Twenty York Street Loves

I remember I first ‘met’ this gorgeous blogger with the  best selection of thoughtfully put together outfits (it’s a wonder if she actually takes the time to select her pieces though I suspect she’s one of those that can dress up in 3 seconds flat) at Khatu’s Summer Contest. I remember thinking that this girl, aside from her obvious flair and sense of chic, has a formidable strength in her and an absolute confidence that radiates through her photos and her blog: thereafterish.
I was sold.
Please note of the lower case t thereafterish. and the period right after!  =)
She loves Fashion, Food and Fiction. Now say that 10 times as fast as you can! But this  Southern-California girl living in Detroit is more than just pink tutus and beautiful red lips, she’s into green activism and she is currently training to be an Aesthetician with Aveda! So, when she writes tips about beauty and skin care and produce fantastic how-to videos on make-up, I listen. She rocks red lips like no one can and when it comes to her sartorial choices, this girl can do no wrong!

It is with utmost pleasure and great excitement that I introduce to you, this Friday’s Twenty York Street Loves feature, my friend and my style and beauty guru:
On Style and Fashion…

What and who influences your style?

Unfortunately, I’m not too creative when it comes to dressing, so I just sort of pull whatever elements I really like from everywhere, magazines, street style blogs, fashion blogs, celebrity fashion galleries and try to incorporate it into my Office Lady style. But, although I would love to name specific people who bring it for me, and directly influence my daily style, I can’t! My main style influences are the limitations of working with an office dress code policy! And there’s the weather, too.

I do, however, LOVE Olivia Palermo, Chriselle Lim, Jessica Alba, Fearne Cotton. My favourite style bloggers are Valentine from Hello Valentine (, Liz Cherkasova (sp?) of Late Afternoon, Rebecca Roe from The Clothes Horse, Lily Nguyen, my best friend, of Bleed for Fashion (, Sandra Beijer from Niotillfem (, Juley of Swank Heights (

What’s your favourite outfit you’ve ever worn?

Oh jeez! What kind of question is this! So hard to narrow it down to! I love most of the outfits I photograph, while hating just a bit at the same time. If I had to boil it down, it would be a couple of the outfits I wore last fall—I listed them right next to each other in my Favorite 2010 outfits post, what do you know!

For going out: Striped shorts, graphic T, sandals and lots of gold.

For work: man pants, a black tank, satin sash worn as a neck bow tie, my Dolce Vita April YSL knock-offs, and lots of gold jewelry.

Any childhood or early fashion memory?

My mother, when she was in her late Thirties, was still very fit, and she wore short shorts, graphic Ts, tube tops, waist cinching vintage dresses and lots and lots of jewel tones as well as tons of eyeliner and bright lipsticks. While she’s out of shape now, and her makeup is still very early 90’s… she really impressed on me as a child to dress for your shape. Unfortunately, it was advice I didn’t really embrace until my mid-twenties!

When I was a high school freshman, my father, who is very petite (he’s 4’9”!) let me steel his pin strip 3 piece bespoke suits. One suit was slightly bell bottomed, and one was very slim in its silhouette, I wore them to church, school and events so much the wool eventually wore out. At 14, I was wearing vintage bespoke menswear! He also lent me his paint spattered bell bottom jeans. Eventually I outgrew them, and they were either thrown away or donated. I wish I had had the foresight to save them for my kids!

Gotta ask this just for fun, fashion pet peeves?

Without question: Uggs. I don’t care how warm or comfy they are. They are extraordinarily repugnant. And often worn in the most inappropriate season! Summer w/ shorts? WTF? I also cannot stand muffin top. Please, ladies and gentlemen, dress for your shape. Nothing is less attractive than something that doesn’t fit properly. Wearing a size you think you still fit only brings attention to the fact that it doesn’t fit, which then emphasizes the flaws rather than enhancing them. It’s like concealer too light or too dark—it only draws attention to the problem, rather than correcting or hiding it!

This one is more subtle, but lots of people do it: don’t dress their age. A woman in her 40s wearing a fluffy, flouncy mini-skirt from Abercrombie & Fitch she stole off her daughter doesn’t look sexy, she looks confused, in denial of aging gracefully and in a sophisticated way, and really trashy. Conversely, a teenager wearing a strand of cloth supposedly that qualifies as “bottoms” doesn’t look mature, she looks like a street walker. There’s a thing about embracing your age, and it’s beautiful. Embrace the age you have when you have it, because soon enough it’ll be gone!

On Blogging…

Why and When did you started Blogging?

I actually started “blogging” before it was called blogging. Because I was born in Canada, but grew up in California, I had friends scattered up and down the West Coast. In high school, I started sending monthly “The Chronicles of Mae” types of letters which outlined my many misadventures to my friends. Then I started journaling on my computer, in addition to my many notebooks. That was like, 1998-1999? After I went away and then came back home from Uni in 2002-2003, I wrote on journal communities like Live Journal and Xanga and then set up my first real website and blog in early 2003. I called my updates “Daelies” (a play on the spelling of my name—stupid, I know!). At that point they still weren’t really called blogs. In January 2005, I met my husband, and days later I bought my first domain name and webserver space and setup my first WordPress website/blog and have been running it since! My personal website’s archives go back to my Live Journal days in 2003!
It didn’t start as a conscious choice. I was already doing it and then there became a term for it… So I can’t honestly say I started. It was just always there, to me.

What makes you come back to visit a blog? Do you have blog(s)/blogger(s) inspiration?

I’m a writer, so when I find a blog that not only has an author who has amazing style, great photography, but a great way with words, or self-expression, I find myself drawn in. If a blog is slightly sparse on the verbal content, but what they do say resonates with me personally, I’ll come back again and again, because I feel like we’re kindred spirits. That’s how I make some great friends, too!

I also love visually striking blogs. Sites that are well designed, clean and really, really artful. Then of course, there’s the blogs who just have astounding fashion sense and a great photographer to boot. And there are some that just have really, really interesting lives and document every single moment of it, and I like those, too, because then my boring life seems less so, when I get to travel to different parts of the world with a single glance at a page!

Oh god, I can’t blog full-time! I wish! I don’t get how some of these blogs can actually generate enough revenue for these women to not only buy great items, but to also cut the day job! SMH.

No, I HAVE to work. I do freelance CMS editing (blog/content editing, slight design, coding, database management) for my husband’s design company. I also work full-time during the day as an Assistant Sales Manager/Benefit Specialist in a health insurance sales division of an international payroll record keeping company. It’s not fun, but I work with great people and have good benefits (hell, we’d better, we sell it!).

On Lovin’ Life…

What 3 things do you wish someone had told you when you were younger?

1. Never let anyone touch your eyebrows until you’re old enough to know that thick is beautiful. – I let too many people tell me how to manipulate my brows, in the WRONG WAY, and by the time I got to college most of my beautifully thick brows had been plucked down so badly they were thinning and they never grew back. I LIVE BY eyebrow pencils & powder now.

2. Dress for your shape. – If you have big hips, no hips, big breasts, no breasts, embrace it. I spent too long hating my body for not having boobs, that I never dressed the way Olivia Palermo does—the stuff she can pull off….! No way Kim Kardashian can pull that off… Then I started hating my breasts when they finally did grow in, that I kept hiding them and wearing things that made me look fat because I didn’t embrace them.

3. Being poor means nothing if you’re creative. – I grew up lower middle class. Both my parents worked, and I got a lot of my clothes from bargain basements and second hand shops. I was embarrassed a lot, because my clothes weren’t the best, and often came home smelling funny. Now, vintage is more popular than ever, and some of the best bloggers know how to dress around vintage pieces. If you’re creative, having little money doesn’t mean you’re limited. I need to remind myself of this every day! I have NO shopping budget.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Six years ago, I met my husband on MySpace. Five months of jet setting back and forth across the country left us both broke, and with a hard decision to make. So I gave up the sunny shores of San Diego, my job, being around family, and my best friends, and moved to the hilly north country of Detroit, Michigan and we moved in together after 6 months. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and yet, it was also the easiest and best decision I’ve ever made. We’ve been married for a year and a half now!

Describe your perfect day/perfect vacation?

Perfect vacation: breakfast overlooking a vibrant, turquoise lagoon, a trip into the city for an a bit of avant garde shopping and coffee, then a trip to a spa for the afternoon for facials, massages and floating around in the steaming baths, then dinner at a restaurant, followed by snuggling on the bed while watching our favourite shows. All in Reykjavik, Iceland—my favourite country on Earth. (We did this during our belated Honeymoon last September!)

3 Things I can’t live without:
1. Cheese
2. Makeup (well I could, but it would really suck)—namely: eyebrow pencils, red lipstick and mascara.
3. Interesting things to read/see
I’d include husband and friend, but the question was “things”, not people.

Fill in the blanks…

Whenever I’m bored I usually read blogs, or watch YouTube skincare/beauty/music videos.

Don’t tell my husband but I love expensive makeup.

This year, I want to find true purpose and direction, and earn money accordingly.

If I had superpowers, it would be wish fulfillment.

I wished Twenty York Street asked me about makeup and skincare!

Editor’s note: Don’t worry y’all, I think we’re going to take Mae Lu up on her offer to be asked about beauty and skincare questions so stay tuned for that. here’s the link to Mae Lu’s must-see beauty video, I highly recommend to see it as you will find it useful to your daily routine and here’s the links to Mae Lu’s beauty posts, bookmark these pages, I sure did!

Find her on Twitter: @maeluu


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