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Lady Like & Casual Cosplay

There's this ongoing joke amongst my girlfriends that I'm not meant to wear nail polish. Every time my nails get done, they're chipped almost immediately -- regardless of the formula, number of coats, whether I got them done at home or at the salon, etc. Once, Carlie went bowling right after we got the same manicure and her nails stayed intact after, while mine chipped in the car ride home. Sigh.

Recently, I tried shellac nail polish for the first time, and after hearing all the testimonies of how it'll last for weeks and never chip, I was cautiously optimistic. Trying to be hopeful but also paranoid that I'll be the one weirdo where shellac doesn't work. Fortunately, it did! I went with an all-occasion, pink-nude and I was sooo happy, I couldn't stop touching or admiring my nails. I felt so put together, so lady-like, so polished (badum-tss). Needless to say, I've now decided I will always have nice nails because they're such a small thing but such a big confidence boost!

So here's my product shoot of the month, featuring some of my favourite shades from Essie:

left to right: Merino Cool, Comfy in Cashmere, Lady Like

Lady Like: my go-to shade!

A friend recently asked me how I go about doing a product shoot, and having just completed my 10th one, I felt like I've established a little bit of a framework that I could share.

The first thing I do is gather all the pieces that I think I'd like to include in the shoot. Then I lay them all out in front of me and look at them as a whole to make sure they all match the theme I'm going for.


Next, I play around with arranging them in different ways. I have 3 main perspectives I try to shoot: a hero banner style, a vertical portrait style, and a minimalistic flatlay. By giving myself these guidelines, I can switch to a different perspective whenever I feel like I'm hitting a wall with what I'm trying to do. That way I stop myself from getting frustrated when something's not going exactly how I want it to. For example, I hit a roadblock with my flatlay when I thought my earrings could only be shot at an angle, and was bummed I couldn't see them for the flatlay. Then, partway through shooting, I had a brain blast:

Flip the backs and ta-da! Little earring stand! It was a light bulb moment getting them to stand up on their own and I'm really happy with the shots.

For the lookbook portion of this post, I took the prompt of lady-like nail polish and the upcoming Halloween occasion to create two outfits inspired by two of my favourite characters.

Outfit 1 (left): vintage cashmere sweater, vintage Danier suede skirt, vintage scarf, Cynthia Rowley lace-up booties, H&M earrings
Outfit 2 (right): Banana Republic windowpane top, Old Navy white blouse (under), vintage berry pencil skirt, vintage pearls, Michael Kors heels

Outfit 1: The Sailor Jupiter 

Growing up, Sailor Moon was one of the few girlier shows I watched. But it didn't feel too girly to me because they had cool powers and kicked bad guy butt! Didn't hurt that they looked good while doing it ;)

Sailor Jupiter was my favourite sailor scout because I identified with her the most. She was the tomboy and had brown hair tied in a messy ponytail i.e. my hairstyle most of the time. For the outfit inspired by her, I wanted to speak to the key elements: the green skirt, lace up booties, her signature rose earrings and green hair clips framed with the curled strands to the side. For the collar and bow, I tied a scarf to emulate the same idea without being too costume-y.

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Additionally,  I thought of Sailor Moon because my nicely manicured nails also remind me of the transformation sequence for the sailor scouts!

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter new transformation
Jupiter Star Power, Make up! 

Outfit 2: The Veronica Lodge

A more recent show I consider an anomaly to my regular programming is CW's Riverdale, the darker, modern take on the Archie comics universe. It's definitely a guilty pleasure as the plot is so dramatic and dialogue unbelievably ridiculous, but I do enjoy seeing the fashion choices, especially from Veronica Lodge.

Veronica always gives off a lady-like, put-together demeanor but you can tell she's secretly dark inside. And as Hiram Lodge's daughter, we sometimes catch a glimpse of that darker side and see what she's capable of. I feel like Halloween falling on a work day is the perfect opportunity to put together a Veronica-inspired outfit that's still office appropriate! The main elements to Veronica is a lot of darker colours (perfect for fall), in both clothing pieces and make-up. I tried a more arched brow to emulate Camila Mendes (the actress for Veronica) and her piercing stare. I also own a lot of pearls which is another key element to Veronica's outfits.

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I really enjoyed doing the shoot and coming up with the outfits. Like that time I accidentally dressed up as Belle, I wanted to show that it's easy to create wearable outfits inspired by your favourite characters, rather than straight up costumes. This way, you can dress up like it's Halloween every day!

I hope you liked this month's post! Thanks for reading :)