#InspiredbyInsta: Crop Top Baby Tank

Bummed that you’re missing out on Miami Swim Week? Don’t be a bummer, babe: I’m also sad that I’m not in Florida to sit there and witness the litness of swimwear shows! However, we can thank God for the invention of Instagram as scrolling through every show is #outfitinspo.

Last Saturday, I tuned into Beach Bunny‘s fashion show, where it featured some of my favorite models –  Charlotte McKinney, Joy Corrigan, you name it, honey. Not to mention, this swimwear brand is the Victoria’s Secret of swimwear as it’s the launching pad for so many bombshells. (Kate Upton, Hailey Clauson and Kelly Rohrbach, anyone?! 🙋) Must I say that THIS is the brand you must not miss out on? Heck yes!

There were SO MANY runway looks that I enjoyed; however, it was hard for me to pick a single look that topped my head as I really wanted to have everything. But, if I had to pick one to wear IRL frequently, it’ll be the crop top tank top bikini. With a bunch of bikinis (which are at least 15 to 20 currently) in my closet, I realize that the drawers are ready to gasp its last breath. So, I decided to become inspired to do my own take on Beach Bunny’s version!

What you need:

1 ribbed button-down tank top

1 scissors

1 fabric chalk

1 ruler


  1. Try on the tank top and mark the spot underneath your braline (NOTE: wear a colored bra so that you can see the braline more easily!)
  2. Draw a horizontal line with a ruler and fabric chalk

FullSizeRender 23. Draw another line down the middle (preferably where the buttons are at)

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4. Make a diagonal line from the corner of the top to the tip of the middle line and repeat on the other side.

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5. Cut!

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6. Lift up the two triangular strips of the front and draw a horizontal line on the layer underneath the front


7. Cut the last two triangular strips

8. Tie a knot!




#JakartaBeautyHaul: Rollover Reaction

IMG_5258Rollover Reaction – Maxwell

Sorry, Kat, Kylie and Jeffree. A brand of liquid lipsticks has officially arrived in the game and it’s nothing else I’ve ever tried before.

Soft as cream, smooth as velvet and sweet as icing, this liquid lipstick feels like heaven. Packed with a tangy toffee smell, my nose can’t ignore the temptation to pile more layers on my lips! As I look at the mirror, the finish feels as soft as my vintage suede Roncelli jacket. Upon realizing that this is no standard-issue designer liquid lipstick, the maker of this good ol’ dupe is no other than Rollover Reaction, a Jakarta-based beauty brand.

Continue reading “#JakartaBeautyHaul: Rollover Reaction”

Same Ol’ Person, New Name

You knew my name, but I felt like I didn’t know myself until today. Previously, I settled on branding myself around my own name. While “Michelle Varinata” sounded unique, it wasn’t easy to spell out my last name nor was it distinct enough from anyone else who wants to use their name as their form of branding themselves. On top of that, I felt like my own name for a blog didn’t have much of a personality.

Finding a name was not an easy journey. Initially, I wanted to rename it after two of my favorite fabrics: velvet and suede. Then, I thought of using my own hashtag #LivinLaVariNaDah, but that kinda made my blog sound juvenile or some Sophia Amoruso wannabe had I settled with that one. All of a sudden, a random thought slipped in.

When I was a kid, I always ate a slice of cake for dessert. It was fragrant and sweet, but not sugary. As I squinted my eyes, I saw thin yellow and brown stripes. “What is this?” I asked. My mom said, “This is kueh lapis.” I pried my fork into the cake, then realized that it was layered. This kind of cake was something that I couldn’t find anywhere else outside of Indonesia. It was a traditional dessert that my dad had to bring from Jakarta to Singapore.

Although I  ain’t a foodie, just thinking about that cake made me want to embrace my roots. Long before I moved to Singapore, I was actually born in Jakarta. I only spent the first five years of my life there. Honestly, I could barely remember what those early years were like. As I grew up, the disconnect from my Indonesian heritage and my identity was greater. Anytime I mentioned that I was originally from Indonesia, people would just say that we’re too materialistic, dishonest, narrow-minded, lazy and unoriginal. Hearing those things felt mosquito bites that stung. I had to say that I was from Singapore since it generally had a better reputation than Indonesia. Even though I spent the majority of my life on the island, it was complicated being a third culture kid as I felt torn about choosing between two countries as my national label.

Looking back into the memories of eating kueh lapis, I began to see myself in a new light. Rather than hiding my Indonesian heritage, I finally look at myself as a child of the archipelago. Laying a claim to a cultural identity is one thing, but actually having the ownership of it is another thing: it’s empowering!

Today,  it will be called Lapis and Layers.



The New Hair Trend That Bella Hadid Wants You to Try

Breathe easy, Varinaders. There’s a new hair trend that will become the hottest look of the summer. Long before Paris Couture Week, Cara Delevingne sported a painted silver pixie with rhinestones on her head at the Met Gala. Just recently, Bella Hadid went down the runway at Margiela’s Couture Show with gold hair. AND IT WAS LITERALLY RIGHT ON HER HEAD.

To me, that whole look felt like that one time when Khal Drogo poured a pot of melting gold on Daenery’s brother. If that scene wasn’t crazy enough, the entire look of molten gold on your head is even crazier. So, I decided to see for myself if that look can really be done off the runway.


1 bowl

1 gel

1 spoon

1 pack of gold powder

Basically, I just grabbed my gel and mixed that with a pack of gold powder. (FYI, I found mine on Etsy, but you could get yours by crushing gold eyeshadow just to reduce the time it takes to receive an order!) Then, I slap it on my hair, evenly distributed it with my fingers and spread the mixture from root to tip. Safe to say, it’s a really amazing look! I mean, isn’t this LIT?!

Given that runway makeup is super theatrical as heck, I really have to keep it natural, yet bold. Just apply some highlighter, gloss, blue eyeliner and you’re good to go!

Is this something I want to try again? Here are the results…

A) Pros:

  • It dresses up any look
  • Reflects well against the light

B) Cons:

  • You can’t wear anything white or pastel on top as the color can transfer there
  • Not easy to wash off
  • Can easily sweat on your head (if you’re in a hot climate)

Honestly, this entire look isn’t something I want to try in humid and hot outdoor spaces. Not only will I walk out looking like a sweaty mess, I feel like I either need to keep on topping up my hair gel or wash it off right away.

What are your thoughts? Is this a look you want to try yourself?