1. Be Better at…Rainy Days.

    Although it’s currently sunny and 80 degrees in New York City, I know what’s coming.

    Rain. (sigh)

    It seems like this year has been one giant monsoon that’s pretty much sentenced me to a season of looking like Ms. Frizzle (minus the ginger beat) of Magic School Bus fame. I’m not good at the rain…growing up in the Texan desert has certainly not prepared me for dealing with such things as frizzy hair, running makeup, and inverted umbrellas. (Though it did prepare me for illegally crossing the border, eating lots of mexican food, and a body that’s acclimated to heat)

    So I’m finally learning, just in time for the end of rainy season (just in time for the f*cking Arctic Tundra that is just around the corner), how to be better at dressing for inclement weather. Let’s do this bitches.

    The menfolk have it easier pretty much all the time…rainy days included.

    GEAR:

    -Guys, invest in a good looking raincoat. Something with zip or good closing pockets to store your precious gadgets, since you are typically sans purse.

    -Hunter makes an amazing lace up rain boot that won’t make you look like Paddington Bear or like you are wearing your girlfriend’s Wellies.

    -Also, go ahead and splurge for the big umbrella. We ladies, will inevitably forget ours at the apt and we will be needing 1/2 of your jumbo beach umbrella. Maybe stick with black or grey…if not, there’s a strict possibility of you looking like you are a float tamer at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…and we all know that’s never a good look.

    -Pop a comb in your pocket and after running around in the rain, run it through your hair to get that mop of yours under control, especially if you have to be moderately professional. 

    -Want to feel like an adult? Buy an umbrella stand for your house. Only adults own those, I promise.

    -Lastly, bring a good book (yes a REAL book, those Kindlepads can’t get wet!), because rain always means…longer subway rides, traffic, and your lady will take longer to try and rehab her look, so bring something to entertain yourself. 

    Ladies, I think you are with me on the notion of just giving up on looking like a human-being on a rainy day. I usually look like something between a Swamp Monster and a 60-year old science teacher. 

    What You’ll Need:

    -How often do we get to wear something sort of waterproof, pleathery, and bright? (Don’t answer that) This is our moment to break out the ridiculousness that IS the raincoat. Buy a really fun one so those rainy days at least are a good excuse to wear that crazy ass piece of outwear. 

    -I think most rain boots are hideous, heavy, and make lady calves look more like linebacker calves. So these short, lace ups from Urban Outfitters are an excellent option to the typical rain boot.

    -Using the same idea as your rain coat, let your umbrella be patterned, bright, and make a statement. You’ll be able to find your gear much faster in the clusterfuck umbrella stand for sure. Also, I’ve noticed that we ladies are not so good with wielding our brellies…maybe pick a smaller model due to the strict fact that every time I use a large umbrella I gouge at least one eye out and/or impale a small child. 

    -Don’t forget to keep a couple hair bands and an extra emergency tube of water proof mascara for the moment when you realize you’ve forgotten about that “after work drink” and you need a beauty pick me up. Slap on some bright lipstick and you’ll be all set and lookin’ fresh.

    Be Better at Rain people….

    xo chinae

     


  2. Be a Better…Beauty.

    My 5 Favorite Products Edition:

    You know those stupid articles in girly magazines that are the “5 Essential Products a Girl Can’t Live Without”? Yeah, well. I’m doing one of those. But seriously, they certainly aren’t paying me or giving me free product to put this shit on my crappy lil blog…so you should probably listen. 

    1. Nivea Sun-Kissed Beautiful Legs: My Korean-Irish skin combo isn’t helping matters in the sense of looking bronze naturally. I’m somewhere between jaundice and olive, let’s call it Jaulive™. So I need some help, especially when nature’s been giving me the finger on the weekends with raining out my beach plans this summer. As a gal who’s tried every tanning lotion on the market, I can say that this is my fave for everyday use. There’s no weird smell, stays even, and after a few days of applying, I start to look like I’ve been outside before. The bottle says Sun-kissed legs but the rest of my body must be pretty dumb because it hasn’t seemed to notice that I’m using this all over. 

    2. Philosophy Supernatural: I find that most gals fall into two camps with foundation/powder. Either your face looks like the surface of the Moon, OR you look like a Geisha (the third camp is the naturally perfect skin like Giselle camp, and you can all go to hell). I think I’ve found the perfect medium, ladies. Supernatural kinda lives up to it’s name…It’s a light powder that gives perfect coverage without feeling cakey. I’ll never go backkkk.

    3. Ardell Lashes: Pretty much daily I get two questions: 1) What mascara do you use? and 2) Which way is Canal Street? So to address question #1…I DO love my mascara ( L’Oreal Voluminous), but my secret sauce is false eyelashes. Now, do yourself a favor and never buy expensive falsies. Trust me, I’ve been doing this song and dance for 10 years DAILY now…me and Dolly Parton, fighting the good fight out there. I usually buy Ardell lashes from the drug store and they work brilliantly.

    Here are the answers to the many questions I get when people ask about eyelashes so you can stop bugging me and I’ll be able to point you to this Q+A:

    Do you take them off at night? YES. I do.

    Do they bother you? Not at all, like my rule in life…if you are doing it right…it shouldn’t hurt too bad.

    Do you cut them? Yep! You’ll need to cut them lengthwise unless you’re Steve Buschemi.

    Am I going to look weird with them? I’ve embraced looking like a drag queen most days.

    How do I know the right ones to buy? Start with the more natural looking ones and then as you get used to them, you can move up to the RuPaul Big Leagues with me.

    How long does one pair last? 2-3 weeks if you treat ‘em nice.

    Will you help me put them on? NO.

    4. Make Up Forever Aqua Creamliner in Black: It’ll last you FOREVER and it stays put all day long, even through sweat, water, excel document torment, and oily face. Trust me.

    5. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lipcolor in Beyonce Red: Now, I hate to admit that my favorite color is named after a soul-pop sensation but yeah, I’m over it. Beyonce probably had nothing to do with this anyway. This lipcolor will stay on longer than you want it to. Forget if it’s drink-proof, it’s makeout proof. I went ahead and tested this for you, dear readers, and yes.it.is. 

    Now, only if I could rub Beyonce Red on my legs and get Beyonce thighs.

    xo Chinae

     


  3. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Since it’s a total sh*t day in NYC (chilly and rainy), and my hair looks like the uglystepchild of Edward Scissorhands and Justin Bieber, I found myself reaching for a hat this morning to mask the horror. Much to my chagrin, nothing was working in my hat closet. It’s that weird transitional period between summer and fall… and the time for headgear revamp is upon us dear readers. Let’s navigate this together. 

    The Bad:

    What in the world is happening these days?! I feel like people are just getting up in the morning and being like…what is the craziest shit I can attach to my head today? Oh perfect…a STUFFED ANIMAL. Imma do that. WTF.

    Ok, let’s break this down…and yes, I know some of my dear friends are going to be mad about the items I say suck…and I’m prepared to defend myself. 

    1) Cheap flower attached to even cheaper headband: If you wouldn’t put it on display in your house, you probably shouldn’t have it hanging out over your left ear. You aren’t from Hawaii, you do not live in the wild, and we know you dug that out of the bottom of the $1 bin at the Icing. 

    2)Beret: Just…stop. I actually saw a lone gal, sitting at an outdoor cafe, drinking a fancy ass coffee drink, wearing a beret just like this one the other day. Here’s the thought process:

    She thinks: I look like a very chic Parisan woman, so sophisticated here in my beret while drinking cafe au lait on Bleecker Street. I bet everyone walking by, thinks I’m very exotic and interesting.


    I think: Wow, does she know that she looks like a reject mime with a penchant for foreign romance films, that she watches by herself while making homemade dog biscotti on Saturday nights?

    3) Worn-in cowboy hat: 1998 was awesome, and certainly there’s been a return to that decade lately…but let’s leave this particular gem right where it belongs. 

    4) Fedora Redux: Hipster beekeeper is never a great option. I think that’s all that needs to be said here.

    5) Overdone Fedora: I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fedora person as it is…but then you just start adding ugly additions to something meh and you’ve got a REAL mess on your hands. If you are going to do the fedora thing, keep it classic.

    6) Animal inspired Headgear: Anything that adds additional ears, faces, or species to your head, is probably NOT going to be a stylish option for Fall 2011.

    7) Bows: I enjoy a good bow, but I’m kinda over the whole, look like a small child thing when it comes to head pieces. This one, I’m less angry about, but it still goes in the “no” pile for me.

    The Good:

    My Fall Headgear Plan: 

    -Always at least 2-3 fur pieces thrown in the mix. 

    -Turbans always make me feel like my head look like a wonder zone, but I’m going to be better at them this season with a little help from my roomie Coco Canal (see her amazing ass fashion/styling blog and get much better fashion advice than from me)

    -I always love a good punch of color with a scarf on the ol’ noggin.

    -A new thing that I’ve been wanting to play with since the start of summer is a good baseball hat. I’m by no means a sporty gal but I think with the right styling, this could really funk up my Fall look. 

    And to nullify everything I’ve just told you…and take away all credibility, here’s me wearing a belt on my head in public. 


    Here’s to hats being a great way to take away from bad facial features,

    Chinae

     


  4. Be a Better…Parent.

    Dressing Your Kid Edition:

    How do you dress your kid without making little Tommy look like an asshole? That’s a great question people. I would say that 90% of children in my neighborhood look like little versions of their parents which can be GREAT or can be a real Crocs related nightmare. I will say to this day, that MOST of what I was dressed in as a child was pretty damn good. Props to my mother. We had a few questionable years but those were mostly when I started experimenting with fashion and cycled right into the world of baby tees and jncos.

    Me, plotting my escape from my mother

    But I digress.

    Don’t get me wrong…I’m horrible with most children. Babies are repelled by me and I have no idea how to talk to kids so I pretty much just use the same tone and sarcasm as I do with adults…which doesn’t get as many laughs from the tots as you’d think. BUT you know what I DO know? That your baby looks like an asshole. 

    Here are 5 things that really make me want to punch you on behalf of your baby:

    1) This is a human, not a dessert. Why does your offspring look like the 5th course on a Norwegian Cruise dinner? I understand that you are trying to show us that she’s a girl, but that doesn’t mean that you have to cover every inch of her baby pudge in ruffles and pink. Seriously, think about if we all had to represent our gender in the amount of lace we wear. This world would not be a happy place. Not saying your child has to look like Chaz Bono’s in-between stage, but just limit the fluff, k?

    2)Excessive headgear. This is typically a problem with girl children…I was privy to this unfortunate trend. As a child, I pretty much had a bow, larger than my face, attached to my cranium from age 5 until age 11, I think it was fused there by some special adhesive that my mother created in our garage, that she later sold to 3M. I had a bow holder in my room, mounted to the wall with my selection of headgear, don’t worry about options, there was always one that matched in the sea of grosgrain ribbons and rhinestones. 

    3) Crocs (I can’t even bring myself to post a photo of this). I just hate them. I understand that it’s easier than tying their shoes every minute, but really it makes me want to die. Commit to some L.A. Lights and take it back old school.

    4) No pants party. As a huge advocate for a good N.P.P. (No Pants Party), I will say that there are times this is appropriate. Tucking a t-shirt with a duck on it, into your kid’s diaper to head out to the grocery store isn’t one of those times. You need to put some shorts or a freaking onesie on that nugget. I don’t want to get side spray while I’m just trying to get my bag of kale at Trader Joe’s alright?

    5) Reduce the tacky. Kids like superheroes, Disney characters, video game things…etc. That’s great. But when you let your offspring wear head to toe branded bullshit, they WILL look like a tiny D*bag. I promise. Get them a Pokemon lunchbox, or a vintage Spider Man thermos, but God forbid that they wear a glittery Dora the Explorer t-shirt to their next play date. They’ll be pissed but they will be thanking you in ten years. Unless your kid wants to wear an entire superhero costume…I am ok with this as long as they commit fully. 

    Here’s a great baby/kids store that I love…that won’t make you look like I need to call Child Protective Service on you for crimes against fashion:

    TRICO FIELD (located in Soho)

    Good luck all you parents. I’m glad you all exist and do such a good job so I can still be irresponsible a little longer. 

    Chinae

     


  5. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Animal Print Edition:

    All week I’ve been at PROJECT, a men’s fashion trade show…the last day, I overslept and due to my hate-hate relationship with laundry…was a little low on duds that impress. So naturally I threw on my craziest looking outfit, threw my hair into a topknot, slipped on my Warby Parkers, and headed out the door. What happened next was to my amazement…the fashion tribe ate that sh*t rightttt up. Just fooled ‘em. 

    (my crazyness with not so crazy room mate Shuffle)

    Time Out New York, William Yan (fashion aficionado), and Refinery 29 all snapped street style pics of my outfit for their blogs/sites. To anyone else, I looked like a crazy person with an affection for prints, but to the stylistas…I was edgy. Now I know what to do when I want to look fashionable…just blindfold myself and hope for the best. 

    This inspired today’s post…I wore animal print pants yesterday…and unknowingly I was on the egde of fashion suicide. Now this my devoted occasional readers, is muy complicado. Wearing animal print can be risky busi-nass and you’re going to have to stick with me here. 

    There are three ways wearing animal print can go…total babe, jungle theme streetwalker, and safari guide. Let’s go for that first one. (unless you work at Private Eyes Gentleman’s Club or Busch Gardens…in that case, feel free to break all the rules and congrats on your success)

    Let’s explore the bad first…that’s always fun.

    Here is it folks. This is the line in the sand. Listen PETA, give up the fur rigmarole and make a campaign against bad animal print done in cheaply made fabrics, will ya?

    Things to steer clear of:

    -Mixing animal print with other prints or motifs in one singular piece of clothing is going to make you look like a suburban (non stylish…yes I know some of you are stylish) mom or a hooker. Your print should be solid leopard or whatever animalcentric choice you make…to be safe.

    -Quality fabric is key when wearing this particular look…don’t go all Contempo Casuals on me, alright? When you have a print on a cheap fabric, you WILL look like common trash. Stay clear polyester fiends.

    -Fit. FIT. FIT. FIT…is the MOST important thing when thinking about wearing animal print. Wearing it tight, short, and all over is a very bad idea. Unless you are Selena (RIP), I would stay away from an animal print bustier as well. 

    Let’s look at how to get jungle fever in the chic way.

    GOOD:

    LOOK #1

    LOOK #2

    Tips of the Feline Kind:

    -Use animal print as a neutral…mix it with other prints and colors. Be bold but conscious of the over all effect so you don’t look like a bag lady on the subway pushing one of those rickety carts.

    -Pick a rich looking animal print…there are a lot of bad ones out there.

    - Keep hair and makeup simple and clean, so you don’t look like you are costarring with Simba in the Lion King on Broadway.

    Easy like sunday morning! 

    Good luck avoiding being pet by strangers,

    xo chinae

     


  6. Be a Better…Dresser.

    NEON Edition:

    I think I am regressing back into my 90’s childhood at the moment and am really being pretty obsessive about all things neon and fluorescent. Being a recovering tanning addict (may still be one, not going to lie), wearing neon makes me feel…well, hot and tan. So how do you wear this trend without looking like you just whistled for a cab, and when it came near, the liscense plate said FRESH and there were dice in the mirror, if anything you can say is that this cab was rare, but you thought, “Man forget it-‘Yo home to Bel Air’.

    You def don’t want to look like this:

    Or like this:

    GOOD NEON:

    So here’s a lil outfit I put together over on Polyvore (my favorite place on the internet besides treadmill fall videos on youtube)…whaddayathink? 

    Ways to avoid looking like a Day Glo Stripper:

    -Wear one/two neon items…but no more at one time. You’ll for sure like a hipster or MIA, in a bad way. 

    -Keep your accessories lux so you don’t end up looking like a cheap gal looking for a night out on the town.

    -Mix in lots of neutrals to make your neon POP POP POP!

    Here’s another more toned down approach to the neon trend:

    Go Forth and Look Tan,

    Chinae




     


  7. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Maxi Skirt Edition:

    (wanted to look like this…but yeah. I wore the maxi with pride instead)

    Maxi skirts used to play a major role in my life. Picture it. 6th grade. Black, long, stretchy, maxi skirt (with side slit to amp up the sexiness) with large t-shirt (inevitably tucked in and poufed out, because that was “cool”), hair parted down the middle making a lovely, mushroom-like coif. Top this whole look off with some platform MIA (the brand not Sri Lankan rapper/singer) slides and a pukka shell necklace. What. A. Sexpot. 

    But seriously, I remember looking in the mirror and thinking…DAMN. I look good. I am really going to get those pre-pubescent boys going with this ensemble. 

    And damn, was I wrong. 

    So you can understand my hesitation when maxi skirts made a big comeback about a year or two ago. I stayed away from the trend because, like 6th grade, if I don’t participate or think about it, it MIGHT be removed from my memory. Well, shit. It didn’t and now it’s time to jump on the bandwagon (though I won’t forget home base, miniskirts4life).

    Let’s go over some DO’s and DONT’s here people:

    DONT’s:

    1) Don’t get me wrong, I love a good plaid. You give me a reformed hipster male wearing a decent plaid button down shirt and I’ll put all my chips in. BUT, plaid in a maxi just looks like you are going out Braveheart-style (in a bad way). If you want to look wide, old, and school marm-esque, wear this option with pride, just don’t forget your school books and bagpipes.

    2) Horizontal stretchy stripes in a hip-hugging maxi skirt are just going to make you look beefy. And not in the delicious sense. 

    3) I love ethnic-inspired things, but seriously this is just bad. Maybe pick something more simple to avoid looking like you are going to a theme party, ya know….unless you are going to a theme party. In that case, invite me. I love a good dress up party.

    4) I didn’t know Lilith Fair was still happening. Apparently for some people, it is. Broomstick-tiered skirts make me have flashbacks to when my mom used to wear these everyday with a good denim shirt, chunky Texan silver jewelry and western-style boots. Attempt this only if you are willing to listen to playlists made up of: Jewel (before she went country and shit), Sarah McLachan, and Paula Cole. (I don’t wanna wait either Paula, and props to you if you get this reference) OR if you live on some GD prairie. 

    DO’s:

    -A great new take (one of my faves this season) on the maxi skirt is the half sheer version of it. So lovely and makes this potentially gender-killing trend, a little sexier. Reclaim your lady parts!

    -OW OW OW. This one is just good. A great tulip shape with a front slit makes this Faux-Wrap Maxi a figure flattering option for just about any Jane. 

    -A pop of color in a maxi can make you avoid looking like me in 6th grade and make you instead look pretty major. Top this off with a bright top to get in on the color blocking trend this season OR pair with a neutral top and some killer jewels to fancy yourself up for a summer soiree. You’ll for sure make the other girls jealous…that’s the point right?

    -So you don’t want to feel like your legs are trapped like sausages in their casing? Hello Palazzo Pants! The perfect option for you to get that maxi skirt look without giving away the freedom to sit like a man on the train!

    Maxi skirts not Maxi Pads lovies,

    Chinae

     


  8. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Color Blocking Edition:

    This is totally old news in the fashion world, I’m aware. But I’ve seen some great examples (and really sh*tty ones) of color blocking in clothing lately around the streets of NYC. This has totally simplified my wardrobe and has totally made getting ready for “school” fun again. So I thought I’d share my thoughts.

    Now, once you get the hang of HOW to do this, you’ll be set, but there are some DO’s and DONT’s so we can all avoid looking like a Christmas elf, Ronald McDonald, or Mattel’s Skipper.

    DO’s:

    (Rachel Roy)

    (Gucci)

    -Pick simple, tailored items in a rich fabric

    -Stick with 2-3 solid brights and 1 neutral 

    -Bold colors work best, pastels can get a bit tricky and you can end up looking like My Little Pony

    -Pro Tip: Jewel tones almost ALWAYS work together…so if you are a beginner, it’s a great way to try out the trend

    (Here’s my stupid ass, looking like Barney but color blocking like an idiot champion)

    Here are some stand-by color combos that work well:

    DONT’s:

    -Mixing lots of patterns in with your color blocking WILL make you look insane. Beware.

    -Try to mix in some sort of neutral or metallic to add interest and grounding to the look

    -Red/Yellow, Pink/Purple, Red/Green are almost never good combos unless you want to look like the aforementioned: elf, McDonald’s employee, or My Little Pony. (unless you are trying to get a job as one of these….in that case, go for it.)

    Here are some BAD color blocking examples:

          

    I now release you, to go forth and color block,

    Chinae

     


  9. Be a Better…Chola.

    Cholita Edition:

    Ah, the mystical world of Cholas…My high school was about 60% chola/cholo and I f*cking loved it. You mean…I get to be around these little gems ALL day long? 

    For those of you unfamiliar with what a chola is…today is for you. Most cholas hail from the great states of California, New York, or Texas (Shout Out) and are just about the best subculture you could dream up in your tiny lil’ head. I spent a good amount of my time in high school, attempting to befriend them so I could make sure to be on their good side…just in case I needed back up one day. Also, I wanted to avoid getting my ass kicked on a daily basis in the hallways…so that worked too.

    (Me…trying so hard to be a chola)

    My favorite chola was Priscilla. She was a real peach. Who wouldn’t love hearing “Guera!!!” (which is not actually accurate, but I didn’t fight the issue) in a moderate yell across the cafeteria every day?

    But I digress. Here’s how to Be a Better Chola:

    -Eyebrows: Now this is an intregal part of chola-ness that you’ve really got to hone in on. This is going to take some sacrifice but I feel like we can handle that. You are going to have to wax/shave off your brows. This seems extreme I know…but it’s the commitment that is really going to get you where you need to be. Don’t fret, after you shave them, you get to draw them back in. Albeit, they aren’t going to be thick and full as they used to be. When drawing them back in, be careful to keep them very thin, very pointy, and always looking like you are surprised. Think Double Dare getting slimed face, people. (shoutout to Mark Summers).  If you are really committed…get them tattooed on. 

    To top off the eyes, make sure you apply a lot a of cat-eye liner…we want to look as angry, scary, and threatening as possible. If you can manage some frosted eyeshadow, do that too.

    -Lipliner: Another key ingredient to being your best chola, the lips. Make sure your lips are fairly pale, then use a dark lipliner like black or dark brown to line the outside of your kisser. Be aware that it’s nice and dark, and don’t you dare fill that in with lipstick.

    -Piercings: Several in the ear (you better put your order in for some earrings with your name in cursive/Old English…24kt gold only plz) and make sure you get your Marilyn Monroe piercing appointment booked before your transformation begins. In any other situation…gold hoops are your back up.

    -Hair: There are two routes to go here and ONLY two. Aquanet or L.A. Looks hair gel. There are no substitutes in a good Chola’s beauty arsenal. These are your go-to products because they can actually make your hair look like it has become a solid mass on your head, no matter what the style. My personal favorite: scrunched waves. Top it off with a bandana and you are really getting somewhere.

    -Clothing: We’ve got some bandwidth here…a couple of different routes you can go with your fashion choices. There is ALWAYS a sexy option of doing a tight baby tee and jeans (that you’ve been practically poured into) topped off with a glitter encrusted belt. OR there’s the more classic option of plaid shirt (top button buttoned only…i mean it), white tank undershirt, rounded out with wide leg pants. 

    -Sunglasses: Often worn indoors, VERY dark lenses. Any other time, they belong on the back of your head/neck region for safekeeping.

    Hope this helps in your journey to being your best chola! 

    xoxo

    Chinae

    *P.S. This post is for lulz only. If you get offended or take this seriously, you need to get in your car, drive to the store, and buy a sense of humor.