Tag Archives: plus size blogger

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Plus Size OOTD: A Walk On The Wildside

Plus size outfit of the day incorporating animal print.

One trend that has become more and more apart for the winter and on into spring for plus size fashion is animal prints. Whether it be a more traditional animal print or something more abstract they will be here at least for a little while.

I know some people can find animal prints intimidating. So I wanted to make sure and share some looks that incorporate animal prints in various ways. Today I am sharing my first look.

As a fit reminder I wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″

Plus size outfit of the day incorporating animal print.

The skirt is the Leopard Lover Skirt from City Chic. It is a mini skirt length, but definitely not a super mini. It is a mid weight fabric, perfect for spring in most places, or winter if you live somewhere that doesn’t get very cold. It is available in sizes 14/XS to 24/XXL. I have on the 20/L.

The fit on this was great for me, which coming from City Chic I should not be surprised. I would say if you are an hourglass like me or a pear shape, you should probably order your usual size in this. If you are an apple, then you might want to consider ordering a size up as there is no elastic or stretch to the waist band.

Back of plus size leopard print skirt

The colors in this skirt all stay pretty traditional for a leopard print. However it still has a unique look because it has an added ombre effect.

The exposed zipper and clean lines help keep it looking stylish. The simplicity makes it easy to pair with other items.

Plus size outfit of the day featuring City Chic, Avenue, and Torrid.

I have it paired with the Super Soft Ruffle Cold Shoulder Tee from Torrid. Available in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2. Sizes online are limited now. If your size is no longer available, I think most black tops or sweaters will work with this.

I also have on the Kimberly Over the Knee Wide Width & Wide Calf Boot from the Avenue. They come in sizes 7 to 12, and in two color options. I have them on in a size 9 in black.

Plus size animal print skirt from City Chic

I think this is the perfect outfit for the woman who wants to feel sexy but doesn’t want to go the route of skin-tight clothing or showing a lot of skin. It is a much more subtle sexy.

 

Let me know in the comments what you think about the animal print trend. Is it for you? If not, what trends do you like right now?

 

e.l.f. cosmetics

 

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Product Review: The Purple Mattress First Weeks Impression

Purple mattress all set up on a slat bed frame

If you follow me on any of my social media, then you most likely know I have been working on my house for the last couple of weeks and that I got a purple mattress. More than one person has expressed interest in hearing about my experience with purple. Because of the nature of this mattress and the way that it is purchased I thought it was best to do at least a couple of these reviews in stages. In this first review I will take you through my decision process to buy this particular mattress, the ordering process, receiving and setting it up, and my first impressions after sleeping on it for a week.

Before we begin, I want to make clear this is not a sponsored post. Purple has not contacted me in any way other than emails about my purchase. I paid for this mattress with my own money and all the opinions expressed here are my own and free of any outside influence. Any links to purple are simply for your navigation ease, they are not affiliate links.

Why I Decided To Purchase A Purple Mattress

I have had back issues and pain for more than twenty years now. I have ruptured discs, bone spurs, and pinched nerves causing a plethora of issues. Needless to say what I sleep on is very important. I also wanted to take into consideration my weight since many mattresses do have weight limits. It’s not so much that you can’t use any mattress, but they make them for certain weights and the more weight you add over that can cut down on the longevity of the bed. It seems a lot of companies don’t openly share their weight limit, no surprise there.

The last bed I got was purchased a little over ten years ago and was a combination of an extra firm mattress and a 5″ memory foam topper. Overall I would say that it worked pretty well for me, but things could have been better. But its been over ten years of use, and above average on wear and tear in that time. With the illnesses I have that means I stay in bed more than the average individual at times. In the last year I have really noticed my bed deteriorating a bit. Like it’s not horrible and probably wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t have all the back issue, but it’s just not at the comfort level I need now. So after much discussion, my husband and I decided it was time to purchase a bed soon.

That decision was about six months ago. I knew I could make do for a while and that I didn’t want to rush my decision on what to buy. I originally started off thinking I was going to go with one of the Simmons Beauty Sleep Mattresses or a Heavenly Bed from Westin, but I still wanted to test them out since it had been a while since I seriously looked at mattresses. Not too long after that was when I started seeing and hearing ads for Purple and became very intrigued. I really liked the science aspect behind the bed, and I felt like the aspects I liked in the other two beds that interested me were in this bed but more amped up.

When I discussed the mattress with my husband he mentioned there were a couple of other brands he had been hearing about that he would like me to look into as well. I did take the time to look at those other beds, and while I did think they had some great things going for them they didn’t necessarily have what I needed.

In the end what really sold me on trying the Purple Mattress was the total uniqueness of their design, their fantastic return policy/home trial period, reviews from people with the same or similar back problems, and the egg test ad which I also saw individual recreate on their own YouTube video reviews. In case any of you haven’t seen the egg test, here is the video I refer to.

As a bonus is their weight limit. Here is what they have to say about that:

There is no weight limit for the Purple Mattress, although we do suggest 300 lbs per person or 600 lbs total. If you exceed this recommendation it will not void the 10-year warranty and you will still get plenty of the benefits Purple has to offer. Regardless of weight, we are confident you will love your Purple Mattress.

If you are like me, before you make any kind of major purchase you research it to death. You take time to look at both the good and the bad that is said about a product. And you try to weigh that out with how much you think is hype on the good side and how much the negative posted might be from competitors or people just being petty. Now I already shared with you a lot of the positive points that I found when researching Purple, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t share what was said that was negative and explain it a bit.

I doesn’t take much research about Purple to come across rumors about the white powder people are seeing on their purple products. And with the internet being what it is, let’s just say some of the rumors have gotten super crazy. I have seen everything from it’s a sign that the mattress is disintegrating to it’s a cancer inducing agent and everything in between. But what is it really? For now I will just tell you what Purple had to say and later in the post I will show you why what they say actually makes sense along with my thoughts on some of the issues people were reporting with it.

 

 

So purple has made two post regarding the white powder this past year on their blog. The first post explained, “It is a food-contact-grade material, meaning that this family of plastic materials can be used for eating utensils, children’s toys, etc.”. They essentially use it to keep the bed from sticking together after the compression it goes through in the shipping process. And they said, “Purple is keeping the exact type of plastic a “trade secret,” which helps protect the jobs of those 600 people from competitors who would love to figure out how to do what Purple does.” Now in the second post they told everyone the non-toxic plastic powder coating they use is polyethylene and cited several studies they had done independently.

Ordering From Purple

The ordering process was super simple. It only took a few minutes and it didn’t take any more time than say ordering a top from Torrid. Because of the size of the package and weight, you will want to make sure to have it delivered directly to the place it will be used.

When we ordered they had a special going on for Black Friday, you got a free pillow with the purchase of a mattress. Since then I have noticed they almost always seem to have some sort of special going on, and it will be listed at the top of the main page.

Deliver Of The Mattress And Setting It Up

The mattress and pillow were delivered separately. Both were delivered via FedEx. The pillow was delivered first, though I did have a bit of anxiety over the pillow and the issue that arose over its delivery.

Let me say first that what happened with the pillow was not the fault of purple at all, it was completely at the fault of FedEx. I got a notice the day before Christmas Eve, so on a Saturday, that the pillow had been delivered. I was out running last-minute errands before going to my in laws house for Christmas. I got home and look for the package. Nothing outside and no notes that I had missed a delivery either. I ask my husband if he had picked it up, and he said he had not seen the delivery. After looking around the house, just in case, I decided to call purple.

However it seems Purple is also good to its employees and gave everyone an extra day off for Christmas, so no one to talk to there. So I called FedEx. They did start an investigation, but I had to explain to them three times it didn’t actually show up here. So Tuesday morning rolls around, which is the next time Purple would be open. I get up and I am having my morning coffee. I was planning on calling Purple right after, but before I finished my coffee the doorbell rings. Someone three blocks away had gotten my delivery and was nice enough to return it. Thankfully there are still decent and honest people still in the world.

Now you know that had me holding my breath waiting on the mattress. But thankfully no such drama happened with the mattress delivery.

I actually forgot to snag a picture of the packaging everything arrived in because we were so busy. We were still in the process of getting the room ready when the mattress was delivered. It ended up setting in our front hall for about a week while we finished everything up with the bedroom. This included putting the new bed frame together. (If you do purchase a purple mattress be aware they can no go on a regular box springs) Once we got the room ready we used our dolly to move the mattress to the bedroom. And then the plastic casing the mattress is in has handles at both ends so two people can easily lift it onto the bed frame.

They do provide a tool to cut through the bag. It is supposed to be attached to the top of the lid when you open the bag. Ours however had come unattached since there was very little glue on it. We ended up finding it about 3/4 of the way down in the bag. Thankfully we had a box knife on hand or we would have never gotten it open. Once the bag was open it was just a matter of rolling the mattress out, it was really quite easy.

Here is a look at the mattress set up on the frame, and no the exterior is not purple.

Purple mattress all set up on a slat bed frame

First Impressions

Once the bed was set up, I actually was not able to sleep on it the first two nights. It was ready, but it definitely had a very strong plastic smell that was on the verge of giving me a migraine. So I essentially had to air the room out to get it to a point where it wouldn’t bother me. After two nights the odor was not completely gone, but it definitely was at a tolerable level for me.

And this is the point where I wanted to talk to you about what I thought was going on with all of the rumors about the white powder. First let me say, I do completely believe what Purple’s explanation is about the powder. The gel material they use to make the beds are extremely sticky, and in the way they are condensed for shipping they have to coat them with something to prevent that. The best way I can show you this is by the showing you the gel pieces they sent and what they do.

Here is what one of the purple gel cells look like:

One of the gel cells from a Purple mattress

You can see just a touch of the white powder people are talking about on it. I actually got two of these cells because they included one with the mattress and one with the pillow. Since I had two, I decided to play around with them a bit. I wanted to see if I could stick them together, and I did quite easily.

Two purple cells stuck together and not falling apartThese were stuck together with just loose pressure. No adhesive used. This picture was actually taken after they had been laying stuck together for a few days. I picked it up and they were still firmly stuck together. So for me, this shows purple absolutely has to coat their beds with powder before shipping.

So what do I think is actually going on? Well as I said it does have a strong plastic smell when you initially take it out of the bag. It definitely affected me. Also, just because something isn’t toxic doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be a select group of people who are either allergic or going to have reactions to it. Just like with my allergy to Balsam of Peru. It and the hundreds of items it causes me to react to are not toxic, but I am still allergic. So, most likely there has been a small group that reacted to it or the smell or both. Then it blew up on the internet and people are over reacting.

My husband did sleep on it the first night. He typically snores, loudly. I did not hear him snore once. Then the next night he went back to the other mattress, the one he is use to. It was back to snore city. I have never heard him so silent, I can only guess that it was something about the bed and the position it puts your body in.

After the smell aired out, I myself have slept on the bed a full week now. I was hoping to be able to tell you I had the same response a lot of people were having. I hoped it would be a miraculously different experience for me where I actually got a full night of rest with no pain and no waking up. But I honestly can’t say that, and I am not sure what I think about the bed yet.

At this point I would have to say my feelings are very mixed. Each time I lay on the bed I do get that initial feeling of “Oh this is super comfy”. I am definitely waking up less. As for the bed staying cool, I am not sure I am getting that. I lay on the pillow and it always feels cool, which I love. But when I lay in the bed it just feels the same as any other mattress temperature to me. I am not having the same pain I was having in my old bed, but I am now having some new small pains I haven’t had before.

During my research I did see that Purple said for a small portion of people it can take up to thirty days to adjust to the bed. You have up to one hundred nights from the time you received the bed to return it. So I am committed to at least giving it thirty days to find out how it does for me. At the end of thirty days I will do another of these reviews to update you with how I am doing with the bed.

 

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Do you have a purple mattress? If so what has been your experience with it? Let us know in the comments.

 


 

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Goals Not Resolutions

No New Year's Resolutions

According to the statistics, every year millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions. (About 133,414,000 to 188,732,000 people depending on the year. I did the math for you.) But out of all those people, only about nine percent feel like they are successful most of the time compared to the 42 percent who feel they never succeed.

And it should be no surprise that one of the largest groups of resolutions revolve around weight loss. We do after all live in a culture that forever tells us that we are not enough unless we weigh the perfect weight. Also at the top of the list are goals involving money and relationships (undoubtedly made by all the single people who just spent a week with their family harassing them about when they were going to get married and have kids).

I have talked about this before, but for anyone who is not aware I have a couple of rules about New Year’s Resolutions. Rule number one, I don’t make New Years Resolutions. Rule number two, refer to rule number one.

No New Year's Resolutions

I think it is great if someone wants to do something that will improve their life in some way. The problem that I see with most New Year’s Resolutions is that 1. they are usually very lofty goals that leave you set up to fail, and 2. they are often not made for your own betterment, but instead out of feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

I encourage everyone to dump the New Year’s Resolution with me from now on. What I like to do instead is take a few days at the beginning of the new year to reflect on how the year has went and think about what I want to achieve during the following year. I then make a list of small achievable goals, both personal and business wise. I have even shared them here on the blog before. I like to be in the mind-space that as long as I achieve most of my goals by the end of the year I am happy.

Here are some of my goals for the year:

  1. I want to create a more balanced work/life schedule.
  2. I need to make time at least once a week for meditation preferably out in nature.
  3. I want to double my twitter following.
  4. I want to improve the quality of my Instagram pictures.

I would love to see some of you join me in creating some reasonable goals for yourselves and stepping away from those unachievable resolutions. Share some with me using the hashtag #goalsnotresolutions

 


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Holiday Look Book 2017

Holiday 2017 Lookbook

Holiday 2017 Lookbook

Looking for something special to wear to one of those many Holiday Parties? Don’t worry, I got you covered. I have looks to share for every occasion and budget. Whether you are looking for something low-key for that office party or something super sexy to wear out on New Years Eve, I have it all.B

When I put this look book together I wanted to include some styles you don’t always see in most look books. I think there are lots of people who feel a little left out of these. Not everyone gets super dressed up. Maybe you are more of jeans and tee kind of girl and you just want to add a little sparkle to your look. I wanted to make sure you were included as well. So keep in mind while looking through this that not every look will be what you traditionally think of as a holiday look.

I will be showing these in order of most casual to dressiest. I will include links to items available as well as sizes I am wearing. I will try to include any other relevant information I think is important to have as well as occasional styling suggestions. As always I hope you guys find this helpful.

For reference, I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″. I wear a 40DDD/E Bra in most brands. I wear a size 9 shoe, and I am in between a medium and wide width.

 

Alternative Holiday look for the jeans and tshirt kind of girl

You can still be in jeans and look and feel more dressed up. I wanted to do this look for all you ladies who hate dresses and feel more at home in jeans. I totally get that dresses are not practical for everyone. To make this feel more fit for the occasion I chose a pair of jeggings that had rhinestone trim at the hem. And all of the other pieces, including the shoes, are in a velvet fabric to give this outfit a more luxe feel for the holidays. And that jacket is all about the little details. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: Velvet Moto Jacket from Torrid – comes in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2.

Top: Floral Burnout Velvet Mock Neck Top from Torrid – comes in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2.

Jegging: Virtual Stretch® Chevron Stone Jegging in Dark Wash from the Avenue – comes in sizes 14 to 26. Available in Average, Petite, and Tall sizes. I have on a 20 average.

Shoes: Wanted Womens Valance Slip On Tennis Shoes – comes in sizes 6 to 10 Medium Width. I have on a size 9 and they fit quite comfortably. They come in three colors options. I have on the nude color, but I think they look pink.

 

Plus Size Holiday look featuring Simply Be and Avenue

For this look I wanted to give you something that was both fashionable but super comfortable. Maybe you’re the girl who likes to take lots of family photos on Christmas morning, or maybe you aren’t into dresses but jeans aren’t your thing either. And whether this is the holiday outfit for you or not, I highly recommend getting a pair of leggings. They feel so soft and luxurious. I could wear them for days. Here is what I have on:

Headband: Velvet Stretch Headband from Forever 21 – not currently available online.

Top: Soft Peplum Top With Contrast Bow Back from Simply Be – comes in sizes 8 to 28. Available in two color option. I have on a size 20 in the Dark Red color.

Leggings: Damask Embossed Velvet Legging from Avenue – comes in sizes S/M to L/XL. I have on the size M/L. Make sure you check out the size charts on this one, the sizing is very different.

Shoes: Jellypop Women’s Angel Dress Pump – no longer available online. However you might also like the Jellypop Women’s ELVA dress Pump or the Jellypop Women’s Cayla Dress Pump. Comes in sizes 6 to 11.

 

City Chic Garden Rose Fit & Flare Dress

It may not seem like it to people who don’t know me well, but I am actually a pretty practical person. So I wanted to offer an option that was a cocktail dress, appropriate for a holiday party, and still be wearable beyond just the holidays. This is just barely a cocktail dress, and so with the right accessories it could also be appropriate for work or church if that is part of your life. Here is what I have on:

Dress: Rose Garden Printed Fit & Flare Dress from City Chic – currently available in most sizes between XS14 to XXL24. I have on a L20. This is currently on sale for $69.00, plus City Chic has an extra 30% off sale items with code ‘XMAS30’.  If you love the print, but they are out of your size or the style isn’t for you, you should also take a look at the Blackberry Peplum Rose Dress from City Chic.

Shoes: My shoes are a pair of Steve Madden Pumps that I have had forever, and they are no longer sold in this style. However the Steve Madden Women’s Ulltra Pump is a very similar style. In my personal experience, I have Steve Madden heels to be more comfortable than the average heels. And because these are a lower heel they might be better for dancing if that is something on your agenda.

 

Lace Plus Size 3/4 Sleeves Midi Business Cocktail on Amazon

This I think leans more towards the traditional cocktail dress look most people will be expecting. Even though it may not be in traditional Christmas colors, it is available in some of those colors. I did want to give you at least one traditional look, but I wanted to show it in this alternative color because I think it is something will last longer in your closet and be appropriate for more occasions. This is also a very affordable look for those of you on a budget. Here is what I have on:

Dress: Lace Plus Size 3/4 Sleeves Midi Business Cocktail Dress from GMHO – comes in sizes 0X to 5X. Available in four-color options. I have on a 2X in the blue color. Please note that their size chart is accurate and you will find it in the product description area, do not go by the link that takes you to Amazon’s general size chart.

Shoes: Envy Women’s Shoe Hugs N Kisses Retro Studded T-strap Genuine Leather Pump – comes in size 7M to 10M (half sizes available). Available in three color options. I have on a size 10M in Black.

 

Plus size Holiday outfit from City Chic and Forever 21

This look is definitely leaning towards New Years Eve, but its your life, don’t let me tell you when its appropriate to wear something. I really wanted to create a look that was both fun and glittery. But I wanted to make it for the girl who is part princess and all badass. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: I have on a sheer sleeve zip front jacket from City Chic. This particular jacket is no longer available. However, the Drapey Blazer Jacket from City Chic is very similar. The only real difference is that it does not zip up the front. It is currently available in most sizes between XS14 to XL22, some sizes sold out in this color. If you search the site there are also other colors available.

Bodysuit: Plus Size Sequin Bodysuit from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. I have on the size 3X(Forever 21 is Junior Plus, so I have to size up one size in most of their items). Just a couple of notes I thought people would be interested in. The sequins are strictly on the front upper body. Also, there are no snaps to secure, you simply step into this bodysuit. The fabric is very stretchy.

Tutu: This particular tutu was bought several years ago from a company that no longer exists. However, if you are looking for a high quality tutu at a reasonable price, I will always recommend the tutus from Society Plus. I have one in white that I have shown here on the blog several times, you can’t go wrong with them.

Shoes: I have on a pair of Madden Girl heeled sandals I have had for years. If you are looking for something similar you might try the Madden Girl Women’s Lexxx Heeled Sandal. I think they have a very similar look.

 

Forever 21 and Avenue come together to make a sexy holiday look

This is the final look in this Holiday look book. But I couldn’t wrap things up without sharing at least one full-out sexy and glam look. I can just imagine so many ladies loving this look for New Years. This is definitely the look for the woman who wants all eyes on her. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: Plus Size Faux Fur Coat from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. Available in two color options. I have on a size 3X in the Plum color.

Dress: Plus Size Lace-Up Combo Dress from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. Available in two color options. I have on a size 3X in black. One note, on Forever 21’s website the models look like they have a cami on under the dress. That does not come with the dress. It is sheer on top. You will need to either have a cami or do like I did and wear a matching bra.

Shoes: Kimberly Over the Knee Boot from Avenue – comes in size 7W to 13W. They are wide calf as well. Comes in two color/fabric options. I have on the 9W in the black snake-skin print. (Just FYI, these seem to be on sale for 70% off right now, not sure how long this sale will last.)

 

And that is all for my Holiday Look Book. I welcome your feedback. And please tell me in the comments below if you had a favorite look.

 


 

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Splurge Worthy Beauty Items Of The 2017 Holiday Season

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Whether you are looking to buy a more extravagant gift for someone else or just splurge on yourself, you want to know that your money is going towards something that is a quality product. To help you I have put together a brief list of items that in my opinion are totally splurge worthy.

Everything included in this list will be over $30, and I believe any beauty lover would be ecstatic to receive these items. If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, you can check out my list of Beauty Gift Under $30.

For the sake of this post, I am going to divide this into two categories, Makeup & Skin Care and Beauty Tools. Some of these items are available at multiple locations. I will be providing links to either the place I purchased from, or alternatively somewhere you can purchase cheaper. Prices listed are full retail prices and do not reflect any sale prices or possible discounts or additional shipping. So let’s get started.

Makeup & Skin Care

Splurge worthy beauty sets and palettes of holidy 2017

1. Too Faced White Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette –  Sells for $49.00. One of two new palettes released in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Collection. This particular palette is filled with soft pastels and a couple of bold pops of color. Like the previous palettes released it has a nice mix of mattes and shimmers. And as always, every chocolate bar palette is infused with real cocoa powder and the smell of chocolate fills the air each time you use it. If you are looking for something bolder or flashier for the holidays, or are just into really cool packaging, you should check out the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Eyeshadow Palette.

2. LORAC Mega PRO Palette 4 – Sells for $59.00. This large palette is filled with 32 highly pigmented shades. It contains a mix of mattes and shimmers. I think this is the most unique Pro Palette LORAC has released. It has a wide range of colors that include both warm and cool tones.

3. Dr. Jart The Original BB Set – Sells for $34.00 (But I found several sellers on Amazon selling for $28.00, so that is where the link leads). This set includes each of the four types of BB Cream from Dr. Jart all in deluxe travel sizes. Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ Shade #01 is filled with peptides and antioxidants that smooth skin and even out tone for youthful-looking skin. Radiance Beauty Balm SPF 30 corrects uneven skin tone while brightening and hydrating. Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm smooths skin’s texture, covers blemishes and large pores, and tightens the look of pores. Black Label Detox Beauty Balm contains purifying botanical actives that soothe and smooth blemishes and camouflage uneven skin tone. This set delivers four subtly distinct finishes, from glowing and sheer to matte and fuller-coverage. If you haven’t tried a Dr. Jart BB Cream before, be prepared to fall in love.

4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Smooth & Flawless: Peel + Moisturize – Sells for $48.00. This set includes 14 of the Dr. Dennis Gross’ iconic daily peels and a trial size of the Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion. The Alpha Beta Peels from Dr. Dennis Gross will leave your skin looking great and feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom. And if you are a makeup wearer it will leave your skin in the condition to be the perfect palette. This is the original formula, but you can also get two other formulas. If you have sensitive skin go for the Smooth & Silky Peel + Nourish Ultra Gentle 14-Day Challenge Set or if you need something a little stronger try the Smooth & Radiant: Peel + Brighten Set.

5. Clinique Moisture Overload Set – Sells for $42.00. This is a three-piece set from Clinique’s Moisture Surge line. You get a 1.7 oz size of the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, a 1 oz size of the Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, and a .17 oz size of the All About Eyes. I would recommend the Moisture Surge line to anyone for their skin care no matter their skin type. But if you are looking for a set with a little more variety in it, then check out the Holiday Swag Box.

6. Kevyn Aucoin Electropop Pro Eyeshadow Palette – $57.00. Sells for This palette contains 12 intensely pigmented metallic chrome shades. Designed to create three-dimensional looks. Shade vary from light and sheer to high impact opaque color.

7. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some More Lip – Sells for $68.00. Unfortunately this set is sold out online at Sephora, they are highly popular and for good reason. There is a decent chance your local Sephora will have them in store. If you do not live close to a Sephora then I highly recommend checking out the smaller versions like the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Bold Lip or if you aren’t a lipstick fanatic you might like the Sephora Favorites Glow For It Kit.

Perfume Subscription Service

Beauty Tools

1.  str8glam Wet/Dry Hair Straightening Brush – Sells for $54.75.


I have very course thick hair. It is very hard to do anything with it. In the past I have tried a lot of tools including flat irons, but never had any success with them working on my hair. But in recent years I have tried a lot of new tools trying to find something to do with my hair. This has been one of the few success stories. It not only straightens my hair it does it quickly and easily. Plus its way less damaging to your hair and no worries about burning yourself either.

2. Valuetom Professional Ceramic Hair Curler with Temperature Control – Sells for $42.99  
Another one of my success stories for my hair is this unique hair curler. You may have even seen videos on YouTube of people trying them out and freaking out, or saying they were too afraid to use them. But this is the one and only thing that has worked to curl my hair. I have even had problems with getting perms to hold in the past. Curling by any other means falls out fast. In fact many of you commented on my hair in the BOHO styled post I did with Simply Be a couple of months ago. And this is what I used to get that curl. When I use this on my hair the curl lasts until I wash my hair. It is amazing. It even lets you decide what type of curl you want.

3. Akean Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer Machine – Sells for $49.99

Another product that I highly recommend and that a lot of you expressed interest in after I posted the video on Social Media of me using it is this makeup cleaner and dryer. It works fantastic and is a huge time saver. It literally cleans and dries your brushes in just seconds.

Tell me in the comments what your big beauty splurge is.

 


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Giveaways And Other Upcoming Things You Won’t Want To Miss

I have some great things coming up, both here on the blog and on my various social media platforms, before the end of the year. I wanted to give you all a little heads up on some of the things I have planned.

First, starting tomorrow (11/29/17), I will be posting various giveaways on my social media. All giveaways will be done and mailed out in time to reach you for Christmas. Here are just some of the things that will be given away:

Items for giveaways on my social media.

Pictured from top left and moving clockwise: Masquerade Palette Mini by Juvia’s Place (Just like the large one, just smaller pans. Check out my full review of the large palette), A mix of various sheet masks, I Pink I Love You Makeup Kit by benefit Cosmetics, and a bottle of L’eau De Rose by Jeanne Arthes.

This is just a few of the items being given away. Additional items will be included with these giveaways, some will be surprises and some won’t. There may even be more than four giveaways. Each giveaway will on a single social media channel. So make sure you are following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This is the one and only announcement about these giveaways outside of the actual giveaway. These are not sponsored giveaways, they are a combination of items I purchased to use for this and items that were sent from some affiliate companies that were preview items. When I do these types of giveaways it is my way of saying thank you for being loyal readers and followers.

In addition to the giveaways, I also have a lot planned for the blog over the next few weeks. I certainly hope I can get everything up in time for you. You should expect to see a Holiday look book, as well as a few other styled posts after the holidays. I am also working on “The best beauty gifts under $30” as well as a “Splurge Worthy Beauty Gift Guide”. And after the new year I will have some more makeup reviews. I have some new subscription box reviews, including Instacandy coming soon. And there is so much more.

Another bit of news, I recently got invited to the Amazon Influencer program. What does this change for all of you? Not a lot really, but it does mean that a lot of my favorite things I share with you that I find on Amazon can now be found in one convenient place. You can find the list at https://www.amazon.com/shop/karenmsmith77. I will try to periodically update this list.

Let me know in the comments if there is anything you would like to see on the blog.

 

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Black Friday And Cyber Monday 2017 Sales At Plus Size Clothing And Beauty Retailers

black fridays sales

black fridays sales

There are going to be lots of sales all over the web for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I wanted to get this up as fast as I could, so I will come back and add the sales as I find out about them. Also feel free to mention any sales I missed in the comments or links to any stores that don’t fit these two categories. I won’t be posting much, just the links to the store and a list of any sales that are applicable as well as when they start. I will divide this up into two section, plus size stores and beauty stores.

 

Plus Size Fashion

 

IGIGI

$40 OFF orders of $100 or more with code THANK40YOU

$60 OFF orders of $150 or more with code 60FAMILY

$80 OFF orders of $200 or more with code NOVEMBER80

$100 OFF orders of $250 or more with code 100CELEBRATE

Lindy Bop – click here for the UK site

Pre Black Friday Sale – 200 items up to 60% off. Already started. (I have not read anything regarding an actual Black Friday Sale, but I would guess this same sale will extend on into Friday maybe with some additional items added.)

Torrid

40% Off Regular Price, Extra 50% Off Clearance. From 11/22 to 11/24 (Torrid Insider Credit Card Holders can start shopping early with a special preview sale on 11/20 and 11/21 with the code SHOPFIRST.

Up to 50% Off everything sitewide. From 11/25 to 11/26

Get 30% Off Regular Price, or Buy 4+ items and get 40% Off. On 11/27 Only

Avenue

30% off New Arrivals and $50 off $100 or $100 off $200. On 11/22 Only

50% Off Sitewide! and Free Shipping. On 11/23 Only

Take An Extra 30% Off Clearance. From 11/23 to 11/30

40% off entire site and 50-60-70% off specials 11/24 to 11/26

50% off entire site and 60-70% Off Specials. Plus free shipping. From 11/26 to 11/28

Kiyonna

35% off orders of $150 or more site wide when you use code GOODGRAVY. Plus free shipping with orders over $100. From 11/21 to 11/29.

Black Friday sale Dresses starting at $39.99, Separates starting at $19.99, $25 Mystery Items. Sale ends at 11:59PM PST on 11/24

Pop Up Plus

Black Friday $9.99 Inventory Reduction Sale. From 11/21 to ?

Maurices

BOGO 75% On All Apparel and Accessories! From 11/23 to 11/24.

Cyber Monday Preview (for select customers): 30% Off Entire Site! From 6pm to Midnight on 11/26 Only!

Cyber Monday: 30% Entire Off Site! From 11/27 to 11/28

Simply Be

50% Off site wide with code THANKFUL, Extra 15% off Knitwear and party shoes + dresses, $1 thank you gifts. On 11/23 only.

60% Off sitewide with code FRIYAY, clearance starting at $5. On 11/24 only.

Joe Brown’s Flash Sale 65% until 12PM PST

Lane Bryant

40% Off Entire Site. From 11/22 to 11/27.

All Bras Just $29.50. From 11/22 to 11/24.

$20 Lace Up Hacci Tee. From 11/22 to 11/23.

BOGO Free On All Clearance. From 11/22 to 11/26.

$20 Bell Sweaters And Chiffon Trim Neck Sweaters. On 11/24 only.

Packable Puffer Only $50 and $39 On All Jeans. On 11/25 only.

All Livi Sweatshirts Just $20. On 11/26 only.

40$ Off All Clearance. From 6pm on 11/26 to 11/27.

Sweaters Just $20. From 11/28 to 11/29.

Dressbarn

Free Shipping no minimum purchase necessary. From 11/18 to 11/25

Black Friday extended sale – Cashmere Sweaters Just $19.50, Velour Tracksuits Starting at $19.50, Ribbed Sweaters Just $19.50, Ponte Leggings Just $19.50, Puffer Vests Just $29.50, Denim Just $19.50, and Packaged Sleep for $19.50/$24.50. From 11/18 to 11/26.

25% Off When You Spend $75, Combinable with Black Friday sale prices. From 11/22 to 11/26.

Cyber Monday Preview (for select customers) – 30% Off Site Wide. On 11/26 from 6PM to Midnight Only.

30% Off entire purchase, online only. From 11/27 to 11/28.

Hips & Curves

50% off all Camille styles. From 11/22 to 11/23.

Ashley Stewart

40% Off site wide and free shipping on orders over $40. From 11/22 to 11/23

40% Off site wide and free shipping plus an IMAN lipstick gift with purchases of $60 and over. From 11/24 to 11/25.

50% Off site wide and free shipping plus a leopard print tote gift with purchase of $75 or more.

40% Off site wide and free shipping on orders of $40 or more. On 11/28 Only.

Society Plus

40% to 50% Off site wide when you use code BLACKFRIDAYNOW. From 11/10 to 11/28.

Unique Vintage

Drastically discounted daily deals each day. From 11/20 to 11/27. Deals start on the date listed at 4PM PST and end 24 hours later.
Daily Deal: Catch of the Day! 11/22/ (Sort of Like ModCloths mystery sale, pay flat fee for a mysteryDaily item. $5 to $25)

Daily Deal: $25 Dresses (select styles only)11/23

Daily Deal: More $25 Dresses added to the sale. (select styles only)11/24

Daily Deal: $40 Novelty skirts (select styles only) 11/25

Charlotte Russe

50% Off All Denim, Everything $20 and under, and free shipping. From  11/22 through 11/25 at 3 AM EST

Everything for $25 and Under, All Shoes 50% off, and Free Shipping. From 11/25 through 11/26 at 3 AM EST.
 
40% off Regular Priced Items, 20% off Clearance, and Free Shipping. Excludes all Beauty, Including Fragrance. From 11/26 through 11/27 at 3 AM EST.
Swimsuits For All

35% Off site wide and $3 shipping. On 11/23 only.

35% Off site wide and Free shipping. On 11/27 only.

ASOS

30% Off everything site wide with code: EPIC30 . From 11/23 to 11/28 3 am GMT.

eShakti

40% off your order. From 11/23 to 11/24.

Fashion To Figure

40% to 50% OFF everything, Free shipping on orders of $75 or more. Ends 11/24

ellos

25% off everything with code ELTHANKS25. From 11/23 to 11/25

Old Navy

50% Off your entire purchase, Free Shipping on orders over $25 with code FREESHIP.  From 11/22 to 11/24. (Additional deals available in store only)

Holy Clothing

20% Off on everything with the code BF20, A new daily deal each day. From 11/23 to 11/27

MONIF C.

Take an extra 40% OFF sale items. No time frame posted.

Beauty

 

Sally Beauty

30% off on orders of $50 or more. On 11/23 only.

Milani Cosmetics

7 Days of Deal, a new deal will be announced each day. Starts 11/21

MAC

Kit of three Prep + Prime Fix+ for $20. Black Friday Doorbuster item. Online and in stores.

Free full size mascara or lipstick with a $50 purchase.

MAC Select Members get 25% with code MAC25

Elf Cosmetics

50% Off Site wide with code CELEBRATE on orders $30+. Exclusions apply. Plus, get free shipping on orders $25+. From 11/22 6PM EST to 11/27.

YesStyle

Select Items on sale up to 80% Off. Take and extra 15% Off with coupon code 2017BLACK. From 11/22 to 11/24.

Butter London

30% Off site wide with code THANKS30. On 11/23 only.

35% Off site wide with code FRIDAY17. On 11/24 only.

40% Off Nail items and gift sets with code CYBER40. From 11/25 to 11/27.

Clinique

25% Off with code 25OFF. From 11/22 to 4:59 ET 11/23

LUSETA

Get $10 OFF orders of $25 or more with code LUSETA10

Get $25 OFF orders of $50 or more with code LUSETA25

Get $60 OFF orders of $100 or more with code LUSETA60

Stila

25% OFF sitewide and free shipping using code 25BFSALE

COLOUR POP

20% Off Eyeshadow Palettes and $4 Liquid Lips with code BESTPALS. From 11/24 to 11/25

 

 

 

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The Selectivor App, A Meal Planning App For People With Food Restrictions & Allergies – A Complete Review

Symbol for the Selectivor App


Something I have talked about here on the blog a lot is my Balsam of Peru allergy and how it affects me as a contact allergen. What I have not talked about as much is that for me, and a lot of people with this allergy, it also causes reactions from various foods. This can be for two reason, just the same as with the contact allergy, the plant can be used as an additive (either as a flavoring or preservative) or I can react to the many foods that are chemical twins. To make choosing food even more difficult for me, I by choice follow a pescatarian diet.

Sometimes finding food to eat really can be a challenge. What is even more challenging is having food with other people, especially if other people also have food issues and dietary restrictions. So what do you do? Well now there is an app that is here to help. The app is called Selectivor and you can download it for free on IOS or Android in the App Store. If for some reason you do not want to download the app, you can access a web-based app to use. Look for this symbol for the Selectivor App.

Symbol for the Selectivor App

According to Selectivor’s description they are “a social food app designed to be a better way to eat together”. The simplified versions of what that means is that you can make lists of your allergies, food restrictions, diets, and any foods you just don’t like. From there you can meal plan and invite others to plan meals with you.

So who is this app meant for? Well pretty much everyone and anyone. But it will be most helpful to people who have food allergies or sensitivities, and those who have dietary restrictions (either by choice or lifestyle necessity). It could also be helpful for people who have friends and family that have food restrictions that they dine with often or wish to dine with more often. I also think there are some other great uses for this app, but I will talk about that more towards the end. Lets take a look at some of the basic functions of the app and my experience with it first.

Once you sign up for an account/log in, the first step will be creating your food profile. The app opens to this page:

Opening page of the Selectivor App

This is your dashboard, and the app always opens to this page first. As you can see this is the main page that will have links to all the things you can do in the app. From here you can edit your profile, add people, create events, etc… I think the app is pretty user-friendly and self-explanatory in how to use it. As I said the first step will be creating your food profile so for the most of this post we are going to focus mainly on just that.

First you will want to click on “FOOD PROFILE” button near the top that I have circled in the picture. Filling out your food profile is a three page process. Lets start with the first page.

page one of filling out the food profile on Selectivor

One page one they ask your diets, foods you are allergic to, and anything you avoid eating. You can see I have already filled in Pescatarian under diet.

If you scroll further down

List of foods I avoid in Selectivor

You see the list of foods I avoid (not finished with my list, still working on that). Now you may be wondering why I made this list but didn’t put anything in the allergy box since I do have an allergy. My allergy as I have said before is very complicated, and not everyone reacts to the same things or in the same way. I have been dealing with my allergy for years, and I am pretty well versed in what causes me to react.

Choosing Balsam of Peru Allergy in the list of option on Selectivor App

They do have an option for Balsam of Peru Allergy, but its more of a long list of possible things that can cause reactions. So for me picking individual items seems like a better way to go. But going with the pre-made list will be a really great option for anyone that is maybe newly diagnosed or perhaps having a hard time figuring out what is causing them to react.

You can see in the image above that “Balsam of Peru and food that may cross react with BOP” pops up as an option with just the first few letters typed in. Of course Balsam of Peru is not the only option. The Selectivor App will let you choose lots of various foods, diets, and allergies. Some of the options for diets and allergies are Kosher, Low Carb, FODMAP, Nut Allergy, and Shellfish Allergy. There are many more options and the list is growing. However, because they are still growing and developing the app, there may be things missing from the lists. But don’t worry, they have a solution for that too. If you look at the second photo up, you will see that at the bottom of my food list there is a link that says “I Don’t See What I Am Looking For”.

How to add an option to the food list in the Selectivor App

If you click that link a box like this pops up. From here you can make the suggestion to add anything you can’t find. So far in my experience they are quite responsive and quick to research and add what is needed.

When I first talked to the people at Selectivor about reviewing their app, they did not have Balsam of Peru listed. They had it added within a couple of days after we talked. Once I started playing with the app I noticed there were something missing from the list that I react to, so I submitted using this form on the app. Again it was taken care of within two days. I am sure there will be some variation in response time when there are higher volumes of people accessing the app and making requests. But so far I have no complaints in their responsiveness.

Once you have finished filling out the first page and submitting anything you need added through the suggestion box you will hit the next button.

Page two of the food profile form on Selectivor App

On page two there isn’t a lot to fill out for me. This page should be slightly different for everyone. You can see they just offered me a suggestion based on one of my choices. I did not add the suggestion because I don’t react to everything with carbonation. After you make your decisions on any suggestion you want to add or not add, you will then hit next.

Page three a review of your choices on the food profile of Selectivor AppAnd here on the third and final page you should have a review of your choices. If everything looks right you will simply hit the button that says “That looks correct”. That is all there is to creating your food profile. It is unbelievably easy to do.

Once your food profile is complete you can share it several way. You can use Facebook, Whatsapp, or by a link that you can paste anywhere. And as mentioned earlier you also have the option of directly inviting people to the App. When you share your link, people do still have to sign up for an account to view it. During my time testing out the app this has been the only hindrance I have come across. The function part works fine, however getting others to download the app was a struggle. I think between just being busy and not being motivated by an allergy of their own, it was a hard task to get some to download the app. So meal planning with others hasn’t really happened for me yet. I have suggested they look at a way to share food lists to Facebook event pages so that people who don’t want to download the app can still access it. They said they will be looking into this as an option, but this might be a bit of time away.

But even if you are like me and can’t get anyone else to download the app I still think I see a valuable use for this app. For some allergies and diets, like mine that are more complicated there are long lists of foods to memorize that you can’t have. It can be very overwhelming, and to date there hasn’t really been a website created with an empirical list of foods you should avoid if you have a Balsam of Peru allergy. So having an app on your phone that is easy to access, that is so valuable right there. People who are newly diagnosed often feel lost and don’t know what to eat. This app can be a real life saver and time saver for them.

If you have any sort of food restrictions because of allergy or diet, I highly recommend that you check out Selectivor. You can also check out their companion website for special information and tips on dealing with food allergies. And because they are new and still growing, I really encourage to reach out to them with any feedback you have and let them know of any foods or diets that need to be added to the list.

Let me know in the comments below if you plan on trying this app out.

 

 

This post was sponsored by Selectivor. However all opinions and thoughts about the product are my own. I was only asked to share the product with my viewers, and any thoughts shared beyond that are of my choice.

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Why Amazon Prime Just Became A Necessity If You Are Plus Size

Amazon prime membership

Amazon prime membership

I am sure at this point that if you use Amazon, or maybe even if you don’t, you have at least heard about Amazon Prime. And the majority probably know at least the basics of what you get with it. But for anyone who is not familiar some of the more popular features are:

  • Prime Delivery – FREE Two-Day Shipping
  • Prime Video – Stream thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost
  • Kindle First – Choose one Kindle book of the six Picks each month for free
  • Prime Reading – Enjoy unlimited reading on any device

And they have so much more. For a complete list of what you get with Amazon Prime, you can view that here.

It seems like Amazon is constantly adding new features for their members, and surprisingly not raising the price of membership. If you are not already a prime member, Amazon’s latest announcement of what they will be offering soon should have you running to sign up if you are a plus size woman. Coming soon is Amazon Wardrobe, where you try before you buy and free easy returns. Currently it is still in the beta stage and by invitation only, but you can sign up to be notified when it goes live.

It will work very much like many of the online styling boxes, except you will be the one picking what you try, and there is no extra cost over your prime membership. Here is how it is going to work.

  1. Pick three or more items from across clothing shoes and accessories.
  2. You have a seven day try on period to find the best fit at home.
  3. Only pay for the items you keep, and return using the free label and box provided.

As someone who hasn’t had great success with those subscription styling boxes, I can’t wait to see how this service plays out with Amazon. I really think its a must have for plus size women because of the doubt it removes in the purchasing process. No longer do you have to worry about sizing being wrong on Amazon and the difficulty of trying to return it. What a relief it will be to so many people. I do hope that name brands will be included, but only time will tell.

Tell me in the comments what you think about this new benefit from Amazon Prime. Will you be using the service? Has this convinced you to sign up for Prime?

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Hidden Gems Of Amazon – Stripes And Floral Print 3/4 Sleeve Tee

Hidden Gems of Amazon

Hidden Gems of Amazon

I have another hidden gem of Amazon to share with you today. Today I am sharing a tee with you, which I don’t think I have done before in this series. We will be looking at the Stripes And Floral Print 3/4 Sleeve Tee. In addition to this link to the seller I have purchased from I will also be linking to a couple of other sellers that carry the same tee, as this particular seller has sold out of quite a few options. Plus some of the other sellers have different color options available as well.

For sizing reference, I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″ And I wear a 40DDD bra.

Floral and stripe print plus size tee

The seller I bought from is Suoozy. This tee comes in sizes Small to XX-Large, and the seller I bought from offers five color options. But, like I said earlier, this particular seller is sold out of some sizes and colors. The sizing the seller has posted is:

BUST                      WAIST               LENGTH

S   Relax                       Relax                 Front
36.2′( 92cm)             33′( 84cm)          26.8′(68cm)
Stretched                Stretched
38.6′(98cm)             35.4′(90cm)

M   Relax                       Relax                    Front
38.2′( 97cm)             35′( 89cm)         27.5′(70cm)
Stretched                Stretched
40.5′(103cm)             37.4′(95cm)

L  Relax                       Relax                    Front
40.2′( 102cm)           39′( 94cm)         28.3′(72cm)
Stretched                Stretched
42.5′(108cm)            39.4′(100cm)

XL   Relax                       Relax                 Front
44′( 112cm)          41′( 104cm)           29.1′(74cm)
Stretched                Stretched
46.5′(118cm)         43.4′(110cm)

XXL  Relax                       Relax                Front
48′( 122cm)          44.9′( 114cm)        29.9′(76cm)
Stretched                Stretched
50.4′(128cm)         47.2′(120cm)

Side view of plus size tee bought on Amazon

The color I am wearing is just referred to as black. I have it in a size XX-Large. The listing says, “NOTE: The size is a little smaller than standard us size. Please choose one size larger if you want slightly loose fit.” The largest size they have is the XX-Large, and so I could not have sized up if I wanted to. But based on the measurements I thought it should still work on me. For most tops, unless it is specifically meant to have a very loose look, I prefer something that is a little more fitted.

Plus size tee on Amazon

So I went ahead and took the chance on the XX-Large size. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the fit was rally good for me. It was quite comfortable, and it still has some extra room to stretch.

My one and only complaint with this shirt was the neckline felt a little high for me. It was okay as long as I had it in place, but if it shifted at all it rubbed my neck. This is probably not going to be a big issue for most people, but my neck area is just very sensitive due to my fibromyalgia.

3/4 sleeve stretch tee for plus size on Amazon

I have found two other sellers that have this t-shirt. You can get it from Romacci, and you can get it from Dearlovers.

For anyone that is interested, I have paired with this tee a pair of Torrid Premium Ultimate Stretch Jeggings in the Dark Wash with Fading and a pair of Skechers Relaxed Fit: Savvy – Nobodys Fool.

Tell me in the comments below what you would like me to try next here on the blog. It can be another item on Amazon, a brand you are anxious to try, or a product you want reviewed.

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