I don’t claim to be a makeup artist or cosmetologist, I just really love makeup. And I like supporting companies that actually make products I can use with my allergy that is still a good product. Thankfully I am not as limited on makeup as I am on skincare, but there are still a number of brands I can’t use. So I don’t plan on reinventing the wheel with my makeup look posts, and I will be linking to some YouTube videos when I feel they are more explanatory than I can be or if they can show the product better than I am able.
Just a brief side note: Some items talked about in this post may be in the upcoming giveaway.
I recently had a girls day with some friends, and per usual I got made up for my day out. I decided to wear a great new dress I had got from ModCloth (which I am sure I will do a post about soon) in a beautiful aqua green color. Along with it I had the perfect necklace and earrings from Bella Jack that is ocean themed. So I really wanted to do my makeup in something that felt appropriately matching. And here is what the overall look came to be:
I then cover my entire eye lid with Ulta’s Eyeshadow in Bone. This color is very close to my skin color and I used it strictly for a base/blending shade.
Next I used Starry Eyed and Pegasus from Makeup Geek’s Foiled Eyeshadow collection. Starry Eyed was applied in the center of each lid and Pegasus was applied to each corner of the eye. Then they were carefully blended together. If you haven’t had a chance to use these foiled shadows, you must give them a try. I feel my camera washes the color out a bit, so I want to let you see a couple of videos to see swatches of all the great colors available. And who better to show it than my fave Vlogger Vintageortacky.
Video of the Original shades
Video of the newest shades
I then used my Physician’s Formula Eye Definer Automatic Eye Pencil to do a subtle reverse cat eye.
And I finished my eyes with Clinique’s High Impact Curling Mascara. Do not confuse this one with just the High Impact Mascara, they are different. The High Impact Curling Mascara is a tubing mascara and will not smudge. It only comes off with really warm water and a cloth. It gives you the look of wearing false lashes with just one application of mascara.
I then gently swept a little of Dim Light from Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Palette all over my face.
I then used Geek Chic Cosmetics Doll Cheeks as a contour and PB for Blush.
Finally I went back to my Ambient Lighting Palette to get Incadescent Light to highlight with.
And the final step to make everything complete is the lipstick. For this I used my Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu.
So I want to hear from you. Have you tried any of these products? If so what did you think? Do you have a favorite indie brand cosmetic company that everyone should know about? If you could pick one item to be in the giveaway that I used in this look, what would it be?
This was a super easy and comfortable outfit to throw on for just going over to a friends house for a game night. There is a couple of things I really love about this top. Firs the fabric. I usually try and go for stretchy fabrics to get a comfortable fit, especially if its going to hang down over my hips. I am between an hourglass and pear shape, so my hips are on the wider side and its often hard to find fabrics that are going to comfortably fit both my top and my hips. However City Chic has managed to shape this top so perfectly. And I am also so in love with the print because I whole heartedly admit I am a crazy cat lady. Here is a close up of the top so you can see the print better.
I am wearing a Large or 20 in the top, which is my usual size. I also wear a 20 at Torrid and Lane Bryant for comparison. This top does run true to size
And my crop jeans are a perfect fit. They are the exclusively curvy fit from Ariya Jeans. They are designed lower in the front and have a contoured waistband so there is no gap in the back. I had picked them up at a discount store and was unfamiliar with them previously. The fit for me was great, and I actually had to size down to an 18. I liked to the companies website above, but there isn’t much information available there. So if you want more information on these jeans you can go here for more information where you might be able to buy this brand as well as information on the company.
No matter what your age is, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is take care of your skin. It is after all your bodies biggest organ. Skin care has always been one of my biggest challenges. Earlier this month I shared with you my Contact Allergy To Balsam of Peru, and some of the ways it effects me.
While my allergy affects almost every aspect of my life, it truly makes skincare the hardest. It is so hard to find things that are both for sensitive skin and fragrance free. Over the years I have come to find a routine that works for me. I do occasionally try new products, but most don’t make the cut. However I will be reviewing some thing I tried this recently towards the end of the month. But for now, here are the things I use on the regular that I feel really work for me, and I would fully recommend to anyone else.
With my allergic contact dermatitis, one of the biggest symptoms that happens is I have an over abundance of scaly plaque that build up on certain areas of my face, so exfoliation is extremely important. One of the best daily use face scrubs I have found is Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. It has a nice amount of the fine beads in it to give a full on scrub, but not so much that it is harsh or irritating.
And when I am looking for a more intense exfoliation, which is usually a couple times a week, I incorporate my Clarasonic Mia 2.
I have for a long time preferred a foaming cleanser. And for quite a few years now my cleanser of choice has been AVEENO ULTRA-CALMING Foaming Cleanser. I will occasionally try something else, sometimes because I want to and sometimes from necessity, but none have been able to compete yet.
I put this as a moisturizer, because it is and that is how its used, but it so much more that that. In addition to moisturizing it also has a cooling sensation and it has a slight green tint to it to help with hiding any redness that you may not want seen. It is really great for that. I have been using Clinique’s Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream for a few years now, and its a little miracle in a jar for me.
In addition to redness I sometimes develop a buildup of plaque on my skin. What I have found most helpful to rid myself of this is using Capri Clear Coconut Oil Spray. (if you visit the link the bottle will look different as they have recently changed designs) I like this one in particular because it comes in an easy to use spray bottle and there is no added fragrances. When I feel I need to use it, I just put some on my face before bed. I make sure to concentrate on the areas where the plaque is the worst, and I just sleep with it on. Of course there many other uses for coconut oil, one look at Pinterest and you could find hundreds, but this is the main way I use it.
Sun protection is so important. I think this is probably one of the easiest things for everyone to forget or even think that you don’t need because its cloudy. Because of my mixed heritage I use to be one of those people that never burned, so I never much thought about sunscreen. I use to stay out in the sun a lot, and unlike now my skin use to stay a lot darker. People that didn’t know me back then probably would not recognize me because of how dark I was. After I had to start being on a lot of medication I learned the hard way they came with some nasty side effects centered around the sun. One of which led me to getting First Degree burns from the sun on a cloudy day. If you are going to be out in the sun put your sunscreen on. My favorite by far is AVEENO HYDROSPORT Wet Skin Spray Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 30. The spray bottle makes it easy to use even for those times when you are alone. So no need to ask a stranger to rub sunscreen on you. And it still works if you spray it on when you are already wet.
Lets admit it, at some point or another we have all done it, we have went to bed with our makeup on. But its one of the worst things you can do to your skin. So I always try to keep on hand some makeup remover wipes. I love these Almay oil free gentle eye makeup remover pads. They are small and fit perfectly over your eye, and even with my sensitive skin has never irritated it.
So what are your favorite skin care products? Is there something you think I should try? If you have a recommendation for me, please keep in mind I can not use scented items. I would love to hear what works for all of you. Have your tried what I use? if so, what do you think of them?
I actively read many other plus size fashion blogs and participate in several body positivity groups on Facebook. I post a lot on Pinterest almost daily. And I try to stay up to date on the various offerings available at the majority of plus size retailers. So when I miss something I am usually surprised. But then there are moments like this when I am not so much surprised as confused.
You see about a month ago I started seeing this dress pop up on Pinterest and people searching for it in various Facebook groups.
People were saying they wanted the dress but Lane Bryant was currently sold out of their size. And to this day if you go to the link one of the patterns is showing still available in a 14/16W. As you can see here.
But they didn’t have the size I need. So I decided to call their phone line and see if they could help me find it in a local store. When I spoke to one of the customer service representatives they said they could look the dress up by the item# and track it from there. So I gave them the number listed on their website, which I was promptly told did not exist. Really???? How does that happen? I am sitting here looking at it on your website Lane Bryant. So I described the dress to them, and was told it didn’t even sound familiar. But they were willing to check with the local stores and see if they had anything that sounded familiar.
They checked and were told they did have two of the colors in stock at one of my local stores. So great, I had them hold one for me and then made my way to the store the next day. As I enter the store I see another peasant dress in a similar color as one of the options for the one I had been looking for. As soon as I saw it I knew what had happened, they had mistaken that dress for the one I was looking for.
So I decided to talk to the ladies that work in the store and show them the pictures on Pinterest and see if I just missed this dress or what. But even the ladies that had worked there for years did not remember ever seeing the dress. They said that it wasn’t a dress they remember from the last couple of years either.
So, does anyone know what’s up with this dress? When was it out? Was it available in the stores? Or was it online only? Or is Lane Bryant just messing with all of us ladies that would like to have this dress? Because till last month I had never heard or seen this dress before.
So if you caught my recent post Plus Size Steampunk Fashion – Or How I Became A Unicorn Queen you know the pictures unfortunately didn’t turn out the best. (I most likely will at some point be getting a better camera). However I did take a few face close ups, and I did crop one picture for a better view, so that hopefully you guys can see at least some of the makeup I will be describing. I will be doing some more makeup looks using some of these products during this month so this won’t be your only chance to see them. And as a bit of a teaser/something to look forward to, some of the items I talk about in this post will be in the upcoming giveaway at the end of this month.
I think the biggest challenges of capturing this look with my camera was the bright lighting against the very light colors. So I am also going to show you color swatches from the makeup companies as well. I will only be covering the actual makeup and application in this post and not the skin prep, as that will be covered in a different post.
If you remember this is how I looked at the con. Lets just start with the general face makeup and I will put up a more close up pictures when we are ready to cover the eye makeup.
I already normally stay pretty pale, but since this was for a steampunk look I wanted to go slightly paler. I took my normal foundation Physician’s Formula Super CC Cream in Light
I really love the color of this blush, but in this particular case I did not use it as I typically would blush. Instead I used it more like you would a contour powder on the cheek area, simply by placing it a little lower than where you would normally for a blush. Now I know you are probably thinking this isn’t really the right color for a contour powder. And that’s where things get a little more complicated. First of all, the color in person is a little darker than it reads in the picture. Second, the undertones in my skin makes it really hard for me to use 90% of most contouring products or even bronzers. Instead of having the desired effects with those products I usually end up looking dirty instead. Where the majority of people seem to have red or blue undertones in their skin, I have yellow to olive. And perhaps if I lived in a larger city where they carried more options for me to experiment with I would find the right thing, but until then I find that blushes like these can work for me. (Though there are some new things you may see some posts about soon.) And third, I blended something over the blush.
I just gently dabbed it on all over the face with the sponge applicator that came with it. It is semi sheer, but can be layered on for a thicker full white look if that is what you want. That was not the effect I was going for though, so I just did one light layer.
Just like with Manic Panic, this company also sells through Amazon if its more convenient for you. I applied this with a small blush brush to the center of my forehead, right above my cheek bones, the tip of my nose, and the center of my chin.
I then began working on my eyes. Now if you happen to be a beginner or have an unsteady hand or just in general worry about fallout, you may want to do this in reverse order. Here is a more close up look at my eyes
Again, unfortunately not the best picture, but you can at least see the color in this one.
If you haven’t had a chance to use their primer its a little different than most eye primers. It is very thick and verges on being solid till your body heat warms it up a bit. It kind of reminds me of a solid perfume in the way that its made, but its not scented. I will be honest here and say the this is not my favorite type of primer. That being said, it is a good primer and is perfect for using with loose pigments, anything with heavy glitter or sparkles.
I used this almost like a second primer. It is very close to my skin tone, and I wanted to make sure I had something under the loose pigment shadow I was going to use to help with smoothing and blending.
This product was applied to the brow bone using a small eye shadow brush and Manic Panic’s Glam Glue. Now if you go to their website, you will see a product that looks a little different. That’s because the one I have is an older version of this product and used the picture of the one I have because I think it shows the product better. If for some reason you want the older version, you can still find them on eBay, but probably not for long.
One of the things I love about MAC’s Matte Lipsticks is their staying power. I did not use any sort of lip primer or foundation under it. And I only had to reapply my lipstick one time the whole day, and that was right after lunch.
Since my skin is not especially oily, I did not use a finishing spray. My makeup stayed all day.
Let me know what you think either here or on Facebook. Since I will be doing at a least a few more makeup looks this month for the blog, let me know what you want to see. And I promise better pictures next time. But seriously, do you guys want to see everyday looks, more costume looks, etc…? I am up for anything.
What to look for soon on the blog…
My daily skincare routine.
An outfit post with ModCloth
Lets talk embarrassing health care questions for plus size ladies, I know you got them.
Over the last few years I have fallen increasing in love with Steampunk. For those of you not in the know, Steampunk is first and foremost a sci-fi sub-genre that is a imagining of what life would be like if the steam engine had taken over the world and stuck. There is a high emphasis with many enthusiast on fashion and costuming, as well as props and working mechanical contraptions.
I have always been a bit of a self proclaimed geek who enjoyed sci-fi heavy on technology, so when you give me a genre that also incorporates fabulous fashions and artistic expressions I go all out. If you follow me on Pinterest then you know that I have several boards dedicated to Steampunk.
This past weekend I went to my first ever Steampunk Con, The International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its an event that last for several days, however I was there for Saturday only. It was such a great experience I am already planning on going for the whole thing next year, as well as possibly a day or two of another one.
Before going, I of course planned out my costume. In the world of steampunk, you can be almost anything you can imagine, as long as you conform it fit the few guidelines to dressing steampunk. Like many things though, it is harder to find plus size items, and it often means a heftier price tag. But with a bit of imagination, craftiness, and willingness to put some time into bargain hunting you can cosplay a steampunk character with the best of them without breaking the bank. After a couple of funny conversations with some friends online, I chose to do a Unicorn Queen costume for the sake of an inside joke.
First lets talk about where everything came from.
The skirt was one of my Christmas gifts from my husband this year. It is the Victorian Bustle Skirt from Hips & Curves. It is also available in a black and white stripe pattern. Both options are available in 1X to 4X. Mine is a 3X, and I typically wear a 2X with most things at Hips & Curves, so you might want to size. I did order by the size chart on this one, so you should be good if you go by your measurements.
The top is the Prudence Top from Spin Doctor, and I purchased it from a Canadian store called Sweet Echo. I am wearing a 3X, as Spin Doctor fits more like a junior plus brand. For me, while in most traditional plus size companies I wear a 20W or a 2X, with Spin Doctor I wear a 3X if it is very stretchy or 4X if it has little to no stretch. There are even some items I can’t wear at all, as 4X is the largest size they offer.
The waist cincher is a custom made item purchased on Etsy, from a shop called Gone Away Designs. She has several waist cinchers as well as skirts that are fitting steampunk designs. There doesn’t seem to be any extra charge for larger sizes. And she is willing to customize, she did for me. Since mine was strictly for costume I wanted something that was going to be comfortable for the day as well as easy to take on and off as needed. So she made the front with a hook and eye closure for just a few dollars more.
The fascinator is also a custom buy from an Etsy shop called the Black Unicorn Shop. It is the same as the one pictured in the shops banner, but with a couple of slight modifications. This shop is located in Europe, so if you purchase from them, make sure you allow enough time for shipping when buying for an event.
Both my necklace and my scepter were custom designs from another Etsy seller called DR. Brassy’s Steampunk. My first purchase was the necklace, which is a part of her Trademarked Sightmares collection. Each Sightmares piece is custom made and unique. And as much as I loved the pieces in the pictures, they are even more fantastic in person. I decided to custom order a scepter shaped like a unicorn horn with a matching Sightmares eye. Here are a couple of pictures so you can see the detail more thoroughly.
Custom Sightmares Pocket Watch Necklace
Custom Unicorn Horn Scepter With Sightmares Eye
Unicorn Horn Scepter – View From The End
All I can say is these are the work of a true artist, and I love everything about them. I will definitely be buying from Dr. Brassy’s Steampunk again in the future. Be sure to read up a bit on Dr. Brassy’s business as it in itself is interesting. And if you decide to buy from the shop, make sure to tell her I sent you.
The one thing that I am wearing that you can’t really see in the pictures is my shoes. When choosing shoes I had two issues I tried to keep in mind. First I have a lot of back and feet pain due to some of chronic pain conditions I have, so I needed something comfortable. I also have a foot that verges on being in wide widths depending on the brand, and unfortunately a lot of Victorian/Steampunk looking styles seem to run narrow. While I wanted to keep my cost down for my costume I decided my shoes were the one area I felt it was okay to really go ahead and splurge more than I had planned, and my feet thanked me for it. While I still had some soreness after it was all said and done, I know it could have been much worse. I ended up going with this pair of Hush Puppy Booties. I wish I could direct everyone to a place to purchase them, but I had to special order them from the UK even when I got them.
Hush Puppies Victorian Style Booties
Of course I didn’t go alone. I went with one of my besties Jenny, who you have seen before as well as our husbands. Jenny wore a Tribal style costume, which is also one of the accepted styles of dress for Steampunk.
We had a great time together tooling around the convention.
I also want to share with you some of the other great people and fashion I saw at the Steampunk Symposium
This lovely lady pictures with my friend Jenny is former news writer, turned Steampunk writer, Emily P. Bush. You can check out her bio on Amazon.
Then there was this fantastic costume:
I was suppose to get back with this lady and trade information, so if anyone that was at the con recognizes her, message me with her contact info or have her contact me. I want to give her the proper credit for her awesome costuming skills.
Another impressive costume as well as a just lovely lady to speak to:
I wish my pictures had turned out better of this one. I am not really sure what happened with them, but it looks like I had some interference going on when I took these. But this ladies name is Helena and she is a costume designer. She makes custom and original pieces for all sizes. You can check out her store the Kinki Kitty.
And by far one of the most awe striking costumes I saw was this:
It wasn’t just the costume, it was the makeup. Yes folks that is makeup. As she walked near it looked like she was wearing a mask, but then she spoke and you knew it was makeup. And her hair, which turned out to be a fantastic wig with intricately woven in lace and lights, as seen here:
The entire look was absolute perfection. Her name is Madame Dowd, and she is a costume designer. If you are interested in purchasing one of her custom costumes or accessories you can visit her Etsy shop the Boutique of Curiosity.
Now if you are wondering what actually happens at a Steampunk Con, here are a few details and pictures to help you out.
We had a tea:
There was men parading around for the Beard and Mustache competition:
And there was Tribal/Belly Dancing:
All this long with much, much more. And one of the best things is there were all types of people of all shapes and sizes and colors and ages. And everyone is okay with that. If you would like to join us next year you can sign up here.