Friday, August 19, 2016

Perfect Mani/Pedis with Amopé

If you've been following me on Instagram for a long time or if you have stalked my social media accounts for awhile, you'd know that my shoe collection is pretty big. My favorite kinds of shoes to wear are sneakers and booties. While they do provide more comfort over other shoes like heels and pumps, it is still pretty impossible to escape getting calloused rough feet. After a long day of walking, I often find myself picking at the base of my heels because of all the dead skin peeling off and my fingers just can't stay away from peeling skin. I'm pretty sure you know what I'm talking about ;) but it is definitely not a good idea to be peeling the skin because I always end up digging too deep and peeling off a deeper layer that hurts. Plus, the new skin that grows back tends to be harder and rougher.

That is why Amopé came just at the right time to save my feet (and fingernails) from that terrible habit! I picked up a couple of Amopé devices from my local CVS store because they were having a really good promotion on their products. Their range of products can be found along the foot care section. (Coupon deal at the end of the post!)

The award-winning Amopé Pedi Perfect™ Electronic Foot File is a battery operated file that smooths feet quickly and easily. Seriously, all you need to do is fire it up and file away the hard skin from any part of your foot. 

It is ergonomically designed to access the curviest contours and the roller heads are actually replaceable if you find that you need a new file or want to try another file. They have three types of files - coarse for regular skin, extra coarse for hard, calloused skin and soft touch for a smooth finish. The blue ones that you find in store are equipped with the coarse file for regular skin while the pink ones have the extra coarse file. The files are made from finely ground diamond crystals but it is gentle and safe at the same time. I know it may sound scary or rough but it is actually very gentle on the skin. Personally, I like how the diamonds add so much sparkle to the file and it just makes me so happy to use it. 

Enough talking! Let's put it to the test! 

I don't have the worst feet because I'm not in heels all the time but I don't have baby soft feet either. My main problem areas are the heels so here are some pictures to show the effects of using the foot file: 

Before: Rough and calloused heels

After: Visibly and physically smoother and softer!

Goodbye dead skin and hello #SoftFeetAllSummer! Now you don't need to be embarrassed or conscious about your feet when you wear sandals or heels throughout summer!

I also picked up the Amopé Pedi Perfect Electronic Nail File because I do my nails pretty often and I love to keep them in shape. I hate the feeling of ridges on my nails so I buff my nails almost every 2 weeks because they grow out really fast. I've been using the conventional nail buffer block which is great, but I won't deny that I get lazy to do them sometimes. It simply requires too much effort to buff all 10 nails and I always give the least effort to my ring finger and pinky. 

The nail file is also battery operated and comes with three different replaceable heads as part of a 3-step buffing process. The first one is a nail file, followed by a ridge remover and a shine buffer. 

Before: Dull and rough nail

After: Smooth and shiny nail! Don't even need to use any nail polish to get that shine.

So this electronic nail file has definitely simplified my routine because I now have this to perform the buffing motions for me. Just switch it on and buff your nails while watching some YouTube videos! I also love how the shape of the nail buffer allows you to easily reach the corners and edges of your nail so you fully cover the whole nail bed. That is something that I find hard to achieve with a manual nail buffer. Definitely shifting to this nail buffer from now on! 

Buffed nails are amazing. I love the natural healthy shine it gets and you don't even need to use nail polish! So if you have never tried it out before, this is something I would highly recommend to all you people who love taking care of your nails. 

From now 14 August 2016 till 28 August 2016, you can get $15 off a nail/foot file or $25 off two Amopé devices with these coupons at your local CVS stores:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Amopé™. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Real vs Fake Adidas Superstar/Stan Smith

I've wanted to do this post for a long time, ever since I started on my crazy collection of Adidas Superstars. I mean, I think I make quite a credible source because at one point, I owned 14 pairs of Superstars and Stan Smiths. I will be migrating my Superstar collection post over to this blog over the coming days so that you can read up on where I got them.

I'm not sure if these shoes are still as popular and wanted now because I am sort of out of the loop but if you are looking to get yourself a pair of Superstars or Stan Smiths, these are a few pointers to look out for in identifying if what you are buying is real or fake. Take note that these features are mostly applicable to recent releases only. Old models and Superstar 80s are slightly different. Then again, old models are not sold in stores anymore so if you find brand new pairs elsewhere, you should be cautious. 

I owned a a few pairs of fake Superstars before I purchased my first original pair from the Adidas website. I have also spent countless hours searching for rare colorways so I have invested as much time into examining pictures of Superstars and Stan Smiths to notice the difference between a real pair and fake pair. They may not be obvious to an untrained eye but I'm sure you would want to know if what you are paying for is worth the money or not. 


Real: Above $70
Fake: Below retail value, but take note that there are people out there selling fakes at much higher prices

There is no way you can get brand new and original Superstars or Stan Smiths lower than what is being sold at retail stores, unless you are buying them secondhand off someone. Generally, the prices for classic Superstar colorways (black, white, red, blue) are $70 for Junior sizes and $80 for Men's and Women's sizes. You can only further lower the price through discount codes or sale events. Stan Smiths are $5 cheaper in both sections.

As such, if you come across a website or online listing selling it lower than $60, especially in rare/different colorways (e.g. pink, copper, gold, textured, metallic), then that website is definitely selling fakes, even if they claim to be authentic. Most rare colorways that are high in demand such as copper/rose gold, pink and iridescent are dead stock items - meaning they have been sold out completely and has stopped. Hence, there will generally be an inflation for these colors, especially in smaller sizes. If the site you are on has all these different colors in every size, take note that these are a 100% fake.

Take note that the website sells fake products. Do not believe them when they say their items are authentic! 

These sites can sell the shoes at such a low price because the quality of the materials used are not as good. The body of the shoes could be made of cheap cardboard so they definitely will not last and will not be comfortable to wear. You will not be able to determine the quality of materials from pictures so read on for other things to look out for. By the way not even kidding about the cardboard part. 

If you are getting them secondhand off an individual, then check out the rest of the features to ensure that the pair of shoes you are purchasing are real. 

Heel Tags

Real: No heel tags
Fake: With heel tags

Example of fake Superstars with heel tag

This is probably the easiest feature to identify. Adidas hasn't released shoes with heel tags in years so real shoes would not have heel tags. Stan Smiths might have slight heel tags so it is best to check the other features to ensure what you are getting is truly original (unless you are buying from an authorized retailer). 

The heels are probably the most neglected areas to look at but there are a few areas to check so make sure you get pictures of the back of the shoe. 

Heel Logo

Real: Size fills up the back of the heel, stripes are even
Fake: Printed, small, deformed, slightly modified logo, misspelling of brand

Example of a fake pair of Superstars with small logo and heel tags

If you are getting the classic white Superstar shoes with black stripes, then be sure to check that the heel logo is not just stamped/printed on, but it is sort of engraved. This is applicable to most colorways. The only pairs that I noticed did not have a textured feel was my iridescent pair and the Superstar 80s. Even so, ensure that the logo fills up the space and that it is not deformed. The spacing between the stripes of the logo should be even and not too thick or not too thin. 

Heel Shape

Real: Flat
Fake: Rounded
Left: Real | Right: Fake
Notice how the heel patch on the fake pair is more rounded in shape

The correct shape of the heel flap should be a tad wide and flat with curved edges. The base (below the logo) should take a similar look. In other words, if you find the heel flap to be rounded and/or the heel base to be rounded, then the shoe is fake (with the exception of old models and Superstar 80s). 

Fake Stan Smiths with small logo, heel tags and deformed heel patch shape

Authentic Stan Smiths


Real: Skinny laces
Fake: Flat and fat laces

Left: Real | Right: Fake
This particular shoe is not fake but it is an old model. Fake shoes use this style of laces and method of lacing.

Typically, fake shoes make use of flat laces that were used in old models of the Superstar shoes. The current version of Superstars have thinner laces that give them a unique look. So, if you are wondering what is off about the look, it's the laces. Moreover, the way that the shoes are laced is different. You could re-lace them the same way Superstars are laced but you'd find that fake shoes are laced over the eyelets rather than under. 

Number of Eyelets

Real: 6 eyelets on Junior and Women's shoes, 7 eyelets on Men's shoes
Fake: 7 eyelets on all sizes

Left: Real | Right: Fake

Junior and Women's shoes have 6 eyelets while Men's shoes have 7 eyelets. If your shoe size is around EUR 35-40 and there are 7 eyelets on your shoe, it's definitely a fake. 

Tongue label

Real: Label is printed on
Fake: Embossed yellow gold label or label from an old model

 Left: Real | Right: Fake

The Superstar tongue logo comes in a variety of designs and colors depending on the colorway of the shoe. Fake shoes tend to use tongue logo designs of old models that are no longer in production. Current black stripe Superstar shoes have a shiny metallic gold tongue label that is printed on. Fake shoes are not able to replicate this effect very well. Even if they do, the material of the shoe tongue is compromised. The labels are embossed in a yellow gold color that do not have any metallic shine. Otherwise, they mimic the black and white label of old models. It would do you good to familiarize yourself with the way the tongue label looked like before and now. 

Previous Superstar model

Notice that in old models, the tongue label has the logo on top with words below and current models have words on top of the logo. 

For Stan Smiths, pay close attention to the words "Endorsed by:" to ensure there are no spelling errors or deformation in alphabets. Also, look out of tongue tags, which are similar to heel tags. They are extra material that sticks out at the center edge of the tongue. 

Example of fake Stan Smiths with tongue tag

Serial Number

Real: Model number matches shoe box, serial number of both shoes are different
Fake: Mode number does not match shoe box and/or serial number of both shoes are the same

 Left: Real | Right: Fake

The model number and serial numbers can be found under the shoe tongue. Model numbers consist of 6 alphanumeric characters (e.g. C77154) and should match the model number found on the shoe box. Below the model number is the box number which should also correspond to that of your shoe box. The serial number is the last line of characters which are different on both shoes. Plus, you can always google the model number you see under the tongue of your shoe to see what the actual product should look like. The fake shoe used in the picture above were supposed to mimic the look of the black stripe Superstars with a gold tongue label but if you were to search "G17068", you'd see that the actual model has a black and white tongue label. 

Model number on the right, box number on the left


Real: Signature stripes are of normal thickness and spacing
Fake: Stripes may be thicker and closely spread

Left: Real | Right: Fake

The stripes on fake shoes are normally closer together than that of the original shoe because they are imitating the old model of Superstars. Moreover, they may have thicker stripes which should be quite obvious to anyone. 

Superstar Wordings

Real: Printed on in metallic/glossy ink depending on colorway
Fake: Engraved and painted to give it the correct color, slightly different font, wrong placement

 Left: Real | Right: Fake

The wordings on the side of the shoe should be printed on in a glossy/metallic paint and not engraved for most Superstar shoes (exceptions being the Supercolor shoes and all white/all black shoes). Fake shoes have their "Superstar" wordings engraved and filled in with color. As you can see, the gold paint will not have as much shine as the metallic ink of the real shoe. Moreover, the font is slightly different and the placement of the words vary on fake shoes. Some are located far away from the stripes, while some are too high up. 

Shell Toe

Real: Three rubber stripes at the base of shell toe
Fake: Two rubber stripes at the base of shell toe, different shape

Top: Real | Bottom: Fake

The new models of Superstars have three stripes on the rubber shell toe as well with the exception of Superstar 80s shoes. The shell toe looks different on fake shoes as well but it may not be obvious so it is best to go based off other features. 

Shape of the Shoe

Real: Slender shoe shape, rubber soles have tapered sides
Fake: Bulky look

 Left: Real | Right: Fake

Superstar shoes have a sleek and slender look and you can tell that the side of the soles are clearly different. Fake ones are straight while the real ones go inwards. It definitely looks better when the sides go inwards. 

With all that said, it doesn't mean that you can't find a pair of dupes that look pretty much like the actual thing in all aspects. You'd probably have to pay more but if you are paying close to the retail value of it, make sure that it is super duper similar to the actual one before purchasing. 


Monday, August 1, 2016

How to Grow an Instagram Account

This is a repost of a post I did on my wordpress account. Just trying to organize my content. 

I've been running my Instagram account @megoosta for about 3 years and I often get questions or requests for tips on how to start a fashion account and get more followers. So, I've compiled some of my ideas here, which may or may not work for you but it's never a bad thing to try. Do bear in mind that 3 years is a lot of time and back then, Instagram was only starting to gain popularity so it was easier to break into the market. There are many other successful accounts out there and I would never say that I am the best. I am always learning and trying out new things for myself. Anyway, I think some of the new accounts I've seen have way better photos than I did when I first started out my account. My fashion sense was all over the place and I did not really put much effort into my photos. 

Type of content 

First, you're going to have to decide what kind of content you are going to be posting. Try to be consistent with what you post because your followers are probably following you for that particular content. For example, my account is focused on outfit ideas in terms of flat lays or ootds worn on. If I were to post an image of a quote, I most definitely would witness a drastic drop in likes and engagement in that post. People follow me for my flat lays and outfits. However, I have the flexibility of choosing the kind of photos I take as long as it focuses on my outfit. I have been doing mirror styled shots but sometimes, I do have different backgrounds to my outfit shots. I have also noticed on most fashion accounts that selfies or shots that include the face do not get as many likes as shots focused on the outfit. I'm not too sure why this is the case so I like to keep my outfits as the main focus of my photos. All in all, it's a good way to experiment with your photos and posting to see what your followers like. It's a learning process because every account is different. 

Quality of photos 

This is one of the most important aspects to get right! No one likes pixelated or blurry pictures. You definitely do not need a DSLR standard camera but make sure that your phone camera is good enough to capture the colors and details of your photograph. Most smartphones in the market are good enough to produce quality pictures. Natural lighting is the best kind of lighting you are going to get. However, if you can't get a hold of the sun or outdoors, making do with house lighting is also an option. Try to find a nicely lit area to take your pictures unless your camera is good under low light or if your feed is catered towards dark pictures. Filters are an easy way of editing your photos to make them more visually appealing. Do not be afraid to use apps like Photoshop because it is far more accurate and gives more options in editing. My current favorite filter app is Afterlight which is only 99c on the App Store. It is worth all your money because I've been using it for over a year and I love the results I get with it. Other apps to try are Filtergram and VSCO, which are free to download. Hashtags Honestly, I've always found hashtags to be very annoying. People misuse it all the time. For people focused on growing their Instagram account, you'd know that hashtags are sort of a way to store a collection of photos. Accounts that feature and repost photos usually have a hashtag where users tag their photos to so that these accounts are able to view their photos and possibly make a repost. This is a good way to gain followers and grow your account. We always love getting noticed by bigger accounts because we know our work is being appreciated. I was lucky enough to have a few of my photos reposted by Forever 21. They had about 1 million followers back then and I got more than 1k followers after they featured my photo on their page.

Unfortunately, hashtags are plagued with spam accounts now. Tagging your photos with hashtags nets you fake followers and accounts that post spam comments on your photos. So, choose your hashtags wisely to avoid these accounts. 

Community interaction 

Everyone likes someone who is down to earth so make it a point to interact with your followers. It's also good to make a few Instagram friends by following similar accounts and interacting with them on their photos. They will have your back if you have theirs. Plus, they are also a good source of inspiration and they help you stay in trend (not limited to fashion - could be a photography/editing trend). Hosting giveaways also helps to spread the word about your account. You get to set the rules whether it is to repost a photo or to tag a friend. Just don't make it too hard to participate unless it is a huge prize. 

Frequency of posts 

Don't spam but don't stay quiet for too long. It is best to post daily but not more than 2-3 times per day. Also, make sure that some time has passed between your previous post or one of them might be overlooked by your followers. You don't want to be regarded as a spam account and risk losing followers because of that. However, you need to stay committed once you've started. I've seen many accounts gain tens of thousands of followers but lose all the interaction once they take a hiatus. It is honestly such a waste. 

Time of posting 

Get to know where your audience is from and post at a time when they are awake and most likely to be on social media. 

Once you've become big, you can disregard everything and post whatever you want, whenever. LOL.