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Author Archives: karenmsmith77

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A Look At The NYX Cosmetics Machinist Collection

The Machinist Collection from NYX Cosmetics

NYX recently dropped a new collection called The Machinist, and I haven’t really heard many people talk about it. This is a limited edition collection. This collection is being sold on both the NYX website and Ulta website as well as in Ulta’s stores.

The collection has three shadow palettes, three highlight duos, three lipsticks, and three lip lacquers. Each palette, highlight, lipstick, and lacquer has three coordinating names  within the collection. One set is called Grind, one is Steam, and one is Ignite.

The Machinist Collection from NYX Cosmetics

 

Lets take a look at the individual parts of the collection, starting with the eyeshadow palettes. The description offered by the company is as follows:

Kick your look into high gear with NYX Professional Makeup limited-edition Machinist Shadow Palette. Available in steampunk-inspired color combos, the Grind, Steam and Ignite collections all include 12 highly pigmented tones that breathe new life into this retro-futuristic fantasy. Mix and match each amaze assortment of cool and warm metals with bold mattes to create an amped up effect. From grungy romantic to vintage beauty, all you need is a spark of inspiration to make the mood your own. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.

I can’t seem to find any further description from NYX of the individual palettes. There doesn’t seem to be a list of color names either, but based on what I have seen on their website they may just be numbered. So I will just give my own thoughts on the color range and share a close up of the palettes.

Grind: This palette is going to be more of what the average person thinks of when thinking of steampunk. Bronze and dark smokey colors dominate this palette. While it’s not exactly the same, it does have a very similar feel to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette. So if you wanted the subculture palette but couldn’t afford the price tag that came with it, this palette may be of interest to you.

Steam: NYX took this palette very literal. Maybe too literal? This palette is filled with silvers, grays, smokey purples, and other colors that make you think of smoke, smog, and steam. It also has two bright pops of color that I am having a hard time understanding what they are doing in the palette. There is bright baby pink and bold teal. Not that I don’t think there is a place for color in steampunk, but it just doesn’t make sense in this palette.

Ignite: This palette seems to be a mix of fire and earth tones. In the pans they don’t look vastly different from Steam, just a little more warm tone leaning and more balanced. However, once you see some swatches on human skin, that is when you see the biggest difference.

 

Let’s move on and take a look at the highlighters next. Unlike the eyeshadow palettes, NYX does offer a color description as well as a product description for the highlight duos. First lets look at how NYX describes the actual product:

Build a brighter future with NYX Professional Makeup’s limited-edition Machinist Highlighting Duo. These powder highlighters are packed with pigment and leave behind a striking metallic-foil finish. Available in dynamic color pairings, each duo is inspired by a different facet of NYX Professional Makeup Machinist collection. Swipe on these velvety-smooth shades for killer shimmer, and dampen the brush to achieve a truly megawatt glow. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.

For each of these I will share the description provided by NYX as well some of my own thoughts. I have seen these in person, though I don’t have my own yet, but a lot of the descriptions for the highlighters were not accurate in my opinion. My opinions are based on what I have seen, and not in me swatching them. I will have my own sets soon, but we will talk about that at the end.

Grind: This is described as a gold and a copper. I think that in person, and somewhat here in the picture, the colors appear more like a light copper and a peach.

Steam: This is described as a violet and a purple. The description seems accurate, but the violet looks slightly more blue to me in person.

Ignite: This is described as an opal and bronze. I don’t think this is accurate for either. I think it the picture is accurate to how they appear in person, but they seem more like a white and a pink to me.

 

Next up are the lip products. This collection has both lipsticks and lip glosses (or lip lacquer as they are called here). I have a few thoughts on the choices for lip products with this collection, but we will talk about that after we look at the actual products. Lets look at the lipstick first.

All three lipsticks in the collection are metallic. I think the color descriptions are pretty accurate for the lipsticks. The only difference you will see in the pictures from what they look like in person is how metallic they look. Here is how NYX describes the product:

Stud those lips in shimmery color using NYX Professional Makeup limited-edition Machinist Lipstick. This comfortably creamy formula is loaded with ultra-fine pearls that add over-the-top luster to your pout. Available in honey bronze, copper and bronze – representing the Grind, Steam and Ignite facets of NYX Professional Makeup Machinist collection, respectively – these high-coverage lippies are the perf accessories. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.

Grind: This is described as a metallic honey bronze.

Steam: This is described as a metallic copper.

Ignite: This is described as a metallic bronze.

 

And finally we have the Lip Lacquers. If you aren’t familiar with NYX Lip Lacquers, they are essentially a full coverage lip gloss. Most of the colors are usually pretty opaque. Here is what NYX has to say about this part of the collection:

Go full steam ahead with NYX Professional Makeup Machinist Lip Lacquer. This limited-edition lippie is the Slip Tease Full Color Lip Lacquer you know and love – now in steampunk-inspired shades! Each grungy tone adds a glossy touch to the Grind, Steam and Ignite facets of NYX Professional Makeup Machinist collection. This perfectly plush lippie goes on silky-smooth and provides full coverage. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.

Grind: This is described as a glossy wine.

Steam: This is described as a glossy blue. I would go a step further and call it a navy blue.

Ignite: This is described as a glossy nude.

 

I do have some of the items on the way, and I should have them in around the time this post goes up. You can my various social media for pictures and swatches. I will have all of the palettes as well as the lipsticks. I will be getting a couple of the highlighters as well. I completely skipped on the lip lacquers.

My general thoughts are that most of the collection is nice looking and cohesive, but there are a few selections that either because of color or texture doesn’t make sense to me. I skipped completely on the lip lacquers for this very reason. I think the colors are fine in general for the lip lacquers, but they don’t seem very steampunk to me. And why do the gloss colors not coordinate with the lipsticks? It’s not just the color, but just the fact that they are a gloss. Most people who I know that are into steampunk, or other types of cosplay, are looking for longer wearing lip product than a gloss. I suppose the general point I am getting to is that if NYX felt it necessary to include a second lip product in the collection, perhaps a lip liner or a liquid lipstick would have been a better choice.

I also skipped on the ignite highlighter duo. Not only do I think the color described as an opal would not look right on my skin tone, I found it to be very basic. I know I have something just like the other color offered in that duo. Ironically, that is the one color sold out on NYX website in the highlighters. Don’t worry, if you want it the last I checked Ulta still had it. They also have the collection in stores, so don’t forget to look there for these products.

The packaging on the eyeshadow palettes are amazing. I really wish they had carried this through for the whole collection. The lipstick packaging isn’t bad, but the highlights are in serious need of an upgrade.

So tell me in the comments below what you think of this collection from NYX. Will you or have you purchased any of it?

 

 



 

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New Store Alert: The Black Ravens

Spellbook Handbag

We have a new store alert today. We will be taking a look at The Black Ravens.

About mid August some representatives of The Black Ravens contacted me and asked if I would like to pick out a few things and share them with my followers. The Black Ravens are a US and UK based store that focus on Alternative style clothing and accessories. They carry mostly punk, Goth and steampunk items, but there are a lot of items that would fall into other categories as well. They have been around since 2016, but they are now looking to add a plus size line.

This is pretty exciting because if you are into dressing in any of these styles, as a lifestyle or otherwise, then you know it is the hardest categories to find plus sizes in. The thing I get asked the most is where to find plus sizes in these styles, and its a really hard question to answer because there are few places that actually carry any selection at all of alternative clothing. And as most of you know I am very into steampunk, so I am often struggling as well.

The Black Ravens initially wanted me to try out their new plus size line. However, after looking at their site I realized they had China plus sizes and they would not fit me. (Keep in mind I am a US women’s size 20 usually.) But I had a few conversations with a couple of people from the company. I asked if it was okay to share their accessories with you for now, and they were good with that. And I sent over some info on American plus sizes, and I am happy to say they were very receptive to working on increasing their size range and me perhaps sharing their clothing later. And I have even spotted a couple of items that have popped up recently that are increasing in size.

So today I have a few pieces to show you that I selected. I will also be talking about some of the other things they have on the site that you might be interested in. I also want to share some of the pictures of the women’s misses size clothing and the men’s, as I know I have at least a few people who follow the blog who do not wear plus sizes. But also I thought it might give everyone an idea of some of the possible designs they may have in the future. And I encourage everyone who is plus size and wants alternative clothing to reach out to the company or me and say what you want, what size range you are looking for. I have told them there is a market that is interested, but I can not be the only voice expressing that if you want them to listen.

But before we go any further I want to be clear that this is not a sponsored post. I am not an affiliate of The Black Ravens. They did not ask me to say anything in particular about their products. They only sent me a few products and asked me to share them.

So with that being said, lets take a look first at the items I received.

Handbag available on The Black Ravens website

The first thing that I had no doubt I wanted to share, and that I had a purpose for in my own life is this Spellbook Bag.

Spellbook Bag from The Black Rvens

These are available in three colors. I have the red one, but it is also available in black and purple. The strap is adjustable and is long enough for me to slip over my head and wear it messenger style if I wanted. They can also be tucked in, like I have shown in the first picture, and used like a clutch.

For me personally I am going to be using this for one of my costumes at next years Steampunk Symposium. If you are into Steampunk and haven’t heard yet, next years theme is Steamtastic Beasts. I expect to see lots of Fantastic Beast and Harry Potter themed costumes. This will be the first year any of my own costumes will be on theme, maybe all of them will be. But I expect a spell book will fit quite nicely with one of my costumes I have planned, and its a huge bonus I can carry things in it.

 

cat mug

The next thing I picked out is their Adorable Kitten Mug. On it is printed, “I’m not crazy. My reality is just different than yours.”. You know I’m a sucker for anything with a cat on it anyway, and this one will fit right in with my oddball collection of mugs. I love that is kind of celebrating being different. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be available on the website at the moment. If it gets added back I will make sure to come back and link to it.

 

Full-Ear Slithering Earring in gold and black

And finally I picked out two of these earrings, or at least that is what they refer to them as on their website. They call them Cute Full-Ear Slithering Earrings to be exact. I personally think they are sort of hybrid of an earring and an ear cuff.

Snake Ear Cuff from The Black Ravens

The black and the gold earring are surprising two different sizes. The gold one is slightly smaller. It doesn’t seem to affect the fit for me, but it might be something to keep in mind if you have especially large ears.

 

Lets talk about the clothing and sizes. First of all, at least when it comes to what they have listed in their plus size section, the size charts are different for each item. When you look at size charts, if you are in the US and not use to the metric system, you will need a centimeter to inches conversion chart. The majority of their measurements are in centimeters, though there are a few items that have both centimeters and inches listed.

As I said previously, they are starting a plus size section. The section currently doesn’t have a lot to select from, just a couple of pages of listings. If you are a size 14W or smaller, you are probably going to fit everything. Alternatively a misses size 16/18. They do have a selection of corsets that will most likely fit an 18W or possibly a 20W depending on your body shape.

Since I originally talked to The Black Ravens, I have seen a couple of items pop up that are more plus size friendly. I wanted to make sure to share those with you first.

Plus Size Sexy Back Ladies Casual Top from The Black Ravens

This laced back tee is now available. It is also available in black, but I really like this gray color because I think the black laces pop against the color. Based on their size chart, this should fit up to a size 18W or 20W. It will depend a bit on your body shape and how you want it to fit.

Plus Size Off-Shoulder Gothic Halter Tee from The Black Ravens

And this Off-Shoulder Halter Tee has just recently been added. You won’t find this one in the plus size listing though, I am sure it is just an over sight. I found it because I saw it in one of their newsletters about new items. But it can also be found by just typing in Plus Size in the search box. This is by far their most generously sized item yet. It should fit around a size 22W or 24W.

Just browsing through what is in the women’s section, I found lots of things I would love to see them add in Plus Sizes. Rather than spending a bunch of time talking about them, I decided to just share the pictures.

 

The Black Ravens do also have a plus size men’s section as well, but I honestly don’t know men’s sizing well enough to tell you if the items run small or not. That section mainly consists of tees and hoodies, but there are a couple of really nice jackets. The straight sizes are very similar, but with the addition of jeans. I think where the men’s section really stands out is their jackets and jewelry. Below are some of my favorites.

 

I can’t wait to see what The Black Ravens add to their plus size line. And again, I encourage all of you who are interested in alternative clothing to reach out to them and express your interest. Let them know the sizes you need and the kind of styles you will buy. If this is something you want to see happen, make your voice heard.

Tell me in the comments below if this is a line you are interested in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I Won’t Be Giving Eloquii A Second Chance

Eloquii purchased by walmart

Several years ago I wrote a mini review of my experience with Eloquii here on the blog. It wasn’t a whole post dedicated to Eloquii, but it was part of a post. It was quite a negative review and I had said at the time I doubted I would shop with them again. To this day it remains one of my most well ranked posts on Google and most visited pages here on the blog.

However, I do realize that given time a company can change. People get fired, new people take their place. Corporations make policy changes. So in three years a lot could have changed with Eloquii. And a few of you have taken the time to reach out to me and ask for me to give it a second chance. Some people were wanting the second chance because of how much they already love the brand, and the rest because you wanted to see a detailed review of the fit. And for the last month or so I had been seriously considering giving it another try.

Obviously by the name of this post, you know something happened to change my feelings on the matter. My guess is by the time you are reading this, many of you will already know what happened. But for those of you who haven’t heard I will share the email that was sent out by Eloquii.

 

Announcement 1

Announcement 2

That is right, Eloquii has been bought by Wal-Mart. If you read my post about why I would no longer be shopping at ModCloth, then you already know how I feel about this topic. But for those of you who haven’t read it, or for whatever reason don’t want to go back and read it, I will summarize here.

Essentially I don’t want to give my money to a corporation that consistently pays their employees less than a livable wage. I have no judgment for anyone who does shop there. I certainly have had lots of times in my life where I had no other option. But at this point in my life I do have options. I may not be rich, but I have enough money to get the things I really need and even if I didn’t I live in a city where there are many options at the same price point or less than Wal-Mart for plus size clothing and anything else I need. So I feel it is important to put my money behind what I believe in, and that is more important to me that picking up a few extra pieces of clothing at cheaper price.

I am sure that there are also a few people out there who are huge fans of Eloquii thinking I am not giving them a fair chance since they have said they are still going to be making their own business decisions. But the great thing about there being so many more places to shop for plus sizes these days is that we can all have the luxury of making decisions where we want to shop. And for me, just the fact that Wal-Mart would be getting even a percentage of my money as the corporate owner is enough for me not to want to shop Eloquii.

I believe in practicing what I preach, and I have from day one on this blog said that I believe equality for one is not equality. So even if this acquisition does make fashion more available to the plus size community, I always have to ask myself if it is worth achieving something by stepping on the backs of someone else to get there. Ultimately I feel if Wal-Marts has so much money to constantly invest in other businesses they should have the money to be paying their workers fair and livable wages first.

If you want more information on the business side of what happened, I highly recommend you read the post “Are you Sitting Down? WalMart to Acquire Eloquii” over on The Curvy Fashionista’s blog.

Tell me in comments what you think about this acquisition? Do you shop Eloquii? Will you continue to shop Eloquii?

Because of the nature of this topic, I ask that if you comment on this post you keep your comments polite. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions here.

 

 

 

 

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My Hair Went Crazy On Vacation, And What I Used To Tame It

The hair products I picked up at Sally Beauty

Right before I went on vacation I got a hair cut and color. This is pretty normal for me, but some different techniques got tried on my hair because I had went to someone new.

If you  follow me on Instagram then you saw this picture posted the day I got it cut.

Newly cut hair

The hairstylist had done a thinning technique with hidden layers. And those layers were not supposed to be noticeable and they were suppose to lay flat under the top layers. But that is not what happened. My hair was actually fine the first few days while I was home and then travelling. Once I got to New Orleans and got rained on my hair freaked out.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in not angry at the stylist. I do wish she had asked me about the layers before doing it. But I think there were a number of factors at play here that played into my hair going crazy like a different humidity level and maybe she isn’t use to cutting mixed girl hair. My hair texture isn’t really like anyone else’s I have ever known. My hair is wavy, with a tendency to frizz. I have learned over the years that intense moisture helps it a lot along with the right hair style.

This is what my hair ended up looking like after it went crazy. (Sorry I don’t have anything closer up to show you of my hair, this is the one and only picture of me that was taken that day. I think everyone will understand I wasn’t exactly in a picture-taking mood)

My hair looking frizzy in New Orleans

So I essentially had to walk around a day with my hair looking like a frizz ball because I did not have anything to fix it. I don’t typically put products in my hair because of my Balsam of Peru contact allergy. And I brought minimalistic amounts of products to wash my hair with on the trip.

So if you saw my vacation look book last week, you know I didn’t walk around with my hair looking this way the whole time. So how did I get my hair to go from this crazy mess to looking like this.

How my hair looked the last day in New Orleans

All I can say is thank goodness for Sally Beauty. I am so thankful that they carry a line of products that I have used for years and I know I am safe using for the most part. There are a few products in the line I can’t use, but overall it’s usually a safe choice for me. And that is the ION brand.

I pulled up Google Maps and found out there were quite a few Sally Beauty Stores in and around the City of New Orleans. One of them was less than a mile away from where we were staying. I was so thankful it was so conveniently close to us. The store itself was quite a bit smaller than my local store, but I still found a couple of products to tame my hair.

The hair products I picked up at Sally Beauty

I found the leave in conditioner I use on a semi-regular basis, and I found a new product I had not seen in my local Sally’s Beauty store. Each store has a slightly different selection of products in stock. Some of it is bases on space available and I am sure some is based on what sells in the area. But of course all products are available online if you can’t find something locally.

So let’s talk about each of the products and why I went with them.

Ion Reparative Leave In Spray availale at Sally Beauty

This is the Ion Reparative Leave In Spray. It is essentially a leave in conditioner with some extra pizzazz. So in addition to making your hair soft it is also supposed to strengthen and improve elasticity.

I have been using this product for close to 15 years now. It works great in my hair. I generally use this just for conditioning purposes, but I have always noticed it helps keep the frizz away a bit. So this was the first thing I picked up when I went in the store.

Ion Luxe Hair & Body OilThe second product I picked up was the Ion Luxe Hair & Body Oil. This is part of a brand new line from Ion, the Ion Luxe line. When I was looking around I didn’t see any of the other products I was familiar, but I saw this and thought  I would give it a try.

This can be used on wet or dry hair, but I used it on dry hair. On Sally’s website it doesn’t say this is for frizz, but you can see in the picture the bottle does. This contains several different types of oil, but the application is that of a dry oil. It definitely did not leave my hair looking greasy and oil like a wet oil would.

Both the Reparative Leave in Hair Spray and Hair & Body Oil do have fragrance. The fragrance mix used in most of Ion’s products do not cause me to have a reaction. However as I have said many times before if you are one of the people who are following me for allergy related issues, then you need to check for yourself. Any fragrance related allergy can be complicated, but a Balsam of Peru allergy is even more so. We all react to different things, so just because I don’t have a reaction to these products doesn’t mean you won’t.

Whether you have allergies or not, no review or recommendation can ever replace trying something out for yourself. So if you would like to try these or other Ion products for yourself, you can find them on the Sally Beauty website, or click here to find the closest Sally Beauty location near you.

Tell me in the comments what you use to help tame the frizz in your hair.

 

 

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Rant: Old Navy Completely Dissed The Plus Size Women Of Kentucky

I was originally working on another post to go up today when I felt the need to write this first. This is something that has happened many times before with other retailers, and I feel very passionately about this topic. So the other post can wait.

You may or may not be aware that Old Navy announced recently they would be adding plus sizes to select stores. That is 75 stores to be exact. Those select stores will now be carrying up to a size 30W in store. I think we all thought this was about time. And I was really excited to hear plus sizes were coming to stores for many reasons. For me personally I seem to be all over the place in their sizing, so I really need to try their clothing on to find a good fit. But I also was excited for the women in my state, many who don’t have disposable money to order something and then it not fit. Old Navy is more on the affordable side, and for women to be able to buy in store is a huge thing in a state where poverty is a huge problem. I had plans on going and getting some things to share with all of you.

Now I don’t know exactly how many stores in total Old Navy has (I read its a 1,000, but I have no confirmation), but I do know that there are a least a few states that don’t have any stores, like Alaska and Idaho. So my initial thought when I heard the news was that obviously some states, bigger states like  California, are going to have more than one location with plus sizes. But aside from that then all states that have a store will get at least one location with plus sizes in the stores, right?

The email announcement that plus size clothing was now in stores went out on the 9-21-18. I didn’t have a chance to look it over for a few days, but did finally make the time to sit down and read my emails. In case you did not get that email or just don’t read your emails, here is what it said:

Your Style. Your size.

When you log on to Old Navy’s website and go to their store locator, there is now a link at the top you can click to see a list of where the stores that carry plus sizes are located. (Just a note: The link that lists where Old Navy is adding plus sizes is working, but Old Navy seem to have take the actual list off of it between the time I started writing this and the day it was scheduled to post. I am not sure  why, but I am leaving the link in case they put the list back.) Obviously, the first thing I did was going to see where my local store was. That is when I realized, oh not every state is getting plus sizes. And I have to admit, I am kind of pissed about it.

old navy disses Kentucky

Here in Kentucky we have one of the highest populations of plus size women per capita, yet we are not getting not even one store with plus sizes. And it’s not just Kentucky they left out. Other states like West Virginia are also getting skipped over. Actually, only 31 states are getting plus sizes. Why?

I’m sure if we asked Old Navy they would respond with some polished bull shit answer like “we analyzed our orders and we felt we had to give the stores in the areas where we receive the most plus size orders the clothing in stores”. I want to be clear, I have not asked them, and as far as I know Old Navy has not said this. But this has happened time and time again to my state when companies choose where to go, what stores to incorporate plus sizes into, etc.. They don’t realize how short-sighted they are being. If your goal is to bring in new sales, you don’t go where you are already making the sale.

Don’t get me wrong, I am really glad Old Navy is finally bringing plus sizes back into stores. I just think if they truly cared about making their clothing more accessible, they would spread their plus size stores out better. The demographic and market is here, they just haven’t been given the opportunity to see what you offer. Not everyone is comfortable ordering online. And even if they are comfortable ordering online, your sizing is just not consistent enough, and dealing with returns eats up time and money.

I’m really tired of companies skipping my state. There is a store the next state over that would be about an hour and a half drive away. And I have driven that far in the past to do a store try on. But that was for a new store with limited locations. So I don’t feel inclined to do that here. Quite honestly I don’t think I will be spending any money at Old Navy till they put plus sizes in a store in my state.

Tell me in the comments if Old Navy skipped over your state, and if so what state are you in?

 

 

 

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Subscription Box Review – Yes! Oh Yas! September 2018

The items included in the Yes! Oh Yas! September 2018 box

It’s that time of year again where I am back to doing subscription box reviews. I wanted to make it a point to start a few weeks earlier this year so you would have plenty of time to plan out any subscriptions you wanted to get for gifts this year.

This year I will trying my best to review subscriptions you haven’t heard about and the ones you are curious about. Today we are starting with a beauty subscription box I recently heard about on Instagram. They only started this year. So I am really excited to share it with you all.

 

Service Name: Yes! Oh Yas!. Today we are looking at what was sent for the month of September 2018.

 

Price: It is $14.99 a month plus $3.99 shipping for US residents.

 

Where Is It Available: It is available to all US residents and to Canadian Residents for an additional $9.50 for shipping.

 

Who To Get It For: Yourself or anyone else that loves makeup. This seems to be a great one for someone who is just starting their makeup collection or someone looking to try indie makeup brands.

 

What You Get: You get three to seven full-sized products every month. (I thought I had read when I signed up that at least one product was guaranteed to be a palette, but it doesn’t seem to say that now. However, looking at previous months and spoilers for future months, it seems to hold true. I guess they just aren’t  guaranteeing it now.)

As a bonus, the website currently says that any one who completes a full years membership with Yes! Oh Yas! will receive a free limited edition box worth $200-$400!

 

Drawbacks: For me there were not any with this box. However, if you like a box that has a mix of items (meaning not just makeup), maybe this would not be the subscription for you.

 

The Details: Your subscription arrives in a bag, at least this months did.

Yes! Oh Yas! Subscription arrives in a bubble mailer

I have seen pictures of previous months where they arrived in boxes, but I think most months they come in a similar bubble mailer bag.

One of the first things you should pull out of the bag is a note card with a list of products included and their prices.

Card with products listed that come in this months Yes! Oh Yas!

As you can see the total value of $119 by their calculations. Now as I am doing a post like this for a Subscription Box Review, I am often going to product pages to link to. And I think their calculations were off a bit. I think this months was actually worth a few dollars more, depending on how you look at it. I will mark the difference by the products as I found them.

This months subscribers received four items. Let’s have a look at what we got.

The items included in the Yes! Oh Yas! September 2018 box

Starting at the top and working downward:

  1. Aesthetica Pro Brush Series – This is a 3-piece eyeliner, brow & spoolie brush set. This sells for $45.00 on Aesthetica’s website.
  2. Chella Matte Lipstick Pencil – This pencil is supposed to last for hours of wear while keeping your lips soft and hydrated. I received mine in the color Naughty Nude. I do not know if everyone received the same color or not. It sells for $18.00 on the Chella website. This was an error on the info card sent which read $20
  3. Glo by Glory Glo Stix Semi-Matte Liquid Lipstick – I received mine in the color Honey Bun, its described as a Mocha Brown Nude. Again I am unsure if everyone received the same color or not. These sell for $18.00 on the Glo by Glory website.
  4. Naked Cosmetics Holographic Highlighter Collection – Six stunning iridescent shades. From rose quartz to ultra-violet, opal to emerald, and sapphire to gold. This palette sells retail for $39.99, but it is currently on sale for $29.99. This was the other item with a price discrepancy from the card. If we go by the original price the box is worth a few dollars more. If we go by the sale price, then its a couple dollars less. I suppose it could have been on sale for the price they listed on the card at the time Yes! Oh Yas! purchased it.

I think I personally am most excited about that highlight palette. But I don’t feel like I got any bad products in this box.

Let me give you a look at the colors of the products, so you can see what they really look like.

Inside the boxes of products I received in the Yes! Oh Yas! subscription

I really like that the palette has a magnetic closure. I don’t have to worry about it staying closed.

Make sure you are following me on Instagram and Facebook as well. I most likely will post some additional pictures there, possibly some swatches.

 

Where To Sign Up: If you are interested in trying this box out for yourself you can sign up on the Yes! Oh Yas! website.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall based on value and what I like I am very pleases with this subscription. I am actually able to use everything that I received, which is kind of rare for me in a subscription box. The value versus what you spend is just phenomenal. I don’t think I have tried any of these brands before, and I really like trying new companies. So I will definitely continue with this one at least for a bit to see how they progress.

 

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this box. Do you think this one will have staying power? Are you considering signing up? And as always let me know what boxes you want to see me review before December. I can do two more than what I currently have planned and I would love to hear your feedback.

 

 

 

 

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Product Review – Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal – Firming & Polishing Body Scrub

Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Body Scrub

If you caught my post titled My First Order From Riley Rose, then you already know that I purchased this Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Firming & Polishing Body Scrub during that order.

Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Body Scrub

In addition to being my first order from Riley Rose, this was my first time trying anything from the brand Vitamin Sea Beauty. And let me just say now, that is a totally cute name for a brand that uses ingredients from the ocean.

So there were a few things that initially interested me in trying this product. I do use a lot of body scrubs, especially in the summer time. They quit making my favorite one, and I had been struggling to find one that didn’t irritate my Balsam of Peru contact allergy. I usually, not always just usually, have good success with product contain kelp. The same really goes for charcoal. I didn’t see anything that stood out in the ingredient list that would trigger a reaction other than fragrance, and fragrance can mean a lot of things. I don’t react to all types of fragrance. So I felt pretty confident that this might work for me going in.

As you can see on the label this body scrub boasts a few claims. Here is what it says it will do:

  • Scrubs away dry skin
  • Smoothes knees and elbows
  • Clears blackheads
  • Perks up skin

I think the name also implies that it will have some firming properties.

What I personally am looking for in a body scrub. I need something that is moisturizing for my dry skin and that can exfoliate gently, but deeply. I need little to no fragrance, and I am always looking for something that doesn’t contain an ingredient that I will react to. I use scrubs year round on my legs after I shave or wax, and under my breast. You all know that area under your breast where you sweat and if you don’t exfoliate you start to get a rash. I increase my use in the summer because of heat and the an increase in shaving and waxing. I don’t typically get a lot of blackheads on my face, but I do get them on my shoulders, so if it works for that its kind of a bonus.

First let’s take a look at the actual product.

Inside the jar of Vitamin Sea Kelp and Charcoal Body Scrub

This was obviously taken after I had already used out of the jar a couple of time, but it doesn’t really change what you are able to see. You can see the charcoal bits in there if you look close. They have been milled pretty finely, so no big harsh pieces.

A bit of the Vitamin Sea body scrub on my finger

I wanted to get a bit on my finger for a close up so you could get a better idea of this products texture. It’s not like the typical salt or sugar body scrub where it’s really grainy surrounded by liquids. This has almost the consistency of a body butter with the scrub aspect from the charcoal in it. It’s unlike anything I have every personally tried. Even with this picture being so close up you can barely see the bits of charcoal because of how finely milled it is.

I have now used this product for about four weeks. And I use it four times a week approximately. I just leave it in the shower so it is convenient to use when I want. I even packed some in a travel jar when I went on vacation.

I have not had any allergic reactions to the product, which I am really happy about. Of course I am not using it near my face where most of my reactions happen, however I have had reactions in the past to products that got nowhere near my face. The fragrance is super subtle, and it does not linger on the skin after you use it. It smell a bit like the beach after a storm if you have ever been there for that. Definitely not like fake ocean scented candles or perfume, but more fresh and clean. It’s a bit hard to explain beyond that or maybe I am just really bad at describing scents.

I was exceptionally happy with how well it worked at exfoliating under the breast area without feeling harsh. I also think it does a decent job at exfoliating the places I shave. I don’t think it does quite as well as my past favorite I am trying to replace, but this comes closer than anything else I have every tried. As for blackheads, I noticed it does clear out any that are closer to the surface, but any that are a little deeper it doesn’t really touch. I really don’t think I see any difference in the firmness of my skin, but I also don’t think that I have very much skin that isn’t firm in areas I would use this body scrub.

Overall I am really happy with the Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Body Scrub. I most likely will be repurchasing this in the future. If you are interested in trying this for yourself then or trying other products from this brand you can find them on the Riley Rose website as well as Vitamin Sea Beauty’s website.

Tell me in the comments if you have tried any of the products from Vitamin Sea Beauty and what you thought of them.

 

 



 

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What I Wore On Vacation – A Plus Size Look Book

Vacation was a bit of a struggle, and I didn’t get as many pictures taken as I had intended, but I did get did get some pictures of a few outfits. So I put a plus size vacation clothing look book together for you. Not everything is going to still be available from the original seller, but we will talk about that more as we come to it.

Our trip included stops in the following:

  • Wattsville, Alabama
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Orange Beach, Alabama
  • Helen, Georgia

So I tried to pack a wardrobe that was stylish, comfortable, and cool. I included a couple of nicer outfits for dinner at nicer restaurants we had planned. But overwhelmingly I packed clothing that would keep me cool because everyone kept telling me how hot it was going to be. Ironically, as it turned, it was hotter where I live than at any of the place we visited. But I am still happy with what I packed.

Torrid dress paired with Propet Sandals and Multi Sac HandbagThis was from the first full day I was in New Orleans. It’s also probably the most put together I looked during my whole trip at any of the stops we made. I mean I actually did my hair this day, and my accessories go with my outfit. On vacation for me that is my typical, but this vacation was anything but typical.

The dress is from Torrid. It is their Olive V-Neck Tiered Challis Mini Dress. That particular dress is not available at the moment, but you never know with Torrid. They often bring items back. Or alternatively they do have similar items. Currently the dress closest in style to what I am wearing is their Olive Tie Sleeve Gauze Skater Dress. But there is only a few sizes left online as I type this, so if you want it grab it before its gone. My dress is a size 2, which is pretty much my standard size at Torrid in most things.

The shoes are the Propet Women’s Aurora Wedge Sandal in Olive. This is the same shoe I showed in my last Amazon Prime Wardrobe Try On, just in a different color option. This shoe is very comfortable and comes in a wide range of sizes and widths.

The purse is from Multi Sac Handbags, it is one of the purses they sent me last year. If you want to hear know more about why I like Multi Sac and how I ended up with them sending me some purses, you can read about it in the Giveaway I did with Multisac last year. This bag I have here is their Lorraine Crossbody in two-tone vinyl(faux leather). This color combo is Pony and Coffee. I can’t find this color on their website, so I linked to the black version. But you can most likely find this color combo in one of the stores they sell in.

Asos dress with Avenue shoes and Multisac handba

One of the last days we were in New Orleans we took a bus tour and then walked through the Market. So I made sure to wear something breezy and comfortable.

This dress is from ASOS Curve, but I didn’t buy it from ASOS. I had seen it on their website some time ago and they were already sold out of anything close to my size. I ended up finding it on Poshmark last fall, and I bought it to wear this summer. I have talked about Poshmark here on the blog before, I really think it’s a great way to find deals and items you missed out on when they were in the store. I typically size down to an 18 at ASOS, but I asked a few questions from the seller and found out this ran a bit small. The one I am wearing is a size 22. It was a bit big and I probably would have been okay with a 20, but I think this worked well enough.

I both sell and buy on Poshmark as do a lot of bloggers. If you want to check out what I have up for sale on my Poshmark closet you can click here, or it is always linked in the main menu at the top of every page. You can find a lot of great deals, and some not so great deals, on a wide variety of brands including ASOS Curve (This link should take you to all the ASOS Curve available on Poshmark). Most items are either new or gently used. If you don’t already have an account on Poshmark, then by using this link you can get a $5 off your first purchase. If it asks you for a code use KARENMSMITH77.

With the dress I have paired with it the same handbag as above. My shoes are from the Avenue. They are their Farrah Braided Gladiator Wedge Sandal. They come in two colors, black or brown. They are on clearance now, and not many sizes left, but if they have your size these are selling for a steal. To finish it off I have on a pair of 50mm silver hoop earrings.

City Chic Maxi Dress

This was taken at our last stop in Helen, Georgia. So it was kind of backlit and my husband forgot to put the backlighting setting on, but I thought the picture looked kind of cool anyway. So I decided to share my picture but I will also share the stock photo below so you can see the details of the print.

City Chic Hidden Foliage Dress

This is a City Chic dress. It is their Hidden Foliage Maxi Dress. This style of dress comes in several patterns, but this particular one is currently on clearance and all sizes seem to be available. If you like the style but think you would prefer a different pattern they also have the Wild Flower Maxi Dress, the Electric Rose Maxi Dress, and the Wild Jungle Maxi Dress.

I didn’t really add anything other than shoes to this dress. The day that I wore this we were mainly out taking some short walks around a lake and grabbing lunch at a small store. Not really the kind of area or kind of activities you get really dressed up for. The shoes I have on were super comfortable, like straight out of the box they were comfortable. They are also from the Avenue. It is their Fran Braided Slingback Wedge Sandal in Bronze. It is also available in black, but since this shoe is on clearance sizes are limited as I am writing this.

If you see this and think I was stuck on dresses and cold shoulders, you’re not entirely wrong. But I did have more variety than this in my wardrobe, however my energy and a lot of rain conspired against me when it came to taking pictures of those other outfits. I do feel though that these three outfits give a good overview of my vacation style. And really I think I always love dresses and cold shoulders.

Tell me in the comments what your vacation style is.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Sheet Masks I Took With Me On Vacation – Week Four August 2018

Sheet masks,I packed for vacation in week four

For the fourth and final week of August I was on vacation. I have been struggling with my health for a while, and just packing was a bit of an ordeal. So I decided to pack a little different from typical for me, and that included my skin care.

Sheet masks,I packed for vacation in week four

I decided the best strategy for me was to pack what was going to be both most compact and easiest to make sure I had everything. So I went with a selection of 3 in 1 masks to take with me. I did take a few more than I needed. I needed enough for a week and three days, I probably took enough for almost two weeks. I liked the idea of having options.

Two of the masks I already had in my collection, I believe they came in one of the many beauty subscription boxes I have tried. The rest I ordered off of Amazon in order to receive them in time for the trip.

Starting from the top left, I already had this one. It is the 3 Step Goat Whitening and Fine Dust Protector Cellulose Mask from Xaivita+ Dr.. It is available on Amazon in a ten piece set. In this one you get an ampoule (essentially a toner), a mask, and a cream. This is also available on Beauteque, which is, most likely where mine came from.

 


Top middle I already had as well. It is a two in one mask from Wellage, specifically their Vitablue Injection Mask. It comes with an ampoule and a sheet mask. I got mine in a subscription box, though I do not remember which one. I have linked to Amazon because once again that is the only place I see them currently available out of the places I buy from.

 

Top right I purchased on Amazon. It is the Mediheal 3 Step R:NA Toning Sheet Mask Pack. It is available for purchase as a single or in a ten piece set. This set includes a pre-moistened cleansing gauze, a sheet mask, and a face cream. I did not see this one available at any of my other usual places to buy sheet masks.

 


Bottom left is a box of ten I bought on Amazon. It is the Americano 3-Step Facial Sheet from Skin7Teen. This set says it includes 1 toner and 1 ampoule, though I think they are essentially the same thing. And of course it includes a sheet mask. The toner and ampoule are for different areas of your face, so this can be very customizable. I personally did not use them in the spots the directions said because my oily areas and my dry areas are different from typically talked about. I have not seen this mask anywhere else I shop, though I think Beauteque sometimes has this brand.

 


And finally bottom right we have the last set I bought on Amazon. Each of the masks are different, but all are from the same brand. This is the Missha 3-Step Sheet Mask Set. You get five different masks with the set. You get one each of Brightening, Hydrating, Lifting, Nutrition, and Purifying. Just as the masks are different, what comes with them is too. Some of them have Peeling Gel Cleanser, a Toner, and a Sheet Mask. And the rest come with a Toner, a Sheet Mask, and a Face Cream. You can purchase these individually on YesStyle, but it is a much better value to purchase these in a set.

 

In addition to the sheet masks I took, I also had with me some items to supplement my skin care routine. I took mainly sample sizes along with a couple of travel size items. I took about four sample size packets of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser along with my Clarisonic Mia 2. Each packet of the cleanser is good for about 4 to 6 face washes. I typically use this with my Clarisonic for both cleansing and exfoliation in the shower a few times a week. But I used it for cleaning my face both morning and night, with and without the Clarisonic on this trip.

I also brought with me the Innerskin Soothing Cleansing Water H2O for both a second cleanser and easy makeup removal. And for a moisturizer I brought a travel size of Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator. Both of these are fragrance free and pretty easy to find year round in a travel size if you are looking for fragrance free travel products, or just fragrance free products in general.

Tell me in the comments what products you like to travel with for skin care. Do you have any good tips for saving space?

 

 

Save Extra 10% OFF First Orders Over US$35!

 

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Update & What’s Coming For September And October

Most of you know I have been away on vacation, and the last few posts were pre-scheduled to post while I was gone. I simultaneously was, and still am, dealing with some extra health issues. I still don’t have answers about everything regarding my health, but I will cover that more fully in another post soon.

My last post that went up was the summary of what sheet masks I used in the third week of August. I will have a week four posted soon, but it will be quite different. Rather than my typical day to day post of what I used, I will instead be sharing en mass what masks I got specifically to take with me for travel. If you want to see specific sheet masks I used the rest of the month you can find those in my Instagram feed.

This past month was a personal challenge to help jump start getting my skin care back on track. I may occasionally do a monthly personal challenge again that I share. But most months I think I will be doing about half of the sheet masks I used last month. So rather than sharing a weekly summary I will be doing a monthly summary.

Just like my travel has sort inspired a travel related skin care post, I will have quite a few travel centric post including a post about some of the outfits I took with me and some ways to make life easier if you are traveling with health issue. I have been toying around for the last couple of years with the idea of adding a travel section to the blog, and I am pretty sure I will be doing that now. But I would love to hear any feed back you may have about that.

I am working with my doctors, and while it is taking longer than hoped to feel better, I still have hope that I will be back to my regular energy levels soon. I did take this past week off with no posts scheduled. This post will start me back to the posting schedule I have been using the last couple of months, which ends being about one and a half posts a week. I am super hopeful that by October to be back up to two posts a week. So I am hoping to be able to have time to work some product reviews in as well.

I also am already gearing up for the Holiday season in a way. One of the things I do every year here on the blog is review subscription boxes. I usually start in late September/early October and go till a couple of weeks before Christmas. I love subscription boxes and I think that they make great gifts, especially for people who are into something maybe you don’t know much about or anyone who just loves getting surprises. I have already got a  couple of new ones planned, but I would also love to hear if any of you want a review of one specifically. So tell me in the comments what subscription box you want to see reviewed this year.

 

 

 

 

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