Swarovski: Facets of Light

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This was such a fun event! Swarovski recently launched its Fall/Winter Collection called Facets of Light and they had sooooo many pretty accessories to choose from. I love that Swarovski is getting known for its beautiful accessories–it is such a joy to be able to wear such delicate crystals every day. I remember being so amazed with my aunt’s Swarovski figurine collection growing up. Whenever I would go to her house I would spend so much time looking at them (we weren’t allowed to touch them) and I promised myself I would start a collection of my own when I could afford it. Well, I kind of have in a way because I have quite a few accessories from the brand that I just love wearing. And I’ve found a few more that I would like to add to my collection. Check out the photos from the event and you might just fall in love like I did. It was hosted by Patty Laurel-Filart at Rustan’s Makati. *The super nice photos are from photographer Alex Van Hagen, the okay ones are from me hehehe.

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The new PattyLaurel.com

It is no big secret that Patty Laurel-Filart is a good friend of mine. We are usually seen together at events, with her usually the host or both of us covering the event for our blogs. And like everyone I know who knows Patty, we love being around her, because she is super nice, funny, generous and real. She is one of the few people I can laugh and talk about nothing with, which is so refreshing because there’s no pressure to impress. You can totally be yourself around Patty, and she will bring that out of you because she is herself genuine, super humble, and did I already mention, funny? She takes care of her friends and is usually the first one to support your projects and endeavors. She is that cool. Her generous nature and sunny personality is infectious, and has won her countless friends, projects, endorsements and fans.

I’ve been following Patty’s blog since the mid 2000’s (maybe 2005-2006). I remember the day I chanced upon it, I immediately messaged Patty saying I really liked her blog and that I could hear her voice in her blog entries. I was so aliw with her writing, because it was so real and honest (and funny)! I made sure to bookmark it and visit every so often after that. She did a re-launch on her birthday in 2011 (her blog was still called dapattylaurel.com) and she invited me to the event. I remember getting so many freebies, which was exciting but also a little confusing because I didn’t really know how blogging worked and why I got so many amazing things to take home. Of course, until now getting tons of freebies from attending events isn’t really normal, it’s really Patty who makes sure all her guests are treated like princesses, at least for a day. When I finally got into blogging in 2012, Patty was fully supportive. I had no clue what I was doing, but she made me feel right at home as she invited me to events and recommended me to brands.

And a few weeks ago, Patty relaunched her blog once again and of course, I had to be there to support her. This girl deserves all the wonderful things she is getting right now and that includes the prettiest blog in the blogosphere! If you haven’t seen her new blog, do yourself a favor and go to http://www.pattylaurel.com. It is sooooo pretty and so her! Finally, her blog suits her sweet personality and easy going style. And in true Patty fashion, her guests were showered with amazing, AMAZING gifts! It was crazy!

The event was held at Shine Bakery at SM Aura (delicious food, its a must-try), and all these photos are by talented photographer Paolo Ruiz. Event planner Marge Montemayor really outdid herself for this launch–she is truly amazing at her job. Patty’s media partners were Thirty Six-O, Zeus Martinez and Paolo Ruiz. Her sponsors for the event were Power Mac Center, Kiehl’s, Suiteblanco, Havaianas, Thread 365, Bobble, Happy Skin, BC Fragrance, Print Cafe, Kalookies, Niqua, Piandre, Bensimon, K-Way, Wanderlust, Praiaz, SoFA Design Institute, Oster and Elena. CONGRATULATIONS again, Patty! We love your blog!

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Benefit Bling Brow

I have to admit, when it comes to my eyebrows, I can get a little obsessed. And for good reason: brows add definition to the face, while beautifully framing the eyes. I immediately feel more confident when I have my eyebrows groomed, especially when its perfectly arched. It draws attention to my eyes and opens up my face, making me look friendlier and happier (it’s amazing how a few strands can completely change our look). Eyebrow grooming is just as important as skincare (at least for me) and it’s something I need to pay attention to every few weeks.

So you wouldn’t believe how excited I was to attend Benefit Cosmetics’ Beauty & Brows party at Le Jardin, Bonifacio Global City. The event was all about brows, and I couldn’t be happier. The brand even set-up its own mini Brow Bars and beauty stations to treat guests to complimentary brow waxing and makeup services (WIN). The highlight of the event though was meeting the charming and witty Jared Bailey, who is the International Spokesperson for Global Services for Benefit. He is also a licensed aesthetician and an expert on anything brow-related, so I really sat up and listened to what he had to say.

Jared introduced Benefit Brow Bar’s newest and glitziest offering, called BLING BROW. Made with Swarovski Crystals (available in eight shades), this new service adds an irresistible sparkle that’s perfect for ladies who want to add WOW to their brows. And seriously, it is was all about “wow brows” at the event as Jared demonstrated three unique looks called Touch of Bling, Over the Top Bling and Big Time Bling. I tried Touch of Bling on just one eyebrow and I absolutely loved it. It was super quick and has an edgy, even glamorous appeal to it.

Bling Brow can be availed starting November 2014. Benefit Brow Bars are located in Greenbelt 5. TriNoma, Mall of Asia, Alabang Town Center. Central Square, Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-la. 

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Kenneth Cole New York watches

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I’ve always liked lifestyle brand, Kenneth Cole. Its designs are stylish yet functional, and season after season, it is able to come up with modern classics with unexpected details. What usually catches my eye are its campaigns–they send provocative messages that make people think. The words they use don’t just mean one thing–it makes you do a double take and really think about the message he is trying to say. It is a brand not at all bound by convention, and you can see it in its standout designs.

It’s hard to believe that a global brand like Kenneth Cole rose up from humble beginnings, but it did. In 1982, Kenneth Cole wanted to preview his line of shoes at Market Week at the New York Hilton, but he was unable to afford the purchase of a hotel room or showroom to display his items. What he did was he inquired about parking a trailer two blocks from the Hilton Hotel, and upon discovering that permits for trailers were only granted to utility and production companies, Kenneth Cole changed the name of the company from Kenneth Cole Incorporated to Kenneth Cole Productions, and applied for a permit to shoot a film entitled “The Birth of a Shoe Company”.  In two and a half days, Kenneth Cole Productions sold forty thousand pairs of shoes, while chronicling the beginning of the company on film. Soon after, the brand began to expand from its footwear roots, introducing apparel, accessories and watches in 1987.

This holiday season, Kenneth Cole unveils its Holiday 2014 collection of timepieces, and I have to say, they make perfect gifts for your loved ones. Inspired by the New York skyline, the watches are incredibly sleek, bold and modern. The collection was designed by Creative Director for Kenneth Cole New York Watches, David Smordoni, and is built on contemporary chronology’s quintessential blueprints of transparent and skeleton dials, sparkling pave accents, and burnished brilliant metals. Check out these beautiful timepieces.

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Kenneth Cole Watches are available at L Timestudio, Wristpod and selected Chronos Boutiques.

 

Tricks of the Trade: Fight frizz without losing your curls

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HI, KELLY! I’m just a typical college student, so every time I go to school I always tie my hair into a ponytail. Sometimes I braid it, but I never let it loose. I’m not confident enough because I know it’ll end up just being buhaghag. Some of my friends say I should try to keep my hair down because I have beautiful, natural, wavy curls, but the thought of having it buhaghag always gets in the way. Is there any hair treatment that can lessen the buhaghag without losing my curls? Thank you. JEANNE

Another term for buhaghag hair is frizziness, and for lots of us, this is a hair problem we have to deal with pretty much every day. No thanks to our humid, tropical climate, many hair types become difficult to control, especially wavy and curly hair. What happens is, the moisture in the air causes hair to expand and lengthen, preventing it from drying into the shape we desire. In turn, hair becomes poofy and can be a challenge to style. What you need for your naturally wavy hair are products and treatments that will not only nourish and moisturize your hair, but will also seal its cuticles in order to prevent humidity from seeping into hair strands. Luckily, there are many ways to fight frizz, and they don’t have to be costly. Try these effective anti-frizz treatments.

Switch to a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. It may not seem like much, but finding an emollient shampoo and conditioner can really bring your tresses back to life. It works by weighing down hair and giving each strand a silky coat. This part is even more crucial if your hair has been chemically damaged, as hair will need to constantly replenish its lost moisture. Damaged hair loses its ability to retain moisture, causing it to have a very dry and dull texture. Try: TRESemmé Smooth & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.

Wash your hair with cold water. Do you ever wonder why some salons wash off conditioner from your hair using cold water? That is to close your hair cuticles and prevent humid or hot air from being absorbed by your hair. Try this at home and you’ll see that, after rinsing your hair with cold water, it will be easier to style and will look shinier, too.

Use a leave-in conditioner. Using another conditioner may seem redundant, but in your case, stocking up on moisturizing hair products can give your hair the results you want. A dollop of leave-in conditioner will work as an additional barrier against frizziness, and will keep hair smooth and nourished. If you have the time, I suggest you go for a weekly hot-oil treatment. This will really help keep hair soft, shiny and healthy. Try: Dove Nutri-Oil Serum.

Try Steampod. Once in a while, we need to go to a salon and get a proper blow-dry. Consider this as a treat to yourself when you need to look fab. Personally, I like getting one before an important meeting or event. It really helps, as it gives me the extra confidence I need throughout the day. But as much as I like getting a blow-dry, I think I prefer this treatment even more. The Steampod Keratin Steam Care Service works by depositing much-needed pro-keratin into your hair using a high-pressure steam. This steam gently opens the cuticle to deliver its treatment into the core of the hair, and smoothens it by sealing the cuticle. It uses heat, but does not damage hair or cause heat shock. The keratin component in the treatment is what makes this so special because it contains incell to help strengthen the hair’s fiber, nutri-cationic agents to bring it back to life, and pro-keratin to reconstruct the hair’s structure. The best part: This may be the only keratin hair treatment that is 100-percent formaldehyde-free, which means you won’t be exposed to dangerous fumes that can lead to serious health issues. In your case, this treatment may work as you have the option of shiny, straight hair or smooth and wavy tresses. Its anti-frizz, smoothing effect can last up to three days, depending on your hair type. Using its X-tenso Care will help extend its effects and prevent hair breakage and dryness.

 

Makeup tutorial with Pixy: Tokyo Glam Look

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I love doing my own makeup. It’s fast and easy, and I usually end up looking how I want to look (no surprises). I mean, of course, it would be amazing to have a professional makeup artist do my makeup every day, but that just isn’t practical. I am always on the go and I usually need to do 500 things before I leave the house, so makeup application has to be quick and hassle-free. Most of the time I am in a mad rush so my makeup has to be done in 20 minutes or less (usually in my bathroom or in my car en route to a meeting or event). I am not an excellent makeup artist (not yet anyway), but I know what works for my face. Plus, at this point, I’ve already perfected my go-to makeup looks that I use on different occasions.

Of course, I didn’t learn this all on my own. For about a decade I patiently watched makeup artists do my face at shoots and always asked questions after each step. I eventually learned what each product did and discovered which ones worked on my face and which didn’t. Through the years I saw different makeup looks on my face–from outrageous makeup trends, which were always fun because I could never recognize my face after, to beautiful makeup that I desperately wanted to recreate. I have to say, each shoot was a makeup learning experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything, because it helped me discover my love for beauty writing, and later on blogging. My years as a beauty columnist and editor solidified my love for beauty and makeup, and allowed me to find great skincare and makeup brands that wont break the bank.

One of these brands is Japanese-formulated and Indonesian-manufactured cosmetics line PIXY. It is developed by Japanese technology with natural ingredients (from Japan) that is specifically made for Asian skin. Pixy was just recently launched here in the Philippines and offers an extensive cosmetic product line that includes powder foundation, eyeshadow, blusher, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick. It is perfect for every day use and its palette ranges from natural to glamorous. Now, I have to admit I wasn’t able to try the brand prior to its launch, only because it wasn’t available here yet. BUT as soon as I tried their makeup, I was instantly converted. Pixy carries AMAZING makeup that is super affordable! You really can’t go wrong with this brand!

I tried out one of their makeup looks called TOKYO GLAM, which I think is a great look for a night out or if you have an event to attend. Personally, I think this works for all the Christmas parties and reunions we’ll be attending this December–it looks glamorous and chic but still very natural and pretty. And I made a step-by-step makeup tutorial for you to follow!!! This is super easy to do and I took plenty of photos just so you don’t miss out on anything. Follow these steps and you’ll get the exact same look (I did this in 20 minutes, you can do it just as quickly with enough practice)–let me know your thoughts and suggestions! This is my first makeup tutorial on myself hehehe. GOOD LUCK!

IMG_4083I started off by applying a light coverage liquid foundation (MAC Face and Body Foundation in N3) on my face and neck and defined/shaped my brows with an eyebrow pen (K-Palette Liquid Lasting 2Way Eyebrow 1 Day Tattoo in 102).

IMG_4087I took my PIXY Ultimate Makeup Cake SPF20 PA++ in Natural Buff and applied it on my face using a big fluffy brush. This provides medium coverage and is great for oily skin. For touch-ups, use the sponge that comes with the packaging.

IMG_4093Using a big fluffy brush allows me to evenly apply the product, as it sweeps away excess powder that might build-up on some areas of the face. It is good to go over your face a couple of times with that brush after applying the powder to ensure your application is even.

IMG_4094Don’t forget to apply the powder on your neck as well.

IMG_4096Next, I got my PIXY Eyeshadow in Sparkling Gold. This has a buildable dark brown shadow that is perfect for creating a natural smoky eye–I use this all the time, not just for creating this makeup look. It also comes with a shimmery gold eyeshadow that is great for highlighting the eye area.

IMG_4102To create a natural smoky eye, I applied the dark brown eyeshadow from the outer corners of the eye going inward, following my orbital bone. Remember, the eyeshadow is buildable, so start light and keep applying until you get the shade you want.

IMG_4105Apply on both eyes evenly. But don’t stress, the application doesn’t have to super exact as you’ll be blending the eyeshadow in the next step.

IMG_4110Using a blending brush, I went over the top part of the eyeshadow and, well, blended the shadow. What you want is for the line to disappear and for your eyeshadow to gradually fade outwards. Keep sweeping the brush over the shadow (again, following your orbital bone) until you get the desired effect.  

IMG_4112This is how blended your eyeshadow should look.

IMG_4122Next, using a small eyeshadow brush, I applied the same dark brown shadow to define my lower lash lines. I applied the shadow from the outer corners to the middle part of the eye (not the inner corners). Doing this makes my eyes appear bigger than they are (perfect for chinitas).

IMG_4191I got PIXY eyeshadow in Sparkling Gold and used the shimmery gold shadow to highlight my eyes.

IMG_4195I did this by applying gold shadow on the inner corners of my eyes. You can also use it to highlight your brow bone and lower lash lines, but for me I prefer to apply the shadow only on the inner corners for a subtle effect.

IMG_4128After, I drew PIXY Eyeliner Pencil in Black on my waterline or inner lash line. My trick to doing this is to pull your eyelid upward to be able to easily line the area.

IMG_4129Doing this adds more definition to the eye and gives your eye makeup a complete look.

IMG_4200And then, I took my PIXY Perfect Eyeliner in Black and lined as close to my lash line as possible.

IMG_4203Using liquid eyeliner can be difficult at first. One tip I learned from a makeup artist is to pull the skin of your eyelid outward before application so you can draw on smoothly and easily.

IMG_4207Next, I took my PIXY Blush On in Brown Tea and used it to give my cheeks a little contour.

IMG_4217I am obsessed with contouring my face. This really helps define my face! I apply the contour (with a contour brush, of course) right under my cheekbones going upwards towards the middle of my ear.

IMG_4214Do the same on the other side and make sure you apply the contour evenly.

IMG_4221For the next step, I got my PIXY Blush On in Passion Roses (it’s the prettiest rose blush for Filipina skin) and applied it on the apples of my cheeks.

IMG_4229Using a blush brush I sweep the blusher on the apples of my cheeks.

IMG_4231This color is so pretty!

IMG_4233Then, I got my PIXY Volumizing Waterproof Mascara in Black and applied it on my lashes.

IMG_4238Usually I would curl my lashes with an eyelash curler first–this helps my lashes look more defined and evenly fanned out.

IMG_4236Two to three coats should do the trick.

IMG_4240Lastly, I swiped PIXY Silky Fit Lipstick Satin in Puppy Love Satin on my lips.

IMG_4242You can apply it directly or using a lip brush. I love its bright color–it really pops!

IMG_4252TA-DAAAAAHHH!!! You’re done!!! TOKYO GLAM is super pretty and is perfect for any special occasion!

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PIXY is available at all Watsons stores/outlets. 

 

Sporty chic

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I was never the sporty type growing up. I was shy and painfully thin, so I would intentionally exclude myself from any kind of sports or games. Of course, I secretly wanted to join but I could never muster up the courage to, so I was usually left at the sidelines, watching. Later on in life, I got into health and fitness but I never really experienced being part of a team or being good at a particular sport. I mean for exercise I did yoga and pilates, but you can totally do these alone and they aren’t really competitive or sporty. So yeah, until this day I’ve never gotten into a sport or become part of a team. It’s kind of sad. Haha sorry, my intro was supposed to be short and sweet and about sports but I don’t really know anything about it. I do know about how to wear this whole athletic chic trend, at least this is my own version of it.

The top is from online store OverStackedPH (LIKE them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/overstacked and follow them on Instagram: @overstacked), white stripe pants are from Seek the Uniq (www.seektheuniq.com), pointy flats are from Shoeddiction PH (follow them on Instagram: @shoeddictionPH), and nylon cap and belt bag are from H&M.

Tricks of the Trade: Three makeup looks to rock this holiday season

Hi, Kelly! It’s the -ber months already and I need to update my makeup. Do you have any tips on what I should wear to parties? —Kristine R.

The holidays are the happiest time of year for most of us, as this usually means we have relatively cool weather for the next couple of months; a string of events, parties and reunions to attend; and we have every excuse to wear our favorite holiday makeup looks. Every year our go-to makeup brands launch their Fall-Winter collections, and these are nothing short of exciting as we have free rein to explore and experiment with shimmer, color and shine.

You can certainly count on makeup to add a festive vibe to your look. For instance, red lipstick has always been my not-so-secret weapon when I want to look glamorous. It draws attention to my lips and brightens my skin tone, and it looks amazing with that little black (or white) dress. And while there have been many variations of red lipstick through the years, it remains one of the best makeup looks to wear for an event or important occasion.

As expected, this season will still be all about shimmery shadows and powders, bright eyeliners and, yes, red lipsticks. We’re definitely not complaining—these are exactly what we love about the holidays! Let’s revisit our favorite looks and see how we can update them. Here are three fabulous makeup looks we can wear for the holidays:

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Red lipstick. The holidays are the perfect time to wear red, so you can actually make this your look of the season. And, as I mentioned earlier, this is one of the easiest ways to look made up and sophisticated. All you need to do is swipe on red lipstick. You don’t even need to apply much else—just foundation and powder and, of course, make sure your eyebrows are groomed and defined, and you’re good to go. Lucky for us, this season’s makeup is all about restraint, which means we are allowed to skip all that other stuff. You don’t even need to pile on the mascara! Of course, in order to get this right, you’ll need to start with the right shade of red. A deep red with brown undertones looks modern and fresh, or you can go for a bright red with blue undertones to match the festive season. Runway inspiration: Max Mara and A.F. Vandevorst

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Try: Bobbi Brown Crazy for Colour in Blackberry and Hollywood Red, P1,350

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Shimmery eye shadow. You can count on shimmer to draw the right kind of attention to your eyes. Try eye shadow in shades of gold and silver—think Christmas tree tinsel, but on the eyes. We want that sparkling effect on our peepers, but without going overboard. These days, we use it on the inner corners of our eyes. That’s all you really need to create a lasting impression. You may pair it with your go-to neutral eye shadow to give eyes some definition. Finish the look by adding a little blush and swipe a layer of clear lip gloss, and you’re good to go. Runway inspiration: Issey Miyake and Chloe

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Try: MAC x Brooke Shields Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in Mortal, P2,530

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Defined eyebrows. Beautifully groomed, perfectly defined eyebrows create a fresh, youthful appearance. This is a look you can wear all year round. Since this season is all about subdued, muted makeup, this trend can be worn on its own. There is something so gorgeous about having natural-looking groomed brows and wearing little or no makeup. All you need to get this look right is an eyebrow tint to match the color of your brows, and clear brow gel to keep the hairs in place. You want a very natural look, and you can do this by brushing the hair strands upward. No need to create a strong, dark, squarish brow; just accentuate that fresh face. Runway inspiration: Etro and Carolina Herrera

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Try: K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow in Honey Brown, P950

 

Morellato Drops

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Once again, I am in love! Morellato’s Fall-Winter 2014 collection is all kinds of amazing!!! You know how I am with my accessories–I am always on the lookout for anything new and beautiful. And once again, I have found something to obsess about, and it spells M-O-R-E-L-L-A-T-O. Now, exactly what makes this different from all the other accessory brands out there? Well, first off, it features a watch collection that has modular or pre-composed bracelets that for me is quite a fresh and exciting design. It’s a brand new concept, really, and the best part is you can actually choose which “Drops” or crystal inserts to add to your watch. Let me describe the watch to you: the DROPS watches come with a 26mm gemstone case. It is elegant and refined, thanks to the exquisite details from the add-on drops and the delicate nuances from its bezel. And you can wear it with your every day accessories, or to a dressy event, depending on the drops you place on its slinky strap. Still not convinced? Well, what if I told you that the drops can actually be used as a pendant on a necklace, as accent pieces on a bracelet or as a new design on dangling earrings? Yes, these drops are interchangeable and can be used on pretty much any accessory! This is what makes this collection so unique and personalized, the design is really up to you.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this jewelry brand, Morellato was founded in Venice, Italy in the 1930s. Its designs are inspired by Italian Renaissance, and are made using precious materials such as pearls, diamonds, semi-precious material together with stainless steel. All accessories are proudly made in Italy, and their lineup consists of a beautiful selection of watches, jewelry, leather goods, keychains and writings instruments.

So I spent a good number of hours at the store (of course, I had to build my own Morellato Drops watch) and really got to discover what the brand is all about. Of course, I already declared my love for their new Fall/Winter 2014 collection, but I have to say, I found so many other pieces I didn’t mind taking home with me. So many of them were understated, classy and sophisticated–really perfect for every day wear.  I suggest you go to the Morellato store at the East Wing of Shangri-la Plaza Mall and check out their newest collection, but if you can’t wait that long scroll down to see the photos.

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Peaches and Cream

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It was bright and sunny, so I couldn’t resist wearing this flouncy peach top. It immediately put me in a relaxed mood (I guess the color peach does that to you)–all I wanted was to lounge by the pool. Of course, I had work that day so I couldn’t afford to laze around, but I did have a few minutes to snap these photos. This pretty peach top is from online store OverStackedPH (LIKE them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/overstacked and follow them on Instagram: @overstacked), the white skirt is from Cotton On and the pointy flats are from Shoeddiction PH (follow them on Instagram: @shoeddictionPH). My earrings are from Suiteblanco, while my bracelets are from Uno de 50, Thomas Sabo and Pandora.