This week’s cheap finds for both guys and girls come in bright, bright red. SM Accessories bag, Quirkypedia eyeglasses, The Belle Soeurs bangles. All you really need to accessorize any simple outfit—probably best to avoid same-color clothes and shoes though.
Taken with Instagram - @shailagarde
SM Accessories shades and bracelets, Quirkypedia eyeglasses. It’s rare for me to find men’s accessories in red that aren’t too rugged or too loud, so whenever I find something casual and sleek, I make sure to grab it. Best worn with just shirt and jeans for an easy vibe.
Taken with Instagram - @sephcham
The last of this 4-part tutorial is all about teaching beginners the basics of changing simple daytime makeup into something more glam in just a few minutes. It will continue from the first three tutorials, so for first-time readers (welcome!) I suggest you click here to check those out. As I’ve said in my previous entries, I’m not a professional makeup artist or a formally trained beauty expert by any means. I’ve come up with this series at the request of readers asking me to share how I do my own makeup. To make things more interesting, I’m giving away this fabulous 12-pc brush set from SUESH Cosmetics to one (1) reader! Details later on.
Photo from my Instagram @shailagarde. Since I have big animé eyes, I like to put the emphasis on eye makeup as seen in the last tutorial. On occasions that call for a more dramatic makeup look, I simply add more color and volume. That’s what I’ll be sharing in this how-to.
First step? Throw on a dress and strap on some heels. Takes no time at all and gets the job halfway done!
Next is accessorizing. Whenever I’m asked what my favorite color is, red isn’t the first one to come to mind. But when it comes to my hair color or accessories, Seph points out that it’s my go-to shade for cheating a look that seems “planned.”
He’s spot on. Haha! Especially on days when there’s a certain “obligation” to get a little dressed up but uninspiration (aka laziness) strikes, bright accessories can very well serve as a quick fix for upping an outfit’s ante.
Accessories or no accessories, wearing something simple but with an interesting cut or detail is key. This dress would’ve been so blah if not for this stylish back, agree? And those wedges—you could wear just a plain white tee and jeans and still stand out in them. :)
What are your own style shortcuts to getting dressed quickly? Don’t be shy; leave a comment below or tweet us @sephshai!
CPS Chaps top, flea market chiffon skirt, Aldo socks, Call It Spring wedges, SM Accessories belt. It’s the same style of shoes I wore in this layout except in a different color. Hype this on Lookbook here.
Barette and men’s eyeglasses from SM Accessories. Red bangs, black roots and blonde tips. Ayayay. Clearly, the ombré hair needs retouching.
Metal with petal. Connector ring and studded clutch from SM Accessories. With just a rose ring and a beige bag, this look would be too sweet and feminine for my style. I like how all the hardware adds toughness to the whole look.
This feather hairclip is so pretty, but the way my hair is naturally messy like that, I’m thinking it would probably stand out better on straight hair. Still, I’m a sucker for feather accessories and I just love this.
When it comes to accessories, I like to work with a certain subtle theme. Sort of like an inside joke with myself. In this case, a ring leaf because my bag is green.
Gold shoes are quite hard to pull off for a casual look, simply because gold is associated with glamour. But when it’s a pair of flats in a simple enough design that’s comfy to walk around in, gold makes for fun footwear.
Three awesome things about this shirt: the worn, crumply look and feel, the cutesy graffiti print and my favorite color—turquoise! Threw in the tangerine shoes and the pink bag for mismatched colorplay.
The day we spent at the bay area of San Francisco was a blur. I’ve always longed to see one of the most picturesque cities I’ve ever explored through books, and there it was, every scene (as well as the chilly weather) leaving me breathless.
What I wore. Again, I raided my aunt’s barely-used wardrobe that morning for something to wear, as most of the clothes I brought turned out to be too spring/summer for the still very fall/winter temperatures of San Francisco. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you may recognize the SM Accessories hat, Forever 21 boots, and Seph’s scarf from Baguio. Hype this on Lookbook here.
Our lovely relatives in Sacramento who took care of us as soon as we arrived from Longbeach. They cooked hearty Filipino meals, treated us out to sumptuous lunches and dinners, and showed us around. Here are just a few of the beautiful things we got to see.
Crossed the bridge when we got there
Tulips and other beautiful flowers abloom
Pier 39, where all the shops, restaurants and attractions (such as these sunbathing seals) are, as seen from the Blue & Gold bay cruise ferry
Fellow passengers marveling at the skyline
Sailing near Alcatraz Island
While no longer a prison for the most cold-blooded and sophisticated criminals in the country, Alcatraz emanates an eerie glow, a shadow of its dark history by which one can’t help but be haunted.
Albatrosses flying low around our ferry, as if guiding us on our way
Every hour is magic hour
Sailing under the most famous suspension bridge in the world
Spanning 4,200 feet, with each cable 7,650 feet long, 36 and 3/8 inches in diameter and containing 27,572 wires within, the total wire used was 80,000 miles long and the weight along with the suspenders and accessories is 24,500 tons. I may forget these numbers soon, but the magnificence of how the Golden Gate Bridge was built will remain.
Indeed and how. After a week in San Diego, we drove to Long Beach to stay with our relatives on my dad’s side. With all the touring and family bonding, it’s taken me a week to properly go through hundreds of photos and sort them out per city, let alone choose just enough photos to share on the blog without turning it into a highschool-project diary or a jetsetter-wannabe journal (neither of which is an entirely bad thing mind you, except that it’s not what we do here). So here we go, Long Beach highlights!
My outfit for the sunny yet chilly weather here: SM Department Store top, The Ramp skirt, Topshop tights, grey Keds, necklace from Bangkok, knitted cardigan from my aunt’s closet and SM Accessories shades. Hype this on Lookbook here! This was taken at noon, as you can probably guess from the shadow. But even with the sun high up, it was cold enough to make me regret not wearing pants instead.
Digging the worn-out, lived-in look of this cardigan though. I actually just got it from my aunt’s closet here, and she told me she was the one who sewed on those sequins and beads. Pretty neat.
My trusty Keds, one of only three shoes I bought for this month-long trip, because bringing an entire shoe collection along on a trip abroad is just a tad too glamorous (read: tedious) for this here gung-ho blogger.
One of the places we dropped by was the shoreline village, a combination of a tourist spot, park, food court, port area, and quaint small-town recreation center.
This ship is the RMS Queen Mary, a former ocean liner that sailed in the Atlantic from the ’30s to the ’60s. It’s now a tourist attraction featuring a number of restaurants, a museum, and a hotel. How awesome must it be to be staying in a hotel next to the Scorpion, that Soviet B-427 submarine pictured above.
Nautical nonsense: Papa as Captain Jack Sbarro and Mama as hipster-pirate Ariel
Another place I enjoyed seeing was my cousin Santiago’s newly bought house in an affluent area in Longbeach. Took this shot from across the street for a general idea of how it looks from the opposite side.
This side. Although the neighbor’s house is much bigger (as you can see by that car), it’s Santiago’s house I’m so inspired by because of its backstory. My cousin’s parents weren’t well off, hailing from a small town called Dueñas in Iloilo. There were no inheritances, no privileged lifestyles, no trust funds to “cheat” with. Through sheer hard work and strong family values, they were able to raise my cousins into goal-driven, humble and successful individuals who were able to pursue and achieve their dreams. One of Santiago’s was to be able to afford a house in this area someday (let’s just say one house here could buy you thirty houses in Manila) and now he has!
His lovely and kind wife Belinda, an interior designer and dedicated mom to handsome boy Elijah and precocious baby Hunter. Santiago works as a CPA for a gas company, while Belinda’s been staying at home for a few months now taking care of the children and attending to the ongoing house renovations.
The dining area leading to the huge kitchen.
The stair carpeting is still covered in plastic, and official house guard Angel makes sure it stays that way until construction is completed.
The kitchen’s corner booth. I took photos of every room in every floor, but from just these, one can imagine how beautiful it’s going to look when it all finally comes together.
Took too many photos of Elijah because he’s just so kind and adorable, not just for a toddler but for a guy of any age. And that says a lot, because I’m not like Seph who finds all children adorable. I love it when a kid is so smart you don’t have to simplify your words or do baby talk, and yet so nice they defy the phrase “toddler tantrums.”
This trip feels like child’s play, and it keeps getting better. Not only because it’s my first time outside Asia, or because of all the tourist attractions we get to see—millions of people get to experience those each day, and you can Google photos of those things any second you want to see them. For me, it’s being able to spend time with family, discover things about them on a deeper level and appreciate their stories better. So it wasn’t just word play: by the sea or on land, fun is a sure thing here in Long Beach!
Next: San Francisco
They couldn’t have thought of a cuter nickname for this beautiful Southern California city. San Diego’s cool climate, sandy shores and friendly folks have definitely made their way to my “favorite cities” list.
My first impression upon landing was that it looked like those miniature model cities I used to have as a kid. I couldn’t wait to see the rest of it!
Uber-casual outfit for walking around downtown: hoodie from Paris, H&M leggings, Lacoste tote bag and sneakers. I wasn’t really feeling well the whole time I was there, hence the lazy mood. I put on a happy face and trudged on nevertheless—no colds and sore throat could’ve stopped this tourist!
I was originally planning to wear something different, but when I saw how wonderful it would be to just roam the streets on foot, there was no point in getting all dressed up for the sake of photos and not being able to move about freely and enjoy every bit of the experience. Right? Hype this on Lookbook here.
View from where I took the outfit photos. The City Hall, which looks more like an old-town museum. Most every corner in this place actually looks postcard-worthy to me.
See what I mean? This ship is actually a maritime museum located behind the City Hall.
Ran into some locals waiting to cross the street to the museum. Kidding, obviously. But they really were right in front of the pedestrian lane, alongside people like they just didn’t care.
The San Diego Convention Center is where the Comic Convention is held. This year’s won’t be until July, but I’m just glad my dad’s company had their own convention in this place.
I sure had fun imagining Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller and Stan Lee and all the celebrities starring in different comic book-to-movie adaptations, giving talks and signing autographs amidst a sea of fanfolk.
Sculpture a few meters away from the Convention Center. Behind it is the Petco Park, where major league baseball games are held.
We heard mass at the Church of our Lady of the Rosary in Little Italy, an area in downtown full of—what else?—pizzerias, trattorias, espresso shops, delicatessens and Italian-style buildings. A few blocks later, I met lovely couple David and Ruth.
Look how cute their Eeyore couple shirts are! I just had to approach them and ask to take their picture. David was the one who sewed these on, as well as a week’s worth of other DIY couple shirts. They’re actually newlyweds on their honeymoon! David was married for 54 years and his wife passed away five years ago. Soon after, he met Ruth and the two became friends. They realized they actually love each other, got engaged, and the rest is sweet history. They were in San Diego that day to take a cruise ship to Hawaii and other Pacific islands. Stories like this never fail to make my day.
Speaking of couples, another thing that never fails to make my day is seeing Seph’s name. Hihi. How apt that this store sells menswear. Hello, lovey!
Mama and Papa in matchy clothes as well. Love Chic senior? Haha.
Most of our days in San Diego were spent with dad’s longtime friend, Tito Dante and his warm and lovely family. I wouldn’t want to inundate your news feed with more touristy photos, but let’s share just a few.
American food plus Pinoy hospitality equals everybody’s happy tummies.
The Mexican border. Those numbered fences with the floodlights are guarded by border patrol 24/7 to keep illegal immigrants from sneaking into US territory. It would’ve been fun to step one foot on US soil and the other on Mexican ground—being in two places at the same time like in “A Walk To Remember.” But it wasn’t worth getting deported. Heh.
The 25-foot statue “Unconditional Surrender” by J. Seward Johnson at the San Diego Embarcadero, based on the iconic photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Mount Soledad memorial, with a magnificent view of the city below.
La Jolla Cove, literally the jewel of San Diego. It’s a small beach with high-end hotels, resorts and villas, as well as cute critters like these ones.
"Enjoying your trip, miss?"
"Why yes, I’m nuts about this town!"
Ba dum tss.
A-corny jokes aside, I really did enjoy this part of our trip. It was exactly what I preferred—to see the city’s old-town charm instead of Sea World or Lego Land or other more popular tourist attractions. Random snapshots on my Instagram @shailagarde :) So long, San Diego! I shall return.
Next: Long Beach
My Hello Kitty nails would’ve been perfect for our layover in Taiwan en route to Los Angeles. Took these iPhone photos at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
This life-size dollhouse is actually a nursery room for moms with babies and toddlers to stay while waiting for their flight.
What I wouldn’t give to have this as my bedroom!
Walking around the airport, I saw another section where everything was Hello Kitty, even the world clock and the pay phones.
“Last 5 minutes for shopping!” as travelers get near Gate C3 - Hello Kitty gate.
I literally stopped myself from coming in the Sanrio gift shop. I was afraid I’d blow my pocket money before I even get to the States!
Luggage that I want to put in my luggage
I’m seriously considering putting a Hello Kitty drop ceiling in my room now.
Beside the gift shop is the waiting area for adults and playground for children.
That’s what I call sitting pretty! Heh.
Our layover was eight hours long, but I barely felt the hours pass by. The Hello Kitty facilities were just one of the many things the airport had to offer, aside from yummy food, fast free WiFi in every corner, free massage seats, spacious gardens and quaint shoppes. But then, no other airport has a whole gate dedicated to my favorite character since ever! An awesome start to a month-long trip. Thanks, Taiwan!
Photos by either my mom or dad. Next: San Diego
Bright floral prints never fail to liven up drab days. If you’ve seen our blog Archives (or if you’ve been reading this blog long enough—and thank you!) you’ll notice how we love playing with prints. One of the reasons to love summer.