Retail Therapy for Couch Potatoes

Fashion & Beauty

Hello friends! So I mentioned my love for online stores Shein and Boohoo in last week’s post. Now it’s time for a review. And no, this post is not sponsored.

Honestly, I was pleased with every item I purchased. The material was comfortable and the designs came out as pictured on the site. The sizing was surprisingly accurate as well. Just keep your body measurements on a note on your phone and refer back to it whenever you shop online. If you hover over the picture, Shein shows the body measurements of the model and the size she is wearing, so if your measurements are similar, you can just tell whether you need to get a small or a medium.

What bothers me though, is that Shein’s sizes only go up to a large and Boohoo’s go up to an extra large, and that too, depending on the item. I really hope they work on providing more clothing options to women of all shapes and sizes.

I highly suggest reading the reviews before purchasing anything. A lot of them don’t have reviews so it gets tough. The clothes look good regardless but sometimes the material isn’t exactly the best quality. It may even be see through when you’re in the sunlight so read the description carefully. You just have to go with your gut, but thankfully they have a good return policy.

Now, on to my shopping haul. I posted the online photo of what I bought alongside what they actually looked like once I got them.

  1. Stella Embroidered 3/4 Sleeve Shirt
    $22.00

 

I absolutely love this top. Everything about it was exactly what I had hoped for.

2. Tassel Tie Embroidered Yoke Panel Dress
         $27.00


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As much as I like the embroidery on this dress, it is translucent in the sunlight so I had to wear a cami and leggings under it which made the ensemble pretty hot. The material is comfortable but it is a bit cheap because of how thin it is. This is definitely a delicate piece.

3. Grid Mock Neck Tunic Dress
         $16.00

 

The windowpane look is trending right now and the quality of this dress is pretty solid. Definitely a dress to wear with tights and boots for the winter. I also do have a thing for mock neck dresses.

4. Ella Ruffle Tiered Blouse
         $23.00

 

The color of the picture I took is pretty off just because the lighting was bad. Overall, I’m happy with what I got. Black jeans paired with embroidered suede booties would complete this look. Top if off with a hat if you like.

4. Layla Pleat Back Long Sleeve Shirt
         $11.00

 

This top could have been so cute if it weren’t completely see-through. The color was perfect and the pleats were gorgeous. It’s literally tinted mesh at this point, but the description never mentioned this. Looks like this is going back to the store.

5. Tie Waist Culotte Pants
         $10.00

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The culottes looked great on the site and they looked good when I wore them, but I realized how cheap the material was if you look closely at it. The stitching on the elastic band was amateur but that’s actually my fault for not looking at the photo online closely. If you notice the grey version, the stitching is ratched on the online photo as well, so it’s not falsely advertised after all. Thank goodness for the tie around the elastic.

 

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Picnic Blankets and Pina Coladas

Fashion & Beauty

Fall is in the air and new styles are trending. Shopping for chic but modest outfits that don’t break that bank is like searching for a needle in a haystack. It’s vexing to scour heaps of clothes only to find one embroidered long sleeve top that ends up costing $50.

So I have resorted to online shopping and I don’t mean on the sites of mainstream retail stores. I’ve recently been introduced to Boohoo and Shein which, to be honest, I was a little skeptical about. Online stores don’t give me the option of returning clothes at the physical store and quickly picking out an alternative.

I recently received my first Shein package, and so far, every single item has been a perfect fit. I haven’t washed any of them yet so I’ll save the reviews for another post.

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This past Friday, I went to my sister’s birthday dinner where I ordered a virgin pina colada. I can honestly say it was a much needed refreshment after a long day at the county fair. I donned one of my Shein favorites, a cute bell-sleeved, gingham top adorned with floral embroidery paired with black skinny jeggings and silver oxfords. Yes, it’s an entire look with every trend listed above. I basically look like a picnic blanket placed on a bed of roses. If that’s the look you’re going for, here’s where you can get it.

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Shop my look

Gingham Top: Shein, $17

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Silver Oxfords: JustFab, $40 (first purchase is $10)

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Skinny Jeggings: H&M, $18

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Concealer: Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer – Deep 34, $25

Foundation: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation – Warm Nude 30, $10

Eyebrow Liner: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade – Ebony, $18

Lipstick: ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick – Creeper, $6

Watch my last lookbook & check out my ColourPop Ultra Matte swatches here!

 

Minimalism: Less is more

Fashion & Beauty

It’s officially the first day of fall but this Houston heat hasn’t backed down even a smidge. It might even be mid to late October till we get a cool breeze around here during the daytime. My wardrobe sure as hell won’t be waiting around for that (trust me, we’d be waiting till January for a decent drop in temperature).

It’s a new season, and I’ve got a new fashion approach I’m willing to take on. It’s trending, it’s in, and it’s what all the broke college kids are talking about these days — minimalism. You mean like minimal body coverage? Ummm, no. It doesn’t mean minimal effort either. Minimalism is about living with fewer material possessions and making the most of what you have so you can focus on what’s really important in life. This can mean redecorating your home in the simplest way possible, reducing clutter, and donating things you really don’t need.

Summer Lookbook

Fashion & Beauty

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer! This summer has kicked off to a great start, with Ramadan already half way through and a looming internship in the big apple. I know it’s been a while since I posted here so I promise I am going to get back into it.

Filming this lookbook took a great deal of work, but boy was it worth it. I really do hope you enjoy it and maybe even end up buying some of the statement pieces. The looks were meant to be as diverse as possible, with different styles and color schemes.

Spring Break Getaway OOTD

Fashion & Beauty

During spring break a few weeks ago, my family decided to go on a mid-week getaway at a secluded resort in Austin, Texas. Barton Creek Resorts was beautiful, surrounded by flourishing plants. Greenery pervaded the acreage as we had a front-view of the golf course from our window. This technology-free vacation was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my family and take my mind off of worldly stress. I left that back at home. There was a cute nature trail and mini-golf course right by the outdoor pool on the cliff overlooking the large bodies of water and surrounding mansions. The sight was breathtaking. I finally had my chance to eat out for almost every meal, trying new varieties like Vietnamese Pho and Japanese California rolls.

5 Beauty Hacks for Clear Skin & An Update on My Life

Fashion & Beauty

Hi friends! Boy, has it been ages since my last post on here. I have a lot to catch you up on, from my acne flare up to my mental health. So here goes.

Not a single pimple in the year 2016 until the gloomy day of December 31, 2016. I thought I could keep the streak going, but my luck just isn’t that considerate towards me. Now I have a bunch of tiny friends popping up every few days, but luckily I restarted my clear skin routine that I made a video of below. It’s kind of going away, but considering the fact that my eating and sleep habits have been erratic, I don’t expect the superficial remedies to work optimally. As far as my New Year’s resolution of working out consistently, I can kiss that one goodbye. The fourth time I worked out this year, was three days ago. I know, please stop cringing.

No Brushes Makeup Challenge

Fashion & Beauty
No Brushes Makeup Challenge! Was it an epic fail or pretty decent? Let me know in the comments. I personally felt that my makeup didn’t come out too shabby. The eyebrows were definitely the worst part, as it was hard to get just the right amount of product on my fingertips. Using my fingers the entire time was frustrating because I had to keep washing my hands between products, and the entire process just felt so unsanitary considering how acne-prone my skin already is. I don’t need extra oils from my fingers all over my face to make it worse. I hope you enjoyed this video. Make sure to like and subscribe!

Valentine’s Day Party Makeup Look

Fashion & Beauty

As promised, I made a video of my makeup tutorial for the MAXIM party. This look is perfect even for a Valentine’s day date night or just a fancy party. Let me know in the comments below if you have any tutorial or video requests! Like and subscribe!

Farewell to Super Bowl Fever : 2017 MAXIM Party

Culture, Fashion & Beauty, Take a Chill Pill, Wellness

Did you show your patriot-ism for the Falcons last Sunday? Am I funny yet?

It was a one of a kind game, making history for the first Super Bowl overtime. As a Patriots fan, I was undoubtedly disappointed during the first half. I nearly gave up hope (until Gaga’s halftime performance of course), but when my Internet resumed to stream the game after a brief lag, I noticed the Patriots went from 12 to 20 on the scoreboard. Like I said, Gaga makes everything better. The Patriot’s comeback was mind-blowing.

I sat on floor in front of my LCD TV, legs sprawled out, moping till the fourth quarter while I snuck in whatever few homework questions I could during the commercials. Unfortunately, most of them weren’t even good. What I did notice was that many of them centered around the topic of inclusion and diversity. Budweiser, on the other hand, straight up made a commercial about immigration. Subtle much?

I have to admit the Skittles ad was my favorite, mainly because that was the only remotely engaging commercial that genuinely made me laugh out loud (and I don’t mean a courtesy chuckle).

Living in Houston, Super Bowl fever was prevalent in my life, whether I liked it or not. Super Bowl propaganda, radio promotions for free concert tickets, significantly longer commutes to college the week before, constant construction to widen highways and revamp the bridges are among some of them. The constant buzz about all eyes being on Houston was kind of empowering, though. When does Houston ever get this kind of exposure? The city officials even had the downtown homeless population relocated to the outskirts, to give tourists the illusion that downtown Houston is pristine beyond gentrification.

Now that it’s all over, it feels weird. What now? What happens on December 26 after you hype up the entire month for Christmas?

So I started my fellowship at Houstonia Magazine this past January. I absolutely love it because of all the new experiences I get, and interesting people I meet. One of these amazing events I was privileged to attend was the 2017 MAXIM Super Bowl Party on Feb. 4, which happened to be at a new venue around five minutes from my house.

I bought myself a Tadashi Shoji gown from Nordstrom Rack for $87 that morning. What I realized during the party was that there was an inch-long thumb tack embedded within the dress which poked out the entire night, scraping my arm. I now have a 2-inch scab by my left elbow. There is no way I am keeping this dress.

The party was phenomenal, and probably my once in a lifetime experience being invited to a celebrity event as a member of the media. I had a press pass and everything, granting me access to every nook and cranny of the arena.  Even VIP backstage with free valet parking.

Six rounds of security checks and a metal detector separated guests from the party entrance as celebrities waltzed down the red carpet.

Singers, reality show stars, celebrity wannabes, and fans took to the Smart Financial Center, looking like a million bucks. You could see the fuchsia-lit stadium from miles away. Stunt motorcyclists flew through the air at the Monster Energy FMX Motorcycle Show outside the center, which had been transformed into a glamorous party hall. Models danced on illuminated platforms as waiters served light bites.

Famous faces we’d seen on TV and in tabloids stood inches away. Patriots cheerleaders walked out of their bus, posing in their cocktail dresses for the flashing cameras. Pop stars Fergie and Nick Cannon were there, as was Rocket James Harden and Dallas heartthrob Chace Crawford from Gossip Girl. Chace passed by me on the red carpet, as he avoided most of the media, keeping a low profile before hopping to another party with Fergie.

Even Ludacris made the bash. Some stayed only for a bit before hopping to other parties, while others spent the entire evening in their private suites. I spoke with Texans player Andre Hal and his girlfriend. I interviewed a Patriots cheerleader, former Cheetah girl Adrienne Bailon, Bow Wow, and even Olivia Caridi from the last season of The Bachelor.

As guests entered the grand hall, they were greeted with bright red lights, blaring music, lingerie models, and elaborate displays of macarons, cupcakes, and spiked ice cream. The Monster Energy Lounge and the open bar kept the audience in good spirits throughout the night. After crowds spent hours socializing, at around eleven, the performances got underway and everyone went insane.
Agile, graceful, acrobatic dancers hung from the ceiling on red ribbons as DJ Khaled dropped beats. DJ Khaled is cool and all, but a DJ can only entertain the crowd so much before he just gets boring, as he stands behind a booth for an entire hour scrambling to find a song we aren’t already tired of hearing on the radio. It got boring after 20 minutes, and I was left there swaying to the music for 40 minutes as I prayed for DNCE to swoop in to save me from my boredom.

DNCE came on at midnight and got the crowd screaming along to hits “Cake by the Ocean” and “Toothbrush” while tossing them everything from DNCE “currency” and roses, to beach balls and sex dolls. Yes, it was weird. I was front row in the VIP section during DNCE’s performance. Joe Jonas (aka my crush since the 3rd grade) held my hand twice during his brief performance. Just when I thought I died, I was reincarnated, and died again the second time. Ok I’m done fangirling.

Maxim Super Bowl Party - Inside

Me awkwardly staring at my phone despite being beside the love of my life.

Travis Scott ended the night at around 2:30 as the partiers roared along to his hit “Antidote.”

Follow me on IG @rafafarihah to see my interviews and photos with some of the stars. I will have a MAXIM makeup tutorial video out tomorrow on my YouTube channel.

Check out my original Houstonia article here with a video of the event.

Animal Shelter OOTD

Fashion & Beauty

Yesterday, I went to the animal shelter with some friends to pet the cutest kittens known to man (probably not but they were cute, okay). Their magical puny paws in my hands and soft fur against my skin felt almost too mollifying. No one can resist but fall madly in love with these cuddly creatures. I was tempted to adopt a tabby of brown and gray shades named Corinne.

This little kitten had the charm of a 2-year-old, initially shy, but very playful when comfortable enough. Unfortunately, my parents aren’t too comfortable with the idea of having a living, breathing animal roaming the house amongst us. Someday when I have my own apartment, maybe my dream of owning a kitten, or maybe becoming a cat lady will come true. Au revoir Corinne!

Here is my OOTD:

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Shop my look

Blouse: Worthington, JCPenney

Bomber Jacket: Forever 21

Ankle Jeans: Forever 21

Oxfords: Max, India

Scarf: Get it on AliExpress here

Concealer: Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer – Deep 34, $25

Foundation: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation – Warm Nude 30, $10

Eyebrow Liner: Walmart; Salon Perfect Brow Pomade – Dark Brown, $5

Lipstick: Maybelline Super Stay 14hr Lipstick – Enduring Ruby, $7

Watch this tutorial to get my hijab look & check out ColourPop Ultra Matte swatches here!

Make sure to request on my Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat/Facebook @rafafarihah any other OOTD ideas you want me to try!