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:
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
From left to right: Chi, Mali, Dalia, and Zola
From left to right: Makeda, Zobo, Calabar, and Bori
From left to right: Giza, Burkina, Cairo, and Ada.
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.
Something I have talked about here on the blog a lot is my Balsam of Peru allergy and how it affects me as a contact allergen. What I have not talked about as much is that for me, and a lot of people with this allergy, it also causes reactions from various foods. This can be for two reason, just the same as with the contact allergy, the plant can be used as an additive (either as a flavoring or preservative) or I can react to the many foods that are chemical twins. To make choosing food even more difficult for me, I by choice follow a pescatarian diet.
Sometimes finding food to eat really can be a challenge. What is even more challenging is having food with other people, especially if other people also have food issues and dietary restrictions. So what do you do? Well now there is an app that is here to help. The app is called Selectivor and you can download it for free on IOS or Android in the App Store. If for some reason you do not want to download the app, you can access a web-based app to use. Look for this symbol for the Selectivor App.
According to Selectivor’s description they are “a social food app designed to be a better way to eat together”. The simplified versions of what that means is that you can make lists of your allergies, food restrictions, diets, and any foods you just don’t like. From there you can meal plan and invite others to plan meals with you.
So who is this app meant for? Well pretty much everyone and anyone. But it will be most helpful to people who have food allergies or sensitivities, and those who have dietary restrictions (either by choice or lifestyle necessity). It could also be helpful for people who have friends and family that have food restrictions that they dine with often or wish to dine with more often. I also think there are some other great uses for this app, but I will talk about that more towards the end. Lets take a look at some of the basic functions of the app and my experience with it first.
Once you sign up for an account/log in, the first step will be creating your food profile. The app opens to this page:
This is your dashboard, and the app always opens to this page first. As you can see this is the main page that will have links to all the things you can do in the app. From here you can edit your profile, add people, create events, etc… I think the app is pretty user-friendly and self-explanatory in how to use it. As I said the first step will be creating your food profile so for the most of this post we are going to focus mainly on just that.
First you will want to click on “FOOD PROFILE” button near the top that I have circled in the picture. Filling out your food profile is a three page process. Lets start with the first page.
One page one they ask your diets, foods you are allergic to, and anything you avoid eating. You can see I have already filled in Pescatarian under diet.
If you scroll further down
You see the list of foods I avoid (not finished with my list, still working on that). Now you may be wondering why I made this list but didn’t put anything in the allergy box since I do have an allergy. My allergy as I have said before is very complicated, and not everyone reacts to the same things or in the same way. I have been dealing with my allergy for years, and I am pretty well versed in what causes me to react.
They do have an option for Balsam of Peru Allergy, but its more of a long list of possible things that can cause reactions. So for me picking individual items seems like a better way to go. But going with the pre-made list will be a really great option for anyone that is maybe newly diagnosed or perhaps having a hard time figuring out what is causing them to react.
You can see in the image above that “Balsam of Peru and food that may cross react with BOP” pops up as an option with just the first few letters typed in. Of course Balsam of Peru is not the only option. The Selectivor App will let you choose lots of various foods, diets, and allergies. Some of the options for diets and allergies are Kosher, Low Carb, FODMAP, Nut Allergy, and Shellfish Allergy. There are many more options and the list is growing. However, because they are still growing and developing the app, there may be things missing from the lists. But don’t worry, they have a solution for that too. If you look at the second photo up, you will see that at the bottom of my food list there is a link that says “I Don’t See What I Am Looking For”.
If you click that link a box like this pops up. From here you can make the suggestion to add anything you can’t find. So far in my experience they are quite responsive and quick to research and add what is needed.
When I first talked to the people at Selectivor about reviewing their app, they did not have Balsam of Peru listed. They had it added within a couple of days after we talked. Once I started playing with the app I noticed there were something missing from the list that I react to, so I submitted using this form on the app. Again it was taken care of within two days. I am sure there will be some variation in response time when there are higher volumes of people accessing the app and making requests. But so far I have no complaints in their responsiveness.
Once you have finished filling out the first page and submitting anything you need added through the suggestion box you will hit the next button.
On page two there isn’t a lot to fill out for me. This page should be slightly different for everyone. You can see they just offered me a suggestion based on one of my choices. I did not add the suggestion because I don’t react to everything with carbonation. After you make your decisions on any suggestion you want to add or not add, you will then hit next.
And here on the third and final page you should have a review of your choices. If everything looks right you will simply hit the button that says “That looks correct”. That is all there is to creating your food profile. It is unbelievably easy to do.
Once your food profile is complete you can share it several way. You can use Facebook, Whatsapp, or by a link that you can paste anywhere. And as mentioned earlier you also have the option of directly inviting people to the App. When you share your link, people do still have to sign up for an account to view it. During my time testing out the app this has been the only hindrance I have come across. The function part works fine, however getting others to download the app was a struggle. I think between just being busy and not being motivated by an allergy of their own, it was a hard task to get some to download the app. So meal planning with others hasn’t really happened for me yet. I have suggested they look at a way to share food lists to Facebook event pages so that people who don’t want to download the app can still access it. They said they will be looking into this as an option, but this might be a bit of time away.
But even if you are like me and can’t get anyone else to download the app I still think I see a valuable use for this app. For some allergies and diets, like mine that are more complicated there are long lists of foods to memorize that you can’t have. It can be very overwhelming, and to date there hasn’t really been a website created with an empirical list of foods you should avoid if you have a Balsam of Peru allergy. So having an app on your phone that is easy to access, that is so valuable right there. People who are newly diagnosed often feel lost and don’t know what to eat. This app can be a real life saver and time saver for them.
If you have any sort of food restrictions because of allergy or diet, I highly recommend that you check out Selectivor. You can also check out their companion website for special information and tips on dealing with food allergies. And because they are new and still growing, I really encourage to reach out to them with any feedback you have and let them know of any foods or diets that need to be added to the list.
Let me know in the comments below if you plan on trying this app out.
This post was sponsored by Selectivor. However all opinions and thoughts about the product are my own. I was only asked to share the product with my viewers, and any thoughts shared beyond that are of my choice.
I am sure at this point that if you use Amazon, or maybe even if you don’t, you have at least heard about Amazon Prime. And the majority probably know at least the basics of what you get with it. But for anyone who is not familiar some of the more popular features are:
Prime Delivery – FREE Two-Day Shipping
Prime Video – Stream thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost
Kindle First – Choose one Kindle book of the six Picks each month for free
Prime Reading – Enjoy unlimited reading on any device
And they have so much more. For a complete list of what you get with Amazon Prime, you can view that here.
It seems like Amazon is constantly adding new features for their members, and surprisingly not raising the price of membership. If you are not already a prime member, Amazon’s latest announcement of what they will be offering soon should have you running to sign up if you are a plus size woman. Coming soon is Amazon Wardrobe, where you try before you buy and free easy returns. Currently it is still in the beta stage and by invitation only, but you can sign up to be notified when it goes live.
It will work very much like many of the online styling boxes, except you will be the one picking what you try, and there is no extra cost over your prime membership. Here is how it is going to work.
Pick three or more items from across clothing shoes and accessories.
You have a seven day try on period to find the best fit at home.
Only pay for the items you keep, and return using the free label and box provided.
As someone who hasn’t had great success with those subscription styling boxes, I can’t wait to see how this service plays out with Amazon. I really think its a must have for plus size women because of the doubt it removes in the purchasing process. No longer do you have to worry about sizing being wrong on Amazon and the difficulty of trying to return it. What a relief it will be to so many people. I do hope that name brands will be included, but only time will tell.
Tell me in the comments what you think about this new benefit from Amazon Prime. Will you be using the service? Has this convinced you to sign up for Prime?
I have another hidden gem of Amazon to share with you today. Today I am sharing a tee with you, which I don’t think I have done before in this series. We will be looking at the Stripes And Floral Print 3/4 Sleeve Tee. In addition to this link to the seller I have purchased from I will also be linking to a couple of other sellers that carry the same tee, as this particular seller has sold out of quite a few options. Plus some of the other sellers have different color options available as well.
For sizing reference, I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″ And I wear a 40DDD bra.
The seller I bought from is Suoozy. This tee comes in sizes Small to XX-Large, and the seller I bought from offers five color options. But, like I said earlier, this particular seller is sold out of some sizes and colors. The sizing the seller has posted is:
BUST WAIST LENGTH
S Relax Relax Front
36.2′( 92cm) 33′( 84cm) 26.8′(68cm)
The color I am wearing is just referred to as black. I have it in a size XX-Large. The listing says, “NOTE: The size is a little smaller than standard us size. Please choose one size larger if you want slightly loose fit.” The largest size they have is the XX-Large, and so I could not have sized up if I wanted to. But based on the measurements I thought it should still work on me. For most tops, unless it is specifically meant to have a very loose look, I prefer something that is a little more fitted.
So I went ahead and took the chance on the XX-Large size. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the fit was rally good for me. It was quite comfortable, and it still has some extra room to stretch.
My one and only complaint with this shirt was the neckline felt a little high for me. It was okay as long as I had it in place, but if it shifted at all it rubbed my neck. This is probably not going to be a big issue for most people, but my neck area is just very sensitive due to my fibromyalgia.
I have found two other sellers that have this t-shirt. You can get it from Romacci, and you can get it from Dearlovers.
Today we continue with another giftable product review. We are looking at the Sterling Stackable Ring and Birth Stone Ring Set from Southern Stamped Jewelry Company. Southern Stamped Jewelry did send me items for free to review. The Stackable Ring and Birthstone Set was what they let me choose, so that is what I will be reviewing. They did however send along another surprise item that I will be sharing with you, but not reviewing it.
First let me start by telling you a little bit about Southern Stamped Jewelry and what they offer. They are a small business run by a husband and wife team. Something that grew from a hobby and a passion for helping people through the grieving process. Now their selection has broadened to many categories as well as custom-made pieces.
Southern Stamped Jewelry Company offers both women’s and men’s pieces. There is something that will fit in everyone’s gift budget. All of their products are made to be personalized, either by stamping or adding birthstones and many pieces are both. They also do custom pieces, so if you don’t see exactly what you want they can make it for you.
My package arrived in a small poly mailer. Inside it was nicely wrapped in bubble wrap and tissue paper. Also in the package, they included two of these anti-tarnish silver polishing clothes, one for each item they sent.
I am not sure what they send if your item is a different metal. They do seem to have a variety of metal options.
After I got the tissue paper completely unwrapped, I found both items in cute little drawstring bags.
I personally prefer boxes or the little silk bags, just because it adds to the element of surprise when getting an item. That is just a personal preference and doesn’t really affect the actual items, nor would it prevent me from shopping with them. But I thought it was a nice touch that their company logo was printed on the bag. I think it adds to the idea of I picked out something nice for you from a jewelry company, rather than if the bags had been plain.
So I opened up the rings first to look them over since they were what I picked out.
I was initially attracted to this set because it is a ring set, and most of you probably know by now that I do love rings. I also liked the simple design, which tends to be more of my taste. I really like that they can be worn together or separate, and they could easily be stacked with other rings.
When I told the owners what items I liked, I included a few additional pieces of info. I just let them know my ring size, that both mine and my husbands birthdays were in November, and that I would want my husband’s name on the one ring. Now you could have your own name inscribed. I thought that if you got two it would make an adorable choice for “Best Friends” jewelry. You could also have MOM inscribed on it. The possibilities are endless.
The rings fit fantastic. They are available in 4 to 10, but not half sizes. I asked for an 8. I technically wear a 7.5, but I have found that my hands swell a lot because of medications I am on, so I wanted to size up. So it worked out okay for me that they didn’t have half sizes, but if it is something that is absolutely necessary for you its something to keep in mind. But I think my fellow plus size gals will be happy to see they offer up to size 10, as they are not always available past size 8 with some stores. So definite bonus points for that.
Obviously this would be more of a gift for a mother in law, or possibly mother of the groom as a wedding party gift. If you have a larger budget for gifts you can even take items like this and tie them in with the bow as part of the wrapping.