May 10, 2019 – Baby’s Got The Bends (OOTD #499)

Blog title courtesy of: “The Bends,” by Radiohead, a song that I haven’t listened to in months and that I had to Google to ensure that it actually existed and I wasn’t remembering the lyrics wrong.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I told myself that I would make an effort to go out and see South Bend more. I’ve talked about the so-called “Notre Dame bubble” on this blog countless times before, so I won’t go into it deeply, but Notre Dame is a whole world apart from South Bend, the city where it’s located. Most students hardly leave campus at all, except for parties.

It’s my least-favorite part of ND life, and so I made an effort all this year to get off campus more — a feat that’s rather difficult without a car. I started volunteering at the South Bend Center for the Homeless once a week with a class on nonviolence, and in the spring semester, I interned at the Special Victims Unit of the St. Joseph County Prosecutor. 

Having a set schedule and people who relied on me to show up for work at a designated time each week was perfect for actually forcing me to haul myself out to the bus stop at the far end of campus and ride it out to the terminal downtown. I would have never convinced myself to go off campus nearly as much had I just wanted to go for fun; I needed something concrete to do. If I were just going for fun — say, to get coffee — I would never do it because I’d convince myself that I could just do that on-campus.

So as you could probably tell, I didn’t often go out into South Bend for fun. I went to the farmer’s market once or twice and went out to brunch with my friends on Valentine’s Day, but otherwise, I mostly stuck to the areas where I worked. So when, at the very end of the year, my parents came to move me out from my dorm, it was still exciting to get to go out to eat in Downtown South Bend.

And it was still exciting to take pictures in the city, even though I’ve done it several times before. I know Notre Dame’s photo locations inside and out, so it’s always exciting to see something new, even if it’s just some artwork outside of a pottery shop in South Bend.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Top: (thrifted)

Jeans: Hollister

May 5, 2019 – Golden Days and Golden Domes (OOTD #498)

Ironically, these shots were actually taken at quite the opposite of “golden hour” — it was late morning, meaning that the sun was almost but not yet directly overhead. Aside from high noon lighting, late morning and early afternoon lighting are both some of my least-favorite to work with.

Luckily, these shots turned out great anyway! I owe that more to a pretty dress, a pretty background, pretty makeup, and pretty friends than the light, though. They go a long way, especially together.

As has become tradition among my friends and me, before the last week of school (and the associated final exams), we headed to the golden dome for a photoshoot. I’m not sure exactly how we got to doing this — or how much longer we’ll continue to do it — but since freshman year, we’ve commemorated the end of a year with a friendship photo session. We also did it at the end of last semester, around Christmastime.

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see you losers in 15 months

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Maybe we’re a bunch of self-obsessed young adults addicted to social media (I mean, I can’t speak for my friends, but I know that’s how I’d self-identify), but it’s nice to have some good group shots with your friends. Not only is it perfect for the obligatory end-of-the-year sentimental retrospect Instagram post, but it’s the sort of thing you can put into a picture frame or hang up on your photo board.

Are candid shots probably more authentic and a better representation of how you and your friends behave together on a daily basis? Sure. But a semi-staged photoshoot where you all get dressed up and recruit someone’s boyfriend to take your picture in front of iconic campus imagery is a good way to capture the group at its most poised — even if it’s not a very poised group.

So this is my last blog post of sophomore year! There’s one still to come that was taken in South Bend before I had fully moved out, but this is the last one from while classes were still going on. I didn’t bother with pictures during finals week, especially since I knew I already so behind with posting these things.

Thanks so much for sticking with me throughout this whole year — from ND’s undefeated football season to study abroad applications to Qatar to France to the Women’s March to the Polar Vortex. I can’t wait to share my summer adventures with you!

Up next: Rome, Italy!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com.


Dress: Francesca’s

 

REVIEW: L’Oreal EverPure Repair & Defend Hair Care

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Hey look, it’s another Influenster VoxBox review.

Influenster seems to like sending me haircare products. I’m pretty sure that one of the very first products they ever sent me back when I first signed up was some purple hair dye from Clairol. Maybe they recognize how damaged it is after I bleached the hell out of it in high school. And then again right before sophomore year of college.

I’ve written extensively on my life as a blonde Asian, but a huge part of that life is trying to keep my hair from falling out again like it did at the beginning of freshman year, resulting in a pixie cut that made me look like Arya Stark when she was masquerading as a boy. I’m still trying to grow my hair back again. I’m glad that phase of my life is over — in terms of hair, I consider myself more of a Daenerys than an Arya.

Now that I’m in the process of growing my hair back again, while maintaining the bleach blonde color, I’m on the constant lookout for products that will both keep my hair healthy and protect its color. The L’Oreal EverPure Repair and Defend shampoo and conditioner set promises to do just that.

So after testing it out for a few weeks, do I think it lives up to its promises?

Eh…well enough, I guess. Ultimately, I don’t think I’ll be making a permanent switch of my normal routine of Clairol Shimmer Lights and Aussie Three Minute Miracle.

The thing is, with my bleach blonde hair, I don’t need my shampoo to “lock in” the color of a dye that’s been put on top of my hair; I need it to add a toning shade to prevent it from getting brassy. I don’t actually dye my hair — that is, I don’t put dye on top of it. I bleach it, and then I tone it, which is a different from dyeing.

I think this product is meant to prevent dye from fading, which is not something I struggle with because my hair has not been dyed. That’s why I like the Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo — it’s a deep purple, so when I layer it on top of my base color of a yellowish bleach blonde color, it neutralizes the yellows and makes it look like a more natural ash blonde. Complimentary colors and all that jazz.

The conditioner is alright, but nothing special. I do find that my hair seems to be getting greasier faster than usual in the time I’ve been using this product, but that could also be the change of season. I do find it questionable though that a regular conditioner that’s meant for daily use makes my hair greasier faster than the deep conditioner I normally use; it seems like if anything, the L’Oreal conditioner should be lighter and make my hair less greasy than the Aussie one.

I appreciate that I had the chance to try these products, and maybe they could work for someone with different hair. Like I said, if you actually dye your hair and want to prevent fading, then perhaps this product is for you. But for me, whose concerns are not so much fading but rather toning, I just don’t think I was the right person this time. Sorry Influenster.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite shampoos and conditioners for color-damaged hair? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

 

 

May 29, 2018 – Playground Fashion (OOTD #294)

We’re getting awfully close to OOTD post #300, aren’t we?

My post upload schedule has been sketchy at best recently, but hey, at least it still exists! Just a few more days, and I think we’re due for OOTD #300. Amazing.

You know what’s not amazing? The 90+ degree weather we’ve been getting these last few days in Kentucky.

I know it’s summer, and I know it’s the South, and so I should really be used to this heat by now, but I’m just not.

I imagine the reason why I’m not used to the weather yet is because I insist upon dressing in turtlenecks in late May, even though it’s already oppressively hot and humid outside. Some little voice in my head tells me that that might be the reason why I can’t stand the heat, but I don’t pay attention to it. I mean, it can’t be my fault that I’m uncomfortable when I dress completely inappropriately for the weather, right?

In fairness, the office I work in during the day is pretty chilly, and I spent most of my time sitting or standing idly, so it doesn’t make sense to dress for summer weather in the way I might want to. I can freeze in my office or burn in the couple of moments when I have to go outside, so between the two, I’d rather brave the brief heat.

Besides, shaving every day is also a major hassle. But like…my unwillingness to do that every day definitely doesn’t have anything to do with dressing in long sleeves on hot days. Nope, no way.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: The LOFT (thrifted)

Skirt: Forever21

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Bullet Journal Life

Oh no guys, I’m posting another Saturday Musings blog on a Sunday. What a terrible blogger am I.

This weekend sees me beginning my first bullet journal, which is arguably a terrible decision for the actual organization of my life. See, I’m terrible at devoting time to projects like this. I want them to turn out beautiful, as if I’d put hours and hours of my time in to it, but I’m unwilling to put the hours and hours into it, so I wind up with something where a few pages are done to perfection and the rest are half finished and neglected.

But I just couldn’t resist! I started watching AmandaRachLee’s bullet journal tutorials on YouTube, and I couldn’t stop myself after I saw her pretty pastel colors and simplistic designs. Plus, I figured I already spent a lot of time putting doodles into my planner and making that look cute, so why not put just a little more time into making a bullet journal look cute?

We’ll see how it turns out, I guess. I’ve finished my June spread, and I’m really happy with how it turned out! I used my Prismacolor alcohol-based markers, resulting in having to skip pages due to bleed through (“ghosting” as I’ve heard it called), but I didn’t really have anything better to use. My Prismacolors aren’t really being used for anything right now anyway, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I’ll keep you updated on my bullet journal adventures! I’m not sure I’d put much faith into me actually maintaining it, especially once school begins, but I wouldn’t count it out either. I like it so far, so hopefully my motivation remains!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

May 26, 2018 – Complimentary Colors (OOTD #292)

Double complimentary colors! Look at that!

I love complimentary colors. I don’t know who doesn’t — they work so well together, and the fact that they work well together is a part of their name.

Here, I have both red and green going in my outfit, and then orange and blue in the background. That wasn’t really intentional, but now that I see how it turned out, I’m a fan.

I’m always on the lookout for new and colorful backdrops for my OOTD photography, and I thought this Mexican restaurant’s walls worked perfectly for that. Some of the most unconventional locations can make for good backgrounds, and you never know when they’re going to pop up — I once used a bathroom wall, which probably takes the cake for unusual backgrounds.

Fun fact — this is actually my second Mexican restaurant featured on this blog as a background.  The first was just as colorful, though pink rather than orange and blue. I find restaurants to make for good backgrounds because they’re often painted vibrant, eye-catching colors. They may not be glamorous, but a nice colorful wall always works well on my Instagram feed.

Running a fashion blog isn’t always as fabulous as it may seem, then. As much as I’d love to take my OOTD photos at an exotic Paris café every day, more often, they wind up being taken outside of Kentucky Mexican restaurants as random families pass by and wonder why some Asian chick is having a fashion shoot in public.

I’d say it’s a living, but I don’t get paid very much or very often, so it’s really not. It’s a…hobby?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Forever21

Top & Shorts: PacSun

May 25, 2018 – Flower Clocks and Frankfort (OOTD #291)

You ever have one of those experiences where you think something exists, but you aren’t positive if it’s real or if you imagined it?

For me, that was this flower clock in Frankfort, Kentucky. I thought I remembered reading about it a long time ago while doing research into things to do in Kentucky (spoiler alert: there’s not a lot), but no one I ever mentioned it to knew what I was talking about.

It was never something I cared enough about to Google to confirm its existence, so for many years, I pretty much just forgot about it. I figured I’d made it up, or otherwise, it was somewhere other than Kentucky, and since I never had any reason to go to Frankfort, I never bothered to search for it.

That was until I began my internship in Frankfort — now, I’m there every week, so the mysterious elusive flower clock was on my mind again. I figured, maybe I’d come across it one day, or otherwise, go searching for it sometime after work — you know, not really something I would actively search for or think about, but if it happened to be convenient to check out sometime, I would.

Interestingly, it wasn’t even me who found it. It was my dad. He came to pick me up from work, and I asked him to take some OOTD pictures for me before we left for home. I suggested some potted flowers outside of the Capitol building to serve as the background, but my dad said he had something better in mind. We got out of the car, walked about two minutes away from the Capitol building, and…

There it was! The mystical flower clock of my dreams!

Truth be told, it wasn’t that great. It’s pretty, don’t get me wrong, but there were a lot less…flowers than I thought there would be. There were really only one kind of purple ones concentrated around the middle. It was cooler as a giant raised clock than as a floral arrangement.

Mostly, though, I was just excited to find out that the flower clock was real. Now, on to prove the existence of Sasquatch.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket & skirt: Forever21

Top: H&M

May 24, 2018 – How To Wear a Maxi Skirt as a Mini Person (OOTD #290)

Call me mini, fun-sized, hobbit-like, or petite, the fact of the matter is, I am very short.

Bar a brief period in second grade when my fellow peers’ growth patterns just happened to result in me being average-sized, I have always been very small for my age. Mostly, though, that doesn’t bother me. Being small gives me an extra cute-ness factor, which, at least for now, I appreciate.

What I don’t appreciate, though, is clothes that are made for tall people. There’s nothing wrong with being tall — some days I envy those with height — but the reality of the situation is that I simply cannot wear some kinds of clothing because of my height. I like being short, but I don’t like looking disproportional, and not everything is going to be flattering on me.

Thankfully, just because I can’t wear every shape and style of clothing doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to make most things work. If there’s a trend that you like, but that you don’t think will work for you, chances are you can still incorporate that style into your wardrobe — the key is simply to find the one piece of the particular style that works for your body. Even if not everything works, something still must, right?

For my trip to Nepal later this summer, I’m required to wear loose-fitting pants and skirts that cover at least my calves, so I’ve been experimenting with more modest styles that will be compatible with the fashion there. Unfortunately, as a petite woman, long, loose skirts and pants don’t always look flattering on me, instead making my legs look even shorter than they already are.

The solution I have found to wearing a maxi skirt as a mini person is a high-waisted skirt paired with a form-fitting top, creating the illusion of longer legs and a skinner waist. It’s also important for me to ensure that the skirt doesn’t have too much volume, or else I just look like a cupcake (a look which, while cute for my high school prom, I don’t know if I’d want to do on the daily).

In the end, though, my best piece of advice is just to try stuff on. I know it can be discouraging to keep trying on clothes that don’t look flattering, but if you don’t try, you won’t know what will work for you. If you’re willing to put the effort in, chances are, something is bound to work.

What kinds of styles do you guys find to be tricky for your unique body shape? What tips do you have for making that style work for you? Let me know in the comments below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: The LOFT

May 23, 2018 – Sweet Southern Heat (OOTD #289)

iPhone X photos are weird.

Sometimes, the image quality and lighting is gorgeous — all those ads that show amateur photographers taking beautiful portrait-mode works of art are perfectly accurate to how it actually works. And sometimes, the images are grainy and barely any better than what I got on my old iPhone 4.

I’m exaggerating a little, of course — the worst iPhone X photos are still much better than my iPhone 4 photos. It is interesting though, how much variation there is in the photos I get. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re so-so.

Anyway, I feel like these are a little more so-so, which is too bad, given how much I like the outfit. It’s bright and colorful and cheery, just like a good summer (spring, technically, I guess — though it doesn’t much feel like it with how hot it is) outfit should be.

Speaking of which, this weather is not making me cheery. I complain about this every summer I spend in Kentucky, but it’s horrifically humid here, and I am not a fan. It makes me miss the Notre Dame snow, which I probably also complained about.

I’ll be interested to see how I handle the heat of Nepal later this summer when I go with my school. Apparently it’s monsoon season, which sounds to me like even more hot and even more humid.  It’s amazing that I’m from southern China and grew up in the southern United States, because I cannot handle the humidity at all.

I’m a wimp, what can I say.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Zara

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer

May 21, 2018 – Fast Food Fashion (OOTD #288)

I have been wearing this Notre Dame hat a lot recently, and it makes me feel very trendy.

It’s not necessarily that a baseball hat elevates my fashion — in fact, it makes it even more casual. It’s casual in a cool way, though. Like, how often do you see a baseball hat paired with a dress?

If you use Pinterest or read other fashion blogs, probably plenty. But I can still pretend to be unique and special.

This pictures were done outside of my local Chick-Fil-A — how fun is that? Being totally honest, I hadn’t even intended to do pictures for this outfit, I didn’t think it was cool enough, but my dad and these pretty potted flowers outside of the restaurant convinced me otherwise.

Sometimes, a pretty background comes your way, and you’re not always dressed exactly as you’d like. It happens. The choice then, is whether you do photography even if there’s no outfit worth photographing — and today, I decided to do it. The background was just too cute. Plus, I liked my hat. It’s as simple as that.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Brandy Melville

Hat: Notre Dame bookstore