Barcelona Photo Journal, Part II (and impromptu TO meetup)

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Summing up my Barcelona culinary experience in 3 words: ham(on), cheese, sangria.

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On our first day we toured the MANGO design facility, which was quite the experience. I learned that the founder of MANGO visited the Philippines one day, tried a delicious yellow fruit for the first time, fell in love, and named his clothing line after it. Half-Pinoy Nick enjoyed that story.
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On Day 2 we had a “photoshoot” for the MNG by MANGO November collection. Our outfits and looks were already selected for us. I got a fitted high-waist pencil skirt (US sz 2 in this runs fairly small, and fit like an H&M; sz 4 or 00 in other brands) and a cream blouse (XS runs big).

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We also had our hair and makeup look selected for us. Each blogger had a printout of their face next to an inspiration face, such as a celebrity. When I saw my face-spiration I had to suppress the giggles. It was a “classic” Asian woman, with pale white skin, cherry red lips, sharply angled eyes, and stick-straight hair. I asked for soft waves and a light smokey eye instead.
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Tapas in America will never taste the same. Enjoying a delicious al-fresco meal with fellow bloggers: (from left to right) Dianna, Carmen, me, Lilliana, Sydne, and Vahni. Yuli was there as well, but inconveniently hidden behind the waiter’s bicep. 
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A souvenir from the flagship Zara. My impression of Zara is high prices, low quality, and generous sizing – but I do love their styles. This is a size S from their juniors “Trf” line, which is cut smaller than Zara Woman. It surprisingly fits me well in the shoulders, length, and even sleeve length. It’s not on their US website, but I just saw a bunch at my local store for $89 (was $10 cheaper in Spain). 
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Lastly, do you recognize any of these lovely ladies? They came along to Spain!

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Just kidding! Before Barcelona, I spent a few days working in chilly Toronto. I was thrilled that these local ladies came to visit on such short notice, at a rather late hour for a weeknight. I’ve been reading some of their blogs for years, so it was a pleasure meeting each one of them in person. From left to right: Jessy, Cynthia, me, Elaine, and Lor.

Side anecdote – behind my smile, I was suffering through a slight wardrobe malfunction. My packing was so streamlined that I forgot an all-important belt. My skirt (from this post) is big in the waist, plus my blouse was very slinky, so it kept slipping down lower and lower. I made do during the day with a fabric belt from a tweed dress, but whipped off the unsightly thing for our little meetup. In the photo, I am strategically pulling up my skirt with the hidden hand ; )

Disclosure: Travel to Barcelona was sponsored by Style Coalition and jcpenney.

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58 Comments

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean – I just came back from Hong Kong and Singapore about 2 weeks ago. I only got a dress from Singapore and that is! I didn't really have time to go shopping (so I ordered from LOFT online when I was there! Can you believe that?) Is MNG Mango going to post/use your photo shot anywhere in their promoting materials? I think they should, because you look great!

    My husband and I lived in Barcelona in the summer of 2008 for 9 weeks (business travel). I remember the tapas and jamon very well… and wherever we ate I almost always ordered the Seafood Paella. 🙂 We love the Cathedral de Barcelona the best. I think the whole time I was there I bought 2 dresses, one fit pretty well (60 Euros I think) and the other one I bought a size 6!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  2. CynthiaC wrote:

    On the Asian inspiration thing: I've had my make-up done dozens of times, and other than the artist who made me up on my wedding, every single ASIAN artist has done a horrible job. The best artist I had (other than my wedding day artist) was a guy who worked at the Stila counter at Holt Renfrew (back when they still had Stila. These days, we're stuck with Sephora and Shoppers/Murale). That stereotypical Asian look would NOT work on you, Jean…it wouldn't work on anyone with double eyelids!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  3. Jin wrote:

    Love the chic outfit they chose for you, looks great!

    http://www.jinsphotoblog.com

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  4. Bridgette wrote:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. The food, architecture, and people make it a magical place. It must've been an amazing experience. Congratulations!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  5. Claud wrote:

    Jean, Thank you for sharing such nice pictures. You look sweet but sophisticated at the same time and the wavy hair (hermoso)^.^

    xoxo

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  6. Carrie L wrote:

    Jean-
    LOVE reading your blog! You look stun-ning in the photo shoot! In addition to the awesome outfit/hair/makeup, you look perfectly poised and self-confident. You are truly an inspiration!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! I am your number 1 fan. And, I am a "Pinoy" too. Just so you know, you have a ton of Pinoy fans!

    Anyway, love your blog. Very original, very helpful. 🙂

    Keep up the good work Jean!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  8. sacha wrote:

    I wish that I knew you were in Toronto! Definitely would have come to meet up if I had known. I am not a fashion blogger, but I have been reading your blog for quite a while and love it!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  9. DSK Steph wrote:

    You're living the fashion blogger dream!! 🙂 You look gorgeous!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Reallypetite has a post on today bashing everyone who said negative things about her. The post does not describe what actually happened and misleads her readers to think that someone came to her blog and posted malicious comments on purpose (this is very obvious if you read the comments on that post). I wrote a lengthy, angry comment and she blocked it 🙂 Also, her blog no longer allows anonymous comments.

    Any readers of RP who may see this comment, I want you to know what kind of a personality you are following. She is manipulating the facts, and does not want any negative comments or criticism from anyone. While I don't care if she wants to live in denial, I hope that readers will show their disapproval by not following this blogger.

    I also hope that this is the last time anyone will be directing traffic to that website (as another reader pointed out in the last post where all this drama happened).

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  11. OMG Jean you look STUNNING! I'm so glad you asked to go with something besides the inspiration look – LOL at the original inspiration – I never get that, just b/c you're asian doesn't been your inspiration has to be asian! And boy do I wish I could have gone to Spain with you! It was so lovely meeting you finally!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  12. Oh what lovely pictures of Barcelona. Thanks for sharing your amazing experience with us.

    Do you know when and where the photoshoot pics will be displayed/published?

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  13. Mindy♥ wrote:

    You looked fabulous at the photoshoot!! <3

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  14. Oh Barcelona, one day! I'm curious, who won the sweepstakes to go with you all? Or can you not announce that yet? It should have been me. 🙁 lol.

    Jean, you are such a DIVA! I kid, I kid. The look you chose was gorgeous on you, especially the hair. I do love that you stayed true to your style for all the challenges, and even the shoot.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  15. Katie wrote:

    i love barcelona! good on you for requesting different make-up 🙂

    that food looks amaaaazing..

    Katie x

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  16. Wow, super lucky you got to visit Spain! And that anecdote about Mango is pretty interesting, but I can't blame the guy, we just visited the Philippines and I miss the mangoes so much!!! I think suggesting the soft waves was definitely a good choice, it makes the look seem really romantic ;]

    -mango
    mangotatoes.blogspot.com

    (and sadly my blog name is not named after those awesome philippine mangoes lol)

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  17. jen wrote:

    i knew it!nick is half-Pinoy?:D
    are you one of the five finalists for the mango contest?
    if yes, then you'll going to meet our representative camille co i guess?
    gonna watch out for this!:D

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  18. Emily wrote:

    Oh my goodness, that thing about the stereotypical Asian "inspiration" is so funny and so sad at the same time. It seems like something that would happen on Mad Men, and we'd chuckle and say to ourselves "Oh, silly Mad Men. They were so backward in the 60s." Sigh.

    Anyway, you look beautiful with your waves and smokey eyes. It looks like you had a wonderful time!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  19. I love the behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoot! What an exciting experience!! I hope you get many more opportunities like this 🙂

    LOL about having to hold your skirt up.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  20. You look great on the photoshoot. Glad you have the smoky eye and soft waves than the one pre-picked for you.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  21. Lucy wrote:

    Your hair and makeup for the photoshoot looks gorgeous! Thank god you spoke up and didn't let them go with their "inspiration", LOL! Do you remember how the stylist created the soft waves on your hair? I'm dying to try the hairstyle myself.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  22. Love the pics in the Mango clothes – glad you insisted on the waves and smoky eyes – you look gorgeous!

    I hope you come back to Toronto again when you have more time and have another meet-up! I'd love to meet you 🙂

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  23. Such pretty photos! You look gorgeous in the photo shoot… love the makeup and soft wavy locks 🙂

    xo, tasha
    twenty-something blog
    enter my Gorjana bracelet giveaway today!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  24. maggie wrote:

    Love the pictures! The ham looks terrifying, but Barcelona sounds like a blast

    xx maggie

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote:

    I like that you asked for waves. Great choice, you look great!
    I can definitely tell the skirt is too loose in the Toronto picture…maybe from having similar experiences myself LOL

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  26. Vicky wrote:

    OMG I love the 4th picture so much! You look like you are straight from a movie set portraying a Shanghainese in the 30's. Love, love, love! The hair is amazing.
    I stopped by Zara today after I returned my ill-fated J.Crew hacking jacket order. I saw this jacket of yours selling for around $90. It does fit very nicely. However I think I found the best fitting boyfriend blazer out there, yet. 🙂 MIL was with me and quickly snatched it from my hand and paid for it. I am so excited. I'm not sure if it's the same as Wendy's.
    Can't help but laugh at your anecdote on your wardrobe malfunction. Did you consider over-eating as an option?
    Oh, huge congrats on your Goyard!!! She's a beauty.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  27. grace wrote:

    You look absolutely gorgeous in the photo shoot – I hope I can see the photos. And I have to say the inspiration they chose for you is not surprising. It seems that outside of people who are Asian find that those that look the most exotic and traditionally asian look is the most attractive — whereas I think most of East Asians have a totally different idea of beauty. You look absolutely glamorous with the Hollywood waves.

    And I'm envious — look at that FOOD! My eyes just grew bigger 🙂 MMM!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  28. lin wrote:

    looks like you had a fabulous time in barcelona. you look beautiful in the photo shoot. will we see the final products? the food looks delish also. mmmmmm….. *licks lips* thanks for sharing. ;D

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    thanks for sharing! I loved all your Barcelona pictures 🙂

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  30. You looked so lovely at the photoshoot! Is the Zara blazer you got the one with leather trim? I'm loving everything with leather trim lately. Can't wait to see you rock it.

    Couldn't tell you were pulling up your skirt. LOL Too brilliant.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  31. Violet wrote:

    About your anecdote, I've had the same problem you described with a skirt being too loose… in middle school. I had it hiked up to my chest, hidden beneath a sweater, and it kept slipping down. The whole day, I had to keep holding up my skirt. Ever since then, I refuse to wear skirts that are over an inch too big in the waist.

    And you look lovely in the fashion shoot!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  32. @CynthiaC
    Haha, it wasn't me that said those things about being petite, it was @calcho.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  33. Carla Krae wrote:

    Jean, you look lovely for your photo shoot.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  34. Carla Krae wrote:

    @CynthiaC

    Yes. It's funny, when my boyfriend describes me to other people, they assume I'm Asian because he says dark hair and really petite, but I'm a Euro mutt of English/Irish/Scotch/French/German descent. All the women on both sides happened to be short, but me and my maternal grandmother are the only ones with tiny bone structure as well.

    I'd only privately blogged before and my friends happen not to be petite women, so I haven't discussed fashion issues since, but seeing there are petite bloggers now, I'm tempted.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  35. Mary Ann wrote:

    What an awesome opportunity!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  36. aneetac wrote:

    The ham in the first picture looks scary! I like the outfit they pulled together for you, but the skirt violates your "2" above the knee" rule. However, it still looks great on you & I can't wait to see the actual pictures!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  37. So glad you gave your opinion on the hair and make-up instead of doing the "classic" asian face. I dig your regular look.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  38. CynthiaC wrote:

    @Mindy J. L. Petite is supposed to be defined by height. The problem is that most petite women who actually are open about fit problems tend also be small-framed. And there are probably a lot more "small-framed" women who are of Asian descent than other ethnicities. We really need to encourage other shorter women to write about height as well.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  39. Michelle wrote:

    I love that you requested waves!! The food looks amazing…except for the guys that are hanging up! :p

    Any idea where we can see your photos? Will they be in jcpenney stores? Is it in a catalog?

    Your Zara coat selection is gorgeous!!

    Love the Toronto meetup photo! Sucks about your belt! :/

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  40. Ping wrote:

    ROFL at the inspiration look they picked for you!!!! glad you asked for something else, jean. you look so beautiful in those pics. love the smokey eye and wavy hair!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  41. Stephie wrote:

    You look absolutely gorgeous Jean! The food pics make me so hungry! I love the smokey eye and waves look for the shoot!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  42. R.L. wrote:

    Enjoyed the photos! I'm half-pinoy (I guess pinay) so I enjoyed that tidbit 🙂 And oh dear about the classic Asian face. I can only imagine that make-up artists who don't normally work on Asians would struggle to do eye makeup on someone with mono-lids like me. Good choice on going with the waves and smokey eyes. I agree with Aubrey, Hollywood glam for sure.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  43. calcho wrote:

    Is this politically incorrect to say?

    I would like to see less "petite" bloggers who are tiny and/or asian.

    I know of a few non-asian bloggers, but they are tiny as well.

    How do you define petite? Height-wise or body size wise (i.e. 00 or XS).

    I would also like to seem more clothing variety aside from the petite-friendly retail giants.

    I think the petite blogging world is in danger of segregating itself….petite in size and in height and/or asian (to whom a short statue and petite build are, perhaps erroneously, often automatically assumed)

    However, your photos look beautiful, as always.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  44. Love your outfit and makeup for the photoshoot!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  45. Love all the photos, and your look for the shoot. You must have had so much fun! 🙂

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  46. Rania wrote:

    I love your blog so much. You really got me interested in Ann Taylor! Thanks for the inspiration daily; keep it up!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  47. i'm loving your waved hair in the shoot. Kind of old hollywood.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  48. The photo shoot looks like fun! Was it fun to be dressed, primped and photographed? Or was it painstakingly slow and tedious like I've heard it can be sometimes. Excited to see the final photos!

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  49. Michelle wrote:

    These pictures are beautiful! It looked like you had so much fun! That food looks so delicious….yum. I really like how your hair is styled in that picture.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply
  50. Jean, you look absolutely stunning! Will we have a chance to see those photos soon? It's interesting to know they picked out everything before-hand. At least, the outfit they chose for you was close to what you'd typically wear.

    Posted 11.6.11 Reply

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