May 29, 2013

One Thing Last Week: Graduation

It's a little odd when people tell me they can't wait to get out of college. Because I wanted to stay in college forever. I LOVED high school/ JC because I finally felt like I found myself, like I could be myself and really learn and grow. In college I learned to stand on my own two feet. I fiercely challenged myself and was so lucky to have found some of the best people to surround myself with. At times I'd never felt so lonely, yet so determined to valiantly carve out my own path.

It is very difficult to explain to someone what being in Berkeley was like. The frenetic energy, the passion to reach beyond yourself to make a difference in the world, the constant demanding pace to be better. But also the quiet moments walking across a wooden bridge surrounded by redwood trees on the way to class. The delighted cry of your name ringing across the courtyard. The complete silence of an 90 minute lecture conducted via PowerPoint to demonstrate the power of the written word.

These are some of the faces who have made my 3.5 years at Cal one of the most fulfilling years of my life. Thank you for the hugs, the long talks, the sleepless nights, the midnight snacks, the tapping of yet another PowerPoint deck being made. You guys have inspired me to push myself harder and be a better version of myself. I cannot wait to see what amazing things the Class of 2013 is going to achieve. Forever a Cal Bear :)

May 26, 2013

Currently Obsessed: Ankle Boots

The last of my family just left my apartment so I've been moping around. The apartment feels so quiet and empty now, and even though when they were here, I just really wanted some time to myself to recuperate from graduation and crazy work and traveling, it just feels a little lonely now that I'm all alone again. Everyone has left Berkeley so I'm just by my lonesome self. Everything hasn't really hit me yet, but I imagine it will at a terribly inconvenient time.

Back to blogging though - I have a ton of photos to share with you from graduation and my short Southern California road trip with my family (sneak peeks on my Instagram!), but lately I've been totally obsessing over ANKLE BOOTS. It seems like every cool girl in San Francisco has a pair! Here are my top picks:

ankle boots

From top: Sam Edelman Petty Boots in Putty ($130), Steve Madden Remingtn Bootie ($96), Madden Girl Krespo Boot ($48)

A bunch of my co-workers have the Sam Edelmans and I've tried them on and loved them, but I don't know if they're worth the $130. The heel height is absolutely perfect, but I'm still unsure how this style of ankle boot will suit pants (I can see them looking super cool with dresses and skirts). The other 2 are pretty similar but significantly cheaper, but I'm not sure how they will hold up. The Steve Maddens are so cool though, with that glint of gold at the heel - though I'm a little confused about the vowel decision on that name.

So, thoughts? Should I get the Sam Edelmans or hold out for some of the other items on my wishlist?

May 18, 2013

Quietly awesome beauty products

So lately I've been sucked into the black hole that is the beauty Youtube community, and have fallen prey to their love for the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm stains (this one I truly love, and was featured in my April Favorites post), Revlon lip butters (no. Did nothing for my lips), REN glycolic acid face mask.... the list goes on.

But there are some products that I absolutely love and would never do without that have yet to receive their due Youtube/ beauty blogger praise. This is obviously unacceptable, and so I present 3 picks for beauty products that are quietly awesome:

1. Givenchy Photo'Perfexion foundation, $48
So confession time: I didn't even realize Givenchy had a makeup line until I went to Sephora for Chic Week and spoke with their brand ambassador. This foundation is just incredible - so lightweight that you can barely feel it on your skin, but enough coverage so that your skin looks pretty darn perfect. It is pretty pricey, but I've never tried a foundation I liked so much that I actually bought it on the spot.

After using it daily for a couple of weeks, I've realized that it does cling to dry spots a little (which is a problem for me) and that my shade might not be as perfect as a match I thought it was in the store, but I'm going in to exchange it for another color and this will conclude the foundation holy grail search.

2. Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream, $34
I've used this for a while and this is the only eye cream that really works for me to clear out my dark eye circles. And if you've seen me, you know how bad those are. I have the tiny sample version that came in a set with the Porefessional primer. I've used it for a few months and still have product left, so a little goes a long way and it is amazing.

3. L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Milk, $22
This makes cleansing my face a lovely ritual. I massage one pump of this into my made up face, soak a face towel in warm water, and wipe it off - my face is left cleansed, never tight, and feeling like I had a mini facial. Really. My skin has never looked this good and the smell of this is just divine. So clean and perfect. I use face towels from Ikea, and their roughness also exfoliates my face just the right amount.

Any other secretly amazing beauty products you can't live without? Comment below!

May 16, 2013

On graduation. Or failure. Or patience. Take your pick.

I feel like no one is failing at this job thing quite as spectacularly as me right now. In some ways, I don't really get what's wrong: I have a degree from a fairly reputable and respectable university, I think I have a measure of competence and intelligence, although I'm fiercely resistant to technological change I still consider myself fairly adaptable, I'm somewhat personable and get along with people relatively well, I am also neither a child murderer nor a rapist. So all in all I should have pretty decent chances at getting a job AND YET:
  • I am still jobless even as I plan to walk at my commencement ceremony in 3 days
  • I am still paid an minimum hourly wage even as I work myself to the bone
  • I am still an "intern" even though I most definitely do not do menial intern tasks (though I have to say tonight came fairly close)
I don't know why all this frustration suddenly hit me. Like a tidal wave of OMG WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME. When I hear of other people getting amazing awards or getting into business school early my mean little ambitious heart compares our situations and I literally feel all the joy sucked away from me.

I've been reading a lot of graduation speeches and everyone always talks about being fearless and doing what you love and blah blah. I'm not hating on them, some are really powerful, like Reid Hoffman's and Robert Reich's.

But I legitimately think the one thing that people don't talk enough about at graduation speeches is PATIENCE. I feel like I've been striving so hard and pushing myself so hard to prove something to myself. I've been striving for greatness without knowing what greatness even IS. I've been impatiently waiting my turn in the "I'm successful!!" line and I'm kinda getting pissed and convinced it's not ever going to happen. I want to change the world - and I want it to have happened last Fall.

I think, most of all, graduation speeches should say this:
  • Be patient. Your time will come.
  • Be patient and be in the moment because you're never going to be able to learn, make mistakes, and try again as much as you can do now.
  • Be patient. Good things are coming if only you truck along and dig deeply within yourself to continue doing good work with a good attitude.
And finally:
Be patient and faithful. You're on your way.

I just wanted to encourage anyone who might be in the same situation as I am to not lose sight of what you're worth and what you're capable of. Note to self: just keep swimming.

May 15, 2013

One Thing Last Week: Academy of Art University Graduate Fashion Show

Last week I had the incredible fortune of attending the Academy of Art University's graduate fashion show and it was such an amazing experience! I took a million pictures because all the collections were really fantastic but unfortunately I am a terrible photographer and models walk really fast. I'll leave it at that. But it was really mind-blowing, the work that goes into a show like this. I sat in the front row (!) and really got a chance to see the intricate detailing. Going to a fashion show is just so different from seeing images on a screen because you get to see the way the clothes move, the details up close, everything about the whole experience.

It was held at the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts and we got a chance to mingle and meet the student designers before the show. Right above is my favorite collection - the most chic dresses with the most interesting cut-outs that made the look sophisticated rather than overly revealing. Just amazing stuff.

That's me and my ticket being all: I'm in the front row!!!! I am famous!!

Ending off with a couple of snaps I got (out of the many, many I took) where the models weren't one giant blur. Loved the knitwear, the shoes in the second picture was really cool - it looked like the designer actually handmade them with colored string, the jacket back in the bottom left corner is to die for, and the bottom right collection was one of my favorites for its wearability and really interesting use of patterns.

Just wanted to pop in to say hi; this is going to be such a crazy week. I want to train myself and work towards complaining less because yes I'm exhausted and yes I'm doing these tasks that would be considered menial by most standards and yes I work absurdly long hours. But I am 99% in love with my job, I do so many things that an intern at another place would never get the chance to do, and everyday I am challenged by something new and exciting. There's really nothing more I could ask for. Happy Wednesday y'all, I'm off to bed.

May 8, 2013

Congrats, Grad!

I recently signed up to be a Keaton Row stylist and the first public lookbook I created was of course one for graduating from college and celebrating the beginning of the rest of your life! I'm going to share a couple of outfits that I styled for the lookbook because I'm so in love with all of them.

Congrats, Grad!: classic conservative

Multi-Tasker, featuring an amazing Pim + Larkin dress, Pim + Larkin earrings, Clare Vivier clutch, and basically the most perfect Sam Edelman nude d'Orsay pumps

I'm kind of obsessed with this look, even though it pains me that I had to feature a red dress. I really like my clothes to multi-task in a variety of situations, and I love that every single item in this outfit can be easily reconfigured into something you would wear to the work place. The nude pumps, especially, are a definite must-have. Sam Edelmans are so comfy and this is THE perfect nude heel for work! I would wear this with winged liner, keeping the rest of the face really natural and glowy, and hair down in soft waves. Those earrings would look great against blonde or brunette hair.

Congrats, Grad!: Modern Edge

Modern Edge, featuring a Club Monaco dress, House of Harlow earrings, Botkier crossbody purse, and Nine West strappy heels

This is what I would wear if I were cool enough. The dress is incredibly flattering and that pop of bright blue is just stunning. I paired it with the most divine earrings from House of Harlow (that line can do no wrong) that are currently on sale now. I think Botkier bags are so classic and can be easily dressed up or dressed down, and these heels are graphic, simple, and will look fab with the black grad gown. I would wear this with a bright coral lip and a loose bun at the nape to show off those earrings.

Congrats, Grad!: Boho-Chic

Boho-Chic, featuring: Aryn K. dress, Steve Madden sandals, and Charles Albert cuff

I completely adore this dress - I love the muted print, the colors, and think that cuff collar makes it look super chic (which I mean, obviously the word "super" is incredibly chic). Neutral Steve Madden sandals - kind of into these simple strappy sandals right now, can you tell? and a gorgeous chunky gold cuff make the look. I would wear this with a glowy face, bright blush and neutral lips, and a messy fishtail braid.

If you like any of these looks, click through to the lookbook to purchase them there! If you like my style but have a more specific look in mind, click the "Get Styled by Me" pink button on my profile and I'll get on your styling needs!

And finally: congratulations, class of 2013!! I can't believe we did it.

May 6, 2013

One Thing Last Week: Our first NBA Playoffs Game

Dan and I had a conversation last Thursday that went something along the lines of:
Dan: The Warriors have an elimination game tomorrow and we might actually win and get through to the next round
Gen (reading In Style): Mmmm
Dan: Would you go with me to the game tomorrow if I bought your ticket?
Gen: I would rather you buy me the Sam Edelman Petty boots I'm currently obsessing over.
The next day just as I'm leaving work in SF, Dan calls me to say that he bought us tickets to the Warriors game and I better be prepared to yell loudly.

I have to say... I was pretty disappointed he chose the tickets over the boots. But the minute we got into the Oracle Arena, I changed my mind. The crowd was just great. So passionate, really high energy - it was an amazing experience and I'm so glad Dan made me do it!

Sorry for the pretty crappy pictures. They're from my iPhone and there wasn't the best lighting in the stadium. But we won! After one of the most traumatic 6 minutes of my life, where we lost an 18 point lead and nearly lost the game. It was a super fun experience and if I knew more about basketball I would attempt to comment about the actual game itself. But I'm pretty self-aware and won't even try. Go Warriors!

May 4, 2013

April Favorites

Guys, it's May. How on earth did that happen?? I'm jumping back into the blogging game because no matter how much I love my jobs, I need space for myself. I've been so exhausted from work lately - my usual nightly routine is come home from work, fall onto my couch/ bed, end up asleep without dinner. This week especially, I haven't been cooking as much as I'd like to because I've been falling asleep straight after work!

And also, I miss you guys and this space. I love writing and taking pictures and so I've decided to deliberately carve out time to spend time on this lovely little space of mine. Kicking off with April Favorites!

1. H&M tweed motorcycle jacket, on sale for $8
Yes, you did not read that wrong. This beauty was a whopping $8 because H&M is currently having a 50% off sale items sale! It's so old it's not even on the website anymore, but I've been loving it this week as the weather's been heating up. I feel extra Olivia Palermo-like in it (no matter how obnoxious she might have come across on The City, dang that girl can dress) and it goes with everything! I only bought it last week so it should still be in stores.

I'm wearing it over my first designer (!) dress from Rebecca Taylor, which I will wax lyrical about in a separate post, but I'm in love and going back to Forever 21 will be hard for me. That is all.

2. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stains
Y'all, I love these so much I ran out and bought them in 3 colors. From left: Rendevous, Honey, and Romantic.

My favorite is Romantic - it's the perfect subtle brick red. You know I love me a red lip. This is so easy because it goes on as a moisturizing lip balm and stains your lips a subtle red for the entire day. I usually only reapply this once after lunch and it's good to go! It can be a little drying though, especially for dry lips like mine, but a slick of regular lip balm over it solves that problem. Honey is a my-lips-but-better type of color. I hate it when my lips are washed out so this is perfect for everyday. It also has a tinge of berry-plum that I can see myself really enjoying next Fall! Rendenvous was the one I had the most trouble with - the orange coral just does NOT work with my skin tone, no matter how desperately I want it to! I've found it works best with the Revlon lip butter in Tutti Frutti over, and is a great coral once the initial jolt of color has worn off.

Walgreen's is having a Buy One Get One 50% off deal for Revlon right now - go!

3. Real Techniques Stippling Brush, and 4. Topshop Neon Rose cream blush
I got this Topshop blush for free last year when I attended one of the Topshop summer pop up store pool parties in New York, and never for the life of me could figure out how to apply it. It's an obnoxious bright pink in the pan and using my fingers left streaks on my cheeks.

Enter the Real Techniques Stippling brush, which is the best stippling brush ever. The bristles are super short for maximum control, and it deposits the perfect amount of cream blush on my cheeks. It's also $10 at Ulta, which basically makes it perfect. And now that my blush works correctly, it is just so beautiful. Gives my cheeks the perfect flush and I've been wearing it with Honey for a natural makeup look that I'm really loving.

5. Haribo Peaches gummy candy!
I have to end off April favorites with this because I've gone through this like WATER. It's awful, but I can't be upset because it is so delicious and hey, it's fat free. Walgreen's (can you tell there are 3 Walgreen's within a one block radius from my office...) was having a 2 for $3 sale (unfortunately, that sale is no more, but this still clocks in under a respectable $2) and I'm ADDICTED. Too good.

Happy May!