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Tag Archives: Amazon

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Product Review – Free & Clear Shampoo And Conditioner

Free and Clear Shampoo, Medicated Shampoo, and Conditioner

As the title says this is a review for the Free & Clear Shampoo And Conditioner. This is the third in a series of shampoo and conditioner reviews. Make sure to check out my last review on the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing 3-Piece Starter Kit.

This took me a little longer to review as I initially started off with just the original Shampoo and Conditioner which I purchased on Amazon. However, shortly after starting to use this shampoo and conditioner I was walking through my local Walgreens and I noticed they have this line store. And, in addition to the Shampoo and Conditioner I had already purchased, they also had a Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. So I purchased that shampoo and decided to include it in this review.

 

My Hair And Scalp Type

(notice this section will be in every shampoo and conditioner review for reference. This is for convenience so you do not have to look back at earlier posts)

My hair is very thick and coarse. It tends to be very dry, and can turn brittle if I wash it too often or don’t condition it enough. But my hair is reasonably healthy outside of that, as I do not use heat on it very often and I try to take care of it to the best of my ability.

My scalp goes back and forth between dry and oily depending on the time of the year and the products I have used. My biggest struggle with my scalp is from the allergic contact dermatitis caused by my allergy to Balsam of Peru. This causes a dry, scaly, itchy coverage on the scalp that looks a lot like dandruff. I have never been able to get it fully cleared up on my scalp. At its worst, when I have a reaction to something, it also burns and can blister.

 

The Product

Free and Clear Shampoo, Medicated Shampoo, and Conditioner

These are all from the Free & Clear hair care line. As previously mentioned, two of these were purchased on Amazon and one from Walgreen’s. All my product links will be to Amazon because they offer it at a slightly better price.

This brand offers many other personal care and household products. Description from the brand:

Free & Clear shampoo has been specially created for persons who wish to avoid common chemical irritants found in most ordinary skin and hair care products. It is free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, protein, parabens, formaldehyde, and other preservatives.

  • Sulfate-free

  • Betaine-free

  • Gluten-free

Both the original Shampoo and Conditioner come in a 12 fl. oz. size. The Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is available in an 8 fl. oz. size.

 

How It Performed

I had very different experiences with each of these products. I don’t want to lump them all together, so lets talk about each product separately.

I tried the original Shampoo first. And while I think its great that it doesn’t have any fragrance, that was where my love for this shampoo stopped. I suppose it did the job of cleaning, but if anything it did it too well. It seemed to strip my hair from any and all moisture it had. It left my hair feeling very brittle and even after using conditioner my hair was a tangled mess. I can’t feasibly see myself using this again.

So after using the original Shampoo a couple of times I moved on to the Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. This was somewhat better on my hair, but not by much. It seemed like it was slightly less drying, but overall I just didn’t see the benefit of it.

The conditioner I used with both shampoos. This had quite the opposite effect for me. I think I need some pretty concentrated conditioner at times because of my hair type. And with as much as the shampoos seemed to dry my hair out more than usual, you would think I would need something even stronger than the norm. And this was a highly moisturizing shampoo, just a little too much. I never thought I would fins a conditioner than I thought over did it on my hair, but this conditioner from Free & Clear left my hair feeling like a greasy mess. I can’t even imagine who would be able to use this conditioner. It certainly wouldn’t be anyone with thin hair or with my dryness or less.

The Allergy Effect

When it comes to how my allergy behaved with these, I think I went in with high expectations because they are fragrance free. Though, if you have read anything about the Balsam of Peru allergy, then you know that it’s not your typical fragrance allergy. You can react to lots of things.

Both the original shampoo and the conditioner, I don’t believe I had any sort of reaction to it. However my breakout I already had, it didn’t let it clear up either. And I think that as much as the shampoo dried me out, even if the skin on my scalp would have gotten better it would have had flakes from dryness regardless.

And with the Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, I actually think I had an allergic reaction. I am not sure to what. I can just tell you that within a few minutes of using it my scalp was very itchy. I had double the flakes. It just all around was not good for me. I do think its worth giving a try though if you have a different fragrance allergy than me.

 

Final Thoughts

If you have read this all the way through, you probably already know my thoughts are not favorable on these products from Free & Clear. I am sure that these would work for someone out there, I just don’t know who. I think even if I had not had the allergic reaction to the medicated shampoo or if any of them had helped clear up my scalp, I still could not have gotten past the feeling that it was damaging my hair.

 

I would love to hear in the comments if any of you have tried this brand before and if you like it. Have you tried any of the other products? If so do they perform better than the shampoos and conditioner?

 

Shop Snarky Tea Today!

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Product Review: Vibranelle Advanced Liver Support

Open bottle and pills from Vibranelle Advanced Liver Support

This is a sponsored post. As always my opinions are my own and all reviews are 100% honest and based on my own experiences.

Vibranelle (previously known as Nutrivee) recently reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try one of their products for free in exchange for an honest review. They actually had several products I was interested in trying, but I decided to go with the Advanced Liver Support. It is a Natural Detox and Cleanse. That is a cleanse in the traditional sense. But we will discuss that more in a little bit.

 

Vibranelle Advanced Liver Support

The offer was kind of great timing for me. If you have been following me for a while you know  that I have a lot of health issues, and as I said in my last post I have not been feeling well,  like more than normal for me.  And just a couple days before I got the companies email I had been thinking its time for me to do my yearly cleanse.

Every year I try some sort of cleanse for my health. And when I say cleanse, I mean in the traditional sense of the word. Cleanses are meant to help clear out toxins from your system. Some people have misused the term over the years and now many people think of it as a way to lose weight. The truth is that you are unlikely to lose anything other than water weight when doing a cleanse.

I have done cleanses before that target the liver, but I have never tried one in pill form. I was really quite interested to see what sort of results I would get by using the Vibranelle Advanced Liver Support. Their products are all available through their Amazon store. And since they have Prime shipping, that means you can get your product quickly.

Each bottle contains 60 capsules. Assuming you are going to take the pills by direction, then one bottle will last you 20 days. That is just three pills a day. The formula comes in a vegetable capsule, which is what I really prefer because they are easier for the body to digest.

Open bottle and pills from Vibranelle Advanced Liver Support

I am obviously no doctor, so I can’t tell you who this is right for and who it isn’t right for. I can only tell you why I chose to take the Advanced Liver Support supplement and what I experienced as a result. And you have already heard the why, so lets talk about the results.

I would say the first five days or so I didn’t really see any signs of anything happening. Around the sixth day I started seeing some subtle things happen, at that time it was so subtle and minute that I wasn’t really sure yet that it was a result from taking the Advanced Liver Support supplement. I just noticed I wasn’t having so much indigestion and slightly less of a bloated feeling than I had been having.

It was around the 11th day that I was absolutely sure I was seeing results from the pills. I hadn’t had any indigestion at all for a couple of days and the bloated feeling was completely gone. And by the end of the 20th day I felt like I was also going to the bathroom on more regular basis. (Sorry if that was TMI, but that was a result I had).

Now that have been finished with my bottle for a few days I feel like the bloated has stayed away, at least for now. I am still going to the bathroom regularly. The only thing that I have had any signs of is some mild indigestion. Though I don’t know if it will ever be possible to completely get rid of that due to the long term use of prescription and over the counter drugs. Taking my meds has really messed my stomach up over the years guys.

I can honestly say I am very happy with the results of taking Vibranelle’s Advanced Liver Support. I do think I will be getting these again in the near future. If any of you are interested in trying them for yourself, you can find the product on Amazon and you can find out more about the company on Vibranelle’s website.(previously known as Nutrivee)

 

Let me know in the comments if you have tried this cleanse or any other cleanse. What kind of results did you see?

 

 

 

 

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All Dress April 2018 – Week Four & Five

All Dress April

All Dress April

I really wanted to have this posted way before now, but this past weekend really took a lot out of me. I feel like that is the story of my life, but I am doing the best I can with my life circumstances. I think a lot of you get that, and maybe that is why you have stuck with me as readers of this blog. My life isn’t always Instagram perfect and I am going to be real about that.

But let’s focus on the positive. We are here now, and I am finally able to focus and am back to a semi livable energy level. So let’s talk about what I wore the last two weeks of All Dress April. I bunched the fifth week in with week four since week five was only two days long.

If you haven’t seen the previous weeks and want to get caught up, make sure to check out week one, week two, and week three.

Day 22

Wearing Forever21 Plus on day 22 of All Dress April

On day 22 my outfit is from Forever21.

The top is their Off-the-Shoulder Lettuce-Edge Crop Top. It is not a super short crop top, and since I have the skirt raised higher, you wouldn’t even be able to tell its a crop top. But this particular style from Forever21 Plus does work really well for those of us with larger busts.

The skirt is also from Forever21, it is their Scuba Maxi Skirt in Black and White. This however it is currently sold out. They do have some other items in black and white that you may want to consider. Check out the Striped Wide Leg Pants, Striped Scuba Knit Skirt, and the Faux Leather Striped Mini Skirt.

Day 23

I missed this day.

 

Day 24

Day 24 of All Dress April and I am wearing Reb Dolls

This is from Rebdolls. It is their “Rumor Has It” Maxi Skater Set in White. There is only a couple of sizes left in this set, so if you are interested, check it out quickly.

This was my first time ordering from Rebdolls, but I was pleasantly surprised at the size range and quality of what was offered. I did purchase one other item, which you will see soon hopefully. And I believe this won’t be my last time ordering from them, so more in the future.

Day 25

Wearing Simply Be for day 25 of All Dress April

On day 25 I decided to wear another Simply Be dress. And this one is still available. It is their Embroidered Stud Mesh Dress. I have it paired with some Aerosoles Pumps that I have had for a long time.

Day 26

On Day 26 of All Dress April I am wearing head to toe Amazon available items.

I think my outfit from day 26 was the most popular on social media out of all of my looks from the month, or at least it got the most comments and requests for the links. I purchased this look to wear to Pride this year, and I thought I would share it with all of you ahead of time. This look, head to toe, is available for purchase on Amazon.

The dress is the Summer Fashion Plus Size Rainbow Print Sleeveless A-Line Mini Dress. I am in a size 3XL. I do think the dress runs true to their size chart, or possibly a little large. The fabric does have a lot of stretch.

I have it paired with:

My unicorn shoes were in white, but unfortunately they don’t have that color left anymore.

Day 27

Day 27 of All Dress April and it is the first day of the International Steampunk Symposium

Day 27 brought me to the first day of the International Steampunk Symposium. I didn’t actually get a picture of my costume that day, but I had this picture of the exact same thing I wore for Time Traveler’s Weekend at the Ohio Ren Fair. I actually think I did share this look before, but I am not 100% positive about that.

The dress is from Torrid’s Dr. Who Collection. And while this dress is long sold out, they do have a couple of sizes left in a similar dress. My boots are from Avenue, but they are long sold out. However, Torrid has several styles of lace up boots that would work well. To complete the look I have on a black felt derby hat from Spirit Halloween.

Day 28

Day 28 of All Dress April and day two of the Internationa Steampunk Convention

Day 28 and day two at the International Steampunk Symposium. This is the one and only picture I managed to get of my costume that day. Unfortunately it doesn’t show the whole costume. But once again, it is something I have had a picture of from a previous year, and nothing new here on the blog. The picture below is from two years ago in the same costume.

Unicorn Queen costume at day two of the International Steampunk Symposium

The black top is from Spin Doctor, but it has long since sold out. If you are looking for something similar, then you might try this Hell Bunny Scullion Blouse. The corset is a Daisy Corsets Women’s Top Drawer Cotton Steel Boned Overbust Corset With a Zipper Front in Navy Blue. My skirt is from Hips & Curves. It is their Victorian Bustle Skirt.

The accessories were both bought on Etsy. The necklace is from Dr. Brassy, but her store is currently empty and from my understanding may never be refilled again. The headdress is from the BlackUnicornShop.

Day 29

Day 29 of All Dress April and the final day of International Steampunk Symposium.

Day 29 was my last day at the International Steampunk Symposium. This outfit wasn’t complete, as I took off and forgot the jacket that was supposed to go with it. But here is what I have on:

As you can see, most of the accessory items are available on Amazon. I word of warning on the skirt. I have had a few issues with the fabric and seeming quality. But it is much more affordable than the average Victorian costume piece for a plus size skirt.

Day 30

I did not participate this day, I was just too worn out from the Symposium to move.

 

And that wraps up 2018 of All Dress April.

As a side not: Next year will be a bit different for me. Every since I started participating I have always had the Steampunk Symposium in there somewhere. Usually it is at the end. But next year things the Symposium got scheduled for a month earlier. So for those of you who look forward to the costumes, I will try my best to still do a post related to the Symposium. I am super excited about the theme that has been announced for next year. It will be Fantastic Beasts. Lots of plans have already started. Let me know in the comments below if you would like some posts about things I am making for costume and various things my steampunk group is doing.

 

 

 

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What You Need To Know About Amazon Prime – A Review Of My First Plus Size Order

Amazon Prime Wardrobe

Amazon Prime Wardrobe

I have been talking about Amazon Prime Wardrobe here on the blog since the news first came out this past fall. I knew this could mean something big for plus sizes, especially for those of you who live in areas where plus size clothing is just not that accessible. I know from personal experience that if you have a limited budget for clothing, it can cause a lot of anxiety when you want to try a new brand but have no way to try it on before buying.

So I wanted to make sure I shared my first experience with Amazon Prime Wardrobe so you can see exactly how it works and what I thought of the options available. So this will be part review and part explanation. I will also be sharing more in the future, but most likely those will just be strictly about the clothing and not as much about how it works.

How Prime Wardrobe Works

Prime Wardrobe works pretty simply, but you must have a credit card on file with Amazon to place an order. Unfortunately a debit card or prepaid debit card will not work, it must be an actual bank issued credit card.

First you can either search directly through Prime Wardrobe available items, or you can just look for the Prime Wardrobe badge on items as you shop. You need to add at least three items to your cart that are Prime Wardrobe eligible. And I believe eight items are the limit. There is actually a separate cart that your Prime Wardrobe items go into. So don’t be surprised when they don’t show up in the regular area that you check out in.

Once you have selected your items and checked out, they will be shipped to you. Some items may be shipped separately, but your try on period does not begin until you have all items in your possession. The try on period is seven days. Just be careful not to remove any of the tags. And this is just for try on. They are not meant to be worn.

During the seven day try on period you can decide what you want to keep and what you do not. Though you can absolutely send things back before the seven days is up. Once you decide what you want to keep, you wrap everything back up and put it in the easy seal reusable box it was sent in. Put the provided return label on the box. And then simply drop the box off at your local UPS or UPS Store.

 

What I Ordered

I want to share here what I ordered to try on. In this section I am sharing the pictures from Amazon, and I will share my own pictures a little later.

 

 

 

How Your Package Arrives

Your Prime Wardrobe order doesn’t come in the typical Amazon box or bubble mailer. All items come in a box like this:

Amazon Prime Wardrobe Boxes

Now you want to make sure you open these the way Amazon intended because you will be reusing these boxes and if you don’t open them the right way it could ruin it. There is actually a pull tab that you rip on one side. Then when you open it up you see there is a second sealable closure so the box can be reused for shipping items back.

Inside the box, here is how it is packed:

Packing materials inside the Amazon Prime Wardrobe box

You get the little booklet telling you what to do with the items and how to return anything. And inside is also return labels, so make sure you don’t toss this in the trash. And as you can see there is also plenty of the air packs included to keep items from shifting around too much during the shipping process.

You see that I received two boxes. My order was shipped in two parts. Now I don’t really have a problem with them shipping these items separately, but I do have a problem with what was shipped in the second box. In the second box was my necklace. That is all, just the necklace. The reason I have a problem with that is these are big boxes, and not just big but thicker than the average Amazon box. I really dislike being wasteful like this.

Trying Everything On

I have pictures of everything except for the Jessica Simpson dress, in this case I was sent the wrong item and in the wrong size. Most items I have pictures of it on me, but there is one pair of shoes I did not put on for pictures. If you have been following my All Dress April posts, then you may have already seen some of these pictures.

Amazon Prime Wardrobe Plus size dress

Here I have on the Tiana B dress paired with the Naturalizer Sandals. And here is a closer look at the Sandals:

Naturalizer Sandals from Prime Wardrobe

I did not keep either of these items. The shoes, while extremely comfortable were just a little too loose on me. I ordered them in 9W, and I think I would have needed a medium width in these. If they are still available when I get my next box I may try them in the medium width. The dress fit comfortably, but I felt it just wasn’t the best look for me. If it had been cut a little different I probably would have kept this.

Plus size dress and necklace available through Amazon Prime Wardrobe

Here I am wearing the Lark & Ro dress with the Panacea Necklace. And here is a closer look at the pendant on the necklace:

Panacea pendant necklace available in Amazon Prime Wardrobe

Again, the pictures are just not doing this justice. It is an unbelievably beautiful necklace. And I did end up buying the necklace. The dress I thought looked great on, but the fit just was not good for me. It wasn’t tight or anything, but because of the cut combined with the type of fabric used it didn’t work well with a larger bust. So if I raised my arm the whole dress raised up way too high. I think this would be perfect for someone with a smaller bust than me.

Bella Vita shoes available on Amazon Prime Wardrobe

This is one of the two items I did not take pictures of on me. That is because even though I ordered a 9W, as I did with the other pair, it was extremely tight. The other item was the third dress ordered, but as I said earlier, they sent the wrong dress and wrong size.

Sending Things Back

The process of sending things back is really quite easy and does not cost you anything. You just pack everything back in the box provided. And if you got your items in multiple shipments you can totally put all of your items in one box, assuming they fit. You seal it up using the easy seal strip, simply peel off strip the plastic strip and then press the box lid down. Affix the label, and it is ready to go. You just have to drop it off at UPS. This part was super convenient for me since my mail box is at the UPS store.

Before your try on period ends, and before sending everything back I do recommend you log in and use the checkout. This is simply you letting them know what you are keeping and what you are sending back. If you do not do this you will be charged and then refunded when they receive the items back. But if you use the checkout you are only charged for the items you are keeping and don’t have to worry about waiting for a refund.

Final Thoughts

Before I tried Amazon Prime Wardrobe I thought this had the potential to be great. After trying it, I think it is currently a good service that still has the potential to be great. I think this works better for me than similar services out there right now.

I have tried a couple of clothing boxes where you try on and send back, but they all choose for you and charge $20 styling fees each time. After trying those multiple times I have yet to receive items I actually would purchase from either of the ones I tried. But with Prime Wardrobe you choose what you want to try yourself, and there is no additional fee beyond what you pay for a Prime Membership.

There are definitely areas Amazon could improve on. The plus size selection is slim, especially when it comes to the more affordable options. I have been told they are planning on increasing the selection, not just for plus size but all sizes. I would like to see them have an option for post office drop offs for anyone who may not have a UPS in their town. And I hope they work out a way that would make it possible to use a debit card for the transaction, that way it could be more accessible to everyone. But only time will tell what sort of improvements are actually going to happen with this service.

 

Let me know in the comments if you have tried Amazon Prime Wardrobe yet and what you thought.

 

 

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All Dress April 2018 – Week Two

All Dress April

All Dress April

I can barely believe it, but we are already two weeks into April. And that means its time for another recap. If you missed it, you can check out week one.

Week two was a bit of a whirlwind for me. I had a lot of work to do, but I also had a lot of days where I just wasn’t feeling well. But it looks like the tide is turning. Our weather has finally warmed up a bit with no precipitation. And I have had a few days in a row now that I actually felt well.

But you guys are here to find out about the clothes. As always I will link to anything that is still available, or alternatively if the item is not available but something extremely similar is available I will also link to that instead.

Day 8

Unique Vintage Plus Size 1950s Wine Purple Delores Swing Dress with Sleeves

This is the Unique Vintage Plus Size 1950s Delores Swing Dress with Sleeves in Wine Purple. Now this is no longer available in this color, however this dress is available in many different colors and patterns. It is available in both misses and plus sizes. Make sure that you check the sizing. Just like most vintage lines, their brand runs very small. I am in their largest size a 4X which they say is equal to a 20. That seems accurate, though there is extra room to stretch with the fabric.

I have it paired with some Bandolino peep toe pumps in a similar wine color.

 

Day 9

This is the Power Dress from Society Plus. It comes in five color options. If you are interested in getting this dress, act now. Society Plus is clearancing this style out. If you want more information on the fit check out my previous blog post about this dress.

I have paired with it some Madden Girl Peep Toe Pumps that I have had for a long time.

 

Day 10

This is a maxi length sweater dress that I got from Simply Be back in the fall. It is no longer available. But if you like the look of the dress, but don’t care if it is a sweater dress, then their T-Shirt Maxi Dress should give you a very similar look.

 

Day 11

This is a SWAK Designs maxi that I have had for the longest time. This particular style is no longer available, however the Lois Maxi Dress is very similar. The biggest difference is that the Lois Maxi had 3/4 length sleeves. If you are a maxi dress lover take the time to look around the SWAK website, they really have some great styles for all body types and they are very size inclusive.

 

Day 12

This was my fun outfit for the week. I think everyone needs some clothes that are just fun. Both pieces are from Forever 21. I have on their ETA Stripe Tiered High-Low Skirt (this is available in other colors as well)  and the Ruched Crop Top. The crop top is adjustable so you can show as much or as little skin as you like. And it definitely is one that works for larger busts. If you haven’t looked at Forever 21 in a while, then you should check them out. Their plus size selection has grown a lot and they are starting to include other brands on their site.

 

Day 13

As many of you know I ordered my first Amazon Prime Wardrobe box. And while I don’t want to get into a review here since there is one coming very soon, I did share some of the things I got in this week looks. This is the Lark & Ro Women’s Modern Stretch Cap-Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Dress.

I have it paired with the Panacea Jet Tassel Pendant Necklace that I also got on Prime Wardrobe along with a pair of Jelly Pop heels that I already owned.

 

Day 14

And on the final day of week two I wore a second dress from Prime Wardrobe. This is the Tiana B Women’s Split Sleeve Patchwork Print Dress.

I have paired with it the Naturalizer Women’s Neina Huarache Sandal, also available on Prime Wardrobe.

I will also be adding this and all the other items I got on Prime Wardrobe to my Amazon recommended list to make it easier for everyone to find at any time.

 

 

plus size valentine's day lingerie

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All Dress April 2018 – Week One

All Dress April

All Dress April

Week one of All Dress April has finally come to an end, so it must be time for a recap. These always seem to be some of my most popular posts, so I decided to make a couple of changes this year. Changes that I hope are for the better.

You all know that I live with a few chronic pain conditions, some of which are affected by the weather, especially in the winter and early spring. So in previous years this has left me not posting about one to two days a week. In an effort to not leave these spots open, and to be able to share more items with you, I will be sharing photos previously taken but not posted for one reason or another.

Day 1

Mod print dress from Tiana B on Day 1 of All Dress April

This is a Tiana B. dress in a mod 60’s style print. I really love this style, and this dress is so comfy and great for minimal effort days. I paired it with a pair of wide calf boot’s I got from Zulily’s Journey Collection. I have had both of these pieces for quite some time, so I don’t think either of these items are still currently available, but you can get the same style of dress from Tiana B. as well as dresses in similar prints.

Day 2

Foil Leaf print wiggle dress from Avenue

This was a bad pain day for me, and so this was the first case of using a previously taken photo.

This dress is from the Avenue. It is their Metallic Floral Scuba Dress. It is a recent purchase, but unfortunately it sold out fast. I guess everyone loved it. It is definitely in a bodycon/wiggle style, but like most of the dresses from Avenue it is made to be more forgiving of any extra curves and rolls you may have in the middle. While they no longer have this exact dress, they do still have a similar dress. It is their Scroll Flocked Scuba Dress (limited sizes left in this dress).

The shoes I have paired with it are the Bandolino Women’s Mylah Peep-Toe Pump. These were actually the shoes I wore for my wedding, and I was kind of surprised to even find limited sizes of these still hanging around.

Day 3

Plus size maxi dress bought on Amazon

This is the Roiii Boho Floral Sleeveless Maxi Dress I got for the Hidden Gems of Amazon series I do here on the blog. Many of you loved the way this dress looked, but at the time sizes were selling out. I am happy to say it looks like they are finally restocked now. Sizes go up to a 3XL. For information on the fit and sizing make sure to check out the original post this dress appeared in.

Day 4

Dress from Boohoo Plus and leggings from Simply Be paired with Booties from the Avenue

This is the Plus Megan Tartan Frill Sleeve Smock Dress from Boohoo. I have it paired with black lace leggings. I bought mine at Simply Be a few years ago, but very similar ones are available now on Amazon. The booties are a pair of Cloud Walkers from the Avenue that I got a few years ago.

Day 5

Plus size Vintage inspired dress from Lindy Bop

For day five I went with something more to the roots of All Dress April, meaning something vintage style. This dress is from Lindy Bop. It is their Alanis Swing Dress in Black Polka Dots. (Just a note the link is to the UK site, but you change it to your country of preference. If you are in the USA, you can order from the US site or the UK site. I prefer the UK site because the sizing is easier. Don’t forget to change the currency as well.)

I have it paired with a basic black crinoline. and pair of kitten heels I bought on eBay a long time ago. The shoes are no longer available in the kitten heel size, but you can steel find the pump version from many different sellers on eBay still.

Day 6

Faux wrap dress from IGIGI plus size designer brand worn on day 6 of all dress april

This is the Truda Dress from IGIGI. It is a faux wrap dress. It is no longer available in this pattern, but the style is still available. If you follow me on my Instagram, then you already know that I don’t really care for the way this dress fits me. I love all of my other IGIGI dresses, but this one just doesn’t hang on me right, and I think it would suit a different body type better. It will most likely be going up on my Poshmark listings for sale relatively soon. So if you love this print and are also a size 20, make sure you are following me on there. If you are just joining Poshmark for the first time use my code KARENMSMITH77 and they will give you a $5 shopping credit.

The shoes are from Aerosoles, and I have had them for year. They are super comfortable as most Aerosoles are. But this particular style is not available any more.

Day 7

Trying out Fashion Nova Curve on day 7 of All Dress April

So if you didn’t know, skirts are also acceptable for All Dress April. So that left me able to also participate in my friend Jamie’s (aka retrocutie) style challenge Band Tee Saturday. Graphic tees are also totally acceptable for her challenge. Make sure you check out her blog No Delusions Of Grandeur too.

So since so many people had expressed interest in Fashion Nova over the last couple of months, I wanted to bring you a look from them. So both my skirt and top are from Fashion Nova. I have on the Kiss Me On The Lips Sequin Tee and the Charmer Bandage Skirt in Light Pink. I am sure that a lot of you would like me to go into my thoughts on Fashion Nova right now, but I don’t think I could put everything I need to say here. But don’t worry I promise there will be a blog post coming within the month about Fashion Nova.

The shoes I have on are a pair of velvet sneakers in light pink. The brand is Wanted and the style is called Valance. They are so comfy, and available in other color options.

 

If you didn’t see something like this week make sure to keep checking back, there are still 23 more days to go, and that means 23 more looks. Tell me in the comments below what you like, what you didn’t like. I still have some wiggle room on filling request if there is something you guys want to see this month, so make sure to let me know that as well.

 

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7 Places To Buy Plus Size Wedding Dresses under $500

Plus Size Wedding Dresses Under $500

Plus Size Wedding Dresses Under $500

As many of you may know, before I started my blog I was writing for a plus size bridal magazine called Pretty Pear Bride. And if you are a plus size bride, I highly recommend you take the time to check it out, it can be a valuable resource.

Since we are about to be amid what we all know as wedding season, I thought now might be a good time to reconnect with my past and cover the topic of affordable wedding dresses. Wedding dresses can get pricey, but not all of us want or can put a lot of money towards a dress we will only wear once. I know what a struggle it can be to find your dream dress on a tight budget.

That is why I wanted to show you all some places you can find wedding dresses under $500 as well as share some of my favorites from each place. And don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those things where I list seven different places where you can find one dress barely under $500. There will actually be more than one place you can actually find a dress under $100.

1. Kiyonna
Plus size Amour Lace Wedding Gown from Kiyonna

Amour Lace Wedding Gown

Plus size Spotlight Cinch Dress by Kiyonna

Spotlight Cinch Dress

 

You aren’t going to find the traditional princess wedding dress at Kiyonna, but you will find a selection of dresses in a variety of more relaxed styles. The offerings are perfect for anything from a vintage style wedding to a super chill beach wedding. Kiyonna Dresses are available in sizes 0X to 5X. And their prices range from $98 to $288.

 

2. SWAK (a.k.a. Sealed With A Kiss Designs)
Plus Size Kara Lace Dress by Sealed With A Kiss Designs

Kara Lace Dress

Plus size Eternity Maxi Convertible Dress from SWAK

Eternity Maxi Convertible Dress

 

SWAK doesn’t exactly have a wedding dress section. But if you are looking for a white dress with beachy, boho vibes, then you just might find your dress here. They have a handful of their designs available in white all under $100. Their dresses come in sizes 1X to 6X or 14 to 36.

 

3. David’s Bridal
V-Neck Lace Sheath Plus Size Wedding Dress from the David's Bridal plus size collection

V-Neck Lace Sheath Plus Size Wedding Dress

Extra Length A-Line with Side-Draped Bodice from the David's Bridal plus size collection

Extra Length A-Line with Side-Draped Bodice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for a more traditional bridal gowns, then David’s Bridal is a good place to start looking. Plus it is one of the few places you can actually go try the gowns on in person and they actually have samples in plus sizes. They do have dresses that go over $500, so keep that in mind when looking. But original prices start at $249, and they often have sales that mark dresses down to $99. I have even seen dresses over a $1000 marked down under the $500 mark on some of their sales. Their plus size range comes in sizes 14W to 30W.

 

4. Amazon
Now and Forever Layered Mermaid Wedding Dresses available in plus sizes on Amazon

Now and Forever Layered Mermaid Wedding Dresses

High Neck Princess Lace Tulle Wedding Dress available in plus sizes on Amazon

High Neck Princess Lace Tulle Wedding Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise, surprise, Amazon made the list. They by far have the largest variety of style and brands available under $500. Of course like anything else, when it comes to plus sizes on Amazon you may worry that they won’t be true to size. I have seen quite a few videos of people trying on Amazon wedding dresses, and for the most part they surprisingly are okay for their prices, even the ones under $100. My advice would be, if you are going to buy from Amazon 1. make sure you check the sellers size chart, not the amazon one. Also if the seller doesn’t have a size chart, then don’t order from them. And 2. Order early, so if something needs to be returned or altered you have plenty of time. As for prices, there seem to be wedding dresses starting at $12 and the keep going well above the $500 mark. Sizes are all over the place depending on the brand, but most like the ones I have pictured go up to about a size 28W. Keep in mind that these, like most bridal run one to two sizes small. This may not be the case with some of the other more dedicated to plus size brands.

 

5. Sydney’s Closet
Adaline Wedding Dress plus size from Sydney's Closet

Adaline Wedding Dress

Starburst Wedding Dress by Sydney's Closet

Starburst Wedding Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you aren’t familiar with Sydney’s Closet then I am simultaneously both surprised and not surprised. I am surprised because they have been around for a long time offering plus size women beautiful and affordable formal wear. I am not surprised because they don’t get talked about a lot that I see, and they are kind of in a very niche market. They offer all sorts of formal wear, and they always have a selection of plus size wedding dresses. At the moment all of the dresses they have, with the exception of one, is under $500. Dresses are available in sizes 14 to 4, but I believe their bridal line stops at size 34 (don’t quote me on that.).

 

6. Society +
Short Society+ Premium Blush Tutu for plus sizes

Short Society+ Premium Blush Tutu

Premium Tutu - Long Champagne in plus sizes by Society Plus

Premium Tutu – Long Champagne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may not know this, but Society Plus has a selection of premium tutus for weddings that are pre-order only. I know this isn’t exactly a wedding dress, but I thought these would be a good option for some. It could work, not only for those who just like the look, but also anyone who has a hard time getting the right fit in a dress. Prices range from $90 to $120 and they are available in 14/16 to 30/32.

 

7. ASOS Curve
ASOS CURVE BRIDAL Tulle Maxi Prom Dress

ASOS CURVE BRIDAL Tulle Maxi Prom Dress

ASOS EDITION CURVE BRIDAL Lace Long Sleeve Crop Top Maxi Dress

ASOS EDITION CURVE BRIDAL Lace Long Sleeve Crop Top Maxi Dress

 

 

Not a large collection available at ASOS, but definitely some designs I haven’t seen anywhere else for plus sizes. Perhaps if you are a bride that is looking for something more unique, ASOS may be the place to check. Their collection of dresses are all under $300. Sizes vary a bit depending on the dress, but most are available in 12 to 26.

 

This isn’t really part of the list because they aren’t under $500, but I wanted to give an honorable mention to the Yuliya Raquel website. Not only does she have some pre-made wedding dress designs, but she also has these two popular designs from her days at IGIGI that you can now customize. And those customized dresses will only run $700 each. The vintage lace dress was my own wedding dress, and I resold mine after the wedding. To this day, 5 years later, I am still getting women emailing me asking if I still have it, because its their dream dress. So if it was your dream dress as well, know you can still get it.

Plus size customizable dress by Yuliya Raquel

customizable dress by Yuliya Raquel for plus size brides

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure to let everyone know in the comments if you are a plus size bride, and tell us where you got your dress at.

 


Countdown to Summer

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Product Fails – Plus Size Clothing, Makeup, Skin Care, and Personal Care – March 2018

Product fails for March 2018

Product fails for March 2018

Recently quite a few of my readers here have expressed interest in seeing the products that did not work for me, so I bring you Product Fails. I don’t expect this to be a post that appears more than three or four times a year. I think in general I am decent at picking items that work well for me. But I do have occasional fails, so whenever I feel I have enough collected to make a post I will share them.

Please remember that for the most part, just because a product doesn’t work for me it doesn’t automatically make it a bad product. I will try my best in these post to describe why the product didn’t work for me. And if I really feel the product is bad, I will also make sure to include that info.

I am sure that each time will cover a variety of products. This time I have some clothing, makeup, and personal care items to talk about. So let’s get started.

Makeup

Maybelline Total Temptation Palette

This is the Maybelline Total Temptation Eyeshadow and Highlight Palette. I have been really excited and pleased about most of the new makeup Maybelline has been releasing. I picked this up recently at my local pharmacy, though I have spotted it as several places. While I still think it looks beautiful, it just didn’t work for me.

The highlights both looked good on me, but the purple one was very dry and hard to apply to the skin. Most of the eye shadows were soft and buttery, and easy to pick up on brushes. However I found that the majority didn’t show up on my skin, and with the exception of a couple of colors they were too easily blended and muddied together.

Skin Care

Cashmere Cleanse Brush Head by ClarisonicThis is the Cashmere Cleanse Brush Head for the Clarisonic Mia2. I had previously been using the Deep Pore Cleansing Brush Head, but I decided I wanted to try something a little more gentle on the skin for a while.

I wanted to give this one a try because the box said it was good for hydration, and I am in desperate need of all of that I can get lately. The Cashmere brush head was definitely gentler on the skin than the Deep Poor Brush Head, but I think for me it was too gentle. I get more exfoliation from just a wash clothe. And I really didn’t feel that it impacted the hydration of my skin at all. I will definitely be trying out a different brush head next month because this one did not work for me.

Personal Care

Not Your Mother's Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Shampoo and Conditioner

If you caught my review of the Not Your Mother’s Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Shampoo and Conditioner, then seeing them on this list should be no surprised. I don’t want to go into a whole other review here on this post as you can go back and check that review out if you want. But I will definitely say, this is one of those products that was just wrong for me but I am sure it is right for someone.

Clothing

For the clothing I did not bother to do a styled shoot. These all were pretty bad. And with the exception of one item they got sent back, but I will explain that when we get to it. All pictures of the clothing are clickable if you want to see them closer up for detail.

If you noticed that I haven’t done a Hidden Gems of Amazon post since the one I did pre Valentine’s Day, there is a reason why. Part of that reason is because I had ordered this sweater to show you. It is the RM Fashions Womens Long Sleeve Chunky Knitted Heart Print Cardigan Sweater. I ordered it in a 3X, however there were massive problems with it including the sizing.

As soon as I  opened the package I saw there were picks in the fabric and small signs of wear. You can’t really see this part in the pictures. I really suspected they had accidentally sent me a returned item. What you can see in the picture is that it is very small on me. The arms were extremely tight. It didn’t really fit all the way around me like it should have, even if I pulled it like in the first pictures I couldn’t get it around my breast.

I see the company has now changed the sizing on their page to say XXXL, but previously they were marked 3X. I don’t think they would fit anyone over a size 1X, if that. It may even be best for a misses XL. It is a real shame that it has such problems because the fabric thickness and print was perfect for around Valentine’s day.

 

I am really sad to bring you these next two products. I actually bought them from eShakti for a blog post about their custom sizing. Previously I had only ordered from eShakti’s sized items. So many of you had expressed in a recent Facebook discussion that you have various issues with finding clothing that fit you correctly due to height or body shape, so I thought it was a good time to try out eShakti’s custom sizing. I also had been looking for places to list as places to find plus size steampunk clothing, and I had noticed they recently started carrying some items that fit the aesthetic.

First I got the Ruffle Cuff Charmeuse Satin Blouse. This is no longer available, not that you want it. And in case you were wondering what it was supposed to look like, here is their photo.
stock photo of eShakti's Ruffle cuff charmeuse satin blouseNow in case you are thinking that I possibly put the wrong measurements in, not the case. You see my measurements are almost spot on for the sized pieces I usually order. Not only was the body and arms way too big, but the sleeves were too short, the armholes were in the wrong place, and when I raised my arms the area puckered up. How that last part even happens I don’t know.

Lace trim faux wrap cotton knit skirt customed from eShakti

And now for the piece I kept and what was wrong with it. This is the Lace Trim Faux Wrap Cotton Knit Skirt. If you follow me on Instagram you already saw this look from my Steampunk group meeting earlier this month. This one actually fit correctly, so I want to give them that. However, there were several problems that you would not know by just looking at it without 1. putting it on, and 2. seeing the original picture.

The visual differences are pretty subtle, and you probably aren’t going to be able to see them like you would in person. But when you put the skirt on, or even just examining it, there are some very obvious seeming issues. It left almost little lumps in the side seems. But overall, it was still usable, so I decided to keep this one.

Now as you may know, I say all the time, for me it is not the lack of problems that determines how I feel about a company but rather how the company chooses to handle it. Well a couple of days after I received my order I received an email from eShakti saying that if there were any issues with my order or if I had questions to respond to that email, so I did. I made sure to explain the problems, I explained why I ordered, and I said please lets fix this so I feel comfortable recommending your products to my readers. Three weeks later I had still not received a response. I sent a second less polite email saying how unhappy I was at their lack of response and that I was proceeding with the return before time runs out. (You have 30 days to send the return back from when you receive it.)

During those three weeks I managed to receive daily emails about their sales, plus several email asking me to rate my happy experience. I think that upped my upset meter a bit. In addition to the second email I send I also sent comments with the returns explaining why I was upset and that I had really wanted someone to contact me. It has been three more weeks since then. I have since received a ton more sales ads, an email notifying me they received my return, and an email saying my refund was being processed. Still no contact or response of any kind from the company.

I had only back in December added them as one of my affiliate companies so I could put their ads here on the site. I am really so disgusted with them that I dropped them as affiliates. Their total lack of response after asking me to respond to them by email if I had problems just cut my whole confidence down in the whole company. This has left such a bad taste in my mouth I doubt I will ever shop with them again and I can’t in good conscience refer anyone to shop there as it stands.

 

If you would really like to see some recommendations now, you don’t have to wait till my next blog post, you can check out my Amazon recommended list anytime. I do update it periodically, so items change all the time.

 

Tell me in the comments below if you have tried any of these products. How was your experience?

 

 

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Product Review: Amazon Prime Coffee & Tea Sample Box

Amazon Prime Coffee & Tea Sample Box

If you caught my post a few weeks back all about the benefits of Amazon Prime, I told you I would be starting to review some of the products and service only available through Amazon Prime. That day has arrived. I am starting with some of the sample boxes available. I want to reiterate, these are only available to Amazon Prime members.

When you purchase a sample or sample box on Amazon, the amount you spend is credited to your account after your sample ships. Once you receive your samples you can log in and select to use your credit on a list of approved items.

Today we are looking at the Coffee & Tea Sample Box.

Amazon Prime Coffee & Tea Sample Box

How It Arrived

Each sample box is shipped in its own individual box. They come in the usual brown box, but are marked Amazon Sample Box. This particular one was rather on the plain side compared to the others I have ordered. Some are quite elaborately designed, as you will see in upcoming reviews. This box was by far the heaviest out of the sample boxes I have ordered.

What Was Included

The coffee and tea sample box is unique because you are actually getting full size products. But they are available in other sizes and in cases. The page description says you get six or more items in this box, and that samples may vary. Here is what came in mine:

1 illy Caffe Unsweetened, 6.8 fl oz

1 illy Cappuccino, 8.45 fl oz

1 Gold Peak Chai Tea Latte, Vanilla, 14 Fluid Ounce

1 Gold Peak Coffee Drink, Almond Toffee, 14 Fluid Ounce

1 Java Monster, Mean Bean, 15 Ounce

1 Honest Tea (Organic Unsweet Peach Ginger Tea, 16.9-Ounce Bottle

1 Honest Tea (Organic Honey Green Tea, 16.9-Ounce Bottle

 

I actually got the exact drinks pictured in the listing, and there is a good chance you will too.

My Thoughts After Trying Products

For this box, I thought that based on the picture that as long as I got at least one tea drink I was pretty sure I would like something in this sample box. And as you can see I got two tea drinks.

I did at least tasted everything in the box except the Monster drink, I already know I don’t like those. But my husband doesn’t like Monster, so I passed that to him. He said he preferred his regular flavor. Before I tell you my thoughts on the other products, I want to make it clear, this is not a statement on whether these products are good or not. It is just my personal taste and dietary needs.

The first things I tried were the two Gold Peak coffee drinks. I wasn’t really a fan of either of them. They were too sweet for my taste. Way sweeter than anything I have tried from Starbucks. So maybe if you can’t find coffee drinks that are sweet enough for you, these may be a good choice for you.

I then tried both of the Honest teas. The unsweet Peach Ginger tea was a bit of a disappointment for me. I thought that with the peach flavor there, it shouldn’t need sugar added. I was unfortunately wrong. I even tried adding a bit of sugar myself, but it just didn’t seem to help it. The Honey Green Tea however was my favorite thing in the box. I have had a similar product from another brand that I also enjoy, so I am not surprised that this was the favorite.

Finally I tried the two drinks from illy. I again was not a fan of the unsweetened caffe drink. I felt a bit torn on the Cappuccino drink though. I liked the initial taste, but there was an overwhelming metallic after-taste. I can’t help but think that if this drink were stored in a different type of container this might have been my favorite drink. But as it was I couldn’t drink it with that after-taste.

How Using Your Credit Works

Once you have tried all of your samples, or really anytime after receiving you sample box, you can log into your account to find your credit. Now I initially found it a little difficult to find where the credit was located. If you also are having a difficult time, then there are two ways to get to your credit. If you already have a link to the Amazon Sample page that is the most direct way to get to it, and I have linked to that page for you at the beginning of this post.

If however you do not have the direct link to the samples page, then the easiest way to get to that page is by going to the list of your orders in your account. Find the sample box in the list and click on it. At the top of all samples, and sample box, pages there is a link to the sample pages.

Once you arrive at the sample page there will be a box in the top left corner that tells you how much credit you have and link to take you to the redemption page. When you get to the page to redeem your credit there is also a link that says see all products that qualify for redemption. I found with this box there was more variety in flavors and product sizes to choose from than what came in the box.

What I Chose

I think you probably won’t be surprised that I ordered tea. I didn’t just order one tea, I ordered a variety of the Honest Teas. Of course a couple of those were the Honey Green Tea. I don’t know about all of the options, but the ones I chose were only available through Amazon Prime Pantry, so that is something to keep in mind with this box.

Once you make your selections the sample box will still be viewable through your orders list, but it will say it is no longer available. These are one time purchases.

 

Tell me in the comments if you have tried this sample box or any of the products in it. What did you like/not like?

 

Shop Snarky Tea Today!

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Two Affordable Plus Size Dresses You Can Still Get In Time For Valentine’s Day

Two affordable plus size dresses available on Amazon Prime

Valentine’s Day is upon us in just a few short days. Perhaps you have special plans for that day, or like me you are waiting for the following weekend to have a special evening with the one you love, because after all it should be about spending time with someone special and not about the date.

Maybe you want something special to wear, but you haven’t had time to find something. Or maybe you are on a budget and haven’t found something affordable that you like. Well I have a couple of great dresses to show you that are both affordable and should be able to make it to most people in the US before actual Valentine’s Day.

Two affordable plus size dresses available on Amazon Prime

On the left is the Agnes Orinda Sweetheart Neckline Dress, and on the right is the ESPRLIA Plus Size Lace Off The Shoulder Bodycon Dress. Both of these dresses would normally be in one of the Hidden Gems of Amazon feature, but I thought since they both seemed like good affordable options for Valentine’s Day date dresses we would go this route. But honestly they both can be worn for many other occasions.

Before we get started, I will once again go over my sizing to give you a reference for these dresses. I typically wear a 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 42″ Hips: 54″. I wear a 40DDD bra.

Lets take a look at the Agnes Orinda dress first.

Here is the size chart they have posted:

International Size—-Chest Girth—-Waist Girth—-Hip Girth—–Shoulder Width
1X————————–46—————–39—————48—————–16 1/2
2X————————–48—————–41—————50—————–17
3X————————–50—————–43—————52—————–17 1/2

I ordered the 3X, and it does fit okay, but I think I would have been okay ordering the size 2X as well. The fabric has more stretch than I expected. It is a thicker fabric, so it works well for the winter if you live in a colder climate. In the coldest weather you would still need coat to pair with it. Overall I thought it was a nice, pretty dress that also happens to be very comfortable.

This dress comes in just this dark purple color. Available in sizes 1X to 3X, as the size chart implies. It sells for just $18.99 and free Prime Shipping. This brand has lots of other affordable options as well if this dress is not your style.

 

And now lets look at the ESPRILIA dress:

Here is the size chart posted for this dress:

Esprlia Size Chart

I ordered this dress in the 2X size. I think the fit was perfect on this one. I think if I ordered up most of the body would have been okay, but the way the shoulders are made would have left that area too big. The fabric on this one is much thinner. I actually put a light shaper on with this one. This wasn’t for shaping my body, but just for modesty and warmth. I would have used a slip, but I couldn’t find mine. This is going to be a better option for those of you that live in warmer weather, if you want it for Valentine’s Day. But it would be a great Spring and Summer dress everywhere.

This dress comes in two color options. There is a black option and this one. The page says it is pink, though it is closer to peach in person. Available in sizes 0X to 4X. It sells for just $23.99 with free Prime Shipping. This brand also has several other affordable options to try.

 

Let me know in the comments what you will be wearing for Valentine’s Day.

 


 

 

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