Beauty and Style

Red Velvet lip stain from LimeCrime.

Red Velvet lip stain from LimeCrime.

(Special thanks to Francesca and Abbey for taking many of the photos for this post)

On Friday, I hung out with a few friends at a Halloween-themed event. Two of them went as Kiki and her pet cat Jiji from the Miyazaki film KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, and another went as the Mills College student newspaper wearing a sandwich board with the newest The Campanil print issue on it.

I went as a hipster using clothes from my closet (a pair of studded jean shorts, black tights) and making my own hipster accessories out of paper, such as a fake camera, mustache-on-a-stick, and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can. Photos in a bit.

I also made my own skull cutout muscle tee out of an old T-shirt. I used this really helpful DIY video as a reference on cutting off the sleeves:

I noticed that most photos of muscle tees/skull cutout shirts used monochromatic black, gray, or white shirts. I had a pale yellow T-shirt on hand and thought it would be pretty cool to do a pastel coloring instead. It really made my light blue bra stand out.



I drew the image with a Sharpie pen. Then I used a canvas board to stretch out the shirt so I could cut out the shape better.

I drew the image with a Sharpie pen. Then I used a canvas board to stretch out the shirt so I could cut out the shape better.

Here are some photos of my costume from that night:

Human and cat.

Human and cat.

I love this jacket. I wear it everywhere now. It just so happened to fit with the hipster theme.

I love this jacket. I wear it everywhere now. It just so happened to fit with the hipster theme.

Many thanks to Ari who provided the strings for me to tape onto the camera to use as straps.

Many thanks to Ari who provided the strings for me to tape onto the camera to use as straps.



Thanks to Francesca for lending me her brown color pencil to use a stick for the mustache.

Thanks to Francesca for lending me her brown color pencil to use a stick for the mustache.



A fun thing to do as a hipster is to tell people “I’m not a hipster” with a disgusted expression on your face.

Happy Halloween!

EDIT. Something That Only Interests Me: here’s a photo of the other accessories I wore with the costume. I got the pearl studded headband and dark green laced heels from my Asia trip during the summer; I happened to already have the two bracelets (a skull one to match the skull shirt!) from previous adventures in online shopping.

I later changed out of the shoes into a pair of comfier boots.


Related posts:

1. #Crafty: I Made a Fake Vintage Camera Out of Paper
2. #Crafty: More Hipster Paper Accessories (Mustache, Pabst Blue Ribbon Can)
3. #Crafty: My Halloween Costume as a Hipster

Please don’t use my images without permission.

I was watching my new guilty pleasure, Fashion Star, and had an urge to do some styling. Although I was limited by my lack of sewing skills, fortunately the internet is blessed with easy DIY T-shirt designs that could be done with a pair of scissors.

I was very intrigued by the skull cut-out and decided to reuse an old shirt to do just that.

Here are all the Google searches for “skull cut-out”:

I put a piece of paper inside to show you the skull cut-out.

I sketched out the skull on the back of the shirt with a white color pencil; making sure the eyes, nose and toothy smile were the right size in the right place.

Don’t worry about the lines not being clean enough, it gives the skull a more jagged, casual edge.

I had a ton of trouble with just a regular pair of scissors so if you have fabric shears, you’re in luck.

Tools: scissors and a white color pencil.

I wore it and thought it was missing something so I decided to make the T-shirt off-shoulder.

This is the video tutorial by the Youtuber CaraAmelie on how to do so:

And here’s a picture that’s only interesting to me:

All the fabric scraps.

This post is screenshot galore — thanks, Netflix! So if you DON’T want movie spoilers, it’s best to skip this post.


From an earlier post.

I know, I know, I keep mentioning this but it’s actually happening!

This Halloween, Mike and I are planning to dress up as Joel and Clementine from our favorite Charlie Kaufman-written movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Even if our late October plans are still unclear, I’m excited about the prospect of making my own costume.

I’ve got the bright red hair which I’ll retouch again before that weekend.

I also found some old plastic holders with safety pins on the back. I can just slip in pieces of paper with “Clementine Kruczynski” and “Joel Barish” written on them which both of us can wear as name tags. Good thing too! The Hello, My Name Is… stickers were cheap but what would I do with the 498 left over?

Facial hairrrrr.

It’ll be easy for Mike to dress up as Joel since Jim Carrey’s character is a plainclothes man. Minus his PJ’s, Joel almost always wears a long dark coat and a wool beanie cap.

He also has a constant 5 o’clock shadow which is perfect. Mike already sports facial hair!

I rewatched the film earlier tonight and grabbed screenshots of Joel’s signature drawings. I’m planning on redrawing his macabre doodles and have already purchased a discount wire-bound sketchbook for Mike to carry around.

He also had a black mole-like dot on each temple placed there by the Erasers. But I’m not sure if Mike’s okay with me putting a Magic Marker to his face haha.

A drawing of Clementine from afar.

Bye, hoodie. =(

For me, I’m in a bit of trouble.

I almost got a sweatshirt similar to the tangerine-colored zip-up hoodie Clementine often wears until I realized…orange hoodies aren’t really my thing. Aside from Halloween, the sweatshirt will just pick up dust for the rest of the year.

Since the idea was nixed, I took A TON of screenshots of her hairstyles and other outfits to get new ideas.

Due to the lack of sewing skills and the amount of time left, I won’t be able to whip up an identical outfit like this:

How cute is that vintage dress?

So I’ll have to “make” the costume using the clothes I already have in my closet.

Clementine’s style is daring and full of color. She’s practically a rainbow amongst the darkly dressed crowds. She likes wearing clunky boots, big jackets and scarves.

As long as I’m faithful to the theme of her attire, the clothes don’t have to be exactly the same.

The image below is something I can easily do. I have a red American Apparel skirt, black combat boots and dark green tights. My mom might have a coat and scarf that’s similar to the one she’s wearing.

Hair-wise, I was very amused by some of the styles she pulled off effortlessly. She likes pulling up her hair with clips and barrettes, allowing two long strands to frame her face.

Twin buns!

Loose waves, never straight.

Minor detail: I have fingerless gloves too! While they’re black, at least it’s something she also owns and they’ll keep me warm at night. Yay!

I also noticed she wears a lot of silver rings. Maybe I’ll stop by Safeway and get a couple of them from the coin-operated toy dispensers? Haha. =D

My hair color is actually dark brown. Never dyed it in my life. (Photo by Mike Le)

If you’ve read my earlier post on costumes, you’d know I’ve been thinking a lot about Halloween and how I’ve wanted to emulate Clementine’s unique look from the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Particularly her hair color.

Green and blue are a little extreme for me since I’ve never dyed my hair before, so I’ll be sticking to red.

I read many Yelp reviews and got hair salon recommendations from friends and family. I was told to stick to box dye but I didn’t find what I wanted at Safeway or Walgreens. The red colors ranged from dark auburn to strawberry blond and they were all about looking natural; not the kind of fiery, unapologetically bright red I liked.

It didn’t seem to go anywhere until I checked Youtube and found this DIY video tutorial:

It seemed so freakin’ easy. Then again the Youtuber loopylady11BTS (Big thanks for making the tutorial!) is an expert at this so it’ll be difficult for a first-timer like myself. But I’ll still try anyway.

She also made a new video on how to dye hair without pre-bleaching. Unfortunately, you’d need a license to acquire the right supplies. Since I don’t know anyone with one who could order them for me, I’ll also be bleaching my hair for the first time.

I'll be storing all the hair-dyeing supplies in a plastic drawer. Looking at them is making me a little nervous.


L’Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach 1 Lb

    Has two bags of powder and a tiny plastic measurement scooper

Oreor Creme Developer 40 volume

    To be mixed in with the Quick Blue for bleaching

Special Effects hair dye in Devilish Red

    Only 4 fl. oz. so if you have long hair, consider getting 2 bottles

Soft N Style Hair Colorist Tool Kit

    Includes a plastic mixing bowl (don’t use metal), 2 dye brushes, a coloring tool, a jumbo rake comb and 2 hair clips in a reusable tote

Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask, 8.5 ounces Jar

    I kept hearing that hair dye will dry out my hair like crazy so I got a special conditioner

Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)

    Rub it over your hairline, neck and ears (Anywhere your hair can touch) to prevent the dye from staining your skin.

Shower cap
Plastic gloves
Newspapers/Paper grocery bags

You'll see I'm no Mathlete by my hesitant pen marks.

I’m not sure if anyone else would find this interesting: I was freaking out earlier when I realized I didn’t have a plastic measuring cup so I used an online conversion website to convert ounces into teaspoons. It wasn’t until I took out the bags from the Quick Blue tub did I find a scooper. I can’t remember the last time I did equations out of my own free will haha.

Just in case I need it, I’m keeping the conversion paper in my supplies box.

Okay, now onto the good stuff:

Mixing 1.5 ounces of Quick Blue with 2 ounces of Developer in the plastic bowl. It's a light blue paste. Also smells funky so be near an open window and AC.

Applied it to my hair. A little frightening, yes, I know. You can see that I totally underestimated the amount of hair I have so I missed some in the back. So I made a second batch and touched up the rest the best I could. Then clipped them to dry for 50 minutes.

Jumped into the shower, shampoo'd (no conditioner) and blow-dried it. You should have seen my parents' faces when I walked out during dinnertime.

I was trying to be as careful as possible so I cut up four Trader Joe's paper bags and covered the sink area. Unfortunately, it would later appear that I needed more coverage. Seriously...paper the entire bathroom.

I used about half the Special Effects bottle and was pretty glad to have bleached hair. All I had to do was find the yellow strands and brush dye over them. Again, having trouble with the back. After I was done, I covered my head with a shower cap and waited 15 minutes.

I shampoo'd, conditioned and dried it. This was the result: bright red hair. I can't stop looking in the mirror.

This was written after I dyed my hair and cleaned the bathroom. I effed up big time by using the shower instead of the sink in the garage so the tiled floor is dyed pink…permanently. I mean, I could stain the towel and old clothes but absolutely not the tiles. I thought I was careful but mistakes still happened — especially this huge one. Imagine how my mom felt when I told her this.

The best we can do is fade the pink into a lighter shade. I scrubbed it with white vinegar and hope to use bleach and baking soda tomorrow. I know my mom’s still upset. Not sure how to make it up to her.

So, just a reminder to keep cleaning products on hand if you’re going to do self-dye. And be prepared to lose the original color of your shower even when you think you’re being cautious.

UPDATE: Clorox bleach freaking saved my life. The floor is now white and bleach-y clean. Thanks chemicals!

I’ve haven’t been putting so much effort into dressing up for Halloween since middle school. I could blame it on getting older but I actually love the holiday. I ritually watched The Nightmare Before Christmas every other October. My fear of anything scary was made up for the fact that I was quite the sweet-tooth. I abashedly used my younger cousins as excuses to go trick-or-treating even as they’re becoming disenchanted with the “kiddie” tradition.

It’s just that I often had a difficult time browsing Spirit stores for a costume that wasn’t:

1) culturally offensive (Ahem, Pocahontas),
2) too revealing (AHEM, POCAHONTAS!) or
3) going to give off this really awful, cheap, vanilla-y plastic smell that has burned itself deep into my nostrils’ memory.

I mean, there would always — and I mean ALWAYS — be some brat every year who’d wear the Scream ghost mask and carry with them a smell so foul I could compare it to bad milk.

My costumes: a stegosaurus at age 5-6 (left) and Vampiress in middle school. (Drawn by Melodie Miu)

Faces hidden to protect the bratty. Dress and crown made by me. (Photo taken by relative)

Two years ago as I was freezing my buttocks off in the cold wearing tights for my Peter Pan (or Robin Hood, no one could tell) costume, it occurred to me that I should also require my Halloween outfit to be:

4) warm. That means sleeves and no scandalous knee-showing.

Since stores weren’t working out for me, I looked to my closet for costumes. I did okay one year as a grandma or elder lady sans walking cane and pearls when I was going through a frumpy, baggy phase.

The only one I actually made was for my younger cousin: a paper gown I taped together from two Tiger Beat magazines. I made her tall Where the Wild Things Are-inspired crown from Chinese newspapers. Despite my hard work, she ended up peeling it off and wearing her Minnie Mouse ears and gloves instead. -__-

Nami from One Piece.

I knocked around some ideas about dressing up as my favorite anime character Nami from One Piece, whose pinwheel arm tattoo and outfits I’ve always admired (especially in the Alabasta and Enies Lobby story arcs).

Or my second-favorite Inoue Orihime from Bleach, who shares the same absentmindedness and strong imagination as me. Both of them also have orange-auburn hair in varying lengths — unless you counted the two-year skip in One Piece — but I would probably have to stuff my bra with beach balls to even have half their cup size.

Daria, the star of Daria.

Stepping away from just anime, I would actually like being Daria from the animated TV series of the same name mostly because I had similar hair and could don glasses, a green jacket with flaps and combat boots. Then practice speaking in a sarcastic monotone all night.

I also thought about dressing up as Buffy Summers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but aside from having blond hair and carrying a stake, I couldn’t pinpoint an outfit of hers that was as memorable as the leather jackets the characters Angel and Spike wore.

Probably my most ambitious idea was to be a female version of Dexter Morgan, the serial killer of serial skillers from Dexter. Female as in wearing short-shorts during the summer instead of long cargo pants. I wanted to try it out for Comic-Con until I learned about the weapons policy so my plan to have various aluminum-foil-and-cardboard knifes was a bust. I ended up feeling a lot better about not going through with it though. I realized it would have been murder to wear leather gloves and lug his signature black duffel bag full of plastic wrap around in the hot San Diego sun.

Well suffice to say, I think I might have found it!

This morning I watched and fell in love with the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you’re also one of the countless people who worships this classic, you’ll understand why I was completely drawn to the main character Clementine.

>>>>>>Stop reading right now if you don’t want MOVIE SPOILERS!!! What I did below was add screenshots and listed out the accessories that I’ll need to get.<<<<<<<

What I loved about her is not only the Manic Pixie Dream Girl personality (which I’ve termed with adoration). Her outfit was simple enough for a lazy asshole like me to wear. She’s most memorable for wearing a tangerine orange-colored sweatshirt and having an ever-changing Crayola rainbow of hair color.

Perhaps this is my excuse to dye my hair for the first time in something outrageous.

This was my favorite outfit of hers. Just look at the hair and black lace!

It’s still about two months until Halloween. But if I really end up doing this, I’ll need:

1) Vibrant Rihanna fire-red hair dye (The least offensive color in my family’s eyes) and some help to get it done
2) Bright colored hair clips or ties; a scrunchie even
3) Pale lipstick
4) Brown kohl eyeliner (For Kate Winslet’s beauty mark and eyebrows)
5) Blue eyeliner (There was an instance she was wearing it)
6) Tangerine orange-colored zip-up sweatshirt
7) Dark blue jeans with a bit of a flare or camo pants
8 ) Plain silver or metal band thumb ring
9) Boots; some sort of clunky shoes
10) Red scarf
11) Flat iron (For the crimped hair do)

I was also staring lovingly at Kate Winslet's makeup throughout the movie.

Her tangerine-colored sweatshirt.

If my Clementine has a Joel — coughmyboyfriendMikecough — it’ll be simple for him to just have:

1) A 5 o’clock shadow
2) Dark coat
3) Small sketch book to carry around to doodle and write about his boring, uneventful life
4) Casette tape to replay our lost memories

Whether we’re awkward wall flowers at a party or suffocating each other with pillows, we’ll always try to be running away from the Erasers through various rooms while holding hands.