Joshua Tree, California, USA

Desert Vibes

Took another trip out to Joshua Tree recently, and the second visit was possibly even more magical than the first. LA is definitely lucky to be just a short two-hour drive from this special place. It often gets quite chilly during winter in the high desert, even snowing sometimes (still preferable to a desert summer in my opinion--except that the Milky Way is best viewed during the summer) but we were blessed with perfect, cool weather. We stayed in a cute little Airbnb cabin on rural land with jackrabbits and roadrunners and this glorious Joshua Tree right in front. At night we took advantage of the prime view of the stars and tried shooting some star trails!

Long cardigan, Sole Society (sold out). Denim camp shirt, Madewell (old). White tank top, Fabletics. Olive fedora, H&M. Black skinny jeans, Gap. El Paso ankle boot, Minnetonka.

Mini-dresses in Winter

I had this dress in my closet for a while but never really found the occasion to wear it. Despite being a floral print, the color and cut (it has these long floofy long sleeves) are a strange note to hit during the summertime. It looks much better complimented by the deeper and richer shades of fall/winter. Luckily, wearing mini-dresses during the winter in LA is totally feasible much of the time. It just gets a bit chilly at night.

You've already seen me wear this Zara jacket and these Banana Republic boots plenty of times. They are definitely two of my wardrobe's MVPs this season. Sometimes I feel like I have to consciously force myself to wear other things. As for my Chloé Faye, I had doubts at first on whether I had made the right color choice. Since it's such a popular bag, I decided to go for a seasonal color that would be a little more unique. However, while this shade "Intense Green" was definitely more distinctive than a basic black, I worried that I wouldn't get much use out of it, compared to a neutral color that could be worn year-round. Luckily, it has turned out to complement many of my outfits super well, adding a subtle yet interesting touch of color.

Beck mini dress, Free People (old). Suede-effect moto jacket, Zara. Leather double-buckle belt, Asos. Magda suede ankle boots, Banana Republic. Faye mini in Intense Green, Chloé.

A Touch of Color

In today's look, I'm wearing my favorite black jeans, favorite white blouse, favorite ankle boots (at the moment), and favorite moto jacket! You can't go wrong with an outfit built of great basics, but as chic as black and white are as a color combination, I don't feel like quite myself without a bit of color. Normally my M.O would be to throw on a colored bag, but I've been loving my Céline mini belt bag way too much lately. Ironically, black looks so good with nearly every color, but, in my opinion, looks a bit dull when paired with itself. Adding an element with a great print always works to liven things up quickly. I added a floral touch to my outfit by using a poncho/shawl thing that I got from Urban Outfitters as a scarf. A scarf is perfect for the weather lately, but when it's too hot, a small colorful accessory such as a bag charm or a scarf tied to the bag can work wonders too.

Tie-neck blouse, Banana Republic. Black skinny jeans, Gap. Suede ankle boots, Banana Republic. Shangri-La poncho (worn as scarf), Urban Outfitters. Suede moto jacket, BlankNYC.

Discovering Dezzal

LA has been having the best winter I can remember in a long time, with lots of gloomy weather and tons of much-needed rain! Still, every once in a while, we are graced with 70 degrees and sun, and we can appreciate that perfect weather all that much more now. I know I definitely did, as I had been waiting to wear my new dress from Sans Souci for a while! Also new in is this vegan biker jacket I got from Dezzal.

If you haven't heard of Dezzal, it's a really cool place to shop for something one-of-a-kind. They are based in Asia, and feature various labels and designers that you can't find stateside. When I first perused the site, I was pleasantly surprised--it's definitely not your typical Asian ecommerce store filled with tons of low-price knock-offs. In fact, most of their pictures are watermarked to prevent OTHER sites from copying their designs and using their pictures. A couple of the labels that I really like on Dezzal are Oserjep, Lushijiao, and Fanice. Check them out if you are on the market for something unique!

Vegan leather biker jacket, c/o Dezzal. Olive dress, c/o Sans Souci. Mini mini bucket bag in Brandy, Mansur Gavriel. El Paso bootie, Minnetonka. Scarf, Aritzia (old)

Review: Maybelline 24k Nudes Palette

When it comes to make-up, I love trying new things but always seem to go back to my tried-and-true favorites. When I was younger, I was a bit more experimental with my look (those colored Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners were my jam--I seriously used to own like half the colors!) but these days when it comes to eye-make up, I like to stick to boring, everyday brown shades, with maybe a bit of metallic thrown in on special occasions.

So when I was asked to try out the new Maybelline 24k Nudes palette, the answer was an easy yes! A collection of warm colors and wearable jewel-tones, the palette is right up my alley. If I ever get a little experimental with color, it's always with a khaki green or a darkish purple, so I was really excited that the palette included those shades. I also love how there's a good amount of shimmer in this palette, with copper, bronze, and gold colors included. And there is a matte black shade as well as a shimmery black for creating smoky eyes!

Confession: I can't remember the last time I wore drugstore eyeshadow. Pigmentation is just so much better with high-end brands, so for eyeshadows, I always prefer to splurge, especially since eyeshadows last me forever (I've had my two Urban Decay Naked palettes forever). So I was excited to see how this Maybelline palette would compare. Surprisingly, even without using eyelid primer, the darker colors show up really well, but blending and working with the lighter colors is a little more difficult, at least for me. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by this palette and am excited to continue trying out different looks with it!

Maybelline also sent me the Eye Studio Master Precise liquid liner to try as well as the Colossal Big Shot Volum' Express mascara. I'm always pretty whatever about mascara. I have such dinky lashes that mascara doesn't make as much of an impact, and I get so many mascaras in the form of samples and gifts with purchase or as a part of gift sets that I never really buy any. There are some bad mascaras out there, and those usually get chucked right into the trash, but I'll use any decent mascara that doesn't smear too easily (giving me racoon eyes) or clump weird. The only exception for me was the waterproof formula of Maybelline Lash Stylist, which had a comb applicator instead of your usual mascara wand, but they sadly discontinued this product many years ago. It was my holy grail of mascara! I still have a couple of unopened ones that I am saving for a rainy day (I know some people will probably think that's really gross, but I don't care! I've yet to experience negative effects from wearing old make-up). Anyway, the Colossal Big Shot is a pretty good mascara, although it doesn't "wow me" or anything (but as I said, no mascara ever really does). It does take me a few coats to get the look I want.

The Eye Studio Master Precise liquid liner (why does Maybelline like to give its products such long names?) on the other hand, was a surprise hit for me. At first when I saw the extra long tip, I thought it would be really hard to control, but it's stiff enough to be just right and applies just the right amount of product for a controlled line. I would even go so far as to say it's the best drugstore liquid eyeliner that I've ever tried. I only wish that it came in a waterproof formula to really last through the day and night!

What about you? Have you tried any of these products? What are your drugstore faves?

This post is sponsored by Maybelline. All opinions expressed are my own.

Fall Feels

I finally visited a neighborhood nearby with some nice fall-colored leaves and it was glorious. It's been quite chilly in LA lately (by our standards); in fact, this is the longest stretch of chilly weather I can remember experiencing since I moved back after college. The cold weather definitely contributed to a legitimate fall feel. It didn't even feel like we were in LA anymore! My fiancé and I strolled hand in hand, enjoying the slight bite and freshness to the air. It's been a while since we took a walk just for the simple joy of it (Pokemon adventures don't count) and it brought us back to the early days of our relationship. Both this turtleneck and the beanie were Thanksgiving weekend finds from H&M, and I got so excited about lower temps that I decided to wear them together even though they are kind of the same color. I think my bag tied it altogether nicely, or perhaps made it all too much, depending on who you ask. But I'm not one for overthinking things.

Beige turtleneck, H&M. Beige pom pom beanie, H&M. Farleigh slim mom jeans, ASOS. Bow flats, Zara. Georgia mini shoulder bag, Chloé.