Sunday, April 20, 2014

Over the years

 photo timeline_zps49192528.jpg I'm sure lots of you have seen these lolita "timelines", well here is one more. I'm cheating slightly with 2003 because that was Mana cosplay - however it was my gateway to lolita. For some years I only had the pics shown to go back to, some years are missing due to a crashed computer, for some years i had plenty of material and chose what seemed to represent my style best in that era (not the best or worst pic, just representative). On a personal note, i never seem to look at the camera head-on. I seriously couldn't find ONE photo where i'm looking right forward. Also 2007 is looking dubiously at 2005 ... y u so bitchy 2007??

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Brown seems to be my new "thing"

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Looking back on this outfit, I wish i had worn a smaller flower with my headbow, or none at all. However, for the most part i'm happy with how the browns, offwhite and creams coordinate. The dress and socks are AP, the purse and headbow are Innocent World, the Rosette is by Mossbadger and everything else is offbrand.  photo FotoFlexer_Photo_zps6465128f.jpg
Now this is how i've been wearing sweeter dresses lately - toning it down with non-print socks and a plain bolero and boots. I think that there is so much going with the print (an older and absolutely unpopular AP print by the way, it goes for super cheap on Mbok) that it doesn't need much in the way of accesory support. I wore a cute doughnut ring but limited myself to just that one to keep it from being overwhelming. Most of this outfit is AP, the boots, socks and headbow are Innocent World and the blouse is a Forever 21 offbrand find.

'Til next time!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Planning my Weekend Outfit

Although I try and follow my own advice of only buying lolita items for the right reasons, sometimes I get things completely back-assward. For example, I got this Krad Lanrete OP completely on impulse because … wait for it … I had socks that would match it. I’ll give you a few moments to let that sink in. I’m pretty sure that buying an expensive dress because you have some random $20 socks you want to match is just the sort of “logic” that makes my beloved husband sigh heavily on a regular basis.

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Flawed logic aside, I’m really excited to see how this outfit comes together. I’ll be going to a fancy tea this weekend and it’s just the place to wear something like this. If the weather cooperates I’ll also get to wear my lovely A&tP black capelet. As usual, I’ll be throwing together a last-minute hairpiece made of blue flower clips and black feathers. I still have a few days to make it work!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Quick Pics (Garfield Conservatory Meet)

Over the weekend, we had a small meet at the Garfield Conservatory in Chicago. One of my favorite reasons (besides the flower displays) for having meets here is that it’s a casual “low pressure” sort of meet and allows a small group to talk and get to know each other … and take some nice photos even in the dead of winter.

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I ran with the floral theme and wore a green floral Metamorphose jsk with an Innocent World blouse and a handmade hairpiece. I think my spring-green nails and floral rings added a bit of interest without being overwhelming. I do wish that I had taken my own advice and applied some under-eye concealer that day - but like Alice, apparently “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”

 photo 66b7b003-7b93-4586-b797-c72c053b4f73_zps644e3a43.jpg Photos by Kasey Zhong & Zechao Yang!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Etiquette of Special Diets

This is something that applies in and out of the Loli-sphere and apparently needs addressing. How to navigate events that include food and eating when you have dietary restrictions or specific dietary preferences.

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First of all, it helps if you have a chill community without too many lolis of the “I subsist on macrons, earl grey and rose petals!” variety. When encountering these individuals I suggest nodding, smiling, and then hoofing it over to the other side of the room where the sane people are.

Second, determine for yourself if people need to know about what you can and can’t eat. I think that if you have allergies it would be irresponsible for you *NOT* to speak up and let the host know. Food preferences pertaining to your general health goals don’t need to be shared, simply avoid what you don’t like. You don’t always have to explain, sometimes a “no thank you” and a smile will do nicely.

Third, make things easy on your host. For example, if you are having a picnic meet or a potluck, mention that you are vegan or keep Kosher (for example) and that you’ll be happy to bring some prepared items both for yourself and some to share. If you are going to attend a catered event, be prepared for the worst and assume that your needs may not be accommodated – consider politely reminding your waiter of your special order once you are seated and before the food arrives, or excusing yourself to have a word with the Maître d’Hotel or Manager if that doesn’t work.

Fourth, avoid awkwardness and be polite. If you happen to be vegan and your table-partner is not, don’t talk about how ham is “gross” … this is unkind. Going on about how you could never give up eating tasty crispy-fried animals to your vegetarian tablemate is rude too. It’s also unlikely that anyone needs to hear graphic descriptions of your gastro-intestinal distresses or a treatise on how avoiding sugar changed your life when the dessert tray comes along.

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Fifth, have a good attitude. Really, even if it’s a picnic or a fancy tea the main reason that you are there is to enjoy the company. A poorly prepared hors d'oeuvre does not have to ruin your day, and it really shouldn’t ruin everybody’s good time. There is a fine balance between controlling the situation so that you have a pleasant time and trying to control it to the point that you and your needs are the center of attention. Your *BASIC* needs should be met, all of your expectations may not.

Set yourself up for success by thinking ahead and preparing and controlling what you can control. Remember it’s about the fun, not just the food <3

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Unleashing your inner Norma Desmond

I hope that at some point in your youth, someone came along and told you how incredibly important it was to wear SPF. Now granted, I’m a white girl with super pasty skin that burns and freckles up and I can only speak from my experience … but I feel that I’m on firm ground saying that SPF can only help in the long run. I use a mild cleanser (Cetaphil is a good basic), a decent moisturizer (Aveeno’s “positively Radiant” with SPF), extra SPF in the summer and a BB cream when I’m trying to look presentable – these are basics I never skimp on.

Of course after a hard winter or when my skin is looking especially rough, I have to bring out the big guns. If any sun makes it past my sunscreen or if acne (did you know you can still get acne at my age? Seriously, it’s totally not fair) leaves me looking red or uneven, I use Clinique’s Dark Spot Corrector. For under-eye-circles (again, I seem to blessed with all sorts of issues), I like Miracle Skin Transformer "Treat & Conceal Eye & Face” – it’s pricy but worth every penny in terms of not leaving your sensitive eye area dried out. If you have the budget for another pricy beauty buy, I’d like to suggest my favorite exfoliator, Sweep by Laboratoire Remède – it’s grains are super fine for a thorough but gentle exfoliating experience. If you are looking to save a few pennies but still want to do something nice for your face, how about perennial drugstore favorite Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque … just a few bucks, lasts forever and leaves your skin supple and refreshed without irritation.

But you wanted the full-on Norma Desmond treatment didn’t you? Ridiculous pampering, glorious promises of gleaming radiant skin and sweet scents to tempt your frilly heart. The Mint Julep masque works, but it’s a little drab and unexciting isn’t it? Then lets get on to the fun part of this post, the sheet masks from My Beauty Diary and My Scheming.

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Look at these damn things, any Lolita worth her bloomers would just buy these because of how awesome they look. Chocolate truffles, Bulgarian White Rose, Tea and Macarons? I was sold.

The first mask I tried was My Beauty Diary’s Bulgarian White Rose Mask. It’s literally a paper mask saturated in slimy liquid – you peel off the backing and just smooth it over your face and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. I felt silly after about 10 minutes so I took it off and just let the remainder sink into my skin. It smelled great and my skin did feel refreshed and very hydrated and soft. The Earl Grey Tea & Macaron mask was exactly the same, it only smelled different (like tea). The Crystal C Brightening Eye Mask from My Scheming (odd name, but apparently that is what it’s called) was really unusual. I unpacked what looked like small, clear, gel insoles, peeled them off the packaging and stuck them under my eyes. While the masks were really effective I wasn’t as impressed with the eye treatments … or maybe I was just unnerved by how much they felt like sticking wet fruit roll-ups onto my face?

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Anyway, the masks are highly recommended for a nice skin treat and they actually work beautifully. Plus they are freakin’ adorable and smell so good, they’ll have you asking Mr. DeMille for that close-up ;)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mutton Dressed as Lamb (I couldn’t resist!)

The next time you feel a little self-conscious about wearing Lolita style at your advanced age, remember that you don’t look silly for your age, you just look silly ::wink:: Lets face facts here, when people stare at us in our frills it’s not because of these little details that we nitpick amongst ourselves – it’s because they are randomly seeing a bunch of people wearing crazy clothes in public. People who are not familiar with our fashion will generally not be able to tell if we are doing it right or doing it wrong. They will focus on the outrageous details and not judge you on the quality of your lace and fabric, your coordination skills or your age.

Look at the two pictures below, which do you suppose your average onlooker will consider more “mature”?

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Neither (trick question, since I’m wearing Lolita in both). You might as well dress for yourself first, for the greater Lolita community second, and forget the rest since they’ll probably think that you look like a lunatic anyway.