Fab Finds Friday!

Can you believe I haven’t written a Fab Finds Friday post since January?  Well, with the start of a new academic year around the corner, I thought I would share a few staples I thought you might enjoy shopping for:

From left to right: J. Crew Puffed-Sleeve Blazer | Michael Kors Laptop Travel Tote | J. Crew Pleated Pencil Skirt | Kate Spade Agenda/Planner | Chanel USB Drive |

Check out my last post for for some additional favorites!  I’m also participating in a Fab Favorites Link Up today, so be sure to check out other fab favorites on my fellow bloggers’ blogs, The Style Elixir and Stylishly in Love (see below)!

Until then…Stay Chic!

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Friday’s Fab Favorites Link Up:

1. Please follow your Host Style Elixir (via Bloglovin’ or Instagram) and your fabulous Co-Hosts…
Sofia from Stylishly In Love (follow via Bloglovin’)
Bertha from Chic in Academia (follow via Instagram)
2. Link up anything… it could be one of your previous posts that you like, or a post about your favorite things!
3. Please include a link back to this post within your post (because it’s such a nice thing to do!)
4. Now simply add your link below! We hope you all enjoy meeting other bloggers and discovering some new things.
5. If you would like to Co-Host Friday’s Fab Favorites, email stylelixir@gmail.com for more details!

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Geek Chic DIY – The Chanel USB

Hello, Friends!

I’ve been a little busy these past few weeks, but FINALLY had the time to finish a couple of blog posts.  They will be published sporadically these next couple of weeks, but I HAD to start with my very first, ‘Chic in Academia, DIY’!!  Oh, for those of you who are not acronym-inclined, DIY stands for do-it-yourself. 😉

So, this is how the story goes: A while back – I’m talking maybe 6 months ago – Nina Garcia (Creative Director of Marie Claire Magazine, but better known for her role as judge on the Emmy winning show, Project Runway), posted a picture of a Chanel USB on Instagram.  It got a ton of likes…like THOUSANDS!!  And I completely understood why!  I TOO wanted this Chanel USB drive. Sigh.  What DON’T I want???  Haha!  So I took to cyberspace and searched and searched, only to find that ONE – yes, a single one – shop on Etsy sold this USB drive.  And guess what?  It was selling for $90!!!!  That’s a large chunk of change for a USB drive!

Chic in Academia, http://chicinacademia.com

USB drive posted on Nina Garcia’s Instagram account

Anyhow, it occurred to me that perhaps this was something I could make.  I remembered there was a Chanel lipstick that I purchased a while back and had never used (the color was just not right), as well as a USB drive that was currently housed in a cover that had since tarnished (it was one of those engraveable ones).  I took some nontraditional tools (just wait, you’ll see) and got to it!  10-15 minutes later, I had my very own Chanel USB drive!  Now – thanks to me – you can too!

Here’s what you will need:

  • a knife, mine was plastic (disposable, and um, yes, recyclable!)
  • paper towel
  • plastic sandwich bag
  • sharp, smallish scissors (or in my case cuticle nippers)
  • a Chanel lipstick tube
  • a Scan disk USB drive

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Step 1: Prepare lipstick tube.  Take cap off and expose entire length of lipstick.  Use the plastic knife to cut at the base of the tube.  You’ll only be able to cut at the top of the clear plastic, but you’ll use the knife to scoop out the rest of it.

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Step 2: Prepare to remove the gold cylinder from the lipstick holder.  First, use a plastic sandwich bag to store all of the lipstick remains.  The last thing you want is to have lipstick all over you and or your workspace!  Next, remove the white casing from the lipstick tube with the cuticle nippers.  Why the nippers??  Well, they were the only scissor-type tool that was small and narrow enough to fit in the tube.  Also, you are trying to get between the gold cylinder and the white casing so as to loosen the white casing enough that it comes loose.  The nippers have the perfect edge for this. As you remove the white casing, the clear plastic part and the gold cylinder will come loose.  Set them aside.  Remove all of the white casing until you’ve gotten to the bottom of the lipstick holder.

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Step 3: You should now have an empty plastic lipstick part (smallest part in picture on left below), a gold cylinder, the bottom part of the lipstick, the lipstick cover, and your USB drive.  Toss the clear plastic lipstick part; you don’t need this anymore.  Take your USB drive and slide it into the gold cylinder.  It should fit perfectly.

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Step 4: Take the gold cylinder with your USB drive inside and slide into the bottom of the lipstick cover.  This too should slide all the way to the bottom of the lipstick holder.  Once you’ve done that, you’re done!  Ta da!  You have your very own Chanel lipstick USB drive!!

Chic in Academia, http://chicinacademia.com

Yes, that is print that you see on the paper I used for a backdrop. I was recycling! 🙂

Super easy, right?!!  I know, there’s no reason why it should have taken me six long months to tell you about this, but better late than never, I say!

So, my chic academics (and other geek chic fashionistas), now you too can house your USB drive in a pretty lipstick tube, as opposed to the often boring and lackluster cases that regular USB drives come in. 🙂  Also, you can use other tubes of lipstick, so you are not limited to Chanel.  Although, who wouldn’t want to have Chanel??? 😉

If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU!  I’m super nervous about this first DIY, but hope that I will get better as I write more of these.  Take a minute to let me know what you thought in the comments section.  Otherwise, stay tuned for a fun post about dressing for academia (and other professional work environments) by thrifting!!

Until then, follow my daily outfit styling posts on Instagram and Twitter!

Stay chic!

The ‘No-Limits’ Tank Review

I mentioned in my Chic and Fit 2014 challenge update that I happen to own both the Lululemon ‘No Limits’ tank, as well as the Target version of the ‘No Limits’ tank.  You may or may not have already heard about the ‘No Limits’ tank before, but let me tell ya…there is a lot of hype about it and it lives up to it all!  So what’s the hype you ask??  Well…let me count the ways (or if you will, the pro’s and con’s):

1.  PRO: It’s a bra and a tank top, all-in-one, without the bulk!

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.48.08 PM

Photo Credit: Lululemon.com

2.  PRO: It’s got a great design and perfect for working out in warmer temps. Built-in ventilation, so to speak. 

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Photo Credit: Lululemon.com

3.  PRO: It’s slouchy, so it can sit at your waist, or be worn long so that it sits at your hips.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.52.20 PM

Photo Credit: Lululemon.com

4.  PRO: The support is amazing!  I didn’t feel like I needed a second sports bra underneath.

So, what’s wrong with it??  Well, the price quite frankly.  Lululemon takes $64 + tax of your hard earned dollars for each of these tanks!!  While $64+ is not a completely outrageous price, it is on the higher side for a workout top.  I was fortunate enough to receive this tank as a Christmas gift, but hesitated otherwise, whenever I considered purchasing one for myself.

Imagine my excitement when Target came out with their ‘No Limits’ tank dupe!  I present you with the C9 by Champion, Women’s Layered Tank with Bra:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.23.55 PMNow, after researching this top for this blog post, I realized that this exact version is NO LONGER available at Target.  The new version has a drawstring bottom, but otherwise, is still fairly similar to the ‘No Limits’ tank:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.24.39 PMSo, how does the Target version compare to the Lululemon original?

1.  PRO:  The design USED to be nearly identical, but is now similar enough to make me consider buying it.  The two major differences: a drawstring bottom and placement of the tank top attachment to the bra.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 12.09.42 AM

Photo Credit: Target.com

2.  PRO:  The Target version also has the peek-a-boo action that so many women love:

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 12.12.31 AM

Me: Wearing the Target version.

3.  PRO:  The length, much like the Lululemon version, is great for wearing low at your hips, or at your waist for a slouchier fit:

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 12.14.22 AM

Photo Credit: Target.com

4.  The price is so amazingly affordable! Each top is priced at no more than $22.99!  Give me 3!

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 12.17.14 AM

Photo Credit: Target.com.

AND!!  These tops (among other items at Target) are currently buy one, get one 50% off!  Even better!! #winning 😀

So what’s wrong with the Target top??  Sigh, the support leaves much to be desired.  I did have to wear another bra underneath to get the support I wanted/needed, which really defeats the purpose and design of the top, in my opinion. One thing to consider is sizing down.  So if you normally wear a ‘large’, perhaps consider wearing a ‘medium’ instead?  Definitely worth trying!

In general, both tops have decent quality. I didn’t notice a huge difference in the quality of the fabric, nor in their ability to absorb sweat.  The two are really neck and neck in terms of looks, quality, and design.  My one complaint about the Target top, was – as I mentioned before – the support.  But at $22.99, you can afford to buy a $9.99 thin-strapped C9 by Champion for Target sports bra to wear underneath, still save money by not spending the $64 on a the Lululemon version, and call it a day. 😉

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Photo Credit: Target.com

Le sigh.  But, ‘I can’t stop thinking about the Lululemon version’, you say.  ‘All the cool girls are wearing the Lululemon ‘No Limits’ tank’, you say.  If you HAVE to have it, then eBay is the place for you.  That’s where I got my second ‘No Limits’ tank, prior to finding the Target version, but after getting hooked on the original ‘No Limits’ tank I got for Christmas!

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Lululemon ‘No Limits’ tank purchased on eBay

I only paid $18 for this tank and it was barely used!  A quick search on eBay just now shows that there are some very affordably-priced ‘No Limits’ tanks in pre-owned condition!  This one I found is currently priced at $9.99 and only has 2 days left for the auction.  There are lots of others like this one too!

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Photo Credit: eBay seller laurenfaith77

So, now that you are able to make an informed decision, I hope that you will buy which ever version floats your boat, so long as you get up, get fit, and get active!  Chic and fit!!

Feel free to comment below if you have any thoughts on these tops, my review, or simply if you think I may have missed something important.  Otherwise, come say hello on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter! 🙂

Stay Chic!!