Friday, June 27, 2014

OOTD - Office Prep

Hey guys!

Just thought I'd share what I wore to the office today. Pointy-toed flats, a long black trench, pleated midi-skirt and striped sweater for a casual-chic look. The sweater is actually maternity! One thing I learned during my pregnancy was to buy clothes that you can wear after, too - there's no point in spending money on clothes you can only wear for a few months. Plus, I noticed that if it looks good during maternity, it should look good after too. A lot of the maternity-only clothes I saw actually made me look and feel bigger!

Anyway, hope you're enjoying your Friday! The weekend is almost here!

What I'm Wearing
Flats: H&M
Trench: H&M
Sweater: A Pea in the Pod
Skirt: Market find in Bangkok 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Trend: Culottes

When you think of summer, what are some trends that come to mind? How about crop tops or culottes? They've been popping up everywhere lately, and I must say I love some of these midi-length skort styles. They're best for the transition from day to night - casual shorts for daytime, and then voila, a chic skirt for night! My favorites are the ones that are so flowy, you really can't even tell they're shorts.

Here are some of my faves:

What are some of your favorite pieces you can't wait to break out of storage for summer? xoxo

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Style Matrix Best Makeup Palettes

It's summertime! And that means keeping your summer makeup routine quick and easy. No one likes having caked-on layers in the summer heat and sweat. So in these summer months, I keep it light by sticking to some SPF, blush/bronzer and eyeshadow. Mascara and eyeliner melt, so I skip those. With a summer tan and highlights, you don't need much anyway.

Below are some of my favorite makeup palettes to keep it fresh and simple. Palettes are a convenient way to keep everything together, so you can just throw one in your bag for a refresher when you're on the go. 

Three eyeshadow palettes I recommend are: Urban Decay Naked ($54), Smashbox Full Exposure ($49), and Stila In the Light ($39). Naked has great soft shimmers, and Full Exposure's matte shades are flattering. But the best combination of shimmer and matte would have to be Stila's In the Light. If you're looking for just one palette, my favorite all-around is Lorac Pro-to-Go ($38). It's got everything you need - light and dark shadows, blush, and bronzer. (And the dark shadows can always double as smokey liners). A lot of palettes out there highlight cute packaging and skip quality pigment. But this one from Lorac has great deep color, so a little goes a long away. It's not too big either, so it will fit anywhere conveniently. 

Hope you're enjoying your summer so far! What are some of your favorite summer beauty tips?


Monday, May 12, 2014

THE STYLE MATRIX Video: Best Dry Shampoo and Hair Oil Treatment - Psssst! Dry Shampoo + Moroccan...

Hi guys!

A few of you have recommended I start making videos to put up on the blog, so here's my first try! I thought I'd start out simple with some hair styling tips. This is a review and recommendation for two of my favorite hair products - Dry Shampoo and Oil Treatment. Let me know what you think and enjoy!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

OOTD - Office Casual/Leather Sleeved Details

It's Friday, Friday! Wearing something a little more casual to the office today.... how does your office do casual Fridays?
So it looks like an H&M kind of day :-) Some may have issues with "fast fashion" but I love getting pieces that are so inexpensive I never have to worry about wear and tear - just wear to shreds and toss later. I take more risks with these pieces too, wearing them in different ways because I reach for them more often, unlike the more expensive pieces I tend to save for "special occasions". And style is all about being creative, experimenting and taking those risks anyway! Why not do it in a way that's easiest and most comfortable for you? 

Have a great weekend!

What I'm wearing:
Black top with leather sleeves - H&M
Olive green cargo jacket with leather sleeves - F21
Black ankle pants - H&M
Black and white slip-ons - H&M

Closet - Before & After

Hello lovely readers!

Today's post is about closets. As we know, a well-organized one can make dressing a much easier task.

My closet has been a work in progress. Originally, we had a spare room in our house that I made into a walk-in. But we have a more important use for that room now that our little one is here! So we got rid of the closet and made it into our sweetie's nursery.

Anyhow, that left me closet-less. So I went to Pinterest to start looking for inspiration on building one in the extension to our bedroom. One thing that helps when getting started on a project like this is knowing your dressing habits. I like to see my clothes, shoes and accessories all at once so I can easily decide what to wear. I also like to keep my formal, business and casual pieces in separate spaces so I know where to go to grab what. My walk-in had a vanity from which I was able to conveniently apply makeup, so that was an important feature I wanted to keep. Finally, since the new closet is in our bedroom, I wanted finished doors so the clutter wouldn't be the first thing we woke up to every morning.

Additional wish-list items to consider: a space for a laundry basket; an extra large bottom shelf for tall boots; separate installed drawers for jewelry, sunglasses, scarves, belts and gloves; ample lighting; appropriate space for hats; installed chest/drawers for undergarments and socks with separate compartments.

Here are some photos from the before and after:


At first I was really excited about the walk-in closet. I liked having the space to myself, but once we did the makeover, I realized just how untidy it all really looked.


Once we did the makeover, I was much happier with the set-up! With all the clothes tucked away neatly and shoes and bags organized on display for easy grabbing, the look is not only more clean, but functional as well. 

All the pieces are from IKEA. The great thing about the IKEA closet builder is you can customize the interiors with shelves and compartments to hold your pieces. The display cases holding the bags, shoes, and accessories are actually IKEA's Billy Bookcases. For the wardrobes, we just took measurements to make sure they fit wall to wall and floor to ceiling.

What are some of your easy dressing and closet organizing tips? I'd love to hear them!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer Work Layers


During one of the first warm spring days, I started thinking about good summer work outfits. Summer in DC can be really muggy. And when you're taking the metro to work (like I do) it takes everything not to walk into work drenching.

So dressing in layers is important for summers here because it's hot outside but then freezing in the office. For work I like sticking to neutrals - they're conservative just enough - and layering different shades of neutrals on top of each other gives a sophisticated look. I also like dressing in ways that make it easy to transition from day to night for after-work dinners in the city.

What are some of your tips for dressing in the summer?

Thanks for reading!

What I'm wearing
Dress: H&M
Blazer: Zara
Booties: Zara
Sunglasses: David Yurman 
Watch: Michael Kors 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Work Shoes

With spring finally here, I've been searching for the perfect work shoes to replace my winter flat boots. For work, I stick to flats because comfort is most important when I'm working long days! The difficult thing though was finding a flat shoe that was still stylish. Rounded toe just isn't me, so I opted for pointy-toe styles that go with midi-length skirts and tapered, ankle pants. I found a few pairs this weekend that I just loved - they're this season's popular D'Orsay style (with the cut-out sides) and come in a great versatile black and neutral. Which one is your favorite?

And what's your go-to footwear for work?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Style Matrix Everyday Makeup Routine

Hi there!

I was in desperate need of a makeup update. So I went on the hunt for the perfect powder illuminizer, a deep bronzer, a complementary blush, and the right eyeshadow palette.

The best powder illuminizer I found was hands-down MAC's Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle. I wanted that dewy, glowing look without the messiness of liquid highlighter or the stickiness of a cream one. I like how powder gives more even coverage, but I couldn't find a powder with a strong effect. Then I came across this MAC one and it was like the heavens parted.

After I picked up the illuminizer, I picked up a bronzer and blush from MAC to complete the look. The bronzer was a great shade, I just wish it was a little darker. The blush is a really pretty pink-violet - I wanted one that was the closes shade to my natural lip color. 


What I used: 

1. MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer - I don't like wearing foundation on normal days because I think it's too heavy. I usually just put concealer on underneath my eyes.

2. MAC Veluxe Brow Liner - A great brow liner for precision filling and a brush on the other end you can use to soften the lines.

3. MAC Bronzer - It was a toss-up between this and Nars Bronzer in Casino. I went with MAC because it was a little more subtle.

4. Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette - I love this palette for the matte shades and black shadow. On days I want a little more of an eyeliner look, I simply take a smudge brush and use the black shadow to create some smokey lines.

5. MAC Powder Blush in Breath of Plum - I once read that the best way to find the right shade of blush is to go with one that is the same color as your natural lips. It's mother nature's way of telling you what's your perfect color.

6. CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Clear Mascara - I actually can't stand mascara. I don't like how it makes my eyelashes feel stiff and it's even worse when it flakes all over the place. The worst is the pain of having to wash it off each night. So my alternative is this clear mascara. It doesn't give the same volume or length as regular mascara, but for everyday it gives a little definition.

7. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle - <insert trumpet sound here> This is it baby. The nicest illuminizer. I spent months looking for the perfect one! This one's great because not only can you use it to highlight your cheekbones, you can use it to brighten up the space beneath your brow bone, the inner corners of your eyes, and your cupid's bow (the space right above the center of your lips).

8. Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo - I don't wash my hair every day. It's too much hassle and I find washing it too often actually dries it out while styling damages my hair more. So on days I haven't washed and styled, I use this dry shampoo to freshen up my locks and add some volume to my roots.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I'd love to share my product experiences with you!