Special Discount Code **

Hello Parry are offering all my readers 10% off storewide (including full priced items and sale items).

Just enter the code “karencheng10” at the checkout to get your discount!

The code ends 30 August 2015.

Happy Shopping!!

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Going Wild!

17 July 2015

Girls Night Out Flatlay

Getting ready for a girl’s night out and taking advantage of the photogenic light in my house!

Zac Posen Leopard Print Clutch | Hello Parry Sunglasses | Alexander Wang Heels

Have an amazing weekend everyone!


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The Sleeveless Trench

8 July 2015

Back in April, I went to a jewellery launch party at Linneys.

It was a very intimate party. I didn’t know very many people there. So I wandered around… and someone told me about THE PINK DIAMOND RING that was on TV earlier that morning. So of course, I had to check it out, I had to wear it and I had to take a selfie ;)

Apparently it cost $880,000! Ouch!

Linneys Pink Diamond Ring

I didn’t manage to get a good photo of my full outfit. The lighting was bad. The space was cramped.

I was going to skip putting it up on my blog… but it was such cute outfit and I got lots of compliments about it on the day.

So I decided to re-shoot my outfit last week, this time in my studio at home.

Pink Sleeveless Trench

It channels all that I’m desperately hankering for at the moment… light, white fabrics, pink hues, floaty layers, and silky textures.

My top is from In Good Company, which I reviewed in this blog post.

My skirt is from YesStyle, but you can also find similar laces skirts at ChicWish or Shein.

Pink Sleeveless Trench

Initially I wasn’t a fan of the sleeveless trench or vest, mainly because it’s a trend item and will probably go out of fashion in 1 or 2 seasons.

But when I wore one, it felt so LENGTHENING and so elegant. I really liked the way it changed my posture and the way I moved. I felt tall and lean. Much like the long grey coat that I reviewed a few weeks ago.

I liked that it added a bit of colour, layer and movement to my outfit.

You can pick up a sleeveless trench for $50-$70 or you can invest in a higher quality, designer one for $700? If you buy a one with buttons, you can wear it belted at the waist, as a kind of tailored, sleeveless dress too!

Check out some ideas I found below! I love the blush, white and dove grey ones the best.

Happy shopping!