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    is a virtual space where Liyana Aris documents her evolving modest personal style, which is based on the art of looking casually stylish while still remaining modest and doing it all on a budget; about 93% of her closet are filled with affordable things. (PS: The remaining 7% has a lot to do with her secret addiction to Adidas shoes and her occasional splurges on discounted high-end bags and clutches, shhh.) [+]
    30.6.15 .

    I don't have the expertise to re-create celebrity makeup but I do love searching for makeup inspiration photos on Pinterest and turning the makeup I see into something of my own, with whatever minimal makeup knowledge (and little makeup products) that I have.

    follow @theliyanaaris on Instagram

    30.6.15 .

    I don't have the expertise to re-create celebrity makeup but I do love searching for makeup inspiration photos on Pinterest and turning the makeup I see into something of my own, with whatever minimal makeup knowledge (and little makeup products) that I have.

    25.6.15 .

    So, I'm pretty much obsessed with this black abaya dress. So easy to wear and SO comfy.

    If you've been following my little blog here you might have seen this black abaya before, in which I matched it with a maroon-red scarf and leopard loafers. This time around I ditched the thin sash and swapped the places of leopard and red—also, seriously, can't stop with all these random kitschy clutches, currently my heart is with one baby piano.

    I wanted this piano clutch ever since I first laid eyes on it in Gurney Paragon's Kate Spade. At the time, the clutch just came out but one of my shopping philosophies is good things come to those who wait.
    All the better when the thing is a sweet piano clutch that you just snagged in the Kate Spade outlet in Tokyo for half the retail price. Am I right?

    I don't know what it is about leopard print and red, but in my mind they are THE perfect match. It's easy to go tacky with them though, so they have to be the absolute right leopard spots and the right shade(s) of red.

    Let me know if you like this outfit better than this one in the comments down below, would be excited to hear your honest opinion!

    Under RM 50
    Leopard scarf from random pop-up stall
    Pull & Bear Two-tone Ankle-strapped Ballet Flats
    Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Kiss Me Coral
    Avon Ultra Glazewear Lip Gloss in Tangerine Gleam

    Under RM 100
    Abaya black dress from Berjaya Times Square

    Kate Spade Piano Clutch

    23.6.15 .

    A few months ago, I was in a cafe catching up with my girlfriends. We started talking about clothes and shopping (two things I feel we don't talk about enough) when I mentioned that a majority of my clothing items were obtained under RM 100.
    They were surprised by my proclamation. 
    I, in turn, was surprised by their surprise.

    I had up to that point believed that it was common practice and completely normal that someone has a closet filled with things that are priced under RM 100 (that's roughly 30 USD) but from my friends' reaction, apparently that wasn't the norm. One question they were asking me: "WHERE do you buy your clothes?".

    The thing is, I buy my clothes mostly from the stores you buy your clothes from. I adore Pull & Bear and Bershka and I visit the nearest H&M and Zara too often for my wallet's own good. So I've arrived to the conclusion that the only thing that sets me apart from my friends and most people is probably this: I frequent these stores during sales time.
    In fact, I shop at those places almost exclusively during the sales.

    I've made it known in my About page that being a homemaker means not having a monthly income and as you can tell, hinders me from scoring the latest trends that are made available in all the stores. Even so I find that a closet that's stocked with budget items can be just as good as any closet.

    My blog isn't named "Affordorable" for nothing, after all! I want it to be known that you don't need to have big bucks to have a happy shopping life. It's mostly about:

    19.6.15 .

    Sometimes a lipstick doesn't have to just be a lipstick! I've been repurposing some of the lipsticks I own as a blush and I've been LOVING it. 

    My first experiment with lipstick-as-a-blush was accidental but it went so well that I feel like I should just ditch my other powder blushes. I would have thought something so emollient wouldn't last nowhere near as long as my old-school blushes, especially on my combination-oily skin, but I was proven wrong. I used to scoff when I read in the beauty section that cream blushes stay on for longer than a powder blush but I'm a changed woman now. (#wiser)
    If I'm too lazy to carry a whole stack of makeup when travelling, I can now just stick with a good concealer, an eyelash curler and a lipstick, and those will be all I need.

    My favourite current lipstick-as-blush? Revlon Super Lustrous in Rose Velvet, which happens to be one of my all-time favourite lipstick-as-lipstick, too. The sweet pink colour blends seamlessly and evenly on my cheeks but the best part is it actually stays on for HOURS. 

    Not all lipsticks would work well as a blush, though; it depends on the colour (Bright purple on lips? Yes. Bright purple on cheeks? Maybe no) and more importantly, the texturea matte lipstick might not be the most ideal as it'll be hard to blend and could end up looking unnatural.

    Here's my how-to:
    • Rub a small amount of  lipstick on your ring finer
    • Dot lipstick on cheeks
    • Spread lipstick evenly on apple of cheeks or a little higher
    • Layer as needed

    16.6.15 .

    It was a cloudy yet beautiful day in Penang and I was in my favourite beach side hotel in Penang with my most favourite person in the whole wide world. 
    Sometimes I catch myself being caught up in my own bubble of happiness, but I actually think it's healthy to be in that state once in a while, and all the while not forgetting to be thankful for it.

    I've always loved the breakfast buffet at a hotel, is that weird? I'm definitely a good person to take to a buffet as I would taste pretty much everything available!

    In this hotel, the cafe where breakfast is served is on a patio overlooking the beach. Shah and I had a very early breakfast on this particular day and as I sat there with a cup of hot tea in my hand, I thought, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to put on my very colourful rainbow dress and have a little photo shoot session at the beach?"

    Girlie's Barn Dress   |   Scarf from a little store in Berjaya Times Square

    Dreaming of the day I'd get to go back to this beach (and their breakfast buffet!).

    13.6.15 .

    For someone with longer legs and a shorter torso, it certainly wasn't a walk in the park to find a good pair of high-waisted pants, but I daresay I've found a pretty darn good pair here.

    The best part? They were on sale in H&M for 1000 yen! That's like RM 30, guys.

    Not to say they're perfect though; the hem needs to be an inch lower or so, and maybe then they'd finally be closer to perfection (there's always hope).
    I paired the pants with the black and white striped top I last wore here; this wraparound top is actually a lot longer but it looks so much better tucked into anything!

    Now let's talk about that clapboard clutchor, clapperboard?

    Whichever the preferred term is, I've been lusting after this clutch since my second trip to Tokyo in March. I saw it in a store in Shibuya 109 but by then I already had another clutch and this denim bag on my list of Things To Get Before Leaving Japan. I had to prioritize, after all!

    But then at the very last minute I decided to get this clapboard clutch instead of that other clutch on my listonly by the time I went back to Shibuya 109, it was out of stock. Ah well. So I thought I might as well get the other clutch after all, but the image of the clapboard clutch kept appearing at the back of my mind.

    However I do believe in things that are meant to be and things that are not meant to be, so when I went back to Tokyo in May, I made my way to Shibuya 109 the very next day and this clutch was available! 

    Meant to be.

    By the way, I was in the process of editing these photos when I realized who my outfit reminded me of: those gondoliers in Venice.
    Which is kind of awesome.

    Striped top: Cotton On   |   High-waisted pants: H&M   |   Loafers: Timberland   |   Clapboard clutch: Shibuya 109   |   Grey butterfly scarf: H&M

    11.6.15 .

    I follow @natgeo on Instagram but I should tell you that the reason I decided to get my National Geographic Insta updates in the first place was this piece from Refinery29 titled Models Are Obsessed With This Instagram Account.

    Probably not the deepest of reasons to follow something, but seriously, I'm so glad I was such a sucker because Nat Geo shares the most beautiful photos, but more importantly most of them appear with the intention to educate so you get to learn all these little fascinating tidbits of information from them.
    Plus, if it weren't for Refinery29, those models and this photo, I most probably wouldn't have discovered Nara Park in Kyoto in time for my third trip to Japan!

    Nara Park is huge, and I mean HU-U-U-GE, and its vast space is filled with supposedly more than 1000 deers. Nara Park doesn't seem to have any enclosure so these deers are seriously free to roam anywhere and everywhere.

    This spot that Shah and I visited was just a small part of the whole of Nara Parkthe whole park is more like the whole stretch of a busy main road.
    Good news: no fee entrance to Nara Park whatsoever! You get personal time with the deers for FREE, guys.

    Hi you!

    Seriously, this space is right next to a road and cars were just passing by, so it's really casual for the locals to see deers as they drive on running daily errands I suppose!

    The deers mostly just lounged around, walked around or grazed on the grass. It's such a pleasure to watch them so up close as all these deers are just SO gorgeous.

    Look at this little cutie pie!

    If you feel like you want to get a lot more closer to the deers, feeding them would probably do it! You can buy these thin crackers at nearby shops which they seem to love. I have this annoying fear of getting bitten by them though so I didn't even  bother getting those crackers myself, but Shah bought a packet and, boy, wasn't that an experience for him!

    This man, who I'm convinced is a regular at the park, was feeding the deers like a boss; once he got the deers to eat out of his hand (an idiom that's quite literal here) he started to take photos using his DSLR. 

    I said like a boss because the deers can get VERY persistent if there's food in their sight; they were following Shah when he took out the crackers and would keep walking towards Shah non-stop, and Shah kept dodging his way out, which was actually entertaining to watch!

    It seems like they could catch a whiff of hidden food in bags, too; I even witnessed a deer trying to rip off a bag off a girl's hand. I wonder if those poor deers are really just hungry all the time though (and probably super bored too).

    So I got a little jealous when Shah started petting the deers, because apparently I have no girl-balls and wouldn't even TRY to touch them.
    But it's OK. Next time Liyana, NEXT TIME.


    I wasted some time trying to free up space on my iPhone because I had none left, WHAT? As a result, I have very limited cute photos/videos of deers on my iPhone.

    Then I was like oh what the heck, I'm just going to record all this in my brain.
    I did tiptoe a lot around the park though, because I refused to get any deer poo on my Adidas, and I'm being 100% serious here. In my defence their poo is everywhere.

    If I take this one home, wouldn't that be just the bee's knees? If could just potty-train it...

    Since we spent a huge chunk of the day in Kyoto, Shah and I could only allocate one full hour for spending time with the deers, which is such a bummer. We're very determined to go again the future though, and make a whole day out of it! 
    I'm really very glad and thankful for that one hour though, because it was truly a special experience for us.

    If you ever visit Japan, I definitely recommend you slotting in Nara Park into your schedule!

    Visit Nara Park's Wikipedia page to learn a little more about it.

    10.6.15 .

    Throwbacks aren't exclusively for Thursdays any more!

    Retro fashion seems pretty ubiquitous right now: I search for fresh things to pin on Pinterest and I see lots of denim flares; I scroll through my Instagram feed and all these fashion bloggers are throwing it way back with their suede top or skirts (and effectively making suede cool again). 
    Safe to say, the best of retro is what is feeding all these fashion girls right now.

    As for me? I've always had an affinity for the retro style, an affinity that I fully credit to possibly the most well-known stylist in the public eye, Rachel Zoe, who's always exuding 1970's glamour. All the drapey kaftans, flared black pants, long dress-like tops, her stacked chunky accessoriesall these things are what makes The Rachel Zoe Project worthwhile watching for me.

    Retro has never been more current, so it is the perfect time to put some #throwback not just in your Instagram, but into your wardrobe as well. With major designers even getting in on the game, there's no better time to be a player than now!

    Here are some of the retro fashion trends for women that are sweeping the fashion nation in 2015:

    High waisted flared pants
    I'll be honest here, this is one trend that is darn difficult to pull off but I promise that all it takes for you to be a loyal supporter of this trend is your very own perfect pair of flared pants. (I personally finally, FINALLY found mine last month at H&M in Tokyo Station, of all places!) The perfect pair of high waisted flare pants should cinch you at the waist, hugs your hips and falls seamlessly in a streamlined way over your legs in a flare fashion.
    But of course, who's to say you can't modernise this trend in your own way? I have long legs and a shorter torso so I opt for flared pants that are lower than my natural waistline.

    Feeling like any high-waisted look to be a little out of your league? No worries. Stick with your normal low-cut and feel free to only embrace the flare effect.

    Floral motifs
    I love kitsch, and not many things say kitsch as huge, gorgeous psychedelic floral patternsI especially love it when they're on a long-sleeved maxi dress! (On a serious note, I own three of them, and I need more of them.)
    If you're not into having loud clothes talking for you, then choose floral motifs that are more subtle, elegant and evoke that vintage feeling.
    Don't be afraid to mix and match different floral patterns, because it CAN work.

    Now this is one super duper easy trend that you could immerse yourself in if you truly want to be a 70's wild child: grab a bright scarf, wrap it around or over your head, tie ends into a knot, and you're done. Seriously, 70's fashion can't get any easier than that.

    Be warned: as easy as this trend sounds, it's the toughest one to pull off, but it IS the one that impacts that 70's vibe the most though! Make sure you're fashioning this with the right outfit and at the right time, and only then it is right onnn.
    For hijabis such as myself, a way to do this trend is to simply pick the boldest, most delicious-looking floral print scarf and wear it as a hijab as you normally do. Imagine pairing that with a plain kaftan or a loose plain maxidress, with a suede sling back across your body and some chunky heels or fringed suede ankle boots on your feet, and stepping out of the house feeling like you're the Carrie Bradshaw of the hijabi world.
    (Note: I will neither deny or confirm if I've ever walked out of my house feeling this way since I haven't found my own fringed suede ankle boots.)

    Want to get your 70's fix? Head over to Zalora's trendy retro fashion collection and feast your eyes (and wallet!).

     Thank you to Zalora for sponsoring this post!

    8.6.15 .

    I tend to spot clothes faster than I do makeup and beauty items, which was why I only manage to snag a few beauties and one more in my first and second trip to Japan. This third time around, though, I made sure to put aside just a little bit more of my Japanese Yen for some makeup and beauty goodies that are available in Japan's famous cosmetics-laden pharmacies and other local beauty stores.

    3.6.15 .

    Not just talking about my love for the blue-bow Adidas sneakers (big bows = LOVE) but this sneakers printed bag.

    You know, I find that I'd never really know where I could get the best additions to my casual wardrobe. Sometimes the cutest things pop up at surprising places, like the RM 20 boxy satchel I found at a shop in a random R&R on my way to Taiping, or like this shoulder bag with sneakers print all over it, which I snagged at one of the little shops along the road to Togetsukyo Bridge in Kyoto.

    With the printed bag having the same playful vibes as my big-bowed sneakers, I thought there was no better match!

    Toning down the bright pops of colours with my nude blazeror is that beige? I can never tell. 
    By the way, I seem to be getting a lot out of my Beetlejuice tee when I was in Japan, which I'm really happy about!

    Nude blazer: H&M   |   Beetlejuice t-shirt: Cotton On   |   Slim black jeans: Pimkie   |   Sneakers: Adidas Relace Low