Sleeveless in Chicago

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Truth be told, it’s easy to ride on the back of a fleeting moment when it comes to fashion. Seasonal trends arrive as swiftly as they go, from the eponymous Burberry poncho on Instagram’s wanderlust-inducing snaps to the duster coat that style mavens with bicoastal sensibilities layer up during the wintry days. Yet the truth of the matter is, there aren’t many styles that’ll shake up my wardrobe with endless pairing options and fluidly transition into the next season. Trendy as some styles may be, I find myself gravitating towards more perpetually versatile items that look good, get the job done right, and friendly from AM to PM across four seasons (okay maybe two).

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Then I met the sleeveless coat and it was love at first sight when I saw a Valentino one online at Neiman Marcus’ 50% off sale! A trend so bold and eye-catching, it exudes a tactically sensible look partial to ladies with a classy taste. And that’s when I imagine my à la mode wardrobe palette gaining a refreshed and livened bolt of energy! With a slight menswear-inspired silhouette, the sleeveless coat can add an extra zest to any ensemble.

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During the week pair it with a crisp button-down shirt and slacks to keep the chills at bay, and throw it on top of a cocktail dress for your evening soirée. Needless to say the choice of whipping up a new look with this coat is boundless! Here I channeled the Parisian sleek and streamlined look by pairing my new Zara find with a classic striped shirt, lace up heels and a small satchel. And of course, my classic cat-eye and red lips. Presto we’re ready to roll.

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What’s your take on this fashionable find, and have you tried this look before? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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–> P.S. Want to win a $350 gift basket with goodies from Marc Jacobs to Kate Spade? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway I’m hosting with other Chicago bloggers! Info HERE!

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Coat: Zara // Sweater: Loft// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Prabal Gurung for Target// Bag: Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J Photography

This World Is But A Canvas To Our Imagination!

“You ask me why I spend my life writing? Is it worthwhile? Do I find entertainment? If not, then, is there a reason? I write only because there is a voice within me. Flaming. Roaring. That will not be still.” – Sylvia Plath

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The click of an alphabet. A small drop of ink. The string of words along a horizontal line, making hundreds of people think. For me, the mere bliss of writing about fashion, lifestyle, travel and beauty is knowing that the string of lines, dots, and concave characters engraved on a white digital canvas make meritable impact on readers — to think extensively, to imagine endlessly, to live bountifully, and to create indefinitely. 

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Thus is the experience priceless when a reader tells me one of my avant-garde outfits inspired her to put a colorful spin on her work attires, or a skin care regimen paved way for more radiant complexion. I am thrilled to know that the frills and frolics of my daily musings created a platform for the exchange of ideas, the relay of multiple perceptions, and the means for additional knowledge from readers (like say adding a wide-brimmed hat to a beach getup?) So when I found out my previous post on “Model-Off-Duty Looks To Rock Out” (HERE) reached over 700 people in 3 days, and the relative comments from readers on what fashionable trends to transpire from runway to walkway, I was ecstatic to know that not only did my words create insights and knowledge in certain arenas, but also a valuable platform for readers around the globe to share and exchange ideas. So thank you all for your likes, comments, shares, and support; they have been a tremendous contribution to Feline Creatures’ blogging adventure! 🙂

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Along the topic of writing as a form of art to inspire and invigorate, I’d like to bring you with me to an annual art festival in the heart of Chicago — the Gold Coast Art Fair! From paintings with pigments bound by drying oil, to metal prints of jaw-dropping landscape photography, the fair was lavished with some of the most creative individuals and their admirable works. My favorite was the myriad of human figurines in climbing motion on a cotton wall; I found alluring the fact that the colorful metal creatures were stagnant in their movement yet robust in their attempt. Also charming (for Star Wars aficionados) was the picture of inflated Lego storm troopers being photographed by clay mini dolls. Not to mention the beautiful snapshots and mural paintings of European sceneries — from Venice gondolas to the seaside outings at Nice to the Cloud Gate in Chicago. To stay in tandem with the aesthetically pleasant setting I picked out an “artsy” outfit —  a dual-toned top and some distressed denim shorts. The turquoise cut-out leaf pattern added a splash of of color to the purple undertone, which then was complimented by an orange clutch to add a non-conventional twist. Of course I didn’t want to go overboard with excessive colors (what fun would a clown be at an art festival?) so I finished the look with a pair of black leather boots.

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Walking past the wooden boards filled with scenic shots of places far far away, I walked into the vast openness of Grant Park. Brimming with lavish greens and jagged pebbles, the park was engulfed by a vast array of concrete skyscrapers adding their glistening shine to the backdrop. The view was divine, calming, and surreal. Compared to the dormant murals and photographs displayed a few feet away, the city itself was vibrant, alive and engaged. What was my biggest takeaway from the fair? An appreciation for the city I live in — one that so effortlessly blend in nature’s refined features with the remote pillars of a metropolis. That image, the purest form of art, was priceless 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena    images

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://www.jason-j-photography.com/

Top: Loft, Shorts : H&M, Bag: Tory Burch, Shoes: BP

3 Ways to Revive Skin from Dull to Dazzling!

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“The revival mask for brighter complexion. The illuminating serum for polished skin. The invigorating elixir of eternal youth”. These are the billboard-laden catch phrases used by beauty connoisseurs to delve into women’s psyches and their infinite desires — to achieve, to obtain and to preserve youthful, radiant skin. Did you know that the US is the biggest cosmetic market in the world with an estimated total revenue of $55 billion in 2013? The fact that the cosmetic industry offers a vast array of skincare products that meet the aesthetic demands of woman is surely undeniable.

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Though we are constantly bombarded with commercials endorsing million-dollar celebrities like Sofia Vergara (“Das Bombshell!”) and Adriana Lima (“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline”), we can’t help but realize that attaining beauty is a constant endeavor that doesn’t live up to its hype when the greenbacks run dry. So what if you lack a department of makeup artists, beauty consultants, and ripped personal trainers charging $250/hour to guide you in your pursuit of youthful skin? Or such brightening treatments like microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing are time-consuming and within the realm of safety concerns? To me, attaining and preserving beauty is a lifestyle choice rather than living up to the latest fad. Which is why I prefer natural concoctions over cosmetic remedies – think green tea patches for puffy eyes and honey/sugar/olive oil scrubs for dry lips. So here to introduce to you are 3 masks that use natural ingredients to revive dull skin and keep parched and patchy complexion at bay. Trust me, your wallet will thank you for this and so will your impending vacation from all your greenback savings :

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1.)  LUSH BB SEAWEED MASK:

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Infused with lime tree flower petals, bladderwrack seaweed, and aloe vera, this luscious mask helps treat irritated skin by sloughing away dead skin cells and imparting a soft and supple texture. A remnant of honey and olive oil moisturizes the face, keeping intact the glycerin that seals the dewy effect. Take two quarter-size dollops of the paste and scatter it across you face. Let it linger for 15-20 minutes then wash off with lukewarm water. There you have it – miraculously brighter, firmer, healthier skin!

2.) ESSENCE MASK SHEETS:

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Korean girls are most adept in achieving that incandescently youthful skin, thanks to the vast array of face masks by brands like The Face Shop and Etude House. I like ones with hyaluronic acid because it contains hydrating ingredients that absorb and retain moisture in your skin (carrying up to 1000 times its weight in water), and collagen because it helps to revive elasticity and increment firmness due to its fibrous structure. Have the mask on for 20-25 minutes, and maybe indulge in your guilty pleasure while you do so (Youtube fashion gurus—my favorite is the effervescent Jenn Im from Clothes Encounters. Check her out here!) Once the clocks ticks to the last minute, remove the mask and use your index fingers to pat the remaining essence into the skin. Can’t guarantee that you’ll look like a glamorous Kpop star, but your skin will feel more hydrated and polished from all that pampering!

3.) DIY MASK

Last but not least, a home-made DIY treatment! This mash-up of ingredients found at your local grocery store would help bring back the supple dewiness of your skin, making it baby soft to the touch!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons of flour

Mix the ingredients together into a paste and apply evenly to the face with your fingers. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes then wash off with lukewarm water. Lastly seal the deal with a glycerin-infused moisturizer. Ta-da! Date night-approved luscious skin!

Hope these 3 facials, from creamy pastes to mask sheets to DIY concoctions, add a bit of jazz to your regular skincare routine and pave way for brighter, firmer, and ever so coveted skin! Trust me, you’re born with it! 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena  

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Lush BB Seaweed Cream (here); Essence Masks (here)