10 Sizzling Swimsuits That Will Make You Love Your Big Boobs

Swimwear shopping for big boobs is literally hell on earth. From tops that lack proper support to bottoms that are a size or two too big, finding the right swimsuit always revolves around your cleavage. If you have a a tiny waist, bless your freaking heart. To the busty babes who have boxier waists and skinny limbs, I totally feel your pain as most swimwear styles aren’t targeted towards your body type as you’re mainly limited to wearing two pieces.

Despite the #bigboobsproblems, the majority of swimwear styles actually flatter us. Here are my top 10 picks:

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Modern Modesty: How You Can Cover Up Without Sacrificing Your Style

What exactly *is* modesty? As a word, it initially feels so perplexing as you feel like you have to either A) keep your jewelry in the storage and/or B) not show too much skin. Since it’s mainly regulated to faith, I feel that the whole idea of modesty goes beyond religion.

Growing up, I rotated between a school uniform by day, a short dress on weekends, a pair of hotpants for the island trips and last but not least, something “proper” to please the parents whenever I went to church. Despite my semi-restrictive dress code, I was blessed to have the freedom to put on whatever I wanted. But, learning the true meaning of modesty wasn’t something that I understood until I went outside of Singapore.

On April, I went on two week holiday in the Middle East. Between Jerusalem to Istanbul, almost every other place I visited had heavy religious undertones, which initially made it hard for me to think about what to wear. Since I grew up with the notion that modesty meant bland clothing, I restricted myself to a pair of jeans, t-shirt and Doc Martens. By covering myself up in these clothes, I felt like I looked like a stereotypical tourist. As much as I hated to sound superficial, it was very clear that I felt out of place whether it was visiting a church, synagogue or mosque.

If it was the modesty dress code that restricted me, it was nothing like what you’d think. In fact, it was my false perception that did me in by conforming to the stereotype of the world’s idea of modesty. Since religion was and still is seen as a polarizing topic, I was taught to believe that modesty wasn’t fashionable. But since it was an unwritten rule to cover up, it came from the fact that it was and still is the custom to show respect to the city’s culture.

While being surrounded in a place with a totally different culture from you might seem difficult to adjust to, don’t let the dress code scare you away from expressing your style.

If you need to find outfit inspirations, discover the 12 modest wear fashion influencers (on Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore) who are changing the game. Before you copy their outfits, I’ve cracked the code on how to dress like a modest fashion blogger with these easy top 5 tips:

Continue reading “Modern Modesty: How You Can Cover Up Without Sacrificing Your Style”

V.I.P.: The Long-Forgotten Pamela Anderson TV Show That Started All of Your Favorite Trends

Blonde bombshell Pamela Anderson is better-known for her explosive personal life, frolicking in a red swimsuit and 14 risqué cover shoots for Playboy. However, the most overlooked part throughout her long career was being the executive producer of V.I.P. 

Named after her character, Vallery Irons, V.I.P. took us on an adventure as it the titular bodyguard and her team foiled assassination attempts, death threats and other potentially life-harming situations. If you thought that Irons and her team dolled up in SWAT-style suits, they actually stole the show with body-con dresses, crop tops, pastels and Romy and Michele-esque holographic swatches. All in all, the aesthetic was basically what Anderson dubs the “Spice Girls Bodyguard Agency” in a profile for Interview. (RIP, Interview! *crying*) Although I was only 3-years-old when V.I.P. came out, little did I know that I would end up falling in love with it when I stumbled upon it via YouTube this year.

Given that the show put more emphasis on Pam than any other cast member, my eyes are instantly glued to the super fly fashions from Anderson and co. Not only are they visually appealing, so much attention went to the details from head to hemline. (ATTN: Pam, who was your costume designer?! And also, do you still have any leftover V.I.P. costumes I can keep? *praying hands*)

Here are the 2018 trends you didn’t realize that Pamela Anderson (and the cast) wore first:

Continue reading “V.I.P.: The Long-Forgotten Pamela Anderson TV Show That Started All of Your Favorite Trends”

The 5 Types of Underwear You Need for Your Jeans

It’s Friday night and you just got dressed in your favorite jeans. Despite the comfort, style and shape, an evenly curved ridge appears near the back pockets. If eating a piece of garlic bread on a first date is a bad idea, then having a bad case of VPL is the biggest nightmare!

Truth be told, there’s no “Goldilocks” situation for your underwear as all jeans are not created equal. Since VPL and mismatched underwear are one of my biggest pet peeves, this is where the search for the right underwear begins:

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Passport to Paris

Ahhh, the soft beaming rays from the sun. Oh, look at that pastel blue sky! Mmm……Can you even feel the breeze from the Seine or smell those freshly baked croissants from a café a mile away?

Bienvenue, Paris!

As you stroll through the streets, walking around the City of Light makes you feel like you’re inside a park with your dog. Packed with stores, cafés and monuments at a stone’s throw, how can we not thank God for making such a perfect city?

If the convenience is a reason as to why Paris is one of my favorite cities to travel to, it’s also their super hot retail scene and the Parisienne’s reverence for the art of fashion that made me enjoy it. In fact, it’s their refined aesthetic for beauty that made me want to appreciate Paris.

If you have never been there before, you must ABSOLUTELY book a ticket. Since the city is as wide as a football field, here are some of my favorite places you need to bookmark before hailing a cab:

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The New Neutrals That Actually Werk at Work

Who says that workwear is boring? Or in this case, can anyone BEG to disagree that wearing neutral lip colors in office is fun? (Side note: is Mercury retrograde pushing me to see things differently? :P)

For me, I am the type of girl that LOVES LURRRVES to wear a fun lip color! Whether it be a ravishing red, punchy pink, bold black, va-va-voom violet, nice nude or basic brown, my lips do not lie as they currently portray my emotions. The one thing that works well in office environments from day to night or even a post-work cocktail is a neutral lip. Usually pawing at the “nude” or beige spectrum, the beauty industry’s definition of neutral is dated.

Rather than sticking to beige shades that don’t look on people darker or lighter than Snow White, the type of neutral that actually looks hot on all skin tones usually has reddish undertones. Since all of us are embedded with red tones underneath our skin, this classic primary color gives us a flush of instant energy that a cup of coffee can’t do.

On another thought, I’ve been putting my matte liquid lipsticks (a.k.a. Instagram’s go-to staple for your #faceoftheday posts) aside as I absolutely hate having extremely dry lips. Also, Galore called the shots that the matte Instagram lip is dead. (No shade Huda, Kat and Jeffree, but I still love your products!) Depsite my love affair with liquid lipstick, I feel that it’s finally time to shake up my beauty routine!

First things first, one of the hottest new neutrals that flashes across my mind is anything with a orange base. Rather than the bright Sunkist oranges you see at your local supermarket, this type of orange that’s super work-appropriate is a bit more muted. Enter Trope Cosmetics. I normally don’t ever repeat the same product, but you seriously NEED to try it as it’s pink-based orange that is reminiscent of the hue from a flamingo’s neck. The pinkish brick undertones don’t turn your teeth into a habitual chain smoker’s, which is nice as most yellow-based oranges are guilty of doing this. As an Asian, I honestly have a HARD time finding the *right* shade orange as it’s either too pale, yellow or red. So, this is the first orange that’s actually truly neutral on my skin.

Even if you are not Asian, you will still LOVE this shade as it will flatter your skin beautifully! (Seriously, I am a firm believer that this will be a universally flattering color!)

Oh, and if you are a matte lipstick lover, then this is the look for you as Flamingo dries off with a beautiful velvety finish.

 

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BUY IT HERE

DUPE: Melt’s Mural Milani’s Orange Gina 

To all my ladies who love a nude lip, I swear by Layn’s Mona. Named after the Mona Lisa, this shade is as enigmatic as Italy’s most famous smile. In natural sunlight, it appears more like a soft semi-matte terracotta coral whereas on video, it appears more metallic (according to my friend!). The truth is that it’s a hybrid between nude and coral. While most coral shades in the beauty counter run towards the bright spectrum, this one is more of a muted retro coral that you barely see in today’s department store counters or Sephora. In fact, that shade looks EXACTLY like the lipstick Playmates wore on the pages of Playboy in the 1970s (side note: this is slightly NSFW, but look at her lipstick color!). If you want to go for a slightly sexier look, then this is the shade for you.

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BUY IT HERE

DUPES: Kat von D’s Lolita II; Fenty Beauty’s Freckle Fiesta;  Revlon’s Rum Raisin 

 

Last but not least, let’s not overlook the power of a red lip at the boardroom. Red lipstick usually screams cocktail hour, but you can still work it inside more creative environments. While most reds tend to lean towards warm or blue-based, Rose All Day’s Boujee is a darkened true red. To me, a true red is the ideal red as it’s neither blue nor yellow. In fact, this shade feels freshly contemporary as more true reds I see are brighter and have a retro-tinged feel. It might read differently on your lips, but seriously, you will never regret getting Boujee because it’s the baddest in the game. (Side note: Love and Flair said that it’s a rich English red mahogany!)

While most office environments are conservative, you can secretly violate the “no red lip” rule by sneaking in a subtle stain. If you want to wear it as a bold opaque shade, it’s more of a satiny cream finish that can flawlessly hide AC-dried lip lines.

Rose All Day:

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BUY IT HERE

DUPE: Colourpop’s Goldie; Pat McGrath’s Strange

 

 

The 8 Women-led Brands You NEED to Shop to Ring in Women’s History Month

Ladies (sorry, gentlemen!), this is our month. This is the month that we celebrate our collective history as women for the countless achievements in many industries whether it be politics, science, entertainment and fashion. As a woman, I feel that we have came a long way since the beginning of time. However, I feel that not many women designers or entrepreneurs are revered in the same eyes as male entrepreneurs and designers as the latter generally scores more magazine features, press and clout in the fashion industry. (This is based on my personal observation of poring through the pages of Vogue, New York Times‘ Style section, T, NYLON and what not over the years!)

I don’t want to sit here and tell you to support women-led brands just because it’s Women’s History Month or their sex. Instead, the reason *you* need to support women-led brands is because these ladies started their brand without the backing of a big company. In fact, not many of them went to fashion school to pave their way to success. By using their talent to create genuinely amazing products, every single item I’ve had from them became a closet staple that I wear almost every single day. Although there are some brands that I have yet to shop, I feel that it’ll be cool to share a little slice of my brand crushes. 😉

Here are the brands you need to shop:

  1. Stella & Bow

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Founded by Lauren Brokaw, Stella & Bow is an LA-based jewelry line whose adorably cute charm bracelets and delicate earrings are perfect for everyday wear. Last year, they’ve grabbed headlines for making the “Nasty” alphabet bracelet to support Hillary Clinton. Although the election is over, you can still rock it to show off your unapologetic, badass self.

BUY IT HERE

2. Rose All Day

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Grace, one of my really good friends who blogs on Mlongo.me, introduced this brand to me as she applied makeup on me last spring. As a fellow Jakarta girl, Rose All Day is one of the best Indonesian makeup brands to ever exist! Locally produced and designed in Jakarta, Rose All Day delivers quality products and a whole chock of genius in the guise of a pink lipstick tube. Also, it recently teamed up with Love and Flair, an Indonesian online boutique (think Revolve, but more of a super hot trendy cousin of Phoebe Philo’s Celine-esque minimal luxe), to create three classic shades. Seriously, YOU need to get ’em because you don’t need to buy another piece of powdered blush or eyeshadow as you can it anywhere on your face! Trust me, their formula is as creamy as MAC’s, but hey, at least it’s cruelty-free! (Sorry to throw some shade in there, MAC.)

BUY IT HERE

3. Creepy Yeha

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Need to find something to jazz up your outfit? Look no further than Yeha Leung’s line, Creepy Yeha. Her accessories and lingerie are crafted from the finest leather and hardware. If you are vegan, you can also go for her vinyl pieces, which are equally stunning, too! You can either go big with a harness or play it safe with a choker. Either way, everyone will turn heads when they see you.

BUY IT HERE

4. Pop and Suki

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If you haven’t caught wind of my Pop and Suki post I made previously, now’s the time to get acquainted. As a go-to handbag brand for myself and many famous faces, their bags are compact, but extremely spacious. Apart from bags, they’ve expanded into jewelry, clothing and desk side accessories. While it’s got a girlish aesthetic, it is so versatile: you can wear it to the office, beach, room, classroom and literally, just about anywhere in the world. Given that celebrity-backed brands swim in their own hype, this one does NOT play! In fact, it is here to stay.

(P.S. If you ever plan to shop there, put in “MICHELLEVARINATA15” for a 15% discount at checkout!)

BUY IT HERE

5. SkinFood by AB

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Whenever I trawl on Etsy, I always love to find vintage clothes and artisan-made beauty products from small businesses. As much as I love natural skincare, I feel so happy to stumble upon SkinFood by AB. Founded by Aubrey B, all of her products are natural, vegan and organic. From lip balm to soap, everything is made in small batches. If you have yet to try natural skincare, this is truly all natural without any synthetic stuff that you find in “all natural” products on occasion.

BUY IT HERE

6. Choked by a Thread

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Chokers are now a timeless staple all thanks to this brand, Choked by a Thread. Inspired by chokers, founder/designer Lorraine Zalta makes them in NYC. Spotted on the necks of Hailey Baldwin, Morgan Stewart of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and blogger Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What, this is the brand you need to splurge on for the perfect necklaces. Although it’s more well-known for their chokers, they’ve expanded into earrings, swimwear, tees and mugs.

BUY IT HERE

7. Matte

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As one of the hottest under the radar brands, Matte is often imitated by bigger names (e.g. Kylie Jenner) due to their simple, yet extremely sexy designs. If you are the type of girl who is looking for hot going out clothes, then this is the brand for you. Briana Wilson, the founder of Matte, draws upon the ’80s and ’90s with a dash of Y2K for a modern retro feel. What I also like about the brand is that their cuts are made for girls who are not a size 0. So, hands up for body positivity!

BUY IT HERE

8. Amelie Pichard

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This French shoe designer is one of the my go-to favorites for inspiration. In fact, I love how her retro campy aesthetic feels so fresh right now. When I first read about the brand, it was because she collaborated with Pamela Anderson for a vegan shoe collection. Although Amelie’s brand is not 100% vegan, I just love how she makes cruelty-free shoes go beyond its granola image. Apart from veganism, Amelie decided not to do any sales on her products as she feels that it is “killing fashion and creativity” (her words, not mine!). Unlike most Paris-based big guns, Amelie’s designs are truly worth paying for.

BUY IT HERE