Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One direction Up All Night Limited Edition Makeup


At one time or another, almost all teen girls have that moment where they put on their sparkly pink lipgloss, sit down with a popular teen mag, and put on their favorite, bubblegum pop, tunes. I'm sure that brought back some nostalgia for some of you. Girls today are no different than when I was a teenager in the late 90s. One of the most popular boy bands today is One Direction. Young girls are swooning over the upbeat music, the singers looks, and latest antics. For the super fans, there is now a way to do your makeup in a One Direction theme. https://www.facebook.com/MakeupbyOneDirection




One Direction has released a series of limited edition makeup tins featuring products that pay homage to their lyrics. The Looks Collection comes in three varieties "Up All Night", "Take Me Home", and "Midnight Memories". Each tin contains a nail varnish, lipstick, shadows, mascara, gloss, and stencils. The tin is also collectible with tips on the inside. These will be available at Macy's on August 11th and at Lord and Taylor, Dillard's, Stage Stores, and Beauty Brands on August 25th. 


Today I will be reviewing for you the Up All Night tin. Even if you're not a fan of the group, this tin is a hit. All the packaging on each item is a matte black with a glossy brick wall look and the name "one direction", its subtle enough that you won't look like a teeny-bopper at work if you pull it out of your purse, but direct enough that a fan would appreciate it. 

The tin features: 


Taken liquidlights glow glass- a super pigmented, high shine, glittery gloss that will have you feeling flirty in no time. This shade was slightly grainy feeling due to the high glitter but its not that annoying. You get used to it after a short while. It layers well and is opaque enough to use on its own. The applicator is a for foot and is easy to apply. Not sticky and not too tacky, you will get about three hours of wear. This gloss glows a neon orange under uv light. 

Alone and over I Should Have Kissed You lipstick 



Four + 1 eyeshadow palette that contains shades- more than this (soft blushing pink), gotta be you (silver taupe shimmer), save you tonight (shimmering turquoise blue), another world (royal blue shimmer), up all night (sapphire glitter creme). Now this palette is smooth like butter to the touch. It applies soft and smooth with great results even without primer. I loved the blending power of these shadows and how none of them felt chalky. The pigmentation was smooth and lasted at least 5 hours without needing touch ups. Primer will make these shades pop more and last longer but it isn't absolutely necessary. The creme center I used on the corner of my eye and it didn't last more than two hours but it was a cute effect for the time being. Sort of like a soft perfume you spray when you first get out of the shower. It smells nice but is fleeting. Same concept but with creme shadow. The glitter is suspended in a clear base so it's good for layering. 



I Should Have Kissed You is a bubble gum pink creme that felt like a matte to me. Phenomenal application. Very smooth, non streaky, opaque, no feathering, no bleeding. It lasted about 4 hours on me and was light enough to apply the gloss over without it feeling like a heavy combo. 




Little Black Dress- this volumizing mascara will leave your lashes looking noticeably longer and fuller. The effect will be most prominent on those with longer lashes but it does help short lashes gain some oomph. I like the metal bristle brush, I'm not a fan of a plastic nub type. 



Na-Na-Na: aqua blue metallic chrome nail varnish. This polish is everything! Dries quickly, two coats opacity, and the reflection is so mermaid like. Boy band or not, this polish rocks. 



Stand Up- dark denim eye and body crayon. I think I'm past the age of body crayon, but for those of you who want to make use of the stencils included, this comes in handy. As for more grown up uses, this works well as a liner for both the upper lash line, water line, and even blended out as a base like primer for the darker shades in the palette. 



The overall quality and combination of shades gives you the ease of creating a fun, flirty, and girly look, plus the keepsake tin is great for storing makeup in! 

What do you think of this makeup set? Are you a fan of One Direction? Let me know what you guys think in the comments section. 

This product was sent to me complimentary for reviewing purposes. I was not paid for any of my thoughts or opinions shared within this article. 



Friday, August 8, 2014

Fashion: The Affordable Plus Size Market Continues to Miss the Point

There are always stories that you know will go bad just by how they started. You can tell by the tone or even a common beginning. My stories that start with, "so I went to rainbow", will almost always end badly. This is one of those stories. 

This was an unexpected journey to the local Rainbow of Hyland Plaza in Staten Island. Now, lets be honest, we can't expect the creme-de-la-creme from a store like Rainbow. What I expect Is affordable, on trend, fashionable pieces, that fit well in my wardrobe and can be mixed and maxed with higher end garments. Simple request really. Now one of the hottest staples for the summer and fall 2014 season is harem pants. Love them or hate them they are everywhere! So logically, a trendy store which focuses mainly on younger shoppers would have these pants. Not so. 

After much questioning I was told that harem pants only came in juniors, not plus size. They also only received a limited stock when they did have them available. Why would they send a limited stock of such a hot item? In the straight section there was a plethora of options, but what were plus size women left with, well, lets see. 


Tapered, plaid pants, with elastic waist band, in sweatpants material,  with pockets. I was hopping these could translate as hip or edgy, but honestly I've seen better designs for plaid this season in the form of thicker leggings, pants, and skirts. The 90s revival is still going strong but these pants are a cross between a sweatpant, jogger, and legging. In my style opinion these are just trying too hard to be too many different styles. They have an identity confusion and I'm a little too secure in my style for these confused pants. Shopping shouldn't feel like a bad date. 

Now this jacket looks cute. I won't deny that, however it's long cut hides any, and I mean any, indication that you have a body (waist, etc)  What do I mean by this? It's so long that it makes even the curviest girl look boxy. A 3x looks more like a 1x and the cut all over is hard to make feminine. I'm all about denim and denim pairing, but shape and structure is a big deal for the plus size woman and this can come across too masculine shaped. 

I saved the best for last. For the low, low price of 22$ you can get this orange jumpsuit and look like you just escaped prison. Love Orange is the New Black? Well for you it now can be! I love a good bright garment, I love jumpsuits, I love orange, I don't like clothes that were inspired by Rikers Island. 

I'm a firm believer that even the funkiest trends and odd cuts can work, if they are paired right, but with the cuts shown here, I'm left feeling uninspired. I think had the plaid pants went in one direction and the denim jacket been just a little less boxy, and the jumpsuit a little less jail-y these pieces would be flying off the rack. Instead, they sit there while the plus size section grows smaller and smaller due to lack of sales. Perhaps, retailers should take into consideration that their clients, whom they assume eat too much fatty foods and watch tv all day, might be exposed to some fashion knowledge. The plus size fashion world needs a little less shirts with words on it, more stocking of popular items, more focus and attention to detail, and to turn the Netflix off. 

My advice? Pay attention to the cut and not the trend. If Its really trending, you'll find the perfect fit for you in other places. Shop around before committing. If you love a piece, go for it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

One Direction Makeup and Give Away

I have some big news for makeup and music fans. The band One Direction has released three limited edition keepsake tins filled with makeup! Each tin comes with everything you need to create an entire look, even nail polish is included!

These will be available:
Macy's: August 11th
Stage stores: August 25th
Dillard's: August 25th
Beauty Brands: August 25th
Lord and Taylor: August 25th


Even if you aren't a fan of their music you have to admit these collections look pretty rad!

I've also been chosen to host a giveaway to win a makeup set! Enter below! 


Giveaway Widget Embed Code:
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Link to online entry form: https://promosimple.com/ps/4f5b



Even if you aren't a fan of their music you have to admit these collections look pretty rad! Please stay tuned for my review on one of the makeup kits!




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Friday, July 25, 2014

Retro Sunglasses: Splurge or Save

I love Instagram. There I said it. I'd marry it if I could. You'd all be invited to the glorious ceremony on a hill, fresh lilies, warm summer breeze, sweet wine... Too much? Maybe, but I am making a strong point. 

Grazing the Internet for fashion, makeup, and accessory inspiration can sometimes leave me overwhelmed with pages or just underwhelmed with what applies to me. On Instagram I have met so many people with the same tastes as me that inspire me. Even some with different tastes inspire me to leave my comfort zone. One of the people I follow @thatgaljenna , who's page is simply amazing by the way , always posts these gorgeous outfits she puts together. I noticed a great pair of sunglasses and knew I had to have them. 


Meet the most awesome pair of retro sunglasses ever! I didn't even bat an eye at dropping 40$ for something I'd wear sparingly. I went to eBay first to see if I could find them there for cheaper; no such luck. However, while browsing forever 21 I found a pair of glasses nearly identical for a fraction of the price..

 .. They were available in black as well but I didn't want two of the same pair. There are subtle differences but they are very close in style. 

So would you splurge on these:
Quay Kittie Cat-Eye Sunglassss 40$ each www.urbanoutfitters.com

Of these 
Angular Cat-eye Sunglasses 5.80$ each on www.forever21.com

Personally, I'm pleased with my splurge! I love the matte finish and they feel a little sturdier than their cheaper counterpart. If you're a little pinched in the pocket the forever 21 sunglasses will do just fine, same style just a little glossy on the finish. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Forever 21 Plus: New Arrivals Not So New

I love a good promotional email. Flashing words like "NEW" and "SALE" always seem to pique my interest. Ebates (a site that gives you back a percent of what you purchase) sent out and email letting me know I can get 2% cash back at Forever 21 while forever 21 let me know I could get 20% off 100$ purchase. 22% obviously sent me into a clicking frenzy as I headed over to forever 21 and checked out the new arrivals. 

What I saw on the main page was a cute, retro 60s inspired outfit. Unfortunately, I knew all too well that I had to click the almost hidden "plus size" link to bring me to the plus size clothing which varied greatly from this fashionable image. I did hope that if I scrolled down, that I'd find some inspiration. 


 
Scrolls down... 
I see that I can save but where are the plus size models advertising new styles..?





Surely there must be something to pull me in as a plus size shopper...


Really, not even the Instagram hashtag has something to offer?


I clicked the plus size link feeling defeated but eager to view all the new trendy clothes for the end of summer season! Bring on the new styles!

Oh, a bright neon yellow sweater, that's awesome... Wait a minuet, Isn't this the same sweater that has been on clearance since last fall? Of course it is! 

  

Here I am 19 weeks ago wearing the featured yellow one.


20 weeks ago wearing the pink

Surely this was just a fluke... Accidentally placed under new arrivals... Except for the fact  that this blazer also listed as clearance since last Fall and is also under new arrivals.




This is also from 20 weeks ago. 

Not to mention that there are also only three pages of new arrivals for plus size verses 13 for straight sizes. 



You'd think that Forever 21 would want to make each page count by being jam packed with brand new fashions. Apparently when your a plus size consumer they assume you won't notice if your sizes are absent from the front page or if they just decide to slip in items from last season that they couldn't sell. Not to mention there are plenty of basics under new arrivals, as if there wasn't enough plus size basics. 

If I choose to view this from a positive view point it does allow anyone who may have missed out on these items the chance to now get their hands on them, however, I can't help but feel bad for anyone that now pays full price for an item that was just 11$ not too long ago. When shopping, always keep a mindful eye out for items on the clearance list, clearance doesn't always mean clearance and you have the potential to miss out on a good deal. While most stores would pack up their excess inventory and send it to an outlet, forever 21 may just re-promote it silently while jacking up the price. 




The "Fatkini" Trend: Everything You Need to Know

I hate the word Fatkini. That's not something you necessarily need to know but I wanted to let it be known before I go on with this post. A Fatkini is simply a plus size woman's bikini. Thin and average women don't call their bikinis thin-kini, average-kini, or skinny-kini, so we shouldn't have to add a demeaning name to the plus size version. A person can have fat; this does not mean they are fat! So what's the deal with the plus size Bikini and why is it gaining momentum as a trend for plus size women? Because it is here and plus size women have it as an option. Can you rock it? You bet your bottom, and hips, and breats, and even tummy, you can! (Awkwardly played Annie reference)


KNOW YOUR SHAPE

Whether you are an apple, pear, square, hourglass, or triangle, you can find a bikini for you.

 Those who are apple shaped carry their weight in their mid section, perhaps choose a bikini that is high rise and pair it with a top with fringe. The slight cut out will make your mid section look smaller and the fringe will help hide a bigger tummy. This bathing suit design also works well if you are straight up and down like the square. It will give the illusion of a more curvaceous waist. 

But why do these models make these faces, I will never understand. 
São Paulo fringe from www.monifc.com


 If you are pear snapped, you carry your weight in your bottom and thighs while still having average breasts. The rise on your bikini bottom can be as high or as low as you want but perhaps choose one with cut outs of color they will help bring out your best ass-ists or choose black to minimize your sides and backside. 

Www.forever21.com

Hourglass shape can get away with nearly any bathing suit. Larger breasts need more support though, so try to opt for bathing suits with straps rather than a strapless or a halter neck top. 

Www.monifc.com

If you are triangle shaped, this means you have smaller breasts and a wider waist/hips/butt It's similar to pear but with a smaller bust. If your bust is smaller and your bottom or tummy is bigger you can opt for waist bottoms or color panels and choose a strapless top since you don't need as much support. 

Www.forever21.com


SPLURGE VS SAVE

When finally deciding what suit to get comes down to price you need to ask yourself a few questions. Do I want something to last me a few seasons? Is this something that I want to invest in now? Can I commit to one syle? What is the fabric made of? How is the stitching? You need to really pay close attention to these factors. Imagine buying a shirt from forever 21 and having it fall apart, now imagine that shirt is the only thing standing between you and your naughty bits? It can be scary. When buying a suit make sure to read what it's made of, if it doesn't fit right or you see a stich out of place, return it. A more expensive bathing suit isn't always the best options, sometimes they are made with the same materials but with only subtle differences. You may not need an adjustable back strap like a bra or adjustable straps if you have smaller breasts. You may not need extra tummy support. Really understand your body and the make of the bikini before you buy. Also, are you the kind of girl who keeps up with the trends? You may not want to be stuck with a pricy bathing suit you won't even wear after the summer 2014 season passes. Are you wearing your suit to the beach or pool? Both weather environments can be rough on a bikini but sand is abrasive, so take this into consideration as well.

  

F*** THE HATERS

Society isn't exactly loving of the plus size woman. Oh, they will tell you they love some good ol T & A but thats as long as it doesn't come on a woman over a size 10. Putting on a bikini for the first time may feel uncomfortable and put you way out of your comfort zone. People may tell you that you don't have the body for a bikini or you should loose weight first. Some may say nothing at all but their stare speaks volumes. What's important is that you like how you look. At first you may feel like you don't have the confidence to pull off a bikini when I know you do! I don't know you, whoever you are reading this, but I know that you're beautiful! Your size is nothing but a number and your skin deserves sun just like any woman of any size. The beach, the pool, the summer is not just for size 2. You let them say what they want or stare, pay no mind. Also, to put some perspective on it, if you get a high waist bottom, you're showing two inches of stomach at most. If someone is going to be upset about your two inches of stomach or your legs, or your cleavage, then their life is obviously lacking something. These are such trival things for others to worry about. 


Fit

If you're worried that there may not be a size for you out there, rest assured there is! Forever 21 goes up to 3x but sites like www.monifc.com goes up to 24/26 W. That W makes a big difference. Woman's sizes and juniors sizes vary greatly. If you're a 3x in juniors chances are you're really only a 2x or maybe even 1x in woman's sizes. http://www.biggalslingerie.com/swim.html goes up yo a size 12X. 
http://www.swimsuitsforall.com/Plus-Size-Bikinis goes up to size 22. There are so many options for the plussize 
woman. If these sites don't help a quick google search is only a click away. While the plus size bikini hasn't become 
mainstream yet the more of us who wear them and buy them will help make them more readily avaible. 


If you're wondering if I've taken the plunge yet? I have here are some of my favorite plus size bikinis!











Sunday, July 13, 2014

Consumer Driven Selection Myth

I took a trip over to Rainbow Shops today (www.rainbowshops.com), the brick and mortar kind, which is something I rarely do. I usually like to save myself a walk of shame to the back of the store.  I had some burning questions that needed to be asked, however, so the trip was more necessity over pleasure. I use the word "pleasure" loosely. Let me walk you through my experience. 


First, let me introduce you to the Hylan Plaza Rainbow shop in Staten Island. Staten Island is a borough of New York City that looks like a forgotten suburb. This isn't the glamorous part of New York  city, this is strip malls, elastic waist bands, scrunchie land. 



There you go, there's Rainbow nudged between a telco and a soon to be opening Salvation Army. When you walk up to the store you'll notice two things, rainbow has two signs that say rainbow and also a large 5$, 7$, 10$ clearence sale. Doesn't that sound nice? 5$ fashion? If we can do it to foot longs as I guess we can do it for clothes. Except, what they really mean is only straight sizes (mostly) and that was the target of my first question.



Just about all rainbows share this pleasant clearence sign a few times a year. I clearly needed some assistance as I was looking through the racks outside of the store. I couldn't find a single plus size peice inside these clearence racks. Then I stumbled upon some plus size dresses on an unmarked rack. It was the secret 12$ rack for plus size women. I quickly found someone working there and asked them to show me where the 5/7/10$ plus size clearence was since a day prior I was told to look at the racks outside. I was told that the plus clearence was mixed in. I said , no, you're mistaken I've looked through each and every single rack out here. She then lead me to the rack with the dresses. I then pointed out, this isn't the 5/7/10$ clearence as noted and if you can not direct me to the correct area then this is false advertising. This is when I am brought deeper into the store. All sorts of quesrions started to pop off in my brain. Why am I being lead AWAY from the deals? Why do I have to go deep inside the store for clearence? Why can't I feel the warm summer breeze against my skin while I shop? Would it really be so bad if a plus size woman was seen perusing clothing in front of the store? I let that all slide away when the sales  associate showed me three racks in the middle of the store. 

After passing countless racks outside the store and about 6 inside the store I was a bit underwhelmed over the selection. Only one rack was 7$ and it contained basics, another rack was 10$ and it contained mixed peices. The third rack was a 15$ rack (funny, I didn't see that on the clearence banner!) I asked why wasn't it advertised up to 15$ she said she didn't know. She invited me to go deeper into the back of the store under the giant, low hanging, central air conditioner to check out the 7$ basics. Under other cercimstances, if someone tried to lure me to the most rear part of a building for the best deals i would have assumed she was peddling drugs or a prostitue. Nope, just 7$ basic tank tops. 

Clearence aside, the plus size section was about 1/4th of the rest of the store. It was slightly smaller than the abysmal shoe selection (that only went up to size 10). This left me with a few questions. Why is the plus size section getting smaller? Why is it so far in the back? Why doesn't the store front say they sell plus size? Why do the fashions look drastically different? Where are all the sales associates? As I browsed I saw many of the same styles over and over. Peplums, leggings, shirts with quotes, ripped jeans,   Maxi dresses, skin tight dresses, and a plethora of basics. The  straight sizes had more variation in style, color, selection, and better prices.

The stand outs of the plus size section included a white, 1982, nightgown, looking dress, a pair of 100% polyurethane pants (yes, more of the paint sealer) which rang up as "Novelty Leggings". Let me stop there. I want you to wrap your mind around this with me. Plus size clothing, made out of paint sealer, is not only considered acceptable for sale but also, novel. Cut up shirts saying "I woke up like dis", and tons of polyester pants with all different designs that varied from color blind toddler all the way up to this is what the machine spit out. While there were a few nice peices, many didn't even have the correct label. Pants labeled as 3x measuring in at a messily 36 inches. 

3x pants on 3x shorts. 

My friend was with me during this trip. She saw a dress she wanted hanging high on the wall. She tried to wave down a sales associate. She waited, and waited. She grabbed the bar to pick up hangers off the wall. She took down all the dresses. No one even noticed. No one came to help. She then put all the dresses back up. Ignored would be an understatement.

As I went to be rung up I asked quite a few questions

Myself- When will the plus size section be expanding?
Cashier- We can't expand unless we have more sales in the plus size section

M- Do you think the declining sales has anything to do with the vastly different styles between straight sizes and plus? I mean look at how many more options the straight sizes have. 
C- We only put out what we are sent, what they think will sell. 

M- The styles are very limited and basic compared to the rest of the store, maybe if the same clothes from the straight sizes were sent sales would expand?
C- There is a large selection online. 

M- What about the mannequins? I don't see any plus size mannequins in the window, and the ones I do see in the back have all the styles pulled back destorting them. 
C- We only have two plus size Mannequins. We can't put one in the window. 

M- you don't exactly advertise that you sell plus size, your clearence sale isn't even accurate, and these pants I'm buying, are pure polyurethane. 
C- :: looks shocked :: but they are on sale. 

M- Is that a good thing? It also doesn't help that I have to walk to the back of the store, there is minimal assistance. The average woman wears size 14, 64% of women are plus size. Yet the selection is horrible in here
C- we can only get more selection if more sales are made in the plus size 

M- So wouldn't you rather want to advertise that you sell plus size, 64% of women are passing your store because they don't even know. So your selection shrinks further isolating the profits. You then direct people to shop online. How does that solve your stores problem?
C- no answer.  

So my understanding of this whole shopping experience is- stores like rainbow will sell plus size clothing, push it to the back, may or may not have a sign indicating plus sizes, lack a dressing room, mislead you with sales that don't apply to  plus size, and worst of all tell you that they can't improve selection without better sales. There are a plethora of women wanting to spend their money on affordable, trendy, accessable, plus size clothing but with this treatment in store and often the inability to try garments on anyway, it is easier to shop online. Why should we be pushed though? Why can't a store just take a risk and treat the plus size woman like they treat the straight size woman. Maybe if their was this equality, the majority of the population, their target market, would be more willing to spend. 

Sadly, their logic is useless. Stores don't seem to understand that plus size women won't stand for this treatment. We are being sized out of stores and pushed to the back and expected to spend more or the same as a straight size woman who is assisted and can folly through endless racks of options.  We understand exactly how we are being treated and either subconsciously  or consciously we decided that our money shouldn't be spent in an atmosphere like the brick and motar stores that will only treat us badly. Instead of the retailer blaming their own size shaming practices they blame the customer. I've heard this same story from pretty girl, target, and other big name retailers. 

I'd love to simply urge all plus size women, to use the power we apparently possess, and shop in store as much as possible and as often as possible to see a real shift in the market. However, the truth is I would be telling you to take one for the team by allowing yourself to be mistreated. I'd never ask you do to that. I do want you to make a note of how you're treated when you shop. If you feel you're not being treated correctly, you don't like going to the back of the store, being directed to shop online, subjected to bad selection/ materials, I urge you to complain. I urge you to email, call, write, even face to face with a manager about how you feel. If we can all at least have some say over this shameful behavior, maybe we can see a real change that doesn't put another useless penny in the pockets of retailers that lack basic respect. 

We are 64%, lets control this market, lets get that equality and representation in stores that we deserve.