We are officially in full swing of the Holiday Season now, and both November and December are going to be packed full of all sorts of good things. I have a lot of things on both my personal calendar as well as a lot of topics I want to cover on the blog.
First I want to take a minute to remind everyone in the US to vote on Tuesday, November 6. I’m not going to lecture you on who and what I think you should vote for, that should be a personal decision. Many times we feel like we have no voice or no say in how our country is run. Voting is your chance to make your voice heard and effect real change in our country. So no matter what your political views or which candidate you support, PLEASE VOTE!
On a personal note, November is a big birthday month in my group of people. Me, my husband, and a few of my friends all have birthdays during the month of November. So needless to say there is a lot of parties going on in November. And of course we can’t forget the biggest party of them all in November, Thanksgiving. So the month should be filled with friends and family, and I hope it is for all of you too.
Something you may not know about me is that I really am into being a Scorpio. Not in the sense of reading my horoscope all the time, but I have always love my astrological symbols and I have found the description of Scorpios accurate to me. Don’t be surprised if some related things pop up on the blog and my social media this November.
Of course my subscription box reviews will continue through November and on into December. I have been starting out slow but will be ramping up through November. Speaking of reviews, I will be getting back to my Shampoo and Conditioner Reviews in November. Since I was unable to do them for a few months, I have decided to continue doing these reviews on through 2019.
In December there will be a bit of a theme implemented in a lot of the posts you see here on the blog, and most likely the ones you see on social media as well. I will be talking a lot about giving, whether that be gift giving or giving of your time and so on. There may even be a surprise where I give to you, my readers, so make sure you are following me everywhere. If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen that I purchased and beauty advent calendar. I will be opening that on Instagram in December. If anyone is interested in finding out where they can still get a beauty advent calendar in the US, let me know in the comments and I can try to get a post together for that.
And of course most of us will be busy with Christmas at the end of December. I will be spending a couple of days with my family at Christmas time. And then as is my tradition I will be taking a some time off from the blog after Christmas and will be back with you in the second week of January. I will be posting on social media some at that time, so not a total vacation.
It is time for another subscription box review. Today we will be looking at the Mask Mistress box. It is a newer sheet mask subscription box. This will most likely be the last beauty related subscription box review for the year, everything else will be in other categories unless something arrives as PR to review.
If you haven’t seen it already, make sure to check out the last subscription box review of Macy’s Beauty Box. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.
Service Name: Mask Mistress (This is from NY KBeauy, but they have more than one subscription box you can get.)
Price: $14.99 a month plus shipping. I do believe the shipping cost is the same for everyone, at least everyone in the US, as they ship in a priority box. I paid $7.55 for shipping.
Where Is It Available: This box ships worldwide.
Who To Get It For: Anyone, including yourself, who loves skin care. Especially for those who love sheet mask, K beauty in specific.
What You Get: You are to get 10 Korean sheet masks every month. (They don’t specifically say that you get extras, but as you will see there were some bonus items sent with my package.)
Drawbacks: I didn’t feel like there were a lot of drawbacks for me, but I can see a couple of things that might be for some people. If you are looking for a mask subscription filled with things that you can then easily pick up at your local Ulta, Sephora, or other US retailer that carries sheet masks if you like them, this may not be the subscription for you. Also if you are looking for a customized mask experience based on your skin type, this isn’t going to be it, you will find a more general use types of masks in this subscription.
The Details: At least for right now this subscription arrives in a priority mail box.
This isn’t uncommon for newer boxes, so don’t be surprised if this changes later on. But do keep in mind that once subscription boxes start paying for their own printed boxes, while they may be cute, that often runs the price of the subscription up. (Side note: Before I get concerned emails: no, that isn’t my home address showing on that package. It’s a mailbox that anyone can find on my blog contact page.)
When I got the box open, this is how everything came out. Everything was wrapped up in this pink tissue paper with Korean writing on it. And one of the bonus items was at the bottom semi wrapped in the paper. A thank you sticker was holding it all closed.
Now lets take a closer look at the individual items sent. As always I will link to any of the items I find for sale individually in case you are interested in purchasing an item rather than the subscription. This box did not have a detail card with prices of the products, so there really isn’t anything to compare it to on that end.
This is a Honey Lip Mask from Choosy. I looked for this everywhere I shop, the only place that I could find them to purchase was at Amazon, and so that is where I have linked to. On Amazon a 5 pack sells for $14.99 with free prime shipping. But I will say that if you can find them somewhere else, they will probably be cheaper. This brand is sold at essentially a Korean dollar store, ant they cost about a dollar or less in Korea. In fact the one sent to me still had a sticker on it with the price. It had 1000 Korean won. Converted, that equals to 88 cents in the US.
This is a Lemon Slice Mask from Kocostar. Again, the only place I could find this currently in stock was on Amazon. There you can buy a two pack for $7.22. From what little I know about this brand, the price seems accurate.
We received a second slice mask in this months Mask Mistress box. This time it is a Tomato Slice Mask from Kocostar. And as you might have already guessed, I could only find this in stock on Amazon. There you will find a two pack for $7.00.
This is the Extreme Cream Mask from Real Barrier. YesStyle has this mask available in three options, a pack of one, five or ten. One sells for $4.41, but if you are going for the ten pack it is cheaper to purchase over on Amazon.
So this mask has very little English on the packaging, but it did have enough to be able to search for it. The name on the back says this is ON: The Body X KAKAO Friends. There is a picture on the front that indicates this is for moisture. I searched all of the places I was comfortable recommending purchasing from and I was unable to find this mask.
This is the Lavina Green Tea Essence Mask. I could not find this mask on any of my trusted sites either.
We have a second Mamonde Flower Lab Essence Mask in the October Mask Mistress subscription box. This time the mask is Rose Moisturizing. This sheet mask, like the other one from this brand, is also available on both YesStyle and Amazon. On YesStyle you can purchase it individually for $3.51 each, and that is what I have linked to above. But you actually get your best value for this mask on Amazon where you can buy a five pack for just $11.00.
Because I couldn’t find a couple of the masks, and we have no book guide from NY KBeauty telling us the value of the mask, this will just be my best guess or a rough estimate of what I think this bag is worth had you bought all of these masks individually. I am not including any value on the samples sent because I don’t know if that is a regular occurrence and even if it is, this is supposed to be a sheet mask box. With that being said, my best estimate is this boxes value is $44.00.
Where To Sign Up: The Mask Mistress subscription is powered by Cratejoy, so you can find it along with many other subscription services on Cratejoy’s Website.
FinalThoughts: I think this box is a pretty decent value for this month. You are suppose to get ten masks, and they actually sent twelve. In what was sent there were three masks that I can’t use because of my allergy, but that is pretty typical from any mask subscription I have tried. And since they sent two extra masks, I can’t be too mad about it. I was exceptionally happy that there was only one mask in the whole pack that I had tried before, the whole point of getting a mask subscription for me is trying new things.
OtherSubscriptions Of Interest: I am adding this as a new section to these subscription box reviews. I am limited on how many I can do each year due to time and finances. I try to balance out what I review with what I am interested in enough to spend money on with what I think the majority of people might be interested in reading about. I am sure that the things I pick don’t suit everyone’s budget or needs, so I thought I would start adding a few recommendations of alternatives you might want to try if the one I review isn’t quite right for you.
So here are some similar subscriptions that may be of interest.
I recently posted about Curve Girl and told you all I had placed an order. My order has arrived (technically two orders, but I just wanted to make sure I had a good variety to show you), and today I am sharing with you what I ordered and how the process went.
As I told you in my previous post, Curve Girl offers two ways to order their clothing. You can purchase their predetermined sizes, they offer sizes M and go up to a 10X. (From the time I originally talked to the company they have raised their available sizes twice. The originally offered up to a 5X.) They also offer free customization where they make the clothing to your measurements. With the exception of pants, I feel I usually can purchase sizes comfortably off the rack at most stores based on their size charts. But because I am looking out for what most of you need, I thought trying out their customization would be good. As a side note, a friend commented on the last post that she has already ordered from their pre-sized items and was very happy with what she received.
Their customization chart works a little differently than other places you may have tried. The biggest difference I think is they don’t ask for as much detail as I am use to. I did send a suggestion on something I would like to see added for the pants and shorts category. And if you order from them or see them as a company you would like to keep around, I suggest you communicate any improvements you would like to see as well.
The other big difference about Curve Girl’s customization chart is their measurement offerings. Not every measurement is available. When you’re looking to customize you will find it on each individual product page. Right below the add to bag button you will see a link to click on that says “CUSTOMIZE FOR FREE”. When you click on that the customization chart will pop up.
So lets say you have a waist measurement of 45″. With the other companies I have tried you would type in 45″, but with Curve Girl you have a list to choose from and some of the measurements are skipped. You can see what I am talking about in the picture above. If this is concerning for you, I have seen posted on their website that you can also send your exact measurements to their customer support.
One more thing to note about the size chart is there is a section that can be a bit confusing. Where it says “LENGTH OF DRESS”, that is really where you need to choose your height.
Overall, the ordering process was pretty simple. And delivery was pretty prompt too. They say items are delivered in 5 to 8 days business days. That seems pretty accurate for both of my orders. In total counting the weekends both were delivered in under two weeks from the time I ordered. Shipping is $5.00 flat for the US and $10.00 for everywhere else. You can expedite to a guaranteed 5 days for an extra $20.00. If you order over $50 and are in the US you get free shipping.
I ordered seven items in total. With what I ordered I got a mix of a couple of things I think are amazing, a few things that I have mixed feelings on, and couple of things that I think are really bad. So with that being said let’s get on to what you all really came for, the clothes. We will start with the best and work our way day to the worst.
This is the Taupe Spherical Pattern Lace Dress. This is one of the two items that I purchased that I think is pretty much perfection. This dress sells for $34.99 on the Curve Girl website. I picked this item out because I liked how unique the patterns on the dress are. This is one of the two items I wasn’t just happy with, I am beyond impressed. This dress fits so perfectly. It looks just like the picture and description led me to believe it would. I am extremely happy with this dress and would recommend it to others.
This is the Off Shoulder Rib Bodysuit Top. This bodysuit sells for $24.99. I have included an extra picture of this bodysuit, so you can see the whole item. It is very high cut on the leg, but most modern bodysuits seem to be. My jeans I have paired with the bodysuit are a pair of Jeggings from Torrid.
I felt like this fit me perfectly. I often have a hard time finding bodysuit that fit me right and that I can button on my own. This bodysuit I was able to easily button my own, and alternatively can easily step in an out of without trouble. The fabric is what I would consider to be a quality fabric. The only improvement I think that could be made is possibly adding some elastic around the shoulders and/or back so it can stay up easier. But Hollywood tape can easily keep it up as is.
Now lets take a look at those in between products. The problems that make them less than perfect really vary, and some I will still wear and some I won’t. But we will take a look at each piece individually and I will explain what is going on with each one so that you can decide if it is something you want to order.
This is their Flower In The Garden Flared Dress in Gray. This dress sells for $39.99 and comes in five color option. Though each is listed separately, and if you want to see all of the color options click here. This dress has a lot going for and just a couple of things that throws it off for me.
Here are the positives as I see them. First, I love the design aesthetic. It really looks great in every color they offer and I had a hard time deciding which to get. I ultimately went with the gray because it is what my husband likes. It does button down the front of the chest, and typically that is a huge no for me and most girls with larger chests. But they did provide a really wide modesty panel under the buttons. So no matter if it does gap no one will see anything. And this dress has pockets. Typically I am not a fan of pockets on dresses because they usually poke out and make me look even more hippier than I am. But this one was actually placed in a way that does not do that to me, so I find it delightful for a change.
So what could possibly be wrong with dress? Well unfortunately, if you notice the placement of the embroidered rings on my sleeves, they are right at the largest part of my arms. And between the fabric not having stretch and the embroidery restricting the fabric, it made it tight right there. I will say that after a bit of wear it did relax a bit and didn’t feel quite so tight. If your arms are any larger than mine, this is one you will need to skip. The other thing is that you can obviously see it is wrinkled. This fabric is the type that just has to either be ironed or steamed, or something. I prefer something more low maintenance.
But overall I think the issues are small enough that this dress will be sticking around, at least for a while.
This is the Slip On Sleeveless Comfort Maxi Dress. This dress sells for $24.99 and you have 12 color options. I chose to get the color they showed the model in, which is lilac. Unlike the last dress, different colors are not on different pages. You can customize this dresses color on the page. It is made from a Rayon Lycra fabric, and I have noticed th most of the item made from this sort of material is also customizable on Curve Girl.
I do think the dress looks different in person than it does in their pictures. The pictures on the model is of a dress I would wear out anywhere. This dress as it is, I would probably only wear out to hang out at friends houses or to run a quick errand like the post office.
The dress definitely fits. I don’t think they got my measurements wrong. It is longer than I would like, but I think I was thrown off by the fact that the model is wearing heels. It is very comfortable, sort of like a lot of the maxis that are made for sleeping in. I wish that I had ordered a different color because I think I may have liked this more in a darker color.
On Curve Girl’s website they call this the Ivory Hourglass Romper, but like the maxi dress it is in that Rayon Lycra fabric and is available in twelve different colors. The color I am showing here is wine. It sells for $34.99.
So for this one, by their standards it fits me. However, since they do not measure for the rise, I had the same problem I have with 95% of the jumpsuits I have ever tried and it feels like it is trying to give me a frontal wedgie. Because of this it also looks nothing like the one they have on the model, even though we have similar body types. I also don’t know what the deal is with the legs. On the model they are showing the legs being more fitted till you get to the bottom, but on me they look like they are wide legs.
While overall this doesn’t look too horrible, it doesn’t look good either. But beyond that I would not wear this item at all. With this it’s not just about the way it looks either, it’s really physically uncomfortable. But if you are the sort that never has a problem fitting in a jumpsuit, then you probably won’t have a problem with these either. And I do think the color
So finally lets talk about the couple of items that were complete fails for me, and I don’t think I could recommend them to anyone.
This is Curve Girl’s Sailor Pants. They sell for $17.99. I think this is the item I am most disappointed about. I am simultaneously impressed by the design and disappointed that it did not work for me. I did not try to send this back because by all accounts the measurements were right, that was not the issue. The fabric was the real issue for me, but I will go into that more in a bit.
First I want to talk about the actual design of these pants and why I think it’s so impressive. First I would say that I have a hard time finding this style of pants without it being high-waisted, which never works for me. So to find sailor pants that aren’t high-waisted, I was ecstatic. It closes with the buttons on both sides, so there is like a flap in the front. I have never seen pants designed like these. Not only are they unique, but I think the way they are designed to button it is better for even distribution of stretching of the fabric.
So the problem comes in with the fabric. The fabric clings in the thigh area and causes the pants to ride up in a way that usually on shorts do, so that is different. It has a lot of stretch, like way more stretch than your average pair of pants. Since this was made to my measurements they did not fit tight enough on my body, and it seems to be one of those types of materials that doesn’t retain its shape through the day. I am considering reordering this item, but not doing custom sizing and possibly sizing down one or two sizes to see if that fixes the problem. If that happens I will make sure to include it in a future blog post.
I saved this items for very last because it comes with a bit of a story. I ordered the Asian Inspired Brocade Shorts, which don’t seem to be offered anymore. I tried them on and this is what I got.
Not the best picture, but I wanted to show you this from the side where it zipped so you can see it wouldn’t even get close enough to zip. The fabric was very nice and I thought length was good, and other than it not being wide enough in the waist and hips.
But Curve Girl guarantees their products. So I sent an email to them and let them know the problem. They just asked that I that I send some pictures back highlighting the problem and a picture of the item with a measuring tape laid across it. So I sent the picture posted above and this one.
They responded back with a prepaid shipping label. And they told me once they had the notice it shipped back that they would remake the shorts and get them sent back to me immediately.
It arrived around the same amount of time as the first order. However, it still didn’t fit right, as you can see below.
This time it actually went on, but it was a bit big in the waist, which didn’t actually go anywhere near my waist. The legs much longer on this pair, and they don’t even seem to be the same length. There was also an issue with the fit across the low hips that was creating the weird creasing in the lower tummy area and crotch.
Now I am sure that if I had contacted Curve Girl with the issue for this second pair of shorts they would have tried to fix them again. However, if you are a loyal reader of the blog, you know that I was very sick most of the spring and through the summer and into the beginning of fall. Honestly I have only recently started feeling better. I was sick still when I went on my vacation at the end of August. The package with these arrived about a week before I left for vacation. I really was struggling with just having enough energy to pack and do basic life things, I couldn’t get motivated to take this picture and deal with emailing and packing it up to ship out. And I honestly ran out of time. So while this a flub, I think based on the first issue they would have fixed it.
Well that was the last of the items. There were hits, there were misses, and items in between. For me I think there are enough good items to want to keep giving them more chances. I mean their price point is incredible. So at least for now, when they are just in the beginning stages, I am definitely willing to give them some wiggle room to grow. I may try another jumpsuit in a different fabric at some point to see if that will make a difference for me. But I will be avoiding pants and shorts for a little while. for a little while. I might revisit that in another six months or so.
Tell me in the comments what you thought. Will you be giving Curve Girl a try? Is there something on their site you want me to try that I haven’t yet?
I have another subscription box review for you. If you missed the last subscription box review, we took a look at the new beauty box Yes! Oh Yas!. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.
For this review we are going to take a look at two moths from a box at once. We will be looking at the Macy’s Beauty Box for the months of September and October of 2018. I wanted to take a look at both months at once because by all accounts everyone has said that the September box was unusual for this subscription.
Price: $15 a month and no charge for shipping (You do get a Macy’s coupon in the box each month that does help offset the cost a bit)
Where Is It Available: Direct quote from Macy’s website:
Macy’s Beauty Box is currently only available in the 48 contiguous United States. We cannot ship to PO Boxes, APO/FPO/GPO address, Hawaii, Alaska or U.S. Territories at this time.
Who To Get It For: This box doesn’t really offer gift subscriptions, but you could order it for someone else with a bit of finagling. You can also get the box for yourself. This box is best for someone who prefers a skin care heavy box and enjoys trying more high-end products. While any age can use it, it does appear the majority products are more targeted towards women 40 and over.
What You Get: Each month you are to receive five deluxe sample sizes(meaning no packet size samples), a bonus item (this could be a packet sample or perfume but usually a perfume), a collectible cosmetics bag, and a coupon to use on beauty products at Macy’s.
Drawbacks: If you don’t like getting mostly skin care in your subscription, this probably won’t be for you. Also, if you are not really a Macy’s shopper the advantage of the coupon that comes with this subscription is probably not going to actually make it worth it to you.
The Details: Every month your order arrives in a Macy’s box. It’s the same kind of box any other Macy’s order arrives in.
When you open the box you will find your bag for the month and small brochure that has all the info on what you received.
The above picture shows how the bag from September came out of the box. The brochure for this box posts spoilers on the front, so if you are the type that likes to be surprised as you take your items out, you might want to avoid the brochure until you are done.
Inside the brochure you will find a list of the products you received. They also tell the price of the full size version. And inside the brochure is where your coupon for the month is located. (Just a side note about the coupons, they are usually $5, but sometimes they send out $10 coupons. You have about two months to use them. And you are not required to spend a certain amount. The only requirement is it be on a beauty purchase)
Now lets take a look at each of the months individually and what came with it, starting with September.
In the background you can see the bag unrolled. It was quite large, and the first thing that was unusual about this month. It is a drawstring gym bag I think. Most of these bags have a theme, and this months was all related to things you use pre and post workout. Inside this months brochure was a $10 coupon. Here is what is in the bag from left to right:
Donna Karen Cashmere Mist Deodorant – The full size which is 1.7 oz sells for $27. What you receive in the box is the mini size, which is 1 oz.. From what I can tell, you can purchase the mini size on its own. You can get it in a 3-Piece set. I estimate the value to be about $15.89 for this size.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap – The full size is 16 fluid oz. and sells for $11. What was sent in the box is 2 oz. and can not be purchased at Macy’s. I estimate the value for this size to be $1.38.
Yuni Shower Sheets – A 12 pack is the only thing available on Macy’s website. There seems to be a discrepancy between what the brochure says the price is, and what it is on their website. The brochure says $22, and the website says $15. We only received one in the box and I am estimating the value based on the price listed on the website. I estimate it to be $1.25.
Sunday Riley Good Genes – This is available in two sizes on Macy’s Website, so I have linked to the search page that shows both. In the brochure they have the 1 oz, size listed, and that sells for $105. The size received inside the box was .17 oz., and I estimate the value to be $17.85.
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balm in Super Strawberry – A full size of this product is .1 oz. and sells for $18.50. The mini size that is sent in this box .04 oz. You can’t buy this on its own at the moment, but I believe there have been times you could at Sephora. You can get it in set, but that is it. I estimate the value to be $7.40.
Bonus Items: So it says you get one bonus item, but the couple of months I have gotten this, we received two. It has been fragrances both time, and each time they sent both a woman’s and a man’s from the same brand. This month it was from Jimmy Choo. The woman’s fragrance was Jimmy Choo Fever and the man’s fragrance was Jimmy Choo Man Blue.
My personal thoughts on this months bag is that, overall as a theme and the bag that was sent, it’s not what I like. There were some products I am happy to try. I had been wanting to try the Sunday Riley Good Genes, but finding it hard to bite the bullet and buy it without trying first. And the Yuni Shower Sheets seem like a good thing to me. I definitely have uses, just not for the gym. I do like Chubby Sticks, but this color and one other seems to be the only thing they put in sets, so I already have a bunch of this same color. I most likely will pass it on to someone or put it in a giveaway. Same pretty much goes for the bag and the rest of the products.
Now lets take a look at what arrived in the October box:
October’s theme is all about the eyes, and I think the products make more sense in this box. Not that the previous months didn’t make sense to the theme, but this one you just don’t have to think nearly as hard about it. The makeup bag has a set of lashes on one side, and on the other side it says All About The Eyes. This months brochure included a $5 coupon to use. Now lets take a look at the products received, going left to right:
Bareminerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer – The full size sells for $19. There doesn’t seem to be any information on how many ounces of product you get in a full size, so I can’t really calculate an estimated value for the sample. However, I can tell you the sample size is .05 oz.
philosophy Purity Made Simple Eye Gel – The full size is .5 oz and sells for $24. This is another item that I am relatively certain I have seen available for sale in the mini size at Sephora on occasion. The mini that was sent is .1 oz. and I estimate the value to be $4.80.
My personal thoughts on this months is slightly more complicated that the box for September. I love the bag that was sent. And overall, I think I will at least try most of the products. I thought it was nice there was a full size product included, and its price alone is more than the box itself. But there isn’t really anything in the box I felt excited about. I don’t hate the box, but I’m not ecstatic either.
Where To Sign Up: If you are interested in trying this box out for yourself you can sign up on Macy’s Website in the Beauty Section.
FinalThoughts: I have one more month coming for this box. I generally like to try boxes for three months before I make a final decision about keeping it or not. Honestly, I have already cancelled this one, but maybe next months will be so amazing it will change my mind about keeping it. I personally would have liked to seen an even split on makeup and skin care in this type of box.
Tell me in the comments below what you think about this box. Do you get this box?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dark Moon Phase Gothic Dress
Black Mesh A-Line Lolita Princess Dress
Summer Punk Plaid Mini Skirt
Punk Black Cute Dress Of Death
Starry Unicorn Dreaming Punk Shirt
Gothic Cat Eyes Print Sleeveless Dress
Gothic Bow Collar A-Line Dress
Punk Girl’s Armor Tee
Ladies Vintage Black Lace Up Skirt
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.
Men’s Thick Leather And Suede Fleece Jacket
Cool Casual Military Men’s Jacket
Awesome Men’s Black And Gold Evil Rings
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.