Author Archives: karenmsmith77

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Plus Size OOTD: A Walk On The Wildside

Plus size outfit of the day incorporating animal print.

One trend that has become more and more apart for the winter and on into spring for plus size fashion is animal prints. Whether it be a more traditional animal print or something more abstract they will be here at least for a little while.

I know some people can find animal prints intimidating. So I wanted to make sure and share some looks that incorporate animal prints in various ways. Today I am sharing my first look.

As a fit reminder I wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″

Plus size outfit of the day incorporating animal print.

The skirt is the Leopard Lover Skirt from City Chic. It is a mini skirt length, but definitely not a super mini. It is a mid weight fabric, perfect for spring in most places, or winter if you live somewhere that doesn’t get very cold. It is available in sizes 14/XS to 24/XXL. I have on the 20/L.

The fit on this was great for me, which coming from City Chic I should not be surprised. I would say if you are an hourglass like me or a pear shape, you should probably order your usual size in this. If you are an apple, then you might want to consider ordering a size up as there is no elastic or stretch to the waist band.

Back of plus size leopard print skirt

The colors in this skirt all stay pretty traditional for a leopard print. However it still has a unique look because it has an added ombre effect.

The exposed zipper and clean lines help keep it looking stylish. The simplicity makes it easy to pair with other items.

Plus size outfit of the day featuring City Chic, Avenue, and Torrid.

I have it paired with the Super Soft Ruffle Cold Shoulder Tee from Torrid. Available in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2. Sizes online are limited now. If your size is no longer available, I think most black tops or sweaters will work with this.

I also have on the Kimberly Over the Knee Wide Width & Wide Calf Boot from the Avenue. They come in sizes 7 to 12, and in two color options. I have them on in a size 9 in black.

Plus size animal print skirt from City Chic

I think this is the perfect outfit for the woman who wants to feel sexy but doesn’t want to go the route of skin-tight clothing or showing a lot of skin. It is a much more subtle sexy.

 

Let me know in the comments what you think about the animal print trend. Is it for you? If not, what trends do you like right now?

 

e.l.f. cosmetics

 

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Product Review: The Purple Mattress First Weeks Impression

Purple mattress all set up on a slat bed frame

If you follow me on any of my social media, then you most likely know I have been working on my house for the last couple of weeks and that I got a purple mattress. More than one person has expressed interest in hearing about my experience with purple. Because of the nature of this mattress and the way that it is purchased I thought it was best to do at least a couple of these reviews in stages. In this first review I will take you through my decision process to buy this particular mattress, the ordering process, receiving and setting it up, and my first impressions after sleeping on it for a week.

Before we begin, I want to make clear this is not a sponsored post. Purple has not contacted me in any way other than emails about my purchase. I paid for this mattress with my own money and all the opinions expressed here are my own and free of any outside influence. Any links to purple are simply for your navigation ease, they are not affiliate links.

Why I Decided To Purchase A Purple Mattress

I have had back issues and pain for more than twenty years now. I have ruptured discs, bone spurs, and pinched nerves causing a plethora of issues. Needless to say what I sleep on is very important. I also wanted to take into consideration my weight since many mattresses do have weight limits. It’s not so much that you can’t use any mattress, but they make them for certain weights and the more weight you add over that can cut down on the longevity of the bed. It seems a lot of companies don’t openly share their weight limit, no surprise there.

The last bed I got was purchased a little over ten years ago and was a combination of an extra firm mattress and a 5″ memory foam topper. Overall I would say that it worked pretty well for me, but things could have been better. But its been over ten years of use, and above average on wear and tear in that time. With the illnesses I have that means I stay in bed more than the average individual at times. In the last year I have really noticed my bed deteriorating a bit. Like it’s not horrible and probably wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t have all the back issue, but it’s just not at the comfort level I need now. So after much discussion, my husband and I decided it was time to purchase a bed soon.

That decision was about six months ago. I knew I could make do for a while and that I didn’t want to rush my decision on what to buy. I originally started off thinking I was going to go with one of the Simmons Beauty Sleep Mattresses or a Heavenly Bed from Westin, but I still wanted to test them out since it had been a while since I seriously looked at mattresses. Not too long after that was when I started seeing and hearing ads for Purple and became very intrigued. I really liked the science aspect behind the bed, and I felt like the aspects I liked in the other two beds that interested me were in this bed but more amped up.

When I discussed the mattress with my husband he mentioned there were a couple of other brands he had been hearing about that he would like me to look into as well. I did take the time to look at those other beds, and while I did think they had some great things going for them they didn’t necessarily have what I needed.

In the end what really sold me on trying the Purple Mattress was the total uniqueness of their design, their fantastic return policy/home trial period, reviews from people with the same or similar back problems, and the egg test ad which I also saw individual recreate on their own YouTube video reviews. In case any of you haven’t seen the egg test, here is the video I refer to.

As a bonus is their weight limit. Here is what they have to say about that:

There is no weight limit for the Purple Mattress, although we do suggest 300 lbs per person or 600 lbs total. If you exceed this recommendation it will not void the 10-year warranty and you will still get plenty of the benefits Purple has to offer. Regardless of weight, we are confident you will love your Purple Mattress.

If you are like me, before you make any kind of major purchase you research it to death. You take time to look at both the good and the bad that is said about a product. And you try to weigh that out with how much you think is hype on the good side and how much the negative posted might be from competitors or people just being petty. Now I already shared with you a lot of the positive points that I found when researching Purple, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t share what was said that was negative and explain it a bit.

I doesn’t take much research about Purple to come across rumors about the white powder people are seeing on their purple products. And with the internet being what it is, let’s just say some of the rumors have gotten super crazy. I have seen everything from it’s a sign that the mattress is disintegrating to it’s a cancer inducing agent and everything in between. But what is it really? For now I will just tell you what Purple had to say and later in the post I will show you why what they say actually makes sense along with my thoughts on some of the issues people were reporting with it.

 

 

So purple has made two post regarding the white powder this past year on their blog. The first post explained, “It is a food-contact-grade material, meaning that this family of plastic materials can be used for eating utensils, children’s toys, etc.”. They essentially use it to keep the bed from sticking together after the compression it goes through in the shipping process. And they said, “Purple is keeping the exact type of plastic a “trade secret,” which helps protect the jobs of those 600 people from competitors who would love to figure out how to do what Purple does.” Now in the second post they told everyone the non-toxic plastic powder coating they use is polyethylene and cited several studies they had done independently.

Ordering From Purple

The ordering process was super simple. It only took a few minutes and it didn’t take any more time than say ordering a top from Torrid. Because of the size of the package and weight, you will want to make sure to have it delivered directly to the place it will be used.

When we ordered they had a special going on for Black Friday, you got a free pillow with the purchase of a mattress. Since then I have noticed they almost always seem to have some sort of special going on, and it will be listed at the top of the main page.

Deliver Of The Mattress And Setting It Up

The mattress and pillow were delivered separately. Both were delivered via FedEx. The pillow was delivered first, though I did have a bit of anxiety over the pillow and the issue that arose over its delivery.

Let me say first that what happened with the pillow was not the fault of purple at all, it was completely at the fault of FedEx. I got a notice the day before Christmas Eve, so on a Saturday, that the pillow had been delivered. I was out running last-minute errands before going to my in laws house for Christmas. I got home and look for the package. Nothing outside and no notes that I had missed a delivery either. I ask my husband if he had picked it up, and he said he had not seen the delivery. After looking around the house, just in case, I decided to call purple.

However it seems Purple is also good to its employees and gave everyone an extra day off for Christmas, so no one to talk to there. So I called FedEx. They did start an investigation, but I had to explain to them three times it didn’t actually show up here. So Tuesday morning rolls around, which is the next time Purple would be open. I get up and I am having my morning coffee. I was planning on calling Purple right after, but before I finished my coffee the doorbell rings. Someone three blocks away had gotten my delivery and was nice enough to return it. Thankfully there are still decent and honest people still in the world.

Now you know that had me holding my breath waiting on the mattress. But thankfully no such drama happened with the mattress delivery.

I actually forgot to snag a picture of the packaging everything arrived in because we were so busy. We were still in the process of getting the room ready when the mattress was delivered. It ended up setting in our front hall for about a week while we finished everything up with the bedroom. This included putting the new bed frame together. (If you do purchase a purple mattress be aware they can no go on a regular box springs) Once we got the room ready we used our dolly to move the mattress to the bedroom. And then the plastic casing the mattress is in has handles at both ends so two people can easily lift it onto the bed frame.

They do provide a tool to cut through the bag. It is supposed to be attached to the top of the lid when you open the bag. Ours however had come unattached since there was very little glue on it. We ended up finding it about 3/4 of the way down in the bag. Thankfully we had a box knife on hand or we would have never gotten it open. Once the bag was open it was just a matter of rolling the mattress out, it was really quite easy.

Here is a look at the mattress set up on the frame, and no the exterior is not purple.

Purple mattress all set up on a slat bed frame

First Impressions

Once the bed was set up, I actually was not able to sleep on it the first two nights. It was ready, but it definitely had a very strong plastic smell that was on the verge of giving me a migraine. So I essentially had to air the room out to get it to a point where it wouldn’t bother me. After two nights the odor was not completely gone, but it definitely was at a tolerable level for me.

And this is the point where I wanted to talk to you about what I thought was going on with all of the rumors about the white powder. First let me say, I do completely believe what Purple’s explanation is about the powder. The gel material they use to make the beds are extremely sticky, and in the way they are condensed for shipping they have to coat them with something to prevent that. The best way I can show you this is by the showing you the gel pieces they sent and what they do.

Here is what one of the purple gel cells look like:

One of the gel cells from a Purple mattress

You can see just a touch of the white powder people are talking about on it. I actually got two of these cells because they included one with the mattress and one with the pillow. Since I had two, I decided to play around with them a bit. I wanted to see if I could stick them together, and I did quite easily.

Two purple cells stuck together and not falling apartThese were stuck together with just loose pressure. No adhesive used. This picture was actually taken after they had been laying stuck together for a few days. I picked it up and they were still firmly stuck together. So for me, this shows purple absolutely has to coat their beds with powder before shipping.

So what do I think is actually going on? Well as I said it does have a strong plastic smell when you initially take it out of the bag. It definitely affected me. Also, just because something isn’t toxic doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be a select group of people who are either allergic or going to have reactions to it. Just like with my allergy to Balsam of Peru. It and the hundreds of items it causes me to react to are not toxic, but I am still allergic. So, most likely there has been a small group that reacted to it or the smell or both. Then it blew up on the internet and people are over reacting.

My husband did sleep on it the first night. He typically snores, loudly. I did not hear him snore once. Then the next night he went back to the other mattress, the one he is use to. It was back to snore city. I have never heard him so silent, I can only guess that it was something about the bed and the position it puts your body in.

After the smell aired out, I myself have slept on the bed a full week now. I was hoping to be able to tell you I had the same response a lot of people were having. I hoped it would be a miraculously different experience for me where I actually got a full night of rest with no pain and no waking up. But I honestly can’t say that, and I am not sure what I think about the bed yet.

At this point I would have to say my feelings are very mixed. Each time I lay on the bed I do get that initial feeling of “Oh this is super comfy”. I am definitely waking up less. As for the bed staying cool, I am not sure I am getting that. I lay on the pillow and it always feels cool, which I love. But when I lay in the bed it just feels the same as any other mattress temperature to me. I am not having the same pain I was having in my old bed, but I am now having some new small pains I haven’t had before.

During my research I did see that Purple said for a small portion of people it can take up to thirty days to adjust to the bed. You have up to one hundred nights from the time you received the bed to return it. So I am committed to at least giving it thirty days to find out how it does for me. At the end of thirty days I will do another of these reviews to update you with how I am doing with the bed.

 

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Do you have a purple mattress? If so what has been your experience with it? Let us know in the comments.

 


 

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Goals Not Resolutions

No New Year's Resolutions

According to the statistics, every year millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions. (About 133,414,000 to 188,732,000 people depending on the year. I did the math for you.) But out of all those people, only about nine percent feel like they are successful most of the time compared to the 42 percent who feel they never succeed.

And it should be no surprise that one of the largest groups of resolutions revolve around weight loss. We do after all live in a culture that forever tells us that we are not enough unless we weigh the perfect weight. Also at the top of the list are goals involving money and relationships (undoubtedly made by all the single people who just spent a week with their family harassing them about when they were going to get married and have kids).

I have talked about this before, but for anyone who is not aware I have a couple of rules about New Year’s Resolutions. Rule number one, I don’t make New Years Resolutions. Rule number two, refer to rule number one.

No New Year's Resolutions

I think it is great if someone wants to do something that will improve their life in some way. The problem that I see with most New Year’s Resolutions is that 1. they are usually very lofty goals that leave you set up to fail, and 2. they are often not made for your own betterment, but instead out of feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

I encourage everyone to dump the New Year’s Resolution with me from now on. What I like to do instead is take a few days at the beginning of the new year to reflect on how the year has went and think about what I want to achieve during the following year. I then make a list of small achievable goals, both personal and business wise. I have even shared them here on the blog before. I like to be in the mind-space that as long as I achieve most of my goals by the end of the year I am happy.

Here are some of my goals for the year:

  1. I want to create a more balanced work/life schedule.
  2. I need to make time at least once a week for meditation preferably out in nature.
  3. I want to double my twitter following.
  4. I want to improve the quality of my Instagram pictures.

I would love to see some of you join me in creating some reasonable goals for yourselves and stepping away from those unachievable resolutions. Share some with me using the hashtag #goalsnotresolutions

 


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Holiday Look Book 2017

Holiday 2017 Lookbook

Holiday 2017 Lookbook

Looking for something special to wear to one of those many Holiday Parties? Don’t worry, I got you covered. I have looks to share for every occasion and budget. Whether you are looking for something low-key for that office party or something super sexy to wear out on New Years Eve, I have it all.B

When I put this look book together I wanted to include some styles you don’t always see in most look books. I think there are lots of people who feel a little left out of these. Not everyone gets super dressed up. Maybe you are more of jeans and tee kind of girl and you just want to add a little sparkle to your look. I wanted to make sure you were included as well. So keep in mind while looking through this that not every look will be what you traditionally think of as a holiday look.

I will be showing these in order of most casual to dressiest. I will include links to items available as well as sizes I am wearing. I will try to include any other relevant information I think is important to have as well as occasional styling suggestions. As always I hope you guys find this helpful.

For reference, I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″. I wear a 40DDD/E Bra in most brands. I wear a size 9 shoe, and I am in between a medium and wide width.

 

Alternative Holiday look for the jeans and tshirt kind of girl

You can still be in jeans and look and feel more dressed up. I wanted to do this look for all you ladies who hate dresses and feel more at home in jeans. I totally get that dresses are not practical for everyone. To make this feel more fit for the occasion I chose a pair of jeggings that had rhinestone trim at the hem. And all of the other pieces, including the shoes, are in a velvet fabric to give this outfit a more luxe feel for the holidays. And that jacket is all about the little details. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: Velvet Moto Jacket from Torrid – comes in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2.

Top: Floral Burnout Velvet Mock Neck Top from Torrid – comes in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2.

Jegging: Virtual Stretch® Chevron Stone Jegging in Dark Wash from the Avenue – comes in sizes 14 to 26. Available in Average, Petite, and Tall sizes. I have on a 20 average.

Shoes: Wanted Womens Valance Slip On Tennis Shoes – comes in sizes 6 to 10 Medium Width. I have on a size 9 and they fit quite comfortably. They come in three colors options. I have on the nude color, but I think they look pink.

 

Plus Size Holiday look featuring Simply Be and Avenue

For this look I wanted to give you something that was both fashionable but super comfortable. Maybe you’re the girl who likes to take lots of family photos on Christmas morning, or maybe you aren’t into dresses but jeans aren’t your thing either. And whether this is the holiday outfit for you or not, I highly recommend getting a pair of leggings. They feel so soft and luxurious. I could wear them for days. Here is what I have on:

Headband: Velvet Stretch Headband from Forever 21 – not currently available online.

Top: Soft Peplum Top With Contrast Bow Back from Simply Be – comes in sizes 8 to 28. Available in two color option. I have on a size 20 in the Dark Red color.

Leggings: Damask Embossed Velvet Legging from Avenue – comes in sizes S/M to L/XL. I have on the size M/L. Make sure you check out the size charts on this one, the sizing is very different.

Shoes: Jellypop Women’s Angel Dress Pump – no longer available online. However you might also like the Jellypop Women’s ELVA dress Pump or the Jellypop Women’s Cayla Dress Pump. Comes in sizes 6 to 11.

 

City Chic Garden Rose Fit & Flare Dress

It may not seem like it to people who don’t know me well, but I am actually a pretty practical person. So I wanted to offer an option that was a cocktail dress, appropriate for a holiday party, and still be wearable beyond just the holidays. This is just barely a cocktail dress, and so with the right accessories it could also be appropriate for work or church if that is part of your life. Here is what I have on:

Dress: Rose Garden Printed Fit & Flare Dress from City Chic – currently available in most sizes between XS14 to XXL24. I have on a L20. This is currently on sale for $69.00, plus City Chic has an extra 30% off sale items with code ‘XMAS30’.  If you love the print, but they are out of your size or the style isn’t for you, you should also take a look at the Blackberry Peplum Rose Dress from City Chic.

Shoes: My shoes are a pair of Steve Madden Pumps that I have had forever, and they are no longer sold in this style. However the Steve Madden Women’s Ulltra Pump is a very similar style. In my personal experience, I have Steve Madden heels to be more comfortable than the average heels. And because these are a lower heel they might be better for dancing if that is something on your agenda.

 

Lace Plus Size 3/4 Sleeves Midi Business Cocktail on Amazon

This I think leans more towards the traditional cocktail dress look most people will be expecting. Even though it may not be in traditional Christmas colors, it is available in some of those colors. I did want to give you at least one traditional look, but I wanted to show it in this alternative color because I think it is something will last longer in your closet and be appropriate for more occasions. This is also a very affordable look for those of you on a budget. Here is what I have on:

Dress: Lace Plus Size 3/4 Sleeves Midi Business Cocktail Dress from GMHO – comes in sizes 0X to 5X. Available in four-color options. I have on a 2X in the blue color. Please note that their size chart is accurate and you will find it in the product description area, do not go by the link that takes you to Amazon’s general size chart.

Shoes: Envy Women’s Shoe Hugs N Kisses Retro Studded T-strap Genuine Leather Pump – comes in size 7M to 10M (half sizes available). Available in three color options. I have on a size 10M in Black.

 

Plus size Holiday outfit from City Chic and Forever 21

This look is definitely leaning towards New Years Eve, but its your life, don’t let me tell you when its appropriate to wear something. I really wanted to create a look that was both fun and glittery. But I wanted to make it for the girl who is part princess and all badass. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: I have on a sheer sleeve zip front jacket from City Chic. This particular jacket is no longer available. However, the Drapey Blazer Jacket from City Chic is very similar. The only real difference is that it does not zip up the front. It is currently available in most sizes between XS14 to XL22, some sizes sold out in this color. If you search the site there are also other colors available.

Bodysuit: Plus Size Sequin Bodysuit from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. I have on the size 3X(Forever 21 is Junior Plus, so I have to size up one size in most of their items). Just a couple of notes I thought people would be interested in. The sequins are strictly on the front upper body. Also, there are no snaps to secure, you simply step into this bodysuit. The fabric is very stretchy.

Tutu: This particular tutu was bought several years ago from a company that no longer exists. However, if you are looking for a high quality tutu at a reasonable price, I will always recommend the tutus from Society Plus. I have one in white that I have shown here on the blog several times, you can’t go wrong with them.

Shoes: I have on a pair of Madden Girl heeled sandals I have had for years. If you are looking for something similar you might try the Madden Girl Women’s Lexxx Heeled Sandal. I think they have a very similar look.

 

Forever 21 and Avenue come together to make a sexy holiday look

This is the final look in this Holiday look book. But I couldn’t wrap things up without sharing at least one full-out sexy and glam look. I can just imagine so many ladies loving this look for New Years. This is definitely the look for the woman who wants all eyes on her. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: Plus Size Faux Fur Coat from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. Available in two color options. I have on a size 3X in the Plum color.

Dress: Plus Size Lace-Up Combo Dress from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. Available in two color options. I have on a size 3X in black. One note, on Forever 21’s website the models look like they have a cami on under the dress. That does not come with the dress. It is sheer on top. You will need to either have a cami or do like I did and wear a matching bra.

Shoes: Kimberly Over the Knee Boot from Avenue – comes in size 7W to 13W. They are wide calf as well. Comes in two color/fabric options. I have on the 9W in the black snake-skin print. (Just FYI, these seem to be on sale for 70% off right now, not sure how long this sale will last.)

 

And that is all for my Holiday Look Book. I welcome your feedback. And please tell me in the comments below if you had a favorite look.

 


 

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Product Review – COL-LAB Cosmetics Line From Sally Beauty

COL-LAB Cosmetics

If you follow me over on Instagram then you already know that late last month I received a gift card from Sally Beauty. I decided the best way I could put this to use is to go pick up some of the new COL-LAB line and test it out for all of my readers.

In case you haven’t heard about COL-LAB yet, it is Sally Beauty’s latest beauty line. It launched just this November, so future reference that is November 2017. It was created in collaboration with several well know beauty influencers. In fact a couple of my favorites were involved, shout out to Dani from Coffee Break With Dani and Lizzy from What Would Lizzy Do. Eight different influencers were involved in this brands creations, each with different skin types and cosmetic preferences.

My goal when I went shopping was to pick up everything I needed to create a full face of makeup using just this brand. I did not include anything that I don’t do at least 50% of the time or more. For instance, brow product is not something I always use, so it was not included in my purchases. I also did not see an eyeshadow primer or setting spray in the store I purchased at, so I used my normal products for those.

So let’s take a look at what I got and my thoughts on each of the products.

COL-LAB Collection Makeup

1.  Palette Pro Eyeshadow Palette in Best of the Day – This is one of five options in an 8 color palette. I picked this particular color option because I felt it had the biggest variety in colors and thus offering the most options of looks. However you will notice that my picture looks a bit different from what is shown on the website. I think that my picture more accurately shows the colors.

Overall I thought these were definitely quality eyeshadows. I found the colors to be very pigmented. They applied well to the lid with little to no dust pick up. I was able to create a few decent eye makeup looks. However, I had some difficulty blending them. They seemed to set in place quickly. Even though I felt this color selection had the broadest selection of colors, I still felt a little limited in what I created. That is not anything bad against the palette itself, I am just not the kind of person that is prone to doing the same makeup look more than a time or two. So for me, I prefer a lot of colors as options. If you are someone who does their eye makeup pretty consistently the same then this would make a great palette for you.

I will share my favorite look I created at the end of this post.

2. Soft Spot Sheer Blush in Meet Cute – Meet cute is a unique color, or at least I think so. It is sort of a mix of a red and a mauve with some brown thrown in. This is one of six color options available in this blush. It is a sheer buildable blush.

The first time I dipped my brush into the blush, I really thought this was going to end up being too much of a color for me. Just with the smallest of dabs my brush had picked up a ton of powder. But I am happy to say that it lived up to its claim of being a sheer blush. In some ways it reminds me of a NARS blush.

3. Set The Stage Ultra-Fine Loose Setting Powder in Porcelain/Ivory – This is one of six color options in the setting powder. It is milled very fine and has a super soft texture. The package comes with a powder puff, however I personally would recommend using this with a powder brush.

I chose a shade lighter than my skin in this powder because I was concentrating what I used on setting my concealer under my eyes and I wanted to brighten that area. However my under eye area is also really dry, so it is usually challenging to set my under eye area without leaving it looking cakey. This setting powder worked wonderfully though. And after a little setting spray it was practically invisible. I was highly impressed.

4. Bold-Faced Liner Waterproof Eye Lining Pencil Drama Queen – This is one of six shades available in this eyeliner. The shades are all darker colors. They are all shades of blue, brown and black. Drama Queen, the one I chose, is a very dark true black.

This is waterproof, which is something I almost always want in an eye liner since I like to put them in my waterline most of the time. I would have like to see more color options, maybe a beige skin tone and bright pop of color or two, but perhaps they will be adding more things like this in the near future. I did think it applied beautifully, and the wear was good. It did not outshine my very favorite eyeliner, but it takes a very close second place.

5. The Filter Highlighting Powder in Glow For Gold – This is one of four color options for the Filter Highlighting Powder. It has a soft silky texture. It is meant to give the skin a soft glow.
This highlighter is way more subtle in use than it looks in the package. Maybe a little too subtle for my personal preferences. But again this is a personal preference thing. I don’t really own any other highlight to compare to this one. But rather than it having glitter or a sheen finish it felt more matte. I thought the texture was wonderful and it did blend it very easily and I really liked that. This would be a great highlight for those of you who want to highlight, but don’t necessarily want to have all the glow on your face.

6. No Flaws Cream Concealer in Ivory/Sand – This is one of eight options for colors in this cream concealer. It comes in a twist up stick. It is made to cover both under eye circles and uneven skin tone.

Let me say first that I have tried a lot of concealers in a lot of different forms, and I have had an extremely difficult time finding ones I thought worked well on my dry textured skin, especially right under my eye area. It always seemed like they would either look cakey, settle in the fine lines around my eyes, or be so watery that they wouldn’t cover any dark spots. This concealer however is my dream concealer. It glides on so soft and smooth. It is super lightweight that you can barely tell you have anything on. Not drying or cakey and covers beautifully. It has never settled in a line or creased. I can’t imagine anyone designing a better concealer. This just blew all of the other concealers in the world out of the water. Seriously, you need to try this.

7. Full Body Lipstick in Really?? – This full body lipstick comes in sixteen color options and two finish options. Really??, the color I have is a matte finish. These lipsticks are designed to go on in a cream and dry down to either the matte or satin finish.

I thought that it applied and wore well. The color applied in one even swipe, which is really hard to find for me. Even though it is a Matte it was not drying. It is a very similar feel to Urban Decay’s Comfort Matte. And I thought the wear time was insanely good. I will definitely be picking up another shade or two to try at some point.

8. Bright Spark Radiant Foundation in Sand – The radiant foundation comes in ten color options. It is a low to medium buildable foundation. It is meant smooth and even your skin tone and leaving you with a soft radiant glow. (Side note: radiant foundations work best for normal to dry skin)

This is probably the product I was most hesitant to try since my experiences with drug store level foundations have not been good and I end up reacting to them. However, I am happy to report that I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. There was no detectable fragrance in this, so that is always a plus in my book. It comes in a bottle with a pump, so no touching the product or exposing it to the air unnecessarily. The foundation comes out in a very moussey texture and after applied dries down to a satin finish. The finished look, feel, and wear is very similar to the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation but with just a tiny bit more coverage. The color is a better match for me than any offered in the Nars line, at least at my current color level.

9. High-Rise Insane Length Mascara Extreme Black – This is one of three color options for this mascara. Made to lengthen and lift your lashes. Comes in a unique package with a long skinny wand. And I believe the brush is silicone.

This is fantastic mascara. Just like the foundation, I have struggled to find a drugstore level mascara that I really liked since they discontinued one I really liked years ago. I love the very skinny wand and brush design. This definitely makes my top five favorite mascaras. It wears and performs very similarly to Clinique’s High Impact Curling Mascara, but it is harder to remove.

Final Thoughts

There were definitely three stand out stars for me in the products I tried. It is probably pretty easy to guess that those are the No Flaws Cream Concealer, the Full Body Lipstick, and the High-Rise Insane Length Mascara. I also really enjoyed the foundation, but I don’t know that it was as much of a star as the other three products.

I think everything I tried were good solid products, even the things that were not necessarily what I would want for me. Nothing was an outright fail. There are definitely things I think that could be improved upon in the line, mainly the selection of colors in the face products. I really hope that they make an effort to add a broader range of shades over time.

Overall, I was really happy with this line. There are more things that I hope to try in the future that I didn’t try in this go around. Please let me know in the comments if there are any products in particular you would like a review of.

I did snap some pictures of my favorite makeup look I created when testing out this brand, and I wanted to share that with you.

Let me know in the comments below what you have tried from COL-LAB or what you are dying to try.

 

The gift card I used to purchase my products for this review was sent to me by Sally Beauty, however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. My reviews are all completely honest.

 

 

 

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Splurge Worthy Beauty Items Of The 2017 Holiday Season

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Whether you are looking to buy a more extravagant gift for someone else or just splurge on yourself, you want to know that your money is going towards something that is a quality product. To help you I have put together a brief list of items that in my opinion are totally splurge worthy.

Everything included in this list will be over $30, and I believe any beauty lover would be ecstatic to receive these items. If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, you can check out my list of Beauty Gift Under $30.

For the sake of this post, I am going to divide this into two categories, Makeup & Skin Care and Beauty Tools. Some of these items are available at multiple locations. I will be providing links to either the place I purchased from, or alternatively somewhere you can purchase cheaper. Prices listed are full retail prices and do not reflect any sale prices or possible discounts or additional shipping. So let’s get started.

Makeup & Skin Care

Splurge worthy beauty sets and palettes of holidy 2017

1. Too Faced White Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette –  Sells for $49.00. One of two new palettes released in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Collection. This particular palette is filled with soft pastels and a couple of bold pops of color. Like the previous palettes released it has a nice mix of mattes and shimmers. And as always, every chocolate bar palette is infused with real cocoa powder and the smell of chocolate fills the air each time you use it. If you are looking for something bolder or flashier for the holidays, or are just into really cool packaging, you should check out the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Eyeshadow Palette.

2. LORAC Mega PRO Palette 4 – Sells for $59.00. This large palette is filled with 32 highly pigmented shades. It contains a mix of mattes and shimmers. I think this is the most unique Pro Palette LORAC has released. It has a wide range of colors that include both warm and cool tones.

3. Dr. Jart The Original BB Set – Sells for $34.00 (But I found several sellers on Amazon selling for $28.00, so that is where the link leads). This set includes each of the four types of BB Cream from Dr. Jart all in deluxe travel sizes. Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ Shade #01 is filled with peptides and antioxidants that smooth skin and even out tone for youthful-looking skin. Radiance Beauty Balm SPF 30 corrects uneven skin tone while brightening and hydrating. Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm smooths skin’s texture, covers blemishes and large pores, and tightens the look of pores. Black Label Detox Beauty Balm contains purifying botanical actives that soothe and smooth blemishes and camouflage uneven skin tone. This set delivers four subtly distinct finishes, from glowing and sheer to matte and fuller-coverage. If you haven’t tried a Dr. Jart BB Cream before, be prepared to fall in love.

4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Smooth & Flawless: Peel + Moisturize – Sells for $48.00. This set includes 14 of the Dr. Dennis Gross’ iconic daily peels and a trial size of the Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion. The Alpha Beta Peels from Dr. Dennis Gross will leave your skin looking great and feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom. And if you are a makeup wearer it will leave your skin in the condition to be the perfect palette. This is the original formula, but you can also get two other formulas. If you have sensitive skin go for the Smooth & Silky Peel + Nourish Ultra Gentle 14-Day Challenge Set or if you need something a little stronger try the Smooth & Radiant: Peel + Brighten Set.

5. Clinique Moisture Overload Set – Sells for $42.00. This is a three-piece set from Clinique’s Moisture Surge line. You get a 1.7 oz size of the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, a 1 oz size of the Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, and a .17 oz size of the All About Eyes. I would recommend the Moisture Surge line to anyone for their skin care no matter their skin type. But if you are looking for a set with a little more variety in it, then check out the Holiday Swag Box.

6. Kevyn Aucoin Electropop Pro Eyeshadow Palette – $57.00. Sells for This palette contains 12 intensely pigmented metallic chrome shades. Designed to create three-dimensional looks. Shade vary from light and sheer to high impact opaque color.

7. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some More Lip – Sells for $68.00. Unfortunately this set is sold out online at Sephora, they are highly popular and for good reason. There is a decent chance your local Sephora will have them in store. If you do not live close to a Sephora then I highly recommend checking out the smaller versions like the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Bold Lip or if you aren’t a lipstick fanatic you might like the Sephora Favorites Glow For It Kit.

Perfume Subscription Service

Beauty Tools

1.  str8glam Wet/Dry Hair Straightening Brush – Sells for $54.75.


I have very course thick hair. It is very hard to do anything with it. In the past I have tried a lot of tools including flat irons, but never had any success with them working on my hair. But in recent years I have tried a lot of new tools trying to find something to do with my hair. This has been one of the few success stories. It not only straightens my hair it does it quickly and easily. Plus its way less damaging to your hair and no worries about burning yourself either.

2. Valuetom Professional Ceramic Hair Curler with Temperature Control – Sells for $42.99  
Another one of my success stories for my hair is this unique hair curler. You may have even seen videos on YouTube of people trying them out and freaking out, or saying they were too afraid to use them. But this is the one and only thing that has worked to curl my hair. I have even had problems with getting perms to hold in the past. Curling by any other means falls out fast. In fact many of you commented on my hair in the BOHO styled post I did with Simply Be a couple of months ago. And this is what I used to get that curl. When I use this on my hair the curl lasts until I wash my hair. It is amazing. It even lets you decide what type of curl you want.

3. Akean Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer Machine – Sells for $49.99

Another product that I highly recommend and that a lot of you expressed interest in after I posted the video on Social Media of me using it is this makeup cleaner and dryer. It works fantastic and is a huge time saver. It literally cleans and dries your brushes in just seconds.

Tell me in the comments what your big beauty splurge is.

 


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The Best Gifts For Beauty Lovers Under $30

Best beauty gifts under $30

Best beauty gifts under $30

Everyone has at least one beauty lover in their life. But picking a gift for a beauty lover can be difficult and overwhelming if you aren’t really familiar with all the brands and items. And many of the most coveted items can be pricey, and maybe not really in your budget for a typical gift. That is why I have come up with a list of the best gifts available this year for the beauty lover in your life.

I have broken this into three categories: Lips, Eye & Face Palettes, and Everything Else. Most of these items, but not all, can be purchased at multiple locations. But for the sake of this post I will be linking to the stores where I purchased from, unless I find it somewhere cheaper for you. The under $30 price tag is based on full regular price, so no chance for you to have to pay more.

LIPS

Best lip products for gifts in 2018 Christmas Season1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick – Holiday Kiss Collection – Sells for $17. I got mine in the color Rebel which is a Sephora-exclusive metallized nude shade of Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick. This is perfect for the lipstick collector that loves limited edition.

2. Urban Decay Little Liquid Vices – Sells for $28. Know someone who loves liquid lipstick or has been wanting to try them. With this set you give them the opportunity to try four mini size shades for just a little more that the price of a full size. In this set you get to try two formulas, comfort matte and metallized. And you get the shades Backtalk, Amulet, Purgatory, and Crimson.

3. Urban Decay Little Vices Lipstick Kit – Sells for $25. You get five deluxe samples of Vice Lipsticks for about the same price of one full size lipstick. You get three finishes (cream, comfort matte, and metallized) in the colors Violate, 1993, Double Crossed, Love Drunk, and Mad. This is perfect for the lipstick lover who wants a variety of shades and/or finishes, also great if you are just unsure of what your beauty lover likes in a lipstick.

4. NYX Professional Makeup Meet The Metallics Lip Vault – Sells for $25. A lipstick vault is for the true lipstick fanatic. And you will be hard pressed to find a vault of any kind, even of a drugstore brand, for under $30. In this particular vault you get 12 lip colors. Despite what the name implies, not all of the lipsticks are metallic. You get 6 metallic shades and 6 soft matte lip creams. You get the colors Monte Carlo, Copenhagen, Paris, Budapest, Rome, and Dubai in each of the formulas.

5. Sleek Makeup Mini Major Matte Metallic Set – Sells for $10. (If metallics aren’t your thing, there is also a regular matte version available for the same price.) In this set you get four minis of what they call metallic matte lip gloss. To me I still consider this more of a lipstick, but you be the judge. But it’s definitely something every beauty lover will want to try. And at just $10 its affordable at even the smallest budget.

6. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip – Sells for $28. These lip kits, as well as some of their other kits are quite popular at Sephora. I can not link to the exact one I am showing since I purchased it at a JC Penny’s Sephora and they have their own special ones not available online. However I am linking to one of the most similar ones in regular Sephora’s. I have bought them from both places as they offer different items at both locations. And often when the ones are sold out at regular Sephora’s then they still have plenty in JC Pennys. So always check there if you are looking for one of the Sephora favorites kits.

7. Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Lip Set – Sells for $25. The Contour & Lip Strobe Sets are packaged in a covetable lip-shaped tin, each set features a full-size Lip Contour, a mini Liquid Matte Lipstick in a complementary shade, and a mini Lip Strobe. This set was originally offered in five shade combos at Sephora. Pictured above is Bombshell & Ritzy which has already sold out at Sephora, I am unsure about other sellers. There are still three shade options left that I think are equally lovely. There is Trendsetter & Snobby, Trophy Wife & Shameless, and Silver Fox & Angelic.

 

e.l.f. cosmetics

Eye And Face Palettes

Eye and face makeup palettes under $301. bh Cosmetics Zodiac Palette – Sells for $21.99. In this palette you get 25 eyeshadows (12 baked shimmers, 12 buttery mattes) and 1 luminous baked highlighter. This palette is slightly reminiscent of the Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Palette. I think this would be a great gift for any beauty lover who missed out on that palette or anyone who likes unique or themed palettes.

2. Sleek Makeup Bring On The Night Gift Set – Sells for $30 (it does look like Walgreens is clearancing this set out for half price, but I am not positive). In this set you get the Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette, the Solstice Highlight Palette, and the Take A Cheeky Peek Blush Palette which can each be bought separately as well. There are really some great color choices in this set, and you get a lot bang for your buck. This might be a great option for someone who is just getting into makeup and you want to give them a little of everything.

3. Wet N Wild Fantasy Makers Paint Palette – Sells for $13.78. This is a little different from the other palettes. Instead of traditional makeup its is face paint palette, so something for those in your life who love to do costuming and do a lot of makeup with it. The one I am showing is the pastel version, but there are several color options available.

4. Stila Written In the Stars – Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set – Sells for $25. (Please note this set has sold out everywhere since I started working on this post. However each of the shades in this set or there is a larger set available if you are looking for sets.) In this set you get three deluxe sizes of the Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadow. Colors included are Diamond Dust, Kitten Karma, and Smokey Storm. These shadows are really fantastic and the perfect gift for the girl who want her eye looks to pop.

5. ColourPop Semi Precious Shadow Palette – Sells for $26.00. This palette contains 8 metallic shades inspired by star stuff and celestial lights. Available online at both Sephora and ColourPop’s websites. Also available in certain Sephora stores. This is a great gift for the Colour Pop fanatic or the beauty lover who always wants to try the latest thing.

6. Femme Couture Naughty Metals Eyeshadow Palette – Sells for $9.99. This palette contains 8 metallic shades perfect for those Holiday looks. If metallics aren’t your thing try the Nice Nudes palette. Really want to elevate your look? Get both and mix shadows from both palettes. The perfect gift for the beauty lover who follows the trends when you are on a tight budget.

7. COL-LAB Pro Eyeshadow Palette Best of the Day – Sells for $14.99. This palette is available in four varieties, I am showing it here in Best Of The Day. Each palette comes with eight colors in three formulas (matte, satins, and metallics). This is from the new exclusive collection at Sally Beauty created by some top YouTube Beauty Gurus. This is the perfect gift for the beauty lover who wants to support her favorite YouTuber.

8. Maybelline The City Mini Palette – Sells for $6.49-$9.99. I purchased mine through Amazon Prime Pantry. That is the cheapest place to purchase it but if you are not a Prime member, then you can also find it at Walgreens. This palette is available in 7 color options, pictured is The Urban Jungle. Each palette contains six shades that are a mix of mattes, shimmers, and metallics. These are the perfect gift for the beauty lover who likes experimenting with bold looks.

9. NYX Cosmetics In Your Element Shadow Palette, Air – Sells for $30. This palette is also available in Wind, Earth, Fire, Metal, and Water versions. The air palette features pastel shades to create ethereal looks. Each palette comes with 12 shade, all except he metal palette offer a mix of textures. The air palette has a mix of mattes, satins and shimmers. This is a perfect gift for the beauty lover who fancies herself a unicorn at heart.

 

HL2 728x90

Everything Else

1. Urban Decay Urban Lockdown Travel Duo – Sells for $19.00. This set includes an Optical Illusion Complexion Primer Mini and a Travel Size All Nighter Setting Spray. This is a great gift for the woman who is on the go all day and night, and needs her makeup to stay in place while she is out.

2. Love OPI, XOXO Mini 4 Piece Set – Sells for $14.99. This set comes with four mini colors that are perfect for the holidays. You get Ornament to Be Together, Coalmates, Holidazed Over You, and My Wish List is You. This is the perfect gift for the beauty lover who is obsessed with doing her nails.

3. Nails INC Sparkle Like A Unicorn Set – Sells for $19.00. This set includes one Sparkle Like A Unicorn printed sheet mask, two Mini Nail Polishes in Unicorn Vibes and Unicorn Dot Com, and one Lip Trippin’ Iridescent Strobe Lipstick in Unicorn Tribe. Unicorns are really popular right now with kids and kids at heart. This gift is perfect for the beauty lover who is all unicorns all the time.

4. Clinique Moisture Favorites Set – Sells for $18.50. This set includes three mini size products perfect for travel or just to try the products out. You get a Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, a Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief, and a Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm. This is a great gift for the friend that is more into skin care than makeup or someone who has dry dehydrated skin. This is a great choice for sensitive skin types, or if you just don’t know what skin type they have.

5. Bitzy Body Shimmer Spray – As you can see there is no link to this product. That is because since I started working on this post a couple of days ago every place that had it seems to have sold out, at least online. I bought mine at Sally Beauty, so you could possibly find some in your local store. If you want something similar you can get the Glitter Powder Spray from HUBEE on Amazon for around the same price I paid. I personally think this would make a great gift for a young beauty lover or someone who likes to sparkle.

6. Models Own Celestial Lip Glitter Kit in Rose Meteor – Sells for $14.99. Also available in the color Moon Dust. This kit comes with everything you need to do a glitter lip. It can be worn alone or over your own lipsticks. These would make great gifts for the beauty love who loves doing lip art or who follows all the Instagram trends.

 

So there you have my top picks for beauty gifts under $30. Tell me in the comments if you think I left something out that people should know about. What beauty item is on your wish list this year?

 

Take 40% Off All Sheer Wisdom Products and Receive a Free Bonus Gift With Purchases of $50 or more at butter LONDON! Offer Valid Through 12/6 Only! Save Now and Receive Free Shipping!

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Giveaways And Other Upcoming Things You Won’t Want To Miss

I have some great things coming up, both here on the blog and on my various social media platforms, before the end of the year. I wanted to give you all a little heads up on some of the things I have planned.

First, starting tomorrow (11/29/17), I will be posting various giveaways on my social media. All giveaways will be done and mailed out in time to reach you for Christmas. Here are just some of the things that will be given away:

Items for giveaways on my social media.

Pictured from top left and moving clockwise: Masquerade Palette Mini by Juvia’s Place (Just like the large one, just smaller pans. Check out my full review of the large palette), A mix of various sheet masks, I Pink I Love You Makeup Kit by benefit Cosmetics, and a bottle of L’eau De Rose by Jeanne Arthes.

This is just a few of the items being given away. Additional items will be included with these giveaways, some will be surprises and some won’t. There may even be more than four giveaways. Each giveaway will on a single social media channel. So make sure you are following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This is the one and only announcement about these giveaways outside of the actual giveaway. These are not sponsored giveaways, they are a combination of items I purchased to use for this and items that were sent from some affiliate companies that were preview items. When I do these types of giveaways it is my way of saying thank you for being loyal readers and followers.

In addition to the giveaways, I also have a lot planned for the blog over the next few weeks. I certainly hope I can get everything up in time for you. You should expect to see a Holiday look book, as well as a few other styled posts after the holidays. I am also working on “The best beauty gifts under $30” as well as a “Splurge Worthy Beauty Gift Guide”. And after the new year I will have some more makeup reviews. I have some new subscription box reviews, including Instacandy coming soon. And there is so much more.

Another bit of news, I recently got invited to the Amazon Influencer program. What does this change for all of you? Not a lot really, but it does mean that a lot of my favorite things I share with you that I find on Amazon can now be found in one convenient place. You can find the list at https://www.amazon.com/shop/karenmsmith77. I will try to periodically update this list.

Let me know in the comments if there is anything you would like to see on the blog.

 

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Black Friday And Cyber Monday 2017 Sales At Plus Size Clothing And Beauty Retailers

black fridays sales

black fridays sales

There are going to be lots of sales all over the web for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I wanted to get this up as fast as I could, so I will come back and add the sales as I find out about them. Also feel free to mention any sales I missed in the comments or links to any stores that don’t fit these two categories. I won’t be posting much, just the links to the store and a list of any sales that are applicable as well as when they start. I will divide this up into two section, plus size stores and beauty stores.

 

Plus Size Fashion

 

IGIGI

$40 OFF orders of $100 or more with code THANK40YOU

$60 OFF orders of $150 or more with code 60FAMILY

$80 OFF orders of $200 or more with code NOVEMBER80

$100 OFF orders of $250 or more with code 100CELEBRATE

Lindy Bop – click here for the UK site

Pre Black Friday Sale – 200 items up to 60% off. Already started. (I have not read anything regarding an actual Black Friday Sale, but I would guess this same sale will extend on into Friday maybe with some additional items added.)

Torrid

40% Off Regular Price, Extra 50% Off Clearance. From 11/22 to 11/24 (Torrid Insider Credit Card Holders can start shopping early with a special preview sale on 11/20 and 11/21 with the code SHOPFIRST.

Up to 50% Off everything sitewide. From 11/25 to 11/26

Get 30% Off Regular Price, or Buy 4+ items and get 40% Off. On 11/27 Only

Avenue

30% off New Arrivals and $50 off $100 or $100 off $200. On 11/22 Only

50% Off Sitewide! and Free Shipping. On 11/23 Only

Take An Extra 30% Off Clearance. From 11/23 to 11/30

40% off entire site and 50-60-70% off specials 11/24 to 11/26

50% off entire site and 60-70% Off Specials. Plus free shipping. From 11/26 to 11/28

Kiyonna

35% off orders of $150 or more site wide when you use code GOODGRAVY. Plus free shipping with orders over $100. From 11/21 to 11/29.

Black Friday sale Dresses starting at $39.99, Separates starting at $19.99, $25 Mystery Items. Sale ends at 11:59PM PST on 11/24

Pop Up Plus

Black Friday $9.99 Inventory Reduction Sale. From 11/21 to ?

Maurices

BOGO 75% On All Apparel and Accessories! From 11/23 to 11/24.

Cyber Monday Preview (for select customers): 30% Off Entire Site! From 6pm to Midnight on 11/26 Only!

Cyber Monday: 30% Entire Off Site! From 11/27 to 11/28

Simply Be

50% Off site wide with code THANKFUL, Extra 15% off Knitwear and party shoes + dresses, $1 thank you gifts. On 11/23 only.

60% Off sitewide with code FRIYAY, clearance starting at $5. On 11/24 only.

Joe Brown’s Flash Sale 65% until 12PM PST

Lane Bryant

40% Off Entire Site. From 11/22 to 11/27.

All Bras Just $29.50. From 11/22 to 11/24.

$20 Lace Up Hacci Tee. From 11/22 to 11/23.

BOGO Free On All Clearance. From 11/22 to 11/26.

$20 Bell Sweaters And Chiffon Trim Neck Sweaters. On 11/24 only.

Packable Puffer Only $50 and $39 On All Jeans. On 11/25 only.

All Livi Sweatshirts Just $20. On 11/26 only.

40$ Off All Clearance. From 6pm on 11/26 to 11/27.

Sweaters Just $20. From 11/28 to 11/29.

Dressbarn

Free Shipping no minimum purchase necessary. From 11/18 to 11/25

Black Friday extended sale – Cashmere Sweaters Just $19.50, Velour Tracksuits Starting at $19.50, Ribbed Sweaters Just $19.50, Ponte Leggings Just $19.50, Puffer Vests Just $29.50, Denim Just $19.50, and Packaged Sleep for $19.50/$24.50. From 11/18 to 11/26.

25% Off When You Spend $75, Combinable with Black Friday sale prices. From 11/22 to 11/26.

Cyber Monday Preview (for select customers) – 30% Off Site Wide. On 11/26 from 6PM to Midnight Only.

30% Off entire purchase, online only. From 11/27 to 11/28.

Hips & Curves

50% off all Camille styles. From 11/22 to 11/23.

Ashley Stewart

40% Off site wide and free shipping on orders over $40. From 11/22 to 11/23

40% Off site wide and free shipping plus an IMAN lipstick gift with purchases of $60 and over. From 11/24 to 11/25.

50% Off site wide and free shipping plus a leopard print tote gift with purchase of $75 or more.

40% Off site wide and free shipping on orders of $40 or more. On 11/28 Only.

Society Plus

40% to 50% Off site wide when you use code BLACKFRIDAYNOW. From 11/10 to 11/28.

Unique Vintage

Drastically discounted daily deals each day. From 11/20 to 11/27. Deals start on the date listed at 4PM PST and end 24 hours later.
Daily Deal: Catch of the Day! 11/22/ (Sort of Like ModCloths mystery sale, pay flat fee for a mysteryDaily item. $5 to $25)

Daily Deal: $25 Dresses (select styles only)11/23

Daily Deal: More $25 Dresses added to the sale. (select styles only)11/24

Daily Deal: $40 Novelty skirts (select styles only) 11/25

Charlotte Russe

50% Off All Denim, Everything $20 and under, and free shipping. From  11/22 through 11/25 at 3 AM EST

Everything for $25 and Under, All Shoes 50% off, and Free Shipping. From 11/25 through 11/26 at 3 AM EST.
 
40% off Regular Priced Items, 20% off Clearance, and Free Shipping. Excludes all Beauty, Including Fragrance. From 11/26 through 11/27 at 3 AM EST.
Swimsuits For All

35% Off site wide and $3 shipping. On 11/23 only.

35% Off site wide and Free shipping. On 11/27 only.

ASOS

30% Off everything site wide with code: EPIC30 . From 11/23 to 11/28 3 am GMT.

eShakti

40% off your order. From 11/23 to 11/24.

Fashion To Figure

40% to 50% OFF everything, Free shipping on orders of $75 or more. Ends 11/24

ellos

25% off everything with code ELTHANKS25. From 11/23 to 11/25

Old Navy

50% Off your entire purchase, Free Shipping on orders over $25 with code FREESHIP.  From 11/22 to 11/24. (Additional deals available in store only)

Holy Clothing

20% Off on everything with the code BF20, A new daily deal each day. From 11/23 to 11/27

MONIF C.

Take an extra 40% OFF sale items. No time frame posted.

Beauty

 

Sally Beauty

30% off on orders of $50 or more. On 11/23 only.

Milani Cosmetics

7 Days of Deal, a new deal will be announced each day. Starts 11/21

MAC

Kit of three Prep + Prime Fix+ for $20. Black Friday Doorbuster item. Online and in stores.

Free full size mascara or lipstick with a $50 purchase.

MAC Select Members get 25% with code MAC25

Elf Cosmetics

50% Off Site wide with code CELEBRATE on orders $30+. Exclusions apply. Plus, get free shipping on orders $25+. From 11/22 6PM EST to 11/27.

YesStyle

Select Items on sale up to 80% Off. Take and extra 15% Off with coupon code 2017BLACK. From 11/22 to 11/24.

Butter London

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Product Review – Juvia’s Place Masquerade Palette

The Masquerade Palette from Juvia's Place

The Masquerade Palette from Juvia's Place

If you are a makeup lover and you spend any amount of time on the internet, then you most likely have heard about Juvia’s Place. Today I will be sharing with you my review of the Masquerade Palette from Juvia’s Place. I have actually had this palette for some time now, but I have just now had the time to fully swatch and test it out.

I had heard so many good things about this palette and company and I really wanted to try something from them. But its hard some times to know whether to believe the reviews when you hear only good things from places like YouTube. Various makeup products get really hyped up on there, sometimes just because they are popular brands or sometimes because people are making money off of their affiliate links. But we will talk about that in a different post at some later date. I do want to be clear before I get into this review, I am not affiliated with Juvia’s Place in any way, and I paid for this palette with my own money.

Inside of the Juvia's Place Masquerade Palette

When I bought my palette earlier this year I believe they still only had three palettes to choose from, or they may possibly have just came out with their fourth palette. They have since come out with several other palettes, but they obviously were not a factor in my purchasing decision. I ultimately decided on the Masquerade Palette because I was really drawn to the bold colors. It also seemed to have a good mix of mattes and shimmers.

Close up of all the eyeshadow pans in the Masquerade Palette

Here is what you get in this palette. There are 16 pans of eyeshadow that are 3.6G each. That is a total net weight of 57.6G. You get a mix of 5 matte and 11 shimmer/metallics (three of which appear to contain micro-glitter). This is quite a large palette, however they do offer a mini version. Getting the mini version doesn’t really save you money, in fact it is more expensive if you figure it out per gram or ounce. But if you are someone who doesn’t wear makeup a lot or you have limited space, the mini might be a better option for you.

Now lets take a closer look at the colors:

Top Row of colors swatched from the Masquerade Palette

From left to right: Chi, Mali, Dalia, and Zola

 

Second row od colors from the Masquerade palette swatched

From left to right: Makeda, Zobo, Calabar, and Bori

 

 

Swatched from the Masquerade palettes row 3

From left to right: Giza, Burkina, Cairo, and Ada.

 

Juvia's Place Masquerade palette swatches row 4

From left to right: Dahia, Zulu, Casablanca, and Fulani

I did all of these finger swatches using only one swipe. As you can see the majority of the colors, especially the metallic shimmers, came out very bold full of pigment. The only colors that didn’t perform as well during swatches (and by no means were they the worst), were the few colors that had more of a red pigment to it. However, I did not experience this same thing. That is really unusual. Usually colors perform better on finger swatches than when using a brush.

I took the time to try these out thoroughly. I know it’s a big deal for some people to be able to pull a whole look out of the same palette, so I challenged myself to create looks that only used this palette. Here are a few of the looks I came up with:

 

After testing this palette out, I can honestly say, the hype is well deserved. All of the shadows were very pigmented. They were easy to work with, they applied easily without much fallout and they blended well without going muddy. I found it easy to create multiple looks. Though one word of caution, if you are very fair you will most likely struggle to find a color that works as a transition shade. I am currently a light/medium and I did struggle a bit. I did find that I could make a couple of the shades work as a transition if I just used them with a lighter hand. You may be able to make it work with you as well. But if you can’t, who doesn’t have a ton of neutral transition shades on hand anyway. If you are anywhere in the medium to dark range of skin tone, then the Masquerade palette should easily work making a full look for you.

Tell me in the comments below if you have tried this palette. Also if there is some makeup item you want reviewed let me know. I am open to reviewing most items.

 


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