Archive for Fashion & Shopping

 

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What I Wore: Tibi Silk Top

5 September 2016

Tibi Silk Top

Hi everyone!

I’ve recently started a couple of new freelance jobs/projects… in the field of blogging, social media consulting + management, art direction, photography and styling.

It’s been absolutely fantastic – I’m doing something I enjoy, I’m doing something I’m good at, my time is flexible, I work from home, I’m learning heaps of new stuff and the money is pretty good!

I’m only working part time hours at the moment, which is how I prefer it and designed it.

(Meaning, I still have time for yoga and coffees with my girlfriends! Oh and cleaning and gardening.)

Anyway, I’ve been out and about a lot and taking lots of snaps of my outfits.

Tibi Silk Top

I’m mixing a few old and new items here!

Tibi Silk Racerback Camisole – This is an absolutely beautiful silk top and such a perfect cut for my body shape. It’s not too low at the chest or underarms, and it’s a nice length for me. Yes, a bit expensive, but if you add it to your cart, you could snap it up cheaper when the next sale comes around?!

Acne Studios Needle Jeans – This was an eBay buy many years ago, from a lovely, short girl who already altered the length of the legs!

ASOS Pointed Flat Mules – I didn’t want to invest in a pair of flat leather mules, because I thought they looked weird – even though I had about 3 of these many years ago! So I bought this pair for $40 and they are soooo cool and fun to wear, that I have been wearing them everywhere!! I might not even have to buy a leather version, because these are so awesome as they are :)

Country Road Grey Cardigan – This cardigan is many seasons old. It has two moth holes in it (haha!), but it’s still super soft, no pilling, and simply beautiful to wear.

Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses – These were a gift, but I do believe they are really well priced here.

That’s all from me for today, hope you have a gorgeous week!

xxx


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What I Didn’t Wear: Forever New Rust Dress

31 August 2016

Last week, I was having SUCH a bad day with my kids (just one kid)… that I stormed out the door the moment my husband returned from work.

I headed to the local shops, to pick up my dry cleaning, buy some makeup remover, buy some baking paper… then I went into a Forever New and spotted this dress!

Forever New Rust Dress

I tried it on, I thought it looked great, and with not much consideration, I bought it – YES IMPULSE SHOPPING!

It stayed in the bag for a few days, then when I was preparing to go out to dinner with some girlfriends, I tried it on and took these photos.

I realised that — I DIDN’T LOVE IT.

It was really low cut and cleavagey – I don’t mind showing a bit a cleavage now and then, but this looked a bit.. um, trashy?

I felt that the skirt shape made my hips and thighs look HUGE! And the shape of the top made my arms look really chunky.

And the material was staticky too. As I walked around those few minutes, the skirt lining stuck to my legs and rode up my thighs in an unpleasant way and I kept having to reach in between my legs to unstick them. Very unclassy, haha!

Forever New Rust Dress

I must admit that these photos do make the dress look quite flattering.

But in the end, it’s not really about how I look in the dress, it’s how I feel in the dress. It completely changed my posture and the way I moved.

I didn’t love it, I didn’t love how it made me feel… so I returned it.

(And while I was back in the shop, I swapped it for another – cheaper – dress! Will share pics of it soon!)


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Ready for Spring: Lovers + Friends Romper

29 August 2016

Revolve - Lovers + Friends Romper

Ok I think it’s official… Revolve Clothing have *the cutest* range of casual + fun + summery rompers ever.

I was browsing through their Rompers Page and I added… um… about 7 to my shopping cart!

These were my favourites:
relaxed drape romper (grey blue),
slightly dressy romper (navy),
day-to-night romper (vivid red),
minimal floral romper (pastel),
poolside romper (navy + white stripe),
smart tailored romper (blush),
soft floral romper (perfect wedding guest outfit!)

…. buuuut after a long deliberation, I decided to choose this one:

Lovers + Friends Bello Romper

Looking through the Revolve Instagram page, you’d think that every blogger in the Mediterranean had chosen this particular romper haha!

Ah, but that wasn’t enough to turn me away. I LOVED the chambray colour, the cute sweetheart neckline, the tie-front detail, the white embroidery, the thin straps and the mini length shorts.

It fit me perfectly in length and makes my legs looks super long!

Revolve - Lovers + Friends Romper

I must admit, the weather is a little too cold in Perth to wear it at the moment.

But I’m sure in a few weeks, I’ll be rocking this all over the place!

Have a fantastic week!

xxx


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Grana Silk Camisole Tops – My Review

25 August 2016

Grana Testing

Hi everyone, just letting you know that I’m not being paid to write this… I wish!

I’ve recently become very interested in investing in a range of silk camisole tops for my wardrobe.

I have 3-4 silk shirts from Equipment (two I bought off eBay!), 2 silk tops from Tibi, 1 silk shirt from Isabel Marant, 1 silk dress from Zimmermann, 2 silk tops from Country Road (very old, with ruffles!), 1 silk top from Forever New (very old with a digital print), a few silk dresses from Sass and Bide and Aurelio Costarella. I think that’s about it.

So far, the silk I like from most to least is: Equipment, Isabel Marant, Tibi, Zimmerman, then lastly Country Road and Forever New (their silk feels more like a kind of stiff polyester silk).

(I didn’t rank the designer dresses, because I only wear them occasionally).

Now that I think about it, this scale possibly reflects the price of each garment too. I guess it rings true… you get what you pay for.

Anyway, I was keen to buy a silk racerback top from Grana, for AU$65.

I’ve heard nice things about their silk, plus their silk items are SO AFFORDABLE!!

When I was in Singapore, I was in a cafe, I saw this tall, gorgeous, young Asian woman, wearing a bright orange silk racer-back camisole and it looked AMAZING on her. I knew it was Grana, because her tag was sticking out! I wanted to let her know about the tag, and ask her if I could FEEL the silk of her top, but um, that would have been waaay too creepy!

SO what is the quality of Grana Silk like?? Where does it sit on the scale of all my silk items?

I bought these two tops above and here are my thoughts.

Grana Silk Tops Review

The Grana Silk V-Neck Camisole in Marzipan for AU$71.00 in XS.

The website describes the top as a “structured V-neck with the beautiful relaxed drape of Georgette Satin”.

For me, I didn’t like this Georgette Satin. Even though it was 100% silk, it felt more like a slightly stiff/slippery satin than silk. And it had a satin shine to it, which I didn’t like.

This “satin-look, slip top” may be on-trend at the moment (worn over a white t-shirt), but I felt that the material made the top look a bit cheap.

Having said that, it looks and feels like a high-quality polyester top from Witchery, which would probably cost you around $70-$80 anyway.

I liked the “structured” shape and soft drape of the top, but the XS was slightly too big for me (I’m usually a standard Size AUS/UK 6). It flared out slightly at my arm pits and it didn’t sit nicely on my chest.

I chose the size based on my equivalent AU sizing, but I should have chosen based on the measurements supplied on the site, which indicated that I should have bought a XXS.

I loved the colour though! It was a muted ivory and would work really well with the rest of my wardrobe.

I also loved that it was lined (double layered).

Unfortunately I decided to return this top.

I had to pay $10 for return shipping. I might buy some black shorts instead.

Grana Silk Tops Review

The Grana Silk Racerback Camisole in Rust, for AU$65.00 in XS.

The website describes the silk as “100% silk Crepe de Chine”.

I LOVE the silk for this price. It feels softer and more “buttery” than my Tibi top. It is DEFINITELY a winner, I’m very happy with it and I think it is super-duper good value for a silk top.

However, the silk does feel a little… delicate. It feels so soft, like it might tear or snag it on something sharp, where as my Tibi top feels a little more stronger and robust.

Basically I feel like I have to BE CAREFUL with the Grana top, where I simply don’t even think/notice that I’m wearing my Tibi silk top.

The Size XS fits me perfectly.

The top is lined (double layered).

The colour is OK. I was hoping for it to be a little darker (as shown in my shadowy photo above), but in fact it is more like on the photo on the website: a bright burnt orange.

I decided to keep this top, instead of swapping it for another colour, like navy, because I think I’ll get a lot more use from this colour than the other colours offered on the site (plus I already have a black, white and grey top in a similar style).

I’m trying to wear a bit more colour!

Take home message:

Read the fabric description carefully.

Buy the 100% Silk Crepe de Chine. It’s beautiful!

Look at the supplied measurements on each individual garment.

10% Discount Anyone?

I have a 10% discount code if you’re keen to buy something from Grana!

Just use this link, create an account and they’ll automatically send you the 10% discount code to use on your order. (If you do make an order with the link, I will get some credit added to my account, so if that upsets you, sorry! Just type in www.grana.com and you won’t get the 10% discount sent out to you.)

Happy shopping or browsing!!

xxx


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What I Wore: Sabe Structured Top

22 August 2016

Hello Parry Sabe Top

Top from Hello Parry, Skirt by Tokyo Fashion (similar styles here), Cardigan by Acne Studios, Heels from ASOS.

OK I’m talking tops here.

A good, going out top.

A versatile top (that you can wear with jeans or shorts) but not boring or expensive either.

I’ve been dying to feature one of my favourite tops this season, because it’s a good one! I wear it all the time, it goes with everything and I really like it.

It’s called the Sabe Structured Top, I’ve had it for about 2 months, and I’ve actually written about it before in this post.

Hello Parry Sabe Top

I went to a day time event the other day and wore the top with a lace skirt.  I love that I can wear it with a plain or patterned skirt and it looks amazing.

Because the top is structured in a loose way, it hides the waist a little, so it’s nice to pair the top with skirt/pants/shorts that skims or hugs your waist. That way your silhouette looks flattering, balanced and you’re not doubling the boxiness.

So pencil skirts, jersey pencil skirts, midi skirts, slim fit jeans, cropped pants, slim shorts will look great.

Hello Parry Sabe Top

Top from Hello Parry, Jeans from ForeverNew, Blazer by Alexander Wang (from The Outnet), Heels by Schutz

Here I was heading out to a coffee date with a girlfriend.

I like that the top looks smart and more polished than a regular tee.

Hello Parry Sabe Top

As I said in my previous post, I think the top looks gorgeous on, it looks effortless, minimal, it has a super-flattering, classic, Audrey Hepburn style about it. It’s not clingy, not boxy and it really suits petite, small-frame people like me.

Quality is brilliant, the fabric is soft and has a slight, satiny shine to it, that gives it a polished look.

It also comes in BLACK, which also looks gorgeous.

If you check out the photo of the model wearing the top, you can actually wear it like a regular top (not just off shoulder). I’m wearing a size S (I’m usually a size 6).

I have a 15% off everything code to share with you all (which makes this top under $50!)

You can use the discount for everything including new arrivals and sale items (even the stuff on 60% off sale).

Just enter the code “karenforhelloparry” at the checkout.

Enjoy!


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Shopbop Best Buys Under $100… (Ok more like $130)

19 August 2016

Many people have written to me saying, Yo Karen we love the stuff you feature from Shopbop, but some of it is a bit expensive! Show us the good, cheap stuff! I’m broke!

(Not exaaaaactly worded like that, but haha you get the drift!)

So I’ve trawled through Shopbop to find some awesome buys under USD$100 – and therefore AUD$130.

Shopbop Best Buys Under $100

1) BB Dakota Aden Crinkle Dress – Looks pretty, floaty and great for warm weather.
2) Hat Attack Ibiza Tote – Lovely shape and texture. Looks so stylish for a woven straw bag.
3) Splendid Danaka Wedges – Gorgeous wedges for the new season.

Shopbop Best Buys Under $100

1) Splendid 2×1 Racer Back Dress – – Sweet and simple. Can’t go wrong with the brand Splendid for luxe basics.
2) Gorjana Cayne Crescent Studs – Edgy, kind of cool, looks like claws, or fangs?!
3) Kate Spade New York Bee Pouch – Polka dots will always be in fashion!
4) Steven Sayzar Mules – Mules are soooo in at the moment, especially chunky ones. This one is close to perfect and it’s real leather too.

Shopbop Best Buys Under $100

1) BB Dakota Cuthbert Striped Top – A great looking lace top, without looking TOO lacey / flowery / girly.
2) Kate Spade New York Mix Tape Coin Purse – How cool is this coin purse?!
3) Superga 2750 Cotu Sneakers – Sleek, not-too-chunky, light grey sneakers. Minimal without being too minimal.

Happy shopping or browsing!

xxx


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What I Wore: Tassel Red Dress

12 August 2016

Tassel Red Dress

Oh how I love a bargain! And I love to share!

I bought this Copper Red Dress from Cotton On the other day! It’s so cute!

I’m wearing the XS and it also comes in a black version.

I love that it’s not too bulky, not too scrunchy; it drapes nicely, the waist sits at the right spot on me, the neckline is not too low, the skirt is not too short… it looks great.

It was $39.95, now $20 (Still on sale! Lots of XS/S/M sizes in stock!). I didn’t see the dresses in-store, so they must only be online?

I wore it out last night, with a fur vest and knee high boots to keep me warm. Such great buy hehe.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Tassel Red Dress

Also wearing Schutz Cadey Lee heels, Gold Tassel Earrings (similar here) from Shopbop.


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Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation

11 August 2016

Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation

I thought I would stretch my visual styling muscle a bit and go with a fancy/moody photo today.

I recently received a Myer gift voucher (just from their rewards card) so I went to buy myself some foundation.

I’ve been struggling with my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation lately – I’ve loved and used it for years. But ever since I started to use self-tanning creams, the foundation doesn’t match my skin colour and I’ve had to mix it with other foundations to get the right shade and right coverage.

In the last month or so, {{{ I cracked }}} , OMG I WAS SO SICK of mixing foundation at 7:30am in the morning.

Many years ago, I used to use Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15 (AUD$72). I even remember my shade colour (Natural 4) so I was just going to get a bottle of that and ask the makeup girl to match my skin colour.

Haha however, she used her crafty sales skills and got me to try the NEW Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation (the Natural 4 was perfect on me!) and OMG it felt amazing on my skin.

Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation

My Thoughts:

The coverage was excellent, the texture was great for my combination skin and the finish was very natural looking. It was exactly what I wanted.

Bobbi Brown says is has “moisture-reviving marine extract and collagen-enhancing ferment”. Whatever the hell that was, it covered up my dry patches wonderfully, covered my blemishes, evened out my skin tone, gave my skin a moisturised and radiant boost and made my face feel all supple, dewy and glowy ALL DAY.

I’ve been wearing it for a week now, and it’s possibly one of the best foundations I’ve used.

Although… when the makeup girl told me how much it cost, I almost fell off my chair. AUD$90. Aaaakk!

I told her I had to think about it, and I took a walk around the shopping centre, looking at myself in mirrors in different lighting, poking and prodding my cheeks, and making weird animated expressions to see how the foundation feels on my face. (What, don’t YOU do that too?)

Yep, in the end I went back with my voucher and bought the foundation – and I’m super happy I did it!


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Floral Dress by Privacy Please

8 August 2016

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

Hi everyone!

Last week I headed out to a morning fashion event, wearing this gorgeous floral dress by Privacy Please courtesy of Revolve.

It’s called the Delta Dress in a print called Gramont (lots of sizes available online).

You can get the same print in a different style called the Lehunt Dress (midi skirt with a high neck)

Or the same print in a maxi kimono style called the Plaza Dress.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

It is such a pretty, flirty, flattering, spring dress! I felt very feminine and girly, but still modern and elegant.

It’s a simple, wrap style, with a long tie. It’s easy to wear, comfortable, easy to move in and the fabric is light and soft.

I saw a photo of a girl wearing this dress in a casual way – with beach hair, straw hat and sandals – which I will try one day!

But for my fashion event, I decided to bling it up with gold stud heels by Diavolina, a Blush clutch bag by Tory Burch and a white blazer by Bardot (old).  I guess this would be a nice wedding guest outfit too.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

I actually picked out this dress a few weeks ago, and at that time, the only available size was Size S. I’m usually a size 6/ XS, but I added it to my cart anyway haha.

Because it was a wrap dress, I was able to wrap the dress a little tighter around my was it, and the dress fit me perfectly everywhere – except the sleeves.

Too Big Sleeves

This is how the Size S looked on me… the sleeves drooped halfway down my arm.

So I took it to my seamstress and she fixed it up for me for an amazing price.

I was super-duper happy with the result.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

As for spring dresses, I have a few events, parties and celebrations coming up so I have my eye on a few more floral dresses, especially the Privacy Please dresses because they are so pretty and affordable.

Can’t wait to share!

Have an amazing week!


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Buying Hiking Boots for my Family and Children

5 August 2016

In my previous post about our holiday walks and hikes around Scotland, I received a few emails from readers asking about my hiking boots and where to buy them.

I thought I’d put together some info and links for everyone.

Hiking Boots

In 2002, I bought myself a pair of waterproof, leather hiking boots which cost me around $250. I thought they would last me the rest of my life, because I only actually wore them for 2 weeks!

But 15 years later, I took them out from where I carefully stored them and discovered that the rubber sole had disintegrated and fallen off the shoe. It would cost me about $150 – $180 to resole them, so I decided to buy myself a new pair.

I was looking at these boots or something like this.

However, by complete coincidence, my late mother-in-law had tiny feet like me, so I inherited her hiking boots!

So the boots (pictured above) came from my lovely mother-in-law, they are size 36 and apparently they are 30 YEARS OLD?!

If you are interested to buy something similar, this is the equivalent boot in the same brand, Scarpa, which also happened to be the same  boot I was looking at.

Yep, they are an eye-watering $300. But hey, these boots were flipping amazing. I was submerging half the boot into water and my socks remained completely dry. They easily let me walk over slippery rocks, loose rocks, fallen trees. I’ve worn them to hiking Tasmania, through the Australian bush and now to Scotland.

A pair of good boots is worth every cent.

On the OTHER HAND.

When it came to buying hiking boots for MY KIDS, I was not happy to spend $120 EACH on something they were going to use for 6-7 days, never use again, and then grow out of in 6 months.

So I hunted online, found an online sports store based in the UK, took a big risk, paid $30 for shipping… and bought 3 boots.

Hiking Boots

All three of them are waterproof, leather hiking boots. The two on the left are Karrimore Skido Junior Walking Boots (Size 36 and Size 35) and they were… AUD$58 each.

The one of the right are Gelert Children’s Walking Boot Child’s size 12 and they were AUD$20.

I had to buy thick hiking socks for the boots to fit better and comfort.

I also went ahead and bought 3 insulated, fully water proof jackets from the same shop.

They all worked out to be absolutely perfect and the quality was really impressive.

 

Haha this isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just happy to share because I was so happy with the products, my boys all commented how comfortable the boots and jackets were, and we ended up using them everyday for 3 weeks while we were in Scotland.

PLUS I couldn’t believe how lucky I was with guessing the correct sizing of my kids (UK kids sizing is by age, and my kids are not the typical size for their age). It might have been a different story if I had to send 3 pairs of boots back to the UK?!

Hope this helps!


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Organic Makeup from Generics Shop, Northbridge

1 August 2016

Generics Tea and TMF

A couple of my friends have been on a quest to test out natural/organic/vegan/ethical/sustainable makeup brands, such as rms (Mecca), BareMinerals (Mecca), ILIA (Mecca), Nude By Nature, to name a few.

I haven’t tested any, except for Nude by Nature: I bought some mineral foundation from them and I thought I had matched my skin colour, but it turned out waaay too pink for my skin tone, and so I don’t have the heart to toss it out and buy a new colour.

Thus I was introduced to tmf cosmetics (the makeup factory), an Australian brand focused on vegan, organic, cruelty free, mineral makeup. They have an easy-to-use line of mineral foundation, blushes, bronzers, eye liners, organic lip glosses, brow colours and more.

I picked them up, courtesy of Generics – Style Lab / Urban Apothecary / Pamper Corner (Corner of William and Aberdeen Street, Northbridge).

Tmf do have a website, but I’ve been told it’s just a temporary site, as the new site will be live next month. So the temporary site doesn’t have much information about the brand/products, plus it links to the wrong Facebook page. BUT you can check out their actual Facebook page here (which is quite active and has a good 24K following).

Despite all that, I was truly amazed by how LOVELY the products felt on my skin and lips.

I loved (LOVED!!) the lipstick best of all. It was really hydrating and nourishing. And after I applied it, it left this very natural, soft, after-feeling, that was simply amazing.

It made me realise how “chemically” all my regular lipsticks feel on my lips – I know that’s such a typical “organic lover” thing to say haha, but that’s the only way I can describe it!

The foundation was really nice too. But I preferred to use it as a finishing powder, on top of my regular makeup.

There’s no way to look at colours or buy online, so if you’re interested you have to pop into the Generics Shop in Northbridge to check it out.

Have you tried organic makeup before?

 

Which brands/products have you tried?

Why has no one ever told me how amazing it feels?!


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How To Look Stylish Wearing a Summer Dress in Winter

29 July 2016

In collaboration with Shopbop, I’m sharing a few tips and ideas on how to extend the wear of your favourite summer dresses.

Yep, being in Australia, it’s currently WINTER and the online shops are bursting with new season SUMMER wear – on sale too!

So if you’ve nabbed a few summer threads – or heck, if you’re just bored of your winter clothes – with a little bit of creativity, you can wear your summer pieces in winter.

I picked out two summer dresses:

– This beeeeautiful Equipment Neck Tie Dress because it has a simple, timeless and versatile style.

– And this Tularosa Tunic Dress, because it pretty much screams on-trend, beachy summer style.

Here we go!

1) Wear with pants or tights.

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

Wearing a dress with pant’s isn’t as awful as it sounds. The dress basically becomes a tunic. And there’s a hint of rebellion in the outfit, as if I’m breaking ALL THE RULES.

I chose to wear it with slim black jeans. Not very adventurous, I know. They could have been tights.

But I could have easily worn regular trousers, wide leg pants, culottes, slim blue jeans or flared jeans.

Plus because the dress is black, I can wear it with all kinds of coloured pants (white! red! blue! floral!) to really extend the use of the dress.

 

2) Wear an oversized jumper.

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

Apologies for the simplistic advice, but this one is a goodie because it’s hard to get wrong.

You wear the dress as a skirt.

I like this because some of my dresses have LOVELY patterns/texture/lace, so it makes me feel like I have a new skirt.

Again, a great way to get more mileage from your wardrobe.

Oversized, chunky jumpers are very popular right now, super easy to wear with a dress.

In this case, I styled my dress with an oversized, light weight, simple, bamboo sweater from BambooBody.

 

3) Wear a top underneath

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

Wearing a top under a dress sounds like awful fashion advice for 8 year olds!

But I was shocked when I experimented by wearing a short sleeve top, a turtleneck, a button-down shirt, a lace top underneath my black dress… they all looked really cool. It felt great to wear too.

In this case, I wore a white top with my dress, but I could have happily worn a grey top or black/white striped top – of which I have many in my wardrobe.

By the way, I bought this boat neck white top from Cotton On for $10(on sale from $15) which could go so well with many of my other dresses.

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

Whoa… so… after experimenting with the Equipment Tie Neck Dress, I’m so in love with it. I don’t think I’ve ever owned such a PLAIN, shapeless shift dress before.

It’s awesome because I can wear it with or without the neck tie, wear the tie as a belt, hitch it up to be a mini dress and even wear it as a top tucked into pants or into another skirt – soooo good.

 

4) Play with layers with textures, vests and cardigans.

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

Next dress!

As I mentioned earlier, this Tularosa Tunic Dress ticks all the boxes of being on-trend and beachy.

It has a slightly boho, slightly tribal look, with embroidery, pompoms, tassels, dots in a pinstripe pattern and it has long sleeves – so it’s a bit different. But the black and white colour ties it al together nicely.

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

A faux fur coat, or a black leather jacket is a simple winter covering for any dress.

If you have a fur vest, you can layer it on top of a cardiganjacket, ponte blazer.

Similarly with a scarf, you can use an oversized one as a vest, on top of your coat.

Think about textures and pattern clashing too – denim, checked, floral, wool.

Layer, layer, layer!

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

 

5) Wear with knee-high boots or over-the-knee boots.

How To Look Stylish Wearing A Summer Dresses in Winter

Lastly, you can never go wrong with a pair of kick-ass boots to WINTERISE your summer dresses.

Wear with thick socks that will keep your legs and toes warm when you go out at night during winter.

(Preferably choose socks with a pattern of cartoon pizzas/puppy dogs/lipsticks haha!)

These boots are from Betts, from a few seasons ago.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my blog post. I haven’t put together style tips like this in AGES. It was so much fun!

I do miss my little studio (with the white background) which has been turned into a storage room at the moment. My grey wall is pretty cool though, except I get easily annoyed when editing my photos, if the wall lines and floor line are not perfectly horizontal.

I might do another post about the Equipment Tie Neck Dress because as I said, it’s so versatile and fun to play with.

In the meantime, do pop over to check out some new season summery dresses, or dresses on sale… like this Keepsake Strapless Black Dress and this Free People Off Shoulder Black Dress (both under $65) and both of which I am stalking :)

Thanks for reading and hope you have a fabulous weekend!

xxx


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What I Wore: Acne Studios Raya Oversized Cardigan

25 July 2016

Acne Studios Oversized Cardigan

After returning home from my amazing 3 week family holiday, after doing all the laundry, getting over the jet lag and falling a bit sick… guess what I discovered?

I couldn’t fit back into my skinny jeans haha!

I put on 3kgs while I was away!

I had to dig out and wear my old, “slim” jeans, which were also a bit snug at the waist.

It was all the home cooked country meals, the fresh scones, the apples pies, the crusty breads, the pancakes, the beef pies, the meatballs, the roast chicken and gravy… I enjoyed myself immensely!! It was soooo worth it haha.

Perhaps my photo doesn’t show it, but I went for a run the other day and I wobbled in new places all over my body – my tummy, hips, thighs and bottom… oops!

Thank goodness, it’s winter in Australia, so I can just hide under some layers while I sort out my eating :)

Acne Studios Oversized Cardigan

My new Raya Oversized Cardigan by Acne Studios (courtesy of Shopbop) is just right for extra layering. It’s gorgeously fluffy, snuggly, roomy and light enough to wear between seasons.

Even though it’s a cardigan, I wear it like a light coat. A long coat!

I’m a Size 6 and I bought the Size XS.

In fact, it was a bit nippy this morning, so I was wearing 3 layers under it – a BambooBody fitted tank top, a Sportsgirl boyfriend t-shirt, and a Country Road black slim cardigan.

I’m also wearing black jeans from Cotton On, white high top sneakers from Ecco Shoes and handbag from Witchery.

I took these photos with a tripod and self-timer, in an empty carpark, in between sorting out my car insurance and work meeting, because I’m waaaaay too shy/mortified/embarrassed to have a proper photographer snap me in real life haha!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!


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What I Wore: 90s Floral Print in a Grown Up Style

15 July 2016

Floral Dress

Floral prints are definitely a new season trend.

I’ve see them popping up everywhere and while a part of me sighs at the repeat of yet another fashion trend from my youth, hey, I can’t resist a bit of floral in my wardrobe.

Yep these wild, floral prints have been around before. And particularly, this kind of floral print (with a black background) was HUGE in the 90s. I had a so many of these dresses back then! I was so grunge haha!

Anyway, my biggest challenge was to try wearing this print in a grown up style – that is – without making myself cringe because I’m dressing like a teenager.

I picked out this Black Lantern Floral Print Dress, which was provided by Shein, as a sample for me to try out.

Honestly I loved the print (it’s not overly busy), the sleeves, the v-neck (not too revealing), the nipped in waist and the flattering skirt.

BUT I had to alter it slightly, because it was way too voluminous for me in the body and I didn’t like the choker detail. Specifically, I cut off some panels of fabric from the back. if you look at the photos of the original dress, you’ll see what I mean.

Floral Dress

It has a very easy-to-wear style, it’s comfortable, it’s very flowy, flattering and feminine and best of all it was only AUS$38 (US$28). The fabric is very nice too.

Personally, I don’t think you should spend big on these floral dresses, so I recommend hitting up ASOS, Zara, Sportsgirl for your floral dress fix.

Or here are some other pretty floral dresses from Shein – I was obsessing over whether to get this floral maxi dress (AUS$26) too.

Also wearing: Over the knee boots from Betts, A.P.C. Half Moon Bag from Shopbop.

Happy shopping!


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It’s the little things

13 July 2016

Charlotte Olympia Card Holder

I’ve always been careful with my money.

When I first started working, I used to live at home and I would save half of my fortnightly income.

My parents would often call me “a saver” and “a careful spender” when describing my relationship with money, which – at the time – I wasn’t sure if they were teasing me for being a thrifty tight-ass haha.

As the years went by, my girlfriends started their handbag collections with Pradas and LVs… yes I was quite envious – but I had other priorities, I got married at 24, bought a house, had a baby and well… things were really tight for us.

It has only been in the last couple of years that we’ve found a comfortable space; my online business is doing incredibly well, and I’ve started to spend (invest!) a bit more on little luxury items for my wardrobe.

Charlotte Olympia Card Holder

I guess it also helps that there are so many designer sales on too!

Which leads me onto my latest purchase.

I recently finished a huge freelance job and rewarded myself with a special little something (with the help of a gift card too, courtesy of Shopbop).

I bought this Charlotte Olympia card holder from Shopbop during their last round of Designer Sales.

It’s just a wee little thing, but I absolutely love the delicate and feminie details on it.

It’s perfect for my smaller handbags. It’s pretty and practical.

Charlotte Olympia Card Holder

Anyway, this time Shopbop are having a 25% off all items from their Designer Boutique section – which is pretty amazing!

Just use the code “DESIGNER25″ at the checkout, until July 14, 2016, at 7p.m AEST.

For me, being that little bit older and wiser, I can appreciate my little luxuries and they are all the more special to me.

Hope you enjoy the sale! And hope you manage to find a comfortable space for yourself for little luxuries too.

Have an amazing week everyone!


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What I Wore: Grey Bustier

6 July 2016

Keepsake Strapless Top from Revolve

Yes I know it’s winter here in Australia! But hey, some days are warm enough for a strapless top and a light cardigan.

This gorgeous top is a Grey Tessellate Top, courtesy of Revolve. It’s still on sale (XS, S, M still available), if anyone is interested?!

I bought it because I wear skinny jeans a lot and wanted a top that was a bit unstructured but still super-flattering.

I’m not going to lie, I know strapless tops suit me and look great on my body shape. It accentuates my best features! It looks young and pretty, but still elegant, effortless and a bit grown up.

It is actually a crop top, with a floppy layer, open on one side, so it flashes my tummy and waist at certain angles, but I’m ok with that.

I’m wearing the XS/6 and it fits me very well across the chest. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall down.

Grey Strapless Top by Keepsake, from Revolve

The only issue with the top… is that the chest has double layered fabric (because of the petal layer thing) and is a bit heavy, so the top hem falls forward and looks weird – I suspect it’s because I have a small bust.

So to make it sit right, I had to wear TWO strapless bras! Haha it sounds so crazy, but it wasn’t that bad. It just felt like I was wearing a bikini swimsuit underneath.

It looked perfect on me after that :)

I still felt comfortable enough to wear it and move around all day. It didn’t particularly make my boobs look bigger either, because all the floppy fabric just made my whole chest look shapeless haha. Double bras! Omg I don’t believe I’m admitting these things on the internet!

I love that I can wear this with culottes, high waisted skirt, pants, jeans and who knows, maybe denim shorts when summer comes around.

Keepsake Strapless Top from Revolve

Wearing:

Grey Tessellate Top from Revolve
White jeans, Similar
Nude Heels from ASOS
Tory Burch Handbag


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A.P.C Half Moon Bag

4 July 2016

Last year, I had a fairly quiet birthday. This year… eeek, I was a little spoilt!

I received a couple of lovely (and adorably thoughtful) gifts from my husband, my kids, friends and my parents.

Aaaand… for myself, behold my birthday splurge!

APC Half Moon Handbag

I got myself an A.P.C Half Moon Bag courtesy of Shopbop.

I’ve actually been a fan of A.P.C (Atelier de Production et de Création) for a long time. I love love LOVE their understated yet feminine style.

I wanted to buy one of their light sweaters a while ago and hunted around for one – which is how I came to know about their Half Moon Bags.

I absolutely adore the shape. I love that it is timeless, understated, simple and casual. It’s not overly expensive, as compared to other designer bags, and it’s a bit more unique and unusual.

I was considering to get the bag in a tan colour. But in the end, I chose the black, because I plan to use it as my everyday small bag.

APC Half Moon Handbag

Already I find it nice and sturdy. It can take a small knock and doesn’t seem to scuff up easily.

It’s just big enough for my purse, phone, keys, tissues and small cosmetics pouch.

It’s just such a lovely bag!


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What I Wore: Tibi Silk Halter

27 June 2016

Tibi Top from Revolve

If you’ve been following me on social media in the last week, you might have noticed that I’m totally crushing this Tibi Silk Top from Revolve. I think I’ve already worn it out 3 times hehe.

Yep so, Tibi is a New York label with a gorgeously clean, modern-pretty, casual-chic style. I am such a big fan of their collections and I drool whenever I see their lookbooks. They are also super-duper, eye-wateringly exxy, which is why I’ve never bought anything by them before.

But Revolve had a few Tibi silk tops on sale (the sale is still on!) and I managed to nab this one for 45% off in size 0. Woohoo!

The silk is just beautiful. It has a slight shine to it and drapes really nicely. It’s much softer and smoother than Equipment silk.

The back is a racerback style, which kind of makes it a bit sporty and sexy. I really like it.

Untitled

The top is lined but it still feels really light. And even when I tucked it into my skirt, it still fell in a lovely way.

The Size 0 is a perfect fit on me, as I’m usually a Size AUS/UK 6.

The colour is a warm nude, but it’s called “Terracotta” and looks great against my skin! I thought it would look weird and washed out. So happy that it worked out.

Wearing:
Tibi silk top (fromRevolve)
Lace Skirt, similar ones here
Whistles Fur clutch from ASOS
Casey Lee Nude Heels by Schutz (from Shopbop)

Tibia Top from Revolve

So… now I’m a bit obsessed and currently hunting around for other silk racerback tops. By any chance, has anyone bought a silk top from Grana before? In particular their Silk Racerback Camisoles?

I have a 10% discount code is you’re keen to buy. Just use this link, create an account and they’ll automatically send you the 10% discount code. I’ve been keen to buy one (only $42 for a silk tank?!) but I can’t find a nice colour in my size. Maybe I’ll just start off with a black racerback one?


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My First Grown Up Purse from Tory Burch

23 June 2016

Tory Burch Purse

Tory Burch Wallet in the Saffiano Envelope Continental style.

As a birthday present to myself, I finally got myself a “proper” purse!!

I say that because I have always liked to have “fun” purses.  I liked the idea of having a serious, stylish black handbag and pulling out a crazy, fun purse or wallet.

My previous purse was a Country Road, crinkled silver leather purse, which I bought for $33 in a clearance pile. Very fun right? Unfortunately, after a few months of use, the zip stopper broke off. I had to sew up the end, so the zip wouldn’t fall off its tracks. After that it lasted me YEARS!

My purse before that, was a bright orange purse. Very fun.

However, I spilled some hand cream in my handbag and it went all over the orange leather and I couldn’t get the blotchy stain out. It looked pretty yucky for a while and not so fun haha.

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but my purses ALWAYS get bashed and gross after a few years of being handled so often. Even after cleaning my leather with proper cleaning stuff, they still look bad. The corners scuff up and sometimes the flaps get dog-eared.

Do other people experience this??

I’m not a particularly dirty person… I always clean my hands, I always look after my things, I don’t have drinks near my leather goods, I don’t place my leathers on surfaces, I don’t ever let my kids touch my purse… so I guess it’s just the general handling of the leather right?

So knowing that my purse is going to look like crap in 1-2 years, I don’t like to spend too much on a purse.

Tory Burch Purse

Buuuuut, I thought I wold try a purse with a different sort of leather this time.

Last year, I bought this Michael Kors Selma handbag in saffiano leather and I was really delighted by how durable, robust and lasting it looked. It was enough to convince me to try to buy a new purse.

The saffiano leather on this Tory Burch Envelope Wallet is amazing. It is slightly textured and seems to look like brand new every time I pull it out of my handbag.

I am the first to admit that it’s not very “fun” and it may be construed as “boring”… but I’m thinking more along the lines of “grown up and lady like” haha.

Besides… I love that it doesn’t show any finger prints, water marks, sweat, slight dirt stains, scratches, bumps – nothing! Nothing boring about that.

I completely recommend it for now. And I’ll let you know how I go in 1-2 years :)


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Wearing: Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses

19 June 2016

Brought to you by Vision Direct

Celine Sunglasses

With my birthday coming up, I was so so soooo pleased to work with Vision Direct for this blog post.

I picked out my ultimate sunglasses – the ones I have been lusting over for years – the Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses.

Named after Audrey Hepburn and the glasses she wore in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, these sunglasses are definitely a fashion classic.

My biggest dilemma was to choose between the “Audrey” sunglasses or smaller “Baby Audrey” sunglasses.

(I know, talk about first world problems?!)

I did a google search for “Audrey vs Baby Audrey Sunglasses” and I came across this YouTube video, which funnily enough, happened to be by Vision Direct, but they didn’t actually ask me to link to it or anything, it was just part of my own research for trying to decide which ones to buy.

Anyway, it was such a great review video because the lady showed a side by side comparison of the two sunglasses, as well as putting both on her face, one after the other. So because of this video, I decided to choose the Baby Audrey ones.

Celine Sunglasses

I picked the Celine Baby Audrey with a Havana frame and Grey Green lens. The actual product name is Celine CL 41053/S Baby Audrey 05D/1E.

I decided not to choose black, because I already have a few sunglasses in black.

And I DEFINITELY made the right decision.

These sunglasses were surprisingly light weight, so they don’t hurt my face and nose after wearing them for a long time.

They fit perfectly within my the area of my face, so they are not too large and too overwhelming.

They do leave a little impression on my nose, but honesty, my Ray-Ban Wayfarers give me a more noticeable mark on my nose.

In terms of price, they are selling at Vision Direct on the cheaper end of the scale for that style. I’ve seen it online at David Jones for $450 and other places for $395 – $475. I actually saw one going for $298… but I’ve never heard of that shop before.

Vision Direct have a 100-day return policy, and I’ve actually bought from this site before, returned and swapped for a larger size, with no dramas and they have excellent customer service and communication.

Yay I’m super happy with my new shades. Let’s hope I don’t sit on them!

Celine Sunglasses

Wearing:

Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses
Tibi Silk Cami
Frame Denim jeans (They fit so well!!)
Tony Bianco heels (Lyla)
Michael Kors handbag (Selma Stud)


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My Birthday Wishlist!

16 June 2016

Ah ha, so my birthday is coming up… and my 3 sons asked me what birthday gift would I like?

I told them it has to be – Something simple and thoughtful. Something that THEY think I would like.

So they came up with a few ideas which were all VERY cute, very sweet and very much a reflection of all our “in jokes” and our common interests. I approved them and they were very relieved that I liked their ideas. I’ll share pictures of them when I receive them!

Anyway it got me thinking about other great gift ideas, and I came up with a list.

Yes these are things I would like, but they are such cool gift ideas, that I might get them as Christmas gifts for my girlfriends? Am I mad?

Camera Bags Rebecca Minkoff and Shaffer

For YEARS I have looked for a stylish camera bag (for my huge DSLR), and I have resolved that they don’t exist and I’ll never have one that I’d be happy with.

But isn’t it funny now – digital cameras have become smaller in size and now there are these super cute and super versatile bags for sale. These two look beautiful! And they could both double up as a regular handbag.

Left: Rebecca Minkoff Camera Bag –  I’m liking the little metal detail.

Right: Shaffer Camera Bag – I think I like this plain, slouchy, understated look more.

Novelty Keyrings from Shopbop

Ok so I love a bit of novelty. Especially novelty leather bag charms!

These are so cute, cool and weird that I would love all of them haha.

Kate Spade Keychain – Bananas! Just adorable. Would love to have these on dangling on my black handbag.

Kate Spade Keychain – Passion Fruit Drink. I really like this one because it looks more like a healthy smoothie than a cocktail. And y’all know I like my smoothies.

Iphoria Bag Charm – Bomb. Very cool, but a bit abstract. You have to do a double take. And you might get flagged as a security risk if you talk about your “bomb” haha.

Novelty Keyrings from Shopbop

When my youngest boy, Liam was a newborn, my other two boys and I (at the time they were 6 and 4 years old) went shopping to buy Liam a little toy gift. We chose a soft, dangly lion with a musical bell, because “Lion” was very similar to “Liam”.

So now whenever I see toy lion charms, I always get a bit warm and fuzzy in my heart and I think of all my boys.

Anyway, I spotted this Lion charm and found a few other cute animal bag charms that I felt I had a connection with too. Ok this is all getting a bit too lovey and cheesy.

Tory Burch Bag Charm – Cute lion!

Kate Spade Keychain – Turtle. I used to be a scuba diver and I have an insanely soft spot for turtles.

Kate Spade Keychain – Parrot. Love this vibrant red colour and it reminds me of tropical jungles. (I am from a tropical island. But my tropical island didn’t have red parrots. Just red crabs haha!)

Having said all this, I would much prefer my boys to get me a gift from their heart, and as much lovey cheese as possible.

(Oh and for my birthday, my husband is taking me on an overseas holiday! But it’s a family holiday, so I don’t think it counts. More about that soon…) 


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What I Wore: Hello Parry Cardigan

15 June 2016

Hello Parry Coatigan

Hi everyone!

My home studio is officially out of commission for a while, because I’m using the room as temporary luggage storage (that’s another story).

So I cleaned up a wall at the back of my house (it was sooo much effort!) to take my outfit snaps before I head out each day. The result was quite nice! However 2 cm more to the right and you would have seen my laundry rack full of pillow cases – so fashionable!

My Cardigan

I recently picked up this Katina Black Coatigan from Hello Parry.

Haha if you see me in real life or follow my snapchat (@heykarencheng) you would have noticed that I’ve been wearing it almost every day now. It’s a bit embarrassing.

It’s so so soooo soft, thick, warm, snuggly, smooth (not scratchy), it doesn’t look cheap and it is not at all heavy like a typical wool cardigan. It is also roomy enough for me to wear one layer or three layers.

The most important thing for me: The sleeves are shorter than usual knits. If I have my arms down by my side, the sleeves sit perfectly on my wrists. If I have my arms bent, at a table (eating), or at the computer, the sleeves sit about 5 cm above my wrists. This is perfect for wearing a watch or bangles.

I’ve never had a jumper or thick cardigan like that before. Most of my knitwear are from Country Road or Witchery and the sleeves are really long. If the knit is THICK, I have to roll up the sleeves and they are really bulky at my wrists. So when I do wear watches or bangles, my wrists are really bulky.

This Hello Parry cardigan is so so good!

The cardigan is 80% polyamide, 15% nylon and %5 mohair. It has been exclusively designed in Australia by the Hello Parry team, and made in China with high quality manufacturing standards.

Quality wise, it definitely matches the high street labels like Country Road and Witchery.

Discount Code!

Anyway, I have a 15% off everything code to share with you all!

You can use the discount for everything including new arrivals and sale items (even the stuff on 60% off sale).

Just enter the code “karenforhelloparry” at the checkout, enjoy!

Hello Parry Cardigan
Wearing:
Hello Parry Cardigan
Isabel Marant Silk Shirt
Frame Denim ripped jeans
Ecco Leather Handbag
Tony Bianco heels
Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses


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What I Wore: Grey on Grey on Grey

10 June 2016

Grey on Grey

Over the last few months, I’ve been having a splendid time digging deep into my wardrobe and discovering lots of clothes I’ve forgotten about!

So. Let’s get started with Karen’s El-Cheapo Fashion Tips shall we?

Grey is pretty much the hero colour for this new season. Grey on grey on grey.

The trick is: Pull out all your old grey items and wear them together to feel like a super trendy person!

Grey Shirt

I bought this Ben Sherman Women’s Shirt about 4 years ago (worn here, with er… bikinis). It has a really flattering cut and it fits me perfectly.

The reason I don’t wear it often, is that the buttons are a little small for the button holes… so the buttons pop open whenever I move too much. I’ll be paying for my groceries and POP, hello girls!

I have been meaning to change the buttons, but seriously, who has time for that? Instead I try to wear the flattest bra I can – or a crop top – so I don’t get caught flashing the school headmaster.

Oh the shirt also has these big cuffs, which I have always rolled up.

It turns out that big cuffs are “in” now; and while I took a photo of myself looking very trendy here… after trying to drive a car and eat lunch with floppy cuffs, I decided they weren’t for me and rolled up the sleeves again.

I can’t seem to find any Ben Sherman shirts for women anymore, I guess they’ve just stuck to making men’s shirts.

Grey Jeans

My grey jeans are Super Skinnies from Jeanswest, also bought years ago, so they are no longer available.

They are really similar to these mid-rise CK Jeans, which are on 15% off sale at the moment, (with an extra 30% off if you use the site code).

The reason I don’t wear these jeans very often is because I once washed them with “eco-friendly” washing powder and they came out with blotchy stains on them. I was so annoyed! You can see some blotches in the photo, on my hips. I know, they don’t look that bad. They look like a cool vintage acid wash, right?

Off White Handbag

I think I’ve already mentioned that my Alexander Wang Marion bag was a preloved item I bought from a private sale.

I saw one on clearance sale at SSense and then I saw a black one on sale at Shopbop a couple of weeks back, but now I can’t seem to find any Marion style bags online anymore?!

Background

It’s this season’s greatest accessory. Be sure to photograph yourself in front of a greyish background. Here’s some inter web inspo just for you.

Enjoy your weekend and enjoy your greys! ;)

xxx

 


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Kiehl’s Nightly Micro-Peel and Ultra Facial Cream

7 June 2016

Kiehl’s recently launched a new stack of beauty products… and a few found their way to my mailbox. Hooray!

Admittedly I was a tiny bit reluctant to try new skincare as I’ve been trying to stick to a single regime – as recommended by my dermatologist, which is another story. And initially I was just planning to share it on Instagram only, without a full review.

But in the end, I gave them a 2 week trial – and WOW they were really good, so I was keen to share!

Kiehl's Face and Eye Cream, Micro Peel

The Ultra Facial Cream inspired by the popular Ultra Facial Moisturiser (a lotion), has a lovely, light and smooth texture and delivered an excellent dose of moisture and hydration to my skin.

The cream wasn’t too heavy, it didn’t make my skin feel yucky and my face didn’t feel dry over the course of the day. The fragrance was light and not overpowering. Some might say the fragrance has a very faint chemical smell, but I would choose that over a strong perfumed, musky, floral smell (which I really dislike).

Overall the cream was a simple and effective all day moisturiser.

My only fault that I’d bring to attention is that on the back of the tub there is a large 4-colour cartoon graphic of Greenland (which highlights Kiehl’s support for a historic expedition to Greenland’s ice peaks in 2005)… it looks weird and not very stylish :)

Kiel's NIghtly Refining Micro Peel

Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate

OK this is my winner!

I have been using a few different AHA’s (facial exfoliants) for about 5 years now. I don’t use them on a daily basis, even though many products say that you can use them daily or every second day. My main reason is because they are quite expensive, so I tend to use them every 5 days. I like to make them last! Second reason I don’t use them every day is because I tend to forget or get lazy.

The key ingredient is “Quinoa Husk Extract” which sounds like the product would be a husky-scrubby exfoliant, but it really just looks like a pale yellow liquid. It doesn’t feel oily at all.

This product is a peel, so I tested it for 2 days on my neck, in case I reacted badly to it. It was fine, so on the 3rd night I used a little tiny bit on my cheek, then on the 4th night I used it all over my face.

It tingled and stung a little, but the next morning my skin looked radiant, fresh and soft – which is the usual result whenever I use my other AHA products.

I didn’t use this Micro-Peel nightly, I used it every 2 days and as a result my skin and complexion was lovely.

It’s a little pricey, but the results are good!

(Compared to my other AHA products, which I rate 9/10 for exfoliating power, I would rate this one 8/10)

Kiehl's Face and Eye Cream, Micro Peel

Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Of the three products sent to me, I predicted that this one was going to be the one that I could write mediocre comments about so that my review would seem more credible haha. I can’t be a blogger who LOVES everything can I?

Anyway, it turned out that I really liked this cream too.

The texture is really unusual. Most eye creams are a bit like jelly, or oily, and overly greasy. But this cream is a super thick, light and smooth.

When I use my fingers to dab cream around my eyes, the cream almost feels like a thick face paint, but it quickly melts away and feels good on my skin. I liked it!

I even used it in the crease of my nose and around my lips, as I get a bit dry and flakey during winter.

Have you tried any of Kiehl’s latest products? What do you think?


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What I Wore: Chambray Off Shoulder Top

4 June 2016

Chambray Off Shoulder Top

Hi everyone,

My week has been a filled with sickness, mummy duties and kid dramas! That’s life really. I just pick myself up and keep on swimming.

Every day I reach out to ruffle my boy’s hair, hold them at an arms length, look up close at their eyes, face, skin and give them a snuggle. Just because I can.

Anyway, the sun came out the other day and I took the opportunity to grasp the last fragments of the warm weather!

Chambray Off Shoulder Top

I picked up this off shoulder top while I was in Seminyak in Bali recently, at a shop called Bamboo Blonde (Australian label, made in Bali). I loved the chambray blue colour, the silky soft fabric and I also loved the fold-over tulip detail.

While it was perfect to wear with denim shorts and bikinis by the pool, I was determined to make it work for a city lunch date – hence the pencil skirt and black heels.

Can’t seem to find the original top online, so this is it in a different colour, and here’s one kind of similar (ASOS) and another similar one (ASOS).

Chambray Off Shoulder Top

I had to dig deep into my archives to find a suit skirt. I haven’t worn one in years!

But a black pencil skirt never goes out of style, so I’m happy that this one had lasted that long.

This skirt is one of those an unbranded pieces that my sister bought in Japan, over a decade ago. Love that it still looks and feels as good as new.

I think I’ll be putting it in my weekly rotation with my big chunky knits and booties.

This black Pencil Skirt (ASOS) is the closest I could find online.

xxx


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Structure is Everything!

2 June 2016

Hello Parry White Top

Just a quick, happy hi today!

I want to share two things:

1) My Hair.

Recently I’ve been curling my hair into a loose, wavy, tousled mess… giving it a spritz of hair spray and then tossing it around like I just don’t care haha not really.

It’s boofy, wild, but I kind of like it!

It takes me aaaages to do in the morning though.

Oh wait… OK truthfully it only takes about 10 minutes to curl, but it feels like forever and my arms hurt by the end of it, because my hair is so thick that I have to make 19 sections of hair (I counted).

I seriously start my curling session thinking: This is going to look great! – OMG this it taking forever – UGH this is so not worth it – I think my arms are going numb – WHY the hell am I wasting my time with my stupid thick hair – OH WAIT this looks awesome!!

Hello Parry White Top

2) My Top.

I picked up this gorgeous white, structured, off shoulder top from Hello Parry today!

It’s called the Sabe Structured Top and I’m a BIT IN LOVE with it.

Best things about it: It looks gorgeous on, it looks effortless, minimal, it has a super-flattering, classic, Audrey Hepburn style about it. It’s not clingy, not boxy and it really suits petite, small-frame people like me!

The top also has a soft, structured body that falls over my waist and tummy (not clings to it), which means I can eat a huge dinner and not have to worry about sucking it in ha!

Quality is brilliant, the fabric is soft and has a slight, satiny shine to it, that gives it a polished look.

If you check out the photo of the model wearing the top, you can actually wear it like a regular top (not just off shoulder) and it also comes in black. I’m wearing a size S (I’m usually a size 6).

I have a 15% off everything code to share with you all. You can use the discount for everything including new arrivals and sale items (even the stuff on 60% off sale).

Just enter the code “karenforhelloparry” at the checkout – yay!

Enjoy!

xxx

(Btw you can find me on snapchat:heykarencheng to follow my silly adventures?! It might include hair, tops and rude scrabble words haha)


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Best Buy: Gorjana Hoop Earrings

30 May 2016

Gorjana Hoops

A few months ago, I picked up these Gorjana Viceroy Earrings from Shopbop.

I was actually just trying to bump up my order to US$100, so I could qualify for free shipping (ha!).

So it was more of an impulse purchase, which was ok, because they were only US$30.

Turns out, I love wearing them EVERYWHERE!

They are not TOO big and TOO hoopy-gypsy-looking.

I love wearing them with a casual t-shirt, a fluffy jumper, or with a simple black dress.

Gorjana Hoops

They are 18k gold plated, made in New York, so hopefully they will last a lot longer than my usual el-cheapo jewellery purchases.

One thing though, these earrings don’t come with rubber stoppers, so used stoppers from another pair of earrings, just to make sure they don’t slip off my ears.

Gorjana do a lot of minimal, modern, delicate jewellery, which are good quality and at an affordable price. I have my eye on some slightly larger (or hoopier) earrings now!

Enjoy!

(Btw, my skin is not that nice all the time. I’m wearing SO MUCH makeup it’s unbelievable!)


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A Squeaky Clean with the Clensure Rotating Facial Cleanser

27 May 2016

Over the last few weeks I’ve been testing out a facial cleansing brush.

Yes I know! I don’t even own an electric toothbrush! How could I possibly enjoy using an electronic face brush thing?!

The kind folks at Aniqa (online Korean Beauty Store based in Australia) sent me one to try out.

I’ve always been a bit scared of these cleaning brushes. They remind me of paint stripers. Wall plaster sanders. Wood flooring polishers. Electrical power tools. And therefore I associate them with words like “strip, harsh, strong, scrape, grind, raw” which are not good words when it comes to skin care.

But hey, these brushes have been in the market for years, lots of big brands are getting on board and releasing their own brushes… so they must work for some people.

I’m always up for a challenge, but most of all, I’m curious and I wanted to know… what was the big deal about these brushes?

Clensure Professional Facial Cleanser RC

This is what I tested, the Clensure Rotating Facial Cleanser RC. The unit comes with two cleaning heads, a soft brush and a soft sponge. You can also get a massage attachment which aids in circulation and absorption of products such as serums and essences.

The first thing I did was find out how it compared with the other facial brushes on the market.

The Clensure brush is made in Korea. Some of the others are made in China, Germany and USA.

The Clensure brush is more affordable at AUD $84, than other big name brands, which range from AUD $150 – $285.

The Clensure unit rotates a soft brush (or soft sponge attachment), while other brushes vibrate, pulse or have a special “sonic frequency movement” which involves different oscillations of outer and inner brushes.

The Clensure brush uses AA Batteries. So this makes it much easier to travel with. No need to take power cords and special plug adaptors.

The Clensure people claim (printed in the instructions) that the brush has a waterproof design, so you can use it in the shower. However I haven’t tested this claim! Some other brands/face brushes are waterproof too.

Clensure Professional Facial Cleanser RC

My thoughts on the brush.

The brush was surprisingly soft. I was shocked. It was almost too soft.

I expected it to be scrubbier and bristlier, like a floor cleaning brush for a car garage?? (Only joking) But this Clensure brush felt like it was made up of cashmere teddy bears or something.

When the brush spins over my face, it feels ticklish and I don’t actually think that it’s doing a good job. But once I wash away my foaming cleanser, the result is pretty good.

The brush is soft enough that I am happy to use it every day, or every second day.

My thoughts on the sponge and massage attachment.

I like the sponge attachment!

Honestly I can’t feel the difference in the results after using the sponge or brush – they both leave my skin feeling clean, smooth and soft.

The massage attachment feels a bit weird, but leaves me with a nice feeling after. Like my face had a nice gentle massage. I use it after I apply my essence (or after I remove a face sheet mask) and run the massage attachment all over my face for 60 seconds.

I’ve found that if I run the attachment under hot water first, the massage balls are nice and warming for my face – which is super nice!

Clensure Professional Facial Cleanser RC

My thoughts on the clean.

It is a gentle clean, but it’s a good, deep clean.

My skin feels squeaky clean, smoother and tighter afterwards.

My face gets a bit oily in my T-zones, so I try to focus on those areas.

It does a good job cleaning in the crease of my nose, where I get lots of build up of oil, suncream and makeup from the day.

It’s a pretty quick process too. I use a makeup remover first. Then I only use the brush for about 60 seconds.

I works really well for me.

My thoughts on long term usage

I usually do an exfoliation scrub once a week… and I rub quite hard. I also buff quite hard with a towel too. That’s how I usually get my squeaky clean feel – the manual way.  This cleansing brush action is much more gentle than how I scrub my face.

So, using this brush replaces the need for me to have a weekly exfoliation scrub.

My face seems to respond nicely to the brushing. I have no breakouts, no dryness, no pain or sensitivity. I am super happy to use this long term.

But I have a feeling that I’ll get a bit lazy and skip the daily usage and end up using the brush once or twice a week – which I think will work fine for me too.

 

Conclusion

I really like using my cleaning brush. It’s an easy way to keep my face smooth and radiant, on a daily basis. And I’m really happy that I have one!

However, it’s not really a must-have item. It’s like an electric vs regular toothbrush, if you are happy to do it manually, then stick with what you like.

Buuuuut I would definitely TREAT myself with one, for my Birthday, for Christmas, or if there was a special promotion.

And I would definitely put it on my wishlist of presents I’d like from my kids/husband for my next Birthday or Christmas!

A lot of online reviewers are fanatical about their cleaning brushes… and I might now be one of them :)

 

Special Promotion

The team at Aniqa have a special promotion for all my readers!

Purchase a Clensure RC Rotating Facial Cleanser and…

Receive a free Mizon Rice Real Cleansing Foam 150ml (suitable for all skin types) a perfect cleanser for using with the cleaning brush!

Just enter the promo code “karensblog” at the shopping cart. There will be no added item on your order, but the team will see the code and add the cleanser to your order box. Promotion ends 1 July 2016.

Hope you enjoyed my review, I’m really pleased that I managed to stick to a skin care routine for 3 weeks!

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

xxx


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Nab a Bargain at Revolve

24 May 2016

Equipment Shirt Flatlay

Everyone loves a good sale.

I can let my inner cheapskate run wild!

I try not to pay full price on my designer and high street items these days. I usually try to wait for the sale.

It all takes a bit of planning though. I always do a bit of online stalking. I always fill up my Wishlist/Favourites bag. Then when a sale arrives, I have to be quick to grab the ones I want!

So an email landed in my inbox announcing…

Revolve are having a 20% Off Everything Sale for Australian customers for 3 days!

(There are a few brand exceptions though.)

 

Best brands for the good stuff, and my favourite brands on sale:

Equipment – An excellent time to grab a classic silk shirt! I bought the striped shirt (pictured) at the last sale.

IRO – French brand. Best for casual, luxe wear. I bought a t-shirt!

Lover – Australian label. Beauuuuuutiful lace dresses.

Lover + Friends – LA brand. Super pretty dresses and tops. Simple and flattering designs. Affordable.

Tularosa – LA brand. Very pretty dresses and playsuits with a Californian desert festival feel. Ugh, I want so many dresses.

Rebecca Minkoff – Fabulous, on trend bags. Great leather. Will last you a long time. I have 2 RB bags.

Viktoria + Woods – Australian label. Lovely minimal styles, and really good looking knits.

Hope you find something you love!

xxx

(Pictured is the Equipment silk shirt I bought during the last Revolve sale, One Teaspoon shorts, my old Converse sneakers)


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Back to Khaki

20 May 2016

Khaki Shirt

Hi everyone!

It’s been ages since I’ve taken an outfit photo in my home studio — which had been turned into a temporary store room!

Anyway, I managed to move a few boxes out of the way and snapped a few shots before heading out to dinner.

Daun & Co

While shopping in Seminyak, Bali, I stumbled across a nice boutique called Daun & Co. It was full of casual, relaxed, but polished style clothes, made and designed in Bali. The draping and cuts were all so lovely.

The colours of all the clothes were plain and muted, including ivory, oatmeal, dove grey, blush, rust, faded navy. I fell in love with this khaki colour.

My mum and I tried on lots of tops and dresses, most were one size (I think), and I settled on this top.

I love the 3/4 length sleeve, the V neck and there’s a drawstring with a cute tassel (not pictured). It looks great with denim shorts and skinny jeans. And I kind of want the top in every colour now :)

Similar khaki tops from my first choice (Forever New), then a few similar ones here (ASOS).

Khaki Shirt

Thrifted Shoes

I’ll let you on a little secret… I buy lots of my current season shoes from eBay.

I’m a huge fan of Tony Bianco shoes; I love their styles, I love the quality and comfort of their leather, and I love that their shoe sizes are so consistent. The problem is that I want so many styles (ha!).

I know I am a Size AUS 5.5 (which is a pretty rare size) and I know that any Tony Bianco 5.5 will fit me perfectly. So I can confidently stalk eBay and bid on shoes with ease.

These LYLA shoes are current season, retailing for AUD $199, but I got them in near new condition, for $50! I have bought about 4 shoes this way only, never paying more than $50. It’s awesome!

 

Digging Into My Archives

Like everyone, I tend to rotate through a small capsule of newish items and I tend to forget about my older clothes.

So to make the most of my WHOLE wardrobe, I’m digging deep into my clothing archives and wearing some of my old favourites.

This black, jersey skirt is a simple winner from ASOS. Similar black, jersey midi skirts here.

Have an amazing weekend!

xxx