My Obsession with Pomelo is Getting Out of Hand

What happens when a serial impulsive buyer is left to her own devices?

With the pandemic rendering me helplessly stuck within endless cycles of existential crises (yes, plural), there’s little to do within the confines of my home but to scroll through my phone and find something to give me just that hit of dopamine my deprived brain has been looking for.

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a serial impulsive shopper, which doesn’t help my case when it comes to quarantine boredom. Mix those two together and you’ve got yourself a gagita that can’t stop ordering clothes online despite the fact that she has nowhere to go–for now. But, until the fateful day that I do, in fact, have plans to go out, you better believe that I’d want to be dressed to impress, hence the premature shopping. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself before clicking “Checkout”.

With ZALORA as the main culprit to my impulses–plus their monthly budol-inducing sales–the call for retail therapy has never been so strong. The brand Pomelo, in particular, has become one of the most defining brands within my closet as of late, so much so that I forget which ones aren’t from Pomelo in the first place.

Luckily, my 2021 purchases are still as bright as day in my memory. Just as they bring joy to me, I wanted to showcase my gastadora tendencies with you as well to maybe bring you the same feeling getting budol-ed by sales–then proceeding to take a mini photoshoot by myself in my bedroom–gives me: a moment of pure, unabashed bliss.

Disclaimer: if you were thinking this was a sponsored post (asa pa ‘ko), let me clear the air. As much as I’d love to be sponsored by Pomelo, these pieces were all bought with my own hard-earned money because I thought they were–and are–definitely worth the treat. When I say Pomelo has me by my metaphorical balls, I mean it. Plus, if I’m going down, I’m taking you guys down with me.

Check, Please

I’ve always been a sucker for checkered pants. There’s just something about its eye-catching nature that calls to me. Perhaps stemming from an obsession with all things plaid back in high school, my love for this pattern has to cease. I love this pair of pants in particular because it’s brighter, livelier, and highly reminiscent of pajamas–but like outdoor pajamas. Pambahaycore chic, if you will.

Lines, Lines, Lines

Crop tops are everything to me. Regular t-shirts? We don’t know her in this house. It must. Be. Cropped. I don’t know when my Leo heart crossed the line of being bored with regular t-shirts and opting for more belly-out pieces, but if I can wear a crop top, I will. With this piece, what drew me to it was the trendy line detailing and the knotted center–makes for the perfect IBTC top, IMO.

Lilac Mini Dress

Little Lilac

Everyone needs their little black dress, right? But what happens when you already have one? Get one in pastel! Duh. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but lilac is one of my favorite colors (followed closely by neon green and teal, but that’s beside the point). This dainty mini dress is the epitome of adorable yet classic, mildly sexy yet pabebe. New date night dress? Check.

Beige Checked Cropped Blazer

Stay Blazing

A cropped blazer? Yes, please. If I could have this blazer in a complete range of ROYBGV colors, I would die a happy corporate slave. It puts a cute little touch to professionalism, giving you the freedom to dress up a regular old pair of jeans or go for a smarter look with some slacks. Plus, wearing it over a bralette–my favorite thing to do with any open garment–is just so easy yet so chic that it’s a no-brainer for Zoom meetings that call for having your video camera on. Just keep the button closed, darling. 

Patchwork It, B*tch

Surprise, surprise: another crop top. In my defense though, look how cute this is! That’s it. That’s the statement. Jokes aside, its patchwork design with its mini puffed sleeves and boob-enhancing cut makes for the perfect summery top that makes even itty bittiest of titties look like they’re doing their best. Pair it with shorts, jeans, leather pants–you name it. Its pop of color does wonders for any ol’ pair of neutral bottoms.

Do the Splits

As I mentioned, I have a penchant for checked pieces, so color me ecstatic when I chanced upon this gorgeous two-tone, split-style pair of trousers. Not only are there two different hues of tan on each leg, but one leg has a gorgeous check design that I couldn’t resist. I’ve also been experimenting with my sense of style as of late, so this unique pair was something I could not miss out on.

Nude Pink Scallop Skirt

Skrrt, Skrrt

With a closet generally filled with lazy-girl denim shorts, I thought adding a cute little skirt to the mix would help brighten up my wardrobe. I love the scallop hemline and its high waist–perfect for looking put together at the office or hoe-ing it out with a bralette as per usual. Its lilac hue makes it easy to pair with any neutrals in your closet, making it a must-have for whatever occasion may come. Date night? Office attire? Smart casual events? Check, check, and check.

To Tye Dye For

This dress? With the open back? With the waist slits? With the balloon sleeves? Come on. My would-rather-be-naked-24/7 Leo self couldn’t resist adding to my cart. Big bonus: it’s so comfortable and soft that I wouldn’t be against having it as one of my many outfit changes at my funeral. Oh yes, I’m not dying in one outfit, thank you.

Long-Sleeve White Dress

Off-White All Night 

No, not the brand. This off-white dress is a little more covered up than I’m used to, but I couldn’t resist the puffy sleeves. The criss-crossed tie design on the sleeves also piqued my interest, and as I’ve never owned a dress like this before, I thought I’d give it a go. Guess I know what I’m wearing to my next formal event–or another date, perhaps? It is a tad warm though, being of heavier nature than the rest of my purchases, but its cottagecore prairie-girl aesthetic was much too fab to pass up.

And there you have it! My lovely little haul from Pomelo that I hope got you raring to shop as well. Plus, my own mini photoshoot to satiate my endless vanity. Could you blame me when the clothes look so damn good, though? 

Anyway, as usual, slay safe, babes.

Getting Nosy with Le Nez Parfumerie: A Peek at My First Entrepreneurial Venture

Julia lets us in on her latest headach–uh, we mean, heart-thumper: Le Nez Parfumerie!

If you’ve been following me (Julia, lol) on my personal social media accounts, I’m sure you’ve already been bombarded by my promotions of a little ol’ brand called Le Nez Parfumerie. While I can’t apologize for that–your girl has to make sales somehow–I will take this time to let you guys have a sneak peek into the brand that has so quickly burrowed a nest into my heart. 

For those that aren’t aware yet, Le Nez (pronounced more like “luh nuh”, but we’re Filipino, so I think we can get a pass at just saying “leh nehz“) is one of my latest brain babies, launched alongside my sisters, Joyce and Bea–though Bea is non-biological, she’s a sister nonetheless!

Behind the Brand: A Walk Through Grasse

Shoutout to the cutest nails from Kuko Ko

As much as I’d love to take credit for the brand, the idea of it all really came from my sister, Joyce. She had always had an entrepreneurial spirit, making and selling different things through her passion for finding new ways to make a little dough. She had sold perfume years ago, but had never really put a name to the bottles–until Bea and I came into the mix. 

She approached us with her latest idea: a brand of local handcrafted luxury perfumes that could stand against the richness and longevity of expensive brand names while making sure our customers’ pockets didn’t bleed at the expense. As we sat down to brainstorm (but let’s be real: most of our ideation really came from 2AM WhatsApp conversations starting with “OMG WHAT IF?”), we realized that this brand was much more than just perfume. It was an experience–Ate Joyce’s experience, to be precise–that we wanted everyone else to be a part of. 

See, many years ago, my ate went on a soul-searching trip to Grasse, France with my tita. There, her love for perfume was exacerbated. She had always loved perfumes, even when we were little; she would collect luxurious fragrances and would bring me to stores to show me the scents that she loved, therefore bringing me to love perfumes as well. However, Grasse materialized it into something much more. Being in the epicenter of the fragrance capital of France, she saw (and smelled) just how lovingly each little perfumery bottled their products. There she learned that the boutiques (each with their own master perfumers called “le nez”) specially made each scent for their customers, gauging their preferences to craft a bottle unique to them, then labelling it with their name to give them a once-in-a-lifetime scent experience. 

With that story, our brand was born! And while we can’t replicate the exact ways of Grasse, we can do our best by giving you scents crafted meticulously by hand, sniffed endlessly until perfection was deemed, and tested over and over again to make sure that you get the same feeling of opulence that you would with branded items. We also wanted to replicate the homey, small-town feel of Grasse, so we’re doing our best to represent that through our eco-friendly and reusable pouches, recyclable seaweed paper wrap, and a little bit of twine to tie it all together–packed individually by hand, by the way, by our lovely Bea. 

Our little three-person company does everything we can to work together to bring you only the best. While we shiver in our own respective singular-person-run departments, we absolutely love what we do, so we hope that you feel it too in every spritz of our perfumes.

Le Nez: Tell Us About It

While I wouldn’t want to bore you with all the little details, I would like to let you in on what we have and why you need (yes, need) to try it out. 


First of all, we have 12 staple scents to choose from that each come in varying sizes to accommodate your needs. While there are scents whose notes may be generally geared towards either men or women, we like to let you decide for yourself. Though many of our scents are actually unisex in nature, as I said above, we like to show off all of our scents sans the gendered label. For example, there are some masculine scents, such as Tease (deep, musky, and the right amount of spicy), that actually work well with my personal preferences. That being said, we like to allow you to discover the scent that best suits you, as a unique individual, with our androgynous descriptions, packaging, and overall brand sense.  

Let’s get into sizing. Want the most bang for your buck? A 50ml spray bottle of the scent of your choosing is perfect. Just a few sprays is enough to last you the whole day, so you’re sure to make the most of your purchase. Travelling or need something convenient for your purse? We have 10mls and 5mls that are sitting pretty on our shelves just waiting for their perfect perfume lover to snag! Bonus tip: since our 10ml and 5ml bottles are rollers, it’s ideal for controlling the amount of perfume you’d like to apply. For example, you’d like your scent to come off a little stronger, then layering it on is literally just one roll away. 

Each scent is made with high concentrations of imported French oils–only the good stuff for our lovely customers, of course! This high concentration also means that it lasts longer on the skin. Whether you’re out all day or staying in all night (iykwim), our scents will stay put. This is tried and tested, mind you! A few spritzes on the wrist and pulse points would give me a lovely scent that lingered from the moment I’d leave my house in the morning to the second I’d take my nightly showers. 

While I’d love to chat your ear off about each scent, it may be best to give our socials (@lenezparfumerie on Facebook and Instagram) a follow to get a feel of each of them lest I make this article take twenty hours to read. 

We also let you personalize your 50ml bottles with handwritten calligraphy (courtesy of our multi-talented sales head, Bea) to give you a Grasse-esque experience. Plus, it’s adorable for gifting to your loved ones! Who doesn’t like things with their name on it? It just makes things feel more personal, you know?

What’s Next for Le Nez?

A LOT! This is a Julia Benito guarantee: there is SO MUCH more to come from our three-month-old brand, so do make sure to stay updated. Of course, I can’t reveal too much right now, but one of the most exciting things we can say is that we have many new scents (maybe new products?) in the making!


We’ve actually released two just the other day: Maverick and Valentine. These two were practically made for February date nights, so if you’re hoping to woo a special someone, a little whiff of these scents is all you need send them into a sensual frenzy. Warning: this may or may not be confirmed by The Ladies of Le Nez. Hahaha! Because this is such a new scent, we even decided to mark it down for you for its opening month! Buy 1 scent each (so 1 Maverick and 1 Valentine) in 5ml bottles for only P350 until the end of the month only–I know, right? Such a steal.


Aside from the new scents, you can expect some freebies along the way! This February, we’ll be giving out some Le Nez tote bags to those that buy two 50ml bottles of any scent of their choosing. Why? Well, why not? Everyone loves tote bags! Got errands? Going to the gym? Hitting up a beach? Tote. Bag. Plus, it’s the season of love, so think of it as a little Valentine’s Day present from us to you for supporting us through and through.

What’s Your Fave?


This is literally so hard for me because I genuinely like all of the scents we made–duh, otherwise I wouldn’t sell them, LOL! But if push comes to shove, I would name my top three to be: 1) Eclipse, 2) Valentine (new, but so good!), and 3) Delirium

I’m not one to typically gravitate towards bright, citrusy scents. So, when earthy, neutral, and kind of spicy scents like Eclipse and Delirium hit my nostrils, I am a goner. Valentine is a newbie in the lineup, but the initial soft, floral-but-not-lola-floral scent hits your skin, it really gets you in a flirty kinda mood. It makes me feel some kinda way, you know? Then, as it sits and melds into your skin and body heat, it gives off a deeper, vanilla note that’s perfect for getting cozy with my mans–hi, babe, if you’re reading. 

I hope that little deep dive into Le Nez Parfumerie was interesting for you! For the supporters who followed us from day one to those that just got aboard the fragrance train, I deeply, deeply thank you. Words will never be enough to express how much this brand, being the first actual entrepreneurial venture I’ve ever had that was my OWN, means to me and my family. 

From the stone cold recesses of my heart, I, the Marketing Department of Le Nez, thank you. 

Now, go on and slay safe, babes! Don’t forget to drop a follow on your friendly local luxury parfumerie’s socials if you want more scentacular updates!

💋 julia

A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.

Whispers from the Wardrobe: Practical Tips on Cleaning Up Well

Looking good and spending a lot of money isn’t necessarily synonymous! Here are some handy tips I learned from my family on cleaning up well without draining my wallet.

At our core, my family and I are very simple people, and though we still love to enjoy the finer things in life, we elect to spend our money on trips, relaxation, and gastronomic experiences rather than clothes.  Nonetheless, in the 23 years I’ve lived on this Earth, I’ve picked up a couple of tricks from the people I hold closest to me that have aided in keeping me grounded and trimming down my closet expenses without risking the term ‘shabby’.

Now, while a person’s sense of fashion is entirely their own and I have absolutely no intention of swaying yours, I do hope you find something useful in this list to help you as much as it helped me. 

Grooming is absolutely everything

This is something both of my lolas always made sure of and their key to looking good no matter what: simple clothing, good grooming

The main difference between wearing cheap clothes and looking cheap lies entirely on how well you present yourself. It wouldn’t matter how expensive your clothes are. There’s nothing that degrades an entire look more than appearing unkempt. As my sister says, dressing casually doesn’t excuse you for looking sloppy. Doing your brows, putting on some powder, and swiping a bit of lipstick on never hurt anyone. And please brush your hair, lest my grandmothers come back from beyond the grave to haunt you.

Bank on basics, but stay excited.

As a family that looks for longevity rather than trend, basics and normcore chic is our lifeblood. However, that doesn’t mean you should be boring. Having a good amount of basics is perfect for mixing and matching without being overly conspicuous that you’re wearing the same thing all the time, so I like mixing in key items in my closet that get me giddy when I throw them on, like a fun printed crop top or checkered pants or an oversized Korean-style jacket. 

I remember a time when I was shopping with my mother. She found this adorable white tee with really cheery, colorful print and as soon as she saw it, she lit up and knew she had to have it; whenever she’d wear it out on the weekend, she’d feel like more of a fun person. That is the kind of joy your closet should evoke from you, and if it doesn’t, then maybe it’s time for a refresh.

Treat buying clothes as a long-term investment.

This is something I discuss often with my mother, and while she scoffs at me with her Economics degree every time I say the word “investment”, I stand by it. Good clothes should be able last you years, and while it may be tempting to slip into the impulsive snares of fast fashion, it might be good to take a step back before handing over that credit card. Would you be able to wear that style for at least a couple of years? Is the material sturdy enough to withstand the wear and tear? Is it free from time-dependent references that are sure to become obscure after one use? Trends come and go, so you might as well put your money in things that you won’t cringe at when Facebook’s Timehop kicks in. I’m looking at you, unflattering denim bermuda shorts.

Comfort is key. People can see when you’re uncomfortable. 

You know how you can just tell when someone stops feeling good in the heels they’re in? Yeah, that applies to the rest of your clothes, too. Daring to be out of the box with your fashion is all well and good, but if it stifles your comfort so much that you physically have to pretend you’re okay, then please just let it go–for your sake and the sake of prowling, judgmental eyes (sorry). Comfort helps boost your confidence, so don’t let it take the back seat!

If you can only have two pairs of heels, make sure you get them in black and nude. 

I used to laugh at my mom for getting the exact same pair of kitten heels in black and nude, but looking back at it now, I actually see the appeal. Everyone needs a favorite pair of classic heels, and everyone needs them in exactly those colors–two birds with one stone! Having black heels is honestly common sense at this point, but don’t neglect the nude; because they blend into your skin, nude heels help give the illusion of elongated legs–perfect for us vertically challenged Asians–and are incredibly versatile shoes that work well for both casual and formal events.

If you don’t want to be judged, never wear open-toed shoes without having a pedicure first. 

Just because feet aren’t the very first things you see shouldn’t mean that you can neglect them! I have been traumatized one time too many by the look of disgust on my sister’s face as I wore sandals out of the house with my overgrown nails, half-chipped polish, and unsightly cuticles. Never again. And NEVER to a formal event; you are not an uncouth monster. Remember: your nails are an extension of your outfit.

Being thrifty is a good thing, but that doesn’t mean you should buy bad clothes. 

My mother is notorious for falling into the discount trap. I’ve watched her buy sandals on sale despite having a superfluous amount at home or try to convince herself to like sale item clothes just because the deal was too good to pass up. That isn’t to say that I think sales are bad–I love sales as much as the next person–but if the most attractive part of the garment is its price and not its quality, then maybe you don’t need it.

For god’s sake, learn your own silhouette.

I’ve lamented the fact that I can never have a fuller bosom or wider hips for ages, but one thing about growing up in a household with vastly different body shapes has taught me that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to making clothes work for you. My sister is more apple shaped, my mother is more of an inverted triangle, and I am more boxy. Learning how to create the illusion of a more shapely physique, longer legs, and thinner waists all come differently to each of us, so there’s no point trying to replicate something that works for someone else when it doesn’t help you.  

I won’t be getting in too deep with other body shapes, but if you’re rectangular like me (i.e your shoulders, bust, and hips aren’t far apart in measurements), you have to find ways to cheat that waist. You can try pants with a higher waistband to help bring the attention to the length of your legs, or those with wide legs to fill out your hips. Dresses that cinch around the waist and flare out are also great for creating shape, as well as strategic cut-outs and smart color blocking. Fake it ‘til you make it, baby!

One is never over-dressed or underdressed in a little black dress.

This is self-explanatory, but Coco Chanel was absolutely right when she said it. Every girl needs one in her closet and trust me, you will always find use for it.

If you can’t see all your clothes when you open your closet, you’re going to need to Marie Kondo that sh*t out. 

After all, how often would you reach for something that you don’t remember is there? A useful tip my mom taught me was to remember the last time you wore that article of clothing. If it’s been more than three months and you haven’t thought of it one bit, then it’s safe to say that you won’t miss it when it’s gone. Learn to let go, girl. 

Own a small purse. 

If you’re like my mom and you like carrying your entire house in your purse, I urge you to attempt a smaller bag. More often than not, we tend to carry things that we don’t really need just in case an occasion would call for it, and when it comes to fishing things out of that monstrous bag, it takes more than a few moments of wildly flailing our hand around to finally find it. Smaller bags not only cut that process out, but are also easier on the back (which is necessary, if you have scoliosis like I do) and often come in wider arrays of designs. 

Of course, that’s not to say that you should ditch the big bag entirely. It’s good to have different sizes for different occasions, but for days where you’re just off to the supermarket or going to have coffee with friends, do you really need all that stuff weighing your shoulder down? 

Always have stain remover on hand!

My sister found this magical thing in Japan once that highly resembles correction fluid, and it has changed my life. While it isn’t something I’m proud of, I’m not exactly the neatest eater; having this (or the more accessible Tide marker) tucked inside my purse was a godsend for the days I slurp up ramen and accidentally drip some of the soup on my shirt. Not a good look, darling.

Never underestimate the power of accessories. 

Need to zhuzh up a simple outfit? Accessories. My Lola Tindeng had been known to sport gorgeous, glittering accessories at all times, from formal events to simple potluck dinners in her condo to her hospital bed–with good reason! Accessories are a sure-fire way to elevate even the most basic t-shirt and jeans combo, so it’s always nice to accent your looks with a little somethin’ somethin’–even a simple gold necklace and studded earrings can have a big impact on your overall look. Just be sure to match it to what you’re wearing! While I personally prefer gold for everything, if you needed to choose between gold and silver, it’s good to remember that warmer tones look best with gold, while cooler tones complement silver

Rings are also something my sister and I fawn over. If you aren’t like her and don’t have a husband to give you a giant diamond ring (ugh), a large statement ring or a series of dainty stackable rings are also great ways to add personality. 

Also, please, please own a belt, damn it! I remember stubbornly refusing to accept that I needed a belt other than my old, worn clasp belt from high school and sorely regretting it when my jeans started slipping and I had no other choice but to look horrendous. A good rule of thumb is to have at least these two: a classic leather belt, and a skinny belt you can use for daintier looks or for cinching dresses.

Save your best designer sunglasses for the city. 

My family loves sunglasses, and while it would look great flaunting your favorite designer pair at any given moment, it’s good to have more than one. Aside from adding variety into your wardrobe, this also makes sure you don’t wreck the expensive one prematurely. We like owning what we call the “disposable pair” for lesser occasions, a.k.a the pair you like but wouldn’t cry over if it fell into the ocean or was accidentally rolled over at the beach.

Get to know a good tailor. 

Being a dressmaker, Lola Tindeng greatly emphasized the need for clothes to fit well. If buying off the rack doesn’t hug your body the way you want it to but you can’t get over the style, don’t think that all is lost. Tailors exist for a reason, and when you find one you like, do not let him/her out of your sight.

When in doubt, shirt-dress it out. 

This one’s my mom’s favorite because it’s easy to put together, comfortable to wear, and can be dressed up or down with accessories!

Do not, I repeat, do NOT be stingy with your intimates. 

Your underwear is the most essential part of your closet, as it dictates both comfort and hygiene. They also help shape the way your clothes cling to you, so why settle for frumpy, misshapen granny panties when you can get quality, form-hugging pairs that’ll last you years? If you’re above the age of twelve, ditch the cheap 5-packs (or, at least, save them for shark week) and move on to greener pastures. Trust me, you’ll feel much more confident in more ~mature~ styles and you won’t have them wearing down on you after a year or so. 

Stop settling for ill-fitting bras. 

Not only will it make you infinitely more comfortable, but it’ll look much more polished too. If there’s a gap between the pad and your breast, if your boobs are spilling over to and fro, or if your band isn’t sitting horizontally on your torso, then it’s the wrong size. 

If you have itty bitties like us, this rule definitely still applies. There’s nothing that makes me feel more awkward about myself than the infamous bra-to-shirt Grand Canyon, and while I wish I had a fuller chest, there are a lot of ways to look stunning regardless. Jazz has a wonderfully helpful article on styling and how to embrace your smaller cup size, so read it here if you’re interested!

Learn to treasure your sewing kit.

Did you ever go to your lola’s house and reach for that signature tin of cookies and opened it to find a sewing kit? Did you also scoff and wonder why you needed so many dang colors of thread and wished it were cookies instead? Yeah, girl, me too. I don’t know if it’s early adulthood talking and I may just be getting older, but my perception of the sewing kit has changed so drastically that I’ve come to wish for my own little tin can of sewing materials. For small fixes and easy length adjustments that don’t really need the trip to a tailor, these will do you a lot of good. 

Having a portable one in your purse will also save your skin. I remember the time I had to attend an event and ripped my dress quite unattractively up the back (I had added a little weight on the derriere from a family trip and tried to deny it), and never was I ever as grateful for a complimentary hotel sewing kit as I was that day. Be grateful for your Home Economics class, children. Be grateful.

Hopefully, these small nuggets of wisdom I picked up from my family help you in some way. If there’s anything your ancestors have imparted on you that has made an impact on how you dress, let’s chat in comments! We’d love to read them.

And do watch out for Jazz’s article on the insightful tips on grooming and personal care coming out next week! 

Until next time!

💋 julia

A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.

Recent K-Pop MV Looks That Fueled My Makeup Obsession

For beauty lovers with a soft spot for K-Pop, here’s a list of memorable looks from 2019 – 2020 to inspire your next #MOTD.

Truth be told, I’m not the kind of K-Pop stan who is constantly in the know about recent comebacks or MVs (unless the group was one of my ults, of course). But with the quarantine still on-going and my work-related duties on pause, I’ve had too much time to myself; so much so that I’ve spent hours and hours of my days just scouring YouTube for something to keep me occupied.

That’s how I came about making this list: going through the top 2019 – 2020 MV releases and thinking to myself, “Damn, she looks good!” As someone who loves to experiment with makeup in her spare time, I had so much fun putting this list together and I hope it fuels your makeup obsession as much as it did mine.

EDIT: I wasn’t originally planning on recreating these looks, but I couldn’t resist! Scroll down to the end of the article to see how I fared. Judge me gently, please.

BLACKPINK – Kill This Love

With a (very) underwhelming number of original songs since their debut way back in 2016, it truly makes you wonder what BLACKPINK is up to inside the prison that is the ever-problematic YG dungeon–perhaps they’ve been taught to knit instead? Jokes aside, I’m part of the heavily polarized population that actually loves BP, from their few yet explosive songs to their gorgeous styling to the high quality productions to their undeniable stage presence.

Despite the “Lazy Jennie” controversy, I can’t deny how fond of her I still am–especially since she knows how to work a look. The way Jennie’s piercing ruby lid is topped with a metallic stripe down the middle really takes this dramatic look to another level; like borderline clown makeup so stylish that it might even make Pennywise shed a tear. It’s been a little more than a year since this song came out, but her makeup is still top of mind when I think of genuinely memorable looks. You just don’t see this kind of makeup often, you know?

I honestly considered moving on to the next video with just one mention, but Jisoo’s ethereal wet-look was too good not to include. I remember audibly gasping the first time I saw this scene, and even though it leans more on the natural side, the combination of under-eye shimmer, scattered rhinestones, wet edges, and the S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G horizon backdrop was more than enough to burn the image of Jisoo’s majestic countenance into my brain and keep it there. The reflection in the black water, the contrast of the black against a burning sun, the flayed fabric billowing behind her, and the glossy pink coral-esque headpiece truly came together in one of the most visually appealing sets I’ve seen in a while.

CHUNGHA – Stay Tonight

Chungha is one of the K-Pop artists that I’m always excited to see come back because she doesn’t disappoint–I don’t think she knows how! From her iconic waacking dance style to her captivating choreography to her fierce stage presence, I could go on and on singing her praises because she really is that b***h.

In ‘Stay Tonight’, every change in her look brings a vastly different appeal; it was so difficult to choose just one, so naturally, I chose three.

The metallic emerald lid blended into a salmon crease was a particularly interesting look for me, as the brilliance of the green shadow was something I hadn’t immediately noticed until she squinted. Paired with the nose and lip rings, this easily became one of my favorite looks on her; it’s grungier yet stays classy, darker yet irrefutably gorgeous–a feat when you consider how difficult it is to find a good green shadow in the first place, let alone work it. 

Her romantic dewy look with glossy crimson eyes and a bold red lip boldly contrasting her all-white ensemble, as well as her unconventional pearl-topped lid in complement to her netted top, definitely don’t lag far behind as each look perfectly shows how dynamic her image can be. It just goes to show how capable of an artist she is, morphing seamlessly from her bright-eyed ‘Roller Coaster’ days, to her girl-next-door tropical ‘Love You’ looks, and now to a heavy-bass club track with ‘Stay Tonight’ that features so many mesmerizing sides of her that leaves me itching for more. 

Chungha had already made it so difficult to be bored of her before this release, but now with new infectious beats, eye-catching visuals, and game-changing male backup dancers in heels bigger than my life goals, she’s proven how eager she is to push the boundaries of K-Pop and topple it.

ITZY – Icy

There’s just something about Ryujin’s pink-on-pink-on-pink look that I can’t quite let go off. Despite their more recent comeback with ‘Wannabe’ (another bop that deserves a spot on your daebak playlist), I find this look to be the first image I think of when I hear her name. Her styling was done so coherently from head to toe that I didn’t even dare mention ITZY without bringing this up. Her outfits were loud in both pattern and color, but the stylist always made sure to keep a pop of pink. The addition of the dandruff-but-make-it-cute hair glitter was also a detail I really appreciated, making me want to dye my hair pink STAT just so I can dust some on myself and be as daintily badass as her. 

Had this look been on anyone else but her, I may not have featured it at all. What makes it truly distinctive to me is the fact that it was on Ryujin, a member known for her calm stoicism and tomboyish manner. As someone who adores girls that don’t seem bound into a specific category, I was thrilled to see her take on such a bright look and dominate it. 

This second look was something I only noticed when I was fetching screenshots since it appeared too quickly that my eyes didn’t register it the first time. Yeji’s iridescent liner accent was so entrancing that I had to go back for it–took a good couple of tries for that photo, mind you. It’s impressive how such a subtle detail, like a sliver of glitter, takes the whole look to the more confident I-don’t-give-a-damn level that their song projects. Plus, the color it turns as the light hits it also matches well with her jacket completely. Don’t you just love attention to detail? But let’s be real: Yeji can make anything look amazing.

Red Velvet – Psycho

I’ve been obsessed with this song for so long that I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighbors are plotting to break into the house just to tell me to turn it off. It’s such a contagious song from beat to choreography, and I always find myself drifting back to it whenever I pop open my Spotify before I shower. Red Velvet’s duality was always an aspect I found fascinating about them, and I love how boldly this was presented with their looks.

As a proud junkie of all things shiny, Seulgi’s subtle green shadow with chunky glitter is something I need to achieve for myself. It’s both wearable and characteristic, interesting yet not overblown–perfect for turning Euphoria-esque looks that are lowkey enough to be enjoyed at family reunions without drawing the ire of your opinionated titas. Those that want to be a little more glitzy will love Irene’s golden halo eyeshadow; its intense sparkle yet classy tone make it perfect for looks of luxury (fluffy headpiece and chunky jewelry optional).

Glitter aside, I also really appreciated how well they wore their vampy, modernized Victorian looks in stark contrast to their youthful rendition of flapper dresses. The deep, gothic lip that all the members wore was perfection, driving the two-faced love that sat at the core of this song deep into my memory. Wendy’s was particularly memorable, having paired it with platinum hair and a deliberately colorless base.

(G)I-DLE – Oh my god

To be completely honest, I never cared much for (G)I-DLE until this song. I didn’t even know it was pronounced like ‘idle’ and not ‘gee-idol‘ until after my shock-induced research. Trust me when I say I sat through a full five minutes of silent contemplation on how stubbornly I slept on this talent for so long.

The track itself is incredibly intriguing, bouncing seamlessly between hypnotic melodies, to light, plucky tones until it plummets into a deep, trap-based hook, jostling my entire soul in under a minute. This degree of darkness (overall concept-wise) is something that isn’t often seen in K-Pop, which leans into the fact that this group has openly mentioned creating a genre specifically for themselves; needless to say, I was floored. Anyone that STILL thinks K-Pop is just for canned cutesy or pretty concepts can redirect themselves to this video and choke.

Concept and execution aside, this release also gave us stunning looks. The intensity of Minnie’s dark brown smokey lid plus the braids, the blunt bangs, and her hospital-patient-meets-purgatory-chic was such a smart look for her. The added drama of a heavy smoked out lid plus her innate acting skills really gave both her start and end the strength to captivate the viewer through the entire narrative and sell it.

As the symbol of purity, Miyeon’s dainty, fairylike look hit the nail right on the head. The softness about her, from the subtle shadow and glistening pout to the small stone tears, and even to the hazy, sparkle-filled cinematography truly brought out her natural innocent charm–such a cute look to replicate!


I definitely do not claim to be a makeup artist, but I tried my best! Hahaha! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Aaaand that’s all for now! What did you think? Did I miss any iconic lewks from this past year? Let me know below!

But first, introductions: Julia

Get to know one of our authors: Julia, our cacti-hoarding, hedgehog-owning lover of makeup and gorey anime!

Being the anxiety-ridden introvert that I am, I have always been daunted by the task of describing myself. Each time I’ve been asked, I’d have trouble coming up with anything to say, as if my mind empties completely every time a spotlight hits me. And even if I did manage to find the words, there would be a voice in the back of my head that would berate me for being bland and uninteresting. 

Through the years, I tried to force myself through my own discomfort, and while I still have some ways to go, I take pride in the fact that I’ve shed a lot of the shits that I would’ve given as the quivering prepubescent girl that I was, so unwilling to open herself up. That growth, as well as my love for the written word, is partially why I was drawn to this joint venture—to find a new means of breaking myself in even further and hesitating less about putting myself out into the world. 

Though the thought of talking into the void that is the Internet is still unnerving to me, I genuinely hope that some of my ramblings may find you at least a little bit entertained. So, without further unnecessary build up, here’s a peek at who I am and how I style myself.

Of stories and daydreams

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to think up stories. I’d imagine animals, both real and fantastical, floating all around me as I walked. I’d imagine scenarios in my head as I watched scenery pass by through the car window. As I grew, I came to realize, however, that my favorite stories were often those that were just a tiny bit odd, and so I begun to write that way—a teenage grim reaper collecting souls in a Chryssler, a world of bizarre dreams ruled by bored Bogeymen, a strange student accidentally undergoing a summoning. 

Of course, these were stories I’d drafted and kept for only my own indulgence, but this love for darker themes had definitely seeped through to the books and anime and films that I hold dear to me.  I enjoyed things that appeared more grim, things that had a drier, more sarcastic sense of humor, and things with a subtle tongue-in-cheek tonality that was just a little more off-putting than it should be.

Looking back at it now, I suppose it makes a lot of sense with how my ideal aesthetic for life was born. I enjoyed things with a hint of darkness, and it carried on to most aspects of my life. For example, if you knew me back in high school and came upon my Tumblr, then you’d know for a fact that I love the appeal of disposable cameras more than any other style there is. I remembered a time where my Tumblr was mostly reblogs of other people’s disposables, even if I had no idea who they were or what the context was; all I knew was that I loved how they looked—high contrast, deep shadows, harsh flash, and a hazy glaze that made any memory look that much more picturesque. 

Something about it also seemed so genuine to me, so commonplace, so minimally touched yet so filled with character. This thought process is also why I have a mild obsession with Winona Ryder, our favorite cigarette-guzzling actress from classic cult-hit films like Beetlejuice (1988) or Girl, Interrupted (1999). I find that even the very air around her exudes this kind of effortlessly cool energy, especially during the 90’s with her bolstering of the relaxed yet iconic trend of androgyny chic. It’s precisely this aspect that I feel encapsulates the kind of person I want to be—understated and unassuming, dark and muted, yet with its own distinctive traits that bring intrigue to those with interest.

Of denim and leather

That said, my sense of style would naturally follow a similar line of thinking. To say it simply, I love subtly, but with a twist. 

I’ve been finding my ideal style drifting towards the calm, yet less conventional; think items that are not so outlandish that they become difficult to pair, but are decorated enough to draw the eyes in. I’ve been obsessed with things like mesh sleeves and printed tops and unorthodox pants, but, through my perusal of accessible stores, I have been having a hard time either coming to terms with the prices of similar street style items or finding more affordable pieces that exude the same unique feel. My fondness for soft-pedalled peculiarity is definitely a tricky style to perfect, especially when I haven’t even the faintest idea of where to start, but it’s where I know my future will lead me. 

As I lament the fact that I haven’t fully achieved my ideal wardrobe, you’ll probably still catch me clad in either of my two favorite and indispensable pieces: a trusty pair of five-year-old ripped jeans and a leather jacket that is much too impractical to wear in the Philippine heat but I bring along anyway. It’s still a very, very long journey into the world of off-center apparel, but I bask in the knowledge that I’ve slowly graduated from my teenage wardrobe of endless black band tees and a beat up pair of classic white Chuck Taylors (which I still wear to this day, but don’t judge me for it) into a more diverse set of clothes.

Even so, my style is still very much relaxed. I think the main reason for it is because I’m generally very simple when it comes to clothes, and I tend not to shop unless I definitely need to. Even then, I would always hesitate, wondering obsessively if I could wear it over and over again for the course of at least the next three years. If I deemed that I could, only then would I have bought it. 

Now, I have never and will never claim to be a fashionista, as I tend to cycle through the same five outfits without realizing it, but I do love to admire clothes. If I had my way and a much deeper wallet, then I’d love to spend it on more statement items, but alas, life was not that kind. If I could, I’d definitely buy items with louder details, like coats with gorgeous painted prints or denim jackets with neon tags coiled through them—articles that bring a little extra pizzazz to the more muted items underneath. I love clothes particularly with a tiny bit more personality than normal, giving them the ability to elevate an otherwise simple outfit into something that tells you that you didn’t even have to try to look stylish; you just are.

I will admit, though, that my obsession with K-Pop in the latter half of the past decade had played a big part in how I spiraled into the world of newer, more interesting styles. A lot of Korean fashion, especially their street wear, made me open up my sartorial horizons, giving me the drive to go after more courageous styles. It also greatly influenced how I like to do my makeup, from peachier tones and my newfound love for all things shimmery, though I haven’t quite let go of how much I adore a big, dramatic cat eye. 

There’s a lot more I could be saying, but I’ve just looked over the size of what I’ve already written and thought, “Sis, this needs to stop at some point.” Truth be told, when Jazz and I discussed writing our respective introductions, we only envisioned writing snippets. Maybe a few paragraphs, but definitely not anything of this length. If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to give you my thanks—for bearing with my stream of consciousness and learning a little more about me on your own volition.

I hope you stick around when we write up some more things, and hopefully our growth in both ourselves and our styles will bring a smile to your face. Or, at least, have you blow slightly more air out through your nostrils in amusement. 

See you soon!

💋 julia

A 23-year-old writer and content associate with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp–from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.